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July 16, 2015
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July 22, 2015
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J/11S sailing off La Rochelle, FranceJ/11S- A New 36’ Double-handed, Offshore Racer
(La Rochelle, France)- Just launched in La Rochelle, France this week is a new 36’ (11 meter) double-handed, offshore J designed to compete in the double-handed IRC circuit in Europe. Built by J/Composites, the J/11S starts with the high performance hull of the J/111 and is then rating optimized for its length (from IRC 1.096 down to 1.050) with a shorter VCG-optimized sail plan, increased stability, a twin rudder/single tiller steering system, and simplified deck and interior plan.

While most designs in this genre are focused on offwind sailing in windy conditions (i.e. max beam carried to the transom), the J/11S provides a versatile performance platform that’s ideally suited for most of the popular double-handed races in Europe and North America, where wind and sea conditions vary widely, and where both upwind and downwind performance matters.

“J/Boat owners have had great success in short-handed offshore racing,” said J/Composites president and J/11S project leader Didier LeMoal. “Nearly all our models between 9 and 16 meters have thrived in very demanding events like the double-handed Fastnet, Round Britain and Middle Sea Races. We’re excited to launch a boat that’s even further optimized for short-handed racing.”

There will be the world show debut of the J/11S at Southampton Boat Show in September.  For more information, contact J/Boats at ph# 401-846-8410 or email- info@jboats.com.


Bayview Mackinac raceBayview Mackinac Race Preview
(Port Huron, Michigan) – When it comes to sailboat races, few are more personality-packed than the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, which starts Saturday, July 18 (first class at 11:30).  To begin with, 250 teams are entered; that’s a number many race organizers would die to show on their rosters, yet it’s one that doesn’t surprise host Bayview Yacht Club as the event grows in popularity. Additionally, the teams get to sail either a 259 nm Cove Island Course (for faster, bigger boats) or a 204 nm Shore Course (for all others) over fresh water from lower Lake Huron to a finish on Michigan’s magical horse-and-carriage island of Mackinac. The celebration at the end of the race, including a giant awards party at the Grand Hotel’s Woodfill Park on the Tuesday after the start, is only matched by a week of pre-race festivities in Port Huron, including Friday’s famous Boat Night, when the entries gather along the banks of the Black River for last-minute fun with fellow sailors. On the big day, the fleet parades to the start with thousands of spectators set up on shore to watch, just as if it were the Fourth of July and fireworks were next on the agenda.

“As a sailor, I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said Race Director Peter Wenzler, who has 32 Bayview Mackinac races under his sailing belt. “The Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race is a major event for Port Huron and the region here. It coincides with the Bluewater Festival, and our boats in the race are the centerpiece of that week. Besides the bands and partying on both sides of the river the night before, when you leave on Saturday morning, you hear bagpipes playing at Port Huron Yacht Club, and on the opposite shore, groups of people are sitting there, holding up score cards like you would for a diving competition. Motoring out to the start, you tend to hug the Canadian shoreline, because the current is ripping under the Bluewater Bridge, and as you’re doing that, just 50 feet away on the shore are literally thousands of people who have come to see all the colors, the boats, the crews…hooting and hollering, waving you off to sea. Then, of course, there’s Mackinac Island at the other end; it’s just an idyllic place to be in the middle of summer: the harbor scene is awesome, there are no cars! There’s a reason why sailors build their whole summer around this event.”

Bayview Mackinac race coursesThis is the 91st running of the annual competition, and 2015 counts as extra special, since it’s the Bayview Yacht Club’s 100th anniversary. That milestone has contributed, in part, to an unprecedented 38 first-timers having signed up.  While approximately 82% of the fleet sailed the Shore Course last year, the fleet is more or less split down the middle this year, due to changes in policy that allow the bigger boats only to sail the Cove Island Course.

The largest contingent of J’s are sailing the longer Cove Island Course.  Leading the way with the largest class are the ten J/120s that include their long-time cheerleader Frank Kern on CARINTHIA from Bayview YC.  They will be joined by other teams like Bill Bresser’s FLYIN’ IRISH, Mike & Bob Kirkman’s HOT TICKET, Ed Vermet & John Hughes NAUTI BOYS and Henry Mistele’s NIGHT MOVES.

The next largest fleet of J’s are the classic J/35s that have amassed over time on the Great Lakes.  Amongst the leading boats will surely be Bill Wildner’s MR BILLS WILD RIDE from North Star Sail Club, Ed & John Bayer’s FALCON from Detroit YC and Greg Whipple’s WHIPLASH from Tawas Bay YC.

Next up is the fleet of six J/105s, with notable teams in the mix like last year’s class winner PTERODACTYL skippered by Mark Symonds from Grosse Pointe YC.  Giving them a run-for-the-roses will be Don Harthorn’s SNAKE OIL and Mark Denuyl’s GOOD LOOKIN.

Light air sailing Mac Races

After setting the pace in the Chicago-Mackinac, watch for the top J/111s to do the same in the Bayview version.  Amongst the four 111 teams will be Don Hudak’s CAPERS from Mentor Harbor YC, Dan Kitchens’ SKULL CRACKER from Chicago YC, Tim Clayson’s UNPLUGGED from Port Huron YC and Brad Farber’s UTAH (fresh of the Super Mac!) from Macatawa Bay YC.

In addition, the J/88 SARALYSIA from Bark Shanty Sail Club is racing the long course along with the J/44 SAGITTA sailed by Jon Somes & Larry Oswald from Bayview YC, the J/145 VORTICES skippered by Chris Saxton, the J/133 SIROCCO 3 sailed by Bob Klairmont of Chicago YC, the J/130 WILLE J helmed by Doug Petter of Macatawa Bay YC, the J/33 SHENANIGAN led by the duo of Dick & Dan Synowiec of Ford YC, and the J/109 PHOENX sailed by Bill Hamilton from Lake Shore YC.

The shorter Shore Course is now reserved for the smaller boats like the J/29 RED DOG sailed by Cliff Ruchstuhl from Port Clinton YC, the J/30 CONUNDRUM skippered by Don King from Lake Shore YC, the J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP sailed by Brett Langolf from North Star YC and the J/92 KOHATSU helmed by John Stromberg from the Sandusky Sailing Club.  For more Port Huron Mackinac Race sailing information


J/70s sailing fast under spinnakerJ/70 Winter Circuit Update
(Newport, Rhode Island)- The J/70 Class is returning to Florida in a big way in 2016. It’s not too early to begin planning for a fun winter in the sun.  Here’s a quick head’s up on two major events:

First up will be the new-look Quantum Key West Race Week now managed by Storm Trysail Club.  They are proposing new racing formats and schedule, more information below.

Also, just announced is the 2016 Quantum J/70 Midwinters that will be hosted at St Petersburg Yacht Club in late February.  This regatta will be a nice adjunct to the Davis Island YC Quantum J/70 Winter Series on the west coast of Florida, the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week in March and Charleston Race Week in April. Stay tuned to the J/70 Class site for links to all the events.   For more J/70 Class sailing information


J/70 sailing Fiesta Cup regatta off Santa Barbara, CAFiesta Cup Preview
(Santa Barbara, California)- The 9th annual Fiesta Cup will take place on July 17th to 19th at Santa Barbara Yacht Club and will host J/70’s amongst other one-design classes.  Amongst the cognoscenti of sailors on the “left coast”, this is a regatta not to be missed.  In fact, you might even consider it for your “bucket list” of California sailing events.  Here’s why.

