After Doyle One Design’s Tomas Hornos and his crew, Josh Revkin, warmed up with a win at the Arms White regatta the weekend prior, they won their second consecutive year at the District 1 Championships over the weekend of June 26-28.
The scores were very tight after a first light air day of racing, but once the breeze picked up over the weekend, Tomas and Josh crushed the competition with three bullets.
A high five between the skipper and his trimmer’s son on bow captured on camera says it all for the winners of the Rhodes-19 East Coast Champs. Charlie Pendleton, Jim Raisides, and Jack Raisides on team Bight Me take top honors at this Manchester, MA event, powered by Doyle Sails. Pendleton mentioned that young Jack was, “put to work on foredeck and could be seen flying the spinnaker in the last race.”
Jim Raisides was kind enough to give us an overview of the event, even giving a shout out to their humble sailmakers. (Thanks!) The results do speak for themselves with Doyle Sails placing 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 in the event.
“There was a lot of anticipation for this year’s East Coast Championships mostly because of the venue at the Manchester Yacht Club. It had been 25 years since Manchester had last hosted a Rhodes 19 event, surprising considering the huge Rhodes fleet in the harbor.
Twenty three boats raced the three day event with competitors coming from as far away as Chicago. The competition was tough with three former National Championship winners and multiple East Coast Champions in the fleet.
All three days produced similar conditions, flat seas in light 5-10 knot breezes that began as a northerly and clocked right to an easterly. Not as easy as it sounds, as the breeze was extremely shifty and included a lot of left oscillations that paid dividends up the course even though the predominate shift was right.
These conditions made it difficult for the race committee, but MYC and PRO Conway Felton ran a fantastic regatta with each race a fair test of sailing skill. With the 23 boats over 8 races, there was only 2 general recalls, one “I” flag and no protests.
Charlie Pendleton, Jim Raisides and son Jack Raisides took this year’s top honors with 15 points posting 5 firsts including 3 on the first day. Dru Slattery and crew Linda Epstein were consistently quick across the regatta placing second with 31, followed in third by Jamie Holley sailing with his wife Janice and son Cameron. Doyle sails were on 9 of the top 10 boats!”
We’re realizing again and again, the Rhodes 19 is a fun fleet, with Pendleton mentioning in the class newsletter, “Shannon Lane and Charlie Thomas put on a great show, end to end. When was the last time we had a live band at a Rhodes event!?”
Doyle Sailmakers SWEEPS the 2015 Australasian Winter Championship, hosted by Mooloolaba Yacht Chub earlier in June, with customers taking 1st, 2nd, 3rd*, 7th, 8th, and 10th in a 42 boat fleet. See Results here.
A great article is written on the Australian Etchells page. The winners on Yandee XX, Jeanne-Claude Strong, with team of Neville Wittey, Marcus Burke, and Tiana Wittey, winning their first major event, but also assuming the role of the first female to win a major Etchells event in Australia.
Cameron Miles of The Hole Way took second with his crew, James Mayo and Grant Cowle, tightly two points behind Yandee XX, despite some admitted erroneous tactical decisions. They were tied for first with Yandee XX after the first day and leading after the second day of racing.
Mark Thornburrow, using Doyle upwind sails on Racer X, with team Malcolm Paige, Simon Cooke, and Michael Huang, placed third with two bullets and a total of five top ten finishes in the 7 race regatta.
Also a shout out to other Doyle customers placing top ten at this event. David Clarke and his team on Fifteen+ take seventh, pictured below. Peter McNeill and his team on Iris III take eighth, and Chris Hampton and his team on Tango take tenth. This is a great showing for Doyle Sailmakers repeatedly proving our product with great results.
Skipper, Trey Sheehan, of Hooligan Flat Stanley Racing and team on his J/70 ‘Hooligan’ win the class at Cleveland Race Week this past weekend with one race to spare. Hooligan continues to move up each regatta, powered fully by Doyle sails, with Brad Boston of Doyle Boston aboard.
Doyle Sails offers Stratis Sail Art, which allows photo quality printing on sails for the first time ever.
Doyle Stratis Sails, already offering a high degree of customization between fiber combinations and surface types, offers an entirely new customization in printing of any graphics on the sail surface before the sails are laminated, resulting in the most-detailed sail art to date.
Having long realized the need to offer special images for customers and commercial sponsorship, Doyle has created a number of stunning sail graphics over the years, but has taken it to the next level with Comar Yachts’ Shadow – the first yacht to have been fitted with Stratis Sail Art sails. The 100’ yacht, launched in 2011, was fitted with Doyle Stratis Membranes complete with a photo-quality octopus finished by the team at Doyle Sails Palma.
