Wednesday, August 17, 2011

J/Newsletter- August 17th, 2011

J/111 sailing double-handed- easy for a couple evening sailLovin' J/111s @ Fall Boatshows  
Jump on the Bandwagon and Have Some Fun!
(Newport, RI)- For the  past few months J/111s have demonstrated time and again that a great all-around design can succeed in a wide variety of weather conditions worldwide.  Plus, it's just as easy to sail as a couple double-handed or with a full crew!  Beer-can racing with a J/24 sized crew is, in fact, quite easy and a lot of fun!  Whether sailing off Sydney Heads, Australia, dueling off the coasts of France and England, flying down the coast of California and Baja, Mexico, enjoying the sparkling waters off Key West, or winning in the challenging racing on the Great Lakes or the Northeast, J/111s have brought lots of smiles and silverware to their lucky owners.

Even if you're just thinking about J/111s, take a trip down to one of these boatshows in the near future to see J/111s up-close and personal.  You'll begin to understand why current J/111 owners simply love their boats-  friends and family for daysails and beer-can racing, with standing headroom and a bathroom (!), but can go offshore with the "big boys" and make them pay!  Check them out at:

Sep 14-19- Grand Pavois Boatshow (J/111, J/108)- La Rochelle, France
Sep 15-18- Newport Boatshow (J/111, J/109, J/95)- Newport, RI
Sep 16-25- Southampton Boatshow (J/97, J/108, J/111)- Southampton, England
Oct 6-10- Annapolis Sailboat Show (J/111, J/108)- Annapolis, MD

Fastnet race sunset offshore sailingJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The pinnacle of the UK summer sailing season, and for many sailors from across La Manche in Belgium, Netherlands and France, is that third week in August that starts with Cowes Week and culminates in the famous Fastnet Race.  Sailors were not disappointed by this year's sailing on the Solent, perhaps one of "the best Cowes Weeks ever" was a refrain often heard round the infamous Guinness Beer Garden- can't argue with "fresh to frightening" conditions with an average 15 knots per day and some days hitting 30+ knots on brilliantly sunny, "Lucy-in-the-sky-with-diamonds" glittered wave-tops.  The Fastnet Race has started and it looks to be a two-track or even three-track race-- a case of haves, have-nots and has-beens.  Over on the other side of the Atlantic pond, just about due West, was yet another spectacular race week held in Chester, Nova Scotia- one of the more beautiful bays to sail in the world.  On the one-design front, the J/105 class held their North American Championships in Marblehead, MA and the competition was as incredibly intense as ever with sailors from California, Texas, East Coast and Canada-- the winning average was over 6th place!  Just to the north was yet another North Americans, the IRC NA's in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with some venerable J-iron living yet another one of its "nine-lives" and eclipsing a fleet of "hot boats" in the cold North of Canada.

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:

Aug 18-21- J/24 North Americans- Halifax, Nova Scotia-
Aug 19-21- J/105 Great Lakes Regatta- Toronto, Ont, Canada-
Aug 20-21- J/105 SoCal Championships- Long Beach, CA-
Aug 26-28- J/80 Breskens Regatta- Breskens, Netherlands-
Aug 26-28- J/80 Pornic Cup- Pornic, France-
Aug 27-28- Verve Cup Regatta- Chicago, IL-
Aug 29- Sep 1- Rolex Women's Keelboat Championship- Rochester, NY-
Sep 8-11- Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA-
Sep 14-19- Grand Pavois Boatshow (J/111, J/108)- La Rochelle, France-
Sep 15-18- Newport Boatshow (J/111, J/109, J/95)- Newport, RI-
Sep 16-18- J/30 North Americans- Annapolis, MD-
Sep 16-25- Southampton Boatshow (J/97, J/108, J/111)- Southampton, England
Sep 24-25- J/Fest San Diego- San Diego, CA-
Sep 28-Oct 2- J/80 North Americans- Larchmont, NY-
Oct 6-10- Annapolis Sailboat Show (J/111, J/108)- Annapolis, MD-

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

J/111 Jenga sailing upwind at Cowes Week, EnglandJ/111s Win Cowes Week
VELVET ELVIS Rocks J/109 Class
(Cowes, IOW, England)- Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week simply had an epic week, bashing and crashing around the buoys on the Solent in winds ranging from 10 to 30+ knots, with boats literally flying downhill under spinnakers at 20+ knot boat-speeds!  It was the "thrilla from Manila" reincarnate on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron starting line.  The competitors played "rope-a-dope" with each other, battling for advantage on every gybe and tack, trying to avoid spinnaker wraps, launching crews overboard (by mistake), or "shrimping" spinnakers for the umpteenth time!

