Wednesday, May 8, 2013

J/Newsletter- May 8th, 2013

J/111 sailing Vuurschepenrace- North Sea RORC RaceVuurschepen/ North Sea Race Preview
(The Hague, Netherlands)-  On the morning before the start of the 2013 Vuurschepenrace, part of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta, it was quite certain the weather forecasts for this year's race were not likely to create a record breaker.  The north-northeasterly winds were expected to be light to medium in the early evening. During the night, the breeze expected to drop and slowly change direction to the Southwest. In the early morning, the fleet may come to a halt at a wind speed of 2 knots off the English coast, which then gradually increases to about 13 to 15 knots.  So desperate were some sailors that they asked if they could be allowed to anchor in the English Channel shipping lane!

After a day of rest in Harwich, England, the IRC and ORC classes will sail back across the English Channel in the 180 nm race from Harwich to the Smith's Knoll Buoy off the North Norfolk Coast then across the eastern parts of the North Sea to Scheveningen.

J sailing teams at start of North Sea Race, Hague, NetherlandsThe double-handed class shows a clear change from other years, with eleven teams now competing against some of the best Dutch offshore sailing teams.  Leading the charge is past the winner, the J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER, sailed by the dynamic duo of John van de Starre and Robin Verhoef.  Accompanying them in the dashes criss-crossing "la manche" are the J/122 JUNIQUE sailed by Chris Revelman and Pascal Bakker, the J/109 YETI sailed by Paul & Mike van der Pol and the J/105 PANTHER sailed by a girl team consisting of Yvonne Beusker and Edith Voskamp!  For more Vuurschepen/ North Sea Race sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

As May flowers continue to explode into bloom across the northern parts after an incorrigibly cold, nasty spring, two enormously passionate "J/Fest's" occurred simultaneously across America.  On the East Coast, the recent Sperry Topsider Annapolis NOOD took place in Annapolis, Maryland with massive classes of J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80, J/30, J/35, J/105, J/109 sailors participating-- nearly 75% of the regatta of 1,000 sailors were J/Teams (154 J/Boats in all)!  Simultaneously, on the Pacific Coast the eponymous Yachting Cup, San Diego YC's single largest regatta all season with nearly as many sailors, saw both one-design fleets of J/70, J/80, J/105, J/109, J/120 sailing alongside a J/PHRF fleet!  Both events had fast, epic sailing conditions alongside some more benign ones.  Also completing the pre-eminent sailing series in the Northeast was the American YC Spring Series.  It's an event that traditionally marks the beginning of the sailing season on Long Island Sound, New York and this year there was spirited competition in the IRC classes (J/122, J/133, J/111, J/109) along with the one-design J/105 class.

Hopping across the Atlantic to the United Kingdom, the RORC recently hosted their season-opener, the Cervantes Trophy Race that sends teams flying across the English Channel to Le Havre, France, dodging 25 kt container ships in the middle of the channel as teams vie for European offshore sailing supremacy.  Included in the fray were teams sailing on J/109, J/105, J/111 and J/133.  Down around Cape Finisterre in the Baie de Quiberon, an enormous "around island" race was taking place that started off the quaint, gorgeous, sweet little seaside port of La Trinite sur Mer, France.  It's known as the "Tour de Belle Ile" and attracts over 400 boats of all sizes, from famously French offshore monster trimarans/ catamarans like SODEBO down to a fleet of J/80s!  Participating in this year's light air event were a fleet of J/Teams including J/111, J/122, J/109, J/105 and the J/80 one-design class.  While the French J/80s were enjoying some offshore "drifting" training, the Spanish J/80 teams were having a bit of a frolic, having a ball surfing on enormous Mediterranean waves while planing down the waterfront to Palma Mallorca, Spain in the fabulously sybaritic, sun-blessed PalmaVela-- one of the Med's more spectacular "playgrounds" for sailors.

As if sailing in the Med or Southern California wasn't good enough, a few intrepid J/Sailors were busy combating a bit too much fun in the sun with wind, seas and great sailing off a little Caribbean island called Antigua.  Hard to beat Antigua Sailing Week-- well organized, great racing, amazing onshore activities and entertainment.  No wonder sailing teams of all shapes and sizes repeatedly make the pilgrimage back to this famous corner of the Caribbean for more great sailing and catching up with friends from around the world.  Some famous J/Teams sailed, including a J/120, J/95 and J/105.

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:

May 8-12- Semaine de Porquerolles (111)- Ile de Porquerolles, France
May 17-19- Seattle NOOD Regatta- Seattle, WA
May 18-19- Race for the Case- Lloyd Harbor, NY
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/22 sailing Annapolis NOOD RegattaChallenging, Cool Annapolis NOOD
Record J/Boats Turnout Enjoy Spring Sailing on Chesapeake
(Annapolis, MD)- With a virtual armada of 156 J/Teams attending the Sperry Topsider Annapolis NOOD Regatta (74% of the whole fleet of 211), the eight J one-design classes (J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80, J/30, J/105, J/35, J/109) all had their fair share of spectacular, sunny racing on Friday. From there it was only a matter of time that conditions would deteriorate on the notoriously fickle Chesapeake Bay.

shipping channel on Chesapeake  Bay at Annapolis NOOD regattaFor the most part the Annapolis NOOD weather conditions made for great fleet racing so long as sailors on the five division circles were well-behaved and the PRO's at each did a good job of managing the fleet and the racing.  Some were clearly better than others.  On Friday, the fleet was treated to a brisk ENE 10-20 kts with lots of choppy waters, a fast-flowing flood current and very shifty breezes with big puffs.  In such conditions, most fleets sailed four races.  By Saturday, the forecast was beginning to see diminishing winds and the sailor's confidence in the breeze fell along with those prognostications.  The forecast ENE was in fact 100% wrong, instead the fleet was treated to mostly NW-NE 6-14 kts, getting even shiftier and was full of holes, so much so that the third races for most fleets saw their last leg or two become a matter of rolling the dice.  Sadly, Sunday's forecast was even more wrong.  The forecast easterlies never materialized until late afternoon with a gorgeous sunny day.  Instead, the fleets were treated to an even crazier NW to E breeze blowing 0-10 kts with holes everywhere- a one race "craps shoot" for most, or none for others!

