J Boats News – August 1st 2018

J/Boats News is a digest of worldwide events, regattas, and news for sailing enthusiasts and members of our J Community. Contributions regarding your racing, cruising or human interest stories on-board J’s are welcome- please send to ““.  For you globe-trotting J cruisers, please keep us up-to-date with your travels- for examples to chronicle your adventures please see our J/ Community Cruising section below.

August 1st, 2018

J/99 Short-handed Offshore SpeedsterJ/99 Short-handed Offshore Speedster Update!
(Newport, RI)- In case you had not seen the worldwide introduction of the J/99 in last week’s newsletter, here is more information for you to consider.  The J/Design team has finalized more details on the deck and interior design that make for a very comfortable boat to daysail, weekend cruise, as well as race offshore short-handed.
J/99 Short-handed Offshore Speedster interior 3D
The J/99 is the newest addition to the J/Sport range, combining standing headroom and comfortable interior accommodation with the tiller-driven responsiveness of a sport boat. The sail and deck plan are optimized for easy handling with fewer crew, and incorporate the latest developments from the award-winning J/121 and the new Offshore Sailing World champion J/112E.

J/99 offshore speedster interior plan J/99 offshore speedster deckplan

The interior features twin aft cabins, a proper sit-down forward facing nav station, an L-shaped galley, and a private forward head with sail locker.

Now more than ever, sailors are attracted to adventure-filled, signature events (Fastnet, Middle Sea, Chicago-Mac, etc.) where straight-line speed, sail handling, strategy and weather routing are all equally put to the test. The J/99 is designed to excel in these events (both fully crewed and short-handed) while delivering the exhilarating, family-friendly experience the J/Sport range is known for.  For more J/99 Shorthanded Offshore Speedster sailing information

J/70s at Cowes WeekLENDY Cowes Week Preview
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Cowes Week is one of the UK’s longest running and most successful sporting events and is a key highlight of the British sporting summer. It has been held in early August every year since 1826, except during the two world wars.

Traditionally, Cowes Week takes place after Glorious Goodwood and before the Glorious Twelfth (the first day of the grouse shooting season)- occasionally the traditional dates are changed to ensure optimum racing, taking account of the tides, of course.  Over the years, the event has attracted British and foreign royalty, and many famous faces.

The event offers a great mix of competitive sailing and social activities. The 8,500 competitors range from Olympic and World-Class professionals to weekend sailors. In excess of 100,000 spectators come to watch the sailing, enjoy the parties and live entertainment, and to experience the unique atmosphere. It is genuinely a one-of-a-kind event.

The 2018 edition of the annual LENDY Cowes Week Regatta will take place from August 4th to 11th on the amazingly challenging and capricious Solent. It has been extremely popular for J/Teams across not only the United Kingdom and Ireland, but across Europe as well.

J/70s sailing off Cowes, EnglandThe largest J/fleet will again be the J/70 class, with thirty-eight entries sailing the four-day short series.  Virtually all the top U.K. teams are in attendance, since it marks a critical part of the UK J/70 National Series.  Those teams include Terence O’Neill’s AQUA J, Paul Wards’ EAT SLEEP J REPEAT, Martin Dent’s JELVIS, Simon Cavey’s JUST4PLAY, Peter Harrison’s SORCHA J, Tony Hanlon’s SPITFIRE, and Jack Davies’ YETI.

The nine-boat J/80 class has a cast of new characters in their midst, such as Mike Lewis’ JESTER, Fiona & Malcolm Thorpe’s KING LOUIE, Chris Body’s MOCKINGJAY, and Richard Powell’s PURPLE HAZE.

Amongst the eighteen entries for the J/109 class are a number of familiar faces that have been near the top of the class leaderboard over time, such as Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR, Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, John Smart’s JUKEBOX, Chris Sharples & Rick Acland’s JUMPING JELLYFISH, Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN’, and Nick Southward/ John Scott/ Andrew Christie’s Hong Kong-based crew on TEAM WHISKEY JACK.

J/111 sailing fast on SolentThe IRC 2 Class of twenty-three entries has three J/111s (Tony Mack’s McFLY, Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II, & Simon Bamford’s KESTREL), three J/122s (Tony Coleman’s JOLLY JELLYFISH, Marc Vercruysee’s Belgian ZUMEX, & Chris Daniel’s JUNO), and Christian Reynold’s J/120 PERFORMANCE YACHT RACING SUNSET.

With two-dozen entries, the IRC 4 Class has a few lethal weapons of the 35-foot-plus J/Boats variety.  Three J/112E’s will be doing battle, including past class winner Chaz Ivill’s DAVANTI TYRES, David Franks’ LEON, and Peter Symons’ J’OUVERT.  In addition, three J/105s will also be on the line, such as Ross Farrow’s JACANA, Prof. Roger Williams’ JOS OF HAMBLE, ad Emre Derman’s RED EYE.  Finally, there is Jonty & Vickey Layfield’s J/11S SLEEPER XI and Jules Hall & Nick Elderfield’s J/35 BENGAL MAGIC DISKO TROOPER.

IRC 5 Class has twenty-five entries, including four J/92’s (Alan Macleod & Andy Knowles’ SAMURAI J, David Greenhalgh’s J’RONIMO, Banks Overstall & Searle’s NIGHTJAR, & Mark Waddington’s VAGABOND); four J/97s (Andy & Annie Howe’s BLACKJACK II, Rachel Dave & Robert Hunt’s JUMBLESAIL II, Jim Owens’ JET, and Bob & John Baker’s JAYWALKER); Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART; and Ed Holton’s J/110 SHADES OF BLUE.

