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/.
This year, as always, the seventh and final stage of the Italian J/24 National Circuit concluded with the 39th Winter Championship Interlaghi Vela, sailing for the Credito Valtellina Trofeo. It was a tough J/24 circuit to win since the level of competition was very high across Italy in all the major events that comprised the championship this year. The Italian J/24 circuit kicked-off with the three classic events (Primo Cup in Montecarlo, Pasquavela in Porto Santo Stefano and the Trofeo Academia Navale off Livorno). These events were followed by the Italian J/24 Nationals in Anzio, then the Italian Cup in Marina di Carrara, the regatta in Circolo Nautico Cervia sailed in Cervia and ending with the Interlaghi in Lecco. Once again crowned Italian J/24 season champion was Pietro Diamante sailing Jamaica from CN Marina Carrara. “2013 was a very busy season for Jamaica, during which we participated in six of the seven regattas of the J/24 National Circuit J24,” said Diamante. “We are very pleased with this result and we want to thank our local sponsors for their contributions that have led to this success. During the six regattas, we all took turns sailing the boat; including my brother Giuseppe, Gianluca Caridi, Fabrizio Ginesi, Giuseppe Garofalo, Paolo Governato, Enrico Alfarano and Nicola Bocci. Thanks to all of them for being such a great team to sail together with all season long!” Perhaps most importantly, this win was made even sweeter as Diamanti was also the top boat as “owner/ skipper” for the season. Taking second overall was Djke owned by Marco Vincenti and skippered by Fabio Delicati. A newcomer to the fleet managed to sneak inside one of Italy’s top J/24 teams (past Italian and European Champions, no less). Taking that honor as the third boat on the podium was Ottobe Rosso owned by Nicola Giovannini and helmed by Lorenzo Carola. Fourth was top Italian team on the famous La Superba, owned by Marina Militare and skippered by the well-regarded Ignazio Bonnano from Livorno. Rounding out the top five was the second place finisher in the “owner/skipper” category, Joc sailed by Fabio Appollonio. For more Italian J/24 Championship circuit sailing information, visit http://www.j24.it/web/index.php.
November 29, 2013
Alexander Finsterbusch shared the following summary from the J/24 South American Championship: On Tuesday, November 19, we started with equipment inspection, finishing all 23 boats as scheduled on Thursday the 21st at 18:00 hours. Same day at 14:00 hours, the practice race was started but with only 11 boats at the starting line. At 18:00, we had the opening ceremony with all crews present from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina.
Flags were lifted followed by a few words from the Authorities. On the 22nd, we had the skippers meeting at 10 hours, and we went off to the water for the first day of racing. Racing started as scheduled at 12 hours with a few general recalls and a black flag. Wind was steady from the North. On that day, the Race Committee could finish all three races with a target time of 75 minutes, winds starting with 6-8 knots and finishing the day with 12-14 knots. Course had to be reset a few times due to the change in wind intensity. On the 23rd, staring time was set at 11 hours and the RC was right on schedule, but the first race had to be abandoned because at the windward mark boats started to hit the ground, so the course had to be moved south and the wind intensity dropped so racing was postponed for 2 hours. After the wind shifted from North to East and the intensity climbed, racing resumed.
The RC was able to finish two races with intensity climbing from 6 to 15 knots. On the 24th, again the shallow water conditions forced the RC to move the course south and wind did not want to set till 13:30 when the first race was started with approximately 10 knots. Second race again had to wait for the wind to set due to big wind shifts but finally the second race could be completed (wind mainly blowing from the NE-E.) Last day of racing, all two races could be finished before 16 hours so as to complete the schedule of 9 races. Shifting winds and intensity variations made it hard on the sailors and RC. At 18:00 we had the price giving ceremony where Argentina’s Matias Pereira was crowned the victor with 21 points. Robert Vernon’s Joyita of Chile was second with 31 points, and Matias Seguel’s Volvo (also of Chile) placed third with 37 points. For complete results, click here.
