Wednesday, April 4, 2012

J/Newsletter- April 4th, 2012

J/70 Sailing World boat test with David Reed"J/70 Gets Real!"

(Newport, RI)- Dave Reed and crew hopped on board the J/70 recently for a test drive on a very spring-like day in New England.  Some excerpts from what Dave had to say about the new J/70 speedster sailing, "After a quick rig we were off and sailing in a puffy 10- to 15-knot spring southerly. When I slid into the driver’s seat, grabbed the tiller, and sheeted in another click on the floor-mounted ratchet block, my immediate impression was the responsiveness of the rudder: micro-movements gave instant results. And when I found that groove somewhere between high and pinchy and bow-down fast, the boat came alive. With the three others sitting casually, legs out, I let the tiller extension float above my open hand, and the helm remained balanced, the boat practically sailed by itself. When a puff would hit, a small amount of mainsheet ease kept it tracking. J/Boats tend to focus first on having good upwind traits, and the J/70 is no exception.

It turned swiftly through the tacks, even without any attempt to roll, and because of the narrowness of the cockpit, the high boom, and plenty of space behind the traveler, I only had to take two steps to go from sitting to sitting. It was a very natural flow, and I never felt any tendency of being tossed off-balance mid-tack."  Read more on Sailing World website here-

J/70 speedster- music sailing video
Enjoy J/70 Music Video-

J/70 speedster- sailing faster than any sportsboat downwindJ/111 @ Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show
(Oakland, California)- This year the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show from April 12 - 15 - the only all sailboat show on the West Coast - will serve as the San Francisco stopover for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet.  Even more importantly, Sail California will have a great selection of boats at the show including a J/111, along with detailed information on the newly released J/70. If you are interested in a personalized tour of the boats we'll have at Strictly Sail Pacific, call Norm Davant and crew at 510-523-8500 and make an appointment. We'll see you there!

J/105 one-design sailing J/Fest San FranciscoGet Ready for J/Fest San Francisco!
(San Francisco, CA)- It's almost April and that means the annual gathering of the J/Clan in the Bay area is near.  Get ready for a weekend full of one design and handicap racing April 21-22 - for J/Boats only.

St. Francis Yacht Club will once again host the five race event, long popular with the J/24, J/105, and J/120 fleets.
Registration is now open and the Notice of Race can be downloaded at Early registration ends on Wednesday, April 18.  Don't miss out on this annual opportunity to mix it up with your fellow J/Boaters and the cap toss melee!

Les Voiles de St Barths Preview
(Gustavia, St Barth)- On the eve of the third running of Les Voiles de St. Barth, April 2-7, the palm-fringed port of Gustavia, St. Barthlemy quickly filled with an impressive array of race boats: ocean-racing maxis to a fleet of J sailors ready to give some of the top sailors in the Caribbean and other parts of the world a taste of "island style" sailing-- fun, fast, laid back and competitive.

Racing runs from Tuesday, April 3 to Saturday, April 7 and will feature a mix of Olympic triangles, short coastal courses, and a 20-30 nautical mile round-the island race. Thursday is a lay-day at Nikki Beach, with lunch and a full afternoon of activities, including a paddle board competition.

J/122 sailing Les Voiles St BarthsIn St-Barts, people sail for pleasure and to win. Once ashore, they can find a warm, friendly atmosphere, where sailors from around the world can get together. The Voiles de Saint Barth aims to ensure that these rare moments of coming together ashore are a cornerstone of this event. Each day will finish with something special going on ashore. One can talk about the very special evening for the crews, which is scheduled for Wednesday 4th April on Shell Beach and at the "Do Brasil Restaurant".  No fewer than 700 sailors are expected to attend. The lay day, which is very much appreciated in the middle of such intense racing (waaay too much sun, wind and waves drenching you with salt-spray), will prolong this enjoyment throughout the day on Thursday 5th April. The racers will be down on Nikki Beach with their families and friends simply to enjoy themselves with in particular a very secret sort of race planned, where the crews will have fun competing against each other. Each evening the Voiles de Saint-Barth invites all the crews into the race village to enjoy a concert, in collaboration with the two historic partners to the Voiles de Saint-Barth, Taittinger Champagne and Mount Gay Rums.

