It was a busy week Down Under off Melbourne, Australia. The largest regatta in the Southern Hemisphere was sailed off Geelong, Australia, a “suburb” west of Melbourne along the southern coastline. Throngs of party-goers, sailors, a J/121, the Australian J/111 Championship, and a gaggle of J/24s were all participating at the same time in the famous Festival of Sails.
Up in the cooler northern hemisphere, several dozen Russian J/70 sailors were making a go of it in Sochi, Russia, sailing in the eastern parts of the Black Sea at that famous summer/ winter resort. Four Russian J/70 Sailing League regattas have taken place so far with thirteen teams from across the vast expanse of their country. Over in Italy, the Roman J/24 fleet sailed the next stages of their Lozzi Trophy and Winter Series off Anzio on the sunny Mediterranean.
Hopping over to the Americas, the J/Fest St Petersburg Regatta marked the occasion for the J/88 and J/111 Midwinters, hosted by St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, Florida. Out West, the Singlehanded Sailing Society of San Francisco Bay hosted the infamous Three Bridge Fiasco Race for a crowd of 300+ boat; it was gorgeous, warm, reasonably quick and, as usual, had a few fiascos and a near disaster with a whale.
Finally, check out 2019 J/24 Worlds opportunities for slots for Women’s Teams and Under-25 Teams from any member J/24 National authority worldwide. The regatta is being held in September on Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida. Check out the information below.
Grenada Sailing Week Preview
(St Georges, Grenada)- From January 27th to February 1st, Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina and Secret Harbour Marina are continuing their loyal support as host venues for the 2019 edition of the Grenada Sailing Week.
The regatta kicks off at Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina, one of the most prestigious names in the marine industry. Marina manager Charlotte Bonin says, “Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina is delighted to be hosting the Grenada Sailing Week again in 2019.”
Racers will be welcomed for the first two days of racing and parties. Port Louis is a luxury super-yacht marina located in the beautiful lagoon just outside St. George’s, Grenada’s capital, and overlooking the colorful waterfront of the Carenage. With 160 berths for yachts up to 300 feet, they provide the perfect base from which to race in the protected waters off Grand Anse beach and the beautiful Caribbean Sea. The marina includes The Victory Bar and Restaurant and Yolo Sushi and Wine Bar, a swimming pool, as well as nearby chandlers, provisioning and all the amenities the capital of Grenada has to offer.
The transition race on the afternoon of Tuesday 29 January moves the fleet to Secret Harbour Marina in Mount Hartman Bay. The manager Catherine Delcroix says, “Come and enjoy the Secret, experience the breath-taking views and discover the hidden gem of Grenada. Secret Harbour Marina, Boutique Hotel and Restaurant is proud to host the mid- races and the grand finale of this fantastic Grenada Sailing Week edition 2019.” Secret Harbour Marina have 50 berths, they offer a quiet and secure bay away from the hustle and bustle of town but within easy reach to nearby Grand Anse and its beautiful beaches. Sel & Poivre Restaurant elegantly overlooks the waterfront. The marina will be hosting the lay day, the last two days of racing, the final prize giving parties.
Grenada Sailing week is excited to announce their support of the first youth sailing team to join the J/24 class. The Grenada Sailing Association National Youth Sailing Team is a new team made up of 16 to 20 year old’s. Prior to this, they sailed on Optimists and Lasers at the various sailing clubs around the island (Gouyave Sailing Club and Woburn Wind Warriors). This is a huge step for them to progress into J/24 sailing, helping to bridge the gap between dinghy and keelboat sailing. This program is supported by Grenada Sailing Association, Caribbean Sailing Association, Grenada Tourism Authority and Glenelg Spring Water. The team is coached by Robbie Yearwood of the J/24 Team DIEHARD and another J/24 owner- Kevin Banfield- the GSA Olympic & World Sailing trained coach.
Participating offshore teams in the event include two in CSA Racing Division; Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Jolly Harbour, Antigua and Jonathan Totten’s J/105 DOGSMILE from Black River Falls, Wisconsin.
Then, in the half-dozen boats in the J/24 class are Fred Sweeney’s ATTITUDE from St Lucia, Robbie Yearwood’s DIE HARD from Grenada, Gus Reader’s FADEAWAY from Barbuda, Rick Amerling’s FRIGATE from New York, Stephen Bushe’s HAWKEYE from Trinidad, and James Benoit’s SHAKIN OBTW from Grenada. Follow Grenada Sailing Week on Facebook here For more Grenada Sailing Week sailing information
J/80 World Championship Announcement
(Bilbao, Spain)- The Real Club Marítimo del Abra-Real Sporting Club, organizer of the J/80 World Championships that will be held from the 13th to 20th July 2019, has recently announced the launch of the championship official website.
The website, which has a Spanish, Basque, English and French version, includes in-depth information about the Championship and allows users to register for the championship through its online virtual office.
The site also provides other information of interest to those who will be coming to the Club for the event; including how to get there, the location of the Club, accommodation in the area, local transport services, and the wide range of leisure activities that both Getxo and nearby Bilbao have to offer. For more 2019 J/80 World Championship sailing information
J/Models For Awards, Home/ Office!
(Annapolis, MD)- For years, the Abordage.com family has produced amazing half-hull and full-hull models of J/Boats down in the Dominican Republic for J/enthusiasts around the world.
Despite several extraordinarily destructive Caribbean hurricanes, the family-owned business has endured, and they continue to maintain their amazing high-levels of craftsmanship.
Abordage.com clients include America’s Cup sponsors like ORACLE and dozens of J/Boat owners everywhere around the world. Here are a few recent examples for J/owners and J/regattas.
