Wednesday, August 3, 2011

J/Newsletter- August 3rd, 2011

J/111 sailing in Hamble- racing Rolex Fastnet Race J/Crews Ready For Rolex Fastnet 
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The waiting is nearly over for the 44th edition of the 608 nautical mile Rolex Fastnet Race, one of the great ocean challenges, starting on Sunday, August 14th. With a staggering 350 entrants at the ready, 1979’s record-breaking tally of 303 participating yachts will almost certainly be surpassed. The sheer size of the fleet is impressive. Its quality and diversity quite breathtaking. Inspiring and exhilarating in equal measure, there is every reason to believe that the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race will maintain the event’s pioneering and prestigious tradition.

Regarding the "draw" of the Rolex Fastnet, one sailor said, "It is a mythical race. This year will be our seventh time and we are always very pleased and enthusiastic to participate with the crazy dream of winning it one more time."   John Towers is helming the J/122 OOJAH (GBR) with a US-based crew joining British boat owner Peter Tanner, their navigator for the race. The English Channel is some distance from their usual racing haven of the east coast of the United States. "As a group of Americans, we consider the Rolex Fastnet Race to be a once in a lifetime adventure that is a natural compliment to our passion for distance racing," explains Towers, "the Fastnet is a big deal for us and an adventure that we have been planning for the last two years.  Our goal will be the same as any other race we enter. Priority one is a safe passage. Priority two is that the experience is very positive for all members of the crew. Our third priority is to be competitive."

Amongst fellow offshore enthusiasts will be passionate J sailors racing in IRC 1 Class, a bevy of J/133s that, despite sailing against some world-class offshore IRC teams, have proven time and again the J/133s are extremely strong all-around sailboats and garner silver "pickle dishes" for their owners on a regular basis.  Amongst this competitive crowd are JINGS (David Ballantyne from England), JIVARO (Yves Grosjean from France), SPIRIT OF JACANA (Alan, Bruce and James Douglas from Ireland) and ASSARAIN IV (Doug Bates from England).

If IRC 1 Class looked competitive, how about IRC 2 Class, with 77 boats the largest and arguably the most competitive in the entire Fastnet fleet!  Two of the hot J/111 speedsters will be sailing, including the newly launched J-XCENTRIC that will be doublehanded by Robin Verhoef and John van der Starre and early RORC Season IRC 1 Class Season Points leader- ARABELLA sailed by Niall Dowling's talented team.  Not giving an inch to these flyers will be the J/133 APOLLO 3 (sailed by Nigel Passmore) as well as the other RORC Champions, the J/122s with a very experienced contingent of offshore veterans, including JOLLY JELLYFISH (David Richards), JOOPSTER (Neil Kipling), two French teams that include LORELEI (Alain Cathireneau) and NUTMEG IV (Francois Lognone) and an American team on OOJAH (John Towers).  Also mixing it up with them will be the J/120 NUNATAK (doublehanded by Mike Jacques).

IF IRC 1 and IRC 2 weren't strong enough, then take into consideration the fact that IRC 3 Class, with 72 boats is the second largest class in the Fastnet fleet, has all sorts of offshore mercenaries in their ranks- including FIFTEEN J/109s (more on them in a second) and three J/105s- the ring-leader amongst them being RORC Vice Commodore Nick Martin on his J/105 DIABLO-J, the RORC Doublehanded Offshore Seasons Point leader.  This group of sailors is about as tough as they come, fun-loving, fast, give no quarter, will push their boats to the max.  Watch out.  If it turns out to be a "small boat race", this entire fleet of 35 foot J's could easily crush the fleet.  In the J/109s, you have some great teams, including JAZZY JELLYFISH (Kevin Armstrong), JARHEAD (Kevin Nasmyth), RED ARROW (Jorg Lobbedey sailing for the Royal Air Force Sailing Assoc), YEOMAN OF WIGHT (with the renowned David Aisher sailing for British Keelboat Academy), JAMBO (Stephen Morris), JOLENE II (Phillip Nelson), OFFBEAT (David Mcleman), JIBE (Robin Taunt), JUMPING JELLYFISH (Robin Nelson), ARETHUSA (Cornelius Mijs from the Netherlands), INSPARA (Tor McLaren), JAGERBOMB (Paul Griffiths) and JAMBALAYA (Andrew Bird).  Of the J/109s sailing Doublehanded, they are JAMIRA (Mark Tracey) and JANGADA TOO (Richard Palmer).  Finally, if the J/109 contingent goes down in flames, it's only because the J/105s did them in!  ALL of the J/105s in this class are racing Doublehanded-  less food, less water, less weight, go faster reaching/off-the-wind, type of scenario??  Holy smokes, these J/105 guys are dangerous.  All three are not only capable of IRC 3 Class, Doublehanded, but also IRC Overall!!  Ouch.  That includes FLAWLESS J (James Heald), VOADOR (Nikki Curwen and Alex Adams) and RORC Vice Commodore Nick Martin on DIABLO-J.  Of note, nearly 1/3 of the Doublehanded IRC Fleet in the Fastnet are J's- 8 of 29 boats sailing!

