Wednesday, February 22, 2012

J/Newsletter- February 22nd, 2012

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing on Solent, EnglandBaltic Wharf J/80 UK Training
(Dartmouth, England)- Like their French and Spanish counterparts, the J/80 UK sailors are starting to "dial-up" their training programs this spring.  Four training weekends are planned for the UK fleet after Easter. They will include coaching for the fleet, tuning, boat handling practice, race work with the Race Management team for the Worlds and plenty of really good sailing.  It starts on 28-29 April in the Solent then transfers down to Dartmouth for the last three weekends of May.

The Baltic Wharf J/80 Training Program is precisely that: A coaching program which will be led by RYA/Olympic Sailing Coach Jim Saltonstall. It’s a series of training weekends designed to offer those skippers and crews who take part a real step up in performance in advance of the Worlds and a chance to learn the waters in which the regatta will be fought. One of the two final weekends will take place with the PRO and the full race team in attendance.  If you'd like to learn more about how to sail the one-design J/80 faster, please contact Becci Eplett ( at J/UK Key Yachting Group in Southampton, England.  Sailing Photo Credit- Peter Newton

J/105 one-design sailboats sailing offshoreJ/105 EuroCup Gains Momentum
(Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, England)- For those J/105 sailors in Europe looking forward to participate in a fun, new EuroCup Series, it looks like there are over a dozen boats confirmed already! It represents a wonderful opportunity for J/105 class racing the likes of which have not been seen in the UK and Western Europe in quite some time.    The preliminary details are as follows:

1. Round the Island Race- 30th June 2012- with registration direct to Island Sailing Club – scoring will be based on IRC handicaps for this sole race and incorporated into the overall J/105 EuroCup results.  Make sure to have reservations at Cowes Yacht Haven- we hope to raft up all the J/105s together!

2. EuroCup Weekend- 7th July- racing organised by the Royal Solent Yacht Club at Yarmouth – all boats to level rate with the exception of boats from Europe who will use their IRC handicaps to save buying new sails for a single event.  The program is for registration completing on Friday, 6th July and to have at least 5 or more races (weather dependent) on Saturday and Sunday with prize-giving immediately after the conclusion of racing.

We look forward to seeing all J/105 sailors from anywhere to join us!  If you have any interest, please don't hesitate to contact us- email- or contact Becci Eplett ( at J/UK Key Yachting Group in Southampton, England.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

As we progress through midwinter in the north and midsummer Down Under, the competition continues to heat-up as one season begins and another is at its peak.  Down Under, the J/111 JAKE continues to amaze the locals, this time having a good punch upwind into current and breeze in the Sydney-Newcastle Race, a 70nm affair that can be a tough slog or simply a "Sunday stroll" flying downwind in building southerlies.  Sailing colleagues in Europe saw some good action at the Trofeo Maximo Bolado, one of the first major trophy events for J/80s in Spain.  Concurrently, the J/24s in Italy were all progressing along in their Regattas Invernale, their Winter Championships being conducted in five regions- Cervia on the Adriatic and Anzio-Nettuno near Rome, on Sardinia (Cagliari, Marina di Capitana) and Taranto in way southeastern Italy near Greece.  Over in America, a lot has been happening, including the conclusion of the Sperry Topsider St Pete NOOD Regatta that included one-design fleets J/24s and J/80s. Out West is where most of the action has been taking place, with the 130nm Islands Race that saw a fleet of J/125s and J/120s competing for handicap honors in a race from Newport Beach, around the Channel Islands and down to San Diego, California.  Up north in San Francisco, the Singlehanded Sailing Society held its infamous Three Bridge Fiasco that saw dozens of J's sailing, including J/105s, J/80s and J/24s, plus J/29, J/30, J/100 and J/130, too.  At the same time the Islands Race was finishing, all Southern California yacht clubs and sailing clubs were holding a massive regatta for over 500 participants, the SCYA Midwinters that included one-design classes of J/80s, J/105s and J/120s.

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:

Feb 23-26- J/22 Midwinters- Houston YC- Houston TX-
Mar 2-10- J/24 Regata Copa de Mexico- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico-
Mar 8-10- Bacardi Sailing Week (J80s, J/24s)-
Mar 9-11- J/105 Midwinters- Lakewood YC- Houston, TX-
Mar 9-12- J/24 Australian Nationals- Adelaide, South Aus-
Mar 15-18- J/22 Invitational- Cayman Islands Sailing Club-
Mar 16-18- San Diego NOOD Regatta-
Mar 18-Apr 29- Warsash Spring Series- Warsash, England-
Apr 12-15- StrictlySail Pacific (J/111)- Oakland, CA-
Apr 19-22- Newport Beach Boatshow (J/111)- Newport Beach, CA-
Apr 19-22- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC-
Apr 22-27- Bermuda Race Week- Bermuda-
May 4-6- Annapolis NOOD Regatta-
May 4-6- J/22 East Coasts- Annapolis YC, Annapolis, MD-

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

J/125 sailboats- sailing Newport Beach to San Diego Islands RaceJ's Eclipse Islands Race
J/125 SRM Wins PHRF 2 & J/120 POLE DANCER Wins PHRF Overall!
(San Diego, CA)- Over the years this 139 nm offshore race from Newport Beach around Catalina and San Clemente Islands to port and finish in San Diego is becoming a midwinter classic on the SoCal offshore racing scene.  Renown for its great parties, this seemingly benign offshore race can be challenging. 

