Wednesday, December 2, 2015

J/Newsletter- December 2nd, 2015

J/112E at sunset 
The NEW J/112E @ Paris Show
(Paris, France)- The new J/112E sport cruiser will be featured at this year’s Salon Nautique at the Parc d’Exposition on the south side of Paris.  This will be the innovative design’s debut in continental Europe. The 112E has received tremendous praise for it’s unique set of features- a refined Scandinavian-style interior of warm woods and beautiful natural light from the expansive windows and hatches; enormous cockpit for entertaining with seats long enough to sleep on; and an evolutionary hull and blades design developed from the famous line of J speedsters.  The combination makes for an exciting sports cruiser that is streets ahead of its contemporaries in the 34-37 foot cruising range.

J/112E sailing upwindThe 112E is a joy to sail.  Here is the “first sail” report from her designer, Al Johnstone: “It’s hard to put in words just how wonderful the past three weeks have been sailing the new J/112E.  She’s everything we hoped she’d be and more.  We had ideal testing conditions- a combination of light/medium southerlies and cold blasts out of the north, along with a scenic backdrop of fall colors and a virtually empty Narragansett Bay to ourselves.  And, it all went by so fast. 

J/112E #2 arrived at International Marine on October 29th fresh off the ship from J/Composites in France.  It was an immediate beehive of activity as Jorge Borges and his team expertly off-loaded the boat.  His team was so efficient; they barely spoke as they orchestrated a very familiar routine- installation of the keel, rudder and steering system.

Less than 20 hours later the 112E was delivered to Stanley’s Boatyard and launched.  After stepping the mast and rigging the sails, the boat was ready-to-roll in a mere 2.5 hours from launching! The unbelievably smooth and near glitch-free commissioning is a tribute to Hall Spars (shrouds perfect), Doyle Sails (they all fit), and Didier LeMoal’s J/Composites build team.  It would also foreshadow how well the J/112E would perform in the days to come.

Chicago J/112E owner sailing on Narragansett BayThe new owner from Chicago arrived just as we were finishing up final details.  It was a great moment to see the joy in the owner’s face; especially since he was anxiously waiting for nearly a year to see what she was like in the flesh.  I don’t think he ever stopped smiling.  His wonderful first impression would soon be echoed by every person who would subsequently boarded the J/112E.  Most would immediately comment on the size of the cockpit, the width of the side-decks, the great footing along the toe-rail, the elevated steering platform (for all size drivers), the efficient mainsheet set-up, the protected cockpit seating– and, that was before discovering the roomy, stylish, brightly-lit interior.

We powered out from Stanley’s, snaking through the narrow Warren River channel into open waters on the bay.  It was immediately apparent the 112E responds confidently to the deep, high-aspect rudder and wheel combination.  At 2800 RPM and flat water, we charged along at over 7.0 knots. The floor step-up detail on the centerline in the cockpit gives great visibility over the cabin and leverage over the large wheel; perfect for motor-sailing!

As we cleared the last green channel marker, we raised the mainsail in 10-12 knots of wind and set off on a beam reach. The boat accelerated quickly under main only with just a touch of weather helm.  It was a balanced, light feel. The boat slipped along very quietly, with minimal turbulence off the transom.  We continued along under main-only, trading off turns steering.  With the owner happily driving, the smile on his face was priceless.  We then unfurled the 105% jib and went into overdrive!

We hardened up on the wind to see how she would perform.  Between our five iPhones and the Navionics apps, we confirmed an easy 7+ knots with only two sitting on the windward rail.  It was NW 10-14 kts and just enough chop to get a sense for the boat’s smooth, responsive motion and very solid feel. With only a limited window to sail, we cracked off sheets under main and jib and headed towards the channel entrance; quickly surging to over 9 kts before stowing the sails and powering back into the harbor.

Once back at Stanley’s docks, we parted ways with the happy owner, who drove off to the airport for the flight back to Chicago.  Afterwards, we relaxed in the cockpit until sunset, popped a few ‘greenies’ to celebrate the first sail, and reflected on how much effort had gone into creation of the J/112E, how thankful we were for everyone’s support, and how we couldn’t wait to go sailing the next day!”  To learn more about the J/112E, please visit here.

J/70s sailing off Punta del Este, Uruguay2016 J/70 South Americans Announcement
(Punta del Este, Uruguay)- The YC Punta del Este is proud to announce they are hosting the inaugural J/70 South American Championship from the 22nd to 27th of March, 2016 in Punta del Este, Uruguay!  The J/70 fleet has been growing rapidly in South America, with nearly fifty boats distributed between Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia.  The YCPE expects to have over twenty boats since the country is easily accessible, even over the mighty Andes Mountains, from all major 70 fleets in the southern part of the continent.

