Monday, October 24, 2011

HAPPY wins J/80 Dynamant Cup

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing Stockholm, Sweden(Stockholm, Sweden)- It was in brilliant sunshine and winds of 4-6 metres/second for the last and final J/80 regatta of the year.  A total of nine J/80's were on the starting line at 10am for the first start.  What followed was a brisk tempo with short and quick races for everyone. Many boats were leading the various races with many changes at the top due to the premium put on not only boatspeed off the starting line but good boat-handling as well!

The winner was TEAM HAPPY with John Berg at the helm with 53 points.  John became the proud winner of the gift card for 6,000 kronor (sponsored by the I.T. company DYNAMANT)!!  Before this last regatta, the Dynamant Summer Series was evenly matched between the teams DYNAMANT and HEAVY DUTY, with the outcome of the last regatta determining who would get 2nd and 3rd.  In the end, DYNAMANT's solid, consistent sailing decided the outcome, giving them second oval with 48 points and a giftcard of 3,000 kronor!  Finishing third was HEVY DUTY with 46 points.

This year's "Rookie of the Year" was awarded to TEAM VICTORY, which debuted in mid-season and finished well in the last few regattas. That bodes well for next season!

At the Awards Presentation, prizes were also awarded to the three boats who have distinguished themselves for their commitment to sailing the Dynamant Cup Series-- those teams were  PARBELU, HEAVY DUTY and HAPPY-- none of them have missed a regatta!  Their hard work and perseverance was rewarded handsomely, each team were given HUGE, well-filled bags of chocolate and coffee from Marabou and Gevalia.  Yummy!  For more "Happy" Dynamant Cup sailing results

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Team PIKE Wins German J/80 Open

J/80 sailboat- sailing Flensburg, Germany(Flensburg, Germany)- Flensburg Sailing Club hosts the annual Flensburg Sailing Week every autumn and for the last few years has also hosted the FSC Deutsche Open for the J/80 class.

Over the three days in mid-September, sixteen J/80s managed to get in some great sailing with the weather, in general, cooperating nicely for the three days.

Day 1 - The first two races were sailed at about 8 knots of wind, with PROCEEDS DIVA winning the first two. In the third race of the day the wind was barely strong enough for a race, this nerve-sapping race could ultimately decide the leaders for the first day.  At the end of the day, PROCEEDS DIVA was first, just two points behind them were the past winner of the regatta- Team PIKE- and third was Gordon Nickel skippering ANEGADA from Bremen.

Day 2 - At 2-6 knots, the two races on Saturday were long, long races with many exciting changes in positions.  After several hours of postponement the fleet sailed what some sailors thought were "lottery" races.  Nevertheless, Team PIKE took advantage and won two races, moving themselves into first overall. Behind him was a complete turnover in the standings.  Lying 2nd was Sven Vagt sailing CAMPAIGN and third was Kiel sailor Martin Menzer.  PROCEEDS DIVA and ANEGADA dropped to 4th and 5th, respectively.

Day 3 Final Day- On Sunday morning the teams were excited about the great sailing weather for the last three races: a constant WNW wind around 10 knots with brilliant sunshine.  Team PIKE took a 1st and 2nd in the first two races and didn't have to sail the race last.  PROCEEDS DIVA sailed to a 3-1-1 to secure 2nd overall, ANEGADA persevered and took third overall and the surprise was the strong showing of the Polish team MOONRAKER, snagging 4th place in from of Team CAMPAIGN that finished 5th.

In conclusion, it was an exciting event for all and some great sailing.  It was also the third title for Team PIKE, having regained their former performance from previous seasons.  For more German Open J/80 sailing information

J/80 Wins Dollorso Open Cup

J/80 sailboat- sailing off Chiavari, Italy(Chiavari, Italy)-  This past weekend, the Yacht Club Chiavari hosted their annual Dollorso Open Cup with over seventy boats participating in ORC, IRC and Multihull classes.

With refreshments and award ceremony in the presence of the Family Dollorso, Aldermen of the City of Chiavari and Mr. Segalerba Rombolini and representatives of TCI, it was the J/80 JENIALE! sailed by Massimo Rama from YC Chiavari that won the huge Open Class!  Massimo receive the much revered trophy, the Silver Plaque Nicholas Dollorso.

