Wednesday, October 31, 2012

J/Newsletter- October 31st, 2012

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing in TexasJ/80 North Americans Preview
(Fort Worth, Texas)- This coming weekend, the Fort Worth Boat Club will be hosting the J/80 North Americans on Eagle Mountain Lake form Oct 31st to Nov 4th.  Thirty-one teams are expected to compete with an incredibly talented group of sailors participating, with multiple North American and World Champions represented.  With a weather forecast that looks considerably better than the "Superstorm Sandy" the northeast had to contend with, it looks like sunny and southerly breezes will prevail until Saturday, then a chance of thunderstorms with partly cloudy skies Sunday.  Nevertheless, since Eagle Mountain Lake is surrounded by rolling hillsides, the sailors will be tactically challenged all weekend to figure out which side of the lake to choose on each leg!

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing under spinnakersAs a precursor for the J/80 NA's, the FWBC hosted the 38th "Old Man of the Sea Regatta" this past weekend- it was a great regatta warm-up for the up-coming J/80 North Americans.  Many of the top teams were sailing for "Old Man of the Sea" honors. Fittingly, the Terry Flynn/ David Whelan team onboard QUANTUM RACING took the event with four 1sts in their 7 races (past J/80 North American Champions).  Second were the renowned Forth Worth locals, Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard racing LE TIGRE just three points back (also World, North American and Key West Champions).  Third was Jay Lutz from Houston, TX sailing FIRED UP (another World and Key West Champion). Fourth was Brian Keane from Marion, MA on SAVASANA fresh off his J/80 East Coast Champs effort in Annapolis (also a Key West Champion) along with Bruno Pasquinelli (a North American champion) on TIAMO in fifth.  If you had to write a script as to which top five teams would be fighting it out for the top five spots at the J/80 North Americans on "home turf" on Eagle Mountain Lake, there you have it-- any one of them can win it!

Showing up for the event from other parts of the compass across America to give the "local cowboys" a "run-for-the-money" include top California team Curt Johnson sailing AVET from California YC; Kerry Klingler (a World and North American Champion) and Abuzeni Nizar sailing ARROW from Long Island Sound; the family team of Tom Klok, Will & Marie Crump sailing GULDFAXE from Annapolis, MD and Copenhagen, Denmark (SW NOOD Champions); class ring-leaders Kirsten & Brian Robinson with Tim Borland on the famous ANGRY CHAMELEON from Annapolis; and Chris Chadwick on CHURCH KEY also from Annapolis, amongst many others!   For more J/80 North Americans sailing information

sunset sailing offshoreJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

This past weekend was a busy one worldwide, quite remarkable considering it's the weekend leading into Halloween and others had to contend with the aftermath of a dramatic storm known as "Sandy".  For starters, our best wishes to those sailors and families who are contending with the issues of "Sandy" in the northeast of America.  Over in the Mediterranean a small cadre of J sailors were competing in the famous Rolex Middle Sea Race in remarkably challenging conditions over a 600nm+ course, included amongst the fleet were two J/122s, a J/111 and J/133.  Up north of them were a group of J/80 sailors competing for their Italian J/80 Nationals in Chiavari, Italy.  Further west, the Garmin Hamble Winter Series and the One-Design Regatta were continuing in some tough conditions for J/111s, J/80s, J/109s and others.  In the Far East in Asia, a J/109 was continuing to improve their performance overall in the International China Cup Regatta held off Hong Kong, China and its gorgeous surrounding islands.  Back across the pond in the Americas, the J/24s held their Hillman Capital J/24 East Coast Championships in Annapolis, MD at Eastport YC.  Concurrently, the Annapolis area also held the IRC East Coast Championships and the J/109 One-Design East Coast Championships.  Further south, Houston's Lakewood YC held their famous Harvest Moon Regatta that included several J sailors, including a well-sailed J/120 that has made it a tradition for years.

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who 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:

Oct 6- Dec 2- Garmin Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
Oct 31- Nov 4- J/80 North Americans- Ft Worth, Texas
Nov 1-4- J/80 French Nationals- Douarnenez, France
Nov 3-4- J/70 Fall Brawl Regatta- Annapolis, MD- Eastport YC
Nov 14-18- J/24 North Americans- Jacksonville, Florida

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

J/122 ARTIE RTFX Wins Middle Sea Race
(Gzira, Malta)- For the second year in a row, the Maltese family-powered J/122 ARTIE RTFX managed to win IRC Class 3 in this year's Rolex Middle Sea Race over some of their arch rivals to yet again establish their claim to Mediterranean offshore sailing supremacy!  Hoping to repeat their extraordinary performance winning last year's race overall, the crafty team of Lee Satariano and Christian Ripard led their J/122 team again to the head of the fleet overall for a brief period of time after rounding Sicily!  However, that excitement was fleeting at best once the light, variable winds kicked in the for the whole fleet.

