Wednesday, December 15, 2010

J/80 China Winter Series

J/80s sailing in China
(Xiamen, China)-  There was light air this weekend, but no lack of turnout again for the second week of racing.  With 8 boats on the water and over 50 people attending to help with committee or sail, things have been going very well.  Since the overall participants in many cases have not sailed J/80's before, the first two weeks of light air have allowed teams to start to figure out the best ways of handling the asymmetrical spinnaker sets, jibes and take downs.  
We had two races and tried to get a third but lack of wind lead to abandoning the last race.  Boat #6 driven by Jacky Chen showed consistent first place finishes to win the day.  I must say that it is great to see so many kids joining the sailing.  Last week we had Laura and Phil Harvey with 4 small kids on board and this week we had Alain and Sacha Vermeulen and Pieter van der Plas sailing with their kids.  You will notice from the photo that the kids are driving when they got 2nd in the first race.  
J/80 family sailing one-design with childrenI am glad to see that everyone is having a great time.  We have changed the schedule a little to help with the holiday travel schedule.  We will be racing Dec. 19th, Jan. 9th, Jan 16th, Jan. 23rd and finishing on Jan. 30th.  We are keeping track of the overall score but it is good for people to realize that this is just for fun and that we are all out just bettering out sailing ability.  I look forward to seeing everyone this weekend, We will be trying to get the first start off at 1:30pm sharp if we have breeze this weekend so don't get too far from the starting area.   

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Xiamen J/80 Winter series

J/80 sailing in Xiamen, China winter sailing series
(Xiamen, China)- The first annual J/80 winter series started this past weekend.  Nine boats are participating in a 7 week series in Xiamen, China.  The event starts each week with a 30 minute lesson followed by boat assignments and then first race at 1:30. No starts after 3:30.  This is open to anyone that would like to join each sunday until the end of January (Space Limited). 58 people showed up for the first event.  Too many for the nine J/80's, but with support boats available everyone was able to have a great time.
There were three races to start the series with each being won by a different boat.  There was a tie for second place and winning the day was David Zhou with 2-1-2.  Current was a major factor in this days racing and consistent starts played a big role with the current pushing most competitors over the line early at least once during the day.  Reports Jim Johnstone, "We look forward to a fun series and the sailors are all quite happy to be on the water regularly in this new series."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

J/80 Class Growing- 2011 Package Deal!

J/80 fleet at worlds Newport, RI
New 2011 J/80 Special Package
(Newport, RI)- You know a class is strong when two months after a World Championship you can't find a used boat.  The J/80 Class momentum keeps building with the next stop Key West, Florida.  New production is back-logged to February-- still time to get a boat for the 2011 season! For J/80s ordered in the next 60 days (prior to February 1st), the special program is: 2011 Model US Watercraft J/80 for $53,900 USD with a Waterline Systems faired keel and Triad tandem axle galvanized trailer.  For more J/80 Special Package information.  Contact J/Boats at P- +1-401-846-8410 or email at info@jboats.comSailing Photo credit- Allen Clark/

J/80 Sailor- Torcida Awarded As Spanish National Sports Hero

J/80 World Champions- Pichu Torcida and crew
(Santander, Spain)-  In the Cantabrian region there are many excellent, world-class sportsmen.  Many are cycling, soccer and basketball stars that win medals at an Olympic level or play professionally on such teams as Real Madrid or Barcelona.  In that rarified air is none other than Pichu Torcida.  A jury of the board of the Sports Press Association of Cantabria (APDC) and the heads of the major sports media in the region, selected eleven winners across a range of sports.  Pichu's team is recognized as the "Best Team of Cantabria 2010" for their victory in the J/80 Worlds in Newport, RI.  The entire team won the award, including his team-mates Carlos Martinez, Javier de la Plaza and Juan Gonzalez of Real Club Maritimo de Santander.  For more info on Pichu's awards for sailing.

ECC VIVIENDAS Wins J/80 Autumn Championship

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Santander, Spain
(Santander, Spain)- The Spanish J/80 teams are at it again.  No matter how many J/80 World Champions they have, their fellow J/80 sailors are simply having fun getting out on the water and thrashing around the buoys before retiring after the race for some great Spanish paella and vino rojo.

The wavy conditions and good southwest 10-20 knot winds, combined with the flexibility of the Race Committee, allowed three good sets of races to play out on Santander Bay for the weekend.  It was fortunate that three sets of six races were completed, it's been a nasty few weeks for storms that have lashed the coastline.  The winner Pichu Torcida on ECC VIVIENDAS sailed to a very consistent 3-3-5 score.  Second place went to NEXTEL ENGINEERING sailed by Ignacio Camino and Armando Gutierrez and bronze was won by the BANCAJA-AVIVA, raced by Javier Lopez-Vazquez and Alvaro Mazarrasa.  Rounding out the top five were MABLE in 4th sailed by Alberto Padron and Jose Miguel Oriol, winning on a tie-breaker over Jaime Piris on FONESTAR (5th overall).     For more J/80 Autumn Championship sailing informationSailing photos courtesy of

Santander J/80 Mundialito Regatta

SLAM Racing- J/80 winning sailing team
SLAM RACING's Gorostegui Wins
(Santander, Spain)-  Last Saturday it was a freezing cold November day, but the sailors were undeterred. They headed out for their version of a "mini-J/80 Worlds" (e.g. "mundialito").   Hosted by the Real Club MarĂ­timo de Santander, the event is a traditional friendly and festive trophy "Mundialito" which brought into Cantabria many renowned Spanish sailors.

J/80 one-design- sailing off Santander, Spain with FonestarOn Saturday afternoon the race committee sent the 27 teams around windward-leeward courses for a series of good, tactical racing.  By Sunday morning, the PRO's instead ordered a special tour and unusual hitch, starting with coastal stretch down the coast and back and finishing off the RCMS after a final double windward-leeward laps halfway between Santa Marina and Camel Beach. The conditions were tough, because a strong hailstorm struck the sailors when sailing against upwind to the first mark.   It was in this race that SLAM RACING took control of the regatta, winning by a comfortable margin.  Unfortunately, one of the contenders in the race, current J/80 World Champion Pichu Torcida, had to retire due to some painful muscle injuries in the difficult weather conditions.  Overall, the results were SLAM RACING in first sailed by Tonio Gorostegui and Harry Lavin, 2nd was Fernando Rita and Jaime Piris sailing the picturesque FONESTAR, 3rd was Ignacio Camino racing his familiar NEXTEL ENGINEERING, 4th was a new face amongst the leaders, Chuny Bermudez de Castro sailing COMPESCA and tied for 5th were Jesus Amaliach on RAITA and Angel Herrera on GROUP RHIN, the latter getting 6th on the tie-breaker.    For more J/80 Santander sailing informationSailing photo courtesy of

J/80 Sailor Bruno Trouble- Announces Louis Vuitton & AC34 Partnership

J/80 sailor Bruno Trouble leading Louis Vuitton Cup* Louis Vuitton Cup For AC34- Bruno Trouble (J/80 sailor extraordinaire from France), Russell Coutts, Yves Carcelle, Richard Worth, and Pietro Beccari celebrated their new partnership between Louis Vuitton and the 34th America's Cup!  Amazing, from the ashes a Phoenix yet rises again-- gotta hand it to Bruno, brilliant man and a French gentleman who knows how to get the job done.

Continuing its 30-year long association with the America's Cup, the Paris-based fashion house will present the prize, the Louis Vuitton Cup, to the winner of the America's Cup Challenger Series, as well as serve as Official Timing for the 34th America's Cup. "We are thrilled to announce today the continuation of our 30-year partnership with the America's Cup. Having met with the team several times, we believe that the 34th edition will be the best America's Cup yet," said Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton Malletier.   

