Wednesday, August 21, 2013

J/Newsletter- August 21st, 2013

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing around markBMW J/24 Worlds Preview
(Howth, Ireland)- The venue for the BMW J/24 World Championship 2013, sailing from August 24th to 30th, is Ireland’s largest sailing club, Howth Yacht Club.  Located northeast of Dublin, the club promises very straightforward tides and no wind obstacles or commercial shipping traffic, the sailing waters north of Howth are arguably the best in Ireland!

Howth recently hosted the BMW J/24 European Championship and competitors were given a mix of windy, moderate and light conditions around courses set by PRO David Lovegrove. David is again the Howth YC PRO for the Worlds and had the pleasure of managing the Irish Nationals over the preceding weekend as a fine-tuning session for his race management team.

Howth’s strong relationship with BMW continues. Visitors to the Europeans were treated to an impressive display of beautiful new BMW cars and a dramatic evening lighting scheme. In 2012, BMW sponsored the Irish IRC Championship in Howth, launching a new car at the event. Who knows what will be on show this year?

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing downwind off IrelandTo enjoy the social festivities, great sailing and awesome BMW automobiles are forty-one J/24 teams from ten countries around the world-- truly an impressive showing for a 36 year old International One-design offshore keelboat class.  There will be many top teams present with one crew, in particular, looking to match Ken Read's (now President of North Sails) remarkable record of five J/24 World Championship titles.  That person is the current J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil, sailing his famous BRUSCHETTA!  Santa Cruz, a four-time winner of the title, was so keen to defend his title that he was the first overseas entry in the competition. He also won the J/24 Worlds in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

The top British team is the 2011 J/24 European Champion Ian Southworth (a three-time winner of the event) from Royal Corinthian YC in Cowes and the recent J/24 Irish National Championship in the Open Division.  He will be piloting IL RICCIO GBR 5219, the same steed he rode around the track for the Irish Nationals.

The leading Irish contenders will be the current National Champion JP McCaldin from Lough Erne sailing JAIME ENCORE and Irish Class President Flor O’Driscoll of Howth YC skippering HARD ON PORT!

Leading the US challenge will be this year’s J/24 North American Champion Mike Ingham and runner-up Travis Odenbach, both from Rochester, NY.  Included in the mix will be past J/24 World Champion Tim Healy from Newport, RI sailing HELLY HANSEN; 2013 Italian Open Champion Keith Whittemore sailing FURIO from Seattle, WA; and past North American Champion Tony Parker sailing the redoubtable, ultra cool BANGOR PACKET from Georgetown, DC.

BMW Ireland sports cars/ automobiles- sponsoring J/24 WorldsLuis Olcese from Peru will be sailing SCARAMOUSH and the Japanese entry Koji Matsumoto sailing TEMPUS G represent highly competitive challenges as both are recognized as notable performers in J/24 circles and have finished well at previous championships.  Top contenders from Monaco include two members from YC Monaco- Dennis Frederiksen on PAGET and Ian Illsley on JAWS.  Germany has four entries including JJ-ONE from  the Joersfelder Segel Club, ROTOMAN from the Blankenser Segel Club and Rosemarie Eckhoff sailing the all-women's team on TINTO.  Finally, France is fielding two teams include JINETTE skippered by Charles Gury and JAGUAR helmed by the Garcia/ Vaulcon team-- both are from YC Crouesty Arzon.

The sailing should be extremely competitive as many of the top teams are fast, sail smart and conservatively.  In fact, Santa Cruz may face a far tougher challenge in this year's event than he did in the 90+ boat Rochester J/24 Worlds last year-- it's harder to get away from the other smart crews in smaller fleets, so small errors translate into significant changes in fleet standings!  Stay tuned, should be an interesting event to watch!   For more J/24 World Championship sailing information

B&G J/Cup Regatta Preview
(Plymouth, England)- Competitors are gearing up for an exciting B&G J-Cup 2013, scheduled to take place in Plymouth this week- August 21st to 24th. The event returns to the Royal Western Yacht Club in Queen Anne’s Battery Marina for the first time in six years, and comprises the Lombard J/97 UK National Championships and the Lifedge J/109 UK National Championships. The J/105s, J/70s and J/111s will be racing one design, the latter two classes building on the momentum of racing one design at Cowes Week this month, a first for both boats. The remainder of the fleet will race in mixed IRC J Boat classes.

J-Party style!  J-Fest United Kingdom.Racing starts on Thursday 22nd August and nowhere will the competition be hotter than at the Lifedge UK J/109 National Championships, which currently has an impressive twenty-one entries. A number of the J/109s who finished the Rolex Fastnet race towards the end of last week will undoubtedly have used the weekend to recharge and regroup ahead of their UK Nationals at the J-Cup. It was the team on Steven Tapper ’s Stalker who finished at the top of the podium in 2012, never having to count a score outside the top seven across the eight races sailed. Jonathan Calascione and Johnnie Goodwin’s Harlequin took silver, Mike and Sarah Wallis took the bronze in Jahmali, Paul Griffith’s Jagerbomb was fourth overall and Tony Dicken’s Jubilee finished fifth.

J/teams sailing around mark at J/FestThe Lombard J/97 UK National Championships will no doubt see some fine sailing, particularly as the J/97 is enjoying a strong run of national successes so far this year.  Fresh from winning the title of overall winner at the Scottish Series, Iain Laidlaw’s J/97 Jaywalker has now been awarded best performance at West Highland Yachting Week, an event which attracted 100 boats. 2013 marks the third successive year a J/97 has won the Scottish Series title, with sisterships also securing class wins recently at Plymouth Race Week, the IRC Nationals, Cowes Week and Falmouth Week.

