After two days of racing on Tampa Bay from February 16-17, light weather persisted Sunday to close the 2018 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta in St. Petersburg, FL with a day ashore. In the six-boat J/88 one-design fleet, Al Minella on Albóndigas secured five bullets in seven races to take the win with 11 points. Mike Bruno’s Wings followed with 18 points for second place, and Andy Graff’s Exile placed third with 24 points. For complete results, visit https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=4471.
The inaugural J/Fest St. Pete Regatta took place January 19-21 on Tampa Bay. Host St. Petersburg Yacht Club and its Race Committee, PRO and volunteers made a valiant effort to get in as many races as they could considering the cards they had been dealt—essentially no, or very little, wind for all three days. It warm up quickly all three days of sailing, so the sunshine and warm 70 degree days were a welcome reprieve for many teams who had come south to Florida. The J/88s had a real battle going by the end of the second day for the title of Midwinter Champion. The top two boats were tied on points with a 1-2 for each team. Mike Bruno’s WINGS from New York and Long Island Sound were even with Andy Graff’s EXILE from Chicago and Lake Michigan. Both were experienced in light air sailing on those two bodies of water. With just one race to go, the last race was won by Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION to secure third place on the podium. However, Graff’s EXILE crew misjudged the adverse current and got hung up on the anchorline of the RC boat at the start; as a result they scored a fourth so held on to second place for the regatta. Winning the regatta and crowned as J/88 Midwinter Champion with a 1-2-2 scoreline for 5 points was Bruno’s crew on WINGS. For more event information, visit https://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4451.
Competitors for the eighth weekend of the Hamble Winter Series enjoyed more good racing with the Hamble River Sailing Club, supported by OneSails, with a decent 12-17 knot breeze and partly cloudy, but chilly weather. The fleets started with a short windward leg and were then tested with a mixture of downwind, reaching and upwind sailing. The J/88s raced in class for the second year running, and this year Avia Willment in GBR 2688 cleaned up from Gavin Howe’s TIGRESS and Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL. For more Hamble Winter Series information, visit http://www.hamblewinterseries.com/.
Competitors for the sixth weekend of the Hamble Winter Series enjoyed more racing with the Hamble River Sailing Club, supported by OneSails. In the J/88 fleet, Avia Willment’s team is sailing remarkably well, scoring a sixth bullet for the series. They are leading their class by a margin of 10 points. As a result, Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS is holding on to second place with 16 points net. They are followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR in third place, just three points adrift. For more Hamble Winter Series information, visit http://www.hamblewinterseries.com/.
Competitors for the sixth weekend of the Hamble Winter Series enjoyed more racing with the Hamble River Sailing Club, supported by OneSails. In the J/88 fleet, Avia Willment’s team is sailing remarkably well, scoring a sixth bullet for the series. They are leading their class by an enormous margin of 10 points. As a result, Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS is holding on to second place with 16 points net. They are followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR in third place, just three points adrift. For more Hamble Winter Series information, visit http://www.hamblewinterseries.com/.
Competitors for the fifth weekend of the Hamble Winter Series enjoyed a fantastic day of racing with the Hamble River Sailing Club, supported by OneSails. With bright sunshine and 15-20 knots of wind over tide, Principal Race Officer Stuart Childerley and his team delivered a superb course with one long race for all classes. In the J/88 fleet, Avia Willment is having an outstanding debut season, scoring a fifth bullet for the series, but only just. J/88 National Champion Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT was just 17 seconds behind. Gavin Howe's TIGRIS was third. Consequently, Willment’s crew is leading by a hefty margin of 9 points. Second is Howe’s TIGRIS with 16 points net, followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 20 points in third place. For more Hamble Winter Series information, visit http://www.hamblewinterseries.com/.
The fifth weekend of sailing had nearly a full-blown gale all weekend long. The remnants of a Caribbean hurricane decided to take a right turn into the North Atlantic Ocean and headed right for Scotland, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The storm thrashed the western coasts of the islands with 60-80 knot winds. As a result, Saturday’s racing was canceled on the Solent due to sustained winds of 25-30 knots gusting to 45+ knots. Then, on Sunday the winds moderated enough for the IRC classes and the J/88s to go racing in something less than 25 knots of wind. In the HWS J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s crew on GBR 2688R piled on yet another bullet to their tally, further strengthening their firm grip at the top of the class with just 6 points net. Sitting seven points back is Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with 13 points net, followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 16 points net, then David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with 18 points. For more Winter Series information, visit http://www.hamblewinterseries.com/.
The 39th annual Manhasset Fall Series took place October 14, 15 and 21. The event was blessed with a variety of conditions over the two weekends, from near gales one day, to sunny and not much winds another day. The Manhasset YC Race Committee crew and volunteers did a wonderful job to knock-out a six-race series for most of the classes. In the J/88s, Iris Vogel guided her DEVIATION crew to a win in the PHRF 2 class, taking three bullets and three deuces to win class. Third place went to another J/88, Peter Chirlian’s ONE TOO MANY. For more event information, visit https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4445.