For more information, please contact Denis Cartier at Email- firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: +1-809-528-1992 ext: 503 / Web: http://www.abordage.com
Feb 7-10- J/70 Monaco Winter Series IV/ Primo Cup- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Feb 9-10- Davis Island J/70 Series III- Tampa, FL
Feb 15-17- Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 21-24- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
Mar 7-10- J/105 Midwinter Championship- Fort Worth, TX
Mar 12-16- Miami to Havana Race- Havana, Cuba
Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-24- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29-31- BVI Spring Regatta- Roadtown, Tortola, BVI
Mar 30- Apr 5- J/24 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 28- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.
Windy J/Fest St Petersburg
J/88 WING Soars, J/111 SPACEMAN SPIFF Zooms to Class Wins
(St Petersburg, FL)- The third weekend of January saw the annual J/Fest St Petersburg Regatta, hosted by the St Petersburg YC in Florida, take place from January 25th to 27th. It was the Midwinter Championship for both the J/88s and J/111s racing on Tampa Bay. The fleet was blessed with two great days of sailing on Friday and Saturday, with consistent winds of 8-15 kts ranging from N-NE; the StPYC PRO and RC team managed to run four races each day for a total of eight races for both classes. Sunday’s racing was canceled due to a massive frontal system rolling off the Gulf of Mexico with low visibility, incessant rain, big breeze, and quite cold (by Florida standards) temperatures- 48-51 F all day.
The northerly winds in St. Petersburg are essentially offshore near the city front, making for very shifty, streaky breezes that challenged the tacticians. It was not unusual for teams to round the weather mark in first, and then drop a few places by the leeward gate. Conversely, sometime 1-2 boats would hit opposite corners on the second windward leg and leap from last at the gate to being leaders at the final top mark! As close-winded as the 88’s and 111’s can be in flat water, tacking through 76 to 80 degrees, a 5-degree shift and 1-2 kts in velocity would translate into big gains (or losses) with boats around you.
Six J/88s escaped the Polar Vortex to compete in the J/88 Midwinter Championship, a part of J/Fest hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. Mike Bruno’s WINGS from Armonk, NY tallied 9 net points in 8 races after counting only firsts and seconds (dropping a fifth in race four) to take the 88 Midwinters by a very comfortable margin. With team Mike Booker, Stu Johnstone, Chris Morgan, Tim Randall and Stephen Yip, WINGS secured five bullets and relished the breezy conditions on Friday and Saturday, when four races per day were completed. Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION took second place with 19 points, including two first-place finishes on day one. William Purdy’s WHIRLWIND tied DEVIATION on points, but lost the tie-breaker and had to settle for the bronze position.
Rounding out the top five were Dave Tufts’ GAUCHO in fourth place and Andy Graff’s EXILE from Chicago, IL in fifth position.
After eight races, only two points separated the four boats competing for the J/111 Midwinter Championship! By way of a bullet in Saturday’s last (and ultimately final) battle, Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF eked out the title with crew Dustin Graef, Jeff Haase, Marty Kullman, Doug Moose, Abigail Ruhlman, Ryan Ruhlman and Jim Sminchak.
Ending with 15 net points, SPACEMAN SPIFF flipped positions throughout the Championship with Ian Hill’s SITELLA (who placed second with 16 points) to take the 2019 Midwinters title. Then, Andrew & Sedgwick Ward’s team on BRAVO tied with SITELLA on 16 pts, but lost the tie-breaker to take third. The “hard luck” award likely goes to Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK, going into the last race winning, leading a good part of the last race, then watching SPIFF and BRAVO catch a shift to sweep past them to take 1st and 2nd in the last race to jumble the standings yet again! Racing was so tight, that, literally, all four boats were leading the regatta at some point, and all four boats won races (SITELLA- three 1sts, SPIFF/ SHAMROCK- two 1sts each, and BRAVO- one 1st). For more J/FEST St Petersburg Regatta sailing information
J/121 Wins @ Festival of Sails!
JOUST Tops Australian J/111 Champs
(Geelong, Vic, Australia)- As many as 200,000 people are believed to have enjoyed the festivities of the Geelong Waterfront this past weekend as the city played host to two major events – the historic Festival of Sails and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
The Festival of Sails is the largest annual keelboat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere with over 300 yacht entries and 3,000 competitors annually taking part in the event. First held in 1844, the Festival of Sails Regatta (held over the Australia Day Long Weekend) is one of the nation’s oldest sporting events, and has evolved over many years culminating in its current format as Australia’s foremost keelboat regatta.
Festival of Sails Chairman Stuart Dickson said beautiful weather, exciting racing on Corio Bay and Port Phillip Bay and a smorgasbord of entertainment combined for a terrific event. He explained, “this weekend, the Royal Geelong Yacht Club welcomed hundreds of boats and thousands of sailors, including participants from overseas and every state and territory, to our city. This is fantastic for the event and for Geelong.”
JOUST Tops Australian J/111 Nationals
The Festival of Sails concurrently hosted the 2019 J/111 Australian Nationals, sailing in gorgeous Corio Bay. From the very beginning, Rod Warren’s very talented team aboard JOUST threw down the gauntlet by winning the first race. They never looked back, winning four more races over the three days and having to toss a 2nd place to win with a perfect score of 5 pts in 5 races!
Meanwhile, there was a real battle for the balance of the podium with everything going down to the wire on the last day for the two contenders- Phil Simpfendorfer’s VELOCE and Rob Date’s SCARLET RUNNER. After the dust cleared from the battlefield, it was evident Team VELOCE’s crew were up to the task, posting a 3-2-4-2-1-4 for 12 pts net to take the silver. Rounding out the podium to take the bronze was SCARLET RUNNER with a 2-3-2-5-5-3 tally for 15 pts net.
