January 20, 2017
The Houston Yacht Club, located in Shoreacres, Texas, invites you to participate in the 2017 J/24 North American Championship. The regatta will be sailed on the waters of Galveston Bay from May 25-28. The Notice of Race is available, and registration is open. Visit www.j24na.com for complete details, including lodging information, storage of boats in advance of the regatta, chartering and more.
January 12, 2017
Thank you to Simon Grain for this report: Sean Kirkjian’s Pacific Sailing School team admirably aided by the inimitable ‘AJ’ Tony Reynolds and the school graduates in Sailpac have taken out the 2017 Australian Nationals with a solid and consistent result over Shane Guanaria, helming Class stalwart Arthur Crother’s Kaotic by 4 points. Brendan Lee sailing By the Lee from Melbourne was third by another 7 points. A recent record fleet of 25 boats competed in the Nationals hosted by the Cronulla Sailing Club, located in Port Hacking on the southern edge of Sydney. Many competitors were visiting Cronulla for the first time and have come away with great memories and glowing opinions of the regatta. Cronulla Sailing Club ironed out all the bugs identified in the NSW States held in early November and ran a faultless regatta. From the brilliant sailing waters on the ocean side to the picturesque Gunamatta Bay where the club is located (5-minute walk to the surf beach on the other side of the small Cronulla peninsula) and the friendly, helpful and happy club volunteers serving us dinner every night off the BBQ, I didn’t hear one grumble about the running and management of the regatta. I am confident in saying there are many looking forward to another in the future–even those from the harbour loved it! Out on the racetrack, the competition was fierce, with black flags and consequent DSQs happening after each general recall. PRO Dave McLachlan ran a near faultless series, a couple of major wind changes right on the starting signal being the only difficulty encountered. The usual gladiators took out the top end of the results with the exception of Brendan Lee who is a rising star from the Sandringham fleet in Melbourne. Brendan has been putting in a major effort in both club and regatta racing, and his third place reflects this. Stephen Girdis sailing Convicts took out fourth, with Dave West’s Ace being sailed by SA blow-in crew Doug ‘El Fideldo’ Watson due to Dave’s wife’s medical emergency. Another great performance at the last minute by Doug. ‘Mr. J/24′ Hugo Ottaway sailing Bruschetta IV and NSW Class President John Crawford took the next two from Steve O’Rourke, Simon Grain and Janette Syme (rounding out the top ten). Racing was generally light to medium in SE to NE breezes with most boats never pulling out jibs for the whole regatta. An 18-20 knot NE breeze tested some of the boats on the last day but not really causing any real trouble. Generally going left paid but not always, and sometimes it was possible to find a wind bend on the right hand corner that gave you a few places. Racing was tight around the corners, and the otherwise well-behaved fleet experienced a little shouting! Janette Syme sailing Wildfire took out the Thomo cup from brother Ron in Kicking—a popular and deserving win. Handicap results went much the same way as the OD results although with a reversal in order at the top. Winning with 51 points was Brendan Lee from Sean Kikjian on 52 and Stephen Girdis on 53—so a close finish there. Fourth was Shane Guanaria on 66 from Simon Grain on 67. Full results are on the Cronulla site: http://www.cronullasc.com/race-results?page=J24National16-17/series.htm. Seven boats made the trip up from Melbourne and two (Robyn and Jim Townsend plus son Andrew) from South Australia (a substantial trip by any measure)—10 Cronulla boats and the rest from the harbour. All in all, a good spread from around the country. The Cronulla Club and its volunteers did a fantastic job in making us feel very welcome and efficiently ran the on-shore and on-water parts of the regatta. The success of the regatta is in no small way a result of work done over a long period of time by the enthusiastic Mick Reynolds (sadly being away during the regatta) and others in helping to build the Cronulla fleet. Running up to and during the regatta, Fiona Campbell, Bronwyn Elford, Rhonda Wodzinski and the team of volunteers serving up the BBQ dinner every day, looking after launching and retrieving on the hardstand, the teams out on the water all did a fantastic job and on behalf of all the competitors and associations involved, we thank you for your magnificent efforts. A big thank you to Quantum and our other sponsors: Spot a yacht, Afloat Magazine, Wet Tech, Aussea, Sailor Sunscreen, CBON, Explore Sailing. Cronulla—you have many new converts to your magic location! More pictures are available on the Cronulla Facebook page. Onward and upward…you might like to plan for the annual Cronulla SC Queens Birthday Short Course regatta in June this year. The SA States are mid-March, and the Vic States are mid-April. The NSW States are around the first weekend in November (likely to be back in the harbour), and of course the next Nationals are to be at the CYCSA in Adelaide in early January 2018.
January 7, 2017
The J/24 Class in Italy continues to enjoy their winter series events around the peninsula, particularly in the more southern fleets in the Mediterranean.
