Wednesday, November 4, 2015

J/Newsletter- November 4th, 2015

J/122E sitting pretty at anchor
J/112E Debuts In America
(Newport, RI)- After her delivery to Bristol, Rhode Island exactly one week ago, the brand new J/112E was un-wrapped from her packaging at Stanley’s Boat Yard and in less than 48 hours, she was mounted on her sleek keel and launched for the first time in American waters at the headwaters of Narragansett Bay.

Since then, the sweet-looking 35 foot sports cruiser has enjoyed some of the most benign fall colors weather conditions imaginable.  Sailing in New England with 50-65 F temps, sunny, and 8-15 kts from various points of the compass, it has been hard to shake the feeling that an “El Nino winter” has the feeling of an “island summer” for at least the near future!

J/112E sailing upwindThe J112E is an impressive boat with beautiful lines from the J/Design team.  It has the feeling of a 40 footer in terms of the cockpit and interior spaciousness- the sense of light inside is breathtaking.  Yet, its nimbleness under sail is surprising to many.  A recent test with just 100% jib in 15 kts TWS yielded an easy 7.5 kts boatspeed with hardly any heel— cocktail cruising at its best!  Yet, throw in the power of the 55 ft tall rig with full mainsail deployed and the J/112E kicked up her heels and simply took off at 8.75 kts.  She accelerates with alacrity and feels velvety smooth on the helm; the high aspect ratio rudder design and ultra-low friction rudder bearings provide the trademark finger-tip steering on any point of sail.

Why not visit Newport and take the J/112E for a spin?!  She will be in the water in Bristol for the next three weeks. Please call Kendra at J/Boats- ph# 401-846-8410 or email-   Learn more about the new J/112E sport cruiser here.

J/11S on test with Yachting WorldJ/11S Yachting World Test
(Hamble, England)- Matt Sheahan, Yachting World Racing & Technical Editor, put the new J/11S through her paces on the Solent.  Shorthanded racing for amateur sailors is on the rise around the world.  Events in Europe and in the Americas continue to see strong growth in both single and double-handed racing, especially in the marquee offshore races like the Fastnet Race and the Bermuda Race.

Matt sails one of J/Boats' latest launches that has been aimed directly at the solo and shorthanded scene and discovers a boat that is very easy to get on with.   Watch more here - the Yachting World YouTube J/88 sailing video

French J/80 Nationals in St Cast, FranceFrench J/80 Nationals Preview
Epic Finale for the Coupe de France
(St Cast, France)- This past weekend a dozen boats attended a training session at CN St Cast that included top French J/80 sailors coaching, such as Eric Brezellec, Sylvain Pélissier, Clément Commagnac, and Jacque Hubert.  They ran dozens of short course races focused on starts, boatspeed and boathandling.  Those teams that attended should be well-prepared for the upcoming French J/80 Nationals!  Why should that be the case?  Because, the uniqueness of the J/80 class in France has always followed the motto- “better to give than to receive”.  When the top sailors in the class are dispensing advice to those who wish to learn, it elevates all boats in the fleet and increases the competition amongst the top sailors as well.

Nowhere is that more evident than the fact 145 boats have participated in the season-long J/80 Coupe de France 2015, a season that started with SPI OUEST France in April and concludes in November with the Nationals in St Cast.  At the moment, Eric Brezellec’s COURRIER JUNIOR is leading the series with 333 pts (high point system).  But, there are four teams behind him that are all capable of stealing the championship title from him should the COURRIER JUNIOR team stumble even the slightest bit, like finish out of the top five!

The “chasers” include Herve Leduc’s PIERRE OCEANE in second with 292 pts, Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA in third with 289 pts, Frederic Hauville’s ECOLE NAVALE in fourth with 284 pts and Marc Noesmoen’s TEAM VENDEE in fifth with 280 pts.

J/80 Vitel France sailing nationalsAmongst the women’s skippers vying for the overall Women’s National title are Capucine Vitel’s VITEL SAILING TEAM sitting 7th in the overall standings and leading the Women’s championship with 238 pts total.  Sitting 11th overall and 2nd women’s team is Maxime Rousseau’s crew on CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES, the host team for the event with 198 pts!  Twelfth overall, third women skipper, is Maxime Mesnil’s crew on CO-PILOTES with 194 pts.  Claire Montecot’s STARTIJENN is 16th overall, 4th women’s with 182.5 pts.  Finally, one of the top French woman skippers, Sophie Riot on LE HAVRE-LADIES NORMANDIE, is currently 23rd overall and 5th woman helm.

While not amongst the overall Coupe de France series leaderboard, several J/80 teams that always factor into the top of any regatta include Matthieu Salomon’s CHARIOT PLUS-VANNES UTILITAIRES and Simon Moriceau’s WEST CORTAGE ECOLE NAVALE. Top visiting teams include Kevin Sproul’s J.A.T from the United Kingdom and Mikel Vazquez sailing ENBATA 80 from Spain.  For more Coupe de France J/80 Nationals sailing information

J/145 sailing off Seattle, WASeattle Round County Race Preview
(Friday Harbor, Washington)- There are 114 entries for the 28th running of the Round the County race, hosted by the Orcas Island Yacht Club and Friday Harbor Sailing Association.  These are record numbers for this beginning of winter race around some of the most stellar cruising grounds the world has to offer; racing takes place from November 7th to 8th.

Two days of racing, under 35 miles each day, with an overnight in the amazing accommodations of Roche Harbor Resort.  To get there the fleet sails through conditions ranging from protected channels behind islands with tremendous adverse currents to wide-open straits that can bring everything that good Pacific Northwest winter sailing can offer.

J/120 sailing off Seattle, WAWith 21% of the entries carrying the 10th letter in the alphabet on their mainsails J/Boats has by far the largest group of boats in the race.  Class 0, with ratings from -62 to 42 has the new J/122E JOYRIDE, owned by John Murkowski going up against some stellar competition.  Class 1 has two J/109’s and three J/120’s going up against a handful of capable sailors and it’s hard not to put your money on the locals – Bob Brunius and crew onboard the J/120 TIME BANDIT.

Class 2 is a blast from the past, 1980’s specifically, with four J/35’s and a J/36 going at the 15-boat class.  Class 3, with 20 boats, has the second to last J/40 built- HARLEQUIN- owned by Bruce Hamilton along with the lone J/105- LAST TANGO- owned by Jim Geros. Look for LAST TANGO atop the results on Sunday evening after racing.  The 19 boats in class 4 contain three J/29’s, three J/30’s and a J/92!  It’s hard not to look for one of the J/29’s to dominate this J/92 sailing offshore Seattle, WAgroup, but if the conditions are right the J/92 Hijinks owned by Scott Ellis, has taken it in the past.

The growing IRC fleet in the Pacific Northwest put together a 13 boat fleet with 2 J/145’s, a J/160 and a J/133.  The big J’s are going up against some seriously sporty competition but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the well-sailed J/145 JEDI, owned by John Tenneson sitting on the podium at the end of the weekend.

A race for the true sailor Round the County has become a must do event for big and small programs alike.  Racing in November up here near the 48th parallel isn’t for the faint of heart, nor mind, nor those lacking 5 warm under-layers, but it can also reward everyone with some of the most amazing sailing, racing and camaraderie you can find in the sport today.   For more Seattle Round County sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Fall  events (in the north) and spring events (in the south) continue to proliferate around the world.  For those in the northern hemisphere, the act of winding their clocks back to account for the much shorter daylight hours (winter solstice is just over 30 days away!) is the first indication the fall hurricane season is over and the chill winds of winter are upon them!  However, the lucky ones living way “Down Under” (Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile) are sailing like mad and winding down their spring championships in anticipation of their amazingly long and lovely summers!

For those fortunate few, the Australians just concluded their New South Wales Championship on Sydney Harbour, hosted by the Royal Prince Edward YC near Sydney Heads.  Then, east across the Pacific, the Argentinean J/24 class has been busier than beavers before the big freeze, with regattas taking place in their Buenos Aires fleet on Rio de la Plata and also in the Cordoban fleet that sails on the beautiful Lago San Roque- spring championships galore down there!

Moving north to the Caribbean, a J/111, J/120 and J/24 sailed in the Triskell Cup and Jeff Campana Race off Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, the first major event of the 2015/ 2016 Caribbean Winter sailing circuit.  Not far away to the western parts of the Caribbean, the gorgeous island of Cuba just hosted their first ocean race from America at Marina Hemingway.  A J/130 sailed the first Havana Race in nearly 60 years from Pensacola, Florida to Havana, Cuba.  It was an adventurous crossing, to say the least!  On the Chesapeake Bay, the Severn Sailing Association hosted both the J/22 East Coast Championship and the Hillman Capital J/24 East Coast Championship over the past weekend in light to moderate wind conditions, with Sunday bringing beautiful sunny skies and warmer temperatures on the Bay.  Concurrently, the J/105s and J/35s were hosting their East Coast Championships at Annapolis YC in the same waters of the northern Chesapeake.  Out on the Left Coast, San Diego YC hosted the Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton Cup Challenge regatta in a matched fleet of J/105s, sailing inside San Diego Harbor.

