Wednesday, July 17, 2013

J/Newsletter-July 17, 2013

J/88 one-design family speedsterJ/88 Review
(Marstrand, Sweden)- Peter Gustafsson from Sweden recently had a chance to sail the new J/88 one-design family speedster.  After postponing sailing on the first day due to massive thunderstorms headed for Rhode Island, Peter was game for a sail on what appeared to be a misty, foggy Tuesday morning for his test sail on the J/88.  After a quick photo session and review on board, we headed out into Narragansett Bay with about 100 yards visibility in what was going to be a quick test in "pea soup" fog.

However, within a half hour the fog burned off, with Castle Hill Inn basking in all her glory and the spectacular sunlit rocks at the opening of Jamestown's Mackerel Cove made for an extraordinarily picturesque sail.  After beating out into the Atlantic Ocean, we turned downwind and set the spinnaker for a "double-handed" test of the J/88's ability to set/ gybe/ takedown with the high-aspect asym chute.  In short, in 8-14 kts breeze, she planes quite readily in the 8-10 kts boat speed range. Here is some of Peter's commentary:

"The weather wasn’t cooperating when we left the slip at NYYC in Newport. Rain and fog, but at least some breeze. The J/88 looked really good, even from afar, and there were positive comments from the guys working at the dock.

It looked sleek, clean and fast even when it’s parked. Just like the J/111 that we race ourselves. I hate to admit it, but the J/88 actually look even better from some angles.

The first thing you notice is the cockpit. It’s huge. It feels like on the J/111, but without the wheel. Great access to mainsheet and fine tune, traveller and backstay.Only possible improvement would be to add more purchase to the backstay, since you really need it to de-power the main.

The layout works both with a dedicated mainsail trimmer or if the helmsman is doing everything. Shorthanded you have great access to the jib winches as well. I loved to be able to sit well forward to get the weight right in the light stuff."  To read more about Peter's J/88 sailing review.  For more J/88 family speedster sailing information

J/120s sailing in Bayview Mackinac RaceBayview Mackinac Preview
(Port Huron, MI)- This coming weekend, the Bayview to Mackinac Island Race starts Saturday July 20th.  This year's event has 239 entries participating across the spectrum of double-handed and fully crewed divisions in PHRF or ORR handicap racing.  The race organizers offer the sailors two options for courses: the longer Cove Island course takes teams up onto the Canadian side of Lake Huron up north near a buoy to the entrance of the North Channel in Ontario, then head nearly due WNW to Mackinac Island for the finish.  The other course is a direct shot, mostly up the eastern Michigan shoreline right to Mackinac, generally a reaching course.

Sailing in the Cove Island course in Division I are the highly competitive fleet of Great Lakes J/120s. The fleet of eight boats includes Frank Kern's famous CARINTHIA, Bill Bresser's FLYING IRISH,  Mike and Bob Kirkman's HOT TICKET, Gerald and Joanne Hines's IRRESISTIBLE TOO, Ed Vermet and John Hughes's NAUTI BOYS, Henry Mistele's NIGHT MOVES, Dennis Detmer's PERVERSION and Tom Lewin's SLEDGE HAMMER. Dueling with this gang will be two J/111s, including the Brummel/ Henderson/ Mayer trio on KASHMIR and Tim Clayson's UNPLUGGED, and the J/124 STILL MESSIN' sailed by Adam Messelman.

Sailing the Division II short course are the J/145 VORTICES sailed by Chris Saxton, the J/122 SUFFICIENT REASON led by Mitch Padnos and the crew that recently won Division 4 and the Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Overall, J/44 SAGITTA sailed by past commodores Jon Somes and Larry Oswald, the J/33 SHENANIGANS helmed by Dick & Dan Synowiec, J/100 BLUE JAY skippered by Larry Soutar, the J/92 KOHATSU sailed by John Stromberg and the J/30 CONUNDRUM helmed by Don King,

The J/105's have a strong contingent of seven teams sailing, including BUZZ sailed by Mark Gurney, GOOD LOOKIN sailed by Dean and Lana Walsh, past race winner PTERODACTYL skippered by Mary Symonds, RAMPAGE led by Matt Haglund, SNAKE OIL skippered by Don Harthorn, TRINITY helmed by Tom O'Grady, and WINDSHADOW sailed by Jim Murphy.

