Archive for June, 2008

2008 Worlds – The Collision of Fiamma Gialla

This is an amazing video of Fiamma Gialla getting hit during the start of race 8. Andrea Casale, skipper of Fiamma Gialla, eventually won redress and a 4th place finish, giving him first place overall and the championship, as the final day of racing was canceled due to high wind.

Here is that collision:

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Light Air Tips

“Of all the different boats we race, one thing holds true: racing them downwind in light air can really suck.”

Last Tuesday we got schooled downwind. We actually beat a group of pretty fast boats to the windward mark, and were hanging tough after the set. But inevitably we got rolled and left for dead.

Just in time, there is a good article by Tony Rey on the Sailing World website focusing on downwind strategy and boatspeed in light air. Here are Tony’s 7 Light-air Tips:

  1. When in doubt, heat it up slightly to keep the speed.
  2. Keep the spinnaker pole tip lower than you think.
  3. Communicate to the helmsman about the pressure in the sheet.
  4. Keep the crew weight low and forward (dogs down in the house).
  5. Keep it snug (foreguy, topping lift, and just enough backstay to keep the rig stable).
  6. Trim both sails equally (don’t ignore the mainsail!)
  7. Stay focused at the end of the run to ensure your rounding sets you up well for first few minutes of the beat.

Full article here.

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Canadian Nationals – View From the Top

Canadian Nationals winner Bruce Long offers this race report.

The View – J 24 Canadians

So the stars aligned and we found ourselves on top. Nobody was more thrilled and surprised than me. Paul Elvstrom said that a regatta is won on the beach, before you set out on the first day. So being a bit of a student of the game (read obsessive) the following was key to our success:

  1. Team – I had the good fortune of being joined by some great friends, who each could have helmed, called tactics, or crewed better than myself. We are each former or active dinghy sailors. The multiple one design big fleet experiences brought a comfort about the chaos. At least, we had been there and knew what we were trying to achieve! So get to know some dinghy sailors, cultivate some juniors, or buy a Laser.
  2. Sails – I have been a long customer of Brett Willett’s Sobstad loft. I have coddled a suit he built for the 2002 Worlds and added a new genoa this year. Flyer has NEVER had such jets. We were higher and faster than some exceptional sailors flying some much newer sails. Brett is local, priced right, knows the boat, has the experience in the class and the sails are finished superbly. Flyer is set-up verbatim from his website and advice. Seems like a no brainer to me.
  3. Boat - After 15 years of upgrading, rebuilding, rearranging, and fairing, Flyer is now optimized. Clint Currie’s artistry and guidance over the years has been invaluable. I spent some time over the winter tweaking and this spring re-sanded and polished the hull and foils.
  4. Rig - The spar is tuned to the Sobstad data. The entire weekend we had our rig set at our base setting. We got caught on Friday when it got up to 12 knots with 4 people but were able to tough it out upwind with back stay on. I am happy to share the numbers.
  5. Starts & Tactics - We all participated in gathering of data before each race. Although the tide was ripping and the beach was favoured at times, (really?) we went out of our way to start with no one on our leeward bow and avoided the high-risk ends. I am more comfortable in speed mode and some skippers are pinchers. We got great speed quickly and were able to leg out (see 1,2 & 3). Funny- speed equals point! We were able to get to the clear air and rolling. We aggressively changed gears for every wave set, puff, lull or rounding.
  6. Shut up & Drive - Knowing that everyone on board was a great sailor and they all were doing their job better than I could, (have you seen my foredeck work?), it was pretty easy to bear down on the wooden stick. I was able to relax and get in the groove.

So, there is no rocket science from me. I am happy to have any one ask about the gear, settings or our routine. Thanks to all for the well wishes after the event. It means a lot to me to compete at a high level against some excellent competitors.

To win was just a bonus.


Crew – Reto Corfu, Rob Cullen, Sean Staniforth, Ed Tchoi, Brett Willetts

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Canadian Nationals 2008 – Results

Congratulations to Bruce Long and the crew of Flyer for winning the Canadian National Championships.

