Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spectaculaire Sailing Grand Prix Ecole Navale

J/80s sailing Grand Prix Ecole Navale in FranceBrezellec's INTERFACE CONCEPT I Smokes J/80 Fleet(Presque Ile de Crozon, France)- This year's running of GPEN, as it's known locally, was near perfect.  Great weather.  Excellent Race Committees and PROs.  Monstrous J/80 class?  Yes, again, the largest class by a country furlong with fifty-eight teams participating.  Said Marc Bouvet, head of the FFV (the French Sailing Federation), "This is the third year that the Grand Prix Ecole Navale provides support to the championship of French one-designs. With 180 boats (J/80s nearly 33% of the fleet), the event is a major one-design event in France. With nine nations present, it's fast becoming a classic in European one-design sailing circles. Moreover, foreigners may well come away with a title, may the best man win! But mostly GPEN is just an extraordinary event with an exceptional stretch of water, a commitment to the French Navy and an exceptional organization thanks to Alain Daoulas and his team."  Bouvet's comments were spot on, great racing for all and the J/80 class was no exception- producing a dominant winner in the form of Eric Brezellec's team on INTERFACE CONCEPT I.  Here is how it all turned out for the teams that sailed on this gorgeous body of water along the Atlantic side of France.

J/80 Interface Concept I sailed by Eric BrezellecThe first day was busy with four races in the breeze for all sailors. The winds started at ten knots increasing to 20 knots early in the afternoon.  Eric Brezellec on INTERFACE CONCEPT I found the conditions to his liking, scoring a 1-4-3-5 to be leading after the first day.  Second was Luc Nadal on GAN'JA with a 3-21-4-1 and third was Nolwenn Lemaitre on ECOLE NAVALE I with a 6-6-5-3.

After an invigorating day on Friday where the race committees were able to run four race for all series, Saturday was marked by calm conditions. Blame the capricious wind. It was not until the end of the day the J/80s sailed in much cleaner winds with about 7 kts of breeze.  As a result, only one race was sailed.  Matthew Souben, tactician of J/80 QUANTUM, said "The GPEN brings together top national crews. The level of the fleet is very high. It has been three years since I sailed on the series and I see it growing from year to year.  The formula for J/80 works perfectly with a large fleet and a one-design boat. This morning we were sixth in the standings, four points behind the podium.  It has been fantastic racing."

J/80s sailing around mark- Presque Ile de Crozon, FranceSunday's forecast was significantly better, N-NW winds blowing 10-12 kts promised good racing and a wonderful finale to the GPEN event.  After four days of racing, it's been quite clear the series is becoming more competitive in the J/80 class, the largest in the GPEN regatta. The win goes again, as in 2010 and 2011, to Eric Brezellec and his crew on INTERFACE CONCEPT I.  Careful preparation, a set of sails developed by the skipper, training partners who join him on the podium-- all point to talent, work experience and above all three race wins that allowed them to dominate the Grand Prix. Very difficult to beat a scoreline of 1-4-3-5-1-1-3 for 13 pts net over a 7 race series-- an average below 2nd place!

J/80 Arpege Promotion sailing team at GPENBehind Eric's IC1 team, it was very close for the top five, only four points separating the next four boats.  Finishing in second overall was Martin Le Pape sailing ARPEGE PROMOTION to a 7-7-12-4-11-2-1 record for a net of 32 points.  Third was Nolwenn Lemaitre sailing the top Ecole Navale boat for the French Navy, ECOLE NAVALE I sailed to a 6-6-5-3-14-7-5 tally for a 33.6 net pts total.  Fourth in the fleet of 58 teams was Luc Nadal on GAN'JA with a 3-21-4-1-4-4-19 score line for 35 pts.  Fifth was Simon Moriceau on INTERFACE CONCEPT 2 with one of the most consistent scores in the top five- tallying a 4-8-6-9-3-bfd-6 for a 36 pts net- other than Brezellec, the only boat to score all top 10 finishes.  For more Grand Prix Ecole Navale sailing information

Friday, May 25, 2012

J/80 Sail Training Video- off Santander, Spain

J/80 sailing training video off Santander, Spain(Santander, Spain)- Over the past few months, the J/80 Santander fleet in Spain has had Santiago Fiochi conduct on-going video sessions and fleet seminars on how to sail J/80s better and faster.  If you want to answer some questions about how you defend yourself better on starting lines with an aggressive J/80 fleet, here's some good instructional video.

