Wednesday, December 9, 2015

J/Newsletter- December 9th, 2015

2016 J/Sailing Calendar- the ultimate sailing gift for friends and familyGet Your 2016 J/Calendar Today!
(Newport, RI)- A sailing calendar is a great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew.  Order yours today and get it in time for the holidays!

For 2016, we have created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places.

The 2016 sailing calendar features J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/88, J/105s, J/111s and a J/42 sailing in many of the worlds most popular sailing areas- Cowes (the Solent), Newport (Narragansett Bay & Rhode Island Sound), San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound, Les Sables d’Olonne, Biscayne Bay, Lake Michigan, Kiel, Santander and Travemunde!   See the gorgeous J/Calendar sailing photo gallery here.    Order your 2016 J/Calendar today, click here!

J/112E sports cruiser- sailing fast on the BayBeautiful J/112E Sports Cruiser Sailing videos
(Newport, RI)- During the two weeks the new J/112E sports cruiser was sailing in Narragansett Bay, we had an opportunity to sail her in a wide range of conditions, from classic fall colors with sunny skies, crystal clear 8-12 kt winds from the northwest, to smoky sou’westers with clouds, big chop and plenty of breeze gusting into the 25 kts range.

Please take some time to enjoy the following YouTube videos of the J/112E sailing in those conditions.  We believe you will see she joins her sisterships, the J/97E and J/122E, as an exceptional upwind performer. V-shaped bow sections provide superior directional stability and reduced slamming in waves. Plus, her freeboard forward and topside flare help to keep the deck dry. The long waterline combined with a low vertical center of gravity results in a smooth, sea-kindly motion – more like that of a 40 footer.  And, with the asymmetric spinnaker flying, she pops onto a plane and leaves a smooth trail of foam in her wake, hitting upwards of 12.7 kts on a broad 150 TWA reach.  
J/112E Aerials- Family Sail
J/112E aerial sailing video
J/122E Breezy Bay Sail
J/112E Bay sail big breeze sailing video
For more J/112E sailing information

J/11S short-handed speedster- sailing Solent off Cowes, EnglandJ/11S Yachting World Review
(Newport, RI)- Matt Sheahan, Chief Technical Editor for Yachting World, commented that “…J/Boats, in general, have long had a reputation for being good to sail short-handed, thanks largely to the simplicity of the asymmetric spinnaker…the new J/11S has been tweaked to make her an easier boat to sail short-handed and more competitive.  As a result, she has twin rudders connected to a single tiller, a slightly shorter rig, and a smaller jib than her sistership she is based on- the J/111…. the changes and tweaks have helped bring her IRC handicap down from 1.096 (J/111) to 1.050 (J/11S), a reduction that gets her under the upper rating limit for the famous Trans Quadra Race, a popular TransAtlantic Race for single and double-handed amateur sailors over 40.”   Watch Matt’s J11S short-handed speedster sailing review here on YouTube.    Read more about Matt Sheehan’s perspectives on the new J/11S short-handed speedster here in his Yachting World article (PDF file).

J/70s sailing Key West, Florida at Quantum Key West Race WeekJ/70 Quantum Winter Series Preview
Midwinters in St Petersburg!
(Tampa, Florida)- This coming weekend marks the beginning of the 2015/2016 Quantum J/70 Winter Series that will be hosted by the Davis Island YC in Tampa, Florida. There are 51 entries for the series with a majority of the teams sailing in the Corinthians Class! Many new faces will be attending the three act event that are based on the following dates:
Many teams that have competed in the first two Quantum J/70 Winter Series are returning for more action on the northern part of Tampa Bay- a venue that can promise everything from flat water, sunny, warm and light southwesterly winds to nuking weather conditions when massive cold fronts pass through with chilly temperatures and grey, steely skies, but the hottest action sailing can offer when the breeze howls out of the northwest blowing 15-25 kts.

