Calvi Network
J/70 World Championship
San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016
© Calvi Network/ZGN

J70 World Championship-2016

photo’s by Zerogradinord

San Francisco

68 J70’s lined up for the first two races of the 2016 World Championship on Tuesday on Berkeley Circle… the eastern side of San Francisco Bay.  After three days of “non San Francisco” conditions over the wekend-85 degrees with sailors waiting around for wind while complaining of it being to hot in the parking lot-“San Francisco” came back.  In the second race of the day, conditions ranged from 18-25 knots with choppy seas which left more than one competitor on his side with the gennaker up.

I am sailing as tactician on Carlo Alberini’s-Calvi Network.  I sailed with Carlo and the rest of the team two weeks ago in Riva del Garda as a training exercise.  We got a few days of training in here in San Francisco but we are still relatively new to each other.

In the first race, which was delayed until noon, the fleet was anxious and pushed the line too hard resulting in an eventual “black flag” start.  16 boats were identified in the black flag start.  As boats are not called in a black flag start, they don’t go back or get out of the way of those who started properly.  This factor had a negative effect on our race as we were in the fourth row at the start and had to dig our way out ultimately only getting to 23rd at the finish.   Further, I didn’t make the best calls tactically so we didn’t move up as much as we should have in the 12-14 knot southwesterly winds.  The first two boats across the line had been identified as “Black Flag” and therefore the third boat actually won the race.  This was Judd Smith and his boat Africa. Second place went to Joel Ronin in his Catapult with John Kostecki calling tactics and trimming the mainsail.  Current world Champion Julien Fernandez in Flojito y Cooperando with Bill Hardest calling tactics scored 3rd.

For the second race, the famous San Francisco fog started to show itself and the wind came up to 18 knots at the start.  This start was again under the black flag but we found a low density place along the line and had a clear start.  Our speed immediately was good although Judd Smith was just to leeward of us and going a bit better, eventually forcing us to the right.  We went all the way to the right which is historically the way to go when racing on Berkeley Circle.  We rounded the first mark first with a 100 meter lead.  The downwind was about high speed planing and keeping the boat under control when gybing.  Carlo sailed very well in these tough conditions and we managed to hang on and win the race.  In close pursuit was Claudia Rossi, also of Italy, and the current European Champion, with her Petit Terrible who were faster than us both up and downwind.  They are going to be very tough in this regatta in my opinion.  In third was a good friend of mine Chris Kostanecki of Ross, CA in his Jennifer with my childhood friend and Olympic medalist Jeff Madrigali calling tactics.

Calvi Network J/70 World Championship San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016 © Calvi Network/ZGN

Calvi Network
J/70 World Championship
San Francisco, 27 settembre – 1 ottobre 2016
© Calvi Network/ZGN

Calvi Network J/70 World Championship San Francisco, 27 settembre - 1 ottobre 2016 © Calvi Network/ZGN

Today’s schedule is for three races beginning at 11:00.  The forecast is for 12-16 knots of wind from the southwest.  The water will be choppy again as the current will be going out of the bay most of the afternoon. This will be a long and tiring day-as if three races wasn’t enough, there is the one hour sail home after racing to get back to the Club.

For complete results and live tracking go to:





TP52 World Championship 2016

Photos by Nico Martinez

Mahon, Menorca

Day 5 provided the fleet with races 9 & 10, both in a huge seaway of 2-3 meters from the north.  The wind in the first race was north northeast between 10 and 14 knots and the wind in the second race started at 16 knots and dropped to 6 knots.  It was anything but straight forward out there for both tacticians and sail trimmers.

In race 9, the Italian Azzurra team ran their streak to 3 straight first places, making a serious run at Quantum’s grip on the World Championship Trophy.  Quantum finished 5th and Phoenix 6th.  Their were large oscillating wind shifts that had to be played.

