June 25th, 2014

J/70 sailing fast downwindJ/70 & J/111 @ Sydney Boat Show
(Sydney, Australia)- For those of you looking for some fun “Down Under” winter-time activity, be sure to swing by the Sydney International Boat Show from 31st July to 4th August to see the latest J/70 and J/111 on display.

The Sydney Show is located at an exciting new location at the Sydney Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island on Johnstone’s Bay, a fully functioning exhibition facility designed to accommodate world class exhibitions.  In addition, the spectacular Cockle Bay Marina at the base of Darling Harbour, always a show highlight, remains on its traditional site.  There is a free ferry that connects the two sites, both situated on picturesque Sydney Harbour.

For more J/Boats show and stand information, please contact Ray Entwistle at YachtSpot- Ph +61-2-9449-4976/ email- info@yachtspot.com.au/ website- http://www.yachtspot.com.au
For more Sydney Boat Show information

J/70 China- McConaghy BoatsJ/70 Asia- McConaghy Boats
(Xiamen, China)- Jim Johnstone of JMJ Marine in China provides us the following reports on recent J/70 activity in China:

“The J/70’s are looking beautiful out of McConaghy Boats in Zhuhai, China.  J/70 Hull 477 Shipped from McConaghy today on its way to Qingdao.  Current production and oJ/70 sailor off Chinarders has the next boat finishing on September 5th.  I look forward to sailing next week with the two Qingdao owners.

The first J/70 was sailing this past weekend with the new owner, John Chapple, with the sailmaker and guests on-board (including J/China dealer Jeppe Mortensen).  For our first sail, we did not have the greatest of weather, but everyone loved the boat!  We’ll be looking for that first 15-25 kt breeze day so we can send along GoPro video and photos of some of the beautiful places we are sailing J/70s in China!
For more J/70 sailboat information

J/80 sailboat- sailing off SpainJ/80 Europeans Preview
(Barcelona, Spain)- This year’s J/80 European Championship is being sailed off the beautiful coastline of Barcelona, site of the 1992 Olympic sailing events.  The regatta is organized by CN El Balís, the Spanish and Catalan Federations and the Spanish and International J/80 Associations. The event is supported by the General Secretary’s Office of Sports of the Catalan Government, the City Hall of Sant Andreu de Llavaneres and Spain’s National Sports Council.  

Starting this Saturday, June 28th, the fifty-three teams entered will sail for one week, with 2-3 races per day planned.  Many of the best teams from across Europe are sailing, with teams coming from far and wide to test themselves against the powerful Spanish fleet.  There are 20 Spanish team, 22 French teams, 5 British teams, 2 German, 2 Swedish and 1 each from Italy, The Netherlands, Oman, Poland and Russia- a total of ten nations represented.

J/80 sailboat rounding markThe Swedes have two of their best teams in the mix, Mikael Lindquist’s ROCAD RACING and Lars Gellerhard’s MK-PRODUKTER.  From Russia is Andrey Samoylov from the Pirogovo Sailing Club; from Poland is Pawel Boksa on MOONRAKER; from OMAN Sail is Rajaa Al Uwaisi on AL THURAYA; from the Netherlands is Laura Vroon’s JOIE DE VIVRE; from Italy is Massimo Rama’s JENIALE!; from Germany are Sven Vagt’s CAMPAIGN and Bjoern Beilken’s PROCEDES DIVA; and from Great Britain are Patrick Liardet’s AQUA-J, Jon Powell’s BETTY, Mike Lewis’s JESTER and Dr Gillian Ross’s TEAM ROCK & ROLL.

What is very apparent for this event is that Team France have brought along all their “big guns” and then some.  Virtually all the top boats that are leading the Coupe de France J/80 are in attendance, including Matthieu Solomon’s EV CATASCHOOL, Alexis Henri’s VOILE AMBITION DUNKERQUE, Eric Brezellec’s COURRIER JUNIOR, Maxime Rousseaux’s J’RAFON (a top woman skipper), Simon Moriceau’s INTERFACE CONCEPT, Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA, and Simon Fabrice’s MARINE CHERBOURG DCNS.

The powerful J/80 Spanish fleet has clear possibilities to reach the top three places in the regatta.  A clear favorite is FACTOR ENERGIA skippered by Barcelona 1992 gold medalist José María van der Ploeg.  Other top Spanish teams include Hugo Rocha on NEW TERRITORIES (the 2013 J/80 World Champion in Marseilles, France), Marc de Antonio’s BRIBON-MOVISTAR, Javier Shercks’s GUNTER and Carlos Martinez’s DELTASTONE (another J/80 World Champion).

J/80 sailor Jose Maria van der Ploeg from SpainThe highly regarded Catalan skipper, Mr van der Ploeg, is hopeful his chances for success in local waters are better than even, as he explains in the following interview:

– What is your preparation for the J/80 European Championship? JMVDP- “For us it is the top race of the season, so we have been practicing very hard during the last weeks to be ready for it.”
– Is sailing at home, at CN El Balís, an advantage for you and your crew? JMVDP- “Sailing at home has many advantages. For example, you do not have to travel, you do not have to launch and retrieve the boat, you sleep at home, and you are with your family.  The sailing course is very complicated, so I do not think knowing it will give us an edge over other boats.”

– How has the season been so far? JMVDP- “We have participated in many national races like the Spanish Championship, where we finished in third place only a point behind the boat that finished second. We won the MedSailing race at CN El Balís. We came fourth at Trofeo Conde de Godó-Merchbanc. In this one, I feel we raced below our possibilities. A couple days ago, we joined the Catalonia Championship, finishing fifth but tied with the fourth place and only a point behind the second boat. We have always been at the top of the races, but first places are always very tight.”

– Are you planning to make any changes for the European Championship?  JMVDP- “We had a brand new boat last December and we have made the typical adjustments to it. We are working on our sails and yes, we will do some changes for the European Championship.”

– Spain has a very powerful J/80 fleet, having ruled the world championships for the past seven years. What are the main reasons for this?
  JMVDP- “I think there are many reasons. Amongst them, we can conclude that Spain has excellent sailors, so when they finish competing at Olympic classes they move to those classes where there are top competitors, like J/80. Besides, we are talking about a very affordable boat with excellent performance.”

– You have won an Olympic gold medal, an IMS 670 world championship, a prestigious race like Copa del Rey Mapfre, and the Audi MedCup TP52 circuit.  You have been racing since 2011 in the J/80 class, where you have finished in first and second place worldwide. Why do you like this class?
Aren’t you planning to go back to the big boats races? JMVDP- “The J/80 has given me the possibility of competing at a world-class level and to be able to do it with my son.  After having to leave the professional yacht racing world due to the economic crisis since 2008-2009, we are all experiencing a new world that makes it very hard to get private funds for big offshore professional yachting campaigns.  The J/80 provides excellent, affordable racing for many of Spain’s top sailors.”    For more J/80 Europeans sailing information

J/120 class starting at Long BeachLong Beach Race Week Preview
(Long Beach, CA)- One of the long-standing classic sailing weeks on the California racing calendar has been Long Beach Race Week, taking place this week from June 27th to 29th.  With many one-design classes and a number of offshore classes, the event provides a mix of sailing that is unique in the SoCal region.  While one-designs may be doing the standard windward-leewards, the offshore boats have a choice of “random-leg” courses or the basic buoy-racing like the one-design boats.  

The mix of classes and types of racing continues to attract many sailors to the event, with 139 boats participating this year.  Long Beach YC does a fantastic job of rolling out the red carpet (particularly around their famous pool right on the harbor) and host a lot of fun, entertaining events every evening.  In addition, LBYC’s volunteer crew of Race Committee’s and PRO’s do an admirable job of getting races off in just about any weather condition.