In the “Open” division, both Open and Corinthian teams compete for class honors.  In the Open group are new teams like John Baxter’s VINEYARD VINES from New York YC, Rick Schaffer from Fort Worth Boat Club and Laura and Leif Sigmond sailing NORBOY NORGIRL from Chicago YC.  Joining them will be a number of class veterans that include Holly Graf’s SPICE from Annapolis, Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND from Virginia, John Brim’s RIMETTE from Long Island Sound, Jud Smith’s AFRICA from Eastern YC in Marblehead (current J/70 North American Champion), Will Welles SCAMP from Mount Desert Island SC, Jody Lutz & Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING from Houston, Al Terhune’s DAZZLER from Annapolis, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, Joel Ronning’s CATAPAULT from Minnesota, and Mike Sudofsky’s CARLOS from Buzzards Bay.

The “Corinthians” division has the majority of the fleet with 27 boats competing.  Leading that contingent may be local hotshot Rob Britts sailing HOT MESS (a past winner of the Quantum J/70 Winter Series).  He will be hard-pressed for division honors by teams like Chuck Millican’s Bermuda crew on ELUSIVE; Jack Lord’s HEY JUDE team from Corinthian YC of Cape May, New Jersey; Joe Pawlowski’s PERFECT TEN from Youngstown YC; Mark Foster’s NO-PRO from Corpus Christi YC in Texas; Todd Jenner’s TEA DANCE SNAKE from Baltimore, MD; John Arendshorst’s 20/20 from Macatawa Bay YC in Michigan; Brian Elliot’s B-SQUARED from Sayville YC; Alex Meleny’s TRUCKIN from Vineyard Haven YC on Martha’s Vineyard; and Brandon Flack’s TORQEEDO from Stonington, CT.

Many of these teams will also be sailing the Quantum Key West Race Week in the third week of January as well as the J/70 Midwinter Championship hosted by St. Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, FL from February 25th to 28th, 2016- learn more about sailing the J/70 Midwinters here.   For more J/70 sailboat information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Twas the fortnight before the holidays, and all through the J house, not a creature was stirring, not even a J mouse.  As the season slows down in the northern hemisphere, our friends in parts Down Under are continuing to enjoy the benefits of a powerful, warm El Nino year.  While that raises havoc with ski areas in Europe and the Americas, the sailing in South America and ANZAC produces more benign weather systems like the one slowing down the mighty 110 ft carbon “tricycle” called SPINDRIFT II- “Donna” and crew are fighting for the honor of setting an around the world record of less than 45 days.  It should be interesting the next few days on that flying carbon coffin.

In the meantime, the RORC TransAtlantic Race sees the J/120 NUNATAK continuing to set the pace on the “discovery route” from the Canary Islands to Grenada— the best news yet is that they are still in the hunt for some silverware!  Also, down in the Caribbean, the Montego Bay Yacht Club recently hosted the Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta over the weekend for an international fleet of boats with crew from the USA, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Sweden, South Africa and the United Kingdom!

On the west coast of the USA, the San Diego YC Hot Rum Series came to its ultimate conclusion over the past weekend, blessed with yet another gorgeous day of sailing out past the imposing mountainous profile of Point Loma.  The J/Clan has yet another wonderful outing, collecting shelves full of silverware and pickle dishes along the way.

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:

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.

San Diego Hot Rum Series fleet off Point Loma
J/105s Sweep Hot Rum Series Class 3

J/70s & J/100 In 3-Way Tiebreak for Class 4!
(San Diego, CA)- In the fall of 1957, Herbert Sinnhoffer decided to start a race for the purpose of tuning up BUTCHER BOY II for the upcoming offshore race to Acapulco, Mexico.  The first race brought 18-20 boats. DOLPHIN sailed into first place giving Gerald R. Bill the honor of filling the silver Samovar with hot rum for the remainder of the fleet. Today, the Hot Rum Race draws over 130 boats, but the spirit of the race is the same. Mr. Sinnhoffer was remembered for saying that the point of the Hot Rum race is to be "a fun race, (and) to be able to meet afterwards and make friends."

Green Flash beer- J/70 sponsor at San Diego Hot Rum seriesThe 2015 Hot Rum Series kicked off on November 7th with a picture perfect San Diego day; sunny skies and winds around 7-10 knots with gusts up to 15. A Southeast breeze called for spinnakers at the start. Kites started off small with a Catalina 30s and J/22s and grew to very large with a Kernan 70 and J/65. All 140 boats eventually crossed the start line and head out to Point Loma to the first mark.