J/70s sailing Annapolis NOODDebuting as the largest class at the event, the J/70s simply had an epic first day of sailing on Friday.  Spending about 80% of the time in planing-mode downwind, the fleet had big grins plastered across their faces as they enjoyed some serious sparring at double-digit speeds.  While Saturday's and Sunday's racing was mostly in displacement mode, the need to find the edge even in "soak-mode" meant that teams were learning the fine-edge of how to maximize apparent wind speed for optimum downwind VMG.  Avoiding the pitfalls more than most was Bennet Greenwald's team from California that sailed PERSEVERANCE.  They not only won the J/70 class, but also were awarded the "STSW NOOD Overall Performance Awards" for the 15 fleets sailing the regatta (they get to sail the NOOD World Championships in the Caribbean in fall 2013!).  Continuing their streak of finishing in the top five was Joel Ronning's crew on CATAPULT finishing 2nd followed by Tim Healy's rapid ascent up the ladder to snag 3rd overall sailing Team HELLY HANSEN.  Fourth was the Newport/ Marblehead team of Henry Brauer/ Will Welles on RASCAL and in fifth was Brian Elliott's B-SQUARED (the only team to win 3 races).  A strong indicator of the strength and wealth of talent in the J/70 fleet was the fact that 15 teams managed top five finishes over the eight races sailed.  And, this regatta produced the highest average score for the winner- at 6.1 pts per race and the highest average to get a top 10 finish- 13.9 pts per race.  Also of note were the fact that the two youngest skippers in the regatta, Willy Comerford (14 yrs old) on NORTHERLY and Dylan Flack (8 yrs old) on TORQEEDO were seen either leading the fleet, winning races OR finishing in the top 10!

J/22 sailing upwind at Annapolis NOODLocal hero Allan "Albie" Terhune on DAZZLER started out strong in the J/22 class series and managed to hold on towards the end for the win by three points.  Conversely, Brad Julian on JULIAN ASSOCIATES started slowly and finished with two 1sts to nearly take the class as the DAZZLER crew faltered in their last four races.  Third was Alon Finkelstein on TEAM SHOWUSYOURSHLOZZA, beating Lee Sackett's USA 1574 on a tie-break.  Fifth was Jeff Todd on HOT TODDY.

J/80 sailing Annapolis NOOD regattaWith the third largest J fleet, the J/80's sailing with 23 boats had a very competitive fleet, especially as some teams were using it as part of their J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France. For the first six races, it looked like the Crump Family (Will & Marie) and Marie's brother Tom Klok sailing R80 would have a "runaway" on their hands, easily leading the fleet by a significant margin.  However, a serious brain fade in the 7th race upset their chances at a comfortable win.  Consequently, Brian Keane's SAVASANA team jumped at the opportunity to take over the lead, sailing well to win the last race as well as the series win for J/80s.  The R80 team settled for second overall.  Third was a new name at the top, John White sailing USA 1162.  Fourth was Kristen Robinson's familiar ANGRY CHAMELEON and fifth was another veteran J/80 team, Chris & Liz Chadwick's CHURCH KEY.

The J/105's strong showing of an "all Naptown" fleet of eighteen boats provided the teams excellent racing.  The Lewis/ Salvesen team on MIRAGE were the only team to post all top ten finishes and took the overall prize with scores that included two 1sts and two 2nds.  Second was the MBE Syndicate team on VELOCE, starting super fast out of the gates with a 1-1-3-4, but fading dramatically in the end with a 12-11-3-10 (was that a rum-storm that hit them?).  Third was Jim Konigsberg's INIGO, fourth Bob Reeves on A-TRAIN and fifth Scott Gitchell on TENACIOUS.  The "hard luck" story of the regatta must go to Jack Biddle on the infamous RUM PUPPY, getting holed in the 2nd race and having to borrow a friend's boat to finish the series.

With fifteen competitive J/24 teams, it was not immediately clear that anyone would sweep the regatta. However, that's exactly what happened, by the oldest skipper in the bunch! Tony Parker sailed his famous BANGOR PACKET to a well deserved win, taking six 1sts out of eight races!  Basically, he left all the scraps to be fought for second and third overall by three other teams.  Emerging from the dog-fight in second overall was Peter Rich's USA 4006, just one point ahead of Mike Marshall's USA 5362 in third.  Just one point further back despite a fast-closing rush of three 2nds in a row was Pat Fitzgerald's RUSH HOUR in fourth.  Fifth overall, watching the dogfight from the bleacher seats, was Paul van Ravensway's MILLENNIUM FALCON, sailing a solid series in the top five for most of the regatta.