IRC Doublehanded Class will have two J/105s sailing all week- Natalia Jobling’s MOSTLY HARMLESS an Andy Roberts & Bill Edgerley’s JIN TONIC.   For more Lendy Cowes Week sailing information

J/70 sailing at St Petersburg, RussiaSAILING Champions League- St Petersburg Preview
(St Petersburg, Russia)- With World Cup football fever still fresh in the memory, now Saint Petersburg Yacht Club and Russia’s most beautiful city get ready to host 24 international clubs representing 12 nations at Semifinal #2 of the SAILING Champions League 2018. With four days of racing scheduled from 3 to 6 August, the setting – right in the center of St Petersburg – couldn’t be more spectacular. The top 16 clubs win a ticket for the big Final of SAILING Champions League in St. Moritz, Switzerland (30 August to 2 September).

The famous Peter and Paul Fortress could hardly be a more appropriate setting, as the teams do battle for a highly-coveted place in the Finals of the SAILING Champions League, set to take place at the end of this month in St Moritz, high up in the Swiss Alps. 16 clubs have a chance to make it through to the Finals, so it will be all about finishing in the top half of the eight-boat heats.

St. Petersburg is the former Russian capital whose mysterious White Nights and winding canals inspired such literary giants as Fyodor Dostoevsky and Nikolai Gogol. Constructed from scratch out of marshland in 1703 by Peter the Great, St. Petersburg has seen more revolution, war and political intrigue in its 350 years than other cities witness in a millennium. This history is apparent at every turn. Nowadays this is one of the largest European cities where history is combined with modern. Besides, St. Petersburg is the unofficial sailing capital of Russia.

Some of the competitors were in St Petersburg only a few weeks ago when they were sailing into the finish of the 1,000 nautical-mile Nord Stream Race through the Baltic Sea. Sergey Musikhin was co-skipper of the winning boat representing Russia, and three weeks after winning the Nord Stream Race, the 35-year-old is back at the helm of his team, Lord of the Sail– Asia.

J/70 sailing at St Petersburg, Russia in Sailing Champions LeagueAnother skipper from the long offshore race is Kris Houmann and his crew from Frederikshavn Sejlklub, a small sailing club in Northern Denmark that frequently punches above its weight. Tactician Rasmus Damsgaard is delighted to be back in Russia’s second city for some close, boat-on-boat action: “Coming back to St. Petersburg is a great pleasure! It’s a very beautiful city and spectacular scenery for the teams to be sailing right in the middle of the city. Even though it will be very tricky to qualify for the finals in St. Moritz, we hope to make it with a top five result!”

The strong current of the fast-flowing Neva River will play a strong role in the strategy and tactics used by the teams for advantage around the race course. St Petersburg Yacht Club (SPYC) is hosting SAILING Champions League for the third consecutive year. With support from main partner Gazprom, SPYC presents sailing at its best in the maritime capital of Russia, with the locals always ready to support the best European clubs racing close to shore.

Crews are representing the following countries: Austria (SCTWV Achensee/ Union YCV Woerthersee/ Union YC Wolfgansee), Denmark (Frederikshavn Sejlklub), Finland (Brando Selgare/ Mariehamns Seglaforenig), Germany (Deutscher Touring YC/ Norddeustcher Regatta Verein/ Segelkameradschaft Das Wappen von Bremen), Great Britain (Royal Ocean Racing Club), the Netherlands (VWDTP Groningen), Norway Asgardstrand Seilforening/ Tonsberg Seilforening), Poland (YC Sopot), Russia (Lord of the Sail- Asia/ Lord of the Sail- Europe/ Navigator Sailing Team/ PIRogovo/ St Petersburg YC), Slovenia (JK MIPC), Sweden (Hjuviks BK/ Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet) and Switzerland (Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen/ Societe Nautique de Geneve).

We spoke with Elena Solovyeva, Project Manager from to St. Petersburg YC, the host club for this year’s Semifinal 2.

SCL: What abilities do the sailors/clubs need to win in St Petersburg?
SPYC: “The venue is one of the most outstanding sailing stadiums in the world and was used for hosting events like Extreme Sailing Series and World Match Racing Tour. The city center provides amazing scenery for sailing, but is also a really tricky racing area. The city walls surround the Neva River, with its famous 3-knots current– the wind is changing both in strength and direction. The teams have to look around 360 degrees all the time to seek for any speed or tactical leverage. Two years of SCL racing here show that even after a bad start you can still win a race or lose it after a good start.”

SCL: What has SPYC prepared for the semifinal?
SPYC: “This is definitely the most challenging race course of the season. Also, St Petersburg is the largest city in the SCL calendar. The city offers unique attractions for the visitors, like keeping an eye on the clock at night to not miss crossing the bridges! Besides, based on the crews’ feedback, we strongly believe that the clubs seeking to qualify for the SAILING Champions League Finale in St Moritz, Switzerland also love to visit our beautiful, fun, and historic city.

SCL: For SPYC, what is the significance of hosting the SAILING Champions League?
SPYC: “In the third year of hosting the SCL in St Petersburg, SPYC is more than happy and proud to host such an event with amazing guests. As usual, the club will do its best to treat its esteemed guests to the highest standards!”

Livestream and results by SAP
As with all SAILING Champions League events, the final two days of racing on Sunday and Monday will be live broadcasted by SAP from 12:00 hrs (UTC+3), with expert commentators providing blow-by-blow analysis of the racing, aided by the detail provided by SAP Sailing Analytics. The SAP Sailing Analytics provide 24/7 additional statistics and data for sailors, fans, spectators and media like GPS tracking, real-time analysis, live leaderboard combined with 2D visualization. You find all results on!  Sailing photo credits- Anya Semenyk  You can follow the action on Sunday here, then follow the action on Monday here.

SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg, Russia Introduction video

For more SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg- sailing information

J/111 Wicked 2.0 sailing fast offshoreBuzzards Bay Regatta Preview
(South Dartmouth, MA)- On behalf of the Beverly Yacht Club and New Bedford Yacht Club, the Regatta Chair welcomes all sailors to a new era of the Buzzards Bay Regatta! After 45 years of alternating locations annually, the organizers have decided to stage an event that spans the entire Bay- from the Cape Cod Canal to Buzzards Tower!

