Wednesday, May 2, 2012

J/Newsletter- May 2nd, 2012

J70 one-design speedster sailing fast with spinnakerJ/70 Sailing Annapolis II
(Annapolis, MD)- With fabulous spring sailing and summer just around the corner, interest in the J/70 continues to grow at a considerable pace.  Due to the strong response on the Chesapeake and its central location on the mid-Atlantic coast for sailors within a 3-5 hour drive inland, J/70 will stay in the Bay for another three weeks.  Please be sure to swing by and see the J/70 speedster sailing out of Back Creek at Northpoint Yacht Sales in Eastport (Annapolis), next to J/World Sailing School.  For sailing demo's be sure to contact Ken Comerford at ph- 410-280-2038 or email-

J/70 Sailing in Newport- will commence this weekend.  J/70 will be based in Newport Harbor for the duration of the summer- already we've had demo's for customers (plus dealers) from the Middle East, Chile, Sweden, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, France, and Switzerland.  For sailing demo's be sure to contact J/Boats at ph- 401-846-8410 or email-

NEW! J/70 Winter Circuit- plans are in place for an awesome five regatta program starting in January at Key West Race Week and ending up in Annapolis for the spring SW NOOD Regatta.  Most importantly, several boats will be available for charter/purchase for this event (contact J/Boats, please).  Concierge services will be available for owners for storage/ transport, too.  The J/70 Winter Circuit will be the following:
- Jan- Quantum Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
- Feb- Sperry Topsider St Petersburg NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
- Mar- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Coconut Grove, FL
- Apr- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
- May- Sperry Topsider Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD

For more J/70 speedster sailing information

J111 sailing one-designAnnapolis NOOD Preview
NEW J/111 One-Design Class Debuts
(Annapolis, MD)- While the Sperry Topsider crew can't guarantee awesome sailing, they certainly can make sure the sailors are happy with their togs and clogs and make life ashore festive and fun.  With a forecast of light to moderate winds for Thursday/ Friday out of the south and a weak front switching the winds into the northerly quadrants at a robust 4-7 knots for Saturday/ Sunday, the PRO's will be on their toes to get some decent sailing in for the madding crowds.  How many teams will be in attendance?  With nearly 200 boats registered, there will be over 1,100+ J sailors crewing on 141 J's (that's 72% of the fleet!).

The J One-Design fleets are all well-represented and are broken down into five J/111s, a dozen J/109s, aye-teen J/105s, ocho J/35s, move J/30s, thirty-four J/80s, nineteen J/24s and thirty-six J/22s.  In fact, it's quite a significant turn-out of the 35 foot J-Designs- J/35s from the 80s, J/105s from the 90s and the new J/111s.

On that score, the J/111 fleet is shaping up to be a good test of how crews adopt to the flatter, choppier, shiftier waters of the Chesapeake Bay.  Three of the 111 teams all sailed in Charleston, having to cope with massive easterly swells from an offshore storm in NW to NE winds, making for a rolly-polly ride upwind and downwind.  Past champion VELOCITY sailed by Marty Roesch will surely be on the comeback trail and CRW Champion RAGIN led by Bob Moran and 3rd place finisher Henry Brauer on FLEETWING will be challenging for the top of the pack.  With those three as a benchmark, it will be interesting to see how quickly the other two boats, Jim Whited's BAD CAT and Anthony Culotta's CUORE DI LEONE fair against some of their well-practiced compatriots.

With three dozen teams showing up on the starting line, the J/22s continue to demonstrate that a bit of chutzpah, fun and camaraderie go a long way for long-term fleet success.  There are many familiar faces in this crowd as well as some new ones.  The event may yet turn into another donnybrook between the Rochester crowd versus the Annapolis gang.  Leading the Rochester crew will be Chris Doyle on THE JUG 41 and Vic Snyder on MO'MONEY.  The local Naptown crews are pretty formidable, amongst them will be Jeff Todd on HOT TODDY, Al Terhune on DAZZLER, Sandy Adzick on HOT TICKET and Todd Hiller on LEADING EDGE, just to name a few.