The wind conditions increased as the racers dropped their chutes conservatively and rounded to head back to the bay. Coronado Brewing Company and Mount Gay Rum greeted sailors with open arms back at the party at SDYC, and everyone said how fortunate they were to be out racing on such a beautiful day.

Little did they know, the second Hot Rum race, held on November 21st, would be just as pristine. The race started with lighter winds in the bay as all the boats waited their turn to start. Most racers decided to go kite up at the start as they had done before. After the majority of smaller boats had rounded the first mark there was a wind gap that left some of the bigger boats stuck momentarily. As they crept along the wind picked back up in time for the large kites to come down, with winds gusting around 12-14 kts.

J/125 Resolute sailed by Tim FullerThe final race in the series took the sailors by surprise with winds forecasted to be light. The boats were instead greeted in the starting area by a steady 12-knot breeze as they awaited to begin the last race in the series. Smaller boats were able to use the wind for their start but by the time the bigger boats got going, they found themselves in a hole off Ballast Point and the little boats shot ahead. The fleet sailed into big gusts off Point Loma as they headed back toward the finish. Blessed with three perfect Saturday’s, 2015 Hot Rum Series will go down in history as one of the greatest!

Back on shore, sailors from all across Southern California regrouped in the pavilion near the SDYC pool for the awards party that featured live music from The Lifted Tack featuring SDYC’s Junior Sailing Director John Fretwell on the mic.

Starting with Class 1, the J/125s had a go of it with Tim Fuller’s RESOLUTE taking fourth place and Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE finishing seventh.  Sailing very consistently in mid-fleet was the magnificent J/65 MAITRI sailed by Tom Barker.

J/120s sailing San Diego Hot Rum SeriesClass 2 is usually the province of J/120s, having won or swept the class for so many years that everyone has lost count.  While sailing fast and taking most of the top spots, it was the first time in years a J/120 hadn’t won the class.  Instead, they took three of the top five, with Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY in 3rd, followed by Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER in fourth and John Laun’s CAPER in fifth.

Dennis Case and his team aboard the J/105 WINGS was the Class 3 Winner and took 3rd Overall.  According to Case, “this Hot Rum series was really one of the best I can remember in some time. You could not ask for better sunny weather with the wind in the 9 to 18 kts range for all three races. The PHRF time on distance rating system general favors the big fast boats when the wind is light and when it’s stronger it favors the smaller slower boats. This year the wind was just right. I think everybody had a good fun time on the water. For us on the J/105 Wings it has to be on the last race, when we were close spinnaker reaching to the second mark with the wind gusting to 18 kts and big swells rolling underneath. Close to J/105 Sanity sailed by Rick Goebel- San Diego Hot Rum seriesbroaching we would surf the waves doing 14 kts boat speed. Raving Madness and Wani Racing were the top two boats overall and sailed great races and deserve to be congratulated. I only once got close to them. It was never close. But next time if the wind is around 20kts --- watch out for Wings!"

J/105s took 5 of the top 7 spots in Class 3.  In second was Rick Goebel’s SANITY (also 4th overall), fourth was Dag Fish’s VIGGEN, sixth was Steve & Lucy Howell’s BLINK! and seventh was Ed Sanford’s CREATIVE.

J/100 sailing San Diego Hot Rum seriesLike their colleagues in Class 3, the two J/70s and a J/100 all ended up tied on 10 pts each after the three races!  Taking the win on the tiebreaker due to most 1sts was the J/100 JASWINDER sailed by Tom Reilly with an 8-1-1 record.  Second was the J/70 SOGGY DOLLAR skippered by Dave Vieregg with a 1-3-6 scoreline.  And, third was yet another J/70, Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU with a 2-5-3 tally!!  Fun and games for sure in that fleet!