2018 will feature spectacular racing out of both Beverly Yacht Club and New Bedford Yacht Club, with 13 fleets of boats on 7 circles, and racers that span from 20-ton cruising boats to foiling kiteboards!!  The regatta expects over 200 boats (boards) and 1,000+ sailors! Off the water, there will be tent festivities at both venues, with live music, food delights, and full-tilt regatta bars!

The J/80 Class includes Dan Cooney’s AMERICAN PRAYER, Peter d’Anjou’s LE TIGRE, and Jim Shachoy’s PEARLY BAKER.

The J/105 New England Championship will include Mary Schmitt’s HARDTACK, Mark Lindquist’s STERLING, Ed Lobo’s WATERWOLF, and the trio on DARK’N’STORMY (Andrew Reservitz, Eric Wagner, & Ned Joyce).

The PHRF New England Racing division will have five J/teams, like two J/109s (Cory Eaves’ FREEDOM and Dan Boyd’s WILD THING), the J/121 INCOGNITO (Joe Brito), Doug Curtiss’ J/111 WICKED 2.0, and Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST.

Two J/crews will be having a good, relaxing time sailing in the PHRF New England Championship- Cruising Division- Sarah Lamothe’s J/30 NO QUARTER GIVEN and Steve Dahill’s J/35C RIVA.  For more Buzzards Bay Regatta sailing information

J/22s sailing Lake Dillon OpenDillon Open Regatta Preview
(Lake Dillon, CO)- At a mile-high, there is no question that Dillon YC’s annual “Dillon Open” that is sailed on the Dillon Reservoir west of Denver high up in Rocky Mountains, is the longest-running highest altitude regatta in the world.  Yet again, a great of brave sailors on J/22s and J/24s look forward to sailing in one of the world’s most challenging sailing venues.  Ringed by 10-14,000 ft snow-capped mountain peak off the north, west and south, the winds can be capricious and unpredictable at best, if it’s from any of those quadrants.  About the only “normal” breeze that whisks across the lake comes from the southerly quadrants since the winds would not be swirling down off huge mountain peaks, down the slopes and on the lake surface.  The winds from the “hard” part are famous for “helicopter” puffs (seemingly mini-tornados) as well as vertical puffs- a.k.a. violent “micro-bursts” that drop out of the sky and knock boats flat out-of-the-blue, so to speak.  Nevertheless, the sailing and the vistas are spectacular!

J/24s sailing at Lake Dillon OpenEight J/22s, the biggest fleet in years, are registered to sail the event. In fact, a few “rock stars” from afar will be in attendance; namely Reed Baldridge from the College of Charleston YC in Charleston, SC.  He will be up again the smart local teams, such as Tito and Mateo Vargas on BABY DOE, Mike & Robyn Kline on NAUTI-MOOSE and Phil Cooper’s SWEET BABY-J.

Similarly, the J/24s have none other than past J/24 World and Etchells-22 World Champion Vince Brun sailing on Frank & Vivian Keesling’s THE DUMPSTER.  The long-distance award goes to Brad Dober’s STRAIGHT JACKET, a boat and crew from Corinthian YC of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania!  No question, the “family award” may already go to the Peters family (John, Susan, & Niko) sailing aboard their appropriately-named- HARMONY.   For more Dillon Open sailing information

J/111s sailing Rolex Big Boat Series- San FranciscoRolex Big Boat Series Update
(San Francisco, CA)— It’s hard to find a purer form of sailing than a lineup of polished teams on identical platforms, all with an equal shot at race course glory. This is precisely what makes One-Design racing the heart and soul of the St. Francis Yacht Club’s annual Rolex Big Boat Series. From September 12-16, top teams will race in at least seven different One-Design fleets, as well as several highly-competitive handicap fleets, making this the West Coast’s most competitive regatta. J/88s, J/105s, J/111s, and J/120s have all met the NOR requirement of six or more entrants for One-Design class racing!

Held on San Francisco Bay’s beautiful, but always challenging waters, prepared teams who know how to press their boats hard will benefit from the conditions by creating micro-advantages in fleets that define the term “stacked”.

“Two important factors draw sailors to his event,” says StFYC Commodore Theresa Brandner, skipper of J/105 WALLOPING SWEDE (USA 157). “One is the Rolex sponsorship, which the StFYC appreciates immensely. The other is the combination of our unparalleled sailing venue, with extreme winds and variable currents, which presents an unusually challenging scenario for even the most experienced sailors. Add to that the depth of talent on the crews, the large number of fleets, the seasoned rivalries and the adrenaline of the race to the finish, and you have the complete Rolex Big Boat Series package.”

The J/105 class has shown impressive pre-event motivation, with 22 boats currently registered and more expected.

“We love racing in the big fleet— it’s without a doubt one of the most attractive aspects to racing J/105s,” says Ryan Simmons, skipper of BLACKHAWK (USA 40). “It’s our biggest regatta of the year and something we all enjoy being a part of.”

Others agree. “The Rolex Big Boat Series is the pre-eminent regatta on the West Coast and, arguably, in the USA,” says Ian Charles, skipper of the J/105 MAVERICK (USA 385). “The StFYC does a truly exceptional job at producing, hosting and managing, which makes it a ‘must-not-miss’ event if you have the ability and the opportunity to compete in it.”

J/105s sailing Rolex Big Boat Series- San FranciscoCharles should know, having recently returned to the class and the Rolex Big Boat Series after a 12-year hiatus spent competing in Ironman Triathlons. “I bought my [boat] in August last year on the East Coast and had it shipped out to the West Coast in anticipation of the 2018 racing season,” he says, adding that—depending on how MAVERICK’s crew weight pencils-out, he hopes to draft his wife and two sons, aged 13 and 16. “I’ve [finished in] second place at the Rolex Big Boat Series twice in the past, so stepping onto the top of the podium this year is the number-one goal for me and our team.”

