Friday, June 24, 2016

Shelter Island Race Week Announcement!

Shelter Island Race Weekend (Shelter Island, NY)- Brendan Brownyard, the regatta chair for the Shelter Island Race Week, has announced “that Shelter Island Yacht Club is hosting our new Race Week and it will be the premier Regatta on the eastern end of Long Island Sound.  We are the J/70s from Boston/ Marblehead, Cape Cod, Narragansett Bay, and Long Island Sound to come join us!  We are also inviting J/24s from across the Northeast to participate as well.  There will be many other J/Boats in the PHRF handicap divisions!”

For more Shelter Island Race Week sailing information, please contact Brendan Brownyard at ph# 631-666-5050, Ext 102 or at email- BBrownyard@brownyard.com

Beautiful, Benign Farallones Race

the Farallones rock (Belvedere, CA)- Amazingly, the 2016 edition of the fully-crewed Farallones Race hosted by San Francisco YC will go down in the books as not the fastest nor the must brutal.  Instead, it will go down as one of the most beautiful experiences of sailing offshore of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, past the infamous Potato Patch and around the foreboding pile of stinky rock islands known as “the Farallones”.  The race is 58nm from inside the San Francisco Bay, around the rocks and back into the Bay.

The forecast was a bit frightening and, in fact, convinced some sailors to abandon the start.  The original forecast was for 30 mph wind at 1500 hrs - about the time many boats would be reaching the Island. Combined with high swells, this is a gear-busting forecast. Although there's danger on any sail around the Farallones, conditions like this make it even more so.

Farallones IslandsAccording to one veteran Farallones racer, the strategies for rounding the rocks are fairly sensible, “the counterclockwise route takes you along the North side of the island. You need to watch for the large break on the NW corner. If conditions are rough, you can see it from far away. Stay North of anything that looks like breaking water- that means staying away from the island (North) on the approach and until you are past the breaking seas. It's hard to get North of the off-island break if you're too close. Sometimes it looks like there's a calm path between the open water break and where the swells are breaking 60 feet up on the Island's cliffs, but that choice cost multiple lives a few years ago. In rough conditions, if you're not frightened when you round the NW corner, then I don't think you should be out there.

Once you are clear of the island and the breaking seas, you need to decide where to jibe. Jibe too early and you can't clear the South side. Consider how to jibe in high wind and sometimes breaking seas. If the wind is NW you won't be able to get into the lee of the Island for the jibe.”

J/109 Junkyard Dog sailing Farallones RaceThe crew on the J/109 JUNKYARD DOG said, “It was near perfect conditions, such a great day! We had decent position in the fleet rounding the island, saw a boat ahead of us round up, saw Javelin blow up a kite behind us which threw me into a cold sweat since we just blew up 2 kites during the Spinnaker Cup a couple weeks ago. Although we knew there would be a lift closer to SF we weren't convinced it would be enough so we held high for a while with white sails on the way back before setting the kite. One of those things where it seemed like a great idea until it turned into a terrible idea! You guys all really smoked us by going south, congrats and very well done! Live and learn I guess. We'll be back next year and, hopefully, give everyone a little more competition then. Post mortem autopsy of the Dog Pound's Farallones race on Junkyard Dog here if you're interested.”   J/109 JUNKYARD DOG sailing video recap of the Farallones Race.

According to another J/crew member, “The race around the stinky rocks was a great one! We kept a wary eye out for big wind and/or swell but none of it materialized for the Adrenalin Junkies. We even used the Middle Farallones as a sneaker wave indicator.  We saw whales (who, thankfully, did not do a "Horizon job" on us), silly sunfish, sea lions, sea birds, and sunshine. It was definitely feeding time out there.  The biggest swell we saw was around 8 feet and the wind hit around 15 knots.  Smiles were had by all.”

A report from one of the southern-tracking sailors was, “that race was fun! Thankfully the forecast of 20-30 kts with big seas was a bit over blown (no pun intended).  We clocked a 29-knot gust at some point during the day, probably just after we rounded the island and put up the 3/4 kite, and probably while we were falling off a swell that could have tainted the speed. When we put up the relatively light kite we were instantly doing 11's and about a minute later dropped the kite bald headed and went for a 1.5 shy kite which we carried all the way to mile rock on a head stay reach, where the lift we expected was actually in force. There was a weird wind shift near Bonita/mile rock and we did a peel back to the 3/4. A jibe on the Marin side and back on a head stay reach on the other side with wind in the mid teens all the way to the finish. 9-hour race, in the car in Berkeley by sunset, it does not get much better than that. We guessed the biggest seas we saw were 10-12 ft combined and as expected was right by the island. We took a very conservative line with a minimum depth of about 75'.  All in all a delightful day, I'm glad the brochure (forecast) was wrong.”

