Friday, August 1, 2014

White Wins J/80 East Coasts

(Solomons Island, MD)- The 2014 J/80 East Coast Championships were run in conjunction with the Screwpile Challenge Regatta hosted at Solomons Island, MD.  The big winner of this year’s regatta was John White.  Despite never winning a race but never finishing out of the top four, White’s remarkable 3-3-3-4 record for 13 pts won the regatta by a country mile.

Taking second in the regatta despite winning the first two races was David Andril’s VAYU.  Equally eye-opening was the performance of the third place finisher- Clarke McKinney sailing KNEE DEEP.  Despite winning the last two races, McKinney still had to win a tie-breaker to maintain third position.

Rounding out the top five were Ken Mangano sailing MANGO in fourth and Vince Kalish in WHITE LIGHTNING in fifth.   For more J/80 East Coasts sailing information

Spinlock IRC Welsh Championship Announcement

J/109s sailing off Wales, England(Pwllheli, Wales, England)- The inaugural ‘Spinlock IRC Welsh Championships’ is only a few weeks away and is hosted by Pwllheli Sailing Club (PSC) on 1st to 3rd August.  The event has used the successful 2013 J Cup hosted by PSC as a spring board with the added award of the ‘Spinlock IRC’ regional title.

There is a strong and competitive fleet of J/Boats based in Pwllheli and in the Irish Sea, including the current Irish Sea Champion, the J/109 SGRECH, and MOJITO, the recent class winner in the grueling 700nm  Round Ireland Race.

PSC Commodore Stephen Tudor said: ‘The Club is very proud to be offered the opportunity to host the first Welsh IRC Championships and is delighted to see competitors already entered from Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Liverpool in addition to the local competitive fleet. Entries are still being received and we still have free berths available for the event on the new Academy pontoons’.

The event is supported by ‘Irish Cruising Racing Association’ (ICRA) who has just completed a very successful Championships hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire. ICRA Chairman and Event organizer, Norbert Reilly, commented that the two events strengthen the ties already established across the Irish Sea. A trophy will be awarded to the competitor with the best combined results in the two events.

On 26th July, there is a feeder race from Dún Laoghaire to the Welsh Championships in Pwllheli. This is the 7th race in the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association’s 2014 series and is sponsored by KONA. The ISORA fleet will be the first visitors to use the new pontoons in Pwllheli. ISORA Chairman, Peter Ryan, said ‘the ISORA fleet regularly visits Pwllheli either for a race start or finish and the Welsh welcome is always warm and friendly. The new facilities in Pwllheli will make the sailing waters easily accessible and a great destination for visiting offshore fleets, flotillas and for keel boat regattas and Championships.’

The social programme will start shortly after the arrival of the KONA crew bus from Holyhead on Thursday evening with the KONA ISORA reception/prize-giving for the feeder race. A crew dinner is planned with entertainment for Friday evening and a Championship party for Saturday evening.   For more Spinlock IRC Welsh Championship sailing information

Thursday, July 31, 2014

J/125 TIMESHAVER Flies Dana Pt Offshore.

J/125 Timeshaver sailing Dana Point offshore (Dana Point, CA)- This years’ Seal Beach to Dana Point Offshore race had around 50 boats and they were treated to a beautiful day.  From Ericsson 38's to a J-125 the race had a plethora of boats, each with a good shot at the overall.  Here’s the report from Keith Magnussen from the perspective aboard the J/125 TIMESHAVER:

“For most of the race, we were hoping to use our new Code 0 on the J/125 TIMESHAVER.  Viggo Torbensen (who owns the J-125) is keen to optimize his boat for Transpac 2015 and has chosen Ullman Sails to power his awesome boat.  Viggo had this to say about the Code 0 and working with Ullman Sails, ‘It starts with a desire to win then comes the boat keeping it dialed in and in top top shape, next would be align yourself with a sailmaker that understands the goal and is willing to go the extra mile to make the boat go fast, Ullman has become an easy choice for me because of Keith, yourself (Erik Shampain) and the team behind you. The code zero proved to be an amazing sail yesterday, but again, I recognize it came out right because someone sat down and put thoughts into and designed the sail for the boat. All of the sails I have purchased from you guys have come with the same impressive attention to detail."

