Wednesday, November 3, 2010

J/Newsletter- November 3rd, 2010

J/111 one-design sailboat- high performance sailing downwindJust A Walk In The Park- 111-style!

(Halifax, Nova Scotia- Oct 30)- Leave it up to our Canadian friends to push the envelope and have some fun on their new 111.  On a spectacular cool, fall weekend, the Nova Scotians decided to mimic what the 55 knot kite-boarders were achieving in the Ludertiz Speed Challenge in Africa and do their own version- the Halifax 111 Speedster Experience! 20+ knots! The photo here is no joke, the 25 foot chase boat had a hard time keeping up with the 111 flying downwind.  It's 111 #5 off Halifax in a northwester, gusts to 25 TWS in flat water. Boat speed was a sustained 15-19 knots downwind; bursting to 20+ knots.  110 sq m asym and reefed main.  Basically, it was a bunch of friends and potential owners having fun, no one was pushing the envelope.  Just going for a "walk-in-the-park" 111 style! Why wasn't anyone hiking?  Because everyone wanted to drive!  See the great video taken by Jim Snair and friends.

J/80 Worlds Coffee Table book- Paul Todd- Outside ImagesJ/80 Worlds Coffee Table Book Published

(Auckland, NZ)- Paul Todd's Outside Images is pleased to announce the publication of the J/80 World Championship 2010 Coffee Table book.  This book is a memento to sailors and everyone involved with the J/80 World Championship held in Newport, Rhode Island October 2010. There are over 200 images through out the book and each chapter relives some of the awesome sailing and how close the regatta was between the American and Spanish teams.

The book will make a great holiday gift for crew and skippers alike, it opens to extraordinary double page spreads that are 26 inches wide.  This book will look great just sitting on the table for everyone to browse through and get a real taste for the action that played out in Newport between the teams and crew.  Take a sneak peek and place your order for the book.  Your family and friends who love sailing will love you even more for such a thoughtful gift!    View the J/80 Worlds Coffee Table  Book here. Also you can order any images in the book as prints or digital downloads or any image taken at the regatta.  There is also coupon offers for 3 or more images 25% off ( J80worlds3 ) and for 5 or more 40% off ( J80worlds5 )  It can be applied at the "checkout" stage of purchasing prints or digital downloads at Outside Images site (  There are over 500 high-resolution images on the web site.

Follow the link to see images from each day's racing:   Day 1     Day 2      Day 3    Day 4

J/111 Review

The new J/111 is a 36-foot one-design racer, with basic overnight or weekend accommodations for cruising and offshore racing. Great looking boat, and has been a great success in the market so far, with over 50+ sold. Sounds like it has some real improvements over the 122 and the 109 in performance in a big breeze, while also improving in light air due to a lower displacement – nearly 2,000 lbs lighter than the 109, and 7,000 lbs less than the 122. Read more of's in-depth review and pictures.

J/80 sailors in the Canary Islands often wakeup to sunrises like these. 

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

It was evident the ghosts and goblins around the world on Halloween weekend were up to a lot of tricks and treats, seemingly handing out some nasty medicine to some and enormous numbers of treats to others!  In the Americas, it appeared to be "East Coast Championship" weekend on the Chesapeake Bay, with the J/122s and J/109 sailing the IRC Easterns, as were the J/24s and the J/105s.  Further south, the Texans had a rough go in their Harvest Moon Regatta off Galveston.  And way southwest, the Mexican's sailed their J/24s in the Vela Pan-Americana, a warm-up for the Pan Am Games 2011 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  Jumping East, there was a lot of activity in England, hosting both the British-American Cup on Queen Mary Water near London in J/80s while down to the south on the Solent the Hamble Winter Series continued.  In the far, Far East, the Chinese were hosting an amazing event called the China Cup that saw the J/109 WHISKEY JACK having a run at the podium.  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. Don't forget to visit the J/Cruising Community section below- some of the best offshore sailors we know!

