Wednesday, June 1, 2011

J/Newsletter- June 1st, 2011

J/70 speedster- the ultimate one-design sailboat 
New J/70 Speedster Sails 2012
(Newport, RI)- The J/70 speedster (22.75 feet) is J Boats' first ramp-launchable keelboat - designed to fulfill the growing need for an easy-to-own, high performance one-design that is exciting to sail, stable enough for the family, and built to last.   J/70 is sea-trialing fall 2011 with new boat deliveries available in 2012.

Features include:
- Large comfortable cockpit with open transom
- Deck-stepped carbon mast with single spreaders
- Three sail inventory with masthead A-Sail
- Vertical lifting bulb keel
- Small cabin for storage and personal privacy
- In-cockpit stowage of outboard engine
- Easy to trailer and ramp launch

Be the first to learn more and tell your friends about it.  Watch this space-  Or, call your local J Dealer for more J/70 speedster information

J/133 Siren Song - sailing to Newport- racer-cruiserStrong J Teams Racing Annapolis-Newport
(Annapolis, MD)- With one of the biggest turnouts in 28 years, the J Team contingent are certain to factor in amongst the leaders of the PHRF and IRC classes racing this year.  The event is also serving as a "feeder/ qualifier" race for the big boats doing the Trans-Atlantic Race later this summer.  The race course runs south on the Chesapeake Bay for 120 miles to the Bay Bridge Tunnel, then 20 miles out into the Atlantic to the Chesapeake Light Tower and finally up the coast to Newport for a total of 473 miles.  A cool feature of this year's race is that each boat will carry a Yellowbrick GPS transponder that transmits boat speed and position information every 30 minutes via the Iridium satellite system. Every hour and half-hour all of the boats will automatically send a position report simultaneously.

In the PHRF Division will be an excellent group of seven J's vying for overall honors.  Included in the mix are five J/120's that could be doing a one-design offshore race, a J/42 and a J/160.  The J/120s include Alan Eland's BRUTUS from Wickford, RI; Greg Leonard's HERON from Annapolis, MD; Greg Alden's IRIE from Annapolis, MD; Jim Praley's SHINNECOCK from Annapolis, MD; and Richard Born's WINDBORN from Annapolis, MD.  Most likely leading the J/Pack home will be Bill Fields' J/160 CONDOR from Galesville, MD and a perennial offshore classic competitor will be Bob Fox's J/42 SCHEMATIC from Annapolis, MD.

The IRC Division is loaded with all the big offshore maxi's, but certain to give them a "run for the roses" will be seven J's that have serious offshore racing experience under their belts, including winning many of the most prestigious offshore racing trophies in the Northeast-- like STC Block Island Races, Stamford Vineyard Races, Rolex Bermuda Races, just to name a few.  Amongst this contingent are the queens of the J/fleet, Tom Carroll's J/133 SIREN SONG from Larchmont, NY and Andrew Weiss's J/122 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON from Larchmont, NY.  Giving them a serious challenge will always be the J/44s, including Jack Neades skippering the US Coast Guard Academy J/44 GLORY and Len Sitar's J/44 VAMP from Atlantic Highlands, NJ.  Jason LeBlanc is skippering the US Coast Guard Academy's J/120 SARAH.  And, not to be outdone by their larger siblings, the two J/109s sailing are also capable of winning overall, including Mike Sleightholme's J/109 APSARA from New Rochelle, NY and Paul Milo's J/109 VENTO SOLARE from Leesburg, VA.

In the Doublehanded IRC Division will be Jason Richter's famous J/35 PALADIN from Port Jefferson, NY.  You can never count this highly successful double-handed team out of the running, having won Bermuda Race Double-handed and innumerable other two-handed events.  Often times PALADIN can be found in the top ten overall against fully crewed boats!  Watch these teams and cheer them on.  You can see their progress here.  For more Annapolis-Newport sailing and tracking information

J/122 Anam Cara- sailing off Vancouver- racer-cruiser sailboatVancouver Isle 360 Race
Fleet of J/109s Sailing
(Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)- Officially known as the TELUS Van Isle 360, this biennial 580 nm point-to-point race circumnavigating the wild and rugged Vancouver Island is an extraordinary experience.   Starting next weekend, the race is sailed in multiple legs and the course provides inshore, offshore and overnight legs (10 of them!) through some of the most stunning and challenging waters on the planet.  If ever an island was meant to be raced around it is Vancouver Island. Her dramatic beauty, majestic mountains and natural harbors provide an awesome backdrop for a race that has become "the must do" event on the West Coast sailing circuit.

