April 3, 2014
The sailing season for the J/24 Class in Germany officially opened with their Frühjahrs-Verbandsregatta, sailed at Hamburger Segel-club on the beautiful Alster Lake. From March 29-30, a great turn-out of 19 J/24s enjoyed a somewhat benign weekend for weather. In moderate winds of 4-9 knots and most glorious, warm spring weather, it was the lightweight crews and light wind specialists who had the advantage. Frank Schönfeldt and his crew from the host Hamburger Segel-club succeeded once again to win the first J/24 regatta in Germany. The HSC Race Committee PRO Lennart Klemp did a good job and made for smooth racing all weekend long. Everyone involved were in high spirits and enjoyed the balmy spring day. Schoenfeldt on GER 5412 scored 11-1-3-2-6 for 12 points net to take the title. Manfred Koening in GER 5467 sailed the most consistent regatta, taking a 4-3-5-3-3 for 13 points net to grab the silver. Then Johann Huhn on GER 5316 placed third with 17 points net. Alice put in a great first regatta, with Stephanie Koeopcke leading her team to fourth overall with a 6-8-4-6-2 scoreline for 18 points net. Rounding out the top five was Langhans Peter on GER 4495 with 22 points net. For more German J/24 class sailing information, visit http://www.j24.de/.
March 22, 2014
Mike Ingham of the USA continued his masterful performance at the J/24 North American Championship in Mexico and secured the title for his Digger team. Sailing with Tim Healy, Enrique Pirez-Cirera, Marianne Schoke and Max Holzer, Ingham totaled just 14 points in nine races. After dropping an eight as his lowest score, Digger was left with near perfect tallies of 1,2,3,1,4,1,1,1. In10-12 knot breeze on Friday, Ingham notched both bullets, leaving him well ahead of the rest of the fleet. The second through fourth positions were separated by only two points: American Tony Parker’s Bangor Packet finished second with 31 points, Ian Ilsley’s Jobbit of Monaco in third with 32, and Mauricio Santa Cruz’s Bruschetta of Brazil in fourth with 33. Ingham is no stranger to sailing in the Riviera Nayarit, having raced now three Copa Mexico’s as well at the 2007 J/24 World Championship. “When this regatta was announced, I didn’t have to look at my calendar. No matter what else was on it, I wouldn’t miss this,” Ingham said. He noted that although he has personally sailed with each of his teammates, the entire crew had never raced together before this event. He praised the conditions, saying, “I’ve probably sailed 60 days in Mexico, and we’ve never missed a day of racing, and I’ve never worn a spray top. I love the 1:00 p.m. starts, with the thermal every day.” Thirty-seven teams from Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Peru, Sweden and the United States competed. This event is a 2015 Pan American Games country qualifier. Photos may be found on the J/24 Class Facebook page, and complete regatta information may be found at http://j24mex.com/nac2014_copamexico/.
March 21, 2014
American helmsman Mike Ingham has opened up a 10-point advantage going into the final day of competition at the J/24 North American Championship in Mexico. Sailing Digger with Tim Healy (current J/24 World Champion), Enrique Pirez-Cirera, Marianne Schoke and Max Holzer, Ingham absorbed his worst score so far—dropping an 8 in race seven. Digger has totaled just 12 overall points in the seven races, leaving a line of 1,2,3,1,4,1. Former J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz of Brazil with his Bruschetta team is lurking in second place with 22 points. Ian Ilsley’s Jobbit of Monaco and Tony Parker’s Bangor Packet of the USA are also within striking distance. Thirty-seven teams from Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Peru, Sweden and the United States enjoyed another gorgeous day in the Riviera Nayarit. With its typical sunny skies and warm temperatures, breezes again began around 6-8 knots, and Ingham again won the day’s opening race. Fellow American Mark Laura on Baba Louie was positioned in second and Santa Cruz third. Winds grew to 10-12 in the next contest when Mexican Joaquin Bargallo earned the bullet, trailed by Parker and Alex Luiz’s Tango of Brazil. Racing concludes Friday. This event is a 2015 Pan American Games country qualifier. Photos may be found on the J/24 Class Facebook page, and complete regatta information may be found at http://j24mex.com/nac2014_copamexico/.
