Wednesday, June 16, 2010

J/Newsletter- June 16th, 2010

J/44 sailing to Bermuda on Newport-Bermuda RaceBermuda Race Preview

J's Largest Brand Sailing

(Newport, RI)- The town of Newport is buzzing with sailors frenetically gathering together the last minute details one sweats preparing for a 635 nautical mile race that sends you bashing and crashing across the capricious Gulf Stream.  Despite the somewhat chaotic pre-race logistics, it's only to be rewarded with the delight of digging your toes into soft, pink sands sitting in plaid Bermuda shorts, shades on with a garishly bright polo shirt, sipping goofy drinks with umbrellas stuck in them or some brownish concoction called a "dark'n'stormy".  The surrealistic magnetic pull Bermuda exerts on its long-time participants  (and some "newbs") is seemingly more powerful than the fabled Siren's songs luring sailors to their demise in ancient seas.  This year, there are 185 boats entered headed for the fabled St. David's Light finish line.  The weather should be an improvement over 2008's head-bashing beat through the monstrous walls and breaking waves of the Gulf Stream (toss in a few suicidal flying fish hitting you in the head and you wonder what the attraction is to get to Bermuda by boat?).

The most startling (and heart-warming) development from the last edition is the growth of the Double-handed Division.  Is this "baby boom" market demographics kicking in big time?  After going around the track a few times with big budget programs and lots of crew, isn't it still about the skill of the sailor?  With 26 varieties of sailboats participating, eight of the double-handers are J's- about 33% of the fleet!  Leading the charge may be Nathan Owen's J/46 SEABISCUIT, but in hot pursuit will be Scott Miller's J/122 RESOLUTE and a trio of J/120s- Gardner Grant's ALIBI, Greg Leonard's HERON and Edwin Gaynor's MIREILLE.  Filling out the J fleet are even more intrepid sailors racing some "classic" short-handed J's, including Dana Oviatt on his J/40 EAGLE and a duo of J/35s- Darrien Garnier's GREAT SCOT and Jason Richter's PALADIN.

The St. David's Light division, where the vast majority of the fleet is racing, has 105 boats and 26 of them are J's- 25% of the fleet.  Leading the charge in the SDL J-fleet will be Jim Madden's gorgeous J/65 BRAND NEW DAY (are you guys sure the new 20,000 watt espresso machine works better than the freeze-dried version on the J/125 STARK RAVING MAD?).  If there is a lot of broad-reaching in heavy winds, BND will be hard pressed to hold off the super fast, carbon-flyer, the J/145 VORTICES, sailed by Chris Saxton.  Nipping at their heals will be twin J/133s, Tom Carroll's incredibly successful SIREN SONG and Andrew Hall's well-sailed JACK KNIFE.  While they may not be first-to-finish screamers, there is no question the fleet of nine J/44s, five J/42s and five J/120s will be pushing each other very hard sailing in one-design racing type conditions--- a reason why one or more from these three groups can usually be counted on to factor into overall handicap honors and podium finishes in their respective classes.  We wish everyone fair winds, fair current and sail fast (oh, and remember to duck when the fish start flying)!  For more Bermuda Race sailing information and iTracking real-time positions.

J/125 offshore sailboat- sailing Coastal CupFast J's Pursue Coastal Cup Dash

(San Francisco, CA)- Starting  on June 17th, the classic feeder race from San Francisco's Encinal YC to the Los Angeles area for the Long Beach Race Week will feature a Santa Barbara finish this year.

The Coastal Cup returns to the beautiful city of Santa Barbara for the first time in years. Though little more than an hour north of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is an oasis of peace and quiet on the warm, sandy California coast. The Spanish architecture and rugged mountains sloping down to the sea combine to give the city a distinctively Mediterranean flavor, and make it a tourist favorite.

Racing down the coast to Santa Barbara is fun and challenging, featuring a wide range of conditions - from the unpredictable upwind beat out past Land's End, the white knuckle spinnaker reaching off the treacherous Pt. Conception and Pt. Sur, to ghosting in the light morning breezes through the Channel Islands to finish off lovely, sublime Santa Barbara (America's self-proclaimed Cote'd'Azur). There is truly something to satisfy every sailing appetite.  The race attracts a wide variety of boats from across the sailing spectrum, from the famous to the un-noteworthy, from the outrageously fast to the biggest pigs one could ever design for the IOR (remember those pinched-ended, swap-ends-in-a-second monsters?).