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Japan Wins Gold Match-racing J/80s

J/80 fleet for Asian Games- ready to go sailing in match racing
(Guangzhou, China/ Shanwei Sailing Center- Nov. 20th)- Japan won the Gold Medal in Open Match Racing of Sailing at the 16th Asian Games in co-host city Shanwei. This is a tribute to the long-term focus of the Japanese Sailing Team in the match-racing arena, no doubt helped by the presence of Peter Gilmour and his influence on the Japanese America's Cup programs over time. A surprise Silver Medalist was the Indian team skipper by Balraj Balraj.  Third was Korea getting the bronze led by Sungmin Cho.  Here are the standings for the Asian Games Sailing medalists and their crew:

1. Gold- Japan- OKAMOTO Yasuhiro- skipper, SAKAMOTO Wataru, WADA Daichi, YOSHIFUJI Hiroaki

2. Silver- India- BALRAJ Balraj- skipper, HELEGAONKAR Trunal, SINHA Atool, TARAPORE Farokh Fa, YADAV Shekhar Sing

3. Bronze- Korea- CHO Sungmin- skipper, KIM Sungwok, LEE Dongwoo, NAM Yongjin, PARK Gunwoo

Read more about their in the Sailing section here on the Asia Games 2010 site.   

Zen Sailing by Lee Carlson- J/80 Sailor

J/80 sailor Lee's new book on life and sailing* Now and Zen-  We sail for a lot of different reasons.  Some people like to win races, but they don’t even really like the pure act of sailing.  Some people never win a race in their life, but they just love being out the water.  Then, there are those of us for whom sailing can become an act of personal salvation.  Lee Carlson has an excellent story to tell about how sailing gave him back his life through his book “Passage to Nirvana”.

You can read the whole version of the events in Lee’s life that led up to his need to write this book, but the short version is that a culmination of some pretty negative things – a nasty divorce, his mother falling down a flight of stairs and dying, topped off by being hit by a car and sustaining a traumatic brain injury – gave the net result of his book. Somehow, Lee found the resolve to recover his life and did so largely because of the support of his fiancĂ© Meg, and their boat, aptly named “Nirvana”.  Toss in some Zen, and you have a book not so much about Lee’s life, but lessons that can be applied universally.  Here’s a quick Q & A with a guy who has had more than his share of bad luck, but who has also had the good fortune to have the ability to turn it around.  Scot Tempesta at Sailing Anarchy did one of his famous "SA InnerViews" with Lee--- here's the intro, you gotta read the rest.  Absolutely amazing and inspiring story.

SA - What is your background in sailing?  Where, and on what, have you sailed?

Lee - I was born on the Navy base in San Diego when my father was on a destroyer there. I started sailing soon after I was born, going out with he and my mother in a Star. I grew up at the Buffalo Canoe Club on Lake Erie. I raced with some of the top Lightning sailors in the world, and I also raced the usual and not-so-usual assortment of dinghies and small keelboats: Tech Dinghies, Lasers, 420's, 470's, Albacores, Sharks, J24's. Then I graduated to larger keelboats: Ted Hood's fantastic centerboard one tonner “Abino Robin”,  an Ericson 39 “Warlock” on Lake Erie and LIS, Eight-Meters on Lake Ontario (changing headsails in the middle of the night in freezing 8-ft. seas while clinging to a knife-edge bow with no lifelines is not something one ever forgets), and other bigger custom keelboats. Those were the days of the SORC and I raced on the maxi Windward Passage, on a mini-maxi that was a Doyle team boat, as well as racing captain of a Dubois 46 and as crew on assorted other boats. I also cruised fairly extensively, first on my family's Islander 37 on the Great Lakes, with a few charters in the Caribbean. My father bought part ownership of a 34-footer with a family in Miami, and we used to do family vacations in the Bahamas, before the drug scene got too bad. For my honeymoon my wife and I bareboated in the Virgins. When I moved to New York City to become a magazine editor, I raced a number of different boats on Long Island Sound, such as an Evelyn 32. Before my accident I was crewing regularly on a J/80.   Read the rest of Scot's SA InnerView here.   For the book, you can get it here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Italian J/80 Winter Championship XV

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing on Lake Garda, Italy
(Tigullio, Italy)- The fourteenth of November.  1400 hours. On a lake in Italy.  Mediterranean climate.  Warm. Sunny. Gentle warm breeze. Anything wrong with this picture?  Not if you live in Italy.  Or, you live someplace else driving a desk and wish you could be there!

The beginning of the Winter Championships in Tigullio started this past weekend in Italy.  For those of you so inclined, they still have room on some of their boats for refugees from America and northern Europe to join them for the next few weekends!  They promise an enormous amount of generous, warm-hearted, real-Italian hospitality, fabulous food, extraordinary wines, delectable truffles, deliciously yummy breads and tasty cheeses and a lot of love to spread around to any fun-loving J/80 sailors!

J/80 Italian sailing team- sailing around markThe PRO managed to run two splendid races on the first day.  Only a mild "scirocco" with 10-12 knots, warm, mild, dry air gracing one's skin, beautifully replenishing the strains of a weeks worth of abuse driving a desk at the office.  As our Italian friends say, the Tigullio is no longer the "Gulf of Nesci" and continues to give an "elixir" for anyone taking days of sailing and racing for the benefit of their well-being.  Out on the water it just so happens that JENIALE crushed the faithful with MONTPRES in second and OLD SPIRIT third.  In the second race, JENIALE walked away again (next time feed them more red wine at dinner!), second was J'BES and third OLD SPIRIT.  While these are just the first rounds of sailing, the next are on November 28.  Still time to book Alitalia or British Airways and join them!  Sailing Photos by F. Prandini.  For more J/80 Italian Winter Series sailing information.  

Asian Games J/80 Tour de Force

China hosting Asian Games for sailing in Guangzhou(Guangzhou, China)- South China's host city of the Asian Games is one of the top ten cities in China.  For most Westerners this may mean nothing.  However, taken in the context of most cities around the world, Guangzhou is in the world's top 20!  Or, perhaps for many of you, a more sobering thought taken in the context of history, over half of the world's top 20 cities are in China-- and Beijing is not the biggest! 

Taking place on the water off the Shanwei Water Sports Centre is a remarkably well-organized and efficiently run regatta with a fabulous technical tour'de'force of media employing every imaginable means of technology to bring it home to the Chinese masses- live on-water video, helicopters, remote control drones doing live video and so forth.  Nothing is spared to ensure the event is brought to the living rooms of those in the Asian/ Middle Eastern World.  Remember, the "Golden Triangle" comprised of Japan to China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and points in between comprise over $20 trillion USD in GDP today....hmmm, a bit more than America.

J/80 fleet for Asian Games- ready to go sailing in match racingSailing in this event are an Olympic cross-section of classes, including Lasers, Optimists, and Hobie 16s.  Plus, J/80s for match racing.  So far, the Malaysian Team is doing quite well in the J/80s match racing.  Not far off the pace are the Singapore and Chinese teams.  The list of teams competing in the event include China, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Bahrain, Singapore, Malaysia and India. According to Jim Johnstone in Xiamen, China "we got the J/80s ready for the Asian Games this past week.  The list of countries participating in the event will someday read like a "who's who" for top Asian sailors.  The event so far has been very good, the area that they are sailing in is quite windy this time of the year.  Best compared to American sites like Corpus Christi, Texas where it blows 20+ knots each day and it's relatively warm.  The teams have had two brand new 3/4 oz conventional spinnakers blow-up and one T-bone, but we are dealing with those things. Since there are only 8 teams it is not hard to pull two boats out of the rotation and switch on the dock." 

J/80s sailing at Asian Games in Guangzhou, ChinaThe 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, opened in dramatic style with a ceremony which drew on Guangzhou's rich maritime history, held in a purpose built arena, located on a small island on the Pearl River. Sailing is one of the 42 sports in this multi-sport event, held every four years in Asia, allowing athletes from all over the Asian continent to compete.