J/120 sailing Les Voiles St Barths- Jaguar Water WorldAs the Les Voiles St Barts has grown, it has attracted some fun-loving, competitive teams from the J contingent.  Look for two teams to be a factor in Spinnaker 2 Class with nineteen boats, the largest single class in the regatta-- leading the charge for line honors will be the J/122 LAZY DOG sailed by Sergio Sagramoso from San Juan, Puerto Rico and challenging them for handicap honors will be the J/109 BLUEJAWS sailed by Frenchman Jean-Noel Tourin from France.

In the Non-Spinnaker there are eight sailboats vying for honors, including a strong team sailing the J/120 JAGUAR- ISLAND WATER WORLD skippered by Ben Jelic.  Plus, having learned the ropes of "island sailing" the 120 boys will have a tough contender in the form of the J/95 SHAMROCK skippered by Tom Mullen from New Hampshire, USA.  For more Les Voiles St Barth sailing information

J/95 shoal performance cruiser- sailing upwind in United KingdomJ/95 Cruising Re-Evolution
(Eastern United Kingdom)- In 2009, the J/95 was the first of the revolutionary shoal-performance J's introduced in perhaps one of the most difficult economic times ever faced by the Americas, Europe and other parts of the world.  Nevertheless, this sparkling performer confounded everyone.  While being the first J to ever win the coveted "Triple-Crown" of sailing- "best boat" in short for CRUISING WORLD, SAILING WORLD and SAIL Magazines, it was seen as a radical departure for the brand.  Could it really work?  Twin rudders, lifting centerboard within a shoal-draft lead keel, huge wheel in an open T-shaped cockpit?  Even more radical, a carbon mast option that permitted owners to deck-step the rig, go under low-bridges and even trailer-sailor the boat to any lake, bay or ocean you wished?  Perhaps it was an inspiration worthy of the amazing travels of a certain globe-girdling yachtsman like Irving Johnson and his remarkable ketch YANKEE with its striped sails and mainmast/mizzenmast that could be lowered to go just about anywhere-- remember those days dreaming wistfully about how we might join Irving on his magical ketch as it was chronicled in National Geographic Magazine traveling to the most intriguing and challenging sailing spots around the world?

Today, with over thirty boats sold around the world, some stories told by J/95's passionate advocates are becoming legion.  With nine boats in Europe (UK, Switzerland, Germany), one in the Caribbean and thirteen in the USA (of note- 4 in Barnegat Bay/Jersey Shore and 4 in Naples/Sarasota) it is fair to say the J/95 has confounded virtually all of its critics and, more importantly, gained some very enthusiastic followers- owners, families and crew alike.

One of these sailors happens to be Frank and Carol Curtis who took delivery of their beautiful black J/95 JUST IS in April 2011. Frank is based on the East Coast UK, where it's shallow and tidal and so we asked him whether he had the boat lying on the mud with the board up. He explained that they've not done that so far, but he did say the lifting board is a huge advantage on deliveries. On their trip from Burnham to Ramsgate (for Ramsgate Week regatta) they were able to shave off a big 'corner' of the trip by going into shallow draft mode and so arrived two hours ahead of the other boats that left ahead of them.  Frank and Carol also won their class at Ramsgate Week, winning five out of eight races! A win so convincing that the regatta organizers are trying to move him in to a different class for this year!

Perhaps better yet, here it is in Frank and Carol's words what the J/95 has meant to them: "I consider the J/95 to be the 'bees knees'.

We sailed the J/105 with great pleasure and some offshore success but she was tiller steered and pretty physical in a breeze. As my mobility and stamina deteriorated the inevitable decision was taken and she was sold to France.

I pottered around for a bit feeling lost until a friend asked me to trial a J/97 down at the Hamble. This boat did not suit me but I saw the J/95 on a nearby dock and she looked exactly right.  A trial sail confirmed that I could cope with the configuration so the deed was done.

I have found the boat a real pleasure to sail. The cockpit shape and size, wheel and mainsheet controls allow me to sail safely and comfortably. Handling is as drama free as I have ever experienced. Carole is a fan of the cockpit and sail handling controls but is nagging me to fit a nav table. No problem.  Black is exactly right for the 95 and she has drawn admiring comments wherever we have sailed.

Our racing has proved to be a bit of a challenge under IRC and we have found ourselves off the pace when the breeze drops. I had a look at competitors sail area and we seem to be about 20% smaller than say, the SJ320 or A31.

We intend to fit a larger, light airs headsail and not worry about rating changes.  Under IRC we have to sail with the centerboard down or accept a penalty for shallow draft. Don't ask because I have no idea how that works!

