Thursday, July 25, 2013

Portugal's Rocha Wins J/80 Worlds Cliff-hanger

J/80 world champion- Portuguese Hugo Rocha and teamFirst Tie-Breaker That Determines The Championship!
(Marseilles, France)- After all the build-up for the J/80 Worlds 2013 in Marseilles, it would appear the domain of J/80 world hegemony would come down to just two nation's top sailing teams-- that of France and Spain.  Undoubtedly, many top teams from other countries like United Kingdom, America, Germany, Italy and Sweden had aspirations to the throne, no one quite expected the ultimate outcome after sailing in challenging conditions for four+ days on the gorgeous Bay of Marseilles.  Crowned as the 2013 J/80 World Champion was skipper Hugo Rocha from Portugal, sailing his NEW TERRITORIES team with an international crew consisting of Alex Semenov and Pavel Savenk from Russia and David De La Plaza Madraz and Francisco Palacio from Spain!

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing worlds MarseillesWith 117 boats participating, it was going to be a tough event for any team to rise to the top.  One small mistake would cost you dozens of boats upwind, in the corners at the marks or downwind.  Crew handling was critical as well as general boat speed around the track.  The fleet was split into four flights with a rotation for the first two days to qualify for the "Gold" championship fleet.  At that time after the qualifiers, it looked like the Spanish teams were poised to again sweep the podium and take more than just the top three, creating yet a third sweep of the J/80 Worlds.  However, as fate would have it, for one reason or another the leading Spanish teams had their difficulties in the championship round.

J/80 women's worlds winnersAsked what were his objectives before the J/80 Worlds to take part in the competition? Rocha answered, "We are a new team, it was the first time we sailed altogether. Two crew are from St Petersburg, Russia and two are from Spain and I’m from Portugal. We all trained hard for the championship. Last month I participated in the Spanish Championship and my team finished 3rd, but we had to change the team composition because some of the crew had a setback.  At the beginning of the competition, we struggled a little bit with boat-handling, but then we rapidly improved. I can divide the competition into two parts: the first 50% qualifiers we were good (5-12-14-17) and the second 50% we were very good (1-1-3-1-6). It’s a shame we couldn’t have sailed the last day but the wind was irregular and very light."

J/80s sailing in Marseilles, FranceThe balance of the top ten was reflective of the battle between the top French and Spanish teams with a split between them for the top ten.  Sailing a strong championship series was Luc Nadal from France on GAN'JA, scoring lower total points and tied with Rocha's team on total net point at 43 each-- unfortunately, Luc lost the J/80 Worlds based on 1st places and so had to settle for second overall; a tough pill to swallow after leading the worlds after race 7.  Third was the renown French team on INTERFACE CONCEPT led by Eric Brezellec with 51 pts net.  Fourth and fifth were the famous Martinez brothers- famous Spanish Volvo 70 sailors and World 49er champions and Olympians. Carlos Martinez sailed DELTASTONE to 52 pts net.  Fifth was brother Iker Martinez sailing ENBATA 80/ GOLD SAILING with 53 pts net. The balance of the top ten was Frenchman Quentin Ponroy on ELECTRA in 6th, Frenchman Nicolas Lunven on GENERALI in 7th, Spaniard Jose Maria Van der Ploeg on FACTOR ENERGIA in 8th, Canary Islander Rayco Tabares on HOTEL PRINCESA YAIZA (the early regatta leader) in 9th and Frenchman Herve Leduc on JIBE SET in 10th.

J/80s one-design sailboats- starting at Worlds in Marseilles, FranceThe top, and only, American was Brian Keane on SAVASANA in 11th; top Swedish team was Ingemar Sundstedt in 18th; top German team was Sven Vagt on CAMIL FARR POWER SYSTEMS in 27th; top Netherlands team was Laura Vroon on JOIE DE VIVRE in 28th; top Swiss team was Yannick Preitner on ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE DE LAUSANNE in 31st; top British team was Jon Powell on BETTY in 32nd; top Italian team was Massimo Rama's crew on JENIALE! in 46th; top Polish team was Pawel Boksa on MOONRAKER in 68th; the only Omani team was OMAN SAIL led by Rajaa Al Owrsisi in 91st; and Russia's Maxim Kuzmin on ENERGY was 94th.   Spanish Sailing Photos- Jesus Renedo / Trofeo Conde de Godo and Elena Martinez / RCMS.  For more J/80 Worlds sailing information

Sunday, July 7, 2013

J/80 Worlds Marseilles Preview

J/80 international one-design sailboats- sailing off starting line. (Marseilles, France)- With 119 teams participating in this year's J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France, it look like the J/80s have again set the record for the most Worlds with 70+ boat fleets for any International ISAF one-design keelboat class-- four Worlds over the last ten years, quite a remarkable achievement!

The J/80 dominates the European one-design racing circuits and France, in particular, where it is by far the most favored racer-cruiser. Indeed the Coupe de France (French Cup) circuit, organized by the French J/80 class, has nearly 200 boats that participate in the circuit of ten events every year.

The City of Marseille is hosting the event in a remarkable setting; a wide-open gateway to the Mediterranean and the second largest city in France, Marseille is a multi-cultural metropolis with international influence.  Furthermore, Marseille is the European Capital of Culture in 2013 with a great many events organized as part of the celebration.

J/80 Worlds sailing Marseilles, FranceFrom the sailors perspective, Marseille is at the centre of water-sports in the Mediterranean with a fabulous sailing area, recognized as one of the finest in France thanks to its 2 natural bays, a vast, protected race area, easily accessible from the harbor, and its steady sea-breezes.  No wonder major sailing events have been sailed in Marseilles; including the America’s Cup circuit, the World Sailing Games, the World Match Racing circuit (on J/80s no less), the Medcup and the MOD 70 European Tour in 70 foot multihulls.

The sailing schedule starts with a the practice race Monday, July 8th followed by five days of racing with up to three races per day, concluding Saturday, July 13th.  With 119 teams from 12 countries (France, Spain, USA, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Switzerland, Russia, and Oman) many will be looking to see how well they've improved their performance over the past year of sailing and training with their boats.  No question, there will be some new faces that will surprise some in the top ten and the event may possibly be the first to dethrone the "Spanish armada" that have dominated the past few J/80 Worlds.

J/80 Spanish team- Gold Sailing- past World's championsAs the most recent World Champions, the Spanish are determined to retain the title but the chances of sweeping the top three spots on the podium may be more difficult this time.  They're sending seventeen boats with many of their top teams, including the current World Champion José María Van der Ploeg sailing FACTOR ENERGIA; past World Champions Rayco Tabares on HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA and Carlos Martinez on ZHIK/ NOVASAIL; and Volvo 70 TELEFONICA star and World 49er Champion Iker Martinez sailing ENBATA 80. That's a formidable group of sailors!

J/80 French team- Brezellec on Interface ConceptThe French are countering with many top teams, including Eric Brezellec's INTERFACE CONCEPT, Simon Moriceau's INTERFACE CONCEPT II, Vincent Vandekerkhove, Pierre-Loïc Berthet at the helm of Nicolas Lunven's GENERALI, Laurent Sambron's ATLANTIS, Luc Nadal on GAN'JA and the team of Arthur Herreman/ Romain Bethune sailing MATCH THE WORLD!