For the J/70s, it’s their first West Coast Championship and sixteen teams will by vying for some of the last qualifying slots in the 2014 J/70 Worlds in Newport, RI.  With three boats each from San Francisco Bay and from San Diego and the rest from the Los Angles basin (Santa Barbara YC, Cal YC, Kings Harbor YC, Balboa YC and Newport Harbor YC), the fleet will enjoy some close racing amongst some very experienced J/70 teams.  In fact, there are two year veterans already from the first Key West Race Week participating- David Ullman on USA 32 as well as Bennet Greenwald sailing PERSEVERANCE.  While they will be tough contenders, there’s no question several other J/70 teams have climbed the learning-curve quite quickly in this easy-to-sail one-design speedster.  Amongst those teams are SOGGY DOLLAR (Dave Vieregg), ZUNI BEAR (Rich Bergmann), JENNIFER (Chris Kostanecki), SLOOP JOHN B (Tom Garrett), ZERO TO 60 (Karl Pomeroy), PERFECT WIFE (Chris Andersen), GO-RILLA (Dan Gribble), CAKE (Scott Deardorff) and JAYA (Craig Tallman).  

With seven boats, the J/120s are well-represented with teams from all over Southern California.  Virtually all of them have been winners or on the podium in the last year or so, including CAPER (John Laun), J-ALMIGHTY (Mike Hatch), SHENANIGANS (Gary Winton), JIM (John Snook), CC RIDER (Chuck Nichols), POLE DANCER (Tom & Terri Mock) and ADIOS (Peter Bretschger).

The eight boat J/24 class has seen a significant resurgence in participation with several top teams in the mix, past West Coast Champions as well as North American Champions.  Topping the list may be Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS Team from Santa Barbara YC.  Nevertheless, top local team, Susie Taylor on TAKE FIVE from California YC, will surely challenge them.  The long-distance travelers must be Mike Johnson’s PEARL team from Seattle YC.

The J/80s will see returning champion Curt Johnson from Cal YC guiding the might AVET towards a defense of their title.  Look for Steve Wyman’s Dana Point YC team on NUHUNU giving them a run-for-the-money as well as Mark Hunter’s IN-APPROPRIATE.

The J/105s will see the return of two of SoCal’s top teams, including local talents Gary Mozer on CURRENT OBSESSION 2 and Rick Goebel’s SANITY crew from San Diego, the recent San Diego NOOD overall winners.  While last year the SANITY crew seemed to have the upper hand in breezes over 10-12 kts, the tables may have shifted since the San Diego NOOD where SANITY won with over 7 bullets on their scorecard in light winds.

The half-dozen J/109s have past winners Tom Brott on ELECTRA from Seal Beach YC as well as John Schulze from Balboa YC on LINSTAR.

In the PHRF Handicap world, the two biggest fleets in the regatta are PHRF Racing (27 boats) and PHRF Random Leg (26 boats).  In the PHRF Racing fleet, we find two J/111s matched up perfectly on handicap rating (at 42 PHRF each) against two J/124s.  Who comes out on top on that one is anyone’s guess, most likely a “horses-for-courses” result depending on breeze.  The 111s are presented by Bill Webster & Mike Moorhead’s JATO and also Glenn Griley’s STAMPEDE, both from King Harbor YC.  The 124s have Seth Hall’s famous blue MARISOL and Tim Harmon’s CIRRUS representing them.  In addition to this duel, another 35 footer duel is forming between the J/35 RIVAL (Bill Boatner) and the J/105 KESTREL (Bill Moore).  Finally, in the Random Leg class, the J/80 SLOOP DOGG will be sailed by Chris Smith from Arizona YC.  For more Long Beach Race Week sailing information

J/109 offshore cruising racing sailboat off IrelandRound Ireland Race Preview
(Wicklow, Ireland)- To date, 35 yachts from France, England, Wales, the Isle of Man and of course the host country are set to compete in the 18th Round Ireland Yacht Race. Approximately half the boats are from Ireland and the remainder from further afield. This reflects the trend in recent races. The Round Ireland is scheduled to start at 2.00 pm on Saturday 28th June.

The Round Ireland Yacht Race is one of the classic middle distance offshore yacht races of the world and over the years, the challenging, interesting and beautiful race course has attracted world-class sailors and their boats.  The event is Ireland’s premier offshore sailing race and is held every two years by Wicklow Sailing Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The 704nm race was first held in 1980 and still retains the original course; “leave Ireland and all its islands, excluding Rockall, to starboard.”  With a long range forecast for relatively light winds, one hopes it doesn’t become another “Bermuda 2014 (the new longest version ever)!”

All J’s entered are likely in IRC Class 3.  The last time around in 2012, the J/109s and J/105 swept class honors, taking four of the top five!  Hoping to repeat that remarkable feat are three 35 footers.  The two J/109s competing include MOJITO, sailed by the team of Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox from Pwllheli Sailing Club.  The other is RUTH, led by offshore veteran Liam Shanahan from National YC.  Depending on weather conditions, particularly reaching and surfing, the J/105 JET DREAM skippered by Philip Bourke from Yacht Club de Roscoff could well be a factor for a class win.   For more Round Ireland sailing information

J/111 sailing off Block IslandBlock Island Race Week Preview
(Block Island, RI)- The even year Block Island Race Week, running from June 23rd to 27th, is an exciting event for racers who love competing in a week long series in Block Island Sound in the years between the Storm Trysail Club’s biennial event. Beginning in 2008 the Duck Island Yacht Club of Westbrook, CT has ably providing race committee and logistic support. Even better yet, Sue Miller, a highly respected PRO (and former top Tufts University Jumbos sailing team member), will be ensuring the sailors get more than their fair share of excellent sailing in Block Island Sound.

Answering the call to arms for this year’s event are J/109s in IRC Class, J/111s and two new J/88s in PHRF 1 and three J/29s and J/35 in PHRF 2.  In fact, of the 24 boats sailing, 11 are J/Teams from across the Northeast.

We find Bill Sweetser’s J/109 RUSH and Hugh McLean’s J/109 SHEARWATER up against tough customers like Ken Colburn’s championship winning Swan 42 team- APPARITION (many former top J/105 sailors from Marblehead, MA).  Another Swan 42 will be a factor in the running for the silver- Paul Zabetakis’s IMPETUOUS.

The PHRF 1 class is just about over-run with good J/crews.  Doug Curtiss’s J/111 WICKED 2.0, a past winner of Block Island Race Week, will be hoping to return to the top of their class.  Sedgwick Ward’s J/111 BRAVO is also aiming for the podium again.  Certain to give these two boats headaches may be the twin new J/88s, Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION and David Betts’s INSTANT KARMA.  Finally, John Forster’s J/92 SALTIRE will be working hard to keeping them all honest.

We see another trio of J/29s doing battle again for class bragging rights in PHRF 2 class.  To be sure, it will be hard to knock-off perennial class champ- HUSTLER (sailed by John & Tony Esposito and Neil Caruso from Long Island Sound).  Aleksandr Tichter’s J/29 AKULA and Dan Bullard’s J/29 MADCAP XI plan to sweep the podium with their HUSTLER friends.  Meanwhile, Tom Sutton’s J/35 LEADING EDGE is, of course, planning to ambush the J/29s at the start, steal all their wind, and sail off over the horizon!
For more Block Island Race Week sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide

It was a busy week for J/Sailors around the globe, many participating in the world’s “largest of something” regatta.  For J/111 aficionados, way Down Under in the “City of Sails”, a crack double-handed J/111 crew sailed the 1,400nm Auckland to Fiji Race and finished in a near tie (one of the Pacific Ocean’s longest double-handed races)! Amazing story it is to say the least. Then halfway around the world north, a J/111 sailed the “world’s largest overnight race”, the Faerder Race, off Oslo, Norway.