The third weekend of sailing took place for the Hamble Winter Series, sponsored by The Bugle Hamble. The weather was typical of the fall, with a light mist, wisps of fog, cool temperatures and breezes in the 7-13 knots range. In the HWS J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s crew on GBR 2688R are leading by a comfortable margin—three bullets and a third give them 8 points in six races. The next three teams are all very tight on points. Leading that pack is Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with 15 points, followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 16 points, then David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with 18 points. For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series information, visit http://www.hamblewinterseries.com/.
The first day of the Hamble One Design Championship began with wind in the low 20s, and gusts of up to 30 knots. The Hamble River Sailing Club race committee team headed out to Jonathan Jansen, and after a short AP, the wind began to ease to around 16 knots, and the race team delivered a full schedule of four windward-leeward races in short order. The conditions provided spectacular autumn racing for the sportsboat classes, with fast and thrilling downwind surfing conditions. By contrast, the second day produced light winds of about four knots, which slowly built allowing one race for competitors. However, after the first race of the day, the wind died and sadly did not rebuild. For the second round of the Hamble Winter Series, sponsored by The Bugle Hamble, there was a class win for Gavin Howe's TIGRIS in the J/88s. In the IRC Spinlock Autumn Championship in the J/88 fleet, Avia Willment’s GBR 2688R is leading with a 3-1-2 scoreline for 6 points. Tied at 8 points each are Kirsty & David Apthorp’s J-DREAM and Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS. For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series information, visit http://www.hamblewinterseries.com/.
The 36th edition of the Hamble Winter Series kicked off on September 30 and included the inaugural IRC Spinlock Autumn Championship organized by the Hamble River Sailing Club. Five races were held for all classes competing in the IRC Spinlock Autumn Championship, and for those competing in the Hamble Winter Series, two races were completed on October 1. A wide variety of yachts racing under IRC and in one-designs enjoyed a perfect southerly wind of 15 knots on Saturday with a 16-18 knot southwesterly intensifying condition on Sunday. For the Spinlock IRC Autumn Championship, Ian Smyth's team is winning the J/88 fleet, with Kirsty & David Apthorp’s J/DREAM in second and Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR in third place. The results from October 1 constituted the first round of the Hamble Winter Series. In the J/88 fleet, Kirsty and David Apthorp's J-DREAM was the victor for the weekend with a 1-2. Ian Smyth’s GRB 2688R is second with a 3-1, and lying third is Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with a 2-4. For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series information, visit http://www.hamblewinterseries.com/.
The 2017 Fall Series Regatta ended October 1 at American Yacht Club in splendid fashion. This Saturday and Sunday concluded the latter half of the Fall Series Regatta which occurred over the course of two weekends. Saturday racing was met with an anticipated Fall feel as temperatures hovered below 60 degrees with oscillating winds ranging from 15-20 knots. The higher than forecasted breeze velocities created some epic sailing conditions and top speed records for certain boats. Towards the end of Saturday, several boats set personal speed records both upwind and downwind. Eight8 classes of boats embraced the chilly weather to compete on the Long Island Sound. Yonder (NYYC) took the J/88 fleet skippered by Douglas Newhouse with Escape finishing second skippered by Elizabeth Barry (NYYC). For complete event details, visit https://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=2994.
The Bi-State and the Tri-State is a multi-leg offshore race held over Labor Day Weekend on the southern parts of Lake Michigan. Chicago to St. Joseph, MI is the first leg of the race. More than 100 boats departed Friday evening for a fast sprint of 50.5 NM across the lake, most boats finishing early Saturday morning. For most, Saturday was a day of rest in St. Joseph with the Annual Beach Volleyball Tournament and live entertainment at the St. Joseph River YC. Then, on Sunday morning, racers chose whether to continue to Michigan City, IN as part of the traditional Tri-State or head back to Chicago for the Bi-State leg of the race. Most chose the latter based on the forecasted light winds down the Michigan shoreline. The 17-boat PHRF 4 handicap class had a quartet of J/88s dueling for honors. Amongst the J/88s, taking first was EXILE (Andy Graff) with a 2-1 for 3 points. Second was SLOT MACHINE (Boyd Jarrell) with a 4-3 for 7 points, winning the tie-breaker based on "who-beat-who-last" over RAMBLER (Ben Wilson) with a 3-4 for 7 points. Rounding out the J/88s in fourth place was HOKEY SMOKE (Rich Stearns) with an 8-2 for 10 points. Find all the YachtScoring information here:
Chicago to St Joe: https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4306
St Joe to Michigan City: https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4333
St Joe to Chicago: https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4332
Michigan City to Chicago: https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4334
The Dartmouth Regatta is a great way to end the summer sailing season along the south coast of the United Kingdom. Set in the West Country, the regatta forms part of a larger event that includes rowing championships and has many onshore attractions. The weather was perfect for rowing and beach activities, but not so good for sailing. For example, 2/3 of day 2 and all of day 3 were lost to lack of wind. Race day 1 saw three races sailed in 8-15 knots, day 2 just one race in 7-10 knots. The final day saw two races completed by 1330 in a 6-11 knot breeze. J/DREAM prevailed, reversing the Nationals result with EAT SLEEP J REPEAT in the J/88 battle.
