Saturday, July 23, 2016

Edgartown Round Island Race- J/Boats Fleet Trophies!

Edgartown Round Island Race (Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard)- This past week, Clare Harrington, Charlie Hodge and Hal Findlay- the Edgartown Race Week Chairs- announced that, “We are delighted at the robust J/Boat participation in the Edgartown 'Round-the-Island Race for 2016.  As a result, we will recognize and honor these yachts by presenting trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place on corrected time amongst all the J/Boats in all classes.  We hope that this will encourage and entice even more of the owners of J/Boats to participate in this classic circumnavigation of Martha's Vineyard race, now and in the future!”  Like many of the world’s epic “round island races”, the blast around Martha’s Vineyard Island ranks amongst one of the most challenging anywhere and is about the same distance as the famous JP Morgan Round Island Race of the Isle of Wight- the origin of the infamous 100 Guinea Cup that was won by the yacht America skippered by Charlie Barr and a crew of mostly professionals from Scandinavia (historical footnote- that was the basis for the America’s Cup as we know it today!).

Why not sail America’s version of that famous race around beautiful Martha’s Vineyard?  The challenges are every bit as crazy as you round various points, bluffs, tidal races and gorgeous beaches resplendent with dozens of gorgeous Hollywood A-list celebrities hanging out in teenie-weenie-bikinis!

No question, one of the ten best weekends of the year, especially if you live in New England, is upon us.  Often, we’ve dreamt of these days while shoveling mounds of snow or paying the heating bill.  For sailors, especially, who look to combine competition with great camaraderie, there is no better way to spend one of these precious weekends than competing in Edgartown Yacht Club’s Edgartown Race Weekend, which offers the option of racing ‘Round-the-Buoys (Thursday and Friday, July 28-29) or ‘Round-the-Island (Saturday, July 30), or both.

First held in 1938, Edgartown Yacht Club’s ’Round the Island Race was inspired by a similar, albeit shorter, race around the Isle of Wight in England.  With staggered starts by class (IRC, ORC, PHRF-NE Classic, One-Design, Multihull and Double-Handed) the fleet leaves Edgartown Harbor on a 54.7 mile course that takes it over Nantucket Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and Vineyard Sound, sailing past seven lighthouses while circumnavigating, clockwise, the 100 square mile island of Martha’s Vineyard.

For Massachusetts resident Steve Dahill, who races his J/35C RIVA out of both Beverly Yacht Club (Marion) and Constitution Yacht Club (Boston) and has been participating in the ’Round-the-Island Race for six years, there are numerous reasons to make room for this event on his summer calendar:

“There is the beauty of racing around all the sights of Martha’s Vineyard from the gentle slopes and beaches of Wasque, to the cliffs at Squibnocket, to the iconic rounding at Devils Bridge and Aquinnah.  Then, there’s great competition from boats we don't always see in our local club - from Nantucket, to Boston and the North Shore, from Newport and beyond - a real nice mix and we've met new friends. It also doesn't get more competitive or compelling, racing that far in one day is a marathon for most of us club racers and for many it is a goal that we think about and plan for all year. It’s also an opportunity to race against the best. Seeing George David’s Rambler rush by (in 2014) or the TP52s squeaking upwind with their pro teams- it’s right out of SAIL or Sailing World magazines. Can the average golfer tee off with Jason Day? No, but at the Round-the-Island Race you can be neck-and-neck with the best local and pro teams.”

Edgartown Yacht Club’s Edgartown Race Weekend starts with the two-day Round-the-Buoy Races, which are entry free and open to boats racing with a PHRF, ORC, IRC or CRF rating. The Friday night “Jump-Up” sponsored by Mount Gay is held at Edgartown Yacht Club and follows the ’Round-the-Buoy awards presentations for winners of each day as well as overall for both days.  Saturday’s Round Island Race is open to IRC, ORC, PHRF-NE (including spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions), classic, one-design, multihull and double-handed boats. The Round Island awards ceremony is on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. at Edgartown Yacht Club.

