Wednesday, January 30, 2013

J/Newsletter- January 30th, 2013

J/70 European Boat of the Year!
(Dusseldorf, Germany)- While on display at Dusseldorf, the world’s largest boat show, the J/70 was named "European Yacht of the Year- Special Category".  While several J’s have been previously nominated, the J/70 is the first winner.  On hand to accept the award was Didier Le Moal, President of J/Composites.

Here is Dieter Loibner’s report from "Finally, the secrets are out- during "Flagship Night" following the opening day of the Düsseldorf Boat Show, the winners of the EYOTY contest got on stage. The "Who’s Who of the international boat business" gathered at the gala "Flagship Night", sponsored by the German publisher Delius-Klasing, to witness the awards of this year’s European Yacht of the Year contest.

JComposites President Didier Le MoalAfter thoroughly inspecting and testing the 25 nominated boats in Southampton, England and La Spezia, Italy the international expert jury returned the following winners:  "Special Yachts- J/70".  Nominated late as a substitute, the American-designed J/70 swayed the panel with a flawless showing during the last, and final, test days in Italy. Good acceleration, easy and precise on the helm, featuring a simple yet functional layout and a very effective sail plan, the J/70 will excite racing sailors and family crews alike. It’s the first J/Boat with a lifting keel, and it turned into a smashing success."

J70 sailing La Spezia, ItalySaid Jochen Rieker from Germany's YACHT Magazine, "For the tenth time, the international award of "European Yacht of the Year", is the annual contest that awards Europe's best new boats with the "Oscar of Water Sports".  The jury is made up of the test judges and chief editors of the eighteen leading sailing and powerboat magazines in Europe.  Every year in Europe there are nearly 100 new sailboats on the market but only five will earn the coveted title of "European Yacht of the Year 2013".

Yachting World (UK) editors had this to say, "Don't be surprised to see this one-design pocket-rocket to sell in the thousands. She sails as good as she looks, fast and fun, stiff as a board, and manageable but with more than a twinkling of J-style off-wind thrills. She represents good value, too, as I've no doubt she'll command a high resale price."

For those of you who missed seeing the remarkable BOOT Dusseldorf Show, please be sure to visit the two shows in The Netherlands-- BOOT HOLLAND or the famous HISWA Amsterdam Show.  BOOT HOLLAND runs from February 8-13 in Leeuwarden, see the J/70 on Stand# 5079 (  From Mar 6-10 is the HISWA Amsterdam Boat show- Amsterdam, Holland (  Please be sure to contact Robin or Angelique Verhoef at J/Benelux, hosts of the show, at Ph. +31-78-630-5505 or email-

J70s sailing upwind off FloridaBacardi Miami Sailing Week Ready to Roll!
J/70s & J/80s Racing on Biscayne Bay
(Miami, FL)- If you didn't get enough of Vitamin D in Key West (or need more), then you absolutely must enjoy one of the most entertaining events on the winter racing calendar, known simply as "The Bacardi", to soak up more of that famous cool winter sun in Florida.  First started in Havana, Cuba, "The Bacardi" has grown famous for hosting the International Star class's pre-eminent winter event in the Northern Hemisphere.  Recently, the famous trio of clubs in Coconut Grove (Biscayne Bay YC, Coconut Grove SC and Coral Reef YC) have played host to both the Bacardi Cup and the Bacardi Sailing Week, providing fabulous race-course management and gorgeous sailing on the emerald waters of Biscayne Bay. Sailing this year will be the International J/80 Class and it will also mark the debut of the J/70 Class-- which recently made a stunning debut in Key West.

With winter sailing season in full swing, it's time to take a spin down to Miami's warm, sunny days, with pleasant 10-16 kt sea-breezes and have fun with your family and friends.  "The Bacardi" also happens to be one of the most "kid-friendly" venues anywhere, with lots of pools, grass, sailing, exploring, beaches, shopping and Miami Seaquarium to keep the gang busy and having fun!  Plus, the international vibe of South Beach can't be beat for dining, music and evening entertainment and you have the "The Grove's" casual, laid-back, campy atmosphere for more sybaritic relaxation-- you actually can have the best of both worlds!

So, now is the time to get hopping and register for BACARDI Miami Sailing Week (March 6th- 9th for J/70s and J/80s)-- close your eyes and start dreaming about being in sunny Miami. Don’t wait any longer! March is around the corner and you want to take advantage of the discounted registration rate until it lasts.  Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal    For Bacardi Miami Sailing Week sailing and registration information

J70s sailing downwindJ/70s @ Chester Race Week!
(Chester, Nova Scotia)- As winter progresses into spring it's never to early to dream wistfully about those cool "sweater-weather" evenings "downeast" in Maine and Nova Scotia, cocktails in hand, with delicious munchies of cheese & crackers and lots of veggies with yummy dips at hand, watching the spectacular sunset settle across the bay and the distant rolling hills-- it's simply magical for those lucky enough to have experienced them over time.

Perhaps one of the world's best kept secrets is Chester Race Week, held in Chester, Nova Scotia, just a stone's throw away from the bustling metropolis of Halifax.  Chester Race Week (scheduled August 14-17, 2013) has been sailing since 1856 and in recent summers has had consistent entries of 130-150 yachts. The regatta is run on three different race courses within the confines of the waters of Mahone Bay, surrounded by beautiful pine-tree covered granite islands dotted throughout the bay.  Sailing could not be more convenient, especially since the time to the race course (always a big consideration after a long evening out the night before with friends!) is usually 30 minutes maximum! Plus, Chester Race Week is ranked by SAILING WORLD as one of the TOP TEN events in North America!  Not hard to see why, the Nova Scotians are fabulous hosts, making everyone feel at home and go out of their way to ensure everyone is having a good time.  Perhaps it's their fishing heritage, but Nova Scotians certainly follow in the grand tradition of working hard in order to play hard!  To that end, the J/70s and other J's sailing will have a J/Party, with bands every night of the week!  Gosling's Rum and North Sails are sponsors and some guy named "Andreas" is both Entertainment Chief and Regatta PRO-- yes, that person is Sir Josenhans, one of the nicest, most affable guys you'll ever meet.

