Wednesday, July 6, 2011

J/Newsletter- July 6th, 2011

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing around markJ/24s, J/80s, J/105s @ SAILNewport Regatta
(Newport, RI)- One of the best summer one-design regattas in the American Northeast is the annual SAILNewport Regatta held in the first week of July.  Newport promises great sailing conditions most of the time and, combined with the superb race management led by SAILNewport's Brad Read, sailors can be assured of not only good racing but a fun time ashore, too.  There are three excellent fleets of one-design J's racing this weekend, including fourteen J/24s, eleven J/80s and nine J/105s.

Leading the charge in the J/24 class will be Newport teams like John Mollicone's 11th HOUR RACING, Peter Levesque's MOOKIE, Will Welles' NORTHWATER and Mike Hill's OBSTREPEROUS.  Giving them a tough fight for the podium will be out-of-town teams like Ed Walker's SMALL FLYING PATIO FURNITURE from San Francisco, CA (easily getting the long-distance award), Chris Jankowski's STREET LEGAL (a top Charleston Race Week boat this year) and the Zaleski Bro's TWINS from Stamford, CT.

The J/80s also have a diverse group of teams coming from across the country, starting with Gary Kamins' FIRED UP from Pacific Palisades, CA (another long-distance traveler winner) and Bruno Pasquinelli's TIAMO (third at Charleston Race Week this year).  Leading the charge locally will be Chris Bulger's GOOSE and Jeff Johnstone's LITTLE FEAT.

As part of their Narragansett Bay Championship, the J/105s have attracted an excellent group of teams, including past North American, Key West Race Week and Block Island Race Week Champions like Damian Emery on ECLIPSE, San Franciscan Bruce Stone on a new boat called JOUSTER, Joerg Esdorn on KINCSEM and Brian Keane on SAVASANA.  How these teams fair against one another will be a solid indicator of who will be major contenders for the upcoming J/105 Northamericans in Marblehead, MA this coming August.  For more SAILNewport Regatta sailing information

Great Lakes Offshore Classics
(Chicago, IL and Toronto, ONT)- Coming up next weekend is a "head-to-head" battle between the "classic" or the "longest" Great Lakes race in the great American Midwest.  On Saturday, July 16th, two huge events start.  The "grand dame" and perhaps the most prestigious is the Chicago to Mackinac Race- a 289 nm classic that basically pits the best-of-the-best offshore sailors from the western Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie) and the other is the Lake Ontario 300- a 300 nm race around buoys in Lake Ontario.

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing fast under spinnakerCHICAGO-MACKINAC RACE
The fleets to follow will be the fourteen J/105s, fourteen J/109s and the J/111s.

Amongst the J/105s you will see amongst fleet leaders teams like Tom Petkus' VYTIS who've won their class before.  In the J/109s you'll see Len Siegal's LUCKY DUBIE II, Kevin Saedi and George Simkins' MOMENTUS and Jimmy Mitchell's VANDA III all as contenders since each have won divisions in either J/109s or other classes before and all have very experienced teams sailing with them.

Amongst the new J/111s, sailing in Section 3 will be six very well sailed boats.  It's not certain amongst this new group who will factor into the lead boats, but certainly all have amongst their teams crew who've won several Chicago-Macs amongst them, both in class as well as overall!!  On MENTAL sailed by Paul Stahlberg (pictured here) you have multiple Mac winners Richie and Lori Stearns and Richie's father Dick Stearns.  On KASHMIR sailed by the team of Brummel/Henderson/Mayer you have local J/105 class and Mac champions racing the boat.  On NO SURPRISE, you have renowned, legendary Great Lakes offshore sailor Dave Irish from Harbor Springs.  Finally, on IMPULSE sailed by George Miz, Peter Dreher, Mark Hatfield you have Stu Johnstone helping on tactics/navigation.  Quite an impressive line-up and along with them are also Thomas and Carol McIntosh's team MISTY and Steve Dabrowski's team on NIGHTHAWK who have put together equally strong crews.  It should be interesting as all boats are fast enough to take class, if not division or overall.

