Wednesday, September 2, 2015

J/Newsletter- September 2nd, 2015

Vineyard Race Preview
(Stamford, CT)- Labor Day weekend's Vineyard Race is a classic American yachting event: a 238-mile course stretching from Shippan Point, through the swirling currents of the Race or Plum Gut, past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay, to return leaving Block Island to starboard en route to the finish in Stamford Harbor. Begun in 1932, it has attracted the finest sailors and fastest boats for nearly 80 years, and its intricacies and challenges bring them back time after time. Those who are successful nearly always credit local knowledge of these tricky waters and a good deal of luck.

In 1982, Bob Bavier described the race in YACHTING magazine as one of the "yachting classics." Here's how he describes it:  "The greatest distance races of the world have several things in common - a challenging course, competitive fleets and an interesting array of famous yachts. By those standards, the Stamford Yacht Club's Vineyard Race rates close to the top. Like a miniature Fastnet, the Vineyard has a combination of coastal cruising, where currents play a big role, a stretch of ocean sailing, and a mark to round - the Buzzards Bay tower - before returning."

A majority of the J teams are sailing the longer Vineyard course of 238nm.  In the IRC 6 class for double-handed teams are some of the top teams that have also done events like the Bermuda Race.  Taking on the challenge this coming gorgeous holiday weekend will be the J/111 EAGLES DARE skippered by Mike Piper, the J/120 ALIBI helmed by Gardner Grant and the J/120 MIREILLE led by Hewitt Gaynor.  Unusually, the IRC 7 class is also classified as doublehanded, but is dubbed the Class 40 and includes 40 footers; joining them is the J/122 WILEY SILVER FOX with Chris Hall skippering.

The PHRF Class 8 has a trio of J/105s participating and it may become the battle of the junior teams hailing from American YC and Pequot YC.  AYC Juniors are sailing YOUNG AMERICAN and the PYC Juniors are sailing TRUANT.  Hoping to give them a run for the money will be Marcus Wunderlich’s STRATOS.

IRC Class 9 has a quartet of J/109s sailing, all good offshore crews like Jim Vos’ SKOOT from Stamford YC, RHIANNON III (Cao Deambrosio/ Chris Nicolls from Stamford YC), David Rosow’s LOKI from Pequot YC, and Bob Siegel’s PAX 3 from Stamford YC.

A trio of J/120s are taking on IRC Class 10, including Steve Levy’s EAGLE, Marcus Cholerton-Brown’s SUNSET CHILD and Greg Leonard’s HERON.  Finally, in IRC CLASS 11, John Pearson’s J/122 RED SKY will have to contend with four very well-sailed J/44s with heaps of offshore experience amongst them- Norm Schulman’s CHARLIE V, Chris Lewis’ KENAI, Joerg Esdorn’s KINCSEM and Len Sitar’s VAMP.

On the shorter Seaflower Reef Pt Course, a boat that normally does the longer double-handed events will instead be sailing in PHRF 4- the J/92 THIN MAN skippered by Todd Aven.  Then, in PHRF 5 we find the following J teams; the J/105 CLEAN SLATE (Marc Berkowitz); and two J/109s- GUARDIAN J (Don Dwyer of Essex YC) and SWEEET CAROLINE (Chris Ercole from Hempstead Harbour YC).  For more Vineyard Race sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

As August passes by, the world Down Under is moving from winter and quickly into spring (plus, they also saw the recent “blood red” full moon better than anyone else!).  The glow of summer is still basking over the northern climes in Europe and North America.  In Germany, the J/24 World Championship is taking place in Boltenhagen, Germany along the southwestern shores of the Baltic Sea.  Just an hour plane ride across the English Channel, the J/70 U.K. Nationals took place on the Solent, hosted by Royal Southern YC. Finally, we get the J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER report about their experience sailing the Fastnet Race and winning the IRC 2A division and taking 7th in the IRC Two-handed division.  It’s a great read, and incredibly useful pointers for the future.

Meanwhile, way, way down under in the Americas, the J/70s and J/105s off Algarrobo, Chile celebrated their local clubs anniversary with a fun regatta in the magnificent Pacific Ocean.

Meanwhile, up north, Marblehead’s ONE Regatta for the J/70 and J/105 one-design fleets and PHRF handicap, was hosted by that famous trio of clubs on the harbor, Eastern, Corinthian and Boston Yacht Clubs.  And, not much farther north on Lake Ontario, a fleet of Canadian J/27s, J/30, J/33 and J/109 were sailing the Lake Ontario Short-handed series hosted by Port Credit YC on Lake Ontario.  Read about the experience from the winning women’s double-handed team on their J/33 below.

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:

Aug 28- Sep 4- J/24 World Championship- Boltenhagen, Germany
Sep 4- RORC Cherbourg Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Sep 10-13- J/24 North Americans- Portland, Maine
Sep 10-13- J/70 Alcatel OneTouch Italian Nationals- Riva del Garda, Italy
Sep 11-13- J/24 Italian Nationals- Genoa, Italy
Sep 12-13- J/80 German Open Nationals- Glucksburg, Germany
Sep 12-13- J/24 Regata de la Independencia- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Sep 17-20- J/105 North Americans- San Francisco, CA
Sep 17-20- Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA
Sep 18-20- J/22 Dutch Open Nationals- Medemblik, The Netherlands
Sep 18-20- J/70 SAILING Champions League- Porto Cervo, Italy
Sep 19-20- The HOOD- Houston Open One-Design Regatta- Houston, TX
Sep 21-27- J/70 North Americans- San Diego, CA
Sep 24-27- J/30 North Americans- Marion, MA
Sep 25-27- J/105 Canadian Championships- Toronto, ONT, Canada
Sep 25-27- J/80 Atlantique Telegrame- Lorient, France
Sep 25-27- J/FEST San Diego- San Diego, CA
Sep 30- Oct 4- J/22 North Americans- Houston, TX
Oct 9-11- J/80 North Americans- Seabrook, TX
Oct 10-11- J/FEST Southwest- Seabrook, TX
Oct 12-17- J/70 European Championships- Monte Carlo, Monaco

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

J/24s sailing at Worlds in GermanyJ/24 Worlds Update
(Boltenhagen, Germany)- All week, J/24 sailors have been facing challenging conditions off Boltenhagen, Germany sailing the J/24 World Championship on the Baltic coast.  The fifty-five boats from 14 countries (Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, USA) have seen just two teams leading the fleet after the first day of racing.  After day one, it was Japan’s Fumiya Kato winning, but thereafter, it has been Ian Southworth’s IL RICCIO that appears to be firmly in control of the top spot.  The latest news from each day shows that even Southworth’s position is tenuous if they fall from grace with the weather Gods!