The next strongest group of teams may be the British and Swedish teams.  The Swedish teams include Anders Rosenberg sailing DYNAMANT, Ingemar Sundstedt, and Lars Gellerhed on MK-PRODUKTER.  The British teams include Jon Powell's BETTY, Patrick Liardet sailing AQUA-J, Allen Higgs skippering JUICY, and Stew Hawthorn sailing J'AI DEUX AMOURS- all very strong teams with a shot at the podium and certainly the top ten.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing upwind at Worlds.Highlights of leading teams from other countries include the lone American team sailing- Brian Keane's SAVASANA; top Netherlands team sailed by Laura Vroon on JOI DE VIVRE; Thomas Dehler's ANEGADA from Germany; Massimo Rama's JENIALE! from Italy; Asrar Al Ajmi sailing TEAM AL THURAYA BANK MUSCAT from Oman (the first Omani team to sail a J/80 Worlds); Pawel Boksa on MOONRAKER from Poland; Maxim Kuzmin on J-BLUE 8 from Russia (the first Russian J/80 team to sail a Worlds); and Yannick Preitner sailing POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE from Switzerland.

The Worlds promise to be another competitive, if not epic event for the 119 teams sailing for the next week!  Marseilles weather can be capricious if fronts are moving quickly across continental Europe, especially if some of the classic "mistral" conditions kick in and blow cold, strong winds out of the lower French Alps!  Shifty winds and massive blasts rolling off the mountains can be quite a challenge in the Bay of Marseille.

Meanwhile, here's a YouTube of a French team recently practicing in windy, wavy conditions off Marseille.  Looks like they had some fun learning how to gybe better in the big breeze!  Watch on YouTube here.   Spanish Sailing Photos- Jesus Renedo / Trofeo Conde de Godo and Elena Martinez / RCMS.  For more J/80 Worlds sailing information

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Strong J/80 Class at Kieler Woche!

(Kiel, Germany)- Kieler Woche is promoted as the greatest sailing event in the world and the largest summer waterfront festival in northern Europe. With a nine-day program packed with over 2,000 events (including many music stages of Germany's longest open-air festival with folk, pop, rock and classical music on offer) to entertain three million guests from all over the globe, their claim may not be far off the mark.

This year's 131st Kieler Woche, amongst the oldest sailing weeks in the world, enabled millions to experience the maritime atmosphere of "KIEL.SAILING.CITY"-- the theme for an entire city! 5,000 yachtsmen and women, 50 countries, 2,000 yachts, dinghies and surfboards, almost 40 sailing events, and more than 400 planned regatta starts on eleven race courses. The "Who's who" of sailing in Europe (if not top Olympic sailors) lined up at the starting lines for this year's events.

Kiel Week creative arts kids contestPlus, all the sailors and visitors experienced an endless forest of masts on the banks of the bay, with over one hundred windjammers and traditional sailing boats moored on the quayside. The fascination of tall ships resulted in the windjammer parade with more than 100 ships taking part, including the European Navy destroyers, frigates, corvettes, and minesweepers from a whole host of countries that came together in Tirpitz Harbour for the meeting of the Navy fleets.

Within that armada of ships and windjammers were one-design fleets of J/24s and J/80s enjoying the festivities, camaraderie and great sailing.

The eighteen boat J/80 fleet experienced a bit of an "old-fashioned schooling" of how to sail a J/80 fast and smart.  After twelve 1sts in thirteen races, Martin Menzner's team from Germany did have to sail the last two races due to a double-throw out series.  A mile behind in second place was Hauke Kruss and friends and in third Flemming Dejernes (top Netherlands team).  The balance of the top five were Matthias Herzberg in fourth and Niklas Ohling in fifth.   For more Kieler Woche sailing information

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Krump's Win J/80 North Americans

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing around Block Island(Block Island, RI)- The 25th Anniversary of the Storm Trysail Club's biennial Block Island Race Week was celebrated this past week, and it seems that after almost five decades a good thing has only gotten better with age. First held in 1965, the five-day competition, originally patterned after Cowes Week, is one of the last true Race Weeks remaining in America.  The event proved it still can deliver on its time-tested tradition of good, challenging racing to over 1500 sailors competing on 182 teams while also embracing all types of racing sailors with a “something for everyone” approach.

J/80 one-design sailboat- planing along under spinnakerOf the 182 boat fleet, J/Boats had by far the largest brand presence in the regatta with 80 boats participating (44% of the fleet!).  Six J one-design classes participated, including the J/111s, the J/80 North American's and East Coast Championships for the J/109, J/105s, J/44s and J/29s.  J/Teams also sailed in the IRC and PHRF handicap divisions.

With their North American Championship on the line, the J/80's sixteen boats saw what became two races within a regatta:  two boats clearly vying for the overall lead with five other boats vying for the balance of the top five.  In the end, Will & Marie Crump and team aboard R80, launched a tremendous comeback to topple the previous leader USA 1162, skippered by John White (Annapolis, Md.). “There were five points between us, and we were excited about the conditions but anxious about the fog,” said Crump, a 1999 J 80 North American champion (as crew) whose crew was comprised of wife Marie, her brother Thomas Klok and new crew member Chris Larson (all from Annapolis). “We’re more experienced in the high breeze, so we knew it was possible to win.  We did a little match racing with our competition to get him driven back in the fleet in the first start. For the second start, we didn’t have such a command, but we got out and away early.” 

J/80 R80 sailing by Will and Marie Crump
But, it didn't start out that way for Crump and family. Said Will, “We didn’t do the practice race, because Marie broke one of her thumbs and we had to make a mad dash to the hospital on Sunday. We were lucky to get to the line and race without major compromise.” Behind the leaders were Gary Panariello on COURAGEOUS finally closing the deal on the last day's two races to take third overall with 41 pts.  The Storck family had trouble finding their groove, but ultimately the RUMOR crew took fourth overall with 44 pts. Taking fifth was the Hayes/ Kirchhoff team on MORE GOSTOSA.   Sailing Photos by Allen Clark/ and Stephen Cloutier/  For more Block Island Race Week sailing information

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Long Beach Race Week Preview

(Long Beach, CA)- One of the classic California regattas will be taking place this coming weekend off Long Beach, renowned for being the host of the famous match race series, the Congressional Cup.  The conditions are considered the best in southern California, with summer sea-breezes often developing out of the West at 10-17 kts.

Over the course of time, the event has become a big J/Fest with six J one-design fleets participating, including J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/105s, J/109s and J/120s. In addition, there are two PHRF divisions with several offshore J racing teams sailing.

Five teams are sailing in the J/80s, including multiple class winner Curt Johnson sailing AVET and Cal Week's runner-up Steve Wyman on NUHUNU.  The J/24 class has a small turnout but had some good teams participating, including past winner Susan Taylor's TAKE FIVE.  For more Long Beach Race Week sailing information

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gorgeous New York YC Annual Regatta

NEWPORT, R.I. (June 16, 2013)  – The New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex—the oldest regatta in the country—has entered the history books for the 159th time. With 153 teams competing, the 2013 edition also was the largest Annual Regatta on record, with enough action on the water and ashore to guarantee the event’s venerable reputation into the next century.  The regatta was blessed with great sailing conditions all three days, starting with the immensely popular Around Jamestown Island Race, a 20nm affair that can challenge the best sailors anywhere.  A massive frontal system was moving offshore, greeting the sailors with 20-30 kts of NNE breeze on Friday's Round Island race. Saturday saw beautiful SSW breezes in the 6 to 13 kts range with partly cloudy skies and balmy temperatures.  By Sunday, a weak cold front presented the fleet with dazzling blue skies and a cool fresh Northerly blowing 8-15 kts in the morning that slowly died off by noon, followed by 6-14 kts of classic SSW sea-breezes under sunny skies in the afternoon.