The Double-handed Division always has J's amongst the leaders and those sailing include three J/105s, GONZO (Ken Ganch, David Pikowitz), OCH! (Brendon Docherty and Patrick Lindenhurst) and PHANTOM (Scott Vukovich and John Kalanik), a J/35 NEMESIS (Timothy Kent and Dana Felton) and the J/29 TFWB RELENTLESS (George and Kimberly Petritz).

J sailboat- sailing downwind under spinnakerIn the offshore handicap category you simply cannot ignore the offshore J-speedsters in Section 1 like the J/125 and J/145s.  Given the right conditions, the J/125 JEANINE III sailed by Jack Roeser and the two J/145s, Bill Schanen's bright red MAIN STREET and "newbie on the block", Chris Saxton's VORTICES will be a very difficult group to contend with given the mix of conditions one often sees on a Mackinac Race.  All three boats have experienced Mac veterans aboard who've all won divisions or sections before.  In Section 2, the J/133 RENEGADE sailed by Thom Papoutsis will have their work cut out for them to beat the trio of professionally sailed Farr 40s.  Also sailing in this tough group are two J/130s, Pete Stott's SALSA and Doug Petter's WILLIE J.  In Section 3, joining the J/11s will be Mitch Padnos' beautiful J/124 SUFFICIENT REASON.  Sailing Section 4 will be four J/120s, including Tim Matheson and Glen Estill's ELUSIVE, Frank Giampoli's JAHAZI, Matthew Songer's PERSEVERANCE and Robert Klairmont's SIROCCO 2 and also a J/46 WINDRUSH sailed by George Hender.  Section 6 seems to be the "J/35 class", led by none other than Larry Schell's TOUCH OF GREY, Larry Taunt's BAD DOG, Bruce Metcalf's BOZO'S CIRCUS and Jack Andree's HOUQUA; sorting out who to avoid will be the J/100 JUST MESSIN sailed by Adam Esselman.  Section 7 has the J/110 LADY K sailed by Mike Stewart and the J/92 CYCLONE raced by John Madey.  Finally, in Section 9 are the two J/30s, INNISFREE's John Nesling from Toronto, ONT and RAFIKI's Greg & Stephanie Moll from Milwaukee, WI.  For more Chicago-Mac Race sailing information

J/109 one-design sailboat- sailing on Lake OntarioLAKE ONTARIO 300
Much farther to the east is the "first Great Lake", Lake Ontario, the last lake to empty down the grand St. Lawrence Seaway into a yet slightly larger body of water, the North Atlantic Ocean.  The Lake Ontario 300 starts and finishes in Mississauga, Ontario on a great tour of a very difficult lake to race- the self-proclaimed "Greatest Yacht Race on the Lakes"!  This event has evolved to be a summer-time classic on Lake Ontario.  Virtually all of the top boats that race offshore on Lake Ontario make sure to put this one on their calendars.

In the IRC Division, there will be three J/109s racing, including past winners BLUE STREAK sailed by Bob Eckersley, LIVELY sailed by Murray Gainer and Denys Jones' CARPE VENTUS.  Giving them a run for the roses will be the J/35 JEAGER raced by Leszek Siek.  In PHRF Doublehanded, Mark Bowman on the J/29 UNTAMED will be giving fellow classmates headaches as they fly around the course.  In PHRF 1, the J/105 CASUAL ELEGANCE sailed by Geoff Clarke's team will be challenged by yet another 35 footer, the J/35 SHORTHANDED raced by Michael Pietz.  On a separate, shorter course, called "The Scotch Bonnet", there will be two J/35s engaged in a one-on-one duel in PHRF 1 for all honors.  Klaus Noack's ABRACADABRA will be up against Sarah Foscarini's formidably named BATTLEWAGON.  For more Lake Ontario 300 sailing information