J/24s sailing downwind at Worlds in GermanyDay 1- Japanese crew lead after 2 races
Light winds dominated the first races of the J/24 championships. The key to success was to find free winds and to sail the boat as smooth as possible. Fumiya Kato (JPN 4886) showed the greatest skills on the water. He is on top of the leaderboard after 2 races, followed by Ian Southworth (GBR 5219) and Ignazio Bonanno (ITA 416).

Not only the crews, also the Principal Race Officer had to find the right wind to get the fleet of 56 participants under way. After a short postponement, the first race of the J/24 worlds was started at 14:00 hrs in the bay of Boltenhagen. In very light wind conditions (5 to 10 knots from NW), Team “Rotoman” (GER 5420) helmed by Tobias Feuerherdt won the first race.

In the second race of the day, the J/24 class showed their favour for very aggressive starts. After 2 general recalls, PRO Klaus Lahme raised the black flag. The second race was also won by a German team: “Hungriger Wolf” (GER 5316) helmed by Johann Huhn took the line honours.

“We had a very bad start into the day with a position in the forties”, said Johann Huhn; “But in the second race, a good and clear start enabled us to move with the wind shifts. To stay in touch with the top 10, however, our performance needs to become more consistent. Tomorrow, the wind is expected to pick up and to blow mire from the shore, which means bigger wind shifts and even more tactical racing.”

Overall, the Japanese crew “Lull & Hachi” with helmsman Fumiya Kato (JPN 4886) did a great job on the water. With a second and a third place, the crew of 6 is on top of the fleet, divided by a gap of 7 points from Ian Southworth (GBR 5219).

After a hot and sunny day on the water, the crews are enjoying Caribbean flair at the Mount Gay beach party organized by the German Sail maker “Clown Sails”. First warning on Tuesday will be on 12:00 hrs.

J/24 women's team sailing Worlds in GermanyDay 2- Southworth leads,  but Mike Ingham in hot pursuit
Conditions were challenging on day 2 of the J/24 World Championships in Boltenhagen, Germany: Winds of up to 20 knots with huge 20 to 30 degree shifts caused some big changes on the leader board. Ian Southworth (GBR 5219) and his seasoned crew sailed two excellent races and took the lead, followed by Mike Ingham (USA 5443) and Pietro Diamanti (ITA 212)

On day two of the J/24 worlds, Boltenhagen on the Baltic coast once again proved to be a very tricky sailing area. “We are racing in a closed bay which makes things very difficult”, said Chris McLaughlin, crew member on the leading boat “Il Riccio”; “as the race course is close inshore, the tree lines make challenging 20 to 30 degrees shifts. The skill is to judge exactly when you need to tack.”

In the first race of the day, the fleet faced easterly winds up to 20 knots that is the critical limit between too much wind for the genoa and too little wind for the jib. With a first place and a second place, Ian Southworth and his crew delivered a very constant performance. Southworth, who has been racing with the same crew the last 10 years, has a team of very skilled sailors including tactician David Howlett, who is also head coach of the German Olympic team.

Southworth already has an impressive lead of 22 points over second-placed Mike Ingham who has the same number of points as third-placed Pietro Diamanti.

“Tomorrow will be even tougher,” said Chris McLaughlin; “In the J/24 class, there is nothing worse than getting excited about a good position. We have to stay cool and keep performing constantly. You just need one disqualification, and one of the other guys will get you.” Asked for his strongest competition, McLaughlin mentioned Mike Ingham (USA), Pietro Diamanti (ITA) and Travis Odenbach (USA), but also the Greek Iasonas Spanomalis who was sailing very fast on the course.

From a German point of view, Stefan Karsunke from Hamburg did an excellent job today. With a third and a sixth place, he and his crew are in fifth position overall. Stefan Karsunke is also a very experienced helmsman who has been racing J/24 for more than 15 years. Frank Schönfeldt, one of host nation’s top sailors, had some bad luck today when his rudder broke before the first start, and is currently in 27th position.

On Wednesday, the wind is expected to pick up even more, so racing will stay exciting.

J/24 World Championship- Germany- IL RICCIO- Ian SouthworthDay 3- Ian Southworth in a class of his own
On day 3 of the J/24 World Championships in Boltenhagen, Germany, the fleet faced winds of up to 20 knots. It was again Ian Southworth (GBR 5219) who sailed two excellent races and kept his lead over second-placed Mike Ingham (USA 5443). And today Travis Odenbach (USA 5432) also entered the stage.

With two more days to go, one team clearly has the form to win this year’s  J/24 World Championship. Ian Southworth and his crew, with a third and a first place today, are putting together a very consistent series. Southworth, who narrowly lost the worlds 2010 and ended up fourth in 2012 and 2013, is totally focused on finally winning this trophy. His crew has so far sailed five different J/24s and, with number 5, called “Il Riccio” which is Italian for “Hedgehog”, they seem to have found the ideal setup.

But competition remains tough as there are two excellent and experienced US teams hot on the tail of “Il Riccio”: Mike Ingham, with 2014 world champion Will Welles as a tactician, and Travis Odenbach, who is also a very skilled J/24 sailor.

