Wednesday, April 3, 2013

J/Newsletter- April 3rd, 2013

J/70 sailing in heavy winds off Key West, FLJ/Fest & Strictly Sail Show
(San Francisco Bay, California)- Over the coming week and a half, their will be plenty to keep greater Bay area sailors and friends busy.  Starting April 11-14, the Strictly Sail Pacific sailboat show will be featuring two of the hottest boats in the J/Boats line-up, the J/70 and the J/111.  Head on over to the show and if you give Norm a deposit on either boat, he's certain to give you a J/70 or J/111 hat on the spot!  The Strictly Sail show will be based in Alameda, California in the "east Bay".  With any luck, there may be a possibility to schedule a demo sail on a 70 or 111, too!  For more Strictly Sail show information.

After you've had a chance to "whet your whistle" and fantasize about the newest and latest J's to fly across Bay waters, the following week will see the San Francisco J/Fest taking place from April 20-21st at St Francis YC.  Classes invited to the event include the debut of the J/70s alongside the traditional local fleets of J/105s, J/120s and even J/24s.  All the action will take place right next to where all the crazy America's Cup action is happening between Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge, you'll see guys in designer space-suits flying on foils with monster wings adorned in gaudy sponsor graphics-- yeah, looks like NASCAR speedway on the water.  For more J/Fest sailing information.

For additional information on either Strictly Sail or J/Fest San Francisco, please be sure to contact Norm Davant - ph- 510-523-8500 or email-

J/111 MENTAL sailing upwindJ/Day Sailing Chicago!
(Chicago, Illinois)- For the greater Chicago area Lake Michigan sailors, Skyway Yacht Works and Stearns Boating are hosting the 2013 Skyway Yacht Works J/Day Regatta on June 29th, Saturday, for one day of fun and games and sailing, hosted by Columbia Yacht Club.

The regatta is open to all J's, and invited classes include the J/70, J/24, J/105, J/109 and J/111.  In addition, a J/PHRF and J/Cruise classes are offered for all J's ranging from the J/22 to the J/160s sailing on Lake Michigan.

After sailing on Saturday, there will he a huge J/Party and Awards Presentation on the top deck of the Columbia YC's wonderfully entertaining "ship"!  It's B.Y.O.B. and food and a great local band will be entertaining the gang!   For more information, please contact Steve Kindra at ph- 773-734-7777 or

J/80s sailing downwind under spinnakerJ/80 North Americans & New York YC Annual Regatta
(Block Island, Rhode Island)- The 50th Anniversary of the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week is 3 months away, and this year Storm Trysail has offered to host the J/80 North Americans.  A package deal has been arranged by the J/80 Class Association and the Storm Trysail Club, which includes launching and hauling, trailer and vehicle storage, a mooring in Great Salt Pond, and all the racing and parties you can handle in one week, for less than $1,000!

There is no event like Block Island Race Week, and there is no boat like the J/80!  Stable and fast on and off the breeze, easy to sail in any condition, and with an established, tried and true set of Class Rules, the J/80 continues to be the boat many love to sail. Combined with the unmatched Race Management of the Storm Trysail Club, this year’s J/80 North Americans are not to be missed!!  For more J/80 North Americans sailing information-

Next, in anticipation of an outstanding week of racing at BIRW, the New York Yacht Club has invited the J/80 Class to participate in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta.  This prestigious event, taking place June 14-16, is on the Bucket List for many sailors worldwide.  J/80 sailors can bring their boats to Sail Newport for the Annual Regatta and enjoy the hospitality and experience of the NYYC Race Committee, while getting tuned up for the North American’s at Block!  Storage for boats and vehicles has been arranged so there is no need to worry about dropping your rig and moving your boat from place to place.  This also allows teams a great opportunity to take on a partner and give someone else a chance to steer the boat for the podium, and spread out the cost of transportation.  For more New York YC Annual Regatta sailing information.

J/70 sailing Great Lakes- Youngstown, NYJ/70 Lake Ontario/ Lake Erie News
(Youngstown, New York)- The action is hot and heavy in the world of J/70 sailing!  There is a major event every month somewhere, and we haven't even gotten to the local events yet.  This month Charleston Race Week promises the largest fleet to date, then the Annapolis NOOD two weeks later will no doubt have another big turnout.  Boats from the Lake Erie/ Lake Ontario region will be taking part in both events.

Here's the latest report from J/Dealer Don Finkle from Youngstown, says Don, "Our first J/70 to be launched and sailed here this spring has already hit the water (seen here acting like an ice-breaker!).

On Friday, I was at the factory in Rhode Island and there were J/70s all over the place waiting for pick-up.  They are building a boat a day and still cannot keep up with the demand.  We are only talking about the USA builder, they are also building J/70s in France for other parts of the globe.  I've been in this business for over 40 years and only once before have I witnessed anything to rival the immediate success of the J/70 and that was back when the J/24 first came on the scene.  But back in those days this was a much different business, it is much harder to develop a new boat today that sells in large numbers.  That is what makes the J/70s meteoric rise in popularity so amazing.  The right boat at the right time!

