Wednesday, February 26, 2014

J/Newsletter- February 26th, 2014

J/70 World Championship- Newport, RI
J/70 Worlds Announcement
(Newport, RI)- The inaugural J/70 World Championship will be held in Newport, R.I. from September 8th to 13th and hosted by New York Yacht Club.  Races will be sailed on either Narragansett Bay or offshore on Rhode Island Sound, depending on weather conditions.  Principal hosting partner for the event is Sail Newport, where boats will be docked for the event.

New York Yacht Club- Harbour Court, Newport, RIStu Saffer, the Event Chairman, comments: “New York YC is honored to host the inaugural J/70 World Championships in Newport, RI, this September. We look forward to welcoming sailors from around the world to Harbour Court, our on-the-water clubhouse, and hope they enjoy all the services and amenities our club has to offer. The initial growth of the J/70 class is remarkable, and we are anticipating an extremely competitive regatta on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound.”  Harbour Court will be the site for the skipper’s meeting and kick-off party, the Wednesday dinner and the Final Awards.

There is a fleet limit of 120 boats. Due to the high level of interest, qualifying events around the world will determine which teams get to sail in the World Championship. U.S. teams should visit the U.S. J/70 Class Association website ( for detailed information on qualifying regattas. Foreign teams should refer to the International J/70 Class Association website ( for qualification and registration requirements.

Charter boats will be available for international teams, please contact Kendra at J/Boats (ph# 401-846-8410 or email- for further information. Rooms are being held at area hotels for Worlds competitors.  For more information on housing, qualifying or the regatta in general, please visit the J/70 World Championship website.

J/70 one-design sailboat- sailing to Moscow, Russia!J/70 @ Moscow Boat Show!
(Moscow, Russia)- With a successful launch of their J/70 program last year in Russia, the J/Russia dealer team of Grigory Aksenov and Dmitry Zaritckii have covered thousands of miles promoting the J/70 across Europe and Russia.  First sailing in the Y.C. Monaco’s Primo Cup in 2013, they returned again  in 2014 with two Russian teams for a weekend of great sailing and camaraderie with fellow J/70 sailors from across Europe.

This dynamic duo will again be presenting the J/70 at the Moscow Boat Show from March 11th to 16th and will likely take another “victory tour” around Moscow’s famous Kremlin Square, hopefully not in a blizzard like last year!  For an appointment or more information, please contact Grigory Aksenov at Kitira Ltd (, phone- +7-495-540-4529 or via email-  Sailing photo credits- YC Monaco/ Carlo Borlenghi.   For more Moscow Boat Show information

J/70s sailing off start- Santa Barbara, CA 
J/70 West Coast Circuit Update
(San Francisco, CA)- The West Coast is getting busy, particularly since the hottest ticket in town is becoming the next boat and crew to qualify for the 2014 J/70 Worlds in Newport.  Fleet growth in San Diego/ Los Angeles in SoCal; in the greater San Francisco Bay area; and in the Pacific Northwest around Seattle, WA has increased dramatically in recent months.

San Francisco Report- from Sail California
“The J/70 class has grown rapidly on San Francisco Bay, with 11 boats already sailing and with more arriving all the time.  Most importantly, the J/70 Fleet 19 has outlined a great series of races that include the World’s qualifiers.”  Here are the events:
  • Mar 8-9- Big Daddy Regatta- Richmond YC
  • Apr 5-6- J/Fest San Francisco Bay- St Francis YC
  • May 17-18- Elite Keelboat Regatta- San Francisco YC (Worlds Qualifier)
  • May 31- Delta Ditch Run- Richmond, CA- Single-handed Sailing Club
  • Jun 27-29- Long Beach Race Week- Alamitos Bay YC (Worlds Qualifier)
  • Jul 19-20- High Sierra Regatta- Fresno YC
  • Aug 16-17- Summer Keelboat Regatta- San Francisco YC
  • Aug 30- Jazz Cup-  SBYC
  • Sep 11-14 Rolex BBS StFYC
  • Oct 25-26 Great Pumpkin RYC
Jan Edney- sailing/ yachting photographer- Seattle, WASeattle Report- from Sail Northwest
“The Pacific Northwest has 3 qualifying spots! J/70 Fleet 17 has 2 qualifying berths at the Seattle NOOD's Regatta and one berth for the Northwest Championship (TBD).

And, if that isn't enough to entice you into competing in the exciting new sportboat fleet that is taking the country by storm you will also have your very own official Pacific N.W. J/70 Worlds photographer following you around the course in Newport, Rhode Island!