J/24 women's team sailing J/24 Worlds GermanyDespite the strong winds, day three of the worlds saw the first all-female crew in the Top Ten: Ragna Thönnessen and her crew of “Juelssand” (GER 5313) finished in eighth position in the second race of the day. “This is our best result at a Word Championship so far”, said bow woman Laura Hatje. “Sailing was great fun today, though the conditions were pretty tough for a crew as light as we are. After a good start, we found very good boat speed and took the right tactical decisions.” The Juelssand Crew has been sailing together since 2008. With an average age of 25, they are one of the youngest teams in the fleet. “Ian and his crew are doing amazingly well”, said Laura Hatje; “Our bet is that they will be the new World champions. But up to now, the results are very mixed, so racing stays exciting!”

With just a few points apart, the fight for the Top Ten stays tight. For Thursday, the weather forecast sees the wind decreasing to an average of 11 knots, which may favor the lighter crews like that of Tokuma Takesue from Japan, currently in fourth place.

Tonight, the crews will gather for the traditional “Champions Dinner” held by the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein who is organizing the event. The first warning signal on Thursday will be at 12:00 hrs.  Race Tracking to follow the races live.   J/24 Worlds Facebook page.   For more J/24 World Championship sailing information

J/70 wins UK NationalsBOATS.COM Repeats as J/70 UK National Champion!
(Hamble, England)- With 30 boats on one start line, the first day of the J/70 UK National Championship featured the largest fleet of J/70s that have ever raced in the United Kingdom. Ian Atkins racing BOATS.COM, with Ruairidh Scott on the helm, led after the four races and never got knocked off the top spot!  As a result, the reigning UK National Champions were able to pull off an amazing repeat performance to be crowned J/70 UK National champions again!  It was not an easy task for the BOATS.COM crew as they were up against several very competitive teams that managed to get on the podium during the regatta, teams like Will Goldsmith's GILL RACE TEAM, Charlie Esse's BABY J, Ian Dobson's SAILBOATS.CO.UK, Russell Peter's NUMBER 6 and Jack Davies' JUGADOR.

On the first day, a light gradient wind from the east south east, veered during the day, but also flicked back to the east, which kept the tacticians on their toes. The wind speed rarely exceeded ten knots, while the racing was not physically taxing; today's shifting breeze was a real test of tactical awareness. Starting well was always important but even more so in light airs, two general recalls and a highly competitive start line, were indicative of the competition within the fleet.

J/70 sailing UK NationalsGill RACE TEAM with Royal Southern Yacht Club Academy sailor, Will Goldsmith at the helm, had a great day, finishing in second place overall and top boat for both the Under 30 prize and Mixed crew. GILL RACE TEAM has a crew all under 25, including 470 duo Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter, from the RYA British Sailing Team, as well as top Fireball sailor, Matthew Rainback.

Amy Seabright spoke about the first day of racing. “We have only be sailing the boat for two days but entering the championship is intentional for our training programme to try to further our performance in the 470. You can get quite channeled in how you sail and with your tactics, whereas going into different fleets, you learn how other people sail and the J/70 is great for that because in this fleet it is hard to win. Having 30-plus boats on a start line isn't new to us but having four people in a boat is, managing everyone's views is an interesting dynamic. Also, asymmetric sailing is different and really good for our development, as you have to play the wind more. Will (Goldsmith) did a great job on the helm today, but I have to say that because he is buying the drinks! Seriously, we are delighted with our results to today!”

Legendary coach, Jim Saltonstall, was a keen observer during the racing and commented, whilst sipping a pint of Yorkshire tea, at the bar in the Royal Southern YC. Here are some of Jim's words of wisdom.

J/70s sailing UK Nationals on Solent, England“Tide, wind and convergence zone.” summarized Jim. “As it was going light the wind went right and as it increased it went a bit to the left. On the left hand side with an easterly wind there was more pressure on the shore because there is a convergence zone and an increase in wind velocity, the wind at 150 degrees was parallel to the shore and at times there was more wind there but when the wind went a little lighter it would shift the other way, so it was important not to get too detached. So a tricky day, at times, it was difficult to stay in phase.”

The impressive Royal Southern Yacht Club upper bar was bubbling with conversation after racing, and courtesy of Anthony Esse, owner of BABY J, a cocktail welcome party was organized for all competitors. Anthony was in a jubilant mood, as BABY J, with Anthony and his son Charlie on the helm, scored a win and a second place today to take third place overall, and top Corinthian boat after four races.

Anthony Esse spoke about the bright future for the J/70 class in Europe. “The J/70 fleet has formed a European Champions League, the UK class are not participating yet but we will next year, running one of the legs, as a joint venture between the Royal Thames YC and the RYA. There will be a test event this October. The league offers short course racing, legs of just a few hundred metres, delivering spectacular short-sharp racing. I wish you all a great evening and great racing for the regatta.”

J/70s sailing with spinnakers on Solent- UK NationalsDay Two- With no wind in the Solent, racing was abandoned for the day at 1300 BST. Simon Cavey, J/70 UK Class Captain, talked about the J/70 Class, which now has over 50 boats in the UK.  Simon has been Class Captain for the J/70 UK class for three years and bought the fifth UK boat, JUST4PLAY, and has watched the class grow over the last few years. As with all one-design classes, achieving a critical number of boats gives the class traction, getting the numbers over the first ‘hump’ is the key to growing the class.

“I think the first hump was 20 boats. We now have over 50 J/70s in the UK and I believe that this is the second big hump and we are going to kick on from here. Next year’s National Championship will be huge; the class is really thriving.

The ball is definitely rolling and we have top guys who want to race J/70s, which is great. Racing against top professionals and young aspiring Olympic sailors is thrilling. The top sailors are coming into the class because the boat is fantastic. I love sailing the boat and the racing is so close.

Yesterday, from our perspective, you make one small mistake and ten boats go past you and people like that; you have to be on your toes. Sailors like to race in fleets where how they perform makes the difference. My responsibility as Class captain is to build fleet racing, which includes a UK National Championship, a Scottish Championship and we have even talked about organizing an Inland Championship.

