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

J/Teams Sail Light Air Tour de Belle-Ile

Tour de Belle Ile race off La Trinite sur mer, france- J sailboats leading brand (La Trinite-sur-Mer, France)- The idyllic Brittany setting of La Trinite-sur-Mer was the base for the sixth edition of the Tour de Belle-Ile race in the Bay of Quiberon, Saturday, 4th May. Sunshine and pleasant spring temperatures suggested that this was going to be an excellent event; the issue proved to be the wind. While a thermal breeze was forecast, a frontal sequence, with cirrus and alto-cumulus cloud led to a battle which lasted for most of the day, depriving contestants of the fuel for their sails, namely wind. The start was something of an anti-climax, after all the waiting, at the monohull end of the line, where there was some urgent motoring to get back behind the line before the start in a few cases! It was obvious from the start that the on-going wind battle was not going to provide enough breeze for competitors to complete the Tour de Belle-Ile. Mid-afternoon, as the leader Spindrift approached the Poulains (famous from the photographs of them in storms by the Plissons and others) at the western end of Belle-Ile, the race committee decided to finish the Tour at this location.

With the light winds it appeared that this would be a small boat race. Almost all the entrants finished the shortened race; only about 40 of the 476 competing decided to abandon. The RC PRO wisely decided to postpone the start until 1330 hrs, even then the breeze was just 2-3 kts of wind.  In general, the J/Teams performed very well in the race.

For the J/80 one-design class, Yannick Tabarly's PROXEO too the win by nearly five minutes over his nine other classmates.  Second was Eric Bastard sailing SENJI, third Jean-Marie Liot on STARTIJENN (he's also a famous French photo-journalist), in fourth was Alexandre Bigot sailing CENTRALE-SUPELEC and in fifth was Alexandre Soroko skippering JAM SESSION.

The setting of La Trinité-sur-Mer is ideal, with the town and sailing-related shops immediately across the road from the large marina. The race village was set up by the marina, about 500 metres from the local yacht club, the Societe Nautique de la Trinité. The larger monohulls and multihulls were just the other side of the breakwater from the marina, close to the Capitainerie (Harbour Master's office), so everyone was together - something that most events do not manage to achieve.

Amidst a range of sponsors, Land Rover France came on board (before the Extreme Sailing Series announcement of Land Rover as a partner) - and we would like to recommend to Sodebo, by means of this article, that they extend their sponsorship from the participation of the maxi-trimaran in the event to providing food and sponsoring the event itself. Surely the national and regional TV coverage alone would make this worthwhile, quite apart from the range of people to be found in a fleet of 476+ boats!

Tour de Belle Ile regatta- featuring JBoats and J/111, J/122, J/109, J/105The Tour de Belle-Ile is growing in popularity from year to year, and it is easy to see why. The event is smaller than the Bol d'Or on Lake Geneva and far smaller than Britain's JP Morgan Round the Island Race, but has a strong and building following. The race was put back by a weekend this year, into early May, to try to aid entries for another event along the coast a weekend earlier, but that had to be cancelled for lack of entries. However, the Tour de Belle-Ile took place comfortably alongside the Grand Prix Guyader further west, in Douarnenez, near Brest, where many amateur and professional teams are doing battle. Some crews continued from the Tour de Belle-Ile to compete in the Grand Prix, while others left their boats in La Trinité ready for the ArMen Race next weekend.  Thanks for contribution from Anne Hinton @ SailRaceWin.   For more Tour de Belle-Ile sailing information

Friday, May 17, 2013

Yachting Cup- A Tequila J/80 Storm!

J/80s sailing off San Diego in Yachting Cup(San Diego, CA)-  This year marks the 41st year of San Diego Yacht Club's (SDYC) signature regatta, the Yachting Cup. This premiere regatta brings together competitive fleet and one-design racing at multiple venues in San Diego. Responding en-masse with nearly 56% of the overall fleet of 84 boats, the Yachting Cup saw an armada of J sailing teams participating in the event, including 47 J's spread across PHRF & one-design fleets of J/70s, J/80s, J/105s, J/109s and J/120s.

The typically sleepy sailing conditions of San Diego got hit by a "tequila storm", with 20+ knots on Saturday with a Low spinning off Mexico kicking up huge waves and southerly breezes preceding the Cinco de Mayo party that night. Amid stories of torn sails and broken boats, there were 83 boats competing in 10 PHRF and One Design classes. Winning the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club overall crown (emblematic of the "Yacht of the Yachting Cup") was Dave Vieregg’s TRIPLE PLAY team, which took the title in the 13-boat J/105 class.

