Wednesday, April 6, 2016

J/Newsletter- April 6th, 2016

J/112E sailing SPI Ouest FranceJ/112E Sport Cruising Le SPI Ouest!
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- J-LANCE 12, the brand new J/112E that sailed SPI Ouest France over the Easter Holiday weekend, finished 2nd overall in one of the toughest IRC classes in the entire regatta. In incredibly demanding conditions, the boat revealed it was performing better than anyone expected upwind in any conditions.  And, perhaps most surprisingly, downwind in breezy conditions the J/112E “sport cruiser” has a nice ability to start planing!

J/112E interior- sport cruising sailboatWhat is most intriguing of that experience is that she demonstrates that she has wonderful balance- with real “dual purpose” capabilities in a 36 foot boat; proven racing performance with extraordinary “creature-comforts”!  Customer feedback from prospective J/112E owners has been nothing short of amazing, most remarking that such a sumptuous interior cannot possibly go that fast! In fact, her top end at SPI Ouest was 17.5 kts with finger-tip control!  Call your local J/Boats dealer for more information or a demo sail soon!   For more J/112E Sports Cruiser sailing information

J/88 Great Lakes harborJ/88 Lake Michigan Champs- Open for Entries!
(Chicago, IL)- The Southern Lake Michigan J/88 fleet invites you to join us for the J/88 Lake Michigan Championship. The regatta is run in conjunction with the Chicago NOOD June 17-19 and is hosted by Chicago YC’s Monroe St. station in downtown.  With shopping, museums, parks and some of the best music and restaurants in the world it is a great place to bring the family.

J/88 one-design sailboat- ChicagoIf you think you might have trouble getting your family to come, there is something for everyone. Grant Park, Maggie Dailey Park, Millennium Park, the Cultural mile, Navy Pier and the Magnificent Mile are all within walking distance of the club. The Chicago Symphony will be playing concerts Friday and Saturday night in the park across the street from the club. Of course, there are all the festivities of the NOOD regatta and the J/88 Lake Michigan Championship.

Register today!  For more J/88 & SW NOOD sailing information.  If you have a trailer, J/88's can be launched at Chicago YC Belmont for FREE!  However, in the city parking lot next door, there is a fee to keep your trailer there for the weekend.  We recommend staying downtown, parking and walking everywhere. For more information contact Rich Stearns at or call 312-994-9153.

J/80 sailing United KingdomJ/80 UK Nationals- Open for Entries!
(Lymington, England)- The Royal Lymington Yacht Club is delighted to announce that Berthon, North Sails, Lymington Yacht Charters, Seahorse magazine and Nick Cox Chandlers have very kindly agreed to support the J/80 Nationals which are to be held from Saturday 27th to Monday 29th August in Lymington.

The Notice of Race has been published for the J/80 Nationals and entry is now open online; please click here.

Entry before 31st May is just £165, which includes mooring and car parking. The first 5 early bird boats which need a lift-in, mast-step, lift out and trailer storage will receive this free! Any other boats, which require these services that have entered early, will pay a much-reduced rate of £50.

Plans for the social events during the event are progressing well and details about the programme and how to order tickets will be announced shortly.

The Club’s J/80 Class Captain, Jim White, said, “the J/80 is Lymington’s newest class and growing rapidly, attracting National and European Champions and former Olympians. There are currently 12 J/80s in Lymington, with two more due to arrive and several potential owners trying to buy. It looks set to be a fantastic year of racing in Lymington.”  For further information, please contact the club events manager, Kirsty Timmis -

J/70 sailing Russia LeagueJ/70 Sailing Leagues Starting- Russia & Italy
(Porto Cervo, Italy)- In the upcoming weeks, several of the new J/70 sailing leagues will get going in Europe.  Two of them highlighted here include the role of YC Costa Smeralda hosting several events on their J/70s at their spectacular facilities at Porto Cervo on the island of Smeralda.  The other is the Russian Yachting Federation starting their program at the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi on the Black Sea.

In Milan during the club’s annual press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Milan, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) officially presented its 2016 sporting season and is preparing for a particularly busy season of regattas in the Mediterranean with a 2016 calendar that boasts 15 events.

Yacht Costa Smeralda- host of 2017 J/70 WorldsThe months of June and July will host a succession of events ranging from races for superyachts to interclub regattas and competitions for one-design fleets. Racing commences with the Club hosting the Italian J/70 fleet for the first time for the Alcatel J/70 Cup (2-5 June) and continues with the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta (7-11 June), an eagerly awaited event that once again this year promises a large fleet of spectacular sailing giants. The second edition of the Invitational Team Racing Challenge, an international event in the true Corinthian spirit, will see top yacht Clubs invited to compete on board the Club's new J/70 fleet and will take place from 14th to 18th June. The first half of the sporting season concludes with another new event, the AUDI Italian Sailing League (8-10 July), an event that gathers top Italian yacht clubs for 3 days of competition, once again on board the YCCS J/70 boats.

The traditional summer "break", will also see several sporting events held, including the Members Championship (7 August) in the J/70 class. The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's sporting programme concludes with the second edition of the Sailing Champions League (22-25 September), in which top teams from across Europe gather to represent their clubs on the waters of the Costa Smeralda sailing in their fleet of J/70s.