J/121 Wins AMS Cruising Division
Meanwhile, sailing in the offshore, random-leg, AMS Cruising Division was the new J/121 JAVELIN. The crew has been on a roll since winning the ORCV 2018 Winter Series. Skipper/ owner Mark Nicholson and team took on many of Australia’s best offshore teams, sailing the biggest and most competitive division in the entire Geelong Festival of Sails. Starting off with a 6th place on the first day, JAVELIN took off on their fleet, posting a 2-4-1 to finish with 13 pts and convincingly win their division six points clear of the next boat- a pro’d up Soto 30! Here is their report.
For the J/121 JAVELIN, the event kicked off with a 32nm passage race from St Kilda in Melbourne, across Port Philip Bay to Geelong. Two start lines of 230+ boats set off at 9.30am in light 4-5 knot southeast winds. J/121 JAVELIN was in the first start of 100+ yachts of all shapes and sizes, including 32 yachts in the AMS 1 division. This division featured yachts from a Soto 30, through a Caprice 40 (2nd in its IRC division in the recent Sydney/Hobart) all the way up to a Reichel Pugh 63 (3rd IRC overall in the Sydney/Hobart).
J/121 JAVELIN was buried on the start but set to the task of reeling in the competition, with the strategy to keep slightly left of the course to take advantage of a forecast wind shift. JAVELIN flew their Code Zero most of the way (albeit it was hoisted and dropped half a dozen times along the way!). The last stretch passed through the tight shipping channel with the wind peaking at 16 knots, and JAVELIN sailing on a close reach. Their strategy worked and they finished 6th in their division in the passage race. Plenty of celebratory drinks accompanied the Australia Day fireworks display held at the Regatta Village.
3 further races were held over days 2 and 3, with 2 of those races having to race back through the shipping channel to open waters. This made for some spectacularly close racing where water rights dominated sailing rights. The fleet of 70+ yachts (up to 65 footers and including some big cats) worked together to get through relatively unscathed (though a few boats ventured a few metres outside the channel and ran aground). JAVELIN successfully tried a wing-on-wing strategy for a short while with the A2, managing to both gain clear air and separation from competitors. Conditions were pleasant once past the channel with flat water and breeze ranging 12-14 knots. JAVELIN finished 2nd in race 2.
A twilight race was also held to take advantage of the stronger afternoon breeze, building to mid-20’s, though quite shifty. After a general recall, JAVELIN had a clean (and conservative) start, and powered over 10-12 yachts on a tight 2 sail reach. The A3 kite was hoisted at the top mark for what looked to be a beam reach. However, the wind shifted just after the hoist and the A2 would have been a better choice. JAVELIN maintained their position finishing 4th in Race 3.
Going into the final day of racing, JAVELIN was in the lead position, with only a few points separating the first six yachts. She sailed a clean covering race in perfect sailing conditions- sunny, flat waters and 12-14 knot breeze. The results came in and JAVELIN finished 1st in Race 4 and, therefore was declared the overall winner in her AMS 1 class!
J/24s Love Corio Bay Sailing
The Passage & Twilight Series was sailed under the EHC handicap rule. A gaggle of J/24s enjoyed tight racing with each other, with just 2.5 pts separating them in the final tally. Top J/24s, sitting in 4th handicap was Simon Grain’s JET. Just behind them in 5th was Miles Hurrell’s SCRUMPY, and only a half point back was Pauliina Mattila’s BRUSCHETTA VI.
Like their sisterships, Jeff Harris’ J/24 FUN enjoyed the Corio Bay series, taking a 4th for their weekend of fun-loving experiences on sunny Geelong Bay.
Watch the highlights video, including several interviews of the J/111 Class owners. Sailing photo credits- Salty Dingo/ Melbourne, Australia Follow the Festival of Sails on Facebook here For more Festival of Sails sailing information
J/Sailors Love Three Bridge Fiasco
(San Francisco, CA)- The 2019 edition of the infamous Three Bridge Fiasco will go down in the history books as one of the nicest and most benign races in recent memory- sunny skies, gentle northeast winds of 4 to 12 kts, warm 72 F temps! With the event taking place in January on San Francisco Bay, anything can happen in the middle of winter with massive storms piling into the Pacific coast from the Gulf of Alaska, dumping rain and chilly temperatures on the competitors, blowing a gale. Or, it can be lightish northerlies/ easterlies with chilly winds, a constant mist and rain, and 100% cloud cover.
The Singlehanded Sailing Society welcomed a fleet of 334 boats that were entered as singlehanded or doublehanded teams, most were sailing doublehanded. It is believed the race, a 21.0nm dash around three “marks”, is considered the largest shorthanded sailing event in the world.
The race track couldn’t be more picturesque or unique. Starting off Golden Gate YC on the south shore of the Bay (next to St Francis YC), the sailors can choose which direction to go- clockwise or counter-clockwise. The marks are Blackaller Buoy near the south pylon of the Golden Gate Bridge at the westward opening of the Bay, around Red Rock Island near the Richmond/ San Rafael Bridge in north Bay, and around the Bay Bridge by rounding Treasure & Yerba Buena Islands. Since the race is a reverse start (pursuit) race, the start time for each boat is based on its PHRF rating, with slowest boats starting first at 0900 hrs and the fastest at -102 starting 2 hours later!
Eighty-eight J/Crews participated in this year’s race (26.0% of the total fleet!), a record number of J/sailors! They sailed in one-design classes (J/22, J/24, J/70, J/105, J/120) and in PHRF handicap divisions. A LOT of pickle dishes (silverware) were collected by these intrepid adventurers!