Finally, in IRC 4 Class awaiting to prove themselves after a tough Warsash Fall and Hamble Spring Series is the J/97- JIKA-JIKA that will also be doublehanded by Mike and Jamie Holmes!  Forewarned is forearmed for those leaders in IRC 3, JIKA-JIKA will easily be a force to be reckoned with, a comfy little flyer that J/97 is!!  For more Rolex Fastnet Race sailing information

J/22 Women's Worlds sailing in Rochester, NYChampions Return To Rolex Women's Worlds
Girls Do It Better on J/22s!
(Rochester, NY)- Thirty-six women's teams and counting.  Amazing.  Who would think today that women sailors should be mainstreamed into big-boat sailing back in 1985!? That was the general attitude in the early '80s when US SAILING, J/Boats, Ida Lewis YC and Rolex collaborated to create the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship (IWKC) using J/24s. Twenty-five years later “The Rolex Women’s” stands as a testament to the huge strides made in women’s sailing.  This biennial event regularly attracts both the "Who’s Who" and the "up-and-coming" of women’s sailing. The 14th running is scheduled for August 29 – September 1, 2011 at the Rochester Yacht Club (Rochester, N.Y.), and utilizes the International J/22, one of the world's most popular ISAF keelboats due to its controllability and ease-of-handling for women crews.

J/22 sailors- Anna Tunnicliffe- Women's World ChampionThe current champion and US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member, Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, FL), recently received US SAILING’s highest honor as the 2009 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year based in part on her accomplishment of winning the 2009 Rolex IWKC. “Since US SAILING and Rolex created the Rolex IWKC in 1985, many accomplished women sailors have been part of this regatta’s 25-year history,” said Taran Teague (Annapolis, Md.), chair of US SAILING’s International Women’s Keelboat steering committee. “In fact, since its founding, this regatta has hosted more than 2,500 women representing 23 countries.”

Several teams will be in the hunt for the gold-silver-bronze on the podium, all smart, aggressive, extremely talented sailors.  Giving Anna's team a run for the money will be another USS-TAG champion sailor, Sally Barkow from Wisconsin, one of the top ranked women's match-racing sailing teams in the world is led by her.  And, she's proven fast in small keelboats at the Olympic and World Championship level.

J/22 Women's Worlds- Cory Sertl teamOther veterans that also finished in the top three in the last Rolex Women's Worlds will be on hand with even stronger crews than before.  Watch out for two sailors from the "Jimmie-town" colony on Narragansett Bay- Cory Sertl who summers in Jamestown, RI has been actively practicing and racing all summer, and her neighbor Carol Cronin has also shown her championship form this summer!

Annie Haeger- Women's College Sailor of the Year- sailing J/22 in Women's worldsSure to be a factor amongst the leader-board will be two women college All-Americans and 2011 Women's College Sailor of the Year- Annie Haeger (Boston College) and her best friend Steph Roble (Old Dominion) from Wisconsin-- these girls are amongst the sharpest and quickest of the next-generation college women sailors and they know how to make a J/22 go fast! Finally, college All-American women sailors from the 80s are tough gals, especially Sandy Adzick from Haverford, PA sailing with Sue Mikulski, Hilarie Armstrong and Debbie Gibbons-Neff, counting them out would be a mistake.  Cool, calm, easy-going, loving, smiling and carrying a razor-sharp scalpel in their hip-pockets-- caution is the word when mixing it up with these gals-- their collection of scalps is remarkable!