J/70s sailing off SardiniaDuring the course of the press conference, representatives of the YCCS also highlighted some of the activities planned for 2017, in which the association celebrates the 50th anniversary of its foundation. In addition to anniversary regattas in the waters off Virgin Gorda and Porto Cervo, the Club is hosting the J/70 World Championship!!  Book your tickets now, this promises to be one epic event on the J/70 calendar in 2017!

"Once again, we are ready for a season full of new events and new collaborations which will allow new boats, sailors and friends to experience our Club,” commented YCCS Commodore Ricardo Bonadeo. "It is the vital contribution of our staff and our members, together with the patronage of our official partners ROLEX, AUDI and UBS, as well as our many sponsors and supporters, that makes all this possible. We are lucky to share with them a passion for the sea and for sport."  For more information, please see YCCS site- or contact Jill Campbell- Tel +39 3401674755/ email-

J/70 Russia Sailing League crewRUSSIAN SAILING FEDERATION
The Russian National Sailing League- the largest project ever for the Russian Yachting Federation- was conceived for the promotion and development of the club sailing programs across Russia- from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok! The second season of the project will consist of six stages; twenty-six teams have already applied to participate from across the great country of Russia. Sailing battles will unfold for club honors in Sochi, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Vladivostok- an aggregate distance of 9,500km or 10.5 hours of flying from one end to the other!

The first stage of the League will be held from April 8th to 10th with the support of Sochi Grand Marina by Burevestnik Group. Apparently, twenty-three teams are scheduled to participate in the event.

Traditionally, the races will be held in close proximity to the audience, a huge urban screen will broadcast the race from comments on the air, coast and entertainment program or everybody on shore.

Here are profiles of two teams that are participating in the first regatta in Sochi.

Russian league sailors on Lake GardaKonakovo River Club
The team is based at the Konakovo River Club- yachting resort northwest of Moscow about an hours drive away.  It has become a very popular place for Muscovites to escape during the summer for some fun & frolic at the beautiful riverside resort.

Konakovo has a special place for Russia’s National Sailing League. It was the site of the first league event back in 2014.  Then, in 2015, the league returned to the KRC for the third stage of the first complete season for the series.  Now, in 2016 the KRC will host the fourth stage in July on their fleet of J/70s.  It is worth noting that it was the KRC fleet members that helped bring the league to the Black Sea resort of Sochi!

Team KRC was set up 3 years ago to participate in the Russia sailing league program.  Steering for the team is Mark Kagan, who started racing in 2012 on the Moscow Sea.  The crews are all students of the KRC sailing program.  The team is learning fast; in the first stage at St Petersburg in 2015 they finished 11th, then ninth at Konakovo in home waters and, ultimately, 12th at the Grand Finale in Sochi.

The Konakovo crew lacked experience for equal competition with the strongest teams in the League, but the team worked hard and already in the 2016 season, they won the J/70 class at the famous Primo Cup- Credit Suisse in Monaco!  This was a stunning development for J/70 class sailors that came from seven countries across Europe.  This is a great sign.  Watch closely how this team progresses in the 2016 league championship!

Moscow Russia League sailorsMoscow Imperial YC
It has had the greatest of traditions in yachting over time for a Moscow yachting club.  The Imperial River Yacht Club dates back to July 6, 1867. The grand re-opening of the club, completely restored and revived on the Moscow River took place in a beautiful celebration on June 19, 2014.

The Team IRYC, which is participating in the 2016 National Sailing League, was formed just two years ago. Based on the waters of the Pirogov Reservoir, steering for the team is Artem Kuznetsov and sailing with him will be his sons Yuri and Nikolai.

Team IRYC took part in the three stages of the 2015 National Sailing League. In the Moscow and Konakovo stage, the IRYC team sailed extremely well and managed to post 5th and 6th place finishes, respectively.  But, in the Grand Finale in Sochi, the “wheels fell off the shopping trolley” as our friends from Way Down Under say.  The team could not get it together and finished 13th at Sochi; settling for 8th place overall for the series.

Knowing the mood of the team, you can be sure that in 2016 it will try to take into account all the previous mistakes. Watch out for the redemption program for the IRCY team!

The Russian Sailing League general partner is JSC (United Shipbuilding Corporation). The first stage partner is Sochi Grand Marina by Burevestnik Group. The Fitness League partner is a national chain of fitness clubs- X-FIT. General information partner is Media partners of the project include- Match TV,,, Sport FM, Yachting Magazine and Regional Informational partners are- Retro FM and Strategic marketing and branding project come from Agency ViMarketing.  Please contact Anna Mstislav for more info- +8-916-720-45-71 or e-mail-    For more Russian Sailing Federation league information

J/105 sailing CaribbeanLes Voiles de St Barth Preview
(Gustavia Harbour, St Barths)- From 11 to 16 April, St Barths will host the 7th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth, an event which, since its creation in 2010, has quite simply become indispensable thanks to the unique sporting atmosphere and conviviality that colors activities both on the water and on shore in this lovely little quadrant of French style in the Caribbean.