For starters, the wind is highly variable (if it will be windy anywhere it will be offshore in February); the course will test various points of sail; the fleet have easy and understandable ratings (think Hot Rum series); and, intelligently enough, a Saturday finish/party so the sailors all have a Sunday to recover.

J/125 Stark Raving Mad- winner PHRF 2This year there were thirty-five of some of the best SoCal offshore yacht racers.  33% of the fleet were J's sailing.  And, most astonishingly, not only taking the top two spots overall, but six of the top eleven boats.  In other words, 50% of the top eleven! That's quite a showing for a broad cross-section of the J-Fleet.  Fleets of J/125s and J/120s showed up to experience the blast around the beautiful Channel Islands offshore.

In the end, it was Tim and Terri Manok's J/120 POLE DANCER that won both PHRF 3 and 1st PHRF Overall!  For the rest of PHRF 3, the other J/120s included Gary Winton's SHENANIGANS (3rd PHRF 3 and 5th PHRF Overall) and Jim Barbers' HOT TAMALE (5th PHRF 3 and 11th PHRF Overall).  Seth Hall's J/124 MARISOL managed a good showing, getting 4th PHRF 3 and 7th PHRF overall.  Other classmates included Daylen Teren's J/109 GREAT BALLS OF FIRE and Paul Stemler's J/44 PATRIOT.

In PHRF 2, Jim Madden's J/125 STARK RAVING MAD won PHRF 2 class and was 2nd PHRF overall not far off the pace set by the Manok's J/120.  For the rest of the fleet of J/125s, Mark Surber's DERIVATIVE finished 2nd PHRF 2 class and 8th PHRF overall.  Somewhat off the pace were Tim Fuller's RESOLUTE and Viggo Torbenson's TIMESHAVER.   Sailing photo credits- John Fuller- SDYC   For more Islands Race sailing information

J/111 speedster- one-design sailboat- sailing off Sydney, AustraliaJAKE Snakes Sydney-Newcastle Race
(Sydney, Australia)- The longest race of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Pointscore Series (OPS) from Sydney to Newcastle, nearly 70 miles north of Sydney along the coast, was held on the 18th February 2012 . The J/111 JAKE was the smallest boat in the 26 boat fleet that lined up for the start at 9am Saturday morning. Here's the full-on race report from Ray and Sandra Entwistle from aboard JAKE:

"We certainly felt small during pre-start maneuvers amongst the smorgasbord of bigger boats which included the famous BRINDABELLA (a Jutson 80), MERLIN (the Cookson 50 footer), a Corby 49, Sydney 47, Rodgers 46, Beneteau 45, Sydney GTS43, Kerr40 and a pair of Cookson 12s, to name a few.

A 10 to 15 knot south westerly dictated a spinnaker start in Sydney Harbour and we were delighted when JAKE emerged out of Sydney Harbour Heads in 5th place on the water (e.g. boat-for-boat!). We settled down and concentrated on our race strategy of hugging the coast to keep out of the current and playing the 13 to 18 knots of breeze as it occasionally drifted either side of south. We knew we were doing well with some of the bigger boats still behind us and it wasn’t until Pittwater 25 miles north when one of our main competitors, ST JUDE (the Sydney 47) managed to pass us. After a mistake at the start AFL MIDNIGHT RAMBLER (the new Ker 40) also managed to creep by. There were still a lot of boats behind us that owed us time on IRC and we were having a great sail as the day progressed and miles slid effortlessly by. Thanks to some great asymmetric designs by Ian Short Sails we were going as deep and in some cases deeper and faster than conventional rigged boats.

One of JAKE's crew made a comment how good everything was going and the boat was simply flying as we saw our final headland in the distance-- "Nobby's Head"- now famous due to the grounding of the 76 thousand tonne “Pasha Bulka”  bulk carrier in 2007 when she ran aground during a huge storm. All was going to plan and JAKE's crew were looking forward to finishing in daylight, and few beers with dinner.  We were still ahead of many much larger boats and still crossing gybes with the larger Sydney GTS43 OCCASIONAL COURSE LANGUAGE. About 5 minutes later the breeze dropped to 5 knots, by 6pm it had  had petered out completely and we had a a complete "glass-out", much to our chagrin (we figured we may have been winning overall at the time).

Trying every trick in the book, we could not stop ourselves from slowly going backwards as the tide turned and darkness enveloped the fleet. We started to hear the retirements come through on the VHF an hour later and were surprised to hear how far back some the boats were. Between 7 and 8 pm, a slight whisper of a southwester began to filter through, only a few knots but enough to harness in JAKE's sails and make headway once again. With the spinnaker back up we ghosted past one of the Cookson 12s, as we completed our final gybe to head into Newcastle Harbour, we crossed with the Sydney GTS 43 for the last time and through the finish line at 9.30 pm.