The J/35's in the Great Lakes have turned out en'masse for this race with nine very competitive teams sailing, including DYNOMYTE sailed by Gary Warner, FALCON sailed by the trio of Bayer/ Bayer/ Barbes, GRIFFIN also skippered by a trio (Hayward/ Huneke/ Levin), MAJOR DETAIL skippered by Bill Vogan, past Bayview-Mac champion MR BILL's WILD RIDE sailed by Bill Wildner, RAGTIME led by Allan Schmidt, STEELIN GOLD helmed by the White/ Mosher team, TIME MACHINE sailed by Robert Gordenker, and WHIPLASH skippered by Gregg Whipple.  For more Bayview Mackinac Island sailing information

J/70 one-design speedsters- sailing off startJ/70 Regatta Updates
(Newport, RI)- After a strong showing at recent summer regattas, J/70 sailors along the eastern seaboard of America should consider the J/70 New England Championship in Marblehead, MA as well as the Fall Fling Regatta in Hampton, VA held after the J/70 North Americans in Annapolis, MD.

J/70 East Coast sailors should have a wonderful time sailing in the Sperry Topsider Marblehead NOOD Regatta, as they're simultaneously hosting the J/70 New England Championship over the July 26-28 (Friday-Sunday) weekend.  Over a dozen boats are already registered including a German team.  So if you're are looking for a chance to get in a good weekend of racing at the end of July, head on up to Marblehead for one of the true Mid-Summer classics.  Plus, the J/70 teams will be able to launch their boats at Eastern Yacht Club at no cost and should be able to either raft up on the Pleon Yacht Club floats or share moorings that will be available through the Eastern Yacht Club.

Later in the fall, Hampton Yacht Club is hosting the J/70 class in their Fall Fling Regatta held from November 16th to 17th.  One of the best fall regattas you can participate anywhere on the East Coast-- the water is still warm, the southern hospitality even warmer and gracious and it has to be one of the most fun regattas socially for those who have ever experienced what it's like to sail in the southern Chesapeake Bay area.  Furthermore, a "best practices/ tuning /what-we-have-learned" clinic will be provided to J/70 sailors as part of the regatta held the day before the regatta on Friday, November 15th.  Please be sure to contact Steve Taylor at email-  For more J/70 one-design regatta information, please visit the J70 class site

Fiesta Cup with J70s and J105sFiesta Cup Regatta Preview
J/70s Debut, Strong J/105 Fleet Sailing
(Santa Barbara, CA)- J/70s will be making their debut in the Santa Barbara YC's 7th annual Fiesta Cup Regatta, one of the more renown West Coast events on the California summer sailing schedule.  The Fiesta Cup is a popular event for a number of reasons; the Santa Barbara YC provides excellent race management for the sailors and, perhaps most importantly, hosts the fabulously fun Fiesta Party on Saturday night.  Regatta Chairman Jane Watkins promises a celebration of all delicious things Mexican- margaritas, tacos, music and other deliciously tasty tidbits and beverages supplied by Fess Parker's Winery and Vineyard and Cerveza Pacifico.

With nine boats sailing, the J/70s should see fun, competitive sailing in the windy, wavy, sunny conditions Santa Barbara offers sailors.  With WNW breezes and often 4-6 foot storm-driven ocean swells running around the point, the J/70s should enjoy extended surfing and pretty wild "planing mode" rides when conditions permit-- hopefully, avoiding the monster kelp that often has a nasty habit of finding rudders and keels and wrapping themselves around your boat at the most inopportune time!  Sailing will be a combination of notable locals like Dave Ullman, Ken Kieding on SMOKE & MIRRORS, George Moll on DEVIANT, Eli Parker & Mike Drammer on ECLIPSE and John Coye on SLOOP JOHN B.  Visiting sailors include Craig Tallman on JAYA, Tom Jenkins & Eric Kownacki on DFZ and Dan Gribble & Kurt Wiese on GO-RILLA.

The J/105s promise to have spirited competition with nine teams sailing as well.  With a number of strong local teams, the "Santa Barbarians" expect to sweep the top three with some tough hombres like multiple Fiesta Cup winner Larry Harteck on REPEAT OFFENDER, Alex Rasmussen on FREE ENTERPRISE, and Dan Durbeck and Jon Ziskind sailing PERFECT TIMING 2.  Visiting sailors from San Diego YC should give the locals a run-for-the-money, including Steve Howell's BLINK and Rick Goebel's SANITY.  For more Santa Barbara YC Fiesta Cup sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

With summer in full swing in both North America and in Europe, the tempo quickens as multiple offshore and one-design regattas are conducted across both continents.  Simultaneously, there are winter series taking place Down Under in both Australia and New Zealand.

On the European side, the one major event that took place over the past week was the 117 boat J/80 World Championships in Marseilles, France with some surprising results considering what has taken place over the past few years.  Hint-- there was no sweep of the podium and the top team wasn't from Spain.

Down Under, there were great offshore sailing performances by J/Teams in Auckland, New Zealand (a J/111) and in Sydney, Australia (a J/109).

