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Thread: 80 J-70s Readying For 2016 Worlds

  1. #11


    Hard to enjoy your cheetos when the driver keeps steering like that.

  2. #12
    Good point.

    Look up the translation of Flojito y Cooperando if you are bored.


  3. #13
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Rise Of The Petite Terrible





    Split Personality Conditions at Day Three of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds Hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club

    SAN FRANCISCO – Mother Nature had some surprises in store for the 68 boats that assembled on the Berkeley Circle for the third day of racing at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club, namely split personality conditions that tested each boat's light- and heavy-air skills, as well as their patience as conditions played tricks on racers and the Race Committee alike. While the breeze varied, consistency proved its importance as several teams stayed fast, irrespective of the breeze and its meandering moods.

    Winds of 5-10 knots and a flood tide awaited sailors as they began the downwind run to the Berkeley Circle, which is located some 7 nautical miles northeast of St. Francis Yacht Club. With a stronger left-hand component to the breeze than previous days, the Race Committee set the windward mark due east from Alcatraz Island, allowing boats to catch a fast, tide-powered ride to the leeward gate, a procession that was lead by Joel Ronning’s Catapult (USA 187), with hometown hero John Kostecki calling tactics. The breeze slowly built as the fleet swapped their kites for their headsails and Trey Sheehan’s Hooligan: Flat Stanley (USA 389) and Jack Franco’s 3 Ball JT (USA 3) hotly pursued Catapult.

    Flash forward to the finishing line, and Catapult strutted to a clean win sailing wing-on-wing, followed by Hooligan: Flat Stanley and Claudia Rossi’s always-fast Petite Terrible (ITA 853). “It felt great to get in a fairly light-air race,” said Ronning, immediately ex post facto. “I’ve got a fabulous crew, and they knew what to do! I listened to [Kostecki], and we kept the boat going fast.”

    While Ronning made his win sound simple, there was nothing straightforward about what unfurled next. The Race Committee started their countdowns for race two, the starting gun sounded, the boats launched off into gathering airs before popping their kites at the offset mark, and—with Jud Smith’s Africa (USA 179), Catapult, and Petite Terrible hammering for the leeward gate—the race was abandoned due to a course that was no longer square to the wind.

    Principal Race Officer Mark Foster personally apologized to the fleet for this abandonment, but the racers themselves were to blame for the next two starts, which resulted in general recalls as the outgoing tide flushed boats over the line in advance of the clock. The Race Committee noted—via VHF channel 69—that 40-some boats were OCS in the second general-recall start, and that they would be conducting the next start under the dreaded U flag, meaning that anyone deemed OCS would be disqualified.

    The message was received, and the next start was noticeably more conservative. The gun fired and the fleet pounded uphill in 18-22 knot airs and some of the afternoon ebb’s strongest waters, which churned up the Berkeley Circle’s infamous washboard.

    This nasty chop didn’t stop Africa, Tim Healy’s Sail Newport (USA 2), Mauricio Santa Cruz’s Bruschetta (BRA 403), Catapult and Petite Terrible from finding the windward mark ahead of the pack. Spinnakers were hoisted, afterburners lit, and Africa, Catapult, and Petite Terrible began replaying the abandoned race, along with added pressure from Sail Newport and Bruschetta.

    Further astern, however, teams began flashing their keels at the sun. Ander Belausteguigoitia, who is sailing aboard Bala (MEX 680) explained heavy-air broach-recovery: “First you let go of all sails and controls, and if it’s not coming back, you have to pop the halyard about halfway, but you have to be careful it doesn’t go in to the water. The spinnaker is still in the air, and before it goes into the water you have to re-hoist it.” Get it right and the race can be salvaged; blow this delicate timing and your crew can expect a lengthy shrimping session.

    While other boats were perfecting their recovery tactics, Africa took the bullet, followed by Sail Newport, Catapult and Petite Terrible. “The guys did a good job, they stepped it up and gave me a good one,” said an elated Smith, just after finishing. When queried about the team’s preference between the two vastly different sets of conditions experienced on Day Three, Smith smiled and admitted, “I like 6 knots, but the crew likes the heavy stuff!”

