Rolex Fastnet Race Preview
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The world’s largest, most diverse fleet of offshore racing yachts will set sail from the Solent on Sunday, August 16th in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s biennial Rolex Fastnet Race. 2015 marks the 90th anniversary of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and with it a record-sized fleet with as many as 350 boats is expected to take part.
As ever, the 603nm course takes the fleet west along the south coast of England, across the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock off the tip of southwest Ireland, south around Bishop Rock and the Scilly Isles and back east to the finish in Plymouth. Conditions on the race course can range from benign and summery to vicious and stormy and the event is well remembered for the horrific conditions in 1979 that claimed the lives of 15 competitors. Fortunately vast improvements in weather forecasting, safety and communications equipment as well as yacht design over the intervening years mean that a repeat of this disaster today is unlikely.
The Rolex Fastnet Race is also one of the most popular events in sailing: the original limit of 300 boats racing for the overall handicap prize under IRC was increased to 340 in 2013 due to the increased demand. This is more than twice as many places as the next most popular of other 600 mile races held elsewhere the world and still, when registration opened in January, all 340 places were filled within just 24 minutes! In addition to this group is the ‘non-IRC’ fleet, including many top grand prix race boat classes such as the IMOCA 60s, that compete in the Vendee Globe singlehanded non-stop round the world race, and the Class 40s.
As always, one of the attractive elements of the Rolex Fastnet Race is its diversity. At one end of the spectrum are the high profile professional sailing teams who congregate on the Solent from the four corners of the globe, many fielding the world’s biggest, fastest, most state of the art racing yachts. At the other end are the Corinthian entries, where individual crew will be embarking on what for them will be their own personal Everest – the culmination of a season’s training that will have included at least 300 miles of offshore racing (the mandatory requirement to qualify for Rolex Fastnet Race entry).
Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive of the Royal Ocean Racing Club explains the uniqueness of the Rolex Fastnet Race; “The Rolex Fastnet Race is a world classic and probably the largest, most famous of its type. This year the demand has been huge with places selling out in 24 minutes and a waiting list of over 80 boats. The challenge for many is completing what can be a very tough adventure. And, for other experienced offshore racers is that they can compete with the top professionally raced yachts and have a realistic chance of winning. In 2013 the race was won by a very experienced father and son team sailing two handed which shows that anyone has a chance of winning the most prestigious race in the world calendar.”
There is a veritable armada of J/Teams participating in this year’s race; 48 J’s in total of the 320 boat fleet- 15% overall and by far the largest brand represented in the race.
Six J/105s are sailing, some double-handed, others fully-crewed, include Nick Martin’s DIABLO-J (top J team in the RORC Offshore Season series in both IRC 3 Class and IRC Two-handed class), Tom Hayhoe & Natalie Jobling’s MOSTLY HARMLESS, the Dutch women’s double-handed team of Yvonne Beusker & Edith Voskamp on PANTHER, and Kees Mijs on ARETHUSA from the Netherlands. The “sleeper” in the J/105s could easily be JESTER, sailed by Kelvin Rawlings and Stuart Childerley, the latter being one of the UK’s most capable one-design and offshore champions in the past few decades.
At twenty-two boats, the J/109s may be the largest one-design offshore keelboat class ever assembled for the Rolex Fastnet Race. Anything can happen in the tight and competitive fleet as has been demonstrated in past RORC Offshore series as well as Fastnet Races. Amongst those leaders could be Paul Griffiths’ JAGERBOMB, Alain Bornet’s JAI LAI, Richard Palmer’s JANGADA TOO, Kevin Armstrong’s JAZZY JELLYFISH, Phil Nelson’s JOLENE II, Chris Palmer’s J-T’AIME (the current #2 J team in the RORC Offshore season points standings in IRC 3 class), David McGough’s JUST SO, Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox’s MOJITO and the two British military teams- the Royal Air Force’s RED ARROW and the Marine’s Royal Armoured Corps’ WHITE KNIGHT 7.
While only four J/111s are racing, the astonishing fact is that each boat has either won major one-design J/111 events or simply killed it an a major offshore event over the past two years. Alex Nicaise’s ALPHALINK/ XTREME YACHTING has done well in regional offshore events in France; Peter Gustafsson’s BLUR has won just about everything offshore and double-handed in Scandinavia; the British Army’s BRITISH SOLDIER took 2nd in the extremely tough (often brutal) conditions (gales, etc) in last year’s RORC Round Britain & Ireland Race (truly the world’s longest “round island race”); and perhaps the most decorated J/111 of all- John van der Starre & Robin Verhoef’s XCENTRIC RIPPER (the Netherlands Offshore Double-handed Champions in 2015 and 2x Fastnet Race veterans).
A classic boat boat in the quiver of offshore J’s is the J/120. Four of them are sailing this year’s Fastnet; the two British teams are Andy Hunt’s ASSARAIN III and Elin Haf Davies’ NUNATAK (currently holding 2nd place in the RORC IRC 2 class in the Offshore Season series); the French team is Jean Jacques Godet’s RHAPSODIE V (the top finishing J team in the 2013 Fastnet edition and winner of their class); and the Dutch team is Chris Schram’s MAVERICK.
