Wednesday, March 21, 2012

LE TIGRE Wins Epic Bacardi Cup

J80 sailing Bacardi Cup Miami Sailing Week(Miami, FL)- The Bacardi Miami Sailing Week could not have wished for better, more extraordinary "postcard"-type sailing conditions-- some even called it "epic". In fact, in some respects for the International Star fleet with multiple Gold Star World Champions present, it may be been "too perfect".  With a massive High weather system slowly moving offshore to the North and a large Low depression Southeast, the regatta organizers had a remarkable string of six-plus days of strong winds from the easterly quadrants (NE to SE) blowing from 8 to 30 knots.  For the Stars, Tuesday and Wednesday were cancelled due to 20-30 knot winds-- perfect J/80 sailing weather, of course!  By Thursday the winds had abated enough so the J/80s could enjoy three straight days of simply picture-perfect sailing.  In the end, Glenn Darden's team on LE TIGRE simply "ate everyone's lunch", sailing to dominant win in the J/80 class.

On the first day of sailing, the all-American fleet of nine J/80s were led by Glenn's LE TIGRE team from Forth Worth, TX with five points after winning the second and third races of the day.  Gary Kamins (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) on FIRED UP was second with eight points on finishes of 2-4-2, followed by Rick Schaffer (Ft. Worth, Texas) with 13 points on finishes of 4-6-3.  Fourth overall was Henry Brauer (Marblehead, Mass.) on RASCAL after finishes of 6-3-5 earned 14 points.  Nizar Abuzeni (St. Paul, Minn.), won the opening race of the day which he followed with finishes of 7-8.  Abuzeni was fifth overall with 16 points.  On this day, the fleet was treated to 18 to 25 knot winds and wild and woolly planing runs, making the weather legs the time to recuperate for the crew in preparation for the next 12-16 knot "planing mode" run.

J/80 sailboats- sailing downwind at Bacardi Cup Miami SailingBy the second day winds had moderated to "only" 14-20 knots, ensuring the crew's supply of "vitamin A" (a.k.a. Advil or Aleve) would be put to good use again to alleviate sore muscles, backs and arms!  Glenn and the LE TIGRE crew continued to lead the standings after winning back-to-back races which he sandwiched between finishes of second and third.  It was a tough four-race day that started early at 1030 hours!  Darden had only nine points to the 19 of Gary's FIRED UP team who finished 4-6-3-4.  Rick Schaffer (Ft. Worth, Texas) placed 3-7-9-1 and was tied on 24 points with Henry Brauer's RASCAL team who posted finishes of 8-3-2-5.

Brian Keane moved up a spot to round out the top-five with 25 points. 'Today we had less breeze but conditions were challenging with lots of wind shifts,' said Glenn Darden. 'I would say that this was the biggest challenge to overcome. Luckily our tactician did a great job in searching for the breeze. We also had good starts and these are the secrets of the day.  For tomorrow (Saturday) the strategy is to keep the momentum with my team. We've been sailing together for three years and hopefully this will get us on top tomorrow night."

Three final races were sailed by the J/80 fleet to complete their series debut.  Glenn's "Tigers" led the standings all the way to the win, which he wrapped up without needing to sail the 10th and final race.  Darden won the first two races of the day, and discarded the 10 points from not sailing the final race to net 14 points for the series.  Henry Brauer's RASCAL team made the biggest move of the regatta, moving up from fourth overall to second with 30 points after finishing with a strong 3-2-1 on the final day.  Gary Kamins FIRED UP crew with 4-5-5 ended the series with 33 points, followed by Rick Schaffer with 41 and Nizar Abueni with 44.

“Sometimes it looks easier than what it is,” said Darden.  “Today we had much lighter wind and wind shifts that made it challenging.  We had to work for our wins, but we are very pleased for the victory.  I'm also very pleased to be in Bacardi Sailing Week, and, looking forward to next year, I most certainly will recommend it to other competitors and sincerely hope participation will be up next year.  I look forward to the event ceremony and dinner, Bacardi style!”  For more Bacardi Sailing Week sailing information

Sunday, March 18, 2012

J/80s Hong Kong Host World Police Sailing Championships

J/80 World Police Sailing Championships(Hong Kong, China)- Royal Hong Kong YC, Hebe Haven YC, Aberdeen Boat Club and the Hong Kong Police Sailing Club are co-hosting the World Police Sailing Championships on the emerald green waters of Hong Kong's southern side of the island- the Middle Island facility for RHKYC.  The event will be sailed on the International J/80s from October 21st to 27th.  All participants must be a serving, or honorably retired, Police or Law Enforcement officer (or civilian staff) in their respective countries.

