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/.
Rowdy Weekend at Verve Cup Offshore / J/111 Great Lakes Championship
Eleven J/111s competed at the Verve Cup Offshore Regatta hosted by Chicago Yacht Club from August 10-12, which also served as the J/111 Great Lakes Championship. Conditions ranged from a lumpy 6-10 knots on Friday, light winds on Saturday and about 8 knots on Sunday under sunny skies. Richard Witzel's Rowdy won three of the seven races to secure first place with 17 points. Peter Wagner's Skeleton Key took the runner-up position with 20 points, two better than Bradley Faber's Utah in third. For complete event details, visit https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4700.
Wicked Buzzards Bay Regatta
The 2018 Buzzards Bay Regatta was held August 3-5 by Beverly Yacht Club (Marion, MA) and New Bedford Yacht Club (South Dartmouth, MA), with six course circles hosting nearly 200 entrants. The J/111 Wicked 2.0 lead by Douglas Curtiss took the PHRF New England Championship Race 1. Complete event details may be found at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4710.
J/111 Wicked Wins PHRF Division at Round the Island Race
Edgartown Yacht Club’s Round-the-Island Race (one of America’s oldest distance races) took place around Martha’s Vineyard. It is part of the Edgartown Yacht Club’s Edgartown Race Weekend, which includes two days of buoy racing and a Round-the-Sound Race. Starting at 0800 Saturday morning, the RTI fleet sailed between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket along the east beach of Chappaquiddick. At midday, the fleet headed into the open Atlantic Ocean off the south coast of the Vineyard. In the afternoon, after rounding the cliffs of Gay Head, the sailors then headed up Vineyard Sound to the finish near Edgartown Harbor. Douglas Curtiss’s J/111 WICKED 2.0 won PHRF A. For more Round the Island Race & Sound information, visit http://rtirace.org/.
Kashmir Team Tops Ugotta Regatta
The Little Traverse Yacht Club’s Ugotta Regatta lived up to its fun reputation on the Little Traverse Bay in Michigan. Winning the J/111s was the trio on KASHMIR (Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson, Mike Mayer) with four firsts and a second for just 6 points total. Second was Brad Faber’s UTAH with 9 points. Taking the bronze was Carl Hanssen’s VARIANCE with 16. For more LTYC Ugotta Regatta information, visit https://ltyc.org/ugotta-regatta/.
J/111 Wins Round Island Race
Thanks to Gary Leduc for this report: "The race started at 8:00 am in 11-13 knots true from the east. We had a short port tack favored beat out to a drop mark, then a jib reach down Muskegett Channel to the sea buoy. The second leg was pretty much dead downwind, but the starboard jibe was a little favored. The breeze stayed easterly until the very end of the 16-mile run, when the wind clocked a little SE and freshened. That made for a nice broad reach from Squibnocket to Devil’s Bridge. On the approach to Devil’s Bridge, the breeze slammed back to the east and started to freshen slightly to 14-16 knots. The tide was slack at Devil’s Bridge, but due to start flooding soon. The key is to get up inside middle ground in Vineyard Sound for the flood and ride a 2 knot boost all the way past Vineyard Haven. That did happen for us, and as we came out of middle ground at West Chop, we were doing over 10 knots SOG right into the 14-16 knot Easterly. Those conditions made for very, very close, steep chop. One issue we did have was the Ferry coming out of Vineyard Haven. We could not cross her bow. So, we had to tack onto port. We wanted to continue on starboard, but the ferry altered that plan slightly. Once clear, we tacked back onto port to a layline for the finish line. We were a bottom-rated boat in PHRF Class A, while the highest rating boat was Aurora, a 65 footer. Also in our class were Chessie Racing and Irie and Crazy Horse, all big fast boats over 55 feet. Our corrected time was 6:38:11, winning by a margin of 19min 20sec! Since 2013, the J/111 WICKED 2.0’s race record in the Around The Vineyard Race looks like three firsts and one second."
110th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac
From tragedy and big seas to flat calm and floating, the 110th Chicago Mackinac Race was a race of extremes for the 289.4 nm course from the Chicago Lighthouse, just off Navy Pier, to Mackinac Island. After the Cruising Division start on July 20 and the Racing Division start on July 21, the 288-boat fleet was soon dealt with 20+ knots and six-to-eight foot seas as they sailed up Lake Michigan. Ultimately, 65 teams would retire. As the low moved east, the wind lightened and a weak high pressure system met the fleet in the northern part of the lake. Seventeen J/111s started, and it was Dave Irish’s Nosurprise that took Class honors, ahead of Richard Witzel’s Rowdy and Tom Dickson’s Warlock. For complete results, visit http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/results.cfm.
Wicked Time at Edgartown
Edgartown Yacht Club’s 80-year-old ’Round-the-Island (’RTI) race is 56 nautical-miles. It started early and finished in the late afternoon on the wings of a moderately heavy breeze. It is part of Edgartown Yacht Club’s annual Edgartown Race Weekend, which includes two days of ‘Round-the-Buoys racing on Thursday and Friday (July 19 and 20) before segueing into Saturday’s distance racing that this year also included, for the first time, a shorter ’Round-the-Sound race. Douglas Curtiss’s J/111 Wicked 2.0 won PHRF A. For complete results, visit http://www.rtirace.org/raceresults.shtml.
Sun-Baked July ‘Champagne Charlie’ Regatta at Royal Southern Yacht Club
Running racing in light winds on the biggest tides of the year meant the weekend of 14–15 July was never going to be easy. With water temperature in the Solent now almost 21 degrees Celsius and unbroken sunshine predicted, the met office forecast was for a late start to the sea breeze on Saturday and even lighter winds on Sunday. The PRO, Philip Gage, issued an amendment to add an extra race on the Saturday, in case racing had to be abandoned on Sunday – as indeed turned out to be the case. The larger keel boats in Black group set off on schedule, with a light southeasterly blowing and the last of the east-going flood adding to the apparent wind. But after the first race was completed, the wind died away as the southwesterly sea breeze started to kick in – but slowly. As it got stronger, the race team managed to get in three more races, with the final race being the best conditions of the day. The J/111 fleet was won by Jelvis (Martin Dent). Full details of the results can be found here: https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=4691.
Light Air Queen’s Cup Race
The 80th running of the Queen’s Cup, one of the most storied yacht races on the Great Lakes hosted by the South Shore Yacht Club will certainly not go down as one of the fastest in history. Nearly 200 boats participated, with over 1,200 sailors enjoying great parties both pre-race and post-race at each venue (Milwaukee, WI across Lake Michigan at a course of approximately 89 degrees to Grand Haven, MI). PHRF 3 was the J/111 Division. Winning that competitive class was Mark Caliban’s NO QUARTER, followed by Brad Faber’s UTAH in second and Richard Hobbs’ HOBGOBLIN holding on for the bronze. For more Queen’s Cup Race information, visit http://www.ssyc.org/.