March 18, 2015
What a day the first day of Banderas Bay Regatta XXIII was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Winds began okay, then they got light, and for those who stuck it out, it got windy again at the end. The second day of BBR brought more wind, and the PRO decided almost everyone needed a sightseeing tour of Puerto Vallarta and all of Banderas Bay. All classes, except two, headed to the Puerto Vallarta Sea Buoy, enjoying winds that diminished a little on the PV side, but definitely didn’t disappoint on the Nuevo Vallarta side of the course. Absolutely beautiful winds and fantastic racing from start to finish. In Performance Class B, the runaway winner was the J/24 JUGGS sailed by Ken Yachehcak. For more Banderas Bay sailing regatta information, visit http://www.banderasbayregatta.com/.
February 21, 2015
The premier lady skippers race on Port Phillip Bay Melbourne Victoria is the Jennifer Goldsmith Memorial Trophy regatta – this year swept by J/24 teams! In memory of Jennifer, a keen sailor, all the entry fees were donated to Melanoma skin cancer research. In its 24th year, the JGMT attracts Melbourne’s best female sailors from all the major keelboat clubs in the bay. This year the race began in very light, sunny 34 degree (93.3 degrees Fahrenheit) conditions, which quickly changed with the arrival of a southerly breeze reaching 12 knots, on what was a beautiful day for sailing. Amongst a fleet of 30, the boat size ranged from 44 footers to the smallest—two J/24s. Despite their disadvantage in size, the J’s had crew members who had competed at the highest level with both boats representing Australia in the J/24 Worlds in Sweden in 2011 and Bruschetta VI also in the Dennis Conner International Yacht Club Challenge (New York 2014). HYPERACTIVE, skippered by Kirsty Harris with her all female crew, and BRUSCHETTA VI, skippered by Paulina Matilla with her male crew, excelled in the light conditions. By picking the wind shifts and changes in the freshening breeze, this resulted in both being in the top 10 boats over the finish line. HYPERACTIVE, who had an AMS rating, won the AMS division. However, the overall award was won by BRUSCHETTA VI with HYPERACTIVE second. Paulina Matilla was awarded the Jennifer Goldsmith Memorial perpetual trophy and a beautiful Tiffany & Co necklace. Paulina, who lives and sails in Finland, is currently working in Australia. The J/24s excelled against the competition, taking the major and divisional trophies. The Class has a strong local fleet of 20 active boats with the current and past Australian Champions amongst it. The J/24 has experienced a strong following in Australia and with results like these, it will only encourage more to take up J sailing! For more Australian J/24 sailing information, visit http://j24.com.au/.
February 9, 2015
Grenada Sailing Week lasts for seven days. With teams from the USA, United Kingdom, France, Austria, Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia, Trinidad and Grenada, the sailors had more than their fair share of fun. In addition to the CSA handicap keelboats, seven J/24 one-designs sailed their own course literally right off the beach. Robbie Yearwood’s DIE HARD/ISLAND WATER WORLD (the regatta sponsor) schooled his colleagues in J/24 racing, compiling six firsts, six seconds, three thirds and two fourths in a 17-race series. Next on the podium was Stephen Bushe’s AMBUSHE, and third was Fred Sweeney’s ATTITUDE. For more Grenada Sailing Week sailing information, visit http://grenadasailingweek.com/.
January 23, 2015
Despite generally light airs with winds reaching no more than 15 knots, three teams have won their skipper’s weight in rum for breaking records in the 79th Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race. Team College Funds skippered by Laser sailor Jason Tindale were noted for their impressive performance. They managed to break through to the lead the fleet at North Point by sailing closer to the shore, and finished third over the line. They also broke the J/24 record with a time of 9hrs, 06mins, 38secs. Tindale commenting on the team’s performance said: “We had a fantastic day and are delighted to have done so well. It didn’t look good at the start in just 4 knots of breeze. It took an hour to sail two-and-a-half nautical miles. Thankfully the breeze filled up to 14 knots, and the crew worked well to get everything together. A good tactical manoeuvre at North point by sailing further inshore gave us an advantage over a couple of boats who sailed out further. It is always a bit rough the Point. It was lumpy and very uncomfortable in the J/24, but we made it. We had a bit of a tough time steering down the top part of the east coast with the kite up for four hours, but once we were round East Point the situation improved and it was a fun ride home.” Full results are available at https://app.regattaguru.com/bcc/100086/results.