March 20, 2014
Mike Ingham of the United States continued posting steady scores to maintain his lead on day two of the J/24 North American Championship in Mexico. Sailing Digger, Ingham recorded another first, plus a fourth (which was dropped), leaving the team with only 7 points after five races. Ian Ilsley’s Jobbit of Monaco kept his hold on second place with 11 points, as did Mauricio Santa Cruz’s Bruschetta of Brazil with third place and 14 points. The Riviera Nayarit again greeted competitors with stunning conditions for the 37 teams from Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Peru, Sweden and the United States. With clear skies and warm winds starting off around 6-8 knots, Ingham notched his second win of the event, shadowed by Ilsley and Jeronimo Landauer’s JJONE of Germany. Breezes piped up to 12-14 with gusts to 16 in the next duel, won by sixteen-year-old Brayan Matthew’s Tango Jr. of Brazil. Fellow Brazilian Santa Cruz was runner-up, and American Tony Parker’s Bangor Packet in third. Racing continues through Sunday. This event is a 2015 Pan American Games country qualifier. Photos may be found on the J/24 Class Facebook page, and complete regatta information may be found at http://j24mex.com/nac2014_copamexico/.
March 19, 2014
Mike Ingham of the United States jumped out to the initial advantage on day one of the J/24 North American Championship in Mexico. Sailing Digger with current J/24 World Champion Tim Healy on board, Ingham placed within the top three in each of Tuesday’s three contests (1,2,3) for 6 points thus far. Ian Ilsley’s Jobbit of Monaco is just three points back in second place, and previous J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz of Brazil on Bruschetta is in third with 16 points. Conditions in the gorgeous Riviera Nayarit were beautiful as expected for the 37 competitors from Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Peru, Sweden and the United States. Under blue skies with warm temperatures, winds began around 8-10 knots when Ingham won the opening race. Jeronimo Landauer’s JJONE of Germany followed in second, and Santa Cruz in third. Breezes increased to 10-12 knots with gusts to 14 in the next battle when the USA’s Tony Parker helmed Bangor Packet to first, while Ingham and Ilsley completed the top three. Winds returned to around 8 knots in the day’s final bout. Ilsley snatched the bullet, with Javier Valasquez Robinson’s Trinquete of Mexico in the runner-up spot, and then Ingham. Racing continues through Sunday. This event is a 2015 Pan American Games country qualifier. Photos may be found on the J/24 Class Facebook page, and complete regatta information may be found at http://j24mex.com/nac2014_copamexico/.
Variable wind conditions in the coastal valley of Santiago, Chile led to tough racing at the 2014 South American Games (March 12-17) with Argentina taking seven medals, Brazil five and Chile four across six events. Throughout the week, wind and visibility challenged the sailors. Some days the wind was too light for racing and other days there was too much. Nonetheless a strong race series was completed with the top South American racers taking the honors in the Laser Standard, Laser Radial, J/24, Lightning, Snipe and Sunfish. Brazilian J/24 champion Samuel Albreht, a 2008 Beijing Olympian said, “It was a very good championship, good wind conditions, and a high level of competition.” The J/24s had 10 races with the following standings: 1–Samuel Albrecht (BRA) 20 points, 2–Avermaete Francisco (ARG) 23 points, 3–Robert Vernon (CHI) 31 points. For complete results, click here.
