Wednesday, June 12, 2013

J/Newsletter- June 12th, 2013

J/122 sailing New York YC annual regattaNew York YC Annual Regatta Preview
(Newport, RI)- An impressive lineup of J sailing talent will be participating in the oldest regatta in America, with over a century and a half’s worth of history and lots of family fun. For three days, yachts sailing in IRC, J one-Design classes as well as a PHRF Cruiser-Racer division will be hosted at New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court and will race on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound.  The leading brand by a significant margin are the forty four J's (29%) sailing in the fleet of 153 boats.

“Newport is a great place to sail and offers a very impressive nautical town steeped in tradition,” said Terry McLaughlin, the Canadian Olympic silver medalist, J/24 Canadian Champion, current J/105 owner and former America’s Cup skipper who will be at the helm of John Hele’s 42 footer (himself a past J/24 Canadian champion). “As well, the New York Yacht Club always does a bang-up job on and off the water. The event has a long history and a lot of competitive classes, so it attracts a wide range of boats and people. I’m a great proponent of one-design racing, because I like to cross the finish line and know immediately how we did,” said McLaughlin.  McLaughlin & Hele and the rest of the fleet have been invited to kick off the event on Friday, June 14 with a separately scored 21nm Around the Island Race. The circumnavigation of Jamestown remains a favorite among racing sailors visiting Newport, and at stake in the IRC division is a Rolex Submariner watch, which will be presented to the overall winner during that evening’s festivities at Harbour Court.

Following Friday’s Around the Island Race competitors will split into four fleets with IRC and PHRF classes and one-design classes for J/111, J/105, J/80, J/70 for two days of racing over the weekend. In the IRC Class, there will be several J class champions participating, including Jim Bishop's J/44 GOLD DIGGER and Jack Neades GLORY sailing for the US Coast Guard Sailing Team.  Also sailing will be three J/122s, including class champions Mike Bruno and crew on WINGS, Neil McMillan's DOLPHIN sailing for the US Naval Academy Sailing Squadron and George & Carole Shaw's TUMBLEWEED.  Joining them is another trio of J/109s that have amongst them several regional and North American champions, including Bill Sweetser's RUDH, Rick Lyall's STORM and Rob Salk/ John Sahagian on PICANTE.

The J/111 class has a half-dozen boats participating and virtually all boats have podium silverware in their trophy rooms!  No "one-trick ponies" in this group, all boats are well-sailed with good crews and it will be excellent one-design sailing.  Recent Annapolis-Newport Race IRC Class winner, FIREBALL will be sailing with Kristen Berry leading the charge.  Challenging them around the track will be Sedgwick Ward's BRAVO, Henry Brauer's FLEETWING, Dave Brodsky/ Fred Van Liew's ODYSSEY, Marty Roesch's VELOCITY and Doug Curtiss's WICKED 2.0.

The J/105 fleet also has a competitive class of a half-dozen boats with experienced, well-traveled champion teams vying for class honors.  Amongst this group, it's a toss-up with all teams having a shot at the podium, including Sean & Susan Doyle's KESTREL, Nelson Weiderman's KIMA, Fred Darlington's TONTO, John Koten's PLANET CLAIRE, Mark Lindquist's STERLING and Mark & Jolene Masur's TWO FEATHERS.

Fielding ten boats as the largest J one-design class are the J/70s.  Included is St Pete NOOD Champion Joel Ronning sailing CATAPULT from Minneapolis, MN and Charleston Race Week's Corinthian Class winners Heather Gregg-Earl & Joe Bardenheier's MUSE from Boston, MA.  Several new teams are participating in their first major J/70 regatta, including Jen Wulff's JOINT CUSTODY, Morgan Paxhia's PENNY PINCHER, Amory Loring's RASCAL and Nick Johnstone on USA 308.  Look for the family team of Mom, Dad and the two kids having fun on the Flack's TORQEEDO!

J/80s have a fleet of seven remarkably competitive teams, including North American and Sailing World NOOD champions peppering the fleet.  Chief amongst the leaders will be the Storck family's renown RUMOR, Will Crump's R80, Jeff Johnstone's LITTLE FEAT and Chris & Liz Chadwick's CHURCH KEY.

In PHRF world is a mix of fun-loving, fast-sailing J/Teams.  Fresh off their Annapolis-Newport experience is Arne Fliflet's J/120 MAZAL TOV.  Joining them will be the J/24 NIGHTHAWK (the trio of Richard Barker, Jack McVicker, Mike Ryan), the J/29 MEDDLER (Brian Kiley), the J/33 SIRIUS (Mike Sullivan), the J/92S SPIRIT (EC Helme) and the J/100 GRIMACE (Dawson Hodgson).  In the PHRF Navigator's class is the majestic offshore J/160 TRUE skippered by Howie Hodgson.  For more New York YC Annual Regatta sailing information

J/70 one-design sailboatJ/70 @ San Diego Boat Show!
(San Diego, CA)- JK3 Yachts will be presenting at this year's San Diego International Boat Show, June 20-23, at Harbor Island in San Diego. We will be featuring a very impressive lineup of boats for this show, including a J/70, the hottest one- design boat and fastest growing class in the world! For tickets or more information on any of these extraordinary yachts, please contact  For more J/70 sailing information

J/One-Designs @ Verve Cup Regatta
(Chicago, IL)- The Verve Cup Inshore Regatta is a spectacular sailing event. Hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club at Belmont Station August 24-25, the Verve Cup is the most popular inshore regatta in Chicago. One Design classes compete for two days to determine which boat has the best skipper and crew.  Invited to this year's event are J/111, J/105s, J/109s, J/70s and J/24 classes!  So, mobilize your fleet and sign up for wet and wild racing at Belmont this August, enjoy views of the world's most spectacular waterfront city on one of the world's largest freshwater lakes- Lake Michigan!

This year, the Verve Cup will be bigger than ever and is assured to be the best One Design sailing around. Featuring optimal late summer breezes, competitive racing, and the best race committee on the water, the Verve Cup delivers outstanding racing. Big name sponsors providing premium swag and generous free pours turn the party into a real blast. Get onboard for the 2013 Verve Cup Inshore, the best One Design Sailing event in the Midwest!  For more Chicago Verve Cup Regatta sailing info

Bermuda One-Two Update
(Newport, RI/ St George's, Bermuda)- One of the long-standing challenges for offshore sailors has been the many races or cruises to that famous offshore garden spot renowned for colorful shorts, drinks called "dark & stormies", and pink beaches-- a.k.a. Bermuda.  Participating this week are teams from around the world sailing the popular "Bermuda One-Two" event.  The race is 635nm from Newport to Bermuda, outbound is single-handed and the return from Bermuda to Newport is sailed double-handed.

Sailing in this year's event is the J/122 RESOLUTE skippered by Scot Miller outbound and on the return as double-hander with George Hazelton.

The start of the race on June 8th was gorgeous, with sun, wind and a beam reach out of Narragansett Bay! After the first day of sailing, most of the boats are generally to the west of the rhumb line.  The question will be is it enough with the predicted southerly's expected as they get closer to Bermuda.  The fleet is providing daily reports and as one of the "luxury yachts" in the fleet, the J/122 RESOLUTE is providing daily fleet updates.  It is a wonderful scenario to provide such help to the varied fleet of boats, both as a "social event" but also as part of an on-going, real-time, safety monitoring program for the entire fleet.  For more Bermuda One-Two sailing information

J/Teams Cruising Marion-Bermuda Race
(Marion, MA)- Since its inception in 1977, the biennial Marion Bermuda Race has been a premier 645nm ocean race and sailing event which appeals to a broad range of cruising and racing enthusiasts. The Corinthian spirit of the race is one focused on Family and Fun, and all yachts and crew are participating for the joy and pleasure of sailing, competition, and the camaraderie that accompanies such an offshore event. The racing has awards for not just the various classes, but also for top leaders of traditional celestial navigation techniques using a simple watch (chronometer),  sextant (e.g. non-electronic, no GPS, no Loran, no nothing!), paper, pencil and slide rules.  Imagine that, doing sun sights, star sights and planetary/moon sights as your basis of navigation and using the tables to figure out your latitude/ longitude position-- one hopes most of these teams are proficient enough to safely navigate Bermuda's somewhat treacherous reefs and ledges!

