Wednesday, October 3, 2012

J/Newsletter- October 3rd, 2012

J/70 one-design sailboat- sailing off NewportAnnapolis Show Preview
J/70, J/80, J/95, J/97, J/111 On Display
(Annapolis, MD)-  On this Columbus Day weekend (October 4th- 8th), tens of thousands of sailors will make the pilgrimage to visit the US Sailboat Show in downtown Annapolis.  On display will be the latest racers and cruisers from the J/Boats high-performance stable.

Debuting for the first time in the Annapolis Sailboat Show will be the hot J/70 one-design speedster.  It's popularity in such a short span of time is quite remarkable considering the history of famous siblings like the International J/22 and J/24.  The development of a next-generation sportboat that combines the trademark attributes of performance and ease-of-control combined with ramp-launch capability (lifting bulb keel) has opened up entirely new sailing areas for many new J enthusiasts.  Learn more about the J/70 from those who've been sailing her on the Chesapeake Bay in one-design class racing.  For more J/70 sailboat information

J/80 one-design sailboat- women sailing on Solent, EnglandThe International J/80 continues to see strong class activity around the world.  The recent J/80 Worlds in Dartmouth, England saw over 70 sailing teams from 14 countries.  A record turn-out for ANY International One-design keelboat is expected in Marseilles, France for the 2013 J/80 Worlds on the Mediterranean-- over 135 boats are expected! The J/80 North Americans in Fort Worth, Texas are coming soon with several past World, North American and Key West Champions in attendance.  Learn more about why the J/80 has such strong appeal across a wide-spectrum of sailors in Asia, Europe and America.  For more J/80 sailboat information

J/95 cruiser day sailer- shoal draft performance sailboatTwo similarly-sized boats with remarkably different missions will be on display, each one appealing to broadly different sailors.  The J/95 shoal-performance daysailor and cruiser has proven time and again that it may represent the "ultimate in sailing freedom" for its passionate enthusiasts.  Drawing just 3.5 ft with keel/centerboard-up and equipped with twin rudders and wheel, J/95 is a snap to sail fast in some of the shallowest sailing areas in the world-- from the Chesapeake to Bahamas, Swiss Lakes to the UK's eastern coastline, New Jersey's Barnegat Bay to Florida's West Coast and Keys. For more J/95 sailboat information.

J/97 family racer-cruiser sailboat- sailing in Newport, RIThe J/95s slightly larger sistership, the J/97 family cruiser-racer is a powerhouse in European offshore sailing circles, having won Cowes Week, Cork Week, Round Island Race and Spi Ouest in the recent past.  J/97's enormous, wide-open interior and enclosed aft-head are popular features for families wishing to combine solid offshore performance with casual weekend cruising.  For more J/97 sailboat information

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing downwindFinally, what may be the most successful offshore 36 footer in the past decade or so, the J/111 offshore one-design speedster joins her fast and fun stablemates as the "queen" of this year's J high-performance sailing fleet.  This incredibly versatile, easy-to-sail boat has attracted a broad spectrum of sailors who've aspired to sailing a performance boat that doesn't break the bank, can be sailed by a family crew and is fast & fun to sail off-the-wind in 15-25 kt winds under full control sailing over 15 kts boat-speed.  Its massive 60" wheel and deep, high-aspect rudder provide finger-tip response in any condition.  J/111 provides, in short, the sports car combined with the family touring sedan-- high-performance handling combined with comfort and safety.  For more J/111 sailboat information

For those of you who wish to have an appointment to meet a member of the J/Boats Team, please be sure to contact Kendra at ph. 401-846-8410 or

J/70 one-design speedster- sailing one-design raceJ/70 Fall Brawl Regatta Announcement
(Annapolis, MD)- After enjoying your "Halloween Howl", be sure to join the first J/70 one-design event on Chesapeake Bay, the “Fall Brawl Regatta,” to be hosted by Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis on November 3rd to 4th.  Bring your boats and leave them before you head farther south for the winter circuit, then be certain to stop back in Annapolis next spring for the Annapolis NOOD!  The local club members can offer ramp and lift launching and short and long-term storage options.