In the PHRF Round Buoy series, we find Doug Curtiss’ J/111 WICKED 2.0 from New Bedford YC up against Stephen McManus’s J/120 SAYKADOO from Annapolis YC.  Then, in the Round Island Race, there’s a “yuge” fleet racing for class honors in the twenty-two boat PHRF Racing Class, including the above mentioned teams plus Jim Maseiro’s J/122 URSUS MARITIMUS, Dick Egan’s gorgeous J/46 WINGS, Butch Joy’s J/120 KINDRED SPIRITS, Stephen Besse’s J/120 APRES, Ed Dailey’s J/109 RAPTOR, Eliot Shanabrook’s J/109 HAFA ADAI, Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST, and Steve Dahill’s J/35C RIVA.  Sailing twenty-boat PHRF Non-Spinnaker will be Wesley McMichael’s J/44 BALLYHOO and Kent Nicholas’ J/42 PANASEA.  For more Round-the-Island Race sailing information

J/112E- ORC Worlds Update

J/112E sailing offshore in Europe (Copenhagen, Denmark)- The ORC World Championship 2016 is organized by KDY and Egaa Sejlklub and taking place out of Skovshoved Habour, just a few kilometers north of Copenhagen. Sailing for the inshore races have been on Öresund, a well known racing venue, renowned for having hosted numerous Worlds, Europeans and Nordic championships. The offshore races have been off the southern part of the Kattegat north of Helsingör, or into the area where Öresund meets the Baltic Sea.

Favorable 8-15 knot conditions on the opening day enabled the PRO to hold three inshore races.  The day was characterized by very tight racing all day.  Leading after the first day in Class C with 59 teams was Bo Teichmann’s J/112E LANCE 12, posting a 2-3-1 scoreline.  The J/112E is being sailed by a mixed German and Dutch team that includes racing legend Bouwe Bekking (famous for both one-design and offshore championships in various classes as both tactician and skipper).   Racing continues until July 23rd.  You can follow their progress here.

Chicago Mackinac Race Preview

J/120 sailing offshore(Chicago, IL)- The 108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac has 268 keelboats registered for the 333-mile race that starts on Saturday, July 23. Throngs of sailors are feverishly preparing for this year’s race at the Chicago YC Belmont and Monroe St clubhouses as they look forward to one of the windier Mac Races in recent years.  The past few years have been some of the slowest on record, with much of the fleet not finishing until late Monday and Tuesday morning.  However, the forecasts for the start on Saturday are encouraging, with a frontal passage of a Low (depression) taking place sometime late Sunday with southerly winds in the 5-15 kts range feeding the arrival of the front for the previous 24 hours.  Then, during the frontal passage on Sunday, a classic westwards shift veering into the northwesterly quadrants, with occasional squalls in the 20-30 kts range- making things a bit exciting during the night!

Eighty-four J/Teams are participating, approximately 1/3 of the fleet, with the first boats starting at 1130 hrs and the last of the big J’s blasting off the line at 1350 hrs.  Starting with the big boys, sailing in Section 2 starting 1350 CDT, are two J/145s that have been collecting lots of silverware all over the Great Lakes.  The bright red boat is Bill Schanen’s MAIN STREET from Port Washington YC, sailing with mostly family members aboard.  The other is Chris Saxton’s VORTICES from the Detroit, MI area that recently won her class in the Bayview Mackinac Race!  The VORTICES team is hoping to go for the magic “double” for the two Mac races!

Sailing in Section 3 starting 1330 CDT is a trio of fast J/130s- SALSA (Jim Gignac from Chicago Corinthian YC), FAST EDDY (Mike & Maryellen Ferring from Arizona YC), and WILLIE J (Bert Vanderweele from Macatawa Bay YC).  Joining them is a family team from Winnetka, IL, the mighty J/133 RENEGADE (Tom & Beth Ann Papoutsis from Columbia YC).

