Wednesday, January 8, 2014

J/Newsletter- January 8th, 2014

J/70 women's sailing team- off Newport, RI
J/70 Expands to Asia/ Pacific Rim
(Newport, Rhode Island) - J/Boats announced today that McConaghy Boats has been named the J/70 builder for the Asian and Pacific Rim markets.  This is following the recent news of the J/70 receiving International Class status from the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).  Nearly 500 boats are already sailing in 20+ countries within 20 months of launch.  McConaghy Boats joins J/Composites (France) and CCF Composites (USA) as part of the J/70 world building team.

McConaghy 100- Wild Oats XI sailing Sydney Hobart Race 2013“McConaghy Boats and the J/70 are a perfect fit,” said Jeff Johnstone, President of J/Boats.  “McConaghy is world renowned for building high performance custom racing yachts (such as the famous 7-time Rolex Sydney-Hobart winner WILD OATS XI), and they’re also highly regarded for producing one-designs to exacting tolerances.  We look forward to working with Mark Evans, Stephen Oliver and their team in Zhuhai to build on the momentum the J/70 is already generating in the Pacific Rim.”

“The rapid growth of the J/70 has been nothing short of phenomenal and we’re proud to become a building McConaghy Boatspartner with J/Boats,” commented Mark Evans, Director of McConaghy Boats.  “The J/70 represents the next-generation of fun, easy-to-sail sportboats— a perfect match for the Asia/ Pacific Rim markets we’re supporting.”

New tooling arrives at McConaghy in late January and production is expected to begin this spring. The J/70 will be distributed in the Pacific Rim region by J/Boats Asia.  For more information, please contact Jim Johnstone of J/Boats Asia at or J/Boats USA headquarters at
For more International J/70 sailboat information

San Francisco Boat ShowCatch the Wave @ San Francisco Boat Show!
(San Francisco, CA)- 2013 was a banner year for San Francisco Bay J sailors and 2014 looks to be even better.  The Bay Area J/111 fleet is growing well with eight boats, the J/70 fleet has grown rapidly to twelve boats, and the J/88 fleet is already at four boats.

Now is the time to plan for your 2014 sailing season! Come and see all three models (J/70, J/88 & J/111) at the new San Francisco Boat Show.  The  event is scheduled for January 23-26, 2014 at McCovey Cove and Pier 48, adjacent to AT&T Park.

Sail California, the Northern California J Boat dealer, can provide test sails as well as get J/70’s, J/88’s and J/111’s for spring delivery! Please contact Norman Davant at or Pat Nolan at for details.   For more San Francisco Boat Show information

J/88 family speedster- sailing offshore under spinnakerJ/88 Strictly Sail Show Update
(Chicago, IL)- The new J/88 has arrived in Chicago and is getting ready for the Strictly Sail boat show which runs from January 23 – 26 at Navy Pier.  The Stearns Boating booth will feature the new J/88 along with the J/70, J/111 and J/105, all of which are well represented classes in Southern Lake Michigan.  Here’s the latest update from J/Midwest dealer Rich Stearns from Stearns Boating:

“As many of you know, J/Boats has been updating its line of boats for the past few years. The J/111 has turned into one of the most successful offshore boats ever to sail on Lake Michigan (the Lake Michigan fleet is Fleet #1 and has 12 boats).  In the last three Mac races the J/111's have placed 5 or 6 of the top 10 overall and has it's own section!  The J/70 is the most successful small sportboat ever developed, selling over 350 in its first year with over 500 sold as of today. We already have 25 boats from Holland, MI to Madison, WI.  The J/70 was the first boat under 25 feet J/Boats had introduced in 30 years!

Now J/Boats is introducing the J/88 a fast, fun, stable, easy–to-sail (and tow) 29 footer. It has been 32 years since the J/29 was introduced, so I guess it’s about time for a boat this size again! What makes the J/88 a unique boat and appealing to everyone? It’s simple: it’s a boat perfect for a day-sail with the family, can be rigged and launched easily by two people, can be towed by a normal size vehicle, AND can be sailed in the Mac Race (speed is about the same as a J/105).