On the European one-design front, the J/70s sailed the next circuit stop for their Danish Sailing League off Sonderborg, Denmark with 18 top teams participating with a few upsets in the making.  Nearby, the J/70s and J/80s were also participating in the famous Kieler Woche, quite literally one of the world’s largest sailing events anywhere with thousands of sailors participating.

Over in the UK is what is reputed to be the “world’s largest round island race”, the JP Morgan Asset Management Round Island Race, a 50nm circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight counter-clockwise with over 1,700 boats of various ilks.

If that weren’t enough “world’s largest or best” situations, how about being demolished by Mother Nature as a crew sailing in the “world’s longest ever Bermuda Race” and actually live to tell the story!

In other interesting offshore news in the realm of the Americas, two J/88s had some fun playing “hide & seek” in the annual Chicago to Waukegan Race 33nm classic going north from the Chicago waterfront.  Then, out West the J/125 TIMESHAVER has enjoyed a magnificent run in their Dana Point Offshore series.  Finally, both Cleveland Race Week and Dallas Race Week came to successful conclusions, both innovating with novel ideas for ways to encourage greater participation in sailing.

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- Jul 4– J/80 European Championship- Barcelona, Spain
Jun 28- J/Boats Rendezvous- Brownswville, WA
Jun 28- Round Ireland Race- Wicklow, Ireland
Jul 5-11– CORK Week- Cork, Ireland
Jul 6- Pacific Cup Race- San Francisco, CA
Jul 11-13– Bacardi Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 12- Bayview Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI
Jul 14-20– J/70 North Americans- Rochester, NY
Jul 15-19– J/109 North Americans- Newport, RI
Jul 18-20– Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge- Solomons Island, MD
Jul 19-22– Chicago Mackinac Race- Chicago, IL
Jul 23-26– J-Cup Regatta- Hamble, England
Jul 24-27– J/111 North Americans- Harbor Springs, MI
Jul 24-27- Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA

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

J/111 BLUR sailing off NorwayJ/111 BLUR Crushes Faerder Race
(Oslo, Norway)- What is billed as “the world’s largest overnight race”, the Faerder Race saw an amazing performance from one of the top J/111s in Scandinavia.  With a total of over 700 boats participating, the two J/111s sailed in the R40 Class, a hyper-competitive 40 ft racing class with four Xp-38s, three Arcona 410s, a couple of First 40s and a number of other fast boats. In total, 41 of Norway’s and Sweden’s most competitive 40-footers were on the line.  Here’s the report from Peter Gustafsson, sailing on the J/111 BLUR:

“Some races are more special than others and attract sailors from far away. It may be for historic reasons, for great parties or the number of boats on the starting line.  The Færder Race has all of those components, and that’s why we keep coming back each year, despite having to endure a 400nm delivery back and fourth from Sweden.

All 700+ boats in many different classes, racing a number of different courses, start in the middle of Oslo and finish in Horten in the middle of the Oslo Fjord.  The bigger boats races 85nm to Tristein, just outside of the iconic Færder Lighthouse, and the race usually provide everything from calm in the narrow Drøbak straits to offshore conditions out by the lighthouse. And everything in between.

The two J/111s, BLUR and DACAPO, were excited about the weather forecast.  It pointed to a northerly 10-12 kts, possibly 14-16 kts in the evening, so it would be a fast race. Our routing indicated a finish around midnight and 0100 hrs Saturday morning.

Friday morning greeted us with a grey sky and a few drops of rain. The winds were pretty much as forecasted, but as usual, very puffy inside Oslo’s bay.

J/111 sailing Faerder Race off Oslo, NorwayThe tricky part was to choose between A5 or the big A2 Whomper, as the wind went back and forth 30 degrees. We made a late call for the A5 and got a nice hole 20% down from the northern mark where there were a lot of boats including the J/111 Dacapo. To leeward we had both Bavaria 42 Match Ille Moro (winner of many regattas in Norway) as well as Arcona 410 DAD Sportsware with UK sailmaker Anders Nordström. The race was on.

After the first few puffs, we were slightly ahead of the fleet, peeled to the A2 Whomper, and went for TWA 150, which tends to be the fastest angle in a blow. I was a bit worried at the start that we would be under-powered, but I didn’t have to worry. There was plenty of power. We struggled as the wind shifted 20 degrees back and we had to go back and forth between soaking and planing modes. Every time there was a big puff we extended on the fleet.

The wind increased all the way down the fjord as we passed through the shorthanded fleet that started 10 minutes ahead. Most of them had blown out their spinnakers and where sailing with white sails. We picked a lighter spot for the gybe, and hit the mark at the perfect angle. The last stretch was amazing with 15 kts average boat speed and a 19 kts peak when we passed a capsized F18 catamaran. WOW! The first leg took just under an hour and we were way, way ahead already.

We choose to go to J2 and then re-set the A5 for a fast reach down to Drøbak where we peeled back to the A2. We had some troubles since two of our spinnaker sheets were chafed during the first leg, so there was some quick maintenance needed. Dacapo choose a more westerly routed and caught up a little before we got in to the groove again.

Towards Filtvet it was straight forward. The current was with us, so we tried to stay middle or west where there was more pressure. A decent leg where we managed to keep the distance.

J/111 BLUR crewWe changed helmsman & trimmers to get some rest after an intense first part. Pelle and Magnus worked hard to stay in the current and also work the shifts. We had TWD ranging from 000 to 030, and managed to get the most of it while staying to the west of the fleet. We had some luck with the shifts getting around Fulehuk at the east end of Bolærne.

Then it got very light, but we sailed conservatively on rhumbline working the puffs that came along. We caught up with three of the X-41s, the King 40 Magic and a ILC-40. All of them started 20 minutes ahead. And now we couldn’t see the boats in our class, except for Dacapo with the red gennaker.

Rounding Tristein the forecast was for 14-20 kts of wind. However, it was already evening and very light, so we didn’t trust the forecast.  We started out with J1 but soon we had 12 kts of wind and had to go to #2. Initially, we managed to match the King 40 and the X-41s, but as the wind picked up we lost them.

We stayed west and went through Bolærerna, pretty much the same way as everyone else. We tried to stay out of the current and the choppy sea.

Suddenly we had 20 knots and went to J3.5 just before it got dark (as dark as it gets in Scandinavia this time of year- you can still wear sunglasses!). Pret
ty tough sailing, but we managed to sail to the polars. But, we knew that the bigger boats were catching up fast in those conditions.

At the buoy in Åsgårdsstrand we met the boats from the shorter courses. Lot’s of Express and similar boats who got into a lot of trouble after rounding for the last upwind.  We had an Express dropping the rig just to leeward, several boats had torn sails, some went head-to-wind with engine and sails just flogging. It was chaos and carnage. But under a full moon it was kind of spectacular.

We worked hard all the way to finish and crossed the line just after 00:30. We knew we had sailed a great race, but not really sure how much the bigger boats had gained during the lass hours of upwind slog.  In the end, our J/111 BLUR won with a corrected time of 12:13:52.  Our J/111 colleagues on DACAPO, skippered by Jorgen Heje, took 8th in class 15:33 back on handicap.  A great showing overall for the J/111s!”

For some fun viewing, watch this YouTube sailing video of the J/111 BLUR experience- great footage:

For more Scandinavian sailing information on the Faerder Race and others, contact Peter Gustafsson at ph# +46 733 304000 or at email- peter@blur.se.  Check out the website- http://www.blur.se

Danish youth J/70 sailorsAarhus SC Wins J/70 Danish Sailing League- Sonderborg
(Sonderborg, Denmark)- The Danish J/70 Sailing League’s second event took place in Sonderborg.  The stage was set for good weather conditions for all three days of sailing.  The big question on many teams minds was whether the Hellerup Sailing Club would continue its winning ways with its new skipper Mads Christensen or would another club rise to the occasion and knock them off their pedestal?  In fact, the HSC further strengthened their team by adding Christina Otzen, the Olympic Bronze Medallist in the Yngling at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 with Dorte Jensen and Helle Jespersen.