Andreas promises J sailors "postcard perfect sailing conditions", WSW winds 10-15 kts filling in the bay with a spritely 1-2 ft chop, lots of fun and no humidity.  Four days of racing are planned with up to three races per day.  He says getting there is really simple- just take I-95 north through Maine until it ends, then turn right to Halifax- about 11 hrs from Boston.  For those wanting to make it real easy, there may be a flatbed truck (4 J/70’s per truck) service from RI available. Both hoist and ramp launching is available. For some logistics and regatta info, please contact Andreas at or Jim Snair at or ph# 866-590-9210.   Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal
For more Chester Race Week sailing info

J/CUP UK 2013 Entries 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.  All J-Boats owners are invited to participate.

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.

The 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 .   For more J/Cup 2013 sailing and registration information.

sunset sailing offshoreJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

"We live in interesting times".  The end of January didn't mark the recovery from the end of the world according to the Mayans, thank goodness.  More importantly, it marked the debut of something even more earth-shattering, the J/70 at the BOOT Dusseldorf and London Boatshows and soon the Benelux shows.  With its dramatic introduction with the largest fleet at the eponymous Quantum Key West Race Week, the J/70 will soon make its mark on the international sailing scene faster than most anyone expected.  That's a good thing, since the sport of sailing with family and friends needs something that is fun, fast, easy to move around and most importantly, easy to sail.  Key West proved that with older retirees racing with kids and Jumbos in their 50s having a blast racing against kids and women having no problem racing against the world's best in 18-24 kt winds.  Along those lines, the Australian yachting public got their first taste of what the J/70 can do recently, as did our dear friends  up in the Arctic Circle as they took a sunny, frostless day, to go for a sail in Marstrand.  Meanwhile, there was lots of sailing activity down near the Equator, with Quantum Key West Race Week, J/80 Midwinters and the first J/70 Midwinters taking place in somewhat epic, history-making sailing conditions.  If that weren't enough, out West, the Californians celebrated the start of the new sailing year by hosting a ginormous "fiasco", yes you did read that right, it's called a "three bridge fiasco"- 3BF.  Fun and games in San Francisco Bay!

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 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 6-9- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (70, 80)- Miami, 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
Apr 18-21- Charleston Race Week (22, 24, 70, 80)- Charleston, SC
May 3-5- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 17-19- Seattle NOOD Regatta- Seattle, WA
Jul 6-13- J/80 Worlds- Marseilles, France
Jun 7-9- Chicago NOOD Regatta (105, 109, 111)- Chicago, IL
Jun 7-9- New York YC Annual Regatta (111, 122)- Newport, RI
Jul 13-15- Chicago Mackinac Race- Chicago YC- Chicago, IL
Jul 18-22- New York YC Race Week (105, 111)- Newport, RI
Aug 9-11- Verve Cup Offshore (109, 111)- Chicago, IL
Aug 14-18- J/111 North Americans- Chicago YC- Chicago, IL

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

J70 sailing at Key WestEpic Key West J/70 Midwinters
Healy Wins, Keane Close Second!
(Key West, FL)- "It felt like 1978 all over again – debuting a new class in Key West with top sailors and family teams from around the country participating. This time, 35 years later, it was the J/70 capturing the headlines, blogs, and video feeds beaming around the planet, though the J/24 was never far from mind.  At almost every turn, there was a J/24 champion from one of the past four decades walking by on the dock admiring the J/70, including several who happened to sail in that famous 1978 J/24 Midwinters like Mark Ploch, Bryson Hall, Dave Ullman and Bill Shore," said Jeff J.  Then, there were the "new kids on the block", like past J/35 North American Champion Bob Hughes and J/80 champions Bruno Pasquinelli keeping the fleet "honest" as to who knew how to sail sportsboats fast.

Most teams arrived over the weekend and all launching and hauling took place at the Truman Annex (former US Navy base) facility equipped with a super wide launching ramp (can launch three boats at a time) and two "cherry picker" hoists (bless, those guys) that tossed in/hoisted a boat every 5 minutes.  The industry showed up in force with about half a dozen rigging trucks, and suppliers like Southern Spars, Harken, Marlow, Torqeedo and the top sailmakers all on hand to support the owners.  Chris and Julie Howell, the new administrators of the J/70 Class had their RV onsite all week helping get folks registered for the class and equipped with member stickers and royalty tags. Saturday evening was a J/70 owner's reception at Kelly’s (Race HQ) where Chris and Julie and the founding group of J/70 Class officers were introduced to the sailors.

J70s sailing upwind- Key WestRacing was fantastic with 12 races in 5 days, including two 3-race days.  The first gun wasn’t until 11:30am and the fleet was usually dockside by 4. Half the boats dry-sailed out of the Annex and the others wet-sailed. Once people got into the rhythm of hauling and launching every day the dry-sailing went very smoothly and most thought they’d do the same again next year.   The J/70 program was by far the most affordable ever done at Key West and a big reason so many KW veterans came back this year. It was also the first time in years the event permitted a boat under 24’ to compete, a nice testimony to the confidence the organizers had in the ability of the boat to handle whatever Key West dished out for weather conditions.

As Craig Leweck, of Scuttlebutt fame, pointed out, "it's the right boat at the right time.  When nearly a third of the boats in Key West are competing in one class, and when that class is a one-design boat that has yet to celebrate its first birthday, the question that we ask is---what gives?  Already the magazines have heaped praise on the boat:

Sailing World - Boat of the Year
SAIL - Best Boat - Performance 30ft & under
Yachts & Yachting - Boat of the Year - Performance Boat under 30ft
BOOT Dusseldorf- European Yacht of the Year- Special Category

"The Key West J/70 fleet will represent about 1/3 of U.S. built J/70s to date," explained J/Boats' President Jeff Johnstone. "A Key West debut was a natural. Several owners competing had expressed their interest early on that it would be great to get 'back' to Key West in a smaller, more affordable program. There's also a portion of the fleet that are experiencing the event for the first time. This is all a bit of flashback when you consider that Key West is where the J/24 kicked off its first class event back in 1978. And in fact some familiar faces like Mark Ploch and Dave Ullman, who raced in the first J/24 Midwinters, are competing in the J/70 class this week."

J70s sailing off Key West downwindThe extraordinary growth of the J/70 class is a testament to the marketing ability of J Boats. "It's really exciting to see a class that has only been around for four months become the largest one design class at Key West RW by almost double,” said David Ullman, President of Ullman Sails International. "I jumped at the opportunity to sail in the class because it'll be the starting block for a new and potentially big one design class, which is exciting to be a part of. Plus, the popularity of the boat has attracted a field of first rate competition."