Some news and notes, in no particular order. Local J/70 Fleets have started in: Erie, Buffalo, Youngstown, Rochester, Canandaigua, Lake George and, of course, in nearby Ontario & Ohio.

Upcoming Regattas for J/70s in the Lake Erie/ Lake Ontario region include the following

- June 15-16- Cleveland Race Week- is a perennially entertaining regatta that is a favorite for those along Lake Erie's south shore.  The J/70 class will have a warm reception and the Race Week is looking forward to have them aboard.  For more Cleveland Race Week sailing information.

- July 27-28- 40th Annual Youngstown Level Regatta:  This is the final year for this famous event and we'll have a good turnout of boats from out of town.  Don't miss it.  We will take good care of you!  For more Youngstown Level Regatta sailing information on

- August 9- J/70 Clinic- to be run by former Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and Etchells 22 World Champion- Jud Smith- at the Buffalo YC.  This event will be held the day before the J/70 Great Lakes Championship hosted by BYC.  More details to follow, stay tuned, this should be a really helpful program.

- August 10-11- J/70 Great Lakes Championship-  The Buffalo Yacht Club has plans well underway for the hosting of this event which promises to be a good one.  BYC has the experience to do the job right and they have signed on Wayne Bretsch as the PRO.  Wayne has done many high profile regattas all over North America, including Key West, Charleston, Annapolis, Youngstown Level and various championship events.  More details will be forthcoming before long but in the meantime mark your calendars."  Registration is up on YachtScoring.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Winter simply does not want its deathly grip let go on the northern hemisphere.  This past Easter Weekend may yet prove to be another chapter in how the world may be experiencing another manifestation of the phenomenon some call "global warming".  Hotter summers, colder winters, crazier weather.  And, magnetic North keeps moving faster.  Whatever.  From the sailor's perspective on the European side of things, having a thick matted hairy coat like Neanderthal's would've been a good thing!  Freezing morning temperatures, hail, rain and near gale force winds are not exactly the recipe for having lots of fun with loved ones, family and friends.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Yet, J/crews managed to prevail in some incredibly difficult weather conditions.  In France, certainly one of Europe's most famous sailing regattas was plagued by nothing other than extremely hostile weather.  A huge turn-out of J/80s are anticipating having some fun later in the season sailing their J/80 Worlds in Marseilles on the Mediterranean in July-- thank goodness! And, the debut of the J/70 brought some eccentric results due to the crazy weather conditions.  Across La Manche (the ditch, a.k.a. the English Channel) saw UK crews sailing the RORC Easter Challenge on the Solent in the same mind-numbing conditions.  What was surprising were the performances of certain boats, like a J/133, J/35 and the J/109s.  As if fully-crewed boats weren't having a hard enough time, the SORC (Single-handed Offshore Racing Club) held their first event of the year- the "Nab Tower" Race with some infamous J/122 and J/105 sailors leading the charge.  Also surviving the extraordinary conditions were the J/22s sailing their J/22 Open France regatta off Nantes.

Moving onto the warmer parts of the world, the next installment on the Caribbean ocean-racing regatta circuit just so happened to be the BVI Spring Regatta, hosted at Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.  Not bad weather, really.  Just 75 F or so, winds 10-25 kts.  But even THEY saw hail, fire and brimstone in the Caribbean.  What the heck!?  But, a raft of J's like a J/95, J/36, J/100, J/122 and J/120 all survived and told the tale of some great racing.  Earlier, the wonderful, warm and friendly island of Barbados hosted the ISAF Nation's Cup Qualifier on J/24s, it's a great story.

Moving west around Planet Earth, we find the J/Teams that started to sail in the Newport-Cabo Race had some difficult conditions. In the end, a J/160 managed throughout making sure the air-conditioning, wine and steak'a'la'poivre were consumed by the crew prior to firing up the blenders at the finish-line in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Just across the Pacific "pond" a J/109 successfully negotiated the Royal Hong Kong YC's San Fernando Race to again support the wonderful children's benefit/ awards party in San Fernando, The Philippines.

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 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 18-20- J/24 German Nationals-
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-
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/122 sailing single-handed off Cowes, England on SolentJ Teams Sweep Chilly Nab Tower Race
J/122 JBELLINO & J/105 VOADOR Take Honors
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- England's single-handed racing season opener is the Nab Tower Race- a "quickie" day race that generally starts off the Cowes JOG starting line smack in the middle of the Solent and head east around the Nab Tower that's east of the Isle of Wight-- depending on weather conditions, the RC may also create a course from one or more of the several thousand named/ sponsored marks that colorfully dot the Solent, around the Isle of Wight and the straits off either end.

Seventeen brave souls showed up for the "Nab Solo", the Solo Offshore Racing Club (SORC) season opener. Race officers Kirsteen and David had shortened the course on Friday evening due to the strong winds and freezing conditions forecast for the Nab Tower area and the new course promised a windward leg eastward to No Mans Fort, a reach north west to Browndown on the Stokes Bay shore and a run to finish at Snowden just east of Cowes entrance. The breeze had moderated overnight to 13-18 kts just north of east and the air temperature had dropped to 3 Celsius(!?), so a significant wind chill was to be endured, approximately minus 3 degrees C!

