Wednesday, August 14, 2013

J/Newsletter- August 14th, 2013

J/70 one-design speedster- sailing off Cowes, EnglandJ/70 & J/97 @ HISWA Show
(Amsterdam, Holland)- Be sure to mark your calendars for the upcoming HISWA In-the-water Boat show in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  The J/70 one-design speedster and the J/97 family cruiser-racer will be on display at J/Boats Netherlands docks from the 3rd to 8th of September!  To make an appointment for the show or a trial sail, please be sure to contact Angelique Verhoef at email-
For more HISWA Boat Show information

J/120 cruiser-racer sailboat- sailing offshoreIda Lewis Race Preview
(Newport, RI)- A growing favorite of the summer New England sailing schedule is the fun, overnight Ida Lewis Distance Race.  A relatively short race by offshore standards, it does provide its challenges to the sailors as the fleet criss-crosses Rhode Island Sound on one of the many courses chosen for a given breeze and current direction (course length ranges from 104nm to 177nm).  The longer courses take the fleet from Newport southwest to the Montauk Point sea-buoy, then east across the Sound leaving Block Island to port and round No Man's Land sea buoy off Martha's Vineyard island.  Thereafter many courses take the fleet north to Buzzard's Bay Tower then home to Newport. In its ninth edition, the event has already surpassed last year’s entry numbers, with 34 boats registered to date.

“I would really like to see this be the beginning of a much bigger thing,” said Race Chairman Simon Davidson (Newport, R.I.), adding that a number of competitors are traveling from outside Rhode Island to race, and currently ten states, as far west as Colorado, are represented. “In my opinion, competitors like this race because it is long enough that you can experience the overnight and offshore component but short enough that you can finish it in less than a weekend.”

There are a number of J/Teams sailing in this popular event that will be on the starting line on Friday, August 16th at 12 noon.  Sailing in IRC Class 1 will be four J/122s, including AUGUST WEST (Jamey Shachoy from Beverly YC), ORION (Paul Milo from New York YC), TARAHUMARA (Jack Gregg from Corinthian YC Philadephia) and TUMBLEWEED (George & Carole Shaw from Boston YC).  Sailing in PHRF Class 2 is the J/120 BRAVEHEART skippered by Bob Manchester from Barrington YC.  Participating in PHRF Cruising Spinnaker Class is the J/109 URSA sailed by Brooke Mastrorio from Lakeville, MA.  For more Ida Lewis Distance Race sailing information

J/70 RAF Spitfire sailing on Solent- off Cowes, EnglandJ/70 Stars at SAILFEST!
(Weymouth, England)- Fresh from her class racing debut AAM Cowes Week and the 2013 J-Cup, the J/70 Sportsboat will be making a star appearance at GJW Direct SailFest later this month. The team from Key Yachting Ltd (the UK dealer for the J/70) will be at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on the afternoon of Friday 23rd of August until Bank Holiday Monday 26th of August and will be offering trail sails in the J/70 for anyone who is keen to try this hot little sportsboat for themselves.

GJW Direct SailFest is a brand new summer sailing festival which combines coaching, fleet and handicap racing on the Olympic waters in Weymouth. Inspired by the Olympic Games, SailFest presents the opportunity to race on the same waters with support from Olympic classes coaches. There will also be events for spectators on shore at WPNSA, including live video feeds from the race-track, workshops, demonstrations and the opportunity to get out on the water for a Try A Boat session. Anyone who is interested in sailing (especially those who are new to the sport and who are keen to give it a try) are invited to attend. You can see the full schedule of activities at SailFest both on and off the water at

The J/70 is a 7 metre performance sportsboat. The first boat was built in 2012 and it has proved a phenomenal success with fleet growth both in the UK and around the world exceeding all expectations. It is an incredibly exciting boat to sail and has proved popular both with first time boat buyers and experiences racing sailors alike. It is fast and light, has lifting keel which makes the J/70 very easy to tow behind the family car and it planes in just 14 knots of breeze. Stable and manageable across the full range of wind-speeds irrespective of age or experience, the J/70 is the perfect family sportsboat and is an ideal option for those sailors who are considering the step up from dinghies to keelboats.

SailFest at WPNSA runs across the whole of the August Bank Holiday weekend and the J/70 will be available for visitors to the event to sail every day. If you would like to try the J/70 for yourself, irrespective of age or experience, Key Yachting and SailFest would be delighted to make the arrangements for you. Please just simply register your interest at  or alternatively, give Key Yachting a call on 02380 455669 or email-  For more information on the J/70 Sportsboat

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

August brings with it many memorable summer sailing events both in Europe and in the Americas.  One of the world's largest regattas happens to be the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Race Week that attracts thousands of sailors and thousands of spectators along the fabled shores of Cowes on the Isle of Wight.  This year, a record five J one-design classes participated- J/70, J/80, J/105, J/109 and J/111- plus the usual handful of IRC handicap classes.  In these "odd years", the famous RORC Rolex Fastnet Race takes places starting Sunday after the end of Cowes Week.  With a record fleet of 300+ boats sailing off the Royal Yacht Squadron's starting line, it was a sight to behold.  Many J/Teams sailed well and in the mix were a J/122, J/120, J/109 and J/111.