What could be most interesting is not only who wins, but how did they win.

"Most of the one design sailmakers will be there to see how well they have done with sail development and getting the most performance out of the boat," noted Jud Smith of Doyle Sails. "It will be interesting to see which teams and sail designs find themselves on the podium on Friday. The crew weights will be different among many of the teams and that may turn out to be a big factor depending on conditions during the week."

J/70 was the largest class at Quantum Key West 2013 with 39 boats and the boat was showcased with some spectacular racing. North Sails pro Tim Healy and his experienced team on HELLY HANSEN seized the lead on Thursday then held it by winning both races on Friday, which featured 14-16
knot winds. Geoff Becker (tactician), John Mollicone (trimmer) and Dave Reed (foredeck) comprised the crew on HELLY HANSEN.

"It was really fun to figure out how to sail the boat. Right up to the last race we were working on tuning and experimenting with techniques," said Healy, a J/24 World Champion who was making his J/70 debut. "We went out early every morning and tinkered with sail trim and rig tune. We made progress every day and the crew worked very hard at fine-tuning every maneuver."

After a slow start the first day, Healy's team took a top 15 position with a 23-14 after the first day of sailing and simply worked harder than anybody to put together ten straight races mostly in the top three, winning five of them.  It was an impressive debut for a long-time J/24 sailor, especially since this was Tim's first "sportboat" event, learning the ropes on the fly especially downwind on how to simply sail faster.  Everyone else was right there with him on steep, steep learning curves figuring out how to start, how to round marks with their newfound crew members and how to get going fast upwind and downwind in the planing conditions the fleet saw for four of the five days.

Chasing Healy all week was past Key West J/105 and J/80 Champion, Brian Keane on his renowned SAVASANA.  Like Healy, he also had a slow start out of the blocks on the first day, posting an equally impressive 15-25, a near mirror image of Healey's first day exploits.  Gotta love it, eh?  However, loving the breezier conditions as Keane often does (former College Single-handed Champion in Lasers, too), he and the SAVASANA crew took off and posted nine top 5 results!  Behind them from Ft Worth Boat Club in Texas was the team of Loring/ Pasquinelli sailing STAMPEDE who also shared a similar pattern to the other two leaders.  Starting off the first day with a blistering 18-33, the STAMPEDE boys shook off the cobwebs and sailed to mostly top 5 finishes for the next ten races to snag third for the regatta.  Rounding out the top five were Peter Duncan and Juddie Smith sailing RELATIVE OBSCURITY finishing 4th and first day leader, Dave Ullman and Tommie Lihan, sailing TEAM 69 to fifth overall.  Notably, class newcomer Bob Hughes (of J/35 and Farr 40 Heartbreaker fame) sailed his J/70 HEARTBREAKER to sixth place, just 6 pts out of 4th overall, the difference unfortunately being an OCS and RDG that materially affected his chances for a top three finish.

For the first time, a Corinthian Class was also sailed for by the purely amateur boats and the competition was hot in this grouping.  David Franzel (Somerville, MA), Founder and Executive Director of the Boston Sailing Center, captured the Corinthian portion of J/70 class sailing his boat SPRING and finished 8th overall in the main fleet.  Just behind him in 9th overall and 2nd in Corinthians was the brother team of Blake & Lud Kimbrough sailing NOSTALGIA from Newport, RI.  Finishing third in Corinthians and 14th overall was Bryan Elliott and David Hyer on B-SQUARED.  Thanks for the contribution from Craig Leweck/ Scuttlebutt.

Sailing World's Dave Reed Interviews of the winners:
Tim Healy-
Tim's Tricks for boat-prep-
Dave Franzel-

Sailing photo credits:
Onne Vanderwal-
Tim Wilkes-

For more J/70 Midwinters/ Quantum Key West sailing information

J80 sailing Key West MidwintersVAYU 2 Wins J/80 Midwinters
(Key West, FL)- Enjoying yet another Midwinter Championship in Key West since 1994, the J/80 sailors simply know a good thing when they see one.  Jumping at the opportunity to sail their Midwinters in the gorgeous aquamarine waters of Key West, the J/80s have enjoyed great sailing more often than not every January, relishing the chance to toss out the holiday trees and put away the trimmings and gifts to head south for the warm breezes, sunny skies, great competition and fun times in the overgrown village known as Key West-- the capital of the Conch Republic.

The experience is what counts and Ron Buzil and Andrew Kerr sailing VAYU 2 from Chicago, IL would not miss the Quantum Key West/ J80 Midwinters for anything in the world.  Sailing well, they managed to eclipse their fleet and "almost" win the party on land, too.  They left those honors up to their colleagues.  John Krediet and crew on PARTICIPANT III sailed well and pulled off a string of seconds to secure 2nd overall.  Long-time Long Island sailor and J/80 owner Gary Panariello sailed the great yacht COURAGEOUS into 3rd overall.    Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes   For more J/80 Midwinters/ Quantum Key West sailing information

J122 Teamwork sailing in Key WestJ/122 TEAMWORK Wins Quantum Key West PHRF
J/109 RUSH Runner-up PHRF B
(Key West, FL)- While there were lots of little boats blazing around like busy bees on the waters off Key West, the majestic beauty of the "big boats" was quite a sight to behold.  This year, the big J's all sailed on the Division 3 course, the easternmost course for Quantum Key West and perhaps one of the best sailing areas due to less current and flatter waters with minimal boat traffic to worry about.

Two particularly notable veterans of campaigning in Key West both showed their colors again, making the most of their "local knowledge" to be class leaders after sailing the full compliment of ten races.  One of them was Robin Team sailing his highly competitive J/122 TEAMWORK, who are now working on a three-peat.  Fine-tuning their performance ever more, the TEAMWORK crew rattled off six 1sts and three 2nds to win their class by a comfortable margin in what might easily be described as near-perfect "J/122 weather"- 13-19 kts of breeze most of the week.

