Wednesday, July 8, 2009

J/Newsletter- July 7th, 2009

J/96 J/UK sailing to windward in EnglandJ/97 in UK Women's Open Keelboat Championship

J-UK/ COFFIN MEW 2nd Supporting Breast Cancer Care in England

(Solent, England- July 4-5)-  The second Women's Open Keelboat Championship proved as exciting as the inaugural event last year.  The event was again hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club at Hamble. The regatta committee set windward/leeward courses that were quite manageable on the first day (6-12 knot winds) and more challenging on the second day with 17 knot breezes, sunny and gorgeous!  In the IRC fleet, the J/97 was sponsored for this wonderful women's event by COFFIN MEW, J/UK and STARSPRAY.  The J/97 was sailed quite competitively by Marie-Claude Heys and Sally Pike and by the last race on Sunday were only seconds behind the leader.  Read more below.    Complete results here.

J/80s at UK Nationals in the Solent, EnglandJ/Regatta News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Now that we are past the summer solstice and the regatta circuit gets busier in July, there was plenty of action to report on in both American, Europe, as well as our ertswhile colleagues in the Southern Hemisphere- South America and even Australia.  The American events featured J/Fest Northwest in Seattle and the start of the famous TransPac Race with the fleet halfway home.  The European events included the Breast Cancer Care UK Women's Open Keelboat Championship, the J/80 UK Nationals, the on-going J/80 Worlds in Santander, Spain, the Biscay Challenge in France and the Petit Bateau Channel Week in England.  Finally, way down south there's the Rolex Ilhabela Sailing Week in Brazil and J/24 Asia-Pacific Championships in Australia.  Next week will be the report on the J/80 Worlds in Santander, Spain with a record fleet of 130 boats!  Read on! More importantly, if you have more J Regatta News, please email  it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page!  Below are the summaries.

J-Dream J/109 racing in Women's Keelboat Championships"Breast Cancer Care" Women's Open Keelboat Championship

J/109 J-DREAM Wins Class, J/97 J-UK/COFFIN MEWS 2nd in IRC

(Hamble, England- July 4-5)-   The second Women's Open Keelboat Championship on the weekend of 4th and 5th July proved as exciting as the inaugural event last year.  The J/109 J-DREAM came second overall and first in J/109 Class and the J/97 J/UK/ COFFIN MEW was third overall and second IRC Class. The event was again hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club at Hamble.

J/109 happy women's crew sailing in Women's Championship140 women crewed at WOKC this year, including Marie-Claude Heys, Lucy Burn, Colette Blair, Charlotte Lawrence, Liz Savage, Sarah Allan, Ursula Bagnall and, of course, Louise Morton.  Of the seventeen boats represented in this wonderful event, it was apparent the J Owners in the UK are incredibly supportive of such programs helping women-- fully 50% of the fifteen boat fleet was J's- seven J/109 One-Designs and one J/97 taking 4 of top 5 spots!

Competitors were set imaginative and challenging courses mainly windward / leeward in nature. The final race encompassed a windward mark rounding of West Knoll buoy close to the Brambles bank down tide at low water, encouraging navigational and tactical decisions. Conditions were consistently light for the first day providing an agreeable introduction for the relatively light crews with the wind between 6 and 11 knots whereas on the second day the wind rose up to 17 knots. 6 races were completed in 2 days.

J/80 crew looking for new breezeJ-DREAM sailed by Kirsty Apthorp and Lucy Burn dominated the J/109 fleet from the start despite the slight hindrance of hot, hot pink tutus and legwarmers as their chosen crew uniform! They won 4 out of 6 races and therefore the overall class by 7 points from their nearest competitor. Further down the class Gillian Ross's boat Team Breast Cancer Care had a scratch crew some of whom joined only 12 hours before racing began. Gillian took home the fantastic Dubarry of Ireland bronze boot as winner of the Spirit of the Event Award. Gillian's boat was branded for Breast Cancer Care and her efforts in supporting the event, giving women new to sailing a chance to compete, and fundraising for the chosen charity were all well recognised.