From across the border up north, two of the Canadian teams entered will be vying for honors as well, the top two 2011 Canadian Women's Keelboat Champions- Nicole Bastet from Quebec who won and Marg Hurley from Ontario who finished second.  Fellow sailors from Canada that should also be contenders are Katie Colman-Nicoll's team from Ontario.  All three of these Canadian Women's teams have raced J/22s extensively so no doubt will be extremely competitive against the top American teams.There's still time to jump into a J/22 and go for it!  Register online today.   Rolex Women's Sailing photo credits- Dan Nerney

Navy 44s sailing in US Offshore ChampionshipsU.S. Offshore Worlds September 2011
J/Teams Game for Thrashing Around-the-cans?
(US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD)- US SAILING runs a bi-annual U.S. Offshore Championship at the Naval Academy in the fall-- this year it's Sep 23-25th.  Applications are still being accepted for teams-- any J/30, J/105, J/109, J/111, J/120, J/122 or J/44 teams game??  You get to race in evenly matched Navy 44s and one of the boats is always made up of a team of midshipmen.  It’s a lot of fun. Plus, former J/World Sailing Coach Jahn Tihansky is the event Chairman for US Navy Sailing- ph# 410-293-5608, email- many of you know him personally.

Group 1, 2 and 3 competitors may compete. Teams are limited to three Group 3 competitors. No Group 3 competitor may act as helmsperson unless he/she was the helmsperson and owner of the boat used in the five races which qualified him/her for eligibility.  Plus, a minimum of five of each competitor's team must have raced together (including the designated skipper) in at least five regattas in AMERICAP/ORR, IMS, IRC, MORC, PHRF, Offshore One Design, Offshore Level Class Racing or Portsmouth Numbers rating systems in the past 18 months-- in other words, just about any J regatta you may have sailed in over a year and a half!  Finally, each team’s skipper must have been the regular helmsman for the five qualifying regattas and must start and sail all windward legs in this regatta.  If you get selected, the event cost is $995, not a bad deal.  The deadline is 14 August.  Here's the link to apply along with the Notice of Race.

Miami- SoBe sunset- gorgeous sailing nightJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

A remarkable week it was for the last week in July.  For the first time, an RORC offshore race saw a variety of wind conditions that challenged the fleet on multiple points of sail, providing navigators and tacticians an opportunity to play "catch up" or "defense", consolidate or extend positions based on leverage-- the RORC Channel Race is basically a large ocean-racing "triangle" offshore of England that takes the fleet into "La Manche"- J sailors for the most part enjoyed it- successfully.  Further ESE, the Spanish J/80 sailors were at it again.  As if sweeping the J/80 Worlds in Copenhagen, Denmark was not enough, they were frolicking in that quintessential playground known as "Palma"-- who can blame them.  In the Americas, the world's highest yacht club hosted the world's highest regatta (as we know it) on Lake Dillon at 9,000++ feet on J/22s, J/24s and J/80s- "nose-bleed" territory for many.  On the left and right coasts were two seminal events.  West was the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race that is a favorite amongst the SoCal offshore sailors-- a near record-breaking "sailing fiesta".  East was the Sailing World Sperry Topsider Marblehead NOOD Regatta with fleets of J/105s, J/30s and J/24s amongst others.

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 5-7- Buzzards Bay Regatta- S Dartmouth, MA-
Aug 6-13- Cowes Race Week- Isle of Wight, England-
Aug 10-13- Chester Race Week- Halifax, Nova Scotia-
Aug 10-14- J/105 Northamericans- Marblehead, MA-
Aug 14- Rolex Fastnet Race- Cowes, England-
Aug 29- Sep 1- Rolex Women's Keelboat Championship- Rochester, NY-
Sep 16-25- Southampton Boatshow (J/97, J/108, J/111)- Southampton, England

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

J/109 sailboat- sailing RORC Channel Race in EnglandJ's Dominate RORC Channel Race
J/109, J/122, J/111 Perform In Final Fastnet Practice
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The RORC Channel Race is often considered the last, final good run at getting teams functioning well and in offshore mode prior to the classic Rolex Fastnet Race later in August.  It's a good test of navigators and crews since the teams are presented with a wide variety of conditions in what is, in essence, a large ocean triangle that takes the teams out into "La Manche", criss-crossing shipping lanes, tidal lanes, wind lanes and throws in a mix of inshore/offshore tactical decision-making.  It's a tough race to do well in and hard to escape from bad tactical errors.  It also rewards consistent sailing and boats that can perform well on a variety of wind/ wave conditions.  In short, an amazing race for J sailors, taking 7 of the top 16, including 5 of the top 10, taking 1,2,4,6,8 overall.

This year, the RORC fleet set off east under spinnaker for the start of the 122 mile race with the entire fleet hugging the island shore in the best of the early tide. Despite the fickle breeze the 98 yachts in the fleet made relatively good speed past Hurst Castle. However in the vicinity of the Bridge Light Buoy the wind faded away causing the fleet to compress.

