Wednesday, October 14, 2015

J/Newsletter- October 14th, 2015

J/111 sailing Rolex Middle Sea RaceThe Island of Sailing Giants
The Rolex Middle Sea Race Preview
(Gzira, Malta)- So, how does a little island at the cross-roads of civilization and commerce over the centuries in the Mediterranean produce an extraordinary group of sailors that are dialed into the moods and whims of Mother Nature?  The navigators and teams that have grown up in the waters around Malta in the middle of the Med have humbled many of the world’s best sailors and racing teams, will they do it again?  Time will tell.

For starters, the Royal Malta Yacht Club is happy that 100 yachts are sailing the 36th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The race has attracted competitors from at least 22 different countries from all over the world. The 606-mile race starts and finishes in the spectacular surroundings of Malta's capital city, Valetta. The Fortress City is named after its founder, the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, Jean Parisot de la Valette and its impressive bastions date back to the 16th century. From the Grand Harbour, the race is blessed with unsurpassed scenery over the course, taking competitors close to a number of stunning islands around Sicily and Malta, before returning to the Royal Malta Yacht Club for a fantastic welcome.

Since the first edition in 1968, the race has attracted a wide variety of competitors and yachts and this year's race is no different. World Champions and professional sailors from the Volvo Ocean Race and America's Cup will be taking part, as well as passionate Corinthian sailors. The yachts are just as diverse, from elegant classics to the world's fastest multihulls. The Rolex Middle Sea Race has an appeal that satisfies a wide variety of sailors.

J/122 sailing Rolex Middle Sea Race off MaltaLast year proved one of the toughest in the history of the race with storm force winds across the race course in the latter part of the race. Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122 ARTIE was the overall winner of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race. A phenomenal achievement and ARTIE will be back this year to defend their title.

“We started the preparation work immediately after last year’s race and now we are focusing on fine tuning the boat. We are once again very much looking forward to this year’s Rolex Middle Sea Race, which will be the sixth for ARTIE,” enthused skipper Lee Satariano. “Christian Ripard will return as co-skipper, and the crew will be more or less the same as of last year with one or two possible changes.  It looks like it might be a light wind start, which will suit us, but the weather forecast is very changeable. We have much the same crew as last year and we are ready to race. Some weather models are showing light winds for the first two days, followed by a southeasterly wind, which would really suit ARTIE. However, there are a number of extremely well-sailed boats that will also benefit from the scenario.”

Godwin Zammit, Commodore of the Royal Malta YC is looking forward to welcoming over a thousand sailors to the club. “The staff and volunteers that organize the Rolex Middle Sea Race have been working diligently to make ready for our guests from overseas.  The Rolex Middle Sea Race is the flagship race of the Royal Malta YC and we will be doing everything possible to ensure that the race will run as smoothly as possible. The RMYC has excellent facilities and we wish all of the participants a warm welcome and fair winds for this year's race.”

J/133 Jivaro sailing Rolex Middle Sea Race off MaltaWhile the Rolex Middle Sea Race will start Saturday, 17th October, the traditional warm up race, the Rolex Middle Sea Coastal Race, took place on Wednesday 14th October. Thirty boats started the Rolex Middle Sea Coastal Race, divided into six IRC Classes. Principal Race Officer, Peter Dimech, set a course of approximately 30 miles from Marsamxett Harbour, around the island of Comino, and a finish at the point of origin, within sight of the RMYC. Competitors reported wind speeds in excess of thirty knots, giving the fleet a taste of the ocean racing to come.  From France, the incredibly talented crew on Yves Grosjean's French J/133 JIVARO, from Trinite-sur-Mer was the winner of IRC Five class!

For Friday, the focus switches to one of sailing’s most famous parties- the Rolex Middle Sea Race Crew Party. Held at the Royal Malta YC, an invitation is the hottest ticket in town.

Then, the 36th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race will start at 1100 CET, Saturday 17th October, with seven starts for the fleet in the stunning surroundings of Valletta's Grand Harbour. What to expect from the top J/Teams?  All that are entered happen to be experienced offshore veterans.  Some have been in seemingly unassailable winning positions in the past, but for that 150 lb fishing net wrapped around the bloody keel!!

While there are a few big boats in the 70 to 100 ft canting keel range, the race has never been won on a consistent basis by any one of them.  In fact, the “law of averages” in most offshore keelboat races has shown that 36 to 45 footers are by far the largest single class of boats to collect silverware. In short, J/Boats teams should factor into the overall results.

In the IRC 4 Class, the largest class by far with 31 boats there are two J/133s that will be dueling for class honors- JINGS! skippered by David Ballantyne from the UK and OILTANKING JUNO skippered by David Anastasi from Malta.  Either team easily has the talent to win class and fleet overall.

J/133 sailing Rolex Middle Sea RacePerhaps the most formidable teams by reputation alone are in IRC 5 Class, the second largest class with 22 boats.  The J/122 ARTIE, the local Maltese offshore champion team and past 2x Rolex Middle Sea Race class and overall winner, is skippered by Lee Satariano with family friend Christian Ripard on board and their crew of Sebastian Ripard, Tom Ripard, Matthew Gusman, Gordon Bugeja, Matthew Scicluna, Tim Davies, Richard Hewson.  Another J/122 will be taking them on, IMAGECONSOLE.COM skippered by Bernard McGranaghan & David Crosbie from Ireland’s National YC, including crew of Francois Pean, David Greene, Gavin Laverty, Aileen Kelleher, Matt Patterson, Mairead Ni Cheallachain, Antonia O'Rourke, Nick Lowth.  Then, the “practice race” winning J/133 JIVARO is skippered by Yves Grosjean from France’s Societe Nautique de la Trinite-sur-Mer with crew of Alain Rouault, Victor Grosjean, Jean Paul Mallet, Yves Caro, Thomas Gauthier, Olivier Fouilland, Bernard Audema, Anthony Rezzoug, and Charles Hubert De France.  The fast-reaching J/111 SL ENERGIES GROUPE FASTWAVE is helmed by Laurant Charmy from France with crew of Benjamin Schwartz, Fabrice Merle, Vincent Aillaud, Loic Dony, Nicolas Bardes, and Gregory Baum.