J/111 sailing Chicago-MackThe J/111 one-design section starts 1320 CDT and it will be an enormous battle between the fifteen boats, including many top North American Championship teams.  The veterans in the class with both round-the-buoys as well as offshore experience include Brad Faber’s UTAH, Richard Hobbs’ HOBGOBLIN, Len Siegal’s LUCKY DUBIE, Rich Witzel’s ROWDY, the trio of Miz/ Dreher/ Hatfield on IMPULSE and Dave Irish’s NO SURPRISE.  Looking forward to their first fast Mac Race on 111’s are newcomers like Kevin Saedi & Rama Yousefi’s MOMENTUS, Tom Dickson’s WARLOCK, Tracy Brand’s SOLUTION, Carl Hanssen’s VARIANCE, Mark & Colin Caliban’s NO QUARTER, and Dan Kitchens’ SKULL CRACKER.

In Section 4 starting at 1310 CDT are a range of 42-45 foot J crews, including Robert McManus’s J/130 EDGE from Milwaukee YC, Bob Klairmont’s J/133 SCIROCCO 3 from Chicago YC, and Randy Kuhn/ James Richter’s J/44 CHEEP N DEEP II from Chicago Corinthian YC.

The Detroit mafia of J/120s will also have their own one-design section that starts 1300 CDT.  Many of the top teams that also sailed the Bayview Mac Race will be on hand, including Mike & Bob Kirkman’s HOT TICKET from Bayview YC, Ed Vermet & John Hughes’ NAUTI BOYS from BYC, Frank Kern’s CARINTHIA from BYC, Sandlin/ Brown/ Schram’s J-HAWKER from BYC, and Frank Giampoli’s JAHAZI.

From an overall race winners perspective, Section 5 that starts 1250 CDT has a trio of J/122s that hope to duplicate their past performances, including Mitch Padnos’ family crew on SUFFICIENT REASON from Macatawa Bay YC- a 1st in Class, 1st Overall Chicago-Mac Race winner!  They will be joined by Matt Songer’s EVVAI from Marquette YC and Bob Mampe’s GOTTA WANTA from Grand Traverse YC.  In addition, they will be contending with a real sleeper in their class, Ben Lumpkin’s brand new J/112E sport-cruiser, MARY GAIL from Chicago YC.

Another big one-design section is the J/109 Division that starts 1220 CDT.  Hauling the mail off the line to prove once again they are always contenders overall will be Scott Sims’ SLAPSHOT from Chicago YC, David Gustman’s NORTHSTAR from Chicago YC, Peter Priede’s FULL TILT from Columbia YC, and Jack & Jim Toliver’s VANDA III from Chicago YC.

Perhaps one of the scariest sections on a handicap basis, depending on weather, is the Level 35s that start at 1210 CDT.  Why?  Because it has seven J/35s sailing and they are not slow, many of them have won the Chicago-Mac in class and overall in the past and are always the “sleeper” group in the Mac Race- a.k.a. “run silent, run deep” and surprise them in the end!  That fleet includes Larry Schell’s famous TOUCH OF GREY from Columbia YC and David Timmer’s HAT TRICK from Muskegon YC.

The Section 7 division that starts 1200 CDT is a mixed bag of fast J/crews, including the Bayview Mac Race 2016 division winner- the J/109 TOA sailed by Bruce Danly & Jimmie Mitchell from Chicago YC.  Joining them are two J/35 family teams- BOZOS CIRCUS (Bruce, Chris & Eric Metcalf from Chicago YC) and OB LA DI (Rick, Bobby & Kelly Jean Reed from Chicago YC).  Hunting for tactical and strategic advantage amongst the crews without a clue will be the J/33 RETRIEVER sailed by Matt Beer from Chicago YC.