The last day of the Landsail Tyres J-Cup (hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Torquay, UK, August 17-19) was blessed with champagne conditions in beautiful Tor Bay. A southwesterly breeze oscillated 20 degrees left and right during the day, and with tight racing in one design fleets, and closely matched handicap classes, getting the wrong side of a shift proved costly. The Royal Torbay Yacht Club produced two well managed windward leeward courses, as the club has done for the entire event, and two races were held for all six classes. The intensity of racing in the J/88 fleet was exemplified by the fact that the winner only won a single race out of eight starts. Every mark rounding and wind shift became important with teams swapping places on many occasions. Richard Cooper's Jongleur and Tim Tolcher's Rajing Bull both made the podium during the regatta, and 2016 National Champion, Gavin Howe's Tigris, finished in style, winning the last race. However, two teams battled for three days to take the prize. David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-Dream, scored three bullets over three days of top class racing, but victory went to the new J/88 UK Open National Champion: Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat. "Awesome racing, it was really really close. The J/88 is a fast cool boat, and lots of great people race in the Class, who enjoy a drink and a get together after racing," explained Ward. "We were just in front when we started the last race, and it was very quiet on board...game face on. In the pre-start, J-Dream came and had a little play, and we managed to defend that, and sailed our own race. This year, the same team has sailed together for the whole of Cowes Week, and the whole of this regatta, and we really won this (Saturday), when the boat handling in tough conditions was spot on." For all the results: http://rtyc.org/championships/j-cup-2017/
The Cowes Combined Clubs had another amazing week of sailing during LENDY Cowes Week Regatta sailed from July 29 to August 5 on the Solent. The winner of the J/88 fleet was clearly David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM, winning five of the six races sailed. Taking second was Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT, and fourth was SABRIEL JR. For more LENDY Cowes Week information, visit http://www.lendycowesweek.co.uk/web/code/php/main_c.php?section=home.
Of the nine races at the J/88 North American Championship (part of the CanAm Challenge at Youngstown Yacht Club in New York), Laura Weyler’s Hijinks won five of them. Their performance dominated the 13-boat fleet, allowing the local team to sit out the final meeting. Owner Weyler was joined on board by Adam Burns (helm), Pete Doyle (bow), John Goller (headsail trimmer), Kevin Morgan (strategist) and Kris Werner (tactician). Tim Finkle’s Seaweed came on strong to take the silver position with 23 points. Doug Newhouse’s Yonder tied on points with Iris Vogel’s Deviation at 29 for third and fourth, respectively. Weyler bought her J/88 about a year and a half ago, and was especially satisfied to win this Championship on her home turf. When asked who on her team she’d like to recognize, she said, "If I were Belichick, I’d have to say it’s Brady. Adam was flawless, as well as the rest of the crew!" The J/88 Class was formed earlier this year, and Weyler thanked Iris Vogel, the first Class President, for "leading this Class into the future. It’s going to be a growing Class. The level of competition will continually attract people to buy these boats." Winds on Lake Ontario were around 5-7 knots on Sunday, when Hijinks won the first two races, giving them a scoreline of 1,1,3,1,5,2,1,1. The rest of the fleet battled in the ninth and final duel to determine the top five overall:
1. Hijinks, USA27, Laura Weyler - 1 -1 -3 -1 -5 -2 -1 -1 -; 15
2. Seaweed, USA93, Tim Finkle - 4 -2 -6 - -4 -1 -2 -3 -1; 23
3. Yonder, USA35, Douglas Newhouse - 2 -6 - -4 -1 -4 -4 -5 -3; 29
4. Deviation, USA24, Iris Vogel -  -4 -5 -2 -2 -3 -5 -4 -4; 29
5. Touch 2 Play, CAN56, James Egloff - 3 - -2 -5 -3 -7 -7 -2 -2; 31
The top Corinthian team was Joseph & Jeffrey Pawlowski on Easy Eights. Complete results may be found at https://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=3001, and photos are available on the J/88 Class Facebook page.
After two more races at the J/88 North American Championship (part of the CanAm Challenge at Youngstown Yacht Club in New York), Laura Weyler’s Hijinks maintained her place atop the leaderboard, now holding an eight-point advantage heading into the final races on Sunday. With Adam Burns at the helm, Hijinks lodged its lowest finish thus far—a fifth—in race five, but was able to discard the score as their throw-out after race six. A second in that contest leaves Hijinks with 8 net points in six races. Iris Vogel’s Deviation earned a 2,3 on Saturday to move into second place at 16 net points. Tim Finkle’s Seaweed and Doug Newhouse’s Yonder are tied just one notch back. Saturday began with breeze at 10-12 knots and lumpy seas, as Newhouse’s Yonder triumphed over Vogel’s Deviation and James Egloff’s Touch 2 Play. The Race Committee had to shorten the course in the next race as winds decreased. Finkle’s Seaweed earned the win, trailed by Weyler and Vogel. The 13 J/88s stayed on the water hoping for the breeze to return, but an additional race was not able to be completed. Complete results may be found at https://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=3001, and photos are available on the J/88 Class Facebook page.