The class is very much encouraging clubs to get involved, something we very much welcome. The Royal Southern YC have been tremendous hosts for the National Championship and a very fitting venue. The J/70 Class committee is all owners and we talk about where we want to go and want we want to achieve, including running a good social side. The facilities at the Royal Southern are perfect for that; there is plenty of chat in the mornings with all the boats moored together and there is a great atmosphere after racing as well as in the bar afterwards.

Unfortunately, there was no wind today but the Race Committee did a brilliant job yesterday; getting in four races, without a break of more than ten minutes; an outstanding performance. I am staying at the club and I can see my boat on the dock when I get up in the morning! Hopefully, tomorrow the weather will play ball.”

J/70s sailing off starting line- UK NationalsDay 3- For the third and final day, the fleet was treated to a fresh northeasterly breeze and four solid races.  Ian Atkin’s BOATS.COM reveled in the conditions and closed out with a 2-1 to win the regatta with just 14 pts net.  Will Goldsmith’s GILL RACE TEAM sailed the most consistently of all teams on the last day, posting a 3-5-6-2 scoreline to close the event with 23 pts net and securing the silver.  Taking the bronze was class newcomer Russell Peters on NUMBER 6 sitting on 28 pts net.  Russell is no stranger to tactical, high-speed, asymmetric one-design racing- having been a world-class skipper in the International 14 class for years, including being a World Champion.  Plus, Russell has also been a World Champion team racer, representing his home club, the West Kirby Sailing Club, in the famous Wilson Trophy.  Rounding out the top five were Esse’s BABY J in 4th and Dobson’s SAILBOATS.CO.UK in 5th.  Winning the Top Under 25 Trophy was Will’s GILL RACE TEAM.

What is exciting for the UK J/70 class is that six different teams won races in the eight race series, evidence of the close competition as described by class President Simon Cavey.  Those teams were BOATS.COM, Esse’s BABY J, Russell’s NUMBER 6, Will’s GILL RACE TEAM, Steve Northmore’s WATERJET PRECISION CUTTING, and Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC.  Follow the UK J/70 Nationals escapades on Facebook.   For more J/70 UK National Championship sailing information

J/24 women's Sailbags team 
Glorious Marblehead ONE Regatta
Women’s SEABAGS Team Triumphant in 24s, Smith’s Stomp 70s, 105s “Blown Away”
(Marblehead, MA)- It was a lovely weekend for sailing in Marblehead last weekend.  While Marblehead is renowned for lights airs, it did deliver on sunny skies, light to moderate winds and wonderful socializing at the beautiful Corinthian YC.  The big winners, and perhaps the most popular, were the all women’s team sailing the J/24 SEABAGS Women’s Sailing Team in PHRF Class 6.  Led by their skipper Erica Beck Spencer, her crew of Marina Carlson, Kim Calnan, Charlotte Kinkade and Jess Harris performed flawlessly to post their first major regatta win ever on their J/24- - needless to say, it was a joyous celebration!  In the largest class in the regatta, the sixteen-boat J/105 class literally got “blown away”.  Well, not literally like in a lot of wind, but perhaps figuratively.  The trio of Harvey/ Mann/ Samel on BLOWN AWAY dominated their fellow 105’ers.  And, it was the All-American family Smith on their yacht AFRICA that took class honors in the J/70s with a near sweep of all five races.

J/105 sailing Marbheleahd ONE regattaDespite the lightish conditions on the vast Atlantic Ocean off Marblehead, the PROs from the three principal yacht clubs (Eastern, Boston, Corinthian) running the regatta did an admirable job starting up to nine races for some of the fleets.  The large J/105 class managed to get in seven races. The BLOWN AWAY crew won their first major J/105 regatta; their dominance in the conditions was self-evident after posting two bullets in the first two races.  From there on end, the simply stuck their boat into “cruise control” and won with a total of 18 pts.  Starting off a bit slower but gaining more steam and more momentum down the tracks was Fred de Napoli’s ALLEGRO SIMPLICITA.  Fred’s crew also managed to win three races and closed fast with bullets in the last two races, but it was not enough to close the gap on BLOWN AWAY.  As a result, Fred’s team finished second.  Third was also a top performance for Jon Wale’s crew on BANTRY, winning a tie-breaker to collect the bronze!  Losing that tie-break on 32 points was Mark and Jolene Masur’s TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth Boat Club in Ft Worth, Texas.  Fifth place was taken by MERLIN with skipper Charlie Garrard at the helm.

J/70 Africa sailing Marblehead ONE regattaThe J/70s had a bit of a “schooling” by the Smith family.  With father Jud at the helm, Mom and their two kids managed to win four of five races on their way to an emphatic victory against a very competitive fleet.  The young crew of Tyler Doyle and Chris Boulter on USA 245 took second place with steady finishes in the top three.  Also sailing a consistent series in the top five was a pair of wily local veterans on the mighty yacht RASCAL- Henry Brauer and Stew Neff.  RASCAL’s steadiness earned them a spot on the podium to take third overall.  The rest of the top five included another family effort, Johan & Daan Goedkoop’s REGATTA FLUFF taking 4th position and in fifth place was Frank Arabia’s COWABUNGA.

J/24s sailing with women crewIn the PHRF handicap world, it was time for celebration for the five lovely ladies on the J/24 SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILNG TEAM.  Led by their talented skipper Erica, they posted the stunning record of 1-1-2-1-2 for 7 pts total to take the crown (tiara, perhaps?) of PHRF 6 class.  Yet another J/24 was giving them a run-for-the-roses all weekend, past regatta winner John Denman’s crew on AIRODOODLE.  His team’s efforts resulted in them shadowing the women’s team all weekend long, posting a virtual mirror image of the ladies scoreline- a 2-2-1-2-1 for 8 pts total to take the silver.  Finishing in third and completing a class sweep for the J/24s was John Wells’ SHELDON J collecting all 3rd and 4ths for a total of 18 pts.