After nearly 35 years of racing, you'd think the J/24 teams would have an established pecking order amongst the top teams.  NOT!  As has been atypical of many top international one-design classes, the J/24 is so easy to pick up fast by good sailors that just about anyone can be competitive in a short period of time.  Same holds true now as it did back in 1977.  However, octogenarian Tony Parker on the storied BANGOR PACKET XXX is the local Maine/DC boy who's been keeping all the latest boys and girls in check.  After all, many a J/24 World Champion has crossed swords with Tony and lost-- he's still sharp as a tack after all those years of "ultimate fighting" in the J/24 class.  Making sure they learned a thing or two and hope to stay in front of Tony are recent J/24 World Champ Tim Healey on 11TH HORU RACING from Newport, Robby Brown from St Pete on USA 799, Travis Odenbach on HONEY BADGER and Pete Kassal on SPACEMAN SPIFF.

An excellent turnout of thirty-four J/80s re-affirms their class strength after good fleets at Key West, Bacardi Sailing Week and Charleston Race Week-- all events on the J/80 Winter Circuit.  J/80 sailors are having a lot of fun racing their fast, closely-matched A-sail boats.  Teams that could be factors are changing as some teams improve their capabilities on boat-speed, boat-handling and tactics.  Showing great improvements recently has been Kristen Robinson and team aboard ANGRY CHAMELEON.  Others in the hunt will include Andy Burton on GROMIT from Newport, Chris Chadwick's CHURCH KEY, Bruno Pasquinelli's TIAMO, Mike Sudofsky's BOB DYLAN, Ramzi Bannura's STACKED DECK, Will Crump & Tom Klok's R80, Brian Keane's SAVASANA and Erik Storck's NA Champion RUMOR.

The J/30 sailors continue to enjoy the first cruiser-racer ever built by the J/Boats Team.  And, many "classics" of this genre abound.  These teams have a scream, no doubt about it. So, making any predictions about an outcome are certainly beyond the comprehension of even the J/30 sailors themselves.  Has something to do with rum, beer, sun, fun and varying degrees of that combination over three days of sailing.  So, working on past performance, we can at least look for Pam Morri's BUMP, Ron Anderson's INSATIABLE, George Watson's AVITA and Bob Rutsch & Mike Costello's BEPOP to be hunting around the front of the pack most times this weekend.

The eighteen boat J/105 fleet will be as competitive as ever.  Chesapeake locals such as Peter McChesney on the now famous MYSTERY MACHINE, Chris & Carolyn Groobey on JAVA, Andrew Kennedy on BAT IV, Bob Reeves on A-TRAIN, the Gitchell's on TENACIOUS and Jack Biddle on RUM PUPPY will certainly be factors in the top five.  Toss in top three J/105 NA's sailor Jim Rathbun on HEY JUDE from Toronto, ONT, Canada and some US Naval Academy Sailing Team college sailors and you're certain to see a running gun battle taking place on the waters just off Easton's Point.

J/35 sailors continue to enjoy one of the most successful 35 footers ever built as racer-cruisers.  Love the boat names, some of the old classics and some new variations.  T-BONE, AUNT JEAN, DAKOTA GIRL, BAD COMPANY, MEDICINE MAN, REBEL YELL.  Hell, might as well be at a Harley Davidson reunion in the Badlands of North Dakota, don't ya think?  Free tattoos go with this gang (although the J/30 guys might argue this point).  And, they love it, working those grinders on the massive kevlar/carbon genoas and monster masthead spinnakers to go faster and faster.  Cool boat.  Cooler crews.  Predictions here?  None.  Teams change, teams get hungover. Bless'em all, they will certainly have fun and one may guess it would be a dead heat with their J/30 friends for the highest "fun quotient" amongst the J/Clan.

At a dozen strong, the J/109s have amongst their fleet three past J/109 North American Champions in the form of Bill Sweetser's RUSH (the Local) versus Rick Lyall's STORM (the Outsider- just a Long Island Sound guy), all contending with that silver fox from Buzzards Bay/Cape, Ted Herlihy on GUT FEELING (the Foreigner- so far East the Earth ends in a cliff).  In the end, way too hard to call this one with some many other strong teams tossed into the mix.  For more Sperry Topsider Sailing World NOOD Annapolis sailing information

J/80s sailing Cumberland Cup EnglandJ/80s Royal Thames Cumberland Cup Preview
(Heathrow Airport, Queen Mary Reservoir, a.k.a. London, England)-  The Royal Thames Yacht Club, in the heart of London’s West End, is bracing itself to welcome an influx of sailors from across the world, all eager to begin the competition to win the Cumberland Cup, the only international yachting event to be held in the capital of the United Kingdom. The Cumberland Cup is once again supported by the Royal Thames YC’s corporate partner, Audemars Piguet (an exotic Swiss watch company).