For starters, the SBYC knows how to throw a party and a great regatta. Regatta Chairman- Jane Watkins (who has seen it all from back in the J/24 days) will be working with SBYC Regatta PRO Shawn Hughes to make sure that every need of all the sailors is met with enthusiasm, grace and dignity.  With the J/70s growing increasingly in popularity on the west coast, many of the past SBYC J/24 sailors who’d been left for dead are jumping onto the party mode and planing mode boat of the future- the fun, simple J/70.  Even Pat O’Toole, the locally famous J/24 North American Champion, has hopped aboard and is sailing a new THREE BIG DOGS in the Fiesta Cup!

Secondly, while SBYC sailors love racing offshore in the kelp beds and dodging the numerous sea lions (all very critical local knowledge stuff), there is an awesome luau-styled barbecue that caps off an amazing day of racing Saturday.  With live music and cooks that help you with your D.I.Y. selection of fish, chicken, brats or burgers, it’s a “can’t miss” event on the local social calendar for all “Santa Barbarians”!

J/70s sailing off Santa Barbara, CAWho’s coming?? Almost a “who’s who” of sailors frequenting the west coast circuit. For starters, on Friday, July 17th, none other than the famous Chris Snow (his son- Nevin- is now more famous as a top college sailor/ match racer) from North Sails will be conducting a J/70 clinic from 1400 to 1600 hours.  So, call SBYC and join in for some interesting pointers on how to sail a J/70 fast, even if you’re just thinking about sailing J/70s in the future!

As for the sailors themselves, well, other than rock star Pat O’Toole and the “big dogs”, you have other locals who’ve demonstrated good performances at the top of the class such as Scott & Susan Deardorff’s CAKE, Kenny Kieding’s SMOKE & MIRRORS and Andrew Nunn & Mike Drammer’s ECLIPSE. Joining them from out-of-town will be Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT from Wayzata YC in Minnesota (2nd in the 2014 J/70 Worlds in Newport, RI); Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT from Malibu, CA; Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU from Dana Point YC; and Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR from San Diego YC.   For more J/70 Fiesta Cup sailing photos- Taggart Lee   For more Fiesta Cup sailing information


J/70s sailing off Key West Race WeekInnovative “New” Quantum Key West Race Week
Storm Trysail Club proposes harbor fleet, distance racing, ORC ratings
(Key West, Florida)- The Storm Trysail Club has promised to maintain all the elements that have made Quantum Key West Race Week such a popular event while introducing innovations designed to increase participation.

With the release of the official Notice of Race, organizers with the Storm Trysail Club have proposed several new elements for Quantum Key West Race Week 2016. A harbor course area for smaller sailboats, distance racing for Performance Cruising designs and replacing PHRF with the International ORC rating system are among the creative ideas found in the new NOR.

John Fisher, regatta chairman for Quantum Key West Race Week, said the changes were made in response to feedback from both the United States and international sailboat racing community. Storm Trysail Club conducted a survey of past and potential participants seeking comments on what could be done to improve the event.

“We believe the sailing constituency that revolves around Key West was looking for something different,” Fisher said. “Many, many elements of the regatta are tried and true, but there are other things that needed to be tweaked. We are listening to the sailors that care about Key West Race Week and are attempting to address their desires and needs.”

J/70s sailing off Key West, FL at Race WeekCost has become a concern for some of the amateur programs that were a staple of Key West Race Week at its peak when more than 300 boats were competing on an annual basis. Participation at the annual midwinter regatta took a hit during the worldwide economic downturn, as many of the mom and pop programs just could not afford to spend seven days in the Conch Republic.

“One of the things we’ve heard repeatedly involves the expense of the regatta. Key West is a very popular tourist destination and therefore the cost of meals and lodging can be considerable,” Fisher said.

To address that issue, Storm Trysail is offering the great racing experience of the event condensed into a three-day regatta format for those classes that choose to do so. Fisher said racing would be held Wednesday through Friday for those classes so participants are included in the final awards ceremony.

“Housing and feeding a crew for four or five days as opposed to eight or nine reduces the expense to a level that is more palatable for a segment of boat owners,” Fisher said. “We’re hoping that holding a regatta within a regatta will bring back a segment of skippers who stopped doing Key West because of the cost.”

Acknowledging the declining interest in PHRF racing at Key West has prompted Storm Trysail to make alterations aimed to attract those types of boats anew. One idea is to provide distance racing for Performance Cruising designs, whose skippers would prefer to sail one long race that traverses the keys as opposed to multiple buoy starts. This should be appealing to more casual racers who may not be participating with a complete crew or simply prefer navigation-style courses.

Dick Neville, race committee chairman for Quantum Key West, pointed out that 42 boats competed in last year’s Fort Lauderdale-to-Key West Race, but only four of them entered Quantum Key West 2015.

J/122 Teamwork sailing Key West“We need to give those boat owners a reason to enter our regatta and I think one distance race each day could do that,” Neville said. “My experience is that those Performance Cruising boats would prefer that type of format. We could give them a different course each day and finish them near the harbor so they get back to the dock faster.”

In fact, it is the intention of organizers to eliminate PHRF racing altogether – a strategy that has prompted them to look for solutions offered by the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), an international organization sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation and supported by users in 40 countries around the world. Having evolved from IOR and IMS roots, the organization currently administers two systems – ORC International (ORCi) and ORC Club, both of which are being proposed for use at Quantum Key West Race Week.

Neville noted that nearly 10,000 ORCi and ORC Club certificates will be issued in 2015, and the hope is that adopting the system for Quantum Key West will encourage more foreign owners to register. ORCi is the system used for full-measured boats participating at the highest levels of competition while the ORC Club is intended more for club-based programs.

“We had to face the reality that PHRF boats have been disappearing from the regatta and the logical solution is to offer a different rating system that is more popular worldwide,” said Neville, pointing out that ORC provides three different ratings for windward-leeward courses based on whether the wind is light, medium or heavy. “One of our goals is to attract more overseas boats to Key West, and we are encouraging owners who may have raced PHRF in the past to obtain an ORC Club certificate.”

J/88 sailing off Key West during Race WeekBill Canfield has come aboard as on-site event manager and will be moving to Key West to provide a permanent presence. Herb Reese, a longtime Key West Race Week volunteer, will arrive in the Conch Republic several months before the regatta to help prepare Truman Annex and other shore-side support services.

“We have put together a committee comprised of people with vast experience running regattas,” Fisher said. “We’ve had boots on the ground in Key West already to meet with city leaders and look into the various logistical challenges. We are doing our best to build relationships and develop the organizational infrastructure well in advance of the regatta.”

Ed Reynolds, President of Quantum Sail Design Group, said the title sponsor was pleased with the innovative ideas proposed by the Storm Trysail Club leadership to keep Key West Race Week on the cutting edge.  “Storm Trysail Club has reached out to the sailing community for input on how to improve and grow Quantum Key West Race Week and is taking steps to satisfy the needs and desires of the sailors,” Reynolds said. “We’re pleased to see the proposed innovations designed to spark more interest and we’re looking forward to a great event.”   Sailing photo credits- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing.  For more Quantum Key West Sailing information


J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide

The first week of July has simply been frenetic.  Starting with TWO World Championships in Europe, one for the J/70s in La Rochelle, France and the other for the J/80s in Kiel, Germany.  Then, an entire armada of yacht clubs and J/70 sailors were sailing, simultaneously, the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga in Warnemunde, Germany with 18 teams vying for club honors in that summer-long series.  Just south of them, the Delta-Lloyd Race Week in the Netherlands was also concluding for a fleet of J/22s who were themselves preparing for their J/22 Worlds also coming up next week in Travemunde, Germany; plus some offshore boats like J/122s, J/109s and J/111s were sailing off The Hague.  The week prior, the J/80s in France hosted their Pornic J-Cup in Pornic, France.  Fellow French J sailors also sailed the summer-time favorite, the 18 Hours de Arcachon on the pretty bay that encircles Arcachon, France with a J/122, J/22, J/92 and J/109 participating.  If that wasn’t enough activity in one week, the RORC also hosted their popular Cowes- Dinard- St Malo Race; a number of J’s participated and collected some serious silverware, like J/105s, J/109s, J/133s and J/97s.