There are advantages to the centerboard system even in the lowered position. Without a bulb to anchor us in the mud we feel really confident when sailing shallow water and when the boat is lifted to scrub there are invariably traces of the bottom where the board has cut through the mud. Our competitors are absolutely convinced that we sail with the board up whenever the shore appears!

We have faired the keel bottom and fitted a slot strip in the centerboard trunk. If all works well we will sail some light air club races, (under local handicap), with the board-up and really get into the bank on the foul tide legs.

A couple of other uses of board-up are when ashore we sit on a low trailer and when launching can get afloat on a modest tide without the yard dragging us through the mud. The amount of water available is limited and deep draft boats have a very limited launch window here.

In any event, I hope that this gives you a feel for what we think of our lovely J/95. I could write a book! From a very satisfied sailor.  My very best regards, Frank'n'Carole, of course."   For more sailing information on the J/95 shoal performance sailboat.

J/24s sailing into the sun off Arzachena, Sardinia (near Porto Cervo)J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The first week of April finds the sailing world enjoying the spectacle of an enormous variety of racing, cruising and day-sailing boats (some of the 135 foot kind) plying the waters of the Caribbean in spectacularly gorgeous sailing conditions. This past week, one of the longest-standing and most popular regattas in the trade-winds part of the world happens to be the BVI Regatta held off Nanny Cay Marina on Tortola, British Virgin Islands.  A number of J's sailed and had a memorable time.  No less fun, in many respects were the cast of characters sailing their J/125s and J/120s from Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in the famous 800nm Cabo San Lucas Race, often blessed with days on end of surfing in 15-20 knot conditions offshore "sending it" south.  Then again, it's awfully hard to beat sailing in the famous River Derwent off Hobart, Tasmania and sailing for the J/24 Tasman Championships amongst some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.  Remember "the Hornpipes" you see in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race? This is the J/24 local Tasman fleet's "hood".  While it may be hard to beat some of these examples, the J/105 sailors way, way south in the Chilean waters along South America's west coast may have everyone else beat in terms of spectacular vistas-- for example, sailing on a gorgeous sea-breeze day on the Pacific in t-shirts and shorts with snow-capped 13,000 foot mountains in the background? Not bad.  On there American front up North, we have a brief, but fun, video summary of the J/30 Midwinters.  Then, in the European theater of things, the J/22s are gunning for more training as they prepare for their J/22 Worlds in Le Crouesty, France.  On the southeastern end of Europe, the Italians finished their J/80 Winter Series just off Portofino/ Santa Margherita. And, a bit further west in the United Kingdom, the offshore and one-design types sailing the Warsash Spring Series on the Solent are having another yo-yo affair with the weather and the standings amongst the classes-- this was the sunnier version!

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 22-May 1- J/24 Trofeo Accademia Navale-
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-
May 15-28- Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta- The Hague, Netherlands-
May 18-20- Seattle NOOD Regatta- Seattle, WA-
May 25-Jun 3- J/24 Italian/European Championships- Sardinia, Italy
May 26-28- Swiftsure Offshore Race- Victoria, BC, Canada-
Jun 1-3- J/22 Canadians- Vancouver, BC-
Jun 1-4- J/24 UK Nationals- Poole, England-
Jun 8-10- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL-
Jun 9-15- J/80 Worlds- Dartmouth, England-
Jun 15- Newport-Bermuda Race- Newport, RI-
Jun 16-23- Kieler Woche- Kiel, Germany-
Jun 24-30- J/24 US Nationals- Dillon, CO-
Jun 26-29- J/22 Worlds- Le Crouesty, France-

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

J/120 El Ocaso sailing BVI Spring RegattaEL OCASO Dominates BVI
(Tortola, British Virgin Islands)- The BVI Regatta & Sailing Festival is famed for gorgeous sailing conditions, hot racing and a friendly atmosphere- it didn't disappoint.  With nearly postcard-perfect sailing conditions for all three days, the fleet was treated to yet another "classic BVI" regatta.

Coming out on top of the all the racing fleets with the best overall performance of the regatta was Rick Wesslund's renowned J/120 EL OCASO in Class 3 Racing, previous Caribbean Champion in a number of events as well as a former Key West Race Week Regatta winner.  Rick and crew won the toughest offshore handicap class by a wide margin, beating some highly publicized teams like the Beneteau First 40 Smile & Wave from Puerto Rico along with a slew of other 40 footers for overall honors.  Rick and crew had a 1-1-3-1-1-1-2-2-1 record for 13 pts over 9 races-- an average of 1.44 and a dominant advantage by five points over the second place finisher.  Fifth was the J/105 DARK STAR, winner of the previous week's Rolex Cup Regatta in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands, just 5 pts shy of 3rd place on the podium-- what wouldn't they give to have a "redux" of their last two races!

