Wednesday, March 19, 2014

J/Newsletter- March 19th, 2014

J/70 sailing on lakeJ/88 & J70 at Southwest In-Water Boat Show
(Houston, TX)- J/Boats Southwest will be exhibiting the J/88 and a J/70 in the Southwest International In-Water Show from March 27-30.  They’re located at Hard-stand 1B/ 2B and Pier 13.  It’s the Houston areas only in-water show all year!  The show is taking place at South Shore Harbour Marina in League City. Please come on down and meet their new brokers Alan Bates and Kurt VanderWall.

In addition to “talking shop” and “simply messing about with boats and things”, there are some wonderful family amusements for all to enjoy.  The “Be A Diver Pool” will take you on the first step in an underwater adventure to explore coral reefs, shipwrecks and incredible marine life, with the opportunity to learn the basics of scuba diving in a controlled and safe environment.  Seldom do you get the chance to experience a new past-time before embarking on it— it’s free!

sharks sailing past J/70 sailboat!So kids can learn more about “Jaws”, you can have the kiddies enjoy the “Live Shark Experience”!  Sharks have captured our imagination for thousands of years, stirring the fears and fascination of ocean sailors, researchers and scientists. Their legacy has long been misunderstood, learn more about them, touch them, talk to them, feed them at the Shark Tank!

J/70 beer sponsors in TexasFor adult’s culinary experience, they’re offering a “Craft Beer Garden”- for tasting the very best in Texas “craft beers” each day at the Show with the purchase of a “tasting token”.

Once again, the Show will offer a program of over 40 entertaining and educational seminars (free) that cover a wide range of topics to expand knowledge on general boating, cruising, living aboard, exploring Houston and Mexico, learning how to get started, the must-have knowledge of staying safe at sea and so forth.  The Seminars will be held at the South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center, the official Hotel of the Boat Show conveniently located on site, hosted by technical experts, well-seasoned sailors, best-selling authors and world cruisers.  List of boat show seminars here.  Please be sure to contact J/Boats Southwest for a coupon for discounted admission. Contact-  For more Southwest International Show information

J/24 sailors- Mike Ingham and Tim Healy sailing Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 
J/24 North Americans Update
Sailors Enjoy Spectacular Sailing Conditions
(Riviera Nayarit, Mexico) – The Riviera Nayarit have greeted competitors with stunning sailing conditions for the thirty-seven teams from Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Peru, Sweden and the United States.  For the second straight day, the sailors have enjoyed clear skies and warm sea-breezes starting off around 6-8 knots and steadily building to 12-14 with gusts to 16 kts— all 150% class genoa weather all week so far.

Mike Ingham of the United States continued posting steady scores to maintain his lead on day two of the J/24 North American Championship in Mexico. Sailing DIGGER, Ingham recorded another first, plus a fourth (which was dropped), leaving the team with only 7 points after five races. Ian Ilsley’s JOBBIT of Monaco kept his hold on second place with 11 points, as did Mauricio Santa Cruz’s BRUSCHETTA of Brazil with third place and 14 points.

Ingham notched his second win of the event in the second race, shadowed by Ilsley and Jeronimo Landauer’s JJONE of Germany.  The next duel, won by sixteen-year-old Brayan Matthew’s Tango Jr. of Brazil, also saw fellow Brazilian Santa Cruz as runner-up, with American Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET in third.  Racing continues through Sunday. This event is a 2015 Pan American Games country qualifier.
For more J/24 North Americans sailing information

J/70 Junkanoo- sailing Key West- Suzy Leech“Trading Places”
Why J/70 Sailor Suzy Leech is “Driving the Bus”
(Key West, FL)- In the March 2014 SAILING Magazine issue, Contributing Editor Betsy Crowfoot had a chance to catch up with Suzy Leech, a Jamestown, Rhode Island resident that has been campaigning her J/70 JUNKANOO.

J/70 Junkanoo- Suzy Leech sailing fast upwind off Key WestIn Key West Race Week, Suzy had aboard her team some very talented women sailors- in fact, they were the only all-women team sailing amongst the fleet’s eight women skippers (women skippers comprised 13.0% of the fleet!).

Sailing magazine- March 2014 issueJoining Suzy were America’s Cup team-mates Katie Pettibone and Dawn Riley and also top-ranked 470 sailor, Elizabeth Kratzig.  Collectively, this crew had several decades of both top-level, Olympic class dinghy racing but also tens of thousands of miles of offshore racing experience.   Read more about Suzy's adventures in Key West and why they has had so much fun sailing her J/70 with some great women sailors!  SAILING magazine PDF here.   Sailing photo credits- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing   For SAILING Magazine iPad subscription information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

While the Caribbean sailors take a breather between regattas, the next one being the famous Rolex St Thomas Regatta in St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands in April, the West Coast sailors have enjoyed remarkably benign, warmer than usual sunny weather without a whole lot of wind!  Starting in northern California, we find two events that took place simultaneously on San Francisco Bay, the “Big Daddy” Regatta held off Pt Richmond in the east Bay and the Spring Invitational hosted by St Francis YC near Golden Gate Bridge.  The J/70s sailed as a class in the Big Daddy Regatta and had a blast sailing in what may have their last “non-planing mode” regatta— they didn’t see winds much over 10 kts all weekend!  Their colleagues to the West sailed in similar conditions with a large fleet of J/105s dueling one another over big current (the raging full moon version) and not much wind.  South of SF Bay, two more events were sailing simultaneously.  For one-designs, the Sperry Top Sider San Diego NOOD Regatta was taking place at San Diego YC for fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/105s and J/120s.  On the Friday, a J/125 took off in the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race, just your average 1,000nm sleigh-ride down the Mexican coast to attend a nice fiesta at the finish line!

