Wednesday, April 20, 2011

J/Newsletter- April 20th, 2011

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing downwindJ/111 Cabo Race Video
(Cabo San Lucas, Mexico or some place north)- The boys on the J/111 INVISIBLE HAND had a good sleigh ride to Cabo once the "normal" breezes finally kicked in after a few days of light air beating.  In J/Anarchy, "the Hand's" owner, Frank Slootman, had some insightful commentary for current and future J/111 owners: "With six crew, I thought the boat was quite manageable. We slept and ate well. Crew (of 6 total) commented how comfortable the boat was. We have a light air #1 head sail that performed very well upwind. The last day when the winds finally became what we were rated for, the sailing was absolutely epic. The boat was continually planing and surfing big waves. We spun out a few times, of course (still learning), but the boat doesn't broach violently and lay over hard, it is quite easy to get control back. I compared the downhill sailing to deep powder skiing, very gentle.  But, the boat was like a dog with a bone, it just wanted to go all the time!! Our downwind speeds most of the time were in the low-mid teens, peaking at 18 knots.  We had the A2 (big runner) up most of the time.  We put up the A3 (110 sq. meter) kite when breeze started to push past 25 kts on the last night and we were surprised how little speed we sacrificed and the boat was just rock solid in the conditions with that smaller kite. We made up HUGE the last day on the fleet.  We were only a good hour out of second overall, which we would have easily made up had the race lasted a few hours longer. It was very apparent from post race chatter that none of this went unnoticed!!"   Watch video of Frank's J/111 INVISIBLE HAND team sail fast & fun to Cabo.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing in La Trinite, Spi-Ouest Regatta, FranceRecord 105 J/80s Race SPI Ouest!
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- The largest one-design fleet in the history of SPI Ouest-France is expected for the J/80 class with more than 105 teams planning to attend.  Seven countries are represented with international crews from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Sweden. The strength of the French J/80 class have contributed to this record turnout, it's considered the best one-design class in France and routinely attracts the best French one-design sailors; included amongst them is Bruno Trouble, the managing director of Louis Vuitton's participation in the America's Cup.  Bruno is again expected to sail with most of his "Jurassic Park" COYOTE crew that accompanied him in Newport for the J/80 Worlds--- one tough group of hombres!

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing La Trinite- Spi-Ouest- FranceThis strong turnout also bodes well for the J/80 Worlds 2013 that will take place in France (over 140 crews expected) and for which preparations have already begun (applications of organizing clubs are open, the final site selection will be done later this year).

Of note will be the fact that one of the best PRO's in France, Christophe Gaumont, will be managing the races at SPI Ouest, as he did for the 2007 J/80 Worlds.  The fleet will be split in two with four flights rotating against one another to determine the Gold and Silver fleets, then competition will commence to determine the ultimate overall champion.  For more SPI-Ouest J/80 sailing information.
Sailing photo credits:   Eric Rousseau - VELOX IMAGES    Laurent Vidal - PHOTOMER

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing Palma Mallorca, SpainPalmaVela Features Olympic/ World Champions Sailing J/80s
(Palma de Mallorca, Spain)- Some of the most magnificent sailboats of the world will compete from the 20th to 24th of April in the Mapfre PalmaVela regatta. Twelve classes will join competition during the four racing days. A total of 120 boats, 1000 sailors, 15 divisions and 15 countries will compete, distributed across four racing areas.

While the giant sailing yachts will be racing further offshore, the giants of sailing in Spain will be racing in the J/80 class.  The J/80 has grown into the most important one-design racing boat in Spain and will see 23 highly competitive teams taking part in this year's regatta.  It's a gathering some of the best national and international sailors that call Europe home.  For these teams, the Mapfre PalmaVela will also serve as a warm-up for the debut of the class in the Copa del Rey Audi-Mapfre regatta that will be sailed in July.

The participation of three Olympic Medallists and a World Champion is proof of the extremely competitive level of the class. Barcelona 1992 Gold Medallist Jose María van der Ploeg will take the helm of the J/80 GREAT SAILING and so will Montreal 1976 Silver Medallist Toño Gorostegui onboard CANTABRIA INFINITA. Portuguese Hugo Rocha, Bronze Medallist in Atlanta 1996, will skipper TURISMO DO ALGARVE, while J/80 World Champion Ignacio Camino will sail onboard NEXTEL ENGINEERING. ALCOLA sailed by Estanislao Carpio, FIERABRAS skippered by Diego Colón, PORTCALL COMPOSITES helmed by José Carlos Frau, Javier Sanz's PRO RIGGING, or Miguel Pujadas' EDER HOTELS are some of the strong Majorcan J/80 teams to compete this week in Palma. Defending champion Carlos Martínez also stands out as one of the favorites.  For more Mapfre PalmaVela Sailing information.