March 7, 2014
In Taranto, the next stage of the Winter Series Championship was very much “spring-like” for the 15 teams that were participating in the weekend’s hard fought races. “Even if the wind was light early in the day, at about 12 o’clock a light south wind would start building offshore allowing the race committee, chaired by PRO Alberico Albano and assisted by Giuseppe Tortorella, to start the races,” explained J/24 Fleet Captain Nino Puglia Soriano. With a relatively short starting line most of the time, the fleet was tight and very aggressive, with many individual recalls and several OCS scores. The Winter Series are now counting nine races with the next event taking place on March 16. So, far the provisional results have Mimmo Bottiglione’s team on ALPHARD leading the series with only 10 points in 9 races. Second is EX JDF owned by Angelo Lombardo and helmed by Stephen Mignini with 20 points. They’re just one point in front of the third place boat, JEBEDEE skippered by Nino Soriano. Fourth is DOCTOR J sailed by Sandro Negro and Sandro Montefusco, and fifth if AMBER. This year’s Italian J/24 Class has welcomed aboard the prestigious international sports utility brand LAND ROVER. They’re thrilled to be part of one of Italy’s leading one-design keelboat brands as it embodies LAND ROVER’s corporate tag-line of “living well leisurely with elegance and style.” For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information, visit http://www.j24.it/web/.
A near-record turn-out of 26 J/24s assembled on Lago San Roque for the annual “Central Republic Championship.” Club Nauticos Cordoba played host for the event and ensured all teams from every fleet in Argentina, including one team from New Jersey (USA), enjoyed themselves despite the less than stellar weather conditions. While the sailing on this gorgeous Andean lake can be stunningly beautiful, this year’s event was affected by a massive low that came sweeping across the southern tip of South America. While the weather may have dampened the racing, the spirits were running high! The racing was quite a see-saw battle for the top of the fleet. Literally every boat had at least one or more double-digit finishes in their scoreline to have to consider as part of their overall tactics and strategy. As an illustration of fleet depth, there was a different winner for every race. And, the top two boats could only manage top five finishes in four of the seven total races. Tough sledding for all and some wild “chutes & ladders” scorelines were posted by many of the teams. Despite the drizzle, clouds and lightish winds, the PRO managed to fire-off three races on the first day. The leaders after the close of racing Saturday were Team BWANA, followed by RINA and INDIGO. Sunday’s racing was less promising. The fleet managed to squeeze in two races, but at 1430 hrs, the weather conditions forced the suspension of the third race due to the minimal winds and persistent rain. The two races that were sailed had southerly breeze of 4-6 knots, gusting to 8 knots at times. While a typical direction for Lago San Roque, the winds were remarkably shifty, swinging quite dramatically at least 15-20 degrees on every leg. After five races had been sailed, the Mar del Plata crew on MENDIETA (with Francisco Van Adermaete on the helm) held onto a slim lead. In second was local sailor Ezequiel Despontin (Córdoba Yacht Club) sailing INDIGO. In third place was OJOTA with Sebastian Halpern Mendoza skippering. Perhaps most surprising was to see Argentinean J/24 champion Nicholas Cubría (from Yacht Club Olivos) sailing RINA to fourth place. The final day of racing dawned with rain and very little wind and a “mini-borneo” breeze coming down from the mountains. Ultimately, the mountains warmed up enough to create the standard “adabatic breezes,” and the southerly filled in enough to get off two races. The regatta lead came down to a duel between MENDIETA and INDIGO. By getting a first in the sixth race, INDIGO was sitting atop the podium, while MENDIETA scored a third to slip into second overall. However, like the proverbial “phoenix arising from the ashes,” the MENDIETA crew rose to the occasion and won the last race, sufficient to beat INDIGO on a tie-breaker. Third for the regatta as JALMANSO, fourth was BWANA and fifth was Cubria’s RINA. Club Nautico Cordoba hosted an incredibly popular awards ceremony. In fact, the awards were “delicious,” to say the least, and were consumed nearly immediately. All J/24 teams received a box of Cordoban Malbec wine (six bottles in each box). There were also prizes for the “Best Dressed” and a special prize for Ezekiel Despontin’s INDIGO team—two boxes of Mendoza wines with their name on the labels. For more Argentine J/24 Class sailing information, visit http://j24arg.blogspot.com/.
