Wednesday, March 13, 2013

J/Newsletter- March 13th, 2013

J70 one design sailboat off Monte Carlo, MonacoJ/70 Debuts Moscow, Oslo & Houston Boat Shows
(Newport, RI)- As spring is about to blossom around the corner after world time has "sprung ahead" by March 21st, some exciting boat shows around the world will be celebrating with the debut of the J/70 in the Moscow, Oslo and Southwest Boat shows.

From March 12 to 17 you can visit J/Russia at the Moscow International Boat Show in Russia-  And, from March 13 to 17 you can visit Marstrand Yachts at the Oslo International Sailboat Show in Norway-

On the American side J/Boats Southwest will be participating in the Southwest International Boat Show from March 21-24, 2013 at South Shore Harbor Marina in Houston, Texas--   Most importantly, they will have a J/70 to view on land and one J/70 on the water to go sailing! Come join them and other J/Boat owners!  We love talking sailing!  Sail America's "Discover Sailing" program will be supported by J/Boats Southwest as they take people out for a spin in the hot new J/70!  Sailing photo credit- Carlo Borlenghi/ Yacht Club Monaco.

J105 one-design sailboats- sailing off Block IslandRORC Easter Challenge Attracts Top Teams
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- With many of the UK's top IRC boats signed up to compete over three days at the popular RORC Easter Challenge, the regatta is turning into a practice session for the highly competitive IRC Nationals taking place later this summer.

In a unique initiative and as the first Solent-based event in the Club's racing calendar, RORC relax the rules on outside assistance and invite coaching guru, Jim Saltonstall and a team of expert coaches - including past Olympian Barry Dunning - to actively participate and provide helpful tips to improve sail trim and boat handling whilst the boats are racing. The coaching team has also been boosted this year by the addition of sailmakers who will provide sail trim and rig set up tips.

"It's the only event of its kind in the UK and I've not seen it done anywhere else in the world," comments RORC CEO Eddie Warden Owen who is also one of Saltonstall's coaching team.  "Even the top teams with pro sailors on board are keen to get the view we have from the outside. It can be extremely effective, especially for the less experienced crew who often see an immediate improvement during the race," continues Warden Owen.  After racing, Saltonstall de-briefs crews using video evidence to back up his thoughts. These sessions held after racing in the Event Centre at Cowes Yacht Haven are always packed out.

But for the top boats, its also a serious event for a combination training and racing.  Last year the RORC introduced a second race course for the smaller boats and One Design classes like the J/80's.  Racing for all classes starts on Good Friday 29th March and runs through to Sunday 31st March.  In previous years, a cross-section of J/105s, J/97s, J/109s, J/111s and J/122s all showed up to take advantage of may be one of the world's most advanced racing clinics on offshore racing and around-the-buoys coaching and training.  One not to be missed to get the crew tuned for yet another epic season of sailing on the Solent!
Enter here for the RORC Easter Challenge on 14th March.

J/111s starting line off Newport / Block Island, RI25th Block Island Race Week Hosting J/Championships
(Block Island, Rhode Island)- In the "off Bermuda Race years" is the fabulously fun, casually serious, race week that worldwide is known amongst the cognoscenti of such events as simply "Block Island".  Long a blissfully quiet corner of the New England summer time, it explodes into a carnival of fun and frolic for thousands of sailors who come from all corners of the sailing world to catch up with families and friends.  The sailing can be epic, if not foggy sometimes, but those are its challenges.  Plus, the sailors are treated to one of the world's most famous "around island" races, the 25+nm "Around Block Island" race at some point during the week deemed most appropriate for this romp around the picturesque sand bluffs, gorgeous white sand beaches, a massive sand bar riddled with currents off its NE tip and a majestic lighthouse.

As host of its 25th Anniversary Edition, the Storm Trysail Club is putting out the "red carpet" to accommodate all sailors in the hopes they ensure all participants have great sailing, fantastic race management, as well as awesome onshore entertainment.  This coming year may be unique amongst race weeks in that there may be at least five J/Class Championships taking place all at the same time.  Exciting times for J/Teams up and down the Eastern seaboard as well as for their overseas friends.  Here is what is cooking for the present time (with perhaps more classes added later):

- J/80 North American Championship
- J/29 East Coast Championship
- J/105 East Coast Championship
- J/109 East Coast Championship
- J/44 East Coast Championship

There is a possibility the J/111s may show up "en masse", too, for an East Coast Championship.  There is a 10% early registration discount that expires March 31st!  For the current scratch sheet for each class.
For more Storm Trysail Block Island Week sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