Thank to sponsors First National Bullion, SD Boatworks, Mount Gay Rum and Coronado Brewing Company for their support of SDYC’s annual Hot Rum Series.  Sailing photo credits- Bronny Daniels/  For more San Diego YC Hot Rum series sailing information

J/22 sailing Jammin Jamaica regattaCayman’ers Jump Jammin' Jamaica Regatta!
(Montego Bay, Jamaica)- Mike Farrington and the Cayman Island Sailing Club team (3rd in the South African J/22 Worlds) returned to the regatta with a vengeance after a four year hiatus.  Nearly winning every race in the two day series, Farrington’s Cayman crew sailed TAKE 5 nearly flawlessly to win the Jamaica Jammin J/22 Regatta with a commanding lead over the rest of the eleven boat fleet that came from Canada, USA (Newport), Cayman Islands, Montego Bay and Kingston.

Blessed with the usual tradewinds blowing from the east, the Montego Bay YC’s PRO team (led by Richard Hamilton) managed to run the complete set of seven races over the two days.  Saturday’s racing saw the trades kick in around 1100 hrs with a partly sunny day and temperatures hovering in the mid-80s.  Due to the random black cloud streaming across the course area, the resultant 30-45 degree wind shifts played havoc with the tactics.

J/22 Nina sailing Jammin Jamaica regattaThe first race would become a repeat of what was going to happen for the balance of the weekend.  The top two boats in the race jumped out to a substantial lead on the first leg.  At the top mark, NINA rounded first, sailed by the Newport USA team of Stuart & Julia Johnstone (sailing with Jamaican father & son crew of Stephen & Krystian Dear).  But, not soon after, the TAKE 5 Cayman crew led by Farrington demonstrated superior downwind speed and took the lead around the bottom mark, ultimately taking the win.  For the next three races on Saturday, similar scenarios would play out but with Farrington’s TAKE 5 crew proving unbeatable with a 1-2-3-1 scoreline to lead the day with 7 pts.  Sitting in second on the day, just one point behind, was the Johnstone & Dear crew on NINA with a 2-1-1-4 record for 8 pts.  Third on the day was another Cayman Island team, Bruce Johnson’s crew on AWESOME posting a 4-6-2-2 for 14 pts. 

J/22 Geronimo sailing Jammin Jamaica regattaSaturday evening has become something of a tradition for the Jamaica Jammin Regatta.  The hosts for the “Western Round-up” were Bryan and Lynn Langford.  In addition to the “potluck” dinner of all kinds of Jamaican delicacies, the Langford’s surprised the crowd of nearly eighty people with the local Western cowboy singer version of “Billy Bob”.  Not often one sees a well-tanned Jamaican singer belting out Western classics on his guitar swell into the wee-hours of the evening.  Dancing shoes, or what was left of them, were summarily tossed into the pool as throngs of sailors spun and danced around the enormous veranda in front of the house.  How good was the partay??  Quite good.  Most sailors apparently made it home in good shape, a few cars didn’t.  But, that’s a story for another day.

J/22 Zipper sailing Jammin Jamaica regattaWith such a lively party the night before, it was not too surprising to see a few “dusty” sailors on the yacht club grounds the next morning stumbling down to their boats tied Mediterranean-style on the docks.  With an hour earlier start time, it was especially difficult for some boats to get rolling in the morning due to the lack of wind.  First off the docks were Farrington’s Cayman crew loaded with a case of Red Stripe beer, last off was the Johnstone/ Dear team on NINA.  Sunday’s racing started off in moderate winds and sunny skies with a much more northeasterly angle to the direction.  Many teams were hitting the corners hard- like so hard that you could not read sail numbers across the race course (and the JAM sail numbers are big!).  The windward mark rounding proved to be a repeat of the day before, with Johnstone and Farrington rounding overlapped at the first mark. with TAKE 5 winning the 5th race and NINA placing second.  The breeze increased dramatically over the course of the three races on the final day.  Farrington’s crew sailed well to close out the regatta with three bullets on the final day. The Johnstone/ Dear team on NINA closed out with a 2-2-3 to comfortably finish second.  Third overall was Johnson’s Cayman crew on AWESOME.

