Wednesday, October 2, 2013

J/Newsletter- October 2nd, 2013

J/70 sailing off Marstrand, SwedenJ/70 Sweden- "Boat of the Year" Nominee
(Stockholm, Sweden)- Remarkably, the J/70 one-design speedster has a chance to add yet another award - Årets Segelbåt - Sailboat of the Year in Sweden. Unlike similar competitions in Scandinavia, the jury consists of three women and three men who are all considered expert sailors and are recognized for their objectivity in assessing sailboats.  In February 2014, the winners in the categories of "Family", "Luxury", and "Performance" will be revealed at the Göteborg Boat Show.  The primary goal is to put Scandinavian boats up against others from around the world in their home waters and let "looks, performance, finish, environmental considerations and quality" decide which boat is the best for its purpose.  The J/70 is up against the XP-33 and the Far East 26.

Says the Editor, Curt Gelin, "the motivation to nominate the J/70 is the following: Good looks and superb sailing are the main ingredients in the new J/70.  This sporty One Design can be towed behind a family car and can be used as a weekender for seasoned sailors keen on getting 'back-to-basics' and young racers looking for excitement.  Its design and construction are good for the environment and the carbon mast is good for the performance. A nice price combines to make a tempting package!"  More news in the future on how the J/70 performs in her competition!  Sailing photo credits- Peter Gustafsson at

J/22 Worlds- sunrise off Newport, RI- Paul Todd- Outside ImagesJ/22 Worlds XXX Preview
(Newport, RI)- The 2013 J/22 World Championship, presented by Fidelity Investments, is celebrating its Thirtieth Anniversary and this year features a fantastic turnout of 72 teams from Canada, the Cayman Islands, South Africa and the USA.  Hosted by Sail Newport, racing takes place from October 1st to 5th; many special events are planned in honor of the World Championship and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the boat.  Along with Presenting Sponsor Fidelity Investments®, other sponsors have joined including Waterline Systems, J/Boats, Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, Gosling’s Dark and Stormy® and the Rhode Island State Yachting Committee.

A Legends Regatta on September 30 reunites past J/22 champions as well as noteworthy J/22 sailors who have been members of the Class during its long history. After racing, the Legends sailors will join the opening ceremony on Monday evening to launch the World Championship week.  Sail Newport Executive Director Brad Read says, “The October championship will showcase exciting racing and most likely a myriad of sailing conditions. The competition will be very tight.”

Many past class champions are sailing this year's Worlds. The American contingent has a formidable group of teams participating, including past J/22 World Champion Terry Flynn from Houston YC in Seabrook, TX sailing MARGO; Benz Faget from Southern YC in New Orleans, LA skippering FATS; Chris Doyle from Rochester YC in Rochester, NY sailing the famous The JUG 4 1; Brad Julian sailing THREEDORIES.COM; Mark Foster from Corpus Christi, TX sailing TEJAS; Will Welles from Newport, RI sailing COUGAR; Travis Odenbach from Rochester, NY sailing BEAR CLAWS; Cory Sertl from Jamestown, RI sailing LUCY; Kevin Doyle from Rochester, NY on MO'MONEY; Martie Kullman from Buffalo, NY on NEW WAVE; Sandy Adzick on HOT TICKET from Annapolis, MD; and Jeff Todd from Annapolis, MD sailing HOT TODDY.

Amongst the leading foreign entries are John Koppernaes from Ottawa, Ontario sailing RAISED J; Mike Farrington from Georgetown, Cayman Islands skippering JUST LEASING; Shellee Nel from Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa; and Jessica Lenz from Fairland, Gauteng, South Africa.

With forecasts for mostly sunny skies and southerly winds the first few days and switching to light northerlies dying and switching to southwest sea breezes in the afternoon for the balance of the regatta, the fleet will surely be challenged by classic Newport fall sailing conditions.  The SailNewport race management team is one of the best in the world and they will likely test the skills of the sailors in every imaginable scenario, with shifty, puffy sailing north of Newport Bridge inside Narragansett Bay as well as gorgeous offshore oscillating sea breezes in ocean swells offshore on Rhode Island Sound. Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside  For more J/22 World Championship sailing information and "live updates"

J/24s sailing off Monte Carlo, Monaco- Carl Borlenghi/ RolexJ/24 Europeans Preview
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Twenty years years after welcoming the J/24 European Championship to the Principality of Monaco for the first time, the YC Monaco will host the event once again in Monte Carlo, uniting the international elite of the J/24 class, considered to be one of the world’s most important International one-design fleets.

Organized by the Yacht Club de Monaco, the Monaco J/24 Class Association, the International J/24 Class Association in conjunction with the Monaco Sailing Federation (FMV), the European J/24 Championship will take place in Monaco between 5 October 2013 and 12 October 2013.

The J/24 first appeared in Monaco waters in 1986. In 1991 the fleet grew with the first Yacht Club Challenge, organized in collaboration with the Manhattan Yacht Club. In 1993, 105 J/24 teams from 15 countries were on the starting line for the first J/24 Europeans in Monaco!  Nowadays, 17 boats compete each month during the Monaco Championships. Even after 40 races, the first three boats are only within points of one another.

J24s sailing off Montel Carlo, Monaco- Carlo BorlenghiA fabulous turnout of sixty-two teams are registered to sail the Europeans, including 22 German teams, 16 Italian, 3 Hungarian, 5 British, 2 Irish, 2 French, one Australian, one American, one Brazilian, one Swedish, one Greek and the seven best teams of Monaco’s local fleet!  Some of the teams that participated in the J/24 World Championship in Howth will be in attendance for this highly competitive Europeans, including BRUSCHETTA sailed by Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil (2nd overall); IL RICCIO skippered by Ian Southworth from Great Britain (4th overall and 2013 UK & Irish National Champion); LA SUPERBA sailed by Ignacio Bonnano from Italy (8th overall and 2013 Italian Champion); SULLBERG sailed by Stephan Karsunke from Germany (10th overall); and JJ ONE sailed by Frithjof Schade from Germany (13th in the 2013 Worlds and 8th in the 2012 Worlds).

The lone American team is led by Mike Ingham from Rochester, NY, they're 2013 J/24 US National Champions at Wayzata Yacht Club in Minnesota and were 2nd at the 2013 UK nationals.  In addition, Pascquale di Fraia, Chairman of the Italian National J/24 class Association, will be sailing BOTTA DRITTA as well as women's teams from Italy and Germany will vying for Top European Women's team honors.

J24s fleet sailing in Monaco harbourThe leader and winner of the XXIX Primo Cup- Trophée Credit Suisse, Ian Ilsley aboard ST ANDREWS, will be defending the YC Monaco colors in his waters in October.  TOPO TOO, lead by the Rodelato brothers finished 6th in the 1993 European Championship, 3rd in the 1995 Irish Europeans and are very eager for a place on the podium this year. Denis Frederiksen, Monaco J/24 Class Association President, finished 2nd in the 2012 Italian Championship, 3rd in the Monaco Championship and 18th in the 2013 Worlds onboard PAGET. He will also be very well prepared for the Europeans.

