Wednesday, March 21, 2012

J/Newsletter- March 21st, 2012

J/70 speedster sailing on Naragansett Bay 
J/70 Speedster Goes Sailing!
(Newport, RI)- The weather Gods have continued to provide incredible sailing conditions for the sea-trials of the new J/70 Speedster in Rhode Island.   After launching J/70 #1 last Monday, March 12th, it was time J/70 speedster sailing under spinnakerto launch J/70 #2 this past Tuesday, March 20th.  Both boats gently slid off their trailers into the ocean waters off the Bristol boat ramp and shortly after were sailing on upper Narragansett Bay in a building southwesterly.  J/70 first sail- ramp launchable trailerable sailboatBy day’s end both boats were flying across the Bay at 12-15 kts with Team North and Team Quantum scoping out the new speedster.  Overnight, some sail tweaks were done, and the boats were back out yesterday in similar 12-18 knot conditions.  Sailing trials continue over the next several days as more sailmakers arrive.  The plan is to lock in the class sail sizes by the end of next week.  Take a peek at some more sailing shots on the website!   For more J/70 Speedster sailing information

J/108 shoal-performance cruising sailboatJ/108 In Oslo Boatshow
(Oslo, Norway)- The latest edition to the J Shoal Performance fleet, the J/108, will be on display at this year's Oslo Sailboat Show from the 26th to 29th of April.  The J/108 continues to amaze its owners with its remarkable performance both upwind, downwind as well as reaching.  Like its sistership the J/95, the J/108 sails with remarkably good VMG performance upwind in most any wind and wave conditions, a unique capability amongst shoal-draft keel/centerboard sailboats.

To learn more about the J/108 at the Oslo show, please be sure to contact Peter Johansson at Marstrand Yachts- ph# 0046 (0)735 430 800, skype- peter.r.johansson, email-, or visit his website at  For more Oslo Sailboat Show information

J36 and J95 crossing tacks in Rolex Cup St Thomas, USVIRolex Cup Regatta Preview
(St Thomas, US Virgin Islands)- This coming weekend, the “Crown Jewel” of Caribbean racing takes place--the Rolex Cup Regatta- where sailors can experience reliable breezes, warm azure waters and world-renowned Island hospitality off the eastern end of St Thomas.  The competition and the camaraderie are unsurpassed; attracting sailing teams from around the world, and from this perspective its 2012 edition will prove to be the most diverse ever, with entries from the USA, Russia, Sweden, The Netherlands, Monaco and beyond. The three-day event, scheduled for March 23-25, is hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club, which for 39 years has devoted itself to producing this regatta’s famed offerings: three days of high-quality racing and serious fun in an inspiringly scenic island atmosphere.

J/80 Otra Kosa sailing Rolex Cup St Thomas USVIThe racing starts on Friday-- beginning with the picturesque and traditional distance races from the east end of St. Thomas to Charlotte Amalie Harbour and back. The tactically demanding Pillsbury Sound Race in and among the cays of St. Thomas and St. John is Sunday’s highlight.  This “Sunday drive” has decided final standing in most classes in each of the last five years.  The culmination of the International Rolex Regatta’s lively competition is a presentation on Sunday of coveted Rolex timepieces to winners in select classes.  A total of 66 boats are sailing including the 7 J's below, 16 of the IC-24s (modified J/24s)-- nearly 33% of the fleet!

CSA 1 Class has the J/122 LAZY DOG sailed by Sergio Sagramoso from San Juan, Puerto Rico, missing will be the J/122 LOST HORIZON and the J/120 EL OCASO.

