Wednesday, February 24, 2010

J/80’s Are Back on Long Island Sound!

J/80 sailing downwind

(NY/ CT)- J/80’s are one of the most exciting one-design boats to sail, but, previously, if you wanted to race one-design on the Long Island Sound, you either had to sail dinghies or buy a larger boat like the J/105.  There always were a few J/80’s around, but split in two different groups: the one-design travel boats and the local PHRF racing boats.  Among the travelers, some of the best crews in the country, if not the world, call the Long Island Sound their home. The more prominent boats are Kerry Klingler’s LIFTED and John Storck, Jr.’s RUMOR who probably both don’t need any further introduction to the readers of this newsletter. On the other hand, there have always been various J/80s scattered about in clubs like AYC, LYC and Centerport that mainly sailed PHRF in club races. But, until this year, the local boats did not come together as a fleet.

This February, representatives from nine boats got together at Larchmont Yacht Club to meet each other, organize and reaffirm that western Long Island Sound was ripe for J/80 one-design events.  Five more boats joined Fleet 17 since the word got out bringing the total count of boats in the area up to 14 and at least two more are expected to join soon. The newly invigorated fleet agreed on three local races for this year to complement the full 2010 USA Tour schedule.  These events are:
May 22-23    Lloyd Harbor YC Spring Race for the Case (of Rum)- Lloyd Neck, NY
Jun 6-7         Cedar Point YC One Design Regatta- East Norwalk, CT
Sep 25-26    American YC Fall Series (1st weekend only)- Rye, NY

In addition, the fleet is planning to launch an annual J/80 Long Island Sound Cup – “J/80 LIS Cup” – which will be scored similar to the J/80 2010 USA Tour with a combination of qualifying local races. For more information on the fleet and how to get involved, please contact J/80 Fleet#17 rep Ansgar Chorhummel ( of  or go here-  J/80 Fleet #17 website.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Challenge J/80 La Trinité France

J/80 France- La Trinite sur Mer- one-design class sailing

(La Trinite sur Mer, France- Feb 6-7)- Like their J/80 classmates in Spain, the J/80 French teams are starting their late winter/ early spring racing and training programs for the 2010 summer season and many of the teams are looking at gearing up for the J/80 Worlds in Newport, RI in October. 

Thirteen teams participated in the second weekend of the Challenge J80 Trinitaine, racing in very tough weather conditions.  On Saturday in light, shifty six to twelve knot NW winds off La Trinite, marked by lots of current, the teams spent a lot of time training on their maneuvers; with starts, mark roundings and leeward gate roundings.  On Sunday, under bright spring sunshine and fifteen knot NE winds, the Race Committee sent the teams around a one nautical mile windward-leeward course.  At the end of the day, it was COYOTE that won the day with a 4-1-1 record.  J'BOULET was second with a 5-2-2 tally and third lay JALUCYNE with a 4-3-3 series score.  For more J/80 French Class sailing information.  

J/80s Spain Report

(Feb. 17th)- The Spanish J/80 teams press on regardless of wind, weather, European Ice Age and anything else that may be thrown in front of them.  This past weekend was no exception.  Of note were the training sessions conducted by past J/80 World and European Champions, highlighted by the participation of Murciano Carlos Martinez (3rd in the 2009 Worlds in Santander, Spain and 3rd in the 2008 Worlds at Kiel, Germany), the Spaniard Jose Maria Torcida (2007 World Champion in La Trinité, France and 6th in the 2009 Worlds in Santander, Spain).

J/80 one-design sailng- Barcelona, SpainRCNB Winter Trophy 

(Barcelona, Spain)- This past weekend, Real Club Nautico Barcelona conducted six races in excellent wind conditions- shifty fifteen knot winds from the southwest.  The RC PRO setup a nice 3.5 nautical mile windward leeward course.  Jordi Negroni won two of the three races Saturday while FORTY FIVE, skippered by Richard Terrades, continued to dominate the rest of the races. For more Spanish J/80 sailing info.