J111 sailing off Key WestFor the next three places, it might as well have been watching the local Key West roosters engaging in a classic "cock fight" on the street.  As a veteran Key West sailor, it was clear a few feathers certainly got ruffled by the J/111 debut of Bob Hesse and gang on LAKE EFFECT.  A native Youngstown/ Rochester sailor, Hesse and his crew are no strangers to the waters of Key West, having sailed competitively in the past in the pro-based Melges 32 class.  It all came down to the last three races for the top five.  In the end, Hesse's crew managed a 1-4-4 to grab second overall, sneaking past Jim Bishop's modded J/44 WHITE GOLD who posted a 3-5-6 to finish third.  Getting the short end of the stick in the shoot-out was Bishop's WHITE GOLD, having to settle for the bronze on the podium after scoring a 3-5-6.  Sailing ever more consistently, faster and smarter, was Doug Curtiss on the famous J/111 WICKED 2.0, sailing to a 2-3-3 to tie WHITE GOLD, but lose the tie-breaker.  Another notable performance towards the end of the regatta was the J/111 FIREBALL sailed by Team Fireball, a very recent class newcomer.  With its blazing sunset orange paint job, it was a spectacular-looking boat and in the end, fired-off a 2-2 on the last day to show they had learned a thing or two from their comrades-in-arms!  Good on ya, mates!

J109s sailing Key WestMeanwhile, in PHRF B, it was a tale of three winds.  Light air Monday.  Moderate to heavy Tuesday to Thursday.  And, moderating, shifty Friday.  After the first three days, it was clear the class leader was Bill Sweetser's J/109 RUSH- a 2-1-2-1-3-2 would reflect that leading position.  Nevertheless, it was not to be.  A 5-5-3-2 in the last four races sunk their chances to win their class.  Other than tanking the start of the regatta, the J/120 gangsters on Glenn Gault's REBECCA just about "iced" the rest of the races with a 1-1-1-2-2-4 after they started to learn how to sail "Key West".  Mo'power to them next year.   Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal   and Tim Wilkes.   For more Quantum Key West PHRF sailing information

J120 sailing Lauderdale Key West raceFast, Moon-lit Lauderdale-Key West Race
(Ft Lauderdale, FL)- After last year's race that saw a massive front pummel the fleet at the start, kick up ginormous waves in what anyone would describe as "fresh to frightening" weather conditions followed by an ominous "dead calm", this year's event will go down in the history books as positively benign for virtually all competitors.  After a lightish southeasterly breeze kicked in at the start, the entire fleet took off on a port tack fetch and as they bent around the keys with their right-turn signals flashing, and while simultaneously avoiding the gnarly reefs to starboard, the fleet set spinnakers and flew towards Key West in what was seen as a near-perfect, moon-lit evening for a sail-- your basic "walk in the park" as some wags put it!

J105 Loki sailing Key West raceBy the next morning, in what is a 15 hour race for the bigger faster boats and about a 24 hour race for the 35-45 footers, the winds had abated and got lighter and shiftier.  The stragglers saw a classic NW cold-front blow in with 30 kts out of the North, but all the J's had already finished as had 98% of the fleet-- all enjoying the extraordinary distractions on-shore that Key West is most famous for.  In fact, just before noon most of the J sailors had crossed the line before the tide turned against them at 1400 hrs.

J122 Teamwork sailing upwind to Key WestIn the IRC Class, it was the beautiful, flag navy blue J/120 REBECCA sailed by Glenn Gault that managed a 4th place in a super-competitve fleet of the IRC rule-beaters.  In the end, REBECCA managed to beat out an Aerodyne 38, Swan 42 and Class 40 on corrected time honors!

The PHRF A Class saw two knowledgeable and fast Lauderdale-Key West campaigners take two of the top three spots on the podium.  The J/122 TEAMWORK nearly pulled off a "three-peat" but managed to miss by a mere six minutes! Ouch.  And, how many places could that time have been made up taking better gybe angles or shifts last night?!  Most likely, too many to count as is the case so often in the offshore game.  So,  Robin Team's TEAMWORK crew from North Carolina had to settle for second on corrected time!  Third just a half hour back on corrected was David Bond's fast, elegantly maroon-colored J/105 LOKI from Miami, FL.   Sailing photo credits- Marco Oquendo-
For more Lauderdale-Key West sailing information

Three bridge fiasco fleet sailing San francisco bayBig J's Sweep Three Bridge Fiasco Div-15/ Div-21
J/22, J/24 and J/105 OD's Have a Ball!
(San Francisco, CA)- J's were everywhere. Perfect day. Saturday, January 26th on San Francisco Bay, marking the start of the 2013 sailing season on San Francisco Bay.  Clear as a bell, gorgeous scenery and over 300 boats all with just two people aboard, some with just one.

Fleets of one-designs- like J/22s, J/24s and J/105s collectively showed up with 26 boats, a great showing for any race.  And, there was a collection of larger J's like J/32, J/120s, J/100, J/111, J/44 and so forth all milling about with two people on them.  Was this the start of a two-handed navy of sorts ready to go on an expedition someplace?  Perhaps it was "mass amnesia" and a bright sunny, cool day that is only meant for the Tinsley Island Lighthouse Race from the Bay into the vast Delta?

Here's what Paige Brooks had to say, "What this is, may be loosely construed as a race.  Three bridges, two people, one boat, in a pursuit-style race. That’s the Three Bridge Fiasco. Actually it can be sailed single or double-handed and is the kick off for San Francisco’s Single-Handed Sailing Society’s race season.

It’s a sight to behold, the entire bay dotted with boats going this way and that. We wish it were like that every weekend. This is certainly the biggest race on the bay, thanks to a wealth of available crew, the second largest is the Corinthian Mid-Winters when many skippers bring new sailors to come out and try their hand racing with friends for a day.

J22s sailing Three Bridge Fiasco- San Francisco Bay305 boats crossed the starting line this morning off the deck of the Golden Gate Yacht Club in a dying flood tide. Approximately two-thirds of the boats decided to round Blackaller (the Golden Gate Bridge mark) first and then head to either the Yerba Buena Island (Bay Bridge) or Red Rocks (Richmond San Rafael Bridge). Conditions were a chilly 10-15 knots at the start, though the wind faded to a whisper behind Angel Island for boats heading to Red Rocks.  The smart money went with the tide first going east-bound around Treasure Island from the starting line."

Local photo-journalist, Erik Simonson, explained, "If you are unfamiliar with the 3 Bridge Fiasco, it's premise is simple. Take one start finish line, three obstacles placed near the San Francisco Bay's three centrally located bridges, and go around them and through the start line any which way you want!

