Thursday, November 29, 2012

JOIE DE VIVRE Sails Perfect Benelux Championship

J/80 Benelux sailors- Laura Vroon and team sailing to win!(Gravelines, Belgium)- This year's Open Benelux J/80 Championship saw a champion crowned with an unprecedented series- 7 1sts in seven races.  Laura Vroon and crew sailed their hearts out and simply established themselves at the front of the fleet like no one could ever imagine.  Girls Rule!!

It was a beautiful battlefield with hard, stormy winds, perfect race committee work, good organization, excellent sportsmanship and fair play at a very competitive level for the entire field of sailors. Participants spoke of the best regatta ever. The Regatta Jury had no objection to being needed as there were no protests lodged whatsoever-- everything on the water was handled by self-imposed "criminal circles", as all competitors seemed to judge by one another fairly.  The fair play award went to Henk Everwijn, who after a port/ starboard situation at the finish, withdrew without a protest.

The "fair play" amongst the fleet is even more remarkable given the compactness of the field.  A single error immediately took many places, tactical situations were the norm, and this meant the difference between position 2 and 6.  This was not the case for JOIE DE VIVRE Team, their first place was a serene one without one challenger. JDV took every race from the start line. Sailing fast and high with superb boat-handling and superb sail-trim, JDV was first at the upwind mark virtually every time.  After which their lead steadily extended every time, so they cashed-in after the seven races for the gold.  An amazing performance for Laura Vroon and crew!

Just behind them was quite a battle for second in this epic regatta.  JUUL's Bernard Holsboer, who sustained some damage in the stormy 32 kts winds on the first day were pleased with their performance, despite dropping from 2nd to 3rd overall. Dueling it out for the balance of the podium were the defending champion JALAPENO- Erik Scheeren and JUUL.  After a storm-tossed first day and a match-race for second, it was JALAPENO that took the lead to take second overall. JUUL was third.  NJOY's Coen van Veen sailed well to take fourth and fifth was MENTAQUILIBRIUM's Christopher Savoy.

Of note, it was nice to see a new J/80 sailor learning the ropes and improving race-to-race over the course of the season.  The "Rookie of the Year" had to be Eric Hogervorst sailing QUICK & DIRTY, displaying a remarkable increase in his speed boat and tactics, taking 8th in the regatta.  More next year, we promise!  For more J/22 Netherlands/ Benelux sailing information.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Swedish Report on French J/80 Nationals

J/80s sailing off France on Bay of Biscay(Marstrand, Sweden)- The forecast before departure from Sweden did say the weather was going to be quite challenging- wave height of 5 meters and winds from the west over 17-20 m/s. It was admittedly a little nervous situation, we would drive 250 miles just to sit on the bridge and look out on a raging sea?  But it is an outdoor sport and weather is beyond our control.  If no sailing, we know the oysters will be excellent and we could get in a bit of sightseeing in the worst case.

J/80s sailing under spinnaker off FranceOur team has not sailed together before, but we have sailed against each other many times across the race track.  This is a bit unusual for me, but it will be fun to do something else (tactics) while Lasse steers, Gitte trims and Pelle does strategy.

Douarnenez in Brittany is probably the nicest place we have sailed in, says everyone when we all arrive. After a great dinner, we look forward to the first race, but it does seem a bit windy.

At dawn on Thursday it was blowing about 15 kts, but gusting much higher, perhaps 30 kts.  It was even windier in the villages, it was raining too, so today's race is canceled. The French sailors are very unhappy, of course, even though the organizers say they must prioritize safety. A sensible decision, we think, although we would happily had sailed out of the protected harbor and into the Atlantic to give it a test.

J/80s sailing off French coastlineOn Friday, the wind has died down somewhat, so we get out and practice a little before the first start. After the start, we get going good. Up at the first rounding we're 7th with 73 boats behind.  Fun! But, the wind changes 30 degrees and those located on the other side get level or ahead of us while we get into the basement of the fleet! Ugh! But when you go planing along at 15.6 knots, it's hard to not smile!  So, for the next start, we are greatly stoked!

However, it was a tight start and when we dodge a boat before the start we collide with another boat!  Ouch! At the same time we smoke our forestay- gone!  So, when the wind is more than 10 m/s in the Atlantic we can't sail. I jump up and sit forward in the bow, holding the forestay while I get soaked to the skin-- ultimately we get towed into the harbor.

