Wednesday, January 16, 2013

J/Newsletter- January 16th, 2013

J70 one-design sailboat- sailing on Swiss LakeJ/70 @ Boot Dusseldorf
(Dusseldorf, Germany)- After an enthusiastic response at the London Boat Show, the J/70 is gathering ever greater momentum in Europe.  Next stop on the J/70 "show circuit" is the incredibly huge and entertaining BOOT Dusseldorf show that runs from Jan 19-27.  Sailors interested in the 70 will have a chance to discuss the latest developments in the world's fastest growing sportboat class and get the latest scoop on what's happening in Key West Race Week with the enormous fleet of nearly 40 J/70s.  Participating in the event will be many J/Dealers from Europe, including JB Composites Chief Didier LeMoal from France, co-hosts J/Benelux and Mittelmanns Werft from Germany, Marstrand Yachts from Sweden, J/Boats Italy from Italy, J-Lane Yachting from Switzerland and J/Russia from Moscow.

Also be sure to stop by the J/22 One-Design class booth, also in the same sailing hall.  J/22 Germany class members will be there happy to talk about the latest news on the J/22 European circuit.   For more Boot Dusseldorf Boat show information

J/109 fleet sailing J-Cup Regatta- United Kingdom/ EnglandJ-Cup 2013- Entries Are Open!
(Plymouth, England)- The 2013 J-Cup will be hosted by Royal Western Yacht Club, situated in the heart of MDL’s Queen Anne’s Battery Marina, Plymouth from Wednesday 21st until Saturday 24th August 2013.

The annual regatta is exclusively for racing yachts of the J-Boats brand and all J-Boats models are eligible to compete. In 2012, the smallest boats taking part in the event were a fleet of J/80 Sportsboats, a number of which race regularly in the Port of Plymouth. The largest boat on the water was the J/133 which measures in at just over thirteen metres.

J-Cup regatta sailing off EnglandThe event returns to Plymouth for the first time in six years, where the host club will again be the Royal Western Yacht Club. The Club did a superb job of ensuring the 2007 racing ran smoothly, and a team of over forty local volunteers and helpers were drafted in to guarantee a tremendous event for the four hundred plus sailors! Three days of racing are planned for 2013, with live music and entertainment for the competitors.  The event culminates in a huge gala dinner and prize-giving ceremony on the final Saturday night.  MDL Marinas and Royal Western Yacht Club are delighted to welcome the 2013 J-Cup back to Plymouth.    To enter and more sailing information on J-CUP 2013

J/122 Teamwork - Robin Team- sailing Key WestJ/Teams Set Sail For Key West
White Hot Racing for J/70s and PHRF Fleets!
(Key West, Florida)- There is a lot of world-class talent heading down to Key West Race Week and J/Teams are leading the way in J/70s along with a highly competitive PHRF fleet that includes J/109s, J/111s, J/120, J/122 and J/44 teams.  The forecast for the practice weekend of January 18th to 20th looks a bit dim, with a large frontal system passing through with clouds, rain and winds clocking rapidly around into the north.  Nevertheless, it's a typical weather scenario for this time of year and the sailors are hoping the forecast next week for "postcard" conditions is accurate- sun, 15-20 kt winds from the easterly quadrants, puffy white clouds scudding across the horizon, gorgeous aquamarine waters and crystalline blue skies.  Perhaps it may fulfill the expectations of Key West's Chamber of Commerce "crystal ball"!

The J/70 class will make its Key West debut in dramatic fashion as it's the regatta's largest fleet with an impressive 39 boats.  The J/70 has taken the sailing world by storm with over 300 boats sold in less than nine months-- easily the fastest growing sportboat class in history.  Many top-notch skippers who have competed in Key West in other designs will do so this year in the latest J design, including successful sailors like Tim Healy and Kerry Klingler.  Klingler noted that most owners are still learning the J/70, particularly how to handle the oversized spinnaker, which will be critical to success next week.

J111 Wicked 2.0 sailing Key West"Key West has always been a tremendous showcase for any new design and we are looking forward to launching the J/70 to a wider audience with great competition at one of the world's most renowned regattas," commented Rod Johnstone, co-founder of J/Boats with his brother Bob.  What will be interesting to watch is to see how some of the original J/24 sailors who participated in the first J/24 Midwinters in Key West (1978!) will perform against the current generation of top-notch one-design sailors.

