Wednesday, March 2, 2016

J/Newsletter- March 2nd, 2016

Alcatel J/70 CUP in ItalyALCATEL J/70 CUP Announcement
(San Remo, Italy)- For the third year, ALCATEL is sponsoring the Italian J/70 series and are calling it the ALCATEL J/70 CUP; it also serves as the Italian’s J/70 National Championship over a series of five regattas from April to September.

ALCATEL-Lucent, a major European and Italian telecommunications firm headquartered in France, will support and promote these events through a new web site (online soon), new video production capabilities, a YouTube channel, with drones for aerial videos, and last but not least, live streaming broadcasted ashore and on the web site for worldwide distribution.

At each of the events, the regatta will provide owners/participants over 5,000 EUR of prizes and gifts offered by ALCATEL, GILL, FITBIT and other sponsor/partners!

On April 2-3rd, the series will kick-off in Monte Carlo, hosted by the famous YC Monaco off their beautiful club facilities on Hercules Harbor.  Then, the series moves on to San Remo, Italy just 25km down the coast to the east.  That event takes place from the 7th to 8th of May in San Remo, hosted by the YC San Remo.  The combination of the two events (Monte Carlo + San Remo) will constitute the SPRING CUP.  The organizers already expect 50 or more boats from 5-6 countries across Europe to attend these two events.

J/70 World Championship- Porto Cervo, Sardinia, ItalyThe third event will be sailed in Porto Cervo (Sardinia, Italy) from June 3rd to 5th and hosted at YC Costa Smeralda.  For those wishing to participate in this event:
  • There will be a few boats available for charter. The are initially reserved for international teams wishing to experience YC Costa Smeralda and the sailing conditions for the 2017 J/70 World Championship in Porto Cervo.
  • For those who want to bring their own boat, there is a special price below 500 EUR for the ferry boat crossing between Genoa and Sardinia
  • Additionally, J/Boats Italy will offer the service to shuttle the boats from Genoa to Sardinia and back for an additional fee of 500 EUR. This way, owners and crews can conveniently fly to the final destination. The YC Costa Smeralda will offer to all J/70 owners an AUDI shuttle service between Olbia Airport and Porto Cervo.
  • We anticipate to transport to Porto Cervo (and back) some 20-25 boats that will meet/race the few boats owned by YC Costa Smeralda already stationed there in the club.
J/70s sailing Lago di GardaThe next event on the five regatta series is the ALPEN CUP; comprised of two regattas will take place in northern Italy on that most famous of Italian lakes- Lago di Garda- expect great “Garda-style” wind and weather conditions!  Act IV is from July 23rd to 24th in Malcesine and hosted by Fraglia Vela Malcesine.  The fifth and final event will be from September 9th to 11th and sailed at Riva del Garda and hosted Fraglia Vela Riva.

The J/70 Italian Class President, Vittorio Di Mauro says, “We hope that our efforts will convince you to COME TO RACE WITH US!  Looking forward to hearing from you soon!  Please do not hesitate to ask for help, we hope you can join us!”   For more ALCATEL J/70 CUP sailing information

J/70 sailing J/CUP United KingdomThe United Kingdom’s J/CUP- Entries are Open!
(Hamble, England)- J/Boats agent Key Yachting Ltd and the Royal Southern Yacht Club are thrilled to announce that entry is open for the Landsail Tyres J-Cup 2016 in Partnership with B&G!

Incorporating the National Championships for the J/88, J/97, J/109 and J/111, the J-Cup is quite simply three days of serious competition coupled with not-so-serious shoreside entertainment, with one design racing for almost everyone. If you have a J/Boat, you're invited!  If you are thinking of a “J”, you’re invited!  If you want to sail a “J”, you’re invited!

J/109s sailing J/CUP United KingdomBack at the Royal Southern in Hamble for 2016, racing will take place from Thursday 9th- Saturday 11th June. It will be the first time the J-Cup has taken place at its ‘home’ venue since the club unveiled their fabulous new Prince Philip Yacht Haven, which will accommodate most of the travelling fleet.