J/105 sailing at SORC Regatta- Cowes, EnglandWith a strong ebb tide running it was a question of 'who dares wins' as the fleet short tacked round Gurnard, in to Cowes, with a short hitch out to Snowdon and then back in again, with the same formula all the way to No Mans Land Fort. Rare was a casualty of the tactic, getting trapped on Ryde Sands just after Ryde Pier. At the Fort it was the Rob Craigie's majestic J/122 JBELLINO leading on the water from Simon Curwen's J/105 VOADOR, both were clear ahead of the chasing pack.

The following leg was a reach to Browndown in marginal spinnaker conditions. The J/105 VOADOR hoisted her asymmetric spinnaker and managed to hold to the mark, making gains on the Class 1 boats ahead. Rounding Browndown at about 12:30pm the order boat-for-boat was beginning to take the form of a J sweep, with the J/122 JBELLINO in the lead followed by stablemate J/105 VOADOR.  It was important to bear away at the mark to get back into mid channel and the last of the west going tide toward Ryde Middle. Boat speeds had dropped to 7 knots sailing deep down wind with the symmetrical spinnakers having an easier time.

After three hours of close and chilly racing, the finishing order at Snowdon was Craigie's JBELLINO first overall, first in Class 1, but could not save her time on Curwen's VOADOR who took the overall handicap win as well as first in Class 2 in a convincing fashion.

Rob Craigie reports from the comfort of the warm and cozy main salon on his beloved J/122 JBELLINO, "First race of the season and its cold and misty. The weather this season has conspired to limit any pre-season practice, so not well prepared. A fabulous social evening on Friday evening in the 'Anchor Pub' with the other Solo competitors set me up for the weekend.

Up around 8 for a 10am start. Full cold weather gear pulled on and power up computer and GPS. Oh yes, lets quickly upload the 2013 Solent Marks. Chris drops in for a coffee, I am still trying to get the files to load when he leaves. Oh well, better leave it un-fixed, I know where the Fort is so best get going.

On the water, still enough time before the start. Hoist the main. Oh my, now why did the halyard tangle up there! Drop main, sort halyard, hoist main. The jib was hoisted and rolled yesterday, so nothing to do there.

J/Teams sailing SORC Nab Tower race off Cowes, EnglandHead for the ID gate on a run. Sheet in main to show number, nearly there, just slip below and don the required life jacket, get acknowledgement from Race Officer. Not long to the 5 minute gun now, watch the tide, strong and away from the line, want to stay in touch. A quick check over the deck.  Hmmm, the in-hauler will work better if I put the jib sheet through the stainless ring!

Where are we, golly that was the 5 minute gun. Right, a bit of focus needed now. Unroll jib and sheet in, stop engine before the 4 minute gun. Reach towards the shore for start position. What was that about making a trial approach to finalize timings? Forgot to do!

One minute called on VHF, crikey, better tack for the line, get pilot sorted, jib in, main in, pilot off and steer. Line 'All Clear'. Here we go, check the sheet position, sail draught, sheet tension. Set pilot to tack to miss the shore, release jib sheet, wind in new sheet, adjust main track, look for other boats.

All clear now, where is Snowden?? Another 3 hours of this and I wouldn't want it any other way. Weather, what weather? Racing just doesn’t get any better than this!  For those who couldn't get there you missed out a bit."

It was great to see some new faces in the fleet in what promises to be a very competitive and closely fought season. The next SORC singlehanded race is the very popular Round Isle of Wight Solo, 52 nm west-about round the Island from Cowes on Saturday 20th April with the pre-race social on Friday evening and post-race prizes in Cowes.  For more SORC racing/ sailing information

BVI Spring Regatta- upwind sailingSump'tin' Hap'nin', Good Sailin', Mon!
J Teams Crush BVI Spring Regatta
(Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, British Virgin Islands)- There seems to be an interesting pattern developing since the beginning of the Caribbean offshore sailing season.  J Teams are roaming across vast expanses of oceans like the pirate days of old, in a hunt to collect as much silverware (and Rolex watches) as they can, often winning the parties, too, before they head back to their home ports in late April.  Something's happening, and it's all good! 

So far, from Puerto Rico to Heineken St Maarten to Rolex Regatta in St Thomas, J teams have been cashing in their chips, having played a few good hands, and collected the big silver in all three events.  And, the J wave keeps on rolling, with several more J's surfing onto the podium at this year's famous BVI Spring Regatta.

J/122 Lazy Dog- Puerto Rico- sailing BVI Spring RegattaWhile St Maarten and Rolex were near perfect regattas this year for breeze, wind and sun, the BVI was anything but that!  While the first two days saw good easterly winds funneling beautiful sunny breezes down the Sir Francis Drake Channel at 15-25 kts, the last day produced epic, stormy Atlantic conditions for much of the day.   With winds roaring in from the north Atlantic, the sea state kicked up to six feet and the wind speed for the first start was 20 plus knots when a vicious squall darkened the horizon in The Channel. Blinding rain colder than the sea spray reduced visibility to just a few feet and had sailors scurrying for foul weather gear. With wet sails, slippery decks and the big easterly breeze blowing squalls in off the Atlantic, the last day of racing got off to a nasty start.  However, conditions improved during the day with the squalls diminishing to allow the competitors to dry out in the fresh 15-20 knots of warm breeze and glimpse of sunshine through the broken cloud.

