Posts Tagged ‘J/70’
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.
Charleston Race Week has quickly become one of the largest Regattas in the US, held annually in mid-April. This year Doyle was well represented, winning both the Viper 640 and Ultimate 20 Classes, and taking a close second in the hotly competitive J/70 Class. The One Design fleets got in eight races over two days before racing was called off prior to start time on Sunday due to high winds. Vipers had 33 boats and J/70 had the largest fleet of 55 boats.
For the second regatta in a row, Brad Boston and his team of Lee Shuckerow & Eric Vigrass sailed Jackpot to a win. The win was impressive considering the regatta featured some serious breeze on Friday. With a 33-boat fleet, the teams worst race was a 5, giving them a close win in a very competitive event. This is now the 4th year in a row that Doyle powered boats have won Charleston Race Week.
In the Ultimate 20 fleet, both BJ Jones and Brad Lawson utilized full Doyle Inventories to take first and second in the class. Doyle began producing Ultimate 20 sails in 2006 and has been successful ever since. Doyle-powered boats have won the U20 class at Charleston Race Week for three years in a row now, in addition to numerous North American and Regional championships.
Friday featured puffy and fresh 10-25 + knot south winds which made for some challenging races. Much of the time the upper level winds were mixing down to the surface with big puffs and full planing conditions. Upwind required heavy air tuning and trim techniques in the big blasts. On Course 2 the left side generally paid off on the windward legs especially near the windward mark. Downwind was more about finding the pressure lanes to stay planing. Getting consistent good starts and having the speed to hold a lane to the favored left side was what paid off. Boats that got flushed to the right off after the start missed the port tack lefties on second half of the beat and the leaders would then get away on the runs.
Saturday featured lighter 7- 15 knots N – NE winds and some big velocity and wind shifts throughout the day. The currents although always a factor were not as critical a play as the shifts and velocity. Although the right pressure would fill in on a few beats on course 2 there was some good lefty pressure on the top of the beat on most legs. Because of the incoming tide the fleet spent a lot of the beat on port tack and once again it paid to be fast and high on the boats nearby and win the one on one battles. The wind lightened gradually during the day which required easing the rig between races.
Jud Smith , Doyle One Design Manager , sailed Peter Duncan’s , J/70 “Relative Obscurity” with team Tom Blackwell, Greg Marie and Quinn Ziatyk to a consistent 2nd place overall with all but one top 4 finish. Tim Healy and his team won the regatta by 2 points. Henry Filter and his team on Wild Thing was 3rd overall.
Peter Vessella and his team placed 9th overall sailing their first regatta with Doyle One Design sails. Michael Glover, with Collin Kirby, Reese Wilkins and Robby Wilkins, sailing their first J/70 regatta on “Lucy”, were the third Corinthian finishers.
Many of the same teams will be racing at Annapolis NOOD in early May.
We have updated the tuning guide and some other notes on the J/70 which can be found here.
Below is a video of Jud Smith and crew leading the fleet around the leeward mark – quite a good feeling in a 55-boat fleet!
This years Bacardi Miami Sailing Week featured some of the top international talent competing in a number of the most exciting One Design Classes. At the end of the Regatta, Doyle One Design customers came away with wins in the Star and Viper Classes, and secured a second place finish in the new J/70 class after a unfortunate start to the regatta.
Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih got off to a rough start with an OCS in race one but, after five days of racing, were able to rebound with wins in the last two races to take home the Bacardi Cup. The regatta saw a wide range of conditions forcing teams to constantly adjust, making the win that much more satisfying against some of the Star class’ top competitors. “Winning the Cup again means a lot to me; it’s really great because winning any big Star regatta is not easy at all! I am very happy to have had Brian with me. He is a great crew and wanted to have his name on the Tito Bacardi trophy. The Bacardi Cup is a great event and now, with the addition of all the other classes, it’s even more satisfying.”
