Thursday, March 28, 2013

J/80 Teams Ready For SPI OUEST

J/80 one-design sailboat fleet- sailing SPI Ouest France regattaBig J/80 Fleet Training for Worlds
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- The 35th edition of the SPI OUEST-France Intermarché starts on March 28th and goes for four days of racing in the Bay of Quiberon off the famous seaport of La Trinite sur Mer.  SPI OUEST France is one of Europe's largest regattas, and certainly the premiere regatta of the spring sailing season, and over 150 volunteers from the Societe Nautique La Trinité-sur-Mer have been preparing for several weeks to host the 423 registered sailing teams and several thousand sailors. And among the skippers, some of the biggest names in French sailing will once again take part in SPI OUEST; including none other than Thomas Coville, Franck Cammas (Volvo Ocean Race winner on GROUPAMA), Vincent Riou, Michel Desjoyeaux, Nicolas Troussel Souben Daniel, Nicolas Lunven, Franck-Yves Escoffier and others.

The weather scenario is a bit uncertain as a huge depression in the North Atlantic is expected to arrive Monday in the late afternoon, but is preceded by a trough carrying winds. The path it will takes varies from hour to hour based on the various weather models.  Explained Christophe Gaumont (renowned meteorologist), "yesterday, we predicted 35 knots Friday and this morning, we did not expect more than 10 kts!  We should have a weekend with a wide range of conditions, sustained wind Friday and Monday and low to moderate Saturday and Sunday. The east, west, south, a little rain, a little sun. In short, an Easter weekend of varied, colorful and variable weather." Now that's a weather forecast all the sailors can rely upon, isn't it?

J/80 sailing team Le Juptiens from Oman Sail of the United Arab EmiratesOf the 423 boats sailing, over 130 alone are J/Teams (31% of the entire fleet) which makes "J" the dominant sailboat brand at the biggest regatta hosted in France!  Amongst those teams will be an all-women OMAN SAIL team sailing their J/80 LES JUPTIENS in the enormously competitive fleet of 108 J/80s.  This team of women came from Oman to rub shoulders and learn from the biggest names in French offshore and one-design sailing.  Joining them are many familiar names at the top of the J/80 Worlds and most all top French teams will be using SPI OUEST as part of their "tune-up" and training efforts for the J/80 Worlds Marseilles down on the Mediterranean later in July. Amongst those teams are familiar French J/80 names like INTERFACE CONCEPT's Eric Brezellec, INTERFACE CONCEPT 2's Simon Moreceau, ATLANTIS's Louis Sambron, GANJA's Luc Nadal and JIBE SET's Herve Leduc.  One of Spain's top teams, GOLD SAILING with M. Jauregui, will be testing the waters on the Baie de Quiberon.  Alongside him will be Italy's Massimo Rama sailing JENIALE!  For more SPI OUEST France Intermarche sailing information

Monday, March 25, 2013

J/80s Training UK

(Southampton, England)- This past weekend could be construed as a very valuable weekend for J/80s in the United Kingdom.  The weekend of the 9th and 10th of March saw J/80 teams congregate in Hamble for constructive and informative tutorials and sail-training on the water.

On Friday North Sails designer (and the only Brit to have ever taken the J/80 Worlds title) Ruairidh Scott, conducted a clear and concise session on the optimum tuning and rigging settings of these record-breaking performance boats. The session was of great use to many owners who are new to the world of keelboats, as well as those who have had their boats a number of years and were keen to check their settings are right. Ruairidh was also on hand to answer questions from the sailors.

J/80 sail-training in England on Solent off CowesOn Saturday the fleet held their annual pre-season training day for small boats, led by legendary Yorkshireman and Olympic coach Jim Saltonstall. The J/80s made up the bulk of the fleet and included UK Class Chairman Mark Baskerville with his boat MISTRAL..

