Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff Takes J/111 Midwinter Championship by a Whisker
Current J/111 World Champion Rob Ruhlman on Spaceman Spiff narrowly took victory at the J/111 Midwinter Championship, a part of J/Fest hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. After eight races in three days, the Cleveland, OH-based Spaceman Spiff team, including Karl Felger, Doug Moose, Debbie Probst, Ryan Ruhlman, Abby Ruhlman, Jim Sminchak and Mark Wiss, tied on points with Ian Hill’s Sitella at 12. Both crews racked up the exact same scoreline, but Ruhlman placed one better than Hill in the last contest to claim the title. Conditions on Tampa Bay ranged from 6-8 knots on Friday and Sunday, with Saturday having the best breeze at 10-12 knots.
- Spaceman Spiff, Rob Ruhlman 1 -  - 1 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 3 ; 12
- Sitella, Ian Hill 2 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 3 - 1 - 1 -  ; 12
- Bravo, Andrew Ward/Sedgwick Ward 3 - 2 - 3 - [5/DNF] - 1 - 3 - 4 - 1 ; 17
- Wicked 2.0, Douglas Curtiss 4 - 3 - [5/DNF] - 5/DNS - 5/DNC - 5/DNC - 3 - 2 ; 27
Photos are posted on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=9649.
J111 Pre-Worlds Regatta 30 & 31 August 2020
International J111 World Championship 2020 and Pre-Worlds 29th August-5th September 2020
ENTRY NOW OPEN Partnership with Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics
The annual World Championship will be decided this September, in the Solent, UK. The One Design regatta for J111s is returning to Cowes for 2020.
Hosted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, under invitation of the J111 Northern European Fleet. The Worlds Regatta entry is now open. Notice of Race and Entry is via RORC’s Sailgate portal https://rorc.sailgate.com.
In anticipation of the interest registered at last years Championships in Chicago, the European Class is delighted to announce its partnered with Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics, to offer two alternative routes for J111s to cross the pond (and back as required).
Class contact at Sevenstar Wouter Verbraak comments; “This partnership should add to the growing competitive J111 fleet racing around the World, and we are delighted to be an enabler, and partner for the future”.
With mast up and keel on sailings twice a month from Cleveland, and once a month from Baltimore the options are open. More details for owners are available on the Sevenstar and Worlds websites.
The timing of the World Championships is designed to make it as easy as possible for the North American owners and crew. This should mean the least disruption to the local and national US sailing programmes.
Simon Bamford, the Fleet Captain says:“We are delighted that Sevenstar has chosen to partner with us, hopefully making it as simple and as cost effective as possible for multiple boats to participate from the USA”.
With entertainment planned for the evenings, no doubt ‘wit and banter’ will be abundant as challenges are laid down for the World Championships between differing nationalities. The Fleet looks forward to welcoming you to some world class sailing in the Solent.
Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics - wouter@sevenstar-uk. com
J/111 PLAYLIST Triumphs in Australia
Thanks for this report from Matt Powell, owner of the J/111 PLAYLIST: While Australian brush fires were burning north to south, east to west, due to the obscenely hot temperatures inland and the very hot, dry airs whistling across the barren landscape, a number of Australian sailors made it out to sea to enjoy some clean fun on the azure waters of the Tasman Sea. On December 26 (Boxing day), Matt Powell's J/111 PLAYLIST entered the 34.0 nm "Cock of the Bay" race from Melbourne (St. Kilda) to Blairgowrie. This is a pre-curser and a solid "training run" for the Melbourne to Hobart race that started at the bottom of the bay on December 27. It was a good sailing day with a SSW breeze from 10-20 knots. The line was set with a definite port-end bias, and the PLAYLIST team worked this perfectly, crossing the line first and closest to the pin. For the first 30 minutes, they were leading boat-for-boat in the 72-boat fleet. Once they got settled, the race came down to consistent good boat speed and picking the shifts as they headed southwards down toward the Peninsula. Although they were racing their entire division, the J/111 PLAYLIST often found themselves competing with a Hick 40 and two First 40s. In the end, PLAYLIST finished 11th over the line, first on PHS handicap, second on AMS and third on IRC in Division 1. The race was basically a 34.0nm windward beat from start to finish, crossing the line in an elapsed time of 5 hours and 46 minutes. Commenting on their performance, Powell said, "All in all, we were very happy with how the J/111 performed against these bigger boats, and we felt if there had been more downwind breeze, we would have really tested our competition. Once we got closer to the Peninsula towards the end of the race, the sea state really flattened out, and in those conditions, the J/111 really holds its own against the bigger boats. Although the race was a beat the entire way, and therefore minimal work for the bow crew, they all agreed that the race was a lot of fun. I think it is always fun when you get good results!"
J/111 Wins ORC Class in Rolex Middle Sea Race
The 40th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, hosted by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, was a tale of two races. After the calm conditions for the first half of the course, increasingly rough weather in the second half posed challenges for the fleet, with winds gusting to over 30 knots and steep seas. Weathering the extreme conditions were a crew from Sweden—Peter Gustafsson’s crew on the J/111 BLUR.SE. It was their first time sailing the Rolex Middle Sea Race, but they were both well-prepared and well-trained. Their perseverance paid off, winning ORC 5 Class and taking third ORC Overall. On the IRC handicap side, they scored third in IRC 5 Class and 10th IRC Overall. For more Rolex Middle Sea Race information, visit https://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/.
Solent Series Champion: Sally and Tony Mack's McFly
McFly was crowned J/111 Solent Series Champion 2019, and the new Paul Heys trophy was presented to Sally and Tony Mack. Congratulations to Journeymaker II (second) and Red Herring (third).