The regatta was also the debut of Doyle’s latest Star mainsail design, a new bi-radial cut which until now has not been proven in the Star class. After months of development, the new layout shows improved shape-holding through a wide range of conditions, in addition to being easily tuned. Jud Smith, head of Doyle One Design explains that “we moved to just two sections in the sail, each made up of radial panels. There are a number of benefits that we have realized – the radial bottom section helps handle the transition from the deepest parts of the sail into the clew smoothly while at the same time the radial gores in the clew help support the mast down low giving it a more even mast bend. Along the leech, the two radial sections essentially act as a catenary and evenly distribute the leech load.” The result is a very smooth, tunable sail that can perform in a wide variety of conditions.
In the competitive Viper Class, Brad Boston, Eric Vigrass and Shannon Bush sailing as Team Jackpot were able to win the regatta by winning 3 of the last 4 races, giving them a solid victory in a hotly contested class. Despite trailing early in the regatta, the strong finish helped them jump past some other past champions in the class. The sails he utilized were the standard Doyle sails that have proven durable and easy to trim for a number of years now.
The J70 fleet of 20 boats got in 9 races over 3 bright sunny days on Biscayne Bay for Bacardi Miami Race Week March 7-9. After just one shortened light air race the first day, the breeze filled in for the last two days, blowing 6-15 knots to get in 8 races. Eight of the twenty boats did not make the time limit in the first race when the wind shut off which was an unfortunate starting point for many of the contenders. Saturday featured a NW to NE wind that gradually built to 10 -12 knots as it shifted to the right. Sunday the NE breeze shifted right again during the morning race 7 before settling in from the E-NE with some puffs that featured one planing leg.
Going into the final day of racing both Brian Keane and Will Welles had a commanding lead over the pack and appeared unreachable. There was still a group of 4 boats with a realistic shot at a podium finish. The race committee hailed that they were going to attempt to sail three races that day. Doyle customers Peter Duncan, Mark Ploch and Amy Neill started strong on the final day, rounding the first mark 1, 2 and 3. Brian Keane just beat out Ploch to win and Duncan got third after being caught on the persistent shift on the run. Wells caught back up to 8th but that still gave Keene a big cushion going into the last two races.
Off the line on Race 8 the usual suspects were in the front row but Wells was OCS and had to go back. Duncan and Neill were 1,2 at the first mark again and Duncan held onto win Race 8 with Keane second allowing him to clinch the regatta win. Welles was unable to get back in contention and sailed his throw-out. Going into the final race Duncan was only one point behind Wells with four boats within 5 points of second. So 2nd – 5th overall came down to the last race.
At the start of race 9, the wind shifted left and the fleet tacked onto port on a big lefty. Wells rounded 6th with Duncan in 7th. The fleet planed off on starboard for the first half of the run which allowed Duncan to get inside of Wells and jibe to windward. Duncan covered Wells on the second beat and run to the finish to clinch second place on a tie breaker.
Amy Neill sailing “Nightmare” from Chicago with Rich Sterns , John Baxter and Zach Mason had two 6th place finishes on the last day to clinch a 13th overall. This was Amy’s first time ever steering or skippering any boat in any regatta. Amy used the same Doyle One Design sails as Duncan and Ploch and showed some of the greatest upwind speed straight out of the blocks.
Congratulations all around on a competitive regatta!
Key West race week was only the second J/70 class event (the first being Annapolis last fall) and provided the first opportunity for most teams to race the J/70 for the first time. Many teams had taken delivery of their boats over the last few weeks and months. The fleet of 39 boats was the largest class at KWRW and newest J/70 sailing was hull # 157. Here are observations from Jud Smith, Doyle One Design Manager, after racing with Peter Duncan on Relative Obscurity.