J/111 sailing CaribbeanIt is no coincidence that each year renowned sailors and prestigious boats flock here in increasing numbers to enjoy the extraordinary playing field offered up by the islands and the wealth of other ingredients that make the racing so magical. Truly magical for anyone those who have experienced this north eastern corner of the Caribbean- sun, rain, popcorn blue-white clouds, “Jesus Rays”, squalls and juxtaposition of all the best there is to offer in this part of the world.  Moreover, the 2016 vintage is no exception to the rule since the sailing superstars such as Ken Read, patron of the event and five-times J/24 World Champion, rank amongst a total of sixty-three teams registered to date. Crews whose machines are each more impressive than the next, some of which are cut out for the greatest oceanic challenges, not forgetting the passage-making greyhounds in the J/Boats stable, which are as technologically advanced as they are competitive.

This year Les Voiles de St. Barth will once again welcome an impressive fleet combining racing thoroughbreds, extraordinary prototypes, flying machines and the latest new additions from classes such as that of the famous boatyard- J/Boats. This diversity is undoubtedly part of the richness of the event, which sees its line-up expanding with every new edition, with a battle raging at every stage in every category.

J/122 sailing CaribbeanYet again, the legions of J sailors young and old that have left their mark in Caribbean offshore sailing will be in attendance at this eponymous event.  At the top of the J/Navy is the J/122 LIQUID skippered by Robbie Ferron from Antigua, a notoriously fast skipper and sure to give the locals in St Maarten/ St Barth anxiety attacks.  They will have in their company the upgraded J/120 JAGUAR skippered by Vladimir Kulichenko.  And, likely to be in their class is a past CSA Racing winner in Les Voiles, the J/111 J-BOSS sailed by Stephane Blanchard with a top crew from France and Martinique.

Most likely sailing against one another in CSA Racing 4 class will be two past winners of major events in the Caribbean, the J/109 POCKET ROCKET helmed by David Cullen from Ireland and the Barbados team on the J/105 WHISTLER sailed by Peter Lewis.   To keep track of all that fun in the sun, please be sure to visit the Les Voiles St Barth website here.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

With springtime well advanced in Europe and Asia, activity is beginning to accelerate rapidly across the continent. In Monaco, the Italian J/70 class sailed the first of five regattas in the ALCATEL J/70 Cup hosted by YC Monaco off Monte Carlo.  In the meantime, the Russian Sailing Federation hosted their Yachting Russia Cup on Lake Garda, Italy, hosted by the famous Fraglia Vela Riva in Riva del Garda at the northern end of the mountainous lake and sailed in the club’s J/80 fleet.  Just north of them, the Swiss started their first of five regattas in the J/70 Swiss Sailing League in Locarno, hosted by YC Locarno.

Hopping west across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, the BVI Spring Regatta was hosted by Nanny Cay Marina with a range of J crews participating, such as J/105s, J/120, J/111, and J/122.  Then, further west to California, the J/70 Midwinters West took place off Marina del Rey, CA and hosted by California YC.

Down under in South America, the Argentina J/24 Class completed their “Triple Crown”- a series that consisted of their 2015 Nationals, the Campeonato Oeste in Lago Mendocino in Potrerillos and the Campeonato del Centro at the base of the Andes Mountains on the spectacular Lago San Roque, sailing off the village of Villa Carlos Paz on the southern shore.

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:

Apr 11-16- Les Voiles de St Barth- Gustavia, St Barth
Apr 16-17- J/Fest San Francisco- San Francisco, CA
Apr 16-19- Charleston Race Week– Charleston, SC
Apr 23-29- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
Apr 29-May 1- Annapolis NOOD– Annapolis, MD
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/70s sailing Alcatel Cup off MonacoSolerio Triumphs! Wins Alcatel J/70 Cup Act I
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The thirty-seven boats from seven countries across Europe on the start line made the first event of the ALCATEL J/70 Cup series a great success, despite the decidedly damp conditions.  Nonetheless, the quality of racing was red-hot, featuring a large and competitive fleet gathering once again in the glamorous waters off Monaco.

Four out of six scheduled races were completed under light and unstable wind that kept the tacticians on their toes for the entire weekend. The wind speed rarely exceeded ten knots.  While the racing was not physically taxing, the shifting breeze was a real test of tactical awareness. The reigning Italian J/70 National Champion, Franco Solerio racing L’ELAGAIN won the first event of the ALCATEL J/70 Cup, staking his claim on the overall Open title with his crew of Daniele Cassinari, Simon Alltree and Luca Albarelli.  Winning the Corinthians Cup was Team MUMMY ONE sailed by Alessio Querin and crew of Federico Del Zompo, Etore Mazza, and Jacopo Cunial, they also took silver for the regatta!  The podium was completed by Ludovico Fassitelli's JUNDA from the host club- YC Monaco- with crew of Andrea Felci, Paolo Montefusco and Andrea Buzzi.

J/70 Calvi Network in MonacoThe balance of the top five was completed by Alessandro Zampori's MAGIE DAS SAILING TEAM in fourth (crew was Gianni Sommariva, Eugenio Ramassoto and Luca Antonetto).  Tied with equal points, respectively, in fifth and sixth position, were Carlo Alberini's CALVI NETWORK team (Serfio Blosi, Branco Brcin, Kario Hmeljak- just back from a 2nd place @ Bacardi Miami Sailing Week) and the British team led by Charles Thomson on BRUTUS (crew of Sam Carter, Chris Webber and Georgina Aninsmith) from Royal Southern YC.