In this particular video (of the dozen or so available on Santiago's "YouTube channel"), it's the first race in the VIII Trofeo Autoridad Portuaria de Santander  on Santander Bay on-board ESP 880 with Spanish champion Javier López-Vázquez helming.  Winds are in the 4-12 knot range.  It was recorded with GoPro Hero 2s mounted on both the boom and a mast camera.  Check out the J/80 sailing video here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New York YC Wins Cumberland Cup Team Race Sailing

J/80s sailing Cumberland Cup on Queen Mary Reservoir, London, England(London, England)- The Cumberland Cup, the international 2-on-2 team racing contest sailed in J/80s and hosted by the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London, started the three-day event in windy conditions on the Queen Mary Reservoir. As the only major international keelboat event regularly hosted in the UK's capital, the Cup attracts global competition. This year, teams came from Royal Northern & Clyde YC (Glasgow, Scotland), Eastern YC (Marblehead, MA), Southern YC (New Orleans, LA), Island Royals (London, UK), Seawanhaka Corinthian YC (New York, NY), New York Yacht Club (Newport, RI/ New York, NY), Royal Perth YC (Perth, Australia) and Royal Thames YC (London, UK).

J/80 New York YC Team Racing in London, EnglandPrincipal Race Officer, Gillian Smith, took the decision to run a round-robin format of racing to give all teams the maximum amount of time on the water. With races lasting around ten minutes, and with speedy crew changes, the momentum was maintained throughout each day of sailing.  The short, box-shaped course enabled teams to put their team-racing knowledge to good use producing exciting starts, tight mark roundings, neck and neck finishes and even a few man overboard situations.  Stu Saffer, team captain of the New York YC team, commented, “The race against Royal Perth YC was particularly exciting. The vigorous pre-start, resulting in one boat being OCS and a man overboard, meant the NYYC got lucky! We are looking forward to meeting a fully-manned RPYC boat next time around!”

J/80s team racing in London, EnglandWith racers of international experience, the standard of team racing was understandably high as Mark Lees, helm of one of the RTYC boats, said, “We’ve had our first three races, which have all been very close as the standard of team-racing is exceptionally high. We’re frustrated because we’ve only taken one win, but remain positive as we know where we’ve gone wrong, and we’re looking forward to getting some wins under our belt.”

By the end of racing on Day One, 19 races, out of a round-robin of 28 races, had been completed with the New York YC leading with a 4-0 record, followed by Seawanhaka Corinthian YC (3-1) in second and Royal Northern & Clyde YC (3-2) in third.

The second day dawned warm and sunny with a gentle northerly breeze of 10 knots – ideal team-racing conditions.  Having completed 19 out of 28 races on day 1, the Race Committee started racing as soon as possible, completing the first round-robin before moving on to a second, complete round-robin, the aim being to maximize the amount of racing time for all teams.

J/80 team racers sailing in London, EnglandThe lighter breeze enabled teams to engage in some very competitive team racing.  Eastern YC's team captain Larry Ehrhardt said, “The lead changes four or five times in a race with the finishes being pretty nail biting in most instances. The light air is really giving us a chance to race aggressively, which we love”.  Remember, in 2-on-2 team racing, last place loses-- a very difficult scenario to control while team racing!

The Race Committee took the decision not to use spinnakers, giving teams a further opportunity to focus on team tactics. The teams were unanimous in agreeing that this really added to the team-racing element of the competition as opposed to focusing efforts on boat-handling skills.  At the end of the first round-robin, NYYC and Seawanhaka YC were tied with 6 pts apiece, third was Eastern YC, fourth Southern YC and fifth Royal Northern & Clyde YC.

The third and final day was greeted with glass-like water and zephyrs of breeze – ideal conditions for allowing sailors a chance to recuperate from an enthusiastic evening program the night before.  Racing continued as soon as a southerly breeze filled in and round-robin 2 was resumed. Using a box-shaped course, with starboard mark roundings and no spinnakers, enabled teams to focus on tactics and produced some aggressive – and very competitive racing.