Over in the Americas, it was just about as busy.  The Great Lakes premiere offshore race, the Chicago to Mackinac Race, took place with over 300 boats on Lake Michigan; lots of J’s sailed and did well, including J/88s, J/145s, J/35s and fleets of J/105s, J/109s and J/111s.  Simultaneously, the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge race took place on Lake Ontario with a start/ finish line just west of Toronto for J/109s, J/105s and a J/33.  Nearby in Toronto, a fleet of J/24s are currently racing the Pan Am Games, hosted by Royal Canadian YC.  Out West, the J/70s hosted their Pacific Coast Championship off St Francis YC on San Francisco Bay.  Finally, last week saw the first start of three waves of starters for the 2,225nm Transpac Race, with a J/105, J/120, J/133 and J/46 starting Monday and a fleet of J/125s starting on Thursday.

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.


Regatta & Show Schedules:

Jun 28- Rolex Trans-Atlantic Race- Newport, RI
Jul 10-26- J/24 Pan Am Games- Toronto, ONT, Canada
Jul 11-19- Larchmont Race Week- Larchmont, NY
Jul 17-19- Fiesta Cup Regatta (J70, J105)- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 13- Transpac Race- Los Angeles, CA
Jul 16-18- Edgartown Annual Regatta- Edgartown, MA
Jul 17-19- UK J/24 Nationals- Plymouth, England
Jul 18- Bayview- Mackinac Island Race- Port Huron, MI
Jul 19-25- J/22 World Championship- Travemunde, Germany
Jul 23-26- J/70 New England Championship- Marblehead, MA
Jul 23-26- Helley Hansen Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 25-26- CanAm Challenge- Youngstown, NY
Jul 25-26- J/88 Great Lakes Championship- Youngstown, NY
Jul 25-26- J/105 Great Lakes Championship- Youngstown, NY

For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.


Julian Fernandez and Flojito Y Cooperando crewViva Mexico!  Fernandez Wins J/70 Worlds!
Ling’s RAF SPITFIRE Takes Corinthians!
(La Rochelle, France)- Sun and wind dominated the 2015 J/70 World Championship, and the J/70 itself put on the show this week in La Rochelle, France.  Superb sailing conditions and fierce competition marked the week, which ends with the victory of the Mexican team FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO (MEX 384) and its skipper Julian Fernandez Neckelmann. The crew included fellow Mexican Erik Brockman and Americans Bill Hardesty and Willem Van Way.  In the Corinthian fleet, it was the Englishman Simon LING on the TEAM RAF BENEVOLENT FUND SPITFIRE (GBR 123) who won the amateur trophy with crew Craig Burlton, Ian Southworth and Tony Hanlon.

It was one of the more memorable weeks of sailing for most of the eighty J/70 teams that hailed from seventeen countries and all five major continents.  Starting on Monday’s measurement day and Tuesday’s practice day, the teams got accustomed to sailing in “classic” La Rochelle summer weather conditions.  Albeit a bit warm at the outset, the next few days brought the “northwesterlies” the bay off La Rochelle is renowned for, with winds ranging in the 8 to 17 kts range.  Only on Friday did the fleet experience an offshore easterly that challenged the sailors’ tactical capabilities.  As host of the J/70 Worlds, the Societe Regates Rochelaises team did a fantastic job both on and offshore, with solid race management on the water and fun, easy-going onshore festivities after the racing.

J/70s sailing Worlds off La Rochelle, FranceFirst day
There was a lot of sun, some clouds and a good wind for the first day. The first two days of sailing were scheduled for start times at 1300 hours.  The competitors left the port in the late morning to get to the racing area. Three races were held Wednesday, under a partly cloudy sky and with a slightly oscillating wind between 12 to 17 knots from the west.

Around half past one, after a general recall, the competitors took their first start of the Championship, a start under black flag. A clockwise rotation of the wind required a change of course, and it was the English team on BOATS.COM skippered by Ian Atkins who won the first race in 53 minutes- this year’s Spi Ouest France winner in the J/70.  At the start, the wind shifted so far left (approximately 45 degrees), that not one boat could cross the line on starboard; the entire fleet ended up flipping onto port tack to clear the line and the left-most teams never had to tack to lay the first mark.  From there, the first run became a reach down the track, but a course change for the next two legs ensured more proper windward-leeward legs.

The second race was more difficult since the tidal current combined with the wind were pushing the boats on the line. Three general recalls were necessary before having a good start, and more than a eighteen boats were declared BFD (disqualified for premature start) for that race and had to wait for the start of the next and last race of the day.

J/70s sailing first race of J/70 Worlds- La Rochelle, FranceAfter the first day, it was Mexico’s Fernandez sailing FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO that took the overall lead. Just behind in second place was the US team HELLY HANSEN with Tim Healy as skipper, the 2014 J/70 World Championship winner. As Tim explained, “The conditions were good, but the wind was a bit shifty which made the race quite tricky. We missed such a change during the third race so we didn’t make a very good start, but we managed to climb back into the race to 13th, which was not so bad. Anyway, we have not been BFD today, like many competitors, which is good.”  With a crew he knows very well and with whom he is used to sailing for several years, Tim HEALY was happy with the first day in La Rochelle on a body of water he did not know but had heard off. However, he is well aware that nothing is determined yet for the championship, saying, “This is a large fleet, and everyone came very well prepared. The best are here, so inevitably, there will be excellent competition, but if conditions remain as they were, it will be a good week. ”

In third place overall, was the Italian team on CALVI NETWORK and its skipper Carlo Alberini, who won the J/70 European Championship in 2014.

In the Corinthian classification of the event, leading the fleet and in 5th place overall in the Open Division was the English team of Simon Ling on RAF SPITFIRE, followed bu the USA team of Heather Gregg on MUSE in 6th overall and 2nd Corinthians.  Taking third was GILL RACE TEAM’s skipper Ian Wilson.

Second day
After the races of the first day, three charter boats were in the top 10, which shows that with little time to train, the crews have managed to find their marks very easily and be competitive. Having left the harbour in the late morning, the competitors competed three more races Thursday under a clear blue sky.

The crews enjoyed a thermal breeze between 8 to 17 knots from 270 to 280, typical of La Rochelle, that maintained itself throughout the afternoon. Lovely weather and some ideal conditions gave rise to some wonderful races. The Mexican team on FLOJITO won the third race (race 6) and remained in first place in the provisional rankings. The Italian team on CALVI took second position overall after the day, just ahead of the English led by Ian ATKINS on BOATS.COM. Like the day before, racing started at 1300 hrs and the sailors did not even get back into the docks until around 7pm, the light being so bright and sun so high that you could have mistaken the time for being later afternoon anywhere else!