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing Buenos Aires, Argentina- Montevideo, UruguayJ/24 South American Champs XXVIII
(Puerto del Buceo, Montevideo, Uruguay- Apr 17-23)- The J/24 class in South America continues to have great events no matter where it's been raced- Buenos Aires, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay

Yacht Club Uruguayo members should feature to be amongst the regatta leaders, including Marcelo Alzola and Gonzalo Alcantara.  From just down the street, so to speak, will be Yacht Club Punta Del Este members Diego Garcia, the 2011 Spring Series leader and colleague Pedro Garra.  Giving them all good competition will be the past J/24 World Champion from Brazil, Mauricio Santa Cruz, who just won the Monaco Grand Prix in J/24s.   Video Intro to J/24 South Americans    More J/24 South American Championship sailing information

J/145 Sailing Hong Kong-San Fernando Race
(Hong Kong, China)- The J/145 REDEYE, sailed by Royal Hong Kong YC members Thompson & Leese, are sailing in the RHKYC's RORC San Fernando Race, a 480 nm mile dash from the islands off Hong Kong to San Fernando harbour on the northern part of the Philippines.

The 10 to 12 knot due easterly that had been recorded earlier in the day by Race Officer Jimmy Farquhar, quickly built into a 20 knot breeze, and an hour after the start, the fleet had cleared Lei Yue Mun Gap, and was heading out into open water across the treacherous South China Sea.  As of 1800hrs Wednesday evening (USA) REDEYE was leading her IRC Cruising fleet by a substantial margin, 30 nm already with 2/3 of the race left to go! A rough first two night beckons, with a forecast of force 5 to 6, but with visibility at 8km, it should also be a spectacular night sailing.  This was a video of the fleet start- Hong Kong time with the city in the background (China Bank Tower is the tall one).   You can track the fleet sailling the course using the Yellowbrick Tracker site here.  For more Royal Hong Kong YC San Fernando Race sailing information.

sailboats sailing at sunset off BrazilJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

In most parts of Europe and North America, this past week marked the first full-blooms of spring as the strange weather everyone has experienced are at least transforming into a warmer climate.  Over in Europe, the British were completing their Warsash Spring Series and Spring Championships in gorgeous weather but under a massive High was simply squashed the breeze from developing too strongly.  The J/111 loved it (see below) and so did the J/122s, J/80s and J/109s.  In the America's, the largest regatta held so far in 2011 is the Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week with 270 boats, with a large offshore J contingent, including J/111 and J/122 as well as strong J one-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s and J/80s.  Out West, the Singlehanded Society of San Francisco held their single/double Corinthians Race earlier in April.  And, the sail hard, party hard legendary Ensenada Race had 170 entries in this annual classic blast reach down the coast from Newport Beach, California to Ensenada, Mexico.  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:

Apr 16-23- J/24 South Americans- Montevideo, Uruguay-
Apr 20-24- PalmaVela (J80s)- Palma Mallorca, Spain-
Apr 21-25- SPI Ouest France- La Trinite Sur Mer, France-
Apr 29-May 1- STS Annapolis NOOD- Annapolis, MD-
Apr 30-May 1- Yachting Cup- San Diego, CA-
May 1-6- Bermuda Race Week (J/24 & J/105)- RBYC, Bermuda-
May 5-8- J/80 Copa de Espana- Palma Mallorca, Spain-
May 10-14- J/24 Nationals- Dallas, TX-
May 14-15- J/109 Vice Admirals Cup- Cowes, England-
May 14-15- Ahmanson Cup- Newport Beach, CA-
May 14-15- J/109 Vice Admirals Cup- Cowes, England-
May 20-22- STS Seattle NOOD- Seattle, WA-
May 27- STC Block Island Race- Stamford, CT-
Jun 3- Annapolis-Newport Race- Annapolis, MD-
Jun 12-19- Rolex Giraglia Cup- Genoa, Italy-
Jun 18-22- Kieler Woche Regatta- Kiel, Germany-

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

J/80 sailing Charleston Race WeekJ's Enjoy Spring Fling in Charleston
J/122 GAMBLER & J/29 MIGHTY PUFFIN Triumph, J/111 2nd
(Charleston, SC- Apr 14-17) - Springtime in Charleston is one of the more perfect places to spend the spring season and nature smiles especially fondly on Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week every year. For local Charleston resident and J/22 competitor, Greg Fisher, it's all about the community. The multiple world champion and former sail designer recently left the sailmaking industry to accept the position as Director of Sailing for the College Of Charleston. "The amazing thing about Charleston sailors is how they come together as a community for important events," Fisher said. "Hundreds of passionate sailors and their families get together to support Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week, Charleston Community Sailing and the College, and it really feels like you're part of a big family when you're with them."