The Marion Bermuda Race encourages the development of blue water sailing skills on seaworthy yachts that can be handled safely offshore with limited crew. The Marion Bermuda Race is organized and run entirely by members of The Beverly Yacht Club (BYC), The Blue Water Sailing Club (BWSC) and The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (RHADC) for the Marion Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race Association.  One of the highlights of the race is the "Sumer Solstice" Party and awards dinner on June 22nd at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club

Participating in this year's event are the experienced blue-water team aboard the J/120 ALIBI skippered by Gardner Grant from Westport, CT, a recent winner in the Block Island Race.  Joining them is the J/122 AUGUST WEST sailed by Jamey Shachoy from Marion, MA.  For the armchair J/Sailors, you can follow their progress on YellowBrick Tracker.  For more Marion to Bermuda Race sailing information

J/80 one-design sailboats- Russian Sailing Federation CUPRussian Federation Cup Sailing J/80s In Canary Islands!
(Lanzarote, Canary Islands)-  The leadership of the Russian Sailing Federation are again hosting their famous Federation Cup in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, sailing J/80 one-designs from November 3rd to 10th, 2013. company is the general sponsor. The organizers of the competition are RUS7 sports club and the racing will take place out of the first-class marina - Puerto Calero, which is a technical partner in the Cup.

J/80 Russian Federation Cup- sailing Canary IslandsSince 2010, the "Fed Cup" has been sailed in the J/80 offered by the local Lanzarote J/80 Fleet, the event has established itself as the best regatta for Russian Sailing Federation members and has become the principal event on the sailing calendar for dozens of sailors. The success of the regatta is guaranteed by several factors- fun boats to sail; perfect time of year to sail in Lanzarote with big breezes, big waves and plentiful sunshine; the high quality of the sailing teams; a combination of fleet racing and team racing offers something for everyone; the presence of the leading officials of the Russian sailing community; and the spectacular location of the five-star hotel Hesperia Lanzarote overlooking the waterfront and the sailing area!

The spirited competition on the water with past Russian Olympic Sailing Team members, veteran Russian professional sailors as well as novice sailors first learning the ropes of how to get a J/80 around the race track make for lively discussions during the evening social festivities and, especially, at the famous "fish barbecue" (one of the most popular dinner party events of the week!).

For more information on the Fed Cup please visit  For more Fed Cup sailing information, please contact Alla Frolova- Tel. +79185565984, or email-

Celebrate Summer Sailstice!
Help Planet Earth Stay Crystal Blue & Vibrantly Green!
(San Francisco, CA)- Founded in 2001 by John Arndt, as the global, annual celebration of sailing held on the weekend closest to the summer solstice, the annual "Summer Sailstice" sailing event is free to all participants and has grown from 200 boats signed up in 2001 to almost 5,000 boats today!

Since many sailors join in the fun on many different boats, the actual number of Summer Sailstice sailors participating is estimated at almost 19,000 annually.

In joining with Sailors for the Sea, Summer Sailstice ( strives to inform and mobilize sailors, their families and communities to enjoy and conserve the beauty of the oceans and while raising awareness of human impacts on the fragile marine environment and wildlife.  For more Summer Sailstice sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The second week of sailing in June just so happened to be one of the windier, stormier weeks of the season with many J/Teams experiencing everything from "fresh to frightening" to even more, dare we say, "epic" weather conditions across Europe and North America.  Beginning on the European side of the world, the J/111s held their first Europeans in conjunction with Normandy Sailing Week off the town of Le Havre, France in simply spectacular sailing weather-- 15-25 kts, big seas and sunny skies!  Joining them were the J/80s sailing the fourth stage of their J/80 French Cup Series.  Off to the south, the J/80s sailed their Catalonian Championship in Spain.  Then, in the gorgeous southern region of Germany, bordering on the Bavarian and Austrian Alps, the J/70s held the first of the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga (German Sailing League) with eighteen of Germany's top yacht clubs and champion sailors participating; the event was hosted off the village of Tutzing on the Starnberger See.

North American sailors were in for quite a treat one way or another sailing in events coast to coast.  With all the looping jet-stream activity moving massive weather systems across the continent, it didn't matter where you were sailing, you were getting hammered by lots of wind, lots of sunshine, enormously big waves, torrential tropical-like downpours, thunderstorms, waterspouts, downspouts, tornados or any combination thereof.  For the intrepid teams sailing the Annapolis to Newport Race, they seemed to have experienced virtually all of those combinations, with J sailors leading a sweep of the top classes in the event.  Not to be outdone, their Canadian friends on Lake Ontario experienced the Susan Hood Trophy Race hosted by Port Credit YC on western Lake Ontario; this event also saw a dominant performance by J/Teams sweeping many classes.  In the midwestern part of the Great Lakes, the Sperry Topsider Chicago NOOD Regattas as hosted by the Chicago YC in spectacular conditions all three days for one-design classes of J/111s, J/109s and J/105s; plus there were some notable performances by J/Teams in the PHRF handicap fleets.  Out West, the J/105s survived classic "nuking, blowing elephants off chains" wind conditions on the infamous San Francisco Bay.  On the charitable and community-based side of things, J/Teams helped raise funds to fight leukemia/ cancer in the Leukemia Cup Regattas in Annapolis, MD and Newport, RI as well as support community sailing in the Maine Shakedown Regatta off Portland, Maine.

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:

Jun 14-16- New York YC Annual Regatta (70, 80, 111, 122)- Newport, RI
Jun 14-16- J/Cup Celtic Regatta- Pwllheli, Wales, UK
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
Jun 27-30- J/22 Europeans- Zierikzee, Netherlands
Jul 4-7- J/24 UK Nationals- Plymouth, England
Jul 6-13- J/80 World Championships- Marseilles, France
Jul 12-14- Bacardi Newport Regatta (22, 24, 70, 80, 105)
Jul 13-15- Chicago Mackinac Race- Chicago YC- Chicago, IL
Jul 25-28- J/30 North Americans- Barrington, RI
Jul 26-28- J/70 New Englands/ NOOD- Marblehead, MA
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
Aug 22-30- J/24 Worlds- Howth (Dublin), Ireland

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

J/111 sailing Europeans off Le Havre, FranceXCENTRIC RIPPER Wins J/111 Europeans!
J/80 MATCH THE WORLD Dominates J/80s
(Le Havre, France)- Sailing on the northern coastline of France can be an experience many never forget, especially with famously powerful Lows rolling in off the chilly North Sea and slamming the western European coastline with gale force winds and massive 10-15 foot waves smashing into the beaches.  Toss in 20 ft plus tidal range and massive amounts of current across the race courses and the conditions can truly be described as challenging.  This year's Normandy Sailing Week participants had the best of all worlds, sunny skies for most of the event with NE winds in the 15-25 kts range with enormous seas topped by breaking white caps every single day.

The J/111's sailing their first European Championships saw some epic downwind surfing and planing conditions, much to the delight of the sailors.  So did the J/80s racing in their last regatta before the start of the J/80 Worlds in Marseille, France.  And, the lone J/133 sailing in IRC 1 Class also reveled in the condition.

J/111 Netherlands sailing Europeans off Le Havre, FranceThe J/111s saw great competition over the course of the four days of sailing. In the end, the experienced offshore veterans from The Netherlands, John Van der Starre and Robin Verhoef sailing XCENTRIC RIPPER, were crowned the first J/111 European Champions!  They sailed a solid series, starting strongly by leading the first day and placing all top three finishes for a 1-2-2-1-2-3-1-1-3 record and 16 pts net overall.  The battle for the balance of the podium was fought between two champion English teams, SHMOKIN JOE and JEEZ LOUISE.  Sailing fast and smart were Duncan McDonald's team on SHMOKIN JOE, posting a 2-1-4-2-1-4-3-1-1 for 19 net pts to nip their Solent friends for second overall.  Taking the bronze was James Arnell's JEEZ LOUISE with a steady 3-3-1-4-1-2-2-2-2 for 20 net pts.  Rounding out the top five places were David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-DREAM in 4th and Richard Barnes's BIELA MUNKENBECK in 5th.