The event attracts some of top sailors in the Pacific Northwest. The variety of extremes and conditions challenge even the most seasoned crews. As Canadian Olympic Medallist, Ross MacDonald, quoted in SAIL magazine,  "I can't tell you how many races I sailed in this year, but I can tell you this was the most challenging by a factor of 2 to 1. The current changes every few hundred yards - maybe by 180 degrees - and the wind funnels down off the'd better have your boat sorted out."

A fascinating piece of "Johnstone family" history is attached to the race, in perhaps a rather unusual way.  One of the most challenging parts of Vancouver's circumnavigation takes the fleet through the infamous "Johnstone Straits"-  it's a 68.0 nm channel along the north east coast of Vancouver Island that is up to 3 nm wide. It is a major navigation channel on the west coast of North America and is the preferred channel for vessels from the Georgia Strait leaving to the north of Vancouver Island through the Queen Charlotte Strait bound for Prince Rupert, Queen Charlotte Islands, Alaska, and the North Pacific Ocean, and for southbound vessels from those areas bound for the Port of Vancouver.  The strait is named after Commander James Johnstone, a British naval officer and explorer in the late 1700s. He was master of the HMS Chatham, which accompanied George Vancouver on the HMS Discovery on their famous Vancouver expedition to chart the Northwest coast of the Americas. Johnstone established the fact that Vancouver Island was, indeed, an island (named after his friend George, along with the city, too).  Today, perhaps most significantly, the Johnstone Strait is home to approximately 150 orca whales during the summer months, which are often seen by kayakers and boaters packed with tourists. Scientists including Michael Bigg and Paul Spong have been researching the orcas in the Strait since 1970. Spong established the ORCALab, based on studying the Orcas in their natural habitat.

sea otters in Johnstone Straits, Vancouver, CanadaEnjoying the breath-taking Straits will be a number of highly competitive J's that have a hard time resisting the "call of the wild".  If it isn't the extraordinarily fun times, camaraderie with other sailors, it must be the  singularly spectacular experience of sailing one of the world's pre-eminent "round island" races.  Amongst the fleet will be some familiar faces to J sailors worldwide.  Tom Kelly's gorgeous blue J/122 ANAM CARA is a repeat participant.  So are a fleet of J/109s sailing this year, including Stuart Brunell's TANTIVY, Adam Corbin's ASTRAL PLANE, Jim Prentice's DIVA and Pierre Martin's MOJO.  Good luck to all on your fortnight long adventures!  For you armchair sailors dreaming about putting this event on your "bucket list", this one's a fabulous one to consider!  They have tracking this year so you can follow the fleet as they drift past orca's and sea otters, pound upwind in vicious current induced chop in the Straits, or plane offshore down mountainous seas on the Pacific side of the island.  Finally, all of the sailors efforts go to a great cause-  the event is providing an amazing $25,000 donation for the Queen Alexandra Foundation in support of "Jeneece Place", a home away from home for children requiring medical treatment and their families in Vancouver.   For more Van Isle 360 sailing information

Johnstone Straits, Vancouver, BC, CanadaJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The American Memorial Day Weekend seems to mark the beginning of summer for most sailors, with an enormous amount of sailing activity concurrently kicking off around the world.  On the eastern seaboard of America, a number of boats were practicing and preparing for major upcoming summer events in the form of the Trans-Atlantic Race, or the Rolex New York YC Annual Regatta or the Rolex Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week.  One of the best early tests for all these events is the Storm Trysail Block Island Race, an annual late spring classic that starts/finishes in Stamford, CT and uses Block Island as a turning mark.  On the west coast, two major events took place.  In the Pacific Northwest, the famous Swiftsure International Yacht Race off Victoria, British Columbia, Canada saw another challenging weekend of sailing for those participating in one of the three race courses- the Swiftsure Lightship Classic, the Cape Flattery or the Juan de Fuca races.  Down in northern California, the J/125 and the J/111 flew down the coastline in the Spinnaker Cup that goes from San Francisco to Monterrey.  A number of significant events took place in Europe.  The Royal Maltese Yacht Club hosted their first SLAM Regatta on the azure waters of the Med with a J/122 and J/133 sailing.  Two J/97s showed their competitors how to win the Berwin Scottish Series on the Clyde, Scotland.  And, the RORC conducted another leg of their RORC Offshore Series, the Myth of Malham Race as a practice race/qualifier for this year's Rolex Fastnet Race.  Finally, in Asia the J/80s are sailing a frenetic schedule with regattas and training taking place nearly every week.  The Royal Hong Kong YC held both a Match Race and their Spring Regatta in J/80s recently.   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:

Jun 3- Annapolis-Newport Race- Annapolis, MD-
Jun 3-5- Detroit STS NOOD Regatta- Detroit, MI-
Jun 4-5- J/111 One Design- Colors Regatta- Chicago, IL-
Jun 4-5- Cal Race Week- Marina del Rey, CA-
Jun 10-12- J/111, J/122, J/105 NYYC Annual Regatta- Newport, RI-
Jun 12-19- Rolex Giraglia Cup- Genoa, Italy-
Jun 18-22- Kieler Woche Regatta- Kiel, Germany-
Jun 19-24- J/111 Block Island Race Week- Block Is, RI-
Jun 19-24- J/122 North Americans- Block Is, RI-
Jun 19-24- J/109 East Coasts- Block Is, RI-
Jun 23-26- Bacardi Newport Sailing Week- Newport, RI-
Jun 24-26- Long Beach Race Week- Long Beach, CA-
Jun 25-26- San Francisco STS NOOD Regatta- San Francisco, CA-
Jun 29-Jul 2- J/80 Pre-Worlds- Malmo, Sweden-

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

J/125 sailboat Double-Trouble- sailing Spinnaker CupJ's Double-Down Spinnaker Cup Race
J/125 & J/111 Surf To Victory
(Monterrey, CA)- Each year, the San Francisco YC and the Monterrey Point YC host what has turned out to be a fun, classic NoCal/SoCal style race.  This one has a twist since you gotta beat upwind out of the the Bay, out under the Golden Gate before you turn left and hopefully take a sleigh-ride downwind in mountainous Pacific swells rolling down the coast to Monterrey.

Friday’s annual kick-off to the Memorial Day Weekend started just about 11:00 AM off the Knox Point area of Angel Island. The 90 NM downhill jaunt to Monterey featured a fleet of 44 boats ranging from 24 to 78 footers. Cool and overcast at the start, the front which brought late season rain to the SF Bay Area exited just as the fleet exited the Bay and made their way south along Ocean Beach. Aided by the beginnings of an building ebb, and the clocking wind, switching from jibs to reachers and then chutes began just south of "Montara".  Winds continued to shift aft and by "Ano Nuevo" the pressure began to increase and the fun meters started pegging and the grins got bigger and bigger. As opposed to more recent Spinnaker Cups, the Ride across Monterey Bay was a fast one for the majority of the fleet with breeze on until just off the finish.

Andy Costello's J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE doubled down and won the Spinnaker Cup Race to Monterrey- Overall and Class A. Frank Slootman's J/111 INVISIBLE HAND smoked down the course and won Class C and was 3rd overall-- not bad for their second offshore race!

Andy offers his insights sailing his J/125: "Well, we have been prepping the boat hard for Transpac so it was so nice just to go sailing. We went into SpinCup as more of a practice for big race in July. We may have compromised the over all win as we tested different sails working on cross overs so to come out with a Class win is awesome. The boat,electronics and crew all performed well.  We had a blast the last 30 miles and across Monterey Bay we really never dropped boat speed below 16 knots and had some blasts up to 20 knots!  The sea state was very flat with not much swell so no super high speeds, just good consistent bust speed.  Thanks to my crew for another awesome race. Trevor Baylis, Patrick Whitmarsh, Mark Breen, Gilles Combrusson from GC Marine and Peter King (who came along to dial in all the nV software and instruments).

J/111 speedster sailboat- one-design racing sailing cruising boatFrank Slootman offers his perspectives sailing the J/111: "It's about 90 nautical miles down the coast, but the first 3 hours are beating out the gate and then fetching with a head sail, gradually allowing for an hour or so of code zero up. Conditions all the while around 9-11 kts of breeze. Wind built gradually to mid teens and aft of the beam, and last 4 hours we had 20-24 kts of breeze, and we were gybing back and forth from Santa Cruz to Monterey.  Epic sailing down wind across Monterey Bay, mid-teen speeds, peaking at 17-18 with 20-24 kts of breeze.  Apparent wind pretty much right on the beam in these conditions. Before dark we switched from the A2 to the A4, which was very much needed. We were hitting sustained mid teens, peaks of 17 and 18 kts at the time.  We caught all boats ahead of us in our class those last 2-3 hours. The 111 lights-up pretty good in these conditions, just "nuking" down the course. Nothing broke, boat felt nice and stiff.  We did get to the edge of conditions where we can carry the big kite. This regatta is a classic in the Bay Area. Our division had half the boats in the entire fleet in it, so it sure raised some eye brows to see this boat in its first attempt grab a bullet. I think the boat is aptly named as other sailors kept saying "you guys were coming out of no where".