Fall is a wonderful time to race in the Chesapeake, with not only gorgeous fall colors on the trees but fast-moving frontal weather systems provide challenging breezes from the SE and NW during this time of year.  Furthermore, the Eastport YC will just have completed their brand-new clubhouse.  The club is expecting 25+ boats and hoping for more.  The incredibly, ridiculously low entry fee includes "lots of social stuff" for skipper and crew and sponsors Northpoint Yacht Sales, North Sails and J/World will be contributing toward prizes and festivities!!  The event promise not only great sailing but plenty of fun & games for the growing J/70 fleet on the Chesapeake Bay.  For more J/70 Fall Brawl sailing information and registration information 

J/105 sailing past Nassau Harbor LighthouseNassau Cup Race Preview
(Nassau, Bahamas)- Planning for Paradise this winter?  Then, perhaps consider the Bahamas! As the summer sailing season begins to wind down, it is time to start organizing plans for the special winter sailing season starting in sunny south Florida.  The SORC group, along with the Coral Reef and Nassau Yacht Clubs, is busy finalizing plans for the 2012 Nassau Cup Ocean Race that starts Thursday, November 8th off Miami.

The Race Chairman, Carol Ewing, says: “The 2012 Nassau Cup is even better and bigger than last year – although we’re not sure how we can top last year’s steady 15 knot breeze with a full moon on a clear night – but we’ll try! The buzz is great and we have heard from several competitors that are already getting geared up for this year’s kick starter to sailing in the South during the winter months. The Bahamas in November! It doesn’t get any better than that.”

J/120 sailing into Nassau Harbor, BahamasSince 1934, some of the best offshore sailors in the world have battled for the prestigious Miami-to-Nassau Cup, including Ted Turner, Dennis Conner, Dick Bertram, and Ted Hood, aboard legendary boats like Running Tide, Windward Passage, Tenacious, and Boomerang.  Starting off Miami, racers leave Great Isaacs Light to starboard and proceed past Great Stirrup Light, finally finishing at Nassau Harbor off its picturesque lighthouse on the tip of Paradise Island. The current course record is held by George Coumantaros on the maxi BOOMERANG with an elapsed time of 14 hours, 26 minutes and 39 seconds in 1986.  Today’s modern boats just need the right conditions to claim this legendary prize, and racers of all types will enjoy the navigational and crew challenge of the race across the Gulf Stream.

J/120 sailing into finish line off Nassau, BahamasAfter a day's rest from the race, most crews join one another for drinks and a buffet at the Nassau Yacht Club on Friday night and then proceeded to “Crazy Johnnie’s” for some lively entertainment. Saturday usually brings beautiful cool weather and a mid-day get together for the crews to vie for the J-22 Match Race Championship!! Many star-studded teams are sure to compete for honors again this year.  That same evening, a very nice buffet and open bar with plenty of Mt Gay rum makes for a lively dinner and prize-giving where the J-22 trophies and the Nassau Cup Race awards are presented to their deliriously happy winners!  For those who've experienced the fun and camaraderie of this event, it's one to put back onto your "bucket list" for your friends!  It looks like the J/44 WHITE GOLD sailed by Jim Bishop will be participating and perhaps last year's winner, the J/105 LOKI from Ft Lauderdale, too.  For more Nassau Cup Race sailing information

Malta starting line for Rolex Middle Sea Race- sailing out of harborRolex Middle Sea Race Preview
(Gzira, Malta)- A record entry of eighty-six yachts so far, from all over the world, is expected on the start line of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. With less than a month to go to the start the organising team at the Royal Malta Yacht Club is making final preparations for the arrival of several hundred visitors. Many of the competing yachts have already arrived and are safely sheltered in Ta'Xbiex Marina and many more will be arriving over the next few weeks.

Malta- an island in the Mediterranean- renowned for sailorsThe history of the Maltese Islands is intertwined with that of the Mediterranean Basin, with the major civilizations of the area having moored on Malta due to commercial interests with merchant galleys, or even in military operations with fully armed warships. From the times of the ancient Phoenicians to Malta's role as home port for the Royal Navy's Mediterranean fleet, Maltese ports have hosted a diverse range of sea craft from various countries. Now that Malta is an independent republic and a member of the European Union, its harbours are known best to commercial ships, cruise liners, chartered and private yachts as well as nautical aficionados. The coastline's craggy inlets and bays, most of which wonderfully secluded and inaccessible from land, provide the privilege of mooring for a swim or lunching on board in privacy.