Amongst the "old guard" participating will be the father/son team of Rod and Jeff Johnstone sailing RAGTIME USA 155.  In addition, the first J/24 Midwinters winners back in 1978, Mark Ploch and Stu Johnstone, will be sailing on separate boats this time, Mark teamed up with Mike Bruno on SUGAR DADDY (Mike is renowned in the Northeast for sailing his gorgeous J/122 WINGS) and Stu is sailing with Tufts Jumbo All-American sailor Heather Gregg-Earl on ATLANTIC Weathergear/ MUSE from Boston.  Other veterans include Dave Ullman (ULLMAN SAILS) sailing with friends from Ohio and Peter Duncan and Etchells 22 World Champion Jud Smith from Rye, NY and Marblehead, MA, respectively, racing RELATIVE OBSCURITY.  Amongst this group are two J/Dealers, Don Finkle from RCR Yachts in Rochester, NY sailing JUNIOR and Don Trask from San Francisco/ North Carolina sailing SMOKIN'J (the founder of J/Boats West and long-time Laser Performance builder).

The northeastern contingent of 70 sailors is pretty formidable.  The Boston/Newport/Long Island crowd includes J/80 and J/105 Key West Champion Brian Keane sailing another SAVASANA and J/24 World Champion Tim Healey sailing HELLY HANSEN.  Fellow Bostonians include Henry Brauer and Will Welles on RASCAL; Dave Franzell on SPRING (founder of the Boston Sailing Center); and Mike Sudofsky on CARLOS.  From down on the Sound, the formidable duo of Rick Lyall (J/109 NA Champion) and Kerry Klingler (J/80 NA/ World Champion) will be driving the appropriately named MENACE hard around the track.

J70 Diesel sailing in Annapolis, MDThe Chesapeake Bay/ Annapolis gangsters are always a fun-loving, fast-sailing crowd.  Notable teams include Tate Russack and Allan "Albie" Terhune driving the big DIESEL (winners of the first J/70 Fall Brawl Regatta 2012 in Annapolis); two famous Annapolis couples, Chris & Carolyn Groobey taming JUNGLELAND and Kathy & Paul Parks lapping the fleet with SUNDOG; and Cole & Jim Allsop steering MOXIE (long-time Farr 30 Chesapeake champions).

The Great Lakes sailors will be showing up with a cadre of talented teams.  Many are Key West veterans and have been champions in Farr 40s, Farr 400s, J/35s, J/105s and other boats.  Perhaps one of the more notable teams will be Bob Hughes' HEARTBREAKER from Ada, Michigan- a long-time J sailor that was Great Lakes and North American Champion in J/35s and the Great Lakes and Chicago-Mackinac Champion in Farr 40s a number of times.  J/105 champion Lake Michigan sailor John Gottwald from Chicago will be sailing EAGLES WINGS.  Ryan Ruhlman on SPACEMAN SPIFF (not the Farr 400!) and Joe Colling on USA 69 from Lake Erie will apply their past Key West experience to soar with eagles for sure!

The Southwest gunslingers will be having fun and will be uber-competitive-- heck, they practice on mechanical bulls to get their 6-pack abs!  Plus, having had the chance to sail their boats in recent weeks due to windy/warm conditions in the Gulf and Texas (in between hail-storms, blizzards and tornados, of course!), they'll be the teams to watch if the "$%Z@?X#" hits the fan.  Leading the charge may be Doug Strebel and Jay Lutz on BLACK RIVER RACING; Bruno Pasquinelli on STAMPEDE; Ansgar Chorhummel on PERIHELION; and Al Poindexter on USA 98.

The "Left Coaster's" from California, BC and Washington include Bennet Greenwald on NO NAME from San Diego; Chris Carroll and Brandon Flack on TORQEEDO from Vancouver and Jim Cunningham sailing LIFTED from San Francisco Bay (his crew are known as "Karl" and "Twister"- more news on them later).  If there were any "sleepers" in this fleet, it's coming from these guys.

Premiere Racing is hosting a competition for the Corinthian Division of the J/70 fleet. Trophies will include the Top Corinthian team each day and the Top Three Corinthian's overall for the series.