With Newcastle yacht clubs staff and volunteers welcoming the finishing boats with a tot of rum as we tied up and quick calculation we knew we had done ok in the longest race so far in our potent J/111 rocketship.

Before we retired for the evening it was confirmed we were second on IRC to our friend and competitor Julian Farren Price who has sailed a faultless series. We were advised we were second on PHS to the famous Jutson 80 BRINDABELLA but a few boats were still at sea with a building breeze. The next morning we learnt our final position was a fourth in PHS.

The story doesn’t end there, however. With most of the crew having to drive back to Sydney due to family commitments, Sandra and I, just two up, had a fantastic sail back the Sydney the next day-- yet again proving how versatile and easy the J/111 is to sail shorthanded with husband and wife!   For more Sydney-Newcastle Race sailing results

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing at St Pete NOOD RegattaHONEY BADGER Claws To St Pete NOOD Victory
(St Petersburg, FL)- This year's Sperry Topsider St Petersburg NOOD Regatta promised to have good racing on the water on the basic assumption that Tampa Bay's infamous winter weather patterns cooperated.  They didn't.  Unfortunately.  Light, shifty, drizzly day was the order of the day on Friday.  Then, Saturday dawned with fog and no wind in the morning giving way to glorious sunshine and no wind in the afternoon-- at least the parties were fun!  Then, after nearly two days of no wind, the weather Gods tossed the fleet a huge curve ball as a massive trans-continental Low frontal system passed from the West to East across America.  With gusts into the mid-20s, the fleets were challenged with short steep chop and shifty breezes making for some tough beating upwind and fast rides off-the-wind.

J/24 sailboat- sailing with family/ kidsThe biggest one-design keelboat class at this year's STSPNR were the fleet of nineteen J/24s, easily eclipsing any other fleet at the event!  Returning champion from the local Davis Island YC, Todd Fedyszyn, had his hands full on his boat SPOONY TACTICS, managing to accumulate an 11-3-2-3 for 19 pts, good enough for just fourth place.  The winner of the class in a "runaway" was Travis Odenbach from Rochester YC on HONEY BADGER, garnering a very fast 5-1-1-1 for 8 pts to win not just the J/24 class but also the coveted St Pete NOOD Overall Champion of the largest and most competitive class at the regatta-- earning himself a trip to sail in the NOOD Championship Regatta in the British Virgin Islands 2012 later in the year on giant, air-conditioned cruising bath-tubs equipped with air-powered weed-whacker blenders- renowned for making killer "umbrella rum drinks"!  Just behind Travis and crew were Chris Stone from Atlantic Highlands YC sailing VELOCIDAD to a 3-4-3-2 record for 12 pts to secure 2nd overall.  Also flying the AHYC flag and lying third sailing a very solid series was John Surguy on VANISHING ACT, adding up a 4-2-5-5 score for 16 pts. Rounding out the top five behind Todd on SPOONY was Steve Wood from SailNewport sailing TASMANIAN DEVIL.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing at St Pete NOOD RegattaIn the J/80s, a competitive contingent of eight boats rocked and rolled in the breezy conditions on Sunday.  Many found it to their liking and had some fun planing around on some good puffs and decent waves.  The fleet had a good cross section of teams from across the country, from Texas to Wisconsin, Florida to New England.  Winning was Fort Worth Boat Club's Ramon Torres sailing 80 PROOF, managing to sail a very consistent 4-1-2-2-1 score for 10 pts and easily win their class.  Behind Ramon was a very tough race for the balance of the podium, if not the top five. Second was Gary Panariello hailing from North Shore YC racing COURAGEOUS to a 2-2-3-3-7 for 17 pts.  Just one point back in third was local Randy St James sailing for Davis Island YC onboard CLAIRE, managing to sail super-fast on the last day to snag a 6-5-4-1-2 tally for 18 pts.  Yet one more point back was Tod Patton from Milwaukee YC sailing BLONDIE to a 7-3-1-4-4 score for 19 pts.  And one more point back from him was Ian Torrie from Nepean Sailing Club racing BLIND FAITH to a 3-4-5-5-3 record for 20 pts.  Whew! That was a close finish for these four boats on the last day!    Sailing photo credits- Allen and Daniela Clark/  For more St Pete NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/80 sailboat- sailing Santander, SpainJ/80 Trofeo Maximo Bolado
(Santander, Spain)- The J/80 fleet in Santander enjoyed a good day of racing last weekend, vying for the Trofeo Maximo Bolado.  The high tide and northwest wind around 12 knots (which was subsiding throughout the afternoon), allowed the RC to locate a good race course up to the gorgeous moors that form the backdrop to the harbor.

The first race was dominated from start to finish by Alberto Padron at the helm. NEXTEL's Ignacio Camino was second. Third place was decided in the final meters in favor of VERIGUETO that had Santi Lopez-Vazquez at the helm, ahead of CROCS sailed by Javier Aguado. Finishing fifth was ECC VIVIENDAS, skippered for the occasion by Javier de la Plaza.