Castro Ricardo III Trophy

(La Coruna, Spain)- This past weekend saw the start of the Castro Ricardo III Trophy for the J/80 class, hosted by Real Club Náutico de La Coruña.  The fleet was greeted by two solid days of racing with widely varying conditions.  On Saturday, it blew hard from the NE at 20-25 knots and two fun, fast races were sailed.  Ultimately, it was a dogfight between MELTEMIA skippered by Fernando Lago, MARINA CORUNA skippered by Paul Chavert and IN ITINERIES skippered by Miguel Fernandez.  Miguel Fernandez sailed well on the final downwind leg of the last race to win.  On Sunday, it started light from the south at 6-7 knots, but later built to a gusty 20-23 knot winds, testing the crews again in large choppy seas and shifty breezes.  Overall the J/80s are led by MELTEMI followed by IN INITNERIES and MARINA CORUNA.  For more Spanish J/80 sailing info.

J/80 RCN Clinic a Success

(La Coruna, Spain- Feb. 8th)- There was a lot of intense activity at Real Club Náutico de La Coruña during the past weekend with the celebration of "CLINICA CORUNNA J/80."  RCNLC hosted this training for the local J/80 fleet.  Renowned J/80 sailors were invited to conduct the clinic, including Murciano Carlos Martinez (3rd in the 2009 Worlds in Santander, Spain and 3rd in the 2008 Worlds at Kiel, Germany), the Spaniard Jose Maria Torcida (2007 World Champion in La Trinité, France and 6th in the 2009 Worlds in Santander, Spain) and Peru Bilbaino Mugica. At 1030 hours the J80s began with a lecture-panel led by Carlos Martinez, on the set-up and speed for J/80s. When finished, the crews got aboard their J/80s for a very constructive on-the-water training session.  Each of the guest coaches sailed on the boats with their owners and crew, focusing on boat-handling and boat speed. Upon returning to the club from these on-the-water sessions, everyone analyzed training videos of the day, examined the pictures, always striving to improve tuning, speed and maneuvering.  The day ended with a dinner where sailors and guests continued their discussions of the tips and trick learned from the days' training session. For more Spanish J/80 sailing info.

J/80 one-design sailing- Santander, Spain

J/80 Lacre Memorial Trophy

(Santander, Spain)- This past weekend, Toño Piris-Santi Lopez-Vazquez onboard YATES & THINGS continued their winning ways in the J/80 Santander fleet, they continue to lead the Lacre Memorial Trophy series.  Not to be outdone, Pichu Torcida-Alex Muscat sailing ECC VIVIENDAS got the win in the second race of the day was the best boat of the day and is second overall.  True to the determination of the Santander sailors, the freezing cold did not deter the twenty five crews from going to the starting line.  The teams were greeted by a moderate southwest breeze blowing 8-10 knots, which permitted the RC to conduct two races.  After some spirited racing that saw boats play both sides of the course and shifts influenced by the renowned "Moors" section of grassy beach off Santander (see J/Sailing Calendar photo), the teams are looking forward to more racing next weekend.  Lying third after the dust settled is FONESTART sailed by Jaime Piris, fourth is SPACIO 10 raced by Paul Santurde and fifth is BANCAJA sailed by Javier López-Vázquez and Alvaro Mazarrasa.  For more Spanish J/80 sailing info.  

J/80s and J/World Annapolis Partner with USSTAG/GEL Sailing Program

J/80 US Sailing Team- Olympics- GEL* J/80s at J/World Annapolis were used for a USSTAG/ GEL program with US Olympian Graham Biehl.  Donna Berry from GEL had this to say about the program-  "I wanted to share the following sailing story with you involving the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, sailing experiential learning company Group Experiential Learning, J World Annapolis and Olympian Graham Biehl.

It’s not every day that one gets to meet an Olympic sailor, let alone race with one.  On February 4, 2010 in Naples, Fla., AlphaGraphics, the title sponsor of the US Sailing Team, took its sponsorship to the next level with a pioneering event that intertwined world-class sailing with corporate relationship building.   AlphaGraphics brought its top franchisees out to sail and race with US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) team member Graham Biehl, a 2008 Olympian and 2012 Olympic hopeful, in an event organized by fellow sponsor, Group Experiential Learning (GEL), the country’s premier provider of experiential outdoor and sailboat-based leadership development, team building and corporate entertainment programs.  Ninety-five percent of the participants had never sailed, let alone raced, prior to the afternoon on the home waters of the Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club, but tight racing ensued, facilitated by a highly experienced coaching team from J World Annapolis, a sailing school partner which powers many GEL programs.   Participants were divided into four teams on J80s, with each team guest-coached by Biehl during one round of the four races which comprised the regatta.