Across the pond headed West, the J/70s held their inaugural J/70 Great Lakes Championship in Buffalo, New York, near that famous Niagara Falls just to the north of the sailing area.  Over on Lake Ontario, the J/27s continue to have fun with their classic PHRF boats, sailing one-design in the J/27 North Americans in Oakville, Ontario, Canada hosted by Oakville Yacht Squadron.  Also in the Great Lakes were the J/109 North American Championships hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club on Lake Michigan, off the stunning Chicago city waterfront.  The Chicago YC also hosted the third major summer event on the sailing/ social calendar- the Verve Cup Offshore Regatta that included one-design racing for J/111s and J/105s as well as PHRF handicap racing for J/Teams.

Finally, we heard about a nice story regarding the J/145 VORTICES summer of sailing the Great Lakes and competing for perhaps one of the most difficult overall offshore championship circuit trophies-- the Engelhart Trophy (hint- must sail on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to win it!).

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:

Aug 14-18- J/111 North Americans- Chicago YC- Chicago, IL
Aug 21-24- J/Cup Regatta- Royal Western YC- Plymouth, England
Aug 22-30- J/24 World Championships- 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
Sep 27-29- J/Fest- San Diego YC- San Diego, CA
Oct 1-5- J/22 World Championships- Newport, RI

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

J/80 one-design- sailing Cowes WeekJ/Teams Love Champagne Sailing At Cowes Race Week!
Chris Taylor's J/80 Sweeps "Under 25", "Youngest Skipper" & J/80 Class Awards!
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- As Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2013 drew to a close on Saturday evening, organisers Cowes Week Limited (CWL) reflected on another highly successful regatta which saw an increase in overall entry and visitor numbers, plus online interaction figures which already surpass the totals seen for the whole of 2012.

With the exception of a forced lay-day on Tuesday 6 August, the conditions provided some champagne sailing throughout the Week and at the overall prize-giving on Saturday evening, there were many happy faces. Stuart Quarrie, CEO of Cowes Week Limited commented: “It’s been a fantastic, very rewarding week. The weather Gods have been smiling on us and it’s a testament to the huge efforts of our entire team that this year’s regatta has been so successful”.

J/80 finishing off Royal Yacht Squadron's famous Cowes finish lineMartin Gilbert, CEO of title sponsor, Aberdeen Asset Management, added: “There was a terrific buzz around this year’s event and there was a tremendously exciting atmosphere. Our guests all had a great time and it felt like the event achieved even more positive press coverage than in previous years. We’re all tired but happy after the week, it couldn’t have gone any better.”

The number of crews participating in the Aberdeen Asset Management Under 25 Trophy grew significantly following the introduction of the youth initiative by Aberdeen in 2012 and over twenty boats raced for the Trophy this year. The crew of Under 25 year-olds racing the J/80 J.A.T claimed glory at the end of the Week and were second in the Young Skipper's Trophy-- plus skipper Chris Taylor also won the J/80 series!

Five J One-Design classes participated in this year's Cowes Race Week (J/70, J/80, J/105, J/109, J/111), a record number of fleets for any sailboat brand by a significant margin and in six of the nine IRC handicap racing and cruising classes, J/Teams placed several teams in the top ten plus winning two of them.

J/109s sailing on Solent during Cowes WeekWith widely varying starting times that produce somewhat juggled results from an overall fleet standpoint (e.g. different winds and much, much different current conditions), several J Teams sailed well enough to place in the top five in IRC Black Group Overall!  Taking 2nd was Charles Ivill's J/97 ETB TYRES JIGGERY POKERY sailing in IRC 6 class and lying in 4th overall was Jonathan Calascione and Jonnie Goodwin's J/109 HARLEQUIN sailing in the J/109 class.  Scores for this are somewhat subjective as it's based on actual race scores plus a "fleet factor" thrown in for how large & competitive your fleet was relative to others.

J/109 Aberdeen Asset Management sailing Cowes Race WeekThe IRC classes saw good performances posted by a number of J's.  Starting with IRC 3 class, taking 6th in class was Yves Grosjean's French team sailing their J/133 JIVARO-- using the regatta as practice and a "warm-up" for the impending RORC Rolex Fastnet Race.  In a somewhat similar scenario were the top two J teams in IRC 4 class-- with both sailing Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race.  Taking 3rd was the J/120 RHAPSODIE V sailed by Jean Jacques Godet and finishing 6th was the J/35 BENGAL MAGIC skippered by James Chalmers (the recent IRC UK Nationals Champion).

In IRC 5 class, taking 6th was J/97 INDULJENCE (Nick & Adam Munday), in 7th was the J/105 KING LOUIE (Fiona & Malcolm Thorpe) and 9th was the J/105 JIN & TONIC (Charles Nicholson and Neil McGrigor).