    After seven races, Petite Terrible is topping the leaderboard, followed by Catapult and Africa. Racing resumes on Friday, and interested spectators can follow the racing online thanks to Alcatel-supplied smartphones, which the event is using as onboard trackers. For more information about this world-class regatta, visit stfyc.com/j70worlds2016.
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  4. #14
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Day 2 Report With Bruce Cooper

    Wind and fog met racers at the docks Wednesday morning for day 2 of racing at the Alcatel J70 Worlds at St. Francis yacht club. This meant wind and some more wind with another layer of warmth of clothing was in order.

    With three races scheduled, boats left the harbor right on time to get to the Berkley Circle racing area which is about an hour east sailing from the city front. I was of course the last crew to report to USA250 where my skipper and crew were patiently waiting for their “big”. As a sailmaker, there is not a dock or boat you pass that someone is asking for rig tuning or sail trimming comments. I’m always late to the boat.

    Race 3:
    Breeze at 220 with 15 knots. We had a nice lower line, middle start. We were able to use our boat speed out to the left side of the course. We rounded the top mark inside the top 20. From there we sent it back to the same side of the course and hooked into the remaining flood tide. At the leeward mark, it was very crowded. We tried to push it more than we should have and ended up fouling. After two circles, we found our speed again and went back out to the left and tried to rally back as much as we could. In the end, we found out we were over at the start with a “U” flag. We learned from our mistakes and decided we shouldn’t always trust the “pings” on the Velocitek!

    Race 4:
    Wind increased to 18-20 for the start of race 4. With a solid start from the port line segment it was a race off to the left side to catch newly building ebb. We stuck to our plan and fought to be far left, being joined by some of the top teams. A solid top mark rounding, we managed to distance ourselves from the pack and have some more breathing room. A quick decision around the bottom gate sent us again to the left side of the course, once again following some of the top teams helped us pass some more competitors allowing us to have a 20th place finish. Staying consistent was key.

    Race 5:
    The 3rd race of the day looked like a very very windy race with the fog coming back in. The race started with more ebb tide setting the fleet up close to the starting line as boats furled jobs to slow down. Only 3 boats were scored with DSQ for jumping the line early, not bad for such a big fleet.

    USA 250 started at the midline start boat but had some light traffic so we had to bail out with a tack or two and found our new strategy of going right instead of left with a clear lane. A reality check is see what local boats with the hot talent are going your way. We had MEX384 Flojito y Cooperando and USA 179 Africa in our line up, so we were in good company.

    With the fog/cloud line coming in, the wind speed stayed at around 20 knots, but it seemed the wind was dropping in pressure and switching left. Very different than what the wind looked like 5 minutes before the start!

    Managing lay line into the 1st mark is tough. We lined up early and paid the price. We rounded in the high 30’s or low 40’s. Staying on starboard gybe, we found pressure and shift that the boats that uber out early never got. USA250 was on a rail planning at 16 knots around a large group of boats in the middle of the course. Approaching the leeward gate, we picked the left gate and had our best mark rounding of the regatta. We pushed to the right on the lifted tack. Net gain to us. The wind stayed low in the 14-16 knot range which kept boats over tensioned on rig and starving for power.

    At the windward mark, the wind came back in full 25 knot force. Wipe outs, bow planting with full green room (standing room only) was in order. USA250 hoisted and got real squarely but stayed under control and blasted off again down the right side.

    We made big gains last run, so we stayed with out angle. Gibing for the finish we sailed across some light spots and had to work hard to keep the low speed plane. To our surprise the boats who gybed early were blasting across our bow. Net loss to us.
    At the finish we slipped out of the top 20 and crossed 23rd. All in all, a great day of racing.
    Skipper Steve Wymann said he felt good about the day and the boat handling was an improvement. USA 250 maneuvering and gear shifting moved us up and will work on better starts.