In the seven-boat J/22 class, it was the famous J/105 racing couple that took one-design honors- Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault sailing TOM ALLEN; crossing at 15:01:23. Second was Owen Lahr and Connell Phillipps’ YANG at 15:07:08 and third place went to David James and Roy Haslup’s FRITZ JEWETT at 15:12:39.
The eight-boat J/24 class saw a decisive leader in their class, with Deke Klatt and Claudia Gottstein’s JADED crossing the line at 14:21:41, a solid 45 minutes ahead of the next J/24! Taking the silver was Val Lulevich and Alex Schultink’s infamous SHUT UP AND DRIVE crossing at 15:04:03, followed in third by Randy Rasicot and Mays Dickey’s FLIGHT getting home at 15:09:35.
The five-boat J/70 class saw a runaway winner, with Peter and Drake Cameron’s PRIME NUMBER taking class honors crossing at 14:12:39, nearly an hour ahead of the next boat. Davis King and David Sharp/s ALLONS-Y was second home at 15:06:43 and crossing third in a near dead-heat at 15:06:51 was David Fried and Paul Schroeder’s SON OF A SON.
There was an enormous turnout for the J/105s, with eighteen boats showing up on the starting line headed every which way! The winner, again, went to a CCW team. Will and Jayden Benedict’s ADVANTAGE 3 easily won, crossing at 13:47:58. Chasing them hard on the CCW option was Chris Kim and Carl Plant’s VUJA STAR, finishing just under five minutes behind at 13:52:29. First CW team was Morgan and Jordan Paxhia’s STILL PINCHIN with a finish time of 14:12:59- a 20-minute delta to the CCW boats! Read about the whale of a tale collision with Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION below.
The big boys sailing in the six-boat J/120 class saw one boat dominate by nearly an hour over their not-so-lucky classmates. Steve Madeira and Jeff Lawson sailed the big green MR MAGOO over the horizon, finishing at 14:16:15 off GGYC. Second home at 15:02:42 was Timo Bruck and Rich Hudnut’s TWIST and third on the podium was Tom Grennan and Herb Kleekamp’s KOOKABURRA crossing the line at 15:06:37.
Class 2- Singlehanded Spin PHRF 108 and Under class- was won in convincing fashion by Jim Hopp’s J/88 WHITE SHADOW, finishing at 14:36:41, 23 minutes ahead of the next boat in class!
Class 6- Doublehanded Non-Spin PHRF class- saw two J/Duos do well. Taking the silver was William Mohr and Mark Townsend’s J/124 SPIRIT OF FREEDOM, crossing at 14:49:19. Meanwhile, Steve and Eli Gordon’s J/88 INCONCEIVABLE placed sixth, finishing at 15:05:47.
Class 8- Doublehanded Spin PHRF 111-159 class- saw Gregg Wrisley and Craig Collins’ J/80 PK take fifth place, crossing at 14:50:04.
Class 20- Doublehanded SF Bay 30 class- was nearly swept by J/Sailors. Winning was Alex Huang and Jeff Bruton’s J/29 L20, crossing at 13:55:59. Second was Luther Izmirian and Ken Brown’s J/32 PARADIGM finishing at 14:58:29 and then fourth was John Riley and Larry Weinhoff’s J/32 LA DOLCE VITA crossing at 15:05:55.
Class 21- Singlehanded Spin class- saw Ralph Morganstern’s J/30 GEODESIC take fourth place, finishing at 15:46:35.
A Clockwise Perspective- from Robert Johnston
“After studying the wind forecast and currents, several of us singlehanders planned to go CCW (partly to avoid traffic).
But, on my way to the course and right up until my approach to the start, I kept looking over towards Treasure Island/ Yerba Buena Island and it looked very light. I also observed the majority of the Moore 24’s and Express 27’s (where many of the best sailors are) going “clockwise” to Blackaller first, so that’s what I did. Of course, my friends, who went CCW, probably beat me- I know at least one that did, by a half-hour!
I got a good start and had a nice close reach down to Blackaller, finding a decent gap to get around the mark. Then, I made my second mistake. Lots of boats risked the remaining ebb and sailed towards the north tower of Golden Gate Bridge. Many had been swept out the Gate last year. But, it must have been flooding well at the north end.
I took a more conservative route and headed towards Angel Island. Going south of the island looked like light air, so I planned to tack across to the entrance to Raccoon Strait – the pressure looked good up the west side of Angel Island. This worked out well but I got caught in a huge hole near Pt. Stuart. I’d beaten the boats that sailed the farther distance, but then I had to watch most of them pass by while I was stuck in the wind hole. Once I got moving again, I had a decent sail through the Strait and up to Red Rock.
The NE wind was strange up there. Boats to the east were on starboard tack in good breeze, sailing high enough to round from the east side. The boats to the west were on port tack in lighter breeze. Trying to cross over to the east was disastrous – there was a transition zone in the middle (probably from the island’s wind shadow) that trapped many boats, including me. So I lost a few more boats before getting across into the better breeze and getting around. Then many of us got trapped again trying to get away from the island. It was also still ebbing up there, which wasn’t in the forecast. We’ve seen this in other years due to runoff.
I hoisted right away and enjoyed a tight spinnaker reach all the way down and around Treasure/ Yerba Buena Islands. The puffs put the boat on the edge and I actually dialed up once near SH Shoal light. The boat was pressed pretty hard just then, with the main a bit over-sheeted. I wanted to see where the edge was, and there was just enough breeze to find out.
Rounding Yerba Buena Island was tricky. Many boats took a wide lane to avoid its wind shadow but there was a narrow band of breeze up closer to the island. I saw a couple boats with spinnys still up, moving right on through. I followed them and passed a bunch of boats.