IRC 6 class saw an awesome performance by Charles Ivill's J/97 ETB TYRES JIGGERY POKERY, handily taking first in class and 2nd overall in Black Fleet.  Not far off the pace in 4th was the J/92 J'RONIMO skippered by David Greenhalgh.

The IRC 7 class saw a "classic J/24" take on all the newcomers in the field and in the end, William Lack's team sailed VINYL SOLUTIONS to a respectable 5th in class.

Not to be outdone by their race-oriented colleagues, the enormous Cruiser Division A saw long-time J/122 owner- Peter Bainbridge- sail SKY HUNTER II to yet another Cowes Week class win-- adding a bit more silverware to their already overloaded "pickle dish" collection!

J/70 one-designs sailing upwind at Cowes Race WeekIn the world of one-design sailing, the J/70s sailed a novel "short series" from Saturday to Tuesday, sailing two races per day, then for those who stayed for the duration of the week, an overall J/70 series winner was declared as well.  In the nine boat J/70 class, it was TEAM RAF SPITFIRE led by Wing Commander Simon Ling that took the overall series trophy.  Following them was JUGADOR skippered by Jack Davies in second and in third was  WILSON COVERS sailed by Ian Wilson.  The balance of the top five was NORTH SAILS (Ruairidh Scott) and DJANGO (Malcolm Jaques), 4th & 5th respectively.

J/80 one-designs sailing off CowesThe J/80 class had a wonderful turnout of sixteen boats, one of their best fleet showings in Cowes Race Week for some time.  Not just winning the Young Skippers and Under 25s Award, but also the J/80 series award was Chris Taylor on J.A.T.-- congratulations, good show young chaps! Most remarkably, they won in grand style by winning four of six races! Just behind them in second place counting finishes of four 2nds and a 1st was DOOLALLI sailed by Colin Simonds and Family.  Third was Jamie Diamond's RASCAL, fourth was SEAFIRE (Ben Richards & Andrew Dallas) and fifth was JUICY (Donald Suter).

The J/80 Modified class (the fleet of J/80s used by the Royal Yacht Squadron and Royal Thames YC members) had fun sailing all over the Solent.  Taking the top honors was the yacht DARWIN PROPERTY sailed by Charlie Esse with 11 pts net.  Second was the yacht ROYAL JUAN skippered by Christopher Hill with 17 pts and in third was the yacht ROYAL 3 helmed by Christopher Daniel with 19 pts net.

With seven boats, the J/105s enjoyed some spirited racing and a past class winner again rose to the top to take class honors.  Winning three of the six races was Fiona & Malcolm Thorpe's beautiful navy blue KING LOUIE, netting 10 pts in the end to win class.  Never far off the pace and well within striking distance to the end was Charles Nicholson and Neil McGrigor's JIN & TONIC, taking second overall with 13 pts.  Were it not for bungling the last race, Chris Jones's JOURNEYMAKER 5 might have snagged the silver instead of the bronze in class.  Finally, taking fourth was JACANA (Paul Wood) and fifth was JOS OF HAMBLE sailed by the honourable Professor Roger Williams.

J/109 Aberdeen Asset Management- sailing Cowes Race WeekThe J/109s managed to field by far the largest offshore keelboat class for Cowes Race Week, with twenty-five boats blasting off the Royal Yacht Squadron starting line each day.  To say the start was somewhat important with 25 race-horses raring to go would be a mild understatement!  Showing them all how it's done was the dynamic duo of Jonathan Calascione and Jonnie Goodwin, sailing the living daylights out of their steed- HARLEQUIN- to take four 1sts in six races (7 net pts!), winning the regatta by a bit of a country furlong!  Sailing as consistently but not able to crack HARLEQUIN's dominating performance was Ross Walker's JUNO, posting all seconds and thirds to take the silver with 11 pts net.  Third to eight positions was quite the horse race with the final standings determined by the last two races with less than 12 pts separating all five boats; creating enormous anxiety for the tacticians as just about each team posted scores that looked like the child's game of "Chutes & Ladders".  Hanging on for third was Tor Mclaren's INSPARA with 26 pts, followed in fourth by JOULE (Arjen van Leeuwen) from the Netherlands with 29 pts and in fifth was JET sailed by the duet of Christopher Sharples & Richard Acland with 30 pts.

Racing in the nine boat J/111 was extremely tight for most of the series with just twelve points separating the top five in the end.  Some boats started strong but had a few niggles to deal with in their scores, others started slow and closed with a flourish of good races.  Sailing the most consistently and avoiding any enormous pitfalls was James Arnell's JEEZ LOUISE, posting a 1-2-3-1-1-4 tally for 8 pts net to take class honors.  Sailing quite fast but dealing with a few niggles was Duncan McDonald's SHMOKIN JOE, bobbing and weaving to a 2-1-5-3-4-1 record for 11 pts net to snare second overall.  Starting out quite slowly, but clearly finding a second or third gear for the last four races was TOE IN THE WATER led by Capt Lloyd Hamilton MBE. TOE's 8-7-4-2-2-2 scoreline for 17 pts net was just enough for them to win the tie-breaker for third overall.  Losing the tie-break was past champion J-DREAM sailed by David & Kirsty Apthorp, posting a 4-4-2-4-3-5 tally for 17 pts net.  Also starting fast but having a tough go of it for the last three races was Tony Mack's MCFLY, having to settle for fifth with a 3-3-1-10-7-6 record for 20 pts net.  Sailing photo credits- Rick Tomlinson    For more Cowes Week sailing information

