Wednesday, January 15, 2014

J/Newsletter- January 15th, 2014

J/88 Yachts & Yachting Boat of the Year AwardsJ/88 Yachts & Yachting Boat of the Year!
And “Cover Girl” for Sailing World Jan/Feb issue!
(Newport, RI)- Corks were popped, champagne sprayed (or drunk) and victors toasted as the 2014 Yachts & Yachting Awards were presented on Thursday, 9th of January at the London Boat Show.

There was a great turnout to the event, as sailing enthusiasts gathered to celebrate the efforts and achievements of nominees and winners alike. The public had voted for winners in their droves and the J/88 on Sailing World Jan/Feb album coverreaders were clearly excited about the future, and some of the most innovative new launches got the giant “thumbs-up”.  Amongst those receiving awards was the J/88 family speedster, garnering the Best Performance Boat under 40ft award. Here’s Paul Heys, J/UK & Key Yachting Ltd’s Managing Director receiving the award. For more Y&Y Boat of the Year Award for J/88 family speedster.

Other exciting news is that J/88 was featured as “cover art” on the beautiful new graphic design layout for Sailing World magazine- as Sailing World's Boat the Year Winner-   Check it out, a nice progressive, refreshing approach for the “new media” world.  Celebrating its 50-plus years in publication, Sailing World debuted the sleek and modern new look with the release of its January/February 2014 issue. Emphasizing performance sailing’s sophisticated and technical content, the magazine’s new aesthetic features a revamped design and layout while reflecting the sport’s unique blend of cutting edge technology and classic beauty.

J/70 at Providence Boat ShowJ/70 @ Providence Boat Show
(Providence, RI)- Having a bit of the winter blues?  Dreaming about sailing in faraway places after the last few weeks of crazy weather?  Why not take a hike down to the Rhode Island Convention Center to see the latest and greatest from the stable of J high-performance designs— the J/70!  The show runs from January 31st to February 2nd.

“The Providence Boat Show is the prime venue this winter for discovering what the Ocean State and its surrounding region offer to boaters—  whether you want to learn more about our stunning coastline,  our excellent marinas and service facilities, or the many marine businesses located in this part of the country,” says RIMTA CEO Wendy Mackie.

The Providence Boat Show is a prime venue for regional boaters who want to take advantage of Rhode Island’s “no-sales-tax policy” on boats that are delivered and registered in the state, as well as on boating services such as mooring and slip fees, winter storage, and refit and repair work. Show-goers considering Rhode Island as their new boating home can do their homework on marinas, boats, cruising grounds and service providers while at the show. For more information on the Providence Boat Show.
For more J/70 sailboat information

Seattle Boat Show with J/70 and J/88J/88 & J/70 @ Seattle Show
(Seattle, WA)- Sail Northwest will once again be at the Big Seattle Boat Show in the exhibition center- from January 24th to February 2nd.

Swing on by their Booth# West 8 and learn more about the fancy, new, super fast J/88— perhaps the ultimate “beer can” boat.  Plus, you’ll get to talk to two of the Pacific Northwest’s most laid back, knowledgeable sailors, Ben Braden and Bob Ross from Sail Northwest.  If you got a question about J’s, they’ll have an answer for sure!

Furthermore, they’ll have a J/70 on display and will have information on the complete J/Boat line.  Everything from what you've seen on the race course to some new really cool designs you've never heard of yet.

And, to entice you to stop by, here are two nights Ben & Bob know you’ll want to be aboard for:
Wine tasting January 24
NW Brewery Night January 31
For more Seattle Boat Show information

J/70 sailing Key WestAnother Epic Key West Forecast In the Cards!
(Key West, FL)- This year’s Quantum Key West Race Week is gearing up for its trademark week of racing on the aquamarine waters off the coast of the Conch Republic. As the sailors make their way down the Florida Keys by air, water and land over the weekend, it looks like they will be greeted by either the tail feathers of another “polar vortex” spinning madly across America or they’ll be hammered by a “clipper system” ripping SSE across the continent spinning up all kinds of winds.  By Monday, the “good word” from the colorful Key West Chamber of Commerce is that sunny, benign weather will caress the fleet with near-perfect Caribbean-like conditions all week— some forecast!  Realistically, various weather forecast models (GFS, NAM, ECUWF) show 8-12 kts from NW to NE quadrants for Monday, Tuesday followed by increasing winds from the NW to NE in the 10 to 20 kts plus range from Wednesday to Friday’s closing day.

