Spurlin Takes J/70 Governor’s Cup
This year’s Austin Yacht Club annual Governors Cup Regatta, hosted on Lake Travis, featured the first stop on the J/70 Southwest Circuit series. Ten J/70s showed up from out of town and with the four local boats there were 14 boats on the line. Saturday was a windy day with gusts in the high 20s that made for some great downwind rides with boats hitting 17+ knots in full-on planing mode. The J/Boats Southwest Racing team had a great Saturday, bringing home straight bullets. Holding on to their fast pace just a few points back was Forbes Durdin's MOJITO team in second place. Saturday after racing, 40+ J/70 sailors gathered to discuss the days racing and share their "go fast" secrets. Sunday started off overcast with lighter winds that brought the famous Lake Travis shore effects into play. It was very easy to be suckered into going to the right shore when the left shore was the place to be. Nevertheless, the fleet was able to fit in three races on Sunday for a total of seven scored races. In addition, there were at least four extra starts as most of the fleet was trying to get that starting line jump. It was a great weekend with a great fleet of sailors. Circuit stop #2 is at Fort Worth Boat club on April 29-30.
Easter Regatta hosted by the Columbia Yacht Club, Lake Murray, SC
Thank you to Dave Betts for this report: There were seven registered J/70s that competed this year in the Corinthian-only three-day event. That is, of course, an increase from 2016, and we hope to keep building the fleet in the future. The event is only a week in front of Charleston Race Week so it presents a great opportunity to tune-up and get ready. Thursday afternoon following some practice starts and practice races, North Sails' J/70 guru Tim Healy conducted a dock talk about the 70 and shared some boat handling and go fast tips. Friday, the winds refused to cooperate and after the start of the first race for the J/24 fleet, that race and all others were abandoned for the day. However, later in the afternoon, the breeze came up and in what seemed like all of five minutes, several 70s went out to practice and the race committee could muster a few volunteers to set a course and get off a practice race. While there was no official racing, the practice race was great followed by a fantastic pulled pork dinner, fried chicken, coleslaw, rice and a great banana pudding desert. The legendary Billy Ray invited everyone to the barn for live music and drinks....a must-do at this regatta. Saturday, the race committee sent the fleet out at 930 as scheduled to race but was unable to find steady breeze so regrettably the fleets were postponed on the water and sent ashore to continue the postponement and later abandoned. Dueling pianos played after a great dinner at the club house. These pianists played all types of music and tunes and were great. Sunday, there was great breeze and racing was fabulous. Three races were held and back to the docks for the awards. Great competitive racing and fantastic breeze for Sunday. Don Trask on Smokin J won the event with a total score of three. Jay Greenfield, sailing Reach Around, took second place with 7 points, Hunter Davidson, Loonatictu, third place with 9 points, David Betts, Instant Karma, fourth with 14 points, Steve Kiemele on White Rabbit, fifth with 15, Holly Graf on Spice was sixth with 17 points followed by Scott Dinse on Margariaville with 19. This is always a great event, the club and members are friendly and accommodating, great facilities, great race committee...what more can you ask for! We are trying for 10 J/70 Corinthian teams next year, hope to see you there! Complete results may be found at https://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm.
J/Fest San Francisco
J/Fest San Francisco was held at St. Francis Yacht Club on April 1-2 with seven J/70s on the starting line. After five races, Peter Cameron’s Prime Number edged out Tom Kassberg’s Pickled Herring on a tie-breaker at 12 points. Chris Kostanecki’s Jennifer took third with 16 points. For complete event information click here.
San Diego NOOD
The Helly Hansen Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta in San Diego attracted 126 boats for 13 classes of competition on March 17-19. This was the second stop of the 5-event NOOD national tour, with the top teams from each event advancing to the Caribbean NOOD Championship Regatta in the British Virgin Islands on October 22-29. Here are the top three of the 19-boat J/70 fleet:
- Minor Threat, Jeff Janov, Malibu, CA, USA, 2 -1 -3 -1 -2 -4 -1 -15 -12 -1 ; 42
- 3 Big Dogs, Pat Toole, Santa Barbara, CA, USA, 1 -5 -1 -6 -4 -9 -3 -8 -6 -2 ; 45
- Huckleberry, Jim Murrell, Torrance, CA, USA, 5 -3 -2 -7 -6 -1 -8 -4 -4 -9 ; 49
Here are the top three of the 6-boat J/70 Corinthian fleet:
- 3 Big Dogs, Pat Toole, Santa Barbara, CA, USA, 1 -5 -1 -6 -4 -9 -3 -8 -6 -2 ; 45
- USA 540, David Hochart, Coronado, CA, USA, 6 -7 -6 -5 -11 -10 -5 -2 -8 -8 ; 68
- Jaya, Craig Tallman, Redondo Beach, CA, USA, 14 -12 -4 -2 -13 -5 -10 -11 -3 -15 ; 89
For complete results, visit https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=3006.
Miami Sailing Week
The 90th Bacardi Cup and the 8th BACARDI Miami Sailing Week experienced more light air for the final day of racing. The J/70s were the largest fleet with 36 boats on the starting line. Seven nations were represented with boats coming from Europe and the Americas. Competition was very tight among the top three boats, exchanging the overall lead often. The fleet completed seven races and the following teams finished in the top five spots:
Top 5 Overall:
- USA 49 Peter Duncan on Relative Obscurity – 22 pts
- USA 901 John & Molly Baxter on Team Vineyard Vines – 28 pts
- USA 26 Bruce Golison on Midlife Crisis – 29 pts
- USA 246 Martin Kullman on New Wave – 32 pts
- USA 96 Brian Keane on Savasana – 41 pts
For complete event details, visit https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=2963.
Tim Healy’s 'New England Ropes' Lassos Quantum J/70 Midwinter Championship
Tim Healy’s New England Ropes tied up a 2,1 in the final two contests to secure the Quantum J/70 Midwinter Championship at Saint Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. Able to drop a 16 from race one, the team of Healy, Nathan Housberg (bow), Alden Reid (trim) and Marcus Eagan (tactics) kept scores of 4,4,7,2,1 for 18 net points and the victory. Will Welles’ Scamp finished a mere point behind Healy in second place, and John Brim’s Rimette took third with 28 points. "This is the first time we’ve sailed together so we were learning the whole time just how to work together and how to get our trim and tune right," summarized Healy. "Slowly, we started to get everything down. We had some light breeze, but today was a little breezier with some chop. We were getting used to the settings so we could power through the chop." Three more races took place Sunday in breeze between 10-15 knots under clear skies with temperatures again in the 70s. The day’s race winners were the Darden/Hillard team on Hoss, Ignacio Perez’s Zaguero and Healy. After light and shifty conditions earlier in the event, "Today was beautiful," Healy said. "We got up early, got out early and took advantage of the breeze. The Race Committee did a great job." This Championship was held with Class Rule C.3 modified so that the entire crew is limited to no more than one member who is classified as ISAF Group 3. The 52-boat fleet was comprised of 20 all-Corinthian teams, won by Andrew & Melissa Fisher, followed by Charles Bayer, Bryan Cameron, David Mendelblatt and Blaire McCarthy. "I prefer the Open and Corinthian because it’s a little bit more pure that way, being one or the other," explained Healy. "Leave the Open open and have some really nice Corinthian regattas throughout the country and hopefully internationally."
The top five overall:
- New England Ropes, USA2, Tim Healy -  -4 -4 -7 -2 -1; 18
- Scamp, USA248, Will Welles - 2 - -7 -2 -4 -4; 19
- Rimette, USA340, John Brim - 1 -1 -9 -10 -7 -; 28
- Reach Around, USA151, Thomas Bowen -  -10 -5 -11 -3 -7; 36
- Zaguero, MEX164, Ignacio Perez -  -19 -1 -9 -1 -8; 38
Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=2951.
Advantage to John Brim’s Rimette at Quantum J/70 Midwinter Championship
Mother Nature provided brilliant blue skies and summer-like temperatures, but light and fluky breeze as racing got underway Saturday at the Quantum J/70 Midwinter Championship hosted by Saint Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. But John Brim’s Rimette didn’t seem to mind. He won the first two races, and added a nine, for 11 points and a healthy advantage over Will Welles’ Scamp in second (23 points) and Tim Healy’s New England Ropes in third (24 points). This Championship is being held with Class Rule C.3 modified so that the entire crew is limited to no more than one member who is classified as ISAF Group 3. The 52-boat fleet is comprised of 44% all-Corinthian teams, currently led by James Prendergast’s USA167. Brim notched his first of two bullets as racing began in about 6 knots of breeze. Welles and Joshua Goldman’s Building A followed Brim in race one, and Prendergast and Bryan Cameron’s B Squared in race two (when winds were about 10 knots but shifty). The most consistent conditions occurred during Saturday’s final contest when Ignazio Perez’s Zaguero took the top spot, ahead of the reigning Midwinter team of Darden/Hillard of Hoss and John & Molly Baxter’s Team Vineyard Vines. No racing occurred Friday due to lack of wind. Racing concludes Sunday. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=2951.
The SCYA Midwinter Regatta in Long Beach, CA, an 88-year yachting tradition, is a chance for sailors to test their skills against the best skippers on the West Coast. The regatta, one of the nation’s largest sailing competitions, was held over two weekends in February, offering over 25 venues with 600 boats competing in 100 classes and 2,500 sailors participating. Coronado YC hosted the highly competitive 15-boat J/70 fleet, and it was Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT from California YC that posted a runaway win with finishes of 1-1-4-2-1-1 for just 10 points total. However, behind his team it was a fight to the very end, and the top five was ultimately determined by less than 2 points and a tie-breaker. The ultimate winner for the silver was Jim Murrell’s HUCKLEBERRY from King Harbor YC, taking the tie-breaker on 28 points over Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego YC. Just one point back was Chris Snow’s SOGGY DOLLAR from San Diego YC. Then, fifth place was taken by Chris Raab’s SUGOI from Newport Harbor YC only one point further back. For more SCYA Midwinters information, visit http://scyamidwinterregatta.org/.
J/70 Midwinter Championship Kicks Off Friday, February 24 from St. Petersburg, Florida
Fifty-six J/70 teams are gathering for racing at the J/70 Midwinter Championship in St. Petersburg, Florida. The competition begins Friday, February 24 and continues through Sunday, February 26. Look for photos on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and keep up with all the action from St. Petersburg Yacht Club at the regatta website http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=2951.
St. Petersburg NOOD
The first event of the 2017 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta wrapped in St. Petersburg on February 19. The regatta brings national and international talent to compete against local sailors on their home waters. The competition was tight this year, with many ties across the 154-boat regatta.
In the J/70 fleet, first place winner Peter Bowe of Baltimore, MD remarked about the importance of aggressive gear shifting in the shifty weather. The Tea Dance Snake skipper typically competes at the Corinthian level, but with some of his team missing, he opted to learn a few new tricks from a hired coach, Jackson Benvenutti. "He obviously upped our game," Bowe said, laughing. "We’ve been sailing a long time, but this time we were faster and had better starts. This was our best performance in a major regatta." Also sailing in the J/70s was a group of five local teenagers who were specially selected to compete in the fleet as the Helly Hansen Junior Crew. The teens held their own against a large, talented fleet, landing near the middle at 17th place. George and Donna Antarr’s Jeunesse Racing topped the Corinthian division.
J/70 (One Design - 32 Boats)
- Tea Dance Snake, Peter Bowe, Baltimore, MD, USA, 1 -7 -1 -4; 13
- Savasana, Brian Keane, Weston, MA, USA, 3 -2 -2 -6; 13
- Powerplay Racing, Peter Cunningham, Grand Cayman, CAY, 11 -4 -14 -3; 32
For complete results, visit http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eid=3005.
Three Bridge Fiasco
The 362 entries in the Singlehanded Sailing Society's 2017 edition of the Three Bridge Fiasco in San Francisco, CA had more wind than predicted, except when they had none at all. One of the factors that makes the race a "fiasco" is that the crews, all singlehanded and doublehanded, must choose which way to start and finish and which direction to sail around the three marks: Blackaller Buoy near the Golden Gate Bridge, Red Rock just south of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, and Yerba Buena Island in the middle of the Bay Bridge. The clockwise pack had a restart when the wind died north of Treasure Island. Fortunately, the current on this patch of water was mellow, though at least one boat dropped an anchor. Kame Richards, a local sailmaker and highly successful racer, offered some advice about strategy at the skippers' meeting on Wednesday. "If you go clockwise you're statistically in an okay group," he commented. Probably 95% of the racers went clockwise on Saturday, but this year it was the contrarians who finished first. "The tidebooks are going to be wrong," stated Richards. "The tides will not be normal." He was right on that score. It wasn't so simple as flood turning to ebb. Rip currents abounded. The velocity of rushing water in some places was unusual on the Bay. Patches of meringue and weird whirlpools popped up in seemingly random places, all adding to the day's challenges. With so little breeze and such strong currents, the starboard rounding of Yerba Buena was far trickier than the much earlier port rounding of it by the CCW boats had been. Some boats were dragged into the island and ran aground, others piled up into a buoy tender docked at the Coast Guard station there. Some of the clockwise crews had fretted about typically light air at Red Rock and the flood turning to ebb, so they went straight to Red Rock after the start, leaving Blackaller Buoy for last. (As it turned out, there was plenty of breeze at Red Rock, though the ebb did start early there). In the late afternoon, this group shot toward the Golden Gate Bridge on a river of 4- to 5-knot ebb. Turning toward shore, they found an equivalent back eddy of flood surrounding their last mark. As Kame explained,"When it's ebbing very hard, all the water can't fit under the Golden Gate Bridge. Some of it hits Fort Point and gets bounced back along the City-front." At the top of the Double J/70 class was Morgan & Jordan Paxhia’s PENNY PINCHER with a narrow 3-minute lead over Davis King & Tim Anto’s ALLONS-Y. Taking third was Fabio Maino & Felice Bonardi’s SCILLA, and fourth (only 17 seconds back) was Scott Sellers & Geoff McDonald’s 1FA. Thanks for contribution from Erik Simonson.
Bruno Pasquinelli’s Stampede Wins 2016-2017 Quantum J/70 Winter Series, and Andrew Loe is Top Corinthian
Fifty-five J/70 teams qualified to win the 2016-2017 Quantum J/70 Winter Series at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida by competing in at least two of the three weekends with the same boat and skipper. Bruno Pasquinelli’s Stampede placed third overall in Saturday’s three races before the wind died to secure the Series victory (no races were completed Sunday due to lack of breeze). Darby Smith’s Africa earned the silver position in the series, with Doug Strebel and Jay Lutz’s Black River Racing in the bronze. (Black River Racing was the winner of the February weekend.) The Corinthian division was won by Andrew Loe’s Dime Piece followed by Andrew Fisher’s Button Fly and Mark Allen on Macro Connect. The popular Series spans three weekends of racing between early December and February, allowing participants to store their boats onsite for a reasonable fee. Alex Meleney of Truckin' US343, said, "I want the Class leadership to know how much I enjoy coming down to the Davis Island three-weekend Series during the winter. My Northern crew like to come, and it is easy to get local fill-ins. As a Corinthian, the Series is a great learning opportunity." Series photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at www.diyc.org.
Key West Race Week
The 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week saw the seven racing classes complete races as scheduled. The week started with a windy and wavy southeasterly that faded over the course of four days before swinging around to a light southerly for Friday's conclusion. Many sailors felt the conditions were "typical of Key West Race Week," and they complemented the race committee's judgment. Tim Healy's (Jamestown, RI) New England Ropes won the J/70 fleet, the largest Class at race week. New England Ropes finished 11 points ahead of Marty Kullman's (St. Petersburg, FL) second-placed New Wave, which won a tiebreaker for second over Carlo Alberini's Calvi Network from Italy. The Corinthian Boat of the Week was awarded to Rob Britts' (Tierra Verde, FL) Hot Mess, which finished 15th in the J/70 Class. The Sailing World Youth Trophy, for the crew with the youngest average age, was presented to Gannon Troutman's (Gloucester, VA) Pied Piper, which placed 12th in the J/70 Class. Phil Haegler's Cloud Nine of Brazil, the winner of the final race in the J/70 fleet, won the Quantum Sails Boat of the Day trophy. For complete event information, visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website at https://keywestraceweek.com/.
Quantum Key West Race Week Day 4
Two races were held Thursday at Key West Race Week in light winds between 6-9 knots from the southeast. These were held after a harbor postponement that was signaled to allow the light northeasterly wind to shift around to the forecasted southeasterly. In the J/70 Class, Tim Healy's (Jamestown, RI) New England Ropes overtook rival Calvi Network, owned by Carlo Alberini of Italy. Both crews were challenged in the lighter winds and found themselves wrestling with the pack rather than free and clear at the front of the fleet. New England Ropes moved into the lead after finishing 9-7, which included an OCS in the first race. Calvi Network finished 4-22 to fall 9 points in arrears. Calvi Network was buried at the start of the second race and never found a lane to dig out of the pack. Racing concludes Friday. For more information and complete provisional results, please visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website at https://keywestraceweek.com/.