If the dominant easterly wind prevails, the fleet will be in for some nice champagne sailing. 15 to 20 knots of rock steady breeze in which to demonstrate their sailing skills. If it doesn’t the Race Committee has the means of making the most of the alternatives conditions. Four mark laying boats will be on the course at all times reporting wind direction and wave conditions to John Coveney and his team. John will be assisted by Thierry Leret, the YCM’s own Sailing Manager. Thierry has been working at the Yacht Club for over twenty years and as a National Race Officer has organized many regattas all along the French Riviera coast from St Tropez to Monaco and more. Also on board the principal committee boat will be our veteran member Jean Lorenzi, a founding member of the sailing division and a local weather expert. If you want inside information as to what the conditions will be on the water, come and find Jean and he will fill you in on the meaning of the clouds rolling down the steps hills than encircle the Principality.  Sailing photo credits- Rolex/ Carlo Borlenghi. For more J/24 Europeans sailing information

J/70 Quantum Winter Series Announcement
(Davis Island, FL)- Davis Island YC and the J/70 Tampa Bay fleet are inviting all J/70 sailors to enhance their southeastern winter circuit of sailing events by participating in the J/70 Quantum Winter Series.  They're providing a base for both sailing and winter storage for J/70 owners in between the major events (J/70 Midwinters Key West, St Pete NOOD, Bacardi Miami and Charleston Race Week).

Davis Island YC has provisions for storing up to thirty boats (there will be alternate storage options available) and they're capping the entries at 60 boats (if needed a wait-list will be established).

The dates for all three events are the following:  Jan 10-12, Feb 7-9 and Mar 28-30.

For storage and basic regatta information, please contact Mike Dawson at; Stephen Fowler (Club Manager) at or Kat Robinson-Malone at  For more J/70 Quantum Winter Series sailing information

J/44s sailing in college big boat seriesCollege Big Boat Regatta Preview
(Larchmont, NY)- The Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR), run by the Storm Trysail Foundation and the Larchmont Yacht Club, continues to grow. Last year the regatta hosted 47 college teams and 425 sailors and this year 60 teams from 49 different schools will participate. This year’s regatta will be sailed over the weekend of October 12-13 on Western Long Island Sound off Larchmont harbor.

New this year is the addition of European collegiate teams. Thanks to a joint venture with the EDHEC Sailing Cup, the largest collegiate regatta in the world, two teams from schools in France will be racing against North American schools. The EDHEC Sailing Cup had over 1500 sailors last year racing a fleet of 180 boats. In a effort to get more foreign teams at the IOR and the EDHEC Sailing Cup, winning teams from each regatta will be given the opportunity to compete, cost free, at the regatta on the opposite side of the “big pond.”

“Being the largest regatta is not the goal,” said Rob Snedeker, Commodore of Larchmont YC. “The goal is spreading the fun and teamwork of big boat racing to as many sailors as possible.”

The fleet will sail on two circles, match-racing on one and an enormous contingent of J/Boat one-designs and PHRF handicap on the other.  The largest fleet of boats participating will again be J/Boats owners from Long Island Sound.  College teams will be sailing one-design divisions of J/44s (seven boats), J/109s (15 boats), and J/105s (12 boats) well as two handicap divisions of 10 boats each.  Separately on another circle will be a small fleet of match-racing boats.

Since the IOR is a stand alone event and does not count to any ranking, the boat owners are allowed to coach the students in sail handling and sail trim as well as in how to steer effectively. In some cases it is the owners who learn from the college sailors. Owners are asked not to help with tactics since planning on how to get around the race course quickly is the same no matter what kind of boat is being sailed.

The boat owners who lend their boats to the regatta come back year after year. They find this regatta is just as much fun for them as it is for the collegiate sailors. Barry Gold (J/122 and J/105 owner), who has been participating since 2004, calls the event, “the most rewarding regatta of the year.” Gold went on to say, “I have had some seasoned dinghy and big boat sailors race my boat, and some who are not as experienced. We have come in last place, first place, and in between; the details of our results are a bit of a blur. What is crystal clear, however, is the memory of sailing with teams from Princeton, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Miami of Ohio (twice), Mass. Maritime Academy, and Bucknell. While the collegiate sailors seek guidance from the owners’ experiences on crew organization, sail trim, boat handling, etc, there are things that I, as the owner, learn each year from the college sailors. This is a regatta that I would not miss.”

Thanks to the financial support of our sponsors, this is a free event for the schools and boat owners. Therefore, the Storm Trysail Foundation would like to thank Larchmont Yacht Club, Rolex, Vineyard Vines, Caithness Energy, Safe Flight Instruments, Flintlock Construction, Dimension/Polyant Sailcloth, UK Sailmakers, J/Boats, Gill, Heineken and Coke.

Schools that will be attending the IOR this year are: American University, Bowdoin, Bucknell, California Maritime, College of Charleston, Coast Guard, Columbia, Dalhousie, Denison, Drexel, EDHEC, European Business School, Fairfield, Fordham, Georgetown, Hamilton, Harvard, Maine Maritime, Mass Maritime, Maryland, Miami of Ohio, Univ. of Michigan, Michigan State, Michigan Tech Univ., Monmouth Community College, US Naval Academy, New York Maritime, Northeastern, Northwestern, Ohio State, Univ. of Ottawa, Princeton, Queens University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Univ. of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, St. Marys, Sacred Heart, SUNY Stony Brook, Syracuse, Tufts, US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, Villanova, Webb, Western Michigan, Williams, William and Mary, Univ. of Wisconsin Madison, and Yale.  For more Intercollegiate Offshore Race sailing information

J/109 sailing Hamble Winter SeriesGarmin Hamble Winter Series Preview
(Hamble, England)- Garmin (UK) will be supporting the Hamble Winter Series as title sponsor for the eighth time when the 2013 series gets under way on the weekend of the 5th October. The series organized by the Hamble River Sailing Club and now in its 32nd year, will retain the same successful format as last year. The main series will run for 8 Sundays with a break on 3rd November to avoid the start of the oyster dredging season in the Solent. It will cater for IRC Classes as well as J/111 and J/109 one-design classes.

In addition to the Garmin sponsored main series,  HRSC will be running the Hamble Big Boat Championships again on the first and third weekends of the series,  the 5th & 6th and the 19th & 20th October. The Big Boats will be sponsored by MDL Marinas again this year. IRC class plus the J/111 one-design class will be sailing.

The series will also contain the Hamble One Design Championships for J/109, J/80 and the J/70 class. The one-designs race on weeks 2 and 4 of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series, the 12th & 13th and the 26th & 27th October.

In the IRC 0 class, the J/133 JINGS will be sailing. IRC 2 class sees the debut of the J/88 JUNGLE DRUMS along with the J/105s JOURNEYMAKER V and MOSTLY HARMLESS.  In IRC 3 class sees the return of the class winning J/97 INDULJENCE as well as the J/92s BLACKJACK and the J/92 JERONIMO.

J/111 one-designs have an excellent turnout of competitive teams, including BIELA-MUNKENBECK, BRITISH SOLDIER, ICARUS, J-DREAM and JITTERBUG.  J/109 one-designs also have strong teams sailing like DESIGNSTAR, STALKER, JACOBI, JAGERBOMB, JOLLY JACK TAR, JUST SO, JYNNAN TONNYX and the RAF Sailing Team's RED ARROW.  The J/80s have several good teams sailing, like BETTY, J OUT OF THE BOX, JABBA, JESTER, JUMBLESAIL and SURF & TURF.  The new J/70 class also has a good turnout registered so far, including BOATS.COM, DJANGO, JOYRIDE, JUGADOR and PHEEBS.  For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information

2013 J/Fest Southwest Announcement
(Seabrook, Texas)- J/Fest Southwest gets better and better every year and provides a lot of bang for your entry dollar!  Once again the skippers packet is going to be chock full of coupons for Seabrook area businesses, and great products.  With great restaurants, and lots of activities for shore side guests there is something for everyone:  Kemah Boardwalk Amusement park, NASA-Discovery Center (worth an entire day), Shopping and Dining.

Sailing from November 2nd to 3rd, the host Lakewood Yacht Club will have real-time race updates for those that want to hang out and see how their favorite sailors are fairing out on the water.  In addition there will be a spectator boat available to take those that want to get up close and personal with the racing action going on amongst 8 fleets!