At the end of racing on Saturday, New York YC was dominating the event with ten wins out of 11 races. However, hot on their heels was Seawanhaka Corinthian YC with eight wins out of nine races, closely followed by Eastern YC. With another 16 races to go to complete round-robin 2, the lead was very much up for grabs and racing started on Sunday with a vengeance.

New York YC continued with their run of top results and, by race #45 had only dropped one result. The Race Committee, led by Gillian Smith, stopped the second round-robin at race 45 which represented a clean break in the program with all teams having completed the majority of their races. Race 45 itself saw Seawanhaka Corinthian YC take on Eastern YC – a match that would find a finalist to go up against the team from New York.

The race took around 25 mins with frequent lead changes, luffing matches and very tactical mark roundings. The team from Seawanhaka grabbed victory on the final leg and thus earned their place in the final against New York YC. Eastern YC therefore claimed 3rd place in the Cumberland Cup.

The final was a best-of-three match between New York YC and Seawanhaka Corinthian YC with the first victory going to NYYC. It was all to come down to the next race and it proved a worthy battle. NYYC clinched another victory on the finish line and thus sealed their overall win and claimed the title of winner of The Cumberland Cup 2012.

Stu Saffer, team captain of NYYC, commented, “The race was intense. We had a hard time against the boys from Seawanhaka. They raced well and got us into some tight corners. However, we pulled the two races out of the bag in the end and are really pleased with our win”.

After three days of competitive, intense racing all the teams were keen to thank the hosts, Royal Thames YC and their race officer team and Queen Mary Sailing Club for providing a fantastic race venue.   Gorgeous Sailing photo credits- Claire Matches   For more J/80 Cumberland Cup sailing information

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

JOCONDA Triumphs in Marina Yachting Trophy

J/80 sailing in Italy(Chiavari, Italy)- This past weekend, the Yacht Club Chiavari played hosted to sixty five boats on the water in classes that ranged from IRC and ORC to one-designs like J/80s.  In the end, the J/80s did incredibly well against all of their counterparts on the water racing for the Trofeo Marina Yachting.

Saturday had little wind forecast from Southeast.  Nevertheless, the starting was aggressive and complicated by the different pressures on the field of play towards the first mark. Despite the poor start, Daniela Magistro sailing JOCONDA ended up doing well in the first race. The right side paid for JENIALE, enough to close the distance to first, but unable to overtake his opponent. The wind dropped off for the last race of the day, but with the same results for 1st and 2nd.  Afterwards, there was a "great happy hour at the YCC until dinner", according to one competitor.

On Sunday were totally different weather conditions, waiting for the thermal wind to overcome the light north wind.  By mid-day the wind had risen to 15-17 knots with some great racing.  This time JENIALE! took first with JOCONDA second, with COCCHI, JBES and MONTPRES filling out the top five, respectively.  For the second race of the day, in similar conditions, the entire fleet lined up and locked-in battle to the first mark- essentially a close reach with no gennakers.  In the end, it was JOCONDA again the quickest, having a sweet burst of speed and taking a well-deserved victory.  Congratulations to Daniela Magistro for a job well done!  For more J/80 Italy sailing information

Friday, May 18, 2012

J/80 Spain Sailing Summary

J/80s sailing Santander, Spain(Santander, Spain)- Last Saturday, May 5th, the Cantabrian fleet in Santander started the first day of the Maqueche Trophy race. Jaime Piris with FONESTAR leads the standings after placing 1-2 in the first two races. The runner-up is ECC VIVIENDAS sailed by Pichu Torcida and in third is YATES Y COSAS.

On May 6th and 13th, the J/80 Bilbao fleet has two days of training with the collaboration of J/80 World Champion, Ignacio Camino. These training sessions are a prelude to the forthcoming J/80 Spain Cup, which will start May 31 and go to June 3.

On April 14, in the waters of Lanzarote, Canary Islands off the coast of northern Africa, the local J/80 fleet sailed the J/80 Island League Championships.  After two weekends of sailing (five weekends total are scheduled), MARINA RUBICON II sailed by Rafael Lorenzo Lasso is first.  HOTEL PRINCESSA YAIZA sailed by Rayco Tabarez is currently second followed in third by MARINA RUBICON I sailed by Quintana Aythami Marrero.  For more Spanish J/80 sailing information

Thursday, May 17, 2012


(Kiel, Germany)- Fourteen J/80s participated in this year's MAIOR CUP in Kiel.  The teams had four days of excellent racing with strongly varying weather conditions, so much so that only seven of the originally scheduled fifteen races were completed.