J/122 sailing Rolex Middle Sea RaceThe locals know these waters well.  Last year, Lee Satariano's all Maltese team, racing J/122 ARTIE, pulled off a stunning victory to win the race overall and Satariano is relishing this year's race:  "The crew of ARTIE-RTFX ARE all up for it again this year and hope to push the boat to the limit. We have a great team on board who have been sailing together for the past few years. It's ARTIE's 3rd Rolex Middle Sea Race and we hope to make it third time lucky! The race can hold many twists and turns right from the straits of Messina, the wind shadow round Stromboli and the different elements around the course, all of this and many more make it a spectacular and exciting race every year. We have the boat and the crew to make it possible to win again, so we'll be up there once again giving it our best shot. If you are coming to compete for the first time, I can tell you that the atmosphere at the Royal Malta Yacht is just so special, the whole set up is just marvelous, great credit must go to the committee and staff for all the hard work from months before and right through the race."  With real-time tracking, armchair sailors around the world can cheer on the local Maltese crew on the J/122 ARTIE!

J/133 JUNO sailing fast in Rolex Middle Sea RaceAs Lee and Christian know all too well, they will have their greatest challenges coming from other members of the J/Team.  Starting off with a sistership sailed by passionate offshore sailors from America, the J/122 OTRA VEZ sailed by Aaron and Edward Gatt of Miami, Florida sailed a very strong race last year, even leading the race for awhile, but fell into one of the famous holes north of Sicily before turning south.  Fellow Malteseans and friends from Hamburg, Germany is the J/133 OILTANKING JUNO sailed by owner Sonke Stein and skipper David Anastasi; they, too, were winning last year's race with just 15 nm to go but got tanked finishing in the light airs in the harbor! Finally, the "dark horse" by far will be the J/111 J-STORM sailed by Massimo Colosimo from Italy-- last year on their delivery they damaged the boat and sails so never made the race.  This time around they, too, like the J/122 and J/133 will be looking for redemption and help from the capricious, legendary sea-going Gods of Neptune, Odysseus and others who've plied these waters for eons.  Anyone know where the "Sirens" are singing nowadays?  For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information

sunset sailing offshoreJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

At this juncture in the fall sailing season, many sailors are looking forward to some of the more famous fall/winter series in both Europe and in America.  Plus, the J enthusiasts Down Under are just starting to roll with their Spring series.  So far, the Long Island Sound series have been going in full swing.  The American YC Fall Series has now completed for the enormous fleet of J/Teams participating.  Many will segue into the Manhasset YC Fall Series for the next two weekends to complete what for many will be the end of the sailing season on Long Island Sound.  Over in Europe, many J sailors from England, Ireland and Scotland will be joined by teams from France, Belgium and the Netherlands to sail on the challenging waters of the Solent for the Garmin Hamble Winter Series-- all that action starts this weekend and runs until December 2nd!  In France, the world's top match racers in the World Match Racing Tour competed in J/80s off the port city of Marseilles-- famous for its great sailing and fabulous restaurants along the French Riviera.  Finally, in the J/Community section, be sure to read the note sent to us from a J/95 owner in Lake Champlain, Vermont.  And, learn more about fashionista and home life-style superstar Martha Stewart and her abiding interest in sailing and boating and all things related to the water.

