Friday, October 24, 2014

J/Teams Love Sailing College Big Boats!

J/105 sailing at Storm Trysail IOR regatta (Larchmont, New York)- Over 430 college sailors raced on 52 owner-coached keel-boats over Columbus Day Weekend (October 11-12) in the Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR) sailed in Western Long Island Sound. The event is organized by the Storm Trysail Foundation (STF) and the Larchmont Yacht Club and this year was led by Regatta Chairman Barry Gold. The goal of the IOR is to introduce dinghy sailors to the fun and teamwork of big boat racing, which is a new aspect of the sport to many dinghy sailors. It also gives college sailors with big boat skills a chance to compete in some of the best-prepared boats around. The 52-boat fleet was divided up into five classes: 12 IRC 32’-43’ boats, five J/44s, 13 J/109s, 12 J/105s and 10 PHRF boats.

A team from the US Naval Academy won the IRC Class sailing Ron Richman’s J/133 ANTIDOTE. After 6 races, their score line read 1-1-1-2-1-4 for a scorching 10 pts. Finishing fourth in class was Mike Bruno’s J/122 WINGS sailed by Bucknell University.

The five boat J/44 one-design class was won by the University of Michigan sailing Phil Gutin’s BEAGLE, followed by the US Merchant Marine Academy sailing Joerg Esdorn & Duncan Hennes’ KINCSEM in second.  Taking third was Mass Maritime Academy onboard Len Sitar’s VAMP.

J/109 sailing Storm Trysail Club college big boat IOR regattaThe College of Charleston won the thirteen-boat J/109 class sailing Bob Siegel’s PAX 3 with a blistering hot scoreline of 4-1-1-1-2 for just 9 pts.  Not far behind in 2nd place was Mass Maritime Academy’s Team #2 sailing aboard Rick Lyall’s STORM.  The past EDHEC Sailing Cup winners, Arts et Metiers Paris Tech, took third sailing Jack Forehand’s STRATEGERY- this French team was the best result of all foreign entries.  Fourth was University of Rhode Island aboard Jonathan Rechtshaffer’s EMOTICON and in fifth was the other French entry, the EDHEC Business School sailing on Bob Schwartz’s NORDLYS.

Roger Williams University won the twelve-boat J/105 class sailing Jeremy Henderson’s CONUNDRUM that also posted to a white-hot tally of 1-2-2-3-1 for a mere 9 pts.  Second was Boston University aboard Rob Alexander’s YOUNG AMERICAN and in third was the University of Wisconsin racing Josh Burack’s PEREGRINA.  In this highly competitive fleet, Princeton University took fourth on Gary Myer’s MAGIC and rounding out the top five was US Naval Academy 2 onboard Za Jelliffe’s ARETE.

In PHRF Class, Iris Vogel’s J/88 DEVIATION was sailed by SUNY Maritime College into 4th overall and Rick Oricchio’s J/120 ROCKET SCIENCE saw St Mary’s College of Maryland take 5th.  The overall winner came from this class, the University of Toledo onboard TROUBADOR.

J/44s sailing Storm Trysail Club college bit boat IOR regattaInterestingly, while your high point score divided by most points possible in your class currently determines the “overall winner”, it does nothing to eliminate the “skew” inherent in less competitive classes with greater disparity between the boats.  It was heard over the jungle telegraph that by far the most competitive classes were the one-design fleets of J/105s, J/109s and J/44s. It also stands to reason these one-design classes are also the most closely “optimized” in terms of relative speeds (ratings notwithstanding).  On the statistical premise that the top 50% of any fleet is a good measure of “fleet competitiveness”, it’s interesting to see the J/105 and J/109 classes, in particular, score very high on that index (an average of the top 50% efficiency scores).  On that basis, the overall winner by the narrowest of margins was Roger Williams University on the J/105 CONUNDRUM followed by the College of Charleston on the J/109 PAX 3!!

Rick Lyall, the owner of the J/109 STORM, which was sailed by Mass Maritime said, “Over the years I have watched the talent level of the sailors grow. This year the top three J/109 teams were unbelievably well-sailed. The College of Charleston team was not only flawless in their boat handling, but also superior in their tactics. It seemed like every time our boat and their boat came together, the Charleston team had the advantage. They definitely deserved to win the biggest class of the regatta.”