As March ushers in the spring for sailors up north, friends down under are slowing moving into their fall after a long sailing season.  On the northern side of things, Florida and the Caribbean and California are simply hopping with sailing activity.  This past weekend's Bacardi Miami Sailing Week featured the debut of the J/70 with an incredibly deep, talented fleet of boats.  Just WNW was a fleet of J/105s enjoying their J/105 Midwinter Championship in Seabrook, Texas on Galveston Bay with some twisters and thunderstorms for sideshows.  Out West, J sailors enjoyed the Islands Race in Southern California, but it was an event not without its tragic consequences for others, sadly enough. Over in the Caribbean, the infamous Heineken St Maarten Regatta pulled out all the stops yet again with great racing, great onshore entertainment and overall "good karma"-- a race to put on the bucket list for sure!  It was preceded by the GILL Commodore's Cup, essentially a practice race/regatta for most and a prologue for "The Heineken" regatta.  It was not coincidental that the top three teams of J/122, J/125 and J/120 were factors in the overall results for the St Maarten Regatta.  Then, Down Under the J/24s were sailing in the famous Sydney Harbour Regatta and had a ball!  Last but not least, read more about how a former J/44 captain in England became the top dog in the Volvo Ocean Race media world!

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:

Mar 12-17- Moscow Boat Show (70)- Moscow, Russia
Mar 13-17- Oslo Sailboat Show (70)- Oslo, Norway
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 8-12- Semaine de Porquerolles (111)- Ile de Porquerolles, France
May 17-19- Seattle NOOD Regatta- Seattle, WA
May 31-Jun 2- Southern Bay Race Week (24, 70)- Hampton YC, VA
Jun 7-9- Chicago NOOD Regatta (105, 109, 111)- Chicago, IL
Jun 7-9- New York YC Annual Regatta (111, 122)- Newport, RI
Jun 15-16- Cleveland Race Week (70)- Cleveland, OH
Jun 19-22- J/24 US Nationals- Wayzata, MN
Jun 23-28- Block Island Race Week- (80, 35, 105, 109, 111, 44)- Block Island, RI
Jul 4-7- J/24 UK Nationals- Plymouth, England
Jul 6-13- J/80 World Championships- Marseilles, France
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.

J/70 Brian Keane- Savasana sailing Bacardi Miami sailing weekSAVASANA Flies @ Bacardi Sailing Week
(Miami, Florida)- The J/70 class made a strong debut in Miami with twenty boats racing for top honors in the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week regatta. Teams participated from all across America, including two foreign entries from Germany and the United Kingdom! The Bacardi sponsors did a fabulous job hosting the event along with the three clubs that support the entire regatta (Biscayne Bay YC, Coconut Grove YC & Coral Reef YC).

The fact that Bacardi has perhaps at least a cosmic connection to the Weather Gods (e.g. plenty of red wine to offer Neptune), it was clear they were pleased and delivered near postcard-perfect sailing conditions for most of the regatta.  While practice Wednesday was truly blowing "dogs off chains", with gusts over 25 kts, Thursday's sailing provided one race in light air followed by two days of superb sailing (eight races alone Friday & Saturday) with plenty of sun, moderate shifty northerly breezes and light chop on aquamarine waters on Biscayne Bay.

In pole position with no finish worse than third to start the final day of the series, Brian Keane (Weston, Mass.) sailed SAVASANA to add two more wins to his score line to take the inaugural Bacardi Miami Sailing Week J/70 class win with a mere 13 points.

J/70s sailing Bacardi Miami sailing week“We learned a lot in Key West, tried new things here in Miami and things have worked out!,” said Keane. “Our goal was to be in the top-five and we did it. The J/70 class is the most exciting class in 10 years with top sailors; it’s the best fleet in North America right now; and winning Miami is a great accomplishment.”

Keane had the largest point cushion – 19 points – of any top finisher in the competing fleets across the entire Bacardi Cup Miami Sailing Regatta.  Peter Duncan (Rye, N.Y.), who won one of the day’s races, finished second overall with 32 points, beating Will Welles (Portsmouth, R.I.) in a standings tie-breaker. Joe Woods (Torquay, GBR) sailing RED with 43 points, and Brian Elliott (Sayville, N.Y.) onboard B-SQUARED with 47, complete the top-five.

The regatta started out on a slow note.  On the first day of racing, Mother Nature and the NOAA forecast clearly were not in-sync with one another and the Bacardi Chamber of Commerce! Although twenty J/70s made it across the starting line in their class debut at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, eight did not make the time limit to cross the finish line and were scored accordingly.

