Wednesday, November 23, 2011

J/Newsletter- November 23rd, 2011

J-Sailing Calendar 2012NEW 2012 J/Calendar
The Perfect Gift For People Who Love Sailing!
(Newport, RI)- For 2012 we've created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will  transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places. Enjoy the color and excitement of J sailing with these gorgeous photos. The J/Sailing Calendar features photos of a J/44 powering upwind off Key West, a flying J/24 on the Chesapeake, J/125s dueling on San Francisco Bay, surrealistic scenes of J/80s off the Cantabrian and Brittany Coasts, a J/120 and J/95 playing in the azure waters of the Caribbean and J/105s parading past Alcatraz in a pastel of colors.  A great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew!  See the 2012 J/Calendar and order now.

J/44 and J/122 sailing Key West Race Week- part of J/Fest Winter CircuitJ/Fest Winter Circuit Update
(Ft Lauderdale, FL)- The "J/Fest Winter Circuit" for Winter 2012 in Florida that encompasses J/111s, J/105s, J/109s and larger J's (J/120s, J/122s, J/124s, J/44s).  Featured between the two major race weeks in the winter (Key West and Charleston) are two events focused on keeping it fun and affordable for skippers and crews during the months of February and March.  Come on down and enjoy the warm weather, sunny days, spectacular sailing and competitive racing in the beautiful azure waters off Fort Lauderdale.  The Bahia Mar Hotel and Marina will serve as the base for the regattas.  The regatta schedule and registration information can be found below:

1. Jan 15-20- Quantum Key West Race Week-
2. Feb 17-19- Dead President's Regatta-
3. Mar 16-18- Super Lucky Regatta-
4. Apr 19-22- Charleston Race Week-

For more information on the J/Fest Winter Circuit including "all-in budgets and costs", including a concierge service to facilitate logistics, please contact J/Boats at Ph. +1-401-846-8410 or email-

J-Turkeys- Thanksgiving Day Sailing Holiday!J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The third week of November is best known in America as a time to celebrate "Thanksgiving".  A traditional family holiday that celebrates the fact that some English "colonialists" managed to cross the Atlantic in 60+ days on a sailing ship, land at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and survived in the New World (of America) "thanks" to a Wampanoag Indian named Massasoit (who actually lived near modern-day Bristol, Rhode Island).  In the fall of 1621, these new colonialists, a.k.a. "pilgrims", celebrated a successful harvest of corn and other crops with the Wampanoags-- the first "thanksgiving feast".  In this past week it was the South American J/24 sailors time to celebrate as they learned not how to grow corn, but learned how to sail faster from their American comrades, returning the favor by dominating the J/24 Worlds in Buenos Aires, Argentina!  Also "thankful" for their great luck so far have been some J/97 and J/109 sailors on the Solent, still racing their Garmin Hamble Winter Series in near summer-like conditions.  Grateful for their good fortune on a shifty, difficult "sweet-water" reservoir were the Royal Yachting Association's sailors competing in their Match Race Nationals on J/80s in the famous Queen Mary Reservoir.  And, speaking of match racing, the American Inter-collegiate Match Race Nationals were held in J/22s on San Francisco Bay this past weekend.  Over in Spain off the northern Cantabrian coastline, the J/80s were sailing in Santander for the Trofeo Macqueche and the Trofeo A&G Private Banking.  Further north, the J/80s sailed their Benelux Open J/80 Championship in "glassy, foggy" conditions.  Many of the top teams were there in both Spain and Benelux as they warm up for their winter sailing season.  Finally, we got an update from the crew on the J/105 LOKI on what it was like to sail the recent Miami-to-Nassau, Bahamas race the weekend before-- full moon under spinnaker at night?  Must be nice!