The leg to St Catherine's down underneath the south side of the Isle of Wight to its westernmost point was painful and as the new breeze filled in from the South West it was those who were offshore that benefitted. Later one, those who stuck it out were rewarded with some excellent sailing in a moderate breeze once they got to Bembridge Ledge.

The shy reach east to Saltdean Light Buoy (off Brighton) favored the yachts carrying asymmetric spinnakers and by the time the fleet finished back in the Solent it was a glorious day with fair winds for a wonderful finale to the race.

David Aisher's J/109, YEOMAN OF WIGHT, crewed by the British Keelboat Academy were the IRC overall winners in a large fleet taking the Channel Challenge Cup and won their IRC 3 Class, too.  Their fellow J/109 sailors nearly swept the top five of IRC 3.  Behind them in second was Tor McLaren's J/109 INSPARA, fourth was Greg Nasmyth's J/109 JARHEAD and fifth was Nikki Curwen's double-handed J/105 VOADOR!  Nick Martin's J/105 DIABLO J finished 8th IRC 3 and 6th Doublehanded class.

IRC Two produced a titanic battle between two J/122s, Neil Kipling's JOOPSTER from England, and Alain Catherineau's LORELEI from France. JOOPSTER won class by just under three minutes on corrected time. Hanging on the edge the entire time around the course was Niall Dowling's J/111 ARABELLA, finishing just 20 minutes behind the J/122s on elapsed time to get 5th on corrected IRC.
Thanks for contributions from Louay Habib.  For more RORC Channel Race sailing information

J/105 sailboat- sailing SW NOOD Regatta MarbleheadA STAR Wins Marblehead NOOD!
VITAMIN J Prescribes J/24s, JEROBOAM Clubs J/30s

(Marblehead, MA)- This year's Sperry Top-Sider Marblehead NOOD Regatta could either be seen as an atypical Marblehead regatta, or a typical one.  However one saw the conditions for the three days, it was certain that many teams had tales of euphoria and those of seeming despair, too.  Winds on Friday were in the southerly quadrant with grayish skies and 4-10 knots winds shifting 15-25 degrees; Saturday a spectacular showcase of classic northwesterly, shifty 15-30 degree winds 10-20 knots; and Sunday a complete and utter discombobulation of breeze from what should have been yet another "classic" southerly sea-breeze day (shifts ONLY swinging a total of nearly 140 degrees- from East to Southwest!).  There's no question the top teams were challenged by the conditions, some rolling the dice more than others, some winning that roll and others losing the odds badly.

J/105 sailboat- sailing upwind at SW NOOD MarbleheadFor the J/105 class, it was a tightly fought group amongst the top six for the entire weekend.  The characters were not entirely unexpected, with the leaders after two days of sailing being Stew Neff/ Henry Brauer on SCIMITAR from Marblehead, MA tied with by Bernie Girod on ROCK & ROLL from Santa Barbara, CA for first place; they were followed by Bill Lynn on SHOOTING STAR from Marblehead, Brian Keane on SAVASANA from Buzzards Bay, Ken Colburn on GHOST from Marblehead, Matt Piek on GOT Q? from Hingham, MA and Sean Doyle on KESTREL from Larchmont, NY.  Going into the last day, anyone could mathematically win.  And, faced with what looked to be a "normal" sea-breeze day, it was likely the standings wouldn't change too appreciably.  Instead, the fleet was faced with an unusual day, the top five went topsy-turvy and even the local sailors were somewhat perplexed by the crazy conditions with winds shifting in total over 140 degrees!