Top ten:

  1. Bruce Long – Flyer – CAN 229
  2. Harry Dursch – Self Abuse – USA 2845
  3. Steven Fleckenstein – Babalaouie – CAN 2365
  4. Scott Weakley – Blur -CAN 4865
  5. Jaime Tiampo – Relidivist – CAN 1876
  6. John Polglase – Celerity – CAN 2983
  7. Scott Milne – Tremendous Slouch – USA 1238
  8. Jim Burns – J&B – CAN 3729
  9. Robin Avery – Wiggly – USA 787
  10. Eric Sanderson – Suspense – USA 3421

Full results here.

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An awesome photo from the start of the Newport Bermuda race. Speedboat dwarfs the J24 in the foreground. Photo by Ben Jacobsen.

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Casale wins 2008 World Championship


Chris McLaughlin reports:

At the J24 World Championship in Cannigione, Sardinia, Friday 13th lived up to its reputation.

It was a lucky day for the 2008 World Champion, Andrea Casale and the team of Fiamma Gialla, back on the water after a collision repair. But not so lucky for Canadian, Rossi Milev, sailing Class Chairman, Bob Turner’s boat, Serco Headcase or Britain’s Ian Southworth, sailing Inmarsat Hedgehog! Both crews were looking to attack the leader’s points margin in the two final races but it was not to be.

The day started with Mistral winds at 28 mph building to 40 mph. Sadly there has been no racing today and overnight positions remain unchanged.

Milev of Canada is second with Southworth of Great Britain third.

Comments Class Chairman Bob Turner: “we have enjoyed bringing together a British boat, with British preparation, to partner our Canadian friend to a well deserved result. We congratulate Andrea Casale on a well deserved win”.

As in Melbourne in 2006, Ian Southworth and crew have had to settle for third place when racing was abandoned due to high winds.

Said Ian, “We have equalled our best position to date and have learned from tactical errors. We are delighted to be the first British-helmed boat and congratulate Andrea on a well-deserved win whilst remaining in awe of Bob Turner’s crew meteorologist and of Rossi’s consistent quality sailing!”

Lucy MacGregor and her all ladies crew finished 17th overall, winning the Ladies Jaeger Trophy, a quite outstanding result. Recording the second best boat helmed by a UK skipper at her first J24 World Championship finishing nearly 100 points ahead of the next ladies team in a fleet of 76 boats. They were in a boat loaned to them by Roger Morris, the Poole J24 Fleet Captain. This could be the highest an all ladies team has ever finished at a J24 World Championships, a truly great result, well done to Lucy and her team.

The 2009 World Championship will be held next May in Annapolis, Maryland, USA.

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2008 World Champ is Andrea Casale

fiammegialle-big.jpgWith 30 knot winds the race committe raised the N over A flags, cancelling all races on day 5, and closing out the 2008 World Championships. The standings from yesterday hold leaving Andrea Casale and the crew of Fiamme Gialle in the first position, Candian Milev Rossi in second, and Ian Southworth of Great Britain. in third. Defending World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz finished the regatta in fifth plase. Americans Mark Hillman and Keith Whittemore were in 6th and 8th respectively. Full results here.

Pete Ramsdale reports:

It was blowing a hooley. Actually a category 3 hooley. Down at the dock everyone rigged up and a few hardy souls went outside for a look. The noise of the wind in the rigs of 76 Js was screamingly loud. The RC boat went just outside the harbour, registered 30 knots in the lee, hoisted the “L” flag (follow me) and brought the Js back to shore. We then sat in a delightful cofee shop for the next 2 hours and finally N over A – all over!

Boats quickly derigged, masts out, cranes started up – the usual mad dash to get the boats ready for the road.
We tidied up the charter boat – he wasn’t going to haul it, and started the unpleasant task of folding new sails (every crease a groan).

Prize-giving tonight, and then the start of the journey home.

A fantastic regatta (they all are really) – and apart from dropping 16 points in an incident that should have been avoided, and the struggle in the big breeze with the genoa, we were very pleased with our results (especially the 7th!). Nice to have a 53 in the last race – end on a good note.

So Bermuda boats were 66 and 71 – watch out on that Saturday start line next week!