MARINA DI CARRARA: The winner for the J/24 trophy for best owner/skipper and crew for 2016 (based on four of the best scores in the circuit) was Italian J/24 Class President Pietro Diamante racing his boat ITA 212 JAMAICA. They were followed in the overall scoring by ITA 400 CAPTAIN NEMO, sailed by Guido Guadagni, in second place; and taking the bronze position on the podium was ITA 371 JOC sailed by Fabio Apollonio. Filling out the top five were ITA 489 VALHALLA skippered by Fabio de Rossi in fourth place and ITA 428 RED LEATHER sailed by Gianni Riccobono. For the J/24 Trophy for best skipper (only) in 2016, it was the Italian Navy’s skipper Ignazio Bonanno who led ITA 416 LA SUPERBA to the top of the standings. In that classification, ENG 447 PELLE NERO skippered by Hungarian Farkas Litkey were second, and third was ITA 215 MOLLICONA skippered by James Black.
ANZIO & NETTUNO: Nothing done for the fifth and final day of the 2016 winter series in Anzio & Nettuno, as no races were held due to lack of wind. As a result, the winner was declared as Ignazio Bonanno’s LA SUPERBA with just 8 points total over seven races. Taking second overall was ITA 447 PELLE NERO sailed by Paul Cecamore and Farkas Litkey. Third was ITA 428 PELLE ROJO sailed by Gianni Riccobono with tactician Sergio Strippoli. “The Championship is proving to be very interesting. The fight for the top places in the standings is very close, with several boats within a few points of each other. The addition of two boats from the top Hungarian J/24 fleet has also added to the overall competitiveness of the fleet,” said the Chairman of the Sailing Club of Rome, Marco Minghetti.
TARANTO: The third weekend of the Taranto winter series saw a light southwest breeze under clear skies and cool temperatures, permitting the PRO to run two good races for the fleet. After tight racing, it was FIVE FOR FIGHTING that continues to lead the series, with JEBEDEE just two points back in second place. Sitting in third place is still DOCTOR J, followed by Marcello Bellacicca’s MARBEA in fourth and Ferdinand Capobianco’s LITTLE DEVIL in fifth position.
OLBIA SARDINIA: The 2016 Sardinian circuit was won by ITA 405 VIGNE SURRAU skippered by Aurelio Bini from Club Nautico Arzachena. From second to fifth place, however, only three points separated all four boats. Sneaking into the silver spot was ITA 431 LNI CARLISLE skippered by David Gorgerino. Third was ITA 241 LIBARIUM skippered by Roberto Dessy. The balance of the top five included Antonello Ciabatti’s ITA 420 LIBISSONYS and ITA 443 AIR LNI of Olbia, in fourth and fifth, respectively.
For more Italian J/24 Class information, visit http://www.j24.it/web/.
December 24, 2016
Here are the latest updates on some of the Italian J/24 Class winter series.
TARANTO: Three good races marked the second event of the Winter Championship in Taranto. The races were well-organized out in the bay by the Ondabuena Academy Sailing Cub; Molo Sant’Eligio assisted them from the local Italian Navy base. “By the second event, the Winter Championship in Taranto came alive. Joining the fleet were Massimo Ruggiero’s CANARINO FEROCE and Leonardo Cappelluti’s crew,” commented Nino Soriano, skipper of JEBEDEE. “It was perfect weather conditions, a sunny day with a fresh northeast wind around 11-12 knots. The regatta PRO was smart and provided the fleet short courses in the shifty winds blowing offshore from the mountains to the north of us.” After sailing three fairly tight races, it was Thomas De Bellis Vitti’s FIVE FOR FIGHTING J that established an early lead on the fleet and never relinquished their position. As a result, after five races in the Taranto winter series, they are leading by two points over Soriano’s JEBEDEE. Sitting in third for the series is Marcello Bellacicca’s MARBEA.
PORTOFERRAIO: On the island of Elba, the J/24 fleet sails out of the historic port of Portoferraio on the northeastern side of the island. The second event of the Elba Winter Cup was a challenge for the crews as the course consisted of a 7.0nm windward-leeward course, sailing out of the Bay and out to a sea-buoy and back to the finish line. Participants included teams from several seaports, including Marciana Marina and Porto Azzuro. According the organizers, “Despite the light and shifty winds, it was a great show to see the boats sail between Scoglietto and the Gulf offshore. The fleet was visible from the promenade in front of the fortress all day. Simply beautiful! We hope everyone had a wonderful time socializing and enjoying our wonderful wines at Restaurant PIER G.” Once again, it was Enrico Gambelunghe’s BE-BEEF that led the fleet home. Marco Cardenti’s STELLA POLARE was in second place, and Marco Marmeggi’s ZIO CELESTE in third position.
MARINA DI CARRARA: After the opening round was lost due to the complete absence of wind, the Club Nautico Marina di Carrara (in collaboration with the Circolo della Vela Marina di Massa) were hoping to deliver a nice weekend of racing for the 10 J/24 crews who were in attendance. In the end, the PRO managed to run two windward-leeward races on the first day in the light northerly winds that had started at 8 knots in the morning and slowly diminished all day. Day two was not much better, with just one more race completed. Race victories were scored by Pietro Diamanti’s JAMAICA and Italian Navy sailor, Vetrugno Carmine, who skippered EUTERPE. The provisional rankings for the weekend showed that JAMAICA was leading with 4 points, followed by EUTERPE in second place with 6 points, Giuseppe Diamanti’s SON OF RABBIT in third with 8 points, Roberta Banfo’s TALLY HO in fourth with 9 points and Eugenia De Giacomo placing fifth skippering TAKE IT EASY.