Lake Champlain in northern Vermont forms the border between upper New York state and state of Vermont. One of the bigger races on the Lake is the annual Lake Champlain Race - an overnight PHRF race that allows crew to race through the night usually finishing the next morning. Held annually since 1956, the 60-mile race challenges crews in unique ways. The light winds of midsummer require constant attention in order to keep pace with the fleet. Starting at sunset, the wind slows down and brings along the need for good night vision and the hope for a full moon or many stars. Sunrise is welcome and offers the first glimpse of where the rest of the fleet has settled. The race counts towards the Lake Champlain Championship Series, and all the series’ contenders turnout. The 2017 race saw fair winds and clear skies. Dana Bolton and Mark Damico and crew on their J/88 ALCHEMY came in first place. For more Lake Champlain Overnight Race information, visit http://mbbc-vt.org/2017race/Data/LakeChamplainRace2017.htm.
Thirteen J/88s took to the waters of Lake Ontario on Friday, where 15-20 knots of breeze allowed four wavy races at the J/88 North American Championship, part of the CanAm Challenge at Youngstown Yacht Club in New York. Laura Weyler’s Hijinks has collected a hefty advantage with scores of 1,1,3,1 for 6 points. Mike Bruno’s Wings holds the second spot with 15 points. Two boats are tied on points at 17 for third and fourth, respectively: James Egloff’s Touch 2 Play and Iris Vogel’s Deviation. Hijinks, with local Adam Burns at the helm, took bullets in the first two meetings, followed by Doug Newhouse’s Yonder and Egloff in race one, and by Tim Finkle’s Seaweed and Bruno in race two. Bruno then won the third contest, ahead of Egloff and Weyler. Vogel and Doug McKeige’s Jazz watched Hijinks notch its third victory of the day in Friday’s final duel. Racing continues through Sunday. Complete results may be found at https://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=3001, and photos are available on the J/88 Class Facebook page.
Fifteen J/88 teams are gathering for racing at the J/88 North American Championship in Youngstown, New York. The competition begins Friday, July 28 and continues through Sunday, July 30. Look for photos on the J/88 Class Facebook page, and keep up with all the action from Youngstown Yacht Club at the regatta website: https://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=3001
The Joseph Perrier July Regatta is the third in the Royal Southern Yacht Club Summer Series, featuring two days of racing in the Solent from 22-23 July. Over 100 yachts have competed in the series so far, enjoying well organized racing and superb waterside facilities, on the banks of the Hamble River. Six races were held for most classes, in a variety of conditions, on windward leeward courses, and round the cans races. Wind conditions were in the high teens gusting up to 25 knots, just within spinnaker range and making for exciting racing. In the J/88 fleet, David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-Dream won four of the six race series to win the class. Richard Cooper's Jongleur was second, and Dirk & Dianne van Beek's Sabriel Jnr, was third. The fourth and final regatta of the Royal Southern Yacht Club Summer Series will take place Saturday 9th to Sunday 10th September. For full results and more information: www.royal-southern.co.uk. (Thanks to BYM Sailing & Sports for this report.)
This year’s 109th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac will go down in the history books as one of the toughest races ever. Just 200 of the 297 starters completed the 289.4 nm course. A frontal passage hit the fleet at midnight on Saturday, just hours into the race, producing a rare "dry front" that looked menacing as it came over the water but had no rain over Lake Michigan. As the front passed over the fleet, a blast front of 35-50 knot winds flew across the water. Shortly thereafter, the front passed by, pulling behind it a far stronger northerly breeze than forecast, so the fleet settled into a 20+ hour beat to windward in 15-30 knot winds from the NNE and punching into a classic 6-10 ft Lake Michigan chop. The winds rapidly shut down between the Manitou Island Straits and the open waters headed to Grey’s Reef. In the Section 8 class of 28-33 footers, winning class was Tim Wade’s J/88 WINDSONG with crew of Todd Anderson, Andy Camarda, Kristin Olson, Tripp Wade and Andrew Waters. Leading the J/88 sweep with their colleagues was Ben & Amanda Wilson’s J/88 RAMBLER crew that consisted of Mark Ewing, Peter Fray, Rj Mills, Ed Montano and Jim Nachtman. For complete event information, visit http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/.
This year’s annual Round the Island Race, organized by the Island Sailing Club, was one of the faster circumnavigations of the 53.2nm circuit around the Isle of Wight. It attracted 1,342 entries comprising about 14,000 sailors. The J/88s rounded the island in just under eight hours. The top two boats finished virtually overlapped, with JONGLEUR (Richard Cooper) getting the gun at 7:43:29, just four seconds better than TIGRIS (Gavin Howe). Just over 23 minutes behind was JUMUNU FIVE (Alistair Ray) taking the bronze. The balance of the top five was EAT SLEEP J REPEAT (Nick Martin) and RAJING BULL (Tim Tolcher), fourth and fifth, respectively. For more Round The Island Race information, click here.