The Single-Handed Sailing Society originally had a handful of takers the first time around and the idea of "the fiasco" was quite tame compared to the number of entrants in recent years. With the start at 0900 hrs and the last scheduled at 1100 hrs, the theory is the slower first starters will be long gone before the faster boats get going.

With a brisk Northerly in the mid-teens at the start, and a forecasted building flood, a majority of the fleet opted to take a clockwise approach, with Blackaller first, then ride the tide to Red Rocks in the North Bay, but that was not the only option.

Raccoon Straights offered the best current option for north bound passengers, and the vast majority opted for the scenic route, riding the tide and were greeted by a couple dozen seals and sea lions who were taking advantage of the mackerel run.

The ride from Raccoon to Red Rocks was pleasant as it was smooth, and many of the crews began reducing layers as the temps began to rise. Rounding the rock just south of the Richmond San Rafael Bridge is on of the major milestones of the regatta. An this year with the Northerlies still holding steady in the 5-8 knot range it means a nice down hill ride is in the forecast.

After rounding Red Rocks, the fleet spread out pretty well, and it was at times hard to discern which routes were being favored, but as the fleet of now southbound sailors reached the Treasure Island Area, the re-grouping began in earnest.

As the counter-clockwise contingent’s last stragglers emerged from the lee of Yerba Buena, the Clockwise contingent arrived, and began stacking up like salmon in a river, awaiting the next pulse of energy to push through the obstacle ahead of them.

Once through the Bay Bridge Narrows, the fleet was blessed with glorious, mirror-like conditions that water skiers dream about.

At one point there must have been well over a third of the fleet compacted on the south side of the Bay Bridge, proof positive that ratings systems was working well. Despite the general lightness of wind, a positive and happy vibe rolled through the fleet, after all it's nearly February and while many of our friends and family are shoveling snow before frostbiting, the only frost bite anyone suffered this day was from leaving their paws on an ice cold frosty one too long!"

J22 family sailboat- sailing San FranciscoAmongst the one-designs sailing in the J/22 class, it was quite the deal.  Like Mark Adam and daughter Sarah seen here as part of the 8 boat J-22 Fleet out of the St FYC.  This fleet is usually sequestered to the City Front for team / match racing events.  However, this year the 8 boats were chartered from the club for just $100.00 each to test their mettle on something uniquely different.  It was apparently quite popular and the teams loved sailing the boats in what was generally benign sailing conditions.  In the end, it was Scott Sellers and Geoff Mcdonald that took line honors sailing SWAMP DONKEY 6.  Arriving about 12 minutes back was John Turney and Justin Shaffer on SEVEN and in third was Alex Symes  and Brian Kerr on SNOWY OWL.

The J/24s have been long-time participants in the race, probably since before time!  Leading the J/24 class home was Darren Cumming and Steve Myers on the famous DOWNTOWN UPROAR, winning by over a half hour!  Second over the horizon was Randall Rasicot and Jasper Van Vleit on FLIGHT and third was Alex Scultink and Amancio Souza on FLY BY NIGHT.

Like their J/24 colleagues, the J/105s have seen the 3BF as an honorable right of passage to start their sailing season, dust off the spiders, clean the bottoms, lube the winches and blocks and go for a spin on the bay.  Showing they were up to the task in this popular and highly competitive fleet on the Bay, David Miller and Roger Wise sailed BALD EAGLE to a near 4 minute win over the team of David Gross and Alex Samodurov racing NIRVANA.  Nipping at their heels just 40 seconds back was Richard Butts and Jill Visor, the first "mixed doubles" team, sailing MELILANI to snag third for the race.

Over in handicap world, the various J/Teams sailed incredibly well, many winning their classes to the chagrin of many of their competitors.  In the Division 15- Double Non-Spin, the J/crews led a sweep of the podium.  Top dog in a duel for the finish was Bill Mohr and Mike Berndt's J/124 SPIRIT OF FREEDOM, finishing at 1327 hrs.  Just 27 seconds back was the J/44 ACEY DEUCY sailed by Richared Leute and Anton Muzik.  Rapidly closing on these two in the waning hours of the race was the J/111 AEOLUS sailed by Rob Theis and Stefano Lindt around 6 minutes back.

In Division 13- Double PHRF 111-150, the J/32 PARADIGM sailed by family team of Luther & Robert Izmirian finished at 1326 hrs, winning their division by 2 minutes.  The J/80 NIMBUS sailed fast by Stephen Jones and Tim Han managed to go around the track by 1332 hrs to happily finish 4th, only 6 minutes off the top boat.

In Division 12- Double PHRF Under 108, the J/120s all had varying theories about what was the fastest way around the capricious SF Bay waters.  They went both ways, but top dogs went counter-clockwise with the J/120 MR MAGOO getting the jump to grab 4th in class, sailed by the 120 class veterans Steve Madeira and Jeff Lawson, finishing by 1328 hrs.  Next J120 down the line was Tom Grennan and Herb Kleekamp sailing KOOKABURRA, finishing at 1338 to finish 9th in class.

The Division 11- Double Sportboat was sure to be a competitive class as these were all J/70s, J/90, Melges 20/24/32s and Ultimate 20/24s and Hobie 33s.  A crazy group of boats.  In their debut 3BF, the J/70 did well with Drew Harper and Garrett sailing DILLIGAF to the finish by 1339 hrs, missing 3rd place by only 5 minutes--- or the difference in the Bay PHRF rating of 111 versus ROW PHRF at 121-- a 10 sec/mi hit.  Really?  A J/70 rates faster than a J/29 masthead?? "We live in interesting times", said one Chinese wise guy.

Finally, in the Division 21- Double 30, the J/30s swept the top two spots with Peter Jermyn and Curt Brown sailing IONE to first with a finish at 13:36 hrs and fellow J/30 rockstars Tony Castruccio and Konstantin Andreyev on WINDSPEED pulling into the finish line at 14:00 hrs to snatch the silver.