An assault on the overall honors could easily be led by the top J/122s that are assembling for the start on Sunday. Again, like their J/111 counterparts, many have won or placed in multiple offshore double and fully-crewed events in the past two years and all have Fastnet Race experience. Amongst the J/122s racing, look for these teams to factor into the top IRC overall results; David Richards’ JOLLY JELLYFISH, Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker’s JUNIQUE RAYMARINE SAILING TEAM (a double-handed entry) from the Netherlands, Alain Catherineau’s LORELEI from France, Clive Mile’s new J/122E JANGLE, and Scott Miller’s RESOLUTE (top American double-handed Bermuda 1-2 champion).
While the other boats may have them in numbers, the three J/133s are no shrinking violets. Watch out for Angus Bates’ ASSARAIN IV, Dave Ballantyne’s JINGS or Gilles Fournier’s PINTIA from France to be right at the front of the fleet given a fair mix of weather conditions.
Finally, two classic J/35s are in the mix, Mike Wunderlich’s CHOSI 6 from Germany and RAGAZZA from Belgium (with the trio of Gabriel/ DeBie/ Machair). They will be sharing class honors, one hopes, with Helen Hofmann’s J/97 JASLAN. For more Rolex Fastnet Race sailing information
Ida Lewis Distance Race Preview
(Newport, RI)– The Ida Lewis Distance Race (ILDR) may be a new one for the sailing bucket list, and a slew of event newcomers have registered for the popular overnighter’s 11th edition, which kicks off Friday, August 14 at noon. The annual summer favorite starts and finishes off Fort Adams in Newport, R.I. taking its fleet of IRC, PHRF, Doublehanded and Multihull boats on one of four courses (determined prior to the start by the Race Committee), which range between 104 and 177 nautical miles, tracing parts of the New England coastline and making their way past iconic way points such as Castle Hill, Brenton Reef, Block Island, Montauk Point and Martha’s Vineyard.
“Most competitors are able to complete the race in less than 24 hours but still indulge in the offshore experience: golden sunset, steering by the light of the moon, inspiring sunrise- – you get the idea,” said Co-Chair Skip Helme, explaining that a skipper’s meeting and social will be held on Thursday, August 13, at host Ida Lewis Yacht Club, with a Sunset Awards Party bringing things to a close on Saturday, August 15. Skippers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York dominate the entry list (37 at this time),
“I’ve heard great things about this year’s teams, so I have no doubt it is going to be a challenging race,” said Jonathan Green (Wakefield, Mass.) who will be sailing doublehanded aboard the J/111 EAGLES DARE. Green won this event’s Doublehanded Class in 2009 and went on to win IRC Overall at the 2013 OSTAR (singlehanded transatlantic race). “I’ve done a lot of races shorthanded, many of them much longer than the Ida Lewis Distance Race (he mentioned the Bermuda One-Two: singlehanded from Newport to Bermuda, then doublehanded back), but the reason we’re coming back down for the Ida Lewis Distance Race is because it always attracts teams that are extremely competitive.”
Other Rhode Island boats competing are the J/111 Manitou, skippered by Greg Slamowitz (Block Island); the J/111 Odyssey, skippered Alfred Van Liew/David Brodsky (Middletown); the J/109 Vento Solare, skippered by Bill Kneller (Newport); the J/92S Spirit, skippered by E.C. Helme; the J/120 Second Hand Lions, skippered by Robert Kits van Heyningen (Portsmouth); and the J/35 Breakaway, skippered by Paul Grimes (Portsmouth).
Ripple Effect Contest- The Ripple Effect Short Video Contest, which was introduced last year for teams with youth sailors, will be expanded this year to include entries from any team that chooses to participate. The winning video will best capture the spirit of the Ida Lewis Distance Race in five minutes or less.
Race for All Ages- The Ida Lewis Yacht Club Youth and Collegiate Challenges invite the next generation of sailors to try distance racing on for size. To qualify for the Youth Challenge, more than 40% of the crew must have reached their 14th birthday but not turn 20 prior to August 15, 2014. For the Collegiate Challenge, more than 40% of the crew must not have reached the age of 26 by August 15, 2014.
Staying Green- For a second year in a row, the Ida Lewis Distance Race has been certified at the silver level for Sailors for the Sea’s Clean Regattas program. The certification system helps sailing events create and manage environmentally responsible events in an effort to educate and motivate boaters to reduce marine debris and preserve the waters upon which they sail.
Sponsors- Starting Line sponsors for the 2015 Ida Lewis Distance Race include Bluewater Technologies, the City of Newport, Helly Hansen, New England Boatworks and Newport Shipyard; Contributing Sponsors are DYT Yacht Transport, Flint Audio & Video, Gosling’s Rum, Mac Designs, Toni Mills Graphic Design, Triton Insurance, North Sails, Rig Pro Southern Spars and Stella Artois.
The Ida Lewis Distance Race is a qualifier for the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF); the Northern and Double-Handed Ocean Racing Trophies (IRC); and the Rhode Island Offshore Challenge Trophy. Formore Ida Lewis Distance Race sailing information
Cyprus J/80 “Sailing Stars” Regatta
(Paphos, Cyprus)- There is a perfect opportunity for those who want to combine both regatta and holidays in sunny Cyprus. For the second time in the cross of sea routes between East and West, the J/80 Championship “Sailing Stars” will take place out of the famous seaport of Paphos. The regatta is organized by Sail First Sailing Club on ten matched J/80 one-design sailboats.