Sisterships of these boats were also participating in major offshore events in the Americas.  For one, the enormously popular Chicago-Mackinac Race had over 300 boats sailing the 289nm length of Lake Michigan with many J/Teams producing fabulous results both in class and overall.  Similarly, the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge, an event that offers two courses for participants (the 300nm Duck Island Course and the shorter Scotch Bonnet Course) also had a number of J/Teams lead the fleet home on handicap honors.  Off to the east, the Marblehead to Halifax Race finished off Nova Scotia also with top class honors taken by J/Teams!  Sailing one-designs in the summer classic off Newport, Rhode Island were fleets of J/70s, J/24s and J/22s participating in the Bacardi Newport Regatta.

Finally, across the Pacific in Asia, a J/111 sailing in Hong Kong, China managed to pull off a coup, turn some serious heads and throw down the gauntlet in the Royal Hong Kong YC Offshore series.

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:

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/80 world champion- Portuguese Hugo Rocha and teamPortugal's Rocha Wins J/80 Worlds Cliff-hanger
First Tie-Breaker That Determines The Championship!
(Marseilles, France)- After all the build-up for the J/80 Worlds 2013 in Marseilles, it would appear the domain of J/80 world hegemony would come down to just two nation's top sailing teams-- that of France and Spain.  Undoubtedly, many top teams from other countries like United Kingdom, America, Germany, Italy and Sweden had aspirations to the throne, no one quite expected the ultimate outcome after sailing in challenging conditions for four+ days on the gorgeous Bay of Marseilles.  Crowned as the 2013 J/80 World Champion was skipper Hugo Rocha from Portugal, sailing his NEW TERRITORIES team with an international crew consisting of Alex Semenov and Pavel Savenk from Russia and David De La Plaza Madraz and Francisco Palacio from Spain!

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing worlds MarseillesWith 117 boats participating, it was going to be a tough event for any team to rise to the top.  One small mistake would cost you dozens of boats upwind, in the corners at the marks or downwind.  Crew handling was critical as well as general boat speed around the track.  The fleet was split into four flights with a rotation for the first two days to qualify for the "Gold" championship fleet.  At that time after the qualifiers, it looked like the Spanish teams were poised to again sweep the podium and take more than just the top three, creating yet a third sweep of the J/80 Worlds.  However, as fate would have it, for one reason or another the leading Spanish teams had their difficulties in the championship round.

J/80 women's worlds winnersAsked what were his objectives before the J/80 Worlds to take part in the competition? Rocha answered, "We are a new team, it was the first time we sailed altogether. Two crew are from St Petersburg, Russia and two are from Spain and I’m from Portugal. We all trained hard for the championship. Last month I participated in the Spanish Championship and my team finished 3rd, but we had to change the team composition because some of the crew had a setback.  At the beginning of the competition, we struggled a little bit with boat-handling, but then we rapidly improved. I can divide the competition into two parts: the first 50% qualifiers we were good (5-12-14-17) and the second 50% we were very good (1-1-3-1-6). It’s a shame we couldn’t have sailed the last day but the wind was irregular and very light."

J/80s sailing in Marseilles, FranceThe balance of the top ten was reflective of the battle between the top French and Spanish teams with a split between them for the top ten.  Sailing a strong championship series was Luc Nadal from France on GAN'JA, scoring lower total points and tied with Rocha's team on total net point at 43 each-- unfortunately, Luc lost the J/80 Worlds based on 1st places and so had to settle for second overall; a tough pill to swallow after leading the worlds after race 7.  Third was the renown French team on INTERFACE CONCEPT led by Eric Brezellec with 51 pts net.  Fourth and fifth were the famous Martinez brothers- famous Spanish Volvo 70 sailors and World 49er champions and Olympians. Carlos Martinez sailed DELTASTONE to 52 pts net.  Fifth was brother Iker Martinez sailing ENBATA 80/ GOLD SAILING with 53 pts net. The balance of the top ten was Frenchman Quentin Ponroy on ELECTRA in 6th, Frenchman Nicolas Lunven on GENERALI in 7th, Spaniard Jose Maria Van der Ploeg on FACTOR ENERGIA in 8th, Canary Islander Rayco Tabares on HOTEL PRINCESA YAIZA (the early regatta leader) in 9th and Frenchman Herve Leduc on JIBE SET in 10th.