After five days of hard racing at Block Island Race Week, on Friday, June 23, there were 16 ecstatic winners and an equal number of disappointed runners-up. Jazz turned in a dominant performance in J/88 class, winning seven of eight races in posting a low score of 8 points. It was also the first Block Island Race Week win for skipper Douglas McKeige of Mamaroneck, New York. "All I can say is the boat was going really, really well. We just had pace and could lift off the fleet," McKeige said. "I didn’t expect to do quite this well, but I had a great team here with me this week. They hike hard and are constantly working to get the most out of the boat." In the J/88 Class:
3rd overall and 3rd in the 2017 J/88 East Coast Championship: John Pearson, RED SKY
2nd overall and 2nd in the 2017 J/88 East Coast Championship: Mike Bruno, WINGS + 2nd for Friday
1st for Friday, 1st overall and the 2017 J/88 East Coast Champion: Douglas McKeige, JAZZ + 1st for Friday
For complete event information, visit www.blockislandraceweek.com.
The Royal Southern Yacht Club's Summer Series Harken June Regatta in Hamble, UK was blessed with spectacular conditions for the final day of action. The southwesterly wind piped up from 15 to 20 knots by the end of the day, and with wind over tide, a lumpy sea state tested the resolve of well over 300 hundred sailors taking part. In the J/88 Class, David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM scored a win in the last race of the regatta to secure the class win from Dirk & Dianne van Beek's SABRIEL Jr. Richard Cooper's JONGLEUR won Race 4 and finished the regatta third in class. For more Harken June Regatta information, click here.
The annual regatta that marks the start of the offshore sailing season in Chicago on Lake Michigan is Columbia Yacht Club’s Skyway Yacht Works Colors Regatta. Depending on weather and fleets, most boats sailed three to four races over the weekend in the challenging weather conditions. In the PHRF Offshore distance racing scenario, the J/88s did quite well. Winning was Ben Wilson’s RAMBLER, with Boyd Jarrell’s J/88 SLOT MACHINE in 14th. For more COLORS Regatta information, visit http://www.columbiayachtclub.org/.
The Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta in Chicago came to a close June 11 after three days of stellar sailing weather on Lake Michigan for more than 145 teams. The ORR 2 NS Rally Offshore Racing (Saturday only) was won by the J/88 Rambler with Benjamin Wilson. For complete event details, visit https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=3008.
The Cedar Point One Design Regatta was hosted by Cedar Point Yacht Club the weekend of June 3-4. The racing was held on Long Island Sound southeast of Cedar Point. Seventy eight boats sailed the regatta on two circle courses. On Saturday, a squall blew through both courses to make things interesting for the first day of racing. Sunday was a different day, one light air race was enough to solidify some champions, but for some, the ripping tidal current on Long Island Sound was enough to see some lead changes. In the nine-boat J/88 fleet, six races were completed with Elizabeth Barry’s Escape earning the victory with 10 points, just one ahead of second place Iris Vogel on Deviation. Douglas McKeige’s Jazz placed third with 13 points. For complete results, visit https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=2999.
The 72nd edition of the Block Island Race on May 26 off of Stamford, CT was 186nm with 66 entrants. The breeze at the first start was a shifty 4 knots, but by the third start, it settled into a stiff northwesterly of 15 knots with significantly higher gusts. Most of the fleet popped their kites right at the start, with the majority paralleling the CT coast for the first 15-20 miles. A number of forecasts predicted a big wind hole in the middle of L.I. Sound in the Bridgeport-to-New Haven area, and soon the leading boats in the fleet began to see the first signs of its unwelcome appearance. The quandary was which side of the Sound would be better for getting around the hole–the CT shore, or the Long Island shore. Some gybed toward the LI shore, and others decided to stay the course along the CT side. Cutting across the Sound carried an additional risk of not making it to the other shore before the wind shut down. The key– in hindsight– was being close to either shore: it mattered less which shore you were on, as long as you weren’t out toward the middle. The hole, however, didn’t last nearly as long as some of the forecasts had predicted, and the fleet made good progress toward buoy 1BI off the north end of Block Island, with most flying spinnakers all the way to, and then around, the island. As they passed the south side of the island, the fleet was faced with a NW breeze and back toward Long Island Sound. The forecasts indicated a good chance the wind would shift toward the SE, with a light and fluky transition period. After the fleet leaders re-entered the Sound (most through Plum Gut), the wind from the NW faded to a period of calm before the southerly wind began to fill in, but somewhat erratically. Eventually, the southerly took precedence, and by Saturday afternoon (May 27), the lead competitors began to reappear on the Stamford horizon. The PHRF Double-handed class was won by the J/88 Jazz (Young American Junior Big Boat Team, the McKeige family). For more STC Block Island Race information, visit https://www.stormtrysail.org/regattas/block-island-race.
