Nine universities from across the U.S. competed in the Southern Collegiate Offshore Regatta, held February 11-12 in Charleston, SC. Held in keelboats using PHRF, the seven-race series was won by the University of South Florida. The competition was staged in a fleet of donated boats randomly assigned to the nine teams with racing inside Charleston Harbor on medium-distance courses. The University of South Florida team won on the J/105 JOYRIDE with a record of 5-1-2-1-4-1-2 for just 16 points total. Securing fifth position on the J/105 SKIMMER was the Vanderbilt University team with a total of 43 points.
Check out the J/105 feature in the February issue of Latitude 38 at https://issuu.com/latitude38/docs/l38201702/82.
The 362 entries in the Singlehanded Sailing Society's 2017 edition of the Three Bridge Fiasco in San Francisco, CA had more wind than predicted, except when they had none at all. One of the factors that makes the race a "fiasco" is that the crews, all singlehanded and doublehanded, must choose which way to start and finish and which direction to sail around the three marks: Blackaller Buoy near the Golden Gate Bridge, Red Rock just south of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, and Yerba Buena Island in the middle of the Bay Bridge. The clockwise pack had a restart when the wind died north of Treasure Island. Fortunately, the current on this patch of water was mellow, though at least one boat dropped an anchor. Kame Richards, a local sailmaker and highly successful racer, offered some advice about strategy at the skippers' meeting on Wednesday. "If you go clockwise you're statistically in an okay group," he commented. Probably 95% of the racers went clockwise on Saturday, but this year it was the contrarians who finished first. "The tidebooks are going to be wrong," stated Richards. "The tides will not be normal." He was right on that score. It wasn't so simple as flood turning to ebb. Rip currents abounded. The velocity of rushing water in some places was unusual on the Bay. Patches of meringue and weird whirlpools popped up in seemingly random places, all adding to the day's challenges. With so little breeze and such strong currents, the starboard rounding of Yerba Buena was far trickier than the much earlier port rounding of it by the CCW boats had been. Some boats were dragged into the island and ran aground, others piled up into a buoy tender docked at the Coast Guard station there. Some of the clockwise crews had fretted about typically light air at Red Rock and the flood turning to ebb, so they went straight to Red Rock after the start, leaving Blackaller Buoy for last. (As it turned out, there was plenty of breeze at Red Rock, though the ebb did start early there). In the late afternoon, this group shot toward the Golden Gate Bridge on a river of 4- to 5-knot ebb. Turning toward shore, they found an equivalent back eddy of flood surrounding their last mark. As Kame explained,"When it's ebbing very hard, all the water can't fit under the Golden Gate Bridge. Some of it hits Fort Point and gets bounced back along the City-front." In the large J/105 Double class, winning was Chris Kim & Mike Lazarro’s VUJA STAR. Nearly a half hour behind them in second was Adam Spiegel & Chris Tholstrup’s JAM SESSION, with William Woodruff & Mike Weinman’s RUSSIAN ROULETTE in third, John Robison & Simon James’ LIGHTWAVE in fourth and Phil Laby & Matt Skafel’s GODOT in fifth position. Thanks for contribution from Erik Simonson.
Rule Interpretation 17-01 "Immediate Family" has been posted on the Rule Interpretations page at http://j105.org/rule-interpretations/.
The final day of the Coastal Series at the 81st Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta, organized by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., and Mount Gay, concluded in spectacular style Thursday with sunshine, a good working breeze up to 17-18kts, and a relatively flat sea. The 15nm course took the fleet out to the west, followed by a long windward leg to Oistins, not far off South Point. Peter Lewis and his seasoned local team aboard the J/105 Whistler clinched the series with three straight wins. This super-tuned team demonstrated their impressive kite handling skills once again so it wasn’t particularly surprising to see them take overall honors. For complete event information, visit http://mountgayrumroundbarbadosrace.com.
