Wednesday, June 26, 2013

J/Sailing Newsletter- June 26th, 2013

J/105 one-design sailboats- sailing off Long BeachLong Beach Race Week Preview
(Long Beach, CA)- One of the classic California regattas will be taking place this coming weekend off Long Beach, renowned for being the host of the famous match race series, the Congressional Cup.  The conditions are considered the best in southern California, with summer sea-breezes often developing out of the West at 10-17 kts.

Over the course of time, the event has become a big J/Fest with six J one-design fleets participating, including J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/105s, J/109s and J/120s. In addition, there are two PHRF divisions with several offshore J racing teams sailing.

The fast-growing J/70 class in SoCal has eight teams sailing with top sailors from Cal Race Week also gunning for repeat performances. New York YC Annual Regatta J/70 class winner Bennet Greenwald will be sailing PERSEVERANCE, others sure to be challenging them will be Cal Week J/70 class winners Jenkins/ Kownacki on DFZ, Karl Pomeroy's ZERO TO 60, Dan Gribble & Kurt Wiese's GO-RILLA, and looking for redemption will be Dr Laura Schlessinger's VENDETTA.

Five teams are sailing in the J/80s, including multiple class winner Curt Johnson sailing AVET and Cal Week's runner-up Steve Wyman on NUHUNU.  The J/24 class has a small turnout but had some good teams participating, including past winner Susan Taylor's TAKE FIVE.

The J/105 class has six teams sailing and the fleet may see a repeat of the battle for the lead during California Race Week a few weeks earlier between Gary Mozer's CURRENT OBSESSION 2 from Marina del Rey and Rick Goebel's SANITY from San Diego, as well as Rich Bergmann's ZUNI BEAR from San Diego.

With seven boats sailing, the J/109s also will see the leaders from Cal Race Week participating, including Tom Brott's ELECTRA from Seal Beach, Bryce Benjamin's PERSISTENCE, Peter Nelson's SPRAY and Alice Leahey's GRACE O'MALLEY all from Cal YC.

The nine boat J/120 class has most all of the top SoCal teams participating, including several champions over the past few years.  Amongst the potential leaders may be John Laun's CAPER, Mike Hatch's J-ALMIGHTY, Tom & Terri Manok's POLE DANCER and Chuck Nichols' CC RIDER.

In PHRF Division, will be a cadre of fast, well-sailed J's, including the famous offshore speedster DOUBLE TROUBLE, the J/125 sailed by duo of Peter Krueger and Andy Costello; the J/125 DERIVATE sailed by Mark Surber; the J/133 TANGO skippered by Roy Jones; the J/111 JATO sailed by the duo of Bill Webster and Mike Moorhead; the J/124 CIRRUS sailed by  Tim Harmon; the J/35 RIVAL led by the duo of Dave Boatner and Dick Velthoen; and the J/105 LEGACY by Bruce Cooper. Sailing the PHRF Random Leg (around government marks) division is the J/133 PICANTE sailed by Doug Jorgensen.  For more Long Beach Race Week sailing information

Jimmy Buffet rock concert with JBoats sailboatsJ/Day Chicago & Jimmy Buffet Concert!
(Chicago, IL)-  Around the world of music, there are few entertainers as popular amongst sailors as the famous Jimmy Buffet.  Long a fan of the sport of sailing and famous for his "Margaritaville" life-style in Key West, Florida, Jimmy and his band will be performing on Saturday, June 29th right on the Chicago city waterfront.

Concurrent to the evening concert, a "J/Day" is planned with fun, family sailing races with balloons and other crazy things; plus there will be some regular sailing races followed by a barbecue on the Columbia YC docks.  Following the "barbie food", a J/flotilla will embark to the Jimmy Buffet concert, so you can listen from your boats!  A day no Chicago J/Sailor should miss!   For more J/Day sailing information and registration

J/70 one-design speedster sailboat- sailing in TogoJ/70 Togo One-Design Fleet!
(Togo, Ivory Coast, Africa)-  Recently, the first J/70s were delivered to Togo to officially commence one of the first one-design fleets on continental Africa.  We received the good word from Olivier Grassi from Togo that the J/70s arrived in fine shape and are already becoming  part of the local sailing folklore, being received with tremendous enthusiasm.  Many of the kids who are used to sailing some of their local "clunkers" can't wait to go sailing!  What a shot in the arm for Togo, if not Ivory Coast sailing!