J/111 and J/122 sailing Marblehead ONE regattaThe PHRF 5 class saw Ward Blodgett’s J/33 SIROCCO sail a solid seven-race series to take second in class, just missing the win by one point!  Fifth place was Pat Cerundolo’s J/29 IL CATTIVO.  In PHRF 4 class, Dan Boyd & Mitch West’s J/109 WILDTHING took 6th overall.  In PHRF 3 class, Tomas Bergstrand’s new J/88 FREYJA also finished 6th in the shifty, light conditions.

Finally, in PHRF 2 class, the J/111s were slicing and dicing the waters much to the chagrin of their classmates.  However, in the end the top 111 was Gary Weisberg’s HEAT WAVE, taking a third overall.  The second 111 was Mike Williamson’s BRIGADOON in fifth position and the third 111 was Ed Kaye’s PRAVDA 2 in 6th place.  Tom Mager’s J/122 GIGI was having a rough time trying to shoo away the 111s that kept buzzing them on the race course.  Photos by Andrew Sims and Wavelength Studios
For more ONE Championship regatta sailing information

J/33 sailing Lake OntarioWomen’s J/33 Duo Wins Lake Ontario 100 Race!
Plus, Women’s J/30 Single-hander Wins Class!
(Port Credit, Ontario, Canada)- Bonnie Reib and Jennifer Overbury sailed their J/33 DAYBREAK in the recent Lake Ontario 100 Race- it is a 100nm random-leg course around the lake and it can often be a very tough, very challenging event.  This is the 4th and longest race in the six-race Lake Ontario Short Handed (LOSH) summer series that starts in May and ends in September.  The race goes from Port Credit YC to Gibraltar Point Light Buoy, then to Burlington Weather Tower (a.k.a. Van Wagners Beach Light), over to Niagara Mark then back to the finish at PCYC.  Here is Bonnie’s report:

“Following delayed starts due to low winds, a light but consistent warm breeze varying only between 6 and 10 knots is certainly ‘the zone’ for DAYBREAK, a J/33 that completed the LO-100 the weekend of Aug 14–15 at the top of her division and second overall outside of the multihulls.

J/33 Daybreak sailing doublehanded- Lake OntarioDAYBREAK benefited from the beautiful light breeze that filled in the morning of the PHRF LO-100 race and carried through the evening and night until that last few nautical miles.  The J/33 is highly responsive in these wind conditions and point of sail.  The full 100-mile race was sailed fairly close to the wind; there were some close-hauled stretches, but the long legs were sailed on a close reach.

For a double-handed female crew these wind conditions were optimal.  Working as an integrated team, we were highly focused on sail trim for the full 18 hours and it paid off!  We constantly trimmed the jib and used all controls to optimize the position and flow of the main.  We continuously walked back and forth to check the look of the sails from many vantage points and tweaked things while monitoring speed to see if we’d picked up a small advantage from the changes.  In this breeze, you can feel the changes in the tiller; when the boat felt a little unbalanced, we would think through what had to change and make the correction.

Having one of the earlier starts, DAYBREAK was very close the front of the fleet at the Gibraltar rounding.  Setting off for the Burlington mark, the conditions could not have been better.

J/33 women's doublehanded team sailing Lake OntarioThe evening sail from Burlington to Niagara was spectacular, with the sun setting behind us, the fleet visible all around us, and the boat performing beautifully.  Transitioning to night-fall, we continued to trim according to feel and speed, utilizing the large spot light to check the ticklers (telltales) on the main and jib for fastest trim all night long-  the goal was to keep ourselves ‘in the zone’ of best VMG speed all through the night.

It was an extremely beautiful warm night to race on Lake Ontario.  We were thrilled to find out our efforts paid off in the end!  What a pleasant surprise to win our class and fleet in the PHRF No-flying Sails division!  Many thanks, Bonnie”

In addition to Bonnie’s and Jennifer’s awesome performance, Wendy Northcotte sailed her J/30 NORTH CAUGHT in the Single-handed No-Flying Sails division and won her class! As a result, Wendy is now second overall for the series.  The DAYBREAK gals are, in fact, sitting in 4th for their series and have a chance to win it overall after the September race.  Also doing well is their colleague in the Double-handed Flying Sails division, Murray Gainer’s J/109 LIVELY is sitting in 3rd place and also has a chance to win overall!
For more Lake Ontario Short-handed Series sailing information

J/70s sailing off Chile- AlgarroboCofradia Nautica’s Regatta Celebration!
(Algarrobo, Chile)- On the Pacific Ocean, about 90 miles due west of the capital city of Santiago, the Chilean J/70 and J/105 classes participated in the Cofradía Náutica Del Pacífico’s celebration of their 48th birthday last weekend.  A fleet of thirty-three boats sailed in the event of Algarrobo, with 20 boats racing in IRC classes along with six J/105s and seven J/70s.  Remarkably, in a period of less than five years, the J/Boats have become the largest one-design fleets in Chile!

The J/105 and IRC classes were sent on long, random-leg courses around the large, picturesque bay off Algarrobo.  The J/70s sailed three windward/ leeward course races just off the yacht club.  Considering that it’s late winter/ early spring down in Chile, the regatta had warm weather, with a large, long period swell from faraway storms rolling across the bay and nice gentle seabreezes from the southwest blowing 10-15 kts all weekend.

After sailing, the fleet enjoyed cocktails and awards at the club.  In fact, there were special awards for the Cofradía Nautica employees that helped protect the boats and club infrastructure during the massive winter storm that hit the Chilean coastline at the beginning of August— in short, the storm behaved a lot like a huge gale/ near hurricane.  The club also recognized the enormous contribution and visibility gained for Chilean sailors by José Muñoz; he has raced around the world twice, finishing 2nd in the last Barcelona World Race in the IMOCA 60 class!  Thereafter, the celebration continued with awards and plenty of “pisco-colas” and “pisco sours” late into the evening!  Thanks for the report from Juan Eduardo Reid in Algarrobo.