J/111s sailing Cowes Race Week- EnglandThe big battle for supremacy on the Solent was seen in the huge IRC 2 Class.  Sailing like maniacs and trumping the J-Team clean sweep of IRC 2 was the J/111 SMHOKIN JOE sailed by Duncan McDonald & Phil Thomas- they put on an amazing performance and a remarkable display of boat-handling in the demanding conditions-- perhaps an outgrowth of having sailed outrageously high-performance dinghies called International 14s and winning a few Worlds, to boot.  Never far from throwing a punch back at them was Ian Matthew's beautifully sailed J/122 JINJA, garnering a few wins during the week on their way to second in class.  Paul Hey's J/111 JENGA VII was third (read more about their experience below in the J/Community section).  Fifth was the Dutch J/111 J-XCENTRIC sailed by John van der Starre & Robin Verhoef-- they were part of the J/111 clean sweep of the podium on Thursday's epic, "blowing dogs off chains" race around the cans.

In IRC 3 Class, the J/39 SLEEPER sailed by Jonty Layfield finished third, sailing an excellent regatta and put on a quite remarkable performance for a design that was originally optimized for light-medium wind conditions!  In IRC 4 Class, the J/105 KING LOUIS sailed by Fiona & Malcolm Thorpe finished 6th place overall, loving especially the long downhill slides criss-crossing the Solent on all-out planes.

Amongst the IRC 5 Class, the J/Teams were dominant in the top 10, with the J/97s dueling for the top of the fleet-- FEVER sailed by Grant Gordon finished second, in third was MCFLY skippered by Tony Mack and sixth was INJENIOUS sailed by Dr Gillian Ross.  The J/92 J'RONIMO sailed by David Greenhalgh & John Taylor finished 8th.  Ed Holton's J/110 SHADES OF BLUE finished 11th.  Richard Sainbury's J/92s BOJANGLES was 10th and Andrew Dallas' J/92s HULLABALOO finished 16th.

J/109 one-design sailboat- sailing downwind at CowesFor the huge thirty boat, insanely competitive J/109 class, the team of Adam & Helen Wright on VELVET ELVIS won by a whisker with just 12 pts.  Just behind with 13 points was the Maltese family team lead by the Ripard's and Calascione's sailing the J/109 YEOMAN OF WIGHT.  Third was LEVANTE led by the triumvirate of Stanley, Walker & Williams.  Fourth was Malcolm Boyle racing SHIVA and fifth was INSPARA sailed by Christopher Sharples & Richard Acland.

J/80 one-design sailboat- winners sailing J/80 class- boats.comAmongst the twenty-five boat J/80 class, Ian Atkins and crew on BOATS.COM missed the first race Sunday, but came on strong and sailed very consistently to win with just 14 pts over six races sailed-- a terrific performance by Ian since they had not sailed many races prior to Cowes Week.  Finishing second was TEAM BALTIC skippered by Henry Bomby, followed by William Goldsmith on TEAM EXESS in third.  The RAF "fly-boys" were tough, the well-sailed TEAM SPITFIRE skippered by Tony Hanlon finished fourth and JUMPIN JENGA sailed by Stewart Hawthorn hung in there for fifth.

J/111 owner Duncan MacDonald- sailing Cowes WeekFor SHMOKIN JOE J/111 co-owner Duncan McDonald- former I-14 World Champion pictured at right- it was a tough week.  Wednesday's strong wind resulted in a few problems aboard the "Joe" with Duncan suffering an injury as a result of a heroic maneuver. According to Dr McDonald he had to save two holes discovered in the mainsail from getting worse. “We were sailing downwind in pretty fresh conditions and discovered these two holes in the main. Naturally I didn’t want the whole mainsail to explode when we gybed so I made every effort in the world to stop the mainsail hitting the spreaders. While doing that my leg got taken away by the traveller block that whipped across the boat.”

McDonald’s leg was in a poor state when he arrived back on shore, with a cuts and grazes to the knee, and swollen ankle, but he assured us he was going to be fine. “Actually I am not so worried about the scrapes but the internal injuries in my ankle. I put a lot of ice on it and rested it when we got in so I am hoping it will be okay to continue racing. Although I have to say it is slightly worrying. It is not broken it is just going to be a soft tissue injury. Phil Thomas my co-owner has had a look and we’ve come to the conclusion it’s just a sprain, so we just need to strap it up, take lots of pain killers.”

The good news, in this bizarre situation is, McDonald managed to save the main. “If I hadn’t, and the holes had increased it probably would have shredded and we wouldn’t have finished the race.”

Chatting about the new J/111 class, which seems to have turned a few heads on the race course this week, McDonald concluded. “We’ve had our boat for two months and all I can say it is a great boat. In every condition we’ve raced it, it has been great fun, fast, enjoyable to sail and I think the J/111 is a fantastic class.”