  1. Andrea Casale (ITA 434) 36 points
  2. Milev Rossi (GBR 4247) 42 points
  3. Ian Southworth (GBR 4177) 50 points
  4. Daniel Glomb (BRA 46) 54 points
  5. Mauricio Santa Cruz (BRA 37) 54 points
  6. Mark Hillman (USA 2274) 55 points
  7. Matias Pereira (ARG 5194) 78 points
  8. Keith Whittemore (USA 5399) 79 points
  9. Francisco Campero (ARG 5242 ) 113 points
  10. Aurelio Bini (ITA 405) 116 points

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2008 Worlds – Day 4 – Race Report


Chris McLaughlin checks in:

Tight racing, a collision for Casale and a favourable jury decision

Day four of the J24 World Championship in Cannigione, Sardinia and three races were held to catch up the series. Race Officer, Peter Regio had stood down for the day and handed over to a local team. His humour and thoughtful explanation of intentions was sorely missed.

Race Six found the fleet on a long line which took the pin just short of the shoreline. Two General Recalls were followed by a clean start, with Southworth and Casale battling from the pin, left and middle in a 10-12 mph wind with multiple 20 degree shifts.

Southworth, sailing Inmarsat Hedgehog, led Casale in Fiamma Gialle around the mark and both hoisted. As the British boat pulled away, gusts brought US sailors, Mark Hillman in Wip through to second and Keith Whitemore in Furio, to third. Up the next beat Southworth extended his lead , while both Mike Ingham of USA and Dan Glomb of Brazil, sailing Bravissimo, got through Casale. Southworth took the gun on the first downwind finish of the day.

Continue Reading »

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2008 Worlds – Day 4 – Reports Coming In

The wind returned with 15-18 knots and three races in at the 2008 J24 Worlds, sailed in the Gulf of Arzechena. Pete Ramsdale reports:

The forecast was for 10 knots – the RC wanted to run three races so an early start. Wind started at 12 knots and built from there. We went with genoa for race 1 with the rig set for 10 knots – mistake! The breeze was a solid 15-18 and we really struggled in the gusts – couldn’t keep the boat flat and slowly but surely dropped behind the main pack.

Race 2 and wound the rig on a bit tighter, but stuck with the genoa. Went right which was ok, but again we were going sideways in the chop and the blasts off the hills. Changed to jib on the next downwind and that helped. Had a horror show with the spin on the last downwind and droped to the back of the pack – madde up a boat or 2 before the finish. At least one boat was on its side that race!

Last race – genoa of the line, and again struggled a bit up the right side. Again changed to jib as Becky spotted a large black cloud coming off the shore. Next 2 legs made gains on boats around us, and then a final upwind to the finish.

Very tired crew haeded to a bar for sustenance – what a tiring day!
Two more races in the forecaxst 20+ knots tomorrow.

Provisional results here.

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2008 Worlds – Day 3


Chris McLaughlin reports:

Ian Southworth and Andrea Casale won the pin and worked toward pressure on the left of the course. At the Committee boat end, a few boats tacked immediately and headed to the right, led by Britain’s Gavin Watson in Roger Rabbit and Germany’s Stephanie Koepcke, with her women’s team on Vega Reederei. The wind flicked but gradually built left , but not before boats from the extreme right, including Watson, Koepcke and Gaetano Pelizarro in the aptly named Magic Fate had rounded, with Casale in Fiamma Gialle fourth and Southworth sailing Inmarsat Hedgehog fifth. Places were unchanged down the run and the leaders, with the exception of Casale took the right hand leeward mark, then all began a slow port tack hall to the right. The USA’s Keith Whitemore on Furio rounded behind them at the left mark and immediately pressed right.

As Watson and Koepcke went further ahead, the wind died completely leaving Southworth and Casale on port making little progress. Whitemore found breeze at the right hand shore and sailed into the leading pack while Southworth and Casale tacked toward new pressure on the left. For the next ten minutes the pair tried to find pressure, as Santa Cruz and others caught up and joined them on the left. Casale, more inshore, dropped back in no pressure, and Southworth could only hold on port underneath an increasing pack of boats. When it finally arrived, it lifted Casale back up from ninth place to third and the port lift left Southworth in the mid-teens.

More here.

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