Wednesday, April 21, 2010

J/Newsletter- April 21st, 2010

J/95 Yachting World sailing test- shoal draft cruising sailboatJ/95 YACHTING WORLD Test

(Hamble, So'ton, England)- A team of experienced sailors and writers from Yachting World, led by Toby Hodges from YW, took the gorgeous black-hulled J/95 for a lengthy test this spring on the Hamble River and on the Solent.  Titled "Thriller Keels", Toby talks about the sailing the J/95 as "Shoal with style" due to its innovative lifting keel and rudder designs and superior performance.  As Toby describes it, "With a blade-like stern and alluringly sleek, low topsides she is a strikingly pretty yacht.." and due to its shoal draft, "in the UK we know the value of escaping the crowds up creeks and shallow bays..."  Read more about it and download Toby's YW article here (a 7.3 MB PDF file).   Learn more about the J/95 shoal-draft performance cruising sailboat.  

J/95- Yachts & Yachting sailing test- shoal draft cruising sailboatJ/95 YACHTS & YACHTING Test

(Hamble, So'ton, England)- Andi Robertson from Y&Y put the J/95 through her paces on a lengthy sail on the Southampton Water on a sparkling day in January and arrived back on shore a bit "smitten", as they say.  According to Andi, "the J/95 is something a little bit different, with its shallow draught and short-handed options.  We sailed J-FEVER, it was a huge amount of fun without expending a lot of energy or stress."  Andi's verdict, "overall the J/95 checks so many boxes that it becomes hard to define, but it certainly is a very desirable go anywhere small cruiser which has a great all round performance."  You can read the three page article and photos by downloading Andi's Y&Y article here (a 4.1 MB PDF file).  

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Apr 30-May 2- Annapolis NOOD- Annapolis YC, Annapolis, MD-
May 5-8- J/80 UK Nationals- Cardiff Bay YC, England-
May 10-14- J/22 South African Nationals- False Bay YC, South Africa-
May 14-16- Seattle NOOD- Seattle YC- Seattle, WA-
May 18-23- J/24 North Americans- Seattle YC- Seattle, WA-
May 22-23- Race For the Case- Lloyd Harbor YC, Long Island, NY-
May 27-30- J/80 Copa Espana- Barcelona, Spain-
Jun 4-6- J/MedCup- Ill de Porquerolles (Hyeres), France-
Jun 5-6- Sprit Fest Regatta- Breakwater YC- Sag Harbor, NY-
Jun 10-13- J/80 Italian Championship- Lake Garda, Italy-
Jun 21-26- J/80 European Championship- Lake Garda, Italy-
Jun 20-26- Block Island Race Week- Block Is, RI-
Jun 25–27- Long Beach Race Week/ J/120 NAS- Long Beach YC- Long Beach, CA-
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

J/80 sailing off France 

J/Regatta News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The volcanic ash cloud that hung over Europe this past week did little to diminish the enthusiasm for sailing events around Europe.  In England, despite being the country hardest hit by the Icelandic cloud of nasty bits, the sailors still got out for their Spring Championship and Warsash Spring Series being sailed on the "rivers" off Southampton and Cowes-- apparently Saturday was nice, but Sunday was a good day to read "The Times" Sunday edition.  The Spanish J/80s had some spectacular weather in Bilbao, Santander and Palma where a fleet of J/80s sailed in the fabulous Palmavela off Palma de Mallorca.  J/22s got into the spring mood and were sprouting regattas everywhere, Belgium, Holland, France and Cayman Islands.  J/24 sailors in Australia had a "glam" event, racing their J/24 Victorian State Champs off Melbourne. In America, a large contingent of J's are preparing for the mad sprint down the southern California coastline in the epic Newport-Ensenada Race.  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/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Palma Mallorca, Spain in PalmavelaHublot Palmavela Regatta

Tres Amigos, Tres Campiones

(Palma de Mallorca, Spain)- If there is any place on Earth that comes close to a sailing paradise, Palma surely has to be on the list with its spectacular geography, great sailing on the bay and beautiful, historic town anchored by the skyscraping Santa Maria cathedral.  The mountainous ridge along the NW portion of Mallorca creates a reasonably reliable sea breeze from the WSW.  No wonder Palma's town and harbors are favorites of super yachts and sailors alike for centuries, or why photographers like Jesus Renedo (featured here), that call Palma "home", consider it one of the most spectacular places to shoot sailboats in the world.

The first big event of the sailing season for Palma is the Hublot Palmavela and it's considered one of the best of the year, often because of the spectacular spring sailing conditions with bright, crystal blue skies.  This year's seventh edition lived up to those expectations, with skies made even clearer with no European air traffic due to Iceland's volcanic ash cloud over northern Europe.