J/109 one-design sailboat- sailing off Cowes, IOW, EnglandWednesday summary:
As to the conditions for Cowes Week, after a strong start on Sunday through Tuesday (as reported last week), Wednesday saw more high adrenaline racing in strong winds and bright sun- a sailing photographers dream come true! The Solent was sandwiched between areas of high and low pressure and as the day progressed, the wind began a relentless non-stop upwards trend that lasted for five hours, peaking with mean speeds of 25 knots and gusts well over 30 through the afternoon.  It was another day of hard, wet beats to windward, followed by high speed downwind blasts that had competitors grinning from ear to ear as they came ashore. Unsurprisingly, there was also a lot of gear damage, including three J/109s, among them William Edwards’ SARDONYX and Robert Stiles’ DIAMOND JEM, who retired with broken rigs.

The J/109 fleet started in a tight bunch towards the inshore end of the line. Adam and Helen Wright’s VELVET ELVIS made an excellent start, far enough ahead to cross in front of the fleet on port tack. Next were five boats all tied neck and neck – the Calascione/Ripard family’s YEOMAN to leeward of a bunch that included Jamie Sheldon’s JIGSAW and Stanley, Walker and Williams’ LEVANTE. Despite her apparent disadvantaged position, YEOMAN managed to pull four lengths ahead of the others a couple of minutes into the race. VELVET ELVIS extended her lead to more than four minutes at the finish. However, the next three places were super-tight, with only 24 seconds separating JIGSAW, YEOMAN and LEVANTE.

J/105 sailing downwind at Cowes Race Week, EnglandThursday summary:
The big winds continued, powering the biggest J's to blistering speeds approaching 25 knots. Most dayboat classes were set short courses that ensured they had finished racing before gusts to 38 knots were encountered in the afternoon.  Pip Tyler’s J/105 NIELSON REDEYE was fifth, his team’s best result so far in IRC Class 4. “We’ve had another really fantastic day,” he said after stepping ashore. “We were cautious and didn’t use the spinnaker, but we still hit more than 16 knots. It was a perfect length of race and everyone had massive great grins on their faces as we flew down the big waves in the western Solent.”

Friday summary:
The penultimate day of the event was a more gentle day than those earlier in the week, starting with bright sun and a gentle breeze that built to 15-18 knots. It also saw incredibly tight racing across dozens of classes.  The top of Class 2 turned into a super-tight battle between three fast J's. The start of the day saw Duncan McDonald and Phil Thomas’s new J/111 Shmokin’ Joe on 10 points, Ian Matthews’ J/122 JINJA on 11 and another J/111, Paul Heys’ JENGA 7, on 12 points. These three boats took the top three places in the class in Friday's race, in exactly that order on corrected time!

In the J/109 fleet Adam and Helen Wright’s VELVET ELVIS has again been the boat to beat this year. Starting the day only three points behind VELVET ELVIS, the Calascione/Ripard family’s YEOMAN had the opportunity to beat her for the overall class win Friday. However, Stanley, Walker and Williams’ LEVANTE won by a substantial margin, with YEOMAN second. VELVET ELVIS finished fourth, just 8 seconds ahead of Boyle’s SHIVA, to retain the overall lead by just one point.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing fast downwind at Cowes Race WeekSaturday summary:
A blanket of cloud over Cowes in the morning quickly gave way to bright sun and a rapidly increasing wind. Weather forecasters outlined several possibilities for Saturday, but the most likely scenario prevailed-- the initial south-westerly wind of 10-14 knots building to a west-south-westerly of 13-19 knots by midday, with gusts adding as much as 40 per cent to the base wind speed.

“It’s the first time I can remember such a consistently breezy Cowes Week,” said CEO Stuart Quarrie “It’s certainly the first one with an average windspeed over 20 knots, but the feedback we’ve had so far was that it’s been one of the best Cowes Weeks ever.”
Sailing photo credits- Rick Tomlinson-
For more Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week sailing information

J/105 one-design sailboat- Scimitar sailing NA champsNeff/Brauer Win J/105 North Americans
(Marblehead, MA)- For the forty-two J/105 teams that participated in this year's J/105 North Americans, it will certainly be one of the most memorable regattas sailed in a long time.  For starters, the combination of the fabulous facilities and gracious hosts at Eastern YC meant that all J/105 sailors and guests were treated like kings and queens.  Toss in the addition of Ken Legler as the PRO and you had a recipe for great on-shore festivities as well as fantastic race management.  Furthermore, the weather cooperated with four distinct days of sailing, each offering the highly-competitive J/105 teams a different challenge to overcome.  For many local sailors, however, it will be most remembered for the highly atypical "Marblehead conditions"-- go left early, then right late in the typical summer sea-breeze day-- it was anything but that!