In the second race, it was FONESTAR with Peru Mujica at the helm, who led most of the race, but he hooked the anchor line of a mark and lost his position with an "auto-penalty", but managed to finish third despite the setback.

Overall, the thirty boat fleet is pretty tight with the Pichu Torcida's ECC VIVIENDAS leading the first trophy of the year with 15 points, followed by Ignacio Camino's NEXTEL which has soared to second place (18 points) and third is maintained Jaime Piris on FONESTAR (22). David Madrazo's GO FIT is fourth with 26 and fifth with 31 is CINCUA SOLUCIONES sailed by Toño Gorostegui and Alejandro Diaz.  For more Santander J/80 sailing information   Sailing photo credits-

J/105 sailboat- sailing San Diego, CAWINGS & CAPER & AVET Win
@ SCYA Midwinters

(Long Beach, CA)- As anticipated, the various J One-Design classes had some great sailing this past weekend in the Southern California Yachting Association Midwinters regatta, one of the largest midwinters sailing events taking place in the northern hemisphere.  The J/105s and J/120s sailed out of San Diego YC out off Point Loma and the J/80s sailed out of California YC in Marina Del Rey, just north of the monstrous Los Angeles International Airport.

The J/105s, who are gearing up for their 2012 North Americans in San Diego, saw a highly competitive fleet with the top honors determined by the outcome of the last two races.  Climbing back on top of the fleet were Dennis and Sharon Case sailing WINGS to a 1-1-4-2-1 tally for 9 pts.  They just beat out the Hurlburt/ Driscoll gang racing BLOW BOAT, who managed to start slow but increasingly gained momentum during the event, accumulating a 4-2-2-1-3 for 12 pts to snag 2nd overall.  Sean O'Keefe and crew aboard DECOLORES started out even slower, with a 6-6, but shared the best record for the last three races with a 1-3-2 to claw their way back into 3rd overall with 18 pts.

In the J/120 fleet, there some familiar names that managed to jump onto the podium, but no one was expecting to get thoroughly dominated by one boat!  Talking about taking out a can of "whup-ass" and using it up in one regatta, John Laun and the gang took CAPER to FIVE straight bullets to win with 5 pts only.  That's a spanking and a half!  They sure seemed to have everyone's heads spinning as to what or how they uncorked such an impressive win.  Surviving the whipping was Mike Hatch's crew on J-ALMIGHTY blazing to a 2-3-2-3-2 for 12 pts to hold onto second place.  J-ALMIGHTY just edged out past SCYA Midwinter Champion Chuck Nichols' famous CC RIDER, whose 4-2-4-2-4 for 16 pts was good enough for third.

Over in J/80 world at Cal YC, it was pretty evident that Curt Johnson's team on AVET were not going to eclipse their friendly competitors as they had last year.  Giving them a run for the money was Bob Hayward's BLUE JAY.  In the end, Curt's team on AVET managed to score a 2-1-2-1-1 for 7 pts, enough to beat Bob's BLUE JAY team that scored 1-2-1-2-2 for 8 pts.  Lying third was Dave Angers' MISS DEMEANOR with five 3rds.   For more SCYA Midwinters sailing information.   Sailing photo credits- Peter Howson

J/24 sailboat- sailing off Italy on MediteranneanJ/24 Regattas Invernale (Winter Regattas)
(Taranto/ Anzio-Nettuno/ Marina di Capitana/ Cervia/ Cagliari, Italy)- The J/24 class in Italy continues to reign supreme as the pre-eminent one-design class across the country.  With hundreds of boats spread across the country, it's easy to hop into one, give the boat a "refresher" and go sailing with friends.  The J/24 Winter Regatta circuit is conducted in five sailing areas around Italy, from the North to the South, from East to West.  Here are some quick updates on their activity since the start of 2012.

TARANTO- So far, in what is perhaps the southernmost Italian J/24 fleet located in Taranto (inside the "heel of the boot"), they are the only fleet that has seen the most sailing this winter on the Ionian Sea.  It looks like JEBEDEE ITA-427 with the duo of Soriano-Macina continue to lead the standings in a fleet of sixteen J/24s, but DOCTOR J ITA-406 skippered by Sandro Negro is only one point behind.  They are currently ahead of MA TI LTD ITA-490 sailed by Angelo Lombardo and John Cavallo, LUMACHIA COSIMO DE PADOVA ITA-172 sailed by Carlo D'Errico.  For more J/24 Taranto sailing information

ANZIO-NETTUNO- This region for J/24 sailing includes the entire Gulf of Anzio and Nettuno (Rome, Vatican City) and the various yacht clubs that surround it, including the Navale Italiano.  So far, they've had good racing despite the tough conditions with mistral/scirocco type of conditions with rough seas and 15-25 knots winds from the Easterly quadrants (blowing offshore).  In this fleet of twenty-eight J/24s, the NAVY's ITA-416 sailed by Ignatius Buonanno is leading with Marco Vincenti in second and Massimo Mariotti in third.  The fleet tried to sail the past weekend, but horrible weather forced the Polizia to stop traffic in many areas near the coast, canceling races for the weekend.   For more J/24 Anzio-Nettuno sailing information

After the second weekend of racing, the J/24 teams did have a nice video made of their winter series, you can see it here:

J/24 sailboat- sailing off Italian coastline off RomeMARINA DI CAPITANA- Out on the island of Sardinia, the J/24 fleet has been having a much harder time getting their winter series rolling due to incredibly bad weather.  Whatever they've been getting on the mainland, it's only twice as worse or more out on the island, especially with the winds in the ENE quadrants- mistrals are rough going on the northeastern shores of Sardinia.

