American YC Fall Series
The American Yacht Club Fall Series got off to a great start last weekend with nearly perfect weather conditions on Long Island Sound. Partly sunny days with fresh easterlies graced the fleet for both days, with 15-23 knots on Saturday and 8-14 knots on Sunday. Due to inclement weather, the second weekend of the Series was cancelled. Consequently, the results from the first weekend stand. Congratulations to Scott and Alex Furnary on Any Colour for winning with a convincing 6 points net scoreline in the J/70 fleet. Allan Stern and Bill Walker’s Victura won the last race and placed second. Madelyn and Megan Ploch on Sugar Daddy were third, and fourth on 26 points was Dave Florence’s Buzz taking it over Scott Bursor’s Slinky. For more American YC Fall Series sailing information, visit www.americanyc.org.
Jud Smith Takes the Title at the 2015 J/70 North American Championship
After three days of a scoreboard order that wouldn't budge, Jud Smith finally broke out of second place to win the 2015 Green Flash J/70 North American Championship. With light winds and a 2:00pm deadline for the final race start, Smith only had two races to shorten Doug Strebel's 15-point lead. Winds blew at an average of 6-8 kts over the racing venue, set up just offshore from Coronado beach. The first race of the day was a four-leg course, with two upwind and two downwind sprints. Smith (Africa) finished in ninth place, while Strebel (Zounds powered by Black River Racing) fell to the second half of the fleet, finishing in 25th. In addition to a major change on the scoreboard, Race 9 also had significant changes of its own. John Brigden (Cool Story, Bro) was poised for a top finish after an early lead in the upwind leg, but ultimately fell behind and finished in 14th place. Shannon Bush (Hooligan) and Thomas Bowen (Reach Around) both conceded two places during the second two legs, finishing in sixth and fourth, respectively. Joel Ronning (Catapult) won Race 9, followed by Jeff Brown (J/70) in second place and Julian Fernandez Neckelmann (Flojito y Cooperando) in third. Going into the final race of the regatta, a two-point spread separated Smith in first from Strebel in second. Since competitors were not eligible for any throw-out scores, every race counted towards the final showdown. The final race of the regatta was a five-leg course with an upwind finish, whose original start was temporarily postponed to allow for consistent breezes to fill in. By the time the fleet made it to the first upwind mark, Brad Rodi (Bl!ss) was leading the race with regatta leader Smith just four boats behind. Strebel was well behind the top third of the fleet during the second leg. He finished the race in 18th place, guaranteeing that Smith would take home the title. Smith celebrated with the rest of his crew: William Felder, Marc Gauthier and Victor Diaz.
J/70 North American Championship - Open Class
1st Place: Jud Smith, Africa
2nd Place: Doug Strebel, Zounds powered by Black River Racing
3rd Place: Tim Healy, Helly Hansen
4th Place: Brad Rodi, Bl!ss
5th Place: John Brigden, Cool Story, Bro
J/70 North American Championship - Corinthian Class
1st Place: Chris Raab, Sugoi
2nd Place: Pat Toole, 3 Big Dogs
3rd Place: Steve Shaw, Smoking J
For complete information, visit the 2015 J/70 North American Championship website at www.j70nac.com.
Strebel Still on Top at the 2015 J/70 North American Championship
Doug Strebel and the Zounds crew have successfully completed their third consecutive day atop the 2015 Green Flash J/70 North American Championship scoreboard. With a total of 40 points, Strebel will head into the final day of racing with a 15-point lead over Jud Smith's Africa and a 30-point lead over Tim Healy's Helly Hansen. If these three names sound familiar, it's because they are. Over three days of racing, wind changes and tough competition, Strebel, Smith and Healy have not only consistently stayed in the top three spots, they've also stayed in the same order. Winds were light for the third day of the regatta, prompting Race Committee to call it an early day after completing two races. Race 7 began with light winds that averaged between 5-7 kts at a direction of 275. Bruno Pasquineli (Stampede) led at the first upwind mark, but a slow patch on the downwind leg put him several places back into the fleet. Smith (Africa) gained two positions in the last legs to steal the bullet, while Shannon Bush (Hooligan) conceded one spot after the gate rounding to end the race in third. Renato Faria (To Nessa) and Will Welles (Sea Bags Sailing Team) rounded out the top five teams for Race 7. Doug Strebel's 17th place finish was his worst of the regatta and first finish outside of the top ten. Those 17 points combined with Smith's bullet gave Africa a temporary stint as the overall regatta leader. Unfortunately for Smith, a bad start and upwind leg in Race 8 trapped him in the middle of the fleet, and the Africa crew watched as Strebel skillfully maneuvered Zounds through light winds as the race leader. Strebel's early lead paid off at the finish line, where he took second and Smith took 28th. Gannon Troutman, who at 14 years old is by far the youngest skipper at the regatta, led the Pied Piper crew to their first bullet of the regatta. If that isn't impressive enough, he has also competed this entire regatta with a cast and sling due to an arm injury. John Brigden (Cool Story, Bro) held his position of fourth place overall, while Brad Rodi (Bl!ss) moved past both Savasana (Brian Keane) and Ocho Cinco (Allan Terhune) to claim fifth place overall. Competitors gathered back at the San Diego Yacht Club for the post-racing social event sponsored by Green Flash Brewery. Racing will continue tomorrow at 11:30am for the final day of the regatta. For more information, skipper's lists and regatta documents, visit the 2015 J/70 North American Championship website at www.j70nac.com.
Shifty Winds Can't Shake Top 3 at J/70 National Championship
Although Friday's shifty San Diego winds certainly made the day's three races very interesting, they weren't strong enough to shake the fleet leaders from their top spots. When the second day of the 2015 J/70 North American Championship concluded, the top three positions remained unchanged: Zounds (Doug Strebel) in first, Africa (Jud Smith) in second and Helly Hansen (Tim Healy) in third. The first race of the day began with winds blowing between 8-9 kts at a direction of 270. A temporary left shift at the beginning of the first beat seemingly gave left-side starters a significant advantage over the rest of the fleet. However, their puff disappeared before the fleet was halfway to the weather mark, leaving them in slower winds than the steady pressure on the right side of the course. Renato Faria, skipper of To Nessa, kept a tight tail on Jud Smith's Africa as he led the rest of the fleet around the upwind mark. Faria was quick to close that gap on the downwind mark and took over as fleet leader, finishing the race with his first win of the regatta. As crews regrouped for the next race, winds picked up to a steady 13 kts. By the end of the upwind leg, a 17-degree shift in wind direction mixed up the beat's current leaders, and Allan Terhune's Ocho Cinco was quick to seize the opportunity in front of them. Terhune was able to hold his position throughout as he led Flojito y Cooperando (Julian Fernandez Neckelmann) and Cool Story, Bro (John Brigden) to finish in the top three spots of the race. It was the first top three finish for both Terhune and Neckelmann. By the time the rest of the fleet finished the race, the winds had slowed down to a light 7.5 kts. The third race of the day was the longest and the last, with Race Committee opting to set up a 5-leg course with an upwind finish. Jack Franco and the 3 Ball JT crew secured their first bullet of the regatta early in the race, after taking the lead on the very first upwind leg. Jud Smith's Africa gained two boats after the first leg to finish in 2nd place. The current regatta leader Doug Strebel was overtaken by Kostanecki to finish Race 6 in third place. With 26 points, Smith is 5 points behind regatta leader Strebel and 21 points ahead of the third place skipper Tim Healy. Racing will continue Saturday with the first warning scheduled for 11:30am. For more information, skipper's lists and regatta documents, visit the 2015 J/70 North American Championship website at www.j70nac.com.
Green Flash J/70 North American Championship Day One
Day One of the 2015 Green Flash J/70 North American Championship is officially in the books with three races completed. Coronado Roads gave a fickle start to the day, forcing Race Committee to postpone the starting sequence and reset the course to adjust for significant changes in wind direction. With only 5.5 kts of wind blowing, finding the perfect pocket on the starting line was more crucial than ever. The most prime real estate on the line was on the starboard side, which wind direction and the occasional puffs both seemed to favor. A bit eager to get the regatta going, the first attempt ended in a general recall. After a second try, the fleet was finally off. At the upwind weather mark, it was Africa, skippered by Jud Smith, that led the fleet, followed closely by Zounds (Doug Strebel), Helly Hansen (Tim Healy), Midlife Crisis (Bruce Golison) and 3 Ball JT (Jack Franco). For this first day of racing, this weather mark proved to be a strong indicator of the fleet's top competition. By the second leg of Race 2, Tim Healy and his crew took over as fleet leader and led Zounds (Strebel), Africa (Smith) and Midlife Crisis (Golison) around the remainder of the course and across the finish line. Winds began to fill in for the second race of the day, with speeds ranging from 7-9 kts across the course. The stronger winds were just the push that Strebel and his team needed to secure the bullet. The were followed closely by Savasana (Brian Keane) in second, Catapult (Joel Ronning) in third, Sugoi (Chris Raab) in fourth and Africa (Jud Smith) in fifth. Previous race winner Tim Healy finished in 13th, proving that with this competitive fleet, consecutive race wins will be no easy feat. Ultimately, it was Doug Strebel who would finish the day as the regatta leader, with a fourth place finish in Race 3 securing his spot as the top overall boat. Strebel holds a ten-point lead over second place overall finisher Jud Smith, who finished Race 3 in ninth place. The winner of Race 3 was Will Welles, a new name for the top of the fleet after finishing the first two races in 22nd and 25th, respectively. With three different winners in as many races, the J/70 North American Championship is still anyone's to take. Racing continues tomorrow with the first warning scheduled for 11:30am. For more information, skipper's lists and regatta documents, visit the 2015 J/70 North American Championship website at www.j70nac.com.