TRIESTE: The Italian Navy Sailing Club (Trieste section) hosted the XII International Christmas J/24 Match Race regatta in Trieste. Teams from nine countries (Italy, Russia, England, Estonia, France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia) participated for a weekend of racing in a Grade 3 World Sailing match race event aboard J/24s. The President of the Italian Navy Sailing Cub Trieste, Pierpaolo Scubini, pulled together a strong team to manage and conduct the event. The world-class race committee included the Slovenian David Bartol as PRO and the Chief Umpire was the Frenchman Jean-Pierre Cordonnier. Their teamwork was almost flawless in its execution. Over 19 flights of races were run in very demanding weather conditions over three days, with two Semi-final round robins and the Finale on Sunday. The first day of racing on Friday was tough on everyone. The wind was oscillating between 3-5 knots, and the wind direction kept changing significantly. In the end, just two flights were held that day. Saturday dawned with much better conditions. With a north to northeast wind at 5-10 knots, the PRO managed to “catch up” the entire rotation and rounds for everyone. Sunday’s sailing ended with breeze between 6-10 knots, which allowed the event to complete the semifinals and finals. In the finale match, it was champion Austrian sailor Christian Binder who had the boats and the breeze figured out. Binder overcame Frenchman Simon Bertheau to win the overall title. Third place went to the Italian team of Rocco Attili, and fourth position went to the Slovenian Bojan Rajar. A special feature of this 12th edition of the regatta was that all races were run with the “new” match racing rules that will take effect in 2017. Pierpaolo Scubini commented, “This was a beautiful event. The competition was outstanding amongst the field of 11 crews from eight European nations. For us, it was great satisfaction to be able to see sailors come from Russia, England and other countries and enjoy the tight combat of match racing in one-design J/24s!” Winner Binder exclaimed, “We are very happy to be here in Trieste and win this XII International Christmas J/24 Match Race. We have been here before, and we knew how difficult it was to race in this regatta. On Friday, we were lucky to not lose the field, because the light winds were difficult for us to manage. On Saturday and Sunday, we sailed well and we closed with this victory. I really like Trieste and the club, and its volunteers run an amazing event.” For more Italian J/24 Class information, visit http://www.j24.it/web/.
December 13, 2016
The result of the 11th race of the South American Championship affirmed the advantage achieved by Carrera led by the Argentines Matias Pereira, Guille Bellinotto, Andres Guerra, J. Bellinotto and E. Losano. The Uruguayan Pedro Garra, assisted by M. Garcia, I. Guichef, M. Leite and A. Carlucio, placed second on Pantera. In third place was the Argentine Cacique of Sergio Pendola with Carolina Dagusti, Juan Lupo, M. Santangelo and L. Luzzi, surpassing the Haik Thomson-Reuter team of Rodrigo Benedetto (also of Argentina). Pereira adds this brand new 2016 South American Championship to the Pan American Championship and the 2016 Argentina Championship. This result gives an automatic place to participate in the 2017 World Championship in Canada. Congratulations to the J/24 Uruguayan Class and the Yacht Club East Point for the organization and thank you to Race Officer Berndt Knuppel and his team for the excellent work on the water. For daily reports, photos, complete results and more, visit http://j24arg.blogspot.com.ar/.
November 28, 2016
The J/24s in Italy continue to enjoy their annual winter series in the various fleets spread across the peninsula. This past weekend, racing continued in Taranto, Anzio & Nettuno and Portoferraio. Here are their updates. TARANTO: It was a good winter series start for Puglian J/24 sailor Nino Soriano as he returned to racing after a brief absence with his ITA 427 JEBEDEE (co-skippered with Luca Gaglione). At the end of the first day, they shared the lead with the same score (3 points) with Thomas De Bellis Vitti’s ENG 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING. The racing on Sunday was the first of the eight days scheduled (November 20, December 4 and 18, January 22, February 5 and 19, March 5 and 19, for a total maximum of 24 tests). Eleven J/24 crews are determined to contend for the title. Nino Soriano explained, “In 2016, ITA 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING, skippered by Thomas De Bellis Vitti, is riding a wave of wins and are hoping to continue that streak in the 2016/2017 winter series. They are a considerable force, have gotten expert training, and have become a more cohesive team with the highly-acclaimed Andrea Airò at the helm and are currently leading. They are being chased hard by ITA 450 MARBEA, owned by Marcello Bellacicca and skippered by Tony Macina with 6 points. Then, not far off the pace is ITA 429 DOCTOR J skippered by Sandro Negro, ITA 301 PICCOLO DIAVOLO sailed by Nando Capobianco, ITA 429 AMBRA skippered by Marc Arata, and ITS 355 BESTIA NERA skippered by Fabio Indovina. The ideal weather conditions for the first day of the winter series in the Mar di Grande was well-organized and managed by the Circolo Velico Ondabuena Academy with assistance from Molo Sant’Eligio. Two beautiful races, lots of adrenaline and fun for the fleet, thanks to the short courses chosen by CVOA PRO.”
