Monday, October 12, 2015

J/70 European Championship Preview

J/70s sailing off YC Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The Yacht Club de Monaco is hosting the J/70 European Championship for the Credit Suisse Trophy from the 12th to 17th October in what promises to be the largest J/70 Europeans to date and an extraordinarily competitive event. As proven in the recent J/70 World Championship in La Rochelle, France, the European J/70 teams are on a steep learning curve and are capable of the highest level of J/70 sailing in the world.  With the advent of “sailing leagues” all over Europe, sailors in the EU are jumping aboard J/70s en-masse; its popularity rising dramatically in the last 8-12 months.

As a case in point, over 80 boats are expected to line up on one start line, that’s nearly 350 sailors hailing from all over Europe representing 11 nations, not counting the Mexican team led by Julian Fernandez (Flojito y Cooperando), World Champion title holder who has confirmed his participation with his champion crew of Bill Hardesty, Willem van Waay and Erick Brockmann from Mexico.

The Germans will be out in force with 18 teams heading to the Principality, with nearly 50% of them top Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing teams. Many of them will be leaving their boats in Monaco ready to participate in the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, from October to March, a high level training programme to prepare for the 2016 season. Note also the presence of Johannes Polgar on REALITY DISTORTION FIELD, who represented Germany in the Tornado class at the Beijing Olympics and is Star European Champion, and Philipp Kadelbach skippering RIO, the German Match Racing Vice-Champion, sailing with Hendrik Kadelbach, a member of the United Internet Team Germany at the America’s Cup in Valencia.  The French are well-represented with Matthieu Salomon on CHARIOT PLUS- VANNES UTILITAIRES and Ludovic Senechal sailing LULU NANTAISE- both French J/80 Champions over the last few years.

Four teams will be crossing the Channel from Britain to compete. They include Anthony Hesse’s BABY J, Allan Higgs’ ESF ENERGY; Andrew Creighton/ James Davis’ J-STAR (who came third in the class during Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight) and Alex James’ POLARIS. Meanwhile from Sweden, three boats are all very talented teams; including Ingemar Sundstedt’s ROCAD RACING (who knows the Monegasque race area, having won the first stage of the Italian Championship hosted by the Yacht Club de Monaco in March), Robin Tornqvist’s KVALITEKTSKOTT RACING Team and Oscar Lundqvist’s FANNY/ PURE CIRCLE team. Other leading teams from central Europe include Austrian Klaus Diem skippering PFANDER; Wouter Kollman’s PLAJ from the Netherlands; the Swiss crew on TEO led by Michel Glaus and the “Russians are coming”- the MOJO Team (Dmitrii Zartickii) and JUNO (Evgeny Grigul).

J/70s starting off YC MonacoThe “Mediterranean's” have not been slow in coming forward with 11 Italian teams confirmed, including Francesco de Angelis on B2- architect of three America’s Cup campaigns and winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2000; Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK- winner of Key West Race Week 2015; Luca Domenici’s NOTARO Team (with a top 10 performance in the La Rochelle Worlds); Franco Solerio on L’ELAGAIN (winning the Alcatel OneTouch Italian J/70 Nationals series); and Pietro Saccomani on SPIN ONE, the year one Italian champion.  In addition, the six Spanish teams inclde among them Hugo Rocha’s NEW TERRITORIES that won Kiel Week and is an Olympic Gold Medalist.

From Monaco, where the J/70 is the flagship one-design class, there will be 17 boats on the start. Having competed in the Worlds at La Rochelle, they continued their preparation in Riva del Garda early September in the final stage of the Italian Championship and had organized a final training “clinic” the weekend before- from the 1st to 3rd October. As evidence of their remarkable capabilities, Jacopo Carrain’s CARPE DIEM managed a top ten finish at the La Rochelle Worlds in July and other top Monagesque teams are certain to be in the hunt as “local knowledge” experts, like Ian Isley’s JALAPENO, Pierre Casiraghi’s LIBECCIO TUIGA, Thierry Leret’s SIROCCO, and Anne Rodelato’s JOKER.

Given the high level of sailing, international umpires will officiate throughout the week which will be attended by Neven Baran, member of ISAF’s Racing Rules Committee. The J/70s will be moored in the YCM Marina, the outer harbour located in front of the Yacht Club de Monaco’s building. The public can watch the races from different locations in the Principality, including the Luciana Jetty, the slopes and promenades on the main harbour wall, Fort Antoine, the Oceanographic Museum’s terraces, Casino Gardens, etc.