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 9-Dec 11- Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England-
Jan 10-14- J/24 Australian Nationals- Sydney, OZ-
Jan 17-21- J/80 Midwinters- Key West, FL-
Jan 17-21- J/105 Midwinters- Key West, FL-
Jan 17-21- J/95 Midwinters- Key West, FL-
Jan 17-21- Key West Race Week- Key West, FL- http://www.
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

J/122 Pugwash- David Murphy- sailing in IRC East Coasts- offshore, performance sailboatJ/122s Win IRC East Coasts


Annapolis, MD (October 30-31) - "The breeze was fantastic," said Regatta Chair Dick Neville, "more like San Francisco than Annapolis at this time of year."  Dominating the regatta was the J/122 PUGWASH sailed by David Murphy of Westport, CT, scoring a 2.25-1-1-1-1-1 for only 7.25 points.  PUGWASH's tactician and match racing champ Ian Williams was impressed with the J/122. "It's a great boat and rates well." PUGWASH's strategist and Olympic gold medalist Kevin Burnham was extremely impressed with the team and their ability to maximize performance with their new, groovy sails. As winner of IRC Class 3, PUGWASH posted a string of five straight first-place finishes in the buoy races. In second was FLYING JENNY VI, a J/122 sailed by David Askew (Annapolis, Md.), which posted 16.25 points with a strong 2.25-3-4-2-3-2 record.  Not a bad year for FJ VI either, following on a string of firsts as she toured the Great Lakes this past summer.  Finally, not to be outdone by their sisterships, Andrew Skibo and crew on PLUM CRAZY II finished third with a 4.5-2-2-10-2-3 for 23.5 points; other than a DNS(10), PLUM CRAZY II was in the hunt for second in the no throw-out series.

In IRC Class 4, J/109 RUSH owned by Bill Sweetser (Annapolis, Md) also held a huge lead for first with about as dominating a performance as her larger sisterships in IRC Class 3.  Sweetser's RUSH scored a 1.5-3-1-1-1-1 for just 8.5 points!

The only dedicated IRC rating event on the Chesapeake, the IRC East Coast Championship was the IMS East Coast Championship before 2005.  This marks the tenth year that the championship has been organized by the Storm Trysail Club’s Chesapeake Station and the sixth year it has been run under the IRC rule. For 2011, the event will be part of the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex, scheduled for June 19-24, 2011.  Sailing photo credits: Sara Proctor  For more STC IRC East Coasts Sailing information

J/24 Sailors For The Sea- one-design sailboat- sailing in J/24 East CoastsJ/24 East Coasts- Great Halloween Party!

(Annapolis, MD- Oct 30-31)- First, check out this video link on YouTube below.  Second, ask how Tim Healy and the gang from Sailors For The Sea won over 35 well-sailed boats? Theories, rumors and innuendo abound.  Will seems to think it was just plain voodoo.  Others think worse.  A hex?  All in keeping with the big Halloween weekend sailing events going on in Annapolis (three keelboat regattas at once!).

After three days of picture perfect fall conditions, consistency proved to be the winning formula at the Hillman Capital Management J/24 East Coast Championship hosted by the Severn Sailing Association and the Eastport Yacht Club of Annapolis. J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing J/24 East Coasts off Annapolis, MDWhile many of the J/24 class's best participated and sailed well, only one team managed to make every race count, never posting a double digit finish and cumulatively winning the regatta with a 26 point cushion. Impressive for an eight race regatta with no 'throw-outs'. Fresh off his first World Championship title in Malmo, Sweden, Tim Healy of Newport, RI is on a roll as he and his team of Gordon Borges (bow), Ben McAndrew (mast), Geoff Becker (tactics), and Paul Abdullah (trimmer) took the East Coast title. National champion, Will Welles took the second place spot and Fraito Lugo from Puerto Rico finished third. Entries came from as far away as Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Canada. Many teams from all over the East coast participated along with four teams from the Rochester Yacht Club, host to the 2012 J24 World Championship in Rochester, New York.

