Friday, October 31, 2014

J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga Finals Preview

J/70s sailing Deutsche Segel-bundesliga (Hamburg, Germany)- This coming weekend, October 31st to November 2nd, eighteen clubs will be sailing the grand finale of the 2014 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga series sailed in J/70s on Hamburg’s Alster Lake.  As the host for this incredibly successful regatta, the HSC (Hamburg Segler-Club) hopes that it’s “home town” team, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) continue their winning ways and are crowned champion for the 2014 series.  While NRV may be leading the event by a substantial lead of 18 pts, it’s mathematically possible for three teams in positions 2nd to 4th to take it all overall; those favorites include Verein Seglerhaus am Wansee (2nd place, 70 points), Deutscher Touring YC (3rd place, 67 points) and the Württemberg YC (4th place, 62 points).

While there may be serious amounts of drama and competition for the podium in the grand finale, there are six other sailing clubs that are on the “hot seat” with regards to qualifying for the “premiere” league, and therefore, also have a chance at participating in the 2015 SAILING Champions League.  Those six clubs include Berliner YC, Bayerischer C, Dusseldorf YC, Segelkameradschaft “Wappen Von Bremen”, Schweriner YC and Muhlenberger Segel-club.  Those teams that finish 13th to 15th will sail in next weeks qualifier on the same Alster Lake and the top six teams from that event will sail in the 2015 Premiere league against the top 12 teams from the 2014 season.  The bottom three clubs from next week’s event have to compete in Bundesliga #2 for 2015.

J/70s sailing German Sailing LeagueOne of the exciting elements of this year’s finale is the entire event will be broadcast from the SAP Live-Center on Alster Lake for public viewing at HanseBoot (Hall B3 upstairs at the boat show in Hamburg) and across the Internet.  In addition, to the usual live broadcast with moderator and sailing expert Matthias Bohn, Europe’s largest sailing publication, the YACHT (, the Segel-Bundesliga ( website, and Sportsdeutschland.TV will also carry the live feed. A unique new angle will be available from a camera from the roof of the Hotel "Le Meridien Hamburg".

The German Olympic Sports Confederation launched "Sportdeutschland.TV" in August 2014 with the mission of showing German sports in all its diversity. With “Discover sports, Experience sports" as the motto, the platform offers video content from a variety of sports as a live stream or on-demand videos. The broadcasts include both national and international events as well as various national league highlights, summaries and background reports on sport, sporting achievements and the people and stories behind it.  As THE transmitter for minority sports in Germany, Sportdeutschland.TV wants to establish itself in the German media and sports scene. "Our goal is to show all the amazing performances, great decisions and moving moments in sports that have been missing to a lot of sports fans in the traditional media.  We are working together with sports federations and league operators," explains Oliver Beyer, CEO of the German Olympic Sports Confederation New Media GmbH, which operates Sportdeutschland.TV.  For more J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information

J/105 Lipton Cup Preview

J/105s sailing off San Diego (San Diego, CA)- “It is no less important to the Commodore as air or water,” said Staff Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club Chuck Nichols. The Lipton Cup is arguably one of the most iconic regattas in the sailing community. This three-day regatta is an invitation-only event where the best sailors from around the country compete to represent their yacht clubs. For the Commodores of these Yacht Clubs, winning the Lipton Cup for their club is often considered the highest accolade they can accomplish.

Current SDYC Commodore Chuck Sinks noted, “The field for this historic regatta is truly representative of the finest yacht clubs and the finest sailors in the country. This regatta is a true test of each crew’s skill, coordination, communication and cooperation. It is going to be fantastic to watch. I wish I was sailing.”

This year marks the 100th challenge for the Lipton Cup, named after tea baron and decorated sailor Sir Thomas Lipton. In 1903, Lucien Blochman, the Commodore of what later became known as the San Diego Yacht Club wrote to Sir Thomas Lipton asking if he would lend his name to a West Coast yacht race. Lipton happily agreed and had a trophy sent to the club for the first ever Lipton Cup in 1904.

Since then, the race has served as a competition between the best of the best in West Coast sailing, although recently Yacht Clubs from across the country have been invited to participate. As the SDYC skipper responsible for winning the cup in 2013, Brad Rodi knows just what it takes to keep the trophy in San Diego. Rodi will need to leverage his experience with the regatta against the intense pressure coming from other clubs, each hoping to engrave their names next to the title of 2014 champions.