Perhaps most remarkable about this event is the degree to which national sailing authorities (NGO's) in Asian nations take national pride and success in such endeavors as seriously as they do.  It does not take one to scratch the tablets of world history very deeply to appreciate their perspectives in the age of discovery and exploration in the 16th century onwards.  Asia was at the cross-roads of powerful commercial interests and sailing ships, captains, navigators, navies were integral to their successes or failures over the course of time.  Seems to many that they're learning from such experiences fast and accelerating quickly past many of their friendly Western friends not only in the sport of sailing, but in business and culture, too.

Indicative of this change is how sailing is perceived by leaders in the Middle East and Asia and how strongly, in fact, they support sailing as a sport and activity for their growing middle classes.  Leading up to the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, a number of sailors and their sponsors in these countries issued some very interesting statements supporting such endeavors.  Read more about their sailing initiatives in the Sailing section here on the Asia Games 2010 site.   

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

J/80 BMW Sailing Cup Finals

J/80 BMW Match Race- Hamburg, Germany- sailing on the bayGermans Compete For Match Race Supremacy In Hamburg
(Hamburg, Germany- Nov. 6-7)- How's this for a headlin
er- "BMW Yachtsport 2010.  BMW ORACLE Racing wins the America's Cup, while the BMW Sailing Cup, the largest international amateur regatta series, enters its fifth season".  The BMW Sailing Cup has evolved over the past 5 years, according to BMW Yachtsport, into "the biggest amateur sailing event in the world. A sporting challenge, team spirit and joy in sailing are just a few reasons why the BMW Sailing Cup is enjoying increasing popularity.  Six J/80 sailing yachts are made available to amateur crews and each event can take up to 90 sailors in 18 equal strength teams for each regatta on the circuit."  Add in world famous, gorgeous, sexy, Der Spiegel tabloid star and Olympic Gold Medal figure skater Katarina Witt, and you have an amazing feast for the eyes to savor over a few days of sailing on the famous Hamburg harbor.

J/80 BMW Match Race- Katarina Witt sailing in Hamburg, GermanyBefore the Germany Final got underway on Friday, Hamburg was visited by several celebrities and professional yachtsmen. After three races, TEAM NORD with Ulrike Schumann, Niko Mittelmeier and Phillip Buhl were able to celebrate their victory over Markus Weiser while stars like ultra-hot ice-skater Katarina Witt were enjoying their first experience out on the un-frozen water. The biggest winners, however, were the children-- 10,000 Euros were raised for the World Childhood Foundation!  That's a cause for celebration and kudos to BMW Yachtsport Team for supporting such an wonderful program!

A noteworthy prelude to this event was Germany's Championship of Champions held the week before, the winner was-  Markus Wieser.  Germany's sailing elite met in Hamburg the previous weekend for the 31st Championship of Champions. Only German, European and world champions in Olympic and international classes are invited to this exclusive and historically unique regatta. European Dragon champion Markus Wieser and his crew of Matti Paschen and Eberhard Magg defeated 35 other teams on Hamburg's Alster to win the Championship of Champions for the first time.

J/80 BMW match race- sailing around mark in Hamburg, GermanyIn the finale, which featured the top three teams, the BMW Yachtsport Ambassador (Markus Weiser) and his crew produced two immaculate races to leave the opposition in their wake: second place went to the team skippered by Denmark's Sten Mohr, who was part of the afterguard in the BMW ORACLE Racing team for the 32nd America's Cup and was at the helm of the then Challenger of Record in the semi-final of the Louis Vuitton Cup. German match race champion Stefan Meister came third.

"It is fantastic to win this important regatta for the first time," said Wieser. "We produced the best sailing in difficult conditions and with little wind, and were deserved winners. We won all the starts and always led coming to the first buoy. The fact that our crew is used to sailing in various boat classes, as well as in match and fleet races, really paid off. This versatility was the key to our success."  Despite their good performance in Berlin, Wieser ran into the chainsaw of a top-class field in Hamburg; the most important sailing regatta in the capital region all year.  For more BMW Yachtsport German sailing information      English version of BMW Yachtsport.  

Superb J/80 Pornichet French National Series

J/80 France Pornic Cup winners- one-design sailboat(Nantes, France- Oct 30-31)- With sixty-six participants, under optimal conditions, perfect organization both on water and on land, a good atmosphere and sailors thrilled to be racing, what more could one ask for in the penultimate event of the French National J/80 Series. Great sailing for the large fleet and challenging conditions all four days.

The crew of ATLANTIS, skippered by Laurent Sambron was untouchable for four days. Their composure and consistency enabled them to climb the top of the podium for the third time (they're winners in 2006, 2007).  One notable performance was that of the SPANISH GOLD Sailing crew, comprised of Almandaz Iker, Sanchez Inigo, Borja Ponte, Jaunegi Inigo-- their long journey was rewarded with a second overall! They are part of the top 5 best teams in Spain (the other four went to America to show Americans how to sail J/80s downwind).  Third was INTERFACE CONCEPT II sailed by Yannick Le Clech, Xavier Haiz, Gildas Mahe and Ronan Dreano.

J/80 Coyote- Jurassic Park- Bruno Trouble of Louis Vuitton fame- sailing off NewportOn the last day of racing, the whims of the wind Gods forced a delay for the race committee. Originally scheduled for 10 am, the racing didn't start until 11 am.  Even then, with wind oscillations of 45 degrees every fifteen minutes, the PRO was having a difficult time setting a good course.  Nevertheless, a race was launched at 11:30am with a change of course during the race. The "traditional" general recall, the black flag, had to be used on the aggressive fleet. It's almost a custom for the J/80 class!  But again, it was a very good race under a bright sun and mild temperatures for the season. No one was arguing since it was such a gorgeous day.  After the races, everyone went home happily, feeling it was one of the best regattas all year in the French National Series. It's worthwhile to note the excellent job performed by the race committee team and the PRO from the Metropolitan Club Nantes- Saint Nazaire (APCC).  M.I.A. was dear friend Bruno Trouble on COYOTE/ JURASSIC PARK, perhaps still nursing some strained muscles and some good vintage California (and Newport) wines after the J/80 Worlds (seen here to the right having a ball off Newport!)-- the Clarke Cooke House Candy Store evening after the J/80 Worlds Awards was lots of fun!  For more French J/80 sailing results.  Photo courtesy of Paul Todd/ Outside Images.  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

J/80 Worlds Coffee Table Book Published

J/80 Worlds Coffee Table book- Paul Todd- Outside Images(Auckland, NZ)- Paul Todd's Outside Images is pleased to announce the publication of the J/80 World Championship 2010 Coffee Table book.  This book is a memento to sailors and everyone involved with the J/80 World Championship held in Newport, Rhode Island October 2010. There are over 200 images through out the book and each chapter relives some of the awesome sailing and how close the regatta was between the American and Spanish teams.

The book will make a great holiday gift for crew and skippers alike, it opens to extraordinary double page spreads that are 26 inches wide.  This book will look great just sitting on the table for everyone to browse through and get a real taste for the action that played out in Newport between the teams and crew.  Take a sneak peek and place your order for the book.  Your family and friends who love sailing will love you even more for such a thoughtful gift!    View the J/80 Worlds Coffee Table  Book here.

Also you can order any images in the book as prints or digital downloads or any image taken at the regatta.  There is also coupon offers for 3 or more images 25% off ( J80worlds3 ) and for 5 or more 40% off ( J80worlds5 )  It can be applied at the "checkout" stage of purchasing prints or digital downloads at  There are over 500 high-resolution images on the web site.

Follow links to see images from each day's racing:   Day 1     Day 2      Day 3    Day 4   

British Crush Americans Sailing J/80s!

J/80s sailing in RYA Match Race regatta on Queen Mary Reservoir- London, England
(Queen Mary Reservoir, London, England- Oct. 27-31)- Do recall, last weekend was Halloween.  The ghouls, skeletons and goblins were racing around frightening everyone about.  And, Count Dracula was reincarnate as the British team and just sucked the living blood out of those poor Colonialists.  Indeed, the oldest international team racing contest in the world took place this past weekend on Royal Thames YC's London sailing venue at Queen Mary Water in a fleet of 6 evenly matched J/80s jointly owned and managed by Royal Thames Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron (based in Cowes, England).  And, the results were ghoulish, if not plain ugly and deadly for the Americans (Colonialists).