While there’s no question that it takes serious talent to be a two-time bridesmaid in the Rolex Big Boat Series’ largest One-Design class, all teams competing in this legendary regatta will face their share of physical and metaphoric starboard-tackers come September’s racing. “The competition is tough, mark roundings are intense and we all want to hear the finish gun first,” says Commodore Brandner. “It’s a regatta sailed by the best and bravest. This year, leading the StFYC fleet as Commodore, combined with racing in the Bay Area’s largest One Design fleet, brings a great deal of pride to me.”

While not all classes can draw the numbers of the J/105 fleet, the J/88 class pulled enough entries to enjoy their inaugural Rolex Big Boat Series as a One-Design class.

“I think it changes our approach preparations in that we need to practice, practice, practice as best we can given the short time remaining,” says Aya Yamanouchi, skipper of the J/88 BENNY (79169). “We’re a new boat and new team still gelling… We’re presently planning to race in the StFYC’s Aldo Alessio and Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Cup [August 17-19] as a warm-up, and hopefully some of the other J/88s will come out so we can get a ‘sneak-preview’ of the Rolex Big Boat Series.”

Weather depending, the StFYC aims to score seven races at this year’s Rolex Big Boat Series, with two scheduled races per class per day from Thursday through Saturday, followed by Sunday’s planned “Bay Tour” race. While the StFYC’s Race Committee can’t promise big breeze and blue skies, they can ensure world-class racecourse management, engaging evening entertainment and a great awards ceremony.  For more Rolex Big Boat Series sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide

The end of July is a very busy one in the Americas.  There was a lot of action taking place from the Right Coast to the Left Coast and parts in between.  For starters, off to the east the annual Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD Regatta was hosted by the triumvirate of their amazing yacht clubs (Boston, Corinthian, Eastern) for fleets of J/70s, J/24s, and J/105s. Just further south on Cape Cod, the Edgartown YC hosted their annual Edgartown Race Weekend was held that featured their classic Round the Island Race (of Martha’s Vineyard) for the big boats and the new Round the Sound Race for smaller boats (e.g. a J/70 class).

Heading towards the Midwest, we find the annual CanAm Challenge Regatta was hosted by the Youngstown YC in Youngstown, NY at the western end of Lake Ontario.  The event featured the J/88 Great Lakes Championship and the J/70 Lake Ontario Championship and a fleet of J/22 one-designs.  Heading deeper into the Midwest, we find three HUGE regattas.  For starters, the J/105 North Americans were held in Harbor Springs, MI, hosted by Little Traverse YC.  Simultaneously, at the same venue, the LTYC hosted their annual Ugotta Regatta for fleet of J/70s and J/111s and PHRF offshore handicap racers.  Then, on the eastern side of the Michigan peninsula, the J/35 North Americans were hosted in Cheboygan, MI, by the North Star Sailing Club. Out West, there was the popular Santa Barbara YC offshore event- the 90nm Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race for a hot fleet of J/125s, J/111s, J/120s, and others.

Down in South America, the first regatta in the Santander Bank J/70 Winter Series took place on the Pacific Ocean off Algarrobo, Chile, hosted by the Cofradia Nautico del Algarrobo.

In Europe, the signature event was Travemunde Week sailed in Travemunde, Germany on the beautiful Baltic Sea, hosting the inaugural J/70 Youth SAILING Champion League for eighteen youth sailing club teams from nine nations across Europe!

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Aug 2-5- Buzzards Bay Regatta- South Dartmouth, MA
Aug 4-5- Dillon Open Regatta- Dillon, CO
Aug 4-11- Lendy Cowes Week Regatta- Cowes, England
Aug 4-5- Summer Keelboat Regatta- Belvedere, CA
Aug 9-12- J/88 North American Championship- Chicago, IL
Aug 9-11- Nordic J/70 Championship- Sandhamn, Sweden
Aug 9-12- Verve Cup Offshore Regatta- Chicago, IL
Aug 16-18- J/24 Westerns- Oranmore, Galway, Ireland
Aug 17- Ida Lewis Distance Race- Newport, RI
Aug 17-20- J/24 Canadian Championship- Kingston, Ontario
Aug 18-19- Phyllis Kleinmann Swiftsure Regatta- San Francisco, CA
Aug 19-26- J/111 World Championship- Breskens, The Netherlands
Aug 24-31- J/24 World Championship- Riva del Garda, Italy
Aug 24-26- J/80 East Coast Championship- Boothbay Harbor, ME
Aug 24-26- Storm Trysail Club Ted Hood Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Aug 24-25- US Women’s J/22 Match Racing Championship- San Francisco, CA
Aug 24-26- Verve Cup Inshore Regatta- Chicago, IL
Aug 25-26- Vela J/24 Festival- Buenos Aires, Argentina
Aug 30- Sep 2- SAILING Champions League Finale- St Moritz, Switzerland

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

J/70 Youth SAILING Champions League- Travemunde, GermanyBodensee YC Wins Youth SAILING Champions League
(Travemunde, Germany)- The Youth SAILING Champions League was the latest innovation to be launched out of the successful SAILING Champions League format, and eighteen crews from eight nations raced each other in Travemünde, Germany, from 27 to 29 July. The first-ever league competition exclusively for sailors from 16 to 23 years old at Travemünde Week attracted prestigious yacht clubs from Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Some of the yacht clubs were already well-versed in the short-course windward-leeward style of racing the fleet of J/70 sportsboats. The Royal Danish Yacht Club (Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub) recently won the inaugural event in the Women’s SAILING Champions League at Kiel Week, in addition to also leading the overall standings at this stage of the Danish National Sailing League 2018.

Catharina Sandman, one of 17 female sailors competing in Travemünde, from the Finnish entry Nyländska Jaktklubben said, “Our team consists of two girls and three boys and our background is mostly in dinghies such as the Optimist, Laser, 29er and 49er. We have all been sailing together since we were kids mostly competing against each other so we are really excited to finally team up and join forces. We are very much looking forward to the first Youth SAILING Champions League and we are expecting tough competition with great spirit.”