Key West Race Week Day 3
Day 3 at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week (Mount Gay Rum Day) saw a softening of the breeze on the racecourse. After a windy and wavy start to the regatta, Wednesday's conditions were far more manageable, as the wind ranged anywhere from a high of 10-13 knots before dying away to 7-9. The sea state, while calmer than the first two days, was still lumpy. In the J/70 fleet, it looked as if Carlo Alberini's Calvi Network from Italy was charting a course to a third consecutive Class victory, and then the crew finished 13th in Race 9 while Tim Healy's (Jamestown, RI) New England Ropes finished second. That allowed Healy to close a 12-point deficit down to 1 point with three races remaining. "Thankfully, we had a consistent day," said Healy, the J/70 Class and Boat of the Week winner in 2014. "Calvi was having a good day, but had a higher score in the last race and that allowed us to gain some points." Healy said that one side wasn't favored over the other and added that it was important to stay in the puffs. "Both sides of the course were working," Healy said. "It was important to stay in the puff and in phase, and John (Mollicone, tactician, Providence, RI) did a nice job for us. When you were in pressure, then you could tack. You couldn't tack if you weren't in a puff because you wouldn't accelerate out of the tack. Every windward leg, we probably cycled through 10 puffs and lulls. I don't know what happened to Calvi, but I think they missed out on some pressure on the first beat of the last race. They didn't have a bad start, but fell behind on the first leg and then it was hard to get back into the lead group." Racing continues through Friday. For more information and complete provisional results, please visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website at https://keywestraceweek.com/.
Key West Race Week Day 2
To the delight of the more than 600 sailors competing in the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week, day two's racing nearly mirrored day one's memorable conditions. ‘Lewmar Day’ offered more stellar racing in 15-20 knot winds amid sunny skies and warm air temperatures. In the J/70 fleet, Carlo Alberini's Calvi Network from Italy posted another solid 1-2-5 and leads with the low score of 14 points. Tim Healy's (Jamestown, RI) New England Ropes holds second with 26 points while Glenn Darden's (Fort Worth, TX) Hoss is third with 36 points. Racing continues through Friday. For more information and complete provisional results, please visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website: https://keywestraceweek.com/.
Key West Race Week Day 1
The comments from the first day of the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week, the City of Key West Day, were nearly unanimous – epic sailing conditions in one of the best racing venues in the world. In the highly competitive J/70 fleet, the largest Class at race week with 42 entries, the story from the past two years remains the same – Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network of Italy is leading the way. The fleet sailed three races on Monday. Alberini won the fleet last year and in 2015, when he also won Boat of the Week honors. Along the way, he and crew have been extremely consistent, never counting a finish worse than 11th in 19 races. After finishing 3-2-1 Monday, they’ve posted top three finishes an astounding 13 times over the past three years. That type of consistency is rare in one regatta, let alone over a three-year span. "It always turns out right for us. It’s just very nice sailing," said mainsail trimmer Karlo Hmeljak of Slovenia, a two-time Olympian (2008, ’12). "We escape winter to come here and sail in summertime conditions. We enjoy it a lot and maybe that’s why we do so well." Hmeljak said that their performance is even more important because crews are not allowed to discard their worst finishes. So a bad finish adds points that can hinder an overall victory. Hmeljak said that their strong showing was due in part to a good first leg. "The first leg wasn’t that long so the first shift was crucial," said Hmeljak. "We did very good playing the first shift, and that was it. There was quite a big swell, especially downwind, and that made for huge differences between boatspeeds. We were planing, but just below full power so sometimes we had to work hard to get the waves." Henry Filter (Annapolis, MD) leads the J/70 Corinthian Division with Wild Child. "This weather is a so much better than last year; it’s just spectacular with the wind, waves and sun," said Filter. "We got off the line OK, and had good first legs, usually within or close to the top ten. But then we’d have a few mistakes and drop back, and in this Class it can be hard to recover. A lot of these other crews have been racing together more recently, but I think our teamwork will improve as we keep racing." Racing continues through Friday. Photos are available on the Class Facebook page, and complete event information is available at https://keywestraceweek.com/.
J/70 U.S. Youth Championship
The first annual J/70 U.S. Youth Championship will take place concurrent with the J/FEST New England Regatta on August 11-13. The goal of this event is to help develop and build leading-edge junior keelboat sailing programs across America. The winning club of this event will get "free" usage of fully equipped J/70s, with sails and trailer, provided "free of charge" by J/Boats, to the winning club and its membership for 12 months. The U.S. J/70 Youth Championship is open to 10 youth teams representing US Sailing recognized sailing clubs or organizations. Sailing clubs may enter more than one youth team per event, but may only qualify one team for the USJCA championship in Newport, RI. The 10 youth teams will compete on 10 brand new J/70s with class sails (main, jib, spinnaker) that comply with J/70 Class Rules. The boats will be identically rigged and tuned at "base settings" that are recommended by the sailmaker. In order to qualify for the 10 slots, youth teams must qualify for entry by being the top scoring youth team in the J/70 Class at one of the following regattas:
Feb 24-26 – J/70 Midwinters St. Petersburg
Mar 09-11 – Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
Mar 17-19 – San Diego NOOD
Apr 20-23 – Charleston Race Week
May 05-07 – Annapolis NOOD
Jun 03-04 – J/70 Great Lakes at Cleveland Race Week
Jun 03-04 – Cedar Point (CT) One Design Regatta
Jun 09-11 – Chicago NOOD
Jul 15-16 – St. Francis YC Sportboat Regatta
Jul 27-30 – Marblehead NOOD
Here is the USJYC Notice of Race: http://www.jboats.com/images/stories/pdf/J70_Youth_NOR_011217.pdf.
For more U.S. J/70 Youth Championship information, visit http://www.jboats.com/j70-youth-championship.
Bruno Pasquinelli’s Stampede Wins Second Weekend of 2016-2017 Quantum J/70 Winter Series
Forty-eight J/70 teams traveled to Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida for the middle weekend of the 2016-2017 Quantum J/70 Winter Series. Conditions ranged from wet and wild on Saturday (winds up to 28 knots) to sunny and cool on Sunday (winds 10-18 knots). Bruno Pasquinelli’s Stampede reveled in the breeze, racking up four consecutive bullets and a second to allow them to sit out the sixth and final race. Thom Bowen’s Reach Around, who won the first weekend of the Series in December, took second place with 13 points. Allan Terhune’s Dazzler edged out Darby Smith’s Africa for third place (Terhune with 16 points to Smith’s 17). The 24-boat Corinthian division was topped by Andrew Fisher’s Button Fly. Racing concludes at Davis Island Yacht Club on February 4-5. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at www.diyc.org.
Hot Rum Series
The third race, and grand finale, for the San Diego Yacht Club’s Hot Rum Series took place on December 3. In the third weekend of breeze, the sailors enjoyed the ride out of the San Diego Harbor Channel, past Point Loma, around the sea buoys and back to the finish line just off the tip of Shelter Island. Taking home the silverware was Fabian Gomez-Ibarra’s J/70 VAGAZO in PHRF Class 4. VAGAZO ended with a scorecard of 1-1-2 for 4 points. Taking second on a tie-break was Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR with a 5-3-4 for 12 points. Fourth was Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU with a 4-6-3 for 13 points. For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series information, visit http://sdyc.org/.
Marty Kullman on Reach Around Wins Opening Weekend of 2016-2017 Quantum J/70 Winter Series
Fifty-three J/70 teams traveled to Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida for the first weekend of the 2016-2017 Quantum J/70 Winter Series. Basking in sunshine and breeze between 10-18 knots for seven races, Marty Kullman on Reach Around finished strong to secure the weekend victory with 13 points. Kullman was able to discard a 15 from the opening contest, and added in four bullets. Bruno Pasquinelli’s Stampede took second place with 19 points, followed by Darby Smith’s Africa with 35. The 23-boat Corinthian division was topped by Andrew Loe. Racing continues at Davis Island Yacht Club on January 7-8 and February 4-5. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at www.diyc.org.
Hot Rum Race II Report
For the 140+ boats racing in the San Diego Yacht Club Hot Rum Series for the second race that took place on November 19, it was a slow light air affair. The J/70 division/Class 4 sees domination by three J/70s in the top five placings. Leading is Fabian Gomez-Ibarra’s VAGAZO with two bullets for just 2 points. Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR has a 5-3 for 8 points in third position. And, Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU has a 4-6 for 10 points to hang in for fifth place. It will all be on the line next week. For more SDYC Hot Rum information, visit http://sdyc.org/.
Sea Kings Win High School Nationals in J/70s
The inaugural ISSA (Interscholastic Sailing Association) National Keelboat Invitational Championship was held November 19-20 at St. Petersburg Yacht Club in St. Petersburg, FL with sailing taking place on Tampa Bay. Ten high school teams from across the country competed in a new fleet of matched J/70 one-designs for the Mendelblatt Trophy. Conditions ranged from 10-18 knots over the weekend, and the fleet was able to enjoy a full rotation for 10 races in total. In the end, the two teams from Newport Beach, CA dominated the regatta. Winning was the Corona Del Mar High School "Sea Kings" with the team of Robert Garrett, Max Mayol, David Wood and Cameron Wood. Second was taken by their cross-town rivals, the Newport Harbor "Sailors." The regatta started out fast for the Sea Kings, winning the first race and closing out their first four races with two more bullets for a clear lead in the overall standings. Behind them in the top five, the "Sailors" posted a 3-4-5-4, the Falmouth Maine High School "Yachtsmen" a 5-BFD-3-5, the Archbishop Spalding High School "Cavaliers" a 4-1-4-8, the Annapolis High School "Panthers" an 8-3-8-3 and the Severn High School "Admirals" a 2-9-2-6. In short, after the first four races, these five teams were virtually tied on points. However, standings changed quite dramatically for the balance of the six races. The Sea Kings continued to dominate (despite a fifth race seventh place) to close the regatta with mostly top three finishes to win the overall title with just 28 points—a 2.8 average for 10 races. The "Sailors" from Newport Harbor posted all top four finishes to secure second place overall. The Falmouth Maine HS Yachtsmen team, consisting of Daniel Denison, Hanna Brydon, Kurban Ali and Cameron Delgado, took the bronze. Rounding out the top five were the Annapolis HS Panthers in fourth with 45 points and the Severn HS Admirals in fifth with 46 points. For more information, visit http://scores.hssailing.org/f16/issa-national-keelboat-invitational/.
Hot Rum Race
A 115-boat fleet completed a West Coast pursuit-style event: the Hot Rum Race hosted by San Diego Yacht Club. Winning Class Four was Fabian Gomez-Ibrarra’s J/70 VAGAZO, and also taking 9th overall. They were followed by Steve Wyman’s J/70 NUNUHUNU in fourth place and Dave Vieregg’s J/70 SOGGY DOLLAR in fifth position. The teams all enjoyed their celebrations on the San Diego YC docks in the post-race festivities. Next race takes place on November 19th. For more Hot Rum Series information, visit http://sdyc.org/calendar/events/4493.
The turnout at this year’s J/Fest Southwest at Lakewood Yacht Club was great and so was the sailing on Galveston Bay. In the J/70 fleet, with Chris Lewis’ GB took honors with all top three finishes, compiling four firsts, two seconds and one third on their way to the win with just 11 points in seven races. Behind them, it was a three-way battle for the balance of the podium. In the end, Lakewood YC local Forbes Durdin skippered MOJITO into second place, over Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS HEARING, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE and Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING (2, 3, 4, 5 finishers, respectively). For complete information, visit http://jfestsouthwest.com/.
Local Peter McChesney Tops 44 Boats at Inaugural J/70 Corinthian US National Championship
Forty-four all-amateur teams vied in Annapolis, MD for the honor of being named the first ever J/70 Corinthian US National Champion. Peter McChesney’s Alice & WondeRRRland (with crew Alice Christman, Scott Snyder and Shane Zwingelberg) earned that distinction by tallying just 9 points in the six-race series, including three bullets and three second-place finishes. The Liebel/Rubin/Walsh/Britts gang on Reach Around took the silver position with 20 points, just one ahead of Jack Franco’s 3 Ball JT. Eastport Yacht Club hosted the inaugural three-day event. Joe Colling, US J/70 Class Association Past President, summarized, "The J/70 Class may only be four years old, but it has proven to have Championships that serve all levels of the membership. Whether it be a Corinthian division of an open event or a Corinthian Championship like this, there’s a place in this Class for pros and amateurs alike." After Saturday’s races were postponed due to high winds on the Chesapeake Bay, sunny skies and breeze between 15-20 knots allowed three more races to be completed on Sunday. Reach Around won the day’s first battle, trailed by McChesney and Peter Bowe’s Tea Dance Snake. McChesney returned to the top spot in the final two races, with 3 Ball JT and Reach Around comprising the top three in both cases. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm.
Inaugural J/70 Corinthian US National Championship Opens with Perfect Breeze and Close Battles
Mother Nature welcomed 44 boats to the inaugural J/70 Corinthian US National Championship with "chamber of commerce" conditions of sunny skies and 12-14 knot winds on the Chesapeake Bay. Hosted by Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis, MD, this ground-breaking event has brought together all-amateur teams for three days of competition and the honor of being the first-ever Corinthian US National Champion. Working his way to that goal on Friday was local Peter McChesney who notched a 2,2,1 for just 5 points. Jack Franco won two races, but added a sixth-place tally, landing him in second place overall at 8 points. Jenn & Ray Wulff stand in third with 11 points. Franco got things going with the day’s first bullet, followed by McChesney and the Wulffs. Behind Franco in race two were McChesney and Henry Filter. McChesney secured the day’s overall advantage by winning the last meeting, as John Wilsey and the Liebel/Rubin/Walsh/Britts gang rounded out the top three. Racing continues through Sunday. Complete results may be found athttp://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm.
Cleveland (216) Regatta
Warm weather and chamber of commerce breeze welcomed seven J/22s, thirteen J/70s and six J/105s October 15-16 for the second annual Cleveland (216) Regatta at Edgewater Yacht Club. Four races were completed on a bright and sunny Saturday in varying breeze, flat water and 8-15 knots out of the south. All fleets were extremely competitive with aggressive starts and close finishes. Tick Tock Croc, driven by Richard Nesbett of Edgewater Yacht Club, had six points on a tiebreaker between Lee Sackett's Breaking Wind (also from EYC) and Mark Allen's Macro Connect out of Pontiac Yacht Club. Day two started off cloudy, but with more breeze out of the southwest at 15-22 knots, gusting over 25 and nearing 80 degree temperatures. All fleets were again aggressive getting off the starting line and competitive at each mark rounding battling for podium finishes. Richard Nesbett's Tick Tock Croc held onto the lead in the J/70 fleet with 20 points, followed by Lee Sackett's Breaking Wind with 28 points and Mark Allen's Macro Connect with 31 points in third. Many thanks to the sponsors: Quantum Sails Cleveland, Sailing Inc., Tito's Vodka, Boston Beer Co., Mapleside Farms and APS, as well as the families who were so generous hosting visiting teams. Bobbi and Bruce Sundman pulled off a traditional Southern boil on Saturday evening, and Quantum Sails sponsored the tailgate party on Sunday during the awards ceremony. PRO Mike Vining put together a flawless Race Committee, and great fun was had by all! The third annual Cleveland (216) Regatta will be held in early October 2017. For complete event information, click here.
Vineyard Vines Wins East Coast Championship
American Yacht Club hosted their 12th annual HEINEKEN High Performance Dinghy Open and, simultaneously, ran the J/70 East Coast Championship off Rye, NY. The 22 teams that had registered to sail the event experienced far better sailing conditions than anticipated for the weekend. In the end, after sailing 11 races (counting 9 after two drops), it was John & Molly Baxter’s Team Vineyard Vines that dominated the fleet with five bullets in the challenging conditions. Saturday dawned with a moderate ENE breeze in the 6-10 kts range and, in fact, slowly increased to permit the American YC PROs to run six races on the day. On Sunday, parts of Hurricane Matthew worked their way across Long Island to provide exciting racing conditions—12-20 kts planing mode most of the day. Behind Team Vineyard Vines was Oivind Lorentzen’s Nine, winning a few races themselves and posting all top five finishes to take the silver with just 25 points net. Behind them, it was a battle for the last spot on the podium between John Brim’s Rimette with Stephanie Roble (US Women’s #1 Match Race sailor) as tactician and Jenn & Ray Wulff’s Joint Custody from Annapolis. Their battle came down to the wire, with the Wulffs tying them on points at 35 net each, with the tie-breaker going in favor of Joint Custody over Rimette. Fifth was Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s Buttonfly with 51 points net. For complete information, click here.
Annapolis Yacht Club Fall Series
An annual classic during the fall on the Chesapeake Bay is the Annapolis Yacht Club Fall Series on the Chesapeake Bay. There was great racing on Saturday, October 1 with three races, however Sunday dawned with grey skies and no breeze. In the end, just three races counted. In the nine-boat J/70 fleet, Jenn & Ray Wulff on JOINT CUSTODY won all three races and their class. In the fight for second place, three boats almost ended up in a three-way tie. Peter Firey’s PHOENIX took the silver with a 3-4-3 (10 points). Behind them, winning the tie-breaker on 11 points was Todd Jenner’s TEA DANCE SNAKE with a 7-2-2 over Robin Team’s TEAMWORK with a 2-3-6. Fifth overall was David Schoene’s UNO MAS with a consistent 5-5-5 tally for 15 points. For more Annapolis YC Fall Series sailing information, click here.