The first day of racing took place on Saturday in sunny weather, calm seas and extremely variable breeze. The second day of racing, the return in Chiavari, took place on Sunday, in a beautiful summer day, with calm seas and gentle breezes-- as a result, not many boats finished within the time limit.  For more Copa Dollorso sailing information

Thursday, October 20, 2011

BMW Berlin Match Race Preview

BMW J/80s sailing match race cup Berlin, Germany(Berlin, Germany)- What do Jochen Schumann, Markus Wieser, and Bjorn Hansen - the match race world elite have in common?  They're guests competing in Wannsee on J/80s soon!  These World class sailors will participate in the 20th edition of the Berlin Match Race, that was initiated by prominent members of both organizing clubs, Achim Kadelbach (VSaW) and Peter Barnikow (BYC).

Markus Wieser, multiple World, and European Champion is looking forward to challenging his adversary of last year in the finals, Bj√∂rn Hansen from Sweden, who won the 19th Berlin Match Race and currently is 4th in the world ranking list. Mads Ebler, the Danish European match race champion in 2010, will also be fighting for every inch of the race. Undoubtedly the helmsmen William Tiller (New Zealand) and Keith Swinton (Australia) and their crews have had the longest journey to Berlin. Having travelled all the way around the world, returning empty handed is not an option for them. In the fight for the title Markus Wieser will be challenged by the top German sailor Jochen Schumann, twice winner of the America´s Cup and Olympic Games, who would also like to reclaim the victory and prize money (totaling about 20,000 Euro)!  The race will be sailed on J 80 class boats from 2nd to 6th November.  For more BMW Berlin Match Race sailing information, please visit the BMW Sailing site

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Team Hudson Wins J/80 China Match Race

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing China Cup(Xiamen, China)- The China Club Challenge Match is the premier Chinese sailing event for Chinese sailors, with 34 teams from around this country of 1.0+ billion people battling it out for the right to challenge the 2010 trophy holder. It is run on the waters off Xiamen in Fujian Province, renowned for serving up good breezes every day, like clockwork, at this time of year.

The event is open to all sailors in China - including foreigners who live and work in the country.  The China Club Challenge has earned a reputation in recent years for good winds, tight courses, fair, unbiased umpiring and rulings, and good tight racing in the ‘proper’ spirit of sailing.  Such is the good-natured spirit of the event that even defeated teams crossing the line a few boat lengths behind the victors have been seen spontaneously raising their hands in applause for the victor!

J/80 one-design sailboat- fleet racing off Xiamen, ChinaThe regatta starts with a "fleet racing" format to setup the elimination ladder for the match races.  It was expected that the fleet racing element of the event would sort out the men from the boys. The breeze was providing a steady 20kts, and with some sailors on the J/80s for the first time it proved so, with some of the fleet opting to avoid the spinnaker. But with the committee boat recording 30+ kts in the gusts perhaps this wasn’t surprising.  Spin outs were very much in evidence, with some skippers failing to keep their boats under the rig, providing some dramatic viewing for those on the spectator boats.

A busy time was had by the on-the-water judges who then were back sitting behind the table in the protest room for much of the evening, especially on day 1 when they left the venue at 2250h. Altogether around a dozen protests were lodged, but it could easily have been more as the racing was close.  Having said that, boat damage and breakdowns were remarkably light considering the conditions, and the J/80s lent by Hudson Yachts proved to be more than up to the task-- only two requests for redress due to gear failure were lodged in the entire fleet racing section of the regatta.  After the initial three days of racing, with 14 races run in total, the fleet was whittled down from 34 to 16 for the match-racing portion of the event.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing with women's Chinese sailing teamThe event then shifted gear into the match racing phase with the round of 16 requiring 24 races in one day. Sounds incredible, but that is what the race management team managed to squeeze out on day four.  Race Officers Russ Parker and Tony Liu, along with umpires Al, Ewan, Peter and Tim certainly earned their stripes on this day, with all of them on the water for every race.

The fleet were gradually whittled down to four semi-finalists from all over China - SANYA, SHENZHEN, IRONROCK of Xiamen (the hosts for the event) and SHANGHAI. Two matches later, SEAWOLF from Longcheer Yacht Club in Shenzhen emerged the winners of the China Club Cup Challengers Trophy, earning the right to sail against the defenders on the final day of the event.

For the Match Race Finals, it was a bit of a David and Goliath event, with the defender Team HUDSON (the J-80 builder and skippered by Jim Johnstone) competing against the SEAWOLF team from Shenzhen.  Unfortunately for Shenzen's SEAWOLF Team, the result wasn’t the same as the Biblical encounter, with Team HUDSON successfully defending their trophy, although the SEAWOLF Team from the south were hardly embarrassed by the 4-1 score line and never finished a race more than eight boat lengths down on the winners.