After two races sailed on Saturday, the race committee decided cancel races for Sunday due to strong wind.  On the third day, there was  glorious weather, but the wind remained nearly dead.  When wind conditions were still weak, the RC managed to sail only two races, and the right side of the track was heavily favored on all legs upwind and downwind.

In the evening the J/80 teams got together for a barbecue on the beach at the Yacht Club.  After plenty of cold beer and hot sausages (bratwurst), there was plenty of laughter about the past days of sailing, recognizing how difficult it was to sail in the weather conditions presented to the race committee.

The last day dawned with great expectations for a fun day or sailing, thanks to a fresh breeze blowing 20-25 knots!  In a few hours, the PRO managed to fire off four great races, much to the satisfaction of the now very, very tired skippers and crews!

In summary, we can say that the MAIOR in 2012 demanded a lot of the crews. Strength, endurance and good tactics.  The light winds demanded tremendous concentration to sail fast and smart.

For the final results, PROCEDES DIVA with skipper Bjorn Beilken (SKWB) topped the field quite convincingly.  Second was ANEGADA sailed by Thomas Dehler (GYC), followed closely in third by CAMPAIGN guided by helmsman Sven Vagt (SKWB).  Next up are the J/80 Worlds in Plymouth, England for many of our teams. Until then, "boom-and Schotbruch"!   For more J/80 Maior Cup sailing information

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

J/80 JALAPENO Wins Almere Regatta

Fresh to Frightening Winds Challenge Sailors
(Muiderzand, Netherlands)- The JALAPENO Team skippered by Piet Vroon and powered by Joie de Vivre wins Almere Regatta six races.  The Regatta had two perfect days to  determine the winners in very challenging and changing weather conditions. Saturday averaged 30 knots with gusts of 45-- yes, the "blowing dogs off chains" variety! Sunday it blew between 0 and 24 knots from the north and the south and everything in between. The J/80 has again proven that it can sail in all extremes and hang together.  Even then, gusts to 45 kts are a bit much.  Amongst the "surfing content" winners was ELF, managing a shade shy of 20 knots on the speedo!

Behind Vroon's JALAPENO team, who by the way had straight 1sts as counters, second went to Holsboer's JUUL, third went to Everwijn's ELF, fourth was Spaan's J-STRING and fifth was Elsink's J'ZUS.   For more J/80 Almere Regatta Sailing information

Thursday, May 10, 2012

ATLANTIS Wins J/80 Interface Cup France

J80s sailing France(Vallee des Fous, France)- The second event of the French J/80 Circuit, the J/80 INTERFACE CUP hosted by Club de La Vallee Des Fous, was not without its consequences.  Remarkably bad weather, but great atmosphere for the sailors.  To date six races have been sailed between 15 and 30 knots breeze with icy rain Saturday. "Sporting conditions", as they say, but the bay is sheltered from the swell which permitted the PRO to run the regatta in challenging weather.

Despite the tough sailing, the French crews were determined to race, not only as part of their training and J/80 France Cup but as part of getting ready for the impending J/80 Worlds in Dartmouth, England.

J/80 rainbow sailingAt the top of the pack after a strong SPI Ouest France showing was Laurent Sambron on ATLANTIS with a 2-6-1-3-1-6 for 13 pts.  Laurent was in a "horse-race" for the top of the podium with the next two teams.  Second was Herve Leduc on J'ILE DE RE with a 5-2-2-2-3-12 for 14 pts.  Third was Simon Moriceau on INTERFACE CONCEPT with a 4-1-5-5-8-1 for 16 pts.  A bit further behind was Vincent Vandekerkhove sailing DUNKERQUE PLAISANCE in fourth with 24 pts and fifth was Nicolas Lunven skippering GENERALI with 31 pts.   For more Club de La Vallee Des Fous Interface Cup J/80 sailing information   For more French J/80 sailing information

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

J/80 Sailing Video- Best of SPI Ouest France

J80 sailing Spi Ouest France*  J/80 video "Best of Spi Ouest France"- for some fun, take a look at some of these amusing video sequences of J/80s surfing/ planing downwind off La Trinite sur Mer, France on the Bay of Quiberon.  And, some great crashes of other boats that aren't so easy to keep upright!  Have Fun and Enjoy the ride!