Hopping over the big pond called the Atlantic, we find all kinds of J/24, J/80 and offshore sailing activity taking place.  The J/24 Italian Winter Series in Anzio-Nettuno continues with dramatic changes in the standings due to a challenging weather pattern over the Mediterranean.  The Hungarian J/24 Championship on Lake Balaton hosted by the Balaton YC- it was good practice as they are hosting the J/24 Europeans in 2016 and J/24 Worlds in 2017.  The J/80 in Spain just completed their Catalonian Championship.  Then, in northern Europe, the J/24 Swedish Open had a combination of Germany, Swedish and Hungarian teams participating in Malmo, Sweden and hosted by Malmö Segelsällskap (MSS) on the chilly Baltic waters near the enormous Oresund Bridge that connects Sweden to Denmark.  Also in the E.U., the J/80s have started the Grevelingencup in their Netherlands winter series on the Ijsselmeer.  Hopping across La Manche (the English Channel), we find the Garmin Hamble Winter Series taking their “halfway” break with two classes showing clean sweeps by J/crews. We also have a report on the famous J/24 Autumn Championship held in Poole, England hosted by the Saltash Sailing Club.

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

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 24-Dec 8- Garmin Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
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
Dec 12-13- Quantum J/70 Winter Series I- Tampa, FL
Jan 9-10- Quantum J/70 Winter Series II- Tampa, FL
Jan 13- Lauderdale- Key West Race- Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jan 18-22- Quantum Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
Feb 6-7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series III- Tampa, FL
Feb 25-28- J/70 Midwinter Championship- St. Petersburg, FL
Mar 10-13- J/70 Miami Sailing Week- Coconut Grove, FL
Apr 16-19- Charleston Race Week– Charleston, SC

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

San Diego YC wins Lipton CupSan Diego Recaptures Lipton Cup!
(San Diego, CA)- So, how seriously does San Diego YC take the Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton Cup Challenge Regatta?  Well, after going through a “changing of the guard”, the SDYC Lipton Cup Committee elected to pick a next-generation crew that consisted of Tyler Sinks, Erik Shampain and others to lead the charge.  After nine (yes, 9) months of practice and training on J/105s with the likes of Vince Brun and Bennie Mitchell as their protégés, the SDYC team recaptured the Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton Cup back from their age-old adversaries from north of the Los Angeles aqueduct- the St Francis YC.  As John Laun (SDYC Commodore) told others more than once, “there are only three things which matter to a San Diego YC Commodore: air to breathe, water to drink, and winning the Lipton Cup!”

J/105s sailing Lipton CupThe outcome of the regatta was not for-ordained by any means.  After the first day of racing, it was the rock-stars from the north that led everyone home, led by Chris Raab at the helm and Russ Silvestri calling tactics for the St Francis YC entry.  After day two on Saturday, with just one race in the bag, SDYC’s crew took over a very, very slim lead.  A crucial race cancellation in race 7 may have turned the tables for the event; at the time, New York YC’s team (with Brian Keane at the helm) was leading with other top teams in the tank.  But, it was the last day on Sunday (and the last race) that produced all the histrionics and anxiety-ridden angst the Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton Challenge Cup has become renowned for over the past dozen or so years sailing matched J/105 one-design sailboats.

J/105s sailing start at Lipton CupDay One- Spectacular Sailing
For the first day, competitors from yacht clubs across the US were excited to be racing in the beautiful weather. The Race Committee was able to get the first race underway after a 1-hour postponement with consistent winds out of the Northwest at 5-10 knots. St. Francis YC leaped to an early lead with excellent boat speed. They were able to cruise across the finish line for the Race 1 with an easy win. How did they do it? Simple.  Start at the port end, race into the left corner with an ebb tide current pushing them past the USS Carl Vinson (a massive 1,200 ft 101,000 ton US Navy nuclear carrier providing some wind-enhanced acceleration) and hit the right turn signal when you reach the port tack layline.  San Diego YC’s team knew the same formula, just not so well executed.

For Race 2, SDYC’s crew was determined to win the pin (or close to it).  That shook things up as SDYC’s team took first place, while New York YC’s Keane made major improvements from 10th in the first race to take 3rd in the second. Newport Harbor YC’s skipper John Pinckney was unable to maintain their strong 4th place from the first race as they fell back to 12th in the second.

The winds increased for Race 3, gusting at 12-15 kts and held steady the rest of the day. San Diego built on their success with a second win.  Larchmont jumped into the game with a 2nd place finish, improving from their previous 7th and 4th, while St. Francis finished strong again with a 3rd place.

J/105s sailing downwind at Lipton CupCalifornia YC’s Bob Little showed their skills in Race 4 by taking the lead at the first windward mark rounding and keeping it through the finish. San Francisco jumped up to 2nd from the back of the fleet in the first three races and San Diego fell to third.

With the wind still consistent, the Race Committee PRO Jeff Johnson was able to get a fifth race in to complete a very successful first day of sailing. San Francisco made good moves to finish the day off with a 1st. St. Francis was able to end the day with another solid 2nd and New York YC came back up to 3rd.  All the teams were quite competitive and starts were aggressive throughout the day.

After the first day, St. Francis sat in first with 17 points, followed by San Diego with 18 points, Larchmont in 3rd with 26 points and New York in 4th with 30 pts. The rest of the fleet was tight, all within a few points of one another. It was going to be exciting to see who moved around after the next day of racing!

J/105 sailing with spinnakers at Lipton CupDay Two- A Light Air Dust-up
There was another delay to the start of racing in San Diego Bay as the light air forecast came through and the Race Committee started the day with the AP flag flying.

Race 6, the first of the day, began at 1:00 PM in 4-6 knots of breeze. San Diego had a great start, winning the pin and sailing off into clear air. Annapolis and St. Francis followed SDYC to the left side hoping to get a current boost as the tide ebbed. Annapolis passed SDYC as the first boat to round, followed by SDYC, and Coronado who was close behind on the windward leg. California YC who port tacked the fleet to go right after the start was able to lead his pack to the upwind mark. SDYC was able to take back their lead at the leeward mark and was first upwind again followed by Annapolis and California who ended up third, and these teams were able to keep those positions as they crossed the finish line. New York sank to last in the race due to an OCS/foul combination.  After Race 6, SDYC jumped into first place with 19 points, St Francis in second with 21 and Larchmont in third with 32 points.

Race 7 got underway around 2:30 PM, but was abandoned as the New York YC team approached the windward mark in first place, just 25 yards away from the first weather mark after just 20 minutes of sailing (the race time limit was 90 minutes)!  Nevertheless, the teams headed back to San Diego YC with just one race completed to reconvene at the Club for the formal Lipton Cup banquet in the evening.

At the evening dinner, Commodore Sean Svendsen of St. Francis YC was doing his part to help the defending champions retain the Lipton Cup for another year. "The StFYC considers the Lipton Cup regatta to be one of the premier club challenge events in the country. We went after the 100th last year with the hopes of an historic win for our club. So, when you only win something once every 100 years, you really want to defend it in the 101st year. Many thanks to San Diego YC for hosting such an exceptional event. May it carry on another century."

J/105s sailing off San Diego city frontDay Three- Thrilling Light Air Finale
A beautiful November day in San Diego greeted competitors on the race course on Sunday for the last stretch of the Lipton Cup regatta. The Sunday forecast didn’t look any better than Saturday, so the Race Committee PRO Johnson tried hard to find a place for the course in San Diego Bay and give the teams a chance to finish the regatta.

After an hour-plus postponement, the wind flowed in gently from the west southwest at a streaky 6 knots. Race 7 began with a crowded start at the signal boat end. Long Beach YC sailed clear ahead followed by California YC and Southwestern. Half of the fleet went to the right side of the course, hugging the Harbor Island shore. Long Beach was first to the windward mark with a great set, a good 3-4 boat lengths ahead. Just behind just about overlapped were Southwestern and Annapolis. Annapolis made big strides on the second upwind leg and was able to finish first followed by Long Beach then Newport Harbor with New York YC finishing overlapped with them.

In Race 8, the signal boat end of the line was heavily favored, and Long Beach came out with an excellent start again followed by Southwestern then St. Francis. The majority of boats decided to head right toward the shore, Long Beach being the last boat to tack over that way. Newport Harbor moved ahead, first to round the windward mark, followed by Coronado and then SDYC. SDYC was flagged for a foul and completed a penalty turn, which put them back a few places to finish in seventh. Newport Harbor won the race followed by Southwestern and Annapolis who fell back to third. New York committed another OCS/ foul combo to sink any aspirations of a top three finish.