The Houston Open One Design (HOOD) Regatta was held from September 19-20 at the Houston Yacht Club in Texas. Six J/70s completed six races, with Chris Lewis' GB handily taking the top spot with a line of 2,1,1,1,1,2 for 8 points. Bruce McDonald's Rogue Warrior placed second with 16 points, and then Al Poindexter and Bruno Vibert tied at 25 points each. For complete results, visit http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/10894.
J/70 North American Championship Kicks Off Thursday, September 24 from SoCal
50 J/70 teams are gathering for racing at the J/70 North American Championship in San Diego, California. The competition begins Thursday, September 24 and continues through Sunday, September 27. Keep up with all the action from San Diego Yacht Club at the regatta website: www.j70nac.com.
All Tuned Up
The 'Tune Up' Regatta for the North American Championship at San Diego Yacht Club took place from September 12-13 with 15 J/70s on hand. Congratulations to team Dazzler from Annapolis (Allan Terhune), team Bliss from San Diego (Brad Rodi) and to the winning team Catapult from Minnesota (Joel Ronning). Seven races were completed, and Catapult kept all her scores in the top three. For complete results, visit http://sdyc.org/results15/j70_tuneup_res.htm.
Marblehead ONE Regatta
In somewhat light conditions at the Marblehead ONE Regatta, the PROs from the three principal yacht clubs (Eastern, Boston, Corinthian) running the regatta did an admirable job starting up to nine races for some of the fleets. It was the Smith family on AFRICA who took Class honors in the J/70s with a near sweep of all five races. The young crew of Tyler Doyle and Chris Boulter on USA 245 took second place with steady finishes in the top three. Also sailing a consistent series in the top five was RASCAL with Henry Brauer and Stew Neff. RASCAL’s steadiness earned them a spot on the podium to take third overall. The rest of the top five included another family effort, Johan & Daan Goedkoop’s REGATTA FLUFF taking fourth position, and in fifth place was Frank Arabia’s COWABUNGA. For more ONE Championship regatta sailing information, visit www.oneregatta.org.
REACH AROUND Crowned J/70 Great Lakes Champ
The annual Verve Inshore Regatta weekend (Chicago, IL) got an early start as 14 J/70s began their Great Lakes Championship last Friday morning with uncertain conditions in the forecast. "We started the day off in six knots of wind at 10:30, and the wind shifted over to the southeast to about nine knots," said Chicago YC’s PRO Rick Lillie. "We were able to get four square races off with only a few adjustments." Even before racing started, there was a shift when NORBOY transitioned to "NORGIRL"! During practice on Thursday, NORBOY’s owner Leif Sigmond was injured after a rough round up and a dip into the storm-cooled waters of Lake Michigan. Not wanting to drop out of the event, Sigmond quickly brought in Sarah Renz as a substitute skipper to round out his team of fellow Chicago Yacht Club members including his wife Laura Sigmond, Melissa Grim and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Stephanie Roble. Leading at the end of four races was Thomas Bowen’s REACH AROUND from Charleston, SC. REACH AROUND is a two-year-old husband-wife program that ranked top 10 in the three top events of the 2015 winter circuit—Key West Race Week, Miami Sailing Week and Charleston Race Week. It is their first event on freshwater. Racing with REACH AROUND was Quantum Sails J/70 specialist Marty Kullman. "We have been sailing together long enough that we all know each other pretty well and react to each other," said Kullman. "A team that sails together a lot is just in a better situation." Local J/70 veteran John Heaton’s EMPEIARIA was sitting in a close second and improved their finishes with each race taking off one boat at a time, moving from fourth to first. Heaton agreed that teamwork and time in the boat together is the key to success. "Our team took a little while to gel today, but it all came together for the last race. We got off the line well, had good tactical decisions, the boat was fast and we put together a complete race and won it by quite a bit," Heaton said. "It was a good race." After two more days of racing, Bowen’s REACH AROUND posted all top three finishes to win the regatta with 16 points. Heaton’s EMPEIRIA also maintained their second position over the weekend with mostly top three races in their scoreline. Behind them, it was a real battle for the balance of the top five and, especially, the third spot on the podium. As the Corinthian J/70 Great Lakes Champion, Martin Johnsson’s AQUAHOLIKS gang sailed consistently and won a race en route to securing the third spot. Just behind them, fourth and fifth were determined by a tiebreak between Trey Sheehan’s FLAT STANLEY/HOOLIGAN RACING and the Laura Sigmond’s women’s team sailing NORGIRL. In the end, FLAT STANLEY won the tiebreak on 40 points, while the ladies on NORGIRL had to settle for fifth place. The NORGIRL team was also the top Women’s team. Second in Corinthian and second women’s skipper was Amy Neill’s NITEMARE from Chicago YC, and third Corinthian was Ryan Foley’s JOHNNY UTAH. For more J/70 Great Lakes/Verve Cup Inshore sailing information, visit https://www.chicagoyachtclub.org/verveinshore.
2016 J/70 World Championship
The 2016 J/70 World Championship Notice of Race has been posted, and the regatta website is live at https://www.stfyc.com/j70worlds2016. St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, California will be our host from September 24-October 1, 2016!
Atlantic City Race Week/Leukemia Cup
The Feeder Race from Ocean City was held in 20 knot winds (on the nose) and 10 foot breaking seas. Everyone had a great time with no casualties to report. The Friday night party was electric with live music. The Golden Nugget pool venue was spectacular with sweeping views of the marina and Atlantic City. On Saturday, there was a large chop but the wind eased to 15 knots. Great racing was followed by another blockbuster party on the roof deck overlooking the marina. After the party, some folks found their way to the deck to enjoy the dance band, while others headed back to their boats to call it a day. The weather on Sunday was perfect, and the racing was fantastic. Next year, the event will be bigger, better and even more fun. All for a good cause - to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Five J/70s were registered, and four races were completed. John Wilsey's Goofyfoot took top honors with 6 points, trailed by Jack Lord's Hey Jude (8) and Dick O'Keefe's Carlos (10). For complete information, click here.
Becker wins J/70 Mid-Summer Invitational
Geoff Becker is on a roll. After traveling to Canada to capture the Lightning World Championship, Becker returned home to Severn Sailing Association and topped a solid fleet in the J/70 Mid-Summer Invitational. Becker had no problem switching gears into a different one-design class and won three of six races in totaling 24 points, three better than the runner-up team on Tsunami. "We sailed light, which helped a lot in a light air regatta," Becker said. "We set the boat up well and our crew work was excellent." Becker has done considerable J/70 racing as crew for Tim Healy. Together, they just finished third at the J/70 World Championships in La Rochelle, France. However, Becker has not skippered his own J/70 entry too often, last doing so at the Annapolis Yacht Club spring regatta. The Arnold resident also steers his own boat, named Papa Wheelie, on occasion in the Thursday Night Series out of J/World Annapolis. "I've sailed the boat at a high level so that helps. I wind up coaching a lot of people when I go to regattas and get used to explaining the solutions. I found myself hearing my own advice inside my head this past weekend when I was skippering my own boat," Becker said. "I was excited to drive the 70 since I haven't done it a lot. It was fun." Laura Beigel helped Becker secure his first World Championship as a skipper last month in Ridgeway, Ontario. The Severna Park resident was aboard again last weekend as foredeck crew. Chris Segerblom, who sailed collegiately at Yale and lives in the District of Columbia, trimmed the headsails. Josh Becker, a 13-year-old Club 420 sailor at SSA, helped his father by assisting on the bow. "My son loves sailing on the 70 and understands what to do on the boat," said Becker, who introduced Josh to the boat through the Thursday Night Series. Organizers with Severn Sailing Association held four races on Saturday in light, shifty conditions. Becker got the gun in three of those starts and was asked afterward by many fellow competitors how he was able to maintain boat speed when there was considerable powerboat chop. "Our plan was to keep the boat going as fast forward as possible. Trying to sheet the sails in tight and point, or trying to soak lower on the downwind legs was very difficult," he said. "Instead, we tried to keep the bow down when going upwind and the bow up on the downwind legs to maintain a higher boat speed." Becker wrote an article for North Sails website that explained how his crew moved the jib lead one hole forward from its normal position and used less in-hauler when sailing upwind. He also set the main traveler all the way to windward then eased the main sheet until the boom was slightly above the boat's centerline. "This allowed the main to have some twist and free up the flow, enabling the boat to accelerate more easily after hitting waves," he said. On downwind legs, Becker said keeping pressure in the spinnaker and heading up to gain speed before encountering waves was the key part of the strategy. Due to the recruiting efforts of regatta chairman Jonathan Pollack, the Mid-Summer Invitational attracted 20 boats–one of the highest turnouts for a J/70 Fleet 1 weekend event. Tsunami, owned by Todd Olds, Preben Ostberg and Thomas Iseler, turned in one of its best performances since joining the J/70 Class. Olds and Iseler shared steering duties as the team placed second in four consecutive races to start the regatta before absorbing a 16th in Race 5. Tsunami rebounded to close with a third on Sunday and that was good enough to maintain a five-point cushion over Jenn and Ray Wulff and the Joint Custody crew. Read the complete Capital Gazette article by clicking here.