Although only launched in 2008, the Cumberland Cup, now raced in J/80s, has rapidly come to be regarded as the most important two-boat team racing event in the World and, with the cream of the World’s yacht clubs eager to compete, the Club has been forced to select the challengers on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

The eight confirmed teams for the 2012 event present a worthy sample of the World’s best team racers: Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, MA), New York YC (New York, NY & Newport, RI), Seawahnaka Corinthian YC (Long Island, NY), Southern YC (New Orleans, LA near the French Quarter), Royal Northern & Clyde YC (Scotland), Royal Perth YC (Perth, Western Australia), Island Royals (a combined team from Royal London YC, Royal Corinthian YC and Royal Yacht Squadron) and the Royal Thames YC (somewhere near great shopping in downtown London on the Brompton Road and a stone's throw from Hyde Park-- e.g. Knightsbridge!). The Event is a four-day celebration of sailing, both ashore and afloat.

There is a full social program including a Reception at St James’s Palace in the presence of the RTYC Commodore, HRH The Duke of York, and a Regatta Dinner at the Royal Thames YC’s Clubhouse at 60 Knightsbridge (Harrod's, by the way, is just around the corner).

Racing, which starts on Friday 11th May, with Thursday 10th scheduled as a practice day, runs virtually non-stop with each two-boat team competing against every other team. With such high quality sailing the Cumberland Cup is very exciting and yet relatively easy for spectators to understand – the winner in each case is the team that avoids having the last boat across the line.

All the sailing will be taking place at the home of the RTYC J/80s, the fabulous Queen Mary Reservoir. The fantastic shore-side premises ensure visitors are able to have a great view of all the on the water action.  Please note the bookies present will place bets on every mark-rounding.  And, if RTYC isn't leading, the House of Lords will undoubtedly be in revolt!

The artifact for which the Royal Thames Cumberland Cup international yacht club contest is raced has an iconic significance not just within the Club itself, but in the wider context of the sport we now call "yacht racing".  The name "Cumberland" is central to the whole history and, indeed, very existence of what today is called the Royal Thames Yacht Club. In 1775 Henry, Duke of Cumberland, who was both the brother of the King (George III) and himself a keen sailor gathered together the gentlemen yachtsmen who had been sailing and occasionally racing on the River Thames since half-way through the Previous Century and bade them to organise a race for which HE would Give a Cup. This was the very first Cumberland Cup, sailed for on July 13th 1775, and in honor of the occasion the gathering of yachts was called the "Cumberland Fleet".   For humble "Colonialists" in America, please note this was a good YEAR before George W The First took his rowboat across Delaware River to declare victory over the "taxation without representation" zealots.

At the time of that regatta, there was no organization in the country – nor indeed so far as we know in the World – engaged in the organization of regular yacht racing. There had been earlier races and indeed earlier gatherings of yachtsmen – the Water Club of Cork and its "maneuvers" being the best known - but by 1775 they had come and gone. After that July 1775 Regatta, the yachtsmen who had formed the Cumberland Fleet met in a coffee room in London and formed what they called "The Cumberland Sailing Society". That society still exists, known today by its more modern name of Royal Thames Yacht Club and each year in June at their Annual Regatta (in Cowes, IOW, of course), they hold the Cumberland Sailing Society dinner.

Each year after 1775 The Duke gave another cup – always until 1786 known as the "Cumberland Cup"– to be raced for by the Cumberland Fleet. After 1786 the Cups had varying names but the Cumberland Sailing Society continued, changing its name very briefly in 1823 to the Coronation Society before becoming, just a few months later, the Thames Yacht Club.