J/80 China Cup Match Race Challenge sailing teamsWhat an event! There were 34 teams (seen here at right), 72 races, 12 protests, too many blue, yellow and green flags to count (along with a couple of reds and blacks thrown in for good measure), a worthy winner in the challenger series and a fair and penalty free challenger/defender series. And just like Queen Victoria was told all those years ago during the original "Round Island Race" for that 100 Guinea Cup (aka today's America's Cup)– "there was no second."  No matter, it was clear the enthusiasm and the popularity of the event continues to grow significantly across China with next year promising to be an even bigger event!  Many "Thanks" must go to Hudson Wang, Hudson Yachts and those sponsors that supported this year's China Challenge Cup.

Monday, October 10, 2011

LE TIGRE Snags J/80 NAs

J/80 international one-design sailboat- sailing regatta(Larchmont, NY)- Over the past weekend, Larchmont YC hosted twenty-seven teams from across the country sailing a highly competitive fleet over an eleven race series.  The sailors were not at all prepared to either be "schooled" or trounced by a bunch of guys from Texas.  Nevertheless, they were treated to a spectacle of great racing by one of the class's premiere ambassadors, Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard from Fort Worth Boat Club.  The LE TIGRE Team put on a clinic for how one should get it done over the three day event.  After five 1sts and three 2nds in the first nine races, Glenn and Reese stepped off the gas pedal and gave the fleet a breather, winning the regatta by 11 points.

J/80 sailors- Glenn Darden - Fort Worth, TexasSailing just off the pace was a trio of three boats caught up in a real dog-fight for second to fourth overall.  Not until the last few races did the smoke start to clear and the standings get jumbled yet again.  The contenders at this point were the teams of Kerry Klingler on USA 352, Bruno Pasquinelli on TIAMO and Les Beckwith on FKA.  By winning the last two races and getting five 2nds, Les Beckwith on FKA secured second on a tie-breaker with Kerry Klingler's team.  Getting the short end of that stick on the last day was Bruno's TIAMO gang, having to settle for a fourth.  In fifth was Kristen Robinson's team on ANGRY CHAMELEON, clearly having elevated their game quite significantly, getting five top 5 finishes and finishing just out of the top three.  Go Kristen!    Sailing photo credits- Howie McMichael    For more J/80 North American Championship sailing information

Thursday, October 6, 2011

IC2 Wins J/80 Atlantique Regatta

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing Lorient, France(Lorient, France)- As if winning two previous regattas and sailing in the top ten at the recent J/80 Worlds in Copenhagen, Denmark was not enough, Eric Brezellec and crew on INTERFACE CONCEPT 2 continued their winning ways this season sailing the French J/80 Circuit.  With 35 boats sailed by many of the top teams in France, it was quite remarkable to see Brezellec sail to 4-3-6-6-1-rdg for 14.4 pts, not having to sail the last race to win!

Second to Eric's team was yet another IC boat, the team of INTERFACE CONCEPT I sailed by Jean-Charles Moriceau.  Their 6-1-14-3-6-1 record for 17 pts was not enough to overcome IC2's dominant sailing.  Lying third was J ILE'DE'RE sailed by Olivier Guillemin, their 2-bfd-1-7-3-4 for 17  pts losing the tie-breaker (their BFD unfortunately came at a bad time for them, taking them out of contention for the lead).  Fourth was ATLANTIS sailed by another renowned French sailor Laurent Sambron, learning the ropes and angles of Lorient waters very quickly to garner a 8-7-6-1-4-6 record for 24 pts.  In fifth was another top J/80 sailor, Sylvain Pellisier sailing VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE with flashes of brilliance, but inconsistent, record of 1-13-23-4-5-2 for 25 pts.  For more J/80 Atlantique Regatta sailing information

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Tiger Winning J/80 NAs First Day

(Larchmont, NY)-  The fleet of J/80s racing their 2011 North Americans in Larchmont, NY were greeted with spectacular sailing conditions on their first day of racing.  According to Regatta Chairman, Kerry Klingler, "racing toady at Larchmont yacht Club was a great.  They had perfect conditions to get the racing off.  A nice sunny day, winds out of the southwest, from 8 to 15 knots.'

The racing was dominated by two boats that are on top of the fleet.  LE TIGRE, sailed by the Glen Darden / Reese Hillard team from Fort Worth Boat Club in Fort Worth, TX, and FKA sailed by the Les Beckwith team.  Both boats showed consistency and the ability to edge out the competition in close racing.  They also showed great tactics to be able to bounce back in races when they were down in the fleet.  In third place ANGRY CHAMELEON, sailed by the Robinson team, raced consistently to hang in the top three.  The top five was rounded out by Kerry Klingler and Bruno Pasquinelli on TIAMO, who are currently tied for fourth place.

For more J/80 North Americans sailing information