The 2016 Chilean J/105 National Championship was sailed at Higuerillas Yacht Cub, located in Con-Con Bay in late November. The club members welcomed the fleet of 12 J/105s including six teams from Algarrobo and six from the Valparaíso/Higuerillas area. On the first day, the fleet was treated to four races, with winds up to 20 knots from the south. Crews worked hard in the tricky, shifty winds to sail consistent and fast. Downwind, the teams had fun surfing 10-12 foot waves. On day two, teams woke up to even more waves and winds. With steady breezes in the 25-30 knot range, gusting higher (and forecast to get even stronger), plus waves cresting over 15 feet, the fleet realized it was going to be impossible to sail any race. A Sunday brunch and awards presentation took place instead. The clear winner was declared, with Patricio Seguel guiding GRAND SLAM to a comfortable win with a 1-3-1-1 record for 6 points total. They were chased hard by Vernon Robert skippering ARCHIMEDES who claimed the silver with a 2-1-3-2 tally for 8 points. For the final spot on the podium, it was a three-way contest between Miguel Perez’s RECLUTA, Martin Baeza’s UTOPIA and Jose Manuel Ugarte’s SCIMITAR. In the end, the teams were just three points apart. Starting out strongly with a 3-2 was Perez’s RECLUTA. Even though their last two races were a 4-9, the closing tally was just enough to score the bronze medal with a total of 18 points. Baeza’s UTOPIA finished with 19 points to Ugarte’s SCIMITAR with 21 points to round out the top five.
For the 140+ boats racing in the San Diego Yacht Club Hot Rum Series for the second race that took place on November 19, it was a slow light air affair. The J/105 division/Class 3 continues to have four J/105s in the top ten. Lead boat is Rick Goebel’s SANITY with a 1-5 for 6 points to hold second overall. Dennis Case’s WINGS has an 11-3 for 14 points, good enough for fifth place. Tim Fuller’s STEADFAST has a 7-10 for 17 points and is in seventh position. Then, "Dag" Fish’s VIGGEN is in 10th place with a 4-16 for 20 points. It will all be on the line next week. For more SDYC Hot Rum information, visit http://sdyc.org/.
From November 17-19, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club hosted the Bacardi XL Catlin Bermuda Keelboat Invitational. On Thursday, a harbor postponement was posted for a few fleets, including the J/105s. It became clear it was a good decision as by 11am, gusts at Pearl Island were in excess of 45 knots with intermittent rain squalls flooding the streets. By noon, the RBYC PRO canceled racing for the day. The regatta is a unique format, as it’s invitation-only. Local Bermuda J/105 teams invite a non-Bermuda team to join them, so three "foreigners" join three "locals" to form a team of six crew. Then, the skippers of each group (Bermuda/foreigner) take turns skippering each race. Awards are given for the top three Bermuda skippers, the top three foreign skippers, and for the overall team leaders. It is a fun regatta format that produces camaraderie between the crews, particularly since the event sponsors include Bacardi. Friday dawned partly cloudy and sunny with a 10-12 knot westerly breeze. As the teams took off to get some early practice, it was evident it was going to be a difficult day to get in four to five races (the race day’s schedule). Over the course of the day, the wind direction changed 70 degrees at least twice, and during the racing there was little rhyme or reason to the wind shifts as the cloud lines passed by, often producing 30-45 degree shifts per leg and at least twice per race. After four races on Friday, local Star World Champion Peter Bromby’s team on AIRFORCE from the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club posted a very consistent 1-2-3-1 to take the lead with 7 points total. Just behind them was Jon Corless’s MAYHEM from Royal Bermuda YC posting a 4-3-2-3 for 12 points and James Macdonald’s PASSION from RBYC in third with a 3-7-1-2 for 13 points. Saturday dawned with one rain squall after another sweeping the Great Sound. Forecasted was a rapid increase of breeze from 10-20 knots to 20-35 knots, accompanied by massive rain squalls. The RBYC PRO took no chances and simply postponed for one hour. As expected, the weather did not improve at all and got dramatically worse. At that point, it was time to put the boats away and celebrate the coronation of the winners of Friday’s racing by early afternoon. For more information, visit http://rbyc.bm/.