J/70 one-design sailboat- being hand-launched on ramp in TogoEasily transportable by container, the J/70s have the ability to ship two boats in 40 ft versions or four boats in 45 ft boxes, making it easy to ship J/70s anywhere in the world where there's enough water (to hand launch on boat ramps like seen at left in Togo) and lots of wind to enjoy the world's fastest growing sportboat fleets ever. With over 500+ boats and counting in just over twelve months, there's sure to be a J/70 fleet popping up near you! J/70 and Starship Enterprise- sailing through spaceIn fact, J/70 is the first keelboat in modern sailing history to have presence on every major continent in the world in just about one year of production!  In some ways, J/70 is a bit like the Starship Enterprise in the TV series STAR TREK, while it may not be space, it's mission is "sailing waters anywhere: the ultimate frontier. These are the voyages of the J/70. Its mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before to go sailing!"  Togo, Chilean lakes in the Andes, Brazil's lakes, Colorado & Montana's lakes, Swiss/ German/ Austrian lakes are proof it's making good on that mission! For more J/70 one-design speedster sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The end of June often the highlight of the summer sailing season for many in northern Europe and America.  With over 2,000 sailboats participating, it's hard to argue with Kieler Woche's claim that it is one of the world's oldest, largest and most outstanding race weeks on the summer calendar, after all 5,000 sailors are participating in what amounts to a massive waterfront festival along Kiel, Germany's waterfront along the beautiful Baltic Sea; competitive classes of J/24s and J/80s participated in the event.  Enjoying a somewhat similar reputation for sailors in northeastern America, Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week held on Block Island, Rhode Island attracts nearly 200 boats every year for what is one of the few "race weeks" left in America.  Participating in this year's "Block Party" were J One-Design fleets of J/80s, J/105s, J/109s, J/111s, and J/44s.  Also sailing were J/122s, J/130, J/100s, J/95 and others in PHRF and IRC classes.

In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, several solo/ double-handed sailors were participating in the classic 635nm Bermuda One-Two Race with a J/122 showing their transom to much of the fleet.

In the Great Lakes, several J/Teams were also participating in solo/ double racing and also performing very well on Lake Huron and Lake Michigan sailing a J/29, J/30, J/105 and J/111.  Just northwest of them were a solidly competitive fleet of J/24s racing their US Nationals on Lake Minnetonka, hosted by Wayzata YC and J/24 Fleet #1!

Finally, out West on the Pacific the Royal Vancouver YC's famous "monster" Around Isle 360 Race (the world's longest around island race?) took place with J/109s, a J/120, a J/46 and a J/32 having a wonderful, award-winning experience and most amazing adventure!

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 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 3-10- Cowes Race Week (70, 80, 109, 111)- Cowes, England
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 10-11- J/70 Great Lakes- Buffalo YC- Buffalo, NY
Aug 14-18- J/111 North Americans- Chicago YC- Chicago, IL
Aug 22-30- J/24 Worlds- Howth (Dublin), Ireland
Sep 9-14- J/70 EuroCup Regatta- Lago di Garda, Italy
Sep 26-28- J/70 North Americans- Annapolis YC- Annapolis, MD
Sep 26-29- Rolex Big Boat Series (70, 105, 120)- St Francis YC- San Francisco, CA

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

J/105 sailboat- sailing around block island raceFabulous Sailing @ Block Island Race Week
J/105 ECLIPSE Wins Best Overall Performance
(Block Island, RI)- The 25th Anniversary of the Storm Trysail Club's biennial Block Island Race Week was celebrated this past week, and it seems that after almost five decades a good thing has only gotten better with age. First held in 1965, the five-day competition, originally patterned after Cowes Week, is one of the last true Race Weeks remaining in America.  The event proved it still can deliver on its time-tested tradition of good, challenging racing to over 1500 sailors competing on 182 teams while also embracing all types of racing sailors with a “something for everyone” approach.

Of the 182 boat fleet, J/Boats had by far the largest brand presence in the regatta with 80 boats participating (44% of the fleet!).  Six J one-design classes participated, including the J/111s, the J/80 North American's and East Coast Championships for the J/109, J/105s, J/44s and J/29s.  J/Teams also sailed in the IRC and PHRF handicap divisions.

J/44 cruiser racer sailboats- sailing around Block IslandWith eight boats, the fabulous turnout for the J/44s include several past J/44 North American and Block Island champions, including Jim Bishop's GOLD DIGGER, Jeff Willis's CHALLENGE IV, Bill Ketcham's MAXINE and Norm Schulman's CHARLIE V. Sure enough, it came down to the wire for these teams.   Jeff Willis (Huntington, N.Y.) sailing CHALLENGE IV (seen here to left) J/44 Challenge IV sailing Block Islandwon his class in the last five Race Weeks, but he waited until today to claim victory in the J/44 class and take home the East Coast Championship title.  According to Willis, in the high breeze, some of the fleet, including yesterday’s leader GOLD DIGGER, skippered by Jim Bishop (Jamestown, R.I.), had spinnaker trouble.  “In a good breeze we excel. We’ve had the same crew for a long time, some of them for 25 years.  Everyone knows what to do in those (high wind) situations,” said Willis. Second overall was Bishop's GOLD DIGGER and third was Bill Ketcham's MAXINE, losing the tie-breaker at 20 pts each.

J/111 one-design class sailboat- sailing Around Block IslandThe J/111 class had a closely contested event with five boats.  After winning the classic Around Island Race on Tuesday, Paul Strauch's ANDIAMO team never looked back to lead the class after finishing third on the final windy race on Friday.  Second was Doug Curtiss's WICKED 2.0 with 18 pts.  Class newcomer Mike Piper (Marblehead, MA) sailing EAGLES DARE were quick learners in the class, sailing better and more consistently every race to snag third on a tie-breaker over PARTNERSHIP (David & Maryellen Tortorello).