J/88 sailboat- towed behind Jeep Grand CherokeeThe biggest surprise so far is how easy it is to tow this boat. I just finished pulling the boat from Bristol, RI to Chicago (through the Poconos Mountains in Pennsylvania) during winter storm Hercules without a problem. Our car is a Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel, with a towing capacity of 7,400 lbs, it easily handled the payload (read about Richie’s amazing adventures in the J/Community section below).  We will be towing to South Carolina for Charleston Race week and also plan to drive back from Mackinac with the boat.  With the mast deck-stepped and on a pivot, two people can rig it, and with the single point lift the J/88 can be launched without a travel lift. The crane at Belmont should launch it easily.

If there is one problem with the boat, it’s that they’re sold out through the summer! There will be two in Chicago this summer and we are working to get more in stock. The J/88 will be available for test sails in the spring and summer (before the Mac Race). If you are interested please give me a call (847-404-2209 ) or drop me an email ( to set up a date/ time to check it out and sail it this summer.  Check out the J/88 sailing video on the Stearns boating web site

J/70 one-design sailboats- sailing off start in FloridaQuantum J/70 Winter Series Preview
(Tampa, FL)- The Davis Island YC, one of the “most sailingest sailing clubs” in Florida, graciously extended the red carpet and their famously fun hospitality to the J/70 class to host a winter series over three weekends.  Starting this coming weekend, January 10-12, forty-two teams will be participating in the shifty, choppy waters of Tampa Bay, many of the teams using the event as a “warm-up” for the upcoming J/70 Midwinters held in conjunction with Key West Race Week.

While the weather may have been downright terrible in the past few weeks in the eastern 2/3rds of the USA, it’s done nothing to dampen the spirits of the J/70 teams.  Many are looking forward to thawing out from sub-Arctic cold and “making their beach” with an ice-cold Corona on a sunny, warm, breezy day (at least that’s what the local Chamber of Commerce promised!).  Coincidentally, NOAA Marine Weather is forecasting ESE light winds 4-8 kts Friday with a sunny day at 80 F.  However, Saturday the breeze looks to veer further into the SW and increase to 15-25 kts by afternoon with cloudy skies with an approaching frontal system.  Classically, as the front blows through overnight, the sailors magically wake up to a southern-style breakfast with bacon, eggs, grits, a cup of Navy Joe (e.g. coffee thick as mud) and enjoy a sunny, sybaritic Sunday afternoon down on the water with lightish NW to NE winds caressing their hangovers with a gentle 6-12 kts breeze.  Some forecast.

Many “veterans” as well as newcomers will be sailing in the “Open” and “Corinthian” divisions in the fleet.  Showing how healthy the competition is within the J/70 fleet, it’s fairly evenly split between the two, with 24 open and 18 corinthian.  With so many new faces and some veterans sailing with new crews, it’s anyone’s guess the ultimate outcome for the front-runners. Plus, there are teams from Great Britain and Canada joining the fleet, all with very good helm/tactician combos.  Amongst those American teams who could finish “in the chocolates” might be Brandon Flack on TORQEEDO, the Johnson’s on VITAMIN J, the Kimbrough’s on NOSTALGIA, Henry Brauer sailing SCAMP, Joe Colling on US 69, the Finkle’s on JUNIOR, the Klingler's on MENACE, Mark Ploch on SUGAR DADDY and Jud & Cindy Smith on US 179.  The Canadians Andrew Papierz on DYNAMO and Rob Butler on TOUCH 2 PLAY and Joe Woods on RED from Great Britain have proven their capable of top five performances!  One thing is certain, there will be surprising performances from new teams as everyone keeps playing games of “leap-frog” as they learn their boats better and better.   For more Quantum J/70 Winter Series sailing information

J/24 sailboats-  sailing Bacardi Cup off Miami, FloridaBacardi J/24 Midwinters- It’s Official!
(Coconut Grove, FL)- Just as the swallows return to Capistrano, the J/24s keep coming back to Miami. This time the regatta host is Coral Reef Yacht Club, the new title sponsor is BACARDI, and the dates are February 21st through 23rd.