J/80 OtraKosa sailing BVI Spring RegattaOver in Class 5 Racing, the 28-32 foot crowd of J's were having a tough go of it for a variety of reasons.  Nevertheless, the J/27 MAG 7 sailed by Paul Davis managed a 5th overall, followed by the J/80 OTRAKOSA skippered by Kike Gonzalez in 6th place, the J/33 BOOMERANG (Sistership?) sailed by Patrick Nolan in 7th and the J/80 SUNBUM 2 sailed by Angel Ayala in 10th.  There was no question this group of boats had a fun time sailing against one another.

The Class 7 Non-Spinnaker competition could best be described as a "tale of two regattas".  In the beginning of time, there was a J/46 called JENT sailed by Henry van Melle that dominated the Sailing Planet Earth with a 1-1-3.  Then.  As time wore on.  A few asteroids hit Earth in a time warp. And, after celebrating their extraordinary good Fortune.  Father Time passed by and determined it was Time to make a Change.  That Change was Not Good.  In the end, Henry and crew sailed their J/46 JENT very well, starting out strong, but finishing with a whimper.  Nevertheless, it's understood all had a wonderful time in the limelight!

J/36 offshore cruiser racer sailboat- sailing BVI Spring RegattaClass 8 Non-spinnaker was an incredibly tough class for being one of the smaller fleets in the regatta.  In the end, the J/36 CAYENNITA GRANDE sailed by Steve Joines and Antonio Sanpere from Christiansted, St. Croix took class honors counting just 1's and 2's for just 7 pts.  Second was another stellar outing for the J/95 SHAMROCK VII team led by Tom Mullen from New Hampshire finishing with just 1's, 2's and 3's for 11 pts.  Good show for both teams.

How did the regatta go?  Here are the daily reports.

DAY 1- the regatta started off spectacularly.  Racing started on schedule, 15 knots of solid breeze intensified during the morning, peaking at 18 knots to provide some fantastic racing conditions for the opening day. Many classes enjoyed the fantastic vista of the southeasterly face of Salt Island today. With gnarled rock formations and spectacular reefs, the windward side of Salt Island is one of the most hauntingly beautiful areas of the BVI.

In Class 3, Richard Wesslund’s J/120, EL OCASO had a very successful day on the water, winning two races and coming third in the last race of the day to lead the class by a three point margin.

J/27 offshore racer cruiser sailboat- sailing BVI Spring RegattaClass 5 is a very competitive class. Right from the start it became clear that a battle royale is on the cards between several local boats, whose crews have known these magnificent sailing grounds for many years.  For the first start of the day, virtually the entire class was jostling for position at the Committee Boat end of the line in an attempt to control the favoured right hand side of the course. Rounding Salt Island the local knowledge really paid off with all the local boats happily sailing closer to the jagged shoreline. Amongst the local boats, the J/27 MAG 7 was very much in contention. MAG 7 is one of the smallest boats in the regatta but she is in magnificent condition, a tribute to the TLC of her owner, Paul Davis.

J/46 cruiser racer sailboat "JENT"- sailing BVI Spring RegattaIn Class 7, Henry van Melle's J/46, JENT had an outstanding day, winning both of today’s races, but the Dutch team was pushed all the way. In Race 1, JENT won by just 40 seconds and the second race was even closer, with JENT securing the win by just 13 seconds. JENT were the overnight leaders.

Class 8 produced two close races today between two J/Boats. Thomas Mullen’s new J/95 SHAMROCK VII won the first race of the day by under a minute, but St. Croix’s Antonio Sanpere came back to win the second race with the classic J/36 CAYENNITA GRANDE, by just 16 seconds. These two yachts tied for first in Class for the Nanny Cay Cup this week, a close battle is bound to resume tomorrow.

DAY 2- on this day, competitors had the amazing opportunity of experiencing the western extent of the British Virgin Islands.  Virtually all racing and cruising classes were sent through The Cut, a narrow gap between Tortola and St. John, what's more there were a multitude of downwind starts, resulting in some fantastic action from the get go.  As the fleet came up on the wind at Soper's Hole, the scenery was nothing short of spectacular; Little Thatch and Great Thatch Islands offer some of the most outstanding vistas anywhere in the Caribbean.

