Wednesday, March 18, 2015

J/Newsletter- March 18th, 2015

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing upwind on a lakeJ/22 Midwinters Preview
(Ridgeland, MS)- From March 27th to 29th, the beautiful Jackson Yacht Club in Ridgeland, Mississippi will be hosting the J/22 Midwinters on the Ross Barnett Reservoir, right in the middle of the state and about 100 miles due north of New Orleans, Louisiana.  The JYC and J/22 Fleet #63 are looking forward to welcoming J/22 sailors for their first midwinter event north of Route 10!  As their invitation says, “after the races and as the sun sets, southern hospitality will amp up with the sounds of the blues and flavors of the ‘y’all’ lifestyle!”

The current entry list of forty-plus boats has attracted not just a strong southern contingent, but a highly talented range of international teams from across the USA, Canada and the Cayman Islands.  From down in the Caribbean, the rockstars of the Cayman Islands Sailing Club, Mike Farrington and gang from Georgetown, are hoping their 3rd place performance in the J/22 Worlds in South Africa will give them the competitive edge necessary to hang with the top American teams.  The same holds true to some degree for the Canadian contingent.  These refugees from the bitter cold weather of the north may already be driving south now!  They include Ron Harris’ BROOMSTICK from Hudson Yacht Club in Hudson Heights, Quebec; Darcy Fuller’s PROST from South Port Sailing Club in Windsor, Ontario; and Stephen Jones’ team from National Yacht Club in Toronto, Ontario.

Welcoming the foreign teams with open arms and fabulous southern hospitality will be at least two dozen teams from Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Mississippi.  Some of the leading teams from this region include Chip Carpenter’s WIZARD from Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans; Benz Faget on the righteous and notorious FATS also from SYC and Metarie, LA; past J/22 World Champion Terry Flynn sailing TEJAS from League City (Houston), Texas and the Galveston Bay Cruising Association; and past J/22 Class President Galen Freeman on HOT RUDDERED BUM from Percy Priest Yacht Club in Brentwood, Tennessee.

There are surprisingly few northeastern teams participating in this year’s Midwinters.  Even then, the few teams making the 1,100 mile 16+ hour trek include some of the best teams in the J/22 Class.  Those players include one of New York’s top teams, Kevin Doyle on the famous MO’MONEY from Youngstown Yacht Club; another leading crew is Mike Marshall’s BAD NEWS from Conanicut Yacht Club in Jamestown, Rhode Island; and the sole representative from the massive J/22 fleet on the Chesapeake Bay is the current J/22 World Champion Allan Terhune on DAZZLER from Annapolis Yacht Club in Annapolis, Maryland!  For more J/22 Midwinters sailing information

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico- sailing parradiseCabo Race Preview
(Newport Beach, California)- The Newport Harbor Yacht Club has enjoyed a long-standing tradition of hosting the Newport to Cabo San Lucas Yacht Race. Since its first race in 1971, sailors have enjoyed the 800nm race down the Baja coastline to the warm weather and big breeze of Cabo San Lucas.

Over the 40+ years of hosting the Cabo Race, NHYC has witnessed the tremendous evolution of yacht design and offshore sailing. Typical entries in the 70’s and early 80’s were IOR boats with unique downwind sailing characteristics (like “bloopers”?).

Cabo San Lucas harbor- sailing paradiseLater, the ultralight (ULDB) boats arrived in the early 80’s with short rigs and huge poles and fat round kites. These offwind speedsters opened the door to bigger ULDB’s and the 70 footers that began their reign of the Mexican Races in the mid-80’s.

Bigger, faster boats evolved through the 80’s into the 90’s with the development of the 80 footers like Magnitude and Pyewacket.  These boats brought along asymmetrical spinnakers and other innovations like canting keels to advance offshore sailing.