We started the race in a southerly and were the first boat to put up any sort of spinnaker when we raised our Code 0 about 30 seconds after the start.  Immediately we powered through the slower boats that started in front us.  We also put a substantial gap between us and the Farr 40.  The Melges 32 "Pendragon" had the ability to keep up with us in the light stuff and stayed close on our heels.  As the race progressed, we easily sailed at 70 TWA at wind speed or more.  Fantastic conditions for us and we excelled when the wind went to 110+ TWA and we changed to the 3A.  This was short lived and we went back to the Code 0 and put more distance on the fleet.

We were thinking about the overall as we rounded the iconic Dana Point and switched to the 1A.  In the end we got nipped by a bunch of friends on another well-sailed offshore program.”
For more J/125 sailboat information

The SOUP & HAMACHI Crush Pacific Cup

J/125 sailing Pacific Cup race (San Francisco, CA)- What an amazing outcome for one of the slower and crazier trans-Pacific races in a long, long time.  This year’s Pacific Cup that runs from San Francisco to Hawaii was not exactly a barn-burner.  Many in the fleet suffered light airs in the beginning of the race and at least midway through the race due to the wobbly Pacific High that couldn’t make up its mind which way to move next.

After 13 days at sea, the big winner in the Weems & Plath PHRF Division B, was the J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP from the Corinthian YC Portland, OR (Eric Hopper skipper with crew of Eric Albertson, Scott Davey, Keith Sheets, and Doug Schenk as Navigator)!  What a fantastic achievement for this brazen crew from Oregon who believed after surviving gale forces winds and winning their “warm-up” event, the Oregon Offshore, that they could continue to cross the Pacific and vanquish all competition!

J/125 sailing off Hawaii in Pacific CupIn PHRF C Division, the J/109 BLUE CRUSH (Eric, Will, Yong, Ken and Eric Devaney with Scott Prysi as a watch captain) managed a fourth overall in their division.

The Kolea PHRF Double-Handed Division saw the J/120 SHEARWATER sailed by Justin & Christina Wolfe from Seattle, WA, scouring for breeze headed west all week long and managed to score a 4th overall, too.

Finally, the SONNEN BMW Division D ORR fleet, featuring the battle of the J/125s- Greg Slyngstad’s J/125 HAMACHI from Corinthian YC Seattle and Tom Garnier’s J/125 REINRAG 2 from Los Angeles YC was, indeed, a “rope a dope” to the most for the entire 2,070nm race.  In the end, HAMACHI sailed near flawlessly to win line honors in their class by over 9 hours, also taking handicap honors along the way.  Second in an equally awesome performance was REINRAG 2’s family crew!    Sailing photo credits- Leslie Richter/  For more Pacific Cup sailing information

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

J/Teams Sail Tough Chicago Mackinac Race

J/120 sailing to Mackinac(Mackinac Island, MI)- This year’s Chicago Mackinac Race was up to its usual tricks again, offering the fleet the dilemma of starting off with breezes in the NE to SE quadrants, with a hole forming in the middle of the rhumbline on late Saturday evening after the start, and then forcing teams into choices of staying west of rhumb and playing anticipated pressure arriving from the west or heading across the lake towards the classic eastern shore “dunes acceleration” of southerly breezes and playing the “point strategy” going up the Michigan coastline before rounding Pt Betsie halfway into the race.  Then, the choice again was whether to hang outside and north of the Manitou Islands or stay the rhumbline course inside and south, the more direct route to Greys Reef before the 35nm sprint down the Straits of Mackinac to the finish line.

No matter what fleet you were sailing in, it seemed everyone had slightly different variations on the three main choices on the menu from a strategic standpoint.  What was self-evident was that all five one-design J/Fleets all had variations on those themes and no one could point to the “perfect” race. Nevertheless, 10 of the top 25 boats in the Mackinac Cup Division were J/Teams in a fleet of 135+ boats; J/111’s again took 3 of the top 6 overall!

For the Level 35 Division, BAD DOG (Larry Taunt) and TOUCH OF GREY (Larry Schell) were virtually glued together the entire race, matching each other’s tactics all the way up to the finish line at Mackinac Island.  Both stayed west of rhumb all the way up to Pt Betsie and both took the rhumbline track inside the Manitous to Greys Reef.  In the end, BAD DOG took 2nd in class and edged out TOUCH OF GREY in third place.

