Wednesday, June 20, 2012

J/Newsletter- June 20th, 2012

J/70 sailing TexasJ/70 Sailing Texas
(Fort Worth, TX)- Over the past few weeks, the J/70 has been sailing in some pretty cool places.  Down in Texas, the Fort Worth Boat Club has been hosting J/70 demo sails.  Said Scott Spurlin, "The FWBC had been receiving calls all week with interested parties.  People drove/flew in from Tulsa, Oklahoma and Oklahoma City.  For the first 3 or 4 hours we had two to three boat loads waiting for their turn on the dock while the boat was out.  Terry Spurlin, Bob, and a sailor from Tulsa that came in Friday, Glenn Darden, and myself were all busy!  Quite amazing the buzz this boat has generated!  But well deserved!

Some interesting observations from our recent demos-- many of the prospects are new to the J/Family and own boats such as:  Soling (1), Colgate 26 (2), Catalina 22 (2), Catalina (25).  There are a few J/owners that are buying and one of the hot prospects currently owns a J/27.  The good news is that the J/70 seems to be growing the J/family."  For more J/70 sailing information

J sunset sailing and sailboats off italy and franceJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

This past week saw yet another epic regatta for the J/80 World Championship sailing in the southeastern part of of England down off the gorgeous moors of Dartmouth.  With lots of breeze over the course of the event, a bit too much on the last day kept the fleet in-port.  Further southeast, the famous Rolex Giraglia Cup was held over the course of a week and the fleet was treated to one of the fastest "round Giraglia island" races ever.  A bit south, the South African offshore sailors enjoyed a classic "pursuit" style race along the lines of the famous Nantucket FIGAWI Race.  Finally, the Bermuda Race turned out to be one of the fastest on record with a number of J/Teams doing incredibly well.

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:

Jun 16-23- Kieler Woche- Kiel, Germany-
Jun 22-24- Long Beach Race Week- Long Beach, CA-
Jun 24-30- J/24 US Nationals- Dillon, CO-
Jun 26-29- J/22 Worlds- Le Crouesty, France-
Jul 3-7- CORK Week- Cork, Ireland-
Jul 7-8- J/105 EuroCup- Yarmouth, England-
Jul 14- Bayview-Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI-
Jul 14-21- Copa del Rey- Palma Mallorca, Spain-
Jul 14-22- Rolex New York YC Race Week- Newport, RI-
Jul 15-20- Whidbey Island Race Week- Oak Harbor, WA-
Jul 21- Chicago-Mackinac Race- Chicago, IL-
Jul 21- Lake Ontario 300- Port Credit, ONT-

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

J/80 World Champions- Van Der Ploeg familySpain Sweeps J/80 Worlds
(Dartmouth, England)- At a constant wind speed of 33 knots coupled with swells in excess of 4 metres (12 feet plus) across the race area had necessitated the decision to abandon racing for the day and for the regata. An excited round of applause rang around the Race HQ as the assembled fleet congratulated the new J/80 World Champions: Jose Maria van der Ploeg and his crew on board NILFISK: Luis Mas, Juan Merayo, Hugo Ramon and twelve year old Jose ‘Junior’ van der Ploeg.  A sweet and well-deserving victory for this family crew!

The nine races sailed at The MIQ Logistics 2012 J/80 World Championship Powered by SLAM each delivered a different winner: a fact that is testament to the level of competition on the race-track within the International J/80 Class. Van der Ploeg’s team on NILFISK never conceded a single result outside of the top 14 boats during the course of the regatta but nor did he finish a race within the top two. Skilled consistency in crew work, boat handling, tactics and intelligent regatta strategy delivered a World Championship win for NILFISK with a four point lead over the second placed boat, Rayco Tabares’ Hotel Princesa Yaiza and six points over third place Carlos Martinez’ Mapfre.

All 76 J/80s were de-rigged and lifted back on to their road trailers on Friday afternoon along Dartmouth ’s North Embankment so that 350 competitors could rush home to spruce themselves up in advance of the Closing Ceremony and Prize-giving Dinner scheduled for Friday evening. The venue for the closing ceremony (by virtue of the fact that the Britannia Yacht Club shared the hosting of the World Championship with the Royal Dart Yacht Club) was Britannia Royal Naval College .