The programme includes up to eight races in the Solent, with daily prize-givings and themed suppers every evening, snacks on the pier after racing and, of course, the notorious prize-giving party on the final night, with local favorites “Groove Instinct” (a massively popular rock band in the U.K.) providing the soundtrack.

To enter the J-Cup, or for more information about the event, please visit- The organizers would like to thank title sponsor Landsail Tyres for supporting the regatta for the second year running and with B&G Electronics.  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/

J/70s sailing off MonacoMonaco Sportsboat Winter Series Act V Preview
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The fifth and final Act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2015/2016 looks set to be a close-run finale in the J/70 class of this international one-design series, organized by the Yacht Club de Monaco and sailing over the March 4th to 6th weekend.

Held once a month from October to March, based on the initiative from Russian sailor Valentin Zavadnikov (SYNERGY), the regattas give amateur and professional teams an opportunity to establish their winter training base in Monaco to prepare for the summer’s big meetings.

After four Acts and 17 races for the 65 entrants (seven nationalities) in the J/70 class, British sailor Sam Carter skippering BRUTUS currently tops the leaderboard in the provisional ranking for the season. He is just ahead of Stefano Roberti sailing PICININA and Jacopo Carrain’s CARPE DIEM, President of the J/70 Monaco Class Association, 2nd and 3rd, respectively, and both YC Monaco members.

A system of GPS trackers will be following the races “live”, live streaming and direct arbitration on the water are among many tools deployed by YC Monaco to optimize sailors’ preparation and promote development of one-design racing in the Principality. With its new facilities built to host major nautical events, the YC Monaco consolidates its reputation as a winter training & racing base for international sailors.   For more J/70 Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series sailing information

J/125 sailing Puerto Vallarta and MexorcBahia de Banderas Regatta Preview
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- Puerto Vallarta’s Bay of Banderas is hosting the first edition of the 2016 Copa Federacion Mexicana de Vela (FMV Cup) to be held from February 19 to May 30. The international event convenes for four months of intense competition bringing together some 800 boats and 2,500 sailing enthusiasts and their companions, and expected to contribute over $17 million USD to the PV Chamber of Commerce (hmmm, no wonder they like sailors!).

“The FMV Cup reaffirms Puerto Vallarta’s position in the international landscape as an ideal destination for sailing and boating events,” said Alvaro Garciarce, President of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board. “The waters around the Bay of Banderas have proven to be the best venue for international sporting events of this level. We welcome all participants and their guests and trust they will enjoy their visit to Puerto Vallarta.”

Set on the Bay of Banderas, a member of the “World’s Most Beautiful Bays Club,” Puerto Vallarta’s rich history is reflected through its diverse culture, gastronomy and residents. Its horseshoe shaped bay shelters tropical lagoons, rainforests, mangroves, pristine beaches, waterfalls, and spectacular mountains, making it a prime ecotourism destination ideal for a variety of water sports and the observation of Humpback whales that visit the area every year from December to March.

The 2016 FMV Cup for offshore keelboats will include the following races:

1.  The 32nd Puerto Vallarta Race- this just finished with Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER finishing 2nd- a good thing (see story below).

J/120 sailing Puerto Vallarta and Mexorc2.  MEXORC- this runs from February 28 to March 3, with over 70 boats and 500 competitors and visitors participating.  Participating are several J teams seeking revenge from the crazy PV Race; including Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER, Luis Altolaguirre’s J/120 TATEI, Erwan Le Gall’s J/80 SHEVA and Bart Smit’s J/105 SINFONIA NAUTICA.  Also racing are one-design J/70s- Ignacio Perez’s ZAGUERO, Joaquin Bargall, Fernando Perez, and Jose Luis Perez.  For more MEXORC sailing information

3.  Regata International Bahia de Banderas- will take place from March 9 to 12. One of the more social events, it is one of the biggest regattas for cruisers and racers in the world and is the largest and oldest on Mexico’s West Coast. The regatta is famous for the Banderas Bay Regatta Boat Parade- on Thursday, March 10th at 11:00am- the parade of boats heading to the start line of the first day of racing is a long-standing BBR tradition. While the competitors are out on the race course, spectators can only easily see them with binoculars. The Boat Parade is the best chance for them to see the competing boats up close and to let the skippers and crew hear their cheers of encouragement. All boats registered for the Regatta are encouraged to be a part of this tradition.  The theme this year is - “Loving Cruising in Mexico.”  Current participants from the J/family include the J/105 SINFONIA NAUTICA with Bart Smit at the helm and the J/80 SHIVA with Rush Faville skippering.  For more Banderas Bay Regatta sailing information

