September 26, 2016
Racing starts tomorrow on San Francisco Bay for the J70 World Championships. Plenty of SoCal sailors are competing in this event,
From the StFYC Website:
Summer’s days may be numbered, but this comes as welcome news to all sailors participating in the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, as fall’s arrival neatly dovetails with the start of what promises to be a world-championship regatta for the ages. Starting and finishing guns will echo across the Berkley Circle racecourse, an area of San Francisco Bay to the northeast (and leeward) of Alcatraz Island, from September 27 to October 1, and competing sailors can expect some of the finest annual conditions that this world-class venue reliably delivers.
San Francisco Bay enjoys a storied reputation for breeze-on summer sailing, while its winter months can be “a little” damp. Late-September, however, usually offers Indian summer conditions featuring warm days with slightly moderated airs, making it ideal for a high-performance, planing rocket ship like the J/70—a boat that gets her bow up and out of the water on the first good puff.
Along with breeze, San Francisco Bay is notorious for its currents and tides, which have challenged world-class professional sailors racing everything from powerful keelboats to foiling catamarans. Fortunately for participants of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, the Berkeley Circle racecourse is located on shallow, tide-protected waters, out of the slippery influence of the swiftest-flowing current that rake the Bay’s deeper waters. Not only will this deliver conditions that play into the J/70’s design brief, but it also ensures that world-class tactics, teamwork and tenacity—not local knowledge—determine the winner’s podium.
“Expectations are high for this event,” said Lynn Lynch, St. Francis Yacht Club’s Race Director. “Model sailing conditions, world-class talent, top-level race management and unbelievable socials will all come together to result in a World Championship worthy of the fastest-growing fleet around. The anticipation is palpable, and we are expecting people to come ready for some serious competition.”
A glance at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds entry list reveals 80 star-studded boats from 15 nations, including former J/70 World Champions Tim Healy (Helly Hansen) and Julian Fernandez Neckelmann (Flojito Y Cooperando); former J/70 North American Champions Jud Smith (Africa) and Joe Bardenheier (Muse); as well as former J/70 European Champions Carlo Alberini (Calvi Network) and Claudia Rossi (Petite Terrible). Additionally, this impressive list also includes world-class tacticians such as John Kostecki, the only sailor to have ever won an Olympic medal, the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race, as well as former US Sailing Rolex Yachtsmen of the Year winners Bill Hardesty (2011) and Paul Cayard (1998).
By holding their Worlds on San Francisco Bay, the J/70 class joins the ranks of other prestigious One Design classes that have contested their highest-level regatta on these historic waters and enjoyed the St. Francis Yacht Club’s world-class hospitality. Impressive company to keep for a class that just started sailing in 2012, and has only held two previous world championships, first in Newport, Rhode Island (2014) and then in La Rochelle, France (2015).
“We couldn’t be happier with how widespread J/70 sailing has become in just four years,” said Jeff Johnstone, President of J/Boats. “Hull numbers 1103 through 1111 are the latest to be built and will be competing at the San Francisco Worlds right alongside hull #2.”
Along with a big spike in hull numbers comes a corollary spike in boatspeed from all corners of the planet. “The class’ [competition] level is going up very fast, with more talented sailors joining every year,” said 2015 J/70 World Champion and 2016 J/70 North American Champion, Julian Fernandez Neckelmann. While this surge in numbers and skill levels could overwhelm some classes and hosting clubs, there’s a reason this hugely popular class chose its hosting partner. “The St. Francis Yacht Club and the [J/70] class will certainly provide excellent race management,” continued Neckelmann. “San Francisco is one of my favorite racing scenarios in the world… It would have been hard to [choose] a better place.”
Registration for this exciting event has now closed, however friends, family and interested spectators can follow the racing online courtesy of title sponsor Alcatel, who is supplying smartphones to each boat that will be used as onboard trackers to report real-time positions, facilitating a state-of-the-art virtual spectator experience for those ashore. For more information about this world-class regatta, please visit stfyc.com/j70worlds2016.