The fifteen boat J/109 class held their East Coast Championships and one performance stood out above all the others.  From the first day, it was clear Rick Lyall's STORM was on a mission to win the event.  Here's what Rick had to say after Wednesday's racing, “We had conservative starts today, because we were called across the line J/109 cruiser-racer one-design sailboat- sailing Block Islandearly on the first day and had to fight back from 15th to sixth,” said Lyall. “That was a tough way to begin the regatta, and then yesterday in the Around the Island Race, we were close to last, because we were on the wrong side of the course, but we made one of the best comebacks of all time to win.  It was one of the best tactical races we’ve ever had, and we were thrilled about that. Today it was all about execution. Tactician Kerry Klingler (Norwalk, Conn.) and the rest of the crew had the boat going in all the right places. It was a good team effort -- the right combination of what you need to win the regatta.”  Prophetic words, after posting five 1sts, they walked off as East Coast Champions.  Second was Group W's GOSSIP and third was Don Filippelli's CAMINOS.  Fourth was Bill Sweetser's RUSH and fifth was SKOOT (Jim Vos).

J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing Block IslandWith fourteen boats, the J/105s had a relatively closely fought series for the top two spots between two veteran J/105 teams-- ECLIPSE (Damian Emery, who's reigning STC Block Island Race Week champion) and LOU LOU (Bruce Stone past North J/105 Eclipse sailing Block IslandAmerican, Block Island and Big Boat Series champion).  In the end, the ECLIPSE team's initial four straight 1sts was too much for the LOU LOU team to overcome. As a result, Damian Emery and crew were awarded the Everett Morris Memorial Trophy for the Best Overall Performance at Block Island Race Week XXV. Behind these two were Jim Macdonald on DISTANT PASSION in third overall with 30 pts, narrowly beating out Jordan Mindich's SHAKEDOWN in fourth with 32 pts and Fred Darlington's TONTO in fifth with 33 pts!

J/80 one-design sailboats- sailing around Block IslandWith their North American Championship on the line, the J/80's sixteen boats saw what became two races within a regatta:  two boats clearly vying for the overall lead with five other boats vying for the balance of the top five.  In the end, Will & Marie Crump and team aboard R80, launched a tremendous J/80 one-design sailboat- planing along under spinnakercomeback to topple the previous leader USA 1162, skippered by John White (Annapolis, Md.). “There were five points between us, and we were excited about the conditions but anxious about the fog,” said Crump, a 1999 J 80 North American champion (as crew) whose crew was comprised of wife Marie, her brother Thomas Klok and new crew member Chris Larson (all from Annapolis). “We’re more experienced in the high breeze, so we knew it was possible to win.  We did a little match racing with our competition to get him driven back in the fleet in the first start. For the second start, we didn’t have such a command, but we got out and away early.”  J/80 R80 sailing by Will and Marie CrumpBut, it didn't start out that way for Crump and family. Said Will, “We didn’t do the practice race, because Marie broke one of her thumbs and we had to make a mad dash to the hospital on Sunday. We were lucky to get to the line and race without major compromise.” Behind the leaders were Gary Panariello on COURAGEOUS finally closing the deal on the last day's two races to take third overall with 41 pts.  The Storck family had trouble finding their groove, but ultimately the RUMOR crew took fourth overall with 44 pts. Taking fifth was the Hayes/ Kirchhoff team on MORE GOSTOSA.

J/29 Hustler one-design offshore racer sailing Block IslandThe J/29 East Coasts ended up with a nail-biter after what seemingly looked like a walk-away by the Esposito's HUSTLER (multiple Block Island Race Week Rolex winners and champions). After posting five 1sts in six races, the last two races for the HUSTLER team nearly derailed their bid to win another BI Race Week.  Nevertheless, at the end of the day their 15 pts was good enough for the win over their arch rival, Steve Thurston's MIGHTY PUFFIN.  Third was Jack McGuire's DIRTY HARRY.

J/130 cruiser-racer sailboat- sailing around Block IslandSailing IRC 3, the winners were the family team led by Andrew & Linda Weiss on their J/130 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON VIII.  Third was the J/122 ORION sailed by Paul Milo and fifth was the  J/122 DOLPHIN sailed by Neil McMillan. In IRC 4 the J/120 REBECCA sailed by Glenn Gault from Houston, Texas finished fifth in class.

In PHRF world, the PHRF 2 class saw the J/35 SERAPHIM (David Saurette) take third overall with stablemate, the J/109 ZUMA (Macrae & Chronert Sykes) take fourth. In PHRF Double-handed class the J/100 FLASHPOINT (Adrian Little) took second overall.   Sailing Photos by Allen Clark/ and Stephen Cloutier/  For more Block Island Race Week sailing information

Kiel Week classic traditional schoonerStrong J/24 & J/80 Classes @ Kiel Week
(Kiel, Germany)- Kieler Woche is promoted as the greatest sailing event in the world and the largest summer waterfront festival in northern Europe. With a nine-day program packed with over 2,000 events (including many music stages of Germany's longest open-air festival with folk, pop, rock and classical music on offer) to entertain three million guests from all over the globe, their claim may not be far off the mark.

