May 17, 2014
The “classic” Easter regatta for Italian J/24 teams has always been the PasquaVela, hosted by Yacht Club Santo Stefano as part of the second stage of the Italian National J/24 series. The traditional rewards are, of course, an Easter tradition – delicious chocolate eggs for all winning crews! Twenty-three J/24 teams attended and managed to sail eight races in four intense days of competition. On the opening day, the weather was perfect and a Mistral between 10-14 knots enabled the smooth running of three races. For the second day of racing, the wind shifted south and a strong southerly wind started blowing over 30 knots, making for a difficult decision for the Race Committee. After initially taking the fleet out onto the bay, hoping the winds and massive seas would subside a bit, the RC’s PRO wisely decided to cancel the scheduled races as things were getting a bit out of control for some boats. With lights winds on the third day, the RC PRO was still able to complete three races sailed. And, for the final day, with winds in the 12 knots region, the PRO managed to squeeze in two final races. For the regatta winners, Ignazio Bonanno and crew on LA SUPERBA, it was a thrilling victory, becoming winners of the regatta for the third year in a row! In fact, LA SUPERBA won on a tie-breaker over the German team EUROPA 2 sailed by Tobias Feuerherdt. LA SUPERBA’s 1-2-5-3-1-4-1-2 scoreline bested EUROPA 2′s tally of 3-1-1-2-2-7-4-3 on a count-back for most firsts. Consequently, the Germans took second and taking the bronze was yet another German team, J-J ONE skippered by Frithjog Schade with a 2-3-3-7-3-8-3-1 record. For more information, visit http://www.j24.it/web/index.php.
Over the weekends of April 26-27 and May 3-4, the Club Nautico San Isidro held their annual J/24 Campeonato San Isidro for a very strong showing of the Argentinean J/24 fleet. There was some “new blood” in the class with good teams participating from CUBA, YCA and CNO yacht clubs across Argentina. For the first four boats (RINA, MENDIETA, CACIQUE and COCOON), in fact, the racing proved to be very close for the eleven race regatta. For the first weekend, it was clear there were four very well-sailed teams that all had their eyes on being at the top of the podium, some of whom have already registered to sail in the J/24 Worlds in Newport, RI this September. The racing was electrifying, with finishes being determined by less than 10 meters between all four, sometimes even just centimeters of differences! On April 27, the CNSI club PRO managed to conduct three races with steady breezes from the ENE. For the first race, it was blowing up to 18 knots, forcing many teams to choose between genoas and jibs. Then, for races 2 and 3 that day, the wind calmed down to 9 knots or so, so genoas ruled the day. On Sunday, the fleet was more compact than most of Saturday and positions juggled wildly during the course of each race. After the first weekend, other than having to contend with a DSQ for MENDIETA, the top three boats were essentially tied. The following weekend was going to be a suspense-filled, anxiety-ridden affair since all three boats, with COCOON hanging tough, could again see the standings get juggled again. Montes’s COCOON team was determined to make a comeback against the other three. After Saturday’s racing, their three seconds in a row allowed them to climb back quickly into overall contention for the lead while the other three boats faltered. Sunday was going to bring a lot of drama. The morning started with fog, and the start of the race was postponed until there was good visibility. With “borneantes” winds blowing from 120-160 degrees, and wind strength varying between 5-10 knots all day, it was going to be a challenging day for everyone. The first race went to COCOON, and that happened after making a 720-penalty turn. Their excellent recovery was enabled by the other three boats spending too much time focusing on one another. MENDIETA was second, third RINA and fourth CACIQUE. The results after the first hard-fought race had RINA leading overall with 20 points with MENDIETA and CACIQUE tied with 21 points, and COCOON following closely with 23 points. In short, whoever won the last race won the championship. To add more excitement, RINA match-raced CACIQUE off the starting line, but both had good windward legs and rounded together 1-2. In the end, after passing them, MENDIETA took the bullet with CACIQUE in second, COCOON in third and RINA in fourth. The final top five was first MENDIETA (Pancho Van Avermaete), second CACIQUE (Sergio Pendola), third RINA (Nico Cubría), fourth COCOON (Fernando Montes) and fifth Juan Pablo Rixon. For more information, visit http://j24arg.blogspot.com/.