We all changed mainsails again for race 10 with the slight uptick in breeze.  We, on Phoenix got off to a good start and never crossed behind anyone.  We went most of the way left and played a few shifts near the top to seal our lead. Alegre was our closest competitor for the entire race.  Down the last run the wind all but died and with the huge seaway, things were once again, anything but straight forward.  Peter Holmberg, our tactician, did a nice job of managing our lead and we crossed the line first for our first win in Super Series Racing.

52 World Championship 2016

In the last three races we on Phoenix finished with scores of 3, 6, 1.  It was the best score in the fleet over the last 30% of the regatta. Obviously we feel good about that and all that we are learning.  It has been great value to us to be here amongst all these strong teams.

We finished 9th which is lower than I expected but there is a lot to getting good scores in this fleet.  The sails have to be right, the mast has to be right, the interaction between helmsman and trimmers through al the conditions, the shore team maintains the boat, the data collection and analysis has to be effective, the tender support has to work efficiently, and of course you have to sail very well. I think it is safe to say that the 52 class has the best big boat racing in the sport of sailing now. There are no soft teams out there and this makes the racing challenging and satisfying. The crews are all elite sailors and the quipment is pushed to the highest levels. It’s fun to be amongst it all!

The next event for Phoenix will be the TP52 Super Series at Cascais, Portugal, October 9-16.

Next for me is the J70 World Championship in San Francisco in about 10 days with Calvi Networks.

For complete results go to:




TP52 World Championship 2016

Photos Max Ranchi

Mahon, Menorca

Two races were held today off the east coast of Menorca. The wind in the first race was 8 knots from the Southwest and the second race had 16 knots from the Northeast.  There was a big wind shift between the two races and the Race Committee did a good job being patient and waiting for the front to pass and the wind to settle.

In the first race, I made a mistake I will regret for a while and its a mistake I have made before.  I started over early with the black flag enforce. It was self inflicted as I had the leeward end of the line won and it was just up to me to decide when to pull the trigger.  So we were disqualified at the start.

There was a big split in the fleet with Azzurra heading hard right and the group we were in, including Quantum, to the left.  The right won out and Azzurra sailed a great race to win easily. Quantum showed incredible ability to come back and finished 2nd after being 6th at the first mark.

After the front went through and we all changed mainsails, the second race was underway around 16:00 in 18 knots from the Northeast. The swells were huge…2 meters +. It was a difficult condition to keep the boat moving fast.

There was one general recall then two black flag starts.  This time Quantum got caught by the black flag so they were immediately disqualified.  Unusually, the race committee flew a general recall at that black flag start.  More unusually, the race committee only called one boat over early, that was Quantum.  Anyway, the next start was also black flag and the start was all clear. We had a decent start, albeit conservative given what I had done in the morning and we were off.


At the first mark, Baronosec was the early leader with Azzurra second.  We on Phoenix rounded that first mark 6th and were were about the same at the bottom gate.  Up the second windward leg, we sailed fast and passed two boats to round the second windward mark 4th.  Down the last run we passed Baronosec to finish 3rd.  Azzurra won both races today!  Downwind on port gybe there was some great during opportunities and we topped out at 18 knots of boat speed in the 17 knots of wind.

Of course the Black flag didn’t help our efforts here.  We will once again be looking to move up tomorrow.  Two races are scheduled with the first race at 12:00.  The forecast is for 6-12 knots from the north.

For complete results go to:


52 World Championship - 52 Super Series
Mahon, 14-18 September 2016
© Zerogradinord

TP52 World Championship

52 World Championship – 52 Super Series- Photo’s © Zerogradinord

Two race were held yesterday in a wide range of conditions.  The wind speed was between 5 and 20 knots and the direction went from 225 to 355.   The first attempt at the second race was abandoned midway due to a collapse of the wind and a large shift to the right.

We had another frustrating day finishing 10th in both races.  In the first race we had a good start but believed in the right too much and it didn’t come good for us.  In the second race, I got a poor start and we were still amongst the group at the first mark but we don’t seem to have the ability to claw back through the fleet yet.  I have to say the results are bothering us.  We are not used to being in last in anything.