In the IRC fleet the J/97 J-UK/COFFIN MEW presented the ultimate winner, ESPADA, with cause for concern as the races went on, so that by the penultimate race the J/97 was less than one minute behind Espada on corrected time and on the last race Marie-Claude Heys and Sally Pike raced J-UK/COFFIN MEW to only 30 seconds behind on corrected time. Had there been a third day's racing, Marie-Claude and crew might have been knocked off their first place spot.
Photos by Nick Farrell and Ric Searle.    Complete results here.

The start of Rolex Ilhabela Race Week Brazil with J/24s and othersRolex Ilhabela Sailing Week

Andrea Grael's All Woman Crew Racing J/24 EIGER

(Ilhabela, Brazil- July 5-9)-   The beautiful island of Ilhabela provides a stunning setting and a variety of great challenging conditions for the 2009 Rolex Ilhabela Sailing Week. The event, which had its first edition in 1973, has been a tradition for Brazilian sailors throughout the years and its unique blend of island-style hospitality, competition and camaraderie has been attracting sailors from all over the world for every new edition. The steady trade winds produce great sailing conditions and offer a testing variety of both offshore and inshore handicap racing.

Andrea Grael (Torben Grael's wife) and J/24 EIGER crewRolex Ilhabela Sailing Week is now in its 36th edition and has proved once again to be the most important regatta in South America gathering 'la creme de la creme' of the South American yacht-racing community for a week of competitive sailing in the waters off the paradise of Ilhabela - 'the beautiful island,' located 140 miles north of Sao Paulo.  Amongst the 205 boats and competitors is the winning skipper of 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race, Torben Grael, as tactician aboard MITSUBISHI.  For those who might wonder why Grael is taking part in Rolex Ilhabela Sailing Week racing on MITSUBISHI so soon after nine-months of sailing the Volvo Race he has good reasons--- his wife, Andrea, is racing on the all-female crewed J/24 EIGER, which won in the ORC International 700 class in the opening long-distance race.  Proving that her beauty is matched by a competitive inner-core, Andrea and her crew toughed out the first race in very demanding conditions for a J/24 offshore.  At the start, the wind was a mere 5-knot northeasterly offering a downwind run to Alcatrazes Island. Once in the open sea, however, the wind built to 20-knots and the waves peaked at 8 feet!  More news and info.  Also at Rolex.
Photo credit- Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi

The J/109 TANTIVY team winning all the marbles at J/Fest NWJ/Fest Northwest

Burnell's J/109 TANTIVY Wins Overall Trophy

(Seattle, WA- June 20-21)-  Corithian YC member Stuart Burnell and the crew of his J/109 TANTIVY took top honors in the annual J-Fest regatta, winning the Francis LeSourd Trophy.  The regatta was held on Puget Sound off the Shilshole Bay Marina.

Overall it was a well attended J/Fest NW with thirty-nine boats racing in seven fleets, two as PHRF handicap and five as one-designs- the J/24, J/30, J/35, J/105 and J/109s.

J/100 TOURIST ripping up the course in Seattle, WA during J/Fest NWIn the PHRF handicap classes, the J/100 TOURIST won the only PHRF Class 1 race they could fire off due to extenuating circumstances.  The J/46 CLAYMORE and the J/35 BLUE STREAK finished second and third, respectively.  The PHRF Class 6 managed to get in four races and the team of Moynihan/Conway simply put the rest of their fleet into a clinic of how to race around the track, garnering four first in their J/29  WINGS.  The lone J/60 SKYE ROCKET raced by Mckinnon was second and Schutte's J/80 TAJ MAHAL was third.

For the one-designs, the J/109 TANTIVY raced by Stu Brunell sailed an almost perfect series, too, garnering four firsts in six races to win by seven points over Greene's IT'S ONLY ROCK'N'ROLL, Woodfield's SHADA slipped into third by one point after not covering the ROCK'N'ROLL team well enough.  In the J/35s, White's GRACE E sailed in a very competitive class to just beat out Deyo's DIVERSION by three points, who in turn won on a tie-breaker over Berge's THE BOSS.  In the J/105s, the largest and most competitive fleet with ten boats, Schlitz's MONEY SHOT won on a nail-biting finish based on results of the la

J/30 racing in J/Fest Northwest in Seattle, WA

st race...they had to at least tie or beat by one boat over Diercks' DELIRIUM in order to win.  Finishing third just off the pace but coming on strong in the last four races was Kristen's JUBILEE only three points back.  The J/30s had a fun time racing around the track themselves with the team of Gardner/Adair sailing ROUNDER atop the leader board with Bottles' CELEBRATION two points back in second and the team of Marsden/Geck racing BOB (what about Bob??) in third.  The J/24 class saw Milne's TREMENDOUS SLOUCH beat out Brown's MOUSE TRAP and Mason's RYLAH to win all the marbles in this classic class.