Over the weekend of August 1-2, the Riverside YC and American YC hosted the YRA Long Island Sound Championship in the western end of Long Island Sound. It was a great weekend of tight racing with a mix of light to medium wind conditions. This was the 10th Anniversary of the YRA Regatta that included both PHRF and one-design fleets. The parties were great, and the clubs worked hard to provide good food, music and great trophies. The J/70s had an excellent turnout of nearly a dozen boats with local Kerry Klingler on MENACE taking class honors with three firsts and two seconds for a total of 7 points. The duo of Scott and Alex Furnary on ANY COLOUR won two races on the way to second overall with 14 points. The two Ploch girls, Madelyn & Megan, co-skippered SUGAR DADDY to third overall with consistent top five finishes. Fourth in class was Scott Bursor’s SLINKY, and fifth was Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK. For more YRA-LIS Championship sailing information, click here.
For the better part of last weekend’s Little Traverse YC Ugotta Regatta, the fleet enjoyed the usual gorgeous weather in Harbor Springs, MI on the waters of Little Traverse Bay. The biggest one-design fleet was the J/70 with 10 boats. Winning the first J/70 Ugotta Regatta trophy was Scott Sellers’ team on TRES BURRITOS from Larkspur, California. There’s was not a landslide affair, posting four bullets on their way to a win with 15 points. Only two points back was Ed Furry’s SAIL22 FALE from Culver, Indiana with 17 points. While these two battled for the fleet lead, it was another battle for the next four places overall. In the end, Mr. DOWNTOWNER, Jeff Towner from Grand Rapids, Michigan, snagged the last spot on the podium to walk home with the bronze. There was a three-way tie for fourth place on 38 points each. Richard Lehmann from Paradise Valley, Arizona, sailed WIND CZAR to a fourth overall based on the tiebreaker. Settling for fifth and sixth overall, respectively, were Polk Wagner’s ESCAPE from Harbor Springs and Chal Curtis’ SUNDOG from Harbor Springs. For more Ugotta Regatta sailing information, visit http://ltyc.org/ugotta-regatta/.
New England Championship at Marblehead NOOD
More than 130 boats in nine classes competed at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Marblehead, including 22 J/70s competing for the New England Championship. Jud Smith's Africa handily earned the victory with five bullets in 10 races for 16 net points. Will Welles' Scamp snagged second place with 25 points, over Bruno Pasquinelli's Stampede with 48. Tyler Doyle won the Corinthian division. For complete results, visit http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eid=1232.
At the CanAm Challenge at Youngstown Yacht Club in New York from July 25-26, Thom Bowen's Reach Around took the victory in the 17-boat J/70 fleet. Posting a 2,4,2,2,2,2,5,3 for 22 points, Reach Around beat out Adam Burns' Kraken (31 points) and Morgan Paxhia's Penny Pincher (41 points), who rounded out the top three. Eight races were completed. Full results are available at http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=1242.
The 9th annual Fiesta Cup took place from July 17-19 at Santa Barbara Yacht Club. Due to somewhat challenging sailing conditions that were due to the remnants of a Pacific typhoon that originated off Mexico, the J/70 fleet was just able to squeeze in a regatta with three races for the weekend. It was Kenny Kieding’s SMOKE & MIRRORS that took advantage of the weather scenarios to take a 1-2-2 for 5 points total to win the event. Pat Toole’s THREE BIG DOGS rattled off a convincing 5-1-1 for 7 points to grab the silver. Scott Deardorff’s crew on CAKE snagged the bronze with a very consistent 3-3-3 tally for 9 points. Rounding out the top five was Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT in fourth and Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT from Wayzata, MN in fifth. For more J/70 Fiesta Cup sailing information, visit http://sbycracing.org/2015-fiesta-cup/.
VENONA Tops Edgartown Regatta
Running for decades, the Edgartown YC Annual Regatta (Martha’s Vineyard, MA ) regularly attracts strong one-design competition from across New England. For the J/70 fleet, the regatta turned into a duel between the top two boats—Alex Meleny’s TRUCKIN and Roland Vandermeer’s VENONA. They split the first three races for the top two positions. Even after winning the last race, Meleny’s crew could not overcome VENONA’s four bullets to settle for second overall. Kudos to Vandermeer’s VENONA team for taking the inaugural J/70 Edgartown Annual Regatta championship. Taking third was Tyler Young’s YACHTDOG with 19 points; fourth was Dan Pesch’s AMONINI, and fifth was Mike Eberstadt’s ARTEMIS. For more Edgartown Annual Regatta sailing information, visit http://www.edgartownyc.org/Racing/Annual-Regatta.aspx.
Larchmont Race Week
Larchmont Race Week got underway on July 11-12 with the second half held July 18-19 to complete the 117th edition. Returning this weekend were the racer/cruiser division and the one-designs. All fleets enjoyed the continuation of competitive racing in a 3-5 knot southwesterly breeze on Saturday and a late-filling 6-12 knot southwesterly on Sunday. Thirty boats sailed on the cruising course with 18 in the PHRF spinnaker division and 12 in the non-spinnaker group. Three races were completed in each fleet. This weekend also included a distance race around Execution Light on Sunday, an event new to the Race Week format. "The addition of the distance race to the Race Week format added some fun and variety," noted Cruising circle PRO Jed Kelly. One-design PRO Nick Langone was able to run seven races for the fleets. Winning the 10-boat J/70 fleet was Scott Bursor from American Yacht Club on Slinky. Madelyn and Megan Ploch's Sugar Daddy and Ernest Bourassa's Althea rounded out the top three. For complete results, visit http://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=1451.
Pacific Coast Championship
The first J/70 Pacific Coast Championship took place from July 10-12, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay. With 13 boats participating, Chris Kostanecki's JENNIFER team sailed a very consistent series to win the PCCs with 38 points in 10 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 10 sailed. Just 10 points, in fact, separated the top five boats. And top three scores were counted for all boats down to eighth place. Starting off strong on the first day was David Schumann's BOTTLE ROCKET, posting a 1-2-3-1 to easily lead the regatta. They finished second overall for the series with 41 points. 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, 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. 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 points each with fellow Santa Barbarian, Scott Deardorff on CAKE. 3 BIG DOGS took the tie-breaker over CAKE, finishing third and fourth, respectively. Just behind the two Santa Barbara teams were two San Francisco Bay locals, also finishing in a virtual tie. By taking second in the last race, Sean Svendsen's crew on ONCELER secured fifth overall by one point over Peter Cameron's PRIME NUMBER. For more J/70 Pacific Coast Championship sailing information, visit https://www.stfyc.com/.
Julian Fernandez Neckelmann's FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO of Mexico Wins J/70 World Championship in France
Sun and wind dominated the 2015 J/70 World Championship, and the J/70 ensured the show this week in La Rochelle, France. Superb sailing conditions and fierce competition have 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: Erik BROCKMANN, Bill HARDESTY and Willem VAN WAAY. 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.
On Saturday, the 78 J/70s from 16 nations ran the last two rounds of the championship. 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, the conditions allowed a final intense game day. It was the Australian Steve McCONAGHY (AUS 007) on VAMOS who won race 9, followed by the English LITTLE LOUISE (GBR 769) and Elisabeth Vaillant on TRISKELL (FRA 39412). Peter Duncan's RELATIVE OBSCURITY (USA 49) victorious in the tenth and final race of the championship was closely followed by FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO (MEX 384) that ended up a very nice round.
FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO (MEX 384) has therefore succeeded a near perfect World Championship. In the overall lead since the start of the competition and with only one race in which they did not finish in the top ten, the crew undoubtedly won the title. The Italian Carlo Alberini on CALVI (ITA 456), 2015 J/70 Midwinter Champion, ensured second place in the championship. In third place and after a fierce struggle with the English BOATS.COM (GBR 557) Ian Atkins, Tim Healy on the American boat HELLY HANSEN (USA 2) went on the third step of the podium.
Of the French teams, LULU LA NANTAISE (FRA 257) with the crew Ludovic SENECHAL took 20th place, ahead of HEMON CAMUS (FRA 722) and its skipper Laurent SAMBRON (22nd) and ENTENTE CORDIALE (GBR 836) with Philippe Briand (25th).
As amateurs, the English dominated the standings all week. Arriving in the top 10, Simon LING's TEAM RAF BENEVOLENT FUND SPITFIRE (GBR 123) won the Corinthian Trophy, followed closely by GILL RACE TEAM (GBR 259) with Ian WILSON.
Photos: Christophe Breschi, http://breschi-photo-video.com/
Videos: Overlap, http://www.j70worlds2015.com/media/videos/
Day 3 of the J70 World Championship in La Rochelle
Third day of the 2015 World Championship for the 78 J/70s competing for the title, and the conditions are still ideal in La Rochelle.
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 this morning. The crews stood up a little earlier to leave the port at nine and take the start of the seventh race of this World Championship at around half past ten.
Under a radiant sun and a cloudless sky, the crews completed two races today and were able to enjoy the end of the afternoon to rest a little before embarking for their last day of the Championship tomorrow. With an east wind between 6 and 12 knots (90) fading a bit in the last part of the second race, the boats took two beautiful departures on a fairly calm sea.The English on BOATS.COM (GBR 557) and Italians on NOTARO TEAM (ITA 725) have each won a race this morning, but it's still not enough to overturn the top two.
Mexico’s Julian Fernandez Neckelmann from the Valle de Bravo fleet west of Mexico City and his crew are still leading the competition. The team, second at the Midwinters in Key West, the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week and the Annapolis NOOD Regatta, are hoping their preparation will keep them on the top. On FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO and helping Julian as tactician is the two-time Etchells World Champion and recent Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Bill Hardesty. Just behind, Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK (ITA 456), J/70 Midwinter Champion 2015, are still second today in the provisional general ranking.