J/70 fleet at sunsent- La Rochelle, FranceThird day
Yesterday evening, the crews enjoyed a dinner party with a beautiful view on the harbor and the sunset. Encounters, jokes and cheerfulness were on the menu, but the competition resumed early Friday morning. The crews reported to “duty” significantly earlier than the previous two days, having to leave the port by 0900 hrs in order to make a starting time of 1030 hrs out on the bay.

Under a radiant sun and a cloudless sky, the crews completed two races in an incredibly shifty easterly wind that started at 6-12 kts, increased to 8-15 kts, then died back off to around 6-10 kts.  The English on BOATS.COM (GBR 557) and Italians on NOTARO TEAM (ITA 725) each won a race that morning, but it was still not enough to overturn the top two.

Mexico’s Julian Fernandez from the Valle de Bravo fleet west of Mexico City and his crew were still leading the competition on FLOJITO. Just behind, Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK.  However, it was Tim Healy on HELLY HANSEN that took back third place overall from Atkins and the BOATS.COM crew.

There was only a few points between the top five crews so there could be still some surprises before the end of the regatta. Especially since in fourth place was the Italian NOTARO TEAM (ITA 725) and its skipper Luca DOMENICI- the won the 8th race. Giallongo Benedetto from the Italian crew explained, “We have a very good tactician, Diego Negri, and we usually are well positioned in the beginning, but we still need to work on our teamwork and our mastery of the boat in the strongest winds.”

In the Corinthian class, the English were now leading the competition with Ling’s RAF SPITFIRE in first with Ian Wilson’s GILL RACE TEAM in second and Heather Gregg’s American crew on MUSE now in third overall.

J/70s starting at World Championship- La Rochelle, FranceFinal day
Saturday dawned with a slightly cooler temperature than Friday and a 5-10 knot wind at 300 for race 9 and 260-270 for the last race. It was the Australian Steve McCONAGHY on VAMOS that won race 9, followed by the English LITTLE LOUISE and Elisabeth Vaillant on TRISKELL. Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY was victorious in the tenth and final race of the championship.

With the final tally scored for all teams, nothing changed in the top three for both divisions.  Fernandez’s FLOJITO earned a well-deserved victory and was crowned Mexico’s first World Champion of any International Class in over 38 years!  They were followed by Alberini’s Italian crew on CALVI (Sergio Blosi, Brcin Branko, Karlo Hmeljak) in second and Healy’s American team on HELLY HANSEN (John Mollicone, Gordon Borges, Geoff Becker) in third.  Taking fourth was Englishman Ian Atkin’s and crewBOATS.COM (Rory Scott, Ben Field, Dan Brown) and in fifth was the Italian skipper Franco Solerio and crew on L’ELEGAIN (Daniele Cassinari, Simon Alltree, Luca Albarelli).

J/70 RAF Spitfire from Great BritainIn the Corinthians, Ling’s TEAM RAF SPITFIRE (Craig Burlton, Ian Southworth, Tony Hanlon) took first followed by Wilson’s GILL RACE TEAM (Geoff Carveth, Marshall King, Martin Cowel) in second and Gregg’s MUSE team (Stuart Johnstone, Joe Bardenheier, Patrick Powell) in third overall.  Rounding out the top five was Frenchman Ludovic Senechal’s crew on LULU NANTAISE (Glen Hiliquin, Bertrand Maillard, Rodolphe Deschamps) in fourth and Malta’s Sebastian Ripard on TEAM BETS-ON (Benji Borg, Matt Sicluna, Gordon Budgeja) in fifth place.

Thanks again to the team at Societe Regate Rochelaises for magnificent sailing in the historical seaport of La Rochelle.  Also, thanks to SPERRY for the Sailing Anarchy.com coverage by Alan Block, Petey Crawford and Sander van der Borsch.   Sailing photo credits- Christophe Breschi   J/70 Worlds sailing videos here.
J/70 Overlap Productions video summary here.    For more J/70 World Championship sailing information

SPERRY/ Sailing Anarchy coverage:
Day 3- http://sailinganarchy.com/2015/07/11/get-it-while-its-hot/
Day 2- http://sailinganarchy.com/2015/07/10/once-you-go-black/
Day 1- http://sailinganarchy.com/2015/07/09/black-and-blue/


J/80 Worlds winners- Rayco TabaresSpain’s Tabares Repeats J/80 Worlds!
(Kiel, Germany)- The proud Spaniards are again wearing the crown as J/80 World Champions. At the end of the World Championship off Kiel, two Iberian teams staged a dramatic finale, in which the crew of HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA with skipper Rayco Tabares sailed past their countrymen to take the title.  Marc de Antonio, skipper of BRIBON MOVISTAR, couldn’t have been more thoroughly disappointed – he had led the regatta from the very first day onward. Third place was secured by the French on CO-PILOTES skippered by top woman sailor Maxime Mesnil.  She managed to top the strongly emerging team from Bremen, Germany- PROCEDES DIVA skippered by Björn Beilken.

The weather scenario all week long caused the fifty teams from eight nations all kinds of difficulties, with conditions ranging from light to strong winds.  The third day of racing was canceled because it blew 50 knots on Kiel Bay. On the final day, the storm of the previous day had died down on Friday morning, but strong gusts of up to 30 knots blew across the racing course.

J/80 Bribon Movistar sailed by Marc de AntonioThe race officer, Fabian Bach, signaled an earlier start for sailing and left no doubts that he wanted to get three fast races underway. “Everything went down well; the competitors were also quite satisfied. Many of them offered their thanks at the finishing line”, the race officer explained. The wind conditions were challenging but the basic wind force was stable, Bach explained, who hoisted the black flag after a premature start on the 1st day’s race, bringing the crews under tightened terms across the starting line. At the end of the week, he voiced satisfaction with his team’s work. The praise was echoed by Thore Hansen, the managing director of the marketing agency POS: “The entire team worked perfectly in the preparation and execution of the World Championship. We are proud to have such volunteers from the Kieler Yacht-Club and the German J/80 Class Association gathered together”. The conditions provided a great World Championship. “We started with light winds for the practice race, and then had spectacular sailing during the following races. Kiel put on its smiling face and offered good conditions for all sailors,” Hansen explained.

J/80s sailing World Championships off Kiel, GermanyOn the last day, the visitors to the Olympic Center at Schilksee were offered great viewing of the racing directly off the jetty, as the crews in gusty winds turned around the luff buoy and hoisted their gennaker. The perfectly working team of the Rayco Tabares Alvarez didn’t miss the big chance of displaying quality seamanship in this type of “stadium sailing”: “We are a family crew, sailing together for many years, integrating the tasks,” explained the overjoyed skipper of HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA on reaching the harbour. “We prefer a little less wind, but in the first two races of the day everything simply worked better than for our competitors for the title”.

With a victory at the start of the day and a 4th place in the following race, the team from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands had already secured the crown. The 6th place became the throw-out result for Tabares, who also had his wife on board. “This title means unbelievably much to us. It’s our second victory since 2009. We came to win, but knew it would be difficult fighting our compatriots. In the first few days, we had to come to terms with the charter boat. During the Championship we gradually found our best trim”.  Sailing with Tabares was his crew of Domingo Falero Lasso, Oliver Herrera Perez, Laiyin Le Torres and Hector Gonzales Jorge.

Contrary feelings prevailed on BRIBON MOVISTAR, who even with a win in the last race could not secure the victory, after dropping back to the 6th place on the previous race. “Today of all days – the most important one – our maneuvers were not good, and we made wrong tactical decisions. The starts were generally ok, but at the first buoys we had already lost the race”, skipper de Antonio explained. “The win at the end improved our spirits but, in general, we are very disappointed”. de Antonio’s crew included Gustavo Martinez, Ricardo Terrades, Sofia Bertrand and Gonzalo Morales.