September 24-25, 2016 – Ventura, CA
September 17-18, 2016
Six of 11 class winners honored with Rolex watch and perpetual trophy
BY SEAN MCNEILL
Photo © Rolex / Daniel Forster
SAN FRANCISCO — The record-setting 52nd Rolex Big Boat Series hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club drew to a close today in splendid late-summer sailing conditions. After a slight delay waiting for the breeze to fill, a seabreeze of 15 to 18 knots arrived and brought with it decidedly warmer temperatures. For the first time in four days, crews shed their foul weather gear and fleeces as they took to the racecourse.
This year’s regatta attracted the largest fleet ever: 127 boats in 11 classes. Throughout its storied history, the Rolex Big Boat Series has showcased the top end of the sport and this year’s fleet featured everything from a 70-foot trimaran to a bevy of trailerable sportboats. It illustrated the variety of shapes and sizes that grand-prix racing offers these days.
San Francisco’s reliable seabreeze came in every day, starting at a gentle 8 to 10 knots and then steadily increasing into the 20s, with a peak of 30 knots yesterday. All classes completed their full slate of racing, and although there were some broken masts and scrapes and bruises along the way, the regatta went off without a hitch.
“We are very happy with this year’s regatta,” said chairwoman Susan Ruhne. “The seabreeze came in every day, there was great racing on the water, and the camaraderie ashore was at its highest level. Rolex’s involvement made it a unique experience for everyone involved, from the volunteers, to the race committee, to the staff of the St. Francis Yacht Club. It was tremendous.”
The coveted prize at all Rolex Yachting events is a specially engraved Rolex timepiece. At this evening’s awards ceremony, six class winners—ORR A, ORR B, ORR C, J/105, California 40 (also known as Farr 40) and J/70—were presented a Stainless Steel Submariner Date watch as well as a St. Francis Yacht Club perpetual trophy.
The grand prize was the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy, which was first awarded at the inaugural Rolex Big Boat Series in 1964. It was won by Victor Wild’s (San Diego, Calif.) Fox (Pac 52), winner of ORR A. Fox recorded four 1sts en route to the low score of 12 points in the seven-boat class. Fox was launched eight months ago and this was its first regatta.
“Excellence is expected and we achieved it here,” said Wild, who also won ORR A at the 2015 Rolex Big Boat Series sailing on board the TP52 Bud. “This is a place of excellence. I love the competition and environment up here; it’s the best. The conditions are the best in the world for sailing, because it’s every kind of condition. It’s the top of the world to win a Rolex.”
Tim Fuller’s (Murrieta, Calif.) Resolute (J/125) won the City of San Francisco Trophy, one of the two golden spades used for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1933, for winning ORR B. Peter Wagner’s (Atherton, Calif.) Topzy Turvy(J/111) finished second and also was the top-scoring J/111 in the fleet.
The Keefe-Kilborn Trophy, established in 1976 to honor the memory of the late St. Francis Yacht Club members Harold Keefe and Ray Kilborn, was presented to Michael Shlens’ (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) Blade II, which won the California 40 Class with a 2nd in the final race, good for a 3-point win over M. Tony Pohl’s (Alamo, Calif.) Twisted.
The Atlantic Perpetual Trophy, a ship’s bell from the schooner Atlantic, which established a transatlantic record in 1905 that stood for 92 years, was presented to Philip Laby’s (Oakland, Calif.) Godot, winner of the J/105 Class. In a seesaw battle that came down to the seventh and final race, Godot scored a 1-point victory over Ryan Simmons’s (Sausalito, Calif.) Blackhawk.
The Richard Rheem Perpetual Trophy, awarded in honor of Richard Rheem whose celebrated yacht Morning Star set Transpac course records in 1949 and 1955, was awarded to Scott Kokka’s (Encinitas, Calif.) Audacity (Morris 52) for winning ORR C. Another new boat in the fleet, Audacity finished with 11 points, including four 1sts, and an 8-point victory over James Mullarney’s (San Francisco, Calif.) Scorpio (Wylie 42).
The Commodore’s Cup Perpetual Trophy was awarded to the winner of the largest one-design class in the regatta, the J/70 Class which had 36 entrants. The top-finishing J/70 was Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s (Valle de Bravo, Mexico) Flojito y Cooperando.The reigning world champions tuned up for the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds (Sept. 24-Oct. 2) by winning the last race of Rolex Big Boat Series to secure the title.