Sailing in Punta del Este’s gorgeous aquamarine waters can be quite spectacular and full of surprises.  The yacht club itself is based at the very end of the sandy isthmus that forms the basis of downtown Punta.  The famous point encircles a large bay with a prominent island to the north and west offshore that makes for shifty, streaky winds when weather fronts roll off the Roaring 40s spinning around the Antarctic just a few hundred miles to the south.  As a result, it’s not unusual for denizens of the cold, deep waters offshore to pay a visit; expect a seal pup to pop his head out of the water giving you a quizzical look (like, “where’s my treat”!), or a flock of penguins to fly by underwater and look askance at what looks like a large upside down fish to them (your J70’s keel and rudder); or massive pods of hundreds of porpoises playfully frolicking around the boats.  Indeed, while Punta is famous for its “glitterati” and beaches, offshore is where the action is truly breathtaking.

For more information regarding the J/70 South Americans, please contact J/70 Uruguay Fleet Captain- Pedro Garra at email-   For more J/70 class sailing information

Canada J/80 sailing regatta off Toronto2016 J/80 North Americans Announcement
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)- Toronto YC & National YC welcome the J/80 Community!  The Fleet 20 J/80 class flag is up and we’re looking forward to hosting the best North American Championship yet! For the first time ever, the NA’s will be hosted in Canada at National Yacht Club, right in the heart of downtown Toronto.  Mark your calendars now- August 4th to 7th, 2016!

Enjoy racing the world's best sportboat (yes, we're biased!) in Great Lake breezes on beautiful Lake Ontario followed by the friendliest après sailing parties.  The time is right to come on up to Toronto!  We guarantee you will have a fantastic experience.

J/80 North Americans- Canada 2016The schedule will include a tune-up clinic on August 4th, followed by 3 days of course racing from August 5-7.  There will be prizes for everyone; including daily prizes and social events with the championship awards on August 7th.

While we’re at it, did we mention that you should spend all summer with us on Lake Ontario??  Why not come and sail the 2016 J/80 Hans Fogh Memorial Championship at LYRA on July 29-31, 2016 and hosted by Whitby YC!?  We’d love to host you and you are welcome to leave your boat at the club!

The 2016 NA’s follow one week after the LYRA regatta, just 35 minutes from Toronto. Consider entering both regattas for back-to-back weekend competition and time to enjoy Toronto (remember, the CN Spire is still the world’s tallest man-made structure).  Got ANY questions whatsoever?!  Contact Fleet Captain Larry Alexander (J/80 CAN 33 JIGGERS!)- cell# +1-416-464-5236.  For Whitby YC’s LYRA Regatta sailing information.   For more 2016 J/80 North Americans sailing information.
J/70s sailing off start lineJ/70 Easter Regatta Announcement
(Columbia, SC)- Columbia Sailing Club is proud to announce the inaugural J-70 Corinthian Easter Regatta 2016, held from March 25th to 27th, 2016, and sponsored by the J/70 Class and North Sails. The event is being hosted for Corinthian J/70 teams only- just ISAF Category 1 sailors.

This event will be held in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary J/24 Easter Regatta, a most famous event in the 24 class that has been held since 1985. The first Easter Regatta was held in 1966 sailing E-Scows, so this year will mark the 50th Anniversary of this prestigious event! Notable Regatta Champions include Terry Hutchinson, Chris Larson, David Van Cleef, Tim Healy and Will Welles.

Regatta sponsor North Sails will provide the J/70 Corinthian sailors with an amazing training program led by J/70 Champion Tim Healy- North Sails’ One-Design Director.  The event starts out with a one-day clinic, followed by daily post-race “chalk talks” by some of the smartest, fastest guys in the business in the North Sails diaspora.  In addition, the Columbia SC is also planning to have a practice start and race on Thursday afternoon for J/24’s and J/70’s.  Please contact Charles Bumgardner at ph# 803-315-8788 or email- for more information and fantastic deals on local hotels/motels.  For more J/70 and J/24 Easter Regatta sailing information
J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The last week of November was not the world’s busiest, but the relative lack of activity was made up by some incredibly competitive events taking part around the globe.  For starters, the Mexican J/70 Nationals were held over a four day weekend in Cancun, Mexico- not exactly tough duty for the quickly growing fleet “south of the border”; they were blessed with better than postcard-perfect sailing conditions on the edge of the spectacular, cobalt blue Gulf Stream!  Further south of them, the J/24s had their South American Championships held in the southern Atlantic waters off Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Heading for Grenada along the historical trading and “discovery route” from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean is a J/120 participating in the RORC’s Transatlantic Race.  The double-handed crew is sailing well and much to the surprise of many larger, fully-crewed boats, the big boats may have a tough time beating them on IRC time-on-time handicap rating.

