Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SAVASANA Dominates J/80 East Coasts

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing on Chesapeake Bay(Annapolis, MD)-  Eastport YC hosted the J/80 East Coast Championship over the October 13-14 weekend, providing a great seven-race series.  The twenty-four boat fleet was deeply laden with talent as many boats were using the event as a warm-up for the J/80 North Americans being held Eagle Mountain Lake in Forth Worth, hosted by the Fort Worth Boat Club.  In the end, top J/80 and J/105 sailor Brian Keane sailed SAVASANA to a solid series with scores of 1-2-4-1-3-1-2 for 14 pts to win the regatta 19 pts clear of the rest of the fleet.  Brian's team was never really challenged for the lead as their erstwhile competitors could only muster short runs of races to even stay close.

Perhaps the biggest battle of the regatta took place for the balance of the podium in the silver and bronze spots.  Vying for silver were John White, Will Crump, Bruno Pasquinelli, Daniel Wittig and Kirsten Robinson.  All of their teams experienced quite the "roller-coaster" rides as they fought hard to stay in contention and avoid the one disastrous race.  At the end of the day, everyone in this drop had a least one bad race, destroying any chance to even consider catching Keane's sharp sailing team on SAVASANA.

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing with spinnakersThe last two races provided the deciding factor amongst these half-dozen boats.  John White's crew managed to avoid some of the difficulties other teams had avoiding the nasty race, managing to hammer home a scoreline of 11-3-5-4-1-4-7 for a total of 35 pts to secure second overall.  Third was Will Crump, demonstrating that his team could sail fast and smart at times with a scoreline of 2-8-16-9-2-2-1 for 40 pts.  Fourth was Bruno Pasquinelli's team, they started strong and were vying for the lead, but faded hard towards the end, accumulating a 3-5-2-2-5-20-5 record for 42 pts.  Fifth saw Daniel Witting finish with a flourish in the last two races, but not enough to overcome some bomber races earlier, tallying a 6-6-14-3-15-3-3 for a total of 50 pts.

Thanks must go to the sponsors, West Marine Rigging, Annapolis Sailing School, APS, SpinSheet, Bacons, Tom's Shoes & Sunglasses, Eastport YC, J World, and North Point Yacht Sales.   Sailing photo credits- Tom Hasbrouck   For more J/80 East Coast Championship sailing results

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jesperson Wins Danish J/80 Championship

J/80 sailing under spinnaker(Copenhagen, Denmark)- The Thiele J/80 Class Championship for Denmark saw twelve teams competing over five races on the weekend of October 6th and 7th near Copenhagen.  The weekend of sailing provided the teams with incredibly challenging sailing conditions, ranging from light, shifty airs the first day to near epic, "fresh to frightening" conditions on the second for the teams.

On Saturday the wind was very weak for the first two races, so it was difficult to keep pace in the boat and go in the right places on the course. A southbound current flow required further attention by the competitors.  In the light wind, it was Lier's crew that had consistently good starts and great speed-- they finished the first day in first place.

Sunday saw three races in the plenty of wind, often blowing in excess of 25 kts in the puffs.  It was in these sailing conditions that Jesper Jespersen's crew showed great speed, experience and flawless boat-handling make the difference.  No bad spinnaker hoists, great gybes downwind and no "shrimping" (dropping of spinnakers in the water), meant they were catching boats all-around the race course.  Sunday's first race saw Jesper Jespersen first, then Sofie Hessel Source and her almost girl crew and then Lier. The rest of the teams recognized that time spent on the water practicing was paying off for the top teams.  As Sunday progressed, sailed more and more without spinnakers for the more inexperienced teams, the top teams were flying around the course in the big puffs.  For others, it was getting too difficult to deal with the fast-closing speeds coming into the leeward marks and having to drop the spinnaker without getting into trouble.  For some, there were many "Kodak moments" and others a great educational experience.  By the third race on Sunday, it was obvious that fatigue was taking its toll on the sailors, so the RC's PRO wisely decided to send the boats in the harbor after 3 races.