J/44 cruiser-racer-sailboat- sailing upwind offshorePORT HURON-MACKINAC RACE
Following these two big Lakes races is the Port Huron-Mackinac starting on July 23rd.  The longest consecutively running freshwater long-distance race since 1925. Of 222 boats entered, J's sailing in IRC B include the J/44 SAGITTA (John Soames/ Larry Oswald), J/145 VORTICES (Chris Saxton); in IRC C there will be THREE J/111s, including NIGHTHAWK (Steve Dabrowski), NO SURPRISE (Dave Irish) and UNPLUGGED (Tim Clayson); in IRC D the J/109 VANDA (Jim Mitchell and Jack Toliver) and the J/33 (Dick & Dan Synowiec); eight J/35s sailing in the Class 35 Class including MR BILL'S WILD RIDE (Bill Wildner); six J/120s including class leader ex-Bayview YC Commodore Frank Kern's CARINTHIA in the J/120 Class; five J/105s in the PHRF C Class; and a smattering of J's in other classes including a J/100, J/42 and J/40.    For more Port Huron-Mackinac Race sailing information

Sailing at sunset offshore- Chicago to Mackinac Race
J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

After America's July 4th holiday weekend, several major offshore events kick-off into high gear across all "3" coasts- East, Midwest (Great Lakes) and West.  The Trans-Atlantic Race started and has several members of the J-Community sailing aboard various boats as navigators, tacticians and skippers-- including top offshore racer Christian Ripard from Malta (multiple Rolex Middle Sea Race winner on his J/122 and J/125).  The Transpac Race started that has three very fast J's sailing, including the J/125 and J/145 speedsters and the fast, comfy J/130.  A similar combination of boats sailed the Queen's Cup on Lake Michigan with twin J/130s leading the way followed by a J/145!  The J/120s raced as a one-design class and as PHRF competitors in the International Lake Huron 100.  On the European side of the pond, the most demanding offshore/endurance contest took place, the Three Peaks Race in Scotland, that includes only 400 nm of sailing combined with 18 miles of cycling and 72 miles of running (up and down 17,000 ft of mountains!).  Then, the J/80s had their pre-Worlds warm-up in the form of the J/80 Swedish Championship and are now sailing their J/80 World Championships off Copenhagen, Denmark.

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:

Jul 7-10- J/24 Canadian Nationals- Mississauga, ONT, Canada-
Jul 7-10- J/24 UK Nationals- Weymouth, England-
Jul 8- Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race- Cowes, England-
Jul 9-10- J/22 Canadian Nationals- Kingston, ONT, Canada-
Jul 9-10- SailNewport Regatta- Newport, RI-
Jul 10- Marblehead-Halifax Race- Marblehead, MA-
Jul 16- Chicago-Mackinac Race- Chicago, IL-
Jul 16- Lake Ontario 300- Port Credit, ONT-
Jul 23-26- J/22 Europeans- Travemunde, Germany-
Jul 23- Port Huron-Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI-
Jul 28-31- Marblehead NOOD Regatta-
Jul 23-24- Youngstown Level Regatta- Youngstown, NY-
Aug 5-7- Buzzards Bay Regatta- S Dartmouth, MA-
Aug 10-13- Chester Race Week- Halifax, Nova Scotia-
Aug 10-14- J/105 Northamericans- Marblehead, MA-
Aug 14- Rolex Fastnet Race- Cowes, England-

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

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing spinnakers past Oresund BridgeJ/80 Swedish Championships/ Pre-Worlds
(Malmo, Sweden)-  Mikael Lindquist, sailing Team ROCAD Racing from KSSS (Royal Swedish YC), won the Swedish J/80 Championships in Malmo, a great "pre-Worlds" event for the J/80 sailors participating this week in the J/80 Worlds in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Lindquist's team sailed a very strong series, starting out slowly but closing with all top three finishes- getting a 6-2-2-1-3-2 for 10 pts (inc toss).

Sailing a very strong series as well as the American Glenn Darden from Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas sailing their well-traveled boat LE TIGRE.  Glenn's team are past J/80 World Champions themselves and showed some of that form during the regatta, being the only two race winner in the event.  Glenn's team sailed a 1-4-4-7-1-3 for 13 pts (inc toss) to secure second overall.  Finishing third was Jesper Feltd, who started out strongly but faded towards the end, sailing a 2-5-1-6-6-5 for 19 pts.  Fourth was Johnannes Bergh and fifth was the familiar team of Tom Klok sailing with husband/wife team of Will and Marie Crump  and Newport sailor Will Welles.