PORTOFERRAIO: It was a great start for the second weekend of the Elbe Winter Cup, the offshore sailing championship organized by the Yacht Club Portoferraio. For the first time, three J/24s are participating from the two historic clubs in Elba—Marciana Marina and Porto Azzuro. For the first weekend, there were many new faces, with several young crews arriving in Elba. At the start of the day, the racing was postponed due to the fact it was barely reaching 5 knots of breeze. However, by noon it had risen to 12 knots to produce great racing for the teams. Sailing in the fleet is BE-BEEF skippered by Enrico Gamelunghe; getting the better of ZIO CELESTE sailed by Marco Marmeggi. BE-BEEF is leading the overall standings. After a nice day of racing, the fleet enjoyed their traditional spaghetti dinner at PIER G, accompanied by Elba Bianco Doc La Fazenda, partners of the event. The next event is Sunday, December 4.
ANZIO & NETTUNO: The Anzio & Nettuno J/24 fleet in Rome sailed the third stage of their winter series, competing for the IX Memorial Stefano Pirini Trofeo. The regatta PRO, Mario de Greneti, was able to provide the 23-boat fleet with two excellent races. The day’s wins were taken by ITA 447 PELLE NERA sailed by Paolo Cecamore and by JUKE BOX skippered by the Hungarian Miklos Rauschenberger. Provisional results after the first day or racing (compiled after the first two races) saw JUKE BOX leading with a 2-1 for 3 points with PELLE NERA in second. Third place belonged to ITA 358 ARPIONE sailed by Michele Potenza with a 3-4 for 7 points. They were followed by two teams tied on 10 points each—ITA 333 DAIQUIRI sailed by Fabrizio Sabatini with a 4-6 and ITA 487 AMERICAN PASSAGE with a 5-5. The following day, it was a milder day with nearly calm seas. The steady breeze of 10 knots from the southeast permitted three races to be sailed. With three bullets, Ignazio Bonanno’s ITA 416 LA SUPERBA (with crew of Simone Scontrino, Alfredo Branciforte, Francesco Picaro and Vincenzo Vano) jumped into the overall lead for the regatta. An increasingly determined ITA 447 PELLE NERA, owned by Paolo Cecamore and skippered by the 2014 Soling World Champion Farkas Litkey from Hungary, confirmed their second place position with a record of 1-4-3-4-3 for 11 points net. Leaping into third from sixth place the day before was ITA 428 PELLE ROSSA, skippered by Gianni Riccobono and sailing with tactician Sergio Strippoli, garnering a record of 10-5-2-2-4 for 13 points. In fourth place was ITA 333 DAIQUIRI sailed by Fabrizio Sabatini, and sitting in fifth place was Rome J/24 fleet captain Paolo Rinaldi. The racing in the Gulf of Anzio will continue for the Trofeo Lozzi on December 4 & 18, January 15 & 29, February 12 & 26, and March 12. For more Italian J/24 information, visit http://www.j24.it/web/.
Over the weekend of November 19-20, the Chile J/24 Class held their National Championship and it also served as the qualifying event for the J/24 South American Championship being sailed in December in Punta del Este, Uruguay. The J/24 fleet in Talcahuano hosted the regatta out of the Chilean Navy Base in Marina El Manzano. This harbor was located at the center of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2010 that flooded coastal cities and harbors up to 8,000nm away. The fleet and harbor have since recovered and have a growing fleet of J/24s in the last few years, now numbering a dozen boats. Racing started on Saturday for the 15-boat fleet that had participants from Talcahuano (10 teams) and Concepción (5 crews). The fleet was challenged by a tricky, shifty northerly all day. The wind was shifting from due north to the west and then back again during the course of three races held during the day. From the very beginning, Matias Seguel’s GURU and Raul el Castillo’s LA BANCA were dueling for the top of the leaderboard. At the conclusion of racing, GURU was leading with a 2-2-1 for 5 points, with LA BANCA in second with a 3-4-2 for 9 points. Third position was held by Patricio Seguel’s MACH POINT with a 6-1-4. Vernon Robert’s JOYITA could have been amongst the leaders with all top three finishes, but was DSQ’d in the second race to end up with a 1-DSQ-3. At the end of the long day, a burgers & beers party was offered at the Chilean naval base by the local fleet and led by Ricardo Vío (who is in charge of sailing development at the Marina) and Fernando González (owner of JOTE, a local J/24). For the second day of racing, the fleet ended up having to camp out on the shoreline until the breeze built to a sailable level. Around noon, the southwesterly seabreeze built quickly with winds blowing from 10-15 kts, gusting to 17. Three very good races were sailed to determine the Championship. Seguel’s GURU continued to dominate the regatta, sailing away with a 1-2-1 for an easy win with 7 points net, throwing out a second as his worst score. The balance of the podium was a battle between el Castillo’s LA BANCA and Robert’s JOYITA. Robert closed with a 2-4-4 but it was not enough to overcome el Castillo’s 4-1-6; both were tied at 14 points each, with LA BANCA taking second overall and JOYITA third. Rounding out the top five was Patricio Seguel’s MACH POINT in fourth, just one point out of third with 15 points, and fifth place was taken by Carlos Perez’s BUFFALO.