The 1781 Cup was originally made by London's famous silversmiths Garrard's.  MUCH later, the Garrard silversmiths were the makers of the rather LATER America's Cup- an old piece of silver known as the 100 Guinea Cup). Silver-gilt, and topped by a figure of a sailor holding a scroll bearing the names of the winning yachts of all the previous cups--- the Cumberland Cup has just a "bit of history"-  you can read more about it here (cool stuff if you like sailing & yachting history)!
For more Royal Thames YC Cumberland Cup sailing information

sunsetJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

In the sport of sailing one can never anticipate the outcome of a series or how an ocean race will ever effect its participants. Both happened this past week around the world.  In one of California's most significant spring offshore sailing events, the Newport to Ensenada Race had both triumph and tragedy, read below for more.  On the American side of things, the American YC Spring Series got rolling with some surprising performances.  Over in Europe, the SORC (Solo Offshore Racing Club) had its first major offshore event, the ever popular Round Island Race (yes, same as the first ever America's Cup Course for 65 nm around the Isle of Wight) and it had something like the J/105 stealing some silverware to make life interesting.  In the same teeming, raging, cauldron of waters known as "THE Solent", the Warsash Spring finale came to a conclusion with strong performances from some well-deserving J/Teams.  Across La Manche, in the "Valley of Fools", the J/80s sailed the Interface Cup in Vallee des Fous, France.  Finally, a raft of J/Crews were having a fun time sailing that classic, ever so classic Caribbean regatta- Antigua Sailing Week.

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:

Apr 22-May 1- J/24 Trofeo Accademia Navale-
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/145 Radio Flyer sailing offshoreJ's Smoke Newport-Ensenada Race!
(Newport Beach, CA)- The famous 125 nm drag race down the California-Mexican coastline, the proverbial "Border Run", was a quixotic event for many.  While celebrating with friends the joy of sailing offshore and winning, others were a bit less fortunate.  A 37 footer sailed by four guys had an unfortunate accident and should be remembered for their love for sailing offshore with friends-- our hearts and condolences go out to their families, friends & loved ones.

The sailing itself was nearly as close as the weathermen predicted.  Light to moderate breezes with big decisions being made about whether to go further offshore or stay inshore.  In the end, the J/Teams faired well overall.  And, in particular one yacht club seemed to fair better than most- Santa Barbara YC's offshore teams took two Firsts in Class!

J/120 fleet sailing to EnsenadaAccording to the weather forecast, light swirling eddy effects following moderate rainstorms Thursday were to be most noticeable near Newport Beach. They would become less pronounced farther down the coast, especially south of San Diego, and from the Coronado Islands south the northwesterly gradient component reattaches to the coast. From there, other than morning coastal cloud north of San Diego, mainly clear conditions were expected to prevail, with seas of less than a 1m. swell near Newport Beach, increasing to 1-2m. south of San Diego.

How would the strategists deal with all this? Artie Means, a San Diegan who has been doing the race for nearly two decades, said, "I think some of the guys are a bit optimistic that we're going to have 18 knots [of wind]," Means said earlier. "With the pressure building on the backside of the front [that came through] Thursday it's going to have the eddy effect and keep the big breeze offshore and keep it fairly light on our course. Unless that breaks up we're not going to see much above 11 knots."

So where does one go from the start---offshore or along the coast?   "It depends on the [wind] angle," Means said. "If you have the angle fully south to get offshore then it's a no-brainer. But if you get too much west component, it's too expensive to go offshore. Nobody in their right mind's going to do that, and it turns into pretty much a rhumb line drag race until the breeze starts to come around [from behind]."

Then, is it inside our outside the Coronado Islands at the border? The direct (rhumb) line to Todos Santos Bay is inside, but . . . "I've always felt that if you're within five miles of the Coronados you have a pretty big problem with a wind shadow," Means said, "so with a 6- or 7-knot race I'd say you want to be just outside and sailing as short a distance as possible without getting stuck in the lee [of the islands]."

Finally, the finish line has been moved to the north side of the bay offshore from the Hotel Coral and Marina, the new Ensenada headquarters for the race.   "Finishing at the Coral takes a lot of stress out of our jobs this year," Means said. "It's inside the harbor but all the way to the north side, so you don't have to dig as far into the bay [where] there are a lot of big hills."

Sailing in Sprit A Class the ten J/120s had a helluva race.  In what many see as a conspiracy, the POLE DANCER gang led by partners in crime Tom & Terri Manok took 1st in class and 14th overall (what are they doing we don't know about?).  Second in class and 15th overall was Mike Hatch's silver-collecting J-ALMIGHTY.  And, third was Jim Barber's HOT TAMALE.

In Sprit B Class an army of J/105s made the assault across the border, and managed as a fleet to take three of the top five.  Not a bad showing for the world's "first a-sailed sprit boat"!!  Tom Bollay's ARMIDA from Santa Barbara YC took 2nd and 5th Overall in fleet.  Bill Moore's KESTREL was 4th and Mark Wyland's LUCKY STAR was 5th.