J/70 Youth SAILING Champions League- Travemunde, GermanyAfter three days of intense competition and a nail-biting four-boat finale, it was the Bodensee Yacht Club Uberlingen from Germany’s Lake Constance that won the first ever event in the Youth SAILING Champions League after a stellar performance in Travemunde. Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub from Denmark was the runner-up ahead of fellow Danish team from Roskilde Sejlklub in third place.

Bodensee YC’s young crew consisted of helmsman Konstantin Steidle, Alexandra Lauber, Patrick Hasse and Jonathan Koch.  The team went into the finale as the third-ranked club, but secured the overall win.

Helmsman Konstantin Steidle explained, “The last race was really close and we are just happy to have won! It’s amazing, but we haven’t realized it so far. We sailed at our best in the final races. It was a tough competition, especially the Danish teams did a great job, as well.”

Crew Jonathan Koch commented on the new Finals format, “We were very nervous about the final races, but it was a lot of fun. It’s just all to zero before the races and every team can win. It’s a great idea.”

For the leading group, the final day was all about making sure you had done enough to make it through to the four-boat finale. After twelve flights with 36 races, the final was a battle Denmark vs. Germany: the Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub (KDY) and Roskilde Sejlklub from Denmark against Bodensee Yacht Club Uberlingen (BYCUe) and Lindauer Segler Club from Germany.

The new Finals format means that your overall position from Qualifying is taken into the Final Series. So as winner of the Qualifying Series, KDY carried through a first place and hence already one race win. Whichever of the four clubs secures two race wins would become the overall champion.

J/70 Youth SAILING ChampionsIn the first final race, BYCU won, putting them level with KDY, the winner of Qualifying. The other two yacht clubs were really starting to feel the heat, desperately needing a win in the next race. In final race 2, BYCU earned her second race win, giving the young crew from Germany the overall victory.

Oliver Schwall, founder and co-organizer of the SAILING Champions League said, “The experiment with the four-boat Finale was a great way to finish off the regatta. It keeps the interest and excitement for much longer, because whoever wins the last race becomes the overall winner. How often do you see that in sailing? It will be interesting to see if other areas of the sport pick up on this idea. We’re proud to have been the ones to pioneer it here in Travemunde at the first ever Youth SAILING Champions League.”

J/70 Youth SAILING Champions League interviewThe atmosphere among the eighteen clubs from eight nations was friendly, respectful and exemplary for other events. “The sportsmanship you showed during the event was outstanding and set the benchmark for sailing worldwide,” added Oliver Schwall at the prize giving ceremony. “This weekend has been an important step forward for the League concept, two big experiments confirmed as a success. Innovation is risky, but we had a good feeling about introducing a Youth SAILING Champions League, and actually, it has gone much better than I ever imagined. And with around 20% of the sailors being female, that created a fun atmosphere. It would be great see even more girls competing here in future events.”

Over the three days, the clubs experienced all kinds of wind conditions: from Freaky Friday, with the wind averaging 17 knots and gusting quite a bit more at times with big waves – it was a day to hang on to your hats – to lighter airs on Saturday and Sunday, putting a greater emphasis on tactics.

Live broadcasting by SAP
Did you miss the races of Youth SAILING Champions League? Just visit and click through the SAP Sailing Analytics for replays of all races and different and interesting statistics about the action on water. You find the overall results on!   Youth SAILING Champions League video highlights  For more Youth SAILING Champions League sailing information

J/70 AFRICA- Jud Smith winsJ/70 AFRICA Crowned Marblehead NOOD Overall Champion!
(Marblehead, MA)- The 2018 edition of the Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD Regatta was not without its dramas for the huge 57-boat J/70 class as well as the talent-laden J/24.  Hosted by the triumvirate of clubs in Marblehead (Eastern YC, Corinthian YC, Boston YC), the regatta PRO’s managed to get off six races over the first two days for the J/70s, seven races for the J/24s and eight races for the J/105 classes.

In the end, it was local hero- Jud Smith- and his very talented crew onboard the J/70 AFRICA that not only won their class, but were also awarded the Overall Marblehead NOOD Champion Award for best performance at the regatta.  As it turns out, Jud and crew now have a chance to race a “party catamaran” in the Caribbean for the Overall NOOD Championship from all the other NOOD regattas nationwide. Here is how it all went down over those three days of racing.

J/105s rounding markDay 1- Friday
Spectacular sailing conditions marked the first day; gentle breezes and moderate seas made for a full day of close racing, as crews stayed on the water late in order to fit in the maximum number of races possible- like finishing at 1700 hrs late!

Among the eight classes competing on Friday were the popular J/70s. The pro-laden fleet was the largest of the regatta and, for them, this regatta had an added layer of importance. In addition to vying for the overall prize, teams in this class were training for the World Championship in Marblehead this September.

Local skipper Jud Smith, who led the fleet after three races, said this event was critical for J/70 crews to get a feel for the rest of the fleet and get used to the venue— even local sailors, like himself.

“We’re sailing in an area we don’t normally sail in,” Smith said. “And there’s nothing like sailing in a big fleet. The starting line is especially challenging.”

Smith and his team on AFRICA haven’t been sailing together long and are hoping to continue working out the kinks this weekend as they prepare for the class championship.

J/70s sailing off Marblehead“We’re trying to get better at starting and be more consistent,” he said. “It’s just about getting used to working together and everyone doing their job. We’re happy with how we’re going, and we’re happy with our boat speed, so the biggest thing is to start more consistently.”

Before leading his own crew, Smith served as strategist on the J/70 World Champion team in 2017, alongside skipper Peter Duncan, who currently holds the second spot in the fleet only three points behind team AFRICA.

For Duncan, the Marblehead NOOD is a fun opportunity to go head-to-head with his friend and former teammate, and a can’t-miss opportunity to train for this year’s championship.