In addition to the Credit Suisse Trophy for the winners, SLAM’s Advanced Technology clothing will be awarded for all crew members in the top three teams!

A championship where generosity reigns
During the championship the J/70 Monaco Class Association and the YC Monaco want to support the “Lenval Foundation”, which among other projects works with the pediatric department at the Princess Grace Hospital (Monaco) to assist their support and care for sick children. They are counting on the generosity of all the participants and other donations to raise important funds for their worthy mission.   For more J/70 European Championship sailing information

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Greenport Ocean Race Preview

J/100 sailing offshore (Greenport, New York)- Over the Columbus Day Weekend, the Chinese Yacht Club and Old Cove Yacht Club, with additional support from The Village of Greenport, Shelter Island YC, and the Orient YC, hold their end-of-season offshore yacht race known as the Greenport Ocean Race, a 90nm navigation around the buoys and islands that comprise the eastern end of Long Island Sound and Block Island Sound.  Simultaneously, the also host the Greenport Bay Race of about 32nm for smaller boats.  It’s a popular event in those parts and celebrations are many at the clubs afterwards— almost legendary, in fact.

J/Teams are well-represented in both events and given the conditions forecast for the weekend, a good mix of beating, reaching and running should suit them in the quest for the holy grail of pickle dishes and nut bowls to toss onto their mantel pieces.

In the Greenport Ocean Race, sailing in PHRF Spinnaker class is Sedgwick Ward’s J/111 BRAVO from Shelter Island YC and Brian Prinz’s J/125 SPECTRE from Branford YC in East Haven, CT.  Taking part in PHRF 2 class are mostly J/teams, including two J/109s ( Don Dwyer’s GUARDIAN J from Essex YC and Jim Vos’ SKOOT from Stamford YC) and two J/105s (Stephen Guyer’s ALLIANCE and Tom Wacker’s TRADING PLACES from Old Cove YC).  Joining them is the J/40 MISTY skippered by Carter Holliday from Watch Hill YC.

The shorter Greenport Bay Race has a mixed bag of J’s sailing in PHRF Spinnaker class, including Dan Motero’s J/100 GRACIOUS from Breakwater YC, Harry DiOrio’s J/105 BELLA from Shelter Island YC, Lucas van Praag’s J/105 MAX2, Paul Krelling’s J/27 ZOOP! from Greenport and Robert Grammatica’s J/80 MERLINE from Shelter Island.  Check out their Greenport Ocean Race Facebook page here.     For more Greenport Ocean Race sailing information

Saturday, October 10, 2015

J/Fest Southwest Preview

J/Fest Southwest sailing information (Seabrook, TX)- The 6th Annual J/Fest Southwest is being hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club from October 10-11 off beautiful, sunny, Seabrook, Texas.  The event is open to all J/Boat owners, their crew, and their family and friends. The sailors will participate in top-notch racing on the water and enjoy a superb shoreside environment with food and entertainment.  Sailing one-design will be J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s and J/109s. In addition, a J/PHRF fleet will sail in both round-the-buoys and random-leg courses.

The largest class in the event will be the J/24s- 15 strong and counting!  Nothing but “top drawer” stuff for this gang that can almost shoot straight!  So, let’s start with the women’s teams since they’re leading the charge here in Texas anyways.  All of them are talented and have proven they can win races, some regattas, too.  Don’t discount these gal’s ability to grab their rightful share of silverware, such as Natalie Penner’s GIGGLES from Austin YC, Tonja Holmes-Moon’s SIREN from Dallas Corinthian YC, Kelly Holmes-Moon’s BAD MOON from the same club, and Amanda Casey’s MOMENTOUS from AYC as well- nearly 25% of the fleet them Texas women are!  Watch out boys, there will be hell to pay if you do not give them room at the mark when the politely ask for it!  Hoping to not incur their wrath will be John Parker’s CHUPACABRA, Charles Slingstad’s CODE BLUE and James Freeman’s MISS CONDUCT.

The second largest class in the event is the J/70s, with eleven teams showing up on the starting line.  Local hotshot Bruno Pasquinelli from Fort Worth Boat Club will be sailing his famous STAMPEDE with a cast of cowboys (or hooligans, or characters, depending on your perspective) that includes Max Skelly, Patrick Wilson and Brian Zimmerman. Pass the scotch (no soda) and Advil, please, these guys are about to give me a headache! At least that will be the refrain from fellow FWBC skipper Rick Shaffer sailing the newest addition to their fleet, USA 820!  Certain to give them fits roping in the cattle (e.g. trophies) will be Jay Lutz, a local Lakewood YC member, sailing ZOUNDS HEARING.  However, watch out for the “fly in the proverbial ointment” looking to spoil this Texas party, none other than Tim Molony from Southern YC in a place called “Naw’leans”, they’ll be JOUST’ing with the locals for top honors.