California YC had a good start in race 9; the fleet stayed together toward the right side, Newport Harbor continued to improve by taking the lead around the top mark. Newport Harbor and California headed to the far left side of the course, St. Francis and Coronado decided to head right. Newport Harbor continued their streak to win and the wind velocity increased to about 7.5 knots after race 9.

At 3:00 PM, the Race Committee was able to start a 10th and final race.  After a few boats were OCS, the fleet spread out, Chicago led the right side, and California led the 3 boats heading left. Annapolis came back as first to round and hoisted a gybe set, Southwestern headed to the right side of the course downwind. On the final windward mark roundings, Newport Harbor was in the lead but led the fleet off to the right side downwind.  The next two boats trailing gybed early onto port and ended up finishing 1st (Long Beach) and 2nd (Southwestern) with Newport Harbor in 3rd.  Shockingly, that one move cost Newport Harbor the entire Lipton Cup Challenge Trophy, little did they know!  While Long Beach celebrated their line honors, Newport Harbor soon realized they had ultimately thrown the regatta in the last gybe to the finish!

Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton Challenge CupBack at the SDYC docks, San Diego’s skipper Tyler Sinks, who was a recent winning skipper at the ISAF Team Race World Championships, weighed in on Sunday's racing; "Well, it was one of the toughest days sailing I've ever had. We ended up doing 4 races today, and at first, we were focusing on St. Francis, since they were closest to us in the standings. I think we did a really good job executing that plan. But, as we were putting points on St. Francis, Newport Harbor kind of snuck in the back door. Going in to the last race, they were 7 or 8 points behind us. We got off the line good, we had a good start, and we were actually beating them halfway up the first leg.  But, we missed a big shift and from there it felt like it was hard for us to find a lane, even downwind.  We could see Newport Harbor rounding quite far in front of us.  But, the team stuck together and these guys got the win, and I'm happy to be a part of a team like this."

A big “thank you” goes to Regatta Chairman Jeff Brown and regatta coordinator Joanne O'Dea who made this special event happen. Additional thanks to the dock team, boat maintenance team, the famous “Dockettes”, Jeff Johnson and the race committee, and the Jury for a well-run regatta.  In addition, Brown mentioned, “we greatly appreciate our regatta partners Tesla Motor, JK3 Yachts and McCarthy Holthus LLP for their support over the past two weekends!” Tracking information   Sailing photo credits- Cynthia Sinclair   For more Lipton Cup sailing information

J/111 JBoss sailing Jeff Campana Race off GuadeloupeJ/111 JBOSS Tops Jeff Campana Race
(Marina Bas-du-Fort, Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe)- One of the first regattas of the Caribbean winter sailing circuit (e.g. post-hurricane season) is the Triskell Cup and the many prestigious trophies that are associated with the event.  In the Group CSA 1 Racing division, everyone was participating in the Jeff Campana Regatta for the overall Triskell Cup.

As they did in 2014, the J/111 JBOSS owned and skippered by Eddy Chalono from Martinique managed to take on many of the top offshore racers in the Windward Islands to win the Jeff Campana Race.  They were often racing boat-for-boat with their top competitors that included TAZ (an Extreme 37 from Eddy Chalono skippering J/111 JBossAntigua), FISER (a Farr 40 custom from Martinique) and LIPTONIC (a custom A40 from Guadeloupe).

Half of Chalono’s crew consisted of the French team on the J/111 LE JOUET, including skipper Stephane Blanchard.  Together they have compiled an excellent track record in the Caribbean in the last few years, including class wins at Voiles de St Barths in the past two years.  For the Jeff Campana Race, the won the regatta by three pts by accumulating a record of 1-3-1-2-3-4-3 for 17 pts total over seven races.

Look for this well-oiled machine to again participate in a number Caribbean winter circuit regattas like the Heineken St Maarten Regatta and Voiles de St Barths in 2016.   For more Jeff Campana Race/ Triskell Cup sailing information

J/130 delivery sail to Pensacola, FLJ/130 LESSON # 1 Scores In Havana Race
(Havana, Cuba)– “Back in December 2014, the U.S. Government made the surprise announcement of the re-opening of diplomatic ties with Cuba.  I immediately said to myself, ‘Holy crap - we will be racing to Havana in 2016 or 2017,’” commented John Lee, owner of the J/130 LESSON # 1. “No one would have guessed the remarkable speed with which Gulf Coast clubs and associations would put together and get approval for the return of these historic races to Havana and the Marina Hemingway.”

Lee continued with his commentary prior to the race, “With a legacy of races reaching back to the St. Petersburg YC's Havana races in the 1930's, Cuba has always been the exotic port of call for Americans and the history is as colorful as one would expect. The days of schooners may have passed, but in May, the Pensacola YC announced a surprise regatta and nearly six months later we are transiting a J/130 east through the Mississippi Sound towards Pensacola and a start on Halloween morning.

J/130 sailing Havana Race startCobbling together two mixed crews over the summer, including solo sailor Ryan Finn and 2014 Mallory Cup champion crew member Randall Richmond, the eight of us marched Bob Seger's (of the ‘Silver Bullet Band’ fame) old boat through a bottom job, sail drive replacement, shroud, engine repairs, and untold other items including a new #3 Jib. Not to mention the piles of paperwork required by the U.S. State Department, Coast Guard and other US agencies.  Ironically, the Cuban government has placed no such impediments on the crews whatsoever!

LESSON # 1 has over the last 15 years primarily done beer-can and Lake Pontchartrain races with a few 100nm Gulfport to Pensacola's for good measure. This Saturday we sail south from Pensacola Bay towards this island so elusive to Americans and described by the first European explorers as ‘an island crowned in palms’ and will put her to a task that she hasn't done since the Mac Race in 1999.

Pairing up with the satellite communications company Globalstar, with shipboard Wi-Fi and sat-phones, the crew of LESSON # 1 will transit 500nm across the Gulf of Mexico and midway catch the downward arc of the massive Loop Current for a +2 kick straight to Havana.

J/130 boat cleaner with gogo bootsAs we slide east along the Gulf Islands of Mississippi and Alabama, the water is already becoming clearer as we lose the effects of the muddy Mississippi River and the sugar sand beaches of Pensacola will be in sight by sunset. Talk onboard is of the French and Spanish sailing this coast 500 years ago and of rum, particularly Havana Club Siete Anos - an email just came through on the Sat-Fi system confirming our reservations next week at the legendary ‘Tropicana’ in Havana for the Saturday night after the prize-giving (wow, better clean her up fast! One of our dock babes here giving her a rub-down).

It may be a cliché, but cliché’s exist for a reason. With the legacy of Gulf Coast sailors landing in Havana for nearly a century behind us, this crew has worked their tails off in prepping this boat and deserves every bit of their Havana daydreaming over the summer. This Saturday morning we will hear the gun and only 500nm stand in our way to making that a reality.”

A Brief History of the Havana Race
The original Gulf of Mexico-based race began off the famous St. Petersburg Municipal Pier.  The pier marked one end of the line; a Coast Guard cutter, which would follow the fleet with the race committee on board, usually marked the outer end. A U.S. Navy cruiser, the Trenton, served on one occasion; her wind shadow in the starting area can only be imagined.  As described by Franklin David Hewitt, a participant in two of the pre-war races, in his book ‘The Habana Race’, the old “Million Dollar” Municipal Pier would be jammed with spectators. Then, as now, most were ignorant of the sport but were thrilled by rushing boats, maneuvering in a good breeze near the pier. They would frequently break into applause when a yacht would race up to the pier and tack with sails snapping, blocks whirring and the crew jumping around.

Pensacola to Havana Race courseIn those days before electronic navigation, going aground in the end of the Florida Keys (a.k.a. ‘Rebecca Shoals’) or onto the rocky north coast of Cuba was a substantial risk. No GPS, no Loran, no satellite phones.  All that most crews had to use were lead lines, a magnetic compasses, and taffrail logs.

The final leg, 90 miles south across the east-flowing Gulf Stream, presented the fleets with everything from a rail-down reach in an easterly trade wind with the loom of Havana’s lights drawing you in from 30 miles out, to 30 hours of squalls, knockdowns, low visibility and uncertainty about their position relative to Havana and the rest of the hard north coast of Cuba. The finish line was under the ramparts of Morro Castle— a mind-bending sight on a moonlit night after a violent Gulf Stream crossing! In the early years, the fleet anchored off the old waterfront buildings. Skippers then hailed the bumboat ‘Matanzas’ for a short trip to shore— and a wild taxi ride to a hotel or the yacht club.