During the awards ceremony, the team that traveled the longest received 2 kg of Toblerone Chocolate!  So, the betting was starting as to when Glenn and team on LE  TIGRE would finish it before weighing in for the Worlds in Copenhagen!   Sailing photo credits- Magnus Grubb/ Picasa   For more J/80 Swedish Championship sailing results

J/130 BEBE sailing Transpac RaceTranspac Race- July 6th update
(Honolulu, HI)-  The first wave of Transpac starters left Point Fermin Monday, 4th of July, bound for Honolulu with a sea-breeze in the low teens to get them "off the beach" and many a quiet prayer for the breeze to hold  through the night.  It's no surprise in the inner coastal waters of Southern California if the wind shuts off in the night. But if you're trying to get to the big breeze in the outer coastal waters, it's a pain.  There is ample wind offshore for a fast passage.

Amongst the ten racers in Division Six included Charles Browning's J/130 BEBE from Santa Barbara YC.  Most boats took off on a long starboard tack towards Catalina Island and then tacked onto port.  Their goal is to get past the Channel Islands, then head West out to sea in search of the fastest track around the Pacific High.  As of Wednesday evening, BEBE is leading the Transpac Race boat-for-boat and headed off at a fast 8-10 knot pace with wind abeam on starboard tack.  Next up, hoist the huge A-sail for maximum VMC down course.  Next stop is the quaint little lighthouse off the Diamond Head finish line in about a week of sailing, literally surfing/ planing 24x7 in some epic conditions!

Traditional, Classic Hawaiian send-off danceDuring the Skippers' Meeting at the Long Beach Aquarium, skippers and navigators were brought up to speed on the latest developments, including meteorologist Lee Chesneau's upbeat assessment of a favorable weather pattern developing in the Eastern Pacific. Compared to the outlook a week ago, it was happy news (very happy news)! Chesneau said something about winds to 20 knots out on the ocean, coming down the coast from the North and bending ENE towards the islands.  Plus, didn't hurt to have a traditional, classic Hawaiian "send-off good luck dance" (seen here), too.

Another 34 boats, including the likely first-finishers, start on Friday, July 8 at 1 p.m. off Point Fermin. In the meantime, the storyline runs along that question of holding wind through the night - some crews are imagining a 10-day passage, but only if all the ducks line up smartly and the probability that the Pacific High Pressure Zone, now nicely formed and pumping gangbuster trade-winds toward Hawaii, keeps on a roll.  There's a lot of pressure on the navigators to optimize the routing around the High for maximum VMC down course, knowing what sails and sailing angles to use when to maximize speed down the track-- it's remarkably easy to sail too high too long or dive too early and move away from better pressure gradients.

Next up to the start on Friday July 8th will the two offshore speedsters, the J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE sailed by Andy Costello and the J/145 BAD PAK sailed by Tom Holthus.  Both boats are capable of 20+ knot speeds sustained for days on end under their big asymmetric spinnakers and have the offshore trophies to prove it.  In the 2009 Transpac, it was the J/145 BAD PAK that got the better positioning to overcome their tenacious J/125 compatriots to win their class.  Andy's crew on DOUBLE TROUBLE just finished winning the windy offshore Coastal Cup Race from San Francisco down to Monterrey, California, so they should be well-prepared for what's in front of them for the next week of sailing.  If the conditions hold true, these two speedsters will rapidly overtake the "small boat" fleet in front of them.   For Transpac Race Sailboat Tracking    For more Transpac Race sailing information and Facebook link

J/80 Worlds leaders- Darden and Camino sailing upwindDarden Leads J/80 Worlds
(Copenhagen, Denmark- July 5th)- Sixty-eight J/80s have descended upon the quaint little seaside village called Dragor, a beautiful town just north of Copenhagen along the seaside of the Baltic Sea.  The competition is hot and with multiple World Champions competing, the Royal Danish YC's RC/PRO teams are doing a good job of keeping the competitive fleet in check, having conducted three races on the first day.

