Wednesday, November 21, 2012

J/Newsletter- November 21st, 2012

J/70 sailing off MarbleheadJ/70 One-Design Class Update
(Newport, RI)- Over the past month the evolution of J/70 one-design class development continues its inexorable fast pace around the world.  While the first J/70s are just beginning to appear in such exotic locations like Santiago, Chile; Sydney, Australia; Hong Kong, China; and Miami, FL, other famous sailing venues are seeing fleets blossom like spring flowers across the sailing landscape.  Europeans are just beginning to get a taste of the J/70 in the Netherlands (Belgium & Holland) as well as in England and France.

In the Americas, the class is developing rapidly.  To date there are over a dozen fleets in development with nine confirmed already.  At this stage, it looks like Annapolis can lay claim to being the J/70 capital of the world with Fleet #1 status, followed closely by their friends in Newport/ Narragansett Bay with Fleet #2.  The Great Lakes are growing fast with Cleveland as Fleet #3, Western Lake Ontario #6, South Shore Lake Ontario #7 and Erie, PA as #8.  Out West, SoCal (Southern California) is Fleet #5 and the California fleets may soon expand to include Santa Barbara, CA as its own fleet along with San Francisco, CA.  Plus, the Cascade Locks, OR and Seattle, WA fleets are not far behind! In the East, Fishing Bay, VA is now Fleet #4 and just recently Marblehead attained Fleet #9 status.  Not far behind are fleets forming in Chicago, IL; Fort Worth, TX; Houston, TX; Lake Dillon, CO; Tampa, FL; and Long Island Sound.

J/70s sail testing Long Island SoundReports from the frontiers of J/70 fleet development are encouraging.  Recently, Jud Smith, a world-renowned sailor (Etchells 22 World Champion, Sonar North American Champion, IOD World Champion and Dennis Conner's mainsail trimmer in the America's Cup), had the following commentary after sailing in Marblehead recently: "I saw the J/70’s sailing in Newport a bunch this summer.  It looked well mannered, without the crew having to fight it to go fast.  I also like the decision to go with dacron race sails for this size one-design.  The ramp-launch trailer, roller furling headsail, carbon rig with adjustable backstay all makes a lot sense.  However, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to sail with Peter Duncan this fall in New York that I realized that this boat was going to be a game-changer.  I couldn’t help but think the J/70 class was going to take-off like the J/24 did  years ago.  When I got home I told my wife, Cindy, how impressed I was with the boat and that it was a class we could race together. I was pleased to finally be able to get her out J/70 one-design sailboats- sailing off San Diego YCsailing at the Marblehead Demo day.  When she returned to the dock she insisted I join her for another ride. I wasn’t expecting that! She’s quite excited now for racing the J/70 together. Our two daughters can race it as well, even if I’m away!"

The report from San Diego was similar.  Jeff Brown at JK3 Yachts said: "This past Sunday we had a J/70 Demo Day hosted at San Diego Yacht Club with sailmakers from Ullman, Quantum, and North sails on each boat for people to test. It turned out to be a perfect day with about 30 attendees.  We offered food, beer, and drinks on the dock after and it was a very successful, enjoyable event. We're looking forward to growing our Socal Fleet #5!"  For more J/70 one-design sailing information

European Boatshow Update
(London, England & Paris, France)- With the holidays fast-approaching consider taking the time to visit some of Europe's more famous boatshows this winter season to see some of the latest boats the J/Team has to offer.  It's a wonderful opportunity, in particular, to visit Paris in December and London in January to see their spectacular shows, visit "bright lights & big cities" and enjoy delicious international cuisine, evening entertainment and historical cultural attractions with friends and family!

From 8th December to 16th, the Salon Nautique Paris on the south side of Paris will again present one of the world's most spectacular sailboat shows.  J/Europe will be displaying the J/70, the J/97 and the J/111.  You will get a chance to speak to many top French sailors who've been trained on J/22s, J/24s and J/80s over the course of time.  And, you'll get a chance to "talk shop" with winners of SPI Ouest, La Rochelle Race Week, RORC Fastnet Race and many others who are renowned in the French offshore sailing community.   Furthermore, J/Europe is hosting cocktails & hors'd'oeuvres for J/111 owners and potential customers to discuss plans for the 2013 European J/111 Circuit.    For more Paris Sailboat Show information

After the New Year, it's time to make plans for two things:  #1 is go sailing in Key West Race Week to get a tan, enjoy spectacular Carribean-style sailing off the Florida Keys and then #2 is go to the London Boatshow and catch up with all your European friends with a tan to-die-for and tell a few war-stories over a pint or so of Guinness! OK, maybe not for everyone, but it's a great idea?!

On display at the Key Yachting booth will be the newly "International J/111" (more news later) and the new J/70 speedster, J/Boats' latest entry to the sportboat world that is gaining healthy momentum quite quickly.  Perhaps most significantly, the J/70 will be a new "SPITFIRE", supporting the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.  Featured will be the Royal Air Force SPITFIRE Team that is headed-up by Wing Commander Simon Ling.  For more London Sailboat Show information

sunset sailing offshoreJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

November continues to be a remarkably active month for sailing around the world.  J sailing activities have been taking place in the Middle East, Europe, the UK, North America, Jamaica, Australia and Asia.  One of the most significant events were the J/24 North American's that were hosted by the gorgeous Florida YC in Jacksonville, Florida.  East of them the Montego Bay, Jamaica J/22 fleet continues to have lots of fun, increasing fleet participation and enjoying a "Commodore's Jump-Up" all the same.  Over in Europe, the J/80s concluded their Benelux Championship on the Braassermemeer in the Netherlands.  The Swedish J/80 team that sailed the French J/80 Nationals off Douarnenez in Brittany provided their insightful report about the importance of sailing outside of your home waters and experiencing other cultures, food and sailing conditions.  The J/22s also completed their European circuit with the completion of the fall "Cooling Down" Regatta and a crowning of their J/22 Euro-League Champions that included French, Belgium, Netherlands and German crews.  Furthermore, the Royal Southern YC also crowned their "Champion of Champions"- a family team that sails the famous J/97 JIKA JIKA on the Solent.  Meanwhile, despite all kinds of Middle Eastern tensions amongst various countries, several intrepid J sailors took to the high-seas and are sailing their J/92 in the 300nm Dubai-Muscat Race that goes around the infamous Straits of Hormuz and into the Gulf of Oman!!  Brave souls they are.  In fact, speaking of "brave sailors", since it's the last Thursday of November, most Americans will be celebrating their huge holiday called "Thanksgiving"-- a ceremony about how & why America is "thankful" for lots of help from Native American Indians who were there first and gave some starving "sailors" on very slow boats some guidance on how to live through nasty New England winters (just so happens to be Rhode Island's Wampanoag tribe and Chief Massasoit who helped!).

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
Nov 29-Dec 2- St Petersburg Boatshow- St Petersburg, FL
Dec 8-16- Paris Boatshow- Paris, France
Jan 12-20- London Boatshow (70, 111)- London, England
Jan 19-27- Boot Dusseldorf Boatshow- Dusseldorf, Germany
Jan 21-26- Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
Jan 21-26- J/80 Midwinters- Key West, FL
Jan 21-26- J/70 Midwinters- Key West, FL
Jan 24-27- Strictly Sail Boatshow- Chicago, IL
Jan 24-27- San Diego SunRoad Boatshow- San Diego, CA
Jan 25-Feb 3- Seattle Boatshow- Seattle, WA
Feb 14-18- Miami Sailboat Show- Miami, FL
Feb 16-24- New England Boatshow- Boston, MA
Mar 6-10- HISWA Amsterdam Boatshow- Amsterdam, Holland
Mar 8-10- J/105 Midwinters- Lakewood YC- Seabrook, TX
Mar 12-17- Moscow Boatshow- Moscow, Russia
Apr 11-14- Strictly Sail Pacific- Alameda, CA

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

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing off Jacksonville, FL in North AmericansMollicone Wins J/24 North Americans
(Jacksonville, FL)- The Florida Yacht Club and J/24 Fleet 55 hosted the 2012 Merrill Lynch–Bank of America J/24 North Americans for the twenty-nine teams from across America.

The event opened up in a swashbuckling fashion as John Mollicone’s 11th Hour Racing and Peter Bream’s Team Tarheel went neck-to-neck against each other over two races and finished the day with four points each to lead the rest of the pack heading into the second day of competition.

Mollicone drew first blood by winning the first race with Bream finishing in second and Robby Brown’s USA 799 taking the third spot. The second race saw Rossi Milev’s Clean Air finishing first with Bream winding up in second again and Mollicone nabbing a point after nabbing third place. Milev currently stands in third in the four-day race off the beautiful coast of Jacksonville, Florida.  Conditions in Jacksonville were cool and overcast, with winds starting at 6-8 knots and a slight chop before dying out for a while in the afternoon. The breeze then filled in for race two at 5-7 knots.

For the second day of racing, Peter Bream on Team Tarheel claimed the lead.  Bream held the advantage over second place John Mollicone on 11th Hour Racing (24 points) and Mike Ingham on 11th Hour Racing in third (36 points). The day began with Bream’s Team Tarheel notching two bullets in races 3 and 4. Travis Odenbach’s Honey Badger crossed the line behind Bream in Friday’s first race, however took an 8 due to a scoring penalty. Mollicone’s 11th Hour Racing was third. In the next contest, another 11th Hour Racing—this time Ingham—placed second, followed by Clark Dennison’s Kobayashi Maru. Then it was Mollicone who grabbed the top spot in Race 5, with Rossi Milev and Robby Brown rounding out the top three. Ingham ended the day with a victory in race 6, trailed by Odenbach and Ron Medlin, Jr.’s Bash.  Conditions in Jacksonville were chilly and overcast with winds at 6-8 knots, building to 10-12 throughout the day.

After the third day of racing, John Mollicone’s 11th Hour Racing team emerged victorious. Comprised of Mollicone, Tim Healy, Collin Leon, Geoff Becker and Gordon Borges, the Newport team credited their consistency and team work during the nine races as the keys to their success.  “We had good starts, and our boat speed was good,” summarized Mollicone. “It’s hard to be in the right place all the time tactically, but our boat speed helped us get out of some tough situations.”

Finishing with 30 points overall, 11th Hour Racing won the regatta’s first race and never finished out of the top 10. “We wanted to make sure we didn’t have any real deep races, especially early on,” shared Healy. “It ended up paying off late in the regatta. We could afford going into the last race knowing we couldn’t get worse than second, so that was a nice place to be.”

Canadian Rossi Milev sailed an impressive regatta on Clean Air, and placed in second overall with 34 points including three bullets. Travis Odenbach’s Honey Badger rounded out the top three.  Conditions in Jacksonville on the last day of the event were the breeziest of the week at 16-18 knots with gusts in the 20s.

“This is a challenging place to sail because it’s not only shifty but there are a lot of holes and you have the current factor,” Mollicone said. “Tricky conditions, but the people at Florida Yacht Club are awesome and it was a great regatta.” On Saturday, Milev won race 7, with Greg Griffin’s Majic and Odenbach in the next two slots. David Van Cleef claimed the next victory, trailed by Mollicone and Odenbach. Milev returned to the top in the event’s final bout, and Van Cleef and Griffin followed.

The top ten overall were 1st John Mollicone- 30 pts, 2nd Rossi Milev- 34 pts, 3rd Travis Odenbach- 40 pts, 4th Peter Bream- 41 pts, 5th Mike Ingham- 43 pts, 6th Carter White- 44 pts, 7th David Van Cleef- 45 pts, 8th Greg Griffin- 63 pts, 9th Robby Brown- 65 pts and 10th John Denman- 74 pts.  Thanks for the contribution from Chris Howell.   For more J/24 North Americans sailing information

J/97 JIKA JIKA sailed by Holmes family winningMike Holme Crowned Royal Southern YC "Champion of Champions"
(Southampton, England)- In a new initiative launched in this 175th Anniversary year of the Royal Southern Yacht Club, the Barbados Tourism Authority and the Hamble-based Club have co-operated to offer the owner of the most consistent and successful yacht in the Club's four Summer Series Regattas, a prize trip to view the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race on 21st January 2013.

The winner and "victor ludorum" is Mike Holmes from Bath, Avon, who has sailed his J/97 JIKA-JIKA (which means "twist & turn" in Swahili) with his son Jamie to a resounding series of 13 wins and two 2nd place finishes out of 15 races, in the highly competitive IRC 3 class.

A member of the Royal Naval Sailing Association and Royal Yacht Squadron, Mike is an ex-submariner who started sailing in 1958, competing mainly offshore throughout the 1970s and 1980s in many RORC events and several Fastnet Races (including the fateful 1979 edition). He took part in the 1977 World 3/4 Ton Cup in La Rochelle and placed 4th in the 1978 World 1/4 Ton Cup in Japan. He also competed in the inaugural double-handed 1981 Transat, taking 1st in class in his 30ft trimaran and was part of the winning crew in the 1988 and 1989 Three Peaks Race (a brutal, endless, 24 hour competition that takes place for days and includes running, rowing your sailboat and sailing to the famous "three peaks" in Scotland).

The Barbados Tourism Authority, Mount Gay Rum (The Rum that Invented Rum) and the Barbados Cruising Club are co-sponsors of the annual Round Barbados Race and are partnered in this superb prize trip by British Airways and the Mango Bay hotel group.  Congratulations to Mike and Jamie Holmes, we wish them well and "God Speed" in adventures in the Caribbean.  Thanks for this contribution from Peta Stuart-Hunt.
For more Royal Southern YC Champion of Champions information

J/92 sailing off Dubai, UAEJ/92 Hammering RORC Dubai-Muscat Race
(Dubai, United Arab Emirates)- This year's 21st edition of the RORC Dubai to Muscat Race got off to a fantastic start on Saturday 17th November 2012 with the Rally Class first to go and enjoying near perfect sailing conditions with blazing sunshine, good breeze and flat blue water. Competitors relished 12 knots of wind from the northwest providing a fast reaching start along the glittering shoreline of Dubai. The wind held through the night and by dawn on the second day, the leading yachts had safely sailed through the Arabian Gulf and The Straits of Hormuz.

Dubai offshore sailing club and dhows racing on GulfThe IRC Racing division started on Sunday 18th November. An international fleet of performance cruisers set off from Dubai for the 360 nautical mile race to Muscat. By dawn on Monday 19th November, the IRC Racing Division was approaching one of the trickiest parts of the course; the complex tides of The Straits of Hormuz.  On Monday night, the IRC fleet was experiencing solid pressure of over 20 knots with thunderstorms and squalls charging up the night sky as they past the islands that form the northern part of Dubai in the Straits of Hormuz before the fleet turns right and heads SSE down the Gulf of Oman towards the harbor of Muscat.

At this stage of the game, Matt Britton and his merry bandits from the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club are leading the overall IRC Division 2 prize in the 360 nautical mile Dubai to Muscat Offshore Race.   Sailing PRIVATEER, "the old bird of the J/92 fleet", as Matt describes her, they hope to remain in contention to the finish.

The international fleet of sailors from Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa are expected to arrive in Muscat to participate in the Muscat Regatta. Two days of inshore racing are scheduled involving well over 100 dinghies and keelboats. Followed by the grand finale where 15 yachts are expected to take part in the Bank of Beirut Chairman's Cup with a $50,000 cash prize fund.
For more Dubai to Muscat Race sailing information     Dubai Offshore Sailing Club has a great Facebook page.

J/80 Benelux sailors- Laura Vroon and team sailing to win!JOIE DE VIVRE Sails Perfect Benelux Championship
(Gravelines, Belgium)- This year's Open Benelux J/80 Championship saw a champion crowned with an unprecedented series- 7 1sts in seven races.  Laura Vroon and crew sailed their hearts out and simply established themselves at the front of the fleet like no one could ever imagine.  Girls Rule!!

It was a beautiful battlefield with hard, stormy winds, perfect race committee work, good organization, excellent sportsmanship and fair play at a very competitive level for the entire field of sailors. Participants spoke of the best regatta ever. The Regatta Jury had no objection to being needed as there were no protests lodged whatsoever-- everything on the water was handled by self-imposed "criminal circles", as all competitors seemed to judge by one another fairly.  The fair play award went to Henk Everwijn, who after a port/ starboard situation at the finish, withdrew without a protest.

The "fair play" amongst the fleet is even more remarkable given the compactness of the field.  A single error immediately took many places, tactical situations were the norm, and this meant the difference between position 2 and 6.  This was not the case for JOIE DE VIVRE Team, their first place was a serene one without one challenger. JDV took every race from the start line. Sailing fast and high with superb boat-handling and superb sail-trim, JDV was first at the upwind mark virtually every time.  After which their lead steadily extended every time, so they cashed-in after the seven races for the gold.  An amazing performance for Laura Vroon and crew!

Just behind them was quite a battle for second in this epic regatta.  JUUL's Bernard Holsboer, who sustained some damage in the stormy 32 kts winds on the first day were pleased with their performance, despite dropping from 2nd to 3rd overall. Dueling it out for the balance of the podium were the defending champion JALAPENO- Erik Scheeren and JUUL.  After a storm-tossed first day and a match-race for second, it was JALAPENO that took the lead to take second overall. JUUL was third.  NJOY's Coen van Veen sailed well to take fourth and fifth was MENTAQUILIBRIUM's Christopher Savoy.

Of note, it was nice to see a new J/80 sailor learning the ropes and improving race-to-race over the course of the season.  The "Rookie of the Year" had to be Eric Hogervorst sailing QUICK & DIRTY, displaying a remarkable increase in his speed boat and tactics, taking 8th in the regatta.  More next year, we promise!  For more J/22 Netherlands/ Benelux sailing information.

J/22 sailing Jamaica, Montego BayMontego Bay 75th Commodore's Ball
(Montego Bay, Jamaica)-  The growth of the Jamaica J/22 fleet based out of Montego Bay YC has generated enormous enthusiasm for sailors in the Montego area.  The combination of kids, Moms, Dads and lots of friends who have been looking to sail with "no dramas, mon" has generated a huge out-pouring of fun and games amongst the members.  Easy access, a fun-to-sail philosophy and an "all-inclusive" approach to anyone who walks down the beach wishing to go sailing can only mean one thing-- a good old-fashioned "jump up" to some awesome reggae!  And so it was.

J/22 sailing- Montego Bay, Jamaica- Commodores BallThe J/22 Montego Bay fleet helped to celebrate en-masse their MBYC's 75th Commodore's Ball with a "jump up" to end all "jump ups".  See the YouTube video here.

As they continue this celebration, as often these celebrations can happen for weeks or months, the Montego J/22 fleet has decided to host their JAMIN' INVITATIONAL CUP REGATTA from December 6th to 8th.  Come one, come all.  Everyone is welcome.  Just let us know, we take care of you!  We love you all, J sailors around'd'world.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you in these parts and join us!  If you know how to sail, we know how to have fun!  For more Mo'Bay Yacht Club & J/22 Fleet Sailing information

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing Benelux regattaLoos Wins Cooling Down Regatta
(Braassermermeer, Netherlands)- Fourteen teams gathered for the weekend of sailing that constitutes one of the end of the season regattas for the Benelux J/22 sailing circuit.

The fleet was greeted on Saturday with 2-4 m/sec winds and, somewhat prophetically, it started to rain at the start line on the Braassemermeer. On Saturday the wind was moderate and very shifty.  Sunday dawned no better.  Sunday it was pretty uncomfortable outside. Said Thomas Hanf, "instead of using the alarm, we were awakened by pounding rain on the roof of our VW bus."  Such was the weekend for the real "Cooling Down Regatta".

After eight races in total, the final victory went to the VERFPAGINA.NL Team led by Gaston Loos and his team with an amazing tally of two 4ths and six consecutive 1sts for total of 14 pts.  A dominating performance it was. However, the battle for the balance of the podium was anything but simple exercise of sailing around the course.  The next three boats were all essentially tied going into the last race!  For each start, for every mark-rounding, for every tack, set and gybe, the three teams all fought "tooth & nail" to scratch-out the best possible finish every race.  In the end, second was the team of Reinhold Gross with his German team aboard JAMAICAS KRONJUWEL with a steady scoreline of 7-7-3-3-2-3-4-3 for 32 points, just one point ahead of his rivals.  Third and fourth were determined on a tie-breaker by two Benelux teams.  Taking third place was Jean-Michel Lautier and his team with a 1-3-2-4-5-8-2-8 for 33 pts.  At the short-end of that stick was Ivo Jeukens taking fourth with a 2-1-5-2-6-5-8-4 for 33 pts.  Rounding out the top five was Haka with 46 pts.

As a result of this regatta, perhaps the most significant victory went to Reinhold Gross and crew on JAMAICAS KRONJUWEL, taking the overall 2012 Euro-League for the J/22s in Europe.  Congratulations to the Jamaica-loving crew led by Reinhold!  Perhaps an invitation to the "real" Jamaica to sail off Montego Bay is on order for this crew!  For more J/22 Cooling Down and Euro-League sailing information

J/80s sailing off France on Bay of BiscayThe Swedish Report on French J/80 Nationals
(Marstrand, Sweden)- The forecast before departure from Sweden did say the weather was going to be quite challenging- wave height of 5 meters and winds from the west over 17-20 m/s. It was admittedly a little nervous situation, we would drive 250 miles just to sit on the bridge and look out on a raging sea?  But it is an outdoor sport and weather is beyond our control.  If no sailing, we know the oysters will be excellent and we could get in a bit of sightseeing in the worst case.

J/80s sailing under spinnaker off FranceOur team has not sailed together before, but we have sailed against each other many times across the race track.  This is a bit unusual for me, but it will be fun to do something else (tactics) while Lasse steers, Gitte trims and Pelle does strategy.

Douarnenez in Brittany is probably the nicest place we have sailed in, says everyone when we all arrive. After a great dinner, we look forward to the first race, but it does seem a bit windy.

At dawn on Thursday it was blowing about 15 kts, but gusting much higher, perhaps 30 kts.  It was even windier in the villages, it was raining too, so today's race is canceled. The French sailors are very unhappy, of course, even though the organizers say they must prioritize safety. A sensible decision, we think, although we would happily had sailed out of the protected harbor and into the Atlantic to give it a test.

J/80s sailing off French coastlineOn Friday, the wind has died down somewhat, so we get out and practice a little before the first start. After the start, we get going good. Up at the first rounding we're 7th with 73 boats behind.  Fun! But, the wind changes 30 degrees and those located on the other side get level or ahead of us while we get into the basement of the fleet! Ugh! But when you go planing along at 15.6 knots, it's hard to not smile!  So, for the next start, we are greatly stoked!

However, it was a tight start and when we dodge a boat before the start we collide with another boat!  Ouch! At the same time we smoke our forestay- gone!  So, when the wind is more than 10 m/s in the Atlantic we can't sail. I jump up and sit forward in the bow, holding the forestay while I get soaked to the skin-- ultimately we get towed into the harbor.

The rest of the day, evening and following morning are devoted to locate spare parts. The French are incredibly friendly and very helpful.  About 7 different sailors from other boats stay around and help us.  Finally, we find what we need in a small village about 1 hour away. By early morning the next day, everything is repaired-- thanks to our dear French friends.

J/80s sailing around windward mark off FranceNext race, we are well placed for the first beat, but a big left shift sends us down into the basement again. I have not seen such big wind shifts in the Atlantic before. And 20-30 degree shifts seem to be common here.  This place is worse than Ram in Sweden, but with fast-moving 3 meter waves!  We have some other top boats around us, there are several who have missed the big shift.  But soon, we draw level with the top boats and get a good race finish-- so it's still smiles all the way to the finish.

Today's last race would also be the last of the regatta.  On Sunday it "blew dogs off chains" and then some, so there was no sailing at all.

It is incredibly fun to sail in large fields and, although we were unlucky with the collision and weather, it is still worth the effort to get here and sail. It extends our short season and get a great sailing experience to think back to the dark winter months. The cost is not particularly high, rental boat € 1800, entry fee € 250, accommodation sleeps 4 (with breakfast) € 600 + travel. That is, about 8,000 SKR-- not bad for the experience, really!  Plus, the food and drink and friends were fantastic-- the best!  Until next time, friends!  Sailing photo credits- Jacques Vapillon


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

J/24 sailing off Australia* J/24 "Superman" Experiences Heavy Weather Sailing In Australia?!  Simon Grain and crew Down Under are rarely short on great stories and fun & games sailing their J/24s.  Recently, Simon had this commentary from Chris Furey (in the YC bar or pub?). Simon said that Chris is an ex-J sailor and a great J friend from Sandringham.  Said Simon, "he shot this pic and info to me this afternoon, thought you might like to see it. Taken by Chris off Williamstown in the early 80’s, this is Athol Lidgett’s J/24 JAILBREAK seen here on the burst in classic J style."  Chris says, “It was during a JOG regatta out of RYCV when the race officials decided it was far too windy to race, so several of us J sailors decided we would go for a blast anyway. The guy on the deck in the blue jacket is John Hooper, the sail maker. John and his brother, Olympic Coach Buster, both sailed on the boat.

JAILBREAK met an unfortunate end when sailing back from a Mornington race into a strong  northerly that built to well over 35 knots. Athol decided they had taken enough punishment in the strong wind and seas and reached off into the lee of Rickets Point where they picked up a mooring just off the old Keefer’s Boatshed near Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron.  The crew were picked up and taken ashore but that night the wind suddenly switched to an equally hard south westerly with enormous seas. The boat was torn from its mooring and smashed to unrecognizable pieces on the rocky Beaumaris shore just below the Beauy Pub. Somewhere on the rocks not far offshore  there is a J/24 lead keel!”

Sad, but entertaining story, nevertheless.  We can only hope the boys Down Under continue to have fun sailing their J/24s!   For more J/24 Australia sailing information

J/100 sailing off Charleston Harbor, SC* J/100 sailing Charleston Harbor by power boaters?  You bet.  We love these stories from the frontiers of sailing anywhere in the world.  Even from a river in Charleston, South Carolina!  Recently, Rick Hall, President of Hall Marine/ Sea-Ray/ Scout of Charleston wrote-

"Hi Guys- The story about how I got to sailing a J/100 is probably "atypical" .........kinda of a strange contradiction of sorts as I am a powerboat dealer here in the Carolinas and Georgia that sells Sea Ray, Boston Whaler and Scout.

I grew up outside of Charlotte,  NC racing Windmills and Lightnings during the late 60's on Lake Norman with my dad who built his own boats in his garage wood shop.  We got into the boat business in the mid 70's with Chris Craft and, later, with Sea Ray.  In the early 80's, we bought a sailboat business that did pretty well for a time......I was one of the riggers.  I remember when the very first J/24 was shown at the Charlotte boat show and, I believe, Rod Johnstone was there.  The new J/24 was the talk of the show as it was so "radical" for it's time. Later, I came to the College of Charleston and sailed 420's on the sailing team and crewed on various boats here including what I think was the prototype J/30.

Fast forward a few years and I returned to Charleston to establish a powerboat dealership and, in the course of doing boat shows and various events,  got to know Bob Johnstone who lived in Charleston at the time and was representing J/Boats. I sailed with Bob several times onboard his J/105. One day he told me about the new J/100 and that he was having one built for his personal demo boat.  Once I saw the drawings, I was in. 

My family took delivery of "Radiant" in late 2005 and we have enjoyed many wonderful days around Charleston Harbor and offshore sailing "Radiant".  We have never raced her, just love to daysail. The photo is a typical Wednesday when I found myself caught up at the office, looked out the window at the beautiful weather, and decided to go for a sail. I get a lot of interesting comments  around the 'aren't you the Sea Ray guy...what are you doing on a sailboat?'  Just Love it!

The attached photo is from a local professional photographer here in Charleston named Alistair Nical who owns 'Coastal Insight.'  He captured this shot on a weekday afternoon, thought you would appreciate this.
 Have a great Thanksgiving!  Rick Hall-  Charleston,  SC"

J/109 Whiskey Jack- sailing Hong Kong, China* The J/109 Experience in the China Cup Regatta- Recently, Nick Southward, owner of the J/109 WHISKEY JACK sailing out of Hong Kong, China caught up with us and had this to say about his J/109 sailing adventures off Hong Kong's islands- "Below you will find some excellent stories written by Guy Nowell (with on our adventures in the China Cup International Regatta held in Daya Bay, China."  Guy's commentary follows:

"Day 1- Not a bad day.

IRC combined divisions rolled into the start area in a good 2m swell-and-chop, and with just 14sec to go before the P down, instead it was Class down and AP up as the pin dragged off downwind at a rate of knots. By the time the buoy had been reset and the scattered sheep rounded up and pointed in the right direction, it was 25min later, meaning that the IRC boats had some catching up to do with the regatta’s Glamour Division (Beneteau 40.7OD) and the HKPN fleet.

Whiskey Jack came off mid-line with the height and pace of an electric giraffe on a skateboard, and was delighted to be keeping company with Jamie McWilliam’s rather more powerful Ker 40, Peninsula Signal 8. It felt good while it lasted. The trip from Hong Kong to Longcheer is a straight-line coaster, with one corner near the end. Breeze for most of the trip was steady in strength, and the main decision was to ‘go in’ or ‘stay out’. Staying out at sea for an anticipated lift at the top of the track certainly paid, but not for the reason expected – in fact the breeze was all over the compass, starting at 090 wandering back and forth between 060 and 070.

But at the left-hand headland just six miles from the finish line, it collapsed into puffy, shifty stiff from all directions – on the finish line it was 270 - and overlaying a big ocean swell pushing into Daya Bay, good for surfing had been any more wind! Surfdude did some very entertaining 360 turns trying to get to the last patch of puff in order to finish.

So Whiskey Jack was happily surprised to find herself only third IRC boat into the marina, and happily spent an hour tidying up after the energetic 35nm beat. Crew hit the Quarantine queue at 1705h, and were dismayed to find that this was just the queue for the next queue – Immigration. Quarantine declarations ('no, I do not have bird flu') were meticulously checked letter by letter and digit by digit against passports. And then on to Immigration. One crewmember’s Arrival Card was rejected because it was completed in blue biro instead of something black (although nowhere on the form is this specified, and blue ink works perfectly well at every other entry point to China). Darkness fell. And then, almost 2 hrs after starting to queue, down came the rain. Officials rushed to provide flimsy plastic ‘emergency’ ponchos (queueing in a tent would have been a better idea) and a great many grumpy voices began to make themselves heard. 'Don’t exactly make you feel welcome here, do they?'

Day 2. The view from the rail of Whiskey Jack (again).

If this report seems a little WJ-centric, we do not apologise. Diametrically opposite to the way that China Cup reports itself as a whole collection of events with a regatta thrown in, these reports are written from the point of a competitor on the racecourse and with the same collection of events thrown in and ignored. Please draw your own conclusions.

Moving swiftly on from the monochrome breakfast at the Pattaya Hotel, and after a pleasant 45-minute doze on the bus en route to Longcheer, sailors were greeted by flapping flags, clattering halyards and 15kts of breeze in the marina. Time to go sailing.

Two sausages (course 6) for everyone except IRC 1 (an extra sausage). The Beneteau 40.7 division started first with 20 of the 26 boats trying to fit into the ten yards of the start line closest to the Committee Boat – probably the best place to be at that point was on the top deck of Kellett VI, watching the drama unfold mere feet away and listening to happy exchange of words between crews. A couple of hundred yards away on Whiskey Jack we could hear it all, and although Cantonese and Mandarin are not the first language of any of the crew we could still recognise some hard words in the hubbub.

Four minutes later, approaching the line with under a minute to go, we were surprised to be rolled by a Swan 83 that arrived on our starboard quarter with pace, failed to respond to luffing calls of ‘Up! Up!’, rolled straight through and across in front of us and steamed off down the line. Maybe that rattled the Whiskey Jacks – instead of sticking to the carefully planned ‘go right’ protocol, we went left and lost out badly. Catching up with the back markers of the 40.7OD fleet made for an altogether too exciting leeward rounding in traffic that looked like Hong Kong Central in rush hour, organised by Hong Kong minibus drivers about to go off shift. Preferably something never to be repeated in this lifetime.

With the breeze swinging hard right and a sea breeze building past 12kts, the RO called another course 6 and off we went again. This time a planned boat end start began perfectly but went badly awry when the big Swan appeared (again) from the back row, barged through the fleet of smaller boats that had just crossed the line, and thundered away leaving in her wake some shaking knees and more than one skipper wondering if the value of his boat might not have suddenly increased in value by the addition of a few microns of Swan gelcoat to the topsides. It was, in truth, a scary experience. Once again, the right side of the course paid and the breeze held. And lo and behold out came the sun. Top mark for IRC 1 and the 40.7s was set at 1nm, and 0.8nm for everyone else, making for another short sharp race (40mins) with little or no chance to recover from any mistakes – it was good short-course racing in good conditions. In fact, just about as good as it gets, anywhere.

Third race, course 6 again, and Whiskey Jack’s principal start plan was to stay as far away as possible from any large Swans in the general vicinity – a simple strategy that worked well and produced a stress-free start, a sparkling first beat, a dancing run and a nail-biting close quarters leeward rounding that worked nicely when A35 Andiamo left the door open just a couple of inches (but it could easily have been a different story!), and then a second lap with more of the same for a third place on the water and second on handicap.

Day 3 – A Grand Day Out

Some of the Whiskey Jacks were looking a little dusty this morning. Nothing to do with last night’s prize-giving followed by a sojourn in a karaoke bar accompanied by a bottle of whisky. Nothing at all.

Out on the water at 1000hrs for an 1100hrs start, 5kts on the windward mark swinging between 30 and 80?, and we were slacking off the rig. But after the trip back down to the starting area it was 18-20kts from 100? and we were tightening the rig with just 9 minutes to go before the start. Never mind, it was a good clean start with no Swans in sight, and a punchy beat to follow. The hoist was good too, but the gybe wasn’t. In fact, the wrap was still firmly in place as we rounded the bottom mark.

The hoist for the second run was a bit substandard too, with the kite wrapping itself as it went up, and the net result was a finish under jib at the very back of the division. All of a sudden, yesterday’s fifth place didn’t look like a discard any longer. An even worse morning for Yomovo when a D1 gave way and dropped the rig, and Surfdude who had an unscheduled meeting with a port-tack Beneteau 40.7 and lost her mast as well. There was also news of a FarEast 26 and the boom of a big Swan, but this is strictly unconfirmed at press time.

Race 6, Islands Course 3. ‘Islands race can be considered as a special harbour race, replacing the buoys with islands, reefs or lighthouses. Participating sailboats are required to circle such fixed marks.’ (Extract from the CCIR Service Manual – A Treat for Charms of Sailing’). While we anxiously waited for the Race Committee to replace the buoys with islands (or reefs, or lighthouses) we disentangled the spin halyard from the forestay, tidied up, and had another Red Bull.

It was a good powerful beat out to sea towards the Daya Bay Needles, and we hung on to the A40, Sea Wolf, all the way. Then a bear away to port onto an A-sail reach, a gybe to port at a navigation mark, and a full-blooded power reach back across the bay to the finish. 9-10kts on the clock felt pretty good until 500 yards before the finish line when the spinnaker suddenly split down the middle and turned into French underwear. All in all, a cracking afternoon’s sailing.

Day 4- A Challenging Day

The brown smog squatting heavily on the hills behind Longcheer didn’t look so good, but the breeze felt fantastic. 20kts and some as we poked our nose out from the marina, and that’s the way it stayed. The RO probably didn’t want another boat-breaker of a day (and probably nor did any of the owners) so where the program said ‘geometric or islands course’, it was geometric.

The starting sequence was changed from Sunday – Beneteau 40.7s away first, then IRC 1 and 2 together, and IRC 3 at the very back of the draw. This was a ploy to keep the sharks out of the paddling pool, or the biggest IRC boats away from the smallest ones. Speaking from experience, it is pretty scary to be rolled over on the start line by a boat more than twice your own length. Actually, we spoke to a crew member from the big boat and suggested politely that on Sunday they had failed to respond to a luffing call (fat chance!). We were quickly told that we had made no luffing movement, and were quickly referred to a Rule number which I now forget.

So, it has to be asked, is it a realistic suggestion that a J/109 should deliberately barge into the side of an 83’ cruiser? – after all, it’s big (the cruiser), it has lots of momentum and it has less maneuverability than the 35-footer. Or might it not have been a more considerate thing for the big boat to have kept clear of the smaller boats in the first place? Buffalo girls, and all that. Of course, rules are rules, and we’re not trying to sidestep them, but where there are big boats and (relatively) little boats starting together, a bit of common sense might sometimes over ride a stand on ‘rights’.

Moving swiftly on – two sausages, and yesterday Whisky Jack blew out her heavier spinnaker, so the choice was between the flimsy stuff and soak down, or Code 0 and go for the angles. The latter seemed to be the better call. Let’s just say that the execution wasn’t bad, but there were some stomach-churning mark roundings with boats in close quarters. In the strong breeze, everyone had their hands full from bow to helm, and knew it. Thankfully, there were no excessively large boats rounding with us.

Second race of the day, triangle and a sausage, better for the code 0 which was pressed into service again. The gybe mark was ‘interesting’ and so was the leeward mark, and different fleets going in opposite directions in the same patch of water all added to the fun. One thing we learned this weekend – when there are an awful lot of boats in a small patch of water, there are no clear lanes in the middle, and banging the corner suddenly becomes a much better idea.

Another thing we learned – in good breeze it’s very hard for a J/109 to hang on to an Archambault 40. Congratulations to Sea Wolf who took out the IRC 3 division with eight bullets form eight races. It was a bit of a mixed bag of results for the rest of us, but Whiskey Jack did indeed come home second overall in her division. Reason to be Cheerful Part 1.

Reason to be Cheerful Part 2 was the ride home to Hong Kong on Monday evening – but first we had to get past the Immigration dept. The desks were still there on the quayside, but they were unmanned. Bits & Pieces and Outrageous presented their passports around midday, and we joined in as soon as racing was finished, but it turned out that there were NO immigration arrangements at the venue, and helpful chaps were rushing backwards and forwards to the nearest immigration office (some 30min away by car) with batches of passports. At least it wasn’t raining.

Eventual departure time – after 1700hrs. A punchy trip to ‘the corner’ under engine and main in 25kts of breeze gave way to a glorious run in the dark with the wind on the port quarter. Novice night sailors were introduced to the joys of identifying navigation lights and trying to work out which way something is going (today we have an Answer Sheet – it’s called AIS). Gradually the sea calmed as we approached Hong Kong, and then it was time to gybe and head up Port Shelter and into Pak Sha Wan. The breeze carried all the way – there was still 18kts blowing us in through the entrance to Hebe Haven at just after 2200hrs. Welcome home to Hong Kong!"  Again, thanks to Guy Nowell, with kind permission of Sail-World Asia.

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-