American Yacht Club Fall Series
The 2016 Fall Series hosted by American Yacht Club (Rye, NY) completed its two weekend event on October 1-2 after getting started on September 24-25. Eighty-nine teams competed, including 18 J/70s. Oivind Lorentzen lll's Nine handily won with 20 net points over 10 races (five of which he won). Bill Walker & Allan Stern on Victura came in second with 33 points, followed by Trevor Roach's Semi Charmed with 42 points. For complete event information, click here.
Joel Ronning’s Catapult Wins the 2016 Alcatel J/70 World Championship
After a full week of hotly contested racing at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 World Championship, Joel Ronning’s Catapult (USA 187) claimed the title of World Champions. Ronning, with tactician John Kostecki, finished with a 17-point lead over second place Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s Flojito Y Cooperando (MEX 415), sailing with tactician Bill Hardesty. In third place was Jud Smith’s Africa (USA 179). "We feel like we’ve sailed quite well," said Kostecki. "We put a lot of preparation in, and we feel it paid off." In the hotly contested Corinthian division, which awards its own trophy and championship title, Shawn Bennett, StFYC/SFYC (USA 32), took top honors, followed by Simon Ling’s Team RAF Benevolent Fund Spitfire (GBR 123) and Pat Toole’s Three Big Dogs (USA 58). Throughout the five-day, 12-race regatta, San Francisco Bay tested the heavy-air skills of the 68 skippers and teams, so it was a bit of an anomaly when the wind was light on the final day of racing at this world-class event. A flood tide and 5 knots of breeze allowed for a spinnaker ride from host-club St. Francis Yacht Club to the Berkeley Circle, where all racing has been conducted this week. There, racers were greeted a short postponement as the race committee waited for the breeze to gather. Fortunately, the wait was contained to a half-hour, giving racers time to sort out their light-air modes and get their heads into the final two races. Prior to the sound of the day’s first warning signal, Catapult was topping the leaderboard, followed by Flojito Y Cooperando and Calvi Network. However, a light-air pop quiz would ultimately see a leaderboard change as Jud Smith and his Africa teammates and Calvi Network charged hard on the day the mattered most. Once reliable pressure filled in, the race committee launched the fleet on a 1.6-nautical-mile beat in 6-8 knots of breeze. Africa slowly began sliding ahead and to weather of her competition, allowing Smith to enjoy a private windward-mark rounding as the pursuing fleet battled for clear air. Smith held his lead for the entire race, strutting into the leeward gate rounding and the final run to the finishing line in a wing-on-wing configuration that was replicated by the other contenders. Brian Keane’s Savasana (USA 96) and Neckelmann’s Flojito Y Cooperando followed Africa across the finishing line. "I consider us [to be] more of a light-air team," said Smith, who clearly liked Race 11. "The guys did a great job getting us off the line, and we [went] the right way." As for his the trick to amassing his enviable lead, Smith explained, "We didn’t have to fight, we could go our own way." Smith’s hometown of Marblehead, Massachusetts may have properly trained him for light-air fights, but it was the two best San Francisco hometown tacticians— Paul Cayard, sailing aboard Alberini’s Calvi Network, and John Kostecki, sailing aboard Ronning’s Catapult (USA 187)—who were able to capitalize on the heavier airs and ebbing tides that kicked in every afternoon. While the Sailing Instructions included a 1430 hours deadline for the regatta’s last warning signal, the RC successfully delivered a full-ticket series to the competitors who had gathered from 15 nations. An ebbing tide, building chop, and a breeze that had built to the mid-teens defined Race 12, which began under friendly P Flag starting-line conditions. Alberini’s Calvi Network owned Race 12, promptly getting their bow into clear air and giving the rest of the fleet a fine view of their transom all the way to the finishing line. The 2017 J/70 World Championships will be held in Porto Cervo, Italy at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda from September 12-16. "The location is amazing," said Mauro Melandri, who works with the J/70 Class in Italy. "The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda is at the beginning of a natural fjord—it’s beautiful." For complete event information on the 2016 Worlds, visit https://www.stfyc.com/j70worlds2016.
Endurance Sailing at Day Four of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 World Championship
Sailors are a hearty type, but even hearty bodies get tired, especially when exposed to world-class competition that requires A-game performances for several days in a row. Such is the game at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 World Championship, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club, as San Francisco Bay has been delivering big wind and waves all week for the 68 boats from 15 countries racing in this high-octane event. Stir in a strong ebb-tide cycle and the Berkeley Circle racing area quickly becomes a small sea of white caps that sap boatspeed and test stamina. "It’s been a tough series for us—we expected that—but it’s been tougher than we thought," said Simon Ling, skipper of the Corinthian Team RAF Benevolent Fund Spitfire (GBR 123). "Everyone warned us that it was going to be cold and windy, and it has certainly delivered. We like those conditions, but sailing a keelboat in the chop—we haven’t had a lot of experience with that, so that’s all been part of the learning curve this week...It’s been a fantastic event and we are loving it." While Ling and company enjoyed a strong day four, with a fourth-place finish in Race 9 and a second-place finish in Race 10, their feelings were echoed throughout the fleet. "This morning I woke up and said, ‘It feels like day four,’" said Justin Kromelow, skipper of Loose Lucy (USA 375), who celebrated his 50th birthday on Thursday and boasts the coolest-looking sails in the fleet. The day began innocently enough, with bluebird skies, 4-6 knots of breeze, and a flood tide that kept the racecourse smooth for the run to Berkeley Circle. Then, the air filled to 8-10 knots. Two knots of flood tide escorted the fleet back downhill after rounding the weather mark in 10-15 knots. These conditions suited Brian Keane and his Savasana (USA 96) crew, who took the day’s first bullet. "We got a good start; we got off the line cleanly. We headed to the left side of the course, and we got into the good wind and current," said Keane, adding, "I like these conditions!" Unfortunately for Savasana and other teams that prefer the cerebral stuff, Mother Nature had other plans, as the breeze continued building and the tide clocked from flood to ebb. Small white caps appeared that grew into deeper troughs and prouder peaks as the tide powered up and the breeze built to 15-18 knots. The Race Committee started Race 9 cleanly, and—come the leeward gate—Douglas Strebel’s Black River Racing (USA 51) was in the lead, followed by Heather Gregg’s Corinthian MUSE (USA 95) and Matías Seguel’s Allegro (CHI 74). Strebel successfully staved off advances from the pack to take the bullet, followed by Joel Ronning’s Catapult (USA 187) and then MUSE. Conditions got serious in Race 10, as the ebbing tide and breeze produced the week’s biggest seas thus far. Outbound water swept enough boats over the line early to warrant a general recall, which in turn inspired the race committee to fly the U flag, meaning that anyone OCS would be disqualified. Unfortunately for Claudia Rossi’s Petite Terrible (ITA 853), who began the day in first, the Race Committee announced her over early; Rossi and company sailed a brilliant race and crossed the line in first place, only to realize their starting-line mistake. Instead, the bullet went to Jud Smith’s Africa (USA 179), followed by Ling’s Team RAF Benevolent Fund Spitfire and Ricardo Brockmann’s Vincitore (MEX 401). Just yesterday, Smith reported that he preferred light-air sailing after taking a bullet in Race 7. "I changed my mind!" said an ebullient Smith. "We had a good start, the breeze was a bit more predictable this afternoon, and we have good speed. We’re good upwind and we’re good in the breeze." After four days and 10 races, Ronning’s Catapult is topping the leaderboard, followed by Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s Flojito Y Cooperando (MEX 384) and Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network (ITL 456). Live tracking is available at http://www.tractrac.com/web/event-page/event_20160926_JWorldsStF/905/. Complete results are available at https://www.regattatoolbox.com/results?eventID=klcyTZvX7U. Photos are posted on the J/70 Facebook page.
New Leader at J/70 World Championship
Mother Nature had some surprises in store for the 68 boats that assembled on the Berkeley Circle for the third day of racing at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 World Championship, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club. Split personality conditions tested each boat’s light- and heavy-air skills, as well as their patience as conditions played tricks on racers and the Race Committee alike. While the breeze varied, consistency proved its importance as several teams stayed fast, irrespective of the breeze and its meandering moods. The two teams to do that best, Claudia Rossi’s Petite Terrible (ITA 853) and Joel Ronning’s Catapult (USA 187) – now hold the top two positions. Winds of 5-10 knots and a flood tide awaited sailors as they began the downwind run to the Berkeley Circle, which is located some 7 nautical miles northeast of St. Francis Yacht Club. With a stronger left-hand component to the breeze than previous days, the Race Committee set the windward mark due east from Alcatraz Island, allowing boats to catch a fast, tide-powered ride to the leeward gate. The procession was lead by Ronning’s Catapult, with hometown hero John Kostecki calling tactics. The breeze slowly built as the fleet swapped their kites for their headsails and Trey Sheehan’s Hooligan: Flat Stanley (USA 389) and Jack Franco’s 3 Ball JT (USA 3) hotly pursued Catapult. Fast forward to the finishing line, and Catapult strutted to a clean win sailing wing-on-wing, followed by Hooligan: Flat Stanley and Rossi’s always-fast Petite Terrible. "It felt great to get in a fairly light-air race," said Ronning, immediately ex post facto. "I’ve got a fabulous crew, and they knew what to do! I listened to [Kostecki], and we kept the boat going fast." While Ronning made his win sound simple, there was nothing straightforward about what unfurled next. The Race Committee started their countdowns for race two, the starting gun sounded, the boats launched off into gathering airs before popping their kites at the offset mark, and—with Jud Smith’s Africa (USA 179), Catapult, and Petite Terrible hammering for the leeward gate—the race was abandoned due to a course that was no longer square to the wind. Principal Race Officer Mark Foster personally apologized to the fleet for this abandonment, but the racers themselves were to blame for the next two starts, which resulted in general recalls as the outgoing tide flushed boats over the line in advance of the clock. The Race Committee noted—via VHF channel 69—that 40-some boats were OCS in the second general-recall start, and that they would be conducting the next start under the dreaded U flag, meaning that anyone deemed OCS would be disqualified. The message was received, and the next start was noticeably more conservative. The gun fired, and the fleet pounded uphill in 18-22 knot airs and some of the afternoon ebb’s strongest waters, which churned up the Berkeley Circle’s infamous washboard. This nasty chop didn’t stop Africa, Tim Healy’s Sail Newport (USA 2), Mauricio Santa Cruz’s Bruschetta (BRA 403), Catapult and Petite Terrible from finding the windward mark ahead of the pack. Spinnakers were hoisted, afterburners lit, and Africa, Catapult, and Petite Terrible began replaying the abandoned race, along with added pressure from Sail Newport and Bruschetta. Further astern, however, teams began flashing their keels at the sun. Ander Belausteguigoitia, who is sailing aboard Bala (MEX 680) explained heavy-air broach-recovery: "First you let go of all sails and controls, and if it’s not coming back, you have to pop the halyard about halfway, but you have to be careful it doesn’t go in to the water. The spinnaker is still in the air, and before it goes into the water you have to re-hoist it." Get it right and the race can be salvaged; blow this delicate timing and your crew can expect a lengthy shrimping session. While other boats were perfecting their recovery tactics, Africa took the bullet, followed by Sail Newport, Catapult and Petite Terrible. "The guys did a good job, they stepped it up and gave me a good one," said an elated Smith, just after finishing. When queried about the team’s preference between the two vastly different sets of conditions experienced on day three, Smith smiled and admitted, "I like 6 knots, but the crew likes the heavy stuff!" After seven races, Petite Terrible is the new leader followed by Catapult and Africa. Twelve races are scheduled for September 27 to October 1 with a team’s worst score discarded. Interested spectators can follow the racing online courtesy of title sponsor Alcatel, who supplied smartphones to each boat that are being used as onboard trackers to report real-time positions. Live tracking is available at http://www.tractrac.com/web/event-page/event_20160926_JWorldsStF/905/. Complete results are available at https://www.regattatoolbox.com/results?eventID=klcyTZvX7U. Photos are posted on the J/70 Facebook page.
Neckelmann Wins Day, Takes Lead at J/70 World Championship
San Francisco has a storied reputation as a world-class venue during the summer and early fall, and day two of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 World Championship, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, did not disappoint. A marine layer and 10 knots of westerly breeze greeted racers at the docks, but by the time the fleet arrived at the Berkeley Circle, pockets of blue sky and gathering airs created visually stunning optics. The Race Committee quickly started the first of the day’s three races, as they well understood that the morning’s flat waters would grow steep and sharp once the afternoon’s ebb tide arrived. Pied Piper (USA 380) enjoyed a fantastic start, which they leveraged into a thin-but-comfortable lead at the first mark rounding, and Gannon Troutman, the team’s brilliant 13-year-old skipper, made sure to press this advantage hard as a scrum of boats battled for position in his wake. A flurry of crew movement produced a fine A-sail set, and Pied Piper launched off toward the leeward gate. Flash forward 30 minutes, and Troutman was still leading the hunt as Pied Piper whistled across the finish line to a round of crew celebrations. "It was hard in the chop, but it got easier in the flatter water," said an elated Gannon, seconds after beating many of the world’s best one-design sailors. A great start was an obvious key to Pied Piper’s success, but the team managed to stretch their lead considerably from the windward mark to the first gate by sailing low and fast through the building chop. When queried about his team’s three smartest strategic and tactical moves, Gannon wasted no words: "The start, a later gybe on the first downwind leg, and sailing conservative." Stronger airs and a gathering ebb tide conspired to kick up bigger seas, which would only intensify as the afternoon continued. The next countdown commenced, headsails unfurled, and 68 boats hit the line at pace with the race committee citing only two boats for being over early. Most of the fleet opted for left side of the line and a starboard tack start, but within minutes defending World Champion Julian Fernandez Neckelmann (MEX) and his Flojito Y Cooperando (MEX 384) teammates found their own lane and began making big gains on the fleet; by the top of the second windward leg they enjoyed a 1:15 lead over Claudia Rossi’s Petite Terrible (ITA 853), who rounded in second. Come the finish, Neckelmann and his tactician, San Diego-native Bill Hardesty, had stretched this lead by another 42 seconds to take a decisive win. Consistency is key at any big-fleet regatta, and Neckelmann and company clearly demonstrated they have unlocked the Berkeley Circle’s secrets in moderate-to-heavy conditions by repeating their stunning performance on the day’s final race, commanding every mark rounding and delivering a finish that few eyes witnessed, as the bulk of the fleet was far astern, skirmishing for points and finishing slots. "There’s still two days to go," said Neckelmann, who looked happy but was clearly conscious of the remaining races—and other brilliant sailors—that still separate him from winning back-to-back J/70 World Championship titles. While Flojito Y Cooperando exemplified textbook A-sail sets and gybes, plenty of other teams learned the Bay’s lessons the hard way as shrouds kissed the brine and more than one crew watched valuable sand bleed through the metaphoric hourglass as they fought to retrieve their water-logged kite. Still, broad smiles and happy faces could be seen aboard all boats, irrespective of their finishing positions. "It was windy at the top mark, but we’re having a great time!" said Heather Gregg, skipper of MUSE (USA 95) and the 2014 J/70 Corinthian World Champion, moments after she and her all-Corinthian crew crossed the finishing line in the day’s final race. "It’s tough sailing in such a big fleet—you make a few mistakes and you’re shot out of the back. But we have a great team, and we’re having fun!" Racing resumes Thursday, with San Francisco’s famed wind and tidal conditions again expected to be the dominant racecourse features. Twelve races are scheduled for September 27 to October 1 with a team’s worst score discarded after 6 or more races are completed. Interested spectators can follow the racing online courtesy of title sponsor Alcatel, who supplied smartphones to each boat that are being used as onboard trackers to report real-time positions. Live tracking is available at http://www.tractrac.com/web/event-page/event_20160926_JWorldsStF/905/. Complete results are available at https://www.regattatoolbox.com/results?eventID=klcyTZvX7U. Photos are posted on the J/70 Facebook page.
