October 12, 2013
Lake Balaton was the scene of the recent Hungarian J/24 National Championship. This year’s championship saw 18 boats participate, and the level of sailing amongst the top five was extremely close. While the first day of racing was canceled due to a light offshore breeze, the second day dawned with the long-awaited NW breeze of 14-16 knots. Four exciting races were completed. Litkey Wolf sailed “lights out,” taking three firsts and a second on his boat Peugeot/Litkey Sails. Second place for the day was Michael Filo’s Zulu with a 1-2-3. Attila Nagy’s Garfield/Quantum Sails took third for the day. Also showing good form was Gabor Makai’s Nord Telekom and Erik Hercsel’s Sail For You. The third day was going to push the teams even harder to the edge. Some considered genoas, but most opted for 100% jibs in the conditions. The wind was a bit stronger than forecast, blowing 17-19 knots from the NW. The teams fought bravely in the waves and strong breeze, enjoying some great racing and surfs on Lake Balaton! The Wolf’s Peugeot “express” continued their excellent performance and after eight races had the championship won. The club’s PRO tried to get in one last race, but the weather simply would not cooperate as the breeze had died towards the end of the day. So, the championship was decided in eight races. A gold medal to Litkey Wolf and his team, who defended their championship title. The silver medal goes to Michael Filo on Zulu and the bronze to Nagy’s Garfield/Quantum Sails. Rounding out the top five we find that fourth was Antal Szekely’s Compass and fifth was Nagy’s Nord Telekom. As a result of this regatta, the Hungarian J/24 Season Championship also goes to Wolf’s Peugeot/Litkey Sails team, followed by Makai’s Nord Telekom in second, Nagy’s Garfield/Quantum in third, Hercsel’s Sail For You in fourth and Dr Thomas Wolf’s J’Korszak in fifth. For more J/24 Hungary sailing information, visit http://www.j24.hu/.
The /24 Canadian National Championship was hosted by Pointe Claire Yacht Club with 21 boats. The opening day of racing presented the possibility that four races could be sailed in the 10-15 knot NE breezes. The tactics were tricky, and Drivers Wanted sailed by Mississauga’s Ted Bartlewski got the first day winner’s trophy. Race 1 was won by local boat Baygull driven by Nicolas Mabboux. John Whynacht’s Nova Scotia clan on Sticky Fingers got Race 2 and Bartlewski’s Drivers Wanted closed the day with two bullets. Tom Barbeu’s Navtech.ca was the bridesmaid in second place. It was a crazy weekend for sailing conditions. While Friday’s forecast was calling for very light wind, the fleet ended up sailing four races in 10-15 knots. On Saturday, the fleet was expecting 7-10 knots fading out to 6 knots during the day. The fun continued: this time it was again in the same tricky north east wind. In the end, two races were sailed in lighter airs. After a few attempts to get in a third race, the RC wisely decided to send the fleet back to the harbor. After two days of light conditions, the forecast was calling for 15-20 knots. This time, the fleet was treated to steady 16 knots with some nice puffs. As usual, the fleet split between the two schools of thought in marginal 16-18 knots TWS conditions: genoa or jib, was the question!? Rapidly, most of the fleet adopted the jib. In race 7, Rossi Milev’s Clear Air team dominated the game, followed by Barbeu and Greg B. (Adrenaline Rush). About half way to the finish, boats in fourth and fifth (Angry Squirrel & Baygull) both went down in broaches because of a nasty shifty gust. Sticky Fingers passed in fifth position to limit their losses. In Race 8, the wind and waves kept building and Milev’s Clear Air again pulled out a bullet, in front of Mabboux, followed by Bartlewski. In Race 9, first overall was still “in play,” so was the entire podium for that matter. After one lap, Baygull was in the lead until the last leg, where Rossi’s Clear Air passed to get the last point they were missing to get the title. What a comeback! For more J/24 Canadian Nationals sailing information, visit http://j24canadians2013.wordpress.com/.
