J/Fest San Francisco was held at St. Francis Yacht Club on April 1-2 with four J/111s on the starting line. After five races, Roland Vandermeer and Peter Wagner’s Big Blast tallied four bullets to lead them to victory over Nesrin Basoz’s Swift Ness (11 points), Dick Swanson’s Bad Dog and Gorkem Ozcelebi’s Double Digit (both with 16 points). For complete event information click here.

For many, it was "chilled champagne" sailing on day three of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series. The series is at its midpoint, and the overall results are beginning to take shape as the front-runners and riders start to become apparent. The third Sunday of the Series was more like a classic Spring Series day; cold with sunshine and reasonable winds from the east. The Black Group start line was near E Knoll with the first beat set to a removable buoy on the mainland shore. True wind was around 18 knots, varying from 14 to 21, but with relatively flat water. On the combined IRC1 and 2 starts, eagerness prevailed as boats clustered up on the committee boat end of the line, and the individual recall flag was displayed - boats peeled off and restarted. In IRC 1 class, Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG took second and Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL placed third, which puts them in the same order in the overall placings. For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series information, visit http://warsashspringseries.org.uk/2017/index.htm.

j111postThe J/111 Aeolus finished in the top three (second after time correction) of 80 boats in the Double Handed Farallones Race. USA101 Swiftness also competed. Visit http://www.pressure-drop.us/forums/content.php?7189-A-Four-Course-Fiasco for the recap.

The second Miami to Havana Race fleet started on March 15 off Miami, Florida. Hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club and Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba, along with SORC as Race Committee, it was a pretty fast race overall. In PHRF 2 Class, Gary Weisberg’s crew from Marblehead, MA sailed their J/111 HEAT WAVE fast, finishing in a corrected time of 1:06:23:55 to take second in class and fourth overall. For more Miami to Havana Race information, visit http://www.havanarace.org/.

Last year, the first race of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series took place in unseasonably glorious sunshine, but this year on March 12, entrants were faced with drizzle, mist and light winds. With light fair tide beats and foul tide runs, the latter were always going to a challenge, and both the White and Black Groups boats found that avoiding holes downwind was the main priority of the day. It was a challenging day also for line and course setting for the committee boats. The winds reported on Bramblenet were 7-10 knots Southwest, but Dock Heads was reporting 7-10 knots Northwest. In the end, Northwest predominated, but 10 knots was rarely if ever seen. On the White Group, Race 2 had to be abandoned when the wind switched through 90 degrees or more and dropped below 3 knots. However, another two races were completed, and as Race Officer Peter Knight noted, the same boats were up at the front. IRC1 was won by JITTERBUG (J/111 - Cornel Riklin), with KESTREL (J/111 - Simon Bamford) third. For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series information, visit http://warsashspringseries.org.uk/2017/index.htm.

The Islands Race was hosted by Newport Harbor Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club on February 24-25. The 130nm dash began February 24, with competitors starting off Long Beach Harbor, heading west around Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands and into the finish off San Diego’s Point Loma. The race has become one of the West Coast’s signature offshore races, but this year’s event featured considerable visibility and scenery for those on board, yet light winds for the last third of the race. Skies were clear enough at the start on Friday that competitors and Race Committee could see all the way to Catalina due to the stormy fronts that have been blowing through Southern California over the past few weeks. Most boats started in about 8 knots of wind out of the northwest, and winds increased as boats moved around the course to San Clemente Island. The breeze peaked at about 14 knots at San Clemente and got progressively lighter and came from odd directions (east) as boats approached the finish. Only 14 of the 24 boats entered in this year’s race finished since many boats turned their engines on and confirmed their "did not finish" status. Crushing it overall as well as in the PH3 Division was Doug and Jack Jorgensen’s J/111 PICOSA from Los Angeles YC. In class, they won by 21 minutes corrected over a Summit 40 and Class 40. Overall, PICOSA took fourth place. For more Islands Race information, visit http://islandsrace.com/.