Taking third overall, and the highest finish of a woman sailor ever in the J/80 class was Maxime Mesnil’s French team on CO-PILOTES, comprised of Yann Chateau, Sophie Faguet and Yann Rigal.

J/80 Worlds starting line- Kiel, GermanyEven though PROCEDES DIVA didn’t secure a place on the podium, the crew of Björn Beilken showed satisfaction about the World Championship: “A place on the podium would have been perfect, as this was our final competition in this class,” explained tactician Jork Homeyer. “But we’re satisfied. We aimed at a placing in the top ten and toward the end came very close to secure a medal, which we didn’t even dare to hope for. And then to win a day’s race in the World Championship was great”.

Behind them in fifth place was Sven Vagt’s German team on BOOTSWERFT WINKLER with crew of Tobias Teichmann, Jork Homeyer and Alex Beilken.

The top British team was Jon Powell’s BETTY in 9th, top Danish team was Johnny Jensens’ BHJ-DONDEN in 14th, top Italian team was Massimo Rama’s JENIALE AKEWUELE, top Swedish team was Lars Gellerhed’s MK-PRODUKTER in 23rd and top Netherlands team was Pip de Vries’ LED2LEASE in 32nd.

Andreas Rose, chairman of the German J/80 Class Association, summarized the World Championship in these few words: “It was a great week with difficult conditions, but also with light-wind competitions. In any case we had a lot of fun”. Kiel’s Lord Mayor, Dr. Ulf Kämpfer, was impressed at the Prize Giving Ceremony: “You presented great sport and superb sportsmanship. It was an honour to have had you here. Once more you have put Kiel in the focus of German sailing”.

The chairman of Kieler Yacht-Club, Karsten Krage, thanked the competitors of eight nations: “Thank you very much for coming to Kiel and offering us such thrilling races. We are looking forward to seeing you next year at Kieler Woche”.

The J/80 Worlds were sponsored by Helly Hansen, Faber+ Münker, RWE, the Friesischen Brewery of Jever, Pantaenius Yacht insurance, the “Segler Zeitung“, ”WetterWelt“, the “Offenen Kanal Kiel“ and the State Capital Kiel.   For more J/80 World Championship sailing information


J/88 sailing Chicago-Mackinac raceSlow, Fly-swatting Chicago-Mac Race
J/88 Wins Class, J/35s Sweep Level 35s!
(Chicago, IL)- It was never going to be a record year for the 107th running of the 289nm Chicago to Mackinac Island Race.  The weather forecast for lightish airs after the Saturday start followed by even lighter airs on Sunday made for less than riveting conversations about how to fully deploy “fly nets” over the companionways to keep out the bugs!  Nevertheless, the fleet did benefit from the fact that a massive frontal system replete with thunderstorms missed most of the fleet late Saturday, then another bank of storms Sunday night packing squalls with 75 mph hurricane-force gusts also blew through to the south of the fleet.

The J contingent did enjoy (on a handicap basis, that is) the light to moderate reaching conditions; particularly the asymmetric boats.  For the first 150 or so miles to Point Betsie along the Michigan shoreline, the first major “turning mark”, the boats that did best stayed east of the fleet and, in fact, east of the rhumbline. Once past Point Betsie, it was a straight reach for 60nm up the Manitou Straits, past Beaver Island to the Greys Reef turning point.

Chicago-Mackinac race courseThe eleven J/111s sailed fast in the light going for most of the Mac Race.  For a period of time, Richard Hobbs’ HOBGOBLIN was both the projected J/111 class winner and the Chicago-Mackinac Trophy winner.  However, ultra-slow times in the Manitous to Grey’s Reef segment of 60nm or so killed those chances for an overall win.  Nevertheless, with HOBGOBLIN winning class, it was Dave Irish’s NO SURPRISE again reaching the podium for the third year in a row, taking second in class.  Third was Brad Farber’s UTAH, fourth, Rich Witzel’s ROWDY and fifth (the runner-up from the J/111 World Championship in Newport, RI) the trio of Karl Brummel/ Steve Henderson and Mike Mayer on KASHMIR.

The nine boat J/109 fleet had a close fight all the way from the start to the finish line with Doug Evans’ TIME OUT winning class by just 3:40 over the MOMENTUS trio (Kevin Saedi, George & Robin Simkins).  Third was James Murray’s CALLISTO and 2 minutes back was David Gustman’s NORTHSTAR.  Fifth was Bob Evans’ GOAT RODEO

The J/105 class had a huge turnout of twenty-two boats for this year’s race.  After the flies and dust cleared over the lake, it was Ken Ganch’s GONZO winning by just minutes over classmate Terry Timm & David Laidlaw on SEND IN THE CLOWNS in second and Carter Williams’ CREATIVE DESTRUCTION in third.  Rounding out the top five were Clark Pellet’s SEALARK in 4th and Robert Amos’ SOUTHBOUND in 5th.

The Level 35 class had six J/35s participating and the known rock stars swept the podium in the class with David Timmer’s HAT TRICK taking class honors followed by classmates TOUCH OF GREY (Larry Schell) in second and Richard Stage’s ALPHA PUPPY in third.

In the Chicago-Mac Trophy division Section 2 the J/145 MAIN STREET sailed by Bill Schanen and family from Port Washington YC took 7th while Chris Saxton’s J/145 VORTICES from Bayview YC placed 11th.

In Section 3, Robert Klairmont’s J/133 SIROCCO 3 from Chicago YC took 3rd followed by Tom & Beth Ann Papoutsis’s J/133 RENEGADE from Columbia YC in 5th.

The J/120s and J/122s had a tough battle in Section 4. Mitch Padnos’ J/122 SUFFICIENT REASON from Macatawa Bay YC was 6th, Matt Songer’s J/122 EVVAI from Marquette YC took 7th, Robert Mampe’s J/122 GOTTA WANTA was 9th, and Frank Giampoli’s J/120 JAHAZI was 10th.

In the Mackinac Cup Division, taking Section 6 honors was Ben Wilson’s J/88 RAMBLER with the three Metcalf’s (Bruce, Chris, Eric) J/35 BOZOS CIRCUS taking second!  Then, Matt Beer’s J/33 RETRIEVER placed 7th and Rich & Lori Stearns’ J/88 HOKEY SMOKE placed 8th.

In the Super-Mac Race, the teams are still sailing.  In Division 2 is Dan Kitchen’s J/111 SKULL CRACKER and Doug Petter’s J/130 WILLIE J.  In Division 3 is  Mark Symonds’ J/105 PTERODACTYL and John Madey’s J/92 CYCLONE.  For more Chicago Mackinac Race sailing information


J/70s sailing Deutsche Segel-bundesligaNRV Wins J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga III
(Warnemunde, Germany)- The eighteen sailing clubs in the top league in Germany sailed the third event of the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga this past weekend in Warnemunde, Germany from July 5th to 7th on the Baltic Sea.  After suffering from incredibly light winds on the first two days of the regatta, the forecasted 20-30 kt winds on Sunday thankfully moderated quickly in the morning so that the regatta PRO could get in a round-robin of just ten races in the end.  As a result, it was the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein team that took the series to improve their overall standings in the DSBL series to third overall.