J/120 El Ocaso sailing BVI Spring RegattaOn the second day of racing, there was a bit of drama at the start of Spinnaker Racing 1 and 2 when Rick Wesslund's J/120 EL OCASO suffered a collision with another yacht in the starting area, which resulted in neither boat taking part in any of the day's racing. It was a rather unfortunate incident for Rick and crew as they were having a fantastic time, especially, sailing against their new-found arch-rivals, Sergio Sagramoso's J/122 LAZY DOG.

Nevertheless, as a result of this debacle, LAZY DOG's Puerto Rican team got away well in the first race to score their fourth bullet of the regatta and finished the day in style by winning again to open up a massive lead in the class.  Harold Keating's J/95, SHAMROCK VII had a perfect score as well, taking all three races in Performance Cruiser 2.  Stanford Joines, St.Croix-based J/36 PALADIN had a consistent day but slipped back to second overall in the class by a single point.  Meanwhile, Bob Armstrong's fire-engine red J/100 called BAD GIRL was hanging on to third overall, seemingly having an impossible time trying to crack the top two spots.

J/95 Shamrock VII celebrating Class win at BVI Spring RegattaOn the last day, the Puerto Rican gang on the J/122 LAZY DOG finished the regatta with a bullet and a third place to win CSA Racing Class I.  Having finally found a new gear, the St Croix boys on the J/100 BAD GIRL nailed two seconds, but not enough to hop into second, having to settle for third overall and some nice silverware.

In CSA Performance Cruiser 2 class, Harold Keating's J/95 SHAMROCK VII had a perfect score for the second day running to win the class by a big margin. Stanford Joines J/36 PALADIN was second and a nice performance by French women skipper, Sophie Olivaud to sailing her J/109 ALBACOR IV to fourth overall!

BVI Spring Regatta- rainy swim suits showThe BVI Spring Regatta hots up! All the time.  Between the sailing on the water and the afternoon and evening entertainment, it's hard not to be entertained.  For starters, they had the Bastanaak Swimwear and Beachwear Show, poolside, at the Nanny Cay Resort on Saturday afternoon.  They exhibited stunning styles, handmade in South America from Bastanaak's Juliana Diaz Molano. Then, the day before, they had the spectacular aerial dancer, Nichole Raab who usually performs on the tall ship PROVIDENCE!  However, she performed in the air suspended between massive palm trees along the shore at the Regatta Village.  Then, the bands in the Village for late evening entertainment were quite good, with "Hudson & the Hoo Doo Cats" performing Friday and "Quito & the Edge"  performing Saturday night. It was fun for all around the harbor and the resort pools and beaches!  Can't imagine why anyone would want to leave after such a bacchanalian festival!  For more BVI Spring Regatta sailing information

J/70s sailing SPI Ouest France RegattaJ/Teams Frozen @ SPI OUEST
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- Of the 423 boats sailing, over 130 alone were J/Teams (31% of the entire fleet) and, it's safe to say, that after the first day of racing many were wondering how they were going to survive the chilling weather forecasts for the next four days of sailing.  Facing unusually cold, windy conditions for this traditional Easter Regatta, the competitors woke up three mornings in a row to temperatures in below 0 C. (under 32 degrees F), winds blowing 15-25 kts for two of the days. Over the course of the regatta, dropouts were not uncommon, especially with the smaller one-designs-- several people were "med-evac'd" to the hospital using RIBS for treatment of hypothermia.

After a freezing rainy and windy Thursday, the next two days were relatively quiet. However, on Sunday, the last day of racing saw a return to the strong winds and an icy northeast breeze gusting to thirty knots!  While some suffered, others rubbed their hands with glee.  For Eric Brezellec and his tactician, Sebastien Col, the last day of breeze left them ashore. Their J/80, INTERFACE CONCEPT, did not have to sail the last race as they had already won the regatta the day before!

J/80s sailing SPI Ouest France RegattaOthers in the J/80 class were less fortunate.  The phrase "caught a cold" fits perfectly with the beginning of the competition and for those that endured it for four days.  The OMANI SAIL girls team, in particular, had a tough challenge for them, sailing in conditions they've never experienced in their lives-- icy cold rain, hail, and huge winds.  Said Nicolas Honor, the head of the OMANI SAIL team, "the shock was violent, they'd never seen hail, much less sailed in less than 0 deg C!  After hoisting their spinnaker on the first day, the decided to return to home port-- a good idea and I understand!"