Nevertheless, "locals" Henry Brauer and Stewart Neff on SCIMITAR were victorious on their home turf to win one of the most competitive J/105 NA's in years. With crew Stuart Johnstone, Julia Langford, Will Walters and Steve Cucchiaro, SCIMITAR never scored worse than a 16 in the 11-race series, including three bullets and two runner-up tallies. With a total score of 68 points, the team finished 13 points ahead of its closest competition in the 42-boat fleet (a high average of 6th!). Brian Keane, J/105 Midwinter champion for the past three years on SAVASANA, followed SCIMITAR with 81 points, then Texan Bill Lakenmacher on RADIANCE with 86 points (averages of nearly 8th to place in the top three!). Conditions on the final day of the four-day event allowed two more races in breeze starting at 6-8 knots ESE, building to 8-12 kts from the SSW with a few 20-30 degree shifts for good measure. The top 10 were: Henry Brauer/Stewart Neff, SCIMITAR (68 points), Brian Keane, SAVASANA (81), Bill Lakenmacher, RADIANCE (86), Joerg Esdorn/Duncan Hennes, KINCSEM (104), Ken Colburn, GHOST (112), Damian Emery, ECLIPSE (121), Bruce Stone/Julian Croxall, JOUSTER (135), Kevin Grainger, GUMPTION 3 (146), Bernard Girod, ROCK & ROLL (158), and Matthew Pike, GOT QI (161).

Starting on the first day, Brauer/Neff on SCIMITAR held a narrow lead over Brian Keane on SAVASANA. SCIMITAR started the event brilliantly with a 2-1-4-10 for a total of 17 points. SAVASANA's second in the last race brought them to 18 points after previous scores of 4-9-3. Bill Lakenmacher on RADIANCE rounded out the top three with 31 points. Conditions were gorgeous, the winds started at 8-12 knots from the SW and built into the teens in the afternoon out of the WNW. It was shifty, streaky and blustery with plenty of sunshine.

By the second day, the Brauer/Neff team on SCIMITAR narrowly maintained their lead, scoring a 16th in Friday's first race but rebounded with a first in the day's only other race to finish with 34 points.  Brian Keane's SAVASANA trailed by a mere one point, after finishing with an 11-6 tally. In third place was Ken Colburn on GHOST (52 points). Damian Emery on ECLIPSE won the day with first and second place tallies, respectively. Racing was delayed until 1:20 p.m. as the breeze filled in at about 6 knots from the SE, perhaps the only day where "going left" paid-- exactly the formula employed by Damian on ECLIPSE, starting at the port end and hitting the left corner both times!

Team SCIMITAR dramatically opened-up their lead on day 3, scoring a 10-1-2 in Saturday's three races, winning the day for the second time.  The local SCIMITAR team headed into the final day of the regatta with 47 points, 20 pts ahead of Brian Keane's SAVASANA. Texan Bill Lakenmacher moved up to third, and had 70 points after solid results of 1-2-11. The fourth and fifth place positions were only separated by two points. Joerg Esdorn and Duncan Hennes on KINCSEM registered 86 points, and Ken Colburn's GHOST was just two points back. Racing was delayed less than an hour as the breeze settled in at 6-8 knots producing another SE/SW day that produced enormous wind streaks, shifty breezes and enormous anxiety for the tacticians on the top ten teams.

The last day dawned overcast with mild mist and light winds, not enough to start the fleet on time for the final, dramatic battles to determine the leader-board.  Just before noon, a weather system gradient wind filled in from the south at 4-6 knots and PRO Ken Legler sent off the fleet on a double windward-leeward course.  Under overcast skies, Damian Emery's team on ECLIPSE again won the day (the only other team to win the day aside from the winners Team SCIMITAR) with a stunning 1-3 tally.  Going into the last race, Keane's SAVASANA had to overcome a first race 12th to overcome a 5 pt deficit to Lackenmacher's RADIANCE who was now lying in second overall.  For the 11th and final race of the regatta, the fleet started out in the light SSW wind of 5-7 knots, but two-thirds up the first windward leg in a 5-leg, finish to weather race, the wind shifted 30 degrees right and increased to 10-14 knots!  Perhaps sailing one of their best races in the series, Keane's SAVASANA fought off the challenge from RADIANCE to get a 2nd and secure second overall.  Team SCIMITAR managed to "salvage victory from the jaws of defeat"-- recovering after another "bleacher-seat" starting position and rounding the first weather mark in 29th place, the SCIMITAR team went into over-drive and simply flew back through the fleet in dramatic fashion with good tactics and boat-speed to finish 14th, assuring them of a 13 point victory margin.  Sailing photo credits- and on Facebook at  For more J/105 North American sailing information.

J/35 Crushes IRC NAs in Canada
(Toronto, ONT, Canada)- A mostly Canadian fleet of 55 teams competed at the 2011 IRC North American Championship, held in Toronto, Canada on August 11-14, 2011. David Ogden and his crew on the J/35 BUCKAROO BONZAI pulled off a decisive victory in the IRC 2 fleet as well as the overall title.  Fifth in IRC 2 was yet another J/35, Stephen Trevitt's CRIME SCENE.  Other notable performances were John McLeod's J/133 HOT WATER, sailing to a 4th in IRC Super 0 class.