Noteworthy was the fact that J/105s in 1991 were the world’s first offshore keelboat of any size (18 ft to 500 ft) to make use of retractable sprits.  Many J/105s have sailed successfully in offshore races since in both fully-crewed as well as short-handed divisions (Cabo San Lucas & Puerto Vallarta Races, Fastnet Race, TransPac Race, Trans-Atlantic Race, etc). Most notably, with the J/105 leading the offshore keelboat “sprit revolution”, many other classes have followed since (e.g. TP-52s, America’s Cup 75’s and foiling catamarans, for example).

J/125 Timeshaver sailing offshoreIn this year’s Cabo Race, we find one of the top west coast offshore J/125 teams participating this year; Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER from Dana Point Yacht Club.  While Viggo’s J/125 may not sport semi-submersible foiling lee-boards (see photo here), we have no doubt their more than capable crew can handle the conditions.

So, when TIMESHAVER crosses the finish line in Cabo, what should they expect from their hosts?  Well, Tuesday afternoon it’s the “Happy Hour Fiesta”! Hosted happy hour food, beers and margaritas for all race competitors. No reservations needed!!

On Wednesday, the fun and celebration continues again at the “Baja Cantina” for our Happy Hours Fiesta #2 at 6:00pm.  Competitors will be treated to more happy hours food, beer and margaritas.  Then on Thursday, everyone heads over to the “Baja Cantina Beach,” for more food, drink, music and the awards ceremonies!! No wonder it's been a long-term popular offshore race!  For more Cabo Race sailing information.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

With the coming of the Spring Solstice on Friday for the northern parts (vice-versa the Autumn Solstice for our friends Down Under), it marks the time for many clubs in Europe and the Americas to start their sailing seasons.  On the West Coast of the USA, the San Diego Yacht Club hosted the Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD Regatta with a large fleet of J/70s racing the billiard-table flat, highly tactical South Bay while offshore big fleets of J/105s and J/120s raced in the rolly-poly Pacific Ocean off Point Loma and South Island (home of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet). Further north up the rugged California coastline, St Francis Yacht Club held their sailing season opener, the Spring One-Design Regatta, on San Francisco Bay for J/70s, J/105s and J/111s.

In Europe, J/22s, J/24s, J/70s and J/80s were holding their initial “spring training” regattas across the continent.  Notably, across La Manche in the United Kingdom, the Brooks MacDonald Warsash Spring Series got off to a windy, chilly start on the Solent for classes of J/70s, J/80s, J/88s and J/111s.

Meanwhile, on the southern side of the EurAsian continent, we find a relatively new J/122E take a cruise on the Indian Ocean up the coastline from Mumbai to Goa and back.  This adventure was reported on India by Sunil and Ayesha Lobo.

Finally, celebrating the start of autumn Down Under on the southeastern coastline of Australia were the growing fleet of J/70s.  The first J/70 New South Wales State Championship was held near Sydney Harbour Heads in big wind and even more massive waves!

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 27-29- J/22 Midwinters- Jackson YC- Ridgeland, MS
Mar 27-29- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Mar 30- Apr 5- BVI Spring Regatta- Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Apr 13-18- Les Voiles St Barth- Gustavia, St Barthelemy
Apr 16-19- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 24- May 2- EDHEC Sailing Cup- La Rochelle, France
Apr 26- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- Falmouth, Antigua

Boat Shows:
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/120s sailing off Point Loma, San Diego, CASan Diego NOOD’A’Licious
Sailors Lovin’ Blue skies, Hot Comp!
(San Diego, California)- The three day Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in San Diego, sailed from March 13th to 15th, couldn’t have had nicer weather, with record heat and enough wind to fill the scorecards for the 89 competing teams. Racing was held for 12 one-design classes, with the larger keelboats racing on the ocean course off Point Loma and the smaller sportboat and dinghy fleets on San Diego’s South Bay course. The event also included the North Sails Rally, a low-key random race on Saturday within the Bay.

The Overall HH NOOD Regatta Champion was John Laun and the crew of the J/120 CAPER, they were the winning team in the largest offshore keelboat class in the regatta.  Winning the J/105s was Dennis Case and his crew on WINGS and taking it all in the huge J/70 class was Vince Brun’s BLISS.