Breeze On as J/70 World Championship Gets Underway
World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition, but when you stack 68 of the world’s most popular One Design boats on San Francisco Bay in a crisp, late-September breeze, you can bet your last shackle that the competition will be ferocious. Such was the case at the start of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 World Championship, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club, as the fleet of top-shelf competitors experienced classic early fall conditions that tested racers’ big-fleet skills. "You’re not going to win the regatta in the first race but you could lose it," said Paul Cayard, a Volvo Ocean Race winner, who is serving as tactician aboard Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network. "[At first] you’re just trying to get a couple of good races in. [Then], as the regatta proceeds...you may [eventually] have to start making a more aggressive game plan." While the morning started with a one-hour shoreside postponement to allow the sea breeze to fill in on the Berkeley Circle racecourse, everyone clearly had first blood in mind once the starting guns began sounding in 15-18 knots of wind, with puffs in the low 20s. There were two general recalls before the Race Committee added the motivation of a black flag: Cross the line early and disqualification is mandatory. The bulk of the fleet concentrated on the right side of the line, a move that suited skipper Chris Kostanecki and his crew aboard Jennifer (USA 370) just fine, as Kostanecki split with the herd and aimed left, finding clear lanes. As boats to the right-hand side of the course battled for scraps, Jennifer enjoyed a fast ride to the windward mark, which they rounded first, creating a commanding lead that they carried across the finish. "We nailed the start," said Kostanecki, three minutes after crossing the line in this talent-rife class, which includes both former J/70 World Champions Tim Healy (2014) and Julian Fernandez Neckelmann (2015), as well as former America’s Cup winners and Olympic champions. "The weather end of the line was favored, and we went left. It was our game plan and we [stuck with] it." Unfortunately for Jennifer, the Race Committee deemed that Kostanecki and 15 other skippers were on course side before the start, resulting in 16 disqualifications. After the Race Committee sorted out black-flag rulings, Jud Smith’s Africa (USA 179) took first place, followed by Joel Ronning’s Catapult (USA 187) and Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s Flojito y Cooperando (MEX 384). The Race Committee—lead by Principal Race Officer Mark Foster—quickly began race two’s countdown, with the less-menacing U flag usurping race one’s black-flag guillotine. Jennifer’s start was clearly noticed by her competitors, and the left side of the line became expensive real estate as the clock wound down. A signal sounded, sails sheeted on hard, and 68 polished teams began battling 1.8 nautical miles of uphill sailing. While Cayard wisely predicted that a new world champion wouldn’t be minted in the first race, this didn’t stop Calvi Network (ITA 456) from dropping the hammer on race two. Come the final downhill run, Calvi Network’s distinctive logoed spinnaker was easy to spot, thanks to the generous lead that she enjoyed over Claudia Rossi’s Petite Terrible (ITA 853) and Kostanecki’s Jennifer. "We started on the right side of the course, and we controlled the right side," said Cayard, minutes after exchanging a round of celebratory high-fives with his skipper and crew. "We kept the boat upright on the run, and we had some great steering." While a bullet was fresh in mind, Cayard—a consummate professional—downplayed their result, given that the team scored 23rd in race one, putting them in 7th place overall. "It’s a long series," said Cayard, his mind clearly focusing on the next four days. After two races, Smith’s Africa is in 1st place with six points, followed by Ronning’s Catapult (who also carries six points) and Neckelmann’s Flojito y Cooperando, who finished their day with 15 points. This sets the stage for a massive battle between these three teams as their tacticians—Victor Diaz, John Kostecki and Bill Hardesty, respectively—seek the podium’s top step. Racing continues on Wednesday and runs through Saturday, with the Race Committee hoping to rifle off ten more races in the next four days. Interested spectators can follow the racing online courtesy of title sponsor Alcatel, who supplied smartphones to each boat that are being used as onboard trackers to report real-time positions. Live tracking is available at http://www.tractrac.com/web/event-page/event_20160926_JWorldsStF/905/. Complete results are available at https://www.regattatoolbox.com/results?eventID=klcyTZvX7U. Photos are posted on the J/70 Facebook page.
Long Island Sound Championship
The Storm Trysail Club and Riverside Yacht Club hosted this year’s Long Island Championship for the J/70 class on Western Long Island Sound. Providing Riverside YC with additional help and support for the event were American Yacht Club and Indian Harbor Yacht Club. The weekend weather provided excellent breeze and lots of racing. With a dozen J/70s showing up ready to do battle, the winners were determined by a tie-breaker. After six races, Madelyn Ploch’s women’s team (SUGAR DADDY) and Kerry Klingler (MENACE) each had 9 points with the tie-break going in favor of Klingler on countback based on first places. Taking third was Scott & Alex Furnary’s ANY COLOUR with 16 points net. The balance of the top five was Scott Bursor’s SLINKY in fourth position and Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA in fifth place. For more information, visit http://www.riversideyc.org/club/scripts/section/section.asp?GRP=4165&NS=PRACE.
Verve Cup Inshore Regatta
The Verve Cup Inshore Regatta was sailed August 26-28 out of Chicago Yacht Club Belmont Harbor. With six classes on two race courses, the J/70s were the largest fleet with 20 boats registered. They completed eight races over the three days in mostly light conditions. Lee Sackett and Corinthian team Ted Pinkerton, Dave Kerr and Caroline Sundman from Cleveland, OH won the event overall, leading the scoreboard each day. Rick Schaeffer of Fort Worth, TX on Nasty Baby placed second and Richard Lehmann from Harbor Springs, MI on Wind Czar was third. Lee Sackett and team also won the Corinthian division while his father, Tod Sackett, on FM placed second, and Chicago favorite Norboy was third. For complete event information, visit https://www.chicagoyachtclub.org/verveinshore.
Phenomenal Sailing and World-Class Talent Expected at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds Hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club
Summer’s days may be numbered, but this comes as welcome news to all sailors participating in the 2016 Alcatel J/70 World Championship hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, as fall’s arrival neatly dovetails with the start of what promises to be a world-championship regatta for the ages. Starting and finishing guns will echo across the Berkley Circle racecourse, an area of San Francisco Bay to the northeast (and leeward) of Alcatraz Island, from September 27 to October 1, and competing sailors can expect some of the finest annual conditions that this world-class venue reliably delivers. San Francisco Bay enjoys a storied reputation for breeze-on summer sailing, while its winter months can be "a little" damp. Late-September, however, usually offers Indian summer conditions featuring warm days with slightly moderated airs, making it ideal for a high-performance, planing rocket ship like the J/70—a boat that gets her bow up and out of the water on the first good puff. Along with breeze, San Francisco Bay is notorious for its currents and tides, which have challenged world-class professional sailors racing everything from powerful keelboats to foiling catamarans. Fortunately for participants of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, the Berkeley Circle racecourse is located on shallow, tide-protected waters, out of the slippery influence of the swiftest-flowing current that rake the Bay’s deeper waters. Not only will this deliver conditions that play into the J/70’s design brief, but it also ensures that world-class tactics, teamwork and tenacity—not local knowledge—determine the winner’s podium. "Expectations are high for this event," said Lynn Lynch, St. Francis Yacht Club’s Race Director. "Model sailing conditions, world-class talent, top-level race management and unbelievable socials will all come together to result in a World Championship worthy of the fastest-growing fleet around. The anticipation is palpable, and we are expecting people to come ready for some serious competition." A glance at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds entry list reveals 80 star-studded boats from 15 nations, including former J/70 World Champions Tim Healy (Helly Hansen) and Julian Fernandez Neckelmann (Flojito Y Cooperando); former J/70 North American Champions Jud Smith (Africa) and Joe Bardenheier (Muse); as well as former J/70 European Champions Carlo Alberini (Calvi Network) and Claudia Rossi (Petite Terrible). Additionally, this impressive list also includes world-class tacticians such as John Kostecki, the only sailor to have ever won an Olympic medal, the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race, as well as former US Sailing Rolex Yachtsmen of the Year winners Bill Hardesty (2011) and Paul Cayard (1998). By holding their Worlds on San Francisco Bay, the J/70 Class joins the ranks of other prestigious One Design classes that have contested their highest-level regatta on these historic waters and enjoyed the St. Francis Yacht Club’s world-class hospitality. Impressive company to keep for a Class that just started sailing in 2012, and has only held two previous World Championships, first in Newport, Rhode Island (2014) and then in La Rochelle, France (2015). "We couldn’t be happier with how widespread J/70 sailing has become in just four years," said Jeff Johnstone, President of J/Boats. "Hull numbers 1103 through 1111 are the latest to be built and will be competing at the San Francisco Worlds right alongside hull #2." Along with a big spike in hull numbers comes a corollary spike in boatspeed from all corners of the planet. "The Class’ [competition] level is going up very fast, with more talented sailors joining every year," said 2015 J/70 World Champion and 2016 J/70 North American Champion, Julian Fernandez Neckelmann. While this surge in numbers and skill levels could overwhelm some Classes and hosting clubs, there’s a reason this hugely popular Class chose its hosting partner. "The St. Francis Yacht Club and the [J/70] Class will certainly provide excellent race management," continued Neckelmann. "San Francisco is one of my favorite racing scenarios in the world... It would have been hard to [choose] a better place." Registration for this exciting event has now closed, however friends, family and interested spectators can follow the racing online courtesy of title sponsor Alcatel, who is supplying smartphones to each boat that will be used as onboard trackers to report real-time positions, facilitating a state-of-the-art virtual spectator experience for those ashore. For more information about this world-class regatta, please visit stfyc.com/j70worlds2016.
Rolex Big Boat Series
The record-setting 52nd Rolex Big Boat Series hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club drew to a close September 18 in splendid late-summer sailing conditions. After a slight delay waiting for the breeze to fill, a seabreeze of 15-18 knots arrived and brought with it decidedly warmer temperatures. For the first time in four days, crews shed their foul weather gear and fleeces as they took to the racecourse. This year’s regatta attracted the largest fleet ever: 127 boats in 11 classes. San Francisco’s reliable seabreeze came in every day, starting at a gentle 8-10 knots and then steadily increasing into the 20s, with a peak of 30 knots yesterday. All classes completed their full slate of racing. The coveted prize at all Rolex Yachting events is a specially engraved Rolex timepiece. Class winners were presented a Stainless Steel Submariner Date watch as well as a St. Francis Yacht Club perpetual trophy. The Commodore’s Cup Perpetual Trophy was awarded to the winner of the largest one-design class in the regatta, the J/70 Class which had 36 entrants. The top-finishing J/70 was Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s (Valle de Bravo, Mexico) Flojito y Cooperando. The reigning world champions tuned up for the Alcatel J/70 Worlds by winning the last race of Rolex Big Boat Series to secure the title. For more information, please visit the Rolex Big Boat Series website at http://www.rolexbigboatseries.com/, and for complete results, visit http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=1620.
Conanicut YC Round Island Race
For about a week, a tropical disturbance called Hermine worked its way toward the northeastern USA shoreline over Labor Day weekend. The New England forecasts ranged from a hurricane to nothing other than a mild tropical disturbance blowing 15-30 kts. Sunday morning ended up with NE winds of 15-25 kts and mostly sunny skies. The fleet of 65 entrants congregated in front of Conanicut YC in Jamestown, RI looking forward to a counter-clockwise race around Narragansett Bay. The start was off the CYC starting line, just south of the Newport Bridge. The first mark to windward was a starboard-tack favored beat of 5.1nm. Then, the fleet turned left at Can #3 going to Can #5 at the northern tip of Conanicut Island (about 1.8nm), then a fast 9.5nm planing reach from Can #5 to Beavertail Bell off the southern tip of the island, then a 4.0nm beat against a ripping 1.5-2.0 kts current, clawing around the Dumplings Bell for a last left turn to the finish, a fetch on starboard of 1.25nm. The first two boats around Beavertail Bell (15nm into the race) were a J/35 and J/29, but fourth boat was Suzy Leech’s team on her J/70 JUNKANOO. Leech commented, "This was the most amazing Round Island Race ever! The weather was just unbelievably perfect—sunny, windy, gusting to 25 kts plus. Planing for 9 miles down the Bay’s western passage, wow! We even crashed twice (massively), with me swimming in a monster broach (Stu J fell on the tiller). Loved my crew of Stu & Julia J and Joey B (Stu & Julia Johnstone and Joe Bardenheier)." As just seventh boat to finish in the entire fleet of 65 boats, JUNKANOO won the J/70 fleet and took 16th overall. Second was Gordon Fletcher’s GIJIMA from Wickford YC, and third was Chris Murray’s LUCKY from Ida Lewis YC. For more Conanicut YC Round Island Race sailing information, visit http://www.conanicutyachtclub.org/.
New England’s top sailors gathered on August 26-28 for the coveted end of summer event – the ONE (Offshore New England Championship) Regatta, which saw over 80 boats racing off Marblehead. Eight J/70s completed seven races, with tight racing at the top between Stein Skaane's Shred, Stewart Neff's Africa and Henry Brauer's Rascal. Shred edged out the victory with 10 points, two ahead of Africa. Rascal placed third with 15 points. For complete event information/results, visit www.oneregatta.org.
Clemmie Everett and Crew Earn International Women’s Keelboat Championship
Communal experience as a team and college sailing experience in shifty winds paid dividends for Clemmie Everett (Rye, NY) and her crew, who took home the Bengt Julin Trophy for winning the 2016 International Women’s Keelboat Championship at American Yacht Club on August 19. Starting the day in third place, Everett, with crew members Alix Hahn, Carolyn Russell and Erin Sprague, finished the elimination stage of the championship with 73 points over 20 races and won two of the final stage’s three races to capture the championship. "Wednesday’s racing was coming right off the shore so it was very shifty," said Everett. "Alix sailed at Tufts. Tufts sails at Mystic Lake. I sailed in the Charles River in college. We both do a lot of frostbiting. We were totally comfortable with puffy and shifty conditions." The team made a conscious effort to avoid penalties that would have cost valuable standings points. "The biggest thing was sailing clean," said Carolyn Russell of Greenwich, CT, who trimmed spinnaker for the winning crew. "You don’t want to make contact, because that really kills you." They were successful, accruing 13 points over their final five races in stage two, including a bullet and two second place finishes that placed them second heading into the championship flight, though they tried to keep that out of mind. "We tried our hardest never to realize we were really close," said Erin Sprague, who trimmed the mainsheet and traveler. "After the second round robin, once we looked at the numbers, we had a little taste of the fact that it was possible." But until their J/70 was close to the final finish line, Everett and her crew tried to keep it out of their heads. "We didn’t talk about it a lot; we were just out for a sail," said Alix Hahn, who grew up sailing at American Yacht Club and trimmed jib and called tactics for the winners. "After the second race in (the championship flight), we knew this was ours to lose, and we went out and won that last one, and it felt really good. When the boat crossed the line, tears flowed, hugs were given, and the spinnaker came down. But Everett’s team knew what an amazing week of sailing they had shared. "Every minute in the boat counts," said Alix Hahn, who grew up sailing at American Yacht Club and trimmed jib and called tactics for the winners. "Without question, this is a peak victory for all of us. I don’t think any of us have had a sailing moment that’s as special as this one." For the winners, the influence on younger female sailors could not be understated. "I would say to any young girl who is scared of sailing right now, just keep at it, ask a lot of questions, and find some mentors or find some coaches and get determined, and decide this is what you want to do, and go do it." For complete event information, visit http://www.ussailing.org/racing/championships/adult/iwkc/.
No Racing Thursday at Women’s Keelboat Championship
After no racing happened Thursday at the International Women’s Keelboat Championship due to lack of wind, the leaderboard remains the same. Allie Blecher of Long Beach, California leads the International Women’s Keelboat Championship, having completed 17 races with 60 total points for an average score of 3.53. Melinda Henshaw of Remuera, New Zealand is second with 63 points over 17 races for an average of 3.71 points, and Clemmie Everett of Rye, N.Y. is third with 58 points over 15 races (3.87). At the conclusion of stage 1, the 10 best ranked teams will advance to stage 3. The remaining teams will advance to a stage 2. Stage 2, the Consolation Round, will consist of a series of 3 races with all teams that did not qualify for stage 3 competing in each race. Stage 3, the Championship Round will consist of a series of 5 races of with 10 teams competing in each race. For complete event information, visit http://www.ussailing.org/racing/championships/adult/iwkc/.
Blecher Leads Women’s Keelboat Championship
The International Women’s Keelboat Championship is on-going at The American Yacht Club in J/70s. After Round 1 and Round 2, Allie Blecher (Long Beach, CA) has moved into first place, Melinda Henshaw (Remuera, Auckland, NZL) and her team are in second, followed by Clemmie Everett (Rye, NY) in third. At the conclusion of stage 1, the 10 best ranked teams will advance to stage 3. The remaining teams will advance to a stage 2. Stage 2, the Consolation Round, will consist of a series of 3 races with all teams that did not qualify for stage 3 competing in each race. Stage 3, the Championship Round, will consist of a series of 5 races of with 10 teams competing in each race. For complete event information, visit http://www.ussailing.org/racing/championships/adult/iwkc/.
Stage 1 Underway at Women’s Keelboat Championship
The American Yacht Club in Rye, New York is hosting the International Women’s Keelboat Championship in J/70s. This year’s regatta features 16 four-member crews who will rotate boats, competing 10 teams at a time. The qualifying series started Tuesday. Melinda Henshaw (Remuera, Auckland, NZL) and her team are in first with 15 points, followed by Kathryn Meyer (Seattle, WA) with 18 points. In third is Allie Blecher (Long Beach, CA) in the current standings. Stage 1 is scheduled to consist of three rounds of races with 10 teams competing in each race. For complete event information, visit http://www.ussailing.org/racing/championships/adult/iwkc/.
Every year the Little Traverse YC hosts their Ugotta Regatta after the Mac Races. The big fleet was the J/70 class with 19 boats overall and 12 Corinthian teams. Winning was Texan Rick Shaffer’s NASTY BABY, counting four firsts in their scoreline. Second was Stan Edwards’ LICKITY SPLIT with 27 points, third place went to Corinthian winner Polk Wagner on ESCAPE. Fourth was Scott Sellers’ TRES BURRITOS (second Corinthians), and fifth place was John Arenshorst’s 20/20 (third Corinthians).