Out of the fray, the winner that emerged was local Marblehead sailor Bill Lynn and team on SHOOTING STAR winning the J/105 class by a whisker-length with 23 pts. Having rounded the weather mark in the first race of the last day in 12th place, down in fifth place in the standings at the start of the day, SHOOTING STAR opted to gybe away onto port away from the fleet on a "Hail Mary" play into shore, all by themselves.  It paid off, winning the fifth race.  Yet another even crazier sixth race saw SHOOTING STAR pull yet another rabbit out of the hat!  The last race saw a 75 degree shift roll through the course and a wildly erratic RC finish line (45 degrees off the posted course) that threw the fleet into disarray, ultimately enabling SHOOTING STAR to finish 7th in the last race, safely securing their tenuous lead to take both the J/105 class but also the coveted Sailing World Overall Best Performance Trophy-- earning Bill and crew a trip to the British Virgin Islands later in the year for the SW NOOD Championship Regatta in 42 foot cruising tubs equipped with Jacuzzi's and twin-blenders.  Second was Matt Pike on GOT Q with 24 pts only one point back, third was Bernie Girod on ROCK & ROLL with 25 points only one point further back, fourth was Henry Brauer/ Stew Neff on SCIMITAR yet another one point back with 26 pts and fifth was Ken Colburn on GHOST with 28 pts!! Tight racing- only six points separating the top seven boats! And a fun group of sailors to race against! The J/105 Northamericans will certainly be a challenge amongst this group when you throw in several J/105 champions like Bill Zartler on SOLARIS from Houston YC, Joerg Esdorn on KINCSEM from American YC, Damian Emery on ECLIPSE and Bruce Stone from St Francis YC on JOUSTER.

J/24 sailboat- sailing one-design at SW NOOD Regatta MarbleheadFor the J/24s, it was the team of of VITAMIN J led by Ted Johnson that ran away from their competitors finishing with a total of 18 pts.  Second was John Denman's AIRODOODLE with 21 pts and third was Matt Herbster on HIGH FIVE with 33 pts.  Fourth was Chris Clancy on LITTLE MARTHA and fifth was Mike Taber on XINGU.

In the J/30s, it's obvious this group not only has fun, but they've mastered the party, too!  Wow, smoking hot this crew is!  Mt Gay may sponsor this fleet next year!  Leading the pack home with an awesome display of talent was Key Deyett and crew on JEROBOAM, simply smoking the fleet with five 1st, two 2nds and tossing 4th!  Ouch.  But, a popular crew nevertheless amongst the J/30 sailors!  Giving them a run for the money was Luke Buxton on EVELYN with four 2nds, two 3rds, first and a toss 5th!  Third was Jon Lacks on VIVA from Hull YC.  For more Marblehead NOOD sailing information.   Sailing Photo Credits- Tim Wilkes/

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing Copa del Rey in Palma, Spain80s Lovin Copa Del Rey
(Palma de Mallorca, Spain)- The 30th Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre regatta opened today with two windward-leeward races which started at 13:00 hours as scheduled, thanks to a reliable sea breeze which picked up to 15 knots in the early afternoon.  The racers were greeted with the fabulous (and famous) "Palma conditions", with the stunning backdrop of the famous hills, city and cathedral behind them.

The reigning J-80 World Champion Ignacio Camino sailed his renowned NEXTEL ENGINEERING perfectly, clearly dominating this one design class division and is first after today's two bullets.  Two-times Star world champion Tono Gorostegui is second, after a sixth and a second place, Olympic Finn gold medalist Jose María Van der Ploeg's Factorenergia - Great Sailing is third.  More news next week when they're finished on Saturday!   Sailing photo credits: Nico Martinez  For more Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre sailing information

J/105 sailboats- sailing one-design off Santa Barbara, CAJ Teams Win-Place-Show in Epic SBKHR
Congratulations to J/33 TIGGER, J/124 FORGIVENESS, J/105 ESCAPADE
(Santa Barbara, CA)- ThE SB-KH distance race that spans 81 nm has been a tradition for Santa Barbara and King Harbor for nearly 40 years.  The blast around the Channel Islands offshore down to King Harbor is never an easy race, but it's clearly the most fun when the fleet starts off on a blast reach, sets the kites at the first turning point off the Channel Islands and head SSE toward Los Angeles under spinnaker, surfing constantly on the ginormous Pacific swell.  This year it was nearly a record run, making for epic rides sledding downhill towards the finish with many boats finishing by midnight!  86 boats sailed, 20 J's participated including 9 in the PHRF SPrit class and 5 J/105s raced one-design, nearly 25% of the entire fleet!

The winner in the one-design J/105s loving the fast slide south was Santa Barbara YC's Mark Noble sailing ESCAPADE, Tom Bollay's ARMIDA from Santa Barbara YC was second and third was Chuck Spear's TWELVE BAR BLUES.

In the PHRF B Class, Fred and Ann Cottrell on the J/33 TIGGER from Kings Harbor YC won their class by five minutes!  Third was Bill Webster on the J/37 SIDEKICK from Kings Harbor YC and seventh was Eric McClure on the J/35 MACS from Alamitos Bay YC.

In PHRF C Class Larry Leveille from Santa Barbara YC once again proved why he's a champion sailor on his J/29 RUSH STREET, finishing second in class by just two minutes and scoring yet another "pickle dish" for the packed trophy shelves at home.