The IRC 6 Class of over a dozen boats will have to contend with a race-winning team in the form of the J/109 JARHEAD sailed by Greg Nasmyth from the United Kingdom with crew of David Dyer, Huw Evans, Bjorn Gronesjo, Richard Cashmore, Richard Nicolson, Cathal Leigh-Doyle, and Stuart Greenfield.   Sailing photo credits- Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo   For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information

J/122 sailing Key WestQuantum Key West Race Week Update
(Key West, FL)- The fleet continues building for the 2016 edition of Quantum Key West Race Week, organized by the Storm Trysail Club. 104 entries hailing from 10 countries have already signed up; 45 are J/Boats, nearly 45% of the fleet!  Come on down and join us!

In the handicap fleets, the IRC 2 Class has the famously fast J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE from San Francisco Bay racing with Peter Krueger from St Francis YC leading the charge.  Then, in ORC Class, the J/100 SKYFALL from Naples, Florida is participating from Naples YC with Peter Sulick at the helm.  Finally, Denise Imhoff’s J/22 FLEEBOFLAM from Thousand Oaks, California will be racing in Performance Cruising Class.

J/70s sailing Key West Race WeekThere are five one-design J classes in the mix with the largest fleets at Key West- J/70 (22 entries), J/80 (4 entries), J/88 (7 entries), J/111 (8 entries), and J/122 (2 entries). The high level of competitiveness and excellence in race management perennially attracts these classes to Key West.

Rod Johnstone of J/Boats fame has been coming regularly to Key West Race Week since its inception over two decades ago, and believes the advent of daily distance racing is a brilliant idea. J/Boats has been a loyal supporter and sponsor of the regatta, and thinks the Performance Cruising class can really take off.

“I think it’s an absolutely great idea. That’s the type of racing a lot of people like to do these days and there are so many boats out there that would fit perfectly into that class,” Johnstone said. He also thinks a well-appointed cruising boat would provide housing for its crew.  “I would think another good thing about this new class is that skippers don’t need to strip out their boats in order to do some distance racing.”  Sailing photo credits- and Sharon Green /Ultimate  For more STC Quantum Key West Race Week sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

In the fall shoulder season of sailing, it is remarkable to see the amount of activity taking place, particularly in the northern hemisphere.  Currently, the J/70 European Championship- Credit Suisse Trophy is being sailed off Monte Carlo, Monaco and hosted by YC Monaco with 70 boats.  Just east in the Med, the J/24s just sailed their Trofeo Nino Menchelli off Marina di Carrara, Italy.  They are now starting their winter series in the J/24s.  Also taking place was the ginormously huge 1,700 boat fleet that has become the grand finale of sailing on the Adriatic Sea, the Barcolana Regatta hosted by the city of Trieste, Italy.  A spectacle to behold with only one starting line!  Then, across the English Channel, the RORC was hosting their IRC Double-handed UK Championship from Royal Southern YC and sailing on the Solent.

In the Americas, a J/111 sailed a challenging and successful Copa Sin Fronteras off Lima, Peru.  A regatta hosted between the leading yacht clubs of Peru and Ecuador in the middle of the South American west coast; the spectacular 12,000 ft Andes Mountain peaks form the backdrop to their event!

Up in the northern Americas, the Greenport Ocean Race and Bay Race was hosted by the Chinese Yacht Club and Old Cove Yacht Club for a fleet of offshore racers, like J/80s, J/100s, J/105s, J/109s and J/111.  The first J/88 New England Championship was hosted by Indian Harbor YC in Greenwich, CT and the fleet enjoyed spectacular weather.  Likewise, just west of them in the Hudson River with the southern tip of Manhattan, New York as the backdrop- featuring the prominent 1,776 foot Freedom Tower- the J/24s from Manhattan YC were hosting the US Adult Sailing Championship for the Clifford D Mallory Trophy. Then, in big land of Texas, the J/80s had their North American Championship at Lakewood YC near Houston and sailed on Galveston Bay.  Simultaneously, the Lakewood YC also hosted the famously fun J/Fest Southwest!

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page!  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 12-17- J/70 European Championships- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Oct 17- Rolex Middle Sea Race- Gzira, Malta
Oct 23-24- J/105 Masters Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 24-25- J/70 Fall Brawl- Eastport, MD
Oct 30- Nov 1- Lipton Cup Challenge- San Diego, CA
Oct 31- Nov 1- J/22 East Coast Championship- Annapolis, MD
Nov 7-11- French J/80 Nationals- Saint Cast, France
Nov 26-30- J/24 South American Championship- Porto Alegre, Brazil
Nov 28- Dec 6- Peru J/24 National Championship- La Punta, Peru
Dec 4-6- J/22 Jamaica Jammin Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica

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

J/70s sailing off Monte Carlo, MonacoJ/70 Europeans Update
Spain's Hugo Rocha Fast Out of the Starting Blocks
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Sixty teams representing 11 nationalities were champing at the bit on the starting block Wednesday morning waiting for the P-flag to drop for the first race at the J/70 European Championship for the Credit Suisse Trophy. Within minutes a brisk easterly filled in steadying at 13 knots to give ideal conditions for the YC Monaco Race Committee headed by John Coveney, assisted by PRO Thierry Leret, to complete two races Wednesday.