Currently, the American team on LE TIGRE, skippered by Glenn Darden is winning by just three points with a 2-5-5,  demonstrating that lessons learned from previous Worlds and his successful Key West Race Week wins are currently giving his LE TIGRE team an edge in the light to medium winds on the Baltic.  Says Glenn, "Thank goodness for doing the J/80 Swedish Championships/ Pre-Worlds over in Malmo the weekend before!  The team's working great, all in sync and we feel good just to be in the running.  The next few days will be difficult sailing as the racing is very tight."  What is clear is that current leaders are managing to avoid the "big bad one" in their scores, many teams have single-digit scores for two races but have bombed one race badly to currently keep them off the podium.

Maltesers sweeter side of sailing- J/80 WorldsShowing surprising speeds and cunning tactics is the German team from Kieler YC, Martin Menzner sailed to a 6-1-8 to be in second with 15 pts.  Also showing excellent speed were the two French boats, Jean Charles Moriceau in third with a 9-13-1 for 23 pts and Malte Christopherson with a 16-2-7 for 25 pts.  Fifth is the first of the formidable Spanish teams, past World Champion Ignacio Camino on NEXTEL ENGINEERING, starting strong in the first two races with a 1-4 but getting a 21st in the third race for a total of 26 pts (Ignacio hopes to score well going forward to toss the 21st!).  Tied with Ignacio is the Swedish J/80 Champion Ingemar Sundstedt with a 5-7-14 also for 26 pts.  Lying 7th is another Spanish Champion, Carlos Martinez sitting with a 3-26-4 scoreline for 33 pts.  9th is the first Danish boat sailed by Jesper Kragh Jespersen with a 15-20-12 at 47 pts.  Top British sailors are Tom Phipps, the young, fast crew on HAMBLE YACHT SERVICES sailing to a 14-10-24 tally for 48 pts.  Past J/24 Italian Champion  Dr Aldo Samele from Milano is sailing a new CANARINO FEROCE and is top Italian boat in 11th with a 7-8-38 record for 53 pts.  Top Russian team fresh from having sailed in the Russian Nationals in the Canary Islands last fall is Vitaliy Tarakanov, sailing to a 19-16-29 for 64 pts.

J/80 Worlds French team- Eric Brezellec sailing upwind- J/80 sailboatTwo teams that qualified the most for riding the biggest roller-coasters of the day were current French J/80 Champion Eric Brezellec sailing INTERFACE CONCEPT 2 to an OCS-6-3 record for 77 pts and past J/80 World Champion Rayco Tabares from the Canary Islands sailing his famous HOTEL GRAND CANARIAS to a 4-9-51 for 64 pts.  Watch out for both these teams as they've demonstrated they can climb the ladder very quickly and given that there are at least 6 to 9 more races to sail, both teams could easily factor into the top five overall.
For more J/80 Worlds sailing information

J sailboats sailing Queens Cup off MilwaukeeJ/130 Wins Queens Cup
(Milwaukee, WI)-  The Queen's Cup is the one of the oldest cups in world of yachting that is still offered for competition every year. The history of the cup dates back to an age when both British Victorian silver-work and English sailing yachts were without rival anywhere in the world.

American shipyards of this era were turning out very fast sailing vessels called Clipper ships. These craft were extreme designs built to out perform the fast new breed of ships powered by steam. The American racing sloop SILVIE was built during this era using this radical new technology.  On August 19, 1853, the American yacht SILVIE won second place in a regatta scheduled by the Royal Yacht Squadron that was raced off Cowes, England.  First prize, a cup valued at 100 guineas, was won by the English yacht GAILY, followed within 6 minutes and 38 seconds by the American sloop SILVIE. This outstanding performance by SILVIE caused the Squadron to award a special prize to her, a 50 guinea cup, now known as the Queen's Cup.  The cup was brought back to the New York Yacht Club, SILVIE's home port, and went into obscurity until 1874, when JH Godwin of New York gave the cup to his friend Kirkland Barker, Commodore of the International Yacht Club of Detroit. The cup was to be offered as an international challenge, to be known as the Godwin Cup.  There was only one challenge, ANNIE CUTHBERT of Hamilton, Ontario, but she lost.  Not soon after, Barker died and the cup went into storage.  Later, his son-in-law- Walter Hull- rediscovered it and ultimately deeded it, at the behest of his good friend Bill Lawrie, to SSYC "for an annual race across Lake Michigan, always starting off South Shore Yacht Club, and ending at a point in Michigan, open to all yachts of a recognized yacht club on the Great Lakes".