There was an overwhelming contingent of J's sailing the Sprit PHRF Class. First boat home and winner on corrected handicap was Joe Simpkin's J/124 FORGIVENESS from Cal YC.  Second was Gary Winton's J/120 SHENANIGANS from Coronado Bay YC about 10 minutes back corrected, third was Bryce Benjamin's J/109 PERSISTENCE from Cal YC, fourth Tom Cullen's J/120 BLUEBIRD from Santa Barbara YC and fifth was Tom Brott's J/109 ELECTRA from Seal Beach YC.

Finally, the J/125 TIMESHAVER sailed by Viggo Torbenson from Dana Point YC got line honors but finished third overall handicap in Sprit ULDB Class.    For more Santa Barbara-King Harbor Race sailing information

J/22s one-design sailboats- sailing Lake Dillon Open in ColoradoRocky Mountain Drama for J/Sailors!
J/22, J/24, J/80s Love Dillon Open
(Dillon, CO)- This year's Dillon Open Regatta continues to bring thrilling sailing experiences to sailors on Lake Dillon.  The Dillon Open, known for its superior race management and challenging sailing conditions, is the premier sailing regatta in the Rocky Mountain region and all proceeds from the Dillon Open are donated to the Dillon Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program (DYCJSP), a non-profit organization that provides weekly sailing camps for youth kids in Summit County, Western slope and along the front-range.

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing Lake Dillon OpenThe Dillon Yacht Club (DYC), founded in 1968, is America's highest yacht club at 9,017 feet above sea level. The Dillon Open Regatta is one of the most unique sailing regattas in the world and draws amateur and professional sailors from various states to compete in the challenging conditions of Lake Dillon. The highly competitive nature of this regatta hosts seven fleets of one-design boats to participate in this sailing event. Colorado has no shortage of top contenders, the Dillon Yacht Club is proud to claim several of its members as past winners of the Dillon Open Regatta.

The J/22s had one of their best regatta turnouts in years, with fourteen boats fighting for "King of the Hill" honors in the big Rocky Mountain region!  This year's newly crowned "King" is Robin Jackson sailing K'NAE to a 1-1-6-1 record for 9 points, easily eclipsing his competitors who all had to be suffering nose-bleeds from such a beating.  Bill Darling's crew on CAMPROBBER kept them honest, but could scarcely match their speed and cunning, getting a 3-3-3-6 score for 15 points.  Just behind them were Mike Kline's team on the NAUTI MOOSE with a 5-2-7-3 record for 17 points.

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing Lake DillonAll the drama was in the J/24 class.  As one of the longest running one-design keelboat fleets on Lake Dillon, the J/24s were not lacking for competition despite having seven entries racing for all the marbles.  It was the ONLY fleet that determined its winner on a tie-breaker!!  OMG, the top four were nearly ALL tied together going into the last race!  What gives?!  Clearly these teams were having a "fiesta" amongst themselves and enjoyed the fun, camaraderie and competition.  Day one leaders became day two toast, literally.  Not sure how that happened but perhaps it was some of Lake Dillon's famous watering holes and 9k altitude had something to do with some teams losing common sense or some brain cells to boot.  Nevertheless, coming from way behind after day one and winning the tie-breaker was Dave Irwin's team on IBAJ (get it?  I-B-A-J.  Ha!).  Their 3-3-2-1 for 9 points beat out Tim Nelson's FLY MO'J team that had a 2-1-3-3 for an IDENTICAL score!?  Yes, in such case the tie-break goes to who beat who last!  Bummer.  Just behind them was Frank Keesling on THE (big) DUMPSTER also winning his tie-break to get third!!  Wow.  His 4-4-1-2 for 11 pts beat out Greg Johnson's PINOTAGE team with an IDENTICAL 1-2-4-4 record on the same basis as the winners tied for first!! Holy COW, when has THAT ever happened in ONE regatta-- probably NEVER.  One for the record books and a fun one to be a part of in yachting history.