Bob Ross and his staff at Sail Northwest organize the popular event for J Boats and use the Corinthian YC race committee and clubhouse to support it. The Francis LeSourd Trophy is named for the sixth commodore of CYC. It was donated by his law firm as the J-Fest best-performance trophy in 1998, when the firm sponsored the regatta.
Photo credits- Geoff Pease.

J/80s crossing tacks at J80 UK NationalsHamble Yacht Services J/80 UK National Championships

JANE'S SISTER Led the Fleet Home

(Hamble, England- June 10-13)-  The HYS J/80  UK National Championships were held in the Solent under the burgee of the Royal Southern Yacht Club. A sportsboat sailor himself, the PRO for the event was Nick Hollamby. The series consisted of eight races each for the J/80s, which were sailed in a variety of conditions from five to twenty-eight knots over the course of the three days.

Ultimately it was Kevin Sproul and his team on JANE'S SISTER who took home the National Championship title for the J/80 Class.  No one would deny that Sproul and the team on JANE'S SISTER sailed an A1 series, never dropping a result out of the top five, but here again, the on-track leaders were just too close to call on many occasions during the racing.

J/80 planing in perfect conditions on Solent in J/80 UK NationalsThe major pressure on JANE'S SISTER was from Victoria Gregory and Rob Larke’s JOYSTICK and Ian Atkin’s After two races on the final day JOYSTICK had secured her second place overall and had just pushed into second place by just two points. In fourth place overall was Charles Somerset and his boys on board LOUDWATER. These guys are relative newcomers to the J/80 Class and charge at their racing; their results are impressive. Tom Phipps of Plymouth University also slotted in a great result of fifth overall and this is his first J/80 UK Nationals.

Hamble Yacht Services (HYS), the event sponsor gave the J/80 fleet free use of their launch and lift facilities for the duration of the event, along with some great prizes, and whilst the benefit of HYS’ investment in the event, the three J/80s which were racing for the charity Toe In The Water could not have competed at the National Championship without their support. This charity aims to speed the recuperation and rehabilitation of injured servicemen and women through sailing, and it seems to work; Kev O’Brien’s Toe In The Sky topped the three in fourteenth place and Sam Mettam’s Toe In The Sea came in sixteenth overall leaving Lloyd Hamilton and his team on Toe In The Sand in nineteenth and buying the beers. Those Toe In The Water boys and girls were certainly thirsty.

Biscay Challenge Race

J/133 PINTIA Wins, J/105 ONLY JUST Second

(Solent, England- July 4-5)-  Last week’s bi-annual Biscay challenge was a complete contrast to the previous race, being dominated by a high over Biscay giving very light winds and forcing many competitors to retire.  The race started with a brisk beat in a force 4 out of the Solent and swiftly degenerated into a foggy windless scenario with boats anchoring in up to 60m of water. The slow run down to Ushant caused the leaders to bunch up and there was only approximatley 3 hours between the leading boat on the water (SPLIFF, an Open 40) and ONLY JUST (J/105). However, cracking off after Ushant allowed the high speed planing boats to break away ahead of a high whilst ONLY JUST was left to sit in the middle praying for a push from a following whale!  Varying conditions at the end meant the Open 40 and the J/133 PINTIA reached into the finish at high speed whilst at the back end of this group ONLY JUST crept  in a 3 knot zephyr.   J's were placed 1st and 2nd with the J/133 PINTIA taking 1st and Andy Hill's J/105 ONLY JUST in second.

Petit Bateau Channel Week

J/105 VOADOR Overall Winner

(Lymington, England- May 29-June 6)- It was a fantastic weeks racing with a very active social side, all made possible with some superb weather (not a cloud was spotted during the first four days) and a great bunch of skippers.