The “Sailing Stars” Championship is scheduled for Sunday, 27th of September, 2015. The prize-giving ceremony with drinks and music will take place at the same day. Sail First Sailing Club invites all J sailors to enjoy sailing together in Mediterranean waters of Cyprus. Please contact Anastasia Marinskaya @ mobile# +(357) 96392768. Or, for registration & NOR sailing information.
The height of the summer season in the north is most likely the first week of August. In Europe, it represents the middle of their six to eight week mandatory summer break (depending on the country) and in the Americas it’s the winding down into the last two weeks of August when all the little kiddies have to go back to school (for better or for worse). Off Cowes, England, the massive week-long event called Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is currently taking place. In the first part of the event, there is the J/111 EuroCup and the J/70 Short Series. Down in Spain, the King and family often head down to the sunnier, windier climate of the posh and elegant island of Palma de Mallorca and sail the Copa del Rey Regatta. This year, the J/80s enjoyed their 5th time participating in the famous regatta.
Heading across the Atlantic, we find the Canadians hosting the J/27 North American Championship at Oakville Yacht Squadron in Oakville, Ontario, just south of Toronto. The Oakville YS also simultaneously hosted the J/22 Canadian Championship on Lake Ontario. East of them, the Chester YC hosted their fun-loving Chester Race Week not far south of Halifax, Nova Scotia for a range of J/Teams that included J/120s, J/105s, J/29s, J/80s, and J/70s. South of them, the New Bedford YC hosted the three-day long weekend event, the Buzzards Bay Regatta on the windy, choppy Buzzards Bay that included the PHRF New England Championship for J crews ranging from J/29s and J/30s up to J/111s and J/120s. Then, down in Long Island Sound, the combination of America YC and Riverside YC hosted the YRA Long Island Sound Championship for both J/70s and PHRF teams. Out in the Midwest, the Chicago YC hosted their end of season offshore finale, the Verve Cup Regatta for J/105s, J/109s and J/111s.
Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north. Check them out! More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page! Below are the summaries.
Aug 8-15- AAM Cowes Race Week- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Aug 8-16- Nantucket Race Week- Nantucket, MA
Aug 14- Ida Lewis Distance Race- Newport, RI
Aug 16- RORC Fastnet Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Aug 21-23- Irish J/24 Nationals- Lough Derg, Ireland
Aug 28- Sep 4- J/24 World Championship- Boltenhagen, Germany
Sep 4- RORC Cherbourg Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Sep 10-13- J/24 North Americans- Portland, Maine
Sep 10-13- J/70 Alcatel OneTouch Italian Nationals- Riva del Garda, Italy
Sep 11-13- J/24 Italian Nationals- Genoa, Italy
Sep 12-13- J/80 German Open Nationals- Glucksburg, Germany
Sep 12-13- J/24 Regata de la Independencia- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Sep 17-20- J/105 North Americans- San Francisco, CA
Sep 17-20- Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA
Sep 18-20- J/22 Dutch Open Nationals- Medemblik, The Netherlands
Sep 18-20- J/70 SAILING Champions League- Porto Cervo, Italy
Sep 21-27- J/70 North Americans- San Diego, CA
Sep 24-27- J/30 North Americans- Marion, MA
Sep 25-27- J/105 Canadian Championships- Toronto, ONT, Canada
Sep 25-27- J/80 Atlantique Telegrame- Lorient, France
Sep 25-27- J/FEST San Diego- San Diego, CA
Sep 30- Oct 4- J/22 North Americans- Houston, TX
Oct 9-11- J/80 North Americans- Seabrook, TX
Oct 12-17- J/70 European Championships- Monte Carlo, Monaco
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.
J/111 EuroCup Won by JOURNEYMAKER II
TEAM RAFB SPITFIRE Takes J/70 Short Series
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week started off the week with near Mediterranean-like weather conditions, a bit of sun, nice breeze and sublimely cool weather. St Tropez beach-goers would not have felt out of place when shorts, shades and flip-flops were the order of the day over the Saturday/ Sunday weekend along the Parade on Cowes historic waterfront. Enjoying the gorgeous start to the week were Louise Makin & Chris Jones’ J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II, winning the J/111 EuroCup and also Simon Ling’s J/70 TEAM RAFB SPITFIRE taking the J/70 Short Series.
The opening day on Saturday was bathed in unbroken sunshine, with a fickle breeze that saw racing postponed for two hours. Shortly after 1100 the first signs of a fitful east-south-easterly appeared off Cowes, but the big question was how long it would take to become established as a consistent sea breeze. With few signs of thermal clouds building over the mainland there was still a chance of a long wait and the Cowes coffee shops enjoyed a brisk trade as competitors took advantage of the opportunity to relax in the warm sun. Shortly after midday, once the east-south-easterly breeze in the mid-Solent had built to 8-9 knots, race officials got the start sequences under way. It made for a crazy day of racing since the classic seabreeze on the Solent, the WSW’er fought the ESE in the Western Solent late in the day, with the WSW’er winning along the Cowes waterfront and the Royal Yacht Squadron finish line. For the IRC 1 Class and the J/111s sailing their EuroCup, it was a case of the “haves” and “have nots”— those who either stayed along the Isle of Wight south shore for the third leg or those who chased the old ESE into the middle of the Solent against adverse tide. In the end, Cornell Riklin’s JITTERBUG crew stuck along the shore and led the fleet home, followed in 2nd by BRITISH SOLDIER/ TOE IN THE WATER skippered by Brian Thompson and in 3rd by Louise Makin & Chris Jones’ JOURNEYMAKER II.