In Class 3, the J/120 EL OCASO stamped their authority on the class with three consecutive wins today and now lead the class by a healthy six points.

J/95 shoal-draft sailboat- SHAMROCK VII- sailing BVI Spring RegattaIn Class 8, it was a memorable day for some. However, Antonio Sanpere's St. Croix team on the J/36 CAYENNITA GRANDE had the best of today's racing scoring a first and a second to open up a two point lead over nearest rivals; Thomas Mullen's SHAMROCK VII.

Last night, by invitation of His Excellency the Governor, Mr Boyd McCleary and Mrs Jenny McCleary held a reception at Governor's House for the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival, marking the 41st regatta.  Guests received a very warm BVI welcome as a magnificent steel band played to celebrate the 41st regatta. Governor McCleary thanked volunteers, sponsors and all those associated with the regatta, including press from around the world, hosted by the BVI Tourist Board.

At the reception, the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival was the first regatta in the Caribbean to be awarded a Gold Certificate for taking part in the Sailors for the Sea's Clean Regatta Program in its fourth year of participation. The Regatta has been fully committed to the program after being the first in the world to receive a Silver Certification after its first year.  Regatta Director, Judy Petz was overjoyed when accepting the highly prized Gold Certificate from Annie Brett, Program Lead and Dan Pingaro, CEO from Sailors for the Sea. Sailors for the Sea, based in Newport, RI are an international organization that protects the sea and works with regattas and yacht clubs around the world to educate and promote best practices for the environment.

As it was Governor McCleary's birthday, guests at the reception sang a tuneful 'Happy Birthday' as he was also presented with one of the magnificent awards that will be awarded to this year's winners. Recycled glass from 15,000 bottles from previous regattas and designed locally by Glass Studio Project Apprentices, Cisne Benjamin and Pedro Samuel, a Green VI initiative from Director, Charlotte McDevitt.  "Two years ago when we realized we had the opportunity to make awards for competitors from recycled glass used at the regatta, we started a campaign using the slogan: 'The drink you were holding last year may be the award you hold this year,' says Judy Petz, Regatta Director.

After racing today, the highlight was the Ranifly Bikini swimwear fashion show held by the poolside at Nanny Cay. Calendar models from this "teeny handmade bikini company" based in St John, US Virgin Islands, and some Regatta competitors, showed off a nautical collection specifically designed for the regatta as well as metallic, beachside and other swimwear collections to the delight of competitors. Owner Rani makes her swimwear out of natural bamboo and all are handmade in the Virgin Islands.

BVI Spring Regatta sailing around the islandsDAY 3- The final day of racing provided shifty conditions, a southeasterly breeze of about 12-15 knots emanating from Dead Chest Island.  Today all classes raced in the Sir Francis Drake Channel outside Nanny Cay and there was a lot of traffic to contend with. Probably the most important factor was staying in clear air and spotting the shifts as they whipped over and around the chain of islands on the south side of the Channel.

Regatta Chairman, Bob Phillips has been on the water every day during the regatta and he is rightly proud of the 2012 edition: 'Above all, sailors love sailing and the BVI Spring Regatta has an excellent race area. In the present economic climate an entry of 100 boats has got to be seen as a success. This year the event celebrates its 41st year and it has always been about providing good racing for a wide variety of people on the race course and great entertainment back on the shore.'

In Class 3, Rick Wesslund's J/120 EL OCASO put in another solid performance, scoring a win in the first race and two second places to clinch the class win. EL OCASO has not scored out of the top three in the nine race series.

In Class 7, there was a dramatic change to the overnight standings. Class leader, Henry van Melle's J/46 JENT went from first overall to third. Some attributed this change to the extraordinary festivities the crew were enjoying the night before?

In Class 8, Antonio Sanpere's J/36, CAYENNITA GRANDE won the first race today by a huge margin to secure the class win.   For more BVI Spring Regatta sailing results

J/125 offshore speedster- Reinrag sailing fastJ/125s Crush Cabo-- Again!
(Newport Beach, CA)- On the "real sailor-man's" offshore calendar on the Pacific Coast is not just the eponymous PV Race (just a 1,000 miler or so), or Transpac Race (just 2,225nm or so), but the Cabo Race-- only 800nm or so.  It can be a mad dash or a maddeningly slow race, the experience depends on spring weather frontal movements and to a large degree on whether or not it's an "el nino" or "el nina" year-- got it?  Perhaps not.  Nevertheless, the differences of a "guy" year or "girl" year on global weather are HUGE-- it has to do with that little upwelling of cold deep-sea water pushing up against the western South American continental shelf near Chile/Peru.