This year's 131st Kieler Woche, amongst the oldest sailing weeks in the world, enabled millions to experience the maritime atmosphere of "KIEL.SAILING.CITY"-- the theme for an entire city! 5,000 yachtsmen and women, 50 countries, 2,000 yachts, dinghies and surfboards, almost 40 sailing events, and more than 400 planned regatta starts on eleven race courses. The "Who's who" of sailing in Europe (if not top Olympic sailors) lined up at the starting lines for this year's events.

Kiel Week creative arts kids contestPlus, all the sailors and visitors experienced an endless forest of masts on the banks of the bay, with over one hundred windjammers and traditional sailing boats moored on the quayside. The fascination of tall ships resulted in the windjammer parade with more than 100 ships taking part, including the European Navy destroyers, frigates, corvettes, and minesweepers from a whole host of countries that came together in Tirpitz Harbour for the meeting of the Navy fleets.

Within that armada of ships and windjammers were one-design fleets of J/24s and J/80s enjoying the festivities, camaraderie and great sailing.

The J/24s saw a fleet of forty-three boats participating with the German team of Peer Kock taking the gold with a consistent 1-6-6-1-4-12-2 series for 20 pts net after toss race.  Second was Jan Kahler's team taking a scoreline of 6-12-1-3-2-4-7 for 23 pts net.  Third was a combination of American J/24 champion Mike Ingham and a British and German crew, including class leader Marianne Schoke; their scoreline was 5-7-2-2-13-9-1 for 26 pts net.  Rounding out the top five were Frithjof Schade in fourth and Tobia Feuerherdt in fifth.  Top Hungarian boat was Farkas Litkey in 8th; top Monaco boat was Dennis Frederiksen in 9th; top Swedish boat was Per-Hakan Persson in 14th; top Netherlands boat was Erik Jeuring in 9th; and top women skipper was Germany's Stephanie Kopcke in 16th.

The eighteen boat J/80 fleet experienced a bit of an "old-fashioned schooling" of how to sail a J/80 fast and smart.  After twelve 1sts in thirteen races, Martin Menzner's team from Germany did have to sail the last two races due to a double-throw out series.  A mile behind in second place was Hauke Kruss and friends and in third Flemming Dejernes (top Netherlands team).  The balance of the top five were Matthias Herzberg in fourth and Niklas Ohling in fifth.   For more Kieler Woche sailing information

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing at US Nationals on Lake Minnetonka, MNDynamic Duo Crush J/24 Nationals
(Wayzata, MN)- It was not readily evident that a bolt of lightning would hit the twenty J/24s assembled for their US Nationals sailing on Lake Minnetonka and hosted by Wayzata YC, but it did.  In the form of the Rochester J/24 fleet and, especially, in the form of two J/24 champions sailing together, Mike Ingham and Tim Healy.  Tossing a 3rd place and counting four 1sts and three 2nds is not exactly "chump change" considering the competition.  After all, there were other NA and Regional champions in the mix but that didn't seem to dissuade the Ingham/ Healy team from winning by a commanding twelve points overall.

On Sunday, the breeze on Lake Minnetonka was 13-15 knots, and three races were accomplished. “It was a little bit shifty, but you could actually connect the dots,” said Ingham. “We started conservatively in the middle of the line every race.  If we’re patient, get a good start so we’re going fast, and stay patient to the first shift, then once we got in phase it was a lot easier.”

J/24 US Nationals winnersThe regatta began Friday in very light air when only one race took place. Saturday dawned more promising, and four races were completed. “The first two days were more than just shifty, it was die and fill, so the wind would go away,” summarized Ingham. “Whatever it took to get to the next pressure, we were concentrating on going fast toward that pressure.  And not just small puffs, but looking for trends like a wind line coming from one side to the other.”

Without ever winning a race but sailing equally as consistently a few steps back was the Might HONEY BADGER team led by the indefatigable Travis Odenbach, also from Rochester YC; counting two 2nds and three 3rds in his seven race scoreline to snare second overall.

Proving that experience, local knowledge and perseverance matter, local legends Rolf Turnquist and John Gjerde on the mighty yacht OZ started out after the first three races with a winning combo of 2-1-1.  However, due to memory lapses or competitors learning all their tricks too quickly, they suffered from consistency to eke out a well-deserved third overall, the top local finisher from Wayzata YC!

Changing their name from "three" to FOUR BIG DOGS, Pat Toole and the boys from Santa Barbara YC were struggling in the early going, but managed to win a race on shifty Lake Minnetonka and post mostly top five finishes to grab fourth overall-- a good showing for "ocean sailors" in sunny Santa Barbara.  Fifth was the Olness/ Johnson team on ZOOM, the next local boat from Wayzata YC.   Sailing photo credits- Mark Puariea or    For more J/24 US Nationals sailing information

J/109 cruiser-racer sailboat- sailing off Seattle/ VancouverIrish Win Canada's Van Isle 360!
(Vancouver, BC, Canada)- Can it be the "luck of the Irish"??  Or, perhaps not?  As his younger brother became the youngest ever Irish skipper to complete the Figaro race in Dieppe, France one morning, on the far side of the Atlantic George Kenefick steered the J/109 DIVA to victory in the marathon Canadian offshore race, the Van Isle 360!  Royal Cork YC's Kenefick was leading the biennial point to point race after the penultimate leg on Thursday and continued the consistent form to win the 15-boat division two category.