J/80 one-design sailboats at Normandy Sailing Week, FranceThe thirty J/80s sailing in the fourth part of their J/80 French Cup Series saw the two leaders run away with the series.  With many of the top teams practicing for the J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France in July, this event was going to be a good test for how well the various team's preparations were going.  There was no question the J/80s loved the fast and furious pace of the sailing with prolonged surfs and planes in the big breeze.  The conditions also may have had an impact on the outcome of the top five as many of the familiar faces on the French J/80 circuit were eclipsed by some newcomers-- some very experienced "newbies" at that!  Winning the event with a clear demonstration of speed, boat-handling and smart sailing was Romain Bethune sailing MATCH THE WORLD. Starting out by winning the first four races in a row, they never relinquished their lead after the first day of racing.  MATCH THE WORLD's record of 1-1-1-1-3-4-2-1 for 14 pts net was good enough to take the gold and win by five points.  Second overall was a "new girl on the block", Maxime Mesnil sailing MANCHE BASSE NORMANDIE to a very strong 3-2-2-2-1-1-5-3 scoreline for 19 pts net!  Third was yet another class newcomer, Alexis Henri sailing VADK ONE, coming on strong in the end to beat out current European J/80 Champion Eric Brezellec skippering INTERFACE CONCEPT on a tie-breaker at 36 pts apiece!  Fifth was Frederic Hauville from the French Naval Academy, sailing ECOLE NAVALE CG29 to a solid series with most finishes in the five!

Finally, in IRC 1 Class, the J/133 PINTIA sailed by Gilles Fournier reveled in the big breeze and waves and sailed a beautiful series.  Even with the fantastic record of 2-1-2-1-1-1-2-3, they lost the tie-breaker for the win at 10 pts based on who beat who the last race because of identical records!  Unfortunately, PINTIA won on the water never finishing less than 3rd, in fact dropping their 3rd place while her competitor dropped an OCS!

J/111 Munkenbeck sailing from England at EuropeansTo give you a better idea of the sailing conditions and the competition for the first J/111 Europeans, we received an excellent report from John Van de Starre, skipper of the winning team sailing XCENTRIC RIPPER.  Said John, "At the end of the our 2012 sailing season we started to plan our races for the coming year.  We heard in October 2012 that a European Circuit J/111 would be organized this year with the Europeans to be sailed during Normandy Sailing Week. After our successes in IRC last year and the pleasant experience of one-design racing during Spi Ouest 2012, our team unanimously decided to go for this one-design circuit with the main goal as winning the Europeans.  So, in 2012 we ordered a J/111 Class Main at North Sails, which is slightly larger than our IRC optimized mainsail, and we sailed the 2nd part of the 2013 winter series of Grevelingencup with this Class Main. After winning the Grevelingen Cup we quickly put that main back into the bag again to save it for the Europeans.

Normandy Week is sailed at the end of the Seine River near Le Havre, so current is a very important factor in local tactics. Early on, current maps and information were gathered to be well prepared. Even some famous Belgian Laser sailors with local knowledge got us some extra info.

Composing the right crew was not an easy job for us. In IRC we normally sail with eight men, but as the J/111 Class Rules state that the joint crew weight may not be more than 650kg we have a problem. With the average stature of a Xcentric Ripper crew member coming near a healthy viking, our only option is to sail with only 7 men. This naturally gives some disadvantage in handling and in addition you have only 5 man in the rail next to the mainsail trimmer and helmsman in the cockpit. In particular, when there is strong wind this is a disadvantage. How we solved this problem I will tell you later on.

J/111 surfing at Europeans off Le Havre, FranceThe positions of the crew did not seem optimal, normally Berend Jan Edens is helmsman and with myself as tactician/navigator, this works the best for us. Because Berend Jan could not sail this event, I slid into the helmsman spot.  Since it's important to have an experienced tactician with good knowledge of  boat-on-boat tactics, we chose Richard van Rij, a former crew member on our J/109 and is a top Dragon class sailor. He was very enthusiastic for this adventure, sailing with us during the Grevelingen Cup for practice.

Eventually we came to the following optimal team: Robin Verhoef mainsail, Richard van Rij tactics/pit, George Etty genoa trim, Bart van Pelt genoa/spinnaker trim, Maarten Ruijtenberg pit/mast and Pascal van Doornmalen on the foredeck and myself on helm.  So the team is ready, the boat prepared as good as possible, ready for the battle.

The J/111 Europeans were sailed over 4 days, twice north of the Seine River (Course Charlie) and twice right in front of the river (Course Bravo). The weather forecasts from Thursday till Sunday were for northeast winds between 15 and 25 knots, so perfect J/111 weather! Over 20 kts of breeze downwind means we can go planing very fast, sailing higher angles, and make big gains. Upwind in over 15 kts of wind you have to hike seriously, everybody as far out as possible to get as much sail power as possible.  However, we initially had the disadvantage of only five men in the rail. Then, at some point during the pre-race preparations we saw an M34 with only the helmsman in the cockpit and the rest of the crew in full hike. That’s it! So, we decided we would also go in 'solo’ mode. Shorthanded, I always sail with  the fine tuning of the mainsheet in my hand, so we tried and copied it. After the start or after a tack, Robin trimmed the mainsail  as quick  as possible in the optimal mode, then gave the fine tuning to me and ran with his 100kg to the rail. That adjustment seemed to add about 0.15 kts increase in speed and I'm sure this played an important role in the final victory. Upwind with all that added power, we were one of the fastest boats and our tactical game became much easier too.

Thursday we had three races. In the first race, we had a clean start, a couple of good tacks and were first around the top mark. Downwind we found it difficult to keep up, especially “Shmokin Joe”, so far the strongest English boat with many victories-- goes like hell and is able to sail much faster than us and passes us downwind. Also, “Jeez Louise” is very fast, the Englishmen clearly have more power and speed downwind. Only our handling appears to be a little better at the bottom mark and eventually we managed to get closer. Again, we rounded first at the top mark.  This time, on the second downwind leg we sailed more aggressively, and managed to just beat Shmokin Joe to finished first.  What a battle, we really have to go all the way every second, otherwise we will not manage. That day we managed to get a 1-2-2 with Shmokin Joe getting a 2-1-4 and Jeez Louise a 3-3-1. After one day we are 2 points ahead of our nearest competitors. A good position, much nicer than we could ever imagine!

Friday there were three more races on Course Charlie, right at the end of the Seine. With the NE wind, predicted between 15 and 22 kts, you can sail in the lee of the city of Le Havre and the coast.  The wind is very shifty  and therefore not easy. The night before Richard and I studied all the data and looked at all tactical possibilities.  Around 1300 hrs there would be a change in current with an extra strong outflow of the Seine which would reach the competition area.
First start at 11.30, again two laps, still less wind, 12 knots just before the start. It appears the left side of the course is more favored than the right. So after the start we stay on starboard tack and go left for more wind. Our speed is good and we round the top mark  just behind Shmokin Joe. With less wind there are no planing conditions and the slightly deeper sailing pays much better. Downwind we lose little and the next upwind we catch a few good shifts again and are 1st at the top mark. Last downwind we consolidate and wham another first place! Shmokin Joe is 2nd, J-Dream 3rd and Jeez Louise 4th-- this means we increase our overall lead.

Race 2, just before the start we see the strong river current coming in from the right, so after the start we tack immediately to the right. Looks like almost everyone else chooses  more wind on the left side of the course and do not sail in our direction. The moment we are in the other current we tack and immediately take advantage of the incredible lift we get. With ease we go first around the top mark! Now we are going for  the windy part and also become 1st at the bottom mark, on the second beat we managed to keep the profit but in the last downwind we loose. The Jeez Louise knows better how to hold the planing conditions and finishes just in front of us, a bit of a drag. Third race about the same, we are king upwind, and downwind sitting duck- 3rd place. I don’t like this at all! As helmsman I can’t  get the  boat downwind fast enough to beat those bloody Englishmen. We should really change something. Nevertheless after this day we still are in first position with  2 points leading, so everything is still possible.

