Tassie Fleet Increases

 The 2009/2010 sailing season will see some new faces in the J24 Fleet in Tasmania.  There are now 11 boats in Tasmania. The latest edition to the fleet has been a purchase by several of the Hobart association members. The boat known at present as “Sailing Made Easy” was trailered down from Lake Macquarie …  Read more of this great article on the Tassie Page

2010 Nationals Page

A new page specially for the 2010 Nationals is now online. Over the period leading up to the Nationals this page will contain information and links to help competitors enter and prepare.

Click here to go to the Nationals Page

Real short course racing

What Happens When You Do It Differently?

Yellow Jersey Racing in J/105s?

(San Diego, CA- July 18-19)- So what happens when you combine the best aspects of bicycle racing into a format for yacht racing? The SoCal J/105 fleet experienced the sensation last One Design Weekend when the SDYC Race Committee decided to shake things up in honor of the start for Le Tour de France.

Twelve boats came together on an ultra short course, taking a mere four minutes to complete a leg. Combined with the fact that two laps constituted a race and only two minutes between races and there you have the makings for close racing and some very tired crew. As in bike racing, there were not only prizes for winning the race, but intermediate prizes termed “primes” for random accomplishments such as the first to the mark, the fastest timed leg of a race, the fastest start and the ever coveted box of doughnuts to the last finisher of race three (delivered hot and fresh courtesy of the SDYC race committee boat).

In all, eight races were run on the day with the highlight being the last which was run in a “win and out” format. In this race the winner of each leg claimed a prime and retired from the race. The winner of leg one was first, the winner of leg two second and so on until the final sprint for fourth. Rails were scraping, Dacron was stretching and halyards were flying to be the boat to capture the title for the first edition of the Cardiac Cup.   

Overall, Doug Werners’ JAVELIN won the day followed closely by the Driscoll/ Hurlburt combination on TRIPLE PLAY and third went to the ever quick Dennis Case owned WINGS.  Overall the regatta gave a chance for the fleet to learn about the boat and about themselves, ultimately leading to better crew work and faster racing on the course.  Photo Credits: Mark Johnson


Fixing a Rudder

I understand somebody trashed a rudder and it needs to be repaired. Go to the Mr Fix It page for an answer.

Report on Japanese Fleet

dsc00791-compressed1During my last trip overseas, I made time to visit the Japanese fleet and the Singapore fleets.

One of the Japanese fleets is located at Waseda Yacht Club where the President of the Japanese J24 association, Tommy Hatakeyama, sails from with Team Gekko.

I caught a train from Tokyo at 7am down to Misakiguchi to arrive at around 9am. Tommy was there with his team and picked me up at the train station. After a 15 minute drive we arrived at Waseda Yacht Club. I thought we were going to just have a meeting and look at the boats. Tommy asked, Mr. Peter, are you coming sailing with us today? I of course responded yes of course.

Of course I didn’t have any gear with me.I was whisked away to a modern3 storey glass apartment building just 5 mins walking distance from the yacht club to Gekko House owned by team boss and CommodoreShigeru Namiki, where we had a discussion about the Australian scene, the worlds and the Asian Pacific regatta.

When we went to look at the boats, Mr. Namiki came over and said lets go to the club. It’s 10 am, and he says let drink beer, it is absolutely rudeness to refuse Japanese hospitality so I accept. We drink a long neck of Japanese beer, he says another one?? Ok, comes back with some fried fish dish and we sink another long neck. Lets go he says and we go down to the travel lift which must be a 20 tonner, the Japanese use little transporters which are electric similar to what the airlines use. Boats are backed into the slip, two slings up and in the water in 2 mins with military precision – what would you expect from a professional Japanese yard team?

One of the crew runs down with Team Gekko’s boss’s spare set of Musto gear, and we are off.

We motor out into the bay, set the sails and go sailing. In the meantime the fleet is starting to grow and we hover around a rib in the bay.2 boats arrive, then 3,4,5,6. I ask are we racing? The answer is NO, not today, just sail training. What are we doing today I ask, Just practice starting today. It’s around 11am and the pin is set and a weather mark around 150-200 metres. Bang goes the hooter and we are in a 4 min countdown, forget 5 mins these guys can’t afford to lose time.

I’m working pit on Gekko, one of the teams boats for today. We time the start right and blow the fleet away. We sail around 50 metres and Tommy yells out something in Japanese and the fleet peels off and back to the line. He yells out something to Mr. Nobuo Nakazawa, who is the rib driver and runs Gekko House.

Japanese J24 Sailors

Hooter goes, 4 mins is the call and into the start sequence again , we jostle for position and the start is very close. We hike out and lee bow the windward boat, we are in front.

We sail for 100 metres this time, and Tommy recalls the fleet. He is the boss on the water for training.

I am really enjoying this:- I now know the drill – this time 1 lap.

Back to the line again and bang, we are off again. We position the boat well after a few close bumps from leeward and bumping the weather boat. I am loving this, we get a reasonable start and work hard hiking and pull out in front. 1 lap great, I call to Tommy we going kite? He says no, course too short. I say lets go kite and he nods. Pole goes up and we burn down the run, nobody else go kite. WOW these Italian specials are quick. We round the pin and finish. Wait for the fleet. He says ONE more – we have done about 5 starts now and this will be the 6th.

Bang, gun goes again. Tommy yells out to the fleet 2 laps, We all look for the best position off the line and we smoke it again. We are out in front by 3 or 4 boat lengths. Tommy says to me penalty turn practice, I go ready, we swing the boat around hard, dump the mast man in the piss as he didn’t hear the call, complete the turn.He managed to hang on the rail, pull him in and we are still ahead.

Pole goes up, all the fleet have their poles up and six boats run down neck and neck pumping and surfing down the waves. We finish and raft up the rib. Lunch time around 12.30. We have lunch, change bowman with the other Gekko boat and get back into for another hour and a half.

We pick up the buoys and head home. What a fantastic day! Had a couple of whiskies with the boss, took photo’s and said goodbyes.

Anyone who has the time, certainly go sailing in Japan. Japan has 50 J’s scattered all over the place but they all get together to provide a large fleet for their Nationals.

Peter Stevens:peter@austeknis.com

For additional photos, please visit www.hiyachtracing.com