Seventeen boats are sailing the one-design J/105 Class that starts 1150 am CDT.  That is an amazing turnout and a credit to the Great Lakes fleet of J/105 owners, past and present, to continue to attract newcomers to the class.  Going against the mass of class veterans is the Petzold family- the GREEN FLASH from Little Traverse YC in Harbor Springs, MI- family members include Jane, Tricia, Tom & Cathy Petzold!  They will have their hands full taking on past Mac veterans like Gyt & Tom Petkus’ VYTIS, Nancy Glover’s TEMPEST, Clark Pellet’s SEALARK, Carter Williams’ CREATIVE DESTRUCTION, Ken Ganch’s GONZO, Mike & Ed Newman’s VALHALLA, Sandy Curtiss’ ROCKING HORSE, Mark Symonds’ PTERODACTYL, Mike Ludtke’s SMOKIN J, and Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM. Do not try to handicap this fleet; it is truly “anything goes” based on past, present, and future performance!

J/88 sailing Chicago-MacThe battle of the 30-footers will be taking place in Section 8 that starts 1130 CDT. Three J/88s and two J/92s. OMG, they are all fast crews.  For starters, the J/88s include Ben Wilson’s RAMBLER from Chicago YC, Boyd & Janice Jarrell’s SLOT MACHINE from Columbia YC, and Scott & Sean Grealish’s BLUE FLASH from Willamette SC in Portland, Oregon.  All three boats have won races offshore, so handicapping them from a Ladbroke’s UK or Vegas bookmaker’s perspective would be just about impossible.  Of note, it is a “bucket race” for the boys from Oregon on BLUE FLASH that have won their division in three major California offshore races.  No wallflowers themselves are the two J/92s, Bruce Santerre’s SPLIT DECISION from Lake City YC and John Madey’s CYCLONE from Chicago Corinthian YC.  DO NOT be surprised the Overall Race Winner comes from this grouping of five boats- they all push hard, sail hard, are adrenaline junkies, and do not quit- squalls or not in 25-35 kts winds!  In other words, this year’s Mac Race has all the makings of a small boat race and these crews are all perfectly capable of planing mode for the full 289nm to Mackinac Island!

Perhaps the ultimate sleeper in the year’s Mac Race sits in Section 10 that starts 1100 CDT.  Scott & Kimberley Petritz’s J/29 TFWB RELENTLESS from Grand Traverse YC has proven time and again to lead fleets when it matters most, when the proverbial B.S. hits the fan.  J/29s have won the Chicago-Mac Race in class and overall in the past.  If that is the scenario in 2016, they will be fighting hard with their colleagues in Section 8 that only starts 30 minutes behind them.  In fact, a simple prediction is that if the start takes place with a building southerly breeze (any quadrant), the J/29, J/92s and J/88s clean house overall. Why? They start planing VMG in just 13-15 kts of wind and the rest of the race is reaching- one of their ultimate strengths sailing on any point of sail.  For more Chicago to Mackinac Race sailing information

J/24s Sailing the Okinawa to Zamami Island Race

J/24 sailing off Okinawa, Japan

(Okinawa, Japan)- J/24 sailing in Okinawa, Japan?  You bet!  Adam Johnston, skipper, and Shingo Kazuko, participated in the 39th annual Race to Zamami Island in Okinawa's Kerama Islands. It is a truly spectacular part of the worlds, especially in the western Pacific.  The name of their boat is SCARLETTE, a 1985 Nissan-built J/24 (the red boat at the start above).  Here is their story as told by Adam:

“Two J-24s competed in one of the longest running yacht races in Japan on July 2 as 40 different types of boats raced from the Okinawan “mainland” to a locale in the Kerama Islands chain; specifically Zamami Island.

J/24 sailing Okinawa RaceHensa (Okinawan for Eagle), a 1986 Nissan-built J/24, with it’s crew of four finished the overall race in eighth place and Scarlette, with a crew of two, finished the overall race in twenty-third.

The “Race to Zamami” is one of Japan’s longest running yacht races. The competition, according to the “Zamami Times,” draws competitors from around Japan as they race in three different classes with handicaps from Okinawa Island to Zamami Island.