The various J/teams enjoyed the race and collected some silverware along the way.  In PHRF 1A class, the J/125 CANT TOUCH THIS skippered by Rich Pipkin took third in class with Graham Ellis’ J/124 ALBION in seventh and Bill Williams’ J/44 VIAJANTE in ninth.

In PHRF 1B class, Trig Liljestrand’s J/90 RAGTIME took second place, missing the class win by a mere 31 seconds!  Ah, to think of having to surf just one faster wave on that rip-roaring slender rocketship!

Finally, in PHRF 1C class, the J/105s cleaned house with Doug Bailey’s AKULA winning class and classmate Sergei Podshivalov’s JAVELIN in second just 2 minutes behind on corrected time. Jim Goldberg’s J/109 JUNKYARD DOG took sixth in class.   For more Farallones Race sailing information

J/133 PINTIA Three-Peats- Wins RORC Morgan Cup!

J/105 sailing RORC Morgan Cup race (Cowes, IOW, England)- The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship continued this past weekend with the prestigious Morgan Cup Race, which finished in Dieppe for the first time since 2013. The 130-150 mile race marks the halfway stage in the championship. Dieppe is the mostly easterly destination of any of the RORC races starting from Cowes, with stronger tides adding an additional flavor to the strategic mix.

Highly changeable weather was forecast for the early part of the race, with a fresh westerly breeze anticipated in the latter. Competitors were looking forward to a warm welcome at the Cercle de la Voile de Dieppe (CVD) and Dieppe; a port well known for its superb seafood restaurants and the 17th century Chateau de Dieppe, now a museum with a strong maritime collection.

Racing under the IRC Rating System, a wide variety of yachts raced from Great Britain, France and the Netherlands.

In IRC Two, Gilles Fournier's French J/133 PINTIA continued their impressive form for the season by winning class for a third race in a row and placing third overall for the Morgan Cup Race. Christopher Daniel's British J/122E JUNO was second in class.

In IRC Four, nine teams competed, including second overall for the RORC Season's Points Championship, Rob Nelson's British J/105 BIGFOOT.  In the race, Nelson took home the silver, further strengthening his position in the class and, as a result, also took a fourth in the IRC Doublehanded Class.

The RORC Season's Points Championship continues with Volvo Round Ireland Race, which starts on Saturday 18 June. Organized by Wicklow Sailing Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Royal Irish Yacht Club.  At this stage, the Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT is putting their big fat toehold onto the overall season points championship, currently winning the series overall, the Two-Handed series overall, and IRC 4 class overall— an amazing “first” for a J/Team in RORC Seasons Points Championship history!  Fifth is Fournier’s J/133 PINTIA with BRITISH SOLDIER in 9th place.  In the Two-Handed series overall, Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J is lying 5th.  In IRC 2 Overall, the J/111 BRITISH SOLDIER is leading with the J/133 PINTIA in second.   For more RORC Offshore sailing information

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Cape Crow YC Wins Tie-break In Swedish J/70 League Act II

J/70 sailing Swedish Sailing League (Ekerö, Stockholm, Sweden)- It was not easy sailing on Lake Malaren. The regatta was sailed in the country near Stockholm and the wind was very shifty and very puffy- ranging between three and eight m/s. At times the sun shone generously on Jungfrusund Marina that was hosting the event.  Thanks to the organizers, they had created a great setting and Jungfrusund Marina reminded one of a Volvo Ocean Race stop in miniature- with eateries, exhibitions and shopping. All credit to Ekerö Boat Club and Jungfrusund Race Week.

On the final leg of the Grand Finale race, the Cape Crow YC from Gothenburg salvaged victory from the jaws of defeat and, by beating KSSS (the Royal Swedish YC) by one point, managed to tie them on points for the overall regatta and win the tie-breaker!

J/70 sailing Swedish LeagueOn Friday, the Swedish J/70 Sailing League kicked off with great sailing- getting in eight races for each club.  The best team on Friday were the dinghy sailors from JKV (Kapp Västerås) with a 2-1-1 record.  Sailing an identical record was the Cape Crow YC team with a 1-2-1 to hold on to second on a tie-break at the end of the first day.

On Saturday, Ekerö continued to deliver good races with tough sailing and shifting winds. Saturday offered many races and happy sailors and organizers. At the end of the day, Cape Crow YC was leading KSSS by just two points.

“After a rough start on Saturday, with a false start and trawling the gennaker, we pulled off three bullets in a row. Now we are second overall and just two points behind the leader Cape Crow,” said KSSS skipper Niklas Edler.

