MY SHARONA Crowned J/111 World Champion
According to skipper George Gamble of MY SHARONA, "the most nervous day of preparation we have had was for the last day of racing of the J/111 Worlds. The sailing conditions were so variable, we felt anything could happen. And, with so many boats so close in a breeze that was unpredictable even for local sailors, we knew it was going to be a difficult last day."
In the end, Gamble and his crew on MY SHARONA demonstrated yet again why they are such a good team. Never taking any flyers and trying to stay in the hunt, they managed to take a 3rd place in the first race of the last day to seal the deal and win the 2015 J/111 World Championship off Newport. They did not have to sail the last race.
The weather forecast for the finale on Friday was unusual as a weak frontal system was approaching Newport offering up WSW winds in the 8-12 kts range with the expectation of afternoon showers or thundershowers. Typically, such forecasts can be way off. With skies clearing for a period of time, the Newport seabreeze machine asserted itself for a period of time fighting the frontal gradient over the land and nearshore waters.
2015 J/111 Worlds Newport
MY SHARONA Tops J/111 Midwinters 2015
(Key West, Florida)- The first J/111 Midwinters saw Pensacola, Florida skipper George Gamble steer MY SHARONA to a wire-to-wire victory. Quantum pro Scott Nixon called tactics on MY SHARONA, which displayed superb boat speed in all conditions in winning five races and placing second or third in four others. After a slow start, the 2014 Key West Race Week winner, Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF, closed strongly to take second overall for the regatta. Third was Brad Faber’s UTAH. Early regatta leader, Bob Hesse’s LAKE EFFECT, sailed consistently to take fourth and lying fifth was William Smith’s WOOTON.
SHMOKIN JOE Wins 1st J/111 Worlds
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Day five of the J/111 World Championships dawned with a clear sky, low temperature and no gradient wind. The forecast was for 5 knots at 1030 rising to 8 by noon. With two races left to sail and a 1500 prize giving ceremony, in view of the light conditions it seemed likely that at best only one race would be sailed.
The overnight leader SHMOKIN JOE owned by Duncan McDonald and Phil Thomas had a strong enough score that if one or less races were sailed the trophy was going home to Brighton with them. Whilst the SHMOKIN team may have felt safe, second place Tony Mack's McFLY were under threat from Frédéric Bouvier and his French team aboard J-LANCE 9. The French had only come together as a team for the event and had gelled as the series progressed to become the boat of the day on day four, the penultimate day.
JITTERBUG Tops J/111 EuroCup
(Cowes, England)- With just over 2 weeks to go till the start of the inaugural J/111 worlds, the J/111 Eurocup couldn’t have come at a better time to get everybody back out on the water. This mini series over the first 4 days of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week comprised of 8 races and out on the water there was no let up in the tension.
Day one in the Eastern Solent saw a very shifty SE breeze and huge East going tides which caught many boats out when it came to laying the windward mark. In contrast to the usual straight windward leewards the race committee put in some reaching legs which gave the crews something different to contend with. The first bullet of this regatta went Stuart Hawthorn on Plan J. Race 2 didn’t see the fleet get off to a clean start and the second attempt was black-flagged. Jitterbug got away and kept clear of the rest of the fleet to take the gun followed by the West Country team on Black dog.
WINDCZAR Repeat J/111 North American Champion
J/111 sailing North Americans (Harbor Springs, MI)- The J/111 North American Championship was sailed over the July 24-27 weekend at the Little Traverse Yacht Club in Harbor Springs, MI. Thirteen J/111 boats attended the event in beautiful Northern Michigan ready to race during the LTYC annual Ugotta Regatta. Blue skies, clear water and perfect breeze kicked off the regatta on Thursday as the sailors competed in three races.
At the end of Day One, WIND CZAR (Rich Lehmann) led the fleet with a 1-4-1, followed by NO SURPRISE (Dave Irish) in second posting a 2-2-5 and KASHMIR (Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson, Mike Mayer) in third with a 7-1-2 score. While WIND CZAR and NO SURPRISE were 1-2 in the first race, Annapolis YC offshore veteran Martie Roesch took 3rd. During the second race, KASHMIR dusted off an awful first race 7th and posted their first (and only) winning race of the regatta, followed by the omnipresent NO SURPRISE (a local by the way) and Bill Smith’s WOOTON in third. The last race of the day saw several of the top teams start to predominate, with WIND CZAR again taking a first, followed by KASHMIR in second and then Ryan Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF team from Cleveland, Ohio in third.