The J/109 class had the most international entries, which included three of the four Canadian teams and two teams from France. Finishing third in the J/109 class was the team from Arts et Métiers from Paris. As the winners of the 46th EDHEC Sailing Cup raced last April in Les Sables-d’Olonne France, their team won an all expense paid trip (except for air fare) to the IOR thanks to the joint venture between the STF and the EDHEC Sailing Cup.

The EDHEC Sailing Cup is the world’s biggest college sailing regatta that draws over 1,500 sailors and 180 boats and the joint venture with the STF is designed to bring the top college sailors in the world together. As a result of being the overall winner of the IOR, the team from the University of Toledo has won an all expenses paid (except for air fare) to the 47th EDHEC Sailing Cup in La Rochelle, France to be sailed from April 24th to May 2nd 2015. All US collegiate teams are welcome.

The IOR is extremely popular with both the sailors and boat owners. An example comes from Bob Schwartz, owner of the J/109 NORDLYS who wrote, “The regatta was a great, as well as, an important event as usual. The nicest part is that you immediately realize that college age sailors are the most wonderful kids you would ever want to meet. Smart, polite, capable, etc. Our sport attracts the best and we have to keep them involved.”   Sailing photo credits- Howie McMichael  Storm Trysail College Big Boat Sailing on Facebook  For more STC International Offshore Regatta sailing information

Thursday, October 23, 2014

J/80 Eclipse Sailing Over Lorient?

J/80 Interface Concept sailing Lorient, FranceINTERFACE CONCEPT Flies Over Moon!
(Lorient, France)- This year’s Lorient J/80 Open was an epic on more than two elements, the weather and the winner!  To begin with, the thirty-four J/80 teams from across France could not have been more delighted with the sailing conditions on Friday and Saturday, it was near “picture-perfect” Indian Summer sailing with warms breezes from the SSW blowing from 10 to 15 kts each day.  Despite a front rolling in on Sunday, the sailors were treated to a solid 10-20 kts NE breeze that enabled the teams to “get up on the step” and hop into planing mode downwind for last and final race of the regatta.

The other epic element was the sheer dominance of Simon Moriceau’s well-practiced team on INTERFACE CONCEPT.  Talk about an eclipse of the harvest moon?  You might as well have talked about Moriceau’s eclipse of the J/80 teams at this year’s Lorient J/80 Open.  Sailing to five straight bullets in a row, then backing off the gas to post a 5th, the INTERFACE CONCEPT team (Moriceau plus Christian Ponthieu, Jean Queveau, Hugo Kerhascoet and Herve Corlay) counted only 10 pts in 6 races for an equally impressive 1.66 average score!

J/80 sailing off Lorient, FranceIt all started on Friday in the 12 kts SW breeze.  The first start had multiple general recalls, including a black flag start.  Right out of the starting gate, Moriceau’s team took a first, followed by SAFRAN (Morgan Lagravière) in second then CHARIOT PLUS/ VANNES UTILITAIRE (Matthew Solomon/ Quentin Delapierre) in third. The start of the second race of the day went off without a hitch, with teams following the lighter breeze off to the left.  Behind Moriceau’s transom disappearing into the mist beyond, was Frederic Hauville’s ECOLE NAVALE CG29 team in second, followed by Alice Metais’ crew on CHARLY in third.

At this point, with Moriceau’s INTERFACE CONCEPT leading with a 1-1, it was Morgan Lagravière’s SAFRAN that was hanging close by in second with a 2-4, followed by top woman skipper Alice Métais’ CHARLY (daughter of the famous Pierre Metais) in third sitting on a 6-3.

Saturday saw another extraordinary day of racing, with four additional races scored for the fleet!  More Indian Summer sailing!  The breeze was a steady 10-15 kts, but very shifty compared to the previous day. Again, Moriceau sailed off with a 1-1-1-5 to establish a dominant lead over the fleet.  At this stage, it was a battle for second between CHARLY, CHARIOT PLUS/ VANNES UTILITAIRE, SAFRAN and Eric Brezellec’s COURIER JUNIOR.