The J fleet will feature a remarkably strong contingent of offshore warriors with resumes as long as any tattooed, Harley Davidson riding, hot mama.  Leading the charge will surely be one of the baddest of the bunch, Tom Holthus' Transpac-winning J/145 BAD PAK.  Not to be intimidated by anyone is the diminutive Dr. Laura Schlessinger racing her renowned J/125 WARRIOR (is she the ultimate baddest sailing gurl?).  Andy Costello's bright red flyer, the J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE will be giving everyone a run for the money, too, no wall-flowers those guys, who consider a 30 knot windy day simply a walk-in-the-park on-board their heavily campaigned J/125.  Howard Turner's J/109 SYMMETRY can bring these high-testosterone speedsters serious heart-burn given the right conditions, a nearly unbeatable boat if you give them all-around weather.  And, if the race becomes a sleigh-ride, the J/105 offshore has proven time and again its a complete pain-in-the-neck for the savviest of salty dogs hanging ten surfing off the most ginormous Pacific swells out for Peter Molnar's J/105 POSEIDON...could be a giant killer.   For more Coastal Cup sailing information.

J/120 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing Long Beach Race WeekLong Beach Race Week Update

(Long Beach, CA- June 25-27)- This West Coast classic is quite popular amongst the "left coast" advocates of "fun in the sun" all year long.  So far, there are 111 entries in 16 classes, approaching last year's turnout of 132 boats.  The J contingent will be quite significant, including J/120s, J/105s, J/109s, J/24s, J/29s and J/80s and an assortment of PHRFs (like the J/125 DERIVATIVE) racing buoy and random leg courses separately.  It's an amazing program--- all will enjoy free mooring or docking, courtesy of the City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine; nightly parties with complimentary hors d'oeuvres and free water taxi transportation between the sponsoring clubs.  The regatta is the climactic event of the Ullman Sails Inshore Championship Series, following the Ahmanson Cup at Newport Beach and Cal Race Week at Marina del Rey.  For more Long Beach Race Week sailing information

J/122 Pen Azen- offshore racing cruising sailboat- sailing off CowesRORC IRC National Championship Preview

(Solent, England- June 25-27)- This year's RORC IRC National Championship includes competitors from Belgium, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland and the Netherlands.  Several well-sailed J's will be competing, ranging from the J/97 to the J/122s.

IRC One has a highly competitive international line-up. Philippe Delaporte's, PEN AZEN, is over from France and the J/122 is a proven winner; having been awarded RORC Yacht of the Year in 2008.

IRC Two is the largest fleet competing and includes the biggest variety of designs including David Aisher's J/109, YEOMAN OF WIGHT.

The scratch boat in IRC Three is Mike and Jamie Holmes' J/97, JIKA JIKA, who should have a close tussle on the water with Richard Sparrow's J/92, WHO'S TO NO.   For more RORC IRC Nationals sailing information.

J/24 sunset off Annapolis, MD- Wet Wednesday beer can sailingJ/Regatta News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

With the summer solstice just around the corner, a number of events ushered in the start of the summer sailing season for the Americans that live on the Great Lakes and the Northeast coast.  Chicagoans had their first major regatta with "fresh to frightening" weather conditions (no water spouts, though), with Chicago YC playing host to the Sperry Top-Sider SW NOOD Regatta.  Out East the New York YC hosted America's "longest running regatta" in Newport at their gorgeous Harbour Court facility.  Not to be outdone, California YC hosted one of the West Coast's longest running race weeks- Cal Race Week.  The continental Europeans are now basking in the warmth of the summer sun, with J/80s loving the Lago di Garda conditions on that picturesque lake in northern Italy sailing the J/80 Italian Nationals.  The J/24s were having a ball with some fresh blood leading the charge in their J/24 Europeans sailing in The Netherlands.  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.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Jun 19-20- J/Fest Northwest- Seattle, WA-
Jun 21-26- J/80 European Championship- Lake Garda, Italy-
Jun 20-26- Block Island Race Week- Block Is, RI-
Jun 26-27- San Francisco NOOD Regatta- St. Francis YC-
Jun 25–27- Long Beach Race Week/ J/120 NAS- Long Beach YC- Long Beach, CA-
Jun 26-Jul 3- J/22 Worlds- Netherlands-
Jul 17-25- Rolex NYYC Race Week- Newport, RI-
Jul 22-25- Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL- http:/
Jul 24- Chicago-Mackinac Race- Chicago, IL-
Aug 1-7- Cowes Week- Isle of Wight, England-
Aug 13-20- J/24 Worlds- Malmo, Sweden-
Aug 21- Verve Cup- Chicago, IL-
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