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:
Oct 4-8- Annapolis Boatshow (70, 95, 108, 111)- Annapolis, MD
Oct 6- Dec 2- Garmin Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
Oct 13-14- J/80 East Coast Championships- Annapolis, MD
Oct 13-14- J/Fest Southwest- Houston, TX
Oct 17-21- J/105 North Americans- San Diego, CA
Oct 18-21- J/30 North Americans- New Orleans, LA
Oct 20-27- Rolex Middle Sea Race- Gzira, Malta
Oct 26-28- J/24 East Coast Championship- Annapolis, MD
Oct 26-28- J/80 Italian Nationals- Sestri Levante, Italy
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/105 Eclipse- sailing AYC Fall SeriesChallenging Finale At AYC Fall Series
(Rye, NY)- At some point, the streak of three beautiful weekends of sailing on Long Island Sound was going to break.  However, no one expected it to be such a demanding two days of sailing for the final weekend of racing in this year's AYC Fall Series.  With a combination of variable light winds Saturday and Sunday it was anybody's guess as to what was going to be a successful strategy for the weekend.  Nevertheless, some boats faired much better than others.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing fast on Long Island SoundSome boats got HUSTLERED in PHRF 4, some were confounded by a CONUNDRUM in J/105s.  Yet others were a DRAGON working on a WING and a PATRIOTic prayer in IRC 3.  A GOLD DIGGER named MAXINE was up to the CHALLENGE, but a RESOLUTE VAMP named BEAGLE got all the GLORY in the J/44s.  ANDIAMO had to say "BRAVO" for an admirable, debut performance in PHRF 1.  In the J/109s, SKOOT was not so RELIANT on her STRATEGERY in every race; but NORDLY's BLUE SKY proposition to be the BIG BOAT was not received favorably by others. Then, in the J/105s it appears that CONUNDRUM was intent on confounding KINCSEM with an ECLIPSE.  But it was apparent the real REVELATION was that LOU LOU didn't have the GUMPTION during the MORNING GLORY of Sunday to SHAKEDOWN PLANET CLAIRE.  Perhaps the most JADED with their heads mostly in the STRATOSphere was GHOST DOG who was walking in CIRCLEs with BAD MEDICINE after having their eggs SUNNYSIDE UP!  All editorial lampooning and kidding aside, here's what did happen in these various fleets this past weekend. :)

The J Teams were well-represented across the spectrum of one-design sailing and IRC/ PHRF Handicap racing with a total of 102 boats sailing. In the one-design world were big fleets of nine J/44s, eight J/109s, twenty-one J/105s and six J/80s.  In the handicap arena, the J/122s, J/133 raced in IRC 3 while J/111s sailed PHRF A and the J/70, J/29s and J/92 sailed PHRF 4.  All in all, fifty-six J's were sailing or about 55% of the total fleet, the overwhelming brand leader in the regatta!

J/133 Antidote sailing AYC Fall on Long Island soundThe competition in IRC 40 was closely fought, but in the end it was Andrew Weiss' family team aboard the J/122 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON that started in first and never relinquished their lead, winning with six 1sts and one 2nd for a net 6 pts overall!  Giving them run for the money but seemingly just off the pace tactically was the beautiful J/122 WINGS sailed by Mike Bruno, managing 16 pts net, sufficient for second place in class.  Fourth was Steve Furnary's PATRIOT with 24 pts net.  Sixth was Ron Richman's J/133 offshore champion ANTIDOTE with 28 pts net.

In PHRF A, the J/111s led all teams home with Paul Strauch's ANDIAMO winning with five 1sts and two 2nd for 7 pts net.  They were followed home by the vastly improved BRAVO team led by Sedgwick Ward with two 1sts and five 2nds for 10 pts net!

In PHRF 4, the J/Teams dominated.  The infamous J/29 HUSTLER sailed by the Esposito family with John and Tony led the charge to the top of the fleet on the first day and never looked back, accumulating eight 1sts and one 2nd to crush their class with a perfect counting scoreline of simply 1sts.  Second was the J/92 HOUND DOG sailed by Christian Uecker with a total of 17 pts net.

J/109 Skoot sailing in AYC Fall SeriesIn the one-design world, the J/44's had great sailing amongst the eight boats participating.  Jim Bishop's GOLD DIGGER got their "mojo" together for the first regatta in quite some time and pulled off a well-deserved victory in a tough fight for the top three overall between the DIGGER, MAXINE and CHALLENGE.  Second was Bill Ketcham's MAXINE with 16 pts net, just one point back from DIGGER.  Third was Jeff Willis' CHALLENGE IV with 17 pts net, nearly pulling off an upset victory overall had they won the second to last race.  Len Sitar's and AJ Evans' VAMP finished fourth, beating Don & Dick Rave's RESOLUTE that finished fifth on a tie-breaker "count-back".