Even further south, Valparaiso, Chile was hosting the sailing portion of the ODESUR South American Games.  Top teams from all over the continent came to compete in J/24s and other assorted small dinghies for “South American Champion” bragging rights for the next four years— needless to say, it was a tough fight between the Argentineans, Brazilians, Chileans and Peruvians.

Across the Big Pond, the European spring circuits on the Continent are just starting up in all forms imaginable- be that J/22s in Germany and The Netherlands, the J/80s in Germany, France and Spain, the J/24s in Italy and Germany, or the J/70s everywhere.  In Great Britain, the annual pilgrimage south to sail in the warm, sunny, cozy confines of the Solent has started with the Warsash Spring Series— the two-month long event includes one-design classes for J/70s, J/80s, J/109s, J/111s and IRC Handicap classes for J/92, J/97 & J/105 teams.

Finally, there’s an “Insider’s Report” from St Maarten Heineken Regatta from one of the noteworthy crew members aboard the newly famous J/122 EL OCASO!  As some of you may recollect, they took the “Most Worth Overall Performance” Award for “the Heineken”, the second time they’ve achieved that pinnacle of success in that “Seriously Fun” sailing regatta.

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 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 5-6- J/Fest San Francisco- St Francis YC- San Francisco, CA
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
May 24-26- Swiftsure Race- Royal Victoria YC- Victoria, BC, Canada
May 27- Jun 9- Delta Lloyd North Sea Week- Scheveningen, Netherlands
May 28- Jun 1- J/22 Europeans- Cameret-sur-Mer, France
May 29-Jun 2- Italian J/24 Nationals- Tirano, Italy
May 30- Susan Hood Trophy Race- Mississauga, ONT, Canada
May 31- Delta Ditch Run- Stockton Sailing Club- Stockton, CA
Jun 6-8- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago YC- Chicago, IL
Jun 6-9 Norseewoche- Heligoland, Germany
Jun 9-15- Normandy Sailing Week- Le Havre, France
Jun 13-22- Cleveland Race Week- Cleveland, OH

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

J/105 fleet sailing San Diego NOOD regattaJ/105 C.O.2 Crowned San Diego NOOD Champion
CATAPULT Eclipses 70s, Taylor Dominates 24s, CAPER Owns 120s
(San Diego, CA)- The 2014 Sperry Top-Sider San Diego NOOD saw absolutely perfect conditions for the one-design fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/105s and J/120s. Sunny skies, high 70‘s and breezes in the 10-15 knot range were around all weekend. The 17 boat J/70 fleet was the largest one-design fleet at the NOOD regatta, followed by the J/105s with fourteen.

J/70s sailing San Diego NOOD regattaThe event began on Thursday for many of the J/70 sailors, as North Sails hosted an on-the-water clinic and took video during practice. The unique thing about the J/70 class is that it has a healthy mix of both amateur and professional sailors. The Pros have been great at helping the fleet really figure out how to sail the J/70, which has resulted in very close sailing. Thursday’s clinic had the J/70’s out sparring and working on boat handling, starting, and boat speed. On both Thursday and Friday, North Sails hosted a debrief after racing with Vince Brun, Chris Snow & Chuck Allen, along with videos and photos once again done by the pros at North Sails.

Friday came and the first day of racing saw light early morning breezes quickly fade as a strong sea breeze set in. Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT (from Minnetonka, MN), with local Coronado expert Willem Van Waay aboard, quickly jumped to a lead in the event with a strong 3-2-1 for the day. In a close second place, newcomer to the fleet, Joe Markee from San Diego YC, had his daughter Mandy and son-in-law Bill Hardesty, on board OHANA for their first J/70 race!

J/70 sailboats- sailing off San DiegoThe conditions throughout the weekend were near perfect for sailing, with the trend of strong sea-breezes filling every day. The shifty South Bay made it possible to recover from mistakes and the fleet saw extremely close racing. There were multiple races where there were 5-7 boats literally overlapping at the finish, making it challenging for the race committee and very close racing throughout the fleet. In the end, the top five for the event were CATAPULT, followed by OHANA in second, Tom Garrett’s SLOOP JOHN B in third, Karl Pomeroy’s ZERO TO 60 fourth and the DFZ duo of Eric Kownacki and Tom Jenkins taking fifth.

The J/70 fleet in Southern CA has been growing rapidly in the past three months. There is an active group of fourteen local J/70’s with many more boats on the way. The fleet has a great list of planned High Point events which include: King Harbor Race Week, Yachting Cup, Long Beach Race Week, Fiesta Cup, Ahmanson Regatta, and J/Fest in San Diego.

Sailing alongside the J/70s in South Bay were the J/24s with a showing of seven good teams.  It didn’t take long for past J/24 NOOD Champion, Susan Taylor on TAKE FIVE, to get back into the swing of things and feel comfortable in the lead, winning four of six races to take home the crown.  Finishing second was James Barney’s CRITTER followed by John Cianciarulo’s ABOUT TIME in third.