    Day 2 take away’s:
    -sail the sides of the course and do not sail the middle of the course (upwind and downwind).
    -Enter crowded leeward gates with 2 options. Your planned rounding and a “bail out” move.
    -keep back stay and sail trimming adjusting in lulls. Even when wind drops from 20 to 17-18 knots.
    -Lay line setup at windward mark is critical. If coming in when crowded, either approach one port with 4-5 boat lengths to mark or sail extra up and out on wide starboard laying. Goal is to minimize bad air on final approach.


    *******************************


    Day Three of J-70 Worlds Update:
    By Bruce Cooper:

    Thursday September 29, 2016
    Two races were held today on Berkeley Circle for the J70 fleet. Race 6 was in mild conditions of 8-12 knots and race 7 had winds of 15-20 knots.
    After 7 races the top 5 boats are right on points with a good show down coming for the final 5 races. There is a good representation at the top with the Italians leading followed by the Americans in 2-3, another Italian boat in 4 and the Mexicans in 5.
    Leading the Corinthian Division in 1st place is Shawn Bennett USA32 with all Ullman Sails followed Pat Toole USA 58 and Simon Ling GBR123 with Ullman Sails upwind inventory.

    Race 6
    After a nice start, we decided to play the right side of the course. On the first beat we noticed a big left shift and stepped out to be on the low edge of it. We sailed a clear lane and got to the 1st mark in good shape. That down wind leg, we picked up boats to a top 20 rounding. A bad tactical decision to play the left instead of following the fleet heading towards sunshine. Many boats sailed right around us on the right. On the final downwind leg, we played puffs and gybed to catch a couple more boats and had a terrific finish (just ahead) next to SoCal racer Scott Deardorf on USA351 CAKE. It was close, too close for comfort. We decided it was best to not sail by ourselves to the opposite side of the course than the fleet next time!
    Race 7:

    Z Flag start with ebb tide spells disaster. After a general recall 1st attempt, the fleet spread out and fought for the right and left start marks to get up the course on an edge to get some tide benefit. USA250 started with a 8-10 second delayed start at the right start boat and tacked to the right in the front group of 15 boats. Again, we were in good company of the regatta leaders, so we stuck with our plan and stayed right.

    It was planing conditions as we rounded the 1st mark and took off down the right side. There were moments when the boat aft and to windward was coming on with a 25 knot puff and it seemed like no matter how hard you worked the boat, they were going to have your wind at a high speed pass. But, the puff hits your spinnaker and the boat pulls away just in the nick of time. Jack Franco on USA3 tried a high pass and paid the ultimate price of sailing the edge with a big puff, USA3 laid it down hard right at the time they were trying to pass USA250. Whew!

    We gated left and played the right side with good pace. The rig was set for 20 knots so when the wind dropped to 16 to 18, Ryan and Steve had to work extra hard keeping the speed and groove. We lost about 4 boats on the upwind leg as a result.
    Approaching the last upwind mark, the breeze was up again with the front boats off and planning downwind. USA250 had a good set and went into FAST downwind trim.
    The best tactic for passing downwind seems to be sail the edge laylines and come into the finish totally on fire never getting off the high plane. Bob Hughes USA353 Heartbreaker had the slight edge on the final approach and stayed heated (and almost flipped over) coming into the finish and beat us by 1/2 boat length. We finished 17th and felt good knowing we let a few boats slip by on the upwind and downwind.

    Day 3 take away's:
    - stay with the fleet
    - skipper has a panic word for when the rudder is loosing grip telling the trimmers to full release the vang and dump the spin sheet.
    Note: having the spin flag and the boat going 10 knots on course is better than a full knock down broach!
    - huge gains when sailing off the start with clear wind and lane. To round in the top 20 this is a must.
    Last edited by Photoboy; 09-30-2016 at 10:20 AM.
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  5. #15
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Friday 3 Race Enduro




    Endurance Sailing at Day Four of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds Hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club

    SAN FRANCISCO – Sailors are a hearty type, but even hearty bodies get tired, especially when exposed to world-class competition that requires A-game performances for several days in a row. Such is the game at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club, as San Francisco Bay has been delivering big wind and waves all week for the 68 boats from 15 countries racing in this high-octane event. Stir in a strong ebb-tide cycle and the Berkeley Circle racing area quickly becomes a small sea of white caps that sap boatspeed and test stamina.