Overall, it was a really interesting outcome for J sailors on the Bay.  Big "J" on campus was the J/32 PARADIGM with their 13:26:13 hrs finish, getting 5th overall in a fleet of 277 boats!!  Next was the J/124 finishing at 13:27:10 for 7th overall.  9th overall was the J/44 ACEY DEUCY finishing at 13:27:37.  In 11th was the J/120 MR MAGOO crossing at 13:28:45, then the J/22 SWAMP DONKEY 6 finishing at 13:31:37 in 16th overall.  Just behind them was the J/80 NIMBUS at 13:32:19 to get 18th, then the J/111 AEOLUS finishing at 13:33:23 to grab 20th.  In 21st was the J/105 BALD EAGLE crossing at 13:34:00, then the J/30 IONE at 13:36:01 good enough for 26th.  That's quite a cross-section of J/Boats sailing design and history all finishing within about a 10 minute period!  Truly a chaotic fiasco!  No wonder people love this race, it's a blast!

Sailing photo credits- Erik Simonson/ be sure to visit his photo galleries- some excellent shots of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/105s, J/32, J/120 and so forth!  His editorial/multimedia site is (

Christine Weaver and friends from NorCAL Sailing put together a nice 15 min video of the 3BF.  Nice documentary and explanation of what it's all about along with some fun footage.

The J/105 JAM SESSION sailed by Adam Spiegel and Chris Tholstrup had a tracker on-board for the race.  Take a look at what they did here.

San Francisco photographer Patrick Schroff was up high in the Presidio facing N/NE taking some awesome time-lapse footage of the 3B on that spectacular, sunny day.  Here's "Frisco in 34 seconds", very cool to watch the boats sailing into the Blackaller Buoy just west of St Francis YC on the bay.

J70 sailing downwindAustralian J/70 Blasts Local Sailing Circuit
(Sydney, Australia)- Way, way Down Under, it's true all the "ex-convicts" are having a lot of fun in life, work hard/ play hard, love water-sports and, more importantly, love sailing!  The first J/70s have arrived in Sydney and the atmosphere surrounding the boat is simply electric.  As savvy sailors, Aussies know a thing or two about performance boats and, especially, sportboats.  After all, it's the home of the famous "Ate-teen"- e.g. the  18-foot dinghy with a cloud of sail.  Cool stuff, very cutting-edge- the Editor and his brother have sailed them and "I-14's" and loved them. That said, it's nice to hear the J/70's debut in the recent Australia Day Regatta (Jan 26th) was a lot of fun.  Here's the account of that experience from Ray & Sandra Entwistle:

"Sandra had a great day on the harbour and a Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron Australia Day regatta to remember.  It was the first  regatta for our new J/70, the first one into Australia. We were placed in Division 2 against much bigger boats. The competitive fleet consisted of Beneteau 35s, J/35s, Etchells 22s, Northshore 370, Bavaria 38 Match, Hick 32, GP26, Flying Tigers, Alerion 33 and a Thompson 7, to mention a few.

It was a 20 -25 knot nor’easter and the harbour was very busy and choppy with all the Australia Day traffic.  After a 2.2 mile beat up to Obelisk Bay and then a two sail close reach across the harbour to Lady Bay, we were pleased with our J/70s upwind performance and the way it was dealing with the waves and slicing through the chop. We even managed to get through the very well sailed Thompson 7 upwind, the Alerion 33 and a few others. At Lady Bay we popped the spinnaker to go back down the harbour to Nielson Park. Blast off!! The J/70 took off planing instantaneously as soon as the spinnaker filled. We started raking in more of the fleet and rounded Neilson Park with a few more boats behind us on the water. Again we held our own on the beat back up the harbour to Obelisk Bay on the western shore. From Obelisk the second time around was a broad reach into Rose Bay, kite up and wooosh the J/70 exploded into 16 and 17 knot bursts and the crew were elated and astounded at how easy the J/70 was to sail even at these crazy speeds.  We passed another group of much bigger boats in our division, waves and ‘thumbs up’ signs from competitors and other boats as the J/70 did her thing down the harbour with spray and wave-skipping becoming the norm as the J/70 kissed speeds in the high teens. We managed to fly the spinnaker further than most into Rose Bay and were the first to hoist again after the gybe on a tight spinnaker reach between Rose Bay and Shark Island. We  knew once the speed came on we could sail higher at maximum velocity as the apparent wind comes around and that’s exactly what happened.

The J/70 was absolutely flying, we were passing more boats in our division through a blur of spray and weaving through everything else in the busy Australia Day regatta. We knew we had done well as we went through the line just a few seconds behind the big Bavaria 38 Match and one of the J/35s.

After reading all about the fun the 39 x J/70 s were having in Key West this week it was a great feeling to join the excitement and go out in our first real regatta and win with 4 minutes to spare on handicap and finish an incredible 3rd on scratch against so many well sailed big boats in a choppy seaway. Many thanks to our crew Peta and Ian who had a thrill sailing the J/70 for the first time.

We have more J/70’s arriving this week and all are looking forward to some class racing soon – come and join the fun and see for yourself why this is the fastest growing sportsboat in the world today! To learn more about the J/70, please contact Ray at Yachtspot in Australia- Ph +612 9449 4976 or email-

Tim Healey and Dave Reed sailing J70"The Key West Scrolls"
Sailing World Blogs- the Most Excellent Key West Experience
(Key West, FL)- During Quantum Key West Race Week, there was more than enough activity and perspectives on life, love, friends, family and "simply messing about in boats" to fill an encyclopedia.  To that end, Sailing World's Dave Reed and Stu Streuli and others like Don Finkle, long-time J sailor and dealer and Jonathan McKee, long-time family friend from Seattle, WA provided unique insights on "why" people enjoy the "Woodstock of Sailing"-- Key West Race Week-- a gathering of friends from around the world to start the "New Sailing Year".  Yes, there are others that are similar that bring together sailors from a wide variety of classes and from all four corners of the compass; like Cowes Week, Cork Week (Ireland & Canada), SPI Ouest France, NYYC Race Week, Big Boat Series, Long Beach Race Week, Bacardi Miami & Charleston Race Weeks (NKOTB's), Kieler Woche, Block Island Race Week, Whidbey Island Race Week, Delta-Lloyd Race Week, Marseille and Palma Mallorca's newly famous shindig- PalmaVela, just to name a few, but the grand-daddy of the big-time winter events that gets the ball rolling for the new sailing year simply happens to be "Key West".  Here are some perspectives from those who experienced it first-hand.