It was no surprise to see so many general recalls, obliging the Race Committee to bring out the Black Flag for both races, disqualifying several that were over the line. It’s a classic scenario in regattas of such a high level with competitors jostling for position determined not to give way to their opponents, and even more so in these one-design events. A configuration that is likely to be repeated throughout the week, given the length of the starting line and number of participants.

For the second race, the Race Committee had to adapt to a wind shift at the start to give all competitors the most suitable course.

J/70s sailing off YC MonacoThe German Max Rieger (Led Zeppelin), one of the favorites, paid a high price for the over-eagerness of his young team at the start of the second race as they were declared BFD, meaning they cannot afford to make another mistake, as was the Mexican Fernandez Neckelmann Julian (Flojito y Cooperando), current World Champion who lies 28th in the overall provisional ranking this evening, and Key West title holder, Carlo Alberini (Calvi Network) who is currently 24th.

After Wednesday’s racing, it’s the Spaniard Hugo Rocha (New Territories), winner of Kiel Week, who leads the provisional ranking with a 3-1 scoreline ahead of German Moritz Bohnenberger (Touring Junior) and Swede Oscar Lundqvist (Fanny), equal on points with Monegasque Jacopo Carrain (Carpe Diem) and Germany’s Bo Teichmann (Outsider) in 5th.  .

J/70s sailing under spinnaker off MonacoThe racing is close and it’s notable that three Spanish teams are in the top ten along with two German teams.  “Seeing today’s weather conditions we worked on strategy and stayed totally focused for the starts to avoid a BFD,” said President of the Monaco Class Association Jacopo Carrain.  Racing continues until Saturday.

Provisional Top 5 results- Day 01
1. New Territories- Hugo Rocha- Spain- 3-1- 4 pts
2. Touring Junior- Mortiz Bohnenberger- Germany- 12-4- 16 pts
3. Fanny- Oscar Lundqvist- Sweden- 15-2- 17 pts
4. Carpe Diem- Jacopo Carrain- Monaco- 11-6- 17 pts
5. Outsider- Bo Teichmann- Germany- 7-11- 18 pts
For more J/70 European Championship sailing information

J/88s sailing on Long Island SoundWINGS Flies @ J/88 New England’s!
(Greenwich, CT)- Eight boats entered the New England J/88 Championships at Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, Ct. on Columbus Day weekend.

The event was held alongside the Gearbuster distance race, but the J/88s had their own Race Committee and starting area.

Saturday began with a shifty northerly breeze that diminished during the morning and changed to a southwesterly in the afternoon.  The race committee, with Jonathan Nye as PRO, did an outstanding job in very tough conditions, moving marks numerous times to keep up with the shifts, and managed to get three races in.

J/88 team sailing New EnglandsSunday, the fleet was sent out an hour earlier and got five races in a 12-14 knot breeze from the southwest.  The racing was close, fast paced and exciting.  Some drama ensued in race seven, when Cloud9 lost a crew member overboard at the weather mark, but they managed to pick her up and hoisted their chute, all in less than a minute, well done!

After eight races, the winner with 8 points was the newest J/88 owner, Mike Bruno on WINGS, whose American YC team had an outstanding performance.  Second place with 16 points went to John Sommi on CLOUD9 and Kevin Marks’ VELOCITY from Noroton YC took third with 24 points.  Rounding out the top five were Iris Vogel’s VELOCITY from Huguenot YC in 4th and Doug Newhouse’s YONDER from SailNewport in 5th.

J/88s rounding mark“It was a really fun event,” said Iris Vogel. “We had excellent racing and great hospitality at Indian Harbor Yacht Club, and hopefully there will be even more J/88s on the line next year!”

The winner, Mike Bruno, commented, “We had two nice race days. Great conditions Sunday, got in 5 races. Yesterday got in 3 races, some big shifts but all good races although on the lighter side. Sunday was about perfect with around 12 kts and pretty steady. Indian Harbor did outstanding race committee work. Our tactics and crew work were extraordinary, we’re lucky, virtually no crew mistakes the entire regatta! No joke. Absolutely love the boat!”  Sailing photo credits- Howie McMichael.  The event was co-sponsored by McMichael Yachts and J/Boats.   For more J/88 New England Championship sailing information

J/80 sailboat rounding markHAMMERTIME Pounds J/80 NA’s!
(Seabrook, TX)- Like their J/88 colleagues in the north, the J/80 sailors enjoyed most excellent sailing on Galveston Bay for their 2016 North American Championship.  As usual, the Lakewood Yacht Club rolled out the red carpet for the visiting J/80 crews and welcomed them with good’ole southern hospitality.  Even better, the LYC RC Committee and PRO also threw in 10 races to keep the crews happy and most thirsty!

What no one could have predicted was the dozen-boat fleet would have insanely closely fought racing between a trio of boats to ultimately determine the final outcome. Plus, the middle of the fleet was also just as tough to gain a toehold in the top five!