Finally, the J/24s in Italy completed the third stage of their Sardinian Fall series.  And, to their west we find the Garmin Hamble Winter Series in the United Kingdom comes to a conclusion with the final weekend canceled due to adverse weather conditions.

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 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

Sailboat Shows:
Dec 5-13- Salon Nautique (112E)- Paris, France
Jan 8-17- London Boat Show (112E, 88)- London, England
Jan 8-17- Toronto Boat Show (88)- Toronto, Ontario
Jan 14-18- Chicago Boat Show (112E, 88)- Chicago, IL
Jan 23-31- Boot Dusseldorf (70, 112E, 122E)- Dusseldorf, Germany
Jan 21-24- San Diego Sun Road Boat Show- San Diego, CA
Jan 15-18- San Francisco Boat Show- San Francisco, CA
Jan 29- Feb 6- Seattle Boat Show- Seattle, WA
Feb 11-15- Miami Boat Show (112E, 122E)- Miami, FL
Feb 13-21- Boston Boat Show (88)- Boston, MA

For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.
J/88s sailing Hamble Winter Series- Solent, EnglandJ/Teams Victorious In Hamble Winter Series
Full Gale Force 4 Cancels Regatta Finale
(Hamble, England)- The final weekend saw that ‘ole-man winter not only made a bold appearance again, it brought a particularly nasty, cold, winter gale!  Needless to say, it didn’t take rocket science for the Hamble Sailing Club PRO to announce the cancellation of races for the final weekend in view of the rather mind-numbing forecast from the UK MET Office.

Therefore, the series standings for each fleet from the previous weekend became the final standings for the 2015 Garmin Hamble Winter Series.  In IRC 2, Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT took 3rd overall for the series with Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR in 5th place and Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS in 7th position.

Three J/Teams swept the IRC 0 Division.  Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG handily won with 7 straight 1sts as counters! Louise Makin’s J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II took the silver and Chris Daniel’s J/122 JUNO took the bronze to round out the podium.

The J/Crews in IRC 3 Division nearly pulled off a similar sweep. Annie Kelly & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II won with 8 pts net, followed by Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with 12 pts net. Taking fourth position was David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO, just one point out of third with 30 pts net.

The J/109 Class saw great competition overall.  However, it was Simon Perry’s crew on JIRAFFE that ultimately ran the table with six bullets to win the class by six points.  The next two boats were locked in a duel to the finish, with Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR taking 2nd with 14 pts and Joe Henry’s JOLLY JACK TAR in 3rd with 15 pts.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/  For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information
J/70s sailing Mexico Nationals off Cancun
J/70 FLOJITO El Capitan de Mexico Nationals

(Cancun, Mexico)- The J/70 Mexican fleet enjoyed some spectacular sailing in Cancun for their three day regatta; it was the final race of the year and also the 2015 Mexico National Championship. Teams from Puerto Vallarta, Valle de Bravo, and Acapulco came to join the new J/70 fleet that is starting in Cancun.  A wonderful turnout of 16 boats included the 2015 World Champion Julian Fernandez skippering FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO; so everybody knew what they were up against and looking forward to a fun event!

J/70 Flojito Y Cooperando sailing Mexican Nationals off CancunThe first day of sailing was just about postcard perfect- 17 knots, blue water and no foul weather or spray tops needed in Cancun! In these conditions the top three or four boats got a comfortable lead but the fight right behind was definitely full-on with very close finishes. At the end of the day, the Club de Yates de Puerto Cancun PRO managed to get in four races.  Jorge Murrieta led the first day skippering BANDOOLA, with Julian Fernandez’s FLOJITO in second and Ricardo Brockmann’s VINCITORE in third position.

The local Cancun Tourism Bureau must’ve had a direct connection to the Aztec Gods, for on the second day they delivered chamber of commerce conditions again; winds in the 10-15 kts range allowed four more races to be sailed.  This time, “los banditos locos” on FLOJITO had a great day, showing their transom to most everyone with terrific race-winning speed.  As a result, FLOJITO took over the overall lead with BANDOOLA in second and VINCITORE in third.

J/70s sailing Mexico Nationals off Cancun, MexicoOn the last day, the Gods must have been crazy.  How can they deliver such gorgeous conditions, again!? Who sacrificed what to make it happen?  Perhaps, we don’t want to know.  With the fleet treated to more 10-15 kt breezes, the racing was very tight with each of the top three boats winning one race, but also having to come back on other races from well behind.  The final leg of the final race was a perfect example of how FLOJITO became the 2015 World Champion.  After rounding well back at the first mark in 6th place, they worked hard to get through the boats in front of them to ultimately finish 2nd in the race behind the Brockmann’s VINCITORE. At the finish, big cheers erupted for the victors- Fernandez and crew on FLOJITO (Santiago Fernandez, Diego Cervantes & Willem van Waay) were crowned the Mexican J/70 National Champions for the third year in a row! Jorge Murrieta and crew on board BANDOOLA finished 2nd while Ricardo Brockmann and crew on VINCITORE completed the podium in third place.