In the big boat PHRF A division the "big boys & girls" had an amazing race.  Yet another Santa Barbara YC team took all the silverware- Carolyn Park's J/145 RADIO FLYER- sailed an amazing race and proved all the pundits wrong that another "girl" from SBYC had the gumption to beat the "big boys" at their own game ("good on ya Carol!").  Just off the pace and perhaps a few gybes the wrong direction from victory were the crew on Viggo Torbenson's J/125 TIMESHAVER, settling for 8th in class.

In PHRF B class Seth Hall on his J/124 MARISOL managed to hang in there despite the challenging conditions to bring home a 5th place.

PHRF D did, in fact, produce the "sleeper winner" in the event.  Larry Leveille's incredibly well-sailed J/29 RUSH STREET from Santa Barbara YC proved again how fast a masthead J/29 can catch you in the craziest of conditions.  And, these guys know how to do it.  They not only won PHRF D, but finished 20th overall in fleet!    Sailing photo credits- JOY Sailing   For more Lexus Newport-Ensenada Race sailing information

J/109 sailing Warsash spring seriesWindy Warsash Springs Finale
J/109 JAHMALI, J/80 J2X, J/92 J'RONIMO Lead Their Classes
(Warsash, So'ton, England)- The final gathering for the Warsash Spring Series and Spring Championship took place over 28th/29th April 2012 and was sponsored by SLAM. Earlier in the season, conditions had been bright, sunny and light, but this was all set to change. After a very damp week, the rain looked like continuing and more importantly forecasts highlighted gusts to 50 knots over the Solent on late Saturday/early Sunday. The race officers kept their collective fingers crossed, hoping the worst of the weather would blow through overnight but in the event all classes were cancelled on the final day.

Four races were scheduled for Black Group on Saturday- Day 3. The breeze came mainly from the northeast but with frequent minor oscillations.  The committee boat set up station between North Ryde Middle and Mackley buoys with a finish at Goodacre. Races 1 and 2 were windward/leeward courses, two rounds totaling just under eight miles, with a half-mile spreader at the windward end to take boats up tide for an accurate run. Races 3 and 4 were shorter and as the tide had slackened, were simple windward/leewards. The final race included a starboard leeward rounding – just to keep crews on their toes! The breeze started around 11/12 knots for the first two races, increasing to 14/15 knots in the afternoon.

J80s sailing on the SolentThis year all boats in IRC1 and IRC2 were eligible for the Spring Championships. As no discards are allowed, consistency often paid. But, all efforts for the most part were for naught as Sunday's gale was the spoiler. After a successful Saturday’s racing, everyone hoped that the worst of the gale would go through the Solent overnight. There did seem to be the possibility of a lull during the middle of Sunday although a significant wind veer was also forecast. Beaulieu Boat Jumble was cancelled and the high speed Southampton/Isle of Wight ferries were suspended until lunch time. All racing for White Group was cancelled early on whilst Black Group was told to stay ashore as racing, if it were possible, would not commence before 1130. In the event, Black Group too was abandoned at 1000. Spring Series Chairman Peter Bateson said: “We were hoping to achieve a race for Black Group but it was still blowing Force 6 with gusts above 30 knots by mid morning. An expected wind shift from northeast to southeast meant we would not have guaranteed a good course for competitors, even if the wind had abated in time.”

This left the standings for the Spring Series as of last week. After six races in IRC 1 Class, Ivan Trotman's J/122 JOLOU finished 4th overall.

The J/Sprit class was new this year and attracted a selection of J/92, J/97 and J/105 designs. Again there was keen competition for the top spot, the class winner being the J/92 J'RONIMO (David Greenhalgh & John Taylor) followed by Nick and Adam Munday's J/97 INDULJENCE.  Third was Andy Howe's J/92 BLACKJACK, fourth Chris Jones' J/105 JOURNEYMAKER 5 and fifth Charles Ivill's J/97 BLACK MAGIC.

The J/109 class saw Mike & Sarah Wallis' JAHMALI lead the entire series to win comfortably.  They were followed in 2nd by David Mcleman's OFFBEAT with David & Mary McGough's JUST SO in third.