January 20, 2015
The concluding races of the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Coastal Series took place Monday. Although the conditions were unusually light and fluky, the racing was intense in all classes with most fighting it out for overall honors right to the bitter end. The only exception was the J/24 class, which saw Robert Povey and his local hotshot team on Hawkeye walk away with the winning title with a race to spare. Interestingly, Team Hawkeye, who went into the final day’s racing with an impressive 1,1,1,2,2,2 scoreline, had a disastrous day. They were slow off the start at the pin-end in the first race, and found themselves stuck on the wrong side of the beat. They ended that race in eighth place, while Neil Burke and team on Republic Bank Impulse pulled through early leaders Robbie Yearwood and team on Die Hard to finish first. Die Hard was second. The start of the second J/24 race of the day, in extremely light airs, produced the first individual recalls of the series, one of which was Hawkeye. She retired while the rest of the fleet struggled round the course. The race to decide second overall became intense, but it was the team on College Funds who managed to sail well in the light airs to score their second win of the series. Chatting about his overall win and the change of tempo in Monday’s racing, Povey commented, “We are absolutely delighted, particularly at not having to sail the last race, which turned out to be long and windless. In the first race, we had a poor start and decided to head right where we thought the pressure would come in. Everyone who went left was on a headed course and was also in down pressure. We thought we had made a great decision, but those on the inside got a huge left shift. It was a gamble and we lost, and there were no real passing lanes from there on. We also softened the rig in that race but we couldn’t point so well, which didn’t help matters.” Full results are available at https://app.regattaguru.com/bcc/100086/results.
January 17, 2015
‘When you have got it, flaunt it’ and that’s just what ‘The Black Prince of Sandringham’ in Pacemaker did in the last race of the J/24 Australian Nationals. With the series win in the bag after two wins on the final morning, they were spectators at the last start, watching the fleet sail off while they cruised home to early celebratory drinks. Read the spirited day-by-day reports at http://j24.com.au/.
The proposed 2015 J/24 Class Rules are currently being reviewed by ISAF. Pending their approval, the updated Rules’ effective date is to be determined, but will be no earlier than April 1, 2015. You can review the International J/24 Class Rules ISAF Submission Version at http://www.j24class.org/rules-regulations/class-rules/.
January 15, 2015
The J/24 Class, and all who knew him, lost a great friend. Lambert Lai passed away on December 30, 2014. Lambert began his love for sailing and the sea in his native Hawaii as a young man. He arrived in upstate New York after his service to our country as an Army Medic in Vietnam. He finished his schooling and became a Physician’s Assistant. He joined Sodus Bay Yacht Club and became an active participant in racing J/24s. He later joined Rochester Yacht Club and purchased his current J/24, Dr. Feel Good, which he campaigned in District 7 and along the East Coast. He sailed in all major regattas including two J/24 World Championships, three North Americans, several Midwinters and Charleston Race Week. He campaigned his boat in all District 7 events. Lambert was also a friend to big boat sailing, never missing a chance to help out others. Lambert also served on Race Committees for many events including women’s match racing, frostbiting and several other regattas. He served as the President of the US J/24 Class, and represented Rochester Yacht Club as organizer of the 2012 J/24 Worlds as well as many other regattas. Lambert has won many sailing awards over the years, but his commitment to District 7, the J/24 Class, to sailing, and to his many friends was the gift he gave to us. A stranger to Lambert was just a friend he had never met. Lambert leaves behind his lovely and dedicated wife of 31 years, Lynne Lai. We will all miss him dearly. Aloha, Buddy! (Submitted by Jack DePeters and David Stoller)
December 19, 2014
Over the past few weeks, the Argentina J/24 Class was hosting two major regattas on the Rio del Plata, hosted by Club Nautico Olivos. The first regatta was the J/24 Argentine Nationals, and the second was the Pan Am Qualifiers in J/24s for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Nationals took place over two weekends, starting on November 22-23 and concluding on November 29-30. The regatta saw 15 teams participating. Teams showed up from the Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Cordoba, Mendoza and Mar del Plata J/24 fleets. After three days of racing, very light winds marred the first weekend of sailing, and the CNO PRO managing to get in just three races. The following weekend, the CNO PRO Ernesto Lupi managed to squeeze in three more races in reasonable breezes on Saturday, thanks to their early start at 1100 hours. In the end, the team on CARRERA, skippered by Matias Pereira with crew of Augusto Rossi, Roberto Bellinoto & Federico Ambrus managed to hold onto their lead from the first weekend to take the championship by just one point. Sailing in the Nationals for the first time, Rodrigo Benedetto and his