Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key Surges at J/111 North American Championship
Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key had a near perfect day on Thursday to move into the lead at the J/111 North American Championship, hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club in Holland, MI. Good breeze allowed three races, two of which were won by 2017 J/111 World Champion Wagner. Skeleton Key also had a second in the middle contest, ending with 11 net points in the no-discard series. Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund stumbled in the last race of the day, dropping to second overall with 23 points. The consistency of Bradley Faber’s Utah puts them in third with 27 points among the 16-boat fleet. Chasing Wagner in the initial race were Richard Witzel’s Rowdy and Connelly. Then it was Connelly back in the driver’s seat, beating Wagner and the Andrew and Sedgwick Ward team on Bravo. The final battle went to Wagner again, as Witzel earned another second and Tracy Brand’s Solution took third. Racing concludes Friday. Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4547.
Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund Jumps Out at J/111 North American Championship
Light winds greeted 16 J/111 teams for the beginning of the J/111 North American Championship, hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club in Holland, MI. Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund figured out the conditions in the pair of races, posting a 2,1 on the day for the lead at 3 points. Just two ticks behind in second place is Jeffrey Davis’ Shamrock, who recorded a solid 3,2 for 5 points. Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key started the day with a bullet but added a sixth for 7 points and third place. Following 2017 J/111 World Champion Wagner in the opening match were Connelly and Davis. Then Connelly and Davis each moved up a notch in race two, taking first and second ahead of Bradley Faber’s Utah. Racing continues through Friday. Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4547.
Madmen Wins City of San Francisco Trophy at Rolex Big Boat Series
Bright sunshine, steady breeze and flat seas greeted the 76 teams for the final day of racing at the 54th edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series (September 12-16), hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club. The race committee announced a 15-minute postponement on both the Alcatraz and Treasure Island race courses to allow the breeze to consolidate and—given the flood-tide cycle that the racers have been enjoying all week—the water to flatten-out prior to the day’s single long-form Bay Tour race. This traditional final-day course selection allowed all seven competing classes to finish this no-drop series directly in front of StFYC’s Race Deck, giving onshore spectators a fantastic view. Dorian McKelvy and his crew aboard his J/111 Madmen (USA 17) fully owned the ORR-B class, winning the City of San Francisco Trophy—one of the golden spades used during the 1933 groundbreaking ceremony for the Golden Gate Bridge. For more information, please visit the Rolex Big Boat Series' website at https://rolexbigboatseries.com/.
Martin Dent’s JELVIS Repeats as J/111 World Champion
The 2018 J/111 World Championship was hosted in conjunction with the Breskens Sailing Weekend in the Netherlands. A dozen J/111 crews participated from five nations (Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland). The teams raced offshore on the North Sea along the famous Benelux beaches and seashore. Hosts for the Worlds were Watersportvereniging Breskens, Royal Yacht Club of Belgium, Koninklijke Roei & Zeilvereniging De Maas, Koninklijke Nederlandse Roei en Zeilvereniging Muiden, Koninklijke Antwerpse Watersportverenging SRNA and the Royal Netherlands Yachting Union (RNYU). The British J/111 contingent would prove formidable over the course of competition. In the end, it was Martin Dent’s JELVIS that loved the big breeze and big winds and repeated their win from 2016 to be crowned the 2018 J/111 World Champion. The first day of competition saw big breeze, big waves and difficult steering conditions in the chop that builds offshore of Breskens due to the current. The second day produced even tougher conditions than the first, with a steady 20-plus knots of wind and huge waves. Spinnaker runs saw boats easily hitting 14+ knots boat speed most of the way down the track to the leeward gates. Dent’s JELVIS team scored a perfect 1-1-1 on the day. The only downside was that Simon Bamford’s team on KESTREL had a massive collision with RED HERRING during the first race of the morning. On the third day, the windspeed was gusting up to 23 knots and waves up to 8 feet high against the current. Britain still ruled after three days of racing, with Dent’s JELVIS in an untouchable position for the final day. In the end, the JELVIS crew won their second J/111 World Championship with a very consistent performance, reveling in the breezy, choppy conditions. Taking second was Tony Mack's McFLY, and the battle for third place was won by Paul van Driel's SWEENY (they were also declared the J/111 Worlds Corinthians Division winner). For more J/111 World Championship information, visit http://www.j111worlds.nl/.
Slow Vineyard Race
New England's classic Labor Day weekend offshore race is Stamford Yacht Club’s annual Vineyard Race. The 238 nautical-mile adventure starts off Stamford Harbor, and takes racers down the length of Long Island Sound to Buzzard's Bay Light Tower (passing it to starboard), then back to Block Island (also passing it to starboard), before again sailing the length of Long Island Sound, back to the finish just inside the harbor. This year’s race may go down in history as one of the longest ever. Winning PHRF Class 11 and Overall PHRF was Bill & Jackie Baxter’s J/111 FIREBALL; their victory took just under 48 hours to complete the course (an average 4.95 knots over 238nm). Second in their class was another J/111, Abhijeet Lele’s VARUNA. For more Vineyard Race information, visit http://www.stamfordyc.com/Sailing/Vineyard_Race_(1).
Swift Time at Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta
St. Francis Yacht Club hosted the Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta on August 18-19. Reuben Rocci’s J/111 SWIFT NESS won ORR B. For more event information, visit https://www.stfyc.com/.