The J/80s saw Rob Larke's J2X win by a landslide.  Second was Stew Hawthorn's J'AI DEUX AMOURS and this was Nick and Anni Haigh's SLIGHTLY STEAMY.  Just off the pace were Ian Atkins' team on BOATS.COM in fourth and Patrick Liardet's crew on AQUA-J.   Sailing photo credits- Eddie Mays  For more Warsash Spring Series sailing information

J/44 one-design racing Long Island SoundJ's Sailing AYC Spring Series
J/111 ANDIAMO Winning PHRF 1
(Rye, NY)- The annual spring rite of passage for the start of the Long Island Sound offshore sailing season took place this past weekend.  Hosted by the American Yacht Club in Rye, NY, the excellent turnout was helped by gorgeous, cool, spring weather conditions with sunny days prevailing for both days of sailing.

In IRC I Class, the J/133 ANTIDOTE sailed by Ron Richman is hanging tough after six races sailed over two days.  They're lying second in class in a very tough fleet of experienced offshore racers and new-fangled boats like a Farr 400, Ker 40, Ker 11.3, X-41, King 40, Farr 40, Swan 42 and a Tripp 41-- talk about bringing a cruiser-racer to a gun-fight!  Great to see a family-sailed boat fairing well against some all-star professionally sailed boats!

In IRC 2 Class, the J/122 WINGS sailed by Mike Bruno, Tom Boyle and Jim Callahan is leading their fleet against fellow J/122s and Farr 395s.  Third is Steve Furnary's J/122 PATRIOT and just off the pace is George Marks' J/122 GEORGETOWN III.

J44 one-design sailboatsThe J/44s are having a wonderful time, as always, sailing in what may be the "most one-design" of large offshore one-design sailboats.  With the vision of Jim Bishop, the J/44s have endured the test of time and J/44 teams continue to have a long-time love-affair with their beautiful sailboats.  With such evenly matched boats, it's always hard to tell how well each team will perform over the course of a series  At the moment, Don and Rick Rave on RESOLUTE are enjoying a slim lead over second place Bill Ketcham on MAXINE.  Tied with Bill but losing on a tie-break is Jeff Willis on CHALLENGE IV.  Fourth is the ubiquitous Jim Bishop on GOLD DIGGER just one point back and fifth is Phil Gutin on BEAGLE.  More to come next weekend from this fun-loving, competitive group.

The J/105 one-designs are having yet another epic battle for "top dog" on Long Island Sound.  Having found a 5th gear, Sean Doyle's team on KESTREL have been fast out-of-the-blocks like a top-fueled dragster, starting off the first weekend in 1st with 11 pts.  But, chasing them hard as a group are the balance of the top five.  In that group are some formidable champions in the J/105 class, including Paul Beaudin on LOULOU in second tied with Joerg Esdorn and Duncan Hennes in third on KINCSEM followed in fourth by another familiar name, Kevin Grainger on GUMPTION 3.  Fifth are George and Alex Wilbanks on REVELATION.

In PHRF 1 Class, the J/111 ANDIAMO sailed by Paul Strauch managed to pull off four 1sts to lead their fleet.  Third and fourth are two J/109s, John Pearson's BLUE SKY and Bob Schwartz's NORDLYS, respectively.

Finally, in PHRF 4, the "money guys", the Esposito gang on the J/29 HUSTLER are at it again.  Three 1sts and three 2nds are sufficient to keep them in the lead in their class.  Matheus Hovers' J/29 KATOENDRA is hanging in there for 5th overall and hoping that some good J/29 "karma" rubs off on them from the Espo team!   For more AYC Spring Series sailing information

J/120 El Ocaso sailing AntiguaJ/120 EL OCASO Crushing
Antigua Week

Thrills, Spills, Fresh to Frightening Sailing For All
(English Harbour, Antigua)- During the last week of April each year, yachts from all over the world arrive in English and Falmouth Harbours to participate in one of the world’s premier sailing events, Antigua Sailing Week. From small beginnings this regatta has developed over more than 40 years to become one of the pre-eminent yacht racing events in the Caribbean. Its international status ensures its on-going fame worldwide. Over 100 yachts participate each year, ranging in size from 24 to over 100 feet (we have no J's in this category-- yet).

J/125 sailing Antigua Race WeekFor five days crews are challenged with a variety of coastal race courses, encouraging tacking duels around the buoys – all set on the deep blue Caribbean Sea with the ever-present trade winds. It’s a picture perfect setting that is enhanced as the evening colours brighten the western sky and the sun-burnt, salt-encrusted, weary sailors make their way to the barbecues, steel bands and rum punches. While hundreds of locals and visitors carry on partying well into the evening, many of the yacht crews know there is another day of racing out there and so they leave the late night revelry for the others to finish.