Teams usually take three to six hours to sail the 28nm route (approximately 50km or 31 statute miles) that winds through the Kerama Islands.  Hensa, captained by Takumi Hanashiro, with crew Takahiro Higa, Chris Matsuda, Kaiki Yamashiro, finished the race in 4 hours, 32 minutes and 6 seconds.  While Scarlette, captained by Adam Johnston with Shingo Kazuko as crew, clocked a finish time of 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds.  Next year will mark the 40th annual event, it will more than likely be scheduled in early July 2017.”

Friday, July 22, 2016

J/111 JELVIS- Perspectives Sailing Round Island Race

J/111 JELVIS sailing Round Island Race- skipper Martin Dent (Cowes, England)- J/111 owner, Martin Dent from the United Kingdom, was sailing his boat JELVIS in the JP Morgan Round Island Race last weekend.  Here is his commentary on that epic ride around the famous 60nm race track:

“On this year’s Round the Island, we discovered a whole new level of love for the J/111.  The beat to the Needles was good, sending it at 15–20 knots under the A3 from the Needles to St Cats was better, and then being fully arced up under the A4 at 20+ knots, from St Cats was orgasmic!  I did wonder a few times what was going to happen next, like when one second we’d be doing a steady 18 knots and then we’d suddenly accelerate to 23 knots. Or, when we’d be properly launched off the top of a wave and there was nowhere to go except piling the bow into the next one, I wondered would the bow actually come back up?  Or, on the several occasions when we did wipe out I was just waiting for the inevitable gear failure. And yet, every time, she answered the question with the right answer.  She’d get back on her feet and start ripping again!  We had a great team together on the boat.  As we begin our preparations for the Worlds in August in Cowes, everybody sailed well.  There was nothing but smiles the whole way round the island, and as we arrived back in Cowes Yacht Haven to a virtually empty marina it capped off a great day! What a great boat!”

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Vineyard Cup Fun & Games!

J/100 sailing upwind (Vineyard Haven, MA)- The 25th Anniversary of The Vineyard Cup- hosted by Sail Martha’s Vineyard, began 11 years ago, the event brings in the revenue to afford their sailing programs that have expanded to reach more than 400 kids each year for summer sailing program alone. J/Boat owners from across the cruising and racing spectrum helped to support the organization this past weekend.

In the PHRF Non-Spinnaker Class, Phil & Rob Hale’s J/100 TANGO from Vineyard Haven nearly pulled off a win in their class, missing that goal by only one point. Tom Welch’s J/100 ESCAPE from Oak Bluffs placed fifth in class.

The PHRF Spinnaker Class saw John Ryder’s J/70 AMONINI become the David vs. Goliath in their class, taking second overall against boats up to 42 feet!  Fourth were Matt & Lisa Schmitt’s J/105 HARDTACK and Ed Lobo’s J/105 WATERWOLF placed sixth.  For more Vineyard Cup sailing information

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Württembergische YC Takes German Jr Sailing League Act II

J/70 German Junior Sailing League (Rostock, Germany)- The second event of the German Junior National Sailing League, taking place alongside the Warnemünde Week (2 - 4 July), was a huge success. There were three days of tight racing close to the shoreline, which was packed with throngs of cheering spectators every day. Euphoria, fun and pure joy greeted the victorious "Württembergische Yacht Club", who won on a tie-break from "Düsseldorf Yacht Club" in second. This ensured that both teams qualify for the grand final of the German Junior National Sailing League, to be held in Hamburg at the end of October. The next generation of league sailing is unstoppable, that's for sure!

J70 German Junior Sailing League winnersThe teams with league experience dominate the table; they occupy the first seven places.  However, looking at the leaderboard, it is clear there are just five points between first and eighth place- that is close racing!  Therefore, it is anything but a cakewalk for the league clubs. Those without sailing league experience League continued to improve dramatically virtually every race and did not give up.  Interestingly, many top three results in individual races went to the underdogs.  The best non-League club was the local hero, the Rostock Regattaverein. The team led by Lennart Kiss, Paul Arp, Anton Wolff and Luca Leidhold occupied eighth place (with only one point difference between 6th and 7th place).