Winning the first race, prophetically was the St Pete NOOD Regatta winner, Joel Ronning on CATAPULT.  "This boat works very well in light air,” said race winner Joel Ronning (Minneapolis, Minn.). “We're very excited about the J/70, it controls just perfect. I also like the fleet, it's very active and competition is great fun. We had tuned it up for light air and today it paid off. But I must say that yesterday we practiced in heavier air and I was very satisfied as well; it's enjoyable in both conditions. I'm looking forward to more racing."  On that first day, finishing second was Brian Keane (Weston, Mass.) on SAVASANA, followed by Joe Woods (Torquay, GBR) on RED, Bodo von der Wense (Wayne, Penn.) on TURBO DUCK and Juergen Waldheim (Berlin, GER) on TORQEEDO.

The second day of racing could only be described as "perfect".  A clear NNE breeze filled in blowing 8-13 kts all day with a light chop and the fleet could not have been more pleased; especially as the northeast USA was getting blasted again by yet another powerful northeaster snow-storm, blizzard with ginormously powerful 20-25 foot waves driven by 35-50 kt winds washing houses away on Cape Code and Boston beaches.

The 20-boat J/70 class managed to sail five races, allowing them to drop their worst race in calculating the overall points. Brian Keane (Weston, Mass.) SAVASANA sailed consistently and at that point in the series (with two wins) had nine points and the top position in the overall standings after finishes of 2-3-3-1-1-2. Will Welles (Portsmouth, R.I.) sailing with Key West Champion Tim Healy aboard on RASCAL won the final race of the day and had 13 points for second overall and a nine-point cushion over Joe Woods (Torquay, GBR). Brian Elliott (Sayville, N.Y.) on B-SQUARED also won a race, and was fourth overall with 25 points, followed by Peter Duncan (Rye, N.Y.) and Jud Smith with 26 points. Mark Ploch (Bronx, N.Y.) on SUGAR DADDY won the opening race of the day -- a strong recovery after not making the time limit in the first race of the series. He was sixth overall with 30 points.

The third and final day of the series again dawned with more northerly breezes with a mild front pushing through that generated 8-14 knot winds in gust cells under puffy dark clouds.  With three more races under their belts, the J/70 fleet could not have been more pleased as they sailed back to shore mid-afternoon, knowing they had all left all their energy out on the sunny, gorgeous azure waters of Biscayne Bay.

J/70 Bacardi girlsDuring the event sailors enjoyed the fabulous hospitality lounge, BACARDI Rum tastings, as well as the daily prize giving for the top-three finishers and the final awards dinner. This also included the BACARDI SKY BAR in Coral Gables at Bacardi USA HQ ... it's Bacardi Cup Party time!  A special exhibit of America’s Cup history and memorabilia featured the work of Rhode Island-based photographer Cory Silken in the North Hall of the Coconut Grove Convention Center. The prestigious Coral Reef Yacht Club coordinated on-water activities in collaboration with Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Coconut Grove Sailing Club. The U.S. Sailing Center and Shake-A-Leg Miami also supported the event. Kudos to all that made the event an enormous success, and to Bacardi's Andrea Falcone, to Coral Reef's Jane-Ann Pincus (J70 course PRO), Marc Pincus (Regatta Chair) and the Bischoff family (Connie, Rick, etc) for the J70 race committee boat- the famously green SEA SHELL!  For more J/70 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week sailing information

J/122 Lazy Dog - Puerto Rico- sailing St Maarten regattaJ/Teams Sweep St Maarten Regatta's
Serious Fun! J/122 LAZY DOG & J/35 SUNBELT Top Classes
(Simpson Bay, St Maarten)- For over three decades, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has showcased the top boats and sailing in the Caribbean, and has become equally famous for its world-class slate of parties and musical entertainment.  Now recognized by sailors around the planet as one of the sailing world’s best regattas, each year the event lives up to its worthy motto: Serious Fun!!  And for sure the J/Teams that sailed in the event took advantage of every opportunity to have fun on the water as well as partaking in the evening's festivities.  "The Heineken" regatta, as it's known to its aficionados worldwide, was yet again living up to its reputation- "be happy, go sailing, mon!"

It's a regatta that is impossible not to fall in love with.  The first day of sailing was a beautiful challenging day for yacht racing, with gentle easterly breezes that never topped 12-knots. Regatta PRO David Campbell-James made the gutsy call to send the fleet on the traditional round-the-island contest that launches the three-day regatta. While the "big boats" sailed the longer version of the course, the CSA 2-8 classes sailed a 29nm course with a mark set inside of Tintamarre Island.