J/105 tracks in Mackinac RaceAs one of the earlier classes to start, the J/105 class simply took off up the Illinois/ Wisconsin shoreline as one huge pack.  Like most other boats in the area off Racine to Milwaukee, the big hole emerged over rhumbline around 11:00pm and their class rapidly evolved into two schools of thought— one group kept heading north along the Wisconsin shore while another pack took off on starboard tack west of rhumbline.  It was the latter group that took 1st and 2nd in class and both of them also went inside the Manitous on the way to the major turning point at Greys Reef.  Leading the fleet home was HERE’S JOHNNY (John Moore), followed by BUZZ (Mark Gurney) in 2nd, then PTERODACTYL (Mark Symonds) 3rd, GREEN FLASH (Jane Enterline) 4th and VYTIS (Gytis and Tomas Petkus) in 5th place.

The fleet of nine J/109s followed a similar course of action as their J/105 colleagues.  The leader was established between the 11pm “shutdown” and the new breeze that filled in by 3:00am from the SE around 175.  The boats that could maintain headway in 2-5 kt winds dramatically lengthened, or newly established, their leads over the fleet at that time.  As one of the top three boats, NORTHSTAR (Dave Gustman) made the most of the situation and established a jump on the fleet they never relinquished.  Behind them the balance of the top five juggled positions all the way to the finish with MOMENTUS (Kevin Saedi, George & Robin Simkins) taking 2nd, followed by CALLISTO (Jim Murray) in 3rd, DRIVEN 2 (Jim Milliken) 4th and SLAPSHOT (Scott Sims) 5th.

J/111 tracks in Mackinac RaceHaving started quite a ways behind the J/109s and J/105s, the J/111 class roared up the lake in the building Easterly breeze under jibs and by late afternoon were already setting their mind-numbingly fast Code Zeros to continue to rapidly catch the fleets in front of them.  By 11pm when the wind shutdown, the top three boats were IMPULSE (Miz, Dreher & Hatfield) in 1st, WIND CZAR (Rick Lehmann) in 2nd and NO SURPRISE (Dave Irish) in 3rd.  For the next three hours, the boats all juggled positions with half the fleet gybing early in the new SE breeze and headed for the Michigan shoreline, another group continued to struggle north in hopes of more breeze.  Emerging from the “mix-master” at midnight was NO SURPRISE in 1st with a pack of boat hot on their tail spread across just behind them.  At sunrise, KASHMIR had leapt in 2nd followed by WIND CZAR in 3rd and IMPULSE dropping to 4th.  For the next hours, the four boats played a game of “cat & mouse” along the eastern side of rhumbline along the Michigan shore.  By Pt Betsie, IMPULSE had jumped back into 2nd followed by WIND CZAR in 3rd and KASHMIR in 4th.  The standings jumbled again as a late-arriving pack of 4 boats from way out west of rhumbline headed by Martie Roesch’s VELOCITY stayed out and rounded the Manitous outside and to the north.  That plus the fact that KASHMIR took one more fateful gybe into shore before Pt Betsie dropped them into 5th.  Meanwhile, the battle between WIND CZAR and IMPULSE was finally settled when an enormous 35 degree header rolled in from 175 degrees at 15-17 kts and WIND CZAR jumped back into 2nd place.  From there on end the “die was cast” for the top five, NO SURPRISE sailing an excellent race to win class and take 2nd overall in the Mackinac Cup Division.  Second in class and 4th in fleet was WIND CZAR, followed by IMPULSE 3rd in class and 6th in fleet.  The balance of the top five was VELOCITY 4th and KASHMIR 5th.

The J/120 Class report is courtesy of Frank Kern (owner/skipper of CARINTHIA).  He reflects what others had done from a tactics/ strategy standpoint during the race.  Here is Frank’s commentary: “This week the Detroit area fleet moved on to Chicago with 7 of the 8 J/120 fleet participating. The race began with an 8 knot wind out of the northeast with the fleet flying genoas for the first few hours on the Illinois shore. When the spinnakers went up as the wind shifted to the southeast the J120s spit with half sailing out in the lake and the other half continuing to sail up the shore towards Wisconsin. On the left was last week’s Bayview Mackinac winner Bob and Mike Kirkman’s Hot Ticket initially in the lead, Canada Sarnia based Irresistible 2 owned by Gerry Hines, Dennis Dettmer’s Perversion, and Frank Kern’s Carinthia. To the west was Jerry Bresser’s Flyin’ Irish, 2012 winner Henry Mistele’s Night Moves, Chicago based Frank Giampoli’s Jahazi, and new entrant John Hughes and Ed Vermet’s Nautiboys.   As the racers approached Point Betsy, Irresistible 2 was leading the fleet with Carinthia sailing much farther west on Lake Michigan. Much of the fleet was sailing the Michigan shore in pursuit of shore breeze. Hot Ticket was no longer in the lead and Perversion was in 2nd, Carinthia in 3rd. At the Manitou Straits, the majority of fleet passed through and Carinthia passed through farther north, south of the Fox Islands. As the wind was stronger on the outside and using a hotter angle, Carinthia gained the lead at Greys Reef. She managed to finish 54 minutes ahead of the next J/120s but the battle was not over. Irresistible 2 was 1.3 miles ahead of Perversion with the two yachts gybing to the finish. Perversion managed to take 2nd place by one second at the finish line. Flyin’ Irish was 4th, Night Moves was 5th, Hot Ticket 6th, Jahazi 7th, and Nautiboys 8th.”