The second day on Sunday delivered perfect conditions, with bright sun and decent winds. A west-south westerly breeze built gradually through the day to give gusts approaching 20 knots by early afternoon. With 30-degree wind shifts at times, accompanied by big gusts and lulls, there was plenty to challenge competitors. For competitors in the early starts on the two fixed lines a strong west-going tide made it imperative not to start early. This was accentuated for White Group day boats starting on the Royal Yacht Squadron line, as the outer distance mark, Aberdeen Alpha, was two boat lengths on the course side of the line.
Within the J/111 class, it was Martin Dent’s crew on JELVIS that sailed a brilliant race and won by a good margin over Tony Mack’s McFLY and the Makin/Jones duo JOURNEYMAKER II. As a result, JELVIS held a slim one point lead over JOURNEYMAKER II and just two points over the fast-pairing of BRITISH SOLDIER/ TOE IN THE WATER and JITTERBUG.
In White Group, the J/70 fleet is one of the fastest growing classes at the regatta, with entries up more than 300 per cent over the past two years. The 27-strong fleet made a clean start in their first race today, which proved to be a closely-fought battle in which the first eight boats finished within 69 seconds. David McLeman’s OFFBEAT took the winner’s gun 10 seconds ahead of Charlie Esse’s DARWIN PROPERTY INVESTMENT. Third place went to Ben Gratton’s team of youth sailors on ROYAL THAMES 1.
The J/70s’ second race today was started from a committee boat line, with windward-leeward legs before finishing on the Shrape finish line off East Cowes. This time Esse pulled out a three-minute lead on the fleet to take a convincing win ahead of Simon Ling’s TEAM RAFB SPITFIRE. Young sailor Jack Davies on JUGADOR took third. “In the second race we got a big left-hand lift at the start, were in the front row and were the first boat to tack out,” says Esse. “Then it was against us and Spitfire all the way up the first beat. They overtook us at the windward mark, but we pulled ahead on the run, sailing a little bit lower and faster by sailing the boat flat – we just pulled away from there really. We all enjoyed it, it was a fantastic day on the water and as always the team worked exceptionally well.”
After two brilliantly sunny days, Monday morning saw increasing cloud over the Solent, accompanied by a band of rain that provided competitors with interesting and challenging wind shifts. While Black Group yachts in the Western Solent saw winds of up to 17 knots, the smaller White Group day boats that were competing in the eastern Solent had generally lighter winds, including some big lulls.
The J/70 fleet had incredibly tight racing for the last two races of the Short Series. In the end, J/70 Class Short Series winners are Simon Ling’s TEAM RAFB SPITFIRE, posting a 7-3-7-2-1-1 to close out the series with 14 pts net. Standing three points back after initially leading the series was Charlie Esses’s DARWIN PROPERTY INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT with a record of 8-1-2-1-6-7 for 17 pts net. Taking third was RULE ONE’s skipper John Greenland with a tally of 12-2-9-6-5-2 for 24 pts net. Rounding out the top five was J Goodwin & J Calascione’s HARLEQUIN and Andrew Creighton & James Davies’ J-STAR, in 4th and 5th, respectively.
On the Black Group start for IRC 1/ J/111s, it was a repeat of the J/70s previous day’s scenario- a westbound current of 3.0 kts pushing the fleet over the line as boats lined up to sail upwind to their first weather mark nearly 7.0nm into the western Solent. Remarkably, the fleet started clean and the race was on for the very tightly-packed J/111 fleet. The J/111 sailors experienced all manner of windshifts, foul current and inter-class incidents that helped and hindered others (e.g. crossing/ mark-rounding situations with a Swan 65 DESPERADO from the old Whitbread Race??). In the end Tony & Sally Mack’s McFLY won the race, followed by Makin/Jones’ JOURNEYMAKER II and the late, but fast-closing, BRITISH SOLDIER/ TOE IN THE WATER in third.
As a result, the J/111 EuroCup was won by the same duo that took the remarkably tough endurance contest, the “Three Peaks Race” in 2008 in their J/105 by the same name- Makin/ Jones on JOURNEYMAKER II. There’s was a story of consistency, tenaciousness, and the ability to make lemonade out of lemons when the timing was right. Making the most out of similar situations was the BRITISH SOLDIER/ TOE IN THE WATER team skippered by the famous UK offshore sailor Brian Thompson (also a J/24 UK champion back in the day). For most UK sailors, Brian needs no introduction, having won the Trans-Atlantic Race recently on the MOD 70 PHAEDO and numerous other offshore races far too long to enumerate here. Their 2nd place with a 2-5-3 record was well-deserved. Past Solent J/111 champion Tony & Sally Mack on TEAM McFLY took third with an 8-2-1 record on a three-way tie for the bronze! After convincingly winning the first race, JITTERBUG skippered by Cornel Riklin, fought back hard to stay in contention to also end up with 11 pts, but having to settle for 4th on the tie-break. Likewise, Martin Dent’s JELVIS may have to be the winners of the “heartbreaker” award; for having been nearly in the lead on the first leg of the first race, a string of unfortunate circumstances saw them fade from contention into a 6th place and take 5th for the series. For more AAM Cowes Week sailing information
Repeat Winners @ Verve Cup Offshore
(Chicago, IL)- Chicago Yacht Club hosted the 23rd annual Verve Cup Offshore Regatta over the August 7th to 9th weekend. The three-day event attracted over 175 yachts to the beautiful Chicago lakefront.
