Wednesday, March 5, 2014

J/Newsletter- March 5th, 2014

J/105 Midwinters- Lakewood YC- TexasJ/105 Midwinters Preview
(Seabrook, TX)- How's this for gracious Southern hospitality?  Located on thirty-eight beautifully landscaped acres, Lakewood is more than just a yacht club. It is a haven for members, their families and guests. There is a sense of peace and tranquility that makes Lakewood an incomparable place of refuge combined with social and water activities. The Bermuda-style clubhouse provides its members with quiet harbor-view dining and excellent cuisine while the bar and piano lounge with three ginormous flat-screen TV’s invite members to relax by the fire or gather around the bar.

Sounds inviting, does it not?!  Well, a dozen J/105s will be calling Lakewood YC home for the March 7th to 9th weekend for their annual J/105 Midwinter Championship. Sailing on the waters of Galveston Bay, the J/105 teams will continually be challenged by its renown square “chop”, benign weather with mild sea-breezes or ferocious cold fronts that whistle in from the Northwest right off the Rocky Mountains, roaring across the Prairies, leaving everyone J/105 sailing off Lakewood YC in Texaschilled to the bone even as far south as the Gulf of Mexico.  No question, the fleet is hoping classic spring conditions kick-in on the Bay and glorious evening campfires around the pool are the order of the day.

According to Event Chairman Bill Lakenmacher, the J/105 Midwinters will be blessed with “shirt-sleeve weather and big winds”. For those who have endured the cold winter to the North, anything above freezing temperatures will be considered “shorts & shades” weather!  

The fleet will have a strong representation from the Gulf of Mexico region, including teams from Corpus Christi, Dallas/ Ft Worth and, of course, the local hosts in Houston.  Notable teams include Matt Arno’s BLUE FLASH, Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY, JB Bednar’s STINGER, Bill Lackenmacher’s RADIANCE, and Mark Masur’s well-traveled TWO FEATHERS.

Perhaps one of the “guest stars” may be Royal Canadian YC’s Terry McLaughlin from Toronto, Ontario sailing on a local chartered boat called AVICI.  McLaughlin’s friends from Royal Canadian YC will be the hosts of the 2014 J/105 North Americans on Lake Ontario.   For more J/105 Midwinters sailing information

J/70 sailing Bacardi Cup MiamiGiant J/70 Fleet Storms Bacardi Week
(Coconut Grove, FL)- Attracted by a highly-regarded race management team and the area’s renowned racing conditions, elite sailors will again be on hand when the fifth annual running of BACARDI Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank is held March 6th to 8th for the International J/70 Class and five other classes, from the regatta headquarters at Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove.

There are 192 boats registered across the six one-design fleets, with competitors from 15 foreign nations (Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine) travelling great distances to compete against American sailors.

The ever-growing popularity of the J/70 class will again be in evidence at BMSW where entries are up over 100% from their strong debut in last year’s event.  The 40 boat-strong class will see Brian Keane (Weston, MA.) on SAVASANA work to defend his title against 2013 J/70 North American Champion Heather Gregg-Earl (Boston, MA.) skippering the famous MUSE and 2006 Audi Etchells World Champion Jud Smith (Marblehead, MA) driving AFRICA towards the front of the fleet.  Sounds like the Boston Mafia of sailing, perhaps? Maybe, may be not.  This trio of Boston-based teams will be up against a formidable array of talent as teams continue to focus on qualifying for the first J/70 World Championship being hosted in September by New York Yacht Club in Newport, RI.

On the short list of Top Ten competitors will be a “rogues gallery” of teams like BLACK RIVER RACING (Doug Strebel), 20/20 RACING (John Arendshorst), CONVEXITY (Don Wilson- class newcomer and past J/105 & Farr 40 Champion), EXTREME (Don Cheresh with Taylor Canfield- current USA #1 in Match-Racing), HOT MESS (Rob Britts- Corinthian winning team), GEMINI (Blane Shea- top young sailor from Chicago YC), LIFTED (Jim Cunningham- Jaguar Etchells 22 winner), PERSEVERANCE (Bennet Greenwald- multiple J/70 regatta winner), RASCAL (Will Welles- general rock-star), RELATIVE OBSCURITY (Peter Duncan sailing with the one and only
famous “Moose” McClintock), RIMETTE (John Brim- famous offshore champion on “monster” RIM), RUNNING WILD (Peter Vessella- some guy who knows how to sail STAR’s fast!), SPRING (Dave Franzel- a Corinthians winner), and SUGAR DADDY (Mark Ploch- who needs no introduction, but for those of you who are historians and not suffering amnesia, he’s the first J/24 Midwinter champion in 1978 with Stu J and two bro’s from Annapolis— pictured here!).