This year's race was characterized by an exasperating search for a fickle breeze that tested crews’ resolve, patience and determination. This was not split second, "thrust and parry" racing but rather tactically strenuous, mentally arduous sailing with concentration and team spirit at the fore for long, long periods of time.

Malta starting lineA record-breaking 83 international entrants from 20 countries took part over the 606 nm course that takes the fleet around Sicily and a series of islands in the middle of the Mediterranean, starting and finishing in Malta.  One of the main challenges faced by all teams was managing supplies. "We’re not expecting to see winds above 10-12 knots so we aimed to be as light as possible. We go through sails, spares, food and whatever we can to remove a few key kilos," said Rán 2 team manager Tim Powell.  Supplies onboard the majority of the Corinthian crews – more readily braced for a week at sea and less concerned about carrying extra weight –lasted a while longer. Many enjoyed the slow but stunningly scenic passage around Stromboli with a hearty meal. For these teams, the increasing challenge in the final few days was fatigue.

"It was very tactical. The crew worked round the clock. The boat was pushed to its optimum throughout," explained Lee Satariano, co-skipper of the defending champion and the fastest Maltese finisher Artie. "This race was mentally tiring with constant sail changes, it didn’t let up," added co-skipper Christian Ripard.

Such fighting spirit was typical of a contest that may have been light on drama but was never richer in human spirit. "This is always a difficult race. Every leg brought something new," explained one skipper. "The goal was to have a good time and get round." A sentiment echoed by the entire fleet.

J/122 sailing off Malta in Rolex Middle Sea RaceThe fleet enjoyed champagne sailing conditions on the first day; a brisk south easterly breeze propelled the fleet across the open sea to Sicily and towards the Strait of Messina. However as the wind faded on the first night, a tactically challenging and meteorologically intriguing Rolex Middle Sea Race was developing.  Last year’s champions, Lee & Christian’s all-Malta crew on ARTIE RTFX were leading after time correction. ARTIE RTFX rode a favourable current through the narrow gap between Sicily and the Italian main land as the leading yachts came into a grinding halt as the wind died close to Stromboli.

This was the first of many ‘re-starts’ in the race, as a high-pressure system settled over Sicily and periods of calm weather enveloped the course. Meanwhile the rest of the fleet were desperately seeking breeze to make Favignana, the northwest corner of the race course. This became a crucial part of the race, as fresh northwesterly winds would be the prize. So far, the weather had favored the smaller yachts but only the Class 1 and Class 2 yachts were to make Favigana before the wind totally shut down. The race had turned into ‘big boat race’, especially favoring the Class 2 yachts.

On the morning of Day Two, the battle for class honours and the overall crown was totally undecided, the majority of the fleet were trapped in whispers of wind trying to reach the fresh breeze to the west of Sicily.

By Day Three, ARTIE RTFX could only watch as their dream of winning for the second year running were fading fast.

In the early hours of Day Six, ARTIE RTFX became the first Maltese boat to cross the finish line and win Class 4.  Co-skipper, Christian Ripard, spoke dockside: “We did our best, it was a great race and everybody did a great job working really hard but we just kept on getting stuck in patches of no wind, which was very frustrating. This race took a whole day longer than last year and it was really tiring mentally, you were always looking for the way out; you could never relax.”

Artie RTFX was under considerable pressure to be the first Maltese boat home. Jonas Diamantino & Ramon Sant Hill’s ILC40, Comanche Raider 2 Gasanmamo pushed them all the way to the finish, as Christian Ripard explains.

"Comanche caught up about 20 miles on us, I was anxious watching them close the gap on us but in a way that was fantastic. There are a lot of good people doing the race this year. All of the crew on Artie are amateurs but they are top class sailors, we have had more or less the same crew for the last three races. I am the old man on the boat but they really know what they are doing and they keep me young! Many of them are dinghy champions that have got into keelboat racing and they are the future of yachting in Malta and the Rolex Middle Sea Race is a major occasion in our country and a fantastic showcase for our sport.”