J/105 sailing on San Diego BayAlso competing against the host club and defending champion San Diego Yacht Club are 7 past Lipton Cup champions with a rogue’s roost of top skippers and world-class tacticians ready to lift the big silver trophy off its pedestal from SDYC.  Those teams include California YC (Alan Field), Coronado YC (Rick Harris), Newport Harbor YC (Jon Pinckney with Mike Menninger and father Bill Menninger), Southwestern YC (Ian Trotter), Long Beach YC (Dustin Durant & Erik Shampain & Keith Magnussen), St. Francis YC (Chris Raab with Russ Silvestri), and San Francisco YC (The Perkins Brothers, led by Chris with Phil and Jon aboard along with Paul Cayard and Craig Healy as trimmers/ tacticians!).

Additionally, four clubs are looking to add their name to the Cup for the first time: New York YC (Ken Colburn with Bill Lynn), Kaneohe YC (Eric Aakhus with Jesse Andrews tactician from Hawaii), Seattle YC (Jay Renehan and Brian Ledbetter) and Cortez Racing Association (Rick Goebel and Greg Tawastjerna, who as a team recently took 2nd at the 2014 J/105 North Americans!).  To say the deck is stacked against the SDYC defending team would not even begin to describe the coming nuclear winter if the host team loses!

The race will be sailed on chartered J/105s, with each club stopping at a floating dock in San Diego Bay and switching boats between races to ensure that the only advantage on the water is having the best sailors competing. The race will be held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 in front of the beautiful San Diego city front.

Spectators wishing to view the regatta’s final day of racing from the water can make reservations online to attend the Sunday Tea Party about the beautiful yacht America. Racing is scheduled to begin at 12:00pm each day. Otherwise, shore side viewing is available from the Embarcadero or Harbor Island.  Furthermore, watch the event "live" on the Internet on, the world's coolest tracking/ analysis app for iPhones and Android phones!  From Friday to Sunday, watch "live" J/105s sailing San Diego Bay on

Thanks to supporting sponsors Sunroad Resort Maria, San Diego Boat Show, JK3 Yachts, Ballast Point Brewing, Jackson Design & Remodeling, Dixieline Lumber & Home Centers, Jones Lumber, North Sails One Design. And special thanks to the local J/105 owners lending their boats to make this regatta possible.  For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information

Swedish J/111 Sailing’s Last Blast!

(Marstrand, Sweden)- Peter Gustafsson’s J/111 BLUR in Sweden recently reported (and recorded) their “last blast” of the 2014 sailing season.  They sailed 107nm from Helsingborg to Gothenburg, a northerly routing, in a SSE 16-22 kts TWS breeze.  According to Peter, not the best direction for nice big surfing waves, but nevertheless a fun escapade for the crew!

“We gybed 12 times on the way north to Gothenburg.  We had 4 people as the total crew, it was perfect to keep weight down but still push hard.  We blew the A2 kite halfway there (3 years of hard racing took it’s toll) but the A5 was just as fast when the wind was over 20 knots.  With all the gybes and some extra distance, we averaged 11.78 knots during 10.5 hours and topped 20.64 kts!  WOW! Pretty good way to end a great season of sailing!”  Thanks for Peter’s report; they have big plans already for their 2015 sailing season!  Watch the J/111 BLUR sailing video here

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bright & Breezy Hamble Winter Series #3

(Hamble, England)- All last week the forecasts agreed that this weekend was to be a brutal one. But contrary to the expectations of most of the fleet, the weather gods allowed the race team to fit in one race on this, the third Sunday of the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series – but it was in conditions that put boats and their crews to the test.

As boats motored out of the Hamble in the early morning, conditions seemed mild, with a light breeze from the South-south east. But as they cleared the lee of Calshot Spit, it built to around 18-20 knots. With the wind forecast to increase further throughout the day, the race committee broadcast their intention to sail only one race, which was gladly received by the fleet.

By 1200 the wind had built to 25 knots, which combined with bright sunshine provided some stunning sailing for the 70-odd competing yachts – along with the odd impressive wipeout. The starting line was near Royal Southern buoy, with a cascading course up to marks near the Bramble Bank for most classes.