PRE-REGATTA PRACTICE SESSIONS
The Friday leading up to Key West had fresh 13-17 knot Northwester similar to conditions we saw during the regatta. Although there were not many J/70’s out practicing that day we did get a chance to do a little two boat windward line up with Bob Hughes team “Heartbreaker”. Bob was sailing with his crew of 4 and was using a set of Doyle sails that we had tested with in October on WLIS. I was sailing with Peter Duncan and Tom Blackwell on USA 49 “Relative Obscurity”. We were sailing 3-up at Etchells weight of 630 lbs using the latest Doyle sails developed by the One Design team, sail designer Greg Marie and Doyle Ploch Sailmakers. We thought Bob had a speed edge on us in the puffs and then I started helping Peter with the backstay from the rail we could hold them better even in puffs but I’d give edge to Bob and his team until it got lighter closer to shore. Bob Hughes and his team seemed to have an edge on Friday, probably due to sailing 4 up.
We had our uppers at 25 and lowers at 22 which in retrospect was a little too firm on the lowers in those conditions for our sails. What we later learned as the week progressed is that the rig, and specifically lower tension has a big impact on the mast bend, headstay tension. The lower tension relative to the uppers depends on what main designed luff curve you are using. Some mains like harder lowers than our main that has a little more designed luff curve. We just tried to get the uppers tight enough so that the leeward upper would only begin to go slack in the puffs when backstay was applied to depower. We then adjusted our lowers so that the main flattened out evenly and would not overbend at spreaders when more backstay was used to depower.
Saturday and Sunday training with Mark Ploch was light air and we experimented with boat handling and speed with 3 verses 4 crew. Upwind the 4th didn’t appear to slow the boat down even if we were quite heavy. We noticed the extra crew weight was more of a problem downwind. The light air practices races and starts gave us a chance to test our time distance to the line with the velocitech reading out meters to the line which worked out to be about seconds to the line at full speed. There is a slight delay in the velocitech so we found it more reliable if we approached at slower speeds on a close hauled course burning time by feathering to windward.
That Friday line up influenced our decision to add a 4th to our team for the regatta since the forecast was for similar conditions as Friday for much of the regatta except Monday. Even though Saturday and Sunday practice was light air we decided to add our coach, Larry Suter , as our 4th even though it would make us the heaviest team since it was running late to get a 4th down to KW in time for first day. We knew the extra weight may hurt us on Monday but thought it would help for the remainder of the regatta upwind. That’s about how it played out. We were fast upwind in the breeze and although the weight did hurt us downwind we also were still working on our downwind technique which evolved a lot over the regatta and improved by Friday even being the heaviest crew.
RACE DAY ONE
The first race day was light and we didn’t start very well and got flushed out to the right in both races on a go left track. Mark Ploch had a good start at the leeward end and got to the left to a solid third place finish. Race 1 we battled hard to get back to 19th after missing most of a big lefty with pressure on the first beat. It paid to take our lumps 2/3rds of the way up the beat to get to the left pressure.
Race two we took every chance we could to get left upwind after a 2nd row start and racing in amongst all the Melges 24 fleet on their second work. We sailed to a respectable 6th with great upwind speed and hung in on the runs by picking clean lanes in pressure. We were 11th overall after first day and came away from the day realizing how important it was to find the best pressure on the course since the light spots we’d be doing 4.5 knots and in the puffs we’d be doing 5.8 knots upwind.
RACE DAY TWO THRU FIVE
The remainder of the week the wind speed built from the NE 12-17 knots and once again generally favored the left side near Key West where the water was smoother and puffs were port tack lifts off the land. This put a premium on getting a good clean start to hold the long starboard tack into toward the shore line. Downwind was generally planing conditions with a few exceptions when the wind dropped below 13 – 14 knots and then it paid to roll up the jib and sail lower heeled to windward with crew weight back forward.
Ploch sailed at 700 lbs and ourselves at 780. I think the range of 660 to 700 is a good target weight. 14 of the top 15 boats were sailing 4-up and lightest crews were 615 but most were heavier in the 650 + weight range. Healy won with under 700 lbs and Brian Keane was second sailing at 760.