The J/80 fleet had twenty-two entries, attracting a star-studded cast of sailors that included two former J/80 World Champions, Jose Maria Torcida and Ignacio Camino, from 2007 and 2008, respectively.  According to Jesus, "it was an incredibly tight fleet to watch and, to our joy, one of the WALLY super yacht owners, Thomas Bascher, left his Wally 100 footer OPEN SEASON to have loads of fun racing one-design in J/80s."

After two beautiful days of sailing, it was hard to hold the ex-World Champions and the Spanish National champions off the podium.  At the end, it was Martinez on PERALEJA GOLF that set the standard with just twelves points!  Camino on NEXTEL finished second with thirty one points, just beating his fellow World Champion Torcida sailing ECC VIVIENDAS who finished third with thirty five points.  Photo Credits- Jesus Renedo.  For more J/80 Sailing results.  For more Palmavela sailing and regatta information

J/24 one-design sailboat sailing in Melbourne, AustraliaJ/24 Victorian State Champs

(Melbourne, Australia)- Good things come in small packages, just ask Jeanette Syme. She helmed SCOTT SALISBURY into 3rd place at this weekend’s Victorian State Champs at Sandringham YC in Melbourne.

Jeanette couldn’t have seen much of the race out in front as she is only half the height of Pete Stevens who spent the weekend right in front of her doing the trimming, but she is beaming. Big brother Ron, sailing KICKING BOTTOM sailed very well and although the green machine was up near the pointy end of the fleet a lot of the time, he could only manage 5th.  We suggested Jeanette should rename her boat “KICKING RON”.

In fact, the whole KICKING BOTTOM/ SCOTT SALISBURY relationship is an interesting tale. The Melbourne fleet is undergoing something of an explosion of interest and in the last few months we have seen two new boats join the fleet and we have another 3-4 people genuinely interested in buying boats. Warren Campbell who has been sailing on KICKING BOTTOM for the last two owners, jumped out and bought SCOTT SALISBURY from Adelaide a couple of days before the regatta. Peter Stevens very kindly brought the boat over and sailed on it with Arthur Crothers and Jeanette Syme and crew who came down from Sydney. So Warren, still sailing on KICKING BOTTOM watched his new boat sailed by his skipper’s sister fly by to finish ahead!  Got all that!  Need more?

Simon Grain was the bridesmaid again and Dave Suda, who didn’t even make double digits in his series score was very clearly the winner and deservedly so. He had an almost clean sweep with 5 wins and a second – guess to who – Yep “Kicking Ron”.  Good things do come in small packages, although she did say the crew were brilliant, too.  Of course the “Kicking Ron” crew stayed at Warrens!

What it does very clearly show is that you can take an older boat, set it up in half a day and be very competitive in the fleet.

A very noticeable change this year was the calibre of the fleet, with close racing, and boats that have been out the back, now right up in the pack. Boat speed was generally up on last year and so Ron Thomson’s KICKING BOTTOM, Mike Lewenhagen’s EXCITE YOUR SENSES and Doug MacGregor’s CRACKERJACK all lifted themselves into 5, 6 and 7 respectively. The HYPERACTIVE BABES had an up and down regatta and finished fourth.

The weather co-operated with 5 – 15 knot northerlies, a little shifty and patchy at times but great sailing and with this sort of weather for many of the last years comps, the Vic States really is the “Balmy Regatta”.

Although we had expected 4 interstate boats, it turned out to be two and the other boat was Terry Wise from Sydney who brought down STARPAC with a very keen sailing school crew who really enjoyed the glamour Melbourne weather experience, flat water and warm sunny skies.  The tail end of the fleet was rounded out with new owners Andrew and Chris Hely on VERTIGO, Jack Crawford’s SANGUINE and another new owner Rowan Pollard on TWO DOGS.

Glam weather also allowed the social side of things to go very well indeed, with a huge BBQ at Lisa Simonov’s house ("THANK YOU" Lisa) and virtually the whole regatta crowd were able to have a great night outside in the warm weather. Terry Wise gave a presentation on the upcoming Gosford “Legends Regatta” that is shaping up to be a very big event.

You’ve probably picked the name missing from the results. Hugo Ottaway was unable to make it this year due to his son doing the big 21 party and the bleary eyed master did struggle down on the Sunday to say hi – “lights on, but no one home” look!