52 World Championship - 52 Super Series Mahon, 14-18 September 2016 © Zerogradinord

Today”s forecast is for moderate winds from the southwest.  As we are sailing on the east side of the island of Minorca, these westerly and southwesterly winds have made for a tricky race course with the wind coming over the land.

Quantum continues to sail in the top three in every race, and most of the time they don’t have wining starts.  Yet they definitely have the speed, the smarts and the boat handling to sail through the group. This is a team that had been racing in this fleet for over 6 years with largely the same team. Provezza has sailed very well yesterday, in particular yesterdays second race which they won going away.

For complete results visit

Keep your chin up!




TP52 World Championship 2016

Photo by Mauro Melandri-Zerogradinord

Mahon, Menorca

Today was the second day of the 2016 TP52 World Championship here in Mahon.  Lighter conditions prevailed for races 3 and 4.  Onboard Phoenix we made a few changes and were very competitive in terms of speed.

In the first race, after a good start, we fouled Alegre half way up the first windward leg on a close port starboard cross. After completing our penalty turn we were 100 meters behind the group. We managed to recover a bit but in the end we never passed anyone finishing 11th.  Quantum sailed smooth and fast to take the win.

Race two was a short coastal race, a 17 mile race along the eastern coast of Menorca. It was essentially a double windward leeward with the second lap being longer than the first lap.  The race started in 10 knots but dropped to 7 knots by the time we got to the first windward mark. We were about 8th at he first mark, 6th at the end of the first lap, 4th at the second windward mark and 5th at the finish.  It was a nice improvement in scoring.

The big thing for me today is that we improved dramatically our boat speed from Tuesday when we faced the same conditions in the practice race. Light air is our weakness and we were very competitive today in 6-11 knots.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for 12- knots from the west.  This could be tricky because we are racing on the east side of the island.

For complete results go to



TP52 World Championship Day 1

Mahon, Menorca

The 2016 TP52 World Championship began Wednesday with two windward leeward races in 12-20 knots from the southwest.  There was a decent seaway as a front had passed through the area during the night.

The World Championship fleet consists of 12 boats from 8 countries.  The racing is very tight as all the teams are at a very high level.

I am skippering Richard Cohen’s Phoenix.  Our tactician is Peter Holmberg and we have a great team many of whom I have raced with before in other projects.  It is however the first time all of us have been together onboard Phoenix.  Yesterday, we had two good starts and decent speed upwind and downwind.  However, we made little mistakes here and there and it all adds up quickly in this fleet.  We finished 10th and then 9th which of course didn’t feel great.  But it is what we deserved.

Quantum sailed very well after getting two poor starts.  They showed how to win by sailing consistently fast and making high percentage choices tactically.  This team has great sailors but more importantly they have been at this TP52 game for more than 5 years straight.  Ed Baird is their helmsman and Terry Hutchinson is the tactician.

Today’s forecast is for lighter winds and the race schedule is calling for one windward leeward race followed by a short coastal race.  We struggled to find speed during the training days in the light winds.  We have made a couple changes and are looking forward to seeing how we go today.

When purchasing Phoenix earlier this year, Richard’s goal was to join the TP52 Super Series when the fleet comes to Key West to starts its 2017 season.  The strategy was to use 2016 to build a competent team and learn the boat so we could compete in 2017 for podium spots.  We modified our program this year and decided to jump into the fray early by coming here to Europe to race the last two events of the 2016 season.  This will no doubt steepen our learning curve, albeit while eating a bit of humble pie.

The TP52 Super Series organization is first class.  The hospitality and organization is well oiled now in their third year.  Any team owner would be comfortable here and proud to bring his guests. It seems that TP52 Super Series racing is a complete package.

For complete results visit www.TP52Super




J70 Lake Garda Final

Photos by Marta Rovatti Studihrad

Riva del Garda

Five more races we held over Saturday and Sunday for the J70, Alcatel Italian Circuit Championship.

The conditions continued to be challenging on Saturday, in that they were not classic Lake Garda.  Saturday featured light winds where the left side of the course paid hugely most of the time. Today, with an 08:00 first start, we finally got a strong northerly wind called Peler, that does typically blow in the mornings here. This was good training for San Francisco.