The best part about this regatta? The fact that American Democratic Party strategist/ PR flak Tony Parker wasn't distracted!  Tony sailed BANGOR PACKET to another top five finish!  Can't argue with the J/24 gang, they continue to have fun and know a good party when they see one (or create one!).  Newbs welcome!  More importantly, they'll even train you to have fun!  What more can anyone ask for in this day and age when the economy continues to "go to hell in a hand-basket"?  Do you think the French farmers had a point?  Why not have retirement age at 22 (post-college, of course) and just sail J/24s!

While Tim Healey (Newport, RI) and the SAILORS FOR THE SEA crew won by a lot (26 points), much of that margin had to do with a disastrous 5th race for Will Welles (Newport, RI/ SailNewport) when they seemingly found themselves in the dungeon and no way to climb out of a 31st place- a race, in fact, that saw Canadian Ted Bartlewski from Port Credit YC win!  Otherwise, Will and crew were giving Tim Healey a run for the roses.  As it stood, Will Welles ended up second with 54 points.  Third was Fraito Lugo from Ponce Yacht Club in Puerto Rico with 66 points.  Fraito definitely got the "Long Distance Traveler" award and kudos to them for making the trip and sailing so well.   Fourth was Tony Parker on BANGOR PACKET just two points behind with 68 points.  And, fifth was Chris Jankowski with 71 points.  Sailing Results for the East Coasts.   Sailing photo  credits- Tim Wilkes.   Watch the J/24 East Coasts YouTube video here.

J/80s sailing in RYA Match Race regatta on Queen Mary Reservoir- London, EnglandBritish Crush Americans Sailing J/80s!

(Queen Mary Reservoir, London, England- Oct. 27-31)- Do recall, last weekend was Halloween.  The ghouls, skeletons and goblins were racing around frightening everyone about.  And, Count Dracula was reincarnate as the British team and just sucked the living blood out of those poor Colonialists.  Indeed, the oldest international team racing contest in the world took place this past weekend on Royal Thames YC's London sailing venue at Queen Mary Water in a fleet of 6 evenly matched J/80s jointly owned and managed by Royal Thames Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron (based in Cowes, England).  And, the results were ghoulish, if not plain ugly and deadly for the Americans (Colonialists).

Britain wins for first time since Admiral Nelson's triumph in Trafalgar?  Or, perhaps the 1851 100 Guinea (America's) Cup? Well, not exactly.  1999, to be more precise.  Nevertheless, Andy Cornah and his fellow skippers Ben Field, Mark Lees and Jon Pinner - all members of the Royal Thames Yacht Club team racing squad - reversed more than a century (actually, decade) of American domination in the British-American Cup today with an emphatic performance on Queen Mary Water, West London to take the oldest prize in keelboat team racing by 7 wins to 2.

The British-American Cup, originally donated by the Seawahnaka Corinthian Yacht Club in 1922 as an International Challenge match in Six Metres has been held biennially ever since but was last won by the British in 1999. In 2008 yet another American win brought the Fourth Series of the Cup to an end after 16 matches. Rather than see the competition die Royal Thames challenged the USA to a Fifth series and put up a new British-American Cup. Although the guardians of the contest have always been yacht clubs (in the USA Seawahnaka, in Britain a number of Clubs) the competition is by tradition open, with selection trials held in both countries.

Selection trials for this year's event were held in April and since then Cornah and his team, determined not to preside over yet another British defeat, have practiced together assiduously. Most international team racing is three-on-three over short courses with races lasting about 12 minutes; the BA Cup is unusual in calling for teams of four boats a side, sailed over longer courses and with races lasting 40 minutes.  The tournament allows for up to 13 of such races, spread over three days, with the match going to the first team to win 7 races.