The Grand Prize Giving for the 33rd Rolex Middle Sea Race took place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta. Guest of Honour, Tourism Minister Mario de Marco, described the Rolex Middle Sea Race as the most prestigious international event in Malta. A packed house applauded each prize winner with great enthusiasm.  Lee Satariano & Christian Ripard’s J/122 ARTIE RTFX were awarded The Transport of Malta prize for the top performing Maltese yacht and the award for the best performance by a three boat international team was awarded to Malta taking into account the performance of ARTIE RTFX, Comanche Raider II Gasanmamo and XP-ACT. This is an astounding achievement considering that 19 countries were represented in the race but only six of the record 83 entries were from Malta. Plus, ARTIE RTFX finished 5th overall in what was purported to be a "big boat" race, beating in fact Nikolas Zenstrom's highly-professional team on the JV 72 RAN.

For much of the race, ARTIE was being pushed hard by their J sailing colleagues, the J/122 OTRA VEZ sailed by another Maltese team, the Florida family, the J/111 STORM and the J/133 OILTANKING JUNO. In the end, the J/133 finished 6th in IRC Class 3.  The two stablemates in Class 4 for ARTIE sailed very well, with the J/111 J/STORM from Italy finishing 9th and narrowly beating out the Floridia family from Malta on their J/122 OTRA VEZ finishing 10th.

For a perspective on what it takes to compete in this famous race, Aaron Gatt Florida sailing on the J/122 OTRA VEZ had the following commentary prior to the start of this year's race:

"After last year's result in the RMSR we wanted to spend 2012 getting to know the boat better and pushing our performance. In June 2012 we took OTRA VEZ to the South of France and participated in the Giraglia Rolex Cup. This was an excellent regatta and we achieved a very respectable result considering the conditions this year. More importantly it was an excellent training camp for us and we learned a lot about the boat. We have made quite a few upgrades to the boat this year too - a new jib top which is essential for long distance racing, instrumentation upgrades, more efficient running rigging layout, etc.

Right now OV is in Malta. Preparations are in full swing and we are having the bottom redone to a racing finish in time for the race. Crew core is the same as last year with a couple of newcomers.  We're excited and looking forward to the start! It's still a bit early to get a clear picture of what the conditions will be like. The weather in the Med can be very unstable at this time of the year and forecasts change quickly."  Indeed, it was.  And it's a tribute to the Floridia's and their Maltese team-mates to have fought valiantly to secure a respectable class finish in one of the toughest Middle Sea races in years.   For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information

Healy Wins J/24 East Coast Champs
(Annapolis, MD)- The Hillman Capital Management J/24 East Coast Championships hosted by the Severn Sailing Association (SSA) is held in the fall around Halloween and has the reputation of providing big breezes with cool temperatures, three days of competitive racing, and a great party. The 34th edition of this fall classic, however, featured mild temperatures, a shifty breeze that ranged between only 5 and 15 knots, and the impending arrival of Hurricane Sandy for the incredibly talented forty boat fleet.

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing upwindWith the final day of racing cancelled, the highly experienced SSA Race Committee successfully set off seven races, and it was enough to crown Tim Healy and his 11th HOUR RACING crew as this year's J/24 East Coast Champion. Having just placed 2nd at this year's J/24 World Championships in Rochester, NY, the former World Champion quickly established his skillful management of the shifting conditions. Healy left no doubt as the top competitor of the event, having no finishes worse than 4th place in a fleet of 34 boats.

Healey's record for the seven races was impressive enough, scoring one 1st, five 2nds and a 4th for a total of only 15 pts, well clear of his next competitors by 24 pts.  Second was Mark Hillman's team (the title sponsor of the event), starting out slow but coming on strong for the rest of the event, gathering finishes of 14-1-6-6-3-1-8 for 39 pts.  There was quite a battle for third place overall with Rossi Milev sailing CLEAR AIR for Port Credit YC, Ontario, the top Canadian boat, narrowly defeating the next competitors.  Rossi's team amassed a 5-15-4-5-1-4-10 for 44 pts.  Fourth was the HONEY BADGER team with a score of 21-4-1-2-9-3-7 for 47 pts and fifth was Will Welles on ANGRY DRAGON with scores of 6-9-8-1-7-7-12 for 50 pts.