The class is on fire and next year at the rate we are going we could very well have 20 boats on the start line, so book early if you want a bed in Melbourne!    For more J/24 Australia sailing news and results  

Newport-Ensenada Race

(Newport Beach, CA)- The mad dash down the coast of California to Mexico is taking place this weekend.  Over 210 boats are registered as many southern California sailors head south for the party in Ensenada.  Starting at Friday noon, the record for any type of sailboat is just over six hours by the old Starts & Stripes catamaran used to defend the America's Cup off San Diego a century ago.  Amongst the fleet will be Larry Leveille's J/29 RUSH STREET, Seth Hall's J/124 MARISOL, seven J/120s racing essentially one-design, Paul Margis' beautiful J/160 INDIGO, Tom Holthus' Transpac Race-winning J/145 BAD PAK (pictured here), three J/105s and two J/109s!  Should be fun and wish them well on the fast reach to Ensenada.  More news next week.   For more sailing and Ensenda Race information  

J/80s sailing Warsash Spring Series- Solent, EnglandSpring Championship/ Warsash Getting Hot!

(Southampton, England)- Yes, things were hotting up at Warsash Sailing Club over the weekend of 17th/18th April in more ways than one. Firstly, the Spring Championship got underway with a full schedule of racing on Saturday as well as the Spring Series continuing into its fifth week on Sunday. Then the high pressure system gave rise to Mediterranean-style temperatures but it also meant the volcanic dust cloud remained over the UK.

The Spring Championship takes place on Saturday's this year over the final two weekends of the Spring Series. Black Group classes include “Big Boats”  and J/109s. White Group classes J/80s. No discards are allowed for the Spring Championship – every race has to count.

The J/80s racing was managed by Jon Spencer. He too completed the full schedule of racing. Steve Chappell on JANGO FETT in the J/80s took two wins bit slipped to ninth in Race 2 resulting in a total of 13 points. John Cooper in OI! gained the top points for the day with only one win but a more consistent score.

Further out in the Solent the Black Group committee boat was anchored near Universal Marina buoy. The wind was consistently from the south-east, again peaking at 8 knots but with much lighter patches. Here event Chairman Peter Bateson set windward/leeward courses for the “Big Boats” and J/109s. A mixture of fixed and laid marks was used reaching towards the eastern end of Ryde Middle Bank. Starts were all on time, with no general recalls or OCS scores and the full program of races was completed.  By Race 2 the tide had slackened and the final two races had windward legs against the tide.  The J/109s enjoyed a short final race of just two miles but with the beat against a strong ebb tide in a fading breeze, that was certainly enough.  The runaway leader in the J/109s was Adam Wright in VELVET ELVIS with the Apthorp's J/DREAM second and Mcgough's JUST SO third.

The Warsash Series continued racing on Sunday, the forecast was for even lighter winds. Some crews took a good supply of Sunday newspapers hoping this ruse would guarantee the arrival of a decent breeze. Unfortunately it didn’t work! Teams took the opportunity of carrying out minor repairs or just enjoyed the sunshine. The area round the Black Group committee boat at Universal Marina buoy soon resembled a boat park.  Further inshore, they fared no better and at noon they and all Black Group classes were abandoned.

Fortunately, Jon Spencer tucked up inshore and found just enough early morning breeze funneling down Southampton Water to get one race going for the J/80s. Even here the breeze faded away and the course was shortened at the bottom mark. In the J/80s JANGO FETT (Steve Chappell) made a cracking start at the pin end of the line. Halfway up the first beat there was nothing to separate the leaders as they crossed tacks. JANGO FETT’s team read the wind well. Having gone left into deeper water they then put in a long hitch inshore before hitting the layline and making a tack out to the top mark. This was enough to give her the lead ahead of OI!  (John Cooper) and SPITFIRE (Royal Air Force Sailing Assoc). OI! slowly pulled away but on the second run back ELLE S'APPELLE (Thor Askelund) gybed inshore immediately, kept more breeze and arrived at the top mark just behind the leader. This established the pecking order for the final lap.   Full sailing news and regatta results on the Warsash Website         Photo by Eddie Mays.  

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Palma SpainSpanish J/80s Miss Volcano Cloud

(Spain)- With the ash cloud hanging heavy over northern Europe and severely curtailing outdoor activities, the Spanish fleet of J/80s enjoyed good racing off their Mediterranean coastlines in Palma (see above), Santander and Bilbao.  In the Santander J/80 fleet, they're racing for the MAQUCHE TROPHY and FONESTAR raced by Jaime Piris, Alfredo Portilla, Carlos Bats and Bryan Lee continue to be the leader in the overall standings, winning four straight races against a thirty boat fleet! Second is LUPA skippered by Adrian Zamacona and third the MABLE V sailed by Oriol.   Photo credit- Jesus Renedo

In the Bilbao J/80 fleet, the Basques were racing for their Spring Trophy on a perfect day for sailing, sunny, clear with a fresh northeast wind around 15-18 knots creating surfable one meter waves.  José Azqueta with GUIDE VIII continues to lead with 11 points ahed of Meda Diego's SUMINAM and 15 points ahead of Ibon Basanez's JET SET. Next Saturday will be the second day of the championship.  For more Spanish J/80 sailing information.  