“It’s so wonderful to have an event where you can get nearly 60 boats on the starting line in advance of a World Championship in the venue you’re going to be sailing in,” Duncan said. “It’s nice because there are a lot of boats here, a lot of foreign boats and most of the top Americans. That makes for great racing and you get to learn a lot.”

J/24s fighting upwindDay 2- Saturday
For the second day in a row, consistent winds fueled a full day of races on Saturday. With slightly more wind than Friday, plus light waves and current, fleets kept very close for tight racing and crowded mark roundings on the race course.

When winds are moderate and less physically demanding, boatspeed differences tend to be minimal between competitors, which result in close-quarters racing and passing opportunities. In these conditions, however, it’s the best teams that tend to demonstrate their strengths.

Local J/105 skipper Charlie Garrard wasn’t getting comfortable just yet with the weather conditions. He led the fleet by two points and credits his success so far to the help of his kids, who are sailing with him, and a focus on finding clear air on the racecourse.

“A two-point lead isn’t really a lead,” Garrard said. “The way I look at it, there are three boats tied for first right now. So, tomorrow we get out there and try to race our own race. I think it can go any which way.”

J/70s rounding markThe largest of 10 fleets competing in this year’s event, the J/70 class saw extremely close racing again on Saturday, especially during mark roundings.

Former J/70 World Champion Timothy Healy and his crew on USA 2 staged an impressive comeback to move into second place overall after posting uncharacteristically high scores on Friday’s first day of racing.

“The key for us was getting better starts,” Healy said of his crew’s day two success. “We had clean starts and were able to use our boatspeed to get to the front of the pack. The first day our starts weren’t too good, so that was the big difference.”

Team USA 2 had one fifth and two first-place finishes on Saturday. The crew hasn’t sailed together before, so it’s also been important for them to gel and improve communication.

“I can tell that the sail trim and all the little fine-tuning is happening quicker and more effectively now,” Healy said. “Boatspeed comes and tactics get better when the communication is better. So all of it came together today.”

Looking ahead to the final day, Healy said his goal is to keep improving, especially on starts and speed. “That’s the key,” he said, “just keep working and learning and getting better.”

J/24 woman skipper looks for windDay 3- Sunday
Though early morning winds appeared promising, the breeze disappeared and never returned for the final day.

As the winner of the largest, most competitive class in the regatta, J/70 skipper Jud Smith and his crew on Africa earned the coveted Overall Winner prize. In addition to new gear from Helly Hansen, the Swampscott, MA, native and his teammates earned a berth in the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship regatta, hosted by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in October.

The team won by a considerable 14-point lead, but success didn’t come without its challenges. Their big focus this weekend was to start well and consistently – and when that didn’t happen, they had to rely on good communication and teamwork to pull them through.

One particularly bad start on Saturday saw team Africa behind the majority of the 57-boat fleet, but the crew was able to battle back to the weather mark and finish in 13th place.

“In a tough situation, we just kept going and we got to the weather mark in the top 15,” Smith said. “To me, it was the race we sailed the best, because those are the hard races. The easy races are the ones where you have a good start and you get clear and it’s pretty straightforward. The hard races are the ones where you have to overcome adversity, and I thought our team did a really good job.”

Smith has been sailing with Marc Gauthier (bow) and Will Felder (trim) for years; in fact, they won J/70 North Americans together in 2015. But tactician Lucas Calabrese — a 2012 Olympic sailing bronze medalist in the 470 class — is a recent addition to the team, and Smith said Calabrese has helped the crew step up its game.

“Now, everyone in the fleet is going close to the same speed and the top boats are sailing really well, so it all comes down to the team dynamic in the end,” he said. “I thought our team did really well.”

J/70s sailing off MarbleheadTeam Africa also won the 2018 J/70 New England Championship this weekend, which had greater than usual significance for Smith and his crew. After taking the year off from driving in 2017 to sail with Peter Duncan’s team — and winning the J/70 World Championship in Italy along the way — Smith said he was “pretty rusty” when he returned to his boat in February. This win is a symbol of his progress.

“For me, it’s about getting back to the form I was in a few years ago,” he said. “And it was important for us as a team to get to work together better, feel confident about what we’re doing and trust each other.”

As an added layer of importance, the regatta was also the J/70 sailors’ opportunity to familiarize them with the venue for the World Championship, which will be held in Marblehead this September. Smith said there was one key element they learned, “there’s more current out there than we were all aware of. People might get the impression that we have some sort of local advantage, but we were just sailing well. That current we were encountering was new to us, too. I’ve never sailed in that section of the water before.”

Behind Smith’s AFRICA and Healy’s USA 2, it was another J/70 World Champion that took third place- Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT from Lake Minnetonka, MN. Rounding out the top five were Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY in 4th (current J/70 World Champion) and Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE from Long Island Sound.

To appreciate the relative “fire power” and depth of talent that some J/70 teams bring to the table in a simple little regatta like the Marblehead NOOD, here are the notable combinations of skippers & pro-sailors on the top teams (note- never in the world of sailing has such an extraordinary amount of sailing talent been amassed in one place and in one class!):