Next up are the J/105s.  Incredibly, the very long-distance traveling team of Mark & Jolene Masur, from the Forth Worth Boat Club, will have taken their TWO FEATHERS from the east coast (Block Island/ Marblehead, etc) to the west coast (North Americans) and now back home to the land of mechanical bulls!  Joining them will be JB Bednar’s STINGER, past champion Bill Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE from the host club, and Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY.

The J/109s expect a half-dozen boats on the line, a great turnout for this fleet on Galveston Bay.  Will Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG continue to be a top contender?? Or, will Barry Hoeffner’s POLE DANCER, Andy Westcoat’s HARM’s WAY, David Christensen’s AIRBORNE or the LEADING EDGE duo (Alex Acensios/ Chris Dees) upset that apple cart.  Tune in next week to find out!

The J/22s will have a real dogfight on their hands as small fleet often produces roller-coaster scores.  A bit hard to handicap, but we shall see if Larry Blankenhagen’s PARROT TALES LIGHT, Rick Duste’s LOOSE CANNON or Gary Thies’ STUDENT DRIVER all land on the podium as the expense of Dov Kivlovitz on USA 951.  Perhaps this one will be easier to wager bets than NFL Fantasy Football!!

The J/PHRF clan include a pair of J/27s working on their symmetric spinnaker work, Gary Trinklein’s TOCCATA and Chris Alk’s FOOTLOOSE.  Hoping to nail them into a corner will be Glen Stromme’s J/29 rocketship- PRESS TO +MECO!  What?!  Glen, “need some ‘splainin to do on dat one.”  For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information

J/88 New England Championship Preview

J/88 sailing offshore under spinnaker (Greenwich, CT)- What a fleet!  Eight boats are turning out for the inaugural J/88 New England Championship.  The event runs from October 9th to 11th and will be hosted by the Indian Harbor YC in Greenwich, CT.  The forecast will be challenging for the competitors, with fresh southerlies on Friday in the 8-14 kts range followed by a frontal passage and a dying NNE on Saturday from 15 kts dying down to 5 kts, followed by a classic, cool, WSW seabreeze Sunday of 5-12 kts.  Not an atypical fall weather pattern on Long Island Sound!

The fleet includes a wide range of teams from across the northeast.  Based on their recent events in the Long Island Sound Championships and the American YC Fall Series, it will be tough-sledding for both Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION crew from Huguenot YC and Mike Bruno’s WINGS team from American YC to stay in front of a rapidly improving fleet of boats.  Don’t be surprised if a variety of past college sailors and local one-design performers give these two teams a run for the money.  Don’t count out Doug McKeige’s JAZZ crew from American YC, nor Russ Stokes’ BLUE FOR YOU from the same club.  Then, Doug Newhouse’s Sail Newport crew on YONDER and the rest of the fleet will be facing several competitors that could completely upset the apple car, like John Sommi’s CLOUD 9, Dave Betts’ INSTANT KARMA from Sag Harbor YC, and Kevin Marks’ VELOCITY from Noroton YC.  For more J/88 New England Championship sailing information

Friday, October 9, 2015

Spectacular U.S. Sailboat Show Is Ready!

J/88 Oceanvolt with solar electric power(Annapolis, MD)- Remember, the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis takes place this Columbus holiday weekend- October 8th to 12th.  The weather forecast for the next five days looks fabulous- in the 60s, sunny, light to moderate winds, and gales of “painkillers” for happy show-goers at the famous Pussers Bar & Grille.

The show is the largest in the USA for sailboats and on hand will be five very exciting models from the J design team.  Featured will be the popular J/70, the new J/88 Oceanvolt, the new J/97E, the new J/122E and the classic Chesapeake shallow-draft cruiser- the J/95.

Join North Point Yacht Sales and J/Boats as we host the famous “J/Party” on Friday evening at 6pm when the show closes.  All J/Sailors are invited to join us for refreshments and munchies and take a look at the recent additions to the J/Boats line.   For more U.S. Sailboat Show information

Thursday, October 8, 2015

J/80 North Americans Preview

J/80s sailing off start (Seabrook, TX)- Lakewood Yacht Club will be hosting J/80 North American Championship, October 9th-11th!  Three full days of racing are promised and the fleet of eighteen boats should have great sailing conditions on Galveston Bay.