J125 Hamachi sailing St Maarten regattaAfter rounding Basse Terre at the western corner of St. Maarten, the round-the-island racers embarked on a long beat up the west coast past Marigot and Grand Case. While many boats tacked across the Anguilla Channel in hopes of better breeze, by staying inshore several local sailors found flat water and steady wind flowing off the hills near the beach, where they made impressive gains. Once past Tintamarre, in fading winds, it was a tight reach to the finish line.  When the preliminary scores were tallied, Tom Mullen’s J/95, SHAMROCK VII, employed the luck of the Irish to win CSA 6.

For the second day of sailing, the fleet started off Simpson Bay and headed off to Marigot Bay.  During the day the breeze built steadily with many classes recording a pair of races in ideal Caribbean sailing conditions.  The racing action started with the traditional Saturday point-to-point contest to Marigot Bay. Following the morning’s racing, the race committee conducted an afternoon race for the CSA 2-8 divisions, a windward-leeward race in the Anguilla Channel.  After the dust cleared, CSA 3 was wide open-- Greg Slyngstad’s J/125 HAMACHI had yet to win a race, but held the lead thanks to a consistent series with no finish higher than sixth.

The last day of sailing was simply a classic Caribbean day for racing. The fleet was treated to steady south-southeast trade winds of 15-20 knots, seas flecked with white caps, and superbly clear-blue skies dotted by flying clouds looking like torn white cotton balls. It was one of those yachting days made for superlatives, and official scorer and “regatta guru” Paul Miller unleashed a torrent of them. “The sparkling turquoise waters made for champagne sailing,” he said. And he was right.

J/35 sailing team reaching for it!On Day 3, the wind blew. And blew. First hard. And then harder. For the crews of the 202 yachts who’d descended on St. Maarten to race sailboats, it was what they’d come looking for, and it was definitely worth the wait.  After Saturday’s race to Marigot, the fleet reassembled on the western, French side of St. Maarten to put the finishing touches on what had evolved into yet another memorable edition of “The Heineken.” With solid breeze gusting to over 20-knots, the race committee took full advantage of the sweet conditions and sent the racers on challenging courses that took them into and across the Anguilla Channel before a long upwind leg along the island’s southern shore to a finish line off Simpson Bay.  The CSA 2-8 classes sailed a 22.5nm race, the timing was such that the entire fleet converged on Blowing Rocks off the western point of Anguilla en masse, and the sight of dozens of race boats shredding across the clear waters was sensational.

Going into the final race, CSA 3 class was up for grabs on Sunday, and it was stacked with talent, including last year’s recipient of the Most Worthy Performance Overall Award, the J/120 EL OCASO.  So on Sunday, in CSA 3 it came down to the J/122 LAZY DOG— a perennial Heineken contender— and a newcomer to the fleet, the J/125 HAMACHI. The latter sailed a tremendous race, and was the first of all CSA boats to round Blowing Rocks after flying down the Anguilla Channel under a huge, white asymmetric spinnaker. When the spray settled HAMACHI was second on Sunday and LAZY DOG won the final CSA 3 race on corrected time.

The big competition for the J/Teams was in CSA 3 with no less than four very well-sailed boats vying for class honors.  Having won the opening Gill Commodore's Cup Regatta, Rick Wesslund's J/120 EL OCASO had to settle for 4th overall after scoring an uncharacteristic 14th in the opening race!  They sailed the second best record for the remaining three races, counting a 1-3-2 to just miss the podium by one point!  Top dog for the J's was Sergio Sagramoso's J/122 LAZY DOG (certainly not a lazy one, for sure!).  Like their classmate EL OCASO, they too had a slow start with a 10th on the first day, followed by a 2.5-2-1 to claim the overall prize on a tie-breaker!  And with whom was that tie-breaker against?  None other than the fast-sailing, fun-loving gang led by Greg Slingstad on the J/125 HAMACHI!  Despite finishing every single race as the overall elapsed time winner, all the HAMACHI crew could do was watch the rest of their class file into the finish and hope they'd corrected out over all of them.  In the end, the HAMACHI crew sailed a very consistent 4-2.5-6-3 to lay claim to the title, but lose the tie-breaker to take second overall in class.  Also showing flashes of brilliance despite a slow start was Fritz Odenbachs's custom J/120 JAGUAR ISLAND WATER WORLD, finishing 5th in the last race and taking 9th overall.