October 11, 2013
This past weekend, a fleet of seven J/24s sailed in the beautiful waters on the Bay of Pantanassas, just off the famous island of Crete in the Mediterranean. The Gazi Cup Regatta is the second event in the Pan-Hellenic series that is organized by YC Gazi-Crete. The fleet was treated to simply classic Med-sailing conditions with north-northeast winds all weekend long with sunshine. Saturday’s sailing saw idyllic NE 8-12 knot wind with four races sailed from 1300 to 1700 hrs. Sunday was no different, in fact, nearly “postcard perfect” sailing and a repeat of Saturday’s wind but a bit more breeze. After the eight races were completed over the two days, the final rankings for the teams were as follows: First – Kika skippered by Angel Psomopoulos and crew of John Pachaki, Christina Garaki, John Voulgaris and John Dialektaki. Second – Minoan Spirit sailed by Mars Pallikaris and crew of Nikos Kampitakis, Nikos Petroulaki and Karyotakis Stavrakakis. Third- Simera sailed by George Lyroni and crew George Makridakis, Peace Syngelakis, Stella Lenakaki and Katerina Maragaki. For more J/24 Class Greece sailing information, visit http://www.j24class.gr/.
October 9, 2013
This year’s J/24 Autumn Cup was hosted by Saltash Sailing Club, with a program consisting of races in Plymouth Sound on Saturday followed by a Bottle Race up to Saltash Sailing Club, and two races planned on Sunday on the River Tamar. While strong winds are not unseasonal, the wind direction was uncommon with strong Easterlies whipping across the Sound followed by a ferocious squall topping out at 33 knots giving troublesome conditions for the start line boat to anchor in. After two mainsails were ripped, faces stung by sharp rain, crews completely drenched and a couple of Js having taken the decision to head for home, a judgment call was made to make an earlier retreat up river and continue racing in the Lynher. The committee boat set up a start-line in the more sheltered waters of Jenny Cliff with nine boats heading up the River Tamar, North of Drakes Island & onwards towards the Tamar Bridge. Legal Alien was first to hoist their kite followed shortly after by the rest of the fleet. Gusty winds were soon surpassed by some challenging, frequently unpredictable conditions which kept all crews on their toes sailing along past the dockyards and up towards the Tamar Bridge. Redrow Homes, helmed by Tom Cload crossed the line first to win the Bottle Race. Following a brief stop-off outside Saltash Sailing Club, a Windward-Leeward course was set up in the Lynher with three races completed in quick succession. Jeli, helmed by Stig McDonald took the first race in the Lynher (race 2), with Nick McDonald helming Legal Alien winning race 3 and 4. The shelter of the river made the afternoon’s racing viable however not without some unruly gusts causing several boats to broach on the downwind leg, including a spectacular bit of depth sounding along the Cornish boundaries by Team Redrow (thankfully softly into the estuaries muddy banks). Weary crews headed in after an exhilarating day’s sailing to a welcoming sailing club and warm dinner. Sunday yielded another windy day with all to play for with the remaining two races. Legal Alien was in the lead with just three points clear of Jawbreaker and Jeli with seven points each. Legal Alien proved un-touchable in Race 5 despite some hot competition from Redrow Homes and Illuminator, helmed by Mathew Conyers. Going into the final race, there was still plenty of room for final positions to be changed. Race 6 was a tight race with the left side paying for the first two beats, but Legal Alien (helmed by Darren Stansbury in the final race) took a wild card heading to the far right on the final beat making up a fair 200m and rounding the windward mark looking like Cheshire cats and finishing the day with a clean sweep. Final results were: Legal Alien in first with 6 points, Jawbreaker in second with 15 points, and Jeli with 18 points. For complete information, click here.
70 Boats Expected for 2013 J/24 European Championship October 5-12
This large fleet is expected for the International J/24 Class European Championship, organized by the Yacht Club de Monaco scheduled from 5 to 12 October 2013; which will be 20 years after the last one held in the Principality. Among the first to register was the Brazilian Mauricio Santa Cruz (Bruschetta), second at the 2013 World Championship and past multiple World Champion, then the British sailor Ian Southworth (Il Riccio) who arrived fourth at the Worlds. Also Mike Ingham (USA 5443) who won the American Nationals last June and finished second in the UK Nationals 2013. As well as the Australian David Leslie, the German Frithjof Schade who was the eighth in the 2012 World Championships, and Pasquale di Fraia, the Italian JCA President.