The J/111 Class has five boats racing on a level rating basis at the J-Cup this year, three of which enjoyed champagne sailing conditions in the J/111 Class at Cowes Week. David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J-Dream will be fighting off the competition to retain their title from 2012.

J/80 crossing a fleet of J/BoatsIn usual J-Cup style we’re set for a massive event: six classes, eight races inside and out of the breakwater, two National Championships, an anticipated 50 boat entry, 400 sailors, live entertainment every night, fantastic sponsor support from B&G and Fusion, prizes galore including North Sails daily prizes, vouchers from Lifedge, RS Divers and Grapefruit Graphics, bags and clothing from SLAM, Lombard and Harken, plus extra goodies from Peters & May and Ocean Safety, and of course the infamous J-Cup Prize-giving Party on the final Saturday, this year to be held at the spectacular National Marine Aquarium, where the winners will be presented with some beautiful locally made trophies sponsored by Fastnet Insurance. A live blog from the race-track can be found at the event website.

Title sponsor B&G will also be providing some special prizes on the final night. Alan Davis, Product Line Director for B&G said: “We are delighted to be supporting the J-Cup 2013, it promises to offer fast and exciting racing, and is one of the highlights of the UK racing calendar. The B&G team is particularly looking forward to meeting the competitors, working with Key Yachting and being an integral part of this fantastic regatta.”   Sailing photo credits-  Tim Wright   For more J/Cup Regatta sailing information

J/105s sailing off CaliforniaJ/Fest San Diego Announcement
(San Diego, CA)- Attention all J/Sailors, you're invited to J/Fest 2013, September 27 - 29 at San Diego Yacht Club!  J/Fest boasts a long history of being one of the most fun and well attended regattas in SoCal, exclusively for J/Boats!  The regatta is open to one design classes as well as a J/Boat PH fleet!

J/109 sailing off CaliforniaThere are two Racing Venues for the fleets. One is inside San Diego Bay racing on some nice flat water-- for the J/22, J/24, J/70. J80 one-design fleets.  On the outside sailing in the wide-open ocean off beautiful Point Loma are the J/105, J/109 and J/120 one-design fleets along with the J/PHRF fleets.

The schedule for the event includes the following:
Friday - "Just for Fun" race on the San Diego Bay, 4:00 start.  Casual social event at SDYC
Saturday - 3 races, Awesome J/Fest Party Saturday evening at SDYC
Sunday - 2 races, prize giving party at SDYC

Get your crew together and join us on the water for two days of competitive and fun buoy racing plus on shore for the social festivities.  Saturday evening the traditional J/Fest Party will be held with tons of awesome swag and giveaways from our sponsors, the prize giving will be held after racing on Sunday afternoon!  With an anticipated attendance of over 60 boats, this is the one regatta you do not want to miss this year!  For any questions, please contact Joanne O'Dea at email- or on phone # 619-347-9407.   For more J/Fest SAN DIEGO registration and sailing information

J/70 sailing on Great LakesVerve Cup One-Design Regatta Preview
(Chicago, IL)- The Verve Cup Inshore Regatta is a spectacular sailing event that is hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club at Belmont Station from August 24th to 25th. Identical One Design classes compete for two days to determine which boat has the best skipper and crew; included are the debut of the incredibly popular J/70 one-design speedster and the classic J/24 one-design keelboat classes.

This year, the Verve Cup will be bigger than ever and is assured to be the best one-design sailing around the Chicago area. Featuring optimal late summer breezes, competitive racing, and the best race committee on the water, the Verve Cup delivers outstanding racing. Big name sponsors include AUDI Chicago, Mt Gay Rum and SLAM yachting gear.

The debut of the J/70 class is quite impressive in this regatta, having by far the largest fleet with over twenty boats participating.  The fleet has a national and international flavor to it with crews from all over America and Europe.  Top teams featured in this year's event include Joel Ronning's well-traveled CATAPULT team from Minneapolis, MN; Bennet Greenwald's PERSEVERANCE crew from San Diego, CA; Joe Woods's crew on RED from Torquay, England.  Several new teams are participating including Blane Shea's GEMINI and Richie Stearns' TYLISHAN-- both from the local Chicago fleet.

The J/24s have a good fleet sailing including teams like Mark Soya's 2XS, Richard Graef's DON'T PANIC and Dan Walsh's GOLDRUSH.  Sailing photo credit- Tim Wilkes.   For more Verve Cup Inshore sailing information

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing upwind on lakeUS Sailing Adult Championship Preview
(Rochester, New York)-  The historic U.S. Adult Sailing Championship will unveil a new and exciting format for competitive adult women and men sailors this Friday through Sunday, August 23-25, hosted by the Rochester Yacht Club.  The teams will be contending for the historic Clifford D. Mallory Trophy on the waters of Lake Ontario. Teams will be sailing matched International One-Design J/24s in a round robin format with a minimum number of four crew including the helmsperson.

Women have always been racing in this championship, but only as crew. The new U.S. Adult Sailing Championship has no gender restrictions on helmsperson or crews.  As an "open" event, there were many women skippers in the regional qualifiers around America.  Nevertheless, this year's eight finalists all have men skippers and four of the teams have women in the crew.  In fact, many of the teams are championship-calibre J/24 sailors.

Pat Toole and his team from Santa Barbara, CA are traveling coast to coast to make their third run at the Mallory Trophy. Toole, along with Dale Turley, George Witter, and Kent Pierce finished second in the 2011 event held in Mooresville, NC and third in 2008 event in San Francisco. In June, they placed fourth at the 2013 J/24 National Championship in Lake Minnetonka, MN Toole won the 2010 J/24 North American title in Seattle, WA.