The Van Isle 360 is a biennial, 580 nautical mile point-to-point race circumnavigating wild and rugged Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Sailed in ten legs, the course provides inshore, offshore and overnight sailing through some of the most stunning and challenging waters on the planet.

J/46 DIVA- cruiser-racer sailboat sailing in Van Isle 360 race off Vancouver IslandIn Division 1, top J/Team in fourth place was the J/120 TIME BANDIT sailed by Barb & Bob Brunius. They've sailed their boat enthusiastically over the years doing six Swiftsure's and now completing their seventh Van isle 360. Taking ninth in the division was the J/46 RIVA sailed by Scott Campbell; like her stablemates she too has raced in every Oregon Offshore and Swiftsure Race since then, except 2006 and 2010, when she raced in the Pacific Cup race to Hawaii.

J/109 DIVA- winners of Van Isle 360 race off Vancouver IslandThe Division 2 had to contend with a raft of well-sailed, fun-loving J/109 teams-- a very tough group to beat in this kind of point-to-point offshore event.  As noted above, first overall was Jim Prentice's DIVA sailing with friends like skipper George Kenefick.  Third was ASTRAL PLANE skippered by Adam Korbin; as Adam notes about the boats many nice features, "When we’re rounding Cape Scott her crew appreciates the heater and the lasagna warming in the oven!"  Fourth was Stuart Brunell's TANTIVY enjoying yet another adventure and amazing camaraderie around Vancouver Island.

Sailing Division 3 and taking a seventh in class was the J/32 BLUE JAY hailing from Nanaimo, BC-- the host city for the event.  It was owner Todd Rutter's (from Edmonton, Alberta) first Van Isle 360 race.

For a good perspective on why people do the race, here is a report from Christof Marti (Director at Simply Sailing School in  Vancouver and  sailing scribe for Vancouver Sun).  Reports Christof, "Starting in Nanaimo, the first half of the race takes sailors up the inside of the island through some of the world’s most beautiful cruising grounds, sailing through Desolation Sound and up through Johnstone Strait to Port Hardy. The second half takes the boats around infamous Cape Scott at the Northern tip of Vancouver Island into the Pacific Ocean. The distances between ports are much longer on the outside and each leg includes an overnight passage.

You may ask why would someone want to be on a small sailboat with up to eight other crew, with no showers and sitting on deck in the rain and wind for hours or baking in the sun without shade?

The answers are as varied as the sailors participating in this race: A love of sailing and the ocean, the adventure of visiting stunning places few of us will ever visit, the camaraderie among crew and competitors, are probably common sentiments among participants. The exhilaration when the wind is just right, the sails trimmed perfectly and the boat is accelerating down a wave can hardly be described in words.

So what makes Van Isle 360 so special? It’s the involvement of the communities. At each stop, there is an event: The traditional pancake breakfast at the start in Nanaimo, the salmon feast at Hardwick Island, or the famous barbecue in Telegraph Cove.

The boats on this race range from small coastal cruising boats to high-end racing machines. The crews are just as varied. Some boats are crewed by highly trained, and seasoned racers. While other boats are crewed by less experienced sailors looking for a lifetime adventure.

Aboard Turicum, the majority of the crew are novice racers and we use the VanIsle 360 as a way of training new racers and giving them an opportunity to become part of the VanIsle 360 family and by introducing them to long distance and offshore sailing. For me, racing in the Van Isle 360 for the first time in 2011, was the beginning of an incredible adventure that took me sailing to Hawaii and back during the 2012 Vic-Maui International Yacht Race.

This year’s event is characterized by light winds on the inside legs, making it very challenging for all boats. It’s tough to sit on a boat, trying to tweak the sails to get the maximum out of the little wind there is. During the leg from Deepwater Bay to Hardwick Island, strong, adverse currents added insult to injury. With almost no wind to give the boats steerage, it felt like bumper-car racing. Around us, boats were anchored but spun around on eddy lines, bumping into one another or the crew was avoiding rocks. It was brutal carnage. Amazingly, everybody had a good laugh and there was no yelling or protests.

After a day of relaxing, washing cloths and drying sails and boats, the crews were looking forward to some exiting downwind sailing on Wednesday. Neptune seemed to finally have mercy on the Van Isle family with strong winds predicted from the northwest."   More Van Isle 360 stories here on Nanaimo Bulletin.   For more Van Isle 360 Race sailing information

Bermuda One-Two sailorsJ/122 RESOLUTE Takes Bermuda One-Two Overall!
(Newport, RI/ St George's, Bermuda)- After sailing 635nm twice in a period of around three weeks, going from Newport to Bermuda and back, it may be time for Scott Miller to take his J/122 RESOLUTE back to the barn for some R&R!  After all, after winning the outbound single-handed race, winning Class 1 both on elapsed and handicap time and sailing back double-handed with friend George Hazelton to repeat the feat of the first leg, it may be time for celebration, relaxation and reflection on a job well-done! In fact, this may be the first time that any boat sailing the classic Bermuda One-Two Race has ever won both elapsed, corrected and overall honors on both legs!