Tim Healy, current J/70 World Champion, on the American boat HELLY HANSEN (USA 2) takes back the third place to Ian Atkins and the English on the BOATS.COM (GBR 557). After winning the first race this morning, the English were indeed less well positioned in the second race.There is only a few points between the first crews so there may be still some surprises before the end of this championship. Especially since at the fourth place in the provisional general, the Italian team, NOTARO TEAM (ITA 725) and its skipper Luca DOMENICI did a very good 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." The team, happy with its performance in the morning and with the weather, would have been ready for a third race today.
On the french side, the HEMON CAMUS (FRA 722) and its skipper Laurent SAMBRON take the sixteenth place despite an impressive eighth race in which they finished in the top 10. LULU THE NANTAISE (FRA 257 ) with Ludovic SENECHAL's crew take 21st place. The DISPOSITIF FRANCE JEUNE TEAM SRR (FRA 865), led by Pierre RHIMBAULT wins a place in the overall and take the 23rd position. Valentin MASSU on ALBERTO (FRA127) gives us his impressions, "We have some very good conditions for this World Championship, but the wind is a bit shifty and you have to be tactical. You have to take the right side to make the leg."
In Corinthian, the English are still leading the competition since the TEAM BENEVOLENT FUND RAF SPITFIRE (GBR 123) with Simon LING and the GILL RACE TEAM (GBR 259) of Ian WILSON keep the first and second place The first french, Ludovic SENECHAL on LULU THE NANTAISE (FRA 257) come in fifth place.
There may still be some surprises in the rankings, since two races remain tomorrow, but in the meantime, crews were able to rest and enjoy the sun and the beach.
Thanks to the Sailing Anarchy team for the live video. For complete results, visit www.j70worlds2015.com.
Day 2 of the J70 World Championship in La Rochelle
A second World Championship day under the sun for the 78 boats competing for the title in La Rochelle. Crews from 16 countries and four different continents are present at this World Championship. 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. 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 and 17 knots from 270 to 280, typical of La Rochelle, that maintained itself throughout the afternoon. A lovely weather and some ideal conditions were gathered today to give rise to some wonderful races. The Mexican team on FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO (MEX 384) skippered by Julian FERNANDEZ NECKELMAN won the third race today (race 6) and remain in first place in the provisional rankings. The Italian team on CALVI (ITA 456) take for their part the second position, just ahead of the English led by Ian ATKINS on BOATS.COM. On the French side, the HEMON CAMUS team (FRA 722) and its skipper Laurent SAMBRON, winner of the Crouesty Grand Prize last May on J/70 ranks 15th, and LULU LA NANTAISE (FRA 257) with Ludovic SENECHAL's crew takes the 19th position. The DISPOSITIF FRANCE JEUNE TEAM SRR (FRA 865), led by Pierre RHIMBAULT, who participate in this Championship before heading to the grand finale of the match racing Nation's Cup in mid-July in Vladivostok (Russia), sits in 24th place for the moment with two good races Thursday. Nothing is yet settled, since there are still two days of competition, but until the next races Friday, the crews were able to relax and enjoy the regatta dinner in front of a beautiful sunset on the La Rochelle harbour. Thanks to the Sailing Anarchy team for the event in live video watch here. Ten races are scheduled for this Championship. Each day, the race committee should launch at least three races, depending on sea conditions. Complete regatta information is available by clicking here.
First Day of J/70 World Championship in La Rochelle
A lot of sun, some clouds and a good wind for the first day of J/70 World Championship in La Rochelle, France. After two days of registration and a training race Tuesday, under the sun, the competitors from 16 different nationalities 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 and 17 knots.
Around half past one, after a general recall, the competitors took their first start of the Championship, a start under black flag, which cost Allan Higgs' English crew his first race. A clockwise rotation of the wind required a change of course, and it was the English (GBR 557) who won this first race in 53 minutes, led by Ian Atkins, already Spi Ouest France winner in the J/70 this year.
The second round 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 dozen boats were declared BFD (disqualified for premature start) for that round and had to wait for the start of the next and last race of the day.
After this first day of championship, it was MEX 384 and their skipper Julian FERNANDEZ NECKELMAN who took the overall lead. Just behind in second place, the US team HELLY HANSEN with the skipper Tim Healy, J/70 World Championship winner last year, had a good first day too (ranked fifth and then first during the first and second races, they ranked 13th in the third race). He 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 round so we didn't make a very good start, but we managed to climb over 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 played yet for this championship, saying "This is a large fleet, and everyone came very well prepared. The best are here, so inevitably, there will be competition, but if conditions remain as they were, it will be a good week. "
In third place overall, we find the Italian team on Calvi Network (ITA 456) and its skipper Carlo Alberini, who won the J/70 European Championship in 2014.
The French are not far behind. Indeed, Laurent SAMBRON and his crew on HEMON CAMUS (FRA 722) ranked eighth in the provisional general. Just behind is ENTENTE CORDIALE and its crew from La Rochelle, sailing under the Great Britain flag (GBR 836), and led by Philippe Briand, positioned in tenth place.
This first day of the championship was marked by numerous BFD and a fairly dispersed fleet which suggests some surprises in the coming days of competition.
In the Corinthian classification of the event, reserved for amateurs, it is the English teams who dominate the race for now. TEAM BENEVOLENT FUND RAF SPITFIRE (GBR 123) and skipper Simon LING ranks first, followed by GILL RACE TEAM (GBR 259) and their skipper Ian Wilson.
Thanks to the Sailing Anarchy team to see all of the event in live video.
Ten races are scheduled for this championship. Each day, the race committee should launch at least three races, depending on sea conditions. For complete information, visit www.j70worlds2015.com.
Healy Wins Bacardi Newport Regatta
After a successful winter Bacardi Miami Sailing Week held at Coconut Grove, Florida, the Bacardi marketing team created a new regatta for the summer based in Newport, Rhode Island and co-hosted the event with Newport Yacht Club and Sail Newport. The new Bacardi Newport Sailing Week took place last weekend with four classes, including a fleet of 11 J/70s. Blessed with more than enough winds forecast for the weekend, the NYC/Sail Newport PRO decided to get in as many races as possible on Saturday in a strong 10-18 knots easterly. A massive low was working in from the Midwest with wind forecasts exceeding gale force (30-45 knots) on Sunday morning. As it turned out, the J/70s enjoyed five fast windward-leeward courses traversing Narragansett Bay from Potter Cove on the western side over to a windward mark tucked under the Naval War College on the eastern side of the Bay. The course layout made for crazy tactics and strategies as massive wind streaks would form under the center span of Newport Bridge and roll down the course from a southeasterly direction, but rarely far enough or wide enough to cover the windward mark or make it down the starting area/leeward gates. Simultaneously, enormous left-handers would swing down off the Navy base along the shoreline, providing huge port tack lifts going into the weather mark. And, once in a while, large enough puffs would produce planing-modes for J/70s while others were stuck in 8-10 knots winds diving into soak mode. It was close racing for the J/70s. Winning with three straight bullets was Tim Healy's crew (including Will Welles) on HELLY HANSEN with a record of 3-2-1-1-1 for 5 points net. In a close match for the regatta was Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE from Houston, Texas and Heather Gregg's MUSE team from Newport, Rhode Island. The final race determined the outcome for this duel with MUSE posting a 1-4-3-2-3 for 9 points to win the tie-breaker. STAMPEDE had a 2-5-2-3-2 for 9 points net to lose the tie-breaker and place third overall. Showing newfound speed and sharp tactics was John Brim's RIMETTE, winning a race on their way to taking fourth in the regatta with 13 points. Fifth was Duncan Swain's CLOWN CAR with 17 points. For more Bacardi Newport Sailing Week information, visit http://newportsailingweek.com/.
J/70 World Championship Kicks Off on Wednesday, July 8 from La Rochelle, France
More than 75 J/70 teams are gathering from across the globe for racing at the J/70 World Championship in La Rochelle, France. The competition begins Wednesday, July 8 and continues through Saturday, July 11 for the entrants representing Australia, Brazil, Chile, Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden and the USA. Keep up with all the action at the regatta website: www.j70worlds2015.com.
Golison, Team take top honors at Long Beach Race Week
Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) concluded with a 'splash' – as classic Long Beach conditions gelled, and a solid breeze filled in from the west. Ivory cirrus swirled in the blue skies; steady waves and swell barreled through the courses. After three days of exciting, and sometimes challenging, racing – Bruce Golison aboard the J/70 Midlife Crisis was awarded One Design Boat of the Week. LBRW had its origins in 1980, and is hosted by neighboring Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) and Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC). In the J/70 fleet – the largest of the regatta – Golison looked like he'd had his own start, at the mark roundings. With an indomitable lead over the 19-boat fleet, Golison won his division, and Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week Boat of the Week in the One Design category. Golison only began sailing J/70s in September, winning that first regatta (J Fest San Diego) and maintaining a triumphant track record ever since. He was followed by Minor Threat (Jay Janov) and Catapult (Joel Ronning). For complete results, visit http://files.lbrw.org/2015/LBRW_Overall.html.
More than 100 boats in 10 classes competed in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Chicago, including 13 J/70s. Martin Johnsson's Aquaholiks dominated the 12 races with eight bullets. They also tallied two seconds, a third and a fourth for just 19 overall points. John Heaton's Empeiria finished in the runner-up spot with 32 points, while John Arendshorst's 20/20 placed third with 38 points. For complete results, click here.