Winning by holding on tight in their last two races was Steven Hammerman’s HAMMERTIME from the host Lakewood YC.  Counting four 1sts and two 2nds in their scoreline was barely enough to win with 19 pts.  Past champion Kerry Klingler was hot on their tail the entire regatta but didn’t have enough in the tank to catch the winners, settling for 2nd place with KICKS only one point back.  Taking third yet only one more point back was Forbes Durdin’s MOJITO also from the host club.

After sitting in mid-fleet most of the regatta, it was quite apparent that Paul Parsons’ PARSONS PROJECT from the Galveston Bay Cruising Association must’ve bought (or drank) a can of “whupass” on Sunday!  After closing the regatta with double bullets, Parsons leapt into 4th place!  Fifth was Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS from North Shore YC.   For more J/80 North American Championship sailing information

J/109s sailing UK Doublehanded championshipJ’s Sweep UK Double-Handed Nationals
(Hamble, England)- Organized by the Royal Southampton YC, in conjunction with the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the second edition of the IRC DoubleHanded UK National Championship took place in the Solent this past weekend. A huge variety of keelboats entered with about 40 teams taking part. Three races are scheduled with no discard, but only two races were sailed. The variety of courses were designed to test all the elements of Double-Handed racing with a laid marks course, a round the cans race and a long passage race.

J/105 sailing UK Double handed championshipRace Director Robert Lamb, sets the scene for the championship. "With high pressure dominating the south coast of England, racing was delayed on Friday until a southwesterly settled in after 4pm. Two races were then run: a laid marks 'sausage/triangle' followed by a 'round the cans' race. Wind eventually strengthened to 10-12 knots to provide good racing. Saturday was disappointing with not enough wind to run the scheduled three-hour passage race. So two races only were completed for the championship. All competitors were invited to the RORC Cowes Clubhouse for supper, which had a terrific atmosphere."

The largest class racing, IRC 2 Class, had 15 yachts vying for the class and five yachts took podium positions. Race One was won by the defending champion, Paul Griffith's J/109, JAGERBOMB, crewed by his son Mark. William Gough's J/109 JUST SO crewed by Christian Jeffries was second and William Newton's J/105 JELLY BABY crewed by Bill Darley was third. The winner of Race Two was Andrew Roberts' J/105 JIN TONIC crewed by Bill Edgerley.

In the end, it was the J/105 JIN TONIC that took the class championship by a single point over the J/109 JAGERBOMB.  Fourth was the J/105 JELLY BABY (Bill Newton & Bill Darley). Sixth was the J/105 VOADOR (Alex Adams & Robert Smith).  Eighth was the J/109 JUST SO (Bill McGough & Christian Jeffries). Ninth was the J/97 HIGH JINKS (Blair Forsyth & Alex Gardner). And, tenth was the J/105 MOSTLY HARMLESS (Tom Hayhoe & Natalie Jobling)!  Not a bad performance for these J crews!  70% of the top ten!

J/105 sailing UK Doublehanded championship"The Royal Lymington Yacht Club organized a series of double handed races back in 2011, and we decided to give it a go and much to my surprise I enjoyed the challenge of adapting a boat that is normally raced with a crew of 7 to one that 2 can handle,” commented Andy Roberts, skipper of JIN TONIC. "I quickly learnt that every maneuver took more time and more effort and they should be kept to a minimum.  Racing short-handed means you are utterly dependent on your partner, their skills and input both tactical and navigational, as well as the sail handling. The boat needs to be prepared differently, simplify everything, so there was no umming and arring about sail calls, we just use what we have got, remembering that not having an extra 450 kilos of crew weight on the rail meant that the boat was tuned differently so that we could de-power much earlier than usual to keep the boat on it's feet and footing rather than crabbing sideways.

I think one of the things that helped us get a good result was having a clear strategy on the route we were going to take around the course so that we had no last minute panic moves to make, for example, dropping the spinnaker on the correct side for the next hoist. Spinning the kit when going upwind is seriously slow, losing at least half a knot of boat speed for 5 or 10 minutes.

We did not chose a J/105 for any other reason than there were three others in Lymington, yet we have found it to be a super boat for both short-handed and fully-crewed racing; easy to handle and always feels safe even when surfing along at 14 knots. (Editors note- a J/105 won the Rolex Fastnet Race IRC Double-handed Division!).

To summarize, we felt we did well by keeping it simple, so we had time to focus on the race. A big thank you to everyone at the Royal Southampton YC, for all their hard work to give us such an enjoyable regatta."

J/88 sailing doublehandedLast year's IRC Class 1 winner, Paul & Mark Griffiths' J/109 JAGERBOMB was hoping to defend their title; they nearly pulled it off!  JAGERBOMB has been competing in the Two-Handed class for this year's RORC Season's Points Championship, including the Rolex Fastnet Race.  Prophetically, this is what Paul had to say before the regatta started, "I am sure that we will be making more tacks and gybes this weekend than we did for the whole of the Fastnet.  Full on- would be an apt description, especially with the two races on Friday. Racing Double-Handed on a short course is very different to offshore. You don't have the time and the space and you are trying to make maneuvers that you would normally do with nine people not two, which is just crazy but the secret is to avoid getting into problems and to do that you have to be thinking ahead all the time."  Sailing photo credits- Luke Shears/ RORC   For more information about the RORC Double Handed UK National Championship

J/111 sailing off PeruJ/111 CHALLWA Wins COPA SIN FRONTERAS
(Callao, Peru)- Every three years, the Copa Sin Fronteras (“No Borders Cup”) is held in locations between Perú and Ecuador. This year, the regatta was held in Callao (near Lima- Peru's capital) and the surrounding islands.