J/105 San Diego NOOD winner- Gary Mozer sailing video interviewA dominating final day of sailing in the J/105 class earned Gary Mozer and crew aboard CURRENT OBSESSION 2 the prestigious Overall Winner title at the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta San Diego. The Beverly Hills-based skipper made tactful decisions in the breezy conditions on San Diego Bay to claim top honors. As overall winner, Mozer and crew received an invitation to the Caribbean to sail against fellow NOOD Overall Winners.  After the first four races, Rick Goebel’s SANITY was tied for the lead with CO2 at nine points by virtue of having posted a 6-1-1-1 scoreline. However, ending the regatta with a 4-3 dropped SANITY into second place.  The tag-team of Tom Hurlburt & Chuck Driscoll on BLOW BOAT sailed a solid, consistent series to capture third.  They were followed by Jim Dorsey on WINGS and Steve & Lucy Howell’s BLINK!, fourth & fifth, respectively.  Watch the Sailing World video of Gary Mozer- the Overall Winner here.

J/120s sailing San Diego NOOD regatta offshoreThe “big dogs” in the J/120 class had close racing with the top three teams, in particular, playing the children’s game of “chutes & ladders” just about every race.  One bad start, a blown tack, a lousy spinnaker take-down, all lead to catastrophic consequences in this tightly packed fleet.  In six races, four different teams won races and five boats had top three finishes!  Surviving the roller-coaster ride best was John Laun’s team on CAPER, taking their class by just 4 pts.  Mike Hatch’s J/ALMIGHTY rattled off a 2-2-1 in the last three races to climb quickly into second overall.  On the flip-side of J/ALMIGHTY’s rapid ascent was John Snook’s JIM dropping into third.  Fourth was Chuck Nichols CC RIDER and fifth was Gary Winton’s SHENANIGANS.

Finally, this year's San Diego NOOD also featured a one-day North Sails Rally Race.  On Saturday, March 15, Joe Dagostino, the owner of the San Diego YC-based J/105 VIGGEN (below left), hopped aboard to go sail the first-ever North Sails Rally Race, a one-day, random-leg, PHRF-scored race.  In the end, they enjoyed a fantastic day on the water and became the well-deserved winners with his friend Tom Fisher!

Also, new to the 2014 NOOD season is the “Local Boat of the Day” award presented by North Sails.  Designed to recognize a skipper who exemplifies superior local knowledge of the course as well as precise execution during their races, San Diego YC J/105 sailor Rick Goebel (above right), epitomized those characteristics on SANITY, also in the J/105 class, claiming this weekend’s distinction.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes ( and Paul Todd (  For more Sperry Top Sider San Diego NOOD sailing information

J/111 sailing on Solent in Warsash Spring seriesWarsash Series Springs Into Action
(Warsash, England)- The weather certainly took a turn for the better in the opening races of the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series on 16th March 2014. With a clear blue sky and temperature soaring to 18 degrees C, the River Hamble suddenly became alive with keelboats making their way to the Solent start, dinghies competing in the Hamble Warming Pan event, plus cyclists and walkers on the riverside path.   Over 100 entries were sailing with good one-design fleets of J/70s, J/80s, J/109s and J/111s along with IRC handicap competitors like the J/92s, J/97s and J/105s!

Despite the gorgeous day, the breeze had tricks to play.  It was forecast to come largely from the WNW, the wind started at NNW and swung round to the southwest, making life very difficult for the course setters. Black Group’s committee boat set up station at Flying Fish buoy laying an inflatable mark for the initial windward leg for all four classes near Calshot buoy. As the J/109s and IRC3 approached, the breeze backed, turning the next leg from a run to a fetch across to Wight Vodka buoy close to the Bramble Bank. The wind was often fickle and patchy. All boats made slow progress against the tide towards Middle Bank. At the penultimate mark the race committee sensibly signaled a course change so that the final leg returned to a true beat.

In IRC1 seven J/111s were vying for position. Cornel Riklin’s JITTERBUG headed the class with third place also taken by a J/111- Simon Boadle’s MUNKENBECK.  Third J/111 was David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM.  Rounding out the top five for a good showing in their inaugural regatta as Louise Makin & Chris Jones on JOURNEYMAKER II.

IRC3 included a mixture of asymmetric and conventionally-rigged designs. The course suited Nick and Adam Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE, which stole an enviable three minutes on handicap over their class. In fact, starting out the new season at the head of the class, just like they left it after the Hamble Winter Series!

In the IRC 4 class, past winner J’RONIMO, David Greenhalgh’s J/92, sailed well and stayed out of trouble to start off the series with a third in class.

J/109s sailing Warsash Spring series on SolentThere was a smaller than usual turnout of J/109s where Paul Griffiths’ JAGERBOMB and podium place winner last year stole a march on their friends on JYNNAN TONNYX sailed by Owain Franks & Jean Lockett.  Taking third on the day was David Mcleman’s OFFBEAT with the RED ARROW crew, helmed by Marcus Wilson in 4th.  Fifth was Dave Mcgough’s JUST SO.

White Group under CRO Peter Knight completed three races for each of the J/70 and J/80 classes. The first group enjoyed good clean starts all round with a couple of late arrivals just making it to the line in time. After a one hour race for the J/70s, a 100 degree wind shift caused some tactical quick-thinking for the J/80s. In the J/70s, Simon Cavey’s JUST4PLAY led around the course followed by DJANG (Malcom/ Tristan Jaques) and Marie-Claude & Paul Heys on JOSEPH’s COAT.  Amongst the J/80s, Ali Hall’s BOYSTEROUS took the gun ahead of the fast-closing BETTY (Jon Powell) and Patrick Liardet’s AQUA-J.  After this first round, the committee boat then moved close into the Meon shore.