YRA Long Island Sound Championship
The American YC in Rye, New York hosted the 12th Annual YRA Long Island Sound Championship Regatta for PHRF handicap and the J/70 one-design classes over the weekend of August 6-7. The AYC PROs coordinated with area yacht clubs to host the event on two courses in western Long Island Sound. The weather cooperated enough for the RC teams to run up to six races for some fleets. Winning the dozen boat J/70 fleet on a tie-breaker was Kerry Klingler’s MENACE over Madeline Ploch’s USA 644, sitting on just 9 points each after six races. Third was Scott & Alex Furnary’s ANY COLOUR with 16 points, followed by Scott Bursor’s SLINKY in fourth place with 23 points and Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA in fifth position with 27 points. For more YRA Long Island Sound Championship sailing information, visit http://www.americanyc.org/.
St. Francis Yacht Club Announces Alcatel as Title Sponsor of J/70 Worlds: Mobile technology company to deliver virtual reality, award-winning mobile devices and integrated spectator experience to world championship regatta
St. Francis Yacht Club and the International J/70 Class are pleased to announce Alcatel as the title sponsor of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, which will take place on San Francisco Bay from September 24 to October 1, 2016. By integrating the company’s mobile devices, tablets and virtual reality technologies into this international sailing event, Alcatel will enhance the regatta for sailors and spectators alike. Alcatel devices—which include smartphones, tablets and wearables—are sold in more than 170 countries worldwide. The company, which is a mobile brand of TCL Communication, puts an emphasis on delivering experience-rich value to its customers and is currently the fourth largest mobile handset manufacturer in North America. First launched in 2011, the J/70 Class does not yet boast the rich history that has flowed past both Alcatel and the St. Francis Yacht Club (established 1927), but it is rapidly catching—and surpassing—many one-design classes, both nationally and internationally. There are currently more than 1,100 J/70s afloat, and the Class has contested two World Championships, the first in Newport, Rhode Island in 2014 and the second in La Rochelle, France in 2015. This year’s Alcatel J/70 Worlds will mark the first time the Class has contested its top prize on the West Coast. It will also mark the first time that St. Francis Yacht Club has hosted this international event. "The St. Francis Yacht Club is thrilled to have Alcatel on board as the J/70 Worlds title sponsor," said Lynn Lynch, Race Director at St. Francis Yacht Club. "Much like the J/70 Class and the St. Francis Yacht Club, Alcatel is a forward-thinking company, and we’re already seeing an exciting energy develop between the brands. I’m confident Alcatel’s title sponsorship will take what was already going to be a great regatta and help turn it into a world-class event." With Alcatel as title sponsor, each participating boat will receive an award-winning Alcatel IDOL 4S smartphone that will double as an onboard tracking device via a mobile application, offering spectators a fully integrated viewing experience. To take it a step further, Alcatel will have on display its virtual-reality goggles that can plug into an IDOL 4S to display a skippers-eye view of J/70 Worlds. Thanks to 360-filming technology that interplays seamlessly through Alcatel’s phones and goggles, those ashore will be able to virtually experience the thrills of being on the water. "As a J/70 sailor myself, it is very exciting to see the IDOL 4S bring a whole new suite of experiences to this World Championship," said Vittorio Di Mauro, Senior Vice President of TCL Communication and President of the Italian J/70 Class. Steve Cistulli, President and General Manager for Alcatel, North America added, "I cannot wait for participants and fans to experience IDOL 4S and the J/70 Class VR content we’ll showcase exclusively during this event that will bring a more immersive view of J/70 racing." To date, there are 74 boats registered to sail from 16 countries, including returning aces such as Julian Fernandez Neckelmann (MEX) and his Flojito Y Cooperando teammates, who owned the podium at the 2015 J/70 World Championship. Still, given other national and international contenders—such as Tim Healy, Jud Smith and Claudia Rossi—Neckelmann and company will have their work cut out. "The high level of competition at this event will be staggering," said Christopher Howell, the J/70 Class Executive Director. "Between skippers and crew, you will see World Champions and Olympic athletes from multiple classes." Registration for the Alcatel J/70 Worlds is open until August 15, 2016 after which an additional fee will apply. For more information or to register for this exciting World Championship, please visit stfyc.com/j70worlds2016.
CATAPULT Dominates J/70 Pacific Coast Championship
As things continue to ramp up for the J/70 World Championship at St. Francis YC on San Francisco Bay this coming September, more teams are taking the opportunity to participate in events on the Bay to test the waters and their teams. St. Francis YC hosted the J/70 Pacific Coast Championship on the waters in front of the club, sometimes using the StFYC club starting line and others starting off the face of Alcatraz Island. The 19-boat fleet enjoyed beautiful breezes all weekend long, with the classic westerlies building late morning, enabling the StFYC PRO to run 4-5 races per day in planing mode conditions. Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT, who’s crew included America’s Cup veteran John Kostecki as tactician, managed to dominate the event, winning six straight races, counting just 11 points net in nine races counted. Taking second was Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER crew, posting four seconds in their scoreline to net 35 points. Taking third was Justin Kromelow, winning a tie-breaker over Glen Darden’s crew with 57 points each. Rounding out the top five was Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE team with 61 points net. For more J/70 Pacific Championship sailing information, visit https://www.stfyc.com/.
An outstanding performance was put in by Brian Keane’s J/70 Savasana at the Marblehead NOOD, which finished the series with a second and won by a slim 4 points. Savasana’s biggest move was made on Saturday, however, with three race wins. "[On Saturday] it was pretty consistent, the breeze was coming from the right and we worked hard to start up by the boat and actually were able to win the boat almost every race and then head over to the right. And everything happened from there." On Sunday, he says, "We were consistent, we were quick. I think sometimes we got some lucky breaks but our boat speed was particularly quick this week. All of the NOODs are amazing events. Think about how many boats are here - and it’s not just that, but in the J/70 class there are national champions and world champions, so the competition is huge. Every NOOD that we’ve gone to is a must-go event because of the caliber of the competition. This was excellent." Behind Savasana in the 28-boat J/70 fleet were Jud Smith's Africa in second and Will Welles' Scamp in third. For complete results, click here.
J/70 World Championship and Big Boat Series deadlines
In less than two months, the J/70 World Championship will be underway on San Francisco Bay. Sign up now for the Worlds and the Rolex Big Boat Series and save some cash.
Rolex Big Boat Series
St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, California
Entries on August 1 or later include a $200 late fee
J/70 World Championship
September 24-October 1
St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, California
Entries on August 16 or later will include a $200 late fee
Great Lakes Championship
The J/70 Great Lakes Championship took place in conjunction with the CanAm Challenge at Youngstown Yacht Club in Youngstown, NY from July 22-24 with an 18-boat fleet. Twelve races were completed, with Lee Sackett winning half of them. Other than a 14 in the third race, the Cleveland, Ohio-based team keep their scores in the top three for a total of 31 points overall. Tim Finkle's Junior claimed second place with 39 points, followed by Canadian Scott Weakley's REX with 49. For complete event details, click here.
118th Edition of Larchmont Race Week
The historic 118th running of Larchmont Race Week attracted 206 entries on its two weekend format of July 16-17 and 23-24 in Larchmont, NY. Ten J/70s were registered, and a victory in the fifth and final race secured the victory for Scott Bursor's Slinky who finished with 8 points. Peter Orshan's PBY Joe was just one notch back in second place, and Daniel Goldberg's Bazinga! took third with 11 points. For complete results, click here.
118th Edition of Larchmont Race Week
The historic 118th running of Larchmont Race Week attracted 206 entries on its two weekend format of July 16-17 and 23-24 in Larchmont, NY. Ten J/70s were registered, and a victory in the fifth and final race secured the victory for Scott Bursor's Slinky who finished with 8 points. Peter Orshan's PBY Joe was just one notch back in second place, and Daniel Goldberg's Bazinga! took third with 11 points. For complete results, click here.
Wyman Crowned J/70 West Coast Champion
The J/70 West Coast Championship was hosted by Santa Barbara YC as part of the annual Fiesta Cup Regatta. After the luau-styled barbecue on Saturday night, nothing was going to slow down nor stop Steve Wyman’s crew on NUNUHUNU from winning the regatta. In fact, after three bullets and two thirds in the first seven races, they did not have to sail the last race to win. Starting out the weekend with two bullets in two races, Pat Toole’s crew on 3 BIG DOGS also closed out the regatta with a win to secure the silver overall. For the balance of the top five, it was a battle to the end. Essentially, all weekend-long, three boats were tied—Ken Kieding’s SMOKE & MIRRORS 3, Scott Deardorff’s CAKE and Steve Hendricks’ MONKEY HOUSE. It came down to the last race to determine their three-way tie. By taking a second in the finale, Kieding’s SMOKE & MIRRORS snagged the final spot on the podium to take the bronze. However, tied on 36 points each, it was Deardorff’s CAKE that grabbed fourth place over Hendricks’ MONKEY HOUSE. For more J/70 West Coast Championship sailing information, visit http://sbycracing.org/2016-fiesta-cup/.
Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge
Sixty-seven teams took on the Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge on July 15-17 at Solomons, Maryland with windward-leeward courses on days one and three and a distance race on day two. In the five-boat J/70 fleet, Peter Firey's Phoenix took home top honors with six points, with Larry Ray's JRay in second (9 points) and Holly Graf's Spice in third (12 points). For complete event details, visit http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=1663.
Sail Newport Regatta
One of the biggest one-design regattas held all year long in Newport, RI is the SAIL NEWPORT Regatta. Hosted by its Executive Director Brad Read and the Sail Newport volunteers, the regatta runs for three days from July 8-10 with all sailing taking place in Narragansett Bay. Nine J/70s competed. The first race of the weekend on Friday would set the tone for the regatta. Leading for most of the race, Jamestown resident Hannah Swett, sailing her first J/70 regatta, knew exactly where to go in the races that started in Potter Cove. Current was a major factor, as was the wind streaks funneling off Gould Island. However, on the final run, Heather Gregg & Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE team planed by them in a massive puff to win the race, Swett holding on for second place. In the next race, MUSE was leading the race up the beach when they managed to find an uncharted rock and crushed it, retiring from the rest of the races on Friday. Al Terhune’s DAZZLER (with local knowledge tactician onboard, Moose McClintock) went on to win the next two races to be leading with a 3-1-1 at the end of the day. Second was Tim Healy’s HELLY HANSEN with a 5-4-2, third was Dave Franzel’s SPRING with a 7-2-3, fourth Swett with a 2-7-4 and fifth Will Welles’ SCAMP posting a 6-3-5. Saturday brought a grey day with east/southeast winds of 6-12 kts, with shifts funneling past the Newport Bridge abutments and from Coasters Harbor YC, adjacent to the Naval War College. The shifts came fast and furious and getting the right formula was not easy. Nevertheless, in the first race, it was a fight all the way around the track between the newly-repaired MUSE and HELLY HANSEN, with Healy’s crew taking the gun. At the end of the day, MUSE closed with a bullet to create a three-way tie for fourth place, with Healy now leading the regatta followed by Swett and Terhune. The finale on Sunday showed some promise for better weather. However, the light northerly was very streaky and somewhat unpredictable, and virtually all the top boats were shooting corners, with no exceptions in the top four. Winning the first race of the day was Welles’ SCAMP, followed by Terhune’s DAZZLER winning the last race—both corner shots. However, even Healy hit a deep corner to win the regatta, going from seventh to second in one beat. As a result, Healy’s HELLY HANSEN won, followed by a cluster of boats from 30 to 36 points total for the balance of the top five: DAZZLER finished second, followed by Swett in third, Welles’ SCAMP in fourth and Gregg/Bardenheier’s MUSE in fifth place. For more Sail Newport Regatta sailing information, visit http://www.sailnewport.org/.
Eastport One-Design Classic
Chesapeake Bay sailors enjoyed good racing all weekend at the Eastport One-Design Classic and were able to sail four races in each one-design division, including the J/70s. Winning the J/70 division was Jennifer Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY from Annapolis YC with a consistent 3-2-1-2 record for 8 points. Hoping to reel her team back in was Peter Firey’s PHOENX from Annapolis YC, who managed a 1-4-2-3 for 10 points to secure second. Third was Todd Jenner’s AYC crew on TEA DANCE SNAKE with a 2-5-4-1 tally for 12 points. For more Eastport YC One-Design Classic information, visit http://www.eastportyc.org/one-design.
Long Beach Race Week
If there were any dusty sailors following Saturday night’s Mount Gay Rum party at Long Beach Yacht Club, it wasn’t evident in the level of racing on the third and final day of Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW). The 120 teams greeted the day head-on, with tight racing in 14 classes on three windward-leeward and random leg courses. Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) bested LBRW co-host Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) in the Yacht Club Challenge. The trophy is awarded based on the cumulative score of a team of three boats, competing in different classes – one of which must be a Catalina 37. LBYC edged out ABYC by a slim .02 points thanks to a strong performance by Bruce Cooper’s J/70 USA32. Reigning J/70 World Champion Flojito y Cooperando handsomely won the J/70 division, with Bruce Golison’s Midlife Crisis in second and Catapult owned by Joel Ronning third. While the big boats bring excitement to LBRW, the J/70 fleet has drawn some of the big guns too, including World Champion Bill Hardesty on Flojito y Cooperando, and John Kostecki (Olympic medalist, America’s Cup champion and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year) on Catapult. "I like to see how I stack up against the pros," said Corinthian sailor Geroge Hershman, who finished 23rd out of 26 teams. A newcomer to the J/70 fleet with Solarcoaster, he said the pro talent provides "a really great way to learn" for Corinthian racers. The top Corinthian team was Chris Raab in sixth. LBRW maintained its reputation as a favorite west coast regatta, thanks to great competition and race management, bookended by lively parties with where long-time friends mingle and compare racing notes. For complete event details, visit http://www.lbrw.org/home.
Newport Harbor Eclipses YCCS International Team Race Challenge
The second edition of the YC Costa Smeralda Invitational Team Racing Challenge regatta in Porto Cervo, Italy concluded with a resounding victory for California's Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Over the course of three day's racing, the six participating teams completed a total of 62 matches in varied sea and wind conditions. The team flying the Newport Harbor burgee (skippers Justin Law and Mac Mace with crew of Dan Geissman, Whit Batchelor, Rod Rader and Bill Menninger), together with the crews from New York Yacht Club and Marblehead's Eastern Yacht Club, proved to be strong contenders from the beginning of the series. While New York YC racked up a perfect scorecard in the first day's round robin, winning five out five races, Newport Harbor YC managed to consistently win each one of their races in the round robins of days two and three. The battle to attain second position overall, and consequently a place in the final knock-out round, was fought between New York YC (consisting of skippers Stu Saffer and Senet Bischoff with crew of Carrie Saffer, Ned Glenn, Monique Singer and Roland Singer) and Eastern YC (consisting of skippers Matt Hook and Doug Sabin with crew of Chris Remelka, Sinan Kunt, Peter Lynn and Callie Naughton). However, after a lackluster performance in the final round robin from the New York team, it was Eastern that beat their New York YC counterparts to the post by just one point.
The final, which took place in 15 knots of Mistral breeze accompanied by warm sunshine, once again saw Newport Harbor dominate as they immediately tucked away two wins in the best-of-three competition. The final leaderboard, therefore, saw an all-American top three with Newport Harbor YC followed by Eastern YC in second and New York YC in third place. The team representing host club YCCS claimed fourth place, ahead of Royal Thames YC and Gamla Stans YC of Sweden. The J/70 fleet provided by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda for the event proved to be agile even in Friday’s light airs, and the Race Committee had no problem fitting in the full program of flights scheduled for the day. The New York YC enjoyed a perfect scorecard so far, with Newport Harbour YC in second place with three wins and two defeats. While racing Friday was fast and fun, teams were looking forward to a stronger breeze Saturday as the infamous Sardinian Mistral moves in. Forecasts had it blowing at 15-20 knots on the course. Day two saw the Stars & Stripes flying from the top of all three flagpoles at YC Costa Smeralda at the end of the day. Everyone discovered how devastating the teamwork was from Newport Harbor YC’s skippers and crew. With three round robins and a total of 45 matches completed, Newport Harbour YC sat atop the leaderboard followed by New York YC and Eastern YC. Fourth was YC Costa Smeralda. The event would then turn to a fourth round robin, a semi-finals and finals on the last day. In two-on-two team racing, each Club takes to the starting line with two boats. The objective is to ensure that one of the opposing Club's boats crosses the line last, thereby decreeing the losing team. Tactics play an important role, as does seamless synergy between the two crews, and the sailors from Newport Harbour YC clearly had their routine down pat as they triumphed in 10 out of 10 races on the second day. Their competitors at New York YC were not far behind, with 7 of 10 wins on the board. In the finale on Sunday, Newport Harbor YC’s team ran the table to take their inaugural YCCS International Team Race Challenge Trophy home to Newport Beach, CA. Second was Eastern YC from Marblehead, MA and third was New York YC from Newport, RI. YC Costa Smeralda Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo commented during the prize giving, "Team racing is a fantastic discipline. It really underlines the fundamental values of sailing: teamwork, concentration and tactical ability. This week, we were lucky enough to have three American Clubs who have a great deal of experience in this specialty, from whom we can only learn. Conditions were varied, but today everyone had the real ‘Costa Smeralda’ experience, with ideal wind and sea conditions and sunshine making for a perfect day's racing. My thanks go to all the teams who travelled here from near and far, and I look forward to seeing you all again in 2018." To round off the event, which combined competitive racing with first-rate social events since day one, the teams were invited to a gala dinner and prize giving at the YC Costa Smeralda Clubhouse overlooking Porto Cervo Marina. For more YC Costa Smeralda International Team Racing Challenge sailing information, visit http://www.yccs.it/.
