Wednesday, January 7, 2015

J/Newsletter- January 7th, 2015

J/111s in J/Sailing Calendar 2015Welcome to 2015! Get Organized & Get Busy!
(Newport, RI)- Order your J/Calendar 2015 now!  It’s not too late to get yourselves scheduled for the New Year! 2015 promises a lot of fun sailing and wonderful times to kick back, relax and socialize with friends both on and off the water.

For 2015, we have created another beautiful calendar for J sailors!  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, each month will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places.  Even better yet, use it to make sure you get to those sailing events to create those wistful memories!

The 2015 sailing calendar features photos of J/70s flying off Monte Carlo & Lake Garda; J/24s dueling off Sweden, Newport & Seattle; surrealistic J/80s off Santander, Spain; J/120s gliding off San Diego; J/111s serenely sailing on the Solent; J/22s sailing off the Netherlands; and other gorgeous images of J/105s and J/122.  See gallery here. Order your 2015 J/Calendar today here!

J/122E offshore cruiser racer sailboatBoat Show Time!
(Newport, RI)- What a better way to start the New Year than visiting some of the world’s nicest boat shows to see the latest, hottest sailboats in the J/Boats range.  With yet another “polar vortex” gripping the northern climes (even Newport hit 0 F. Thursday morning), it’s time to dream about warmer weather and summer sailing plans now!  This coming week, three major events are taking place in London, England; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Chicago, Illinois.  Here’s what happening at each place:

Jan 9-18- London Boat Show
On display will be two of the high-performance, planing sprit boats— the International J/70 and the amazing J/88 family speedster.  Also, showing will be the exciting new “E” series introduced last fall, truly “wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing”- the J/97E and the J/122E are beyond compare as cruisers and racers.  With their sleek new Euro-styling, these new head-turners are demonstrating you can have that rare combination of race-winning speed, superior cruising comfort and offshore passage-making capabilities.  Paul & Marie-Claude Heys and the amazing team from J/UK Key Yachting will be on hand to offer their insights and experiences sailing these wonderful boats, plus they can fill you in on plans for the first J/88 UK Nationals (see more below).  For tickets and information-

J/88 sailboat- family speedsterJan 10-18- Toronto Boat Show
On display will be the J/70 One-design and the world’s funnest & fastest 29-foot weekender- the J/88.  Along with the RCR Yachts staff (Don Finkle & crew), there will be staff from Pat Sturgeon Yachts (Ontario J/Boats dealer).  Says Don,  “collectively, we've all sailed these boats a lot in 2014 and have studied them inside and out and are excited to pass on what we've learned! The Toronto Boat show is huge and a fun place to walk around and look at many different boats, all while staying warm! As with most boat shows, we will have special boat show pricing incentives, so there is no better time than at the show to put in your order.  Please come join us!”  For tickets and information-   

Jan 14-18- Chicago Strictly Sail Boat Show
In addition to the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario fleets, the J/88 is growing fast across the Midwest.  For those of you in the greater Chicago metro region (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Missouri), you can visit the famous Navy Pier Complex in Chicago and enjoy a fabulous weekend downtown and also take your time looking over the famous J/88 that took Lake Michigan by storm!  Also, on hand will be the J/70 and J/70 sailors from one of the biggest fleets in the world.  Providing you guidance, amazing J/88 sea stories and fun-in-the-sun J/70 experiences will be Rich & Lori Stearns from Stearns Boating in Chicago.

J/88 family speedster- sailing SolentJ/88 UK National Championships Announcement!
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The rapid expansion of the new J/88 fleet means they will enjoy their first National Championships at The Landsail Tyres J-Cup in Partnership with B&G, hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes from 11th – 13th June 2015.

The newly formed J/88 Class Association is chaired by Dirk Van Beek, owner of SABRIEL JR, his first J/Boat. Dirk is keen to help expand the class in 2015 and commented, “The J/88 Class Association and One-Design Rules have been set up by the owners and Key Yachting to promote fast, fun sailing, and we have a full season of one-design racing in the Solent this year. Come and join us for our first J/88 UK Nationals at The Landsail Tyres J-Cup, we are all looking forward to racing at the Island Sailing Club in June.”

The J/88 is the latest addition to J/Boats’ Sport range. Designed to be versatile and easy to handle, she is also a sleek and super-quick combination of sail-power and stability, with a huge social cockpit, push-button diesel engine, below-decks head, deck-stepped carbon mast, single-point lift and much more.