“Our role as a title sponsor of US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics has really evolved into a greater and greater relationship year-after-year,” said Kevin Cushing, CEO of AlphaGraphics.  “Our event was a great example of how the members of the team are more engaged with our franchisees and our franchisees are engaged with them.  Graham Biehl was present on every boat giving us tips and having a blast with our franchisees.  It was a once-in-a-life experience.”  

Added Dan Cooney, Commercial Director for US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, "We were thrilled to have our team-building partner GEL lead our title sponsor AlphaGraphics and their top franchisees through the paces on the water, culminating in some competitive but friendly racing.  It serves to deepen and add value to these relationships."

The day’s outcome?  Sixteen key franchisees and AlphaGraphics employees experienced an unprecedented opportunity to compete with and against a young Olympic athlete, and got a glimpse into the teamwork required to battle wind, currents and competitors in the intense world of sailboat racing.  Several teams won individual races and the regatta did award trophies, but as Kevin Cushing pointed out, the victories are truly measured in the smiles of the participants and the deepened relationships between AlphaGraphics and its vital franchisees.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

J/80 Spain Winter Series Update

The J/80 fleets in Bilbao, Santander and Palma Mallorca, Spain continue strong racing with some series leaders emerging.  Come rain, snow, cold or violent squalls, nothing seems to deter this group of sailors from having great sailing on the water and camaraderie in the local harborside pubs after sailing.

J/80 sailing off Bilbao, SpainWinter Trophy 2010

(Bilbao, Spain- Feb 6-7)-  Winter Trophy 2010 and has a clear candidate for title: Peru Mugica and his crew of PAKEA BIZKAIA. A first and a second on the third weekend helped Peru Mugica consolidate his lead with eight points, five less than the AS DE GUIA VIII's skipper Joseph Azqueta, who finished third and fourth.  In third place overall is FREUS's  Cristian Jauregui with seventeen points.

On a cold rainy day with little wind, the race committee postponed for two hours.  Then, they got two races off, the first one being light winds and strong currents making for challenging tactical decisions and the second marked by a powerful squall shifting the winds into the north.    In the first race, Zubiaga Ramon sailing MANDOVI led the race from start to finish after a difficult start.  MANDOVI chose to duck a bunch of transoms on port to get to the favored side and simply sailed away with the race.   Behind them, Peru Mugica staged a great comeback to finish second by the end of the race. The second race was considerably closer and much windier for the fleet.  The leaders all went to the right side of the course, playing the shifts.  In the end, victory belonged to Peru's PAKEA BIZKAIA followed by Cristian's FREUS and Joseph's AS DE GUIA VIII' in third place.

After the racing a dinner was held at SALTILLO's.  After the cold and rain, the warm atmosphere and great food and drink made for some amusing stories and celebration-- a lot of potato's were eaten!  More Spanish sailing news here.  

The J/80 Mafias Trophy- Spain

J/80 Spacio 10 winner of Mafias Trophy


(Santander, Spain- Feb 6-7)-  On the final day of the first trophy of the year, Pichu Torcida continued his winning ways from the 2009 season.  Pichu's ECC VIVIENDAS sailed extremely well, winning two races on the last day, to finish just two points back from Mafias Trophy winner, Paul Santurde on SPACIO 10.  SPACIO 10 consistently led the series, despite not winning any races.  And, thanks to an extraordinarily consistent series of 2-2-2-2 in the first four races, Santurde managed to hang in there for the overall win.

Like their friends in Bilbao, heavy rain in the afternoon on Saturday in Santander Bay did not stop to the fleet from having an interesting day of racing.  There was high tide, the wind blew between 15 and 18 knots from the west, and the race committee managed to run five races.  There were 22 boats on the starting line.  Unusually, the fleet went right the first time, without needing to have to repeat the same tactic later in the day.  In later races, the fleet was distributed equally throughout the race course. Some sought more favorable tide, some surfed the channel area of the bay and others simply played the left side, sailing further south. 