For the second year in a row, David Gustman’s J/109 NORTHSTAR won their section. Although there weren’t enough J/109s for a one design section this year, Gustman said that the ORR 3 Section was still very competitive. “The first day we won a race by about a foot and lost a race by about a foot,” he stated. “Friday was perfect – probably one of the best days that I’ve ever been out on a race course. The Race Committee was excellent and ran four races bang-bang-bang. They just nailed it out.” The J/35 BOZOS CIRCUS sailed by Bruce Metcalf sailed well to secure second overall with 19 pts. The next three places were taken by J/109s, with Peter Priede’s FULL TILT in the third spot, Kevin Saedi’s MOMENTUS in 4th and Doug & Betsy Evans’ TIME OUT in 5th.
THE ASYLYM, owned by J/105 Fleet Captain Jon Weglarz, took top spot in the J/105 one-design section. “Our team won the regatta in the first two days. Today we just maintained our position.” The top three boats – THE ASYLUM, SEALARK (Clark Pellett), and VYTIS (Tom & Gyt Petkus) – have been battling each other for 15 years in their fleet. “Our section was a little light. We hope that for 2016 the J/105s will be back with more entries.”
The J/111s had a surprise winner, the long-distance traveling team of Bennett Greenwald from San Diego YC in San Diego, CA won the regatta with ease, posting five bullets and two 2nds in their nine race series to win by 12 pts. The next four places were a closely fought affair with Brad Faber’s UTAH from Michigan taking 2nd with 28 pts. Just two points back in third was Bill Smith’s WOOTON, also from Bay Harbor, MI with 30 pts. Fourth was George Miz’s IMPULSE from Chicago with 34 pts, one point ahead of Karl Brummel’s KASHMIR from Chicago. For more Verve Cup Offshore sailing information
CURVED AIR Crowned J/27 N.A. Champion
(Oakville, ONT)- This year’s J/27 North American Championship was the best-attended regatta in decades, when fourteen boats ponied up to the starting line for the first day of racing. The Oakville Yacht Squadron in Oakville, Ontario (just west of Toronto) was a fantastic host, managing to run nine races over the three day event! It was close racing throughout and the top three was not determined until the final race on the last day; a healthy sign for this classic class!
In the end, Andrew Riem’s CURVED AIR sailed a consistent series, never falling out of the top three, to post just 14 pts net. Just five points back was Mike Seitz’s American team on NORTHERN SEITZ, finishing in second place with 19 pts net.
Despite posting a 1-2 in the last two races, it was not enough for last year’s winner, Bruce Scott’s WARPED PERCEPTION to punch higher on the podium, settling for third place two points back with 21 pts. Tied on points with Scott, but losing the tie-breaker, was Andre Beese’s MESSING ABOUT, settling for fourth place. In fifth was Jason Wilson’s TENACIOUS.
The report from the “front lines” on the water comes from Andrew Riem’s winning team on CURVED AIR: “It really is a whole bunch of little things and a lot of great people pulling together to put on a regatta, get a race off and a boat around the course. My Club Beer Can results this year have been dismal compared to other years and I’ve been asking myself those infamous soul searching question such as “Can I afford a new set of sails?”.
And then my regular crew showed up and we won our first One Design Regatta of the Year. The regulars were also with me for the NAs and we won that to. So at the risk of sounding like I’m making an Oscar’s speech (and not disregarding the fact I drove the boat pretty well), it’s my crew both onshore and offshore who made it possible. Tri, Tom, Cam & Carol put in a truly remarkable effort and I trust you all forgive me for the terrible things I said “in the heat of battle”.
Sailing truly is both a team sport and a group activity and the Oakville Yacht Squadron & Bronte Harbour Yacht Club also stepped up in hosting a great event and providing exceptional racing and race management. My thanks also to them for making this all possible for another year; despite the disappointment of loosing some local boats this year and our numbers being down for the regatta the effort of this group has inspired me to do this again for at least one more year; we will be back as I hope you all will. Thank you all for participating and continuing to support the event.
Between now and then however there is New Orleans and the Mid Winters. Curved Air will be going for the triple crown of winning all the J/27 majors in 2015 and driving down the delta once our season finishes. Merlin and the six 27s that make up the NOLA Fleet at Southern Yacht Club are an equally amazing group; the fact I am towing my boat for 3 days and leaving it with them for the winter to “keep an eye on” speaks volumes as to their character and trust I have in them. I hope to see a whole lot more of you down in the Quarter come February. Fair Winds… Andrew” For nice J/27 North Americans YouTube sailing videos: Day 1/ Day 2/ Day 3 Sailing photo credits- Hilary Riem Formore J/27 North American Championship sailing information
J/Teams Crush Buzzards Bay/ PHRF New Englands
(Dartmouth, MA)- The 43rd Buzzards Bay Regatta, was held August 7-9, 2015 at the New Bedford Yacht Club in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. As anticipated, Buzzards Bay delivered yet again on good conditions for the three-day weekend regatta. Fair weather and plenty of breeze provided favorable conditions for top J teams to just about sweep all the top positions in the PHRF New England Championship, held in conjunction with the Buzzards Bay Regatta.