Of note was the fact that Bob Johnson's J/92 RAGTIME! sailed a nice race to get 7th in Class C and 15th overall behind Frank's J/111.  Also, special mention must be made of Jim Brainard's J/35c BRAINWAVE, winning not only the Double-handed IRC Class, but finishing 19th in fleet in a "cruising J", beating some famous offshore SoCal/ NoCal "sleds" and ULDB's along the way!! Thanks to contributions by Erik Simonson-   Sailing photos by
For Spinnaker Cup sailing results

J/133 sailboat- JUNO- sailing Malta SLAM RegattaJ/133 JUNO Slam Dunks SLAM Regatta
(Malta)- Sonke Stein and his rock star crew on the J-133 JUNO claimed the first ever SLAM sponsored Mellieha Bay Regatta by winning IRC Class 1 and First Overall.  The regatta was organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club in conjunction with RLR Yachting, local agents for SLAM.

Racing consisted of a short coastal race on Friday followed by a well attended “Happy Hour” at the Yacht Club bar.  Racing continued on Saturday and Sunday around the North shore azure waters of the Maltese archipelago.  In addition to Sonke Stein's JUNO taking top honors, Lee Satariano’s J-122 ARTIE came second in IRC-1. Interestingly, ARTIE drew first blood in Race 1 by winning the race.  However, JUNO came back over the next two days to take the overall class win and IRC title.   For more SLAM Regatta sailing information

J/105 sailboat- sailing double-handed in Block Island raceJ's Triple-winners in Block Island Race
J/105 JADED Overall Performance Champion!
(Stamford, CT)- Pretty remarkable what two guys on a green J/105 can do over 185 nm of challenging sailing-- they beat George David's RAMBLER 100! Yes, a J/105 beat a JK-100 footer fair and square for the "Harvey Conover Memorial Overall Trophy" Best Overall Performance in the race amongst the entire fleet of 61 boats! A remarkable accomplishment considering that RAMBLER 100 set a new course record of just over 15 hours!

What happened and how come the J/105 took the top honors?  It was yet another "classic" Block Island Race.  A navigational challenge it will always be and those who got it right simply spanked those who didn't.  There were several significant decision points in the race, including (i) how soon to dive for the Long Island Shore in the dying northerly after the start to get the developing southerly breeze, (ii) how far in do you go to take advantage of the flood, changing to ebb counter-current along the shore and, finally, (iii) going out and back to Block Island, do you latch on to the Plum Gut "current elevator" or take the chance that there's even more current and breeze out in the Race past Gull Island and Valiant Rock?

J120, J/35, J/109 sailboats- start sailing down the course to Block IslandPeter Rugg (New York, N.Y.) on the J/105 JADED (pictured above) saw the advantage of going to the Long Island shore right away, but since he started first in the 11-boat double-handed class (sailing with Dudley Nostrand of Hamilton, Mass.), he had no other classes to follow there. “The NOAA forecast said five knots out of the southeast for the next couple of days, but because we didn’t have that at the start (it was out of the east and even a bit north of that), we didn’t think it would hold. We were the first boat to tack to the Long Island shore, and when we saw other boats sailing there in a 15-knot southerly to southwest breeze, we said ‘holy smokes this is important.’”

About a mile from Plum Gut, Rugg noted that only those with code zero sails were able to stay high enough on shore to avoid “running into competing doldrums” in the middle of the Sound. “When we got close to the Gut, the breeze died, but we had just enough wind to squeak around the corner and be flushed through the Gut on a fair current,” said Rugg.

J class sailboats- sailing off the starting line for Block Island raceRugg said JADED ran into a bit of a drifter on the north side of Block Island near the "1BI" turning mark, but the south side greeted them with more wind, some chop, and the lasting impression of baby nurse sharks all around. “The last two miles to the finish were the worst,” said Rugg. “The wind dropped, the tide was taking us away from the mark, and we were rolled by another double-handed boat. We just had to finish before we gave away our time to the other boats.”

JADED did that successfully, winning not only the Gerold Abels Trophy for the best performance by a double-handed team but also the Harvey Conover Memorial Overall Trophy, awarded to the boat that has won her class and, in the judgment of the Flag Officers and Race Committee, had the best overall performance.

Finishing 5th in the IRC Double-handed Division behind JADED was the J/35 PALADIN sailed by Jason Richter.  Just three minutes back on handicap was Andrew Berdon's J/109 STRIDER, then Adrian Begley's J/109 MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN in  7th, Hewitt Gaynor's J/120 MIRIELLE in 8th and Gardner Grant's J/120 ALIBI rounding out the top ten.