There will be nearly 130 boats sailing, but what’s different, like a lot different, about this year’s Key West is that J/Teams comprise two-thirds (66.0%) of the fleet with 85 J’s sailing.  In other words, Key West is now the de-facto “Winter J/Fest”!  That’s a good thing since the new regatta HQ at Kelly’s Caribbean Bar & Grill, situated on Caroline St between Whitehead St and the infamous Duval St will be over-run by members of the J/Tribe sailing J/70s, J/80s, J/88, J/109s, J/111s, J/122s, and J/125!

J/122 Teamwork sailing off Key WestThe PHRF fleets 1 & 2 will be sailing with a variation of Rod Johnstone’s J/PHRF ratings, meaning all J’s will be rated quite fairly against one another.  Robin Team (Lexington, N.C.) and the boys aboard the J/122 TEAMWORK will look to repeat in PHRF 1 while going against another J/122 and four J/111 designs in this incredibly competitive eight boat class.  In fact, the TEAMWORK gang may be in for the fight of their lives against the “rogue’s gallery” of J teams in the class, many whom have won Key West Divisions in the past.  For starters, Jim Madden’s J/125 STARK RAVING MAD will have an all-star team from San Diego, CA ensuring he’s going fast in the right direction.  Challenging them will be Rick Wesslund’s “new” EL OCASO, a J/122 that’s quite fast and no question will include many of his past Key West winning teams.

J/111 Fireball sailing off Key WestJoining the PHRF 1 class will be four J/111s, any one of which are capable of winning.  Consequently, they’re also the hardest to handicap as everyone continues to improve significantly.  FIREBALL’s crew will be led by tactician Kristen Robinson from Annapolis. Rob & Ryan Ruhlman from Cleveland, OH are back in Key West with their new SPACEMAN SPIFF (watch out, they improved dramatically at the J/111 NA’s in Chicago after taking delivery of the boat just 3 days beforehand!).  Brad Farber’s UTAH from Macatawa Bay YC has several Chicago-Mac winning crew aboard. And, three-time Key West participant and multiple podium finisher, Doug Curtiss, has the colorful WICKED 2.0 sailing with his champion Buzzards Bay crew aboard.

Rick Wesslund was a regular at Key West from 2004 to 2010 with his J/120 EL OCASO program and returns after a three-year hiatus with his newly-purchased J/122. "This is our debut regatta and we are really eager to put our best foot forward. We are cautiously optimistic, but know this will be a real good performance test for the boat. Robin has a terrific team and that is always a well-sailed boat so we will have to be on top of our game in order to win," said Wesslund, who earned the PHRF Boat of the Week honor in 2006.

J/109s match-racing while sailing off Key WestPHRF 2 will again see the twin-terrors going at it hammer & tong for division bragging rights, the J/109s sailed by multiple Key West champion Bill Sweetser on RUSH from Chesapeake Bay and Gary Weisberg’s HEAT WAVE from Massachusetts Bay.  Challenging them will be Terry Mckenna and crew from Prince Edward Island (Canada) on the new J/88 DOG PARTY, hoping to get a nice mix of weather to test out their “new wheels” on the race track.

Newport-based Tim Healy will be back to defend his title in J/70 class aboard TEAM HELLY HANSEN, which has attracted a whopping 62 boats. Runner-up Brian Keane’s SAVASANA (Weston, Mass.) and third place finisher Bruno Pasquinelli on STAMPEDE (Dallas, Texas) will also be back as the J/70 class contests its second Midwinter Championship.  They’re up against a formidable array of teams from across the world, not just top Americans, but also teams from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Great Britain, Canada and Bermuda.  The top boats from the Tampa Bay Quantum Winter series will be attending, including the top three- Jud Smith on AFRICA, Rob & Sandy Butler on TOUCH 2 PLAY and Rob Britts’s HOT MESS.

The balance of the J/70 fleet is deeply talented with any number of teams capable of top ten finishes.  Amongst the top foreign teams could be one of Great Britain’s top J/70 crews, Ian Atkins sailing BOATS.COM; from Puerto Rico is Marco Teixidor skippering CACHONDO; from Bermuda is Chuck Millican racing ELUSIVE; and from Mexico is Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO.
J/70s sailing under spinnaker off Key West
Several Etchells 22 World, North American and Jaguar series champions are sailing J/70s, namely Jud Smith as mentioned, but also Peter Vessella sailing RUNNING WILD, Peter Duncan helming RELATIVE OBSCURITY and Jim Cunningham on LIFTED.