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/111 Xcentric Ripper- The Netherlands team in Rolex Fastnet Race* The “Flying Dutchmen” Fastnet Report!  John van der Starre and Robin Verhoef from The Netherlands have been sailing since they were practically crawling in diapers as babies.  Their love and passion for sailing throughout their lives ultimately led them to sailing together in one of the toughest but most rewarding of disciplines, double-handed racing.  Like their country-women, Yvonne Beusker and Edith Voskamp that double-handed their J/105 PANTHER in the Fastnet Race, John and Robin are the top team in the Dutch double-handed circuit.  In fact, they were crowned the first Dutch Double-handed National Champions earlier this summer sailing their J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER.  Here is their report:

“During the briefing with all the skippers and navigators on Saturday afternoon in Cowes it became clear that we could not expect much wind for the start and first few days of the race. The English version of Dutch weather-girl ‘Helga van Leur’  was able to tell the sailors using weather maps and gribs that we could expect many wind-holes and up to 10 knots of wind. Anchors ready guys?

The start of our class, IRC 2, would be on Sunday at 1300 BST with a westward flowing tide on the Solent. The side of Cowes is favored because there the first current picks up with two knots of speed. On the warning signal at 12.50 there was only 3 knots of wind so we had to be very careful not to drift over the starting line before the start, a greater tragedy is unthinkable, trying to get back with very little wind and all those boats on the starting line against a fast 2 knots of current.

So, we quickly calculated, two knots of current is 1 m/s, then (half) of 4 minutes is 240 seconds.  So, you have to stay at least 240 meters before the line to prevent drifting over the line before the start! With the help of Expedition, we can quickly put down an imaginary line.  This worked out very well for us; a boat that was 25 meters ahead of us got an OCS so after the start we had a very good position.

J/100 Comanche sailing off Fastnet Race starting lineOnly the choice of a windseeker instead of a jib was not optimal, so a quick change prevented further losses in our class. The key to sailing the Solent is staying in strong current.  Nowadays, with all the current information of ‘Winning Tides’ and ‘Tidetech Expedition’, it is a snap. Too bad that everyone does this; sailing is starting to look more like a computer game at such moments! Fortunately, you also have to sail well, sweat pouring down our backs, and with a fanatic face we let it rip!!  Meanwhile, you also have your "wow" moments for example when the 100-foot COMANCHE, with the famous J/24 World Champion sailor Ken Read skippering, passes by as a large black and red shadow with so much power and speed.  Insane!

After exiting the Solent and passing the spectacular Needles, it remained an upwind beat with the wind slowly veering. Nowadays, it is required to have AIS onboard and active during the whole race. This allows you to constantly see what your position is compared to other boats, whether you win or lose on them. In the first 40 miles, we were doing reasonably well, but not super. Beforehand we had looked at where the points would be, where the differences in the race could be made.  From our experience it is often the momentum and flow of the wind- or other major weather changes- that make or break the race. The J/111 is a fast boat, but there are a lot of fast boats in the Fastnet and that’s not enough to win a Fastnet Race.

The first wind hole was expected in the evening/night after the start on Sunday. The gribs (weather forecasts which we can be downloaded via Iridium phone) indicated that the wind would fall sharply and after the calm, veering 30-40 degrees in the morning. The tide was in the general direction of SE, later going E. The wind kept blowing lightly during the night, but fell slightly more than predicted so we still kept some momentum, 2.5 kts of boatspeed was king. (pffft, nothing!)! The windflow was quickly maintaining strength south of the rhumbline; so the question was how far south did you want to go??  The issue was, it was forecast to die, forecasted to turn clockwise and increase in speed.  So, the farther to the right of the field you sit, the better it would be in the end. A Faustian bargain, perhaps??

Despite that, we still had some progress, but with mixed feelings.  When we stopped moving on our GPS, we set our anchor. Easily said, but previous experience during Commodore’s Cup 2012 was an important learning experience, if the anchor is not set correctly and starts dragging, you could easily lose four miles. Therefore, our anchor is a 15 kg (33 lbs) plow design with 20 meter (64 ft) chain and up to 160 meters (515 ft) of nylon anchor line.

Then, I dropped it all overboard and the speed that it swooped to the bottom burned through my gloves! I thought, crap, how do we get this damn anchor out of the water again!! Nearly 60 meters (193 ft) depth, we end up needing 100 meters (330 ft) of line before we had a grip on the bottom and the SOG (Speed Over Ground) was down to 0 kts!!  Wow!!  Crazy!! On the AIS we saw many competitors such as 2013 winner, Night and Day, in the southeast being washed away in the wrong direction.

In the Fastnet, the moments of euphoria and drama lie every time so close together, now we think to be king using our anchor for about four hours.  But, we may get the anchor up in time, and quickly, so lose it all again.  For moments like this, we often encountered during this year’s Fastnet.

After 4 hours, our tactical anchor period ended and the wind picked up. Imagine, you are standing on top of the Dom Tower in Utrecht or Euromast in Rotterdam and you should as quick as possible bring up 100 meters anchor line + chain + anchor.  Luckily, it weighs underwater a little less, but it's really no fun. Especially, to loosen the anchor from its holding ground, we needed the genoa winch!  Will it succeed or not?  Everything squeaked and creaked. Then, it finally popped loose from the bottom and then a sailor’s "Hey-Ho" in rhythm and we dragged up the beast from the bottom!  So, next time maybe we install electric windlass??

It proved to be a very good move.  We were right back in a very good position with the boats in the south like the J/122s JUNIQUE and NUTMEG.  Before the anchoring period and wind shift, they were 6nm in front of us, and now we were 7nm in front of them! A 13nm gain in just four hours!!

The euphoria was, unfortunately, disrupted by the knowledge that by 1200 hrs in the middle of the day, the wind would ease again completely from the west.  We sailed into the ridge of high pressure with the knowledge that everyone would get parked again on that line and that would creates ANOTHER restart where the entire field is again together. Sailboat racing is fun, isn’t it??  Perhaps, we are a bit insane.  In America, this is called “rubber-banding” when cars go fast, then slow, then fast again.