The Balboa YC hosts the renown "Cabo Race"- that basic offshore dash down the California and Mexico coastline from Newport Beach, California to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico down off the tip of the Baja Peninsula. The destination is an attraction in and of itself.  Gorgeous.  Cool.  Tres chic.  Sublime.  Relaxing.

J/125 performance sailboat- DERIVATIVE sailing fast downwindThe race for it's part is notorious for throwing all kinds of weather conditions at you.  Light air inshore and offshore.  Heavy air blowing offshore.  And, everything in between.  In the perfect year, the fleet gets off the SoCal coastline in reasonable shape and dials into the steady NW to NE "trade wind-like" conditions that blow down the coast (sometimes).  Emphasis on "sometimes".  No matter how good the weather forecast from the routing guru's, it all seems to somehow go "inside out" or just "sideways".

Sailing in this year's Cabo Race are two sets of pretty fast 40 footers from the stable of offshore racing J/Boats.  One's a faster version and the other a cruiser version.  In the former are two J/125s, REINRAG and DERIVATIVE.  In the latter are two J/120s, ADIOS and POLE DANCER.

J/120 Pole Dancer sailing fast offshoreOn Day 1, it wasn't the fastest day of racing ever for classes C & D.  In fact, after a gloomy morning the sun is finally shining on the fleet, albeit somewhat late. However, by Sunday night for all, it was pretty rough.  Some boats broke and retired.  Most persevered.  Depending on where you were as the massive Low from the northern Pacific swept its "tail-feathers" across the fleet, gusts were up to 30-35 knots!
In the end, the J/125s proved again they're tough "hombres" to beat in the offshore world.  Fast upwind (witness the Rolex Big Boat Series results) as well as off-the-wind (any offshore event will give you that data), this year's two teams continued the tradition of J/125 domination offshore in all kinds of crazy weather conditions.  This year it was the boys on REINRAG that were 1st PHRF C and 2nd ORR C.  Their "compadres" in the form of DERIVATIVE managed to pull off 3rd in both PHRF C and ORR C.  More news about their J/120 "brothers" later and how it all pans out overall.   For Yellowbrick race tracking   For more Cabo San Lucas sailing information

J/109 one-design racer cruiser sailboat- sailing Solent, EnglandSunny April Fools At Warsash
(Hamble, So'ton, England)-  The light conditions continued for the third week of the Warsash Spring Series on Sunday, 1st April. With a forecast 7/8 knots north-easterly diminishing and veering southeasterly then southerly, the Black Group committee boat set up station at Flying Fish buoy.

The early breeze enabled the first three classes to go ahead without delay. IRC1 and IRC2 got clear away on time. For the J/109 class the wind started drifting right and the boats were bunched at the committee boat end. Red Arrow (RAFYC) started prematurely and had to return. The sequence was then halted briefly as the wind swung, the line was adjusted and a new windward mark plotted. After the turning point, all classes were taken to East Knoll, West Knoll and South Bramble. Into the second leg, the breeze turned very light and fickle with large patches of calm water. Second placed J-DREAM, David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J/111, used very different tactics for the run past the Brambles Bank. In fact, it seemed from the first two classes that every tactician had a different idea on the best route south.

For the smaller classes, the problems increased as the route to the windward mark at Fastnet Insurance became increasingly difficult.  With conditions deteriorating, the decision was made to shorten course for four classes at Flying Fish, the next mark after South Bramble. The bigger boats went on to Prince Consort before shortening at Sunsail Racing.

The introduction this year of a separate class for J/Sprit boats has enabled a mix of mainly J/92s and J/97s to enjoy some very close racing which has resulted in the only perfect score in the series so far. David Greenhalgh and John Taylor’s J'RONIMO has won all three races, this week by an impressive margin of six minutes.

Mike and Sarah Willis JAHMALI added a win to their two second places to edge ahead of David McLeman’s OFFBEAT in the J/109 standings.

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing on Solent, EnglandThe sportsboats in White Group had set up stall near the entrance to Southampton Water and initially there was enough breeze to get both classes away on time. A significant wind shift on the first lap negated the windward/leeward design of the course and made for a somewhat processional race. Being closer inshore, the new south-southeasterly breeze took some time to reach the race course. However, the upside of this was that the sportsboats did not have to suffer the gradual shift in wind direction that had affected the Black Group. By 1230, the wind had steadied and strengthened sufficiently to allow both classes two more good races. Rob Larke (J2X) with two wins this week has opened up a small lead at the halfway stage in the J/80 class.  For more Warsash Spring Series sailing results.