J/111 Busts PHRF Division at Stratford Shoal Gearbuster Race
Hosted by the Indian Harbor Yacht Club, 2019 marked the 64th edition of this classic 46.0nm race. Run annually the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend, competitors typically race to Stratford Shoal and back. The nickname "Gearbuster" attests to the usually boisterous weather sailors enjoy in October on Western Long Island Sound. The racing includes fully crewed and double-handed divisions, plus a shorter 19.0nm course for non-spinnaker divisions. The Stratford Shoal Race PHRF 2 Class of 11 boats was won by Bill & Jackie Baxter’s J/111 FIREBALL. For more race information, visit https://www.indianharboryc.com/Default.aspx?p=dynamicmodule&pageid=401871&ssid=328512&vnf=1.
J/111s Rule PHRF 12 Podium at Vineyard Race
The 2019 edition of the Vineyard Race in Stamford, CT was a relatively fast race. The 238.0nm course stretches from Shippan Point through the currents of Plum Gut past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay. Once reached, sailors return by leaving Block Island to starboard en route to the finish in Stamford Harbor. The shorter Seaflower Reef Race is run entirely within Long Island Sound. In the Vineyard Race, J/111s swept the top two spots in PHRF 12 Class. Winning was Bill & Jackie Baxter’s FIREBALL, with John Donovan’s LIBERTAS taking the silver. For more Vineyard Race information, visit https://www.stamfordyc.com/Sailing/Vineyard_Race_(1).
2019 J/111 World Champion: Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff
Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff took control of their own destiny on Friday, nailing both race wins to earn the title of 2019 J/111 World Champion. Coming into the final day, the Cleveland, OH-based team was in third overall, but Ruhlman and his crew of Marty Kullman (tactician), Doug Moose (mast), Abby Ruhlman (pit), Ryan Ruhlman (spinnaker trimmer), Maegan Ruhlman Cross (main trimmer), Jim Sminchak (headsail trimmer) and Mark Wiss (bow) ended with 25 net points in the eight-race series. Five points behind in second place was day-three leader Martin Roesch’s Velocity. Former World Champion Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key came in third with 34 points. It was another wild day on Lake Michigan. PRO Becky Ashburn, summarized, "Winds were around 15 knots. Waves were three to four feet with a sideways swell, which made it really choppy." Under a champagne shower in the harbor, Ruhlman smiled, "I’m not sure this has sunk in yet! We have a great team, a great family. The competition was outstanding. I’m thrilled to be a part of this Class."
- Spaceman Spiff, Rob Ruhlman - 1 - -1 -10 -4 -7 -1 -1 ; 25
- Velocity, Martin Roesch - 8 - -2 -1 -3 -6 -6 -4 ; 30
- Skeleton Key, Peter Wagner - 6 - -4 -5 -7 -2 -4 -6 ; 34
- Kashmir, Michael Mayer / Steve Henderson - 13 -5 -7 -6 -1 - -2 -2 ; 36
- Rowdy, Richard Witzel - 3 - -9 -4 -2 -4 -10 -5 ; 37
Twenty-three J/111s competed from August 20-23 at Chicago Yacht Club, including teams from Australia and Switzerland. Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are posted at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=6143.
Martin Roesch’s Velocity Speeds Up Leaderboard at J/111 World Championship
The seas on Lake Michigan were rocking and rolling on Thursday, as was the leaderboard at the J/111 World Championship, hosted by Chicago Yacht Club. Martin Roesch’s Velocity shot up to the chief position, posting a 1,4,6 on the day. The 23 J/111s have now completed six races, and the Championship will conclude Friday, including the discard taking effect after the seventh race. Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key maintained consistent scores in the top 10, inching him up to second place with 34 points, only one behind Roesch. Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff dropped to third but is still in the hunt with 38 points. Day one leader Andrew and Sedgwick Ward’s Bravo suffered a 13th in the day’s final contest, leaving them in fourth place, one tick behind Ruhlman. Waves reached five feet and higher, and breeze was 12 knots plus. Roesch began the day victoriously, ahead of local boat Momentus led by Kevin Saedi & Raman Yousefi and the Wards on Bravo. Chicago Yacht Club’s Michael Mayer & Steve Henderson guided Kashmir to success in the middle match, with Jorg Sigg’s Varuna and Richard Witzel’s Rowdy next. Rod Warren’s Joust prevailed in the final round, shadowed by Wagner’s Skeleton Key and Sigg. Photos are available on the J/111 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=6143.
Worth the Wait at J/111 World Championship
Following storms that rolled through Chicago on Tuesday, 23 J/111s had to wait a bit longer still on Wednesday to launch the 2019 J/111 World Championship, hosted by Chicago Yacht Club. Race one was abandoned due to lack of breeze and a severe shift, however winds eventually amped up to 12-14 knots, allowing three races for the hungry teams. Despite a pair of bullets by Rob Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff, it’s Andrew and Sedgwick Ward’s Bravo who ended the day at the front of the pack. The Bravo crew from Shelter Island, NY only placed in the top three once, but their scoreline of 7,3,5 for 15 points puts them one ahead of Spaceman Spiff who added a 14 for 16 total. Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key snuck into third place with tallies of 6,8,4 and 18 points. Ruhlman’s Spaceman Spiff earned the first victory of the Championship in the day’s opening, and lightest, affair. Jeffrey Davis’ Shamrock and Richard Witzel’s Rowdy followed. Swiss sailor Jorg Sigg’s Varuna outdid the fleet in the middle race, with Douglas Curtiss’ Wicked 2.0 and Ward’s Bravo close behind. The Ruhlman family closed Wednesday the same way it started, trailed by Martin Roesch’s Velocity and Rod Warren’s Joust. 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=6143.