Rod Jabin took delivery of a J/111 in March, but as a global pandemic shut down sailboat racing on the Chesapeake Bay, his new toy stayed on the hard in a cradle. However, with just four events under their belts, Jabin’ Ramrod team dominated the 2020 Annapolis Fall Regatta for the ORC East Coast Championship, held October 23-25 in Annapolis, MD. Jabin, who has owned a series of boats named Ramrod, including a Farr 40 and Farr 30, has turned his attention to the J/111 Class, buying an English boat which won the 2015 World Championship. "All credit goes to Chris Larson, who has really done a great job putting the boat together," Jabin said. "Chris took care of getting the sails organized, tuning the boat and putting the crew together. This weekend he did a great job of getting us around the racecourse." Larson called tactics for Jabin, who sailed with an extremely talented crew. Matt Beck trimmed the main, while Morgan Trubovich and Ridgely McKenzie teamed to trim the headsails. Teddy Haaland handled the foredeck, Van Walke worked the mast and Fletcher Sims was in the pit. Jabin is planning to compete in the 2021 J/111 Winter Series (Key West, FL) to help prepare for the 2021 J/111 North American Championship (Annapolis, MD) and 2021 J/111 World Championship (Hampton, VA). "There’s a lot of activity and energy in the J/111 Class, which is exciting," he said. "We’re still figuring out what makes the boat go well. It’s very different than some of the other boats I’ve had. All my other boats had a tiller. I’m still learning how to handle that wheel." Ramrod’s perfect scoreline of four firsts left the rest of the ORC 2 class fighting for second. M’am’selle, a J/122 owned by Ed and Cindy Hartman, earned the runner-up position on the strength of two second place finishes. M’am’selle totaled 14 points, three better than skipper Ken Comerford and his team on the J/111 Moneypenny. Dick Neville, race committee chairman for the Storm Trysail Club-Chesapeake Station, resurrected the Annapolis Fall Regatta following a one-year hiatus. This season saw a noticeable increase in ORC racing on the Chesapeake Bay with a significant number of boat owners obtaining rating certificates. Neville scheduled a distance race around government marks on the Chesapeake Bay for Friday. A light south-southeasterly breeze in the 6-8 knot range prompted Neville to shorten the course to 19 nautical miles Ramrod topping ORC 2. Saturday brought light, fluky conditions and Neville postponed on station in hopes of finding a stable breeze. He got off one start but was quickly forced to abandon. Fortunately, Sunday brought strong northeasterly winds in the 12-15 knot range, allowing the race committee to complete three windward-leeward races. Neville set windward legs of 1.4 nautical miles and sent the fleet around twice. "We were very pleased with the attendance this year. We’ve seen a resurgence in interest in handicap racing, which is a positive," said Neville, who was hopeful for a 2021 Annapolis Fall Regatta. For complete results, visit https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=11832.

Congratulations to the J/111 RAKU that placed first this year in the North Sound Party Circuit north of Seattle, WA. Sailed double-handed by Christina and Justin Wolfe from Orcas Island Yacht Club, RAKU consistently chalked up bullets for the first three events. Here is the report below: "Up north, we learned some valuable lessons this year during our first running of the North Sound Party Circuit, and we are happy to share them. The biggest takeaway—working together between yacht clubs works better and is a lot more fun than working alone at your own club. With so many great events on the calendar, it’s no wonder that participation at many individual events has dropped off in recent years. With this in mind, sailors from Anacortes, Orcas Island and Bellingham sat down over beer and pizza to solve the world’s problems (at least those related to sailboat racing). We all thought of our very favorite events, and the common themes were the dock party, the land party, and solid race organization—not necessarily in that order. Brilliant! There are already some great examples of clubs working together: the Southern Sound Series, West Sound Series, Vancouver Island Race Series, among others. To me, the North Sound Party Circuit reflected these other cooperative series. The result—better events, and fewer of them. Social distancing threw a big wrench in a race series that was devoted to social gatherings, but it didn’t spoil the party, so to speak. Races were limited to singlehanded, doublehanded or households; and eventually to crews of five. No tequila party, no Gertrude’s Hearse, no raft up in the marina. None of our greatest ideas came to fruition, however with a spirit of help and camaraderie, we managed. We worked together on race committee duties, and we adopted a pursuit start to promote distancing. The true test will come next season, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise... Waycross Investment Management took a leap of faith and stayed on as series sponsor. Having a sponsor was essential to creating consistency across the event calendar. Ultimately, we had terrific participation, in part because we were pretty much the only game in town. When COVID-19 restrictions canceled the first event, everyone wondered if anything was going to happen at all. By May, a handful of brave boats came out for the Point Roberts Race in pouring rain with lightning in the hills. When we hosted Round Orcas in June, we were at capacity participation. Windermere Regatta capped out as well with a fun medium-distance-race regatta. Northern Century had 43 boats for the toughest race you’ll ever love. All-up, 74 boats participated in the party circuit this year. The majority of the sailors were doublehanded and found out that they love it! Most everyone learned to do things with fewer people. The most surprising thing about the circuit this year? All of the top four finishers sailed doublehanded throughout the series." Thanks for contribution from 48 North magazine and Stephanie Campbell.