J111 Worlds Logo 2017 V1

The 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week saw the seven racing classes complete races as scheduled. The week started with a windy and wavy southeasterly that faded over the course of four days before swinging around to a light southerly for Friday's conclusion. Many sailors felt the conditions were "typical of Key West Race Week," and they complemented the race committee's judgment. Peter Wagner's (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key won the J/111 fleet for a second consecutive year with the low score of 25 points. Skeleton Key won Friday's race to score a 6-point victory over Rob Ruhlman's (Cleveland, OH) Spaceman Spiff. For complete event information, visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website at https://keywestraceweek.com/.

Two races were held Thursday at Key West Race Week in light winds between 6-9 knots from the southeast. These were held after a harbor postponement that was signaled to allow the light northeasterly wind to shift around to the forecasted southeasterly. After posting finishes of 2-1, Peter Wagner's (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key was named Boat of the Day. Skeleton Key also took over the lead in the J/111 Class with the low score of 24 points. Skeleton Key won the Class last year but got its defense off to a slow start with an eighth in Race 1. Since then, the crew from Northern California has steadily climbed the leaderboard while the early series leader, Rob Ruhlman's (Cleveland, OH) Spaceman Spiff, has been dropping. In the past four races, Skeleton Key has finished 1-3-2-1 while Spaceman Spiff has finished 3-9-3-5. "Today was all about being flexible. It was a very challenging day," said Wagner, a two-time All-American sailor in the late 1980s. "We're always very confident in our boatspeed; the trick is to put ourselves in position to use it. We didn't see a bias on the racecourse to one side or the other, so we tried to maintain tactical flexibility. That allowed us to benefit from boatspeed." Spaceman Spiff trails Skeleton Key by four points and now has to keep an eye over its transom at Jeffrey Davis' (Cleveland, OH) Shamrock, which has 29 points. "I have a lot of respect for the Spaceman Spiff guys. They sail their boat very well," said Wagner. "The conditions were so challenging today that it was easy to come out on the wrong side of events. We were fortunate to be able to improve our position today, and that's all that we could hope for." Racing concludes Friday. For more information and complete provisional results, please visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website at https://keywestraceweek.com/.

Day 3 at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week (Mount Gay Rum Day) saw a softening of the breeze on the racecourse. After a windy and wavy start to the regatta, Wednesday's conditions were far more manageable, as the wind ranged anywhere from a high of 10-13 knots before dying away to 7-9. The sea state, while calmer than the first two days, was still lumpy.

In the J/111 Class, Rob Ruhlman's (Cleveland, OH) Spaceman Spiff went 1-3 in the first two races and looked to be well in control of the fleet. But then the Spaceman Spiff crew finished ninth in the third race and finds itself one point ahead of Peter Wagner's (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key, the reigning Class champion. Observers on the J/111 course noted that Spaceman Spiff got stuck in both the left and right corners in the last race. Racing continues through Friday. For more information and complete provisional results, please visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website at https://keywestraceweek.com/.

To the delight of the more than 600 sailors competing in the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week, day two's racing nearly mirrored day one's memorable conditions. ‘Lewmar Day’ offered more stellar racing in 15-20 knot winds amid sunny skies and warm air temperatures. Rob Ruhlman (Cleveland, OH), sailing the J/111 Spaceman Spiff, said these conditions are what keeps him coming back year after year. "I've done race week 15 or 20 times and like the format. I like that it's not a two- or three-day regatta. It's always a great experience. Very few places are like Key West," said Rob Ruhlman. With two seconds Tuesday, Spaceman Spiff leads the J/111 Class with the low score of 7 points. Peter Wagner's (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key, the defending Class champion, moved up to second by winning both of the day's races and trails by 6 points. "Our buddies on Skeleton Key sailed really well," said Rob Ruhlman. "I'm happy that we were able to dig out of a few holes. We dug out from fourth or fifth at the windward mark in the first race and had a bad start in the second race. The racecourse seemed very open. There was no particular emphasis on one side or the other." As for staying ahead of Skeleton Key, Rob Ruhlman said, "We beat them both times yesterday, so they can be beat. They're a good team, but this Class is very good. The boats are incredibly evenly matched; it's close, tight racing. The winner is usually the team that doesn't make mistakes. It's very difficult from a boatspeed standpoint to make up lost ground." Racing continues through Friday. For more information and complete provisional results, please visit the Quantum Key West Race Week website: https://keywestraceweek.com/.