In IRC 0 Class Louise Makin’s J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II took second and her sistership, the J/111 ICARUS sailed by Chris Body took third in class.  Both boats seemed to revel in the tough conditions and at this stage are sitting in 2nd and 3rd overall after four races. Fourth is Martin Dent’s J/111 JELVIS.

The four J/88s that are sailing IRC 2 Class are all taking their turns at posting awesome performances on the water.  At this stage, Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT is lying 2nd overall with Ivan Trotman’s JOJO in 4th, Stew Hawthorn’s JIFI in 6th and Dirk Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR in 8th.

In IRC 3 Class, the J/97 BLACKJACK came in second, at the head of a trio of J/97s for their sole race.  As a result, Andy Howe’s BLACKJACK crew continue to lead the series with a scant 6 pts, but closely followed by Charles Ivill’s J/97 ETB TYRES/ JUST LIKE THAT in second with 8 pts!

The J/109 one-design fleet saw Adrian Wheal’s JOLLY JACK TAR beat Owain Franks’ JYNNAN TONNYX to take the top spot. The series leader continues to be Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR with 6 pts, followed by Wheal’s JOLLY JACK TAR and Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN, in 2nd & 3rd, respectively.

Back at the club, the day sponsor was Key Yachting, which provided Champagne and other prizes to the winners in each class.

Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships
This weekend also hosted the second of two Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships. Racing on both Saturday and Sunday, the J/70, J/80 and J/109 classes enjoyed some thrilling, close racing in exciting conditions over the weekend.

Over the two weekends, the J/109s fitted in 9 races. This class was won by Tony Dickin’s JUBILEE, tied on points but edging ahead of Iain MacKinnon’s TIGHT SOLIUS II on countback. Steven Tapper’s STALKER was in third place.

In the White fleet, the thirteen boat J/70 class was racing for a place at their 2015 J/70 World Championships. Over 10 races, it was David Atkinson’s JAWBREAKER that topped the fleet, finishing 9 points clear of Simon Cavey’s JUST4PLAY. Nick Munday’s J7T was third.  TEAM RAFBF SPITFIRE skippered by Capt Simon Ling is sitting on 4th and 5th is Andrew Barraclough’s JENGA 8.

The thirteen-boat fleet of J/80s was won by Douglas Struth and crew in DSP. They finished eight points ahead of second-placed Brian Denney’s JALAPENO, with Yannig Loyer’s J/OUT-OF-THE-BOX in third place.  Stu Southan’s JOYEUSE took 4th and Patrick Liardet’s AQUA-J placed 5th.

Thanks to all competitors and to the volunteers and race officers for their help in making the Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships possible.

Next weekend sees the return of the MDL Hamble Big Boat Championships and the fourth weekend of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series, for which the day sponsor is the Impala 28 class, this year celebrating its 35th Anniversary.  Thanks for report contribution from Ben Meakins.   Sailing Photo Credits- Hamo Thornycroft and Bertrand Malas   For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hong Kong J/80 Class Championship

J/80s sailing Hong Kong, China (Hong Kong, China)- The fifth Hong Kong J/80 Class Championships will be held on the 1st & 2nd of November.  The event is organized by the Royal Hong Kong YC, one of the oldest sailing clubs in Asia with a history dating back as far as 1890.  Expected to be the biggest international J/80 event in Asia thus far, over twenty J/80's are planning to participate with some of the high profile sailors from the region.  This year a number of visiting teams will travel down from Mainland China to test their skills against the local fleet.

The regatta will be sailed off the southern tip of Lamma island, in open waters.  November typically offers optimal sailing conditions; East-North Easterly breezes of between 12 and 18 knots, a light swell and clear blue skies.  Add in local hospitality, stunning location and facilities of the host- the Royal Hong Kong YC- and its no wonder this event is growing in popularity.  For more J/80 Hong Kong Championship sailing information

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NRV Wins Deutsche Segel Bundesliga #5

Three Regatta Wins Gives NRV Commanding Series Lead
(Friedrichshafen, Germany)- “As you were” may have been the stand-down phrase after “colors” were struck at sunset for the past five stages in this year’s Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga.  After all, it’s not often that the first event in a summer-long series of events becomes the prognosticator of the ultimate outcome after sailing hundreds of races.  However, that was indeed the case once the top three teams on the podium completed their first regatta in Starnberg; with NRV (Norddeutscher Regatta Verein) in 1st, VSW (Verein Seglerhaus am Wansee) in 2nd and DTYC (Deutscher Touring YC) in 3rd!  Consistency paid off for these teams with steady crews and, for the most part, avoiding massive pitfalls along the way.  NRV’s series-long scoreline is impressive, Starnberg 1st, Travemunde 1st, Berlin 2nd, Kiel 2nd and Friedrichshafen 1st.  Their collective total of 88 high points for the series gives them a very comfortable 18 pt lead over the next closest team.