A diminished fleet of 37 teams competed in San Diego Yacht Club’s signature event, the 2020 Yachting Cup on October 10-11 in San Diego, CA. With local COVID-19 regulations postponing the event from its annual spring slot, and with uncertainty prior to the region lifting its boating restrictions, the 48th edition held racing in ORR/EZ, four PHRF fleets, and in J/105 and Beneteau 36.7 one design classes. In the six-boat PHRF C fleet, the J/111 Creative, led by Ed Sanford, came out on top. For complete results, visit https://sdyc.org/assets/results/results20/yachtingcup-res.htm.

The annual Tri-State regatta fell victim to the coronavirus in 2020. Instead of the traditional Friday night 60+ mile race to St Joseph, Michigan, followed by a 30+ mile race to Michigan City, Indiana on Sunday, and finishing on Labor Day back in Chicago, the race was run in a single night. The renamed "Tri-State Fly-By" was a 78.0 nm triangle around southern Lake Michigan. Starting in Chicago, the race took the fleet eastward across the lake to an Orange Tetrahedron set off New Buffalo, Michigan, then to a Red Flashing Gong off of Burns Harbor, Indiana, and then back to the south side of Chicago. At the 7:00 PM start, the weather was perfect—high 70s on the lake, lake water in the 70s with a west wind at 12 MPH. With a course of 100 degrees, it was a spinnaker run to the first mark. PHRF 1 Class was won by the J/111 MOMENTUS owned by Kevin Saedi and Raman Yousefi. The PHRF Doublehanded Class was a topped by John Kalanik's J/111 PURA VIDA, who also led the overall results. For more Tri-State Fly-By Race information, click here.

By invitation of Key Yachting, the 2020 Landsail Tyres J-Cup celebrated the 21st birthday of the annual regatta exclusively for J/Boats. Whilst the regatta was somewhat different this year, the spirit of the J/Boats family was as strong as ever. Hosted for the first time by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the regatta was a huge success. 50 J/Boats with over 200 crew enjoyed great racing, plus safe and secure social functions at the RORC Clubhouse in Cowes.

Tony & Sally Mack's McFly retained the J/111 National Championship and was also awarded the J-Cup. Full results at https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=11774

Following Chicago's pandemic guidelines, the Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club was able to host Chicago's first one-design keelboat regatta for just J/Crews - the inaugural J/Fest Chicago. The event took place August 29-30, sailing out of Montrose Harbor, with racing taking place on the waters of Lake Michigan. In the J/111 one-design fleet, it was a match race duel all weekend between the two boats. In the end, it was John Kalanik's PURA VIDA winning over their colleagues on MOMENTUS (Kevin Saedi & Raman Yousefi). For more J/Fest Chicago information, visit https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=13130.

Stamford Yacht Club hosted their popular Overnight Race on the waters of Long Island Sound for a fleet of PHRF offshore teams. It is a fast overnight race, and for the first time, the event featured a large PHRF Doublehanded class. In the "big boat" PHRF A Division, Bill and Jackie Baxter's J/111 FIREBALL took the silver in their class. For more Stamford Overnight Race information, visit https://www.stamfordyc.com/.