On Sunday, more good breeze and very tight, tactical racing.  At the end of the preliminary rounds, it was KSSS in the lead by followed by Cape Crow YC.  “We are pleased with the race, it has proceeded well and we have gotten to know the J/70 better and better,” said Patrik Sturesson skipper for Cape Crow YC.  He continued to explain, “the Final race was exciting, we knew we were in with a good score and we could not lose second place, so it's nice to utilize our match racing skills. It was very fun!”

J/70s sailing Swedis leagueReal fun as it was for CCYC, it was not for the Royal Swedish Yacht Club - which, however, was satisfied with their weekend.  “We made a mistake at the start of the last race and had to catch up during the race to try to get to past our competitors. But, we did not, unfortunately, get past Cape Crow and, thus, we finished second on the tie-breaker them,” said KSSS skipper Niklas Edler.

At this stage, Cape Crow YC leads the overall series with a 1-2, followed by KSSS with a 3-2, in third is Segelsällskapet Kaparen with a 6-4, fourth is Ekolns Segelklubb with a 4-6 and fifth is Kullaviks Canoe & Sailing Club with a 1-12!

The Swedish J/70 League now takes a summer break and the two remaining races will be sailed in Malmö (12-14 August) before finishing in Gothenburg (2-4 September).   Sailing photo credits- Tommi Rotonen   For more Swedish J/70 Sailing League information

SNEEK Wins Netherlands J/70 League III

J/70 sailing Netherlands Sailing League (Groningen, Netherlands)- On the final Sunday of the Netherlands J/70 Sailing League (eredivisiezeilen.nl), the regatta PRO Alex Hoeve had to cancel racing for the regatta after nearly twelve hours of waiting for the breeze settle in on the pretty Gieseplas Gelderland lake in the rolling countryside of the Netherlands.  Eighteen clubs were participating and 21 races in total were sailed on the water.

In the even, each team sailed seven races and the dominant crew this time around was Koninklijke Watersportvereniging Sneek- a.k.a. SNEEK; they managed four 1sts and two 2nds in their overall series of 7 starts.  Second was Jachtclub Scheveningen with 14 pts and third was the Roermond Rowing and Sailing Club.

Women sailing Netherlands J/70 Sailing LeagueIt was striking that the teams in the second round regatta were that much more aggressive and were racing that much closer together all around the race track.  The differences are much smaller between the teams, there were more position changes, and the jury had to regularly take action on penalties. Also, the advance of Scheveningen Yacht Club and WV Breskens were also notable to mention in this context.

Because of the weekend’s results, there is a new leader in the overall Dutch Eredivisie Sailing League in J/70s.  In the first round, it was WV Almere Central that sailed an almost perfect series.  This time, that same team finished fourth.  That means SNEEK is counting a series 2-1 to lead overall followed by WV Almere Central in second with a 1-4, Roermond in third with a 3-3, Jachtclub Scheveningen in fourth with a 6-2 and WV Brassermermeer in fifth with a 4-11.

The skipper of SNEEK- Eric-Jan Westerhof- said:  "It's really cool to win, last time we were second. Here we are very happy. High fives after every race we won. Our secret was to keep a cool head, good communication on board, and good starts!”   For more Netherlands J/70 Sailing League information

Faaborg YC Wins J/70 Sejlsportsligaen Act II

J/70s sailing Denmark Sailing League (Juelsminde, Denmark)- In an epic finale on the last day, the Faaborg Sejklub sailed with great uncertainty against the top six teams, posting a 3-6-3, losing their massive lead over Aarhus Sejklub to win by just one point!  The FSK team was simply jumping for joy and relieved from all the pressure of the grand finale, while their comrades at ASK were a bit disappointed that their closing 1-2-1 record was not good enough for the win.  Also having to overcome adversity on the last day and grabbing the last spot on the podium, also by a single point, was Hellerup Sejklub.  The balance of the top five included Frederikshavn Sejklub in fourth and Kerteminde Sejklub in fifth.

Faaborg Sejklub win Denmark J/70 sailing leagueThe three-day weekend in Juelsminde produced great racing all three days in the matched fleet of one-design J/70s.  The sailing clubs were blessed with mostly sunny days, winds in the 6 to 14 kt range, and a total of thirteen races before the grand finale for the top six teams- a three race anxiety-ridden, nail-biter!  It was the Sejlsportsligaen’s second league event and also the most number of races held for all twelve teams (26 races total!).