J/80 sailboats at windward markCompetitors enjoyed dinner, wine and a fair few tots of SLAM-buca on Friday night in the stunning surroundings of The Senior Gun Room and The Ward Room at the college before moving on to the official Prizegiving Ceremony which was held on The Quarterdeck. Prizes were presented to the top ten boats at the MIQ Logistics 2012 World Championship Powered by SLAM. Several British J/80 teams featured in the role-call: Kevin Sproul’s J.A.T finished in fourth, Robert Larke’s J2X took sixth place, Simon Ling’s RAF benevolent Fund Team Spitfire finished ninth overall and Simon Johnson and Ruairidh Scott’s Joyeuse finished tenth overall. The largest piece of silverware presented on the night war Rennie and Ruth Miller’s J/80 One-Design Cup which went to Sproul and his team from J.A.T who were the best performing British team at the Worlds. Special prizes from Allspars of Plymouth were awarded the best performing furthest travelled boat, which went to Andrew Moore’s Tigrina from Hong Kong and to stalwart supporter of the J/80 UK Class, Scott Cole and his team on Purple Haze.

At the Prizegiving Commodore Simon Williams of Britannia Royal Naval College explained how much the college had enjoyed being involved with the World Championship and without need to recourse to spoken word his presence at the Ceremony meant that all competitors were duly reminded what an honour and privilege it was to take part in such an auspicious event in such dramatic and historic surroundings.

Paul Heys of Key Yachting thanked Britannia Royal Naval College , Mike Moody and his team at the Royal Dart Yacht Club, the PRO Mike Pearson, the massive team of volunteer helpers and all of the sponsors of the event: Principal Sponsors MIQ Logistics and SLAM. Supporting Sponsors Baltic Wharf, Brittany Ferries, Coast Graphics and Dart Harbour and Prize Sponsors Allspars, Café Alf Resco,, Lifedge by Scanstrut, Paul Barclay, Rowbury Gallery and the Royal Castle Hotel.  Dancing and celebrations continued in to the small hours of Saturday morning.    Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright-  For more J/80 Worlds sailing information

J/44s sailing Bermuda RaceDRAGON & BEAGLE Crush Bermuda Race
Two Dozen J's Thrashed to "The Patch" For Silver!
(Newport, RI)- The grand-daddy of all American offshore races, the Bermuda Race, sent 167 racing and cruising sailboats hurtling across 635nm of capricious Atlantic Oceans towards the gorgeous pink sand beaches of Bermuda in record-breaking time.  For the J/44s the racing was tighter than ever.

A rhumbline race will produce a tight race in any class but no one could have predicted five J/44s exiting the Gulf Stream virtually within sight. Though the race didn’t end up exactly that way, even the crews who were nipped by minutes at the end were still ecstatic.

“We were within a few tenths of a mile from each other,” said Phil Gutin, who drove his 44 BEAGLE to first place. “These boats were really designed to race this race and all the teams were great this year.” Gutin decided to stay just west of the rhumbline to capture the most of the positive current of the Stream. In 2010 where he finished fourth, they had the same plan but watched, gutted, as the fleet sailed by to the east.

This year, the bet paid off for Gutin and his crew and they avoided some of the holes the rest of the fleet had to negotiate. “We thought the Low was moving and headed east after we exited the Stream,” said Jamie Ewing, the navigator aboard STAMPEDE who added that they were within 200 yards of RUNAWAY at one point. “That really motivated us. The last night the guys were trimming the kite so much I couldn’t even sleep in the quarter berth.”

The J/44 fleet, a one-design though they are racing under IRC, is known for close racing. With their long cockpit benches, and comfortable wood-veneered interior, it seems as though they would be hard boats to push, but Gutin said this doesn’t stop the teams from pushing hard. “We have relentless trimmers,” he said. “And our navigator only gave us bits of information so it would not have a psychological effect on us.”

With Jim Bishop’s GOLD DIGGER and Lenny Sitar’s VAMP always nipping at his heels, BEAGLE finally legged out to a 14-mile win. The rest of the fleet finished within hours and sometimes minutes of each other Monday afternoon. “In 2010 we had a respectable fourth,” said Gutin. “This was really respectable.”