J/105s sailing Chile's Chiloe RegattaThe Evolution of Family Sailing in Chile
(Santiago, Chile)- It all starts with family, children, friends and tradition.  Plus, a few boats that people from across that family spectrum can enjoy from 8 to 80 yrs old.  Imagine what has happened in the past ten years in Chile, it’s nearly a revolution in how sailing in various J’s has brought more families and friends into the sport in Chile- the world’s longest and skinniest country at 2,653 miles high and averages 110 miles wide.  How did that ever happen, one might ask rhetorically, given all the chatter around the world about whether or not sailing is growing?!

The plan has been simple in Chile.  Whatever you do, make sure the “family wins”.  Period.  That means Mom, Dad, the girls, the guys, the pro’s, the experienced, the less-than-experienced, the cruisers, the racers should have fun, too.   Sound familiar? Yes, that is exactly what is happening with the phenomenon of sailing leagues in Europe- one of the world’s most difficult markets to get sailors engaged after centuries of tradition.  Breaking down the barriers of entry and engaging everyone works when done well with the proper boats- ones that do not intimidate sailors, but brings enough fun and excitement that it can be shared with everyone.  That is exactly what has happened in an entire country, where no one ever expected it to happen.

J/105s sailing off Chiloe, ChileThe famous Chiloé Regatta 2016 in Chile’s southern archipelago (e.g. like Sweden’s famous islands off Stockholm), is considered to be the pinnacle of the Chilean sailor’s summer vacation.  This year, there were thirteen J/105’s, four J/70’s (in cruising mode!) and four J/24’s in the J/Boats fleet; they represented 1/3 of the total fleet in Chiloé Regata in Puerto Montt during January this year!  That is an astonishing evolution in less than ten years for any regatta, forgetting the fact that it’s tantamount to taking over the 1,000 boat Cowes Race Week with 333 J’s on the Solent!

The story of J/Boats in Chile as a brand and a class began in 1992 when Germán Fuchs started sailing with ATTACK, that is when the J/24 class started locally. The first J/24 South American Championship in Chile was organized in 1992 on Rapel Lake.  By 1994 to 1996, the J/24 class had fleets of 30 or more boats in Nationals events in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil and Argentina.  After 2000, the fleets of J/24 started to change a little; in fact the class drew the attention of the Chilean Navy in Talcahuano and the Chilean Navy started to use the J/24 in their Naval Academy.  In fact, some J/24s for the Navy have made it as far south as Porto Williams, by the far the southernmost embarkation point to the infamous Tierra del Fuego, Cape Horn, and for most expeditions to Antarctica. There is a sailing school today at Porto Williams on J/24s!

About the same time as the J/24 evolution in Chile and South America, there were also several J/35 offshore keelboats  that arrived at the end of 1990.  One boat, in particular, was the famous SCARAMOUCHE, she famously won several offshore circuits over a 5-6 year period in Chile’s regattas off Algarrobo and Chiloe.

Chiloe Regatta in ChileIn 2010, a group of friends from YC Algarrobo choose the J/105 (the J/35 “evolution”) to expand their sailing experience from the J/24 to a larger boat.  Since then, more than thirty J/105’s have arrived in Chile between Algarrobo and Viña del Mar (60 miles away); it is by far the largest one-design keelboat class in Chile. In fact, it’s the largest one-design keelboat class in the world outside of the San Francisco J/105 fleet!! Impossible to fathom for some, but not for familes that are interested in including their friends, family and children in the experience.

On the other hand, the port of Talcahuano (450Km south from Santiago- where the 8.8 earthquake/ tsunami hit the hardest in 2012) had developed an important J/24 fleet with more than 15 boats. The class’s success was in part due to the Chilean Navy supporting the growth of the class as a valuable trainer for their officers (e.g. similar to the US maritime academies like the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT and the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD).  As a result, the J/24 developed all across Chile, mainly in the lakes and some maritime bays. Today, there are around 150 J/24s in Chile.