J/80 sailing upwind off Lorient, FranceWith just one race left for Sunday, it was a battle for the remaining podium spots.  Moriceau OCS’d the start and simply left the course since they had won anyways.  Behind them, Salomon & Delapierre took the bullet to secured second overall and Brezellec finally got back on form to take a second in the race and third overall.  Dropping out of contention with a strong chance for a top three finish was Alice Metais’ crew on CHARLY, accumulating a 21-5 in her last two races to drop into fourth (but still winning the Top Woman’s Skipper award!).  Taking fifth was Lagraviere’s SAFRAN, closing with satisfying scores of 1-4 in the last two races.

Everyone greatly enjoyed the social festivities as well as the wonderful hosts, CNPL (Centre Nautique du Pays de Lorient). The racing conducted by PRO Jean Coadou was met with great applause by all participants!

For the overall J/80 Coupe de France, Moriceau’s on INTERFACE CONCEPT/ CV ECOLE NAVALE has strongly increased their overall series leadership. Can anyone catch them?  Perhaps not.

The women’s teams sailing J/80s in France are sailing extremely well.  In addition to Metais’ 4th overall and 1st women’s position, taking 2nd in Women’s division was Maxime Rousseaux skippering ST-CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES and 3rd was Pauline Chalaux driving PRINCE DE BRETAGNE.  For more J/80 Open Lorient Regatta sailing information

Myrgren Is J/70 Swedish Sailing Master!

J/70 Swedish Master of Masters winners (Bastad, Sweden)- The London 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist in the Laser class, Rasmus Myrgren, sailed to victory in the Swedish Master of Masters Regatta with his team of Thomas Rahm, Rahm Axel and Carl Sylvan.  Over the two-day event held on October 11th and 12th, 39 teams participated (all champions of one class or another), sailing 25 races in the 8-boat fleet of evenly-matched J/70s.

According to Myrgren, “I had a good crew with me in the boat and we coordinated nicely in all the races. We focus really hard when it comes boatspeed and worked hard to choose our own path through the fleet.”

J/70s sailing Swedish Master of Masters RegattaFor the ninth year, the top Swedish champions selected each year in different sailing classes gathered for the Master of Masters Championship. The two-day event in Bastad today is one of the most prestigious in Swedish sailing. This year 34 Swedish champions and five wild card entries approached the starting line, ready to take to the sea and figure out who is the best of the best; who is the master's master! The courses were short and concentrated, tactics and maneuvers must be in top form and mistakes were very costly.  The format was a round-robin on Saturday followed by two-semifinals Sunday morning; with the top three of each semi going into the final championship round at 1400 hrs Sunday afternoon.

“It's a special feeling to win the Masters championship, where most of Sweden's best sailors are competing - and it feels fantastic! The whole event is like a big party for us sailors. We have a chance to talk about past seasons and experiences, making new friends and enjoying the camaraderie,” continued Myrgren, who also won the Swedish Master of Masters Championship in 2012 with essentially the same crew!

Stefan Rahm, Swedish Sailing Federation's Sports Director, was very pleased with this year's races and believes that the final round was the tightest and most exciting seen over the past few years. He said, “the races have ended perfectly and we are excited about how the weather has shifted in a favorable way during the pasta few days. First, a little more sunshine sailing in relatively light winds, and now during the final day with better winds and shifts, which meant that the sailors got a bigger challenge. In addition, our live streaming on the web, where this year we invested even more than in previous years, has exceeded expectations. It is a successful venture and a way for us to spread the sport of sailing to more and more people. Sailing is an exciting sport and the champions have a national audience (both on live TV and live on the webcast).  This was a fantastic opportunity to follow the races and learn from the commentators.”

Finishing behind Myrgren’s GKSS team in second was the KSSS team (Royal Swedish YC) that included Anton Dahlberg, Victor Cuikerman, Per Thorsell and Nils Dahlberg.  Taking third from Stockholm YC was the team of Johan Qviberg, Jakob Gustafsson and Martin Nilsson.   For more J/70 Swedish Master of Masters Regatta sailing information

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

J/111 & J/109 Dominate China Coast Regatta

J/111 Mojito sailing Hong Kong China Coast regatta (Daya Bay, Shenzen, China)- Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s flagship China Coast Regatta took place from 10 to 12 October this year, following a tried and tested three-day format that offered competitors a variety of windward/ leeward and islands courses in the waters to the south of Hong Kong Island and west of Lamma Island.