While the rest of America was fretting about tax filing deadlines, Charleston Harbor gave sailors a tax day gift - nearly perfect weather for sailboat racing on Friday. "I don't think I've ever had a day with such perfect sailing weather," said a competitor on the offshore PHRF course. "We had tight racing with 15-18 knots out of the East - perfect wind, perfect waves, and warm sunshine all day."

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing Charleston Race WeekRacing offshore on the north/south courses were the big boats.  The new J/111 VELOCITY finished the day in fourth in a very competitive PHRF B Class with a 3-4-4 record. "This was the boat's first day of racing ever, and we're having a good time figuring her out," explained trimmer Dave Malkin of Annapolis. "We're definitely looking forward to even more breeze tomorrow." Kemah, TX J/122 owner Doug Shaffer leads the class with just four points in three races aboard GAMBLER, getting a 1-1-2 score.  In second was yet another J/122, Robin Team's TEAMWORK from Lexington, NC with a 4-2-1 record, getting stronger every race as their team dials it in to be a class leader.  Having a tough time against their stablemates were the two J/120s, John Keenan's ILLYRIA and Rick Moore's MOOSE DOWN, finishing further down the ladder.

J/124 sailing Charleston Race WeekIn PHRF A, the J/124 WICKED sailed by Doug Curtiss and crew from Branford, CT lay in a three-way tie for second with a 2-3-4 score.  Just behind them were the two J/130s, David Hackney's SUGAR MAGNOLIA and Noel Sterret's SOLARUS.

In PHRF C were the 35 footers-, including the J/35, J/109 and three J/105s.  After the end of a glorious day of racing, the J/35 ARROW sailed by Willy Schwenzfeier from Charleston, SC sailed a solid 4-5-6 to lie 4th for the day.  Ric Campeau's J/109 HOODOO had some flashes of brilliance but couldn't put it all together, ending up with a 7-6-9 for 6th.

Over in PHRF D, a real fight was taking  place for the top three positions on the podium.  Leading the charge was the masthead/outboard J/29 FOR SAIL skippered by Jim Mackevich from Edison, NJ with a 4-2-1 record for 7 pts.  Just behind them by one point was Steve Thurston sailing MIGHTY PUFFIN, another masthead/outboard J/29, sailing to a 2-1-5 record for 8 pts.  Just off the pace was Dave Pritchard's J/92 AMIGOS sailing to a 7-4-3 tally.

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing to offset mark at Charleston Race WeekOn the inshore one-design courses, the J/22s, J/24s and J/80s were having a great day sailing, with all three classes getting in four races.  Sailing on the new Course "0", the J/22s and J/24s were sailing in the easterly breeze with the windward mark set about 85 degrees from the start line.  While the first race was affected by the strong ebb current flowing out of the harbor, after 12:18pm the next three races were fought in a building flood current.  If you haven't heard about it before, there's no question that current is a factor in setting your course strategies and tactics, on some courses more important than others.  For the J/24s and J/22s, the first beats were influenced by the presence of the giant sand spit called Shutes Folly Island with a little fort at the SE end of it- Castle Pinckney.  The combination of less adverse current near the island and the puffs backing left most of the afternoon meant the fleet had to play middle left nearly all day.  At the end of the day, it was pretty clear the top three in the very competitive 25 boat J/24 class traded places taking most of the podium finishes.  Leading the charge was past J/24 Champion Mike Ingham, from Rochester, NY, who had the wind and current scenario wired, sailing to a very consistent 1-3-1-2 record for 7 pts.  Sailing STREET LEGAL into second for the day was Chris Jankowski from Richmond, VA with a 3-2-2-3 tally for 10 pts.  And getting stronger by the race was John Surguy's team on VANISHING ACT from Marlboro, NJ, sailing to a 4-4-3-1 scoreline for 12 pts to secure third place for the day.