While not the largest NA’s the class has seen in some time, the level of talent in the fleet more than makes up for it with many of the “top guns” in the American J/80 fleet present.  Leading that contingent should be Kerry Klingler and Bill Rose’s KICKS (past J/80 NA's champions) and keeping them honest will be Shannon Lockwood’s SHENANIGANS from Keyport YC, Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS from North Shore YC (a past Key West champion) and Chris Chadwick’s CHURCH KEY from Eastport YC in Annapolis, MD.  Notable amongst the local teams will also be Paul Parsons’ PARSONS PROJECT from the Galveston Bay Cruising Association.
For more J/80 North American Championship sailing information

Garmin Hamble Winter Series Preview

J/88 sailing Hamble Winter Series (Hamble, England)- Once again, the annual GARMIN Hamble Winter Series will be taking place from October 4th to November 29th over the course of several weekends.  The host, Hamble River Sailing Club, welcomes the support of title sponsor GARMIN- a global leader in satellite navigation.  GARMIN’s European HQ is located in Southampton ant they enable HRSC to continue to invest in the UK's premier winter sailing series and ensure it offers the mix of racing and warm welcome ashore that attracts large numbers of competitors to the popular event.

In 2014 more than 160 yachts took part in the GARMIN Hamble Winter Series.  The 2015 series and its associated events are open to IRC classes and one-design classes for J/111s, J/109s, J/88s, J/80s and J/70s.

Chrissy Winchcombe, Marketing Executive at GARMIN, said: "We are delighted to sponsor the successful Hamble Winter Series and partner with Hamble River Sailing Club throughout the year. We use the event to test and promote Garmin marine products and Garmin has enjoyed more than 10 years of successful sponsorship of the Hamble Winter Series.”

Trevor Pountain, Commodore, HRSC, said: "We are very pleased to welcome title sponsor Garmin back for an 11th year and are looking forward to working with them throughout 2015 and the years ahead. HRSC is very proud to run the Hamble Winter Series, now in its 34th year, and we are consistently recognized for running great racing with a broad mix of courses. Competitor footage shot on the Garmin VIRB camera we loaned to the sailors helped drive online and social media engagement to new heights. Club members and our army of volunteers work hard to ensure the event continues to go from strength to strength."

In the Big Boat Championship segment of the event, we find two J/111s participating (Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II and Cornel Riklin’s JITTERBUG) along with two J/122s (JUNO and R&W).

For the Hamble One-Design Championship weekends, it looks like there will be fleets of J/70s, J/80s and J/109s.  Amongst the J/70s, crew like GILL RACE TEAM, JUGADOR (Jack Davies ), OFFBEAT (Dave Mcleman), COSMIC, HARLEQUIN, JENGA 8 (Andrew Barraclough), and ROYAL THAMES VI will be on the track.  In the J/80s, leading teams include J OUT-OF-THE-BOX (Yannig Loyer) and AQUA-J (Patrick Liardet).  The J/109 teams include known crews like DESIGNSTAR 2 (Roger Phillips), JACOBI, JOLLY JACK TAR (Adrian Wheal) and JYNNAN TONNYX (Owain Franks).

For the entire GARMIN Hamble Winter Series from beginning to end, the J/109s add the following boats to the mix, JYBE TALKIN’ (Chris Burleigh), JIRAFFE and RED ARROW (Jorg Lobbedey).  The J/111s will race in IRC 1 and include the aforementioned JITTERBUG and JOURNEYMAKER II.  Sailing one division above them will be the J/122 JUNO.  Then, the HRSC will have a hard time figuring out what to do with the masses of J’s in the 29 to 31 foot range!  Perhaps they will get one IRC class since no one else wishes to sail against them at all due to the preponderance of fun-loving talent.  There are a trio of super-fast J/88s at around 1.035 IRC, including JONGLEUR (Paul Heys), MAI TAI and TIGRIS.  Then, rating all about the same in the 0.974 to 0.983 range are the J/97s, J/92’s and J/92S’.  The J/97s are BLACKJACK II (Andy Howe), WINDJAMMER & ALAMARA B III.  The J/92S’ are UPSTART and BOJANGLES (James Bedford).  The J/92 is J’RONIMO (David Greenhalgh).  All familiar boats, right?  And, all fast and well sailed.  Finally, J/70s signed up so far for the season-long event are JUGADOR, OFFBEAT, DSP (Douglas Struth), HARLEQUIN and JENGA 8.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth-   For more GARMIN Hamble Winter Series sailing information

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

J/70 BoatShare & Community Sailing development

J/70 Cohasset Sailing Association fleet(Cohasset, MA)- This past summer saw the creation of the “Cohasset J/70 Fleet Association” (CJFA), a partnership with Cohasset YC that aims to grow the grass roots of sailing through a J/70 “BoatShare” program.