November 20, 2016
Over the first two weekends of October, the Buenos Aires fleet in Argentina hosted their friends from Chile, Uruguay and Brazil in their prestigious and traditional Buenos Aires Week hosted by Yacht Club Argentina. Eleven teams participated. The first weekend of racing saw six races conducted over the two days. Matias Pereira’s CARRERA was ahead of the fleet all weekend, posting six straight bullets to establish a big lead for the series. Pursuing them was the Uruguayan team lead by Pedro Garra on PANTERA; their scores of 2-6-2-2-2-5 kept them in the hunt. Just behind them was Sebastien Halpern’s MORRUCHO with a 3-5-3-3-3-2 tally. The theme remained the same for the following weekend, as it was a battle for the top three podium positions. In the first race, Pereira picked up where he left off by winning the first race quite handily. Garra’s team posted a sixth, while Halpern’s MORRUCHO took a second. In the second race of the day (the eighth of the regatta), it was Garra’s turn to win a race while Halpern’s crew posted a seventh. In race nine, CARRERA won and locked up the regatta, not having to sail the last race. Meanwhile, Halpern took second with Garra in fourth, leaving them tied going into the final 10th race. The final day dawned beautiful and bright with a nice wind. CARRERA stayed ashore, celebrating their good fortunes. It was a grueling match race between Halpern and Garra to determine the silver and bronze positions on the podium. In the end, Halpern got the upper hand, posting a fourth to Garra’s fifth to seal the deal for the silver. For more J/24 Buenos Aires Week information, visit http://yca.org.ar/home/yachting/.
The 2016 Barbados J/24 National Championship saw spirited competition amongst the fleet of nearly a dozen boats. In the end, it was Ian Mayers’ BANKS ESPERANZA (BAR 4396) that was declared the winner of the 2016 National title. In a great team effort, Charlie Gloumeau led his crew on SCOTIABANK BUNGA BUNGA (BAR 2420) to the silver medal for 2016. Rounding out the podium in the bronze position was WILLIAMS INDUSTRIES HAWKEYE (BAR 3145), led by Robert Povey. SCOTIABANK BUNGA BUNGA was voted as the “Most Improved J/24 Team” for their outstanding performance during the year, finishing no lower than fourth place in any regatta. For more Barbados J/24 information, visit https://www.facebook.com/BarbadosJ24Sailing/.
November 11, 2016
Thank you to the AUS-JCA for this report: ‘The Shire’ as it is known to the sedentary Australian TV watching population and the people who live there is an area around 30km south of the Sydney CBD centred on Cronulla that has been known in the past for a bit of rough and tumble. It’s a slightly secret place that the rest of the greater Sydney population rarely go to, and that’s the way the locals like it. But things are changing–in a big way. After a few years of Midwinter regattas and a bit of water testing by a few outsiders, the J/24 circus is coming to town in a big way with an expected 30+ boat fleet (the largest in 20 plus years) for the 2017 Nationals in January. An indication of that was the Quantum Sails 2016 NSW State Championship just held over the weekend of the 5-6 November, with plenty of rough and tumble on the water and with characters like ‘Hoody,’ ‘Bucko’ and ‘Magoo’ neck deep in the proceedings, it’s no surprise the regatta was a roaring success. You can easily miss the yacht club entrance, but you couldn’t miss the 500 plus regular Friday evening revelers on the terrace. And for the gladiators and crews getting their boats ready for the weekend’s racing in the hot afternoon sun, it did seem like a strange mix. Saturday morning, and the balcony belongs to the yachties again, but the wind is howling down Gunnamatta Bay straight into the assembled protagonists. A postponement is called, and the Wise is thinking about a sit down lunch with cold refreshing wine (Terry is running his two sailing school yachts from his RIB). I decline on the basis of the dropping forecast and the need to be clear headed if we get on the water. That’s just what happens, and our biggest fleet in years of 22 boats hit the water for the sail out to the start line off the main Cronulla surf beach on the opposite side of the small peninsular that is the southern end of Cronulla. The wind did actually drop for a bit, but the three afternoon races were sailed in 15 to 30+ knot SW winds and a huge 3-4m SE swell that grew rapidly in the last race making for some exciting racing with many wipeouts. With huge surf breaking on the main beach on one side of the course and a tsunami like set of waves breaking on the reef on the other side, it was, shall we say, exciting for those not normally used to these ocean conditions. It isn’t strange anymore how the good guys seem to get all the good luck, and the names on top of the afternoon’s honour roll proved that experience—cunning and a fair bit of bravery carried the day. Arthur Crothers showing off a new set of Doyles, and with Shane Guanaria at the helm of Kaotic took the first race by a clear couple of minutes from Dave West in Ace and Steve Girdis in Convicts Revenge only 3 seconds apart. John Crawford in Innamincka was a further 4 seconds back in fourth, so the usual bunch plus a few that fought it out in most of the following races formed the top pack of the regatta. Race