The J/80s had good competition in the PHRF A fleet and sailing as a sub-class.  At the end of the day, Dave Leavenworth's HARMATTAN sailed well to win the J/80s. Second was Kurt Van der wal's HENDRIX and third was Bob Lane's BLISS.   Sailing photo credits- Greg Schertz   For more Dillon Open sailing information


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

* Billy Lynn- Tufts Jumbo sailor, J/22, J/24 and J/105 sailor was interviewed by SAILING WORLD's Mike Lovett.  Here's Mike's commentary-  "Bill Lynn is a Marblehead local through and through. He's been sailing at Marblehead Race Week since he was a kid, and he's now a principal at Atlantis Weather Gear, the sailing apparel brand based right downtown. But to say he was a favorite to win the J/105 class at the 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Marblehead NOOD would be a long shot. First of all, he doesn't usually drive Shooting Star; the boat's owner, Laurie Willard, does. But Willard couldn't race this weekend, so he put Lynn at the helm. The crew also included Ben Willard (Laurie's son), Matt Contorchick and his wife, Catherine Sullivan, former Sailing World senior editor Chris Hufstader, and Lynn's daughter, Hannah.

Going in to Sunday's racing, Shooting Star sat in fourth place in the 31-boat J/105 class, three points out of first. It was only a wing and prayer that got the team past Henry Brauer and Stewart Neff's SCIMITAR, Bernard Girod's ROCK & ROLL, and Matthew Pike's GOT QI?, and up onto the podium at the Corinthian YC, where they received the regatta's overall prize—and an invitation to compete against the winners of the other NOOD regattas at the Sperry Top-Sider Caribbean NOOD Championship, which takes place this November in the British Virgin Islands.

SW: How did you manage the final day?
Bill: We weren't sure how many races we'd sail, and the problem for us was that our throwout wasn't as bad as everybody else's. As you factored in the drops, we had a deeper hole to dig out of. So we just went out there and tried to win a race. It was a matter of seeing who could tee it up for one last win.

SW: So what's your stance on throwouts?
Bill: I go back and forth. I've probably lost as many regattas by not having a throwout as I have by having a throwout. So, over the course of time, I think it all comes out in the wash. I guess I've been burned both ways. I sort of like having no drop, but then again, if you get black-flagged or have an OCS early in the series, your regatta's over.

SW: What was the most memorable incident that happened on the racecourse?
Bill: Well, the one that probably pissed the most people off was in the first race on Sunday [what turned out to be the penultimate race of the series -Ed.]. They ended up shortening course and finishing us after the first downwind leg. We had a lousy start at the pin end, and rounded the windward mark in ninth. The guys we needed to beat were third or fourth. Everybody was parading downwind on starboard. All the forecasts had been calling for the classic sea breeze to fill in, but the wind was at 230 degrees, which is way right of the sea breeze direction. So we gybed and sailed away from the fleet, and when the sea breeze filled in we were left of the fleet. We ended up crossing everybody for the win. That was a bit of a hail mary, but we did have a game plan in place.

SW: I heard a lot of talk about the patterns of the windshifts off Marblehead. Everyone seems to have their own combination of "right, left, right." Do you subscribe to a particular theory?
Bill:  To me, it's left early, right late. The key is when to make the transition. Yesterday, the forecasts predicted the classic sea breeze, but it was anything but typical. I don't know what was going on. On our course in the second race, there were two different breezes with a 40-degree difference between them. The sea breeze was supposed to fill in from the left, but the right kept paying off. It was bizarre.

I used to come up to Marblehead Race Week each summer with my parents when we were racing Etchells—this was before I lived here—and it seemed like we'd always lose a day because of lack of wind. But I think over the past 30 years what's helped us up here up in Marblehead is what makes the summer conditions worse and worse on Long Island Sound. The more they pave Peobody [Mass.], the more predictable the seabreeze becomes.

Still, I have no idea what was going on yesterday.

SW: So by winning the Marblehead NOOD have you jinxed yourself going into the North Americans [which begin August 10 at Marblehead's Eastern YC]?
Bill:  Well, I don't know about that. I don't know if we have a real shot at winning, but we're going to go out there and have fun.

SW: Will you practice at all before the regatta?
Bill:  Practice? We don't practice! [Laughs] We're a pretty casual operation.
Chicago-Mackinac Race- storm photo of KAPX weather radar* Learning The Painful Way- By far, the biggest sailing news of the North American summer has been the tragic deaths of Mark Morley and Suzanne Bickel during the Chicago Yacht Club's 2011 Race to Mackinac. Winds possibly exceeding 100 knots lashed the racing fleet on July 17 at roughly midnight as lighting pulsated through the pitch-black air and torrential rain fire-hosed sailors.  During this melee, Morley's WingNuts, a Kiwi 35, capsized. Six sailors were rescued by Sociable, but, horrifically, Morley and Bickel were lost.  In the wake of this disaster, Joe Haas, Commodore of the Chicago Yacht Club (CYC) has asked US SAILING to conduct an independent investigation of the events that occurred during this fateful storm.

