Wednesday, February 12, 2014

J/Newsletter- February 12th, 2014

J/70 Swedish Boat of the YearJ/70 Sweden Boat of the Year! 
(Stockholm, Sweden)- The J/70 continues to garner accolades from knowledgeable sailors around the world.  In particular, Europe is seeing a significant uptick in one-design J/70 activity with more countries and more fleets developing across the Continent.

This past month the Swedish yachting press selected the J/70 as Sweden’s Boat of the Year, citing its scintillating performance, family-friendly boat-handling characteristics, easy transportability and extraordinary value relative to all other sportboats in the market today.

Here is J/Dealer Peter Johansson from Marstrand Yachts accepting the award at the boat show in Sweden. For reference, here’s the original article written in Swedish about the J/70’s qualities (translated into English).  For more J/70 sailboat information

J/22s sailing upwindWells Fargo J/22 Midwinters Preview
(New Orleans, LA)- The gracious hosts at Southern YC are looking forward to hosting their first Wells Fargo Advisors J/22 Midwinters since that infamous hurricane that decimated the Gulf Coast shoreline a few years back.  With a spectacular new facility, the J/22 sailors can expect the red-carpet treatment from one of the world’s best corps of volunteers anywhere.

For the February 14th to 16th weekend, an optimistic, near-perfect weather forecast has been ordered up by the local Lake Ponchartrain Chamber of Commerce for the twenty-six J/22 teams.  Sunny and clear all week-end long, Friday’s sailing may have 10-15 kts SW breezes veering to NNE at 5-10 kts on Saturday with perhaps a lightish day on Sunday of 5-8 kts from the southerly quadrants.

Several leading J/22 teams are participating with championship pedigree, including local hotshot Benz Faget sailing the infamous FATS, Terry Flynn aboard TEJAS from Ft Worth Boat Club in Texas, the brothers Doyle from Youngstown, NY (Chris sailing THE JUG 4 1 and Kevin on MO’MONEY), Alan Terhune on DAZZLER from Annapolis YC (current World Champion), and Chris Princing skippering PIGS IN SPACE from Tawas Bay YC in Michigan.  Long distance traveler award must surely go to Ron Harris on JAZZ coming “in from the cold”, and across the border, from Hudson Heights in Quebec, Canada!  Such a competitive fleet promises great sailing and, as usual, there will be surprising scorelines at the end of this regatta!  For more J/22 Midwinters sailing information

J/24s sailing under spinnakerBacardi J/24 Midwinters Preview
(Coconut Grove, FL)- The XXXVI J/24 Midwinters is taking place from February 21st to 23rd at the legendary warm and friendly confines of Coral Reef YC on Biscayne Bay.  Long regarded as one the best clubs to visit in the middle of winter, its sailors are renown in the world of yachting (Stars and Snipes, in particular) and its gracious hospitality and facilities are second to none— Regatta Chairman Mark Pincus has promised as such.  J/24 sailors will be the beneficiary of their largesse and expertise for the 15th time, and counting!

An impressively talented fleet of twenty-four boats have assembled to dual for the coveted crown of being J/24 Midwinter Champion.  Of note, it’s one of the few J/24 events 5-time J/24 World Champion Ken Read never won.  Last year’s champion, John Mollicone, will be back for another go at retaining his crown and will be teaming up with his friend Tim Healy aboard HELLY HANSEN (can they repeat their remarkable performance winning the 2014 J/70 Midwinters in Key West recently?).

Some of the other sailing stars who have already registered include Skip Dieball sailing GILL RACE TEAM with Geoff Ewenson aboard calling tactics; 2011/ 2012 winner Peter Bream skippering TEAM TARHEEL; Robby Brown on USA 799; Travis Odenbach on HONEY BADGER with Canadian tactician Rossi Milev; as well as top local sailors like Gary Sprague sailing SCOUT’S PRIDE.  Participating in the Midwinters as part of their practice for the J/24 Worlds in September is the Japanese team on SOKOKUMARU led by skipper Sumio Shimoyama.