J/44 sailboat- sailing Block Island raceThe IRC 40 Class saw the J's dominate, taking 8 of the top 10.  First was Phil Gutin's J/44 BEAGLE, narrowly beating Andrew Weiss' J/122 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON by only 8 minutes after 28 hours of sailing in mentally taxing conditions.  Third in class was Joe Healey's J/120 SOULMATE.  Fifth was Len Sitar's J/44 VAMP, sixth Rick Oricchio's J/120 ROCKET SCIENCE, seventh Norm Schulman's J/44 CHARLIE V, eighth George Marks' J/122 GEORGETOWN III and tenth George Petrides' J/120 AVRA.

IRC 45 saw the two big boats in the class, the J/130 DRAGONFLY and the IMX 45 XCELSIOR duel it out for line honors for most of the race.  At the end, Colin McGranahan's DRAGONFLY missed line honors by 2 1/2 minutes but won on IRC handicap by just over a minute!

Finally, in PHRF 2, Steve Levy's J/120 EAGLE persevered despite being caught on the wrong side of the two big decisions early on to just miss second by 30 seconds on handicap, securing a third in class.  For more Storm Trysail Block Island Race sailing information.

J/97 sailboat- offshore racer-cruiser- sailing ScotlandJ/97s Dominate Scottish Series
(The Clyde, Scotland)- Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series Scottish skipper-helm Hamish Mackay and a core crew, which between them have won the premier trophy nine times, lifted the Scottish Series Trophy after two final race wins. They sealed a conclusive overall victory in IRC Class 4 on Loch Fyne at the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series.

After triumphing twice, back to back in 2001 and 2002, Mackay becomes only the second skipper or helm to win the overall top trophy three times in the 36 year history of the regatta.

Steering father and son duo Jim and Steve Dick's J/97 JACKAROO, Mackay and crew scored no worse than second and won four times over their six races which were sailed in predominantly strong winds over the four day series. They finished nine points clear of an identical J/97, JAYWALKER, owned and steered by Clyde helm Iain Laidlaw.

After a weekend of very testing strong winds today, Monday, Loch Fyne delivered crews a final reminder of how good conditions can be for the north of Britain's premier annual regatta.  Though there was still a chill in the air and the very early morning was punctuated by a heavy hail storm, the sun shone through both races which were completed and the moderate westerly breezes averaged 12 knots but varied from 7-18 knots up and down the three course areas set.

The JACKAROO crew, Mackay, Peter Cameron, George Purves, Billy Russell Jr, Jon Fitzgerald and Roddy Anderson, all native Scots, along with owner Dick, were pushed hard by their J/97 stablemate JAYWALKER in the overall decision for the 107 boat regatta's top trophy.    Sailing photo credits- Marc Turner   For more Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series sailing information.

J/133 sailboat- offshore racer cruiser - sailing RORC raceGood Show for J's In Myth of Malham Race
"The Practice Race for the Rolex Fastnet Race"
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The RORC's Myth of Malham Race is considered a good dress rehearsal as well as being a qualifying race for this year's Rolex Fastnet Race and 125 yachts braved a windy forecast to compete in the race. The race to the Eddystone lighthouse and back was a giant windward-leeward race course of 230 miles.  With a WNW wind between 15 and 25 knots and yachts experiencing gusts of over 30 knots it was a tough test and an excellent warm up for the fleet who had to beat all the way to the Eddystone lighthouse off Plymouth and experience a fast run back to the Solent.

The J's overall did well despite the challenging conditions, some teams reveling in the big breeze and big chop and making the right decisions on the long beat to weather.  The critical decision was weather to play shifts up the beach "inshore" or go "offshore" and make the "longer, strategic play" for a frontal wind shift.  If you got it wrong, it was horribly wrong.  J's were in both camps on this decision!

J/105 sailboat- sailing the RORC  Malham RacePerhaps the most remarkable performance came from yet another J/105, sailing double-handed!  Sailing FLAWLESS J was James Heald, getting scored in both IRC 3 and IRC Doublehanded.  For the two-handed division FLAWLESS J was third overall, missing first by only 30 minutes on corrected in IRC-- not bad for a "non-IRC" 20 year-old design!  In IRC 3, FLAWLESS J finished second overall, losing out to the overall race winner!  On IRC Overall, FLAWLESS J finished seventh and were second J overall in the standings to a J/122.  Congratulations to James and crew for a truly huge achievement.