And, in the "grass is not always greener" category, while sailing is most often a fun and wonderful recreational activity to share with family and friends, other times it can be a question of true survival.  Read on in our J/Community about how friends sailing offshore "thankfully" survived in the capricious Atlantic Ocean, one on a J/42 delivery to the Caribbean and the other getting dismasted on his Volvo 70.  In the Cruising section below you can continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific experiences of fellow J sailors while 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:

Oct 9- Dec 4- Garmin Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
Dec 5-14- Salon Nautique (J/97, J/111, J/122)- Paris, France-
Jan 5-13- London Boatshow (J/80, J/111)- London, England-
Jan 15-25- Key West Race Week- Key West, FL-
Jan 15-25- J/80 Midwinters- Key West, FL-
Feb 11-15- J/24 Midwinters- Davis Island YC- Tampa, FL-
Feb 16-20- Miami Boatshow- Miami, FL-
Feb 17-19- St Petersburg NOOD Regatta- St Pete, FL-
Feb 23-26- J/22 Midwinters- Houston YC- Houston TX-

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

Team Luca- J/24 Worlds winners- sailing off ArgentinaTeam LUCA Wins J/24 Worlds
South American Teams 8 of Top 10!
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)- The 2011 J/24 Worlds in Buenos Aires, Argentina sailed this past week had 58 crews from 9 countries.  It marked the first time in decades that Americans did not factor as the principal leading boats in the top five.  Instead, the South American teams continue to chip away at the J/24 world order once led by mostly Europeans, Australians and Americans.  This year's regatta may be seen as a watershed event as it was clear the South American teams continue to ascend into the top ranks of the J/24 class worldwide and are raising the level of their game quite significantly.  This year, Argentina’s Alejo Rigoni sailing LUCA with crew Gustavo Gonzalez, Joaquín Duarte Argerich, Fernando Gwozdz and Sergio Armesto are crowned the 2011 J/24 World Champion after securing the victory on the final day of racing. Rigoni's LUCA is the first Argentine team to have won the J/24 Worlds in the three decades the J/24s have been racing worldwide as the world's largest international one-design keelboat class.

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing J/24 Worlds ArgentinaAfter the first three days of racing, the American Tim Healy of Newport, Rhode Island was at the top of the leader board leading by nearly 20 points, a seemingly unassailable lead at a World's event.  However, as they say in "da'islands", it was "movin day, mon."  Just over the hump of the middle stages in the regatta, either you show that consistency or you crack.  And when the cracks form in the veneer of impenetrability, sometimes things don't turn out so well or as one would want it to be.  In this case, 11TH HOUR RACING sailed by Healy's team saw some of the "wheels fall of their shopping trolley".  Two races were completed on the third day under sunny skies with winds ranging from 10 to 18 knots. After a general recall in each race, Principal Race Officer Teodoro Kundig was again quick to hoist the black flag to keep the aggressive fleet under control.  And this little black flag would prove the undoing of many teams.  In the day’s first race 18 of the 58 boats (including Healy) were scored BFD after two general recalls under the black flag. On the next attempt the fleet finally got away and Peru’s Luis Olcese hit the pin end start perfectly. Olcese led the fleet until the final few meters when he was run down by Alejo Rigoni who took the win. Conditions were more challenging for the second race as the wind had again built to around 18 knots, kicking up a very confused sea. Healy rebounded from his black flag disqualification to win the race going away followed by local favorite Matias Pereira in second.

Argentine J/24 Women's sailing team- Top Women at J/24 WorldsThe morning of the last day dawned with a weather forecast sure to strike fear in the hearts of the top contenders.  It was certainly going to be a challenge to get a race going before noon.  The RC tried to get something started in the morning and actually did start a race on the first try under black flag with the current running away from the line. The wind quickly died, as everyone expected, forcing the race to be abandoned. At 1430 the wind had finally filled enough to race and the event’s riveting, drama-laden final ninth race, also started on the first try under the black flag!  American Mike Ingham on RELOADED led at the first mark, and wound up third at the end to move up to third overall in the standings.  Francisco van Avermaete of Argentina on MENDIETTA won the last race to secure the 4th place overall.  Luis Olcese on GUERRERO from Peru finished second overall, a remarkably strong performance and the best ever by a Peruvian team in the J/24 Worlds!  Of special note was the best finish by a Uruguayan team was Pedro Garra on EXTASIS in 9th overall, the best Chilean team was Matias Seguel's team on Team VOLVO in 10th overall.  Also, the top Italian team was Ignazio Bonnanino on SUPERBA in 20th overall and top Australian was Sean Kirkjian on DEATHSTAR in 30th.  Brazil's past J/24 World Champion, Mauricio Santa Cruz, had to bail from the Worlds for personal reasons, so top Brazilian team was Nelson Horn Ilha on DIFERENCIAL SAILING TEAM in 37th.  Congratulations must go to the top Womens' team (pictured here), an Argentinean crew led by Mariana Crousse on NUBARRON with six women leading the charge into a very respectable 32nd place, a top half finish and beating half the American J/24 teams!  Sailing photo credits- Jorge Cousillas/ El Ojo Nautico.   For more J/24 Worlds sailing information   J/24 Worlds Youtube video- an entertaining view sailing on an Argentine J/24 team.

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing off Hamble Winter SeriesSummer Sailing In Hamble Winter Series
J/97 JIKA-JIKA Leads the IRC3 Pack
(Hamble, England)- The recent stunning weather lasted long enough to bathe Sunday’s Garmin Hamble Winter Series racing in a beautiful sunshine and light breeze. All classes enjoyed some close racing and many remarked on the champagne sailing conditions that felt more like a summer’s day than the distant end of November.

After an hour’s postponement to allow a thick "pea-souper" fog to clear enough for the race committee to see their own start-line, racing got underway in 9 to 12 knots of breeze, which oscillated from 090 to 110 degrees.

Some over-enthusiastic jockeying by the combined IRC 0 and IRC 1 starters saw a General Recall and the use of a Z flag on the restart. Nevertheless, the J/133 JINGS! managed to stay away from the fray and post a good score to stay in the top five in IRC 0, snagging their fifth 4th place in a row to maintain, appropriately enough, fourth place overall (and are just 2 pts out of third).  In IRC 1, Ivan Trotman's J/122 JOLOU sailed a good race to finish 4th and fourth position in a tie with Chaz Ivill's J/111 JENGA VI.  In fact, 2nd to 8th are all within 7 points of each other, making it the proverbial horse race for the second and third spots on the podium, presuming of course the leader doesn't' stumble too badly.

J/109 sailboats- sailing downwind at Hamble Winter SeriesThe J/109s followed suit, jumping the gun but finally getting a good race off.  This time it was David Richard's JUMPING JELLYFISH showing up for the first time all Winter Series long and managed to post a first, beating series leaders, Richard and Valerie Griffith's OUTRAJEOUS by 40 seconds.    Third in the race and still second in the series was Dave and Mary McGough's JUST SO.  This last race puts the next three teams in a nearly three-way tie for third overall-- it's getting tougher to maintain consistency for some of these teams over the course of four fortnights!  In their current order are 3rd, Paul Griffiths' JAGERBOMB with 21 pts, fourth David Jobson's AUDAJIOUS also with 21 pts and fifth is David McLeman's OFFBEAT with 23 pts.  Showing improvement over time has been Owain Franks' JYNNAN TONNYX, getting their best finish to date in the series with a fourth place.

J/97 Jika-Jika sailing downwind on Solent, EnglandIRC 3 was dominated by the up-and-coming J/97 class, with Mike and Jamie Holme's JIKA-JIKA beating Richard Watney's JEOPARDY 2 to take first place.  Five J/97s are racing in IRC 3, with JIKA-JIKA winning class by a wide margin, followed by Nick and Adam Munday's INDULJENCE 2nd in J/97s and 6th overall.  Third in the J/97s is Gillian Ross' INJENIOUS.  The two J/92s' are also having fun racing, with David Greenhalgh and John Taylor's J-RONIMO sitting in 5th and Andy Howe and Annie Kelly's BLACKJACK in 7th.

Back in a packed clubhouse, Race Day Sponsor Elvstrom Sails’ Jeremy White presented prizes for the podium positions. Next Sunday sees a full program of racing, with the first start at 1000 and the day sponsors are our Media Partners Y&Y. Let’s hope that the balmy weather holds for the rest of November!  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth.  For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/80 sailboat- sailing Benelux National ChampionshipsJALAPENO Burns Benelux J/80 Championship
(Grevelingenmeer, Belgium)- Last weekend the Benelux J/80 sailors were greeted by unseasonably warm, sunny weather like their British counterparts across La Manche (the Channel).  In the the bright weather was some "bright sailing" by Team JALAPENO, sailed by Erik Scheeren.  "Hot weather, hot boat", they played a dominant role all weekend.  The first race marked the JALAPENO boys "thankful" streak as well-- after a failed start in race one, they chose the "other side" of the field and the race course, this decision ultimately resulted in a spectacular first place in race 1!

J/80 one-design sailboat fleet- sailing off starting line- Belgium & Netherlands NationalsThe mild weather and shifty breezes resulted in position changes every race for the compact fleet.  Amazingly, the mild weather also resulted in conservative starts, no recalls, an unusual scenario for the J/80 fleet!  One team got their boat well underway while others were looking for the right settings.  Plus, while the wind strength was building gradually all day, one also had to be looking for wind streaks and stay in them.  This was especially important for finding the right course for downwind speed to the finish line.  Saturday saw a lot of good racing!  At the end of the day, Laura Vroon's JOI DE VIVRE stayed close and took a first place in race 4, but it was not hard enough to beat TEAM JALAPENO, who were hotter than hot!

On Sunday, the Grevelingenmeer was just like the rest of the Netherlands (or for that matter, the rest of Europe), with a dense fog shrouding the entire lake.  After the racing was postponed twice, it was decided not to sail anymore race.  This made for a slightly anticlimactic finish for the regatta, but despite the limited number of races, there was no dissatisfaction with the results-- it was quite clear to most all of the contestants that the superior performance of TEAM JALAPENO on Saturday made them a worthy 2011 Benelux Open Champion!  And, speaking of being "thankful", we must give "Thanks" to Tom-Erik "Chief" of the lake and Grevelingencup organization.   For more J/80 Benelux Open Championship sailing information

J/22 one-design sailboat- US Navy Sailing Team- sailing match race on San Francisco Bay, CAUS Naval Academy Wins College Match Race Nationals
(San Francisco, CA)- A revolution in the making?  US Navy Midshipmen learning how to sail, plus sail fast and smart?  No one would've predicted that outcome in the recent College Sailing Match Race Nationals this fall.  After all, the US Naval Academy has been known over time for fielding some good dinghy teams, occasional good women's teams and were, of course, expected to win, place or show in their own regatta held in those massive lead-mines known as Navy 44s (hardly a sailboat, some say, as they drag half the world's Seven Seas behind them once they achieve 6.666 knots of boat speed).

J/22 sailboat- Tufts sailing team match racing at College Sloop Match Race nationalsNevertheless, the "Middies" pulled off what many see as the "coupe of the century", at least in this relatively young 21st century (just 88 more years to go to break more records).  Co-hosted by the California Maritime Academy and St. Francis Yacht Club the top college sailing teams in America gathered together on the infamous San Francisco Bay to challenge one another in StFYC's matched J/22 one-design fleet to determine the top intercollegiate match racing team in America.

As some of the older college sailors will recall, the Sloop Nationals used to be a fleet-racing regatta often sailed in various locations in J/24s, Shields and what not.  Recently, the decision to change over to match-racing to reflect the times and interests of college sailors seeking new and different challenges led to this new format.  It was a popular decision that led to renewed enthusiasm for this fall classic.

Ten teams representing all seven ICSA conferences sailed the J/22s with spinnakers; each team had one skipper and two crew members aboard. Racing took place in front of the Golden Gate Bridge under a range of weather conditions including light wind, rain and strong current (to be expected, of course).

J/22 one-design sailboats- sailing college match race nationals on San Francisco BayThe first day of racing began with a southwest breeze 8 – 12 knots with shifts, a variety of puffs and an ebbing current. As the day progressed the current got stronger making pre-start techniques between the boats more difficult because they had to fight with the current and position themselves properly to beat one another at the start. The current played such a role in the start that at times boats were starting on port because they could not make the line on starboard tack, a highly unusual situation. It was a long day of racing with the race committee and volunteers completing 45 races. The US Naval Academy team of Jason Carminati skippering with team-mates Taylor Vann and Killian Corbishley lead after the first day of racing with a record of eight wins and one loss.  Roger Williams University team skippered by Alec Anderson with crew Annie Schmidt and Dylan Vogel was second with seven wins winning a tie-breaker over Tufts University-- they were skippered by sophomore Will Haeger with crew Maggie Bacon and Dave Liebenberg also with seven wins. Stanford University was in fourth with six wins.

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailng upwind off Alcatraz Island on San Francisco BayDay two racing was postponed all morning due to a lack of wind. The breeze was only 2 – 4 knots, which was not enough for the boats to sail in given the strong current on the course. At about 2 p.m. racing resumed and the format of the regatta had to be amended due to the late start. A Gold Round Robin was eliminated for the top six teams, which would have determined the seeding for them in the quarterfinals. The Repechage round instead began the day’s racing with the teams in 7th – 10th places competing for the last two spots in the quarterfinals. University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin advanced to the quarterfinals with the original top six teams. The light winds continued and the current remained a challenge for the teams especially on the downwind leg where the current swept the boats sideways across the course.

The third and last day of the event sailors were again greeted by light breeze on the Bay and the usual strong current. Sailing resumed with the remaining races in the quarterfinals as boats fought the current and light wind. The teams who advanced to the semi-finals were Navy, Stanford, Roger Williams and University of Southern Florida. In a repechage semi-final round the remaining teams sailed for 5th – 8th place. Simultaneously, a knockout round between the University of Oregon and the University of Texas A&M took place with the teams finishing 9th and 10th respectively in the event.

J/22 sailboats- sailing to starting line- college match race sailing regattaAfter all of the semi-finals racing completed it was on to the finals with a match-up between Roger Williams and Navy and University of Southern Florida (USF)(skippered by Bill Stocke with Abagail Featherstone and Chris Stocke as crew) and Stanford (skippers by Nick Dugdale with crew of Kevin Laube and McKenzie Wilson).  After the first few races there was a large wind shift and some rain came in which caused the finals and petit finals racing to be postponed. With everything re-set the racing continued with Stanford and USF in the petit finals and Roger Williams and Navy in the finals. Stanford won the petit finals placing third at Nationals and USF therefore finished 4th.  Going into the third finals race the racing was close and Navy and Roger Williams were all tied up. The breeze had increased with the wind shift making for better sailing at this point. In the end Navy took the last race winning Match Race Nationals and Roger Williams finished second in some fantastic sailing.

Ian Burman, head coach for the US Naval Academy Sailing Team attributes their success to having a strong keel boat skipper Jason Carminati ‘12, who placed third at Sloop Nationals two years ago and great crew work on the boat by Taylor Vann ‘13 and Killian Corbishley ‘14. “Really a great deal of the credit for our success goes to our assistant coach Brendan Healy who lead the charge in match racing and was with the team every step of the way. It was a real team effort and we also had a lot of people practice with us and give us a lot of help so that we were prepared for anything at this event,” explains Burman.

St. Francis Yacht Club and California Maritime put on a great event along with the help of volunteers and umpires who are an integral part of match racing. The racing was competitive and in challenging conditions, but the Chicago Match Race center kept viewers up to date with live video feed and Twitter updates.    Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray  For more ICSA College Match Racing sailing results.

Cherry Defends RYA National Match Race Crown
(London, England)- Racing J/80s on the Queen Mary Reservoir just underneath the flight paths from Heathrow Airport, Nick Cherry defended his RYA National Match Racing title this weekend for the fourth time! Eleven teams showed up to do battle, with skippers and their crews having earned their berths at the grand final through five qualifying rounds, their positions in the ISAF Match Racing world rankings, or as defending champion.

In addition to Southampton’s Cherry, the impressive line-up of teams that qualified include Skandia Team GBR and Women’s Match Racing World Champion, Lucy Macgregor; Britain’s top ISAF ranked skipper, Poole’s Mark Lees; and Mark Campbell-James who holds three RYA National Match Championship titles (2009, 2008, 2005).  "The kids" also joined the party in the form of the RYA’s Youth National Match Racing Champion James French. Said young James before the regatta stared, “We are really looking forward to the finals at the Queen Sailing Club where we will have the opportunity to race against some of the best match racers in the country. We are as prepared as we can be and are looking forward to competing against a lot of the older teams at the event. Having competed in the Governor’s Cup, I hope my experience will pay dividends and that we can get a good result come the end of play on Sunday."  This group of match-racing mercenaries all got underway Friday morning (18 November) with a 22 flight round-robin which was followed by knock-out quarter-final and semi-final rounds before the Champion was to be decided in the final round on Sunday 20 November. 

J/80 one-design sailboats- match race sailing in England at RYA regattaAt the end of the day, the event was overshadowed by frustrating sailing conditions across the course of the three day regatta only allowing for a number of round robin races to take place. With an array of match racing talent in attendance at Queen Mary Sailing Club (Staines), the first day of the grand final welcomed a promising 10-12 knots allowing for nine flights to take place before poor light meant racing was abandoned mid-afternoon.

Day two of the Championships was another slow start for the 11 teams who had qualified for the event over the course of the year. With light, intermittent winds flicking left to right, the race committee managed to make it through to flight 15 by the close of play on day two (Saturday 19th November).

With no racing on the Sunday due to heavy fog (!?), Nick Cherry was awarded the prestigious title on his percentage of wins in the round robin stages. Across the two days of racing, Cherry and his crew won six out of the seven races while Mark Campbell-James won seven but lost two therefore finishing in second place with a lower percentage of wins to that of Cherry. Skandia Team GBR’s Lucy Macgregor finished the weekend in third after winning three out of her four races.

On winning the trophy for a second consecutive year and for a staggering fourth time (2011, 2010, 2007, 2006), matching that of fellow match racer Mark Campbell-James who finished runner-up for a second consecutive year, Cherry commented: “We are delighted to win! Looking at the trophy Mark CJ is the only skipper with his name on it as many times and one was a first equal - So I’m claiming the most outright wins of this trophy!  

Cherry skippered his crew of Matty Adams, Connor Myant, Sam Richmond to a total of six out of seven race wins giving them an 85.7% win percentage clinching them the 2011 RYA National Match Racing title.

“One of the main things that went well was our draw in the pairing list! We ended up racing most of the lower ranked teams and none of the top seeds so have to acknowledge that was a factor. Our closest race was against BUSA ladies, skippered by my girlfriend Charlotte Lawrence which after several lead changes came down to inches at the finish. That was certainly a battle I was glad to win,” said Cherry.

“Although I haven't done a lot of match racing this year due to my focus on the Figaro with the Artemis Offshore Academy, we have sailed as a team for a long time and were always confident we could put up a good fight. Going into the event I would have certainly put Skandia Team GBR’s Lucy Macgregor and her crew as favourites, having trained with them earlier in the year it's obvious that their hard work and new coaching setup has made them a strong unit. I was also looking forward to a good race with Team Wight Match, having crewed for Sam in Bermuda last month it could have been a bit of a grudge match if there had been wind on Sunday!”

Cherry added: “We had some good close races this year, however I think the key to our success was always sailing in a low risk style by just doing enough to get the points on the board. Out teamwork is also a crucial factor in our success as well as our experience and of course this weekend the weather was also a big factor.”

The event this year has been a huge success and an enormous "Thank You" on behalf of everyone must go to the Royal Thames Yacht Club for all their help and support in running yet another successful RYA National Match Racing Championship.  For further sailing information on the RYA National Match Racing

J/80 sailing team - Go Fit sailing off Santander, SpainGO FIT Wins Trofeo A&G Private Banking
(Santander, Spain)- After a break at the end of the summer, the Spanish J/80 teams are at it again, sailing their fall and winter series on both the chilly Bay of Biscay on Spain's northern Cantabrian coastline and the warm, sunny, southern climates along the southern coastlines in the Mediterranean.

Off Santander, twenty-eight teams congregated to sail for the honors of the coveted Trofeo A&G Private Banking.  Top Spanish J/80 sailors, Jaime Piris (FONESTAR) and David Madrazo (GO FIT), shared the wins in the two days of racing sailed on a "spring-like" weekend.  The J/80 class returned to enjoy a weekend of excellent afternoon racing in the Open Sardinero with spring weather and a fairly steady northeast wind of 8 knots.  The races were very exciting, with many options and opportunities for different parts of the course to gain and lose.  However, it seemed that the northern part of the course farthest from land paid over the parts on the downwind legs.

The day opened with two strong candidates to win the Trofeo A&G Private Banking, which were Pichu Torcida's ECC VIVIENDAS and Dave Madrazo's GO FIT, separated by only 2 points.  The first race of the day proved to be a determining factor in the series.  While FONESTAR's Jaime Piris won and MAQUECHE's Alfonso Pascual and Iñaki Samaniego finished second, it was GO FIT's Madrazo who had a fierce fight to beat OPTICA CENTRALE for third place to retain a slim one point lead going into the last race over Torcida's ECC VIVIENDAS.

For the final race of the weekend and the series, it was going to be a big battle between GO FIT and ECC VIVIENDAS.  In the end, GO FIT maintained control of the race and took the final race to become the overall winner after eight races.  It was quite an accomplishment for Madrazo to win over Pichu Torcida, a two-time J/80 World Champion!  Behind these two, the rest of the top five included third- LUPA (Obregon), fourth- BANCAJA (Lopez-Vazquez) and fifth- MAQUECHE (Pascual).   For more Spanish J/80 sailing information

J/80 sailboats- sailing into starting line at Santander, SpainECC VIVIENDAS Leads El Trofeo Maqueche
(Santander, Spain)- If the previous weekends were tough on the past J/80 World Champion, it was clear that Pichu Torcida and team were not going to take the defeats lightly.  This past weekend, with spectacular winds, sun, gusty westerlies in the Bay of Santander, the J/80s were simply flying around everywhere, most of the time upright!  After a month worth of October's light wind conditions, the sailors were happy to see the more typical breezes of this time of year.

J/80 sailboats- sailing on reach off Santander, SpainThis regatta is fun because it incorporates both buoy racing and "coastal tours" for the 20 sailing teams that were participating.  The coastal tours were starting and finishing in front of the Club Maritimo and turns in front of Marina Beacon Bay of Biscay in Camargo, and turns near the Isla Horadada. The sections of the course heading west saw spinnakers hoisted, vibrant in color, pulling with enormous power, with boats exploding off the tops of waves.

The best team of the day was ECC VIVIENDAS, with Pichu Torcida scoring a 2-1 for 3 pts.  They were three points clear of a three-way tie for second place, which included Paul Santurde/ Dave Madrazo's GO FIT with a 1-5, SOLUCIONES CINCO's Alfredo Gonzalez with a 4-2 and NEXTEL's 3-3.

Watch this group of world-class sailors continue to duel for the top of the podium over the next few weeks, a bunch of tough hombres who don't give any quarter in the tightest of situations.  For more Spanish J/80 sailing information

Miami-Nassau Cup Race update
(Nassau, Bahamas)- Last week, we reported on the Miami-Nassau Race and why it has retained its popularity with many sailors over the course of time because of its allure as one of ocean racing's "classic" offshore courses- challenging, beautiful, often a sleigh-ride and a fun destination to get to when the racing's all said and done.  We received an update from one of the crew-members sailing aboard the J/105 Team LOKI.  Read on and enjoy Anson Mulder's commentary:

"On Nov 10, LOKI joined 16 other boats off Government Cut in Miami for the start of the Miami to Nassau ocean race . The 176 nm race course was wedged between a high pressure system to the northwest and Tropical Storm Sean to the northeast, so the forecast was for a meaty northerly gradient in the low to mid teens, with the potential for 20 knots in the Gulfstream.  However, NOAA broke its promise and much of the race was sailed in 8-11 knots, which- combined with an incredibly bright full moon - made for a memorably pleasant overnight ocean race.

Team LOKI launched the 1.5oz A3 reacher amid a cluster of boats in the PHRF start and soon was out near the front of the pack with the leaders, including J120s CARINTHIA, HOT TICKET, and TAMPA GIRL. The Gulf Stream proved more confused than menacing and the anticipated big seas/big waves never materialized. By moonrise, LOKI was around Great Isaac and by Great Stirrup the nav lights on the leaders were still in sight - a sign that LOKI was probably leading the PHRF fleet on corrected time.

The sun brought with it light winds in the morning of Nov 11 and the NW breeze meant a dead run under the .6oz A2 to New Providence Island. It was hard for the LOKI crew to forget last year's blast reach across the Tongue of the Ocean, regularly hitting boat speeds in the teens. As the leaders called in their finish times, the Lokies knew it would be close with the J/120s.  A picturesque finish in impossibly blue water under the eye of the lighthouse left LOKI the winner of PHRF 2 class and 4th overall - 30 seconds behind CARINTHIA and 30 seconds ahead of TAMPA GIRL!"