On July 28, Gary Jobson, President of US SAILING, announced that a panel of world-class offshore sailors who are also heavily involved with US SAILING's Safety-At-Sea seminars would do this investigation. This panel is comprised of Chuck Hawley, Sheila McCurdy, Ralph Naranjo, and John Rousmaniere. According to the CYC's recent press release, the independent panel will present its findings to US SAILING and the CYC in mid-to-late October.

J/News Editor sailed in that race and was near Beaver Island when the storm hit the fleet while sailing aboard the J/111 IMPULSE.  We saw a steady 50+ knots and a peak of 63 kts, this intensity only lasted about 15 minutes (or less) but it seemed like an eternity.  Incredibly, we had a full main, jib and spinnaker flying only 15 minutes later headed towards Greys Reef at 45 degrees!  We tracked that storm for nearly FOUR+ hours.  It was NOT a storm to be taken lightly as our private weather forecasters and NOAA weather forecasters had mentioned for over 48 hours of a Low cell that could easily intensify and travel either further north into Canada or drop into a path that would take it on a southerly track closer to Little Traverse Bay/ Charlevoix.  As everyone knows, it took the southerly track.

For everyone's edification, here's the forecast we received from a private, commercial weather forecaster that discusses several scenarios, including the possibility of a severe storm.  In short, our forecaster simply stated to be on a look-out for these cells and to watch for any intensification or acceleration- NOAA was saying the same, except the warnings even on NOAA weather radio just minutes before the front hit were ONLY indicating winds up to 30+ knots and nothing higher.  It's the latter reports that may have lulled some of the sailors into believing the storm was less severe in intensity than what was being observed on real-time radars.

Fortunately, on the J/111 IMPULSE we had a Garmin GPS Chart Plotter with an Sirius/XM radar overlay.  We tracked the leading edge of the "blast/wall" front for hours.  Most shocking was to watch the frontal edges go from green, yellow, orange over Minnesota and the northern Michigan peninsula (relatively benign frontal conditions) to orange, red, purple and nearly obliterated on the screen with lightning bolts symbols as the frontal edge swept over us in the Fox Islands/ Beaver Island region just WNW of Charlevoix.  We knew based on the "color severity" chart for NOAA that we were NOT looking at 30 kts of winds as NOAA Radio was reporting, but in fact something far in excess of that figure and perhaps bordering on hurricane velocities instead.  That's exactly what happened when the "wall front" hit us.  A wall of water and wind with the water surface simply  boiling white, and a "froth" of water everywhere around you- "atomized" water vapor may be a better description.  With full main and spitfire jib we simply heeled over at 45 degrees and headed ENE at 6-7 knots luffing and holding on as enormous puffs blasted us upwards of 63 knots.

Chicago-Mackinac Race- wind profile of storm that hit sailboatsInterviewing several boats in our vicinity later, it was clear that some boats just 3-5 miles ENE of our location ONLY saw 30-35 knots, sailed under full main and partially-furled jibs on a full-on plane towards Greys Reef under total control.  Others North, West and Southwest of us got blasted by the same "purple/thunderbolt" cell many have heard or read about.  We knew we were hit by the absolute worst part of the storm based on our Lat/Lon and the analysis of the radar patterns afterwards provided by NOAA's radar archives.  100 knots is a bit far-fetched on the surface of Lake Michigan based on NOAA's doppler radar data we've seen to date, however, there were blasts as high as 93 knots at 45,000 feet-- perhaps super cells can create massive "microbursts" that hit similar speeds (or higher) on the water surface, but those are usually associated with extreme turbulence as experienced when massive fronts roll onto the flat Prairies just East of the Rockies-- as often seen at Denver International Airport.

Here are several links to the NOAA digital radar data of the evening when the storms hit the Chicago-Mackinac fleet around midnight Midwest/ 1 am Eastern time Sunday/Monday- the magnitude of the storms was breathtaking-- these radar images of the frontal passage over the sailing area for the Mackinac fleet are simply remarkable.

These video shows the "vertical wind profile" of the front approaching the Charlevoix/ Harbor Springs airport radars.  It's a stunning display of how fronts move forward at you and it depicts both wind strength and direction going from "lake level" to the stratosphere upwards of 50,000 feet--- a mind-blowing phenomenon and indicative of the power of the storm to see such incredibly high "tops" on a storm smashing the fleet at midnight on a warm summer day.

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

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