J/111 Wins ORC Class in Rolex Middle Sea Race
The 40th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, hosted by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, was a tale of two races. After the calm conditions for the first half of the course, increasingly rough weather in the second half posed challenges for the fleet, with winds gusting to over 30 knots and steep seas. Weathering the extreme conditions were a crew from Sweden—Peter Gustafsson’s crew on the J/111 BLUR.SE. It was their first time sailing the Rolex Middle Sea Race, but they were both well-prepared and well-trained. Their perseverance paid off, winning ORC 5 Class and taking third ORC Overall. On the IRC handicap side, they scored third in IRC 5 Class and 10th IRC Overall. For more Rolex Middle Sea Race information, visit https://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/.
Solent Series Champion: Sally and Tony Mack's McFly
McFly was crowned J/111 Solent Series Champion 2019, and the new Paul Heys trophy was presented to Sally and Tony Mack. Congratulations to Journeymaker II (second) and Red Herring (third).
J/111 Busts PHRF Division at Stratford Shoal Gearbuster Race
Hosted by the Indian Harbor Yacht Club, 2019 marked the 64th edition of this classic 46.0nm race. Run annually the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend, competitors typically race to Stratford Shoal and back. The nickname "Gearbuster" attests to the usually boisterous weather sailors enjoy in October on Western Long Island Sound. The racing includes fully crewed and double-handed divisions, plus a shorter 19.0nm course for non-spinnaker divisions. The Stratford Shoal Race PHRF 2 Class of 11 boats was won by Bill & Jackie Baxter’s J/111 FIREBALL. For more race information, visit https://www.indianharboryc.com/Default.aspx?p=dynamicmodule&pageid=401871&ssid=328512&vnf=1.
J/111s Rule PHRF 12 Podium at Vineyard Race
The 2019 edition of the Vineyard Race in Stamford, CT was a relatively fast race. The 238.0nm course stretches from Shippan Point through the currents of Plum Gut past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay. Once reached, sailors return by leaving Block Island to starboard en route to the finish in Stamford Harbor. The shorter Seaflower Reef Race is run entirely within Long Island Sound. In the Vineyard Race, J/111s swept the top two spots in PHRF 12 Class. Winning was Bill & Jackie Baxter’s FIREBALL, with John Donovan’s LIBERTAS taking the silver. For more Vineyard Race information, visit https://www.stamfordyc.com/Sailing/Vineyard_Race_(1).
2019 J/111 World Champion: Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff
Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff took control of their own destiny on Friday, nailing both race wins to earn the title of 2019 J/111 World Champion. Coming into the final day, the Cleveland, OH-based team was in third overall, but Ruhlman and his crew of Marty Kullman (tactician), Doug Moose (mast), Abby Ruhlman (pit), Ryan Ruhlman (spinnaker trimmer), Maegan Ruhlman Cross (main trimmer), Jim Sminchak (headsail trimmer) and Mark Wiss (bow) ended with 25 net points in the eight-race series. Five points behind in second place was day-three leader Martin Roesch’s Velocity. Former World Champion Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key came in third with 34 points. It was another wild day on Lake Michigan. PRO Becky Ashburn, summarized, "Winds were around 15 knots. Waves were three to four feet with a sideways swell, which made it really choppy." Under a champagne shower in the harbor, Ruhlman smiled, "I’m not sure this has sunk in yet! We have a great team, a great family. The competition was outstanding. I’m thrilled to be a part of this Class."
- Spaceman Spiff, Rob Ruhlman - 1 - -1 -10 -4 -7 -1 -1 ; 25
- Velocity, Martin Roesch - 8 - -2 -1 -3 -6 -6 -4 ; 30
- Skeleton Key, Peter Wagner - 6 - -4 -5 -7 -2 -4 -6 ; 34
- Kashmir, Michael Mayer / Steve Henderson - 13 -5 -7 -6 -1 - -2 -2 ; 36
- Rowdy, Richard Witzel - 3 - -9 -4 -2 -4 -10 -5 ; 37
Twenty-three J/111s competed from August 20-23 at Chicago Yacht Club, including teams from Australia and Switzerland. Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are posted at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=6143.
Martin Roesch’s Velocity Speeds Up Leaderboard at J/111 World Championship
The seas on Lake Michigan were rocking and rolling on Thursday, as was the leaderboard at the J/111 World Championship, hosted by Chicago Yacht Club. Martin Roesch’s Velocity shot up to the chief position, posting a 1,4,6 on the day. The 23 J/111s have now completed six races, and the Championship will conclude Friday, including the discard taking effect after the seventh race. Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key maintained consistent scores in the top 10, inching him up to second place with 34 points, only one behind Roesch. Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff dropped to third but is still in the hunt with 38 points. Day one leader Andrew and Sedgwick Ward’s Bravo suffered a 13th in the day’s final contest, leaving them in fourth place, one tick behind Ruhlman. Waves reached five feet and higher, and breeze was 12 knots plus. Roesch began the day victoriously, ahead of local boat Momentus led by Kevin Saedi & Raman Yousefi and the Wards on Bravo. Chicago Yacht Club’s Michael Mayer & Steve Henderson guided Kashmir to success in the middle match, with Jorg Sigg’s Varuna and Richard Witzel’s Rowdy next. Rod Warren’s Joust prevailed in the final round, shadowed by Wagner’s Skeleton Key and Sigg. Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=6143.