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing under spinnakerOnce again, SSA was able to accommodate everyone even while undergoing a major renovation of the clubhouse. After each day of racing, sailors were met at the docks by fleet volunteers with smiling faces and trays full of Copperhead Ale and Bud Light. There was also an unlimited supply of Dark and Stormys at the tent party to satisfy even the thirstiest sailor.

The event also treated racers to a traditional Maryland crab soup and a fresh oyster bar, which featured the two‐time U.S. National Oyster Shucking Champion, George "The Oyster Guy" Hastings. Besides the epic games of flip cup and corn hole, the tent party was highlighted by the event raffle that gave away over 50 items and featured a new J/24 Quantum mainsail won by Peter Bream.

Plans are already under way for next year's event and it promises to be even bigger and better. Come on out if you've never been to the East Coast Championships or haven't been in a while. You won't want to miss out on one of the most premier sailing events on the East Coast.   Sailing photo credits- Dan Phelps/   For more J/24 East Coasts sailing information

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing upwindJ.A.T. Wins J/80 Hamble One-Designs
J/122 JOULOU, J/109 J'TAIME, J/111 JET Lead Hamble Winter Series
(Hamble, England)- Winter finally showed its ugly, nasty teeth to the Garmin Hamble Winter Series and Lewmar Hamble One Design Championships over the past weekend, to mark the halfway point of the series.  While nothing like what their American colonialist counterparts had to survive with an even nastier gal named "Sandy", the gangsters sailing around the Solent certainly had their fair share of bad stuff to contend with for weather.

Saturday was the first day of the final weekend of the Lewmar Hamble One Design Championships. But a ferocious forecast and bitingly cold northerly wind put paid to the plans of the J/80 class, whose racing was cancelled. Only the J/109s ventured out for one race, before racing was called off for the day. One boat lost their rig, which broke above the top spreader, and another two boats had already retired. Steve Maine’s J2EAU won the race, around a minute ahead of JYNNAN TONNYX and YEOMAN OF WIGHT.

Hopes were high for better conditions on Sunday, with competitors enjoying an extra hour in bed as the clocks went back. Despite the cold morning, competitors were greeted by a much more civilized 11-18 knots from the west. The race team set each class two races from up to Hill Head for the smaller boats, and East Knoll for the bigger boats, to laid gate and leeward marks downwind.  J/80s in the Lewmar Hamble One Design Championship fleet raced in the mouth of Southampton Water, sailing three races.

Lewmar Hamble One Design Championships
After the final three races of the two-weekend Lewmar Hamble One Design Championships on Sunday, Phil Taylor’s J.A.T won the J/80 class overall, three points clear of Jon Powell’s BETTY.

After the cancellation on Saturday losing 4 races, the final 3 races on Sunday were always going to set-up for a grand finale between the main protagonists at the top of the leader-board. 15 boats lined up just off from the Royal Southern race mark with a mixed forecast and strong tides set for the day.

Race 1 - saw Patrick Liardet 'Aqua-J' dominate from start to finish and the team of J.A.T for most of the race were not anywhere near the chocolates, getting the final mark with a strong tide proved the decider where Phil Taylor and Kevin Sproul's 'J.A.T' shot back up to 2nd place just beating John Powell's 'Betty'.

Race 2 - the J/80 class is always known for never backing down from a start, and on this occasion it was only a matter of time when the inevitable was going to happen. At 20 seconds (due to about 2 to 3 knots of tide taking the fleet over the line) to go pretty much the entire fleet where recalled and the the PRO decided to break out the Z-Flag... much talk went around the fleet as usually the black flag is usually pulled. 2nd time lucky and the fleet got away, from start to finish it was lead by the team of 'J.A.T' followed by the new Royal Southern YC Academy team 'Spitfire' in 2nd and 'Betty' in 3rd.

Race 3 - with everything still to play for and no outright winner just yet, race 3 was all about getting away at the start. Off the line 'J.A.T' got caught in the pack but the vast experience of the team shot them out towards the front of the fleet. The course now with very little tide was a game of getting the right shifts upwind and down and therefore the fleet remained incredibly tight. At the finish though it was Phil and Kevin's 'J.A.T' bringing the fleet home first with John Powell's 'Betty' snatching 2nd place from new UK Chairman Mark Baskerville's 'Mistral'.

So overall the team of 'J.A.T' won but it wasn't an easy task. The fleet would like to thank Hamble River SC for organising a great event and look forward to working with them in 2013 to develop this fantastic end of year championships.

