News and Events

We vote to move the J/24 Spring One Design race to Puerto Vallarta!

March 17th, 2014

Tuesday marks the beginning of the Regatta Copa Mexico and the J/24 North Americans in Puerto Vallarta. The San Francisco Fleet 17 has 5 boat owners down here; fielding two teams

Photo Apr 01, 11 27 10 AM

Our absence resulted in not enough boats on the line for last week’s Spring One Design at the St. Francis. But we’d to suggest to our fleet that we just move our Spring One Design to Banderas Bay every other year.
This is what makes J/24 One Design sailing so awesome. We can travel internationally and step onto a boat that is basically the same from Japan to Jamaica (although usually the rentals require a day of fixing up before racing). It’s affordable to sail, and these international races attract the top racers in our class. How often do you get to jockey at the start with top European (yes, see the speedo in background), Brazilian, East Coast, and Mexican talent?
Sailing One Design in Banderas Bay is hard to beat. The Copa Mexico race organizers and sponsors pull off great parties every night, the wind goes on at 1pm and off at 5:30, and we are sailing in shorts.
It’s only a four hour flight from SF to PV. And did we mention sailing in shorts?


January 27th, 2014

Here’s a summary of some of the competitors at the Three Bridge Fiasco this weekend.
We were very happy to see some of the irregulars coming out. Jeff with his beautiful Water Rat. Brandon and Valerie on the immaculate ‘Backwards’. Even visitor David Klatt on Jaded. We’re sorry for them it was such a floater.

Randall aka R3 (Flight)

Jessica and I had a nice lunch with Flight on the hook in front of Ft. Mason while boats mostly slid backward around us. We got some pressure again and gained hope for a bit, but the 5th time seeing the edge of aquatic park slide by was it for me. Alex had set his anchor on Fly By Night by then and looked to ready to wait as long as it took.

My engine had started running really badly on the way over and I didn’t feel I could rely on it after dark, so we retired early and started across the pond. In fits and starts, it did eventually get us to some nice breeze in the North Bay and we sailed the rest of the way in.

Water Rat was at the RYC dock when we got there, they had made it as far as Pier 39. The Pier 39 ferryboat captains were pretty obnoxious this year. They saw no reason to slow down to get through the racers parked in front of their entrance. They were very annoyed and could not figure out why the racers weren’t starting their engines moving out of their way, like they were for the freighters.

When I dropped by Brickyard this evening, Woof was already there and Little Wing showed up a minute (beer) later. Woof had stuck it out on the City Front longer than we did, but eventually reached the same conclusion.
I would consider two bridges a real victory this year

Jasper (Evil Octopus)
We started in counter clockwise direction. My watch was off by one minute versus the race committee, which worked out well because we would have been twenty seconds late. We saw Luther and Ryan heading down on spinnaker near the pin end. Our start was nice and close. We were on port tack at the pin with Jaded (nice to see them out here) on our port hip and Water Rat on our starboard hip. Close by was Alex on Fly by Night. Water rat was killing us as we ducked our way on port tack through the throngs of boats on our way to the shore side. Jeff was sporting some crispy looking sails, but I noticed he had the 100% jib up. No genoa. And he was still creaming us. Then Alex took over putting gas on us. We were in a world of hurt. When we reached the shore line we tacked ever so gently and got very lucky. Because Water Rat and Fly by Night were now in front of us on starboard tack we could see exactly where the current hit them. So we tacked a boat length sooner to stay in the current relief. Instant gain. We kept that up all the way to aquatic park. There the zodiac that was leading a gaggle of swimmers decided we were Octopus non Grata and literally rammed us. No apologies either. Oh well. We saw a slight wind line about 50 yards offshore and dove into that. It made the difference between making it around or staying put. Next up was Pier 39, which proved to be no hassle but once we rounded that we hit some major current. Originally we were aiming towards Yerba Buena, but we quickly bailed for current relief on shore. After doing the escalator run for a while we scrambled to dig out the anchor and had lunch. With us was Val on Shut up and Drive. He and Vince must have done a tremendous job to catch up. After lunch we gambled and pulled up the anchor in order to crab over to Treasure Island. It took a long time but we made it. Once there we did some fancy auto tacking to get around Yerba Buena and then enjoyed a luxurious close reach all the way to Red Rock. At RR the wind stopped again. Somehow Val had ended up there too and he cheered us on as he motored home. But after rounding the rock we had to throw out the anchor again. That gave us time to do the math. We weren’t going to make it. OK, we fought the good fight. Start the engine. What a day.
Tech Talk: I was asked how we trimmed for the light stuff. Having just tuned the rig I can tell you:
Mast butt was set at neutral for 2.5 inches of pre bend at 20/15 on the shrouds, and forestay at 1 finger outside the scale with backstay attached but loose. I left the shrouds there, which is one setting below base. We trimmed our older genoa at 6 to 8 inches off the spreader depending on whether we were coming out of a tack or we were up to speed. Outhaul was off by one inch only. Admittedly these are older sails. The genoa cars were all the way forward.
We tried to roll tack as much as possible. Which is a pain in the bum for the driver.