Britain wins for first time since Admiral Nelson's triumph in Trafalgar?  Or, perhaps the 1851 100 Guinea (America's) Cup? Well, not exactly.  1999, to be more precise.  Nevertheless, Andy Cornah and his fellow skippers Ben Field, Mark Lees and Jon Pinner - all members of the Royal Thames Yacht Club team racing squad - reversed more than a century (actually, decade) of American domination in the British-American Cup today with an emphatic performance on Queen Mary Water, West London to take the oldest prize in keelboat team racing by 7 wins to 2.

The British-American Cup, originally donated by the Seawahnaka Corinthian Yacht Club in 1922 as an International Challenge match in Six Metres has been held biennially ever since but was last won by the British in 1999. In 2008 yet another American win brought the Fourth Series of the Cup to an end after 16 matches. Rather than see the competition die Royal Thames challenged the USA to a Fifth series and put up a new British-American Cup. Although the guardians of the contest have always been yacht clubs (in the USA Seawahnaka, in Britain a number of Clubs) the competition is by tradition open, with selection trials held in both countries.

Selection trials for this year's event were held in April and since then Cornah and his team, determined not to preside over yet another British defeat, have practiced together assiduously. Most international team racing is three-on-three over short courses with races lasting about 12 minutes; the BA Cup is unusual in calling for teams of four boats a side, sailed over longer courses and with races lasting 40 minutes.  The tournament allows for up to 13 of such races, spread over three days, with the match going to the first team to win 7 races.

Racing for the First Match of the Fifth Series began on Friday 29th October with four races sailed. The British opened well with a straightforward win, then fought off a determined American challenge to win more narrowly. In the third race all but two of the eight boats racing were over the line at the start but the British were slower to respond to the recall (with Cornah failing to respond at all) leaving the Americans the yachting equivalent of an open goal. The Yanks needed no second bidding. Stung, the British came back strongly to lead after Day 1 by three races to one.

Day 2 saw more close racing and the signs of an American resurgence (bloody Colonialists are sure hard to beat down, eh?).  They narrowly lost the first two races, then in the third managed by excellent and aggressive team racing to turn what looked at mark two to be a solid and unbreakable British 1-2-3 combination into an American 1-2-3 win.  In race four although Cornah for Britain led the race America held a solid 2-3-4-5 position at every mark until the last one. The 14 points thus scored would have been enough to give America their third win - but at that final tuning mark Cornah turned-in a true 'Captain's Innings' blocking and slowing all four US boats to allow his team mates to catch-up, re-engage and eventually convert their losing 1-6-7-8 placings into a winning 1-2-3-7.

This is a competition that has often seen the British start well then fade while the Americans dig deep, find new resolve and shift up a gear to pull the fat from the fire - it happened in 2008 in the USA, in 2007 and in 2003 in UK waters - so no British supporters risked so much as a smile as the boats lined up for the first race of a possible five today.  No one smiled when the Brits went round mark one in positions 1-2-3-7 (13 points) with the Americans 4-5-6-8 (23 points - lowest score wins). No one smiled when the Brits held that 1-2-3 while Ben Field, in the 7th-place British boat, ran such effective interference on the American boats that the gap between them and the leaders widened further. No one smiled as the Brits rounded the final mark still 1-2-3 - the order in which, at last, they crossed the finish line.  Then everyone smiled.  Well, everyone British, that is.  Good on ya mates!  Job well done!  Time for the Colonialist upstarts to head for home and lick their wounds, no tea party for them this time around.  Completel British American Cup sailing report.   British American Sailing Photo Credits- Ingrid Abery

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

IBerdrola J/80 Cup

J/80 Spain- sailing Iberdrola Cup off Palma Mallorca, Spain
(Palma Mallorca, Spain- Sept 17-18)- Sponsored by Iberdrola and the Hotel Association of Cala Millor, there were two amazing, incredible, wonderful days of racing in the match racing format sailing aboard J/80s off Palma.  The two finalists- HOTEL EDEN and MOYA HORRACH-The Art Gallery- had an fantastic fight with many lead changes over the course of eight races.  At the end of this titanic struggle for alien supremacy in the Iberdrola J/80 Cup, it was Team MOYA HORRACH-The Art Gallery winning by 6 to 2 over HOTEL EDEN.

J/80s sailing in Spain off Palma Mallorca- for Iberdrola CupThanks to the organizers for their efforts, making available to the press and guests a catamaran where snacks and beverages were provided for all while enjoying the races. As well, hotel rooms for participants in the beautiful port of Cala Bona were also provided FOR FREE (yes, it's not a misprint).  Gee, sounds like a tough life-- qualify to race the Iberdrola J/80 Cup, get wined and dined, get given J/80s to match race, sail in a gorgeous port off Palma, stay in a hotel for FREE?  Hmmm.  Sounds like it's time to get a J/80 and do some real sailing.  Without a doubt, the amigos in Espana are having a fun time sailing J/80s, at some point the rest of the world will catch on.  Great mix of guys and girls on their boats, perhaps that's the secret. :)  For more Iberdrola J/80 Cup sailing in Spain.

Cherry Picks RYA Match Race Hat Trick

J/80s sailing in RYA Match Race regatta on Queen Mary Reservoir- London, England
(Queen Mary Reservoir, London, England- Oct. 22-24)- Racing in a matched fleet of J/80s, Nick Cherry picked up a third Royal Yachting Association National Match Racing title, scooping victory in a thrilling final showdown.

It went right down to the wire with a maximum five race final but it was two-time National title holder Nick Cherry (2007,2006) who finally walked away victorious this past weekend, walking off with the coveted crown for a third time at the 2010 RYA National Match Racing Championship Grand Final held at Queen Mary Sailing Club, Staines (about 15 minutes southwest of Heathrow Airport).  Nick had to overcome double defending champion Mark Campbell-James (2009, 2008, 2005), who was also looking likely to rack up a three straight wins hat-trick this year sailing with his newly crowned Extreme 40 Series Champion brother Paul.  Cherry kept his nerve right up until the last possible race clinching the 2010 title in the "thrilla from Manila" final "rope-a-dope" race.    

Entering the quarter finals on Saturday in pole position with a 100% unbeaten record Campbell-James retained his perfect score right up until the third race of the finals. But it didn’t take long for Cherry, who suffered defeats to Sam Pearson and Campbell-James early on in the round-robin phase, to find his winning pace. The Southampton based sailor stepped it up a gear and cruised through the quarter and semi-finals having not dropped a race, boosting his team’s confidence ready for the trophy deciding duel.

It was Campbell-James who took the first two wins looking to have all but sealed the crown. However race three saw a come-back from Cherry who edged ahead and forced the result to a fourth contest. Holding his nerve in impressive style Cherry and his crew, Matt Adams, Ed Hill and Connor Myant, pushed through with another win, this time more convincing, profiting from a lucky split on the start line enabling him to stretch out ahead.

With two wins a piece tensions were running high between the old rivals as they went into the fifth and final clash. Neck-and-neck right up to the second windward mark, the race could have gone either way. But pushing in front after a head-to-wind luffing match, Cherry rounded the mark first sealing the deal and crossing the line ahead of his opponent to swipe the title in an enthralling climax to the event.

A chuffed Cherry commented: "It feels really good to win again. When we were two races down we just said to each other we knew we could do it and we’re sailing pretty well. We didn’t get too down and just carried on and got stuck in! I think we got in tune with the shifts and started to sail the race course more effectively than our opponents and it came together for us. There was plenty of overtaking, hanging around head-to-wind at the windward mark and there was lead changing in almost every race. We’ve raced Mark a lot over the years and it’s always close. It’s what we know so we knew if we could just hold it together there was every chance we could win. We really enjoyed it!" he concluded.