Speaking of female skippers and crew, the League’s number two team, KDY, sailed with an all women crew in Rungsted, led by skipper Lotte Meldgaard. However, for the event in Sønderborg, only two women would be aboard, the 18-year-old skipper Felix Jacobsen and Louise Christensen sailing with the two men- Rune Larsen and Mathis Groenemann.

Danish J/70 sailorsIt was hardly a surprise too many that Hellerup Sailing Club and KDY would prevail at the top of Rungsted event. Therefore, it was perhaps more unexpected that Silkeborg Sailing Club took the third place on the podium.  The Club is from the Mid-Jutland Lake District.  However, they were very well prepared by having rented two J/70 ‘s in Germany and trained diligently in the days leading up to league debut.  “The goal was to get in the top ten. We reviewed the way we sailed and now we are going for a podium position again,” said skipper Lars Wegener to sejlsport.dk.  Lars Wegener has previously won the H-Boat World Championship

And so the stage was set for the eighteen clubs and seventy-one sailors that participated in Sonderborg.  The fleet was blessed with better than expected conditions, in fact testing the crew’s abilities to sail the J/70 in 15-25 kt winds.  Boat speed off the line and boat-handling were critical, some sailed near flawlessly while others struggled.  Perhaps the greatest differences were teams still learning how to exploit the transitions back and forth from “soak” mode to “planing” mode (a scenario that plays out in winds that vary in the 12-15 kts range).

After the first day of racing, it was self-evident the “south Jutlanders” were excelling on home waters.  The two local clubs, Sailing Club Aabenraa and Sønderborg Yacht Club, had sailed themselves to the head of the pack while the mighty Hellerup SC team fell back. Both of the locals showed plenty of speed upwind and, especially downwind. In the three flights on Friday, each picked up two wins and a second place. The Hellerup SC team were still suffering from crew and boat-handling issues, a consequence of assembling new members of the team- falling into 14th place after two 4th’s and a 6th.  On the whole, the entire fleet positions were thoroughly shaken up compared to what happened in Rungsted.

A new innovation was implemented for the League leaders for this event— after the first day, the entire crew of the winning team would wear “yellow pullovers” so they could easily be identified by their competitors.  The yellow jersey was made famous and is synonymous with the Tour de France bike race leader. As a result, it was Hellerup SC that wore the yellow jerseys on Friday.  But after their dismal performance, the new leader was Sonderborg YC after their terrific day of sailing on Friday.  

Danish J/70 woman skipper winningAfter Saturday’s racing, the Aabenraa Sailing Club was the new leader with three victories out of four possible races.  It appeared to be a good bet that they could become the winner of the League’s Sonderborg event.  Also of importance, because of their comeback performance on Saturday with two 1sts and two 2nds, the Hellerup SC was back atop the leaderboard for the overall standings (now having to wear the yellow jersey again for Sunday’s final day of racing).

After two days of sailing the Aabenraa SC were clearly leading the regatta with 38 points ahead of Aarhus SC with 34 points and Middelfart Sailing Club with 31 points. It was clear Hellerup SC reveled in the heavy weather conditions.  When the races began a clear, strong northwesterly was blowing 10-20 kts and by the mid-afternoon it was gusting well into the high 20’s.  After one team blew out a spinnaker, the RC PRO cancelled racing for the rest of the day.

The last day produced perhaps the biggest surprise of the League so far.  Aarhus SC with Peter Warrer as skipper moved past Aabenraa SC on the last race of the day and was crowned the champion for the Sonderborg event.  In the meantime, Hellerup continued to extend their overall league lead with another excellent performance.

J/70 sailing Danish sailing leagueThe last day of racing also saw at least 10-20 kt wi
nds, weather conditions that Aarhus SC found to its liking.  In the meantime, despite having a nice lead going into the final day, the Aabenraa SC had a very costly last place in the penultimate race to drop into second overall with 53 pts.  And, despite starting off slowly, the Hellerup SC team climbed the ladder quickly to take third place and maintain their lead in the overall standings.

For Aarhus SC the victory was a marked improvement over their 10th place in Rungsted.  “In Rungsted we started well in the beginning but had a disastrous Saturday with several penalties for false starts and more. We sailed simply bad, and it cost us dearly. We turned ourselves around down here in Sønderborg,” explained skipper Peter Warrer.  He added, “I have a great crew that knows how to drive the boat forward. We’re probably the field’s fastest boat sailing with the spinnaker, it has been crucial to our success.”  Sailing with Peter were Michael Risor, Kasper Sohn and Jakob Friis.

For the overall Danish J/70 Sailing League standings, Hellerup SC is first with 34 pts followed by Sonderborg YC in second with 28 pts and in third is Aarhus SC with 27 pts.  Lying 4th also with 27 pts is KDY and fifth is Faaborg SC with 26 pts.  The League is based on “high point” scoring- 1st = 18 pts, 2nd = 17 pts, etc.

The Danish Sailing League now takes a short break in July and returns to competition in Hellerup onAugust 22nd to 24th.

For Danish Sailing League videos:   On-Sport.dk overview     Day 1 Summary    Day 2 Summary
For more Facebook Sejlsportsligaen sailing information
For more Sejlsportsligaen sailing information

J/111 sailing Auckland, New Zealand offshore regattaJ/111 Flying in Auckland-Fiji Race
Doublehanded 1,400nm to Paradise!
(Auckland, NZ)-  The sailing adventures of the J/111 DJANGO continue “down under” in Auckland, NZ.  Sailed by her owner Andrew Reid and with Doyle Sails NZ sailmaker Andrew Pilcher aboard, they continue to push the envelope of success in the New Zealand offshore world against top custom boats purpose-built for certain types of racing.

Andy Pilcher recently provided yet another riveting report from the front-lines about their experience, a great story from an excellent sailing duo.

“Who remembers the 1995 Rugby World Cup Semi-Final between the All Blacks and England?  The one where Jonah Lomu ran rampant right through the whole team and scored four tries, including that most memorable one where he bowled right over the top of Mike Catt?
Keith Quinn, the veteran broadcaster with decades of experience, was so lost for words that all he could say – live on air – was “Jonah. JONAH. Oh!!! Oh!!!!!”

J/111 sailing Auckland to Fiji race finishWell, try saying this in your best Keith Quinn voice: “Django. Squealer. Oh!!!! Oh!!!!!!”

That’s what we were looking at during the Auckland Fiji Race after almost 1,400nm and nearly a week of racing.  Two middleweights standing toe to toe, slugging it out, neither giving an inch.   In the White corner we have Django Racing, the younger, better looking of the two, dancing and jabbing, sticking and moving, trying to wear their opponent down.  In the (toxic) Lime Green corner, the clever old veteran, gnarled by age and years of fighting, and looking, searching for the knockout blow.

The bout started off in a typically brutal manner, with both fighters taking a beating during the first four rounds (days). Eventually things calmed down a bit, and a searching, tactical battle was underway.  Django scored the first major points with a swift left hook, right across Squealer’s nose, early in the fifth.  They thought this could give them a decent advantage, but you don’t get to be older and wiser without learning a few dirty tricks, and sure enough, the pugilists from Tauranga Bridge Marina eventually wore them down and scored a few back themselves.

Deep into the sixth round, the fighters got up close and personal after fighting blind for most of the bout; after that, it was all on!