J44 White Gold sailing Key West Race WeekIn the PHRF fleet, there is no question the competition will be tough.  PHRF A has Key West veteran Jim Bishop of Jamestown, RI sailing his J/44 WHITE GOLD against another veteran Key West winner, Robin Team on his famous J/122 TEAMWORK from Lexington, NC.  They will be fighting "tooth & nail" against a trio of very competitive J/111s in the form of WICKED 2.0 sailed by Doug Curtiss from Buzzards Bay, FIREBALL raced by "Team Fireball" from the Chesapeake and Bob Hese on LAKE EFFECT from Rochester/ Lake Ontario.  All the 111s have teams on-board with massive amounts of Key West experience.  In PHRF B, the two J/109s includes NA champion team of Bill Sweetser on RUSH (a perennial top contender at Key West) from the Chesapeake and Gary Weisberg's HEAT WAVE from Gloucester, MA.  Glenn Gault's crew from Houston, TX on the J/120 REBECCA will have their hands full with J/109 teams.

The J/80s will again host their Midwinter Championships at Key West and are sure to have some fun on the Division 3 Course.  Gary Panariello's COURAGEOUS and John Krediet's PARTICIPANT III from Long Island Sound will be up against a diverse group of competitors, including Ron Buzil and Andrew Kerr on VAYU 2 from Chicago, IL and Dave Manheimer sailing WILLY T from Annapolis.  Good luck to all and have a great time!

Quantum sails- ed baird- ed reynolds- tp52 sailing- racing- key westWhat's interesting about Key West is that champion J/24, J/80, J/105 and J/125 sailors are leading most of the top teams in other fleets. The Farr 40s are loaded with talent; chief amongst them will be Terry "Hutch" Hutchinson (J24 World Champion) sailing as tactician on the Farr 40 BARKING MAD from Newport; Morgan Reeser (J24) sailing as tactician on CHARISMA from Monaco; Ian Williams (J24) is tactician on FLASH GORDON from Chicago; and Johnny Demourkas (J24 & J105) is steering his boat GROOVEDERCI from Santa Barbara, CA.  In the Swan 42s, it's a group of champion J owners on all the top teams, including Ken Colburn (J105) from Boston sailing APPARITION, Phil Lotz (J105) from Newport driving ARETHUSA, John Hele and Terry McLaughlin (J24s & J105s)) from Toronto racing DARING (also NYYC Invitational 2011 Champions), Glenn Darden and John Gluek (J24s, J80 Worlds & J105 NA Champions) racing HOSS from Fort Worth and Jim Madden (J125) racing yet another STARK RAVING MAD VI!  In the High-Performance Class J alumni are everywhere, including Marc Glimcher (J122) steering CATAPULT, George Collins & Jim Allsop (J24s) on CHESSIE RACING, Steve & Heidi Benjamin (J24s) on SPOOKIE, Larry Leonard (J24s) on STRAY DOG and Gordon Maguire (J24s) on TEAM PREMIER.  The TP52s have Austin & Gwen Fragomen (J24s & J105s) on INTERLODGE, Doug Devos (J44s) and Ed Baird (J24 World Champion) leading QUANTUM RACING and Chris Larson (J24 World Champion) tactician on GLADIATOR.  Finally, in the Melges 32s and 24s some of the top teams have lots of J experience, including Brian Porter (J24s) sailing FULL THROTTLE from Chicago, IL, Don Wilson (J105 NA Champion) on CONVEXITY also from Chicago, Alec Cutler (J105 NA Champion) steering HEDGEHOG from Bermuda/ Annapolis, Charlie Enright (J24s) tactician on Argyle Campbell's ROCK'N'ROLL, Key West Champion Bora Gulari (J24s and J120s) from Detroit, Bill Hardesty (J24s) tactician on CATAPULT from San Diego/ Chicago, Alex Jackson (J24 & J80) skippering LEENABARCA from Long Island Sound and Vincenzo Onorato (J24s & J/39) sailing his famous MASCALZONE LATINO ("latin rascal") from Milan, Italy.

Ed Baird- J/24 World Champion and America's Cup WinnerOne thing is for sure, many of the top boats taking the podium in Key West will have J experience that has helped lead them to their success!  Just ask Ed!  Tactician Ed Baird, past Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, America's Cup Winner on ALINGHI, veteran of numerous America's Cup campaigns, and J/24 World Champion, is leading the QUANTUM RACING crew that captured the Audi MedCup and the IRC/TP 52 World Championship in 2011.