March 4, 2014
The J/24 Class in Argentina has started the Sailor’s Cup Regatta on Lago San Roque. It’s a spectacular time of year to be sailing in the Andes Mountains and the setting could not be more idyllic than the one for Club Nautico Cordoba along the lake. For this year’s regatta (a two weekend affair), it’s noteworthy that 13 boats are participating from across Argentina, including crews from Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata, Mendoza and Salta. The regatta is also considered part of the overall points series for the “Campeonato Centro del Republica” (the Central Championship for the middle of Argentina)—and at least 25 teams are participating in the overall series, a much higher participation rate than achieved in 2013. For last weekend, the first round of the championship, the winner was the Mendoza fleet J/24 team on OJOTA, led by skipper Sebastián Halpern. Second was Team INDIGO led by Despontin Ezekiel, last year’s winner. The regatta has become a classic on the J/24 Argentine regatta circuit, the third time at the Club Nautico de Córdoba. It is an event notable for its warm, wonderful atmosphere sailing on the lake—a moment of relaxation for all crews where they enjoyed something to eat, and drinking delicious malbec red wines from the Mendoza district. With moderate winds and wind shifts, it was good, solid tactics that were the key elements to keeping the top spots. The final results were OJOTA in first, INDIGO second, ON-LINE third, KANZA fourth and MATANGA fifth. This marks the start of the annual ranking that’s part of the Campeonato Centro Del Republica. For the next event, up to two dozen boats along with a crew from the USA are expected. The J/24 Fleet Córdoba thanks the sponsors that support and enable the realization of this championship again in 2014. For more J/24 Argentina sailing information, visit http://j24arg.blogspot.com/.
February 21, 2014
Over this past weekend, the large fleet of J/24s sailing on Valle de Bravo enjoyed a nice weekend of sailing in the Triple Scappino Cup. For many in the 18 boat fleet, it served as a warm-up and training program for their crews as the focus on the J/24 North Americans being held in the middle of March in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Club Náutico Valle de Bravo hosted and organized the Triple Cup Scappino. They were blessed with decent weather conditions on the lake with winds between 6-7 knots, gusting 10-14 knots for most of the weekend. Taking the overall win was TEAM S, with skipper Kenneth Porter and crew of Kenneth Porter Jr., Gerrit Gentry, Luis Vázquez Mota and Luis Vázquez Mota Jr. Giving them strong competition both days was the second place team on TA’LENTO, helmed by Luis Alvarez and sailing with his mostly family crew of Sharon Alvarez, Patricio Alvarez, Walter Porter and Andrew Alvarado. Taking the last spot on the podium was TRINQUETTE sailed by Javier Velásquez, Mirsha Herrera, Emigdio Jimenez, Genaro Ozuna and Infanzón Ramirez. For more Mexican J/24 sailing information, visit http://www.j24mex.com/.
February 3, 2014
Once again the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse confirmed its reputation as a top class event, with variable conditions throughout the three days proving difficult for some, while others appeared to make light of the elements to produce convincing victories. A great start to the season at this first big winter regatta. With a total of eight races, of which seven counted, for the one-designs competing in the first weekend (including the J/24s), competitors had plenty of opportunities to rediscover their reflex actions, sail trimming skills and get the feel of the helm again. The J/24 fleet had 21 registered and 8 nationalities—England, Greece, Monaco, Germany, Sweden, Italy, USA and Holland. The consistency of Evniki from Greece, helmed by Dimitrios Altisiadis, earned the victory after a tight duel. “We are very pleased to be here. This is our second participation at the Primo Cup, and it’s really our favorite regatta,” said the Greek skipper. After a few technical problems (broken pole) during the first day, four-time European Champion Ian Southworth (Il Riccio) placed second, and YCM member Ian Ilsley (St Andrews Securities), European vice-champion 2013, came in third. Also competing in this class were two teams from the Manhattan Yacht Club to take on the best European sailors, with their Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh, who sailed with Mathieu and Nicolas Bouchet, two young sailors of the YCM’s Sports Division, who race at a high level in 470s and Lasers. The first three in each series were presented with the Trophée Credit Suisse and SLAM Advanced Technology Sportswear by Alain Ucari (CEO of Credit Suisse Monaco) and Italian actor Ezio Greggio, surrounded by members of the Yacht Club’s steering committee. For complete information, visit www.ycm.org.