On the first day of racing on Friday in Juelsminde, Faaborg SK started off fast, posting two bullets in the first two races.  The party had started for them, and the good times continued on Saturday and even more on Sunday up to the 13th lucky race, collecting six more 1sts and two 2nds along the way.  The pre-regatta favorites- Hellerup and Frederikshavn- both had a rough time with the high-speed, flat-water conditions, everyone seemed to be going fast.  Nevertheless, despite riding roller-coaster scorelines, they both qualified for the Final 6 showdown.  At that point, Faaborg had an overwhelming lead of 10 points over Aarhus SK and 12 pts in front of Frederikshavn and KDY.

However, then uncertainty and anxiety suddenly hit the confident Faaborg SK crew ... something like “the wheels fell off the shopping trolley!”

“We took a beating in the finale. We made bad starts, which was unusual for us since we had started well throughout the regatta. We also had a couple of boat-handling errors in places where we were well into the top three," explained skipper Max Rohde.  He continued to describe that, ”it was a bit exciting at the end, but it was great to be victorious.”

J/70 Denmark Sailing League video“We had not expected to get FINAL 6, but suddenly we were there- and with an OK lead. It was so great," commented Rohde’s teammate, Jakob Sorensen. The other two Faaborg crew- Søren Thomsen and Michael Rohde conceded there were a lot of nervousness in the final races. All four are experienced J/70 sailing league competitors.

In the FINAL 6 grouping, it was Aarhus SK that was clearly the best with a superb 1-2-1 series. Behind them, Faaborg SK had to fight to the last meter to keep a narrow 4th place in the last race - just enough for overall victory. The Aarhus SK team was skipper Peter Warrer and a young team with Christian Tang, Carl Nielsen and Søren Kristensen.

As a result of the outcome in this last event, the Hellerup SK is still leading the overall series.  The Hellerup SK team has skipper Trine Abrahamsen and includes four-time Olympic sailor Susanne Ward.  They have a two-point lead over Frederikshavn SK, with KDY in third, Kerteminde YC in fourth and Roskilde SK in fifth.   Here is a great sailing video summary of the Grand Finale (FINAL 6) last race.   For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fun-Lovin' NYYC Annual Regatta

J/35 Leading Edge wins New York YC Around Island Race J/Crews Sweep IRC 5 Class!
(Newport, RI)- For starters, the Friday Around Jamestown Island Race was epic, crazy, unusual, frustrating depending on which boat you were racing.  Win, lose, or something in between, the first day of the 162nd New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex was a day of sailing that few participants will soon forget. After nearly four hours of nip-and-tuck racing, a perfect storm of factors turned this race into one of the most interesting, unique and exciting race finishes of all time.

As has been the case for the 12 years, the 162nd edition of North America’s oldest annual regatta started with a 19-mile lap of Conanicut Island. When possible, the race committee starts the slowest boats first, allowing the fleet to sail largely in the same wind conditions and hopefully have everyone back on shore at a reasonably similar time. However, the plan was never supposed to work as precisely as it did today, with the majority of the 131-boat fleet finishing within a few minutes of one another and creating an extremely challenging situation for skippers and tacticians and the race committee, not to mention the jury which was called in to hear a number of protests.

J/35 sailing New York YC Annual RegattaRight in the middle of the maelstrom was a 32-year-old J/35 from Houston, Texas, called LEADING EDGE. To that point, the race had been a mixed bag for Tom Sutton’s team, which includes his wife, son and many close friends. They’d missed some shifts on the first beat, and fouled a boat at the first mark, leading to a penalty turn. But, they ground back when the breeze got extremely light toward the south end of Conanicut Island, and then made the right calls on the final leg, northbound through the East Passage of Narragansett Bay against a particularly tough ebb tide.

“We knew that was a graveyard [on the Newport shore] so we stayed away,” said Sutton. “Then when we were coming in [to the finish line], we were coming in so fast, and all these guys ahead of us were so slow and these were big boats, 50-footers. So we took our spinnaker down 100 yards before the finish line and we had so much momentum we just drove it on in. You couldn’t dream of a race like that. And I’ve been in the nightmares before, where we’ve been doing really well and the guys came up like that and blew us away.”

The team’s persistence and grace under pressure appears to have resulted in a win in IRC 5, and an overall IRC win for the race, which would earn Sutton one of two Rolex watches that will be presented to the top performances from the 162nd Annual Regatta!! Both watches will be presented at the New York Yacht Club’s Annual Awards Dinner in November.

“That boat I’ve owned for 20 years,” said Sutton. “But this is a people deal. A boat is an inanimate object. People bring the boat to life. And we have great people. That’s what’s so fantastic about our sport. Yeah you can spend a lot of money on your boat, but if you don’t have a great crew it doesn’t matter how much money you spend. It’s a family crew and they’ve all sailed all their lives.”