For Saturday's racing we go back to Course Charlie. The predictions are for heavy wind. There's more wind predicted than previous days. Especially in the afternoon, it could really be violent. When we leave the dock and I look at our English competitors I see something in their eyes: today we are gonna get you! With us on board it is much quieter, will we be successful today? I hope this silence is because of increased focus .. In the team briefing after yesterday’s races, we have decided that today on downwind legs we only go on speed and pressure and not too much on depth. I realize that this will be the my main point, and therefore how we get through the day. Also we have discussed the boat-handling, especially the drops in high winds, everyone knows what to do.

Start of the first race, two laps, 20/22 kts wind, with three boats within 5 seconds to the top mark, now target on speed and pressure! Fortunately it works what we had planned. We accelerate much better by steering the boat very aggressive and with everyone who can, in full hike in the back of the boat and sailing at a higher wind angle. At the bottom mark we even gained something! Without too much interference from other boats but hard work by all of us and no risks we sail a very clean 1st place. Shmokin Joe we see behind us making a few mistakes, in the end they overstand the finish line under because of a bad gybe and had two more boats pass them before they can finish.
2nd race same story, again a clean one. This really gives a kick! When after this finish the committee decided to cancel all races for the remainder of the day due to the rapidly rising wind conditions.  The team is in a great mood headed to shore. Today we really did it, the European Championships are close at hand! In the evening, after some calculations it shows that only the Jeez Louise can still threaten us if we would screw up tomorrow. So if we keep our heads clear and do no crazy things like black flags, OCS, not checking  in/out, no spinnaker rips or shrimps, no man overboard, it could really work out for us! As a result, that night I sleep a bit restless ..

For Sunday's racing we're back on Course Bravo, sailing in the lee of Le Havre. Windy, gray and cold. We heard on the jetty that one of the crew of the Jeez Louise broke his collarbone last evening and when we leave the harbor we still see little activity with our competitor. Has he given up already? We previously calculated in what position we and Jeez Louise had to finish to win the event.
At the start, off course Jeez Louise is there and the fight begins. We start in the middle of the line, on time, but safely without risk. Left side of the course we did prefer due to current and more wind. Jeez Louise, immediately goes extreme right after the start into an all or nothing attempt to take the lead. Halfway through the beat, we are in second position behind Shmokin Joe and we cross just in front of Jeez Louise. We tack immediately above him, we put them in our dirty wind, they change tack again, we follow. So, we sail them back in the first beat to 6th place and we round 5th at the top mark. Downwind, as we discovered yesterday, we put the turbo on!  When we enter the next beat, we see Jeez Louise still in 6th position, beautiful. That beat we win another place and go third, just behind number two for the second time around the top mark. Then I hear Maarten shout after the hoist: TEAR in the gennaker ! No please, not now, not this kind of problems just when we are winning!  The genny probably got stuck on a genoa batten. After rapid communication and assessment, it turns a snag just before the leech about 15 cm, we decide to go on safely, do not let the gennaker collapse, gently jibing and pray.  We put the A5 on deck just in case.  We still manage to finish in 3rd position and see Jeez Louise coming in 5th. Tremendous happiness aboard! We have the cup! We are European champion! What a feast, the high fives and hugs are all over the place.

As a result, we do not have to sail the last. But, after consultation with the crew we decided to go for a last win. But then we all see how far we had to go these days, adrenaline is gone, that little extra power is not there anymore, no more extra in the hike, you are now different in your head, so this is really not working. When the wind further increases and it starts to become a demolition of boat and sails, we decided to bear away and return to the harbor.  Job well done by the crew, time to preserve body, soul and sails!

What a great regatta this was, we did really great, everyone had their share in it, the team was fantastic-- Pascal (from Doornmalen) foredeck, Maarten (Ruijtenberg) pit/mast, Bart (van Pelt) gennaker, George (Etty) genoa, Robin (Verhoef) mainsail and Richard (van Rij) tactics / pit-- many thanks to all!"  Thanks for this contribution from John van der Starre, skipper J/111 “Xcentric Ripper”. For more J/111 Europeans and J/80 Normandy Sailing Week information

J/Teams Sweep Annapolis-Newport Offshore Race
(Annapolis, MD)- Steady, heavy rains and rough seas greeted the fleet of fifty-six sailboats that took to the Chesapeake Bay for the start of the 2013 Annapolis-to-Newport Race.  Nasty weather on the front end of Tropical Storm Andrea made for miserable conditions on Friday afternoon when the 34th biennial event began off Annapolis.  Organizers with host Annapolis Yacht Club pushed the start back by four hours in hopes of eluding the first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. Race committee chairman Chip Thayer waited until 4 p.m. to fire the first gun so participants would encounter safer conditions.

“We thought if we sent the fleet off as scheduled that many of the boats would reach the mouth of the bay about the same time as the tropical storm,” Thayer said.  Winds held steady at around 15 knots out of the northeast when the smaller, slower boats in PHRF 3 class crossed the start line off the R2 buoy near the middle of the bay. Almost all the sailors wore foul weather gear as the constant rain became heavy at times while turbulent three-foot waves bounced the boats back-and-forth during pre-start maneuvers.

Every boat competing in the Annapolis-to-Newport Race has its own story. Take for instance the tale behind SHINNECOCK, a J/120 skippered by James Praley of Annapolis. Praley chose the name because he was rescued by a Coast Guard vessel based out of Shinnecock, N.Y. after his previous sailboat sunk in the Atlantic Ocean near that Long Island port. Praley and his brother Mike were bringing their Beneteau 40.7 named Making Waves up the East Coast for the start of the 2008 Newport-to-Bermuda race when a rudder post broke at the hull and caused a catastrophic leak. Just over four hours after the accident, the boat went down about 20 miles southeast of Shinnecock Inlet.  “We were never in serious danger. The Coast Guard was on site for about two hours and even tried to take the boat under tow at one point, but rough seas prevented it,” Praley said.

That incident did not prevent the Praley brothers from further pursuing offshore racing. Since taking ownership of the J/120 SHINNECOCK, they have completed both the Annapolis-to-Newport Race and Newport-to-Bermuda Race twice.  “Having the old boat sink didn’t really scare me. Of course, I wasn’t in a life raft for hours on end either. I stepped right from the deck of my boat to the deck of the Coast Guard vessel,” Praley said. “We proved that if you prepare properly you can weather a dangerous situation. We had the right gear, we had the proper preparation and we’d been through all sorts of safety drills.  SHINNECOCK placed third overall among PHRF entries in the 2009 Annapolis-Newport then took third overall in the 2011 Marblehead-to-Halifax Race. Praley, who routinely sails with his brother and son Jimmy, is enamored with offshore racing.  “I like the teamwork, I like the challenge of putting together a group of people, I like the effort that goes into getting the boat prepared,” he said. “It’s something of an adventure.”  Thanks for contribution from the Capital Gazette News.

A somewhat similar story of bravery and extraordinary seamanship took place on the J/122 ORION in this year's race.  On its first offshore race and only the 2nd race since its commissioning 3 weeks ago, the J/122 ORION owned by Paul Milo finished at 0056.25 Monday morning in Newport, RI after experiencing an extended knockdown situation just south of the Patuxent River in the Chesapeake Bay.  After the first six hours of great sailing in heavy air, during a takedown at 2200H the chute wrapped around the head stay and the boat was knocked down and stayed on its side with the keel out of the water for close to an hour.  The crew spent a good 30 minutes working out a plan as to how to proceed safely when the plan of action was formulated and crew member Mary Cox, a class of 2013 graduate of the US Naval Academy, went up the rig and cut away enough of the spinnaker to allow the boat to right itself.  With Mary now at the top of the rig with the boat vertical, additional sail was cut away and with a brief trip down to the deck for a break Mary went up one more time to release the balance of the chute still wound in to the head stay and then it was back to business as usual.  The crew was safe and knuckled down to try and make up what turned out to be a drastic loss of time having been the class leader prior to the knockdown and post the incident finding themselves about 12 miles behind. They made up time and were back with their class by the time they reached the Chesapeake Light tunnel.  Orion’s team did a great job making sure Mary was as safe as possible during the maneuver and she enjoyed the experience of driving most of the balance of the race from Block Island to Newport and over the finish line. "She's our HERO," said Paul!  No kidding, and what a remarkable come-back performance, too.