The 62nd Annual Edlu Distance Race attracted 59 entrants for what has long been a classic tune-up race for the around Block Island Race and Block Island Race Week. Hosted by Larchmont Yacht Club (Larchmont, NY) on May 13, spinnaker fleets were on a 32.2nm course and non-spinnaker on a 19.6nm course, with racing followed by a classic party to make it one of the must-do events on western Long Island Sound. In the five-boat J/88 fleet, Iris Vogel's Deviation took first, followed by Ken & Drew Hall's Nevermore and Nicolas Delcourt. For complete event details, visit https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=3041.
Seventy boats competed over the course of two weekends in the 38th Annual American Yacht Club Spring Series Regatta. This year was no disappointment as the final weekend brought breezes and sunny skies to challenge racers as they prepare their boats and crew for another sailing season in the Northeast. The Spring Series saw eight classes complete 10 and 11 races on the East and South courses respectively, over the two-weekend event. Race days were followed by cocktails and food on the picturesque lawn of the American Yacht Club overlooking the course. In the competitive J/88 fleet, Iris Vogel and Deviation won the event with 23 points, while only one point separated second place Nevermore, third place Wings, and fourth place Escape. For complete results, visit https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=2993.
After five weeks of racing in the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series, the final day's races on April 23 had to be abandoned due to a lack of wind. Competitors headed out for their start lines in fog with very little wind and little visibility, less than 1/2 mile. The White and Black Group Committees announced a half hour postponement and whilst the fog slowly lifted, revealing a beautiful sunny spring morning, the wind remained elusive. This proved to be the first of several postponements. With less than four knots of wind, both committees and all the competing yachts waited for breeze through the morning. Midday saw the prospects for a sea breeze filling start to look promising, with cloud bubbling up over the Isle of Wight and on the mainland. White Group Race Officer Peter Knight moved the committee boat further inshore in the hopes of picking up some temperature increased airs, but it was not to be, and eventually both committees abandoned racing and sent the fleets in at around 13:00. The final overall positions in the Helly Hansen Warsash Springs are, therefore, the results from the previous weekend’s sailing. David & Kirsty Apthorp’s crew on their J/88 J-DREAM won three of the last four races to climb on to the podium. This was their first Warsash Series win in the J/88 class. Second was determined on a tie-breaker at 13 points each, with Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS securing second with more firsts over Dirk & Dianne Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR. A prize draw winner this week was J-DREAM for the Helly Hansen Roll Top Sail Bag. For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series information, visit http://warsashspringseries.org.uk/2017/index.htm.
Charleston is known for its reliable spring seabreeze, but the Holy City’s coast outdid itself this year during the 22nd edition of Sperry Charleston Race Week. It wasn’t just the three race days either; from the first team’s arrival for practice more than a week earlier until the lengthy awards ceremony on Sunday night, reliable southerly winds buffeted the region, ensuring maximum racing, maximum action, and maximum enjoyment for the nearly 2,000 sailors, shore crew, staff, and volunteers that comprise this largest event of its kind in the Americas. Teams that clinched their wins before the end of the regatta included Laura Weyler’s Hijinks in the five-boat J/88 Class. For complete results, visit https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=2997.
Another day of varied racing conditions on the fifth weekend of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series saw a light and hazy day for crews, but certainly not lazy. A sunny spring day, 10 knots of SE breeze, swinging right to SW and increasing a couple of knots was the forecast, and as the committee boats arrived on station SE with up to 10 knots of breeze was what they found. The Black Group started near Hillhead with a southeasterly breeze that started at 5-6 knots, building at times to 10 knots. For the various classes, a 5 to 8nm race was set with a final beat to QXI international and a fetch to the finish at Deloitte Sailing Club buoy. For the majority of the fleets this worked well, but as the wind died, some boats in IRC1 and IRC2 and the J/88 fleet, didn't get around QXI against the tide and couldn't make the time limit. Some fleets were stranded between East Knoll and QXI international and a few boats ventured south of the Bramble bank, either looking for breeze or carried down there by the tide, and eventually breaths of wind started easing in from the southwest. Two fleets together with some J/88s then parked up in a long line abreast wafting towards the mark, then drifting back in the hot sunshine, until the new southwesterly breeze got tired of this game and suddenly just filled in - this left the fleets all trying to round the mark almost simultaneously, but due to courtesy and common sense there appeared to be no collisions, and after a short beat to the finish the committee boat had the task of recording every finisher in a two minute window. With the breeze now filled in, the Black Group committee boat moved to a new position near Jonathan Janssen buoy, and in the limited space and time available set a short windward leeward course as the breeze freshened to around 12 knots, and all classes enjoyed a short but sparkling final race. The J/88s had TIGRIS (Gavin Howe) win the first race with J-DREAM (David and Kirsty Apthorp) second, and SABRIEL JR (Dirk and Dianne van Beek) third. In the second race J-DREAM got to the front with SABRIEL JR second and EAT SLEEP J REPEAT (Paul Ward) in third. Overall J-DREAM leads from TIGRIS and SABRIEL JR. The J/88 fleet is seeing a bit of stratification amongst the fleet. As a result, the leader is David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with all five firsts. Taking second is Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT with all seconds. And, in third is Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL with all thirds. For the J/88 series, there is no question that David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with a 4-3-1-1-2-1 for 8 points has a good lead. In second place is Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with a 5-1-2-6-1-4 for 13 points, and in third Dirk & Dianne Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR with 3-4-3-2-3-2 for 13 points. For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series information, visit http://warsashspringseries.org.uk/2017/index.htm.