Other class winners put forth consistent score lines with multiple 1sts, including:
- David Halliwell’s (New York, N.Y.) Peregrine won the J/120 Class with the low score of 9 points, accumulated on five 1sts and two 2nds. Barry Lewis’s (Atherton, Calif.) Chance placed second with 13 points.
- Dan Cheresh’s (Saugatuck, Mich.) Extreme 2 dominated the C&C 30 One-Design Class, posting six 1sts, one 2nd and a 10-point win over Steve Stroub’s (Tiburon, Calif.) Tiburon.
- Kame Richards’s (Alameda, Calif.) Golden Moon won the Express 37 Class with six 1sts and a DNC. Richards had the class wrapped up after yesterday’s race and in an act of sportsmanship elected to sit out today’s seventh race, which allowed Jack Peurach’s (San Francisco, Calif.) Elan to score a race win.
- Paul Dorsey’s (San Francisco, Calif.) Gentoo (Soto 30) won the PHRF Sportboat Class by winning the final four races consecutively. Gentoo finished 3 points ahead of Michael Thielman’s (San Francisco, Calif.) Kuai (Melges 32).
- Tom Siebel’s (Redwood City, Calif.) Orion (MOD 70) claimed the multihull class with all top-3 finishes, including four 1sts. Jerome Ternynck’s (San Francisco, Calif.) SmartRecruiters (Extreme 40) finished 2nd.
Next year’s Rolex Big Boat Series is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 13–16, 2017.
All Rolex Big Boat Series Press Releases by Sean McNeill
Today’s Feature Video: Thank Yous from Rolex Big Boat Competitors
September 17-18, 2016
NEWPORT, R.I. (September 17, 2016) — The competition for the 2016 Resolute Cup, a Corinthian Championship for U.S. Yacht Clubs, ended long before the final race. The team from Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans, La.) was so dominant they would’ve won the regatta even if they didn’t sail the final two races. Marcus and Andrew Eagan, along with Jackson Benvenutti, did sail those two races—which they won, just like every other Gold Fleet race today—and the final margin of victory was 28 points, against a total score of 13. The 2016 Resolute Cup is sponsored by Porsche Cars North America, Helly Hansen and Melges Performance Sailboats.
On the other hand, the race for the other two key honors—the second qualifying spot for the 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup and the Silver Fleet champion—couldn’t have been any tighter. After some white-knuckle racing and some fretful moments while the scores were counted, Balboa Yacht Club (Corona del Mar, Calif.) finished second in the Gold Feet while Bayview Yacht Club (Detroit, Mich.) survived a incredibly intense race for first place in the Silver Fleet.
“This is a great win for Southern Yacht Club and a good one to bring back home,” said Andrew Eagan. “A lot of people at home have been watching and emailing Marcus and I and Jackson, texting us and leaving us voicemails. My mom and dad just flew in yesterday so they’ll be here tonight at the dinner to celebrate with us.”
The Eagan family has every reason to celebrate. The Southern team started strong on Day 1 of the qualifying and never showed any sign of weakness through 23 races over four days. Only two of their results were outside the top 3.
“We seemed to really mesh together as the event went on,” said Andrew Eagan. “We’ve sailed together before and have a lot of the same mindset on doing things. We established on Monday our routine from going to bed to waking up in the morning to getting through the day and we kind of kept our routine going and it seemed to work: plenty of rest and talk about how to get better each day and what not to do.”
While Southern Yacht Club was blitzing the fleet, a pair of very interesting battles played out. The first was for the final qualifying spot for next fall’s Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. Entering the final race, four teams were within two points of that spot. Eastern Yacht Club, which has won this event before, held the initial advantage, but on the fourth of five legs, Alex Steele and Balboa Yacht Club seized on an opportunity.
“We knew that we had to beat Eastern and [on the final run] we were talking about jibing early, but we decided on staying with them and trying to hurt them a bit,” said Balboa Yacht Club skipper Alex Steele. “We ended up rolling Eastern and making them jibe off and they lost two boats. It really came down to the last run.”