team of Alejandro Giralt, Augusto Bassanetti, Hernan Suarez & Sebastian Peri Brusa took second place by winning two of the six races. The LUCA VIVES team of Alejo Rigone, Gustavo Gonzalez, Joaquin Suarte Argerich, Fernando Gwodwz & Matias Maffioli took third place on a tie-breaker. Rounding out the top five were Santiago Doval in fourth and Chiqui Figueroa in fifth. The Argentina selection qualifiers for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games took place this past weekend. The most significant difference for the Pan Am qualifiers versus the Nationals is that the boats sailed with 100% jibs only, and there were only four crew members permitted for each boat. Yet again, Matias Pereira’s crew on CARRERA (Federico Ambrus, Guillermo Bellinotto & Juan Pereira) sailed like champions to become the Argentina representative in the 2015 Pan Am Games. The three-day selection event was again characterized by unusually light winds. Eight teams participated in the event. The first day saw light 6-8 knot NE winds with remarkably large wind shifts all day. The CNO Race Officer Santiago Sharpin managed to run three races. Yet again, Pereira established an early lead the first day, never to relinquish it until the end of the regatta. The second day saw drizzle, light unstable air from the ESE and reduced visibility to some fogginess. Nevertheless, after postponing sailing until 1340 hrs, the first race started and Aeljo Rigoni’s LUCA VIVE won the first race of the day. Another postponement ensued with the second and last race of the day started at 1640 hrs. Despite the light winds and lousy weather, CARRERA won the fifth race of the series to lengthen their lead over the fleet. Nevertheless, the racing was very tight and close together, with the entire fleet finishing in less than two minutes. The final day of racing on Monday was not much different than the previous two days. Again, the fleet was postponed to a 1315 hrs start time. CARRERA again showed her transom to the fleet, winning race 6, followed by Francisco Van Avermaetre’s MENDIETA and Luis Cerrato’s NORMAII SANDRO. The second race of the day didn’t start until 1430 hrs. It was declared the last race by PRO Santiago Sharpin, enabling Pereira’s crew to take a DNS drop race and still win the championship! After starting slowly, the MENDIETA crew (Van Avermaetre with Rafael de Martis, Carlos Lacchini & Geronimo Galvan) won the last race and secured second place overall. Taking second in the last race and happily getting a bronze was Alejo Rigoni’s crew on LUCA VIVE (Gustavo Gonzalez, Joaquin Duarte & Fernando Gwodwz). For more J/24 Argentina sailing information, visit http://j24arg.blogspot.de/.
December 8, 2014
Family and friends are grieving the death of well-known sailor David Ashton, who passed away on November 21. He was 62. Mr Ashton died from complications following surgery in a Boston hospital. He was a veteran of multiple Newport Bermuda Races, including the 2012 race aboard the Spirit of Bermuda. He was also co-founder of the local J/24 fleet in Bermuda and represented Bermuda at the J/24 World Championships in the United States. In the 1970s, Mr. Ashton owned a boat rental company and also operated a performance keelboat sailing school, using J/24s as the design of choice. More recently, he was a member of the International One Design Class of Bermuda and owner of the IOD sloop, Slingshot. Paul Doughty, a former business partner of Mr. Ashton, described the late sailor as a “reckoning force” in competitive sailing. “He was a very good racing sailor because obviously he earned the right to go the J/24 World Championships,” Mr. Doughty said. “Usually when he skippered a boat, he was fiery and we used to have a saying ‘which one is it today? Is it Sugar Bear or is it Grumpy Bear’ because he was very bear like. David is a great loss to the local community and was always a supporter of any sailing event. My condolences go out to his family.” At the time of his death, Mr. Ashton was joint-owner and manager of Greenbank Guesthouse in Paget. A statement on the guest house’s Facebook page read: “It is with great sadness that the family of David William Ashton announces his passing on November 21, 2014. The Ashton family has owned and managed Greenbank Guesthouse since 1952, and David dedicated his time, love and energy to Greenbank and its guests for over 20 years, along with his wife, Cindy. Many of our guests will remember David sharing the history of the property and of Bermuda, and his passion for his Island home. David will be greatly missed by his family, friends and many of Greenbank’s loyal guests.” Any comments welcome here: https://www.facebook.com/GreenbankGuestHouse.
December 2, 2014
Eight sailing events were part of the Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico on November 23-28. Held every four years, the Games are one of the most important sports events in the Central American and Caribbean Region. There were competitions in 36 sports, 12 of which lead to qualification for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. Taking gold in the J/24 Class were Taylor Canfield, Addison Caproni, Max Nicbarg and Phillip Shannon (ISV). In the silver position were Juan E. Maegli, Eduardo Cabarrus, José X. Castillo and Rodrigo Aguirre (GUA). Efrain Lugo, Melvin Gonzalez, Pablo A. Mendez and Alejandro J. Berrios (PUR) earned the bronze. For complete event information, visit http://veracruz2014.mx/?lang=en.