On the first day, sailing was postponed until nearly 5pm in the early evening.  At that point, a series of 16 races were quickly run for the sailors.  The patience of the sailors of the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga was being put to the test. “I do not know when I sailed the last time that it was so boring,” said Phil Blinn from the Deutscher Touring YC. “But, after 1700 hrs, we did go racing and it was really, really exciting!! Plus, it was light until nearly 2000 hrs, so it was no problem, the sailing near sunset was beautiful!”

J/70s sailing German sailing leagueThe second day of the regatta proved to be good for some teams, and not so good for other teams. In short, the weather conditions were fantastic and the sailors were grinning from ear-to-ear such that each race produced more drama than the next!  Each shift, each puff produced enormous changes in the team rankings.  Hop on a plane there, dig hard on a soak mode there, and all hell broke loose for everyone.  Challenging, but fun for all.  High voltage sailing on the water that was enjoyed by everyone.

After the dust settled, it was the defending champions from Hamburg that threw down the best cards and posted a strong comeback to win the third act of the DSBL.  NRV’s two bullets in their last two races secured their win.  “My team is just sailed sensational. Today was the perfect ending and it was bursting with fun – with the wind and the wave,” says helmsman Johannes Polgar, who again sailed with Niklas Meyerinck, Florian Weser and Miklas Meyer.

J/70s sailing German BundesligaBehind them in second place was the Württembergische YC and the overall DSBL league leaders, the Deutscher Touring YC (DTYC) in third place.

After the first three regattas, the overall DSBL league standings show that Deutsche Touring YC is in first with a 1-4-3 record for 8 pts followed by Flensburger SC’s team with a 2-6-7 tally for 15 pts and in third is Norddeutscher Regatta Verein’s crew with a 7-13-1 record for 21 pts.  Tied with NRV in the overall standings is Verein Seglerhaus am Wansee with a 9-2-10 score of 21 pts and just behind them to round out the top five are Chiemsee YC with a 4-1-17 for 22 pts beating on a tie-break the Segelkameradschaft Wappen von Bremen crew with an 11-5-6 score for 22 pts as well.

The next date for the DSBL is Travemunde Week from 18 to 20 July 2015 on the Baltic Sea. Thanks to the partnership between SAP and the Travemunde Week, the race of the German Bundesliga sailing will be a “live broadcast” to the mobile TV studio and the SAP Sail Cube for the spectators and fans.  For more J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information


J/44 sailing Transpac RaceTranspac Race Update
(Los Angeles, CA)- On Saturday, July 11th, the Transpacific Yacht Club hosted the “Aloha Send-Off Party” in the band shell next to Gladstone’s Restaurant. Then, on July 13th the first of the three starts takes place.  First off to Honolulu on the classic 2,225nm race will be Division 7 with four J teams sailing- Yasuhide Kobayashi’s J/120 JULIAN from Zushi Marina YC in Japan; Ed Sanford’s J/105 CREATIVE from San Diego YC; the Jorgensen Brothers’ J/133 PICANTE from Los Angeles YC and Paul Stemier’s J/44 PATRIOT from Newport Harbor YC.  On the same start in Division 8 will Robert Pace’s J/46 ANDIAMO from Coronado Racing Association.

Three days later, Division 4 takes off on July 16th with three J/125s vying for offshore bragging rights with these rocketships.  The trio includes Greg Slyngstad’s HAMACHI, Tim Fuller’s RESOLUTE and Viggo Torbenson’s TIMESHAVER.

Thursday update:  The Horses are on the Track! Under clear skies and in a light westerly breeze that is promising to build through the evening, the first 22 entries in Divisions 7 and 8 have started their 2225-mile race today in the 48th edition of the LA-Honolulu Transpac. The Transpacific YC organizes this biennial ocean-racing classic.

J/120 Julia sailing Transpac RaceThe fleet starting today was a broad mix of designs; from the 1907 sail-training schooner, Martha sailed by a crew of 11 to the modern J designs like the J/sprit boats (J/105, J/120 & J/133). All must clear the West End of Catalina Island before heading over the horizon en route to a finish line at Diamond Head on the island of Oahu.

The weather forecast looks favorable for this fleet to get out off the coast: for tonight through Wednesday the northwest wind is forecast to be 10-20 knots with 4-8-foot seas from 60 to 150 miles off the Southern California coast. The headings the crews take will then depend on their overall strategy: stay close to the rhumb line to minimize distance, or stray south, typically to get to more breeze.

But, the navigational challenge is complicated.  With the El Nino upon us this year, the patterns are not typical for the northern Pacific: warm surface waters on the coast have created many anomalies in the weather patterns, including the drought conditions experienced in California over the past year and more, and even the cold winters in the East.

Another effect of the warm water is to allow tropical cyclones to drift further north than usual, and some may affect those in the southerly routes of the Transpac course, explained forecaster Joe Sienkiewicz, Acting Director of the NOAA/NWS Ocean Prediction Center, in his weather briefing on Saturday.

While this sounds ominous, it may also be a blessing: the combination of the Lows to the south combined with a strong High to the north can compress the gradient into creating favorable conditions for fast rides to Hawaii. After all, Transpac records were broken in other El Nino years too: Merlin’s record set in 1977 and Alfa Romeo’s existing record set in the last El Nino in 2005.

All boats have GPS trackers provided by Yellowbrick, where the boat’s position, speed and heading will be continuously reported on the Yellowbrick website (with a 6 hour delay). The first official 0600 PDT position reports will need to be reported by 0700 PDT tomorrow, and about an hour later will be collated and ready for posting.

Starting July 14 there will also be the first of a daily race analysis video made by Seahorse Magazine USA editor Dobbs Davis, with the link viewable on the race website.

There will also be blogs sent from the boats posted on the race website with photos and stories available on the Transpac Facebook page. Photos from the starts, finishes and other official events fromSharon Green and her team at Ultimate Sailing will become available soon.  For more Transpac Race sailing information


J/109 winner of Lake Ontario 300 Challenge raceJ/109 Wins Lake Ontario 300
(Mississauga, Ontario, Canada)- While the Trans Superior Race of 600+ miles may be the longest race on the Great Lakes (other than the occasional SuperMac), the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge continues to be the premiere offshore race on Lake Ontario and certainly one of the most challenging circumnavigations of any of the Great Lakes. A group of double-handed racers originally developed the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge as the ultimate double-handed challenge in 1990 and it still remains the longest annual fresh water race.  The Main Duck Island course is 300nm and starts at PCYC. It includes mark roundings at Gibraltar, the Main Duck Islands, Ford Shoal, Niagara R2 and finishes back at PCYC.

Sailing this year’s Main Duck Island Course in IRC 2 Class was Leszek Siek’s J/35 JAEGER from Port Credit YC, they managed to pull off a 4th overall.

In the PHRF 1 Class, Murray Gainer’s J/109 LIVELY absolutely crushed their colleagues in the largest class in the event and took first overall by a substantial margin!  Fellow classmate, Graham Toms’ J/120 THE CAT CAME BACK, sailed a well-earned 4th in class.

Finally, in the PHRF 3 class, Bonnie Rieb’s J/33 DAYBREAK from Toronto took 3rd! They were followed by two J/105s- Geoff Clarke’s CASUAL ELEGANCE in 6th place and Tom Accardo’s SOTTOVENTO taking 8th position.