Quantum Sail Design Group is back as title sponsor.  "We had such a great event last year, we felt pretty confident by the end of the regatta that we'd be back. The Premiere Racing crew is tops when it comes to race management and it's a pleasure to work with them on this event," said Ed Reynolds, Managing Director of Quantum. "We have more boats coming this year, which is an indication that the sailing community still loves Key West. We've been working hard to build on the success of last year and from all indications it's going to be another great week."  Ed himself is a long-time J veteran with J22, J24, J35, J44 and J105 experience on the Great Lakes.

Finally, Premiere Racing's Peter Craig has considerably expanded the social media, photography and video program for this year's event.  Chief amongst them will be top professional videographer Chris Odom and his team of five people.  They will be providing coverage with some unique angles, including the first remote "UAV helicopter" to get some footage of boats sailing around the gorgeous waters of Key West!  You will be able to see some footage at website as well as Chris Odom Photo (

Event Sponsors include Title Sponsor Quantum Sails (Official Sailmaker) and Day Sponsors Lewmar/Navtec (Official Marine Hardware), Mount Gay® Rum (Official Rum), and Nautica Watches (Official Timekeeper). The Supporting Sponsors are B&G (Official Marine Electronics), Marlow Ropes (Official Rope), GILL (Official Technical Gear) and Sapporo USA (Official Beer Supplier)!  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes/ and Ken Stanek/  For more Key West Race Week sailing information

sunset sailing offshoreJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

This past week saw the conclusion of the J/24 Australian Nationals in Sandringham Bay, NSW, Australia.  It was a great event since the fleet continues to be not only active, but has attracted new sailors into the class.  They're having lots of fun Down Under and one of the class officers, Simon Grain, simply "knocked it out of the park" with one of the best regatta reports we've seen since the "Dawn of Man" (was he an aborigine?).  While our Oz friends were having fun in the end of their summer sailing seasons (yup, approaching fall down there), the northerners "upstairs" were getting prepared for their eponymous "Woodstock of sailing" event that is a.k.a. as Key West Race Week.  Sailors from the seven seas and every point of the compass make an annual winter migration to the infamous "Conch Republic", if not a state, absolutely a "state of mind".  Key West Race Week, like other big offshore sailing events around the world (e.g. SPI Ouest France, Cowes Week, NYYC Annual Regatta and others), is not just about racing, it's about the extended community of family and friends sailing around the world-- besides, it's a great excuse to get out of the office when it's 100 below zero outside north of the Baltic, Canadian or Florida borders and enjoy some good old-fashioned Caribbean-like sailing.  As part of that "pilgrimage", a number of seriously, incredibly lucky, souls have already started ahead of the rest of the world and sailed the Ft Lauderdale to Key West Race!  Lucky sods!  And, they had a "dreamy" race to boot, which it often can be when weather fronts are blowing across the Florida Peninsula.  Speaking of enjoying the more sybaritic pursuits in life after "putting in one's pound of flesh" over several decades, Bill & Judy Stellin were asked by America's preeminent financial publication, the Wall St Journal, to elaborate on their "offshore sailing retirement plan" and how they could pull it off with such aplomb and grace.  As they say, "it takes two to tango"!!

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:

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 15-17- J/70 St Pete NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, 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
Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 17-Apr 28- Warsash Spring Series- Warsash, England
Mar 28-Apr 1- SPI Ouest France- La Trinite sur Mer, France
Apr 11-14- Strictly Sail Pacific (70, 111)- Alameda, CA
May 3-5- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 17-19- Seattle NOOD Regatta- Seattle, WA
Jul 6-13- J/80 Worlds- Marseilles, France

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

J/24 sailing Australia on Sandringham BayKAOTIC Wins J/24 Australians
(Sandringham, NSW, Australia)- Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne dished up a wide variety of conditions for the 2013 Musto J24 Nationals this week. Starting with 25 knots for the invitation race on Sunday, competitors sailed through the complete wind range from zero to postponement conditions.

Handling the conditions the best and proving he is the most well deserving National Champion skipper is Ben Lamb in KAOTIC with a winning margin of 8.5pts over fellow NSW skippers, Sean Kirkjian in SAILPAC and Steve Girdis in CONVICTS REVENGE. Adam Evans in SDM, the top Victorian skipper in the regatta was 4th and Doug Watson sailing EL FIDELDO (means ‘two legged Scottish donkey’ !) from SA placed 5th.