According to German Fuchs, the skipper of the J/111 CHALLWA, “The races are held in ORC Handicap and divided in two categories- ORC A (GPH 500 to 599 sec/nm) and ORC B (GPH 600 to 699 sec/nm).  It was an incredibly competitive fleet and in ORC A, we had boats like a Sydney 47R, Swan 45, Soto 42R, Soto 39R, Grand Soleil 42R, Dufour 44 and Mumm 36- none too shabby boats!

J/111 Challwa winning in Lima, PeruThe first two races were windward-leeward Courses, four legs total 8nm, in Callao Port Bay.  The third race was a 120nm offshore race.  The fourth and fifth races were also offshore of 32nm and 24nm, respectively. The sixth and seventh races where W/L four legs, total 8nm, in Chorrillos Bay.  The average wind was 10 to 15 knots from 170 to 200 degrees for the five days of sailing.

The leader board changed every race and there was no clear winner until the last day of racing!  In ORC A class, we posted a 1-3 to take second in class, tied on points and losing the tie-breaker with the Soto 42 Allegro.  But, on overall standings for the fleet, our 1-4 on the last day was good enough to win the entire Copa Sin Fronteras Regatta overall! Another great win for J/111s around the world! The CHALLWA crew enjoyed the celebrations and cheers to J/Boats for such a fun boat to sail!”   For more Copa Sin Fronteras sailing information

J/24 sailing off Manhattan YC in New YorkLeitner Wins J/24 Mallory Cup!
(New York, NY)- The Manhattan skyline was the perfect, dramatic, backdrop for one of US Sailing’s most historic championships on October 10-12. Sailors from as far west as Hawaii and as far south as Florida raced over three days for the Clifford D. Mallory Trophy at the 2015 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship.

Fourteen teams comprised of both men and women ranging in age from 19 to 69 raced J/24 class sailboats in New York Harbor. First raced in 1952, the 2015 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship was hosted by Manhattan Yacht Club.

In what was described as a “miracle race” by Eric Leitner, the host club representative from the Manhattan Yacht Club, edged out a competitive field in the final race to win the regatta.

After three days of racing, Mark Hillman of the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association, who was in the lead entering the 12th and final race, finished in second overall just two points behind Leitner.

J/24s sailing- Freedom Tower- New York, NY“In the last race, we rounded the windward mark in sixth and were going to gybe, but the boats gybed inside of us, so we held off and all the boats passed us,” explained Leitner. “We went right and just hoped it played out. We were the furthest team right and when we came in we managed to squeeze in front of the two boats and the rest is history.”

Leitner’s crew included Adam Sandberg, Doug Witter, and Michael Ambrose, and Tom Sinatra. The come-from-behind win was capped off when Leitner’s team finished second and first in Monday’s two races. They were eight points behind Hillman when the day started. Hillman posted a pair of seventh place finishes on Monday.

Carter White of the Northeast Sailing Association also had a strong finish by placing first and second on the final day. The top three teams were separated by just five points.

J/24s sailing off New York City, New York“We probably had about three and a half knots of current out here, so it was pretty crazy,” mentioned White. “In only four or five knots of breeze, that made things difficult. We had some interesting mark roundings where you had to sail past the mark and pray you could get around it. It made it challenging but everyone had the same body of water to sail in.  It’s just great to get in equal boats with people of equal skill sets, which made for some close racing.  The nice part of this event is that it moves around the country each year. If we can do it, we’d love to race at this event again.”

Hillman’s team that took the silver was comprised of Jon Forst, Eric Reinke, and Ron Weed. White’s third place team consisted of Molly White, Michael Mcallister, Ben McAndrew, and Fiona Gordon.  Finishing fourth was North Jersey Yacht Racing Association’s team of Talbott Ingram, David Whittle, Carol Lee Ingram, Stuart Van Winkle, and Robert Slook.  Fifth place was Texas Sailing Association’s Bryan Dyer, Tony Waldon, Jeffrey Keller, and Marc Nilsson.   For more US Adult Sailing Championship/ Clifford D. Mallory Trophy sailing information

J/24 sailingLovin’ Honky Tonk J/Fest
(Seabrook, TX)- The 6th Annual J/Fest Southwest was hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club off beautiful, sunny, Seabrook, Texas.  The sailors had a blast and there was no lack of shore-side entertainment all weekend.  That’s just how it is in the humongous state of Texas.  Everything is bigger down there- parties, people, sailing, honky tonks, trucks, mechanical bulls.  Did I mention sailing?

Can you imagine some old cow pokes looking out over Galveston Bay for the first time in their life? Bet it would be an amusing conversation.  Well, to most cow-pokes, sailing is truly an “alien” subject matter, much less understood than the subtleties of why Old Milwaukee vs Schlitz vs Pabst Bleu Ribbon vs Bud vs Miller is not any different than comparing Perrier bubbles to San Pellegrino bubbles.  The former they know a lot about.  The latter they know ’nutin!

Sailing one-design and havin’ a ball were fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s and J/109s. Additionally, a J/PHRF fleet sailed some random-leg courses and had a scream.

Natalie Penner’s GIGGLES team from Austin YC vanquished the 15 strong J/24 class again; in fact, she blew them away with four bullets in six races!  Second was Jim Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT from Dallas Corinthian YC and third was more “girl-power”- Kelly Holmes-Moon’s BAD MOON.  Fourth was another women’s boat, Tonja Holmes-Moon’s SIREN and rounding out the top five was Stu Juengst’s VANG GO.  Three of the top five are women’s teams?  You go girls, fantastic work!