“We’ve been focused on calibrating our communication and boat handling by sailing numerous short courses,” said Toole. “The shifts and puffs we experienced in Rochester at the J24 Worlds were very challenging and very different than what we ever see in California. We are very excited about returning and giving it another try.”

Frank McNamara (Wenham, Mass.) was fifth in this year’s J/24 event at Charleston Race Week. He also placed second at the 2012 Rhodes 19 National Championships. McNamara will be sailing with crew Clinton Hayes (East Haddam, CT), Diane Economides (Ipswich, MA), and John Powley (Boxborough, MA).

“It’s just really exciting to have the opportunity to race against the level of competition you find at the Mallory,” said McNamara. “We will definitely have to sail our best to have a shot at winning, but we feel we know how to make the boats go pretty well. We need to get good starts, sail smart and avoid mistakes.”

McNamara and his team look forward to racing the J/24 this week. “The fact that the event is in J/24s this year is an added bonus because we’ve been racing J/24s for a number of years. Rochester is a fantastic venue with all the talent and resources to host a terrific regatta, as we learned when we sailed in the J/24 Worlds in Rochester last year,” he explained.

Other notable skippers in Rochester this week will be 2004 J/24 North American Champion David Klatt (Oxnard, CA) and 75 year old former Snipe Champion Russell Cook (Liverpool, NY).

The regatta is sponsored by Gill North America and Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whiskey. The championship is also a Sailors for the Sea – Clean Regattas certification event.  Twenty races are scheduled for the regatta-- it's intended for each team to race each boat one once with a maximum of five races sailed per day.  The top three teams receive US Sailing Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Special guest Charles Mallory, grandson of Clifford D. Mallory, will present the trophy to the winning team.  For more J/24 US Adult Sailing Championship sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The middle of August marks the end of summer for many and a short break in the action for sailing, particularly in Europe, when families head back from the mountains, lakes and seashore to go back to work and put the kiddies back in school.  The exception clearly is the lead-up to the J/24 Worlds being held in Howth (Dublin), Ireland this coming week.  The J/24 "pre-worlds" regatta was essentially the past weekend's J/24 Irish Nationals hosted by Howth Yacht Club, it will be interesting to see how these teams perform in their local waters against what the world's best J/24 sailors have to offer.

Meanwhile, way, way Down Under, our Ozzie mates have just completed perhaps one of the most "bucket-worthy" regattas on Planet Earth.  Yes, indeed, one must check out why the Australians love their winter sailing at the famous Airlie Beach Race Week.  The entire event at Airlie Beach is held adjacent to the fabulous Whitsunday Islands and the even more famous Great Barrier Reef-- to say it's sailing in paradise doesn't even do it justice!

Headed far, far north across the Pacific, two events took place recently.  One was the J/80 Pan-Pacific Championships held in Xiamen, China and one of the invited guests- namely Cal State Long Beach- managed to put in a stellar performance against some of the best Asian teams!  Due east along the Pacific rim, the J/105s held their Summer Keelboat Regatta at San Francisco YC while trying to avoid derelict skippers on 72 foot catamarans doing their best to pitchfork them with their bows!  In the Great American Midwest, the J/111s enjoyed their inaugural J/111 North American Championship sailing on Lake Michigan and hosted by the  Chicago Yacht Club.  Way, way Down East, like Maine and Nova Scotia, the casual and adventurous J/Teams had yet another wonderful Penobscot Bay Rendezvous off the picturesque fishing village of Camden, Maine.  Yet another spectacular setting was the host for a number of J/teams in Chester Race Week, also held in a picturesque fishing village called Chester, Nova Scotia.

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 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.

Rich Lehmann's Wind Czar- winners of J/111 North AmericansWINDCZAR Crowned J/111 North American Champion
(Chicago, IL)- The newly International J/111 One-design class held its inaugural North American Championship from August 14th to 18th, 2013 at Chicago Yacht Club's Belmont Station.  It was an exciting show for the fourteen boats sailing from across America, with teams participating from the Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes and East Coast.  An unexpected treat for the sailors was the fact the wildly popular Chicago Air & Water Show was being held concurrently, with over one million people watching along Chicago's spectacular waterfront with simply epic aerial, smoke-trailed acrobatic maneuvers performed by World War I bi-planes/ tri-planes, World War II vintage fighter planes and modern fighter jets just blowing away the bystanders with twisting, diving, spiraling, loop-to-looping balletic displays of breathtaking aerial maneuvers.

After four exciting days of sailing in very challenging wind conditions that rarely topped 7.5 kts of wind, the legends of Harbor Springs, Rich Lehmann's crackerjack team on their mighty WINDCZAR, sailed to the top of the class-- crowned as first ever J/111 North American Champions.

Chicago Air ShowIt was truly a roller-coaster ride for many of the top five teams in the event that saw fairly dramatic swings on the leaderboard each day until the last day of the regatta.  Of the four days sailed, the most wind was seen by fleet on the first three legs of the first race on Thursday-- that's when it broke the supersonic 10 kts barrier, albeit briefly.  Thereafter, the next 3.5 days of racing were spent in the easterly quadrant with breezes blowing onshore from ENE to ESE in varying degrees of intensity from 5 to 7.5 kts.  For those who had good light air speed upwind, in particular, it was a heaven sent gift no one could've ever imagined.