“We are proud and privileged to be able to open our home to this many yachtsman and sailors that come from all over the world, both professional and Corinthian, with great crews,” said Commodore Thomas Harrington after an Annual Regatta dinner that hosted 800 sailors and is as much of a tradition as the racing. “We extend the hospitality of the New York Yacht Club both on the water and off, because what we are about is sharing in our traditions. And like anything else, to have a great party you need people to come, and they came.”

J/Teams were a significant part of the regatta, and the parties! Racing on Course Bravo were the J/80s, also preparing for their North Americans next week being held concurrently with Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week.  Taking the crown with three bullets on the last day were Will & Marie Crump sailing R80.  Finishing with three 2nds on the final day to snag second overall was John Storck and family racing their famous RUMOR!  Taking three 3rds on Sunday to take the bronze on the podium was Jeff Johnstone racing LITTLE FEAT.  Taking fourth was Guy Nickerson's PRESSURE and fifth was Peter McCarthy's EAGLE.   Sailing photo credits- Rolex/ Daniel Forster   For more New York YC Annual Regatta sailing information

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Stellar J/80 UK Nationals

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing upwind off Cowes, England (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron from Friday 14th June to Sunday 16th June 2013, the large J/80 fleet held their National Championships in widely varying, challenging sailing conditions on the Solent.  Winner in the J/80s was Rob Larke on J2X.

Expectations were high amongst the J/80 fleet following a stellar 2012 season. The J/80 World Championships came to the UK for the first time in seven years, and hosted an incredible seventy-six boats from nine nations including the USA and Hong Kong. Twenty-six boats then went on to compete in the J/80 UK Nationals in September. The Nationals provided a nice warm up for UK teams sailing the 2013 World Championships in July, where more than 130 boats are expected to travel to host city Marseille.

The first day of the regatta on Friday could not have been nicer.  Both fleets were presided over by PRO Captain Simon Van Der Byl. Conditions on the race-track (in the area of Brambles Bank) were some of the Solent’s finest with a brisk but variable 10 to 18 knots from South to South West. Captain Van Der Byl explained, "We really did have the best of days. We had to use the Z flag on the first start for the J/80 fleet but after that the behavior of both the J/70s and the J/80s was immaculate."

The J/80s were first away for Race 1 of the two races scheduled. Once the fleet had settled down following the deployment of the Z flag, Kevin Sproul led Race 1 from the start in J.A.T and took the bullet at the finish line. Sproul said, "The Squadron did a fantastic job with the course. We sailed well and we had good boat speed. In the second race Stewart Hawthorn just got past us. It was great racing." Hawthorn and his crew on board J’ai Deux Amours were clearly pleased with the way things went for them. "We managed to get away from the fleet and get ourselves inside the leading pack at the penultimate mark. From then we managed to stay ahead until the line." But, it was a day where consistency delivers its own rewards and a mid-fleet result for Hawthorn in the first race countered by consistency and some strong and intelligent sailing by Allan Higgs with Team Juicy and Jon Powell with Betty put them in second and third place respectively, each on eight points at the close of the first day.

It was a challenging day on the water for all on Sunday. Having completed the first two races of the championship on Friday in sublime race conditions, competitors were sent ashore and racing was abandoned before the first start sequence on Saturday, as an easily sailable 21 knots quickly built to a steady 33 knots in the course area near Mother Bank on the Solent. Three races were scheduled for Sunday, of which two were completed by the J/70s and the J/80s in a fading breeze of between 6 and 12 knots which swung between 230 and 190 degrees.

J/80 international one-design sailboat class- sailing off Cowes, EnglandSunday was a ‘double bullet’ day both for Rob Larke and his crew in the J/80 National Championship fleet on J2X.   For Rob in the J/80 fleet, two wins on the final day of racing, although impressive, were not sufficient to overhaul Kevin Sproul and his crew on board J.A.T who had led the regatta from Race One and, having never posted a result outside of the top two across the series, were deserving winners of the 2013 J/80 UK National Championship.

Both fleets were invited to a Pimms loaded prize-giving on The Platform at the Royal Yacht Squadron on Sunday afternoon, which, unsurprisingly, was extraordinarily well attended. PRO Captain Simon Van Der Byl thanked competitors for their sportsmanship throughout the weekend and presented prizes alongside the Rear Commodore for Finance, the Honourable Patrick Seely.

In the J/80 fleet, Gillian Ross and her crew from Rock & Roll were presented with the prize for Most Improved J/80 which was sponsored by Race Yacht Services. Rock & Roll’s results got better and better as the championship progressed, perhaps aided and abetted by the team’s visit to the Isle of Wight Festival.

The Best Corinthian J/80 Team at the J/80 Nationals was Jon Powell and his crew on Betty. There are many full-time professional sailors racing J/80s and J/70s and both classes acknowledge that recognition is due for outstanding achievement by the ‘amateurs’ in each fleet. In the J/70 Class The Best Corinthian Team was Simon Ling and the boys on board Team RAFBF Spitfire Powered by SLAM. The prizes were generously sponsored by Fastnet Insurance.

It was a short hop back to the podium for Jon Powell: he and his crew on Betty finished third overall at the 2013 J/80 UK National Championship with 15 points across the series. Rob Larke and J2X finished in second place with 11 points. J.A.T finished on just 7 points and the 2013 UK National Champions, Kevin Sproul, Phil Taylor, Chris Taylor and Chris Fisher were presented with the silverware and were congratulated by the assembled fleet.

The next key event on the 2013 calendar for J/80 sailors is AAM Cowes Week and then the J-Cup in Plymouth later in August. The 2014  J/80 UK National Championships will take place at Poole Regatta from the 24th to 26th May 2014.   Sailing photo credits- Rick Tomlinson   For more J/80 UK Nationals sailing information

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Block Island Race Week Preview

(Block Island, RI)- For many sailors in northeastern America and their friends from the around the world, Block Island Race Week is the highlight of the sailing summer.  Hosted by the Storm Trysail Club with professional, well-managed race committee's, sailors can count on fantastic racing for five straight days of sailing from June 24th to 28th.  Included in the schedule is another one of those fabulous "round island" races, the 25nm Around Block Island Race sailed mid-week.  While many enjoy the sailing, it's not unusual for many of the thousand-plus sailors to enjoy the renown "Block Party" that goes all week long, fueled by Mt Gay's famous rum and, equally as famous, The Oar Restaurant & Bar's famous "mudslides".

This year the sailing teams are looking forward to one of the largest fleets to assemble in years, with 183 boats registered to sail, J/Boats having by far the largest brand presence in the regatta with 80 boats participating (44% of the fleet!).  Six J one-design classes are sailing, including the J/111s, the J/80 North American's and East Coast Championships for the J/109, J/105s, J/44s and J/29s.  J/Teams are also sailing in the IRC and PHRF handicap divisions.

The J one-design teams are loaded with excellent sailing talent.   With their North American Championship on the line, the J/80's sixteen boats are also the largest J one-design class participating.  There are several top teams sailing with North American, Sailing World NOOD, Key West and East Coast champion credentials amongst them, including R80 (Will & Marie Crump fresh off a NOOD and New York YC Annual Regatta wins), RUMOR (John Storck, Jr and family), Clarke McKinnney, Bert Carp, CHURCH KEY (Chris & Liz Chadwick), FKA (Les Beckwith) and COURAGEOUS (Gary Panariello). For more Block Island Race Week sailing information

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Russian Federation Cup Sailing J/80s In Canary Islands!