"Musical Chairs"- by Dave Reed
Sailing World Editor Dave Reed was embedded with Tim Healy's J/70 HELLY HANSEN for an insider's look into the class's first major event.  Here are some excerpts:

Sunday, January 20- The Beginning of Time
"Tim Healy, John Mollicone, Geoff Becker. These guys are what you’d call 'The Starting Three'. As J/24 champions many times over, they know what they’re doing. Together, they’d be pretty darn close to an ideal combined weight for the J/70 class, rumored to be around 600 pounds or so, but no one really knows. Then there’s myself. Over the next five days of racing I could either be the extra (excess) weight in this program, or just the right difference when, and if, it gets really windy. I’m OK with being an extra set of hands and a little more righting moment. I’ve got one of the best seats in the house.

It’s all new, this J/70 thing. Most of the teams in the fleet are still assembling boats, sailing them for the first time, and debating over headstay length, rake, and whether to race with three up or four up, and then where to put them and who does what. In the fleet of nearly 40, the talent and crew combinations are all over the map. Where there’s a few big guys, there’s a petite fourth. There are big-three Etchells-type teams, and plenty of foursomes."

Friday, January 25- The End of Time
"The Final Four- A week ago, as you may recall (if not, see above), I joined 'The Starting Three' in Key West, full of uncertainties. A new boat, a new team, zero practice days, and a lot to figure out: who does what, who sits where, what’s the right headstay length, and on and on.

Our first two starts were terrible, and in light winds, comebacks don’t happen easily. That’s where the double-digit points came in. The next day, we went 3,3,1. 'The Tim Healy' (as labeled on his recyclable metal water bottle on the boat), shook off whatever it was that was occupying his mind, and started like the expert he is. After winning the last race of the day, he joked with a wry smile, “Well, at least I know I don’t suck."   Read more about Dave's adventures being the "cog in the wheel" on what is, at least for the moment, one of the world's fastest J/70s.  Plus,  see Facebook sailing video for good downwind sailing technique on Tim's boat here.

Don and Tim Finkle sailing J70s"The Finkle Files"- by Don Finkle
Long-time J/Sailing Veteran, J/Dealer and leader at RCR Yachts enjoyed his first J/70 regatta with his son Tim and friend Morgan Paxhia-- it was a family affair.

Sunday, January 19
"When the editor asked me to write a blog for Quantum Key West Race Week, he failed to tell me that the other storytellers he chose were Jonathan McKee and Steve Hunt. I’m not sure I would have agreed to do this if I knew I was in such accomplished company. But even 'ham-and-eggers' like me have stories, so here we go.

Quantum Key West 2013 started for Team Junior last Monday as my wife Heather and I pulled out of Youngstown, N.Y. (near Niagara Falls) with our J/70 in tow.  So began a three-day drive, which was enjoyable for me but less so for her. The fog in the mountains of the Appalachians made for some hairy driving conditions. Plus, I had no idea there were so many 18-wheelers on the roads. We passed a couple of them in the ditch, which was even less reassuring to Heather….

One of the reasons for my downsizing from my 36-footer to the J/70 was the ability to travel more easily. My favorite part of sailing is doing travel regattas. To that end I wanted to tow down and back myself for the experience. We had already done that in November to Annapolis for the Fall Brawl Regatta, but that was only a one-day trip. Key West is a much bigger deal, but so far, it’s been well worth the trip---

Another reason I moved into the J/70 was so that I could sail with younger people, especially my family, who frankly have more fun on a sportboat. I’m 65 years old, and I’ve always sailed with multiple generations on our boats. I find sailing with younger people gives me energy. I’m clearly the weak link on our crew this week, but that is OK, the boys seem happy to put up with me-- at least so far.

Our youngest son Tim is the trimmer. His long-time friend Morgan Paxhia, who is family to us, is our driver. These two started sailing against each other in the Youngstown YC junior sailing program when they were about 10 years old and have been school classmates, buddies, and sailing friends for 20 years.

Morgan went off to sail in college at the University of Rhode Island, and Tim went to Connecticut College where he played hockey and lacrosse. The three of us sailed together on the J/70 in Annapolis in November and had a ball, but figured we'd be light for Quantum Key West so Morgan tabbed his former teammate from URI, Joey Mello, to be our fourth. Joey has been heavily involved in the 'Ninkasi' Melges 20 and Melges 32 programs. He’s our tactician, and that leaves me with the all-important tasks of passing up water and sandwiches, helping on the hoist and douse, making sure the Velocitek has batteries, and so forth. It all worked well on the practice day, now we get to see how we do when the fur starts to fly in earnest!"  Read more here about the Finkle's dramas and adventures (or lack thereof) on the Sailing World blogs.

Jonathan McKee sailing in Key West"McKee's Key West Minute"- by Jonathan McKee
Jonathan and his brother Charlie have all grown through their experiences racing a variety of boats, including J/24s and other various J's over time.  Jonathan is not just a remarkably talented sailor, he's also a great person with an interest in helping grow the sport overall along with friends Dave Ullman, Carl Buchan and others who grew from their experiences in various one-design classes.  Here's Jonathan's amusing commentary:

Sunday, January 20
"It is so great to be back in Key West. I missed it last year and somehow my whole year was not the same. The combination of sunny warm weather, beautiful emerald water, great racing, and a unique colorful town is unmatched by any other regatta.

Key West always provides ample down time, and causes me to reflect on what a fortunate life I have. Not only do I get to race on a beautiful high-tech race boat with a well-trained crew, practicing my craft against the best sailors in the world, but there is time to catch up with old friends from previous campaigns. I always run into people I have not seen for years, sometimes decades. Memories flood back of races and good times past.

Coming as it does at the beginning of a new season, Quantum Key West is a fresh start, but also a time for reflection, a chance to give thanks for all this sport has provided to me over the years, and all the funny and wonderful people I have had the pleasure of knowing. Now onto the racing."

Thursday, January 24
"One of the many great things about Key West is the live music. There must be at least 20 bands and musicians playing at any time. I have never seen anything like it. Nearly all the venues are open to the street, and there is no cover charge. So it is very easy to drift from band to band and check out several musicians in a short time. Personally I get quite inspired by watching music performed live, so I really love this aspect of the Key West experience. In fact, I am listening to a grisly old singer/guitar player right now, crooning an old Leon Russell tune in the Schooner Wharf Bar. Beats working!  The amazing thing is most of the musicians are really good. I guess if you are traveling musician, Key West in January is not a bad gig. Most of the music is sort of folk or blues oriented, with the odd rockers and jazz types. Not a lot of hip-hop here in Key West. I guess this reflects the demographic, which is predominantly white and middle age. Although, maybe I’m not ferreting out the alternative venues well enough."