The Winter Series Championship is organized by the Yacht Club St. Helens under the auspices of the Italian Sailing Federation, with assistance of the Port of Cagliari.  Despite the dismal weather, the first weekend of actual sailing had a  welcoming sun and the nice wind made for three great races.  At the top of the leader board with three 1sts is ITA-103 sailed by Paco Jadine.  Just behind them is Laura De Luisa on DELL'INCIVISI Sailing Team with a 3-2-2.  Lying third is an all-girl team lead by Claudia Barbara sailing EXPRESSIVE MEDIFARMA with a 2-4-3.

On the second weekend of sailing, Claudia and her girls on EXPRESSIVE MEDIFARMA started off strongly by winning the first race!  Nevertheless, after two races the standings are still the same as the previous weekend as Paco Jadine is still on top. The Winter Championship in Sardinia will continue during the weekend of 4, 18, 30 March and 1 April.  For more J/24 Sardinia sailing information

CERVIA- If the weather was creating some difficulties to get racing going in Sardinia or in Rome, the sailors in Cervia (south of Ravenna) were far worse off on the eastern coast of Italy on the Adriatic Sea.  A combination of bad weather and heavy snowfall wreaked havoc on their winter sailing season so far.  On their first weekend of sailing in 2012, twenty boats were ready to sail but due to strong wind, fog, or absence of wind, they managed to only get in one race.  So, the schedule is getting reworked to schedule in more days for sailing.  At this stage the J/24 Fleet Captain Guido Gudagani is leading on ITA-400 CAPTAIN NEMO.  He's followed by Antonio Antonelli with KISMET in second and Fabio on ITA-424 APOLLONIUS in third.   For more J/24 Cervia sailing information

CAGLIARI- The other J/24 fleet in the southern part of Sardinia sails out of Cagliari and the renowned Marina Piccola Marina on the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Cagliari.  So far, they have managed to get in three races sailed.  Like their fellow J/24 sailors they've also experienced rain, cold and light winds interspersed with strong storms.   The report so far from one of the competitors:  "With three races so far, an indomitable race committee was able to carry itself well on a typically dreary day. Rain, little wind and cool temperatures did not deter anyone and the racing has been at the top, as is customary in this class.  A solitary boat appears to be leading the pack: it is Kimbe Alberto Gai, skipper and owner. This brand new boat, in which nothing is left to chance, includes Giovanni Meloni to call tactic and with a 1-3-1 seems to have taken flight on the group. Five points separate them from their pursuers."

J/105s starting Three Bridge Fiasco 
JAM SESSION Wins J/105s at Three Bridge Fiasco
BADFISH Wins J/24s, J/80 PAINKILLER 10th Overall!
(San Francisco, CA)- The name is appropriate.  For starters, you have to know who the "Singlehanded Sailing Society" is on San Francisco Bay.  Next, you have two choices on the type of course you want to sail, go clock-wise around the Bay or counter-clockwise.  Your choice.  Then, since it's a "pursuit" style race, the little boats get going early in the morning while the bigger boats get rolling later in the day.  Next, you can sail single-handed or double-handed, no more-- for many that decision in and of itself is one of the more challenging ones to make based on weather and other unknown factors that cross the psyche of short-handed sailors.  Finally, toss in that other thing called "the wind" and, most importantly, the "capricious currents" on San Francisco Bay and you have-- voila-- a recipe for a "fiasco".  Despite its name, the event continues to mushroom in popularity just because it is almost complete and utter chaos.  Half or more of the fun is just participating.  And, you literally see an entire cross-section of the history of yachting as you sail around the course-- from Knarrs and Cal 20s to the most modern sportsboats.  It's also one of the most utterly entertaining regattas held anywhere as some of the most bizarre scenarios unfold in some of the most beautiful, and sometimes dangerous, sections of the course (e.g. the marks).

For the most part, dozens of J sailors participate spread across all the divisions (there are many to choose from).  The J/105s and J/24s generally have a class since so many come from all four corners of San Francisco Bay to partake in the fun.

More often than not, conditions for the annual Three Bridge Fiasco are cold, wet and nasty — the sort of weather that would inspire fair-weather sailors to turn up the thermostat, slip on their Uggs and linger over a long, drawn-out breakfast. But on Saturday this much-anticipated annual contest saw splendid conditions: clear, sunny skies, mild temperatures, and even a bit of breeze.

Not that it really mattered, though. For decades hundreds of diehard single- and doublehanders have turned out to compete, regardless of freezing temperatures, driving rain, lack of wind, or whatever. You could argue that the race, which allows entrants to navigate the course in either direction, passing near the Golden Gate, the San Rafael Bridge, and the Bay Bridge in whatever order they wish, is as much a rite of passage as it is pure competition. And with 334 entries this year, it's appeal is obvious.

J/24s sailing on first leg of Three Bridge FiascoWith an ebb running in the morning, the most popular course strategy was to knock off Blackaller Buoy first (near the Golden Gate), then beat up to Red Rock (near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge), then run down past Treasure Island and on to the finish. But Three Bridge fleets are renowned for their contrarian thinking, so even with the ebb, many boats were seen crossing the starting line heading 'upstream' (east). Up at Red Rock, the armada split in two, half leaving the island to port, half leaving it to starboard. And back behind Yerba Buena Island the light air traffic jam lived up to the event's name.  For those headed to the Gate, a half hour after the start of the smaller boats, the breeze clocked a bit, allowing a rare spinnaker reach to the Gate.  Even later in the day, although there were holes in the North Bay wind, most boats had a pleasant, sunny ride down to Treasure Island, occasionally interrupted by upwind traffic.

For the fourteen boat J/105 class, it was Adam Spiegel and Matt Clark on JAM SESSION that took all the marbles, winning by just 1:57 over Peter Wagner and Al Sargent sailing SLEIGHRIDE.  After their start at 10:00 am, the J/105 floated along with the ebb in a westerly direction towards Blackaller Buoy in lightish winds before turning back east to fight the ebb and the dozens of other boats already in front of them.  After the fiasco of clearing their air, the J/105s saw Stephen Kleha and Shannon Ryan on DONKEY JACK finish third in class another five minutes back.  Fourth was Doug Bailey and Caspian Bailey on AKULA and rounding out the top five as Phi Laby and Garth on GODOT.  Out of the 334 boats, JAM SESSION got a credible 38th overall.

In the J/24 class, Scott Lynch and Tommy Pastalka on BADFISH won their race by 2:17 over Val Lulevich and Zane Starke racing SHUT UP AND DRIVE ( who was driving?).  Third was Darren Cumming and Alex Symes on DOWNTOWN UPROAR just 45 seconds back.

IN the SF Bay 30 class, the team of Peter Jermyn and Curt Brown on their J/30 IONE fought hard to get a second in class, followed by the J/29 AUDACIOUS sailed by Scott Christensen and Kevin McCurdy.

In the PHRF 108 Spinnaker class, the J/130 RAM sailed by Bob Milligan and Tom Thayer managed to get a sixth in class and 39th overall in the fleet of 334 boats.  Just behind them on 2:10 off was the famous PEGASUS- MOTION-X team of Phillipe Kahn and Mark Christensen on their J/100 modified with a bowsprit.  Not far behind them was the J/120 TWIST sailed by Timo Bruck and Ryan West.

Perhaps the hero of the day was the J/80 PAINKILLER sailed by Eric Patterson singlehanded in the PHRF 111-150 Division.  Eric started at 9:00am and finished by 15:39:51 in the afternoon, not only getting a podium finish by getting 3rd in class, but also getting 10th Overall out of all 334 boats!!  Wow, amazing performance in such challenging conditions!   For more Three Bridge Fiasco sailing information


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

* J/80 Grevelingen Cup Regatta in The Netherlands are having fun getting themselves up to speed in the middle of the European winter.  Conditions have been less than ideal, but they did manage to get some good "GoPro"-like video of their racing.  You can watch some of it here:

YOUTube video---

* Is the J/24 Italian Team Ready to Race J/24 Copa Mexico?  It looks like TEAM BERGAMO racing ITA 479 are getting ready to go to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and try their hand against some of the best in the J/24 class.  This year John Fields, President of the Yacht Club Città dei Mille, will represent Italy.  They will be up against 64 J/24s teams from over 20 countries! The Italian J/24 representatives are counting on the support of Bergamo Filtes International - Technical Yarns, OSMI Sro - Oil & Gas and some other partners-- more information at Among the sponsors of the 2012 Copa Mexico include Banamex, Coca Cola, Tag Heuer, Comex, Dell, Microsoft Office, Cerveza XX, Nyssen and Grey Goose Vodka.

J/39 SLEEPER sailing in Solent, England* SLEEPER Challenges Caribbean 600- The 4th RORC Caribbean 600, started at 1100 on Monday 20th February. There's a proverbial "jump up" going on at Antigua Yacht Club as over 500 competitors fly in to the magical island of Antigua from all four corners of the world - Falmouth Harbour is filled to the brim with astounding yachts.  There can be few sporting events that can boast such a worldwide appeal with sailors taking part from all over the world including: Antigua, Australia, Austria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey and America.

Hetairos super maxi sailing yachtThis astounding diversity of nationalities is matched only by the astonishing array of yachts and personalities. The largest yacht competing this year is the magnificent Hetairos with a waterline length of 200' (seen here), the world's largest carbon composite sailing yacht (for the moment). While at the other end of the scale is a true "sleeper" of a competitor, none other than Jonty and Jack Layfield's J/39 SLEEPER sailing in IRC 3 and IRC Doublehanded divisions on of the smallest yachts in the fleet.  This father and son team, Jonty and son Jack are both RORC members and hale from Brighton, UK. Last year with a full crew, Jonty's J/39 SLEEPER won class at Antigua Sailing Week.

"Sailing Two-Handed with my son, I don't expect to be very competitive, we are not going to go flat out but treat the race more like a delivery trip," admitted Jonty. "I have raced double-handed with my son back in England and I have been sailing with Jack since he was about five years old, we are more like friends than father and son. The great thing about sailing is that you have to get on with it; you can't have any histrionics. Jack is working in Brazil at the moment and the RORC Caribbean 600 is a great way to spend a few days together."

Christian Ripard- Malta JBoats sailorPast J/24 European Champion, now RORC Chief Executive, Eddie Warden-Owen believes that the RORC Caribbean 600 is especially attractive to larger yachts, however the ethos of the club maintains equal status to every participant.  "A wide spectrum of yachts and competitors has decided that this is an event that is not to be missed. The club is delighted that people from all over the world want to take part. There is a mixture of world class sailors and Corinthian enthusiasts, but they all have one thing in common, a passion for offshore racing."  For example, pictured here is world-famous sailor/navigator Christian Ripard from Malta, recent winner on his J/122 of the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

"The average length of yacht for this year's entry is over 70'. When the Royal Ocean Racing Club started this race in 2009, we felt it would appeal to larger yachts and that has proved to be the case. This year we have a significant number of Racing Maxis, Superyachts and Spirit of Tradition yachts. However, every yacht competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 is governed by the same set of rules. All of the competitors receive a warm welcome from the Antigua Yacht Club, regardless of their finish time or place. Since 1925, The Royal Ocean Racing Club has promoted offshore racing for all and in many ways the RORC Caribbean 600 typifies that cause."

RORC 600 sailboat race- courseWhat's the key to the race? Said one veteran navigator, "It's unlike any other offshore race in that the average leg is only about 40 miles and for a navigator there is a lot to consider. Normally, a race is all about the weather and strategy but in addition to all that, this race takes you back to the basic problem of navigating around so many rocks and islands. Looking through all the legs, there is a broad mixture of sailing angles; there is a fair bit of reaching, but it is wrong to think that is not a challenge, especially with the speed sensitivity of modern high-performance boats. The course is more like a whole stream of complex coastal races."

Some of the course tips included commentary from a past winner in 2009: "An early look at the weather and it looks like we are going to get normal trade wind conditions with a wind direction just slightly north of east, "classic 600" conditions provided the weather pattern holds as it is."

"This year, the start line will need to be significantly longer because of the size of the superyachts that have entered. It will be a magnificent sight from Shirley Heights. The yachts will tend to tack as close into the cliffs as they can to get a huge lift off the headland and there is a lot of current inshore. The yachts will want to get out of that adverse current. Once around Shirley Heights a close-fetching yacht can almost lay Green Island in one tack.

The leg up to Barbuda could well be a powerful reach but a good tip is that many yachts tend to over-stand the North Sails mark at Barbuda. After Codrington Point the wind can free off enormously as you run down the side of the island. The wind also tends to accelerate there and it is usually a monster reach-to-reach gybe.

Antigua English HarbourThe downwind leg to Nevis is usually not too tactical but it is especially worth looking out for squalls. I remember on Region Guadeloupe we overtook ICAP Leopard there because we got the right side of a squall and they didn't. Significant gains and losses can be made in squalls. Look at the cloud formations as you approach Nevis. If the clouds are moving briskly that is a good sign of breeze, but if they are static the signs are there is a big wind shadow and it is probably best to head further west before turning the corner. In general, the best policy is to stay a bit offshore around the back of Nevis and St.Kitts, then try and lay Saba in one tack.

Although Saba is a small island it does have a fairly large wind shadow but it is usually a tough beat afterwards and you would tend to try to keep as much height as possible. The sea state can really pick up there due to a significant current. It is the first real taste of harsh ocean sailing for the crew and yachts. After making St.Maartin there are still 18 miles of short tacking. It is a hard-hitting part of the course, especially at night for the smaller yachts. What's more, there are a lot of rocks that the fleet will need to be especially careful of.

The reach down to Guadeloupe is the first real chance for crews to get their heads down in the race but the start is a significant point tactically, getting the right angle after St.Barths can be crucial. In my opinion, you should stay slightly high on your course, as if the wind does go south of east, you could end up beating. Montserrat is on the layline and there is talk of leaving Montserrat to port, but in my opinion when there are normal trade wind conditions you shouldn't benefit from going west of Montserrat, especially as in doing so you would have to sail a lot more miles and in foul current.

Rainbow off Guadelope western pointThe approach to Guadeloupe is a key area of the race. There is typically a significant wind shadow on the north west corner of Guadeloupe, especially at night. Having said that, during the day you can actually experience a westerly sea breeze there. It is so variable that it is best to look at the clouds over the island and also keep a watchful eye. I always get my binoculars out before approaching Guadeloupe to see how other yachts are sailing up ahead. I have been trapped in an area of no wind, north west of Guadeloupe and watched as 30 knots was blowing through the channel, just two miles away. Many yachts may choose to put someone aloft to take a good look, but a good overall strategy is to stay well off, keep your distance maybe five miles offshore, sail a quarter of the way to Dominica so that you can lay Les Saintes.

Îles des Saintes marks the most southerly point of the course but I would really advocate turning back towards Guadeloupe after rounding Les Saintes, if the wind is in the northeast. Beat back towards Cappisterre but watch out, there are thousands of fishing floats. I wouldn't go in any further than a depth of 50-100 metres. However, there is a massive lift inshore because the wind cascades down to the 'north of Soufriere with the wind going to the south. Once inshore, stay there is my advice, don't go out towards Marie-Galante or you will lose out.

Les Desirade is the most easterly part of the course and that is always a place with a rough sea state. Very confused seas with a lot of current, smaller yachts need to be mindful of the conditions that can be expected. After rounding, the yachts will come off the breeze, a big bare away and another time when crews can get there heads down, as it is 90 miles to Barbuda and there are no real tactics coming into play there, other than avoiding over standing the North Sails mark, which we have already covered.

Barbuda to Redonda is normally a very fast reach with yachts belting along going for line speed. It is worth keeping an eye out for squalls. Redonda is only a small island but it can throw out a significant wind shadow. I have seen races won and lost there so avoiding getting too close to Redonda. After rounding the last island of the course, no messing about, get right on the wind and head for Cades Reef on the north west coast of Antigua. There is a shelf extending out from Antigua some 16 miles and taking this route will be an advantage for less foul current, then work down the west coast of Antigua along the edge of the reef until the finish.

So, looks like Jonty and Jack have their work cut out for them, not just racing agains the clock against fully-manned crews, but a navigational and tactical challenge as well to play winds, currents, wind shadows.  Best wishes to them.  Sailing Photo Credits- Tim Wright/   For more RORC 600 sailing information

The J Cruising CommunityJ cruising directions- roll the dice and go!  Sailing to anywhere, anytime! J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent "blogs" written by their prolific publishers.  Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You'll love it.

* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel's big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand.  Their blog is here:

* Prolific writers, Bill and Judy Stellin, sailed their J/42 JAYWALKER around the Mediterranean and Europe and back across the Atlantic for nearly three years.  Their blogs/journals can be found at-  The earlier journals have been compiled into two self published books which can be found at:  Search for "SEATREK: A Passion for Sailing" by Bill Stellin or William Stellin."  UPDATE-  Just a short note to update from Bill- "Our cruise began in May of 2000 and ended in May of 2008, some 8 years later. I have just finished and published my third and final book covering the last three or so years including our double handed crossing in 16 days and one winter in the Caribbean. Like the others, "Sea Trek- A Passion for sailing- Book III," can be found at  Thanks, Bill and Judy"

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam after completion of their ARC Rally. Read the latest news at

* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world's oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between.  Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).

SALACIA, the J/160 owned by Stephen and Cyndy Everett has an on-going blog describing some of their more amusing experiences (

-  Bill and Susan Grun on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (  Read about their latest adventures as they've gotten to New Zealand- "Avante Cruises the Pacific".

- 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/133 sailboat sailing upwindFamous J/133 CHESTRESS-2 For Sale
Mediterranean Winner in Italy & France

CHESTRESS-2 is a 2005 J/133 with only one owner that has sailed her with passion and with extraordinary success in the Mediterranean.  She has been professionally, impeccably maintained by her captain for six loving years.  And, it shows.  CHESTRESS-2 is in mint condition, with no defects or damage, she is ready for cruising, club racing or serious offshore campaigning anywhere in the world-- Phuket, Auckland, Sydney, Newport, Cowes, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Stockholm, Sardinia, Cabo, Cape Town, Punta or Ilhabela.

J/133 sailboat- interior main cabinThe sail and equipment lists are extensive.  She's a 2 cabin/ 2 head arrangement- a gorgeous interior with extraordinary "fit and finish".  Her racing inventory of sails is primarily NORTH SAILS 3DL.  Her cruising sails include Elvstrom-Sobstad gennakers and snuffers.  The equipment list includes: Autohelm B&G ACP1 complete with: display unit FFD, Acp2 processor, feed-back sensor, linear hydraulic Ram; Raymarine C80 chartplotter; VHF Raymarine with DSC + external repeater;  stereo hi-fi 2 speaker internal and 2 external (new 2011); 2 extra hi load batteries  with energy management system; Hi power inverter for ac 220v; Extra engine filter for water/dirt separation; anchor support with roller; Lewmar electric anchor raise winch; Delta 12kg anchor + 50m chain (+ extra racing anchor 10kg); Self-inflating emergency life-raft certified for 8 people; Additional water tank (200+160 lt); Hi capacity american frigor; electric WC in aft toilet; Sunbrella mainsail shade; Original Sprayhood Sunbrella; original external cushions in cockpit and aftseat; External hot/cold shower; Cockpit table; Outboard engine wooden support and more!

Please contact Enrico Malingri.  For more J/133 Chestress-2 sailing information