We realized the fact that we would have a hard time to win our Two-Handed Class by the time we got past Start Point (Dartmouth) and we headed to the Lizard (Land’s End). The J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER is a relatively fast boat on handicap, only 10 boats are faster in our 2H class, but the rest are slower in this class of 57 boats. On the occasion when you are parked up with the smaller boats, they are ‘earning time’ on you.  A restart after 24 hours?  That means almost 2 hrs are lost on a boat like the JPK 1010 Night and Day and the J/105 Jester. This is the time differential that you should have run out on these boats sailing in the past 24 hours!  Ouch!

In reality you can’t, under normal conditions, catch-up this time on them. It became clear to us that this Fastnet Race would really be a ‘small boat’ race, the overall IRC prize would not be the 100-foot Comanche, and the first prize in IRC Two-Handed would not be for the J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER.  That was the reality.

Anyway, you go for the max and the opportunities are in the future with new breezes or weather. There were two options at Start Point off Dartmouth.  You stay out at sea outside the transition zone, which occurs, in a developing seabreeze or you go within 5 miles of the coast and try to catch the developing seabreeze (if it occurs). In the end, you will have to sail some more miles, but the gain will be assured.

The question was obvious as we saw boats from behind gaining on us in really no time at all on us.  We were parked.  So, do we go to the coast- or not? Staring and gazing in the complete calm around us and doubting ourselves, we saw the first small cumulus over land and we were sure that the seabreeze would come through.

Do not think that you sail straight towards the coast.  It is more a gathering of small wind puffs out at sea and so you try to snuggle towards the coast.

The newest weather grib that we got also showed a strong northerly wind (from land), predicted for the evening.  We were glad that we found the Dutch J/109 JAI LAI (nearly winning the race and their IRC 3 division for awhile) they do the same as we and we ended up in a nice tacking duel with our former crew member Wouter Köhlmann aboard JAI LAI.  This only sharpens you and helps you forget the incipient fatigue.

During the first night we could not get sleep, we gave each other a chance try to get as many rest opportunities as possible. The moments that you are OK, we say to the other: "If you want to lie down, go!"  I lie down first in bed, only thinking what we can do tactically. But, after 36 hours you fall really fast to sleep, you lie down, and you're gone.

We have an agreement with sail changes, chaos, or after two hours to wake up each other to do an exchange, or if situation demands it.

On a regular basis, I can compare our position on the computer to the boats at sea and it looks really good for us, and from 1900 hrs on the second day, the real boost came.  The wind turned 40 degrees clockwise to the coast. It was a genuine land breeze and we could tack immediately that way. So cool, you sail to the wind to the coast and suddenly you get the wind right on the nose, one tiny fast tack and then we can sail with the Code 0 over the entire field along with 7.5-8 kts boatspeed towards ‘the Lizard’!!


After the Lizard, believe it not, the weather prediction showed another major setback in wind, pffft, now hopefully the last one. But, the major problem was that we had to get past another TSS exclusion zone- TSS Lands End West.  Here was a barrier in the course that was right in front of us and the increasing direction of the wind flow.  And, crossing through the TSS was either a DSQ or a massive time penalty.  Not a pleasant prospect.

After 30 miles, we passed the lowest point of the TSS and head northwest along the Scilly Islands and towards the direction of Fastnet Rock. Robin and I kept some space relative to the bottom line of the TSS to not have the risk of getting into this TSS. Anchoring can then of course save you, but it was nearly 90 meters of water, and we would need our full entire 160 meter line out!!

Behind us are some boats which dare to sail a straight line as a sort of Russian Roulette to enter that TSS zone, they make it in the end and they will win distance on us, if they do not make it, then they are out of the competition.

Expedition software on J/111 Xcentric RipperThe wind remains very light, 4 kts and we creep along the TSS line, sweaty palms, super concentrated. Luckily, we keep this 4 kts wind and can circumnavigate with Code 0 along the bottom point with only slightly greater distance to be sure. The dare-devils like the J/111 BLUR get it in a straight line and walk slightly along the edge and make big gains. The J/122 JUNIQUE allows a larger safety bend and loses some distance.

After the Scillies it remains light, up to 10 knots max, and I realize that with the actual current predictions there is hardly any tactical gain to make and the only real opportunity lies, after Fastnet Rock back again in the Scillies direction.

Whichever route you take, outside the TSS West Scillies or between TSS and Scillies that is the issue.  Until that opportunity, we sail as quickly as possible to Fastnet Rock and back.  Also, there is the need to rest/sleep, make sail changes in time if the wind changes or rises.

Do not think for a moment the boat is always running perfectly!  Not!  With the J/111, you know when you can sail faster with the A5 spinnaker or with the Code 0.  The next 30 minutes, there is always change! And, you set up the best sail and keep going.  I find great relief and comfort that we have our fully tuned ‘Expedition’ software, I can immediately see how we are performing and whether it will improve with a sail change and how it will pay off.

At 07:28:30 on Wednesday morning we passed Fastnet Rock, this always remains a special moment! The fact that this is our 3rd time Two-Handed around the Rock with this boat in 4 years time gives a special feeling. The boat is sold and will be delivered after the Fastnet Race and, thus, we will close a chapter here at the Rock. She has never let us down and what a great boat and superb brand the J’s are!  Blazing away from Fastnet, we are removed from our
J/111 Xcentric Ripper rounding Fastnet Rock

melancholic thoughts as we found, to leeward, the Code 0 in the water! The whole sausage Code 0 hangs next to the boat it takes a lot of effort to get it back on board. We get the Code 0 up, but it unrolls not happily, and the loss of speed is serious.  After some minutes, we are again sailing at full speed. Phew!!  Quite a teaching moment again. You could say, what a rookie mistake!! But, it’s probably due to the fact we are less sharp because of fatigue??

Now the major strategy choice, how do we get down the next leg back past the Scillies and the TSS zones. Full-speed planing, losing some height on our rhumbline, and thus obliged to have to take the left side of TSS Scillies? Or, a somewhat slower angle and sail a bit higher with the possibility to leave TSS and Scillies on our left hand?