The rest of the day, evening and following morning are devoted to locate spare parts. The French are incredibly friendly and very helpful.  About 7 different sailors from other boats stay around and help us.  Finally, we find what we need in a small village about 1 hour away. By early morning the next day, everything is repaired-- thanks to our dear French friends.

J/80s sailing around windward mark off FranceNext race, we are well placed for the first beat, but a big left shift sends us down into the basement again. I have not seen such big wind shifts in the Atlantic before. And 20-30 degree shifts seem to be common here.  This place is worse than Ram in Sweden, but with fast-moving 3 meter waves!  We have some other top boats around us, there are several who have missed the big shift.  But soon, we draw level with the top boats and get a good race finish-- so it's still smiles all the way to the finish.

Today's last race would also be the last of the regatta.  On Sunday it "blew dogs off chains" and then some, so there was no sailing at all.

It is incredibly fun to sail in large fields and, although we were unlucky with the collision and weather, it is still worth the effort to get here and sail. It extends our short season and get a great sailing experience to think back to the dark winter months. The cost is not particularly high, rental boat € 1800, entry fee € 250, accommodation sleeps 4 (with breakfast) € 600 + travel. That is, about 8,000 SKR-- not bad for the experience, really!  Plus, the food and drink and friends were fantastic-- the best!  Until next time, friends!  Sailing photo credits- Jacques Vapillon

Saturday, November 24, 2012

J/80 JASMINE Wins Hong Kong Round Island!

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing Hong Kong Around Island Race(Hong Kong, China)- It's back! Hong Kong's largest and most inclusive sailing event featured 235 sailing boats, together with outrigger canoes and coastal rowing boats, that battled it out around Hong Kong Island.  It is a capricious 26nm course that would create moments of breath-taking beauty, "shock & awe" and anxiety due to currents, whirlpools and remarkably variable winds-- as any veteran "round islanders" would say, "that's all part of the fun! Makes for great sea stories and camaraderie afterwards!"

It was the proverbial "game of two halves" for the sailors, as 235 boats of all shapes and sizes gathered in Victoria Harbour for the start of this year's Tommy Bahama Around The Island Race. With 7 knots of breeze prevailing for the first starts at 0830hrs, the Pandora and HKPN 1 fleets got clear away, but the breeze then dropped to less than two knots for the later starts, leaving a flotilla of boats drifting gently towards Lei Yue Mun on the tide.

Hong Kong Around Island Race startThankfully the breeze filled in through the morning, giving the fleet a lift through the notorious Lei Yue Mun gap and round through Junk Bay to Shek O and Cape D'Aguilar. The Around The Island Race is highly tactical and a boat's light wind sailing technique possibly influences its result more than any other skill. This was the case again today, however for a change, the sticking point was Bluff Head to Stanley, while the usual parking lot of Cyberport was enjoying 15 to 20 knots of northerly, with good breeze to carry the boats around Green Island and into the western harbour approaches.

Hong Kong Around Island race course chartThe lead boat on the water was, unsurprisingly, Frank Pong's 72' JELIK (notably, an enthusiastic sponsor of several J/80s at Royal Hong Kong YC of the same name), who reached the Green Island Mark around 30 minutes ahead of Sam Chan's TP52 FREEFIRE. Given the conditions for the last 30% of the race, Race Officer Inge Strompf-Jepsen made the decision to allow the boats to go "all the way" and JELIK took line honours at RHKYC Kellett Island after 3 hours and 43 minutes, with FREEFIRE following home just under 25 minutes later. In all, 184 boats recorded a finish at Kellett Island before enjoying a well–earned beer on the famous RHKYC decks.

Hong Kong Around Island race fleetThe Around The Island Race isn't only about who has the biggest and fastest boat, and the overall results are calculated on an RHKATI handicap, developed using the data from years of pursuit racing. After time correction, the results for IRC 2 Class saw Nick Southward's J/109 WHISKEY JACK avoid most pitfalls, but not all, to secure a 7th in their class.  On the one-design front, the J/80s showed up in force with thirteen boats participating. Leading them all home was Ben Bulmer's JASMINE winning their class by a rather substantial margin of 6+ minutes!  Second was David Fan's SEA BISCUIT, third was Henry Wong's FOOTLOOSE, fourth was Alex Cheung's FIGURE OF EIGHT and fifth was Karen Lam's MAY 13 (she was also first women skipper to finish).  Thanks for the contribution from Guy Nowell at Asia
For more Tommy Bahama Around the Island Race sailing information

J/80 BlueProject Sailing Italy!