The J/22s had a very strong sixteen boat fleet and the competition for the top spots was going to be tough with some excellent teams fielded not only from local Charleston sailors, but also from very strong J/22 one-design class fleets in both Rochester, NY and Annapolis, MD.  After the first two races, it was obvious that a near match-race was forming for the top spots between Chris Doyle sailing SOLID LAYER from Rochester, NY and Greg Fisher from Charleston, SC.  After the first two races, Chris had a 1-2 and Greg had a 2-1.  As the afternoon wore on, Chris and his SOLID LAYER crew made their move and established primal supremacy in the J/22 fleet, getting two more bullets to finish the day with a 1-2-1-1 for 5 pts.  Greg's team sailed well to finish the day with a 2-1-3-3 tally for 9 pts.  Behind them was another match race shaping up between Todd Hiller from Annapolis, MD sailing LEADING EDGE and Travis Odenbach from Rochester, NY sailing INSTIGATOR.  This duel ended up tied for the day with Todd scoring a 3-3-2-6 and Travis with a 4-4-4-2, the tiebreaker going in favor of Todd.

J/80s one-design sailboats- sailing downwind at Charleston, SCA great turnout of twenty-six boats meant the J/80s were going to have a good series with some very competitive teams attending.  Plus, a fun, fast course with less than 1.0 nm windward-leeward legs meant that skippers, tacticians and crews would be busy.  Unlike the J/22 and J/24 Course "0", the J/80s were sailing on Course 1 along the southern part of the harbor.  The PRO set the windward mark at about 90 degrees and basically never changed it all day.  The winds built from 6-12 to 9-17 knots from the East by mid-afternoon, making for epic, brilliant sailing, perhaps the best course for sailing in the entire regatta (based on hearsay at the Goslings tent afterwards!).  Like the Course "0" sailors, the J/80s saw the winds oscillate significantly, but the right side of the course along shore only paid off twice on 8 total windward legs over 4 races! Fast out of the blocks was Bruno Pasquinelli from Dallas, TX sailing TIAMO to a 1-1-4-6 score for the day for 12 pts.  However, the team of Henry Brauer and Will Welles sailing RASCAL from Marblehead, MA/ Newport, RI sailed consistently well, never finishing out of the top three, rounding either the first or second mark in first place in every race, to get a 3-3-1-2 record to end the day with 9 pts to be at the top of the leader-board.  In third due to a tie-breaker with Bruno's TIAMO team was Kerry Klingler's team from Larchmont, NY sailing to a 5-2-2-3 for 12 pts.

The talk of the dock after the spectacular day's racing was whether or not the dire predictions for Saturday's sailing would come true- a weather forecast that included no less than trailer-destroying tornados, frightening line squalls, severe ginormous thunderstorms, massive car-destroying hail stones, monster micro-burst puffs and gale-force wind conditions. If Friday's conditions provided a chance for racers to knock the rust off, Saturday would undoubtedly separate the top teams from those who could use a bit more practice-- or the crazed from the simply normal.  As Saturday dawned, it was clear the prognosticators were correct, the forecast was more accurate than most had hoped; in fact, the storm front killed nearly 50 people in tornados less than 100 miles away.  As a result, Regatta Chairman Randy Draftz was put in the unenviable position of having to cancel racing for the first time ever in the race week's history.  Nevertheless, many were sanguine about the dilemma and felt it was a good call.

Multiple J/24 World Champion Anthony Kotoun of Newport, RI was one of them, and the Virgin Islands native who has sailed the past four Charleston Race Weeks, shared his thoughts on Charleston Race Week: "I just love this regatta," he said. When pressed on why, he mentioned the parallels with Caribbean regattas. "I just came back from sailing in St. Thomas at the Rolex Regatta, the BVI at the Spring Regatta and St. Maarten for the Heineken event, and Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is the only event in the country that's got a flavor like those." Kotoun cited "great breezes, beautiful surroundings, and the regatta village here on the beach that's really something you don't see anywhere but the Caribbean."

An earlier start time for Sunday saw frantic preparations as all boats were seen pulling piles of extra sails and gear off their boats to lighten their loads for the expected forecast of a dying 5-10 kt wind. The offshore courses saw sufficient sailing breeze through most of the day, with the first race run under very light northerly conditions and the final race in a moderate Charleston sea breeze of 10 knots.

The biggest boats at the event had an exciting, three-way battle for the lead in PHRF A, with the J/124 WICKED ending up third after the smoke cleared.  WICKED missed 2nd by 1 pt and first by just 2 pts, a shift here, a puff there and the tables would have turned completely in their favor.