Of the 24 yachts that competed in the IRC Two-Handed Class, five J's finished in the top 10 (e.g. J's were 50% of top 10) and 3x the number of any other brand in the class.  Behind FLAWLESS J were Nikki Curwen's J/105 VOADOR in 6th (and 5th in IRC Class 3); Richard Palmer's J/109 JANGADA TOO in seventh (and 6th in IRC Class 3); veteran campaigner Nick Martin's J/105 DIABLO-J in ninth (9th in IRC Class 3); and Andrew Bird's J/109 JAMBALAYA in tenth (11th in IRC Class 3).

In IRC Class 2, it was a real battle between the J/122 J/122 sailboat- Joopster sailing RORC raceJOOPSTER sailed by Neil Kipling and an Oyster 48.  Winning line honors was Neil's JOOPSTER by over 12 minutes, but ended up on the short end of the stick on IRC handicap to finish second in class.  Also sailing was Niall Dowling's J/111 ARABELLA.  After choosing the wrong side of a 20 hour, 115 nm beat to windward in 15-25, gusting 30 winds, most pundits figured ARABELLA lost about an hour on the entire class and fleet.   Rounding Eddystone Light,  the J/111 set its big spinnaker and simply took off, chasing down the fleet in front of them at epic speeds.  At the end, with runway running out on them, the boys on ARABELLA had to settle for a seventh in class and seventeenth overall.  Nevertheless, Niall's team on ARABELLA are lying in second place overall for the RORC Season's Points Championship behind Piet Vroon's custom Ker 46 Tonnere de Breskens 3.

As mentioned earlier in the IRC Double-handed results, the IRC Class 3 had a number of competitors sailing in both IRC 3 and Double-handed.  Robin Taunt's J/109 JIBE was fourth overall, breaking the string of top five laid down by the two-handers!  What's interesting is that the twelve J's in the top 25 constituted nearly 50% of the group and were 4x the number of any other brand-- quite a showing for J's in this class!

The next race in the series is scheduled to start next Friday 3rd June. The 180-mile North Sea Race from Harwich to Scheveningen in Holland. The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship consists of a testing series of races, which attracts an international and varied fleet. Trying to win the Season's Points Championship is a real challenge for the serious offshore sailor. This year the Championship includes the tactically and physically challenging Rolex Fastnet Race, the oldest and most prestigious offshore yacht race in the world.   Sailing photo credits- Hamo Thornycroft   For more RORC Myth of Malham sailing information

J/122 sailboat- Anam Cara sailing Swiftsure raceJ/122 Wins Swiftsure Cape Flattery Race
(Victoria, BC, Canada)- While Storm Trysail hosted the east coast spring classic offshore race on the "right coast", on the "left coast" the Royal Victoria Yacht club in Victoria, British Columbia hosted the Pacific Northwest’s Premiere Yacht Race-- the 68th running of their spring classic- the Swiftsure Lightship Classic Race.  As one of the oldest long-distance races in North America, starting in 1930, the Swiftsure has always been a test of seamanship and tactical skill.  This year, the story was no different, challenging the sailors with very light airs and lots of current off the start and the initial beat NW into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A very light breeze built a bit a few hours after the start, and the boats inched along the Canadian shore of the Straits by short tacking for current relief.

The wind built to about ten knots and lasted until about midnight, then shut off. Boats drifted in the dark for hours praying for wind, and wondering if their competitors had taken the tried-and-true Canadian shore return route or gambled and gone on the American side of the Straits. This year, the gamble paid off to go West along the American shore.

J/109 sailboat- sailing Swiftsure raceIn the morning, the westerly filled in nicely for a great spinnaker run down the Straits, with steep, 6-foot swells pushing boats toward the finish line. Early finishers had max winds of about 18 knots, but later finishers had a 37 knot tail wind and a 5 knot positive current pushing them through Race Passage, significantly benefitting the smaller (or slower) boats.  In short, the results reflect the fact it had become a small boat, slow boat race for handicap honors, although there were a few exceptions in the standings.

In the 108 nm Cape Flattery Race, one of the three events one can sail in the Swiftsure 2011 International Yacht Race, it was Tom Kelly's gorgeous navy-blue hulled J/122 ANAM CARA from Portland YC that took overall and Class L-1 honors, completing the course in 23 hour 35 minutes and winning by over two hours on handicap time!  Winner of Class L-2 was Ross Bailey's J/35 ALCHEMY from Royal Vancouver YC, fourth was Dave MacLean's J/109 ILLUSIONIST from Corinthian YC and fifth was Robert Hennessy's J/35 THE BOSS from Corinthian YC.  Sailing in Class H-1 was Scott Campbell's beautiful J/46 RIVA from Portland YC, getting a third in class for their efforts.  In Class H-4, the two J/30s sailed very well with Martin Vachon's LIMELIGHT from CFSA getting second and Tony Brogan's RADIANT HEAT from SNSYC getting fourth.