Cleveland Race Week
At the 35th edition of Cleveland Race Week hosted by Edgewater Yacht Club, 15 J/70s competed in "One Design Weekend" from June 12-14. Eight races were completed, half of which were won by Trey Sheehan on Hooligan Flat Stanley Racing. Adding in a 5,2,3, the local team was able to take a DNS in the final race as their throw-out, ending with 14 points. Lee Sackett on Aqua Dump trailed in second place with 18 points, and Richard Nesbett on Tick Tock Croc in third with 22 points. Breezy conditions on Friday were followed by lighter air on Saturday and Sunday. Photos are available on the Cleveland Race Week Facebook page, and complete results are posted at www.clevelandraceweek.com.
Southern Bay Race Week
As it has evolved over the course of the past few years, more sailors are discovering the fun time being had by those who have participated in Southern Bay Race Week. The event was hosted by Fishing Bay YC in Hampton, Virginia from May 29-31, and features one-design racing as well as PHRF handicap classes in both random-leg and around-the-buoys courses. The J/70s fielded a highly competitive fleet. After a nine-race duel, it was the husband/wife duo of Jenn & Ray Wulff on JOINT CUSTODY who took the J/70 crown for the weekend. After tossing their worst race (a third), the Wulffs won with a 12 points net scoreline—counting all firsts and seconds. Not far off the mark was Tom Bowen's REACH AROUND, posting an equally impressive record but having to offset a first race fifth to stay in contention to grab second overall. Third was Latane Montague's FULL MONTY. For more Southern Bay Race Week sailing information, click here.
Cal Race Week
California Yacht Club expected to have a good turn-out for its one-design and PHRF handicap classes, and they were not disappointed by the high-rate of participation across the board. In the J/70 fleet, it was local Jeff Janov, skippering MINOR THREAT that took the class with a 5-2-1-2-2 record for 12 points. Giving them a serious go was Craig Tallman's JAYA team from Kings Harbor YC, accumulating a 2-1-2-3-6 for 14 points to hang on to second place. Third was Karl Pomeroy's ZERO TO 60 crew from Newport Harbor YC with a 3-7-5-1-4 tally for 20 points. Rounding out the top five was Justin Kromelow's LOOSE LUCY from St. Francis YC in San Francisco, the top non-SoCal boat in fifth was Steve Wyman's NUNUHUNU from Dana Point YC. For more Cal Race Week sailing information, click here.
The San Francisco Yacht Club hosted their annual Elite Keelboat Regatta from May 16-17. The J/70 fleet had eight boats racing on the Berkeley Circle, which was dominated by Peter Cameron's PRIME NUMBER; their 2-3-1-1-1 scored them just 8 pointsIn second was Geoff McDonald's 1FA with a 1-1-3-2-2 for 9 points. The consistent Chris Kostanecki on JENNIFER posted all seconds & thirds to grab third place with 13 points. Just behind the top three, it was a free-for-all with nothing getting settled for the next five boats until the last race or two. Winning this roller coaster was Tom Thayer's RAMPAGE, taking fourth place with 25 points. Only one point back in fifth place was John Brigden's COOL STORY BRO. For more Elite Keel sailing information, click here.
Long Island Sound Championship
The light and fickle winds over the weekend made it difficult to run sailing races on Long Island Sound (Cedar Point, CT). But Principal Race Officer Dick Thackaberry of Stratford found a way to conduct three good races, completing the first Long Island Sound Championship for the J/70 fleet. The winner was Joel Running's CATAPULT team from Minneapolis, MN, managing to post a 2-1-7 in the tough sailing for a total of 10 points. Taking second was Tim Healy on USA 2 (Team HELLY HANSEN) with a 1-8-4 for 13 points. Tim was tied with Scot & Alex Furnary's ANY COLOUR from American YC in Rye, NY who had a 5-7-1 for 13 points, losing the tie-breaker. Fourth was Tom Bowen's REACH AROUND from Charleston, SC with 15 points. Among local sailors competing, Kerry Klinger of Norwalk was fifth, Richard and Stephanie Swann of Westport were 10th, Bill Walker of Easton and Allan Stern of Westport were 12th, the all-family team of Charlie and Sarah Neagoy and their daughters Grace and Evelyn of Simsbury finished 18th. In the Corinthian Class, it was Noel Clinard winning with LOONATICTU with 28 points. Second was Carrie & Ed Austin sailing CHINOOK with 36 points, and third was Bill Walker & Allan Stern's FAST 4WD. For more Cedar Point One-Design regatta sailing information, visit http://www.cedarpointyc.org/.
BACARDI Newport Sailing Week
June's most anticipated sailing event in the Northeast, the BACARDI Newport Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank, will return to Newport this summer for a week filled with good sailing and festivities (June 26-28). This year's event will hold an exciting agenda with amazing sailing, an impressive "Light Photography" exhibit at Bowen's Wharf, and exciting BACARDI events in bars and establishments throughout town. Host for this year's event will be the Newport Yacht Club with the help of Sail Newport as the race committee. With the continued support from generous sponsors along with the professional experience of Sail Newport, the BACARDI Newport Sailing Week, now in its fifth year, attracts sailors from all over the country. Five one-design fleets will be participating, including the extremely popular J/70. The fleets will gather and compete in a weekend regatta filled with fun and exciting racing on the waters of Narragansett Bay. A welcome cocktail and registration will take place on Friday, June 26 with racing on both Saturday and Sunday. After racing, competitors will enjoy the warm BACARDI hospitality with plenty of food, drinks and good music! In Miami, 46 J/70s attended, and it was a lot of fun! If you'd like to review images of the event, check out:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8oHlegYp5Y. The NOR is online and can be found at the following link: http://newportsailingweek.com/nor/. Registration is open and you can register at: http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1384. If you'd like more information, you can visit www.NewportSailingWeek.com. Hope to see you in Newport for this regatta!
American YC Spring Series
Light air continued for the second weekend of the spring opener. Twelve J/70s participated in the American Yacht Club Spring Series and got off eight races. Peter Duncan's Relative Obscurity took control of the fleet with six bullets and 9 net points. Scott and Alex Furnary's Any Colour won the battle for second place with 18 points, one ahead of Madelyn and Megan Ploch's Sugar Daddy. For complete results, click here.
The three day Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD Regatta (May 1-3) was light on winds as 14 fleets competed for the regatta's overall prize – a trip to the British Virgin Islands in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Championship. That honor would go to Terry Hutchinson with crew Taylor Canfield, Nick Turney, Morgane Renoir, and Katherine Hutchinson who won the 57-boat J/70 fleet. USA419 finished with 24 points, four ahead of Thomas Bowen on Reach Around. Peter McChesney's Bang Ding Ow placed third with 31 points, but topped the Corinthian division. For complete results, click here.
There is one word that competitors will not be using to describe the final day of racing at the 2015 Yachting Cup: boring. Sunday's racing saw split head sails, shrimped kites, and a sailor in the water all in one race. With fast sailing, sunny skies and plenty of action, this day was truly a testament to how exciting San Diego sailing can be. 14 J/70s competed in eight races. The team of Tim Fuller and Vince Brun on BL!SSS dominated the fleet and won with just 12 points. Bruce Golison's Midlife Crisis trailed in second with 21 points, and Eric Kownacki/Tom Jenkins on DFZ in third with 30 points. For complete results, visit http://sdyc.org/results15/yachtingcup_res.htm.
J/Fest San Francisco
This year's J/Fest regatta hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club had an excellent turnout of 50 boats, who were treated to a wet and wild weekend of sailing in classic 15-25 knot breezes. Tem J/70s were registered, but it was Scott Seller on 1FA who sailed an amazing series to post one win and four seconds to win by seven points in a very competitive class. Just behind them, it was a fight between Justin Kromelow's LOOSE LUCY, Chris Kostanecki's JENNIFER and Peter Cameron's PRIME NUMBER. After three races, LOOSE LUCY had the upper hand. On the last day, Kostanecki's JENNIFER won a race, and so did Cameron's PRIME NUMBER. In the end, LOOSE LUCY won a tie-break over JENNIFER to take second and third, respectively. Pete Cameron's crew won the last race which enabled them to secure fourth for the regatta. Fifth place was Bob Milligan's RAMPAGE from Richmond Yacht Club. For more J/Fest San Francisco sailing information, click here.
Charleston Race Week
The 20th anniversary edition of Sperry Charleston Race Week wound to a close Sunday with east-southeast winds buffeting the waters around Charleston, SC, offering the 2,500 competitors some of the best racing of the entire three-day event. The rainy forecast didn't produce any significant moisture until the end of the awards ceremonies after all the sailors were ashore and most of the competitors had started their trips home. Another successful edition of the largest keelboat regatta in the Americas is in the books. The action out on the six race courses that made up this event proved a true challenge for Charleston area sailors as the majority of the nearly 300 entries were from out of town and out of state. And some of the best finishes were posted by teams from out of the country. In the 83-boat J/70 class, Julian Fernandez Neckleman's crew on board his Flojito y Cooperando from Mexico City dominated the competition with superb driving and excellent tactical calls by Americans Bill Hardesty and Willem Van Waay. Second place went to the Oslo, Norway-based team on Norwegian Steam led by Eivind Astrup. The top American boat, which finished third, was Jud Smith and his crew on board Africa out of Marblehead, MA. For full results, visithttp://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=1220.
Torqeedo Announces Dynasty Division at 2015 Sperry Charleston Race Week
Torqeedo, the world leaders in electric propulsion, are excited to announce in conjunction with sponsoring 2015 Sperry Charleston Race Week, the addition of the Dynasty Division. Torqeedo initiated this division for the inaugural J/70 World Championship in Rhode Island last year. The Dynasty Division is designed to further encourage families to compete in the J/70 fleet. The division is open to all boats who have a family member on-board for the regatta. Registration for the Dynasty Division can be made at check-in onsite at the regatta venue. Trophies will be given to first, second and third place getters at the final prize giving ceremony on Sunday night.