The J/109s raced with the main Garmin Hamble Winter Series fleet. Christopher Palmer’s J-TAIME posted two firsts on Sunday, but this wasn’t enough to beat Owain Franks’ JYNNAX TONNYX, whose 2 second places on Sunday, was enough put them two points clear overall.  In second is Richard & Valerie Griffith's OUTRAJEOUS with 25 pts.  This is Paul Griffiths' JAGERBOMB a scant one point back with 26 pts in third.  The balance of the top five is Steve Maine in J2EAU tied on points but in fourth on the tie-break with David Rolfe & Andy Johns' SHADOWFAX.

Garmin Hamble Winter Series
In the main series, the shifty, patchy breeze meant that large gains and losses were there for the taking, and in many classes the status quo was upset by some fantastic displays of tactical sailing. Andark was the day sponsor, and presented prizes to the winners in each class.

In IRC 0 Class, Ivan Trotman’s J/122 JOLOU posted two firsts to take them four points clear at the top of the class.  Things were closer in the IRC 3 class with Nick & Adam Munday's J/97 INDULJENCE having an "off-weekend", scoring a 6-2 to drop back to second in class just two points off the pace for 1st overall with 11 pts.

In the one-designs, David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM enjoyed similar success in the J/111 class taking two bullets for the weekend to be winning class with 10 pts.  Second is Cornel Riklin's tough French crew onboard JITTERBUG with a 3-3 to keep 2nd place and third is Tony Mack's McFLY with 16 pts total.

For the J/109s, Paul Griffiths' JAGERBOMB is leading with 10 pts followed by Owain Franks' JYNNAN TONNYX in second with 14 pts and David McLeman's OFFBEAT in third with 18 pts.

Next week, there’s a break in the series, before it resumes on the 11th November. The next four weeks have one race per day to get competitors in before the light fades. Enjoy the break and see you in a fortnight!   For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/109 one-design cruiser racerJ/109 VENTO SOLARE Wins STC One-Design
(Annapolis, MD)- The Storm Trysail Club hosted their IRC East Coast Championship and One-Design Regatta this past weekend in Annapolis on the Chesapeake Bay.  Sailing were a combination of one-design fleets and IRC fleets.  In the IRC 2 Class were two J/111s sailing.  The J/109s sailed as a one-design class.

The five race series started with Friday’s 29.6-­‐mile tour of the central Chesapeake, with a light and shifty northeast breeze in the 1.5 point-­weighted race.  The remaining four inshore races of the series were sailed on Saturday in a format shortened by the approach of Hurricane Sandy to the mid-­Atlantic states, with organizers giving teams today to prepare for the hurricane-­force winds predicted for the area Monday and Tuesday.  The 13-­17 knot northeasterly conditions sailed against an ebb tide on Saturday tended to favor the bigger boats until the ebb turned to slack in the last race. This made the beats shorter and high-­speed runs longer, compressing the corrected times down to margins of mere seconds.

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing downwindIn IRC 2 Class, the two J/111s had some great racing against one another with new J/111 owner Kjell Dahlen sailing his newly acquired RAGIN to 3rd overall and 1st 111.  Marty Roesch's team on VELOCITY had their hands full with RAGIN's new team and managed to finish off the series with a flourish of 3-3 to finish just behind her classmate.

Paul Milo's J/109 VENTO SOLARE perhaps sailed one of the toughest, and best, series in the regatta.  Why?  Imagine having multiple J/109 champion sailor Bill Sweetser on RUSH to beat to the finish line.  In the end, it was the first race (the long distance race) that mattered in the final count. By winning the first race, Paul's VENTO SOLARE team managed to compile a score of 1.5-4-2-1-1- for 9.5 points to win by a half point!  Bill's tough RUSH team sailed very consistently and scored 3-1-1-2-3 for 10 pts to take the silver.  Third was Stephen McManus's team on SAYKADOO.  For more IRC East Coast sailing information

J/120 sailing downwind on Harvest Moon regatta raceJ/Teams Enjoy Fast, Beautiful Harvest Moon!
(Houston, Texas)- The Lakewood YC on Galveston Bay hosted yet another "most excellent" Harvest Moon Regatta over the October 25th to 27th weekend.  Started in 1987, the event was based on the desire to have some good fall sailing before the winter Northers started blowing cold and hard across Texas; “an all sailors from the Bay area event” to accommodate as many sailors as possible for late fall offshore  sailing.  The boats gather together near the Galveston Bay jetties and sail to Port Aransas under a magnificent full moon each October.  This ideal Texas port allows yacht owners and sailors to use  minimal days from work to join in on what can be a most memorable overnight sail down the Texas coast during traditionally the best  offshore sailing time of the year.