J/109s sailing Annapolis NOOD RegattaThe seven boat J/109 fleet celebrated the win of class veteran Bill Sweetser's RUSH, crowned the new Mid-Atlantic Champions! No wonder, seven 1sts and a 2nd in eight races is tantamount to a "clean sweep" or a "schooling" in how to race J/109s fast!  Often not far behind Sweetser was Eric Gordon's TROUBLEMAKER, snagging four 2nds and two 3rds to easily finish second overall.  The battle for the bronze medal on the podium was far from settled and took the last race to determine the next four places!  In the hunt all series were Matt Baker's RELIANT, Rick Hanson's ROSALITA, Bob Schwartz's NORDLYS and Craig Wright's AFTERTHOUGHT.  By finishing in the top five in the last race, Baker's RELIANT took third overall, edging out Hanson's ROSALITA by one point!  In turn, Schwartz's NORDLYS was just 2 pts back grabbed fifth overall by winning the last race, just beating by one point Wright's AFTERTHOUGHT who had to settle for sixth.  Great racing amongst these evenly matched boats.

J/35s sailing Annapolis NOOD regattaAmongst the J/35 class, it was clear that AUNT JEAN (Sagerholm/ Christofel) were prepared in the breeze on Friday to make a statement for the fleet lead.   And, indeed they did, amassing a 3-1-1 to start out in first after the first day of sailing, never to relinquish their lead to win overall.  Second was Chuck Kohlerman's MEDICINE MAN, just edging out Peter Scheidt's MAGGIE in third by only one point.  Fourth was the BAD COMPANY gang and fifth were Ken and Lisa Karsten on BZING.

The J/30s had some excellent racing amongst their ten boat fleet, a great turnout for this "classic yacht"!  Showing them all how it's done were past class winners Bob Rutsch & Mike Costello on BEPOP, taking the class with three 1sts and three 2nds in their 7 race scoreline to win by 3 pts.  Second was David Moss's THE WHITE BOAT (yeah, it is white) followed by Ron Anderson's INSATIABLE in third overall.  Taking fourth was George Watson's AVITA and fifth was Mike & Kathleen McGill's MARY LOU.  Sailing photo credits- Tim  For more Sperry Topsider NOOD Sailing Regatta sailing information

J/105 sailing RORC cervantes trophy raceBig Fleet For Cervantes Trophy
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- 104 boats lined up for the opening race of the RORC offshore racing season, the Cervantes Trophy.  Organized by RORC in association with the Societe des Regates du Havre and the Royal Yacht Squadron, the Cervantes Trophy race kicked off on Saturday 4th May from the RYS line taking the fleet across the channel to finish in Le Havre.

The weather conditions leading up to the race looked uncertain, with a complex pressure system over northern Europe which could make it a good test for the international fleet from Belgium, Britain, France, The Netherlands and Russia.  Nevertheless, as Saturday morning dawned on the fleet, the sailors sprang to life and took off on a fast and furious 100 nm race across the English Channel to Le Havre, France for the coveted Cervantes Trophy. A Volvo 70 completed the course in a blistering pace, just over 7 hours for a 14 kts average!

IRC Four was the biggest class with 37 entries including last year's IRC Three winner and RORC Yacht of the Year, the J/105 DIABLO-J skippered by Nick Martin.  Two-handed sailing continues to grow with 18 yachts racing, confirming the attractiveness of this discipline. DIABLO-J (Nick Martin) will be defending the IRC Two-Handed title won last year, as Nick Martin explains:

J teams sailing offshore on Cervantes Trophy race"Here we go again! It's seven months since the last race of the 2012 season, which saw DIABLO-J clinch the Two-Handed and IRC Three titles, 3rd in IRC overall and the coveted RORC 'Yacht of the Year'. It's all to play for again, with a clean slate and no advantage! Every race has to be fought hard and won. We've done a lot of pre-season preparation; replacing, fixing, upgrading and ensuring everything works as it should for performance and safety. And for me, a particular feature for the season - ensuring I have a dependable co-skipper for the full season (unlike last year with 5 different guys!). Andy Boyle from Dublin, Ireland, with whom I won the Two-Handed and Team Trophy in the 2012 Round Ireland Race, is fully signed up and we're excited about the season ahead."

Nineteen yachts raced to Le Havre in the IRC Two-Handed class with the entire fleet completing the race. The fifth boat to finish elapsed in this strong fleet happened to be Martin's J/105 DIABLO-J, ultimately correcting out to 6th overall in a race dominated by "wedges of cheese", boats designed only to go reaching downwind.  For such one-dimensional conditions, that's an extra-ordinary performance for Martin's J/105!  Not far off the pace was Richard Palmer's J/109 JANGADA TOO, finishing just sixteen minutes back from DIABLO-J on elapsed and correcting to 12th overall.

In IRC 2, the Army Sailing Association's brand new J/111 BRITISH SOLDIER was the scratch boat and only managed to get across the Channel less than 30 minutes faster than her older J/105 sibling, correcting out to 9th in IRC 2.  Finishing just behind them was the Belgian J/111 DJINN sailed by Jean-Patrick Smal. Their fleet, too, was led by "off-the-wind surfboards".

IRC 3 was the largest class in the fleet with 24 boats.  With such strong competition, it was surprising to see Robin Taunt's team on the J/109 JIBE excel in the off-wind conditions; their virtuoso performance enabled them to pull off a 3rd in IRC 3, just 45 seconds off corrected for 2nd! Ten of their J/109 class-mates didn't even crack the top ten. Counting as well in this class was the always dangerous pair team on the J/105 DIABLO-J, taking 5th in class!   For more RORC Cervantes Trophy sailing information

Tour de Belle Ile race off La Trinite sur mer, france- J sailboats leading brandJ/Teams Sail Light Air Tour de Belle-Ile
(La Trinite-sur-Mer, France)- The idyllic Brittany setting of La Trinite-sur-Mer was the base for the sixth edition of the Tour de Belle-Ile race in the Bay of Quiberon, Saturday, 4th May. Sunshine and pleasant spring temperatures suggested that this was going to be an excellent event; the issue proved to be the wind. While a thermal breeze was forecast, a frontal sequence, with cirrus and alto-cumulus cloud led to a battle which lasted for most of the day, depriving contestants of the fuel for their sails, namely wind.