"We are totally satisfied with our result, the whole regatta was pretty cool," explains Paul Arp.  “Our young team has never sailed on a J/70 before and we only had one day of training on the boat.  However, we are learning fast and going faster!  Watch out for the next event, we are coming after you top clubs!”

For highly motivated junior crews, the next DJSL event takes place from 27 to 28 August 2016 on the Wannsee next to Berlin, Germany.  For more Junior J/70 German Sailing League information

WV Almere Centraal Triumphs in Netherlands J/70 Sailing League Act III

J/70s sailing Netherlands Sailing League (Aalsmeer, The Netherlands)- The third round for the Dutch Sailing League was held last weekend in Aalsmeer. For the first time this year the Dutch Sailing League sailed all 45 scheduled races in 15 flights.  The eighteen participating clubs were treated to good winds every day: on Saturday it was almost a full storm. The "WV Almere Centraal" team of Willem Jan van Dort, John den Engelsman, Rikst Dijkstra, Francois van Vliet and Rinse Ubbink set out from the start with 11 wins in their 15 races and took the overall win with 24 points. "WV Giesbeek" was second and the "VWDTP" team from Groningen sailed an impressive regatta to take third.

J/70 Netherlands Sailing League winnersA crew member on-board Giesbeek, Hidde Veeneman, said about their success, "Our secret is good communication on board. Good trim of the sails and we take the time between every match to evaluate how to do better. We now have a heavy weight team! We benefited from a lot of wind. We use as much as possible risk-averse tactics. We practice for hours. We notice that it pays. We train three times a week. And, we have an analyst who monitors the process, which can helps our self-analysis."

For the season standings, Almere Central improved their lead by winning this regatta. The KWS from Sneek remains second in the battle for the Premier League Sailing 2016. The sailors from Scheveningen are now third in the Premier League Sailing. Giesbeek is now fourth and fifth is Groningen.  For more Netherlands Sailing League information

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

J/80 UK Nationals Announcement

J/80 UK Nationals sailing off start (Lymington, England)- The J/80 UK Class Association is delighted that their 2016 Nationals will be hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. The racing will take place in Christchurch Bay, which is a great open water venue with minimal tidal influence. Courses will be laid by the highly experienced race team in the Bay with the option to race in the more sheltered Western Solent in the event of inclement weather.

The Club is very enthusiastic about welcoming visiting J/80 sailors to join its newly expanded J/80 fleet for some great racing.  Racing will take place from Saturday 27th August to Monday 29th August, with a total of 10 races planned for the Championship.

J80 UK Nationals sponsorsThe Royal Lymington Yacht Club is pleased to welcome even more sponsorship for the J/80 UK National Championship being held 27-29 August. Skyscanner have generously agreed to support the main social events, Amis Productions will provide aerial and rib-based video coverage of the races and Helly Hansen will be providing very generous Goody Bag kits and Prizes.

These latest sponsors join the existing group of Berthon Marina, Seahorse Magazine, North Sails, Nick Cox Chandlers and Lymington Yacht Charters. We thank them all for their generosity.

A full shore-based programme has been arranged for the Championships. Both events include a free drink, pay bar and live music. Subsidized tickets can now be purchased for the two main social events by visiting here.

Royal Lymington YC’s Rear Commodore Sailing, Stuart Duffin, said, “The Club is delighted to be hosting the J/80s for their National Championships. We hope everyone will take the opportunity to enjoy our Club and make use of its facilities. Lymington is proving an attractive destination for this year’s entrants: with over 20 already entered. We are sure that our visitors will enjoy racing here as much as we do”.  Sailing photo credit- Paul Wyeth @ For more J/80 UK Nationals sailing information

Fantastic Sail Newport Regatta!

J/70 sailing in Sail Newport RegattaJAZZ Leads J/88s, HELLY HANSEN Tops J/70s
(Newport, RI)- One of the biggest one-design regattas held all year long in the famous seaport of Newport, RI is the SAIL NEWPORT Regatta.  Hosted by its Executive Director Brad Read and the army of Sail Newport volunteers, the regatta runs for three days from July 8th to 10th with all sailing taking place in Narragansett Bay.  Two J classes participated- J/70s and J/88s.