Steele was a little disappointed by his own performance during the first three days of the regatta. Things turned today with a team decision to loosen up and enjoy the moment.
“Yesterday we were just angry at each other and not having fun,” said Steele. “Today we said let’s just step back and relax a bit and still sail super hard and tight. I was listening to Toots and the Maytals and a French DJ group [while racing]. It was a fun day. It was great racing. This is probably the tightest racing I’ve done in 15 years. With the quality of the competition, even getting out of our qualifying group was difficult.”
Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.) rounded out the top three, two points behind Balboa. Storm Trysail Club (Larchmont, N.Y.) and Shelter Island (N.Y.) Yacht Club were tied for fourth a point further back, with the former winning the tiebreaker.
Bayview Yacht Club Finds Its Silver Living
After coming to terms with the disappointment of not making the Gold Fleet, Marc Hollerbach and his team from Detroit’s venerable Bayview Yacht Club set their sights on being the best of the rest.
“We thought consistency would be what would pay off, and we were not,” said Hollerbach with a wry chuckle. “But neither was anyone else, fortunately. The distinction between the Silver and Gold Fleet is a distinction with no real meaning because anyone of the teams in the Silver Fleet could’ve been in the Gold Fleet, they just were not for this regatta. The people we’re sailing against in the Silver Fleet, I would drive 1,000 miles just to sail against those guys. Consistency we thought would do it, but there were so many good people you just couldn’t be consistent.”
So in the absence of a steady diet of top-five finishes, Hollerbach and his crew of son Nathan Hollerbach and Nick Marcolini tried to take advantage of their moments, winning one race and finishing four others in the top three, and limit the damage when things didn’t go well. At no point was that more apparent than in the final race where Bayview battled for in the middle of the pack for five legs, moving between sixth and 13th before eventually finishing 10th. Nine seconds was all that separated from the Detroit club from 12th place in that race, and second place in the regatta.
“The fleet is ridiculously good and it was super shifty and if you couldn’t get off the line you were behind, forced out to the edge and you had to take when the fleet gave you,” said Nathan Hollerbach, the team’s tactician. “That’s what happens in very intense racing.”
“I’ve not been involved with this before, we’ve sent other team in past, but it’s very important for Bayview to participate,” said Marc Hollerbach. “The Resolute Cup has become more and more intense and the level of competition is rising. This has become a premier event in the country and we want to be a part of it.”
With the win in the Silver Fleet, Bayview has earned an invitation of the 2018 Resolute Cup. Given the positive reviews from competitors at this year’s event, that guaranteed berth could be quite valuable. More than 40 clubs applied to be a part of this year’s event and that number could well rise in two years.
Corinthian Spirit Award Winner to Put Bike Toward Youth Team in 2018
While the results had been finalized long before the awards ceremony, there was one surprise remaining. The Corinthian Spirit award was voted on by the competitors and the result was not revealed until late in the award ceremony. Porsche Cars North America contributed a Porsche RS Bike, with a retail value of $8,000, as part of the award. Each team received one vote and every competitor was eligible. The winner was Brandon Flack of the Wadawanuck Club (Stonington, Conn.) team. And he quickly proved his mettle by promising to donate the bike toward a youth team to compete in the regatta in 2018. Once a sportsman, always a sportsman. It certainly ended this regatta on a very promising note.
All photos: Paul Todd/OutsideImages.com
Social Media: Follow the Resolute Cup on Facebook and Instagram (#resolutecup)
2016 Resolute Cup
New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, Newport, R.I.
Gold Fleet (Melges 20): 1. Southern Yacht Club, 13; 2. Balboa Yacht Club, 41; 3. Eastern Yacht Club, 43; 4. Storm Trysail Club, 44; 5. Shelter Island Yacht Club, 44; 6. New Bedford Yacht Club, 52; 7. St. Francis Yacht Club, 55; 8. Austin Yacht Club, 64; 9. New York Yacht Club, 66; 10. Sea Cliff Yacht Club, 71.