J/70 Santander sailing Chiloe Regatta in ChileBut the story didn't end there.  In 2012, after the successful launching of the J/70 worldwide, the local dealer Juan Eduardo Reid started to promote this “little jewel” and formed the class in Chile.  Today,  there are 17 boats in Chile and probably 20 by the end of 2016.  Chile has the largest circuit of J/70’s in South America and already they have organized their 3rd National Championship with 13 boats in Lago Panguipulli- it's one of the most spectacular Patagonian mountain lakes and ranks amongst the best mountain sailing lakes in the world. A few of these teams will be sailing the first J/70 South Americans in Punta del Este, Uruguay!

J/70 Santander Bank sailing Chiloe regatta in ChileCommenting on the development of J/Boats sailing in Chile, Juan Eduardo said, “It was a special feeling in Chiloé looking at three  successful one-design classes (J/24, J/70, J/105) sailing in the regatta; it’s a summary of 25 years of J/Boats history in Chile.  Every boat has their own group of fans. The owners see the value of sailing in budget-friendly one-design formats and choose the class that fits the most with their sailing skills, boat preference, logistics, size and budget!  And, it was remarkable to see the two, only two, full women crews of Chiloé 2016 on J/Boats!"

"Our challenge for next Chiloé Regatta (2018), is to keep a good J/105 fleet and have a larger J/70 fleet. Also, I would love to see a couple of J/112E and J/122E teams sailing. Considering the great performance of both boats in IRC events, we are hoping to field some teams in the next Chiloe Regatta.”  For more J/Boats Chile sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The end of February brings “almost” spring in many parts of the northern hemisphere.  And, for those who live “down under”, yet another opportunity to extend their amazingly long summer/fall sailing circuits.  Why would anyone live in the north when the summers are so long “down under”??  The math for summer is simple- four months north and six months south. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

For those northern sailors, it was the first J/70 Midwinters to take place outside of Key West; a regatta that was attended by 99.9% North American sailors at the fabulously accommodatingly St Petersburg YC in St Pete, Florida.  Not far east was the conclusion of the RORC 600 Caribbean for a notorious J/120.

Far out west was the SCYA Midwinters for J/70s, J/24s, J/105s, J/120s, J/109s at three different yacht clubs- yes, that means southern California in sailing conditions that are nearly equal to our most southern friends- 50s at night, 70s in the day.

Not much farther south was the completion of the Puerto Vallarta Race- that 1,000nm sprint down the sparse, but spectacular Mexican Pacific coastline to a gorgeous finish line in the fabulous Bahia de Banderas.

In the meantime, sailing is dialing up in Europe.  Big time. While Monaco-based J/70 events are the current mode, the Italian J/24 Spring Series is beginning to roll as well.

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:

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.

J/70 HOSS sailing Midwinters in St Petersburg, FLTexan HOSS Crowned J/70 Midwinter Champion
(Newport, RI)- After three days of nearly perfect weather and breezes, the forty-six teams could not have been more delighted than to have to sail home early afternoon on Sunday with eight very good races completed.  Said the 2016 QUANTUM J/70 Midwinter Champions, Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard on HOSS, “St Petersburg YC PRO Todd Fedyszyn and the StPYC Race Committee did a wonderful job. It was tricky, very puffy and shifty, even in the bigger breeze. We got a variety of conditions, which is more than anyone can ask for!”  For Tampa Bay, indeed it was nearly “chamber of commerce” conditions, with four races sailed Friday in gorgeous conditions, and two races sailed per day on Saturday and Sunday.

J/70s sailing off St Petersburg, FLAfter the racing Saturday, fast out-of-the-box and leading was Allan Terhune’s DAZZLER of Arnold, MD with an impressive tally of 1-3-7-1 for 12 points.  They were just one point ahead of the Forth Worth, Texas duo of Darden/Hillard on HOSS with an equally good scoreline of 3-6-2-2 for 13 pts.  The winning team at the St Pete NOOD Regatta, Will Welles’ SEA BAGS SAILING TEAM from Portsmouth, RI, locked in a solid day, too, with a record of 13-2-1-3 for 19 pts to round out the top three.