J/Boats dealer Don Finkle from RCR Yachts had some interesting observations for the event- "One thing that struck me was the wide variety of boats that took part in the event. Apparently almost anything that floats can get an IRC rating. I don’t mean that in a negative way; just an observation that you don’t need any certain type, age or style of boat to compete.

For example, on one end of the spectrum we had a Farr 30 and Melges 32, very light high performance sportboats. You could throw the canting-keel Shock 40 in there too. On the other end there was the vintage “Red Jacket”, the 39 foot custom ocean racer that first put C&C on the map by winning the SORC overall back 1970. Of course, RJ has been heavily updated and optimized (now called a Bruckmann 39, not a C&C 39), yet she is still over 40 years old.

There was also a Hunter Legend 37 that you would not think of as a racer but that does very well, lots of boats from the 1980s such as C&C 34s and J/35s, an assortment that you need to scan the scratch sheet to truly appreciate. The in the middle, so to speak, were more recent but not extreme designs such as the Beneteau First 36.7s, 10Rs and 40.7s and C&C 115s.

The amazing thing is that the top five overall boats at the end of the regatta came from across the board and included boats from the fastest (John Odenbach’s Farr 47 Rampage) and slowest (Winston Beckett’s Santana 30-30 Fortitude) divisions and those in between as well. And, the overall champion is the mid-1980’s designed J/35 BUCKAROO BANZAI owned by David Ogden- winning with a 1.8 average score!

We had a ring side seat of BANZAI’s dominating performance because they were in our division, and we owed them time (on our Beneteau 36.7).  The bottom line is that boats of various vintages and types seem to be able to compete, and for sure older designs are still very much alive in IRC.   For more IRC North Americans sailing information.

J/111 sailboat- sailing past Fastnet Rock in Fastnet RaceFastnet Race Update
(Cowes, IOW, England)- Drama has yet again struck the Fastnet Race, continuing it's legendary status as not only one of the oldest offshore yacht races in the world, first taking place in 1925, but also one of the roughest and toughest.  As most offshore racers recall, the 1979 Fastnet was no picnic- over half the fleet retired from broken boats to broken bodies and, sadly, tragedy too.

The 608-mile race passes Land’s End (notorious for raging currents, whirlpools and awesomely steep (scary) breaking waves) before turning north-west across the Celtic Sea towards West Cork. Participants round the famous Fastnet Rock lighthouse three miles off Cape Clear Island before heading to their ultimate destination of Plymouth, leaving the Scilly Isles to port on the way home.  A total of 314 boats started the race off Cowes on the Isle of Wight on Sunday, beating the previous record turnout of 303 entries registered for the tragic 1979 installment.  However, the race so far has taken it's toll, with several boats breaking masts/ tearing sails and, in the case of George David's RAMBLER 100, losing its canting-keel and capsizing (story below) just after rounding Fastnet Rock.

For those who love the Fastnet Race, the highlight of the European offshore summer season, the 2011 race has delivered on all counts. It has proved a hugely tactical race and competitors have fought for speed in a whole variety of conditions from 30 knots of breeze through to what was almost a complete shut-down in the pressure. Extraordinarily frightening for some, gut wrenchingly frustrating for others, incredibly rewarding for those who got it right.

J/122 sailboat- sailing past Fastnet Rock- Fastnet Race 2011- Nutmeg VI FranceSo far, the J/122 NUTMEG IV, owned and raced by Francois Lognone and his crew were the top J overall in the Fastnet 2011. As a seasoned offshore campaigner, this is a well deserved and hard fought result for the French skipper and crew of this forty footer. So far, with only one-third of the fleet finished, the eighth IRC overall translates to third in IRC 2 Division and first in IRC 2A Class!! 

Another J/122, Neil Kipling’s JOOPSTER crossed the finish line in very good shape and is currently in fourteenth place in IRC Overall, Yves Grosjeans’s bright red forty-three foot J/133 JIVARO was just a few steps behind in eighteenth place overall.

The J/111s have been sailing fast, the real issue for them has been whether or not they've been going fast in the wrong direction too quickly.  So far, the IRC Doublehanded leaders are the J/111 team on J-XCENTRIC, the Dutch team of John van der Starre & Robin Verhoef finishing first boat-for-boat on elapsed and currently winning on IRC handicap rating, too!  Fingers-crossed as the rest of the fleet drifts in on the tides and no wind.  The J/111 ARABELLA sailed by Niall Dowling started off strong, but sailed a bit close to Land's End and then headed too far north of rhumbline to Fastnet Rock, giving up a bit of distance to only finish ninety-odd minutes in front of the double-handed J/111 J-XCENTRIC!