J/80 one-design sailboats- Russian Sailing Federation CUP
(Lanzarote, Canary Islands)- The leadership of the Russian Sailing Federation are again hosting their famous Federation Cup in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, sailing J/80 one-designs from November 3rd to 10th, 2013. company is the general sponsor. The organizers of the competition are RUS7 sports club and the racing will take place out of the first-class marina - Puerto Calero, which is a technical partner in the Cup.

J/80 Russian Federation Cup- sailing Canary IslandsSince 2010, the "Fed Cup" has been sailed in the J/80 offered by the local Lanzarote J/80 Fleet, the event has established itself as the best regatta for Russian Sailing Federation members and has become the principal event on the sailing calendar for dozens of sailors. The success of the regatta is guaranteed by several factors- fun boats to sail; perfect time of year to sail in Lanzarote with big breezes, big waves and plentiful sunshine; the high quality of the sailing teams; a combination of fleet racing and team racing offers something for everyone; the presence of the leading officials of the Russian sailing community; and the spectacular location of the five-star hotel Hesperia Lanzarote overlooking the waterfront and the sailing area!

The spirited competition on the water with past Russian Olympic Sailing Team members, veteran Russian professional sailors as well as novice sailors first learning the ropes of how to get a J/80 around the race track make for lively discussions during the evening social festivities and, especially, at the famous "fish barbecue" (one of the most popular dinner party events of the week!).

For more information on the Fed Cup please visit  For more Fed Cup sailing information, please contact Alla Frolova- Tel. +79185565984, or email-

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Rocha Takes J/80 Catalonian Championship

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing off Spain (Catalonia, Spain)- The J/80 Catalonian Championship took place during the MedSailing Regatta, that saw all wind conditions with varying speed and directions. Despite the challenging wind conditions, the highly competitive fleet managed to sail six races.

The J/80s in attendance were an exceptional fleet, counting amongst them five of the top ten overall J/80 World's sailing teams.  The racing was so tight that the winner couldn't be announced until the last race. Hugo Rocha, from CN Cambrils, took the trophy after a hard-earned championship. In the first day of racing he was always in the top of the leaderboard and he secured the win with an exceptional second half of the championship, where he scored two seconds and a first.

As mentioned above, some of the best sailors in the world J/80 rankings were present. Among them, Carlos Martínez with ZHIK/NOVASAIL, had a spectacular first half of the championship scoring three bullets in the first four races. But on the second day, light winds worked against him and he obtained second place overall in the MedSailing regatta.

Javier Chacártegui, on board HM-HOTELS, was very consistent in his performance and finished all races in the top positions. However, he was tied in points with Carlos Martínez in the overall standing, and since he had less wins than Martínez, he finished third overall, 17 points ahead of the fourth boat.

Other outstanding sailors taking part of this regatta were the current World Champion José María van der Ploeg, on board FACTOR ENERGIA. However, he was unlucky and broke his bowsprit in a collision during the first race of the championship. Even if the Protest Committee ruled in his favor, he was prevented from racing in 4 of the 6 final races. However, on the last day he proved his talent by winning one of the two races of the day.

The winner of the Catalonian Championship, as well as of the MedSailing Regatta, was Hugo Rocha, from CN Cambrils. The runner-up was Oriol Cornudella from Club Náutico El Balís, who thanks to a fourth place in the last race managed to skip in front of Javier Scherk (Gunter), from RCN Barcelona, who finished only a point behind and took the third place in the Catalonian podium. Thanks for the report from the Catalonian J/80 fleet.   For more Spanish J/80 sailing information

Thursday, June 20, 2013

MATCH THE WORLD Dominates J/80s In Normandy

J/80 one-design sailboats at Normandy Sailing Week, France(Le Havre, France)- Sailing on the northern coastline of France can be an experience many never forget, especially with famously powerful Lows rolling in off the chilly North Sea and slamming the western European coastline with gale force winds and massive 10-15 foot waves smashing into the beaches.  Toss in 20 ft plus tidal range and massive amounts of current across the race courses and the conditions can truly be described as challenging.  This year's Normandy Sailing Week participants had the best of all worlds, sunny skies for most of the event with NE winds in the 15-25 kts range with enormous seas topped by breaking white caps every single day.

The thirty J/80s sailing in the fourth part of their J/80 French Cup Series saw the two leaders run away with the series.  With many of the top teams practicing for the J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France in July, this event was going to be a good test for how well the various team's preparations were going.  There was no question the J/80s loved the fast and furious pace of the sailing with prolonged surfs and planes in the big breeze.  The conditions also may have had an impact on the outcome of the top five as many of the familiar faces on the French J/80 circuit were eclipsed by some newcomers-- some very experienced "newbies" at that!  Winning the event with a clear demonstration of speed, boat-handling and smart sailing was Romain Bethune sailing MATCH THE WORLD. Starting out by winning the first four races in a row, they never relinquished their lead after the first day of racing.  MATCH THE WORLD's record of 1-1-1-1-3-4-2-1 for 14 pts net was good enough to take the gold and win by five points.  Second overall was a "new girl on the block", Maxime Mesnil sailing MANCHE BASSE NORMANDIE to a very strong 3-2-2-2-1-1-5-3 scoreline for 19 pts net!  Third was yet another class newcomer, Alexis Henri sailing VADK ONE, coming on strong in the end to beat out current European J/80 Champion Eric Brezellec skippering INTERFACE CONCEPT on a tie-breaker at 36 pts apiece!  Fifth was Frederic Hauville from the French Naval Academy, sailing ECOLE NAVALE CG29 to a solid series with most finishes in the five!

Normandy Week is sailed at the end of the Seine River near Le Havre, so current is a very important factor in local tactics. Early on, current maps and information were gathered to be well prepared. Even some famous Belgian Laser sailors with local knowledge got us some extra info. For more J/111 Europeans and J/80 Normandy Sailing Week information

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New York YC Annual Regatta Preview

(Newport, RI)- An impressive lineup of J sailing talent will be participating in the oldest regatta in America, with over a century and a half’s worth of history and lots of family fun. For three days, yachts sailing in IRC, J one-Design classes as well as a PHRF Cruiser-Racer division will be hosted at New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court and will race on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound.  The leading brand by a significant margin are the forty four J's (29%) sailing in the fleet of 153 boats.

“Newport is a great place to sail and offers a very impressive nautical town steeped in tradition,” said Terry McLaughlin, the Canadian Olympic silver medalist, J/24 Canadian Champion, current J/105 owner and former America’s Cup skipper who will be at the helm of John Hele’s 42 footer (himself a past J/24 Canadian champion). “As well, the New York Yacht Club always does a bang-up job on and off the water. The event has a long history and a lot of competitive classes, so it attracts a wide range of boats and people. I’m a great proponent of one-design racing, because I like to cross the finish line and know immediately how we did,” said McLaughlin.  McLaughlin & Hele and the rest of the fleet have been invited to kick off the event on Friday, June 14 with a separately scored 21nm Around the Island Race. The circumnavigation of Jamestown remains a favorite among racing sailors visiting Newport, and at stake in the IRC division is a Rolex Submariner watch, which will be presented to the overall winner during that evening’s festivities at Harbour Court.