A disappointed Campbell-James was eager to sing his opponent's praises: "It was good racing out there – we're a bit gutted but we were unbeaten until the last three races and those were the three that counted. Nick sailed well and we had a good fight on pretty much every race of the final."  With half his crew hailing from the same town as Cherry he joked: "My crew Paul and Nick are a bit upset about the Southampton rivalry but they’re good mates and they’ll get over it!"

The petit final saw Women’s World Match Racing Champions Lucy Macgregor and Annie Lush, plus crew, beat higher ISAF ranked skipper Ali Hall in three straight wins ensuring a well-deserved podium spot for this week’s Busan Women's International Match Race, (Korea) bound team.  The girls were a potent force in this year's event.  Even Campbell-James was treating them with the upmost respect and awe, stating that, "I think the girls are going to be on form – they’ve obviously been sailing well all year and they are World Champions. The interesting thing will be how much the level has moved on since last year with the girls having done so much and how the guys are going to fair against them. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top."

Racing was tight across all ten teams sailing at the Grand Final, and youngest competing skipper, James French, made a great event debut beating World University Match Racing Champion Andrew Shaw in one of his races.      

Long standing Umpire, Chris Simon, joined Cherry in taking home an accolade from the weekend picking up the Paul Banner trophy for his sportsmanship and outstanding contribution to International Umpiring; the event marking his retirement from his international role.  Final results and sailing information for J/80 RYA Match Racing.   Preview of the J/80 RYA Match Race sailing event.

British-American Cup Sail J/80s

J/80s sailing in RYA Match Race in Staines, London, England- Royal Thames YC and Royal Yacht Squadron
(London, England- 27–31 October)- The oldest international team racing contest in the world is taking place this weekend on Royal Thames YC's London sailing venue at Queen Mary Water.  Racing will take place in the fleet of 6 evenly matched J/80s jointly owned and managed by Royal Thames Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron (based in Cowes, England).

The British-American Cup, first raced in 1922, enters a new era in 2010 with the first match of the Fifth Series, to be sailed at Queen Mary Water.  On-the-water practice for both British and American teams is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, with racing taking place on Friday 29th, Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st October.

The BA Cup represents a pinnacle in international team racing in keelboats. First sailed in International 6 Metres and contested effectively as a fleet racing contest between the United States and Great Britain it is now raced at the keenest level as a four-on-four team race by the top team racers in the two countries. Several British clubs have from time-to-time been involved in the British end of the contest including the Royal Victoria YC, the Royal Northern (now Royal Northern & Clyde) YC, the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Thames YC while throughout its history the Seawahnaka Corinthian YC of Oyster Bay, NY has been the American custodian of the contest.

It is the two Clubs who have been continuously associated with the contest since it began who take it forward to the Fifth Series, with a new trophy presented by the Royal Thames YC to be contested in three matches, in 2010, 2012 and 2014.  The first match will be in the UK, the next in Oyster Bay and the third in UK. After 2014 the Clubs will decide whether to continue with the Fifth Series or once more refresh the contest with a new format.  For more British American Cup sailing information.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

J/80 Crushes Maui-Honolulu Race

(Lahaina, Maui)- Got a great report from Bob Stephenson sailing his J/80 CRUSADER across the infamous and insanely notorious Molokai Channel- known to get 20-30 knot winds and 15 foot seas!  Yikes.  If everyone thought racing J/80s in the J/80 Worlds was tough in 15-30 knots and up to 7 foot seas, imagine them double the height!  Bob was inspired to see all the coverage of the recent J/80 Worlds.  He wanted to make sure to let everyone know that he's having a scream sailing his J/80 off Maui in the Hawaiian Islands and is hoping to see more of you 80 sailors out there soon!

Bob commented on their sailing exploits racing the J/80 is such incredibly beautiful conditions, "our J/80 CRUSADER won the 64th Annual Lahiana Maui to Honolulu race, a 69.9 nm race that took us about 7 hours 45 minutes to complete, taking both class B and overall PHRF. CRUSADER crew reports hitting 15.5 knots-plus surfing the Molokai Channel. CRUSADER also sneaked by her sistership BOONDOGGLE, to take Class B in the Lahiana Offshores and to win the first ever J/80 Hawaii State champs."  For more J/80 Hawaii sailing information.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pichu Torcida Wins 2nd J/80 Worlds

J/80 Worlds- Pichu Torcida wins - crew photoEpic, Wild, Wet, Sunny Finale

(Newport, RI- October 5-9)- Sixty-two teams from nine countries sailed last week in the J/80 Worlds off Newport.  With six past World Champions sailing, it was tightly fought competition amongst excellent sailors.  It will be remembered as one of the best sailing regattas ever.

J/80 Worlds- sailing downwind under full plane
The sailing itself was extraordinary.  When the regatta started on Sunday/ Monday, teams were practicing in 15-30 knot winds.  More of the same was predicted for the next day. Tuesday's northeaster blowing 15-25 knots offshore with ginormous waves from the east made for some incredibly long planes/ surfs on what seemed like a long roller-coaster ride.  Wednesday's WNW breeze offshore was incredibly tactical and shifty.  That was followed up by yet another even shiftier and tactical day on Thursday inside Narragansett Bay.  For the grand finale on Friday, the fleet was treated to epic conditions- sun, 15-30 knot shifty winds from the WSW, ginormous steep waves, with the 80s wildly planing downwind.

J/80 Worlds- rounding windward markThe first two-time winner of the J/80 Worlds was Jose Maria "Pichu" Torcida sailing ECC VIVIENDAS from Santander, Spain.  However, going into to the last day of racing, it was truly anybody's guess as to who would end up crowned as the 2010 J/80 World Champion.  The top five all had a good chance of winning. At one point, PERALEJA GOLF's Carlos Martinez had it in the bag and was ready to celebrate.  After race ten, Scott Young's and Terry Flynn's team on QUANTUM RACING were ready to break out the champagne, as Pichu Torcida's crew on ECC VIVIENDAS had experienced a massive gybe broach (keel-waving anyone?) and finished 18th. After race eleven, it was anyone's guess how the standings finished as there were enough black flags, DSQs and Z flag penalties that it was next to impossible to compute 3-5 point differences in the standings for the top 25 finishers, forgetting the fact that the top five were racing for the title separated by several points going into the first race of the day.

J/80 Worlds- Scott Young and Terry Flynn- runners upSetting the stage for the last race was the fact that it was still anyone's ball-game to go win.  The top three were now the top five-- any finish up or down the top ten in the last race would determine who would win between Scott's QUANTUM RACING, Pichu's ECC VIVIENDAS, Carlos' PERALEJA GOLF, Jeff Johnstone's LITTLE FEAT (who BTW had the best scores for the last two days, each day!) and Glenn Darden's LE TIGRE.  By now, it was clear that PRO Tom Duggan and Brad Read had the SailNewport RC team troops marshaled together to get yet one more unbelievably epic race off in the spectacular conditions the fleet had enjoyed in race ten.  The fleet started in a "baby gale"- blowing a steady 20-30 knots, shifting 10-15 degrees, with large breaking waves.  Carlos Martinez won the last race in convincing fashion- planing across the finish line going at least 17 knots and enshrouded in huge sheets of salt spray.  Second was Javier Blanco sailing CROCS in his best race of the series.  Third was Jeff Johnstone on LITTLE FEAT, despite sailing 80% of the last run wing-on-wing with main and jib after shrimping and shredding their spinnaker on the set at the last windward mark.  Fourth was Glenn Darden on LE TIGRE and fifth Pichu Torcida on ECC VIVIENDAS with the six point spread they needed to beat Scott and Terry's QUANTUM RACING for the World title.