The winds for the first day were 10-12 knots with gusts to 15 from the WNW. Terhune dazzled in the opening race, trailed by Geoff Becker and the Darden/Hillard team. Becker transferred up to the top spot in the second contest, as Welles took second and Terhune third. It was Welles’ turn for the victory in race three, ahead of Darden/Hillard and John Brim’s RIMETTE. Terhune secured the day’s lead with a bullet in the final battle. Darden/Hillard again grabbed the silver spot with Welles in the bronze.

women sailing J/70s in FloridaThe northerly gradient winds held for the second day, for awhile at least.  It was enough to get in two good races before it dropped to virtually nothing on a beautiful clear, sunny day and StPYC PRO Fedyszyn’s crew had to cancel for the day.  Team Darden/Hillard took HOSS to the front of the pack in Saturday’s initial race when winds were about 10-12 knots, tailed by Welles and Kerry Klingler’s MENACE. The Corinthian team on B-SQUARED with Bryan Cameron and Brian Elliott earned the next victory, as Darden/Hillard took second and Klingler again third.  As a result of the day’s racing, HOSS jumped into the lead with their 1-2 finishes on the day, taking an 8-point lead into the finale on Sunday.  In the meantime, Welles’ SEA BAGS SAILING TEAM took over 2nd position and Terhune’s DAZZLER fizzled into a less than dazzling 23-7 daily scoreline to drop into third overall.

With enough local knowledge to make the absolute right call, the St Petersburg YC RC team led by PRO Fedyszyn told the J/70 teams “to get up early and be ready to race at 0930 hours on the dot, or be late to the parade!”  Indeed, the RC boats all took off by 0815 hours on a cool Sunday morning, set the course, and started precisely on-time at 0930.  Fortunately, most boats heeded the call and were blessed to sail two good, but very shifty races in the third day of a dying northerly, finishing the eighth and final race by noon time in about 5 kts of wind from the north.

J/70 Midwinter champions- Darden / Hillard's HOSSClosing out their scores with a 2-13 enabled the HOSS team of Darden/ Hillard to become the 2016 Quantum J/70 Midwinter Champions.  It has been quite a ride for this team, having just sailed the J/70 for less than nine months. Darden, a J/80 World Champion, was at the helm with co-owner Hillard, Jonathan McKee and Karl Anderson. “I have a fabulous team,” praised Darden, who has been sailing with Hillard for over 20 years. “We added Jonathan, who is an Olympics Gold medalist, and I’d never sailed with him before the last couple regattas. He’s helped us get up to speed.”

Holding on to second place was Welles’ SEA BAGS SAILING TEAM.  Similarly, Terhune’s crew on DAZZLER sailed consistently enough to take the bronze overall.  Rounding out the top five in the Open Division was Geoff Becker’s USA 25 with 55 pts in fourth place and just 3 pts behind them was John Brim’s RIMETTE with US Sailing Yachtswomen of the Year Steph Roble on-board as tactician.

J/70 Corinthians winner- Midwinters- SNAPROLLWinning the Corinthians Division was SNAPROLL, with perhaps the oldest one-two combination in the entire fleet- Bill Ballard and John Jennings- average age 80 yrs old (just kiddin, though not far off)!  Their talented all St Petersburg YC crew (including Collegiate All-American Hillary Noble) sailed to an enormous 11 pt lead.  Taking the silver was Charles Bayer’s team on LIL’GRIZZLY with 120 pts and in third place as the B-SQUARED duo of Bryan Cameron & Brian Elliot sitting on 133 pts.  In fact, B-SQUARED won a tie-breaker over 4th place finisher Tim Molony on JOUST and in fifth position was Alex Meleny’s TRUCKIN’ DY with 150 pts.  For more J/70 Midwinters sailing information

Next stop on the J/70 winter circuit is the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, March 10th to 13th, hosted by the three clubs on Biscayne Bay- Coral Reef YC, Biscayne Bay YC and Coconut Grove SC.  For more Bacardi Miami Sailing week information

J/120 NUNATAK sailing RORC 600 Caribbean raceJ/120 Wins RORC Caribbean 600 Double-handed!
(English Harbour, Antigua)- It was a record fleet that took off from English Harbour a fortnight ago.  The weather models predicting 14 knots of wind from the southeast and freshening to 20 knots for the balance of the race was not too far off.  In such winter Caribbean sailing weather, it generally never is less than spectacular!