Jan Anderson (a renown Seattle yachting photographer) and her boat-boy “Skip” will be on site and making an effort to capture your boat in the excitement of sailing the first ever J/70 Worlds!

The J/70 is exploding in growth worldwide with 86 (nope, this is NOT a typo) boats racing Charleston Race Week. This is nothing short of amazing given that two years ago there were none in existence. J/70’s are reserved through hull #630 as of today! I can only imagine what will happen when McConaghy Boats gets up to speed with their production in China!”  Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal/ Jan Edney

J/111 sailing San Francisco BayJ/111 West Coast Circuit Update
(San Francisco, CA)- This year the J/111 class has burst onto San Francisco Bay with a one-design schedule for the new Fleet 5 racing season.  It looks like 7-8 boats will be on the line. Three new boats are in various stages of development and “Mental” (now renamed BIG BLAST) is just landing from her long ride out from Chicago. Here’s the J/111 schedule for 2014:
  • Mar 15-16- Spring One Design Regatta- St Francis YC
  • Apr 5-6- J/Fest Regatta- St Francis YC
  • Apr 26-27- Vallejo Race-  Vallejo YC
  • Jun 7-8- June Invitational- St Francis YC
  • Aug 2-3- Second Half Opener- Encinal YC
  • Aug 22-24- Aldo Alessio Regatta- St Francis YC
  • Sep 11-14- Rolex Big Boat Series- St Francis YC
  • Oct 25- Great Pumpkin Regatta- Richmond YC
One of the newer boats in the fleet, MADMEN Racing, was out on the Bay putting their J/111 through the paces last year.  Check out some of their YouTube sailing video action from Frisco right here.

For more information regarding the J/111 Fleet 5 one-design program, please contact Norm Davant at Sail California- ph# 510-523-8500 or email-

J/88 sailing with spinnaker at 25 kts!RCR Yachts J/Boat Open House!
(Youngstown, NY)- Tim Finkle at RCR Yachts in Youngstown, NY wants all New Yorkers and others nearby that sail on Lake Ontario and Lake Erie to hop onto their planes, trains, automobiles, tractors, snow-blowers and snow-plows and head for the upcoming J/Boats Open House at their Youngstown location.

The date is March 16th, from 11am to 4pm, with plenty of food & refreshments and a warm place to “hang” and talk shop.  They will have both the J/70 and J/88 on display in their indoor showroom.  You will get a chance to chat with long-time J/Sailors like Don Finkle and his son Tim, both incredibly experienced sailors and, in particular, have done a LOT of sailing on the J/70 in the past year (having traveled a few thousand miles and had snacks at far too many Macs & BK’s along the way!).

For more information on the RCR Yachts J/Boats Open House, please contact Tim Finkle- ph# 860-917-5416 or email- or at website-

JBoats rendezvous- Seattle, WAJoin Us For the Pacific NW J/Rendezvous!
Featuring a "Poker Rally", “Best In Show” and Massive BBQ Hosted by "BBQ Bob"
(Seattle, WA)- Sail Northwest is excited to announce the first ever J/Boats Rendezvous for the Pacific Northwest, scheduled for June 28th, 2014 at the Brownsville Marina.  Bring your cruising boat, bring your day sailor, bring your race boat – bring any J you have sailing in the area (we hope it floats!), we promise that you will have a lot of FUN and get to know much more of the J/Clan— an amazingly diverse, talented and fun-loving group of passionate sailors!  We want to YOU in Brownsville! Remember, there are no regatta conflicts! And, because it's summer-time, there are no business or school issues, either!

Boats can begin arriving in Brownsville at 11am Saturday to start the stern-tie line-up inside the breakwater.  The day’s festivities will include a “Poker Rally and “Happy Hour” tours of the attending boats incorporating a “Best In Show” competition done by popular vote.  This will be followed with a talk by industry professionals, then a massive BBQ and potluck side-dish dinner pier side, followed by awards and an evening around the camp fire on the bluff.  Refreshments and the main course for dinner will be provided; you only need to bring a side dish and whatever emergency rations you’ll need (e.g. more refreshments).  For anyone that needs a “racing fix”, the West Sound Sailing Association runs their series finale Brownsville race that day and you are more than welcome to enter if you have that urge.

Please RSVP and get your first two cards for the Poker Rally and/or learn more about the event from the friendly people at Sail Northwest.  Contact Ben ( or Bob ( or just call them at ph# 206-286-1004 and ask what’s on the menu for the BBQ!

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The end of February generally marks the end of winter and in many places the beginning of spring in March, especially for those who look forward to that wonderful Irish celebration known as St Patricks’s Day on March 17 this year.  However, Old Man Winter seems to have other designs on that raucous and fun celebration.  To date, “the North” is still gripped in a never-ending slew of storms ripping across from the Arctic Tundra to, yet again, delay the onslaught of “spring”.