J/80s have a fleet of seven remarkably competitive teams, including North American and Sailing World NOOD champions peppering the fleet.  Chief amongst the leaders will be the Storck family's renown RUMOR, Will Crump's R80, Jeff Johnstone's LITTLE FEAT and Chris & Liz Chadwick's CHURCH KEY.    For more New York YC Annual Regatta sailing information

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The J/Boats "Impact" Developing Sailing Markets Worldwide

J/80 sailing development in China (Liuzhou, Guangxi Province, China)- Developing recreational sports in countries such as China has always been a challenge.  The economies in these developing countries have been in booms, the wealth has come in to the households, but the people do not have the background and knowledge that developed nations have had to really enjoy the boating life.  Lack of swimming, fear of water and lack of good instruction are all real things that need to be addressed before you can even get new sailors on the water.  Riviera Liuzhou Yacht Club in Guangxi Province, China has a formula that is working. This location is in the heart of China, 5 hours from any coastline-- not the location most would think would see the largest growth of new keel boat sailors in Asia.

Two years ago, Mr. He and Frank Lin of Liuzhou had the idea of starting a club. They pushed the local government for access to get things started. With docks completed in October of 2011 they hosted their first national Masters Cup Regatta with 14 new club-owned International J/80 one-designs.  Not really knowing what they were up against, they were smart to bring in some help to organize and run the event. In the spring of 2012 they hosted another Masters Cup Regatta.  They invited sailors from around China, Hong Kong and Singapore; as a result most of the Asian sailing world began to understand where Liuzhou was located and its promise for opportunity.  But, this did little for local sailing. As we all know, local sailing is the key to growth.

In the Summer of 2012, Jim Johnstone started working with Liuzhou to help them train the instructors to establish the sailing program and help them create some local teams to compete in other events around China. As of June 2012 there were a handful of instructors that had sailed before this program started.

J/80s sailing on river in China- sailing school development programWith many days on the water practicing and several local companies taking instruction from the club, the first base of sailors was generated and the instructors continued to improve their skills. Liuzhou won the China Club Match Challenge and was also 5th out of the 28 team fleet.  Recently, Liuzhou sailors were 4th in the China Cup and 1st in the Round Hainan Regatta in Sanya (the "Hawaii" of China, its southernmost island resort where the 2012 Volvo Ocean Race stop-over was hosted). The Liuzhou sailing team then went on to compete in Qingdao where they placed 1st in 8 out of the 9 races. With many more events scheduled for 2013, Liuzhou is a city that other teams are worried about competing against!  That's a remarkable transformation for what many thought were "farmers" in the outback of China!

What was still missing was local racing going into 2013. With 14 boats available the club went out to the students that had taken lessons and pushed for each of the sailors that had some background to sign up for a boat and bring friends that didn't have any knowledge but wanted to learn. An 8 week Sunday series was born with all 14 boats signed up.  Sailing was simple windward-leeward courses with spinnakers and a goal of 5 races per afternoon between 1pm and 3:30pm.  Prior to racing there was a 30 minutes instructional class that would cover whatever topic the fleet seemed to need the most from the previous weekend (spinnaker handling tips, rules lessons, basic tactics, sportsmanship etc).

One important rule was that a club member had to be on each boat. However, the club has two memberships. An associate membership that allowed limited use of club boats and access to the docks or the full membership that would allow full access including the club house that is not completed yet. Membership is important not only for showing growth but to cover the people under the club insurance policy.

Each Sunday, the Riviera Yacht Club gets 70 to 90 new sailors showing up to compete in these races. None of the trained instructors were allowed to sail in any of the boats and coaching was provided on the water with two inflatable crash boats. However, instruction was limited to the following: a) coaching the last two place boats if they fall behind the fleet and b) on-the-water judging to help people with the rules and keep the damage to a minimum.

The race committee was also keeping things simple: Postponement flag, individual recall flag and general recall flags along with a race committee flag were all that were used. Three minute dinghy starts were used so no sailors needed a stop watch. 2 minutes after the last boat finishes the next start would sound. Only windward leeward courses, but depending on the wind, the distance would change. The race committee had the ability to limit sails in conditions of higher winds. No spinnakers, even no jibs were used at different times to make sure that the overall group was capable of managing the boats around the course and keep it fun.

Whether you are racing Cowes Race Week, Yachting Cup, Key West Race Week, China Cup or any of the other events around the world it is very difficult to imagine so many inexperienced people out racing at one time.  If you are in Newport or Hong Kong you may have several new boats to a fleet but most of the boats have a veteran or experienced sailor as part of the crew. They may not be good, but there is someone on the boat with experience.  The J/80 being a very forgiving sailing platform, the protected river environment allow Liuzhou to pull this off more then some of the other exposed sailing areas.

Thanks to the foresight of the Riviera Yacht Club owners for getting this program started and we look forward to seeing this success spread in developing sailing areas around the world.  If anyone wants more information or advice about these types of sailing development programs worldwide, please contact J/Boats- or ph. +1-401-846-8410.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

J/Fest @ Cal Race Week

(Marina del Rey, CA)- Cal Race Week continues to be a highlight for many sailing teams as more and more racers discover the pleasure of late spring sailing in Marina del Rey, with afternoon breezes in the low to mid-teens, sun and perfect temperatures for racing around the buoys.  That's what the Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce proclaimed before everyone headed for the race course-- one where the boats are sailing in the shadows of the monstrous LAX Airport and having to sometimes suffer from  their noise abatement take-off procedures for such lilliputian jumbo jets like the Airbus 380!

Despite the noise to the south, the standard "sea breeze" blows most of the noise away as it fills in from the WNW and builds all day long, thanks to the mountain ranges to the east and massive amounts of concrete throughout the smog-ridden Los Angeles basin sucking in all the breeze.  The enormous benefit of this phenomenon is that sailors enjoy beautiful, crystal-clear, smog-free days along a somewhat picturesque coastline.

Furthermore, what many SoCal sailors have come to know, is that California Yacht Club has won US SAILING’s prestigious St. Petersburg trophy for excellence in race management three times in recent years! Multiple courses with separate start/finish lines minimize interference between boats in different classes and insure that most of your time on the water will be spent racing. No kidding, the Cal YC RC team does a fantastic job of keeping the pace rolling with fleets starting and finishing at the same time!

The weekend’s hospitality was a fitting complement to the on-the-water competition. There was entertainment both days, with hosted beverages on the docks after racing (yes, ice-cold, refreshing local micro-brewery beer served from a kegger on the dock!). Plus, it's hard to beat their no-host BBQ on Saturday and complimentary beverages with hors d’oeuvres at the trophy presentation on Sunday.

Enjoying every minute of the weekend were a small armada of J Teams enjoying the fine weather and fabulous hospitality.  While the regatta attracted 77 boats from around SoCal, ranging from Santa Barbara to the north and San Diego to the south, fully 38% of the fleet (29 boats) were J sailors racing one-design in J/70s, J/80s, J/109s, J/105s and J/24s.

For Saturday's racing, the wind started out in the NW quadrant and slowly backed to the WNW.  As a result, the old axiom of "left early, right late" never worked.  In fact, the strategy of the day was highly atypical for the area with "go West young man" being the order of the day.  Sunday's racing was quite radically different, too.  Despite filling in from the SW due to an enormous High pressure ridge, the wind never clocked (or did so rarely), so the breeze funneling down the coast had greater pressure and lifts coming from the left upwind (and, conversely, downwind).  As a result, the "south of the border" strategy appeared to be the order of the day.  Strange, that it was!

Course 2, north of the Marina del Rey jetties and halfway to the Santa Monica Pier, were the fleets of J/70s, J/80s and J/24s.  The J/80s produced one of the perfect scorelines, with Curt Johnson's AVET again taking the crown for their "three-peat" win in Cal Race Week by taking straight firsts for 5 pts. The battle was really for the balance of the podium with the outcome determined by the last two races on Sunday.  Taking second was Steve Wyman's NUHUNU with 3-2-2-2-3 scores for 12 pts, nipping by one point that team of BLUE JAY sailed by Bob Hayward with a 2-3-3-3-2 tally for 13 pts.   Sailing photo credits- Bronny Daniels/   For more Cal Race Week sailing information

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

J/80's Love Round Island Race!