April 24, 2014
After a close and hard fought series of 8 races on Port Phillip last weekend, the MONJON
2014 Victorian State titles was won Dave Suda sailing Pacemaker. Sailing with Dave are
Herschel, Luke, Sam and Rachel, pretty much the same team that has been doing it for the
last 10+ years, perhaps the only team in the fleet to have been together for so long – and it
showed. Dave had to drop a second place, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Dave keeps his cards close to his chest with a glimmer of a smile as he tries to keep a straight
face about his plans. But I am the keeper of the royalty tags, so I know who is getting new
sails, Dave – new set, Hugo new sails, the girls new genoa, mmmm … well we had a new
kite and reasonably new sails.
Says Dave of the racing on Saturday, “After six months of arguably the best summer season
for as long as I can remember, we finished with two perfect days, racing J24’s as hard as we
can, against 16 other J24 crews who used every ounce of speed and skill to will their boat
ahead of the next, on a course as well managed as any sailor could hope. I feel sorry for the
J24 members that didn’t sail this weekend, for they missed another beauty.
Saturday had four races and four different winners, with Gridlock Doug Watson and co
taking heat one honours in a tight three way tussle from Pacemaker and Convicts Revenge.
Race 2 was a nail biter with Convicts Revenge holding the narrowest of margins over
Pacemaker at every turn and they defended multiple attacks on the final downwind leg to
cross the line 2 seconds ahead.
Race 3 saw another black flag and this time Convicts Revenge had a lapse in concentration
on the restart and crossed early, meanwhile the largely female crew on Hyperactive had a
brilliant start to hold a comfortable lead all the way to the finish.
Race 4 and wind increased to 18 knots for the last race of the day. We eventually started
second row directly behind Hugo after we left our port approach late. We couldn’t find a gap
anywhere near the pin in this much improved and aggressive starting J24 fleet. We tacked
very shortly after the start and ducked a few sterns to find some clear air and thankfully met a
15 degree right hand shift and extra pressure, thanks Huey! The usual suspects of Pacemaker,
Convicts, By the Lee and Bruschetta VI led the fleet home.”
But let’s step back a bit. A full week’s training and boat preparation was put on hold as
Melbourne had its wettest week in living memory, if nothing else the deck was clean,
although there was the distinct possibility that there might now be fish living inside the boat.
Ron Thompson takes us on his journey to the states. ” Friday was spent with bucket and
sponge getting the water out. And the forecast was 25 to 30 knots southerly with big waves
and rain again. Oh, lets just turn up and see, with a new crew with one day training and
nothing in heavy conditions. Got to get up early Sat morning at 6am and do another walk
around the block to lose ½ kilo as weigh in finishes at 8am. What an ungodly hour. We are
struggling with crew weight as everyone lied last week, even me and although I lost 3 kgs,
got to lose a bit more. And it will be cold and wet on my walk! No … surprise, actually it is
not raining and I can see clouds in the sky after only seeing grey all week. Ah, but I bet its is
blowing hell on the water. Arriving at the club and the burgees are flying nicely in a 12 knot
wind. What happened to the 30 knots, must be coming later !”
Brendan Lee (3rd overall) leads us into Sunday. “Sunday arrived and again with beautiful
blue skies and light South Easterly winds, or was it South, or East, or South South East.
Okay let’s pick south and head out to sea on leg 1. Bollocks wrong choice! Next upwind leg,
okay there is more South East in this, let’s go left. Bollocks wrong choice and so it went on
every leg. Race 6 was a bit like race 5, a late surge on the final leg saw us scramble into a
respectable position. Race 7 and the wind clocked to 180 degrees and freshening. Right this
time I am going out to sea. Hey presto it worked – 2nd place but behind Dave AGAIN! 4th
race, much like the 3rd…”
So we all get our few moments of glory, in race 6 Jet’s came knocking. I decide that there is
a big lift on the port layline and go for it, we picked it and Jet is around the first two marks
first. All good and happy and Matty is now satisfied that his trip down from Sydney was
worth it. I tell the crew that all we have to do is cover. But I don’t, I tack onto what I think
is the lay before Steve does and then we get knocked while he gets lifted, around the top
mark 2nd and we did a bear away set, Dave does a gybe set behind us and by the time we
have gybed he is level with us on what is now a lay though to the finish, he just pips us. I am
consoled by the crew for at least putting us ahead – before being dumb enough to lose it.
Dave continues, “Race 7 arrived and we knew a win in the next race would be enough and
then we see Convicts doing penalty turns with two minutes to the start. We happily refocus
and get a great start with Hugo near the pin, then tack out right to cover the fleet. By the end
of the race Convicts Revenge has recovered to a very credible 4th
Lee and Doug Watson. We relax now and enjoy a great final race battle with Steve Girdis in
Convicts Revenge who take the win.”