For this great occasion, the Yacht Club de Monaco’s team gathers the best J/24 specialists including Swede Marianne Schoke, President of the Swedish NJCA and spokeswoman of the J/24 Class in Europe; the British sailor Stuart Jardine, who between 1950 and 2007 racked up a string of impressive titles, who will be in charge of the measurement team. Also the Race Committee will be chaired by the Englishman John Coveney and the International Jury led by the German Willii Gohl. For information and registration, visit www.ycm.org or www.j24ycm.org.
September 28, 2013
The J/24 class in Mexico continues to enjoy vibrant, healthy racing in their three hotspots of activity, namely Valle de Bravo, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta. This year’s Mexican J/24 Nationals were hosted by the Club Nautico Valle de Bravo. Thirty boats showed up to compete for the honor of being crowned the 2013 Mexican National Champion. Valle de Bravo is a spectacular lake located about an hour’s drive west of Mexico City, high up in the mountains. Surrounded by large peaks and long valleys, the mountain winds can be very tricky, especially when it blows hard. This year, the fleet was treated to nearly every imaginable weather condition—light winds, rain, sunny days and enormous microbursts wreaking havoc on the fleet. Saturday’s sailing saw little wind, blowing just 4-8 knots with occasional gusts to 10 with rain clouds interspersed with the breeze. Sunday’s was more difficult for the RC, managing to get in only one race after spending hours on the lake waiting for breeze. Finally on Monday, the fleet had a great race going, but got blown out by massive gust of breeze lasting well over 10 minutes, forcing cancellation of the races. In the end, the RC managed to only squeeze in three of the planned eight races. While the racing is always fun and competitive, perhaps the biggest attraction to the regatta is “Mexican Night” on Saturday. Awesome Mexican home-cooked food, a massive fireworks display on the lake, aquatic games, a mechanical bull to challenge your crew with, lots of dancing and a spectacular “Grito de Independencia” keeps the crews extremely entertained all night long. With all the festivities and sailing behind them, it was the Good Vibes team that were crowned champions, led by skipper Xavier Murrieta and crewed by Julián Fernández, Bernardo Minkow, Hugo McCarthy and Alejandro Murrieta. Taking the silver on the podium was Mar II sailed by Miguel Arroyo and his crew Alan Benitez, Tito Benitez, Manuel Benitez and Javier Benitez. Third was a past Mexican champion Kenneth Porter sailing with a family crew of Kenneth Porter Jr., Gerrit Gentry, Gerrit Gentry Jr. and Daniel Baños on the mighty yacht “S.” For more information, visit http://j24mex.com/index.html.
September 23, 2013
John Mollicone of Newport, RI outlasted 45 other teams to become the J/24 Sea Bags North American Champion. With Tim Healy (tactics), Collin Leon (mast), Geoff Becker (trim) and Gordon Borges (bow), team Helly Hansen totaled 50 points in the 10-race series to narrowly edge out a charging Matias Seguel of Chile by two points. Nicolas Cubria of Argentina took Elvis to third place with 62 points. “We did a really good job grinding back,” Mollicone shared. “We found ourselves in a lot of tough spots but were able to slowly chip away and pass boats.” He gave the credit to his team’s boat handling, crew work and tactics, saying “Everyone stayed really calm and cool, even if we were deep.” One such occasion was when they were OCS in a race, but still made the top 10. He added, “Today, things weren’t looking good for a while, but we just kept our composure. A lot of that is all of us sailing together a lot.” Mollicone won the 2012 North American Championship last November with the same crew. Hosted by Sail Newport and J/24 Fleet 50, the closing day dawned cool and overcast with light winds around 6-8 knots, which dropped during the first race to about 4 knots by the time teams crossed the finish line. Conditions turned around by the next start as the clouds dissipated, the sun returned and the breeze increased to 8-10. For the first time during the event, the course was moved inside to the bay on Sunday. “It was really tricky with lots of outgoing current,” Mollicone explained. “The breeze was unstable so it was really difficult sailing. In the last beat of the last race, we went from mid-20s to what we thought for a while was top three. That’s how shifty it was!” Local Will Welles on Cougar won his second race of the regatta in Sunday’s initial battle. Seguel’s Semi Pro took second, and another local—Bob Kinsman on Dogfish third. In the final race of the championship, Taylor Neff’s Bubbles, of Minnesota, claimed the top spot, followed by Canadian Michael Howarth’s Mister H and Seguel. Mollicone praised the conditions during the four-day event, especially the three days on the outside course. “That’s what Newport is known for—waves, solid breeze, southern direction.”