The newest J/Boat- the J/88 Hull #007 "It's a Thrill"- will be making her debut!  How will she do?  We'll find out soon!  Her skipper will be Rod Johnstone, J/Boats co-founder and Guest of Honor back for his fourth year!  And that means a 4th year of J/Boats trivia!  With all the fabulous prizes that come with the right answers!  Hint: "Mello Yellow" will NOT be an answer this year!

After Saturday's racing the band will start and the music will be heard across the inner harbor as we put our boats away, swap stories, and share a beverage or two.  Back by popular demand comes the "Cajun Feast".  Enough food for three regatta's!

Your skippers packet will include additional restaurant vouchers to be used at LYC for this incredible dining experience!  After dinner several TV's will be replaying the day's race tracks-this has been an awesome prop for the bench racing stories that tend to go long into the night! But really!  It's all about the racing!

All the usual One Designs will be there:  J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80, J/105 and J/109!  With a record breaking early entry list topping 34 boats with two months to go this is shaping up to be a killer event!  The first year J/70 fleet will top 10 boats! Lots of fun and the J/70 Saturday post-race debrief by the leaders has been a real hit- everyone is welcome to attend!

And for the real kicker- J/World Annapolis is bringing their talented instructors to Lakewood YC for a 2 day "J/Fest Southwest Racing Clinic" on October 31- November 1st to be run on J/70's and J/80's out of LYC!  It's the best deal in town, just $149/boat!

J/Fest Southwest always has great racing and great sponsors that provide us with a lot of valuable freebies!  Check out the regatta site at J/Fest Southwest and look at the list of sponsors to get an idea of the freebies, and listen to Seabrook Mayor Glenn Royals Welcome video!  Hook 'em up!  Head 'em out to J/Fest Southwest and Race, Dine, and Stay in Seabrook!  BTW ask for the J/Fest Southwest discount at any Seabrook hotel- check the website for a list of participating hotels!  For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

This past week saw a lot of action in the one-design world, especially with the debut of the first J/70 North American Championship taking place in Annapolis, MD with eighty-nine boats on the starting line.  This was by far the single largest one-design event ever for any offshore keelboat class in its first year of introduction, it portends great things for upcoming events like the 2014 J/70 Midwinters in Key West and, keeping fingers-crossed, a J/70 World Championship in 2014!  Remarkably, J/70s were sailing three major events this past week.  In addition to the NA's, J/70s also sailed in the Rolex Big Boat Series as a "showcase" class along the San Francisco waterfront.  In fact, things went so well that next year the J/70s will again be featured at Big Boat Series!  In addition, strong one-design fleets of J/105s and J/120s sailed, with the latter enjoying their J/120 North American Championship. In the same regatta, the J/125s were tearing it up in the first HPR National Championship.  Also happening out West was the incredibly popular J/Fest San Diego with nearly forty J's participating in one-design classes, including J/70s, J/105s, J/109s and J/120s!

Out East, the American Yacht Club hosted their classic "Fall Series" regatta, a two-day, two-weekend event that completes this coming weekend on the waters of western Long Island Sound.  Fleets of IRC boats (J/122s, J/133) and PHRF (J/111s, J/29s, J/92s) and one-design classes of J/105s, J/109s and J/44s had some gorgeous racing.

The J/24s of the world had two fun-loving, popular fall sailing events take place simultaneously, one in New York and one in England.  The Lake George Club's incredibly popular "Changing of the Colors Regatta" sailed on spectacular Lake George, New York again saw over four dozen J/24s sailing in challenging conditions-- no matter how tough the sailing can be at times, the eye-popping colors and vistas of the Adirondack Mountains simply cannot be beaten.  Across the "big pond", their counterparts were sailing another great regatta, the J/24 Autumn Cup sailed in Plymouth, England.

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:

Oct 1-5- J/22 World Championships- Newport, RI
Oct 5-12- J/24 European Championship- YC Monaco- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Oct 12-14- J/80 China Coast Race Week- Hong Kong, China
Oct 19-20- Harvest Moon Regatta- Lakewood YC- Seabrook, TX
Oct 25-27- Ole Man of the Sea Regatta- Ft Worth Boat Club- Ft Worth, TX
Oct 31- Nov 3- J/105 North Americans- Annapolis, MD
Oct 31-Nov 1-  J/Fest J/World Clinic- Lakewood YC- Seabrook, TX
Nov 2-3- J/Fest Southwest Regatta- Lakewood YC- Seabrook, TX
Nov 1-3- J/80 French Nationals- Cherbourg, France
Nov 1-3- J/24 East Coast Championships- Annapolis, MD
Nov 21-25- J/24 South American Championships- Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dec 6-7- Jamaica Jammin' J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Jan 19-24- 2014 Key West Race Week- Key West, FL

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

J/70 MUSE- sailed by Heather Gregg-Earl at North AmericansMUSE Crowned J/70 North American Champion
Heather Gregg-Earl Sweeps N.A.'s, Corinthians & Top Women Skipper Trophies!
(Annapolis, MD)- The mighty MUSE became the first J/70 North American Champions over a ginormous fleet of ninety boats! The co-owners from Boston, MA- Heather Gregg-Earl and Joe Bardenheier- had a complete Tufts "Jumbo" Sailing team crew that included fellow alumni Stuart Saffer and Billy Lynn.  By scoring a ninth in the final race they narrowly secured their victory in the seven-race series. The North American Championship was held at the Annapolis Yacht Club by J/70 Fleet #1 and title sponsored by Hillman Focused Advantage Fund. Brian Keane’s SAVASANA finished second overall and Tim Healy’s HELLY HANSEN placed third.

Heather Gregg-Earl winning J/70 NAs trophy- presented by Alan Johnstone“We didn’t know we won the regatta until we got to the dock!” beamed Bardenheier. “We just figured if we stayed in the top 10, we might end up pretty high in the event. We didn’t look at the scores all day.” In fact, MUSE was 13th after the first day, when they tallied two fifths plus a 55 due to having to overcome the challenge of a penalty turn. “Today we sailed very consistently and just stuck with it. We had great teamwork and good communication the whole time.”

In addition to the remarkable performances of the top three, the balance of the top ten included Peter McChesney's TROUBLE gang from  Annapolis, MD in 4th; Bob Hughes's HEARTBREAKER gang (including Morgan Reeser) from Ada, Michigan also had a "Heather-like, phoenix-from-the-ashes" performance to comeback deeper than her to capture 5th; in 6th was Joel Ronning's CATAPULT team (including Chris Larson) from Lake Minnetonka, MN; 7th was Doug Strebel's BLACK RIVER RACING team from Dallas, TX (including Jay & Jody Lutz); taking 8th was John Brigden's COOL STORY BRO team (including Chris Snow) from Menlo Park/ San Francisco, CA; 9th was Martie Kullman's TOUCH 2 PLAY team-- there's may have been the "hard luck" story of the regatta getting "black-flagged" in race 4 after sailing fast & smart enough to win the regatta; and 10th was Henry Filter's WILD CHILD team (including Moose McClintock) from Annapolis, MD.

J/70s starting at North Americans off Annapolis, MDWhat is perhaps most notable regards the first J/70 North Americans is that not only did a woman skipper win it, Heather Gregg-Earl on MUSE, but that three women finished in the top 20 in such a ginormous regatta with 89 boats!  In addition to Heather, Jenn Wulff from Annapolis, MD skippered JOINT CUSTODY to an 11th overall and Suzy Leech from Jamestown, RI sailed JUNKANOO to 18th overall-- remarkable performances by all three women and proof that a J/70 can be easily sailed and handled by top women anywhere in the world.  Imagine that!  These three women, collectively, beat several top World Champions in classes like 470s, Etchells 22s, Lightnings, Farr 40s, Melges 24s, Melges 32s, J/22s, J/24s and J/80s!  You go gurlz!!