Darren (Downtown Uproar)
Yeah, we (re)anchored maybe three times at Aquatic Park. Fending off Golden Moon, before a light westerly filled in. Made for a nice spinnaker ride down to Yerba Buena. We had a good rounding staying close to the shore / lighthouse, passing a bunch that went wide. Nice mellow flat water reach to Richmond, where we found a little bit of advantage in closer to the entrance wall. Started to make our way to ‘R2′, around 5 or so our little personal puff evaporated. It seemed pretty clear we were not going to finish at this point, maybe not make it to RR before 7. So headed home. Super fun day though, I loved it. A little bit scary all the five horn blast we heard, I think a little more so the ones coming from the Golden Gate.

Luther (Little Wing)
We started the day with a plan: 1) GGB; 2) RR, and 3) TI. We looked at each other straight In the eyes and said that no matter what we were going to stick with the plan!

So we started about 20 seconds early, what with all the fun of getting the chute up and no one looking outside the boat, I say, ok just 20 seconds and Ryan says we started already. So we pull down the kite spin around and re crossed the line heading for TI. Then we furiously discussed keeping going, but no! We stuck with the plan, spun around when we were about 100 m on our way to TI and went to GGB. We nearly caught up to DTUR and did to Flight, where we had fun match racing until the park up at Aquatic PARK (ah – now I get it…). When it became clear that we were losing our match race to an anchored boat (I did go below and ponder the anchor – ready to go…), and decided that anchor muck was not in the plan, we took a flyer off to (we were thinking Southampton, but current said…) the Straits, where I thought we did circles, but the GPS logger (passive collection) seemed to show us staying on course. We finally got some gas to blow us into to straits and out on the NW corner where we diced it up with a Moore next to the rocks there. They rolled us 2x, but when the wind died, they bailed, and just after they called in and mounted the motor, the breeze came I and we zoomed off to a chorus of their curses!

Then the reality of that old time-distance-velocity thing was pointed out, and we bailed 1/2 way between RR and AI. Smart move.

Melissa (Downtown Uproar)
The second time (I think) we were anchored some of the swimmers came out to observe and speculate if this was what sailboat racing was all about and be smug about the cost of swimming vs. sailing. We were slightly surprised Aquatic Park wasn’t restricted, but maybe the swimmers have mocked other sailors in the past. :D

If I’d thought we’d make it around red rock by 6:30 (even knowing we couldn’t finish) I’d have been more in favor of pressing on just to say we’d done it, but I swear that it seemed like after 5pm it just never…got…closer. But yeah, fun day, and we had enough beer on board to keep the crew happy. :D

For pictures check out Norcalsailing LINK

RegattaPro Winter OneDesign

January 13th, 2014

Saturday was the third episode of this miniseries. Very shifty winds made for some rather interesting sailing. A huge shift a few minutes before the second start caught a lot of us by surprise. The alert bunch made out like gangbusters. To help us along the wind picked up in the second race so all of us probably had our rig tuned wrong as well. Eleven boats showed up. A record of sorts. The race for second and third place in the standings is on. With one more throw out coming there is every potential for podium results. Of course first place seems to be a lock. Brian has descended from the mountain and given us all a good spanking. Please sir,,,can we have some more?

Soupy Conditions

In other news: the schedule for the new summer season is locked in.
Here is our captain’s email:

Hi all,

Following is the 2014 fleet schedule based on everyone’s input. Thanks,
and look forward to seeing you on the race course!

Note that I’ve removed Vallejo 1. because of the Jazz Cup addition and
2. because it appears to have been moved to the last weekend in
April. This still allows people to participate but it’s not obligated as a

I am told by SFYC that the small fleet series will probably cost around
$60/day or $150/series, with trophies handed out at the end of the series.
Single day, three races. It should be fun!

This schedule comes out to about 25-30 races for the season.