There are a number of foreign teams participating, many with World & European championship credentials as well as past dinghy & keelboat experience.  Do not count out these teams as top ten spoilers as some have the capability of, given the right circumstances, even podium finishes!  Amongst these teams “in the hunt” may be ROCAD RACING (Ingemar Sundstedt- Sweden), REX (Scott Weakley- Toronto, ONT, Canada), NN (Eivind Astrup- Krakeroy, Norway), BRA 493 (Jose Vita & Mauricio Santa Cruz- J/24 Brazil & World Champions- Sao Paulo, Brazil), ELUSIVE (Chuck Millican from Bermuda- past Sunfish North American Champion), SOS VENEZUELA (Victor Diaz/ Tomas de Hornos- recent J/70 Chesapeake champions), and TOUCH2PLAY (Rob & Sandy Butler/ Martie Kullman- a top Canadian team and also J/70 Great Lakes Champion).

As if notable teams in the fleet and foreign competition were not enough, the J/70 class has attracted numerous top women sailors that have proven themselves to be contenders, too.  In addition to Heather’s MUSE team (North American Champions), there’s Jamestown, Rhode Island’s JUNKANOO (Suzy Leech), Annapolis’s MOJITO (Cat Evans) and Chicago’s famous offshore team called NIGHTMARE (led by skipper Amy Neill).

During BACARDI Miami Sailing Week sailors will enjoy the hospitality lounge, BACARDI Rum tastings, as well as a special showing of the film “07-07-07 Amorita’s Unlucky Day”.  A special exhibit, “Wynwood Sails Color the Grove”, will feature the work of 10 artists of the graffiti and street art genre taking inspiration from the sea and sailing to create a work on canvas shaped like the jib of a sailboat.  The art will be displayed at Coco Walk, the iconic open-air shopping, dining, and entertainment destination in Coconut Grove.  In addition, select images from the previous regattas, from the lenses of respected marine photographers Franco Pace of Italy, Onne van der Wal and Cory Silken of the USA, will be displayed alongside the canvasses created specifically for “Wynwood Sails Color the Grove” to juxtapose “the City meets the Sea” for this unique art event.   For more BACARDI Miami Sailing Week information

St Maarten Heineken Regatta beach for sailing! 
St Maarten Heineken Regatta Jump-UP!
(St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles)- Have you ever considered going to an event in the Caribbean that plays host to more than 29 countries and 207 sailing teams?  What could be better than racing in the tropical sun with crystal clear water and ice-cold Heinekens?  “Naw-ting”, as they say, Mon!  Apparently, many heed the call and make an annual migration to this amazing event, fondly called “THE Heineken” by those “in-the-know”, for some truly “Serious Fun”!  The parties are O.T.T. (Over The Top), the Fashion Show is awesome and the music is all top-shelf entertainers from across the Caribbean.

While there may not be a dedicated "United Nations of Sailing," the next best thing is happening- the Heineken Regatta, taking place from March 6th to 9th in the waters off St. Maarten.  It’s truly an international affair with sailors competing from every cardinal point of the compass.  Boats will be flying the flags from at least 29 nations, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, France, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Uruguay, Ukraine, Poland and the United States.  And that's not even counting the talented sailors from the Caribbean, with entries from Antigua, Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, St. Maarten, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgins and British Virgins, among the many island nations represented.

To kick off the action on Thursday March 6th, over 40 boats will sail in the Gill Commodore's Cup, the traditional warm-up series sponsored by Gill, the regatta's official technical apparel supplier. Then, on March 7, the main event - the three-day St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - will commence.