J/44 sailboats sailing Bermuda RaceThe race was remarkably straight-forward. For the most part, most of the fleet joined the long parade aiming for the narrow gap in the Gulf Stream between an eddy and the rhumb line.  What caught everyone's collective eye was a line of squalls making up near Bermuda.  That was the race’s game-changer.  After that it was really all about the low. When the wind backed through north into the northwest that afternoon, Happy Valley became an extremely tactical playing field.  Then the crucial elements were good steering and clever choices of jibing angles.  Boats that didn’t spot the new weather missed out, but boats that did gained large distances in the second leg.  Good steering was crucial in the shifting winds. Steer to maintain speed was the mantra. In all 635 miles, many boats only jibed twice and some tacked twice to the finish.

Amongst the IRC St Davids Lighthouse Division, the J/Teams faired well.  In Class 2 IRC, the J/40 MISTY sailed by Fred Allardyce finished 2nd.  In Class 3 IRC the J/42 FINESSE skippered by Newton Merril was 4th place overall.  One of the most competitive divisions was Class 4 IRC, which saw the J/122 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON sailed by Andrew Weiss finish  1st.  Fifth was the J/120 ROCKET SCIENCE sailed by Rich Oricchio and sixth was the J/120 SHINNECOCK sailed by Jim Praley.

In the J/44 class, it was an incredibly tough race as was described above.  In the end, it was Phil Gutin's BEAGLE that finished 1st, followed by Len Sitar's VAMP in second and Jim Bishop's GOLD DIGGER in third.

For Class 6 it was going to be a tough race for the J/133 sailors. In the end, it was MATADOR sailed by Mike McIvor that finished 2nd in division.  Fifth was the J/133 JACKKNIFE skippered by Andrew Hall and seventh was the J/13 BACCHANAL skippered by Jan Smeets.

In Class 9, the fourth place finisher was the J/130 DRAGONFLY sailed by Colin McGranahan.

From an overall perspective, the differences amongst various sailboats are quite striking.  While an S&S 48 called CARINA finished the race in an elapsed time of 75 hrs:56 min, the J/122 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON finished 2 hours faster in 73:53.  The fastest J/44 BEAGLE was home in 71 hrs:55 min and the next J/44 home to Bermuda was VAMP in 73:58.  So, it appears that the J/122 and J/44s (all 15-25 year old designs) continue to be competitive.

As has been the case for the past few dozen Bermuda Races, the double-handed divisions have been dominated by passionate, devoted J/Sailors who KNOW their boats can be one of the best performers across a wide-range of wind conditions.  This year was not without exception.  In ORR Doublehanded Division 14, it was again the masters of offshore short-handed racing, the J/35 PALADIN sailed by Jason Richter finishing first.  Fourth was the J/40 EAGLE sailed by Dana Oviatt.  In the ORR Doublehanded 15 Division, the J Teams nearly swept, with the J/120 MIRIELLE skippered by Hewitt Gaynor finishing first followed by yet another J/120 ALIBI sailed by Gardner Grant in third.  Fourth was the J/46 SEA BISCUIT sailed by Nathan Owen, a great performance for all J/Teams sailing in the Double-handed divisions.

Finally, in the  ORR Cruising 13 Division, the J/160 TRUE sailed by Howie Hodgson's team had a fantastic time in the reaching conditions to finished second in their division.   For more Bermuda Race tracking and sailing information

J/122 sailing Rolex Giraglia RaceRolex Giraglia Cup
(St Tropez, France)- After four days of exceptional weather conditions sailing the inshore racing portion of the event, the teams completed the challenging 242-nautical mile race from St Tropez, France to Sanremo, Italy via the Giraglia Lighthouse sitting on a rocky outcrop off the northern tip of Corsica.  The forecasted blow came through for 20-35 knots and course records were broken for the big boats like the thousand-footer, canting-keeler, water-ballasted cigar-shaped boat called ESIMIT EUROPA.

In the "real people" division, the various J's sailed well in the tough conditions and managed to hang into the overall standings.  In the end, for IRC A, Giancarlo Ghislanzoni on his J/122 CHESTRESS 3 finished 6th overall in the five race series.  The J/122 ARTIE from Malta, owned by Lee Satariano and co-skippered by Christian Ripard were able to finish 9th overall despite not sailing the fourth race.  And Olivier Parchet's J/122 NOISY OYSTER finished 11th.  As a result, the J's were the best performing brand in the top fifteen for the series.