So far, the weather looks promising for this intrepid crew of J/24 sailors.  Forecasts are indicating 70s and 80s for temps with generally SSE breezes in the 7-15 kts range.  Let’s hope that’s the case!  For more Bacardi J/24 Midwinters sailing information

J/70 sailing St Petersburg NOOD regatta on Tampa BaySperry Top-sider St Pete NOOD Preview
(St Petersburg, FL)- The 2014 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta series kicks off in sunny St. Petersburg, FL from February 14th to 17th. The fleet of 123 boats is dominated by J/Teams, representing 38% of the participants.  Of the forty-five J’s sailing there are twelve J/24s and twenty-eight J/70s racing one-design, while there are a half-dozen J’s sailing PHRF handicap classes.

The J/70 fleet, now in its second year at St. Pete, boasts the most entries and it’s a J/70 World Championship qualifier for the fleet.  Competitors will duke it out for two open spots for the Worlds in Newport, RI, in September 2014.

For Todd Fedyszyn, St. Petersburg YC’s youth sailing director and head coach, this year’s event will be a change of pace. Having previously raced J/24s at the NOOD, a parent of one of his team member’s offered to loan him a J/70 for the weekend. “It’ll be our first regatta,” says Fedyszyn, “so hopefully we can be competitive with the top of the pack if all goes well.”

J/70 sailor Heather Gregg-EarlThe top of the pack, says Fedyszyn, includes many who are participating in the Quantum J/70 Winter Series at Davis Island YC. “Jud Smith on AFRICA was really fast last month at the first Winter Series regatta,” notes Fedyszyn. “He was almost unbeatable. I think Marty Kullman on TOUCH 2 PLAY will also be one of the top guys. People will always keep their eye on Heather Gregg-Earl and Joe Bardenheier on MUSE. Patrick Wilson had a good first Winter Series event as well sailing STAMPEDE. Mark Ploch’s SUGAR DADDY team is another crew who’s been spending a lot of time on the boat and should be in the front of pack. There are four or five who are going to jump out, who seem to have an extra gear.” Defending St. Pete NOOD J/70 champion Joel Ronning, on CATAPULT, will be also be back, along with Don & Tom Finkle on JUNIOR, Jim Cunningham on LIFTED, Kerry Klingler on MENACE, and Will Welles on RASCAL.

In J/24 world, some teams get a chance to sail St Pete then haul the mail across “Alligator Alley” to sail the J/24 Midwinters at Coral Reef YC in Miami starting the middle of next week! Chief amongst them will be the top local team, Robby Brown from Davis Island YC sailing USA 799.  Robby will have his work cut out for him against a tough group of locals and visitors like Tom Kane on HONEY BADGER SOUTH and Steve Wood on TASMANIAN DEVIL.

In the PHRF handicap arena, the PHRF 1 fleet has George Cussins J/105 FIRE & ICE sailing along with Bill Terry’s well-traveled J/120 TAMPA GIRL.  In PHRF 2, a trio of J/29s are dueling for class supremacy, including the Mui/ Kennalley/ Davies team from Chicago on FAMILY CIRCUS, Ray Mannix on SEMPER FI and Harvey Ford sailing WILDKAT hailing from Tampa Bay.  For more Sperry Top-sider St Pete NOOD sailing information.

J/70 european circuit 2014J/70 European Circuit Update
(Les Sables d’Olonne, France)- The European J/70 National class associations have updated their J/70 European circuit and proposed European 2014 ranking.  At this time, over 200 J/70s are sold in Europe and J/Composites in France will be delivering 15 boats per month to fulfill the demand.  The primary countries generating such enormous enthusiasm are Germany followed by Great Britain, France and Switzerland.

The 2014 European ranking system has been established as follows: each race of each event will be considered in the overall formula.  The points will be based on a “high point” scenario, with first equalling the number of starters for each race, second is -1, third is -2, etc.  On the basis of an average of 6 races per event, you can discard 10% of the races when more than 18 races have been achieved and 20% when 32 races have been achieved.  The major events include the following dates:
  • Feb 7-9- Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse- Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • Apr 18-21- SPI Ouest France- La Trinite sur Mer, France
  • Jun 6-9- North Sea Regatta- The Hague, Netherlands
  • Jun 21-29- Kiel Week- Kiel, Germany
  • Aug 2-5- Cowes Race Week- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
  • Sep 23—27- J/70 EuroCup/ Europeans- Lake Garda, Italy
At this stage, the current report from the various J/70 Class associations are that Kieler Woche will see at least 25+ boats from Germany and that 15+ boats from Lake Constance will participate in the EuroCup on Lago di Garda.  The German J/70 Nationals will be held on Lake Constance (the Bodensee) just before the EuroCup.

