Hamble Big Boat Championship, Great Britain
The first of two weekends of racing in the Hamble Big Boat Championship have kicked off. IRC 1 saw some extremely close racing, with boats switching positions all around the race course. After six races, it was Simon Bamford's J/111 KESTREL sitting in second place. At the prize-giving in the Hamble River Sailing Club clubhouse, supported by Wadsworth, Stuart Childerley announced the day's special prizes. The "Best Start" that week went to the Bamford’s KESTREL! "They had a perfect time on distance run and nailed the first start, bang on the line," said Stuart. For more event information, visit http://www.hamblewinterseries.com/.
2017 J/111 World Championship in San Francisco
The 2017 J/111 World Championship will be hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA from August 23–27, 2017. This will be the fourth World Championship for this competitive one-design class, and its first on the U.S. West Coast. Regatta chairman Gerard Sheridan is anticipating a strong turnout with a diverse entry list. Says Sheridan, "We’re expecting boats from the West Coast, the Midwest and the East Coast as well as a solid turnout from Europe and abroad." San Francisco sailor Rob Theis has been racing J/111s since 2014 and won the J/111 fleet in both the 2014 and 2015 Rolex Big Boat Series. "This is a very active boat," says Theis. "It will plane at 12 knots. It goes 18-20 knots downwind. It’s not technically a sportboat, but it can sure feel like one. Recognizing that San Francisco can be a trek for many sailors, St. Francis Yacht Club has organized a 2017 regatta schedule around the J/111 Worlds to accommodate multiple races for visiting sailors. The Aldo Alessio/Swiftsure Regatta will take place in August and the 2017 Rolex Big Boat Series is scheduled for the second week of September. Stay tuned for additional information!
Rolex Big Boat Series
The record-setting 52nd Rolex Big Boat Series hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club drew to a close September 18 in splendid late-summer sailing conditions. After a slight delay waiting for the breeze to fill, a seabreeze of 15-18 knots arrived and brought with it decidedly warmer temperatures. For the first time in four days, crews shed their foul weather gear and fleeces as they took to the racecourse. This year’s regatta attracted the largest fleet ever: 127 boats in 11 classes. San Francisco’s reliable seabreeze came in every day, starting at a gentle 8-10 knots and then steadily increasing into the 20s, with a peak of 30 knots yesterday. All classes completed their full slate of racing. The coveted prize at all Rolex Yachting events is a specially engraved Rolex timepiece. Class winners were presented a Stainless Steel Submariner Date watch as well as a St. Francis Yacht Club perpetual trophy.
Peter Wagner’s (Atherton, CA) J/111 Topzy Turvy was the top-scoring J/111 in the fleet. For more information, please visit the Rolex Big Boat Series website by clicking here, and for complete results, click here.
On September 2, the 74th Windjammers Race took place, the classic late-summer race from San Francisco past Año Nuevo down to Santa Cruz 90nm to the south; the event is one of the oldest annual regattas on California's Pacific Coast. The Windjammer Regatta was first hosted by The Santa Cruz Yacht Club in the early 1930s but has deep roots going back to the Pacific Yacht Club's Race To Santa Cruz in 1884. Racers can always expect exciting downwind fun as they fly down the coast. Finishes are scored off the Santa Cruz Wharf throughout the day and into the night. The big winner in this year’s race was Howard Turner’s J/111 SYMMETRY from Santa Cruz YC. After sailing to windward from the start line on the face of Alcatraz Island, out under the Golden Gate Bridge in typical westerlies on San Francisco Bay, the J/111 turned left and quickly went through a succession of double-head rig with jib and Code Zero to the A3 offshore reaching kite to the big A2 runner toward the end of the race. Winds were reported to hit 30 kts at times with the J/111 flying down the enormous Pacific swells at 20-22 kts. In the end, Turner’s SYMMETRY corrected out at 10:35:36, good enough for the class win in PHRF 2 and taking second overall on corrected. SYMMETRY’s win marked the second time in a row that J/111s have won their class in this offshore classic. For more Windjammers Race sailing information, visit http://club.scyc.org/.
J/111 Perseverance Wins Verve Cup Trophy
Bennet Greenwald’s J/111 Perseverance won Chicago Yacht Club’s 2016 Verve Cup Trophy. This is the first time a J/111 has won the Verve Cup overall since first joining the regatta as a one-design fleet in 2011. Perseverance was tied at 15 points with Utah at the end of the day, but won the tiebreaker. For complete event information, visit https://www.chicagoyachtclub.org/verveoffshore.
Cowes Race Week
High pressure, brilliant sun and a solid westerly breeze again delivered perfect conditions for the final day of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. The wind dipped briefly in strength to around 10 knots as a belt of thin cloud moved across the Solent around midday, before increasing to 15 knots with stronger gusts when the sun returned 30 minutes later. Six J/111s competed, and the racing was very tight with Tony Mack's Mcfly edging out Martin Dent's Jelvis by just one point. Paul van Driel's Sweeny was a mere two points further back in third. For complete event details, click here.