J/70s at Alcatel J/70 Cup in MonacoThere were several notable performances as the class evolves in Europe in the early part of the season.  Oscar Lundqvist’s crew from the KSS (Royal Swedish YC) sailed FANNY to a 7th overall and managed a 2nd in the third race.  The top Swiss team on APROTEC sailed by Stephane Meylan from Geneva had a 3rd in that same race and took 8th overall.  The famous Italian fashion house, LORO PIANA, has seen the “old man’s” love of sailing taken to another level- brothers Giacomo and Pietro sailed MARY J with friends Francesco Ivaldi and Matteo Bert to a 1st place in the first race and, ultimately, finished 11th overall.  Another family member, Franco Loro Piana sailed JAMMING and is learning quickly from the likes of top competitors in the same fleet like Italy’s famous Francesco de Angelis (the former J/24 World Champion and America’s Cup Champion sailing on B2 with Michele Salli).  Then, J/80 World Champion from Spain, Hugo Rocha, was sailing with Stefano Bonadeo’s MARY LOU crew from YC Costa Smeralda (Ricardo Bonadeo is the current YCCS Commodore) and they managed a 1st place in race three!  No question, the European teams across the board are elevating their game very quickly, as has been proven in international J/70 class competition— remember, the World Champion came from Mexico and the runner-up was Italian!

J/70 winners at Alcatel J/70 CupFollowing the footsteps of the 2015 event, the Italian J/70 Class Association will count on a highly international fleet for the entire racing season. And, whereas several new teams have joined the Italian and European J/70s, all top teams of the 2015 ALCATEL J/70 Cup- both in overall and Corinthian divisions- started their 2016 season in Monaco to collect the points through the series consisting of the five events.

After Monaco, the ALCATEL J/70 Cup series will lead to San Remo, Italy (on May 7-8), to Porto Cervo (on June 3-5), to Malcesine (on July 23-24). The series will conclude with the J/70 Eurocup (Riva del Garda, September 9-11).   For more ALCATEL J/70 Cup sailing information

J/70s sailing off California“Deuce Coop” Aces J/70 Midwinters West
Raab’s SUGOI Crushes Corinthians!
(Marina del Rey, CA)- California Yacht Club played host to the inaugural J/70 Midwinter Championship West sailed from April 1st to 3rd off the busy Marina del Rey harbor. Better than good conditions enabled the famous Cal YC PRO and crew to reel off a most excellent seven race series.  No one, it can be said, was disappointed with the host club’s capability to take care of their sailors after a long day on the water- being greeted by lovely hostesses with fresh local brews, much to the delight of all sailors looking forward to celebrate another good day of sailing- such is the tradition of Cal YC’s famous volunteer team!

More about the “deuce coop” winners. Bruce Cooper’s crew on USA 32 from Long Beach YC in south Los Angeles eclipsed the rest of the fleet and took the overall crown from their north LA friends in their home waters!  After winning the first race, they kept the hammer down and won four races to win by five points. Not to be outdone was Chris Raab’s crew on SUGOI from Newport Harbor YC.  After a disappointing 5th place in the first race, Raab’s crew rallied and won two races on their way to grab the silver with 19 pts total.  While starting about as slowly as Raab’s crew, James Murrell’s HUCKLEBERRY crew from Kings Harbor YC (with famous World Champion crew Willem Van Way on board) popped for mostly top five scores and a 1st in race six to take the bronze with 26 pts.

J/70s sailing under spinnaker off CaliforniaThe rest of the top five included top San Diego NOOD finisher, Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT in 4th place with 26 pts and Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU in 5th place with 30 pts.  It was close racing and there is no question the entire level of the fleet is elevating dramatically. Consider the fact that John Cianciarulo’s AVANTI (finishing 6th) posted a 2nd in race four and Beverly Burr’s VIVACE (taking 7th) had a 4th in race 3.

In the Corinthians fleet, it was a regatta to remember for Chris Raab’s SUGOI team from Newport Harbor YC- their first major event win in the J/70 class! Second was John Cianciarulo & Patrick Kinkaid’s AVANTI and taking the bronze medal was Beverly Burr’s VIVACE!   For more J/70 West Coast Midwinters sailing information

J/105 Dark Star sailing BVI Spring regattaJ/105 Wins BVI Spring Regatta
(Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI)- The 45th edition of this iconic Caribbean racing event took place from March 30th to April 3rd at the Nanny Cay Marina in Tortola, BVI. A large and very diverse fleet of 108 boats came from all corners of the Seven Seas: the US, Great Britain, Australia, the Netherlands, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Antigua, Canada, Ireland, Argentina, Germany and, of course, local sailors from the British Virgin Islands.

BVI Spring Regatta swim suit fashion showThe regatta was blessed with good sailing conditions all three days, with the lightest day being the final day with a light easterly of just 8 to 12 kts.  Even then, the regatta’s PRO managed to fire off seven races for the enthusiastic sailors.  Plus, the famous "swimsuit fashion show" was a popular as ever.

In CSA Racing Two class, the mighty J/122 EL OCASO, skippered by Rick Wesslund from Miami, Florida, could only muster a few good top five finishes during the series to take the bronze.  As a past winner of the event, it must have been a surprise to see the remarkably competitive teams they were up against in their class.  Their colleagues on the J/111 SPIKE, sailed by local hero Sam Talbot from BVI, managed to score some good performances and finished 6th in class.