Race Officer Peter Knight summed up day four of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series as "a testing day for competitors and committee boats alike!" It was set to be a challenging day on the Solent; a sunny spring day, but with a forecast of 5-10 knots of breeze dropping towards lunchtime and tides at about 95% of full springs. Black Group classes started near East Knoll, with the wind initially about 10 knots NNE and dropping to 5 or 6 knots by midday. Courses set were a beat to Coronation, followed by round the cans courses shortened at East Bramble as the wind faded. IRC1 and IRC2 did about 12 miles on their shortened course. As the breeze dropped, cross-tide runs and spinnaker reaches taxed tacticians as the puffs and lulls made calculating lay lines difficult, and noticeably at East Knoll some boats had a slog to get back to the mark against the flood tide, after getting too far east. The course for the IRC1 and IRC2 classes was put at risk when a laid inflatable Spring Series mark was removed by "a third party," as Peter Bateson, Series Chairman politely explained. "Fortunately, the Race Committee discovered this in the nick of time and substituted a rib with an ‘M22’ flag. The five leading boats had to sail a few extra yards, but it appears that the order of results was fortunately unaffected." The J/88s had an individual recall, but all boats restarted correctly, and the finishing order was J-DREAM (David and Kirsty Apthorp) first, with SABRIEL JR (Dirk& Dianne van Beek) in second place, and EAT SLEEP J REPEAT (Paul Ward) in third. For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series information, visit http://warsashspringseries.org.uk/2017/index.htm.
For many, it was "chilled champagne" sailing on day three of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series. The series is at its midpoint, and the overall results are beginning to take shape as the front-runners and riders start to become apparent. The third Sunday of the Series was more like a classic Spring Series day; cold with sunshine and reasonable winds from the east. The Black Group start line was near E Knoll with the first beat set to a removable buoy on the mainland shore. True wind was around 18 knots, varying from 14 to 21, but with relatively flat water. On the combined IRC1 and 2 starts, eagerness prevailed as boats clustered up on the committee boat end of the line, and the individual recall flag was displayed - boats peeled off and restarted. The J/88s, having watched the IRC 1 & 2 class start, seemed more reluctant to push the line at the gun and held back to complete a clean start, and enjoyed close racing round the course. J-DREAM (David and Kirsty Apthorp) won by 11 seconds from TIGRIS (Gavin Howe) with SABRIEL JR (Dirk and Dianne van Beek) in third place. This puts TIGRIS (Gavin Howe) in the first overall placing on a tie-breaker with J-DREAM (David and Kirsty Apthorp) second overall. Then, just one point back in third is JONGLEUR (Richard Cooper), one point still further down is the Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR, with Paul Heys & P Tait’s JENGA rounding out the top five with 16 points. For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series information, visit http://warsashspringseries.org.uk/2017/index.htm.
For Race 2 of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series, the forecast for the Solent was SW 20 knots gusting 30 knots, and when the RC committee boats arrived on station, the wind was varying around 20 knots. During the morning, however, the wind increased to 25 knots with gusts of 30 knots. So, after one successful race, the decision was taken to send the White Group back in. The sea was lumpy, making the foul tide beats a struggle to keep the boats in the groove. In the J/88 one-design class, it was TIGRIS (Gavin Howe) winning for the day with JONGLEUR (Richard Cooper) second and J-DREAM (David and Kirsty Apthorp) in third. As a result, JONGLEUR leads the series with TIGRIS second and J-DREAM tied with Dirk & Dianne van Beek’s SABRIEL JR at 7 points each. For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series information, visit http://warsashspringseries.org.uk/2017/index.htm.
Last year, the first race of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series took place in unseasonably glorious sunshine, but this year on March 12, entrants were faced with drizzle, mist and light winds. With light fair tide beats and foul tide runs, the latter were always going to a challenge, and both the White and Black Groups boats found that avoiding holes downwind was the main priority of the day. It was a challenging day also for line and course setting for the committee boats. The winds reported on Bramblenet were 7-10 knots Southwest, but Dock Heads was reporting 7-10 knots Northwest. In the end, Northwest predominated, but 10 knots was rarely if ever seen. On the White Group, Race 2 had to be abandoned when the wind switched through 90 degrees or more and dropped below 3 knots. However, another two races were completed, and as Race Officer Peter Knight noted, the same boats were up at the front. The J/88 fleet was won by JONGLUER (Richard Cooper) with EAT SLEEP J REPEAT (Paul Ward) second. For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series information, visit http://warsashspringseries.org.uk/2017/index.htm.