Spi Ouest air temperature dataFor the rest of the J/80 teams, it was a battle to overcome cold as well as the challenge of sailing smart.  In the beginning, ATLANTIS's Louis Sambron gave Brezellec's crew on INTERFACE CONCEPT some tough battles.  But, a 19-5-38 on Saturday killed their chances of being a contender for the lead.  The same was true for Michael Vasquez's GOLD SAILING from Spain, accumulating a 7, BFD and 14 to drop them from contention as well.  Then, the team on GENERALI led by Nicolas Lunven compounded finishes of 10-9-10 over the first 7 races with a 26th in race 9 on Saturday to torpedo their chances as well.  In the end, while Brezellec's win was a "runaway", a total score over ten races of 12 points (seven 1sts, 2,3 as counters), the fight for the balance of the top five was a dog fight, to say the least.  In the end, Vazquez's team on GOLD SAILING hung in to finish 2nd overall, a full thirty points back from Brezellec's with 42 pts.  Lying third just one point back was Lunven's GENERALI with 43 pts.  One point back in fourth was Sambron's ATLANTIS with 44 pts and rounding out the top five watching all the drama unfold before him was Simon Moriceau's team on INTERFACE CONCEPT 2.

Spi Ouest wind speed forecastAs for the J/70s, suffering no less than their counterparts in the J/80s, the cold was equally taxing on their abilities to sail fast and smart and not be too "numb" from the chilly, windy sailing conditions. In the end, perhaps the ultimate survivor was M Thomas skippering OEUST GREEMENT, winning the J/70 class by just one point! The top four places were so close, that the last race determined how the entire top five finished in the overall standings.  Second was Fred Bouvier of J/Composites sailing J BECRE. Third was M. Kerscaven sailing PL YACHTING with 24 pts.  Fourth was FLAHAULT MARINE sailed by M. Ferchaud, perhaps sailing the most "dyslexic" series-  five 1sts and three 10ths! Rounding out the top five was M. Chapelot sailing ALBERTO.

In the world of IRC racing, many crews either dropped out, replaced crews, or spent time keeping crew-members warm.  With just 18 boats, IRC 4A may well be one of the smaller IRC divisions, but it's incredibly competitive.  And, up to that task was the J/97 MISPICKEL V sailed by B. Fagart, capturing a 5th overall in the difficult weather.

Finally, the "little boat" division is IRC 4B with 40 boats thrashing around the race track freezing their butts off for most of the regatta, much like their colleagues in the J/70s and J/80s.  And, none other than the "classic" J/24, now over 35 years young, managed to sporting a fleet of six boats to duel it out for J/24 "bragging rights".  In the end, top J/24 was INSULARIS's A. Garcia taking 7th in class.  Second J/24 was MARTA's P. Lemaistre taking 9th in class.  And, third J/24 was BOLERO's P. Ravel. Until next year!  May it be much warmer for all sailors in the third weekend of April- Easter Weekend 2014!  For more SPI OUEST France Intermarche sailing information

J/109s sailing upwind at RORC Easter ChallengeChilly RORC Easter Challenge
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- As if the first two weekends of sailing weren't cool enough, this past Easter Weekend on the Solent was every bit as frigid as it was for the poor souls combating hypothermia at the famous SPI Ouest Intermarche Regatta across "La Manche" in La Trinite Sur Mer, France.

Winter was halted, momentarily, Sunday morning on the final day of at the RORC Easter Challenge when the sun broke through, raising the ambient temperature on the Solent above the freezing point for the first time on the Easter weekend! OMG, really? That's crazy.  Have the Weather God's gone over the end of the Earth (it's flat, right)?  Perhaps man, since launching a log with a palm leaf as a means of propulsion on the Tigris & Euphrates Rivers (e.g. sailors) are to blame for the proliferation of 7.0 billion humans on Earth polluting, catalyzing global warming and climatic change, and destroying our Spaceship Earth?  Hope not.

J/35 sailing at RORC Easter Challenge 2013Nevertheless, the hardy souls on the Solent proved yet again sailors are ready for the next Ice Age, prevailing in the 15+ kts winds on Easter Sunday and completing two races to conclude the Royal Ocean Racing Club's UK season opener and training regatta.

One of the surprise performances of the weekend was to see the top female skipper in the regatta, Jackie Dobson, helm of the Poole-based J/133 JERONIMO, nearly pull off a win in her class, narrowly losing to one of the top IRC boats in the UK.

"I am really, really pleased," said Dobson. "Over the winter we've had the keel off, the mast down - we've had a lot of work done on the boat. We had a real battle to get the boat back together, with no time to practice, so we're really chuffed. We never thought we were going to make it."

Dobson was also doubtful about the freezing temperatures and its effects on the crews. "We were humming and hawing about whether anyone would enjoy it because it was so cold, but everyone has absolutely loved it! And the coaching is brilliant! It is a great regatta to re-focus everyone for the coming season and get everyone back working as a team together on the boat. Everyone gets a lot out of it and they are all fired up now for the rest of the season." Watch out, they may be yelling "Jeronimo" as they come running down the hill (or mark) at you with tomahawks in hand!

Just for the record, Jackie and crew sailed IRC 2 in this "warm-up" beating out a raft of Ker 39s, Mills 39s, First 40, First 40.7 and an X40.