J/122 El Ocaso sailing BVI Spring RegattaThe big winner in CSA Racing Three class was the Puerto Rico team on the J105 DARK STAR, skippered by Jonathan Lipuscek.  They fired off five bullets and a tie for first over the seven races sailed!  Their other classmates, the J/105 SOLSTICE (Bryan Coon) and the J/30 J-DOE (Cynthia Ross & Eduardo Luaces), had a rough go of it, settling in for a 6th and 7th, respectively.

A notable performance took place in the IC-24s, past J/24 World Champion Jens Hookanson from St Croix YC raced STINGER to nine 1sts in 12 races to win by the enormous margin of 10 pts in a no-throw-out series.   Sailing photos by Ingrid and Todd Van Sickle   For more BVI Spring Regatta sailing information

J/70s sailing SwitzerlandRC Bodensee Wins Swiss League Act 1
(Locarno, Switzerland)- Despite adverse weather forecasts, the sun greeted the twelve sailing clubs and 50+ sailors on Friday morning during their skippers meeting, providing them hope the first weekend of competition for the 2016 Swiss Sailing League would be successful. For the first two days, those wishes were mostly fulfilled, with ten races completed due to the pro-active management by YC Locarno’s PRO P. Togni.

With six exciting races taking place on day one, the league program was off to a great start for the new season. Flat water and a light south wind of 6-12 knots allowed exciting, fast races. The team of Société Nautique de Genéve found itself able to adapt to conditions and stood atop the leaderboard at the conclusion of racing.  However, behind them it was extremely close, with five teams all virtually tied and only one point separating them! Behind SN Geneva were YC Bielersee in 2nd, SN Rolloise 3rd, and 4th position was three teams on equal points- RC Oberhofen, Zurcher SC and RC Bodensee.

J/70 Swiss Sailing League teamsSaturday morning dawned with a gorgeous sunrise, but with a perfectly “glassed-out” lake mirroring the spectacular snow-capped mountains.  The teams sat and socialized under postponement for a few hours on Porto Ronco Beach until the breeze came.  By early afternoon, a south wind built again with 4-6 kts of breeze, enough to get in four more races on the day to complete five rounds in total.  Race winners on the day included RC Oberhofen, two from RC Bodensee and one for SN Geneva. As a result, the RC Bodensee team was winning a tiebreaker at 11 pts each over SN Geneva due to having two more race wins.  Sitting just one point back in third place was the RC Oberhofen team; they had sailed fast and smart for the day, accumulating a 1-2 to be within striking distance of the leaders.

J/70s sailing Swiss Sailing LeagueAs the crews woke up and meandered down to YC Locarno for their croissants and cappuccino, it was apparent they were facing yet another “glass out” with no chance of getting any races going on time.  The sailors passed the time away in a festive atmosphere on the lakefront, playing “table football” and enjoying the warm hospitality offered by the club.  Unfortunately, the breeze did not materialize fast enough to get races going by 1500 hrs.  As a result, the intermediate rankings on Saturday became the final rankings for the regatta, with RC Bodensee declared the winners, followed by SN Geneva, RC Oberhofen, YC Bielersee and Zurich SC.

Follow your favorite Swiss sailing club next for Act II, taking place in Neuenberg from May 6th to 8th!  For more Swiss Sailing League information

J/80 Yachting Russia Cup- Lake Garda, ItalyJ/80 Yachting Russia Cup Report
(Riva del Garda, Italy)- The Russian Sailing Federation recently hosted their 14th annual Yachting Russia Cup Regatta on Lake Garda, hosted by the ever gracious volunteers at Fraglia Vela Riva.  The five-day event featured a round robin type elimination round for the first three days and then a championship flight in the J/80 fleet for the last two days.  As might be expected on the Lake Garda, the wind conditions in the mornings were generally light, but by early afternoon, the classic breeze would fill in from the south at 10-15 kts (or more) so the Fraglia Vela Riva PRO could run a number of races before it was time to retire back to the club for delicious refreshments and hors d'oeuvres.

J/80s sailing Russia Yachting Cup- Lake Garda, ItalyDay 1
The first day of racing provided winds up to 20-25 kts, with plenty of sun and the beautiful snow-capped mountains painting a spectacular backdrop behind the sails.  It was a challenging day for the somewhat inexperienced teams learning the ropes and trying to avoid broaches, particularly after gybes with the big chutes.  Operating in two shifts, the thirty-one teams and 150 participants were divided into Alpha and Bravo Groups.

The leader of the day in the J/80 Alpha Group was Andrei Samoilov with a 1-1-2 record.  The STAR OF TAGANROG Team comprised of the Generalova brothers, Alexander Bozhko and Nikolai Kovalenko ended up second for the day, ahead of Alexander Mezapuke’s crew.  After this group’s racing, they headed in for a well-deserved lunch and some rest.  By 1330 hrs, the J/80 Bravo Group jumped in to enjoy the strong breezes in the afternoon.

