Wednesday, April 8, 2015

J/Newsletter- April 8th, 2015

J/88 family daysailerNew J/88 Powered By Clean Energy!
Harness the Power of the S.E.A.
(Newport, Rhode Island)-  Imagine sailing a beautiful boat knowing that, even if the wind dies and you’re forced to turn on the engine, peace and tranquility aren’t lost.  Furthermore, imagine that every minute sailing, the battery banks are silently charging, allowing you to later push a button to silently power back to the harbor.

A state-of-the-art electric propulsion and charging system from Oceanvolt is now being offered on the J/88, the 29’ state-of-the-art performance daysailer from J/Boats.

“There’s no quicker buzz kill for sailors than having to turn on the diesel engine,” said Jeff Johnstone, President of J/Boats.  “Most of our owners will tell you they sail their boats 90% of the time.  We’d like to improve that other 10% and make it an environmentally-friendly solution for sailors who love the sea!”

Oceanvolt clean-energy power systemsJ/Boats will be installing Oceanvolt’s innovative, fully integrated S.E.A. system (Silent Electric Autonomy) on their first 2016 model J/88 slated to launch mid-summer in Newport, RI and then displayed at the Newport and Annapolis Shows.  The S.E.A system is electric propulsion with a twist– it has full hydro-regeneration capabilities so that batteries are recharged while sailing, with added passive recharging thanks to 500 watts of high-performance Sunpower solar cells (the world's most efficient).

"For the past ten years, we have been developing innovative solutions for the electric/ hybrid power market in Europe,” said Timo Jaakkola, President of Oceanvolt.  “Based in Finland, a country renowned for developing leading edge ‘green’ solutions, our company has pioneered the use of electric power in keelboats that range from 24 to 55 ft and ranging from 3kW to 20 kW.  We look forward to working with the J/Boats team on their J/88 project!”

To make an appointment to see this gorgeous, innovative J/88, please contact J/Boats at “” or call +1-401-846-8410.   For more J/88 speedster sailing information

J/88 SAILING magazine reviewSAILING J/88 Review
(Port Washington, Wisconsin)- “The latest midsized racer-cruiser from J/Boats offers exhilarating performance in a family-friendly package.  I have been fortunate to sail most models in the J/Boat family and I confess, I like them all. The new J/88 is an ideal blend of what makes the J/Boat brand so enduring,” said John Kretschmer from SAILING Magazine.

“Falling neatly between the J/70 and J/111, the 88 might be labeled midsize if it were an automobile, but no matter what you call it, the J/Boat design and build team found the sweet spot with this 29-foot family daysailer and racer. It's a J, so it's fast and fun to sail in a variety of conditions. Its success is well documented in an auspicious debut in 2014, including second in class in the Chicago-Mackinac race. While it is small enough to be single-point lifted for easy storage and trailering, it is big enough to have an interior that's surprisingly comfortable, with enough elbowroom to extend sailing through the weekend.

We tested the J/88 after the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, and the blustery conditions were perfect for pushing the boat hard.”  Sailing photo credits- Bob GrieserRead the rest of Kretschmer’s review here.

J/88 One-Design Regatta Calendar:

J/88 sailing Key WestJ/88 & J/70 @ Strictly Sail Show!
(Alameda, California)- This weekend, April 9th to 12th, is the Strictly Sail Pacific sailboat show! J/Boats San Francisco dealer “Sail California” looks forward to hosting all J/Sailors and friends!  On display at Jack London Square in Oakland, California will be the J/88 family speedster and the J/70. They will be located at the Inner Basin at Slip# S64.  Be sure to contact any of Sail California’s J experts- Pat Nolan, Norm Davant, or Drew Harper- call ph# 510-523-8500 or email- 

Furthermore, be sure to read the Northwest Yachting review of the J/88.  Sailing Editor Bruce Hedrick took the J/88 from Sail Northwest out for a spin in early February on Puget Sound on a gorgeous sunny day— as only the PNW can enjoy in the middle of winter!  Read more about Hedrick’s impressions here.   For more Strictly Sail Pacific sailboat show information

Voiles de St Barth sailing regattaLes Voiles de St Barth Preview
(Gustavia, St Barthelemy)- Les Voiles de Saint Barth celebrates its 6th edition, April 13-18 2015, with a record fleet of eighty-one boats registered.  Created in 2010 by two old friends, François Tolède, organizing director, and Luc Poupon, race director, the first year of the regatta comprised 27 boats.  With its simple and straightforward goal of “competition on the water and conviviality on the shore,” Les Voiles de Saint Barth has continued to attract sailors from around the world, growing from that original of boats to an event that will have nearly a 1,000 sailors from 20+ countries sailing in the five-day competition.  All set against the magnificent backdrop of the island of Saint Barthelemy in a festive, friendly atmosphere.

LVSB has become one of the more important events on the Caribbean sailing circuit, mixing good-vibes racing with stylish shore-side pursuits on the delightfully small yet enormously sophisticated French island of Saint-Barthelemy (aka St. Barth).