Day One
The Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta kicked off its second stop of the season in San Diego with teams vying for individual class trophies and the regatta’s overall prize — a trip to the British Virgin Islands in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Championship, hosted by Sunsail.

J/120s sailing off San Diego, CA in NOOD RegattaFive one-design classes raced on San Diego’s South San Diego Bay Friday, greeted with bright sunshine and winds that built from 5 knots to 17 knots, making for what local sailors said were perfect conditions. Winds, however, were fickle earlier in the day, which lead to a challenging for race for the J/70 class leaders, Jeff Janov and his team on MINOR THREAT.

“The starting lines were pretty square most of the day but we were starting near for the [race committee] boat because we wanted the right side of the racecourse, for a bit of current advantage, and the wind was coming from that way,” said Janov. “They were first around in the first race, jibed, and seemed ready to escape clean, but the wind died momentarily, allowing trailing boats to close the gap and sneak past.

“We kept telling each other to relax. It was one of those situations where you just had to wait and see how it played out,” said Janov. “We won that race, but we were sailing alongside Dave Ullman most of the downwind leg, so that was exciting to be doing that. He passed us pretty easy, but we stayed focused, tried hard and got back into it.”

Janov later said, “I would have been happy to be in the top eight given the talent in this fleet, but there is no mincing words, Willem [Van Way] and Victor [Diaz de Leon], the way they do tactics and strategy is impressive. They bounce ideas off each other and I just drive.”

After the first day’s racing Janov led the seventeen boat J/70 class with a 1-2-4 tally followed by Brun’s BLISS sitting on an 11-1-1 score and Scott Deardorff’s CAKE from Santa Barbara, California taking a 4-3-10.

Day Two
Favorable conditions continued on Saturday, giving nearly 700 competitors a full day of racing, with winds peaking into the high teens.

Saturday’s races featured 12 one-design classes with the larger keelboats like the J/105s and J/120s on the ocean course off Point Loma. The regatta’s smaller sportboat and dinghy fleets continued their respective series on San Diego’s South Bay.

Gary Mozer’s J/105 CURRENT OBSESSION 2 returned to defend its class win (which also earned them the regatta’s overall title in 2014). They were right back into the groove, winning the first two races and finishing third in the day’s final race.

“This was a strange forecast that had the breeze maxing out at 8 knots so we had our rig set up for the light stuff,” says Mozer. “The headstay was wrong so when the breeze came on we had to rally to tighten the rig, double-block the backstay, and find any way to open the leech.”

J/120 crew sailing NOOD off San Diego, CAMozer says despite the team not racing together since last year, their maneuvers were good and they got around the racecourse without incident. “Everyone’s back: same crew, and it was all good,” he says. “We came back to support the event and defend what could be our last year with the boat. We want to go to the Caribbean again.”

Behind the proverbial blitzkrieg by their Hollywood, California colleagues, Case’s WINGS with a 4-2-1 held tight to second and Stewart Cannon’s J-OK sailed steadily to a 3-3-2 for third on the day.

The popular J/120 class saw ten entries dueling offshore and after the dust cleared a trio of teams were sitting atop the podium with just 2 pts separating them.  In first with a 1-4-1 was Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER followed by Laun’s CAPER with a 4-1-2 and then a “new kid on the block”, Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN, sailing steadily with a 2-2-4 to hang onto third for the day.

The J/70s on South Bay had a bit of a drama taking place with fickle winds dominating the course most of the day with an offshore breeze fighting the building on-shore sea breeze.  After just two races, the top two scores for the day were Eric Kownacki & Tom Jenkins’ DFZ and Deardorff’s crew on CAKE horse-trading 1-3 scores!  As a result, a new leader emerged in the J/70 class with Kownacki/ Jenkin’s DFZ sitting on top of this talented fleet with a 3-7-3-1-3 record for 17 pts followed by Brun’s BLISS in second with an 11-1-1-5-2 for 20 pts and in third was Deardorff’s CAKE with a 4-3-10-3-1 record for 21 pts.