In IRC II Class, the J/Teams swept the division with the J/44 VAMP skippered by Len Sitar taking the class win as well as taking 2nd overall to Rambler 90!  Second was the J/122 DOLPHIN sailed by Neil McMillan and the US Naval Academy Sailing team, plus they were 4th overall in IRC.  And, perhaps most remarkable of all was the Paul Milo's J/122 ORION amazing recovery to take 3rd in class 5th overall!

The PHRF I Class was treated to a complete thrashing by J/Teams with the J/111 FIREBALL sailed by Kristen Berry and crew winning class, taking 2nd overall and winning the "Overall Performance Award" for the Annapolis-Newport Race!  Second was the J/120 SAYKADOO sailed by Steve McManus.  Third was Marty Roesch's J/111 VELOCITY, fifth was Bill Fields' J/160 CONDOR and 7th was Arne Fliflet's J/120 MAZAL TOV.

Not be to outdone by her more performance-oriented racing stablemates, the J/37c SLEIJRIDE sailed by John Gorski managed a very respectable 4th in PHRF II Class.  Congratulations to all J sailors in the Annapolis-Newport Race, amazing performance.   For more Annapolis Newport Race sailing information

J/70 German Sailing League - women sailing club teamGerman J/70 Sailing League Sails Tutzing
Jochen Schuman and Yachtclub Berlin-Grunau Draw First Blood!
(Tutzing, Germany)- The newly founded German Sailing League (Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga) completed their inaugural regatta on the Starnberger See, hosted by the Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club off Tutzing located on a spectacular lake in southern Germany- a lake that is up to 3 nm wide and 12 nm long oriented north and south.  The Starnberger See is surrounded by the foothills of the Austrian and Bavarian Alps to the south, and just about an hour's drive from the famous ski resorts of Innsbruck, Austria.

J/70s ready to sail in German Sailing LeagueThe idea for the event is a simple one:  gather together eighteen of the best sailing clubs in Germany sailed by their best sailors and provide them a nationwide competition for an entire sailing season in one-design J/70s at five fabulous sailing venues.  The matched fleet of six J/70s would be used in a round-robin format so that all eighteen teams could sail an equal number of races over a three day regatta based right on the waterfront.  After starting in Tutzing's Starnberger See, the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga next sails in Travemunde on the Baltic (July 19-21), then Hamburg's Alster Lake (August 30- September 1st), then Friedrichshafen's Bodensee (September 27-29) and concludes on Berlin's Wansee (November 8-10).  The event was founded by sports marketing agency Concept Shipyard, led by Benjamin Jeuthe and Oliver Schwall-- their hope is "the Bundesliga is supposed to be the highest level of performance sailing on a national basis for those sailing at club level."  Their colleague from the Württemberg YC and an Olympic Sailing Gold Medalist in 1976, Dr. Eckart Dietsch, adds: "The Bundesliga is a wonderful opportunity for our WYC members to participate in an event of national prominence with Germany's best sailors. I am convinced that the format has a future, because it is independent of age and generations. "

J/70 woman sailor at German Sailing Leage / Deutsche Segel-BundesligaAs it turns out, their vision for a national sailing league has hundreds of enthusiastic supporters throughout Germany.  None other than one of Germany's most famous sailing stars, Jochen Schuman, appeared at the first showdown for the 18 sailing clubs and won with his team from Yacht Club Berlin-Grunau. But their victory was not secure until all the teams had completed their last set of races!  In the end, the team of Jochen Schumann, Reinhard Hübner, Oliver Freiheit and Philipp Leo took the gold. "For the Bundesliga and the YCBG it's a perfect start. We have quickly come together as a team and we just try to avoid mistakes," said helmsman Schumann, who also celebrated his 59th birthday during the regatta!

In the second place after finishing the last of the 36 races (twelve each per team) was the Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club. Skipper Maximilian White sailed with crew Anna Seidel, Jonas Vogt and Michael Tarabochia. "It's a great experience to match one-on-one against Jochen Schumann. We are very pleased that we managed to get second place," said the Maximilian.  They managed to win a tie-breaker to take second with 27 net pots after twelve races!

J/70s sailing on German Lakes in sailing leagueFinishing third, losing the tie-breaker, was the Württemberg Yacht Club with skipper Stefanie Rothweiler- a two-time German Olympic sailor.  Her crew on the J/70 included Thomas Stemmer, Felix Dietsch and Klaus Dietsch. "It was a really cool race. Great to see how our team sailed better from race to race. In the end, it was great to sail against the other clubs - not just against other people," said Stefanie.

All sailors expressed tremendous enthusiasm for the regatta format and the short races in front of the audience along the shore. The regatta even had the famous Maike Christiansen- top German women racer, boardsailor and kiter sailing for her home team of Mühlenberger Segel.

About 200 spectators watched the spectacle of the racing hosted by the German Touring Yacht Club. Even the wind and weather were simply fabulous- a constant, slight to moderate wind and sun allowed the RC PRO Wolfgang Stückl to run the full program of 36 races!  Sailing photo credits- Nils Bergmann   Find more info and sailing friends on Facebook/ Deutsche Bundesliga   For more Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information

J Teams Sweep Tough Susan Hood Trophy Race
J/105 MANDATE Wins Overall Performance Award!
(Mississauga, Ontario, Canada)- Every year, the western Lake Ontario offshore yacht racing fleet looks forward to what many consider to be the start of their offshore sailing season-- the 76 nm overnight race called the Susan Hood Trophy Race held on Memorial Day/ bank holiday weekend and hosted by Port Credit YC.  It's billed as "the coolest race on the Great Lakes"-- and for a good reason, too!  Especially with heavy rains, strong winds and thunder greeting the fleet immediately before the start of the race.  Some veterans of the race would say this is "normal" Lake Ontario weather in late spring for Canadian sailors!

Overall, the J/Teams had an impressive showing in both IRC and PHRF Divisions.  The J/145 SPITFIRE was 1st in IRC 1 Class.  The J/35 CRIME SCENE (Steve Trevitt) took 1st in IRC 2 Class followed by past race winner, the J/109 BLUE STREAK (Robert Eckersley) in second.  Another J/35 JAEGER (Leszek Siek) took 1st in IRC 3 Class followed by the J/92 SWITCH (Andrew Sharp) in third in class.  The J/120 THE CAT CAME BACK (Graham Toms) was 1st in PHRF 1 class by over an hour!  In PHRF 2 Class, J's swept the top three with yet another J/35 SHORTHANDED (Michael Pietz) taking first by over an hour, followed by the J/109 LIVELY (Murray Gainer) in second and the J/35 ZONE (Ken Bruce) in third. Then in PHRF 3 class, the J/105s took first and second with MANDATE (Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer) winning by nearly an hour and a half over BELLES & WHISTLES (Gordon McIquham).  It was a truly remarkable performance by these J/Teams-- congratulations to all!  With seventeen J's sailing in a fleet of 95 boats (J's being leading brand with 18% of fleet), they took home the lion's share of the silverware- taking 6 of 11 class wins (over 50%!) and 11 of 33 possible trophies on the podium (33%!).

Thanks to Jonathan Bamberger, owner/skipper of the J/145 SPITFIRE, for the report on this year's Susan Hood Trophy Race.  Said Jonathan, "As you will have seen it was a very successful race with 95 boats and, of course especially successful for the J's . Below is the report on  the race as published by the race committee. For your background, it is a night time race starting at 7:45 pm and, being early in the season the lake temperature is still cold (52F) so full ski gear is often required for the 1.00-4.00 am watch!!

