Wednesday, December 11, 2013

J/Newslettter- December 11th, 2013

J/Calendar 2014 NEW J/Calendar 2014!
The Perfect Gift For People Who Love Sailing!
(Newport, RI)- For 2014 we've created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places.

The 2014 sailing calendar features photos (pictured here) of flying J/70s off Key West; a fleet of J/24s dueling upwind off Monte Carlo, Monaco; surrealistic scenes of J/80s off Santander, Spain and sailing off “the cathedral” in Palma Mallorca; a fleet of J/120s crossing Alcatraz Island on San Francisco Bay; J/111s sailing in front of the spectacular Chicago skyline; a J/42 cruising along an idyllic Maine coastline; and other gorgeous images of J/105s, J/22s and a J/125.  A great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew (see gallery)!   Order your 2014 J/Calendar today, click here.

J/88 sailing video overviewJ/88 Sailing & Walk-thru Video
(Newport, RI)- This past summer, the family-friendly J/88 speedster enjoyed demonstration sails and reviews by many leading sailing publications from around the world.  One of the more interesting J/88 sailing and walk-throughs happened to take place on one of the lighter air days we had in Newport all summer.

Here is the commentary from Adam Coker, from the multimedia company, “The Hull Story”.  Adam and Jeff Johnstone took the opportunity to do a complete 360-degree overview of the J/88.  Here’s Adam’s commentary:

“While in Newport after sailing from Bermuda to Newport, we heard that the J/88 had just been launched and we caught up with Jeff Johnstone at J/Boats for a tour. Jeff did a great job at explaining their strategy in developing the J/88.  If you want to buy a J/88 this might be the video to show your wife if she does not like heavy air sailing!” :-)   Please see The Hull Story’s sailing & walk-through video:
For more J/88 sailboat information.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Despite the crazy weather across the northern parts of the Americas and the Caribbean this past week, the dampness, chilliness or the big breezes did nothing to diminish the spirit and enthusiasm of J sailors across the board to simply “go for it” and have fun on the water— many had “smokin’ hot” performances and silverware as proof of their efforts!  Perhaps the most extreme example would be our hardy friends in the Pacific Northwest sailing the “Winter Vashon” Island Race.  Hosted by Tacoma YC, a small navy of top Pacific Northwest J/teams were sailing in temperatures that were below 0 C/ 32 F degrees, including J/27s, J/29s, a J/30, J/35s, J/105, J/109s and a J/160.  Plus, the wind blew from 10 to 25 kts at times out of the NNW on a crystal clear day!  Just down the coast from them, the usually benign sailing experienced by Santa Barbara sailors was anything but this past weekend.  The Santa Barbara YC hosted their annual Holiday Regatta and on Saturday it blew 20-3o kts from the WNW on a spectacular, if not truly epic, day for sailing.  Enjoying the “thrill-a-minute” rides were their new fleet of J/70s, the usual suspects on J/105s and even a J/22!  The “hottest” event on the Pacific rim had to be the exciting third installment of the San Diego YC’s famous Hot Rum Series.  Like their friends up north, they, too, saw powerful winds blowing in from the WNW at 10-20 kts, enough for J/70s to plane away and for the SDYC J/Navy of J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, J/120s, J/125s and others to enjoy the fresh breezes and a somewhat cool damp day.

The Caribbean sailors had the great fortune of seeing the J/22 one-design fleet at Montego Bay YC host one of their coolest events of the year— the Jamaica Jammin’ Regatta sailed on Montego Bay. Remarkably, they also saw some epic wind conditions in the Bay with breezes flowing in mostly from the E/NE quadrant, making for some exciting sailing for the eight international teams competing.

On the “friends of J/sailing” side of things, the German women’s J/24 team on ALICE provided some of their thoughts and perspectives sailing the J/24 Europeans in Monte Carlo, Monaco this past September.  Quite an intrepid group of girls who’ve campaigned their boat all year long on the J/24 European circuit, all starting from their hometown of Hamburg, Germany!

Of special note for J aficionados across the Americas (and around the world, for that matter) is the fact that a number of J/Sailors are nominees for the US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman Awards for 2013.  In fact, six of the nine men have extensive J/one-design experience under their belts, as do two of the six women!  More news on who they are below.

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:

Jan 10-12- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Davis Island YC- Tampa, FL
Jan 19-24- Quantum Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
Jan 19-24- J/70 Midwinters- Key West, FL
Jan 19-24- J/80 Midwinters- Key West, FL
Feb 7-9- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Davis Island YC- Tampa, FL
Feb 7-9- J/70 Primo Cup- Credit Suisse- YC Monaco- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Feb 14-16- Wells Fargo J/22 Midwinters- Southern YC- New Orleans, LA
Feb 14-16- St Petersburg NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg YC- St Petersburg, FL
Mar 7-9- J/105 Midwinters- Lakewood YC- Seabrook, TX
Mar 6-9- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (70,80)- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 14-16- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego YC- San Diego, CA
Mar 28-30- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Davis Island YC- Tampa, FL
Apr 10-13- Charleston Race Week (22, 24, 70, 80, PHRF)- Charleston, SC
Apr 26-May 3- J/22 World Championship- Deneysville, South Africa
May 2-4- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis YC- Annapolis, MD
May 16-18- J/22 North Americans- Annapolis YC- Annapolis, MD
May 16-18- Seattle NOOD Regatta- Seattle, WA

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

J/22 Jamaica Jammin regattaZIPPER Jams Jamaica Regatta In MoBay!
(Montego Bay, Jamaica)- The Jamaica Jammin’ Regatta sailed in the clubs J/22 one-design fleet has a wonderful history of great sailors and great sailing, all in the challenging waters of Montego Bay, Jamaica.  They’ve had sailors from all across the globe, including the UK, Cayman, Bahamas and, of course, Jamaican teams from Kingston and Montego Bay, participating in past regattas.

This annual regatta is an open invitation to the global sailing community to bring a crew to Jamaica, race someone else’s boat (at no cost), get home hosted (at no cost) and get the ultimate high on a great race track for a very modest entry fee.  The perfect regatta for these tough economic times: something to look forward to during the dark winter months of our northern neighbors.

J/22 sailors enjoying Jamaica Jammin regatta!After the largest turnout ever in 2012 with every J/22 in the country sailing, 2013 was always going to be tough get all the boats back.  A late cancellation from the Cayman youth sailing coaches meant that Mark Edmunds and his dedicated followers from Cayman waved the flag this year and eight boats entered the fray.  Bruce J, we missed you again! And, young Tracy from Canada – make sure next year you plan a little better!

The forecast for Friday was 22 gusting 28 knots. Actual wind was 5 to 18 knots and so easterly that the race committee had trouble getting a mark remotely square.  Saturday turned out to be more breeze than Friday with 14 to 18 and occasional gusts of 25 kts from the ENE.  There was no local knowledge that helped as it was a case of spot the puffs at the top of the course and make sure to sail them!

J/22s start at Jamaica Jammin regattaThe gusts were strong enough to bury Geronimo’s mast for a couple of minutes and spill all 4 crew into the water followed by an immediate broach on the other side followed by an extended period of sideways drift towards the reef with the spinnaker run to the stops.  The skipper was given special recognition at prize giving (and graciously accepted!) for rescuing themselves and the boat with all hands on deck!

One-design yacht racing in Jamaica? It’s all about clean starts, protest free, fun racing in challenging conditions.  Nothing beats it.  At the prize-giving, each crew member on the first, second and third place boats received fabulous handmade Frank May trophies with a stained timber plaque and resin hulls.

Repeat winner was Peter Harper and team sailing their yacht ZIPPER from Montego Bay YC.  Displaying much better form and jumping one notch higher on the podium in this year’s event was Mark Edmunds sailing DEFENDER to the silver from Cayman Islands Sailing Club.  Leaping up the ladder this year was Bob Mallasch’s team on their mighty yacht AYAHSO from Montego Bay YC, taking the bronze overall!

J/22s sailing off starting line on Montego Bay, JamaicaJammin’ is a regatta of volunteers and amateurs getting together to do something they love.  Boats are loaned for the use of visitors, home hosting is arranged for those that need and land-based entertainment sorted.  The regatta first started in 1989 as the Jam-Am Invitational when there were close ties with the US J/22 sailing fraternity.  The regatta was designed as an open invitation to the USA and designed with the emphasis on fun.

The regatta evolved into an international invitational open to entries from the entire planet.  Jammin’ is now held at the beginning of December ever year for any sailors who are willing to come and risk the warm tropical trade winds, sun and the blue waters of the Caribbean. The whole event revolves around having fun on and off the water.  The winner of the event by extension is a J/22 Global Champion and obviously a “Living Legend” as every year the entire world is invited to come and play!

“Thank you’s” are due to the following for making the event happen:
  • Montego Bay Yacht Club, MBYC Management Committee, Judith, Heather and Davia, MBYC Dockmaster, David and assistant Anthony, and Robbie Joseph’s “Seahorse Grill”;
  • Bryan and Lyn Langford for the use of the “Pursuit” as start boat – you guys are the best!  Bryan and Lynda Langford for the prize-giving venue – Landfall- this has become the best part of the weekend;
  • Race committee volunteers Robin Delisser, Lyn Langford and Carole Small- we hope that the gift of abacus and Vienna Sausages will help in the counting of laps next year;
  • Carole Small for organization of names and food for prize-giving;
  • J/22 owner Frank May for lending his boat while he went back to the course;
  • Frank May – handmade prizes and mark management; and
  • Lyn Langford for all her silly prizes.
Last, but not least, we are extremely grateful for our Sponsors:
  • Biggs BBQ restaurant and bar on the hip trip for the Jammin T Shirts;
  • Slam Condoms – for those quieter moments on the course; and
  • Draught beer, mon!  Of course, something no sailor could do without!
For more Jamaica Jammin’ J/22 International sailing regatta information.

mountains behind Seattle sailorsJ’s Sailors Lovin Winter Vashon Dash!
(Tacoma, WA)- The sun was out, Mount Rainier was standing tall, the Olympics were looming over Colvos Passage and temperatures were well above the forecast for this year’s Winter Vashon Race, hosted by Tacoma Yacht Club.  The first race in the annual South Sound Series, this 30 odd mile race takes sailors from the starting area off the Tacoma Yacht Club near Point Defiance, through Dalco Passage then a right turn into Colvos Passage along the Western shore of Vashon Island.  Up at the North end of the Island the fleet sails through a shortened course finish line, just in case, and then continues their right turn along Vashon and into the East Passage until their final right turn at Point Robinson then past Poverty Bay and Commencement Bay and back to the finish at Tacoma Yacht Club.

sailing up the sound towards Vashon58 boats made it out on the race course for this year’s Kick-Off race, a race many see as the first race of the season in the Puget Sound area, and in the now balmy conditions, well above the forecast 24 degrees, easily pushing almost up to 29 (that’s not Celsius...) and with winds out of the NE at 10-12 kts the crews dug around in their bags for their sunglasses and left that last layer, the 7th or 8th, in their bags.  Without a cloud in the sky some even searched in vain for the sunscreen they had long ago put into winter storage.  Things were “windy and warm!” says Stephanie Schwenk, sailing aboard Nimbus. “Warm-ish, wearing 7 layers but I am warm!”  But not everyone was as well dressed as that smart girl Stephanie . . . according to Patrick Gibbs “Winter Vashon - Spanish for ‘I can’t feel my toes!’”  Considering the only 9 hours of sunlight this time of year up at the 48th parallel, the first two cruising classes got off the line early at 8:30am followed by the racing classes at 9:00am hoping that the wind forecast was wrong and that the fleet might finish the 30 odd mile course before sunset (4:30pm).

Off they went through the reaching start line onto a tight jib reach through Dalco Passage, trying to cut the corner at Neill Point close enough to sail the shortest distance but not so close that they find a wind hole under the bluff.  Some took the longer route outside in better breeze but a few boats played the gamble well and got just the right puff at just the right time to make it through close to the point and off they went up Colvos Passage.  The puffy winds rolled over the Island from the NE giving an opportunity for the higher boats to sail close hauled almost straight up Colvos Passage.

J/160 JAM sailing off Seattle, WANone did this better than the J/160 JAM.  John McPhail’s big blue machine charged up the middle of Colvos with their small jib up, plowing through the miles sailing higher and faster than all of their competition.  The small jib became the trick here, some of the boats started with their small jibs, initially falling back from the boats with genoas at the start, now came into their own as the winds piped up over 20 knots and took a smart advantage over the boats making tough sail changes in cold windy conditions in the narrow confines of Colvos Passage. 

The winds settled down and shifted a bit Northerly as the fleet entered the East Passage for the long run back to Tacoma Yacht Club.  This is when crews began to worry as the forecast for the afternoon included diminishing breeze, eventually dying by night fall.  The fleet tactics split in the East Passage with many of the A-sail boats pushing East towards Des Moines and some of the Sym boats sailing low along Vashon hoping for some positive current and sailing the shorter course.  Dan Wierman’s J/35 GREAT WHITE, after sailing an amazing weather leg, led his class low along Vashon, rounding Point Robinson tight and continued close along Maury Island but in the end didn’t have enough of a lead to stave off the advances of the quick J/109 TANTIVY and the waterline speed of the G&S 1 ton Absolutely as the three finished within a minute of each other after the long 30 mile course.

J/35s sailing off Seattle in Vashon Winter raceBut - the winds held, and not only for the monster truck class that rolled across the line just over 3 hours after they started but for the slowest rated boats in the fleet as they rolled across the line just as the sun was setting off their bows behind the Olympics.  An epic Winter Vashon race, and a beautiful kick off for the new and full year long season of PNW sailing.  Not without its carnage on the race course, this year’s event also brought the demise of a well loved and avidly raced Olson 30 Lunch Box.  When hoisting in for the event their hoisting gear on the boat failed as the boat was being swung out over the water.  She dropped into the bay from up in the air but she wasn’t in deep enough water yet and her keel found the bottom compressing it up into the hull, cracking her right down the middle from keel to rudder.  A very sad moment for one of the best Olson 30’s out there.

The fast boat Class 2 was dominated by the J/160 JAM, owned by John McPail.  Correcting almost 5 minutes in front of the quick Custom 40 Madrona sailed by the famous Buchan family (Carl steering) with the Ker 46 New Haven just a few seconds back in third.  The J/133 CONSTELLATION sailed by Ron Holbrook took fifth in class.

J/109 sailing off SeattleBattling to the end, Class 4 was deservingly won by the J/109 TANTIVY owned by Stuart Brunell, a class dominated by J/35s and the 109.  Not giving up and settling in ‘til after they crossed the finish line TANTIVY got ahead on the second half of the race just far enough on her competition to correct into first, followed by Absolutely just seconds back and then J/35 GREAT WHITE in third.  Rounding out the top five were the J/35s SOMETHING SPECIAL driven by Glenn & Joanna Cowling and MELANGE sailed by Jerry McKay, finishing 4th and 5th, respectively.

Class 5 was easily won by the nimble and quick little “Dos”, owned by Brad Butler.  Over 10 minutes back in 2nd was the J/105 DULCINEA sailed by Matthew Gardner-Brown.

J/27 sailing off towards Vashon Island near Seattle, WAClass 6 was stolen by the smallest boat in the class, the beautifully rebuilt J/27 RICOCHET owned by Dennis Clark.  RICOCHET sailed an amazing race able to stay in touch with some larger and very fast upwind boats, rocket downwind and finish abeam of a J/29 to correct into first in class by almost 4 minutes over the always well sailed Santa Cruz 33 Muffin and another 4 minutes over Madame Pele back in third.  Taking fourth in class was Mayfield & Nelson’s J/29 SLICK.

J/35c sailing with a frozen bone in her teeth!The “Commodores Flying Sails Cruising” class, was cruised away with by the J/35c WILDFLOWER, owned by Tom Mitchell (note- the required “gas cooker” covered in blue on the stern pulpit!).  Correcting almost 15 minutes behind them in second was the beautiful Cal 40 White Squall, with the big Steamy Windows another 10 minutes back in third.  Huge “thanks” for the contribution from Ben Braden at Sailboats Northwest in Seattle, WA!   Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson/  Full sailing results can be found at the Tacoma Yacht Club website

J/24 crushing Starts & Stripes off San Diego in Hot Rum seriesJ/24 Dominates Hot Rum!
J/70s & J/105s Lead Their Divisions
(San Diego, CA)- The Sinhoffer Hot Rum Regatta series always seems to be full of surprises for all who’ve sailed the event over the course of time.  Such a seemingly simple course, using the classic “pursuit-style” starting sequence with small(slowest) boats starting first and fastest last, is never quite what it seems as the boats head out to the starting line.  Other than weather that can be impacted by late summer highs bathing the fleet in warm sun and light winds or massively fast weather systems blown down from the Bering Straits whipping the eastern Pacific into a frenzy and throwing overcast clouds, 15-30 kts SW winds and 10-15 seas at the fleet, the big “gotcha” is often how the winds (or lack thereof) flow over the monstrous promontory known as Point Loma.  As a result, many a Hot Rum Series leader has seen their chances blown in the final few hundred yards sailing into the finish line off Shelter Island.

winning J/24 team in San Diego Hot Rum seriesThis year’s three weekend series saw just about every weather condition imaginable.  The first weekend was fraught with almost no wind with most big boats barely finishing and most littler boats having to take DNFs (sometimes entire divisions!).  The second go-around saw a gorgeous sunny day with 5-8 kts of breeze from the West.  Then, the final weekend was cool, partly cloudy with foggy drizzle and a strong breeze of 10-20 kts from the SW.

For the first time in years, the little boats predominated.  In fact, it was the “classic” J/24 CAROLINA sailed by Ben Nieting that not only took overall honors, winning the last race overall, but also winning Class 5!  Not far behind them overall was Dennis & Sharon Case’s J/105 WINGS, taking sixth overall and first in Class 3 and in ninth overall was Jim Madden’s J/125 STARK RAVING MAD IV.

J/125 Stark Raving Mad- sailing off San Diego in Hot Rum SeriesOn a class basis, the top dog in Class 1 for J/125s was Madden’s STARK RAVING MAD, taking 7th.  Just behind was Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE in 9th and third of their group was Tim Fuller’s RESOLUTE in 12th.

The next class was a really mixed bag of boats that ranged from 28 to 44 feet.  Class 2 had a raft of J/120s and J/124s.  Top J team was John Laun’s J/120 CAPER, taking 4th in class and top J/120.  Next was Mike Hatch’s J/120 J-ALMIGHTY in fifth place followed by Chuck Nichol’s CC RIDER.  Seth Hall’s gorgeous, navy blue J/124 MARISOL took 11th in class.

J/124 Marisol sailing off San Diego in Hot Rum seriesThe J/105s generally seem to dominate Class 3 by sheer numbers as well as by some remarkable performances.  Not surprisingly, a perennial contender topped the fleet, Dennis & Sharon Case’s J/105 WINGS.  They were followed by “birthday boy” Steve Howell (sailing with wife Lucy) on the ever popular BLINK!, taking third in class.  Ed Sanford’s J/105 CREATIVE sailed nicely to take fourth.

With a fast-growing and strong presence already in Southern California, it was only a matter of time that J/70s started to J/70 winning class at San Diego Hot Rum seriespop-up on the radar screen and do some damage even in the handicap-racing world.  Sailing in what is arguably one of the toughest fleets, Jeff Brown’s J/70 took top honors followed by Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR in third overall in class.  Next up with a good series was Tomm Reilly’s J/100 JASWINDER.  Of note, the J/70 fleet was not going to be denied, winning every race in class with Eric Kownacki’s DFZ taking one and Karl Pomeroy’s ZERO TO 60 taking the other.

The heart-warming story for this Hot Rum Series had to be the family crew and friends aboard Ben Nieting’s biege-colored J/24 CAROLINA, winning both counter races with ease!  Just off the pace was David Cattle’s beautifully restored J/27 BLACKADDER notching a well—earned 5th overall.  They were followed by yet another J/24, Mark Clements’ BRIGADOON in sixth overall!  Of note was a nice series sailed by Robert Noe’s pretty J/30 MAD HATTER— a beautifully maintained white boat that took 11th!   Sailing photo credits- San Diego YC/ Bronny Daniels-   For more San Diego YC Hot Rum sailing information

J/70 blasting through waves off Santa Barbara, CAJ/70s Flying Off Santa Barbara
(Santa Barbara, CA)- The annual Santa Barbara YC Holiday Regatta has been known over the course of time to experience the extremes in weather.  While the event has seen people get dressed in various Christmas and Holiday “plumage”, the occasion of this year’s regatta basically ensured all were dressed in their offshore gear to face the prospects of a near gale from the WNW blowing 20-30kts plus!  It did help that it was a sunny day!

Because of the epic weather conditions, fewer than normal of the generally large holiday fleet ventured forth into the teeth of the strong winds curling in offshore from Point Conception.  For the few intrepid sailors that did sally forth, the long uphill bouncy ride was more than rewarded with screaming planes downwind under all the canvas you’d dare launch!

As many have learned over time, J’s are well-suited to such conditions as they’re not only “proper upwind yachts”, but can certainly turn-on the speed downwind in the right conditions.  While the local J/105 class have experienced such rides time and again over the last decade or so, it was the local J/70 class in Santa Barbara that were having the time of their lives.

Having started less than a year ago, the Santa Barbara J/70 fleet is now over a dozen boats strong with more arriving in the not too distant future— it’s the fastest growing one-design fleet ever in the greater Santa Barbara/ Ventura/ Lompoc region.  The J/70s have captured the excitement of the local “Santa Barbarians” for all the reasons its gained such wild popularity elsewhere— chicks dig it since it’s easy-to-sail, the boat’s a delight to sail in any conditions the SB Channel can throw at them, and it instills confidence, not fear-induced anxieties and heart attacks, while planing along comfortably in a 15-25 kts breeze.  Evidently, young and old alike are having a blast sailing their 70s off Santa Barbara.

The forecast for the weekend was exciting for those who enjoy full-throttle, pedal-to-the-metal downwind planing conditions.  With morning winds of 10-20 kts NW increasing to 20-30 kts in the afternoon and gusts to 35 kts with 6-10 ft seas, the fleet was going to be in for wild ride on Saturday!  As you can see from the photo, the J/70s were lovin’ it and regularly hitting over 15-18 kts downwind off the ginormous swell peeling around the point.

Taking J/70 fleet honors by a whisker was Chris Gabriel on DIVERSION, posting a 1-1-2-4-3 for 11 pts, clearly relishing the big breeze on Saturday and taking somewhat of a breather on the lighter conditions Sunday.  Second on the tie-breaker was Shawn Hughes and Andrew Nunn sailing the menacingly black-colored ECLIPSE, taking a 3-3-1-3-1 for 11 pts.  Just one point back was Ken Kieding’s SMOKE & MIRRORS with a 2-2-3-1-4 scoreline for 12 pts— close racing indeed for the top three.  Learning the J/70 ropes amazingly quickly was Scott Deardorff and crew on CAKE, electing not to sail in the big blow on Saturday in literally a brand-new boat just-launched, but posting a 4-2-2 on Sunday!

The J/105s saw Mark Noble’s ESCAPADE take the win followed by Larry Harteck’s REPEAT OFFENDER in second and Tom Bollay’s ARMIDA in third.

In the PHRF B handicap racing world, the well-sailed J/22 BLUES CREWS sailed by Dave Baxter didn’t even sail the first race in the blow, but rattled off a 2-1-1 on the last day to take second overall.  For more Santa Barbara YC Holiday Regatta sailing information

J/24 German women's sailing team- ALICE off MonacoALICE J/24 Women’s Team
Impressions From The Monaco J/24 Europeans
(Hamburg, Germany)- In early October, the ALICE crew went along with their boat on the 1,700 km long road to the J/24 European Championships in Monaco. Here is the report from the skipper of the six women crew, Katharina Witt from the Hamburger Segel Club:

“For the first time after 20 years, the Europeans were going to be held in the magical princely state along the Mediterranean.  Seventy teams from eleven countries were registered from all over the world.  There were crews from Australia, USA, Italy, UK, Brazil, Hungary, Turkey, Greece, France and, of course, Monaco. By far the largest group was the Germans with a total of twenty-two teams!

J/24 ALICE sailing downwind off MonacoThe 22-hour drive was exhausting, not the least including the nerve-wracking descent through the narrow streets in Monaco! But, the sight of the Principality and the summer weather made ​​us forget all this very quickly! After the measurement process was completed Saturday and Sunday, thank goodness it went quickly and smoothly for us, we were looking forward to “practice Monday”.

We sailed with about 60 teams Monday in the race area and became acquainted with the local conditions.  Monaco is a challenging place to sail with waves, currents and shifty winds. At the same time, the large bay has the stunning backdrop of Monaco spread across the mountain slopes behind the harbor. The turquoise water was almost unreal. In the evening, we were welcomed by the Yacht Club de Monaco (whose President is Prince Albert) for the reception dinner— the participants enjoyed a delicious culinary pasta party!  Unfortunately, Albert did not show!!  We were hoping to see him!

On Tuesday commenced the first day of the regatta. After several false starts, the first race finally started under black flag. Our start was successful, to some extent, we made some good tactical decisions and were able to finish the first race 45th.

The atmosphere was great and we sailed the next two races to become better acquainted with the sailing area. After we were given a time penalty in the second race, the third race was exciting again. We sailed some good courses and finished this race in 54th.

J/24 ALICE from germany rounding markWednesday started with a postponement, giving us a long breakfast break in the harbor. After we finally went out, the wind, however, was only good enough for one race. Initially the wind was still light after the start, we managed to round the windward mark in the top half of the fleet!  But, the last downwind leg hurt us, so we dropped quite a few boats to finish 55th. We were really looking forward to the next day, which should provide more wind to get in more races but also to give us a chance to sail in breeze (which is more comfortable for us girls!).

On Thursday, the race committee sent out the fleet right at 9am, hoping to get in three races. Races with over 60 boats were a challenge for us. In each race, we learned a bit more and our tactical decisions were always better. We tried the right side on which we suspected more wind and favorable current flow.  This tactical decision was a complete success for us! We sailed well, with some exciting crosses upwind and downwind and we went even better, taking 25th at the finish! This gave us great motivation amongst our girls, so we were hoping to capitalize on this momentum for the next race.

J/24 German ALICE teamwork off startAs the fleet was waiting for the fourth race, the wind suddenly died completely.  Then, a surreal, hazy, fog-like cloud formation formed above the water and some of the locals next to us said— “it’s the calm before the storm”!  They were right!  Just a few minutes later, we were all swept up in an enormous 35 kts gust that knocked us over on our ears with just mainsail flying!  A mistral just hit us!  We were all immediately called to the port and secure our boats in the harbor.  It was a breath-taking, but outstanding experience. After a successful day on the water, we were able to hold our own getting back to land. We were very thankful for this regatta because we had achieved our goal of top 50- we fought in the overall standings to 49th!

On the last day of the regatta there was nothing to be felt by the storm. The air was still and the race committee had us postponed in the harbor. Shortly before 1500 hrs the signal was again given to follow the Race Committee boat offshore for the start of a race. The YC Monaco PRO finally decided to capture the light wind and start an eighth race. We were happy to sail one last time against the backdrop of Monaco!

J/24 German ALICE women's team ready to set spinnakerThe race started and never got higher than 5 kts of breeze.  In fact, the wind and waves persistently tried to push the boats back to shore, what an ordeal!  Many Js rocked under main and genoa to windward mark and over again under spinnaker back to the starting gate.  It was a crazy race for us.  Unfortunately, we didn’t do so well in the last race, dropping in the overall results from the 49th to 55th.  This was disappointing, but it was a great learning experience to sail against such top teams.

In the evening we were looking forward to the gala dinner with Prize Giving Ceremony at the Yacht Club de Monaco. Freshly showered and with crew outfits on, we went back in the evening to the yacht club, enjoyed the delicious dinner, and applauded the winners. The British skipper, Chris McLaughlin, and his team on IL RICCIO had shown consistently good performance for the regatta and deserved to win.

A big “Thanks” goes to Lennart, who actively supported us, and our sponsors— who made it possible for us to compete in the 2013 sailing season and sail the European Championship 2013 in Monaco. For us, the European Championship was a great success.  We left Monaco with many lessons learned, much richer in our experiences and full of new perspectives on how to improve next season! Starting with nearly 70 J/24s was very exciting and a great challenge. We had huge fun sailing in such a large fleet!  For more German J/24 fleet sailing information


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

J/70 MUSE sailing upwind at Annapolis North Americans*  J/Sailors Star in 2013 Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Finalists!  The most significant sailing performances of the year are being celebrated by US Sailing with the announcement of its shortlist of nominees for the 2013 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards.  The list of nine men and six women, which includes 10 world champions, encompasses athletes racing cutting edge hydrofoils and kiteboards alongside stellar performers in one-design sailing.

The nominees will be reviewed by a panel of noted sailing journalists who discuss the merits of each nominee and will vote to determine US Sailing's 2013 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year.  The winners will be announced in mid-January and honored on Tuesday, February 25, 2014, during a luncheon at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, when they will be presented with Rolex timepieces.

Six of the nine nominees for the men’s award have extensive background sailing J’s in their repertoire.  As current Etchells World Champion, Marvin Beckmann (Houston, Texas) has sailed J/24s and J/80s extensively in the Southwest.  Moth World Champion Bora Gulari (Detroit, MI) has been known to thrash around the cans with friends on J/24s (2013 Rochester J/24 Worlds) and with the J/120 fleet on Lake Huron.  Current J/24 World Champion Tim Healy (Newport, RI) has been sailing a variety of J’s over time, including being the 2013 J/70 Midwinter Champion in Key West.  Star World Champion John MacCausland (Cherry Hill, NJ) has spent time with friends on J/24s and J/29s sailing around the cans off Cape May, NJ.  Melges 24 World Champion Brian Porter (Lake Geneva, WI) sailed J/24s for over a decade in the Midwest, including being Great Lakes J/24 Champion.  Finally, J/22 World Champion Allan Terhune (Arnold, MD) has sailed just about all the large one-design J classes, including the J/22, J/24, J/70 and J/80!

J/70 North American Champion- Heather Gregg-Earl with designer Alan Johnstone presenting trophyThe impressive roster of six women nominees includes at least two women with extensive J sailing experience.  Current Farr 30 World Champion Deneen Demourkas (Santa Barbara, CA) has sailed with her husband John on their J/105 in Santa Barbara in her early days of learning how to get around the race track.  The 2013 J/70 North American Champion Heather Gregg-Earl (Boston, MA) has sailed on J’s extensively for over two decades on J/22s,  J/24s, J/70s and J/80s.  Interestingly, Heather’s win at this year’s J/70 NA’s included out-sailing the two current J/22 and J/24 World Champions (plus beating the likes of multiple J/22, J/24, J/80, Etchells, Farr 40, Lightning, and Melges 24 World and North American Champions!  A bloody impressive accomplishment given the circumstances and focus of many of the world’s top sailors in the world’s fastest growing sportboat class!).  Add on top of that fact that Heather is an “Opti-Mom” supporting her son’s activities everywhere, plus her daughter is an avid dressage rider and one can only imagine what the topic of dinner conversation is each night!

Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by Rolex Watch USA since 1980, the annual presentation of US Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards are considered the sport's ultimate recognition of an individual’s outstanding on-the-water achievements for the calendar year.  Over its history the coveted award has been presented to 40 men and 33 women, including these distinguished sailors who have claimed the honor MULTIPLE times (note- TEN of them have extensive J/One-Design experience on their resumes):  Ed Adams, Betsy Alison, Sally Barkow, Dennis Conner, JJ Isler, Allison Jolly, John Kostecki, Buddy Melges, Ken Read, Cory Sertl, Lynne Shore, Jody Swanson, Anna Tunnicliffe and Ted Turner.

We wish them all “good luck” and hope that at least one, if not two, of this extraordinary group are the lucky winners!  For more Rolex YoY Awards sailor information

J/44 Kincsem sailing AYC Fall series* Here’s another impressive story, to say the least, amongst J sailing alumni past & present.  Who knew what some J/105 (now J/44) owners do in their pastime when not sailing!  Saving the financial world can sometimes be a good thing!

Citigroup recently named a new Board Member on Wednesday, December 11th— none other than Duncan Hennes (long-time co-owner of the J/105 KINCSEM and now the J/44 KINCSEM co-owner with friend Joerg Esdorn). Duncan has been a long-time financial executive. In 2006, Mr. Hennes co-founded Atrevida Partners, an investment advisory firm based in Rye, NY, that specializes in alternative assets. He will serve on the risk management and finance committees of the Boards of both Citigroup and Citibank.

A former treasurer of Bankers Trust, Hennes, 56, also served as chief executive of George Soros’s hedge fund company, Soros Fund Management, from 1999 until 2001. After that, he, along with Eugene Ludwig, helped found the Promontory Financial Group, the bank consulting firm. He continues to serve on Promontory’s Advisory Board.

While at Bankers Trust, Duncan represented the bank in the consortium that rescued and took over Long-Term Capital Management in 1998, when the hedge fund nearly collapsed. He was elected Chairman of the consortium’s board.

Hennes is a CPA (certified public accountant) and has an MBA from the Wharton School- University of Pennsylvania.

“Mr. Hennes has broad experience in financial services with notable expertise in securities markets and risk management,” said Citigroup’s Chairman, Mike O’Neill. “We look forward to the insight he will bring to the board.”

* Sailing as a Sport- Thoughts to Consider!  Recently, J/105 Class President Carter Williams offers a bit of history about his engagement with sailing, and an outlook for his membership to consider. His sage advice deserved a bigger audience, please read on:

“As a teenager, I learned to sail at the American Yacht Club in Rye, NY. My dinghy coaches included the Perry’s and Dellenbaugh’s. I raced with Courtney Becker, who later went to the Olympics and America’s Cup. We had an active Big Boat program for juniors, led by Lorna Hibbard, a peer of my grandmother’s, who at age 70 still windsurfed. She taught my father to sail when he was a teenager.

After college in 1989, I went to work at McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis. Over the years, I sailed occasionally on our family’s Alden 44. After 18 years in St. Louis, a few good business choices allowed me to sail again.

I picked the J/105 to start sailing again – easy to trailer, big fleet, one design and sprit pole. I arrived back at AYC one fall for the North Americans, finishing dead last. Fairly embarrassing! I regrouped, got a coach, changed around crew, and finished mid-fleet in Key West. Then, fourth in the Chicago North Americans. I raced the boat out of Harbor Springs (MI) when not traveling. This last summer, we won in class and overall for the Ugotta Regatta with a mostly junior sailing crew.

I enjoy sailing because it’s a social, multi-generational sport. Hard work, at any age, earns success. AYC’s Junior program uses a J/105 as a training boat, as we do in Harbor Springs. Courtney Becker’s brother Peter is the “new Lorna Hibbard”, volunteering to teach the next generation of juniors. These kids won the Vineyard Race this last September on the J/122 PATRIOT!

As is true with any great sailing venue, whenever I visit AYC, no matter how long since my last visit, I can pick up a conversation where it was left off, with peers of my parents and old sailing friends. Sailing and racing is a binding community that strengthens our relationships and families.

An essential element of the J/105’s continued success is the connections we make through sailing. Teaching juniors to race their first big boat, strengthening rusty skills as we wobble back in racing, moving up from a J/22 or J/24, or trying something new like racing single/double handed.

Our fleet will continue to evolve, persisting as a great boat for all kinds of sailors while adapting to new technology. I am eager to work with any of your thoughts on strengthening the Class and opportunities for the J/105 to impact sailing on all levels. The J/105 is a great fleet, and each of us makes the Class better.”  Thanks to Carter for this contribution, great advice and perspective for any good one-design class!

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.