Other contenders that have won or were “in the chocolates” in various J/70 regattas in the past year include Brian Elliot’s B-SQUARED, Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING, Mike Sudofsky’s CARLOS, Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT, Bob Hughes’s HEARTBREAKER, Kerry Klingler’s MENACE, James Allsopp’s MOXIE, Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE, Dave Franzel’s SPRING and Dave Ullman’s US 32 from Newport Beach, California.

Designers Rod and son Alan Johnstone will be sailing the latest RAGTIME and welcoming other renown class newcomers like Johnny Demourkas sailing GROOVEDERCI from Santa Barbara, CA (Farr 40 and J/105 West Coast Champion); John Brim from Fisher’s Island skippering a “baby RIM” called RIMETTE; Johnny Wynacht sailing STRANGE BREW from Nova Scotia (Canadian J/24 champion and J/29 sailor); Richard Bergmann on ZUNI BEAR II (of J/105 Zuni Bear fame); John Arendshorst on 20/20 RACING from Macatawa Bay; Chris Whitford sailing a baby HOT LIPS (top Farr 40 team from Chicago); Stu Williams on CLOUDSOURCED from Whitefish Bay; Malcolm Gefter sailing CELERITAS from Newport (long-time M32 and Swan 42 sailor); and Tim Molony skippering JOUST (with his New Orleans friend, Olympic medallist Johnny Lovell, as tactician!).

The dynamic match-racing duo of Taylor Canfield (current World Match Racing Champion) and Stephanie Roble (USA #1 Women Match Racer) are sailing as tacticians and could be the proverbial “dark horses” in the fleet. Taylor is sailing with Dan Cheresh’s EXTREME team from Macatawa Bay and Steph is helping Juddie Smith’s Marblehead team on AFRICA.

J/70 champion Heather Gregg-EarlAmongst the record nine women J/70 skippers (15% of the class!) will be current J/70 North American Champion Heather Gregg-Earl skippering MUSE along with Suzy Leech sailing JUNKANOO, Catharine Evans steering MOJITO, Maegan Ruhlman on SPACEMAN SPIFF, Kathy Parks on SUNDOG, Amy Neill on NITEMARE, Kirsten Berry sailing DANGER MOUSE, Carrie Austin skippering CHINOOK and Tris Worth sailing ALIBI.

Dave Franzel attended what was known as Key West Race Week way back in 1981 as crew for a J/24 program. The founder of the Boston Sailing Center returned 32 years later as a J/70 skipper and was crowned as Corinthian champion after finishing eighth overall in the 39-boat fleet.  "I had an absolute blast. It was one of the best regattas I've ever been to. It made me wish I hadn't waited so long to come back," said Franzel, a resident of Somerville, Mass. "I was very impressed with the race management. The courses were sound and the starting lines were solid. We got in 12 races in five days and you can't ask for more than that."

The Demourkas family from Santa Barbara, CA are back again.  This time, John Demourkas will be racing his new J/70 GROOVEDERCI in the class as the couple makes their annual winter pilgrimage from Santa Barbara.  His wife Deneen is sailing her M32 GROOVEDERCI, commenting that, "John and I have been attending this event the last 14 years and we love the relaxation Key West affords, particularly after a hectic holiday season.  And then there is Race Week, which always delivers. You can pretty much guarantee great sailing conditions, beautiful weather and good competition. Why wouldn't you be here?"

NOTE- the North Sails J/70 team is providing FREE pre-regatta clinics in Key West— come one, come all! Here's what’s happening:
  • Saturday 1-4 pm- North On-the-water clinic (run by Tim Healy, Allan Terhune, Andreas Josenhans and Chuck Allen) with starting drills and short course races with complete photo and video coverage.
  • Saturday 5:30 pm- Clinic Debrief at the North U. Regatta HQ (725 Caroline St, formerly West Marine)- review photos and videos and pick the brains of top J/70 sailors in a relaxed and casual environment. Refreshments courtesy of North Sails.
  • Sunday 10 am- North Dockside clinic- will be held at Tim Healy's boat located near the ramp at the Truman Annex. Bring your questions and a notepad to get the latest, hands-on, tuning tips
J/80s sailing off Key WestNo question, the re-bound one-design class at Key West this year are the J/80’s, which will have thirteen boats on the starting line for their J/80 Midwinters (it’s also part of their season series leading up to the 2014 J/80 World Championships in Annapolis, Maryland). Skipper Ron Buzil and his VAYU 2 team will try to repeat as regatta winners against a deep fleet that includes former North American champion RUMOR (John Storck) and several other accomplished programs like Chris & Liz Chadwick’s CHURCH KEY, Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS, Bill & Shannon Lockwood’s SHENANIGANS, and Henry DeGroot’s WIRED.  "Our owners love coming to Key West and we're thrilled to have a very competitive fleet this year," said Chris Chadwick, National class secretary for the J/80. "Premiere Racing always puts on a quality regatta and the racing is second to none."