March 15/16 Spring One Design (StFYC, buoy)
Apr 5/6 J/Fest (StFYC, buoy)
May 3 SFYC Small Fleet Regatta
May 31 SFYC Small Fleet Regatta
June 28th SFYC Small fleet regatta
Mid July Plastic Classic (BVBC, distance, date not confirmed)
Aug 2/3 TMC (BYC, buoy)
Aug 30 Jazz Cup (Benicia, distance, date not confirmed)
Aug 31 Jazz Cup Return (Let’s hash out the details of this soon!)
Sept 20th OPBYC
Oct 18 Oktoberfest (BYC, distance/pursuit)


Winter is Summer

December 17th, 2013
Ten J24’s came out for the second running of the RegattaPro winter onedesign. Here’s a great shot of the conga line. Plenty of close racing. Lot’s of lead changes. With the longish starting line and the very shifty breeze there was a huge premium in figuring out which side of the starting line was best. Not something we are used to dealing with. What a great day.
Other news:
Is there any interest in having a fleet barbecue at the Brickyard docks or parking lot after the next RegattaPro’s???
Big thanks to Randall and Cindy for hosting the fleet banquet and showing of their new front yard.
Your fleet captain is working on solidifying the summer racing program. Please respond to her email as soon as you can.
Two boats (Flight and Shut Up and Drive) are now signed up for the CopaMexico/North Americans. But I’m assured there is room for more.
Rumor has it that there are one or two more new boats coming to the fleet next season.
Nation wide the J24 fleet also grew last year and is in line to grow again this year.
Get your membership checks to our treasurer soon.
Remember, 2014 is the year to get your boat and team up to speed for the 2015 Nationals and Western Regionals. We’ve had quite a few folks from the Seattle region asking for scheduling information already, so you know it’s going to be big.

Fall Fun

November 11th, 2013

The J24’s were performing well on two fronts this weekend. At the Berkeley Midwinters they took the top two spots in their division. At the RegattaPro Winter Onedesign series the local fleet was reinforced by two boats from Tahoe. In total there were eleven boats signed up, nine of which showed up to race. Snowjob, skippered by Mr. Goepfrich gave us all a lesson in light wind sailing in the first race. Even when the wind picked up we were unable to catch them. Don’t feel bad though, remember that he’s been sailing this boat since sailing was invented. Newcomer Zenyatta, skippered by Colin Lindberg, were welcomed back after their great performance last month. They showed moments of good speed and we expect great things from them again.
Other notable sightings:
Don Taylor crewing on Flight….can’t keep him down…looking for a wooden J24 if one can be found.
Jasper and a crew of all stars/misfits on the black Broadside got lucky and escaped the wind hole to avoid the TLE.
If we get weather like this again next month we have to pinch ourselves for our good fortune. In the meantime there are the Sunday Berkeley Chowders to keep your skills honed.
See you Sunday at the Fleet Banquet/awards party/planning meeting….keep in mind…..The J24 Nationals will be in Berkeley in May 2015…..Also, Western Regionals at San Francisco YC in May of 2015. Lots to look forward to.

Winter Items

November 3rd, 2013

Heads up everyone. The wonderful winter season is upon us. We have it on good authority that there are now 11 J24 teams signed up for the RegattaPro winter series. This monthly regatta is a very well run event hosted by our friend Jeff Zarwell. Winter sailing can be light, or windy. Warm or cold. But one way or another we have a great time. With eleven boats on the line we have a legit’ class with competitive and busy starts. Please pass on the news that we are the boats to beat.
Speaking of which, Broadside and Fly by Night are the boats to beat at the Berkeley Chowders. They have been tearing it up at the series for the last few weeks. The Berkeley format seems to favor the J24’s. The race is run every Sunday and, in contrast to summer sailing the weather, the currents and breezes are ideal for our class of boats. It’s easy to motor over there in the morning, pick up random crew if you’re short handed, start at 1 and finish at 2:30, have a cheap beer and treat your new crew to some lovely chowder, motor or sail home and put your boat away before dark. So come on out and give us some competition.
Also, please take heed all and sundry. The end of season fleet banquet is coming up soon. We will be barbecuing at Randall and Cindy’s place on November 17th. So expect an email soon with the details, but prepare your crew to come and join the festivities. Prizes will be awarded to the season standings winners. Who might that be do you ask? Check the season standings tab above and let us know if we need to adjust anything. See you all soon revelers.

CREW YOU regatta

September 20th, 2013

Thanks to our favorite PRO Hans Opsahl we have the results already.
Well, that was fun. If anybody has pictures to share or comments or anything please send ‘em to your trusty governor. jaspervvliet at gmail dot com
Fly by Night