In the J/70 class, it was a “real-time” clinic on “go-fast” all weekend long.  Consider that a combined five J/24 Worlds, three J/22 Worlds, overall & Corinthian winners of J/70 Worlds and at least five Key West winners (J/70, J/111, J/105) along with major offshore races (Stamford Vineyard, Block Island Race, etc) were in the fleet of nine boats!  That was a very deep, talented fleet!

The first race of the weekend on Friday would set the tone for the regatta.  Leading for most of the race, Jamestown resident Hannah Swett, sailing her first J/70 regatta, knew exactly where to go in the races that started in Potter Cove.  Current was a major factor, as was the wind streaks funneling off Gould Island.  However, on the final run, Heather Gregg & Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE team planed by them in a massive puff to win the race, Swett holding on for second place.  In the next race, MUSE was leading the race up the beach when they managed to find an uncharted rock and crushed it- so much for their chances for the regatta, retiring from the rest of the races on Friday.  Al Terhune’s DAZZLER (with local knowledge tactician onboard- Moose McClintock) went on to win the next two races to be leading with a 3-1-1 at the end of the day.  Second was Tim Healy’s HELLY HANSEN with a 5-4-2, third was Dave Franzel’s SPRING with a 7-2-3, fourth Swett with a 2-7-4 and fifth Will Welles’ SCAMP posting a 6-3-5.

J/70s sailing the Sail Newport RegattaSaturday brought a grey day with east/southeast winds of 6-12 kts, with shifts funneling past the Newport Bridge abutments and from Coasters Harbor YC, adjacent to the Naval War College.  The shifts came fast and furious and getting the right formula was not easy.  Nevertheless, in the first race, it was a fight all the way around the track between the newly-repaired MUSE and HELLY HANSEN, with Healy’s crew taking the gun.  At the end of the day, MUSE closed with a bullet to create a three-way tie for 4th place, with Healy now leading the regatta followed by Swett and Terhune (who had an exasperating day).

The finale on Sunday showed some promise for better weather.  However, the light northerly was very streaky, somewhat unpredictable, and virtually all the top boats were shooting corners, with no exceptions in the top four!  It made for crazy tactics, with nary a consistent strategy in sight!  Winning the first race of the day was Welles’ SCAMP, followed by Terhune’s DAZZLER winning the last race- both corner shots!  However, even Healy hit a deep corner to win the regatta, going from 7th to 2nd in one beat!  As a result, Healy’s HELLY HANSEN won followed by a cluster of boats from 30 to 36 pts total for the balance of the top five.  DAZZLER finished 2nd, followed by Swett in 3rd, Welles’ SCAMP in 4th and Gregg/ Bardenheier’s MUSE in 5th place.

Finally, the J/88s used the Sail Newport Regatta as a warm-up for the upcoming J/88 New England Championship in Newport, RI.  It was a big battle between JAZZ and WINGS all weekend.  Doug McKeige’s JAZZ won four of the six races to win with 6 pts net.  Second was the Key West Winner- Mike Bruno’s WINGS.  Third was Doug Newhouse’s YONDER, winning race three to keep everyone guessing as to what would happen next week.

According to JAZZ skipper Doug McKeige,  “Good starts, good speed, good boat handling, and a fun team was our formula.  We managed to stay under the pressure upwind and downwind. Excellent racing out in the ocean and excellent race management!”

The WINGS skipper, Mike Bruno, echoed those positive thoughts, “Very nice conditions-- far better than forecasted-- 4 races day 1 and 3 races day 2, with a 4th abandoned most the way through when the breeze shut down.  Awesome Race Committee work all weekend-- wonderful event.  Doug McKeige was the star of the 88 class, sailing a near perfect regatta. Hope we get a far bigger J/88 turnout next year, as it was a really terrific regatta.  Thanks Sail Newport for doing virtually everything right!!”  For more Sail Newport Regatta sailing information