November 29, 2014
Hosting this year’s Argentine J/24 National Championship is Club Nautico Olives (http://www.nauticoolivos.com.ar/). A high-level fleet has assembled to battle for class honors in Argentina on the Rio de la Plata off Buenos Aires. Fifteen boats are racing and just about all teams that have been winning in their local fleets (Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Cordoba, Mendoza and Mar del Plata) enjoyed the first weekend of the championship. On the first weekend of sailing, the weather had a great effect on race outcomes, with no racing on Saturday, three races in normal conditions on Sunday, and just one race on Monday after a long delay. At this time, with one full weekend of racing left to go, it’s the local Yacht Club Olivos team of Matias Perreira that is leading the fleet with a 1-1-3-4 for 9 points. They are just ahead of the CVB team of Rodrigo Benedetto who have a 5-3-1-1 tally for 10 points. The balance of the top five includes Alejo Rigone in third, Santiago Doval in fourth and Chiqui Figueroa in fifth. With another three days of sailing, these standings could flip-flop quickly. For more Argentina J/24 Championship sailing information, visit http://j24arg.blogspot.com/.
It was yet another epic event run by the Royal Western YC in Poole, England. The J/24s in the United Kingdom always seem to have some drama and fun in their infamous J/24 Autumn Cup. Here’s the report from Nick Triscott aboard JAWBREAKER. Day 1: A blustery, cloudy forecasted weekend set the scene for a dramatic sailing event in Plymouth Sound. Following just one week after the re-scheduled Spring Cup, there was much expectation from the 13 entrants to retain or improve places in the absence of Madeleine, the previous week’s winners. A perfect windward-leeward course was laid inside the breakwater by race officer Neil Dunkley, and genoas were rigged for winds measuring around 14 knots. A hotly contested start showed no immediate leader, but there was no room for errors given the competitive fleet. Correct tactics, including knowledge of the strong spring tide, allowed Nick McDonald’s team (sailing the Spring Cup’s third placed Cacoon) to cross the line first after a hard fought battle. They were followed by the visiting team of Roger Morris of Jolly Roger from Poole. Third place was earned by Adrian Bennett of Skilled Services. With the wind rising, a pre-start incident between guest helm Sophie Pearson of Hitchhiker and local boat Dogs Jorrocks unfortunately led to the retirement of Torpoint stalwart Steve Wassell and his crew from the event after a single race, but the commotion continued throughout race 2. The hot contest to the windward mark provided enough congestion to cause the scraping and even complete missing of the buoy by numerous boats and the placings shuffled as penalty turns were taken. Those able to gybe quickly benefited at once, however, and the second lap lead gained by the underweight team of Skilled Services was enough to see them win through, narrowly before the consistent Roger Morris and his Jolly crew. Nick McDonald’s Cacoon completed the first three, ahead of Plymouth’s Jawbreaker and Hijinks. The now numbering 10 starters lined up once more for Race 3, with the lead changing hands several times before the previous event’s runner up Jawbreaker, coolly helmed as always by David Cooper, surged across the finish ahead of the dependable Cacoon. A strong performance from boat-borrowing father Darryl Conyers, who worked his way out of a McDonald sandwich, earned Illuminator a deserved third place. Despite the innocent faces of most helms, Race 4 quite understandably saw the use of the black flag for the first time in the cup. With overnight places at stake, nerves began to show as advantageous positions were thrown away time and time again. There were no clear leaders until the end of the first beat when Stig McDonald’s Jeli made the best tactical choices given the now incoming tide and wind shifts. They held their lead until the end, narrowly followed by Nick McDonald’s Cacoon and the husband and wife team of Austen and Claire Davies on Jam Too who completed the Plymouth Podium. The unshaken Sophie Pearson of Hitchhiker achieved a very notable fourth, but in a change of fortunes, the winners of the previous two races followed all of the other boats across the line. Day 2: An extra hour’s rest for daylight savings put the sailors in high spirits for the start of day 2, despite the predicted stronger winds and occasional regrets of sangria the night before. After much debate during rigging, three genoas ultimately stood out amongst the jibs as controversial choices in the morning’s borderline wind conditions. At the start of Race 5, there wasn’t much difference in boat performance given the headsail, but gusts in different sections of the course caused some to suffer slightly more than others. Toward the end of the second