(Lavagna, Italy)- Team-building and leadership development on J/80s on the sunny, warm Mediterranean?  Yes, it can be done.  Michele Rayneri at BLUEPROJECT SAILING ITALY has this to offer to fellow J/80 sailors and fellow J sailing enthusiasts in the corporate world:

"Dear J friends and enthusiasts,  warm greetings from Michele Rayneri- At BLUEPROJECT, we are passionate about sailing and we have been in the business of getting people out on the water for many years.  Our fleet is made up of  nine J/80 one-design sailboats and our team is extremely experienced and has gained experience in very important international regattas.

BLUEPROJECT sees sailing as a vital corporate event and provides tailored programs: professional coaching, instruction, and innovative team building, incentive and leadership development programs.

We are dedicated to actively promoting sailing at all levels through clinics, lectures and events and, in particular, improving sailing performance on keelboats by sailing the J/80.

Our team teaches the basics of sailing whilst working as a team including: navigation, sail trimming, boat handling skills, how to work and communicate together whilst also providing team building games. Individually, each team member benefits with improving: decision making, communication, leadership skills, being part of a team, self-confidence the need to build a strong, competitive and winning spirit!

BLUEPROJECT is situated in Port of Lavagna (Genoa), but we can organize events with our J/80s all over the Mediterranean Sea.  Lavagna is an ancient seaside village, a hidden treasure and great destination for everyone enjoying a yacht rental holiday along the Italian Riviera.  Lavagna is situated in the wonderful Gulf of Tigullio, between Portofino and Sestri Levante and not far from Genoa, Montecarlo and France. It is one of the most beautiful gulfs in Italy and offers facilities and situation for excellent sailing.

The coast is a sequence of marvelous villages with their marinas, pastel-coloured houses, first-rate sports facilities and the fashionable atmosphere of "la Dolce Vita".  The beauty of the seascapes, the intense blue of the sea and the green mountains are breathtaking.

In Lavagna there are good sea food restaurants, quality beaches and a medieval, charming town centre.  A yachting vacation to the Italian Riviera can definitely be made much more enjoyable and a lot of fun with BLUEPROJECT.  For more info please visit-   Or, call mobile +39 335 8093904 or email-

Friday, November 23, 2012

Brezellec Wins J/80 Coupe de France

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing Coupe de France(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- With over 190 participants, it can be said the J/80 Coupe de France is by far the most successful sailing circuit for one-design sailboats in the entire world.  Without a doubt, the level of sailing overall in France has improved considerably since the introduction of the J/80 and the development of fleets on all three coastlines (Bay of Biscay to the west, Mediterranean down south and La Manche in the north).  It is not without coincidence that this year's 2012 Coupe de France was taking on special significance since the next J/80 World Championships are being held in 2013 off Marseilles in July-- and the J/80 French Association are expecting well over 130 J/80s to participate.

The Coupe de France consists of seven events that starts with the famous "monster regatta" known as "Le Spi" (a.k.a. SPI OUEST France) that is sailed in April off the quaint seaside village of La Trinite sur Mer and ends with the Atlantic Telegramme Regatta sailed off Lorient.  The series scoring is based on a "high point" basis that counts 4 of 7 events.  Proving yet again they're the team to beat was Eric Brezellec's INTERFACE CONCEPT I, finishing the series with 359 pts and winning by a clear margin, most notably because of their exceptional performance at SPI Ouest.  Fellow colleague Simon Moriceau also proved they're a rapidly improving team that is a force to be reckoned with for next year's Worlds, finishing 2nd overall with 306 pts due in large part to their strong showings at the Grand Prix Crouesty and the Atlantique Telegramme event in Lorient.  Taking third only one point back was Luc Nadal's GAN'JA with 305 total pts.  Fourth was Herve Leduc's J'ILE DE RE with 287 pts and fifth was Martin Le Pape's ARPEGE PROMOTION with 266 pts.   For more J/80 Coupe de France sailing information

Thursday, November 22, 2012

NEXTEL Wins Spanish J/80 Circuito Montanes de Vela

J/80 Nextel sailing in Spanish regattas(Santander, Spain)- The Spanish J/80 sailing circuit this year comprised of three events starting in April and concluding in October-- all competing for top honors in the Circuito Montanes de Vela.  A total of thirty-two J/80 teams sailed over the course of the year starting with the VIII Trofeo Autoridad Portuaria de Santander in April off Santander's gorgeous harbor and waterfront.  During May, the teams sailed the Campeonato de Cantabria de Monotipos and then concluded their racing circuit sailing the VII Trofeo Presidente de Cantabria in October.