    “It’s been a tough series for us—we expected that—but it’s been tougher than we thought,” said Simon Ling, skipper of the Corinthian Team RAF Benevolent Fund Spitfire (GBR 123). “Everyone warned us that it was going to be cold and windy, and it has certainly delivered. We like those conditions, but sailing a keelboat in the chop—we haven’t had a lot of experience with that, so that’s all been part of the learning curve this week…It’s been a fantastic event and we are loving it.”
    While Ling and company enjoyed a strong Day Four, with a 4th-place finish in Race 9 and a 2nd-place finish in Race 10, their feelings were echoed throughout the fleet. “This morning I woke up and said, ‘It feels like Day Four,’” said Justin Kromelow, skipper of Loose Lucy (USA 375), who celebrated his 50th birthday on Thursday and boasts the coolest-looking sails in the fleet.








    The day began innocently enough, with bluebird skies, 4-6 knots of breeze, and a flood tide that kept the racecourse smooth for the run to Berkeley Circle. Then, the air filled to 8-10 knots. Two knots of flood tide escorted the fleet back downhill after rounding the weather mark in 10-15 knots. These conditions suited Brian Keane and his Savasana (USA 96) crew, who took the day’s first bullet. “We got a good start; we got off the line cleanly. We headed to the left side of the course, and we got into the good wind and current,” said Keane, adding, “I like these conditions!”

    Unfortunately for Savasana and other teams that prefer the cerebral stuff, Mother Nature had other plans, as the breeze continued building and the tide clocked from flood to ebb. Small white caps appeared that grew into deeper troughs and prouder peaks as the tide powered up and the breeze built to 15-18 knots. The Race Committee started Race 9 cleanly, and—come the leeward gate—Douglas Strebel’s Black River Racing (USA 51) was in the lead, followed by Heather Gregg’s Corinthian MUSE (USA 95) and Matías Seguel’s Allegro (CHI 74). Strebel successfully staved off advances from the pack to take the bullet, followed by Joel Ronning’s Catapult (USA 187) and then MUSE.









    Conditions got serious in Race 10, as the ebbing tide and breeze produced the week’s biggest seas thus far. Outbound water swept enough boats over the line early to warrant a general recall, which in turn inspired the race committee to fly the U flag, meaning that anyone OCS would be disqualified. Unfortunately for Claudia Rossi’s Petite Terrible (ITA 853), who began the day in first, the Race Committee announced her over early; Rossi and company sailed a brilliant race and crossed the line in first place, only to realize their starting-line mistake. Instead, the bullet went to Jud Smith’s Africa (USA 179), followed by Ling’s Team RAF Benevolent Fund Spitfire and Ricardo Brockmann’s Vincitore (MEX 401).

    Just yesterday, Smith reported that he preferred light-air sailing after taking a bullet in Race 7. “I changed my mind!” said an ebullient Smith. “We had a good start, the breeze was a bit more predictable this afternoon, and we have good speed. We’re good upwind and we’re good in the breeze.”

    After four days and ten races, Ronning’s Catapult is topping the leaderboard, followed by Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s Flojito Y Cooperando (MEX 384) and Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network (ITL 456). For more information about this world-class regatta, or to track the racing in real-time, please visit stfyc.com/j70worlds2016.

    Helpful Links

    For photos, click HERE HERE

    For results, click HERE HERE
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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Catapulting To A World Championship!



    Joel Ronning and crew from Wayzata YC Win the 2016 Alcatel J-70 Worlds!

    Congrats!