J/109 women's sailing team- St Barth“With lots of cooperation from many, many people we have been able to exhibit that St. Barths is a valid destination for serious race teams,” said Competition Manager Annelisa Gee, noting that seven 40-foot team containers are being accommodated this year. “That's huge, because it means logistics of getting boats and equipment here are getting better with each edition. Bigger and better – that’s the common theme each year, whether it's referring to the number and quality of boats that come, the amenities and on-shore events for the teams, or adding – in the case of this year – an offshore racing option to the tried-and-true tactical inshore race courses that everyone likes so much.”

Joining the fleet are several fun-loving, well-sailed J/Teams from around the world.  In Spinnaker A division will be a slew of fast 40-footers, including the J/125 HAMACHI skippered by Greg Slyngstad from Seattle, Washington and recent winner of the Heineken St Maarten Regatta 2015 several weeks earlier.  Hoping to match them will be Rick Wesslund’s famous team from Miami, Florida racing their J/122 EL OCASO with the eye-popping electric blue and shades of orange graphics.

J/111 J-Boss sailing Voiles de St BarthIn the Spinnaker B division, last year’s top dog was the J/111 J-BOSS sailed by Eddy Chalono from Martinique; hoping to improve even more on their outstanding performance in 2014’s edition.  They will be challenged by a cadre of J’s that include the J/120 SUNSET CHILD sailed by Christian Reynolds, the J/109 POCKET ROCKET helmed by David Cullen from Ireland, another J/109- VOILES A FEMININE- with Sophie Olivaud skippering an all-women team from St Barths, and the J/95 SHAMROCK steered by Matt Dana from St Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

Ma Family Trio- at Voiles de St BarthOn Monday evening, the famous “Ma Family Trio” from the Savoy region of France (singer Emily Collomb Malgrand; her brother Maxime Collomb- guitarist/ bassist; and her husband Fabien Malgrand- guitarist/ percussionist) will be performing on Gustavia Harbor at the “regatta HQ” stage.  Their repertory is elegant, dynamic, and romantic with pop, jazz, soul, and groove influences- - - an intelligent mix of generosity, talent, humor, charm, complicity, and simplicity.  Listen to one of their latest tracks here:   For more Les Voiles de St Barth sailing information

Pacific NW J/RendezvousPacific NW J/Boats Rendezvous!
(Seattle, WA)- Save the date- Saturday, June 20th! Sail Northwest is excited to follow our first ever J/Boats Rendezvous for the Pacific Northwest this past spring 2014 at the Brownsville Marina with the now second running of what we hope will be annual event - the PNW J Boats Rendezvous.

J/Boats has touched the lives of nearly every sailor in America and it's time to celebrate those designs and those experiences that continue to shape the racing and cruising world.  Since its' inauspicious beginnings in the garage of Rod Johnstone back in 1975, J/Boats has continued to produce high-end performance oriented racer/cruisers that perform well on the race course and are designed and built with such quality they are able to cruise the world's oceans or provide your family with a safe a comfortable platform to cruise or daysail on the bay.

It's these boats and these achievements we will be celebrating in Port Orchard on June 20th, 2015.   Bring your cruising boat, bring your daysailor, bring your race boat! You don't need a J/Boat to attend, but if you have one, we want to see it in Port Orchard!

For more information, please contact Bob Ross or Ben Braden at Sail Northwest- ph# 206-286-1004 or email-

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Whenever you combine the Easter Holiday weekend with sailing, it appears that special things happen that are fun for the entire family and a posse of friends.  Over in Europe, just about every event had some Easter theme going with gifts or special trophies or Easter baskets (with lots of chocolate eggs) for the teams for just about any occasion- won a race, finished mid-fleet, were top women skipper, and so forth.  In the J/24 Pasquavela Regatta hosted by YC Santo Stefano off the picturesque town of Santo Stefano, Italy, the traditional Easter Sunday celebration was augmented by all kinds of activities for kids (and sailors), including the traditional Easter egg hunt.  In the massive SPI Ouest France Intermarche regatta, hosted by the seaside village of La Trinite sur Mer on Quiberon Bay, the town was over-run by nearly 2,000 sailors but also an additional 10,000 tourists celebrating the holiday weekend.  Needless to say, the parties for the big fleets of J/70s and J/80s were huge.  And, they were often joined by many of the IRC and OH Handicap racing teams that included J/24s, J/92s, J/97s, J/105s, J/109s, J/111, J/120, and a J/122.

Down in the Caribbean, the fun-loving BVI Spring Regatta took place at Nanny Cay Marina in Tortola, BVI.  This “sailing festival” actually started on Tuesday and finished on Easter Sunday!  A well-sailed fleet of J’s consisting of a J/27, J/105, J/95, J/111, J/120, and two J/122s left an indelible mark on the regatta.

Heading further west along the Atlantic seaboard, we find yet another Easter Regatta.  One that is actually called “The Easter Regatta”, hosted by Columbia Sailing Club in Columbia, SC.  For the first time, it wasn’t just J/24s having fun, they invited J/70s to join them, swelling the ranks of the “dueling pianos” party on Saturday night!

Hopping across the Pacific, many offshore sailors were probably happy to be celebrating Easter back home after finishing the shortened Royal Hong Kong YC San Fernando Race.  The two J/Teams in attendance had nice performances- a J/109 and J/145.