J/122 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing New York YC Annual RegattaJ's Dominate Rolex New York YC Annual Regatta

J/122s and J/109s Sweep IRC Classes

(Newport, RI- June 11-13) – Known as the longest running regatta in America, having started in 1845, the New York Yacht Club’s 156th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex also has the distinction of kicking off the sailing season in New England. This past weekend, June 11-13, over 1,000 sailors on 111 boats gathered from across the U.S. and Europe for three days of racing on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. 

The start to the weekend was the Around the (Conanicut) Island Race on Friday, which is scored separately from the Saturday/Sunday races. The race has become a popular “add on” for competitors, especially those gearing up for the biennial Newport Bermuda Race the following week.  The J/122 WINGS was second in IRC Class (the winner last year) and Governor Pete du Pont's J/122 SPITFIRE was third. Winning their IRC Class was Bill Sweetser's J/109 RUSH.  As a result, the J's won the prestigious ROLEX CUP – presented to the best performing two-boat team in the Around the Island Race – won by a globally dominating "J-Team"-  RUSH, a J/109 sailed by Bill Sweetser (Annapolis, MD) and SPITFIRE, a J/122 skippered by Pierre (Governor Pete) du Pont (Rockland, DE).

On Saturday, the first day of the two-day buoy racing, most classes completed three races. The skies may have threatened rain but didn’t deliver much on that promise. The wind was forecast to be S veering SW in a classic scenario.  However, it was not to be.  No matter what fleet one spoke to, it was quite clear that "middle left" on the windward legs prevailed and hanging into longish streaks downwind, no matter the direction, was the strategy that prevailed for the winners.  Those who'd gone right upwind simply evaporated into thin air.  By Sunday, the promise of ideal conditions didn’t materialize until late in the day, and most classes ended up adding only one more race to the total score.  And, with a breeze forecast to go from Easterlies to North and later Northwest in the day, it didn't seem clear that going right upwind would pay dearly.  Yup, as one might've guessed, staying left of your competitors was the winning strategy.

J/122 Spitfire- one-design sailboat- Gov Pierre du  Pont sailing as skipperAdhering to good starts and sound strategies all weekend was IRC4 overall winner WINGS, a J/122 co-skippered by Mike Bruno and Tom Boyle; they won the largest class in the regatta with fifteen boats from across the IRC spectrum.  WINGS' 3-2-1-2 score was more than enough to overcome a strong challenge from Andrew Weiss' very well-sailed J/122 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON with a 4-1-2-4 record.  Most importantly, rounding out a J/122 sweep of IRC4 was Governor Pete du Pont's J/122 SPITFIRE with a 1-3-4-5 tally.  Just off the pace was Jim Bishop's experienced, winning team racing the J/44 GOLD DIGGER, finishing in fourth place and giving the J/122s a strong run for the money all three days of sailing (note- these are the same guys who won the Miami Grand Prix in March this year).

J/109 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing New York YC Annual RegattaIRC5 was dominated by the J/109s against some tough IRC competitors.  STORM, the champion J/109 owned and skippered by Rick Lyall (Wilton, CT), was winner of the 12-boat IRC 5 class with a 1-2-4-3- record.  STORM certainly did not walk off with the lead, they were challenged all weekend long by fellow J/109 RUSH sailed by Bill Sweetser's strong team.  In fact, RUSH's score of 5-3-2-2 score was just two points back from the lead and with the shifty winds, it was anyone's regatta going into the last race.

