Wednesday, April 7, 2010

J/Newsletter- April 7th, 2010

J/Cup Mediterranee FranceJ/CUP 2010 France

(Hyeres, France)- This year's fourth edition of the J/CUP in the Mediterranean will be sailed from June 4th to 6th off the island of Ill de Porquerolles, just south off the coast of Hyeres, France.  The island of Porquerolles will, again, be dressed in all her finery to host this year's event. The sailing is beautiful, if not spectacular, and the hosts are looking forward to welcoming J sailors from all over Europe.  A fleet of twenty-five J/24s, J/92s, J/100s, J/109s, J/122s and J/133s participated in last year's event.  We hope the defending champions from Yacht Club de Monaco (the J/24 "TOPP TOO" sailed by the Rodelato Brothers) and their friends show up again along the J/122 KAYA and the J/109 MAJOR TOM who joined them on the podium.  Great sailing and, most fun of all, fantastic food and wine will be part of the weekend's festivities at the vineyards and waterfront restaurants on this wonderful island. Will the popular band "KASHMIR" show up for this year's event?  Come join us and find out!  For more J/Cup Med Regatta information, please contact Pierre DUCHEIN at K-YACHTING/ J-BOATS Méditerranée.  Email- or Call +33(0)498 003 846 or web  

J/109s sailing Solent, Cowes, EnglandCowes Week Opens For Entries

(Cowes, IOW, England)- Cowes Week has opened its doors for entries to the world's best known sailing regatta. This iconic British event, one of the longest running in UK sporting history, looks forward to welcoming both regular and new participants to this year's regatta. From 31 July to 7 August the Solent will once again be awash with colour and vitality as Cowes Week enjoys its 184th anniversary; a true celebration of serious sailing fun at its very best.  Jeepers creepers, 184 years?  That's two centuries of racing on the Solent!  Were all the radical currents and the Ryde Sands the same back then??  Was the Brambles Banks really a cricket pitch? Or just folklore?  Come found out this year!  Photo credit- Paul Wyeth.

A number of changes have been made for 2010.  The most important one related to J's is the NEW J/Sprit & J/92 Championship.  The J/Sprit class has been re-instated to split out the majority of fixed bowsprits from boats with moveable spinnaker poles. The first four days of Cowes Week will also be used by the J/92s as their National Championship.   For more information, please read the Cowes Week NOR  

Big J Fleet At Charleston Race Week

(Charleston, SC)- This sleepy regatta has grown leaps and bounds in the past few years, thanks to motivated local sailors and a reputation for putting together a FUN event with great beach parties and good racing in the currents off the infamous Fort Sumter- the site where America's Civil War started.  J's are flocking down to this event in ever larger numbers, from J/24s to J/29s up to a fleet of J/120s.  For the one-design J classes, at least twenty J/80s, fourteen J/24s, five J/105s will be sailing this coming weekend. And, for the handicap divisions, Robin Team's J/122 TEAMWORK will be racing in IRC, four J/120s in PHRF A, a J/33, J/35 and J/105 in PHRF B, and three J/29s in PHRF D!! Quite a turn-out overall, 50 J's are nearly a third of the 150+ boat fleet.  For more information on Charleston Race Week.  

J/24 "BITBURGER" North Americans

(Seattle, WA)- Over two weekends in May, J/24 sailors will compete for up to four berths in the 2011 World Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and slots for two countries in the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The World Championship and Pan Am berths will be awarded as follows:  (1) at NOOD, berths will go to the top boat from the “Western Region”—boats hailing from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, California, Arizona, Nevada or Utah (e.g. this event doubles as the Western Regional Champs); (2) at the North Americans, one berth will go to the top previously unqualified boat regardless of the country of origin. In addition, the top two U.S. sailors who have not previously qualified will get invitations; (3) the regatta has been named a Pan-Am Games country qualifier because J/24s will be used for the keelboat competition at the 2011 games.

For more information on the J/24 NA's and NOOD Western Regionals.  

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Apr 1-5- SPI OUEST- La Trinite, France-
Apr 8-11- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC-
Apr 9-11- J/Fest San Francisco- St. Francis YC- San Francisco, CA-
Apr 15-18- Strictly Sail Show- Alameda, CA-
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/80s sailing SPI Ouest, FranceJ/Regatta News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Spring sailing in the Northern Hemisphere got a strong dose of what happens when the frontal systems get nasty and crash the shores in the northern latitudes. The accounts of the Southern Straits Race off Vancouver, BC, Canada from a J/109 and J/30 are remarkable.  And, the European side of the Atlantic pond saw mistrals and strong winds hit both major French events- SPI Ouest Regatta sailed off La Trinite sur Mer on the stormy Bay of Biscay and the SNIM Regatta sailed off a classically windy Marseilles with large waves.  Their British counterparts across La Manche (The Channel) faired a lot better, enjoying moderate spring conditions on the Solent for their RORC Easter Challenge sailed off Cowes.  Meanwhile, the Caribbean enjoyed classic conditions and served up sunny, warm breezes, as the BVI played host to the BVI Spring Regatta in Tortola.  Read on! More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page!  Or, you can "Share Facebook" with friends here.  Below are the summaries.

J/80 class sailing SPI Ouest, FranceJ/80s Dominate SPI OUEST

ATLANTIS's Sambron Dominates Field of French Sailing Legends

(La Trinite Sur Mer, France)-  This year's SPI Ouest fleet was blessed with good racing and an experienced committee was able to get off a full flight of races for all three days for all three courses.  The winds were strong, mostly offshore NNE and blowing with one moderate spell (somewhat similar to what they saw in Marseilles for SNIM).  The 93 boat J/80 fleet, by far the largest fleet at SPI OUEST, had some tight racing behind the runaway leader, Louis Sambron racing ATLANTIS.  The J/24s enjoyed tight racing as did the J/105 and J/109 fleet.  Over on the handicap course, the various J's had a tougher time getting off the competitive, crowded starting lines and picking the shifts to stay in contention.

The talk of La Trinite and the French sailing community was the domination of the 93 boat J/80 class by Louis Sambron sailing ATLANTIS. Sailing to  five firsts, a second and fifth in the first seven races, Team ATLANTIS didn't sail the last race to win by 32 points!  Quite an achievement when you have some of France's more renowned sailing talent and legends like Pierre Follenfant, Bruno Trouble, Christine Briand, French J/80 National Champion Luc Nadal and Yves Tabarly.  With teams representing Italy, England, Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden it was clear to most competitors that it was not going to be difficult to be consistent to do well in the event with so many good sailors fighting to get off the starting line.  Nevertheless, behind ATLANTIS's remarkable performance, that view held true for all other competitors.   Pellisier sailed VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE to second place just three points in front of Pierre Follenfant on TBS.  Christine Briand sailed very well to finish fourth overall and was Top Woman for the event!

On the J/105 and J/109 class course, there was a good regatta for the boats vying for top honors.  At the end, Blanchard's J'ADORE finished first by staying out of trouble, winning by just three points, despite having to drop a DNF/ 11th in the fourth windy race.  In second was Tostivint's J CROIS PAS sailing quite consistently, but having to eat a sixth in the ninth race and tossing an 11th/DNF in the seventh just to be a contender.  Third was the most consistent boat in the fleet, Barouch's J'VOLE finishing only three points back and tossing only a fifth!  Were it a no throw-out series, Barouch and team on J'VOLE would've tied for first but lost the tie-breaker!

In the J/24s, Aubert on JULIA finished strongly with two firsts in the last two races to win over Lemaistre racing MARTA and Cahto racing COUTOT ROEHRING.   For more SPI Ouest Regatta and Sailing information  

J/122 sailing SNIM in Marseilles, FranceSNIM Enjoys Spectacular Mistral

J/122 J Lance IV Excels

(Marseilles, France)- It was a grandiose final in Marseilles to round off the SNIM (International Nautical Mediterranean Week), where a series of races were launched in the northern harbour in a steady 20-25 knots of NW wind and a big swell after two days of Mistral. And when the Mistral comes into play, the spectacle is well worth a look: surfing, broaches to windward and leeward and a lot of boats heeling a bit too much!  It has to be said that the tough conditions have forged the SNIM's reputation over the years, to the extent that today it has become a real trademark of the competition.

For a lot of crews the SNIM marks the end of the winter and the weather really threw everything at the competitors. With Southerly wind, Easterly wind and then a steady Northerly, followed by a powerful Mistral, there really was something for everyone. “That’s what the SNIM is all about: blue, white and wind” resumed the President of the Société Nautique, Bernard Amiel.

In IRC Class 2 with twelve boats, the J/122 J LANCE IV sailed by George Asperti and crew reveled in the windy conditions to sail a nice series and finish third in a very competitive class.  Sailing in IRC Class 3 with twenty-three boats was Phillipe De Sainges in his J/109 GALANGA, getting just sixth amongst some fierce competitors.  Another J/109 racing in an IRC configuration with conventional spinnaker pole was Richard Burton's JET LAG, getting just eighth place after a few bad races going the wrong way.  The lone J/92 JIN-TONIC sailed by Bernard Daurelle racing against fourteen boats in IRC Class 5 was third overall!    For more information on SNIM Sailing results.   Photo credits by Gilles Martin-Raget  

J/36 Cayenitta Grande sailing BVI Spring RegattaJ's Dominate BVI Spring Regatta

BAD GIRL is Bad, CAYENITTA is Grande!

(Roadtown, Tortola, BVI)- Once again, it was a picture perfect day in the British Virgin Islands for the last day of racing of the BVI Spring Regatta, with sun and wind all day long. There were a number of battles out on the race course which were fought to the very end providing plenty of action on the SOL, Norman and LIME One Design Race areas.

BAD GIRL, St. Croix's Rob Armstrong's J/100, won Racing Class C.  BAD GIRL sparred with the BVI's Dave West's Melges 32, Jurakan, all weekend in Racing C. "In the first race today," says BAD GIRL trimmer, Carlos Skov, we definitely let Jurakan back in the game. Just one point separated us. The second race, we put our heads down, sailed well and ended up beating the two Melges in the last five minutes. It was like that all weekend. The level of competition has really come up and we think its because we all push each other."

J/120 El Ocaso sailing BVI Spring RegattaIn Racing D Class, the J/80 OTRA KOSA sailed by Kike Gonzalez and buddies from Puerto Rico took 3rd. The well-sailed classic J/27 MAGNIFICENT 7, kept in great shape by Paul Davis from USVI finished 4th.  The brand spanking new J/95 SHAMROCK VIII sailed all over the Caribbean this winter by Tom Mullen finished a respectable 5th for a shoal-draft, centerboard cruiser!

A steady presence on the Caribbean circuit has been Rick Wesslund's crew sailing his J/120 EL OCASO.  Having put thousands of miles on their boat, they're insistence on having fun is infectious.  They were rewarded for their efforts again by taking second overall in Racing E- Racer/Cruiser.

J/105 sailing BVI Spring regattaThe competition in Racing F- Racer/Cruiser was tough! The J/105 UMAKUA sailed by Julio Reguero from Puerto Rico finished 3rd- Julio was winning class until they got DSQ'd in race 6.  The other J/105 ABRACADABRA, raced by another crew from Puerto Rico and Carlos Camachio finished 4th. The J/40 NEPENTHE sailed by Bob Read from Barrington, RI managed a 6th for a pure cruising boat.  And, the girls sailing the J/33 BOOMERANG- Pat Nolan- had a wonderful last day and managed to get a respectable 7th.

As noted above, it just seems that Tony Sanpere is on a roll-- perhaps far longer than anyone can imagine!  Tony's J/36 CAYENITTA GRANDE simply took all the marbles in BVI Performance Cruising Class-- winning by a significant margin with three firsts!  And, it also looked like a J/Cruising class!  Third was the J/46 MISS MAJIC sailed Jim Baus and lying 5th in the J/160 AVATAR was Alan Fouger.

As usual, the most intense, nail-biting finish came from the IC/24 course. It came down to the final IC-J/24 sailing BVI Spring Regattarounding of the leeward mark in the last of 21 races to determine the winner in the IC/24 class. "I saw the door open and I took it," says Puerto Rico's Fraito Lugo, about the maneuver that put the necessary three boats in-between his ORION and closest competitor, TEAM LIME, to win the class by one point.  TEAM LIME, sailed by the BVI's Colin Rathbun, had a three-point advantage going into the last race. "We had a horrible rounding and then a big shift," says Rathbun, who finished second by one point. "But, it was exciting and a lot of fun." INTAC, raced by the BVI's Mark Plaxton, finished third in the nine-boat class.

Seventeen-year-old BVI sailor, DonTae' Hodge, is no stranger to sailing IC-J/24s. He's crewed aboard the modified J/24-design since he was a pre-teen and last year took first as a skipper in the Premier's Cup and third in the Nation's Cup, two events raced out of Tortola. What was different about sailing this weekend is that Hodge met his crew for the first time this morning on the dock before the races started. "I started communicating more as the day went on and I got my confidence and we all worked in sync together," says Hodge, who raced aboard Latitude 18.

This year, members of the press were invited to sail in the IC/24 fleet. Two journalists, San Francisco's Paige Brooks from SAILING ANARCHY and Efrain Rivera from the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, were among Hodge's crew. "This is the first time I've seen the boat," says Brooks. "I don't like the J/24, but I love the open cockpit in the IC/24." Rivera added, "It's my first time sailing an IC/24. DonTae' is an excellent driver, so it was fun. It's real hands on. You're in the whirlwind of everything. It's a great idea to put the press on these boats." See Paige Brooks account below in J/Community.

Not at the top of the heap in Racer Cruiser Class but first at the weather mark in the second race on the last day, Pat Nolan's J/33, BOOMERANG, and her all women crew, were leading by a full minute. "It was great," says Nolan, who operates Sistership Sailing School in the BVI. Her crew are all former students. "The competition in our class is very keen and we're largely inexperienced," says Katie Sharp, from northern Virginia. "Don't get me wrong; we like sailing with the fellas, but, it's also nice to kick the boy's butts too."

Of note, the BVI Spring Regatta is the last race in the CORT (Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle) Series. Winners of the series are as follows:  Spinnaker A- 1st- BAD GIRL- Robert Armstrong's J/100; Spinnaker B- 2nd- MAGNIFICENT 7- Paul Davis' J/27; Performance Cruising: 1st- CAYENNITA GRANDE- Tony Sanpere's J/36; IC-J/24- 1ST- LIME- Colin Rathbun.    For more BVI Spring Regatta sailing info.    Photo credits: Yachtshots BVI  

J/109 sailing off Vancouver, BC, Canada in Southern Straits RaceStormy Vancouver Southern Straits Race Canceled

J/109 ASTRAL PLANE Surfs Home, J/30 RADIANT HEAT To The Rescue!

(Vancouver, BC, Canada)- This annual event has enjoyed a Jekyll and Hyde reputation over the years.  Rarely is it the picture-perfect, postcard event enjoying the spectacular vistas of snow-capped, pine tree carpeted 9,000 foot mountain peaks serving as a luscious backdrop for photos of beautiful sailboats gracefully gliding across the Straits.  This year it was, instead a matter of survival.  It was a lesson in how not to explore the deepest, darkest side of a Low pressure system racing across the Northern Pacific from Alaska and crashing into the Pacific Northwest's infamously turbulent western coastal ridges of the Rocky Mountains. Normally, the race starts off downtown Vancouver in English Bay, then heads west six miles off the point, then you sail a few triangles/ sausages out in the Straits of Georgia, then return home to Nanaimo Harbour for your pickle dish (at least that's the plan).  According to one participant in this year's race, "you started, and with the wind blowing from the southeast at 25 knots, it was a siren song meant to suck you out into the Straits. Yes, it is blowing but the seas are flat in English Bay and it doesn't seem to be such a big deal. The big boats go off and pop their kites and start heading west the 6 miles to Georgia Strait. Everybody is thinking, "cool, we get to make a fast passage".  But, the real race starts 6 miles west where there appeared to be little blue box cars (e.g. huge waves) running to the northwest out in the Strait."

The forecast given at the skipper's briefing was for a Low pressure system to arrive at 985 millibars packing sustained 35-45 knot winds with 6-12 foot breaking seas.  According to sailors on the course, the actual numbers were worse - the barometer sank below 980 millibars, the highest gusts recorded at the weather buoys were 64 knots and the seas got mountainous- over six meters (nearly 20 feet) in height. Sustained winds on the course were 45+ knots with 50 knot gust being the norm and some even higher.  Do memories of Fastnet Force 10 off England or The Perfect Storm off New England (NE America) spring to mind?

Just a few hours into the race, over 50 boats turned back and never made it to Nanaimo Harbor across the Straits.  One boat sank and all six people, thankfully, got rescued by the J/30 RADIANT HEAT, sailed by Tony Brogan.  Apparently, Tony and crew demonstrated extraordinary seamanship and are true heroes to those whom they pulled out of the water (all completely hypothermic and one person unconscious).  See Tony's story below  and link to the full story.

In addition to RADIANT HEAT's noble efforts, the crew aboard the J/109 ASTRAL PLANE monitored everyone they sailed by and managed to get to Nanaimo Harbour, one of only ten boats to get there in the entire fleet.  Take a ride with the RVYC J/109 crew onboard ASTRAL PLANE as they surfed across the Straits, planing most of the way.  ASTRAL suffered minor damage including a blown traveller and ripped main.  


The Account And Epilogue From Tony Brogan

(Vancouver, BC)- As one sailor recalled after getting into Nanaimo Harbour, "an ambulance pulled onto the Government Dock to pick up some of the crew of Clint Curries' 30 footer INCISOR, which had sunk. Tony Brogan's J-30 RADIANT HEAT had retired and was motoring to Nanaimo and saw what looked like a rig standing up in the water with no boat attached. They went to investigate and found Clint and his 5 crew mates hanging onto the overturned hull. All were hypothermic by then and Clint was unresponsive when they got him aboard and one other guy aboard. The other four were pulled from the water by the Coast Guard after they arrived on location. Life is sometimes just a thread and if RADIANT HEAT hadn't been damaged when and where it was and been lucky enough to have seen an anomaly and smart enough to go to investigate this could very easily have been a different story. The water is stinking cold, the seas were rough and breaking and the crew of INCISOR didn't have a radio or flares available. Fortunately, all recovered in hospital and went home."  See this third party account of the Southern Straits Race at SA.

However, for the real "insider's view" of what took place, please read Tony's own account that was first posted on the J/30 Class Association website/ blog.  

J/133 Jammy Dodger sailing RORC Easter off Cowes, EnglandRORC Easter Challenge Regatta

J/133 JAMMY DODGER Sailing Fast

(Cowes, IOW, England)- Bright sunshine and decent wind gave the competitors in the RORC Easter Challenge a day to remember. Eddie Warden-Owen, Chief Executive of the RORC was out on the water coaching everyday and commented after the conclusion of racing.  "Today was brilliant, stunning weather, decent breeze, shifting both ways, classic west Norwest Solent conditions with the breeze coming down the Solent and out of Southampton Water. Early bias on the left gave way to advantage on the right. Great sailing and a real challenge for the competitors."

While most of the competitors from the Warsash Spring Series took a break on the holiday Easter Weekend, a few intrepid souls in the J Camp ventured forth to keep refining their program a few more increments with the help of Eddie Warden-Owen's crew.  Amongst them in Class IRC Zero was Neil Martin's J/133 JAMMY DODGER.  Neil practiced his tactics/ strategy in Key West Race Week on his J/80.  And, it seems some of that work is paying off.  Neil had a very consistent regatta and was rewarded with third overall in an extremely competitive IRC Class Zero grouping.  Meanwhile, not to be outdone by its larger sister, the British Keelboat Academy's J/80, helmed by Mark Lees, completed the Easter weekend in third.   For more RORC sailing info.     Photo credits- Paul Wyeth  


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

J/125 Warrior sailed by Dr. Laura Schlessinger in Cabo Race* Dr. Laura- Owner of J/125 WARRIOR- Winner of Balboa-Cabo Race!  No one can accuse Dr. laura of not marching to her own beat. Here she gives a brief description of her recent Cabo race, and nary a mention of being second to finish, first in class and first overall.  "I wanted an adventure...and I got the ride of my life! The first twelve hours were a misery: I was cold and tired and concerned with whether or not the scopolamine patch would work - wondering why I did this to myself on purpose. After was a dream and a rigorous schedule: four hours on duty/four hours trying to sleep in a pipe berth under the spinn winch screeching continuously. I can now officially sleep under any conditions! Four more days of giant sea turtles, shark fins, a whale fluke, dolphin, and adorable flying fish. I had the greatest time.

By the last third of the trip I was trying to get my crew to agree to continue to Hawaii...I just wanted to stay out there. The last ten miles of driving in a great breeze in the moonlight had me at the helm with tears rolling down my face. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life. I am so glad I did this...and with the guys on my crew who were a blast. We all worked hard and laughed hard. It is amazing that six people can function that well in so small a space...but we did. (Pictured above from l to r: Sam Solhaug, Paul Wolthausen, Eric Bohman, me, Kevin Miller, and Kit Will.)

We will all never forget Kit Will cantilevered with a kelp stick trying to stab the critter we caught on our keel (we had to do backdown to get it off) or Kevin squeezing the contents of mayonnaise packets to reduce the weight on the boat, the Norway/Sweden competitive jabs between Sam Solhaug and Eric Bohman, Paul Wolthausen sharing the string cheese and salami he snuck onto the boat or me hitting the water to attract the shark so Kevin would believe me that it was there and not jump in for a swim when we were becalmed on Tuesday.  It was the ride of a lifetime...and I'm glad I did it." As reported on SA's front page.  

* Paige Brooks- "A Bag of Ice"- That’s what I needed for my hands after sailing 21 races this weekend in the IC24 class at the BVI Spring Regatta. We had 8 races our first day, 7 on Saturday and 6 on Sunday.  If the idea of sailing 16 sausages in one day sounds exhausting, it is, but that’s what the racers ask for and at the BVI Spring Regatta in Tortola the PRO didn’t mind making it happen.  The builder and the local fleets have worked hard to build the class almost entirely from grass roots work. At this event, the class buys a few cases of beer, throws it in a cooler and invites all of the racers, new and old, to hang out before joining the fray of ‘the tent.’

The other element they added to the race course was umpires.  There’s no room to wonder if you hit the mark, or fouled someone, because more than likely the umpires were there to see it and rule immediately.  Rather than feeling like there were cops on a course that never before required them, the umpires reeled in the people who notoriously push the envelope, and penalized the guys who went in too close at roundings after they were told not to, etc. After racing, the umpires joined us at the beer cooler and fielded questions about their rulings, making it a learning situation for all involved.

These teams follow the same fleet building party / fun idea.....  Colin Rathbun who skippered the 2nd place boat LIME says the sailors “love the class because they are low maintenance one design boats with great competition.  Every year more new people get into this boat and quickly learn to race.”  LIME by the way, is a local mobile telephone company who sponsored this team’s racing for the second year in a row.  There was also a boat sponsored by a rum company who contributed to the end of day beer cooler…

And like some classes (or to hear Clean tell it) there was the nuttiness that makes it all boat had to pull their very overhung skipper out of bed so they could leave the dock, there was a team who wore blue striped wigs to race, and another who sang Spanish shanties while waiting for breeze.

Conditions this weekend followed the regular regatta host mantra of: “This wind is not what we usually have here.” The light and shifty wind came off the land for the first two days of the regatta on our race course.  Saturday a windless blanket covered all of the racing circles until late in the day.  But on Easter Sunday the Sir Francis Drake Channel finally provided what the organizers wanted and we had great breeze coming straight down the channel in sunny 80 degree weather. Unfortunately for me, great breeze wasn’t what these blistered hands needed, but it’s hard to whine when you’re racing in Tortola.  As reported on SA's front page  

J/80 in World Match Racing Tour sailng off Marseilles, France* Can The Favorites Win Match Race France in Marseilles?  Twelve skippers are headed to Yacht Club Pointe Rouge, Southern France this week for the official start of the 2010 World Match Racing Tour (WMRT). The first of this 10 event global series starts in Marseille and will count towards points for the ultimate prize of becoming the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Champion.

With a daunting line up of skippers including seasoned World Champions, Olympic medal holders and adrenalin-fueled youngsters, any skipper lining up to perform pre-start tactics will have to be confident of their match racing prowess and boat handling abilities onboard the J/80 yachts. Tipped to win and "dark horse of the Tour" is new entrant, Francesco Bruni (ITA) who has recently won the Congressional Cup, while competitors should pay note of re-emerging helms such as Bertrand Pace racing on the waters of his home nation.

All teams including the new wild card entries will be up against the 2010 Tour Card Holders: Adam Minoprio (NZL), Torvar Mirsky (AUS), and Ben Ainslie (GBR) who finished in the top 3 standings during the 2009 Tour and have been actively training with their chosen teams prior to Match Race France.

Marseille offers excellent match racing conditions with excellent spectator opportunities. The J/80 will provide a lively model for the skippers to race. A small keelboat launched by J/Boats, the style works for dinghy sailors as well as big boat racers making tight boat maneuvering during the pre-start achievable for all skippers. The cockpit is also spacious for the four person crew to perform their jobs to the best of their ability, involving constant alteration of sails, body weight and vantage points to see the competing boat's next move. The J/80's will be raced asymmetrically for this event so it will be interesting to see if those skippers who have previous asymmetric experience will have an advantage on the downhill legs.  For more info sailing J/80s in the World Match Racing Tour-  

* PROJECT SAILS TO SAVE HAITI-- John and Linda Dodge of Richmond, Virginia are in the second month of their Project Sails to Save Haiti, a donation program designed to get as many used sails ( " the bigger the better but we will take anything" ) as well as spinnaker poles, lines, and anything else one might think of to construct shelter in an effort to help the over 600,000 Haitians who have been left out in the exposure due to the January 12th earthquake that killed over 230,000. With the rain season now upon them and the death toll rising, time is of the essence. John is an oncology account specialist with Cephalon Oncology and an active sailor on the sailing circuit while wife Linda is a pilot with the rank of captain with United Airlines who also shares the love of racing, Along with help from son's Kyle (UVA) and Justin (Collegiate), the couple has focused their attention on sailors of the Chesapeake Bay. Whether it's fellow members of Storm Trysail Club (all stations), Fishing Bay Yacht Club, CBYRA (all regions), US Sailing, maxi's, one design, or cruisers, they will take what you have to offer. Simply call or email John and he will arrange to pick up the gear. The couple will transport all donations to Miami where the sails will be loaded on a ship and sailed to Haiti for distribution to the homeless. The first shipment was a huge success and they look to have an even bigger load for the next sail. Their efforts continue to spread nation - wide as more sailors read about Project Sails to Save Haiti, including sailors from California, Wisconsin, Texas, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine. North Sails Chesapeake in Annapolis, Md (410) 263-6666 and North Sails in Hampton, Va.(804) 722-4000 have agreed to act as a drop off points for local sailors in those areas. For more information,email or call John at or 804-334-6950. A great time to clean out sail lockers, containers, trailers,storage sheds, and help thousands of men,women, and children in the process.

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Exceptionally well maintained without regard to cost, this highly customized J/124 is truly stunning! Equipped with Raymarine ST6002 auto pilot; Tack Tick speed, depth, wind, hand-held remote & Race Master; Raymarine C120 GPS/radar w/removable pole, stereo, elkhide-covered interior handrails, custom line bar in lazarette, retractable bowsprit for asymmetrical spinnakers, carbon spinnaker pole for conventional spinnakers and much, much more! Priced far below replacement, seller wants offers now to capitalize on future vessel.  Talk to Tim Mariner at McMichaels- email " or go to

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.