This year, the LO300 racers had to share their waters with the sailing events of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games that will be taking place in the Toronto Inner Harbour and just south of the Toronto Islands in July.  As a result, the LO300 organizers adjusted the initial part of the course, removing Gibraltar as a mark and adding a mark offshore, southeast of the start, to be left to port.   For more Lake Ontario 300 Race sailing information


J/22 sailing Delta-Lloyd Race Week- the NetherlandsSunny Delta-Lloyd Week Loved By All!
(Grevelingen, The Netherlands)- From the 26th of June to the 5th of July, the race organizers of the famous Delta-Lloyd Race Week host one of the world’s largest regattas right off The Hague and the harbor in Zierikzee.  The larger boats race offshore while the smaller one-design boats, like the J/22 class, race inshore.

The J/22s enjoyed a cross-section of weather conditions over the three days of their regatta on the Zierikzee.  With light to moderate conditions, the PRO managed to provide them seven races in total.  The overall winner was Michiel van der Struijk from Loosdrecht with J’MIGDPEEMIG, winning by a large margin counting four 1st places in their scoreline. van der Struijk’s crew are training for the J/22 World Championships to be held in the second half of July in Travemünde, Germany.

In addition to the one-design sailing, the famous “Veronica Race” took place on July 4th and had a special race course this year.  Right at the start at 08.00 am, there was a light east wind of more than 8 knots, which led to a start under spinnaker, not common, but in this case unavoidable. Gradually, the wind changed regularly in direction and strength during the race, sometimes completely calm and sometimes blowing up to 17 knots. Upon returning to the finish, the sailors could finish downwind under spinnakers coming back in the opposite direction from the start (which also started under spinnakers!).  It was a strange sensation for the sailors to come home using the same sails they started with!

Making the most of the shifty conditions was the J/122 JUNIQUE sailed by C. Revelman and P. Bakker Klaaswaal, winning their ORC 1 Class overall.   For more Delta-Lloyd Race Week sailing information


J/80s racing off FranceBrezellec Crowned Pornic J-Cup Champion
(Pornic, France)- The Club Nautique Pornic recently hosted twenty-three J/80s for the annual Pornic J-Cup sailed from June 27th to 29th on Pornic Bay.  After sailing seven races on a beautiful weekend in France, it was the long-time J/80 Champion, Eric Brezellec on COURIER JUNIOR that took the overall Pornic J Cup championship with his crew of Nicolas Richard, Damien Dayot, Julie Richeux, and Herve Corlay.  The COURIER JUNIOR team did not even have to sail the last race, but they did anyhow, and finished with a stunning scoreline of two 1sts and five 2nds to win by the enormous margin of ten points.

The first day of sailing was gorgeous, with the promised postcard perfect conditions greeting the fleet with winds from 270 to 340 degrees and blowing 6-12 kts under sunny skies.  As if the first day was not nice enough, the second day brought even more sunny conditions with westerly winds in the 8-17 kts range.  The, surprise surprise, the final day of racing produced more sun and a southerly breeze, for a change, with sunny conditions and winds in the 5-7 kts range that ultimately did shift to the regular seabreeze from the west, again!!

Beside COURIER JUNIOR’s dominating performance, also loving the benign sailing conditions was ATLANTIS, with skipper Gael Jaffrezic and crew of Benjamin Diouris, Hugues Bernard and Jean-Yves Jaffrezic taking second by a comfortable margin.  Their consistent record of 5-3-5-5-2-1-4 for 20 pts net was five points in front of Herve Leduc’s PIERRE OCEANE in third place.  Leduc’s crew consisted of Loic Avram, Stephane Barrazu and Jacky Lambert.  The rest of the top five was determined by a tie-breaker between JO’LINE and CNP BROUILLON LASSALLE, both sitting on 27 pts each.  Winning the tie-break was Hugo Abeguile’s JO’LINE with crew of Luc Pillot, Paul Medinger, Elliot Le Dem and Pierre-Louis Ramee.  Fifth was Remi Rabbe’s crew that included Frank Vallet, Guillaume Accarion, Thibaud Lab and Geoffrey Banasiak.  For more J/80 Pornic J-Cup sailing information


J/70s sailing San Francisco BayKostanecki Is J/70 PCC Champion
(San Francisco, CA)- The first J/70 Pacific Coast Championship took place over the July 10th to 12th weekend, hosted by St Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay.  With thirteen boats participating, Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER team sailed a very consistent series to win the PCCs with 38 pts in ten races.

The StFYC PRO provided the crews classic San Francisco Bay “stadium-style” sailing, with starts either in front of the yacht club or just in front of Alcatraz Island.  Sailing in typical Bay breezes, the J/70s enjoyed the complete range of sailing, from displacement modes in the lighter morning breezes to planing modes in the afternoons.

The racing was very close overall for the top five, not one boat winning more than two races out of the ten sailed!  Just ten points, in fact, separated the top five boats!  And, amazingly enough, top three scores were counted for all boats down to 8th place!  That’s highly competitive and close racing!

Starting off like a rocket on the first day was David Schumann’s BOTTLE ROCKET, posting a 1-2-3-1 to easily lead the regatta.  However, like a bottle rocket, they appeared to flame out later in the series and just barely held on to finish second overall for the series with 41 pts.

By contrast, initiating their series with moderate finishes on the first day was Kostanecki’s JENNIFER, recording scores of 2-3-6-6 to hang on to a top three position.  However, their last four races of 2-4-1-7 enabled them to rapidly climb to the top of the leaderboard to take the overall title.

Behind the top two boats, it was nothing short of a dog fight for third on the podium.  All four boats were essentially tied going into the last set of races and the outcome was less than clear to anyone even after the smoke cleared in the final race.  Sailing his first major J/70 regatta was Pat Toole from Santa Barbara YC, sailing 3 BIG DOGS II with much the same crew he had on his famous J/24.  After starting slowly the first day, Toole and crew figured out how to sail the J/70 in a blow and closed fast on the leaders with a 2-1-3-2-4 in his last five races to finish tied on points at 44 pts each with fellow Santa Barbarian, Scott Deardorff on CAKE.  3 BIG DOGS took the tie-breaker over CAKE, finishing 3rd and 4th, respectively.

Just behind the two Santa Barbara teams were two San Francisco Bay locals, also finishing in a virtual tie.  By taking 2nd in the last race, Sean Svendsen’s crew on ONCELER secured 5th overall by one point over Peter Cameron’s PRIME NUMBER.  Great racing, great fun was had by all— many of the teams will be sailing both the J/70 North Americans in San Diego in September and the J/70 World Championship on San Francisco Bay in 2016.  Sailing photo credits- Pressuredrop.us.  For more J/70 Pacific Coast Championship sailing information


J/105 sailing North Sea to FranceJ/105s Crush St Malo Race
(Cowes, England)- The RORC Season’s Points Championship continued last weekend with the highly popular Cowes Dinard-St Malo Race. With 173 entries, the 151 nautical mile race featured the largest RORC fleet since the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race. With an 0850 hrs start time, the teams sail west out of the Solent and around marks consisting of Casquets- Les Hanois- St Malo finish.

The weather forecast was promising, but no one expected race records to be set.  In short, the weather was fabulous, the breeze on big time and the race was nothing short of sensational. The British MOD 70 trimaran CONCISE 10 set a multihull record of 9:12:35 and Mike Slade’s 100 ft Maxi LEOPARD destroyed the monohull record by two hours.

In IRC Two-Handed, three British teams racing J/105s swept the podium. Alex Adams and Chris Holliman on VOADOR won the class from JESTER, sailed by Kelvin Rawlings and Stuart Childerley. Nick Martin’s DIABLO-J was third. That was quite an extraordinary feat for the 20+ year old J/105 design, sailing against all the latest hot IRC designs from European boat shops!  The three musketeers performance was so emphatic that the same three J/105s took 6th, 7th and 9th IRC Overall and crushing many of the top JPK 10.10s and JPK 10.80s and Sun Fast 3600s in the process!!  Of note, the 2013 IRC Two-handed and IRC Overall winner of the Fastnet Race, the JPK 10.10 RAGING BEE, placed 5th in class in this race— a former French J/105 owner himself!