In the IRC 3 world, it was great to see a cross-section of boats participating from the recent and distant past.  Bet few of you know the RYA's current leader, Eddie Warden-Owen, once sailed a J/35 called JAILBIRD while working for Banks Sails and managed to win a few regattas along the way!  Of course, he was a J/24 European Champion at the time, too.  Poignantly, the J/35 BENGAL MAGIC sailed by Jamie Chalmers managed to pull off an upset against her more recent stable mantes, a pair of J/109s, snagging a third place in IRC 3 class!  The J/109s, JE VANTE (Todd Wells) and BASIC INSTINCT (Jonathan Hearth) finished 4th and 5th, respectively.   Sailing photo credits- Iain McLuckie   For more RORC Easter Challenge sailing information

J/24s Barbados sailing ISAF Nations Cup qualifierDurant Takes J/24 Nation's Cup Barbados Qualifier
(Barbados)- Commenting on hosting the Nation's Cup Qualifier, President of the J/24 Club of Barbados, Greg Webster said, "such  organized events will help to further develop the sport of sailing on the island. Support-funding and events of this nature also allows the J/24 Club to promote Barbados as a sailing destination and helps to train and develop our youth sailors for international competition."

The Barbados J/24 Club founded in July 2007 has rejuvenated Barbados to the sport of sailing and yacht racing with its camaraderie and spirit of competition. The J/24 One Design fleet grew from 4 to 10 boats in just 14 months. And, most importantly, it's mission is to encourage and grow the recognition of the J/24 class throughout the Southern Caribbean and in in Barbados.

Following a convincing victory in the Barbados ISAF Nation's Cup Qualifiers, Team USA, skippered by Dustin Durant, will represent the Caribbean and Americas region in the 2013 Nations Cup J/24 yachting championship in Denmark.

Team USA spoiled the party for Team Canada when it mattered most, registering a convincing 3-0 victory in the final sail-off  in Carlisle Bay on Sunday after the Canadians had completely dominated the preliminaries.

Six teams took part in the United Insurance Nations Cup qualifiers which were hosted by the J/24 Club of Barbados and sailed over three days as an international regatta in Carlisle Bay.

The Canadians, skippered by Peter Wickwire,  entered the final with 15 points, having defeated all rivals in the round-robin preliminaries, but encountered a more tactically-charged American team in an exciting tussle for the finals.

J/24 sailing Barbados ISAF Nations Cup qualifierDurant and his crew, from Long-Beach California, grabbed the championship as they controlled the pre-start sequence and  tactically stifled the Canadians in each of the three races in the finals.

The Canadians finished second overall while Team Puerto Rico, captained by Marco Texidor, were third after defeating Robert Povey's Barbados team 2-1 in the sail-off for third place.

The Barbadians, who made the semifinals and were defeated by Team Canada, won the first race in an impressive performance against the Puerto Ricans but were unable to subdue their more aggressive rivals and took fourth place.

"It was truly a new level of competition for us Barbadian sailors but it was also a fantastic week learning from our  competitors from North America . It will certainly raise the bar for our local guys to achieve new heights.  We look forward to meeting them again in the coming year," said Povey.

J/24 ISAF Nations Cup qualifiersThe lone female crew in the regatta, an American team skippered by Sandy Hayes, have also qualified for the Nations Cup Women Finals in Denmark as winners of the female division. Part of Sandy's team includes the famous bow/cockpit goddess, Martha Parker of TEAM ONE Newport- the world's leading foul-weather gear experts!

President of the J/24 Club Barbados, Greg Webster, said the International Sailing Federation Grade-2 event was a learning curve for local J/24 sailors and thanked all sponsors for helping to make it a success.  Along with title-sponsors United Insurance, other support came from RL Seale, EarthWorks Pottery, 10 Saints Beer, the BYC, and RoseBank Apts.

"The pre-start sequence for each match was fantastic to watch as the competitors were very aggressive and the boats were in extreme close proximity to one another and the helmsmen were required to maintain the control of the boat with assistance from the crew in a precision manner so as to prevent fouls and penalties.  It was great to watch and learn from the top international sailors. It was a successful event hosted by Barbados and many thanks to our sponsors and volunteers", he said.  For more J/24 Barbados Nation's Cup sailing information

J/22s sailing Nantes, franceJ/22 Open France Gets Beastly!
(Nantes, France)- Over the Easter Weekend, it was hot, hot, hot, beastly competition amongst the J/22s sailing at their Open France J/22 regatta in Nantes, despite all the chilly weather all over Europe. Hosted by Sport Nautique de L'Ouest (SNO) at Port Breton, the J/22s had one of their best regattas in years with a strong contingent of ten teams participating in the opening event of the J/22 sailing season in France.

J/22 Majic sailing team- Nantes, franceNot to be denied from their fixation getting on the podium were the BEASTY BOYS team comprised of Frederic Mouches, Yannick Souron and Thierry Picault.  Their win was not an easy one as the MAJIC boys led by Bernard Andre with crew Remi Nobileau and Pacale Andre were never far out of the running. However, a costly 8th in the first race and 6th in the eleventh race hurt their chances of ending the BEASTY BOYS reign as Kings of J/22s Francais!