The nine boat J/105 class sailed in the Green Fleet division and sailed all five of their races in northern Narragansett Bay.  The J/105s were won by LIVE EDGE, owned by Michael Mountford (Toronto, CAN) with a 4-2-4-1-2 record, six points clear of JADED.   Dudley Nostrand’s (Hamilton, MA) JADED placed second in a three-way fight for the 2nd and 3rd spots.  JADED's record started out very strong with a 1-1-2 streak to be winning after Saturday's races, but Sunday's crazy conditions threw them for a loop and a 9-6 scoring dropped them into second.  Chris Beane's (Marblehead, MA) VIXEN finished third with a consistent 7-3-3-4-3 score.  For more Rolex NYYC Annual Regatta sailing information.

J/105 sailing off Chicago waterfront- Lake MichiganJ/105 CONVEXITY Wins Chicago SW NOOD

Siegal's LUCKY DUBIE 2 Dominates J/109s

(Chicago, IL)- A strong turnout of J one-design classes by the J/105s and J/109s assured some great racing.  The weather overlords even cooperated to supply some breeze but perhaps a few too many lightning bolts in occasional thunderstorms rolling in off the vast prairies just West of downtown Chicago.  On Day 1 of the Sperry Top-Sider Chicago NOOD, the sailors had a little bit of everything. The first race on Circle B, the southern-most of the three circles finished in a steady, but fading, southeast breeze. That breeze all but vanished as PHRF 4, led by Robert Armstrong’s modified J/100 Good Girl, rounded the first windward mark in Circle C’s second race. Local J/Boat dealer Rich Stearns is sailing the new J/97 in that fleet. The 100-yard offset leg took him a few minutes to complete when the wind dropped to nothing. But the breeze returned and the J/97 showed some light-air legs on the run.  For the rest of the weekend, the RC PRO's were able to get in a good set of races, six each for the J/105 and J/109 classes.

J/105 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing in Chicago SW NOOD RegattaIn the sixteen boat J/105 class, local hero Don Wilson (Mr. Chicago Match Race Center) showed that he had not lost his touch racing J/105s and took CONVEXITY to a 6-1-1-1-1-5 finish to win the regatta by 11 points!  Dueling it our for second were Tom Petkus on VYTIS and Dorin Candea on MESSY JESSY.  Dorin pulled every trick in the book to overcome the steady sailing shown by Tom's experienced team, including winning the last race.  However, even a first place finish in Race 6 was not enough for Dorin's MESSY JESSY team to grab second place.  In the end, Tom's VYTIS sailed to a 3-3-2-6-5-7 finish to secure second and Dorin's MESSY JESSY started slow and finished strong with an 8-2-5-8-3-1 score.

A familiar face in the J/105 fleet, Len Siegal, jumped ship to race J/109s and took his LUCKY DUBIE 2 to a win in a very tightly contested series.   LUCKY DUBIE 2's scores of 2-2-1-1-3-1 were very consistent and dominant to win by 7 points.  Battling it out for second and third were Jack Toliver's VANDA III and David Gustman's NORTHSTAR.  The gloves were off going into the last race whomever beat who would grab the silver.  However, only three boats actually finished in the final  race #6 within the time limit, so five boats were scored with TLE's (Time Limit Expired)!  As a result, Jack's VANDA III finished second with a 1-1-3-5-2-TLE record tied with David's NORTHSTAR with a 4-3-2-2-1-TLE tally to finish third.

J/97 racer cruiser sailboat- sailing Chicago SW NOOD RegattaIn the PHRF4 handicap classes, Richie Stearns reports- "The J/97 sailed great! I sailed a few races and the new owners of the J-111 sailed the others. The J/100 GOOD GIRL was untouchable and was well-sailed. We learned quite a bit about the J/97, the in-hualers work well on the boat. We were not sailing to polars downwind and that hurt. The weather was mixed anywhere from 3 to 15 knots and the boat is a pleasure to sail in all winds. The real great thing about the boat is how easy it is to sail.  We were third in section, the J/100 GOOD GIRL was first, fifth was the J/29 RELENTLESS and sixth was the J/27 RELENTLESS!  In the Level 35 Class, the J/35s swept and went 1-2-3 with William Newman's AFTERSHOCK running the table winning with ten points, Larry Taunt's BAD DOG in second and Bruce Metcalf's BOZO'S CIRCUS in third."   For more Sperry Top-Sider Chicago SW NOOD sailing information.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing on Lake Garda, ItalyJENIALE Wins J/80 Italian Championships

(Lago di Garda, Italy- 14 June)-  With the last day's racing at Malcesine wrapped up, JENIALE! of Extreme Sailing Team are the winners of the Italian National Championships 2010. In the stunning area of Navene, Fraglia Vela Malcesine assured impeccable organization and Lake Garda provided 3 days of consistent wind of around 15-20 knots allowing the full schedule of races to take place.