Founding member of the J/88 UK Class Association is Paul Ward, owner of Brighton-based EAT SLEEP J REPEAT. Paul says of the boat, “We love the J/88. It’s a great fun boat, challenging the good sailors and offering top class close racing and fun for all of the fleet. Downwind it just takes off! 17.5 knots is our fastest so far.”

The fifteenth edition of the J-Cup will also incorporate the National Championships for the J/97 and J/109. One of the few regattas which has seen steady or increased entry numbers in recent years, the J-Cup is exclusively for yachts of the J/Boats brand, and entails three days of racing coupled with lively socials. The unrivaled spirit of the regatta is largely credited to the close-knit community of owners who enjoy long relationships with their boats.  For more J/88 UK Nationals and J/Cup sailing info.

J/70 sailing off MonacoJ/70 Monaco + Italian Riviera Spring Circuit Announcement!
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The two fleets that perhaps boast two of the most exotic locations on Earth to sail are the J/70s in Monte Carlo, Monaco and San Remo, Italy.  Together, the Monaco Fleet Captain (Jacopo Carrain) and the San Remo Fleet Captain (Vittorio DiMauro) invite all J/70 sailors from across Europe (or anywhere!) to come join them for what may become the “most excellent” spring sailing series anywhere.

Basically, they’re offering the opportunity to all European J/70 teams to sail five regattas with one single road trip to the Mediterranean- the Monaco Winter Series last three events are also part of the Italian Circuit’s first three stops on their tour.

With simplified logistics, beautiful warm temperatures and fabulous places to enjoy with friends, why not escape the grips of the “polar vortex” and enjoy nearly four months of weekend racing on the Med’s famous Riviera! With all 18+ boats from the Italian fleet and the 16+ boats from the Monaco fleet show up on the starting line, that’s 30+ boats flying offshore for some excellent training prior to the J/70 Worlds in La Rochelle, France!  For more J/70 YC Monaco fleet sailing information

The regatta dates and venues are the following:
  • Feb 6-8-    Monaco Primo Cup
  • Mar 6-8-    Monaco Winter Series
  • Mar 28-29-  Monaco Spring Cup 1/ Italian Circuit 1
  • Apr 25-26-  Sanremo Spring Cup 2/ Italian Circuit 2
  • May 16-17-  Sanremo Italian Circuit 3
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact either Jacopo ( or Vittorio (

J/80 sailing fleet- Cyprus SailFirst.comCorporate/ Club J/80 Sailing in Cyprus!
(Limassol, Cyprus)- Interested in racing one-design J/80s in the beautiful waters off Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean? Ten perfectly-matched J/80s are available for regattas and training in the Mediterranean for corporate, group or club charters.

The SAIL FIRST team will be represented at Boot Düsseldorf. Join them in Dusseldorf at Hall 13/ Stand C03, starting from January 17 to 25, daily from 10 am to 6 pm. If you want to get a free ticket invitation, please send a request to- “”.

After hosting several J/80 regattas and being official partner for the ISAF World Youth Championship in 2013, SAIL FIRST are open to hosting sailing events of any difficulty level and for any range of sailing experience (beginners to ISAF Group 3 Match Racers). Apart from sailing, the SAIL FIRST team offer complete “turn-key” first-class concierge services, providing you logistics help, coordination and reservations for accommodations, opening and closing ceremonies and entertainment for sailors and their families.

Cyprus offers variety of magnificent places to visit and it's hospitality is world-renowned. More than 320 days of sun and wind are available for sailing, making Cyprus a perfect sailing spot all year round.

If you wish to get more information about SAIL FIRST Sailing Club, please contact Anastasia Marinskaya at phone- +357 99168818, e-mail-, or website-

J/70 fleet sailing- Tampa, FLJ/70 Q-II Series Preview
(Tampa, FL)- The second annual J/70 Quantum Winter Series hosted by Davis Island YC saw an enormous turnout of forty-seven teams eager to enjoy sailing in the warm, southern climate of Florida for the first event in the series back in December.  In the light, shifty conditions, Marty Kullman’s NEW WAVE team took home the silverware.  However, it’s a New Year and you can bet several teams have made it their mission to fulfill their first New Year’s wish of the season— win “Q-II” in Tampa this weekend from January 10th to 11th!