Moving away from the traditional technique of painting directly onto sail, the new procedure allows the the image to be printed directly onto the sails surface with incredible accuracy before the membranes are laminated in New Zealand. The printing process means that detail, form and subtle nuances are transferred to the sail with unerring accuracy, making for the most detailed sail art to date. In the case of the Shadow this meant an octopus stretching down the sail on each side – carefully aligned to stretch across the Main and Jib.
The mosaic-like print has layers of colour, shapes and overlaid details which bring the two octopi to life as the sail fills. Despite the layers of detail, the end result is noticeably lighter than the sail would be if the image was created using the traditional approach of layering paint by hand – something which at this size would normally add 10-15kgs to a sail.
Lightness is a known characteristic of Stratis. Forming the base for Stratis Sail Art, the underlaying Stratis membranes have a formidable reputation for high performance and resistance to flex fatigue.
The unique Stratis Sail Art process doesn’t compromise the sails’ integrity, compared with the traditional paint process which can result in brittle sail membranes. Full photo images can be translated onto the sails – drastically increasing the appeal of sails as a billboard to sponsors – with a high definition finish that’s as effective close up as it is from a distance.
‘Stratis Sail Art is the next generation in sail art,” says Doyle Sails New Zealand managing director, Chris McMaster.
“It adds negligible weight to the end product, while maintaining the integrity of the sail and performance Stratis is known for.”
Doyle Sails New Zealand’s Auckland loft is the biggest in the southern hemisphere and is well-known for its innovation; creating Stratis, Stratis ICE and a range of other products. Now, adding Stratis Sail Art to its stable of products, the Doyle Sails New Zealand team is proud to not only be able to offer sails which perform unlike anything else on the water, but look unlike anything else on the water.
Learn more about Doyle Sail Graphics.
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
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a highly rated offshore classic, often mentioned in the same breath as the Rolex Fastnet, The Rolex Sydney – Hobart and Newport-Bermuda as a “must do” race.
The Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club co-founded the race in 1968 and 2014 will be the 35rd Edition. The event’s fascination is largely drawn from its alluring, 608-nautical-mile racecourse – a rigorous anti-clockwise loop around Sicily which introduces numerous “corners” that present changing and complex meteorological shifts. The route includes the deep azure waters around Sicily including the Aeolian and Egadi Islands, as well as Pantelleria and Lampedusa. One of the most stunning vistas is Stromboli, the active volcano which is a course mark.
2014 marks the first year that the R/P 72 Shockwave has participated in the race. Having won this years Caribbean 600 and Newport-Bermuda Race, Shockwave is looking to build on its impressive offshore record. As with past races, Doyle Sailmakers founder Robbie Doyle will be sailing with the team on Shockwave as the stratitician.
Q: As the stratitician on board Shockwave, can you compare this race to any other? The Around Britain race? What is it about this race that will be unique?
A. I have more work to prepare for the race, but from what I have read to date I don’t see it comparable to any other race that I have done. The time of year in which it is raced means the weather can be almost anything. Unlike some other races like the Newport-Bermuda Race (where we had a very precise weather forecast narrowed in), we are setting the boat up for any eventuality which means we will carry a maximum number of sails and accept the penalty for rig adjustment.
Q. The Rolex Middle Sea Race is deemed to have unsurpassed scenery with its course, taking competitors close to a number of islands within the Maltese archipelago, which form marks on the course. Ted Turner described the MSR as “the most beautiful race course in the world”. However, the islands must pose some serious navigational challenges. Is there anything else about this race that is a potential challenge like the proximity to Africa, the northeast tip of Sicily and the western area called Favignana – will this be different than say the Newport Bermuda – in what way?
A. Navigationally this race is very challenging. Unlike Bermuda where you have an open ocean, but some artificial gates such as the most desirable point to enter the Gulf Stream, this Race has real gates such as the Straights of Messina that is only 1.6 nm wide, and can have 4 knots of current running through it. One needs to position themselves to take maximum advantage of the current, or to avoid the worst of the currents.
It has strong tidal currents that vary massively producing eddies and a bubbling effect in the water known locally as Bastardi’s. Rounding Islands is always tricky as there are always local effects, particularly when rounding high lands such as Strombolini Volcano.
Q. Shockwave has enjoyed a remarkable season with winning the Caribbean 600, the first-to-finish, as well as overall winner in the Gibbs Hill Division, during the Newport Bermuda race, winning your class in the Regata Copa del Rey in Spain, and enjoying a full season of racing in Europe. Is the Middle Sea Race the last of the season for Shockwave. What’s next?
A. Its our final race for this season. We will begin next season with Key West Race Week in January, then the Jamaica Race, and then back to Europe.
Q. This year’s race entry currently stands at more than 123 participants, up from the 99 participants last year. Is there something about this year’s event that is different? Is the playing field changing/evolving and in what way?
A. My feeling is Ocean Racing is making a comeback all around the world. I feel yachtsman are a bit tired of too many around the buoy racing and are looking for the adventure and experience that only offshore racing can bring.