Archive for the ‘One Design’ Category
The combination of ideal conditions on Montagu Bay in Nassau, Bahamas, provided boats and a substantial prize purse brought out some of the very best Star sailors in the world for a week of intense competition. The end result found Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih on the podium, winning in a field that included a handful of past world champions and Olympic gold medalists. For this regatta, the team was utilizing Doyle’s latest M14+ Main, and J6R and J8H Jibs.
Surviving the qualifying and knockout rounds to triumph, the Americans won the second Star Sailors League Finals on Saturday December 6th in a thrilling finale that came down to the final run. They bested a field that included 2012 Olympic gold medalist Freddy Loof and crew Anders Ekstrom of Sweden; Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki of Poland; and Jorge Zarif and Henry Boening of Brazil. Over the course of the regatta, the Mendleblatt and Fatih won 3 races (of 9) in the qualifying series, then finished with a 2-1-1 in the finals to secure the victory.
Defending champion Robert Scheidt, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and crew Bruno Prada of Brazil were eliminated in the semifinal. Top-ranked Diego Negri and crew Sergio Lambertenghi of Italy were eliminated in the semis.
Four days of competition meant that after three days of qualifying, the top 11 teams from the elite field of 20 advanced to the quarter-finals. The winner of the qualifying round – Swedes Freddy Loof and Anders Ekström – went directly to the semi-finals, while the crews that qualified in 2nd to 11th positions advanced to the quarter-finals, with the best 6 going forward to the Semi. The Semi finals determined who got to sail in the grand finale, with only the top 4 advancing. The unique elimination arrangement made every race that much more important, and put an emphasis on performing under pressure.
“The first race we were feeling in danger for sure. Halfway up the first beat we were feeling ‘This isn’t good’, you know. We talked to each other and said ‘Let’s just stay calm here and keep working together and use our speed and get back’. And it worked. We were going well.”
The quarter-finals saw plenty of competition, with last year’s runners up, Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki leading early on in the race, only to have defending champions Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil pass them on the run. But Kusznierewicz was back in front on the second windward leg and was able to hold it to the finish. Mendelblatt and Fatih were second and third place went to the Finn world champion, Giles Scott (GBR) and Steve Milne.
In the semi-final and final, however, Mendelblatt and Fatih appeared to put the afterburner’s on, to win back to back races against the very best in the Star class. “This was a race of a lifetime,” said Mendelblatt. “To beat guys like Freddy Loof, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, and Robert Scheidt and all the other guys who are here is incredible. We did not have any expectations coming in: only to sail our best regatta. And you know these guys beat me more times than I beat them in my career as a Star sailor. With Robert, I can count the number of times I beat him on one hand and I’ve been sailing against him for 25 years so it feels great to win this event.”
The wind for the final, a six-leg race, had shifted more to the north but was anything but stable. Mendelblatt was forced to tack out from under Zarif early one which would eventually prove to be a winning move, putting Mendelblatt ahead around the first windward mark.
On the third beat, Kusznierewicz sneaked ahead at the top mark and led down the final leg. All of the boat were withing striking distance, with the crews aggressively working the waves while trying to play every shift as well. Kusznierewicz appeared to have the win within grasp as the teams narrowed in on the finish line, only to have Mendelblatt and Loof, coming in on a tighter reach, sail in from leeward to take the first two places. Kusznierewicz, who was runner-up last year, finished third and the rookie, Zarif, was fourth.
“I’m really hoping that the Star Sailors League continues. I think it is fantastic. I think the Star boat obviously is bringing in the best sailors in the world still,” said Mendelblatt. “The format is excellent. It’s exciting, it’s great. I have no plans to sell my Star. I’m keeping my boat and I’m going to do some more Star regattas, for sure.”
Doyle One Design has been active in the Star class for a number of years, and this year’s Star Sailors League Finals is just the latest in a string of victories for Doyle’s Star customers. In November, Luke Lawrence and Joshua Revkin won the Schoonmaker Cup, while in October Tomas Hornos and Revkin placed 2nd at the Star North American Championship. and in July William Swigart and Fatih teamed up to win the Cedar Point Open for the Bedford Pitcher. Doyle’s success stems from a highly technical design process, on the water testing and constant refinements and customer service.
For full Results of the Star Sailors League Finals, please visit here.