J/80 Worlds- ECC Viviendas winning a sailboat race.After the dust and salt-spray settled, Pichu's ECC VIVIENDAS team from Real Club Nautico Santander (Spain) are crowned the 2010 J/80 World Champions, winning by two points over Scott Young/ Terry Flynn's team from Austin Yacht Club on QUANTUM RACING that had 50 points.  Third was Carlos Martinez's team from Santiago, Spain on PERALEJA GOLF, only four points back with 54 points.  Fourth was Jeff Johnstone's team on LITTLE FEAT from Ida Lewis YC with 58 points, just one point ahead of Glenn Darden's LE TIGRE team from Fort Worth Boat Club with 59 points. It was truly a horse-race at the end to determine the final standings for the top five, and not one anyone will forget for a long time.

Congratulations to Jeff Johnstone, Kendra Muenter from J/Boats and Brad Read and Tom Duggan from SailNewport as the principal regatta/ race organizers for conducting what had to be one of the best regattas ever in most sailor's recent memories.  Sailing Photo Credits- Allen and Daniela Clark-  Follow all the action, photos and results for the J/80 Worlds.

Scott Young J/80 Worlds Interview

J/80s- Scott Young

For those of you who sailed the J/80 Worlds, Scott Young provides some interesting insights regards the fun, excitement and challenges of racing a World Championship against a stellar fleet.  For those who wished they were there, Scot Spurlin's interview from Austin, TX provides entertaining and educational perspectives on what it's like to sail a J/80 in the extraordinary conditions the fleet experienced over the week long event.  As an interesting aside, many people asked "who" Scott was as many J/80 sailors had never heard of him before.  In short, he was a two-time College All-American at the University of Texas- Austin, is a US Mallory Cup Champion (emblematic of the US Men's National Championship in keelboats) and is also a Laser Masters Champion.  Enough said.  Watch Scott Young Video Interview here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pichu Torcida Wins 2nd J/80 Worlds

J/80 World Champions- Pichu Torcida from SpainEpic, Wild, Wet, Sunny Finale
(Newport, RI- October 8th)- The final races for the J/80 Worlds in Newport were truly epic. No one could've predicted what was in store for the fleet and the top five leaders. The NOAA weather forecasters got one thing right, it was going to be a sunny day. And, to emphasize the fact that we were all sailing a World Championship, the PRO Tom Duggan and his brain trust that included Brad Read from SailNewport, felt that it was going to be important to ensure that everyone had a fair and level playing field on which to determine a true World Champion. The decision was to go offshore on what seemed to be a gorgeous day, somewhat benign in its initial stages with a nice 10-15 knot wind blowing from the West. The course was set just 2 nm SE of Beavertail Point at the end of Jamestown and about 2.5 nm ESE of Whale Rock in Rhode Island Sound.

J/80 screaming downwind under spinnaker at J/80 WorldsGoing into to the first race of the day, it was truly anybody's guess as to who would end up crowned as the 2010 J/80 World Champion. The top three all had a strong chance of winning and, as you'll discover, all three in fact were winning at one point or another over the three races sailed on Friday. At one point, PERALEJA GOLF's Carlos Martinez had it in the bag and was ready to celebrate. After race ten, Scott Young's and Terry Flynn's team on QUANTUM RACING were ready to break out the champagne, as Pichu Torcida's crew on ECC VIVIENDAS had experienced a massive gybe broach (keel-waving anyone?) and had lost several boats in the process to get their worst race of the series- an 18th. After race eleven, it was anyone's guess how the standings finished as there were enough black flags, DSQs and Z flag penalties that it was next to impossible to compute 3-5 point differences in the standings for the top 25 finishers, forgetting the fact that the top five were racing for the title separated by only several points going into the first race of the day.

J/80 Little Feat sailed by Jeff Johnstone at J/80 Worlds NewportThe first race of the day started off in a beautiful 10-18 knots Westerly swinging 10-15 degrees in the 270-290 range. After the four-legged 1.7 nm per leg windward-leeward course, it was clear that playing left of middle in the first 2/3 of the windward leg upwind was fast and top right 1/3 was good for right-handers just off the shore. The winners were a pretty happy bunch. Imagine Tom Klok, Will and Marie Crump and the invincible Vince Brun onboard GULDFAXE all wearing huge, cheshire cat grins on their face and you can only begin to appreciate the joy it meant to win a race in a World Championship against some very tough hombres in super-evenly matched one-design J/80s. Second in the race was Jeff Johnstone on LITTLE FEAT who's tactician Chuck Allen also had about as big (or bigger) grin on his face. Why? Because they'd beaten fair and square ECC VIVIENDAS' team sailed by Pichu Torcida who got a third in the race. Just behind them were Scott Young/ Terry Flynn's QUANTUM RACING in fourth and Alan Terhune with tactician Moose McClintock sailing US 221 in fifth. Carlos Martinez's PERALEJA GOLF, who was the regatta leader at the time, was now fighting for survival to stay in the top three after their worst race of the event, a 24th.

J/80 World Championships- off Newport, RI sailing in 30 knot windsWith the standings now jumbled a bit after the first race, it was still unclear if the PRO Tom Duggan and his SailNewport RC Team and the fleet themselves were capable of sailing just one more or two more races. Nevertheless, the SailNewport RC team managed to reset the course for the wind that had started to shift further SW and increase dramatically in velocity-- pushing 25 knots by the time of the second start. At this point, no one knew how crazy the world was going to get in the next 20 minutes. The wind started to increase more during the starting sequence and go even further left. Incredibly, on a black flag start, the wind shifted enough where half the fleet near the port end couldn't make the line and had to tack (or gybe) onto port to simply get across in the last 20 seconds. In turned into one of the most incredible races for anyone racing a J/80 in recent memory. 20-30 knot winds from 250-260 degrees, spectacularly sunny day with not a cloud in the sky, and increasingly bigger waves. The top American teams had figured out how to get around the course in the challenging conditions to get three of the top five, with Glenn Darden's LE TIGRE team leading the charge to get first, followed by Kerry Klingler on LIFTED, fifth was the fast-recovering Bruno Pasquinelli steering TIAMO (Bruno suffered a few stitches on Day three after having an argument with his boom). Not surprisingly, the top Spanish teams Rayco Tabares on HOTEL PRINCESSA CANARIAS finished third and fourth was countryman Carlos Martinez on PERALEJA GOLF. Barring any scoring issues like DSQs, Black Flags, DNSs or Z flag penalties, the QUANTUM RACING team with Scott Young skippering were winning the Worlds simply because Pichu Torcida's ECC VIVIENDAS had their worst race of the series, an 18th.

J/80 Peraleja Golf- Carloz Martinez Setting the stage for the last race was the fact that it was still anyone's ball-game to go win. The top three were now the top five-- any finish up or down the top ten in the last race would determine who would win between Young's QUANTUM RACING, Torcida's ECC VIVIENDAS, Martinez' PERALEJA GOLF, Johnstone's LITTLE FEAT (who BTW had the best scores for the last two days, each day!) and Darden's LE TIGRE. By now, it was clear that the SailNewport RC team was marshaled together to get yet one more unbelievably epic race off in the spectacular conditions the fleet had enjoyed in race ten. Without hesitation at around 1:35 the signals were raised and the fleet sent off into the teeth of a "baby gale"- blowing a steady 25-30 knots, shifting 10-15 degrees, with large waves. It was apparent Carlos Martinez had enough "practice" in the first two races to simply show the rest of the world his transom by winning the last race in convincing fashion- planing across the finish line going 17+ knots, enshrouded in huge sheets of salt spray. Second was Javier Blanco from Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (Spain) sailing CROCS in his best race of the series. Third was Jeff Johnstone on LITTLE FEAT, despite sailing 80% of the last run wing-on-wing with main and jib after shrimping and shredding their spinnaker on the set at the last windward mark. Fourth was Glenn Darden on LE TIGRE and fifth Pichu Torcida on ECC VIVIENDAS.

J/80 World Champion- Pichu Torcida on ECC VIVIENDASAfter the dust and salt-spray settled, Pichu's ECC VIVIENDAS team from Real Club Nautico Santander (Spain) were crowned the 2010 J/80 World Champions, winning by two points over Scott Young/ Terry Flynn's team from Austin Yacht Club on QUANTUM RACING that had 50 points. Third was Carlos Martinez's team from Santiago, Spain on PERALEJA GOLF, only four points back with 54 points. Fourth was Jeff Johnstone's team on LITTLE FEAT from Ida Lewis YC with 58 points, just one point ahead of Glenn Darden's LE TIGRE team from Fort Worth Boat Club with 59 points.