While there’s some great J/88 information mentioned above in terms of reviews, you may want to also read “J/88 Perspectives” from Don Finkle at RCR Yachts, host to the new CanAm Challenge Trophy regatta in Youngstown, New York.  It’s below in the community section.  Also, you’ll be entertained by the J/22 Midwinters “amateur team” report from the mighty AQUAVIT from Wayzata Lake, Minnesota- as told by sweet Ms “Holly Jo”, an active J/22 owner, woman skipper and good story-teller!

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:

Apr 13-18- Les Voiles St Barth- Gustavia, St Barthelemy
Apr 16-19- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 18-19- J/Fest San Francisco- San Francisco, CA
Apr 24- May 2- EDHEC Sailing Cup- La Rochelle, France
Apr 26- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- Falmouth, Antigua
Apr 30- May 3- J/80 Palmavela- Palma Mallorca, Spain
May 1-3- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 1-3- Mexican J/24 Nationals- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
May 1-2- San Diego Yachting Cup- San Diego, CA
May 12-25- Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta- Scheveningen, The Netherlands
May 14-17- Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale Brest- Brest, France
May 16-17- Cedar Point One-Design Regatta- Cedar Point, CT
May 20-24- J/24 USA Nationals- Berkeley, CA
May 22-25- Grand Prix du Crouesty- Crouesty, France
May 22-24- J/80 Copa de Espana- Aguilas, Murcia, Spain

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/80 sailboat- sailing Spi Ouest France IntermarcheJ’s Enjoy SPI Ouest France
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- The first day began with fifteen knots of southwest breezes, in a rainy, drizzly cloudy day, but the sun and the wind soon arrived in Quiberon Bay— it had to be Easter Bunny magic! "Exceptional sailing conditions allowed virtually all fleets to have 2-3 races,” commented Anthony Marchand (a famous French offshore sailor). “You could not ask for more!”  The weather could not have turned out better for the 37th SPI Ouest France Intermarche Regatta over the four day Easter holiday weekend.  Many of the large one-design classes (like the J/70s and J/80s) managed to get in eleven races!

Sailing from April 2nd to 5th, the races on Quiberon Bay went off like clockwork.  It was welcomed by all J sailors in all classes, ranging from the one-designs to the IRC and OH Class boats.

J/70s sailing SPI Ouest France Intermarche regattaThis year’s J/70 fleet had a strong international contingent and their experience in J/70 regattas around the world reflected in their ability to sail fast, consistently and recover quickly if there were any tactical/ strategic hiccups.  As anticipated, there were certainly going to be some tough match-ups during the regatta; perhaps the most interesting duel was between the United Kingdom’s Ian Atkins driving BOATS.COM (UK National Champion) and multiple World Champion Hugo Rocha from Spain sailing NEW TERRITORIES.  Atkins opened the series with an impressive five 1sts in the first seven races.  However, Rocha’s team started to figure out the boat and the course and they, in turn, closed with four bullets in the last four races!  In the end, BOATS.COM was declared champion by a mere 3 pts, with 21 pts to Rocha’s 23 pts.

The battle for the top five, or even the top ten, was remarkably close after sailing 11 races and counting 10.  The top French team was Le Havre’s Ludovic Senechal sailing LULU NANTAISE, sailing a very solid, steady series of races to only toss a 6th in his first race to take the bronze.  The balance of the top five were Laureano’s PETIT PALACE HOTELS from Spain in 4th and Oliver Lundqvists’s Swedish team on THE PURE CIRCLE taking 5th.

J/80 sailboats- sailing SPI Ouest France IntermarcheThe 72-boat J/80 class saw many top teams continue their hegemony over the top spots in the standings. Nevertheless, after 11 races, the top six teams were only separated by 26 pts- one more bad race could easily have erased anyone’s hope of a great finish with such a large, aggressive fleet.  Sailing a very consistent series and keeping themselves out of trouble was the VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE team skippered by Sylvain Pellissier, winning twice, taking a 2nd in two and sailing most races in the top ten to finish with just 40 pts.  One of Pellisier’s friendly competitors that wouldn’t “let him off the hook” was past multiple J/80 Champion Eric Brezellec; they took chase on COURRIER JUNIOR and finished just 7 pts back with 47 pts total despite having to drop a BFD in his scoreline.  Perhaps the surprise of the regatta was the excellent performance by a “new face in the crowd”, H. Abeguile’s APCC EQUIPE JEUNE, not only winning the first race of the regatta but winning the last one, too!  Their “train wreck” of a scoreline in races 8-9-10 (a DSQ, 15th, 11th) weren’t enough to drop him off the podium, earning a 3rd place overall by a whisker.

J/80 sailing video- SPI Ouest FranceThe rest of the top five included Michel Riou’s POLE ESPOIR COTES D’ARMOR in 4th followed by Matthieu Salomon’s consistently well-sailed CHARIOT PLUS- VANNES UTILITAIRES in 5th.  Top women’s skipper was Maxime Rousseaux’s CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST in 6th followed by LE HAVRE- LADIES NORMANDIE skippered by Sophie Riot in 22nd.   Sailing videos of the J/80 fleet here.

In the IRC handicap-racing world, there were J’s sailing in virtually every class.  Starting with IRC 1, two J/122s sailed in the 19-boat fleet, including INNOVATIONS BLEUES (P. Roynette) in 9th place and JOLLY JOKER (R Marchais) in 10th place.