The teams stood right in each others faces, neither one wanting to let the other slip away and gain an advantage.  No one let up, with stamina and endurance being pushed to the absolute limit. Both teams pushing harder than they ever thought possible, somehow finding reserves of energy they didn’t realize they had.

Squealer used all their collective years of cunning to gain an advantage late in the seventh, and it looked like this would carry them to a famous victory.  But Django wasn’t giving up that easily, and with barely a minute to the final bell pulled their last move of the fight, launching a straight right across the face of Squealer, seemingly dropping them on their arse for the final time.  Surely there was nothing left to give, but Squealer had other ideas.

They picked themselves up off the canvas and launched one final assault on the young pretenders. Django tried holding them off with a series of jabs, but Squealer countered with a brutal right hook just on the final bell.

So who won? Well, it took a while for the ref’s decision to come in and it was eventually announced over the public address system (also known as the VHF Radio) that Squealer had taken out the narrowest of points victories – beating Django by 10 seconds!! (note- after 1,400nm of sailing over 6.5 days!)

Both fighters fell to the floor, exhausted, before picking themselves up one final time for an embrace that lasted well into the night.

After a race that lasted just a few hours shy of a full weak and some 1370 NM, Squealer really did beat us over the line by 10 seconds. This photo was taken from the finish boat, showing their nose crossing the line, with us barely a boat-length behind.

It was hard to comprehend at the time what we were involved in, but for all of us, this was the race of a lifetime, and it was only more poignant because of the battle raging between two boats full of good friends.  I have known some of these guys for the best part of 20 years, and can genuinely say that we could not have hoped to be beaten by a better team.

For those that don’t know, the DDF Syndicate that owns Squealer is a team of seven mates, most of whom are old school friends from Tauranga. This is the third boat they’ve owned, over a period of around 15 years, with their ultimate goal of competing in an offshore race.

That dream was cruelly cut down just 120 miles from the finish of last years race to Fiji, when the mast fell down as they were pushing hard for an overall win.

So to see the joy on their faces at the finish line really did make everything worthwhile, and (almost) made us forget our awful first half of the race!

Well done guys, it was an absolute pleasure trying to knock the crap out of you, and
we cannot wait to do it again.  Django Racing out.”  Thanks for the contribution from SailingAnarchy.com.

Sailing photo credits- Brad Davies/ LiveSailDie Media.

J/160 True sailing Bermuda Race“Less Than Zero”- a.k.a. the 2014 Bermuda Race
J/160 TRUE Wins Cruisers, J/120 ALIBI Tops Double-Handers!
(Newport, RI) – The start of this year’s 49th Bermuda Race was a harbinger of things to come, all not good.  With a forecasted moderate northerly slowly dying and a seabreeze developing between the first and last boats to start, the crews on most boats must’ve had a foreshadowing of what it was going to be like to sail the new “longest Bermuda Race ever”- nearly five days for most of the fleet!  

Organized by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the fleet of 165 boats from twenty-one states (Maine to California) must’ve pondered how could they cross 635nm of Atlantic Ocean, suffering the inevitable “bouncy ride” called the Gulf Stream, and live through several offshore “parking lots” (no wind zones) before crossing the line 5 days later for most boats!  The fleet certainly earned well-deserved celebratory “dark & stormies” to aid in the salubrious story-telling after the race.  As the largest brand in the fleet, the 33 J/Teams (20% of the fleet) had more than their fair share of war-stories to tell at the RBYC outdoor bar & patio.

The St David’s Lighthouse Division, the biggest division in the event, saw many determined (and patient) J/Teams post strong finishes across the board.  

In Class 2, Fred Allardyce’s J/40 MISTY took sixth in class and John Gorski & Andy Schell’s J/37c SLEIJRIDE took ninth.  Both boats took over 118 hours to finish, that’s 4.9 days at 4.9 kts to complete the 635nm course! In Class 3, the J/42 FINESSE sailed by Newton Merrill took 5th also in 118 hours of drifting swiftly towards “the onion patch”.  

J/120 sailing offshore to BermudaClass 4 could be seen as the “J/120 division”.  Top J/120 was Dmitry Kondratyev’s RORC team aboard the chartered SUNSET CHILD, taking 3rd in class; they spent 112 hours completing the course and that was because they wisely took a more easterly route than most of the fleet and at times were forecasted to be in the top five in IRC/ORR overall!  Second J/120 and 5th in class was Rick Oricchio’s ROCKET SCIENCE.  Third J/120 was Ken Comerford & Sons MONEYPENNY, taking 6th in class and, notably, after the first 36 hours of the race was forecasted in the top three overall for IRC/ ORR.  Fourth J/120 was Richard Born’s WINDBORN and fifth was Jim Praley’s SHINNECOCK.

Class 5 was the one-design J/44 division.  While Jim Bishop’s GOLD DIGGER led the 44s for about half the race, the last “park-up” saw them lose out to fellow 44 owner Harry DeVore on HONAHLEE.  In the last third of the race, HONAHLEE also took a more easterly routing and snuck by their fleet, finishing in about 110 hrs, beating all other 44s by 4 hours.  Second was GOLD DIGGER followed by Len Sitar’s VAMP in third, Chris Lewis’s KENAI in fourth and Norm Schulman’s CHARLIE V in fifth.

J/122 sailing at start of Newport to Bermuda raceIn the super-competitive “fast 40s” division, Class 6, the J/122s and the J/133 had a huge battle against a number of extremely experienced Bermuda/ offshore veterans.  Throughout the race, the lead amongst the J/122s ORION, AUGUST WEST and RED SKY shifted back and forth constantly.  After the third day, it appeared that AUGUST WEST had established a safe easterly position on their competitors and established a lead not only for the J/122s, but also their class.  However, a scenario that also played out in man other classes, those boats that went even further east did even better, in this cased is was the Bermuda boat NASTY MEDICINE.  At the finish, Paul Milo’s ORION took over the lead amongst J/122s right at the end of the race, taking 2nd in class.  Third in class and 2nd amongst the 122s was Jamey Shachoy’s AUGUST WEST, a largely Buzzards Bay/ Marion, MA-based team.  Fifth in class was Dale & Mike McIvor’s J/133 MATADOR.

Perhaps the “wild child” in the J/fleet was Jonathan Bamberger’s J/145 SPITFIRE from Toronto, Ontario.  After leading Class 7 for over 48 hours, and for at least 24 hours forecasted to be in the top three overall in IRC/ ORR, the SPITFIRE team may have downloaded a GRIB file with a “bug” and suddenly took a southwesterly course about 45-55 degrees off rhumbline and away from the breeze that kept re-filling in from the east.  Nevertheless, after dropping to the bottom of their class, they persevered and worked there way back into contention and took a 5th in class.

In the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, the Bermuda J/125 CROSSFIRE, sailed by Brian Hiller from the St George’s Dinghy Club, took 5th in class behind all the mini-maxi’s and TP52 and beating out a Carkeek 47, a R/P 55 and an Andrews 70.

The Cruiser Division saw some amazing performances by J/Teams.  Taking third in Class 11 was Brad Willauer’s J/46 BREEZING UP and in Class 12, Howie Hodgson’s J/160 TRUE (with beautiful new paint job) took the class win by over three hours on handicap time!  

J/122 sailing from Newport to BermudaFinally, the Double-Handed Division always seems to produce some remarkable achievements for just two persons on a boat with the aid of automatic self-steering systems.  Often sailing boat-for-boat or faster than equivalent fully-crewed yachts, the double-handed J/Teams placed well in both divisions.  In Class 13, Jason Richter’s J/35 PALADIN made an incredible comeback after trailing their class and fleet for most of the first 48 hours.  As the fleet went into its third “park-up”, the PALADIN team took a more easterly routing and made enormous gains on everyone, ultimately taking 2nd in their class.