Tour de Belle Isle logoThe start was something of an anti-climax, after all the waiting, at the monohull end of the line, where there was some urgent motoring to get back behind the line before the start in a few cases! It was obvious from the start that the on-going wind battle was not going to provide enough breeze for competitors to complete the Tour de Belle-Ile. Mid-afternoon, as the leader Spindrift approached the Poulains (famous from the photographs of them in storms by the Plissons and others) at the western end of Belle-Ile, the race committee decided to finish the Tour at this location.

With the light winds it appeared that this would be a small boat race. Almost all the entrants finished the shortened race; only about 40 of the 476 competing decided to abandon. The RC PRO wisely decided to postpone the start until 1330 hrs, even then the breeze was just 2-3 kts of wind.  In general, the J/Teams performed very well in the race.

J/109 rounding mark at Tour de Belle Ile, FranceDidier le Moal finished 2nd in IRC 1 sailing the J/111 J-LANCE VIII.  At one point, he was even beating with 80ft multihull SODEBO after one and half hours of racing (in fact, Didier twice had to hail "starboard" to SODEBO while sailing through the Chenal de la Teignouse were the tide was running strongly!).  After this tricky part of the race, the wind finally filled in so that competitors could finish the shortened course.  In IRC 1, behind J-LANCE VII was the J/122 MADE IN LOVE sailed by Jean-Baptiste Trunde that finished 4th overall.  Stephane Blanchard sailed well on his J/111 LE JOUET to finish 9th overall and Arnaud Marchais's J/122 JOLLY JOKER managed to get 12th overall.

The IRC 3 Class saw some great performances, including Frederic Guillemot's J/109 MISS J taking 5th overall, followed by Dominique Correze's J/109 BAITA 4 in 10th overall.

In Handicap National A Class, the J/122 SCAPIN finished 2nd.  SCAPIN is a cruising J/122 that did the entire upwind race with their secret weapon- a spinnaker code 5! They finished just in front of the J/120 LES QUATRES VENTS.

For the J/80 one-design class, Yannick Tabarly's PROXEO too the win by nearly five minutes over his nine other classmates.  Second was Eric Bastard sailing SENJI, third Jean-Marie Liot on STARTIJENN (he's also a famous French photo-journalist), in fourth was Alexandre Bigot sailing CENTRALE-SUPELEC and in fifth was Alexandre Soroko skippering JAM SESSION.

Finally, in the small boat open class, the J/70 SUBWAY finished 2nd in her very large class-- a great showing for the J/70 in such light winds!

La Trinite sur Mer, france harbor at sunriseThe setting of La Trinité-sur-Mer is ideal, with the town and sailing-related shops immediately across the road from the large marina. The race village was set up by the marina, about 500 metres from the local yacht club, the Societe Nautique de la Trinité. The larger monohulls and multihulls were just the other side of the breakwater from the marina, close to the Capitainerie (Harbour Master's office), so everyone was together - something that most events do not manage to achieve.

Amidst a range of sponsors, Land Rover France came on board (before the Extreme Sailing Series announcement of Land Rover as a partner) - and we would like to recommend to Sodebo, by means of this article, that they extend their sponsorship from the participation of the maxi-trimaran in the event to providing food and sponsoring the event itself. Surely the national and regional TV coverage alone would make this worthwhile, quite apart from the range of people to be found in a fleet of 476+ boats!

Tour de Belle Ile regatta- featuring JBoats and J/111, J/122, J/109, J/105The Tour de Belle-Ile is growing in popularity from year to year, and it is easy to see why. The event is smaller than the Bol d'Or on Lake Geneva and far smaller than Britain's JP Morgan Round the Island Race, but has a strong and building following. The race was put back by a weekend this year, into early May, to try to aid entries for another event along the coast a weekend earlier, but that had to be cancelled for lack of entries. However, the Tour de Belle-Ile took place comfortably alongside the Grand Prix Guyader further west, in Douarnenez, near Brest, where many amateur and professional teams are doing battle. Some crews continued from the Tour de Belle-Ile to compete in the Grand Prix, while others left their boats in La Trinité ready for the ArMen Race next weekend.  Thanks for contribution from Anne Hinton @ SailRaceWin.   For more Tour de Belle-Ile sailing information

J/120 sailing upwind at Yachting Cup San DiegoYachting Cup- A Tequila J/Storm!
J's Sweep PHRF, TRIPLE PLAY Overall Yacht of the Cup!
(San Diego, CA)-  This year marks the 41st year of San Diego Yacht Club's (SDYC) signature regatta, the Yachting Cup. This premiere regatta brings together competitive fleet and one-design racing at multiple venues in San Diego. Responding en-masse with nearly 56% of the overall fleet of 84 boats, the Yachting Cup saw an armada of J sailing teams participating in the event, including 47 J's spread across PHRF & one-design fleets of J/70s, J/80s, J/105s, J/109s and J/120s.