IRC 2 class had an eclectic mix of 35-40 footers.  And, to the amazement of the local betting parlors, it was the exquisitely maintained J/120 RHAPSODIE V sailed by JJ. Godet that garnered a bronze on the podium; in fact winning the last race of the regatta and nearly pulling off a silver!

IRC 4 class was so large it was split into an “A” and “B” grouping.  Sailing in IRC 4-A were twin duos of J/97s and J/92s’s.  The J/97 HALIOTIS (P. Mabo) managed a 15th place while the J/92S’s DR JEKYLL (T. Bidon) sailed into 13th and SABOT (M. Demazure) took 20th.

Sailing the seventeen boat OH-1 Class for the first time was the J/88 J-LANCE 11 skippered by Didier Le Moal from S.R. Rochelaises.  They had a very strong competition all weekend long.  In the end, it was the J/111 J4F (Pierre Guennal with Nicolas Troussel, twice winner of the Solitaire du Figaro) that got J/Class honors, taking 2nd overall by just one point!  They were followed by the J/92s KINETIK (Jm. Loirat) in 4th, then the J/88 J-LANCE 11 in 5th.  The J/109 CNP1 J’VOLE helmed by P. Barouch slid into 8th overall, followed by the J/105 MISS J (F. Guillemot) in 12th.

The OH-2 Class also had 17 boats participating and the quartet of classic J/24s put on a good showing for a 35 year old boat design- with one getting silverware!  Taking 3rd overall was INSULARIS (A. Garcia), followed by JINETTE (C. Gury) in 6th place, HORS’J (L. Madeline) in 8th place and EL NINO (B. Le Marec) closing with 13th place.   For more SPI OUEST France Intermarche sailing information

J/122 sailing CaribbeanJ/122 TEAM McFLY Dominate BVI Regatta
The “Kids” J/36 Win Cruising Class!
(Roadtown, Tortola, BVI)- Sailing amongst the stunning tropical islands that feature fabulous parties can be tough work, particularly when it starts out blowing “dogs off chains” with rain flying at you like horizontal bullets.  As they say, “this ain’t what I bargained for dear!”  While flak jackets may have been more appropriate attire for a few precious hours on the first day of racing, the rest of the week was nearly postcard perfect sailing conditions.  That’s how it all went down for this year’s BVI Spring Regatta!

Day one for the event could be described as “epic” in the sense that Neptune’s wrath was unmerciful after some knuckleheaded sailors forgot their morning “offerings” to the mighty weather Gods!  The result?  Well, rain squalls ripped through the Sir Francis Drake Channel at the start of racing, enhancing the warm trade winds with 20-25+ kts winds for most of the day. A short sea state, at times rising to ten feet(!) when the fleet was racing out of the channel added gusto to the wet and wild conditions. Across the three combat zones, concentration, anticipation and ultimately boat handling were the keys to success in the big conditions. It wasn’t until later in the afternoon that the breeze subsided to a relatively calm 18 knots, but by then, several yachts had been forced to retire with boat damage. Oh well, no one said sailing in paradise was easy-street!

The action was fast and furious, especially in CSA Racing 2, where Tony Mack’s J/122 TEAM McFLY (the charted EL OCASO) hammered home a 2-3-1.  Their fantastic performance was a harbinger of things to come for their colleagues in CSA Racing 2 class.  That evening in the Regatta Village at Nanny Cay, the McFLY crew enjoyed the music by the “Shooting Star Steel Pan Band” and “Hudson and the Hoo Doo Cats!!”

The second day of the BVI Spring Regatta was blessed with perfect sailing conditions and wonderful azure blue water, pumped up by 15 knots of warm tradewinds that blew through the Sir Francis Drake Channel. The British Virgin Islands offer stunning scenery and Mother Nature has created one of the best racing areas anywhere in the world. In sharp contrast to the previous day’s survival conditions, tactics and strategy were far more important. Reading the wind and the current correctly were the keys to a good performance on the penultimate day of the BVI Spring Regatta.

J/36 St Croix youth sailingBVI Spring Regatta Chairman, Bob Phillips explains the rational behind today’s three courses: “On Norman Course, the Bareboat, Jib & Main and Multihull Classes had a downwind start towards The Cut, the narrow gap between Tortola and St. John. I would have been heading directly down the rhumb line – straight shot. My take was that the current was flowing towards the destination, and the back eddy off Towers Point was definitely worth avoiding. The One Design Course is two miles off Nanny Cay. The issue that we have is that we want them to sail in clear air and tactically they need two miles of width. Offshore the boats get away from the land effect, but we have enough room in the Channel so that the One Design Course doesn’t overlap the others. Today, the CSA Racing Classes beat all the way up to Beef Island Bluff, playing the Tortola shoreline, including the harbour and headlines all the way up, which was a lot of fun. After that they reached around Salt and were downwind all the way to the finish.”

In CSA Racing 2, Tony Mack’s J/122, TEAM McFLY/ EL OCASO were on a roll and scored two firsts and a second to take a commanding lead in the class.  After a nearly disastrous first day’s performance in the rough going that included a 5-DNS-4, Rupert & Jan Thouron’s J/122 DUNDER had an excellent day winning the first race and scoring two second places to move up to third in class!

In CSA Racing 3 class, Jordan Mindich’s J/105 SOLSTICE seemed to be stuck on 6th place no matter where they went and what they wanted to do!  In fact, after loving the first two heavy weather races, as soon as the breeze lightened up into the mid-teens their record reflected the sailing conditions- 3-2-6-6-6-4!