Racing at Petit Bateau Limited held its 6th annual Single Handed Channel Week. This year’s event involved six races, covering 305 miles. The event started and finished in Lymington and all ports; Alderney, St Peter Port, Treguier, Brixham and Weymouth were visited as planned.  There were a total of 11 skippers that started in Lymington and these ranged from the new J/122 OOJAH to its smaller sisters the 30 foot J/92s.

The first race involved either a close spinnaker reach or fetch from Lymington to Alderney. Initially there was some concern that Alderney may have to be by-passed due to the forecasted North Easterly winds, however thankfully the winds had enough East in them to ensure the moorings in Alderney were tenable.   Race two was a short race from Alderney to St Peter Port in what could only be described as Champagne sailing conditions in 15 to 22 knots of wind from the East / North East, enabling boats to carry large Spinnakers the whole way from start to finish. Such conditions lead to a very early arrival in St Peter Port, which provided the opportunity for a light lunch and a few drinks followed by an afternoon siesta.  Race three lead the fleet south to the delightful town of Treguier. The race started in very light conditions and again in clear blue skies. The wind remained light throughout the race and was generally from the East / North East, however there were some considerable wind shifts. Spinnakers were flown the whole way and the fleet finished in good time for dinner at very nice Creperie in the marina side of the town.  Race four from Treguier to Brixham was the longest race (88 nm) of the series and given the initial light conditions the race continued throughout the hours of darkness. At one stage the wind dropped to zero but the forecasted strengthening winds from the east kicked in at about 23:00 and ensured a much speedier night time passage. Race five from Brixham to Weymouth was postponed due to the very light winds. At Petit Bateau we always try to ensure we keep the event moving to the next destination, hence the fleet motored until the Race Director felt there was enough wind to ensure a reasonable race could be completed. After about three hours of motoring a reasonable breeze built up and the ‘self starting at sea process’ was instigated. A few gates were built in to the course in case the breeze failed but thankfully these were not required and the fleet made it to Weymouth via an 8 knot beat with a nice reach to the finish after we rounded Portland Bill.  Race six proved to be the sting in the tail for the series and the fleet were faced with an easterly breeze and hence a beat the whole way from Weymouth to Lymington. This breeze averaged around 20 knots but gusts of 28 knots were experienced at the headlands. Due to the wind and tidal conditions before Anvil point the favourable route involved tacking up the beautiful Dorset coastline. However the never ending salty spray, attention to navigation and high physical demands when solo sailing in such conditions ensured a limited amount of time could be spent admiring the countryside. Once the fleet were all safely accounted for a dash was made to the warmth of the Mayflower for dinner and refreshments, this was followed by the series prize giving on the very nice new J/122 OOJAH.

The series results were as follows:  The Overall IRC prize went to Simon Curwen on the very well sailed J/105 VOADOR. The prize for 3rd under IRC went Race Director Peter Olden’s J/92s SOLAN GOOSE.

The overall Class 1 second place went to Peter Tanner on his J/122 OOJAH.   In Class 2 it was a J/Boat 1, 2 and 3 with the Open 1st prize going to Simon Curwen on the J/105 VOADOR,  second was Peter Olden on the J/92s SOLAN GOOSE and third was Rod Knowles on another J/105 JULIETTE. The special J/Boat Trophies that are awarded based on IRC results went in the same order.

The Rookie prizes are awarded to the best skippers who have not previously competed in a significant off-shore solo race- special mention must go to Luke Bond for finishing third on his J/92s DRAGONFLY.
For more details

J/145 flying off the wind-- just like BAD PAK racing to HawaiiTranspac Race Mid-race Report

J's Dialed In as Leaders in the Fleet

(Los Angeles, CA- July 5th)- The bi-annual Transpac Race from Los Angeles, CA to Honolulu, Hawaii is a 2,225 nautical mile surfing contest most years.  The medium sized boats, including all the J's in the race started on July 3rd, the big boats all started on July 5th.  The smaller boats started at a significant disadvantage as the first three to four days offshore were considerably lighter than the start for the big boats.  Nevertheless, speed and angle are king in this monster of a race and many of the big boats have heated up significantly and are well north of rhumbline compared to the small/midsize boats--- the entire fleet is in the trade-winds surfing towards Diamond Head, Hawaii.