From day one, it was clear the regatta was going to be between two well-sailed crews, Len Siegal's LUCKY DUBIE from the host Chicago YC (and regatta co-chair) and Rich Lehmann's WINDCZAR from Harbor Springs, Michigan. Leading from the outset, the LUCKY DUBIE gang was part of the trio of boats that prophetically split on the first downwind run in the first race from the entire fleet to be one of the leaders of the regatta from there on end (the others were Paul Stahlberg's MENTAL and Lehmann's WINDCZAR!).  After the first day, the LUCKY DUBIE gang was leading with WINDCZAR in second and the Verve Cup J/111 class winner, Henry Brauer's FLEETWING, was hanging in for a solid third place position.

J/111s starting in smoke of Chicago Air ShowDay two was a dramatic reversal of fortunes for many.  Moving into first place by virtue of an outstanding day on the water was WINDCZAR with a daily 2-1-5 record to put them 8 pts clear in first place with 12 pts total.  Having a less "smokin hot" day was Len Siegal's LUCKY DUBIE.  While sailing a brilliant last race of the day, the first two races were simply forgettable.  After posting a 9-7-1, the Lucky Dubsters dropped into second with 20 pts total.  Third was the famous red boat MENTAL piloted by Paul Stahlberg and gang from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Their very consistent 5-2-6 pulled them into third overall with 28 pts.

J/111 MENTAL- Shannon Devine pulling in spinnakerThe third day of the regatta produced the surprise performance so far.  William Smith's WOOTON helmed by Jim Alvert smoked the fleet in the first two races with two firsts by a country mile!  However, the third race proved to be the roller-coaster ride so far for the regatta.  For many, the "wheels fell off the shopping trolley".  In other words, like the proverbial "Icarus" flying too close to the sun, their wings got burnt off and came crashing down to the reality of Earth.  Remarkably, the regatta leader WINDCZAR fell into that category.  After a brilliant second day, the "wind wizards" posted a 6-8-8 for the day to drop into a tie for second place one point off the lead!  The LUCKIE DUBIE gang sailed a solid day to take a 4-7-2 for the day to become, again, the regatta leaders by one point.  Finishing in triumphant fashion after their first two races was Stahlberg's MENTAL, improving every race to post a 5-3-1 score to emphatically put their mark on their bid for top honors overall.  Tied with them was Marty Roesch's VELOCITY team from Annapolis, Maryland in the top five.

J/111 sailboats- sailing downwindThe last day promised to be another cliff-hanger for the fleet with a light ESE breeze that was fed by an onshore sea-breeze effect midday.  The fact the lead had changed hands so dramatically in the last three days and that the top five were all within ten points of one another meant the championship was wide open for the team that could rise to the occasion.

With racing scheduled to start at 1030 hrs, the Chicago YC PRO and crew did a magnificent job to get the ball rolling and after two general recalls the fleet took off into an ESE breeze at 105 degrees blowing 5-7 kts. With yet another "classic southeast sea-breeze" building the big question would be which way the "locals" would go and how would the "foreigners" figure it all out?  With the breeze fluctuating from 90 to 125 degrees, it was anyone's guess what would happen.  As it turns out, just about any strategy worked so long as you stayed on the lifted tack AND had good light air speed. For the top five boats, it was going to pose a difficult challenge.

J/111 crew Marnie Smiley cleaning the decksSailing "lights out" in the first race of the day was WINDCZAR, taking the lead in the regatta with a first place in race nine while Len Siegal's LUCKY DUBIE had to score their worst race in the series, a tenth.  Paul Stahlberg's crew on MENTAL sailed a great race, working their way through the fleet to register a fourth and put themselves in a position to have a shot at the overall title.

J/111 international one-design class- off Chicago, ILWith the stage set for the last race, it was anyone's guess what the outcome would be for the championship.  In the end, Lehmann's team on WINDCZAR stayed out of trouble, sailed a smart and conservative race to finish third and were crowned the first overall J/111 North American Champions!  While their disastrous ninth race hurt their chances at the overall title, Len Siegal's crew on LUCKY DUBIE concluded their regatta with an emphatic first place in race ten to take the second spot overall. Sailing their hearts out all week were Paul Stahlberg's MENTAL crew taking third overall.  Fourth in the regatta was Marty Roesch's VELOCITY crew from Annapolis, Maryland and fifth was Bill Smith's WOOTON crew from Bay Harbor, Michigan.

The J/111 crews all had a wonderful time.  Thanks to the sponsors SLAM Gear, Richie Stearns from Stearns Boating, Skyway Yachtworks and friends of Chicago Yacht Club.  Furthermore, the Chicago YC Race Committee and PRO did an admirable job of producing great racing in what many would consider to be very challenging wind conditions.

During the regatta, the social media/ photography team of Alan and Meredith Block provided excellent coverage for the event.  For more beautiful photography, please see Meredith's photo albums on the J/Boats Facebook page.

Here are several interviews of J/111 sailors off the top boats:
Len Siegal- J/111 owner of Luckie Dubie
Len Siegal (LUCKY DUBIE)- J/111 NA Co-chair interview

Len Siegal (LUCKY DUBIE)- Sunday interview

Mark Ploch (LUCKY DUBIE) interview- first day racing

Henry Brauer (FLEETWING) interview- first day racing

Rich Lehmann (WINDCZAR) interview- first day racing

Rich Lehmann (WINDCZAR)- Sunday interview

Jim Alvert (WOOTON)- Sunday interview

Rich Stearns (Regatta sponsor/ Stearns Boating)

Furthermore, what many have discovered is that J/111 sailing is very attractive to women for a number of reasons (the boat is easy to sail, women can steer, trim jib, trim chute, do pit, do bow; women love the head; plus you can sit inside to stay cool; plus it has a very comfortable cockpit).  Here are a few cameo interviews with some of these "Ladies of the J/111 Fleet":

J/111 crew- Marnie Smiley
Marnie Smiley (VELOCITY)
J/111 crew- Shannon Devine
Shannon Devine (MENTAL)
J/111 crew- Carolyn Rieg
Carolyn Rieg (VELOCITY)
J/111 crew- Ginger Aaron
Ginger Aaron (MY SHARONA)
J/111 crew- Andrea Miz
Andrea Miz (IMPULSE)

Sailing photo credits- Meredith Social Media credits- Alan   For more J/111 North American Championship sailing information

J/24 one-design sailboats- off Dublin, IrelandBritain's Southworth Tops J/24 Irish Nationals
Howth YC Under 25 team lift Irish National title
(Howth, Ireland)-  Howth Yacht Club hosted the recent J/24 Irish Championships, an event which was both a warm-up for Irish competitors and a fine tune for the race management team, in advance of the imminent BMW J/24 World Championship.  With the top three determined by just one point, it's indicative of how close the class has become competitively amongst its top practitioners!

Saturday morning saw the fleet held ashore for a few hours by PRO David Lovegrove due to high winds. Nobody wanted to risk serious damage a week out from the main event. The later start still allowed the 20 entrants from Ireland, Great Britain and USA to enjoy four races held in a variety of conditions. Sun, rain, squalls, flat calms, big shifts and a changing tide all created a very unusual mix for Howth. As one race official noted, "If you don't like the weather, hang on for five minutes!"

Ian Southworth- winner of J/24 Irish NationalsIn spite of the weather challenges, GBR visitors IL RICCIO (Italian for "The Hedgehog") sailed by Ian Southworth dominated the first day and headed for the bar with a 1-2-1-1 score. Just behind them was fellow Brit Bob Turner on SERCO with a 5-1-3-3 and Ireland's Flor O'Driscoll sailing HARD ON PORT into third with a 3-5-5-10.  The top Americans all had great scores, save for bad drop races, like Keith Whittemore's FURIO from Seattle, Washington and Tony Parker's BANGOR PACKET from Georgetown, DC.  Top of the Irish boats at that stage was Howth's Mossy Shanahan who bagged a tasty 2-10-4-7. The dividends were paid to those who played relatively conservatively and kept their noses clean.

J/24 Under 25 Team IrelandLighter and less variable conditions treated the fleet to incredibly tight racing on Sunday with another four races banged off in quick time. By the end of Race 6, IL RICCIO had sewn up the regatta, pocketing a further two wins, not needing to race in the last two. A clinical display of extraordinary seamanship and sailing! The fleet did its best to push the 3PM deadline for a last start by forcing a general recall in the penultimate race. Taking second for the regatta was Seattle's Keith Whittemore on FURIO, posting a 2-2-1.5-1- in the last four races to nearly pull off the ultimate upset sailing the last day, losing by just a 0.5 pts. Third was the UK's Bob Turner on SERCO just another 0.5 pts back!!  Rounding out the closely fought top five were Tony Parker's BANGOR PACKET crew in fourth and the Brit's JIGGY 2 led by Paul Williams in fifth.

Irish National title winner was the HYC Under 25 crew sailing EURO CAR PARKS KILCULLEN followed by Flor O'Driscoll's team HARD ON PORT in second and taking third Irish Nats on the podium was the Darrer/ Murphy team on the old STOUCHE.

With a calendar of coaching and tweaking, polishing and measuring, ahead of the J/24 Worlds, the Howth will be a beehive of activity this week. Many of the visitors have threatened golf outings, punctuated by busy evenings in local hostelries and pubs!!  Story contributed from Emmet Dalton.   Sailing photos credits- Tom Gruitt   For more Irish J/24 Nationals sailing information

J/70 sailing Australia- Airlie Beach RegattaJ/70 Loves Airlie Beach Outing
(Airlie Beach, Australia)- According to the Airlie Beach Chamber of Commerce, "Airlie Beach Race Week is known amongst sailing aficionados as one of the most "bucket-worthy" regattas in the world.  It’s got a laid-back attitude, perfect weather with solid trade-wind sailing, the town is a backpackers’s paradise full of hot young chicks and cheap booze, and it all comes at the perfect time for winter-bound Aussies.  Airlie is also one of the best jumping-off points to explore the Great Barrier Reef; perfect for an extended trip with some sailboat racing in the middle.  It’s a long haul from most places and you might die if you swim in the water, but on a positive note, they’ve got the best drinks cooler in all of sailing on the dock."  And, most notably, they actually deliver on that promise!

J/70 cheerleaderOfficially promoted as "The Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week", the event started off in magical conditions for all the 110 boats across the 11 divisions.  The breeze was a kind south-east eight to 10 knots inshore and up to 15 knots offshore as PRO Ross Chisholm sent the fleet off on Course 7 around the Double Cones for all.  There were plenty of battles, among the small and big boats, with some of the high achievers falling by the wayside in the soft wind and tricky tides. In the Sports Boat the skippers kept themselves under control for the first race, starting cleanly.  And, that's pretty much how it went for the rest of the week of sailing, save for one near windless but gorgeous day on the water.  The final day of racing brought smiles to the face of the sailors and race committee as the breeze kicked in as forecasted.  It was Whitsunday sailing at its best with 10 to 15 knots south-east, a manageable swell and good racing around Pioneer Bay.

J/70 sailing fast off Whitsundays, AustraliaSailing their J/70 JUNIOR for the first time in the regatta were Ray and Jill Carless from Sydney.  Here's their report of the experience which, apparently, neither would trade for the world!

"Airlie Beach is situated in the middle of the stunning group of seventy-four  Whitsunday Islands which are part of the Great Barrier Reef and is an amazing location for this iconic Australian winter race week.

With very little time to practice and still quite new to the J/70, we quickly recruit two new crew members for this highly competitive winter paradise regatta.  With the boat packed we made the 1,800km three-day drive from Sydney with ease towing the J/70 with a 2 liter diesel VW.

The line-up of sports boats were typical of the high performance machines raced in Australia and New Zealand, some up to 8m, a number with wings and trapezes, most much lighter than the J/70 being built of carbon fibre.

Airlie Beach sailing video highlightsThe wind conditions were predominantly up to 8 knots with the windiest reaching 15 knots on the first day and every day in crystal-clear, sun-sparkled, aquamarine waters.

With an impressive scoreline of 3-5-5-3-4-3-4-2 and a drop of 8th, our performance for the week improved as the two new J/70 crew got used to the boat.

In short, we had a fantastic time! The J/70 is amazing! Anyone who doubts this is a good and economical way to run a modern sports boat should look at our results.  We were the only boat in the fleet to have Dacron upwind sails and only one of each sail, ie. 1 main, 1 jib, 1 spinnaker, as per the J/70 class rules.

All of the other boats were sporting exotic sails and most had multiple jibs and spinnakers.  This sounds too expensive and complicated to us, we just want to go sailing and have fun!

That we did and had a great time with a very good result as we get to learn the J/70. There is obviously more to be had out of this great little machine from the J/Boat stable and little wonder over 500 have now been sold in a very short space of time.   

How best to sum it all up?  Long drive, blue sky, little wind, much fun, great result!”

Sailing photo credits-   Shirley Wodson - Shirley Wodson Photography     Julie Geldard - Video Picture Promotions

Airlie Beach Race Week YouTube sailing video highlights:     Day 1 Sailing summary   Day 2 Sailing summary    Day 3 Sailing summary   Day 4 Sailing summary   For more Airlie Beach Race Week sailing information

J/29 sailboats under spinnakerJ/Teams Enjoy Brilliant Chester Race Week!
J/120 BRILLIANCE Does it Again!
(Chester, Nova Scotia)- Competitors from across Canada and the Eastern Seaboard descended upon the picturesque fishing village of Chester, Nova Scotia for Canada’s largest keelboat regatta – Chester Race Week, sailed from August 14th to 17th.

Under variable conditions that included light air, fog and medium air with brilliant sunshine along with the 183' Fidelis anchored in the inner harbour in Chester, 133 yachts competed in this years running of Chester Race Week.

J/120 BRILLIANCE sailing upwind at Chester Race WeekRichard Calder's J/120 BRILLIANCE sailing from Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron completed her defense of the Alpha Distance 1 class championship at this years Chester Race Week posting a solid 1-1-1-4 scoreline in the 11 boat fleet. Sailing to a close second was Fred Smither's J/120 ADIOS skippered by Dwayne Smithers and in third was Chester YC's Dave Connolly onboard the J/111 STAMPEDER.

In Alpha Distance 2 division, Rod Johnstone's crew onboard J/35 JAI TU finished second ahead of RNSYS's Paul Rafuse J/109 WISC while fourth went to Rory MacDonald & Sean McDermott's J/105 MCMAC.  Meanwhile, in Alpha 1 class, Mark Surrette's J/111 BLAST finished second in class.

J/29 one-design sailboats startingThe J/29 one-design class winner was Andrew Child's SILVER WOMAN counting an astounding eight 1sts in nine races to count to dominate their class with a 14 pt win!  Second was a tough battle for two boats- J-ZEUS II9 and COLMONELL.  In the end, it was John Heseltine's J-ZEUS II9 with 24 pts taking the silver followed by the Christie Brothers'sCOLMONELL just one point back in third place.

Chester Race Week Gosling GirlsThe J/24 one-design class had a good turn-out, with eight boats sailing in a very competitive series.   Ultimately, RNSYS's Peter Wickwire onboard SUNNYVALE took the J/24 crown, but it was not an easy one to attain.  Nipping at their heels all regatta long was Ted Murphy's JUVENILE DELINQUENT from RNSYS, taking second place just 3 pts back.  Sailing brilliantly at times, but tossing a few discard races into the mix, was Greg Blunden's ADRENALINE RUSH-- too much Red Bull perhaps for these boys?  Their roller-coaster scoreline still enabled them to hang in for third overall.

In the Delta D1 Fleet, Lunenberg YC's Scott Covey took first place on the J/29 RUMBLE FISH while Colin Mann's Lunenberg YC team on the J/92 POOHSTICKS finished third. In the D2 class Chester YC's Sam Lamey sailed his J/27 INCORRIGIBLE into a hard-earned second place.    Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes ( & Steve Jess (   For more Chester Race Week sailing information

J/160 sailing Penobscot BayJ Sailors Cruise to Victory @ Penobscot Bay Rendezvous
Judy Jellinek's J/160 Queen of the Fleet
(Camden, Maine)-  There is no more desirable sailing venue than scenic Penobscot Bay in August, and this year’s Rendezvous sailed from August 15th to 18th was near perfect with temperatures in the mid 70s,  blue skies every day and sailing breezes from 5 to 15 knots every day.

J/42 superstar- Tom Babbitt- sailing fast from lee helm!Forty-two boats participated (40% were J’s) and they covered the J/Boat spectrum with two J/160s, two J/46s, three J/42s, a J/40 and a J/34C from the cruising ranks as well as a J/122,  J/120, J/109, two J/100s and a J/29 and a J/80.  No surprise that J’s took 60% of the podium positions.

In PHRF 1 J’s took three of the top four spots with Don Logan’s J/105 KEEMAH coming second followed by two J/100s, Tom Gill's SEA SMOKE in 3rd and Frank Simon's SMITTEN in fourth.

PHRF 2 was dominated by Larry Turner’s J/29 RENEGADE with 5 points followed by Jesse Henry’s J/80 CHAISE LOUNGE with 8 points in second.

J/160 September Morning- Judy JellinekCruising Canvas came down to a nail biter between Judy Jellinek’s gorgeous J/160 SEPTEMBER MORNING, the venerable Palmer Johnson 53 Anjaca, with deep local knowledge aboard,  and Windwalker, a stunning Lyman Morse 60.  Had there been a concours d elegance it would have been a dead heat!  On the final day, SEPTEMBER MORNING was able to save her overall victory with a one point margin over Anjacaa and Windwalker.  A great effort by Judy in her third ever regatta!

Double-Handed was the largest class with sixteen entrants and it turned into a battle royal between a very well sailed Sydney 38 sailed by Tom Hall and Tom Babbitt's BRAVO, a shoal draft J42 in full cruise mode, cockpit cushions, dodger and grill deployed. BRAVO was able to win the first day, with Buzz second,  but Buzz dominated on Saturday with BRAVO second,  so Sunday was the rubber match and in the stronger breeze, Buzz eeked out a 20 second victory over BRAVO.  The final standings were Buzz in first, BRAVO second and Bermuda One-Two overall champion, Scott Miller’s J/122 RESOLUTE, in third.  Fifth was James Bennett's J/34c ASTAEA.   Next year’s Rendezvous will be August 14 – 17, 2014.  Don’t miss it!
For more Penobscot Bay Rendezvous sailing information

Cal State-Long Beach Wins Chinese J/80 Pan-Pacific's!
(Xiamen, China)- The Cal State Long Beach Sailing Team torpedoed the competition in Xiamen, China last month as they swept their way to victory at the first Pan-Pacific University Sailing Championship. Over 20 teams from China, Taiwan and Singapore took to the waters in their J/80 the weekend of July 15-17 hoping to take home the gold.

“We came out swinging,” team captain Shane Young said of the team’s mindset going into the event. “We came out expecting them all to be top-notch sailors and we had high expectations. We went into the regatta not expecting to win because I think when you do that you kind of shoot yourself in the foot.”

Fortunately, the team made the most of the school’s first international regatta by winning all seven races hosted in Wuyuan Bay. Although the team had never sailed those waters, Young attributed their preparedness to the water conditions being nearly identical to the waters of Marina Del Ray where they had practiced leading up to the trip to China.

The team tried to remain grounded as they continued to win races throughout the weekend, but they were finally able to express their happiness after winning the seventh and final race, which left no question as to who was taking home the gold medal.

“When we crossed the finish line and won I just slapped the deck and screamed,” Young said. “It was great. I got the chills. It was just sweet.”

The victory overseas, however, almost didn’t happen.

J/80 sailing team- Cal State- Long BeachPressed for time and funds, Young admitted that it came down to the final week to raise the $12,000 it was going to cost to send the five sailors to China. Donations from the Long Beach Yacht Club, as well as private donors and team parents, combined with the team’s t-shirt sales successfully financed the trip. At a banquet held last Thursday night at the Long Beach Yacht Club to honor the victory, the team dedicated their trophies to the donors to show their appreciation.

“That was one of the bigger accomplishments outside of sailing for our team,” Young said of the fundraising effort. Young goes on to explain that the team regularly struggles just to raise gas money for trips to San Francisco, where they stay at the homes of area Yacht Club members to save money.

Three years ago, the Cal State Long Beach sailing team was a distant memory. The team had history, being ranked as one of best in the nation during a portion of the 1980s, but it had become dormant before Young and a few like-minded students decided to resurrect it. Laura Newton, a former member of the team and co-resuscitator of the team, recalled the growing pains.

First, there was the red tape of starting up a club sport. Then came the recruitment process, home-making of uniforms and driving to competitions with their dinghies strapped to the top of a sedan. Meeting three times a week from 1-4 PM when the team would perfect their craft required a lot of night classes and shuffling of schedules. And when their DIY team finally got on the water, they had to gain the acceptance of much more established teams from around the area.    Read more here at Long Beach about their growing pains and sailing experiences...

J/105 sailor - BobARBITRAGE Wins Summer Keelboat Regatta
Layline "Proposal" Works for Nicole!
(San Francisco, CA)- Summer sailing on San Francisco Bay has not been without its challenges.  With pesky 72 foot catamarans flying about acting somewhat "officious" about their rules of the road on San Francisco Bay, and J/105s more than happy to starboard tack anything made of foam and carbon when they are racing, it goes without saying that J/105s win the "Mexican stand-off" nearly every time!

That's how it went for the extremely challenging Summer Keelboat regatta managed by the San Francisco Yacht Club. It was obvious that the weekend was not going to be “normal” on the drive across the Golden Gate early on Saturday. The wind was already blowing, but from an unusual, Southerly, direction and the high clouds were drifting Northwest to Southeast – clearly something odd was going on.

J/105 one-design sailboat- rounding windward markSFYC's PRO Jeff Zarwell set the course up to manage a breeze coming from about 200 degrees, with the pin slightly favored to discourage those “go right on the circle” boats from gelcoat-exchange and bad language close to the RC. The plan worked, helped, perhaps, by the allure of early ebb on the left. The fleet bisected and the two parts headed off in different directions - a pattern that repeated after each start and each leeward mark rounding throughout the regatta, with some skippers convinced that the right paid due to the curl effect around Angel Island, and others favoring stronger current, and unusual port tack “lull-lifts” on the South side.

During the usual informal hand-waving debriefs at the excellent post-race party and BBQ, the fleet also split into two camps – the certain and the conflicted – with no apparent advantage to either attitude as far as picking the correct side or in the results of the racing.

At the end of the day, Bruce Stone’s ARBITRAGE managed the unusual conditions best and won the regatta convincingly with three bullets, a second and a fifth, followed by Scooter Simmon's BLACKHAWK and Jeff Litfin & John Case's MOJO.  Jason Woodley & Scott Whitney's RISK and Phil Laby's GODOT tied on points for fourth and fifth overall, with RISK taking the tie-breaker due to winning the first race.

But, there's more to the ARBITRAGE success story in this regatta.  Something unusual happened on the way to the weather mark in one of the races--- here's Nicole's account:

Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault- J/105 sailors extraordinaire!"Remember the smile on my face as we led the fleet upwind to the second ww mark in the third race on Saturday? Terry actually asked, 'What's with that cheshire cat grin on your face, Nicole?' as we settled in after a tack. I had just been grumbling that I was SURE we were shy of layline and Bruce better not try to pinch to make the mark because he'd blow our lead.

Well, right after I checked the jib trim, adjusted the trav, and took a look at the boats around us (solidly behind us), Bruce asked me to marry him!

At the time I said something to the effect of... 'you're crazy, ridiculous timing, focus on the boat speed, blah, blah, blah.' But there was no way to suppress the smile. A few seconds later he said, 'Well?' And I said, 'Only if we win this race.'

Well, we made the mark. We won that race. And we won the friggin' regatta."  We wish them happiness and many more good layline "calls" in the future!  :)    Sailing photo credits- Leslie Richter/  For more J/105 Summer Keelboat sailing results.


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

J/111 Xcentric Ripper sailing in Rolex Fastnet Race*  J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER sailed by John van de Starre and Robin Verhoef sailed well again in this year's Fastnet Race sailing in the IRC Double-handed class.  Here's a video sequence by videographer Robin Knight of them flying along under main, code zero and jib on starboard tack headed to Fastnet Rock-- with no one on the helm!!  They're using, of course, a powerful auto-pilot on the steering quadrant to enable one person on deck to trim sails and adjust the autopilot magnetic course.  Get a feeling for their experience by viewing this short YouTube sailing video.

J/122 off Italy sailing downwind* J/122 AOI ME Wins Mittel Europa Criterium
(Trieste, Italy)- Piero Santi's J/122 AOI ME ("blue eyes" in Japanese) won its class in the Mittel Europa IRC Criterium in Trieste Italy in the end of July. Mr Santi had a tremendous perspective to offer to all J/Owners about his experience sailing his beloved J/122 in this epic race.  Said Piero:

"We won our class with a second place in the overall ranking.  The boat is powered by the fantastic Doyle sails designed in USA by Mark Ploch and perfectly made by Doyle Italy.  But our results are not the main reason why I'm sending you this message.

Racing against good boats and sailed by really high level crews, I really appreciated, another time, the 'sweet' pleasure of quality.

Sailing is a passion first of all, so it's really fantastic to know that someone is able to design and produce a boat and sails of such a quality.  We were always fast, upwind and downwind and everything on board worked well, every hardware is in the right place and with the right dimension.

Also sailing downwind at 14 kts of boat speed, you simply have a 'total control feeling', you know that the boat and sails will never betray you.  So, I simply want to thank you my friends for producing these fantastic objects.  Kind regards, Piero."  Here is a nice YouTube sailing video/ vignette of their experiences aboard the lovely AOI ME.   Sailing photo credits- Andrea Carloni/ Italy

J/120 sailing fast under spinnaker* J/120 RHAPSODY V won the Rolex Fastnet Race IRC Class 3 and was third overall in IRC of nearly 200 boats!  Their program was launched two years ago by Jean-Jacques Godet (of the famous French cognac house of the same name) with a largely La Rochelle-based crew.

"It was a family and friends project," explains Tony Pike, manager of North Sails. "Jean-Jacques Godet bought the boat and then he came to see me to buy sails. I helped organize the crew and tried to make good progress."

In particular, they made use of professional sailors in "key positions" as part of the whole crew.  For the Fastnet Race, Tony convinced Yannick Bestaven (hoping defend his Class 40 title in the next Transat Jacques Vabre) to join the adventure.

The La Rochelle team has had a very successful summer racing offshore.  In Cowes Race Week they finished third in class on the Solent (the start for the Fastnet Race).  And, in May they won the Armen Race. So, the third overall finish in  Plymouth illustrates the remarkable progression of RHAPSODY V over the past two years.

It has been a great, heart-warming success for Jean-Jacques Godet, who had aboard his two sons (Maxime and Jean-Edouard). Other Rochelais sailors that were present included Tony Pike, Yannick Bestaven, Florian Floglietti, Augustin Frédéric Ruffle and Leclere.

M. Godet was able to attract experienced professional sailors of Yannick Bestaven's calibre because, beyond just the racing, the enormous numbers of IRC sailors are also potential customers for Bestaven's company-- WATT & SEA-- renown for making high quality, reliable hydro-generators for sailing yachts and offshore racing and cruising boats of all sizes.

Said Tony Pike of their experience, "What we want is that the owner has great fun both on the water and on land. We're here to help tactically, provide information on weather options, help on navigation, and fine-tune sail trim."  Clearly they achieved their goals while maintaining crew cohesion and a family-like atmosphere of cooperation!

The final stage of their season is the "Telegram" Regatta in Lorient, France. Next year the team will be sailing in the entire West Indies sailing circuit in the Caribbean!  For more about Godet's Fastnet experience, please read 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.