The 49th annual Easter Regatta was one to remember this year. With three excellent days of warm sunshine and great wind, seven J/70s managed to get 11 races off. With winds varying as light as 8 knots and as strong as 18 knots, plus shifts varying 45 degrees, it was true lake sailing conditions. With fantastic racing on the water, the shore side events were just as fun. Between the crowd and the epic dueling piano band, a good time was had by all. John Heaton's Empeiria topped the fleet with 22 points, followed by Don Trask on Smokin 'J (29 points) and Steve Shaw and Chuck Millican tied at 30 points. Check out complete results at http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1179.
US Coast Guard College J/70 Regatta
Jack Neades, the USCGA Sailing Team Offshore Director, commented on the weekend's sailing at the US Coast Guard College J/70 Regatta, "The regatta went well this past weekend. Saturday was cold and snowing. Sunday was just cold, but it did get sunny. The boats worked out as well as we could have hoped for. The breeze stayed out of the north all weekend, which was a big help, as it gave us the most race track to work with. The kids all did well and handled the boats just fine. Everyone who competed definitely enjoyed themselves. I think these boats are going to work out well for us over the long haul." This past weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy hosted their first intercollegiate keelboat regatta with their J/70 fleet. Teams sailed one-design J/70s with four person crews on the Thames River. The format was short course, college-style sailing with double windward-leewards. The USCGA's facility at Jacob's Rock is one of the nicest sailing facilities anywhere in college sailing. Built over Jacob's Rock and accessed by a 300-yard long pier, it offers the sailors, coaches and spectators an extraordinary venue to watch and enjoy the sport of sailing. For more USCGA Sailing team information, visit http://www.uscgasports.com/sports/sailing/index.
San Diego NOOD
The San Diego NOOD's biggest fleet, the J/70s, featured 17 boats. The highly competitive class enjoyed seven races on San Diego's South Bay. Vince Brun's Bliss won on the final day after scoring two second-places finishes. Scott Deardorff's Cake followed in the standings with 29 points. Jeff Janov's Minor Threat led the regatta after the first day, but ultimately finished third with 32 points. Aboard Minor Threat were Janov's two young sons, competing in their very first NOOD regatta. For complete results, click here.
St. Francis YC Spring One Design Regatta
On the first day of the 2015 season opener, the St. Francis YC Spring One Design regatta, it seemed everyone was there: 80 boats, 300 sailors, 8 fleets. Everyone, that is, but the wind. Early season conditions prevailed, and the lack of breeze resulted in a string of postponements with, ultimately, no racing. "We knew that even if we were able to get off a start," says regatta chair and Express 27 sailor Peggy Lidster, "we wouldn't have been able to get around any windward mark. There was no wind in any direction, and we were fighting an ebb." Sailors made the most of the day by enjoying the sun, admiring the fleets' many sets of new sails and meeting back at the St. Francis Yacht Club for food, drinks, lawn games and even a s'mores pit in the courtyard. Conditions varied throughout Sunday, wavering between 7 and 20 knots. The unsteady breeze kept all fleets alert as fresh crew shook off wintertime cobwebs, and fresh sets of sails took on their first tacks and douses. "Looking around, you could feel a fervor for the start of the season. These are the Bay area one design keelboat fleets, and everyone brought their A-game," says Lidster. "The entire central Bay was filled with sails, from Alcatraz to the gate to the shore. The number of sailboats and the camaraderie between fleets was fantastic. It felt like days of old!" Six J/70s were registered, but it was all Peter Cameron's Prime Number who won each of the three races. Geoff McDonald's 1FA placed second with 7 points, followed by a tie at 10 points between Tom Thayer/Robert Milligan on Rampage and Tyler Karaszewski on Spitfire. For complete results, click here.
BACARDI Miami Sailing Week
The last day of racing for the 88th Bacardi Cup and the 6th BACARDI Miami Sailing Week Presented by EFG Bank brought a little change in the weather with overcast skies and scattered showers. The wind also switched directions and was coming out of the NE between 10 and 15 knots. Wrapping up a six-day schedule Sunday, the 164 teams racing in five one-design classes – Star, Viper 640, J/70, VX One and M32 – completed enough races in four different circles for the winners to collect the prizes. In the 46-boat J/70 fleet, Mauricio Santa Cruz on Bruschetta won the series with 27 points, ahead of Julian Fernandez (29 points) and Carlo Alberini (30) points. "Race was very good with all kinds of winds," said Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil. "Four boats could have won today, but my crew did an excellent job in difficult conditions with prevailing winds coming from the west. We are very happy to have won in Miami and I guess Brazilians do love this city!" Julian Fernandez from Mexico added, "We will be back, we feel good about the result and about the week spent here. It was good all around; good race committee, competition and organization." For complete results, click here.
Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series – Act 5 & Final Results of the Season
This weekend saw a fitting finale to the second edition of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series of regattas organized since 2014 by the Yacht Club de Monaco on the initiative of Valentin Zavadnikov (Synergy). The aim is to give experienced professional and amateur teams a chance to train for the big meetings of the season, alternating races with training sessions. Following the success of the first edition which was only for Melges 20, the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2014-2015 was expanded to embrace nearly 50 J/70s. Taking full advantage of its new building and facilities, the YCM is now better equipped than ever to bring life to the harbor during winter with these monthly regattas. For the five Acts of this series, the YCM hosted a total of 91 one-designs (47 Melges 20s and 44 J/70s) which had set up their winter headquarters in the Principality and have competed in 28 and 25 races respectively since October. For the fifth and final Act this weekend, competitors enjoyed sunny skies and the 12-15-knot tail-end of a Mistral which meant a total of nine races could be run by the two race committees, with Thierry Leret heading one for the 28 Melges 20 competing for the Pirogovo Cup, and the other by Olivier Roinson for the 29 J/70s. The J/70s really put on a show, with all boats jostling for position on the start requiring all their talent and determination to catch that extra breeze and pull away from the crowd. Throughout the weekend, the leaders battled it out round every mark, proof of how tight the races were being that all competitors crossed the finish line in less than four minutes. Jacopo Carrain, fourth in Act 5, won the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2015. "I am very satisfied, as the general level in the J/70s improves every month across the fleet. It's a great opportunity for the 17 Monegasque boats to compete with the best European teams who were there in force from Germany, Italy and England," said a delighted Monaco Class President. For this last Act, it was the foreigners who dominated the podium led by Ferdinando Battistella (Diva) in first place, with Geoff Carveth (Joyride) and Yannick Heffner (Led Zeppelin) sharing points for second and third place. It was a result that was enough to put Geoff Carveth (Joyride) on the third step of the podium for the season, just behind Stefano Roberti (Aria).
Act 5 J/70 after 9 races (8 retained)
1. Diva (Ferdinando Battistella, 25 pts)
2. Joyride (Geoff Carveth, 32 pts)
3. Led Zeppelin (Yannick Heffner, 32 pts)
Final ranking J/70, after 5 acts and 25 races (23 retained)
1. Carpe Diem (Jacopo Carrain, 102 pts)
2. Aria (Stefano Roberti, 219 pts)
3. Joyride (Geoff Carveth, 279 pts)
Over the February 21-22nd weekend, the Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) hosted their famous SCYA Midwinters at over four yacht clubs in four different venues across the region. The J/70s participated at Coronado YC. Since the J/70 North Americans are being hosted by San Diego YC this fall, the J/70s had a modest, but deeply talented fleet. Leading home teams from not only the local area, but also many from the Los Angeles and San Francisco fleets, was John Fuller and Vince Brun. While their three bullets and a pair of deuces took the 70 crown with just seven points, the next six places were hotly contested all weekend long. In fact, there were three pairings that were essentially decided by tie-breakers. In the first pairing, Chris Kostanecki's JENNIFER from San Francisco YC closed out strongly with a 2-2 to take second overall by just one point over Tom Jenkins & Eric Kownacki's DFZ. In the next pairing, Craig Tallman's JAYA started the regatta strongly with a 3-1-5 to hang onto second place, but faltered in the last two races to still end up in a tie for fourth place, winning that tie-breaker on 23 points each over Jeff Brown's San Diego YC team. In the third pairing, Dave Vieregg's SOGGY DOLLAR included a bullet in his scoreline, enough to take the tie-break on 27 points over Karl Pomeroy's ZERO TO 60, to take sixth and seventh, respectively. For more SCYA Midwinters sailing information, visit https://midwinters.wordpress.com/.
St. Pete NOOD
Favorable conditions allowed for 10 races in the J/70 fleet at the Helly Hansen St. Pete NOOD regatta from February 13-15 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Nineteen J/70s took to the waters of Tampa Bay, but it was Martin Kullman on New Wave who rode four bullets to the top of the leaderboard with 22 overall points. Joel Ronning's Catapult placed second with 37 points, and Will Welles' Rascal third with 39.5. For complete regatta information and results, visit http://www.sailingworld.com/nood-regattas/st-petersburg.
Dazzled in Tampa
Light winds limited racing at the final stage of the Quantum J/70 Winter Series, held February 7-8 at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, FL. Just able to complete three races for the 47 boats, Dazzler skippered by Allan Terhune posted a 1-6-1 to win by two points over Cole Allsopp's Moxie. Top Corinthian team was Rob Britts' Hot Mess in fourth. Winning the overall series was Terhune, which was scored by counting all races from the three events. For complete information, click here.