Then, the spinny came down and we all fought the flood as we tacked back up towards Pier 39. There were lots of boats doing this and frequent crossing issues. As a singlehander, I chose to duck several times when I could have pressed my rights- it just wasn’t worth all the angst, possible crash tacks, extra grinding etc. This is where the Three Bridge is getting old for me: Far too many double-handers who are better able to play that game.
Once around Pier 39, it was a fast close reach to the finish with the jib on a rail lead. I finished just after 1500.
Conclusion: We were racing sailboats on a sunny day, with breeze, in January, on San Francisco Bay! What’s not to like? I never put on a jacket. I finished the race and there were still quite a few boats behind me!!”
Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault- J/22 winners
“We had a reverse order start at Golden Gate YC in either direction. Nicole and I chartered a J/22 from St. Francis YC.
We decided that based on tide, we would go clockwise. We won our fleet. However, Will Benedict in his dad’s J/105 ADVANTAGE 3 went counter-clockwise and crushed; they finished way ahead of everyone!
Course length was 21 miles, winds were light, around 6-8 kts from the Northeast. We started late in the ebb tide, which then turned into a light flood tide, making it hard to get around Treasure Island. Some boats, like Scott Sellers in his J/70 1FA, reported losing 70 places there! We passed at least that many boats by cutting inside them along the southeast corner. But, then we lost around 20 of those as the big boats caught up and passed us. The winning move there for us on the J/22 was to get to the city front near the ferry building and short tack the docks in a substantial early ebb, hugging the shore all the way back to the finish line at Golden Gate YC.”
A Whale of a Tale
A pair of racers in the Bay Area’s popular Three Bridge Fiasco race were left rudderless after a collision with a whale in the middle of the San Francisco Bay on Saturday.
Adam Spiegel, a technology CFO in San Francisco, and his partner had been roughly an hour into the 334-boat race around the Bay’s three central bridges before the incident occurred. They’d rounded one the race’s marks up by Fort Point and were heading across Bay toward the Richmond-San Rafael bridge when JAM SESSION, their J/105 sailboat, abruptly came to a stop.
“All of a sudden it felt like we’d ran aground,” Spiegel told SFGATE.
A second or two later, Spiegel said, there was another thud, followed by another thud. Then, the pair heard a loud, cracking noise and what sounded like a splintering sound.
After that, a gray whale, which Spiegel estimated to be at least 25 feet long, surfaced next to them. Spiegel couldn’t see any blood in the water or damage to the whale, but they wondered if the whale was going to “come after” them like Moby Dick!
Then, they wondered if their boat was going to sink. They figured out they’d lost partial steerage and couldn’t get back safely on their own.
Spiegel and his partner contacted the dockmaster of the St. Francis Yacht Club, they came out in a powerboat to rescue the pair and tow them back safely.
The boat’s rudder was dislodged and the underside of the boat was scraped up by the whale, Spiegel said.
It’s still not clear what injuries the whale sustained. Ship collisions are a frequent cause of death for whales along the California coast. Here is the story on SFGate.com
Brandon Mercer- new J/24 sailor
“It was a first for the Three Bridge Fiasco for me! First time on WOOF. First time doublehanding a J/24 in a race. First time meeting the skipper. We clicked! Awesome stuff!
We finished fourth in our fleet! 22 nautical miles in 5 hours 43 minutes!
The crazy part? Like over 300 boats and you can start in any direction and round the bridges in any direction. Huge fleets sailing head on into one another, with just 1-2 people on boats to look at the traffic. Lots of fiberglass touching some years. This year less of a fiasco because we had solid wind and WOOF’s team planned a smart route taking into account tides by each hour.
Sailed from before dawn, finished at incredible time of 3:14 PM in the afternoon, and back at dock and buttoned up before sunset!” For more Three Bridge Fiasco sailing information
M*SAILING TEAM Leads Russian J/70 Winter Sailing League
(Sochi, Russia)- The 2019 Russian J/70 Winter Sailing League has been racing off Sochi, Russia (site of the 2014 Winter Olympics) with sailing taking place in the eastern parts of the Black Sea. A huge summer resort, Sochi has continued to grow as a base for lots of winter activities in the mountains north of the city. A fleet of a dozen J/70s are based at the Sochi Sailing Center, managed by FGBU “Yug Sport”, so that the thirteen teams from across the far reaches of Russia can compete on the water and sail a lot of waters in a short amount of time.
NSL Winter Series III
Ten teams took part in the third event from January 12th to 13th. The fleet was not blessed with good weather conditions. In fact, it was downright miserable. The yachtsmen were met with cold, torrential rain and just moderate winds. On the first day of racing, all sailing was canceled after just two races due to a lack of breeze. However, despite more rain on Sunday, there was more than enough breeze to hold up to six more races for each of the crews.
“The New Year threw us a monkey wrench,” joked the Chief Judge of the competition, Nikolai Yushkov. “But, in principle, everyone was happy. True, on the first day we barely managed to hold two races. Although it was pouring rain, the wind was only good for two races. But, it all worked out on the second day, when a very good wind was blowing- up to 30 knots in the bigger gusts! Well done to all the participants, they all coped with the challenges on Sunday. The only damages we could see may have been a few egos! There were no crashes, no protests, either. Amazing! The teams sailed well, it was wet and wild for them!”
The third stage of the NSL series was the most difficult so far of the three events. A number of boats suffered some severe broaches, but survived to tell the tale; most importantly, with no ripped spinnakers. Others managed to “submarine” up to the mast in the steep, choppy waves off the Sochi waterfront!