CSA 2 Class has four J's sailing, including the J/105 DARK STAR sailed by Jonathan Lipuscek from San Juan, Puerto Rico; the J/27 MAGNIFICENT 7 sailed by Paul Davis from St Thomas, USVI; the J/30 COMFORTABLY NUMB sailed by Marston Winkles from St Thomas, USVI; and the J/80 OTRA KOSA sailed by Kike Gonzalez from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

J/35 offshore cruising racing sailboat sailing CaribbeanCSA 4 Non-Spinnaker is always a tough class to win simply because there are some good family teams racing.  This year, again, sees the return of the Sanpere family racing their multiple Rolex Winner, the J/36 CAYENITTA GRANDE skippered by Antonio Sanpere from Christiansted, St Croix, USVI.  Challenging them will be the J/95 SHAMROCK VII sailed by Tom Mullen from Campton, New Hampshire, who recently just finished sailing their best Caribbean regatta yet in the St Maarten Heineken Regatta.

Finally, sailing in IRC 1 Class are an entire crew of J Owners and alumni sailing on the 72 footer SAFARA with the famous UK skipper, Brian Thomson aboard.  Here's a breakdown of their crew:  Brian Thomson just broke the round-the-world sailing record with the French crew on the 130 foot trimaran Banque Populaire (he's sailed J/24s and J/35s); Christian Reynolds (J/92s & J/24s); Mark LeVan (J/22s, J/24s, J/35s and J/46); Diane Staley (J/105s); Jennifer Griffith (J/80s); Stuart Brown (J/24 Cowes Week Champion); Jeff Mootz (J/24s & J/105s); Rod Olsen (J/24s, J/35s, J/32 & J/36); Randee Hurst (J/80s, J/105s & J/120); and Richie and Lori Stearns- the J/Dealer from Chicago, Illinois. Sailing photo credits- Ingrid   For more Rolex Cup sailing information

sailboats sailing off into gorgeous, romantic sunsetJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Spring-time keeps on rolling and with it marks the start of one of the most famous spring sailing series, the Warsash Spring Series hosted by the Warsash Sailing Club on the Hamble River-- where dozens of J/80s, J/109s and a competitive fleet of IRC-raced J's like the J/111, J/122, J/133, J/92s and J/97s all vie for honors over several weeks of sailing.  Also continuing its course of events are the Sailing World NOOD Regattas, this last one being hosted by the San Diego YC and again sponsored by Sperry Topsider for fleets of one-design J/80s, J/105s, J/109s and J/120s.  The J/22 sailors were busy in various forms, including the completion of the California Dreamin Match Race series held in J/22s and the J/22 Cayman Islands International Invitational held in that lovely little oasis in the middle of the Caribbean.  Finally, the Australian Yachting leadership completed a fairly extensive "Future of Sailing Survey" which has some lessons learned and opportunities outlined that might help grow the recreation and sport of sailing.

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:

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-
Apr 26-29- Oslo Sailboat Show (J108)- Oslo, Norway-
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/109s starting on SolentSTEAMY Start To Warsash Spring Opener
(Hamble, So'ton, England)-  The 29th edition of the Warsash Spring Series got underway on 18th March 2012 and on a day when the wind went from zero then up to 16 knots in the short sharp squalls, both competitors and race officers needed to think quickly.

Forecasts varied but in the main indicated  a high pressure area over the south of England bringing light and uncertain winds to the Solent, initially north-west then veering north. Many competitors found ice on the decks but sunshine developed by 0900. The breeze dallied under 5 knots, but this still enabled some crews to put in their first pre-race practice of the season. As the start sequence approached, the wind direction had certainly not settled and a postponement was announced for both Black and White Groups whilst race officers designed and redesigned a multitude of courses accordingly.

The Black Group committee boat had set-up station near East Bramble and at 1050 IRC1 were sent on a course with Prince Consort buoy off Cowes as the turning mark. The fleet was evenly spread along the line. Even with the westerly tide pushing the boats towards the start line, IRC2 also got away cleanly under the “I” flag but now the fleet had decided that the committee boat end was the favorite. Before the J/109 class could start, the wind had swung even further west and the “AP” flag was displayed again. The effect on the first two classes racing was to turn the first beat into a long starboard tack with a port hand hitch to lay the mark.