The J/130 start off Pensacola, already a mile ahead!October 31- Halloween Start
After the start on October 31st, Halloween eve, the fleet was faced with rough conditions on their 511nm adventure to Havana.  After the first 24 hours, several boats had to retire due to 20-30 kt winds and 5-7 foot seas took their tool.

Sailing in PHRF A Class was LESSON # 1, the J/130 owned by John Lee and co-skippered by Guy Williams and Mike Finn.  Early on, their tracking system malfunctioned, but they had been sending information to a Facebook page via friends posting it after speaking to them on satellite phone. At about 1000 hrs, LESSON # 1 told the Pensacola Yacht Club that her position was near the rhumb-line and was the closest boat to Cuba at 27.56.00 N latitude. They said the winds had moderated and they had blue sky.

The Gulf Stream, which pushes up the Atlantic across the tracks for the Charleston, Annapolis, Newport and Marion to Bermuda races, starts as a current that pushes north between Cuba and the Yucatan area of Mexico. The current sweeps north and then loops south along the coast of Florida giving sailors a boost of up to 3kts going towards Cuba.

The section of the stream between Dry Tortugas and Cuba can be rough because the eastbound current collides with the prevailing wind from the east and stacks up choppy waves.  As a result, all of the boats still on the course were having a wet go of it.

The J/130 Lesson #1 franken-mainNovember 3- Tuesday- LESSON # 1 report:
“At 0245 hrs, we experienced a blowout of the mainsail. Today while under the #1, we created a “franken-main” and have opted to race on. Currently about 230 miles from Havana. Power still scarce and only provided by a solar panel. Spirits are high and all is well.

We were becalmed for a bit overnight, Tuesday's sailing has been slow at around 3 knots - no one is enjoying limping along under the franken-main, but this has allowed some time to learn how to adjust its shape primarily using the "shoestring batten tweaker" and then quickly sending someone up the mast to tighten the turnbuckle on a 4-inch sagging D2 shroud. Sailing this afternoon has improved with LESSON #1 averaging around 6.2 knots in 8-11 knots of breeze and we are now trimming to course - Havana. We have now officially entered the Florida Straits and at 3:30pm, our finish is 120 miles away.

Talk onboard is already of shipping a delivery main to Key West for pick-up early next week and of having our failed, brand spanking new alternator worked on in the Marina Hemingway - if they can keep that fleet of 50's era Fords, Chevys and Pontiacs running, surely there is a wizard down there to assist.

The gulf stream "loop" to Havana, CubaOn Friday November 6th, the entire fleet sailing from Pensacola will participate in the "actual" amateur sporting event which is a race along Havana's Melacon to the historic Castillo de Morro that has guarded the entrance to Havana Bay for over four centuries. Each boat in the fleet will take on Cuban dignitaries and school children and race for line honors again - Lesson plans to fly the franken-main proudly.

As the sun gets ready to set in the Straits, the crew is settling down into the evening ritual even though a bit distracted. In the slow winds earlier in the day, our female crew member did a bit of laundry off the stern and now there are dainties peppered here and there tied to the stern and drying in the sun.

Our navigator has now estimated an arrival of noon tomorrow, but the winds are building and the boat is starting to heel, so much that we are now de-powering the franken-main because we haven't learned to trust it as of yet. Who knows what the winds will do when the sun goes down... maybe a shift to let us finally raise a spinnaker?”

November 4– The Finish
The first monohull to finish was the scratch boat in that division, LESSON # 1, the J/130 from New Orleans, LA sailed by co-skippers Guy Williams and Mike Finn and their crew of Troy Gilbert, Morgan Mayberry, Anthony Bartlett, Bryan Whited, Randall Richmond, and Claire Miller. Despite a broken alternator and a blown out mainsail (repaired and nicknamed ‘franken-main’), they finished as the first monohull at 8:05:50 AM Wednesday. ‘Lesson’ did not use her engine except to charge her battery- - until the alternator went out and there was no need. They charged with a solar panel from there on end to the finish.

Several of the boats that have finished— and many still on the course— have used their engines for propulsion. Calculating the adjusted corrected times of all the boats will be a complex task.   Read more about LESSON # 1 adventures here on their Facebook page   Read the SAILING WORLD blogs from LESSON # 1 here.   For more Cuba Race 2015 sailing information

J/109 sailing Hamble Winter SeriesHamble Winter Series Halfway Break
(Hamble, England)- With four weekends and seven races in the bag, the fleet have reached the halfway point of the 2015 Garmin Hamble Winter Series.

The winds have been predominately light, and the weather unseasonably warm for the Autumn. These conditions of course have meant “shifts a-plenty” for competitors racing in the central Solent; not to mention a challenge for race officers Kathy Smalley and Stuart Childerley to set their courses.

When the series resumes on Sunday 8th November, there will be one race a day scheduled, meaning that boats with gains to make will have to work hard to make their gains in the four races remaining.

In some fleets, there are clear winners in the making, like IRC 0.  At this stage, three J/Teams are leading a clean sweep.  Cornel Riklin's J/111 JITTERBUG has recorded a perfect score in the series so far, followed by Louise Makin’s J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II in second just 6 pts back and Chris Daniel’s J/122 JUNO in third another 16 pts back.

The J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT sailed by Paul Ward has their work cut out for them to remain in the top three, but anything is possible.  A last race ZFP added an unnecessary 4 pts to their score, otherwise they would be within a one race score for second place.

The J/97 BLACKJACK II led by owners Annie Kelly & Andy Howe lead a J/Team sweep of IRC 3 overall, with a near-perfect score spoiled only by a second place in race 7.  Not far off in 2nd and 3rd overall are two J/92s, Robin Stevenson’s UPSTART and David Greenhalgh’s J’RONIMO, respectively.

But in other classes, things are by no means so clear-cut. In the J/109 class, Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE leads Joe Henry’s JOLLY JACK TAR by three points. In turn, they are just 5 pts clear of Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR in third.  As usual, the J/109s have such tight racing that one weekend’s worth of upside scores is enough to jumble the standings.  Time will tell soon!

Thanks go to our day sponsors, which have included Force 4 Chandlery, The Bugle and Wadworth's Brewery providing prizes for the highest-placed competitors present at the prize-giving, so it's well worth heading to HRSC after racing!

Thanks to all competitors and to the volunteer race teams and shoreside helpers for their dedication so far - and we look forward to seeing you on the 8th November.   For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/24 winnersChill J/22 & J/24 ECCs
(Eastport, MD)- It was true to form, a fall sailing classic on the Chesapeake Bay with moderate breezes both days with fall foliage in full bloom all around the edges of the waterfront.  While Saturday was mostly cloudy and cool all day, Sunday dawned with nice northerly chill winds and a gorgeous partly cloudy day.  Severn Sailing Association welcomed everyone on the opening day with a warm-hearted cookout, good eats and good drinks as teams assembled, launched and got ready for the weekend of racing.

J/22 sailing East Coasts in AnnapolisTaking home the grand prize for the J/22 East Coast Championship was JR Maxwell from the host SSA team with just 18 pts based on a consistent 4-2-5-3-2-2 scoreline.  Second was Chris Junge from Eastport YC with a nearly equal record save for a last race disaster, scoring a 2-4-6-1-4-10 for 27 pts total.  In fact, Junge had to win the tie-breaker over Chris Gaffney’s crew that had posted a 3-10-4-2-3-5 for an equal 27 pts.  Just one point away from this duo was Jeff Todd’s Annapolis YC team, winning an astonishing three races but for a few bombers tossed in to torpedo the scoreline to secure 4th from the jaws of defeat.  Fifth place was Brad Julian’s crew with 29 pts, yet one point further back.

The J/24 Eastern Championships were sponsored by Hillman Investments and the fleet of fifteen boats enjoyed very close racing amongst the top five teams that included past East Coast, National, North American and World Champions amongst the skipper and crews!  In fact, was quite the stellar cast for the size of the fleet.  In the end, it was Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER from New York that threw down the gauntlet in the first three races (ONLY three 1sts) to win with 21 pts.

J/24 sailing East Coast ChampionshipHowever, despite racing ahead of the fleet at the beginning, their seemingly astonishing success was clearly affecting the team’s ability to execute as a 6-1-6 in the closing races pulled them back to reality.  Closing fast was class veteran, Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET, with two bullets and three 3rds to finish a highly respectable second with 27 pts for a gentleman in his fourth decade of J/24 sailing!

Sailing the highly graphically-adorned SEA BAGS SAILING TEAM was Carter White and crew from Portland, Maine, posting an all top seven scoreline to secure third place with 31 pts.

The balance of the top five was Mike Marshall’s PIPE DREAM from Jamestown, RI with 34 pts and in fifth was Peter Rich’s crew from host SSA.  Rock-star Robby Brown’s crew from Tampa, FL had to settle for a 6th place despite winning a race.  Here is the report from the winning team skipper- Travis Odenbach:

“Walking Away with a Trophy and Great Lessons- though the numbers were small, the competition was tight!