COOL! A 30+ year-old J/35 design wins against the hottest offshore racers on the planet at the pre-eminent New York YC regatta all season long for the world’s top offshore racers.  The story gets better, for fellow J sailors.

J/44 sailing NYYC Annual RegattaOn Saturday, the fleet was forced to deal with a frontal system that was rolling in from the northwest, remnants of various tropical depressions that had been rolling up the eastern shoreline.  The offshore and one-design fleets managed to squeeze in two races before the “rain front” squashed the breeze completely.

Sunday was another story altogether.  Regatta participants awoke on Sunday to find the sun shining and the breeze blowing pleasantly out of the southwest. Saturday's overcast weather and evening thunder storms were a distant memory, and it appeared as if North America's oldest regatta would end on a high note. Then, a cold front rolled through and the breeze shifted to the northwest and increased dramatically- like hugely! By the time the boats started, the wind was steadily into the low 20s with gusts approaching 30. One boat lost its rig before racing and there were plenty others who decided discretion was the better part of valor and either didn't race at all or withdrew before crossing the finish line.

In IRC 4 Class, it was complete domination by a “classic” J/44 from Houston, Texas- Chris Lewis’ KENAI blitzkrieg the fleet with a 4-1-1 to win by a country furlong.  Putting in a great performance and snagging fourth in this ultra-competitive class was Sedgwick Ward’s J/111 BRAVO with a 2-4-8.  Fifth was another top performer, Jamey Shachoy’s J/122 AUGUST WEST.

Perhaps the most extraordinary accomplishment of the entire regatta was the stupendous domination and clean sweep of three J/crews in IRC 5 Class.  Continuing their on-going battle were two fantastically sailed J/109s- Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY and Bill Sweetser’s RUSH.  However, giving them both serious medicine-inducing catatonic reactions was the J/35 LEADING EDGE skippered by Tom Sutton.  In the end, it was MORNING GLORY taking straight bullets to win with a mind-numbing 3 pts with Sweetser’s RUSH compiling a 4-2-3 to just edge out Sutton’s LEADING EDGE with a 3-5-2!

J/105 sailing off NewportJ/105 Fleet 14 (Southern New England) held its inaugural 2016 season counter with the NYYC Regatta.  While the J/105 fleet had a small turnout, skippers used it to try out some new crew and tune their boats for the upcoming season.  The 22 mile race around Conanicut Island (Jamestown) was highly tactical and the lead changed several times between Sean Doyle’s KESTREL and Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault’s newly-launched GOOD TRADE, with Mark Lindquist’s STERLING and Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS close behind. Aside from deciding how close to hug the island to avoid the adverse current, each team had a lookout for overtaking maxi-boats and classic 12 meters which, while beautiful to see, cast a large wind shadow.

Coming down West Passage from the Jamestown Bridge to Brenton Reef buoy at the southern tip of the island, GOOD TRADE managed to catch the last shift and made up the distance needed to lead with a comfortable spinnaker run to the finish- - only to run smack into 30 nearly-becalmed Gunboats, Maxi-72s, 12 meters, 8 meters, and a wide assortment of other classic yachts including Dorade, all trying to squeeze into a tiny finish line.  Nicole pulled out her famous SF City-Front wing-on-wing maneuver with the kite out to starboard and the main out to port, with starboard rights, carried the dying Southerly right through the scrum to the finish, gathering a win for GOOD TRADE in its inaugural race, followed soon thereafter by KESTREL.

J/105 Good Trade- winners at New York YC Annual RegattaSaturday saw mellow stadium racing in flat water and 8-12 kt breezes off scenic Ft. Adams, between Newport and Jamestown, and GOOD TRADE notched two more bullets.  Team Stone/Breault sealed the perfect score-line on Sunday with two more bullets on the ocean course, with large swells and 15-25 kt in the first race, followed by a sustained 29-31 kt in the final race.  GOOD TRADE actually broke its bow sprit fitting in the first race and doused the kite, sailing to the finish once again wing-on-wing, without being passed.  The crew were unable to make a repair, so they raced that way again in the second race, actually making 9+ kt downwind with a terrific VMG, staving off the hard-charging Sterling in both races.

In PHRF handicap world, we find that Steve Levy’s J/120 EAGLE from Greenwich, CT sailed a great series to notch a silver for their performance.  Likewise, Marcus Cholerton-Brown’s J/120 SUNSET CHILD managed a consistent series to take fourth overall.

The PHRF 2 Class of ten boats was destined to be a donnybrook between several top J crews.  In the end, it was Doug McKeige’s J/88 JAZZ that smoked the fleet with two bullets to win their division. Taking second was Jeff Johnstone’s J/88 ELECTRA with two seconds.  Fourth was Vincent & Kristina McAteer’s J/33 COCONUT TELEGRAPH, fifth Bill Kneller’s J/109 VENTO SOLARE, sixth Brian Kiley’s J/109 GAMBIT and seventh was EC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT.