Amongst the J/Teams sailing this year are the following: CSA 3- the J/120 EL OCASO sailed by Rick Wesslund and the J/125 Aunt Jessie helmed by Jordan Mindich.  In CSA 4 is the famous and redoubtable J/39 SLEEPER VIII sailed by Jonty Layfield's family team.  In CSA 5 are a raft of characters where anyone can win, including the J/30 BLUE PETER sailed by local sailor Tanner Jones from Jolly Harbour, Antigua; the J/95 SHAMROCK VII sailed by Tom Mullen from New Hampshire and the J/105 NO FACE 2 FACE sailed by J. Hin from the Netherlands.

J/30 rising from the Antigua seaThere was drama right from the start- squally conditions intensified the trade winds to churn up the swell into a foaming powerful sea state with rogue waves reaching over three metres. The feisty conditions caused at least two retirements due to gear failure. In CSA 3 two Antiguan yachts came to the fore, but Tanner Jones’ J/30 BLUE PETER raced with great aplomb in difficult conditions to claim second.

After two days of big breeze, day three of Antigua Sailing Week saw similar conditions for the competitors.  However the Ocean mark laid for today’s big boats was a new addition.  It took over 300 feet of line to lay the mark four miles off the leeward coast of Antigua. The sizeable yachts in CSA 1 were an awesome sight today, smashing through the start line to windward through the Caribbean surf and after coming off the wind at the Ocean mark, the yachts speared off downwind, bow up, accelerating off big waves to surf at speeds of 20 knots plus.  In CSA 3, Rick's team on the J/120 EL OCASO was unstoppable, taking its fourth straight bullet of the regatta by some distance.

J/39 sailing Antigua Sailing WeekWednesday night, Ky-Mani Marley will play to a full house in the historic setting of Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour. Thousands of fans of the reggae artist are expected to pack-out the Antigua Sailing Week venue for the live concert performed by Bob Marley’s son.

Sailing photo credits: Ted Martin, Paul Wyeth-, Tim Wright-, Jason Pickering.     For more Antigua Sailing Week sailing information

J80s sailing FranceATLANTIS Wins J/80 Interface Cup France
(Vallee des Fous, France)- The second event of the French J/80 Circuit, the J/80 INTERFACE CUP hosted by Club de La Vallee Des Fous, was not without its consequences.  Remarkably bad weather, but great atmosphere for the sailors.  To date six races have been sailed between 15 and 30 knots breeze with icy rain Saturday. "Sporting conditions", as they say, but the bay is sheltered from the swell which permitted the PRO to run the regatta in challenging weather.

Despite the tough sailing, the French crews were determined to race, not only as part of their training and J/80 France Cup but as part of getting ready for the impending J/80 Worlds in Dartmouth, England.

J/80 rainbow sailingAt the top of the pack after a strong SPI Ouest France showing was Laurent Sambron on ATLANTIS with a 2-6-1-3-1-6 for 13 pts.  Laurent was in a "horse-race" for the top of the podium with the next two teams.  Second was Herve Leduc on J'ILE DE RE with a 5-2-2-2-3-12 for 14 pts.  Third was Simon Moriceau on INTERFACE CONCEPT with a 4-1-5-5-8-1 for 16 pts.  A bit further behind was Vincent Vandekerkhove sailing DUNKERQUE PLAISANCE in fourth with 24 pts and fifth was Nicolas Lunven skippering GENERALI with 31 pts.   For more Club de La Vallee Des Fous Interface Cup J/80 sailing information   For more French J/80 sailing information

J/105 sailing Round the Island RaceJ/105 JUNEAU Wins SORC Round Island Race
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- It looks like the J/105 gang are at it again.  Will they ever stop?  A bit like that omnipresent "Energizer Bunny" character in American TV ads for batteries.  J/105s sailors just have that energy edge!  The SORC’s (Solo Ocean Racing Club) Solo Round the Isle of Wight race had a total of thirty-one yachts entered-- yeah, the same race that all those guys raced for in the 100 Guinea Cup for 65 nm around the Isle of Wight (a.k.a. the "America's Cup").  A very tough call to know where to place your bets with a Trophy for line honors - no one has ever won either Trophy twice-- yet.