Cleveland Race Week
As the city of Cleveland prepared for its first championship win in 52 years, 92 one-design boats were welcomed at Edgewater Yacht Club for the 36th annual Cleveland Race Week from June 17-19. Ten fleets competed, including 14 J/70s. The regatta started on Friday for the J/70s. It was a windy, but successful first day with three races to start off the series. Following racing, competitors were greeted with live music and a food truck on Friday evening. Soul, driven by David Koski, from Edgewater Yacht Club was leading the J/70 fleet on Friday by one point over Trey Sheehan’s Hooligan out of Put-in-Bay Yacht Club, and Lee Sackett in USA 364, also from Edgewater Yacht Club, was in a close third. Saturday morning started with AP onshore due to light winds and after a valiant effort by the Race Committee, no races were sailed as winds died throughout the afternoon. Sunday morning, entrants woke to decent, but shifting breeze with winds out of the southwest shifting north throughout the afternoon. The Race Committee got in two additional races on the J/70 course before the wind died. Winning the J/70 fleet was Trey Sheehan's Hooligan Flat Stanley with 9 points, followed by Dave Koski's Soul and Lee Sackett, each with 15 points. For complete information, click here.
Annapolis YC Annual Regatta
The Annapolis YC’s Annual Regatta continues to be a popular event at the beginning of the Chesapeake Bay summer sailing season. This year’s event was well-attended across the board in both offshore PHRF handicap divisions as well as in one-design fleets. In the J/70s, things were mixed up in the leaderboard, with Todd Hiller’s LEADING EDGE emerging victorious over Peter Firey’s PHOENIX in second and Gregg Zurmuhlen’s SPORT in third. The balance of the top five saw the trio of Todd Olds/Tom Iseler/Preben Ostberg take fourth in TSUNAMI, and Will Keyworth’s PAPA WHEELIE finish in fifth place. For more Annapolis YC Regatta sailing information, click here.
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Chicago
Patience. Plenty of it was required over the four-day Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Chicago as wind conditions varied from fresh to frustrating, and wind shifts swung unpredictably from the lakeshore to offshore. But those who kept their composure during long morning postponements were rewarded with challenging races in the end. Irrespective of the outcome for each of the 163 teams sailing in the regatta, it was a beautiful weekend to be on the cooler Lake Michigan waters, looking westward to the heat factory of downtown Chicago. For the family teams who populated the fleets, it was also an ideal way to spend their Father’s Day doing what they love. Martin Johnsson, Jorgen Johnsson, August Hernandez and Sue O’Neil, the all-amateur J/70 team, triumphed in Chicago after finishing in the top three in each of the regatta’s five races and winning by a single point over John Heaton’s Empeiria. They’re now another NOOD regatta father-son team with a winning streak — the younger Martin is 38 and the elder, Jorgen, is 67. "We’ve always had smaller one-designs and dabbled in big boats, but we enjoy the purity of the smaller one-designs," says Martin. Onboard Aquaholiks, Jorgen is the spinnaker trimmer, Martin drives, Augie does tactics, and Sue does bow. "It’s the first sportboat my father has raced so it’s different for him, especially trimming the asymmetric," says Johnsson, "which is a good thing because it forces him to focus on his trimming and not my driving." For the Johnssons and their teammates, the regatta ultimately came down to the final race. Heaton was in control in the overall standings as they motored out to Chicago YC’s Belmont Circle, but only just. "We had two races Sunday and had a good one in the first, but going into the last race we were trying to be more conservative," says Martin. "We knew we needed to be top three. We knew where our two competitors were — Robert Hughes’ Heartbreaker and John Heaton’s Empeiria." The Aquaholiks kept close tabs on their competition and rounded the weather mark second and jammed in a tight four-boat pack. "We just tried to be calm as we went downwind," says Martin. "Heartbreaker peeled out so we had stay with the other boat. Then it got really challenging at the leeward mark with the J/111s coming upwind. It was difficult to decide which gate to take, but John Heaton split to the left gate and we went to the other so we could do our own thing." The split worked out well, he says, but at the top of the beat, a right shift appeared and suddenly the fourth-placed was in play and Martin had to defend their position again. "It was a lot of match racing up the last beat," says Martin. "We probably did six or seven tacks, but we just needed to be close." At the weather mark again, they were fourth, close behind third and covered the boat immediately ahead. "We got on their air and positioned ourselves for the finish," says Martin. "We did a good job at positioning ourselves to get on top of those guys at the finish and the last two jibes." In the last 50 meters, they advanced from fourth to third to win the regatta by one point, which in turn won them the Helly Hansen’s NOOD Regatta in Chicago’s overall trophy and a trip to the BVIs to compete in the NOOD Caribbean Championship. The elder Johnsson is a veteran of the Caribbean racing scene, having won numerous regattas in Antigua, and will be a key asset come October. For complete results, click here.
Southern Bay Race Week
The Hampton Yacht Club in Virginia did not disappoint during their start of summer event, Southern Bay Race Week, as a number of fleets completed 11 races over the weekend. Winning the J/70s was Clarke McKinney’s ANTAGONIST, counting all top three races in their 11-race series to win with just 17 points. Taking second was Ron Thompson’s FOR SALE with a nearly identical record of top three places to take second place just one point back. Third was Mike Karn’s INCONCEIVABLE with 34 points. Fourth was Matt Braun’s E.L.E. with just 36 points, and only two more points in arrears in fifth place was Jon Deutsch’s NO QUARTER with 38 points total. For more Southern Bay Race Week sailing information, visit http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1547.
Delta Ditch Run
The J/70s sailed as a fleet in this year’s Delta Ditch Run, an annual classic that starts off Richmond Yacht Club in the upper San Francisco Bay and finishes in Stockton, CA, 60nm east up the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. The top J/70s managed to cover the race course in just over 10 1/2 hours. Leading the J/70s was Tom Jenkin’s DFZ, second was Brant Adornato’s HELLCAT, third was Justin Fox’s FLOTEK and fourth was Chris Andersen’s PERFECT WIFE. For more Delta Ditch Race sailing information, visit http://www.stocktonsc.org/2016_Delta_Ditch_Run.html.
Cedar Point YC One Design Regatta
The Cedar Point Yacht Club One Design Regatta was held June 4-5. 82 boats competed across eight divisions, with the J/70 as the largest Class represented with 17 boats. J/70s came from as far away as Baltimore, MD and Orford, Ontario Canada. The J/70s were invited to participate in a clinic on Friday hosted by regatta sponsor North Sails. Will Welles and Brian Hayes spent three hours on the water conducting starting drills and critiquing light air sail trim and boat-handling, followed by an hour of Q&A back at the clubhouse. The weather set up a tough weekend for the PRO, as winds were light ranging from a high of 10 knots to a low of 0. Three races were conducted on Saturday. Monsoon rains came across the race area Sunday, but the PRO still was able to conduct two races. Allan Stern/Bill Walker’s Victura took the series with 1-4-1-1-5. Andy Fisher captured second overall and first Corinthian with 3-1-3-6-1. Scott & Alex Furnary's Any Colour was in third. Full results can be found by clicking here. Social events included an Oyster Bar on Friday night and home-cooked BBQ Saturday Night. Club members slept over Friday night tending to the smoker. Find event video by clicking here.
Cal Race Week
Seventy-eight boats sailed by more than 400 competitive racers invaded California Yacht Club this past weekend for Cal Race Week--the Santa Monica Bay's largest and most challenging buoy racing regatta. To meet the logistics challenges, Regatta Chair Paula Cameron assembled and choreographed a team of 63 volunteers to make sure all went smoothly, both on the water and off. The virtually sunless Santa Monica Bay presented challenges beyond Cameron's control as it served up light winds with seemingly random voids in the wind patterns on Saturday--conditions which repeatedly shuffled the fleet standings. A more solid southwesterly wind returned to MdR for the final two windward/leeward races on Sunday. The 12-boat J/70 fleet completed five races, with Jim Cunningham's Lifted earning the victory with 13 points. The next three positions were decided by just one point: Chris Snow's Cool Story Bro in second with 17, Jeff Janov's Minor Threat in third with 18, Craig Tallman's Jaya in fourth (also with 18). Complete event details may be found by clicking here.
Lakewood Yacht Club’s Race Committee Chairman Larry Rogers was looking forward to hosting the 34th Annual Shoe Regatta. The regatta was held over the weekend of May 14-15. Bay Access, a not-for-profit organization that supports amateur racing, is the organizing authority of the races. The Shoe Regatta, which is open to the public and raced on Galveston Bay, is a favorite among local racers because, in the past, each crew member of the winning boat in each class was awarded a certificate for a pair of Sperry deck shoes; hence, the name of the event. This year, every crew member of the winning boat of every class received a pair of premium Musto Sailing Shoes with exceptional grip for the serious sailor. The Shoe Regatta is for one-design, handicapped offshore sailboats. The one-design classes sail as many races as conditions permit. On Saturday, the racing was postponed on shore because of no breeze. However, the fleet went out by noon to a light breeze that built quickly to 15 knots (much more than predicted). The J/70s sailed seven races and were the largest fleet in the regatta with 14 boats. Winning was Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego YC, taking class by just two points. Winning the tie-breaker at 29 points each was Matt Romberg’s USA 175 over Lakewood YC’s Doug Strebel on BLACK RIVER RACING. Fourth on two more points back was another LYC team, Chris Lewis’ GB, and in fifth was Glenn Darden’s HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club. For more Musto SHOE Regatta sailing information, visit http://lakewoodyachtclub.com/regattas-781.html.
Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s Flojito y Cooperando Conquers J/70 North American Championship
Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s Flojito y Cooperando won the first race of the Torqeedo J/70 North American Championship and withstood an onslaught of challengers over seven races to earn the trophy. The reigning J/70 World Champion, Neckelmann was joined by crew Willem van Waay, Bill Hardesty and Danel Belausteguigoitia at the event hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, Texas. Able to discard a 13 in race 5, Flojito y Cooperando kept scores of 1,3,1,11,1,3 for 20 net points. The next five teams juggled standings all weekend, but with the victory in Sunday’s only contest, Glenn Darden’s Hoss leapt into second place with 30 points (Darden is the current J/70 Midwinter Champion). Peter Duncan’s Relative Obscurity benefited from a second on Sunday to move into third overall with 32 points. Robert Hughes’ Heartbreaker snagged fourth (34 points), and then Bruce Golison’s Midlife Crisis and Bruno Pasquinelli’s Stampede tied at 37 for the next spots. The 10-boat Corinthian division was ruled by Jack Franco’s 3 Ball JT. Neckelmann credited his team, which has been sailing together for more than a year. He also thanked the Race Committee, saying "It was just a very tough weekend with complicated conditions for them to run races. They did an outstanding job." Expect to see Flojito y Cooperando at the J/70 World Championship this fall in San Francisco. "I’m just very happy to be sailing J/70s," Neckelmann said with a smile. "It’s a lot of fun, and the Class is going the right way. We’ll keep growing and having big fleets."
1) Julian Fernandez Neckelmann, Flojito y Cooperando, 1-3-1-11--1-3=20
2) Glenn Darden, Hoss, -4-3-3-10-9-1=30
3) Peter Duncan, Relative Obscurity, 14-7-2--2-5-2=32
4) Robert Hughes, Heartbreaker, 4-9--7-3-7-4=34
5) Bruce Golison, Midlife Crisis, 2-1-5-16-5-8-=37T
6) Bruno Pasquinelli, Stampede, 10-8-4-5-1--9=37T
Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at www.j70nac.com.
Julian Fernandez Neckelmann Clutches Advantage at J/70 North American Championship
Two more races went in the books on Saturday at the Torqeedo J/70 North American Championship hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, Texas. For Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s Flojito y Cooperando, it was feast or famine as a 13 in the opening meeting briefly dropped him out of the regatta lead. But a bullet in the day’s only other contest gave the Mexican team 17 net points, four in front of Bruce Golison’s Midlife Crisis (who recorded a 5,8 today). Bruno Pasquinelli’s Stampede holds third place with 28 points, with Glenn Darden’s Hoss hot on his heals with 29. Racing concludes Sunday. In breeze around six knots, Pasquinelli bested Peter Duncan’s Relative Obscurity, Robert Hughes’ Heartbreaker and the remaining 36 teams representing Brazil, Japan, Mexico and the USA. Following a pause to allow the wind to stabilize (which it did at 10 knots), Neckelmann and teenager Gannon Troutman’s Pied Piper renewed their Charleston Race Week battle, with Neckelmann earning the win. Brian Keane’s Savasana was third. Jack Franco’s 3 Ball JT holds a healthy lead in the 10-boat Corinthian division. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at www.j70nac.com.
Julian Fernandez Neckelmann Jumps to Lead at J/70 North Americans
Reigning J/70 World Champion Julian Fernandez Neckelmann didn’t have to shake off any rust after the opening day of the Torqeedo J/70 North American Championship was postponed yesterday due to storms. The Flojito y Cooperando team from Mexico totaled 16 points after four races were completed Friday at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, Texas. In winds between 6-8 knots, Neckelmann nailed two bullets and added in a 3 and 11 to build an eight-point advantage over Bruce Golison’s Midlife Crisis. Bruno Pasquinelli’s Stampede holds third place with 27 points. Flojito y Cooperando began the Championship with their first victory, ahead of Golison and Jack Franco’s 3 Ball JT. Those same three teams swapped places in the next contest to: Golison, Franco, Neckelmann. It was Flojito’s turn back at the top in race three, trailed by Peter Duncan’s Relative Obscurity and current J/70 Midwinter Champion Glenn Darden’s Hoss. Darden and Will Welles’ Scamp then followed Phil Haegler’s Cloud Nine to the dock to begin the evening festivities. Thirty-nine teams are competing through Sunday from Brazil, Japan, Mexico and the USA. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at www.j70nac.com.
2016 International Women's Keelboat Championship Applications Now Open
The American Yacht Club in Rye, NY will host the new International Women’s Keelboat Championship in provided J/70s on August 14-20, 2016. Twenty-four teams from around the world will be invited to compete, with the intention of an even ratio of North American and intercontinental teams. Teams representing eight countries have already submitted applications. More than ever, this championship will offer women keelboat and offshore sailors high quality racing on the international stage without the need to provide their own boats or sails. To ensure a fast and competitive racing format, additional changes have been made to speed up the action. The format consists of fleet racing with a twist. The championship features two flights of 12 boats each with teams rotating after every two races. Each team will race an equal number of races against the others. Races will be approximately 15 minutes in duration. Host clubs will ensure quick rotations and on-the-water judging, in addition to an improved viewing experience for spectators. The Magenta Project will host a clinic led by three-time International Women's Keelboat Champion and Olympian Sally Barkow on Monday, August 15. Barkow will host a presentation on her experience as a competitor in the 2015 Volvo Ocean Race that same evening. The International Women’s Keelboat Championship was inaugurated in 1985 through the efforts of US Sailing’s Women’s Championship Committee. The event became one of the premier women’s sailing event in the U.S. and worldwide. Learn more and submit your application to race at the 2016 International Women’s Keelboat Championship at http://www.ussailing.org/racing/championships/adult/iwkc/.
J/70 North American Championship Kicks Off Thursday, May 19 from Seabrook, Texas
More than 40 J/70 teams are gathering for racing at the J/70 North American Championship in Seabrook, Texas. The competition begins Thursday, May 19 and continues through Sunday, May 22 for the entrants representing Brazil, Japan, Mexico and the USA. Keep up with all the action from Lakewood Yacht Club at the regatta website www.j70nac.com, and look for photos on the J/70 Class Facebook page.
Cinco de Mayo Regatta
The Santa Barbara Sailing Club hosted the weekend’s Cinco de Mayo sailing festivities and managed to conduct a ten-races series for the J/70s. Winning the J/70 fleet was Scott Deardorff’s CAKE with five firsts on the scoreboard for a 14 points net series. That beat out Pat Toole’s crew on THREE BIG DOGS with 22 points net. Third was Andrew Nunn’s ECLIPSE with 29 points and three first places to their credit. Fourth and fifth, respectively, were taken by Steve Hendricks’ MONKEY HOUSE and Mike Wolfe’s SHARK TOOTH. For more Cinco de Mayo Regatta sailing information, visit http://www.sailsbsc.org/.