The weather was perfect, with mid-sixty temps the whole weekend. Friday conditions were 10-15 knots out of the north, which made for shifty but flat water. Saturday brought sunshine, powerboats, and light flukey winds out of the southeast. Sunday had some more shifty conditions with the wind ranging from 7-13 knots. Annapolis is known for streaky wind and having to go to the puffs instead of waiting for them to come to you, but for the most part that wasn't the case. Overall, we enjoyed some of the best conditions I have sailed in at Annapolis.

I learned a lot about sailing in Annapolis last weekend, but there was one thing that stuck with me: in shifty conditions, get on the lifted tack in a good lane as quick as possible!

J/24 sailboats- crossing tacks in AnnapolisThe start line was short and there were only fifteen boats. Our team talked about where we wanted to start and what end of the line we favored. In the grand scheme of things, the favored line didn't matter as much as being on the correct tack right after the start. Our goal became having a clean start and, if lifted, staying until the next shift or immediately tacking onto the lifted tack. Whether we had a good start or a bad start, we always got on the lifted tack trying to lead to the next shift first.

I will say it again: be the first to lead to the next shift!

Geoff Ewenson, my tactician for the weekend, never really said that was our strategy, but after the third race on Friday I started to see a trend. Whether we could tack and cross the fleet or duck the fleet or go straight for a few minutes, we were always on the right tack heading to the mark. That is a very good feeling when driving the boat.

The other thing I really concentrated on was rig tension. With it being so shifty and puffy, my go-to plan was set up for the lulls!

Friday was windier – hardly ever dropping below 9 knots – so I stayed at 24 on the uppers and 21 on the lowers. A good gauge for when to be at this setting is when everyone is always on the rail and the backstay has to be used every so often.

Saturday and Sunday, we stayed at 20-15 because it was so patchy across the course. We never went below base unless it was super flat and super light. (I did get caught one race below base and every time the breeze came up over six knots I had no height – the boat felt stalled out the whole time.)

The East Coast Championship Regatta in Annapolis is a staple event for the J/24 fleet. As usual, Mark Rivera and Pat Fitzgerald hosted a great event. From Dock Talks on Friday to Flip Cup on Saturday, I wouldn't ever miss this event. (And Annapolis delivered on a great Halloween party in town!) So thanks to Pat and Mark for a great weekend, and thank you to my team – Geoff Ewenson, Ian Coleman, Wilson Stout, and Collin Kirby – I will see you next year!”   Sailing photo credits- Dan Phelps/   For more J/22 East Coast sailing information  For more J/24 East Coasts sailing information

J/105 sailing Chesapeake Bay champsTENACIOUS King of Chesapeake J/105s
MAGGIE In Tie-breaker for J/35 Mid-Atlantics Title
(Annapolis, MD)- Over the Halloween weekend, the Annapolis YC hosted the J/105 Chesapeake Bay Championship and the J/35 Mid-Atlantic Championships.  Like their smaller one-design colleagues on the J/22s and J/24s, the fleet of 35-foot J’s enjoyed somewhat benign weather conditions on the upper Chesapeake Bay with close, thrilling racing for all.

J/105 Chesapeake Bay Champs
The J/105s had a great turnout with seventeen boats participating.  The top three teams all sailed extremely well and posted mostly all top 5 finishes in their scorelines.  Improving every single race was Scott Gitchell’s crew on TENACIOUS, starting out with a 5th place, then posting a 3-2-1 tally to win bragging rights as Chesapeake Bay Champion.  Just behind him, the duel became a tie-breaker scenario, with Andrew Kennedy’s BAT IV winning that fight over Lewis’ MIRAGE, both sitting on 15 pts.

For the balance of the top five, it’s hard to imagine how close the racing was on the water.  The next four boats in the standings all finished within 6 pts of each other, the last race being the determining factor in the final outcome.  By virtue of a 3rd in the last race, Cherner’s CRASH took 4th place with 22 pts while Konigsberg’s INIGO took 5th in the finale, dropping them into 5th overall with 24 pts.  In fact, INIGO also had to win a tie-breaker over Robbins’ ALLEGIANCE.

J/35 sailing Chesapeake Bay regatta off AnnapolisJ/35 Mid-Atlantics
Similarly, the J/35s had a nice turnout of six boats that provided nail-biting finishes in the overall standings for just about everyone.  How’s this for a final race, the winner was determined by a tie-breaker as was the balance of the top five!  “Holy bat cave, Batman,” said Robin, “that’s a Riddle we can’t solve!”  Sharing identical records, it came down to who-beat-who in the last race to crown the Mid-Atlantic Champion.  That title was bestowed upon Scheidt’s MAGGIE with a 2-1-2-1 tally for 6 pts, while Sagerholm’s AUNT JEAN had a 1-2-1-2 for 6 pts and lost!  Third was easy, since Travis’ BZING had a 3-3-4-4 for 14 pts.  But, 4th and 5th place finishers also had identical scores; Artmans’ T-BONE sailed to a 5-4-5-3 tally for 17 pts to win the tie-break over Lepich’s TIAMAT that had a 4-5-3-5 record for 17 pts.  Having some fun in the sun those guys had on Sunday, eh?!   Sailing photo credits- Dan Phelps/   For more J/105 Chesapeake Bay and J/35 Mid-Atlantic sailing information

J/24s sailing off Sydney, AustraliaKAOTIC J/24 New South Wales State Champs!
(Sydney, Australia)- Royal Prince Edward YC hosted this year’s J/24 New South Wales State Championships.  The fleet had a fantastic turnout and some amazing racing within sight of the famous Sydney Heads.

Chef Paula of the Oz J/24 class said, “Thank you to the 16 crews that attended, and all the staff and committee and volunteers at Royal Prince Edward YC for making the NSW J24 State Championships last weekend such a great regatta.  Two days of good breezy racing kept the fleet happy and I am sure you will all agree that the Saturday night dinner was a great success and hopefully you all had chance to mingle with other sailors you hadn’t previously spoken with!”

We are anticipating a full-on interview and perspective, a typical no holds-barred, complete dressing-up (or down) of the winners from Simon Grain and all competitors in the not too distant future.

Nevertheless, here’s how it truly all went down, Down Under in the NSW’s 2015.  First was the dynamic duo of Arthur Crothers/Sean Kirkjian on KAOTIC.  The balance of the top five was Stephen Girdis in the infamously fast CONVICTS REVENGE in 2nd, John Crawford’s INNAMINCKA in 3rd, the “Tres Amigos” (Marc & Oloff Tromp & Brendan Lee) on WATERBORNE AGAIN in 4th, and another duet (David West & Andy Lim) sailing ACE taking 5th overall.

Top Women’s skipper was Janette Syme on WILDFIRE.  And, the winners of the “Handicap Division” were Ron Thomson on KICKING in 1st, the WATERBORNE AGAIN gang in 2nd and Janet’s WILDFIRE in 3rd. More news surely to come!  Stay tuned.   For more Australian J/24 Class sailing news

J/24 winners- Autumn Cup in Poole, EnglandPAGET Trumps J/24 Autumn Cup
(Plymouth, United Kingdom)- The Saltash Sailing Club in Plymouth was pleased to host the 19 boats that competed in this years J/24 Autumn Cup. A good increase from 11 boats last year in our growing UK J/24 fleet. The light and frequently changing wind made Saturday’s racing a challenge for the best of tacticians. The three windward-leeward races brought out the best in the competitors with each race having a different winner.

Race 1 saw Steve Wassell’s JINERATION X slide past Dave Cooper’s JAWBREAKER on the last run to take the honors. Race 2 saw the wind back 20 degrees and Dave Moore’s JIFI, saw the shift ahead of the fleet to lead into the final leeward mark just for Stig in JELI to see the last shift and pip Dave to the line.

Race 3 saw carnage on the start line as the wind shifts continued, with numerous boats doing penalty turns. While everybody sorted themselves out, 2 boats started the fight for victory. The lead changed hands between Quinton Hall’s JUJU and Steve Wassell’s JINERATION X, with JUJU getting the best of the last run to take Race 3.

Race 4 saw the fleet beat to the windward mark and race up the River Tamar to Saltash. Around 12 boats arrived at the top mark within 30 seconds of each other making the run a competitive affair. Dave Cooper’s JAWBREAKER and Darren Stansbury’s new boat PAGET hotly contested the lead and it was the tactics of JAWBREAKER that won the day.

After a discard Day 1, the resulted ended with JAWBREAKER (6 pts) leading over JINERATION X (8 pts) followed by JELI (9 pts) and PAGET (9 pts).