A quickie report comes in across the transom from friends living in Hong Kong but doing occasional racing in the UK as well. Laurence Mead reports the following- "I took JUNEAU back from Oscar this last weekend and got first in Class 2 in the Solo Round the Isle of Wight race. Class 3 won it on a tidal gain somewhere but we had 3 J/105's in the first 10 overall.   Good show for 105s!!"

For more information on the Solo Offshore Racing Club


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

J80 sailing Spi Ouest France*  J/80 video "Best of Spi Ouest France"- for some fun, take a look at some of these amusing video sequences of J/80s surfing/ planing downwind off La Trinite sur Mer, France on the Bay of Quiberon.  And, some great crashes of other boats that aren't so easy to keep upright!  Have Fun and Enjoy the ride!

J24 sailing Australia sideways* From The Back of the Room, It Looks A Bit Like This-- J/24 Victorian Championships – Story courtesy of Doug MacGregor.  The Editor nearly died of laughter recalling how often such scenarios were encountered by numerous friends over the course of time!

"Day one, race one; the wind vanished faster than a Scotsman’s wallet.  Four boats not only didn’t finish, they didn’t even get to see the finishing line as it was lifted and moved…with the flag for this being flown from some boat other than the committee boat.  We’ve just got to introduce (at least) one drop in this series now that it involves 7 races.  That’s what we huffily suggested amongst my crew.

For the next three races the wind couldn’t have been better. To give a clearer picture, we  race at the back of what we, on Crackerjack, call the pelaton.  The learned amongst you will know this makes the first top mark (before the pack has thinned out a bit) very interesting to say the least.   You are holding your line to the mark, the mob arrive in front of you and then…you don’t have the line.  You have to make more tacks than Santa Claus makes roof top visits on Christmas Eve.  And we made the same mistake over and over and over again.  We thought we’d beat that gang of bullying sails to the mark, and never did.  Some of the first top marks made stock car racing look like synchronised swimming.  All of that aside this was our third time that all five of my crew had been on the water together since May last year.  So really, we were “training”…I told my crew it’s called “competition training”…for the nationals. (ahem).  We were in awe of the speed and sheer precocious talent the younger crews showed.  All along I had been saying to my crew that sailing Js is a whole other ball game.  Tell that to the youth posse.  Whilst in my modest opinion they were in the most part sailing their J24s way too heeled over…still they made us feel as if we were sailing backwards.  So, day one…frustrated, humiliated, depressed, impressed, puzzled and our pants down around our ankles.  Strangely “all is not lost” was our battle cry.  To be honest I had one hand on my “Boat for Sale” sign.

A feisty wind presented itself to the fleet on day two.  “Bring it on” was our new battle cry…we do slogans well, don’t we??…Our belief is the heavy air really finds out the crews who aren’t as well oiled as they could be.  That turned out to be us!  Race one was touch and go genoa weather…we changed gear more times than Barry Humphries has changed stage costumes.  We were please with our speed but completely bemused by our position in the field…er, that would be near back.  Race two…I’ll not even get into it that much except to say that jibs became the order of the day (gusts of 28kts)….  We rounded the first top mark and popped the kite…with the vang on(!!!)..A broach, up again, then another broach straight into a Chinese gybe…a very, very, long Chinese gybe.  Very long.  Waaaaay long.  (funny that, the photographer was there too – Ed) An injury to take care of; a jarred neck, then another one; a cut through an eyebrow. Life jackets on folks.  No more kite on that run.  Uphill again we toiled and we popped the kite again for the second downhill run…back in the saddle as they say. It was beyond our skills to hold the spinnaker in those gusts so down it came and we opted for safety.  The final race we decided, for the hell of it, to mix it with the big boys.  We crossed the line at the pin end just behind the incredible (and ultimately victorious) Ben Lamb and basically spent the whole of that first leg copying everything he did…steering, trim, tacking…as much as we could anyway.  All of which gave us our crowning moment…eighth to the top mark.  Felt like we’d won the trophy.

Before I sign off I want to thank my crew.  Brave and loyal and tough. They never give up, they never stop trying to be better, they are never casual.  Battered and bruised and still they are there, looking at the nationals and knowing we are capable of much, much more.  I am lucky to have them."

For more fun, entertainment, amusement and simple fun sailing, check out what these guys are doing Down Under.

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-