An extraordinary 16 of the 25 entrants for the PHRF New England Championship were J/Teams (64.0% of the fleet)! In PHRF Race 1 class, Mark Verville’s J/120 ISURUS won, followed by Doug Curtiss’s J/111 WICKED 2.0 (a past BBR winner) in 2nd position, followed by another J/111, Sedgwick Ward’s BRAVO in 4th place. Jim Shachoy’s J/122 AUGUST WEST, the recent winner of the New York YC IRC East Coast Championship, took 6th overall.
In PHRF 2, Richard Fontaine’s J/105 GOOD TRADE from Mass Maritime led a sweep of the class. Cory Eaves’ J/109 FREEDOM took 2nd in class, followed by local hotshot Ted Herlihy’s J/109 NA Championship winning GUT FEELING in 3rd. Fourth was Ed Joyce’s J/105 DARK’N’STORMY and 5th was Doug Newhouse’s new J/88 YONDER from Sail Newport.
Then, in PHRF 3, Key Dyett’s J/30 JEROBOAM took 2nd in class followed by Diana & Tom Sutton’s J/35 LEADING EDGE from Houston YC in 3rd. Fifth place was taken by yet another J/30- Ken van Colen’s MODDY BLUE from New Bedford YC.
In PHRC Cruise class, Al Signorella’s J/100 SUNDANCE from New Bedford YC placed 2nd while Steve Dahill’s J/35C RIVA from Beverly YC took 4th in class. For more Buzzards Bay Regatta sailing information
Americans Sweep J/22 Canadians
(Oakville, Ontario)- While the J/27s were sailing their North Americans, the J/22s were sailing their J/22 Canadian Championship, hosted by the same Oakville Yacht Squadron. In the end, the top three spots on the podium in the eighteen boats were swept by American teams, most of whom are based in upstate New York.
Winning was Chris Doyle’s “THE JUG 4 1”, counting three bullets in their four race series for a total of just 7 pts. Taking second on a tie-breaker was another Doyle family member, Kevin Doyle’s MO’MONEY; their 5-3-1-4 tally was good for 13 pts. Losing the tie-break was Travis Odenbach’s SEA BAGS SAILING TEAM, posting a 4-2-5-2 record for 13 pts. Rounding out the top five was Ron Harris’ Canadian team on BROOMSTICK with 18 pts in fourth and in fifth place was Tod Sackett’s “Team FM” with 18 pts. Formore J/22 Canadian Championship sailing information
POLAROID TRESSIS Eclipses J/80 Copa del Rey
(Palma Mallorca, Spain)- For the fifth consecutive year, the J/80s sailed the Copa del Rey Regatta in Palma Mallorca, hosted by Real Club Nautico de Palma. The nineteen-boat fleet enjoyed spirited competition in the typically gorgeous weather offered up on Palma’s azure blue semi-circular bay.
The fleet enjoyed twelve races over their four-day series. A surprise winner topped the overall standings after very tight racing, Daniel de la Pedraja’s ONO POLAROID TRESSIS from Real Club Marina Santander. Their five 1sts and two 2nds permitted them to sit out the last race and still win on 30 pts net.
Left gasping for air in the vacuum left behind the speedy POLAROID team were several Spanish J/80 World Champions! Taking second was the trio of Rafael Esposito, Pepequin Orbaneja and Javier Padron Torrent sailing MARBELLA TEAM with 37 pts net. Regatta sponsor’s HERBALIFE TEAM, sailed by Alex Diaz and Jesus Amaliach from Real Club Nautico Palma, took third overall with 41 pts net. The balance of the top five was made up of two World Champions; Marc de Antonio’s BRIBON-MOVISTAR take 4th place and Jose Maria van der Ploeg’s NAUTICA WATCHES place 5th.
Of note, a fleet of Italian J/80s participated in the event, bringing along their “joi’d’vivre”, their top team was Giacomo Loro Piana’s MARY J in 11th, followed by Massimo Rama’s JENIALE in 13th and Franco Loro Piana’s JAMMING in 15th. The Loro Piana family are members of the famous Italian fashion house by the same name, sailing for YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo. For more Copa del Rey sailing information
J/Teams Sweep Chester Race Week
(Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada)- Somehow, the sailors that participate in Nova Scotia’s Chester Race Week (located in a beautiful bay just south of Halifax) make the most of whatever Mother Nature dishes out to them. Some year’s the sailing conditions are spectacular, others grey and rainy, yet others grey, foggy and drizzly, such is the nature of the beast way, way “down east” off the chilly North Atlantic. This year, it was a bit of grey mixed with breeze.
Despite the less than photogenic weather, the J/Teams reveled in the challenging breezes and cleaned house in several divisions. In the bigger boat class, the J/120 DEVIATION sailed by Stu McCrea won class Alpha 2 with straight bullets! Their sistership BRILLIANCE skippered by Richard Calder sailed to 4th on a tie-breaker and in 5th place was another J/120- Ross Leighton’s BLACK PEARL.