In the shorter 80 nm Juan de Fuca Race, the J/109 TIPPY sailed by Peter McComb from Royal Vancouver YC sailed to a respectable third in Class H-1.  Sailing photo credits- R Beberidge   For more Swiftsure Race sailing information

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing Hong Kong, ChinaTIGRINA Wins RHKYC J/80 Spring Regatta
(Hong Kong, China)- On the weekend of May 14-15, the Royal Hong Kong YC hosted their annual Spring Regatta and had an enormous turn-out for their one-design classes.  This year's event also served as the inaugural Spring Regatta for the club's J/80 fleet.

In a clear demonstration that they've begun to master sailing J/80s fast are Andrew Moore's team on TIGRINA, taking the Spring Regatta with a 1-2-1 to win with 4 pts.  Second was Lucinda Ho and Sam Phillips racing MOZZIE with a 3-1-4 tally for 8 points.  Third was Bruce Perkins on DELIAWITE with a 5-3-2 score for ten points.  Rounding out the top five were Clark/ Bulmer racing JASMINE to fourth and Pauline Kong sailing FIGURE OF EIGHT to fifth.   For more Royal Hong Kong YC sailing information


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

J/46 sailboat- sailing offshore race*  The J/46 VANISH recently attempted to sail the 40th FIGAWI Race from Hyannis to Nantucket along with 250 other boats and several thousands souls looking forward to a good time.  On board was renown sailing photographer Leighton O'Connor from Marblehead, MA.  Here's a brief account of what happened from Leighton:  "I'm a FIGAWI virgin! I have been sailing for close to 40 years and this is my first FIGAWI. Quite a race. Lots of fog. Lots of boats....over 250. This race is in it's 40th year. We left Boston Harbor 10:30 PM Thursday night on the J/46 VANISH. We plotted a course through the Cape Cod Canal to catch the Falmouth to Hyannis Pursuit Race at 11:00 Friday. Thick fog, but still a great ride down and nice race. We took a 5th.

For the start of FIGAWI on Saturday morning we had a three hour postponement in Hyannis because of some wildly dense fog-- I think "Mainiacs" call it a "pea-soupah". Our start was at 2:05 pm. Winds were great off the start but towards the middle of the race things got pretty light, like no wind at all.  Our skipper made the call eight miles from Nantucket to enjoy the rest of our ride to Nantucket, he flipped on the "iron genny" and soon the dancing started."  See Leighton's YouTube video here of these experiences

Bob Fisher- sailing writer/ editor from Lymington, England* Why is "the Fish" holding onto a "bolt"? On Sunday May 20th, at the awards for the Gaffers & Classics Regatta in Lymington, England, there was a surprise "gift" for Bob Fisher, one of the original J/24 sailors in England, is the famous columnist/ writer for YACHTS & YACHTING and is a highly-regarded America's Cup expert.  Here's the story that unfolded at the awards:  "On a July night in 1988, Bob was at the wheel of the maxi 80 footer called DRUM (remember? It was rock star Simon Le Bon's boat) some three miles due south of the Mull of Kintyre lighthouse in the Outer Clyde. The bowman, who was taking the spinnaker gear from the port side to the starboard side in anticipation of a possible shy spinnaker reach up the east side of the Mull, noticed something odd about 100 yards ahead and shouted back to his skipper: "Come up NOW!"

Bob turned the wheel and there followed the most awful sounds and jerk, as though DRUM had gone hard aground. This was impossible as the echo sounder was giving triple echoes because of the great depth of water, but Bob was aware of a strange movement as the port side "fence" was torn away. In the darkness he saw nothing until the glow of the stern light picked up what for all the world looked like an Evinrude outboard motor, but it was not attached to the transom of a vessel. Perplexed, he waited until one of the crew remarked: "Submarine." When, after making a "Pan" call and receiving replies from Clyde Coastguard and the Royal Navy's diving vessel, HMS CHALLENGER, that was anchored on the west side of the Mull, Bob, now in the navigation station with the VHF attempted to call up the submarine, but for 25 minutes there was no reply. This concerned him deeply as at that time it was known that hostile (Russian) submarines were active in the area, and the thought that it could have been one of those who would have had little compunction in completing the job of sinking DRUM, the crew waited with some agitation.

Eventually the submarine made contact on VHF and identified itself as HMS OTUS, an Oberon class diesel/electric vessel. Details were exchanged and while OTUS returned, damaged, to her base at Faslane, DRUM with a 40 foot long gash down the port side and a bent shroud roller, continued to race to Crinan. It was there that she was met by a Royal Navy Commander and there was an exchange of views during which it was ascertained that the damage to HMS OTUS included the optical (search) periscope, the destruction of the communications dome and the air intake periscope. Little wonder that it had taken the submarine's commander 25 minutes to make contact through a hand-held VHF.