J/122 offshore racer-cruiser sailboat- one-design sailingIn PHRF B, Doug Shaffer's J/122 GAMBLER simply sailed away, leaving the fleet in their rear-view mirror, winning the last two races to win by 9 pts over the J/111 VELOCITY.  After their Friday "practice race" day, the gang on the J/111 VELOCITY got their act together, retuned the rig, trimmed the sails faster, avoided some big holes and even led the entire fleet around one leeward gate to secure 2nd overall with a solid 2-2 showing on the last day for a total of 15 pts.  Third was Robin Team's J/122 TEAMWORK, sailing an uncharacteristic 7-3 to finish 3rd with 17 pts.

The mighty struggle between the 30 footers in PHRF D was finally settled in favor of Steve Thurston's well-sailed J/29 MIGHTY PUFFIN, getting a 4-1 to win with 13 pts.  Jim's J/29 FOR SAIL had a slow day, getting a 7-5 to drop to 4th after leading on the first day.  Dave Pritchard's J/92 AMIGOS got their mojo on and managed to peel off a 1-2 for the best record on Sunday to get 3rd overall with 17 pts.  The Palmetto Cup, which is awarded each year to the best boat competing in the PHRF (handicap rating) classes, went to Steve Thurston and his crew from Bristol, RI racing aboard the mighty yacht  MIGHTY PUFFIN!

Inshore, conditions were more fickle and no races were completed on the J/24 and J/22 race course, with only one completed on the J/80 course.  Former North American and National J/24 Champion Mike Ingham was disappointed that his class didn't see enough wind for a final race today, though he was happy to take the victory in the most competitive J/24 fleet that Charleston has seen in several years. "We last sailed here for our National Championship about six years ago, and it's just as great as I remembered," said Mike. "On Friday, we got four solid races in, and just kept our noses clean and tried to sail smart. It worked."

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing downwind with spinnakersFor the J/80s, it was a beautiful, but disappointing day.  The one and only race was punctuated by a series of events for the leaders and the entire fleet that could best be described as "unfortunate".  The PRO elected to start the race in a rapidly dying breeze from the NW (it was forecast to die by 11am) at precisely 10:40 am after it was obvious the Viper 640 fleet that started at 10:35am were struggling getting to the first windward mark.  Toss in a dying breeze with massive holes, 40 degree shifts and a full-moon ebb tide flowing at 3 knots and what do you get?  A very ugly picture that many sailing in England's Solent are all too familiar with.  Out of 26 boats only 5 managed to finish the race (exactly 1/5th of the fleet) and the rest scored TLE (time limit expired!).  Not exactly a "fair or reasonable" race for all involved, e.g. an awfully expensive one-day regatta!  Nevertheless, not often you see top three finishers scored with TLE's as counters!  Kerry Klingler's team avoided the mishaps and secured a finish to win with 15 pts with a 5-2-2-3-3 score.  In finishing second, the Brauer/Welles team got caught by the finish line buoy, literally, and instead of winning the regatta was forced to take a TLE, scoring 3-3-1-2-TLE for 16 pts.  Third was Bruno's TIAMO team who seemingly took an involuntary tour of Fort Sumter over on another course as they were getting flushed out to sea, finishing with a 1-1-4-6-TLE for 19 pts.  Thanks to Mike Lovett's contributions from his Sailing World Forum report (

VIdeo coverage:
  - OTWA  Sailing Coverage- Day One
  - T2P.TV- Day One Summary

For more Charleston Race Week sailing information

J/145 Sequoyah from Santa Barbara, California- sailing Ensenada RaceEnsenada Race A Sleeper
J/29 RUSH STREET & J/145 BAD PAK Class Winners
(Newport Beach, CA- April 15-17)-  This year's 64th Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race provided a slightly less than perfect mix of fun and adventure as racers had to decide whether to head off-shore for stronger winds or to sail the 125 nm rhumb line towards the finish.  For the 175 boats gathered on the starting line off Newport Beach, CA, the probabilities that it was going to be a slow race, like real slow race, were nearly 100%!  The weather forecast for Friday was for a west-northwesterly wind up to nine knots---virtually the rhumb (direct) line to Todos Santos Bay all along the entire Southern California and Baja California coasts. Stronger breeze was expected offshore, but a lighter patch of wind of three to six knots will separate the sea breeze near the coast from the gradient wind farther offshore.  Then winds diminishing on Saturday with very little "gradient effect" to keep the fleet moving.