If some of you recall, the Bermuda One-Two is one of the classic short-handed races in the summer northeastern offshore sailing schedule, especially for those who love the challenge of short-handed sailing.  It's a race many sailors look forward to in between the Storm Trysail's fully-crewed version that takes place in even years.  For most, the "odd years" sailing from Newport to Bermuda outbound single-handed and returning on the summer solstice from Bermuda to Newport sailing double-handed, is the ultimate test of sailing skill.

Congratulations again to Scott and George on their formidable accomplishment and proof, yet again, the J/122 is an easy boat to sail short-handed offshore in such a forgiving fast boat (note- read the story below about sailing the J/122 in "darwinian sailing conditions!).
For more Bermuda One-Two sailing information

J/105 sailing double-handed on Great LakesJ's Sweep Great Lakes Double-handed Races
(Chicago, IL)- Two popular short-handed events recently took place on the Great Lakes hosted by the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society, an organization established for the perpetuation of the sport of solo sailing. Its purpose is two-fold, the first being to encourage the development of and education concerning suitable techniques, equipment, and gear for shorthanded passage under sail; its second being the recognition of accomplishments of singlehanded sailors in the Great Lakes region. The camaraderie of like-minded sailors, borne of the competition on the race course, is the one of the greatest benefits the Society is able to bestow upon its members.

According to legend, it all began innocently enough when a group of sailors were having a few beers on a cold windy night back in the autumn of 1978. The place was "Brownies on the Lake" and as the rounds of brew piled up, so did the enthusiasm for a Solo Challenge to Mackinac from Port Huron. Meetings were held throughout the following winter, until the details were finally worked out for the inaugural Mackinac Solo Challenge held on June 9, 1979.

It was a dark, dreary day with overcast skies and a blustery wind out of the north at 15 to 25 knots. Twenty two skippers answered the starting cannon and seventeen hung on to finish at Mackinac Island. The seventeen finishers of that first race went on to become the charter members and nucleus of the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society. It was proclaimed that the organization would be dedicated to the promotion and development of shorthanded sailing on the Great Lakes. Membership would be extended only to those skippers who successfully completed the "Port Huron to Mackinac Island Singlehanded Challenge".

Recently, those members took up the challenge when both the Western Shore LMSS Double-handed Race took place as well as the "Mackinacs" Singlehanded Race.  In the Western Shore race the J/Teams swept the top three divisions and took four of the top six overall!  Tom McIntosh and Dave Michals, sailing their J/111 MISTY, simply smoked their fleet, winning by over 45 minutes corrected time in PHRF Division II and taking first overall.  Finishing fourth in their class was Mike Hettle and Chris Nielson on the J/105 GLOBAL NOMADS, also taking fifth overall.

In PHRF III Division the J/29 TFWB RELENTLESS sailed by George Petritz and Craig Rastello won their division by ten minutes and took sixth overall. PHRF IV Division was taken by the J/30 MADCAP sailed by John Hoskins and Sam Keys, winning by a mere four minutes, but their effort also led to a podium finish overall, taking the third spot!

The two Mac Solo Challenge Races, Huron (230nm) and Michigan (289nm), also took place with some notable performances by J/Sailors.  In the Huron Race, the J/40 TANGO solo'd by Bob Van Eck took third in PHRF 1- Superior.  In the Michigan Race, the J/105 GANGBUSTERS sailed by Mark Gannon took third in PHRF 1- Superior while Rick Stage sailed ALPHA PUPPY to fifth in class.  In PHRF 3- Ontario class, the 30 foot J's had their way with the fleet.  Top dog was George Petritz sailing his TFWB RELENTLESS winning by a half hour over the J/30 MADCAP skippered by Sam Keys.  For more Great Lakes Shorthanded sailing information


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

J/122 JOSS crew sailing to Darwin, Australia* J/122 JOSS- Proof Darwinian Theory Lives in Sailboat Design!  Cruising sailboats take many forms- skinny, fat, heavy, light, wine-glass shaped, plumb-bowed, frac-rig, masthead rig, cutter rig.  No matter what incarnation anyone believes in, over the course of time the ultimate sailing test is always the sea.  What many have learned is that excellent all-around sailing performance is important, especially for cruisers who wish to ply the Seven Seas and cover as much blue-water territory they can safely and swiftly without having to rely on the "iron genny".  Recently, a new J/122 owner in Australia chronicled their adventures sailing 1,100 nm from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea to Darwin, Australia.  Here's the story of the J/122 JOSS's adventures:

"It all started when Ray Entwistle (J/Australia dealer) rang to say: ”Are you busy next week? It’s time to put the team together again and Dave “The Rock” Buck can make it too”. The owner of the stunning J/122 Joss would like the boat moving back to Australia. We are going to take it easy however, It’s about 1100 miles from Port Moresby Papua New Guinea to Darwin and nowhere to stop. There are reasonable trade winds, I don’t want to use his spinnakers if we can help it, and need to get the boat there in pristine condition so it’s ready for racing in Oz.”