While the weather was amazing, the enormous breaking seas and premium on boat-handling and sail changes put some crews under pressure.  Sadly, that led to the retirement of Jonty Layfield’s J/11S SLEEPER (an early leader in the race) and to David Ballantyne’s J/133 JINGS- - we hope everyone is well.

Meanwhile, sailing the full 600nm in IRC Doublehanded class was the duo of Elin Haf Davies and Chris Frost on the J/120 NUNATAK.  This highly experienced offshore team managed to hang tough and sailed a good race.  In fact, the most unfortunate part of their passage around the spectacular islands was noted by Elin when they were sailing amongst the IRC Two yachts passing south of Guadeloupe at 1600 on Day 3; she commented on the competitor’s race blog: “Devastated to have to report that most of my chocolate supply has melted!  Frosty will be a hero if he is to survive another 48 hours with me without chocolate! And, if he survives the fury that is Elin without chocolate, he should be made a Saint of Sailing!”  Well, turns out he may have been “sainted” by now since they not only survived without chocolate for another day, but won the IRC Doublehanded class!  For more RORC Caribbean 600 race sailing information

J/70s sailing San Diego, CAMassive Fun @ SCYA Midwinters
(Marina del Rey, CA)- As one of the world’s more unusually large regattas, the Southern California Yacht Racing Association (SCYA) has their annual SCYA Midwinters hosted at multiple sites across the greater SoCal region that spans from the LA Basin to southwest Arizona!  To say the least, that effort encompasses thousands of sailors, hundreds of boats and, certainly, hundreds of volunteers at those sailing clubs that put on this enormously geographical PT Barnum & Bailey’s sailing circus.  It’s an enormous undertaking and the range of SCYA clubs have a lot of fun rolling out the proverbial red carpet at each venue, running some fun races, and throwing on their dancing shoes to twirl-away the evening until the wee-hours.  No one said that SoCal sailors don’t know how to have fun, after all it’s home to the “surfer culture” that generated such iconic brands as the “Beach Boys”, “Hobie Cats” and the “Windsurfer”- world-changing ideas that changed the sailing world, forever.

From one of the venues, Emily Wilthoff at San Diego YC, provided the following report: “SDYC hosted our portion of the SCYA Midwinters in the Coronado Roads off Point Loma. Over the two days, J/70s, J/80s, and J/120s  participated in five races.

The weather was ideal- sunny and mid-70s with above average speeds of 14-15 kts at the start of the first race on Saturday. After that, the winds remained steady at around 8-10 kts on Saturday late afternoon and early Sunday afternoon. On Sunday late afternoon, the winds died down tremendously at the end of the second race causing the race committee to shorten the course.

J/120s sailing off San Diego, CAThere were 24 boats in total from 11 different yacht clubs competing throughout the weekend. J/ALMIGHTY, skippered by Mike Hatch from San Diego Yacht Club, won the J/120 class. Skipper Curt Johnson from California Yacht Club led AVET to a first place finish in the J/80 division. Finally, MINOR THREAT won the J/70 division skippered by Jeff Janov from California Yacht Club.

Many people worked hard to make this another unforgettable Midwinters regatta at SDYC. A big thank you goes out to Jeff Johnson, Susie Graff and the rest of the race committee volunteers, along with SCYA’s Cleve Hardaker, Jo Ann Sedgwick, SDYC Commodore Doug Werner and the SDYC Board for your help!”

Other than Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY winning the J/120s, Peter Zarcades’ MELTEMI took second and “the Commodore’s” on Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER were third.

In the J/70s, it was an interesting scenario since it involved several top J/24 sailors from the West Coast that are clearly gunning and practicing for the J/70 World Championship in September in San Francisco.  The top players included a number of West Coast Champions as well as USA National Champions and J/24 North American Champions!  John Fuller and Brad Rodi on BL!SS took second just three points back.  Taking third in the ten boat class was Chris Snow on COOL STORY BRO with 19 pts.  Fourth was Pat Toole from Santa Barbara YC on the familiar TRES PERROS GRANDES (e.g “3 Big Dogs”).  Fifth place was Craig Tallman’s JAYA.