J/80s Royal Thames Cumberland Cup Sailing Preview

J/80s sailing Cumberland Cup England(Heathrow Airport, Queen Mary Reservoir, a.k.a. London, England)-  The Royal Thames Yacht Club, in the heart of London’s West End, is bracing itself to welcome an influx of sailors from across the world, all eager to begin the competition to win the Cumberland Cup, the only international yachting event to be held in the capital of the United Kingdom. The Cumberland Cup is once again supported by the Royal Thames YC’s corporate partner, Audemars Piguet (an exotic Swiss watch company).

Although only launched in 2008, the Cumberland Cup, now raced in J/80s, has rapidly come to be regarded as the most important two-boat team racing event in the World and, with the cream of the World’s yacht clubs eager to compete, the Club has been forced to select the challengers on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

The eight confirmed teams for the 2012 event present a worthy sample of the World’s best team racers: Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, MA), New York YC (New York, NY & Newport, RI), Seawahnaka Corinthian YC (Long Island, NY), Southern YC (New Orleans, LA near the French Quarter), Royal Northern & Clyde YC (Scotland), Royal Perth YC (Perth, Western Australia), Island Royals (a combined team from Royal London YC, Royal Corinthian YC and Royal Yacht Squadron) and the Royal Thames YC (somewhere near great shopping in downtown London on the Brompton Road and a stone's throw from Hyde Park-- e.g. Knightsbridge!). The Event is a four-day celebration of sailing, both ashore and afloat.

There is a full social program including a Reception at St James’s Palace in the presence of the RTYC Commodore, HRH The Duke of York, and a Regatta Dinner at the Royal Thames YC’s Clubhouse at 60 Knightsbridge (Harrod's, by the way, is just around the corner).

Racing, which starts on Friday 11th May, with Thursday 10th scheduled as a practice day, runs virtually non-stop with each two-boat team competing against every other team. With such high quality sailing the Cumberland Cup is very exciting and yet relatively easy for spectators to understand – the winner in each case is the team that avoids having the last boat across the line.

All the sailing will be taking place at the home of the RTYC J/80s, the fabulous Queen Mary Reservoir. The fantastic shore-side premises ensure visitors are able to have a great view of all the on the water action.  Please note the bookies present will place bets on every mark-rounding.  And, if RTYC isn't leading, the House of Lords will undoubtedly be in revolt!

The artifact for which the Royal Thames Cumberland Cup international yacht club contest is raced has an iconic significance not just within the Club itself, but in the wider context of the sport we now call "yacht racing".  The name "Cumberland" is central to the whole history and, indeed, very existence of what today is called the Royal Thames Yacht Club. In 1775 Henry, Duke of Cumberland, who was both the brother of the King (George III) and himself a keen sailor gathered together the gentlemen yachtsmen who had been sailing and occasionally racing on the River Thames since half-way through the Previous Century and bade them to organise a race for which HE would Give a Cup. This was the very first Cumberland Cup, sailed for on July 13th 1775, and in honor of the occasion the gathering of yachts was called the "Cumberland Fleet".   For humble "Colonialists" in America, please note this was a good YEAR before George W The First took his rowboat across Delaware River to declare victory over the "taxation without representation" zealots.

At the time of that regatta, there was no organization in the country – nor indeed so far as we know in the World – engaged in the organization of regular yacht racing. There had been earlier races and indeed earlier gatherings of yachtsmen – the Water Club of Cork and its "maneuvers" being the best known - but by 1775 they had come and gone. After that July 1775 Regatta, the yachtsmen who had formed the Cumberland Fleet met in a coffee room in London and formed what they called "The Cumberland Sailing Society". That society still exists, known today by its more modern name of Royal Thames Yacht Club and each year in June at their Annual Regatta (in Cowes, IOW, of course), they hold the Cumberland Sailing Society dinner.