J/80 one-design sailboats going past Isle of Wight in Round Island Race
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Saturday 1st of June was certainly a day to remember, a day of highs, and more highs and, it was a day for Round the Island Race records to tumble.  It was the day when Great Britain's most successful Olympic sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie (past J/24, J/80 and J/109 sailor/tactician) and his all-British crew aboard JP Morgan BAR, trounced the existing Round the Island Race multihull record, held for 12 years, by an impressive 16 minutes.  Equalling this awesome, impressive feat was Simon Ling's team aboard the J/70 SPITFIRE, just blowing away their 15 boat Sportboat Class by 15 minutes on corrected time and were declared winner of the prestigious Sir Edward Heath Trophy (named after a former British Prime Minister who dearly loved sailing).

J/70 PHEEBS view of the Solent at dawn on JP Morgan Asset Management Round Island RaceAs dawn broke over the Solent, a weak weather front was clearing away to the east, leaving clear skies and a northerly airflow in its wake. The wind strength peaked at 17-22 knots as the front passed over, reducing to 13-17 knots for the first starters. It was clear it was going to be a day to break records for all kinds of boats, especially with flat water and a good wind angle on every leg of the course.  A critical turning point in the race, St Catherine's Point, had a comfortable 15 kts with occasional gusts to 20-25 kts to make for fast surfing or planing for the lighter boats. It was nearly idyllic sailing conditions for the massive 1,500 boat fleet. However, by the time the leading sportsboats were approaching Bembridge Ledge at 1030 hrs there were holes appearing in the breeze, with just 5-6 knots reported in places. Otherwise, conditions remain glorious on the water, with almost unbroken sun now warming the 15,000 sailors after a cold start to the day.

The fourteen boat IRC Sportsboat class saw very, very fast sailing.  A string of Royal Yacht Squadron/ Royal Thames YC J/80 one-designs sailed with ROYAL 1 taking 4th, ROYAL 5 in 6th, ROYAL 2 in 7th and ROYAL 3 in 9th.

 The eleven boat J/80 one-design class was a closely fought affair with the top five finishing within four minutes of each other on elapsed time after 50nm of sailing!  The winner by 30 seconds was J.A.T, followed by SURF & TURF in 2nd, WILD WALLY in 3rd, ROCK & ROLL in 4th and JASMINE in 5th.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth @  For more Round The Island Race sailing information

Monday, June 10, 2013

St Francis YC Dominates Cornerstone Cup

J/80 Cornerstone Cup winners- St Francis YC (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The Cornerstone Cup is a new, prestigious team-race challenge sailed in matched, one-design J/80 class sailboats on the famous waters known as "the Solent". It's a four-way international team racing event, two-on-two style, between the New York Yacht Club, St Francis Yacht, the Royal Yacht Squadron and Royal Thames Yacht Club.

Starting out strong the first day with a 3-0 record, the St Francis YC team never looked back, nearly sweeping the entire event from beginning to end. Here is the report from one of the St Francis YC team members, Nicole Breault:

Sailing classic English wet weather at Cowes, on Solent, England"I am loving the tradition and plucky English sailing culture of the Isle of Wight. Our team came off today with three wins and no losses, after a long delay and a single flight of light air, rainy races. Shawn Bennett is driving our boat with me, Rolf Kaiser, and Ralph Silverman as crew and our other boat is skippered by Craig Healy, with Harrison Turner, Tom Ducharme, and John Collins as crew. Mark Ivey is coaching us, and just in time for racing today, our commodore Jim Cascino and his lady Lilly arrived to cheer us on. Standing in second is New York YC followed by the Royal Yacht Squadron and Royal Thames YC.

We are sailing in the Bay of Oscar, just east of the harbor. There has been strong current making for tricky lay-lines and pass-backs, especially in the light air. Tomorrow slightly stronger winds are forecasted and the RC is planning to sail us an extra hour into the evening. Racing is tough and with point values increasing each flight, there is still much regatta competition to come."

St Francis YC team racing sailing team enjoying sunny day at Cowes in front of Royal Yacht SquadronNicole continues here report for the second day of racing, "Today we were greeted by a 'brilliant' English morning. Brisk, blue sky with fluffy white clouds and birds chirping happily. We sailed out in a light easterly and then sat for several hours basking in the sun. Luckily, the westerly filled just as the ebb was establishing and we managed one flight of racing. StFYC finished 2-1 on the day, a long debrief afterwards on the call that cost us the race. The Royal Thames came on strong today with 2-1 and handed StFYC our first loss to win the day! Tomorrow wins are 1.5 points and the regatta is still up in the air. Forecast is for better wind, however, we fear the English rains will return with it. We are off to an evening of drinks on the Royal Yacht Squadron platform, then a carving station dinner in the pavilion out back. Having a great time, for sure!"

In the end, despite best efforts by the local sailors on the Yacht Squadron and Royal Thames teams to engage the American's in "extended evening entertainment" at local pubs, the St Francis YC team went on to win in "classic Solent spring conditions", rain, wind and cool weather.  For more Cornerstone Cup sailing information

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

JENIALE Three-Peats J/80 Italian's!

J/80 Italian Champions 2013- JENIALE!- Massimo Rama (Sestri Levante, Italy)- This year's J/80 Italian National Championships hosted in Sestri Levante saw a good fleet of eleven teams participating from Italy, Poland and Germany.  The three day regatta saw an enormous variety of weather conditions challenge the fleet, from 15 to 30 kt winds on the first day to freezing cold on the second day to epic, beautiful weather for the finale on Sunday.

Friday's racing saw southerly breezes gusting over 20 kts with tough conditions sailing upwind in the puffy winds, but fantastic planing conditions downwind for the fleet!  After three races the fleet was exhausted.  After the first day's racing, it was RAPISARDI skippered by Taito Sanchez that was leading, following by the Polish team on MOONRAKER and in third was BLUE 8 (their first regatta in J/80s).  After all the heavy duty sailing, the crews retired to the nearby Yacht Club Chiavari for the evening for excellent local Italian food, delicious wines and evening entertainment.

J/80 international one-design sailboat- sailing Italian National ChampionshipsThe second day of racing was very special for many sailors.  It was overcast, cold, with snow on the mountains in the hinterlands.  And, the big waves/swell came from the southwest with 15-18 kt winds at approximately 300 degrees. In the end, it became a perfect day for sailing! Three races more beautiful and more competitive than the one before. The first race was won by JENIALE skippered by Massimo Rama, followed by RAPISARDI and the Polish team of Pawel Boksa.  After three races, the team of Taito Sanchez was still leading, chased by a group of teams that included MOONRAKER, JENIALE!, J-BLUE 8 and MONTPRES PAUL MONTEDONICO.  After the second day of sailing, the evening dinner on the promenade of Sestri for all crews was lots of fun.

For the final day of sailing on Sunday, the Tigullio Bay was amazing- sun, waves, gentle southerly breezes of 10-12 kts.  Perfect.  The Race Committee started on time and managed to produce three races!  In the end, JENIALE! managed to get three firsts to secure their third J/80 Italian Championship.  Congratulations to Rama's crew with Anne-Soizic Bertin, Eva Gonzalez, Pier Giorgio and Cristina Matteini.  Next step for the top Italians teams is the J/80 Worlds in July sailing in Marseille, France!  For more J/80 Italian Nationals sailing information

Friday, May 31, 2013

J/80's Challenge Lidingo Runt Race

J/80s finishing LidingoRunt race off Sweden (Lidingo, Sweden)- The Around Lidingo Island Race was first organized by the Lidingo YC in 1949 as a small competition amongst friends to have some fun in the early part of the Swedish summertime.  The start is below Foresta / Millesgarden and the finish is at Old Torsviks lighthouse, north of Lidingobron.