If the competition was pretty fierce in CSA 3, it was equally as hot in the CSA 6 class with four J/Teams sailing well to mix it up in the overall standings. Leading the charge with an amazingly consistent scoreline of 3-2-2-1 was Remco van Dortmondt's J/35 SUNBELT REALTY DASH, taking 1st overall in class.  After starting out strong, perennial Heineken competitor Tom Mullen took his merry bandits along on the comfy J/95 SHAMROCK VII to collect a 1-3-7-6 record to take 4th overall.  Behind them was the famous J/109 ALBACOR IV sailed by French woman Sophie Olivaud (winner in Double-handed and Racing Spinnaker class in the ARC Rally 2012), she managed to improve every single race and here tally of 8-7-4-5 was good enough for 6th overall.  Watch out for Sophie in the next few events, she has a reputation for being a fast-learner tactically and is already a fast sailor!  Rounding out the J/Teams was Peter Lewis sailing their J/105 WHISTLER to 8th overall.

Showing up for perhaps the longest streak going for any sailboat participating in "the Heineken" was Tanner Jones' J/30 BLUE PETER.  Always sailed well.  Always looking gorgeous in that medium blue color.  Always sailing with a fun-loving, smart crew, Tanner and the gang again managed a podium finish, taking 2nd overall in class with a solid 2-3-3-2 record.

Finally, in the CSA 2 class, it was evident Nathan Owen's beautiful J/46 SEA BISCUIT was having fun and managed to sail to ninth in class while having a great time enjoying the regatta's renowned festivities.
For more St. Maarten Heineken Regatta sailing, party & band information

J/120 sailing St Maarten, CaribbeanJ/Teams Dominate Commodore's Cup
J/120 EL OCASO, J/122 LAZY DOG & J/125 HAMACHI Reign Supremo!
(Simpson Bay, St Maarten)- On a day that appeared to have been ordered up by the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, with crystal clear skies and an ideal 10-12 knot east-southeast breeze, the race committee conducted three windward leeward races in the waters off “the Friendly Island’s” southern shoreline. Some crews fared better than others, performing crisp spinnaker sets and douses and displaying excellent boat-handling skills. But there were also the usual gaffes and mistakes to be expected from other teams that are ramping up programs after some time off the race course; those crews took advantage of the venue and the ideal conditions to get in a strong day of practice.

Among the boats that were in top form and served notice that they will be forces to be reckoned with in the upcoming St. Maarten Heineken Regatta were in GILL 2, Greg Slyngstad’s J/125 HAMACHI; perennial contender Sergio Sagramoso’s J/122 LAZY DOG; and Richard Wesslund’s J/120 EL OCASO-- how's that for a trio of gunslingers in da'islands!?

When the scores were tallied, it was clear that GILL 2 division was packed with the most competitive boats in the fleet. And when the dust had settled on Thursday, Wesslund’s EL OCASO picked up where she left off at last year’s St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, when she won her class and the title of "Most Worthy Performance Overall". EL OCASO was declared champion of Division 2 and was joined on the podium by LAZY DOG in second and HAMACHI in 3rd, respectively-- a J/Team sweep!

As if they hadn't stopped where they left off in the Caribbean circuit 2012, this year's Gill Best Boat of the Day and Best Boat of the Regatta Award for outstanding performance was again awarded to Wesslund's EL OCASO!   For more GILL Commodore's Cup sailing information

RESOLUTE & PATRIOT Lead "Islands Race" Sweep
(Newport Beach, CA)- A race that has become a fixture on the Southern California offshore racing circuit is the "Islands Race".  Seeming a simple romp around "the islands" offshore of Los Angeles, it's a 129nm race starting from Newport Beach, leaving Catalina and San Clemente Island to port, then heading for the finish line off San Diego's Point Loma.  However, as many experienced offshore racers in the SoCal circuit can explain, what one sees just off the harbors along the shore has nothing to do what's happening several miles offshore beyond the islands; it's a tale of two very, very different worlds.  And, as has often been the case in the past, sunny, mild conditions at the start can turn into "fresh-to-frightening, white knuckle" reaching conditions in 20-30 kts winds and 10-15 foot "washing machine" seas on the backside of San Clemente Island-- certainly not what the brochure said!

Sailing offshore in California means you have to rely on your boat and your crew.  And, after decades of sailing in some of the world's toughest offshore races, J/Boat owners know that more often than not they can race hard, get around the race track in some bruising sailing conditions and still make it to the cocktail bar to tell their "war stories".  

For this year's Islands Race, there were thirty-two boat that sailed the race with nine J/Team's participating (nearly 1/3 of the fleet!).  In the end, the J's sailed fast and enjoyed what turned out to be fairly epic sailing conditions.

Taking top honors in PH-1 was the J/125 RESOLUTE sailed by Tim Fuller, reveling in the fast-reaching conditions and after rounding San Clemente, able to simply fly downwind under her massive kite.  Further back in her division was the J/46 INNOCENT MERRIMENT sailed by Myron Lyon, racing comfortably fast around the islands and down to the warm, comfortable climate in San Diego.  RESOLUTE's performance was quite remarkable considering they were sailing against many top offshore racers in the Los Angeles basin, including TP52s, several Santa Cruz 52s, Andrews 49, Rogers 46 and a Davidson 50.