J/22 sailing on Montego Bay, JamaicaThere was a tough battle that was brewing all weekend for the balance of the top five- a battle for local supremacy between the top Kingston and MoBay teams.  An unfortunate DNF in the third race slowed down Peter Harper’s ZIPPER crew from Montego Bay, however, they fought hard to get back into contention and closed out the regatta with a good set of races on Sunday.  Incredibly, there was a three-way tie for the number 3 spot for the day that included AWESOME, ZIPPER and Steve “Cookie” Cooke’s GERONIMO from Kingston.  The final outcome was that Cookie’s GERONIMO took the flag as top Jamaican boat in 4th overall followed by Harper’s ZIPPER in fifth place.

The Montego Bay YC wishes to thank all the competitors that traveled far and wide to come down and enjoy the Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta.  The western “jump-up” on Saturday was greatly appreciated by all and a huge “thanks” to Bryan and Lynn Langford for their J/22 Jammin Jamaica sailing videoextraordinary hospitality.  In addition, thanks to all the MoBay YC volunteers, including the extraordinary race management by PRO Richard Hamilton.  Finally, a big shout out to regatta sponsors Boomerang Tyres/Maxxis and Stocks & Securities Ltd for their support.  Sailing photo credits- Bunny Rose Photography

If you want to watch an entertaining video, take a look at the production by Krystian Dear and his younger brother Kai and Sarah Missir- very talented kids!  It’s an awesome Jammin Jamaica J/22 sailing video summary here.   For more Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta sailing information

J/120 Nunatak sailing for in RORC Transatlantic raceRORC Transatlantic Update- Just 1,128nm 2 Go!
Donate Now to!
(Tenerife, Grand Canary Islands)- The J/120 NUNATAK, skippered by the United Kingdom double-handed duo of Elin Haf Davies and Chris Sharp, are flying down the offshore trade-winds wave trains in the second edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race.

As of Thursday, December 10th, NUNATAK was sitting on first in IRC 2 Class, first in IRC Double-handed class and fluctuating between 1st and 4th in IRC Overall depending on the latest predictions!  They are competing against world-class Class 40 teams in the double-handed division.

Elin’s story is both remarkable and heart-warming.  How she came to be on the J/120 NUNATAK and why she’s so passionate about supporting the FIND-A-CURE FOUNDATION is a worthwhile read.  Here were Elin’s comments:

Elin Haf Davies- sailing J/120 Nunatak in RORC Transatlantic race“Escaping to the sea!?  Yes!  On Saturday (Nov 28) I’ll be heading off across the Atlantic as part of the RORC Transatlantic yacht race.  Eight years exactly since I last set off across the big pond in a little rowing boat.

I can’t begin to explain what a journey the last eight years has been for me, and how different my life is now compared to what it was then. I was in a pretty dark place back then, going through a divorce and deserted by a couple of people that I had thought were my friends. My row across the Atlantic in 2007 gave me the opportunity to escape from my troubles on land, and to re-boot my life. It gave me the chance to start again.

During that adventure across the waves, and in my journey since then I have discovered what my passions are, what true friendships are, and most importantly, what I want (and don’t want!) from my life. Going to sea this time, therefore, is very much about living my passion, which is what makes me feel alive!”

You can learn more about Elin’s personal voyage here at JUSTGIVING.COM.

J/120 NUNATAK Daily reports
Since last week, Davies and her co-conspirator, Sharp, have made it their quest to do better than they’ve ever imagined.  So far, so good.  They are sailing beyond expectations on their “cruiser”.

December 5th
“AWESOME!!  Were did that week go?! A 1,000 miles down. We had saved first packet of Haribos for that milestone which tasted great- although Elin insisted on eating all the yellow and ginger men!! Its been a great 7 days; the only issues being with weather communications (gribs) on first couple of days and some chaffing of sails (put right by a quick trip up the rig). Other than that NUNATAK is holding up well.

Elin and I might not be the fastest two-handed co-skippers, but we do it with a smile!! The speed in which Elin has learnt the skills of two-handed sailing is incredible. However, her decision to experiment with Spanish tinned meat has been less impressive and I never would have believed that freeze dried food would seem so appealing! :0

A packet of Jelly Bellies awaits at the 1500 mile mark….”

Chris Frost and Elin Haf Davies- sailing J/120 Nunatak in RORC Transatlantic raceDecember 7th
“Hi all.  Hope all is well and that you’re partying hard in Grenada. Hope all our blogs have been coming through, sorry about limited photos but we don’t have the right software to compress.