J/70s sailing Great Lakes Champs at Buffalo, New YorkTOUCH2PLAY Takes J/70 Great Lakes Championships
(Buffalo, NY)- The inaugural J/70 Great Lakes Championship was held over the August 10-11 weekend, hosted by the Buffalo Yacht Club and sponsored by BMW.  Twenty six boats attended, from as far away as California, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, LI Sound and Indiana, to go along with entries from PA, Ohio and NY.  There were two Canadian boats as well.

Friday afternoon before the regatta Jud Smith gave a chalk talk on the clubhouse deck followed by some on-water practice time.  Jud had some very good pointers for those in attendance.  Saturday was forecast to be light but we were treated to a much better than advertised 9-13 knots of sparkling clear sailing conditions.  Lake Erie is known for its chop and we had plenty of that to go along with the sea-breeze so the sailing was both exhilarating and challenging.  Given the discouraging forecast for Sunday (next to no wind) PRO David Searle and his team gave us five races.  Everyone returned to the club tired but happy and enjoyed a nice party and filling buffet dinner.

J/70 sailed by Dave Ullman from Ullman SailsWith five races sailed the throwout kicked in and three teams were atop the leaderboard after the first day of racing, headed by Dave Ullman, Marty Kullman, and the team of Gary Tisdale and Adam Burns.  Dave Ullman sailed beautifully to card three first places but had to take his throwout when their headstay came loose before the start of race two (lesson learned-- pin your turnbuckle!).  Kudos go to the guys on CloudSourced from Rocky River, Ohio for salvaging a 17 in race one.  Their spinnaker halyard came loose on the first hoist of the day, yet they managed to get to the top of the mast and recover it under way.

Sunday morning dawned as feared, sunny and nice but no wind.  The fleet bobbed around as the breeze teased us with puffs here and there but wouldn't build to the steady 5 knot class minimum.  Many of the boats began to drift off closer to the harbor to beat the race to the hoist.  PRO Searle came on the radio and told us to give it another half hour and we were very glad that he did, as the breeze filled enough for one final challenging but fair race.  It was light and shifty but we never stopped moving and places were changing all over.  The duel for first between Ullman and Kullman was intense and in the end Marty pushed Dave back enough to secure the win for himself.  While that was going on Jud Smith got away to a big lead and Tisdale/Burns ended up second for the race and the regatta by carding three straight seconds in the final three races.  After the smoke cleared, Ullman took third followed by Ron Copfer in fourth just two points back and in fifth was Jud Smith with 26 pts.  The racing was excellent with 6-10 places separated by only 5 points.

Top women's team skipper was Jen Wulff sailing with her husband Ray on JOINT CUSTODY, taking 6th overall. The top Canadian team was REX skippered by Scott Weakley in 8th. For some absolutely awesome photos of J/70s sailing fast all weekend long, check out Tim Wilkes photo galleries.  Sailing Photo Credits- Tim    For more J/70 Great Lakes Championship sailing information

J/120 Rhapsodie V winning class in Fastnet RaceJ/120 Wins Fastnet Class!
J-Doublehanders a Tour'd'Force
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)-  The international attraction of the Fastnet Race is unquestionable. The race organizers, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and in particular its CEO, Eddie Warden Owen (who has 7 races under his belt and is a pedigreed J/24 European & United Kingdom Champion) are quick to recognize the status the race has achieved and its widespread popularity. “It’s the people’s Everest of the ocean,” says Warden Owen. “It’s a tough challenge but one people enjoy.” A view plainly echoed by the some 3,000 sailors drawn to the contest every two years and the intrepid yachtsmen who have gone before.

Over 20 different nations from four continents sailed this years Fastnet. Around 40% of fleet and half the sailors are non-British.  From the United States to Russia, the United Arab Emirates to Australia, the fleet reflects the continued international reach of the sport of offshore yacht racing pitting together the finest professional sailors and passionate Corinthians. From young Omani female sailor Raiya al Habsi, taking on the event for the first time, to 83-year old Dutchman Piet Vroon making the nautical pilgrimage to the Fastnet rock for a 25th time, the allure is irresistible.

The majority of the record-breaking 336 race starters share two common goals: the first naturally enough is to finish this 611-nautical mile test of skill and character. The second is to win the event overall and to claim the coveted Rolex Fastnet Challenge Cup and Rolex timepiece.  Remarkably, with just a few hours left to go in this year's race, the French J/120 RHAPSODIE V sailed by Jean Jacques Godet was leading IRC Overall!

For Godet, competing in this Rolex Fastnet Race was almost psychotherapy sailing his J/120. "The last time I did the Fastnet was in 1979 and I have very bad memories of that; I wanted to break that. Now I've done it..."   While the 1979 race was his last Fastnet Race, his first was in 1971, and he sailed three races as part of the Admiral's Cup onboard Ron Amey's famous NOREYMA.

Godet, who comes from a dynasty of French Cognac makers, acquired his J/120 in the last two years. He sails out of La Rochelle with a crew that includes his two sons Jean-Édouard and Maxime, they work the bow on Rhapsodie V, while Vendée Globe sailor Yannick Bestaven calls tactics.

Aside from his sombre memories, Godet was otherwise thrilled by the results, which earlier this morning had Rhapsodie V as the overall IRC leader. "It was very interesting - a great race. There were a few options, because the wind dropped a little bit when the ridge came in and we played the north side of the course where the wind was a little stronger, because our boat isn't fast when the wind is below 8 knots."

Rounding the Fastnet Rock, the wind dropped and the fog descended. "We passed the Rock during the night," said Godet. "I think we only saw the lighthouse 500m before we arrived at it. It is still a magical place."  And to think for a moment, Godet nearly had his hands on the Rolex Fastnet Race's top prize-- the Fastnet Challenge Cup and a Rolex watch/ chronometer for the first of the 302 boats winning under the IRC Rating rule.

After their extraordinary performance, here's how other J teams faired in the race.  For starters, the "big boat" IRC 1B Class saw the J/133 SPIRIT OF JACANA (Alan, Bruce & James Douglas from Ireland) take 6th overall and the French team on the J/133 JIVARO sailed by Yves Grosjean managed to finish 10th.

In IRC 2A Class, the winning French team from 2011 sailing J/122 NUTMEG IV, with skipper Francois Lognone, again sailed a great race to capture a 4th place.  Behind them in 9th were the Netherlands J/122 JUNIQUE sailed by double-handers Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker.  And, in 10th was the French J/122 LORELEI sailed by Alain Catherineau.  After them were a trio of J/111s from 13th to 15th: OJE (Andrew Hill), BRITISH SOLDIER (Henry Foster) and XCENTRIC RIPPER (John van der Starre & Robin Verhoef- who also sailed doublehanded).

At the top of IRC 3A CLASS was the J/120 RHAPSODIE V sailed by Frenchman Jean Jacques Godet with a truly remarkable performance!

The IRC 3B Class was swamped with J/109s and J/105s, in fact 8 of top 10 and 18 of top 25 were J/Teams!  Of the top ten, there were eight J/109s that collected some silverware and some serious "mojo".  In second was JE VANTE (Todd Wells), third was JARHEAD (Greg Nasmyth), fourth JANGADA TOO (Richard Palmer), sixth JIBE (Robin Taunt), seventh JOLLY JACK TAR (Adrian Wheal), eighth JEDI (Andrew Sarratt), ninth
JUMBUCK (John Allison) and tenth MOJITO (Peter Dunlop & Stephen Tudor).

In IRC 4A the J/35 RAGAZZA (Gabriel & De Bie & Malchair from Belgium) managed to hang in there and get a respectable seventh overall in an enormous class of boats.

The double-handed world saw a record forty-five entrants and, again, the J/Class sailed remarkably well considering the difficult conditions.  A former J/105 stablemate (the French father/son Poison team) won the entire Fastnet Race overall (kudos to them!).  Not far off the pace behind them were the third place Netherlands team on the J/122 JUNIQUE (Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker), the fourth place J/109 JANGADA TOO (Richard Palmer) the eighth place J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER (John van der Starre & Robin Verhoef) and the ninth place J/122 J-BELLINO (Rob Craigie).  As a fleet, the J/Teams did great, capturing nearly 50% of the top prizes in the 45 boat strong doublehanded fleet!  Sailing photo credits- Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo.  For more Rolex Fastnet Race sailing information

J/109 STORM- RIck Lyall winning in J/109 classJ/109 STORM- "Veni Vidi Vici"
How The J/109 North Americans Were Won
(Chicago, IL)- Hosted by Chicago Yacht Club and held concurrently with the Verve Cup Offshore Regatta was this year's J/109 North American Championship.  As was forecast, the J/109 sailors were treated to great on-shore entertainment and activities and, most importantly, were in good hands with the Chicago YC Race Management team for the four-day regatta.

Despite the sketchy forecast for winds over the four day period from 8th to 11th of August, the RC team managed to squeeze in nine good races for a closely fought championship series-- especially for the top two boats.

As was anticipated, the ten boat fleet had their hands full taking on long-distance traveler Rick Lyall on STORM-- a team from Wilton, CT (Long Island Sound) that are past North American Champions, Block Island Race Week champions, New York YC regatta champions and one of the most highly decorated J/109s in recent history.  The other top visiting team the fleet had to contend with was Albrecht Goethe's HAMBURG from Seabrook, TX (Galveston Bay), also a champion team from the Gulf of Mexico/ Houston area.  After the dust cleared, it was quite apparent these two teams were the dueling for the lead until the bitter end- in nine races they accounted for eight first place finishes!

Lyall's STORM finished the series with three 1sts and six 2nds for 15 pts to be crowned J/109 North American Champion again!  Sailing like madmen, Goethe's HAMBURG team from Texas took five 1sts, two 3rds and two 4ths for 19 pts-- a scoreline that would win most any major regatta but was just four pts shy of making it all come true.  In short, both boats demonstrated that tremendous focus and amazing consistency was what it took to be leaders in this year's event.

While the top two teams enjoyed a donnybrook of a battle, the outcome for the balance of the top five was anything but clear until the last day's two races.  David Gustman's NORTHSTAR team from Chicago was the only other race winner, in fact starting out strongly to be in contention for the lead just two points back after four races.  However, the "wheels fell of the shopping trolley" and they barely managed to post top five scores in the last five races to hang onto a podium finish, accumulating a scoreline of 2-1-3-3-7-2-5-6-6 for 35 pts to take third overall.  Recent Sailing World Chicago NOOD regatta winner, Kevin Saedi on MOMENTUS took fourth with 41 pts, narrowly beating out fifth place finished Irv Kerbel on KIII with 42 pts.   Sailing photo credits- Barry Lively   For more J/109 North Americans sailing information

J/111 Fleetwing Team- winning Verve Cup TrophyJ/111 FLEETWING Tops Verve Cup Offshore One-Designs
SEALARK Leads J/105s & J/35 BOZO's CIRCUS Takes ORR
(Chicago, IL)- Sponsored this year by AUDI Chicago and SLAM Weather Gear and hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club, the Verve Cup Offshore regatta took place from August 9th to 11th along the magnificent Chicago city front on the azure blue waters of Lake Michigan.

J/111 Fleetwing- sponsored by Atlantis Weathergear- sailing upwindDespite enormous challenges from the light air weather forecast for the entire weekend, the Chicago YC Race Management team managed to get in a full slate of races all three days on both circles- Course A to the north and Course B to the south.  Friday dawned sunny, clear but with little wind.  After a slow start compounded by a 3 hour postponement the RC ran three races in a light 5-9 kts southeast sea-breeze along the Chicago shoreline.  The prognostications for wind on Saturday were no better, with light northeaster of 5-9 kts filling in after another 2.5 hour postponement, enough for two more races.  Sunday again dawned with a gorgeous day and a "harbor hurricane" of 3-5 kts filling in from the northeast.  That breeze never filled out from the harbor, with yet another 2 hour postponement before the wind built as a sea-breeze from the ESE at 5-8 kts for two more races.

J/111 sailing team- LUCKY DUBIE- sailed by Len SiegalOn Course A were the J/111s and J/109s (whom were also conducting their North Americans-- see above).  The nine J/111s that were sailing had most teams using the event as a "practice regatta" for their upcoming J/111 North Americans being held this coming week in Chicago.  Making the most of that opportunity was Henry Brauer's team on FLEETWING from Marblehead, MA, managing to avoid the big roller-coaster rides some other teams were experiencing from race to race to take the Verve Cup J/111 class with a 1-2-2-6-1-6-1 scoreline for 19 pts.  Starting slowly but ultimately learning the ropes around the course was Marty Roesch's team from Annapolis, MD, posting a 3-8-3-1-2-2-4 for 23 pts and securing the second spot on the podium.  Third was local hero Len Siegal from Chicago sailing yet another famous LUCKY DUBIE, managing a relatively consistent 5-6-1-3-4-3-6 for 28 pts.  The "Lucky Dubsters" just nipped out fellow rivals Paul Stahlberg from Milwaukee, WI sailing MENTAL into fourth with 29 pts.  Another Chicago boat took fifth, Bill Smith's WOOTON with a 34 pts total.

Sailing Course B were the J/105s and ORR Division 3.  Their sailing conditions were similar to Course A's, just being further south offshore towards Gary, Indiana (famous for its monstrous US Steel smokestacks-- a.k.a. wind telltales!).  Taking top honors in the nine boat J/105 class was SEALARK sailed by Clark Pellet, amassing a very consistent 3-4-2-2-4-2-1 tally for 18 pts.  They were followed by past winners Tom & Gyt Petkus on VYTIS, posting a 1-2-5-3-1-3-7 score for 22 pts.  Third was HERE'S JOHNNY skippered by John Moore with a roller-coaster record of 9-1-6-1-6-1-2 for a total of 26 pts.  Fourth was VALHALLA (Mike & Kathie Newman) with 35 pts and fifth was the notorious THE ASYLUM sailed by Jon Weglarz with 36 pts.

The offshore ORR Division 3 sailed a single long-distance race on Saturday, with the RC sending them all over the map to purgatory and back (there was not much wind in the beginning to get them rolling).  Taking top honors in ORR 3 was the J/35 BOZO'S CIRCUS skippered by Bruce Metcalf.  They were followed by the J/30 PLANXTY (Kate & Dennis Bartley) in third and the other J/35 TOUCH OF GREY helmed by Larry Schell in fifth.

ORR Offshore 1 class the J/120 JAHAZI sailed by Frank Giampoli was 2nd.  And, in ORR Offshore Racing 2 class, the J/105 OCH! sailed by Brendon Docherty was third.  Finally, in ORR Offshore Racing 3, the J/92 CYCLONE sailed by John Madey was third in their class, too!    Sailing photo credits- Barry Lively   For more Verve Cup Offshore Regatta sailing information

J/27s sailing downwind on beautiful Lake OntarioFridley Crowned J/27 North American Champion
(Oakville, Ontario)- Hosted by the Oakville Yacht Squadron from August 9th to 13th, the classic J/27s had a fantastic turnout of sixteen boats to sail their 2013 J/27 North American Championship. First introduced in the mid-1980s, the J/27 enjoyed unprecedented success racing as a MORC (Midget Ocean Racing Championship) handicap rated boat.  Later, in some pockets of the USA and Canada, some one-design fleet racing took place.  However, in the past dozen years, new fleets have sprung up with J/27s racing more actively and with boats priced in the $15,000 to $30,000 range fully equipped and ready to sail, it's not surprising that many J aficionados have snapped them up and enjoy one of the more spirited J's to sail in the line-up-- plus it's a great PHRF handicap "beer-can" racing boat for those who enjoy the more casual side of racing in their summers.

After sailing in nearly fantastic conditions on Lake Ontario for four days, the Oakville Yacht Squadron's PRO's managed to knock-off nine races, so the teams could count seven and toss two!  That made for some interesting scenarios in the overall scheme of things for the final standings, if not the strategies associated with how you sail with two toss races.

J/27 sailing upwind with women crewCounting three 1sts and two 2nds in his scoreline, Erik Fridley's team managed to be crowned the 2013 J/27 North American Champion with just 14 pts net in seven races counted (having tossed an 11-6).  The story behind him in the overall standings was a bit more complex. Benefitting enormously from the double toss was Doug Folsetter's team, also having counted three 1sts and two 2nds, but with two DSQ's on tap, it was nice to heave them out the window and have 17 pts net to grab second place overall.  Also benefitting tremendously from a similar scenario was Andre Beese's team.  With a first, three 2nds and 3rd in their tally, they could also toss a DSQ and 14th to snag third overall with just 22 pts net.

Getting the short end of the stick for consistent, heads-up sailing all regatta long was Mike Seitz's team.  Sailing a very steady regatta their toss races of a 15-9 enabled them to grab fourth overall with a 27 pts net score (of note their gross score would've put them in at least third if not second if based on total points).  Fifth was Dan Arntzen's team with 35 pts net.

As an illustration of the closeness of the racing, as well as how much of a roller-coaster ride all the teams were riding, the top nine teams in a fleet of sixteen all posted at least one or more scores in the top three over the course of the nine races!   Sailing photo credits- J/27 Sailors.   For more J/27 North Americans sailing information


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

J/145 Vortices- offshore cruiser-racer sailboat- sailing fast offshore*  J/145 Wins Englehart Trophy!  It’s been a very busy but fun summer for Chris Saxton of Plymouth, whose hobby is competitive sailboat racing. Winning helped make it so. Saxton and his J/145 VORTICES recently captured the Barthel Trophy as the overall points winner in the Tri-Lakes Challenge, involving the three major races on the Great Lakes.  Their victory in the Trans Superior Sailboat Race Aug. 3-7 clinched first place for Saxton and the 10-man crew.  The race is the longest on the Great Lakes, covering 330 nautical miles from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, to the western end of Lake Superior at Duluth, Minn.

“It was our first time in that race, on that lake,” Saxton said, adding a lot of people don’t enter the race. “It’s colder sailing. It certainly can be rougher. A lot of people just don’t want to be out on Lake Superior.  It was cold. We probably looked like a cross between sailors and snowmobilers. We had hats on on and layers of clothing. You have to try to stay warm, because you spend the majority of time out in the elements. We take it pretty seriously.”

Vortices also finished second in its class (Shore Course, PHRF D Class) in the July 20-22 Port Huron to Mackinac Island race, and it was previously fourth in class in the Chicago to Mackinac race.

“We did both Macks and the Trans Superior, and we had a nice finish in every race,” Saxton said. “It was a really nice season for us. It was a good year on the water.  After you’ve done two or three of those races, sooner or later, you do have to go to work.”

Saxton, who owns his own business, estimates the boat traveled 2,100 miles for the three events, nearly half of which involved moving the boat into position for the races.

He and Todd Riley, a member of the Vortices crew who is more like a co-captain, according to Saxton, won a double-handed race from Port Huron to Rogers City, and VORTICES also placed second this summer in a race on Lake Erie.

“It’s a great thing to have these Great Lakes, and it’s a real privilege to be able to sail up them and enjoy what Michigan has to offer that you don’t get anywhere else,” Saxton said. “It’s just beautiful.  It was unusually cold on Lake Superior. The water temperature was 45 to 51, maybe a little warmer. You can have a pretty warm day on land and, if you’re out on the water in the middle of the lake, it’s not going to be much warmer than the water temperature.”

To win the three-lake, overall title, it used to be boats had to sail the long course around Cove Island in the Port Huron to Mackinac race, Saxton said.  After much discussion about that in the sailing community, it was changed. Many other boats opted for the Shore Course this year, so Saxton and his team decided that was where they needed to be, too.

“The combined score on the three races is awarded against the overall,” he said. “We felt we needed to do the Shore Course to be in the running for the best score in all three.”

Vortices was the first to finish in the PHRF D Class at 5:05 p.m. July 21 after nearly 27 hours and 16 minutes on Lake Huron, but it was overtaken based on corrected time by the Karma Police, which finished at 6:18 p.m.

“We led them until the last 15 miles,” Saxton said. “That boat on that point of sail is extremely fast, and we just couldn’t hold them off. That’s an example where we were in their air and they were able to trump us there.  In the first part of the race, we were faster and had more water line. We were upwind and it was rougher, so we put a fair amount of time on them. But they had their conditions from Alpena in.  We were still in first for probably half that distance, but they were eating away at that pretty fast. They averaged 2-3 knots faster for that whole stretch. That’s a smaller boat but very fast off the wind.”

In sailboat racing, especially on the Great Lakes where the winds might shift direction and speed frequently, a lot can change in a hurry, according to Saxton. Furthermore, the handicap system is the great equalizer, he added.  Saxton’s boats have caught up and overtaken others just as the Karma Police did. That was the case on Lake Superior when the Vortices passed several bigger boats in the right wind conditions.

“It’s not one race; it’s multiple races,” he said. “All of a sudden, the air fills in behind you and everybody comes up to you. The fleet can get compressed in sailboat racing.  It’s part luck and part skill because, in the end, Mother Nature can trump all that. That’s just the reality of it.”

In the Chicago to Mackinac race, “We were 12 miles ahead of a boat much like us. We sat in (still) air for an hour and a half, and they sailed right up to us. You can park somewhere and everybody catches up. You lose the handicap and are in tough shape.”

Saxton, 54, had been part of racing crews from the time he “was a kid,” but he got serious about racing his own boat in 2004 and bought the Vortices in 2010.

He’s also taken the boat out East to compete in the Newport (R.I.) Bermuda Race on the Atlantic Ocean. VORTICES was third in its class last year. Saxton plans to go back in 2014 instead of doing the Port Huron to Mackinac.

“Typically, all sailors have it on their bucket lists,” he said, adding the ocean weather systems are more consistent.  “On the Great Lakes, if you’re not in a strong system, every piece of real estate, shoreline, daytime and night-time heating and cooling all provide their own type of circumstance. It’s much harder racing when it comes to staying fast and getting up the lake.  In the ocean, the wind blows a lot more consistently and you can plan around it. Whereas, on the Great Lakes, there’s so much influence over the course. Between that and the handicap system, you have boats winning races that are not particularly rocket fast.”

Saxton added the weather for all three of the races on the Great Lakes was quite reasonable, however. The winds ranged from five to 20 knots, which constitutes pretty good sailing, he said.  “We had a fair amount of racing upwind, which takes a little longer and is a little rougher, but I can’t say any of the conditions were bad,” Saxton said. “They were pretty good sailing days and there were no big thunderstorms. Those things can cause some grief.  Anytime you’re sailing in the lakes and you’re offshore, it requires you paying attention. I don’t think of it as being hazardous, but paying attention, needing the right safety equipment and being out there with the right crew.”

VORTICES has a good crew, led by Riley, who has sailed regularly with Saxton for eight years. The crew has a combined Bayview Mackinac experience of approximately 150 races.  “Typically, watches are three hours off and six hours on,” Saxton said. “Some guys have been on other boats that have done extensive ocean racing. We have a very, very experienced crew. They’re probably all better at it than me.  They’re great racers. There can be some challenges, having 10 people on a boat for 250 miles, but we just don’t have those issues. It was a nice trip up the lake. That’s the way I’d put it.  And it was a good season of racing, too!"  Story contribution from HomeTown in Detroit, Michigan.

Past J/105 sailors crush Fastnet Race- the French Poisin family!* The writing was on the wall when they claimed the RORC Channel Race outright at the end of July, but the French father and son team of Alexis and Pascal Loisin have pulled it out of the hat again, successfully winning the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race.

While the Royal Ocean Racing Club's premier offshore event has featured a doublehanded class for a long time, this is the first occasion in its 88-year history that the Rolex Fastnet Race has been won by a double-handed crew.

Their victory this year follows competing in the 2005 Rolex Fastnet Race aboard their previous "Night And Day", a J/105, when they again won the IRC Double-handed classes and were second overall in IRC Two.

From Cherbourg, Pascal, 53, is a surgeon while his son Alexis, 29, is a professional sailor who has spent the last eight years competing in the Figaro class. In La Solitaire du Figaro, effectively the world championship of solo offshore racing, his best result has been eighth last year, and ninth this year.  Congratulations to both father and son--- job well done!

* 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.