What could be better?

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J/100 Bad Girl, med Jens Hookansen till rors, vann sin klass “I love coming down here. The venue is fantastic and you get a chance to wear a Rolex home. What could be better?” Vill man veta hur man “pimpar” en J/100 kan man spana in artikeln på slutet. Alla foton: Rolex/Daniel Forster.

Rolex tar sponsring på allvar. Man kör ju Fastnet, Sydney Hobart och Big Boat Series. Farr 40 VM och Maxi Cup. Men också några mindre exotiska regattor. International Rolex Regatta på St, Thomas.

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Farr 40, Ondeck Bandit, med Peter Holmberg som skeppare.

After completing a single distance race today, yesterday’s eight class leaders nailed down overall victories at the 35th annual International Rolex Regatta, which began Friday. The trade winds that made the prior two days so exciting delivered once again as sailors on 90 boats completed the Pillsbury Sound course, set between the east end of St. Thomas, where host St. Thomas Yacht Club is located, and its smaller sister island of St. John.

The two IRC classes, as well as two of four CSA classes (Spinnaker Racing 1 and Spinnaker Racing/Cruising) and Beach Cats sailed a longer version of the race (13 nm with several windward-leeward laps included) while the remaining two CSA classes (Spinnaker Racing 2 and Non-Spinnaker Racing) stuck to the more straightforward shorter course (13 nm). In all cases, however, the key to victory lay in playing the second windward leg of the course correctly.

“After rounding Turtle Rock Buoy, the boats headed upwind into a northbound current, which you had to play for relief and back eddies,” said local sailor Ben Beer, who crewed aboard fellow St. Thomas sailor Peter Holmberg’s Farr 40 OnDeck Bandit and finished second overall in IRC 2.Bandit headed straight to the St. Thomas shoreline and hugged it while tacking to windward, rather than sailing eastward toward a string of cays that marked more open water. Had the strategy been Bandit’s alone, it would have worked beautifully, but Tortola’s Christopher Lloyd, sailing his Beneteau 44 Three Harkoms had the same idea and won the race on corrected time. Three Harkoms also won the class overall and joined other winners that night to collect a Rolex Submariner timepiece as his prize on a stage built over the water at the club’s beachfront facility.

Three Harkoms won the Non-Spinnaker division last year, so this was quite a step up for them, said Lloyd. “Our boat lends itself to the IRC rule, so we were encouraged to switch from CSA.It worked very well for us.”

Using the same inshore tactics to win the day and the regatta in IRC 1 was Sam Fleet’s (East Greenwich, R.I.) Swan 601 Aquarius.Fleet, who had been following his closest competition, Bill Alcott’s (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) Andrews 68 Equation, until the moment when Equation “went left and we went right,” gained 20-25 boat lengths on his competition and rounded ahead at the next mark. “In the end, however, Equation beat us boat-for-boat (by about two boat lengths),” said Fleet, “but they still owed us time, so we won. It was a really exciting race.”

About the regatta overall, Fleet added, “It was awesome, and I’m so happy. It’s only our second regatta. The crew was great, and in the high winds we kept breakage to a minimum and if we did break something, we had a spare.”

Fleet, whose team also won the Governor’s Trophy for good sportsmanship, said he was disappointed that Ron O’Hanley’s (Ipswich, Mass.) Farr-designed Cookson 50 Privateer had to retire on the second day because of a gear failure that ultimately couldn’t be fixed. “They beat us at the Heineken Regatta, so we were looking forward to a rematch.”

The IRC classes attracted a total of 12 boats. According to Luiz Kahl, the US-IRC’s Executive Director who also served as head scorer for the event, it was an impressive turnout considering it was a first-time offering. “Five of the boats were 50 feet and above and they were from all over the U.S. and abroad.Some said they wouldn’t have come otherwise, so it’s a great start.”

Winning Spinnaker Racing 2 was Gilberto Rivera’s (Guaynabo, PR) J/24 Urayo, which also won in 2006.Rivera, who gave his Rolex watch to his father in 2006, gave this year’s prize to foredeck crew Francisco Velez and plans to give any watch he wins in the future here to a crewmember until it’s his turn. “That’s so my crew will stay with the boat,” said Rivera jokingly. “Seriously, this is such a great event; we’ve been coming since 1998.”

Jens Hookansen (Middletown, R.I.), who steered Robert Armstrong’s J/100 Bad Girl to win Spinnaker Racing 1, had similar sentiments.”I love coming down here,” said Hookansen, a native of St. Croix. “The venue is fantastic and you get a chance to wear a Rolex home.What could be better?”

Non-spinnaker Racing class was won by Juan Moline’s (Vega Baja, PR) J/24 Medalla Light, while Spinnaker Racing/Cruising class was won by James Dobbs’ (Antigua) J/122 Lost Horizon.