two saw a general recall and a black flag. It was another tough fight with Convicts taking the honours from Innamincka, then our own Jet (sailed by me and my brave crew) and Kaotic. Race three and the wind was getting stronger from the SW and the swell getting bigger from the SE. We are sailing in an arena of wind-whipped water surrounded by a ring of huge breaking white surf, and quite a few of the gladiators are now beaten and returning home. Those who stayed flogged their way upwind and screamed downwind—some successfully and others not so, and many not using their kites. Steve Girdis showed his skill to take a narrow win from Kaotic, Innamincka and Jet. After three races, we were all happy to be going home over mountainous swells and flattening gusts on the top of them as we enjoyed our ice cold beers. In Cronulla Sailing Club, you know the beers are cold and the BBQ hot—it’s the club tradition, and it’s a perfect place to be on the terrace after sailing watching the sun go down over Gunnamatta Bay. Sunday and the forecast is for light/medium SE to E breeze making for glam sailing out into the Tasman Sea off the main surf beach. Three races again in sunshine, swell and perfect racing. If you missed this, you need to get thinking about your entry in the nationals (this is stunning stuff). Convicts is on fire, and takes out race four from Innamincka, Kaotic and Stephen Wright in Renaissance, the first of the local boats to get into the top four placings. Renaissance is the old Excite Your Senses from Sandringham, and proves like Ron Thomson in Kicking that an older Jarkan sailed well can be very competitive. Race two and the left out to sea pays big time. Jet banged the corner and led around the course to finish first from Convicts, Sean Kirkjian in Sailpac and Kaotic. Local skipper Barry Ryan in Pinot, who is one of the top local boats, pushed the top pack all the way round. Race three and surprise, surprise Sean Kirkjian in Sailpac (School crew) is at the front, ahead of Steve (Wiley Young Dog) Girdis in Convicts, Kaotic and Magoo in Stockcar. The fleet had some interesting stats: there was the Thomo Cup—unofficial of course—between brother Ron (Kicking – 7th) and sister Jeanette (Wildfire – 12th), father Dave McKay (Stockcar – 8th) from daughter Julie (MacKay Marine – 11th), Alejo Morales came the furthest from South America sailing Bandit for the Pacific Sailing School and Marc van Dinther sailing with his Ausea sailing school crew. The assembled and tired but now lubricating mass of humanity we call J sailors is finally addressed by the Rear Commodore of the club (otherwise known as ‘Bucko’), and standing on a chair with a voice to slay the noisy Macquart at 30 paces and an irreverence that makes even the most informal in the crowd blanch, starts dishing out the silverware with appropriate stories. While I still don’t understand the results, Jet is awarded third on handicap, Magoo second and Ron Thomson first. Steve Girdis in Convicts Revenge on 7 points is the 2016 NSW State Champ, Shane Guanaria in Kaotic second and NSW Class President John Crawford in Innamincka third. The first visitor was us in Jet in fourth place. ‘Hoody’ is Clinton Hood sailing Vertigo, one of the Shire’s gentlemen, who organised much of the sponsors products. Local sailor Barry Ryan became a happy chappie after winning the draw for a reverse cycle aircon unit – well done Hoody and your wonderful sponsors. Thanks to all of our sponsors: Quantum, Sailor Sunscreen, Wet-tech, Aussea Sailing School, Afloat Magazine, Spot-A-Yacht Photography, Cronulla Marina and Pure Aerials. Fiona Campbell, one of the driving dynamos in the Cronulla class and club and sailing with Hoody on Vertigo, won the well-deserved NSW Woman on Water trophy. On behalf of the National Association, we wish to thank Cronulla SC and all the volunteers and sponsors that made the regatta a huge success. A special mention must be made of Mick Reynolds who as a long-time driving force of the class at Cronulla has seen it grow from a handful of club handicap boats to a 20-boat fleet that is now the centre of NSW J/24 racing. Congrats to you Mick and to all the people you have inspired (and probably annoyed) along the way to build this fleet with you. For more Australian J/24 information, visit http://j24.com.au/.
Last weekend, the weather across the Italian peninsula was highly variable, with some J/24 fleets enjoying great racing, while others (like in Rome) could not sail due to severe weather. Nevertheless, the winter championship series in several fleets had enthusiastic participation, despite the cool weather.
Cervia (Fleet Romagna): After two races over the weekend, Francesca Focardi Antonelli’s KISMET is leading the second stage of the Winter Championship—IX Memorial Stefano Pirini—a traditional event that is sailed off the beach in Milano Marittima and hosted by the Nautical Club Amici della Vela. A dozen teams are participating, but no one can seem to match KISMET’s speed and tactics, now leading with a 2-1-1 for 4 points total. They are followed by Marco Maccaferri’s KERMESSE in second place with 6 points and Viscardo Brusori (owner) and Massimo Frigerio’s (skipper) MAGICAL FAIRY in third place with 10 points. Antonelli explained, “We were happy to sail two races in about 20 knots of breeze. It was exciting, close racing!”