For the first few years around fifty or so boats sailed, but the numbers began to increase quite rapidly. During the 2000s, the race had about 400 to 450 participating boats. The event is the start of the season for many East Coast sailors in Sweden.  In fact, the race has grown in such popularity that even Super Maxi 100 footers, Open 60s and 80 ft trimarans have participated for honors of "first around Lidingo"!

This year, a modest fleet of 280+ boats registered to sail the event, including a very strong class of a dozen J/80s sailing one design.  It also marked the debut of the first J/70 to participate in this famous "round island" race.

The J/80s saw the event as the first part of their training program to get teams ready to sail the J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France as well as the J/80 Europeans.  Leading the pack home were the HAPPY team led by Johannnes Bergh.  Second was the DYNAMANT Consulting team with skipper Anders Rosenberg several minutes behind.  Third was MK-PRODUKTER sailed by Lars Gellerhed. Fourth was the HEAVY DUTY crew doing heavy duty work for skipper Pontus Tornlund. Rounding out the top five was TEAM SEGER led by Andreas Seger.

Sailing in by far one of the largest classes in the fleet was J/70 JULIA!  With next to no practice and little knowledge of how to make the J/70 go fast, it was amazing the Jan Nillson managed to skipper the J/70 to a third overall in their SRS-1 Handicap class against 23 other competitors.  For more Lidingo Runt sailing information

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Classic Cool Seattle NOOD

J/80's Sailed Dozen+ Races!
(Seattle, WA)- Yes, it was an amazing fact.  Long known for its famous late spring monsoon season with next to no wind, the Pacific Northwest version of the Sperry Topsider NOOD regattas can also produce some spectacular sailing conditions with the mighty, snow-capped Cascades Mountain range in the background.  While perhaps not postcard perfect sailing conditions, the sailors didn't care!  Wind was all that mattered, not the wet & wild variety, but just good breezes; the type of conditions that permitted the PRO's on the various course to seriously crank out some fast turn-arounds and dozens of starts. For  the J/80s a dozen races!

The J/80s saw two veterans dueling for the top prize in their fleet, Bill McKinnon's SKYE ROCKET and Dave Schutte's TAJ MAHAL. However, even after closing the last six races with three 1sts and three 2nds, the TAJ gang couldn't muster enough momentum to overcome their early deficit.  Consequently, SKYE ROCKET took the win with 21 pts with TAJ in second with 23 pts.  Third went to Bryan Rhodes's CRAZY IVAN with 33 pts.  Sailing Photo credits-  For more Sperry Topsider Seattle NOOD Regatta sailing information

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

J/80 ELECTRA Electrifies Grand Prix du Crouesty

J/80s sailing in French regatta at Crouesty Arzon(Crouesty Arzon, France)- One of the classic late spring, early summer events on the French sailing calendar is the Grand Prix du Crouesty sailed in southern Brittany. It's traditionally been a very strong one-design regatta with additions of handicap fleets over the years.  The GPEN is hosted by Yacht Club Crouesty Arzon and sponsored by the Yacht Club de France. The event is always sailed the weekend of Pentecost on the beautiful bay bordered by Presque'Ile Rhuys and the islands of Houat Hoedic called Mor Braz.

With over 130 boats and 600 sailors competing for three days literally just off the beaches and cliffs, the general public have an exceptional view of Petit Mont on the Bay of Mor Braz.  And, with magnificent conditions blessing the fleet for most of the weekend, the sailors got in some fantastic sailing and some spirited competition.

J/80s sailing downwind- Grand Prix Crouesty, FranceLike the first major J/80 event, this one also produced yet another "new kid on the block" at the top of the fleet. After sailing eight races, Quentin Ponroy's team on ELECTRA never finished out of the top five, scoring three 1sts and three 3rds to win with 12 pts net, a clear 16 pt margin of victory.  Sailing nearly as smart and fast was Simon Moriceau's INTERFACE CONCEPT, however, two "soon-to-be-forgotten" finishes of 12-18 in races 6 & 7 damaged their efforts to finish atop the podium, settling for second overall with 28 pts net.  Third was Nicolas Lunven on GENERALI, suffering a similar fate as Moriceau, having to face a 17-13-13 score mid-series to otherwise enable them at shot at the top, too.  Fourth was Phillipe Guigene on FAIS TOI PLAISIR MARINE LORIENT and fifth was the familiar team on Luc Nadal's GAN'JA.  For more Grand Prix du Crouesty sailing information

Friday, May 24, 2013

SAIL FIRST Sponsors ISAF Youth Worlds!

J/80 SailFirst sailing off Cyprus in Mediterranean (Limassol, Cyprus)- Recently, Giannos Photiou, President of the Cyprus Sailing Federation, announced that SAIL FIRST has come on board as the title sponsor of the 2013 ISAF Youth Worlds and, in a difficult financial climate in the country, extended his special thanks to the company for their financial support.

With 358 sailors from 55 countries set to compete in Limassol Photiou said, "The ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship is one of the greatest sports events ever to be held in Cyprus and it is characterized as a small sailing Olympiad for ISAF Youth Sailors."

J/80 SailFirst yacht club on CyprusSAIL FIRST, based in the harbor of Paphos on the western end of Cyprus (the island itself is in the far eastern Mediterranean), have a fleet of 10 fully-equipped J/80s to make on-water activities available to those who want to get out sailing.  They organize and manage events at any level, including fleet, match and team racing events for both yacht clubs and corporate events.

With a full-time staff based in Paphos Harbour, Cyprus including two RIBs, racing buoys, and judging and technical support, it's simply a phone call/ email to SAIL FIRST to enjoy a weekend/ week-long event of sailing on the gorgeous eastern Mediterranean-- all year long with great winds, too!  Plus, you can be one-design racing with less than four hour flights from London, Frankfurt, Paris, Moscow and other EU cities and stay in 3-5 star hotels on the island! No need to live in cramped charter-boat cabins! Plus, it's a very convenient "two in one" holiday-- one with the family and the other-- your participation in the regatta!  For more SAIL FIRST J/80 one-design fleet sailing information

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

COURRIER DUNKERQUE J/80 Grand Prix Ecole Navale Champion!

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off France (Brest, France)- The 12th edition of the Grand Prix Ecole Navale produced an "upset" of sorts in the French hierarchy of J/80 sailing, one of the largest regional one-design keelboat classes in all of France.  With hundreds of J/80s sailing in France over the past decade, it takes top teams years to migrate to the top of the class and maintain a continuum of success that is not easily achieved.  Last weekend, that status quo was upset by a relative newcomer to the J/80 class in France.

J/80 one-design sailboats off FranceAs if destined to win from the very beginning of the vent, COURRIER DUNKERQUE, skippered by Vincent Vandekerkhove managed a great performance to finish first and second in the last two races of the final day of racing, reserving their place atop the J/80 podium as Champions of the GPEN event!  In fact, they never looked back after the first two races, taking their place in the lead spot and never finishing out of the top ten in eight races!  Vandekerkhove dethrones Eric Brézellec and crew on INTERFACE CONCEPT who won the last three editions of the event.