The nine-strong J/80 fleet also produced a runaway winner in the form of the local J/80 champion, Curt Johnson's AVET from Cal YC.  Their five 1sts in six races was enough to eclipse the fleet to be declared J/80 winner.  Dan Gribble from Balboa YC sailed his MONKEY SHOULDER very consistently to snag second overall with 13 pts. Three pts back in third place were Steve Wyman's crew on NUHUNU from Dana Point YC.  Sailing Photo Credits- Bob Betancourt & Bronny Daniels   For more Yachting Cup sailing information

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Challenging, Cool Sailing Annapolis NOOD

J/80 sailing Annapolis NOOD regatta (Annapolis, MD)- With a virtual armada of 156 J/Teams attending the Sperry Topsider Annapolis NOOD Regatta (74% of the whole fleet of 211), the eight J one-design classes (J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80, J/30, J/105, J/35, J/109) all had their fair share of spectacular, sunny racing on Friday. From there it was only a matter of time that conditions would deteriorate on the notoriously fickle Chesapeake Bay. For the most part the Annapolis NOOD weather conditions made for great fleet racing so long as sailors on the five division circles were well-behaved and the PRO's at each did a good job of managing the fleet and the racing.  Some were clearly better than others.  On Friday, the fleet was treated to a brisk ENE 10-20 kts with lots of choppy waters, a fast-flowing flood current and very shifty breezes with big puffs.  In such conditions, most fleets sailed four races.  By Saturday, the forecast was beginning to see diminishing winds and the sailor's confidence in the breeze fell along with those prognostications.  The forecast ENE was in fact 100% wrong, instead the fleet was treated to mostly NW-NE 6-14 kts, getting even shiftier and was full of holes, so much so that the third races for most fleets saw their last leg or two become a matter of rolling the dice.  Sadly, Sunday's forecast was even more wrong.  The forecast easterlies never materialized until late afternoon with a gorgeous sunny day.  Instead, the fleets were treated to an even crazier NW to E breeze blowing 0-10 kts with holes everywhere- a one race "craps shoot" for most, or none for others! With the third largest J fleet, the J/80's sailing with 23 boats had a very competitive fleet, especially as some teams were using it as part of their J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France.  For the first six races, it looked like the Crump Family (Will & Marie) and Marie's brother Tom Klok sailing R80 would have a "runaway" on their hands, easily leading the fleet by a significant margin.  However, a serious brain fade in the 7th race upset their chances at a comfortable win.  Consequently, Brian Keane's SAVASANA team jumped at the opportunity to take over the lead, sailing well to win the last race as well as the series win for J/80s.  The R80 team settled for second overall.  Third was a new name at the top, John White sailing USA 1162.  Fourth was Kristen Robinson's familiar ANGRY CHAMELEON and fifth was another veteran J/80 team, Chris & Liz Chadwick's CHURCH KEY.
Sailing photo credits- Tim  For more Sperry Topsider NOOD Sailing Regatta sailing information

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Nations' Cup- Hong Kong Wins J/80s

J/80s sailing around Hong Kong Island, China (Hong Kong, China)- 78 boats representing 23 nations were on the start line earlier today for the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's most fun regatta, the Nation's Cup which is as much about the activities on land as it is about those on the water.  Race Officer Sofia Mascia started the fleet in an easterly wind ranging from 15 to 20kts from Hung Hom and sent them eastwards through the Lei Yue Mun gap and then on to Shek O. The race course saw boats then head to Cape Collinson where they rounded a mark (TCS4) before going back to Shek O and then it was a dash through the harbour to the finish line back at the Club.

J/80 had very close sailing for all the national participants.  With six nations represented amongst the eleven teams, it was pretty clear it was going to be a tough, closely fought race.  With concentration and opportunistic use of wind lines and passing lanes being the order of the day, whomever was making the best of the wind holes and breeze was going to top the podium.  In the end, after three-plus hours of sailing, the top five all finished with five minutes of each other with mere seconds separating most of them!  Local Hong Kong sailor David Fan on SEA BISCUIT hung in to the bitter end, winning by a mere 30 seconds!  Just behind was the Canadian team lead by Rob Tanner on EPEKWIT'K that took second.  50 seconds back in third was the Danish Team on J-CHI led by Inge Strompf-Jepsen.  Rounding out the international top five were the Netherlands team on FOOTLOOSE led by the Dijkhuizen/ Sonnemans team taking fourth and in fifth was the Swedish team on HAKAWATI skippered by Dan Tullberg.   For more Royal Hong Kong YC Nations' Cup sailing information

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Grand Finale For Warsash Spring Series!