Little Traverse Yacht Club in Harbor Spring, MI annually hosts their 68.0nm Beaver Island Race Weekend toward the end of summer. This year was different than past races, due to the pandemic guidelines they had to adhere to from the state of Michigan. It was a straightforward weekend regatta, comprising of two legs of 34.0nm each: a round-trip from a start off Harbor Point Light in Little Traverse Bay, out into Lake Michigan, across to Beaver Island, finishing off St. James Light. Stay overnight on anchor or mooring, then race back. On the outbound race to Beaver Island, winning that first leg was Bob Matthews's J/105 GRYPHON, with Scott Sellers's J/111 NO SURPRISE taking second. On the return, Sellers's NO SURPRISE took second again while Matthews's GRYPHON dropped to fourth place. For the combined results, the J/111 NO SURPRISE lost the tie-breaker to take the silver overall, while the J/105 GRYHPON took the bronze. For more Little Traverse YC Beaver Island Race information, visit https://ltyc.org/.

The HOOK is the Racine Yacht Club’s premier yacht race, and 2020 marks its 37th year. It is a race from Racine through "Death’s Door" at the top of the Door County peninsula to a port in Green Bay. The first HOOK, named by a member who saw a picture of the course and thought it looked like a hook, was sailed in 1984 with 12 boats racing from Racine, Wisconsin to Menominee, Michigan, finishing off Menominee’s marina and the M&M Yacht Club. The finish line at M&M is between a trailer on the marina seawall and a buoy just offshore. Total distance is some 189.0nm. This year’s event saw challenging, nasty weather at times, with two fronts passing over the race track before the fleet could finish. With a limit of 100 boats to participate, storms led to significant attrition: 4 withdrew, 5 did not start, and 29 did not finish. In the J/111 Class, NO SURPRISE won followed by Kevin Saedi & Raman Yousefi's MOMENTUS. For more Racine YC The Hook Race information, visit https://www.racineyachtclub.org/the-hook.

With not a breath of wind in The Solent, racing was called off at midday on the final day of the Royal Southern Yacht Club Charity Cup Regatta. A virtual prizegiving was held at the RSYC Clubhouse on the banks of the River Hamble. Commodore Graham Nixon welcomed the virtual audience using Facebook live. A charity raffle was also conducted with all the proceeds going to the chosen charities of the regatta: Solent Mind and Hamble Sea Scouts. Commodore Nixon opened proceedings and thanked all of the supporting partners for the regatta and the volunteers and club members. There was a special thank you for the two race officers, Stuart Childerley and Tanya Robinson, who produced excellent racecourses for the regatta. Commodore Nixon commented, "The Royal Southern is delighted to see all of the competitors racing over the three days, and it has been equally delightful for us to host the event. It has been a frustrating four months where we have had to cancel our open events. I am delighted to say that we intend to run Hamble Classics (22-23 August) and our September Regatta (19-20 September). We hope to see everybody there, and we have already booked the same weather with a little more wind!" Stuart Childerley said, "We have had three days of good racing, and it has been great to see everyone out there, taking the first tentative steps back to racing at this time. Congratulations to all the winners. In these difficult times, it is really pleasing to see people enjoying their sailing in a safe manner." Paul Ward, Chair of Sailing at the Royal Southern YC, added, "It’s been fantastic to get everybody out sailing. There is a long history of top class Solent racing at this club. This is what we do, and it is great to back out there again, especially with such a fantastic and varied entry. We have had a lot of help putting this event together, particularly from the RYA and a great race team led by Stuart Childerley. All of the team at the Royal Southern have worked really hard, afloat and ashore, to keep everything safe and run a good regatta." In IRC 1, Tony Mack’s J/111 McFly took top honors. Full results at https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=13042.

The Santa Barbara Yacht Club hosted their 14th annual Fiesta Cup Regatta from July 18-19. The fleet was greeted by nice sailing conditions and a total of seven races were held per Class. The J/111 Class was a three-way duel between very experienced offshore teams. The winner was Mike Drammer & Shaun Hughes' TITANIUM with a 1-3-1-1 tally for 6 points total. The next two spots were determined on a tiebreaker at 9 points each. With a 2-1-3-3 tally, it was Kenny Kieding's ARGO 3 that took the silver over Bernie Girod's ROCK & ROLL that had a 3-2-2-2. For more Fiesta Cup Regatta information, visit https://sbyc.org/fiesta-cup.