Sun and Ruhlmans Shine on the St. Petersburg NOOD
It was another beautiful day for the final races of the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta St. Petersburg. Once the sea breeze filled in, racing got underway and most Classes completed two races for a regatta total of eight to nine races. In the five-boat J/111 fleet, Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff nailed first place with 18 points (2-3-1-1-3-1-1-2-4). Jeffrey Davis’ Shamrock took second with 21 points, and Ian Hill’s Sitella third also with 21 points. For complete event details, visit https://www.sailingworld.com/tags/helly-hansen-nood-regatta-st-petersburg.
JOUST Tops Australian J/111 Championship at Festival of Sails
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 (held over the Australia Day Long Weekend) 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. Festival of Sails Chairman Stuart Dickson said beautiful weather, exciting racing on Corio Bay and Port Phillip Bay and a smorgasbord of entertainment combined for a terrific event. The Festival of Sails concurrently hosted the 2019 J/111 Australian Nationals in Corio Bay. From the very beginning, Rod Warren’s team aboard JOUST threw down the gauntlet by winning the first race. They never looked back, winning four more races over the three days and having to toss a second place to win with a perfect score of 5 points in 5 races. There was a battle for the balance of the podium with everything going down to the wire on the last day for the two contenders—Phil Simpfendorfer’s VELOCE and Rob Date’s SCARLET RUNNER. Team VELOCE’s crew were up to the task, posting a 3-2-4-2-1-4 for 12 points net to take the silver. Rounding out the podium to take the bronze was SCARLET RUNNER with a 2-3-2-5-5-3 tally for 15 points net. For more Festival of Sails information, visit https://festivalofsails.com.au/.
Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff Nabs J/111 Midwinter Championship
After eight races, only two points separated the four boats competing for the J/111 Midwinter Championship, a part of J/Fest hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. By way of a bullet in Saturday’s last (and ultimately final) battle, Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff eked out the title with crew Dustin Graef, Jeff Haase, Marty Kullman, Doug Moose, Abigail Ruhlman, Ryan Ruhlman and Jim Sminchak. Four races were completed on Friday and again on Saturday in breezy conditions, although rain and unstable weather prevented any contests on Sunday. Ending with 15 net points, Spaceman Spiff flipped positions throughout the Championship with Ian Hill’s Sitella (who placed second with 16 points), the Andrew Ward/Sedgwick Ward team on Bravo (also with 16 points for third place) and Jeffrey Davis’ Shamrock with 17 points.
- Spaceman Spiff, Rob Ruhlman, 3 -2 -2 -1 - -2 -4 -1 ; 15
- Sitella, Ian Hill,  -1 -4 -3 -1 -1 -2 -4 ; 16
- Bravo, Andrew Ward/Sedgwick Ward, 2 -3 -1 - -2 -3 -3 -2 ; 16
- Shamrock, Jeffrey Davis, 1 -4 -3 -2 -3 - -1 -3 ; 17
Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=6071.
Round The County Race
117 boats signed up for the 2018 running of a popular race in the Pacific Northwest—the Round the County, hosted by the Orcas Island Yacht Club and the Friday Harbor Sailing Club. For Saturday, it was East winds 5 to 15 knots becoming NE in the afternoon. Then, on Sunday, the wind shifted into the North and was about 8-10 knots and relatively flat waters. The currents didn’t look to be too strong compared to previous years, but it was a factor for Saturday’s racing; the bigger boats could get through Haro Straits at the halfway point before it started ebbing against the rest of the fleet. Then, on Sunday the currents lined up well with the northerly winds. In the end in Class Zero, it was the slowest-rated boat that won—Kevin Welch’s J/111 RECON. For more Round the County Race information, visit http://roundthecounty.com/.
Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key Unlocks J/111 North American Championship
Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key improved his J/111 resume by adding the 2018 J/111 North American Championship to his 2017 J/111 World Championship title. With crew John Collins (bow), Nick Gibbens (headsail trimmer), John Hayes (mast), Dave Lyons (spinnaker trimmer), John Pernick (main trimmer), Cory Schillaci (pit) and Seadon Wijsen (tactician), the St. Francis Yacht Club member recorded no scores lower than a sixth in the no-discard, eight-race series. Skeleton Key ended with 18 points, including three bullets. Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund secured the silver position with 36 points, just one ahead of Bradley Faber’s Utah and Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff who tied on points at 37 for third and fourth, respectively. Sixteen teams competed over the three-day event hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club in Holland, MI. In breeze sometimes sustained over 20 knots, Friday’s race winners were Faber’s Utah, Jeffrey Davis’ Shamrock and the trio of Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson and Mike Mayer on Kashmir. However, race 6 was later abandoned due to an improper action by the Race Committee.
- Skeleton Key, Peter Wagner - 1 -6 -1 -2 -1 -0 -5 -2 ; 18
- Slush Fund, Jim Connelly - 2 -1 -3 -1 -16 -0 -8 -5 ; 36
- Utah, Bradley Faber - 6 -3 -4 -7 -7 -0 -3 -7 ; 37
- Spaceman Spiff, Rob Ruhlman - 5 -7 -8 -5 -5 -0 -4 -3 ; 37
- Shamrock, Jeffrey Davis - 3 -2 -5 -8 -14 -0 -1 -9 ; 42
Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4547.
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.