The Editor was pleasantly amused by Jonathan's perspective.  On Wednesday, the night before he wrote his impressions of the local music scene, Jonathan happened to walk into a famous local "wine bar" called Virgilio's, an open-air patio behind the equally famous Italian restaurant on Duval St called "La Trattoria".  A three-piece band was playing-- two guitars and a drummer.  After catching up for awhile about family, friends, life, the band resumed its next set and we were simply blown away by the sound and improvisation of this trio. There you go Jonathan, we certainly found another great "alternative venue", if not entertainers!  To next year!  And, with you and Elizabeth sailing a J/70!
Read more about Jonathan's sailing experience here on SW's Blogs.


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

J70 sailing in Marstrand, Sweden* Peter Pan lives and sails in Sweden?  Flying all over the place magically happens to be one of those things that Peter Gustafsson and buddies do well with their BLUR Sailing Team.  While Peter G may not have the magic wand, certainly he and his crew have the gift and passion for sailing anytime, anywhere and make the most fun of it!  Their most recent most excellent adventure happened to be the delivery of the first J/70 to Sweden.  Imagine the circumstance.  Middle of the winter next to the Arctic Circle.  Sunny. Gentle breeze. Snow on the rocks, next to the tide-line! OK, so it's really cold.  But, like their Viking brethren, it's yet another excuse to go sailing-- sunny with breeze!  And, so they did.

The first J/70 into Sweden experienced winter sailing in that gorgeous, exotic, magnificent summer paradise the worlds knows as just "Marstrand".  The BLUR Sailing Team comprised of Magnus Hansson, Patrik Måneskiöld and Peter Gustafsson took the 70 for a spin-- why not!?  Here's their report:

"The first J/70 came to Sweden a week ago and we were of course a bit eager to try it!  The crew were looking a little skeptical about this when I picked them up in the city, but after a lunch at Marstrand's Havshotell there was no doubt left we'd go sailing-  2-3 m/s, -3C and the sun peeked out-- yes, it was actually quite pleasant.

The boat is one of three that are sold to Stenungsund. A little funny that the largest M24 fleet now will be joined by Sweden's first J/70 fleet.  New owners stood on the dock and looked a bit jealous when we set out. I hope they got to sail the boat this weekend.

I brought Magnus Hansson and Patrick Moon Skiöld that normally sail with me on J/111 BLUR. Magnus also sails the M24 and it was so very interesting to get his input on the differences. Patrick is an old match racing sailor, so he has also seen a number of boats over the years.

Read the rest of Peter's perspectives and commentary here on the BLUR.SE blog (always entertaining!).

J/70 Marstrand Sweden Sailing video

J/70 Marstrand Sweden Facebook sailing album

Dave Ullman from Ullman Sails- sailing J70 Key West* Vela Sailing.TV had a nice, introspective look at the J/70 class and its meaning to Dave Ullman, multiple World Champion in a variety of classes, including 470s and M24s.  Said Vela Sailing.TV, "We talked to Dave Ullman after the first day of racing at Key West Race Week. He had solid results, granting him and his crew a first place on the first day of racing of the J/70 class. Here is the interview (with an involuntary break ). This is fresh out of the race course, no time to edit it, but really good information and race approach. Enjoy!"

Terry Hutchinson sailing Key West- J24 World Champion* As if there weren't enough J/24 World Champions in the mix, like America's Cup winner Ed Baird calling tactics on the TP52 QUANTUM RACING or champion J/24 sailor Tony Rey sailing on the Ker 40 CATAPULT, here's a great interview with Terry Hutchinson who was sailing with long-time friend and compatriot in crime Jimmie Richardson from Newport, RI sailing his Farr 40 World Champion BARKING MAD- interview by Stuart Streuli at Sailing World.

* Here's one for the "why you sail a 'J' to learn how to sail better, faster, smarter and move ahead in the world department"-  J/24 World Champion Tim Healy has been asked by yet another J/24 World Champion, Ken Read (now President of North Sails) to re-join "Team Blue".  Prophetically enough, North Sails announced that Tim would join in the role of One Design Coordinator after Key West. Healy, who won the J/24 World Championship in 2010, worked for North Sails from 1998-2004 and has been in the sailmaking industry for 14 years.

J70 sailing upwind- Tim Healy and Dave Reed"Tim has proven himself countless times in a wide array of one design sailboats from J/24s and Shields to Lightnings and Etchells – and now in the new and quickly growing J/70 class, where he won top honors in the 39-boat fleet last week in Key West,” said North Sails President Ken Read. "Having Tim back at North Sails gives us an opportunity to work closer with clients through his experience and knowledge of how to prepare and win on the race course,” Read continued.

Healy, who was a three-time All-American Sailor at St. Mary’s College in Maryland, has earned his place in the world of one-design sailboat racing. He has won 17 major titles in the J/24 class since 1999 and 7 National and North American championships in other classes. Healy also won a Gold Medal at the Pan Am Games in the Dominican Republic in 2003.

"What I enjoy most about sailing and sailmaking is learning how to fine tune everything about the boat -- sails, rig tune, boat setup, tactics -- to make it go faster. Sailing our J/70 in Key West last week was a great example of how fulfilling it is to race in a brand-new boat and tweak our tactics and boat setup all week long until we found our groove. What we learned in Key West will be shared within the North Sails Group and will be applied to help our clients go faster on the race course,” he continued. “My love for the sport of sailing never seems to subside and rejoining North Sails allows me to utilize the best tools in the business to ultimately better serve my clients," Healy concluded.

"We are very excited to have Tim back onboard and look forward to his knowledge and input on where we can improve our sail designs and client outreach," said Vince Brun, head of the One Design division of North Sails. "Not only is he an accomplished and talented sailor but he is also committed to helping clients at regattas and he will work with our team internally to make sure we are doing the best job possible with regatta preparation and presence," continued Brun. "Our goal within the One Design division of North Sails is to have a stronger presence for our clients leading up to and during regattas and to provide better client services across the board," Brun said.  "Vinnie" should know, he sailed one of the first J/24 Midwinters himself starting in 1979 as a "newbie" just off the ship from Brazil. :)

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".  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:

* 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

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* 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-