We had an opportunity to speak with Dave Johnson ( / cell# 781-307-0627) about their efforts at CJFA:

“Our goal is similar to the IOD program in Nantucket.  Cohasset YC is struggling with the grass roots of sailing.  The 210 class sailboat was not attractive to kids and young adults.  As a result, we were looking for a fun boat for club members to sail.  The J/70 was the perfect model for the club; exciting enough for juniors to sail and easy enough for adults to handle in just about any breeze conditions we see on the south shore of Boston.

I coached at J/World Annapolis in J/80s; it’s an excellent boat to coach on.  The J/70 has similar characteristics, but it’s even easier to manage and maintain. For example, we are using the VersaDock flotation system to 'dry-dock' our boats right on the yacht club docks- no bottom paint, no maintenance issues and incredibly convenient!

We are hoping to get more J/70s to participate in our program, from both club members and outsiders.

J/70 club fleet sailing off startWe have a “shared owner” responsibility program; we form “syndicates” (with 1/4 shares of boats) that are maintained by Cohasset Sailing Association. There is an annual maintenance cost per year for each boat.  We allocate time for syndicate based on the following conditions: each syndicate is responsible to make sure the boat is on the start line every Saturday all summer.  Then, for the other 6 days of the week, they collaborate with each other for how they plan to use the boats.  In addition, for the 10-12 week summer sailing season, we also rotate the boats, so the feeling of “ownership” is reinforced for each syndicate, e.g. to take good care of their boats! The 1/4 shareholders can buy/sell shares of their boats anytime, however, they must give first option to CSA, then syndicate members.”  If you have any questions, please contact Dave Johnson at his numbers above.

U.S. Sailboat Show In Annapolis This Week!

J/122E offshore performance cruiser(Annapolis, MD)- While you may have a passing interest in what’s happening off the Bahamas this week (baby Hurricane Joaquin being hatched), it’s time to plan for the upcoming US Sailboat Show in Annapolis over the Columbus holiday weekend- October 8th to 12th.  The show is the largest in the USA for sailboats and on hand will be five very exciting models from the J design team.  Featured will be the popular J/70, the new J/88 Oceanvolt, the new J/97E, the new J/122E and the classic Chesapeake shallow-draft cruiser- the J/95.

As in year’s past, North Point Yacht Sales and J/Boats will be hosting their famous “J/Party” on Friday evening at 6pm when the show closes.  All J/Sailors are invited to join us for refreshments and munchies and take a look at the recent additions to the J/Boats line.

J/88 Oceanvolt with solar electric powerThe three new models at the Newport Boat Show (J/88 Oceanvolt, J/97E, J/122E) were met with great enthusiasm by hundreds of passionate J sailors.  The styling of the new “Evolution” models was particularly captivating, with many people commenting on the bright, airy, spacious, Scandinavian-style interiors.  In addition, dozens of environmentally conscientious sailors were extremely enthusiastic about the first electric J with solar/ hydro regeneration capabilities- in fact, the first J in the world to offer the ability for dawn to dusk “solar sailing”!  Learn more about these (r)evolutionary boats down at the Annapolis docks soon!   For more U.S. Sailboat Show information

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

More J/36 JAZZ Cruising Stories!

J/36 sailing off Plymouth, England (Plymouth, England)- The J/36 JAZZ is at it again. Norm Curnow was completing their summer-long cruiser-racer series in Plymouth, England.  Here’s what he had to say:

“We were first in the Round Scilly Isles Race, over the water and on handicap!  Plus, we were simply steaming over to the islands, flying actually!

On the way home, we were gently outboard motoring JAZZ.  She has no smelly inboard sense 1982!  She has done more then 50,000 miles since with nothing more than an outboard motor!  She's sailed New York to Caribbean at least 3 times; up and down the Caribbean at least 5 times; gone to Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Cuba; 5 trans-Atlantic’s; 5 Lands End, Bay of Biscay’s to the Mediterranean; at least 5 trans-Mediterranean’s, most of them far has the Greek island of Crete; lots of this was achieved single-handed, including  the trans-Atlantics.  Cheers, Stormin Norman!