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing around mark in EnglandMeanwhile, it was back to the chart table for the race officers on Condor to design another new set of courses for the remaining four Black Group classes. This time West Knoll was the windward mark giving navigators the test of judging tidal heights as they skirted the Bramble Bank. Only one failed and spent an extended break aground until the tide rose again in the afternoon. To save time, IRC3 had a combined start making for a busy line. As these boats headed west, angry grey clouds were forming over the Bramble Bank and these brought lively gusts leaving crews to wonder whether to peel headsails that had initially been set for 5 knots of breeze. No sooner had it arrived, than the wind lessened and turned the run to Universal buoy into a fetch. On completion of the second beat, the wind vanished leaving boats becalmed and pointing in every direction, some with white sails, others with spinnakers. The decision was taken to shorten after the fourth leg and many were grateful for the now east-going tide to reach the finish. For IRC1 and IRC2 the course had been amended to omit the penultimate mark and turn the last leg into a beat.

The biggest win of the day was Paul Griffiths on the J/109 JAGERBOMB, a triumph of tactics which took him to first place by 25 minutes ahead of the nearest rival in the J/109s.  The J/109 class has a very strong showing overall despite the JAGERBOMB's triumphant first outing.  In second was Mike & Sarah Wallis on JAHMALI and third was Roger Phillips on DESIGNSTAR 2.

The closest finish was in the new J/Sprit class where John Cooper and Ian Townend’s J/92 JAMMIN took line honours by a couple of boat lengths but were denied a class win by the lower-handicapped sistership J'RONIMO (John Taylor and David Greenhalgh).  Third was yet another J/92s, Andyy Howe's J/92s BLACKJACK.

White Group this year includes classes for J/80s. For this first week, it was the J/80 crews who proved the hardier and turned out in numbers. With a racing area closer in shore, CRO Peter Knight was hoping to catch the breeze coming down Southampton Water but he also had to stall the start procedure. When the first races were underway, a significant wind shift to the right halfway up the first beat turned the course into a full and bye leg with a broad reach return to the bottom mark. Nick Haigh, with Geoff Carveth helming, sneaked the win in SLIGHTLY STEAM, the latest in the “Steamy” brand, ahead of Ian Atkins in  Third was Terry Palmer on JUST DO IT.

The course was re-laid to account for the new wind and a brief rain shower raised the wind to over 10 knots by the start of the second race. The squall lasted for the first beat but as the sun came out the wind faded to nothing and by the time the boats had reached the leeward mark and tried to start the next beat it was a losing battle. The race officers made the sensible decision to abandon and send everyone home to enjoy "Mothering Sunday".

The Black Group IRC 1 Class only had five finishers due to the crazy conditions, the somewhat distorted race course with Ivan Trotman's J/122 JOLOU surviving the chaos to grab a fifth overall.  For more Warsash Spring Series sailing results.

J/22s sailing the Great North Sound in Cayman IslandsLocals Dominate J/22 Caymans Invitational
(Cayman Islands)- The Cayman Islands Sailing Club hosted yet another fun-loving, highly competitive event on the Great North Sound in the Cayman Islands for their 2012 International Invitational.  Teams from all over the world attended including ten representatives from Germany (Peter Karrie), South Africa (Len John Van der Wel), Bahamas (Craig Symonette and Dave Valentina), USA (Marc Fisher and Bill Wiggins), United Kingdom (Olie Dix), Jamaica (Peter Harper) and Norway (Are Huser).

J/22s sailing around mark at Cayman Islands invitationalThe sailing conditions were simply epic- postcard perfect weather as advertised with 10-20 knot trade winds blowing all day long all the time with sunny robin's-egg blue skies, puffy white clouds scudding across the horizon and aquamarine blue waters dotted by white breaking waves when the wind was up.  Perfect sailing conditions that challenged the sailors to get off the starting line in clear air, maintain position, get around the marks cleanly with good boat-handling and stay in the battle.  With racing taking place over three days, each day starting at 12 noon, the regatta was exceptionally well managed under the guidance of race officers Peta Adams and Andrew Moon along with visiting international judges Gilmour Manuel and Harry Keith.