The typically sleepy sailing conditions of San Diego got hit by a "tequila storm", with 20+ knots on Saturday with a Low spinning off Mexico kicking up huge waves and southerly breezes preceding the Cinco de Mayo party that night. Amid stories of torn sails and broken boats, there were 83 boats competing in 10 PHRF and One Design classes. Winning the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club overall crown (emblematic of the "Yacht of the Yachting Cup") was Dave Vieregg’s TRIPLE PLAY team, which took the title in the 13-boat J/105 class.

J/105 one-designs- sailing Yachting Cup san diegoThe J/105 class in San Diego always has excellent, close competition, especially for their signature events like the Yachting Cup. Vieregg's TRIPLE PLAY team had anything but free reign of the fleet; instead they fought "tooth and nail" to just barely eke out a win over three other boats vying for contention.  Starting off slower than the other three teams, TRIPLE play had a 4-4-4, then closed with a 2-2-3, staying out of trouble, sailing very steadily and winning with 19 pts.  Behind them, each of the three teams all had strong enough records to win, too, but all seemingly collected some bad races along the way to torpedo their chances for the top of the podium.  Included in the group were Dennis & Sharon Case's WINGS, Rick Goebel's SANITY and the Driscoll/ Hurlburt team on BLOW BOAT. Finishing second, WINGS bombed their last with, getting 7th to collect 22 pts for their silver.  SANITY started off fast with a 1-1-2-3 but faded nearly as fast to close out the series with a 6-10 for 23 pts, good enough for third overall.  The balance of the top five included BLOW BOAT, bracketing a deep 12th with two bullets in the last three races for a total of 25 pts and the fourth position.  Fifth was Jon Dekker's AIR BOSS with 31 pts.

J/120 sailing fast upwind at Yachting Cup San DiegoNext up were the ten boat J/120 class.  With the performance of a life-time, John Laun's team on CAPER simply "ran the table", never finishing below second!  Their three 1sts and three 2nds scorecard for a total of 9 pts basically meant they smoked their colleagues after two days of racing.  The story behind them was something else altogether.  Like their J/105 comrades, a trio of boats were dueling for the next three spots and could not have finished much closer, just 3 pts separating them after six races.  John Snook's JIM took the silver despite nearly losing it all in the last race with a 6th, booking 20 pts to grab 2nd overall.  Peter Zarcades MELTEMI suffered a somewhat similar fate, counting a 7th SCP in the last race for 21 pts and getting 3rd overall.  Keeping their nose clean after an insufferable first four races, Chuck Nichols and gang on CC RIDER finally got their "mojo" working  and closed with a 2-1 to nearly pull off a 2nd overall, settling instead for 4th.  Fifth was Gary Winton's SHENANIGANS.

J/109s had a great turnout for this year's event with a half-dozen boats hitting the starting line.  Despite everyone's best efforts, it was hard to hold back that electrifying team aboard Tom Brott's ELECTRA, winning 5 races enroute to another "schooling" of their classmates for a grand total of just 7 pts in 6 races!  Chris Mewes SHADOWFAX got the "Mr Consistency Award", finishing 2nd or 3rd in every race for a total of 15 pts to take second overall!  Showing flashes of brilliance were Daylen Teren's GREAT BALLS OF FIRE, finishing with a 3-1 to vault into 3rd overall with 21 pts.  Cal YC's Alice Leahey sailed GRACE O'MALLEY to 4th and Len Bose led LINSTAR to 5th overall.

J/80s sailing off San Diego in Yachting CupThe nine-strong J/80 fleet also produced a runaway winner in the form of the local J/80 champion, Curt Johnson's AVET from Cal YC.  Their five 1sts in six races was enough to eclipse the fleet to be declared J/80 winner.  Dan Gribble from Balboa YC sailed his MONKEY SHOULDER very consistently to snag second overall with 13 pts. Three pts back in third place were Steve Wyman's crew on NUHUNU from Dana Point YC.

For their debut in the Yachting Cup, the half-dozen J/70s certainly served up some excellent racing in the windy Saturday conditions with huge waves and massive, almost epic planes/ surfs down the big Pacific rollers.  It was close racing with the top four boats all finishing within 7 pts of each other.  The Kownacki/ Jenkins team on DFZ sailed the most consistently, with four 2nds counting towards their total of 12 pts to take the J/70 crown.  Karl Pomeroy's ZERO TO SIXTY (does that mean "zero to hero" in sixty seconds?) sailed some great races (including three 1sts) but couldn't maintain that "fast & furious" pace, settling for second place overall with 14 pts.  Third was Scott Grealish's SPLASH with 18 pts.  Craig Tallmans' new JAYA was 4th, only one pt back!  And, taking the fifth spot was Kenyon Martin's CHEETAH CUB.  Amazingly, four boats won races in the pack of half-dozen boats, a great start for the San Diego J/70 fleet!

While the one-design racers were having a ball blasting around their courses, the J/PHRF handicap sailors also had terrific performances.  Topping them all in "big boat" PHRF A was Tim Fuller's J/125 RESOLUTE, handily taking the gold for their division with a dominating performance of four 1sts, two 2nds in 6 races for 8 pts.