Racing for the First Match of the Fifth Series began on Friday 29th October with four races sailed. The British opened well with a straightforward win, then fought off a determined American challenge to win more narrowly. In the third race all but two of the eight boats racing were over the line at the start but the British were slower to respond to the recall (with Cornah failing to respond at all) leaving the Americans the yachting equivalent of an open goal. The Yanks needed no second bidding. Stung, the British came back strongly to lead after Day 1 by three races to one.

Day 2 saw more close racing and the signs of an American resurgence (bloody Colonialists are sure hard to beat down, eh?).  They narrowly lost the first two races, then in the third managed by excellent and aggressive team racing to turn what looked at mark two to be a solid and unbreakable British 1-2-3 combination into an American 1-2-3 win.  In race four although Cornah for Britain led the race America held a solid 2-3-4-5 position at every mark until the last one. The 14 points thus scored would have been enough to give America their third win - but at that final tuning mark Cornah turned-in a true 'Captain's Innings' blocking and slowing all four US boats to allow his team mates to catch-up, re-engage and eventually convert their losing 1-6-7-8 placings into a winning 1-2-3-7.

This is a competition that has often seen the British start well then fade while the Americans dig deep, find new resolve and shift up a gear to pull the fat from the fire - it happened in 2008 in the USA, in 2007 and in 2003 in UK waters - so no British supporters risked so much as a smile as the boats lined up for the first race of a possible five today.  No one smiled when the Brits went round mark one in positions 1-2-3-7 (13 points) with the Americans 4-5-6-8 (23 points - lowest score wins). No one smiled when the Brits held that 1-2-3 while Ben Field, in the 7th-place British boat, ran such effective interference on the American boats that the gap between them and the leaders widened further. No one smiled as the Brits rounded the final mark still 1-2-3 - the order in which, at last, they crossed the finish line.  Then everyone smiled.  Well, everyone British, that is.  Good on ya mates!  Job well done!  Time for the Colonialist upstarts to head for home and lick their wounds, no tea party for them this time around.  Completel British American Cup sailing report.   British American Sailing Photo Credits- Ingrid Abery

J/109 one-design sailboat- sailing in Hamble Winter Series on HalloweenGrey Dawn Breaking For Halloween On Hamble

The DREAM, JIKA-JIKA, OI! Continue Winning

(Hamble, England)-   In a horror scene right out of "The Zombies" (or, perhaps somewhat like Cowes Week), a pile of classes converged at a leeward mark in Sunday’s fourth round of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series, causing complete chaos (and some bodies flying overboard). While admirable rule observance ensured that every boat rounded safely, it was the bolder skippers who gained most, particularly in the highly competitive J/109 and J/80 classes.  

On this overcast but mild morning courses for the IRC and larger one-design classes were set across the Brambles Bank to suit the 10-15 knot easterly breeze that backed steadily during the day. With low water coinciding with the first starts the tide was by then running eastwards, but assisted by cautionary announcements on the VHF from Race Director Jamie Wilkinson all seven fleets got away without a general recall. The increasing tide also contributed to the bottleneck at the turning marks, where yachts in multiple classes arrived together with spinnakers set. It provided some nail-biting spectator sport. In fact, a slightly late spinnaker drop aboard ME JULIE in the J/109s saw a crew member over the side, but quickly recovered.
J/109 one-design- offshore- performance- sailboat- sailing around mark on Solent, Hamble, England
It was an exciting day for the eighteen J/109s competing in the series, and different players continue to show up each week to challenge the leaders.  Nevertheless, the powerful J-DREAM team (David & Kirsty Apthorp) have seriously dialed up the pressure even more on their colleagues and now have a 1-3-1-2-1-1-1-1 score for 6 points.  Lying second is OFFBEAT (David McLeman) with a 9-2-4-3-4-5-3-2 tally for 18 points.  Third four points back is OUTRAJEOUS (Richard & Valerie Griffith) with scores of 5-5-3-4-5-2-5-3 for 22 points.