Not much changed in the scoring with the Italian team named L’elagain, dominating the series winning with 31 points..  It was noteworthy that even when this team got behind on the first lap, they had trouble digging themselves out, thereby scoring a 21 and 18 in two of the races.  Second place, with 44 points went to Petite Terrible with 22 year old Claudia Rosi, European J70 Champion, at the helm.  We, with Calvi Network, finished third with 46 points.  That is a fairly high score for 7 races but is indicative of how competitive the fleet here is.

For us, onboard Calvi Network, this was our first time sailing together as a team.  I am the only “new” person to the team but still that is a 25% crew change. The four of us who sailed together here, will race in the World Championship, later this month, in San Francisco. This week was fundamental for us, mostly me, to learn how to sail on a J70 with this fantastic team.  The front of the boat is quite physical and it certainly will be in San Francisco.  I love when sailing becomes physical and am really looking froward to the challenge of the World Championship in my hometown.

The side of Lake Garda has shear walls in some places which are good for other sports.  Check out the rock climbers, off our bow, in this photo.


For complete results go to

Tonight I am headed to Mahon to join my team on Phoenix for the TP52 World Championship.



J70 Riva del Garda

Photo by Marta Rovatti Studihrad

Riva del Garda

I am here in Italy training with the team that I will race with at the J70 World Championship laster this month in San Francisco.  It is an Italian team and this weekend were are racing the final event of their annual circuit.  Three days and 9 races will be sailed here in Riva conducted by the Fragile della Vela-Riva.  I last raced here in 1989 in my Star.  At that time I gave a speech to the juniors who were all optimist sailors.  Yesterday a I guy who is racing against us came and asked me to take a picture with him.  He then told me he was at that speech I gave to the Opti sailors in 1989 and he was 8!  Nice story but I guess that means I am getting down the road.

37 J70’s are competing here in the EuroCup.  We had three races yesterday in wind from 12-7 knots. It was a non typical Garda day in that the left side paid.  Usually this is a go right race track and I had that in my mind too much.  A big part of our goal this weekend, as it is our first time sailing together, is to get our communications down and for me to figure out my jobs in the maneuvers. The rest of the crew is very proficient at what they do as they have been racing in the class for three years and have been second in last years World Championship.


The team is called LightBay Sailing Team and sponsored by Calvi Network.  Carlo Alberini is the skipper and owner of the boat. We have two-time Slovenian Olympic 470 sailor Karlo Hmeljak trimming the mainsail and Sergio Blosi trimming the kite and cleaning up after my messes with the jib sheets.  I am tactician and responsible to tack the jib an hoist and drop the kite.  Upwind, Sergio and I sit with our legs over the side to windward and only two crew members are allowed to “hike”.  We have two great coaches: Irene Bezzi and Branko Brcin.  Branko is the usual tactician for the team but has a conflict for the Worlds in SF so I am taking his place.  Irene is a great sailor and super athlete.

We had a decent day with scores of 4, 6, 8 on Friday to put us in second place over all. The team leading the Italian Circuit, L’elagain ,skippered by Franco Solario, had scores of 1, 5, 1.  I made quite a few mistakes yesterday tactically, believing too much in the “typical” winds here which favor the right side.  We had three excellent starts which is important in the foundation we are building for the worlds.

Yesterday after sailing, she and I hiked-ran up the side of a cliff, 2000′ vertical, to a little church called Santa Barbara.


Irene took it easy on me and waited for me.  Hear best time is 35:40. I made the climb in 39:30 which was 3 minutes faster than I did it on Wednesday evening. Always good to be chasing someone!

Riva and Lake Garda are beautiful places.  Usually Tuscany, Rome, florence get all the ink followed by Capri Venezia, etc.  But these lakes in northern Italy, surrounded by very tall and steep mountains are spectacular!  The town of Riva is very charming.  And of course, the food is excellent.