Sailing an equally strong regatta in PHRF B was the J/35 RIVAL sailed by the Boatner/ Velthoen team, taking class honors with five 1sts and one 2nd for just 7 pts!!  Cool.  Shocking for the "shock guys" behind them.  Still demonstrating speed, smarts against her bigger sisters was Larry Leveile's well-traveled and famous offshore rocketship, the J/29 RUSH STREET from Santa Barbara YC, taking 4th in class.
Sailing Photo Credits- Bob Betancourt & Bronny Daniels   For more Yachting Cup sailing information

J/80 one-designs sailing off Palma Mallorca, SpainPRO RIGGING Wins PalmaVela J/80s
(Palma Mallorca, Spain)- Gaastra PalmaVela reaches it’s tenth edition this year and is part of the Semana Náutica Internacional de Palma. More than 140 yachts from 17 countries, take part to inaugurate the cruising/racing calendar season in Spain.  Gaastra PalmaVela is one of the three most important regattas the Real Club Náutico de Palma organizes during the year.

Other than the ORC Class of 52 boats (in fact three classes), the single largest class are the International J/80 One-design Class.  Attending this year's events are many hopefuls from Spain that wish to attend the J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France later on in July.

J/80 PalmaVela winning team- ProSailingAfter the first day of racing for the J/80’s, the "locals" dominated, including Javier Sanz's PRO RIGGING and José Carlos Frau's BUFETE FRAU. Representing Real Club Náutico de Palma, Javier Sanz won two races and with a third place lead the evens.  David Madrazo of Pro-Rigging, is very satisfied with the teamwork: “We sailed well and won the first two races of the day. Although in the third race we took an OCS and after starting last, we were able to rebound up to the third position.”  He also has pointed out that it was a very difficult day for the Race Committee. “This wind direction from the north is very tricky and difficult to dealt with.”

For the second day of racing, the wind took its time to develop again.  But, after an hour and half postponement, the Race Committee was able to start races in a Southeasterly wind that increased during the day. It was a long day at sea, but it turned out to be a good racing day. The J/80s managed to get in three W/L race and the teams could then discard their worst race result.

The J/80 had an interesting tactical and strategic competition between PRO RIGGING and BUFETE FRAU. Javier Sanz’s boat added two victories to their scores, which gave them a small lead over José Carlos Frau who finished second in the first two races of the day. Third is current J/80 World Champion, GREAT SAILING sailed by José María van der Ploeg.  GREAT SAILING won the third race and they were followed by Javier Scherk's GUNTER.

The third day of racing provided simply spectacular sailing for the last day of competition in the Gaastra PalmaVela. With 12 knots of wind from the Southeast, the one-design classes in the Bay had a memorable day of racing-- rolling seas and long surfs and planes off the wind made for epic rides across the Bay in front of the spectacular waterfront of Palma!

In the end, the J/80 class was dominated by the "locals". Sanz's PRO RIGGING was declared PalmaVela champion with an amazing five 1sts and three 3rds in his final scores for a total of 13 pts. They were followed by van der Ploeg's GREAT SAILING in second with three bullets and three 3rds in their scoreline for 19 pts total.  Third was Frau's BUFETE FRAU with five 2nds in their tally with a total of 25 pts. Rounding out the top five were Dionisio Martinez in PUERTO SHERRY- INTUIL TEAM in fourth and Javier Scherk on GUNTER in fifth.  The top German team sailing was Dirk Euler on LIMMAT EXPRESS.
Sailing photo credits- Ingrid Abery   For more Gaastra PalmaVela J/80 sailing information

J/120 EL OCASO sailing Antigua Sailing WeekJ/Sailors Relish Antigua Sailing
(English Harbour, Antigua)- Few would doubt that the sailing waters around Antigua provide one of the best race tracks anywhere in the world and English and Falmouth Harbours offer some of the best facilities, hotels, restaurants and bars in the Caribbean.

However having the best ingredients for success is not enough. Combining those raw materials requires dedication and expertise and for a regatta, that should always start with the race management. Antigua Sailing Week's tag line is 'where sailing comes first' and above all else providing well-run, competitive racing has been the key to the regatta's success in recent years.

By Antiguan standards, weather conditions were lighter than usual with wind speeds varying from 10 to 20 knots during the week. Only one day produced fully powered Trade Wind weather but the full schedule of racing was completed and the lighter winds created some tactical conundrums for the competitors.

You could almost feel the tension on the dock as the fleet sailed out to battle for the last day of racing in Antigua's fabled race week. With many class winners yet to be decided, the pressure was heightened by tricky conditions.  The breeze was rarely more than 10 knots and there were huge wind holes appearing all over the racing area. However, the Race Committee did an excellent job getting in a fair race for all classes. Starts are always important, especially in light airs and several yachts could not control their urgency enough, resulting in several individual recalls and two general recalls. The last day of racing in the 46th Antigua Sailing Week was not for the faint hearted.

Beautiful sunshine, crystal clear blue skies and a gentle breeze produced a positive vibe for the first few days of racing, with grins all around on the sailor's faces after hours of racing in paradise-- just can't beat Caribbean-style sailing when the weather is simply so sweet!

J/120 El Ocaso- winning team from Miami, FloridaIn CSA 3 Racing, past J/105 owner, Phil Lotz, sailed his Arethusa to the class title by winning the last race.  Rick Wesslund’s J/120 EL OCASO struggled in the light airs and could only finish 6th in their last race to secure second for the series. Too bad, as after three days of racing, it seemed pretty certain that Wesslund's gang of merry-makers on EL OCASO were again ready to take silver in one of the longest running "classic Caribbean" regattas running.  In the end, Wesslund’s EL OCASO team may have lost the battle this time, but they won the sailing wars on the Caribbean, EL OCASO was named the CSA Travellers' Trophy for the most successful yacht in the most 2013 Caribbean regattas.