Scot Tempesta's Sailing Anarchy report regarding the sailing conditions for this year's N2E race- "…as for wind, there was a good bit of breeze in the evening on Friday - we saw 20 true at one point. We, too, tried to stay outside given the weather forecasts, but a huge right shift couldn't be ignored so we came into the Coronado Islands on port gybe.  But, it was getting lighter, so we bit the bullet and took a long, long unfavored starboard gybe out into more pressure - maybe 10 miles or so outside the Coronado's. We then just tried to keep our outside lane, jibe on the shifts and come in a bit later rather than earlier."  He did OK, winning his class, as did a few other J's following a similar strategy.

J/130 racer-cruiser- sailing on Pacific Ocean during Ensenada RaceThe strong contingent of J sailors were not able to dial-in their accustomed form of reaching away at surfing speeds all night and all day long with the giant asymmetric spinnakers flying over ballooning staysails and walking off with all the booty at the awards.  Instead, it was all light air VMG'ing down the track, a race so tricky and full of holes that even Dennis Conner's Farr 60 STARS & STRIPES managed to beat very well sailed 70-80 footers!

Despite the light and challenging conditions, the J's swept Sprit A class! Tom Holthus' TransPac winning J/145 BAD PAK from San Diego YC won both line honors and handicap honors.  Second both over the line and in handicap was Mark Surber's J/125 DERIVATIVE from CORYC.  Third was the other J/145, the Santa Barbara YC's team of Poppe/ Parks sailing with some happy sailors aboard SEQUOYAH.  Paul Marais's gorgeous J/160 INDIGO from SYC-LB was fourth in class.  And, fifth was the J/130 BEBE sailed by another fun crew from Santa Barbara YC, Chuck Browning and gang.

Leading the charge in Sprit B class was Scot's ANARCHY, while the J/120 BARAKA sailed by Janet Mostafa from Balboa YC came in a very respectable second and the J/105 LUCKY STAR sailed by Mark Wyland from ALYC finished third.  Due to the lack of wind, the rest of the class all dropped out…smaller boats were having a tough go of it.

Seth Hall and Steve Ronk on the J/124 MARISOL from CYA finished 3rd in their PHRF Cruz GA class.

Finally, yet another member of the Santa Barbara sailing mafia won PHRF E! Larry Leveille's J/29 RUSH STREET (last year's Kings Harbor Race Winner) from Santa Barbara YC won their class quite handily, proving yet again the venerable J/29 masthead/outboard version is a really tough offshore boat to beat in most races- light, heavy, surfing, or simply pounding your teeth-fillings out in an uphill gut-buster.  For more Ensenda Race sailing information.

J/109 racer-cruiser- one-design- sailing with spinnaker on Solent, EnglandLight Breeze For Warsash Finale
J/111 ARABELLA Wins IRC1-B Class
(Warsash, Southampton Water, England- April 16-17)- The last weekend of the Warsash Spring Series and Spring Championship took place on 16-17 April. The event has been running since 1984 and now involves over 100 Warsash members afloat and ashore. What was different this year was the persistent light conditions which race officers around in the early days cannot remember happening before. On only two days did the wind stay in double figures but more often than not loitered in the 5-8 knot range for racing. This may have meant less toll on boats and equipment but a real challenge, especially for tacticians and helms.

Saturday- Spring Championship- Day 3
Again a high pressure system hung over the Solent – wonderful sunshine but the water resembled a mill pond.  The postponement flag was raised at 0950 with race officers constantly checking for wind in the area. As the day wore on, there had been no change or likelihood of a breeze filling in by soon after midday and there was no choice but to cancel all racing for the day. This proved to be a wise move since although a 6 knot breeze did perk up in the afternoon, it vanished again within half an hour.

J/80s one-design sailboat- sailing on Solent, EnglandSunday- Warsash Spring Series- Day 6 & Spring Champs- Day 4
The forecast promised slightly better conditions for Sunday but as the Black Group fleet gathered near East Knoll, it looked unlikely. When the first signal was due to be sounded, visibility was obscured by a veil of haze from which emerged a stream of commercial traffic inbound for Southampton. The postponement flag was hoisted and race officers made the first of several radio announcements to keep competitors aware of their intentions. Shortly after noon, everyone’s patience was rewarded. A south-easterly breeze filled in and, whilst never more than 8 knots, was sufficient to allow racing. Courses were set with Flying Fish the first windward mark, followed by runs and beats in the area of Hill Head and Universal Marina. With some classes combined, the first start consisted of IRC1, Big Boat and Farr 45s. With a strong adverse tide, some skippers were slow to reach the line and AP was flown again to allow these boats to clear the line. This also coincided with a brief wind shift and when it had steadied again came the turn of IRC2 and J/109 classes with a slightly shorter course. The ODM end of the line was favored.  The J/109 OFFBEAT got clear air and made significant gains to lead their class at the first mark, going on to take line honours.