After a long day on the water and another three races, the sailors were able enjoy a feast for the eyes (the Bastanaak Swimwear Show) and later, a feast for the soul- music from well-known Tortolan band- “Quito and the Edge”- a group renowned for some soulful reggae melodies along with hard-hitting dance grooves.

For the last day, sparkling blue water and constant warm breeze provided another day of gob smacking sailing in the BVIs! The Sir Francis Drake Channel was a wonderful sight with a myriad of spinnakers flying across the race area. In the first race of the day, about half of the fleet went around Salt Island, a stunning backdrop and an almost perfect top mark from the easterly trade winds. The One Design Fleets enjoyed a cracking skirmish just off Nanny Cay; the gentle breeze was funneling down to the course.

It was a perfect day for Tony Mack’s J/122 TEAM McFLY/ EL OCASO.  After trading 1-3 scorelines with their J/122 classmate DUNDER (Rupert & Jan Thouron), the McFLY Team could relish the celebration of winning by far the toughest fleet in the regatta.  Meanwhile, their friends on DUNDER also could not have been happier, nearly pulling off a second after winning the last race!

“We have had such a lovely time; the weather has been just glorious and when we had a chance to look around, the scenery here is just amazing. We were playing Cold Play’s ‘Paradise’ on the way in and it was a very appropriate song. No matter what class of racing you are in, there is really competitive sailing. We may have won here in the last race, but in just about every race, there were always several boats in with the chance of glory. We had to sail really well; we didn’t walk away with this by any means. This has been a great start to our season; concentrating three races in a day, we have spent more time on the water than we could have possibly done at home,” said Tony Mack of the J/122 TEAM McFLY/ EL OCASO’s win.

In CSA Racing 3 the scoreline for Mindich’s J/105 SOLSTICE must’ve read like a broken record, adding yet two more 6th places to the three they had already accumulated.  Remarkably, they didn’t finish 6th, they got a top 5 finish!  In fact, just behind them in 6th was the J/33 BOOMERANG sailed by Pat Nolan from the BVI.

The “kids” sailing the J/36 PALADIN with the help of “adult supervision” (owner Stanford Joines from St Croix YC in the USVI) managed to pull off a first after having to take a DNS for two races on the first day.  Thereafter, they ran the table with all bullets to take the class win in CSA Performance Cruising 2 class.  For more BVI Spring Regatta sailing information.

J/24 sailboats- sailing start at Pasquevela in Santo Stefano,  ItalyGermans Top J/24 Pasquavela
Bonnano’s LA SUPERBA Top Italian
(Porto Santo Stefano, Italy)- the phenomenal hosts and race management of the YC Santo Stefano again hosted this year’s XXVIII Pasquavela Regatta.  The regatta combines two classes of offshore boats with a J/24 one-design start.  It has been an enormously popular regatta for years due to the combination of great regatta management and a simply gorgeous place to sail (plus the food and wine each evening are simply “out of this world” delicious as one might expect from the top restaurants and cafes surrounding the harbor).

Forty boats attended the Pasquavela over the two-day weekend, with nineteen J/24s participating and six foreign crews from Holland, Germany and Hungary.

Three races sailed in mirror-like seas off Porto Santo Stefano on the opening day and two more were completed on the following day.  The winds ranged from 4-8 kts Saturday and from 10 to 25 kts plus on Sunday.  In fact, the last (6th) race got started in up to 35 kts of breeze, but was ultimately canceled due to safety reasons.

With three wins in five races, the German team of ROTOMAN skippered by Jan Marc Ulrich managed to compile a 1-1-6-1-2 scoreline for 5 pts net (with toss) to comfortably win the regatta.  Fellow Germans on SULLBERG, led by Stefan Karsunke, sailed nearly as well, taking an 8-2-2-2-3 record for 9 pts net to just grab second overall.

Taking third on the podium and top Italian finisher was Ignazio Bonanno’s famous LA SUPERBA, winner of the first regatta on the Italian circuit.  Their scores of 2-3-5-4-1 were good for 10 pts, well clear of the next two boats in the top five.

Fourth position (and with a victory in the third race) was JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH co-owned by Frederick Miccio and Alessio Cervellin and helmed this year by World Soling Champion Farkas Litkey from Hungary.  They managed a 6-10-1-6-6 for 10 pts net.  Finally, in fifth place was Nino Soriano’s JEBEDEE with 20 pts.

During the closing ceremony, which was held at YC Santo Stefano, all crews who placed in the top three on Sunday were delivered the traditional Easter egg baskets full of goodies (and lots of chocolate!). XXVIII Pasquavela was organized with the support of Porto Domitian Spa, with technical supplies of Pasta Garofalo and Argentarola Ltd and sponsored by the City of Monte Argentario.

The Italian J/24 Nationals circuit consists of seven stages.  The next stop will be another traditional event- the Trofeo Accademia Navale hosted by YC Livorno and sailed off the city of Livorno from May 1st to 3rd.   For more information on the next Italian J/24 Nationals event.

