Wednesday, January 29, 2014

J/Newsletter- January 29th, 2014

J/88 sailing test review - Yachting WorldJ/88 @ Halifax Boat Show
World’s Hottest One-Design on Show Too- J/70!
(Halifax, Nova Scotia)- Sunnybrook Yachts will be displaying the Sailing World Boat of the Year- the J/88- at the Halifax Boat Show along with the hugely popular J/70; the hottest new one design under 23'.

The Halifax International Boat Show runs February 20th-23rd, 2014 at the Exhibition Park in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

J/88 interview with owner in ChicagoTo give you an idea of why people love the new J/88, check out Ben Wilson’s SA interview with Alan Block at the Strictly Sail Chicago Boat Show.  If that isn’t enough to get you enthused about the latest 29 ft speedster, here’s a sampler of J/88 videos to get the adrenaline pumping for the upcoming sailing season:

The Hull Story- John Burnham-
Yachting World On Test- Matt Sheahan-
J/88 Newport Test- Rich Stearns-
J/88 North Sails Testing- Kimo Worthington-
J/88 License to Thrill- Scott Spurlin-

For more event information, please contact Jim Snair or Marcie Young via email or at

J/70 sailing off Marstrand SwedenJ/70 @ Scandinavian Shows
(Marstrand, Sweden)- Peter Johansson and the Marstrand Yachts team will be attending three boats shows in Scandinavia in the next two months.  Be sure to check out the hot, hot, new J/70 on display at all three shows.
Please be sure to contact Peter Johansson at ph# +46 (0)735 430 800 or email- or Skype: peter.r.johansson.

Here’s the overview of the J/70 (link is Swedish).  Story in English is below.

J/70 An All-Round Boat - review courtesy of Curt Gelin
“It is a remarkable story.  When talking actual sales figures, in just over a year the J/70 has sold hundreds of boats. It has become so popular to race, many event organizers cannot accommodate everyone who want to sail- the parking lots and all the logistics around are not enough! And in Sweden, the boat has won the hearts of many with more buyers than boats to sell!

The explanation for the unusual success today, with boat production not keeping pace with demand, can be attributed to several factors. Mainly, nice beautiful lines, simple, fun, sporty sailing qualities and particularly advantageous price. For the first time in many years, there is now a modern, sensible daysailer for the people.

These qualities are exactly what designer Alan Johnstone was up to when he began to plan for a successor to father Rod's formidable success with the J/24 (with 5,300 boats) and the J/80 (about 1,600 boats). Alan listened to the audience in the form of sailors who were in search of a new, great little day-sailor. He made ​​an effort to keep the price down, without compromising on construction quality. The solution was a highly specified hand layup of the laminate with strict weight controls. This was complimented by a high-tech, performance-engineered mast, spreaders, boom and bowsprit all built in carbon fiber epoxy laminate (the favorite of the aerospace industry), while the fittings on deck are kept as simple as necessary.

To be on the safe side with the concept, Alan asked experts and sailmakers to test the boat before the start of mass production and to comment or criticize on what they thought needed changes. Perhaps the evaluation was as much an opportunity for him to ensure that the marketing of the new J/70 was true- that it was a substantial, clever little sailboat that performed and feels genuinely comfortable just sitting at the dock.

The lines are beautiful, subjectively speaking, the J/70 is the neatest J as seen on the ocean's horizon. It has a fairly slim hull with low freeboard, modern flare breadth pulled all the way back to the stern.  She also has a straight stem with a narrow bow to effortlessly slice through waves.  The open stern, large open cockpit, rudder hung on the stern with a clever bump so the tiller ends up almost horizontally are all examples of good design. The J/70 is a symphony of aesthetic proportions and pleasingly elegant to the eye— no other sportsboat we’ve seen around the world comes close.

When the jury of the Sailing World Boat of the Year decided to nominate the J/70 in the “Performance one-design class”, it was precisely the lines and the promising sailing characteristics that determined its ultimate top boat award. And, expectations were met by far in connection with the test outside Karingon, Sweden with speeds in excess of 6-7 meters per second. With a full load (five people on-board without crowding in the cockpit) the boat easily sailed the half-ton crew without disruption to speed or stability.

The response on the long tiller and the deep rudder is excellent, the balance is neither too light and vague or too heavy and over-ruling. Meanwhile, the grip on the rudder is considerable, the J/70 responds fast when you want to fall-off and it requires negligence when sailing under the gennaker to get a broach. Acceleration is direct and fast, the mainsheet, together with the long mainsheet track, serves as throttle and brake. The boat is lively, but not wobbly, and therefore safe for regular Sunday sailing.

Speed, of course, is the fastest when you set the masthead gennaker and the J/70 almost imperceptibly slides onto a plane. But even for just main and jib the boat glides smoothly and quickly, making the J/70 a boat you can take out your near or dear ones in without scaring them.

The decor below is, for a small boat, nothing to comfort family cruising sailors- no headroom, no toilet, no kitchen, no dress code and no natural light. But that does not prevent older sailors approaching senior status from getting on a “back to basics” boat, it’s absolutely just right. For campers, the berths are long and the thick cushions make anyone sleep like a log. Ventilation is arranged by having the cabin door half open and using a “boom tent”.  In fact, the more “youthful” sailors can go camping on the boat with boom tent, sleeping bags and a bucket for a weekend on the J/70!

The trailer is well-designed and has a strong grip on the J/70 hull, all brackets are just right.  The mast sits on a hinging-bracket on the deck, which allows the mast to be raised and lowered with just two people. The lifting keel and the boat's light weight allows an ordinary car to pull the entire rig, thereby reducing transportation costs to exotic regattas at home and in Europe.

The bottom line is the J/70 is a fun, easy-to-eat “recipe” for almost every kind of sailor. It is nice and easy to sail regardless of whether you are new in the sailing world or an old hand looking for experiences to relive youthful days on the water. If any boat shall renew the sport and tempt new followers, this is it! All credit to Alan Johnstone in Newport on the other side of the Atlantic.”

J/24s sailing off Monte Carlo, MonacoJ/24 Primo Cup Preview
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Since 1985, the European elite has been gathering in Monegasque waters at the beginning of February to take part in the Mediterranean yachting season’s biggest event in terms of the number of participants.  With almost 1,000 sailors coming from all over Europe, representing some 15 nationalities, the Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse organized by the Yacht Club de Monaco, is one of the most important winter events in Europe, marking the start of the international racing season. The Yacht Club de Monaco is celebrating the 30th edition of the Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse.

The regatta is conducted over two weekends with the first weekend taking place from January 31 to February 2nd with J/24s participating and the second weekend running from February 7th to 9th with the J/70 class sailing.

The sailors will be treated to highly variable weather conditions for the next three days.  While Thursday and Friday will see a Low passing by to the south kicking out northeasterly winds of 20-30 kts diminishing by Friday afternoon to 10 to 17 kts northeast, the balance of the weekend looks a bit grim for breeze.  After the Low depression passes by to the southeast across the Mediterranean, a High pressure sits down across the region leaving light on-shore SSW sea-breezes of 4-7 kts on Saturday and slowly increasing winds again on Sunday from the NE at 8-12 kts.

This coming weekend’s J/24 division has nineteen boats sailing.  Hosted by the YC Monaco’s J/24 fleet, the J/24 has experienced the longest reign of participation in the Primo Cup; in fact, since the days that Prince Albert and friends used to regularly race J/24s off their Principality.

This year’s fleet is comprised of sailing teams from eight countries (France, Monaco, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, USA, Greece and Italy).  Familiar names are amongst the entries like the three boat contingent from Great Britain’s Parkstone YC- Hitchhiker, Roger Morris and the duo of Duncan McCarthy & Steve Phelps.  Joining them from GBR will be Chris McLaughlin from Royal Corinthian YC.  Local top boats include Julia, Topo Too, Joker, Paget and St Andrews Securities from YC Monaco.  The lone USA entry is Caner Dinlenc from Manhattan Sailing Club in New York, NY.  For more YC Monaco's Primo Cup sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Reflecting the diversity of events sailors can participate in literally every weekend of the year worldwide, it’s not often there’s a concentration of events in one region in one week for J sailors.  For this past week, it was the “Greater Caribbean Week” of sailing.

For starters, the famous “Woodstock” of sailing in the Americas recently took place in Key West, FL, the infamous island at the end of the Florida Keys— a.k.a. “the Conch Republic”.  J/Teams represented over 65% of the boats sailing in this year's Quantum Key West Race Week-- in short, the “new, new” version of J/Fest Western Caribbean.  A monster fleet of J/70s and a strong fleet of J/80s celebrated their Midwinter Championships while throngs of larger J’s (J/88, J/109, J/111, J/122, J/125) battled it out in the handicap world.  Feeding the festival of sails and evening festivities in Key West was the historic S.O.R.C. (Southern Ocean Racing Circuit) race known as the Lauderdale to Key West Race hosted by Lauderdale YC.  A J/122, J/111 and J/105 dueled in the classic dash down around the south of Florida and past the Keys.

A bit further east, the winter Caribbean circuit’s new “kick-off” event is the Mount Gay Barbados Round Island Series.  This is an important NEW event for your winter sailing calendar.  Completely overhauled to accommodate those looking for winter fun-in-the-sun events under sunny skies, azure waters, and classic trade-winds blowing 15-25 kts each day (that’s the postcard version), you will find it hard to beat the wonderful, embracing, warm hospitality of Barbadians who simply love to sail in their spectacular bays!  The J/24 fleet had a fabulously fun, windy, somewhat epic regatta sailing in “fresh to frightening” winds for the three days of the “coastal series”.  The local J/105 is looking for friends to join them not just on the buoy races, but on the “Round Barbados Race”, yet another classic round island race in the making!

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:

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/70s sailing off Key West on sunny dayGorgeous Sailing Off Key West
(Key West, FL)- There was plenty of final day drama at Quantum Key West 2014 as the winners of several classes were determined during the last race. And, conditions could not have been better for those winner-take-all scenarios with the southernmost point of the United States delivering the strongest winds of the regatta. NNE breezes in the 18-25 knot range made for some spectacular racing on all courses and enabled all classes to complete 10 races for the five-day event.

J/70 Helly Hansen winning Key West MidwintersThe most impressive performance of the regatta was skipper Tim Healy and his team on HELLY HANSEN, which won the 60-boat J/70 class in convincing fashion. Healy, from Newport, RI, repeated as class champ in Key West by winning two races and placing second or third in five others. HELLY HANSEN clinched the regatta by finishing third in Race 9 and therefore did not sail the final race, using that as its throw-out. Geoff Becker and John Mollicone combined on tactics and trimming while Gordon Borges worked the bow for Healy, who is also a standout J/24 sailor.

“Obviously the biggest key to success is having a good team. My guys did an awesome job of boat-handling and tactics,” Healy said. “We sailed here last year so we had a real good feel for the race course. This team has also sailed J/24s together the past few years so we have a comfort level that makes a big difference.”

Tim Healy wins Key West Race Week OverallHealy and HELLY HANSEN came away with the biggest prize – capturing Quantum Sails “Boat of the Week” honors. “We had a huge class down here last year with a lot of really good sailors so it’s a great accomplishment to come out on top. Winning Key West is definitely one of the highlights of my career,” said Healy, a 42-year-old resident of Jamestown, RI. Eight different boats took first place during the week.

Behind them the standings were closely fought for the top five.  Other than having to drop a 28th in race 4, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Buzzards Bay, MA sailed a very strong series and were in the hunt as regatta leader until the 8th race when they had to count a 13th.  The SAVASANA crew reveled in the windy conditions on Friday and sailed to a 204 to wrap up second overall with 48 pts.

J/70 sailed by Ian Atkins and Rory ScottThe “come-back kids” had to be Ian Atkin’s crew on BOATS.COM with Rory Scott skippering.  After starting out slowly with an 11-10-OCS, the J/70 UK National Champions managed to get their act together and sailed strongly to jump into third overall for the regatta, finishing with an emphatic win in the very last race! That’s wonderful news for European J/70 teams to understand that top sailors in their region are every bit as fast as the top American teams.  Follow Ian’s and Rory’s J/70 experiences here on their BOATS.COM blog.

As a winner of some of the regional J/70 events over the 2013 sailing season, many expected Joel Ronning, a long-time Lake Minnetonka, MN sailor, and crew aboard CATAPULT to be contenders.  Indeed they were, sailing extremely well in the first and last days of the regatta to sew-up fourth place with 71 pts.

Another “come-back” story was wily veteran David Ullman sailing US 32 to a fifth place finish.  After starting with a 39-14 the first day, Ullman and crew clawed their way back into contention by winning a race and placing in the top ten six times.

J/70 MUSE sailed by Heather Gregg-EarlTop woman skipper, repeating the same feat from last year’s Key West, was Heather Gregg-Earl from Boston, MA.  Heather’s team on MUSE persevered and despite being over early in the last race and literally starting DFL about 300 yards behind the fleet, she climbed back into contention to capture a 19th in the last race and finish 14th overall.

HOT MESS, skippered by Rob Britts of St. Petersburg, Fla., was crowned as Corinthian champion of J/70 class. Britts posted six wins and three seconds within the 14-boat sub-class comprised of all-amateur crews.

As an illustration of fleet depth and competition, eight teams won races with, oddly enough, only two teams taking two wins in the total of ten races— Healy’s HELLY HANSEN and James Allsop’s MOXIE.  To finish in the top five would take at least an 8th place average and to finish in the top ten meant you had to average 12th or better!

Rob Ruhlman's J/111 Spaceman Spiff wins Key WestPHRF 1 Class was up for grabs going into the last race and SPACEMAN SPIFF, the J/111 owned by Rob Ruhlman of Cleveland, Ohio, seized the moment by winning. This was the 13th trip to Key West and the first class victory for the SPACEMAN SPIFF program. “We’ve been trying to win this regatta for a while and it feels good to finally break through. It feels even better because of the quality of competition we faced. This is some of the closest PHRF racing in which I’ve ever participated,” said Ruhlman, who had his wife and son aboard. “We really had a blast this week. It was great sailing and all the people in the class are so friendly. We passed TEAMWORK on the way into the harbor and their entire crew applauded us.”

J/111 Fireball sailing off Key WestTEAMWORK, a J/122 skippered by Robin Team of Lexington, N.C., came up short in its bid to three-peat in Key West – finishing 4.5 points behind SPACEMAN SPIFF.  In fact, Robin’s team had to win a tie-breaker over Eddie Fredericks’ crew on the brilliant orange J/111 FIREBALL to capture second overall.  Mid-week, the TEAMWORK crew were on a roll, rattling off four straight bullets to jump up the ladder into contention, however a seventh race 7th position hurt their chances at grabbing the brass-ring.  Sailing very strongly all week was “Fast Eddie’s” FIREBALL team, trading the lead with the SPIFFER’s until the last two races when a 5-4 tally dropped them into the tie-breaker with TEAMWORK.

J/122 El Ocaso sailing off Key WestPerhaps the “new kids on the block” award goes to Rick Wesslund’s champion crew sailing their “new”, gorgeous multi-hued aquamarine J/122 EL OCASO.  While not exactly “new” to Key West, having won class and overall in the past on their J/120 by the same name, Wesslund’s crew had one of the two best records in the last four races and best record in the last two with a 2-2 tally.  It was not enough to hop onto the podium, but it was certainly an indicator for the future.  Taking fifth was Jim Madden’s J/125 STARK RAVING MAD IV from Newport Beach, CA, indicative of how tough the fleet was since Madden’s team has won class more than three times in the past.

J/109 RUSH sailed by Bill Sweetser- class championSkipper Bill Sweetser has been bringing his J/109 Rush to Key West for 11 years and been runner-up on four occasions. The Annapolis resident sported a huge smile on Friday morning after clinching the class championship in PHRF 2 Class on Thursday. Sweetser steered RUSH to victory in five races and placed second or third in fourth others in building an insurmountable lead that allowed him to stay ashore on Friday.

“It feels fantastic to finally win here in Key West! You could say we got the monkey off our back, or maybe it was a gorilla. I was tired of going home and hearing people say ‘Too bad you got second again.’ The whole bridesmaid talk was getting old,” Sweetser said. “Everybody is so ecstatic. We can’t wait to get the whole crew up on stage at the awards party.”

Giving the RUSH team a run-for-the-money the entire week was Gary Weisberg’s J/109 HEAT WAVE crew from Marblehead, MA, sailing an excellent regatta to capture second overall.

J/80s sailing fast off Key WestSkipper Ron Buzil and his team aboard VAYU2 were wire-to-wire winners in J/80 class, which attracted 12 entries. A pair of highly-regarded professionals, Jahn Tihansky and Andrew Kerr, served as helmsman and tactician aboard the boat chartered from J/World Annapolis. This was the second straight year that Buzil had chartered the boat and the team repeated as class champs.

“We had our mojo going early and managed to build a fairly substantial lead. We never really had a bad race and I attribute that to being able to get off the line cleanly and go where we wanted,” said Tihansky, owner of J/World Annapolis Performance Sailing School. “Andrew Kerr knows these waters well and did a masterful job of playing the shifts.”

Scrambling hard to catch up to them were previous J/80 North American’s winners, John Storck Jr on RUMOR.  However, having to count all races, the first race 8th would come back to haunt them.  Despite having eight races in the top five, they simply could not gain on the VAYU2 gang ahead of them, having to settle for second overall.

Taking the next three spots were the “fun-loving” couples teams making the most of Key West’s gorgeous weather and spectacular night-life.  Third were Chris & Liz Chadwick’s CHURCH KEY with 43 pts, fourth were Bill & Shannon Lockwood on SHENANIGANS with 52 pts and fifth, just by one point, were Bob & Cheryl Howard on BLUE JAY with 53 pts.  Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal.

Sailing video interviews:
Tim Healy- Team Helly Hansen- J/70 Midwinter Champion & Overall Race Week Award winner.  Tim is also current J/24 World Champion. Tim Healy- J/70 champion
Rob Ruhlman- J/111 Spaceman Spiff owner and winner of PHRF 1
Terry McKenna- J/88 Dog Party owner- from Prince Edward Island in Canada.
Bill Sweetser- J/109 RUSH owner and winner of PHRF 2
Alan Terhune- J/22, J/70 boat owner, skipper & crew providing perspectives on sailing J/70s in Key West.  Alan is also current J/22 World Champion.
Robin Team- J/122 TEAMWORK owner, 2nd in PHRF 1 and past Key West champion.
For more Quantum Key West Race Week sailing information

J/105 Loki sailing off start in Ft Lauderdale, FLJ/105 LOKI Tops Lauderdale- Key West Race
(Ft Lauderdale, FL)- This year's Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race certainly lived up to the pre-race caveat of "Be Prepared."  The light VMG running of the past couple of years was a distant memory, as a stout northwesterly that built overnight and brought the fleet down and around the curve in rapid fashion, but made them work hard for the quick trip. When they reached the island, a slew of familiar names graced the top of the leader board.

David Bond’s gorgeous maroon-colored J/105 LOKI from Miami, a past class winner, laid claim to the PHRF B class title. LOKI was right on the edge at the start, took control of the class at the beginning and never looked back.  LOKI beat the Tripp 33 Main Squeeze for the class win, missing the PHRF Overall fleet win by a just few minutes but taking 2nd Overall silver.

In PHRF A Class, the heralded duel between Robin Team’s J/122 TEAMWORK, a past class and overall champion in the race, and Eddie Frederick’s J/111 FIREBALL lived up to expectations.  Their class encountered fast-reaching conditions for the first half of the race and, after turning past the “elbow” of the Keys, the sailing turned into somewhat of a reach/ power-beat waterline adventure for the latter half.  Initially, the FIREBALL gang loved the fast reaching in the beginning, however, as the race wore on the experienced TEAMWORK crew ground away to finish just 13 minutes in front but not enough to beat their stablemates on FIREBALL on handicap.  Consequently, FIREBALL took corrected honors with this match-up by just 2+ minutes and grabbing the silverware for 3rd overall.  TEAMWORK settled for fourth in class.  Sailing Photo credits- John Payne.  For the SORC Ft Lauderdale Key West Facebook page   For more SORC Ft Lauderdale Key West sailing information

J/24s sailing under colorful spinnakers off Barbados 
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series
J/24s Lovin’ It, J/105 Surfs It!
(Bridgetown, Barbados) – Billed as “Barbados’ Ultimate Sailing Challenge”, the new format Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series was deemed a huge success; it incorporated a series of coastal races as well as the iconic Mount Gay Round Barbados Race, and a final 300-mile sprint to Antigua to tie-up with the Superyacht Cup.

Organized by the Barbados Cruising Club in association with the Barbados Tourism Authority and Mount Gay, this annual event (January 15-24), played its part in kick-starting the Caribbean racing season, and looks set to become an annual favourite.

J/24 sailing off BarbadosWith nearly 50 boats from all around the world (Great Britain, USA, Canada and New Zealand plus a strong Caribbean contingent from BVI, St Lucia, Antigua, Barbados) close competition prevailed throughout the week.

One of the strongest classes was the J/24 with 10 boats racing neck and neck throughout the series. Big winds and big seas really put crews through their paces but the impressive standard of sailing, made it extremely spectator-friendly.

Competitors couldn’t have hoped for better conditions for the opening day of the regatta. A warm east-north-east breeze reaching 28kts at times made for an exciting day for all with the potential of plenty of thrills and spills to keep crews on their toes right from the start.

First off at 1000 was the 10-strong, and highly competitive J/24 fleet. Both races were close with the fleet enjoying some thrilling downwind racing along the west coast. Although the racing was neck and neck particularly at the front of the fleet, it was consistency that really paid off today with two local Barbadian teams – Impulse (Neil Burke) and Banks Esperanza (Ian Mayer) – who had the slight edge with two firsts and two seconds respectively, leaving them in equal first place.

J/24 flying off Barbados in Mt Gay SeriesMayer and team, all in their 30s, who have been racing Banks Esperanza successfully over the last five years including finishing second at the 2013 J/24 national championship, said today’s racing couldn’t have been better: “We led both races but Impulse sailed well too. It seems that consistency is going to be important so that is what we as a team are going to work on this week. It was very exciting in the breeze on the plane, under spinnaker. The courses were great too with the race committee setting a 50-minute opening race, then a two-hour race which worked well.”

Day two of the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series produced big winds and big waves, which made for spectacular sailing. The biggest excitement of the day was in the first race for J/24s when gusts up to 30kts hit racecourse causing half the fleet to fall like dominos. Thankfully there was no serious damage and most of the fleet was soon on track again to complete a second race in slightly less gusty conditions.

After the first short beat in Carlisle Bay in race one, the fleet sailed round Needhams Point on a two mile beat to a mark along the south coast. Initial leader Team Sugar Beach Attitude from St Lucia sailed a good couple of legs but on the shifty beat to Tapas, Banks Esperanza (Ian Mayers and team) sailed well, improving their position from sixth to first at the windward mark.

J/24 sailing off Barbados
Swift mark roundings and kite hoists saw the fleet head off on a sleigh ride downwind in the constantly building breeze. Team Banks Esperanza continued to sail well and took advantage of their position in clear air at the front of the fleet while behind, fun and games were in full flow with boats broaching all over the course.

J/24 St Lucia Team sailing off BarbadosFortunately for one of the J/24s that broached, Yearwood and company aboard DIE HARD ISLAND WATER WORLD, made it back ashore and the entire crew all went back sailing the next day, none the worse for wear & tear.  “We were doing 13 knots of boat speed in over 25 kts of breeze, sailing by the lee towards the mark,” reported Yearwood about his J/24 experience. “There was another boat to leeward of us also sailing by the lee so we had to sail above the mark to avoid a collision. Consequently, we were forced to gybe and because I pointed up too high after the gybe we broached. She took ages to right because the spinnaker got tangled in the shroud.”

As for the sailors aboard other boats, Day Two's breezy conditions made for some spectacular racing conditions. “We had excellent conditions and we sailed well as a team,” said Peter Lewis, skipper of the J/105 WHISTLER. “We touched about 14 knots of boat speed in 25 knots of wind so our spinnaker runs added excitement to an already great day.”

Sailing conditions on the third and final day of Coastal racing at the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series was spot on once again with a good breeze, sparkling sunshine and courses set on the vibrant, turquoise waters of the south coast.

J/105 Whistler sailing Barbados Mt Gay Rum seriesThe J/24 fleet continued to produce some of the closest racing with plenty of swapping and changing of positions to keep the racing interesting throughout the day. Robert Povey and team on Hawkeye sailed a good first race and managed to beat Team Impulse across the line with, the consistently well-sailed Sugar Beach Attitude team from St Lucia, taking third place.

However, in the second and final race of the series, on a marathon of a leg along the south coast, it was overnight leaders Ian Mayers and team on Banks Esperanza who pulled ahead and led the fleet across the line at the finish, which was enough to secure an overall series win with 13pts. In second place overall was Neil Burke on Impulse, while Team Hawkeye had to settle for third. The Mount Gay-sponsored boat– BUNGA BUNGA– with Cyril Lecrenay at the helm started to improve their results as the series progressed and concluded with a final race win, which placed them in fourth overall.

Ian Mayers commenting on his overall: “We had a worrying long last run in the final race because of our broken boom. It failed just before the windward mark and it was a marathon of a run. However, we did it and held our position to the finish. The racing throughout the series was great and extremely competitive so we hope to encourage more J/24s from other islands next year. If we could have a charter fleet for the best sailors from American and Europe to use in the future, too, that would be amazing!”

J/105 Whistler sailing offshore from Barbados
After three days of intense Coastal racing in the new format Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series, crews were happy to take time out and enjoy Mount Gay hospitality once again. This time is was in the form of a visit to the Mount Gay Rum Distillery for a spot of tasting, and a trip to the Barbados Polo Club for an exhibition match – the Mount Gay Surf & Turf Lay Day Polo Challenge. Competitors were able enjoy a fine colonial afternoon sitting under the terraces with tea and sandwiches while watching the fierce battles emerge on the pitch.

The next day, the fleet was off again on the Round Barbados Race of 60nm.  No J/24s sailing, but Lewis’s WHISTLER took the 35 and Under Class honors with an elapsed time of 7:37:06. WHISTLER also took second in CSA Racing Class during the three-day regatta held earlier— not bad for a weekend’s work to grab two “pickle-dishes” for the trophy cabinet!  For more Mount Gay Rum Around Barbados Race and Series sailing information


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

Volvo Ocean Race sailor- Charlie Enright*  Newport J/24 sailor Charlie Enright sailing Volvo Ocean Race on TEAM ALVIMEDICA!  The dream goes back to their first meeting on the set of a Disney sailing movie. Seven years later, Charlie Enright and Mark Towill’s vision of a round the world race campaign is coming true as the two friends enter the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 with TEAM ALVIMEDICA.

Aged 29, Charlie Enright recently married, lives in Rhode Island. Mark Towill is 26, a kid from Kaneohe, Hawaii. They attended university together. Both are friendly and easy-going - they could be your next-door neighbors. Except, these guys are going to race around the world in the next Volvo Ocean Race. That’s something your neighbor will not be doing – and these two have dreamt about it and worked to make it happen for a long time.

“We were part of the Morning Light project with Walt Disney in 2006,” said Enright. “I met Mark during the trials for that – we both considered that project to be the beginning of our ocean sailing dream, which is the Volvo Ocean Race.”

Morning Light finishing off HawaiiThe reality film “Morning Light” followed a group of young sailors on their cross-Pacific boat voyage on an old TP52. Inspired by their Volvo mentors, the two friends then went on to set up their own company, All-American Ocean Racing. To build their Volvo Ocean Race profile, they sailed transatlantic and Fastnet races as an all under-30 American syndicate.

Their dream began to take shape when the race CEO Knut Frostad invited the pair to Alicante for the start of the last edition in October 2011. “It’s not been easy by any means despite the great start we had with the Disney movie,” said Towill. “We’ve spent long hours treading the sidewalks trying to get a break and it’s been all about making our own opportunities. We’ve also had a lot of help from many, many people making this become a reality.”

After dropping most other commitments in the search for a title sponsor, Enright and Towill finally found an innovative medical devices company from Turkey – ALVIMEDICA – to back up their project.  This ambitious young company is the perfect match for a team that aims to have a crew mostly drawn from a pool of sailors under 30.

Volvo 65 one-design for Volvo Ocean RaceNow that the entry is officially announced, it’s time to start building a team and to launch their Volvo Ocean 65. Together with their greatly experienced CEO Bill Erkelens (who recently raced J/70s in the Rolex Big Boat Series in San Francisco), they need to recruit a crew and start training.

A seven-year dream is coming true for American sailors; it’s exciting news for the USA sailing community which will carefully follow the American Team, who also will be the only "under 30" team in the ocean marathon.

Sail Newport, supported by Fidelity Investments, will have a presentation to be held on Thursday, February 13 at 5:30 p.m. to debut the team's plans to prepare for the grueling "Mount Everest of sailing" ocean race which will circumnavigate the globe.  The event takes place at the Jane Pickens Theater on Washington Square, Newport, RI. Tickets can be purchased online at  You can also contact-

The event will feature dynamic on-screen footage of the race, information on the team, the boats, the stopovers and how the Newport community can plan a homecoming for the predominantly American team.

Team ALVIMEDICA will be joining Team SCA (with fellow American Sally Barkow onboard- also a J/22 & J24 sailor), Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Dongfeng Race Team and Team Brunel in the race which will be contested over 38,739 nautical miles and nine months. The race starts in October in Alicante, Spain and finishes in Gothenburg, Sweden in June of 2015. The only North American stop over will take place May 5-17, 2015. The boats will arrive in Newport from a stopover in Itajai, Brazil and will depart Newport on May 17, 2015 for the Transatlantic race leg to Lisbon, Portugal. For more Volvo Ocean Race sailing information.

* Youth sailing program evolution in the past decade or three have often reflected both the needs of the sailing community as well as the socio-economic demographic trends that affect society worldwide.  What works in Mexico may not work in San Francisco, coincidentally the best for Solent RYA sailing programs isn’t a fit for Newport (either RI or CA).

An excellent commentary has evolved on this subject over recent times on the subject.  No matter what, all productive with good intentions and with the hoped for result that more people get involved in the sport of sailing.

For one, Peter Becker at American YC oversees their Junior Offshore program (email- and comments that, “Three years ago we developed a format to get kids interested in and exposed to non-racing big boat sailing.... a junior over-night cruise which we call "Back to Basics".  The entire point was to get juniors to experience all the really great things you get to do on a big boat when you're not racing.  It has been a huge success with the juniors.  The JSA-LIS picked up the idea and now has our format presented on their website as a template for others to follow.”  Contact Peter because his kids recently sailed a J/122 offshore and beat some of the world’s best offshore racing programs in last fall’s 2013 Block Island Race classic— a mere 189nm race!

Along the same lines, a long-time J/24 and offshore sailor from Maine/ New England, Geoffrey Emanuel, had some excellent perspectives on youth sailing development.  After 49 years of racing and sailing, Geoffrey is not too impressed with what he has seen.  His sailing roots are New England, and his racing spans from singlehanded dinghies to 12 meters, offshore, coastal and lake sailing throughout the U.S., plus four years as a junior sailing instructor. After observing over time the evolution of youth sailing, Geoffrey describes how he believes it has negatively impacted the sport:

“I am thoroughly convinced that what sailing needs is a grenade rolled into the room I see full of ‘Status Quo’ thinking.

The vast majority of U.S. junior training evolved from a balanced effort to teach a love for sailing, seamanship and racing skills in the 1960s-1980s, to today’s disproportionate emphasis not only on racing but on winning. Junior sailing mimics the winning-is-everything mantra of almost all youth/school sports.

The unintended consequence of our current state is a rapidly declining interest in sailing by former junior sailing participants that have moved into adulthood. Most of the explanations for this phenomenon come across to me as excuses or defense of the Status Quo rather than an objective attempt to question everything with the sole interest to identify and solve the problem.”  Read more here about a timely article on youth sailing.

Cat Evans relaxing on J/70 off Key West* J/70 Class rallies to rescue Key West dream!?  Here’s an amazing story, starting out sad & shocking, but ending in a celebration of the human spirit.
Months of planning and preparation were close to culminating with a great week of sailing as Catharine “Cat” Evans began driving to Key West the week before the regatta.

The Annapolis resident spent considerable time and effort getting ready to race her J/70 at Quantum Key West 2014 and had successfully trailered the boat from Maryland to Florida. Evans took a side trip to Tampa to compete in a warm-up regatta hosted by Davis Island Yacht Club.

Enroute from Tampa to Key West, Evans stopped in Naples to visit a friend and stayed overnight, one of the poshest and wealthiest retirement enclaves in all the world on the west coast of Florida. She was in for quite a shock the next morning.

Returning to the parking lot where she had left the boat and trailer, Evans discovered the J/70 had been thoroughly burglarized. Thieves had cut the lock that protected the 23-foot sport-boat and had pretty much stripped it bare.

“It was absolutely devastating. I was in tears,” Evans said. “I’m not a weepy type of person, but I just could not believe this had happened. It was like some sort of nightmare.”

Among the items taken were the engine, three spinnakers, the running and standing rigging, tools, a dehumidifier and the navigating system. About all that was left was the mast, boom and rudder.

“I was completely wiped out. I just sat there thinking that everything I had done to get ready for Key West was now wasted,” she said.

While waiting for Naples police to process the crime scene by lifting fingerprints and such, Evans called her agent with Nationwide Insurance. Former North Sails professional Matt Beck now works with the Boudreau Agency that specializes in marine insurance.

Beck reassured Evans that Nationwide would cover the loss and encouraged her to not give up on doing the regatta. Beck then helped Evans put the pieces back together by calling the companies that would be needed to replace the gear and equipment that was stolen.

“I was ready to just drive back to Annapolis, but Matt convinced me that I could still pull this off,” she said.

Remarkably, Evans was able to rebuild due largely to the kindness and generosity of people associated with the J/70 class. Ned Jones of J/Boats provided new rigging while Allan Terhune of North Sails brought some new spinnakers with him to Key West. Atlantic Rigging replaced the tools while Annapolis Performance Sailing provided new instruments and equipment.

Arriving at Truman Annex in Key West, Evans then had to deal with the monumental task of re-rigging the boat and otherwise getting it prepared for racing. Other J/70 sailors on site, who had heard of their classmate’s plight, pitched in and helped set up the boat.

“The fact that I am here in Key West and able to sail three days after having my boat totally ripped off is just amazing,” Evans said. “I am just so thankful to everyone who came together and helped me go sailing. This gives me a new appreciation for the people in the J/70 class.”

A truly terrible story had a happy ending on Sunday when Evans launched her, hoisted the sails and went out on the water to practice along with crew members Ian Gordon and Shane Zwingleberg.

“They could steal all her stuff, but they couldn’t steal her spirit,” Gordon said when asked about Evans’ determination to still compete at Quantum Key West 2014.”  Thanks for the contribution from Bill Wagner/ Capital Gazette and sailing photo credits- Steve Lapkin/

J/World Sailing School team- racing off Key West* J/World Annapolis Annual Vacation? Key West!! J/World Annapolis rents sailboats and provides sailing instruction. There isn't a whole lot of business in mid-January so owner Jahn Tihansky decided many years ago to close the office and move the entire Performance Sailing School to Florida for a week.

"We were sitting up there in Annapolis looking at all of our assets covered with snow and it was like a coconut dropped on our head. We asked ourselves, 'Why don't we go down to Key West?' It made too much sense to not do it," Tihansky said.

Since 1996, J/World has been hauling boats and its entire staff to the southernmost point of the United States to compete in the annual midwinter regatta commonly known as Key West Race Week.

J/World Annapolis has four entries in Quantum Key West 2014 with Tihansky leading the way as helmsman aboard the J/80 Vayu2. That boat is being chartered for fourth straight year by Ron Buzil of Chicago, who won J/80 class at the 2013 event.

"I've sailed a Beneteau 40.7 down here in the past, but it's a lot easier and tidier to charter. J/World does a great job of prepping the boat and I get a couple great crew members as a bonus," said Buzil, who laughed when asked if he was enjoying himself. "I wouldn't keep coming back year after year if I didn't enjoy it. I'm out here on blue waters wearing shorts while back home in Chicago it's about zero degrees."

Jeff Jordan and Kristen Berry, co-directors of J/World Annapolis, are both skippering entries at Quantum Key West 2014. Jordan is steering the J/80 Wild Horses while Berry is helming the J/70 Danger Mouse. Dave Manheimer, a longtime coach at J/World Annapolis, is skippering the J/80 Willy T. All three boats are being crewed by J/World students with Jordan, Berry and Manheimer operating more like coaches than skippers.

Many of the clients are repeat customers in terms of coming to Key West with Canadian Tom Case competing in the regatta for the fifth straight year aboard a J/World boat.

"Key West has really provided a great opportunity for our company and our clients. This is a spectacular sailing venue and the regatta is always so well-run," Tihansky said. "Our entire team really looks forward to coming down here every year and our customers have really enjoyed competing in such a great event." Thanks for contribution from Bill Wagner/ Capital Gazette.

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.