Over at California YC in Marina del Rey, they were hosting the J/109s in the 75 Rater class and the J/24s one-design. Top J/109 was Jack Mayer’s ZEPHYR in 3rd place, followed by Peter Nelson’s SPRAY in 4th and Alice Leahey’s GRACE O’MALLEY in 5th position.

Amongst the J/24s at CYC, it was Team TAKE FIVE that won with 10 pts, followed by Tom Tunberg’s BULLET with three bullets but an OCS to drop them into second place.  Third was Jim Bauerley’s CRITTER.

In the PHRF SoCal championships, Southwestern YC in San Diego hosted this eclectic group of boats.  In PHRF 2, it was Mark Surber’s J/125 DERIVATIVE that took second place.  In PHRF 4, David Cattle’s J/27 BLACKADDER took fourth.   For more SCYA Midwinters sailing information

J/125 sailing Puerto Vallarta raceJ/125 Silvers Puerto Vallarta Race
(San Diego, CA)- The 32nd running of the Vallarta Race, a 1,000nm course from San Diego, USA to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, began with staggered starts on February 19 and 20 for the 21-boat field. J/World’s Wayne Zittel commented on the race conditions, “Wow, what a fantastic run we had down the coast of Baja. Seriously, some gorgeous sailing conditions. Rounding Cabo San Lucas, we saw periods of calms, but the sail across the Sea of Cortez was beautiful.  From a sailing perspective, it was really shifty and puffy, and lighter for the leaders in front of us.  But, if we didn’t have sail changes to break up the cockpit chatter, what else would we be doing? We used almost every sail we brought; 5 different spinnakers, a couple of jibs, a jib top, a code 0, and a couple of staysails.”

Peter Isler, sailing on a 70 footer, had this to say, “At just 45nm from the finish, it was still so close – but so, so far!!! After struggling with nearly 24 straight hours of drifting conditions yesterday – we had another beautiful night sailing fast straight at the mark in a nice 15 knot northwesterly. But, 50 miles from the finish line, Mother Nature was not done with us, and the wind shut down and we drifted again for another few hours – just to make sure we had figured out how to drift faster!”

J/125 Timeshaver sailing Puerto Vallarta racesSailing in Division 4, Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER had a very tough, but ultimately rewarding race.  They were up against some turbo’d Farr 40s and their annual arch-rivals, the SC 50 HORIZON (ultimately, the Division 3 and Overall winner).  For the first three-quarters of the race, the J/125 had put the hammer down and was leading the fleet overall.  However, like Zittel and Isler mentioned above, it was a roll of the dice that determined the winners and losers in the end.  Indeed, TIMESHAVER got the short end of the stick in the last 100 miles, watching a boat-for-boat lead over HORIZON and the R/P 50 BLUE BLAZES evaporate quickly.  In fact, so quickly that a several hour lead turned into an eight hour deficit on elapsed time!  As it turns out, the two boats TIMESHAVER had to beat, HORIZON and BLUE BLAZES, finished in just around 4 days/ 13 hours while TIMESHAVER ghosted across the finish line at 4 days/ 21 hours- ouch!  About a 15 hour swing with less than a day’s sail to get to the line!  Nevertheless, while losing the overall prize, Torbensen’s fast crew on TIMESHAVER took the silver in Division 4 and still finished a credible 8th overall.  For more Puerto Vallarta Race sailing information

J/24 Mollicona sailing off Chiavari, ItalyMOLLICONA Leads Italian J/24 Spring Championship
(Marina di Carrara, Italy)-  After becoming the winners of the 2015 Autumn Championship, the MOLLICONA crew consisting of Vincenzo Mercuri,  Massimiliano Biagini, Riccardo Marini, Nicholas Marchini and Beba Tognetti have also had a great start to this year’s Spring Championship series and are leading the fleet after the first weekend.