In the big handicap divisions, the J/145 MAIN STREET sailed by Bill Schanen and family from Port Washington, Wisconsin finished 4th in Division 2.   The Cup Division 3 fleet had two good performances, the J/130 EDGE skippered by Bob McManus took 4th and the J/133 SCIROCCO 3 sailed by Bob Klairmont took 5th.

The J/122s battled it out this year in Division 4 and basically sailed a match race from start to finish.  Both boats ended up east of rhumb after the 11pm to 3am black hole and proceeded to match each other off the Michigan dunes, but never taking advantage of any of the “point acceleration” strategies.  In the end, Matt Songer’s EVVAI got the upper hand early and never let go, taking 5th in class and 21st in Mackinac Cup division overall.  Mitch Padnos’s & Tracy Brand’s famous SUFFICIENT REASON (the 2013 Overall and Class Division winner) had a rougher go of it this year and settled for 8th in class.

In the Double-Handed Division, the J/29 TFWB RELENTLESS sailed by George & Scott Petritz sailed well, finishing late afternoon on Monday to take 2nd overall in their division.

In Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Division 6, it was the Mac “debut” of the J/88 HOKEY SMOKE sailed by Richie Stearns.  Their strategies were similar to most of the fleet, starting due north and staying west of rhumbline until the infamous Racine “hole” between 11pm to 3am.  However, HOKEY SMOKE gybed earlier than most and ended up in less pressure along and just east of rhumb as they approached Big Sable dunes on the Michigan shoreline.  Nevertheless, Stearns and crew sailed very fast, capturing not only 2nd in Division but managed 13th overall.   For more Chicago Mackinac Race sailing information

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

North Sails J/70 Worlds Sponsorship

J/70 world championship in Newport, RI(Newport, RI)– The J/70 Class Association is pleased to announce that North Sails has committed to a Gold Sponsorship and will be the Official Regatta Support Partner for the 2014 J/70 World Championship presented by Helly Hansen, which will be contested September 8-13, 2014, in Newport, Rhode Island, and hosted by the New York Yacht Club at Harbour Court.

As the Official Regatta Support Partner, North Sails’ North U Regatta Services team will be onsite all week working with sailors to improve their boat setup, rig tune and sail trim. Available to all competitors, expert sailing performance analysts Andreas Josenhans and Chuck Allen will offer on-the-water performance analysis followed by daily photo and video debriefs. Additionally, North Sails’ J/70 class experts will host dock talks immediately after sailing throughout the regatta; North’s sail care van will be available to pick-up and drop-off sails needing overnight repair; and North Sails has partnered with Sailing Weather Service to provide free detailed daily weather forecasts for all competitors.

“The J/70 has quickly become one of the fastest growing one-design classes in North America and I have firsthand knowledge of how fun it is to sail and how competitive the racing has become,” said North Sails One Design President Tim Healy (Jamestown, R.I.). “The boat is a solid design, and J Boats has done a great job backing the class’s growth, which has contributed to its popularity. This regatta is sure to be a marquee event with huge participation, and personally I can’t wait for September.”

North Sails President Ken Read (Newport, R.I.) will kick off the week at Sail Newport on Sunday, September 7, with a local knowledge presentation followed by the North Sails-hosted J/70 Worlds Welcome Party featuring beverages from local brewery Newport Storm.

“The J/70 Class is exploding right now,” said Read. “North Sails has been a supporter of the boat since its inception, and we’re proud to sign on for J/70 Worlds. Newport is the perfect venue and the New York Yacht Club will ensure the regatta is well run. We look forward to welcoming all J/70 sailors, especially the international competitors, to Newport in September.”   For more information about the inaugural J/70 World Championship presented by Helly Hansen

NRV Wins J/70 Bundesliga- Travemunde

J/70s sailing Travemunde, Germany (Travemunde, Germany)- Travemünde Week was a week of championships, and it also featured the J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga (18 – 22 July).  The SAP Media Race Course at the mouth of the river offered a spectacular program for the sailors from all eighteen clubs participating in the event.

