Wednesday, April 13, 2011

J/Newsletter- April 13th, 2010

Mexico fiesta celebration for Ensenada RaceStrong J Fleet Blasting to Ensenada

(Newport Beach, CA- April 15-17)- A West Coast classic, a 125.5 nm overnight race that provides the perfect mix of fun and adventure as racers decide whether to head off-shore for stronger winds or to sail the rhumb line towards the finish. With over 50 trophy categories and numerous classes the opportunity to "take home the silver" makes this race appealing to all levels of participants. Whether you are a first-time racer or an experienced pro, this one is for you.

The race is sandwiched between some really fun events – something that all sailors like. Enjoy the "Send-Off" Fiesta at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club the night before the race, a long-standing traditional that must be experienced to be believed. The post-race party atmosphere Saturday and Sunday at Race Headquarters, the Bahia Hotel in Ensenada, will definitely make you smile. Plus, a lucky raffle winner will get to ride around in the new Tesla Motors all-electric Roadster for the whole bloody weekend!! By Sunday afternoon, the city of Ensenada pulls out all of the stops and puts on a huge fiesta for racers, crew, family and friends. In the courtyard of the Bahia Hotel, the music rocks, food and drink flows and everyone parties to all hours of the night.  Most importantly, get your picture taken riding the burros! A Kodak moment to memorialize for your Facebook pals you actually went there to race, not to party.

J/120 sailing to Ensenda, Mexico sailboat raceAmongst the 175 entries is a large and strong contingent of J sailors.  Perhaps leading the charge down the coast for the J/Fleet will be the four "superfast" J's in Sprit A class.  Never to shy away from a fun challenge is perennial front-runner Tom Holthus on his well-campaigned, TransPac winning J/145 BAD PAK from San Diego YC.  Yet another J/145 vying for honors will be Santa Barbara YC's team of Poppe/ Parks sailing with a good crew aboard SEQUOYAH.  Nipping at their heels like a mad dog with a bone in its teeth will be Mark Surber's J/125 DERIVATIVE from CORYC.  Cruising in serious comfort and giving all these J "sleds" a case of anxiety attacks (depending on conditions, of course) will be Paul Marais's gorgeous J/160 INDIGO from SYC-LB.  And, just to keep these trophy-hunters honest will be a J/130 sailed by yet another good crew from Santa Barbara YC, Chuck Browning and gang aboard BEBE.

Leading the charge in Sprit B class will be two J/120s, BARAKA sailed by Janet Mostafa from Balboa YC and FEE EVENT raced by Chuck Wert from BCYC.  Along with them will be two J/105s, ROCINANTE's Juan Lois from SBYRC and LUCKY STAR's Mark Wyland from ALYC.  Spread across other parts of the PHRF classes are the following:  Seth Hall's J/124 MARISOL from CYA, Larry Leveille's J/29 RUSH STREET (last year's Kings Harbor Race Winner) from Santa Barbara YC and Tom Lehtonen's J/30 EGGEMOGIN from SBYRC.  Any one of these boats has the ability to upset the proverbial "apple cart" for the big boys-- won't be the first time a J/29 or J/30 has spoiled the party.   For more Ensenda Race sailing information

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing East Coast Champs in Annapolis, MDJ/24 ECC'S Sailing into 21st Century

(Annapolis, MD- Oct 28-30)- The J/24 fleet down in Annapolis is going techie, thanks to Mark Hillman, his company Hillman Capital Management and other supporting sponsors. Hillman has been competing for many years in the J/24 class (placing in the top of the fleet many times at the ECC's) and has been a sponsor for the J/24 ECC since 2002.  Hillman thought it was time to re-vamp the event and take it into the direction that sailing events are moving in which is using technology to reach out to people everywhere, to allow viewers to watch and get a feel for sailing like you can in any other broadcast sport. Some new elements the regatta will include are: on the water commentary, live video feed from boats, on-the-water coaching, and real-time scores. Many of the J/24s sailing this weekend in the Charleston Race Week will be experiencing similar on-the-water multimedia, led by Alan Block doing the Sailing Anarchy On-the-water-anarchy production.    Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes.   Read more about sailing the J/24 East Coast Champs.

J/22 Art-quality Fine Prints

(Newport, RI)- WG Sofrin Fine Prints is pleased to announce the introduction of a customizable J/22 combination sail-lines plan print. This print was developed in conjunction with the J/Boats design team using the original design data from Rodney Johnstone. This soon to be classic keepsake is perfect for any office, home, or club. The print is produced using the archival inks on acid free select print stock.

WG Sofrin Fine Prints specializes in offering a customizable print service. Originally Sofrin entered the fine print industry through a project he developed with MIT. Presently Sofrin's work is collected around the globe, and his original work can be viewed upon appointment at the MIT Museum.  Please contact with any questions or to request the custom order form.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The spring in the northern hemisphere continues to bring surprises to sailors in different parts of the world.  Can't be Planet X, can't be the recent solar storm generating enormous "Northern Lights" over North American and Northern Europe? Or is it?  England's Warsash Spring Series continues to experience a remarkably mixed bag of sailing conditions, from fresh to almost frightening breeze to sun and nothing-- shirts and shades to the extreme.  Out West on the American Pacific Coast, the Farallones Double-handed Race and J/Fest West saw what was a nice late spring day become a classic nukin' Bay day blowing 30+ knots! The consequences often breaking hearts, boats and egos.  Then, the Caribbean sailing experience according to all Chamber of Commerce predictions is simply perfect.  Well, it can be. That spectacular island wrapped in exotic French ambiance, St Barths, simply delivered it all in spades during Les Voiles de St Barths.  Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.   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:

Mar 13-Apr 17- Warsash Spring Series- Hamble, UK-
Apr 14-17- Charleston Race Week-
Apr 16-23- J/24 South Americans- Montevideo, Uruguay-
Apr 21-25- SPI Ouest France- La Trinite Sur Mer, France-
Apr 29-May 1- Sperry TS NOOD- Annapolis, MD-
May 1-6- Bermuda Race Week (J/224 & J/105)- RBYC, Bermuda-
May 10-14- J/24 Nationals- Dallas, TX-
May 14-15- J/109 Vice Admirals Cup- Cowes, England-

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

J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing San Francisco Bay at J/FestWindy J/Fest San Francisco

Tie-breakers, Tight Racing Define Leaders For J/24s, J/105s, J/120s

(San Francisco, CA)- This year's J/Fest San Francisco with very competitive fleets of J/24s, J/105s and J/120s started out on a typically benign morning for the Bay.  A bit of fog, some sun and forecasts for a "good breeze".  For anyone of you who've ever experienced a "good breeze" in most parts of the world, that usually means something less than the Saffer-Simpson hurricane scale of I and perhaps more like the Beaufort scale of 4 (a nice 13-18 knot wind).  While the first race may have been near forecasts, the afternoon race was anything but-- more like a "gentle gale" in the 22-32+ knot range.  A report follows from Bruce Stone- one who usually sails his own J/105 ARBITRAGE, but turned it over to Nicole Breault while he suffered from pneumonia on a posh Protector RIB.

"Day One of J/Fest on San Francisco Bay started with wind in the high single digits and finished in the low 30’s, taking out quite a few boats along the way with a typical assortment of broaches, breakdowns and shrimped kites.  Bullets in the first two races were scored by Rolf Kaiser’s DONKEY JACK, who lead by impressive margins.  In the last race, BLACKHAWK, skippered by Scooter Simmons, nailed the pin, caught the relief along the shore, and led wire to wire. However, the day belonged to ARBITRAGE skippered by Nicole Breault, she scored three deuces and led by three points over Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION, with DONKEY JACK in third.

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing San Francisco BayDay Two was completely different.  The forecast was for lighter winds, mainly high teens, with gusts ONLY hitting mid-20’s-- ya’ gotta love SF Bay!  Big problem for the racers Sunday-- the race committee called for starboard roundings, which made no sense given the tides.  Almost every boat approached windward mark from starboard, had to weave through the boats setting their kites, most of whom wanted to jibe to the flood on the shore-- so picture the route being kind of like a bow-tie.  And, it created too many opportunities for wipe-outs and collisions."

For J/105 sailor Lou Scannon, they had another report for the madding crowd. "J/Fest Day 1 was quite exciting - Race 1 - we led to the first mark both times, but lost at the finish because we went toward the wrong side of the RC and only realized it when it was at 315° or less off the bow and 200 m away.  Crash jibe and lost the kite (started the race in 8kts but it was blowing a steady 20 then) and lost 3 boats.  We would have won.  New crew - 4 new folks on-board so it was a pretty understandable mistake.  We were beating boats that did not take last year off in Taiwan and the guy we were dicin' with has a professional on board, and we had on the old sails, so I am pretty pleased with our speed and boat handling.  She's a fast boat!

J/105 sailboats- rounding mark under spinnakerAt the start of Race 2 we had put up the jib and headed for the pin end for a very conservative start as we were so underweight by then (blowing 25 w/ gusts to 30+) that my goal was survival and to stay clear of everybody.  I have only once sailed in a stronger breeze on the Bay - it was nukin'.  There was a very strong ebb (all the snow melt in the Sierra) with some of the weirdest currents I have ever seen.  A new boat to the fleet decided to try a port-tack start and apparently did not see us.  I hailed starboard 3 times very loud, but they could not hear us.  At the last moment I switched from "Starboard" to "Oh crap &#$%*@--- kaboom".  I pondered heading down, but in hind-sight that would have likely been especially catastrophic as it would have likely been a very high-speed bow-to-bow and rigs might have come down and hull-deck-joins destroyed.  I headed up, tacked and we got hit in the port stern as my boat was rolling over to port in the avoidance tack.  The 3 bow guys got ejected under the lifelines (I did not see or know about it until later - they all hung on and got back on board quickly (without me knowing anything).  We flipped over to port to get the hole up off the water, dropped the jib and then called the RC.  We told them that we needed a tow as the starboard tack back the St Francis YC would have sunk us.  We got towed in and taped up the hole and covered it with the Rolex sticker.  I feel like I should have thrown a handful of Vicoden into the keel sump for the old girl."

After all the chaos and coping with nukin' conditions on the Bay, it was Jeff Litfin and John Case on their J/105 MOJO that keep their nose clean and managed to pull off a 4-5-4-2-1 record for 16 points-- starting out the day in fourth and rising to the top in the difficult conditions on day 2.  Second in the 105s was Scooter Simmons on BLACKHAWK with a 5-7-1-4-4 record, another phoenix arising from the ashes of the first day to rocket from fifth day one to silver on the podium.  Only Adam Spiegel's JAM SESSION managed to stay on the podium after the first day-- holy batman, lotsa carnage day two.  The JAM boys got 4 3rds and 9th to tie Scooter but lost on the tie-break.  Fourth was Rolf Kaiser's DONKEY JACK, after seemingly racing untouchable out of the blocks in the first two races with a 1-1, Rolf's gang must've let it get to their heads, amassing a brick-laying record of 8-7-7 to miss third by three points.  And, the luckless maiden getting the real short-end of the stick was Nicole Breault.  After sailing brilliantly on the first day when it was absolutely howling, blowing dogs off chains in the Marina, all kinds of APBs going out for "fifi la piu" the mini-poodle and fair maidens in short-shorts getting blown into the water, it was Nicole who could not overcome a head-to-wind luffing match with an out-of-control J/105 at the last windward mark when she was in third place.  Nicole's 2-2-2-6-14 record was a tough nut to swallow, "watch out", says women sailing's "Terminator", "I'll be back"!!

J/120 one-design sailboat- sailng San Francisco J/Fest regattaHaving every bit as much fun as the J/105s were the fleet of J/120s that were starting in front of the J/105 madness.  Behind all of them witnessing the carnage were the J/24s.  One the first day, the J/24s had a ball, nothing if not used to the nukin conditions, the teams sailing these boats had all seen it before.  Though not a "yawner", they did manage to toss in a few broaches for a few green crews getting used to the ropes again.  Rising above the crowd day one happened to be the top three boats fighting it out with each other for braggin rights.  Basically, the top three were all TIED after the first day of two races.  Mike Whitfield's TMC RACING, Don Taylor's ON BELAY and Darren Cumming's DOWNTOWN UPROAR all had four points each.  Scores would have to be settle on the last day.  Indeed, they were.  Mike's TMC RACING team simply took off and got two bullets, scoring a 2-2-1-1 to win with 6 pts.  Second was Don's team ON BELAY with a 3-1-2-3 record for 9 pts and third was Darren's team with a 1-3-3-4 for 11 pts.

The J/120s are a remarkably tight fleet, just about all of them have won the Rolex Big Boat Series at one time or another.  Depending on conditions, crew and solar flares or karma (remember, lots of Northern Lights this past week due to a solar storm enshrouding us all), one team seems to do better than the others.  This weekend it happened to be the MR MAGOO team led by Steve Madeira from Northeast Harbor, ME.  Steve's team led by only a point after the first day, but hung tough on day two to win by four points with a 4-2-1-3-1 record.  John Wimer on DESDEMONA and Don Payan's DAYENU were tied after day one.  But it was John's DESDEMONA team that won the final tie-breaker on the last race!  They had a 5-1-2-1-6 for 15 pts, just to keep everyone on their toes!  Third was Don's DAYENU with a 1-3-4-5-2 for 15 pts.  Only 1 point back was Barry Lewis' CHANCE.   Ultimate Yacht Shots Ultimate J-Sailing photos.  Ultimate Videos/ slideshow from Ultimate YachtShots.  For more J/Fest West San Francisco Bay sailing results

J/122 racer-cruiser sailboat-  sailing in CaribbeanJ/122 LOST HORIZON Survives St Barths

Skipper says- "Crew Enjoyed Themselves Too Much"

(St Barths, Caribbean)-  What's the attraction of St Barths?  The gorgeous French and Swedish women on the beaches looking every bit the part of their infamous Brazilian Ipanema Beach counterparts? Is it the amazingly steady trade winds and challenging sailing conditions?  Or, is it the extraordinary geography and gastronomy?  Most would say it's a potent, intoxicating combination of all the above.  Really.  What's not to like about this little jewel in the middle of the eastern Caribbean?  No question some crews may enjoy themselves a wee bit too much. Why not?

While St. Barth is an island whose natural beauty you can enjoy, the chic French isle is also where one can find the highest level of gastronomy in the Caribbean. For one of the nights in the Race Village, there was a special event showcasing three famous chefs, Laurent Cantineaux (Le Bonito in St. Barth), Yann Vinsot (Hôtel Saint Barth île de France) and Jean Luc Grabowski (President of the “Goût et saveurs” gastronomy club), for an evening dedicated to food tastings and culinary demonstrations.

How did this all get created in the first place?  In 1784, the island of St. Barth became a currency exchange-- particularly for slavers in the Triangle Trade and pirates looting the Spanish Main!  Louis XVI decided to hand over what he owned in exchange for warehouse facilities in the port of Gothenburg, Sweden-- less risky. King Gustave III of Sweden, who really admired French culture, took possession of the 21 sq km of land in the middle of the Caribbean, and the island’s fortunes changed for the good. The monarch did all he could to make the most of his purchase, beginning with setting up a "free port" and building up a town around the harbour. Between 1786 and 1787, the port changed its name from “Le Carénage” to Gustavia to pay homage to King Gustave III.  As a "free port" for anyone-- come one, come all-- St. Barth was a trade and supply center during the 18th century for much of the Caribbean, beginning a mercantile tradition that has lasted to the present day. While Sweden sold the island back to France in 1878, its influence on the island is still seen through street names, the presence of Sweden’s national arms in the island’s coat of arms.

This year, the fleet continued to grow.  The forty-eight boats that assembled in Gustavia's anchorage for the start of the second edition of Les Voiles de St Barths regatta could not have been blessed with nicer weather conditions.  The first day of racing dawned with 25 knots of tropical tradewind breeze and showers sweeping over the picturesque French island located midway down the Caribbean chain. The regatta’s fleet set off on a race course around the nearby archipelago, and met with plenty of wind and bumpy seas, especially on the islands’ exposed eastern side.  You certainly couldn’t have asked for a prettier race course, which sent fleets on courses of 16, 22, or 25nm around pretty little islets. Most intriguing was the trip around the northern tip of St. Barth and through the nearby archipelago, which in a typically French way makes one ready for a meal with names such as Ile Chevreau (baby goat), Ile Fregate (bird), Ile le Boulanger (the baker), Ile Fourchue (fork), Grouper et Petite Groupers (fish), Le Boeuf (beef), and Le Pain du Sucre (sugarloaf).

By the second day, the weather offered 15 - 16 knots of breeze and a much reduced sea from the day before, when many boats returned to the quay to lick their wounds and effect repairs, which included torn sails, broken head foils, and damaged rigging.  At all four race starts, the groupings were much tighter as crews ramped up their performances and rivalries reared their heads, especially in the hard fought Racing Cruising Class that included Jim Dobb's J/122 LOST HORIZON.  As the largest at Les Voiles with 24 entries, Racing Cruising was again sent on a 16 nautical mile course, which was much less punishing than the opening race.

After lazy Thursday lay-day, the trade wind fan was still on – set at medium-high – with an 18 knot east-southeast breeze, and a gentle swell. In the Racing Cruising class, one competitor commented on the J/122 LOST HORIZON owned by Jim Dobbs (Antigua, W.I.)-  “He’s really quick, so we have to look at him, too. So our strategy today is as fast as we can push it. Have a good start is always important too, get away quickly, and get a good wind shift on the shore of the island.”  He was right, as LOST HORIZON went on to “correct out” first for the day. The J/122 has been inching up the leader board all week, and their victory moved them up into second overall with a record of 4-3-1.

As if to ensure that competitors had seen all the beaches and sights that St. Barth has to offer, race officers today sent the fleet on its final circumnavigation counter-clockwise around the eight-square mile island: a 23-nautical mile course for the Racing Cruising group.  In the morning, rain clouds scudded over the island, which by the 1100 start time caused some impressive shifts in wind direction and velocity on the right side of the race course. Once around the southern end of the island, the boats were into a 17 knot east-southeasterly with a three-foot sea. While it qualified as the lightest wind speeds for the week, it still ranked as great sailing conditions.

One sailor described the somewhat tricky conditions, saying, “It was lighter today – well, 17 knots – so lighter for St Barth. We had a 40-degree wind shift in the rain shadow on the west side, and the breeze dropped to nine knots at one point. Then on the windward side there were some pretty big waves".  In Racing Cruising, there were a handful of boats in contention for first overall going into the last race, including the J/122 LOST HORIZON. In the end, while Jim and crew on LOST HORIZON had been on a roll, moving up the rankings through the week, they were stopped just short of a win, correcting out today three minutes back to finish the week in second overall.  Jim was overheard saying, "well, the food was great, the beaches gorgeous, the women prettier and the crew loved it, so everyone wins!"  Who can blame him.  As the competing yachts crossed the finish line they were greeted by a tender manned with Les Voiles de St. Barth officials, who presented each of the crews with a bottle of Taittinger Champagne – and thus putting a final French touch on a ritual that in other parts of the world involves iced cold beer.  Who's going next year?  The whole J/Boats office will be run from there for a week!  For more Les Voile de St. Barths sailing information.

J/109 sailboats- sailing under spinnaker on Solent, EnglandWarsash Spring Championship Enjoy Champagne Sailing

(Warsash, Southampton Water, England- April 9-10)- It was a busy weekend for Warsash Sailing Club when Saturday racing for the Spring Championship was added to the penultimate gathering of the Spring Series on Sunday. On Saturday the Solent provided “champagne sailing” – a sparkling day with a perfect sailing breeze. Sunday was a time for patience.  The weather forecast for the weekend proved very accurate, promising quite different conditions for the two days. Saturday brought a south-easterly 10-15 knots blowing in from the Nab Tower direction. Overnight the high pressure built and Sunday morning saw the same blue skies but with very little wind.

The Spring Championship got off to an excellent start with testing but ideal conditions. Course setting was comparatively easy for the race officers in the steady breeze. The Black Group Spring Championship classes were divided into Big Boats 1 and 2 and J/109s. Race Officers David Greenway and Peter Bateson used laid marks to adjust the length of the beats and runs for the different classes and efficiently completed four races. Peter Knight was overseeing the sportsboat classes for J/80s with a race track set up in the entrance to Southampton Water.  Again the full schedule finished just in time for everyone to be back in the clubhouse to watch the Grand National.

In Black Group the tightest competition came in BB2’s second race with Jammy Dodger (J/133 – Neil Martin) getting third by two seconds. In the J/109s Velvet Elvis and J/Dream could not be separated with identical score-lines of two wins and two second places.

In White Group, three boats opened up a small advantage in the J/80 class after their four races. Patrick Liardet (Aqua-J) led by one point from Dan Brown (Henri Lloyd Shockwave) with Tony Hanlon’s RAF team on Spitfire a further point away.

J/122 sailboat- sailing around mark in England's Solent WaterOn Sunday, the television reported that the temperature in Bournemouth was higher than in Bermuda!! In the Solent the high pressure system resulted in brilliant sunshine but virtually no wind. Competitors and race officers had a long wait whilst some skippers carried out housekeeping jobs aloft on the rig and others read the Sunday papers. During long postponements like this it is customary for some crews to enjoy a swim, but not usually during the Spring Series when the water temperature is 10 degrees Celsius!

It was an agonizing time for the race officers hoping for the breeze to be sustained above 5 knots and from a steady direction. The mark laying boats were constantly being sent off in readiness only to return when the fickle breeze spun round and back. Just after noon, Black Group PRO David Greenway and his team stationed near Universal Marina buoy took the brave decision to get racing underway in a very localized south-easterly gusting to 6 knots. Classes were combined into three starts with the time limit extended to two and a half hours. IRC1 were set a laid windward mark just north of the Ryde Middle Bank followed by a run to Fastnet, beat to North East Ryde Middle and three further laid marks finishing near the start.

The first start comprised IRC1 and both “Big Boat” classes. The ODM end of the line was favored by many. Two were caught out as OCS but only Neil Kipling’s J/122 JOOPSTER failed to return although she is contesting this. On the next start, for IRC2 and the J/109s, the committee boat end held the most attraction but with such a large number of boats, the fleet was spread evenly along the line by the gun. Finally, at 1250 it was the turn of IRC3 who got clean away. The breeze held whilst the boats were beating and, with a weather-going tide, everyone made the top mark in reasonable time. The bigger boats in the first race made good progress but as they started their second beat the wind was already fading and their course was shortened at the end of the next run which enabled everyone to record a valid finish.

J/109 sailboat- sailing upwind in England's Warsash Spring ChampsFor the smaller boats in the second and third starts, life was more difficult. The boats were slowing down by the windward mark and progress was painfully slow on the run which sometimes turned into a shy spinnaker reach to Hamble Yacht Services where the course was shortened.  Two factors were critical. Gaining clean air was vital with so many boats sailing lower trying to gain an advantage only to find that the wind shadows from the boats above them extended much further than normal and the increased adverse tidal flow held them back. The other element was to choose the correct time to gybe along the mainland shore. Those that got it right made significant gains.

For the J/109s, VELVET ELVIS winning scoreline was a 1-2-1-2-2 for 8 pts.  Second was David and Kirsty Apthorp's team on J-DREAM starting to hit their stride and get a tally of a 2-1-2-1-5 for 11 pts to just lose out on the last race of the weekend.  Lying third was Richard and Valerie Griffith's OUTRAJEOUS with a 3-3-5-4-3 record for 18 pts.

Amongst the Big Boats, the J/122 JINJA sailed by Ian Matthews managed to get a consistent 2-8-2-3-4 score for 19 points.  Short of a regrettable "toss race" with their 8th, they sailed solidly enough to be a winner for the Spring Champs.

The fourteen boat J/80 class saw the Spring Series leader AQUA-J sailed by Patrick Liardet continue to show their winning form in the Spring Championship.  With a 2-1-1-4 score for 8 pts they just nipped out Dan Brown's up and coming HENRI LLOYD SHOCKWAVE team that had a 1-3-2-3 score for 9 pts.  Showing renewed vigor and aggressiveness, the Royal Air Force Team on SPITFIRE led by Tony Hanlon came out firing on all cylinders, getting a 4-2-3-1 to show strong improvement over the course of the weekend to get third with 10 pts.  Fourth was fall Hamble Winter Series champion John Cooper on OI! with a 3-5-4-5 tally for 17 pts and fifth was Paul Heys and Stew Hawthorn on JUMPIN JENGA with a 6-7-5-2 score line for  20 pts.   Sailing Photo Credits- Eddie Mays.    For more Warsash Spring Series sailing results.

J/125 racer- sailing off San FranciscoJ/109 Wins Double-handed Farallones Race

(San Francisco, CA)- As has happened over the course of this famously tough race, the fleet was greeted by the same forecast as the J/Fest crews were-- light in the morning and increasing velocity to a "good breeze" by late afternoon.  What no forecaster seemed to take into account were two very critical elements, particularly as they applied to the hapless double-handers headed outside the fabled "Golden Gate" to arm-wrestle their wheels and tillers over the great monster known as the "potato patch" and head around some islands renowned as much for feeding fat little seals off its shores to those scourges of the deep, the Great White Shark.  One element was how HOT it was going to get inland, the great bread-basket of California known as the Great Valley and the second element was how strong the currents would be on the ebb due to excessive rains and snow melt coming from the very same Sierra Nevada mountain ranges.  The combination proved yet again to be pretty toxic.

At start of the Farallones Race, it was blowing 15-20 knots. But, by the time the fleet was outside of the Golden Gate Bridge, it was blowing more like 20-40 knots with huge, breaking waves.  Sailing in the fleet was a J/105, a J/109, a J/120 and the J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE (DT), Andy Costello's speedster on the Bay.  DT started the race, broke their rudder quadrant and returned home-- here's Andy's report to Sailing Anarchy:

"Well DT had a great start and we were first out of the Bay with "Trunk Monkey", the only other mono that managed to exit the bay without being caught at the start by the tide. Once we cleared Point Bonita we were the northern most boat in the fleet and were taking pretty steep waves off the shoals but managed to get thru pretty well besides getting banged around a bit. The wind steadily built to the low 20's just off Bonita, then as we progressed a mile or so out out the waves and wind continued to increase up to solid 26s with gusts close to 30 knots. By this point we were trying to slow DT down and she was just jumping off the backs of the steep waves and hard into the next. I thought our rig was going to come down every time we leaped off the next wave. Pat went down to get his handheld GPS to get a heading for the Rock and I was up alone for a while.  We leaped off a huge wave and when we came down the boat came down with such force I heard a crack from the steering quadrant area.  At the same time our back-stay handle was flung overboard into the ocean!! Wow!! ( Take note- would have been smart to a have a tether on that!).  Now the rig was un-adjustable, great!?  We sailed along for a good 4 or 5 more miles waiting to see if the wind would increase or subside, during that time the creaks from the steering area were coming and going depending on load. I asked Pat what the heading was for the island and he gave me the news that our only mapping GPS had bit the dust!! 12 miles out from Farallones Islands, we decided to give up on our attempt of first monohull to finish (there was NO ONE else in sight)!

We continued upwind until an inbound freighter took our stern and followed him until we knew we were in the channel back to Golden Gate Bridge. On our way back in we sailed for 10 minutes before we saw the Open 50 coming upwind. I think we would have had our shot at overall honors as our J/125 has the legs downwind and the Open 50 had some catching up to do (like 15 miles worth!). He probably would have caught us but our start had paid off huge. We hugged the green Markers all the way in dodging 3 in-bound and out-bound freighter's.  Under main alone we wee trying to keep the boat as unloaded as we could, but we still hit over 18 knots on multiple occasions (a few times the speedo would be reading 16, 17 and then it would drop down even though the boat was still accelerating-- only then did I realize the speedos were both completely out of the water!! Ha!!). The J/125 is a joy to drive downwind when your not worrying about your rudder!"  Thanks goodness these two (Andy and Pat) made it home safely.

Hanging tough in the same conditions were the J/105, J/109 and J/120.  A bunch of guys from Chicago had brought their J/105 GONZO to the Bay for the winter sailing series.  Apparently, they've had a great time sailing on the Bay in everything from light air to the classic nukin' conditions the Bay can offer-- cart-wheeling AC72's anyone??  In any event, Ken Garch sailed GONZO to a very respectable 2nd in Class 4 ULDB, sailing the course in just 8 hours.  It was their first time sailing this grueling race, not bad for a bunch of newbies from a lake in the Midwest.

The top finishing J was Howard Turner's J/109 SYMMETRY from Santa Cruz, sailing an elapsed time of 7:46:26 to beat the famously fast offshore J/105 speedsters on elapsed time.  Howard's SYMMETRY won Class 3 Monohull by nearly an hour over three other famously fast Express 37s.

In the same class at DOUBLE TROUBLE was the J/120 JAMANI sailed by Sean Mulvihill and friend.  JAMANI had an elapsed time of 7:54:27 to get a fourth in class and finish behind the J/105 and J/109 on corrected overall.    For more Doublehanded Farallones sailing results


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

J/111 rocketship ready to take off* David and Mary Ellen Tortorello are about ready to launch their new J/111 PARTNERSHIP.  First race will be the Storm Trysail Rolex Block Island Race on Memorial Day Weekend.  The race goes from Stamford, CT to Block Island and return.  Sometimes light.  Sometimes heavy.  Often everything in between.  The boat looks HOT!  A few other J/111s have similar color schemes.  Watch out for them this summer--- if recent experiences on events like the Cabo Race are any indication, it will be difficult to hold these 111 speedsters off the podium!

J/80 sailors from Spain- Tonio Piris sailing Barcelona World Race* Fresh off an around the world cruise-  J/80 sailor, Tonio Piris from Spain, just finished the double-handed Barcelona Race.  Imagine that.  Having raced J/80s in Spain against his brother Jaime and several other J/80 World Champions, Tony then sets off around the world, non-stop, to prove that he can do it on an Open 60 with a fellow Spanish sailor.

Congratulations to them for getting third overall!  Quite a feat.

The J Cruising CommunityJ 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.  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."  UPDATE-  Just a short note to update from Bill- "Our cruise began in May of 2000 and ended in May of 2008, some 8 years later. I have just finished and published my third and final book covering the last three or so years including our double handed crossing in 16 days and one winter in the Caribbean. Like the others, "Sea Trek- A Passion for sailing- Book III," can be found at  Thanks, Bill and Judy"

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 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).

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!

- Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog at  Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA)J/109 racer-cruiser sailboat GAIA- sailing off Java Sea cruising offshore, then to the South Pacific and New Zealand.  MANDALAY is back in San Francisco now, and in the J/World fleet--she is available for skippered charters, private instruction, and corporate/executive groups.

* The J/109 GAIA (seen right in the Java Sea) was sailed by Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay around the world. In February 2011, their cruising adventures came to an abrupt, sad ending.  As a tribute to them and their cruising friends worldwide, we hope their chronicles on their GAIA website remains a tribute to their warm-hearted spirits- read more about why many loved them dearly and will remain touched by their loving spirit forever-