J/80s one-design sailboats- starting at Worlds in Marseilles, FranceThe top, and only, American was Brian Keane on SAVASANA in 11th; top Swedish team was Ingemar Sundstedt in 18th; top German team was Sven Vagt on CAMIL FARR POWER SYSTEMS in 27th; top Netherlands team was Laura Vroon on JOIE DE VIVRE in 28th; top Swiss team was Yannick Preitner on ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE DE LAUSANNE in 31st; top British team was Jon Powell on BETTY in 32nd; top Italian team was Massimo Rama's crew on JENIALE! in 46th; top Polish team was Pawel Boksa on MOONRAKER in 68th; the only Omani team was OMAN SAIL led by Rajaa Al Owrsisi in 91st; and Russia's Maxim Kuzmin on ENERGY was 94th.   Spanish Sailing Photos- Jesus Renedo / Trofeo Conde de Godo and Elena Martinez / RCMS.  For more J/80 Worlds sailing information

J/111 sailing off Hong Kong, ChinaJ/111 MOJITO Eclipses Hong Kong Offshore
(Hong Kong, China)- Recently, J/111's have been scoring significant performances in major offshore series around the world.  Michele & Simon Blore, sailing their J/111 #77 MOJITO has found herself in a tough division in Hong Kong's Nautica Typhoon Series 2013, a 9 race mix of windward leewards and islands races, competing in the top IRC group against Sam Chan's TP52, FreeFire; the GTS43 Elektra; two Mills 40 footers Ambush and (ex-Tiamat) Mandrake, and also the Ker 40 Signal 8. Also in the division are three A40's, two First 50's, a Marten 49, an MC38, the X41 Orient Xpress, a Sydney 38 and an all carbon Anteros 36. Here is the Blore's report:

"The top boats are all sailed by the core of Hong Kong's Commodore's Cup teams, plus the odd "Pro" as well, whereas Team MOJITO is still made up from the core of our J/92S team from 2008 to 2012, plus some new friends.

For Race 6 on Sunday, there were 21 IRC B boats on the sportily short start line, and undaunted by the size and speed of the kit all around her, Mojito judged it to perfection with a nose ahead on most of the fleet at the gun. In such a large fleet of bigger boats, getting out in front early was key, and quickly a lane opened up for a tack to port so we could work the right side upwind; a zone that seemed to be getting slightly better pressure all day.

J/111 sailing upwind off Hong Kong, ChinaThe fleet quickly extended with the much faster TP, the Marten, and the "fast 40's" (Signal 8, Elektra, Ambush and Mandrake) all pulling away, but MOJITO just being able to stay in touch. In the 10-13 kts of breeze, MOJITO was on her North 3Di no 2 headsail, and downwind we were changing gears from 145TWA, and tack down, to playing the tack in the puffs and increasing the TWA to 160-165. It helped having one of the crew dedicated to trimming the tack line, in much the same way as playing the pole on a symmetric boat. The high power to weight ratio of the J/111 again proved to be a factor, as slight increases in wind pressure were quickly converted to more speed and depth downwind, and we are still learning how best to maximize this.

On the second upwind, by playing a few shifts and by tweaking in-haulers and trim some more, we lost little ground on the fleet ahead as we continued to work the west side uphill and downhill.

Downwind the J/111 was at times matching the angles of the pole boats, and gaining depth on the Ker 40; and by the end of lap 2 we rounded just a minute or 2 behind the fast 40's, so we knew we were in the mix for a top 3 place. Of the similarly rated boats such as the Anteros and the A40's, we had already opened up a winning margin of a few hundred metres by that time.

On the final lap upwind our pace still seemed to be good against the 6 boats ahead of us (all of whom gave us time), as we continued to cross tacks with the faster McGonaghy MC38.

Another good downwind leg consolidated our race as we sailed an eastward shift out on the now favored starboard gybe, and we finished believing we had a good shot at a podium place, in what is a very competitive and closely matched fleet of the 6 or 7 leading boats. Back at prize-giving we were delighted to hear that we had won the race, beating the TP52 by only 5 seconds on corrected; but a win's a win, and our new J/111 put down another marker in Hong Kong!" Sailing Photo Credits- Guy Nowell/ RHKYC.   For more J/111 one-design offshore speedster sailing information

J/109 fleet starting off Chicago waterfront- Mac RaceJ/122 Five-Peats Slow Mac
J/Teams Dominate Top 20 Overall
(Chicago, IL) – The 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot, proved beyond any reasonable doubt to be the slowest Mac Race on record for the 301 boats and 2,472 crew participating. Nevertheless, making the most of the conditions and finishing in reasonably fast times on Monday were a cadre of well-sailed J/111s, J/109s, J/145s and J/122-- all leaders in their divisions and one winning overall!  Congratulations to Mitch Padnos and his team on the J/122 SUFFICIENT REASON for winning Section 4 and the Overall Mackinac Trophy, the second year in a row J/Teams have won the race overall (last year was the J/111 KASHMIR) and the fifth time in a row (when it sailed) this particular J/122 has won her section!