Past J/80 winner, Dmitry Zaritskii, tried to put up a good fight despite his new inexperienced crew, however a lot of crew errors dropped him into the bottom of the standings. TEAM DENIS led by Gagarin Cherevatenko ended up in fourth place and in third was the BURMENTIEV TEAM led by Boris Burmenteva.  The overall leaders of this group ended up in a tie for first place between two Moscow-based teams- TEAM RUEDO ALEXANDER SHATANOVA and SAIL MOSCOW’s Sergei Volchkov.

J/80 sailing the mirror on Lake Garda, ItalyDay 2
The forecast for the second day looked promising, with morning sun and the hope to be able to sail in both the morning “peler” and afternoon “ora” mountain winds the lake is so famous for.  Starting out first this time was the J/80 Bravo Group crews followed by the Alpha Group sailors in the afternoon.  However, what was forecast never materialized.  Clouds rolled in from the north for the morning hours leaving the racecourse with light winds and a big hole in the middle of the lake.

With a start around 1100 hrs, it was not promising for multiple races.  In the end, one race took place in 4-6 kts of wind that lasted for two hours over just an 8nm windward-leeward course. Sergei Volchkov’s J/80 team chose the right side of the course did not hesitate to sail all the way up to the mark along the right bank.  After successfully rounding the mark in first, they repeated that strategy downwind, gybing back towards the cliffs and avoiding the calm spot in the middle of the lake, to ultimately win the race.  Taking second, following them around the track was Alexander Shahtanova.  Continuing his bad luck was Dmitry Zaritsky; he followed close along with Volchkov to the right side on the first beat and rounded in the top three.  However, Zaritsky got stuck in a calm to again finish 5th place in the race and in the overall results. Meanwhile, Denis Cherevatenko, who was not terribly fast downwind, still finished third and rose to third place overall.

J/80s sailing Yachting Russia Cup on Lago di Garda, ItaliaDespite the lack of sun, the Ora finally appeared for the Alpha Group for the afternoon races, the southerly winds filled in at 10-15 knots.  By the time of the start, the Ora stabilized, which meant the right side of the racecourse would again be running the show.  However, at the start the pin was purposefully heavily favored to disperse the fleet along the line.

As a result of the line skew, there was an intense struggle at the pin, with the Generalova brothers piling their boat TAGANROG into the buoy and had to do penalty turns. Also getting hurt at the start was Andrei Samoilov, having to round the ends after a false start. Unfortunate for them, the TAGANROG crew was unable to recover from the incident at the start and finished last.

Sailing fast and smart was the Latvian team led by skipper Aleksandras Mezapuke, they rounded the first mark first and finished there.  Second was the German-Estonian crew RINGELMANNA and Johan took third.  At the end of the day, Andrei Samoilov still led the standings, with the Latvians in second and TAGANROG third.

Upon returning to the harbor, the crews were greeted by the traditional celebration provided by the Yachting Russia Cup organizers- the great tasting limoncello made by famous local Italian recipes!  Good thing they didn’t serve that at lunch!

J/80 under spinnaker at Yachting Russia Cup- Lake Garda, ItalyDay 3
On the third day of qualifying, the Fraglia Vela Riva PRO wisely postponed racing until noon, waiting for the Ora to develop.  As a result, they were able to fire off three quick races for both groups to make it strong qualifying series for all the teams.

Unlike earlier days, the weak-developing Ora saw the left-hand side of the course have strong winds, so therefore, everyone was struggling to get the pin-end starts.  By the second race, the left side was still favorable, but not nearly as much.  Finally, it was not until the third race for the Alpha Group that the familiar advantage to the right side of the course begins to materialize.

The Alpha Group had some dramatic sailing on this day.  Team TAGANROG finally got their act together and decided to make up for the mediocre results of the first two days and immediately won the first race and finished second in the other two races of the day; those stunning results allowed the brothers Generalov to rise to the second place overall ahead of Aleksandras Mezapuke.

Johann Sannicola’s RINGELMANNA was determined to overcome his last place in the first race and followed the TAGANROG crew around the race track, even beating the Computel Cup leader- Andrei Samoilov.  But, at the gate, Sannicola received a penalty for trying to “shoot the gap” between Samoilova’s boat and the mark; the result was a third place in the race.  But, the international crew did not despair and in the next race started in first and led the race all the way.

J/80s glowing under the Italian sun on Lake Garda, ItalyIn the last race, the Generalov brothers clearly had every chance to consolidate their success.  However, they misinterpreted an umpire’s signal umpire at the start and mistakenly rushed to do their turns and re-start. The result was a third place in the last race and third overall.  Meanwhile, Andrei Samoilov’s continued sailing strong a 1-3-1 scoreline to lead their grouping.

Then, just before Group B was heading out to the start, the Ora decided to retire for lunch, leaving behind clouds, rain and calm for two hours. Nevertheless, they were able to resume racing by 1530 hrs for the second shift.

The J/80 Group B flight saw their leader, TEAM RUEDO ALEXANDER SHATHANOVA with Mikhail Vasiliev on the steering wheel, sail fast, smart, and post a 1-2-1 to handily win the section.  Then, Team DENIS GAGARIN CHEREVATENKO had an uneven day but still ended up second.

So, after three days of racing the J/80 Grand Finale was going to take place with the top five scores from the combined fleets- Samoilov, Mezapuke, the Generalov brothers, Shathanova and Cherevatenko.

