Bayview Mackinac Race
For the 2020 edition of the Bayview Mackinac Race, the fleet endured many hours of beating upwind to get to Mackinac Island. Due to Canadian maritime restrictions over the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's course went north and finished. The only obstacles were having to leave Thunder Bay Island and Bois Blanc Island to port before crossing the virtual GPS finish line between the lighthouse and Mackinac Island. Despite the challenging weather conditions Saturday night and Sunday, most teams completed the entire race. In the 11-boat Class D Racing division, Scott Sellers' J/111 NO SURPRISE placed second. Here is the report from the Polk Wager: "Another Mackinac Race in the books aboard the NO SURPRISE, and another spectacular adventure with friends and family. It was a difficult and physically uncomfortable race this year, with strong upwind breeze and challenging sea states leading to a very wet boat, long hours on the rail, and essentially no sleep for anyone. After we spent much of the race from the outside looking in, Scott found the shift we were waiting for at 9:00 PM on Sunday night to allow us to take second place in our class (and very nearly first). A special shout-out to our three rookies: Trip Wagner, Hannah Sellers, and Hadley Camp. These three spent countless hours on the rail being pelted by waves, eagerly made sandwiches for the team as the boat pounded upwind in the Straits, pumped the boat out with buckets as needed, and even completed a classic midnight water-crashing-spray-everywhere jib change pretty much unassisted. And they did it all with enthusiasm and energy; it was great to be there at the start of what I am sure will be many future Mac race adventures for them." For more Bayview Mackinac Race sailing information, visit https://www.bycmack.com/index.cfm?.
2020 J/111 World Championship Cancelled
The J/111 Class Association, its owners and the Royal Ocean Racing Club in Cowes United Kingdom have determined, because of the varying levels of infection and disruption across the world, to cancel the 2020 J/111 World Championship originally scheduled for September. The Executive Committee has been closely monitoring the worldwide developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. They understand the huge commitment of time and money it takes to participate in a major Championship, as well as the enormous resources that our host clubs dedicate to such events. Simon Bamford, Class Captain of the J/111 North European Fleet, said, "A big thank you to everyone who helped organise the J/111 2020 Worlds. Special mentions to Simon Grier-Jones who put many hours of work into it and to Steve Cole and RORC for their professionalism and support. Best wishes to all of you and looking forward to meeting whenever we can get back onto the water."
J/111 SCARLETT RUNNER Wins Lincoln Race Week
The end of February saw the start of the 70th Teakle Classic offshore race from Adelaide to Port Lincoln. Following the offshore feeder race, the fleet enjoyed Lincoln Race Week comprising six races over four days on the waters of St. Vincent’s and Spencer Gulfs in South Australia. The event begins with the 160nm Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race which starts off Outer Harbour in the Gulf St Vincent. Once in Port Lincoln, teams race on the waters of Boston Bay and Spencer Gulf for a four-day regatta run by Port Lincoln Yacht Club. Rob Date trucked his J/111 SCARLETT RUNNER from Sandringham, Victoria to Adelaide for the event. Rob said, "It was a great regatta. The race to Port Lincoln was close to typical conditions, although a little windier at the start. We struggled with our reefing system soon after the start and dropped 30 minutes on our competitors in the 40.0nm upwind section." Unfortunately, the J/111 then also struggled to set her Code Zero at the start of the next 40.0nm section (needed a jib top), but along the bottom of York Peninsula the wind gradually went left and the angles improved as the wind freshened. According to Rob, "Eventually, we set the Black A3 asymmetric, with the crew mantra ‘Never Go Back From The Black!’ In 20-25 knots of pressure and travelling at 14-18 knots, we rode the 4-meter swells throughout the night in pitch black, no moon. It was a wild ride until dawn, and we had our J/111 back in the hunt. With good navigation, we avoided the fish farms (though some did not). 80.0nm VMG running in 10-14 knots of wind resulted in a respectable non-podium finish." Lincoln Race Week consisted of a total of four windward-leeward races on Monday and Thursday inside Boston Bay in flat water. On Tuesday, the fleet sailed a 40.0nm offshore race and then a 15.0nm inshore fixed mark race on Wednesday. In the end, winning was SCARLETT RUNNER with five firsts and one second, discarding the second to win with a perfect scoreline racing under the AMS (Australian Measurement System).
J/111s Dominate Big Daddy Regatta
Richmond Yacht Club in Richmond, CA every spring hosts the Big Daddy Regatta. On Saturday, the various PHRF handicap and one-design fleets enjoy up to three quick windward-leeward races. Then, on Sunday the pursuit race takes place with the smallest/slowest boats starting first in the morning and the fastest boats starting much later. For Saturday's buoy-racing, the fleet enjoyed good breezes, and the Richmond YC PRO managed to run three races.
Winning PHRF A Division of seven boats was Peter Wagner's J/111 SKELETON KEY with a 2-1-1 tally for 4 points. Six points back with a 6-2-2 for 10 points was Nesrin Basoz's J/111 SWIFT NESS. For Sunday's Pursuit Race, the two J/111s sailed well to both finish in the top ten in a fleet of 74 boats. Wagner's SKELETON KEY was in fourth place, followed by Basoz's SWIFT NESS in seventh place. For Big Daddy race results, visit https://www.regattanetwork.com/event/20330.
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!)."