Notably, the winners of the enormous Rolex Cup for the two-boat IRC team with the best combined finishes in the Around-the-Island Race- was GO TEXAS TEAM, made up of the J/44 KENAI (Chris Lewis) and the J/105 LEADING EDGE (Tom Sutton).  Sailing photo credits- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing.com.  For more New York YC Annual Regatta sailing information

J/CUP U.K. Extravaganza!

JCup J/109s (Hamble, United Kingdom)- Sixty-six yachts from the J/Boat range made up the highly competitive fleet for the Landsail Tyres J-Cup in partnership with B&G. This was the 17th edition of the J-Cup and four one-design fleets were racing for their UK National Championships. Of the thirty-four yachts vying for UK Championship honours, an incredible twenty-three of them made the podium. The racing right across the fleet was incredibly close, with seconds deciding winners over the three-day regatta.  Thanks to our extraordinary colleagues and our hosts that helped make it all happen- the Royal Southern Yacht Club in The Hamble.

J/Cup J/88 NationalsJ/88 UK National Championship
Gavin Howe's TIGRIS was the 2016 J/88 UK National Champion and was also awarded the J-CUP for the Best Performance at the regatta.  TIGRIS had to hold off a spirited challenge from David Apthorp's J-DREAM, which finished runner-up and also the 2015 champion, Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT that claimed third. Paul Ward's team won the penultimate race to get right in the mix but a fifth in the final race had E.S.J.R. just holding off Dirk van Beek's SABRIEL JR and Richard Cooper's JONGLEUR. The competition in the J/88 Class was incredibly close, often with boats overlapped at mark-roundings and groups at finishes!

“The last race was all about making sure we were ahead of the immediate competition,” commented Gavin Howe. “Without being too aggressive, we knew that if we got ahead of J-DREAM and covered them, we would win the championship. I have to say that we have new sails on the boat and our speed is very good and the crew worked together extremely well. To win the J-CUP is amazing and completely unexpected and a lovely way to end a perfect regatta.”

J/Cup J/111 Nationals winnersJ/111 UK National Championship
Stuart Sawyer's BLACK DOG sealed victory for the J/111 UK National Championship with a race to spare, but it was far from easy for the team from Falmouth Cornwall. Marco van Driel's Dutch J/111 SWEENY finished the regatta in second place, with fellow Dutch team, RED HERRING skippered by Sjaak Haakman, finishing third. Last year's UK National Champion, Tony Mack's McFLY, finished in fourth place. During the three-day regatta six out of the eight teams made the podium, including Cornel Riklin's JITTERBUG and Chris Jones' JOURNEYMAKER II, who both won races.

“The introduction of the two Dutch boats, has really mixed it up, they are definitely on the pace. In Race 7, we matched race SWEENY all the way around and coming into the finish we were covering them, it was super close. The team have had to be very precise to come out on top, we have been getting out early, practicing our maneuvers, getting our transits, so that we could relax a bit at game time and enjoy our mantra of having fun. BLACK DOG will be going back to Falmouth and we will be back for the Pre-Worlds and the Worlds in Cowes. We will have American, Swiss and Australian teams joining the Dutch for the Worlds and that will bring another dynamic in as well. It is great to be National Champions and that has come from a big effort from all of the BLACK DOG team. Roger, our pirate, has done exceptionally well on tactics, he has been up here a few times now, and he is getting to know the water pretty well.”

J/97 Nationals at JCupJ/97 UK National Championship
Defending J/97 UK National Champion, Andy Howe's BLACKJACK II, scored two more bullets on their last day, to dominate the class and retain the championship. Ole Bettum's ALMARA B III finished the regatta as runner up. Rachel and Robert Hunt's JUMBLESAIL 2, won the battle for third with Richard Sparrow's ONLY MAGIC.

Andy Howe and fiancée Annie Kelly know how to enjoy themselves and so do the BLACK JACK crew who are always the life and soul of the party. “We have had an absolutely amazing time at the regatta and we will have a big party tonight, but to win at the J-Cup you have to have a good team and sail well on the water. We have been learning and working well together for some time now. It is all the little tiny things in sailing that make you a little bit faster than everybody else. Keeping the same team and building our level of performance is the key to that success and we are very pleased.”