The top 10 are:
1. John Mollicone, USA (50 points)
2. Matias Seguel, CHI (52)
3. Nicolas Cubria, ARG (62)
4. Will Welles, USA (81)
5. Michael Marshall, USA (86)
6. Sergio Pendola, ARG (92)
7. Peter Bream, USA (98)
8. Shimoyama/Hillman, JPN (110)
9. Bob Kinsman, USA (116)
10. Kris Werner, USA (118)
Entrants from Japan, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Canada and the USA comprised the 46-boat fleet. Complete results may be found at www.2013j24northamericans.com.
September 22, 2013
John Mollicone’s team Helly Hansen continued their consistent performance at the J/24 Sea Bags North American Championship to take an 11-point advantage into the final day of competition. The reigning North American champion has tallied a line of 2,4,1,5,7,8,(9),5 for 32 overall points. Nicolas Cubria’s Elvis of Argentina has amassed 43 points for second place, and Chile’s Matias Seguel on Semi Pro is in third with 47 points. Competitors were again greeted by superb conditions as temperatures remained in the low 70s with winds 10-12 knots and gusts to 14. Three races were held on Saturday, bringing the total thus far to eight. Hosted by Sail Newport and J/24 Fleet 50, international teams dominated the day. Argentina’s Sergio Pendola on Cacique snagged victory in Saturday’s opening contest. Sumio Shimoyama’s Sokokumaru of Japan placed second, and Chile’s Raul del Castillo on La Banca third. Local Will Welles’ Cougar captured the win in the next battle, with two Argentina teams behind him—Cubria and Guillermo de Martis’ Twin. Shimoyama ended the day successfully, with Castillo in second and Travis Odenbach of New York on Honey Badger in third. Racing concludes Sunday for the competitors from Japan, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Canada and the USA in the 46-boat fleet. Complete results and live updates may be found atwww.2013j24northamericans.com and on Facebook.
September 21, 2013
Reigning J/24 North American champion John Mollicone made strong headway toward a repeat title on day 2 of the J/24 Sea Bags North American Championship. The Newport, RI-local utilized his hometown advantage to leap into first place with just 12 net points after five races, including one throw-out (a seventh in race 5 for him). Team Helly Hansen leads Chile’s Matias Seguel on Semi Pro by 6 points. Day 1 leader Peter Bream on Team Tarheel dropped to third with 21 points. Mollicone helmed to a victory in the day’s opening bout, trailed by Will Welles on Cougar and Steven Kirkpatrick on Buckshot. Argentina’s Sergio Pendola triumphed in the next contest on Cacique, with Michael Marshall’s Pipe Dream in second and Seguel in third. The racing closed out with another Argentinian in front as Nicolas Cubria’s Elvis took the bullet. Chile’s Robert Vernon racing Gringa followed in second, and Pendola in third. Hosted by Sail Newport and J/24 Fleet 50, the championship dawned with another beautiful day. Winds ranged from 6-8 knots early on, increasing to 12 by the last race. Racing continues through Sunday for the competitors from Japan, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Canada and the USA in the 46-boat fleet. Complete results and live updates may be found at www.2013j24northamericans.com and on Facebook.