After a quick briefing at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Jim's RIB led the troops out into the Solent, where they enjoyed a good few hours of practice starts, boat handling exercises and some racing. Jim spent time with each boat, advising them what they were doing right and (more importantly) what they were doing wrong with regard to every facet of performance, from rig tuning to crew position. Back at the club Jim went through his video footage of the day, which effectively demonstrated the points he had made on the water!  Many thanks to all who attended the sessions and to the Royal Southern, Ruairidh, and Jim.   For more J/80 sail training information

Saturday, March 16, 2013

JENIALE Takes Tigullio J/80 Championship

J/80s sailing in Italy(Tigullio, Italy)- This past weekend, the 37th Winter Championship Tigullio took place that saw the JENIALE team take the overall regatta series title.  In a battle for J/80 Italian supremacy that took place from November 2012 to February 2013, it was clear the Massimo Rama's JENIALE team worked hard to maintain their edge and stay near the front of the fleet to prevail in the end as Champion.

The last series of racing was difficult for the crews, with cold weather and a 15+ kts wind, perfect sailing with a bit of chill in the air. And this time, after a series of nine first places, JENIALE had to settle for second place, beaten by Sanchez and crew. After them followed JBES of Garibotto with Enrica Capizzi driving and JBLU2 skippered by Maria Cristina Rapisardi.  The final standings saw Massimo Rama's JENIALE! finish in the lead, followed by TWT, JBES, JBlu2, and Montpres.

The J/80 Italian sailing season continues with the Championship of Santa Margherita, then next Sunday in May with Marina Yachting Trophy and the J/80 Italian National Championship in Sestri Levante.

For the March 9-10 weekend the BLUPROJECT will provide its 9 J/80's for the European Cup, an event organized to allow a one-design challenge amongst the teams/crews that are winners in the IRC, ORC, J/80 classes in the Championship of Tigullio.  This promises to be a fabulous event to be sailed amongst champions in the J/80 class!   For more J/80 Italy sailing information

Friday, March 15, 2013

J/80s Sailing Travemunde Week

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing in Germany(Travemunde, Germany)- Beginning last year in 2012, J/80s have participated in Travemunde Race Week in both handicap and the middle-distance race- perhaps one day as a one-design class, too!  Maximilian Gebhard relates their experience of sailing their J/80 in the event that includes a 42nm offshore race.  Here's his account:

"We're thankful for the organizers and race committee that enabled us to have the first experiences with J/80s in Travemunde, especially the distance race of 42 nm that makes for about an eight hour race. This year we will be racing on a shorter course, about 25% shorter. The middle-distance race from Travemünde to Grömitz is sailed around fixed navigation marks criss-crossing the Bay of Lübeck. Our race in 2012 was the 42 nm (Track), going from the buoy Offentief (towards Wismar), navigational aids before Niendorf / Timmendorfer beach, Neustadt iH and the Lübeck-Gedser route to the pier in front of Grömitz. We had 12-23 kts winds providing challenge on upwind, downwind and reaching legs, including how to best navigate the current, wave and wind induced coastal changes along the racer track.  Amusingly, it was the lightest and youngest crew on board that did the navigation for the first time! Plus, he helped maintain the motivation of the crew for about eight hours! Upon arriving in the port of Grömitz, we managed to get to the restaurant tent for the sailors and enjoyed the harbor festival with live music from the stage.

So, how did we handle accommodations for sailing after the racing?  We were not planning on staying on our damp boat without luggage, shore power, and onboard toilet.  No problem. Since Grömitz is only 30 minutes drive from Travemünde and Lübeck, both J/80 teams had positioned the previous evening a car with dry luggage, mattresses, heater, including food/drink at the port. For the sailors, breakfast was catered in the restaurant tent, so the lack of cabin interior the J/80 not even bother here. The facilities in Grömitz were excellent.