With 35 boats now in the country, the J/70 class in Mexico is getting more competitive every day with sailors coming from big boats, dinghies, J/24s, Lightnings, Stars, TP52s, and so forth. Mexico is looking forward to hosting a J/70 North American Championship in the coming years, hopefully in 2018, and why not later on the J/70 Worlds in Cancun in 2020!? Ask any Laser sailor how much fun they had sailing the 2002 Laser World Championship in Cancun!   For more Mexico J/70 Class sailing information
J/24 sailing Brazil South American championshipUruguay’s Garra Victorious @ J/24 South Americans
(Porto Alegre, Brazil)- Brazil's neighbors were the best in the South American J24 Class Championship which ended on Sunday in Porto Alegre, hosted by Veleiros Do Sul YC.  The continental title went to the Uruguayan EXTASIS Sailing Team, skippered by Pedro Garra from YC Punta del Este.  Second overall went to the Argentine Nicolas Cubria sailing WORKNET and third went to Brazil’s C’EST LA VIE Sailing Team, skippered by Henrique Dias from the host club- Veleiros do Sul YC.

The regatta had seven races for the dozen teams competing for the South American title. The outcome of the regatta came down to the last leg of the last race!  It was a fight to the finish between EXTASIS and WORKNET. But, it was the Uruguayan EXTASIS crew of Pedro Garra, Juan Real de Azúa, Ivan Guicheff, Alejandro Carluccio and Matias Garcia that won the finale.

J/24 South American champions- Porto Alegre, Brazil"That was our first South American J/24 title, after having competed in three consecutive editions. The championship was spectacular with good racing and a lot of wind. Our adversaries, like Nicolas Cubria from Argentina, sailed very well and we knew it would be a tough race," said Pedro Garra, who in October also won the Buenos Aires Sailing Week and also races in the J/70 class.  Garra said the Brazilian C’EST LA VIE crew sailed well, “they were in the running with us for most of the regatta.”

The skipper of C’EST LA VIE, Henrique Dias, said, “unfortunately, we had a rough time in the last race, but overall it was a fun regatta! We finished third, which is a good position for us.” Dias’ team included Vilnei Goldmeier, Alexis Knebel, and Frederick Sidou (Marilia Bassoa and Michele Oliveira swapped each day).   Sailing photo credits- Ricardo Pedebos/ Veleiros do Sul  For more J/24 South Americans sailing information
J/120 Nunatak sailing RORC Transatlantic raceRORC Transatlantic Race Update
(Tenerife, Grand Canary Islands)- The J/120 NUNATAK, skippered by that colorful, dynamic and highly successful duo, Elin Haf Davies and Chris Sharp from the United Kingdom are well on their way in the second edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race.  As of 1800 hours on Monday, November 30th, NUNATAK was sitting on first in IRC 2 Class, first in IRC Double-handed class and second in IRC Overall!  They are competing against world-class Class 40 teams in the double-handed division.

The race got away as scheduled from Marina Lanzarote with the fleet enjoying a reaching start in Atlantic swell and a solid 15 knots of breeze from the northeast. Close battles are expected within the fleet for the next 3,000 miles before the yachts reach the finish at Camper & Nicholsons, Port Louis Marina in Grenada.

On the first day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the fleet was heading west, following the setting sun. The race course sends the yachts to the north of Tenerife, a 120-mile blast reach from the southern tip of Lanzarote in Atlantic swell - a spectacular way to spend a Saturday night! After rounding Tenerife, the next mark of the course is Glover Island Light, Grenada, about 3,000 miles south west across the Atlantic.

J/120 Nunatak at RORC Transatlantic race start"A fantastic start," enthused Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. "Beautiful conditions for the fleet which all got away extremely well under full sail. Every single yacht competing in this race has been so well prepared and they are all expecting a very competitive race across the Atlantic. There are battles throughout the fleet which will undoubtedly have many twists and turns over the next few days and weeks of racing. Safety is always our top priority and after that major consideration, these teams are all up for the challenge of pushing hard across the Atlantic."

First away were the monohulls. Frost and Davies were racing their J/120 NUNATAK Two-Handed in their first ever Transatlantic Race.  Chris and Elin were in a buoyant mood as they passed the RORC Committee Boat for their safety inspection. "See you in Grenada!" shouted Elin. "And, you're buying the drinks when we make it before the prize-giving!"