Over in the IRC 3 Class, the J/97 continues to sail well with Mike and Jamie Holmes J/97 JIKA-JIKA strengthening their lead further with a 4-1-1-3-1-1-4-1 record for 8 points, they now have a 6 point cushion in this competitive 17 boat class.

John Cooper on OI! still dominating the J/80 class in the  Winter Series with a 1-1-1-3-2-2-2-2-1-3 for 14 points!  Nine points further down the ladder is second overall is Patrick Liardet on AQUA-J with a 2-4-3-5-4-3-1-1-3-2 for 23 points.  Still lying third is Gordon Craigen's SWALLOW with a 6-3-4-4-6-1-3-3-4-1 for 26 points.

With the mid-series break next weekend, the series resumes on November 14th with one race per day for the Black Group, while the sportsboats in the White Group continue their regular three race schedule.  Report contributed by Jontey Sherwill   For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series results and sailing information.

J/109 Whiskey Jack sailing in Hong Kong, China- one-design, cruising, racing sailboatJ/109 WHISKEY JACK 3rd In China Cup

(Hong Kong, China)- Guy Nowell, from Sail-World Asia, filed this report from the side deck of the J/109 WHISKEY JACK during the regatta.

Team WHISKEY JACK started the day with 22 kts across the deck, and the crew all ready to get at it after yesterday’s wash-out opener to the China Cup International Regatta 2010. And then, 10 minutes before the start, a split head-foil required emergency maintenance that took rather longer than the time available. Off went the Beneteau 40.7s on a windward-leeward course, off went the HKPN and FE26 divisions, and then off went IRC Racing and Cruising. Sadly, WHISKEY JACK scored a DNS.

And so to the second race, a big circle course (15 nm) around some of the islands in Daya Bay. Big breeze to start, a beat to a windward mark, a code zero bear-away to the south east corner of the course, a beat north and then a shy spinnaker reach back to the finish – and that was when we blew out our biggest a-sail while humming downwind at 10+ kts, hanging on to the coat tails of the A35 just in front of us, and the A40 just in front of that. We ‘cruised’ home (after all, we are sailing in the IRC Cruising division) under a normaler kite – and, for the record, scored second in division. Back at the dock, and there was plenty of customers for the UK-Halsey service department.

We still haven’t worked out why the Opening Ceremony was held exactly half way through a four-day regatta, but such niceties of terminology disappeared like the skin off a mast man’s hands when competitors were bused to a local sports stadium to find a ceremony of almost Olympic (well, at least Asian Games) proportions waiting for us.

Quite evidently the China Cup has tapped into a bottomless well of money, and hoop-la is what they are spending it on. All of us who witnessed the CCIR 2007 Closing Ceremony thought it was huge – literally. But tonight’s show eclipsed it utterly, as regatta crews were ushered into a sports stadium by pom-pom waving schoolgirls, marshaled under the stands, and then paraded into the stadium, every wave and smile recorded for posterity by TV cameras, and escorted to the VIP seats.

J/109 sailing China Cup- celebration ashore
And then the show began – with the speeches (we promised you speeches) from people in suits, including the Mayor of Shenzhen and ISAF Vice President Teresa Lara, a former recreational windsurfer and Sunfish sailor, who said some astonishingly complimentary things about CCIR event management, and a great deal more about international friendship and sportsmanship - the usual platitudes trotted out on these occasions.

A band played the Chinese anthem, the Chinese and CCIR flags were ceremonially raised, and on came the dancers, the acrobats, the fire-eaters and the drummers. There was a massed-semaphore display, and a dancer who threaded her way through the fountain jets that sprang up from the ground. Then part of the stadium flooded, and in came the jet skis. Some of us were beginning to think that the lions were next, and Caesar would be giving the thumbs-down to anyone who hadn’t done a spell on a winch today. There was a high diver who dropped from an unreasonably high crane in unreasonably shallow water (re-appearing accompanied by mermaids), and a gigantic fan-shaped fountain back-lit by a laser show. And at the end of it all a grand finale of dancing flowers, dancing birds, a local pop singer, bungee-swingers hanging off the stadium roof, giant streamers, and the giant blue bouncing balls (definitely not allowed at the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens!).