J/109 sailing Hong Kong offshore raceJ/109 Wins San Fernando Race
(Hong Kong, China)- A fleet of seventeen from a 25-boat entry field headed off on the annual San Fernando Race from Victoria Harbour on Wednesday, April 1st but this year the fleet did not go anywhere near San Fernando.  In the “normal” race, the 480nm Category 1 offshore race goes from Hong Kong, China to San Fernando in the Philippines.  Instead, the fleet looped back to Hong Kong because of a super typhoon that was forecasted (and did) hit the Philippines with devastating damage.

With unseasonal southerly winds of between 2 knots and 8 knots, race officer Simon Boyde set a start line in the middle of the harbour and sent the fleet off on the rerouted San Fernando Race, a 330nm challenge that was described by one sailor as, “pleasant conditions but, tactically, very difficult because of the challenging weather”.

The race has been a popular one for the Hong Kong/ China offshore community; especially since the warm reception at the San Fernando YC doubles as an enormous charity/ benefit for the children! Unfortunately, that did not happen this year because of the super typhoon.

Taking top honors in IRC Racing 2 was Nick Southward’s J/109 WHISKEY JACK, winning by an enormous margin of six hours corrected time.  Having a more difficult time of the conditions but still making the most of it was Paul Leese and David Mitchell’s J/145c REDEYE, taking a 2nd in IRC Racing 1.   For more Royal Hong Kong YC San Fernando Race sailing information

J/70 sailing Easter RegattaHeaton Wins J/70s @ Easter Regatta
Griffin Chief Bunny of J/24s
(Columbia, SC)- This year’s 49th annual Easter Regatta, hosted by Columbia Sailing Club, could not have asked for better weather for three great days of sailing over the Easter Holiday weekend.  Mostly sunny skies, warm and blowing from 8 to 15 kts gave the fleet plenty to think about at starts, boat-handling (gybe and takedowns anyone?) and just basic boatspeed.

In addition to the nineteen J/24s that have traditionally shown up for this Easter “classic”, the newbies on the block were the eight J/70s from all over the East Coast.

J/24 sailboats- sailing Easter RegattaHere’s how one J/24 sailor described the proceedings, “Wow, what a great regatta! Three excellent days of beautiful sunshine and wind! A rare occurrence for Lake Murray. With each course totaling 11 races, this regatta was intense. Everyone was tired, happy, and had a fun time on shore. Congratulations to our competitors that brought home trophies and thanks to everyone who helped make this an amazing regatta! 364 days until the 50th!  Plus, Jack’n’Diane's dueling piano band Saturday night was awesome! This is something you for sure don't want to miss next time!”

According to another J/24 sailor, Mike Stewart, “Damn! We were almost flat at least once! What a challenging weekend! Debbie's decided to do shore crew next year. I'm hoping her blisters and bruises are gone by then!  Otherwise, Child & Family Services may be after me!”

J/70 women sailor- Holly Graf sailing Easter RegattaWalking off with the win in the J/70s was Chicago’s John Heaton, sailing EMPEIRIA to a blisteringly fast 22 pts net after the 11 races- an average of exactly a 2nd!  Behind Heaton’s crackerjack team, it was a complete donnybrook for the top five, with nothing being settled until the results of the last race!  Squeaking in front of the pack of four boats was none other than local J/Boats dealer Don Trask, sailing SMOKIN’J to a hard-earned 2nd place with 29 pts.  However, behind him, it was a tiebreaker for 3rd between Steve Shaw’s ULLMAN SAILS and Chuck Millican’s ELUSIVE team from Hamilton, Bermuda.  After winning three races in the first six, Millican’s team could not hold off the hard-charging Shaw who won three of the last six they sailed!  In the end, Shaw won the tiebreak to take third with 30 pts.  Top women skipper and also taking 5th overall was Holly Graf’s SPICE with 38 pts.  Notably, Graf’s team posted four podium finishes in the 11 races (pictured above)!

J/24 Easter Regatta winnersThe J/24 winners were Scott Griffin sailing with Scott Smith, Paul Abdullah and Greg Griffin on the mighty TEAM TARHEEL!  Though they only won two of 11 races, they simply smoked mostly all top three finishes into their results and easily won with 26 pts total, 7 pts clear of the next team.  Taking 2nd overall was Ron Medlin’s BASH with 33 pts while 3rd place was taken by a familiar figure on the long-time J/24 circuit- Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER.  Last year’s Charleston Race Week winner, Mike Marshall from Jamestown, RI, sailed PIPE DREAM in 4th position while Andrew Carey on MR HANKEY took 5th place.   Facebook Easter Regatta site for incriminating photos.   For more Easter Regatta sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/88 family daysailer/ weekender* J/88 Perspectives- by Don Finkle @ RCR Yachts from Youngstown, New York: 

“Why the J88?  Now that we have a couple of seasons of sailing and selling the 29 foot J88 we can answer this question with confidence.  An acknowledged perk of our business is the ability to sail the newest designs as they come out, not just once or twice, but over a season or more.  We have been able to do this for over 40 years, and the boats we like the most are the ones we hold onto the longest.  This will be our fourth year with the J70 and the third with the J88, which will tell you what we think of these boats.  There is much you can figure out by reading specs and studying equipment lists, such as the standard carbon fiber rig and retractable sprit, diesel saildrive, full race deck layout, a real marine head, etc.  What you can’t really tell is how the boat sails and handles, that is where we can fill in the blanks.