Elin Haf Davies and Chris Frost on J/120 NunatakMeanwhile, two days later on board NUNATAK, Chris was sampling the cuisine prepared by Elin. She laughably explained her less than Michelin 5-star preparations; “Chris got offered either ‘partially cooked’ or ‘burnt’ pasta for dinner last night. Reminding us both that it wasn’t for my cooking skills that he agreed to have me on board as co-skipper. I would explain our watch system, but probably best you just look at the tracker. When it’s going in a straight line, Chris is on watch. When it’s all over the place, I’m on watch. We are both having an amazing time, enjoying as much sleep as we can and loving the good work that Nunatak is doing to power us forward.”

The fourth day at sea finds NUNATAK holding near rhumbline.  With the light winds, experienced yesterday and last night the clutch of 40 ft yachts have come to the fore after IRC corrected time. Provisionally, NUNATAK is winning both the Two-Handed Division as well as leading the IRC fleet overall after time correction. Not wishing to dampen their fireworks, this may be due to the fact that NUNATAK has taken a more westerly route, closer to the rhumb line. In doing so, NUNATAK has stayed in the high pressure vacuum but by tomorrow morning fresh winds are likely from the east, which will improve their position.

On the morning of day five of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the boats that escaped the high-pressure ridge first have made significant gains, most notably Jean-Paul Riviere and the crew of Nomad IV. Yesterday the smallest boat in IRC was wearing the crown. NUNATAK was working her way just south of the rhumb line and making good progress in the light winds, benefiting from minimizing the mileage required to the finish.

J/120 Nunatak on YB trackerYesterday we heard from the intrepid duo on J/120, NUNATAK, apparently not aware of their position in the race, have been concentrating on sightings of dolphins and contending with smelly deck shoes! Today is a significant day for Elin Haf Davies as eight years ago, she was rowing across the Atlantic from La Gomera to Antigua, a journey that took 77 days!

“We only have one major problem to deal with - my deck shoes,” says Atlantic rower and adventurer, Elin Haf Davies in her blog from the boat. “They smell so bad that Frosty (Chris) was so desperate to get away from the smell that he went up the rig, making an excuse that the spreaders needed to have padding on them to stop them from putting holes in our kites!”

“Yesterday we got caught in a wind hole which made me worry that this crossing was also going to take 77 days,” exclaimed Elin. “That would have been a major issues given that we’ve only packed enough food for 21 days (assuming we can stomach eating the dog food/meatballs).  The wind has continued to drop over night. As the Autohelm could handle the conditions, we had dinner together on deck, which was really beautiful at night. Overnight we went from A4, to Code 0 and then to jib as the southerly breeze stopped us from going south as quick as we wanted to.

Dolphins came to visit which was just amazing, as always, and far better than the floating fridge we had to by-pass the night before. Luckily, the wind picked up again last night and with the help of our Code 0, and then our A2, we’re now on the move again.”

Hard to believe that six months ago I had never helmed down wind with a spinnaker, and now I’m helming down wind across the Atlantic at speeds of up to 11kts (and loving it!) with Chris fast asleep below deck. Okay, the fact that he’s fast asleep might be more to do with extreme exhaustion rather than complete confidence, but you’ve got to start somewhere right?!

It’s major credit to Chris for having the patience to teach me, and for putting together our 2H campaign this season (with help from his Dad, thanks Roger). It’s obvious to say that if he’d raced the season with Mike, Kev, Tim or one of his other mates, he would have been able to compete far more competitively, rather than coaching me. But it’s fair to say for both of us that we’ve had so much fun so far this year, and this race across the pond so far is also proving to be an amazing experience which makes both of us grin from ear to ear. Thanks RORC for the opportunity.”   Follow their posts on RORC’s Facebook page.   Here is the RORC Yellowbrick fleet tracking   For more RORC Transatlantic Race sailing information
Italian J/24 ARIA sailing off Sardinia, ItalyVIGNE SURRAU Sardinia J/24 Series Champion
(Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy)- The Circolo Nautico Oristano of Cagliari hosted the third and final event of the Sardinian Fall Series in the waters of Torregrande.  Partnered with them to run the regatta for the fourteen teams on the water was the ASD Windsurfing Club Cagliari. The crews met challenging conditions all weekend, with first day producing 20 to 25 kts mistral winds with gusts to 30 kts and the second day dishing out 10-15 kt winds and huge seas, making steering very difficult upwind.

Clinching the regatta and the overall victory for the series was ITA 405 VIGNE SURRAU from Club Nautico Arzachena, owned by Aurelio Bini and skippered by the Cagliaran- Enrico Strazzera.  They finished with 11 pts followed by ITA 401 DOLPHINS (led by Andrea Mariani and Eugenio Basciu- 26 points) in second and ITA 431 LEGA NAVALE CARLOFORTER (helmed by David Gorgerino- 33 points) in third position.  Rounding out the top five were ITA 443 ARIA (skippered by Marco Frulio from LNI Olbia) in fourth and ITA 420 LIBYSSONIS (CV Windsurfing Club Cagliari owned by Daniele Bigozzi and skippered by Antonello Ciabatti) in fifth place (their finishes were determined by a tie-breaker on 35 points each).