In the IC-24 and Beach Cat classes, San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Fraito Lugo and Enrique Figueroa continued a show of dominance to win their respective classes. Lugo, sailing Urayo, posted victories in two windward-leeward races today (the IC-24 class followed a schedule of around-the-buoys racing instead of distance racing) but mathematically had the 14-race series won before the final race. “Today I was there to defend my position and do nothing offensive. The bullets we posted were from our good starts,” said Lugo, who counts this as his seventh International Rolex Regatta win and his first in the IC-24 class.

Sailing his 20-foot Tornado catamaran DRD/Suzuki/Red Bull, Figueroa posted an impressive seven victories in as many races. He was pleased at the depth and quality of the 17-boat Beach Cat fleet.”Recently, the fleet in the islands has been getting stronger, and more good sailors are returning to the class.”

The International Rolex Regatta is the first part of Virgin Islands Race Week, which bridges this event with the BVI Spring Regatta, and is included in the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series 2008.

Live results by yachtscoring.com are posted on www.rolexcupregatta.com, where hometown rosters, nightly reports and photos also can be found. Daily video coverage is available on demand at www.t2p.tv or by clicking on the TV icon on the regatta web site.

A.H. Riise, Official Retailer of Rolex watches in the U.S. Virgin Islands, takes an active role in sponsorship of the event.The St. Thomas duty free shop is one of the largest in the Caribbean and is located on the historic waterfront of downtown Charlotte Amalie.Rolex is known for sponsoring grand prix events such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Rolex Fastnet Race, Giraglia Rolex Cup, Rolex Middle Sea Race, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship.

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Cookson 50 PRIVATEER (USA) med AQUARIUS i lä.

IC 24 One Design (One Design – 17 Boats)
1. Orion, IC 24, Fraito Lugo, Ponce, PR
2. Bmobile, IC 24, Fred Ruebeck / Colin Rathbun, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
3. Intac, IC 24, James Mark Plaxton, Virgin Gorda

Spinnaker Racing 1 (CSA – 7 Boats)
1. Bad Girl, J/100, Robert W. Armstrong, St. Croix, VI
2. Devil Cubed, Melges 24, Chris Stanton, St. Croix, VI
3. BMobile Enzyme, Henderson 35, Paul Solomon, Cascade, Trinidad & Tobago

Spinnaker Racing 2 (CSA – 14 Boats)
1. Urayo, J/24, Gilberto E. Rivera, Guaynabo, PR
2. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Kirby 25, William McConnell / John Foster, St.Thomas, VI
3. J-Walker, J 27, Chris & Christine Thompson, St. Thomas, VI

Non-spinnaker Racing 1 (CSA – 12 Boats)
1. Medalla Light, J/24, Juan Moline, Vega Baja, PR
2. Affinity, Swan 48, Jack Desmond, Marion, MA, USA
3. El Presidente, Thomas 35, Jeffrey Fangmann, St. Croix, VI

Spinnaker Racing/Cruising (CSA – 9 Boats)
1. Lost Horizon, J/122, James Dobbs, English Harbor, Antigua
2. Lazy Dog, Beneteau First 40.7, Sergio Sagramoso, San Juan, PR
3. El Ocaso, J 120, Richard Wesslund, Coconut Grove, FL, USA

IRC 1 (IRC – 5 Boats)
1. Aquarius, Swan 601CR, Sam Fleet, East Greenwich, RI, USA
2. Equation, Andrews 68, Bill Alcott, St. Claire Shores, MI, USA
3. Hexe, Frers 80, Norbert Plambeck, Cuxhaven, GER

IRC 2 (IRC – 7 Boats)
1. Three Harkoms, Beneteau 44, Christopher Lloyd, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
2. Ondeck Bandit, Farr 40, Peter Holmberg, St. Thomas, VI, USA
3. Oystercatcher XXVI, Humphreys 42, Richard Matthews, Ipswich, UK

Beach Cats (Portsmouth – 17 Boats)
1. DRD/Suzuki/Red Bull, Tornado 20, Enrique Figeroa, San Juan, PR
2. Image Immobilier, Nacra F18, Olivier Bernaz, St. Martin
3. Nacra St. Barth, F18 Nacra Infusion, Jeff LeDee / Jordil Vincent, St. Barthelemy, FWI

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Michael Williamson’s MOONRAKER (UK) crossing in front of Richard Matthew’s OYSTERCATCHER XXVI (UK)

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Spin Racing Cruising overall winner, J/122 LOST HORIZON (Antigua, W.I.)