The second largest class in the event was the J/70s. Not surprisingly, it was local hotshot Bruno Pasquinelli from Fort Worth Boat Club sailing STAMPEDE that won with five 1sts in their scoreline of seven races.  Second was Chris Lewis’ GB from the host Lakewood YC, third was Tim Molony’s JOUST from Southern YC, fourth Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS HEARING from LYC and fifth was Al Poindexter.

In the J/105s, Mark & Jolene Masur from Forth Worth Boat Club sailed TWO FEATHERS won their class with four 1sts and three 2nds for 10 pts.  Second was John Barnett’s VICI from LYC, third was Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY, fourth was JB Bednar’s STINGER and fifth was Bill Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE.

The J/109s saw Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG simply sail away with class honors, posting nearly all 1st places.  However, behind him it was a complete dogfight at the OK Corral! It was the “Thrilla from Manila”.  The “Rope a Dope” in Rhodesia! Virtually tied on points were the rest of the top five going into the last race!  In fact, the J/109s had all the drama in the regatta and no one knew who won until the finish line of the last race! David Christensen’s AIRBORNE took the silver with a 2nd in the finale while the LEADING EDGE duo (Alex Acensios/ Chris Dees) grabbed the bronze with a 3rd.  A tie-breaker determined the balance of the top five, with Barry Hoeffner’s POLE DANCER taking 4th and Andy Westcoat’s HARM’s WAY settling for 5th!

The J/22s also experienced another runaway in the form of Dov Kivlovitz on USA 951 starting off with two bullets in race one and closing with four bullets to win by a country furlong.  Second was Anne Lee’s HELMS A LEE with nearly all seconds.  And, third was Larry Blankenhagen’s PARROT TALES LIGHT.  The balance of the top five was Gary Thies’ STUDENT DRIVER in 4th and Rick Duste’s LOOSE CANNON in 5th.

The J/PHRF clan saw a pair of J/27s dominate the proceedings. Chris Alk’s FOOTLOOSE took first over Gary Trinklein’s TOCCATA.  Third was Glen Stromme’s J/29 rocketship- PRESS TO +MECO!   For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information

J/111 off NewportJ’s Eclipse Greenport Ocean Race
(Greenport, New York)- Over the Columbus Day Weekend, the Chinese Yacht Club and Old Cove Yacht Club, with additional support from The Village of Greenport, Shelter Island YC, and the Orient YC, held their end-of-season offshore yacht race known as the Greenport Ocean Race, a 90nm navigation around the buoys and islands that comprise the eastern end of Long Island Sound and Block Island Sound.  Simultaneously, they also ran the Greenport Bay Race of about 32nm for smaller boats.

J/Teams simply smoked the Greenport Ocean Race while other teams struggled in the Bay Race.  Winning PHRF Spin 1 Division was Sedgwick Ward’s J/111 BRAVO from Shelter Island YC.  Then, in PHRF Spin 2 Division, it was an all J/Boats affair; with J teams taking the entire top five.  Winning that division was Steve Marenakos’ J/105 RECKLESS. Second was Stephen Guyer’s J/105 ALLIANCE and third was Carter Holliday’s J/40 MISTY.

The shorter Greenport Bay Race has a mixed bag of J’s sailing in PHRF Spinnaker class. Top dog was Gary Senft’s J/24 BACK BEAT, taking third in the PHRF Non-spinnaker division.  The others simply had a rough day.  Check out their Greenport Ocean Race Facebook page here   For more Greenport Ocean Race sailing information

Barcolana Regatta starting line 2015Sailing the Barcolana- a Cultural Experience!
(Trieste, Italy)- The 47th edition of the Barcolana is basically a mass celebration of the end of the sailing season on the Adriatic.  It’s hard to describe it as a race since the highlight of the Barcolana is always the mass start with around 1,700 boats starting on the same line to begin the 13 nm course. For any sailing enthusiasts and for those who do not want to miss a unique show in the world, this crazy event takes place in Trieste, every year, on the second Sunday of October.  The event is more sailing festival than a regatta, it’s a magical mixture of pro’s and amateurs, cruisers and racers, and every imaginable thing that floats that can justify putting up something that looks like a sail.  Near bathtubs have “sailed” the event, taking hours to complete the 13nm race, only to cross the line to wild cheerleading and singing from the massive throngs of people gathered along the waterfront (it is a party, after all, and 1,700 boats means well over 5,000 people enjoying the celebration).

This year, the course was closer to the shore and the finishing line was just off Piazza Unità d'Italia, which forms a spectacular backdrop to finish the “bay tour”.  The starting line was just off the seafront in Barcola and the first buoy was closer than before, making the first stretch shorter. The offset mark of the second buoy was repositioned, and the third buoy was placed close to Miramare Castle, thus modifying the position of the third stretch and reducing its length.

In short, the “regatta” (if you could call it that) was run as parallel as possible to the seafront giving spectators the opportunity to watch the race from both the seafront in Barcola and the Karst plateau, as if they were sitting on the stands of a natural stadium. Spectators were also be able to enjoy the event from other places on land, from the Miramare Castle to Piazza Unità d'Italia or the San Giusto Castle, as well as along the Napoleonica walking path or Strada del Friuli.