Silver Fleet (Sonar): 1. Bayview Yacht Club, 51; 2. Corinthian Yacht Club of Marblehead, 52; 3. Beverly Yacht Club, 54; 4. Larchmont Yacht Club, 58; 5. The Cleveland Yachting Club, 64; 6. Newport Harbor Yacht Club, 66; 7. Lake Geneva Yacht Club, 67; 8. Chicago Yacht Club, 75; 9. San Diego Yacht Club, 78; 10. Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club, 85, 11. Carolina Yacht Club, 90; 12. Sandusky Yacht Club, 101; 13. American Yacht Club, 109; 14. Nantucket Yacht Club, 111; 15. Wadawanuck Yacht Club, 112; 16. Coral Reef Yacht Club, 114; 17. Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia, 123; 18. Winnipesaukee Yacht Club, 132.
American Yacht Club (Rye, N.Y.); Austin (Texas) Yacht Club; Balboa Yacht Club (Corona del Mar, Calif.); Bayview Yacht Club (Detroit); Beaufort (S.C.) Yacht and Sailing Club; Beverly Yacht Club (Marion, Mass.); Carolina Yacht Club (Charleston, S.C.); Chicago Yacht Club; The Cleveland Yachting Club (Rocky River, Ohio); Coral Reef Yacht Club (Miami); Corinthian Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.); The Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia (Essington, Penn.); Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.); Lake Geneva Yacht Club (Fontana, Wis.); Larchmont (N.Y.) Yacht Club; Nantucket (Mass.) Yacht Club; New Bedford Yacht Club (South Dartmouth, Mass.); New York Yacht Club; Newport Harbor Yacht Club (Newport Beach, Calif.); San Diego Yacht Club; Sandusky (Ohio) Sailing Club; Sea Cliff (N.Y.) Yacht Club; Shelter Island Yacht Club (Shelter Island Heights, N.Y.); Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans); St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco); Storm Trysail Club (Larchmont, N.Y.); Wadawanuck Club (Stonington, Conn.); Winnipesaukee Yacht Club (Gilford, N.H.)
The Resolute Cup is a biennial Corinthian competition among U.S. yacht clubs. The 2016 Resolute Cup will take place Sept. 12 to 17, out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport. R.I. The event is an evolution of the U.S. Qualifying Series for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, which was first held in 2010, and serves as a pathway for American yacht clubs seeking to compete in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, sailing’s premiere international, Corinthian, one-design competition. Competitors in the 2016 Resolute Cup must be World Sailing Group 1 (amateur) sailors and members of the club that they represent. The competition is held in supplied Melges 20 and Sonar keelboats, with standardized sails and rigging, ensuring a true one-design competition where the skill of the sailors—their tactics, boat speed and teamwork—determines the final outcome. Past winners of the Resolute Cup include Newport Harbor Yacht Club (2014), Larchmont Yacht Club (2012) and Eastern Yacht Club (2010). www.ResoluteCup.com
Established in 1984, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche 911, Boxster, and Cayman sports cars, the Macan and Cayenne SUVs, and Panamera sports sedans. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, since 1998, PCNA is also home to the first Porsche Experience Center in North America featuring a module-based 1.6-mile driver development track, business center, human performance center, and fine-dining restaurant. PCNA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.
Regatta sponsor, Helly Hansen was founded in Moss, Norway, in 1877. Helly Hansen continues to protect and enable professionals making their living on oceans and mountains around the world. The company invented the first supple, waterproof fabric more than 137 years ago, created the first fleece fabrics in the 1960s and introduced the first technical base layers made with LIFA Stay Dry Technology in the 1970s. Today, the brand’s off-shore racing, inshore sailing, coastal cruising, rainwear and marine lifestyle apparel and footwear are sold in more than 40 countries. To learn more about Helly Hansen’s latest collections, visit www.hellyhansen.com/sailing.
The Melges 20 ® fulfills the need for a more compact, yet spacious, fast, well-built sportboat. With its introduction in 2008, Melges Performance Sailboats has delivered the next generation of sailboats with a world-wide racing circuit. An exclusive Reichel Pugh keelboat design with well-known Melges quality, the Melges 20 has drawn sailors from across the world who want to experience close, one-design racing on a fun, nimble platform. www.Melges20.com