J's sailing Rolex Giraglia RaceThis historic edition – running 242nm from Saint-Tropez, France to Sanremo, Italy – was eagerly anticipated and provided a poignant opportunity to reflect on the race’s evolution through the ages. “The event is the oldest in the Mediterranean and its spirit comes from having a mixed fleet: from small, family-run boats to professional crews who have taken part in events like the America’s Cup,” reflected Carlo Croce, President of event organizers the Yacht Club Italiano and son of Beppe Croce, one of the race’s co-founders. “This is the essence of the Giraglia Rolex Cup and it is important that it has not been lost.” The event has grown enormously. That first edition in 1953 welcomed 22 boats while in 2012, 170 yachts from eighteen different countries crossed the start line.

The choice of race course for the 2012 event was particularly significant: Sanremo was the arrival point for the first ever race when it commenced from Cannes, and the sailing paradise of Saint-Tropez provided the departure point for several of the early editions.

Saint-Tropez has been the permanent home for the start of the race since 1998 when Rolex commenced its involvement with the competition. At the time, ‘La Giraglia’ was a struggling giant and these two factors have aided its re-emergence as the most respected offshore race in the Mediterranean.

J/122 sailing Rolex Giraglia RaceThirty knots of breeze welcomed the race start and around 40 knots were present when some teams rounded the race’s key strategic point – the Giraglia rock, located 1-nm north of Corsica.  On reaching the rock at sunset, the crew on ESIMIT EUROPE made a crucial tactical maneuver: “We didn’t jibe around the Giraglia rock as it was so windy, so we tacked around just to make sure we didn’t break anything.” Prudence was rewarded and despite tamer conditions as Esimit Europa 2 approached Sanremo, the race record was demolished. The winning time was 14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds - just over three hours ahead of the yardstick set by Alfa Romeo 2 - and only the sixth time in the last fifty years that the record has been broken.

As the late Beppe Croce, one of the event’s founders, once reflected following the race’s inception: “The aim was to find something new and challenging, a rise in quality at an age when offshore racing was still characterized by family-organised competitions. There was a desire to give life to a real race, following the formula of famous international events like the (Rolex) Fastnet.” Sixty years later, that ambition has been realized - the Giraglia Rolex Cup is a benchmark in its own right.  For more Rolex Giraglia Race sailing information

J/133 sailing Cape Town South AfricaJ/133 Smokes Capetown Race
(Capetown, South Africa)- Every year, the Royal Capetown YC hosts the highly popular Dia de Portugal- Explore the Bay Pursuit Race.  Like their American and European counterparts, the slow boats on handicap ratings start first and the bigger faster boats start last, first to the finish line wins!

This year, sixty boats entered and the J/Fleet overall had some great performances.  Tops amongst the J/Teams was the J/133 DHL SPEED OF YELLOW sailed by Patrick Holloway, walking off with the MERCANTILE BANK TROPHY for winning Division I and the ORLANDO DE ALMEIDA FLOATING TROPHY for winning the entire pursuit race overall!

Other teams that sailed well were the J/105 PANTS ON FIRE finishing 6th, the J/120 NALEDI finishing 8th, the J/27 HILL BILLY in 24th and the J/27 PURE MAGIC in 28th.   For more Dia de Portugal sailing information


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

* J/24 teams and school having fun at Coronado YC- said one committed J/24 team, "I give a bit of my involvement in community outreach program for a local yacht club. And just yesterday some of Juniors I teach sailing to went aboard one of your nice J24’s taking a class from a national champion in this class, you might remember Jon Rogers. He mentioned to us that he worked for you in Newport, RI at a J World school and asked me to say hi for him. Jon is a great guy and outstanding sailing instructor. He gave the juniors the ins and out of this magnificent racing vessel.

Our club organized a get together with the Coronado Yacht Club where Jon teaches and he kindly offered a day class to 3 of my top students. Luckily I went as well and confirmed what lots of people say about boats “They are fast”. We all enjoyed the class and hopefully in the near future we could have the opportunity to have one of this fast racing vessels in our fleet too."