"With the conclusion of the third stage you can tell that the boat to beat was VIGNE SURRAU, especially with local knowledge skipper Aurelio Bini getting them to the right places on the race course,” said Marco Flurio. “The fight really was for second place, since Bini’s team was in a league of their own.  DOLPHINS sailed strongly, but only beat their friends on AIR by only three points!  It was fun sailing and a nice conclusion to another Sardinian fall J/24 series!”

The Sardinian J/24 fleet starts their winter series on January 17th in the waters of Oristano, at the marina Torregrande.   For more Italian J/24 fleet sailing information
What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/122e sport cruiser racer* The cruiser-racer evolution. The advent of production boatbuilding changed the face of dual-purpose sailboats, a concept that waxes and wanes but endures today.  SAILNG Magazine’s Heather Steinberger explores the developments over time that have led to boats like the new J/122E:

“The cruiser-racer fleet grew in the 1980s and 1990s and the boats of that era continue to cruise and race successfully today.

You still see them at local marinas and at popular distance races like the Chicago-Mackinac and the Newport-Bermuda. C&C, Ericson, Cal— their names still strike a chord with those who remember the heyday of open design handicap racing in the 1960s and 1970s, when these production fiberglass sailboats saw real success on the race course.

A true cruiser-racer is a boat that features comfortable accommodations below, user-friendly handling topside, and competitive performance. Their origins lie in the early 1930s, with boats like Olin Stephens’ Stormy Weather and Dorade, and with the venerable Southern Ocean Racing Circuit.

When the fiberglass revolution hit production boatbuilding in the 1960s, however, the stage was set for a new breed of cruiser-racer. At the forefront of this movement was the design group Cuthbertson and Cassian. In 1965, Canadian yachtsman Perry Connolly commissioned the duo to design a custom 40-foot racing sloop. Bruckmann Manufacturing built the boat in fiberglass with a balsa core, making her the first ever to be engineered with a cored hull.

Christened “Red Jacket”, the new boat launched in May 1966, the same year William Schanen Jr. founded SAILING Magazine. And, she was a game-changer.

“Red Jacket was a departure for us, and she really put us on the map,” remembered George Cuthbertson, now 86. “She did very well in the SORC. She won the whole thing in 1968, and that was with 85 competitors.”

Demand for the pair’s designs already in production sharply increased, attracting significant attention. By September 1969, Cuthbertson and Cassian joined forces with Ian Morch of Belleville Marine, George Hinterholler of Hinterholler Yachts and Erik Bruckmann of Bruckmann Manufacturing to create C&C Yachts Limited.

“We became so well known, the public issue on the Toronto Stock Exchange worked in 1969,” Cuthbertson noted. “In 1973, I turned over the design office to Robbie Ball.”

Robert H. Perry of Perry Yacht Design, SAILING’s longtime technical editor, commented, “when the IOR was adopted in 1970, everyone started taking racing more seriously. There was no emphasis on creature comforts below, and there really were none on deck. But companies like C&C, Ericson and Cal attempted to keep the boats family-friendly below while the custom boats got more radical.”

Interest in cruiser-racers waned by the late 1970s. “You might see the occasional Cal 40 or Ericson 35 or 39, but people thought racing just wasn’t fun anymore in IOR boats,” Perry explained. “They were replaced by the J/24.”

The J/24 was introduced in 1977, and one-design racing leaped ahead of the aging, open-design, handicap version. Sailors who no longer wanted to deal with what Perry called “the design wars” shifted focus and made the transition to sport boats.

While the J/24 proved to be a solid one-design boat, it wasn’t a cruiser by any stretch of the imagination. So, in 1979, J/Boats introduced the J/30. The Newport, Rhode Island-based company would go on to build 550 J/30s between 1979 and 1989, and many remain active today.

“That was our first real cruiser-racer, and it became very popular,” said Rod Johnstone, J/Boats co-founder and designer. “We knew most owners would rather race one-design, and that propelled us to the SORC, the Grand Prix for cruiser-racers.”

The J/30 essentially was a big J/24, competitive in one-design racing and also comfortable enough for summer cruising. J/Boats upped the ante a few years later with its J/35, which took the same concept and made it large enough for the Newport-Bermuda Race.

“In 1984, we took home the prize for the fastest boat under 40 feet,” Johnstone said. “We built 330 boats between 1983 and 1993. This past August, our J/35 won its class at Chester Race Week.  And, in fact, a J/35 in the United Kingdom easily won its class in the RORC’s IRC Nationals in 2014 that was sailed on the Solent!”