Also, the J/120 NUNATAK sailed by Mike Jaques and crew are lying second in the Doublehanded IRC division.  More later next week.  For more Rolex Fastnet Race sailing information

J sailors relaxing at Chester Race Week SunsetBRILLIANCE Radiates At Chester Race Week
Big J/29 & J/24 Fleets Scrum For Class Honors
(Chester, Nova Scotia)- Every summer, several boats from the Northeast in America use the Marblehead-Halifax Race to extend their summer sailing adventures along the gorgeous bay and islands that dot the waters off Chester, Nova Scotia.  In early August, the fog banks for the most part burn-off fast or are non-existent and the weather Gods certainly seem to smile on the hardy group of sailors who have grown to love Chester Race Week.  This year, the fleet was again blessed with a few days of gorgeous weather.

J/24s sailing at Chester Race Week in Nova Scotia, CanadaIn the A2 PHRF fleet, Colin Mann's J/92 POOHSTICKS nearly pulled off a race week win, but their 6-5 in the last two races dashed all chances of winning the brass-ring this year.  Instead, they had to settle for third overall just three agonizing points away from the top of the podium.  Fourth in their class was the J/35 SUMROO skippered by Gary Sullivan, seventh was the J/29 sailed by Jeremy Wood and eighth was the J/35 J-HAWK sailed by Thane MacDonald.

In the D1 PHRF fleet, the J/120 BRILLIANCE sailed brilliantly by Richard Calder managed a 1-1-3 tally to win with only five points!  Other than a slow start, the J/111 BLAST skippered by Mark Surette won the last race to add to their earlier 5-7 to finish with 13 pts.

The most remarkable fleet growth has been the fractional J/29s and the J/24s.  The J/24s had a great turnout with eight boats  having great sailing around the bay and in the buoy races.  Dale Robinson's team on SLAM IN 29 SECONDS sailed to six 1sts and two 2nds in nine race total to win by 3 pts.  Second was Greg Burden's ADRENALINE RUSH with 13 pts.  Kim Drisdelle's BLACKJACK was third, fourth was Ross Romney in RUSH HOUR and rounding out the top five was Brian Storey on MUFFIN.

J/29 one-design sailing regatta- at Chester Race Week Nova ScotiaThe twelve (yes- 12!) J/29s were a very colorful site on the water since most all boats had colored spinnakers!  Like their J/24 brotherhood, the J/29s also had a top dog being the "alpha puppy" of the gang.  Chris MacDonald's crew on SCOTCH MIST IV had four 1sts in nine races to win with 14 pts (including drop).  Andrew Childs had the SILVER WOMAN team rocking in most races and managed to also get two 1sts to place second with 23 pts.  Third was Andrew Orr's FEED ME with 33 pts, narrowly beating out Scott and Matt Christie's COLMONELL in 4th place.  Fifth was Evan Petley-Jones driving SATISFACTION.

Of special note was that long-time North Sails consultant and designer Andreas Josenhans was Regatta Chairman.  Helping Chester YC put on a great show and helping out considerably on race management.  Andreas also had many pearls of wisdom for the sailors, offering some of the extensive knowledge prior to and after each day's racing.  In fact, here's a great YouTube video of some of Andreas' bits and bobs-    More sailing news and results on Chester Race Week FB page


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

* Congratulations are in order to Doug Curtiss and the entire crew of the J/111 Wicked 2.0 who finished second in the PHRF Division 1 (rating 42) at Buzzards Bay Race Week off Padanarum, MA August 5-7.  The You-Tube reference, courtesy of crew member TJ Scott, is to the last race at on Sunday August 7. Doug Curtiss's J/111 Wicked 2.0 won its class boat-for-boat and on corrected time on a four-legged windward leeward course in 25-32 knots of wind and big seas.  Wicked 2.0 sailed the entire race with a reefed main, a #4 jib (flown also on the downwind legs), and a "chicken" A sail of 118 sq meters. The reference to Ted is helmsman Ted Scott, who along with the expert Wicked crew, did a masterful job of sail selection and boat handling in trying conditions. It was ear-to-ear grins on the race course and afterwards.   YouTube video:

J/111 sailing fast downwind at Cowes Week regatta* More J/111 stuff- Paul Heys' account on the next "huge" day of sailing at Cowes Week on the J/111 JENGA VII-  "Big Wednesday at Cowes was followed by.....extremely large Thursday. Having had a full day of high speed sailing on the Wednesday, Thursday brought even more wind.  Whilst most of the smaller boats were sent to the relative shelter of the Eastern Solent, the bigger IRC classes were sent West to Hurst Castle .