The PH-2 class looked like a J/Fest reunion of some of SoCal's fastest offshore J/Teams.  For such a reach race, it was amazing to see the J/44 PATRIOT sailed by Paul Stemler power through the conditions to take overall honors in the class against a veritable posse of J/120s who never take their racing lying down!  In fact, it was perhaps the J/120s whom were most shocked by not taking a clean sweep of their class, such is their reputation in races like these.  In the end, the 120 gang gave it their best shot, but managed to sweep the balance of the class, taking the next four spots in the top five!  Second was SHENANIGANS skippered by Gary Winton, 3rd was J-ALMIGHTY sailed by Mike Hatch, 4th was HOT TAMALE raced by Jim Barber and 5th was John Laun's CAPER.

The weather reports for the weekend were for a breezy race. At the start, the fleet saw around 8-12 kts and as they made their way across the channel to Catalina the wind kept going right.  As the J/125 and the J/120s & J/44 approached the island, the fleet was tacking to make it around with winds in the mid to high teens.  In the late evening hours, most of these boats rounded Catalina and were headed for San Clemente in a building breeze. It didn't take the fleet long to get into some serious conditions – winds blowing 22-28 kts and 12 foot beaming seas were far from ideal for any boat.

When the fleet got to the bottom of the island most jibed in and tried to work the best VMG.  Some did with jibs, others went with chicken kites and as the wind moderated nearer shore, many of the top boats went with larger running kites into the finish line.

It was a crazy race with one unfortunate, very sad incident.  Reported one boat, "the worst part of the night was the waterspout sighting and getting everyone down below as we watched it approach then pass by us. I’m not sure what to do if you get over run by a waterspout but figured the best place was to stay in the boat!"  One boat had to unload an injured crewman who'd seriously hurt his back, with the US Coast Guard rendering them assistance.  Another boat lost its rudder, went aground on a San Clemente beach and lost a crewman (thankfully, the rest of the crew were rescued OK).  Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to the crew and family of the "Uncontrollable Urge" sailing team.  For more Islands Race sailing information

J/105 Solaris- wins Midwinters- Bill Zartler!!SOLARIS Two-peats J/105 Midwinters!
(Seabrook, TX)- Bill Zartler and his SOLARIS team will be keeping the title of J/105 Midwinter Champion. Despite placing seventh in Sunday’s only race, SOLARIS hung on for the two-point victory and back-to-back Midwinter Championship trophies. With crew Chris Lewis, Karen Lewis, Gustavo Eacobar, Michael Byrne and Cynthia Powell, Zartler completed the nine-race series with 28 points and a line of 8-1-5-1-3-1-1-1-7. Host Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, TX claimed the top two boats of the event, as Bill Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE placed second with 30 points. New York’s Paul Beaudin on AVICI came in third at 40 points.

Zartler praised the Race Committee for fulfilling their goal of nine races and also commended the stellar competition. “It was great to have competitors coming from all over the country, and see the fleet continue to have great racing amongst some really fun people,” he said.

J/105 sailboats- sailing one-design off Houston, TexasOn the last day of racing on Sunday, the J/105 teams were postponed on shore in the morning when a line of thunderstorms came through-- pretty normal weather activity for these parts of Texas in the spring-time (all part of America's "tornado belt").  When the AP flag came down and the thirteen boats were sent to the race course the winds had settled down to a steady 10-12 kts. Greg Turman’s HORNY TOAD won Sunday’s only race, trailed by Beaudin and Lakenmacher.

The top five were the following: 1st Bill Zartler- SOLARIS (28 points), 2nd Bill Lakenmacher- RADIANCE (30), 3rd Paul Beaudin- AVICI (40), 4th Greg Turman- HORNY TOAD (52) and 5th James MacDonald- DISTANT PASSION (52).

The J/105 Class extends its heartfelt appreciation to the Lakewood Yacht Club and all of its volunteers for a job "well done".  Sailing and awards photos taken by J/105 Class Director Chris Howell are on the J/105 Facebook page-     For more J/105 Midwinters sailing information

J/24 ACE Wins Class In Sydney Harbor Regatta
(Sydney Harbour, Australia)- Hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club, the Sydney Harbour Regatta is one of the largest, competitive keelboat regattas in Australia.  Over the weekend of March 9-10, over 200 keelboats raced in 26 divisions on 10 course areas on Sydney Harbour and Offshore.

For the second year running, the event was blessed with beautiful conditions, both days boasting winds of 8-10 knots early on and reaching 16-17 knots by late afternoon. Taking advantage of the gorgeous weather was a highly competitive J/24 class.  A good fleet of seven boats participated for the two day event.

Starting off by winning the first race, Dave West's team on ACE threw down the gauntlet and never let up on the fleet.  After two days of racing, Team ACE walked off with four 1sts and two 2nds to dominate the J/24 fleet with a total of 8 pts.  Giving them a run for the money by winning at least two races was the Scott and Adam Jamieson family team aboard JSPOT, amassing a 3-3-1-3-2-1 scoreline.  The JSPOT boys were clearly learning how to sail smarter, faster, cooler, more awesomely every race, as evidenced by their 1st in the last race.  Brett Hudson's WILDFIRE was hoping they would be "on fire", but a last race OCS was not helpful to their overall performance-- perhaps a bit too eager to put the spot on JSPOT for the last race!

The Sydney Harbour Regatta was sponsored by leading water sports and technical apparel supplier, HELLY HANSEN and supported by Sydney Ports, Robert Oatley Vineyards and Sydney City Marine.  Pictured here is a highly modified J/24 dinghy prototype sans keel, made of wood with Gougeon epoxy, with the J/Sprit concept employed circa 1926. Yes, the J/24 was waaaay ahead of its time. :)   For more Sydney Harbour Regatta sailing information


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

J/70 or J/65 Volvo Ocean Racer- Rick Deppe* Rick Deppe- Volvo Ocean Race media guy. J/Sailor alumni for sure!  Once upon a time, Ricky was learning the ropes of the yachting world back in 1990.  As a lad from deep in the Midlands of the UK, he managed through serendipity and connections with amazingly nice guys like Richard Mason from Lymington (then at North Sails UK) to connect with leaders in the sailing world.  His intersection with the J/World was to be captain of the J/44 J-HAWK for a period of time (Winner of the 1990 Cowes Week CHS 1 Class and Overall Performance Boat of the Week!), then later other J/Boats teams and then videographer for Discovery Channels "Most Dangerous Jobs" program filming Alaskan king crab fishermen in the Gulf of Alaska. Yes. Ricky is a cool, incredibly nice guy with kids who sailed the Orange Bowl Regatta in Miami over Christmas and all those other things that sailing Dad's are supposed to do!

Ricky is still at it pioneering all manner of how to "bring it live" the Volvo Ocean Race to the world's couch potatoes, armchair navigators and tacticians who all know better!  Working with the Volvo Ocean Race crew, he's now looking after a unique concept in offshore sailing at a "grand prix" level-- uhhhh, one-design Volvo J/65s? Ooops, typo? Perhaps not! The concept was first introduced to the old Whitbread Race mafia back when Sir Peter Blake had just won with the IOR Maxi STEINLAGER.  Peter subsequently teamed up with UBF Finland's Team Manager Mark Musgrove and J/Boats' Rodney & Stu Johnstone to create the "J/Team"-- a 65 foot multi-tasking offshore grand prix racer in 1992 over 20 years ago.  The world does take time to adopt to such revolutionary ideas.  Thank Goodness it's now happening. As an interesting aside, the J/105 hull/sprit concept was an outgrowth of that partnership in 1992-- pioneering the entire sprit revolution as the world knows it today!

Today, we now see Ricky, in no small part of that evolution now looking after the first Volvo Ocean 65 hull.  As he describes it, "the Volvo truck towing it, its driver and three attendees have been on the road for five days now. They left the Persico factory in Bergamo, Italy, this past Friday. They are taking the ferry today from Hook of Holland to Harwich and the crossing from the Netherlands to the UK will take them six hours. The convoy is expecting to arrive at Green Marine in Southampton, tomorrow at lunchtime.

Once in the English boatyard, the hull will be put together with the other elements of the very first One Design boat to be sailed in the next two editions of the race.

But that’s for later. The 65-foot long structure is still traveling across a snowy northern Europe. It is quite a spectacle as the heavy load, taking up two lanes of highway, displays the slogan 'Coming soon to an ocean near you' on the side of the hull.

'It’s really tiring but it’s really fun. It’s just a massive adventure!' says Ricky, who is on the road to report this momentous journey.

'Paul Hamels is driving the lorry. We call him the "Flying Dutchman". He drives a lot of boats and big machinery. His life is quite comparable to that of the sailors. He has an unusual job and is away from home for a really long time. He works very unusual hours.