Day Three
The last day of racing brought more prime sailing conditions off San Diego.  Reveling in the conditions were the winners in the big boat classes offshore.  Taking home two bullets to seal the deal for not just the J/120 class but also the Overall Champion of the HH San Diego NOOD was John Laun’s CAPER, posting a 4-1-2-1-1 for just 9 pts to eclipse their classmates.  Just climbing into second by a hair-breadth was Nichols’ CC RIDER with a 1-4-1-5-2 record for 13 pts.  Just one point back was Pennell’s MAD MEN with a 2-2-4-3-3 tally for 14 pts.  The balance of the top five included John Snook’s JIM in fourth and Gary Winton’s SHENANIGANS in fifth.

Though they started off very strong, Mozer’s CO2 team faltered a bit towards the end while Case’s WINGS took off.  After firing off three straight bullets, the WINGS crew won by 1 pt with a 4-2-1-1-1 record for 9 pts.  Second was Mozer’s CO2 with a 1-1-3-3-2 for 10 pts.  Sitting in a somewhat “frustrating” third place was Cannon’s J-OK with a 3-3-2-2-7 for 17 pts (if only he’d won the last race!).  Taking fourth was Tom Hurlburt & Chuck Driscoll’s BLOW BOAT and fifth was Steve & Lucy Howell’s BLINK!.

J/70 sailing off San Diego, CAThe J/70s saw some dramatic changes on the last day of racing with the fleet standings looking like a game of “snakes & ladders”.  Closing with a very consistent 2-2 to win the J/70 class for the second regatta in a row was Vince Brun’s BLISS, posting an 11-1-1-5-2-2-2 for 24 pts.  Hanging in for second with a very steady performance and his best J/70 regatta to date was Scott Deardorff’s CAKE with a 4-3-10-3-1-5-3 for 29 pts.  Early regatta leader, Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT climbed back into contention to take third place with a 1-2-4-2-13-1-9 for 32 pts.  Just one point back in 4th place was multiple World Champion Dave Ullman on USA 32 and dropping back down to 5th place after a mediocre performance on the last day was the Kownacki/ Jenkins team on DFZ.  The J/70s enjoyed very close racing and one puff, one wind streak or one badly executed mark-rounding would result in many gains and losses for most of the top teams.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images and Bronny Daniels/   For more Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/70 sailing off Sydney, AustraliaJEDI Master of J/70 New South Wales Champs
(Sydney, Australia)- The J/70s in eastern Australia gathered together for the inaugural J/70 New South Wales State Championships from March 7th to 8th on stunning Sydney Harbour. The J/70 NSW States were held in conjunction with the annual Sydney Harbour Regatta, run by Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

With the first day of sailing on Saturday starting off with a light easterly of 7-9 knots and a huge 3 metre plus swell with breaking tops running through Sydney Heads on the J/70 course, the crews knew they were going to be in for their first major test of the fall sailing season.

To say sailing was challenging for the J/70s would be a bit of an understatement, however, the J/70 crews were up for it and were thrilled to get in some massive planing-mode runs by the last set of races.

In the first race, Ray & Jill’s JUNIOR nailed the first start and set the standard high, winning by two and a half minutes ahead of Tim’s 007 JAMES.  They were closely followed in third by JEDI with guest skipper Tony Barns, who is new to the class.

By the start of the second race, the wind had now increased to 12 kts plus!  This time, Tim’s 007 JAMES threw down the gauntlet and won by over a minute on JUNIOR, then followed by JEDI.  With the already massive rolling waves building further, YKNOT and GRASSHOPPER UNIT were getting on pace fast and were just behind the leaders.

By the time the fleet got rolling for the third race, crews could be seen tuning their rigs for much bigger breeze, the winds now reaching in excess of 15-17 kts TWS.  The waves were still growing and looking more menacing, with the tops now breaking in nearly 4 metre seas!  The fleet was now much more closely matched as the crews were getting used to the conditions.  After a “smash-mouth” beat into the massive, breaking seas, all the boats take off downwind, racing down the big waves and having the ride of their lives. The JEDI crew reporting later seeing four J/70s on starboard surfing down a large wave toward them and saying it looked like a scene from “Perfect Storm”! This time JEDI got the gun.