J/22 sailors enjoying the international camaraderie of sailing in the islandsIn the end, top local sailor Mike Farrington sailing JUST LEAVING from Cayman Islands Sailing Club triumphed and was crowned the 2012 Invite Champion with finishes of five 1sts, two 2nds and two 3rds, tossing a 3rd to win with just 12 points!  Not too far off the pace was top local woman sailor, Jane Moon, sailing CIAO! to two 1sts, six 2nds and a 4th (tossing the 4th) to finish with a remarkable 14 pts, not enough to overcome Mike's fast, smart crew.  Lying third was Marc Fischer from the USA sailing the great yacht WRECKLESS to a strong 4-1-6-3-3-7-4-3 for 31 points.  Rounding out the top five were another local boat, Simon Farrington on SUNSHINE finishing 4th with 41 pts and Craig Symonette sailing CALIMA 5 from Nassau, Bahamas just getting nipped out for 4th with his record of 8-4-3-27-8-6-4 for 42 pts.  For sailing photo credits  For more Cayman Islands Sailing Club Invitational sailing results

J/105 sailboats- starting off San Diego NOODJ/Navy Jams San Diego!
Awesome Conditions, Awesome J Sailing
(San Diego, CA)-  This year's Sperry Topsider San Diego NOOD event was a tale of two fleets- those who sailed and the "also-rans" (those who didn't).  As one might expect, given the beautiful conditions on Saturday and the epic, windy, wavy, wet conditions on Sunday, only the entire fleet of J's sailing in San Diego completed the entire series as both a brand and as complete one-design fleets-- others simply didn't sail or had many who simply dropped out.  Twenty five knots on Sunday?!  Most J sailors look upon such conditions with glee, and did so whole-heartedly!

Of the forty-one J's sailing in this year's NOOD Regatta (about 33% of the fleet) it would be hard to tell which fleet loved the conditions the most-- the J/105s, J/120s, J/80s or J/109s.

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing San Diego NOODOf all the fleets, perhaps the most predictable outcome was the performance of Kurt Johnson from California YC on his J/80 AVET.  Sailing to a record of four 1st, a 2nd and two 3rds, he won their seven race series by 8 pts.  Second was Balboa YC's Dan Gribble sailing MONKEY SHOULDER to a 4-4-4-1-2-2-3 to come on strong towards the end of the regatta to secure their position with 20 pts.  In a tie-breaker for third place were John Steen on UNDERDOG and Steve Wyman on NUHUNU.  In the end, John's 2-2-5-7-54-4-1 for 25 pts beat out Steve's 5-3-2-7-1-3-4 for 25 pts.

Not far off the predictability index was Tom Brott's J/109 ELEKTRA, perhaps one of the best-sailed J/109s on the Pacific Coast.  With straight bullets over four races, they dominated their competition for just a grand total of 4 pts.  Lying second was Rex Butler's JD with straight 2nds for 8 pts.  Third was Daylen Teren's GREAT BALLS OF FIRE with straight 3rds!