This year 210 boats participated with over a dozen J/Teams sailing in the PHRF Bacardi Racing fleet. Finishing in 4th was the J/105 HORNY TOAD sailed by Greg Turman.  Fifth was the J/120 AEOLUS sailed by Jim Liston from Houston YC. Seventh was Dave Christensen's J/109 AIRBORNE.  And, rounding out the top 10 was Albrecht Goethe's J/109 HAMBURG.

Keith Magnussen who sailed aboard the J/120 AEOLUS had the following report:  "It seems like this has been the year of the “J” boat for me.  After putting well over 2,000 nautical miles on a J-125 on the West Coast, I made my annual trip to the Gulf Coast of Texas.   The annual Harvest Moon Regatta on James Linton’s J-120 AEOLUS was next up on my calendar.  This was to be the third year doing the race for me and we were really hoping to improve on our second place finish (third overall) in last years event.

The wind forecast was light and on the nose for the first few hours with a slight shift to the southeast coming later in the day.  We started well and extended out in front of the other boats with the exception of the Melges 30 and the Santa Cruz 50.  Our new Carbon 155% Genoa gave us the power we needed to keep the 120 moving in the light stuff and in touch with both of the mentioned boats that were just in front of us.  We had some difficulty navigating through the slower non-spinnaker boats but eventually made it through and were now eagerly anticipating the shift.  This shift finally came in the late afternoon and we immediately hoisted our Code 0 and were now plugging along just shy of wind speed.  The J-120 sails great with a Code 0 and we started to extend on the boats around us.  We managed to pull some important distance on the J-44 who took up a little higher course than us and managed to overtake after a few hours of close-hauled genoa sailing.  Once the Code 0 went up this all changed.

We spent most of the night dodging unlit oil platforms that litter the Gulf Coast.  Weather was warm and the sky was lit with stars and a beautiful moon that helped shine some light on a racecourse that was not easy to navigate.  As the night wore on the wind died, which was expected, we found ourselves with the genoa back up.  This is not optimal for the 120 and I knew the Melges 30 was winning out in these conditions.

As daylight approached we could see the front coming towards us and knew the big shift and more wind was close.  What I don’t think we anticipated was how much wind we would see.  At right around 6am we tacked onto starboard as the cloud and front were now directly above us.  I heard Steve Lemay call for the tack and I came up on deck and grabbed the mainsheet.  Just as this happened the puff came on and we started easing as the boat started moving.  In a matter of 5 minutes it was blowing 18… GAME ON!

We jib reached for a bit as the wind settled down and soon we were looking at 25+kts of breeze and a 120 TWA.  Now this is what a J-120 is made for and this is where it gets good.  I demand the 3A on deck and after some convincing (border-line arguing) with the owner I got my way.  3A up and we were launched!  Now I am used to driving a J-125 in this so I was not expecting too much in the way of speed.  I seriously underestimated the power of the 120 and was having a blast driving down waves.

The wind kept increasing and we were now seeing steady high 20’s with puffs of 30.  The boat was a dream to sail and the 3A allowed us to go as low as 150 TWA without it hiding behind the main and collapsing.  This spinnaker kept the boat tracking and was easy to drive with.  We were on the rail now and headed right at the Port Aransas turning buoy that would put us into the ship channel and a small upwind leg to the finish.  I started to push the boat and was soon seeing constant 15’s and a top speed of 18.9.  The boat was sustaining 17’s for extended periods of times and we were never out of control.  I stayed on the helm for the last 40 miles and the crew worked their butts off to keep us moving as fast as possible.  The J-44 was now out of sight and it was a race against time.

We rounded the buoy with the #3 up and made our way to a late morning finish only about 30 minutes behind the SC-50… not bad!  Port Aransas is a unique little town and has something to offer in the way of seafood and Bud Light.  It was now a waiting game as we sucked back a few cold ones.  Much to my chagrin I looked up 45 minutes later to see a Hobie 33 come cruising into the harbor.  The Hobie 33 in Texas rates 96!!!!  That might be a little friendly but they did end up overall winners even though they never even hoisted a spinnaker!