J/Teams took four of the top five places in Alpha 3 class. Leading the way was long-time veteran, Colin Mann’s J/92 POOHSTICKS with a blistering scorelines of 2-1-1 for 4 pts. Andrew Childs’ J/35 took second with 10 pts. Taking 4th on a tie-breaker was Rory Macdonald’s J/105 McMAC sitting on 12 pts. Then, fifth was the team of Gary Bennett & designer Rod Johnstone sailing the J/35 J’AI TU.
Following the same theme as their sisterships, the massive fleet of J/29s took on the J/70s and J/80s in Bravo B1 class. It was the J/29s that eclipsed their stablemates with a sweep of the top five. First was Terry Schnare’s HEAD GAMES, followed by Don Williams’ PARADIGM SHIFT in 2nd, Jim Snair’s J(2.2) in 3rd, Scott Covey’s RUMBLEFISH in 4th and Chris MacDonald’s SCOTCH MIST IV in 5th.
The J/30s and J/27s sailed in Bravo B2 class. It was Jordan MacNeil’s J/30 FLUX taking class honors with Sam Lamey’s J/27 INCORRIGIBLE in 4th position.
In the Non-Spinnaker classes, the J/44 AKUBRA sailed by Reginald Goodday took 3rd in her class. Then, the J/24s had a good seven-boat turnout with Ian Dawson’s LIGHTNING McQUEEN taking five 1sts to easily win their class by 9 pts. Second was Chris Veinot’s HYPEWAVE with 22 pts, just one point ahead of Nick Hamblin’s JAMMING in third place. The rest of the top five was Will Nauss’ WAVERUNNER in 4th and Ross Romney’s RUSH HOUR in 5th. For more Chester Race Week sailing information
J/Crews Dominate YRA-LIS Championship
(Rye, New York)- Over the weekend of August 1st and 2nd, the Riverside YC and American YC, hosted the YRA Long Island Sound Championships in the western end of Long Island Sound. It was a great weekend of tight racing with a mix of light to medium wind conditions. This was the 10th Anniversary of the YRA Regatta that included both PHRF and One-Design Fleets. The parties were great and the clubs worked hard to provide good food, music and great trophies!
According to YRA Past President, Bernie Armstrong: “This year we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the annual YRALIS Championship Regatta. A real milestone for this great event! It began in 2005, as a way to bring all major racing classes together in single weekend, to establish the champion in each of the YRALIS’s four major racing circles. This event has averaged over 100 boats every year since its beginning and the fleets were evenly split between PHRF boats and one-designs. I have been involved with this great event since its inception and everyone seemed to enjoy the challenge and the fun!”
The PHRF One class had a flock of J’s sailing with J crews taking 5 of the top 7 places. Taking 3rd place was Sam Talbot’s SPIKE from the British Virgin Islands. They were followed in 4th position by Carl Olsson’s J/109 MORNING GLORY and in 5th place another J/109- Steve Chronert’s ZUMA.
In the PHRF Two class, the J/88 VELOCITY sailed by Kevin Marks took class honors on a tie-breaker over Iris Vogel’s veteran crew aboard her J/88 DEVIATION. Then, Ken & Drew Hall’s J/100 NEVERMORE took 4th in class only 3 pts back from the leaders!
The four J teams sailing PHRF Three class took 4 of the top five places, sweeping the top three! Winners were Tom & Julie Sinatra’s J/29 SMOKIN J, followed by Christian Uecker’s J/92 HOUND DOG in 2nd and Todd Aven’s famous J/92 THIN MAN in 3rd. Fifth was Aleksandr Tichter’s J/29 AKULA. Then, the J/80 UPSETTER took 2nd in PHRF Four Class.
The J/70s had an excellent turnout of nearly a dozen boats with local hero Kerry Klingler on MENACE taking class honors with three 1sts and two 2nds for a total of 7 pts. Sailing faster and smarter all the time was the duo of Scott & Alex Furnary on ANY COLOUR, winning two races themselves on the way to 2nd overall with 14 pts total. The two Ploch girls, Madelyn & Megan, co-skippered SUGAR DADDY to third overall with consistent top five finishes. Fourth in class was Scott Bursor’s SLINKY and fifth was Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK. For more YRA-LIS Championship sailing information
What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* Simply Messing About in Boats- the easy way! Joe Cooper had some interesting observations while experiencing Block Island Race Week this year. Here are some of his thoughts on how to go sailing easier:
“Value in sailing terms is an interesting concept. The ‘value’ we all get from it is intangible. It is neigh on impossible to put a dollar amount on the sunsets, beautiful days, a week at BIRW with your mates, landfall in Bermuda and so on that make up a pretty normal round of sailing adventures. Or frankly, the emotions we experience looking at a particular boat that moves us. What if you added up all the costs of Race Week and said that cash cost was the value of competing? But that seems to be a fairly rigorous and cold green eyeshade way to look at what sailing gives us. Obviously, there are things in life that have value beyond the cash. Our families, kids and love spring to mind. (In fact, to me my family is priceless.)
I have often remarked on the subject of the cost of sailing, and only slightly in jest that boat owners ought never to total the yearly costs of owning their boats and divide this amount by the hours spent actually using them. If you did, you’d be appalled at the cost per hour that owning a sailboat incurs. I have a vague memory of doing this in 1980 for “Australia” team in the America’s Cup, and it was perhaps $150 an hour (actually sailing), and that was with a volunteer crew paid ten bucks a day all found. I think Larry’s costs per hour are a wee bit higher.