As to Spitfire's race - Leg 1 was a 19NM mile beat. The wind was still unsettled after the line squall before the start and we had 10-18kt winds with regular 10-20 degree shifts. We spent the first hour covering Gaucho (a Farr 44) and then took a different tactical decision on one of the wind shifts and Gaucho disappeared into the night. The foredeck crew got some good headsail change practice as the wind weakened and then strengthened again. At the Burlington Mark we saw Gaucho's lights behind us as we headed off on a tight code 3 spinnaker reach for the next 30NM leg. Gaucho either couldn't carry their spinnaker as high as our asymmetric or chose not to and they again disappeared.  We enjoyed the reach averaging 9 kts which included several miles under headsail as the wind came forward. A 2.00 am a chili dinner and coffee kept us warm and alert as did watching for shipping exiting the Welland canal.

The last 25 NM leg had very variable conditions starting under code 3 spinnaker and then switching back and forth between our #1headsail and code3.  By 5.30 am as it got light we were in fog, flying our code 0 when we saw the ghostly sight of the top 10 feet of Gaucho's rig appearing above the fog slightly downwind and ahead of us. The fight for line honours was on but the wind was fading fast. Gaucho climbed up to our windward under headsail as we steadily caught up with them. As we approached shore the wind  fell aft and Gaucho switched to spinnaker and we also peeled to our code 3 for the final minutes and we ghosted over the line at 1.5 kts and 24 seconds behind Gaucho!  Amazing race!"

The Race Committee's description of the race follows:  "The 2013 Susan Hood Trophy Race will be remembered as the largest race since the early 1970's with 95 boats at the start including 3 IRC divisions and a J/105 Fleet. As a major line squall came through during the skippers meeting there were flashbacks of last year's race that was postponed due to high winds. But after Ron Bianci's excellent weather briefing and the help of WRI WX weather system's updates the race started in unsettled winds which were up and down and straight out of the west with light showers, making Burlington a true Susan Hood beat. Depending on what division you speak to there was wind at the Burlington Weather Tower and there was the usual doldrums. For the most part winds picked up and held steady for the run to Niagara, which were west, south west making for an excellent overnight spinnaker run. But once again for the bulk of the fleet the winds went light at the Niagara mark once the sun started to come up in the early morning. The lead boats that made it back before 9am had good wind at the finish, for the next two starts it was a long series of light wind shifts for the last five miles that caused many painful light spinnaker jibs, peels to jibs, back to spinnaker and as time went on the later starts converged into the growing group of yachts trying to finish in light winds. It was a challenging finish that definitely had an impact on finishing orders with so many boats in proximity to each other after 75 miles of racing.

A special thanks to Susan Hood for showing up to our skippers meeting and our Saturday Flag  presentations. It's always a great honor to have our namesake at our event, she is a wonderful lady.

Congratulations go to SPITFIRE, the J/145 skippered by Jonathan Bamberger, who came in 24 seconds behind the Farr 44 GAUCHO and corrected over to take first place IRC division one and First Overall in IRC.

This year was an amazing race for the Susan Hood Trophy and it is worth mentioning that the top boats in the running all held an amazing time difference on the rest of their division. They went hard and did not let up from start to finish. In some cases 49 minutes ahead of the next boat in their division holding the similar PHRF ratings.

Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer on the J/105 MANDATE from Royal Canadian YC in Toronto were one of those yachts that won their division with a finishing time of 0:12:35:29 over 30 minutes ahead of the next J/105-- making them this year's Susan Hood Trophy Race Cup Overall Winners! Excellent race gentlemen, well done!   For more Susan Hood Trophy Race sailing information

J/111 sailing the Chicago NOOD Sailing World regattaJ/111 KASHMIR Rocks Chicago NOOD Regatta
J/109 MOMENTOUS, J/105 SEALARK & J/27 TRUE NORTH Class Winners!
(Chicago, IL)-  Wind, waves, and sunshine greeted competitors at the first day of racing at the Sperry Top-Sider Chicago NOOD Regatta. This past weekend the Chicago Yacht Club hosted the annual NOOD regatta.  The wind was up on Friday, lightning a bit heavy on Saturday morning and the wind finally came in for the races on Sunday. The RC's PRO and team were able to get in 9 races in total, with 7 boats on the line for the J/111s. The J one-design classes on the other courses had similar experiences, with great breezes and good competition.

Chicago waterfront- Sailing World NOOD Regatta for J/111, J/105, J/109For the J/111 fleet, despite what the final cumulative score reflected, the Chicago NOOD's featured incredibly close racing all the way until the final day with 5 boats separated by only 7 points going into Sunday-- it was any one's regatta to win. With 4 separate boats scoring a first in at least one race and a consistent shuffling in the standings at the end of each day it goes to show how competitive J/111 Fleet 1 can be. The starting line and mark roundings were very interesting places to be every race and it forced every boat to sail with focus. One bad spinnaker hoist or douse had the potential to set a boat back 3 or 4 spots. On Saturday afternoon's last race, 5 out of the 7 boats were called over early, however 2 of those were still able to place 2nd and 3rd. The wind was as shifty as ever on Lake Michigan and was the cause for some exciting comebacks. It was a fantastic regatta where the J/111 really got to display all of its glory. In fact, every downwind leg on Friday's races was an amazing show for all on the course with 4-5 ft waves offering up fantastic surfing opportunities. The trio of Brummel/Henderson/Mayer on KASHMIR took first overall, followed by William Smith's WOOTON from Bay Harbor YC in second,  Steve Dabrowski's NIGHTHAWK in third, Paul Stahlberg's MENTAL fourth and Rich Witzel's ROWDY fifth. 

J/105 one-design sailboat fleet- sailing off Chicago, ILFor the J/105s, this year it was a closely fought affair between the top five boats. The outcome for them was not at all determined until the fleet had completed their final topsy-turvy seventh race with only 10 pts separating all five boats!  Taking top honors was Clark Pellett's SEALARK in first.  They were followed by Mike Tuman's STRIKING in second, John Moore's HERE'S JOHNNY in third, Tom & Gyt Petkus on VYTIS in fourth, and Sandy Curtiss on ROCKING HORSE in 5th.

J/109 one-design fleet sailing off Chicago at Sailing World NOOD RegattaIn the J/109s, despite several top teams in attendance (including top Chicago Mackinac and J/109 North American contenders), the fleet produced the only significant leader from day one.  Despite taking a DNS in race three, Kevin Saedi's MOMENTUS simply out-sailed everyone to take the 109s.  Second was Jack Toliver's VANDA III with Peter Priede's FULL TILT in third overall.

In the handicap racing world, PHRF 1, we'll see Mitch Padnos's J/122 SUFFICIENT REASON take a fourth place after a slow start. In PHRF 2 Larry Taunt's J/35 BAD DOG took second overall. Winning PHRF 3 was the J/27 TRUE NORTH (Dan Arntzen) and taking third overall was the J/30 PLANXTY (Kate & Dennis Bartley).

The Offshore contingent in the ORR Race class saw the J/124 STILL MESSIN' (Adam Esselman) take 5th in class.  In ORR Cruise the J/100 BARRACUDA sailed by David Hughes took third in class!  Sailing Photo Credit- Tim   For more Sperry Topsider Chicago NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing off SpainRocha Takes J/80 Catalonian Championship
(Catalonia, Spain)- The J/80 Catalonian Championship took place during the MedSailing Regatta, that saw all wind conditions with varying speed and directions. Despite the challenging wind conditions, the highly competitive fleet managed to sail six races.

The J/80s in attendance were an exceptional fleet, counting amongst them five of the top ten overall J/80 World's sailing teams.  The racing was so tight that the winner couldn't be announced until the last race. Hugo Rocha, from CN Cambrils, took the trophy after a hard-earned championship. In the first day of racing he was always in the top of the leaderboard and he secured the win with an exceptional second half of the championship, where he scored two seconds and a first.

As mentioned above, some of the best sailors in the world J/80 rankings were present. Among them, Carlos Martínez with ZHIK/NOVASAIL, had a spectacular first half of the championship scoring three bullets in the first four races. But on the second day, light winds worked against him and he obtained second place overall in the MedSailing regatta.