J/22 one-design sailboats- sailing downwindJ/22 Cayman Islands Nationals

Over this past weekend, the J/22 class on Cayman Islands hosted their National Championships with spirited, closely fought racing amongst the nine boats.  While the runaway winner was Mike Farrington sailing COMPASS to five firsts, the battle for second place between three boats went right to the end.  Coming out of their dust-up and leading this trio was Charles Grover racing SUNSHINE to second place, followed by Thomas Hanson sailing DMS to third and Steve Adams taking fourth on-board WRECKLESS.   For more J/22 Cayman Islands sailing info.  


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

J/Boats sailor Ken Read sailing Volvo 70 PUMA* Nine lives? How about two?  That black cat known as PUMA is sailing the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race. Read SA Editor Scot Tempesta's "InnerView" with Ken Read, the skipper and CEO of PUMA Ocean Racing.  Great discussion from Kenny and good perspective on what it takes to get the job done in this brutal race, a serious test of the sailors and gear.

SA: We see that you have entered il mostro in the upcoming Newport to Bermuda race, and we see Puma Avanti ramping up. We know what it all means - that Puma will be back for the next VOR! So, tell us a little bit about the Puma VOR effort this time. You are the CEO/skipper, so we know you'll be aboard. What other changes have you made for this effort?

KR: Well, we are thrilled to be back.  It has been touch and go since the end of the last race.  It gets in your blood and it’s hard to shake.  With that said, Kimo (Worthington), Antonio Bertone and I broke down every single part of the program from the last race- what we did well and what we didn’t do so well.  We have massaged nearly every aspect of the program but kept the fundamentals that made it successful- like PUMA being a sailor driven program that relies on a touch of common sense from time to time.  And, of course trying to bring a new level of excitement to the sport of sailing.  Read more about Kenny's InnerView here.  

* J/120 CARINTHIA owner and BYC member Frank Kern from Detroit, MI explains what a group of owners are doing to buck the handicapping issues racing o the Great Lakes with the new ORROA (ORR Owners Association) racing series.  At the end of last year, after talking to a number of fellow owners, the frustration with the many different rules in place was becoming apparent, with some owners so unhappy with the rules they were stuck with that they began skipping races.  PHRF is nearly universal, but it's application by local officials can lead to some strange results, and often it is hard for committees to fairly rate new or one-off designs.  Other international rules unfairly penalize sportboats and many 10-20 year old offshore designs while sportboats and many 10-20 year old offshore designs have ratings that are carries the inevitable drawbacks that brings, while  Our brainstorming session came up with an idea to give sailors a reason to participate in more races - create a series for them to compete under a rating rule that they consider fair.  Read more about Frank Kern's handicap sailing idea here.  

J/80 wake boarding* J/80 Wake-boarding?  OK, so our British J/80 friends sailing on Plymouth Sound have a great sense of humor.  Or, perhaps whoever dreamed up this idea surely has a "mad streak"?  How about wake-boarding, powered by the big a-sail and using a 6 hp engine and towed by the main halyard to blow off some steam before a regatta?! A new side-bar event for J/80 regattas? If you don't believe it, watch this YouTube video with a rapping Moby song mixed into it.  

Featured Boat

J/133 cruising, racing, daysailing, sailboat

Gorgeous J/133 SOFIA in Europe

The ideal mid-40s length racer/cruiser, winner of The Sailing World Magazine Overall Boat of the Year and many other international plaudits, the J/133 is a yacht with the stability for short-handed cruising, race winning speed under IRC and the durability you would wish for rough offshore passages. Add in the retractable carbon bowsprit and flying and handling the asymmetric kite becomes playground simple!

The J/133 combines cruising comfort with more powerful performance ratios. The easy to manage sail plan allows fewer and less experienced crew, and the extra rig power afforded by a low VCG keel and standard carbon mast will maximize performance across a wide spectrum of conditions.

Since her introduction, J/133 has established a winning record in some of the highest profile PHRF & IRC events around the world including class wins at Key West Race Week, Spi-Ouest Week in France, and she has been the best performing boat in the RORC series overall in 2007 and again in 2009. In the UK J/133 owners also enjoy Class events.

The J/133 also has full interior accommodation with 3 cabins. There is plenty of space for getting comfortable inshore or offshore with proper offshore galley, nav station and companionway designs, lots of grab rails, large sea-berths, comfortable well ventilated cabins and a warm varnished wood finish.

SOFIA is a fantastic J/133 with many upgrades/modifications to provide an amazing boat for short-handed sailing with her asymmetric spinnaker. SOFIA was Winner of Round Gotland Race in her class 2007 and 2009.
For more information, please visit J/UK's website.

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:  15 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 and sailing the waters of 35+ countries around the world.  Sailing is all about friends.  Come join us and expand your social network everywhere!

For more information on J/Boats: