Wednesday, April 17, 2013

J/Newsletter- April 17th, 2013

J/70 one-design sailboat- sailing fast downwindJ/70 Newport Beach Show
(Newport Beach, CA)- As an enormous contingent of J/70s are marking their debut at Charleston Race Week on the East Coast with 56 boats attending, the West Coast J/70 fleet is rapidly building momentum with fleets developing in the southern California areas-- such as San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and points even further north like San Francisco.

This weekend the J/70 will be marking its debut at the upcoming Newport Beach Spring Boat Show.  The show is at the Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach, CA and runs from April 18-21.

Furthermore, the Southern California J/70 Fleet # 4 members will be hosting an open house at the show! Please come on down to the show and talk shop with 70 sailors who've already been out on the water having a fun time with their friends and family!  Sailing photo credit- Onne Vanderwal   For more Newport Boat Show information

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing North Americans ChicagoJ/111 North American Championship Update
(Chicago, IL)-  This August J/111 Fleet #1 on Lake Michigan will host the first annual North American Championships from 15-18th of August.  With the racecourse just off the visually stunning shore that's lined with Chicago's famous skyscrapers and beautiful white-sand beaches, this regatta offers the quintessential Chicago sailing experience. Headquartered at the Chicago Yacht Club’s Belmont Station, owners and their crew can expect a first-class race committee, with amenities to match.

If you have yet to experience sailing on Lake Michigan, this event also offers an exceptional opportunity for more than just the J/111 NACs. As Chicago is undoubtedly the gateway to sailing on Lake Michigan, we would like to further entice you to spend some more time with us on one of America’s greatest freshwater lakes. The world famous Race to Mackinac Island, hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club, consists of a 333 mile race up the lake starting on July 13, boasting up to 350 boats. The Mac is a “bucket-list” race for many sailors, a legendary freshwater offshore classic.

Next on the schedule is the Port Huron to Mac Island Race that begins July 20th starting from Detroit, MI. In addition, the Little Traverse Bay Yacht Club hosts the Ugotta Regatta from July 26-28th, a nice stop for those boats headed back to Chicago from the island. Preceding the North Americans is the  Verve Cup, also hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club August 9-11th, which can serve as an important warm-up.

Finally, the city of Chicago is a vibrant place in the summer, offering festivals, concerts, baseball games, and is home to countless museums. It's one city that actually comes to life in the summer along with the whole lake.  Additionally, up and down the coast of Lake Michigan, cozy villages along the shores from Charlevoix to Sturgeon Bay, all the way down to Kenosha and St. Joseph are stunners in the summer and offer relaxing weekend getaways accessible by boat or car.  Sailing photo credits- Tim

Please check the regatta website ( We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or comments regarding this event! We hope to see you in Chicago!  For more J/111 info please email-

J/24 World Championships- sailing Howth, IrelandBMW J/24 Worlds- Update from Ireland
(Howth, Ireland)-  This year's J/24 Worlds promises to be a special event, one remembered for decades to come.  It's the first 24 Worlds hosted by the Irish J/24 class and you can bet the Irish sailors will do their best to roll-out the red carpet for all participants and ensure everyone (almost without fail) will have an absolutely fantastic time!

With the event sailing from August 22-30, 2013, we recently got a nice update from Derek Bothwell - Event Chairman.  Says Derek, "With just a little over five months to go until the start of the BMW J/24 World Championships I am very happy to say that everything is going well on the planning side. Entries are stacking up and I am very pleased to see that we have interest from many J2/4 sailors representing North & South America, Europe & Asia.

I am delighted that the current World Champion, Mauricio Santa Cruz, from Brazil, will arrive in Howth to defend his title. This really puts it up to the Europeans who have only a pond to cross in comparison to arrive in large numbers.

We will also have Allison Young heading up a ladies team from the UK. Allison who competed in the Laser Radial in the Weymouth Olympics has a very busy year ahead as she continues to train for the next event in Rio. It is a challenge for our lady sailors which should not be overlooked.

Charter boats are being snapped up and there is a lot of activity on the accommodation front, so if you are thinking of entering, do not get left out!

The Irish J/24 National Championships will be run on the 16th and 17th of August in the same waters with the same Race management team, so why not come early and get a taste of the venue and tides."    For more BMW J/24 Worlds sailing information

J/105s sailing San Francisco Bay- in front of St Francis YCJ/Fest San Francisco Preview
(San Francisco, CA)- This year's J/Fest hosted by St Francis Yacht Club has another strong turnout of San Francisco Bay area J/Teams.  Leading the way is perhaps one of the strongest J/105 fleets in the country followed by the always competitive J/120 class on the Bay.  In addition, the J/70s are making their debut in this year's event and will be sailing alongside their stablemates, a fleet of a half-dozen J/24s.

For the J/105 teams, there's a likelihood that you may see past Rolex Big Boat Series Champions like Scooter Simmons on BLACKHAWK, Bruce Stone on ARBITRAGE and Adam Spiegle on JAM SESSION amongst the leaders.

J/120 one-design offshore cruiser racer- sailing San Francisco BayThe J/120s have such an evenly matched fleet it's well-nigh impossible to forecast a fleet leader as nearly all of the boats have won some regatta or another over the course of time.  In any event, you should see amongst the leaders Barry Lewis's CHANCE, John Wimer's DESDEMONA, Dick Swanson's GRACE DANCES and Steve Madeira's MR MAGOO.

Familiar faces should also be amongst the leaders in the J/24s, including Darren Cumming's DOWNTOWN UPROAR, Mike Whitfield's TMC RACING and  Rich Jepsen's RAIL TO RAIL.

As for the J/70s, it will be interesting to see how their first San Francisco Bay regatta ends up for the competitors.  Amongst them are Jim Cascino's EOS, Chris Andersen's OLD AND IN THE WAY and Mark Nelsen's SUGOI.  Sailing photo credits- Rolex/ Daniel Forster.   For more J/Fest San Francisco sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

For awhile it seemed that "old man winter" simply would not let go for the crusty, determined spring-time sailors in the northern parts.  Nevertheless, it looks like the next scenario was whether or not the old adage of "April showers bring May flowers" was a bit of a hoax.  For in some parts of American and Europe, the fronts were still dishing out snow, hail, thundershowers and tornados depending on where you were sailing.  Nevertheless, it looks like the pattern is breaking apart and perhaps the last week or two of April won't be marked by torrential downpours. Even the famous Les Voiles St Barths Regatta had their share of crazy weather, but in the end the fleet that included the J/122, J/109, J/125, J/95, J/105 and J/80 teams survived to enjoy a spectacular final day of racing.  In Europe, the British Keelboat Academy hosted their inaugural Inter-Club Challenge Cup that included youth sailors on IRC and J/80 one-design class sailboats.  Also sailing in the renowned waters of the Solent were the Warsash Spring Series contenders in the J/70, J/80 and J/109 one-design classes and IRC 3 competitors that include leading J/97s and a J/92.  Down Under, the J/97 sailing in Sydney, Australia had a successful season sailing in the Super 30s class.  Across the "big western pond" (a.k.a. the Pacific), there was a hotly contested J/22 California Match Race Challenge hosted by St Francis Yacht Club with a bold effort from Newport Harbor YC.  Some of those sailors will be participating in the J/Fest San Francisco event this coming weekend!

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 17-Apr 28- Warsash Spring Series- Warsash, England
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 18-20- J/24 German Nationals- Flensburger, Germany
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 14-15- Off Soundings Regatta (105, 109, 120)- Watch Hill/ Block Is
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
Jun 27-30- Kieler Woche (70, 80, 24)- Kieler Segeln Club- Kiel, Germany
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 27-28- Youngstown Level Regatta (70, 24)- Youngstown, NY
Aug 9-11- J/109 North Americans- Chicago YC- Chicago, IL
Aug 9-11- Verve Cup Offshore (109, 111)- Chicago, IL
Aug 9-13- J/27 North American Championship- Oakville, Ontario
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/109 sailing Les Voile St Barths regattaJ/122 LAZY DOG Wins St Barths!
(George Town, St Barths)- The final day of racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth served up lively conditions for the fleet, with 20+ knots of wind whipping up four to six foot seas.  The race committee sent the Spinnaker 1 and 2 classes on a 17 nautical mile course along the western side of the island, somewhat protected by the lee of the land but nevertheless providing shifty conditions. Spinnaker 3 and Non-Spinnaker classes sailed a 26 nautical mile course around the islands off the north and east side of St. Barths, fully exposed to the fresh breeze and ocean swell.

In Maxi/Racing, new J/70 owner Jim Swartz sailed his TP52 VESPER to a string of bullets to win the class. Swartz said, “This week has been pretty typical: constant wind, 15-17 knots, predictable but shifty, with challenging and nice waves on the backside of the island. Kind of a sailor’s paradise; the race committee does a great job, the people are terrific.”

J/125 HAMACHI sailing Les Voiles St Barths regattaIn the Spinnaker 1 class, the standings going into today were close for the class leaders.  In the end, past J/105 Champion tactician Steve Cucchiaro along with long-time J sailor Jack Slattery (North Sails) sailed DEFIANCE to a solid  1-1-2-2 score line, but sadly faded on the last race to settle for a second overall.  Loving the reaching conditions of the last race was the J/125 HAMACHI sailed by Greg Slyngstad, taking second in the race but not enough to snag third place, missing by 4 pts and having to settle for fourth instead.

Sergio Sagramoso’s J/122 LAZY DOG returned to form, posting a first in the last race to take Spinnaker 2 racing class. The ebullient Puerto Rican sailor said, “This was probably our best season in the Caribbean: we won the Heineken Regatta, BVI Spring Regatta, were 2nd at International Rolex Regatta, and we’ve won this!”

J/109 Les voiles feminin st barths- sailing st barths regattaSagramoso goes on to say, “I think in sailboat racing, especially when you do it with the same crew year after year – and these are friends who are not professionals, there are no professionals on board – everything has to click. I’ve had a year like this before, but you can go five or six years without having a year like this. When everyone is on top of their game physically, mentally, and the boat is ready, everything clicks and then you start winning. I think we are in one of those years, it takes a long time to get there, but we have it now.”

In Spinnaker 3 racing class, the "girls boat", the J/109 LES VOILES AU FEMININ ST BARTH sailed by Sophie Olivaud to a fourth overall, just two points out of third!

In the Non-Spinnaker class, it was another tough competition for these teams.  Finishing in the money again was Tom Mullens' J/95 SHAMROCK VII, taking second place and getting yet another podium finish in as many Caribbean events they've participated in over the last few weeks.  Hanging in there for fourth overall was the custom J/120 JAGUAR ISLAND WATERWORLD sailed by Ben Jelic.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/   For more Les Voiles St Barths sailing information

J/97 sailing Super 30s- Sydney, AustraliaJ/97 Takes Gold in Sydney Super 30s
(Sydney, Australia)-  The J/97 KNOCKABOUT has been racing in the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club's Super 30 Gold Cup fleet.  After sailing all season long, the KNOCKABOUT team managed to capitalise on their good start to the season to win both the PHS and AMS pointscores for the 2012-3 season!  Here's a report from Ray Entwistle who sailed with the team for much of the season:

"As one might expect, the PHS pointscore got more challenging as time went by, and our handicap tightened. A horror third last race, due to a last minute loss of key crew on a 20-25 knot day (setting extras would have been just careless), saw us slip to second place. Fortunately, this was followed by a glamour penultimate race, which gave us a win and put us back into the lead. We still had to give a good performance in the last race but it ended up as a bit of an anticlimax as the wind glassed-out and the race was abandoned, handing us the Gold Medal.

The AMS (Australian Measurement System) pointscore was less nail-biting, we had that secured after the penultimate race! An excellent showing of how the J/97 performs under measurement based handicapping. With a scoring consisting of 4x 1st, 3x 2nds, 3x 3rds and 2x 4ths the J/97 has certainly proved a very serious candidate in this hot shot super 30 fleet. The big difference is with the J/97 we can now go family cruising in luxury! None of our competitors can even come close to claiming that capability!

All in all a good reason to attend this year's prizegiving. Not bad for a crew with average age hovering around 6 decades!"    For more J/97 family cruiser-racer sailing information

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing on Solent, EnglandPoole Yacht Club Triumphs @ Inter Club Challenge Cup
(Southampton, England)- This past weekend, a team of young sailors from Poole Yacht Club has won the inaugural British Keelboat Academy Inter-Club Challenge Cup.

The event was hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club on behalf of the British Keelboat Academy, and aimed to get more young sailors out racing on yachts to increase the engagement of sailors, clubs and boat owners in the opportunities which the BKA is able to offer to support the development of young sailors.  The format is based on the best scores of two boat teams from each yacht club (one IRC boat and one J/80 team).

Poole Yacht Club's winning team the J/80 LAST CHANCE sailed by Chris Doe. Combined with her team-mate, their aggregate scores over three races was 13 pts.  Their score was enough to hold off the RORC team that included Nick Haigh's JAI DEUX AMOUR with on 18 points.

Some 80 young sailors took part in the event, all demonstrating great skill on the water to handle their boats in gusty conditions, with driving rain later in the day and the continuing unseasonably  cold weather not making things any easier.

Many of the sailors were new to this size of boats and were using this event as part of making the transition into keelboat racing. On some boats, the sailors were supported by more experienced older sailors on board, whilst several boats had been entrusted to a complete crew under the age of 25 - great testament to the skill of these young sailors.

Jim Macgregor, from Poole Yacht Club, summed up the event from their perspective: "It was the first time many of the Team had sailed a keelboat outside of Poole, so to visit the Solent and keep Teams from RORC, The Royal Yacht Squadron and The Royal Southern Yacht Club behind them was particularly satisfying and will have given their self-confidence a huge boost, further bolstering their enthusiasm to do more. The tough conditions encountered in getting the team boats from Poole to The Solent and back just added to the character building experience of the event. Bonding was further built by the youngsters being empowered to organise and run the campaign themselves, under the watchful eye of Chris Doe who, at 26, was by far the eldest of the 27 sailors (average age under 19).  Suffice to say the rest of the club was right behind the Team with support whenever it was needed. There can be no doubt that Poole YC's win and the networking experienced will have given them a whole new view on their future sailing plans and a will to apply for a position in the British Keelboat Academy."

After sailing, all participants were able to hear from an experienced panel about the opportunities at the top level of yacht racing. Current BKA squad member James French, himself only 20, talked about the his experience skippering the British team at the recent Red Bull Youth America's Cup trials and, particularly, the benefit of the experience and training he had received as part of the British Keelboat Academy.

Luke McCarthy, British Keelboat Academy Head Coach, commented: "It was great to see so many young sailors out on the water and all sailing their boats really well in some tough conditions.

"I am sure that many will go on to be really successful keelboat sailors, and we look forward to welcoming lots of them to the BKA in future. Thanks to all those involved with making this first event such a success."

Editor's note- after reviewing the results, it does appear the best two boat team (IRC + J/80) in fact happens to be the Royal Southern YC's Adam Munday sailing his J/97 INDULJENCE, taking 2nd in IRC Class with 6 pts and his team-mate, the J/80 SEAFIRE sailed by Bruno Van Dyke, that won the J/80 one-design class with 5 pts, making for a combined total for both boats of 11 pts??  Were these two sailors and their Royal Southern YC team not the winners according to the format? One wonders.

In the end, the BKA Inter-Club Challenge Cup is a wonderful idea to promote youth sailing.  Congratulations to Adam Munday's team (RSYC) on his J/97 INDULJENCE for their second place in IRC Class and to Alastair Speare-Coles team (BKA) on the J/109  ALICE for finishing 3rd in IRC.  Thanks must also go out to David Aisher's J/109 YEOMAN (Royal Yacht Squadron) for participating in the event, too.

In the J/80s, congratulations Bruno Van Dyke's team (RSYC) sailing SEAFIRE to first overall.  They were closely followed by Nick Haigh's JAI DEUX AMOURS team (RORC) in second and by Chris Doe's LAST CHANCE team (Poole YC) in third.   For more Inter-Club Challenge Cup sailing information    For more British Keelboat Academy sailing information

J/22 sailboat- sailing St Francis YC Challenge CupSt Francis YC Wins Battle of California
(San Francisco, CA)- It was Northern California versus Southern California as St. Francis Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club faced off in their Challenge Match Race event on San Francisco Bay.

J/22 Challenge Cup- San Francisco's St Francis YC teamEach club brought teams with skippers aged 20+, 40+, 60+, and a flag officer for a series of match races in J/22s. This inaugural series went to the bay area hosts, with young, seasoned match racers Shawn Bennet and Craig Healy joining veteran match racers Bruce Stone and Cai Svendsen to represent St Francis Yacht Club.

As reported by event Chairman Russ Silvestri, "It was a good time and a great couple of parties.  The racing was dominated by StFYC's team consisting of Stone, Svendsen, Healy and Bennett.  They sailed very well over 44 races.  It got a bit breezy on Sunday and we cancelled the fleet/team race.

Hope to do the event next year down there, but it was like a wedding weekend-- everyone had a good time.  Mads Tolling, Bruce Stone’s musician friend, played a little violin during the awards ceremony to add to the luster of the event."   For more Match Race Challenge California sailing information

J/70 one-design speedster- sailing Warsash spring seriesWarsash Series Swinging Into Spring- Finally!
(Warsash, England)- After three weeks of freezing weather, a hint of spring was in the air on 14th April 2013 for the fourth Sunday in the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series. With the temperature rising to double figures, the thermal layers could be left behind and there was no ice to clear from the decks. Although the forecast promised 16-20 knots from the south with gusts to 30 knots, these did not materialize and the full program of racing could be completed for all classes.

The Black Group committee boat took up station at Flying Fish buoy. After a short postponement, a light south-easterly set in sufficient to design courses between 11 and 15 miles, using a mixture of laid and fixed marks. Despite the east-going tide, all classes got away cleanly. The early classes started with a beat to a laid mark east of North Ryde Middle in a very light breeze of 3-6 knots. IRC3 had an initial beat to South Ryde Middle in a 10-12 knot breeze. Wind over tide produced a slight chop which slowed some. Others were regretting leaving their light weather sails ashore in view of the forecast! As the morning drew on, the wind backed to the south-southwest and increased, producing short sharp gusts which caused some broaches and wraps as well as stunning downwind racing. Spinnakers were used on the legs designed as such, but later these sometimes turned to shy reaches from true runs.

Conditions suited the bowsprit designs in IRC3 with JIGGERY POKERY (J/97 – Charles Ivill) taking a win from sistership INDULJENCE ((Nick and Adam Munday). As a result, JIGGER POKERY is now leading the IRC3 division for the Spring Series. INDULJENCE has also closed the gap on the leaders and is currently lying third just three points out of first!  The racing is coming down to the wire amongst the top three teams with just two weekends of sailing left on the series!

In the J/109s DESIGNSTAR 2 (Roger Phillips), competing for the first time this series, took the lead from JYNNAN TONNYX (Owain Franks and Jean Lockett).  And, JAHMALI (Mike & Sarah Wallis) snagged third.  As a result, JYNNAN TONNYX still remains in the dries lead with just 12 points, one point clear of JAHMALI.  Third is JUST SO (David Mcgough) with 18 pts.  There is a bit of a wrestling match going on between J/109 champions JAGERBOMB (Paul Griffiths) and OFFBEAT (David Mcleman) who are tied for fourth each with 20 pts.

J/70 one-design speedster- sailing fast on Solent, EnglandThe sportsboats in White Group also assembled in the entrance to Southampton Water. Relieved to find no forecast Force 4-6, a three-round windward/leeward course was set parallel to the shore, 0.65nm long. The J/70 class got away but there was disappointment for EXESS in the J/80s, having led all the way round, to return and find she was over the line at the start. This left the win to current series leader BETTY (Jon Powell). In the J/70s a mere 66 seconds separated the fleet on the finish line, with North Sails taking this first race.

In the second White Group race there were individual recalls in the J/70s and J/80s but this time everyone returned quickly. Halfway through, the wind started to shift and had soon gone through 90 degrees to the south-west. The race was shortened and the committee boat moved inshore ready for the third race. With the wind in the 8-10 knot range the J/70s got away cleanly only for one of the forecast gusts to come in at over 20 knots just two minutes before the J/80 start. At this point the committee boat’s anchor began to drag causing a short delay. The enthusiasm of the fleet to get under way showed when half the boats were too keen on the start line. With several hidden in the middle a general recall was needed before all went smoothly on the next attempt. Again, there was close racing in the J/70s. This time the fleet finished within 27 seconds after 50 minutes of racing. Simon Cavey in PHEEBS posted two wins and a third for the day, whilst BETTY (Jon Powell) gained the same score in the J/80s.

As a result of the days scores, Ian Atkins' crew are still in the lead, but having less than a brilliant day not on the scorecard (a 4-2), all of a sudden they look vulnerable despite having a seemingly insurmountable series lead.  With 23 pts total, the team has a 7 pts lead over the fast improving PHEEBS team lead by Simon Cavey, now with an aggregate 30 pts.  Also faltering a bit this past weekend was NORTH SAILS (Ruairidh Scott) notching a 2-4 on his scorecard to drop into third two points back with 32 pts.

The J/80s continue to see Jon Powell and crew riding the mighty BETTY fast, hard and furious, never letting up on the fleet and rarely showing a chink in their armor.  With 19 pts, the betting is good that BETTY is well on her way to taking the J/80s with 19 pts after 12 races!  Behind them by 23 pts is Gillian Ross's ROCK & ROLL in second overall.  They're followed by Allan Higgs' JUICY with 59 pts in third place.

Next weekend sees additional racing on Saturday for the Spring Championship whilst the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series meets for the fifth time on Sunday 21st April 2013.  Sailing photo credits- Iain McLuckie    For more Warsash Spring Series sailing information


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

J/70 MOXIE team- led by Cole Allsopp from Annapolis, MD*  College of Charleston Crew Takes on J/70 World-- Charleston Race Week attracts a broad range of competitors, and they arrive from all over the U.S. and at least six foreign countries. Among the participants in this three-day competition you’ll find full-time professional racers, sailing industry experts and talented amateur sailors, along with those who are just getting a taste of serious sailing competition for the first time.

One of the most hotly contested groups among the 18 different classes that make up the event is apt to be the J/70 Class. With 56 boats registered, this will also be the largest class at the regatta. These 23-foot long speedsters were only introduced last year, but already they’ve gained tremendous market traction.

Within the J/70 Class will be an equally broad spectrum of competitors, with plenty of nationally renowned sailors scattered across the fleet. Among those in the class who aren’t so widely known is a crew with close ties to Charleston, and they’ll be sailing on a boat they’ve christened MOXIE.

Skippered by Cole Allsopp who now lives in Annapolis, Md, Moxie’s crew includes Zeke Horowitz, Brendan Healy, and Sam Stokes – all recent graduates of the College of Charleston and former stalwarts on the school’s top-notch varsity sailing team.

The College of Charleston’s Director of Sailing, Greg Fisher, sat down with this quartet recently to hear them out on their plans for Charleston Race Week.

"Greg Fisher: You guys had a great regatta at Key West, a big one for you and the J/70 Class. How do you look forward to, and prepare for, Charleston Race Week?

J/70 one-design- sailing off Key West at Race WeekZeke Horowitz:  I think it is important to look at CRW as a completely different event than Key West. People have been in the boats for a while now, and I would imagine that the speed differences will be less in Charleston. Most importantly, though, the conditions that we will see in Charleston will be absolutely nothing like what we saw in Key West. Conditions will be changing dramatically from race to race and leg to leg, whereas in Key West, the conditions (and therefor the race track) were pretty much the same for the entire event. This will make tactics and strategy the driving force to success as opposed to KWRW where speed was most important. We will be prepared to use our local knowledge to put our boat in the right spots on the race course where we will be able to use the speed that we know we’ll have.

GF: How much time had you guys spent in the J/70 before Key West?

Cole Allsopp: Unfortunately, we had spent very little time in the boat. Fortunately that was also the case for most of our competitors. We attempted one practice day in Annapolis all together, but the breeze did not cooperate. James (Cole’s brother who sailed with them at KWRW) and Brendan sailed the boat for the Fall Brawl and we did some frostbiting. Beyond that, we spent very little time preparing.

ZH:  As far as I know, Cole, Brendan, and James spent a decent amount of time in the boat together before the event, but KWRW was really my first time in the boat, and first time crewing for Cole or sailing with either of the other two. That gave me a pretty good chance to learn the boat and get a lot of the tuning ideas in mind.

Brendan Healy:  We didn’t spend a great deal of time in the boat before the event to be honest.  James and I sailed the Fall Brawl in Annapolis with fellow College of Charleston alum, Russ O’Reilly.  I’m pretty sure Russ and I were a pretty enormous and expensive headache for James.  We figured out in no time how exactly to shrimp and shred a kite. We did, however, come away from that event with a few nuggets of knowledge. We also sailed in a practice season against one other local boat in town, but as a group we only sailed one short afternoon in Annapolis with very little breeze. So, how much time did we have in the boat before KWRW?, not much."   Please read on at Scuttlebutt's complete interview here.

Star Champion Augie Diaz (Coral Reef YC) and Stu Johnstone (New York YC)* In the category of you can't teach an old dog new tricks, how about this one!  Augie Diaz (a.k.a. "Augie Doggie" and who's father is affectionately known in Miami sailing circles as simply "old man") spent years sailing J/24's (Midwinter Champion, etc), 470's and Snipe's (World Champion, Pan Am Champion, etc) and in his later years Stars.  Recently, Augie won the Star Western Hemisphere Championship in that fabled Star-sailing paradise known as Nassau, Bahamas. Trailing by two points going into the final day of the Western Hemispheres, Augie Diaz and crew Arnis Baltins bulleted both races to take the title among the 21 team field. Not bad for an "old dog", eh??  Here's a recent photo of Augie with the Editor in front of Coral Reef YC- both competitors and best friends sailing 470s and J/24s for decades, in fact ever since the first U.S. Youth Championships sailed in Wilmette, Illinois in 1973!

J/109 offshore cruiser racer- sailing with women crew* Growing Sailing- "Girls Rule?"  While sailing industry types scratch their heads trying to find the right formula to increase the number of kids in sailing programs, and sailing clubs and racing associations nationwide worry about declining memberships, sailing is shifting and growing under their feet.

Promoters repackage races to appeal to shoreside fans of testosterone-loaded extreme sports, selling sponsorships to brands which, in turn, hope fans will buy shirts or drinks, and sailboat builders seek designs hoping for mass appeal or some new “breakthrough” formula, all while sailing is being revolutionized from the inside out.

Sailing is becoming the activity of adult women.

Don’t believe it? Quick, say the last names of Ellen, Dawn, Betsy and Anna. You got them all in a few seconds right? Now try to do that quickly with the names of four guys who sail.

But it’s much more than a few popular female sailing athletes. This revolution isn’t being led by pros or celebrities, but by grassroots changes and on all new terms.

J/105 one-design sailboat- with women's sailing teamHere’s some evidence: Facebook analytics reports that among 1.1 million Americans who express an interest in sailing, women account for 51%, and 88% of them are over 25 years old. But they’re not just fans. Women under 24 and over 35 share their own sailing experiences on Facebook almost twice as often as men.

Consider that only 20 years ago, men outnumbered women in sailing 7-to-1.

You might see it in your town. What sailing center’s teaching staff isn’t dominated by strong, athletic, articulate and confident female sailing instructors? What collegiate sailing team doesn’t have at least as many women as men? What yacht club doesn’t like to boast about its first female commodore? And what regatta doesn’t overplay its all-female entries?

J109 cruiser racer sailboat- women's team sailing Solent, EnglandIn many cities near water in the U.S., women are organizing all-women teams and events. These events often grow organically out of a small network of veteran sailors who cobble together some used boats and recruit and help train newcomers until they’ve built a decent-sized fleet. In my town, summer Monday nights (the night the women sail) are the busiest nights on the bay.

When a sailing mom’s kids are very young, they get an inspiring early taste. They learn to be on and around boats and sailors, to wear life jackets, to touch water, and to be safe. Then, when her kids are old enough to be on a sailing team, the family becomes the team. Mom doesn’t sit in the bleachers at a soccer field, she trims the kite, steers the boat or calls tactics.

So, the most important person on any sailing boat is the mom. Think about it this way: When a mom sails with her kids (instead of driving them to soccer) she’s doing something deemed suited only to men just a few years ago, and she is not doing the things thought to be the status quo for moms today. She’s a renegade. An innovator. A leader.   Read on at SAILING Magazine.

Congressional Cup- led by J/24 World Champions* Congo Cup Update- While it may have been billed as a "dream win" for one sailor from Italy, the rock-solid team of Ed Baird and Terry Hutchinson (dual J/24 World Champions) eliminated all their competitors to sail the final match.  But, for most who've watched this event over the years, it was quite a disappointing finale.  Even Ed Baird was a bit mystified why they would sail a one-race championship showdown, a quarter-mile race windward-leeward twice around in next to no wind to determine the winner!

Here's how it all went down. Earlier in the long afternoon fickle and feeble breeze delayed the start of racing for about two hours and then stopped it again for an hour in mid-afternoon before a 6-knot southerly showed up under a heavy cloud cover to allow the title matTerry Hutchinson- J/24 sailor expert- World Championch to go at 5:15 p.m early Sunday evening.

Even then, the conditions were so fragile PRO Randy Smith cut the title and petite finals from best-of-threes to single matches!

So, after Ferrarese had spotted Great Britain's Ian Williams--- the double defending champ and world No. 1---their first semifinal match before winning the next two and Baird had dispatched France's Mathieu Richard with wins in their first and third go-rounds, it all came down to a single rEd Baird- J/24 sailor extraordinaire- World Championace.

That's when Smith also ordered the windward-leeward, twice-around course shortened from a 0.35 nautical mile to 0.25---a mere quarter-mile that seemed to suffice??

As it was, Ferrarese found breeze that nobody else could, first winning the favored left side from Baird, who went right at the start, and extending his leads from 29 seconds at the first windward mark to 35 at the leeward, 48 at the second windward and finally 54 at the finish. Baird said, "He just went the better way. We gave him what he wanted."  For more Congo Cup sailing information-

* 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."


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), 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.