What a contrasting 24 hours. We’ve barely had any wind and making very slow progress as a result. Highlight of the day has been bilging the water from the forepeak.

Not sure Chris will appreciate me sharing this with the world, but I think it’s funny to share (the caring nursing instinct in me coming out). You see, Chris has a little problem – ear wax! Which generally means he whispers (thinking that he’s talking normally), so I can barely hear him. In response, I have to talk at the top of my voice, which he still barely hears. It makes for an amusing conversation when we’re discussing which flavour noodles to have for lunch. Not so much when I’m on the bow and he’s on the helm though. Makes for having to use a lot of hand gestures! Not all of them suitable for day-time TV viewing!!

As a result, I spend most of my time plowing through the medical kit wondering what I could use to attack his ears with. Chris, on the other hand, seems more than happy to be only hearing only 50% of what I have to say. I can’t possibly imagine why ...

Despite our minor on board inconveniences, we both feel extremely lucky to be able to have the chance to do this race. Extremely lucky that our health (minor temporary hearing loss aside!) allows us to do it. Luck not granted to all.

As with all my adventures, I hope that my two-handed sail across the Atlantic will raise awareness about the amazing charity that I passionately support in my work – FIND-A-CURE. Findacure works to support patients living with rare disorders. There are around 7,000 different rare disorders, affecting around 32 million patients in Europe. 50% of them being children. Collectively, therefore, they are not rare.  Findacure works to promote patient empowerment and drug repurposing– that is, research to the use of already available drugs for different conditions, but because of the small number there is not enough commercial incentive by big pharma!

In the pre-Christmas build up, if you could spare a couple of pounds and donate, I’d really appreciate it! I have set a target of £3,000 (a £1 a mile), which would be enough to run three patient group workshops. More information her on

Off to make another scrumptious dinner of wax flavoured noodles.”

December 8th
“Well, it’s all happening here on NUNATAK as we finally crossed the halfway mark! HOORAY! But, boy it was a long time coming.

Yesterday morning was particularly hectic as we had two squalls hit us in quick succession. Not sure if I’ve already mentioned, but we don’t use snuffers, and drop our kites via the letter box. Which obviously means completely repacking each one each time. On a good drop, I can manage to get the kite down the companion way all by myself. On a bad one, Chris has to jump from behind the helm (in Ninja-style!) to help me out. The second squall resulted in a particularly bad drop which required a major effort by us all...! Thankfully, with no damage to kite or boat.  But, my morning porridge did fly across the deck and land in my already very smelly deck shoes. Yuck!

In other news, the nights are now becoming a little bit lighter, and we’re able to see an amazing galaxy of stars. Including a lot of shooting stars. I saw one spectacular one last night, and made an extra special wish– that Chris would let me eat all the halfway celebratory jelly beans to myself! Not all shooting stars make your wishes come true it seems!!

My cooking skills have also reached new heights. For lunch today, we had a tablespoon of Nutella and a handful of salted cashew nuts. I was able to persuade Chris that it was the right combination of protein, carbohydrates, sugar and salt to count as a nutritious meal for all top-performing sailors...!

Wind is all over the place, in terms of direction, but grib files promise that it should be better soon. Keeping everything crossed for a faster second half.

P.S any Guardian readers out there – keep an eye out for Wednesday’s edition, where my digital health start up “APARITO” is featured as one of the Nominet Trust Top 100 Tech Social Enterprises!! Thrilled to hear the news, if a bit disappointed to be missing out on the party!!”

Elin Haf Davies and Chris Frost at RORC Awards dinnerDecember 9th
“Hmmm... I have been inundated with ideas on how to improve my hearing from olive oil to offers of grand parents hearing aids. However, I have chosen to ignore these suggestions so I can continue to enjoy a level of peace and quiet on this trip. :)

As Elin has spent 155 days of her life aboard rowing boats living on nothing other than freeze dried food, I had expected the level of catering to improve once we moved onto our freeze dried rations.  However, I was sorely disappointed as I was presented with Chicken Korma soup last evening. Not the standard of curry night I am used to!!