Nevertheless, some places have managed to offer up some great sailing despite what 95% of the world’s population are having to suffer through for some period of time.  On the American side of things, the J/24s recently hosted their Midwinters at the Coral Reef Yacht Club on Biscayne Bay.  They enjoyed great conditions and one of the members of the winning team, Geoff Becker from Sail1Design, offered some valuable insights from his Becker’s blogs at

Elsewhere in J/24 world, the Argentineans were ramping up the second part of their “summer” season with the Sailor’s Cup that recently took place on the spectacular lake in the Andean Mountains known as Lago San Rogue.  The Club Nautico Cordoba was host for this amazingly fun event!

Just across the Andes Mountain range, literally, were the J/70s hosting their Chilean J/70 Nationals on the equally amazing Lago Panguipulli!

Up north in the Americas, the J offshore sailing teams had less than typical conditions but, nevertheless they made the most of it and managed to finish “in the silver” across the board.  The Border Run Race from Newport Beach, CA to San Diego or Dana Point goes down in the history books as one of the slowest on record, but J/Teams prevailed, again!

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:

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 sailing Chile's Lake Panguapulli- Andes MountainsPILGRIM Takes Chilean J/70 Nationals
(Lake Panguipulli, Chile)- The inaugural Chilean J/70 Nationals took place this past weekend on one of the world’s most picturesque lakes.  Situated on the Puyumén Peninsula, Lake Panguipulli is surrounded by the majestic peaks of the famous Andes Mountain range.  While sailing in shirts, shorts, & shades, skiing on snow-capped mountains is happening in some of Chile’s famous ski resorts!

On the first day, the fleet of J/70 sailors were met by high temperatures, clear skies and moderate winds ranging between 7-11 knots from 250 degrees with minimal shifts of 10 degrees, conditions that were near perfect for sailing on the lake. In fact, the weather was so nice, a small navy of motorboats gathered around the fleet to watch racing for most of the day!

J/70 sailboat- sailing Chile's Lake Panguipulli in Andes Mountains
The R.C.’s P.R.O. managed to deliver three races and, when the results were tabulated, there were few differences between the teams.  The first race of the day began with a dominating performance by Nadja Horwitz, followed by Juan Eduardo Reid’s BLACK JACK and PILGRIM skippered by Benjamin Grez. In the last two races it was clear the PILGRIM/ MBI VOLVO team led by “los hermanos Grez” had figured out the formula for success and managed to score two bullets to take over the regatta lead with just 5 pts.  Eduardo-Reid’s team on BLACK JACK also sailed consistently well enough to hang onto second with a 2-3-3.  Another boat that also figured out the “formula” was Jorge Gonzalez and his team on ALLEGRO, posting a 5-2-2 to jump up to third place for the day.

Chile's Lake Panguipulli sailing clubThe second day of sailing dawned with a gorgeous sunrise, but light winds that never exceeded 5-6 kts; it was clear the forecast was somewhat accurate and that meant it was going to be difficult to get in more than 2-3 races.  Despite a number of valiant attempts at getting more races going, the P.R.O. could only manage to get one fair race in for the day.  And, it was one unbelievably close race, clearly upsetting the standings for nearly everyone in the top three!

J/70 sailing upwind on Lake Panguipulli in ChileThe team of Benjamin Grez, Christopher Grez, Miguel Perez and Jorge Lama, aboard PILGRIM/ MBI VOLVO just managed to stay out of trouble by finishing 4th in the last race to be crowned the first J/70 National Champions in Chile!  Just behind them by only one point was a tie-breaker, the result of a titanic battle for the silver between Gonzalez’s ALLEGRO and Eduardo-Reid’s BLACK JACK.  Getting the upper hand at the finish was the very happy ALLEGRO team, winning the race and, as a result, winning the tie-break on 10 pts to snag second overall.  Third place then went to the BLACKJACK gang.

The regatta was organized by the J/70 Class Chile and WindMade, with support from the Municipality of Panguipulli and LAND ROVER Chile as a sponsor.  Interestingly, this was also the first J/70 National Championship to be held outside American soil anywhere in the world!   Sailing photo credits- Berni Grez
For more J/70 Chilean Nationals sailing results.