The crew of the M*SAILNG Team XO saw a new crew member for the regatta- Mikhail Poslamovsky. He took third place in the first stage of the series as part of the M*SAILING Team, but took on a new role for himself, this time as skipper. Despite the difficult weather conditions in which the regatta took place, he considered the experience a success; the results speak for themselves. In the last three races, his team had two 2nds a 3rd.
“I felt great, even comfortable! I would like to sail another couple of races in order to improve my result,” said Poslamovsky. “Our team has already improved, we feel that we are ready to go further. Compared to other big boats, the J/70 seems much better, much more comfortable. It is more maneuverable, it accelerates faster. It is much more interesting to race the J/70 than other racing yachts! In general, there is no comparison! We plan to continue to race in the Winter Series, then hopefully go to the Premier Division and win!”
The winner of the stage was again the “leading” crew from Rostov-on-Don, the M*SAILING Team. This was not surprising, considering their record of three 1st, three 2nds, and one 3rd for a total of only 12 pts in 7 races! According to the team members, their performance was a result of constant training.
“Before this stage, Andrei Malygin and I worked out here on the Laser,” said Alexey Borisov, the Captain/ Coach of the M*SAILNG Team. “We had a training program, we worked hard. And, we wanted to learn more about the winds in Sochi. Andrei has a good understanding of the wind, an understanding of how the boat goes and everything else. At the present stage, I have him focusing only on tactics, not just boat speed. The training we did gave us a lot experience. And, of course, for this regatta, we do not exclude an element of luck; it is always present in sailing. We are lucky again. We plan to continue to increase the pace; it is good to complete the NSL Winter Series and the J/70 Winter Series in Monaco. In general, we have ambitious plans. We want to work harder, we strive to win, and I think everything will work out.”
Second place in the January regatta went to the crew of WILD DIVISION, skippered by Alexander Bozhko, representing the Chechen Republic. The team, which debuted in the series at the last stage and took second place, again lost only to the winners of the regatta. This time, the crew was strengthened by the President of the Chechen Sailing Federation- Hasan Khadzhiev.
“This was not our first time on the J/70. Both myself and crew have trained on them. However, this was our first time in such crazy, cold, rainy, windy conditions,” said Khadzhiev. Laughing, he said, “I promised my crew sun and fun in Sochi and a nice warm beach with beautiful women! But, it turned out the opposite- cold, rain and no sand, no women anywhere! Hahaha. In general, it was a test of myself and the crew. We did a good job on the coordination of our team for our upcoming regattas in the National Sailing League.”
Khadzhiev continued to explain, “the Federation of Sailing Sports of the Chechen Republic has only existed since December 2016. Since that time, we have not just entered sailing, we have burst onto it! We have won prizes in both Russian and international competitions. When they announced our team for this Russian J/70 National Sailing League as “the team of the Chechen Republic”, people no longer have a panic in their eyes! Instead, they say, it’s amazing they came here to sail, and they look at us as genuine rivals on the race course! Of course, none of this would happen without the support of the President of our Chechen Republic- Ramzan Kadyrov. He has drawn attention to our sport, is promoting it in our republic, and helped us develop the sailing program. Now, our main task is to pay attention to sailing within the republic itself. Until we have children on the water, until we have our own sailing school, it’s difficult to talk about the future of the sailing federation. Nevertheless, we will grow sailing for everyone!”
The bronze medals were won by the crew of THREE 2 Sailing Team, skippered by Alexandra Peterson. Their team won the first stage of the NSL Winter Series, but unfortunately, missed the second. However, another successful performance in Sochi gives them a good chance to fight for the overall victory in the series.
NSL Winter Series IV
The fourth stage of the Russian J/70 Winter Series was, again, sailed in Sochi and hosted by FGBU “Yug Sport”. Thirteen teams attended the event.
For the first time in four stages, the crews did not have to freeze and soak in the rain. Optimism abounded across the fleet as a great breeze filled in for the first day of racing on Saturday. The sailing was so good, the organizers managed to hold eight races. The participants of the Winter Series also pinned great hopes on Sunday, but the weather again brought a surprise.
“On the second day, we decided to start the race earlier,” said Nikolai Yushkov, the main judge of the competition. “However, the start had to be postponed from 1030 hrs to almost 1200 hrs. The morning wind died. Then it went into a 360 and it was very, very difficult to catch at least some stretch of wind so that you could carry out a race. As a result, we miraculously managed to hold four races, and the fifth had to be canceled because it shifted and died again.”
In the fourth stage, the struggle for victory in the series reached a new level. Many teams decided to strengthen their line-ups and trained with special diligence- everyone wanted to beat the crew from Rostov-on-Don, the M*SAILING Team that was in the lead after three stages. And, the efforts actually bore fruit for some team. For example, the East-West team, which was eighth in the last regatta, dramatically improved its position this time, taking fifth place.
“For us, this was actually a great result,” commented Andrei Zuev of the EAST-WEST team. “To bypass such pre-eminent and famous teams- it’s great! It was possible to achieve success through training with an experienced and famous yachtsman- Konstantin Besputin. Before, we did a lot of things a little bit wrong. Kostya made fine-tuning a focus of our team. And, the results were fantastic. We got two 1sts in eight races- for us it’s just super! We will definitely improve further, train further. We hope that in the final we will not look bad.”
Changes occurred in the crew of MATRYOSHKA. For the first time, Leonid Tarasov acted as a helmsman. And, the team immediately took seventh place- beating many experienced teams.