Three Bridge Fiasco
368 doublehanded and singlehanded entrants were signed up for the annual San Francisco Bay mid-winter classic, The Three Bridge Fiasco, on January 31. The early morning hours witnessed a strong northerly clearing out the fog which had been lingering for far too long, and the stage was set for a possible record run in speed as well as entrants. The early birds were blessed with nice winds and the remnants of a flood. Course refresher: Three course marks are YRA 16 ("Blackaller" a yellow cylinder 0.2 nm east of Fort Point), Red Rock and Yerba Buena Island. Boats shall round these three marks in any order and in either direction. Race distance is approximately 21.47nm. The various forecasts were all over the place and even the most seasoned vets had trouble deciding the best route for their particular boat and start time. For those who departed the Golden Gate Yacht Club starting line before 10:00 a.m., the concept was to get either across the main bay before the ebb, or get Yerba Buena in the rear view while the wind was northerly. A great concept in practice, and it was working...for a while. The counter-clockwise crews had a very nice spinnaker ride toward the Bay Bridge and looked golden, hugging the west side of Treasure Island for relief until the breeze lightened, then went NW. The lucky who had not committed were blessed with more consistent wind mid-channel, and wisely avoided much of Yerba Buena's wind shadow and eeked under the eastern span in good shape. Meanwhile, the clockwise contingent split between getting east as fast as possible or getting Blackaller off the check list. Those going for Blackaller early and many of the post 10:00 a.m. starters saw the breeze ease and the ebb build. The later starters had trouble even getting to the starting line. A large contingent found themselves being swept near to, or past, the Golden Gate. Those who rode east and headed toward red rocks had a good game plan. But the boats with the low ratings had a hard time getting "up river" and they too were left to decide on pulling the plug or toughing it out and hoping the westerly filled. The westerly did fill at10-12 knots and gave the boats hope that their race could be salvaged. And while logic said the shortest route from the North Tower to Red Rocks is Raccoon Strait, the pesky current and swirling winds can be detrimental. Meanwhile, even the early starters who got east and into the general area of South Hampton Shoals found the once abundant northerly get scarce and the currents more abundant. It was like being a yo-yo, more than a few crews explained. "Gain some, lose some" was the mantra of the day. The "Miracle Nooner" continued to build over the Central Bay, and with it, the masses all began to pile into the North Bay; and while flying their kites nicely, the VMG again could not easily overtake the still building ebb, and as you closed in on Red Rocks, the wind got even lighter. In all , the record warm temperatures with highs hitting the high 70s on the Bay made the 2015 3BF a pleasant afternoon. Of course it was far more pleasant for the 57 finishers, and probably eased the pain for those who were just short of the finish line when the race committee closed shop at the 19:00 cut off time. Three of the finishers were double-handed J/70s: Scott Sellers' 1FA, Tyler Karaszewski's Spitfire and Peter Cameron's Prime Number. For complete results, click here.
Gannon Troutman: Youngest Skipper at Key West Race Week
Some of the world's greatest sailors competed in the J/70 fleet at Quantum Key West 2015. Most of them got beaten by a 12-year-old—Gannon Troutman. Gannon has gone from racing Optimist dinghies to skippering an entry in the largest class at one of the greatest regattas in North America. And the kid is doing pretty well, steering Pied Piper to a fifth place overall finish in the talent-laden 54-boat class. "I almost fell off the spectator boat!" Robin Troutman said of seeing her son's boat heading to the finish line with the lead pack. "I couldn't believe he was doing that well on the first day." Troutman, a resident of Gloucester, VA, is believed to be the youngest skipper in the 28-year history of Key West Race Week. Previously, that honor belonged to Samuel "Shark" Kahn, who was 14 when he skippered a Melges 24 entry. Gannon's fascination with boats began with building models of all sorts of different vessels. Upon hearing about that hobby, the family dentist urged the youngster to give sailing a try. A summer sailing camp at Ware River Yacht Club got him hooked and led to full-time instruction at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. Gannon started sailing Optis at age eight, and four years later is a mid-fleet finisher at most major regattas, his mother said. More important than the results are the passion he has developed for the sport. "The kid just loves to sail! He wants to be out on that water more than anything," Robin said. In an effort to encourage and nurture that enthusiasm, Dan Troutman purchased a J/70 so he could sail alongside his son. Victor Diaz de Leon, who met the family while working as a junior instructor at Tred Avon Yacht Club, joined the crew for some regattas last summer and is the one that suggested competing in Key West. So a planned family vacation to Aruba was scrapped in favor of giving Gannon an opportunity to compete at the highest level of the sport. "We decided to let Gannon do this because we knew it would be a lot of fun, and he would get great coaching, great experience," Robin said. Diaz de Leon is calling tactics while Tomas Dietrich, the Optimist coach at Fishing Bay Yacht Club, is trimming the headsails. After finishing a respectable 27th in Race 1, the team put it all together in taking third in Race 2 on Monday. "It felt good to get a result like that. I hope to get up there again," Gannon said. (He later also scored a third and a first!) Gannon has raced his Optimist in big fleets, but that is quite different from negotiating a J/70 fleet with 54 entries. "Getting off the line is the hard part. It can be hard to find a lane," he said. "Gannon is doing great. He is listening well and picking things up very fast," Diaz de Leon said. Dietrich said the experience of racing for a week in a big, competitive fleet at Key West is invaluable and will benefit Gannon down the road. "The more you sail, the better you get. Gannon is seeing and learning things down here that are all new to him," Dietrich said. "There's no doubt this will build his confidence." One of the perks of coming to Key West is that a youngster such as Gannon gets an opportunity to meet some of the big stars of the sport. Gannon was a very interested spectator at Sunday evening's Panel Discussion that was presented by title sponsor Quantum Sail Design Group, and afterward got to meet such world-renowned professionals as Terry Hutchinson, Jonathan McKee and Ed Baird. Vascotto is tactician aboard the J/70 Flojito y Cooperando, which was berthed just a few slips down from Pied Piper at Conch Harbor. "Vasco has been very nice to Gannon and has stopped by almost every morning to say hello and offer words of encouragement," Dan said. Terry Hutchinson, Chief of Business Development for Quantum Sails, J/24 World Champion, J/70 owner in Annapolis, MD and 3x Rolex Yachtsman of the Year had this to say about Gannnon, "One competitor stood out in my mind, and in a very small way made me smile as you could see a bright future. Twelve-year-old Gannon Troutman finished fifth in the highly competitive J/70 fleet, and as Vasco Vascotto and I chatted with him and parents, swapping half truths about yelling at each for the last 20 years, we were all laughing. It was just awesome to see and it was also great to see the support that Gannon's parents put around him to allow it to happen. Having had great parents that supported my addiction but did not push me, it was great to see as Gannon and his peers are the future of our sport."
Fantastic Finish at Key West Race Week
Most of the marquee classes at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 came down to the last day of the regatta, which delivered the toughest conditions of the week. Howling winds and rough seas challenged the competitors on Friday, forcing the top contenders to raise their game in order to claim overall victory. The J/70 was the largest class of the regatta with 54 boats for its Midwinter Championship and featured a slew of top professionals. It was a week-long dog fight that saw constant changes at the top end of the standings. Skipper Carlo Alberini and his Italian team on Calvi Network emerged as overall winner thanks to single-digit finishes in nine of 11 races. Branko Brcin served as tactician while Sergio Blosi and Karlo Hmeljak handled the trimming aboard Calvi Network, which closed the regatta with a second after posting a steady string of fourths and fifths. That remarkable consistency in such a competitive class earned Calvi Network the ultimate prize at Quantum Key West Race Week - Boat of the Week. "The talent level in this class is very high. We came to Key West because we are very excited about the J/70 fleet and want to race against the best boats," said Alberini, who won the European Championship last year. "To win here is the best feeling. This might be the most important win of my career because we beat the world champion on the water." Calvi Network totaled 49 points, eight better than the Mexican entry Flojito y Cooperando that is skippered by Julian Fernandez Neckelmann. Italian pro Vasco Vascotto called tactics on Flojito, which closed the regatta strong with a first and second on Friday. Tim Healy, the reigning J/70 World Champion and two-time winner in Key West, finished third after pushing the line and being ruled on-course side (OCS) in the last race. Gannon Troutman, the 12-year-old skipper of Pied Piper, was the talk of the regatta after finishing fifth in the talent-laden J/70 class - winning a race while also posting a second and third. San Francisco skipper Jim Cunningham captured the Corinthian Division of J/70 class, which had 20 boats. The event website and full results are available at www.premiere-racing.com target=_blank class="blue">http://wwww.premiere-racing.com.
A Great Day at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015
It probably wouldn't be a late night on Duval Street for the sailors competing on Divisions 2 and 3 at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 on Thursday. After doing three races in strong winds, there were no doubt a lot of sore muscles, aching bones and tired bodies. Not that anyone was complaining. Light winds on Wednesday led to just one race on Divisions 2 and 3, and organizers with Premiere Racing were keen to make up for that on Thursday. So the six classes competing on those two courses were sent out an hour early so the race committee could take advantage of east-southeasterly winds that held steady between 10 and 15 knots. It was surprising to see reigning J/70 World and North American champion Tim Healy sitting in 15th place two days into the regatta. Healy and his crew aboard Helly Hansen have steadily climbed into second place in the 54-boat fleet for the J/70 Midwinter Championship, making a major move on Thursday thanks to a tremendous score line of 2-2-1. Tactician Geoff Becker, trimmer John Mollicone and bowman Gordon Borges comprise the crew aboard Helly Hansen, which trails class leader Calvi Network (Carlo Alberini) by three points. "Our starts weren't great, and some things didn't go our way," Healy said when asked about the slow start. "We've dug our way back by doing a little better job of playing the shifts and passing boats." Healy, president of North Sails One-Design, captured J/70 class at Quantum Key West in 2013 and 2014. The veteran professional said the fact he had to fight back into contention is further evidence the fleet is getting deeper and stronger. "People are learning the boats while the crews are getting better with more experience," he said. Racing concludes Friday. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page. The event blog is at http://premiere-racing.com/2015blog/, and the event website/full results are at www.premiere-racing.com target=_blank class="blue">http://wwww.premiere-racing.com.
