J/111s Battle in Chicago to Mackinac Race
The 111th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Race, sponsored by Wintrust, will go down as one of the slowest on record. The J/111s battled up the lake with various boats leading at one point or another. Prevailing in the end was Rich Witzel’s ROWDY, followed by Tom Dickson’s WARLOCK in second and Scott Sellers’ NO SURPRISE in third. For more Chicago to Mackinac Race information, visit https://www.cycracetomackinac.com/.
Pura Vida Prevails in Chicago to Waukegan Race
A fleet of nearly 100 boats gathered for a sprint of 30.0nm from Chicago to Waukegan, IL. The first fleet started in a light easterly of 5-6 knots, but the subsequent starts were in nearly calm breeze. After three fleets could not fully clear the starting line, the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race Committee was forced to postpone the starts of the remaining fleets. Subsequently, as the next set of classes took off in the building breeze, it was clear the last class to start was going to have the greatest handicap advantage overall. The always formidable J/111 fleet on Lake Michigan made their mark in PHRF 2 Class with a near sweep: with John Kalanik’s PURA VIDA winning, Tom Dickson’s WARLOCK second by just 50 seconds, and Tom McIntosh’s MISTY in fourth place. For more Chicago to Waukegan Race information, visit https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=9446.
Slow 81st Queens Cup Race
The 81st challenge of one of the most storied yacht races on the Great Lakes—the 90.0nm race called the Queen’s Cup—may have set a record for dropouts. This year’s overnight race across Lake Michigan departed from Milwaukee, WI for St. Joseph, MI on June 28 in very light winds, hosted by Milwaukee’s South Shore Yacht Club and St. Joseph River Yacht Club. In the J/111 class, Mark & Colin Caliban’s NO QUARTER won, followed by Jeff Schaeffer’s SHMOKIN JOE in second. All the rest of the five J/111s retired. The winning boat averaged 3.9 knots. For more SSYC Queen’s Cup Race information, visit https://www.ssyc.org/queens-cup/queens-cup-home.
Light Round The Island Race
The 2019 edition of the Round The Island Race in the United Kingdom, hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight, was one of the slowest ever for most of the fleet. The challenging 60.0nm race goes around the Isle of Wight. The forecast of sun and no more than 15 knots of wind was unlikely to create record-breaking conditions for the 1,253 entries. Nevertheless, with an ebbing tide and early morning east-south-easterly breeze, the fleet enjoyed a downwind spinnaker start, so the first leg to the Needles was reasonably swift for most of the fleet. However, the forecasted easing of the breeze to zero knots and a change from the easterly to a light westerly around 1400 to 1600 hours took its toll on the fleet. As it turned out, heading away from the island into more stable breeze was the best option. Excelling in the challenging conditions were the J/111s, included in the 26-boat IRC 1 division. Winning class by 35 minutes corrected was Cornell Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG. Taking third was Chris Jones and Louise Makin’s J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II, followed in fourth by the J/111 J4F (Frenchman Patrice Vidon), and eighth was Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL. The overall J/Boats Trophy went to Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG. For more Round Island Race information, visit http://www.roundtheisland.org.uk/web/code/php/main_c.php?section=home.
J/111 Wins PHRF Overall at Van Isle 360 Race
The biennial Van Isle 360 Race is comprised of nine individual legs that circumnavigate the Vancouver Island off the Pacific coastline of British Columbia. The combination of the nine legs determined the class winners as well as the overall winner. The legs were:
- Nanaimo to Comox- 36.9nm
- Comox to Campbell River- 27.6nm
- Deepwater Bay to Hardwicke Island- 24.2nm
- Hardwicke Island to Telegraph Cove- 41.0nm
- Telegraph Cove to Port Hardy- 28.7nm
- Port Hardy to Winter Harbour- 69.1nm
- Winter Harbour to Ucluelet- 138.1nm
- Ucluelet to Victoria Harbour- 98.2nm
- Victoria Harbour to Nanaimo- 59.9nm
That made for a total of at least 486.8nm down the rhumbline. The fleet experienced the standard extremes of weather from complete glass outs/waiting for breeze to 40 to 50 knot microbursts coming down from the mountain peaks. In the PHRF Division 1, winning was B. Chan and A. Smyth’s J/111 65 RED ROSES II with 19 points and also taking first PHRF Overall (six classes). For more Van Isle 360 Race information, visit https://www.vanisle360.com/.
J/111 Wins Marstrand Big Boat Race
The Marstrand Big Boat Race started out as a local spring regatta, but has turned into Scandinavia’s biggest annual short course event. This year saw almost 70 yachts from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany, including the J/111s Blur and Dacapo. Saturday morning was grey, but a 18-20 knot westerly wind caused big waves and challenging conditions. The team on Blur has focused on offshore sailing after their Fastnet Campaign in 2015, and is planning to do the Middle Sea Race in October. But they have continuously worked to improve rig trim, sail design and other speed factors. And the result of this work was evident as they posted a fourth and a first before race management took the decision to cancel the last race of the day due to increasing wind. So Blur grabbed the daily first champagne. Skipper Peter Gustafsson explained, "We had great speed upwind with our bulletproof J3.5 and managed to hang with the bigger boats. Ideally, we want to go for speed, but we managed to keep our lane. Downwind, we stayed upright with the 'whomper', our 155 sqm A2 and managed to move ahead quite a bit. Especially on the last run where we observed a late shift and went for the A3." Sunday morning's forecast had 10-14 knots of wind moving from SW to S during the day. Also, the current plays an important part when racing in Marstrand, so with at least five boats in the mix, racing would be tight. Most top boats opted for the right corner, close to land, to get relief from the current. Blur showed superior speed, this time with a recut J2 and led at all the marks to win with almost a minute on corrected time. At this point, even the team was surprised. After a bad start in race 4, they managed to catch the top boats and post a third place, just ahead of the Norwegian J/111 Dacapo. Heading into the last race, Blur lead FinnFlyer 36 Zlatan with only one point. Another good start made it possible to both work the shifts and keep a light cover on Zlatan. After a long run to the finish inside Marstrand harbor, Blur posted another first with just a three-second margin. Peter Gustavsson commented on their performance, "Wow. This is unbelievable! After six years and over 12,000nm, we know the boat well and are pretty confident with our targets. But, with more rake and harder jib in-haulers, we're almost a degree tighter than the North tuning guide. As a result, we sail higher without sacrificing speed. This is a team effort, both getting the boat blazing fast, but also when it comes to tactics and strategy, where we typically involve more people than many other crews. Comes in handy when we run watches at sea, but apparently, it's useful on tight courses as well." For more Marstrand Big Boat Race information, visit http://www.blur.se/2019/06/05/marstrand-big-boat-race-2019/.