  • 1st- AFRICA- Jud Smith- 3x Etchells 22 World Champion, 2017 J/70 World Champion strategist/ Lucas Calabrese- Olympics 470 Bronze Medallist for Argentina
  • 2nd- Tim Healy’s USA 2- first J/70 World Champion, 3x J/70 Midwinter Champion, 2x J/24 World Champion/ John Mollicone- J/24 Midwinter Champion, Brown University Coach
  • 3rd- Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT- J/70 World Champion, Melges 32 World Champion/ John Kostecki- J/24 World Champion/ Offshore World Champion, America’s Cup Champion
  • 4th- Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY- J/70 World Champion/ Willem van Waay and Victor Diaz de Leon- 2x J/70 World Champion crew
  • 6th- Glenn Darden’s HOSS- J/105 North American Champion, J/80 North American & J/80 World Champion/ Jonathan McKee- Olympic Gold Medallist
  • 7th- Brian Keane’s SAVASANA- 3x College All-American & J/80 North American Champion/ Thomas Barrows was College Sailor of the Year at Yale.
  • 9th- Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS- Etchells 22 World Champion/ J/24 North American Champion
  • 10th- Martie Kullman’s HYDRA- J/22 World Champion
  • 11th- John Brim’s RIMETTE- multiple-trophy winning owner offshore- Farr 60 RIMA/ Taylor Canfield- 3x World Match Racing Champion/ Congressional Cup Champion
  • 12th- Will Welles’ SCAMP- J/24 World Champion/ J/24 North American Champion
  • 13th- Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE- J/70 Midwinter Series Champion/ Charlie McKee- World Champion/ Olympic Coach
  • 15th- Martin Dent’s UK-based JELVIS- J/111 World Champion/ Ruairidh Scott- J/70 UK Champion
  • 17th- Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT- 2x College All-American/ Bill Hardesty- Etchells-22 2x World Champion & J/70 World Champion tactician/ Allen Terhune- J/22 World Champion.

J/70 Jud Smith interviewALL of these teams are sailing the J/70 World Championship.  Then, consider what the European teams are bringing to the table- a few guys with more World Championship credentials on their C.V.’s; such as Paul Goodison (British Olympic Gold Medallist in Lasers and 2x Moth World Champion, Laser World Champion, Melges 32 World Champion- tactician) and Cameron Appleton (Kiwi tactician winning 3x Farr 30 Worlds and 2x Melges 32 Worlds), just to name only a few.  Watch interview of Jud Smith from AFRICA here.

J/70 Jenn Wulff interviewIn the J/70 Corinthians Division, it was yet another win for Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY from Annapolis, MD.  Second was Stein Skaane’s SHRED, a local boat from Marblehead.  And, third was another local team- Daan Goedkoop’s LOCOMOTION.  Watch interview of Jen & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY here.

In the J/105 class, Charlie Garrard’s MERLIN ultimately took the class after posting a 1-2 in the last two races.  Second was Mark Lindquist’s STERLING and third Jon Samel’s BLOWN AWAY.

The J/24s saw a “foreigner” win the event over the local hotshots.  Winning the event on a tie-breaker at 13 pts each was the appropriately-named HIJACK, skippered by Fred Deom from Montreal, Quebec.  Second on the count-back was Chris Clancy’s LITTLE MARTHA and third was Martin Gallagher’s SHIFTY.  Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images  For more Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/105 winners- MANDATE and GRYPHONMANDATE Dominates J/105 North Americans
(Harbor Springs, MI)- It was not the “Thrilla from Manila”, nor was it the “The Rumble from the Jungle”, as many had anticipated for the clash between two North American Champions, heavyweights in their hyper-tuned, hyper-faired, super-boats.  The betting was flying thick and strong between the Americans (Bruce Stone’s GRYPHON) and the Canadians (the McLaughlin/ Wilmer duo on MANDATE). However, the knock-down, drag’em’out fight never materialized.  It was simply a lopsided win all around, nearly a “white-wash” of the fleet.

After posting four-straight bullets in the first four races, the regatta was over according to MANDATE. Many teams were shell-shocked, psychologically decimated, people were seen walking around like zombies, mumbling tuning numbers in their nightmares.

J/105 Combined WinnersIn the end, Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer’s MANDATE, from the Royal Canadian YC in Toronto, Ontario, went wire-to-wire to earn their unprecedented third J/105 North American Championship title in five years. Their team, including Sandy Andrews, Fraser Howell, Ian Howes and Andrew McTavish, won seven of the 11 races and never finished out of the top three. Their 16 points in the no-throw-out series were nine better than Bruce Stone’s GRYPHON crew (St Francis YC in San Francisco, CA and from Harbor Springs, MI) that tallied 25 points. Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO crew from Lakewood YC in Houston, TX took third place with 31 points. All three teams reigned over the top three in nearly every race of the four-day Championship, hosted by Little Traverse Yacht Club in Harbor Springs, MI.

Congratulations to Clark Pellett’s SEALARK that won the combined award for the highest finish in the J/105 Cass in the Chicago Mackinac Race and the J/105 North American Championship.

Rounding out the top five overall were Jon Weglarz’ THE ASYLUM and Cynthia & Jim Best’s PHANTOM, fourth and fifth, respectively.  For more J/105 North American Championship sailing information

J/35s sailing offshoreMR BILL’s WILD RIDE Indeed! The J/35 N.A. Champion!
(Cheboygan, MI)- What a year it has been for Bill Wildner.  After re-uniting with his soul in New Zealand, hiking the mountains and fjords of the spectacular South Island to connect with his inner-consciousness, he returns enlightened, to sunny, quaint Detroit and proceeds to sail “lights out” against his many friends in the J/35 class on the Great Lakes.  Not that he hasn’t done it before, but the complete white-washing of the J/35 North Americans will surely stand out in many people’s memories for years to come in the thirteen-boat fleet that experienced a “master-class” in how to win a regatta.

Starting off with two bullets, Bill Wildner’s crew on MR BILL’s WILD RIDE posted a 4th in their third race and damn near had a cardiac arrest. Fourth? OMG. Heresy. So, duly awakened to their potential mortality, Mr Bill and crew simply smoked the fleet and never looked back, posting six straight bullets to simply dominate the 2018 edition of the J/35 North Americans.  They might as well have been walking on water by the end and declared “peace & love” for all.