J/125 Stark Raving Mad sailing St Maarten Heineken regatta"Racing on the waters of St. Maarten in early March...what's not to love about that?" said David Pritchard of Gill North America, the sponsor of the event. "Gill NA is proud to once again sponsor the Gill Commodore's Cup, please stop by the Gill booth or visit our retail partner, Budget Marine, and check out our groovy Gill sailing gear.”

The J/Clan will be well-represented in the CSA Racing/ Cruising fleets.  Taking on the nine boat CSA 3 class is Jim Madden’s beautiful french-blue colored J/125 STARK RAVING MAD.  Madden’s California-based team are fresh off sailing a highly competitive Quantum Key West Race Week at the end of January, they will surely be pumped-up to have fun and grab some silverware!

J/122 El Ocaso sailing St Maarten Heineken RegattaThe CSA 4 class has seventeen entries and half the division are all J/Crews!  Returning with a brand “new” EL OCASO is Rick Wesslund’s team from Miami, FL.  Sporting a hot “NASCAR-style” paint job to go with their hot J/122, Wesslund’s gang are commencing their assault on the Caribbean Circuit once again and hope to achieve similar results as they have in the past (two years ago they won class in several regattas and overall honors!).  Giving them stiff competition will be several duo’s of J/120s, J/109s, J/105s and a J/100.  A Guadaloupan team will be on one of the J/120s and the other will be Larry Eikel sailing JAGUAR.  Amongst the J/109s, the only all-women crew in the regatta will be Sophie Olivaud’s famous J/109 ALBACOR IV from St Barths (she recently sailed the RORC 600 race, too).  She will be taking on David Cullen’s Grenadine team on POCKET ROCKET.  One of the tougher battles will surely be amongst the two J/105s as both are sailed by veteran crews with hundreds of races under their collective belts.  Jordan Mindich from New York will be sailing SOLSTICE and Peter Lewis from Barbados is skippering WHISTLER.  As if you thought those J teams had enough competition on their hands already, toss in another Key West Race Week and Caribbean Circuit winner, Robert Armstrong’s famous red rocket ship, the J/100 BAD GIRL from Christiansted, St Croix USVI.  Watch this space!  It will be a donnybrook all weekend long!

Back for their 5th time in their J/95 is Tom Mullen’s SHAMROCK VII from the U.S.A, sailing in CSA 7 division with a dozen boats.  A veteran of the Caribbean circuit over the years, Mullen’s SHAMROCK VII crew have managed to place on the podium well over a dozen times in the various regattas, garnering at least their fair share of silverware.  It’s an amazing record for the J/95 considering she was designed to be just a “shoal-draft performance cruiser”!  Apparently, she loves “cruising fast” for silver, too!

Rounding out the J/Teams is the always-popular crew that sail on the famous J/30 BLUE PETER, skippered by Tanner Jones.  Like some of their colleagues, Jones and crew have managed to walk away from the awards at several Caribbean events with a load of goodies for the “pickle-dish shelf” at home.

Heineken regatta "dance party"!The all-important social festivities schedule starts on Thursday March 6 with the “Dance Fever” party. Christine Gordon will take the main stage at the “Princess Port de Plaisance” and keep the crowds dancing non-stop.  Joined by her band "The OverSoul", Christine will give everyone a lesson in the history of “the groove”.  Evening festivities then continue on Friday March 7th with “Rock and Reggae”, on Saturday March 8th is “Caribbean Jam” night; and the grand finale is the “Legendary Partaayy” on “Kim Sha Beach” Sunday March 9th!

Children of the Wind movieIn addition to the party and awards on Sunday, there will be a showing of the 7-time award-winning documentary- “Children of the Wind”- at 1600 hrs on Kim Sha Beach— everyone is welcome!  Co-creator and director Daphne Schmon explains, "this moving film follows two brothers and a cousin's journey from humble fishing families on the tiny Caribbean island of Bonaire to become three of the best extreme free-style windsurfers in history. Set against the backdrop of the 2011 Windsurfing World Cup on Bonaire, the film follows the boys over fifteen years as they transform not only their island but the face of the sport worldwide.  The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta hopes to inspire and motivate the Caribbean community, showing them that there are no limits for children, or those young at heart, living in the islands, regardless of financial status, or location.  There is always a way to achieve something great! This movie will teach them about perseverance, determination and motivation! A must see for the entire family!” Learn more about it here at:   Or, on Facebook at:
For more St Maarten Heineken Regatta sailing information

J/125 Timeshaver sailing Islands Race off CaliforniaIslands Race Preview
(Newport Beach, CA)- Coming up this weekend will be the second major offshore event in the Southern California racing calendar, the 5th Annual Islands Race.  The race is co-hosted between Newport Harbor YC (the start) and the San Diego YC (the finish).