One year after J/80 World Cup in Dragor the J/80 class continues to grow nicely with several new privately owned boats in Denmark as well as several sailing clubs considering buying the J/80 for their club sailing programs.  Today, there are nearly thirty J/80s actively sailed in Denmark.  Thanks for the contribution from Jens Kristian.   For more Danish J/80 sailing information

Friday, October 19, 2012

J/80 Police World Championship Preview

J/80 women's sailing team in Hong Kong Harbour- Hebe Haven YC(Hong Kong, China)-  More fascinating sailing development in Asia.  As sailing activity continues to grow faster in China and the rest of Asia, the three principal sailing clubs on Hong Kong's amazing harbor- Royal Hong Kong YC, Aberdeen Boat Club and Hebe Haven YC- are coordinating with the Hong Kong Police Sailing Club to host the Police World Sailing Championship on International J/80 One-Designs.  Talking about broadening the scope of sailing and participation on a global scale!  Police teams from around the world have been practicing on J/80s, wherever they can find them, to prepare for this extraordinary event.

The J/80 Police Worlds will be held in Hong Kong from Oct 21st to 27th.  The event is being sponsored by the Hong Kong Police and a company called "SF Express" - a well known "FedEx" type company that services Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.  Thirteen teams from Hong Kong (3), Australia, England (2), Ireland, Austria, Netherlands, Germany (2) and Switzerland (2) will be participating.  Rumor has it that several police teams believe Lauren Mead's all-girls team on the J/80 HAKAWATI, recent winners of Hebe Haven YC's Typhoon J/80 Series, may have the magic ingredients for coaching better tactics and strategy in the capricious waters of Hong Kong Harbour!  For more Hong Kong Police Sailing Club and J/80 Police World Championship sailing information

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Williams Trumps Match Race France

J/80s sailing Match Race France off MarseillesEnglishman Eclipses World's Top Match Racers
(Marseille, France)- The reigning Alpari World Match Racing Tour champion, Ian Williams won the Match Race France title and moved up to take the overall lead of the Tour. Williams did it by defeating the young New Zealander, Will Tiller 2-0 in a downpour and freshening breeze off Marseille in the matched fleet of J/80 one-design racers. The final was delayed by light winds, so the race committee shortened it to the first to two points. When it did freshen enough to start racing, the rapidly increasing breeze came with heavy rain - not exactly Mediterranean conditions! It did not put Williams off J/80 sailing fast in World Match Race Tour regatta in Francehis game however, with a shut-out in the first race, he then passed Tiller at the final mark in the second race to close it out.

The overall Tour leader, Bjorn Hansen added no points to his score at Match Race France, after finishing ninth, while Williams scored 25 points for his win. It means that Williams now takes a nine point lead into the final two events of the year, the Gold Cup in Bermuda next week, and then the season finale, the Monsoon Cup in early December in Malaysia.   For some great YouTube video action   For more World Match Race Tour sailing information

Thursday, October 4, 2012

DYNAMANT Wins J/80 Cup Sweden

J/80 Sweden teams rule!  J/80 Sweden End-of-Summer Update
(Marstrand, Sweden)- The J/80 fleet in Sweden continues to have a very active schedule, despite having one of the shortest sailing seasons in the world for any J/80 fleet!  With their J/80s spread across Sweden from Stockholm in the northeast to Marstrand on the west coast to Gothenburg and Malmo further south along the Baltic, the Swedish J/80 sailors make it a point to travel around to some great places to sail during the summer just a few miles south of the Arctic Circle!

The SM Regatta in 2012 again goes to ROCAD RACING, for the second consecutive year they sailed home with the gold for being top Swedish J/80 in this event.  The team has been on the podium before and during the past year they have also participated in several International J/80 events, including the J/80 Worlds in Dartmouth, United Kingdom. 

Finally, the J/80 Cup 2012 was settled over this past weekend and it was also the last regatta of the J/80 Cup season.  This year's winner was the team at DYNAMANT followed by HAPPY, HEAVY DUTY and MK-PRODUCTS. The TEAM DYNAMANT winners were rewarded with gift cards sponsored by BUBBLE and also the IT consulting company DYNAMANT (ironic, right(?), to win your own sponsor's trophies?).  Many thanks must also be given to all others - both sailors and officials who helped out over the course of the season.