J/80 one-design sailboat sailing upwind off FranceThe balance of the podium was comprised of Brezellec's INTERFACE CONCEPT in second place, winning a tie-breaker at 35 pts over fellow team-mate Simon Moriceau's INTERFACE CONCEPT 2, who had to settle for third place. The rest of the top five saw a brilliant performance by Bernard Hughes on ESPOIR PAYS DE LA LOIRE, sailing to a 3-3-1-3 in the first four races, only to "fall from grace with the sea"!  Their next four races were anything but brilliant, having to tack on a BFD-8-13-8 to drop them to 39 pts net, good enough for fourth overall.  Fifth is past J/80 champion Luc Nadal on GAN'JA with 44 net pts.

After four days of intense racing in the harbor of Brest-Morgat Crozon and Camaret, the 177 boats of the Grand Prix Ecole Navale and their 711 crew members completed their competitions on the last day in a moderate westerly flow of 10-15 knots.  Conditions were warmer than the day before and greatly appreciated by competitors after some cool days beforehand

The Grand Prix Ecole Navale event once again confirms the dynamic combination of expertise of the Naval Academy, the Navy and the French Sailing Federation, together with the participation of many volunteers Nautical center of Crozon-Morgat and Club Léo Lagrange de Camaret, led to fantastic regatta organization and on-the-water race management for one of the most famous in European yachting events.
Sailing photo credits:  Pierrick Contin- Jacques Vapillon-    For more J/80 Grand Prix Ecole Navale sailing information

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

PROCEDES DIVA Takes German J/80 MAIOR Regatta

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing fast offshore(Wannesee, Germany)- As the northern European sailing season gets underway, it's apparent the J/80s in Scandinavia and in Germany are rapidly getting organized in their regional fleets with a focus on sending a few good teams to the J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France in July.  We recently got a nice report from the German J/80 team that took third place in the MAIOR Regatta, the first of the season.   Here is Henning Buchman's commentary:

"This year MAIOR greeted us with blue skies and moderate wind conditions. Sixteen J/80 teams were registered and fifteen ended up starting in the event. Like every year, we shared the main local hotel and the race course  with the M24s, P25s and SB20s.  The J/80s were, in fact, by far the strongest and largest field this year's event.

Literally with a bang, most J/80 sailors were taken out of hibernation at the first start. Friday morning shortly before eleven came the first sound signal and all was clear!  Second start - "Oh great, then we can look at the start of the other boats in peace!" But the late spring had probably left some of the participants still in the "fog of winter"-- two or three boats hadn't noticed that both the start pennant "one" and pennant "two" were flying simultaneously! Something no one had experienced to date!

As a result, the first start was a common starting signal for all fleets, not a real race start.  What a commotion, no fleets were happy, especially us J/80s!  No one was really satisfied with the situation. Fortunately, the race committee relented and we got our own J/80 start on the second day of sailing.

There is not much to say about the other days of sailing. Sun sun sun! The wind shifted to the west and we sailed the last two days with the wind coming from the direction of the Wannesee rather than on the Baltic Sea.

In the end, it was PROCEDES DIVA that took first overall, PIKE was second and we were third on VIVACE.  Fun sailing!

Despite the unusual starting order on the first day, we want to thank the race committee that made the really difficult sailing conditions on the following days easier for everyone- a truly fantastic job. A really great race!  We look forward to the next event and hope to see many teams at the J/80 World Cup!"  Thanks for contribution from Henning Buchman- skipper VIVACE.  For more J/80 Germany sailing information

Monday, May 20, 2013

Seattle NOOD Preview

(Seattle, WA)- The Pacific Northwest version of the Sperry Topsider NOOD regattas have always enjoyed a strong following for sailors who enjoy the challenges and breath-taking scenery of Puget Sound.  Weather in this region of the country can certainly see the extremes, from light air, no wind and tropical downpours to spectacular 10-15 kt winds, sunny, crispy cool and a snow-capped mountainous view in crystal-clear skies that evokes the Beatles vision of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"!

Attending this year will be strong divisions of one-design J/Teams in the J/24, J/80 and J/105 classes.  The J/80s also see some veterans that will be vying for the top prize in their half-dozen boat fleet.  Bill McKinnon's SKYE ROCKET, Dave Schutte's TAJ MAHAL and Bryan Rhodes's CRAZY IVAN will all be amongst the leaders.  However, so long as FEARFUL SYMMETRY (Cline) and HEART ATTACK (Shapiro) aren't falling asleep at the wheel, this could be one of the tightest classes in the entire event.  For more Sperry Topsider Seattle NOOD Regatta sailing information

Sunday, May 19, 2013

PRO RIGGING Wins PalmaVela J/80s

J/80 one-designs sailing off Palma Mallorca, Spain (Palma Mallorca, Spain)- Gaastra PalmaVela reaches it’s tenth edition this year and is part of the Semana Náutica Internacional de Palma. More than 140 yachts from 17 countries, take part to inaugurate the cruising/racing calendar season in Spain.  Gaastra PalmaVela is one of the three most important regattas the Real Club Náutico de Palma organizes during the year.

Other than the ORC Class of 52 boats (in fact three classes), the single largest class are the International J/80 One-design Class.  Attending this year's events are many hopefuls from Spain that wish to attend the J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France later on in July.

J/80 PalmaVela winning team- ProSailingAfter the first day of racing for the J/80’s, the "locals" dominated, including Javier Sanz's PRO RIGGING and José Carlos Frau's BUFETE FRAU. Representing Real Club Náutico de Palma, Javier Sanz won two races and with a third place lead the evens.  David Madrazo of Pro-Rigging, is very satisfied with the teamwork: “We sailed well and won the first two races of the day. Although in the third race we took an OCS and after starting last, we were able to rebound up to the third position.”  He also has pointed out that it was a very difficult day for the Race Committee. “This wind direction from the north is very tricky and difficult to dealt with.”

For the second day of racing, the wind took its time to develop again.  But, after an hour and half postponement, the Race Committee was able to start races in a Southeasterly wind that increased during the day. It was a long day at sea, but it turned out to be a good racing day. The J/80s managed to get in three W/L race and the teams could then discard their worst race result.

The J/80 had an interesting tactical and strategic competition between PRO RIGGING and BUFETE FRAU. Javier Sanz’s boat added two victories to their scores, which gave them a small lead over José Carlos Frau who finished second in the first two races of the day. Third is current J/80 World Champion, GREAT SAILING sailed by José María van der Ploeg.  GREAT SAILING won the third race and they were followed by Javier Scherk's GUNTER.

The third day of racing provided simply spectacular sailing for the last day of competition in the Gaastra PalmaVela. With 12 knots of wind from the Southeast, the one-design classes in the Bay had a memorable day of racing-- rolling seas and long surfs and planes off the wind made for epic rides across the Bay in front of the spectacular waterfront of Palma!

In the end, the J/80 class was dominated by the "locals". Sanz's PRO RIGGING was declared PalmaVela champion with an amazing five 1sts and three 3rds in his final scores for a total of 13 pts. They were followed by van der Ploeg's GREAT SAILING in second with three bullets and three 3rds in their scoreline for 19 pts total.  Third was Frau's BUFETE FRAU with five 2nds in their tally with a total of 25 pts. Rounding out the top five were Dionisio Martinez in PUERTO SHERRY- INTUIL TEAM in fourth and Javier Scherk on GUNTER in fifth.  The top German team sailing was Dirk Euler on LIMMAT EXPRESS.   Sailing photo credits- Ingrid Abery   For more Gaastra PalmaVela J/80 sailing information