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing on Solent, England(Warsash, England)- The final gathering for the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series and Spring Championship took place over 27th/28th April 2013. Having had no cancellations due to gales and flat calms, the event has been a great success all round. Over the eight race days race officers have run over 170 separate races and even if the early spring was unseasonably cold, there was a warm and convivial atmosphere in the clubhouse for post-race banter and where the weekly class winners received their champagne and one lucky winner each week a SLAM jacket.

Saturday:  White Group raced near the North Channel with the tide pushing boats along the line. Starts went generally to plan with a couple of general recalls.  For the J/80s the start line was moved and a large fender marked the anchor chain! The wind here coming from the north was shifty and sometimes reaching 25 knots. It was during one such gust in the last race of the day that an SB20 became caught on one of the buoys forming the leeward gate, reducing the gap just as the J/80 class arrived. Those in the lead were sufficiently spread out to negotiate the reduced space, but a bunch came as the race committee RIB was trying to lift the mark. The race had to be abandoned but was quickly re-sailed. The strong tide had an impact on the runs, particularly in the gusts, with many boats from all classes being seen to white sail to the gate having been carried too deep. Stewart Hawthorn in J’ai Deux Amours posted two firsts in the J/80s with Betty (Jon Powell) and Aqua-J (Patrick Liardet) taking one each.

Sunday:  On White Group there was a total lack of wind when the committee boat set up station by the Meon shore but just before the start time a gentle breeze began to fill in from the south-west to give enough pressure for the first race to get underway after a short postponement. The wind continued to build through the three races to reach 15 knots by the end of the third race, causing a few broaches and “wineglasses”.  In the J/80s Betty (Jon Powell), Aqua-J (Patrick Liardet) and Juicy (Allan Higgs and Cressida Robson) shared the honours.

Summary results:
As a result of the weekend sailing, the winners of the Spring Series and the Spring Championship have finally been determined.   The big dogs in the J/80's in terms of performance and consistency were Jon Powell's BETTY and Allan Higgs' JUICY, both finishing in the top three in each event with BETTY getting the upper-hand on JUICY both times.  For the Spring Series, Powell's BETTY won by a good margin by virtue of the fact they were sailing strong in the beginning of the series.  Like a freight train rolling down the hill, Higgs' JUICY had a tough go initially, but finally got the wheels back on their shopping trolley to collect some silverware for second overall!  Following them in third for the Series was Gillian Ross' ROCK & ROLL.  For the Spring Championship, it was Stew Hawthorn's J'AI DEXU AMOURS that convincingly won the event, displacing his other colleagues one spot down the ladder.  As a result, BETTY took 2nd and JUICY 3rd.  Sailing photo credits- Iain McLuckie   For more Warsash Spring Series sailing information

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Annapolis NOOD J/Fest Preview!

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing off starting line at Key West, FL(Annapolis, MD)- With 211 boats participating in this year's Sperry Topsider Annapolis NOOD Regatta, it promises to be quite the "class reunion" for many J sailors across eastern America.  Why? For the simple fact that 156 boats are J/Teams (74% of the whole fleet) competing in eight J one-design classes (J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80, J/30, J/105, J/35, J/109)!  In other words, for the few boats that comprise the six other classes (average of less than 10 boats per fleet) it may be a tad overwhelming to have nearly a thousand J Sailors criss-crossing the northern Chesapeake Bay and flooding the evening tent parties sponsored by Mt Gay Rum and other enthusiastic sponsors!

With the third largest J fleet, the J/80's sailing with 23 boats are fielding a very competitive fleet.  Like their J/22 sisters, for some American teams, the event provides great practice for J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France. Amongst those teams, look for Brian Keane's SAVASANA and the Danish family team- Thomas Klok and the Crumps (Will and Marie) on their boat R80 to be amongst the top teams.  Some other notable veterans in the mix will be Kristen Robinson's ANGRY CHAMELEON, Chris & Liz Chadwick's CHURCH KEY, Ken Mangano's MANGO and Ramzi Bannura's STACKED DECK.
Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal, Tim Wilkes and  Meredith Block/ Charleston Race Week.  For more Sperry Topsider Annapolis NOOD Sailing Regatta sailing information