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing fast downwindANOTHER TOY Wins J/24 Tasmanians
(Hobart, Tasmania, Australia)- Held on Sunday 18th March and sailed in what many in the fleet refer to as “J Weather” the 2012 Tasmanian titles where hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in that wonderful city called Hobart.  Five boats contested 4 out of the 5 scheduled races held in near perfect conditions on the River Derwent featuring bright sunshine and 5-10 knot winds.

Looking to defend their 2011 title, the crew of ANOTHER TOY where early favourites and proved to be well deserving of this status winning all 4 races to retain their title.  Owner Greg Rowlings and regatta helm Peter Pangas were pleased with their victory after campaigning the boat strongly all summer which also included winning the Royal Hobart Regatta Lipton Trophy, The Showdown Regatta and finishing equal first (second on count back) for the 2012 Crown Series Regatta.

Having sailed close to ANOTHER TOY all day, Peter Bingham’s STREET CAR finished in 2nd place, having finished 2nd in 3 of out 4 races. Craig Squires' DIVINE MADNESS was a constant performer and finished a well deserved 3rd place.

The newly renamed WHISTLER J (formally DRUMBEAT) was the surprise of the day picking up a second place in race 3 after a near perfect start that saw them lead the fleet approaching the top mark. Helm Jory Linscott, whose star studded crew had never sailed the J/24 before, looked very excited when crossing the line.

Newcomer to the class Martin Pieterse, sailing STORM PETREL with James Anderson at the helm rounded out the fleet and showed moments of speed and close racing, picking up two 4th spot finishes. A pleasing result for a boat and crew that only came together a week prior to the regatta.

The Tasmanian Association would like to thank the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania for hosting the regatta and their continued support for J/24 sailing in the state.  Thanks for the contribution from Jamie Lawrence and Greg Rowlings.    For more J/24 Tasmania (Australia) sailing information

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing in ItalyJ/80 Italy Winter Championship
(Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy)- The J/80 class in Italy continues to enjoy a passionate following of sailors, much like their J/24 brothers.  This year, the J/80 Winter Champion was JOCONDA.  After sailing four weekends (from February to April 1), the local J/80 fleet was pleased to have lots of races on the water in front of the Hotel Miramare and the beautiful bay of Santa Margherita (just around the corner from a very famous sailing "water-hole" known as Portofino).

The racing was tight for the fleet but it was clear that JOCONDA's team had the upper hand over this year's winter sailing season.  After 11 races JOCONDA proved they were worthy of being crowned the Winter Champions of the Trofeo Miramare.  In second place was class evangelist and long-time support JENIALE!  Third in the standings was MONTPRES.  For more J/80 Italy sailing information

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing off FranceJ/22 Trophy Banque Populaire
(Le Crouesty, France)- Over the past month, the J/22 class in France has been getting some of their teams training and preparing for the upcoming J/22 Worlds in France.  The preeminent spring regatta is the Banque Populaire Series held over two weekends.  So far, it's quite clear that the top two contenders from France appear to be Patrick Jouet and Claire Pouteau as J/22 class leaders.

In the first BPA No.1 trophy event, the J/22 fleet was challenged by an enormous Low that came flying across the North Atlantic, presenting them with northwest winds blowing up to 30 knots.  In the end, the RC/PRO's wisely delayed and got the racing going after winds moderated.  Winners of the first event were ECC VIVIENDAS followed by SOFFE sailed by Claire Pouteau.

In the second BPA No.2 trophy event, the J/22 fleet faced a similar weather dilemma, starting out the weekend getting pounded by heavy winds, rain and a deluge of hail (almost ice-balls) for nearly a half-hour!  Who said that European weather in the spring was a delight!??  Nevertheless, the RC/PRO managed to get off some good racing and in the end SOFFE, sailed by Claire Pouteau won the event!  For more J/22 France sailing information

J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing offshore of Chilean coastJ/105 Chile Nationals Update
(Algarrobo, Chile)- The Chilean J/105 fleet is growing by leaps and bounds.  Having formed just under two years ago, the Chilean J/105 "family" are growing fast enough that they may have two dozen J/105s by the end of 2012!  As part of this fabulous growth, the fleet was able to gather a strong fleet of FIFTEEN J/105s for their first J/105 Chile Nationals on the weekend of March 17-18th in Algarrobo Bay.  However, the Incan and other local weather Gods were not cooperating! During Saturday wind conditions allowed the fleet to sail 2 of the 3 races programmed for the day. On Sunday the wind conditions were very light making it impossible to sail and to achieve the 3 races to validate the championship!!