The series proved to be a hotly contested affair with the top three not being determined until the last regatta of the series.  After a modest start getting a 5th place in the Autoridad Portuaria regatta, the NEXTEL ENGINEERING team led by Ignacio Camino sailed consistently in the last two events by securing 2nds in both the Campeonato Cantabria and Presidente Cantabria events to win with a series total of 9 pts, winning by four pts over the rest of the World Champion-studded field.  After a strong start and strong finish, Pichu Torcida's ECC VIVIENDAS managed a 1-11-1 over the course of the three events for a total of 13 pts.  Third was Tonio Piris skippering YATES Y COSAS with a 2-4-13 for 19 pts.  Fourth was determined by a tie-breakers with Rafael Pascual Alfonso Esposito's MAQUECHE team winning the draw with a scoreline of 12-6-3 for 21 pts while fifth was Jaime Piris' FONESTAR team with a 11-5-5 also with 21 pts.   For more J/80 Circuito Montanes de Vela sailing information

Swiss Win World Police Sailing Championships

J/80s sailing World Police Sailing Championship in Hong Kong(Hong Kong, China)-  Imagine working "the beat" in your local city as a police officer on a daily basis wondering, hoping, wishing that nothing goes wrong so that as one of the chosen few in your police force you can travel half-way around the world to sail in J/80s off the magical island of Hong Kong! Wow, not only would it be a privilege to participate amongst the world's elite in law enforcement, but it would have to be one of the most thrilling experiences of a lifetime to earn your "credits/ stars" (or whatever is required) to be part of the four person team winging across the world's continents and vast expanses of oceans to sail amongst fellow enthusiasts who also love wind and water.  To be sure, target shooting skills were NOT on the agenda, just sailing, fun, beer, cultural activities and a few parties tossed in to keep everything in balance.  Who wouldn't want to participate in this event if you're on any police force anywhere on Planet Earth!?  I guess the Americans didn't heed the call, their loss, as much is to be learned from their contemporaries around the world.  Looks like the Swiss, Austrians, Germans, Dutch, English, Aussies, Irish, and Hong Kongers had a ball!  In fact, the Swiss had so much fun, they decided to win it all, with the Switzerland (St Galler) team and the Switzerland (Lucerne) team taking 1st and 2nd, respectively, on the podium!

J/80 World Police Sailing police officers- having fun- winning Swiss crew.The hosts for this year's 12th World Police Sailing Championships was the Hong Kong Police Sailing Club.  The event was held in the waters of Hong Kong Harbour and surrounding areas using the versatile J-80 Sailboats.  The seven-day long event was epic, fun, gorgeous, amazing and the schedule of both sailing events and social entertainment each night ensured the sailors had lots of war stories to tell to their mates later.  While the Hong Kong Police SC were the principal hosts, they could not have pulled it off without the enthusiastic support of the three primary sailing clubs in the area contributing their fleets of J/80s, including Royal Hong Kong YC (and usage of their Middle Island harbour facility), Hebe Haven Boat Club and the Aberdeen Boat Club.

J/80 sailing past massive radar/comms installation in Hong KongThe sailors were treated to an adventurous series of both passage races as well as windward-leeward courses over five days of racing.  Monday saw four W/L's off Royal Hong Kong YC's Middle Island with drinks/dinner at Aberdeen Boat Club.  Tuesday was a passage race from RHKYC to Hebe Haven YC with drinks at Hebe Haven BC and curry buffet dinner at Aberdeen BC on Middle Island.  Wednesday offered the sailors three W/L races off Middle Island with an evening soiree at Hebe Haven BC.  Thursday was Lay Day-- the crews needed it by now-- but the shopping was frenetic!!  Friday saw one W/L race, then a passage race from Hebe Haven YC to Royal Hong Kong YC followed by drinks/ dinner at RHKYC.  On Saturday, the last day saw a classic "Harbour Tour Race" with evening drinks, prize-giving at the Hong Kong Police SC HQ (courtesy of Carlsberg Beers!).