J/80 Russia Yachting Cup crew fun!Day 4
Both the Grande and Petite Finals managed to complete three races each on the busy first day of the final round.  The Ora came in on schedule and, in fact, blew hard with steady 15-17 kts winds with gusts up to 25 kts!

In the first race of the Grande Finale, Samoilov’s crew had a false start, but did not understand they were over and did not return.  Despite winning the last two races of the day, the resulting OCS put the team into second place for the day, tied on points with Shahtanova’s team.  Cherevatenko’s crew sailed fast and consistent, posting a 3-2-2 to hold the lead after the first day.

For the Petite Finals, Sannicola’s RINGELMANNA topped the standings with a 3-1-1 record, two points ahead of the other Moscow team- SAIL MOSCOW skippered by Sergei Volchkov.  Third on the day was the big surprise- Dmitry Zaritsky WASSABI team with a 2-2-3 scorecard!

J/80 sailing on Lake Garda, Italy- Russia Yachting CupDay 5
The last day of racing and the regatta finale started off with a long wait; the Ora was taking a longer than normal siesta and did not reveal herself until 1330 hrs!  The Petit Finals teams started off first and got in two short races.  By posting a 3-4, Sannicola’s RINGELMANNA was crowned the winner.  Tied on points with them and losing the tie-breaker was Boris Burmenteva’s team.  Third place went to SAIL MOSCOW’s Vochkova.

The last race for the Grande Finals was a sorry state of affairs; the Ora seemingly took the afternoon off, leaving the finalists to drift around the racecourse for an hour before finally creeping across the finish line.  It was an agonizing affair for all, including the winners.  Thus, the 14th Russian Yachting Cup came to its grand conclusion with the title being passed from last year’s winner (Dmitry Zaritsky) to the team of Andrew & Svetlana Samoilov, Sergei Briling, Vitaly Russa and Denis Shari!  The silver was awarded to Alexander Shathanova and the bronze went to Denis Gagarin Cherevatenko.

In the words of the creator of the community Yachting Russia and one of the founding fathers of Yachting Russia Cup, Peter Lezhnin, "Regatta sailing Russia has shown tremendous growth and momentum.  It is wonderful to see the thirty-one teams and 150 sailors competing here on Lake Garda.  We look forward to seeing more of you in upcoming regattas like the J/70 Russia Sailing League in Sochi, Moscow, St Petersburg and Vladivostok.  This is great amateur competition open to all, where experienced sportsmen are glad to share their experience with newcomers. Russia Yachting is a big family, which is constantly growing! We welcome everyone!"  For more Yachting Russia Cup regatta sailing information

J/24s sailing Argentina- Lago San RoqueINDIGO Crowned Argentine J/24 Triple Crown Winner!
(Mendoza, Argentina)- The Argentinean J/24 fleet continues to have passionate competition amongst many of the best sailors in South America.  This year, their famous “Triple Crown” Series included the Argentina Championships in 2015 and the Campeonato Del Oeste in Potrerillos and the Campeonato Del Centro in Cordoba.  It is not an easy event to win since the teams have to adapt to insanely choppy, ocean-like conditions on the Rio de La Plata off Buenos Aires to the mountain lakes with mostly flat water but insanely shifty wind conditions with micro-bursts often flying down off the steep Andean Mountains.  After 25 races counted with 4 discards, the winner overall was Ezequiel Despontin’s team on INDIGO that won the coveted Triple Crown for J/24s in Argentina.  His crew consisted of Martin Costa, Gustavo Llanos and Franco Monetti.

After the Nationals in Buenos Aires, the crews all moved their boats into the base of the Andes in Potrerillos to sail on Lago Mendocino. It’s a hard place to sail but nothing short of exquisite and insanely beautiful.  The lake is so deep and so clear that you can literally dip your cup and drink it- fresh off the mountain glaciers!  What was interesting was to see the “giants” of J/24 sailing in South America return to the class for this event.  The competition featured multiple defending champions- South American, Argentine, and even the Pan American Gold Medalist at the 2016 Pan Am Games in Toronto!

J/24s sailing ArgentinaCampeonato del Oeste
Guillermo Parada was back on track in the J/24 Class; back in 1995, he was the Argentine National Champion of this fierce international class. He proved, yet again, that he had the talent to win the class and won the regatta quite easily over the eighteen-boat fleet, wining six of eleven races. His crew included Paul Despontin, Carlos Fioritti and Ezequiel Sirito.

Taking second was the INDIGO crew led by Ezequiel Despontin with Martin Costa, Gustavo Hernan Llanos and Mieres. Taking third was the Mendocino crew- the multifaceted Sebastian Halpern on MORRUCHO along with the "family" Monetti (Franco & Choli) and Juan Barquero.  Despite having suffered a DNF, MORRUCHO managed to climb on to the podium for the bronze and defeating, at the last moment, another great international level competitor- the great old Nico Cubria on RINA/WORKNET with crew of Fernando Bertrand, Mario Cubria and the American lady sailor- Barbara Gold from Boston, MA.  Fifth was Matias Pereira on QUATTRO sailing with Federico Reser, Elder Pascheta and Andres Guerra (the Pan Am Games Gold Medallists!).  The Punta del Este, Uruguayan team led by Pedro Garra on EXTASIS took sixth overall, sailing with his crew of Santiago Gari, Juan Carral and Ivan Guicheff.