Great sailing on lakes and bays in Chile with Andes Mountains as backdropAs a result, the new date for the J/105 Chilean National Championships have been re-scheduled for 6-7th of October.  20 boats are expected for the occasion!  For any of you J/105 sailors (San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Annapolis, New England, United Kingdom), please let us know if you'd like to join us for some fabulous Chilean hospitality, great sailing, great wine, home-cooked food!  Please contact us-- you will not be disappointed- Caroline Ecclefield- Chile ph# +562 9807079 or email-  For those of you geographically-challenged, here's where they're sailing (

Santiago, Chile- Andes Mountains east and Pacific coast on west!  By the way, the sailing offshore along the Chilean coastline is awesome- some of the most spectacular sailing in the world.  At the southern end is Cape Horn (a renowned "turning point" for many offshore sailors and racers) and at the norther end is Peru-- only 2,800 nm to the north-- that's one long country north and south. Chile stretches over 4,630 kilometers (2,880 mi) north to south, but only 430 kilometers (265 mi) at its widest point east to west-- Chile is the longest north-south and narrowest east-west country in the world.  Many cool places to sail, too.  You can read more about Chile's sailing areas here-  Beware that Bob J may be one of the first person's ever to actually "sail" a boat on the famous Lake Titicaca at well over 2 miles high above sea-level (an enormous lake in the Andes Mountains of 50nm x 118nm at 12,507 feet!!), a little lake for "newbie" sailors in Peru just north of the J/105 Chile fleet (

J/30 spinnaker sailing J/30 Social Event Winners!
(New Orleans, LA)- The J/30s continue to have fun as a class.  Quite remarkable to see a fun-loving group of people enjoy what has become a "classic" 30 footer in the J stable of sailboats alongside the J/24, J/22, J/29, J/27, J/36 and other 30+ year-old designs from the boards of design and engineering in Stonington, CT and Newport, RI.  J/30 owners, like their class brothers, have enjoyed an on-going roller-coaster of "love" from fellow sailors in the sailing world.  Suffice it to say, the J/30 sailors know how to have a great time --- the socializing amongst the sailors is legendary.  No questions asked.  Sailing regattas from Long Island Sound, to the Chesapeake, to the Great Lakes to No'Leans on the granddaddy of shallow lakes- Lake Ponchartrain, it's pretty clear the J/30 crew are enjoying sailing their fast, comfortable steeds and, perhaps most importantly, bring hundreds of their buddies, family and otherwise to join in on the fun!

J/30 women's sailing team on RAFIKI in Milwaukee, WIIn keeping with the spirit of the class, fellow J sailors and others might be amused by the fun-loving camaraderie these J/30 sailors are having.  The videos are totally "tongue-in-cheek", "off-the-wall" and above all "entertaining".  Sailing should ALWAYS be this much fun.  :)   J/30 Midwinters Sailing Youtube video     Girls Go Sailing- J/30 RAFIKI video link- how the "Rafikians" go sailing, playing and learning about life-- all-girls crew style.


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

J/125 offshore racer TIMESHAVER sailing fast* The J/125 TIMESHAVER sailed by "Viggo and the boys" had one remarkable trip from SoCal to PV in the latest edition of the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race to Mexico.  For a few days, they "sent it", or as some Volvo guys keep referring to, they kept "sending it down the mineshaft".  A reference to going so fast, so far down the face of huge waves you simply bury the bow into the wave front-wall in front of you and keep submarining!  The J/125, thankfully, has a bit more reserved buoyancy in the bow to keep it rolling along on a screaming plane in even the craziest of sailing conditions offshore-- not our view, but the perspective of dozens of offshore sailors who've grown to love the sailing properties of another "classic" high-performance J/Boat.  The J/125 has perhaps achieved some degree of "legendary" status for being a boat you can push forever and it just keeps on forgiving you with yet another burst over another wave to blast along at 20+ knots without crashing!  You'll enjoy this video from the J/125 TIMESHAVER gang that just wouldn't call it quits.  See more of the J/125 TIMESHAVER YouTube video

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-