BAD PAK, Tom Holthus' J/145 out of San Diego, is picking its way through the Division V, VI and VII boats and is the front-runner in Division IV on corrected time although Hula, Bill Mills' and Maury Myers's SC 52 is just a few miles closer to its homeport of Honolulu.  The previous Transpac Division IV Winner and Overall Transpac Champion is Tom Garnier's REINRAG 2 from Portland, Oregon holding in just a few miles off the pace of BAD PAK.   J/WORLD, Wayne Zittel's J/120 from San Francisco is doing quite well also as the front-runner boat-for-boat in Division VI.  A few dozen miles behind them is Lindsey Austin's J/35 ADDICTION from Honolulu in the same Division VI.  From a race navigation perspective, the J/145 BAD PAK, the J/125 REINRAG 2 and the J/120 J/WORLD are all well positioned to leeward of the fleet sailing faster and hotter angles to maintain surfing speeds in the tradewinds and all should pull well ahead of their respective classes in the coming days.  More news next week!!  Meanwhile, you can follow the excellent race tracking from OneEarth on their site.  For more info and tracking.

J/24 Class Asia-Pacific Championship

Royal Perth Yacht Club sailors Sean Wallis Wins!

(Adelaide, South Australia)- Sailing WETTY GRIPPER, the team of Sean Wallis and crew Simon Cunningham, David Somerville, Todd Harnett and David Higgins have won the inaugural J24 Class Asia-Pacific Championship at Adelaide's Cruising Yacht Club, South Australia.

After winning his second J/24 Australian title earlier this year the Wallis team headed into the Asia-Pacific Championship expecting to perform well against tough competition.  Event conditions varied with light conditions on the first day resulting in only two of three races sailed. Day two presented the fleet with a nice 10-14 knot breeze in which the three races were completed, while the final day saw rough seas and winds around 18-24 knots gusting to 30 knots. A 40 knot squall during the second race resulted in abandonment for the day resulting in only six races for the series.

Racing in the twenty strong fleet was close however the West Australian's dominated winning all but one of the six races sailed and finished nine points ahead of Ben Lamb's ARMED & DANGEROUS from New South Wales and Vladimir Borstnar's FUN from Singapore in third.  Rounding out the top five were Dave Suda's PACEMAKER from Victoria and Alyn Stevenson's FUN 2 from South Australia.  The WA team will defend their Australian title in January before challenging the World Championship in Sweden.   Info at Yachting Western Australia

J/105 blasting along reachWaukegan to Chicago Race Update

As Seen From Clark Pellet's J/105 SEA LARK

(Chicago, IL)-  What a ride!  It was a beautiful sunny day, with winds gusting around 32 kts. (Although we didn't have any wind instruments--probably a good thing.   :)

Unofficial elapsed time for the trip from Waukegan back to Chicago was an estimated 2 hrs 35 minutes with a self-timed finish at 12:01 p.m.--since the committee boat was not on station.  Average speed over the 26.2 mile course was 10.14 kts.  Highest course-over-ground reading was 16.2 kts (while surfing :) with SEALARK traveling at a sustained speed exceeding 14.5 kts for 43 seconds according to the Velocitek GPS tracking.  We popped the kite seconds after crossing the starting line and held it nearly the entire way.  Since there was no committee boat, we doused the chute off Montrose and went in search of a finish, finally taking our time once we had sailed well past Belmont and calling the race committee.

We had only 3 (or maybe 4?) round-ups, but quick recoveries.  About 30 minutes into the race, the two trailing J/105s rounded up in a gust and chutes blew out.  But we held down and never looked back--charging to our second highest speed of 15.8 kts.  We had the Bahai Temple abaft the beam at 11:00 a.m. and at the end we sailed to the 420's finish line a bit north of Belmont, just in case it was the finish.

Two J/105s finished at least 12 minutes behind us (they were number 2 and 3 "across the line"), with the first T-10 finishing at least 19 minutes behind us.  We tracked the first 7 boats finishing until the committee boat finally got there and threw out the orange mark to set up a finish line.  SEA-U finished with a fouled prop (from wrapping a spinnaker line prior to the start), and a torn jib.