“Wonderful training programs helped us,” said Leonid Tarasov. “But, of course, we still have to learn a lot more. The first time we race, we tanked and it sucked for us. Now, we were absolutely delighted with our improvements. The steering is cool. Of course, I want to continue skippering and learning how to go faster. It is good if we manage to keep the lineup that we had here, along with our coaches- Musikhin and Yuri Popov. I feel comfortable with them, they seem to be happy with me, too. The result is, of course, from a lot of hard work. And, I understand that I will try to improve our performance, somehow. Everything was very calm. Once there was a false start, but that race was canceled! Thank goodness. And so, for us, a wonderful stage! We loved Sochi- cool weather, much better than all three previous stages. We will participate in the following regattas and develop!”
To develop and train is what both Rostov crews are set up for. And the plans and ambitions of Rostovites are very serious; already they plan to take part in the Premier Division of the National Sailing League and win. The fact that these are not just words, but a specific task is indicated by the serious progress of the teams in the NSL Winter Series. The debutante of the last stage- the crew of the M*SAILING XO Team- has already managed to bypass ten strong teams in their second event to take the third place.
“We trained a lot and prepared for this stage. And, most importantly, we were mentally/ psychologically tuned,” said Mikhail Poslamovsky, the helmsman of M*SAILING XO. “It was mentally difficult, it is very hard to sail calmly and focused when rivals are near you, for me at least. I want to do more driving, to learn how to go fast, stay calm, and get ahead. But, in general, everything was very positive. I treat this as a workout, adjusting myself so as not to get upset. Well, it turns out to be happy sometimes. My team is on fire. We will further develop, train and achieve results. To more victories!”
The silver medals of the stage were won by the crew of BATTLESHIP I with Vladimir Lyubomirov on the steering wheel. Their tally of five 2nds and three 3rds was by far the most consistent of any team in the regatta. Only a disastrous Race 7 where they posted a 7th ruined their chances for the overall regatta win.
Winning only two races, but keeping very steady top three race results, were the ultimate winners for the third regatta in row- the M*SAILING Team from Rostov-on-Don.
“Probably, it is lady luck or dumb luck, that we manage to win everything,” commented skipper Andrei Malygin, laughing at himself. “We try to stay out of trouble and, hopefully, we try to win further. The next stage of the Winter Series will be missed because we are going to the J/70 races in Monaco- to participate in the famous Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse. In Sochi, there will be only one of our crew – M*SAILING Team XO.”
The absence of a three-time winner of the NSL Winter Series stages at the next regatta will give opponents a chance to close the gap on the leaders. Sailing photo credits- Elena Razin Russian J/70 Sailing League information Follow Russian J/70 Class here on Facebook Follow Russian Yachting Federation here on Facebook Follow the Russian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here
LA SUPERBA Leads Italian J/24 Winter Series
AMERICAN PASSAGE Leading the Lozzi Trophy
(Anzio & Nettuno, Rome, Italy)- With two beautiful days of sailing with moderate breezes, the Roman J/24 fleet enjoyed great racing on the Gulf of Anzio southwest of Rome. The fleet was sailing for the Lozzi Trophy on Saturday and the Anzio & Nettuno Winter Series on Sunday.
Shifty Saturday @ Lozzi Trophy
Saturday’s sailing was marked by partly cloudy skies, plenty of sun, and very shifty offshore winds for the ten-boat fleet. Three races were completed by the end of the day. Victories went to ITA 458 ENJOY 2 sailed by Luca Silvestri, ITA 487 AMERICAN PASSAGE skippered by Paolo Rinaldi and to ITA 36 FLETCHER LYN sailed by Stefano Renoglio.
As a result of Saturday’s racing, leading after six races in the overall Lozzi Trophy standings is AMERICAN PASSAGE with a 4-3-1-2-1-2 scoreline for 9 pts. The balance of the top three overall includes ENJOY 2 in second with scores of 3-2-2-1-2-4 for 10 pts and, in third place, is FLETCHER LYNN with a tally of 2-5-3-5-5-1 for 16 pts.
Pretty Sunday for Winter Series
The second day of sailing produced three more races for the twenty-one J/24s on the Gulf of Anzio. The day started off spectacularly, but menacing black clouds loomed on the horizon as the fleet, again, sailed in easterly winds of 10-13 kts.
Winners on Sunday were determined by who completed the podium behind the domination of ITA 416 LA SUPERBA; their performance was unstoppable, posting three straight bullets! Skipper Ignazio Bonanno from the Italian Navy and his crew of Vincenzo Vano, Francesco Picaro, Alfredo Branciforte and Francesco Linares were delighted with the outcome, further lengthening their already insurmountable lead in the overall Winter Series- now counting 9 bullets!
In the first race, behind LA SUPERBA was ITA 428 PELLE ROSSA sailed by Gianni Riccobono and ITA 447 PELLE NERA helmed by Paolo Cecamore, second and third, respectively. In the following race, it was AMERICAN PASSAGE and ENJOY 2 in 2nd and 3rd.
After ten races in the overall Winter Series, LA SUPERBA continues to lead by a substantial margin. However, the balance of the podium is currently tied between two boats at 43 pts each; ITA 385 J ARMED JUDGE (Riccardo Aleandri, Antimo Bruno, Fulvio Marchionni, Fabio Di Bartolomeo, Vito Esposito and Fabiana Onori) and Luca Silvestri’s ENJOY 2.
Sunday ended with the traditional pasta and wine party on the terrace of the Circolo Della Vela, a celebration greatly appreciated by all twenty-one teams! For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information
What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* Team Opportunities for J/24 Worlds
The International J/24 Class Association Regatta Regulations allow opportunities for Women and Youth in the J/24 class at any major event.
One all-female crew per country, to be selected by each governing J/24 national authority, will be eligible to sail the J/24 World Championship to compete for the Jaeger J/24 World Championship Women’s Trophy.