On the first race of the first day, JENIALE! was over the line at the start, one of four boats to be so. Not a great start to  the championship, but they quickly recovered with two first places in the 2nd and 3rd races of the day. And so, after the first day's racing, the German boat ANAKIN took the lead with 3 second places and one third place. Second after the first day, was the Italian boat ORSO J of Giorgio Guzzi (helm Elli) with a 1st, 3rd and 5th. JENAILIE! lay in 3rd position overall after day one.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing under spinnaker on Lake Garda, ItalyThe second day of the regatta saw all the boats fighting hard, most heading closer to the land where the wind was stronger. This offered the spectators a good close up of the regatta but also made it very busy with all the boats tacking inshore, working hard for the best positions. The results on the second day saw JENAILAE! ITA-1143 take an impressive lead with one third, one second and one first. ANAKIN followed closely behind, only 2 points away from, and ORSO J, six points behind.

The final day began tensely, with everyone waiting for the wind to arrive. The 11am start was postponed but at 12.15 the "ora" wind arrived and starting procedures got under way. The first race once again saw most of the boats head inland, with ANAKIN taking the lead and JENIALE! following less than a boat length behind. The two boats remained in close battle for the entire race, with ORSO J a close third just behind. The positions remained so until the finish. The third and final race saw JENAILE! take the lead very quickly, with the German boat ANAKIN right behind and relentlessly covering every move. JENAILE! took a course through the middle of the lake this time. It was a risky move, but ANAKIN followed JENIALE! closely, battling with all that they had. The rest of the fleet hugged the land lead by ORSO J and HATAMURI OLJ SPIRIT who were juggling for third and fourth position. But the final race concluded with JENAILE! in first position, ORSO J in second, HATAMURI OLJ SPIRIT in third and ANAKIN in fourth. And so after 3 days of exciting top class racing, JENIALE! won the championship. The J/80 boat proved to be highly technical and extremely entertaining when sailed 'to the max' as this regatta showed.  For further information or more photos, please contact Maris Lyons (

SERCO Wins J/24 European Championship

(Kamperland, The Netherlands)- The J/24 European Championship sailing in Kamperland had a stunning last day.  England's Bob Turner sailing SERCO surprised everybody to take the lead in the standings from favorite XENON of Peer Kock from Germany. The final day was even more exciting as the reigning European champion Alexandros Tagaropoulos sailed HELLENIC POLICE to three perfect races in a row. The Greek crew won all three races while SERCO sailed to a 15th and 21st in the last two races. WILD STUFF!! The final results after 11 races showed that Bob Turner grabbed the European Championship from the Greeks with the smallest of margins. Favorite Peer Kock who was in first place during the first days of the championship had an off day for the final three races. He moved to third place overall.  Rounding out the top five were Jan Kaehler sailing UNITED 5 from Germany in fourth and Dimitros Altsiadi from Greece finishing fifth sailing EYNIKH.

New European Champion Bob Turner of SERCO: “This was a though regatta with a very close finish, indeed. But fortunately we won. We have a good  team, a combination of experience and youth. Despite of the weather the Race Management en organization here did a great job. The atmosphere was fantastic during this event. Our next target is the World Championship J/24 Sailing in Sweden”

  Alexandros Tagaropoulos, skipper of GRE 751 HELLENIC POLICE, immediately after losing his European title: “Yes, very sad. We missed the title with only one point difference! After the second race, we had some strange trimming problems with our mainsail. Yesterday, I was inside the boat and I saw by incident that the mast step inside the boat was moving all the time. So I made a quick repair. Maybe that’s why we were performing much better today”.  For more J/24 Europeans sailing information

J/109 Northstar- one-design racing cruising sailboat- sailing under spinnakerJ's Shine at Cal Race Week

ELEKTRA Zaps J/109 Class

(Los Angeles, CA)- California Yacht Club plays host to one of the longest running race weeks on the West Coast and attracts, in particular, good one-design fleets from greater southern California.  The J/80s, J/105s and J/109s all had fun sailing around-the-cans with excellent courses set by CYC's PROs.