The wind at the start was over 20 so the boats at the front of the fleet were set up with #3's and full mains. The first leg was a very one sided beat, the J122 Jinja was first boat onto port and having judged the layline to perfection was first to the the Raymarine buoy, which was a passing mark on the way to the windward mark at Hurst castle, some 7 miles further. The strong west running tide flushed the fleet down the Solent with an arrival order at Hurst of Jinja, J111 Shmokin Joe and J111 Jenga7. Once again the lightweight J 111’s had beaten most of the the larger, heavier boats to the Windward mark.

Slow spi sets by the leaders allowed Jenga to jump into the fray and an epic downwind battle commenced between the two J 111’s. Sailing perhaps a 100 metres apart with Shmokin’ Joe trying to maintain a slender lead the two boats flew along at a constant speed in excess of 20 knots for half the width of the Solent.

Jenga was first to gybe back into shallower water and took the lead only to lose it on the next gybe.

In deference to the difficulties encountered by the foredeck crews, both boats opted to sail with jibs up down wind, the disadvantage of having the jib set is that it is extremely difficult to refill the spinnaker after the gybe, without over pressing the boat. To be languishing at a mere 12 knots of boat speed trying to refill the spinnaker when you opposition is at mach 2 means that the lead yo-yoed between the two boats.

Having arrived at Salt Mead we went back on the wind for a very close fetch of 2 miles, this was followed by a down wind blast towards Cowes . When the wind strength was 22 we were sailing at 14 knots of speed when it was blowing 30+ we were sailing at 19-22 knots, so finding and staying in pressure and executing the gybes was key. On Jenga we had a particularly bad gybe with a big wrap in the kite, this looked like it might cost us the win. However it was not yet over as we gybed on the port layline, Shmokin’ Joe gybed on the starboard layline and wrapped their kite. For the second day running this resulted in them dropping the kite and then trawling.

Jenga led to the finish and as yesterday the finishing order was the three J111’s followed by the J 122!

Upon examining the results we discovered that having sailed the same course our elapsed time was faster than all of the class 1 boats which included a King 40, a Grand Soleil 46 and a couple of Ker’s. Had we been scored against this fleet the J 111’s would have won by 20 minutes on corrected time."

* Injured servicemen salute Toe-In-The-Water Charity- The charity uses sailing to aid the rehabilitation of injured servicemen so its presence at the Cowes Race Week regatta, provided the perfect platform in which to promote its valuable work.  A total of 13 inter-servicemen competed at the regatta, including 10 crew aboard two J/80s – Big Toe and Little Toe, from the UKSA.  Because Toe in the Water is an extension of rehabilitation, the sailors who are competing here this week are under a strict regime, which means after they return on shore from racing they have to be taken straight to the trauma physiotherapist to complete their daily treatment.

To find out how Toe in the Water benefits injured servicemen and women, we spoke to 23-year old Private Chris Herbert. Herbert was originally from Barnsley and served in the First Battalion Yorkshire Regiment but when he was 19 years old he lost his leg while serving in Iraq.

When he joined Toe in the Water as a patient during Aberdeen Asset Cowes Week in 2008, he’d never been on a boat before. Three years on, he is now a full time able-bodied volunteer, with a Yachtmaster certificate under his belt. “Sailing, through Toe in the Water, gave me back my life. When I lost my leg, I was young, angry and didn’t know where my life was taking me. I was psychologically lost and physically weak. I joined Toe in the Water and I was put on the winch to improve my core stability. I was also part of a team again, which was very important to me. Sailing helped me in every aspect of my recovery and I am now competitive racing sailor.”

Herbert is heading off to Portsmouth University in September and aims to combine his studies with sailing, and learn about the business/marketing side of the industry. Before then however, he’ll be taking part in the Rolex Fastnet Race,

Toe in the Water also had a big presence on shore with all sorts of exciting social events taking place throughout the week. One of the biggest, and most popular was the Wednesday night "Indian Curry Night" where The Queen's Own Gurkha Logistics Regiment did the cooking, and Gurkha pipers and drummers entertained the crowds.

JK/100 Rambler sailing at sunset off Fastnet Rock- Fastnet Race* Surviving to tell the story of RAMBLER 100- Peter Isler's harrowing account of what took place when George David's 100 footer, RAMBLER 100, capsized after losing it's enormous canting-keel is a riveting read.  Local Newporters aboard were Jerry Kirby and Mick Harvey who also survived to tell the tale- see George David's Interview on YouTube-

RAMBLER 100 navigator "Pedro" shares his story- "In 23 knots of wind, we were headed upwind after rounding Fastnet, and heard the big bang. The boat immediately flipped to 90 degrees, and within 30 seconds it turned turtle. Five people got separated from the boat. They luckily all had life jackets and were able to stay together. The remaining 16 crew were able to stay with the boat, three of which did the dry walk onto the overturned hull. Everyone had their own harrowing story to get up on the hull.