Headlined by Audi for the first time since its inception in 1993, the regatta attracted nearly 40 competitors in four classes and seven divisions, with the majority of entrants sailing IRC Racing class. In the most competitive class in the entire event, the IRC 2 Division, the J/111 MOJITO skippered by Simon Blore handily won their nine-boat class with a very consistent 4-8-1-4-1-2-1 for 13 pts net.

J/109 Whiskey Jack sailing Hong Kong China Coast regattaTaking second in IRC 2 was a perennial top performer on the Hong Kong offshore racing circuit, the J/109 WHISKEY JACK sailed by Nick Southward.  The “Jack” started off strongly, leading their class up until race five, but couldn’t hold off the hard-charging crew aboard MOJITO.  In the end, WHISKEY JACK’s scores of 2-3-3-1-7-1-5 for 15 pts net secured their team a solid second place performance.  In fact, Southward’s team may have benefitted from their early “practice race”, the newly created Audi Hong Kong Kettle race- a new team racing competition that included an “Around Hong Kong Islands Race” the day preceding the China Coast Regatta.  The timing offered entrants the double benefit of an extra day’s acclimatization to the region’s sailing conditions, coupled with a great opportunity to see the wilder parts of Hong Kong.  The Hong Kong Kettle Race Chairman, Drew Taylor, explained the rationale of the Kettle event schedule, saying “Hong Kong in October provides very good sailing conditions with breeze typically in the high teens, temperatures in the high 20’s and a great combination of geometric and island courses.”  In the end, the J/109 WHISKEY JACK sailed by Nick Southward took advantage of the opportunity, took in some fabulous views of Hong Kong Island, and won the inaugural Team 3 Race Class in the Kettle Race!     China Coast Sailing Regatta on Facebook  Sailing photo credits- Guy Nowell/ RHKYC
For more China Coast Regatta sailing information

Singapore Strikes Sailing Gold!

Singapore Gold Medalists in Asian Games J/80 Match RaceWin Asian Games J/80 Match Race!
(Incheon, Korea)- Singapore's sailors bagged their third gold medal at the Incheon Asian Games after the J/80 Match Racing team beat South Korea 2-0 in a best-of-three final on Wednesday afternoon.

The five-man crew of Maximilian Soh, Andrew Paul Chan, Russell Kan, Christopher Lim, and Justin Wong had reached the final after winning 15 of their 16 match races in the nine-team round robin preliminary stage. They then beat Malaysia 3-0 in a best-of-five final.

J/80 Match Race Gold Medalists- J/80 Match Race Asian GamesCommenting on the team’s performance in Incheon, Dr Ben Tan, President of the Singapore Sailing Federation said, “Our sailors were up against the big boys of Asia, such as China, Korea, Japan, and they did Singapore proud. The hard work of our sailors and the attention to detail of the support team brought us this excellent set of results. Singapore Sailing will continue to build on our breadth and depth so that we can continue to deliver for Singapore.”

Singapore's sailors now have three golds, two silvers, and two bronzes so far at the on-going Asian Games. The results of Match Race Finals were: 1st Singapore, 2nd Republic of Korea, 3rd Japan and 4th Malaysia.

Thanks must also go out to Red Dragon Yachts, the International J/80 One-design builder in China for their fantastic support and ensuring the delivery of new, evenly-matched J/80s for the regatta!  Thanks for contribution from Chua Siang Yee.   For more J/80 Asian Games sailing information

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

J/Teams Enjoy Sailing Barcolana!

JBoats sailing Barcolana race off Trieste, Italy (Trieste, Italy)- For all seafaring and sailing lovers and for those who cannot miss one of the world’s unique spectacles, you must take a special trip to Trieste, Italy in the very northeastern parts of the gorgeous Adriatic Sea on the second Sunday of October.  The event is called the “Barcolana”, it almost always has the most number of boats sailing in an international regatta on the Mediterranean; it’s a week-long celebration on land and at sea that turns Trieste into the “European Capital of sailing”.  Perhaps the most famous part of the experience is to watch the starting line of nearly two thousand boats under the Victory Lighthouse.  Just about anything that floats in the Mediterranean is there led by helmsmen that are used to competing in world championships, or just about any amateur skipper or holiday sailor who has fallen under the spell of an event that every seafarer must take part in, at least once in their lives!