J/70 North Americans- Tim Healy and Helly HansenThe host Annapolis YC and its Race Committee PRO, Sandy Grosvenor, performed magnificently and managed to keep the aggressive fleet of 90 boats from Bermuda, Canada, Mexico and the USA in check most of the time.  Considering how hard the fleet pressed the line, it was surprising to see how few "black flag" general recalls had to be implemented on the three-boat starting line.  And, even more impressive, was how well-behaved the fleet was in upwind/ downwind crossings and in mark roundings.  With enormous packs of boats criss-crossing constantly, many felt it was always better to "wave people across" than to have them tack or gybe on your air and block your path to where you wished to go.  Considering the size and competitiveness of the fleet, some members of the Jury expressed amazement that so few protests were lodged over the course of the three day event.

The weather forecast for the event was providing both the RC PRO and the sailors some anxious moments.  While Thursday's sailing provided a good test of the fleet, it was light, full of holes and very shifty from the N-NE at 4-8 kts, but enough for three decent races.  Friday's sailing was cancelled since the wind never filled and settled in, welcome to the darker side of the notorious Chesapeake Bay!  However, Saturday's conditions permitted four good race in breezes that started from the N-NE in the 12-15 kts range and diminished to 6-10 kts by the last race.

Excitement ran high for the first day of racing, with lots of anxious moments for everyone as the fleet learned quickly what to do and, especially, what NOT to do.  The leaderboard changed with every race, but it was Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from san Diego, CA that had the lead after three races with an identical scoreline of 4-4-4.  It was a stunning performance for the first day of sailing.  Just behind them was Joel’s Ronning’s CATAPULT from Lake Minnetonka, MN that notched 22 points after finishes of 15-6-1 for second place. Martie Kullman’s TOUCH 2 PLAY was third with 18-1-22 for 41 points.

J/70 Heartbreaker- Bob Hughes at J/70 North AmericansIn the anxiety-ridden first race, the first test for all 90 teams to determine who was fastest, smartest or luckiest, Kerry Klingler’s MENACE seized the moment and took the first victory.  They were followed by Bodo von der Wense on TURBO DUCK and Douglas Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING close behind. Kullman’s team took the win in race two, trailed by two Annapolis "locals", Peter McChesney's TROUBLE in second and Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD in third. Ronning's CATAPULT snagged Thursday’s closing contest, and rounding out the top three were John Aras and Tyler Doyle.

Geoff Becker, sailing on Team HELLY HANSEN with Tim Healy had this report for Day One:  "Light and shifty winds and almost 90 boats in the fleet, then add a high level of talent and you are in store for some major mood swings.

After Day 1, it is clear that there are going to be highs and lows for everyone. Team Helly Hansen saw ups and downs today, and finished the day with a 23rd, 31st and a 9th. Believe it or not. But, that is good enough for 12th overall and only one point out of 10th.

J/70s sailing around mark in Annapolis, MDThe depth of talent in this regatta is outstanding. There are dozens of professionals and dozens more excellent amateur sailors all on the same course. Small mistakes, especially early in a race, will find you well back from the lead pack and struggling to find clear air, much less any passing lanes. Keeping your nose in clear air and being able to sail at full speed will surely help get you up to the front 1/3 of the fleet. If you are then able be on the favored side of the course, well that’s a bonus and might thrust you into the top 10.

On the way to the racecourse in the morning our team had a discussion about our overall strategy for this regatta knowing that there were so many boats and this was a no throw-out regatta. To us, that meant we had to work hard to pass boats no matter our position or situation. It was likely that most teams, including ours, would have difficult races back in the fleet. Overall positions in the regatta could easily come down to how many boats could be passed from the first mark to the finish. Staying focused and patient would be our biggest asset on the day, and each point would matter to our overall position.

J/70s sailing in packs upwind at North AmericansIn race 1 we had a good start and were able to sail clean to the left side, which we thought was better, but found that the right side had a bit more wind and we got to the first mark in the 30s somewhere. After the first mark, we were able to scratch back to our 23rd and felt pretty good about it. For race 2, we were too aggressive on the line, started OCS and had to return and re-start. Our return was quick, we found a clear lane and survived to finish in 31st. The final race of the day, Race 3, we saw better pressure on the right, started near the right and had a clear lane to the right. At the first mark we rounded third! Yay! On the second upwind leg we again went to the right, but another pack of boats found more wind on the left and sailed around us. Fortunately we were able to stay inside the top 10 and save our best race of the day.

I can say that our patience was tested and at times it looked like we had no good options for gaining in a race. Something that has been said on our boat many times before became our mantra today…Day-by-day, race-by-race, leg-by-leg, puff-by-puff. Staying in the moment and keeping our focus on our best options each leg of each race was something we tried very hard to achieve today. Truthfully, there were several moments today when that ideal was challenging and it seemed like we had no best option, but for the most part we kept our heads and continued to look for gains on the course.

While our scores are not outstanding, we finished the day ready to work hard tomorrow. Light air, so many boats and mental highs and lows can be some of the hardest conditions to face on a racecourse. Tomorrow we plan to keep our pre-race focus positive and fight hard in every race, on every leg and for every point."

Youngest J/70 skipper- Joe Collins Jr with Rod JohnstoneAfter the "lost day" Friday, the fleet was anxious to get rolling for the final day.  Saturday’s conditions cooperated to allow four races in streaky, shifty NE winds that started around 12-15 knots and leveled off to 6-10 kts by the end. Keane crossed the line first in the day’s initial bout, with Healy and MUSE rounding out the top three. Douglas Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING won the next contest, trailed by Robert Hughes’s HEART BREAKER and John Killeen. Keane returned to victory in Saturday’s third race, while Jennifer Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY placed second and Joe Colling/Ian Moran third. The final battle saw Cole Allsopp’s MOXIE take line honors, followed by Hughes and Bruno Pasquinelli.

Again, Geoff Becker on Team HELLY HANSEN had some great insights about sailing in this epic fleet. "The final day brought an early first start (10am), moderate shifty winds and 4 races! Because no races could be completed on Day 2, the RC needed as many races as possible on the final day. This meant that more than half of the regatta was to be decided on this final day of racing.

Team Helly Hansen was able to endure the fickle and streaky conditions to finish the event 3rd overall, with scores of 2nd, 6th, 22nd and an 8th on the final day of racing. Consistency was something all the teams wanted, but for this regatta it was difficult to achieve. Fortunately, we were able to stay out of major trouble and keep our boat going toward the better side of the course, most of the time.

Looking at the scores from this regatta, they show an effective illustration of one of the topics from my J-24 North American Blogs. Thinking of a regatta score in terms of an average, a score of ‘par’ can be found. A ‘par’ score in sailing is basically the average score per race versus the overall regatta score. By thinking of a ‘par’ score, it makes looking at the larger picture easier when you do finish 25th or even worse. For example, if a boat finishes 5th and 15th for a score of 20 points in two races, the average score would be 10th and thinking in terms of two 10th place finishes often offers a more positive outlook.

Looking closely at the scores for the J-70 North Americans, it is easy to see that every boat had big scores. Add to that that this regatta offered no drop races, and the average scores were much higher than would normally be expected. The winner of the event averaged over 13.5 points per race and even counted a 55th. Our team, finishing in 3rd overall, had an average score of almost 14.5 points per race and only one race in the top 5. Again, these averages are higher because of the lack of a drop race.

After some experience looking at race scores, a winning average score can often be estimated before the event begins. Some elements that effect the forecast of an average regatta score are, number of boats, depth of the fleet, consistency of the sailing conditions and number of races. During the J-70 event it became obvious early that the regatta would have a high average score for the overall. There were 89 boats, including a large number of high level crews, which combined with the fickle conditions made consistent top finishes more than challenging.

Ok, why does guessing an average score before the event matter? The answer is simple, "peace of mind." Knowing that the regatta will likely have a high average score, when your boat finishes a race in 25th place, that score doesn’t sting as much making it somewhat easier to re-focus for the next race. Basically, having an average score in mind helps even out the highs and lows that will surely occur during a long and tough event allowing the bad races to be put into the big picture more easily!"  Thanks for Geoff's contributions-- see more of his blogs at

Next up on the J/70 world sailing circuit is the 2014 J/70 Midwinters hosted by Premiere Racing during the Key West Race Week from January 19th to 24th, 2014.  Already over two dozen J/70s are registered, by far the largest one-design fleet in the regatta.  Register now at  The scuttlebutt on the streets and party tent were that over half of the J/70 NA's teams will be sailing Key West-- the party and the fun continues!  In fact, J/70s will have their own race course in Key West!   Sailing photo credits- Dan Phelps at  For more J/70 North Americans sailing information

J/70 EOS sailing upwind at San Francisco Big Boat SeriesEOS Tops J/70 Big Boat Series
J/125 DT HPR Champ, J/120 MAGOO Tops NA's, J/105 BLACKHAWK Wins Da'Watch!
(San Francisco, CA)- The 49th edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series sailed from the 26th to 29th, September, was yet another great event for the history books.  The RBBS took center stage on San Francisco Bay immediately after the thrilling finale of the 34th America's Cup when Team Oracle (expat- Kiwi version) made their unprecedented comeback to win the Cup over Emirates Team New Zealand (real Kiwi version) against unprecedented odds.  This year's RBBS featured the HPR National Championship (with J/125s in the mix), the J/120 North American Championship, a great J/105 fleet and the exciting debut of the J/70 one-design class.

A dedicated spectator-friendly race track was setup for the J/70s. And, as promised by Norm Davant, RBBS Regatta Chairman, it fulfilled the “fast, exciting, racing along essentially the same track as the America’s Cup race courses, with the starts and finishes in front of St Francis YC and major viewing areas.”

J/120 cruiser racer sailboats- sailing upwind off San FranciscoRecognized as one of the premier West Coast regattas, the Rolex Big Boat attracts professional and corinthian sailors from around the world. The four day regatta provided the 100+ boats just about every weather condition possible within the "classic" SF Bay westerly sea-breeze.  Every day started at the light end of the range, 8-12 kts from the West with very little fog and slowly built to the expected 12-20 kts from the WSW each day at the sunny end of the range.  It was idyllic, gorgeous sailing most of the time for everyone.

J/105s sailing downwind to finish at San Francisco Big Boat SeriesThursday's sailing kicked off with two races in light to moderate breezes and a strong flood tide that kept the sailing teams in working hard to outwit each other.  In the six-boat IRC D class, the margins on finishes were quite narrow, especially for David Halliwill’s (New York, N.Y.) J/120 PEREGRINE, which finished 2-1.  New this year were first-place trophies for daily races and "Boat of the Day" awards. The J/70 LITTLE HAND, owned by Frank Slootman of Pleasanton, Calif. won the latter award for the first day.

Friday's sailing started off with a one-hour postponement ashore, followed by another hour of waiting on San Francisco Bay-- neither dashed spirits nor inhibited competition for the sailors.  In fact, just as it did yesterday, the wind faithfully filled in as a westerly—light at first but packing the same punch, at 18-20 knots, by the end of the day— to overpower the morning easterly and accommodate two races for everyone.  In the J/70s, a second set of three races was added to three races from yesterday and began to tell a story of “consistency pays off.”

St Francis YC Commodore- Jim Cascino“You’ve got to be in the right place with full speed and clear air,” said St Francis Yacht Club Commodore Jim Cascino, who skippers the J/70 EOS, currently leading their class. “If you do that, as we were fortunate enough to do over these two days, it makes a big difference.”

Sailing on Cascino’s four-person crew wasJ/70 sailor- Stu Johnstone- sailing J/70 at Big Boat Series Stu Johnstone, whose family developed the J/Boat line of boats (there are 40 total sailing here, the majority in one-design classes and the others in HPR and IRC) and this latest class, which has become wildly popular in the short year and a half since its launching. His description of the EOS team’s “little scare” in today’s second race, when the team rounded a mark the wrong way, captured the excitement and variety built into the design of multiple race courses used here.

“We started in front of Alcatraz Island and beat all the way up to the Sausalito side of the Bay towards the Golden Gate, and then took off on a screaming plane, reaching, then running all the way down to Treasure Island,” said Johnstone, explaining an approximately eight-mile race that took about an hour and a half to complete. “That was where we rounded the mark first and saw the entire fleet round the other way on starboard, so we went around and corrected ourselves. We were last at the bottom mark.”

The EOS team fought back to second by playing the famous “current cone” alongside Alcatraz and then screaming along the waterfront downwind off of Crissy Field to catch boats. “We hung in there, and then we had this crazy jibing duel back and forth to the finish (off the race deck at St. Francis Yacht Club).”

J/105s starting off Treasure Island on City Front starting lineAs they have for over 20 years, J/105 class sailors have shown up en masse for the Rolex Big Boat Series, fielding 22 teams. Skippers and crew members were discussing light-air strategies on the dock this morning, but were hopeful the breeze would pick up, as it did. “These boats are built for heavy breeze,” said Scott Whitney, a co-owner of RISK (currently in third) with Jason Woodley, who says there are 65 J/105s that regularly sail in the San Francisco Bay area. “In light air we have to shift gears, but basically we’re all in the same boat-- literally.”

Today’s conditions benefitted Phil Laby’s J/105 GODOT, which finished second in both races to replace yesterday’s leader, Scooter Simmons’s BLACKHAWK, at the top of the scoreboard. “Yesterday we were in fifth at the end of the day,” said Godot.  “We went into today not wanting to make too many mistakes, make sure we had a game plan, and follow it the whole way through. We managed to get good starts and just stay in the game, and it turns out we made some good decisions.”

Godot added that last year, his team was in an almost identical position on the second day, and on the last day, they had to beat several boats to win.  In the end, they lost a tiebreaker for first. “This year we’re back to avenge,” he said.

J/125 Double Trouble sailing off San Francisco- Big Boat SeriesPeter Krueger’s J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE, which has “three-peated” here as a class victor in the past, posted two bullets in HPR, jumping from fourth to second place overall and tying on point score.  DT was named Boat of the Day, the second day in a row a J/Team was named Boat of the Day.

Saturday's racing was simply classic SF Bay sailing.  As 22 J/105s came running down San Francisco Bay with the Golden Gate Bridge rising from behind their colorful spinnakers, other boats sailed upwind toward them in a freshening 8-12 knot westerly that enabled the fleets to comfortably negotiate the current and wind for optimum speed. It was the third glittering day of sailing for the fleets.

Steve Madeira’s J/120 MISTER MAGOO elbowed its way in between Barry Lewis’s CHANE and John Wimer’s DESDEMONA on the scoreboard today, and the three teams were mathematically tied on points in the six-boat J/120  fleet!!

J/105s sailing under parade down San Francisco BayNew leaders emerged in three additional classes, as Peter Krueger’s J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE traded places to take the top spot in HPR class; Scooter Simmons’s BLACKHAWK jumped from second to first in the J/105 class while yesterday’s leader, Phillip Laby’s GODOT, slid to sixth; and Jim Cascino’s EOS maintained their lead the J/70 class.  In fact, Commodore Cascino's J/70 EOS was named Boat of the Day on Saturday.

For Sunday's traditional “Bay Tour” finale— the single long race that wraps up each class’s series and determines final winners— the fleet’s final push to the finish was tame in comparison to previous days when boat speeds were jacked up by brisk breezes and a strong flood tide, but the end result was all that mattered. Six class winners were awarded St. Francis Yacht Club Perpetual Trophies along with Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner timepieces, while new title holders were named in the 2013 HPR National Championship and the J/120 North American Championship.

J/125 Double Trouble owner- Peter KruegerIt was touch-and-go for the outcome of the HPR Class, sailing for the Richard Rheem Perpetual Trophy. The light air postponed the start and forced race managers to relocate the starting area, which in turn shortened the length of the Bay Tour. Peter Krueger’s (Reno, Nevada) J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE was in the lead in points, but only by two in a class that had Daniel Thielman’s (Tiburon, Calif.) RP 44 Tai Kaui leading the first two days, with others waiting closely in the wings.  “We had to remember to sail our race and if we tried to sail somebody else’s race that just doesn’t work,” said Krueger. “It gets down to basics: whoever makes fewer errors and has the best crew work. Ours was fantastic, so everything went well.”  By earning a third today it was good enough for Krueger and the J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE team to take the National Championship, the first-ever for this class, by one point.

“This is a huge win, not just because it’s the HPR National Championship but also because DOUBLE TROUBLE has won here the last two years, but last year when it won in HPR, it wasn’t up against the McConaghy 38, the RP 44, and other boats like that,” said Brian Ledbetter, DOUBLE TROUBLE’s tactician, a Finn Olympic Silver Medalist from Seattle.  “Sailing in HPR is like sailing in catamarans. Even if it’s a bad day out there you are ripping around the race course and having fun.”

J/125 Resolute- owner Tim Fuller sailing in San Francisco at Big Boat SeriesFinishing behind them, but also in a "come-from-behind" mode, was Tim Fuller's J/125 RESOLUTE, taking mostly 3rds to capture third overall for the regatta. Fourth, ironically, was former J/105 sailor Bernie Girod from Santa Barbara YC in his Farr 400 ROCK & ROLL-- a very competitive team from Santa Barbara, CA.  Said Bernie in a conversation one morning on the dock, "we're a bit faster off the wind than the J/125s, but we simply cannot hold them back upwind, amazing to see an older boat like that go so fast!"

The lone J/120 sailing in IRC D was David Halliwill's PEREGRINE from New York, NY.  Taking a 1-2 in their last two races pulled them into the top ranks to take third for the regatta, just point out of second.

J/120s sailing downwind off San FranciscoPerhaps the most toughly contested battle was in the J/120 class, where Barry Lewis’ CHANCE pegged an early regatta lead but wound up tied on points with final winner MR MAGGO going into today. The dead air lingering at the eastern end of the Bay wreaked havoc on the J/120 fleet when it caused them to come to a screeching halt at their bottom mark.  CHANCE, which had been leading comfortably, was overwhelmed by a flock of J/105s that descended on its territory, and only the luckiest boats escaped the pile-up unscathed.  In particular, while everyone was drifting, MR MAGOO wiggled away to victory, and by one point in overall scoring won the J/120 North American Championship as well as the Keefe-Kilborn Perpetual Trophy.  CHANCE ended up second followed by John Wimer's DESDEMONA in third.

J/105 Blackhawk- sailed by Scooter SimmonsThe J/105 BLACKHAWK, skippered by Scooter Simmons (Belvedere, Calif.), managed a sixth to maintain its lead in that class and take home the Atlantic Perpetual Trophy.  It was a tough battle all regatta long with Bruce Stone's ARBITRAGE team.  Going into the last race, both teams were essentially tied and the final race would determine the final outcome.  Stone's ARBITRAGE could only manage to put three boats between the two when they needed six to win overall.  As a result, Simmon's team won their second Rolex watch in the last three years.  Stone's team managed second overall, despite sailing to the wrong mark in the 3rd race (while winning the race).  Third was Jason Woodley's and Scot Whitney's RISK, followed in fourth by Jeff Litfin's MOJO and early regatta leader Phi Laby's GODOT team in fifth.

J/70 one-design fleet- starting at San Francisco Big Boat SeriesIn the J/70's, St. Francis Yacht Club Commodore Jim Cascino won half of his eight races to win their class, but only after winning a tie-breaker in overall scoring with Frank Slootman’s (Pleasanton, Calif.) LITTLE HAND sailing with trimmer/ tactician Bill Erkelens (manager of Larry Ellison's SAYONARA offshore program).  Taking third for the regatta were Mark & Cameron Howe on RED.  The J/70 fleet were not without their mishaps interpreting how to sail the race course and navigating certain race amendments.  In the fourth race, Cascino's team was winning and rounded the leeward mark the wrong way, self-correcting the rounding incorrectly, still finishing 2nd in the race, but having to withdraw for re-rounding incorrectly (got it?-- it's called "the string theory").  In the final "around SF Bay tour" race on Sunday, Cascino's team was winning again by a significant margin but rounded the leeward mark as a "mark", not as a "gate", as did most of the rest of the fleet-- consequently retiring again! Lessons learned?  Navigators are important on J/70s if sailing in San Francisco Bay-- bring the GPS!

In the end, another memorable Rolex Big Boat Series, punctuated by the "beer girls" serving local micro-brewery brews every evening as each team docked their boats, full trays of beers in hand for every member of the crew!  And, who can forget "breakfast" served each morning at the head of the dock ramp, with fresh-made coffee, eggs cooked to your liking, fresh pastries and other sundries.  The sponsor's Rolex and their partners Mt Gay Rum and the St Francis YC team ashore did a masterful job of ensuring all crews were happily taken care of in every way possible-- kudo's to Commodore Jim Cascino and the entire StFYC crew!  Time for a day off, one would presume before next weekend's infamous "Stag Cruise" to Tinsley Island in the Delta!?   For daily video recaps by T2P-TV with the famously gorgeous rockstar Annie Gardner.   For more Rolex Big Boat Series sailing information

J/70s and J/120s sailing off San Diego at J/FestSun, Fun, Wind Dominate J/Fest San Diego
(San Diego, CA)- After a weekend of everything J/Boats at San Diego YC’s J/Fest, the fleets of one-design J/120s, J/105s, J/109s and J/70s were blessed with nice breezes for all three days. The fleet of thirty-one boats were treated to the memorable San Diego YC hospitality that many sailors look forward to in this magical part of the sailing world.  It's no wonder that more US Navy flag officers retire to this corner of America than any other, the weather is amazing, gorgeous temperate weather, cool breezes and great sailing all year round!

J/120 sailing around mark in San Diego J/FestThe J/120s always have very tight competition with their modest-sized fleet of eight boats.  In the end, Chuck Nichols' CC RIDER took the crown as J/120 Champion, sailing a very consistent 2-1-2-3-1 series for 9 pts to win by a large margin.  Second was another past winner, John Laun's CAPER with a slow starting 4-4, but finishing with a flourish of 1-1-2 for 12 pts (were you sleeping the first two races John?).  Conversely, fast out of the starting box but hanging tough (after partying the first night?) was John Snook's JIM with a 1-3-4-6-5 for 19 pts.  Rounding out the top five was Mike Hatch's J-ALMIGHTY in 4th and Peter Zarcades's MELTEMI if 5th.

J/105s sailing J/Fest in San DiegoThe J/105s had yet another great turnout with most of the top local teams sailing, including a "foreigner" from the north, Los Angeles's Gary Mozer on CO2.  In the end, it was Mozer's team on CURRENT OBSESSION II who finished first, claiming the 2013 SoCal Championship title with an amazingly consistent 6-1-2-3-1 scoreline for 13 pts.  A distant second was Dennis and Sharon Case’s WINGS taking silver with a 1-3-4-8-2 tally for 18 pts.  And, Dennis Conner’s DC's PHOLLY (yes, the same famously huggable Mr America's Cup) finished third to complete the podium with an 11-2-3-2-5 score for 23 pts!  Fourth was Dag Fish on VIGGEN and fifth was recent Santa Barbara YC Fiesta Cup winner, Rick Goebel's SANITY.

J/70s sailing around mark at San DiegoThe J/109 class was won by Daylen Tercen's GREAT BALLS OF FIRE with a 1-3-1-2-2 record for 9 pts, just good enough to win by one point!  Second was John Shulze's LINSTAR with a 3-2-3-1-1 score for 10 pts.  Can't get much closer than that in one-design racing!  Third was Rex Butler's JD.

The J/70s debut as a class with their five boat fleet was a lot of fun racing offshore on San Diego Bay.  Having been traveling to the last three major J/70 events on the West Coast, Dan Gribble's GO-RILLA, Eric Kownacki/ Tom Jenkins' DFZ, and Karl Pomeroy's ZERO TO 60 were likely to have the upper hand-- and they did.  Demonstrating excellent race course awareness, extraordinary speed and consciousness as well adroit boat-handling bordering on the professional level was the DFZ gang from Manhattan Beach YC.  Eric K and Tom J showed the locals how it's done, taking a 1-1-1-2-1 for a masterful win in the J/70 class.  Second was Gribble's GO-RILLA and third was Pomeroy's ZERO TO 60 going more like ZERO to 30-- next time Karl, prime the pump with "av-gas"! :)   For more J/Fest San Diego sailing information

J/24s sailing off Plymouth, EnglandLEGAL ALIENS Dominate England!
J/24s in Autumn Cup See Out-Of-This-World Performance!
(Plymouth, England)- This year's J/24 Autumn Cup was hosted by Saltash Sailing Club, with a programme consisting of races in Plymouth Sound on Saturday followed by a Bottle Race up to Saltash Sailing Club and 2 races planned on Sunday on the River Tamar. Whilst strong winds are not unseasonal the wind direction was uncommon with strong Easterlies whipping across the Sound followed by a ferocious squall topping out at 33 kts giving troublesome conditions for the start line boat to anchor in. After 2 mainsails were ripped, faces stung by sharp rain, crews completely drenched and a couple of  J’s having taken the decision to head for home, a judgement call was made to make an earlier retreat up river and continue racing in the Lynher.

The committee boat set up a start-line in the more sheltered waters of Jenny Cliff with 9 boats heading up the River Tamar, North of Drakes Island & onwards towards the Tamar Bridge. Legal Alien was first to hoist their kite followed by shortly after by the rest of the fleet. Gusty winds were soon surpassed by some challenging, frequently unpredictable conditions which kept all crews on their toes sailing along past the dockyards and up towards the Tamar Bridge. Redrow Homes, helmed by Tom Cload crossed the line first to win the Bottle Race.

J/24s sailing off Plymouth, England down riverFollowing a brief stop-off outside Saltash Sailing Club, a Windward-Leeward course was set up in the Lynher with three races completed in quick succession. Jeli, helmed by Stig McDonald took the first race in the Lynher (race 2), with Nick McDonald helming Legal Alien winning race 3 and 4. The shelter of the river made the afternoons racing viable however not without some unruly gusts causing several boats to broach on the downwind league, including a spectacular bit of depth sounding along the Cornish boundaries by Team Redrow (thankfully softly into the estuaries muddy banks). Weary crews headed in after an exhilarating days sailing to a welcoming sailing club and warm dinner.

Sunday yielded another windy day with all to play for with the remaining 2 races. Legal Alien was in the lead with just 3 points clear of Jawbreaker and Jeli with 7 points each. Legal Alien proved un-touchable in Race 5 despite some hot competition from Redrow Homes and Illuminator, helmed by Mathew Conyers. Going into the final race there was still plenty of room for final positions to be changed.  Race 6 was a tight race with the left side paying for the first 2 beats, but Legal Alien (helmed by Darren Stansbury in the final race) took a wild card heading to the far right on the final beat making up a fair 200m and rounding the windward mark looking like Cheshire cats and finishing the day with a clean sweep.

Final results were; Legal Alien in First with 6 points, Jawbreaker in Second with 15 points, and Jeli with 18 points. 4th- Redrow homes, 5th- Jam Too, 6th - Illuminator, 7th –Skilled Services, 8th – Hijinks, 9th – Jo Jo (Winning Westerly), 10th – Just the Tonic, 11th- Nitro, 12th-Italian Job.

Our thanks go to Saltash Sailing Club for hosting the event this year with a change of scenery with regards to sailing location. Their warm welcome and efficiency made for a hassle-free event. Thank you to David Oliver for the use of his yacht as the Committee boat. Whilst a common occurrence at the majority of  UK J24 events the black flag was only threatened in the final race with all other races starting first time. Malcolm Woods and his crew gave a sterling effort with attempting mark laying in the Sound and were excellent in their guidance in the Lynher with the myriad of buoys. Final thanks go to Neil Duncley, the race officer for the weekend. For plenty of photos of weekend action please take a look at the UK J/24 Class Association on Facebook.  For more J/24 Autumn Cup sailing information

J/24s sailing Lake George Changing of Colors RegattaJ/24 RAKE HELL Takes Changing of Colors Regatta!
(Lake George, NY)- The 35th Annual Changing of the Colors Regatta at the Lake George Club in Lake George, NY saw 42 boats on the line and more sunshine than wind. With two days of mostly waiting around for the wind to come the race organizers managed to get a race off each day in spite of the challenging conditions. As usual, the cream still rose to the top with past champions John Enwright and Flip Wehrheim teaming up on RAKE HELL to win the event. They were followed in 2nd place by perennial contender Aiden Glackin on MENTAL FLOSS and in 3rd by 9-time past champion Kirk Reynolds on NO CRY BABIES.

J/24s sailing off Lake George Club in New YorkAfter launching their boats and taking shakedown cruises the sailors gathered in the grotto bar at the Club on Friday night for chili, wings and beer provided by Adirondack Brewery. The steady 8 knot air that greeted sailors all day Friday died off and would not show itself again until Sunday afternoon. Breakfast stretched out to lunch on Saturday morning as the glassy waters reflected the Adirondack mountain foliage. Finally, a slight breeze filled in by 3 PM and the Race Committee quickly set up an I5 and got a start off. As boats rounded the weather mark the wind lightened and the course was shortened with Rake Hell, No Cry Babies, Dan Busch on Buschwacker and Mental Floss taking top honors for the day.

Saturday night the fires were roaring in the old club house as guests fed on Sirloin, Chicken Oscar and Sole Florentine from the award winning kitchen staff of the Lake George Club. Waterline Systems, Annapolis Performance Sailing, Harken, Sea Choice Products, North Sails and Lake Placid Distillery provided enough drawing prizes for each boat attending dinner. Then the band turned up the heat some more as people danced to great 80's cover music and partied into the night.

J/24 regatta winnersDetermined not to waste a minute of wind the Race Committee headed out onto the water early on Sunday with marks ready to be dropped. After 11 AM pockets of wind began to fill and soon the breeze spread across the lake. With marks in place the Committee started a W5 by 11:30. The breeze built slowly through the race as No Cry Babies charged back from being called over early to a 6th place finish with Rake Hell taking line honors again and Mental Floss finishing 2nd.

Awards followed for 1st through 10th: John Enwright, Aiden Glackin, Kirk Reynolds, Martin Gallagher, Dan Busch, Andrew Brodie, Lenny Cushing, Chris Follansbee, Mike Quaid and Ed Gardner.  Best Local Boat: Andrew Brodie.  Best Visiting Fleet: 146 - Oswego, NY. Best Family Boat, Mid-Fleet and Best Comeback Awards were generously provided by North Sails.

Winner John Enwright summed up the weekend with some kind words for the Race Committee: "Despite the challenging, frustrating conditions, the PRO somehow managed to get two races off and save the regatta.  I personally don't think that I could have done it if I was in his position, and it was the right call. The results showed that the top boats were able to still get consistently good scores in the most inconsistent of conditions which is the true litmus test of a fair competition."

Register early and save a spot for next years Changing of the Colors Regatta, September 27th and 28th, 2014. Contact for more info.  For more J/24 Changing of the Colors sailing regatta information

J/44 one-design sailing American YC Fall SeriesGorgeous Start to AYC Fall Series
(Rye, New York)- The classic fall offshore sailing series on Long Island Sound got off to a spectacular start this past weekend.  The American YC Race Committee took full advantage of the sunny skies, beautiful breeze with skies punctuated by "torn cotton" clouds scudding across the horizon, by running five great races for the fleet of ninety boats sailing in the western reaches of the Sound.  Sailing were fleets of IRC & PHRF handicap classes as well as one-design classes of J/105s, J/109s and J/44s.  J/Teams comprised well over 50% of the fleet with 49 J's participating in the event, by far the dominant brand sailing in the AYC Fall Series.

J/111s sailing on Long Island SoundStarting with the handicap classes, leading IRC B by just one point is the J/122 WINGS sailed by Mike Bruno and crew, posting a 1-2-2-1-3 score for 6 pts.  Just behind them is stablemate J/122 PATRIOT helmed by Stephen Furnary (the same boat that won with all the AYC Juniors in the recent Stamford-Vineyard Race!)- they posted a 2-1-1-3-4 for 7 pts, losing their lead from Saturday.  Lying fourth with a shot at the podium is Ron Richman's J/133 ANTIDOTE with 12 pts.

PHRF A class has three J/111s sailing and Paul Strauch's crew on ANDIAMO are continuing their great performance this summer at Storm Trysail's Block Island Race Week.  ANDIAMO's crew sailed well to finish 3-5-3-4-5 for 15 pts to hold third overall after the first weekend.  Just one point back is PARTNERSHIP sailed by David and Maryellen Tortorello with scores of 6-3-4-3-7 for 16 pts.

J/109s sailing upwind on Long Island SoundThe thirty footers that are populating PHRF C class are having to contend with some well-sailed, fast J/29s and J/92s!  Surprised?  Who would be by now?  The usual suspects are all occupying the top spots led by the famous father/son team of John & Tony Esposito on their J/29 HUSTLER; they're five 1sts and a 4th means they're counting just 1sts after a toss race for a mere 5 pts!  Tom & Julie Sinatra's J/29 SMOKIN'J is second overall with a 3-2-4-2-1-2 tally for 10 pts net.  Third is Christian Uecker's J/92 HOUND DOG three point back with a record of 2-3-2-4-2-5 for 13 pts net.  Rounding out the top five is Aleksandr Tichter's J/29 AKULA with four 5ths and two 6ths for 26 pts net in fifth place.

J/44 sailing upwind off American YCThe extraordinary J/44 class just keeps on bouncing along like the proverbial Energizer Bunny!  With a fantastic turnout of nine boats, the J/44s seem to continually enjoy a never-ending renaissance of perennial and new owners that jump into this popular class.  Some familiar faces are leading the pack, but some new ones are learning quickly and climbing the ladder fast.  Currently, Bill Ketcham's MAXINE is ruling the roost with a 1-1-1-3-3 tally for 6 pts net.  Jim Bishop's GOLD DIGGER lies second with a 2-5-7-1-1 record for 9 pts net.  Len Sitar's VAMP is third with 7-3-2-2-4 finishes for 11 pts.  Fourth is Jeff Willis's CHALLENGE IV and fifth is class newcomer Joerg Esdorn and Duncan Hennes sailing the "new" KINCSEM (J sailors may recall they were J/105 champions for years).

J/105s sailing downwind on Long Island SoundSpeaking of a renaissance, the J/109s and J/105s both have huge fleets sailing this year.  The J/109s have ten boats participating with some new names at the front of the fleet.  Currently leading is Jim Vos's SKOOT with a very consistent record of 1-2-2-2-2-4 for 9 pts net.  Second is Bill Rogers on BIG BOAT with a roller-coaster scoreline of 8-1-7-1-5-1 (hitting corners there Bill?) for a total of 15 pts.  Third is Jack Forehand's STRATEGERY with a 7-8-3-3-1-2 tally for 16 pts.  Two points back in fourth is perennial class champion Rick Lyall sailing STORM with 18 pts net.  And, fifth is Jonathan Rechtschaffer's EMOTICON with 22 pts net.

J/109s reaching under spinnaker at American YC Fall seriesThe J/105s also have a great turnout with nineteen boats registered.  The top four boats are all very close, with just five points separating them.  Currently, Sean & Susan Doyle's KESTREL is leading with a 2-3-4-2-2-4 score for 13 pts net.  Three points back in second is George & Alex Wilbanks's REVELATION with a 7-4-5-1-5-1 record for 16 pts net.  Third is perennial class champion Damian Emery sailing ECLIPSE with a 1-2-3-4-8-7 tally for 17 pts net.  One point back is Paul Beaudin's LOULOU with 4-9-2-6-1-5 finishes for 18 pts!  That's close competition and anything can happen this weekend with the light airs forecast from the NE-SE.  Fifth is Jeremy Henderson's CONUNDRUM.

With a Saturday forecast for light Northeast winds filling in behind a large Low pressure system going out to sea, the fleet will be challenged to make the most of 4-8 kts breezes against the strong Long Island Sound tides and currents.  Sunday's forecast shows some improvement with southeasterly breezes in the 6-12 kts range.  Sailing photo credits- Tom Young/ American YC   For more American YC Fall Series sailing information


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

J/80 sailing off Santander, Spain*  J/80 sailing in Spain goes unabated, always learning, always going faster. While racing in Santander Bay, the J/80 Santander fleet continues fleet racing at near "world championship" level with many of their local sailors.

Here is a fun perspective on their fleet races.  A few windward-leeward courses.  The video is from aboard GO-FIT on September 22nd, winds in the 18-22 kts range with no waves.  Recorded with GoPro 2 with both mast and boom cameras.  Totally cool! Trofeo A&G Banca Privada (1st race). Trofeo Maqueché (3rd Race) with David Madrazo helming.  So, these guys are OK-- what can you do better?!

2013 Rolex Big Boat Series regatta winners- Rolex Submariner Watches!* What do these Rolex Big Boat Series winners all have in common-- e.g. what does it take to win a Rolex Submariner Watch?  Perhaps for the first time ever, most have sailed or owned a J/Boat over the course of time.  Starting from left:
  • Terry Hutchinson- Melges 24 winner, also J/24 Worlds winner
  • Andy Costello/ Peter Krueger- Double Trouble J/125 captain and owner
  • Steve Madeiro- Mr Magoo J/120 owner
  • Scooter Simmons- Blackhawk J/105 owner
  • Sy Kleinman- Swiftsure S54 owner, J/105 sailor in past
  • Jim Cascino- StFYC Commodore- J/70, J/105 and J/120 owner
  • Jim Swartz- Vesper TP52, J/70 owner in Edgartown

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.

J/42 cruiser- sailing across Atlantic Ocean* Jim & Heather Wilson just completed a circumnavigation of our "blue planet Earth" in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR.  Said Jim, "The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now.  We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell 'Painkiller' at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles). Read more about their adventures in their  well-documented blog here:

J/160 sailing offshore to US Virgin Islands- rainbow over ocean* 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.   Alan 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/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.