JK 100 Rambler- George David interviewWe then waited almost three hours, during which time we saw the Farr 100 Leopard go by maddeningly close and the Volvo 70s pass by at a little greater distance. Then a lifeboat came out, which was responding to one of the two personal EPIRBs that Mick Harvey and I had carried in our pockets. But they came maddeningly close but did not see us. After they did a search pattern for about 45 minutes they found us.

We then notified the rescue team of the five crew that were separated from the boat, which a second rescue boat then located. Everyone was extremely cold, which included owner George David and his partner Wendy Touton, who was hypothermic and was airlifted for treatment.

JK 100 Rambler capsized in view of Fastnet Rock LighthouseThe remaining twenty of us were then taken to the incredible Baltimore Sailing Club where in very short order the club members had put together a dinner, a stack of dry clothes, and two nice big houses to accommodate us, and the most incredible small town welcome you could ever hope to get.

On determining the problem...

It was immediately apparent what happened. Despite being in the nav station, I could easily tell that the boat was on its side. It couldn’t be anything else but a keel issue. Luckily I had all my gear on, including my lifejacket. I immediately called mayday on the main ship’s radio, but I didn’t get a response, so I picked up the handheld and started calling. The sails and rig had helped to keep the hull on its side, but during this second call the boat turtled…."    Read more about Pedro's account here on Scuttlebutt.

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-

Featured Boats

J/42 sistership photoSpectacular J/42  "Stars & Stripes" For Sale

This J/42 has a great layout with two double sleeping cabins, two heads with showers.  Main cabin has very large working galley.  Exceptionally well-organized and equipped Navigation station with new Icom SSB, and new Icom VHT, older Garmin GPS/Chartplotter, Stereo CD with Bose speakers both below decks and waterproof speakers in cockpit.

There are two deluxe settee berths in the main cabin plus a centerline dining table. Good storage in cubbies and bookshelves.  Classic interior finish with white laminate bulkheads and solid varnished teak trim. Very bright and airy. New cushions including custom-made Temper-pedic memory foam mattresses in the two sleeping cabins.

New B&G Electronics, B&G Quadrant mounted Autopilot. New Raymarine C-80 big screen color GPS/Chartplotter/Radar mounted at steering pedestal, New Dodger w/ side bar handrails, New Furlex Roller furling system. New Engine driven Sea Frost refrigeration. All new electrical & battery power system, over 350 Amps of storage capacity. Engine start battery, plus 3 house batteries. Microwave oven can be run off inverter at sea. Force 10 Propane stove and oven.

This J/42 is equipped to sail offshore. She has a 1 year old Liferaft. The boat is loaded with all the electronic equipment needed and most all of it is not more than a year old.  The North sail inventory (6 sails) is excellent for cruising, and includes storm sails and a Gennaker w/ snuffer. The mast is Carbon Fiber by Hall Spars and has a Tides Marine sail track for ease of raising the North mainsail.

There is a stainless steel bow roller and anchor mount and a Lewmar Electric windlass. The working anchor is a 45 lb plow.

The hull is white (good color for the tropics)(NOTE- red boat is picture of sistership!). The current owner sailed her to the BVI's from Massachusetts in November of 2008 where it spent the winter. It has just recently arrived home, averaging 160-200 miles per day on the delivery.  This is a fast, solid cruiser, loaded to go off cruising. she has been well loved and cared for and has tons of upgraded, new (2007 to 2008) equipment.

For more information, please call George Lowden or Rich Hill at cell# +1-617-678-8164 or

About J/Boats

Started in 1977, J/Boats continues to lead the world in designing fun-to-sail, easy-to-handle, performance sailboats that can be enjoyed by a broad spectrum of sailors.  The International J/24 has become the most popular recreational offshore keelboat in the world with over 5,400 J/24s cruising the waves. Today, there are 13,000+ J/Boats, ranging from the International J/22 to the J/65 and ranging in style from one-designs to racers, cruisers to daysailers and, of course, the ubiquitous J sprit boats- J/Boats' innovation in 1992 for easy-to-use asymmetric spinnakers and retractable carbon bowsprits (J/80, J/92, J/95, J/105, J/109, J/110, J/120, J/122, J/130, J/133, J/125, J/145, J/160).

J/Boats has the best track record in sailing for innovation and design as evidenced by:  15 Sailing World/ Cruising World Boat of the Year Awards in 14 years; 2 SAIL Awards for Industry Leadership; 2 American Sailboat Hall of Fame Designs (J/24 & J/35); and the three largest ISAF International One-Design keelboat classes (J/22, J/24, J/80).

Counting crew, every year there are over 100,000 friends to meet sailing J's, populating the most beautiful sailing harbors and sailing the waters of 35+ countries around the world.  Sailing is all about friends.  Come join us and expand your social network everywhere!    For more information on J/Boats.

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