More great photos HERE
What a day.
It was conceived as a bit of an experiment, a regatta where the regular owner/driver is crew and the crew is the driver, and thanks to some seriously stoked volunteers and some champagne sailing conditions we can now say this concept worked marvelously.
The racecourse was set up just outside the Richmond breakwater. We had very short courses, of approximately 20 minutes each, sausages of course–because that’s what we love. That way we were able to get eight races in. Twelve boats of 24 feet and under showed up (mostly J/24’s) and we were all squeezed into a tight starting line. We also instituted a rule about banning genoa’s for the non-optimized J24 boats. Those genoa’s are notoriously hard to tack and we didn’t want that to ruin the experience when all the crew would be in unfamiliar positions. It turned out to be a good call and after the breeze hit 12 knots, the optimized boats went down to the blade as well.
The twelve boats that participated effectively doubled the normal J24 turnout.
The result was a very level playing ground where almost every boat was able to be in the top of the fleet at any given moment. We had exciting but friendly racing, some close crosses, but no cross words.
One of the volunteers (Peter Shumar of Evil Octopus fame) had created a very special racing mark resembling the OPBYC logo of the rubber ducky. It is now our mascot. This one had room for some special refreshments that the SI’s required all boats to capture unscathed during the course of racing. At one point, between races there was a run on the refreshment mark. Of course at precisely that moment some clown got on the VHF and started a count-down. So there was a frantic scramble back to the starting line before the boats realized it was just a ruse. Nobody got too miffed about it because SI #16 had specifically stated “have fun”, so getting miffed would be an unpardonable violation.
The last race finished right around 3pm and so did the breeze. Perfect. We had just enough time to drift over to the mothership for a raft up pot-luck barbecue. The mothership (The Santa Cruz 50 Deception-there to help out and possibly to recruit future crew—smart man that Bill Helvestine) and runabout were anchored just inside the Richmond breakwater. We rafted up with about 9 boats and had a good laugh reliving the day’s racing. We had to pinch ourselves watching the incredible sunset. Some folks even went for a swim!!!! No, they weren’t drunk…well not all of them….well not that much anyway.
New friendships were forged, old ones renewed. Respect was given to crew (it turns out most of them can drive just fine) and owners (thank you for owning a boat) and volunteers (who are also crew and owners) and sponsors (thanks JWorld and OCSC for lending gear and teaching folks how to sail). You all rock. Let’s do it again next year.

Jazz Cup

September 4th, 2013

We all had a perfectly wonderful Jazz Cup. Must keep this one on the calendar. Come back and race again at the OPBYC regatta.

And then there was this

Regatta Announcement

August 27th, 2013

Inaugural Regatta COLOR

Best Seats in the House

August 14th, 2013

Woof in the lead: Bow Wow!


Last weekend I had the good fun to sail with the Brothers Whittier on Woof for our 2013 J/24 District 20 Regional Championships. From our relaxed position of 5th in the fleet, we had an excellent vantage point to watch the tight racing between three very talented boats, TMC Racing, Shut up and Drive and Downtown Uproar. We were also delighted to have Skipper’s Gift out, and felt that if the courses were maybe a mile or three longer, we might’ve been able to catch them, but we simply suffered from a ghost who kept shoving random lines into odd places.
TMC Racing managed to lock in a 7 point series, but they had to work for every bit of it. On the first day we had our heads in our own boat trying to control our sails in the far higher than expected winds and waves. But on Sunday, we choose to sit back and appreciate the spectacle of three boat match racing, with a tight competition for 2nd and 3rd place. During the weekend we saw perfectly executed lee bows, elegant ducks, tight roundings, and TMC’s boat was moving so fast that I was looking for foils. All of this without a single protest. Our District 20s are known for the wind, food and wine. What more can a skipper want? After waging battle with August breezes in the Bay, we come back to Berkeley Yacht Club to recount our adventures over heaping plates of Lulu Yang’s paella, steamed shrimp, outstanding wines from Berryessa Gap. The J/24 fleet just couldn’t be a nicer group of people to hang out with.
We just need more boats to balance this racing out. There are many J/24s getting soft while sitting on the hard. I spotted a letter to the editor in July’s Latitude38 inquiring after active local SF One Design fleets that were affordable to sail and under 25 feet. Sadly the J/24 was not listed in their response.
Our fleet is aging, both the boats and our skippers, although both are still quite fiesty. As a result, many of our races are not getting the same turn-out they did. Between rig replacements and hip replacements, we are going through a bit of a participation lull. I often hear skippers saying they don’t have enough crew. But we’ve got a great group of candidate crew – mostly hardy Michigan transplants – looking for copacetic drivers who are interested in racing regularly and willing to coach them. And we have a great group of “core” sailors who are willing to help with the training of your new crew. Further, the J/24 has an international regatta scene that can’t be beat. While we’ve traveled as far as Halifax and Buenos Aires for regattas, nothing beats the Copa Mexico in Banderas Bay, which in March 2014 is the North American Championships too.
We’re brainstorming a regatta this fall that is intended to be fun, friendly, and create opportunities for those boats not currently racing to come out. Boat owners: We’re sitting here trying to guess why you aren’t coming out and trying to come up with ideas to woo you back. We miss you. So if there is some way that we can make easing back into one design racing more doable for you, let us know. Crew Candidates: If you are interested in getting some experience on a ‘real’ sailboat doing one design racing with some super nice people, give the fleet leadership a shout.
Melissa Litwicke – District 20, Fleet 17 Captain mlis at
Jasper Van Vliet – Western Regional G’vnor. Jaspervvliet at