J/120 one-design sailboat- sailing San Diego NOOD regattaNext up, the J/120 class.  Like their J/105 brethren, this is perhaps one of the least predictable groups as the combination of crews and skippers, time of day, horoscopes, biorhythms, Mayan calendars and the sort seem to have an enormous influence on the various team's performances.  Nevertheless, some of the top teams maintained form, stayed in the hunt and managed to keep things quite interesting for the top SIX teams.  OK.  Cool stuff.  That's REAL one-design racing.  Four boats, four firsts.  Staying out of trouble pays off in this fleet.  Hitting corners does not.  Starting out strong were John Snook on JIM with a 2-1 and Mike Hatch's J-ALMIGHTY with a 1-2; just off the pace was Peter Zarcades on MELTEMI with a 3-3.  After two races, this top three might be the regatta leaders going forward?  NOT.  As a group, they had to fight to stay in contention with only John Snook's JIM hanging on for dear life to close out with a 2 pt win to be J/120 class champion for the regatta.  Second place was late closer, past champion Chuck Nichols on CC RIDER, a familiar name at the top of the leader board just two points back with a 4-6-2-1 for 13 pts.  Behind him was the bloodbath of a sailing version of the "Shootout at the OK Corral".  Tied for 3rd were Gary Winton's SHENANIGANS and Peter's MELTEMI with records of 5-4-3-2 and 3-3-4-4, respectively, for 14 pts.  Gary's SHENANIGANS winning the tie-break.  Fifth was Mike's J-ALMIGHTY, an early regatta leader closing out with a 1-2-6-6 for 15 pts.

J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing fast off San Diego NOOD regattaThe J/105s were tough as nails as one might expect amongst this competitive fleet.  After all, if past NOOD Champions and Pacific Coast Champions like Dennis & Sharon Case's WINGS, John Demourkas' ROCKIN & GROOVIN and Rick Goebel's SANITY aren't amongst the top of the leader board, you know the fleet is tough.  In the end, it was a "northerner" from Long Beach YC, Gary Mozer's crew on CURRENT OBSESSION 2 that dominated the last day with a 1-1 to add to their 5-3 Saturday scoreline to win by just one point to become the J/105 NOOD Champions.  Second was a strong performance by Bennet Greenwald's PERSEVERANCE to capture a 2-2-5-2 tally for 11 pts.  Third was Rick's SANITY team with a 3-5-2-3 score for 13 pts.  Fourth was John's ROCKIN & GROOVIN team with a 7-1-3-5 score for 16 pts.  And, fifth was local champs Dennis and Sharon Case on WINGS with a 1-4-10-4 record for 19 pts.   Sailing photo credits- Mark Brughe   For more Sperry Topsider San Diego NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/105 and J/22 sailor Nicole Breault wins qualifier for Ficker Cup Trophy match raceBreault Wins California Dreamin Series
(Long Beach, CA) - The final stop of the three event California Dreamin' Series met with too much wind for the Butler Cup, an ISAF Grade 3 match race hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. With a severe storm watch in effect and high winds, no races were able to be run. Nicole Breault of St. Francis Yacht Club was declared the winner of the series based on accumulated points. The first place earned an invitation to next week's Grade 2 Ficker Cup, March 22-24, a gateway event to the Grade 1 Congressional Cup, March 25-31.

In sailboat racing good breeze is a good thing. But too much is not so good. Such was the case this Sunday in the California Dreamin Series Butler Cup, an ISAF Grade 3 match race hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.

Nicole gratefully accepted the invitation to sail in the Ficker Cup.  Coming from the San Francisco area, Breault is quite experienced in racing in strong breeze.

"This definitely was a brisk day," Breault said, "and would have shown who had the best seamanship skills. But I think it was a good decision [not to race] for these boats."

Saturday's racing was literally blown out with sustained winds around 20 knots, keeping the fleet in their slips throughout the day. Sunday dawned with strong winds but Principal Race Officer Pete Ives wanted the race committee to give it their best shot at getting some races off and had everyone head out to the race course. Unfortunately, the wind was much stronger Sunday than the day before.

"It's a shame that we couldn't do this today," Ives said. "But I was seeing 22 to 25 knots out there and gusts over 30."  If you're a sailor, you may ask, "I've raced in worse conditions, what's the big deal?"

The 37 foot sloops used in the Butler Cup, Ficker Cup and the Congressional Cup are old, not terribly robust and were designed for the normal Long Beach weather conditions; moderate chop and breeze of 8-15 knots and get to be quite a handful at 20 knots without the ability to reef the mainsail-- in other words, it's "classic IOR hull shape" is prone to wild broaches and "round-downs" IOR sailors are all too familiar with from the past-- in short, they become dangerous even to the sailors.