Behind them, it was not so clear what the outcome was going to be headed into the Friedrichshafen regatta, sailed on Lake Constance and hosted by Württembergischer YC.  The next four teams all had their “snakes & ladders” experiences over the previous four meetings.  DTYC was 2nd going into Kiel, but had a bad outing and dropped to 3rd overall.  VSW sailed well to hop in the second spot in the series after Kiel.  The WYC (Württembergischer YC) and SVI (Segler Vereinigung Itzehoe) were fighting for their lives to remain in contention for the top three.  On the last weekend, WYC redeemed themselves well and collected a 2nd at Friedrichshafen.  But, SVI and DTYC faltered a bit,  Here’s how it all happened for the three-day event sailed on beautiful Lake Constance (a.k.a. Bodensee).

The first day started out slowly for the 38 teams assembled on the Bodensee.  After a gray, foggy start to the day, the breeze slowly filled in by 1400 hrs and the sun popped out, too! Friedrichshafen showed up with fantastic weather at its best!  The catch was that the wind was slow in coming.  Consequently, despite the PRO’s best efforts, only two races were sailed on the first day of the 45 scheduled!

The second day of sailing started off on-time and the fleet sailed a full schedule of races all the way until sunset!  It was a very, very long day; with a good wind forecast the first set of races were completed by 8:30am! Steady winds helped the sailors to a successful day of racing— 25 races in total for the Premiere division!

At this time, NRV was already leading the last event.  But, the “local heroes” were clearly WYC, winning four of their first eight races and matching NRV with number of 1sts!  That was quite a turnaround performance compared to their last outing in Kiel where they had some bad races and ended up mid-fleet!

The final day was unusual in that it was the first time that teams that had been sailing in the Premiere League and the Standard League would end up meeting one another.  There were a total of 144 sailors from 36 sailing clubs that, ultimately, sailed a total of 66 of 90 schedule races on Lake Constance!  

"It was a bit lucky for us to win today as well. It is a nice feeling and we now stand firm as the winner of the 2014 Segel-Bundesliga. The victory was only possible because we had such a great team," said helmsman Carsten Kemmling of NRV.

As a result of the Standard League also completing their events, it was now clear who were going to be the top qualifiers to start racing in Hamburg for the start of the 2014/2015 season on November 7-9!  For this group, it was a weekend of extreme tension, because of light winds and lots of launch delays, so every point counted. At the end, the top qualifiers were Wassersport-Verein Hemelingen (WVH), Segelklub Bayer-Uerdingen (SKBU), Münchner Yacht-Club (MYC), Hamburger Segel-Club (HSC), Potsdamer Yacht Club (PYC) and Segel-und-Motorboot Club Überlingen  (SMCU)

"After a bad race this morning, we had almost written off the qualification into the Premiere League in Hamburg. That we had performed so well during the afternoon was very surprising. We need a lot more training opportunities to be able to participate at the top level in the Premiere League," said Wilhelm von Weyne from WVH.

The grand finale, the sixth and last event, of the 2014 Deutsche Segel Bundesliga takes place in J/70s at Hamburg, Germany on Alster Lake, concurrent with the Hamburg Boat Show that also takes place from October 30th to November 2nd.  Coincidentally, this may put even more pressure on the host NRV team (the “home-boys”) to sail well on their home waters!   For more J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information

Monday, October 27, 2014

Denmark Wins SAILING Champions League

J/70 SAILING Champion League winners- KDY(Copenhagen, Denmark) – Twenty-three clubs from fourteen nations competed over three days (October 17-19) off the spectacular Copenhagen city waterfront.  The sailing featured incredibly tight-racing at a world-class level, boats rapidly changing positions from mark-to-mark as wind-shifts and tactics came into play on the tight 10-13 minute race course.  While the premiere of the SAILING Champions League may have ended on a cloudy, drizzly day, the atmosphere was absolutely brilliant amongst the teams competing in fleet of identically-matched J/70s. In total, 45 races were sailed over the long weekend.  Fortunately, there was good breeze each day and the spectators in front of the world-famous “Little Mermaid” were treated to front-row seats in a true “stadium-sailing” format, the boats were often tacking just 20-30 feet off the seawalls!  No wonder, among the 92 sailors were more than 22 Olympic sailing medalists, multiple World Champions from various classes and even Volvo Ocean Race winners!

