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

President's Message

This year has seen a renewed interest in the class with many new people involved both on the sailing and the admin side. Certainly it has been a steep learning curve for your new president.  ….  More (click here)

Social Night in Melbourne – August 5

Hugo Ottaway awards the New Whitworth's Trophy to Luke Mathews from Pacemaker
Hugo Ottaway awards the New Whitworth's Trophy to Luke Mathews from Pacemaker

Updated report on the night.

Following the very successful J Nights at Sandringham YC last year the Victorian Association has done it again. This time the night was held in the  brand spanking amazing new clubhouse.  For those who have not yet been into the new building you are in for a surprise – simply awesome !

The night started with a few people gathering in the members bar and then the group was given a complete tour of the new building. From the aircraft carrier bridge type race control tower at the top to the fully equipped auditorium and offices on the ground floor and the public areas on the first floor, the group was very impressed with the new building.

Drinks as usual and the with Victorian Association picking up the tab for a light finger food dinner as well, the evening went off well. About 20 members enjoyed the hospitality in the members lounge.  Simon Grain gave an overview of the national scene and Hugo Ottaway did the same with the local scene.

Hugo then presented Luke Mathews with the new Summer Aggregate Series  trophy – The Whitworth Marine and Leisure Cup (an impressive cup revived from the SYC loft as it had not been used for some time) – for last season’s Summer Aggregate racing won by Pacemaker. With the Nationals here next summer this new trophy will be hard fought for in the coming season.

(Apologies for the quality of my phone photo, it was the mood lighting !)

Six months to the day

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The view over the J24 hardstand area and pond from the new clubhouse balcony

Today, the 8th of July is 6 months to the day, of the 2010 Nationals prize giving – will you be there getting a trophy?  Sean Wallis thinks he will.

The Victorian J24 Association is planning a huge National Championship in January next year. With the renewed interest in the class and the standard of both the local Victorian and the National fleets ramping up significantly in the last 12 months, we are expecting a strong fleet. At this stage over 20 boats have already indicated a desire to attend.

The Nationals program will commence on Saturday the 2nd of January with registration, measuring and an invitation race on Sunday. The championship will be a series of 10 races scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with Wednesday being a layday with provision for resail. The prize giving will be held on the Friday night in the new Sandringham Clubhouse. In fact we will be the first National Championship to be held there.

The new building is amazing, located right on the breakwater for race area viewing and with the first floor bar, terrace and balcony overlooking the heart of the J hard stand and dockside area, we guarantee you will have a great time in these new facilities.

The new Sandy clubhouse - right on the breakwater !
The new Sandy clubhouse - right on the breakwater !

But it isn’t all fun – some of us will get serious on the race track and with the current high standard of our one design fleet, the race for first place will be intense. Can you knock off Sean Wallis who will be out to defend his Nationals Title, if you think you can, Melbourne is the place to try.

For those with less ferocity for the top spot, why not enjoy the class strength and go for the handicap trophy, this is winnable by anyone in the fleet. The race for this trophy is the place to learn more about the class, meet new and old friends, getting back into one design and it is fun. So if you haven’t sailed your J in a nationals for a bit and want to share in the experience, this could be your competition.

Well, there is a lot more to come in the next 6 months of preparation for the big one in Melbourne, so keep your eye on the website for NOR around the end of July, and info on just about everything from measuring to social programs in the following months.

Remember – the dates to put in your diary are the 2nd to the 8th January

If you want more information contact Simon Grain on grain@smarketing.com.au or Hugo Ottaway on portstarboard@hotmail.com

IJCA Mourns Loss of Geoff Evelyn

July 1, 2009  –  From Eric Faust, Executive Director, J/24 Class Association, as posted on the IJCA site
The International J/24 Class Association is sad to report that past IJCA Chairman and Councilor of Honor, Geoff Evelyn of Canada, passed away Saturday, June 27, 2009, at age 64 after suffering complications from a brain hematoma. Geoff was a long-time supporter of the J/24 Class and volunteered many hours to helping the Class, both as the Chairman and more recently as a Councilor of Honor. Geoff’s spirit and devotion to the sport of sailing will be sadly missed.
Geoff is survived by his wife, Wendy; daughter Jenn, and grandson Curtis Tureck. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, July 2nd. Condolences can be expressed at http://www.courticefuneralchapel.com/obituaries-details.php?id=235 through the link on the right side of the screen.

Many Australian J sailors and those who have held administrative positions or travelled to overseas regattas would know Geoff.  In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that people make a contribution to the charity of their choice. The website also allows you to note your charitable contribution and share that with the family.

Regards,
Eric Faust
Executive Director
J/24 Class Association

I have posted the following condolence on the Chapel site above:

On Behalf of the Australian J24 Class Association and our many members who have over the years had friendship, contact and dealings with Geoff, we would like to send our sincere condolences to his family and friends over the loss of Geoff. We recognise his huge contribution to J/24 International in being one of the key players whose stewardship has made the class what it is today. There is no doubt that his work protected the class from falling into the abyss that so many others have. We know he is sailing smoothly now.

Simon Grain, President, J24 Australia.

Thank you Alyn and Hugo for your help with preparing this message

Sean Wallis wins first J24 Asia -Pacific Championship

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'Wetty Gripper leads the fleet to top mark - 2009 J24 Asia - Pacific Championship' Traci Ayris

Sean Wallis and his team sailing Wetty Gripper sailed a flawless regatta to win the first J24 Asia – Pacific championship. The Regatta was held at the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia and sailed over three days.

With eight races scheduled day one started in 7 knots from the NW and a tight dual between Sean Wallis W.A. Ben Lamb N.S.W. and Simon Grain Victoria ensured with Sean Wallis holding a tight finishing fleet. Heat 2 Saw David Suda from Victoria leading but Vladimir Borstnar from Singapore sailed deeper angles downwind to take heat 2 from Suda and Wallis.

Day 2 was sailed in 12 kts of steadier breeze and heat 3 saw Ben lamb lead from Alyn Stevenson S.A. with Wallis 3rd. Wallis worked his way to the lead to win the heat from Lamb and Stevenson. Race 4 proved to be costly for DavidSuda who was OCS and Wallis again sailed extremely fast up the first beat to lead from Lamb with Borstnar third.

Suda and Wallis in close battle - 2009 J24 Asia - Pacific Championship - Traci Ayris
Suda and Wallis in close battle - 2009 J24 Asia - Pacific Championship - Traci Ayris

Heat 5 saw David Suda from Victoria again mixing it with Wallis and Lamb and the trio led the Singapore team around the first leg. Wallis was just too quick and went on to win another heat from Suda and Borstnar.

Day 3 and the weather looked ominous. The Race committee boat blew a turbo so racing was postponed whilst another committee boat was prepared. The Race committee kept a close eye on the rain bands to the west expecting some turbulent weather. With only five races sailed David Suda was hoping for at least two races so he could drop his OCS. After a 90 minute postponement the fleet made its way to the start in 22knts of breeze.

Heat 6 Wallis was just too quick and bolted to lead the fleet around the course with Suda second and Lamb third.

Heat 7 started ok but a 35 knot rain squall came through half way up the first beat reducing visibility to zero, hence the Race committee abandoned all further racing.

The Regatta has some extremely close racing and all competitors were thrilled the standard of competition vowing to return next year with the fleet expected to swell to 30 entries.

Article by Alyn Stevenson