One Under-25 crew per country, to be selected by each governing J/24 national authority, will be eligible to sail the J/24 World Championship to compete for the Under-25 Turner Trophy. The crew members shall all be 24 years of age or under on the first day of championship racing.
The 2019 J/24 World Championship will be held in Miami, Florida from October 19th to 26th, 2019, with sailing taking place on the beautiful azure waters of Biscayne Bay.
The US J/24 Class is accepting applications for the Women and Youth berths. Interested parties should click on and complete the following forms in their entirety by April 1st, 2019.
* US J/24 Class Association Awards Third Annual Boat Grant to Matt Miranda from Ronkonkoma, New York!
The US J/24 Class Association has awarded the third annual Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant to Matt Miranda from Ronkonkoma, New York. The Program is named in honor of Kelly Holmes-Moon, a long-time supporter of the J/24 Class Association who served as US Class President and as the Copyright Holder’s Representative.
For the 2019 season, the boat will see weekly action at Sayville Yacht Club with J/24 Fleet 182. The Boat Grant team plans to participate in a number of events including the US Nationals in Rochester, NY, Changing of the Colors Regatta in Lake George, NY, Charleston Race Week in Charleston, SC, and they are applying to be the Under-25 team at the World Championship in Miami, FL. Class members will mentor the young team, as well as the other individuals who applied for the Program.
Matt has more than a decade of J/24 experience, having crewed on multiple World Championship campaigns, numerous District and national events, and has skippered at US Nationals and local Fleet 182 series racing. His team will consist of a mix of younger J/24 sailors and seasoned veterans, who will surely help them grow over the next year. “I am incredibly honored to receive the grant boat this year! Excited to see some new faces, and some old, as we travel around to our nine or more scheduled events. Come say hi if you see us! I would like to thank the US J/24 Class and the Boat Grant Committee for making this possible and for helping me achieve a lifelong dream.”
The Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant Program encourages talented young sailors to gain first-hand experience racing within the J/24 Class of one-design sailboats at virtually no cost. Dave Eggleton donated the boat, USA 423, to the program, providing the Scholarship Boat recipients with the experience to escalate their level of competitiveness and inspire them to accomplish great things in the sailing world. The team is in need of contributions to help fund their campaign. To find out how you can help, e-mail email@example.com.
The application process for the 2020/2021 Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant Program will begin in the fall of 2019.
J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent “blogs” written by their prolific publishers. Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You’ll love it.
* The J/40 HERON REACH sailed by Virginia and Jerry participated in the Blue Planet Odyssey project from 2014 to 2015 over a seventeen month period.
Read their very well-done blog documenting their experience. In the Pacific basin, they traveled almost 15,000 miles from Bellingham to Tahiti and all points between. Check out what the cannibals great grandchildren thought of their ancestors, what it was like to trade for black pearls, the problem with the Great Garbage Patch, and how many days did it take to get through it, and much more! Learn more about their adventures and experiences on HERON REACH here.
* The J/42 JARANA has sailed an epic voyage around the Pacific, the Atlantic, and now the Mediterranean. The crew consists of Bill and Kathy Cuffel, of Seattle, Washington. So far, their travels go way beyond Homer’s Odyssey! Their itinerary has included:
* Bill and Judy Stellin, who sailed their J/42 JAYWALKER around the Mediterranean and Europe and back across the Atlantic for nearly three years produced a series of entertaining reading in their blogs/journals- they can be found here.
The earlier journals have been compiled into two self-published books that can be found at: http://www.blurb.com. Search for “SEATREK: A Passion for Sailing” by Bill Stellin or William Stellin.” And, they were featured in Wall St Journal about how to “retire and enjoy life with adventure”. Fun reading for those predisposed to the “ultimate escape– sailing”!
* John and Mary Driver sailed their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising from June 2010 to July 2013. John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal. Since then, they sailed from Portugal across the Mediterranean to Cyprus and explored the Turkish Coast. Read the latest news about SHAZAM’s cruising adventures here.
* Alan Fougere and family are back sailing their J/160 AVATAR. She will be in the Caribbean for winter 2018/ 2019, based at Proper Yachts in St John, US Virgin Islands.
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 “firstname.lastname@example.org“. 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.
Started in 1977, J/Boats continues to lead the world in designing fun-to-sail, easy-to-handle, performance sailboats that can be enjoyed by a broad spectrum of sailors. The International J/24 has become the most popular recreational offshore keelboat in the world with over 5,500 J/24s cruising the waves. The J/70 one-design speedster has become the world’s fastest growing sportsboat ever!
Today, there are 14,500+ J/Boats, ranging from the International J/22 to the J/65 and ranging in style from one-designs to racers, cruisers to daysailers and, of course, the ubiquitous J sprit boats- J/Boats’ innovation in 1992 for easy-to-use asymmetric spinnakers and retractable carbon bowsprits (J/70, J/80, J/88, J/92, J/95, J/97E, J/99, J/105, J/109, J/110, J/111, J/112E, J/120, J/122E, J/130, J/133, J/125, J/145, J/160).
J/Boats has the best track record in sailing for innovation and designs as evidenced by: 20 Boat-of-the-Year Awards; the SAIL Award for Industry Leadership; two American Sailboat Hall of Fame Designs; and five ISAF International One-Design keelboat classes (J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80 and J/111).
Counting crew, every year there are over 100,000 friends to meet sailing J’s, populating the most beautiful sailing harbors and sailing the waters of 35+ countries around the world. Sailing is all about friends. Come join us and expand your social network everywhere! For more information on J/Boats.
Read Kimball Livingston’s SAIL update on the J/Boats story- A Band of Brothers
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