TIPS ON AVOIDING SHRIMPING KITE
After shrimping the kite twice on the set on day two we were lucky that we were fast enough upwind to catch back up and moved up the leader board to 5th overall. Once ashore, Brad Boston, of Doyle Sarnia, instructed us on presetting the spinnaker tack line to a mark before the hoist and then deploying the pole once the spinnaker was half way up. That way the spinnaker tack is pre-fed out only to the life line before hoisting so that it doesn’t get shrimped to leeward while hoisting. Yeah… it works!
DOWNWIND PLANING TECHNIQUE
Brad Boston also coached us on proper crew positioning and trim techniques for the planing conditions.
For the planing legs with the most breeze it paid to move the crew weight back and keep the jib out flying. Most boats found it was best to put the fourth behind the helmsman to weather and everyone slid aft of the winch in freshest breeze. The jib trimmer then cleated jib so bottom half was flying even if top was soft and then flew the kite. Next aft crew trimmed main one to one with light vang tension to twist head open and play the mainsheet over the cockpit and generally inside the rail. The load on the mainsheet increases a lot when trimmed in over the cockpit while planning and eased when overpowered. This technique allows the helmsman to sail the boat closer to the edge of max power while planning without heeling the boat too much in the puffs. We found most the top teams sailing this way effectively in the planning conditions as the week progressed.
WATER IN THE BOW
On Friday morning Peter found a gallon of water in the bow forward of the bulkhead and sponged it out. At the end of the day we sponged out some more.
MARKING JIB SHEET
We marked jib sheet the same on both sides to reference proper trim for both sheeting and in-hauling with the weather sheet.
We used the tacktick racemaster compass with boatspeed and depth. The thru hull was mounted under the step of the companionway on center. It is important that the mast bracket is fastened to the mast so it can’t get knocked out of square and give misleading headings.
TUNING GUIDE AND MATRIX
We’ve updated the Doyle Tuning Guide and Matrix to reflect what we’ve learned at the first big regatta. See it here…
For more information on Doyle’s J/70 Sail Development, visit the J/70 page
With the J/70 named the 2013 Boat of the Year over 300 J/70s sold, fleets springing up all over the country and with almost 40 J/70s signed up for Key West Race Week, Doyle Sailmakers is excited to be making fast, easy to tune J/70 sails.
During the second week of December, Jud Smith and Greg Marie from Doyle One Design went to Miami, Florida for a 2 day tuning session. This tuning session was designed to check over some of the slight tweaks made to the designs and to develop a tuning guide to ensure the maximum boat speed from Doyle J/70 sails.
The latest on our J/70 designs:
- Added a radial clew to the main for a lighter stronger clew.
- Kept the cross-cut midsection for smooth transition at batten ends.
- Testing has made it increasingly clear that the best VMG in light to moderate air will be achieved by sailing deep running angles.
- Our spinnaker design has been optimized for deep soaking angles while still being able to reach when planing.
Having a few other testing partners around in Miami gave us the opportunity to test rig tune and trimming methods.
Doyle Sailmakers is excited to be making sails for the J/70!
An independent panel of experts evaluated 15 nominees following the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, in October. Selections were based on extensive inspections and sea trials of all the boats.
“When it comes to successfully launching a new design, especially a one-design in a crowded market, no other builder in the performance sailboat industry rivals J/Boats. With the J/70, it meticulously refined the design and construction while promoting it to yacht clubs and potential owners before the first boat was ever built,” says Sailing World editor and Boat of the Year director Dave Reed. “The result is a high-performance, but modestly technical sportboat that instantly appealed to a wide range of racing and recreational sailors.”
“The thing is really sweet,” says BOTY judge Chuck Allen, whose enthusiasm is echoed by fellow judge and professional boatbuilder Tom Rich: “It’s really fun to sail, but I’m really impressed with how well it’s built—the quality is excellent for the price.”
“J/Boats promotes it as a multigenerational boat, and I can see why,” says Greg Stewart, a naval architect and veteran BOTY judge. “A good young sailor could steer this boat just fine. It felt solid going through the waves. We could sail the angles we wanted. This is a boat that could definitely be raced by the family.”
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