It was a huge, colorful and fantastic spectacle. It rocked the thousands of people in the stadium, and sent away a great many China Cup sailors with big smiles on their faces. After all that attention, they are excused for thinking that they are now all heroes and world class athletes when in fact they are participants in a regatta that lives more on appearance than substance, and has failed to attract a Grand Prix division at even a regional level since its first running in 2007. But this is China, where self-confidence and money are everything. Spent a lot of money, and tell everyone that you (and they) are great, and enough people will believe you.

There is an uncomfortable ‘disconnect’ between the undeniably spectacular show that we saw at the stadium tonight and the reality of a event that can muster only three boats (total) into an ‘IRC Racing’ class and lumps all the rest into IRC Cruising. It’s smoke and mirrors, a way of disguising the shortcomings of a fairly undistinguished local regatta and passing it off as a major international event.

We are not under any illusion that the show tonight was funded by the China Cup – it was an extravaganza that had ‘state-sponsored bread and circuses’ written all over it – but think of it this way: if the China Cup can afford to throw a multimillion dollar splash like they did tonight, then why do they even bother to charge regatta entry fees and sell party tickets, and why do they spend very little money on maintaining their One Design fleet (and its sails), the very fleet that they charter out to the visitors whose presence is then used to leverage the ‘international’ image of the regatta.

Tonight we all watched funds go up on smoke – or down the drain – that could have been much better applied to the improvement of the China Cup International Regatta itself.  Which, after all, is the whole point, isn’t it?

Of note, WHISKEY JACK did manager to recover, sail the rest of the series and secure a 3rd overall in IRC Cruising Class!  Also of note, Chicago Yacht Club sailors competed as one of two U.S. teams represented at the China Cup International Regatta. "Team Chicago" was led by Michael Mayer, owner and driver of the J/105, KASHMIR, and an active participant in the Rolex Big Boat Series, Key West Race Week, Chicago NOOD, the Centomiglia in Italy, and no less than 28 Chicago Yacht Club Races to Mackinac. Mayer was be joined by the following crew who've been seen recently sailing on J/111s, J/105s and J/109s on the Lakes- George and daughter Andrea Miz, Steve Henderson, kite goddess Karen Gottwald, Mike and Kate Kennedy and Mike Mayer.  At the end of the day?  They had fun!  The South Africans seemed to have their number, but that's another story to tell for another day.  For more China Cup sailing information.

J/105s sailing on Long Island SoundMIRAGE Dominates J/105 East Coasts

(Annapolis, MD- Oct 30-31)- It was a great weekend to celebrate Halloween in the Chesapeake.  With the gaggle of J/24s flocking around the race course straight off the Severn River, the IRC East Coast Champ teams were off in another part of the upper Chesapeake, so the J/105s headed further south and had fun amongst themselves.  Twenty boats showed up for this event and other than the fact that Frederik Salvesen's and Cedric Lewis' MIRAGE walked off with the win, it was a real fight for the top five overall.

The MIRAGE team rattled off four 1sts after a slow start in the first race to win by only 15 points.  The battle that took place behind them wasn't settled until the final race.  Essentially four boats were tied depending on whom had good/bad races over the course of the series.  Carl and Scott Gitchell's TENACIOUS, Chris and Carolyn Groobey's JAVA, Gerrit Schulze's MAX POWER and Jim Konigsberg's INIGO were all vying for 2-5 position overall.  In the start slow, finish fast department (like the winner) was TENACIOUS.  After a 6-9, the Gitchell's managed to sail a solid series to finish with a 3-3-4 to secure 2nd with 25 points.  In the start fast/ finish slow department were the Groobey's who finished 3rd.  JAVA started with getting the gun in the first race and 3rd in the second race, but slipped to an 8-6-8 for 26 points, just one point from second.  MAX POWER started slowly and nailed a 2-2 in the last two races to finish with a flourish and 28 points for fourth.  Sailing consistently near the top to secure 5th was INIGO with 31 points.  For more J/105 Chesapeake Bay Champs sailing information.