J/109 UK National Championship
Joe Henry's JOLLY JACK TAR finished the regatta with a 2-4 score line to take the win the UK National Championship. The team is all serving members of the British Royal Navy. Robert Stiles' DIAMOND JEM was runner up with David Richards' JUMPING JELLYFISH third. Newcomers to the J/109 fleet, Simon Perry's JIRAFFE had an excellent last day winning both races to finish the regatta in style. There were also podium finishes today for Rob Cotterill's MOJO RISING, Peter Nicholson's JUBILEE and the original J/109, now fifteen years old, Richard Marsden's JUDGEMENT DAY.

J/70s sailing JCupJ/70 Class
With only one race sailed on the last day, Jonathan Calascione & Seb Ripard's HARLEQUIN were unbeatable in the 20 strong J/70 fleet. The Maltese-British team, including Royal Southern's 420 World Champion Annabel Vose and Sebastian Ripard from Malta, were pushed all the way by Simon Ling's RAF BENEVOLENT FUND SPITFIRE, the reigning J/70 Corinthian World Champions, whose team include the current J/24 World Champion, Ian Southworth. Charlie Esse's BABY J was third, with a crew including multiple Sportboat world champion and J/70 EuroCup champion, Ruairidh Scott. Congratulations should also go to J/70 teams that made the podium against three notable adversaries; Steve Northmore's WATERJET PRECISION CUTTING, Clive Bush's DARCEY, Greg Hall's VALKYRIE and Allan Higgs EFS ENERGY.

J/112E sailing JCupIRC Class
Didier Le Moal's J/112 J-LANCE and Craig Latimer's J/92 WILDEBEEST V had a titanic battle for the class with half a point deciding the winner. J-LANCE won the penultimate race of the regatta and Robin Stevenson's UPSTART was second, heaping pressure on class leader WILDEBEEST V. J-LANCE won the last race but WILDEBEEST V was second, just enough to win the class. J-LANCE was second with UPSTART third. David Greenhalgh's J/92 J’RONIMO took third in the last race to place fourth.

“The Royal Southern has been the home for the J-Boat fleet for a long time,” commented Key Yachting's Paul Heys. “This year they have the great facility of the Prince Philip Yacht Haven with new walk ashore pontoons and the club is so efficient because they have hosted regattas so many times and they know exactly what we need. We have a great regatta marquee for our regatta gala dinner and we still have room for a proper dance floor and a top band and that is all part of J-CUP. We love to have a big hoe down at the end of the regatta and we thank the Royal Southern for hosting us and running such a fantastic event.”

The Landsail Tyres J-Cup was hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, their excellent race team led by PRO Tony Lovell and Dermod O'Malley, provided 45 races in the Eastern Solent, and superb facilities from their waterside club house on the Hamble River. Over 300 owners, sailors and guests enjoyed the Saturday night gala prize giving dinner, held at the Royal Southern Yacht Club with 7-piece band “Groove Instinct” rocking the house.

The 2017 J-Cup will be held in Torbay, hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club from the 17-19 August 2017.

For social media updates for the Landsail Tyres J-Cup: http://www.facebook.com/TheJCup/ and http://www.twitter.com/jukracing. For full provisional results, pictures and more visit here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

2017 J/70 Worlds Announcement!

J/70 Worlds 2017 in Italy (Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- “We are confident that with the beautiful sailing conditions we experience off Porto Cervo, the extraordinary setting of YC Costa Smeralda, together with our passion, we have all the ingredients to host an unforgettable 2017 J/70 Worlds next year! This event will be an important one to help grow the J/70 Class in the Med,” commented Italian J/70 Class President, Vittorio Di Mauro.

Please find here the YouTube link with the sailing video of the highlights of the 3rd event of the ALCATEL J/70 CUP in Porto Cervo- https://youtu.be/zXQMDoqIiDo.  And, to fully enjoy the stunning, crystal blue colors of Sardinia's water, you can also download the hi-def video here- https://we.tl/rYdqiNBuNQ.

J/70 Sardinia videoSr. Di Mauro continued to describe the ALCATEL J/70 CUP event, “Quite frankly, we had a truly fantastic week-end with great racing conditions, outstanding hospitality by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (with a social event every night!), and lot’s of beachside fun for our accompanying friends and families. It was probably the best event organized by the J/70 Italian class so far.

The weekend was also a live test for the 2017 J/70 Worlds (Sept 12-16, 2017). We are already working to prepare another great event for you (all of the above plus simplified logistics, group discounts on ferry boat transportation, hotels, food and entertainment).

We will present the full program of next year's event during the Italian Night we are hosting at St Francis Yacht Club in September during the 2016 J/70 Worlds in San Francisco. You are all already invited to participate! Thank you very much in advance and one thing for sure- - CAN’T MISS PORTO CERVO 2017!”  For more 2017 J/70 Worlds sailing information

Monday, June 20, 2016

J/70 Europeans- 96 Competitors!