J/42 sailboat- sailing on Lake MichiganThis year marked the 73rd sailing of the storied race providing 149 boats with an overnight 67 mile sprint across Lake Michigan from Milwaukee (WI) to Muskegon (MI). Conditions at the start on July 1 were about 20 knots, with the fleet ranging from former J/44 owners Dick and Doug DeVos' MaxZ 86 WINDQUEST to a fleet of J's including J/130s, J/109s, J/105s and J/30s.  It was basically a sprint across the Lake this year as the breeze held strong most of the way.  The "sleds" made it across 66 miles to finish by midnight, averaging nearly 12.0 knots!

In Division 2, Bob McManus's J/130 EDGE won their class by 8 minutes corrected over fellow J/130 owner Doug Petter sailing WILLIE J sailing at an average of 9.0+ knots!  WILLIE was fourth boat to finish on elapsed in class behind the fast, red J/145 MAIN STREET sailed by Bill Schanen and his family crew that finished first boat-for-boat (and 7th on corrected time).  In Division 4, the J/105 LATIS sailed by Dorothy Mietz was fourth in her class  ahed of Conrad Deeter's J/42 ANOTHER J, Larry Taunt's J/35 BAD DOG in 10th, Larry Schell's J/35 TOUCH OF GREY in 12th and Tom Anthony's J/35 SHEARWATER in 13th.  For Division 5, Mark Gurney's J/105 BUZZ was second, Al Wilson's J/100 SHEK O finished third and Mike Stewart's J/110 LADY K fourth.  In Division 7, the two J/30s had a fast passage, sailing the 66.3 nm in just over nine hours.  Tomm Heinrich's HULLABALOO finished 5th and Dennis Dryer's FRANK LLOYD STARBURST was 7th.  Finally, in the Short-handed (double-handed) division, Brendon Doherty's J/105 OCH! was 5th and Whitney and Alison Kent's J/30 RAFIKI was 9th.  Ed Buerger's J/130 FAST EDDY was 11th, George Petritz's J/29 TFWB RELENTLESS was 12th and Dana Felton and Tim Ker's J/35 NEMESIS was 13th.  Sailing Photo credits- Chris Gribble.   For more Queen's Cup sailing information

J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing Lake HuronFLYIN IRISH Wins Lake Huron 100
(Port Huron, MI)- The International Lake Huron 100 sponsored by the Port Huron Yacht Club sailed at the southern end of Lake Huron attracted six J/120s, Tim Clayson's J/111 UNPLUGGED, the Huneke/ Hayward/ Levin J/35 GRIFFIN, and Dean Walsh's J/105 GOOD LOOKIN.   The 89  nm (100 statute mile) course consisted of racing from Port Huron to the channel mark in the lake and then sailing a square course, finishing in front of the Maritime Center in Port Huron on the St. Clair River.   For many of the teams, the race serves as great practice for two of the upcoming premiere offshore races on the Great Lakes, the Chicago-Mackinac Race and the Port Huron-Mackinac Race.

J/120 one-design racer-cruiser sailboats- sailing off DetroitThis year's Lake Huron 100 started with practically no wind, but the breeze eventually developed out of the south-southwest.  The lead changed in the J/120 fleet on nearly every leg. After rounding in last place at the Port Sanilac buoy (last mark of the course), the J/120 FLYIN IRISH, skippered by Jerry Bresser, sailed left to the center of the lake on a beat (in other words, not the "normal strategy" in a south-southwester since the wind usually lifts on starboard  tack near shore as you head back to the finish line. Nevertheless, FLYIN IRISH found stronger wind and managed to pass all the other J/120s to finish first in class and in the PHRF fleet overall!  The J/105 GOOD LOOKIN owned by Dean Walsh managed to place 2nd in PHRF 1.    Sailing Photo credit- Lisa Marino   For more Lake Huron 100 sailing information

J/109 racer-cruiser sailboat- sailing Three Peaks RaceJ/Community

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

* J/109 TORBELLINO Team Finishes 4th in Three-Peaks Race-  sailing in the ‘Grandfather’ of all three peaks races, The Barmouth to Fort William Three Peaks Yacht Race, and one of the oldest extreme multi-sport endurance races in the world, were three teams sailing J's-- the TORBELLINO TEAM sailing a J/109, the SATISFACTION TEAM sailing a J/92s and the MOBY J TEAM also sailing a J/92s.