'He is almost the helmsman of the boat at the moment. When you’re helming a Volvo boat, it’s a lot of responsibility. Well, when you’re driving an exceptional convoy, it’s a lot of responsibility, too. You cannot just turn and go too fast. He plays it pretty cool.'

Hamels may be used to these unusual deliveries but that doesn’t make the trip an easy cruise. The snow in Europe has been slowing the convoy down in Germany, but they made it on time to the ferry nonetheless.

'The other truck drivers have asked Paul what was going on,' adds Rick. 'You see people slowing down and taking pictures. You know, it’s pretty important and we’re going to do it at least seven more times!'

Follow Ricky's Volvo 65 journey here!

* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again!  We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR.

J/160 sailing offshore to US Virgin Islands- rainbow over oceanAlan sent us an email update commenting on their passage south this winter, "In mid-December AVATAR completed her sixth transit to her winter Caribbean home, Grand Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI (seen above)  from her home port in Quissett (Falmouth), MA.  A crew of three, Captain Alan (e.g. me), Crew Pablo Brissett and Mark Conroy, covered the 1,500 nm trip in in her best time to date- 7 Days 5 Hours, averaging 8.7 kts, that's about 208 nm per day!  Amazing passage it was!  Rainbow at right far offshore was some of the amazing phenomenon we experienced on this fast offshore passage.

AVATAR will participate in the BVI Sailing Festival/Regatta again in 2013, where last year she won the Nanny Key Cup Cruising Class race around the Island of Virgin Gorda.  Here are some photos for you to share with the J/Community at-large.  Enjoy!"
Best, Alan Fougere/ AVATAR

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."


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-

J Brokerage

J/122 PENN AZEN For Sale

One of the world's most successful J/122s is for sale- hull #6 built in March 2007 by J/Europe.

PENN AZEN has been very successful since her launch in 2007:
- 2007 RORC IRC Class 1 season winner
- 2008 RORC IRC “Yacht of the Year”- plus 8 season’s awards
- 2009 Winner of UNCL Trophée Atlantique in class 1
- 2010 French Rolex Commodores Cup team and 2nd at Trophée Atlantique
- 2012 Cowes-Dinard race: 3rd in IRC Class 2 and 4th IRC Overall

Inside arrangement- 3 cabin version plus folding sea berths in the saloon – 10 berths in total

Deck/ Rigging includes- Varnished Hall spars high modulus mast and boom, Rod rigging and dyneema backstay on hydraulic adjuster, Tuff-luff Forestay and Carbon steering wheel

Sails- X-Voiles France- complete inventory for any offshore racing, including RORC Fastnet Race.

Electronics- Full set from NKE Electronics including carbon wind indicator, 3 mast displays and 2 cockpit displays, gyroscopic compass, gyro autopilot, plus Icom VHF with ASN and AIS receiver and Furuno GPS.

Please contact- Gwen THOMAS from Ouest Greement-
P: +33 (0)2 40 82 66 65

J/124 offshore daysailerJ/124 WARBRIDE For Sale

The J/124 Warbride was commissioned and expertly set up by Waterline Systems, Quantum Sails, and Hall Spars.  She is fully equipped and equally well suited for day sailing, cruising or racing

Down below is a full cherry interior, teak and holly sole, ultra suede cushions, cherry table, refrigeration and full galley.

One deck, she's effortless to sail short handed with an electric main halyard winch, port and starboard autopilot control heads, full cockpit cushions and a full dodger.

If your competitive juices are flowing, there's a full complement of racing sails, carbon spinnaker pole, and even a removeable sprit…..and of course the absolutely essential carbon wheel.

For more information, contact Tom Babbitt at East Coast Yacht Sales, 207 236 8656 or

J-46 STREGA For Sale

J/46 STREGA for saleThe J/46 STREGA was one of the last J/46s built (hull #39) and shows in "new boat" condition. She has many options including J-Boat installed supplemental refrigeration, power SSB and cruising packages.

Her features include a 76 hp Yanmar diesel, a Mastervolt 7.7 kw generator, 630 amp house batteries, two zone air conditioning, primary power winches, a three cabin cherry interior, two heads, hot and cold pressure water, 120 gallons of water, 88 gallons of fuel, 19” television, varnished rails, Raymarine electronics and Doyle sails.

Extras include an automatic engine compartment fire extinguisher, six person Avon life raft, 9’4” Zodiac dinghy, storage box for dingy fuel tank, Radio/CD/DVD player, propane grill and numerous other custom features.

Typical of all J-Boats, STREGA sails beautifully and handles well in all weather conditions. Boat yard maintained and stored indoors STREGA is a must see for anyone interested in a mid-40s cruising sailboat.
For more information, please call Bruce Taymore at 617-529-3991.