Will Allan Terhune’s DAZZLER team wake up from a holiday-induced coma of food and drink to run the table?  Are the young bucks from Annapolis in the form of Cole Allsopp and friends on MOXIE dialed into the warm, mind-expanding weather?  Or, will Dave Franzel’s SPRING, Will Welles’ RASCAL or Jacko Franco’s Texas gangsters throw everyone a curve-ball and dominate the podium?

Remember, you can watch the action “live” on the Internet using the “tracking app” (Android and Apple iOS).  There was a lot of lively conversation in the Davis Island YC bar after the last series as team watched themselves do the right (or wrong) thing on the big screens! Check out the app here at (    The “live” broadcast 3D replays are available here.
For more J/70 Quantum Winter Series sailing information.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Welcome to 2015!  Steady as she goes, all you need is a tall ship and a star to steer her by!  A lot of activity is about to take place both Down Under (J/105s in Chile, J/70s and J/24s in Australia) and in the northern hemisphere.  Key West Race Week is around the corner, so next week we will have a preview.

Over the holidays, we received a number of stories on some amazing adventures from J sailors around the world: an odyssey on a J/22 going from the Pacific to the Atlantic to the Caribbean; an epic, fresh to frightening passage on a J/36 off the Mediterranean; some cool videos from a J/70 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a summer season highlights from a J/111 in Scandinavia!  Enjoy them all, fun viewing.  Finally, we also got a report on what’s happening in the Pacific Northwest, a summary of the top J’s sailing in 2014.

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:

Oct 24- Mar 8- Monaco J/70 Winter Series- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Dec 13- Feb 7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Davis Island, FL
Jan 18-23- Quantum Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
Mar 4-7- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Miami, FL

Boat Shows:
Jan 9-18- London Boat Show- London, England- J/70, J/88, J/97e, J/122e
Jan 10-18- Toronto Boat Show- Toronto, Ontario- J/70, J/88
Jan 14-18- Chicago Strictly Sail Boat Show- J/88 and J/70
Jan 17-25- Boot Dusseldorf- Dusseldorf, Germany- J/122E and J/70
Jan 22-25- San Diego Sun Road Boat Show- J/70, J/88, J/111
Jan 22-25- San Francisco Boat Show- J/70, J/88, J/111
Jan 23- Feb 1- Seattle Boat Show- J/122E, J/70 and J/88
Apr 9-12- Apr 9-12- Strictly Sail Pacific- Oakland, CA- J/70, J/88, J/111

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

J/105 sailing Seattle, WAPNW Inter-Galactic Champions
(Seattle, WA)- After complaining to a fellow sailor at the local sailing club watering hole that there wasn’t a real “I sailed the most and did the best” list of boats in the Pacific North West (PNW), his friend responded with a mild retort, “don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk, call a spade a spade and make it happen then. . . .dude!!”

Well, that is how the PNW Intergalactic Championship was born.  So, according to Ben Braden and friends in Seattle, “we put together a list of races from Olympia to Bellingham that boats travel to from one Yacht Club to another and ones that are not dominated by one design racing, nor dinghies.  Each year the number of races vary from changes and cancellations due to no wind or too much wind, the number varying between 24 and 28 races each year.  This year the Duwamish Head Race was left off for lack of results – it was cancelled due to too much wind!  A boat’s place in class is used for the scoring, if you didn’t do the race you get 2 points more than the worst score in that particular race– no throw-outs, no weighting, no best of “x” races”, you raced it, you got it.”

Given that scenario, it’s pretty remarkable that 564 boats across the greater Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria region participated in 2014. Of that, almost 15% of them were J/Boats!  And, more remarkably, of the top 25 almost 30% of them are happy, passionate members of the J/Tribe!

J/109 Tantivy sailing off Seattle, WAObviously, if you do the best in the most races, you win.  Promoting both participation (something sorely needed by every group out there) and sailing well is a good thing.  Back in 2011, the top spot was won by the J/109 TANTIVY.  In 2012, it once again went to the J/109 TANTIVY.  For 2013, everything switched around with TANTIVY dropping back to 8th and fellow stablemate, the J/105 LAST TANGO, taking top J/Boat honors.