J/Community:J/80 FIRED UP run over by a RIB

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide

* Jay Lutz- the 2006 J/80 World Champion has been involved in a rather unfortunate accident at the J/80 Worlds in Santander, Spain.  In fact many describe it as the most bizarre incident they've ever seen on the water at any sailing event.  Somehow a photoboat leapt across their J/80 while sailing, smashed the boom, blew apart the mainsail and partially landed on Jay and broke his hip in three places.  This picture here does not justice to what actually happened other than the fact you can see the engine stuck on the windward rail and the photoboat out to windward.  We wish Jay well and hope that he recovers in good health and spirits quickly!
J/80 FIRED UP run through by a photoboat RIB
SA's description of the incident: There was a ridiculous accident at the J/80 Worlds today when a rib crashed USA 407 "Fired up", the 2006 World Champions, right before the practice race. They crossed the boat from port to starboard and the prop got stuck in the cockpit. Steve LeMay is being checked into the hospital as a precaution. He's seeing halos, so probably a mild concussion. and from Jay Lutz: "I used my superhuman strength to move the boat off me, but fractured my pelvis (3 places) and slight fracture of my L2." Incredible.  Photo credits- Jesus Renedo

Ed explainig why his cat won't capsize and go faster* Ed "Cool Kat" Baird- his latest steed has just been unveiled in Switzerland.  Just another carbon catamaran with 30,000 square meters of carbon and looking a bit like a giant D-35 cat he's been sailing and training on for the past few months on Lake Geneva, Switzerland.   As described by a recent news release:  Alinghi, the Defender of the 33rd America's Cup, unveiled its 90ft catamaran this weekend in Villeneuve, Switzerland. This multihull represents a culmination of Swiss multihull heritage and is the first step in Alinghi's development process towards the 33rd America's Cup in February 2010. The boat will be launched by helicopter next week on Lake Geneva before the process of 'debugging' begins and the boat goes sailing for the first time. Note- a former Newporter and also a J/24 sailor like Ed is the co-designer and chief engineer on the project- Dirk Kramers (also worked at Hall Spars for awhile along with some other famous J/24 alums like Scott Ferguson).
Read on about Alinghi here.   Photos from Carlo Borlenghi (The Master) and others.

J/80 One-Design classFeatured Boat

New 2009 J/80s Available

There’s plenty of new J/80 talk these days, thanks to the extraordinary coverage garnered by the record J/80 fleet of 131 boats in Santander, Spain.

The J/80 is now the largest sprit boat one-design in Europe as well as the USA.  Learn more about this remarkable, simple, easy to sail boat.  Call your dealer now and learn more about it.
Several are just completing in Bristol, RI - Base Price- $49,900.  Please contact J/Boats or your nearest J dealer for details.

About J/Boats

Started in 1977, J/Boats continues to lead the world in designing fun-to-sail, easy-to-handle, performance sailboats that can be enjoyed by a broad spectrum of sailors. The International J/24 has become the most popular recreational offshore keelboat in the world with over 5,400 J/24s cruising the waves. Today, there are 13,000+ J/Boats, ranging from the International J/22 to the J/65 and ranging in style from one-designs to racers, cruisers to daysailers and, of course, the ubiquitous J sprit boats- J/Boats' innovation in 1992 for easy-to-use asymmetric spinnakers and retractable carbon bowsprits (J/80, J/92, J/95, J/105, J/109, J/110, J/120, J/122, J/130, J/133, J/125, J/145, J/160).

J/Boats has the best track record in sailing for innovation and design as evidenced by: 11 Sailing World/ Cruising World Boat of the Year Awards in 14 years; 2 SAIL Awards for Industry Leadership; 2 American Sailboat Hall of Fame Designs (J/24 & J/35); and the three largest ISAF International One-Design keelboat classes (J/22, J/24, J/80).

Counting crew, every year there are over 100,000 friends to meet sailing J's, populating the most beautiful sailing harbors in 35+ countries around the world. Sailing is all about friends. Come join us and expand your social network everywhere!   For background info.