Record Fleet Preparing for J/111 Worlds

Published on June 11th, 2015

Newport, RI (June 11, 2015) – In just four short years, the J/111 class has been on a roll. It achieved International Class status from ISAF in less than two years and hosted its first World Championship in Cowes, England in 2014 with eighteen boats in attendance. Today, with over 115 boats launched since the fall of 2010, nearly 25% of that fleet are showing up for the 2015 J/111 Worlds in Newport on June 15-19.

Twenty-five boats are entered from the British Virgin Islands, Canada, Great Britain and the USA. Of the American boats, teams have traveled from as far west as San Diego, California, representing a total of twelve states (including Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Rhode Island, Ohio, Massachusetts and Arizona).

The current J/111 World Champion, Duncan McDonald and Phil Thomas from Great Britain, have made the trip to defend their title. Shipping their boat – SHMOKIN JOE – over from the U.K. to participate, she has been seen for some weeks up at NEB Boatworks in Portsmouth, RI getting ready. Other top five J/111 teams from the U.K. include Chris Jones and Louise Makin of JOURNEYMAKER V sailing a chartered boat – WILD CHILD; Tony Mack’s notoriously fast crew aboard Team McFLY from Royal Southern YC; and Martin Dent’s JELVIS team of young, fast and smart dinghy sailors from Queen Mary Sailing Club.

Virtually all of the top American teams will be in attendance from the Midwest (Chicago-Mackinac Race winners and J/111 North American winners), the Gulf Coast (Key West Race Week winners) and the East Coast (New York YC Regatta, NOOD Regatta, Edgartown Regatta and Block Island Race Week winners).

Current J/111 North American Champion, Richard Lehmann, will have his WIND CZAR crew from Little Traverse YC ready to show their performance in the Midwest was no fluke. They will be accompanied by the balance of the top five from the last NA’s on Lake Michigan: Dave Irish’s NO SURPRISE, the Chicago trio on KASHMIR (Brummel/ Henderson/ Mayer), Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF, and Marty Roesch’s VELOCITY. The top eastern teams include Doug Curtiss’ WICKED 2.0 from Buzzards Bay; David & Maryellen Tortorello’s PARTNERSHIP from Long Island Sound; and Fred Van Liew & David Brodsky’s ODYSSEY from Newport, RI.

Participating from the Caribbean is Sam Talbot’s SPIKE from Road Town, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. And, from north of the border comes two Canadian teams from Quebec: Marcel Cote’s SURVENANT and Carl Desgagnes’ VOLTEFACE, both from Quebec Yacht Club.

The long-term forecast appears promising with a broad variety of wind and weather conditions to challenge the fleet on Rhode Island Sound. In the forecast are for at least one weather front to pass through with breezes ranging from the classic southerly seabreezes (200-240 degrees) with 10-20 kt winds and frontal passages leaving lighter NW to NE breezes in the 5-10 kts range and flatter waters. The fleet will be sailing mostly windward-leeward courses, but one day will also include a middle distance race of around 18-25 nm depending on breeze.

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