Tom Brott's ELEKTRA truly did zap the J/109 fleet, sailing to an extraordinarily consistent score of 1-2-2-1-1 to win their class by four points.  Chris Mewes sailed SHADOWFAX to second with a 3-1-3-2-2 tally followed by Bryce Benjamin in PERSISTENCE  with a 2-5-1-3-3 record.

Gary Mozer's CURRENT OBSESSION 2 literally dominated the J/105 class winning with four firsts and not sailing the last race.  Second Steve and Lucy Howell sailing BLINK! into second with a 2-3-2-2-1 score.  Third overall was ROCK & ROLL, sailed by Don Poppe.

The J/80s also had a dominant performance from Curt Johnson racing AVET to four firsts and a 6th place.  The Mullen/ Witt team sailed an remarkably consistent score of 2-2-2-3-2 to grab second and third was Jeff Friedman's FIRED UP.

In the handicap fleets, Susan Taylor won PHRF4 division in her J/24 and Fred Cottrell finished second in the Sportboat division with his J/33 TIGGER.   For more Cal Race week sailing information.     Photo Credits- Sam Haythorn Photography


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

* The J/133 CHESTRESS 2, sailed by Giancarlo Ghizlanzoni, is participating in this year's Giraglia Rolex Cup, an event organized by the Yacht Club Italiano in collaboration with the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez.  The 2010 Giraglia Rolex Cup comprises a series of inshore races in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, followed by a 245nm offshore race via La Giraglia islet off Corsica to San Remo in Italy. We wish the CHESTRESS 2 team lots of luck in this race, one renowned for 50 knot Mistrals or near drifting conditions-- all in the same race! For more sailing and tracking information on the Giraglia Rolex Cup.

* David Schmidt- USA Sail-World Editor had a wonderful experience recently sailing a J/44 in the Seattle Leukemia Cup. Here's what he had to say about it- "Sailing is just sailing, right? A wonderful, adventure-orientated pastime perhaps, but a pastime nonetheless. But this past Saturday's Leukemia Cup Regatta, held out of Seattle's Elliot Bay Marina, reminded me that sailing can also generate a greater good.  Racing aboard IMAGINE, Lisa and Rusty Hill's well-rigged J/44, provided a firsthand look at one way that sailors can contribute and have fun doing it. Admittedly, we were enjoying steady breezes, bluebird skies and a sweeping panoramic view of the Olympic Mountains, but our fleet of several dozen boats was also helping to generate money for an excellent cause.

And the positive vibrations didn't stop there.  A glance around the fleet revealed families and friends out 'racing' together (it was casual competition at best, with the emphasis on participation and good times), with everybody getting chances at the helm, everybody getting chances to learn and to have fun. Aboard Imagine, complete novices had an opportunity to experience sailing/racing under ideal conditions, in a positive, nurturing environment.  Big smiles were enjoyed by all —great proof that sailing can be more than a mere addiction, er, 'pastime'.   Fair winds and following seas,  David Schmidt"

* Peter Tanner is currently cruising in Norway in his J/122 OOJAH. He previously owned a J/110 of the same name.  Here is Peter's latest report-  "Hi all.  For the benefit of the navigators amongst you we're at 61 36N 05 02E, for the rest of you Floro is just south of the big kink in the Norway coastline & just North of the mighty Sognefjord, at 115 miles the longest fjord in Norway. Thanks to Gordon Cossor's help we had a relatively easy passage up the North Sea dodging all the gas & oil rigs & arriving in Stavanger 6 days after leaving Hamble - it was cold (4 or 5 layers) & we had to motor half the way due light wind. Christene thought she was suffering from a bit of seasickness but it turned out to be a hangover after an unsuccessful attempt to lock herself out of Lowestoft marina!