Perry said the J/35 is a pivotal boat in the ongoing cruiser-racer story.

“If I had to pick a place where cruiser-racers turned a corner, it would be the J/35,” he said. “It had the performance advantages of the other Js, but it was big enough to have some comfort.”

As time marched on, sailboat racing became increasingly technical, and boats were designed tailored to the rating rule of the moment. Comfort wasn’t part of the equation—and the price of admission continued to go up.

“Production boats used to win significant races, but not anymore,” Perry said. “Then, with the downturn in the economy, there simply wasn’t a big market for family cruiser-racers anymore. The industry sort of bubbled along with hard-core racers.”

But the desire for a fast boat with a welcoming, comfortable interior didn’t entirely dissipate. J/Boats saw an opportunity after the Great Recession, noting that many sailors were looking to downsize but not get off the water entirely.

“People were selling their big boats, and there were so many 50- to 60-foot boats out there, sold for pennies on that dollar,” Johnstone said. “We decided to focus our new designs in the 40-foot-and-under market.”

Enter the J/122.

“Here’s a 40-footer that is almost a turn back to the old-style cruiser-racer,” Perry said. “They made a fast boat with a welcoming, comforting interior. They were looking for that magic combination. You might say the boats aren’t overly cruisey, but they’re not hard-nosed racey either.”

They will never be faster than all-carbon, stripped-out racers. And that’s OK.

“The J/122 is for the sailor who races once in awhile, but cruising is really important,” Johnstone said. “It’s a $500,000 boat, so it has to make sense.”

“With racing, you basically have two camps,” Perry said. “One is the group that will do anything to go fast. The other is the guy that says, ‘My boat has a nice rating, I’m going to keep racing that.’ The Js fit between the two camps. Lots of boats are promoted as cruiser-racers today. Most have all the earmarks of a race boat, but the J/122 is a little bit yesterday, a little bit today.”

The SORC, the Miami-Nassau race and the golden age of cruiser-racers may be behind us. But as long as sailors seek to balance their precious cruising time with some thrills on the race course, the concept of the cruiser-racer will continue. It may evolve and change, but it will endure.”  Thanks for the contribution from SALING Magazine-

Chris Smith- J/80 Arizona sailor* The Ideal Sailing Event?  Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and hoping to expect different results. If that’s true, then Chris Smith must be the sanest person we know.

Smith, who lives in Tucson, Arizona, is Commodore of the Arizona Yacht Club, and races his J/80, SLOOP DOGG, on Lake Pleasant. He is also among the regulars at the annual Bitter End Yacht Club Pro-Am Regatta in October.

Held in the British Virgin Islands, Smith explains why he continually attends the Pro-Am expecting the same results-

“It’s been 7 years in a row and I’m already signed up for the next one, the 30th edition. Add family vacations and I’ve been there 10 times. Let me put it this way. Why do saltwater salmon swim upstream? Why do Canadian geese fly back to, I assume, Canada? The Pro-Am has become, at least for me, a biological sailing imperative that is more than the sum of its many outstanding parts.

First, there’s something about arriving at a regatta by boat, especially when that’s the only way to reach Bitter End Yacht Club, whose resort and cottages line the beach and hillsides of Virgin Gorda along North Sound, one of the best sailing venues in the world. (Yacht Club Costa Smeralda apparently thinks so as well; it built a branch of its Sardinia-based club around the corner from BEYC.)

The North Sound Express begins the transition to island time by picking up passengers in Trellis Bay, near the Tortola/Beef Island airport, and slipping through the Sir Francis Drake Passage past The Dogs (islands) and Spanish Town (no surprise here, a town) and then into North Sound where the iconic BEYC welcome building looms into view.

For a guy who started sailing 10 years ago, calls a lake in Arizona his home port, and lives 150 miles from his boat, the Pro-Am Regatta is an entre to racing with top tier pro sailors who I’d otherwise only read about.

J/80 sailing Lake Pleasant, ArizonaSince 2009, that has meant sailing with, for example, legends Dave Ullman, Dave Perry, and Kenny Read, and young guns Taylor Canfield, Stephanie Roble and Sally Barkow, among others. (It would border on shameless name dropping to list all of the pros though I admit it occasionally is unavoidable in conversation to not say something along the lines of, “When I raced with Russell Coutts…”)

The “Am” part of the regatta is another reason I keep returning. Everyone is there to sail and have fun. The list of friends I have made at the Pro-Am keeps getting longer. It doesn’t matter whether I’ve gone solo or with my wife, there is always a place at a table. The Pro-Am has to be one of the most “inclusive” events in the sailing world.

There’s a reason the IC24 sailboat– a J/24 with a roomy J/80 style cockpit–is a staple on the Caribbean racing scene and the boat at the Pro-Am. It’s responsive and fun to sail in the trade winds, but when raced without a spinnaker, it accommodates sailors with wide ranges of experience and age.