beat, it felt like genoa conditions, but it was too late because the pirates of Jolly Roger went steaming ahead and looked untouchable. They confidently led home visitor William Pollock of Flying Colours whose team fought hard for their second place and Darryl Conyers’ Illuminator in third. With an all genoa start to the penultimate race, a few boats were squeezed out of their lanes and forced to tack to the centre of the course. The port tackers were shortly followed by previous race winners Jolly Roger, although the far left of the beat proved the more popular choice. Another crowded windward mark (at one point draped in the spinnaker of Skilled Services) left many boats scrambling for clear air in another tight contest, but the early “gybers” once again benefited with the inside line back to the leeward mark at the northern end of Plymouth Sound. At the end of the first run, an inspirational call by ultimate race winner David Cooper allowed the overtaking of four boats to make the first rounding of the leeward mark. A loose cover allowed Jawbreaker to hold onto the lead until the finish, with Jolly Roger, Jeli and Mark Lewers’ Hijinks completing the top four. Throughout the weekend of some of the least forgiving racing seen by the J/24s all year, mistakes by any boat cost dearly. Although the seventh and final two-lap race of the event began smoothly, it was still very challenging given that the race management team said it looked like the closest start of the whole event from their viewpoint on the committee boat. Holding course on starboard at first was favoured by most, but tricky tides inside the breakwater made it easy to over stand when nearer the windward mark. Precise handling on both laps ensured local bastion Adrian Bennett’s second win of the event, followed by Jawbreaker and the most consistent boat of the event and overall winners, Jolly Roger. Our congratulations go to Roger Morris and his outstanding team on Jolly Roger for their efforts throughout the two days; they truly deserve this victory in Plymouth. It is also noteworthy that both the event winners and runners-up Cacoon (Nick McDonald) included father and son duos, which is undoubtedly an optimistic sign of the continuing development of the class in the UK for years to come. Third was David Cooper’s Jawbreaker, fourth Stig McDonald’s JELI, and fifth was Adrian Bennet’s SKILLED SERVICES. Praise must also be given once again to race officer Neil Dunkley who provided seven excellent races and indeed to all of his onboard assistants, mark-layers and the administrative staff of the Royal Western Yacht Club. Full results of the 2014 J/24 Autumn Cup may be found at http://www.halsraceresults.com/crs/crs.aspx?DSKey=1089&SeriesKey=126.
Over the past weekend, the Club Nautico Marinazul hosted the J/24 Mexican National Championship. A strong turn-out of 24 boats participated, enjoying the privilege of sailing eight races in total. Defending champion Kenneth Porter’s “S” managed to repeat their efforts to take home top honors over the excellent fleet at Valle de Bravo. On the first day, the early regatta leader was Juan Maegli’s GOOD VIBES, posting a 1-3-5-9 tally. One point back was Porter’s “S” with a scoreline of 2-8-2-7. And, just behind them was Tito Benitez’s LOS MISERABLES with a 7-7-6-5. The next day saw dramatic changes in the overall top three, if not the top five. Porter’s “S” crew took home a 3-1-1-3 to close out the regatta and take the championship with 19 points net. Behind him, the regatta turned out to be a battle for the balance of the top five. After knocking out a 2-3-2-4, Yon Belausteguigoitia’s CHIMERA grabbed the silver with just 23 points net. Five points back after posting a closing tally of 1-1-5-3-5 was Luis Alvarez’s TA’LENTO, happy to secure the bronze. Rounding out the top five was Maegli’s GOOD VIBES in fourth and Pablo Gutierrez’s DIGGER in fifth place. For more Mexican J/24 Nationals sailing information, visit http://j24mex.com/index.html.
November 17, 2014
Saturday, the last race of the South American Championship was conducted in Peru, whereby BRUSCHETTA (Brazil) was crowned South American Champion with 14 points. Second was SCARAMOUCH (Peru) with 22 points, and third GURU (Chile) with 35 points. The championship began with an average wind of 9 knots on the first official day of racing, and they managed to complete the first two races. BRUSCHETTA jumped out to the lead on day one. With an average wind of 11 knots, three races were held on the second day of racing, and BRUSCHETTA retained her lead. On a wonderful third day of racing with an average wind of 13 knots, competitors made two more races. Applying the first discard, BRUSCHETTA stayed in first with 6 points (SCARAMOUCH was in second with 14 points, GURU in third with 23 points, and close behind WAYRA in fourth with 24 points.) For complete results and photos, visit www.j24southamerican2014.com/web/.