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

Ken Read's Volvo 70- PUMA Mar Mostro- surviving under jury rig* Win Some, Lose Some.  Tough week for "los amigos y hermanos de J/24s".  For starters, kindred J/24 spirits in Argentina were winning the J/24 Worlds.  But, their mentors and heroes were suffering interminable bad breaks.  For one, Ken Read's Volvo 70 PUMA Mar Mastro suffered the worst fate anyone of us could imagine, watching their super high-tech Scott Ferguson/ Hall Spars custom special carbon uber-rig simply fall over the side in three pieces in just 20+ knot winds in a long period 10-12 foot swell about 3 pm UTC off Brazil, about 700 nm from nowhere on Monday, November 21st.  What gives?  Maybe a symptom of the massive forces/ acceleration experienced in the first 48 hours of the race?  Certainly the conditions back then were bad enough to knock two of their competitors out of contention already (Abu Dhabi and Team Sanya).  Nevertheless, they're still "Thankful" for surviving to date.  Also, still surviving (and leading) are Iker Martinez on TELEFONICA, the ETNZ CAMPER boys and the French Connection on-board Franck Camas's team on GROUPAMA.

J/24 World Champion Terry Hutchinson sailing AC45 catamaran at Americas Cup World Series* A world apart and surviving in a tactical way was Terry Hutchinson on ARTEMIS RACING.  Sailing strongly in the America's Cup World Series on the AC45 cats in the racing leading up to the final days, Terry's team were handily in the top four.  But a shift here, a hole there and in the blink of an eye (e.g. 30 seconds) their hopes were dashed from competing for the finals.  Next up?  First race in 2012 is in Italy followed by Newport in late June!  Should be quite a sight to see these 45 foot cats flying around Narragansett Bay at light speeds between Castle Hill Light and the Newport Bridge!  Maybe some wise guy named Larry will show up with an AC72 foot version and show it off, too!?  Now, that would be very, very cool.

* Shane's J/42 Survives Massive Tropical Storm "Sean" Sailing to Caribbean- long-time J/Boat owner Shane Creamer (J/32 and J/42) recently experienced real survival while delivering his J/42 BARUNA from the Chesapeake Bay down to Antigua in the Caribbean.  Here's Shane's account as reported by Bob Warner at the The Philadephia Enquirer-

"Tropical Storm Sean was barely a blip at the end of the 2011 hurricane season, a disturbance that developed in early November in the South Atlantic and eventually veered northeast toward Bermuda, never getting within 200 miles of the U.S. mainland.

It was no blip, however, for the executive director of the Philadelphia Board of Ethics, J. Shane Creamer Jr., who battled 60 m.p.h. winds and 20-foot waves for four days while skippering a 42-foot sailboat through the storm.

"You've read about things like this, but you don't understand it until you go through it," Creamer said Monday, back at work but still sore from two cracked ribs - one the result of a shipboard stumble, the other suffered when he was knocked overboard by a wave in the middle of the storm.

Creamer just turned 50 and was celebrating with a 1,700-mile trip from the Chesapeake to Antigua in the Caribbean, aboard a J-42 sailboat named Baruna after the Hindu god of the sea. He had three crew members - his girlfriend, Jennifer Eckert, and two friends from Maryland's Eastern Shore.

"We were using a professional weather routing service, and they'd send e-mails to us over the satellite phone," Creamer said. "We were already in our third day, across the Gulf Stream and several hundred miles from shore, when we were advised we'd encounter a system with sustained winds over 40 knots."

When the storm hit, actual winds reached over 50 knots (50 knots equals 57.6 m.p.h.), and the waves were too high for the boat to head in any direction but downwind - luckily, south-southwest, the same general direction the party wanted to go.

About halfway through the storm, 450 miles off the coast of Florida, a wave broke over the boat, knocking out its communication equipment and instruments. Another wave knocked the boat on its side and Creamer slipped into the water, but he was wearing a harness tethered to the boat and was able to climb back on, with help.

Eckert was hit in the pelvis by a flying refrigerator hatch, and another crew member, John Danly, was thrown from his berth into a steel ceiling rail - bending the rail but leaving himself unable to straighten his leg for the next six weeks.

The battered boat and crew limped into Antigua after 11 days, roughly on schedule. But Creamer needed five days to arrange for repairs and missed last week's meeting of the Ethics Board - the first he had missed since he got the job in 2005.

"You learn a lot about yourself and the people you're sailing with," Creamer said. "Everybody stayed calm, nobody panicked and the boat came through. . . . I don't want to go through it again any time soon, but on one level I'm glad I've seen that and survived it."

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-