J/24 sailing velas de mexico- velas panamericano off Puerto Vallarta, MexicoMurrieta Wins J/24 Vela Pan-Americana

(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico- Oct 20-24)- The Copa de Naciones Vela Panamericana was organized by the Mexican Sailing Federation and hosted by Vallarta Yacht Club in conjunction with Paradise Village Marina and Resort.  It was a preparatory event for the Pan American Games in October, 2011 and for many classes will serve as eliminatory for the 2011 Games.

As always, the sailors were not disappointed with the beautiful Riviera Nayarit on Banderas Bay, an unparalleled venue for competitive sailing on the Pacific coast of Mexico.  Over the four days, eight races were sailed in winds that ranged from 12 - 20 knots during the afternoon, near perfect sailing conditions.

Like they did earlier in the year at Copa Mexico on Banderas Bay, the Mexican team of Jorge Murrieta sailing with Julian Fernandez, Bernardo Minkow and Alejandro Murrieta sailed a strong series to score 1-2-1-2-1-1-3-2 for a total of 10 points (with throw-out) to win.  Second overall was Yon Belausteguigoitia with 13 points.  Third was Ken Porter, a very good Mexican J/24 sailor from Cantiere Navale Valle de Bravo near Mexico City, finishing with 19 points.  For more Vela Pan-Americana sailing information.

Harvest Moon Regatta- Texas-style!

(Galveston, TX)- Keith Magnussen of Ullman Sails filed this amusing race report from Texas:  "Every October hundreds of boats in Texas gear up for the annual Harvest Moon Regatta which is a 150 mile sprint from Galveston to Port Aransas. The regatta website claims "offwind sailing for maximum speed" and beautiful weather along the Texas Gulf Coast. I lived in Texas for over ten years and never had the time to participate in the event but this year James Liston brought me out to race on his J-120 AEOLUS.

I arrived in Houston to some pretty nice, but hot, weather, and a forecast of 15-30 kts of wind from the South-South East. Well there goes the "offwind sailing for maximum speed" scenario! The race started in less than 8-kts of wind in beautiful weather and flat seas, maybe the website was right? After struggling to get out of the bad air that 200 boats starting in front of you leave we decided to hoist the Code 0 and started to really pick off some boats. Not many people in point to point races these days have a code 0 and that is surprising because it can be such a valuable piece of inventory to have!

I knew we could only hold the 0 up to about 13kts of wind but were gaining so much ground it was hard to get my mind to switch gears. It was not until God decided to switch gears and he brought it down. The fitting on the end of the pole finally gave way we lost the tack of the sail. Kudos to the crew as we had the sail down quickly and were now jib reaching towards the Freeport Buoy.

As night started to close in on us the wind moved forward and the waves increased in size. We switched out to the blade and were now at such an awkward angle to the waves that is was making it a little difficult to drive. Waves were now continually breaking over the boat and the wind was picking up to 25+kts. This is when you really get to see the true colors of the crew. For the most part, our crew was white in the face! I finally took a nap and when I woke up a 1/3 of the crew was incapacitated with extreme sea-sickness. Made it really roomy down below as no one wanted to get off the deck for fear of catching the bug. Doesn't bother me though, I like to get out of the cold for 20 minutes and get some coffee!

Day broke and we were quickly closing in on PA and as we got closer the wave sequences increased as did the confusion of the seas. It gets really shallow and the dozens of tankers leaving the area do not help either. We rounded the PA buoy at around 11am and headed to the finish line in 30kts TWS. I took a quick glance to the horizon and saw a slew of boats behind us and knew we were in the first group of finishers. 6th monohull to finish and third place overall corrected time in ORC B.