Stavanger is a forgettable landfall but the Lysefjord just inland was quite stunning with sheer rock faces, steep sides, wooded slopes & tumbling streams all intermingled. We then motored north weaving in & out of fjords, between islands, through nooks & crannies for a week until we reached Bergen. There is no way we'll have time to explore all the fjords but we did go into the Hardangerfjord and moored against an old pontoon from where we were able to walk up to the Bondhus glacier - it was beautiful but the effect of global warming on the retreating glacier was all too evident. In Victorian times ice was carried down to the fjord & exported all over Europe for refrigeration. Bergen was buzzing, with a jazz festival in progress, & everyone was out partying - boats were rafted 4 or 5 out. The waterfront with its old colourful wooden houses & narrow streets is very picturesque, & even the more modern parts of the centre are attractive It is the wettest place in Norway with rain over 250 days a year, & it is said that when a young boy was asked if it ever stopped raining he replied "I don't know - I'm only 13!".   However our weather was improving day by day & we were down to 3 layers! The next 2 days of the inner lead through the Radsund were very intricate with sometimes less than a boat's length between the rocks but all well marked. The anchorages have been beautiful but some proved too cramped, too deep or subject to fierce mountain downdrafts (fallvindor probably in plain mans English "foul wind") & after several attempts we had to move on! The depth can vary from nothing to over 1,000 metres in a moment, a marked contrast to the North Sea much of which is only 25 m deep. If a rock has your name on it you certainly will not see it coming!

After a week of predominantly motoring we had our first real sail today and we're down to 2 layers & shorts. The coastline has opened out a little although we're still weaving between mountainous islands with the wind coming from all angles. Some days we see hardly anyone but tonight we're in a small marina - trying to operate a Norwegian washing machine was the most stress we've had so far! The Norwegians are all delightful & usually speak very good English - fortunate for us because Norwegian is a bit of a mystery. It remains chilly but dry & increasingly sunny & we're not running the heating for the first time this evening; night is about 3 hours of twilight. Shopping or eating out are around twice as expensive as at home, but diesel is similar to the UK and berthing a lot cheaper. OOJAH is behaving herself & absolutely rocketed along on the few occasions we've had the spinnaker up, although we struggle to de-power her in stronger wind.  To answer one question - we are still speaking, & C's not missing  work, although she says looking after me is a full time job.  With much love,  Christene, Peter & OOJAH"

J/120 sailor- Mike Badienbeck* In Memory of Mike- In a bizarre accident at Bayview Yacht Club after Saturday's Detroit NOOD racing, an SUV suddenly jumped the edge of the parking lot and plowed into a dock where dozens of J/120 sailors and friends were sharing stories and beers as they do after every day of racing.  One sailor well-known to the Anarchist community was found drowned the next morning, while others have serious, though not life-threatening injuries, and the entire community is in a state of shock.

While the exact cause of the crash is still under investigation, one report mentions the 68-year old driver suffering a stroke, while BYC friends of SA tell us that it may have been something as simple as a water bottle lodging itself under the brake pedal of the car.  Either way, a tiny silver lining for the racing community and BYC itself is that there were absolutely no substances involved.  The driver, families, and community are going to have a hard enough time dealing with this tragedy without criminal implications.  You can read more about Mike's tribute here.

J/160 AVANTE sailing around icebergs* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world's oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between.  Anyone for Georgia and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA friends above).  SALACIA, the J/160 owned by Stephen and Cyndy Everett has an on-going blog describing some of their more amusing experiences (  Susan Grun and her husband on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (

Featured Boat

J/120 offshore cruising sailboat- the ultimate sailing offshore boat

J/120 Race & cruise ready

The 1998 J/120 HIGH ENERGY is a one owner, lightly sailed example. She's owned by a sailor who lives on the west coast and sails for a few weeks on the east coast. Having just retired, he's downsizing into a J/100 and has decided to make his J/120 available. She has a large, updated sail inventory and  the highly desirable carbon rig. The interior shows virtually no wear and decks are clean and dry. She's currently lying Nova Scotia with delivery to New England by water available. For more information, please be sure to contact Jim Snair at Sunnybroook Yachts - or by phone- 902-444-4500 or web at

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: