Wednesday, November 28, 2012

J/Newsletter- November 28th, 2012

J/Sailing Calendar 2013- J/70 coverNEW 2013 J/Calendar!
The Perfect Gift For People Who Love Sailing!
(Newport, RI)- For 2013 we've created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places. The 2013 sailing calendar features photos (pictured here) of a dramatic J/111 powering upwind off Newport; a fleet of J/24s off sunny Tampa; surrealistic scenes of J/80s off Santander, Spain and flying downwind off Marseilles, France; a fleet of J/120s rocking downwind under spinnakers on San Francisco Bay; J/70s flying along under spinnakers; J/22s starting in the Rocky Mountains; and a J/97, J/109 and J/122 sailing in sunny Solent conditions.  A great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew!    Order your 2013 J/Calendar today, click here

J/70s sailing off Newport, RIJ/70s Biggest Key West Fleet!
(Key West, FL)- 37 boats and counting.  And, the possibility the fleet may reach 40+ boats is better than even odds by mid-January 2013! It's quite remarkable to see J/70 one-design fleet growth for Key West, catching even Premiere Racing's Director, Peter Craig, by surprise.  Taken from a historical perspective, J/70's first Midwinters in 2013 will be nearly twice as big as the legendary J/24's first Midwinters in 1978.

What's more amazing is to see many of the top sailors in both J's and other international classes (multiple World, European and North American Champions) that will be participating.  Top names and sailmakers like Jud Smith (Doyle), Dave Ullman (founder of Ullman Sails), Mark Ploch (Doyle-Ploch and first J/24 Midwinter Champion in 1978 on the RED EYE EXPRESS), Tim Healy (Quantum), Jay Lutz (North), Jim Allsop (North), Don Trask and Kerry Klingler (Quantum) will be looking forward to their first experience sailing in a highly competitive J/70 fleet down in the legendary, crystal azure blue waters off Key West.  Coupled with the frontal systems that toss in Northwesterly curveballs blowing 15-25 kts or the classic, benign, sunny southeaster that blows at 8-15 kts, you can be sure the competition will be incredibly fun and "white hot" around the race-track.  For more Key West Race Week sailing information

American Boat Shows
St Petersburg Show- Nov 29- Dec 2
This event is held in St Petersburg, FL from Nov 29th to Dec 2nd and on display will be two J/70s, one as a demo boat in the water at the Discover Sailing docks and the other a show boat on land.  Please be sure to contact Craig Crossley at CrossCurrent Marine- or ph# 941-365-9095 to setup and appointment to go sail a J/70.

Portland Boat Show- Jan 9-13
Sail Northwest will be participating in this event in Portland, Oregon from January 9 - 13 and will be displaying the J/70.  Since it's an indoor show, you don't care what the weather is like outside (often snowy or rainy at this time of year, but there will be good skiing at Mt Hood!). For more information, please contact Bob Ross at or ph# 206-286-1004.  Portland Show information.

Sunroad Boat Show- Jan 24-27
JK3 Yachts, Jeff Brown and crew will be displaying the J/70 and the J/111 from January 24th to 27th in San Diego, California.  The J/70 is growing fast and the J/111 fleet is growing steadily-- its offshore racing capability under ANY handicap rule (PHRF, IRC, ORR) is compelling and one-design activity nationwide will see the J/111 North Americans in Chicago in August 2013!  Be sure to connect with Jeff at JK3 Yachting- ph#619-224-6200 or email-

Seattle Boat Show- Jan 25-Feb 3
In the development of the J/Community in the Pacific Northwest, the J/Team from Seattle will be showing their J/70 in the Seattle Boatshow from January 25th to February 3rd in the Seattle Kingdome.  Please be sure to contact Bob Ross at or ph# 206-286-1004.  Seattle boat show information.

Maine Boat Builders Show- Mar 15-17
East Coast Yacht Sales will have its J/70 on display at the Maine Boatbuilders Show in Portland, Maine from March 15-17.  Just in time for the spring sailing season in Maine's southern parts, you will be able to dream about what it's like to sail in and around Maine's most gorgeous harbors, inlets and bays.  With luck, you may even go for a sail in April or May!  Be sure to coordinate those dreams with Jon Knowles and crew at ECYS at ph# 207-846-4545 or

Port Sanilac Marina Show- April 13
Detroit, Lake Huron and Lake St Clair sailors will be treated to an "Open House" on April 13, 2013 with a J/70 and J/111 at Port Sanilac Marina located on Lake Huron, north of Detroit.  At this point, spring flowers, day lilies and fragrant frangipani will be blooming across the prairies and lakeshores of the Midwest.  Please be sure to contact Chuck Kolascz at ph# 810-622-9651 or

Canadian Boat Shows
Toronto Boat Show- Jan 11-20
Pat Sturgeon from PSYachts in Toronto, Ontario will be hosting an enthusiastic group of sailors who are expressing tremendous interest in getting their J/70 fleet going on Lake Ontario-- in particular in Toronto at Royal Canadian YC and points east and west and in the lakes.  Pat's team will be available to chat about all things J/70 as well as how the J/111 and other boats are developing in the Great Lakes.  Please be sure to contact Pat Sturgeon at ph# 905-278-5100 or

Vancouver Boat Show- Feb 7-11
On display will be J/70 #58, the first boat into the Pacific western parts in Canada in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Oh! Canada! Amazing to see Far Eastern Canada starting to grow with J/70s.  Even cooler to see the strong interest in J/70s in Way West Canada.  Those Canadian sailors predisposed to having fun and including all their friends in the festivities won't be disappointed.  While this is an indoor show, it won't be surprising to see this J/70 sailing in the warm, friendly waters of the Sound soon afterwards!  Be sure to contact Ian Fraser at ph# 604-734-3344 or

Halifax Boat Show- Feb 21-24
The Nova Scotians are nothing if not hardy sailors.  Renown for fishing offshore in "perfect storms" and bringing home the cod (not bacon!) to satisfy hungry appetites at home, their sailors are no different.  Witness the first J/111 video in cool fall conditions in 2010-- great video, eh??  Damn the torpedoes.  J/70 enthusiasm is stirring similar passion amongst the Halifax cognoscenti of all things different, cool, fun and fast!  Get a chance to see the J/70 and take her for an elegant spin amongst the whales, porpoise and icebergs as your first demo sail! Contact Jim Snair at ph# 902-275-2424 or

Victoria Boat Show- Apr 18-21
For Western Canadians, if the February Vancouver show was a bit "chill", despite the warm, fuzzy, cottage-like atmosphere, then the Vic show will be a refreshing alternative.  With all snow melted on Blackcomb/ Whistler, with ski legs all in shape, now's the time to sport some shorts, toss some Molson Lites into the cooler and demand that J/70 #58 be taken out for demo sails from inside the main tent.  Of course, you can have that discussion with Ian Fraser at ph# 604-734-3344 or  Make arrangements with them soon!

South American Boat Shows
Peruvian Boat Show- Nov 29-Dec 2
Spring skiing!! How is this for an idea.  Since it's already after the peak winter season in the Andes, you can travel down to South America right now, get in some awesome spring skiing in Peru/ Chile/ Argentina and take a peek at the J/111 in Peru.  Two J/70s will be arriving shortly, so you could enjoy some late spring/ early summer sailing in the Pacific or some gorgeous lakes in Peru-- how about Lake Titicaca? World's highest sailable lake?  Maybe a future J/70 South Americans or J/70 Worlds site?  Easy to trailer and ramp launch, even from exotic Miami Beach!  For those adventurers, please be sure to contact German Fuchs in Lima, Peru at or ph# 511- 989-146-428.

European Boat Shows
(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!  After these two major shows, there are numerous others in delightful cities and countries around the Continent.  See more below.

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 "International J/111" at Stand J-62 Hall-1.  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'oeurves for J/111 owners and potential customers to review the 2013 European J/111 Circuit- please contact "Fred" at "".  Paris Show information.

On display at the Key Yachting booth will be the "International J/111" and the new J/70 speedster.  Perhaps most significantly, the J/70 will be a new "SPITFIRE", supporting the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.  Featured at the show will be the Royal Air Force SPITFIRE Team that is headed-up by Wing Commander Simon Ling.  In addition, the International J/80 one-design will be on display along with the IRC family-cruiser-racer- the J/97- runaway winner of 2012 Cowes Week and Scottish Week in the most competitive IRC Division. London Show information.

With dozens of great sailing lakes, access to the North Sea and the Baltic, it's not surprising the J/70 and near bigger sisterships like the J/80 and J/95 are attracting an entirely new group of German sailors.  Most importantly, you'll be able to meet the European Boat of the Year Nominee- the J/70 Speedster! Contact Henning Mittelmann at for more show information.  BOOT show info.

As a seafaring nation, the Dutch are amongst those without peer and take their sailing seriously! The latest HISWA Boat of the Year nominee is the J/70! To chat more about J/70 class development in the Benelux region (or about the J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER's amazing sailing season), please contact Angelique Verhoef of J/Benelux at  HISWA show information.

Mid-December frozen sailing! Cool! Reports Peter Johansson at Marstrand Yachts, "the first three J/70’s will arrive in the middle of December, we will start test sailing ASAP in Marstrand!"  He's not kidding.  It is warmer than you think up there-- sleeping in ice-cave hotels is normal.  After some schnapps and a very warm fire, don't hesitate to give our Scandinavian friends a visit at one of their Swedish indoor boatshows this winter.  For more Scandinavian Sailboat Shows information, please contact Peter Johansson  Here's the list for those adventurous sailors:
In the land that iconized the cow bell for "cheerleading" and dreamed up tasty items like swiss cheese, chocolate and cheese fondues and schnapps, it's no wonder Swiss sailors have plenty of energy to sail all day on their gorgeous mountain lakes so high up in the Swiss Alps.  Learn more about why the J/70 and J/95 are rapidly growing in popularity in Europe's Alpine region.  Be sure to contact Peter Bangerter at J-Lane Yachting GmbH for more show information-  They will be displaying the J/70 at the Suisse Nautic and Austrian Boat Shows.

Australian Boat Shows
For those in the lands Down Under, the current boatshow calendar indicates the J/70 and the J/111 will be on display at the Pittwater Sail Expo and the J/70 will be shown at the Melbourne Show.  For you J enthusiasts hoping to catch a glimpse of the latest, fastest, most fun boats to come out of the J/Design Studio in some time, please be sure to contact Ray Entwistle at YachtSpot at for more information.
  • Feb 3-5- Melbourne Boat Show- Melbourne, Victoria
  • Mar 16-17- Pittwater Sail Expo- Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club

sunset sailing offshoreJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The end of November nearly marks the end of the Atlantic hurricane season.  Perhaps the event that most signifies that epochal milestone every year is the ARC Rally that starts off Las Palmas, Grand Canaria (off the western coast of Morocco, Africa). This epic event sends over 200 cruising and racing boats in a mass cruising/racing rally across the tradewind routes of the Atlantic on their merry way to St Lucia in the Caribbean. Sailing in the event are a famous J/145 from the Med as well as a one of the longest traveled J/109s and two J/122s.  East of them at the opposite, eastern coast of Africa, a J/92 was sailing in what many might consider to be somewhat risky waters-- but for locals it's not.  Sailing double-handed, this J/92 sailed the Dubai-Muscat race "around the bend" and then back to it in the Bank of Beirut Chairman's Cup Race to the tip of Oman in the Straits of Hormuz!  As one might expect, there are "virtual course boundaries" (like the America's Cup courses in the cats), but these have a bit of a "bite"-- Iran's national borders go right down the middle Straits!  So, taking that long frontal-induced gradient shift out to sea for greater leverage on the fleet may mean you never return! Sailing in somewhat safer waters farther southeast was a new J/97 that has been racing in the gorgeous waters of Sydney Harbour, read about their tales of having fun against some of the local hot boats in a family cruiser-racer!

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 (70)- St Petersburg, FL
Dec 8-16- Paris Boatshow (70, 97, 111)- Paris, France
Jan 12-20- London Boatshow (70, 111)- London, England
Jan 19-27- Boot Dusseldorf Boatshow (70)- 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 (70, 111)- Chicago, IL
Jan 24-27- San Diego SunRoad Boatshow (70)- San Diego, CA
Jan 25-Feb 3- Seattle Boatshow (70)- Seattle, WA
Feb 11-15- J/24 Midwinters- Davis Is YC- Tampa, FL
Feb 16-24- New England Boatshow (70)- Boston, MA
Feb 28-Mar 13- J/22 Midwinters- Davis Is YC- Tampa, FL
Mar 6-10- HISWA Amsterdam Boatshow (70)- Amsterdam, Holland
Mar 8-10- J/105 Midwinters- Lakewood YC- Seabrook, TX
Apr 11-14- Strictly Sail Pacific (70, 111)- Alameda, CA

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

J/111 sailing on Solent- England's Hamble Winter SeriesJ/122 Leads Hamble Series
J/111 J-DREAM & J/109 JAGERBOMB OD Leaders
(Hamble, England)- If last week's lack of wind was anything to go by, this year's Garmin Hamble Winter Series looked set to be one of the lightest in memory. And then Sunday came along. In a brief gap between two ginormous Lows that came screaming up the Channel in quick succession, all classes fitted in a race on a windy, wet and cold day.  In fact, the weather was so ferocious, some crews faced logistical nightmares in making the start via a flooded and storm-battered countryside, which was reflected in slightly lower entries this week.

J/109 sailing on Solent, EnglandA deceptively light 10 knot breeze wafted boats to the start line, before a line squall heralded the arrival of 20-28 knots of Southwesterly wind - and frequent showers of icy rain, which persisted throughout the day. The blustery conditions heralded some impressive broaches and saw some shredded spinnakers. But luckily, the advancing Low held off just long enough for the assembled crews to enjoy the spectacle from the comfort of the HRSC clubhouse as it whistled in across the Solent.

Out on the water, IRC 0 was first away and Dr Ivan Trotman's crew aboard their J/122 JOULOU had a rough go of the conditions, managing a 5th place, sufficient to hang onto their lead for the series by two points.

For Nick & Adam Munday's J/97 INDULJENCE the conditions were generally to their liking but again managed to hang on tenuously to their position in second overall, hoping for a good last race next weekend!  The "feel good" story of the day had to be Andy Howe's J/92s BLACKJACK that sailed a good race to snag a 2nd!

J/111 JDream sailing upwind on Solent- Hamble Winter SeriesOf the J/111s on the water, Cornel Riklin's JITTERBUG finished first in what amounted to a match race for the top of the class.  At this stage, David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-DREAM has a 3 pt lead on the class and short of a crushing last race or two, they hope to hang onto the lead for the Winter Series win.  JITTERBUG can mathematically have a shot, but it's at pretty long odds that J-DREAM will be displaced at the top of the leader board.

In the J/109s, Paul Griffiths' JAGERBOMB was first of the two J/109s that completed the race, further tightening their grip on first place overall and pulling into a 6 pts lead in the class.  Like their former J/109 competitors, J-DREAM, the Griffiths' JAGERBOMB team look set to take home the crown for the J/109 class next weekend barring an apocalyptic race of sorts.  Second is Owain Franks' JYNANN TONNYX with 16 pts and in third is David McLeman's OFFBEAT.

Event Photographer Paul Wyeth took some brilliant photos of the day's racing and more evocative images can be found on his website -

Thanks to Force 4 Chandlery, who, as Day Sponsors provided prizes in the clubhouse after racing.  One race remains - and crews wait to see what the weather gods have in store!   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/97 sailing under Sydney Harbour's famous bridge in AustraliaJ/97 Winning Hearts & Silver in Australia
(Sydney, Australia)- Every once in awhile, we get reports from J sailors around the world describing their experiences sailing across the Seven Seas.  In this particular case, a J/97 made its magical way to the southernmost reaches of the Pacific Ocean and landed in Australia.  Even more remarkable was that a long-time sailor saw the potential that a fun family cruiser-racer might be able to bring to his friends and family.  Here's the story of how that all happened by Jim Chambers, proud new owner of the first J/97 in Australia.

"I had enjoyed 25 years of faithful service from my little 26 footer. It was a boat that was ahead of its time when designed, a forerunner of today's sports boats really, and certainly still punched above its weight even after all those years. Unfortunately, the same could not be said about those of us that sailed her as we seemed to have aged a little less gracefully. I started to think that it would be nice to have a boat that did not try to take control whenever one of the crew needed to move off the weather rail, one that had head room and did not need a 25kg outboard hung off the transom on every outing.

Size was an issue in considering a replacement as I needed to be able to find suitable competition in my home port of Sydney Harbour. My main club, the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, had a very active division for boats of approximately 30 ft and so that strongly pushed me towards a boat of that size. I had been keeping an eye on the J-Boats displays at the Sydney Boat Show and the J/97 showed promise but I was not going to order a boat without having test sailed one beforehand. Enter my plans with my wife for an extended touring holiday of the UK and Europe, which was well into its organization and planned for the third quarter of 2009. On hearing of our plans one of my crew thoughtfully pointed out that our time in England coincided with the Southampton Boat Show. This introduced a pivotal component to our travel plans.

There were several 30 footers at that show and so I got excellent value from my entrance fee. The folk from Key Yachting knew there was not a sale in it for them, what with me being from Australia and all, but they happily let me crawl all over the J/97 they had on display. They could not give me a sail of the J/97, but made sure I got a go on the J/109 they had on the water, to give me a taste of J-boat sailing. This hands-on sail was critical in my decision-making as I needed to see how the boat behaved under conditions which I knew made my 26 footer behave quite badly. As you would guess, the J/109 was much nicer. I have to say that none of the other exhibitors at the show were as helpful.

On my return to Sydney I still had a short list of possible boats, but Ray and Sandra at Yachtspot picked up the friendly service where Key Yachting had left off and by the end of that year I had placed my order for the first J/97 to come to Australia. The team at Yachtspot prepared her perfectly on arrival and we had her in the water just in time to display at the 2010 Sydney Boat Show. She was named KNOCKABOUT (sorry, not a single "J" in the name).

So, I started racing with the SASC Super 30 division. Racing is around the cans within Sydney Harbour. It is a mixed class division, with about 30 entrants, and contains a bunch of Flying Tiger 10s, some Hick 30s, Farr 30s, Sydney 32s, MASRAM 920s, a selection of sports boats and, what my sailmaker describes as, some 'psycho nutter' boats. Firstly, I have to say that the J/97 is everything I wanted it to be. She is a joy to sail, the control systems are well set up, powerful and easy to use. The helm is direct and we have to be pushing very hard before she shows any antisocial behavior. It is particularly pleasing when the breeze is up and we snug her down and carve through the carnage that generally befalls some of our lighter competitors. Make no mistake, this is a high performance fleet and so every now and then we like to give ourselves a reality check by joining in on the local Greenwich Flying Squadron twilight race. Here we usually beat the best of their 30-35 foot division home by 5 minutes, and have been known to record fastest time when compared to the next division up!

The primary pointscore for the Super 30 division is a PHS system. So, the system penalizes a good result and vice versa. The J/97 almost sails herself to windward and is satisfyingly high and quick. We did, however, have a learning curve to climb in transferring from symmetrical to asymmetrical downwind sailing. Part of this process involved me working out the best spinnaker designs for our style of racing. Once again the Yachtspot crew were more than helpful and we have this pretty much sorted out now and the results are starting to show it. With a happy coincidence of us getting the boat to speed offwind and the right swing of the PHS handicap pendulum we are currently leading this season's pointscore. The really interesting thing that has happened this season is that the division has also introduced a measurement based handicap system to run in parallel with the PHS results. They are using the Australian Measurement System (AMS), which I understand is not dissimilar to IRC. The J/97 absolutely shines under this system. After 5 races we are running equal first under AMS, and that includes the race where a sudden surge in the 15 knot breeze to 30 knots resulted in the little bit at the top of the headsail separating itself from the big bit at the bottom.  Not the best result that day.

Our competitiveness under PHS will change with time and results but the AMS is unchanging and we are very competitive. So, all in all, I am a happy little J/97 owner."  Enough said.  A fun, sexy, little cruiser-racer for the family, even Down Under in Oz!

J/92 sailing off Dubai, UAEJ/92 3rd in Stormy Dubai-Muscat Race
(Muscat, Oman)- After three and a half days of racing the prestigious Dubai to Muscat Race came to a conclusion with all yachts accounted for on the morning of Thursday, 22nd November. Racing under the RORC’S IRC Rule, one of the sailors commented, “We stayed out of trouble and kept going, it was as simple as that. We stayed offshore at the start in the Arabian Gulf, to keep away from fishing nets and we got the added bonus of more wind than the yachts that chose the inshore option. Later in the race, after we rounded Khasab (the "horn" of the UAE that creates the Strait of Hormuz), we could see a terrific storm ahead and we prepared to reef and eased sheets to avoid it, this good seamanship was rewarded as we managed to skirt around the edge of the storm."  Another sailor commented that "..we experienced a huge range of conditions, probably the most bizarre was a series of water spouts, which caused very confused winds."

In the end, Matt Britton from the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club sailed his J/92 PRIVATEER double-handed for the 360nm race.  As the smallest yacht in the class they claimed third overall-- it would have been tough going on their 30-foot yacht in the raging storms and wind they encountered along the way.

With all of the yachts in the Dubai Muscat Race finished, attention in Muscat turned to two days of inshore racing. Hundreds of sailors from Oman and overseas took part in the regatta.  For more sailing information about Dubai-Muscat Race    Dubai Offshore Sailing Club has a great Facebook page.

PRIVATEER 3rd In Chairman's Cup Race
(Muscat, Oman)- The RORC recognized 230nm Bank of Beirut Chairman’s Cup Race came to a dramatic conclusion on Tuesday, 27th November. A 40-knot rain squall ripped through The Strait of Hormuz, just as the bulk of the IRC Racing fleet approached the finish line. Under pewter skies with thunder and lightening lighting up the steep mountain province of Musandam, it was an electrifying finish to the race. After three nights at sea, all of the yachts competing in the Bank of Beirut Chairman’s Cup Race are all accounted for and the feisty finale was in stark contrast to the majority of the race, where calm seas and gentle breeze had provided sublime sailing conditions for the best part of three days as teams competed for a total of $50,000 USD in prize-money generously donated by The Bank of Beirut.

For the J/92 team sailing PRIVATEER, the radical change in conditions cost them at least $10,000 USD in prize-money!  There was heartache for the Two-handed J/92 team from the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club- Matt Britton and Joel Bryant. The team had been in contention throughout but was caught out by the brutal windstorm within sight of the finish. Short-handed, they struggled to reduce sail and were forced to bear-away and run with the wind.  After sailing away from the finish, PRIVATEER lost precious minutes and the delay cost second place by just 20 minutes, in a race lasting over three days. However, their smart action in difficult conditions was recognized by the award of the Seamanship Prize for the race.

As it has in previous races, the decisive part of the race was the approach and negotiation of The Strait of Hormuz. In the 19th century, it was the location of a British repeater station used to send messages from London to Karachi. It was not an easy posting for the operators and is thought to be the origin of the term “go round the bend” with a reference to the heat making British officers desperate to return to civilization, which meant a voyage around the bend in the Strait of Hormuz.

After their second night at sea, the IRC Racing division was past the halfway point in the race. The fleet had enjoyed fast conditions in the early start of the race. However, going into the first night the wind dropped to just zephyrs and sailors were looking for pressure on the water by moonlight. During the second day, a light easterly breeze filled providing fast reaching angles under spinnaker.  At this time, after time correction it was clear Matt Britton’s J/92 PRIVATEER was very much in contention for overall honors. The tactical decision facing the teams in the morning was whether to sail the extra miles into shore in search of sea breeze or to remain offshore and use the south easterly gradient, which was expected to build to ten knots during the day, especially as the funnel effect of The Strait of Hormuz starts to kick in.  Plus, the weather models predicted rain coming in from the northwest by midnight, which could bring much heavier wind in the squalls. No matter which "road was taken" offshore, the teams would be sailing past some spectacular scenery in the northern most province of Oman with its lagoons, mountains & fjords, not to mention that Musandam itself was a spectacular setting for the finish of The Bank of Beirut Chairman’s Cup.   For more Bank of Beirut Chairman’s Cup sailing information

dogs go sailing too!!J/145 ACE Flying The ARC
(Las Palmas, Canary Islands)- The ARC is a ‘must do’ for many sailors and attracts over 200 boats and 1,200 people every year to sail 2,800 nm across the Atlantic from Las Palmas on Grand Canary Island to Saint Lucia in the Caribbean.

Las Palmas has been the 'home' of the ARC since the very first edition of the rally in 1986.  It is a natural departure point for boats crossing the Atlantic from Europe to the Caribbean, and all summer and autumn boats will converge on the port of Las Palmas from northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

The Canary Islands are located at the edge of the tradewind belt, so boats leaving the islands will sail south (until the butter melts, as the saying goes) until they pick up the north east trade-winds which then blow them west across the Atlantic.  The ARC starts in late November when the trade-winds become established, and the boats arrive at the end of the Caribbean hurricane season.

kids sailing party for ARC RallyThe ARC is for everyone; families with children, tough racers, cruising couples, big budgets, and modest boats. Crossing the Atlantic together, but having their own adventures. More than just a boat race, the ARC is about friendships made ashore in the two weeks of pre-departure activities continued over the "radio net" at sea. It’s about arriving in Saint Lucia to be met on the dock with a rum punch and a chilled beer, knowing you have achieved something fantastic - crossing an ocean on a small sailboat.

ARC Rally flags flying at start in Las Palmas, Grand CanariaAt the start of this year's edition, the weather forecast was a bit more exciting than it had been in previous races. The low pressure that had been affecting the area was centered about 50NM south east of Gran Canaria at 1009mb and would continue to track southeast and develop moderate to strong northeast flow of 15-25 kts for several days.  Plus, some clouds and squally showers were also expected to cross the area with the squalls containing some strong gusts of wind.

For the first time in ARC history, the start took place within the busy port of Las Palmas, with the boats maneuvering just outside the marina entrance, before starting on a line between the two harbour breakwaters.  Commercial traffic in the port came to a standstill for an hour, and even joined in the fun by hooting their horns.

J/109 ALBACOR IV from France sailing ARC Rally 2012The second start at 1100 was the cruising division with 155 boats - quite a spectacle!  One of the boats leading the charge was the J/145 ACE sailed by Rob Grimm and their small offshore team (their reports are below).  The clear skies just before the start were quickly replaced by total cloud cover bringing squalls of 25 knots and rain showers.  The boats were warned about the wind acceleration zones off the island shore and many prepared by reefing early.

In addition to ACE, the J/109 ALBACOR IV is being sailed by Sophie Olivaud from France in Racing Division II.  Joining them in the same division is the J/122 JOLLY JELLYFISH sailed by a British team.

As for the J/145 ACE, we received the first report from Captain Rob Grimm.  "The first 24 hrs at sea- fair winds, fast sailing, all is well. 230 nm in first 24 hrs!  We set off at 1100 yesterday from Las Palmas in 25 kts of breeze with moderate following sea, quickly settled into a routine of surfing and showers, followed by a fairly tiring night but all caught up on sleep now.

ACE is, as ever, looking after us well, a dry boat, fast and forgiving.  Wind has dropped off considerably now, overcast and a bit rolley. Peter has his fishing rod out in hope of sashimi later!

On the subject of food- breakfast, lunch and dinner have been expertly prepared by William so far, and I am happy to report that all meals have subsequently stayed exactly where they should be-- within the diners.

I have to say that I am mightily impressed how all us rusty sailors have settled into life at sea, are enjoying each others company, and look forward to some great sailing ahead.  Of course although we are very much enjoying the experience, thoughts do often turn to home and knowing you are all sharing this with us in some way, certainly helps.  That's all from me, keep following us!"  Rob

For the third day out, the nautical scribe was Peter Sabbeth. "From the smiles, It's clear that everyone is full of possibility at this point.  Our third unbelievable day sailing has everyone fighting for their time behind the wheel.  We are regularly sailing at 10+ knots, with surfing rides that easily push the boat to 15, 16, 17, and even 18 knots!  I hit 19 once, and Chris hit 21!! All with white sails! Hopefully we will get to the spinnakers soon, though no one is eager to give up these amazing reaching stints.

A pod of dolphins arrived a few minutes ago just as we were tucking into our citrus/vegetable soup, expertly cooked by galley king, William.  The dolphins stayed for 15 minutes or so, acrobatically jumping from wave to wave bidding us a good journey.  Last night's moon made the night watches a dream, while the full moons departure seemed to help everyone get their Atlantic sleeping rhythm.  Perhaps that might be adding to the intensity of today's smiles as well.

A few of us had our first showers, even those who didn't shower appreciated the showers of those that did.  Chris and I were thinking of opening our night club in the forward cabin this evening-- the question is whether we should charge admission?  Sorry Jackson, we have been moving too fast to fish so far!"  Cheers, Peter.     You can follow all the sailing teams on the ARC Tracker


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

J/80 sailing off Hawaii's Molokai Channel FAST!* Paradise could be sailing a J/80 offshore in Hawaii. This has to be one of the more enjoyable experiences one can have sailing anywhere on any boat.  Imagine blowing down the north shore of the Molokai Channel in 18-25 knot winds in clear blue water, whales jumping everywhere, dolphins playing in your wake and white breakers crashing down across your deck in 75 degree weather!  Here's a YouTube video of the J/80 CRUSADER sailing in the Molokai-- a nice video shot by Mike VanWoerkem-- they called this video "Crash avoided"! For good reason, check it out.  These guys are buddies of Bob Stephenson, US Navy SPAWAR Hawaii, who sails J/80s with his family, too-- his son starred in the last J/80 video off Hawaii!    Watch this Hawaiian J/80 sailing video here.

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-