Three Winners on Day One of J/111 Garmin World Championship 2016
Seven nations have entered the J/111 Garmin World Championship for close one design racing, and the first day did not disappoint, with three different winners, with all races decided by less than 30 seconds. The J/111 Garmin World Championship started with three windward leeward races in the Eastern Solent. The weather was more like the 1st of April than the 1st August, with a cold front arriving in the afternoon, bringing persistent rain and squally conditions. For the first two races, 8-10 knots of wind with a easterly going tide gave a smooth sea state, but the breeze was tending to shift south in the gusts, favouring the left hand side of the track. However by the third race, the tide had turned and the right hand side came into play and a short Solent chop changed the mix. Principle Race Officer Bob Milner elected to alter the course, and his team did an excellent job of squaring the course after the shift. Martin Dent's British team racing Jelvis finished the day with a 1-2-2 to lead the J/111 Garmin World Championship, two points clear of Peter Wagner's American team racing Skeleton Key. Tony Mack's McFly won the last race race of the day to finish in third. "It was a tricky day today: a cross tide, plenty of shifts and pressure changes. The JElvis team has put in a lot of training over the last month and so I am pleased with today's results, especially as all the boat handling went well: tacks, gybes, sail changes and a gybe set, etc. There were multiple lead changes today, and it was yet another day of close, tight one design racing at its best." Tony Mack's McFly had a great 2015 but 2016 has not been the best year for the team based in Hamble. However, after winning the last race of the day, the highly experienced skipper had a twinkle in his eye. "We have not had a good season so far, a bit of a Mclroy," commented Tony Mack, referring to the out of form golfer. "However today, we just seemed to get things right and especially the last race. We rounded the first top mark third and decided to gybe away, which really worked but we still had to work hard, especially with the two course changes. There are a lot of very good sailors in this fleet, and we haven't seen all of them perform yet, so I expect there to be a lot of position changes during this regatta. We are pretty happy with our performance today, and we hope we can build on that." Three more windward leeward races are scheduled for day two of the J/111 Garmin World Championship. Jelvis has the upper hand for the moment, but there are three more days of racing ahead. Tomorrow's forecast for the Eastern Solent is for a stiff southwesterly with the potential for gusts in the region of 25 knots. Race fans can follow the J/111 Garmin World Championship 2016 on social media via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/J111Worlds2016/. Results, pictures and more can be found on the dedicated J/111 Garmin World Championship website at: https://sites.google.com/site/j111worlds2016.
Chicago Mackinac Race
The 108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac had 121 boats race the Mackinac Cup Division and 121 boats race the Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Divisions in their annual 289nm race from the Chicago waterfront north to Mackinac Island. The race was incredibly wet, wild, blustery and squally, with thousands of lightning bolts flickering across the sky. The 15-boat J/111 one-design section saw a battle between the top six boats going well into Sunday afternoon. Leading for quite some time at dawn was Kevin Saedi & Raman Yousefi’s MOMENTUS. They were battling with Dave Irish’s NO SURPRISE from Pt Betsie onward. About two-thirds the way up the Manitou Straits to Grey’s Reef, NO SURPRISE gybed away on a shift to then gybe back and grab the lead with less than 5nm to go to Grey’s Reef Lighthouse. From there into the finish off Mackinac Island, NO SURPRISE stretched a 300-yard lead at Grey’s Reef into a one hour, twenty minute elapsed time win. As a result, they not only took the class win but also finished seventh overall. Mounting a bid to chase down the leaders was the trio of George Miz, Peter Dreher & Mark Hatfield on IMPULSE. Sitting about 10nm behind at dawn on Sunday, they managed to break free from a battle with Brad Faber’s UTAH, John Kalanik’s PURA VIDA and Rich Witzel’s ROWDY to take a 6nm chunk out of the top two boats between Pt Betsie and Grey’s Reef. In the end, it was not enough to overhaul them, but IMPULSE did close the distance dramatically with the MOMENTUS crew, crossing the line just 3 minutes behind, to finish second and third, respectively. Rounding out the top five was Faber’s UTAH in fourth and Kalanik’s PURA VIDA in fifth place. For more Chicago to Mackinac Race sailing information, visit http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/.