The J/109s had a "runaway" after the first weekend with Jim Vos' SKOOT team (pictured above) compiling an impressive record for the regatta to win with just 18 pts net.  Matt Baker's RELIANT hung on strongly to secure second place after the first weekend and won a tie-breaker over Jack Forehand's STRATEGERY with both teams scoring 23 pts each.  Fourth was Bob Schwartz's NORDLYS and fifth was John Pearson's BLUE SKY.

J/105 sailing off starting line on Long Island SoundJ/105s had a huge turn-out for the AYC Fall Series, one of their best in years with twenty-one boats participating!  It also marked a subtle "changing of the guard" as a new sheriff showed up in town and ultimately walked off with all the silverware.  Third after the first weekend, Harald Edegran's and Jeremy Henderson's CONUNDRUM sailed a fleet-leading 1-3 on the last weekend to sew up their first major regatta win on Long Island Sound in J/105s. Next on the scoreline were two long-time J/105 class veterans.  Second was Joerg Esdorn's and Duncan Hennes' KINCSEM with 30 pts, narrowly beating Damian Emery's ECLIPSE with 32 pts.  Fourth was George and Alex Wilbanks' REVELATION and fifth was Paul Beaudin's LOULOU.

Finally, the J/80s also had a runaway with Gary Panariello's team on COURAGEOUS finishing with 11 pts net as a result of five 1sts and four 2nds!  Second was Dan Goldberg's FRIVOLOUS with 19 pts net and third was Mike Zupon's JUGGERNAUT.   For more American YC Fall Series sailing information   For AYC Fall Series scores

J/80s sailing Match Race France off MarseillesWilliams Trumps Match Race France
Englishman Eclipses World's Top Match Racers
(Marseille, France)- The reigning Alpari World Match Racing Tour champion, Ian Williams won the Match Race France title and moved up to take the overall lead of the Tour. Williams did it by defeating the young New Zealander, Will Tiller 2-0 in a downpour and freshening breeze off Marseille in the matched fleet of J/80 one-design racers. The final was delayed by light winds, so the race committee shortened it to the first to two points. When it did freshen enough to start racing, the rapidly increasing breeze came with heavy rain - not exactly Mediterranean conditions! It did not put Williams off J/80 sailing fast in World Match Race Tour regatta in Francehis game however, with a shut-out in the first race, he then passed Tiller at the final mark in the second race to close it out.

The overall Tour leader, Bjorn Hansen added no points to his score at Match Race France, after finishing ninth, while Williams scored 25 points for his win. It means that Williams now takes a nine point lead into the final two events of the year, the Gold Cup in Bermuda next week, and then the season finale, the Monsoon Cup in early December in Malaysia.   For some great YouTube video action   For more World Match Race Tour sailing information

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing at Changing of Colors Regatta on Lake George, New YorkRAKE HELL Smokes Changing of Colors Regatta
(Lake George, New York)- As one of the sailors so succinctly described the weekend, "Great regatta!!  It helps to have wind, despite the cold and drizzle."  And so it was for this year's famous version of the J/24 Changing of Colors Regatta.  Coming off a record J/24 Worlds with nearly 100 boats in Rochester, New York, the local prognosticators at the Lake George Club were wondering if anyone would show up at all just weeks after the Worlds finished with hundreds of exhausted sailors dragging themselves home after an amazing event!  However, what one has to remember is that Lake George is well, simply, Lake George.  It's a bit like Mecca for J/24 sailors along the eastern parts of America-- the event often attracts nearly 100 boats in good years with fabulous weather; 2011 being a case in point with 72 teams sailing!!  In short, the Lake George Club does such an amazing job taking care of its J/24 as well as J/22 sailors that it's simply impossible to resist.

With thirty-eight teams showing up for this year's COC Regatta, it was apparent that the J/24 Worlds did nothing to diminish the competition for the top ten, nor did the weather. With good winds and a bit of a drizzle on, the sailors simply made the most of it and had fun not just on the water, but off the water as well.  The sailors weren't disappointed as the on-shore festivities with great food, drink and music are the magic ingredients that keep the J/24 teams coming back for more each year.