When results were posted we found out we finished second in class only to lose out to another J-Boat… a J-105!  This was my third year doing the race and it has been getting better and better.  The unpredictable wind and drag race down the coast makes for some serious fun!

J/120 sailing under spinnaker in Galveston Bay, TexasCheck out the short video here of us cruising with the 3A up.  This is after the big puffs but we are still rocking it!

To get a better idea of what it's like to sail the Harvest Moon race, please take a look the Liston's documentary sailing video on their J/120 AEOULIS in last year's event where they finished 2nd in class and 2nd overall.  For more Harvest Moon regatta sailing information

J/109 sailing China CupJ/109 Prevails In China Cup
(Hong Kong, China)- The Royal Hong Kong YC's season long offshore series of races includes many challenges for its sailors around the archipelago of southern China.  The China Cup International Regatta is a series of both inshore and short offshore races in and around the island of Hong Kong.  The event not only promotes the sailing culture & sailing sports among the masses in China, but the Marine Culture Development Forum gathers influential people from the marine industry all over the world to share their achievements and experience.

The sailing itself can be quite challenging, especially the first race. The 34-miles of the Simpson Passage Race kept competitors working hard until the very finish, on day one of the China Cup. After the skippers’ briefing at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, the competitors in the 91 teams expected moderate to strong winds during the race from Hong Kong to Shenzhen in mainland China. And while those winds did materialize, the race had a strange and unexpected sting in its tail. After the IRC division start, the wind was gusting up to 18 knots although there were big shifts and holes in the breeze, and a large swell that saw the boats slamming into waves on port tack.  Light airs characterized the near windless final few miles of the course with some boats failing to make it through the finish before the wind shut down again, giving them an early evening drift into the harbour.

China Cup evening entertainment for sailorsThe four days of windward-leeward races and the Audi Around the Island Race brought every kind of wind, from the strong start and drifting finish of the Simpson Marine Passage Race on day one, to the high-speed excitement of day 3, when masts broke and boats ran aground. Although more than 130 boats wanted to enter this year’s regatta, space restrictions in the marina kept entries to just 91. From a standing start five years ago, the China Cup International Regatta is really beginning to make its mark, not just in Asia but throughout the sailing community around the world.

The J/109 WHISKEY JACK sailed by Nick Southward from Royal Hong Kong YC sailed one of their best series yet in this Asian offshore series.  Nick's team overcame multiple obstacles, including capricious sailing conditions, to finish second in IRC 3 Class with a consistent score of 2-5-2-2-8-3-4-4- for a net score of 22 pts.

A special note- "congratulations" also go out to J/133 owner Rick Pointon and crew from Hong Kong for their performance in the China Cup Championship sailed in old-fashioned 40 ft sloops.  Instead of sailing their beautiful, fast J/133 with their famous yellow jerseys, they elected to take a shot at one-design racing and finished 2nd overall to a past 470 World Champion!   Sailing photo credits- Stefano Gattini/Studio Borlenghi    For more China Cup International Regatta sailing results


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

* Report from Hong Kong! Dan Tullberg from J/Boats Hong Kong provided us the following exciting update from recent activities taking place in the Hong Kong/ Asian sailing world:

"For starters, we're please to announce that we have two J/70s confirmed arriving from France, and two serious contenders for the J/111 who want to (a) kick the tires on the first one arriving here mid-Nov and (b) hope to find moorings as the whole mooring market here is absolutely packed right now!  Sailing continues to grow in popularity here in Asia!

An upcoming report will be sent on the recently held International Police Worlds (13 x J/80s) and an announcement on the first formal Hong Kong-China inter-port regatta (again the J/80s) to run in Feb 2013. Also, the J/80 Class Hong Kong Championships are next weekend (3-4th Nov) off Lamma Island south of Hong Kong with 15-18 boats in what looks like a breezy weekend.

The J/80 HKG Class Association is still the only "national" class in Hong Kong that spans the interest of all three main yacht clubs here and owners take pride in that: a few weeks ago the Royal Hong Kong YC ran a "Championship Of Champions" event on J/80s between 9 different classes that was very well received by all:

1) the organizer RHKYC only had 3 of the required 6 boats available since much of the fleet was damaged in the typhoon this summer and still under repair. Three private owners offered their boats for use at this event unreservedly to make the event happen (a combination of fleet and match racing)

2) J/80 owners Andrew Moore / Nigel Welch (TIGRINA) and Jonny Hodgson (J-QI) came second and third respectively in that event, beating all but one stellar Etchells team."