Barcolana Race sailing offshoreThe weekend started with the typical fall “Bora”.  It blew a full gale for over 24 hours on the eve of the Barcolana; gusts reached over 60 kts!  In fact, it was blowing so hard that all racing and events on Saturday in the open plazas were cancelled due to “flying objects” (chairs, tables, tents, skirts, etc).  Nevertheless, by delaying the start until 12:30pm on Sunday, the Barcolana set off without too many collisions and less than 10 protests (that are never filed anyways).  The fleet took off on a slow reach to start and as they got offshore, the winds increased enough for hundreds of spinnakers to be deployed and create a magnificent parade to the offshore mark with Trieste’s striking city and mountain range forming a spectacular backdrop.

Overall, despite the complete insanity of the starting line, e.g. you try to cross it without getting hit from five directions, many J/teams sailed quite well.  Starting with Class 1, the J/120 J-ONE MILLIGOR sailed by Lorenzo Simeoni took 18th in class of 250+ boats.  Then, the J/44 LULI owned by Riccardo Pujatti and skippered by Mirella Francheschini took 23rd.  In Class 2, the J/39 CHARLIE VICTOR owned by Matteo Ranza and skippered by Nicoletta Santi took 15th. In the enormous Class 3, the J/109 SAGOLA owned by Fedrigo Perisutti and skippered by Massimo Minozzi was 3rd in class followed by the J/105 NEMBO SPEED sailed by Piero Fornasaro de Manzini that took 6th place.

Barcolana Regatta courseWith such a massive start and a lot of boats over 35 feet, the small boats tend to suffer a bit- lots of wind shadows by big clunkers that are just fast enough to roll you can be a painful experience.  Nevertheless, in Class 5, the J/92 JOLE sailed by Mariolina Murianni placed 10th. Then, in Class 6, the J/80 ANTIGRAFFIO sailed by Renzo Bezzan took 5th place!

Finally, the J/24s were dueling fiercely for wind (gasping for it, in fact) and for class honors in Class 7.  The top J/24 was ANONIMA sailed by Tullio Ranni in 27th. Classmate BRIGANTE TIBURZI sailed by Francesco Feri was 2nd J/24 and 30th in class.  The third J/24 was SKIZZO sailed by Dario Radin, taking 33rd place.  The 4th J/24 was MR WILLY skippered by Flavio Vassallo in 35th place.  Then, the 5th J/24 was LAMU sailed by Paolo Ciacchi and Marina Planet landing in the 48th spot. Apparently, they all had a fantastic time, survived to tell the story and had a whale of a celebration back on land after the finish.  What a great way to end the season!  Perhaps Newport should do the same after the boat show, start between Rose Island and Conanicut YC dock and go north around Halfway Rock and back to the finish between Fort Adams and the green can off Goat Island!  Then celebrate at Candy Store/ Clarke Cooke House- the new, new “Candy Store Cup”!!  To see some Facebook posts of the Barcolana Regatta
For more Barcolana Regatta sailing information

J/24s sailing off ItalyJAMAICA Victorious in Trofeo Nino Menchelli
(Marina di Carrara, Italy)- Despite the adverse weather and after having completed six races, the mighty JAMAICA team skippered by Pietro Diamanti from CNMC Club won the coveted Trofeo Nino Menchelli.  His crew consisted of Gianluca Caridi, Joseph Garofalo, Paul Ginesi and Fabrizio Ginesi.

Sixteen J/24 crews in the world's most popular one-design showed once again all the grit and determination that is needed to sail well in the spectacular and aggressive races that are characteristic of J/24 class racing.

J/24s sailing off Italy"This event was blessed with good fortune as the storm that has shocked the French Riviera has blown away from Marina di Carrara overnight Sunday,” said the President of the Italian J/24 Class, Pietro Diamanti.  “As a result, we were able to have six beautiful races and a good party of sailors during dinner on the terrace of the Yacht Club."

Taking second place was DIKE- BLUE FLAMES skippered by Fabio Delicate with crew of tactician Marco Vincenti, Joseph Incatasciato, the pitman Francis Maglioccola and the bowman Roberto Ballant.  While they won the last three races, it was not enough to win the regatta.  Nevertheless, from a distant mid-fleet performance in the first three races, they leapt into the silver with astonishing ease.

Sailing well and, in fact, winning the regatta after the first three races was J-OC’s skipper Fabio Apollonio from Trieste.  However, a nasty last set of three races dropped them into third for the regatta.

The rest of the top five included Luca Macchiarini’s TALLY-HO in 4th and Riccardo Marini’s SEI UNIKA in 5th place.   For more Italian J/24 sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/70 SailingIN China* Jim Johnstone continues to develop the J/Boats program in China, potentially the world’s largest sailing market with 1.5 billion people who basically all live within an hour of hundreds of lakes suitable for sailing.

Jimmy commented, “here are photos of our new sailing school in Shanghai that is using J/70s. SAILING IN is the only performance sailing school in China and we are currently working on expansion to Shenzhen and Xiamen where we J/70 SailingIN off Chinawill have new fleets of J/70's and J/80's to work with.

The school has also taken students to many different Chinese events including a distance race around Hainan Island on a 50-footer to the Mayor’s Cup in Qingdao racing across the Straits to Korea. Currently, we have won those events we have participated in, which is exciting for our Chinese students!

Our next student event is racing the Kings Cup in Phuket on TRADER and Langkawi Race week after that.”