As teams are now beginning to haul their boats, many were contemplating plans for the 2013 sailing schedule. There seems to be many who are eager to trade down to France during the winter and sail in both J/Cup French Championships in November and SPI Ouest France during Easter/ Holy Week in La Trinite sur Mer, France.  Then, of course, the Swedish teams could then sail the J/80 Worlds in early July in Marseille, France along the French Riviera!  More news on this concept soon!  For more J/80 Sweden sailing information

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tabares Takes J/80 Copa Espana

J/80 sailing upwind in Spain(Palma Mallorca, Spain)- Only in Spain.  A nation that has produced some great sailors in the last decade or so.  J/80 sailors dominating the Volvo Ocean Race on Volvo 70s with the Martinez family having an impact on sailing TELEFONICA.  Olympic 49ers, Olympic 470s and other classes the Spaniards have sailed well.  And, sailing J/80s has proven to be their "national testing ground" for next-generation keelboat sailors.  It's clear Spanish sailing team efforts have seen their efforts come to fruition on a global scale in the J/80 class.  Nowhere is this more self-evident than sailing against some of the world's best sailors in the J/80 Worlds- Spanish teams have won the last SIX J/80 Worlds in a row (Dartmouth 2012 (UK), Copenhagen 2011 (Denmark), Newport 2010 (RI, USA), Santander 2009 (Spain), Kiel 2008 (Germany), La Trinite sur Mer 2007 (France))!

Therefore, when the top teams in Spain congregate for their Copa Espana from around the country at the High Performance Center in Los Alcazares Infanta Cristina de Murcia, it's going to be clear that year-end "bragging rights" for "top dog" in the Spanish sailing world will be the winner of the Copa Espana.  The world be damned, who wins in Spain is what counts.

J/80 World Champion Nilfisk sailing upwindThe first day of sailing was marked by a good breeze of 15 kts average, which made it easy to get in three races for the madding crowd of champions. From the start the fleet opted for the left side of the course, led by Rayco Tabares at the helm of the J/80 AUTRAN who would never relinquish his lead to win the first race.  The second race was for local and reigning Copa del Rey Mapfre J/80 Champion Carlos Martinez.  With a great start, he controlled the race despite repeated attacks by Rayco Tabares' AUTRAN, with whom he had a nice "match race" in the second beat.  In the third and final race of the day, the strategy again favored those who got left.  Again, Rayco's AUTRAN team started well and won the race followed by Carlos Martinez on MAPFRE.  The reigning world champion Jose Maria van der Ploeg and his crew of NILFISK after a slow start stood at 6th place overall after the first day.

J/80 sailboat with cartoonsThe second day was marked with hotly contested races amongst the top ten teams.  The Race Committee had a difficult job because the wind was unstable in strength and direction. It would not be possible to start the first race of the day until 2:30 p.m. with winds of 5 to 9 knots.  On the first beat the fleet divided between left and right with a clear advantage to HERBALIFE sailed by Leonardo Armas playing the middle of the course quite well, rounding the first weather mark first and never relinquishing his lead in difficult, shifty conditions.  The second race was clearly for NILFISK and MAPFRE on the left side of the course on the first beat, finishing 1-2 in that order.  For the third race, Jose Maria van der Ploeg after a great start took the lead from the start and with good speed controlled all his rivals to win the race.  Meanwhile, the battle for second place was between three boats, Rayco Tabares' AUTRAN, Carlos Martinez's MAPRE and Jose Ballester's Bureaufax-Eu; ultimately they finished in that order.