J/80 police sailors- navigating for sailing regatta in Hong KongSo, the natural question to ask is "how is it possible that anyone could combine so much sailing and entertainment in one week"??  Perhaps that question could be answered by veterans of some of the world's more renowned race weeks (like Key West, Cowes Week, SPI Ouest, Block Island, Capri, Newport, Rolex Big Boat, Palma and others).  Nevertheless, some of the world's best police officers managed to sail fast, smart and kept themselves out of trouble (on the water, that is).  Leading the pack home by a "squeaker" was the Switzerland (St Galler) team on the great yacht "JAILBREAKER" (appropriately, enough).  Their team of Geisser, Rieser, Fritsche, and Pasche won by only one point after eleven races, dropping a 14th in the last W/L and a 7th in Race 2 and winning the last race to seal the deal over their countrymen in 2nd place.  Easily sailing the most consistent score in the series was Switzerland (Lucerne) sailing JIVE with the team of Schumacher, Vogel, Koller and Oehen.  Their low point score of 33 was not good enough, since after two drops their 19 pts was just one pt back from the gold.  Third sailing JELIK 6 was the Netherlands (Team Amsterdam) team that consisted of Migchelsen, Sikkens, Derjik and Vanderveen with 23 pts.  Rounding out the top five was the top Hong Kong Team #1 sailing JOSS that had Tait, Leung, Armstrong and Lau sailing aboard in 4th and in 5th was the top German Team #2 sailing JELIK 7 with Uden, Weissenbom, Knospe and Eden as team-mates.

J/80  one-design sailboats- sailing upwind off start in Hong Kong Police Sailing regattaCongratulations to all thirteen teams that participated for making the effort to participate and travel so far to such an extraordinarily fun, exotic sailing adventure! Plus, great appreciation was expressed by all to the three sailing clubs- Royal Hong Kong YC, Hebe Haven BC and Aberdeen BC for graciously supplying their J/80 one-design class sailboats.  Finally, kudos go to the Hong Kong Police SC's band of volunteers that helped organize the event.  Everyone is looking forward to sailing next year, hopefully, with some Americans and South Americans participating, too!   For more World Police Sailing Championship sailing information

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

IC2 Wins J/80 French Nationals

J/80 France sailing French Nationals(Douarnenez, France)- The J/80 sailing teams in France are clearly gearing up for the J/80 Worlds showdown in Marseilles, France in 2013.  The enormous turnout of highly competitive teams from around Europe meant the seventy-eight teams participating off Douarnenez were going to see spirited competition from the leading teams vying for the top three spots on the podium.

J/80 sailing in France at NationalsThe first day of racing was simply "gray"- the sky, metallic gray, mingled with the sea, just lit by a light cold. But, it was not enough to discourage the crews. The wind had eased a bit before switching to 50 degrees for the first race.  Emerging out of the gloom, somewhat prophetically, to win the first race was Simon Moriceau's team on INTERFACE CONCEPT 2 and, so it went for the rest of the regatta.

Simon's team sailed a strong regatta to win by 5 pts with a 1-6-2-7-2-15 scoreline, quite a remarkable display of sailing for this team.  Second overall was Nicolas Troussel's BRETAGNE CREDIT MUTUEL with a record of 8-1-3-2-9-18 for 23 pts overall.  Third was another top French champion, Luc Nadal, who sailed GAN'JA to a 25-8-6-6-7-4 record for 31 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Quentin Ponroy's ELECTRA in fourth and in fifth was Vincent Vanderkerkhove's DUNKERQUE PLAISANCE.   For more J/80 French Nationals sailing information

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SAVASANA Wins J/80 North Americans

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing(Fort Worth, Texas)- Brian Keane of Beverly Yacht Club sailing SAVASANA with his team of Steve Hunt, Mike Wolfs and Ben Powers have been crowned 2012 J/80 North American Champions, edging out defending champions Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard on LE TIGRE who finished just one point behind.  Terry Flynn and David Whelan aboard QUANTUM GC Racing took third.  Following today’s racing, Keane said, “This is the second time we have been here, having sailed in the Ol’ Man of the Sea Regatta a couple of weeks ago.  After that regatta we expected this to be simple sailing, but we had three days of unbelievably different sailing.  Conditions were always changing.  We were able to minimize our mistakes and repair them when we made them.  Fort Worth Boat Club is a great venue for racing and it is a testament to the club members, race committee and the judges that they were able to put on such a successful event.”