Congratulations to Sail Newport, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the Newport Yachting Center and the worlds committee headed up by Jeff Johnstone and Kendra Muenter for conducting what had to be one of the best regattas ever in most sailor's recent memories. How can anyone beat the fact that for at least five straight days (six including practices on Sunday) that J/80s sailed in 15-30 knot winds nearly every day and over the course of the regatta were presented with some of the most challenging conditions anyone could ever imagine? From giant tropical depression induced waves from the East in a strong 15-30 Northeaster on Tuesday; to a 15-25 knot WNW in big chop offshore on Wednesday; to 10-30 knots WNW inside the Bay with flat water on Thursday; to yet another epic day offshore in 15-30 knot WSW breezes offshore in 4-6 foot waves for the Friday finale. Awesome. Cool. Incredible. All adjectives heard from sailors on the docks and at the Awards Dinner Friday.
Finally, many thanks to the sponsors who supported the J/80 Worlds 2010. In particular "Thanks" to the Gold Sponsors- West Marine, North Sails, Waterline Systems and V-Sport; the Silver Sponsors- New England Ropes, Harken, Henri Lloyd and Forte; and the Supporting Companies- Gowrie Group, Hall Spars, Sail 22, Sparcraft USA, Narragansett Beer, Harbor Town Vineyards,, Z-Blok, Crystal Spring Water, Outside Images, Atlas Boat-Pads, Ronstan, Sailing World Magazine and Regatta Ginger Beer.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

J/80 Worlds- Wild Sailing Up The Bay- Day 3

J/80 RASCAL sailing downwind under spinnakerPERALEJA GOLF Hanging to Lead by a Thread
(Newport, RI- October 7th)- The J/80 Worlds fleet was in for something special on their third day of sailing when PRO Tom Duggan hoisted "B" course area flag and sent the fleet up Narragansett Bay north of Gould Island. And, a special day it was, nearly post-card perfect winds and weather. The day dawned partly cloudy and cool blowing from the West, very shifty and extremely gusty. By the end, it was crystal clear skies with torn-cotton clouds blowing across the sky with winds fluctuating from 10 knots to upwards of 30 knots at times and shifting over 30 degrees from the WNW.
The course area presented a challenge regards how to stretch the course to the maximum possible length of 1.5nm. This meant the starting line had to be east of Halfway Rock in the shipping channel with the windward mark buried up under the Jamestown Island shore. It was a day that perhaps some of the "locals" might appreciate and have some fun with. That's exactly what happened.

J/80 Quantum Racing with Scott Young and Terry FlynnThe first race winners were the RASCAL team of Henry Brauer and Will Welles, neither are strangers to "up the Bay" sailing, nor is their tactician Stuart Johnstone. Right from the start, it was clear the left was paying with huge left-handers in the top left of the course. After a closely fought race, the RASCAL team held off a late charge from the very well sailed QUANTUM RACING team skippered by Scott Young and Terry Flynn from Austin, TX, the two bright red spinnakers pulling hard as the two boats flew across the line together on a full-on screaming plane and spray flying everywhere in a 25 kt gust. Third in the race was Jose Maria Torcida on ECC VIVIENDAS. Rounding out the top five were Carlos Martinez on PERALEJA GOLF in 4th and Jeff Johnstone on LITTLE FEAT in 5th.

J/80 LITTLE FEAT sailed by Jeff Johnstone- planing off the wind at J/80 Worlds NewportBetween the first and second race the wind kept clocking a bit further right, going from 255-265 to 260-275 and with enormous differences in pressure across the race track. It took a while for the committee to reset and after a general recall, Z-flag recall, a black flag start/postponement, the fleet finally took off on one of the crazier races of the day. The second race saw a tough battle ensue for domination of the left side of the course. In the end, Al "Albie" Terhune with Moose McClintock as his tactician were not going to let anyone get left of them after giving it up to RASCAL in the previous race! Lesson learned, they took the gun. Not far behind them was Jeff Johnstone sailing LITTLE FEAT to an excellent race for second. Nipping at their heels were the hard-charging team on-board HOTEL PRINCESA CANARIAS sailed by Rayco Tabares in third. Making a nice comeback in this race was Glenn Darden's team on LE TIGRE managing to salvage a 4th and fifth was Javier Aguado Blanco on CROCS.

J/80 Le Tigre sailed by Glenn DardenThe third race of the day was simply a stunner. Race two was spectacular enough with 15-25 kt breezes from the West. But, the last race could not have been a more beautiful one to sail. With the race track moved around yet again to compensate for a 290-305 direction, it was going to be interesting to see if the "lefties" in races 1 and 2 for the day would still pay. Not. It was pretty clear that middle-right was going to pay big. Sailing a very strong race was Glenn Darden on LE TIGRE, earning a well-deserved first (the actual race winner HOTEL PRINCESA CANARIAS was DSQ'd). Second was Pichu Torcida on ECC VIVIENDAS. Sailing a very consistent day was QUANTUM RACING skippered by Scott Young/ Terry Flynn in 3rd. Fourth was Ben Schwartz skippering LUCKY FROG and fifth was Jeff Johnstone on LITTLE FEAT.

After the dust cleared, it was clear the shifty, gusty conditions would jumble the standings significantly. Sure enough, Carlos Martinez on PERALEJA GOLF (who got black-flagged in race 8) managed to avoid big mistakes and leads by one point. Lying second just one point back is the QUANTUM RACING team skippered by Scott and Terry. On the second place tie-breaker is Jose's ECC VIVIENDAS team lying in third. With throw-outs, the top three boats are only separated by one point. The last day promises to be a mind-bender for these top three teams. And, if they really slip-up, it's possible that Glenn's LE TIGRE and Jeff's LITTLE FEAT could be contenders for the top three-- with a roll of the dice, anything is possible!
Sailing Photo Credits- Allen Clark-

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

J/80 Worlds Having a Gear-buster

J/80s sailing World Championships
(Newport, RI)- Sixty-two teams are competing in Rhode Island Sound and on Narragansett Bay this week.  So far it has lived up to its promises to be one of the most competitive J/80 Worlds to date. The six past World Champions are having a go at one another over the first three days of racing, but none of them are leading!

The sailing has simply been extraordinary.  Tuesday's northeaster blowing 15-25 knots offshore with ginormous waves from the east made for some incredibly long planes/ surfs on what seemed like a long roller-coaster ride.  Wednesday's WNW breeze offshore was incredibly tactical and shifty.  That was followed up by yet another even shiftier and tactical day on Thursday inside Narragansett Bay.

At the moment, the current J/80 European Champion, Carlos Martinez, is winning on PERALEJA GOLF by only one point over the American team of Scott Young and Terry Flynn on QUANTUM RACING.  They are ahead on a tie-breaker over Jose Maria "Pichu" Torcida sailing ECC VIVIENDAS, the 2007 Worlds winner in La Trinite, France.  Fourth is Glenn Darden sailing LE TIGRE and fifth is Jeff Johnstone on LITTLE FEAT.The last day of racing promises to be a cliff-hanger for these top five teams as they all mathematically have a chance of winning, especially if at least two races are sailed offshore in Rhode Island Sound.  Another gorgeous day is forecast with strong WNW winds with spectacularly clear skies.  Follow all the action, photos and results for the J/80 Worlds.