In Double-handed Class 14, it was a clean sweep for the J/teams, taking the podium and 4 of the top 5 spots!  Leading all double-handers for most of the race was Scott Miller’s J/122 RESOLUTE from Maine (the 2013 winner overall of the Bermuda One-Two Race).  Only in the last “parking-up” going into Bermuda at the 60nm point did they lose that position to the two J/120s that had been chasing them the entire race.  In the end, Gardner Grant’s J/120 ALIBI from Cedar Point YC took 1st in class followed by Hewitt Gaynor’s J/120 MIREILLE.  Third was Miller’s J/122 RESOLUTE and taking 5th was Mike Piper’s J/111 EAGLES DARE.  For more Newport Bermuda Race sailing information

J/105 sailing Round Island Race- UKJ/Teams Conquer Devilish Round Island Race
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- While their Bermuda Race colleagues were thrashing across the Atlantic Ocean in “less than zero” wind conditions and innumerable “park-ups”, the British version of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round Island Race was no less epic in its resounding lack of pace around the 50nm race track counter-clockwise of the Isle of Wight.

Amusingly enough, the weather gurus were predicting light northerlies dying off to form a seabreeze of a variety most suitable for “Tinker Bell” to fly around in her “Peter Pan” escapades than for sailors to get around the famous island.  Yes, it was warm.  Yes, it was light, perhaps too light for most people’s liking.  Nevertheless, the seabreeze did kick-in a wee-bit late and most teams got around the island in 10 to 12 hours elapsed time.  Despite the trying conditions, the enormous armada of J/Teams lived up to the challenge and managed to “win, place & show” in virtually every division they were participants.  

The massive fleet started Saturday, June 21st at 0630 hrs on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes; the boats then raced “westabout” (counter-clockwise), to The Needles, round St Catherine’s Point and Bembridge Ledge buoy, and back into the Solent to the finish line at Cowes.  The race is organized by the Island Sailing Club; with 16,000 sailors and 1,600+ yachts, it ranks amongst the world’s largest yacht races and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the United Kingdom.

J/109 sailing off Isle of Wight- Round Island RaceThe event seems to be a favorite amongst many J/UK Teams, this year counting an enormous armada of 112 J/Teams.  In fact, in the primary offshore IRC keelboat classes, ranging from IRC 0 to IRC 3 divisions, J/Boats represented by far the biggest brand in the 367 boat grouping, with 88 teams representing 24.0% of the total!  A rather fantastic turnout.  In fact, the single largest class of boats in the entire fleet were the 31 J/109s participating in IRC 2 divisions and their strong overall performance was reflected in their standings.

For starters, the huge 52 boat IRC 0 Division saw the J/111 JOURNEYMAKER led by Chris Jones & Louise Makin take 5th while the J/133 JUMP (Ian Dewhirst) took 7th.

In IRC 1A Division, J/Teams took 9 of top 20 positions.  The J/133 L’EAU DE LA (Nils Boyer) took 5th along with another J/133 APOLLO 7 (Nigel Passmore) taking 7th, the J/111 J-LANCE 9 (Didier Le Moal) taking 8th and the J/122 MINT JULEP (David Cule) taking 10th.  The J/122 JELLYFISH (Ben Few Brown) took 12th with another J/122 JOLOU (Sergey Senchenko) taking 13th.  In 16th was the J/111 JITTERBUG (Cornel Riklin), followed by the J/122 JACOBS LADDER (William Avery) in 17th, then the J/111 MUNKENBECK (Alfred Munkenbeck) took 20th.

The newly launched J/88 EAT, SLEEP, J, REPEAT took 2nd in class, a simply fantastic performance considering they were still tuning the rig going to the start at 0630hrs and just launching less than 24 hours earlier.  In fact, they missed winning the division by less than 3 1/2 minutes. The other J/88 JONGLEUR took 10th in class.

J/109 sailing off The Needles, Cowes, EnglandThe next two divisions could be defined as “the J/109 class” as the majority in each were either class-configured boats or IRC configured setups.  In IRC 2A Division the J/crews took 11 of the top 20 spots.  The J/109 JOUSTER (Adam Wright) was 2nd and BLUE JAY (Alan Bennett) was 3rd, DESIGNSTAR 2 (Roger Phillips) took 5th, TIGH SOLIUS II (Iain Mackinnon) 8th and WHITE KNIGHT 7 (Colonel John Ogden) 9th, JYNNAN TONNYX (Owain Franks and Jean Lockett) 11th, JUMUNU (Julian Sutherland) 12th, JINKS (Chris Brooks) 13th, BONFIRE 4 (Chris Brooks) 14th, the J/39 XTREME (sailed by Stephen Best, Colin Foxley & Spencer Paul) 18th and the J/109 JIGSAW (Chris Andrews of Zig Zag Sailing) 20th.  

The IRC 2B Division saw J/Teams sweep the top five positions!  Topping them all was the “classic” J/35 BENGAL MAGIC skippered by James Chalmers, followed sequentially by four J/109s- OFFBEAT (David Mcleman), HIGH TENSION (Chris Brooks), J’TAIME (Christopher Palmer), JYBE TALKIN (Chris & Helen Burleigh).  The balance of the top 20 was just about a clean sweep with J’s taking 17 of the top 20 positions!  

The IRC 2C Division saw the J/105s do well despite the light stuff.  KING LOUIE (Fiona & Malcolm Thorpe) took 8th and FLAWLESS J (James Heald) took 9th.

J/70 sailing Round Island Race off Cowes, EnglandThe J/97s and colleagues faired well in IRC Division 2D.  ETB TYRES JUST LIKE (Chaz Ivill) took 5th and JASLAN (Brett Lewis & H Hofmann) took 7th.  The J/110 SHADES OF BLUE (Ed Holton) took 8th.  Then three J/97s finished in sequence, TYREFIX JL (Dave Cobden) 11th, BLACKJACK II (Andy Howe & Annie Kelly) 12th, INDULJENCE (N
ick & Adam Munday) 13th.  Then J/92 WIZARD (John Greenaway) 14th.

In the ISCRS Division 4B, the J/109 SARDONYX IX (William Edwards) won her class. In ISCRS Division 4D, the J/92s HULLABALOO (Felix Marks) took 2nd in class.  In ISCRS Division 5B, the J/100 ALAMARA B II (Ole Bettum) took 1st in class and her sistership J/100 THUNDERSQUALL (Julia James) took 5th in class.  In ISCRS Division 6C, the J/24 JUJU (sailed by Quinton Hall, a new boat and first time around island with friends and family in a J/24!) took 2nd in class and her sistership J-RIDER (Roger Ayres) took 8th.

J/80 sailing Round Island Race off EnglandIn the J/80 class, it was EXETER-SOLAR.COM (Nigel Skudder with a crack team of 470 class sailors with National, European and World Champion credentials!) 1st, AQUA-J (Patrick Liardet) 2nd and JUMBLESAIL (Robert Hunt) 3rd, J-WIFE (Simon Watson) 4th and WILD WALLY (the trio of Robert Walters, David Walters & James O’Neill) 5th.