J/80 one-design sailing in TexasHere is how it all went down for this year's event on Eagle Mountain Lake, northwest of downtown Fort Worth.  For the first day of racing, the serious fun began. PRO Mark Smith promised at the Competitors’ Meeting that he would make the best possible use of time and weather conditions to maximize the quality of races and closely watch weather pattern changes for Saturday and Sunday. Five W4 races averaging 48 minutes in length were run with breeze ranging from 9-11, starting at 210 degrees and shifting to the left throughout the day.  Most shifts were easily accommodated with a code flag C notification, but Race 3 went to AP within a minute of the start and the signal boat was repositioned and all marks reset, with the race starting at 1242.

There was another sunny day on Saturday.  Friday's leaders, the Quantum/Gulf Coast Composite team of Terry Flynn (FWBC) and David Whelan (LYC) sailing with Jake Scott and Matt Romberg had a brilliant day but found themselves in second (pending protests) when Brian Keane, Steve Hunt, Mike Wolfs and Ben Powers on Savasana came back strong Saturday.   Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard, with Max Skelley and Karl Anderson climbed back up in the standings with two top ten finishes and the help of that throw-out.

Weather predictions Sunday morning weren’t stellar for the kind of racing the PRO hoped to provide, but after the frustration Saturday dealing with a front that just lolly-gagged around and refused to settle in, PRO Smith felt fortunate to have completed seven races before facing the challenges of this final day of scheduled racing.   Temperatures were a bit cooler, but there was no rain and earlier threats of thundershowers for Sunday never materialized.

J/80 one-design sailboat- Savasana sailing in TexasThe competitors left the harbor for a scheduled 1000 start, with wind at 5 mph coming from the north.  After a postponement of 45 minutes, support boats set up for a W4 course at 010 with 0.6  nm legs, having been able to move the signal boat back toward the south end of the lake from Saturday’s location in an effort to minimize shore effect and the bend around the point at FWBC.   Wind velocity held pretty steady from 5-8, but dropped to 3 several times during the two races completed today.  The course was shifted only slightly to 005 for the last race of the day and the fleet was pretty well split for all four 0.6 mile legs of the final push.  PRO Smith was very complimentary of his race committee team.  He reported, “Three quarters of our team was here for the Ol’ Man as a tune-up for this regatta.  A racing skipper wants to make a decision on the course and have the crew execute without further direction.  This is what I had with this race committee crew.  We had outstanding teamwork and excellent communication, therefore great results.”

In the end, while Brian Keane's SAVASANA and Glenn Darden's/ Reese Hillard's LE TIGRE took the top two, the balance of the top five were Terry Flynn's/ David Whelan's QUANTUM GC RACING winning a tie-breaker to finish third in front of Ray Wullf's NORTHERN AGGRESSION from Annapolis YC.  Fifth was Les Beckwith on FKA from Lake Winnepesaukee Sailing Association in New Hampshire.   Sailing photo credits- Sue Bodycomb  For more J/80 North Americans sailing information

Saturday, November 10, 2012

J/80 Sailing Hawaii Offshore With Kids!

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Hawaii(Lahaina, Hawaii)- Bob Stephenson says "Aloha to all J/sailors, and especially J/80 sailors, from around the world.  We've been having a lot of great J/80 racing here in Hawaii.

ALOHA LANI sailed by Ryan McCrillis won the second J/80 Hawaiian Championships in Lahiana (and Class B in the Lahiana Lights). CRUSADER skippered by me got second and hometown favorite BOONDOGGLE sailed by Bruce Olsten was third.

Two days later, CRUSADER took second in class B, 5th overall in the Lahiana to Honolulu Race. Conditions were "epic", with both boats seeing speeds in the high teens most of the day.

More to follow, but here's a sailing photo of Connor McCrillis sailing in his first ocean race on ALOHA LANI. We look forward to getting you some more stories in the coming weekends!"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sailing Report from Hong Kong!

(Hong Kong, China)- Dan Tullberg from J/Boats Hong Kong provided us the following exciting update from recent activities taking place in the Hong Kong/ Asian sailing world:

"For starters, we're please to announce that we have two J/70s confirmed arriving from France, and two serious contenders for the J/111 who want to (a) kick the tires on the first one arriving here mid-Nov and (b) hope to find moorings as the whole mooring market here is absolutely packed right now!  Sailing continues to grow in popularity here in Asia!

An upcoming report will be sent on the recently held International Police Worlds (13 x J/80s) and an announcement on the first formal Hong Kong-China inter-port regatta (again the J/80s) to run in Feb 2013. Also, the J/80 Class Hong Kong Championships are next weekend (3-4th Nov) off Lamma Island south of Hong Kong with 15-18 boats in what looks like a breezy weekend.