Breeze and Sunshine at Quantum Key West Race Week
Based off early morning forecasts, it appeared a lay day might be in the cards for competitors at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015. However, organizers with Premiere Racing saw a small pocket of sailable conditions and sent the fleet out to the three race courses. Division 1 completed two races while Divisions 2 and 3 both got in one to keep the regatta moving along. Jud Smith remained the leader in the J/70 class (in its Midwinter Championship) for the second straight day, sailing Africa to sixth on Wednesday and adding two points to his advantage over Bennet Greenwald and Perseverance. Trey Sheehan steered Hooligan to third on Wednesday and is now tied with Perseverance on points. "Everybody is working together very nicely, and the boat is moving real well," said Michael Sheehan, who is crewing for his brother. "We were saying on the way back into the dock that we are not going to change anything. We are just going to keep doing what we've been doing." Brad Boston is tactician on Hooligan, which has a home port of Put-in-Bay, Ohio and a team comprised of close friends who grew up together in the greater Cleveland area. "We've been able to get off the line clean, and we haven't taken any flyers," Michael Sheehan said. "Brad is really sharp about looking up the course and seeing what we've got coming." Follow the event blog at http://premiere-racing.com/2015blog/. The event website/full results are available at www.premiere-racing.com target=_blank class="blue">http://wwww.premiere-racing.com.
J/70 Panel at Key West Race Week
Even if you aren't at Key West Race Week, you can benefit from experts who are. Check out Tuesday's J/70 panel discussion at Quantum Key West 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1421782837&v=gHvJKO55oF0&x-yt-cl=84359240
A Challenging Day at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015
During 28 years of running a regatta off Key West, Premiere Racing has a remarkable record of getting in a complete series. Because of the consistent conditions off the Conch Republic, there have been very few lost race days. However, that does not mean that race committee officials compromise quality just to give the competitors some action. Fair and equitable racing is the hallmark of this event, and organizers always make sure to adhere to that tradition. Tuesday at Quantum Key West 2015 brought dicey conditions that forced principal race officers to make numerous tough decisions. There were some delays, a few false starts and even one abandonment, but by the time the day was over all three divisions had completed two races in shifty winds that ranged from 5 to 7 knots. "We got two decent races, and that's pretty remarkable considering what the race committee had to deal with," said Bennet Greenwald, skipper of the J/70 Perseverance. "Those guys were really on top of things. They did a very, very professional job." The J/70, largest class in the regatta with 54 boats in its Midwinter Championship, is sailing on the Division 2 course that is managed by Dave Brennan. A veteran principal race officer and Key West stalwart, Brennan was forced to delay several times in order to start races in stable winds. "The breeze was very dodgy and moving through at 50 degrees so the trick was picking the right radial to kick the race off," Brennan said. "We want the sailors to have a reasonably square line. Prior to Race 4, we had to postpone three times to reset the line." Brennan got the Melges 24 fleet started with a heading of 150 degrees and by the time he went into sequence for the J/70 fleet, the wind had shifted to 180. He credited an experienced team of race committee volunteers for reacting quickly with regard to moving upwind marks and posting flags. "We made the racing as good as we could. Actually, we were very fortunate that it was quite good," Brennan said. Veteran sailmaker Jud Smith was the daily winner in the J/70 class, placing second in Race 3 then getting the gun in Race 4. That moved the Marblehead, MA resident to the top of the standings with a low score of 30 points, just one ahead of the aforementioned Greenwald. "We got out to the course early and had a nice tune-up session with another boat, which allowed us to get accustomed to the conditions," Smith said. "I would have been happy with two top 10 finishes on a day like this so I'm ecstatic to get a first and a second. We were fortunate to be in the right spots, and I thought the team did a good job of changing gears." Smith, who is head of Doyle One-Design, has his daughter Lindsay on the boat along with Marc Gauthier and Will Felder. The former Rolex Yachtsman of the Year says the entire crew participates in tactics and strategy. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, the event blog is at http://premiere-racing.com/2015blog/, and the event website/full results at www.premiere-racing.com target=_blank class="blue">http://wwww.premiere-racing.com.
Off to a Great Start at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015
There is no better sight than a steady stream of racing boats either sailing or motoring out of the Historic Seaport harbor around 10 a.m. on Monday. That's a sure sign that the annual race week held off Key West is starting on time and with enough wind to get the regatta underway. Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 got off to a strong start with the principal race officers on all three divisions able to complete two good races in 8-14 knot northeasterly winds. The J/70 is the largest class in the regatta with 54 boats at its Midwinter Championship, and the goal going into the first day was to avoid that deep finish that could prove costly. "You can't win the regatta on Monday, but you sure can lose it," Heartbreaker skipper Robert Hughes said. "You don't want to sail your drop race on the first day." After finishing 11th in Race 1, San Diego skipper Bennett Greenwald got the gun in Race 2 and is the early leader while also earning City of Key West Boat of the Day honors. Hughes, who trails Greenwald by three points and leads Carlo Alberini (Calvi Network) by one, had a similar day with results of 13th and second. In fact, the top five boats on Monday all had one result of fifth or better and another result of 11th or higher. "We almost had a great day," said Hughes, who lost seven places on the final leg of Race 1. "I'm pleased with our speed. We have new sails and have made some changes to the rig setup. This is the best this boat has ever gone." Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, the event blog is athttp://premiere-racing.com/2015blog/, and the event website/full results at www.premiere-racing.com target=_blank class="blue">http://wwww.premiere-racing.com.
Ready to Race at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015
Key West has been a flurry of activity for the last four days as sailors swarmed into town for the annual race week that is being held for the 28th year. Quantum Key West 2015, which begins Monday on the aqua waters off the southernmost point of the United States, has attracted 115 boats in 10 classes and competitors have been busily preparing and practicing. The J/70 is the largest class in the regatta with 54 boats and features a who's who of top professionals for the Midwinter Championship. This is the third year the sport boat has competed in Key West, and Tim Healy is the two-time defending champ. The North Sails executive is a favorite again after capturing both the J/70 World Championship and North American crown. "We have another real strong fleet down here this year, and I think there are a number of boats that are capable of contending," Healy said. "The Class is maturing, and people are learning how to sail the boats better." Follow the action on the J/70 Facebook page and also at the event blog (http://premiere-racing.com/2015blog/) and event website (www.premiere-racing.com target=_blank class="blue">http://wwww.premiere-racing.com).
Premiere Sailing League to launch in 2015 in J/70s
The new Premiere Sailing League, America, revealed at the Strictly Sail boat show in Chicago, will kick off this August and will be comprised of four district qualifying regattas that divide 72 sailing club teams by region (North-Chicago; South-New Orleans; East-Newport; West-San Francisco) to compete for top ranking. The best four teams from each district then compete head-to-head in the Premiere Sailing League National Championship to be held in Annapolis, Maryland during the United States Sailboat Show in October. "The Premiere Sailing League (PSL) is the first event of its kind in the U.S.," said PSL's Director and Founder Benjamin A. Klatzka, an avid sailor and successful businessman who recently moved from Germany to Newport, R.I. to pursue his dream of bringing the sailing league format to the public. "It is structured after the enormously successful sailing leagues pioneered in Germany and Denmark (www.sailing-championsleague.com), with the objective of strengthening community and camaraderie within the sport of sailing by providing an integrated platform that brings sailing clubs together to compete at both a local and national level." The success of the European sailing leagues has been a source of inspiration for Klatzka, who says he will someday be able to include a national sail-off in the mix. He is working with a Board of Advisors comprised of experienced sailing industry professionals for advice on how to best build the Premiere Sailing League and will be sharing details with the public over the coming weeks and months. "To reach the broadest audience, Premiere Sailing League regattas will be held close to shore, have a stadium-style atmosphere and utilize the latest social media technologies, allowing the sailing and general public to support and encourage their teams," said Klatzka. "With these spectator-friendly initiatives, we hope to create strong fan bases for the clubs similar to more traditional professional sports teams in the United States." Each of the Premiere Sailing League teams will be made up of four sailors representing yacht clubs and sailing organizations. Sailing will be conducted in fun, easy-to-sail J/70s. "Having seen what the new sailing leagues in Europe have done to excite and promote grassroots sailing, we're really excited to support Ben's initiative in the U.S.," said Jeff Johnstone, President of J/Boats of Newport, RI. Klatzka will announce a Warm up/Test Run Event at the beginning of the season for prospective competitors, team and event sponsors, and organizers for host venues. To be a part of the Premiere Sailing League family, check out the Facebook page. For more information, go to www.premieresailingleague.com or contact Benjamin Klatzka by clicking here.
Marty Kullman Dominates Fleet at Quantum J/70 Winter Series Weekend #2 at Davis Island YC
The second stop of the three-event Quantum J/70 Winter Series attracted 52 boats for the seven race regatta hosted by Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, FL. Setting the pace from their opening race bullet was Marty Kullman on New Wave, posting only one score out of the top three to win by 12 points over Will Welles in second. Topping the 21 Corinthian entrants was Henry Brauer and his Scamp team in fifth overall. The final event is February 7-8. For complete Series information, visit http://diyc.org/calendar/2014-j70-winter-series/.