Later the Royal Navy admitted responsibility, but not liability for the collision and paid DRUM's owner, Arnold Clark, around £ 40,000 for the repairs to DRUM.

That might have been the end of it, but one of the crew of Fisher's 1896 classic Solent One-Design called ROSENN had been a member of OTUS's crew well after the collision and knew of the incident, recently saw her in a breaker's yard in Portsmouth. Explaining that he had served aboard the submarine, he asked if he could have a keepsake and was told to help himself. He found the search periscope cotter pin, took it home and with ROSENN's co-owner, Barry Dunning, polished the chrome-plated brass pin with an hexagonal head and mounted it on an oak base. "Bob's Bolt" was duly presented to Bob by his crew after the regatta to great hilarity and much to the bemusement of the recipient.

Brad Van Liew winning Velux 5 Ocean Race* Johnstone family relative Brad Van Liew claims victory after spending more than 500 days alone at sea in the last fifteen years, racing under extreme conditions around the planet earth. Sleeping in brief catnaps around the clock, subsiding on dehydrated food, and enduring the physical and mental challenges of solo racing around the globe on a high tech 60-foot race boat may sound appalling to some, but Brad keeps asking for more. He is the very first American to ever officially finish three solo races around the globe, a remarkable accomplishment in and of itself.  He is also the first Brad Van Liew celebrating Velux 5 Ocean Race Winperson worldwide to sweep all legs of the Velux 5 Oceans race for two complete events, an even more remarkable accomplishment.  In the last leg of this year's Velux 5 Ocean Race, he crossed the finish line to win 1st Place overall aboard his LE PINGOUIN ECO 60 boat claiming victory as the only entry from the USA and undoubtedly America's finest solo ocean racer.

"I feel the exuberance and joy of winning an incredible race and experiencing the unforgettable  journey of sailing around the world alone," said Van Liew while waiting outside the locks to enter La Rochelle's historic Harbor. "There is just nothing else in the world like it. The challenges are unique and can be dangerous and invigorating at the same time. It is a test of the soul and involves reaching deep to overcome physical and mental challenges I have seen nowhere else in sport or life."   For more sailing information on Brad's LE PINGOUIN Velux 5 adventures     Sailing photo credit- Ainhoa Sanchez

Annie Haeger- winner of 2011 ICSA Woman College Sailor of the Year*  Annie Haeger, a team-mate of Hunter Johnstone from his Opti MOST Sailing Team days, was just awarded the 2011 QUANTUM ICSA Collegiate Woman Sailor of the Year award and was selected to the 2011 Women’s All-America Team at the final Sperry Top-Sider Women’s National Championship banquet. The prestigious awards are a highlight of the collegiate sailing year.

The Quantum Women’s College Sailor of the Year award annually honors an individual who has performed at the highest level of competition in district and national championships. The ICSA All-America committee evaluates all of the finalists’ results and calculates the winner. Quantum believes that women sailors should receive the same recognition that male sailors receive in the sport to acknowledge women’s’ excellence in sailing and continue to foster its growth. Past winners of this award include Olympic Gold Medalist and 2012 Olympic hopeful, Anna Tunnicliffe (Old Dominion University) and Genny Tulloch (Harvard University) a 2012 Olympic hopeful.

Annie is from Lake Forest, Illinois but grew up sailing on Lake Beulah in Wisconsin. 'What set Annie apart this year was that she has already placed at a National Championship this year, she won second at the ICSA Women’s Singlehanded Championship in the fall, ' says John Vandemoer, head coach for Stanford University and a member of the All-America selection committee (Note- John also coached Annie when she was part of the MOST Opti Team). Annie had great success all year placing in the top three in nearly every Women’s event she sailed in as did her fellow finalist Megan Magill, a senior from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

In Annie's acceptance speech she immediately thanked her father, Kent, for always cheering her on. She went on to be grateful for her teammates who she has worked so hard with. 'I am shocked,' Haeger says blushing, 'there are a lot of amazing sailors.' She goes on to explain that she has a remarkable crew, Emily Massa a junior from Barrington, RI, without whom she could not have accomplished this. Haeger leads by example when she coaches youth sailors in the summer, 'I try to get girls excited about sailing.' With her success thus far she is certainly giving girls a reason to look up to her. 'Next year I will sail more coed events,' Haeger predicts, she is looking forward to expanding her competition and seeing what else is possible.

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-