Team Helly Hansen sailing J/24 Midwinters- Miami, FLHELLY HANSEN J/24 Midwinters Champs!
(Coconut Grove, FL)- This year’s J/24 Midwinters were highlighted by somewhat fabulous, near postcard-perfect sailing conditions and with some extraordinary entertainment both on and off the water.  For one of the “side-shows”, there were hundreds of noisy offshore powerboats criss-crossing the course area with bikini-clad girls hanging out as they tried to score big in the Miami Boat Show “Poker Run” down to Islamorada.  Nevertheless, focusing like laser-beams on the job at hand (and, never a stray eye wavering to acres of scantily-clad “flesh” flying by), the formidable duo of John Mollicone on the helm and Tim Healy calling tactics (along with crew Geoff Becker, Leon Collin & Gordon Borges) on Team HELLY HANSEN managed to repeat their prior year’s performance— taking a ten point lead to the house and crowned the 2014 J/24 Midwinter Champions, again!

Women's J/24 team sailing J/24 Midwinters- MiamiThe regatta started off on a high note, with Regatta Chairman Marc Pincus describing it as “a chamber of commerce day”.  The weather was beautiful with a light chop and sunny skies.  Plus, there were No “black flags” during the four races, despite the reputation of the regatta being the “inventor” of the notorious “Black Flag” back in 1984 (remember Mario Bustamante, P.R.O. from Coral Reef YC??). The 27 teams got off to an early start in Miami’s 80 degree weather. However, paradise is never perfect. The wind died during the second race causing the RC to shorten the course, but the breeze came back enough to have two more races.

Team Helly Hansen- sailing upwind off Miami- J/24 MidwintersFor the Newport-based HELLY HANSEN team, it was self-evident after the first day they were determined to do no wrong and may have had, in fact, a “crystal ball” on board (apparently they were sailing with almost “clairvoyant” capabilities).  Brown University Sailing Coach John Mollicone stayed out of trouble, kept his lanes clear, and managed to post three bullets on the first day for 8 pts total.  No one could match them.  Miami’s Robby Brown on USA 799 and his team Ron Hyatt, Mark Liebell, Jeff Rubin and Arthur Blodget finished in second with 10 pts and Travis Odenbach on HONEY BADGER sailing with Patrick Wilson, Rossi Milev, Chris Morgan and Emery Williams were in third with 16 points.

J/24s sailing off starting line- J/24 Midwinters MiamiWhen the RC Signal Boat “GOLDILOCKS” went out for the morning of the second day of racing on to Miami’s Biscayne Bay waving a huge “Jolly Roger” flag, you could tell it was going to be a great day. The Coral Reef YC R.C. was relaxed and looking forward to another glorious day of sailing. The wind was 6-9 knots and steady with no shifts. The race course was set west of the infamous “Stiltsville” (houses built on stilts on the shoals south of Key Biscayne Island). The day’s final tally saw Team HELLY HANSEN extend their lead to 7 points. The big move of the day was Peru’s Luis Olcese sailing SCARAMOUSH, climbing into second with two first places for the day. His crew Christian Sas, Joel Raffo, Joaquin Razetto and Alek Stewart passed Davis Island’s Robby Brown’s team and Travis Odenbach. Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER (with crew Patrick Wilson, Rossi Milev, Chris Morgan and Emery Williams onboard) held on to third place only one point behind SCARAMOUSH. Needless to say, the evenings CRYC regatta dinner was abuzz with stories about the day’s events.

Poker Run Islamorada Rally and J/24 Midwinters!For the hosts, they couldn’t have scripted a nicer ending to the regatta, albeit with a few entertaining “twists” thrown in for good measure.  The last day dawned with yet another clear, sunny day with a mild 6-9 kts breeze and light chop.  Perhaps the most memorable part of the day for most was the hundreds of “visitors” that kept criss-crossing the race course area; including the Miami Boat Show “Poker Run” participants (40 very fast and extremely loud offshore “Cigarette-type” boats with bikini-clad gals on the bow on their way to and from Islamorada); a massive pod of incredibly happy and frolic-some dolphins; and a slew of Biscayne Bay Yacht Racing Association racers getting yelled at about every imaginable sailing rules infraction possible!

It was like old times in the 10th race. After a failed attempt at a start, PRO Jaime Ramon called for the Black Flag. In order to make it more authentic and bring back memories of the 1984 J/24 Midwinters where the Black Flag and bow numbers were first used to “discipline the fleet,” 1984 CRYC RC Chair Mario Bustamante was called down from the bridge to perform the black flag duties. As Mario raised the flag, he complained that “it was a puny little black flag with no character and that the big Jolly Roger would have been a better choice.”  Regardless, the Black Flag worked, the sailors were very well-behaved and it was an all clear start for the last race of the regatta.

women sailing J/24s in Miami, FLDespite all the distractions, Team HELLY HANSEN won yet another race on the last day and sealed the deal to be crowned Midwinter Champions with five 1sts in their 9 race score card.  Mollicone is a busy man this year.  The plan is for John to skipper HELLY HANSEN in the upcoming regattas in Newport, RI in July, do the Pan American Trials, the Nationals in Marion, MA and the J/24 Worlds in Newport, RI in September.  On top of all that, John says that his Brown University Sailing Team will start practice first weekend of March, weather permitting, commenting that “the team is anxious and wants to sail!”

The race for second place was very exciting and close. Unfortunately, for the well-sailed (and outfitted) SCARAMOUSH team from Peru, they “punted” their last race, scoring a 10th and dropping into a tie-breaker with Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER, losing that to drop to third overall!  “Oh my goodness”, or words to that effect, must’ve come to Luis’s mind as they were crossing the finish line in the last race. Not! Nevertheless, Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER crew stepped up to the challenge and managed to win the last race to hop onto the podium and snatch second place!

J/24s sailing under spinnakers off Miami- MidwintersTwo Davis Island, Florida teams took 4th and 5th. The 4th place team was Robby Brown’s USA 799 sailing with Ron Hyatt, Mark Liebel, Jeff Rubin and Arthur Blodgett. In 5th place was John Poulson’s LONG SHOT with Nate Viladabro, Doug Fisher, Rob Brills and Stephen Kaidos.

The MidFleet Award was won by Coral Reef YC sailor Jim Bill skippering SCOUTS HONOR with Eamonn deLisser, Tim Banks, Isabel Galvin, Jillian Aydelotte.

The very proud Corinthian teams were:
  1. ZIA’s Patrick Frisch, Lori Dillard Rech, Stephen Marshall, David Rech and John Humphreys from Miami, FL.
  2. VELOCIDAD’s Christopher Stone, Tim Fitzgerald, Patrick Murphy, Brad Russell and Doug Tooney from Middletown, NJ
  3. LIFTED’s Ben Maloney, Erwin Naidoo, Evan Oulahen, Katrina Leighton and Hugh Layton from Halifax, Nova Scotia
  4. MUYMUY’s Patricio Sly, Claudio Mintzias, Ernesto Mendoza, Lorie Sein-Messer and Atilio Renam from Miami, FL
  5. JOE COOL’s Lionel Baugh, Pilar Sanchez, Mauricio Ferres, Christina Urquiola, Andres Villar from Miami, FL.
Regatta Chair Mark Pincus reports, “the CRYC Race Committee team for the regatta was made up of PRO Jaime Ramon who is also CRYC RC Chair, Timer Jane Anne Pincus, Scorers Penny Tannenbaum and Sue Nichols, Landside Sharon Bourke and a cast of thousands with Mario Bustamante’s GOLDILOCKS as the Signal Boat.” The last word from the Signal Boat was that if you were not out boating today on Biscayne Bay, you did not deserve to own a boat.  Sailing Photo Credits- Chris Howell.  For more J/24 Midwinters sailing information.

J/111 Stampeder- sailing Border Run Race off Newport BeachJ/Teams Smoke Border Run!
J/111 Tops San Diego, J/124s Leaders in Dana Point
(San Diego, CA)- On Saturday, February 22, hundreds of sailors set sail to race to Dana Point and San Diego in the 2014 annual Border Run International Sailing Event. Everything was set in place— the boats, beautiful warm weather, a half moon for night-time sailing, plenty of dolphins and whales and a spectacular sunset - everything except the wind. But that did not stop sailors that came from far away as Arizona, Texas, New York and Maine, from having a great time. In the end, a total of 11 diehard crews out of 94 crossed the finish line before the race deadline.  And, it was three well-sailed J/Teams, in the most demanding sailing conditions, that led most everyone home at the top of their divisions!

It all started off on Friday night at the Balboa Inn in Newport Beach at the Pre-Race Send-Off party with live music, good food and guest speaker, Gino Morrelli, from Morrelli & Melvin yacht designers of America’s Cup fame. Gino gave Border Run sailors a first glimpse into the new AC boat and the possible venues of the next America’s Cup. It was a great way to start the event.

“Gino was awesome! He explained the differences between Team New Zealand and Team ORACLE USA from the technical side and the future of the next America’s Cup with a great visual presentation. During the ‘question and answer’ part of the presentation I could see the reaction of the sailors - they were really into the discussion,” said Randy Reynolds .

Sunset over the Pacific- Border Run Race off Newport BeachThe next day was race day. At 11:00 AM off the Balboa pier in Newport Beach, the 6th annual Border Run fleet started off in a southwest wind heading toward Dana Point and San Diego. The race committee from South Shore Yacht Club started all classes in flawless form. In keeping with the Border Run’s theme “Where Everyone’s Invited”, boats of all kinds and sizes, ranging from 14 ft to 70 ft, crossed the starting line to take on the challenging course.

There were boats of every size and shape competing on the race course. The fleet included some of the highest profile yachts on the West Coast. Boats ranging from sleds, cruisers, dinghies, sportboats and multihulls - all were represented.

High profile sailors were also lining up at the start – spectators were craning their necks to see Dennis Conner (of America's Cup fame) sailing his beloved wooden boat classic SPLENDOR and Cam Lewis sailing the fastest boat on the course, Enloe’s MIGHTY MERLOE (Editor’s note— both veterans of J/24 sailing wars in the past!).

After the start, just four hours into the race, most the fleet were carrying their spins or code-zeros when the wind switched to a south/southeast wind direction. That meant sailing to weather in very light winds in only 2-4 kts of breeze. Eventually, this took a toll on the fleet and crews started to drop out like flies on a hot summer day, one by one they radioed and headed back to homeport. Out of the 94-boat fleet, only six boats finished the Dana Point course and only five finished the 70-mile San Diego course.

J/124 Marisol- sailing with Seth Hall and teamAt the Trophy parties in Dana Point and San Diego, the event ended with sailors trading sea stories about the great competition before the wind shut off.  They spoke of the clear night skies with a bright half moon, the abundance of dolphin and whales swimming through glowing phosphorescence and an incredible sunset complete with the elusive "green flash". Even without wind, sailors on both courses expressed that the event was a great time and the adventure of sailing in light conditions was worth the trip – saying that they will be back next year.

And for the eleven boats and their hearty and tenacious crews that finished the challenging course, they can take pride that they finished the 2014 Border Run, going into the record books as sailors that won’t give up. John Marshall of South Shore Yacht Club, Race Chairman, said this about the event, “anyone can sail with good wind – only the best sailors can race and win with light winds.”

Of those eleven boats, three were J/Teams- 28% of the finishers!  Imagine that.  In fact, these teams reveled in the light-going despite the challenges faced by others.

Taking 1st in PHRF Light B in the San Diego race was the J/111 STAMPEDE, sailed by Glenn Griley and friends from King Harbor YC.  This was the first test of the STAMPEDE team in SoCal offshore racing and may prove to be an auspicious beginning for this new West Coast J/111 team.

In the Dana Point race, the two J/124s dueled one another all day and all night long.  In the end, Seth Hall’s veterans on MARISOL took second and beat their stablemate CIRRUS, sailed by Tim Harmon, home by just a half-hour.  Remarkably, MARISOL just missed finishing first overall by a little over one minute corrected!  Good grief.  Next time Seth may toss a few more heavy items onto the dock before leaving for the next race!  For fun, check out the YouTube sailing video posted by Tim Harmon’s J/124 CIRRUS from another regatta.   Sailing photo credits-  Bronny Daniels/   For more Border Run International Race sailing information

J/24 Helly Hansen- with Geoff Becker, Tim Healy & John MolliconeJ/24 Midwinter Insights- Becker’s Blog
(Biscayne Bay, Florida)- Geoff Becker has been sailing for awhile with the talented duo of John Mollicone and Tim Healy on their J/24 program (one of these nice guys in the photo).  As part of his contribution to the team and to sailors everywhere, Geoff keeps an on-going blog of his sailing activities at his “SAIL-1-Design” website.

Here are Geoff’s reports and insights for competitive sailors who wish to learn more about the “stream of consciousness” that must continually play-out with skipper and crew in order to achieve peak performance (or better yet, get Geoff on board for an event!).

Day 1- 4 races (all races course 4, 4 legs w/downwind finish). Wind 6-12 knots from the SE.

“The forecast for Day 1 was 15 knots, or more, from the southeast, however, the breeze that arrived was somewhat less. A 10-12 knot SE breeze for Race 1 slowly died to 5-8 knots during Race 2 and then picked up again to 8-10 knots for Races 3 and 4. During the day, while the breeze strength varied, the direction remained relatively consistent from the southeast. Team Helly Hansen sailed well today, with 1st in Races 1, 3 and 4, and a 5th in Race 2 to take the overall lead after Day 1.

Keys to our success today included keeping the boat powered up, sailing at full speed whenever possible and sailing in our own water. As the wind decreased today, we would try and keep the boat more powered up on the windward legs. To do this, we paid close attention as to not over trim the genoa and keep from pinching, especially in any chop or waves.  By sailing a little lower at times and keeping the trim on the loose side, we were able to keep the forward speed up and carry better momentum trough the lighter spots and occasional choppy waves.

Another key for us today was to keep space from other boats and sail in our own water. Today, this meant picking lanes upwind that allowed us the freedom to sail the boat at the angle we felt was best for us. When other boats are near us in a race, we often need to adjust our trim or sailing angle to avoid feeling the effects of the other boat. For example, when a boat is off our leeward bow, it might be necessary to sail a higher course to avoid falling into that boat’s backwind. Today, and in many instances, when we caught ourselves changing our sailing mode based on the position of another boat, we noticed we were not sailing our best speed or course. In those cases, we would look for a way to free ourselves from other boats and find our own water where we could sail our own race.

Putting your boat in a position to sail your own mode and then keeping the boat rolling through the lulls in the breeze, can make a big difference when sailing in lighter or dying winds. Since the winds today were not all that shifty, the focus on the upwind legs definitely shifted to boat speed over wind shifts. It is often possible to pass, or beat boats that might have a speed advantage if you can sail free in your own water. Even a fast boat will slow down when forced to adjust to another boat with better position, and if you are able to do your own thing, you can find yourself working your way toward the front of the fleet, by slowing down less.

Our takeaways from Day 1 are:
1. Keep the boat powered up and full speed in light wind and lulls
2. Sail in your own water whenever possible.
3. Use good position to sail your boat in your best mode.”

Day 2- 4 races (all races course 4, 4 legs w/downwind finish). Wind 6-12 knots from the SE.

“With 8 races completed, 2 remaining, Team Helly Hansen still holds the overall lead. The conditions today were very similar to Day 1 in wind speed, direction and the amount of wind shifts. That is to say that while the wind velocity did oscillate up and down some, the direction remained relatively consistent with a total range of only 10-15 degrees during the day. With the somewhat consistent breezes, the most important race factors became boat speed and positioning to make gains on the racecourse.

Because boat speed was so important today, we made sure to check our setup before each race to make sure we could get the most from our boat for the conditions. Rig tension, genoa halyard tension and genoa lead position are always important speed factors and with such consistent winds like today, and those and other settings were crucial to make sure we had speed on the first upwind leg.

As for our strategies during the race, we also considered the fact that most of our gains would come from boat speed and not from wind shifts. Because of that, we looked for the areas of the course that seemed to have the most pressure and stay out of the bigger holes on the course if at all possible. In some ways that can be easier, because looking for wind is one thing, guessing if the new wind is a lift or a header can be much more difficult. Since we were mostly concerned about more wind vs. less wind, identifying those areas with stronger puffs was our primary goal.

After looking for the areas on the course we thought had the most wind, our final big picture strategy was to make sure we were able to sail our boat at our best speed. That meant, like on Day 1, we preferred to get in our own water without being affected by nearby boats preventing us from sailing our best course. As a result, we were quick to tack away from packs of boats, especially shortly after a start or mark rounding, in order to get clear and have freedom to make our boat sail at full speed. Sometimes we were even willing to sail away from what could be more wind if we had a nearby boat affecting our overall speed.

Having the freedom to sail your boat at its best by avoiding the negative effects of nearby boats, is a strategy that will work in a large percentage of sailboat races. Of course in most races, there are many other factors to consider, but having the ability to set your boat up the way you want and sail your own fastest course is a great starting point.

Our takeaways from Day 2 are:
1. Make sure your boat is set up for the race conditions.
2. Look for larger puffs when the wind isn’t shifting much.
3. Sail in your own water and use the freedom to sail your fastest”

Day 3 - Final Day- 2 races (all races course 4, 4 legs w/downwind finish). Wind 6-12 knots from the SE.

“For the final day, it was more of the same in both conditions and results for Team Helly Hansen. Remarkably, the conditions were exactly the same as Day 1 and 2, with a light to moderate SE breeze with very little change in direction during the day. Going into the final Day, only 2 races remained of the scheduled 10 for the regatta. Our team had a 7 point lead over second place and 8 points over third. The regatta was being scored with one throw out race and our worst finish beginning the final day was a fifth place in race 2. This meant a good score in the first race of the day could lock up the regatta for us.

After considering our scoring options, we decided to sail our own race in Race 9, using the same strategies as Days 1 and 2 and stay clear of other boats as much as possible. We were able to get a great start in the middle of the starting line and jump out in the front pack right away. From there we worked our way to the front and were able to hold the lead to win Race 9 winning the Midwinters for the second consecutive year.

Knowing our throw out race was a keeper race, it was tempting for us to aim our focus on the boats behind us in the standings and cause them to have a bad race and use our throw out that way. We instead decided that what had been working for us the first 2 days was a much better plan and we had the confidence that even if the first race didn't work out, we could make our that plan work for the second race.

As I have talked about in my other race blogs, our team has a very ritualistic and effective routine each day before getting to the racecourse. Because of that, we are normally well prepared for the first race of the day and quite often we are able to sail at a high level in the first race of a day. This regatta illustrated that as we won the first race each of the three days. That confidence added to our decision to come out and sail our best race in Race 9.

Our takeaways from Day 3 are:
1. Keep to your routine every day.
2. Sailing your own race is often the best way to score well.
3. The five members of Team Helly Hansen are the reason we sail as well as we do!

J/24s sailing Lago San Roque in Cordoba, ArgentinaOJOTA Leading Sailor’s Cup
(Cordoba, Argentina)- The second half of the sailing season down in South America has commenced and, like their J/70 friends in Chile, the J/24 class in Argentina have also started the Sailor’s Cup Regatta on Lago San Roque.  It’s a spectacular time of year to be sailing in the Andes Mountains and the setting could not be more idyllic than the one for Club Nautico Cordoba along the lake.

For this year’s regatta, a two weekend affair, it’s noteworthy that thirteen boats are participating from across Argentina, including crews from Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata, Mendoza and Salta!  The regatta is also considered part of the overall points series for the “Campeonato Centro del Republica” (the Central Championship for the middle of Argentina)— and at least 25 teams are participating in the overall series, a much higher participation rate than achieved in 2013.

J/24s sailing on Lago San Roque in Cordoba, ArgentinaFor last weekend, the first round of the championship, the winner was the Mendoza fleet J/24 team on OJOTA, led by skipper Sebastián Halpern.  Second was Team INDIGO led by Despontin Ezekiel, last year’s winner.  The regatta has become a classic on the J/24 Argentine regatta circuit, the third time at the Club Nautico de Córdoba!  It is an event notable for it’s warm, wonderful atmosphere sailing on the lake,  a moment of relaxation for all crews where they enjoyed something to eat and drink delicious malbec red wines from the Mendoza district!

With moderate winds and moderate windshifts (for Lago San Roque!), it was good, solid tactics that were the key elements to keeping the top spots.  The final results were OJOTA in 1st, INDIGO 2nd, ON-LINE 3rd, KANZA 4th and MATANGA 5th.

This marks the start of the annual ranking that’s part of the Campeonato Centro Del Republica”.  For the next event we expect up to two dozens boats along with a crew from the USA. The J/24 Fleet Córdoba thanks the sponsors that support and enable the realization of this championship again in 2014 .  For more J/24 Argentina sailing information.


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

J/70 mast stepper device* Don Finkle at J/Dealer RCR Yachts has been sailing his J/70 JUNIOR for over a year with his family and friends, starting with the 2013 J/70 Midwinters at Key West.  Amongst other things, Don is always looking for ways to improve the overall experience of going to regattas, seeing friends and sailing fast, but comfortably.

Some of the upgrades they’ve employed are helpful for those first getting engaged in the whole program.  Here are Don’s commentary on the upgrades to share with all J/70 friends:

“The first is the J/70 mast stepper that was made by RCR’s Brian Buczak (initially designed & engineered by the J/Boats Team in Newport). We’ve now used it several times and it has made stepping and dropping the rig much easier to accomplish, especially if you don’t always have three people around to help.  As you can see from the picture, there is a wooden piece that sits on the stern rails and is fastened down to hold in place.  There is also a tall post approximately six feet high, with a trailer roller at thbottom part of J/70 mast steppere top (the key piece!), that fits through the cross beam that we clamped down on the motor bracket by using a c-clamp.  While down in Florida, friends of ours from the J/70 fleet stopped by as we were stepping the mast and commented on how easy it looked when using this contraption.  When the rig is down, we could very simply slide out the stepper and secure it to the trailer while the cross beam held the mast in place when towing.  We highly recommend using something like this and we’d be happy to show you the one we are using.

J/70 soft deck installationThe other new upgrade that we are using is the soft deck installed on the floor of our cockpit.  We absolutely LOVED this addition.  The deck not only looks good but has great grip, wet or dry, and provided good cushion on the knees when in light air and kneeling on the cockpit becomes a necessity.  We’ve been told that the weight of the deck is about 3 to 5 pounds, but the benefits greatly make up for any added weight.  This past weekend in St Pete brought some bigger breeze on Saturday and we found ourselves on our side a few times.  At the angle of heel we would normally slip on the deck but we had no such issue with the soft deck.  There are several suppliers of these soft decks and we have not tested them all out, but the “Raptor” deck we are using has really worked out great.

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.