Taranto: The Sailing Club Ondabuena hosted the second and final day of the Championship VIII for the Taranto J/24 fleet. “Sunday was characterized by an oscillating wind between 140 and 170 degrees. The day started at 18 knots of breeze, but gradually decreased all day down to 6 knots for the final races,” explained Bari Marcello Bellacicca, owner MARBEA. “For the first beat of the first race, there was a lot of indecision as to which headsail to choose. Most opted for the jib. But, by the first run, everyone chose to change over to the genoa for the second upwind leg. In the first race, Thomas De Bellis Vitti’s FIVE FOR FIGHTING simply sailed away from the fleet. Sandro Negro’s DOCTOR J was second place, and we were third on MARBEA.” At the start of the second race, there was a collision between DOCTOR J and Ferdinand Capobianco’s LITTLE DEVIL. As a result, both boats had to withdraw from racing because of the damages. The second and third races were characterized by a lot of wind shifts, with FIVE FOR FIGHTING winning both of them. “It was a beautiful day that allowed us to always start well and take home three wins out of three,” commented a happy Tommaso De Bellis Vitti. With five victories in six races for the series, FIVE FOR FIGHTING won the regatta quite easily. Their crew was comprised of Vitti, Andrea Airò, Raffo Perrini, Gabriele Gorgons and Marco Raeli. Taking the silver was MARBEA, with crew of Marcello Bellacicca, Toni Macina, Franz Impellizzeri, Marco Di Palo and Gianni Del Vecchio. Despite the collision, taking third was Sandro Negro’s DOCTOR J. For more Italian J/24 information, visit http://www.j24.it/web/.
November 2, 2016
There has been a lot of J/24 sailing taking place across Italy, as J/24s were sailing their winter series in Sardinia, Rome, Genoa and Portofino. Here are quick summaries of the activity taking place in each region. Porto Rotondo, Sardinia: After the long summer break, the Sardinian J/24 Fleet got busy again. The fleet sailed their XXIII Regatta of the Legionaries. Twelve boats sailed three races on Saturday, and on Sunday enjoyed their traditional coastal race—a random leg event that goes around various government buoys offshore along the coastline of Sardinia. Saturday’s racing started off with very little breeze. However, by the second and third races, the winds got much stronger and the fleet enjoyed a warm, dry 10-14 knots of wind for the final race of the day. Sunday’s racing for the Legionnaires trophy saw good breeze, with the J/24s all finishing after one and a half hours of sailing. After the four races were tallied, ITA 405 SURRAU VIGNE from Club Nautico Arzachena is leading, followed by ITA 241 LIBARIUM sailed by Roberto Dessy and in third is ITA 431 LNI CARLISLE owned and sailed by David Gorgerino. Cervia, Rome: This was the beginning of the Winter Championship for the Roman J/24 fleet. The first regatta was racing for the IX Stefano Pirini Memorial Trophy, organized by Circolo Nautico Cervia. The racing took place offshore in front of the Milano Marittima beach. “On Sunday, we were able to have only one race characterized by light winds from offshore. There were considerable changes in the leadership of the race,” explained the Rome’s J/24 Fleet Captain. Ten crews took to the water for this first regatta. The victory went to Marco Maccaferri (CNAdVCervia) sailing ITA 402 KERMESSE. Second was ITA 424 KISMET owned by Francesca Focardi Antonelli (CNAdVCervia) and skippered by Luciani Antonelli. Third place was ITA 382 sailed by Mauro Martelli (CV Ravenna). Fourth place was ENG 473 MAGICAL FAIRY co-owned by Viscardo Brusori and helmsman Massimo Frigerio. Sitting in fifth place was ITA 400 CAPTAIN NEMO sailed by Domenico Brighi. Genova (Genoa Portofino Fleet): The Club Nautico Marina Genova Aeroporto hosted the first winter series event that was held over three weekends for 50 boats in ORC Handicap and J/24 one-designs. The final day was marked by a north wind around 15 knots, overcast with drizzle and scattered sea only slightly ruffled by the wind. The race course was positioned brilliantly by the CNMGA race committee, which was once again started with a high-degree of punctuality and great technical and tactical execution. It was a close fight from the first day of the championship between ITA 303 JUST A JOKE (co-owned by M.Buffa and T. Costa- LNI Sestri Ponente) and ITA 235 JAWS (co-owned by M.Mori and L.Varini- CV Elbano). The racing was quite close between these two, and the results were not settled until the final day and the final race of the championship—the outcome coming right down to the wire on the last leg. In the end, JAWS beat JUST A JOKE by winning the last race to secure the championship on a tie-breaker with a 2-2-1-1 record for 6 points. JUST A JOKE had to settle for the silver because their record of 1-1-2-2 for 6 points meant they lost the last race to JAWS. Taking third for the regatta was ITA 357 LANDFALL sailed by Simone Moretti, fourth was ITA 307 FINALLY sailed by Olga Finollo, and fifth place was taken by ITA 483 X5 skippered by Antonio Criscuolo. For more Italian J/24 fleet sailing information, visit http://www.j24.it/web/.