J/88 towed behind SUV truckJ/Boats has made themselves the preeminent performance boat company by focusing on what the majority of racers want.  Because they are racing sailors themselves and spend a great deal of time on the water and at regattas they know their customers.  They are not after the Grand Prix market, that is too small and there is very limited staying power there.  J/Boats are designed to be fast and agile enough to be fun and competitive with the vast majority of the boats out there but not tweaky and skittish or demanding of excellent crew to keep the mast pointed up and the keel pointed down.  The J88 is a perfect example of that, a fast boat that is fun to sail, easy to handle, and not over the top powered up.  Don’t get the idea that it is not quick enough however, for unless you are looking for the ultimate in speed you won’t be disappointed.  The 88 is well balanced on the helm, goes where you point it, is surprisingly close-winded and stable.  The various sail tests out there (one included below) will emphasize that the 88 is nimble yet has a bigger boat feel.  That is comforting when you are day-sailing, taking out friends and family, training new crew, or when the weather gets nasty.

J/88 sailing on Lake Ontario off New YorkThe 88 has become one of our all-time favorites because we can have so much fun with it.  It is a perfect size for those who don’t need to go cruising for any length of time.  The inboard engine, furling jib, marine head, real electrical system and seats in the forward cockpit make for convenience.  The retractable sprit and asymmetrical kits mean easier sailing with less demand for crew experience.  The deck and cockpit layout allow for comfortable places to sit.  The lack of midship toerails makes for much more comfortable hiking, as does the increased spacing between upper and lower lifelines.  The low deckhouse and small headsail overlap improve forward visibility upwind. We can be underway very quickly and putting the boat away after sailing is also simple.  This means more time having fun and less time for chores.  On the flip side all of the sail controls are there as standard equipment so you can have lots of fun fine-trimming to your heart’s content.

Yes, we love the J88 and make no apologies for that.  A good, solid, all-around performer designed by people who know what matters and built to last.  So please tell us what more one can ask for?

J/88s sailing CanAm regatta in New YorkAt least 6 J/88s racing out of Youngstown this summer:  We have one of, if not the, biggest local fleet in North America.  On any given race night, we could have six J/88’s on the starting line.  Whether we have our own start or not, there will be great one-design racing between the boats on Lake Ontario.  We found out last year that there were a lot of boats in our PHRF range that made for good competitive racing.  We were given a PHRF-LO rating of 87, but raced it at 81 because of the six second “protect the fleet” penalty.  That rating didn’t seem to hurt too much and still had good competition with the other Beneteau 36.7’s racing with a 78 rating, the J/109 at 80, Beneteau 10R at 92, NM Custom 30 at 93.  The J/88 is tough to beat if sailed to its potential.  We don’t know what the rating will be this year, but we are fine with any number between 81 and 87, knowing that we can be competitive in that range.

Holly Jo and crew on J/22*  Amateurs from Minnesota Take 3rd in J/22 Midwinters!?  That is amazing! Is that really possible?  You bet.  Here’s the story from Holly Jo Anderson regarding how Team AQUAVIT from Wayzata YC in Wayzata, Minnesota overcame enormous odds (and snow and ice and broken stuff) to take third in this year’s J/22 Midwinters.  Here’s Holly Jo’s story:

“Interest in our amateur team started after we earned good results on the first day. The excitement around our performance built as this crew, consisting of a teacher, lawyer and marketing professional, scored a fifth and two first place finishes on the second day of the J/22 Midwinter Championship. What was the secret sauce for the success of this Wayzata Yacht Club (WYC) boat from J/22 Fleet #1 on Lake Minnetonka?

Forming the Team
When Wayzata Yacht Club sailors were wrapping up the 2014 season and getting the boats out of the water before the lake froze, John Dyer and I (Holly Jo Anderson) discussed going to the J/22 Midwinters. John had competed at national and international Laser regattas. However, he had never gone to a national J/22 event as a skipper and was looking for the regatta experience. When Kevin Kenny heard about the potential plan, he asked if he could join the crew.

“In February we discussed the potential of going again,” explains Dyer. “Not having sailed since October, we were enthusiastic about sailing. Once we all decided to go, the plans started to come together.”

J/22 mini-suv truckChoosing the Parts: Boat, Tow Vehicle and Sails
Anderson purchased J/22 #1048 in the spring of 2014. Dyer had been leasing J/22 #810 for the past couple of seasons. And, Kenny had just purchased J/22 #1311, which he had crewed on for numerous years.

“Holly’s J/22 and my boat were snowed-in at a cold storage barn on a farm,” explains Kenny. “Dyer’s leased boat was proven to be fast and was being stored in a heated facility where we could do maintenance on it. So we got permission from the boat owner to take J/22 #810.”
The other challenge was the tow vehicle. With limited option, the sailors decided to use Anderson’s Flex Fuel Ford Escape with a towing capacity of 3,500 lbs.

“After doing some research, it was clear that my Ford Escape was right on the border of not having enough towing capacity to make the 1,000 plus mile trip,” details Anderson. “Ultimately, it worked fine. The only drawback was the need to stop every 1.5 to 2 hours to refuel.”

Lars Hansen, Mike Miller, Sue VanGrevenhof and several others from J/22 Fleet #1 shared some of their regatta trials and tribulations along with tips to avoid problems.  This information helped the team prepare for the event.