The North Star Sail Club in Cheboygan, MI was the host for the event on the beautiful northeast shores of Michigan on the verdant green waters of Lake Huron.  Aside from the Wild Riders, the battle for the balance of the podium went down to the last three races. Sitting in second, based on a discard race, Mike Sabinash’s crew on SABOTAGE just had to avoid another deep race to stay in the silver. However, their first race DNF was going to come back and haunt them.  Bill Vogan’s crew on MAJOR DETAIL knew those numbers and their worst race was a 5th going into the last three races.  As a result, a few well-planted tacks pushed their competitor down the ladder, never to recover from them.  Vogan’s MAJOR DETAIL closed with a 2-2-2 to take the silver over Sabinash’s SABOTAGE that closed with a 4-7-4.  Rounding out the top five were Dave Timmer’s HAT TRICK in 4th, just two points ahead of Cheryl Miller’s DEAN’s LIST in 5th place.

J/35 designer, Rod Johnstone, attended the event this year and had an opportunity to sail with BLACKHAWK.  Here are Rod’s comments,

“I have always had a great time whenever I have gone to Michigan. It is because the people there are so welcoming and so much fun, but, also because my visits there have always had something to do with sailing and sailboat racing.

The North Shore Sail Club hosted the event by moving their home base far North from Lake St. Clair near Detroit to Cheboygan, the juncture between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan- an ideal venue for the event. What a great job the NSSC did hosting about 150 sailors, race committee, and families so far from home and running nine races in three days. Hats off to Event Director Dean Fitzpatrick, the race committee and jury for excellent race management. Also his shoreside team for dinners and all evening gatherings that everyone attended at an F.O.E. Hall next to our motel which seemed to be taken over by J/35 sailors for the weekend. The boats all stayed in the same marina on the Cheboygan River a short walking distance away.  Local Cheboygan residents were genuinely glad to welcome J/35 sailors, and would go out of their way to say so. And many thanks to Fran DiPietro for organizing my ride on his seaplane from Traverse City Airport to Cheboygan and back.

My special thanks go to Amy and Tim Ross for having me aboard their BLACKHAWK for Saturday’s racing.  What a kick that was trimming the main sheet for four races with such a jolly crew consisting of Kara Askew, Mark Esch-Williams, Morgan Frakes, Shawn Hughes, Susan Mort, Jenny Robinson. We were no match for the almost flawless team of Bill Wildner and Mr. Bill’s Wild Ride, and the top six teams who had close finishes in almost every race. But, it was fun to race on a boat where everyone was so positive and functioned well as a team.

The Great Lakes J/35 sailors at this event showed a strong community spirit that bodes well for the J/35 Class in the future. It made me even more glad that I am going soon to Nova Scotia to race, once again, with my old J/35 buddies on J’ai Tu at Chester Race Week in Nova Scotia in August.”   Sailing photo credits- Santa Fabio  For more J/35 North American Championship sailing information

J/125 Timeshaver sailing offshoreFast Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race
(Santa Barbara, CA)- The prognosis for this year’s Santa Barbara to King Harbor race, hosted by Santa Barbara YC & King Harbor YC, was full of gloom and doom.  NOAA’s weather forecasts were for no wind all day, holes everywhere, but maybe filling in from the south late in the day.  However, as usual, the NOAA models were somehow 100% wrong, again.  The race became a near textbook scenario, a slow build in the morning for sure, but by the time the big boats were rounding Anacapa Island 32nm downstream, the winds were in the northwest 17-19 kts range and by the time the fleet leaders made it across the 10nm dash to Point Dume on the Malibu shoreline, gusts were over 20 kts.  Most fleet leaders then gybed onto starboard tack and headed straight for King Harbor, playing the windshifts towards the end of 45nm section.

J/125 Warrior sailing off Santa BarbaraFor the fastest J’s on the track, the twin J/125s in ULDB C Division, it was a duel to the finish.  Dr Laura Schlessinger’s WARRIOR led at the first turning mark- Anacapa Island- turned left and raced to Point Dume planing most of the way.  Then, gybed onto starboard off that point and led into the late evening hours going into King Harbor. However, after a few gybes, the wind getting lighter, Viggo Torbensen’s well-oiled offshore machine- TIMESHAVER- executed a few slick moves, faster sail changes, and rolled over Dr Laura’s WARRIOR right near the end. WARRIOR had changed to a Code Zero in the lighter going, but could not change back to the A2 asym fast enough.  As a result, TIMESHAVER crossed the line just 2min 12sec ahead of WARRIOR, taking 2nd and 3rd in class, respectively.  On a PHRF Overall basis, it was so close that TIMESHAVER took 2nd Overall while WARRIOR was 5th Overall.

In the ULDB D Class, Bernie Girod’s J/111 ROCK & ROLL was 2nd (slipping into 4th overall between the J/125s), Kenny Kieding & John Vincent’s J/111 ARGO 3 was third (14th overall), Seth Hall’s J/124 MARISOL was 4th, and Doug & Jack Jorgensen’s J/111 PICOSA was 5th.

The ULDB E Class saw Dan Murphy’s J/105 CUCHULAINN take 5th place, while Doug Stelck’s J/100 JIB & TONIC was 7th.

PHRF A Class had Scott Torrance’s J/124 FORGIVENESS hold on to 5th and Tom & Terri Manok’s POLE DANCER was sixth. PHRF B Class saw Jack Mayer’s J/109 ZEPHYR take 5th in class.  Finally, in PHRF C Class, Fred & Suzanne Cottrell’s J/33 TIGGER take 2nd, Chuck Spear’s J/105 TWELVE BAR BLUES was 5th place, and Tom Hinkle’s J/40 WHITE LIGHT was 6th.  For more Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race sailing information

J/70s sailing Bank Santander Winter Series- ChileWINDMADE Leads Santander Bank J/70 Winter Series
(Algarrobo, Chile)- This past weekend (July 28-29), Juan Reid and crew onboard J/70 #1 WINDMADE, won the first weekend of the Santander Bank Chilean J/70 Winter Series that is being held in Algarrobo Bay.

With great winter conditions- sunny days, 16 degrees Celsius, 8-12 kts and flat seas- nine boats sacrificed a couple of ski days and got together in Algarrobo for a weekend of sailing. Also, due to the temperature and the wind direction, it was much tighter racing than normal, as the favored lefty wind shifts on the left side of the course