The J/80 HKG Class Association is still the only "national" class in Hong Kong that spans the interest of all three main yacht clubs here and owners take pride in that: a few weeks ago the Royal Hong Kong YC ran a "Championship Of Champions" event on J/80s between 9 different classes that was very well received by all:

1) the organizer RHKYC only had 3 of the required 6 boats available since much of the fleet was damaged in the typhoon this summer and still under repair. Three private owners offered their boats for use at this event unreservedly to make the event happen (a combination of fleet and match racing)

2) J/80 owners Andrew Moore / Nigel Welch (TIGRINA) and Jonny Hodgson (J-QI) came second and third respectively in that event, beating all but one stellar Etchells team."

A "BIG THANKS" to Dan, Joey and crew in Hong Kong for their excellent efforts in growing the J/One-design classes as well as building interest in the J/111.  We guess that a J/111 will have great fun sailing the Asian Offshore circuit!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

J.A.T. Wins J/80 Hamble One-Designs

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing upwindJ/122 JOULOU, J/109 J'TAIME, J/111 JET Lead Hamble Winter Series
(Hamble, England)- Winter finally showed its ugly, nasty teeth to the Garmin Hamble Winter Series and Lewmar Hamble One Design Championships over the past weekend, to mark the halfway point of the series.  While nothing like what their American colonialist counterparts had to survive with an even nastier gal named "Sandy", the gangsters sailing around the Solent certainly had their fair share of bad stuff to contend with for weather.

Saturday was the first day of the final weekend of the Lewmar Hamble One Design Championships. But a ferocious forecast and bitingly cold northerly wind put paid to the plans of the J/80 class, whose racing was cancelled. Only the J/109s ventured out for one race, before racing was called off for the day. One boat lost their rig, which broke above the top spreader, and another two boats had already retired. Steve Maine’s J2EAU won the race, around a minute ahead of JYNNAN TONNYX and YEOMAN OF WIGHT.

Hopes were high for better conditions on Sunday, with competitors enjoying an extra hour in bed as the clocks went back. Despite the cold morning, competitors were greeted by a much more civilized 11-18 knots from the west. The race team set each class two races from up to Hill Head for the smaller boats, and East Knoll for the bigger boats, to laid gate and leeward marks downwind.  J/80s in the Lewmar Hamble One Design Championship fleet raced in the mouth of Southampton Water, sailing three races.

Lewmar Hamble One Design Championships
After the final three races of the two-weekend Lewmar Hamble One Design Championships on Sunday, Phil Taylor’s J.A.T won the J/80 class overall, three points clear of Jon Powell’s BETTY.

After the cancellation on Saturday losing 4 races, the final 3 races on Sunday were always going to set-up for a grand finale between the main protagonists at the top of the leader-board. 15 boats lined up just off from the Royal Southern race mark with a mixed forecast and strong tides set for the day.

Race 1 - saw Patrick Liardet 'Aqua-J' dominate from start to finish and the team of J.A.T for most of the race were not anywhere near the chocolates, getting the final mark with a strong tide proved the decider where Phil Taylor and Kevin Sproul's 'J.A.T' shot back up to 2nd place just beating John Powell's 'Betty'.

Race 2 - the J/80 class is always known for never backing down from a start, and on this occasion it was only a matter of time when the inevitable was going to happen. At 20 seconds (due to about 2 to 3 knots of tide taking the fleet over the line) to go pretty much the entire fleet where recalled and the the PRO decided to break out the Z-Flag... much talk went around the fleet as usually the black flag is usually pulled. 2nd time lucky and the fleet got away, from start to finish it was lead by the team of 'J.A.T' followed by the new Royal Southern YC Academy team 'Spitfire' in 2nd and 'Betty' in 3rd.

Race 3 - with everything still to play for and no outright winner just yet, race 3 was all about getting away at the start. Off the line 'J.A.T' got caught in the pack but the vast experience of the team shot them out towards the front of the fleet. The course now with very little tide was a game of getting the right shifts upwind and down and therefore the fleet remained incredibly tight. At the finish though it was Phil and Kevin's 'J.A.T' bringing the fleet home first with John Powell's 'Betty' snatching 2nd place from new UK Chairman Mark Baskerville's 'Mistral'.

So overall the team of 'J.A.T' won but it wasn't an easy task. The fleet would like to thank Hamble River SC for organising a great event and look forward to working with them in 2013 to develop this fantastic end of year championships.