Day 2 saw two races set in the River Tamar on triangle courses in an increasing breeze. JAWBREAKER and PAGET contested Race 5 result with PAGET taking the win from JAWBREAKER in a tightly contested race. The final race saw some challenging conditions as the breeze increased and gusts of over 20 knots caused problems on the tight spinnaker leg. Nick McDonald’s CACOON managed the difficult conditions the best followed shortly by Carmichael Mackie’s JIGGY, which kept up the tone of the weekend with each race seeing a different winner!

The J/24 UKJCA “thanks” goes to the Race Officers for their diligence in setting the courses in very difficult conditions. The Westerly prize was taken by Dave Moore’s JIFI (the oldest boat in the fleet). In the final analysis, consistency was the key to success and after taking out the discard, PAGET prevailed to take the J/24 Autumn Cup from JAWBREAKER and JINERATION X.

Special mention of Parkstone Youth Team who had a great first regatta sailing together. Thanks to David Cooper and the Plymouth team for helping them get on the water with the loan of NITRO.

The whole event was a great success with class racing at its best, spread the word and let’s get the numbers even higher.  It’s “more bang for your bucks” in the UK J/24 Class Association!  Thanks go to Steve Wassell of JINERATION X for this report.   For more UK J/24 Class sailing information

J/24 Hungary team at Swedish OpenKarsunke Declared Swedish J/24 Open Champion
(Malmo, Sweden)- This year’s J/24 Swedish Open 2015 was held by Malmö Segelsällskap (MSS) from the 23rd-25th of October at the same time as the famous Halloween Race. The tradition was fulfilled better than most anyone anticipated, with many crews bringing the worst Halloween costumes they could find!

The racing took place SSW of Malmo, in the vicinity of the famous Öresund Bridge. The area outside Malmo is regarded as a very challenging race course concerning wind, waves and, of course, the current. Of note, this was the same racing area that saw America’s Cup Champion Ed Baird (skipper of the Swiss ALINGHI) win his first, and only, J/24 World Championship in 1983 with J/Boats co-founder, Bob Johnstone, taking the silver by one point!

After a six race series, the top German J/24 team, Stefan Karsunke from the Blankeneser Segel-club won the regatta by virtue of a tie-breaker over host Per-Hakan Persson from MSS.  Both teams had 8 pts net, but Karsunke’s 1-3-2-3-1-1 record beat Persson’s 2-1-1-1-3-5 for the overall “Swedish Open” title.  Third was Klaus Walkusch from Sweden with 13 pts net.  They were followed by two German teams, Fabian Damm with 18 pts in 4th and Daniel Frost in 5th.  Taking 6th in a borrowed boat was Peter Szabo from Hungary.  Here is his story below of their fun-loving experience:

J/24 Hungary sailors at Swedish Open“I arrived in Malmö, and Per-Håkan's brother loaned us his boat, helped us launch it and take it to the club next door. Our boat engine mount broke approximately 1 minute after the launch! Oh my God!  Bad juju.  Fortunately, the motor did not sink with us having to scuba dive after it because it was secured with a rope!  Yah, it probably would have been difficult to start after taking a bath in salt water! After the adventurous crossing near the harbor, we went off to Per-Håkan’s home for dinner and much needed sleep.

We woke up in the morning to see the weather forecast did not lie to us! West winds of 7-8 Bft.  But, the forecast was for it to moderate by afternoon.  With a harbor postponement, we spent the morning sightseeing in Malmö.  We quickly made many friends!

Later, the early evening welcome party with the J/24 teams with BBQ and beer.  It was kind of a “pot luck” dinner.  Since we have good Hungarian wines, cheese and salami, we offered them as we tell them the Hungarian J/24 class (site of the 2017 European Championship) will be offering gallons of wines and kilograms of delicious cheese & salami.  Our offerings of Hungarian delicacies were a great success. Relatively quickly, the party ended save for a few of us hardy, party-goers!  Just a few of the Swedes, Germans and the only Hungarian team!

The next morning we went to the skipper’s meeting. Amazing, we find out we are sailing against a very talented fleet for just a dozen boats!  Top five boats in the J/24 Worlds.  Oh boy.  Well, the local winds today are from the south (parallel to shore_ from 3-4 Bft.  We should be able to manage this OK.  However, we had a rough day, including an OCS that we did not correct!

J/24 Hungary team at Malmo Segelskapp yacht clubAfter the races, we had Swedish hamburgers, Swedish pea soup, Swedish punch and Swedish sauna- cannot get better than that! Then, an evening dinner at a downtown restaurant.

For the final day of sailing, we had a stronger breeze, 4-5 Bft west wind but with the promise of some storms.  Unfortunately, the fleet got hit by a storm in the second race, we broached and tore our spinnaker.  After three races in challenging conditions, we were happy to go home without more damage.

The Swedes were very nice, always insisting that we should be happy that we came from Hungary!  Lots of hugging, smiles, supporting us in everything we did.  It was a local European Championship for sure, but, we'll probably be seeing more of them on Lake Balaton! The Germans, especially, are expected to come in force to our lovely lake.  We hope to see them all soon!”

The Hungarian team that participated in the Swedish J/24 Open included- Peter Szabo, Zsolt Baranyai, Attila Soos, Bence Kollányi, and Edina Nagy.   For more Swedish J/24 Open Championship sailing information

J/24 sailing Italy winter seriesJ/24 Anzio-Nettuno Winter Series Update
(Anzio-Nettuno, Italy)- DJKE, the boat sailed by the Polizia Penitenziaria team has now taken the lead over the 3rd weekend of the Anzio-Nettuno Winter series.

Despite the vagaries of the wind with its constant shifts in direction and intensity that has sorely tested the Race Committee (chaired by Mario de Grenet), the twenty-seven crews sailing the 41st Winter Championship of Anzio-Nettuno managed to complete more good racing in 8-10 kt winds.

Sailing to very consistent finishes (2-2-2) was DJKE’s skipper Fabio Delicate with crew of Marco Vincenti, Joseph Incatasciato, Roberto Comodi Ballanti, and Francesco Maglioccola.  Taking second for the weekend with a 5-4-1 was PELLA NERA from Nettuno YC skippered by Soling World Champion Farkas Litkey from Hungary for boat owner Paolo Cecamore.  Third for the weekend was JULIUS CAESAR sailed by Pietro Massimo Meriggi with a 4-10-3 record.

Italian J/24 crewThe early regatta series leader, Ignazio Bonanno with crew of Simone Scontrino, Alfredo Branciforte, Francesco Picaro, and Vincenzo Vano on their famous LA SUPERBA slipped from 1st to 7th due to a 1-1-BFD tally.

Said leading skipper Delicate, "Ours is a veteran group, together since 1994 (although Francesco and Roberto were added later), well knit both on the water and on land.  The results of this weekend are rewards for our commitment and determination to do well.  While we had not sailed for six months, we managed to get some training sessions in before this regatta.  We are participating with great enthusiasm in this winter circuit and enjoy the competition against LA SUPERBA and DJKE with Hungarian Champion sailor Farkas Litkey on board.”

The J/24 Anzio-Nettuno Winter Series of 2015-16 is well organized by the Committee of the CV Roma and Royal Rowing Club Tevere Remo. Racing continues on Sundays- 15 & 29 November, 13 December, 17 & 31 January, 14 & 28 February, and 13 March.  On each weekend, the teams sails at least two races, the third is at the discretion of the PRO.   Sailing photo credits- Giancarlo Capobianco   For more J/24 Anzio-Nettuno Winter Series sailing information

J/80s sailing Grevelingencup in Netherlands 
J/80 Grevelingencup Winter Series Report
(The Netherlands)- “With 5-10 knots of wind, eight boats on the line and an autumn sun, it was a wonderful opening of the Grevelingencup Winter series,” reported Laura Vroon.

“With the new BABY J joining the fleet in the hands of P Kersten and the returning fleet that are familiar with our hectic fleet, it remains a beautiful field. Focus was necessary in order to capitalize on the subtle shifts. A nice quiet start of a promising winter. Promising, because we have divided this winter into the north and south fleet. There have never been so many days of racing in a J/80 sailing regatta series in the winter. In addition, there were never so many entries, twenty in total! So, it's started! On to the next, in this case the Frostbite Regatta on November 8 on the Gooimeer,” continued Laura.