CSA 4 Racing produced one of the most competitive series of races at Antigua Sailing Week with four different yachts all winning races. The beautifully maintained J/39 SLEEPER VIII sailed by a crack team from the UK were keeping skipper/owner Jonty Layfield in the hunt for the top five, coming on strong in the end with a 1-3 score, good enough for 4th overall.

Finally, Tom Mullen and crew on the J/95 SHAMROCK VIII had yet another great year of sailing the 2013 Caribbean tour of regattas, placing yet again on the podium in CSA 6 Racing, taking third place overall.

In addition to the sailing, Antigua Sailing Week also offers fantastic after-race parties with some of the best bands and DJs entertaining the crowds late into the evening.

On Tuesday night or Lay Day eve, Nelson's Dockyard became a cool open-air night club for thousands of revelers with live music from Tian Winter and his Iconic band and DJ's Private Ryan of Trinidad and Woogie of the United States spinning dance tunes into the night.

Lay Day on Wednesday is more than just a day away from the race course. Pigeon Beach is walking distance from the main marinas and the Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge provided a marvelous fleet racing spectacle for hundreds of spectators. Nonsuch Bay Resort also provided a fantastic beach barbecue under the watchful eye of its award winning Caribbean Chef of the Year, Mitchell Husbands.

The final awards party on Friday evening heralded the end of the week and crews gathered in Nelson's Dockyard for one final time along with dignitaries including Dame Louise Lake-Tack, Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, and the Honorable John Maginley, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, to celebrate the winners, dine on fantastic seafood and dance late into the night. Many crews commented that the grand finale was the best awards party they had ever attended, not just in Antigua but in the Caribbean.  For more Antigua Sailing Week sailing information

GOLD DIGGER Wins J/44s AYC Series
Wilbanks Duo Crush J/105 Class
(Rye, New York)- The conclusion of the American YC Spring Series took place this past weekend with some interesting outcomes for some of the classes, both IRC as well as in the one-design realm.  As usual, the AYC PRO's did a fabulous job of producing great race management and ensuring the fleet enjoyed eleven races our four days of racing on the notoriously fickle Long Island Sound!

After the first weekend of sailing, the thirteen strong J/105 class had great racing and Sean and Susan Doyle's KESTREL were leading the class. However, after a brilliant start to the series, the second weekend of sailing proved to be their "Icarus-like" fall from the skies, dropping in some whopper races like 10-8-10 finishes to drop into second place for the series.  Rising like a "phoenix from the ashes" was the team from Cedar Point, George and Alex Wilbanks, on board REVELATION.  Sailing like champions, they hung tough on the last weekend to "close the deal" and take the J/105 Spring Series class championship.  Third was Paul Beaudin's LOULOU.

Amongst the J/44 one-design class, their "ring-leader", Jim Bishop on his famously sea-foam green GOLD DIGGER, led all the teams home onto the podium, sailing a remarkably consistent series and never falling below fifth for the series to be crowned J/44 class champion.  Sailing equally as well was Len Sitar's VAMP, finishing strongly with a 2-1-3-1 but not enough to dethrone the champion of all J/44 sailing- the DIGGER boys.  Third behind these veterans were RESOLUTE (Don & Rick Rave), fourth Bill Ketcham's MAXINE and fifth Jeff Willis's CHALLENGE IV.

In the IRC 1 class, the province of the big, exotic boats from New York and Connecticut, the J/133 ANTIDOTE sailed by Ron Richman sailed a terrific series of five races on the last weekend to climb into fourth overall.  A very consistent and well-deserved performance.

In IRC 3 Class, the J/122s were led home by the WINGS team with Mike Bruno and crew finishing with an emphatic 1-1 to claim second overall for the series.  Stephen Furnary's PATRIOT was second J/122 and 4th in class overall.  First J/109 was not too surprising, Rick Lyall's STORM taking the fifth spot in class.

PHRF 1 saw an ascendant team onboard Sedgewick Ward's J/111 BRAVO winning the last race and securing 3rd overall in class.

PHRF 2 had the J/109 ZUMA sailed by the trio of Macrae, Sykes and Chronert earn a 4th overall in their division.

Finally, in PHRF 3 we find the domain of J/29s contested quite heavily each and every year.  More often than not, the family team of John and Tony Esposito onboard their famous HUSTLER are riding their horse hard around the track to win just about every time they're competing.  Incredibly, 2013 was an unlucky year for this duo, having to settle for 2nd overall.  Another J/29, SMOKIN J, sailed by another family team- Tom and Julie Sinatra, sailed a very nice series to take 4th overall.  For more American YC Spring Series sailing information


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

J/70 sailor Brandon Flack and family crew* After this past weekend's J/70 competition in the Annapolis NOOD Regatta, we received an amusing note from Brandon Flack sailing their J/70 with his wife and two kids.  Here's Brandon's commentary for other women, children, family sailors:

"A couple of things I wanted to share that people have asked me about...

One- My wife is not a sailor. She is learning as we go with this thing, and she is game for anything we can do as a family.

Two- Neither of my kids are die-hard Opti sailors. Both take lessons and have done some regatta's, but they are by no means top of the fleet sort of kids. My son Dylan (8) is still a green fleeter (yes, the kid you saw steering a lot downwind).

Three- We enjoy all this together, but by no means are we completely into it. The kids enjoy the hotel pool, flight, heck pushing the buttons on the elevator, just about as much as the sailing. However, they do love the whole package and while educating them about Jimmy Buffet on the road trip home they said that last weekend was one of the best vacations ever!

My point is we are your typically family where the husband has probably sailed more then the rest. We have a self-imposed limit of 15 kts breeze and three races per day that we have established to keep it fun and safe, and we TRY to keep it light on the water (I need the most help with this... We almost had to call social services during a few of those huge shifts and lulls!!!).