The first event of the 2017 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta wrapped in St. Petersburg on February 19. The regatta brings national and international talent to compete against local sailors on their home waters. The competition was tight this year, with many ties across the 154-boat regatta. The 10-boat ORC fleet was topped by Iris Vogel’s J/88 Deviation. ORC (ORC - 10 Boats):
1. Deviation, J/88, Iris Vogel, USA, 1 -2 -4 -2; 9
2. Warrior, Tripp 38, Grant Dumas, USA, 3 -3 -2 -1; 9
3. Semper Fi, J/29, Raymond Mannix, USA, 2 -1 -3 -4; 10
For complete results, click here.
Australia’s southern-most J/88 has been competing in the Combined Clubs Long Race series out of Hobart, Tasmania, and has recently claimed its first corrected time victory against much larger boats. The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, the Derwent Sailing Squadron and the Bellerive Yacht Club conduct the long race series jointly, with races typically being 30-50 nautical miles in length. There are 28 yachts competing in the mixed fleet, including a Reichel Pugh 66, Marten 49 and Sydney 47. New J/88 owners Peter and Karen Davis have raced JIYUU in the first three races of the season, and have scored results of 9,3 and 1 on AMS corrected time. The first race down the Dentrecasteaux Channel was a real test for their first outing, with winds reaching 50 knots on the beat back up the river. “We saw 18 knots on the speedo whilst running down the river under A2,” said Peter, “but unfortunately broached just before the leeward mark which took the edge off the day.” The second race was a more manageable affair, and a building sea breeze saw the J/88 run up the river under (new) A2 to catch a number of larger boats. The third race was the highlight, with a lot of spinnaker work, and a delightful sunny day with light winds. “We found the J/88 kept moving in the lighter breezes, and accelerated rapidly under kite when the breeze came in,” said Peter. The J/88 finished 12th on line honors, and first overall on corrected time.
The 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week saw the seven racing classes complete races as scheduled. The week started with a windy and wavy southeasterly that faded over the course of four days before swinging around to a light southerly for Friday's conclusion. Many sailors felt the conditions were "typical of Key West Race Week," and they complemented the race committee's judgment. Class winner Laura Weyler's (Williamsville, NY) Hijinks in the J/88 Class had such a large lead that she didn't have to race Friday. For complete event information, visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website at https://keywestraceweek.com/.
Two races were held Thursday at Key West Race Week in light winds between 6-9 knots from the southeast. These were held after a harbor postponement that was signaled to allow the light northeasterly wind to shift around to the forecasted southeasterly. Laura Weyler's (Williamsville, NY) Hijinks holds an 11-point lead in the J/88 fleet. With only one race left to sail, they can’t be overtaken. Racing concludes Friday. For more information and complete provisional results, please visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website at https://keywestraceweek.com/.
Day 3 at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week (Mount Gay Rum Day) saw a softening of the breeze on the racecourse. After a windy and wavy start to the regatta, Wednesday's conditions were far more manageable, as the wind ranged anywhere from a high of 10-13 knots before dying away to 7-9. The sea state, while calmer than the first two days, was still lumpy. In the J/88 fleet, Laura Weyler's (Williamsville, NY) Hijinks won the first two races to extended its winning streak to four races, but then finished sixth in Race 7. Still, Hijinks leads with 13 points and is 10 points ahead of Ryan Ruhlman's (Bratenahl, OH) Spaceman Spiff. Racing continues through Friday. For more information and complete provisional results, please visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website at https://keywestraceweek.com/.
To the delight of the more than 600 sailors competing in the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week, day two's racing nearly mirrored day one's memorable conditions. ‘Lewmar Day’ offered more stellar racing in 15-20 knot winds amid sunny skies and warm air temperatures. "It was another challenging, windy day, but these are the conditions you expect down here," said Kris Werner (Rochester, NY), tactician for Laura Weyler's (Williamsville, NY) J/88 Hijinks. "We made the comment sailing in both days to take a look around: it's just beautiful here. We've had two perfect days of sailing and couldn't ask for more. It's been great." Hijinks is Weyler's first boat. She's never competed at race week before, and Tuesday is a day that will live in her memory forever. Hijinks was named Boat of the Day after posting victories in both races. The crew now has the low score of 5 points and leads Ryan Ruhlman's (Bratenahl, OH) Spaceman Spiff by 6 points. "This is very exciting," said Weyler. "I have an outstanding crew." Racing continues through Friday. For more information and complete provisional results, please visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website: https://keywestraceweek.com/.
The comments from the first day of the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week, the City of Key West Day, were nearly unanimous – epic sailing conditions in one of the best racing venues in the world. Laura Weyler’s (Williamsville, NY) Hijinks finished 1-2 in the J/88 Class and holds a one-point lead over second place, which is held by Ryan Ruhlman’s (Bratenahl, OH) Spaceman Spiff. Racing continues throughFriday. Photos are available on the Class Facebook page, and complete event information is available at https://keywestraceweek.com/.
In December the J/88 Class hired Christopher Howell for J/88 Class management. Christopher, President of One Design Association Management handles the class management for the J/24, J/22, J/105, J/70, J/111, VX One classes. Christopher and Julie are members of the 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week Technical Committee.