Three Peaks race course in ScotlandThis year there was a record entry in the 34th edition of the Three Peaks.  The race combines yachting, mountain running and cycling into one of the greatest adventure challenges in British sport. Teams consist of three sailors and two runners, who set sail from Barmouth on the Welsh coast to Fort William in Scotland, via Caernarfon and Whitehaven, racing to the summits of Snowdon (3560ft) Scafell Pike (3208ft) and Ben Nevis (4408ft) on the way.  In total, the race consists of 389 miles of difficult coastal sailing, 18 miles of cycling and 72 miles of running, with a total ascent of 14,000ft to the highest points in Wales, England and Scotland.  A great one for the "bucket list", eh??  Since 1977, a total of 500 teams have competed, amongst them some famous faces including renowned sailors Robin Knox Johnston, Bob Fisher and Skip Novak.

The J/92 SATISFACTION TEAM are made up of 3 brothers and 2 close friends.  As skipper Bill Tipper said, "This year more than ever we are out to complete the race - anything else is a bonus - we are not professionals we all have busy jobs and most of us live in the midlands as far from the sea as you can get! However we all share the love of adventure there is nothing that makes you feel more alive."

Mary Purdy from MOBY J - J/92 running trailsThe J/92 MOBY J TEAM skippered by Martin Pound from Southampton, England said he vowed to never do the race again, but "is now addicted"!  This year he brought a new team of runners/ bikers besides himself and sail-trimmer Steve Broom.  They added brothers Charles Brent (26) and Eduardo Brent (19) as the runners.  As the event is largely created to support charities, the running brothers sponsored "Fix The Fells" ( and the sailors are supporting "HELP For HEROES" (, to return brave wounded British soldiers to a more normal life-- pretty cool charities to sponsor! Says Martin, "The lure of the only race in the world which combines so much, from offshore sailing to rowing, from difficult pilotage to road running, fell running and cycling, to utter exhaustion, just cannot be resisted.  Our thanks as ever goes to all those stalwarts, the 3 Peak organizers, back in Barmouth, who put so much effort and time into keeping it all running!"

The J/109 Team TORBELLINO are all from around Stratford-Upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England.  Simon, Natasha and Tim were joined this time by Richards Ludlow and Strauss. Said the skipper, "Ludlow is a thirteen year veteran of the race, fitter than a butcher’s dog and, in some lights, slightly better looking too". He also said that, "Strauss is new to the Three Peaks and despite his advancing years, a fine addition to the sailing team. If only he would stop his constant Twittering!"  Team Torbellino competes in the race to help young adults with special needs benefit from the opportunities that sailing can provide. Over the past two years TT has raised over £12,000 for the James Myatt Trust, a registered charity which funds sailing ventures for disadvantaged young people.  In May 2011 there were two sailing trips and now part of the curriculum for the school’s sixth formers for as long as funds last. As these young people prepare for as much independence as possible in their adult lives, the sailing adventures help them enormously with self-confidence and team-work-- fantastic program and life-experience for kids!

J/92 sailboat- sailing in 20 foot seas off ScotlandThis year's race offered up an enormous variety of weather conditions, as it always seems to do when you have to compete for over 70 hours straight.  The race began at Barmouth on the mid-Wales coast last Saturday and sea conditions were treacherous with 20 foot waves (see photo at right!!) making it difficult for the race fleet to even leave the harbour-- epic conditions to say the least.  The 32 boats taking part faced strong headwinds, then light airs and periods of calm on the route around the Mulls of Galloway and Kintyre and up through the Inner Hebridean islands to reach Fort William, and the final summit, Ben Nevis. A unique feature of the race is that yachts can be rowed through periods of calm and the crews (including runners and bikers) take their turn at the oars when required to stay ahead of the challenge from other teams!!  Imagine that, a J/109 and J/92s equipped with carbon "sweeps" to  row fast in light airs!!