We really hope more families or teams with kids get out and race with us. It's a tribute to the J/70 that we can do this easily and really enjoy it together.

We have the Sheraton (8 min from AYC) booked again for next year at $89 a night and the kids want more friends at the indoor pool (where they serve drinks for Mom & Dads might I add)!!"  Thanks for contribution from Brandon Flack

J/24 class contributing to charity causes* The International J/24 Class Gives back to Charity!  After 35+ years, the J/24s just keep on giving and giving!  The 2012 J/24 Worlds Organizing Committee presented a check for $2,500 (USD) to the Golisano Children’s Cancer Center of Rochester, New York following the J/24 Worlds held last September.

“Once all regatta debts were paid, we were able to present a gift to this very deserving charity” said regatta Co-Chairs Kris Werner and Lambert Lai. “It shows that J/24 Class sailors from around the world recognize and support such deserving charities as this one” said Mr Lai, President of the United States J24 Class Association.

From left to right in the photo here: US J/24 Class President and regatta Co-Chair Lambert Lai, Regatta Co-Chair Kris Werner, Michael Fahy, Director of Community Affairs for the Golisano Childrens Hospital, Rochester Yacht Club Commodore Tom Kankoski and Rochester Yacht Club Rear Commodore Dan Peck.

J/20 sailboat mast- Bristol Fire Department flagpole!* Reuse and Recycle!! J/20 Prototype Mast Becomes Bristol Fire Department Flag-pole!  Here's an amusing anecdote from adventures in J/Boats history from Alan Johnstone (designer of the recent J/70 & J/111 fame):

"Last summer our buddy Tim Greves from the J/111 WICKED 2.0 crew, the Past Captain of the Bristol Fire Department (as well as sailmaker extraordinaire from Thurston Sails, RI) posted an open ad on Facebook announcing that the Bristol Fire Department was looking for a new flag pole for the firehouse.

Low and behold I jumped at the opportunity, having just gotten an earful from my wife Laurie about getting rid of an old Dwyer aluminum mast that was decaying in the back of our garden (attracting varmints, bees, moss and whatever else…). Tt was perfect timing. I immediately sent Tim a message about the mast and two weeks later a couple of guys from the fire department drove down to Stonington, CT and carted away the forgotten mast from the weeds on Farmholme Road.

The mast was originally used on a single swept spreader rigged 20' prototype boat that J/Boats had built several years before.  From what I understand, the guys at the firehouse did some extensive repairs and modifications to the brackets on the house and then thoroughly cleaned up, modified and painted the mast to suit it's new purpose.  They recently had a dedication ceremony for the new flag pole in Bristol and Tim sent along the attached photos of the finished pole standing proudly above the Bristol Fire House."

Here's the story as reported in the local newspaper:

"On Sunday, a small group of Bristol’s fire and rescue department, their friends, family and a few elected officials gathered on the corner of Church Street and High Street to celebrate a simple, yet significant act that the members of Dreadnaught Fire Company haven’t been able to do for quite a long time. While the notes of “Reveille,” as played by trumpeter Justin Teixeira, pierced the quiet neighborhood, Dreadnaught firefighter Water “Rocky” Monrue had the honor of raising the American flag above the town’s fire station, an act that reflects the honor of duty that all first responders share.

“We have been without a flagpole and have been unable to fly our nation’s flag for at least eight years,” Captain A.J. Medeiros, commanding officer of Dreadnaught Company, said as part of the ceremony.

In 2004, he said, the original, wooden flagpole that held the country’s banner from 1900 became rotted and could no longer be used. Because the company could not afford to replace the pole, the flag was not displayed on the station.

To help get the American flag back up over the Dreadnaught Company, J-Boats of Newport donated a sailing mast as suitable substitute. Mr. Monrue took on the project of converting the mast into a flagpole, a project that took “countless hours” of re-design, preparation and fabrication. On top of the new pole, Mr. Monrue secured the sculptured eagle that was salvaged from the original flagpole, effectively linking the past with the present.

Recognizing the hours of painstaking work that Mr. Monrue volunteered to construct the flagpole, Capt. Medeiros graciously thanked him, along with Mrs. Monrue “for allowing him to work on it in the garage.”

Capt. Medeiros remarked that the flag is more than “a piece of cloth varying in size, shape, color and design.” It’s “also a symbol of hope, freedom, strength and courage,” he said. “The flag is not just a symbol, but a feeling and a personality.”

Calling the American flag a symbol of sacrifice made by those past and present, Capt. Medeiros said he wants the Dreadnaught’s flagpole to be an extension of that symbolism, in memory of the company’s past members.

“May we look up and be reminded of their sacrifices and be grateful for what we have,” he said.

With the flag billowing in the breeze overhead, those present saluted or stood with their hands over their hearts, listening as Victoria Carroll sang the National Anthem.

After the ceremony, guests toured the historical fire station and viewed the artifacts inside that depict over a century of the fire company’s history and traditions. Dreadnaught Fire station is home to Ladder One and Truck Six. It also houses Engine Four and Marine One.

“Our past members are never forgotten,” said Capt. Medeiros.

Among those the company pays homage to are Michael Andrade, the first Rhode Islander to die in battle fighting in Iraq. A photo of Mr. Andrade is displayed on a table alongside a framed American flag. On a nearby wall, the company charter is draped in a black cloth in memory of Fred Serbst, a former member of the company who recently died after battling cancer.

* 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.