September 20, 2013
Peter Bream’s Team Tarheel grabbed the lead on day one of the J/24 Sea Bags North American Championship with a third and first in the opening day’s races for 4 points. The Florida-based team topped competitors from Japan, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Canada and the USA in the 46-boat fleet. Reigning North American champion John Mollicone on Helly Hansen is two points back with 6, and Matias Seguel of Chile on Semi Pro stands in third with 8 points. Hosted by Sail Newport and J/24 Fleet 50, a spectacular day greeted teams with sunshine, warm temperatures and winds Southwest 12-15 with a 1.5 foot swell and 2 foot chop. Kris Werner of New York got the event started with a win for his team on Sticks, with Mollicone and Bream rounding out the top three in race one. Bream took the bullet in race two, with Seguel in second and 2011 North American champion Travis Odenbach on Honey Badger in third. Racing continues through Sunday. Complete results and live updates may be found at www.2013j24northamericans.com and on Facebook.
September 18, 2013
Nearly 50 J/24 teams from around the globe have descended on Newport, Rhode Island for the 2013 J/24 North American Championship. Hosted by Sail Newport, competitors from Japan, Chile, Argentina, Peru and Canada join the USA, including reigning North American Champion John Mollicone. Racing begins Thursday afternoon and runs through Sunday. Follow continuous updates at the regatta website: www.2013j24northamericans.com.
August 30, 2013
In a tense and closely fought final day, Tim Healy and his crew from Newport, Rhode Island, on board ‘Helly Hansen’ were impressive winners of the BMW J24 World Championship at Howth Yacht Club (near Dublin, Ireland), with eight top-five results (including three race wins) in the 10-race series. Healy, who previously won the title in 2010, was pushed all the way by the defending champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil on ‘Bruschetta’, who also demonstrated remarkable consistency, but who had to be content with the runner-up spot, four points adrift of his rival. Third place overall went to another American crew led by Travis Odenbach from Rochester on ‘Honey Badger’ who had been the series leader overnight but who did not enjoy the final day. A 20th and an 8th effectively knocked his chances, although he was only two points off Santa Cruz in the end. In fresh westerly winds which touched 25 knots at times, the penultimate race saw a second win in the series for Britain’s Ian Southworth on ‘Il Riccio’, ahead of fellow Briton Bob Turner’s ‘Serco’. Third place went to local Howth skipper Mossy Shanahan on ‘Crazyhorse’, following up on his great form the previous day, a result which contributed to him finishing as the top Irish boat overall in 19th place. Success in the last race went to the German boat ‘Rotoman’ (Tobias Feuerherd), with Keith Whittemore (‘Furio’) from Seattle 2nd and Santa Cruz 3rd. The Brazilian, however, needed Healy to be further down the fleet than his finishing place of 5th and so surrendered his world title to the American crew by four points after the one allowed discard. With the exception of Tuesday when racing was abandoned due to lack of wind, the championship featured four good racing days, with the wind strength progressively increasing as the week went on. There were six different race winners and the four US entries all finished in the top 10 which featured two German boats and the sole Italian entry. After 10 races, the overall standings (after one discard) were:
1. Tim Healy (USA) 38 points
2. Mauricio Santa Cruz (Brazil) 42 points
3. Travis Odenbach (USA) 44 points
4. Ian Southworth (GB) 53 points
5. Tobias Feurherd (Ger) 73 points
6. Keith Whittemore (USA) 77 points
7. Bob Turner (GB) 83 points
8. Ignatio Bonanno (Italy) 88 points
9. Tony Parker (USA) 114 points
10. Sullberg (Ger) 115 points
For complete event information, visit http://www.hyc.ie/J24worldChampionship2013/.