When the smoke and fog on the battlefields cleared, TEAM TORBELLINO came in a very happy and successful fourth place amongst some very strong teams from around the world!  They arrived in Corpach in a clear 4th place, docking at 13.46 to set their runners off up a cloud covered Ben Nevis, knowing they are under no pressure as their nearest challengers are still several hours away.

J sailors and runners- finishers of Three Peaks RaceThe runners are Richard Ludlow, a very regular competitor and a past King of the Mountains winner, and Natasha Scrivens, one of the few women competing this year. (There are only 10 in total, including two skippers.) When they set off the weather was chilly, with showers in the air, a strong breeze blowing and the top of the mountain was wreathed in heavy cloud-- just another normal day on Ben Nevis. The most common question asked in Fort William is; “Where is Ben Nevis?”

As is so often the case, windy conditions at Fort William do not mean the boats on their way have good sailing conditions, often it can be the opposite with boats becalmed among the islands in the Firth of Lorn and Loch Linnhe. The Torbellino crew said they had rowed for long periods, and hit a hole in the wind around the Isle of Lismore. However, they have sliding seats fitted which they said makes a huge difference and allowed them to make 1.5 knots rowing speed!

Ben Nevis Mountain- ScotlandRowing was critical in their break away from the group of boats leaving Whitehaven. “We had managed to pull away and open up a gap,” said Simon Newton, “but the tide was turning around the Mull of Kintyre and we could see them coming up behind us. Then we rowed for ages and just made it through the tide and they all fell away and we were clear.”

There were some reflections on ‘might have beens’ when the crew told me how their No.3 sail had split when being raised on the start line. “We were an hour behind at Caernarfon after that start and I wonder how we’d have done if we were up with the leaders there. They caught the tide out of the Swellies and into Whitehaven so that hour gap became an 8 hour gap at Whitehaven and a 20 hour gap by the finish.” Even so, the team were happy to finish 4th.

It has been one of those races where the leading boats built on early advantage and caught the tides and winds perfectly to open up such a lead. Those left trailing behind have had a frustrating time, often being pushed backwards by the tides, searching for wind, rowing for long hours, and making slow progress.

In the end, while the J/109 TEAM TORBELLINO was 4th, the J/92 MOBY J TEAM achieved an admirable 7th overall and the J/92 SATISFACTION TEAM ended up 11th out of 33 teams!!   For more Three Peaks Race sailing information.

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-

J/122 Gambler- one-design racer cruiser sailboat- sailing downwindFeatured Boats

J/122 GAMBLER For Sale

A 2008 J/122, Gambler has the three cabin layout, and the optional light grey deck.  White topsides and cherry interior.  The light grey deck really cuts down on the glare, the boat looks great and is in immaculate condition.

Gambler's owner has prepared this boat to race at the highest levels and her race results show it:

-2011 Charleston Race Week winner: PHRF Class B winner. 4 Bullets!!!
-2008 NYYC Annual Regatta-3rd
-2008 Sperry Topside regatta-1st
-2009 NYYC Race Week-2nd
-2009 J122 North American Championship-1st
-2010 Texas Race Week-2nd
-2010 Sperry Topside Regatta-2nd

Gambler may have the best winning record in the US topped by the 2009 North American championship!  In addition the owner has been on a scheduled sail program with North Sails and the inventory has been continually updated each year, including 2011.  For 2011 the owner has purchased the new 3Di carbon sails from North Sails.  This boat is also set up to race offshore and includes complete foul weather for 10, Gill life jackets for 10, along with offshore jacklines.

The factory options are:  light grey non-skid deck, Lewmar Carbon Wheel and Opening ports-aft face of cabin. Don't Gamble and miss out on this well prepared and race winning J/122. This is truly a step aboard and sail to the start line, or cruise across the ocean.  Please contact Scott Spurlin at J/Boats Southwest- email- or phone- 512-335-2391