Seven Countries Vie for J/111 World Title
The J/111 Garmin World Championship on August 1-5 will see 14 teams from seven different countries competing in Cowes, UK. Forming a truly international fleet, the teams come from Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States. Racing on tight Solent courses, the fleet will enjoy a five-day racing programme and a lively social schedule, organised at the Island Sailing Club in the heart of Cowes. "This is going to be a great championship with a strong international fleet," commented Jelvis’ Scottish skipper, Martin Dent. "Besides the top European teams such as Sweeny and Red Herring that came over earlier this year and have done well, we have an Aussie team, and then there are the two teams from the US. Last year we were amongst four UK teams (including the defending 2014 World Champion) that went to Newport for the 2015 Worlds. It was noticeable that the top US teams were a notch up on us all. This year, Kashmir and Skeleton Key are the clear two form J/111s in the US, which is awesome. Kashmir has just won the 2016 North American Championship, and it’s hard to find anything other than a bullet amongst Skeleton Key’s race results. As for JElvis, as usual, we have a young team, barely old enough to drink coffee, three teenagers on board and with everyone besides myself and the mainsheet trimmer being 21 or under. We were delayed getting our J/111 programme started this year, since six of the eight crew were still in school/university until July, but now it’s the summer holidays so we have been able to practise, and hopefully if we get some athletic conditions that favour youthful exuberance, we can be competitive." Rod Warren campaigns his J/111 Joust in Melbourne Australia, and has chartered Kestrel from Simon Bamford for the championship. "The crew is an eclectic bunch." explained Warren. "Aaron Cole is head of North Sails Melbourne and has experienced 13 Sydney Hobarts. Stephen Daniel is a tree surgeon, perfect for the foredeck. Aaron Linton is a sugar cane farmer from far North Queensland, who is our wind whisperer. Stuart Johnstone and his wife Julia are from the USA and part of the J/Boat family sailing legend. Simon Bamford and his son Oscar are the owners of Kestrel, based in Hamble and brave enough to let us loose on their boat, and I am a Cardiologist at the Royal Melbourne hospital. I began sailing keel boats a couple of years ago and quickly wanted to chase speed, hence the J/111. We love one design racing, and we did the Worlds in Newport last year and loved it. We are really looking forward to this year’s competition, especially to sail in such a great venue as The Solent. Coming from Australia our goal is obvious!" "We are very excited to come to the Worlds," commented Kashmir’s American skipper Mike Mayer from Chicago. "A big driver of our decision to come to Cowes was coming close at the Worlds in Newport last year. We had a blast at that regatta and have enjoyed travelling as a team, so here we come. Our team is the same as the Worlds in 2015, except that my partner Karl had to miss last year’s race because his wife had a baby during the event, and he will be back on board for this event (as he was for our recent North American Championship win). We are all from around Lake Michigan, except our bow man Fireball, who is a college kid from Florida. Most of us have never sailed in the Solent and are looking forward to absorbing the sights and sailing history there. Conditions in Chicago tend to be light, and there are no meaningful tides and currents. That will be a major difference and challenge for us. The logistics of racing across the pond are daunting, and we want to thank J/Boats and J/Composites for working with us to make our attendance possible. We look forward to seeing the UK friends we made at last year’s Worlds again, and making new ones at this Worlds." Follow the action from the Worlds at https://sites.google.com/site/j111worlds2016/.
The CanAm Challenge was hosted by Youngstown Yacht Club in Youngstown, NY from July 22-24. In the PHRF 1 Spinnaker division, Robert Hesse's J/111 Lake Effect came out on top, ahead of two J/109s, a J/35, J/124 and J/105. For complete event details, click here.
J/111 Crowned New England PHRF Champion
This year’s New England PHRF Championship was hosted by Portland YC in Portland, Maine and was sponsored by Handy Boat Service & Hallet Sails. Over the two-day weekend event, 30 boats participated in four divisions—cruising and three PHRF Racing divisions. Sitting on top after winning PHRF 1 Class was Mike Williamson’s J/111 BRIGADOON, handily winning their class and the overall regatta. For more New England PHRF Championship sailing information, visit http://www.portlandyc.org/.
JELVIS Clinches J/111 European Championship
With a stiff southwesterly breeze and sunshine, the J/111 European Championship went right to the wire with the champion decided on the very last race. The J/111’s enjoyed beautiful weather for their six-race series hosted by the Royal Southern YC on the River Hamble in the United Kingdom. Chris Jones' JOURNEYMAKER II scored two bullets to lead the class after the first day of racing, but three straight bullets from Martin Dent's JELVIS on the second day secured the European Championship for the Scottish skipper’s young team. Third was Paul Griffith’s JAGERBOMB. "This was yet another weekend of very close racing. All the boats were sailing well, every mark rounding we were in company, and if you made a mistake you would let somebody through. Yes it’s competitive, but there is a fantastic spirit in the fleet. There’s healthy rivalry and banter in equal proportion between the teams. We are now looking forward to the Pre-Worlds, Worlds and then straight into Cowes Week—14 days of continuous J/111 sailing! It just doesn’t get any better than that!" Royal Southern Commodore Chris Mansfield officiated at the prize-giving, which was well attended in the Upper Bar at the Royal Southern Yacht Club. The Commodore introduced Martin Gammon, Joseph Perrier Champagne UK Director, who presented winners with generous prizes of Joseph Perrier champagne. For more J/111 Europeans sailing information, visit http://www.royal-southern.co.uk/.