Javier Chacártegui, on board HM-HOTELS, was very consistent in his performance and finished all races in the top positions. However, he was tied in points with Carlos Martínez in the overall standing, and since he had less wins than Martínez, he finished third overall, 17 points ahead of the fourth boat.

Other outstanding sailors taking part of this regatta were the current World Champion José María van der Ploeg, on board FACTOR ENERGIA. However, he was unlucky and broke his bowsprit in a collision during the first race of the championship. Even if the Protest Committee ruled in his favor, he was prevented from racing in 4 of the 6 final races. However, on the last day he proved his talent by winning one of the two races of the day.

The winner of the Catalonian Championship, as well as of the MedSailing Regatta, was Hugo Rocha, from CN Cambrils. The runner-up was Oriol Cornudella from Club Náutico El Balís, who thanks to a fourth place in the last race managed to skip in front of Javier Scherk (Gunter), from RCN Barcelona, who finished only a point behind and took the third place in the Catalonian podium. Thanks for the report from the Catalonian J/80 fleet.   For more Spanish J/80 sailing information

J/70 sailing off Newport, RI on Narragansett Bay- sailing Leukemia Cup Regatta hosted by New York YCJ Sailors Raise Funds for Leukemia Cup
(Annapolis, MD)- This past weekend both Newport, RI and Annapolis, MD sailors had enjoyable times sailing with families and friends supporting the great cause to raise funds to help beat leukemia cancers, an event supported by leukemia survivor Gary Jobson himself!

Eastport YC and Annapolis YC co-hosted the 21st annual Leukemia Cup regatta in Maryland.  More than 100 boats were out there supporting this great cause including four one-design J/Boat classes.

J/35 sailing Leukemia Cup in Annapolis, MDThe racing was held on a very sunny, 70-degree day with 10-15 knots of breeze.  Perfect conditions on the water for sailing...except for the 2 knots of current that plagued the fleet much of the afternoon.  A number of the boats found themselves in tacking duels with the windward mark as well-planned laylines fell apart under all that moving water.

Scott Gitchell bested 11-boats and took top honors in the J/105 class on Tenacious.  Aunt Jean, skippered by Jerry Christofel won the J/35 class which brought 9 boats out that day.  David Moss on "The White Boat" was able to stay ahead of four other J/30s and finally, Jen Wulff sailing "Joint Custody" with her husband Ray were able to top the 8-boat J/70 fleet.  Thanks for contribution from Dan Phelps at Annapolis and

For the Rhode Island chapter the New York YC and Sail Newport co-hosted their Leukemia Cup regatta on Narragansett Bay, raising a new record in excess of $250,000 in one evening of auctions.  Of note, the J/70 one-design class saw Heather Gregg-Earl of New York YC and Boston, MA win the class.  She was followed by Newport's Morgan Paxhia in second place.  For more Leukemia Cup sailing information, please support them.

J/Teams Survive Truly Epic San Francisco Invite
(San Francisco, CA)- It's not often that any regatta is held in over 25 kts of breeze all weekend.  Nor is it even considered unusual for San Francisco Bay sailors to sail their J/105s in 25-30 kts of breeze, as can often be the case midsummer when the Bay dawns a coolish 50-odd degrees and foggy and the massive desert basins are already heating up well past 90 degrees by mid-morning.  As one might expect when the weather reports are reporting massive drought conditions and 110 degrees in the shade in parts of eastern California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, the Bay can become a massive wind machine that can generate beyond "dogs off chains", nuking wind conditions.  Indeed, that's exactly what happened a weekend ago.

Here's Nicole Breault's report from onboard the mighty yacht ARBITRAGE: "Sorry, gotta say this yet again, this weekend was TOTALLY EPIC!! San Francisco Invitational Regatta started on Saturday in 30-38 knots of breeze and we sailed three races. Eighteen J/105s began the day, but only 9 finished it.  The extraordinary equipment breakage toll on the fleet included a broken mast, broken boom, broken spin pole, one injury (turned out okay), shredded sails, and a broken bulkhead. ARBITRAGE broached three times, once was a death roll and almost 4 of us got washed overboard... one stanchion kept us on board - its quite bent! We may have cracked a spreader, but it held up through racing on Sunday - basically the same conditions but flatter water on flood tide. I don't think I have ever been more tired on a Monday morning!"

The report from Bruce Stone was even more sobering as skipper/ owner of ARBITRAGE: "You may recall I described some of the work I did to my mast and boom – replaced the rod rigging, repaired a wet bulkhead, sandblasted and repainted the mast and boom, but added a doubler to strengthen the base of the mast as it was cracking, as well as the area around the spinnaker sheave box at the top, and around the outhaul cleat on the boom, replaced all sheaves and replaced the spin sheave box – in total 20 welds on the boom and 65 on the mast.  We did all of this just in time to hold it all together!  Yes, we are sailing 'antiques' preserved to sail the big breeze on the Bay!

On the way to the race course, the spin sheave box on ROXANNE flew out of the mast, so the team had to retrieve the spinnaker without shrimping and shredding it before heading for home.  Scooter Simmons was racing that boat because his boat, BLACKHAWK, was still in the yard after being T-boned in the last regatta.  Scooter then raced non-spin for the first race and still finished tenth, given how many had retired!

Scooter then went home to prep the boat for racing the next day.  He unbolted the spin sheave out of his own mast and installed it on ROXANNE.  He also picked up his boom and loaned it to AKULA, who broke their's on Saturday.  AKULA then had two bullets, their top performance in a long time!

Other action on Saturday: Pat Benedict’s spin pole on ADVANTAGE went right through his bulkhead. And, MOJO broke his bow sprit and the sprit broke the bow pulpit!"

No one can blame the San Francisco J/105 fleet for being anything other than resourceful. They love their boats, many having withstood the test of time sailing in the Bay's infamous boat-breaking chop and wind conditions when other boats have beaten a path back to the harbor licking their wounds and broken boats and eviscerated egos!  For more San Francisco Invitational Regatta sailing information

J/105 sailing in Portland, MaineJ's Sail Maine Shakedown Regatta
Supporting Community Sailing in Maine
(Portland, Maine)- The Annual SailMaine Shakedown Regatta was held under the threat of the remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea, which cleared through the area well before the delayed captain's meeting and first gun.

PRO Ted Smith and Race Committee Boat host Dave Gooch set a short course in 18 knots of northwesterly breeze for a brisk first race, with Jim Greenwell's J/80 TWILIGHT ZONE winning the B division.

The breeze persistently backed and diminished throughout the day, but some longer courses were set to challenge the sailors. In the B division, one of SailMaine's J/22s, helmed by Henry Clews won the second race, while Dick Stevens' J/22 Honalee won the third race. The J/80 Twilight Zone made a good showing in both races, but failed to round a mark properly in the third race, resulting in her retirement. Jim and his team were awarded the sportsmanship trophy for the regatta for their spirit of fair play.

In the A division, it was a battle throughout the regatta that included KEEMAH, Don Logan's J/105 helmed by Stephanie Helms. With two firsts in the final two races, Team KEEMAH captured the division and the overall trophy for the regatta.

SailMaine is grateful to the Gulf of Maine Ocean Racing Association's premiere sponsorship of the event, and their support of community sailing in Maine. Portland Yacht Services contributed their space for the boats and party tent, which was provided by Than Herron's Atlantic Tent Company. Baxter Brewing, Allagash Brewing, and Regatta Promotions all helped make the event a fun one.  Thanks to everyone who volunteered and sailed in support of Community Sailing!. See you all next year!  Sailing Photo credits- Stephanie Helms   For more Sail Maine Shakedown Regatta sailing information


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

J/70 women sailors in Russia enjoying sail on Baltic Sea off Kaliningrad.* J/70 Kaliningrad, Russia having a frolic on the Baltic Sea!  The first training and boat demonstration session for the J/70 MOJO took place over the June 7th to 9th weekend off Kaliningrad.  The wind was somewhat light, just 4-7 kts with gusts up to 12 kts.  The conditions were gorgeous with plenty of sun and warm weather.  Taking the boat for test rides included Irina Gorbatyuk and Dmitry Zaritskiy from Kaliningrad.  Their comments were that "the J/70 is very well behaved, to windward it has very good speed. Downwind with gennaker we were planing in the puffs, very nice!  All who have tried it give the J/70 very high praise, noting that the boat is light and nimble, well-balanced, and very comfortable to drive."  J/Russia are planning on getting a complete sailing program running in Kaliningrad with a fleet of J/70s!