Despite one really bad race in race #3, John Enright and crew on RAKE HELL sailed one helluva regatta, showing the local boys how it's done with a 2-2-31-1-3-1-6 after seven races to win quite convincingly with 15 pts net.  After having a tough go of it at the J/24 Worlds, Travis Odenbach on HONEYBADGER dialed it up a few notches and sailed a  good series despite a slow start, amassing a 22-8-2-3-1-4-1 record for 19 pts net.  Third was Bill Fastiggi's gang aboard BEAUTY with the steadiest scoreline in the top five, getting 7-1-4-4-12-3-2 for 21 pts net.  Just behind them in the top five were Patrick Frisch on ZIA with 26 pts, beating Chris Morgan's team on a tie-breaker for fourth.  For more J/24 Changing of Colors Regatta sailing results

J/22s sailing Lake George RegattaKoppernaes Wins J/22 Lake George Regatta
(Lake George, New York)- Despite the fact that many J/22 sailors had just come off sailing the J/22 North Americans in East Tawas, Michigan along the beautiful shores of western Lake Erie, the fact that 28 boats still made the pilgrimage to Lake George is testimonial to its long-term attraction to sailors from around the eastern parts of America!  Missing to some degree were the top boats from both Annapolis and Rochester, nevertheless the competition was spirited and it was great to see other teams in the hunt to haul in some silverware.

To say that sailing on Lake George is a breath-taking experience may perhaps be an understatement.  Surrounded by gorgeous, verdant green rolling mountains that are already showing the changing of colors in the fall to bright hues of reds, organs, yellows and purples it's hard to concentrate on the racing.  However, after two good days of sailing, it was clear a new winner was crowned for this event, John Koppernaes and crew, winning with a 16-2-6-2-2-5 record for 17 pts net.  Perhaps the steadiest team on the lake this weekend was Ron Harris' team, compiling a 7-3-1-6-4-7 for 21 net pts, having to throw out only a 7th to place second overall (on a "no-throwout" basis they would easily have won the event).  Third just one point back was RJ Moon's team that started off fast and "faded to black" with a 5-1-2-11-19-3 tally for 22 net pts (perhaps the party Saturday night contributed to the nasty scoreline on races #4 and #5.  Rounding out the top five were Bob Mendenhall in fourth and Trevor Collins in fifth.  For more J/22 Lake George Open/ Northeast Districts sailing results


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

J/95 sailors- sailing on Lake Champlain, Vermont* Happy J/95 owners!  They're having a ball sailing in Switzerland, Lake Champlain, Barnegat Bay, Naples and eastern United Kingdom!  Recently, we got a nice note from a passionate J/95 owner on Lake Champlain in northern Vermont-- a spectacular body of water that goes for a million miles north and south and forms the border between upper New York state and the long, tall skinny state of Vermont. The sailing is awesome and the vistas of lush New England foliage and the mountainous valleys on either side can be breathtaking.  It's truly one of those gems hidden in the American northeast that few in the sailing world ever joy to its fullest.

Meanwhile, for a bunch of local sailors, they have this giant lake all to themselves on incredibly spectacular days!  One of them happens to be Dana Bolton, a proud new owner of a J/95 called SWISH based in Charlotte, Vermont.  Said Dana, "note-  here is a happy J/95 owner picture.  This was last Tuesday on Lake Champlain.  Winds were 15-25 kts.  With a reefed main and 105 jib, we got the speedo up to 10.5 knots on a broad reach.  On Wednesday, with similar winds, we got her up to 11.9 knots with the A4 spinnaker in 20-25 knots (with only 2 of us on board).  I am on the mainsheet in this photo (with the huge smile!).  My friend Simon from London (a very good dinghy sailor) is on the wheel.