A common complaint about sailboat racing is that it’s all windward-leeward. Racing with the pros at BEYC involved four formats in 2015: The Defiance Day Regatta–a point to point race from North Sound to the Baths and back, followed by fleet racing, team racing, and match racing in North Sound.

Sailing with different pros over the years also has provided the chance to ask questions and absorb as much as possible on everything from playing shifts along the shore (Russell Coutts) to team racing tactics (Taylor Canfield). As much as I hate the week ending, I can’t wait to get home and try new stuff.

And then there’s the local knowledge–Peter Holmberg introduced me to Cruzan Rum from St. Croix in the USVI. Cruzan and Mt. Gay, with rocks and lime, have become the cornerstones of the 100% effective Sloop Dogg Racing Anti-Scurvy Program.

While one of the pros will ultimately win the Pro-Am Regatta, there’s a regatta within the regatta for amateurs–the Scuttlebutt Sailing Championship. The qualifying rounds take place in Lasers, Hobie Waves, and Hobie Getaways and the top six qualifiers pick crews and then fleet race in IC24’s for the championship.

The talent runs deep, the starts are close, and mark roundings are tight, but Tom Leweck’s rule that protest hearings will take place at 3 a.m. on top of the hill above BEYC keeps anyone from getting too carried away. As if a virtual parking space in front of the virtual Scuttlebutt Sailing Club weren’t enough, the winning skippers also get free nights at the next Pro-Am.

I don’t want to give the impression that there are a lot of bars where they know my name, but when I stuck my hand across the bar at the Crawl Pub on the front end of the 2015 Pro-Am and said, “Hi, Toots, I’m…”, he interrupted me. “You’re Chris Smith.” Wow! My one-week-a-year neighborhood bar, 3,032 miles from home.

The same is true at the Watersports counter where Jerome, Jay, Javon, Sarah, Dobbs, Aaron, and the rest of the crew get to know you and make it easy to sail and SUP nonstop. My idea of the perfect day is taking out a standup paddle board and taking in a yoga class before breakfast, and then working in Laser and Hobie sessions before and after racing with the pros. Plenty of people, when not sailing with the pros, relax in hammocks or with their toes in the sand under palm trees, but with warm water and trade winds, and only a week to enjoy them, don’t stand between me and Watersports.

Going to the same restaurant day after day at home would be a recipe for madness, but the food at BEYC, including local fish and Caribbean dishes, is outstanding, and there is nothing routine about eating outdoors with the Caribbean a few feet away. And at the risk of sounding like the halyard that won’t stop slapping against the mast, when staff like Yolanda and Sherry Mae welcome you back, you know you came to the right place. It also says something about a resort that has had the same staff for years.

In addition to the “pluses” I mentioned, in the interest of complete candor and full disclosure, I must also say that BEYC has significant “minuses.” And they are among the reasons I keep going back.

There are no roads, no cars. Walking is the way to get around. The rooms do not have internet. There’s wi-fi at the restaurant, but once you get there, you’re likely to have actual conversations that go on for more than 140 characters and are a lot more fun. The rooms do not have TV’s. Eustacia Sound, with its hues of Caribbean blues and waves breaking on the reef, is always playing beyond the balconies of the Beach Front Cottages. And there are no elevators. Wooden stairs lead to the rooms, which are sublime in their simplicity.

There are undoubtedly plenty of tropical island resorts that offer sailing, but next October it will be time again for my annual migration to the BEYC Pro-Am Regatta.

NOTE: Scuttlebutt founder Tom Leweck must be pretty sane too; he first attended the Pro-Am in 2000 and has been there every year since.  Plus, thanks for this contribution from his son Craig Leweck- current publisher of Scuttlebutt (does having to write a newsletter once a day define madness, too?).

J/24 in Chile in mud* A J/24 stuck in the lily pads off the coast of Chile?  You bet, a photo reminiscent of the famous J/41 that ran up onto the sands of Newfoundland on a delivery across the North Atlantic 30 years ago!  Juan Edoardo Reid, the J/Boats Chilean distributor, had this to say about the amusing photo:

“This took place during the Chiloé Circuit Regatta of 2002. The regatta site was in Quemchi, the second town we visit in the coastal circuit after Puerto Montt and Calbuco. Chiloé has very complex tides due to high water differences along the course offshore and the anchoring area in the harbor.  Per Von Appen was sailing the Italian 5223 boat when this happened.  They were the victims of extremely heavy winds (essentially a full gale) that blew away the water during the night while they were anchored in Quemchi harbor!  They needed to wait 4-5 hours for the water to come in again, and they were lucky to float the boat in time to start the next race from Quemchi to Achao and complete the Chiloé Circuit!!
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.