2013 South American Championship Videos:
Measuring and Practice Race: Practice YouTube Video
Day 1: Day 1 YouTube Video
Day 2: Day 2 YouTube Video
Day 3: Day 3 YouTube Video
Day 4: Day 4 YouTube Video
November 28, 2013
Taking place over the past weekend and celebrating “la revolucion” were a fleet of 13 J/24s competing for “la Copa TelCel La Pena.” The Club de Vela la Peña was an excellent host and conducted a marvelous regatta over the two-day weekend event. Both Saturday and Sunday saw steady winds of 8-12 kts, with gusts up to 14 kts. As a result, the CVLP RC was able to run the full slate of five races, much to the delight of all the sailors. The fleet was treated to a “superman-like” performance from Team “S,” led by their magnificent capitano, Kenneth Porter. Taking four firsts in five races meant they could count a DNC and still win the regatta. For the rest of the competitors, it was anything but easy. The balance of the top five basically saw four boats quite literally tied for second place. Everything was determined for this group on the last leg of the fifth and final race. Emerging was Manuel Benitez sailing Zorro into second place by taking third in the last race. Third to fifth (just two points back) was determined on a three-way tie-breaker at 25 points each. Taking the “lucky break” was Jorge Murrieta’s Tres Dolores team to snag the bronze for the regatta. Ralph Nelles on Super Machos took fourth and Luis Morales on Orion completed the top five. In the end, it was great racing, very tight for this group and lots of fun at the CVLP’s bar afterwards. For more J/24 Mexico sailing information, visit http://www.j24mex.com/.
November 26, 2013
What could be more of a surprise than to have a “local” win the Brazilian J/24s Nationals and to have a “foreigner” becoming a “spoiler” to the party?? Well, that’s exactly what happened in this year’s edition of the J/24 Brazilian National Championship. With a great crew, the Creole VDS team, led by Samuel Albrecht, was the winner of the 2013 Brazilian Championship off Porto Alegre. In second place were the Uruguayan’s Panther team, skippered by Diego Garcia from Punta Del Este. Third was Bruschette sailed by J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil. “It was a sensational championship, things were happening that were favorable to us. We tried to sail without pressure, without getting anxious and doing little risk. It was fun,” said Renato Plass. It’s also interesting to note this team will represent Brazil in the sailing competition in the South American Games in March 2014 in Chile. The Uruguayan team (that sailed very well in strong winds) left satisfied by the result obtained in Porto Alegre. “The regatta was very good, with great races, and it is always good to compete here,” said the captain Diego Garcia. For more J/24 Brazilian Championship information, click here.
November 9, 2013
As one of their last events in the fall sailing season, the Irish J/24 fleet convened off Limerick, Ireland to compete for the Estuary’s most historic prize—the “Rinevella Plate.” Adrian O’Connell, Racing Captain at the host Royal Western Yacht Club, says “that piece and its relevance to sailors in Ireland is steeped in enormous amounts of history.” First won in 1832 by the Knight of Glin, the coveted Rinevella Plate has become a much sought-after prize amongst the sailing community on the West Coast of Ireland, and its pride of place remains at the County Limerick Castle. Like many years before, the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland hosted the October series to determine the winner of the priceless Plate cast in Limerick silver. More importantly, the competition lived up to its history and its roots. The “Django Hyundai Ireland” J/24 team sailed their yacht for the Rinevella Plate and took the overall title this year after winning the IRC Class 1 over the series of six races. Crewed by Martin MacNamara, Thomas Whelan, Andrew Carey, Charlie Glynn and Diarmuid Whelan, the 2013 winners said they were honored to take the title amongst stiff competition. Limerick boats from Foynes YC, together with Disaray sailing out of Tralee Bay Sailing Club, and Kilrush-based yachts made up the tough competition to decide the winners of this year’s historic plate regatta.