February 2, 2014
Billed as Barbados’ Ultimate Sailing Challenge, the new format Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series was deemed a huge success; it incorporated a series of coastal races as well as the iconic Mount Gay Round Barbados Race, and a final 300-mile sprint to Antigua to tie-up with the Superyacht Cup. Organized by the Barbados Cruising Club in association with the Barbados Tourism Authority and Mount Gay, this annual event (January 15-24), played its part in kick-starting the Caribbean racing season. With nearly 50 boats from all around the world (Great Britain, USA, Canada and New Zealand plus a strong Caribbean contingent from BVI, St Lucia, Antigua, Barbados) close competition prevailed throughout the week. One of the strongest classes was the J/24 with 10 boats racing neck and neck throughout the series. Big winds and big seas really put crews through their paces but the impressive standard of sailing, made it extremely spectator-friendly. In the final race of the series, on a marathon of a leg along the south coast, it was leaders Ian Mayers and team on Banks Esperanza who pulled ahead and led the fleet across the line at the finish, which was enough to secure an overall series win with 13 points. In second place overall was Neil Burke on Impulse, while Team Hawkeye placed third. Mayers commented on his overall, “We had a worrying long last run in the final race because of our broken boom. It failed just before the windward mark and it was a marathon of a run. However, we did it and held our position to the finish. The racing throughout the series was great and extremely competitive so we hope to encourage more J/24s from other islands next year. If we could have a charter fleet for the best sailors from American and Europe to use in the future, too, that would be amazing!” For complete regatta information, visit http://www.mountgayrumroundbarbadosrace.com/.
January 18, 2014
This year’s J/24 Australian Nationals were sailed on the fabulous Sydney Harbour and the teamwork at the host club, Royal Prince Edward YC, was nothing short of amazing. Though the fleet had 13 teams participating, the depth of talent was huge and great skippers were back in the pack. Midway through the regatta, Ben Lamb, Dave Suda and Steve Girdis all had a mathematical chance of winning the regatta. It was incredibly close racing all the way until the end. In fact, big changes could (and did) happen on the final day of racing in the middle of the pack where just 6 points separated six places! In this group, Rolex Sydney-Hobart winning tactician Sean Kirkjian, Vlad (Singapore), Doug Watson, J Spot, Ron Thompson, Dave West, are all great skippers and would be treated to a “roller-coaster” ride of ups & downs all the way to the end. Steve Girdis sailing CONVICTS REVENGE was crowned the Australian 2014 J/24 National Champion in an ultra-tight battle in the last two races, winning by just one point as a result of winning the last race! It was not an easy title to come by. It was consistent sailing that ultimately won the day for the CONVICTS, posting a 3-3-3-6-2-3-1-2-4-1 scoreline for 23 points net. Early regatta leaders, Ben Lamb’s KAOTIC won four of the first six races but in races 7, 8, 9 they posted a 6-5-10 and basically had to win the last race to gain the title. Girdis’s CONVICTS won the finale in the Australian J/24 fleet. Dave Suda’s gangsters on PACEMAKER were lying second after eight races with a very consistent scoreline of 1-4-2-4-4-2-3-1. But PACEMAKER’s 5-7 in races 9 & 10 dropped them into third overall, taking the bronze. Rounding out the top five were BY THE LEE and Kirkjian’s SAIL PAC in 4th & 5th, respectively. For more J/24 Australian Nationals sailing information, http://www.j24.com.au/.