The participating teams start at 1100 hrs on Friday, March 7th and hope to sprint the 139nm course as fast as possible.  The race is an overnight that goes around the beautiful Channel Islands (including Catalina and San Clemente) and it can be deceptively challenging for many boats.  The sailing can have spectacular, epic conditions; be capricious with massive breaking Pacific swell hitting the windward side of the islands; or downright mind-numbing with slatting sails, dashing from zephyr to zephyr in the hopes of finishing in time for the party on Saturday night (a party not to be missed!).

Island Race courseOver the past few years, many J/Teams have taken up the challenge of this new offshore event in the SoCAL big boat circuit.  In fact, many have won class and do well overall.  In the thirteen boat PHRF 1 division are a host of TP 52s, SC 52s and various custom racers.  John & Myron Lyon’s J/160 INNOCENT MERRIMENT from San Diego YC will be the top J and Viggo Torbenson’s J/125 TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC will be the smallest boat in class.

PHRF 2 division has four J’s amongst the fleet of nine boats, including two J/120’s- Peter Bretschger’s ADIOS and Gary Winton’s SHENANIGANS.  Joining them will be Tom Barker’s J/124 GOOD CALL and also Paul Stemler’s J/44 PATRIOT.

The other J/124, Seth Hall’s MARISOL, will be sailing in PHRF 3.  You can “watch” the fleet’s progress starting around 1500 hrs New York time with Yellowbrick’s live race tracking app on the event website!
For more Islands Race sailing information

J/22 World Championship- South AfricaJ/22 World Championship Announcement
(Deneysville, South Africa)- The South African J/22 class is proudly hosting the J/22 World Championships at the Vaal Dam situated in the Northern Free State Province, from April 26th to May 2nd. The Deneysville Aquatic Club, in the small village of Deneysville on the Free State side of the dam, will be the privileged co-host for the social events. The regatta centre and base the world championship fleet will be at Manten Marina, also situated in the village of Deneysville. The amazing facilities at this marina will provide all the necessary equipment to accommodate all the participating J/22’s. There are many clubs, bed & breakfast, and lodge accommodations available around the beautiful lake.

During the month of April, the J/22 class will be hosting a “Festival of Sailing.” Over the Easter weekend, the J/22 South African National Championships will be held from the 18th to 21st April. The week following is the J/22 World’s starting on April 26th.

J/22 sailboats- sailing South Africa WorldsThe host club, D.A.C., is renowned for its hospitality and is pulling out all the stops to co-host the event. The full-time catering facilities in the club house will keep the sailors fed and hydrated throughout the event. They will offer campsite accommodation to all the competitors on the club grounds. Alternative, excellent camping facilities at Lake Deneysville Yacht club offer a much larger camping space if you need to spread out.

Deneysville’s thriving tourism industry offer a wide variety of Bed & Breakfast accommodation as well as self-catering and Guest House type accommodation. A list of enthusiastic service providers will be available for any enquiries.

Charter boats- where and how to get them? It’s not too late to join us!  The J/22 class is currently 52 boats strong in South Africa with the majority of the boats sailed regularly. The class has worked with owners who are not participating in the event to make their boats available for charter.  BTW, the charter fee is affordable!  The class will be managing this process for the owners and competitors to be sure the boats are in race-ready condition and the owners are confident all will be done to look after their boat and keep their minds at rest.   Regatta registration can be done by email- “”.  For complete regatta information, please visit

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Spring-time is just about around the corner!  Or, at least that’s what many are anticipating in the next few weeks up in the northern parts!  Our friends down south in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Australia and NZ are all enjoying plenty of good summer sailing.

While the J/70s in Chile recently had their LAND ROVER J/70 Nationals on Lake Panguipulli high up in the spectacular Andes Mountain ranges in southeastern Chile, a leap across the Andes would drop you right onto Lago San Roque, an equally gorgeous lake to sail just west of Cordoba, Argentina.  There we find the Argentine J/24 fleet at San Roque hosting their “Campeonato Centro Republica” in somewhat challenging conditions.  Nevertheless, like other famous mountain lakes, like Lago di Garda in Italy, San Roque also has “adabatic mountain winds” most of the time, so they can rely on the breeze building in the afternoon from the south in the 6-12 kts range.  We also have an update from our J/24 friends in Australia, Simon Grain, both a fleet member and a marketing guy, produces the always entertaining J/24 OZ e-news publication- “HIT THE MARK!” that you can read/link to below.

Staying on the J/24 theme for a moment, the Italian J/24 sailors are enjoying “la dolce vita”, having the ability to sail all winter on the sunny, balmy Mediterranean.  While that’s normal in most cases, the current LAND ROVER Taranto J/24 Winter Championship has been offering up anything but normal weather conditions for the first two events so far.

Also sailing in somewhat cooler climate on continental Europe are the J/80s La Trinite sur Mer, France.  They’ve again started their “spring training” series hosted by the famous French group called CASINO PARTOUCHE- the largest gambling/ hotel operation in France.  The sailing was fun but, apparently, it’s equally as fun to be entertained (or heavily distracted) at the Casino in the evening!

Hopping across the “great pond”, we find that J/30s down in the Caribbean continue to garner their fair share of “pickle dishes” for their trophy cases.  The Cayman Islands Sailing Club recently had the first of their offshore group’s races, the “12 Mile Banks Race” across their massive, coral reef-enclosed bay.

Over in the Great Lakes, we get a report from US Sailing ORR Chief Frank Kern (of J/120 CARINTHIA fame in Detroit, MI) that the J/145 VORTICES sailed well in the Great Lakes ORR Championship!

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/30 Cheers sailing Cayman IslandsJ/30’s Sweep Cayman Islands 12 Mile Banks Race
(Georgetown, Cayman Islands)- Unusually calm conditions saw a half-dozen boats on the start line for the annual “12 Mile Banks and Back Race” to produce some very exciting racing and close finishes. The light easterly winds saw boats fly their spinnakers all the way to the banks before heading back to shore with a tricky beat ending at Sunset House. As the boats headed home, the lead changed four times as wind shifts and the offshore currents turned the race into a tactical contest.

J/30 Cheers winning crew in Cayman IslandsRace Committee and onlookers enjoyed an exciting sunset finish as the four leading boats finished the 29 mile race within 12 minutes of each other! Having overshot the mark at the Banks to slip into fourth place, the J/30 CHEERS skippered by Pete Bridge, sailed a brilliant windward leg to win the coveted Harbour House Marina trophy. Rob Hutchison’s J/30 SHANTI had led the race for a while but had to make do with second place.

J/30 sailing Cayman Islands raceThe race back to North Sound on Sunday was a slower affair as boats struggled against the current and light headwinds around North West Point. The J/30 CHEERS continued their new-found form by winning that race, too!

Cayman Islands Sailing Club’s Rob Hutchison was pleased with the standard of racing. “Well done to all the crews finishing both races, the first time for a while.  We hope to see even more of the cruiser fleet out for the Round the Island Race over the Easter Weekend this year!  It marks the 50th anniversary of the top cruising/ offshore event in the Cayman Islands.”   For more Cayman Islands Sailing Club 12 Mile Banks Race sailing information

J/24 sailing Argentina's Lago San Rogue- CordobaJ/24 Campeonato Del Centro Republica
MENDIETA Wins Tie-Breaker In Thrilling Come-from-behind Victory!
(Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina)- A near-record turn-out of twenty-six J/24s assembled on Lago San Roque for the annual “Central Republic Championship”.  Club Nauticos Cordoba played host for the event and ensured all teams from every fleet in Argentina, including one team from New Jersey, USA, enjoyed themselves despite the less than stellar weather conditions.  While the sailing on this gorgeous Andean lake can be stunningly beautiful, this year’s event was affected by a massive Low that came sweeping across the southern tip of South America, thanks for nothing from yet another Antarctic Roaring 40s depression!  While the weather may have dampened the racing, the spirits were running high!

J/24s sailing Lago San Roque, Cordoba, ArgentinaThe racing was quite a see-saw battle for the top of the fleet.  Literally, every boat had at least one or more double-digit finishes in their scoreline to have to consider as part of their overall tactics and strategy.  As an illustration of fleet depth, there was a different winner for every race!  And, the top two boats could only manage top five finishes in four of the seven total races!  Tough sledding for all and some wild “chutes & ladders” scorelines were posted by many of the teams.

Despite the drizzle, clouds and lightish winds, the RC PRO managed to fire-off three races on the first day.  The leaders after the close of racing Saturday were Team BWANA, followed by RINA and INDIGO.

Club Nautico de Cordoba- San Roque- J/24 fleetSunday’s racing was less promising. The fleet managed to squeeze in two races, but at 1430 hrs, the weather conditions forced the suspension of the third race due to the minimal winds and persistent rain.  The two races that were sailed had southerly breeze of 4-6 kts gusting to 8 kts at times.  While a typical direction for Lago San Roque, the winds were remarkably shifty, swinging quite dramatically at least 15-20 degrees on every leg.  After five races had been sailed the Mar del Plata crew on MENDIETA (with Francisco Van Adermaete on the helm) held onto a slim lead.  In second was local sailor Ezequiel Despontin (Córdoba Yacht Club) sailing INDIGO. In third place was OJOTA with Sebastian Halpern Mendoza skippering. Perhaps most surprising was to see Argentinean J/24 champion Nicholas Cubría (from Yacht Club Olivos) sailing RINA to fourth place.

J/24 Cordoba Centro Republica championsThe final day of racing dawned with rain and very little wind and a “mini-borneo” breeze coming down from the mountains.  Ultimately, the mountains warmed up enough to create the standard “adabatic breezes”and the southerly filled in enough to get off two races.  The regatta lead came down to a duel between MENDIETA and INDIGO.  By getting a 1st in the sixth race, INDIGO was sitting atop the podium, while MENDIETA scored a 3rd to slip into second overall.  However, like the proverbial “phoenix arising from the ashes”, the MENDIETA crew rose to the occasion and won the last race, sufficient to beat INDIGO on a tie-breaker!  Third for the regatta as JALMANSO, fourth was BWANA and fifth was Cubria’s RINA.

Club Nautico Cordoba hosted an incredibly popular awards ceremony.  In fact, the awards were “delicious”, to say the least, and were consumed nearly immediately!  All J/24 teams received a box of Cordoban Malbec wine (6 bottles in each box)! There were also prizes for the “Best Dressed” and a special prize for Ezekiel Despontin’s INDIGO team— two boxes of Mendoza wines with their name on the labels!
For more Argentine J/24 Class sailing information

J/80s sailing downwind off La Trinite, France 
Casino Partouche J/80 Training Weekend
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- The French J/80 teams are not resting on their laurels after having a very good showing overall in the 2013 J/80 Worlds recently held in Marseilles, France.  Training weekends for the 2014 sailing season have already started with several teams focused on the upcoming Europeans in Barcelona, Spain in June and others on the J/80 Worlds that are being sailed in Annapolis, MD in late September/ early October.

The French J/80 Class Association hold several training/ race weekends in late winter and early spring to get teams back  up to speed for the new season, re-learning “old tricks” as well as learning new ones.

J/80 sailing- training off La Trinite, FranceA very popular weekend is the “Casino Partouche" training weekend, they’re both sponsors and hosts for all the J/80 teams participating.  According to ARNO-Skipper webmaster Arnaud Walter, “it was a great weekend of sailing!  On Saturday, we had WSW winds between 8-15 kts under a big sun!  Plus, we had six races on short courses and many general recalls.  Great practice!  The goal was for most crews to get re-accustomed to sailing fast, organizing their maneuvers and working on boat-handling.

One of the standout teams on Saturday was FRA 1258 "EV Cataschool”, which dominated sailing against the other teams with good speed, nice maneuvers, and a good sailing to be in 1st place.  Their skipper, Quentin Delapierre, is a very good example and a ‘good rabbit” for the rest of the fleet!

On Sunday, Meteo France said there was a notice of gales, but the sea remained passable for good planing sessions for most teams and some great sailing.  You can catch all the J/80 sailing videos at (this is Arnaud Walter's ARNO-Skipper website).

Thank you to the ‘Casino Partouche’ for their support and their J/80 cocktail during their evening concert on Saturday night.”

J/80 sailing around mark- off La Trinite, FranceStarting the March 8th to 9th weekend, top French one-design sailor, Eric Brezellec, will help in coaching and sailing with many of the J/80 teams.  Plus, you will have guest “superstar”, Aymeric Belloir, winner of the Mini Transat 6.50 and Figaro Solo Circuit also providing his services and sense of humor to helping J/80 teams sail faster, smarter with more fun!  Be sure to be there to take advantage of such great coaching!

After the second weekend of regatta/ training, the standings are the following:
1st - FRA 1258 "EV Cataschool" - Quentin Delapierre
2nd - FRA 926 "Jibi" - Yannick Tabarly
3rd - FRA 572 "Ruban Vert" - Jérôme Croyère
4th - FRA 932 "Jdismercipapa" - Matthieu Visbecq
5th - FRA 526 "J Venture" - Marc Leborgne

For more French J/80 sailing information

J/24s sailing around mark - Taranto, ItalyALPHARD Winning Italian J/24 Winter Championship Series
(Taranto, Italy)- Due to its southern European location in the middle of warm Mediterranean waters, Italian J/24 sailors have the ability to sail virtually year-round in relatively benign weather.  Their “winter frostbite series” are often showcases of sunny warm weather with perhaps a sweater thrown over your shoulders to keep you warm for beautiful evenings under the moon & stars at the local piazzetas.

Having said that, weird world weather patterns often upset the “apple cart” and with the fact that “Liferaft Earth” is moving its magnetic North Pole further and further West faster and faster (40nm per year!), “climate change” isn’t an issue, it’s actually happening before our very eyes (  The wonderful, warm Mediterranean Sea has been experiencing “colder winters and warmer summers” like many in the northern hemisphere.  This year was no different.  Spectacularly warm, beautiful days for sailing, while other days were simply nasty, windy and cold- a bit like “hell freezin over”.

J/24 crew sailing off Taranto, ItalyIn Taranto, the next stage of the Winter Series Championship was very much “spring-like” for the fifteen teams that were participating in the weekend’s hard fought races.  "Even if the wind was light early in the day, at about 12 o'clock a light south wind would start building offshore allowing the race committee, chaired by PRO Alberico Albano and assisted by Giuseppe Tortorella, to start the races,” explained J/24 Fleet Captain- Nino Puglia Soriano.  With a relatively short starting line most of the time, the fleet was tight and very aggressive, with many individual recalls and several OCS scores.

The Winter Series are now counting nine races with the next event taking place on March 16th.  So, far the provisional results have Mimmo Bottiglione’s team on ALPHARD leading the series with only 10 pts in 9 races!  Second is EX JDF owned by Angelo Lombardo and helmed by Stephen Mignini with 20 pts.  They’re just one point in front of the third place boat, JEBEDEE skippered by Nino Soriano.  Fourth is DOCTOR J sailed by Sandro Negro and Sandro Montefusco and fifth if AMBER.

This year’s Italian J/24 Class has welcomed aboard the prestigious international sports utility brand LAND ROVER.  They’re thrilled to be part of one of Italy’s leading one-design keelboat brands (the J/24) as it embodies LAND ROVER’s corporate tag-line- “living well leisurely with elegance and style”.  Of note, LAND ROVER Chile also recently sponsored the Chilean J/70 Nationals on Lake Panguipulli in the Andes Mountains!   For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information

J/24 Hit the Mark- Australian Newsletter 
J/24 Hit The Mark!
(Sydney, Australia)- “Hey “J” Lovers!  Here is your next edition of JK Macgregor's continuing saga of intrigue, excitement and a certain amount of truth all rolled up together in the form of the J/24 Victoria Class Association's newsletter!  OK readers, get ready to get riveted!  Turn off the telly, make sure you walked the dog or fed the cat, grab your favorite refreshment(s), then sit down with the news and read it from cover to cover!  We promise, you will be entertained,” commented Editor Simon Grain (local J/24 rockstar, “man about town” & marketng wizard).

The Winter Sprints- by R. Sole
What follows are tales of the brave, the foolhardy, the just plain hardy and of those that would put the keenest of mustards to shame. This reporter has been told that only five boats have officially entered the Winter Series with two casual entries to help things along. At the top of the ladder to date is By The Lee, well clear of Kicking Bottom, and even more ahead of Vice Versa. There have been tales of sailors wearing only tees shirts and broad grins, there have been reports of crew swimming and sun baking and making merry, there have been tales of perfect sailing weather and sportsman like conduct and even worse... tales of every race being completed. True or false? No one will confirm.  Read on and download the 4 page Vic J/24 Newsletter here (in PDF file format):

J/145 Vortices sailing Chicago-Mackinac RaceJ/145 Honored in Great Lakes ORR Season Series
(Chicago, IL)- The Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) announced winners of the 4th annual Great Lakes Championship Series.  Winners of this series received silver award places and custom “brag flags” (the kind that you see Chicago-Mackinac race winners hoist on their headstays before/after the race at the docks.

According to ORR spokesperson Frank Kern (and owner of the J/120 CARINTHIA), 2013 is the first year in which all current ORR certificate holders qualified.  “In 2012, we had 48 entries versus 93 for 2013,” stated Kern. “Again, the winners showed how diverse the rule is for a variety of yachts.  And once again, we believe that the skill of the skippers and crew is what brings these boats to the winners list.”

Kern expects an even larger fleet of competitors with the Chicago Race to Mackinac following the Bayview Mackinac Race in 2014. He predicts many of the competitors from the eastern Great Lakes will participate in both events.

Chris Saxton from Detroit, MI placed second with his J/145 VORTICES!  Chris commented, “Thank you for the recognition.  We love sailing the Great Lakes and we love ORR for a rating system that allows a fair and impartial system for yachts of all sizes to compete.”

This was the fourth consecutive offering of the ORR Great Lakes Championship Series and entries continue to rise each season. To qualify for the series, racers needed a valid 2013 ORR certificate and must have raced in two of the following races, with one of the two being a Mackinac Race:  Queen’s Cup, Bayview Mackinac Race, Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, Verve Cup (point to point race) or Bayview Long Distance.   For more information about the Chicago-Mackinac Race and the ORR Rule


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

J/70 women's crew- sailing Land Rover Nationals- Chile* J/70s have been sailing on Lake Panguipulli high up in Chile’s Andes Mountain range.  This J/70 sailing video was taken during their recent Chilean LAND ROVER J/70 Nationals the weekend before last.
Enjoy the spectacular scenery and nicely done footage.

* J/24 Open House Party in Mexico!  Local proprietor, Janet Coburn, extends a warm “Welcome” to all J/24 sailors participating in this year’s J/24 North Americans being hosted at Marina Riviera Nayarit, an impressive marina facility just NNW of the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta.  Janet invites all J/24 sailors to swing by their store for a “don’t want to miss” fiesta:

J/24 sailing gear- Todo Vela Mexico“On Saturday, March 15, there will be an “Open House” especially for the J/24 sailors at Todo Vela Mexico— this is our local chandlery which has been operating inside the Marina Riviera Nayarit for two years. We will be providing you with a warm “Welcome to Mexico”!  From 5:00 – 8:00 PM, you can stop by for music and a free hamburger, hot dog, chips and Corona beers!  The Open House is also sponsored by ZHIK, so  Trey Brown from ZHIK USA, a familiar sailor and sailing gear expert, will be at the store to discuss any questions you might have.

While you are enjoying the Open House (and beer), you can also shop for any last minute needs or forgotten items (like, more beer).  With items in stock from Harken, Robline, Tylaska, and Marlow Ropes, the chandlery Todo Vela Mexico is well equipped to assist you to bring your charter boat to a more competitive level (and we know where to get more beer, critical to any well-functioning J/24 team).

Plus, this will also be an excellent opportunity for you to meet (and drink beer with) other vendors who support the event – such as the local J-World Sailing School, sailmakers, and riggers.”

Please be sure to visit or contact Janet:
  • Todo Vela Mexico
  • Mercado del Mar #29 (inside Marina Riviera Nayarit)
  • ph- (52) 329-295-6124 (Store)
  • cell- (52) 322-105-4840 (Cell and after hours)

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.