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.

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

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

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.

Final Results:

  1. Spaceman Spiff, Rob Ruhlman, 3 -2 -2 -1 -[4] -2 -4 -1 ; 15
  2. Sitella, Ian Hill, [4] -1 -4 -3 -1 -1 -2 -4 ; 16
  3. Bravo, Andrew Ward/Sedgwick Ward, 2 -3 -1 -[4] -2 -3 -3 -2 ; 16
  4. Shamrock, Jeffrey Davis, 1 -4 -3 -2 -3 -[5] -1 -3 ; 17
    Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at

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


Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key improved his J/111 resume by adding the 2018 J/111 North American Championship to his 2017 J/111 World Championship title. With crew John Collins (bow), Nick Gibbens (headsail trimmer), John Hayes (mast), Dave Lyons (spinnaker trimmer), John Pernick (main trimmer), Cory Schillaci (pit) and Seadon Wijsen (tactician), the St. Francis Yacht Club member recorded no scores lower than a sixth in the no-discard, eight-race series. Skeleton Key ended with 18 points, including three bullets. Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund secured the silver position with 36 points, just one ahead of Bradley Faber’s Utah and Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff who tied on points at 37 for third and fourth, respectively. Sixteen teams competed over the three-day event hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club in Holland, MI. In breeze sometimes sustained over 20 knots, Friday’s race winners were Faber’s Utah, Jeffrey Davis’ Shamrock and the trio of Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson and Mike Mayer on Kashmir. However, race 6 was later abandoned due to an improper action by the Race Committee.
Top five:

  1. Skeleton Key, Peter Wagner - 1 -6 -1 -2 -1 -0 -5 -2 ; 18
  2. Slush Fund, Jim Connelly - 2 -1 -3 -1 -16 -0 -8 -5 ; 36
  3. Utah, Bradley Faber - 6 -3 -4 -7 -7 -0 -3 -7 ; 37
  4. Spaceman Spiff, Rob Ruhlman - 5 -7 -8 -5 -5 -0 -4 -3 ; 37
  5. Shamrock, Jeffrey Davis - 3 -2 -5 -8 -14 -0 -1 -9 ; 42
    Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at

Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key had a near perfect day on Thursday to move into the lead at the J/111 North American Championship, hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club in Holland, MI. Good breeze allowed three races, two of which were won by 2017 J/111 World Champion Wagner. Skeleton Key also had a second in the middle contest, ending with 11 net points in the no-discard series. Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund stumbled in the last race of the day, dropping to second overall with 23 points. The consistency of Bradley Faber’s Utah puts them in third with 27 points among the 16-boat fleet. Chasing Wagner in the initial race were Richard Witzel’s Rowdy and Connelly. Then it was Connelly back in the driver’s seat, beating Wagner and the Andrew and Sedgwick Ward team on Bravo. The final battle went to Wagner again, as Witzel earned another second and Tracy Brand’s Solution took third. Racing concludes Friday. Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at

Light winds greeted 16 J/111 teams for the beginning of the J/111 North American Championship, hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club in Holland, MI. Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund figured out the conditions in the pair of races, posting a 2,1 on the day for the lead at 3 points. Just two ticks behind in second place is Jeffrey Davis’ Shamrock, who recorded a solid 3,2 for 5 points. Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key started the day with a bullet but added a sixth for 7 points and third place. Following 2017 J/111 World Champion Wagner in the opening match were Connelly and Davis. Then Connelly and Davis each moved up a notch in race two, taking first and second ahead of Bradley Faber’s Utah. Racing continues through Friday. Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at

Bright sunshine, steady breeze and flat seas greeted the 76 teams for the final day of racing at the 54th edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series (September 12-16), hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club. The race committee announced a 15-minute postponement on both the Alcatraz and Treasure Island race courses to allow the breeze to consolidate and—given the flood-tide cycle that the racers have been enjoying all week—the water to flatten-out prior to the day’s single long-form Bay Tour race. This traditional final-day course selection allowed all seven competing classes to finish this no-drop series directly in front of StFYC’s Race Deck, giving onshore spectators a fantastic view. Dorian McKelvy and his crew aboard his J/111 Madmen (USA 17) fully owned the ORR-B class, winning the City of San Francisco Trophy—one of the golden spades used during the 1933 groundbreaking ceremony for the Golden Gate Bridge. For more information, please visit the Rolex Big Boat Series' website at

The 2018 J/111 World Championship was hosted in conjunction with the Breskens Sailing Weekend in the Netherlands. A dozen J/111 crews participated from five nations (Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland). The teams raced offshore on the North Sea along the famous Benelux beaches and seashore. Hosts for the Worlds were Watersportvereniging Breskens, Royal Yacht Club of Belgium, Koninklijke Roei & Zeilvereniging De Maas, Koninklijke Nederlandse Roei en Zeilvereniging Muiden, Koninklijke Antwerpse Watersportverenging SRNA and the Royal Netherlands Yachting Union (RNYU). The British J/111 contingent would prove formidable over the course of competition. In the end, it was Martin Dent’s JELVIS that loved the big breeze and big winds and repeated their win from 2016 to be crowned the 2018 J/111 World Champion. The first day of competition saw big breeze, big waves and difficult steering conditions in the chop that builds offshore of Breskens due to the current. The second day produced even tougher conditions than the first, with a steady 20-plus knots of wind and huge waves. Spinnaker runs saw boats easily hitting 14+ knots boat speed most of the way down the track to the leeward gates. Dent’s JELVIS team scored a perfect 1-1-1 on the day. The only downside was that Simon Bamford’s team on KESTREL had a massive collision with RED HERRING during the first race of the morning. On the third day, the windspeed was gusting up to 23 knots and waves up to 8 feet high against the current. Britain still ruled after three days of racing, with Dent’s JELVIS in an untouchable position for the final day. In the end, the JELVIS crew won their second J/111 World Championship with a very consistent performance, reveling in the breezy, choppy conditions. Taking second was Tony Mack's McFLY, and the battle for third place was won by Paul van Driel's SWEENY (they were also declared the J/111 Worlds Corinthians Division winner). For more J/111 World Championship information, visit