January 11, 2014
The 13 teams sailing the Peruvean J/24 National Championship for the “Copa Jose Barreda Moller” were pretty much given a “clinic” in how to sail J/24s fast by their past champion, Luis Olcese, sailing Scaramouch. Tossing a fifth and counting five firsts amongst their scoreline in a best of nine races, the Scaramouch team demonstrated why they remain the leading Peruvian team on the world stage. Racing took place for two successive weekends off La Punta-November 30/December 1 and December 7-8. The rest of the fleet had quite a battle for the balance of the podium. In fact, four boats were vying for contention over the two weekends, including Tania Zimmerman’s Jitana, Daniel Mendoza’s Wayra, Lucas Pescherria’s Tiamat and Javier Arribas’s Hawky. Seemingly, none of the four teams could keep themselves out of trouble, either having to toss an OCS or DSQ or overcoming bad starts/tactics to try to stay in the hunt. As is often the case in such tight four-way skirmishes, the last race determines the outcome. By virtue of winning the eighth, and second to last race, Zimmerman’s Jitana held onto a slim lead for second overall over Mendoza’s Wayra. Despite an eighth in the last race (her toss race), Jitana hung on to take the silver by one point over Mendoza. Had Mendoza finished second or better in the last race, he would’ve taken the tie-breaker, that’s how close the finale was for these teams. Pescherria’s Tiamat was involved in several protests but managed to fend off Arribas’s team on Hawky to take fourth by just four points after the nine races (eight counting). Spirited racing continues in this fun-loving J/24 fleet in Peru and it was clear the teams enjoyed some of the nice sunny conditions with warm breezes during the event. For more Peru J/24 Nationals sailing information, visit http://www.j24peru.org/web/.
December 7, 2013
Dave Suda’s team on their new J/24 foiler Pacemaker retained the NSW State Title for 2013 in a “lightning-plagued” series on Sydney Harbor over the weekend. Saturday’s racing was severely curtailed by some of Sydney’s biggest lightning storms ever seen. Plus, lots of rain and lack of wind and constant direction changes meant only two races were held towards the end of the day on Saturday in pretty nice but light conditions. Sunday was a “glam day” with a 10–16 kts SE breeze and plenty of sunshine. Four races were held by the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club RC team to give a thrilling climax to the weekend. Here’s Simon Grain’s report: “Sunday’s racing was close and hard fought from the get go with Sean Kirkjian taking a first on the Saturday and now already fighting for the championship with Dave Suda. Both Kirkjian and Suda were on equal points after Saturday’s racing, however, both were behind Ron Thompson who had a first and a third going into Sunday. This year’s fleet was smaller at a round dozen boats but the depth of the field was strong, with NSW stalwarts John Crawford, Dave West, Chris Lee and Arthur Crothers all on the water. From Victoria were Dave Suda, Ron Thompson and Simon Grain steering Arthur’s Kaotic. Doug Watson from SA was also there in El Fideldo. Also rounding out the fleet were Starpac, Nokomis and Brett Hudson crewing for Jeanette Thompson on his own boat Wildfire. A perfect breeze prevailed during Sunday as we raced across the harbor avoiding each other (most of the time), TP52s, ferries and everyone else on the harbor that day. Banging corners didn’t seem to work as well this year as there were considerable wind bends and lifts in the middle of the course. Arthur Crothers turned 70 and was presented with a wicked chocolate cake, Nokomis swam a crew member in one race and Kicking Bottom prepared to call “starboard” on a seaplane—yes, those were just a few of the usual oddities in this regatta! As the day progressed, it became clear that the regatta might just go back to Dave Suda from Victoria, and he and Sean had a personal battle in the last race to decide the honors. In the end, Dave retained the crown and Sean came second on a count back from an amazing performance from Ron in KB. Ron also took out the Thommo Cup from Jeanette on Wildfire, although as a consolation she won the handicap section. Once again the RPEYC venue excelled with sunny skies above the lawn at the waterfront of the club when it counted and lightning shows when it didn’t. Friendly staff and capable race management meant we were happy both on and off the water. Commodore Sean once again amazingly ran the club (thanks to all the volunteers and staff), the class team (thanks to Paula and Tim) ran the crew ferry and still came second. Now is the time to think about a trip to Royal Prince Edwards, as the 2014 Nationals will also be held here in January 4–9. If you want a great place to sail, a great place to relax in between racing, then RPEYC is your summer regatta of choice.” For more J/24 NSW Championship sailing information in Sydney Harbor, visit http://www.j24.com.au/.