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Ian Hope-Ross’ Beneteau FIrst 36.7, KICK ‘EM JENNY (St. Martin)

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Spinnaker Racing 2 Start

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OYSTERCATCHER XXVI (UK), Richard Matthews

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J/120, EL OCASO (Coconut Grove, FL)

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Sam Fleet’s Swan 601 AQUARIUS, 1st overall in IRC 1

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MAD IV (FRA) crosses OYSTERCATCHER XXVI (GBR)

Här är en äldre artikel om Bad Girl (från Hall Spars):

Bad Girl Wins PHRF Nationals

The PHRF Nationals are a regatta-within-a-regatta held each year during Key West Race Week. Robert Armstrong and his team aboard the J/100 Bad Girl won the 2008 title over a field of some 50 PHRF boats. Jens Hookanson, rigging specialist for Hall Spars & Rigging, was helmsman of Bad Girl for the week.

A native of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Jens was sailing with an entire crew from St Croix. Rob Armstrong purchased a standard J/100 two years ago and has been sailing it on the Caribbean circuit. He loved the boat, but wanted to make some upgrades for racing. “Instead of reworking his first boat,” says Jens, “Rob decided to buy a second boat customized with his upgrades. When he ordered the boat, the goal was to have it ready for Key West Race Week 2008.

“The J/100 is designed primarily as a shorthanded daysailer,” says Jens. “With eight people on the rail, we were anything but shorthanded!” To clear some hardware off the cabin top, both the main and jib halyards were led below decks. A 12:1 purchase was added to the jib halyard and led to the cockpit. This allowed adjustment of the halyard tension anytime during the race (the jib is on a furler, so it’s not lowered). The cabin top was constructed without the usual windows, further smoothing the way for the crew moving from side to side, and the toe tails were removed aft of the shrouds to make for more comfortable crew hiking. Next, the backstay hydraulic adjuster was moved from the back of the boat to the front of the cockpit. When building the carbon mast, Hall added a flat surface below the boom to mount the Tacktick displays.

The boat is equipped with three headsails, from a 140% No. 1 to the 100% No. 3. To accommodate the larger sails, the short jib tracks on each side were replaced with single, longer tracks. The J/100 is the only modern J Boat not supplied with a bow sprit – the standard boat has a padeye for tacking an a-sail to the bow. For racing, Armstrong opted for symmetrical spinnakers and a Hall carbon pole. In addition, a lightweight Hall carbon boom was added.

The running rigging included a PBO main halyard with Dyneema pig tail led to a stopper below deck. The jib halyard was all Dyneema and extremely lightweight. “On the last day of racing, our halyard swivel on the furler broke and we did not have a second jib halyard messenger led in the mast,” says Jens. “Our only option was to drop the halyard swivel below the feeder, which meant we couldn’t furl the sail. We sailed the downwind legs with the No. 3 jib up, and it worked just fine. In the future we will install a messenger in the mast for a backup jib halyard.”

To accommodate the spinnaker pole, a separate topping lift exit box was added below the jib halyard. The lower exit helps keep the topping lift from getting caught behind the spreaders and allowed for easier spinnaker sets. A simple 1:1 twing system was added, also leading to the cockpit. The spinnaker and genoa sheets were upgraded to the minimum size Dyneema. “A new Maffioli Swiftcord mainsheet and fine-tune made for a great handling line, which I really appreciated after a week of sailing” says Jens.

“It was very easy to change gears using the jib-halyard purchase,” says Jens. “And using the symmetric kite allowed us to sail the deep angles needed on the downwind legs. I was impressed with the boat’s performance. It’s a great daysailer and an easy-to-sail racing machine.

“The crew did a great job,” says Jens. “They hiked hard in windy races, with only one exception. A hammer head shark circled the boat, and after that, I saw everyone move in a little bit.”

2 Comments

  1. Claes Hiersemann Apr 1, 2008 Reply

    Hej Peter!
    Fint reportage från St. Thomas.
    Jag har seglat där 1983 + 2000, fantaskiskt!
    Kan du få loss besättningslistor från racen?
    Min som dom säger “Blood Cousin” Morgan Avery
    som är mannen som bygger om alla J-24 till inåtsittande “gubbracern” IC-24 brukar köra
    fördäcket åt Peter Holmberg, vore kul och se om
    han var med på denna skuta Ondeck Bandit..?
    Synd att du missade vårt stora invigningskalas på påskafton i Limhamn! Du får segla förbi på väg till Gotland-Runt eller Östersjömaran 2008, -Välkommen in i vår egna seglarbar med utsikt över Öresundsbron, Kastrup och Copenhagen Skyline!
    Seglarhälsningar
    Claes

  2. Claes Hiersemann Apr 1, 2008 Reply

    Hej Peter.

    Synd att du skall lägga av med BLUR.
    Din blogg har alltid haft kvalitativa och bra artiklar och inlägg.
    Vi som jobbar med denna industri kommer att sakna den/dig.
    Men jag förstår att den dränerar din tid.

    Seglarhälsningar
    Claes
    Ps. Kollade bilder från S:t Thomas, det var 1982 jag seglade där.

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