For the 2014 PNW Intergalactic Championship, the 2nd spot on the podium once again goes to the J/105 LAST TANGO, owned by Jim Geros, just 2 races back from first overall with 17 races and off the pace by just 15 points.  Moving back up the game of “snakes & ladders” in 2014 was Stuart Burnell’s J/109 TANTIVY, taking 6th overall.  Jerry Diercks’ J/105 DELIRIUM finished 10th, followed by Pat Denny’s J/29 HERE & NOW in 16th, the duo of Mayfield & Nelson on the J/29 SLICK in 20th, Jerry Woodfield’s J/109 SHADA in 23rd and, finally, Dennis Clark’s pretty pristine white J/27 LXIII in 25th.

Well done everyone and to all the race organizers in the Salish Sea, a huge “Thank You” for “Getting Out The Boats” in 2014 and helping to get over 550 different boats out racing in the PNW in 2014!

Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson – swing on over to “” and buy your crew a picture as a “Thank You” for a great year!

J/111 BLUR 2014 seasonJ/111 BLUR 2014 Report
(Stockholm, Sweden)- Over the past few years, an experienced and well-regarded J/Sailor from Sweden, Peter Gustafsson, has pushed the envelope of offshore sailing in various J’s- both fully crewed and shorthanded (single and double).

As some of you may know, Peter is the founder of (, his website/ blog about all things happening in the sailing world across Scandinavia.  His experiences are followed by thousands of sailors in the far north of Europe.  Racing all the famous races in the region (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Denmark) Peter has pioneered and promoted sailing to his friends worldwide.

Thanks to the “global synapse” we know as the “Internet” (think of your mind and how it works), Peter has pushed the physical, mental and psychological limits of the human experience taking his boats to their logical limits sailing offshore as well as “around-the-cans” racing.

Recently, Peter explained, “here are some of our highlights from 2014.  Besides lots of fun sailing, we managed to win the three biggest offshore races, in three different disciplines (fully crewed, double-handed and solo) in three different countries. It took a few years to get 100% out of our boat, but with great support from our partners and a committed team we’re finally there.  Now we’re ramping up for Fastnet Race next year.  Have a great new year and a fantastic 2015!”  Watch Peter’s 2014 J/111 BLUR.SE summer sailing summary here:

J/22 sailing off PanamaJ/22 Odyssey- California to Jamaica & Beyond!
(Kingston, Jamaica)- Nik Hawks wrote an entertaining article for the June 2002 SAILING magazine about his adventures of sailing a J/22 (December 2000 to June 2001) from San Diego, California down through the Panama Canal, up to Key West, Florida, across the Bahamas Banks, south past Cuba to Kingston, Jamaica!  We learned about this story because that very same J/22 is still racing in Kingston today by two characters called Steve and Rugie!  They were sailing in the 2014 Jammin’ Jamaica Regatta being held at Montego Bay. It would be hard to imagine another J/22 having sailed so far and still going strong!  Here’s Nik’s story courtesy of our friends at SAILING- the Schanen family (owners of the J/145 MAIN STREET on Lake Michigan-

“Once every 24 hours, for a scant 15 minutes or so, waves break on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. The break is less than 200 yards from the moorings.  I was easily visible when I paddled out to seek solace, and perhaps a wave, at the change of the tides. Every night somebody would approach me at the Balboa Yacht Club bar wondering if I was the man who had been surfing those little waves, laughing, falling and standing up in the chest-deep water. I would say “yes,” and wait for the inevitable next question: "Are you the guy on the J/22?" "Yes." "Where did you sail from?' "San Diego.” And, off we'd go into conversations about small boats and big MOMS, keels caught in fishing nets, homemade boats pitch-poling in the Bering Strait and that love of the ocean that pervades every time sailors' speech. I would tell my story of how I got into sailing, how long it had taken to reach Proxima, who I had for crew, if I had running water, what fish I was catching-- answering the questions all sailors ask each other.

I grew up on the East Coast; then moved to Indiana when I was in high school. Later, I enlisted in the Navy.  I got out of the Navy in September 2000, and bumped around Australia with a friend for two months before flying back to San Diego and deciding to sail to Virginia in a small boat. I had been on a sailboat a few times with my aunt and uncle in England and a few times with friends of mine on San Diego Bay. Originally, I wanted to do the trip in my Lehman 12, but was talked out of it by friends, most of them professional sailors. I settled on a J/22 and bought “Synchronicity” eight days after I returned from Australia. I renamed the boat “Apocalypso” and 14 days later set sail with Jason Bell, a man who would end up being one of my closest friends.

J/22 sailors- sailing past Costa RicaThe two weeks between the purchase of the boat and casting off from the dock of the Coronado Yacht Club were a maelstrom of organizing, buying and attaching various instruments to the boat.  I bought a Siemens 75 solar panel to supply the boat with power and a 12-volt marine battery. I also purchased a Garmin 162 GPS that never failed; a tiller autopilot failed constantly; a Standard Horizon VHF that kept me in contact with other boats at anchorage and intermittently provided me with garbled voices at sea; and an Alpine CD player with Bose 151 outdoor speakers to keep morale high. I had another reef put in the main (for a total of two) and had a used genoa re-cut to fit the J/22.  I took one main, two kites, a genoa, a racing jib and a working jib. The main, working jib and spinnaker saw me through to the Panama Canal.  After that I used only the main and jib for the slog north.

Jason and I left Coronado on December 27, 2000.  So much for Christmas, eh!?  We slipped away from the dock and our families and friend, headed out of San Diego Bay and pointed south, Panama bound!  As soon as we got out of the bay, we put up the chute and took off doing 7 knots down the waves and enjoying our newfound freedom. That first night was amazing for me. It was the first time I'd been night sailing on the ocean, and I was aboard the smallest sailboat I'd ever been on this far offshore. There was a northeast wind blowing 12 to 14 knots, the chute was up happily pulling us along.  Scattered clouds passed over the moon and I had the first watch. What a life! We cruised down the coast, harbor hopping along the way. We were usually doing 300 miles at a crack, and occasionally doing more, with a longest distance of 500 miles that took us five days. We got caught on kelp, watched the big Baja sea lions playing in our wake and we saw things to satisfy your soul. I watched dolphins yawning in the bow wake, felt the colors of sunsets on my face and the whip of the wind as it cracked my lips. I grew tan as only sailors can and built muscle from working the boat. I grew lean and strong on fresh fish, fruits, nuts and vegetables and learned to live and breathe with the wind in the sail.  I connected with the ocean on a level I have felt at no other time, a bond that will always pull me back to the freedom of the sea.

Sailing a J/22 offshoreEleven days after we left, we coasted into Cabo San Lucas. Mexico, spotting in the harbor on the way in an orca (a.k.a. killer whale).  Two nights later, we raised anchor and headed south and east- the stench of packed humanity too much for us in Cabo.  A north-northwest wind blowing 15 to 20 knots dared us to throw up the chute, so the fun began. We screamed across the Sea of Cortez in 52 hours, chute up the whole way, the roar of water racing by the hull putting us to sleep every three hours.  When it got bad, Jason would come up and switch with me if I was on watch and I would open food packets and feed him while we talked. When I accidentally jibed in the dark and tangled the chute around the forestay, I had to wake him up to untangle it.  He freed it so fast and easily I felt foolish.  But as he crawled back into the musty cabin, cackling in his Scottish accent, I realized he must have done it a hundred times while teaching at work.  By the time he left me, I felt comfortable do everything by myself, but until I understood the basics, Jason worked overtime with me.

We stopped in El Salvador and northern Nicaragua for emergency anchoring, ignoring what the guidebooks said about the dangers of Central America. We explored an almost untouched world, where pleasure boats are seldom seen and where beer and stories flow freely. It was an awakening of sorts for me, to realize that most people still have hope and joy.

Two months into the trip, I lost Jason as crew when we pulled into southern Nicaragua and he was offered a job as skipper of the Farr 63 “Northern Winds.” While the friendship we had forged could not be broken, the lure of a steady paycheck took him away.  It took me a month to get the boat together—we had taken a fearsome beating between Puerto Madero and San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.  But, after I had gotten all my parts shipped to Ricardo's Bar in San Juan del Sur and installed them on Apocalypso, I soloed to Playa del Coco, Costa Rica. It was my first solo sail, and the steady wind and never-ending tasks brought me the discovery of joy in a day’s loneliness at sea.

In Playa del Coco, an adventurous blonde named Laura signed on as crew. I didn't tell Laura until we were well on our way that I have only been sailing for three months— it just didn't seem to be the best thing to say. Although Laura did not know how to sail, she was willing to learn and showed a great interest in boats that fueled my love of the ocean and sailing.  Laura stayed with the boat through the Panama Canal and as far as Key West. Florida.  She must’ve died of laughter many times listening to my fluent Navy cursing when our four-horse engine died. Nevertheless, we were sharing the life of a “bon vivant” when we swam with pilot whales and explored hidden anchorages.  In one anchorage, on the east side of the Golfo de Chirique, we met the hermit of Bahia Honda and rediscovered an island town where the natives whispered about Laura's naturally white-blond hair and gave us dried fish and beer.

J/22 offshore cruiser!We left Bahia Honda with the boat full of coconuts that we picked by climbing high palm trees and as we sailed south down the Peninsula de Mikao with the fading sun to starboard, the gentle clunks of loose-rolling coconuts brought us out of our daydreams of reaching the Panama Canal. The night before our arrival at the Panama Canal shook my faith in my ability to sail and navigate. We kept getting tangled in fishing nets in the light and variable winds and the compass was difficult to read in the hazy light of the moon. To top it off, I was tired from three days of little sleep as I went over the side on three separate occasions to cut the boat free of fishing nets that stretched down into green-gray depths, surrounded by spooky shadows thrown by my tiny underwater light.  After getting out of the cold Humboldt Current the last time, I told Laura I was going to bed and didn't want to be woken until the sun was shining and we were making 4 knots directly toward the canal.

I woke up to the sound of the engine and hazy pale sunlight on my face.  I looked out of the cabin at the clean, glassy water of the northern stretch of the Golfo de Panama and knew the peaceful relief found at the end of a nightmare. Arriving at the canal was a victory for me.  It meant I was more than halfway through my journey, it meant that I had gotten across Tehuantepec and past the Papagallos, and it meant I could skipper a boat!

After staying on the Pacific side for two weeks, we finally got all our paperwork together and shot through the locks in a day. From Cristobal we headed north, stopping at Isla Providencia where we experienced true Caribbean hospitality and the friendliest port captain I have ever met, and townspeople that could not have welcomed us more warmly.

J/22 in Panama CanalFrom Providencia we flew on fast reach to Roatan, stopping only long enough to resupply before heading north for Isla Mujeres off the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. The draw of returning home became more powerful the closer we got to Key West, erasing from my mind the life I would have to lead upon return to the States and a “normal” job. We took a six-day beating from Isla Mujeres to Key West rather than sit in the anchorage scaring myself with weather reports, and only now realize the luxury of being concerned merely with physical survival.

We pulled into Key West on May 14, 5 1/2 months after leaving San Diego. Those 150-odd days were the richest of my life and I looked for a way to squeeze in one more journey before selling the boat.

I found my buyer on the Internet, but I would have to deliver the boat to Kingston, Jamaica!!  After enlisting the help of a fellow I met in a Publix grocery store, I hoisted sail and again surrendered myself to the sea.  Frank was from Berlin, Germany and between his heavily accented English and my high school German, we laughed our way through muddled conversations about girls, beer, toxic chlorinated American water and sailing. We stopped in Nassau, Bahamas, then swept down the Exuma chain to Georgetown.

From Georgetown, we headed southeast to the tip of Little Exuma where we ran aground on crystal white sand.  Far from our finest moment, it ended after bumping over six sandbars and grinding into the seventh.  With no other course than to turn up the music, jump over the side and take a long saltwater bath, we waited for the tide. When it finally rose late in the evening, we dried off and headed on port tack for Cuba, the Windward Passage, and my final port of call.

We made landfall in Jamaica at 7 am, June 28, seeing the lighthouse at Point Moran. We drifted along the shore, smelling land in the smoke of hearth-fires and waiting for the huge convection machine of Kingston Harbor to start cranking. We were sucked west along the southern coast until we turned into the harbor where we had to beat upwind to the yacht club.  That was the worst part of the trip!!  It wasn’t from the feeling of ending a journey, but because the wind really pumps down the harbor! I recorded at least 30 knots on my anemometer.  As I pulled up to the gasoline dock at the Royal Jamaica Yacht Club, I saw four men sauntering towards me down cracked concrete stairs.  They eased up next to my boat as a group, and their questions broke the silence of a voyage completed.  "Are you the guy on the J/22?"

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/70 Cloud Nine sailing in Brazil* BRAZIL J/70 CLOUD NINE- Rio de Janeiro- here’s a recent video-clip report from friends in Brazil- Phil Haegler: “My J/70 Brazil #650 arrived about two months ago here in Rio de Janeiro, and I am loving it!! This is a really fun, easy boat to sail fast!  Look at the video I did the other day. Unfortunately, it was overcast and gusty, but still, the clip was OK, right?!”

We couldn’t agree more with Phil’s upbeat assessment of their sailing experiences on the site of the 2016 Olympic Sailing venue with the famous view of Sugarloaf Mountain and “Christ The Redeemer” statue in the background.  Watch it all unfold their in nicely done HD video.

J/35 Jazz- sailed by Norman Curnow from United Kingdom* The J/36 JAZZ continues her experiences three decades after she left Stonington/ Newport- it was originally Rod Johnstone’s boat for summer-fun sailing in 1983.  Her current owner from the United Kingdom, Norm Curnow shared this recent update:

“I must share something with you and fellow J/sailors around the world about my trip back from Crete, where I got caught up in a squall of  37-50 kts!!

As some of you know, I have sailed many thousands of miles in my sailing years- 100,000nm plus!!  So, I left Majorca early just as the light lit the sky, no wind, motoring about 6 kts along the north of the island.  Two to three hours out, I am now passing Dragonero.  Still no wind.  But then, there it is! Off with the engine, out with kevlar jib and already had carbon main up with full battens!  Mistral in clear air??  Maybe.  Time to roll!

JAZZ soon had her skirts up, 6-7 kts and going great, then 9-10 kts no problem.  Hello!  Looks dark over on the horizon, SE wind blowing now, then from NNE.  Going along nicely.

Onward another 5 miles.  Then, bang! The boat was healing to her gunwales under the water.  I dumped the main.  Got to get that jib in. Pulled like hell, can't move the thing.  Too much wind.  Then it starts, lumps of sail start flying, kevlar about 6 inches square.  Oh no!!  Forget the jib, save the main. Pulling it down.

The next problem. Hail as big as marbles, starts striking me on the back of hand, every strike was like breaking bones. I grab the dinghy floor that I cover my gas (petrol) tanks with; I slide down into the sole of the cockpit, still dumping the mainsheet! Modern man’s version of comfort while in Hell!

The pain is unbelievable.  I'm feeling sick, still dumping the mainsheet, got to save that main.  Thank goodness, the autopilot is steering well; dipping the boom ever so often.  This is about the worst condition I've ever been in.

I slowly get myself out of the cramped cockpit.  I roll in the jib, the only thing left was the clew-reinforced part of the sail and the luff and foot cords.  It had taken at least a third of the sail.  Main was OK, only the 4th batten poked through and disappeared in the wind.  What did I do next? Swore and cursed and motored to San Antonio 50 miles away! More on this story soon!”

J/24 sailor Lambert Lai at peace on the helm* Eight Bells: Lambert Lai- “The J/24 Class, and all who knew him, lost a great friend. Lambert Lai passed away on December 30, 2014 at the age of 66 years.  We will miss him dearly.

Lambert began his love for sailing and the sea in his native Hawaii as a young man. He arrived in upstate New York after his service to our country as an Army Medic in Vietnam. He finished his schooling and became a Physician’s Assistant. He joined Sodus Bay Yacht Club (Sodus Point, NY) and became an active participant in racing J/24s. He later joined Rochester Yacht Club (Rochester, NY) and purchased his current J/24, Dr. Feel Good, which he campaigned in District 7 and along the East Coast.

He sailed in all major regattas including two J/24 World Championships, three North Americans, several Midwinters and Charleston Race Week. He campaigned his boat in all District 7 events. Lambert was also a friend to big boat sailing, never missing a chance to help out others. Lambert also served on Race Committees for many events including women’s match racing, frostbiting and several other regattas.

He served as the President of the US J/24 Class, and represented Rochester Yacht Club as organizer of the 2012 J/24 Worlds as well as many other regattas. Lambert has won many sailing awards over the years, but his commitment to District 7, the J/24 Class, to sailing, and to his many friends was the gift he gave to us. A stranger to Lambert was just a friend he had never met.

Lambert leaves behind his lovely and dedicated wife of 31 years, Lynne Lai. We will all miss him dearly. Aloha, Buddy!” – thanks for this tribute from Jack DePeters and David Stoller