Wednesday, January 5, 2011

J/Newsletter- January 5th, 2011

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing in Miami Key WestJ/111 and J/108 Florida Debut
SAIL Key West Reception
(Key West, FL)- Come on down and take a peek at two of the latest 35+ footers to debut in the J stable of fun, fast, easy-to-sail boats.  SAIL Magazine, in concert with its industry partners NORTH SAILS and HARKEN, are hosting a reception for sailors interested in taking a closer look at the J/111.  You also get a chance to meet and chat with the SAIL Best Around Buoys winners, Jim Sminchak and crew from Cleveland, OH.  The event will be held on Saturday, January 15th at 5:00 pm at the Galleon Resort Marina- free beer, wine and munchies!

The SAIL Best Around Buoys 111, KONTIKI V, has arrived in Miami, FL (photo above) and is heading down to Key West to be sailed by Jim's Cleveland J/105 "Team it".  The electric royal blue and candy red color scheme look spectacular on the water.  With North Sails latest carbon wardrobe with brilliant candy apple red spinnakers and Harken's latest sailing equipment, the 111 will turn heads anywhere it goes.

In addition to the 111, CrossCurrent Marine's Craig Crossley will feature J's newest shoal-draft performance cruiser- the J/108 along with its siblings, the J/95s that were introduced in 2009.  It's all happening down at the Galleon Resort Marina in Key West.  Please join us.  For more information please call J/Boats at ph- 401-846-8410 or email  More J/111 sailboat information is here.  And, J/108 shoal-draft performance sailboat information can be found here.

J/111 one-design offshore sailboat- the ultimate sailing racerJ/111 London & San Diego Show Debut
(London, England/ San Diego, CA)- Be sure to wander down to the London show January 7-16th and see the  new J/111 along with her fast IRC sistership, the J/97- the new "Terminator" in European IRC sailing events.  As part of it's debut in Europe, the J/111 ARABELLA experienced a fast launch in challenging weather in order to prepare for her maiden voyage a few weeks ago.  Remember?  Snow.  England.  Trains. The M1 and M25 gridlock.  It was miraculous that ARABELLA sailed at all in the last weekend of the Hamble Winter Series race.  Nevertheless, a few kindred spirits and hardy souls persevered to get her rolling.  Kudos to the team.  And, on hand to witness and video the proceedings on and off the water was Richard Langdon, a renowned British yachting photographer.  Recently, he published a nice video on the J/111 in conjunction with YACHTING MONTHLY magazine, check it out here on Vimeo.

For those of you in the Americas who wish to escape some unseasonably cool weather and want to get a close look at the J/111 that has been creating a lot of buzz in SoCal, be sure to check out the San Diego Sailboat Show January 27-30th-- schedules and links for both events are below.

J/Sailing Calendar 2011Heaven In '11- The J/Calendar
Give The Gift That Lasts All Year!
(Newport, RI)- Impress your friends and families with spectacular images and gorgeous scenery 24x365 all year long.  Give them the 2011 J/Sailing Calendar and watch them break out into a huge grin and wonder why they're not sailing a J with you!  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in exotic places worldwide. The 2011 J/Calendar features more photos of flying J's slicing and dicing waves around the world.  Or, just cruising past some of the most spectacular scenery this little "green" planet has to offer.  For those who love the sailing lifestyle, it's the ultimate sailing gift for your friends and family.  Get them now before it's too late for the Holidays!  The large format and expansive calendar gives you lots of room to scribble, notate and make plans for the upcoming year!  Time to get it all organized and rolling now!  We ship everywhere-- EuropeUK/ IrelandAustralia/ NZUSA/ Mexico, Canada.  For more 2011 J/Sailing Calendar information.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

"Happy New Year" to the J sailing community!  Here's to a 2011 that is full of hope, peace, love, happiness and, with a bit of luck, prosperity and success for all.

The memories of sailing in '10 are fading fast...except for those who sailed and persevered in that extraordinary post-Christmas (Boxing Day) event called "the Hobart Race".  A race that embodies all the best and worst in sailing (cruising or racing), brutal conditions, spectacular vistas, fabulous nights of stars shining in the crystal clear midnight skies, surfing for hours on end down the Tazzie coast (sunset on Tasman Is above).  The Hobart in some ways is analogous to one's trip through life, full of ups and downs, but perseverance pays off in the end for those who seek the ultimate result- to succeed in life.  And, perhaps for many the promise of the New Year may bring "heaven in '11"?  We sure hope so, the world hopes so.

Thinking of the significance of '11, the 111 is on a roll, approaching 60+ boats for happy, enthusiastic owners around the world.  In addition, many J sailors are gearing up for a variety of events in the first quarter of the year, starting with Key West, then St. Pete, Charleston, and others.  Out West its San Diego, Long Beach, Santa Barbara and San Francisco.  The Midwinters for the J/80s, J/105s and J/95s are shaping up to be fun events at Key West, including a half-dozen intrepid J/24s!! Far, far to the East, China is continuing their J/80 Winter Series.  Down-under in Oz and Taz, J/24 teams are frantically preparing for their J/24 Australian Nationals.   Read on!  The J/Community and Cruising section below have more interesting, and heart-warming, stories this week.  Check them out!  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:

Jan 7-16- London Boatshow- London, 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.
Jan 27-30- San Diego Sailboat Show-
Feb 3-6- Halifax Sailboat Show- Halifax, Nova Scotia-
Feb 9-11- J/24 Pan-Am Games Trials- Tampa, FL-
Feb 12-16- J/24 Midwinters- Davis Is YC, Tampa, FL-
Feb 17-21- Miami Boatshow- Miami, FL-
Feb 18-20- SW NOOD- St Petersburg, FL- StPYC-
Feb 24-26- J/22 Midwinters- Davis Is YC, Tampa, FL-
Mar 9-11- J/30 Mardi Gras Midwinters- New Orleans, LA-
Mar 10-12- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Miami, FL-
Mar 13-Apr 17- Warsash Spring Series- Hamble, UK-
Mar 18-20- SW NOOD- San Diego, CA-
May 10-14- J/24 Nationals- Dallas, TX-

For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

J/44 white gold/ gold rush sailing to windwardStrong J Fleet @ Key West
(Key West, FL)- This year's Key West Race Week has another strong showing of J's across all three race courses.  With nearly 130 boats participating, the 45 J's represent the largest brand at the event for at least the tenth year running, with 35% of the keelboat fleet.  The large J one-design classes include the J/80s (16 boats) and the J/105s (15 boats).  Also stronger this year are a half-dozen J/24s sailing one-design in PHRF 3 class!

Leading the charge amongst the big boats will be the J/122 GAMBLER in IRC Class 2, sailed by Peter Cunningham, a long-time J owner and J/22 sailor from the Cayman Islands Sailing Club.  Giving them a run for the money will be a familiar name to long-time J sailors, Jim Bishop racing his fast J/44 WHITE GOLD.

In the PHRF Class 1 division, it will be strong competition amongst a trio of well-sailed J's-- the new J/111 KONTIKI V sailed by the SAIL magazine Best Around Buoys team led by Jim Sminchak from Lakeside YC in Cleveland, OH; the spectacular graphics and colors of 2010 Block Island Race Week winning team on the J/124 WICKED, skippered by Doug Curtiss from New Bedford YC in South Dartmouth, MA and having aboard designers Rod and Alan Johnstone; and the North American and Key West Race Week champion J/109 RUSH, very well sailed by Bill Sweetser and crew from Annapolis YC in Annapolis, MD.

J/95 shoal-draft performance sailing cruiserThe J/95s will have their first one-design type competition at this year's Race Week.  A trio of them have showed up from across North America.  The long-distance award surely must be Terry McKenna from Prince Edward Island, Canada sailing FINN.  Also sailing will be Trudie Ficks from Cudjoe Key, F on SEVENTH HEAVEN and Ed Palm from Grosse Pointe Woods, MI/ Naples. FL sailing USA 18.

Perhaps the most heart-warming and surprising growth is the participation of the J/24s in this year's event.  Six of them are sailing, 3 from the Keys fleet and 3 from Newport, RI!  Amazing.  They will certainly have a lot of fun and building on the heritage of the J/24 being the original inspiration for Key West Race Week back in 1978!

The J/80s have a solid turnout with a number of very strong teams.  Sure to factor into the leader board will be past World Champion Glenn Darden on EL TIGRE, regional champions Chris Bulger on GOOSE and Jeff Brown on J/WORLD SAN DIEGO.  Sure to factor into the scrum will be the Spanish team TEC with Konstantin Jacoby sailing Jay Lutz's World Champion boat as well as Bruno Pasquinelli on TIAMO.

Finally, the J/105s are enjoying a competitive renaissance with several top teams headed south for more fun in the sun.  The competition amongst this fleet of fifteen boats will be as tough as any North American Championship.  Leading the charge after several years absence will be four-times Key West 105 champion Tom Coates on MASQUERADE.  Fellow Key West Champion Brian Keane on SAVASANA will be giving Tom a run for the money, as will Block Island Champion and 105 East Coast Champion Damian Emery on ECLIPSE, Chuck Millican and Dave Brining from Bermuda racing ELUSIVE, Ken Colburn on GHOST, Travis Weisleder on LUCKY DOG, 105 Class President Bernie Girod on ROCK & ROLL and Bill Zartler on SOLARIS.  Let the games begin, that will be a tough class to win.  For more Key West Race Week sailing information

J/133 Patriot- sailing Rolex Sydney-Hobart race under sailJ/133 PATRIOT "Loves" Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race
When Finishing Just Makes You A Winner!
(Hobart, Tasmania)- This year's 66-year Hobart Race was one of the more "classic" editions in recent years because of the heavy weather and rough seas that boats and their crews encountered - a hallmark of this well-known 628 nautical mile ocean race.

The race started December 26th with a 'Southerly buster' during the first night, with the fleet of 87 starters encountering winds that reached 40 to 50 knots. Those gale-force winds and the resulting ginormous seas took their toll and saw a steady stream of boats retire due to steering damage, torn sails and engine problems, and for one unlucky yacht, a dismasting. After two days, 18 boats were forced out of the race, retiring because of the adverse weather conditions and resulting damage to boat and equipment.

Following that, boats and crew had to contend with getting across the notorious 100 nautical mile wide Bass Strait. By the race end, winds lightened somewhat and boats at the back of the fleet had trouble getting enough wind to get up the ten-mile stretch of Derwent River to the finish line in Hobart.

As one sailor said with a twinkle in his eye, "The fourth day was the most fantastic day on the water we've ever spent. The wind was perfect. The weather was perfect and in that night every star in the sky was out. It was spectacularly beautiful."

sailing off Tasmanian coastline- Enjoying the best and the worst amongst the fleet was Tony Love's J/133 PATRIOT.  They were 29th boat to finish of 89 starters, were 2nd IRC 3 Class by just 45 minutes.  Their River Derwent dash was slow going with light headwinds in the early stages while boats behind and offshore were sailing in surfing conditions.  PATRIOT was winning IRC Class 3 on corrected until just 10 miles before hitting Cape Pillar and the famous Cathedral Rock formation.  Many a Sydney-Hobart Race has been won or lost on both line honors and handicap honors due to the capricious weather experienced sailing north up the River Derwent from Storm Bay...where winds often go 360 degrees every hour.  It's a spectacular backdrop of high cliffs, 4,500 foot high mountains to the small, picturesque towns along the eastern and western shores.

For starters, getting 2nd in IRC Class 3 in the grueling 2010 Sydney-Hobart 628 nm race is only telling a part of the story.  Tony Love and crew's adventure started when they first bought their J/133 PATRIOT from its American Midwest freshwater owners.  They got it delivered to Sydney on a ship, trucked it north and prepared it for this year's race in their home port of Brisbane- only 600 nm north of Sydney!

J/133 Patriot sailing upwind off Australia going to Hobart, TasmaniaAfter a few weeks, it was clear that Tony and crew had gotten a handle on sailing PATRIOT.  Sailing out of their home club, the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, Tony's team had been achieving outstanding race results.  The latest series running over 12 races saw Tony finishing first on IRC, with individual race results of 5 1sts, 3 2nds, a 3rd, 4th and 5th.  Not bad since he has only owned the J/133 for less than a season.  Tony has commented that he loves the fact that he is able to comfortably cruise the J/133 after the racing crew has jumped off.  Testament to this is that following on from the grueling 628nm Sydney-Hobart race, Tony and his family will be sailing from Hobart to cruise the spectacular Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania’s east coast, enjoying its pure white beaches and turquoise seas, the spectacular Wine Glass Bay and Bay of Fires, one of "Lonely Planet's" Top 10 regions in the world.

Now, back to the race and what happened this year and the fascination of "just doing it."  The start was spectacular with 87 yachts taking part with a close reach out of Sydney Heads.  Crews settled in for the night knowing there was a southerly buster heading up the coast to meet them, and hit them it did-- big time!  Some yachts reported 45-50 knot gusts, and the seas built to 4-5 metres.  The southerly winds hammered the crews, ultimately causing 18 yachts to retire.  The J/133 PATRIOT, virtually "fresh-out-of-the-box" forged her way through the rough conditions until the southerly abated.  At that point, the "jumping off" point is just southeast of the Australian seaside town of Eden--- appropriately named for many a Hobart crew seeking shelter or safety after getting "busted" in the Straits.  At the time, PATRIOT was easily leading their IRC 3 Class and were in contention for top 5 IRC honors.

sailing past Tasman Island going to HobartAs one competitor noted, "The real action didn't commence until 24 hours into the race. A trough following the front produced winds of 35 knots plus on the coast and up to 50 knots in Bass Strait. These were the "classic" Hobart conditions everyone was expecting. Wet, cold and yet brilliant sunshine, the kind of thing sailing photogs love. Airborne maxis, underwater IOR boats and cruiser racers with two reefs and a storm jib slugging away; still doing hull speed. Contrary to popular belief, this is also perfect cruiser/racer weather. As the big boats slow to conserve, the little boats get bullied by the large and erratic seaway, and we keep plugging away under reduced sail with very little stress on the boat and crew. In these conditions we can exceed our polars and over the next 12 hours we steal a march on our direct competition."

blowing a gale off Tasmanian coastlineRolex photographer Carlo Borlenghi flew over the fleet at lunchtime on Monday and reported seeing yachts with triple-reefed mains, some with storm headsails or racing bare-headed (no sails). He said that in a decade of covering the race he’d never seen seas like those before.  The forecast gale-force conditions made good on Monday for the bulk of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet with yachts experiencing 40-50 knots of gale to storm-force winds from the west-southwest -- together with massive seas.  The strength of Monday afternoon's gale, though, was a sobering experience for every sailor.  Adrienne Cahalan, the navigator aboard Wild Oats XI has described the afternoons gale as the worst crossing of Bass Strait she has experienced.  She described the conditions as "violent and awful"-- a big call from a professional sailor who has competed in every major ocean race in the world.  Seamanship was the name of the game.

Tasmanian dolorite "horn pipes" rock formationBy Tuesday, the fleet was experiencing much gentler conditions, with the winds swinging clockwise from the south-west to the west at 10 knots by about midday before the wind is due to turn north-easterly Tuesday afternoon, building to 20 knots during the day and up to 30 knots Tuesday night.  They are ideal conditions to bring the remainder of the fleet down the Tasmanian coast.  While the race to the corner of Tasman Island and the Hornpipes formation is the focus of all race navigators, "Tasman Island to the finish is in the hands of the gods," said one navigator.

Stormy Bay, Tasmania enjoying a placid momentPATRIOT consistently took a middle road relative to the fleet in the first part of the race.  Beating up the Australian coast, not going too far offshore and not heading too far inshore.  As they reached Cape Howe, the southeastern tip of Australia and headed over towards Tasmania on starboard tack, PATRIOT broke off earlier than most competitors, staying further east of rhumbline in anticipation of a wind shift backing from S/SW to W/NW-- it was initially a good move.  By Tuesday, PATRIOT was sailing on starboard gybe downwind with the big asymmetric spinnaker and staysail up surfing downwind about 60 miles offshore of Taz, headed at 9-13 knots surfing downwind towards the  famous "Hornpipes", the final turning point to the finish line in Hobart up the River Derwent.  However by late Tuesday and early Wednesday, PATRIOT's fortunes were about to change.  A park-up for 3+ hours prior to Tasman Island turned the tables fast as the breeze filled in from the nor’west for the remainder of the trip leaving them with a 10-20 knot beat to the finish.  Then, a final park up a few miles from the line only added to their frustration.  However, for their first Hobart on a J/133, a near miss on the class win and a podium finish is both gratifying and commendable.  Here's the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race sailing website.

Stormy Bay and Cape Raoul on Tasmanian coastNo matter how good or bad the sailing is across the infamous Bass Straits or down the eastern side of Tasmania, its the combination of the challenge at sea sailing down the coast, the spectacular scenery and perhaps the "calling" of ancestors (all 75,000 convicts) that called Port Arthur home is what brings everyone back year after year.  As the fleet approaches Storm Bay from the East, they're first greeted by the guiding light emanating from Tasman Island Lighthouse-- it sits atop 220 meter high vertical sea-cliffs surrounded by spectacular, if not breath-taking rock formations each with a unique name- Cathedral Rock, Cape Pillar, The Blade and The Chasm-- all within Tasman National Park.  Carved out of Jurassic dolerite by the great Southern Ocean and separated from the Tasman Peninsula by a 1200 mtr wide chasm the island's lighthouse adds the finishing touch to a stunning feature of the Tasmanian coastline. After the light, the boats then round "The Monkeys" off the SE tip of Tasman Island.  Then, past "The Organ Pipes" on Cape Raoul, both spectacular rock formations.  After passing these two capes, the fleet then sails north across Storm Bay towards the Iron Pot, a large rock pile that forms part of the course at the mouth of the Derwent River, just 11 miles from the finishing line in Hobart. Off in the distance forming the southerly ridge line west of the river is majestic Mt. Wellington, a 4,500 foot high mountain surrounded by forest.  For the aesthetics who appreciate such geologic beauty, it's hard to beat.    Tasman Island Lighthouse.    Coastview of Tasmania by   Westpoint Hobart Webcam with view of harbor and Mt Wellington.

As for human interest, Taz cultural history is unusual.  First inhabited by the Taz Aborigines at least 35,000 years ago, they were isolated as rising sea levels cut Tasmania off from mainland Australia about 10,000 years ago.

The Cathedral rock formation off Tasman Island, Cape PillarThe first reported sighting of Tasmania by a European was on 24 November 1642, by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman. Tasman landed at today's Blackman's Bay. Famously, Captain James Cook landed at Adventure Bay in 1777 – with young William Bligh aboard. William Bligh returned in 1788 (H.M.S. Bounty) and again in 1792 (H.M.S Providence, with young Matthew Flinders aboard. Numerous other Europeans made landfalls, adding a colorful array to the names of topographical features. Matthew Flinders and George Bass (who named the Bass Strait) first proved Tasmania to be an island in 1798–99.

The first European settlements were by the British at Risdon Cove on the eastern bank of the Derwent estuary in 1803. An alternative settlement was established in 1804 in Sullivans Cove on the western side of the Derwent, where fresh water was more plentiful. The latter settlement became Hobart, after the British Colonial Secretary of the time, Lord Hobart.

The early settlers were mostly convicts and their military guards, with the task of developing agriculture and other industries. Numerous other convict-based settlements were made in Van Diemen's Land (aka Tasmania), including secondary prisons, such as the particularly harsh penal colonies at Port Arthur in the southeast and Macquarie Harbour on the West Coast. In the fifty years from 1803 to 1853 around 75,000 convicts were transported to Tasmania. The Colony of Tasmania was a British colony that existed on the island of Tasmania from 1856 until 1901, when it federated together with the five other Australian colonies, each with their own Parliaments, to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

J/122 MARTA JEANE racing off Sydney, Australia in cruising regatta ladies race.J/122 Wins Australian "Ladies Race"
(Newcastle, Australia)- The J/122 MARTA JEAN finishes the year with a win in the Ladies skippers race. "It’s supposed to be a fun race", said Maureen Rae, "but we couldn’t believe how serious everyone was taking it. I had never taken the helm before in a yacht race, but with support from husband Steve and an unexpected amount of encouragement from friends & fellow lady sailors, reluctantly agreed to skipper our J/122 for this race."

"At the start of the race the wind was quite variable, anything from less than 10knots up to 20knots and a 2 metre swell, so a lot to take in quickly.  However, the boat was just incredibly light and responsive at the helm and much easier than expected to steer," commented Maureen.  "We came in 2nd across the line, just behind one of the leading point score race boats and 1st on PHS."

Husband Steve was overjoyed saying, "My wife will have more confidence to take the helm when we're cruising and she will definitely have to return to the helm to defend her title next year! These boats are just fantastic.  MARTA JEAN is primarily setup for cruising but we are finding ourselves exceedingly competitive on the race track. What a great way to finish the years sailing."


Argentine J/24 and dinghy sailor Pepe Bettini at 29er Worlds Buenos Aires.What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide

* At the 29er World Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Argentine J/24 sailors and Opti coaches Pepe Bettini and Fernando Gwozdz are atop the leader board sailing their 29er in spectacular sailing conditions-- 3-6 foot waves blowing 15-25 knots on the Mar del Plata.  When asked about the conditions, Bettini commented that "we had steady winds but a big swell with waves breaking on the top. At the beginning of the downwind legs it was like surfing the Pipeline against pro surfer Kelly Slater! Our PRO Tino Mora did a really good job and we're happy with the days results. We're tied with Tavella and Greggi in points."  For more 29er Worlds info.  Sailing Photos credits- Matias Capizzano.
Dick and Richie Stearns sailing Bill Zeiler's J/122 SKYE in Chicago-Mac race* Milestones and Miles: The 100th Mac.  Here's a great read for you armchair sailors wondering what it's like to sail one of the world's more popular offshore classics.  Written by renowned SAIL Magazine contributor from San Francisco, Kimball Livingston shares his experiences racing aboard the J/122 SKYE on his blog-  "I love Chicago for the sheer vertical audacity of it.  An astounding (why here, but why not here?) confluence of energies sets this place apart. And when I flew in for the 100th running of Chicago-Mac, the place was alive. Summer was on. In Millennium Park, the whole world was out .

I was on the final leg of my mission to sail milestone editions of America’s three distance classics: Centennial Bermuda, Centennial Transpac, the 100th running of the Race to Mackinac. The opening decade of the 21st century offered that unique opportunity. Now the decade is winding down, and this is my report.

Chicago Millenium Park reflecting poolI sailed Transpac ‘05 on a Cal 40. I sailed Bermuda ‘06 on an Open 50. The final leg would be Mac ‘08 on a J/122 for a grand total of 3,193 rated miles, which is kinda sorta far, except that I have friends who do circumnavigations where that mileage is nothing. And of these distance classics, the Race to Mackinac is the shortest, but it most revels in how hard the race can be—most of the length of Lake Michigan, Chicago to Mackinac Island, 333 miles. This signature event of Chicago Yacht Club has been raced almost-annually since 1898.

If you’re a sailor hereabouts you have to go. Youngsters scouting the docks will ask, “Are you going to Mac?” If the answer is, No, they keep walking.

It’s a cult thing. When you’ve racked up 25 races, you qualify to join the Island Goats Sailing Society, an organization that refers to the experience via these pithy active verbs (their words, not mine): endured, survived, suffered.

I get it. When the wind switches off, the flies arrive. For a while in ‘08 we even had a bat in the rigging. And I’ve never before seen that much lightning from the deck of a boat.

But it’s also so damned beautiful.

It occurs to me that I sailed the 50th Ensenada Race, back in the day, and in the spring of 2008 I was on my way to Mobile Bay for the 50th Dauphin Island Race when I was benched by strep. Milestone event is to journo as flame is to moth. And if you’re a sailor in the bargain, it’s a helluva good excuse. Along the way I got fried, frozen, slammed, sore and high on sailing and life. I made friends, and one friend, well, one friend I lost.

Rich Stearns was our core player aboard Bill Zeiler’s J/122, SKYE (now for sale- see below)—in 2009 and again in 2010 Bill and Rich teamed up to win the doublehanded division—and Stearns explains the Mac as not one race, but four races back to back, through changing geographic zones. This was my second Mac (23 to go) and I’ve built up the conviction that it’s not so hard to win. You just have to be fast enough and smart enough and work hard enough to deserve it; then you need to get lucky several times in a row."  Read the rest of Kimball's story on BLUE PLANET TIMES.
USCG EAGLE furling sails before a storm* Sailing the USCG EAGLE with Captain Chris Sinnett is always a joy and a remarkable experience.  Chris was a member of the USCG Academy Sailing Team from 1981 to 84 when yours truly, the Editor, was coaching the Intercollegiate and Offshore programs in New London, CT.  Kimball Livingston had the privilege to experience what few "commoners" ever get to an opportunity to do-- sail on the EAGLE.  Here's Kimball's story:

"What do you do with 22,000 square feet of sail?" The Captain of the US Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, Chris Sinnett says, “It’s basic sailing, just a lot of it.”

We were at sea for three days, downriver on the Columbia to salt water at Astoria, then south along the Pacific Coast from Oregon to California and the Golden Gate. Being a small-boat sailor, I had my epiphanies.

Imagine a medium breeze near or forward of the beam. You will see the square-rigger crew “fanning” the uppermost sails—trimming them farther aft—to account for higher wind speeds aloft. (Maxi and America’s Cup crews have a different tool kit but similar challenges.) In light air the uppermost sails of a square rigger are again trimmed farther aft than lower sails, to act as telltales and warn the driver if it’s time to fall off. Aboard the Eagle, however, you will not hear too-cool-for-school racer lingo like “driver.” Before we pulled out of Portland town, the crew was mustered on deck and the cadets were told, “Learn all you can. This is how you become a Coast Guard officer.”

I don’t know what may have been going through the minds of young cadets as they stood straight, listening to those words, but I have a notion of what they were thinking, three days later, as the light failed and the wind rose and there was a bite to that wind, and the ship was flying too much sail and came the call, ALL HANDS!

All eyes were aloft, up up up to the rigging. There’s this other saying aboard the Eagle:  "If you don’t let go, you don’t fall."   Read the rest of Kimball's account on the EAGLE on BLUE PLANET TIMES.
Paul Henderson - the Pope of Sailng on sailing and life.* Paul Henderson- the "Pope" of sailing? Perhaps.  A wise man, a very entertaining person to speak with, always has a thoughtful perspective or opinion and a damn good sailor to boot.  Perhaps it was his Canadian childhood along the shores of a cold Lake Ontario in Toronto.  Or, too much hockey and skating in sub-zero weather.  A kindred spirit and friend of the "J/Family". Whatever it was, Paul always had his feet on the ground and simply loved the sport of sailing.  A friend of the Editor's, David McCreary who publishes Scuttlebutt Europe, had this to say about Paul and the book- "What's really fun about this book is that it reads as Paul speaks. Having spent countless hours in conversations with him, I can hear his voice telling me the stories as I peruse the book. Lots of stories I'd heard, but many I hadn't, and a good mix of the serious and the not very serious. This is a man in love with life, sport, and sailing, and it shows.  This guy is not a blue blazered yacht snob.  Far from it. He's a blue collar plumber from Toronto, albeit one who was very successful at his trade. And, for those who grumbled about his mannerisms when President of the ISAF.. well, most are now a bit wistful for those days, eh?"  "The Pope of Sailing"- by Paul Franklin Henderson is now available on and

The J Cruising Community

J cruising directions- roll the dice and go!  Sailing to anywhere, anytime!J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent "blogs" written by their prolific publishers.  Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You'll love it.

* 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.  A recent update from Bill and Kathy- "Hello, all!  We have safely arrived in Opua, New Zealand from Tonga. It was a remarkably fast passage. Some statistics: Time: 6 days, 3 hours.  Total distance: 1023 miles.  Distance sailed: 1020 miles.  Distance motored: 3 miles.  Average speed: 7.0 knots.  Fuel used: 3 gallons (12 hours of engine idling for power generation).  Best memory: sailing into the Bay of Isles, hand steering in 25 knots of breeze, watching the sun rise behind us, lighting Cape Brett up in a warm red glow. Next is 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 blogs/journals can be found at-  The earlier journals have been compiled into two self published books which can be found at:  Search for "SEATREK: A Passion for Sailing" by Bill Stellin or William Stellin."  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.  It is winter "down under" you know.  The Argentineans are freezing.

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* 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 after completion of their ARC Rally. 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).

J/160 land tender- 1944 vintage Willies Jeep!!SALACIA, the J/160 owned by Stephen and Cyndy Everett has an on-going blog describing some of their more amusing experiences (  
A recent excerpt- "Stephen and Ross were enthralled by Roger's "Willies 1942 WW2 American jeep". Both boys took it for a burn and one is now at the top of Stephen’s wish list. When Roger was restoring it he was delighted to find a genuine WW2 American Hard hat under the back seat...."

-  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!  A recent excerpt- "Things Unplanned Run Amuck in Tahiti- Boats have feelings, don’t you know?  They do not like to be left alone, unattended and seemingly unloved.  This is a fact of which both The Captain and The First Mate are well aware, but given their lifestyle, they have no choice.  Avante must go it alone every once in a while, and they know they eventually will have to deal with nautical hurt feelings and the consequences which follow."  The rest of the thread is both humorous and quite educational- many lessons learned!

* Long-distance cruising communications advice for those who wish to be connected beyond a cell phone/ WiFi connection (10 miles) anywhere on the planet- try a remarkable SSB communications network good for up to 5,000 Nautical MILES of connectivity! How cool is that!  Founded by renowned superstar navigator Stan Honey and friends, here's good info for long-distance datacomm fanatics.  Stan says, "SailMail has worldwide coverage, but as with any HF propagation, you have to be knowledgeable about selection of which station to use, what time of day, and what frequency.  The only holes in coverage worldwide would be a very noisy marina where battery chargers on nearby boats prevent SailMail use.  In those situations most folks use WiFi or GSM anyway, and use SailMail when they are at sea, or in most remote anchorages.  There is lots of information on the website at about SSB choice and modem choice.  The Icom M802 radio and AT140 tuner are currently the best choice."

Featured Boats

J/122 SKYE- racer cruiser one-design sailboat from Chicago, Lake MichiganJ/122 SKYE- Triple Mac Race Winner For Sale

Possibly the best equipped and fastest short-handed 40 foot racer-cruiser in the world! SKYE is the Chicago-Mackinac Race Winner in 2008 (fully crewed) and the 2009 and 2010 Double-handed winner overall!  This IRC-friendly 40 footer offers a perfect, completely furnished interior with all the canvas protection covers for the bright-work while racing.  As a fresh-water boat it has been immaculately maintained to "Bristol" condition.  It features two flip-up pilot berths in the main cabin and gimbaled LPG stove/oven.  The B&G 3000 system includes a Garmin 3210 chart plotter, three 20/20s on the mast, lots of readouts everywhere, plus a Hercules H3000 autopilot system  with the H3000 gyro- an awesome short-handed sailing system! Sail inventory is all North Sails 3DL carbon, including 2 mains, 6 jibs, Code 0 and 2 spinnakers (Norlite runner and AirX reacher)- blue and white colors.  Hull is white with double-blue boot-stripe and white racing bottom paint.  For more info call Richie Stearns at Stearns Boating- ph- +1-847-404-2209 or email-

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.

Read Kimball Livingston's SAIL update on the J/Boats story- A Band of Brothers.