October 22, 2016
The 42nd Winter Championship of Anzio and Nettuno had 21 J/24 crews take to the water. It was a tight battle between LA SUPERBA skippered by Ignazio Bonanno and BLACK LEATHER (Paul Cecamore) skippered by the 2014 Soling World Champion Farkas Litkey. “It’s been a good start for the regatta,” commented SUPERBA’s skipper Bonanno. “In the opening race, won by Farkas Litkey and Paul Cecamore, we finished in second place because of a slight collision with the J/24 skippered by Federico Miccio (ITA 216 Jumpin’jack Flash). In the second race, however, we won with a good gap from the second place boat, Black Leather. For this regatta, the J/24 fleet was a little less numerous than recent years, but the competition was always on a good level.” The provisional rankings have LA SUPERBA in first, followed by BLACK LEATHER in second, DAIQUIRI in third (with skipper Fabrizio Sabatini), AMERICAN PASSAGE in fourth (with Paul Rinaldi as skipper/owner), and GREEN RAY in fifth (with Carmelo Savastano as skipper). For more Italian J/24 sailing information, visit http://www.j24.it/web/.
Watch out traditional ladies days, the high heels and questionable dress codes of Ascot, Cheltenham and Goodwood, and all of the Yacht Club coffee and tea sessions called ‘ladies days,’ The Magenta project has rewritten the rules. Annie Lush and her team at the Magenta project are using their experiences on the Olympic circuit, Volvo Ocean Race, M32 World Match race series and GC32 Extreme Series to prove that ladies are not just supporting men sailing, but doing it themselves, so no excuses for the Parkstone Yacht Club ‘ladies.’ For many years, the Club, under the cheerful guidance and enthusiasm of member Nigel Pearce, has had a large group of ladies racing and training in a variety of single handed boats from Picos to Lasers. Annie, a Parkstone member, organized a highly acclaimed and enjoyable day introducing 31 women and 8 youth sailors to keelboat sailing. The local J/24 fleet kindly lent eight boats with their owners, and Kate Macgregor (London 2012 Olympian and Team Magenta match racer) and Abby Ehler (twice a Volvo Ocean Race sailor and Magenta project director) joined Annie as on-the-water coaches. The day started with a dockside introduction to the J/24, and as the new teams motored out in bright sun and zero wind, the Magenta Magic started with a warm southerly gently increasing through the day. Learning to tack and gybe (encouraged by coaches and owners) was quickly followed by various drills, with the crews rotating positions, and ended with a pre-lunch race. The Club hosted a lunch whilst the Magenta girls entertained the children, relieving the fathers of baby-sitting duties for a while, with tales of racing and sailing. The girls were joined by two-time Paralympic medalist Alex Rickman. Top job was being medal monitor as Alex kindly let the children hold her medals, guaranteeing some disbelief in various Poole schools show-and-tell sessions. Lunch was followed by Saturday J racing, and the new crews volunteered to join the owners and some of their team for the race. The wind increased to a strong breeze as the rain lurked over the Purbeck hills, but the race officer shortened the course just in time so the Js were safely back in the marina before the skies opened. The happy teams returned to the Club house for a Magenta tea party and prizegiving. Thanks to the owners, the Club’s super supportive Commodore Bryan Drake, Roam photography, and Spinnaker Watches, Musto and Team SCA for great prizes. A women’s team has already formed to race next year on the J/24 Zaphod, and another team is keen to use one of Parkstone’s three Club-owned J/24s for evening racing. The J/24 Class has a great resource of good new crew, and everyone enjoyed the teamwork and new skills (no shouting, no tears, just huge smiles). Well done Magenta! You have to come back and make this an annual event. (Written by an anonymous J/24 owner.) Event images are at www.roamphotography.com/blog.
October 17, 2016
The Circolo Nautico Brenzone ran the penultimate event for the season-long Italian J/24 National Championship series—a six-event program that runs from April to November. Winning the latest event was VALHALLA HOTEL VERONA skippered by Fabio De Rossi with crew of Enrico Perbellini, Massimiliano D’Elia, Marco Fiorini and Petra Kurutz. The races in Cervia ensured fun and entertainment for everyone. Taking advantage of the conditions to take second place was MAGIC FAIRY skippered by John Brescia Bonzio and owned by Viscardo Brusori. Third was CAPTAIN NEMO sailed by owner/skipper Guido Guadagni. Pending the fifth regatta, the provisional classification overall for Helmsmen-Owners (based on the scores from events in Nettuno, Livorno, Carrara and Brenzone) shows that Pietro Diamante, the Italian J/24 Class President, is leading the event by a wide margin on JAMAICA. They are followed by CAPTAIN NEMO (Guido Guadagni) in second, VALHALLA HOTEL VERONA (Fabio De Rossi) in third, J-OC (Fabio Apollonio) in fourth and RED LEATHER (Gianni Riccobono) in fifth place. In the waters off Cervia, the Circolo Nautico Amici della Vela (www.circolonauticocervia.it) will be hosting the finale of the Italian J/24 circuit from October 15-16. For more J/24 Italia Cup sailing information, visit http://www.ycpr.it/.