Great, I was on the team but that’s where all similarity to taking it easy stopped! My name is Craig, I am an Australian working in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea where Joss is based.

J/122 JOSS sailing adventure across top of AustraliaRay and Dave flew into Port Moresby from Australia on the afternoon of Wed 29th, I picked them up from the airport, we all checked the boat over then provisioned Joss up for the trip. A meal in the Royal Papua Yacht Club Wednesday night and the introduction of a local called Simeon who was an experienced power boat skipper but had never been under sail before and was a personal friend of the owner Ian. Sim as he was quickly nick named was joining us for the trip. That would make four and no problem for the J/122’s next adventure.

Thursday morning Joss slipped out of her marina berth at RPYC and gently moved over to the fuel wharf to top up the diesel tank and fill 2 x 20 litres Gerry cans (just in case) making a total of 170 ltrs.  At 7.30 am Thursday 30th the crew of J/122 Joss said their goodbyes to Ian the owner. Out of the harbour and through the uncharted Lilyoblad Passage with local expert Sim on the helm. This was a good start and we had already saved a few hours by not going around one of the large reefs that are part of the local geography in this part of the world. By 9am we cleared into deep charted water and Joss dipped her bows into the Coral Sea as we hoisted the #4 Jib, full main and where slipping along at an easy 7.5 knots in the 15 knot Sou Wester which was kicking up the 2 – 3 meter seas.

By 10 am the wind was 15 -25 and Joss was easily peaking at  8-9 knots in the stronger gusts with a reef in the main. The watch system started to settle in. Sea Temp 29.3 degrees c, air temp over 30 c and some 1070 or so miles to go.

7.30 Friday morning revealed Joss had covered 189 nm and we were in good shape to reach the incredibly tricky reef ridden strong currents which would be in our favour in the Torres Straits much later tonight.  We were already negotiating the many Islands of the Torres Straits which are a myriad of at least 274 small islands which  separate the far northern continental Australia's Cape York Peninsula and the island of Papua New Guinea. Later in the morning we began to overhaul a 14 meter catamaran, he was initially under engines then as we began pass it they set some sail. It was good fun playing with the big cat all day.  He would sometimes get ahead as he used his minimal draft   to cut across some of the more shallow areas we were not even going to contemplate. Joss thundered along sometimes in the teens on the speedo as we tendered her needs which was mainly taking in a reef or shaking one out to maintain steady speed and comfort levels. Eating was a gourmet affair after choosing some great local meats and veggies in Port Moresby.

On the second night in the early hours came one of those calls seldom heard on a sailboat. Joss was negotiating a narrow passage called the Prince of Wales channel, with a reef to stb and Wednesday Island to Port, a freighter approaching from ahead in the opposite direction and the catamaran just ahead of us which Joss was gaining on rapidly. The jib had been furled and with 2 reefs in the main Joss was travelling at over 8 knts when the call came “I need some help please, how do you slow these b!**dy#  J/Boats down? “ Ray cracked up laughing - I love that call, never heard it before - go the J’s.

It was 2.30 in the morning with 25-30 knots just forward of the beam, Joss still doing over 9 knots at times and reveling even with reduced sail area perfectly balanced. We began to overhaul the cat once more, much easier with a few more pairs of eyes looking out through the dark non moon night and spray. Then all of a sudden the cat peeled away to port and must have realized it was his last chance to sail down another channel towards Thursday Island anchorages.  (Hope he had permission and given at least 76 hours notice – we had discussed it amongst ourselves as it was an option we considered but dismissed when we realized there was no jetties to moor up against and we weren’t carrying a dinghy).

The rest of the early hours went well and as daylight broke the daily log revealed Joss had covered another 181 miles even though we had been weaving between the many narrow channels and Islands. Four hours later Joss had cleared the Torres Straits. We all managed to contact our loved ones whilst in brief phone contact but now had over 600 miles to go to Darwin, course 286 deg and into the Arafura Sea already. We were pleased how the trip was going and complimenting Dave on his route planning and the home work he had done before embarking on this dash across the top of Australia. All was well, the boat making great progress, all eating very well with more steaks and fresh gourmet food left in the fridge and the relief of the tricky Straits behind - these would have been great to see in the daylight but never mind everything on the J/122 was good and a great crew who had gelled perfectly.

Suddenly Joss began to head up off course, we manually checked this and reset the autopilot we had named Hank.  Hank would not re engage so we set about removing the dock box so we could climb into the stern locker to see if anything was obviously wrong.  Nothing wrong could be found so with dock box replaced we re-jigged our watch system with the mindset that we would now be hand steering Joss for the next 600 miles.

The first thing was a crash course for Simeon on how to steer a 40ft performance yacht downwind in 3 meter seas and potentiality high winds.

