Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff Nabs J/111 Midwinter Championship
After eight races, only two points separated the four boats competing for the J/111 Midwinter Championship, a part of J/Fest hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. By way of a bullet in Saturday’s last (and ultimately final) battle, Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff eked out the title with crew Dustin Graef, Jeff Haase, Marty Kullman, Doug Moose, Abigail Ruhlman, Ryan Ruhlman and Jim Sminchak. Four races were completed on Friday and again on Saturday in breezy conditions, although rain and unstable weather prevented any contests on Sunday. Ending with 15 net points, Spaceman Spiff flipped positions throughout the Championship with Ian Hill’s Sitella (who placed second with 16 points), the Andrew Ward/Sedgwick Ward team on Bravo (also with 16 points for third place) and Jeffrey Davis’ Shamrock with 17 points.
- Spaceman Spiff, Rob Ruhlman, 3 -2 -2 -1 - -2 -4 -1 ; 15
- Sitella, Ian Hill,  -1 -4 -3 -1 -1 -2 -4 ; 16
- Bravo, Andrew Ward/Sedgwick Ward, 2 -3 -1 - -2 -3 -3 -2 ; 16
- Shamrock, Jeffrey Davis, 1 -4 -3 -2 -3 - -1 -3 ; 17
Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=6071.
Round The County Race
117 boats signed up for the 2018 running of a popular race in the Pacific Northwest—the Round the County, hosted by the Orcas Island Yacht Club and the Friday Harbor Sailing Club. For Saturday, it was East winds 5 to 15 knots becoming NE in the afternoon. Then, on Sunday, the wind shifted into the North and was about 8-10 knots and relatively flat waters. The currents didn’t look to be too strong compared to previous years, but it was a factor for Saturday’s racing; the bigger boats could get through Haro Straits at the halfway point before it started ebbing against the rest of the fleet. Then, on Sunday the currents lined up well with the northerly winds. In the end in Class Zero, it was the slowest-rated boat that won—Kevin Welch’s J/111 RECON. For more Round the County Race information, visit http://roundthecounty.com/.
Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key Unlocks J/111 North American Championship
Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key improved his J/111 resume by adding the 2018 J/111 North American Championship to his 2017 J/111 World Championship title. With crew John Collins (bow), Nick Gibbens (headsail trimmer), John Hayes (mast), Dave Lyons (spinnaker trimmer), John Pernick (main trimmer), Cory Schillaci (pit) and Seadon Wijsen (tactician), the St. Francis Yacht Club member recorded no scores lower than a sixth in the no-discard, eight-race series. Skeleton Key ended with 18 points, including three bullets. Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund secured the silver position with 36 points, just one ahead of Bradley Faber’s Utah and Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff who tied on points at 37 for third and fourth, respectively. Sixteen teams competed over the three-day event hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club in Holland, MI. In breeze sometimes sustained over 20 knots, Friday’s race winners were Faber’s Utah, Jeffrey Davis’ Shamrock and the trio of Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson and Mike Mayer on Kashmir. However, race 6 was later abandoned due to an improper action by the Race Committee.
- Skeleton Key, Peter Wagner - 1 -6 -1 -2 -1 -0 -5 -2 ; 18
- Slush Fund, Jim Connelly - 2 -1 -3 -1 -16 -0 -8 -5 ; 36
- Utah, Bradley Faber - 6 -3 -4 -7 -7 -0 -3 -7 ; 37
- Spaceman Spiff, Rob Ruhlman - 5 -7 -8 -5 -5 -0 -4 -3 ; 37
- Shamrock, Jeffrey Davis - 3 -2 -5 -8 -14 -0 -1 -9 ; 42
Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4547.
Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key Surges at J/111 North American Championship
Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key had a near perfect day on Thursday to move into the lead at the J/111 North American Championship, hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club in Holland, MI. Good breeze allowed three races, two of which were won by 2017 J/111 World Champion Wagner. Skeleton Key also had a second in the middle contest, ending with 11 net points in the no-discard series. Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund stumbled in the last race of the day, dropping to second overall with 23 points. The consistency of Bradley Faber’s Utah puts them in third with 27 points among the 16-boat fleet. Chasing Wagner in the initial race were Richard Witzel’s Rowdy and Connelly. Then it was Connelly back in the driver’s seat, beating Wagner and the Andrew and Sedgwick Ward team on Bravo. The final battle went to Wagner again, as Witzel earned another second and Tracy Brand’s Solution took third. Racing concludes Friday. Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4547.
Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund Jumps Out at J/111 North American Championship
Light winds greeted 16 J/111 teams for the beginning of the J/111 North American Championship, hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club in Holland, MI. Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund figured out the conditions in the pair of races, posting a 2,1 on the day for the lead at 3 points. Just two ticks behind in second place is Jeffrey Davis’ Shamrock, who recorded a solid 3,2 for 5 points. Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key started the day with a bullet but added a sixth for 7 points and third place. Following 2017 J/111 World Champion Wagner in the opening match were Connelly and Davis. Then Connelly and Davis each moved up a notch in race two, taking first and second ahead of Bradley Faber’s Utah. Racing continues through Friday. Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4547.
Madmen Wins City of San Francisco Trophy at Rolex Big Boat Series
Bright sunshine, steady breeze and flat seas greeted the 76 teams for the final day of racing at the 54th edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series (September 12-16), hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club. The race committee announced a 15-minute postponement on both the Alcatraz and Treasure Island race courses to allow the breeze to consolidate and—given the flood-tide cycle that the racers have been enjoying all week—the water to flatten-out prior to the day’s single long-form Bay Tour race. This traditional final-day course selection allowed all seven competing classes to finish this no-drop series directly in front of StFYC’s Race Deck, giving onshore spectators a fantastic view. Dorian McKelvy and his crew aboard his J/111 Madmen (USA 17) fully owned the ORR-B class, winning the City of San Francisco Trophy—one of the golden spades used during the 1933 groundbreaking ceremony for the Golden Gate Bridge. For more information, please visit the Rolex Big Boat Series' website at https://rolexbigboatseries.com/.