After the first weekend, Peter Paul de Vries LED2LEASE is leading with a 2-1-1 scoreline for 4 pts net.  Second is Ms Vroon’s team on the famous JOIE DE VIVRE with a 1-3-3 tally for 7 pts.  Third is David van Veen’s nJOY with a 5-2-2.  Fourth is Chris Savoye’s MENTAQUILIBRIUM sitting on a 3-4-4 for 11 pts and in fifth is Edwin Spaans’ J-STRING with a 4-6-6 for 16 pts.   For more J/80 Netherlands Grevelingencup sailing information

J/24s sailing Lake Balaton, HungaryRauschenberger Wins Groupama-Granini J/24 Hungarian Championship
(Lake Balaton, Hungary)- Sailing is different in Hungary.  Everything seems to revolve around food, wine & friends, though not necessarily in that order.  While racing and being competitive is important, for many Hungarian sailors, the social element and friends that are made partaking in their enjoyment on the water is what is most important.  An appreciation of being with friends, experiencing sunrise, sunset, beautiful days, spectacular weather, crazy frontal systems- it is all an extraordinary concoction of ingredients that make Lake Balaton what it is in central Europe— a mesmerizing lake for romantics, novelists, dreamers and innovators.  Plus, the sailing can be an eye-opening experience for those who love challenging lake sailing conditions.  No wonder such a little country has produced such amazingly good sailors over the course of time.

J/24 DJango women's teamFor this year’s Hungarian J/24 Championship, the weather was great, because the wind was blowing for most of the regatta.  But, according to Erik Hercsik, “the onshore program is superb.  We organized events for everyone because the sailors can be tired in the evenings. On Thursday, after three terribly tiring races, I arrived onshore and the Veszprém Taste restaurant team, led by Philip Laci (a great cordon-bleu chef), served a fabulous dinner under the tent!

On Friday because of the strong onshore wind, we waited all day. As a result, after a “sightseeing” day, the J/24 sailors all ended up at the Koczor CELLAR restaurant/pub in the late afternoon. There, by the Balaton YC invitation, was a fantastic dinner waiting for the competitors! The Koczor CELLAR (Koczor Kalman, Dora and friends) served up in their beautiful and elegant hall some great wines and a four-course gala dinner!

On Saturday, there were three more races. Fierce sailing, plenty of it with over 20 knots of breeze, a “fat-burning” wind, humans torn & broken (figuratively, of course). It was Neanderthal manly-man conditions! Womanly-warriors on the loose! And, here there was a continuous evolution of the J/24 class. Amazing since 1977- nearly 40 years on our lake!

The fleet was roughly divided into 3 groups. All three groups had enjoyable battles, everyone found his opponent with whom he fought a battle against flesh & blood, ultimately to be settled with a beer or glass of wine later. With winds of 20+ knots, the most naturally competent crews rose to the top. It was beautiful! In the evening dinner program there was enough food and drink to satisfy the most adventurous and the most calm of souls.

J/24 sailing Lake BalatonThen Sunday- big surprise- the wind did not want to conform to the weather forecast correctly, the worst of all protagonists! Just one race, that is what everyone wished. So, that ended the seven races of the championship.  Eighteen boats, 98 sailors.  That’s huge!  Great racing, a great host, excellent party parties, beautiful event t-shirts, beautiful prizes and special prizes.”

As noted earlier, it was Nicholas Rauschenberger’s JUKEBOX team that won. His crew included Peter Thomas, James Paladin, Ákos Pécsváradi, and Thomas Richter.  Second was Team ZULU with Matthew Cock as skipper with crew of Thomas Jager, Andrew Mustachio, Matyas Molnar, and Erika Nemeth.  Third was Team DJANGO with Erik Hercsik, Peter Csaba, and others. Fourth was NORD TELEKOM sailed by Gabor Makai, Krauth Balazs, Aaron Serke, Csaba Lokodi, & Szalay Tamas. Finally, in 5th place was EUPHEMY (Thomas Madarász, Stephen Illy, Viola Baumann, Alexandra Weaver, Mihály Filó).  Thanks for the report from Erik Hercsik.   For more Hungary J/24 Sailing news

J/80 Spain Nautica WatchesNAUTICA WATCHES Catalonian J/80 Champion
(Badalona, Spain)- José Maria Van der Ploeg (a Spanish Olympic Gold Medallist and J/80 World Champion) and his crew of NAUTICA WATCHES, reconquer the title of Champions of the Catalonia J/80 class after winning 4 of the 6 races held in the waters off Badalona. Second place overall was BRIBON MOVISTAR skippered by Marc Bertrand Antonio (another J/80 World Champion), with the NACEX Team completing the podium.

In this edition of the regatta, organized by the Sailing Club Badalona, a new category called "SPORT" was introduced.  The basic idea is to create a formula to promote the kind of sailing that allows lower-level amateur teams to approach the world of high competition and compete together with the world’s elite sailors that are leading the Spanish J/80 fleet.   For more Spanish J/80 fleet sailing information

J/24 Uruguay- Pedro Garra for YC Punta del EsteJ/24 Argentina Report
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)- Spring is sweeping across South America and that means the active J/24 fleet in Argentina are sailing all of their spring championships down along the Rio Plata in Buenos Aires and up in the Andes Mountains in Cordoba.

In September, the Buenos Aires fleet held their Grand Prix Internacional de Vela L.A. Cerrato at YC Olivos.  The fleet enjoyed a gentle breeze Saturday with two races in winds gusting up to 18 kt and then three races on Sunday in more moderate breezes.

The Uruguayan crew led by Pedro Garra from YC Punta del Este sailed EXTASIS to a well-deserved win, winning three of the five races for a total of 5 pts.  Taking second was Sergio Pendola racing CACIQUE just five points behind the Uruguayans.  Third was Sebastian Halpern’s team on MORRUCHO with 11 pts.

J/24 bow girl in ArgentinaFor the mid-October Buenos Aires Week, the fleet sailed on successive Sundays.  The first Sunday on the Rio Plata saw a strong southeast wind with steep, short chop that is typical of the river.  The PRO managed to run three more races for the series.  Then, on the following Sunday, the fleet again enjoyed southeast winds in the 10-12 kts range that permitted the PRO to complete the entire 12 race series!

The fight for the lead was extremely close and was defined by the results of the last race! It was a thrilling finale to the Buenos Aires Week championship.  Pedro Garra’s EXTASIS team from YC Punta del Este in Uruguay started off the series in third place after the first weekend of sailing. However, in the second weekend, their last six races saw no races scored less than 3rd!  As a result, Garra’s EXTASIS won their second major regatta in Argentina with a points total of 24 pts for ten races counted- an amazing 2.4 average score!  Again playing bridesmaid to the Uruguayans was Sergio Pendola’s CACIQUE, placing second in the last race to take 2nd overall with 26 pts.  After having a slow start themselves on the first weekend of sailing, Nicolas Cubria’s WORKNET team won the last race to leap onto the podium in 3rd position with 29 pts.

J/24 sailing Argentina- Buenos AiresOver the October 10th to 12th weekend, the Club Nautico Cordoba completed the two-weekend event called the Cordoba Spring Championship.  The local fleet sails on one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, Lago San Roque, nestled into the foothills of the spectacular Andes Mountain range in western Argentina.  On Saturday, the fleet had a warm day with northeast winds of 4-12 kts.  The CNC clubhouse in Villas Carlos Paz was brimming with activity as the fleet of eighteen boats prepared for the final weekend of racing the Spring Championship.  In the end, SAMA was declared the overall champion with a record of 3-10-4-2-2 for 11 pts net.  Second was Jorge Garcia Velazco’s SIROCCO with a scoreline of 13-2-3-4-3 for 12 pts net.  Third was PICANTE, winning a tie-breaker over CARRER.  Fifth was INDIGO, a past winner of the event.

Over the Halloween weekend, Club Universidad de Buenos Aires (CUBA), held their Tournament Amadeo Alurralde.   With a beautiful sunny day and a fresh breeze from the southeast blowing 12-16 kts, the “barco de comite” and its PRO managed to complete enough races to make it a regatta.  In fact, it made for a raucous Halloween celebration later at the CUBA clubhouse!  Winning with straight bullets was Guillermo Belinotto’s CARRERA crew from CUBA with 3 pts total.  Taking second again (must be getting old, eh?) was Sergio Pendola’s CACIQUE with a 3-2-2 for 7 pts.  Only one point back in third position on the podium was Alejandro Rossi’s SHARK with a 2-3-3 for 8 pts total.  Rounding out the top five was Javier Donzelli’s MENDIETA in 4th with 12 pts and Diego Cervi’s SEX SYMBOL in 5th with 15 pts.   J/24 Regattas CUBA sailing photos on Facebook   For more Argentina J/24 sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/22 women's sailing team* Honing Your Game: Using Pros to Get Better in the Offseason.  Duffy Perkins, a new J/22 owner, shares her story in the October 2015 issue of Spinsheet magazine:

“I like to think I’m a decent crew member. I’m not afraid to aggressively hike out. I always remember who likes mayo on their sandwich, and who thinks the red Gatorade is disgusting. I’ll even run the bow if the bowman is too hungover.