A "BIG THANKS" to Dan, Joey and crew in Hong Kong for their excellent efforts in growing the J/One-design classes as well as building interest in the J/111.  We guess that a J/111 will have great fun sailing the Asian Offshore circuit!

J/111 shipping to Marstrand, Sweden* J/111 BLUR 2012 Season Wrap-up Sailing video- (Marstrand, Sweden)- Peter Gustafsson reports that he and his crew on the J/111 BLUR have had a fantastic time sailing their J/111 this past summer in the Scandinavian Offshore sailing circuit.  Peter recently compiled video clips from their first season with the J/111.  The clips are from the following regattas/ sailing events- Spi Ouest, Stora Oset Race, Pater Noster Race, Færderseilasen, Marstrand Big Boat Race, ÅF Offshore Race, Hermanö Runt, Tjörn Runt and Sista Chansen.  The video has "New Order's" song "Blue Monday" as the background music-- sweet!  Enjoy watching the J/111 BLUR 2012 Season wrap-up!

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Hawaii* J/80 sailing Hawaii offshore!  Bob Stephenson says "Aloha to all J/sailors, and especially J/80 sailors, from around the world.  We've been having a lot of great J/80 racing here in Hawaii.

ALOHA LANI sailed by Ryan McCrillis won the second J/80 Hawaiian Championships in Lahiana (and Class B in the Lahiana Lights). CRUSADER skippered by me got second and hometown favorite BOONDOGGLE sailed by Bruce Olsten was third.

Two days later, CRUSADER took second in class B, 5th overall in the Lahiana to Honolulu Race. Conditions were "epic", with both boats seeing speeds in the high teens most of the day.

More to follow, but here's a sailing photo of Connor McCrillis sailing in his first ocean race on ALOHA LANI."  We look forward to getting you some more in the coming weekends!

J/24 sailing school for "reality sailing"* J/24 Coronado "Reality Sailing" In California
(San Diego, CA)- Manuel Morenos has been working with friends to create a unique new sailing, adventure and experiential organization called "Reality Sailing Adventure org".  Says Manuel, "Our group is embarking on an ambitious project and we need all the help we can get.  We have a dream of creating what we call the first bi-national sailing campus.  A campus which will have a variety of activities ranging from sailing instruction, adventure sailing voyages and a place for university students geared to marine biology and the research for cleaner technologies perform their studies. The development of this institution has given us the opportunity to reach to world leader in the nautical industry, and to sailing, research and governmental institutions in both the US and Mexico, generating an all around positive program. 

Our organization’s concept is simple, positive, and sustainable. Sailing is synonymous with a healthy environment. Don’t we all disapprove oils spills, pollution, punctured atmospheric layers created by carbonic emissions? Yes, we have to stop depending so much on this non-renewable fuel which is only damaging us. Sailing in the other hand utilizes the wind, currents, weather patterns and even solar energy to move from point A to B causing less harm to biospheres and so to the planet. Sailing also provides a great quiet pleasurable travel, at the same time promoting healthy life styles and good economies around it.

Help us create consciousness in the preservation of the magical waters of the Sea of Cortés and at the same time have fun doing it. Our developing organization is composed to the most part of sailors and a group of  visionaries  looking forward to create an innovative program. Additionally,  we would like to offer more opportunities for American cruisers to safely and responsibly sail this part of the world.

Part of our program is geared to connect the youth interested in sailing with other sailing schools, yacht clubs and he sport of sailing itself. This involvement game the opportunity to help direct a junior sailing in San Diego, CA for CVYC. By this community outreach program the Coronado Yacht Club offered a sailing class to (3) of my top sailing students. Opportunity which gave us the chance to meet former national champion in this class, you might remember Jon Rogers. He currently teaches sailing at the Coronado yacht Club.

Rogers who previously worked as an instructor for a J-World school in Newport, RI conducted one of the most educational and exciting class the kids and myself included ever had aboard a nice J-24 race sailboat. He gave the juniors the ins and out of this magnificent racing vessel. That confirmed what lots of people say about J boats, “They’re fast”.  Jon is a great guy and outstanding sailing instructor. 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."     For more information on Reality Sailing Org

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-