October 28, 2013
October 16, 2013
A record turnout with 67 boats, 11 nations and a top-level playing field sums up the 2013 J/24 European Championship (October 6-12) hosted for the second time by the Yacht Club de Monaco, 20 years after it organized the first edition, with the invaluable support of Stuart Jardine, a legend on the sailing scene in England and the J/24 Class. An international Race Committee presided by Englishman John Coveney fired the gun on eight hard-fought races over the four days, in east to south-westerly wind conditions ranging from 5 to 30 knots. It was a tactical as well as physically challenging championship for the 335 sailors, who had to cope with varied conditions, complicated by the Ligurian current, not counting practice races and a succession of starts. Faced with a compact fleet it was difficult to leave the pack of 67 J/24s rounding the mark and one had to fight for a place on the starting line to be sure of clean wind. With courses averaging five nautical miles and taking less than an hour, the competition was intense, with less than 10 minutes separating the first from the last in each race. The slightest error proved costly, as it did for North American champion Michael Ingham (Julia), still in with a podium finish after the second day who then found himself 17th in the overall ranking after a premature start in the eighth race. Another favorite, the Greek Dimitris Altsiadis (Evniki), winner of the Primo Cup in 2013, who with two wins clinched 5th place behind the Italian Ignacio Bonanno (La Superba). Of note was the German armada, there in force with 20 J/24s but only able to get their best boat into 10th position behind the Monegasque Topo Too crewed by Blandine Medecin and the Rodelato brothers. In the end, it was Englishman Ian Southworth, triple European Champion, who lifted his fourth title with Chris MacLaughlin (Il Riccio). Despite not winning a race, they were impressively consistent and always in the top six. Second place went to another favorite, quadruple world champion Mauricio Santacruz (Bruschetta), second in the last World Championship held in Ireland in August 2013. Surprised by the level and high quality of the playing field, he won one race in style, leading from start to finish and widening the gap to put him well ahead of his competitors in the fifth race. But the title of European vice-champion did not go to the Brazilian Mauricio Santacruz, but the Monegasque St Andrews, helmed by Ian Ilsley with François Brenac on tactics who pulled off a coup by coming third, just three points shy of the Brazilian. “This is the culmination of a year’s hard work. We made the trip to the World Championship in Ireland in August to prepare for this one and hone our boat. Our efforts have paid off and the contract is largely fulfilled, beyond our expectations as we had set our sights on finishing in the top ten,” comments Ian Ilsley, for whom the next meeting is the Primo Cup (31 Jan/2 Feb & 7/9 Feb 2014) then the North American Championship in Mexico in March 2014. For complete results, visithttp://www.j24ycm.org/images/results/final_ranking.pdf.
Final ranking (8 races, 7 counted)
1st Chris MacLaughlin (Il Riccio), GB – 23 points
2nd Mauricio Santacruz (Bruschetta), BRA – 49 points
3rd Ian Ilsley (St Andrews Securities), MON – 51 points
4th Ignacio Bonanno (La Superba), ITA – 66 points
5th Dimitris Altsiadis (Evniki), GRE – 78 points
October 12, 2013
This year’s J/24 Buenos Aires Race Week was hosted by the famous YC Argentino. Sailing was close for the top three contenders, and the fleet was blessed with gorgeous sailing conditions on the Rio de la Plata, sailed just offshore in front of the metropolis of Buenos Aires. By winning the first three races in a row, everyone apparently concluded that Matias Pereira and crew on Carrera were simply a “runaway” and could never be caught. So, the rest of the fleet resigned themselves to racing for the remaining podium spots. However, in their last two races they post two sixths to nearly lose the regatta to Francisco Van Avermaete on Mendieta. To their credit, Mendieta sailed a steady series with all finishes scored in the top three. Both boats tied on points with 9 apiece, with Carrera crowned as BARW champion due to their three firsts. Behind the top two boats was another close battle for five boats in all. After the dust settled, it was Alejo Rigoni’s Chucha No Soy McCenroe taking the third spot on the podium with 13 points. Fourth was Nicolas Cubria’s Rina with 16 points. Fifth was Sergio Pendola’s Cacique with 18 points, beating Pedro Garra’s Extasis on a tie-breaker. And seventh in this group was Fernando Montes’s Cocoon with 19 points. For more J/24 Buenos Aires Race Week sailing information, visit http://www.semanadebuenosaires.org.ar/.