The only thing I won’t do on a boat is drive. If you try to get me to drive, I have multiple elaborate excuses, ranging from insurance issues to a mild concussion I suffered (six years ago, but still). I’ll explain that I’m a nervous hurler.

But, back to being a good crew member: life sometimes gets in the way of your sailing. I got married, we moved from Boston to Annapolis, and within two years we had two kids. My sailing was still happening, but I was rusty.

Knowing that I needed to get my butt back in the game, I contacted Kristen Berry of J/World, asking about options for the early spring sailing circuit, when everyone on the Bay is still wearing socks. He mentioned that he had a spot on a J/70 for Charleston Race Week and told me I’d mesh well with his crew. My husband Trevor found a ride on another J/70 for the regatta, the grandparents agreed to babysit the kids, and we were off.

We drove all night from Annapolis to Charleston, arriving at the J/World dock at promptly 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning. My team for the week was Tom Kase, a Canadian sailor, and Wayne Cassady, a J/22 sailor from Kentucky. Kristen was sailing with us, but he wasn’t able to touch the tiller during racing due to J/World protocol.

Both Tom and Wayne were experienced skippers, and I was ready to bang around the 70’s front position for them. But the J/World philosophy involves getting crew members to switch positions during racing, so I would be moving around the boat. I didn’t feel comfortable doing this, so to get some practice, Kristen had us rig the boat and we headed out onto the water.

Charleston Harbor is unique on the East Coast for its somewhat indecipherable currents. Three rivers spill into the harbor; the Wando, the Cooper, and the Ashley. Add in tide, shallows, and wind direction, and you have one of the most schizophrenic bodies of water on the East Coast.

We planned two days of practice before the official regatta, getting used to the boat, the currents, and fine tuning our communication skills. And there’s no better way to work on your communication than to have a man overboard situation.

Winds were above 40 knots, and we had the kite up when we experienced a death roll gybe. I ended up pulling Wayne back into the boat. It was the first time that had ever happened to me, and having a coach present made a significant difference (not that I still wasn’t freaked out).

By the time racing started Friday morning, I felt I could hang on the boat just as well as anyone. But on the race course, it became very obvious just how much time J/70 crews put in to getting their boats dialed down. Kristen reminded me that we had multiple days on the water, but other boats had months, years, even decades of sailing together, getting their communication down, knowing just where their bodies should be positioned on the boat.

Needless to say, once racing started, we weren’t winning the regatta.

The J/World program necessitates that every crew member changes position on the boat after each race. But I felt differently. I wasn’t there to learn to drive. I shouldn’t drive! Insurance! Coma! Nervous hurling over the side!

So I was beyond surprised when Kristen pulled me aside and said, “Duffy, you’re on the helm for the first race tomorrow.” You never want a woman on a boat to ask you to hold her hair, but I did indeed ask Wayne to hold my hair while I hung over the stern and lost everything in my stomach. I pulled him into the boat during the MOB, so it was only fair.

Kristen understood my panic and agreed to be on the main and talk me through the start, which was undoubtedly the most nerve wracking for me. With 40 boats on the line (and 80 on the course), no one is safe, and we saw much more experienced crews getting mixed up with each other (and even the RC boat).

For the first start, Kristen talked me through finding a sliver of a lane near the boat, keeping myself moving while others stalled out and froze. Unfortunately, a general recall brought us all back. I fought back nerves (and my stomach) while we got in sequence for the second start. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as an ‘okay’ start, and as the final seconds ticked off, I felt the whole boat slow and my enthusiasm deplete with it. The boat stalled on the line, and while Kristen never so much as raised his voice, I had so much shouting in my head that I felt lost. He brought me back to the course, getting me settled in and clawing us back into the fleet. “I know you can sail this boat faster than this,” he said to me. But how?

The answer was to get out of my head. Start talking to my jib trimmer Wayne, telling him when I felt pressed or stalled. Talking to my spinnaker trimmer Tom, telling him when I needed to come up for speed and letting him tell me when I needed to soak down. Wayne called the wind, and after our first downwind leg, my husband snapped a picture of me from behind.

Of course, the race has four legs. And in the third leg, the screaming panic in my head became almost unbearable. Kristen was talking to me the whole time, but it wasn’t working. “Enough with this $&*%,” I told him. “I need some tough love!” The look Kristen gave me was one of total astonishment, but then he pounced. He criticized me when I was too low, he yelled “Quit pinching!” when I was too high. Finally, the screaming in my head was silenced, and I was focused solely on the moment.

There’s no comeback story here, if you’re waiting for one. I think we beat one boat that race. But we crossed the line at the back of the fleet, not miles behind anyone. If I were a better skipper, I could have picked off 10 boats easily on the last run. But I’m not a skipper at all.

Finishing the race, we quickly switched positions and Wayne drove one of our best races in the regatta. I felt calm, dialed in, and appreciative of his skill on the helm. As we headed in, he recalled past J/22 regattas. “You get used to the panic feeling,” he said, “but you have to do a lot of it before you get used to it.” Tom sailed the first race of the third day, and as I trimmed his kite, I kept in the back of my mind that it was my turn next on the stick. The wind was down, and we were fighting the tide. Waiting for the second race to happen, we realized the current was heading out at four knots while the wind was pushing at three in the opposite direction. Race committee sent us in.

Sailing in, a big part of me was disappointed that I wasn’t going to have a chance on the helm for the final race. I wanted more time sailing with my team; five days wasn’t nearly enough for what I wanted to accomplish.

That’s the beauty of the J/World course: you realize just how much potential you truly have.

Being a better crew member isn’t about mayo and Gatorade. It’s about racing your sailboat as often as you can, switching positions, dialing down your communication skills, and working with your team until you think and move as one. It takes practice; lots and lots of practice.

So we decided to listen to Wayne’s advice: Trevor and I came back to Annapolis and bought a J/22. I’ve already let J/World know I’m ready for more tough love.”

To up your game before the 2016 sailing season, check out J/World’s programs for CRW, Key West Race Week, and many other regattas here:

J/160 Avatar sailing to Caribbean* The J-160 AVATAR is now going back into the water on Halloween weekend after and extensive four-month refit performed by Front Street Shipyard (, in Belfast, Maine.

According to her proud owner, Alan Fougere and family, “we are back sailing our J/160 AVATAR.  She will be in the Caribbean for winter 2015/ 2016.

For four months, the refit work included new galley counters, new rudder bearings, carbon fiber wheel, navigation station upgrades, including new Raymarine Networked Electronics, Broadband Satellite Communication, navigation computers with integrated AIS systems with proximity alarms.  Work was concluded on time and on budget by Front Street Shipyard supervised by JB Turner.  The high quality and detail of the work performed by Front Street Shipyard was terrific!  Their knowledge about the construction and the hull and frame enhancements made by the yard will help to keep AVATAR sailing her 4000 Nm/year for another 20 years or more.

Next stop?  AVATAR will transit back to her winter home at Proper Yachts, St. John US Virgin Islands in mid November!”

J/80 France- Transat Jacques Fabre sailors* A prologue to the Transat Jacques Vabre Race (TJVR) saw 84 skippers sailing J/80s in Le Havre, France!  Amazingly enough, the organizers of the TJVR hosted all the crews in a “for fun” sailing event held in matched J/80s sailing in the Eure basin on the Le Havre harbor waterfront.  It was simple sailing, just a straight line out and back.  Six races, six boats each.  Very short 10-15 minutes per race.

After six rounds of six races sailed on Saturday morning, six boats emerged victorious to take part in the Grand Finale on Saturday afternoon:
  • CONCISE 2- Philippa Hutton-Squire and Pip HARE
  • SAFRAN- Morgan LAGRAVIERE and Nicolas LUNVEN
  • NEWREST-MATMUT- Fabrice Amedeo and Eric Peron
  • MASTER CHEF- Jeremiah BEYOU and Philippe Legros
  • TEAM CONCISE- Jack BOUTTEL and Gildas Mahé
J/80s sailing Le Havre, France before Transat Jacques Vabre raceAfter six more races, rotating boats between each race, it was the crew of NEWREST-MATMUT that won!  Fabrice Amedeo and Eric Peron were delighted to have Nathalie Giloy from Team JIBESET 1 as their third crew on the winning team!

Fabrice Amedeo said, "I was surfing for the first time on a J/80. Eric was very good and we had a great teammate, Nathalie, whom we met this morning for coffee! It was fun racing!"

On Sunday, Eric and Fabrice started the 12th edition of the TJVR between Havre and Itajai in Brazil, on their IMOCA 60 ft canting-keeler.

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 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again, for 2015/ 2016!  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 regards their various improvements and refit to the boat (see above).  They will again be based at Proper Yachts in St John, US Virgin Islands.

Bill & Judy Stellin- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* Bill & Judy Stellin were interviewed 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.