"The two races on Saturday were windward-leeward courses; they were sailed in light winds from the north of 4-8 kts with flat seas. The continuous wind shifts (and decreasing wind strength) in the second race, however, forced the race to be finished on the first run,” explained Sergio Del Nero. “On Sunday, however, we had very rough seas.  Winds were between 4 to 10 knots from the north, variable.  And, it was very difficult conditions with wave flowing against the wind, forming very choppy seas.  Also on this day, the second race was shortened to the first run because of the sudden drop in wind."

Despite the challenging weather, the MOLLICONA team rose to the occasion and compiled a 1-5-1-1 record to be leading after the first weekend of racing.  Moving into second place on JAMAICA is the Italian J/24 Class President- Pietro Diamanti- with a 2-1-2-3 tally.  Sitting in third place is NINAN skippered by Alberto Manfredini with scores of 3-8-3-2; in fourth is TALLY I owned by Roberta Banfo and skippered by Luca Macchiarini with a very steady 4-4-4-6; and in fifth place is ITA 330 skippered by Enrico Giannotti with a 6-2-8-8 tally.

Excellent as always was the work done by the Race Committee (Chaired by Luigi D'Amico and assisted by Gigi Porchera and Sergio Del Nero) and their mark boats (Massimo Lunardini, Silvano and Matteo Zanza).

The J/24 crews will continue their final weekend of the Spring Championship out of Marina di Carrara on the weekend of March 5th and 6th.  For more Italian J/24 sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/105 Gonzo sailing to Havana, Cuba* The J/105 GONZO from Chicago was sailed by Ed Reagan and his team in the inaugural Miami to Havana Race this year that finished in the historical Hemingway Harbor in Havana, Cuba..  Here’s Ed’s report on their most amazing experience:

“We sailed aboard GONZO, our J/105, co-captained by myself and Ken Ganch with a total crew of eight in the Miami to Havana race.  It started in lighter winds right outside of government cut on a beautiful Florida day, albeit it was cooler than usual with a cold front heading in.  That was welcome news as were all heading south veering southwest as the fleet headed down the keys so North winds were favorable and were forecast to go Northeast at some point.  There were also fairly cold temperatures forecast for the first night but fortunately the water was warm.

J/105 sailing plot to CubaThe route from Miami to Key West takes you south and you constantly turn to the west keeping outside of the reefs, which are well marked along the entire stretch of the Keys.  On our port side was the Gulf stream, so you have a narrow band in which you want to sail to avoid sailing against the Gulf Stream that is running counter to our course at up to 6 kts!  One of the most strategic decisions is where and when to cross the Gulf Stream.

As the first afternoon went on, the winds steadily built along with the waves.  There were long periods with sustained wind speeds 15-25 knots and the Gulf Stream varied but seemed to have reached 4-5 knots at that time according to our readings.  The challenge was to get through it as efficiently as possible and then, hopefully, catch a counter-current closer to the coast of Cuba that was still heading west.

Club Nautico Hemingway in Havana, CubaThe moon was very small and the stars were brilliant the first night when we were crossing the Gulf Stream.  Wind speeds maintained all through the next day and into night when we finally saw Cuba at dusk.  The winds died down only for the last 50 miles and we sailed along the length of Havana and finished right about midnight.  We took 2nd in PHRF C and 8th overall!  Imagine that!?  A Chicago boat collecting silverware for placing in a race to Havana!  That’s awesome!

Hemingway Club Nauticio in Havana hosted the fleet with excellent facilities and the staff was gracious and welcoming.

J/44 Rum Squall sailing off San Diego, CAThere was a race along the Malecon on Sunday but winds were very strong and only a handful of boats completed the race after several dropped out.  Overall for us, it was an amazing experience and hope others do the same in the future!”

* A beautiful J/44 from San Diego YC was recently seen gracing the Boats & Gear section in the March 2016 issue of SAILING Magazine!  What a pretty photo of the J/44 plying the seas off the Coronado Roads, just south of Point Loma on a sunny day on the Pacific Ocean— clearly the crew are enjoying themselves!  Was it truly a “rum squall”?!!  Thanks to Sue Reynen at SAILING Magazine for the photo.  Visit their website <> and follow them on Facebook <>.

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.