Commenting on the upcoming Ficker Cup, Breault said, "I think my expectations for how well I will do came up a bit this weekend. What time we had on the boats was valuable [Friday's practice and Sunday's attempted racing]. Also, I will have Bill Durant [LBYC] calling tactics for me which will be a tremendous advantage for us. We know any one skipper can win in a match race."

Breault has been the tactician on the bigger boats quite a few times for Butler Cup and Ficker Cup regattas but doesn’t have much time behind the wheel.  “Right now, moving from the J/22 into the 37 is a bit intimidating for me,” said Breault. “I have a great group of sailors on my team and I suspect we will learn quickly. As a skipper I get a lot of confidence from boat handling and speed control. Until I get a sense for what that will feel like on the larger boats, I see the transition as a major challenge.”

The first two weekends of the series took place at San Diego Yacht Club, Feb. 11-12, and St. Francis Yacht Club, March 3-4. In addition to Breault, skippers competing in the series were; Dan Aeling, SDYC; Eric Doyle, NHYC; Nick Dugdale , St. FYC; Bill Durant, LBYC; Dusting Durant, LBYC; Steve Lowery, CMRC; Tyler Sinks, SDYC, Bruce Stone, St. FYC and David Storrs, Pequot YC.   

J/70 one-design speedster sailboat- sailing upwindThe Future of Sailing Survey?
What J Sailors Can Do to Help!
(Sydney, Australia)-  Yachting Australia released the findings of a research report regarding the perceptions of sailing in Australia. Developed over six months by leading sports and entertainment consultancy firm gemba, the report will shape future Yachting Australia and yacht club programs to increase membership and participation.

In releasing the report Yachting Australia CEO Phil Jones said that the information will be used to shape a number of future programs and initiatives.  In working with industry partners, he said "we jointly identified the lack of solid data and evidence into the levels of participation in sailing, and what the drivers and barriers were to increasing it," Jones said. "Whilst there are plenty of opinions in the sailing community, we really needed solid and objective information about
what club members and the Australian public think of our sport."

The top six insights in the Report Summary are:
- Australians generally have a low rate of both participation in, and passion for, sailing (we rank 34th and 37th respectively amongst all sports)
- Sailing is perceived as an 'exclusive' sport while not being seen as very 'accessible'. Yacht Clubs are generally not welcoming, and are for older people only
- On average, the starting age of sailing is much higher than other sports with established junior programs
- Primary and Secondary school age children, and young families have the highest interest in participating in sailing in the future
- Relaxation is consistently the most important reason for participation in sailing among both current sailors and those interested in sailing. New participants are interested in a social, relaxed activity rather than competition, the later tending to be more important to current club members.
- The main barrier for future participation is the perceived cost of sailing. Boat ownership, maintenance, storage costs, and annual membership payment, are expensive, especially for a family.

J/70 speedster- the one-design sailboat for the next-generationFrom the J/Boats perspective, we agree.  And, having participated in multiple such studies over the course of time with industry partners like SAIL America, SAILING WORLD, SAIL magazine and others, the results all have similar outcomes--- in short, highlighting a need to make the sport and recreation of sailing more accessible to all.  In fact, it's a primary reason why "accessibility" was a specific requirement for the design of the new J/70 Speedster-- it had to be accessible physically (children, women and men alike) as well as logistically (ramp launch, trailerable and easy to rig).  It's also why J/70 is affordable and designed to address the needs of yacht club, sailing club and public sailing programs in terms of affordability and, most importantly, durability.  Plus, ensuring J/70 had the trademark all-around performance in an exciting new package means it should attract both old and new sailors alike to the brand over the course of time.  To learn more about the J/70 speedster - the ultimate trailerable sailing machine.  To learn more about the social and demographic drivers in sailing.