To learn more about Doyle’s Star Sails, please visit here.
Bob Fisher contributed to this report
Doyle Sailmakers is proud to be involved in the inaugural J/70 Worlds in Newport, R.I., running from September 8-13 at the New York Yacht Club. Many of our Doyle customers and sailmakers will be competing in this inaugural event. Doyle’s One Design team has built sails for many of the competitors and with over 90 boats on the starting line for this event, the starting line will be crowded with numerous world champions in other classes – all vying to be the first J/70 world champion.
The boat has also recently been chosen as Sailing World’s 2014 Boat of the Year and is designated as an International Class by ISAF (International Sailing Federation). At only two and half years old but over 600 boats sailing in over 20 countries, Doyle Sailmakers is proud to be one of the premiere one-design sailmakers for the fleet.
Adding to the luster of competing in the inaugural worlds is the fact that many of Doyle’s sailmakers will be a part of this event, including 2006 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Jud Smith, who has been building sails for many Doyle customers in the J/70 fleet as they prepare for this event.
“Although this is the Worlds, at this time it will primarily US Boats being sailed but this will be the regatta to peak for,” Smith said. “It will be interesting to see how some of the boats do who are peaking right now. There are some boats who are at the right time to peak and there are certain players who have emerged strong very recently – so this is their time.”
Many Doyle customers and sailmakers will be at this event. Peter Duncan, who got into the J/70 class early on, has been training all summer after campaigning his Etchells for most of last year. Sailing USA 49 “Relative Obscurity” he brings along long-time crew Tom Blackwell and has added Mark Ivy and Doyle’s own Greg Marie. Earlier this year, Duncan finished 3rd in the 40 boat fleet at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week.
Jud Smith will be sailing with his wife Cindy, Jake Ladow, and Doyle One Design’s Will Felder. Earlier this summer, Smith won the J/70 class at the Marblehead NOOD regatta.
Doyle CFD’s Tyler Doyle, who has spent extensive time developing proprietary software to analyze sail shape and boat setup in real time for the J/70, will be sailing with Chris Boulter, Indre Jankeviciute, and Terra Berlinski on USA 245.
Brad Boston of Doyle Boston (Canada), fresh from winning the Viper 640 North Americans last week, will be racing with team “Hooligan”, with skipper Tres Sheehan, Curtis Florence and Lindsay Bartal.
Mark Ploch of Doyle City Island in New York will be racing his USA 61 “Sugar Daddy” with Mark Foster, Rob Fear and Tomas Hornos from Doyle One Design.
We are looking forward to a very exciting and successful regatta.
Full regatta information can be found here.
Starting Gun – The Etchells Worlds and a Conversation with Jud Smith
We caught up with Jud Smith of Marblehead, Mass. at Doyle Sailmakers this past week, as he gets ready for the upcoming Etchells Worlds in Newport, R.I. starting on June 21-28. Smith is a Rolex Yachtsmen of the Year and former Etchells Worlds champion who just so happens to be building many of the sails for the event. He will be racing with his long time team of Peter Duncan and Tom Blackwell. As both sailmaker to other competitors and a competitor himself, we asked Jud to take a moment to give us an overview of the upcoming event – and the state of Etchells’ sailing overall.
Q. What is different about this upcoming event in Newport, R.I.?
A. The World’s in Newport is going to be a big draw. Canada is close, and it is off-season for the Australians. The World’s has become the premier event for Australians and we have John Bertrand here along with many other teams. In 1998, the Etchells Worlds was held in Marblehead, and it was the last time we had 100 -boat strong Etchells Worlds. We are figuring we will have 95 boats on the line for this one. Newport is unique and to have an Etchells Worlds on the east coast is rare. We don’t get the Worlds in the US that often and it will be awhile before we have one nearby again (next year’s event is in Hong Kong).
Q. With such an international fleet descending on Newport, R.I.; will this be the first time some of these competitors will race against each other?
A. Many of these teams have competed in the Jaguar Series in Miami and that is what we last did as a team before we began pre-worlds races for this event. Most of the major American boats were at the Jaguar series, as well as European and Canadian teams. Many of us have met each other on the race course before this.
[“The Jag”, as it has come to be known, is a four regatta series, spread out over four weekends between December and March, and brings together many of the best Etchells sailors in the world.]