Besides the pre-eminent J/80 one-design regattas like the World Championship, Flensburg and Kiel Week, I can definitely recommend the middle distance race of the Travemünde Week to complement the sailing calendar only.  For questions about logistics, accommodation, cranes, and sailing Travemünde Week, the two local crews are at your disposal.  Please feel free to contact us- Maximilian Gebhard ( or Meinhard Braedel (   For more J/80 Germany sailing information

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

J/80 Challenge "Casino Partouche" France

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off France(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- As hosts of the 2013 J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France, it's pretty clear the French J/80 Class is determined to put on a good showing not just as hosts, but as competitors to dethrone the Spanish from winning yet another J/80 Worlds since 2007!  While a formidable challenge, many French teams are capable of winning a world's at this level and at the last two Worlds in Dartmouth, England and Copenhagen, Denmark some of the French teams were on the cusp of taking the podium.

Looking forward to the Marseille Worlds, several fleets in France have already embarked on training programs to improve their overall performance.  In La Trinite, they held the fifth edition of the "Casino Partouche" to focus on training all the teams in the fine-art of sailing a J/80 fast across a broad range of weather conditions.  With eighteen teams participating, the crews enjoyed ENE winds from 8-12 kts on Saturday and more ENE winds ranging from 5-20 kts on Sunday with a bit of chill in the air.

After training and boat-handling, boat-speed drills on Saturday, all the crews sailed four races on Sunday.  In the end the top five teams included, AXELLE J (Damien Zucconi), GREEN SAILS (Julien Bourgeois), CHARLY (Pierre Metais), IMAJINATION (Erwan Gourdon) and JIBI (Yannick Tabarly).

There are two more stops on the training/ racing tour named after their primary sponsors, including:
- March 16-17- "Armor-Lux"
- March 23-24- "The ZING Cafe"

For more information, please contact Arnaud Walter / Arno Skipper on ph# +33-0669-582121 or email-     For more J/80 French Class training/ racing programs

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

GREAT SAILING Leads Spanish J/80 Circuit

J/80 one-design sailboats- Spanish sailing teams training(Santander, Spain)- The J/80 "Great Sailing" skippered by Jose Maria van der Ploeg, current world champion and class gold medal at Barcelona 1992, leads the ranking of the Spanish J/80 Class thanks to stringing together excellent results in events counting towards the ranking, such as: Palmavela, Cup of Spain, the Spain Championship and the World Championship.

Great Sailing skipper Jose said, "It is a great pleasure to be in front of this ranking during the start of the 2013 J80 Spanish sailing circuit" and adds that "since coming to the class, in March 2011, my team has done a great job, keeping an exceptional level for over two seasons. The J/80 is very competitive class where there is a large group of great sailors, that when sailing one-designs becomes very important.  Obviously, my years of sailing numerous Olympic sailing classes such as the Finn and Star have contributed largely to my success because I feel very comfortable in the J/80 class."

J/80 one-design sailboat- women sailing teamFurthermore, Jose had some words of thanks, "to my crew for their excellent work where it matters most in tough situations on the race course.  My sincere thanks to: Javier Goizueta, Iñaki Olariaga, Fernando Velarde, Maria Bover, Jesus Quirze, Juan Ignacio Merayo, Lluis Mas Hugo Ramon, Chapon Pol and son Jose Maria.

As for the future, Van der Ploeg explains that "we will soon start our 2013 season, which means we must work harder to have a good season.  More importantly, we're also looking forward to hosting the 2014 J/80 European Championship to be held at my club."

It's not surprising the Spanish continue to succeed in the world of J/80 sailing; considering there are four other Spanish sailors before him that have won J/80 Worlds.  Van der Ploeg's record is quite remarkable when one considers his competitors including six previous J/80 World Champions.  In April 2012 he finished third in the Palmavela, after winning the Princess Sophia. In May, Van der Ploeg was proclaimed Champion of Catalonia during the celebration of the MedSailing in The Balís and winner Trofeo Conde de Godo in Barcelona. In June he won the Silver Cup in Spain.  And, then a few weeks later Jose was crowned J/80 World Champion in Dartmouth, England. In September he took the bronze medal in the Championship of Spain. Thus, only two years after embarking on the adventure of sailing the International J/80 class, Van der Ploeg is at the "top of the class" in both Spanish national events and at the world level.   For more J/80 Spain sailing information