J/80 video from SpainAfter trying to get races going on the third and last day of the event, the RC had to cancel all racing after 1500 hours. As a result, Rayco Tabares on AUTRAN was proclaimed the 2012 Copa de Espana Champion with just 11 pts net with a well-sailed 1-2-1-3-6-2-2 record.  Second was Carlos Martinez on MAPFRE with a dsq-1-2-8-1-3-10 record for 25 pts net.  Third was current J/80 World Champion NILFISK with José María Van der Ploeg with a 7-7-13-4-2-1-1 for 26 pts net, narrowly missing out getting second for the regatta.  Fourth was Emilio Azofra on YACHT PORT CARTAGENA sailing a solid series with an 11-3-3-9-4-9-1 record for 20 pts net.  And, rounding out the top five was Pablo Benjumeda on PUERTO SHERRY I scoring a commendable 4-4-9-7-5-7-3 for 30 pts net.  Close racing, indeed, for the top five overall!

The awards ceremony was attended by the Director General of Sports of the Region of Murcia, Antonio Peñalver, accompanied by the mayor of Los Alcazares, Anastasio Bastida; RFEV president, Gerardo Pombo, president FVRM, Pedro Román, Spain J80 class president, Alejandro Diaz, with his secretary, and Pepe Gándara Cartagena Premium BMW manager, Miguel Angel Poor.   J/80 Copa Espana YouTube  For more J/80 Copa Espana sailing information

Monday, October 1, 2012

J/80 Match Race France

J/80 international one-design- match race sailing FranceWorld's Top Match Racers Sailing 80s In Marseilles 
(Marseille, France)- As the world’s top match racers arrive in Marseille for Match Race France this week, they embark on two crucial events in two weeks, which could transform the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) leader-board ahead of the season-finale Monsoon Cup in December. Pierre-Antoine Morvan believes his Vannes Agglo Sailing Team can be one of the surprise packages.

Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team comes to his home regatta after a podium finish at the recent St. Moritz Match Race and a strong performance at last week’s final warm-up, Internationeaux de France de Match Racing in Pornichet, where he lost in the final to compatriot Mathieu Richard.

J/80s sailing off Marseilles, FranceMorvan holds a Tour Card for the first time this year but has proved his abilities against the world’s top match racers, establishing joint third position in the overall Tour leader-board. He now feels that a win at his favorite event of the season can set up an exciting showdown for the Tour title. He said: “We have been looking forward to this event, it will be a great feeling to sail the Alpari World Tour in France. We know the boats as we use the J/80’s at home and we know the event from previous years.  If we win Match Race France, we can start thinking about winning the whole Tour. Coming into our first full season we were targeting a top 5 finish. Now I think we can do a good event here and go to the Monsoon Cup aiming for the podium and challenging for the title hopefully.”

Twenty-five points are available to each the winner of Match Race France and the subsequent Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda (1-7 Oct) and should one team manage to win both, they could transform their season as Johnie Berntsson managed in the 2011 season, taking a podium finish at the last event of the season.

J/80 one-design match racing FranceBerntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team went into last year’s final three events in mid-table but managed to take second place at both the Argo Group Gold Cup and Monsoon Cup, securing a third overall in the premier international sailing series. Having recorded a season-best fifth place at the recent St. Moritz Match Race and currently sitting in eighth position on the leader-board, he is hoping that he can recreate that late run of results once again. He said: “I’m expecting us to finish strongly again this year, perhaps even more so than last year. It is still wide open this season I think, there are a few teams that could come through to challenge and we’re one of them."

Match Race France sees wildcard entries from local favorite and 2011 event winner, Damien Iehl (FRA) Wind 2 Win, former ISAF Match Racing World Champion Adam Minoprio (NZL) Black Match and recent Women’s Elliot 6m Olympic Champion, Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) Echegoyen Team.

Gold medallist Echegoyen is excited about taking on the world’s top match races and thinks her team can really hone their abilities amongst a world class professional field. She said: “The Olympics was a great experience and something that made me very happy. This is the a very different challenge and it’s the first time I’ve entered a men’s event at this level. It’ll definitely be a challenge and one I can really learn a lot from every day. It’ll be really good for our development. I am expecting that perhaps the racing will be slightly more aggressive and with the bigger boats, it is likely to be a bit more physical than we are used to. Let’s see how we get on.”   For more World Match Race Tour sailing information