J/80 Worlds- The Spanish Armada Dominates Day 2

J/80 Worlds- sailing at sunset off Newport, RIThe Tres Amigos Lead- Carlos, Jose and Rayco
(Newport, RI)- While many expected the Spanish teams to sail well and put on a good show at the Newport J/80 Worlds, it's doubtful many expected them to be dominating in their second day of sailing in the strong, shifty northwesterly winds off Newport. After five races, the top three teams are all Spanish J/80 Champions of one form or another, with Carlos Martinez on PERALEJA GOLF winning, putting his mark on the fleet with a 1-2 today for a total of 16 points. Jose Maria "Pichu" Torcida lies second six points back after a 5-7. And, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Rayco Tabares Alvarez on HOTEL PRINCESA CANARIAS sailed to the second best record with a 2-3 for a total of 28 points. To illustrate how tight the competition is so far, four different boats in five races have won a race, the only double-winner being the American team of QUANTUM RACING sailed by Scott Young and Terry Flynn from Austin, TX.

J/80 Peraleja Golf team winning race four at J/80 Worlds NewportThe day started out slowly. At 0830 hours, in the middle of a torrential downpour, the prospects were dim for any kind of reasonable racing. Consulting with his brain trust of Brad Read of SailNewport and others, Tom Duggan elected to postpone until 1000 hours. After two more on-shore postponements, the Low that was developing SE off Cape Cod started to move, enabling the PRO and the RC team to mobilize the troops and issue a "race on" at the 1200 hours announcement. Sure enough, the predicted WNW breeze behind the front started to pipe-in at 7-12 knots. By the time the fleet got to the race course, a combination of down pours, squalls, fog, mist, and locusts (just kidding) seemed to bedevil both the fleet and the PRO/ RC. After several tries, the fourth race started around 2 pm with some degree of clearing. It was a great race. In fact, with the wind settling in around 275 to 280 the fleet was treated to a classic WNW wind with large shifts and large channels of breeze in the 10-20 knots range. Carlos Martinez's team on PERALEJA GOLF sailed a strong race, coming back from a rounding of around 10th at the first windward mark to win the race. Sailing equally as well was Rayco on HOTEL PRINCESA CANARIAS, rounding in about the same position at the first weather mark, but battled back to get a second. John Storck on RUMOR got third. Fourth was Henry Brauer and Will Welles on RASCAL, just clipping Pichu Torcida on ECC VIVIENDAS in fifth in an all-out planing finish!

J/80 FIRED UP team from Houston, TX rounding mark with spinnakerThe fifth race was an abject lesson in trying to do the right thing for the fleet at the right time. PRO Tom Duggan hung in there despite all kinds of protestations from the sailors. The wind was shifting dramatically at the starts, first favoring the port end, then starboard end, then port end, forcing general recalls and an eventual postponement to reset. Undaunted, Tom got the last race off late in the day, we believe around 4pm or so. It was a gorgeous race, held in the twilight of a front passing by with a shelf of clouds forming a clear edge to blue skies in the distant west, all lit by impending sunset at 6:15 pm. No one was disappointed. It was a fun fast race, cut short to three legs so everyone could get home by nightfall. Taking the gun was QUANTUM RACING, Scott Young and Terry Flynn simply sailing a very strong race against perhaps the tightest fleet yet in the top ten. Second was Carlos Martinez on PERALEJA GOLF sailing up QUANTUM's exhaust-pipe very, very fast. Third was Rayco on HOTEL PRINCESA CANARIAS. Rounding out the top five were Jay Lutz/ Gary Kamins on FIRED UP finishing 4th and Christer Faith-Ell on HASSE from Sweden. The finish for the top ten at sunset was quite spectacular, with the carbon and kevlar sails blazing in a reddish-orange glow and seemingly a dozen boats all finishing about the same time behind the top three!

The stage is now set for the three Spanish teams to duel it out for world supremacy in the J/80 class. They've all been there before, it's only a question now of who's going to be the spoiler between Scott Young/ Terry Flynn's QUANTUM RACING, Jay Lutz/ Gary Kamin's FIRED UP, John Storck's RUMOR, or Glenn Darden's LE TIGRE.

Sailing Photo Credits- Official J/80 Worlds Photographer:

Allen Clark-


Burton's J/80 GROMIT Sailed By Spanish Champion

J/80 sailing with super dog as skipper!Tami Burton and her dog Annabelle spent part of the July 4th weekend sailing the J/80 GROMIT with her husband Andy on Narragansett Bay. It was their first sail on their new (to them) boat and they all loved it. Look for Tami, Andy and crew racing  on the US east coast this year. Annabelle prefers to crew on non-race days. Andy makes J/boat half models at his company, Trident Studio (  Look for GROMIT to be one of the top boats in next weeks J/80 Worlds-- she's being sailed by an ex-J/80 World Champion from Spain- Rayco Tabares!    

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

J/80 Worlds- Spanish Teams Lead- Day 1

J/80 Worlds- one-design sailboat sailing upwind
Ferocious Northeaster Blitzes Fleet
(Newport, RI- Tuesday, Oct. 5th)- The start of the 2010 J/80 Worlds promised to be an epic day. The morning broke cool and windy from the northeast, exactly as forecasted. Not that anyone was expecting anything much different after sailing in northeasters practicing on Sunday and Monday in 15-30 knots and huge breaking seas from the east. The PRO Tom Duggan warned the fleet at the opening ceremonies on Monday evening that if conditions looked good, the fleet would go offshore off the fabled "R2" buoy off Brenton Reef. Sure enough, at 0830 course signals went up on the signal halyard and the fleet proceeded to plane en'masse offshore to the starting area under spinnakers and white sails.

J/80s sailing offshore in big seas off Newport, RIWith breezes on the course area in the 60-75 degree direction blowing 15-25 knots and ginormous waves with cross-chop from the east, everyone knew they were going to be in for a serious, physically demanding day. As they have in the previous three J/80 Worlds, the Spanish teams put on a text-book show of how to sail at least as fast as everyone else upwind, but simply "blow doors" off everyone else downwind. Often sailing upwards of 2-3 knots faster at times than their rivals flying downwind over and under other boats in front of them as if they were pylons in an obstacle course. It was a "schooling" like no one can imagine. Even Chuck Allen on Jeff Johnstone's boat LITTLE FEAT admitted, "we got to the weather mark in the top five in all three races today, but before we knew it, Spanish boats were flying by us like we were parked! It was like we were body-surfing and they were on surfboards!"
J/80 Worlds- surfing downwind off large waveLeading the standings are top two Spanish teams, former J/80 World Champion, Jose Maria Torcida on ECC VIVIENDAS, leading with a 5-3-2 score for ten points and Carlos Martinez (current J/80 European Champion) skippering PERALEJA GOLF in second with a 2-2-9 for thirteen points. While they may not have had strong first beats, their two downwind legs and second beats enabled them to grind down the competition in front of them to post very consistent scores.

The top five are all within nine points of each other. Filling out the top five are the top Americans with QUANTUM RACING team comprised of Scott Young and Terry Flynn in third with an 8-5-1 tally for fourteen points, just four points off the leader. Fourth is Jay Lutz and Gary Kamins racing FIRED UP with the "devils numbers" as their score- 6-6-6 for eighteen points! Lying fifth is current J/80 North American Champion John Storck Jr with an 11-4-4 for nineteen points.

J/80 Worlds- Spanish sailing teams- Nextel EngineeringJust off the pace are the other three J/80 World Champions. Glenn Darden on LE TIGRE (current runner-up at the recent J/80 North Americans) is lying sixth with a 3-8-10 score for 21 points. Rayco Tabares on HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA started off slowly with a 17th in race 1, then finished the day strongly with a 1-5 to stay in contention in 8th place. Just behind him is Ignacio Camino Rodriguez on NEXTEL ENGINEERING that also started off slowly with a 13th in race one, but closed with a 7-3 score. Watch out for these guys as the continue to ascend the ladder in the next few days!

Kudos to PRO Tom Duggan coordinating the Sail Newport race management team for starting on time and running three great races, all 1.7 nm windward-leewards, four times around the track. No one could've asked for a more incredible first day to start off a J/80 World Championship. Let's hope the weather Gods cooperate and provide all the sailors with a few more days of challenging conditions.

Sailing Photo Credits- Allen & Daniella Clark- Photoboat