The story of the Barcolana is one of those you do not expect, because nobody knows what is the key ingredient for the success of this unique event. The Barcolana was born by chance, as a simple end of summer regatta, 44 years ago.  For this year’s Barcolana #46, 1,877 teams registered with the local host, the Società Velica di Barcola and Grignano.

Barcolana race course off Trieste, ItalyFor the first time in the history of the Barcolana, the finish line was just off Piazza Unità d'Italia. The new course of this year's race was designed with one aim only: to make the regatta more enjoyable for the competitors and more impressive for the spectators on land.  That is why the start was closer to the shore, the first leg was shorter, the buoy along the "return course" towards Miramare was close to the Castle and the finish line was in the city centre in front of the enthusiastic spectators watching the Barcolana Regatta.

Recognizing that the two mile long line may not be able to accommodate all the boats, many sailors accustomed to the race start off with extra fenders hanging off either side of their boats!  A record number of 34 J/Teams participated this year with the J/24s having the largest single class of boats in the whole race- 23 boats in Class 7 that had 91 boats in total.  After the smoke, dust, crunched fiberglass and bent pulpits cleared the starting area, the following J/24s made it relatively unscathed to the finish line: CAPITAN NEMO sailed by Stocco Thomas from YC Vicenza was 21st, CLEANPORT 3 skippered by Paolo Boschi took 23rd.

The J/70 and J/80 sailors put in the best performances by J/Teams.  Sailing in Class 8 with 40 boats were two J/70s, SPIN ONE sailed by Giovanni & Pietro Saccomani took a very commendable 9th place followed by the German team aboard BELOS sailed by Paul Fleissner from Worthersee YC, finishing 24th.  In the 60 boat fleet that were sailing Class 6, the J/80 MY WAY skippered by Jurij Hubscher from YC Portoroz took 12th!

Of the bigger J’s, the J/120 J-ONE MILLEGOR sailed by Lorenzo Simeone took 20th in a fleet of 71 boats in Class 1.  And, in the 83 boat Class 3, the J/109 SAGOLA 60 helmed by William Ferrisutti placed 14th while the J/105 NEMBO SPEED led by Piero Fornasaro de Manzini managed a 16th place.  Congratulations to all for good performances and for having stayed out of trouble!   For more Barcolana Regatta sailing information

J/70 Monaco Winter Series Announcement

J/70s sailing off Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The Yacht Club de Monaco is inviting all J/70 sailors from across Europe to join them for their Sportsboat Winter Series being held in Monaco.  While the rest of northern Europe may be fending off winter gales and sub-zero temperatures, the wonderfully warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea provide a winter retreat along the sunny south coast of the French, Monagesque and Italian Riviera’s.  Perhaps more importantly, instead of withdrawing into a cave up north and lighting fires to stay warm, you could be sailing off the gorgeous YC Monaco and getting some much needed practice for their famous Trophée Credit Suisse Primo Cup in February as well as the upcoming J/70 Europeans in October 2015.

The J/70 Winter Series schedule is the following:
  • PART 1 :  24 - 26 October 2014
  • PART 2 :  12 - 14 December 2014
  • PART 3 :  16 - 18 January 2015
  • PART 4 :  06 - 08 February 2015 (the Primo Cup Regatta)
  • PART 5 :  06 - 08 March 2015
Note- the J/70 Worlds are in La Rochelle, France from July 6th to 11.  Then, the J/70 Europeans are from October 12th to 17th, 2015 back in Monaco!  In fact, the J/70 Class President at YC Monaco, Jacopo Carrain, commented, “We have the pleasure of inviting all J/70 sailing teams to participate in our Winter Series and, best of all, the J/70 teams may keep their boats at our YCM facilities “free of cost” all winter long- October to March!  We hope you can sail with us, please contact me for more details.”  You may speak with Carrain at ph# +37797979696 or correspond with his email- jcarrain@j70ca-monaco.com    For more J/70 Monaco Winter Series sailing information