The waterfront festival and regatta is so enormous and has such broad appeal to Europeans that even German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered her perspectives on this popular summer destination event: “Travemünde is considered to be the jewel in the crown of the city of Lübeck. Indeed, Travemünde offers no less than an ideal backdrop to an international maritime sporting festival. The Travemünder Week – which originally came about as a result of a contest between two merchants over a bottle of wine – has long been a major event that attracts around one million visitors each year. No wonder so many come – a very special regatta week awaits them. Some 2,000 yachtswomen and men from 30 nations come together to pit their skills against each other in various competitions.

J/70 supporter- Chancellor Angela Merkel from GermanyWhether you’re looking for a sporting event or a festival with a programme of activities suitable for all the family – the Travemünder Week has something for everyone. This also applies to Travemünde itself, considering the wonderful opportunity to showcase the town as a coastal resort rich in tradition and an important ferry port.

As patron, I am pleased to see that the Travemünder Week is already into its 125th year. I would like to congratulate the organizers on this remarkable anniversary. My special thanks go to the Lübeck Yacht Club and the numerous helpers who are ensuring that the Travemünder Week runs smoothly. All that remains is for me to wish all yachtsmen and women and sailing enthusiasts from near and far an unforgettable Travemünder Week jubilee!”

The kick-off for the next event of the Bundesliga in Travemünde could not have been more perfect: fantastic sailing conditions with sun, summer, beach and wind with nine races completed - three for each club. After taking three firsts in winds approaching 25 kts and 6 foot waves, the Flensburg Sailing Club team were comfortably in the lead (FSC’s crew were Sven Koch, Alexander Erichsen, Hans Henning Hoeft and Morten Massmann).  They were followed by four clubs who tied: the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, YC Berlin-Grunau, the VS Am Wannsee and the Deutscher Touring YC.

J/70s sailing Segel-bundesliga, GermanyThe second day of sailing was phenomenal, winds around 20 kts, sunny, big waves and perfect conditions.  After ten races, the Flensburg SC was still in the lead and just one point back tied for second were Norddeutscher RV and the Deutscher Touring YC.  At this point, a total of 30 races had been sailed, ten for each club.  Said Kathrin Kadel Bach, a team member of VS am Wannsee, “everything hurts, today was really exhausting. All clubs are fighting for every point, because it matters in the end."

After the final set of three races on the last day, it was Norddeutscher RV that took over the lead with a strong showing on the last day.  Taking second in Travemunde was Flensburger SC and ending up third despite a great, effort on the last day was Deutscher Touring YC.

For sailing fans, sailors and spectators, they were completely thrilled with the live broadcast of SAP and the highly exciting race taking place on the waterfront.

SAP Sailing pavilion- J/70 segel-bundesligaSecond placed Flensburg SC led to the penultimate race and lost to the favorites from Hamburg by a whisker. "We had it in our hands today. Unfortunately, we made a stupid error in the penultimate race itself," says Morten Massmann (his crew was Sven Koch, Alexander Erichsen and Hans Henning Hoeft).  Despite giving up first place, FSC made a big jump from 8th to 4th place in the overall Bundesliga season series.

"There is still a long way to the title. We did not expect to have a win here in Travemünde. The competition was really strong," said helmsman Johannes Polgar (his crew was Klaas Höpcke, Florian Spalteholz and Niklas Meyerinck).

Besides the two northern clubs, the Deutscher Touring YC from Lake Starnberg that finished third is now standing in second place in the overall season standings.  "The Bundesliga is really intense. Even during the breaks between races, it’s hard to relax, because we are still thing of the last race. And now it's back on the water and we get going again. Real madness," says Max Weiss, skipper of DTYC.

After the top three (NRV, FSC and DTYC), the balance of the top five at Travemunde includes Wurttemberg YC in 4th and VS am Wansee in 5th.

At this stage of the series, behind NRV in 1st and DTYC in 2nd, the series is quite close for the top five.  Third is VS am Wansee with 31 pts, just one point back from 2nd.  Fourth is Flensburg SC with just 28 pts and fifth is Wurttemberg YC with 27 pts.  Each regatta is producing a juggling of the standings, thus putting a premium on strong, conservative racing to avoid an unnecessary bad race.

Here are YouTube J/70 Bundesliga sailing video summaries:
Day 1-
Day 2-
Day 3-

For more J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information