The whole event was a real party and therefore congratulates the organizers. Thanks to the sponsors and tournament officials!  The was fortunate to have three days of great sailing with winds ranging from single digits to 25 kts plus on Saturday.

J/24s sailing Andes Mountains, ArgentinaCampeonato del Centro
Having learned a thing or to about getting around the race track on Lago Mendocino in Potrerillos, Despontin’s team on INDIGO were determined to make the most of that experience racing on the gorgeous Lago San Roques at Villa Carlos Paz.  After the three-day event, seven races were counted and Eze Despontin’s team won not only the regatta, but the overall Triple Crown Series as well!

On Friday, March 18th, the races began with lots of rain and cold weather and very little wind.  Just one race was run that day with INDIGO winning.

On Saturday, the 19th, more rain, more cold and also very little wind.  The forecast was not very promising.  Again, the first race was hard to get running on the flat waters of the lake, but again INDIGO won!  However, as the wind dropped yet again, racing was postponed until 1700 hrs.  Two more races were conducted in light breezes until sunset.  Nicolas Cubria’s RINA/ WORKNET won the second race and Sammy Capueta’s CALEUCHE won the third and last race of the day.  Anxiety was creeping into the INDIGO teams confidence after posting a 14-4 in those two races.

Like the previous two mornings, Sunday dawned cloudy with little wind.  However, in spite of the weather conditions, the breeze ultimately developed and the fleet was able to enjoy three good races, racking up 7 races overall.  The first race was won by Cubria’s RINA/WORKNET, the second by MEU VICIO, and the third by Halpern’s MORRUCHO.

The final results saw Despontin’s crew on INDIGO win the regatta and the Triple Crown.  Second in the regatta was Halpern’s MORRUCHO (and 2nd in the Triple Crown).  Third in the Triple Crown was Cubria’s RINA/ WORKNET.   For more Argentina J/24 Class sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/111 Challwa in Peru* The J/111 CHALLWA- winning the Peruvian Offshore Series is a family affair!  German Fuchs’ J/111 CHALLWA was the smallest boat in the fleet in the Peruvian Offshore Series, but Fuchs and his crew, including his son-in-law and grandsons, took home the biggest prize.

The Peruvian Offshore Series, Peru’s premiere sailing event, is made up of twelve regattas, with one event held each month.  The Fuchs’s J/111 took on a fleet of much larger boats to win the gold medal for the best overall performance.

“Challwa” means fisherman in Quechua, the ancient language of the Andes, and according to Fuchs is the only J/111 in South America. The boat is based at the Peruvian Yacht Club in Lima’s Port of Callao. They were the smallest boat and the only racer/cruiser in the fleet racing against larger specialty boats like the Soto 48R, Grand Soleil 42R, Sydney 46R, Dufour 44P, and others.

“It’s a racing boat and a family boat also. The other boats are all strictly racing boats and larger boats. So, it’s a huge accomplishment for the J/111 to win in that fleet,” says Fuchs.

The format of the regatta is a combination of windward-leeward courses and offshore races. To be competitive, Fuchs called on Quantum’s Kerry Klingler to help optimize the boat for ORC racing. Klingler traveled to Peru to race with Challwa in 2013 Copa del Pacifico held in Paracas, Peru.

The class mainsail for the J/111 has oversized girths, so Klingler designed a smaller mainsail that takes advantage of the ORC rating. Then, they improved the inventory of jibs and added larger spinnakers and specialty sails like the Code 0 and spinnaker staysail. They also made rigging adjustments like removing the headstay furler to reduce weight and provide easy access to the headstay turnbuckle for on-the-fly adjustments to the rig.

“We have developed a very nice set of sails to perform well in the ORC class,” says Fuchs.

Fuchs has been sailing since 1970. “A friend of mine had a sailboat and he invited me to go with him. That lit under me the fire of sailing and I haven’t stopped since,” he says. Now he’s passed on his love of sailing to his children and grandchildren.

He sails Challwa throughout the summer with his wife, children, and grandchildren, and races the boat year round with a crew of eight that includes his son-in-law and two grandsons who are only 13 and 14 years old.

J/111 future World Champion- from Peru“My oldest grandson is 14 years old and already he’s almost six feet tall. The other one is 13 years old and is very tiny. The tiny one helps on the bow and the other one helps in the cockpit.”

Of his motivation to bring them into sailing, Fuchs says, “I hope the first thing they should learn about sailing is commitment, organization, and hard work.”

Fuchs has a long relationship with J/Boats having helped to build the J/24 and J/105 fleets in South America. Conditions in Peru are generally light, with winds between six and 12 knots, a year-round temperature of 65 degrees, and very calm seas. While there are up to 70 J/24s in Chile alone, Fuchs says most regattas host only around 20 boats. He says sailing is probably the third most popular sport in Peru, after soccer and tennis.

Challwa also won the 2015 Sin Fronteras regatta, which includes boats from Peru, Ecuador, and Chile racing offshore courses up to 50 nautical miles long. In 2014, Fuchs traveled with five other crewmembers from Peru to Port Huron, MI, to race the Bayview Mackinac Race. They chartered Brad Farber’s J/111 Utah temporarily rechristening it Challwa.

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.