Quickly, we get loaded with all the latest weather grib files and calculate all the possibilities.  Finally, it looked better for full-speed sailing lower, taking the left passage and also the shortest distance gives the best option and we go for it. The first 4-5 hours after Fastnet, we regularly hit 13-14 kts boatspeed, and we sail like a rocket. But, the moments of despair, of course, remain.  How will this pay out? If the field of boats meets at Bishop Rock, after passage of the TSS, when we get back together, we'll know if this choice was correct or not.  This creates many anxious moments.  Aaggghhh!

At Bishop Rock, we should have the opportunity for GSM coverage again and we will try to figure out the standings on the Internet and at Fastnet Rock.  We see that we are in the Two-Handed division around 8th place (as expected after all those calms), but surprisingly, we find that we are doing very well in IRC 2 Class and, in particular, subclass IRC2A, namely 2nd!

After examination of our standings, it reveals that Scarlett Oyster, an Oyster 48, to be our biggest competitor in IRC 2A. We can imagine at the finish line after 100 hours of sailing a 12-minute loss on him.  But, now he is 6 minutes in front of us! So, we should not allow further increase in this difference. This gives us a boost, you can again focus sailing the boat. Along Bishop Rock, it shows that the inside passage was the good option, the J/111 BLUR with its 160 m2 gennaker (40m2 larger than ours) is way more closer than we were at the Rock and going very fast.

Now, our focus is on Scarlett Oyster. At the Lizard, we see on our AIS that despite all our efforts, the time difference has increased because the wind weakens and then the same distance difference between the boats increases in time. 7 minutes. 10 minutes. Then, 15 minutes. The last 20 miles before the finish in Plymouth, we see one more chance to reduce the now accumulated time difference of 17 minutes. The wind is expected to change from 215 to 195 degrees, so we can sail a curve to the left to sail to the finish. We try to create separation from Scarlet Oyster and create greater leverage by sailing as deep as possible with our A2 and try not to lose too much speed. Meter by meter, we gather our separation left.

They continue to sail higher angle downwind, a bit quicker then we, but we have to bite the bullet now! If we are right behind him sailing along into the finish, we stand a chance and the time difference is too big. With work hard and we are now waiting for the predicted wind rotation, 10 miles to the finish, then five miles.  Still no rotation, #@&#$!!  Suddenly, it starts to drizzle, the wind continued to decline to 8 knots, then it turns 30 degrees!  Insane!!

J/111 interior- fastnet raceThe next few minutes are so incredibly exciting. Hopefully, Scarlett Oyster waits too long to jibe to the finish, the greater our advantage is of the inner curve on the wind shift.  We do not see anything through the drizzle, we can only follow them on the AIS.  We act as the well-oiled team behind wheel and gennaker trimming and only communicate with, "little pressure, up, ok, good pressure .. a lot of pressure, OK I'm going to bear off”.  The boat will continue to run as deep and fast as possible.  We do not have time at all to look down below on the computer.  But, suddenly we see a gray shadow passing in front of us. It's them!  It is no longer greater than 17 minutes.  Robin zooms down below to look, 7 minutes is the separation!

Now, we deal with a past trauma. Four years ago, we were parked up in Plymouth Bay for 1.5 hours at 150 meters in front of the finish line, at the left side of the breakwater. This was also a possible victory back then— not just 2H class, but overall!!  We certainly lost our 2nd and even third position there and this certainly was not pleasant. I had already prepared/ calculated when the river would flow out and that was certainly the case now around 1300 hrs!  The better option (as we had painfully learned) is to stay as long as possible behind the breakwater in the middle of the bay, outside the river wash and there you will even find a little reverse eddy and you can use that to send you at the last minute past the tip of the breakwater and to the finish as close as possible to the lighthouse at the tip of the breakwater!

We saw the Scarlet Oyster gain some distance a mile before the finish and, fortunately, not in the lee of the breakwater.  They remained quite visibly in the river’s current flow, or so I thought. We had a number of short gybes, and now did not make any mistakes!  We stayed nicely behind the breakwater.

We see the Scarlett Oyster finish in front of us and they continue to wait on the line to clock us, they are obviously wondering who will win!!

Our last gybe to the finish is also very sharp.  Our finish time is 13:56:45, sailing after about 97 hours. But is it enough? On the Scarlett Oyster, the crew spontaneously breaks into a sporting celebration in our direction.  The difference is eight minutes and is more than sufficient for our victory in IRC 2A! Robin and I embrace each other! What a race, what a finale! IRC 2A Fastnet 2015 winner!

This was the last Fastnet with the J/111 Xcentric Ripper, but certainly not our last Fastnet for us as a team. The great teamwork, the magnificent race, and also those beautiful moments in beautiful nature with numbers of dolphins, seals and gannets, we cannot wait!  See you next time with a new J!  Our results- 1st IRC 2A/ 4th IRC 2/ 7th Two-Handed/ 26th Overall IRC!! Amazing.  Thanks from John van der Starre, Robin Verhoef, J/111 Xcentric Ripper.”

J/Dealer- Irish Boat Shop in Michigan* J/Boats dealer Irish Boat Shop in Harbor Springs & Charlevoix, Michigan selected as “Business of the Month”!!  Fantastic recognition and well-deserved for Dave Irish, Mike Esposito and the rest of the crew!  The Charlevoix Chamber of Commerce has selected Irish Boat Shop as their featured “Business of the Month” for September!  They were selected for their extraordinary community service, hosting a number of events and fundraisers, volunteering and donating to many local charities, and providing great benefits to their employees. Congratulations to their team!  Most sailors can attest to their amazing enthusiasm as they are greeted for the famous party hosted on their grounds during the Ugotta Regatta in Harbor Springs every summer.

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.

* The J/40 HERON REACH sailed by Virginia and Jerry is participating in the Blue Planet Odyssey project and have recently joined them in the Marquesas Islands in the Eastern Pacific.  Learn more about their adventures and experiences here-
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.