I was exhausted and so was everyone else at this point, put it did not deter us from having some stiff drinks and a good time at the Sandcastle Condo Resort! Interesting little town and a lot different than what I was used to. Lakewood Yacht Club did a fantastic job organizing and GBCA came out in full force to support the functions. The Houston Yacht Club organized a nice shrimp boil at the Sandcastle while the Bacardi Party got set up.

Big thanks to James Liston for having me out and all the crew for the hard work on a tough regatta. Check out the Video and I look forward to the next Harvest Moon Regatta! Enjoy! Love you all! Monster man hugs (girlies, too) to all everywhere!"


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

J/Benelux host J/Fest demo event for Benelux sailors- Rod Johnstone and Roy Heiner guests* J/Benelux in Lelystad, The Netherlands, held a fun J/Fest type event over the weekend of 23-24 October.  Rod Johnstone attended to help give local J enthusiasts pointers on how to have fun, sail their boats fast and give some insights to potential new J/Owners on some of the new boats in the line, like the J/95, J/97 and J/111.
In cooperation with Team HEINER (they own 8 J/109’s in their sailing company) J/Benelux organised a whole weekend with almost the whole J/Boats range of boats available where people could have a demo sail with their favorite J/Boats model!  Although the weather was cloudy with strong winds we had more then 100 people participate. At the end of the weekend, every one came off the boats with big smiles on the faces!

On Saturday the Dutch J/Club organization organised a sailing clinic with the Team HEINER instructors and, along with Rod J, helped the J sailors on their boat-handling and boat-speed techniques.  Later that evening, Roy Heiner and Rod J spoke about their mutual passion for sailing and Rod spent some time describing the history of J/Boats and the development of the latest models.  Also Rein Bakker, the founder of the Dutch J/109 one design class spoke about class development and activities for next year.  J/Benelux's Angelique Verhoef said, "It was an evening many J owners won't forget! Rod, thanks a lot for your commitment during the whole event and for skippering many different boats with everyone during the demo sails! Hope to see you again next year!

J cruising sailors looking over Bora Bora bayThe J Cruising Community

J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent "blogs" written by their prolific publishers.

Glen Gustaffson is sailing his J/46 this year in the Caribbean 1500.  He says, "There are two J/46's and I believe one J/40 in the event, which has a record turnout this year.  We are pumped up and looking for a fast ride to the Islands.  I'll see if I can get a story together on the J's in the event, and send it on after we reach Tortola.  There is live tracking on the website-

* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel's big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand.  Their blog is here:

* Prolific writers, Bill and Judy Stellin, sailed their J/42 JAYWALKER around the Mediterranean and Europe and back across the Atlantic for nearly three years.  Their current blogs/journals can be found at-   The earlier journals have been compiled into two self published books  "SEATREK: A Passion for Sailing" by Bill Stellin or William Stellin"- Book I and Book II can be found at  Fun reading when rocking back in a chair watching your storm-lashed windows take a beating in the gale roaring outside and listening to the crackle of a roaring fire.

John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary will have just finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam. Read the latest news at

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 Cape Horn and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).   
-   SALACIA, the J/160 owned by Stephen and Cyndy Everett has an on-going blog describing some of their more amusing experiences  (
-  Bill and Susan Grun on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog  (  Check out there recent travels- now past Fiji!

J/95 shoal-draft performance sailing boat- off Naples, FLFeatured Boats

J/95 #1 Available in Florida!

J/95s are on a roll in the southeast with five boats sailing in the area by this fall (at least four planning to participate in the January Key West Race Week). Sarasota Yacht and Ship is the brokerage side of the J/Southeast dealer CrossCurrent Marine, and they are thrilled to have landed the first brokerage listing for this wonderful shoal draft performance daysailer. Boat is fully optioned with carbon sails, mast, V boom and sports an extension electronics suite. Please contact Craig Crossley at 401-330-6135, (or for more information.

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.