J/80 one-design sailboat- Henri Lloyd sailing upwind on Solent, EnglandOn the White Group sportsboats’ racing area, the wind had arrived a little earlier. The first set of races got away cleanly only then to suffer the large wind shift experienced further out. The J/80 fleet was boosted by entries for the Spring Championship. Ian Atkins sailing Dan Brown’s HENRI LLOYD SHOCKWAVE Lloyd Shockwave took the first J/80 race ahead of AQUA-J (Patrick Liardet) and Robin Fielder helming WARP FACTOR IX.   Life was not so simple for the start of the second set of races. The J/80s then had a rush of blood to the head and were recalled. Everyone had another go and this time successfully. However, the clock was ticking and it became clear that this would have to be the final race.

On the first lap, HENRI LLOYD SHOCKWAVE established a lead over AQUA-J and JUMPING JENGA (Stewart Hawthorn). These positions were maintained on the second run but then the two boats became involved in a luffing match as they approached the bottom mark. When they gybed for the final time they found that JUMPING JENGA's layline from closer inshore was the better one. This allowed Stewart Hawthorn to round the mark in the lead and complete the short reach to the finish seven seconds ahead.

Spring Championship Final Results
The Spring Championship does not allow discards and six races were finally counted to decide the overall standings. The J/80 Spring Championship winner was HENRI LLOYD SHOCKWAVE, just one point ahead of Patrick Liardet's AQUA-J with the RAF’s TEAM SPITFIRE third.

There was no catching VELVET ELVIS leading the J/109s sailing to a 1-2-1-2-2-1 for 9 pts.  After a slow start to the season, second went to a resurgent J-DREAM sailed by David and Kirsty Apthorp and getting a 2-1-2-1-5-2 score for 13 pts.  Third was Richard and Valerie Griffith's OUTRAJEOUS with a very consistent 3-3-5-4-3-3 tally for 21 pts.

In the Black Championship BB2 Class, Ian Matthew's J/122 JINJA sailed to a 2-8-2-3-4-7 to finish third, only 2 points out of second.  Lying fourth was Jackie and Robert Dodson's J/133 JERONIMO sailing to a steadily improving 9-7-6-5-5-2 for 34 pts.

J/111- the ultimate one-design sailboat- sailing in Solent, EnglandSpring Series Final Results
In the Spring Series, IRC1 Overall results, the J/111 ARABELLA sailed by Nial Dowling finished a respectable fourth counting drop races, but second overall behind Nik Zenstrom's Farr 45 RAN if all races were counters!! Kudos to Nial's team for strong sailing in a very tough class.  Neil Kipling's J/122 JOOPSTER also sailed nicely to win two of the six races sailed to get 6th, only 1 pt from 5th overall IRC despite counting a DNS in Race 1 and tossing a DNS in Race 5-- had they gotten one more race under their belts, the J/122 JOOPSTER would certainly have had a shot at 1-2-3 overall in IRC.

In the breakout IRC1-B Class, Nial's J/111 ARABELLA (pictured here) wins IRC Class on her first series outing ever!  Quite a remarkable feat, to say the least.  Amassing a 2-3-4-4-2-1 record for 12 pts (4th dropped) to win class.  Third was the J/122 JOOPSTER sailed by Neil, sailing to a DNS(13)-1-1-1-DNS(20)-4 score for 20 pts.

In IRC3 Class, the J/97 JIKA-JIKA sailed by Mike and Jamie Holmes sailed nicely all spring to finish third overall with a 4-3-13-4-3-3 tally for 17 pts (13th dropped).  Without question, Mike and Jamie are probably still kicking themselves for having to toss the 13th and wondering how they ever got that far down the standings in the first place!

In the one-design groups Mike & Sarah Wallis' JAHMALI led Matt Boyle' SHIVA in the J/109s. Third was David Mcleman's OFFBEAT, fourth David McGough's JUST SO and fifth David and Kirsty Apthorp's J/DREAM.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing in EnglandThe J/80s sailed a total of twelve races over so many weekends and despite the lack of wind had a great time sailing on their shorter courses-- sometimes a good thing on the Solent!!  Patrick Liardet's AQUA-J was the overall series winner.  Second was Stew Hawthorn and Paul Heys on JUMPING JENGA, third was Dan Brown (with's Ian Atkins sometimes) on HENRI LLOYD SHOCKWAVE, fourth was Tony Hanlon/ Team Spitfire on SPITFIRE and fifth was Terry Palmer's JUST DO IT!