Scoring six bullets, three seconds and one third-place finish (which was their drop), St. Francis Yacht Club members Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault dominated the two-weekend American Yacht Club Fall Series, not only winning the J/105 fleet in their East Coast boat Good Trade, but also earning the trophy for best overall performance in a one-design class. They were assisted by bowman Bill Higgins and trimmer Philipp Berner, both regulars on their SF Bay based J/105 Arbitrage. Also crewing were two different cadets each weekend from Mass Maritime Academy. Stone and Breault are lending their boat to Mass Maritime for the Storm Trysail Foundation’s Intercollegiate Regatta next weekend at Larchmont YC, then their team return to Larchmont for the Manhasset Bay Fall Series and the J/105 North Americans. Damian Emery's Eclipse placed second, and Harald Edegran/Jeremy Henderson' Conundrum third. For complete American YC Fall Series information, visit http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=1645.
San Francisco Bay whipped up a significant flood tide which, together with fearsome 20-27 kt winds, made for a challenging weekend for the 19 J/105s that made it out to the western face of Alcatraz for a weekend of windward-leeward racing in the Sausalito YC J/105 Invitational on July 23-24. Unlike racing anywhere in the country where you need to sail upwind both legs, time the oscillations of the shifts and take into account a progressive veer or backing of the wind based on forecasts, here it was a case of advance planning. Before leaving home, skipper Bruce Stone reviewed the Sailtactics.com wind and tide forecast with his team on Arbitrage and announced, "We’re starting at the pin and banging the shore for tide relief upwind, and then jibe setting or a quick set-and-jibe out to the bigger flood." Well, of course it doesn’t perfectly work like that, as you can do too much of a good thing. Arbitrage nailed the pin end of the line on the first two starts and led to the shore, winning both races by large margins. On the third try, the rest of the pack caught on and, with heavy traffic at the pin, Arbitrage managed to slide into the mark and had to jibe and restart, taking 18 sterns and going in the wrong direction, away from current relief. Regatta over? "We’ll get some leverage outside in more pressure – no other option." Heading into the teeth of the flood, they made little progress up the course while the fleet legged over to the shore. Coming back, Arbitrage was in solid last, but started picking people off, and passed two boats by the windward mark. Rounding the outside and seemingly wrong gate was a winner, gaining many lengths to windward and more boats.By the end of the race they finished tenth and were still leading the regatta, albeit by just one point. On Sunday, same weather and tide, and they once again couldn’t make the pin, jibed and restarted. Rinse and repeat, taking plenty of sterns and heading the wrong way, and it seemed once again that it was game over. However, when they tacked back toward the City Front, they saw that the fleet banging the shore headed into light air, while staying out in pressure allowed for major gains. Grinding up through the fleet, they made it through the scrum and finished second. Finally, Stone tried a more conservative start in the middle of the line, pulled away, and earned a solid third to secure the victory with a score line of 1,1,10,2 and 3, two points ahead of Steve Kent’s team on Perseverance and six points ahead of Philip Laby’s team on Godot. Stone remarked, "It was really special for the J/105 fleet to have a dedicated race course, with our own water and no delays. Sausalito YC did a great job in arranging this for us and dealing with really tough conditions for setting marks. Hospitality in sunny Sausalito was off the charts, with the Commodore pouring free beers for us and offering sandwiches. We’re looking forward to coming back next year. (Thanks to Bruce Stone for the report.)
Photo caption: A crowd of J/105s starting mainly at the leeward end. Arbitrage is to the left, in front of ferry, jibing onto port tack to restart...flood tide having swept them far back (photo credit Cynthia Willson)
Twenty-five J/105s competed in J/Fest 2016 on April 16-17 at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA. With two races completed, the standings were tight. Phillip Laby's Godot notched a 4,1, and Pat Benedict's Advantage3 a 1,4 for 5 points each. Also tied on points were the third through fifth place boats with 12 each: Charles James' Roxanne, Bruce Stone's Arbitrage and Ryan Simmons' Blackhawk. For complete event information, click here.