American YC Spring Series Finale
The American YC Spring Series finale was a very strange and fickle event tasking the competitors with very inconsistent conditions for this time of year on Long Island Sound. 30 degree shifts and big jumps in velocity were the norm. After a total of nine races, Allan Stern and Bill Walker's team Victura bested the 17-boat fleet with 27 net points. Daan Goedkoop's Locomotion snared the silver with 32 points, while Trevor Roach's Semi Charmed claimed the bronze (34 points), a notch ahead of Carrie & Ed Austin's Chinook. Complete results are available by clicking here.
After 29 teams competed in the Friday Ton Cup Race, the precursor of San Diego Yacht Club’s signature spring regatta, Yachting Cup, 85 boats in 12 classes competed April 30-May 1 in the Yachting Cup on three ocean course venues. Mostly sunny skies with 7-12 knots offered up to seven races with tie breakers required to determine trophies in three of the fleets. After a tiring, bumpy day on Saturday, many competitors were relieved that Sunday’s races were back to familiar conditions. Sunday’s winds were slower to accelerate, but picking up to about 10 knots with gusts at 12 by the start of the second races. The wind was consistently blowing right all day. Ten J/70s completed seven races, with Bruce Cooper & Shawn Bennett earning the victory with 13 points. Close behind were Jeff Janov’s Minor Threat and Chris Raab’s Sugoi tied on points at 14 for second and third place, respectively. For complete results, click here.
Despite steady showers, strong winds made for favorable sailing conditions Sunday as the 2016 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta, the largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States, came to a close after three days of competition. During the three-day event, nearly 200 boats and 1,000 sailors raced in 13 classes in a battle against rain, wind and fierce competition from around the world, ranging from amateur to world champion. 43 J/70s completed six races, ending with the top two boats tied on points at 35 each: Geoff Becker’s Papa Wheelie earning the victory, trailed by Mauricio Santa Cruz’s Bruschetta. Will Welles’ Scamp rounded out the top three. For complete results, click here.
American YC Spring Series Weekend One
Seventeen J/70s registered for the American Yacht Club Spring Series. The first weekend on April 23-24 saw sunny skies but very challenging conditions with frequent big shifts in velocity and direction over the five races. Michael Zupon on Loki and Allan Stern/Bill Walker on Victura are tied on points at 10. Four points behind them is Trevor Roach's Semi Charmed, and just another notch back is Carrie & Ed Austin's Chinook. Racing continues April 30 & May 1. For current results, visit here.
Charleston Race Week
Eighteen classes with 243 boats competed amid breezy conditions at Charleston Race Week 2016, held April 15-17 in Charleston, SC, including 67 J/70s. The victory came down to the last race, when current J/70 World Champion Julian Fernandez Neckelmann's Flojito Y Cooperando placed second, one ahead of 13-year-old Gannon Troutman on Pied Piper to win on a tie-breaker (each totaled 21 points). Flojito Y Cooperando posted a scoreline of 7,2,1,5,1,1,1,1,2 to Pied Piper's 3,1,4,3,3,2,1,1,3. John Baxter's Team Vineyard Vines rounded out the top three with 24 points. In the 27-boat Corinthian standings, Rob Britts' Hot Mess claimed first, Jack Jorgensen's Layla second, and Andrew Fisher's Button Fly third. For complete results, click here.
J/Fest on San Francisco Bay
Nine J/70s competed in J/Fest 2016 on April 16-17 at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA. Peter Cameron's Prime Number won both of the two races for the victory. Frank Slootman's Little Hand and Justin Kromelow's Loose Lucy tied on points at 7 for second and third places. For complete event information, click here.
Inaugural J/70 Midwinters West
California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey hosted the inaugural J/70 Midwinter Championship West on April 1-3. The event kicked off on Friday with a chalk talk on a wide variety of speed and boat handling tips by Willem van Waay, a member of the J/70 World Champion team. On-the-water starting drills and practice races in the afternoon gave everyone a chance to experience the local conditions and dial in their crew maneuvers. Four races were sailed on Saturday under sunny skies and a steady 7-9 knot breeze. Chris Raab on Sugoi and Bruce Cooper on USA 32 traded first place finishes and ended the day tied—with Sugoi ahead on the tie-breaker. Sunday’s racing was postponed an hour waiting for the wind to settle and the fog to lift, but a brisk clearing breeze that built to 12 knots in the afternoon offered some great sailing for the last three races of the regatta. A win in race 6 by new boat owner Jim Murrell on Huckleberry tightened the standings between the top three boats, any of which could have taken home the Championship title going into the final race. A win in race 7 ensured that victory for Bruce Cooper and USA 32, with Sugoi finishing second overall and first in the Corinthian class. Thanks to all the competitors and volunteers who made this a memorable event. Results are available at http://results.calyachtclub.com/RaceResults/2016/j70-midwinters.html, and photos are available at http://www.joysailing.com/2016-Joysailing-Pictures/J70s-Midwinter-Championship-We.
SFYC Retains San Francisco Cup
The 45th San Francisco Cup is a classic hometown rivalry that has been fought between St. Francis and San Francisco Yacht Clubs since 1967. Three teams competed in three classes (Open, Womens and Juniors) in a battle to be the first club team to accumulate 11 points. SFYC won by one point. StFYC Commodore Livingston was cheering on the team from across the Bay and reported, "SFYC retains the Cup—by one point—in a battle of coulda shouldas. But, for a blown umpire call on Saturday and a 45-degree windshift on Sunday, that one point could have been ours." Scott Sellers sailing the StFYC J/70 1FA in the Open Division assessed on Saturday, "I made mistakes; the umpire made a mistake; that’s yacht racing!" In congratulating her opponents, Nicole Breault drew applause by saying, "I think we’ve turned a grudge match into a love fest!" According to Kimball Livingston, "In the Open division, Sellers and Healy exchanged wins racing their J/70s for two days. Neither had an edge. In the Women’s division, Nicole dominated in a series of walkaways. In the Youth Division, Nolan did not win a race, but he was hammering at the door all the way around the course for two days and made the SFYC kids earn and re-earn every point. This was Corinthian yachting as it should be!" For more San Francisco Cup sailing information, visit https://www.stfyc.com/.
50th Annual Easter Regatta held on Lake Murray, Columbia, SC, March 24-27
Thank you to Dave Betts for this report: Six J/70 teams registered for the event at a fantastic venue, the Columbia Sailing Club in South Carolina. This was the 50th running of the event, and it proved to be very competitive with tight racing. The teams registered came from various locations including Youngstown, Bermuda, Carolina, Maryland, Georgia and New York. The regatta was a Corinthian only event, and for the first race we ended up with five boats on the line. The starting line was a combined start with three Ultimate 20 race boats which were competing in their own class. 22 J/24s rounded out the race course starting first on the line for the regatta. Thursday was a practice day with several practice starts and on water coaching by Tim Healy of North Sails, who provided some sage advice on sail trim for the teams. The breeze on Thursday was about 8-10, which provided enough breeze to tune-up and make adjustments as needed. In our case, it was the very first splash for Instant Karma, hull 903, which was delivered a couple of weeks prior to the event. Racing was very tight between all the boats over the two days of racing, Friday and Saturday (Sunday regrettably was called off for lack of breeze and heavy fog). A total of five races were held which provided for a throw-out, and results were Mutant Blonz (Elaine Parshall) 1,3,1,2 for 7 points, Spice (Holly Graf) 3,1,4,1, for 8 points, Instant Karma (David Betts) 2,4,2,1 for 9 points, White Rabbit (Steve Kiemele) 4,2,3,3 for 12 points and Margaritaville (Dinse Scott) 5,5,5,2 for 17 points. Friday breeze was 8-10, Saturday was light and filled in to about 5 as the day went on to provide some racing. Wind shifts were a challenge, and of course there was no current on the lake as the dam was closed. The facilities were fantastic: plenty of room to launch with several ramps, and a crane is also available. Storage was free until Charleston Race Week this year, and it’s only a short ride over to that venue. We had two great dinners and the dueling pianos on Saturday night provided for a lot of fun. Thanks to the Club for hosting the event, the race committee and chairman Charles Bumgardner, and Gamecock Sailing for helping put the event together. Some hints for next year...I needed a couple of practice crew for Thursday which worked out to be Katherine from Gamecock sailing and Alex so I could get out on the water. There were five varsity team sailors from Charleston College filling in on a couple of boats this year, so if crew is an issue to attend this event and prior to Charleston next year, you can always get some of the team to fill in if needed. See the event results here.
Bruce Golison Overall San Diego NOOD Winner
The second stop of the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta series relished three days (March 18-20) of quality conditions for more than 100 teams. With 12 classes spread out on two ocean courses and one bay course, Bruce Golison topped the 23-boat J/70 fleet to take the overall title and be invited to join the NOOD Regatta Championship in October in the British Virgin Islands. Golison, a champion sailor from Rossmoor, California, is relatively new to the J/70. The San Diego NOOD Regatta was the start of a long campaign for Golison, with the ultimate goal being the J/70 World Championship in San Francisco in September. For the NOOD, he assembled a team that included his brother Jay, professional sailor Steve Hunt and Dan Morris, an Olympic-class dinghy sailor. This was their first weekend in the boat together and after a slow start on Friday, says Golison, they steadily improved, wining the regatta by only two points over Jeff Janov’s team on Minor Threat. "I had never sailed a sport boat before," says Golison who is more familiar with the J/24 and Etchells keelboat classes, "so the adjustment from pole-back spinnaker sailing to reaching around was a huge adjustment." Over three days of racing in perfect conditions on San Diego’s South Bay racecourse, set between Coronado Island and mainland San Diego, Golison’s team had its work cut out for them with the presence of several top teams mixed among the 26-boat fleet. His toughest rivals proved to be Janov and Luis Barrios’ Zumbale, with local ace Willem Van Way calling tactics. "It was actually a pretty tricky weekend," says Golison. "It was a little shiftier than normal. It was amazing how the three of us took turns beating up each other. I think we each probably only had one race out of the top three. Then we all had at least two or three firsts. There were guys that would mix in that were always tough. It was great racing." Working with a new team took some getting used to, he confessed, the biggest challenge being communication during the starts. But once Golison and Hunt clicked, their starts were perfect, and in the end, it made the difference. "On the first day they were pretty average. And then yesterday we were better as we got our communication down. And then today, I think we both felt comfortable. We said we wanted the pin, so let’s get the pin, and we had pretty good luck at doing that." "We have a real quiet group," he added. "We all have confidence in each other, which is pretty amazing after one regatta. There is never any questioning. Steve is the leader on the boat. My job is to just sail the boat as fast around the course as I can." It was Hunt’s tactical expertise that helped them manage the day’s final race, says Golison. They went into the race with only a 1-point lead. "If Janov won the race, we would have tied and he would have won the tie breaker, but if he beat us and didn’t win the race, then we would beat him because we would have the tie breaker," said Golison. "So, by winning the pin, tacking and crossing the fleet we got the jump on him, and from there, there were times we would slow him up, and times we’d herd him. They are very fast and quite a test for us." For complete event details, click here.
US Sailing Seeks International Teams for Women's Keelboat Championship
US Sailing is now accepting applications from International teams to the new and improved International Women’s Keelboat Championship on August 14-20, 2016 at the American Yacht Club in Rye, NY. The championship will feature 24 teams in J/70s, and half the fleet has been reserved for international teams. The championship will rotate each year to venues within, and outside the U.S.
Event website – http://www.ussailing.org/racing/championships/adult/iwkc/
Press release - http://www.ussailing.org/iwkc-2016
The NOR has been posted.
To ensure a fast and competitive racing format, additional changes have been made to speed up the action. The format consists of fleet racing with a "team racing" twist, featuring two flights of six boats each with teams rotating after every two races. Each team will race an equal number of races against the others. Races will be approximately 15 minutes in duration. Host clubs will ensure quick rotations and on-the-water judging, in addition to an improved viewing experience for spectators.
BACARDI Miami Sailing Week
That’s a wrap for BACARDI Miami Sailing Week (March 10-12), with five events enjoying Bacardi hospitality and mostly strong winds. Julian Fernandez Neckelmann and his team Flojito Y Cooperando (MEX 384) reinforced their dominance in the J/70 fleet Sunday by winning the first race of the day, allowing them to skip the last race of the regatta. Fernandez Neckelmann and team won the event by nine points. "We knew we had to put one boat between us and Calvi in the first race today to win the event without having to sail the last race," explained Willem Van Waay. "But our strategy didn’t change much from yesterday. The focus is always on going fast and staying out of trouble, but today with the scores being so close it was really important that we stayed in front of Calvi so we went for a low density start and kept our eyes on them a bit more than we have all week." "Yeah, we were right next to them on the line close to the start and spooked them into setting up in a pretty crowded part of the starting line," added Bill Hardesty. "Fortunately for us they ended up having a bit of a rough start so we were able to sail our own race for the most part, sailing fast and conservative," said Van Waay.
J/70 Results (Top 5 of 35; 8 races, 1 discard)
1. MEX 384 Julian Fernandez Neckelmann, Willem Van Waay, Bill Hardesty, Daniel Velaust – 12 pts
2. ITA 456 Carlo Alberini, Sergio Blosi, Branko Brcin, Karlo Hmelijak – 21 pts
3. USA 49 Peter Duncan, Tom Blackwell, Victor Diaz de Leon – 24 pts
4. USA 353 Robert Hughes, John Bowden, George Peet, Michael Buckley – 38 pts
5. USA 187 Joel Ronning, Richard Clark, Lucas Calabrese, Patrick Wilson – 42 pts
For complete event information, visit www.miamisailingweek.com.
Spring One Design
The 2016 racing season kicked off with a blustery start, as the sailors in Spring One Design (San Francisco, CA) experienced gale-force winds, rain and even a bit of hail. Despite these conditions on Saturday, Race Committee and Regatta Chairperson Peggy Lidster managed to get off five successful races on one course for the nearly 60 boats in attendance. Saturday delivered consistent rain and heavy summertime air from 150 degrees, along with a strong ebb. Experienced NRO Bartz Schneider strategically planned a successful course layout working within the challenging conditions, some of which included a strong crosscurrent and winds from the southwest. There were three successful races in each fleet after which the sailors poured into the Northwest Room for warmth and camaraderie. On Sunday, the conditions were a bit drier and the breeze a bit lighter. After a 30-minute postponement waiting for a wind shift, there were two successful races run in each fleet. The J/70 class saw Craig Healey’s BOTTLE ROCKET and Scott Sellers 1FA in a struggle for the top spot in the fleet. In the end, Healy’s crew posted a 1-2-2-2–1 for 8 points to take the title. Sellers sailed an equally consistent 2-1-3-1-2 for 9 points to take the silver. Third was class newcomer Tracy Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN from St. Francis YC with a 3-3-1-3-3 for 13 points. For more Spring One-Design sailing information, visit https://www.stfyc.com/.
Glenn Darden & Reese Hillard’s Hoss Rules J/70 Midwinter Championship
It may have been just their second major J/70 regatta, but Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard on Hoss controlled the competition at the J/70 Midwinter Championship to earn the title. Darden, a J/80 World Champion, was at the helm with co-owner Hillard, Jonathan McKee and Karl Anderson. "I have a fabulous team," praised Darden, who has been sailing with Hillard for over 20 years. "We added Jonathan who is a Gold medalist, and I’d never sailed with him before the last couple regattas. He’s helped us get up to speed." Hoss was able to throw-out a 13 from the final race, keeping a line of 3,6,2,2,1,2,2 for 18 points. The second place team, Will Welles’ Sea Bags Sailing Team, was 17 points back. Allan Terhune’s Dazzler completed the top three with 41 points. The top Corinthian team was William Ballard’s Snaproll. Darden credited PRO Todd Fedyazyn and the Race Committee, saying "They did a wonderful job. It was tricky, very puffy and shifty, even in the bigger breeze. We got a variety of conditions." Sunday saw the lightest winds of the three-day event at about 6 knots. The day’s race winners were John Brim and Geoff Becker.
The top five:
Glenn Darden/Reese Hillard, Hoss, 3,6,2,2,1,2,2, = 18
Will Welles, Sea Bags Sailing Team, ,2,1,3,2,10,13,4 = 35
Allan Terhune, Jr., Dazzler, 1,3,7,1,,3,7,7,15 = 41
Geoff Becker, USA 25, 2,1,9, ,4,14,24,1 = 55
John Brim, Rimette, 17,12,3,8,7,,1,10 = 58
Forty-six teams competed in the eight races from Saint Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found here.
Glenn Darden & Reese Hillard Take Command at J/70 Midwinter Championship
They say "Everything is bigger in Texas," which currently applies to the advantage of Fort Worth sailors Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard on Hoss at the J/70 Midwinter Championship. After posting a 1,2 on the middle day of the event hosted by Saint Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida, Hoss now takes an eight-point lead into Sunday. After dropping a six from race two, Darden and Hillard keep a very lean line of 3,2,2,1,2 for 10 points. Will Welles’ Sea Bags Sailing Team moved into second place with 18 points, just one in front of Allan Terhune’s Dazzler. Team Darden/Hillard took Hoss to the front of the pack in Saturday’s initial race when winds were about 10-12 knots, tailed by Welles and Kerry Klingler’s Menace. The Corinthian B Squared with Bryan Cameron and Brian Elliott earned the next victory, as Darden/Hillard took second and Klingler again third. The breeze dropped to about 5 knots at the end of this contest, and didn’t pick up enough to start another. Racing concludes Sunday. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found by clicking here.