The third day slid by and everyone began to feel the way a J/122 can handle winds in the mid to high twenties and 3 meter following seas, it was just too square at times so for safety reasons we played the angles. A hand steered 15.2 boat speed record was soon set, then a 15.8, later that night 16.4. With 2 hour watches totally focused on the instruments wind and wave pattern and the stand by crew on deck too, the Joss crew settled down to a new rhythm. The next morning on the 24 hour plot revealed another 191 miles had slipped under the keel.

It was now a common occurrence for the Australian Customs Service to buzz the boat making radio contact and sometimes contacting us when we couldn’t even see or hear them - security in the part of the world is on high alert due to the extraordinary amount of refugees trying to enter Australia by boat.

With the wind changing strength from as low as 6 knots to 39 and changing direction as much as 40 degrees  during the next few days the watches were made fun by trying to break the record but with strict rules around reefing early and staying on the agreed plotted course.  We saw a tropical rainstorm heading straight for us and Ray called “that cloud looks amazing - time to doby.” I had heard this saying before and the others soon realized its meaning when I reappeared on deck with bars of soap. We were not short of water at all but it was so good and refreshing as we showered on deck in the heavy downpour of 25 degree rain.

On the fourth day we saw the wear patch on top spreader was beginning to chafe so we dropped the main and applied some extra layers from our sail repair kit. With the boat slowed down and not racing along  it was suddenly amazing how much bigger  the waves appeared to be as they tossed us around, every one harnessed up to apply the running repair. It was during the next hour or so while we waited for the sail patch to dry we noticed marlin following the boat and eagle eyed Sim also pointing out some sea snakes. Sail repaired we raced away once more surfing down whatever waves we could. This was great sailing, not over pressed, never out of control and making good speed, eating and sleeping well in this very comfortable platform as it sped us across the Gulf of Carpentaria.

On the 4th night the wind increased seeing gusts of 36 then 39 knots, we had 2 reefs in the main and a partially furled #4 jib. The next morning I was elated, the log revealed an 18 knot burst of boat speed, I couldn’t tell when it must have happened, I just have this memory of my best sailing ever in this amazing 40 ft yacht.  The 07:30 am 24 hour log telling us we had covered 205 miles, our best yet.

We were soon across the Gulf of Carpentaria and with Cape Wessell and Croker Island slipping quickly past our port side we turned almost due south into Van Dieman Gulf. Hard on the wind which was blowing in the high twenties to mid 30s and the seas still 2-3 meters. I envisaged a lumpy ride and knew we had this new course for over 40 miles before we could bear away again on a more westerly track. I was on watch but Ray appeared early and used the time to trim the boat up, a few adjustments here and there, we were still pulling over 8 knots, no excessive heel and a smooth ride, I was surprised once more by this boats performance and sea kindly motion, Ray then demonstrated how balanced Joss was steering with only two fingers on the helm with very little deviation from course, what a well-balanced platform.
The 40 miles hard on the wind soon passed and we were reaching again. Joss heading into the Timor Sea, then another south westerly heading again as we threaded our way toward Darwin around the headlands and across Shoal Bay, but not hard on the wind this time as it appeared to veer with us.

With approximately twenty five miles to go to Darwin the seas suddenly flattened then without warning the wind switched off. It was just as if it had said “there you go Joss, you are almost home and I have other things to do.”  We continued for a hour or so ghosting along at 4 knots then put the sails away for the last time and fired the up the iron mainsail. Ray started to organize a replacement auto pilot under warranty as soon as we got a signal. We were in no hurry as once again wanted to catch the strong tide entering Darwin.  We sat at 5 knots or so under engine, soaked up the flat seas and thoroughly enjoyed the last of our superb food we knew would be disposed of due to strict Australian quarantine laws. We entered Darwin harbour and dropped the anchor where Customs had indicated approximately 10.45 pm  Tuesday 4th June.  We were close to Cullen Bay Marina AQIS dock where we were booked in early the next morning for clearance back into Australia.

My good friend Simeon had this to say about his first sailing experience:  “The motion was very comfortable, the food was exceptional and the speed of this small boat was alarmingly quick. I was anticipating it to be rough, slow and hard work, my friends had warned me about sailing, however this adventure was the very opposite to that.”

The J/122 Joss covered the 1089  miles from Port Moresby Papua New Guinea to Darwin Australia in 132 hours (5.5 days), average speed 8.25 knots and used 22 litres of fuel mainly from charging the batteries.  When I reflect on this most enjoyable cruise we did the equivalent of almost two Sydney to Hobart Races, with 4 crew in 5.5 days and didn’t use spinnakers.

My thanks to the rest of the crew, Dave for his great navigation and seamanship, eagle eyed Simeon who picked up sailing very quickly and became a valuable member of the crew and Ray for putting together another great team. He makes me wonder what will happen if he is ever in a hurry as he obviously knows there is more to be had out of this fine piece of machinery - but please invite me again. I also know what I want for Christmas!

Good luck to the owner Ian and the relief crew as they take over from Darwin to take JOSS to her new home, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club in Perth.  Best, Craig" 

* 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.