That this dictum – NOT calculating the cost per hour of sailing on your own boat – is being challenged is apparent by the creeping establishment of sailing opportunities that do not require actually owning the boat. Many sailing schools have programs where once you are certified (in the sailing sense, that is…) you can continue to sail by renting their boats. Sail Newport has a pretty thriving business in doing this with their fleet of J/22s. After a brief checkout sail with an instructor, one can rent their boats in three-hour increments (today’s version of “a three-hour tour…”). Ida Lewis Yacht Club has, in summer, a similar scheme using Sail Newport boats one afternoon a week.
I have a mate who is succumbing to age and the financial obligations of owning a boat. When I suggested the Sail Newport option, he wondered how much a membership is…twenty-five bucks for over 65, I found out on my phone. During the week you can, as a member, rent a J/22 for 75 bucks for three hours. This is not quite rental car rates, but close. Yet we generally do not get the same psychic enjoyment from a car rental as from sailing. OK, a week in a Ferrari on the cornice in Monaco may be an exception. But unless you’re going somewhere to sail: Cowes Week, the BVI or the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race and are chartering a boat for the event, the actual sailing (time) seems to be only some portion of the value. Then this means there are other elements to the value of sailing. In the case of Block Island Race Week, it’s the camaraderie, the dinners, the parties, The Tent, catching up with old mates, meeting new ones, and of course the Yellow Kittens for the young’uns.
Kenneth Graham was prescient of the value of pottering about in boats when he gave the Water Rat the immortal words about messing about in boats. Just being on a boat, at anchor, on the mooring or in the slip can bring an entirely fresh approach to the day. I have written in earlier columns of the effect that a 60-minute beercan race can have on brushing out the cobwebs and its leverage on attitude adjustment. My wife and I both write, and we are getting close to buying a Wi-Fi hotspot for ourselves. The idea being that we can row out to our boat, on its mooring at third beach in Middletown, and simply sit under the awning and write and research as the whim takes us. Admittedly writing, even Coop’s Corner, instead of gazing up or down the Sakonnet, is close to a Herculean task.
At least in my admittedly whacky worldview of sailing and boats, even working on them has value. Not simply because by doing something myself I can avoid paying the yard and save all that cash (assuming I value my own time at about $10 an hour, since I am about ten percent as effective as a yard at doing things on my boat). But I’d much rather come home dusty, smelling of paint and epoxy, and with stiff, sore shoulders and a bung knee from kneeling and sanding the bottom, or working inside the cabin of my Mini than pay the yard to do it. (To all my boatyard-owning mates…no offence intended.) To me, that is all part of the fun. And fun, of course, is invaluable!”
Thanks to Windcheck and Australian Joe “Coop” Cooper, who stayed in the US after the 1980 America’s Cup where he was the boat captain and sailed as Grinder/Sewer-man on Australia. His whole career has focused on sailing, especially the short-handed aspects of it. He lives in Middletown, RI where he coaches, consults and writes on his blog, joecoopersailing.com, when not paying attention to his wife, teenage son, dog, two cats and several, mainly small, boats.
J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent “blogs” written by their prolific publishers. Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You’ll love it.
* The J/40 HERON REACH sailed by Virginia and Jerry is participating in the Blue Planet Odyssey project and have recently joined them in the Marquesas Islands in the Eastern Pacific. Learn more about their adventures and experiences here- http://heronreachodyssey.
* J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands. Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination? A giant whale! Look at this amazing photo!
* Jim & Heather Wilson just completed a circumnavigation of our “blue planet Earth” in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR. Said Jim, “The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now. We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell ‘Painkiller’ at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles). Read more about their adventures in their well-documented blog here: http://www.svceolmor.com/
* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again! We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR. Alan sent us an email update commenting on their passage south this winter, “In mid-December AVATAR completed her sixth transit to her winter Caribbean home, Grand Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI (seen above) from her home port in Quissett (Falmouth), MA. A crew of three, Captain Alan (e.g. me), Crew Pablo Brissett and Mark Conroy, covered the 1,500 nm trip in in her best time to date- 7 Days 5 Hours, averaging 8.7 kts, that’s about 208 nm per day! Amazing passage it was! Rainbow at right far offshore was some of the amazing phenomenon we experienced on this fast offshore passage.
AVATAR will participate in the BVI Sailing Festival/Regatta again in 2013, where last year she won the Nanny Key Cup Cruising Class race around the Island of Virgin Gorda. Here are some photos for you to share with the J/Community at-large. Enjoy!”
Best, Alan Fougere/ AVATAR
* Bill & Judy Stellin recently had an interview about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called “Retiring on the Open Sea”. The Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ’s Editor desks. Here’s the update:
Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers’ Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety
The article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— “Retiring to the Open Sea”— prompted many questions and comments from readers. We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.
WSJ- “What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?”
Bill- “In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.
Although long-distance cruising wasn’t what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.
People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather.”
* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel’s big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand. Their blog is here:http://www.svjarana.blogspot.
* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam after completion of their ARC Rally. Read the latest news athttp://www.sailblogs.com/
* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world’s oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between. Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins?? Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).
– Bill and Susan Grun on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (http://web.me.com/susangrun).
– Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog athttp://www.sailmandalay.com. Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA), then to the South Pacific and New Zealand. MANDALAY is back in San Francisco now, and in the J/World fleet–she is available for skippered charters, private instruction, and corporate/executive groups.
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