Behind these two leaders were Patrick Huet sailing with "le Pierre's", Royne and Bothorel, on EUROPEAN HOMES garnering 3rd overall.  The balance of the top five were the following: sailing the yummy, delicious ORANGINA was Reiner Brockerhoof, sailing the best overall record in the fleet for the last three races with a 2-2-1 to secure 4th overall; and grabbing 5th place was the first woman skipper, Clair Pouteau sailing SOFFE!  Sailing photo credits- Andre Bernard  For more J/22 France sailing information

Cabo San Lucas, MexicoJ/160 INNOCENT MERRIMENT Breezes Into Cabo
(Newport Beach, California)- As Craig Leweck, of Scuttlebutt Newsletter fame, so succinctly described it, "When it comes to offshore distance racing, the prominent California races do a few things right: they are mostly in solid downwind conditions, they are mostly in warm weather, and they most certainly finish in desirable locations. The odd-numbered years are the best, with the 800 mile Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) race in March providing a good tune-up for the 2,225 mile Los Angeles to Honolulu Transpac race in July."

J/160 sailing Newport Cabo RaceBut Mother Nature threw a monstrous "monkey wrench" into this year's version of the Cabo Race.  Starting off mostly in light winds on the nose, the fleet had to beat upwind at a mere crawling pace for up to thirty hours before conditions began to break and more traditional reaching breezes started to fill in as several enormous weather fronts finally started to move easterly.

Early casualties were the two J/125s.  But, the lone "big J" hung tough and replete with her air-conditioning, gas-powered oven and stove-top, delicious nine-course meals with some amazing wine and super cozy, comfortable luxurious interiors downstairs (hard to call it a cabin fitted out with UltraSuede!), the gang on Myron Lyon's J/160 INNOCENT MERRIMENT notched a 3rd in PHRF class behind some nicely handicapped PHRF boats, an old Petersen 50 footer and the famous yawl- DORADE! Here's to 2015 when the winds will howl like the "Kraken" and the entire fleet "hangs ten" all the way to Cabo.  For more Cabo Race sailing information

J/109 sailing Royal Hong Kong YC San Fernando RaceJ/109 Triumphant in San Fernando Race
(Hong Kong, China)- After 480 nm and over three to four days of racing, the entire fleet have finished the 2013 San Fernando Race.  For many of the top boats, taking a route south of the rhumb line helped avoid the wind shadow of the Philippine coast.  The navigator on the first boat to finish said, "The second night the moon was out and we had a terrific sail. In spite of the forecast, the wind was much better and we came in much quicker than expected – it’s been an awesome sail.  We thought we were doing 9 or 10 kts all the way home, then all of a sudden at midnight, we had 15,16,17 kts and then the breeze clocked round to the north. It was amazing, just brilliant. With the brilliant full moon lighting our path, pointing exactly where we were pointing, 15.7kts was the top [boat speed] that we got. The closest we ever got to stopping was at Lei Yue Mun gap leaving Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour soon after the start."

However, the steady conditions enjoyed by the leading boats did not last for those further back in the fleet, with the curse of the Luzon hole hitting both early this morning and at sundown. Nevertheless, the fleet was finished by Sunday morning.  As a result, the famous San Fernando Charity Dinner was most welcomed by the sailors.  The dinner party on the spectacular location over-looking the harbor was all for a good cause-- it's for the kids, after all.

The lone J/Team sailing this year was the J/109 WHISKEY JACK sailed by Nick Southward. His six crew included three managing directors of local companies and this year, for the first time, only one lawyer!  And, they survived to tell the stories afterwards! They fulfilled their wish  to sail the San Fernando “for the pleasure and fun of offshore racing", combined with a decent excuse to get 'off the grid' for a few days where there is no email or mobile phone coverage!"  Their efforts were well-rewarded, not just having fun, but in the spirit of competition they secured 2nd in IRC Racing 2 Class!  For more Royal Hong Kong YC San Fernando Race sailing information


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

J/30 sailors owners- at J/Fest rendezvous in Warren, RI* J/30 Owners Meet at US Watercraft Rendezvous- the March event was a big success with a strong showing by the J/30 Class.  There were fifteen J/30 owners represented (seen here).  The factory tour provided an opportunity to see a combination of the technologies and craftsmanship required to build the original J/30s.  There were breakout seminars covering boat design, boat maintenance, diesel engines, navigation instruments, construction techniques, and many more.