The sailors did quite a bit of maintenance on the boat over many weekends, including checking the trailer lights. Both the car and the trailer had faulty wiring that needed replacement. Additionally, the trailer needed new tires and a new spare.

Armed with a collection of sails, Dyer, Kenny and Anderson had to decide which sails to bring. We took a set of the best sails from two of the boats, including a new North Sails spinnaker and the recently purchased gently-used 2014 main from North Sails sailmaker Mike Marshall.

J/22- Holly Jo tuning rigThe Event
“The Jackson Yacht Club was extremely organized, which made registration and getting the boat in the water very easy,” explains Dyer. “Since we hadn’t raced in six months and had never sailed together on the same boat, we were looking forward to the practice race. Unfortunately, we missed the practice race. So we agreed to get started extra early to practice before the first race.”

“The Ross Barnett Reservoir had many similar shoreline and wind patterns to Lake Minnetonka, where our home yacht club is,” explains Kenny. “We gathered compass data, reviewed the weather information, looked for the breeze and discussed the direction we planned to go as a team. We also ran the line to get a good sense of the time and distance of the line as well as the favored end.”

Out of the 40 boats registered, 37 were on the line. This made the starts very competitive. Displaying bow number 37, the sailors on J/22 #810 found a hole and went for it in race one. Another boat came in to leeward just before the gun and went up hard. Boat 37 had to head up right at the start. While not confident that they weren’t over early, 37 had a clean air and speed off the line.

J/22 sailboats- sailing Midwinters on Ross Barnett Reservoir in Ridgland, MS“We were right in the mix at the top of the fleet,” explains Dyer. “That gave us the confidence that we could be in the front with the pros. Thanks to Kevin’s extremely good spinnaker trimming and Holly’s ability to spot the breeze and call downwind tactics, we gained the lead. We were delighted when we crossed the line in first. Then we got a sixth, fourth and 15th finish in the next three races. We were pleased with the crew work and boat handling. It wasn’t until we got back to the club that we discovered we were OCS in the first race. While disappointing, it helped us focus on having fun during day two. Unfortunately, our marine radio wasn’t working properly and the spare was in the hotel room. We made sure that the back-up radio was charged that night.”

The race committee, food and entertainment for the 2015 J/22 Midwinters were exceptional. The facilities are top-notch and everyone was extremely friendly. It exceeded the expectations of what a regatta experience is like for the sailors from Minnesota.

“Downwind, we steered the boat with our weight to maximize speed,” explains Anderson. “Because we hadn’t sailed as a team before, the jibe sets weren’t as smooth as they should be. The new twing didn’t get pulled on during the jibe so the pole skied. In addition, we were using old e-scow jib sheets, and the catch knots didn’t hold, blowing both sheets out of their blocks. We had to grab them and put them back through the blocks. But, we recovered very quickly and picked off a few boats in the process.”

J/22 Aquavit sailing in Midwinters- Holly Jo as bowBased on weather forecasts, compass readings and wind pattern observations, the crew on 37 made a decision to go right middle in the fifth race on day two. After the start, boat 37 discovered that most of the fleet went left. While knowing that it is best to stay with the fleet, the sailors had committed to the right and continued. This tactical decision, Dyer’s exceptional helming and boat handling resulted in a fifth place finish for race number five. Kenny continued to document compass readings during and before each race. This data along with the team’s ability to spot and stay in the breeze resulted in two bullets in races six and seven. On the last leg of the seventh race, boat 37 was very close to Tejas, helmed by Quantum sailmaker Terry Flynn. The two boats got into a jibing duel. The finish was so close that the race committee had to confirm that bow 37 won the race.

“On day three the starts got even more competitive,” Kenny recalls. “John’s driving and reaction time is extremely good. His skills at the helm combined with our information about the boats around us helped us avoid being hooked to get clean starts in the last two races. Additionally, John’s mark rounding were very tight. During one of them, Holly had to pick up her feet so she didn’t hit the mark.”

After the last race, the crew headed to the line to wait for their turn at the crane. Just after the boat got put on the trailer, the awards ceremony announcement was given. Not knowing where they finished, crew 37 discussed if they should continue to get the boat ready for the long 1,000 plus mile drive home or go to the ceremony. Anderson encouraged them to head in. Dyer and Kenny looked at the results on the board and were extremely surprised to discover we had improved to a third-place result. It was an exceptional regatta experience for this amateur team from WYC in Minnesota.

“I want to thank Lars Hansen, J/22 #865, for mentoring me and many other sailors in J/22 Fleet #1. His willingness to share his knowledge definitely advanced my sailing skills. And, Bruce Martinson’s training improved my downwind racing under spinnaker,” notes Dyer. “Having exceptional talent on this level and offering tips and guidance has helped J/22 Fleet #1 grow and gain competitive strength.”

“The event photographs by Christopher Howell and Facebook posts were very good. This kept everyone in J/22 Fleet #1 and WYC informed of our progress. They were cheering us on. We were getting comments on Facebook, texts and calls from our fellow Lake Minnetonka sailors. And the ride home got broken up with several congratulatory calls,” continues Dyer. “We sincerely thank Jackson Yacht Club, Fleet #63 and all the race officers, judges, members, event organizers, volunteers and participants for making this an event to remember.”

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.