The J/109s raced with the main Garmin Hamble Winter Series fleet. Christopher Palmer’s J-TAIME posted two firsts on Sunday, but this wasn’t enough to beat Owain Franks’ JYNNAX TONNYX, whose 2 second places on Sunday, was enough put them two points clear overall.  In second is Richard & Valerie Griffith's OUTRAJEOUS with 25 pts.  This is Paul Griffiths' JAGERBOMB a scant one point back with 26 pts in third.  The balance of the top five is Steve Maine in J2EAU tied on points but in fourth on the tie-break with David Rolfe & Andy Johns' SHADOWFAX.

Garmin Hamble Winter Series
In the main series, the shifty, patchy breeze meant that large gains and losses were there for the taking, and in many classes the status quo was upset by some fantastic displays of tactical sailing. Andark was the day sponsor, and presented prizes to the winners in each class.

In IRC 0 Class, Ivan Trotman’s J/122 JOLOU posted two firsts to take them four points clear at the top of the class.  Things were closer in the IRC 3 class with Nick & Adam Munday's J/97 INDULJENCE having an "off-weekend", scoring a 6-2 to drop back to second in class just two points off the pace for 1st overall with 11 pts.

In the one-designs, David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM enjoyed similar success in the J/111 class taking two bullets for the weekend to be winning class with 10 pts.  Second is Cornel Riklin's tough French crew onboard JITTERBUG with a 3-3 to keep 2nd place and third is Tony Mack's McFLY with 16 pts total.

For the J/109s, Paul Griffiths' JAGERBOMB is leading with 10 pts followed by Owain Franks' JYNNAN TONNYX in second with 14 pts and David McLeman's OFFBEAT in third with 18 pts.

Next week, there’s a break in the series, before it resumes on the 11th November. The next four weeks have one race per day to get competitors in before the light fades. Enjoy the break and see you in a fortnight!   For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information

Saturday, November 3, 2012

J/80 North Americans Preview

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing in Texas(Fort Worth, Texas)- This coming weekend, the Fort Worth Boat Club will be hosting the J/80 North Americans on Eagle Mountain Lake form Oct 31st to Nov 4th.  Thirty-one teams are expected to compete with an incredibly talented group of sailors participating, with multiple North American and World Champions represented.  With a weather forecast that looks considerably better than the "Superstorm Sandy" the northeast had to contend with, it looks like sunny and southerly breezes will prevail until Saturday, then a chance of thunderstorms with partly cloudy skies Sunday.  Nevertheless, since Eagle Mountain Lake is surrounded by rolling hillsides, the sailors will be tactically challenged all weekend to figure out which side of the lake to choose on each leg!

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing under spinnakersAs a precursor for the J/80 NA's, the FWBC hosted the 38th "Old Man of the Sea Regatta" this past weekend- it was a great regatta warm-up for the up-coming J/80 North Americans.  Many of the top teams were sailing for "Old Man of the Sea" honors. Fittingly, the Terry Flynn/ David Whelan team onboard QUANTUM RACING took the event with four 1sts in their 7 races (past J/80 North American Champions).  Second were the renowned Forth Worth locals, Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard racing LE TIGRE just three points back (also World, North American and Key West Champions).  Third was Jay Lutz from Houston, TX sailing FIRED UP (another World and Key West Champion). Fourth was Brian Keane from Marion, MA on SAVASANA fresh off his J/80 East Coast Champs effort in Annapolis (also a Key West Champion) along with Bruno Pasquinelli (a North American champion) on TIAMO in fifth.  If you had to write a script as to which top five teams would be fighting it out for the top five spots at the J/80 North Americans on "home turf" on Eagle Mountain Lake, there you have it-- any one of them can win it!

Showing up for the event from other parts of the compass across America to give the "local cowboys" a "run-for-the-money" include top California team Curt Johnson sailing AVET from California YC; Kerry Klingler (a World and North American Champion) and Abuzeni Nizar sailing ARROW from Long Island Sound; the family team of Tom Klok, Will & Marie Crump sailing GULDFAXE from Annapolis, MD and Copenhagen, Denmark (SW NOOD Champions); class ring-leaders Kirsten & Brian Robinson with Tim Borland on the famous ANGRY CHAMELEON from Annapolis; and Chris Chadwick on CHURCH KEY also from Annapolis, amongst many others!   For more J/80 North Americans sailing information