For results go to:


Star D6 2016

Star District 6 Championship-Vancouver

English Bay

Danny and I came up to Vancouver to race against the best of the northwest on Labor Day weekend.  Danny recently moved to Seattle, we thought we would join in the racing up here in beautiful Vancouver BC, home of Star World Champion Ross McDonnald.  Ross, no longer sailing the Star, was mountain biking in Whistler, this weekend.

15 Stars competed in the 2016 District 6 Championship.  Saturday got off to a slow start with two races being abandoned for lack of wind.  Finally around 1300, a light westerly filled in which gave us three good races in 5-7 knots of wind and flat seas.

Vancouver Star

In the first race, Danny and I got a bad start and struggled the rest of the way to get 7th.  In the second race after a great start by Danny, we were leading at the first leeward mark only to hit is and make a 360 degree penalty turn and finish 3rd.  Finally in the last race, Danny put it all together to lead wire to wire and take the win.  So after day 1 we were in second place with a score of 11 to the 8 points that Allen Cullen and Dave Martin (CAN) put together.  His son, Rob Cullen, sailed very well and would have been tied with his father for the lead, but was OCS in the third race where he finished second. The is to be a discard one more than three races are completed so Rob would come back to feature.

On Sunday the westerly wind filled in at 10:30 so racing got underway on time at 11:00 snd we were able to get four races in.  It was the postcard kind of day for Vancouver.  Sunny and the tall mountains surrounding English Bay were prominently on display.  The racing was tight and the south shore was favored most of the time for current.  Rob Cullen (CAN) with Jamie Hynes up front sailed very well today to get scores of 1, 6, 1, 2 and finish with 16 points.  Danny (USA) and I had mixed results of 2, 7, 3, 5  to finish up second overall.  Derek De Couteau (USA) and Jamie Stewart finished third.

I am off to Lake Garda tomorrow to train with Carlo Alberini and his Team Calvi Networks in preparation for the J70 World Championship later this month at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.






Lake Sunapee Open

Harbor at Sunapee Yacht Club

Newport, New Hampshire

This weekend I participated in the Lake Sunapee Open in the Star Class. The northeast has a long tradition of Star Class racing and Lake Sunapee has had Star racing since 1939.

I have long wanted to experience racing on these lakes and finally my opportunity came. John Chiarella, a Star sailor for the past 65 years, invited me to come, race and give a presentation at the Saturday night dinner.

First of all, these lakes in the northeast are spectacularily beautiful! It is amazing to race in fresh water. No rinsing off the boat and gear. The lake is ringed with line trees and the air has that smell that reminds you of camping when you were a kid.

Now, what goes along with that beauty is lots of wind shifts.  You know the game “Shoots & Ladders”? That’s racing on Lake Sunapee…probably all the lakes.

imageStar #1631, classic.

The fleet of 22 Stars had 4 races over the weekend, all with decent breeze. 7-12 knots was the average and 30 degree shifts were the norm.

At the Saturday night dinner, I told the audience that despite racing around the world twice and a few other sailing experiences, I actually learned to sail on a lake in downtown Oakland that did not measure 1 mile in any direction. So I was good at “Shoots and Ladders” at one time!

John MacCausland, whose father we were honoring all weekend, jumped out to the early lead on Saturday with Lauren Barth with her dad crewing, sailing well to run in second place.

Sunday’s stars were Andy Mac Donald and Brad Nichol who got a 1, 2 and won the tie breaker over MacCausland/Burgees to take the Open Championship.

Nat Cook was generous enough to lend me his boat and thick skinned enough to crew from me. Saturday was a little trying, getting used to a borrowed boat and new crew not to mention the shifts. Sunday we found our stride and got a 7 and then a nice 1 in the final race of the regatta. We finished 4th over all behind Author Anosov and Josh Revkin in 3rd.

There were two father/daughter teams sailing! Yep, not father/son teams. I love seeing that! I am planing on crewing for my son in Vancouver over Labor Day weekend for the 6th District Championships.

What you realize when you come to places like this and Lake Peewaukee, Wisconsin, where I sailed last fall, is there are many beautiful spots in this very large country of ours. You just need to discover them!