The highlight of the day was devising a new preventer system. I was very excited, but surprised, by Elin’s comment- “you mad duck”. Apparently, a preventer system is not something normal people get excited by...

Being pushed along today by a strong NE breeze.  Getting very bored of 80 degrees TWD, mind you, and starting to wish we had a land-yacht that would go down the 180 freeway!  Must be getting delirious!

We sailed past a French yacht yesterday who chatted on VHF for a while and said how grande NUNATAK looked. Have to say, she feels a little petite compared to the other competitors in this race. Has everyone else finished yet?

I really can’t get bored of the flying fish displays we see regularly. Although, a couple of them have had the misfortune of landing on deck. Elin’s not been so great at getting them back to sea in time to save them.  Off to do some sailing”

J/120 sailing downwind on RORC Transatlantic raceDecember 10th
“Yesterday was an amazing day surfing under the A4. I won fastest surf, getting an 11.6 kts surf in while Chris only got an 11 kts surf in! Yeah! #SmallThings

Chris’s Welsh lessons haven’t progressed much last few days as we probably realised that it was more important to concentrate on my sailing lessons. Having said that he’s very good at saying “Dwi yn hoffi coffi.”  Speaking of which, we’re getting close to having a critical shortage of coffee on board, which really could be a major disaster as both Chris and I are very grumpy without a constant supply of caffeine.

We’re eating down the miles and getting very ready for Grenada, some rum, fun and beer (as promised by Louay). To be fair, my hair has been ready for the Caribbean fun for days, with Afro dreadlocks well and truly in place.

Chris is shouting for his lunch so I best go muster something.  Ciao for now.”   RORC’s TransAtlantic Race Facebook page   Here is the RORC Yellowbrick fleet tracking   For more RORC Transatlantic Race sailing information and NUNATAK blogs

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/22s sailing with Warrior Sailing disabled veterans in Newport-* Help disabled military and veterans learn sailing!  A fantastic gift from the heart!

The Warrior Sailing Program is focused on introducing active military and veterans with disabilities to sailing, learning to sail and basic sailboat racing. The program is for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces from across the U.S.A. and available to all persons within the targeted audience- regardless of age, gender and race.

The Warrior Sailing Program Basic Training Camp highlights the skills needed to manage a boat on the water as well as societal skills, which may translate to personal and job skill development. The program is open to wounded, ill or injured service members of the Armed Forces; active duty or retired.

Ben Poucher- sailing director at Warrior SailingAccording to Ben Poucher, Sailing Director for Warrior Sailing, “we’ve had a good discussion with our Team (who is made up of graduates from our basic and advanced camps that are competing in regattas throughout the US) and we were discussing our tentative schedule for 2016.

One of the items we are discussing is figuring out what classes and where we are going to have a presence. Our thoughts right now are to sail mainly in J/22 class events around the country, as well as other boats like the Sonar.  We have developed and built adaptive equipment for the J/22 class.

For you J/22 sailors and owners, if you have a boat that we can borrow for even one regatta, please be sure to contact me- Ben Poucher- or ph# 269-598-7119!”   Learn more about Warrior Sailing here.

Warrior Sailing program- using J/22s for disabled veterans & military active dutyWarrior Sailing has worked in partnership with the Vessel Outreach Foundation; they support non-profit organizations that provide leadership training, vocational development and support marine research through the use vessels and other waterfront assets donated to the VOF.

From the national champion Warrior Sailing program to the internationally recognized Florida Biodiversity Institute the Vessel Outreach Foundation provides our Strategic Partners with the vessels and expertise necessary to achieve their highest aspirations.

Ralf Steitz- director at Warrior SailingAccording to Ralf Steitz, President of the VOF, “the resources of VOF have allowed Warrior Sailing to quickly expand nationally. Warrior Sailing now offers Open Regattas for veterans who want to learn how to sail, as well as advanced racing clinics.

The expertise of the personnel at VOF led to recent successes at the recent Para-Olympic Nationals, as well as an adaptive sports grant from Veteran’s Affairs Administration.  Any and all help is appreciated. Plus, if you have a boat to donate that could help the disabled veterans and military, please let us know!”  Learn more about Vessel Outreach Foundation here

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.