J/Boats had a strong showing by boat owners and a number of Johnstone family members attended, including Rodney- the original J/30 designer and his son Jeff.  Randy Borges, the owner and president of Waterline Systems spoke briefly to the group after lunch.  Sarah Angell from Waterline Systems has been working to develop the J/30 parts and service page that should be ready soon.  This page will be a great asset to J/30 owners as a source of parts.  Waterline Systems also provides a full spectrum of services for boats that include hull and fiberglass repair and painting.  Mike Trindade is the former TPI parts manager and has offered to help locate sources for some of the semi-custom parts used on the J/30.  For more J/30 owners and class sailing information

J/24 world champion- Ken Read- sailing with Jim Clark's Hanuman* J/24 World Champion Ken Read from Newport, Rhode Island, now North Sails President, is at it again.  Just recently, Kenny skippered the J-Class yacht HANUMAN, an evolution of the famous America's Cup winner RANGER to victory in the St Barth's Bucket Regatta.  He was part of sailing history yet again, participating as skipper for owner Jim Clark's HANUMAN in a fleet of FIVE J-Class sailboats racing against each other, the largest such fleet since 1937. Boats on the line included: HANUMAN, LIONHEART, VELSHEDA, RAINBOW & RANGER.  On board HANUMAN were a veritable "Newport Mafia" of sailors, including none other than famous bowman Jerry Kirby, Volvo 70 PUMA Project Manager Kimo Worthington and USA 470 Olympic Gold Medallist Kevin Burnham.

North Sails Ken Read- sailing J/Class HANUMAN at St Barths Bucket RegattaA "Wrong Way Around" race wrapped up sailing on the final race of the four-day St. Barths Bucket Regatta. The race course, which covered 21nm, reversed Friday's "Around the Island" journey and put boat handling skills to the test right off the bat with a downwind start. This was a historic event for the J Class and HANUMAN proved unbeatable throughout the three days, winning handily over the line and on corrected time in the first two of three races. Sunday, LIONHEART edged out HANUMAN by just two seconds at the line, but HANUMAN still prevailed on corrected time to leave LIONHEART in second overall.

Every year the Bucket Organization devotes a portion of its entry fees for a worthy cause in St. Barth's. This year, a donation in the amount of 18,000 euros was made to the St. Barth's Yacht Club Youth Sailing Program.  Perhaps just as significantly, Jim Clark (author of the book "The New New Thing", co-founder of Silicon Graphics computer systems, co-founder of NETSCAPE with Marc Andreassen, Eric Bina and John Doerr at Kleiner-Perkins-Caulfield-Byer Venture Capital firm), has donated $800,000 to SAIL TO PREVAIL, The National Disabled Sailing Program in Newport, RI.  Cool!  In fact, very cool!  Clark, a keen and focused philanthropist and sailor, announced the largest gift in the history of SAIL TO PREVAIL at the St Barth's Bucket Award ceremony after leading his J-Class HANUMAN to victory!
Sailing Photo Credits- Ingrid Abery

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), 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.


J/109 Harms Way for sale- cruiser racer sailboatJ/109 HARMS WAY For Sale

The only way to stay out of "Harm's Way" is to buy her!  The J/109 is a wonderfully performing design that has all of the comforts down below that rival any 35 foot sail boat.  The cockpit is large and comfortable for the helmsman and the crew.  At the helm the skipper has unobstructed lines of view of the course and the sail plan.  Want to drive and trim the main? the backstay? This boat allows you to do this. Yet you can load up the race crew and go win races. Whether sailing with family and friends for a weekend overnighter, or racing this boat does it all, and does it very well! The helm feels light and lively, like all J/Boats!

"Harms Way" is a great J/109 that was purchased new and kept on fresh water until moved to Galveston Bay 4 years ago.  The owner has reduced the price to aggressively sell this boat and and get "Harms Way" into the hands of an owner that can enjoy her.

Please contact Scott Spurlin at J/Boats Southwest for more information-
phone- 512-335-2391/

J/130 cruiser racer sailboat- for sale usedJ/130 FAST EDDY For Sale

FAST EDDY has had extensive work done to the deck and the hull.  Boat deck and cockpit have been entirely re-done Summer 2012.  She is now in great condition for a new owner.

She is a great fresh water boat.  Ready to race or cruise.  The J/130 made a big splash when she was first introduced to the sailing world in 1993.  Winning Sailing and Cruising World Magazine's coveted "Boat of the Year" award unanimously beating out 11 other contenders, it was apparent that this was no ordinary racer/ cruiser.  He "ease-of-handling" was a common theme noted throughout the judging process.  The clean, functional and user-friendly cockpit and rig, along with its inviting interior were among many of the reasons for its success. All this being achieved without having to sacrifice any performance is a testament to the JBoats team and their  ability to continuously deliver boats that are the industry standard for performance cruisers being designed today.  The J/130 displays the performance of many 50 ft offshore races, but is easier for a couple to handle than most 35 ft cruisers.  The carbon fiber mast and deep bulb keel make her an exceptionally stiff yacht.

Please contact Richie Stearns at Stearns Boating for more information
email- phone- 312-994-9153

J/122 Pen Azen cruiser racer sailboat- for sale usedJ/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

J/122 Pen Azen racer cruiser sailboat- for sale usedDeck/ 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/32 Domaine for sale used- EnglandJ/32 DOMAINE For Sale

Perhaps one of the nicest J/32 cruisers available. Not many worldwide!

DOMAINE is a lovely boat which has had a huge amount of care and attention (and money!) lavished on her over the years by her single owner from new and he now wants to sell to get a newer J!

For more details please contact:
Prue Nash
Key Yachting Ltd
Phone- +44-238-045-5669

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.