The fourth and last race of the day was a one-lapper.  YKNOT was first around the top mark and held on to score 2nd.  The rest of the J/70’s all finished within 18 seconds of each other for an incredibly nail-biting finish after a fantastic day’s sailing.

The forecast for the second day of racing on Sunday was not good. The Australian MET Office was predicting the proverbial “glass-out”, no wind but with huge rolling swells.  Not exactly everyone’s cup of tea.  Nevertheless, on Sunday morning all the J/70s left the dock with rigs wound-down, prepared to drift around the harbour entrance in the big swell for a few hours.  Much to everyone’s surprise, the wind Gods were with the fleet!  The wind swung south just before the start at 15—17 kts.  The fleet feverishly wound the rigs back up for the weather conditions and off they went in their fifth race for yet another joy-ride around the course!

For the sixth and final race for the series, the battle for 2nd and 3rd place between JAMES and JUNIOR went down to the wire.  The crews were looking forward to the last, monster blast of the regatta. With wind gusting up to 20 kts, everyone loved the flat-out planing downwind, trying to pick the fastest way through the massive seas, with spray flying everywhere and over the crews sitting well aft.  The J/70’s all fly down the last run, to finish on a high for the inaugural J/70 NSW State Championships; it was also the first J/70 class regatta to be held in Australia.

The NSW States title goes to Tony Barns’ JEDI followed by Tim Ryan’s 007 JAMES and rounding out the podium was Ray Carless’ JUNIOR.

With three more J/70’s due to arrive in the Sydney area in the next few months, the future is looking very exciting for more thrills, great sailing and camaraderie in the one-design J/70 fleet. Come and join the fun with these fantastic boats and great bunch of sailors.  You can learn more about J/70 fleet development in Australia from Ray Entwistle- Mobile: 0406 562262 or email-
Sailing photo credits- Andrea Francolini- JEDI in full flight with guest skipper Tony Barns.

J/111 sailing Warsash Spring SeriesChilly Start for Warsash Spring Series
(Warsash, England)- Competitors in the opening races of the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Series were undeterred by the heavy grey sky and chilly wind in the Solent on Sunday 15 March 2015.

12-18 knots of breeze, with just the occasional 20 knot gust, from the ENE throughout the day provided a good breeze for competitors. The wind tracking showed a 20 degree shift cycle coming off the Meon shore which took about an hour to go from left to right, and back to left again, thereby favouring the right hand side of the courses set for the day.

J/80s sailing Warsash Spring seriesBlack Group race starts were mostly held just east of the Brambles in the middle of the Solent, with White Group starts taking place off Titchfield Haven near Wilson Covers buoy.

Series Chairman Peter Bateson commented at the end of racing, “It was a good first day of the series all round. The racing did show some early season hiccups, particularly on the downwind legs, with one spinnaker becoming a luff tape joining two corners and a few failing to come down promptly at the leeward mark! But that’s all to be expected at the start of the season!”

J/70s sailing on Solent- Warsash Spring SeriesDominance was the name of the game for the White Group’s J/80 class, with BETTY (Jon Powell) taking first place in the J/80 class with three bullets.  Second was Mike Lewis’ JESTER and third was Ali Hall’s BOYSTEROUS.

Meanwhile, JUST4PLAY (Simon Cavey) took two out of the three wins in the J/70 class to lead class by one point over Nigel Evans’ LITTLE LOUISE.  Currently lying third is David Mitchell’s JUMANJI.

J/88s sailing on Solent- Warsash Spring SeriesIn IRC 1, Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG to second.  In IRC 2 a fleet of J/88s are racing and top dog on the first weekend was Stewart Hawthorn’s JIFI followed by Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT in second an Ivan Trotman’s new JOJO in third.  Then, in IRC 3 class, Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II took fourth in class and was top J/97.

Looking ahead to next weekend Peter’s thoughts are: “Next Sunday we’ve got big tides to contend with so we’ll be looking for the same kind of breeze as we had today but a few degrees warmer would be nice!”

Post racing competitors came together at the WSC’s clubhouse and enjoyed a warming drink thanks to race partners Rolly Tasker Sails.  Greg O’Brien of race partners Crewsaver presented the champagne prizes of the day for each of the eight classes. For more Brooks MacDonald Warsash Spring Series sailing information

J/105s sailing on San Francisco BaySpring One Design Regatta Fun!
(San Francisco, California)- On the first day of the 2015 sailing season opener at St Francis Yacht Club, the Spring One Design regatta, it seemed everyone was there— 80 boats, 300 sailors, 8 fleets— everyone, that is, but the wind. Early season conditions prevailed and the lack of breeze on Saturday resulted in a string of postponements with, ultimately, no racing.

“We knew that even if we were able to get off a start,” says regatta Chair Peggy Lidster, “we wouldn’t have been able to get around any windward mark. There was no wind in any direction, and we were fighting an ebb.” Sailors made the most of the day by enjoying the sun, admiring the fleets’ many sets of new sails and meeting back at the St. Francis Yacht Club for food, drinks, lawn games and even a “shmores” (graham crackers, melted Hershey’s chocolate and melted marshmallows) pit in the courtyard.

Conditions varied throughout Sunday, wavering between 7 and 20 knots. The unsteady breeze kept all fleets alert as fresh crew shook off winter-time cobwebs and fresh sets of sails took on their first tacks and douses.

“Looking around, you could feel a fervor for the start of the season. These are the Bay-area one-design keelboat fleets, and everyone brought their A-game,” says Lidster. “The entire central Bay was filled with sails, from Alcatraz to the majestic Golden Gate Bridge to our fabulous city-front along the southern shore of San Francisco Bay. The number of sailboats and the camaraderie between fleets was fantastic— it felt like days of old!”

While the smaller boats competed on the City Front course, the ginormous twenty-one boat J/105 fleet started off the western face of Alcatraz Island, heading upwind 1.3 miles in a westerly direction toward the mid-span of the Golden Gate Bridge.  There was a heavy ebb, creating the inevitable short chop as the current flows into the prevailing westerly.  The combo of the 4.0+ kt ebb and incoming 20 kt westerlies (the tradition SF bay seabreeze) built up massive, slab-sided chop at least 4-6 ft tall, and was most especially acute just off the southern tip of Alcatraz.  In the end, the day was dominated by Bruce Stone’s team on ARBITRAGE turning in a 3-1-2 to finish with just 6 points.  Not far off their pace was their nemesis and good friend Scooter Simmons on BLACKHAWK, throwing in a 4-2-4 for good measure to take second with 10 pts.  Finally, sailing a rapidly improving scoreline as they worked out the cobwebs and bugs after the first race was Phil Laby’s GODOT, posting an impressive 9-3-1 for 13 pts to take the bronze.  Rounding out the top five were Pat Benedict’s ADVANTAGE 3 in fourth with 17 pts and in fifth was Jeff Litfin’s MOJO with 18 pts.

The J/111s saw close, fast racing but it was Dorian McKelvy’s MADMEN that took the crown with two bullets and two seconds for just 6 pts total.  Behind them, it was a horse race for the balance of the podium with Richard Swanson’s BAD DOG winning by a nose over Roland Vandermeer’s bright red BIG BLAST!  The tie-breaker for fourth was won by Gorkem Ali Ozcelebi’s DOUBLE DIGIT over Rob Theis’ AEOLUS.

The J/70s had a light turnout due to the conflict with the Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD Regatta.  A number of the top San Francisco Bay teams were sailing in San Diego as part of their practice for the upcoming J/70 North Americans sailing on South Bay in September. Nevertheless, the six boat fleet saw St Francis YC member Peter Cameron shake out all the cobwebs early and post a blistering three bullets on Sundays amazingly beautiful day of sailing along the City Front.  The J/70s could be seen flying downwind in the last race, zigging & zagging downwind in full-on plane mode, seemingly skipping up and over the steep, choppy ebb-tide seas; though everyone once in awhile someone would stuff it hard into the back of an unavoidable vertical backside of the ferry boat wakes! It was fun sailing for those SF Bay die-hards!  Taking second was Geoff McDonald’s 1FA and in third was Tom Thayer 7 Robert Milligan’s RAMPAGE.
 For more St Francis Yacht Club Spring One-Design sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/122E sailing offshore of Mumbai, India* A J/122E cruise in India?  Of course!  The latest J/122E sailing on the Indian Ocean had an offshore cruise from Mumbai to Goa and back.  Here is the story of that voyage and experience that was featured in India Yacht Magazine.  The founder and publisher of India Yacht, “Zinia”, was thrilled to have this report from Ayesha Lobo (the J/India dealer) and have the opportunity to promote boating and sailing in India.  See their article here.  Here’s Ayesha’s story.

“Sailing From Mumbai To Goa On A No Moon Night!

It was a new moon on the night eight valiant sailors set sail from Mumbai to Goa in a J/122E to catch the India Bike Week 2015 last month in February. The round trip covered a week with two days of sailing to the destination non-stop, two or three days on land and two days of sailing back to the homeport.

Out of the team members, only three of them had experienced offshore sailing and the others were well versed with tackling the winds within the harbor. It was a one-of-a-kind first time experience for them and they would recommend it to anyone who is ready for an adventure and up for enduring some highly disciplined yet fun outdoor living! Sit back and read on about their exciting escapade…

A little about the sailboat and preparations before the voyage…

Though Ayesha Lobo has sailed to Goa in sailboats much smaller, like the J/24 that are almost half the size of the J/122E, she recommends that one chooses a boat that suits them best in terms of size, stability and on-board living. The versatile J/122E is a beautiful 40-foot cruiser/racer with comfortable live-aboard accommodations, a refined deck layout, low VCG keel with a moderate 7.2′ draft. She is the ultimate combination of endearing sailing performance and comfort for a sailboat of her size, she is as easy-to-handle by a couple as it is for a full crew to race around the buoys!

Sunil Lobo tells us about the adequate planning and checking of the vessel and the paperwork that is a must before the journey. The boat was checked inside out, he says, engine, rigging, sails, safety equipment and a spare anchor were all in place and functional. Paper work involved informing both ports and the coast guards well in advance of the trip. Having a shore-team in place helps tremendously as they take care of many things like providing the dinghies to go on to shore and back, or any crucial/helpful information like sudden change of weather conditions. Local knowledge comes in handy when you have to avoid fishing nets and rocks and steer into a clear and safe course. Performing a safety drill and maintaining an absolutely disciplined code of conduct are paramount.

The journey…

As mentioned earlier it was the first time for the majority of the crew who were making an offshore voyage, hence it was an incredible learning experience for them. With two Yacht Masters on board, Ayesha and Sandeep, both RYA-qualified, the boat was in capable hands, nonetheless everyone was asked to be alert and vigilant through the journey.

Sailing the J/122e on a cruise off India's coastlineThey worked in 12-hour shifts rotating every 4 hours between them. The J/122E sailed between the shipping channel and the shore; hence, land remained always more or less in sight. The team learned many new skills like chart-plotting both on paper (hard copy) and electronic devices. They sailed with the kite up during the day, racing with the wind but put it away at night for a calm and smooth ride. The crew kept in touch with loved ones sending SMS texts regularly and through the radio. If you were wondering if there is much to do once you are on a boat and in the middle of the sea, you would be surprised to learn that there is plenty! During the day, there were so many fun activities to indulge in and the nights were equally magical thanks to no moon in the skies!

Activities on board…

Besides taking the wheel, the team performed the man-overboard drill (with a bucket) while the boat was in motion and at good speed. This situation calls for immediate action when a crewmember accidentally falls off the boat. It may sound fun to you but getting that person back aboard is harder than you think! Unless you do the right things, fast, when someone falls overboard, that person could be lost. Man-overboard (MOB) fatalities make up 24% of all boating mishaps. Hence, this activity, though very entertaining, had to be performed with utmost seriousness. Later some of the crew took a quick dive into the crystal waters. You also need to watch out for sea snakes in the waters if you intend to stop the boat and take a dip or a quick swim or go snorkeling and diving. They are much more dangerous and poisonous and it is a good idea to carry anti-venom if you wish to perform such daredevil antics!

Fishing, of course, was the next most thrilling pastime and no, they had no fancy equipment on board, not even fishing rods. By just throwing in some bait tied to a line, they managed to pull in a sizable catch! Beginner’s luck? Pretty impressive I would say! Though Ayesha was insistent on putting it back into the sea, fate had it otherwise. Our fishy traveled back with us to Mumbai to be deliciously barbequed and relished.

Another fun activity on board is going up the mast when there is no wind and the boat is more or less still. If you are wondering what’s so great about that, well, the picture below explains it all :) Ahoy Meghna! That’s a great shot from your first time up there.

Although it is hot during the day and you are out in the sun, it is comparatively more comfortable when you are out on the waters. It’s way cooler and the breeze makes it a very pleasant experience. Getting to the most exciting part of the voyage – sailing on a new moon night, this was a first for all of them!

J/122E cruising off IndiaDuring the day you have visual references like the shore or other boats in the distance but night sailing is very different. During the day you are looking down at the charts to navigate, believe it or not, at night you are looking up at the stars for the same! Although a no moon meant sailing in almost pitch darkness, the stars were very clear and brightly shown in the skies. It was an overwhelming experience sailing your course with the stars to guide you. Its instant gratification says Nandan who owns the boat. Did you know one can download free apps that see stars and help you navigate? Simply incredible!! You open the app and point your screen towards the sky. The app automatically catches the patterns and tells you the star constellation you are pointing to.  That was a mind-blowing experience!

J/122E sailing off India's coastline on a cruise- Mumbai to GoaIt is essential to keep yourself adequately hydrated and well-fed during the journey. One can never carry enough good food, hence you also need to be disciplined with the stock (inventory) you take along and consume. There could be a leak or some unforeseen spill, so one should be prepared for such situations. Last and most importantly, I’d like to mention Rohit who was the chef in charge on board! He prepared gourmet meals for the crew which kept them delighted and satisfied. Meals included simple dal and rice, tacos, pasta, bacon and eggs, garlic toast and lots of coffee. The yacht masters on night shifts looked forward to their mid night and 4 am cup of coffee! For persons who are completely new to offshore sailing and have had no more experience than a one or two hour sail in the harbour, it is advised that they make stops in between the voyage. There are many destinations to explore in between Mumbai and Goa with decent facilities if you want to stay a night over. These include Nangaon, Ganpatiphule, Jaigarh, Rewdanda, and so forth.

To conclude, if you liked this article and have a story of your own to share, do write us!! If you would like to learn how to sail or experience a similar voyage, get in touch today and get planning. The summer vacation awaits!  For more information about sailing in India, please contact Sunil Lobo ( or Ayesha Lobo (

J/70 sailing on Lake Constance, off Austria* Austrian J/70s are launching already! Yes, it was not springtime yet, but a determined J/70 crew took delivery of their new boat and launched it past the ice!  Max Renner, a life-long sailor from Austria had this to say about their exciting first day on the water:

“We just bought our new J-70 and put it in the water today!  It didn’t matter to us that there was still snow in the mountains and many people were skiing.  We are the first J/70 in Austria and we sail on Lake Constance (sandwiched between Switzerland, Germany and Austria) and all over Europe.  The name of our boat is REGI.  We are looking forward already to sail in the J/70 European Championship at YC Monaco in Monte Carlo during the month of October!  We hope you enjoy our photos!  Best regards, Max”

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.
*Giant whale breaching in front of J/160 SALACIA off  Australia's Whitsunday Islands J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands.  Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination?  A giant whale!  Look at this amazing photo!

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.