Skeleton Key Takes J/111 Fleet at Annapolis NOOD
The Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD regatta took place May 3-5. In the eight-boat J/111 fleet, Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key won four of seven races to earn the Class win with 14 points. Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff followed in second place with 20 points, and Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund in third with 27 points. For complete event details, visit https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=6036.
Warsash Spring Series Weekend IV Report
The fourth weekend is in the books for the Warsash Sailing Club’s HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series. The fleet was blessed, again, with good enough conditions to get in one more race for the IRC handicap fleets. The forecast for the day was not exciting, E to SE, 4-7 knots. This eventually turned out to ENE to S and the back to ESE, with 3-5 knots for most of the day and reaching nearly 8 knots for the last half of the last race of the day. In IRC 1 Class, it was the first outing for Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II, showing they had not lost their edge by winning their class in convincing fashion. For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series information, visit https://warsashspringseries.org.uk/2019/index.htm.
North European Fleet J/111s Race at Taittinger and Cowes Week
Early commitments make J/111s the largest single boat type at both the Taittinger Regatta and in IRC1 at Cowes Week 2019. The Taittinger regatta, 26-27 July 2019, run by the Royal Solent Yacht Club at Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, is a relatively new event for the J/111s, but popularity is growing steadily. The weekend begins with the Taittinger champagne party at the RSYC on the Friday evening, offers two ‘Solent’ round-the-cans races on Saturday, the Towers party with live music and fireworks on the Saturday evening and another race and prize-giving on the Sunday. Entry includes a berth at Yarmouth marina. At Cowes Week 2019, the J/111 results will be extracted from IRC1 for a class result.
North European Fleet J/111 2019 Series Sponsored by Sweeney
In a new initiative to build on the success of the J/111 2018 Worlds in Breskens, Netherlands, the North European J/111 Fleet has organised a Series competition for 2019. J/111 boats and crews will be competing for the new Paul Heys trophy, awarded to the overall points winner over the six scheduled regattas, which include:
Vice Admirals Cup - 10, 11, 12 May
Royal Southern Regatta - 18, 19 May
Royal Southern Regatta - 15, 16 June
Royal Southern Regatta - 13, 14 July
J Cup - 18, 19, 20 July
Royal Southern Regatta - 14, 15 September
HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series Starts Up
The Warsash Sailing Club on the Hamble River in the United Kingdom started its HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series. The WSC PRO paid tribute to Paul Heys of J/U.K. In the Black fleet, leading the IRC 2 Class is Simon Perry’s J/111 JIRAFFE with a 1-2 for 3 points total. For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series information, visit https://warsashspringseries.org.uk/2019/index.htm.
J/111 Wins Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race & Lincoln Race Week Regatta
Rob Date and crew from the J/111 SCARLET RUNNER 11 recently sailed in the 160.0nm Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race (South Australia), followed by the Teakle Classic Lincoln Week Regatta. Rob’s J/111 home port is near Melbourne in Victoria, so the crew sailed the 550+nm trip to Adelaide against the predominant westerly winds to compete in the regatta. The SCARLET RUNNER crew was, for the most part, inexperienced offshore ocean racers. The team included Rob’s daughter, his future son-in-law, his best mate for more than 40 years, and the balance being the usual inshore race crew; there was seven crew in total. The Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race started in the waters of the Gulf of St Vincent off Adelaide. Forty boats left the Outer Harbour/North Haven Marina in Adelaide on a Friday about 3.00pm. It is "South Australia’s Premier Ocean Race" and, now in its 69th year, it has proven that it provides all the challenges of a Category 3 offshore race. The route takes the fleet southwest from Adelaide to Marion Reef at the foot of York Peninsula along the foot to Cape Spencer. Then, the fleet heads northwest past Wedge and Thistle Islands and Dangerous Reef to Port Lincoln. The race started with a port tack beat for 35.0nm. After passing Marion Reef, the course freed up. SCARLET RUNNER 11 put up the code zero and was doing 14 knots with the occasional knock down. Unfortunately, the zero did not last the distance. After passing the bottom of the York Peninsula, the J/111 went into downwind VMG running mode as the wind pressure dropped. The final 20.0nm had them running downwind under A1 spinnaker. SCARLET RUNNER 11 achieved the fastest time for this section of the race. The distance race was then followed by the Teakle Classic Lincoln Regatta with a mix of inshore and coastal courses over four days. The fleet sailed six races. At the conclusion of the regatta, after all points scored for the Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race and the Lincoln Race Week, it was SCARLET RUNNER 11 that topped the Division 1 leaderboard, scoring first on AMS (9 points), first on PHS and second by just two points on IRC.