J/70 AFRICA- Jud Smith from Doyle Sailmakers* Jud Smith- skipper of AFRICA that won the J/70 North Americans in San Diego had some interesting commentary on their success:

“Since the 2014 Newport J/70 Worlds, where we finished a respectable 9th overall, we set out to improve on that performance and hit the circuit pretty hard over the winter.   Starting in the Chesapeake, followed by Tampa, Key West, St. Pete, Miami and Charleston.  All were big regattas with plenty of competition and opportunity to improve our speed and technique. During that time, we developed our flatter J6 Radial Jib for the fresher seasonal conditions we encounter on the East Coast.  With our heavy air performance improved, we placed 4th overall at Key West without losing our good light air speed we had in Newport.   At Charleston race week, we moved up to 3rd overall and topped the Dynasty division; racing both major regattas with my daughter Lindsay, Will Felder and Marc Gauthier.  We race at 725 to 740 lbs depending on our team since I’m one of the heaviest drivers in the class at over 100 kilos.

During these travel regattas, we have refined our trimming and tuning techniques for the new J6 Radial jib.  Our high clew jib allows us to in-haul the jib to the cabin house nonskid, which powers up the main and generates more helm and point.   As the wind speed increases to the 7 to 8 knots max power condition, we start to depower by lowering the traveler toward center line and tension the outhaul all before touching the backstay.  We only start using the backstay once the outhaul is tensioned and traveler car is nearing centerline to keep from having too much helm.  Managing the correct amount of power while sailing close hauled is crucial for the Main Trimmer and Helmsman.

Jud Smith winning in J/70 North AmericansJib development prior to La Rochelle Worlds
This summer we raced Africa in our local Fleet 9, only missing one race day during my trip to the J/70 Worlds in La Rochelle on Peter Duncan’s “Relative Obscurity”.   We tested our current J6 Radial jib design in mid-June with Roller Battens in preparation for the Worlds.  The Jib performed very well at the Worlds even though the experimental roller battens showed signs of fatigue by the end of a windy event, but overall performed well – winning the last race of the Worlds to place 7th overall.  (The roller batten jibs may have a future in the J/70 once the batten durability improves.)

After returning from the Worlds in July, we made a standard vertical batten version of J6R, which we used to win the competitive J/70 New England Championships during Marblehead Race Week, in a wide range of wind speeds and sea conditions. That was our first win in a sanctioned J/70 championship event since we had started racing in 2013.  So we were improving each regatta in 2015 with the NA’s fast approaching.  Meanwhile Team Hooligan, one of our training partners at the North Americans, won Cleveland Race Week (they placed 7th at NA’s using the same main and jib combo as us.)  At the end of August, we won the regional ONE Regatta in light air conditions that were a lot like San Diego.

J/70s sailing off start- North Americans- San DiegoSail Selection for the North Americans
It’s unique to sail a big regatta in a venue where the conditions are so consistently light, but thankfully, there was plenty of time to prepare for this.  Leading up to September, I got invited to do a two-boat testing session in San Diego with Joel Ronning and his “Catapult” team.  Joel had set up a two boat J/70 testing camp in San Diego for the month leading up to the NA’s and invited all the top sailmakers in the class to join in for a few days and test their designs at that venue.  I couldn’t resist that opportunity, since Ronning was second at the Newport Worlds and has been one of the top boats on the circuit since the outset.

From that two days of testing on the NA’s track we learned our J6R performed just fine even in the light air and was especially quick with crew on the rail.  What we also found was that our older Main from the 2014 NA’s in Rochester was a bit softer now and provided more power that would be needed for the light air anticipated for NA’s.   While we came away from the New England’s with a win, I felt like for us to be competitive at our weight range in light air, we would need a better downrange soaking kite if we were going to have a shot at the podium."  Read more about Juddie’s experiences here.

J/70 Vineyard Vines- skipper Charlie Baxter* The new VINEYARD VINES J/70 is on its way to the J/70 winter circuit to sail in the Quantum Key West Race Week, Miami’s Bacardi Miami Sailing Week and more.

This past weekend, John and Molly Baxter were preparing their new J/70 VINEYARD VINES with a little help from their “friends & family”.

After watching his son crawl onto the boat, John observed, “we got the boat rigged and going. Little Charlie was loving it.  I think he might be the most excited of all of us!”

J/46 BRAVO- skippered by Tom Babbit* Tom and Jane Babbit are having fun sailing their J/46 BRAVO in various parts of the world.  Recently, they sailed from Maine down to Newport just before Hurricane Joaquin passed offshore of Cape Cod.  They continued on their journey south, here’s Tom’s commentary:

“Thanks for the use of your mooring in front of New York YC’s Harbour Court. However, with the forecast for gale force northerlies, we moved to an Oldport Marine mooring just off Newport Yachting Center for the lost week of the great Nor’easter!

Finally, on Sunday, the sun came out, Hurricane Joaquin went east and there was a glimpse of less than heinous seas off New Jersey.

Off we went on our J/46 BRAVO to conquer Block Island Sound and Long Island Sound to New Haven.

J/46 BRAVO speedTalk about no turning back!  We soon found ourselves with 25 to 30 knots (and the occasional 35 knot whistler) nearly dead astern (Northeast) with short period swells of 15 feet against the outgoing tide!  More like building-sized steep chop!

The plan was to hit the flood at The Race, which we did, and that rewarded us with a relatively calm second half of the cruise.

While we have sailed our various J/Boats for decades in 30 to 40 knots in comfort we honestly had never seen conditions like this for many years.

So as we approach our seventies, here is our salute to exuberance and never growing sedentary - proof of a 17-knot surf! Darn good boats, I might add!  Our average speed to New Haven just over 9 knots! Cheers, Tom”

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.