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

J/24 one-design sailing in Mexico* A J/24 Mastman Confessional-  When a longtime J/24 bowman gets put into mastman duty with a pro team, he gains new insight—and respect—for his neighbor on the rail.  Read more about SAILIG WORLD's Editor, Dave Reed, experience sailing in the recent J/24 Copa Mexico in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

"I’ve been racing on the same J/24 in Newport, RI, with the same fantastic skipper and core team for nearly 30 years. By nature of me being the whippersnapper teen when I joined the team way back when, I guess I’ve always been relegated to the bow. It’s my domain, a position I’ll relinquish only when they take the spinnaker pole from my cold, dead hands.

The funny thing about my career in the J/24 class, however, is that as long as I can remember, I’ve never actually sailed on anyone else’s J/24 for a full regatta.

It’s always been the same boat, same job. Forever.

You’d think, after all these years, I’d have a pretty good handle on what was going on behind me on our boat, one rail seat aft at the mastman’s position, but not really. I guess I’ve always been too busy looking forward, focusing on my own responsibilities on the foredeck. On our boat, this second-spot back is where we usually put newcomers and visitors. You know…where they can “contribute” by adjusting the twings while not really getting in the way.

After my experience last week at the Regata Copa Mexico, a must-do J/24 regatta in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico (just north of Puerto Vallarta), however, I’ve reconsidered the mastman cog in the J/24 crewing machine.

The thrown-together crew of which I was part of for this incredible regatta included Chris Snow, of North Sails San Diego, who, as a past national champion, was obviously most qualified to drive. Our talented trimmer was Rich Bowen, designer for North Sails. The tactical genius (and “funny stuff”) would come from the mind of Chuck Allen, who completed the North Sails back-of-the-bus brain trust. That left the front-half of the boat to me, and George Witter, pitman for the 2010 J/24 national champions 3 Big Dogs.

When I learned I’d been slotted into the mastman position, with George on the bow, I was sort of bummed and anxious.

“I’d be better off on the bow,” I thought to myself. “That’s what I know best . . . Maybe I should propose George and I switch.”

But the team roles had been professionally predetermined, so as we sailed out for our first day of practice, I started to mentally go through the mastman’s job list for every maneuver.

This is when I realized I wasn’t exactly sure what the mastman does on other J/24s other than pull the twings and move from side-to-side. On our boat back home, the jobs in the middle of the boat are, for the most part, divided as such: our genoa trimmer trims upwind, then moves to the middle of the boat downwind. The mastman, who helps call puffs upwind, slides to the cockpit to trim the spinnaker. Our tactician handles the twings during the jibes works the pit, and the bowman, of course, handles everything forward of the mast, including halyards. This is, generally, how we’ve always done things.

But after an educational week in the mastman’s seat—a position, I grew to love—I’m convinced we need to change the way we do things back home. And, strangely enough, it all boils down to empowering our mastman. Here’s how things were divided on Bogus:

The trimmer trimmed the jib and the spinnaker. He never stepped forward of the companionway, which eliminated any position shuffles.

The tactician focused on tactics, fleet management, boat balance (weight fore and aft, side to side), parked in the companionway downwind, rolled the boat from the inside, and stuffed the kite in the takedown.

As the mastman, I looked up the course in the pre-start, looking for wind and surprises, called out time aloud in the pre-start, counting every second after 30 seconds. Upwind and down, I called puffs, lulls, and waves and aggressively rolled the boat in tacks and jibes, hiking off the twing line on the jibe roll. I served as human guy and then gathered the foot of the spinnaker before hitting the rail. And when the manure was hitting the fan on the foredeck, I was on halyard backup. I reset sail controls (outhaul and vang) before and after the mark roundings, and moved my weight all over the place to help balance the boat. Now that’s a lot more than just pulling the twings and staying out of the way."  For more SAILING WORLD Mastman sailing experience perspectives.

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