Q. How important are these winter series like the Jaguar Series to the Etchells fleet?
A. The Jaguar Series has really helped the Etchells fleet and it has been a very popular format. It is more common now that you have to go where the sailing is – and a lot of competitors find it in Miami. The sport has evolved and whereas the summers are short and it is not always easy to get people involved in weekend racing – the competition stretches out over the year. It is so much more migratory.
Q. Will this Etchells Worlds feature a heavier contingent of professional -level sailors or will it include fleet racers from the region as well.
A. What is different about the Etchells is that many of the owners are not pro-sailors but they do have pro teams. The talent pool is incredible so what has changed is that the boats are loaded with talent. It is not like the old days where you could fill in with individuals from the host club. That being said, it is hard for the club sailor to be competitive amidst this caliber of competition. However, for the club racer, they can come and get to sail against the very best in the world and talk and mingle after the racing.
Q. What else is unique about this talented Etchells fleet?
A. Today, the Etchells is not so much a summer racing class but a traveling class. Etchells fleets are not gone, they are just not exactly where they used to be and more competitors take time over the course of a year, and not just weekends in a short summer season, to compete. The Etchells is one of the few keelboat classes that is still vibrant and does enable older sailors to compete. And, as it has evolved into a fleet that is deep with sailing talent, the more mature sailors tend to be the ones that have the resources and the time to race.
Q. As the sailmaker to the sailors, do you think you have any advantage over the other professionals in the fleet?
A. When you are the sailmaker for the event, the process for the customers started a long time ago. The Doyle team boats have been training on weekends in Newport. As a sailmaker, we live and breath this every day. Any advantage I could have had is probably negated by the amount of time I have put into working with our many customers and helping make sure they are up to speed. As much as sailmaking has evolved into being more automated and as such precise, there is still a lot of craftsmanship that our team has put into our sails – its been an exciting but exhausting few weeks leading up to the regatta.
Perfect conditions 10-15kts and warm and sunny weather provided a great weekend of sailing in San Diego for the annual NOOD Regatta.
Mark Stratton and his Crew on the Beneteau-40.7 Laguno won all 6 races in the 40.7 class to take the win. Laguno used a complete set of Doyle Stratis ICE sails for the event including a New ICE Mainsail and ICE LM #1. All of the sails were made by Doyle Chicago, with John Baxter onboard to celebrate his birthday on Sunday with the clean sweep.
Bill Purdy and his Whirlwind Team made the trip to San Diego from the east coast. Bill chartered a Beneteau 36.7 and brought his Doyle sails out for the event. Bill used a brand New Doyle Stratis #1 made by Mark Ploch in at Doyle City Island. Bill also won every race in the event in the 9 boat Beneteau 36.7 Division.
Congratulations to both teams who sailed a fantastic regatta.
Congratulations to Senet Bischoff and his team of Benjamin Kinney and Clay Bischoff, for winning the 2014 Jaguar Mid-Winters, the fourth and final regatta of the 2014 Jaguar Series. KGB had top six finishes in all but two of the seven races sailed over the three days in Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL. The most impressive part of this victory is the team was comprised of all Corinthian sailors competing against many of the top professional teams worldwide.
“In the past, Ben and I treated this as a social endeavor,” admitted Bischoff. “We always sailed with a bunch of friends, and had a great time, but we never had a consistent third crew. This year we added my brother Clay, a two time team race world champion and former college sailor of the year, and it’s been huge.”
“We are an all Corinthian (amateur) team so we don’t come in early to practice. We did buy a new set of Doyle sails from Jud Smith, and that has been a big help. Jud is very open and honest in helping us get better. We can send him a photo of our sails and he will respond immediately with tuning advice.”
The Mid-Winters concluded the 2014 Jaguar Series and a second congratulations is in order for Peter Duncan and his team, Jud Smith and Tom Blackwell, for winning the 2014 Jaguar Cup after finishing 4th at the Mid-Winters this past weekend! Both teams utilized the new Doyle APG Main, NLM-5 Jib and VMG Spinnaker.
“The Jag”, as it has come to be known, is a four regatta series, spread out over four weekends between December and March, and brings together many of the best Etchells sailors in the world. Hosted by Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Etchells Fleet 20, the series consistently draws fifty or more boats to the good weather and great competition on Biscayne Bay. Teams from USA, Canada, Bermuda, Great Britain, Ireland, Switzerland and Ukraine are preparing for the World Championships to be held in Newport, RI this June.
To learn more about Doyle’s Etchells’ Sails, please visit here.
To see full regatta results, please visit here.
To read the full regatta re-cap, please visit here.
Jud Smith, sailing with his wife Cindy, daughter Darby and Rick Myers, won the first event of the J/70 Winter Series, held January 11-12 at the Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida. In the competitive 39 boat fleet, Smith finished in the top ten in all 5 races, and won two of three races on the first day. Also using Doyle’s latest J/70 sails were Mike Dressel who finished fifth, and Mark Ploch in seventh.
Saturday was the windier day of the two, with the breeze beginning at 12 knots and building to 20 by the end of the day. With the breeze out of the south, waves increased to 1-3 feet. Smith was confident in his upwind boatspeed, pointing out that he was first to the first windward mark in all three races on Saturday, with some downwind boat handling issues holding him back in race 2.
The event was an excellent warm up for Key West Race Week, which starts later this month and will have over 60 boats on the line.
Doyle One Design has been working on refining its J/70 sail designs for over a year now, and having done extensive modeling, testing and regattas, feels confident that its sails are the best on the race course – and results like this only reinforce that belief.
Doyle’s Tuning Guide and Tuning Matrix have been updated, and can be found here.
Congratulations to Peter Duncan, and his crew Tom Blackwell and Jud Smith, for winning the 2013 Louis Piana cup, the first event of the 2014 Jaguar Cup. Held in Miami, Florida December 7-8, the regatta featured five races with 64 of the world’s top Etchells sailors – no fewer than five previous Etchells world champions were amongst the sixty-four boats on the starting line.
Peter Duncan was using Doyle’s latest AP Mainsail, NLM Jib and the AP Radial Runner and the Bi-Radial Runner. Also in the top ten, using Doyle Sails, were Ted Hardenbergh in 6th, Shannon Bush in 8th and Flip Wehrhem in 10th.
“The Jag”, as it has come to be known, is a four regatta series, spread out over four weekends between December and March, and brings together many of the best Etchells sailors in the world. Hosted by Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Etchells Fleet 20, the series consistently draws forty or more boats to the good weather, great competition and even better camaraderie.
The first race on Saturday, with East-southeast winds of about six to eight knots, saw lots of shuffling between the favorites and the rest of the fleet. Eight of the eventual top twenty sailed their throwout.
Peter Duncan commented, “We pressed a little too hard on the start and were over early. From that point we did well just to get back to the front half of the fleet.” In the second race, a few boats once again pushed the middle of the line, and were called over early, though all of the leaders started clean. By now the winds were a fairly consistent eight knots, still from the east-southeast. This race also saw a wire to wire winner with Peter Duncan taking his first of what would be three guns over the weekend. He was closely followed by Jim Cunningham. Tom Carruthers rounded out the top three, fresh off his recent win in San Diego.
Sunday brought a bit more wind to the bay with speeds above ten knots. Race four got under way at 1100, with a 1.6mile first beat at a 115 degree bearing. Peter Duncan was first to the weather mark, a lead he would not relinquish for the remainder of the race. Jim Cunningham, sailing with Jeff Madrigali, Mark Ivy and Bryn Bachman took their third straight second place finish, in what had now become a two boat regatta.
In the last race it all came down to Cunningham and Duncan. With a ten as a throwout, to win the Piana Cup, Cunningham simply needed to beat Duncan, or have Duncan finish lower than fifth. However, some technical issues undid Cunningham’s team. “We didn’t get a good start in the last race,” said Madrigali. “We probably should have started near him (Duncan), but we were a little out of whack. But all in all we sailed well. We never dropped boats, and always finished in the best position we were in in any given race. We’re happy.”
When asked about that fifth and deciding race, Peter Duncan said, “We noticed a bit of a right shift while practicing before the race. We decided to go that way, and it was still there. We pretty much stayed right all weekend, except for the last two legs on Sunday when the left paid better.”
Commenting Jud Smith, “We tried to stay in the top five all weekend. We screwed up the first race, but recovered in the next two. The right had good pressure all weekend except as it died at the end of the day, and then the left paid.”
To learn more about Doyle’s Etchells’ Sails, please visit here.
To see full regatta results, please visit here.