The Netherlands J/70 Class reports they’re already approaching a dozen boats.  One of their top sailors, Wouter Kollman sailing HENRI LLOYD will be sailing the North Sea Regatta at The Hague, Kieler Woche, Cowes Week and Lago di Garda for the EuroCup.  They expect at least 6 Dutch boats at North Sea Week, 3 at Kieler Woche, 2 at Cowes and 4-5 teams at EuroCup.  The Dutch J/70 sailors are also offering to other J/70 teams “free storage” after North Sea Week so that you can easily sail Kiel, saving a lot of travel time for some teams!

Both the Italian and French J/70 Class associations are indicating at least as many boats as the Dutch teams traveling to the same events.  For more information on the J/70 European Circuit, please contact Fred Bouvier-

2014 J80 worlds in annapolis, md J/80 Worlds Registration Open!
(Annapolis, MD)- The USA J/80 Class has announced they've opened for registration the 2014 J/80 World Championship being held September 28th to October 4th, 2014 at Eastport YC in Annapolis, MD.  More J/80 Worlds information and the registration link can be found on the J/80 Worlds website.

Furthermore, the USA J/80 Class has outlined a 2014 J/80 World Circuit for you J/80 enthusiasts and believe they have a great slate of events, especially with a few events being held at the Worlds venue, to promote practice and familiarization of the sailing area.  The 2014 J/80 Worlds Circuit is as follows:
  • Jan 19-24- Key West Race Week & J/80 Midwinters- Key West, FL
  • Mar 21-23- Davis Island Yacht Club Regatta- Tampa, FL
  • Apr 10-13- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
  • May 3-5- Annapolis NOODs- Annapolis, MD
  • May 30- Jun 1- J/Jamboree, May 30- Annapolis, MD
  • Aug 30- Sep 1- J/80 East Coasts- Annapolis YC- Annapolis, MD
  • Sep 10-14- J/80 North Americans- Annapolis YC- Annapolis, MD
  • Sep 28 - Oct 5- J/80 World Championship- Eastport YC- Annapolis, MD
There will be an Overall Circuit Champion and Runner-Up Award. Boats need to compete in at least 50% of the races to qualify. Finishes will be weighted in accordance with regatta class size to keep it fair using a “high point” system for each race.

Chris Chadwick, J/80 USA Class Secretary (owner of USA 59 “CHURCH KEY”) commented, “Please let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on the water!”  Chris can be reached @ email- or you can contact other USA J/80 Class Officers here.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

For starters, Happy Valentine’s Day to all around the world!  Enjoy it with your loved ones, family and friends!

It was a relatively busy week for the J sailing world considering it was the first week of February.  While the greater part of North America, Europe and, especially, Great Britain were again getting pummeled by massive depressions with hurricane force winds and sub-zero temperatures, some in the J/Tribe were enduring too little wind and too much sun! While others in the Mediterranean were suffering from too much sun and too much wind! Imagine that!

In Europe, the second part of Yacht Club de Monaco’s famous Primo Cup Credit Suisse took place this past weekend in the spectacular Hercules Bay off Monte Carlo.  For many sailors in Europe, it marks the kick-off of the sailing season on the continent and the J/70s were not disappointed in the sailing conditions when they had near-gale conditions on the last day!

Over in the Americas, the J/70’s completed the second part of the Quantum Winter Series in Tampa Bay, Florida in what could best be described as “searing” weather conditions (the skin version, that is!).  On the “it’s notta-regatta” unless you finish scenario, the Three Bridge Fiasco for the first time in history may NOT have been a “fiasco” for obvious reasons.

Finally, in the “down under” category on a continent called South America, the Chileans sailed their very famous Chiloe VTR Regatta off Puerto Montt.  Their fast-growing fleet of J/105s had a fabulous time sailing in what many consider to be the “Swedish archipelago” of the south!