The weather forecast for the race was better than early forecasts indicated, with moderate southeasterly winds positioning most of the fleet in the middle of Lake Michigan Saturday night. While winds picked up Saturday for some time, Sunday proved much less promising. In fact, many boats reported the deterioration of onboard comfort, with the heat rising below deck and carnivorous flies arriving above deck for most of Sunday's and early Monday's routine of sailing through wind-holes while heading north.

J/105s starting off Chicago for Mac RaceFor most of the fleet, the strategy as outlined by the weather forecaster/ routers and even software like Expedition, indicated optimized routes that took a northerly course up the Illinois / Wisconsin shoreline up as far north as Sheboygan, WI-- that seemed to be the "play of the day" in ENE to ESE winds.  Then, in the dawn hours cutting across the lake to the Michigan shoreline in veering ESE to S winds to catch the localized sea breezes blowing onto the Michigan shoreline due to the massive thermal effect caused by giant mountains of hot sand dunes on the eastern shore of the lake would enable boats to continue to head north into the first major turning point at Pt Betsie.  Thereafter, it was "anything goes" in the Manitou Straits and the long stretch to Greys Reef 50nm away.

Race commentator Winn Soldani said this year’s race is similar to that of 2009, which also brought very slow wind conditions. "It is years like these that show us how hard the final miles can be. Several boats I saw or spoke to took hours - as many as 6, and perhaps a few even spent more - between the bridge and the finish (it's a leg of only 5nm)," Soldani said. "But for what was sort of an ‘ugly’ race, the ending could not have been prettier with the boats coming in under spinnaker, going fast under clear blue skies."

Race Chairman Lou Sandoval said the 105th Race to Mackinac goes down in the history books as a memorable race for all. "Each Mac holds memories for all contestants, and it speaks to the special nature of the race and is one of the reasons why sailors return year after year," Sandoval said. "This one particular Mac will be more memorable than most as the slowest ever recorded."

J/111s starting off Chicago- Mac RaceIn the end, a duel ensued between the top J/111s and the J/122 in the evening Saturday night and on into all of Sunday and Monday.  With all hell breaking loose midday Sunday with the southerly flow breaking down late in the afternoon, this group faced an unusual ENE breeze flowing offshore that swung into the southeast overnight, full of holes in the Manitou Straits and into Greys Reef.  By late morning on Monday the forecasted southerly flow swung in and the J/122's "play" to the right of rhumbline proved propitious as they sailed away from the wolf-pack of J/111s further west of rhumbline to win on corrected by over 3 hours and take the Chicago-Mackinac Trophy for overall division honors!

J/145 Vortices sailing off Chicago in Mac RaceFrom an overall perspective, J/Teams did quite well taking 12 of the top 20 spots in the prestigious 124 boat Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Division!  It was nearly a repeat of the 2012 Chicago-Mac Race results with J/Teams also taking more than 50% of the top 20 overall!  With the J/122 taking 1st overall, second was the J/109 REALT NA MARA sailed by the Tom & Joe Londrigan, 7th was the J/145  VORTICES sailed by Chris Saxton, 9th was the J/111 HOBGOBLIN sailed by Dick Hobbs, 10th was the J/145 MAIN STREET sailed by Bill Schanen, 11th was the J/111 NO SURPRISE sailed by multiple Mac Champion Dave Irish, 13th was Bill Smith's J/111 WOOTON, 14th was Henry Brauer's East Coast team from Marblehead/ Newport on the J/111 FLEETWING, 16th was the J/111 LUCKY DUBIE sailed by multiple Mac Champion Len Segal, 17th was recent short-handed race winner Tom & Caroll McIntosh on MISTY, 18th was the J/109 VANDA III sailed by Jim & Jack Toliver and 20th was the J/111 IMPULSE sailed by the trio of Dr George Miz, Mark Hatfield and Peter Dreher.

From a section perspective, the one-design classes again proved to have relentless pressure on all the teams to be vigilant, taking advantage of every puff and breeze line or veering breezes to gain leverage on their competitors.

J/111 crew Martha Parker at Mackinac Island finishThe J/111 class again repeated their stellar overall division performance as a result of their constant real-time one-design positioning versus one another; made especially more frenetic due to the extremely fast-reaching capabilities of J/111's using Code Zero's.  This year's winner, however, while no "newbies" to the actual Mac Race, were first year J/111 owners.  Dick Hobbs's team on HOBGOBLIN from Milwaukee, WI showed their fellow classmates what it takes to win a wild and woolly, hit the corners "run for the roses" to that lovely paradise that smells of horse manure, chocolate fudge and fragrant pine forests and ringed with crystal-clear azure blue waters.  Winning by only 15 minute over NO SURPRISE sailed by Dave Irish from Harbor Springs, MI, the "goblin gang" sailed smartly, making less mistakes than everyone else to take the crown for the J/111 class.  Bill Smith's WOOTON from Chicago had been winning for over half the race but the changing of the guard took place in the classic Manitou Passage "waltz"-- where everything changes as it can and will!  As a result, they took third in class.  Fourth was Mac "newbies" (or virgins) Henry Brauer and crew on FLEETWING from Marblehead, MA.  Finally, fifth was taken by Mac veteran and wily Mac goat Len Siegal on the renowned LUCKY DUBIE from Chicago.

The J/105s had the largest J/One-Design fleet with sixteen boats participating.  Familiar names managed to finish at the top of the heap after all the flies were cleared from the fogged up sunglasses.  Topping the fleet was the 2012 Bayview Mac winner, Mary Symond's PTERODACTYL from Grosse Point YC.  Top local Chicago boat was Mike Tuman's STRIKING in second followed by Clark Pellett's team on SEALARK in third, Mark Gurney's BUZZ in fourth and John Moore's HERE"S JOHNNY in fifth.

With multiple Mac class champions participating, the J/109 class proved yet again they have a strong fleet of sailors.  Leading the fleet home was REALT NA MARA (sailed by long-time International Star class champions Tom & Joe Londrigan), followed by VANDA III (Jim & Jack Toliver) in second, NORTHSTAR (David Gustman) in third, DRIVEN 2 (Jim Milliken from Traverse City, MI) in fourth and CERTAINLY (Don Meyer from Marco Island, FL) in fifth.

While not one-design, the Level 35 class was dominated by the J/35s, again!  Leading all them home this year was BOZOS CIRCUS (Bruce Metcalf), followed by BAD DOG (Larry Taunt) in second and Larry Schell's TOUCH OF GREY in fourth.

In Section 2, the J/145 VORTICES sailed by Chris Saxton took fourth overall and the other J/145 MAIN STREET sailed by Bill Schanen (family publisher of SALING Magazine fame) took sixth overall.

In Section 3, the SCIRROCO III (Bob Clairmont from Lake Forest, IL) finished sixth in class.

In Section 4, behind the overall winner- the J/122 SUFFICIENT REASON- was Matt Songer's J/120 PERSEVERANCE sailing a very strong race to be a contender in the class and take third overall.

Section 6 had an assortment of J/Teams from 30 to 35 feet. Sailing their hearts out was the J/110 LADY K skippered by Mike Stewart from Muskegon, MI to take first overall!  Third was J/33 RETRIEVER (Matt Beer from Wilmette, IL), followed in fourth by the J/92 CYCLONE (John Madey from Chicago, IL).

Finally, in Double-handed division the J/29 TFWB RELENTLESS sailed by the dynamic duo of George & Scott Petritz took second overall in their class in what to do be an awfully tough race on just two people managing all the sail changes required to get up the track fast.   Sailing photo credits- Miste Photography  For more Chicago Mackinac Race sailing results

J/70s sailing off NewportJ/Teams Love Bacardi Newport Regatta
(Newport, RI)- As has been the tradition for years, the SailNewport team led by Brad Read and a select group of PRO's provided excellent race management over the course of the two-day Bacardi Newport Regatta to ensure most classes had four good races.

As the largest fleet in the regatta, remarkable considering it's "the new kid on the block", the J/70s managed to put twenty-two boats on the line for a highly competitive and fun event. Perhaps most importantly, the fleet has demonstrated that newcomers to the fleet can be quite competitive against earlier season "veterans" and sail quite well.  Following on earlier season success, Joel Ronning's CATAPULT team from Lake Minnetonka, MN sailed well with a 1-7-7-1 series for 16 pts to just beat out Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE team that sported a 9-4-2-2 scoreline for 17 pts-- it all came down to who-beat-who in the last race.  Taking third was Bennet Greenwald with a 4-1-6-10 tally for 21 pts-- fresh off wins on the Pacific Coast at Cal Race Week and Long Beach Race Week.  Dave Franzel's SPRING sailed a solid series, capturing a consistent 6-8-5-4 for 23 pts for fourth and lying fifth was newcomers TOUCH 2 PLAY sailed by Martin Kullman with a 5-6-1-12 record for 24 pts (nearly pulling off an overall win in their first try were it not for the last race "bomber" race!).

For the sixteen J/24s, it was a double-whammy, a District 2 Championship World's Qualifier and US Adult Sailing Championship Qualifier. And, to no one's surprise, it was Tim Healy that ran the table with straight firsts on HELLY HANSEN to take the J/24 title.  Fresh from sailing over in Europe was Mike Ingham (world-traveler man!), taking the second spot with a 5-2-2-2 record for an easy second place.  Sailing yet another BANGOR PACKET was Tony Parker taking third.  Fourth was Steve Kirkpatrick on BUCKSHOT and fifth was Mike Marshall on PIPE DREAM.

Nine J/22s sailed gaining good practice for the upcoming J/22 Worlds sailing in Newport in October 2013. And, what a practice it was!  For THREE teams all ended up tied at 9 pts each for first place!  How often does that happen?  Never heard of it before in decades of sailing.  Surprising some of the teams was the excellent performance by Brad Julian and crew on JULIAN ASSOCIATES, winning with a 4-2-2-1 record based on having most 1sts and 2nds.  Second on the tie-break was Chris Doyle's JUG 4 1 with a 3-3-1-2 tally and third on the tie-break was Jim Bernash with a 2-1-3-3 record-- losing the tie-break because of last race placing!  How cool is that?!  CLose racing and fun for all.  Fourth was Dave Godin and fifth was FJ Ritt.  For more Bacardi Newport Sailing information

J/109 sailing Sydney offshore seriesJ/109 VAMOS Tops Sydney Offshore Series
(Sydney, Australia)- Like their counterparts in the recent Chicago-Mac Race in America, the J/109s Down Under continue to also throw a few curving boomerangs at their competitors in the offshore series off Sydney.

Tim Ryan, who rarely has time to race and complete a full race series due to work and other commitments, skippered his 10 year old J/109  VAMOS to a superb division win in Sydney Harbour's prestigious CYCA’s Offshore Winter Series.   Apparently, Ryan's J/109 is in as immaculate a condition as the day it was launched in 2002!

The diverse, large and many say most competitive division sailing in the series is Class D; with 23 boats racing comprised of Beneteau 35’s, 40.7, Matt 1010, Summit 35, OD 35, Northshore 369, & 5 x Sydney 36’s to name a few.

There was a variety of conditions ranging from 5 kt westerlies to a 50 kt gear-buster, causing racing to be abandoned for the day.  The boat went well across the spectrum, performing particularly well downwind under the enormous spinnaker designed by Ian Short.

Ryan commented on their recent sailing experiences, "In one race early in the series races I sailed around the wrong mark and had to retire so we had a lot to make up."

He goes on to say, "I am delighted with boat and how it’s performed against much newer designed craft available today proving just how good the J/109 is to start with.  We had a new crew ranging in age from a 17 year old rookie bowman, to some more experienced crew sailing in the back of the boat.  We even had 2 of our sons, Calvin and Ethan sailing during the series.  Another reason to celebrate our win.

With a score-line of 1-2-3-5-5-5, the closest boat finished 4 points behind VAMOS despite our self-inflicted retirement.   We had to sail well in the last race, as we were one point behind, and luckily sailed a near perfect race."  To learn more about the J/109 offshore cruiser-racer.

J/133 & J/35 Win Lake Ontario 300
(Port Credit, ONT, Canada)- The weekend of the "Great Lakes" major offshore races, the Chicago-Mac and LO300, were primarily characterized by the fact that a massive High pressure area was squashed over the entire Great Lakes, acting somewhat like the Atlantic and Pacific Highs that wobble around-- they generally produce little or no wind near the maximum area of pressure.  While the Mac Racers had their longest race on record, it may also be said that LO300 sailors shared a similar experience.

In some respects, the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge, the premier offshore race on Lake Ontario, provided even more challenging scenarios than their Mac counterparts as they circumnavigated Lake Ontario.  The Main Duck Island course of 300nm saw tops boats finishing just as some of the fleet in the shorter 190nm Scotch Bonnet course were finishing, too!

Nineteen J/Teams sailed the race but not all finished as the rate of attrition was nearly as high as it was for the Mac Race on Lake Michigan.  It was epic, slow going as well for the Lake Ontario sailors.

The IRC 1 again proved to be a dual between two J/Teams and two Farr teams.  Winning class was  John McLeod's J/133 HOT WATER and getting the short-end of the stick in fourth place was the J/111 SURVENANT (skippered by a Quebec quartet of Marcel Cote, P Bernier, C Boulet, N Cote and Y Dion).

In IRC 2 division the J/109s had a tough go of it.  Top of the 109 heap was Murray Gainer's LIVELY (a past LO 300 race winner) in fourth overall followed by Denys Jones's CARPE VENTUS in sixth  and Sheila Smith's PHOENIX in ninth.

Sailing fast in IRC 3 class was Stephen Trevitt's J/35 CRIME SCENE. As a past winner in class in the LO 300 it was clear they demonstrated their local knowledge and experience to secure more silverware with a well-deserved second overall.

In PHRF 1 it was Mike Pietz's J/35 SHORTHANDED that took it to their classmates and showed them how it's done in the light stuff, winning their class by a comfortable margin.

The Singlehanded class had Geoff Cornish's J/124 ROULEUR from Royal Canadian YC take fifth overall. For more Lake Ontario 300 sailing information

J/111 sailing Halifax RaceJ/Teams Top Three Classes In Halifax Race
(Marblehead, MA)- The 35th Marblehead to Halifax race started in light airs for the 80 boats that were sailing the race and not much else changed for the balance of the blast across the Bay of Fundy/ Gulf of Maine to Halifax, Nova Scotia-- except add more fog.  The numerous J offshore teams performed well in the challenging conditions in the ORR, IRC and PHRF divisions.

In IRC 2 class, the famous J/105 team sailing the J/44 KINCSEM, Joerg Esdorn and Duncan Hennes from New York YC and American YC, wished they had more wind or reaching.  Nevertheless, they managed to secure sixth in what was less than satisfactory conditions for J/44s.

The IRC 3 class saw Fred Allardyce's J/40 MISTY sailing a fantastic race to take third in her class.

Over half of PHRF 2 division were J/Teams and leading the way to the finish line was Jeff Eberle's J/130 CILISTA, winning by nearly two hours.  In third was sistership SAGA sailed by Kris Kristiansen followed by Glenn Gault's seasoned J/120 team on REBECCA.  They were followed by Mark Surrette's J/111 BLAST in sixth.

Five J's sailed PHRF 3 with a trio of sharp J/109 teams in the class, but it was a "classic J/35" that took home all the silverware! Ann Petley-Jones's J/35 HARRIER won her class by just 21 seconds corrected time!  In fifth was the first J/109, Paul Rafuse's WISC, and next was Gary Weisberg's HEAT WAVE.

Finally, the lone wolf in PHRF Cruising, Reggie Goodday's beautiful J/44 AKUBRA from Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, took top honors winning by an amazing 12 hours on corrected time!  For more Marblehead to Halifax Race sailing information


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

J/111 sailing Auckland, New Zealand* J/111 Smokes Kiwi Offshore Double!  While J/111's have been sailing successfully in Hong Kong and on Lake Michigan this past week, another J/111 in New Zealand has advanced their sailing program significantly.  Sailed by her new owner Andrew Reid, the J/111 DJANGO (ex-Stella) has been turning heads in Auckland and has had some great racing recently.  Here's the latest report from Andrew regards the Simrad Offshore double-handed series:

"With over 100 boats entered, the SSANZ B&G SIMRAD 60 series, sailed in NZ's awesome Hauraki Gulf, is hugely popular - and challenging. Ours was the first start of the day, with 18 boats entered. Conditions were light, so we unfurled the brand new Doyle Stratis Code Zero for the first time 15 seconds before the gun, and nailed the line at speed, in clear air. Wired, a 52 foot canter, soon sailed over us, along with Venture 2, an Open 50.

The course took us to the Eastern end of Waiheke Island, then up to Tiritiri Matangi, around Haystack, then past Rangitoto to the finish off Orakei wharf. We managed to pass Venture 2 soon after the start, when they dropped their kite into the water - and then, after a few sail changes (A1 to A2 and back again a number of times), passed Wired (pretty rare for our 36 footer) somewhere north of Waiheke. This was temporary, and they soon overhauled us.

Sailing into a hole was costly, with Overload, a well-sailed Elliot 9SS, passing inside us in good breeze. A choppy upwind leg kept us in the hunt, and we got past them again when both of us sailed into another hole - and we (with some luck, it must be said) picked up the new SW breeze first. This was champagne sailing under Code Zero - 70-90 degrees TWA, boat speed consistently higher than windspeed, hot coffee, and sunshine. We could see Omega, a Bakewell White 42, below us and going well, with only Wired and Venture 2 ahead.

The last part of the leg to Tiri was on the wind, with the light no1 looking good - we rounded the mark and once again unfurled the Code Zero - good speeds in 12-16 kts of breeze, a quick headsail change in anticipation of a building Souwester, a close encounter with both some dolphins and the Haystack (unlit and nicely obscured behind the Zero!), then on the wind again to Rangi light.

Most of the nav lights we could see were behind us, so the last cup of coffee was tasting pretty good. The anticipated and forecast breeze failed to materialise, so it was up with the Zero again, to finish in moonlit flat water, just 2 minutes ahead of Omega, doing 6.5 kts in 5.5 kts of wind.

So after 60 nms and 12 hours of racing, we had made more good calls than bad, and took out the Division 1 handicap victory, finishing 3rd on line. The boat performed beautifully, and is certainly quite easy to sail short-handed. And fast!"  For some more entertaining perspective on their sail, please see DJANGO's YouTube video here.

* 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.