In the Sportsboat Class, 8 of top 10 were J/Teams and swept the top five. On a boat-for-boat basis, the J/70s finished 1-2 on elapsed time in 10 hrs 52 minutes for the top boat.  On handicap, the J/80 ROYAL 2 (Christopher Hill) took 1st, followed by last year’s winner the J/70 TEAM RAFBF SPITFIRE (Wing Commander Simon Ling), then the J/70 JENGA 8 (Andrew Barraclough) in 3rd, the J/80s ROYAL 1 (Richard Acland) in 4th and ROYAL 4 (James Baxter sailing with two crew members, Gareth Edwards and Douglas Peniston, that are ex-Fireball National Champion crews) in 5th, then the J/70 PURE STUDENT LIVING (Jack & Freddie Davies) in 6th, the J/70 BABY-J (Charlie Esse) next in 7th, and the J/70 WILSON COVERS (Ian Wilson) in 8th.   For more Round Island Race sailing information

J/88 sailing upwindHokey Smokes! Crazy 88s Win Chicago-Waukegan!
(Chicago, IL)- “For the first time this year, both Chicago J/88’s made it to the starting line together,” commented Rich Stearns, the J/Boats dealer in Chicago. He goes on to say, “With their 87 PHRF rating that put them in Section 4. 72 boats entered the 26.2 mile sprint up the lake. Unfortunately, dense fog would cover the fleet for nearly the entire race.

The start was downwind and light from the Southeast. The course was 345 degrees. The two 88’s and a Farr 38 started at the pin, the inshore end. While the rest of the section fought for the boat end and then battled each other sailing out into the lake. It seemed the lighter the wind got the faster the 88 was compared to the fleet. When the wind was 8 to 10 kts we just sailed even with the Farr 38 but when the wind went to 4 kts WOW the 2 88’s just took off.

Thirty minutes into the race a big shift to the Southwest came through with more fog. The two 88’s jibe to the favored jibe.  The last we saw of the fleet they were sailing offshore some sailing 90 degrees from the finish. Fog will disorient people.

For the next 4 hours we sailed all alone in dense fog. The J/88 just flying under its big Asymmetric spinnaker. We don’t have instruments but it looked like about 4 to 8 kts of wind and the boat just sailed the run at 6 kts no problem. It was easy to get her going 6.5 kts but that was too hot. We sighted land off Wilmette, Illinois and as fate would have it we got a nice shift to jibe in.

We were within two miles of the finish when a crew member reported seeing another boat! “Boy it looks kind of big!”  “No, really it looks kind of big”.  No one could really make it out in the fog but it was coming pretty fast, that was for sure.  “I think it is the TP52”. But, we figured they had passed us hours ago. “No, it is the TP52!”  Sure enough, they started 30 minutes after us and rating -81 PHRF no one thought we would see them.  “Wait”! there is another boat!”  “It looks really, really big!”   “Holy smokes, it’s the Andrews 77, she rates -138 PHRF!”

Well, the bad news is both the big boats beat us across the line.  The good news is “Hokey Smoke” J/88 #21 won overall. Then, out of the fog came another little boat. Amazing!  It was the other J/88, Ben Wilson’s “Rambler”, that came across the line to finish second overall. Ben is having a great year; placing high in the two other events he entered his boat and assistant coaching the Loyola Ramblers to the NCAA National Championship in NCAA Men’s Volleyball!

The fog wouldn’t let up so we tied up at the dock.  Soon, in came Scott Simms’ J/109 “Slap Shot” followed by Pete Prieda’s J/109 “Full Tilt” to place third and fourth overall. Sorry no pictures- fog will do that! A sweep for J/Boats!!”  Thanks for the story and colorful commentary from Rich Stearns.

J/70 sailing at Kiel, Germany505 World Champ Wins J/70s At Kieler Woche
(Kiel, Germany)- The “Greatest Sailing Event in the World” and the largest summer festival in Northern Europe is Kieler Woche, so says the Kieler Chamber of Commerce— the self-proclaimed “Kiel.Sailing.City” of Germany. It’s awfully hard to argue with that point if you look at the numbers and the magnitude of the event.  In a nine-day program, over 2,000 events are hosted to entertain over three million visitors from all over the world.  All these people come to celebrate the 132nd Kieler Woche, temporary home for 5,000 sailors aboard 2,000 yachts from 50 countries sailing 40 individual fleets on 11 race courses with 400 starts planned! It’s not surprising the “Who’s who” of sailing in many competitive one-design classes line up at the start for this eponymous event.

Three J/classes compete over the course of the nine days in Kiel.  In the first part are the J/70s and J/80s and the second are the J/24s.

The J/70s had an excellent turnout of a dozen boats with several notable German sailors participating.  At the top would surely be Claas Lehmann, a recent International 505 World Champion as well as skipper Michael Illgenstein sailing for the Flensburg Sailing Club- one of the leaders in the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing in J/70s.  Apparently, FSC’s Illgenstein was hoping that racing in Kieler Woche would be helpful for their next event in the Bundesliga that takes place at Travemunde Sailing Week in three weeks.  To add more fuel to the fire, also sailing as skipper was Christian Soyka, a five-times X-99 World Champion from Germany and from The Netherlands, Woulter Kollman sailing HENRI LLOYD, a multiple J/22 Netherlands/ Benelux and J/22 European Champion.

J/70s sailing at mark in Kiel, GermanyWith so much firepower aiming for the coveted three slots on the podium, it was anyone’s guess how it would all go down after three days of racing.  Only seven of ten races were completed but it was enough to see enormous fluctuations in the standings amongst the top five.  In the end, after what could be seen as an uncharacteristically slow start, Claas Lemann’s team sailing MITTELMANN (Marc-Pawel Mohlmann, Valentin Zeller & Bjorn Athmen) overcame their initial shock of an 8-6 in the first two races to score a 1-2-3-1-1 for 14 pts net to win by a remarkable 6 pts.  

For the balance of the top five in the J/70s it all ended up in a virtual tie at 20 to 22 pts each, the last race becoming the determining factor for everyone.  Starting fast but struggling to maintain pace with Lehmann was The Netherland’s Wouter Kollman and crew (Wick Hillege, Kim Platteeuw & Gilbert Figaroa) sailing HENRI LLOYD.  While winning the first race and taking a DNF (14) in the second race, their uphill struggle was worth it, taking a 3-4-6-2-4 for 20 pts net to secure the silver position.  Taking third on the tie-breaker at 21 pts each was Michael Illgenstein with his Flensburg SC crew (Terje Klockermann, Jan-Ole Burzinski & Finn Mrugalla).  There’s was a true “roller-coaster” ride, scoring a 6-1-5-1-8-5-3 for 21 pts net.  Behind them in fourth, losing the tie-break, was Christian Soyka on VOICE OF ITZEHOE; his team of Ole Stucker, Leon Stolp & Arne Petersen managed a scoreline of 5-2-4-6-2-10-2 for the same 21 pts.   Fifth was Dennis Mehlig sailing with his crew of Marvin Frisch, Kevin Mehlig and Anian Schreiber.

Unlike the J/70s, the twenty-two boat J/80 fleet saw a runaway winner in the form of Martin Menzner and crew (Frank Lichte, Carsten Hopp & Mike Rolfs) sailing PIKE.  By tossing a 2nd place, they scored six 1sts for a total of 6 pts net and a margin of victory of 11 pts in seven races.  Behind them was a strong contest for the balance of the top five with the results not becoming apparent until the final tally in the last race.  The three players were Soren Hadeler’s GER 578, Hauke Kruss’s GER 853 and Martin Christiansen’s GER 885.  Kruss started out strong with a 2-2-4 but struggled later with a 10-3-3-6.  Hadeler struggled at first with a 6-3-6 but closed like a race-horse with a 1-2-2-3.  Christiansen sailed solidly enough to win in the beginning with a 3-4-2-3-4 but a hiccup in the end with a 7-5 cost him the silver.  As a result, Hadeler took 2nd with 17 pts, Kruss 3rd with 20 pts, and Christiansen 4th with 21 pts. Fifth was Olav Jansen with 31 pts.  Kieler food and ambience Youtube video (pretty amazing!).     For Kieler Woche sailing results.  For more Kiel Week sailing information

J/125 Timeshaver sailing off CaliforniaJ/125 Dominates SoCal Offshore
(Dana Point, CA)- Over the past few years we have been tracking how a number of our J/125 owners have been doing with this “classic” offshore sportsboat, if you could call a 40 ft boat a “sportsboat”.  Created in a time when the Farr 40s were all the rage, the J/125 was meant to be a fun, lightweight, all-around fast offshore boat that could be sailed by anyone with a broad cross-section of crew- be that fully-manned, double-handed, or simply day-sailing with friends.  The design largely succeeded in its goals for an all-carbon, foam-cored, dagger-keeled, all carbon-rig “racer-cruiser”.  