While ECC VIVIENDAS was winning the last two races, SPACIO 10 was wrapping up the series with a solid performance.  With their fourth consecutive second place, Santurde's SPACIO 10 secured winning the Mafias Trophy.  Antonio Piris sailed his YATES&THINGS very well to finish third for the series, followed by Alberto Padron's MABLE V and Jamie Piris' FONESTAR in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Next weekend the Santander J/80 fleet starts the Waxy-Memorial de Antonio Pereda Trophy during the month of February.  More Spanish sailing news.  

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

J/80 UK Nationals- Cardiff, Wales, UK

J/80 Nationals UK - sailing upwind off starting line

(Cardiff, Wales, UK- May 5-8th)- The Tacktick Suunto J/80 UK National Championship 2010 will be hosted by the Cardiff Bay Yacht Club from May 5-8th.  The J/80 is fastest selling sportsboat in Europe and with this in mind, marine electronics specialists Tacktick have agreed title sponsorship for the J/80 UK Nationals.  James Hewitt, Sales Manager for Tacktick Suunto said, "We are delighted to kick start what we hope will be a long standing association with the UK J/80 Class. We see the Tacktick Race Master as the perfect product for this performance sportsboat. Of course the Suunto range of watches also hold massive appeal across all J Boat sailors from the J/80 to the J/133, as does our entire range of wireless, self powered marine electronics." This is the second time the J/80 National Championships have been fought in the waters of Cardiff Bay. The racing is extremely tactical, tidal considerations are clearly important and racing here on short windward-leeward courses presents a real challenge and reaps it’s own rewards for the clever sailor. Facilities at Cardiff Bay Yacht Club are superb for sportsboats and the Class is very pleased to be back.  Thirty plus UK boats are expected at the event in June, along with visitors from Italy and elsewhere in Europe. The growing domestic fleet welcomes many new owners in 2010 and the spring date for the Tacktick Suunto J/80 UK Nationals means that this is the first time most teams will be lining up against each other in advance of the J/80 Europeans on Lake Garda in June and the J/80 Worlds in Newport at the end of the summer.  Photo Credit- ChapiFoto.  For more J/80 regatta and sailing information.  

J/80 Spain- Winter Sailing Report

J/80 Sailing off Palma Mallorca, Spain

The teams in Spain continue to be a dominant force in the J/80 class.  With several Olympians, World Champions from various classes participating, it's not surprising the Spanish teams continue to be competitive on a world-class level-- after all, the Mediterranean is their backyard.  And, of all things, even with strange (but interesting) events like the Americas Cup 33 DOG Match with a bunch of big cats taking place in Valencia, the Spaniards are intent on winning yet another J/80 World Championship.  Who's to argue with their success?  Cats be damned.  One-design is where it's at (ironically, Ellison, Bertarelli know that, too!).  Here's a synopsis of their activities this winter.  The Palma Mallorca fleet is active, as always in one of the more spectacular sailing settings one could ever imagine worldwide-- famous church, beautiful bay, great breeze as your settings and backdrop.  The Bilbao and Santander fleets continue to race and conduct training sessions for their teams. Photo Credit- Jesus Renedo.

J/80 fleet of Bilbao, Spain in Winter Sailing seriesBilbao Winter Trophy

(Bilbao, Spain- Feb. 3-4th)- This past weekend, the J/80 fleet in Bilbao had two days or racing with fourteen boats on the line. After some delays on Saturday, the fleet enjoyed a beautiful fifteen knot breeze from the southeast but fighting a strong 1.5 knots current.  The first race was won by Pakea Freus followed by Christian Jauregui.  The second race was held with less wind, and was also very competitive among the top finishers. It is worth noting again that Freus and Paul Riquelme with their boat VIAJES IBERIA will be one of the rivals to beat at the top. The end result was the first race went to Peru Pakea Mugica and the second to the Jose Azqueta.  More next week on how these rivals begin to duke it out leading up to this years European events.  Photo Creidt-

J/80 one-design class sailing off Santander, SpainReal Club Náutico Training Session- Clinica Coruna

(Santander, Spain)-  On February 6, RCN will be hosting a training program for J/80 teams to get them up to speed for the 2010 sailing season.  In attendance will be some of Spain's more renowned J/80 sailors, including Carlos Martinez (Peraleja Golf), José María Torcida (ECC Housing) and Peru Mugica (Pakea Bizcaia).  The program is a very full day with the intention of learning the most from their distinguished guests and, most importantly, to spend a fun day at sea.  Photo Credit-

For more J/80 Spain regatta and sailing information.