J70s sailing the SAILING Champions League off Copenhagen, DenmarkThe sought-after silver bowl from Robbe & Berking will stay with the hosts from the Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub in Copenhagen, it was their KDY Team in the end that won by a mere 0.5 points difference over the second place team- Circolo Canottiere Aniene (Italy). Third was the Oman Sail Team that notably sailed in the top three virtually all three days!

In the “Sail for Charity” campaign, where technology partner SAP donated 25,000 Euro to the World Childhood Foundation, it was the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein Team (Germany) that won that “charity race”, raising the most money of any of the teams participating.

The final outcome of the regatta was not settled amongst the top three clubs until the very last race. At the end, the Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub (KDY) with helmsman Michael Hestbæk (participant at the Olympics in the Star 2012 in London), Joachim Aschenbrenner, Lucas Lier and Frederik Berg took the lead with their J/70 and made their mark in the history books by winning the first SAILING Champions League.

“It feels fantastic to win on home waters. We felt the pressure before the last race. We had a little advantage at the start and it worked out for us”, explained a very happy Michael Hestbæk after his arrival ashore. Their team was excited to lift the five kilogram silver bowl from Robbe & Berking – the Robbe & Berking SAILING Champions League Trophy – into the air (fortunately, no one went swimming, as is the tradition after winning regattas).

The Italian team from Circolo Canottiere Aniene in Rome (consisting of pro-sailor Lorenzo Bressani, Offshore World Champions Matteo Mason and Samuele Nicolettis and Michele Paoletti) started off the series with an astounding record of six 1sts and two 2nds in their first nine races!  But then, the “wheels went flying off their shopping trolley” in the 10th race on the second day.  Whatever “magic dust” they were using seemingly disappeared.  As the winds went more west and the fleet could sail longer courses, it seems the Italians kept “jogging right” when everyone else was “going left”.  Posting a second to last in that last race clearly killed their momentum and confidence.  During the grand finale Sunday, the CCA team struggled to finish mid-fleet in the championship round of all the top teams.  In the last race, KDY finished 4th while CCA took a 5th, just enough for KDY to take the championship.

In the “Sail for Charity” campaign, fans of the 23 international clubs helped “vote” for the favorite teams; as a result, technology partner SAP donated 25,000 Euros to the World Childhood Foundation (Childhood) founded by the Sweden’s Queen Silvia.  “SAP is very happy to collaborate with Childhood. It’s an honor to help Childhood to do great things,” said Sofia Hesselkilde, Senior Marketing Manager of SAP Denmark. Susanne Labonde, Executive Director of the World Childhood Foundation in Germany adds, “I’m excited to be here at this great regatta. Special thanks to SAP for the donation and to all the supporters, who voted for their club. The journey will go on in 2015 and I’m looking forward to it.”

J/70s sailing SAILING Champions League- Copenhagen, DenmarkThe KDY raised the bar quite high for clubs hosting the event in the future. Ashore and on the water, sixty volunteers arranged a perfectly organized event.  “I am proud that we hosted the premiere of the SAILING Champions League here in Copenhagen. To be honest, I didn’t think that it is possible in such a short period of time. We are ready for next year and hope to be part of the SCL again,” said Lars Ive, Vice Commodore of the KDY.

The organizers of the SAILING Champions League– the German “Segel-Bundesliga”, the Danish “Sejlsportsligaen” and the Royal Danish Yacht Club– did an extraordinary job managing the entire program of 45 races (15 for each club).  After experiencing close racing in a spectator-friendly format, it was clear the sailing “Bundesliga” has caught fire and a number of other countries will soon be copying the format and introducing their national sailing leagues in the near future.  For more SAILING Champions League regatta information