On the West Coast, a die-hard core of J/125 owners continue to have fun with their boats because they fit the “karma” of fast, downwind, reaching boats that are the stuff of legends out West (e.g. think Bill Lee/ Santa Cruz, Moore 24s, Express 27s and the like).  Unlike other legendary West Coast “sleds”, the J/125 could also go upwind at a frenetic pace— witness the remarkable success of J/125s in the Rolex Big Boat Series sailed on San Francisco Bay.  

We recently got another great report from Keith Magnussen at Ullman Sails Newport Beach, CA regards one of those J/125s.  Here’s Keith’s report:  

“Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 “Timeshaver” has had a great run this year (2nd overall Newport to Ensenada & 1st in Class Yachting Cup) and we are still trying to come up with ways to make the boat faster (mostly more sails!).  

J/125 Timeshaver winnersTimeshaver’s home is Dana Point YC in Dana Point, CA.  This city of Dana Point has a lot of history (“Two Years Before The Mast”) and is also my home harbor so any chance I get to sail there is always a bonus.  One of the most popular events for racing is the Dana Point Series that is comprised of 8 random leg and buoy courses.  The random leg races take us around the coastline close to Dana.  We get the chance to sail up to picturesque Laguna Beach and also south to San Onofre and the (in)famous Nuclear Power Plant.  In addition to the random, we also get the chance to test ourselves in a few W/L races, making this a diverse series with a more diverse boat selection.  You will find almost every style of boat represented from Newport 28’s, J-24, FT-10s and a plethora of other boats.

Consistency wins this series and we started out strong.  The wind seems to get lighter and lighter throughout the series so it is important for us to start in the front.  It is never fun when the wind fills in later in the day and the “slower” boats get to catch up.  But, hey this IS sailing!  

In the end we were triumphant but it was very close with the uber-fast Carrera.  I cannot say enough about Viggo and his program.  J/Boats made one of the best boats and Viggo runs one of the most fun boats.  We are looking forward to Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race and then pulling the boat out in preparation for the 2015 Transpac Race…. so stay tuned!”  Thanks to K-Mag for the report.  For more Dana Point YC sailing information

J/109 sailing offshoreCleveland Race Week
(Cleveland, OH)- Cleveland Race Week concluded its 10-day event with 69 boats competing in the PHRF Offshore Series, hosted by Edgewater Yacht Club in Cleveland, OH. The Race Week is the largest sailing regatta on Lake Erie and one of the most prominent on the Great Lakes. The annual event, now in its 34th year provided 10 days of racing, live music, parties and special events for over 1,500 national and international men, women and junior sailors.

The “Big Boat” portion of the regatta (June 19-22) began Thursday night with beautiful breeze on Lake Erie, and continued Friday night with lighter air. Fridayfeatured a finish line at the William G. Mather steamship in the heart of downtown Cleveland’s harbor. Both Saturday and Sunday’s races took place under sunny skies and winds that started on the low end each day but built in the afternoon.

In the PHRF A Division, the two J/111’s (Ryan Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF and Don Hudak’s new CAPERS), finished 3rd and 4th, respectively.  In PHRF B Division, Seth Young’s J/39 BLACK SEAL took top honors with Tim Yanda’s J/120 VIVA LA VIDA in 5th.

In the PHRF C Level 72 Division, Paul Matthews’s J/35 WHITEHAWK took 3rd.  And, in PHRF D Jay Hawkins new J/88 TY-LEE took class honors with Mark Saffell’s J/36 PAINKILLER in 3rd, and Peter Kuhn’s J/33 WINDLASSIE in 4th.

In the J/105 one-design class it was Jim Sminchak’s IT in first, followed by Bob Mock’s UNBRIDLED in second and Jim Uhlir’s TRIO in third.

In the PHRF G class, the J/29s sailed well with Cindy Einhouse’s OVATION taking third and Aarne Lillo’s AQUARIUS in fourth.  
Then, in PHRF H class, it was the two J/30s (Rich Galaska’s BREEZIN and Dale & Maggie Gormley’s SAND DOLLAR) taking 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

The JAM Women’s “double-handed” offshore sailing divisions saw tremendous growth in participation.  The rules are simply that at least one crew member is a woman.  The fact that 12 of the 29 teams are J/Teams (41.0% of the women’s fleet) is not surprising.  Fun, easy to sail boats are essential to women having fun sailing boats whether it’s cruising, day-sailing or racing.  There are three divisions based on level of experience. The JAM-A fleet saw the J/34 BONAFIDE (Dave Krotseng) win class.  For more Cleveland Race Week Offshore sailing information

J/24s sailing on Galveston Bay, Houston, TXFREIGHT DOG Tumbles to Dallas Honky Tonk Win!
(Dallas, TX)- Yet another Dallas Race Week goes down in the history books the 34th edition again considered an unqualified success amongst the many happy evening racers on Lake Ray Hubbard just southeast of downtown Dallas.  Hosted by the only three yachts clubs on the lake (Chandlers Landing YC, Bayview YC & Rush Creek YC), the one race per night “pursuit race” style format over a 5nm random-leg course proved popular for the local members of the Fortune 500 (ya’know, all those wild-catters and stuff that own J/22s and J/24s).  As usual, the evening “after-party” was always popular and a great way to relax after a stressful day at the office rounding up yet another massive herd at the OK Corral (yes, they do things differently in Texas).

While the sailors always seem to have fun, perhaps the biggest beneficiary are the sailors helping support the corporate-sponsored community service projects of the Rockwall Breakfast Rotary Club. The mission is to provide funding for programs that address issues of poverty, hunger, illiteracy and health care affecting the community. The motto is “Sail Into Service” and it is a belief that represents the value placed on teamwork by sailors and community servants throughout history. The main sponsors this year are Gus Sails, The Matteson Realty Group and SailWithScott.com.

Despite the low lake levels (there is a drought of epic proportions in mid-America that eclipse John Steinbeck’s famous novel- “The Dust Bowl”), the sailors still managed by throwing boats on their shoulders or on beach dollies and heaving them into the muddy waters along with frantic catfish leaping for their lives.

While the conditions obviously change radically week to week, witness the fact that Dallas has see tornado’s, baseball-sized hail, freakish sheet lightning and hurricane-force winds just in the last two weeks, it’s “all good” for the sailors on the lake— they always manage to make it work.

In the PHRF B Class, it was pretty apparent that J/sailors almost always seem to “make it work”!  Taking class honors was the J/24 FREIGHT DOG, sailed by that dynamic duo of Bob Williams & Pete Pitzer from Chandler’s Landing YC.  Their three bullets contributed to a runaway win for their class.  Taking third was the J/22 RIJJIJOFRIJIK, skippered by Kathy Kulpers from Chandlers Landing YC.  Then, in 6th was the J/24 AUDACITY sailed by George Conklin and in 7th was the J/22 MAUDE skippered by Jim Oursler.For more Dallas Race Week sailing information

J/Cruising CommunityJ cruising directions- roll the dice and go!  Sailing to anywhere, anytime!

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.

J/42 cruiser- sailing across Atlantic Ocean* 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/SVCeolMor/Welcome.html

J/160 sailing offshore to US Virgin Islands- rainbow over ocean