J/70 sailing Delta Ditch Run on San Francisco Bay*  Delta Ditch Run 2013 "J/70 style"- We received some great reports from the J/70 sailors participating in this infamous race.  It was clear all five J/70s that sailed the race loved it.  Here's Bruce Cooper's report for starters sailing on-board the J/70 ZERO TO SIXTY, quite entertaining:

"Any sailor who says they have raced the best downwind race truly has not done so till they run the ditch! Racing up the delta is loaded with decision making, sail handling and challenges waiting at every bridge and turn.

This race attracts all types of boats. At the start you will see various J/Boats, fast planning monohulls like the M38 and Melges 20's, original Santa Cruz downwind flyers like the Moore 24 and Express 27s, IOR death roll machines and some regular cruising type boats and then an assortment of multihulls ranging from beach size cats to Formula 40 style catamarans and last but certainly not least, throw a foiling moth into the mix!

Racing 67 miles up river in a J/70 in a typical medium to high breeze downwind "gybe, crash and burn times 50" race sounds too good to be true. I joined Karl Pomeroy and Erik Mayol from BCYC in SoCal to race in the 2013 Delta Ditch Run hosted by Richmond YC and Stockton Sailing Club. I had raced this race in Hobie 33's and Melges 24's, so I instantly became the local expert. To date I still have not hit dirt, so at least I know where deeper water is compared to some of the racers who park their boat in the mud every year!

Five J70's started with Tom Jenkins & Erik Kownacki sailing the J/70 "DFZ" double handed with the other J70's sailing with three.  If the breeze comes up, the crew of two will get their workout for the summer and then some! If the wind stays light, this might be the right recipe for steep'n into Stockton ahead of the fleet! Joining the J/70's in the Sport 2+ class was a mix of boats: Melges 20's, Thompson 650, Ultimate 20's, J80's and a heavily modified Santana 27.

J/70 sailing downwind at Delta Ditch sailboat raceThis year, the double handed approach worked perfectly for the speedy "DFZ". Tom and Erik sailed in the front of Sport 2+ class and by the George Miller Memorial Bridge they started to open their lead against the next two J/70's, Peter Cameron's "Baby War Pony" and Pomeroy's "Zero to 60". The strategy of staying in the strongest flood tide while sailing low-deep angles is an important part of the race. I have found that staying away from larger boats that are slower is also a major part, but maybe not as much as staying in the major flood tide when the wind is lighter. "DFZ" and "Baby War Pony" took off from the other 3 J/70's at mid course while we all sailed in-out-back in of slower traffic. The lead J/70's were sailing out of traffic and soaking nicely down the channel.
On "Zero to 60" our strategy changed at turning buoy #19. The two lead J/70's were within sight but were getting 5-7 minutes ahead and the race was getting shorter, not longer. All the boats we could see were headsail reaching on the dog leg left turn, no spinnakers. The breeze is usually windier and gusty here, so spinnaker sailing is a big no-no (unless you are a Wylie Wabbit with big cojones and carry the spin with full trapeze and flog the main and jib), so we put the spinnaker up and let it all hang out. The J/70 sailed the razor thin line of spinning out and keeping the foot on the gas pedal at full RPM passing boats, squeezing in to the lead boats and pulling away from the boat chasing us.

As the river gets closer to Stockton, there are more turns with one or two more tight reaches and then almost dead downwind to the finish line. The breeze "usually" starts to die off, but this year it started to blow with some gusts in the mid-20's. "Zero to 60" pushed hard with the spinnaker up and down on the tight reaches with boats around us spinning out trying to match the narrow angle to stay off the rocks on the leeward side of the channel and out of the mud on the windward side! This was awesome sailing with very little room to maneuver and burn down in the puffs and try to avoid submerged trees sticking out of the water and dozens of water ski boats and jets ski's. We were sailing in a real life sailing combat zone video game, don't spin out Karl!

Delta Ditch Race sailing routeAfter the last tight reach, the dead down angle was the only way to go. By this point, most asymmetric boats have gybed 40+ times with 10+ more gybes before the finish in 5-7 miles. Finally some carnage started to hit the race course with the breeze picking up instead of dying, more gybe wipe outs were happening and one FT-10 stuck in the mud after a spin out! "Zero to 60" went into our 2 minute "no huddle" offense with "wing-on-wing" sailing down the puffs. We were closing rapidly in on the lead J70's as we could get on the step and start planning with the wing-on-wing sail trim. Erik steered dead down wind or just by the lee, I trimmed (held) the spinnaker sheet while Karl was letting out the tack line for better separation from the spinnaker and main. It was exhilarating sailing as each puff would hit and the boat jumped in speed as the boats around us kept wiping out during their jibes. Erik would simply sail toward the spinnaker when the boat got out of balance and kept the boat and sails in perfect balance and trim, it was wicked fast and as good as VMG as you could get!
J70 JAYA- skippered by Craig Tallman:
"In the end, we ran out of race course and crossed 3rd behind "DFZ (3m:30sec ahead)" and "Baby War Pony (0:33sec ahead)". Keeping the spinnaker up on the reaches and the wing-on-wing technique was a big reason we were able to get up next to the lead J/70's by the finish. The earlier part of the race where we jibed away from bigger slower boats and sailed out of the best water and wind made too much separation. The J/70's performed amazingly well in this race and will be a factor in next year's race for sure. But, the best part of the race for the J/70's was at the hoist with all of the other trailerable boats there. Watching (not really helping) Karl and Erik put away the boat and ready it for the hoist and dropping on the trailer made me a believer. It was so dang fast and simple I could not believe it. Seeing the other trailer boats get their ladders out and mess with gin poles to drop the rigs, the J/70 experience was fast and easy.  I would expect to see close to 20 of the J70's at next year's race after taking 1,3,4, 7, 12 in their class and fun it was to race with your friends and how easy the boat was to launch-race-put away at the end of the day."

J/70 DFZ- sailed by Eric Kownacki:
We won our division. PHRF didn't treat the Sport boat division well enough to win overall but we beat the half dozen J70's, 3 or 4 Melges 20's, Thompson 650's, etc boat for boat and corrected. Peter Cameron was the second J/70, he sails from Alameda. Arcadia is that crazy modified Santana 27 that long timer and old timer, crafty old Gordie Nash sails.  Flight Risk was the Thompson and they were so out of control I couldn't tell you what they were doing as it seems when we were near them they were broaching!

It was moderate rather than light. Always wind and we were never below 5 knots over water and usually over 6/7 over land with a 1-2 knot current push. Top speed was 17.2 kts, so we had our moments!! Typically, sailing around 7-8 knots.  I would say most of the race was in the 10-15 kts range with gusts to 25 kts. A Melges 20 snapped a rig (just like one in Charleston that was winning the race). Plenty of the usual groundings. Nacra wrecked on the rocks, etc.  Fun race!"   Sailing photo credits- Slackwater SF   For more Delta Ditch Run sailing information

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

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

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

Bill & Judy Stellin- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* Bill & Judy Stellin recently had an interview about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called "Retiring on the Open Sea".  The Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ's Editor desks. Here's the update:

Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers' Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety

Wall St Journal interview- Stellin's Offshore cruising/ sailing retirementThe article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— "Retiring to the Open Sea"— prompted many questions and comments from readers.  We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.

WSJ- "What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?"

Bill- "In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.

Although long-distance cruising wasn't what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.

People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather."


The J Cruising CommunityJ cruising directions- roll the dice and go!  Sailing to anywhere, anytime! J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent "blogs" written by their prolific publishers.  Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You'll love it.

* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel's big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand.  Their blog is here:

* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam after completion of their ARC Rally. Read the latest news at

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world's oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between.  Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).

-  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.