Defending champion Dave Suda sailing his new PACEMAKER from Victoria crashed in the placings for the regatta with a wild Chinese gybe on the windy Wednesday injuring his sister Rachel and retired for the day to get medical help at the hospital. Even Dave knows the game is up when you have to carry a DNC and your two drops are also a DNF and a DNC. Happily, Rach is ok and sailed again on the Thursday, with the whole crew wearing crash hats to honour her injury and recovery. The local hospital took in 2 wounds from the racing with Tim Briggs also attending. What they and the general populace think we do out there must be interesting as the girl crews generally end up battered and bruised as well, so much so that we had a bruising comp at the presentation dinner – you had to be there !

You had to be there to try and understand Victorian Vice Pres and the presentation MC Doug MacGregor, as like all Scots they have a thick accent and a great sense of humour (well questionable anyway). With President Sarah Thompson away producing her first baby for most of the regatta, her Vic Association committee went into action without her onsite to produce a great regatta that has been a huge success for organisers and competitors alike. Sarah did front on the night and did the thanks to all concerned and presented the trophies to our worthy winners.

Although Ben has been here in Melbourne taking out trophies before (2012 Vic States), this is his first Nationals crown and he and his crew with long time boat owner and class stalwart Arthur Crothers have been planning their campaign since coming second last year. With 5 wins, a 2nd and two 3rds they were always going to be hard to beat. But impressive as it is, the competition meant they had to earn it the hard way.

The first day’s racing in moderate but shifty conditions meant we had a number of newer and less expecting competitors take single digit positions in the first race, pushing some of the guns down the ladder a bit. Sean Kirkjian took out two wins and a 5th for the day with his largely sailing school crew – nice one Sean !

Tuesday morning and the wind was pretty light and a less likely winner (yours truly) was battling Sean for the lead and (I think winning) when the wind and the race committee finally gave up and sent us all in to the club for lunch. With the wind returning, two races were sailed in the afternoon with 20+knots giving great sailing in a building southerly wind and sea. Ben and the Kaotic crew, went out and smashed the fleet with two solid wins in the heavy breeze. A predicted change arrived about 30 min after we got back to the marina and sent an impressive roll cloud and 40+knots over the top as we all packed up – great timing from the race committee ! Many happy minds quietly thanking them for not being out in that. PRO Graeme Watt from Sandy and his team of volunteers once again showing the fleet the sort of high quality race management that has become his trademark and our good fortune to have him in J regattas around the country.

J/24 Australian Nationals wind dataWednesday and the wind is still blowing hard, (see the chart). The race committee showed their unruffled competence and kept us on the beach till we got a window for 3 races in moderating breezes and great sailing conditions in big seas, making great surfing downhill. Once again Ben sailed impressively to take two wins and a 3rd, with Sean taking the other race out. Steve Girdis quietly sneaking in to take the minor daily placings, that seems to be his trademark too, as he is often next to you on the racetrack but always seems to be on the podium at the end of it – Mr Consistent !

Also out on the water was Chris Furey and camera, taking some great shots, Chris is a long time J sailor (and will be again) and supporter of the class. Check out the great shot of the Hyper Girls above. There will be a pic gallery added shortly.

Further down the finishing list, amongst a myriad of boat on boat battles, another success story is quietly going about her work. Jess Davis, skipper Gatsby, of one of the Sandy J24 youth boats provided by Vice Versa skipper John Neville is sailing her first Nationals in J24s and 80kg under max crew weight with her crew of mostly girls is improving steadily to come off the back end of the fleet to end the competition with a run of 12s and 13s, that’s an improvement of half the fleet. Awesome Jess !

So well has she sailed that she has taken out the PHS title (including three PHS 1st placings) ahead of an Pete Moulang in Sanguine and new class entrant, but very experienced Sam Haines from UK Sails in Melbourne who learnt the boat on the way out to the first start on his first sail in Make My Jay.

Day four and the last day, provided stunning sailing in 10 – 12 knots, sunny skies and flat water, a relief to many crews finding the heavy going of the last few days starting to hurt bodies. Another win to Ben and then to cap off the regatta for Dave, a display of power sailing to come through the fleet and take out the last race.