J/70 Midwinter Championship Opens with Beautiful Tampa Bay Breeze and Close Battles
After four races in gorgeous conditions, just one point separates the top pair of boats at the J/70 Midwinter Championship hosted by Saint Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. Allan Terhune’s Dazzler of Arnold, MD tallied a 1,3,7,1 for 12 points, just a notch ahead of the Texas team of Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard on Hoss (who scored 3,6,2,2). Will Welles’ Sea Bags Sailing Team from Portsmouth, RI locked in a solid day to round out the top three with 19 points. Under clear skies, 46 teams from across the United States, Brazil and Finland took to the waters of Tampa Bay in winds of 10-12 knots with gusts to 15. Terhune dazzled in the opening race, trailed by Geoff Becker and the Darden/Hillard team. Becker transferred up to the top spot in the second contest, as Welles took second and Terhune third. It was Welles’ turn for the victory in race three, ahead of Darden/Hillard and John Brim’s Rimette. Terhune secured the day’s lead with a bullet in the final battle. Darden/Hillard again grabbed the silver spot with Welles in the bronze. Racing continues through Sunday. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found by clicking here.
J/70 Midwinter Championship Kicks Off Friday, February 26 from St. Pete
Nearly 50 J/70 teams are gathering for racing at the J/70 Midwinter Championship in St. Petersburg, Florida. The competition begins Friday, February 26 and continues through Sunday, February 28. Look for photos on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and keep up with all the action from St. Petersburg Yacht Club at the regatta website.
Southern California Yachting Association Midwinters
The California J/70 season has started and is ready for a great year ahead. The Southern California Yachting Association Midwinters was held at San Diego Yacht Club from February 13-14. Ten J/70s lined up in 70-degree weather, and four out of five races had perfect wind conditions. The fleet was stacked with any of six or seven boats able to win the regatta. In the end, Jeff Janov's Minor Threat team of five (sons included) and Victor Diaz came out on top. Brad Rodi/John Fuller, Chris Snow, Pat Toole and Craig Tallman were all vying for the top spot. Results at http://sdyc.org/results16/scyamidwinters_res.htm.
St. Petersburg NOOD
Twenty-two J/70s completed nine races at the Helly Hansen St. Petersburg NOOD at St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida from February 12-14. Will Welles' Sea Bags Sailing Team kept it consistent with a line of 2,1,2,1,8,2,2,1,5 for 24 points and the victory. Ten points back was Bruno Pasquinelli's Stampede, and Brian Keane's Savasana rounded out the top three with 42 points. For complete results, click here.
Baxter's VINEYARD VINES Wins Winter Series/Kullman’s NEW WAVE Wins Event #3
John and Molly Baxter’s Team VINEYARD VINES sailed a very consistent three-regatta series from December until February to take the Quantum J/70 Winter Series in Tampa, Florida. Hosted by the Davis Island YC, the fleet of 47 J/70s were treated to great sailing and hospitality over the three weekends. By finishing sixth in the final regatta, the Baxters secured the overall series win. The final event of the series held over the February 6-7 weekend saw some significant changes in the standing. For starters, Marty Kullman’s NEW WAVE sailed a very strong, consistent regatta, posting a 5-1-4-2-2 to win comfortably with 14 points. The big impact on the regatta was the presence of two Fort Worth Boat Club teams that jumped onto the podium. Glenn Darden’s crew on HOSS figured things out fast on the race course, closing with two bullets to add to their scoreline of a 3-4-10 to finish with 19 points and take second overall. Their colleagues from FWBC, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, started out with a bullet in race one and sailed a consistent series of 10-5-7-4 to finish with 27 points to take the bronze. Rounding out the top five was Dave Kerr’s USA 364 in fourth and another Texas team, Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS HEARING, taking fifth place. In the Corinthian Division, Rob Britts’ HOT MESS took the top spot, followed by Brian Elliott’s B-SQUARED in second, John Arendshorts’s 20/20 in third, Matt Braun’s E.L.E. in fourth and Chuck Millican’s ELUSIVE crew from Bermuda in fifth. For more information, visit http://www.diyc.org/.
Three Bridge Fiasco
369 singlehanded and doublehanded entrants signed up for the Three Bridge Fiasco on January 30, an iconic event on San Francisco Bay that lays testament to the support of shorthanded sailing in the Northern California area as well as the pursuit race curriculum. With starts strung out from 0900 to 11:12:10 AM for PHRF ratings ranging from 264 to -102, the 21.7 nm reverse pursuit course has become a must-do for sailors from all walks of life and all areas of the country. For many, it might be the only race they may sail shorthanded all year. For others, it’s another of the fun runs combined with long distance and offshore events fulfilling a busy competition schedule. The start and finish off the Golden Gate Yacht Club can be done in either direction and the marks of the course–the Blackaller Buoy representing the Golden Gate Bridge, Red Rock Island representing the Richmond San Rafael Bridge and Yerba Buena Island representing the Oakland /SF Bay Bridge–can be rounded in any direction and any order. Playing the currents, the wind, and out foxing your competitors is the name of the game...along with a little luck. The 2016 Three Bridge Fiasco provided yet another legendary day of fun, challenges, camaraderie and variety of weather for all participants, the majority of which completed the course before the daylight faded, and enjoyed a robust breeze for their final legs and ride home. (Submitted by Erik Simonson) In the five-boat double-handed J/70 fleet, Scott Sellers & Adam Lowry on 1FA placed first, ahead of Peter Cameron & Mike Herlihy on Prime Number and Tracy Usher & Christy Usher on Christine Robin. For complete results, visit https://www.jibeset.net/show.php?RR=JACKY_T009841774&DOC=r1&TYP=html/.
J/70 Class Rules
The revised J/70 Class Rules have been approved and are posted at http://www.j70ica.org/class-office-rules. The effective date is February 1, 2016.
A Wet and Wild Wrap at Quantum Key West Race Week
Lightning, thunder and torrential rain opened the final day at Quantum Key West 2016, with organizers debating if the conditions were safe to proceed. With several titles at stake, but bad weather threatening, this was not an easy call. Forecaster George Carras from Commander's Weather described the moist tropical conditions in the atmosphere as "juicy and unstable," with a chance for more cells, but with nothing on the radar the fleet headed out of one more day of battle. When they got out the harbor and headed into the southerly, the forecasted 8-15 knots turned out to be 20+ and building, with monstrous seas enhanced by the south-flowing ebb tide, especially in the Division 4 and Division 1 pre-start course areas. These seas hampered the Race Committees in their efforts to set marks and establish their race courses, so the PROs pulled the plug for these classes for the day. But racing proceeded on the Division 2 and 3 areas where the ebb tide was not as strong and produced nothing more serious than some OCS calls for some teams. Skipper Carlo Alberini and the crew of Calvi Network led from start to finish in capturing the J/70 overall class win for the second straight year in Key West. Branko Brcin called tactics for Alberini, who got the gun in five races and finished second or third in four others to finish with an impressive 15 points. "I come back every year to Key West because the regatta is so good - always great wind and excellent race management," said Alberini, who previously raced a Farr 40 and Melges 32 here. "I have no words to describe how happy I am. This is just fantastic." Alberini (Pesaro, Italy) praised the performance of his crew, which also included Sergio Blosi (jib trimmer) and Karlo Hmeljak (main trimmer). "My crew is amazing. I am so lucky to have three very talented sailors. Sailing is a team sport, and the best helmsman in the world cannot without a strong crew," said Alberini, who earned the Quantum Sails Boat of the Day honor today. Skipper Peter Duncan (Rye, NY) and the Relative Obscurity team were runner-up in J/70 fleet with 27 points, four ahead of Tim Healy (Newport, RI) and the Helly Hansen crew. Skipper Luis Bugallo and the Spanish sailors on Marnatura were the top Corinthian entry, finishing seventh. Fernando Campos Marquez (spinnaker trimmer), Enrique Freire Faria (jib trimmer), Jose Luis Freire (tactician) and Gerardo Prego Menor (bow) crewed aboard Marnatura, which earned the Quantum Corinthian Boat of the Week award. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results, videos, etc. are available on the event website at www.keywestraceweek.com.
The Final Day approaches at Quantum Key West Race Week
Quantum Key West 2016 organizers with the Storm Trysail Club held three more races on all three courses today in solid 10-14 knot winds that started out of the northeast and slowly clocked around to the east, all per prediction. Helly Hansen skipper Tim Healy is hoping for two races on Friday since he stands second in the J/70 fleet, 10 points behind Calvi Network. That is not insurmountable in a 47-boat fleet, although skipper Carlo Alberini and his crew on Calvi Network have not finished worse than sixth so far. "Those guys are going really well so they would have to make a mistake," Healy said. "In a fleet this size, anything can happen. We were over early in the last race last year so you never know." Healy and his Helly Hansen team found another gear today, winning two of three races with a runner-up result in the other. "We changed some things with our tuning and rig to account for the short chop, and it really helped. The boat felt really good today and we were going well as far as boat speed," he said. Photos are available on the J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete event details may be found at http://keywestraceweek.com/.
Fine day at Key West Race Week
Unlike Tuesday in the howling wind, Wednesday started well on day three of Quantum Key West Race Week 2016. Races were contested in perfect 15-18 knot northeasterly winds that held steady enough to provide the closest race action of the week. Italian skipper Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network posted scores of 2-3-1-3 to maintain the lead in the J/70s, the largest fleet in the regatta. Branko Brcin is calling tactics for the defending regatta champion, which now has a low score of eight points and leads the reigning J/70 World Champion Flojito Y Cooperando (Julian Fernandez Neckelmann, Mexico City) by three points. Relative Obscurity (Peter Duncan, Rye, NY) and Helly Hansen (Tim Healy, Newport, RI) are still in the mix with 14 and 19 points, respectively. "There are a lot of very good boats and very talented sailors in this field. We prefer strong wind so we are enjoying the racing here this year," Alberini said. "The game is far from finished. Tomorrow is a new day and we must keep our focus." For complete event information, visit http://keywestraceweek.com/.
Key West Race Week: Off to a Perfect Start
Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 got off to a rousing start on the City of Key West Day with strong winds welcoming the 133 boats in 12 classes, and organizers getting in three races on all three divisions. Sailors from 16 countries took to the azure waters off the southernmost point of the United States and found ideal conditions--northeast winds that exceeded 20 knots for Race 1 and diminished slightly for the subsequent starts when the sun broke through and brought out the seas so famous in Key West. It was a bumpy day on the water with three to four foot waves rolling through the course areas, giving a challenge for all teams. In the J/70 fleet, Carlo Alberini (Pesaro, Italy) and the Calvi Network crew picked up where they left off last year, posting a pair of bullets and taking third in the other race. Calvi Network captured class honors at Quantum Key West 2015 and earned Boat of the Week honors as a result. Tim Healy and his team on Helly Hansen got the gun in Race 3 to move into second place, five points astern of Calvi Network and just one ahead of Flojito Y Cooperando (Julian Fernandez Neckelman, Mexico City). It is no surprise to see those three boats atop the leader board since they finished 1-2-3 at the J/70 World Championship. "It was a great day on the water. I’m glad we got three races in, real happy the race committee decided to do that," said Healy, whose team overcame a broken spinnaker halyard. "It was breezy and really bumpy, a lot more than I remember. We’re pleased with how we did on the first day." And the Corinthian Boat of the Day winner was Luis Bugallo’s J/70 Marnatura from Vigo, Spain, on the strength of earning a 13-12-13 scorecard today in the 54-boat class. Photos are available on the J/70 Facebook page, and complete results may be found at http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=1390.
Baxter Continues to Dominate J/70 Winter Series
Forty-eight teams competed in the second of three events that comprise the 2015-16 Quantum J/70 Winter Series, which is hosted by the Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida. Racing was held January 9-10, with John Baxter taking the overall title while Brian Elliott topped the 21-boat Corinthian sub-division. This is Baxter’s second win in the series, with the final event on February 6-7. Photos are posted on the J/70 Facebook page, and full results are available by clicking here.
US Sailing to Re-Launch International Women’s Keelboat Championship
The International Women’s Keelboat Championship (IWKC) returns! The revitalized US Sailing Championship, with a new and exciting approach, is aimed at maximizing opportunities for women sailors to participate in high caliber regattas against top international sailors. The American Yacht Club in Rye, NY will host the new IWKC in J/70 class sailboats on August 14-20, 2016. With the goal of attracting more international teams, the championship will rotate each year to venues within, and outside the U.S. More than ever, this championship will offer women keelboat and offshore sailors high quality racing on the international stage. Twenty-four teams will be selected through an application process. Half the teams selected will represent North American countries and half will represent countries from around the world. To ensure a fast and competitive racing format, additional changes have been made to speed up the action. The format consists of fleet racing with a "team racing" twist, featuring two flights of six boats each with teams rotating after every two races. Each team will race an equal number of races against the others. Races will be approximately 15 minutes in duration. Host clubs will ensure quick rotations and on-the-water judging, in addition to an improved viewing experience for spectators. The International Women’s Keelboat Championship was inaugurated in 1985 through the efforts of US Sailing’s Women’s Championship Committee. The event became one of the premier women’s sailing event in the U.S. and worldwide. The Ida Lewis Yacht Club in Newport, RI became host for the event and hosted the championship until 2001, before it moved around the country to different venues. The trophy is named for Bengt Julin, an international judge and strong supporter of women’s sailing. Julin presented the very first trophy to Betsy Alison and retired the original to her after she had won it three times consecutively. Alison had an unbroken winning streak competing against teams from a dozen or more nations from 1991 through 1997. In 2007, Sally Barkow matched Alison by winning the championship for the third time. An impressive list of former champions includes Cory Sertl, Anna Tunnicliffe, Jody Starck, and J.J. Fetter. Sertl won the most recent International Women’s Keelboat Championship in 2011 at the Rochester Yacht Club (NY). Learn more about the International Women’s Keelboat Championship at http://www.ussailing.org/racing/championships/adult/iwkc/.
Nearly 50 Boats for J/70 Winter Series #1
Forty-eight teams competed in the first event of the 2015-16 Quantum J/70 Winter Series, which is hosted by the Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida. Racing was held December 12-13, with John Baxter taking the overall title, while Mark Foster topped the 24-boat Corinthian sub-division. Full results are available by clicking here.
Columbia Sailing Club Easter Regatta March 25-27, 2016
Columbia Sailing Club is proud to announce the inaugural J/70 Corinthian Easter Regatta 2016. This event will be held in conjunction with the 30th anniversary J/24 Easter Regatta that has been held since 1985 along with U-20s that participated for the first time last year. The first Easter Regatta was held in 1966 sailing E-Scows so this year will mark the 50th anniversary of this prestigious event. Notable regatta champions include Buddy Melges, Terry Hutchinson, Chris Larson, David Van Cleef, Tim Healy and Will Welles. J/70 Class Corinthian notations:
• Tuning Clinic
• Post-race chalk talks
• Both sponsored by North Sails
They also are planning to have a practice start and race on Thursday afternoon for J/24s and J/70s if there is interest. For complete event information, visit http://www.easterregatta.org/.
San Diego Hot Rum Series
The second race in the famous San Diego YC Hot Rum Series took place this past weekend in spectacular sailing conditions off Point Loma. With a fresh 10-14 knot breeze from the NNW, the fleet took off under sunny skies. Leading a sweep in Class 4 are the J/70s, with Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR sitting on top with 4 points, followed by Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU in second with 7 points. Not far off the pace is Robert Berkley’s J/70 MOCKING J with 16 points, and in 10th place is Eduardo Saenz’s J/70 DESTROYER. For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series sailing information, click here.
East Coast Championship
Thank you to Ray Wulff for the following report: The 2015 East Coast Championship/Fall Brawl in Annapolis was a fantastic event that when the dust settled, the best team won. Peter McChesney sailed a fantastic series which can best be described as disciplined. Eastport Yacht Club served up seven races over two days on the Chesapeake Bay. This no-throwout series punished inconsistency and rewarded teams who could roll with the punches. It was fantastic to see nine states represented across a wide array of teams. Team Wild Child (Henry Filter) led after the first day with a very solid 1-6-7-3. The surprise (and welcome) addition to the top three was Peter Vowe's Tea Dance Snake who finished a very respectable third. In the end, many items were evident when the regatta was finished. Dave Malkin and the whole team at EYC (especially Keith Jacobs) did a fantastic job, the conditions on the Bay were dynamic to say the least, and the best team won. Congratulations to all. Huge kudos to all the teams who traveled to Annapolis for this event. Complete results may be found at http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=11170.
Ten J/70s completed seven races at J/Fest Southwest from October 10-11 at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, TX. Bruno Pasquinelli on Stampede won five races and added a second and fourth for 11 points and the victory. Chris Lewis on GB took second place with 17 points, and Tim Molony on Joust was third with 21 points. For complete information, visit the event website at http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/10656.
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/.