    Final Results




    After a full week of hotly contested racing at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, Joel Ronning’s Catapult (USA 187) claimed the title of World Champions. Ronning, with tactician John Kostecki, finished with a 17-point lead over second place Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s Flojito Y Cooperando (MEX 415), sailing with tactician Bill Hardesty. In third place was Jud Smith’s Africa (USA 179). “We feel like we’ve sailed quite well,” said Kostecki. “We put a lot of preparation in, and we feel it paid off.”

    In the hotly contested Corinthian class, which awards its own trophy and championship title, Shawn Bennett, StFYC/SFYC (USA 32), took top honors, followed by Simon Ling’s Team RAF Benevolent Fund Spitfire (GBR 123) and Pat Toole’s Three Big Dogs (USA 58).

    Throughout the five-day, 12-race regatta, San Francisco Bay tested the heavy-air skills of the 68 skippers and teams, so it was a bit of an anomaly when the wind was light on the final day of racing at this world-class event. A flood tide and 5 knots of breeze allowed for a spinnaker ride from host-club St. Francis Yacht Club to the Berkeley Circle, where all racing has been conducted this week. There, racers were greeted a short postponement as the race committee waited for the breeze to gather.

    Fortunately, the wait was contained to a half-hour, giving racers time to sort out their light-air modes and get their heads into the final two races. Prior to the sound of the day’s first warning signal, Catapult was topping the leaderboard, followed by Flojito Y Cooperando and Calvi Network. However, a light-air pop quiz would ultimately see a leaderboard change as Jud Smith and his Africa teammates and Calvi Network charged hard on the day the mattered most.

    Once reliable pressure filled in, the race committee (RC) launched the fleet on a 1.6-nautical-mile beat in 6-8 knots of breeze. Africa slowly began sliding ahead and to weather of her competition, allowing Smith to enjoy a private windward-mark rounding as the pursuing fleet battled for clear air.

    Smith held his lead for the entire race, strutting into the leeward gate rounding and the final run to the finishing line in a wing-on-wing configuration that was replicated by the other contenders. Brian Keane’s Savasana (USA 96) and Neckelmann’s Flojito Y Cooperando followed Africa across the finishing line. “I consider us [to be] more of a light-air team,” said Smith, who clearly liked Race 11. “The guys did a great job getting us off the line, and we [went] the right way.” As for his the trick to amassing his enviable lead, Smith explained, “we didn’t have to fight, we could go our own way.”

    Smith’s hometown of Marblehead, Massachusetts may have properly trained him for light-air fights, but it was the two best San Francisco hometown tacticians— Paul Cayard, sailing aboard Alberini’s Calvi Network, and John Kostecki, sailing aboard Ronning’s Catapult (USA 187)—who were able to capitalize on the heavier airs and ebbing tides that kicked in every afternoon.

    While the Sailing Instructions included a 1430 hours deadline for the regatta’s last warning signal, the RC successfully delivered a full-ticket series to the competitors who had gathered from 15 nations. An ebbing tide, building chop, and a breeze that had built to the mid-teens defined Race 12, which began under friendly P Flag starting-line conditions. Alberini’s Calvi Network owned Race 12, promptly getting their bow into clear air and giving the rest of the fleet a fine view of their transom all the way to the finishing line.

    While the ink is still drying on 2016’s final results, news broke at Thursday night’s Italian-themed party, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club, that the 2017 Alcatel J/70 World Championships will be held in Porto Cervo, Italy at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda from September 12-16. “The location is amazing,” said Mauro Melandri, who works with the J/70 class in Italy. “The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda is at the beginning of a natural fjord—it’s beautiful.”

    Stay tuned for more from the International J/70 Class Association, as it becomes known.
    Last edited by Photoboy; 10-02-2016 at 05:41 PM.
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  7. #17
    Nice reporting

  8. #18
    Chick Magnet Cassidy's Avatar
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    Curious as to how Stu Johnston rates as a non pro?

  9. #19
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    The Alcatel J/70 Worlds was one of the most exciting and intense regattas of 2016. Relive the talent, drama, thrills and smiles!
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  10. #20

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