You might ask why this will be the 15th time that Biscayne Bay was chosen as the venue in the 36 years of Midwinter Championships? Yes, it might have something to do with the fact that Miami guarantees no blizzards, nice breezes, lots of great Cuban food and a legendary J/24 tradition. It also just makes sense.

According to last year’s winner, John Mollicone, “I will be down in Miami for the 2014 BACARDI J/24 Midwinters and really am looking forward to it.  I have been racing in the J/24 Class since 1998 and like the competition, the boats, and especially the great people.  There are no restrictions on sailor classification in the J/24 class so you end up racing against so many great skippers and crews.  I also love sailing with the genoa, which you do not really see anymore on other types of boats.  I love sailing in Miami during the winter months for its warm weather, dependable breeze, and I like the chop that Biscayne Bay has to offer.” Some of the other sailing stars who have already registered include Skip Dieball, 2011/ 2012 winner Peter Bream, Tim Healy (5 time champ), Robby Brown and Travis Odenbach as well as top local sailors like Eamonn DeLisser and Gary Sprague.

Although the J/24s have been around for 37 years, they are comparable to a Ford Mustang … still going, still popular and very American. Watching the boats with their colorful spinnakers is fun, too, and the sailors will certainly enjoy the food and beverages at Coral Reef Yacht Club along with the competitive race courses and regatta management by Coral Reef Yacht Club’s highly regarded Race Committee.

J/24's are one of the oldest classes still racing in Biscayne Bay. Local J/24 Fleet 10 was the 10th fleet formed in the late 1970's when the class first started and has as many members as the local Miami Etchells 22 and Snipe fleets.

Here are the ingredients: The Overall Regatta Chair is Mark Pincus of Columbus Day Regatta and Bacardi Miami Sailing Week fame. For a class which began in the 70s and is still charging along, “be there or be square”! You do not want to miss out on the sailing and the partying.

For more BACARDI J/24 Midwinters sailing information, contact Connie Bischoff at or 305 812-1073 or check the BACARDI J/24 Midwinters website.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

As the new year starts off like an old-fashioned steam engine just getting out of the station, we see glimpses of activity taking place all over the world as sailors are either preparing for their upcoming winter series events in America or our friends Down Under are in the midst of their hot summer sailing season with major events taking place.

This past week, the J/24s were sailing their Australian Nationals in Sydney at Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club.  The current update saw the top three boats having a knockdown, drag’em out, fight between Sean Kirkjian (recent Sydney-Hobart winner as tactician/ strategist), Dave Suda, Steve Girdis and Ben Lamb.  Watch this space next week to learn how it all went down!  Just north of them on the western Pacific, the Chinese J/80 fleet settled a few scores and crowned their new J/80 Hong Kong Series Champion.

Heading east across the Pacific, we find the J/24s in Peru just completed their Peru J/24 Nationals sailing in La Punta with a good fleet turnout for the two weekend regatta.  Along the same side of the Pacific, a J/120 sailed in the first offshore regatta of the new year in California- the Two Gates Race off Long Beach.

Finally, in the Middle East the report from Manama, Bahrain was that it was rough going sailing J/24s in the Kingdom Match Cup.  Some of the world’s top match racers were in attendance soaking up the sun, winning $10’s of $1,000’s of prize money and getting their butts whipped by some up and coming sailors from around the world.

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page!  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

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

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

J/120 JIM sailing Long Beach Two Legs RaceJ/120 Takes Two Gates Race
(Long Beach, CA)- In the 2014 Two Gates Pursuit Race, hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, Jim Snook of Long Beach Yacht Club sailed his J/120 JIM to victory Sunday. Snook and his crew (with an average age of 71) passed and fought off 30 other boats, some bigger and faster, throughout the 13.2 nautical mile course that winds its way through and around Long Beach and Los Angeles harbors.

Going into the day the weather forecast called for light, changeable breeze. Not what you want to hear when you’re planning a long sailboat race with a 5 o’clock sunset.  Fortunately the weather gurus got it wrong as a consistent breeze between 6 and 11 knots showed up just before the start and stuck around throughout the day.

In a pursuit race, the slower boats start ahead of the faster boats with each boat’s scheduled starting time based on its corrected handicap rating.  The slowest boats in Sunday’s race were the three Cal 25s and the fastest boats were a Santa Cruz 70 and the renown Andrews 63 Medicine Man (the fastest rated boat in the fleet).  Medicine Man started 30 minutes behind Snook’s J/120 and it was up to him and JIM’s crew to keep them back there.

“We were counting our blessings,” Snook said, “and watching Medicine Man during the entire race. We were trying to create passing lanes for ourselves to keep them back there and decided running along the breakwater wasn’t going to work. So we went deep into the harbor and passed quite a few boats.”  Ron Masterson, working at “Pit” on Snook’s crew, said, “We kept looking back [to Medicine Man] figuring how much we were ahead of them.”

Long Beach Harbor entrace lighthouseDuring the race, as the lead boats were sailing from Los Angeles Harbor back towards the Long Beach Harbor entrance---often referred to as 'Queens Gate'---a rather large freighter in the harbor began moving towards the entrance.  As the ship drew near the entrance, the race committee hailed the racing boats on the prearranged VHF radio frequency and advised the skippers to hold their positions and wait for the ship to clear the entrance. Everyone complied (Wouldn’t you?) and the ship passed safely.  A Port of Long Beach pilot boat and a Long Beach Police boat assisted in keeping the way clear for the ship.

Some of the lead sailboats made it through Queens Gate before the ship arrived, but some did not. The delay was only a few minutes, but it was frustrating for some of those that had to wait.  “We saw the big ship coming out and we were watching it,” Masterson said. “As we got closer we realized we could get by it without a problem. We felt so bad for the rest of the fleet behind us.”

Reflecting on the day and the race, Snook said, “It was a great race, but we’d like to see it as part of a [pursuit race] series like they do at San Diego Yacht Club each year. We’ve been doing their Hot Rum series for a number of years now and we think it would be great to have one up here.”

Masterson smiled and eluded to the fact that they had “help” in winning today’s race.  “We had something in our favor today,” Masterson said. “We usually cook something onboard during the race. Today it was Korean BBQ. We’ll use any strategy to gain an advantage.”

LBYC re-invented their long-standing Two Gates Invitational race in 2012 and turned it into a pursuit race. But they didn’t change the course which starts in Long Beach Harbor, takes the boats up to Los Angeles Harbor and then back in to Long Beach for the finish. It gets its name from the fact that the race boats weave in and out of Long Beach’s Queen’s Gate harbor entrance and Los Angeles’ Angel’s Gate harbor entrance.  Congratulation to Snook & the JIM crew!  Thanks for sailing photos & contribution from Rick Roberts.   For more Two Gates Pursuit Race sailing information

J/80 sailing off Hong Kong, ChinaJChi Crowned Hong Kong J/80 Champion
(Hong Kong, China)- Eight races over two days was always going to be hard work for the J/80s, but with the strong winds on the first day, the fleet really had their work cut out. The J/80s Class Championship 2013 took place just off Lamma Island where the Etchells 22s were also competing. In total fifteen boats entered the Championships for some spirited racing over the long weekend.

J/80 sailing upwind off Hong Kong, ChinaFor the first start the fleet was slightly back from the start line, taking a conservative approach in the strong winds gusting to well over 25 kts. Upwind was hard work and the fleet was well spread out by the time they reached the windward buoy. The first few boats, including JChi at the front, hoisted their spinnakers without too much trouble, immediately throwing themselves into a plane. Many of other boats played it conservatively sailing main & jib wing-on-wing and still surfing like mad down the enormous waves.  Those that lived by the mantra of “go big, or go home” and were able to control their boats had an absolute epic time!

J/80 sailboats starting off Hong Kong, ChinaJChi reveled in the tough conditions, taking a win in the first race. They followed up that commanding performance with three more top three results in races 2-4 placing her in a solid position going into day 2. Javelin’s first race was a disappointment (6th) but she was able to rectify that in impressive style with three wins to follow, placing her one point behind JChi going into Day 2. The other boats performing well towards the front of the fleet were Tigrina, Jasmine and Joss, although Tigrina was forced to retire from race 4 losing her series discard on Day 1, placing her under pressure for Day 2.

J/80 sailing under spinnaker- off Hong Kong, ChinaDay 2 saw lighter winds, which meant the crews were able to focus more on strategy and less on keeping themselves upright. The big change in weather conditions also reflected in the results, with each race won by a different boat. Of the eventual top 5 boats only Tigrina was unable to pull of a race win on Day 2, although her results of 3-5-3-2 were enough to squeeze into 3rd place overall beating Jasmine by just 1 point after discards. Taking 2nd overall was Javelin, her aggressiveness caught up to her with an OCS in the final race, meaning she had to count her 7th in race 7 instead of using it as a throw-out. Finally, pulling off a win in the last race, to top off an excellent Championships, was JChi.   For more Hong Kong YC J/80 season sailing information

J/24 sailing off La Punta, Peru in NationalsOlcese Blitzes Peru J/24 Nationals
(La Punta, Peru)- The thirteen teams sailing the Peruvean J/24 National Championships for the “Copa Jose Barreda Moller” were pretty much given a “clinic” in how to sail J/24s fast by their past champion, Luis Olcese sailing SCARAMOUCH.  Tossing a 5th and counting five 1sts amongst their scoreline in a best of nine races, the SCARAMOUCH team demonstrated why they remain the leading Peruvian team on the world stage.  Racing took place for two successive weekends off La Punta- November 30th/ December 1st and December 7th to 8th.

While Olcese and crew were sailing in another dimension, the rest of the fleet was having quite a battle for the balance of the podium.  In fact, four boats were vying for contention over the two weekends, including Tania Zimmerman’s JITANA, Daniel Mendoza’s WAYRA, Lucas Pescherria’s TIAMAT and Javier Arribas’s HAWKY.  Seemingly, none of the four teams could keep themselves out of trouble, either having to toss an OCS or DSQ or overcoming bad starts/ tactics to try to stay in the hunt.

As is often the case in such tight four-way skirmishes, the last race determines the outcome.  By virtue of winning the 8th, and second to last race, Zimmerman’s JITANA held onto a slim lead for second overall over Mendoza’s WAYRA.  Despite an 8th in the last race (her toss race), JITANA hung on to take the silver by one point over Mendoza.  Had Mendoza finished 2nd or better in the last race, he would’ve taken the tie-breaker, that’s how close the finale was for these teams.  Pescherria’s TIAMAT was involved in several protests but managed to fend off Arribas’s team on HAWKY to take fourth by just four points after the nine races (eight counting).  Spirited racing continues in this fun-loving J/24 fleet in Peru and it was clear the teams enjoyed some of the nice sunny conditions with warm breezes during the event.   For more Peru J/24 Nationals sailing information

J/24 match-racing- Kingdom Match Cup- BahrainKingdom Match Cup Report
(Manama, Bahrain)- Young Sam Gilmour continues his “glam” run up the ISAF world match racing tour ladder, and the Western Australian, an Anarchist since he learnt to read, sent in this exclusive report from another new Arabian venue that may be following in Dubai and Oman’s footsteps as an “up-and-comer” for the next generation of sailors.  As you’ll learn, the regatta was spectacular, with sunny skies, winds blowing a gale and many an experienced skipper humbled by match-racing J/24s in fairly demanding conditions.  Gilmour’s commentary follows:

“The 2013 Kingdom Match Cup held out of the Bahrain Maritime Sports Centre was held over the week 15-21 December, beginning with a qualifying event, followed then by the open regatta. Competitors flew in from all over the world to compete for the title, and with serious prize money up for grabs as well as an Omega sponsorship, the competition was fierce.

Sam Gilmour- J/24 sailor winning Kingdom Match Cup regatta- BahrainNeptune Racing, consisting of skipper Sam Gilmour, trimmer Adam Negri, tactician Chris Smith and bowman Justin Wong travelled to Bahrain hoping to contest for the title. We as a team knew we had to bring our A-game with some others with impressive résumés racing. We hadn’t heard much about Bahrain previously, so we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived by the modern layout of the capital city Manama, and the difference in culture was a real eye opener to us.

Having qualified for the open event already, we sailed the qualifying regatta as a warm-up event. This gave us a chance to orient ourselves with the boats, conditions and some of our opponents. We were racing J/24’s- a very common class, and whilst not ideal for match racing, the team adapted to the boats quickly- finishing the qualifier just ahead of Sergey Musikhin from Russia, Seviero Ramirez from Italy and Mati Sepp from Estonia. These guys had some high ISAF rankings, with Sepp being 20th and Musikhin being 23rd in the world, so it was a positive sign for us to take out the lead up event.  Directly after this we went into racing the open Kingdom Match Cup. Whilst most of the teams had raced in the qualifier, a few teams joined the regatta- including Olli-Pekka Lumijarvi from Finland and Vladimir Lipavski from Russia.

J/24 sailboats- sailing match race at Kingdom Match Cup- BahrainIn the opening day of the event we were met by an onshore breeze, ranging between 15-18 knots, bringing with it a very steep chop due to the shallow waters surrounding Bahrain. As a result, conditions were really challenging, with a number of teams (including us) having some big wipeouts as a result of mistimed maneuvers. We managed to go through the first day of racing with a record of 4 wins and 1 loss which put us in a good position for the remainder of the round robin- after which, four teams were to qualify for semi-finals to be raced on the final day.

Because of the regatta format we had a few days mid-regatta of no sailing. This lead to all of us getting a little side tracked, and nearly resulted in Justin thinking he’d take up a new profession, almost getting taken to Pakistan on a falcon expedition with some local hunters. The rest of us just managed to get him back in line for the next day’s racing.

As it turned out, the breeze hung around the entire regatta, increasing at times to well above 20 knots, not falling below 12 knots. Whilst difficult at times, we found our boat handling to be one of our strong points, which allowed us to make up for mistakes made at other points around the race course. Eventually, we finished up the round robin series with a record of 8-3, and qualifying us in second place for the semi-final! We progressed to the next round along with Lumijarvi in first, Musikhin in third and Lipavski in fourth. We were pretty pleased with our position going into finals, but knew we had to step up another level to finish strongly.

J/24 sailboats- docked at Kingdom Match Cup- BahrainLumijarvi chose Lipavski to race in the semi’s, meaning we were matched against Musikhin in a first to 3 points semi-final. We got off to an ideal start by taking out the first race convincingly, but Musikhin came back strongly and with a show of impressive boat speed around the course, winning the second race. Knowing that we were up against it, the team really lifted for the next two contests, allowing us to progress into the final with a scoreline of 3-1. Meanwhile in the other semi-final, Lumijarvi was able to achieve a similar result, also winning 3-1.

The finals series got underway immediately, though due to a time constraint it was shortened to a first to 2 series. Fortunately, we managed to come out firing! We won race one after leading around the entire course. This meant a great deal to our confidence, as Lumijarvi had shown great speed in the boats all week.

Bahrain sailing center- host for J/24 Kingdom Match CupThe match point position put an increased level of pressure on both teams, and it showed in the next pre start, with penalties flying for both teams. Eventually though we started with a penalty off the line (meaning we had complete a circle at some point around the course), but with the lead. The race began with a flurry of tacks up the first leg where we were able to put some distance between us. It was going to be close getting our penalty in, but we took the spin whilst managing to just keep the race lead. From there, it was a tense final leg where we were able to hold Lumijarvi off giving us both the race and regatta win!  It was awesome to come away victorious, winning our first-ever Grade 2 event, as well as going home with some beautiful new watches and prize money in our pockets, definitely making the win that little bit sweeter!

From here, out next event is the Warren Jones International Youth Championships held in home waters at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club in Australia. With some strong international competition coming down to contest the title [including brother David -ed], it’s going to be a thrilling week of sailing.

The team is already looking forward to getting back out on the water, taking huge steps forward every time we compete. Our next step:  To continue funding these events as we keep climbing the ISAF world rankings (currently we are up to 33rd), so thanks to RFBYC and all our supporters for helping us to make it happen!” Thanks for contribution from Sailing Anarchy.

Youtube Sailing videos of J/24 match-racing- with Smack That remix


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

J/88 sailboat being towed by Jeep Grand Cherokee
*  Richie Stearns recently drove a new J/88 behind a Jeep Grand Cherokee truck
through winter storm Hercules, one of the worst so far this winter in America.  Here’s his commentary on the experience:

“I have been looking forward to getting the new J/88 after I sailed it last Summer. I was excited to get a boat I was hoping could be trailed behind a normal size SUV and still sail in the Mackinac race. . But after looking at a bunch of cars I only found one that fit the bill. The new Jeep grand Cherokee diesel tows 7,400 pounds. But there were people that told me with a short wheelbase it wouldn't be able to pull the boat properly. So I was excited to see if my new car would actually pull this boat a 1,000 miles over mountains.

I spent Christmas in Montauk New York. I had a friend drive the car to Connecticut and pick me up. We spent the night near Providence Rhode Island and the weather forecast was horrible. By the time we got to CCF C they were already closing the schools in most of Rhode Island . Winter storm Hercules was bearing down on us. The boat was ready to go at 8;00 when we got to the factory and we hooked it up to the to the car and drove the Hall spars. No sway bars just a very nice Triad trailer with surge brakes slug low so we were at 12'5" clearance. Thank goodness everything went smooth at Hall Spars and we are on the road by 10:30.

J/88 sailboat- leaving Bristol, RI
It was snowing in Bristol but as you can see from the picture in front of Hall Spars (seen above) it hadn't snowed that much. And there was only an inch or 2 of accumulation. The roads were good going towards New York City . Five hours in the trip we were in the foothills of the Poconos Mountains . Now it did begin to see snow with a good wind. However the rig was just fine we could go 55 to 60 miles an hour without a problem and averaged 12 MPG. Around 3 o'clock in the afternoon the snow started to accumulate and we started seeing semi trucks that had gone over the guard rails. We stopped for about 30 minutes and got fuel and thought that maybe it let up a little bit. Back on the road it really was snowing, we drove at 45 MPH for over 2 hours but at that rate we were not getting to Chicago very fast. The salt trucks and plows were not out and the roads were now white, so we got off again, hoping the plows would come through.

Jeep Grand Cherokee parked after towing J/88 sailboat 1,000 milesAfter waiting about two hours we decided to go one more exit down the road and spend the night. The roads were not plowed or salted so it was time to stop. The next morning  the snow had stopped and we're on our way again no problems. It was cold and windy -2 degrees when we got up, but clear sky's. Coming over a bridge of Ford Ranger (which is very light in the backend) had spun out on black ice, but there appear to be no problem with our rig. For the rest of the way we saw very little snow and clear skies. When we got to Indiana the wind began to blow fairly hard. We had been thrilled that we were getting 12 miles a gallon. But with a big headwind we could only manage 10 miles a gallon. The boat was getting pushed around by the wind a bit in these conditions but nothing to slow us under 60 MPH except for our bad MPG. We slipped into Chicago before they close the roads to semi semi's due to high winds. The next day there was a ton of snow and then the deep chill came Chicago . We had threaded the needle, the Triad trailer and the Jeep was a great combination.”

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.