It was very much a case of North American domination on the fourth day of competition at the BMW J/24 Worlds at Howth Yacht Club (near Dublin, Ireland), with Tim Healy of Newport winning the first and third races of the day while compatriot Travis Odenbach’s win in the second one has taken the crew from Rochester, NY, into the overall lead going into the final day. Conversely, it was not such a good day for the South Americans from Brazil as defending champion Mauricio Santa Cruz had his worst results of the series, highlighted by an 18th in the second race, which drops him to third overall. It proved a very good day, however, for Mossy Shanahan of the host club who scored a 6th, 3rd and 4th, each finish being the best local result in the series to date. In fresh winds that fluctuated between south-west and west in direction, Healy enjoyed the conditions best to take the gun in the first race of the day from Britain’s Ian Southworth and then Odenbach, while Santa Cruz’s 7th dropped him from top spot after six races. The biggest upsets came in the seventh race of the series, where several of the leading boats were caught out by a significant wind-shift on the first beat and eventually ended up in mid-fleet positions. Odenbach, on the other hand, clawed his way back superbly to take line honors ahead of Britain’s Paul Williams and Ireland’s Shanahan to open up a lead at the top of the leaderboard. The series’ eighth race was another triumph for Healy and his crew but his biggest rival Odenbach secured a second for a highly consistent 3, 1, 2 scorecard for the day. After a poor result in the previous race, Ian Southworth returned to form to finish 3rd and move into 4th overall. Two more races are scheduled for the final day (Friday 30th) to complete the 10-race program, with all eyes on the two US crews and Santa Cruz as the main contenders for the title. Odenbach holds a 6-point lead over Healy who has only one point to spare over the Brazilian. After 8 races, the provisional overall standings (with one discard) are:
1. Travis Odenbach (USA) 23 points
2. Tim Healy (USA) 29 points
3. Mauricio Santa Cruz (Brazil) 30 points
4. Ian Southworth (GB) 46 points
5. Rotoman (Ger) 55 points
6. I. Bonanno (Italy) 65 points
7. Keith Whittemore (USA) 68 points
8. Bob Turner (GB) 70 points
9. Sullberg (Ger) 88 points
10. Tony Parker (USA) 90 points
For complete event information, visit http://www.hyc.ie/J24worldChampionship2013/.
August 28, 2013
In stark contrast to the previous day, ideal sailing conditions prevailed at Howth Yacht Club (near Dublin, Ireland) on the third day of the BMW J/24 World Championship to allow three races to be completed, resulting in just seven points separating the top five boats after one discard is taken into account. Defending champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil, a model of consistency with four top three finishes, leads the fleet overall, but the crew from Rio is being pressed all the way by former World Champion Tim Healy of the USA who is only two points adrift. He in turn has only two points to spare over Britain’s Ian Southworth. The third race of the series, in fresh southeasterly winds, saw Healy take line honors ahead of Bob Turner (GB), another American Travis Odenbach and Santa Cruz. Turner’s boat, helmed by Nathan Batchelor, went one better in the fourth race with a comfortable margin of victory over Santa Cruz who had Ian Southworth (GB) chasing him. The British boat had a cracking start and the leading pack all gained by going right on the first beat. Southworth, who was black-flagged with five other boats on the abandoned race on day 2 and carried the penalty into the third day, made up for that disappointment with a bullet in the fifth race. Healy finished up a satisfactory day with a second ahead of Santa Cruz to set up an interesting penultimate day of competition. With five races completed, the provisional overall standings (with one discard) are:
1. Mauricio Santa Cruz (Brazil) 11 points
2. Tim Healy (USA) 13 points
3. Ian Southworth (GB) 15 points
4. Travis Odenbach (USA) 17 points
5. Keith Whittemore (USA) 18 points
6. I. Bonanno (Italy) 27 points
7. Bob Turner (GB) 32 points
8. Blankeneser SC (Ger) 32 points
9. Tony Parker (USA) 38 points
10. Joersfelder SC (Ger) 39 points
For complete information, visit the event website at http://www.hyc.ie/J24worldChampionship2013/.
Lack of wind and strong tides played havoc on day two of the BMW J/24 World Championship at Howth Yacht Club (near Dublin, Ireland), leaving Principal Race Officer David Lovegrove with no alternative but to abandon racing. A 6-knot northwesterly breeze allowed the third race of the series to be started eventually but once the boats rounded the windward mark, the wind dropped away and a north-flowing flood tide meant the entire fleet was left motionless, with no chance of a finish. After a delay of almost three hours, continued windless conditions forced abandonment for the day. With the two races sailed on the first day the only ones to count so far, Keith Whittemore from Seattle still heads the overall rankings by two points from defending champion Mauricio Santa Cruz of Brazil. Racing is expected to resume on Wednesday (28th). For complete event information, click here.