J/95 cruising shoal draft day sailerI retired in June after 26 years of lawyering in NYC and bought J/95 #26 ("Swish") as a retirement gift for myself.  I grew up sailing on the shallow waters of Great South Bay of Long Island and was intrigued with the J/95 as a shoal draft performance boat.  I sail Swish on Lake Champlain in Vermont, were shoal draft is not required, but I fell in love with the cockpit and sweet looks of the J/95 (I don't sleep on boats and wanted a cockpit with seats that works well for both sailing/racing and non-sailing friends).  I also do a lot of single-handing, and the wheel with a simple wheel auto pilot makes that very easy.  That said, the boat tracks so well that I only use the auto pilot when under power to stow dock lines/fenders and raise and lower sails, and when sailing down wind to forward and set the spinnaker.

I entered some casual races this season with mixed but improving results as I got to know the boat and Lake better, made local sailing friends and got them out on Swish, and revived my sailing skills.  The season is nearly over and I can't wait to enter more races next year!"

Martha Stewart having fun sailing off New York* Martha Stewart thinks sailing and boating is fun!?  Yes. Martha, the doyenne of all things for home lifestyle, design, food, clothes and gardening also happens to be a lifelong boater, sailor herself.  When she heads up to Mt Desert Island for brief moments of respite to recharge her batteries, like many of us do, she relaxes in her beautiful home that overlooks Seal Harbor and the Eastern Way towards Little Cranberry Island (a.k.a. Islesford).  In fact, her self-professed "best lobster roll ever" happens to be at the Islesford Dock Restaurant, who's proprietors are Dan and Cynthia Lief (themselves refugees from the madness of working in New York City and working at Goldman Sachs).  How does she enjoy her time in Maine?  Martha often hops into her 36 ft Hinckley Picnic Boat with a pile of friends and dashes around the gorgeous Maine islands in Frenchman's, Blue Hill and Penobscot Bays, trying the lobster rolls in Islesford, Frenchboro, Stonington and Northeast Harbor-- all of them hard to beat since they're so delicious.  She also hops aboard various friend's beautiful sailboats to go out for daysails around the Cranberry Islands, the Ducks or simply for a picnic on the famous Marshall Island sandy beach or at the famous "Dancing Rocks" on Baker Island.

Martha Stewart (r) sailing with Hannah Swett (l)This past weekend found Martha down in New York city supporting the New York Harbor School.  There she found common ground with long-time J sailors Dawn Riley and local Newporter/ Jamestowner Hannah Swett-- both of whom have cut their teeth sailing J/22s and J/24s for decades as they grew into the talented, world-renown women sailors they are today.  Martha was in "good hands" with Hannah and Dawn and thoroughly enjoyed her weekend with these gals and, most importantly, supporting a wonderful program supporting dis-advantaged public high school kids from New York City's various burroughs- the Bronx, Manhattan, Harlem and so forth.  Here is Martha's account on her "Martha Blog" of her recent experience:

"I have become very interested in The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, a wonderful small public high school located on Governors Island (in Upper New York Bay just off the southern tip of Manhattan Island), founded by Murray Fisher.

J/24s sailing for New York Harbor SchoolThe school partners with New York City's maritime community (such as sailing Manhattan YC's red J/24s) and uses New York Harbor's marine resources to create an extraordinary public high school experience that instills in its students the skills and ethic of environmental stewardship. Harbor School's mission is to graduate students prepared for success in college and who have earned a technical credential in one of the six marine fields: Aquaculture, Marine Biology Research, Marine Systems Technology, Ocean Engineering, Professional SCUBA diving, and Vessel Operations.

Last Thursday I had the thrilling opportunity of sailing in the second annual Harbor School Regatta to benefit the Harbor School. Hannah Swett, one of my Godchildren, who comes from a very famous sailing family in Rhode Island, invited me to sail with her and her mother, Ellie Burgess, upon the historic America's Cup 12-meter boat, Intrepid.

Martha Stewart trimming sails on 12 Meter IntrepidI first met Ellie many years ago when were neighbors in New York City. I had many exciting sails with her and her family and learned what I know about sailing from them. Hannah's sailing credentials include Collegiate All-American, multiple World and National champion, Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, America's Cup Sailor, and was nominated for Rolex World Sailor of the Year. Please enjoy these sailing photos of the Regatta (MYC J/24s and the 12 Meters INTREPID and AMERICAN EAGLE) taken by photographer Lori Hawkins.

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-