J/70s sailing Europeans in Kiel, Germany(Kiel, Germany)- More than three million visitors from all over the world will be diving into the colorful and multi-facetted life of Kieler Woche that takes place form June 21st to 26th. Kiel Week 2016, which is organized by the Kiel Yacht-Club in cooperation with the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Hamburger Segel-Club and the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee, offers many highlights in this year’s program.  One of those is the 2016 J/70 European Championship.

Ninety-six crews from 15 nations (Denmark, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, and Sweden) have registered for the J/70 Europeans that start on Wednesday at 7:30pm with the parade of nations from the Olympic fire to the Audi stage and an official opening ceremony. With 96 registrations, the number of participants is far more than ever expected. Apart from the European title, the winner will be given a watch from the official Kiel Week time-keeper TUTIMA as well as a Gennaker, clearly showing the winner. For the silver and bronze, there will be prizes from Liros.

The German contingent is simply enormous and quite enthusiastic about participating in their first major European J/70 regatta, sixty-nine teams alone from across the German republic.  The sailors come from the top ranks of the J/22, J/24 and J/80 classes along with the leaders in the J/70s over the past three years. With so many new faces in their group, it’s difficult to assess how teams will fair.  Nevertheless, there are some teams that should be factors in the top quarter of the leaderboard.  For example, Pit Finis’ DRALION.DE has top match racer Karol Jablonski on his team. Then, you have Sven Ruggiesiek’s JUKEBOX with Phil Raabe in the crew; Yannick Hafner’s LED ZEPPELIN is fast; Jens Ahlgrimm’s crew with Stephan Molle on GRUN SOFTWARE AG is experienced; so is Klaus Schutt’s YES WE CAN; Christian Soyka’s VOICE OF ITZEHOE are World Offshore & One-Design Champions; TRE MAKRELLER has top skipper Class Lehmann; Jurgen Waldeheim’s ROSAROTER PENGUIN are a tough crew; and PROCEDES DIVA has Bjorn Beilken and Tobias Teichmann.

The next largest group of sailors is from Denmark, with eight teams participating; including SALLY (Jorn Pedersen), CHILI (Rene Nielsen), HOTEL SVENDBORG (Calle Sorensen), and CRACKER JACK (Soren Larsen).

Sweden and the United Kingdom are sending a half-dozen teams each.  From England are several top boats, such as Nick & Adam Munday’s J7T, Charlie Esse’s BABY J, and Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC.  Sweden’s leading crews include Oscar Lundqvist’s FANNY, Jonas Wibom’s ACE OF BASE, and Bo Johansson’s TYRA.

Some of the leading Italian teams are participating in their five boat contingent, including two-time Key West J/70 Midwinters Champion Carlo Alberini on CALVI NETWORK, Gianfranco Noe’s WHITE HAWK and Edoardo Lupi’s TORPYONE.

The four-strong Monegasque crews include Monaco J/70 Class President Jacopo Carrain on CARPE DIEM, Stefano Roberti on PICCININA and Pierrik Devic on FRASER YACHTS.

Other top European teams include Klaus Diem’s Austrian crew on PFANDER, Luis Bugallo Arriola’s Spanish team on MARNATURA, Remy Hurdiel’s French crew on VADK 3, Wouter Kollmann’s Dutch team on PLAJ, Egil Ronaes’ Norwegian team on LUCKY JACK, the two Russian teams (Sergei Ezihkov’s JUNO & Alex Markarov’s MAJIC), and Tom Studer’s Swiss team on REGATTA CLUB BODENSEE.

From South America are two top teams, including Brazil’s former J/24 World Champion, Mauricio Santa Cruz, sailing BRUSCHETTA and Juan Reid’s WINDMADE sailing with his Chilean team of Pablo Lorca, Felipe Robles and Santiago Lorca.

Top women sailors from Italy and Germany will be competing and at least two skippers have proven they have the ability to jump onto the leaderboard.  One of Germany’s top women skippers and a long-time German Women’s Champion in J/24s will be sailing a new RAGAZZA, a brand new J/70- leading the charge will be Stephanie KÖPCKE’s crew of Nele-Marie BOCK, Amelie PANUSCHKA, Lydia KOPPIN, and Anke LUKOSCH.  Having sailed a lot of Farr 40s, M24s and M32s, there is no question Italy’s Claudia Rossi sailing PETITE TERRIBLE with crew Matteo MASON, Simone SPANGARO, and Michele PAOLETTI will be tough customers to contend with on any starting line!

Here is a nice Kieler Woche sailing video summary on YouTube.   For more J/70 Europeans at Kieler Woche sailing information