Not to be outdone by their stablemates, the other J teams also faired quite well in the race.  The French offshore team of Gilles Fournier and Pierre Viard sailed the J/133 PINTIA to 10th IRC Overall and 3rd in IRC Two class.  The famous J/122 PENN AZEN, also from France, has found new life being sailed by her new owner Daniel Collin, posting a 4th in IRC Two class and 17th IRC Overall.  A third French boat, the J/133 BLACK JACK, was sailed by Eric Gicquel into 9th in IRC Two class.

The J/133 JINGS skippered by David Ballantyne from Great Britain also enjoyed the course like their French stablemates, taking 7th in IRC One Class.

If that weren’t enough trophies for the trio of J/105s in IRC 2H class, VOADOR, JESTER and DIABLO-J also took 4th, 5th and 6th, respectively, in IRC Three class (a fully-crewed division).  They were followed by John Allison’s J/109 JUMBUCK from Great Britain in 7th place.  Then, Chris Palmer’s J/109 J-T’AIME placed 11th in class.

There were also good performances by J teams in IRC Four class, with Helen Hofmann’s J/97 JASLAN taking 7th position followed by Francois Boue’s J/109 FIROUZEH 4 in 8th place.  Another J/97, the French JJ L’AMOROSSO sailed by Jean-Pierre Briand, finished 10th, and another French team, the J/109 BOTEZ COAT IV skippered by Yves Dervieux, placed 12th.

The St Malo Race is renowned for being a good “test case” for top offshore teams from England, France, the Netherlands that are preparing for the upcoming Fastnet Race that starts Sunday, August 16th, just four weeks away!  If the performance of J teams in the St Malo Race is any indication of their level of preparation, it certainly bodes well for them in the Fastnet Race, too.  Time will tell.

The RORC Season’s Points Championship continues on August 1st with the Channel Race, the penultimate race before the Rolex Fastnet Race.  The IRC Two-handed Series shows that Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J in second overall as a result of their stunning performance in the St Malo Race, just 76 pts back from RAGING BEE.  Also, vaulting up the leaderboard in the IRC One Class for the series is Ballantyne’s J/133 JINGS, now lying second overall just 38 pts behind the leader.  Then, in IRC Two Class, Elin Haf Davies’ J/120 NUNATAK sits in 4th position for the series just 40 pts back from the series leader.  Finally, in IRC Three Class, Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J is holding onto 3rd overall for the series, 74 pts from the series leader.  In short, if any of these boats place in the top five or higher in the next two races, the Channel Race and the Fastnet Race, it’s likely the could be either on the podium or sitting on top by the end of August!  Fair winds and fast, safe passages to all!  For more RORC St Malo Race sailing information


J/122 wins 18 hours de Arcachon

J/Teams Sweep 18 Hours de Arcachon
(Arcachon, France)- One of the most popular events to sail all summer long on the Baie de Arcachon on the west coast of France is the much anticipated “18 Hours de Arcachon”.  The concept for the event is simple; everyone starts together off the beautiful beach and goes around a fixed course for 18 hours straight.  The most laps and the most “handicap laps” (based on your rating) are computed and the winners get their weight in champagne and the proceeds of the event all go to various local charities.  The tradition, of course, is to use up all that champagne before you leave the fun-loving awards ceremony on the beach at the Cercle d’Arcachon!

J/122 sailing 18 hours de Arcachon, FranceThis year, the YC de Arcachon enjoyed a turn-out of 100 boats for their famous “around the buoys” version of the famous Lemans 24 Hours race.  The sailing conditions were absolutely perfect- wind, sun, lots of smiles all around and some great battles on the water.  In the end, the local J sailors swept the top three divisions!

In the big boat fleet, Division 3, the J/122 LORELEI sailed by Alain Catherineau sailed off with all the honors, sailing 13.06 laps and 109.44 nm distance based on handicap calcs!  They also won overall!  Not far behind them in class was the J/109 POULICO helmed by Francois Lamaignere, covering 12.18 laps and sailing a distance of 107.52 nm on handicap, good for 3rd in class J/92 winning 18 hours de Arcachon Race in Franceand 5th overall!  Taking 6th in class was Christophe Rochereau’s J/92 SAPAJOU with 11.39 laps and a handicap distance of 104.87 nm.

Winning Division 2 was the J/80 J’EAU skippered by Olivier Soule, covering an amazing 11.10 laps and showing a handicap distance of 107.97 nm.

Finally, winning Division 1 was the J/22 MARLOTTE V sailed by Philippe de Galzain, sailing 9.01 laps and covering a handicap distance of 96.37 nm.  Congratulations to all the winners of their divisions and to the overall winners- LORELEI!  For more sailing information and photos, see in from the local newspaper- “La dépeche du Bassin”- here.


J/24s sailing Pan Am Games off Toronto, CanadaPan Am Games J/24 Update
(Toronto, ONT, Canada)- For the first time ever at the Pan Am Games, sailing enthusiasts can watch internationally acclaimed Olympic caliber sailors compete for medals along a downtown city’s waterfront, making for some of the most exciting lakeside action of the summer— and all for free!

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club is the host venue for the sailors and sailing operations at the Games while the sailing competitions take place on an ever-moving field of play on Lake Ontario. Spectators may watch at their favorite lakefront vantage points throughout the week.

On July 18 and 19, after six days of intense competition, the highly anticipated sailing finals will take place in the inner harbour and will be visible from one of downtown Toronto’s most popular urban beaches — Sugar Beach. Set against Toronto’s skyline, spectators will watch as 148 of the world’s best sailors vie for medals in windsurfers, dinghies, catamarans and keelboats. Sugar Beach’s waterfront location will also host the Medal Ceremonies for sailing on both days.

From July 12 to 17, starting at 11:30 a.m., sailing preliminaries are taking place in Toronto Harbour and Lake Ontario on several different race courses. For these six days, there will be no designated spectator seating areas, and spectators are encouraged to find their own position to watch the sport from their favorite place on the waterfront or Toronto Island.

The Pan American Games are the world’s third largest international multi-sport Games, only surpassed in size and scope by the Olympic Summer Games and the Asian Games. First held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1951, this is the third time that Canada has been the host. The 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on July 12-19 includes 10 sailing events on Lake Ontario.

Racing update:
After light winds only permitted one race in all events on July 13th, slightly better conditions allowed for either two or three races to be completed on the following day. With six countries competing in the J/24 class, anything goes at this stage as the racing is so close.  In fact, after another light air day for day three of the competition, the Argentineans are in the lead with their crew of Matias Pereira, Guillermo Bellinotto, Federico Ambrus and Juan Pereyra.  In second is the Canadian Olympian and World Champion, Terry McLaughlin, with his crew of Sandy Andrews, David Ogden and David Jarvis.  Currently lying third is the Mexican team of Ken Porter, Gerrit Gentry, Daniel Banos and Pam Noriega.

With the double-counting races in the finale, this entire group could get upset since you cannot count out the Chilean team led by Matias Seguel, nor the Peruvians skippered by Luis Olcese, nor the Brazilians with helm of John Spear.  For more J/24 Pan Am Games sailing information


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Michael James
Michael James
Michael James has been with Murray Yacht Sales since 1995 and is in the the New Orleans office.

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