In challenging light conditions the fact that the vast majority of races were completed is a credit to the patience of the race management team and the competitors in equal measure. The prize-giving will be held on Friday 20th May when all competitors and crews will be welcome at Warsash Sailing Club’s Shore House to join club members in celebrating a very successful event. The 2012 Warsash Spring Series starts on Sunday 11th March.    Sailing Photo Credits- Eddie Mays.    For more Warsash Spring Series sailing results.

J/92 & J/109 Dominate Corinthians Race
(San Francisco, CA)- In the second of their series, the Singlehanded Society of San Francisco (SSS) held their 18-mile Corinthian Race (named for the Corinthian Yacht Club who hosts the start) on Saturday, April 2nd.

All boats could either sail single or double-handed, the entry list for the Corinthian Race included 18 J/Boats, which as we all know are perfect for this kind of racing!  Dispersed amongst the fleet were the following J's- J/80, J/92 (2), J/100, J/105 (5), J/109 (2), J/120, J/35, J/32 (2), J/30, J/29 and J/24.  While only two J's sailed singlehanded, all the rest sailed doublehanded.

As Bob Johnson, owner/ skipper of the J/92 RAGTIME, reports, "After a long series of Pacific storms, some local damage from the tsunami and general cabin fever, it was apparent skippers are anxious to get back out there and race around the central Bay."  And, indeed they had a good time.  Bob managed to sail a reasonably fast race and won the Singlehanded PHRR Class 3.  Just behind him was the J/105 LARRIKIN sailed by Stuart Taylor from St Francis YC.

Doublehanded PHRF Class 11 was a near sweep for the j's in the largest class of the race, 21 boats competing and J's getting 8 of the top 10!  First was the J/109 SYMMETRY sailed by Howard Turner from Santa Cruz YC.  Third was another J/92, Tracy Rogers' RELENTLESS from CPYC. Fourth was the J/105 LIGHTWAVE sailed by Richard Craig. Sixth was the J/105 RACER-X sailed by Rich Pipkin. Eighth was the J/105 AKULA skippered by Doug Bailey. Ninth was the J/120 TWIST sailed by Timo Bruck.  And, tenth was another J/109, Jim Vickers' JOYRIDE.

In Doublehanded PHRF Class 12, the J/80 PAINKILLER skippered by Eric Patterson was second, followed by the J/32 PARADIGM skippers by Luther Izmirian.  Lying eighth was another J/32 sistership, Ed Ruszel's FLICKER.

Not to be left out of the silverware was the lone J/24 DOWNTOWN UPROAR, raced by Darren Cumming in Doublehanded PHRF Class 13.  Finally, in Doublehanded PHRF Class 16, the J/30 IONE sailed by Peter Jermyn finished a respectable fourth and the J/29 AUDACIOUS captained by Scott Christensen finished 5th.   More sailing information is available at Singlehanded Society of San Francisco site.


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

Brad Van Liew- sailing Velux 5 ocean race off Charleston, SC*Johnstone Cousin Brad Van Liew Wins Velux 5- Leg 4- Congratulations Cuz!!  Awesome job.  Just a young buck at the ripe age of 43 years old, Brad sailed into his home town of Charleston, South Carolina, Tuesday to rapturous applause from the flotilla of spectator boats who turned out to greet him. After sailing more than 5,900 nautical miles from Punta del Este in Uruguay, Brad crossed the finish line in Charleston Harbor at 1658 local time following 23 days, 4 hours and 58 minutes at sea.

His victory makes it four wins out of four legs in the Velux 5 Oceans, a 30,000-mile singlehanded race around the globe sailed in 60ft yachts called Eco 60s. With one more leg to sail, Brad has a dominant lead at the top of the Velux 5 Oceans leader-board.  In fact, were it not for a mandatory finish of every leg to count for the overall title, Brad would not have to sail the last leg to win!  Awesome, he only has to start, relax, eat and drink well and simply finish!  Brad is a veteran of two previous Velux 5 Oceans races in 1998 and 2002, when it was known as "The Around Alone". Brad won Class Two of the 2002 edition.  For more information on Brad's sailing adventures on Velux 5 Ocean Race.

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-