Race 2 saw single individual recalls for both J/70 and J/80 classes as the wind became more variable, shifting south to SSW and dropping. The J/70 JOYRIDE retired after one lap with equipment issues. JUST4PLAY went on to another win but with the Jaques’s DJANGO just seven seconds behind, probably caused by returning to restart (although not in fact OCS). Race 3 saw JUST4PLAY “three-peat” in the J/70s, chalking up another win for the day to be leading the series.  In the J/80s, BETTY finally put a halt to BOYSTEROUS’s chance of a hat trick by taking the last race.

Back at Warsash Sailing Club, it was an ideal day to relax in the clubhouse garden watching the many craft on the river. Grainger Thomas from Brooks Macdonald presented champagne to the weekly class winners. After the weeks of wet and windy weather competitors and race officers agreed it had been a challenging and highly enjoyable start to this year’s series which continues next Sunday 23rd March 2014.   Sailing photo credits- Ian McLuckie.  For more Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series sailing information

J/125 Hamachi sailing San Diego- Puerto Vallarta raceJ/125 HAMACHI Sails Fast Vallarta Race
All-stars Take 4th to Finish, 2nd Class & 2nd Overall!
(San Diego, CA)-  It’s just a thousand mile “slide” downwind along the Baja/ Mexican coastline towards Puerto Vallarta.  Our own Wayne Zittel, of J/World Sailing School San Francisco, said “So far, the Vallarta Race has been pretty much textbook. We started on Friday in a nice westerly, close reaching past Point Loma and into the Pacific. Before we had gotten to the Coronado Islands we were in the Code 0, then shortly thereafter the first spinnaker came up. We carried the 2A into the night, and wow, what a night!! Steady 12-14 knots and a nearly full moon lit up the slightly cloudy sky. As we work south, the sky gets clearer and the water bluer.”  The tracker showed the various sailing teams trading gybes along the Baja peninsula. “The winds have been steady enough but shifty,” notes one sailor, Karen Jewell. “At night, we have plenty of moonlight to keep the spinnaker in check and the stars and Pacific White-Sided Dolphins keep us company. But, there is way too much kelp out here!”

J/125 Hamachi winning course to VallartaThe 32nd edition of the biennial San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race started off Shelter Island, with Class 3 and 4 leaving on Friday (Mar. 14) and Class 1, 2, and Multihull departing on Saturday (Mar. 15). Both days provided summer-like conditions for the sailors to begin their 1000nm southerly slide toward beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  Tom Siebel’s MOD 70 trimaran set a new course record in what amounted to moderate breezes all the way down the track, finishing is just 2 days 8 hours.

Another report comes from Bill Helvestine’s Santa Cruz 50 Deception, one of HAMACHI’s competitors that were about 100nm behind and have never been able to reel-in the J/125!  Commented Bill, “After drifting through another never-ending wind hole, with forecasts of even less wind, a turtle doing laps around the boat, and Expedition telling us we would arrive in Puerto Vallarta sometime in August, we decided to withdraw Wednesday evening while off of Cabo San Lucas.

We had experienced large periods of no wind over the last two days, and the gribs (weather files) showed little hope for improvement during the rest of the week. With over 300 miles to go to PV as the crow flies (and likely many more miles of actual sailing), we were concerned about even finishing by the time limit on Saturday night.” So, they ended up motor-sailing with the main up, doing about 7.5 knots, headed for Puerto Vallarta and completing the MEXORC.

Their story was an accurate depiction of what was taking place in the race, especially for those sailing closer to the Baja Peninsula, where the heating and cooling of the land plays mean tricks on the wind.

J/125 Hamachi sailing off start of San Diego Vallarta raceAfter the start and for the next four days, the J/125 HAMACHI was steadily sailing at a 1st in Class and 1st Overall ORR position.  They kept trading places with the Rogers 46 in front of them for the ensuing 36 hours to the finish as they crossed from Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, across the gulf, to the finish line off the westernmost cape of Bahia de Banderas, west of Puerto Vallarta.

As the only J/Team sailing, it was quite a performance.  Having assembled an all-star cast of mostly offshore & dinghy sailors from the Seattle area, Fritz Lanzinger’s tenacious Corinthian YC crew aboard the J/125 HAMACHI made a hell of a go at winning both class and overall.  Having top guns aboard like Jonathan McKee (yes, one of the famous McKee Brothers) and Trevor Baylis (Aussie 18 specialist from San Francisco) likely helped the crew sail at over 90% most of the time, playing the gybing angles fortuitously and staying in the hunt.

Puerto Vallarta sunset at dusk off Bahia de BanderasTeam HAMACHI crossed the line at dusk on Wednesday, finishing at 18:02:12 PDT. Hamachi had a great run Wednesday, avoiding the wind holes that held up much of the fleet closer to Cabo and put themselves in a great position to win the upcoming MEXORC Regatta being sailed on Bahia de Banderas.

What’s remarkable about their race is they finished about 10 hours behind a custom 46 footer and missed corrected time honors by just 13 minutes! Oh my goodness, one can only imagine how many places the HAMACHI crew felt they could’ve made up that time!  Nevertheless, an astonishing performance in a light-airs downwind slide to Puerto Vallarta for the J/125.    Sailing photo credits- San Diego YC/ Bob Betancourt   For more HAMACHI Sailing team information, please visit their Facebook page.  For more San Diego Vallarta Race sailing information

J/122 El Ocaso- winner of St Maarten Heineken Regatta Most Worthy Performance awardJ/122 EL OCASO “Insider’s” Heineken Report
(St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles)- Bob Hillier from Line Honors reports on their “Most Worthy Overall” win as part of the EL OCASO J/122 crew in St Maarten’s Heineken Regatta.

“If you’ve never raced a Caribbean regatta, the Heineken Regatta is a great place to begin, and for 2014, the crew of El Ocaso were ready for what the regatta labels ‘Serious Fun’.  Our race on El Ocaso began with Wednesday practice day and then the windward/leeward one-day Gill Commodore’s Cup.  We won our class (Series 3), and were awarded the overall trophy for the single day event.  This really set the tone for Team El Ocaso as the full power of the Heineken Regatta began the next morning.

Long-time team owner Rick Wesslund (Coconut Grove, FL), bought the J/122 this past summer from Puerto Rico’s Sergio Sagremoso, who recently went on a speed binge with the winter purchase of a Melges 32 and McConaghy 38. Having purchased the previous El Ocaso (J120) new in 2003 when he lived in San Francisco, Rick cut his teeth sailing on the west coast before relocating to South Florida.  Led by now-recovering North Sailmaker Anson Mulder, Rick began to form a new program including a mix of previous crew, Florida talent and Great Lakes skills.  The team stays together on other boats as well in various venues, and this fact that makes our Caribbean racing even more fun; we arrive to the regatta with a team that knows each other well, and quickly dials into the boat.  Our first regatta on the new (to us) J/122 was Quantum Key West, this provided a great opportunity to learn the subtle differences between the J/120 vs the J/122…most notably, better performance over a wider wind range.  Taking a 4th in our section in KWRW was a solid start for the new boat; more importantly, we improved as the week progressed and our knowledge of “go fast” techniques improved.

J/122 El Ocaso winning St Maarten Heinken RegattaBack to the St. Maarten; in my opinion, the only downside to the Heineken Regatta is the total number of races you have for the regatta.  You have the famous “Round the Island” race on Saturday, a W/L and race to Marigot on Saturday and Sunday you race back from Marigot to Simpson Bay.  It’s a long way to come for four races, no matter how fun they are.  I could be in the minority (and with over 200 entries, maybe I am), but I’ve always said I would love to see a couple more short windward/leeward races at the Heineken.  Can’t have everything, I guess!  The event does draw some excellent yachts from around the world, from the Highland Flings to the Volvo 70s.  El Ocaso’s biggest challenges came from Y&Y Poland, the First 40s Team Boston & Southern Child, and the very fast J/100 Bad Girl, skippered and crewed by local youth sailors who had a wonderful regatta!

We sailed Friday’s Round the Island race with a solid game plan: Get in the lead and extend (advice from a wise man from Zenda, WI).  We led to the first weather mark, rounded the offset, set our kite and pushed hard all the way around St. Maarten.  This day race is a lot of fun, sprinkled with some tension as you round the leeward side of the Island.  We completed the race in 3:33:15 and took our first of two bullets; the next win was in Saturday’s (one & only) W/L race, while we got 2nd in the race to Marigot.  Every night the regatta organizers and Heineken put on the party in different locations around the Island, Friday night is the Boardwalk (Philipsburg), Saturday is Waterfront (Marigot) and the regatta culminates in an all-out party along with the prize-giving on Kim Sha Beach (Simpson Bay) Sunday evening.

As we entered Sunday’s final race we found ourselves with a 4 point lead over the kids on the Bad Girl and the solid crew of the GS43 Yachts&Yachting- Poland and the day provided plenty of drama.  After missing a shift just before the start, we found ourselves digging out from the back of the fleet and working hard to find our legs to get to the short weather mark,  in usual El Ocaso fashion we dug hard and dug out, and by the end of the third leg, we found ourselves battling for the on-water lead with the GS43.  But in typically SXM fashion, the leeward side of the Island threw things into disarray as the wind shut off in the lee of the island, with the fleet compressing right back into us.  ”Re-Start”!!

After an hour of changing through some wonderful 90+ degree wind-shifts, we reached the prevailing Easterly breeze and we were able to hold off the most of the fleet to secure our victory.  Full marks to our crew for constant gear shifting and the patience of our tactician to keep us going as fast as possible and in the right direction!

Ultimately, we won our section and were told after departing the stage from our section win, “don’t go far”.  ”Don’t go far” are magical words at the Heineken Regatta (we heard the same message in 2012) & the team was honored with the “Most Worthy Performance Overall” trophy.  The Heineken Regatta is serious fun and I strongly urge everyone to put this on your “must sail regatta” list.

Our crew: Owner/Driver-Rick Wesslund, Boat Captain/Sewer-Mike Caldwell, Tactician- Anson Mulder. Main Trim-Bobby Hillier, Trimmer- Chad Goodwin, Trimmer- Daryl Fitch, Pit- Dave Hampton, Mast- Phil Fleming, Mid-Bow- Michael Meyers, Bow- Christian Dam."  Thanks for contribution from Bobby & Sailing

J/70s sailing on San Francisco BayJ/70 JENNIFER Wins The “Big Daddy”
(San Francisco, CA)- The Bob “Big Daddy” Klein Invitational Regatta is hosted by Richmond YC, on the eastern parts of the famous San Francisco Bay.  The event marks the first regatta of the sailing season for the East Bay contingent and generally sees an enthusiastic turn-out for the event.

With the rapid growth of the J/70s on the Bay (a dozen already and a dozen more on the way), it was not surprising to see nearly a half-dozen J/70s on the line for this early season regatta.

As can be the case for early season sailing on the Bay, chilly temperates, cloud cover and a “goofy jet stream” all lead to enormously variable conditions for the sailors.  In fact, it usually borders more on the variable side than a rock-steady blast from the westerly sea-breeze the Bay is renowned for.

As a result, this past weekend’s racing in the Big Daddy saw light and shifty (but warm) winds.  The J/70 crews were pressed into the all-too-familiar wind patterns of mid-winter sailing in SF Bay. The Bay's big breeze is dialing up soon. This is likely to be the last non-planning event for 2014!

Coming out on top of the pack was Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER, taking two bullets to seal their first win of the season.  Chris Anderson’s PERFECT WIFE took second overall and Mark Nelson’s SUGOI with the colorful neon green spinnaker took third.  Next up for these teams will be the popular J/Fest SF Bay being held along the spectacular waterfront in front of St Francis YC in early April.  For more J/70 Big Daddy Regatta sailing information

J/24 Brazilian sailing team- gold medal at ODESUR gamesBrazil Takes J/24 Gold @ ODESUR Games 2014
(Santiago, Chile)- Thousands of athletes from across South America recently participated in the multi-disciplinary South American Games (a.k.a. ODESUR- Organizacion Deportiva SuraAmericana).  Held every four years (between Olympic Summer Games), there’s no shortage of competition that saw 3,700 of the continent’s strongest athletes participating— among them were Brazilian gymnast Arthur Zanetti and Venezuelan fencer RubĂ©n Limardo, both current Olympic champions in their disciplines.

J/24 Crioule- sailing ODESU south american gamesThe sailing portion of the games were sailed from March 12th to 17th, on the Pacific Ocean off Valparaiso, about one hour west of the track & field and swimming events being held in Santiago.  The one-design boats included in the event were Lasers, Snipes, Sunfish, Lightnings and J/24s.  As one might expect, the best teams from Argentina, Chile, Peru and Brazil fought for the coveted medal positions on the podium.  In the end, it was the Brazilian team from Veleiros do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil that earned the Gold Medal, led by skipper Samuel Albrecht and with a crew of champion sailors like Georgia Silva (a 2014 Olympic Sailing Team member) and Frederick Sidou and Alexander Rimoli (together they helped the Soto 40 CREOLE win the 2013 Eduardo Souza Ramos Cup- the de-facto Brazilian/ World Championship for Soto 40s).

The J/24 fleet sailed eleven races in winds that varied greatly in strength and direction.  In fact, the last day all races were canceled due to fog and no wind.

J/24s sailing ODESU south american sailing gamesThe Crioula Brazil team led by Albrecht only won by three points, compiling a scoreline of 1-1-5-4-1-4-2-4-1-2 in ten races, discarding a 5th for 20 pts net.  Said Mr. Albrecht, “we were surprised by the result. We aimed to be on the podium, but we were not expecting to win the gold.  We knew our potential because of our victory in the Brazilian team qualifiers, but still we were surprised . Our team is to be congratulated! I also wanted to thank all the support we've had from Brazilian team this week!”

The Brazilian Team coach Mr. Samuca also commented on the championship. "The wind conditions, the number of races and boats donated by the organization, everything was perfect. Contestants also had great one-design level competition, it was great to see all the boats sailing together. Winning was hard, it shows that the J/24 class remains strong in South America.  It also shows that with training you can get to victory. Brazil sailed very well and were well-represented in the medal count, we had medals in 5 of 6 classes (Lasers- Silver/ Bronze, Snipe- Gold, J/24- Gold, Lightning- Bronze).

J/24 Argentina sailing team- at ODESU south american sailing gamesThe other excellent performance of the regatta was the Argentina Sailing Team that took the silver medal.  The Mendieta Argentine team led by Pancho Van Avermaete (and crew Rafael De Martis & Geronimo Van Avermaete), had been leading the regatta for awhile, but lost the lead in the last two races.  The Argentine’s record was 5-2-1-2-4-2-1-1-5-5, discarding a 5th, for 23 pts net.

Taking the bronze medal on the podium was the “hometown favorite”, Chile’s own Vernon Roberts.  The Chileans started out slowly, got in a few good races in the middle of the regatta, but couldn’t keep their consistency.  They scored DSQ-6-4-3-3-1-5-2-3-3, discarding the 8th/DSQ for 30 pts net.  Rounding out the top five were Peru’s Luis Alberto Olcese in fourth and another Chilean team, Matias Seguel, taking fifth.
Sailing photo credits- Berni Grez   For more ODESUR South American Games sailing information

J/105s sailing on San Francisco BayBLACKHAWK Flies @ Spring One-Design Invite
(San Francisco, CA)- Hosted at St Francis YC, the annual spring-season opening regatta for the J/105 fleet sailing on San Francisco Bay took place last weekend.  With a terrific turn-out of nineteen boats, the largest one-design fleet in the event, the competition was sure to be close and there were also sure to be lots of hiccups for the teams as they dust-off the cobwebs accumulated from a long, cold winter without any sailing.  At this event, there always appears to be dramatic roller-coaster swings in individual team standings as the sailors learn, yet again, how to “saddle-up and ride that pony hard” to the finish line.

Continuing there most excellent performance last year was Scooter Simmons BLACKHAWK team, seemingly never losing a stride and showing their booty to the fleet in just about every race.  Their 4-2-1-4-1 tally for 12 pts was enough to be crowned the “Spring Champions”.  Not giving much away and sailing exceedingly well was Jeff Litfin’s crewe on the mighty MOJO.  Starting out with an extraordinary 2-1 in the first two races, they settled into a good rhythm and posted a 4-5-2 for the next three to lose the “match race” to the BLACKHAWK gang but still secure second overall.

J/105 Blackhawk winning sailboat race on San Francisco BayBehind the two regatta leaders, it was a bit of a washing machine scenario, with five boats (GODOT, AKULA, JAM SESSION, ARBITRAGE, RISK) getting spun all-around the course, leaping up and down the ladder of success (or despair) in a somewhat random fashion.  Surviving the drama better than most was Phil Laby’s GODOT, starting out really slow with a 10th, but posting a very consistent 3-3-3-4 for 23 pts to snag third overall.  Next up was Doug Bailey’s AKULA, grabbing fourth with a 3-9-6-2-6 for 26 pts.  And fifth went to Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION, like a flaming meteor fading over the horizon. The JAMMER’s managed to fly out of the gates with a 1st in the first race, but posted a 5-5-8-8 in the next four races to win a three-way tie at 27 pts.  Losers of the tie-break were Bruce Stone’s ARBITRAGE in sixth and Jason Woodley/ Scott Whitney’s RISK in seventh.

Watch this space for the next major J/105 regatta coming up in three weeks.  It’s likely many of the same nineteen boats will be sailing the J/Fest San Francisco Regatta and, as has been customary for this competitive fleet, the players may be the same but the results could easily be much, much different (perhaps the giant full moon had something to do with it?).  For more J/105 Spring One-Design Invite sailing information

J/70s sailing Bacardi Miami Sailing WeekBACARDI Miami & Newport Regattas- Update
(Miami, FL)- The recent BACARDI Miami Sailing Week was a success on many fronts, especially seeing that almost 200 sailing teams (including 40 enthusiastic J/70’s) participated in the event.  But running regattas is not for the meek, as even the best laid plans can be put to the test.

Gabriele Pedone, representing the event organizer STUDIO MILANO, offered this insight, “As one might expect, organizing a regatta event is not an easy task because there are many variables that can suddenly change both on land and on the water.  Organizing a 200-boat regatta is even harder and it can be done only with the precious help of local authorities, yacht/sailing clubs, volunteers and class representatives working together as a team.”

Between an unexpected docking change that effected several dozen boats, to Mother Nature throwing a full arsenal of curves, events conspired to challenge organizers and competitors alike. There’s always Monday morning quarterbacking, but the big sailing events that prevail year after year, like Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, are the ones who can synthesize input from competitors, volunteers and sponsors and come back even stronger next year.

There’s another side to regattas and Pedone added this perspective, “We are grateful to be able to work with great sponsors that allow us to keep the per sailor entry fee low and be able to provide great racing, complementary trailer parking, an international jury, two dinner events, an open bar, VIP hospitality with food in the morning and after racing, special events (this year was a movie night and daily post racing massage sessions), a skipper bag, tee-shirt and hat for every entry, prizes and other auxiliary services including a welcoming village area. We are also proud to be able to organize a Pro-Am Regatta that raises funds for less fortunate sailors; this year we collected over $6,000 USD to be divided among Shake-A-Leg Miami, Team Paradise and Sailing Heals and an art exhibit open to the Miami community.

We look forward to receiving input for next year where we hope to again welcome the J/70 Class to Miami. Perhaps more importantly, we're looking forward to catching up with J/70 sailors in the BACARDI Newport Regatta this summer, being held July 11th to 13th at Sail Newport’s beautiful Fort Adams Sailing facility!”  For more Bacardi Sail Newport Regatta sailing information


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

J/92s sailing off Portofino, Italy on the Mediterannean* J/92s sailing off Portofino, Italy!  We recently got a nice note from Marco Cohen, owner of the J/92s DAJENU that is based in Portofino.  Said Marco, “Ciao from Portofino!  My lovely J/92s lives in one of the most beautiful ports on Earth!

So, it's a serious promise whenever you will come to Italy you are invited to Portofino. My father is a decent sailor (he used to sail J/24 #6 in Italy) but, more importantly, a great & wonderful cook!

Having said that, THANK YOU for the J/92s- she’s my favorite buddy for daily food & wine cruises and races around the Mediterranean.  Last year I have done almost 1,000 miles of sailing and nothing broken! I am still in love with this boat even after seven years!  Ciao. Va’ bene.  Marco”

Marco and his father have been long-time residents in Portofino and count amongst their local friends past J/24 sailors like Luca Bassani (famous patron of the WALLY YACHTS world) and Claudio Recchi (leader of their family business- RECCHI Spa).

Hans Fogh sailing J/70 off Toronto, ONT in beer can race* Best wishes and our empathies to Hans Fogh’s family and relatives.  Hans was a wonderful person, a great sailor and a long-time friend of the “J/Family” (seen here sailing a J/70 in Royal Canadian YC "beer can" race).  Here’s a note from his sons (Morten Fogh & Thomas Fogh):  “Our father passed away on Friday, March 14 in the early evening peacefully. It's been a painful loss for our family, but we have received so many correspondences from all corners of the globe, which we appreciate very much.  It's great to know that our father touched so many people in such positive ways.”

Hans Fogh Obituary- born March 8, 1938 – passed March 14, 2014- “It is with great sadness that we announce Hans Fogh passed away peacefully from Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease on March 14, 2014 in Toronto. A fighter to the end, Hans leaves Kirsten, his beloved wife and safe harbour for 49 years, his two sons, Morten (Debbie) and Thomas (Andrea) and his darling grandchildren, Sarah, Curtis, Marcus, Kaia and Lucas with whom he spent many joyful hours as “Farfar” attending their numerous special events. Hans is also survived by his family in Denmark, brother Jens Christian, sisters Gitte (Esben) and Annegrette (Christian). Hans leaves behind a niece in Canada, Pia (Danny) daughter of his late sister Inger (John Eastwood)

Born in Copenhagen, Hans has had one of the most exemplary competitive sailing careers ever, winning numerous Worlds, European, North American and National titles in several classes including the Soling, Finn, Flying Dutchman, Star and Etchells.

Hans Fogh in front of Danish yacht clubHans came to Canada with the encouragement and support of long-time friend, Paul Henderson, who managed to lever Hans’ former career as a gardener to become a sailmaker. Hans went on to build one of the most successful sail lofts in the world under the Elvstrom, Fogh and North banners. His involvement in the development of the original Laser sail and the subsequent Laser Radial sail are only the beginning of his many well-known accomplishments in the sport.

Hans’ competitive sailing career was influenced by his close friend and mentor, Paul Elvstrom. His career spanned seven decades from his first in the late fifties, to his last race earlier this year with his bronze medal crew John Kerr and his godson Johnnie Kerr. Hans enjoyed sharing his sailing with his family. He was able to coach his sons as they entered the sport, then shared the 1984 Olympics with his oldest son Morten and was able to compete in 2 Olympic trials with his youngest son Thomas. Hans was most joyful helping his grandchildren learn to sail.

A six-time Olympian, he won his first Olympic Silver Medal with Ole Erik Gunnar Peterson in Rome in 1960 for his native Denmark. In 1984, 24 years later, he won a Bronze Medal in Los Angeles, representing Canada with crew John Kerr and Steve Calder.  Hans was extremely proud that he won a medal for his home and adopted countries. Hans also won a Pan Am Games Silver medal in 1987.

Throughout his career, Hans enjoyed giving back to the sport he loved: coaching, mentoring, training and developing sailors at every opportunity. This was definitively evidenced by the many lives he touched and the countless letters of remembrances from sailors and friends that have given the family so much strength.

Recognizing Hans Fogh’s contribution to the sport of sailing, he has been inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Amateur Sports Hall of Fame, Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame and the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association Canada Hall of Fame, including a number of other awards he has received over the years.

The family would like to thank Doctors Patel, Borgundvagg, and Houston and the team at Mount Sinai Hospital, Mary Keeber and the team at The Dorothy Ley Hospice for their outstanding care and support.

Donations to the Hans Fogh Endowment Fund, administered by Ontario Sailing ( or to The Dorothy Ley Hospice ( would be greatly appreciated.”

Steve Black having fun in Caribbean* Eight Bells: Steve Black, founder of the Caribbean 1500 rally, long-time friend of the J/Family (he and Bob J sailed a J/35 together to win the New England Solo/ Twin Offshore Race one year), died March 17, 2014 following a long personal battle against cancer. He was 71 years of age.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Black moved to Michigan where he ran an educational publishing company. He started sailing recreationally in his mid-30s in regattas hosted by the Grand Haven Sailing Club. Black learned the sport from single-handers and has always preferred this aspect of sailing.

Over the years, Black has made three single-handed transatlantic voyages. In the Legend Cup, he set a multi-hull record time of 15 days aboard his Newick 40′ trimaran. Black’s third single-handed transatlantic voyage was in 1992 in the Europe I, where he sailed his 40′ IOR racer, Caribbean.

Caribbean 1500 Rally at Nanny Cay, British Virgin IslandsBlack also undertook volunteer tasks such as founding the Lake Michigan Single-handed Society, where he ran the races and conducted seminars to educate interested sailors. This led to the end of his 15-year publishing career and a three-year stint as executive director of the US Sailing in Newport, Rhode Island.

“I retired from US Sailing in 1988, but I didn’t retire from sailing,” Steve said in a 2010 interview. His next endeavor was to manage the Sailing World NOOD (National Offshore One-Design) Regattas in four regions around the country.

Steve Black and "pirate friends" on Caribbean 1500 Rally on Nanny CayHowever, his biggest legacy will be the Caribbean 1500 Cruising Rally, which first set sail in 1990, with a fleet of 50 cruising boats sailing from Newport, Rhode Island and Norfolk, Virginia to Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgin Islands.

The impetus for the rally started when Steve saw that cruising sailors outnumbered offshore racing sailors, but there were virtually no organized events for cruisers. The Caribbean 1500 Rally offered the chance to sail in company, combined with preparatory seminars taught by sailing experts, an SSB radio safety net at sea, and of course a great deal of fun and socializing. Always leading from the front, Steve sailed with the rally, helping to inspire and trouble-shoot the fleet at sea.

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.