Accommodation will be provided within the Hong Kong Police College Aberdeen Campus Officers’ Mess and comprises of 40 single rooms and 10 double suites.  $37,000 HKD = $4,700 USD (about 7.75 exchange)- and for that you get a J/80 one-design sailboat with sails, food, breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodations for ONE WEEK for four people!!  Wow. Thank Goodness our security forces know how to take care of our security needs, but more importantly ALSO know how to sail and have fun!

So far, it looks like over a dozen teams are committed to this event from around the world, including teams from Switzerland (2-3); Germany (2-3); Amsterdam, Netherlands; Dorset, England; Lancashire, England; Hong Kong; Macau; Qingdao; Shanghai; and Beijing.  For more J/80 World Police Sailing Championships

Monday, March 12, 2012

2013 French J/80 Worlds In Marseille

J/80 France Worlds- Marseilles(Marseille, France)- After consideration of many extraordinary venues, the 2013 J/80 Worlds will be sailed in Marseille, France from 7-13 July. There are a number of reasons behind this decision, including strong community involvement from the city of Marseilles, long known for its support of top sailing events; professional race management; and a fantastic sailing site renowned for good weather during the time the World's will be sailed.

Ultimately, Marseille is a historically significant site which has been geared up for sailing for many years. Hosting the Louis Vuitton Cup, the Tour de France La Voile and Grade 1 Match Racing, to name just a few events, this year Marseilles is also a host venue for the MOD-70 series (the big 70 ft carbon composite one-design trimarans)--- clearly, Marseille is not just a place where you go to lap up the warm sunshine.  For more information, please contact:  Ludovic Gilet, President of the French J80 Class, or phone- +33 (0)6 07 57 30 40.   For more French J/80 Worlds sailing information

Monday, March 5, 2012

J/80 Winter Championship Santa Margherita Ligure

(Santa Margherita, Italy)- Just down around the corner of the famous little harbor called Portofino lies the cosmopolitan town called Santa Margherita.  Some may think it's renowned for that Italian pizza called "pizza margherita" (tomato, basil and mozzarella), but it is perhaps more famous for some of the great sailors that have come out of this corner of Italy.  Locally, the J/80 class has grown over time and have a loyal, highly devoted, following of sailors who often enjoy their winter sailing as much as their summer sailing.  Winter offers LOTS of wind, for the most part better sailing versus the rather sybaritic, laid back sailing often seen in the summers.

After the first of their series of Winter Championship races, which has seen everything one might imagine for weather, the J/80 teams still turn out to have some fun! Perhaps the best part is that after going around the course for the last race of the day, the teams finish off the Grand Hotel Miramare and retire for great food and drink afterwards.  One can only imagine.  Pizza margherita?  Maybe.  Calzone, better.  Delicious chianti red wine, much better.  Toss in some locally, fresh caught, spicy calamari-- the best!

So far, JOCONDA sailed by Paco Rebaudi is leading the fleet, followed by J-BES GARIBOTTO skippered by Enrica Bertini and in third the most famous, long-distance traveler, JENIALE RAMA.   For more Italian J/80 Winter Championship sailing information

Sunday, March 4, 2012

GILL Partners with J/80 France

(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- The J/80 Class France has announced a partnership with GILL and twelve of GILL's dealers-- reserved solely for J/80 sailors, a selection of the latest GILL technical products. All these products display the colors of the J/80 Class France and are offered at exceptional prices.

By partnering with the J/80 Class France this iconic brand of sailing confirms its commitment to those that sail throughout the year in the Basque Country through Dunkirk and Brest, but also in the Mediterranean, as well as in the J/80 Cup circuits both offshore and in Match Racing.  This initiative demonstrates the desire of the J/80 Class France to offer even more to those who sail in J/80, please learn more about the three collections offered by GILL France (1- Race/ 2- Keelboat Racer/ 3- Dinghy)- and for the J/80 Class France clothing especially designed for J/80 sailors- please visit-

Last note- for those who wish to have their J/80 GILL delivered in time for SPI OUEST France, you must place your order no later than Saturday, March 3 at one of the GILL dealers selected as partners!