Hamble-based yacht sales business Key Yachting Ltd, have made the truly sad and shocking announcement that Paul Heys, co-founder and Managing Director, has passed away. Paul was enjoying a much-deserved holiday in the Caribbean with his wife Marie-Claude and came into difficulties while swimming on Monday morning. Paul was a much-loved Husband, Dad, Brother and Granddad, and was greatly admired in the sailing community; sailing was his life and passion. Paul will be missed terribly by everyone who knew him. Details of the funeral arrangements will be made available once finalised.
Sun and Ruhlmans Shine on the St. Petersburg NOOD
It was another beautiful day for the final races of the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta St. Petersburg. Once the sea breeze filled in, racing got underway and most Classes completed two races for a regatta total of eight to nine races. In the five-boat J/111 fleet, Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff nailed first place with 18 points (2-3-1-1-3-1-1-2-4). Jeffrey Davis’ Shamrock took second with 21 points, and Ian Hill’s Sitella third also with 21 points. For complete event details, visit https://www.sailingworld.com/tags/helly-hansen-nood-regatta-st-petersburg.
JOUST Tops Australian J/111 Championship at Festival of Sails
The Festival of Sails is the largest annual keelboat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere with over 300 yacht entries and 3,000 competitors annually taking part in the event. First held in 1844, the Festival of Sails Regatta (held over the Australia Day Long Weekend) is one of the nation’s oldest sporting events, and has evolved over many years culminating in its current format as Australia’s foremost keelboat regatta. Festival of Sails Chairman Stuart Dickson said beautiful weather, exciting racing on Corio Bay and Port Phillip Bay and a smorgasbord of entertainment combined for a terrific event. The Festival of Sails concurrently hosted the 2019 J/111 Australian Nationals in Corio Bay. From the very beginning, Rod Warren’s team aboard JOUST threw down the gauntlet by winning the first race. They never looked back, winning four more races over the three days and having to toss a second place to win with a perfect score of 5 points in 5 races. There was a battle for the balance of the podium with everything going down to the wire on the last day for the two contenders—Phil Simpfendorfer’s VELOCE and Rob Date’s SCARLET RUNNER. Team VELOCE’s crew were up to the task, posting a 3-2-4-2-1-4 for 12 points net to take the silver. Rounding out the podium to take the bronze was SCARLET RUNNER with a 2-3-2-5-5-3 tally for 15 points net. For more Festival of Sails information, visit https://festivalofsails.com.au/.
Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff Nabs J/111 Midwinter Championship
After eight races, only two points separated the four boats competing for the J/111 Midwinter Championship, a part of J/Fest hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. By way of a bullet in Saturday’s last (and ultimately final) battle, Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff eked out the title with crew Dustin Graef, Jeff Haase, Marty Kullman, Doug Moose, Abigail Ruhlman, Ryan Ruhlman and Jim Sminchak. Four races were completed on Friday and again on Saturday in breezy conditions, although rain and unstable weather prevented any contests on Sunday. Ending with 15 net points, Spaceman Spiff flipped positions throughout the Championship with Ian Hill’s Sitella (who placed second with 16 points), the Andrew Ward/Sedgwick Ward team on Bravo (also with 16 points for third place) and Jeffrey Davis’ Shamrock with 17 points.
- Spaceman Spiff, Rob Ruhlman, 3 -2 -2 -1 - -2 -4 -1 ; 15
- Sitella, Ian Hill,  -1 -4 -3 -1 -1 -2 -4 ; 16
- Bravo, Andrew Ward/Sedgwick Ward, 2 -3 -1 - -2 -3 -3 -2 ; 16
- Shamrock, Jeffrey Davis, 1 -4 -3 -2 -3 - -1 -3 ; 17
Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=6071.
Round The County Race
117 boats signed up for the 2018 running of a popular race in the Pacific Northwest—the Round the County, hosted by the Orcas Island Yacht Club and the Friday Harbor Sailing Club. For Saturday, it was East winds 5 to 15 knots becoming NE in the afternoon. Then, on Sunday, the wind shifted into the North and was about 8-10 knots and relatively flat waters. The currents didn’t look to be too strong compared to previous years, but it was a factor for Saturday’s racing; the bigger boats could get through Haro Straits at the halfway point before it started ebbing against the rest of the fleet. Then, on Sunday the currents lined up well with the northerly winds. In the end in Class Zero, it was the slowest-rated boat that won—Kevin Welch’s J/111 RECON. For more Round the County Race information, visit http://roundthecounty.com/.