Steve is a great sailor, a sly “young” fox who smiles at me from the back of the pack (I think
I must be doing quite well to be near him) and then again from the podium – how does he do
Race 8 and Dave has won overall, Steve is second and Brendan third.
Brendan, “Onto the prize giving and it was Dave and the team picking up the winners trophy
again. I could have sworn I had them 8 from 8 on the starts. My trimmer says “Okay, well I
may not be able to sail, but I can lift heavy boxes”. What more can a skipper want?
There are of course lots of stories from the front to the back, Doug MacGregor, our State
President is a voracious defender of the truth and tells it like it is. “Clear air was the only
currency worth bothering about on a start line that felt like a combination of a scrum and
an orgy. One abiding but crucifying memory; we probably came out of the final start in 4/
5 position. We couldn’t have been happier. Going to windward I bloody well had them
… and they just sailed right over me. I shrugged my shoulders and thought “National
Champion” whatreyegonnydo? Three tacks later we make our final tack on to the lay line
for the top mark …. Lovin’ every second. Over we go. Last place! We invented a new
word; absolfu**inguetlyfu**ingbefu**ingmusing. Seemed to be the story of our states. It’s
a wonder they didn’t throw me overboard. I am so grateful to them for sailing with me and
sticking by the boat through thin and thinner. The silence on our boat as we sailed in after the
last race was deafening.”
Kirby O’Brien, sailing on Vertigo and also one of the hard working committee team doing
the weigh in, with her usual dry sense of humour also made a number of observations. ” It all
went pretty smoothly, but if I had one bit of feedback to offer, I’d say “not enough stripping”.
, behind Pacemaker, By the
Honestly, it just didn’t stack up to past years. Although an honourable mention does go to
Daniel, who stripped with incredibly good humour considering that none of the rest of the
Vertigo crew bothered to wait before getting stuck into the beers, so the 800g excess was his
and his alone to deal with … albeit to the sound of our hearty encouragement and a round of
applause when the final piece of attire yielded up the last required 200g’s.
I think it’s time I offered up a few rule change suggestions to the committee, all with the idea
of introducing a little more sport into the weigh in process:
No more four member crews. Where’s the fun in watching sailors stroll confidently up to the
scales, not even bothering to remove their shoes, as they know the 400kg limit isn’t a worry
unless they convert their entire life saving into 20c coins and carry it on their backs. No more.
What this situation needs is another body and all five of said bodies can take themselves off
for a 10km run and return to approach the scales with the dread and trepidation that the rest of
us all know and love.
No more people under 60kg ! I mean really, what is more annoying to those of us with a life
of dinners still on the belt, than someone stepping up to the scales, registering an elephantine
57kg and moaning that they’ve gained since last regatta?
OK, so to the racing…well let’s see, race overview…I lost a shoe (Vice Versa and Fly Away
Jay – you guys rock for randomly finding my missing shoe in the middle of the bay and
bringing it back!), I got splashed a bit, pulled some ropes, forgot to pull some other ropes,
got yelled at, got annoyed when a boat tacked in front of us and when we yelled “Protest!
We had to change course”, he turned to us with the smile of a Cheshire cat and replied “Did
not.” Well! May I take this chance to say simply… “Did so.” You know who you are!!!
And that’s it really. We came outright last when it mattered – the race back to the crane. I
think I have new life goal – to get into the dock before Pacemaker is safely tucked away into
its place on the hardstand.”
A huge thanks to the J24 State Committee, Sandy YC, all the volunteers and especially to the
sponsors, MONJON in particular, Anchor Marine, Bike Factory Outlet, Smart Marketing,
Synergy Audio – and also to Hugo for the delivery of 25 logo-printed protest flags!
What other regatta supplies the protest flags !!!
Well, in the end the Thommo Cup was a fizzer this year and Jet has finally beaten Ron and
Kirsty and no one ahead of us is a slug so I guess that’s a good series result. I’ve locked up
the trophy cabinet again, let the dust rule supreme. There will always be another regatta.
The MONJON Victorian State Championships have proven to be the best regatta of the year
again, the ultimate J24 season grand finale.
Go here for the full results http://www.syc.com.au/raceresults/1314/kb/14jstates/series.htm
Written by Simon with help from Dave, Brendan, Doug and Kirby, thanks guys.
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/.