Fierce Competition at St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
After four sensational days of racing, parties and entertainment—and some of the closest competition ever seen in the long history of this storied Caribbean event—the 40th Anniversary Edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta concluded March 8 in the same fine fashion with which it started, with the waters south of the isle dotted with tall, white mainsails and billowing, colorful spinnakers of every size and description. The CSA 3 class consistently engaged in the regatta’s tightest and fiercest competition, and fittingly, it continued on the final day of the event. Sam Talbot’s J/111, Spike; Rob Butler’s Reflex 38, Touch 2 Play; and Pamala Baldwin’s J/122, Liquid, traded places on several occasions on the first, twice-around-the-course race. Spike’s fifth in that race looked to be the death knell to their hopes for overall victory, but they roared back with a first in the final race, evening the score at 14 points in a tie with Liquid, who recorded two seconds on the day. The crucial final win gave Spike the tiebreaker, in what was easily the event’s closest class. For complete event details, visit https://heinekenregatta.com/.
VELOCE Crowned 2020 Australian J/111 Champion
The 2020 Australian J/111 Championship was held over the ‘Australia Day’ long weekend as part of Festival of Sails in Geelong, Victoria. The Festival of Sails is the largest annual keelboat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere with over 300 yacht entries and 3,000 competitors annually taking part in the event. First held in 1844, the Festival of Sails Regatta is one of the nation’s oldest sporting events and has evolved over many years culminating in its current format as Australia’s foremost keelboat regatta. The program consisted of a 30.0nm passage race on January 25, followed by five windward-leeward races in Geelong’s inner harbor on Sunday and Monday. Here is the report from Rob Date, owner/skipper of SCARLET RUNNER from the Victorian J/111 fleet: "The passage race from St. Kilda to Geelong was won by SCARLET RUNNER, again showing her skills in the light and variable conditions, finishing a few minutes ahead of Matt Powell’s PLAYLIST. Stu Lyon’s JAKE showed moments of brilliance but fell away towards the latter stages. Sunday’s racing was a variable affair with the pressure up and down and left and right, but mostly in the 12-15 knot range. Racing was very close with fractions of seconds deciding one result. Phil Simpendorfer’s VELOCE proved superior on the day. The final result would be decided on Monday, the last day of racing, with both Rod Warren’s JOUST and SCARLET RUNNER capable of winning the Championship. Light winds greeted us at the start of the day, but many shifts and pressure changes saw Simpendorfer’s VELOCE the eventual winner from Warren's JOUST in second, with SCARLET RUNNER third. Reflecting on the weekend, it was a great close regatta and an enjoyable sail home back to Sandringham (a 30-mile power reach home in 20 knots of pressure!)."
Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff Takes J/111 Midwinter Championship by a Whisker
Current J/111 World Champion Rob Ruhlman on Spaceman Spiff narrowly took victory at the J/111 Midwinter Championship, a part of J/Fest hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. After eight races in three days, the Cleveland, OH-based Spaceman Spiff team, including Karl Felger, Doug Moose, Debbie Probst, Ryan Ruhlman, Abby Ruhlman, Jim Sminchak and Mark Wiss, tied on points with Ian Hill’s Sitella at 12. Both crews racked up the exact same scoreline, but Ruhlman placed one better than Hill in the last contest to claim the title. Conditions on Tampa Bay ranged from 6-8 knots on Friday and Sunday, with Saturday having the best breeze at 10-12 knots.
- Spaceman Spiff, Rob Ruhlman 1 -  - 1 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 3 ; 12
- Sitella, Ian Hill 2 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 3 - 1 - 1 -  ; 12
- Bravo, Andrew Ward/Sedgwick Ward 3 - 2 - 3 - [5/DNF] - 1 - 3 - 4 - 1 ; 17
- Wicked 2.0, Douglas Curtiss 4 - 3 - [5/DNF] - 5/DNS - 5/DNC - 5/DNC - 3 - 2 ; 27
Photos are posted on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=9649.
J111 Pre-Worlds Regatta 30 & 31 August 2020
International J111 World Championship 2020 and Pre-Worlds 29th August-5th September 2020
ENTRY NOW OPEN Partnership with Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics
The annual World Championship will be decided this September, in the Solent, UK. The One Design regatta for J111s is returning to Cowes for 2020.
Hosted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, under invitation of the J111 Northern European Fleet. The Worlds Regatta entry is now open. Notice of Race and Entry is via RORC’s Sailgate portal https://rorc.sailgate.com.
In anticipation of the interest registered at last years Championships in Chicago, the European Class is delighted to announce its partnered with Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics, to offer two alternative routes for J111s to cross the pond (and back as required).
Class contact at Sevenstar Wouter Verbraak comments; “This partnership should add to the growing competitive J111 fleet racing around the World, and we are delighted to be an enabler, and partner for the future”.
With mast up and keel on sailings twice a month from Cleveland, and once a month from Baltimore the options are open. More details for owners are available on the Sevenstar and Worlds websites.
The timing of the World Championships is designed to make it as easy as possible for the North American owners and crew. This should mean the least disruption to the local and national US sailing programmes.
Simon Bamford, the Fleet Captain says:“We are delighted that Sevenstar has chosen to partner with us, hopefully making it as simple and as cost effective as possible for multiple boats to participate from the USA”.
With entertainment planned for the evenings, no doubt ‘wit and banter’ will be abundant as challenges are laid down for the World Championships between differing nationalities. The Fleet looks forward to welcoming you to some world class sailing in the Solent.
Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics - wouter@sevenstar-uk. com
J/111 PLAYLIST Triumphs in Australia
Thanks for this report from Matt Powell, owner of the J/111 PLAYLIST: While Australian brush fires were burning north to south, east to west, due to the obscenely hot temperatures inland and the very hot, dry airs whistling across the barren landscape, a number of Australian sailors made it out to sea to enjoy some clean fun on the azure waters of the Tasman Sea. On December 26 (Boxing day), Matt Powell's J/111 PLAYLIST entered the 34.0 nm "Cock of the Bay" race from Melbourne (St. Kilda) to Blairgowrie. This is a pre-curser and a solid "training run" for the Melbourne to Hobart race that started at the bottom of the bay on December 27. It was a good sailing day with a SSW breeze from 10-20 knots. The line was set with a definite port-end bias, and the PLAYLIST team worked this perfectly, crossing the line first and closest to the pin. For the first 30 minutes, they were leading boat-for-boat in the 72-boat fleet. Once they got settled, the race came down to consistent good boat speed and picking the shifts as they headed southwards down toward the Peninsula. Although they were racing their entire division, the J/111 PLAYLIST often found themselves competing with a Hick 40 and two First 40s. In the end, PLAYLIST finished 11th over the line, first on PHS handicap, second on AMS and third on IRC in Division 1. The race was basically a 34.0nm windward beat from start to finish, crossing the line in an elapsed time of 5 hours and 46 minutes. Commenting on their performance, Powell said, "All in all, we were very happy with how the J/111 performed against these bigger boats, and we felt if there had been more downwind breeze, we would have really tested our competition. Once we got closer to the Peninsula towards the end of the race, the sea state really flattened out, and in those conditions, the J/111 really holds its own against the bigger boats. Although the race was a beat the entire way, and therefore minimal work for the bow crew, they all agreed that the race was a lot of fun. I think it is always fun when you get good results!"