Finally, the lone wolf representing the J gang in IRC 3 will be perennial Key West contender Jim Bishop on his IRC-modded J/44 WHITE GOLD sailing for American YC in Rye, New York.  Nevertheless, Jim’s up against dozens of J “alumni” sailing other boats, like Phil Lotz and Jeff  Madrigali on ARETHUSA, Marc Glimcher and Geoff Ewenson on CATAPULT, Andrew Weiss and Butch Ulmer on CHRISTOPHER DRAGON, Jack Slattery on MAHALO, Bill Coates and Jay Lutz on OTRA VEZ and Mark Reynolds on VITESSE.  Without question, Bishop or J alum’s in one form or another will be on the podium at the end of the week in this class!  Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal Photos and Tim Photos.

For Key West sailing video entertainment, look at this beautifully produced summary from Chris Odom @ Chris Odom Photos- nice sequences of J/70s, J/80s, J/109, J/111, J/44, J/122 in the 3-minute clip.   For more Quantum Key West Race Week sailing information

J/105 Loki sailing off Ft Lauderdale, FLSORC Ft Lauderdale- Key West Race Preview
(Ft Lauderdale, FL)- A full moon will greet the fleet in the 2014 Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race.  Thirty-seven teams are sailing the famous 165nm race down the Keys.  The fleet represents a healthy mix of past winners, race veterans, and new faces, looking to find their way onto the podium at Kelly’s Caribbean Bar and Grill on Friday the 17th.  If you wish to join them, you would be well advised to heed the Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared.”

The Race to Key West promises to be a classic, with strong NNW breezes at the start with a gradual shift into the NNE by the time most boats finish.  The PHRF Fleet is chock-full of former class and race winners.  Former class winners participating in this year’s race include Robin Team’s J/122 TEAMWORK from Lexington, NC sailing PHRF A.  Joining them are Kristen Berry sailing the J/111 FIREBALL.  In PHRF B, past winner David Bond is sailing his J/105 LOKI from Miami, FL and Gary Weisberg’s J/109 HEATWAVE from Gloucester, MA will be with them every step of the way.

All of these competitors know that it takes more than just being able to turn right, to win the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race.  Which will sail the shortest distance? Which boat and crew will be able to handle the challenges one can confront when racing offshore to Key West in January?  We will know soon enough.  One thing is certain.  To beat them takes great preparation, solid teamwork and propitious navigation.

A frequent J/122 and J/111 crew on Long Island Sound, Wes Bemus, mused about this year’s race: “On paper it looks deceptively simple: Win the start outside the Fort Lauderdale cut, leave the Florida Keys to starboard and finish off of the fort at Key West. In reality the SORC Lauderdale to Key West Race is a perpetually vexing navigational challenge that often isn’t decided until the last few miles of the race. Do you step out into the Gulf Stream in search of more breeze and risk getting swept back on a conveyor belt? Are you willing to risk your boat and crew by dodging coral reefs in the hopes of sailing a shorter distance? Can your race survive a potentially grueling trip up “Heartbreak Alley” on the last 5 miles to the finish? The course lends itself to fierce duels between closely matched competitors, but nothing is certain until you cross the line. It’s not uncommon to see pre-race favorites drop out in sight of the finish or wind up high and dry on coral reefs after cutting a turn too close.

What is certain is that, breezy or light and wet or dry, the race is always a good time. As I write this at the nav station of beautiful Swan 53 DragonFly Plus, it’s 79 degrees and a warm breeze is blowing through the rig. There’s a Mt. Gay rum pour being set up at the Lauderdale Yacht Club and back home in Connecticut the forecast for race day is for snow and below-freezing temperatures. Anyone with a trailerable boat should be here to enjoy an awesome race and tropical winter sailing conditions. Regular competitor (and multihull class favorite) Tom Reese drives his Corsair 28R Trimaran Flight Simulator down from upstate New York virtually every January just to be present for the race and there are teams from Marblehead, Virginia Beach and Annapolis who have thrown their boats onto a truck just to get down here. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love Florida in January?

This year is shaping up to be yet another stellar race. Early forecasts have moderated from a fresh downwind sleigh ride to a more reachy race with big breeze coming through overnight Wednesday into Thursday. Although the fleet is slightly down (you can thank flagging non-sportboat attendance at Key West Race Week for that) there is every indication that it will still be a bloodbath for silverware in many of the diverse classes.

PHRF will be a ‘tooth-and-nail’ fight. PHRF A boasts the largest contingent of traveling boats and potential winners. Robin Team and family is back with their J/122 TEAMWORK and will be tough to beat in all conditions. If conditions are right, planing boats capable of winning PHRF A include the J/111 FIREBALL. We, on the mighty 60,000 lb Swan, will be hoping for a breezy waterline race and windward beat “to hell & back” (not happening, of course).” Thanks for Wes’s contribution from SA.  The SA race thread is already full of predictions and smack talk; check it here.  For the SORC Ft Lauderdale Key West Facebook page   For more SORC Ft Lauderdale Key West sailing information

J/24 North Americans and Regata Copa MexicoMexico Hosting 2014 J/24 North Americans!
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- Warm waters, winds from 12 to 25 knots, plenty of sunshine and the already famous parties await you at arguably one of the best sailing venues worldwide. The J/24 North American Championship will take place on the waters of Bahia de Banderas (Vallarta) from March 16th to 21st, 2014.

This is definitely a regatta not to be missed, so mark your calendars and make plans to attend this event which will be part of the  Copa Mexico in its third edition. Those of you who have attended the past two editions or the 2007 Worlds there can attest to the excellent sailing conditions at Bahia de Banderas (Vallarta).  The bay is one of the largest in North America and is easily accessible by many of the large airlines with direct flights from most major hubs in the USA and Canada, as well as, Latin America and Europe— making it convenient to get to & from wherever you are visiting Puerto Vallarta.

The host club will again be the Marina Riviera Nayarit located at the Cruz de Huanacaxtle on the north side of the bay— they’re ready to receive all of the participants with their accustomed excellent hospitality. The town itself, not long ago a sleepy fishing village, has seen tremendous growth recently due to the marina. Now with many great restaurants catering to every palate from international cuisine to real authentic Mexican food from both the region and the country. There is also a chandlery and spare parts store with a huge selection within walking distance! Close by is the town of Puerto Vallarta offering a taste of a real Mexican town with its cobblestone streets and buildings hundred of years old,  art galleries and exquisite food for all tastes, plus night life that is unparalleled!

All this alone would be reason enough to visit beautiful Banderas Bay, but if you add the superb sailing and weather conditions, plus friendly people and great parties, it’s a hard combination to beat.  Last time, the Brazilians “won” the dance contest, the party AND the regatta!  Can you top that!?

There are already 53 teams registered with many of the world’s top sailors in attendance.  Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil and five other teams are coming from Brazil. Mike Ingham, Tony Parker, Chris Snow and many of the USA’s best sailors are also coming. And, there are teams from Monaco, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Japan, Peru, Canada and many others also participating, totaling over ten countries.  The regatta organizers are expecting a fleet of around 60 to 70 boats!

For more J/24 North Americans sailing information, please contact Leopoldo Farias, President of the J/24 Class Mexico, at email-  For more J/24 NA’s sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The winter sailing season in the north is starting to ramp up with some “hot rum” series, “icicle series” and the even hotter one-design/ offshore events in Florida and southern California. The J/70s just completed the first of their Quantum Winter Series, a three-weekend event from January to March, at Davis Island YC in Tampa, FL.  In the Pacific Northwest, the awards for the third annual PNW Top 25 Intergalactics saw numerous J/Teams garnering recognition amongst 557 boats that “competed” for the 2013 sailing season.

Meanwhile, the folks Down Under have recently completed their J/24 Australian Nationals hosted by Royal Prince Edward YC in Sydney’s spectacular harbour.

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 19-24- Quantum Key West Race Week- 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
Feb 19-23- J/24 Midwinters- Coral Reef YC- Coconut Grove, 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 16-21- J/24 North Americans- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Mar 16- Apr 27- Warsash Spring Series- Warsash, England
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 17-21- SPI OUEST Regatta- La Trinite-sur-Mer, France
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/24s sailing Sydney, AustraliaCONVICTS Overcome J/24 Australian Nationals
(Sydney, Australia)- This year’s J/24 Nationals were sailed on the fabulous Sydney Harbour and the teamwork at the host club, Royal Prince Edward YC, was nothing short of amazing.  Though the fleet had thirteen teams participating, the depth of talent was huge and great skippers were back in the pack.  Midway through the regatta, Ben Lamb, Dave Suda and Steve Girdis all had a mathematical chance of winning the regatta.  It was incredibly close racing all the way until the end.  In fact, big changes could (and did) happen on the final day of racing in the middle of the pack where just 6 pts separated six J/24s sailing Sydney Harbour, Australiaplaces!  In this group, Rolex Sydney-Hobart winning tactician Sean Kirkjian, Vlad (Singapore), Doug Watson, J Spot, Ron Thompson, Dave West, are all great skippers and would be treated to a “roller-coaster” ride of ups & downs all the way to the end.

Steve Girdis sailing CONVICTS REVENGE was crowned the Australian 2014 J/24 National Champion in an ultra-tight battle in the last two races, winning by just one point as a result of winning the last race! It was not an easy title to come by with so many tough cowboys vying for the podium.  It was consistent sailing that ultimately won the day for the CONVICTS, posting a 3-3-3-6-2-3-1-2-4-1 scoreline for 23 pts net.  Early regatta leaders, Ben Lamb’s KAOTIC crew, surely must’ve “blown a fuse” after winning four of the first six races J/24s sailing upwind on Sydney Harbour, Australia(maybe it was too much grog?).  In races 7, 8, 9 they posted a disastrous 6-5-10 and basically had to win the last race to gain the title. Alas, that was not in the cards for them, watching Girdis’s CONVICTS win the finale and bragging rights as “Top Gun” in the Australian J/24 fleet.

Dave Suda’s gangsters on PACEMAKER were lying second after eight races with a very consistent scoreline of 1-4-2-4-4-2-3-1.  But, like their colleagues on KAOTIC, they also experienced a bit of chaos with the “wheels falling off their shopping trolley” in the last two races.  PACEMAKER’s 5-7 in races 9 & 10 dropped them into third overall, taking the bronze in a tough, tough fleet.  Rounding out the top five were BY THE LEE and Kirkjian’s SAIL PAC in 4th & 5th, respectively.  For more J/24 Australian Nationals sailing information

J/70 one-design sailboats- sailing off Tampa, FLAFRICA Dusts J/70 Quantum Winter Series
(Tampa, FL)- The J/70 Winter Series got off to a strong start with thirty-nine boats competing at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, FL. The three-weekend series kicked off on January 11-12, with Jud Smith of Eastern Yacht Club snagging the victory. Jud and his wife Cindy sailed with their daughter Darby and Rick Myers. It was a unique milestone in the J/70 class as not one, but two couples, placed 1st and 2nd overall!

Davis Island YC race committee- starting J/70 sailboat raceThe hosts, Davis Island YC, did a terrific job of running the six races over the two-day weekend event.  The fleet was blessed with awesome sailing weather.  On Saturday, winds started at 12 knots and built to 20 kts by the end of the day. With the breeze out of the south, waves increased to 1-3 feet. Sunday dawned with lighter northerly winds that flattened the wave action; breezes began at 8-10 kts but dropped to 4-6 kts at the end.

The Smith’s AFRICA team sailed a very consistent series, finishing with a 1-5-1-10-2-6 record for 25 pts, winning by a comfortable nine point margin.  Canadian sailors Rob & Cindy Butler, yet another couple team, took second overall on TOUCH 2 PLAY, sailing to a 5-4-3-13-1-8 for 34 pts total.

J/70 sailing with woman skipperThird place was anything but a “walk in the park” for the next six teams, with just five points separating them and 3rd to 5th places determined by a three-way tie-breaker (Britts, Brauer & Dressel- sounds like a law firm, eh?)!  All six teams displayed “Phoenix-like” track records, rising to the sun with thrilling performances then (suffering a nose-bleed perhaps, plus losing their wings) crashing to Earth and cratering their scores with some “soon to be forgotten races”.  Winning this war of attrition and taking the bronze was local Rob Britts and company on HOT MESS from DIYC, compiling an impressive 9-1-8-17-16-2 for 53 pts.  Fourth was Marblehead’s Henry Brauer sailing SCAMP with an equally unusual “stop & go” record of 17-2-12-14-3-5 for 53 pts.  Getting the short end of the trio’s tie-break to take fifth overall was Ft Lauderdale’s Mike Dressel with a 14-8-7-4-7-13 tally for 53 pts.

J/70 Scamp- sailing with Henry BrauerJust behind the top five were the other teams that could easily have cracked third position, but for one reason or another just missed the podium.  In the group was Doug Strebel on BLACK RIVER RACING with 54 pts in 6th place, Mark Ploch on SUGAR DADDY with 57 pts in 7th and Kris Werner sailing SUPERFECTA to 8th with 58 pts.

Nineteen boats competed in the Corinthian Division with Rob Britts’s HOT MESS winning followed by  Peter Tuite on CURRAGH in second and Joe Colling’s USA69 in third.

An interesting observation of the J/70 fleet competitiveness is that Smith’s AFRICA team counted just two bullets to win with a 4.2 average finish position. In fact, five of six races were won by different teams, including Britts, Butler, Bennet Greenwald and Kris Werner.  To finish 2nd overall, Butler averaged 5.7 and to get a top five, those teams averaged 8.8!  And, to get into the top ten you had to average better than 12th!  More thrilling racing on Tampa Bay continues at DIYC on February 7-9 and March 28-30.
 For more J/70 Quantum Winter Series sailing information

Top 25 sailboats in Seattle/ Pacific NorthwestPacific Northwest Top 25 Intergalactics
J’s Dominant Brand Offshore
(Seattle, WA)- The Best of 25 Intergalactic Championship is a comprehensive look into the large group of sailboats that race throughout the Greater Puget Sound area between Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver.  Here is Ben Braden’s report:

“For starters, we wish to “thank” Jan and Skip Anderson once again for taking the time to be out on the water taking these amazing photographs of the boats and sport we all love! These two not only get their boat out to take photo’s, they assist the race committees with course issues, they put boats in distress under tow and have even been known to deliver sailors with medical emergencies to the shore for care.  Thank you for all you do out there Jan and Skip! We’re blessed to have you on the water!

Please be sure to swing by the Sail Northwest booth (J/Boats Northwest dealer) at the Big Seattle Boat Show (just look for the J/70) and pick up your photo’s!

So, the Best of 25 Intergalactic Championship is based on the following: we picked 25 different races from the South Sound, West Sound, East Sound and even way up North to Whidbey, Anacortes and the San Juan Islands. 25 different races that put 556 different boats on the list. Think about that for a second, 556 different sailboats are out racing in Washington’s & British Columbia waters– that is an amazing amount of boats!

Each boats score is developed by adding up their finish places, by class, in each and every race. No boat did all of the 25 races so a “DNE” score (Did Not Enter) was developed and is simply the worst class score in the particular race +2. Encouraging and rewarding participation, combined with doing well, of course, is the plan for the Best of 25. Nothing is thrown out in the Intergalactic Championship– everything counts!  Participation is key– the most active consistently well-sailed boat comes out on top every year.  Ties are broken by the number of races entered and then the number of first place finishes.

For 2013 the races of the Best of 25 include Winter Vashon, Duwamish Head, Toliva Shoals, Blakely Rock Light, Islands Race, The Tulip Cup, Blakely Rock Benefit, The Puget Sound Spring Regatta, Protection Island, Race to the Straits, Vashon Island, Three Buoy Fiasco, The West Sound Sailing Association Series, Whidbey Island Race Week, Down the Sound, the new T-town Regatta, Northern Century, The Pacific International Tonner Championship, Star & Bar, Round Bainbridge, Foulweather Bluff, The Puget Sound Sailing Championships, Grand Prix, Round the County, & The Snowbird Series.  Buoy racing, mid-distance races, weekend and season series along with shorthanded races and two day events– basically, everything Puget Sound sailing has to offer.”  Thanks for contribution from Ben- for any questions contact him at-

Of the Top 25 boats, J’s took eight places (32% share), by far the dominant brand in the Intergalactic series.  Taking the #2 slot was LAST TANGO, a J/105 owned by Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle’s Jim Geros.  Normally thought of as a One-Design racer LAST TANGO garnered 192 points after doing 14 of the 25 races while taking home only one 1st place finish.
In the #6 position was SLICK, a J/29 owned by Corinthian Yacht Club of Tacoma’s Pat Nelson and Bob Mayfield; they sailed 10 of the 25 races with 6 first place finishes and a total of 217 points. J/29 Slick sailing Seattle
Garnering the #8 finish was the famous TANTIVY, a top J/109 owned by Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle’s Stuart Burnell; TANTIY sailed 11 of the 25 races with 2 first place finishes and totaled 230 points. J/109 Tantivy sailing off Seattle
Taking #10 position was yet another J/105.   DELIRIUM is owned by Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle’s Jerry Diercks; DELIRIUM sailed 9 of the 25 races, winning 8 races for a total of 231 points. J/105 Delirium sailing off Seattle
And yet another J/105 took the #12 spot! DULCINEA is owned by West Sound Corinthian Yacht Club’s Mathew Gardner-Brown; they sailed 10 of the 25 races, with 2 first place finishes and a total of 235 points. J/105 Dulcinea sailing off Seattle
In the #15 slot was HERE & NOW, a J/29 owned by Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle’s Pat Denny; they sailed 10 of the 25 races with 1 first place finish and 237 total points. J/29 Here and Now sailing off Seattle
Rounding out the Top 25 were the two big J’s in the fleet.  In the #22 position was the beautiful navy-blue JAM, a J/160 owned by Gig Harbor Yacht Club’s John McPhail; they sailed 8 of the 25 races with 5 first place finishes and had a total of 245 points. J/160 JAM sailing off Seattle
The other was the J/145 JEDI, taking the #23 finish.  She’s owned by Seattle Yacht Club’s John & Edie Tenneson; they sailed 10 of the 25 races with 2 first place finishes and 246 points total, just one point back from stable-mate JAM! J/145 JEDI sailing off Seattle
For more Top 25 Intergalactics sailing awards information


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

J/70 sailing on lake in Chile's Andes mountains*  J/70s continue to pop-up in some of the most amazing places to sail in the world and are also doing some amazing things in even the most common places to sail in the world.  On the highest order of magnitude of “coolness” has to be the two J/70s that are sailing on Vichuquen lake, 350 kms south from Santiago, Chile way, way, way up in the spectacular, breath-taking Andes Mountains.  Here we find J/70 #76 sitting safely high and dry on her “dry-sail” cradle on a dock- “sweet” to have this baby sitting behind your “crib” a mile high on this gorgeous lake!

J/70 sailing on Galveston BaySailing on the ever-popular Galveston Bay is a rapidly growing fleet of J/70s.  While not sailing one-design events, some have been sailing the Galveston Bay Icicle Series in the PHRF handicap fleet- a series of “pursuit-style” races over several weeks.  Recently, Michael Byrne posted a YouTube sailing video of their J/70 flying a Code Zero in this PHRF handicap pursuit race!  Apparently, the J/70 was simply flying!  According to Mike:

“We were in the PHRF staggered start race, we used a Code 0 built from the Galveston Bay UK loft.  The race started off pretty tight with an apparent about 50 degrees, but ended up around 60-65 degrees.  The pole was out just about 2.5 feet.  Wind was around 6-10 kts true.  Boat speed averaged about 7.5 knots C.O.G in flat water with no current.  A J/109 with a Code 0 took forever to overhaul us, they ever so slowly rolled us to leeward with an extra 0.5 knots of boat speed, but chalk that up to the extra 13 feet of waterline!”

It sure looked like it was a fun day on the water. Last week the J/70 was the first boat across the line.  Enjoy their YouTube J/70 sailing video here.

* Calling All J/22 Owners!  Sarasota Youth Sailing Program needs used sails, equipment, stuff for their J/22s!  The Sarasota Youth Sailing Program, a local charity in Florida serving under-privileged youth, has a fleet of four J/22s and in November 2013 they started a youth keel boat program. Please make donations of used sails and equipment. If shipping is an issue, they can pick up whatever is available in the New England area this summer and bring it down to Sarasota by trailer at the end of the summer.

Their program runs from “community learn-to-sail” to “USA Olympic sailing team” development. Two of their juniors, Sam Armington and Ravi Parent, have been named to the USA Olympic Sailing development team.  You will see that Sam got started sailing in the Sarasota sailing summer camp after 4th grade.
To make J/22 sailing equipment donations, please go to their website

Sally Barkow sailing Volvo Ocean Race on SCA Team* Congratulations to Sally Barkow- she’s the latest women sailing superstar to be sailing Volvo One-Design 65s on TEAM SCA- the only women’s Volvo Ocean Race team! The former Olympian, long-time J/22 and J/24 sailor, and match-racing ace has been selected to sail aboard the all-women's TEAM SCA in the next Volvo Ocean Race. According to reports, Barkow and the other members of TEAM SCA have undergone rigorous tryout and team-sailing sessions to ensure both the right set of sailing skills and the correct blend of personalities make it onboard the team's race boat.

Volvo 65 one-design - Team SCA with Sally Barkow“This is definitely really exciting,” commented Barkow. “I feel that SCA is providing an incredible opportunity here to compete on an equal level with the other teams in this race. There are only nine months left to the start, so we are really now on the home straight and have everything to train and play for.”

'Team SCA' is slated to remain at their training base in Lanzarote, Spain, where they are enjoying a two-boat program, a great coaching staff and other training resources. Also, the team plans to enter some longer distance races prior to the start of their around-the-world adventure this fall.  Sailing photo credit for Volvo 65 one-design- Rick Tomlinson.

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.