Each year after 1775 The Duke gave another cup – always until 1786 known as the "Cumberland Cup"– to be raced for by the Cumberland Fleet. After 1786 the Cups had varying names but the Cumberland Sailing Society continued, changing its name very briefly in 1823 to the Coronation Society before becoming, just a few months later, the Thames Yacht Club.

The 1781 Cup was originally made by London's famous silversmiths Garrard's.  MUCH later, the Garrard silversmiths were the makers of the rather LATER America's Cup- an old piece of silver known as the 100 Guinea Cup). Silver-gilt, and topped by a figure of a sailor holding a scroll bearing the names of the winning yachts of all the previous cups--- the Cumberland Cup has just a "bit of history"-  you can read more about it here (cool stuff if you like sailing & yachting history)!
For more Royal Thames YC Cumberland Cup sailing information

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

J/80 PRO-RIGGING Wins PalmaVela

J/80 one-design sailing off Palma Mallorca in PalmaVela(Palma de Mallorca, Spain)- Four days of picture-perfect sailing conditions have decided the winners of the 7th edition of the Mapfre PalmaVela regatta, which has gathered 115 boats of 16 countries in the bay of Palma.  It came down to the wire on the last day for winners in most of the 15 divisions at the 2012 Mapfre PalmaVela regatta, which began Friday with over 1.000 sailors representing countries such as Spain, Italy, Ireland, Russia, Virgin Islands, England, Sweden and Great Britain. The event is hosted by the Real Club Náutico de Palma, and is considered the first event of the Mediterranean sailing season.

J/80 fleet in Palma Mallorca Harbor- sailing PalmaVelaThe nineteen teams sailing in the J/80 fleet had excellent competition.  However, this time a new team took the honors at the top of the podium, local hotshot sailor Javier Sanz racing for Real Club Nautico Palma on PRO-RIGGING won the event easily.  Second was the "sponsor's" team, MAPFRE sailed by Carlos Martinez and third was past Spanish Olympic Gold Medalist, Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg racing NILFISK.  The American team on FIRED UP sailed a charter boat and managed a credible 7th, led by Gary Kamins and crew (Jay Lutz) from California YC and Houston, TX.

In the ORC fleet the J/145 ACE sailed by Fred Stelle with guest star Rod Johnstone had a fabulous time sailing and managed to grab a third overall in their division.

J/80s sailing downwind off Palma Mallorca in PalmaVelaOn the first day or racing, the forecast was for Westerly winds of around 15 knots all day, reaching 16-17 knots at 12:00, when the start of races is scheduled. The nice westerly breeze and clear sunny skies brought another great day of sailing for the season`s first event.  Of note, in the Soto 40 class the series favorite Iberdrola, with J/80 World Champion Pichu Torcida at the helm, showed they are in form and finished the day in the first position after the three races held today.  In the ORC 0 Class, Fred Stelle's J/145 ACE managed a 3-4.

On the second day of sailing, Southerly winds of 8 to 10 knots in the early afternoon cooperated to give almost all classes three races, although the breeze didn`t settle until later in the afternoon, 15:00 hours, when the clear sunny skies and 15 knots delivered picture-perfect conditions.  In the J80 class Javier Sanz`s Pro-Rigging skippered by David Madrazo clawed their way up to first after a great performance notching two first and a second place, leaving Jose María Van der Ploeg`s Nilfisk as runner up. The Spanish Olympic medallist posted a sixth, an eleventh - discarded- and a first.  In ORC 0, Fred Stelle's J/145 team on ACE repeated their performance from the day before, scoring a 4-3.

J/80 PalmaVela  winners sailing Pro-RiggingThe third and last day of races started in tactically demanding conditions of 6 to 8 knots of Northeasterly wind and light overcast skies which prevented the breeze from pushing through until 14:00 hours, when a nice Southerly breeze stablished in the bay of Palma.  The J-80 class was a cause for joy at the RCNP for its President Javier Sanz`s PRO-RIGGING clinched the Mapfre PalmaVela Trophy in the One-Design class which gathered nineteen boats for this seventh edition. Carlos Martinez`s MAPFRE was second, whereas Olympic medallist Jose María Van der Ploeg`s NILFISK was third.  On the last day, Stelle's J/145 ACE in ORC 0 class managed a 3rd to clinch 3rd overall for the division.   Sailing photo credits- Martinez Studio   For more PalmaVela sailing information