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 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/70 Helly Hansen winning regatta 
HELLY HANSEN Tops Quantum J/70 Winter Series II
(Tampa, FL)- Hosted by the Davis Island Yacht Club, the 2014 Quantum J/70 Winter Series 2 concluded Sunday for the fleet of forty-one boats. After an excellent start in the first series in early January (where the fleet got in two solid days of racing), the second installment was a bit of a disappointment.  The weather forecast looked promising, with plenty of sun and reasonable winds forecast on Saturday, but it was nearly a “glass-out” on Sunday. The Tampa Bay sailors certainly had the better end of the massive High pressure weather system parked over Florida than their colleagues sailing on Biscayne Bay, where there was no sailing at all on Sunday!

As it was, the J/70s in Tampa had enough to go sailing each day and managed to get off four races in somewhat brutally light, shifty, patchy conditions.  Saturday was a light northerly, dying to come in from south around noon at 4-6 kts, dying and then coming back in northerly from 3-6 kts.  On Sunday the light NNE winds hung in there from late morning to mid-afternoon from 3-7 kts and died late with racing finished by 2:30 pm.

Literally every boat in the top ten had a double-digit race to count in their scoreline!  Even the eventual regatta winner, Tim Healy steering HELLY HANSEN, couldn’t match is remarkable record of all top five finishes he posted for the J/70 Midwinters in Key West recently!  In four races, Healy’s crew managed a 5-12-1-3 for 21 pts to just nip out the wily coyotes sailing on the second place boat— Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT (his crew included Willem van Waay, Victor Diaz & Scott Nixon).  The CATAPULT team were winning after the third race by a wide margin, but managed to punt the last race with a 17th, accumulating a 3-1-5-17 for 26 pts.  Taking third was Tom Bowen from Annapolis YC racing REACH AROUND with a serious roller-coaster scoreline of 6-5-33-8 for 52 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Jack Martin on EXIT STRATEGY II with a 14-3-8-28 tally for 53 pts and Mark Ploch on SUGAR DADDY with a 4-6-20-23 for 53 pts, taking fourth and fifth, respectively.  What’s interesting is that places 3rd to 11th were separated by only ten points!  And, Martin and Ploch were in a three-way tie-breaker at 53 pts that also included Rob Britts’s HOT MESS.  In fact, the last race cost Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE, Ted Johnson’s VITAMIN J, Casey Klingler’s MENACE, John Brim’s RIMETTE and Andrew Criezis a podium finish!

A repeat winner of the Corinthians was Rob Britts’s HOT MESS, now taking three in a row- QWS I, QWS II and Key West/ Midwinters!  Second was Brandon Flack and Chris Carrol on TORQEEDO and third was Peter Tuite on CURRAGH.

With such enormous swings in the standings, it’s anyone’s guess how the QWS series will turn out after the fleet finishes their third event in March!  Watch this space again soon!  For more Quantum J/70 Winter Series sailing information

J/70 sailing YC Monaco Primo Cup 
LULU LA NANTAISE Crowned Primo Cup Champion
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)-  The second part of YC Monaco’s famous Primo Cup XXX- Trophee Credit Suisse took place this past weekend from February 7th to 9th.  As predicted, the twelve boat J/70 fleet encountered very challenging sailing conditions.  While Friday was a bit soggy and had reasonable breeze, by Sunday the massive front rolling across Europe flew off into the eastern Med, making for a spectacular day of sailing with WNW winds of 15-25 kts with clear skies and enormous waves! The J/70s had wild, exhilarating rides whistling across the magnificent Monagesque shoreline.

“It’s great to come across and race against America’s Cup helmsmen who got us dreaming in the first place,” commented a young Laser sailor from the YCM, Edward Albert-Davie. It’s true that since it was launched in 1985 on the initiative of YC Monaco President Prince Albert II (sailing his J/24), the Primo Cup has hosted many of the great names, be they Olympic or offshore sailors, who come to Monaco to kick-start the Mediterranean circuit alongside highly skilled amateurs.

The J/70 fleet had teams from across Europe representing six countries (Monaco, France, Italy, Germany, Great Britain and Turkey). Introduced last year in the Principality of Monaco, the J/70 has won many YC Monaco members over who have taken it up. As a result, there was much anticipation surrounding the J/70s which proved just how maneuverable and easy to handle they are in the big sea and wind conditions of Monaco.

J/70s sailing off Monte Carlo, Monaco in Primo Cup
Frenchman Ludovic Sénéchal, sailing LULU LA NANTAISE, demonstrated his supremacy with three race wins. He beat Monegasque Jacopo Carrain, skippering CARPE DIEM, who was still discovering what his boat could do having only baptised it on Thursday evening the day before the event!!  Carrain’s 2-2-5-4 for 8 pts net was enough to finish ahead of Frenchmen Marc Pajot and Tom Mellano sailing JUMP AROUND that had a 3-3-OCS-3 record for 9 pts.  For those of you familiar with the Olympics and dinghies, you may remember Pajot as a top French 470 and Flying Dutchman sailor in the 70’s and 80’s.  He also sailed with his daughter Zoe both weekend of the Primo Cup, finishing 3rd in IRC in his J/97 and repeating that finish with her, again, on the J/70!

Friday’s sailing saw three races were completed in difficult conditions, with a north-easterly touching 12 knots at its height in the day before fading. Like a metronome, the YC Monaco’s Race Committee fired off a string of starts, one after the other, with no respite for the 83 crews.  At the end of the day, and after a fairly spectacular final race, particularly round the second windward mark, a pattern was emerging in the provisional rankings. Sénéchal’s LULU LA NANTAISE won three races, opening up the gap with the two Monegasque entries,  Carrain’s CARPE DIEM and Tamburelli’s YCM 2.

Senecal’s report on Friday- “we were the third start on our course.  The first race was run in medium conditions (8 to 11 kts of breeze).  Five boats went together around the first windward mark with us and they all stayed close after the downwind run and rounding of the leeward mark.  On the second beat, the left side of the course was better and we managed to round first and finish there at the end of the race.  The entire fleet of J/70s finished in less than a minute, close racing!  The second race was completely different.  The wind was playing tricks on Hercules Bay, it was puffy, quickly died down, shifted, then would increase again.  With such dramatic changes in the wind, the fleet spread out, but we sailed most of the four legs in about 10 kts of wind and somehow won the race.  In the third race, with a few recalls, it was easy to get an OCS.  On the first beat, we played the left side again and rounded first.  The downwind run was tricky, but it was worse on the second beat, the wind played lots of tricks in strength and direction. It was more like a “lottery draw” than a sailboat race!  In the end, we snuck past the early race leaders and somehow took our third first!  Amazing!  At the end of the day, the YC Monaco had a fabulous Happy Hour in their beautiful new club— what an incredible place!”

J/70 Primo Cup tug-of-war at YC Monaco during Primo CupHaving already confronted fairly wintery conditions on Friday, the entire fleet were not able to complete a race on Saturday in Hercules Bay. After several starts were attempted for the fleets, the YC Monaco Race Committee was forced to cancel all races in the interests of fair-play.  The PRO was faced with totally unpredictable conditions that saw the wind veering 90° within minutes and a squally weather front foiling any chance of a stable system filling in.  All was not lost, however, as the YC Monaco Social Committee welcomed all the teams back with a warm glass of mulled wine. Consequently, the spirits were high amongst the sailors and they were ready for some competition.  The result? A friendly tug-of-war went down during the storm while others enjoyed the opportunity to support their teams in the Six Nations Rugby Match that was being broadcast on a giant screen along with “live” Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on another giant screen.

Sunday’s epic sailing conditions only produced one race, much to the dismay of many J/70 sailors who were relishing the high-speed planing conditions and gigantic waves.  Senecals’ report is an interesting commentary on the crazy weather conditions, “we had offshore winds of 30 knots at the starting line with 3m swell (that’s about 10 ft!).  On the first beat off the starting line, it was very obvious that the right hand side of the leg was favorable.  With winds easing a bit near the windward mark, the first three boats (including us) set our spinnakers and took off from the rest of the fleet in a gigantic puff (the rest of the fleet rounded in a big lull and got stuck far behind).  The run was very, very fast, too fast for some who ended up too low and had to drop spinnakers to make the leeward mark!  On the next beat to windward we had the same problem, good winds up the right beat playing shifts, but becalmed again at the windward mark.  Now, the cards got shuffled again!  We lost some here and finished second in the race behind the fast sailing Italians on TANSPANCE, skippered by Vittorio Di Mauro.  It was great sailing and congratulations to YC Monaco for a fabulous event!”

After the top three, the balance of the top five was broken on a tie-breaker.  The Italian team sailing TANSPANCE with Di Mauro skippering took fourth overall by virtue of winning the last race, scoring a 9-7-4–1 for 12 pts.  Losing the tie-break was Roberto Tamburelli’s YCM 2, scoring a consistent 4-6-3-5 also for 12 pts.  The general commentary from the fleet afterwards was that YC Monaco ran a fantastic event and the J/70 sailors are hoping to again double the size of the fleet for 2015 and have at least three to four dozen teams sailing!   For more J/70 Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse sailing information

J/105 sailing off Chiloe, Chile - Puerto Montt 
J/105 SCIMITAR Wins Chiloe VTR Regatta
(Puerto Montt, Chile)- Chiloe Island Regatta is the most famous and competitive regatta in Chile. It runs every two years around Chiloé Island, 650 miles south from Santiago and after the first version in 1990, twenty-three editions have been organized since. The regatta is mainly long distance races of 12 to 30 miles plus some windward-leeward courses during a seven day program with one day off in the middle. The main challenges are tides (up to 3 knots), the kelp “forest”, salmon-fishing plants and shallow waters (to avoid tide or to sail the shortest distance to the next island). The other big challenge is the windshifts along the different channels and accelerating off the very mountainous landscape.  As a result, the Chiloe regatta is a big tactical and strategic headache for all sailors and requires the best source of creativity and skills to succeed. Logistics are another part of the challenge and all crew try to make an effort to rest well and sail the boats as light as possible.

J/105 sailing off Puerto Montt, ChileDespite the enormous variety of sailing conditions, Chiloe is renown for its spectacular, natural attractions: amazing landscape, rain forest and vegetation, sea food, cultural arts & crafts, sunsets and its nice and friendly people. Also, there are a number of 18th century wooden catholic churches, part of the Spanish legacy and UNESCO Declared Universal Patrimoni. Chiloé was the favorite area for the Spanish colonists in South America, and consequently was one of the latest areas to become part of the “new” Chilean Republic. Puerto Montt (the main city in the area) was officially founded in 1853 well after Chilean independence in 1810.

Founded at the end of 2010, the J/105 class in Chile has grown rapidly thanks to the concept of having an amateur and family focus for class management. In three years, more than twenty boats have arrived from America and currently the class has 27 boats  mainly in the central part of Chile.

The 2014 Chiloé Regatta was the second year of participation for the J/105 class.  With fourteen boats attending, the J/105s are by far the biggest and most successful one-design yacht in Chile and represented 22% of the total fleet (J/Boats represented 1/3 overall)!

J/105s reaching under spinnaker off Puerto Montt, ChileThere where many “family” boats sailing: SCIMITAR (with 3 adults and 6 children of both co-owners Toti Ugarte and Maceta Fuentes), PLAN B with Patricio Seguel’s family, TRICALMA with Daniel Gonzalez’s family, EUREKA chartered by Pablo Cisternas & his family, SCOTCH ROCKS with Carlos Perez and his sons, and ALLEGRO with  Cristobal Lira’s all children family team!

The competition between SCIMITAR and RECLUTA was tough from the beginning.  RECLUTA was the top J/105 in the previous edition, so they were hopping to continue the tradition and started off on a good track. During the week these guys from Valparaiso had many good races, so they managed to stretch into a little the lead for the final day. But, in Chiloe, any position is uncertain until the very end and the very shifty 18 to 20 kt breezes  the last day broke-down the tradition. RECLUTA had a bad result in the first of two windward-leeward races, losing the lead to SCIMITAR.  After the first race, the conditions in Puerto Montt Bay were very tricky with 50 degree wind shifts, lots of rain and current. So, when the RC at 16:15 communicated to the fleet that there wouldn’t be more races, the championship was complete.  SCIMITAR’s young crew, that had been under the deck staying somewhat dry and warm from the heavy rain, were about to explode!! They jumped on deck and started taking off their clothes and were getting ready to jump into the 14 degrees (Celsius) water in the rain!  But, before they managed to leap, both fathers Toti and Maceta and Carola (Maceta's wife) managed to control the kids exuberance and kept them aboard! Their crew of nine managed to get back to the yacht club and have a dry celebration!

For more information about the J/105 “family fleet” in Chile, please be sure to contact Juan Eduardo Reid @ email-

J/22 sailing in Three Bridge Fiasco regatta in San FranciscoThe NOT Three Bridge Fiasco!
(San Francisco, CA)- The fleet of 357 single and doublehanded boats set out on January 25 for a 21 nm tour of San Francisco Bay– it’s called the “Three Bridge Fiasco”. The 2014 edition of the Singlehanded Sailing Society’s annual race is one which will go down in infamy. Not because of crappy weather, freezing temperatures, pouring rain, hail or sleet. Not because of too much wind or that it was too cold. None of those. It was the wind. Or the lack there of.

With many boats circling the starting area off the Golden Gate YC in the pre-race hours before the 1st gun and first boat to leave at the 9:00am start enjoying a nice 8-10 knot easterly moving quite nicely in the building ebb, all looked well.

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge- during Three Bridge Fiasco regattaThe early birds, which got the proverbial worm and the most breeze, had the best choices, and the wisest of them all were to cross the ebb of the Central Bay first and utilize what wind there was and try to get to the tide relief of the Berkeley shoals and then get up to Red Rocks and hopefully get some of the forecast NW winds before the tide got to strong.

However, it was all for naught.  There were dozens of J/Teams sailing including a fleet of 10 J-22’s, a half-dozen J/70’s, loads of J/24’s, J/29’s, J/30’s, J/105’s, J/120’s, and so on, but only one boat finished— minutes before the official deadline with the sun setting and most other boats already motored or towed in!  Read more of Erik Simonson’s PRESSURE-DROP blog about the experience here.


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

Charleston Race Week- US Sailing One Design Regatta of 2014* Charleston Race Week was awarded the US Sailing One-Design Regatta Award, annually awarded to the best One-Design Regatta in the nation!  Event Director Randy Draftz accepted the award on behalf at the US SAILING Leadership Forum in San Diego, CA.

Said Randy, “On behalf of the Charleston Ocean Racing Association, I want to thank US Sailing for this honor. CORA started Charleston Race Week nineteen years ago (notably by Bob Johnstone and Brad Van Liew), and like most great things, it has taken time to evolve. It also takes great sponsors, hundreds of dedicated volunteers, an amazing venue, great race management (thanks again US Sailing), and last but by no means least, enthusiastic sailors. Without the sailors who have supported us over the years, we certainly would not be here today accepting this important award.

I want you to know that we've begun using a tagline for the event. We now refer to it as 'a regatta unlike any other.' If you don't know what that means, well, I invite you to come see for yourself April 10th through the 13th. Check out Charleston and have a Dark & Stormy with us. Thank you.”  Learn more about Charleston Race Week here.

J/80s sailing college EDHEC Regatta in France* Inter-collegiate regatta seeks to broaden the sport of sailing!  As the U.S. collegiate racing season approaches its spring national championships this year, two of its prominent schools - Tufts and Georgetown - will be sending teams to the 2014 EDHEC Sailing Cup on April 25 to May 3 in Les Sables d’Olonne, France.

This annual keelboat event is totally organized by students for students. It's also on a mission to help sailing. Here's a report by French student Nicolas Degroote:

“The EDHEC Sailing Cup in Les Sables d’Olonne, France is the leading student sporting event in Europe. Year after year, the aim of the event remained the same: broaden the sport of sailing.

For a long time, sailing and especially keelboat sailing, has been associated with elitism. Several reasons can explain it. First of all, sailing is associated with elitism because it is a sport hard to understand and especially how a regatta works. Sailing is not attractive for non-sailors; even just for watch.

Then, sailing can be associated with elitism because the sailing world is a closed world. It is a world composed of passionate people and professional sailors, with a technical jargon. In short, it is not always a welcoming world at first sight. Finally, sailing is also a sport with many techniques and know how. Technical skills can reject beginners or non-sailors that may have been interested.

However, some organizations are trying to break this image of elitism and broaden the sport of sailing. Among them is the EDHEC Sailing Cup - the leading student sporting event in Europe. Now celebrating its 46th year anniversary, the event in part as it has always pursued the same goal: broaden the sport of sailing. To achieve that goal, the EDHEC Sailing Cup is trying to limit the reasons of the elitism vision of sailing.

First, the organization authorizes student crews to compete with the help of professional skippers to help beginners to take part in the regatta. Every year, a lot of students coming from all around the world sail for the first time in this international competition, thus discovering the world of sailing.

For instance, last year a Belarussian crew got on a boat just before the regatta for the first time of their life, and successfully competed in the event. During the event, total beginners can live the same experience as professional sailors and have a first glimpse of the sailing world from the inside, and make a breakthrough in this “closed” world.

To enable as many persons as possible to discover the sailing world, the EDHEC Sailing Cup also organizes other sporting competitions such as the Land Trophy (a multi-sport raid) and the Air Trophy (a windsurf and Kitesurf contest). All the competitors are gathered on the same village of 12,000 square meters. During the week of competition they share unforgettable moments with the participants of the Sea Trophy (the regatta) and can get a foothold in the sailing world.” The International J/80 One-design class is supporting this event with twenty-seven boats— available for charter for 3,450 Euros!  Check it out here-

Ronstan CEO Alistair Murray on growing sailing* One of the more inspirational people in sailing may be Ronstan’s CEO Alistair Murray.  As a life-long sailor from way “Down Under”,  Alistair provides some of his perspectives of what a “Top 26 Alphabet″ list might look like for what’s great about sailing:

It is always an Adventure, whether participating in adrenaline filled racing or being independent in a quiet cove.
It is Beautiful in every respect; boats, places and people.
Craftsmanship skills are developed; it is a hands on activity.
People with Disabilities can sail …. and win gold medals even.
It is Environmentally friendly.
Fresh air, Freedom, Families and Fun.
Generations can sail together, including grand parents and grand children.
Humility. Nature is more powerful than we are.
It is Inexpensive if you want it to be.
It is Joyful.
You develop your Knowledge of such topics as weather, navigation, charts, tactics, etc.
You develop Leadership skills.
It tests you Mentally; a thinking person’s game with a lot of strategy.
You meet New and interesting people, all the time.
Organizations are there to support you, such as yacht clubs.
It is Physical. Great exercise. Or, can be if you want it to be.
You spend Quality time with family and friends.
You can go Racing, or cruising, or whatever.
It is Safe. I have had a lot more injuries bike riding than sailing!
It Takes you outside your comfort zone. We all need that.
You Unwind, relax, recharge your batteries.
There is such a Variety of boats, places, people, ages, skill levels.
It opens up the World to you.
It has that X factor!
Young kids can do it, and so can old kids.
Zzzzzzzzz. You enjoy a great sleep after a big day on the water!

Learn more about Alistair and his crew at Ronstan here.

Ken Read at US Sailing Leadership Forum- San Diego 2014* U.S. Sailing Leadership Forum- Ken Read, President of North Sails Group, five-times J/24 World Champion amongst other notable sailing achievements (like Etchells 22 World Champion and being a brides-maid in the Volvo Ocean Race), gave the introductory talk for the forum that saw nearly 600 attendees from all segments of the marine industry and sailing world participate in a three-day series of seminars that discussed all aspects of how to "grow sailing" amongst a few dozen other Ken Read and sailing aficionados at US Sailing Leadership Forum in San Diegoamazingly important and timely topics that are confronting the sport of sailing today on a worldwide basis.

Here’s the YouTube US Sailing video of Ken’s “chat” about “how & why” he got into sailing, what it has meant for him, what the future of sailing may be all about, why he’s about to go sailing with Jim Clark on a new VPLP 100 ft canting keeler (Jim was co-founder of NETSCAPE Communications with Mark Andreassen and Eric Bina from the University of Illinois- Champaign-Urbana along with Tom Perkin’s colleague John Doer- a fellow partner at Kleiner-Perkins-Caulfied-Byer Venture Capital Group) and why some lovely, fun-loving sailors (seen here with rock-star Ken) were also in attendance.