J/24 sailing Australian Nationals- Sandringham BayThere is a zillion stories and ‘if onlys’ throughout the fleet, too numerous to mention. However this year we have had a number of new skippers and owners that have filled out the fleet numbers to create an impressive and larger than previous Nationals fleet. Coming the farthest by a big margin was Brian Dowling and crew from Cairns, having bought Kaos from Hobart and doing the regatta on the boat’s way north. (watch out for an FNQ Regatta coming up). The three placings from NSW already mentioned and Peter Stevens, Robin Townsend and Doug Watson all from Adelaide made up the national fleet. From Melbourne we had Sam Haines, Hamish and Jock Macadie, Peter Skillington and Mark Foster all doing their first nationals and all with little or no previous sailing experience in J24s. The class is alive and well! So good was the regatta that several interstate boats have been left in Melbourne for the Vic States in April, so if you want to be part of the next party – start planning it now !

Once again Richard Hewitt and the SYC team did a great job hosting the regatta both on and off the water, a big thank you to our Jury, all our volunteers and to the competitors.  THANKS for this contribution from Simon Grain!    For more J/24 Australian Nationals sailing information

sunset on key west raceJ/Teams Enjoying Gorgeous Lauderdale-Key West Race
(Key West, Florida)- The famous "feeder race" for eastern sea-board boats participating in the original Southern Ocean Racing Circuit and now the renown "feeder race" for Key West Race Week always gets a competitive fleet looking forward to their mad-dash around the Florida Keys reefs.  The forecast for a nice easterly breeze in the 8-12kts range swinging clockwise as a front pushes into the Gulf of Mexico meant the fleet would have a pretty easy ride, starting on port tack reaching, then setting spinnakers and flying down the reefs to Key West.  With sunny skies forecasted and temperatures in the mid-70s, low-80s the teams were all looking forward to a nice evening sail and perhaps a lightish-air finish.

J/120 Rebecca leading IRC start on Lauderdale Key West RaceJ/Teams participating in this year's race include several offshore racing veterans that have shelves packed with silverware previous podium finishes.  Included in the group is the J/105 LOKI sailed by David Bond from Miami, Florida in PHRF A class.  They will be accompanied in PHRF A class by the J/105 LOKI from Miami sailing Lauderdale Key West raceJ/122 TEAMWORK sailed by Robin Team and crew from Lexington, North Carolina-- a multiple class and overall winner of the race!  In IRC Class, the very fast J/120 REBECCA sailed by Glenn Gault and team from League City, Texas will have their hands full with some of the latest IRC designs.  Here is the latest race update.

The fleet started Wednesday afternoon, beating into a 10 knot wind, thirty two boats started on a beautiful day with clear skies and nice breeze.  The pin was the favored end by a country mile.  However, the breeze was forecast to shift further right as the race progressed.

JV72 Bella Mente sailing Lauderdale Key West RaceIt was a beautiful evening and sunset on Wednesday night as the winds backed off a little near Key Largo, but kept a steady 10 – 15 knots further down the chain. Most of the boats were within sight of one another and several making more than 10 knots.  The "maxi" of the fleet, the gorgeous JV-72 "Bella Mente" sailed by a bunch of Newporters, sailed a fast race and were first to finish Thursday morning at 2:04 am (a.k.a. "two dark hundred").

J/122 Teamwork leading PHRF - Lauderdale Key West RaceBy Thursday sunrise, the fleet has been making good progress. So far, there seemed to be an area near Sugarloaf Key that has very little wind as the boats are making only 1 or 2 knots.  But, closer to Key West the breeze is steady.  The tide turns at 9 am and should give the next group of boats a push to the finish.

As of mid-day Thursday, the J/122 TEAMWORK had passed the Key West Sea-buoy, the main right-turn mark and last leg into Key West finish line about 6nm off the Truman Annex piers.  Just behind her are the J/120 REBECCA sailing a great race and also the J/105 LOKI.  More news next week, hopefully with some silverware in hand!    Sailing photo credits- Cal Landau    Ft Lauderdale-Key West Race Tracking information   For more Lauderdale-Key West Race sailing information


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

Bill & Judy Stellin- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* Bill & Judy Stellin recently had an interview about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called "Retiring on the Open Sea".  This past week, the Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ's Editor desks. Here's the update:

Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers' Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety

Wall St Journal interview- Stellin's Offshore cruising/ sailing retirementThe article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— "Retiring to the Open Sea"— prompted many questions and comments from readers.  We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.

WSJ- "What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?"

Bill- "In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.

Although long-distance cruising wasn't what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.

People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather."


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-