Wednesday, September 7, 2016

J/Newsletter- September 7th 2016

J/112E sport cruiser
Yachting Festival Cannes- Displaying The J/122E & J/112E Sport Cruisers
(Cannes, France)- From September 6th to 11th, J/Composites Europe will be displaying the gorgeous new line of “sport-cruisers” in the J/Boats line- the J122E and the brand new J/112E.

J/122E cruising interiorThe J/122 is probably the most successful 40-foot IRC racer of her generation, with fully crewed regatta successes in Europe, America, the Caribbean and Australia. She has also proven immensely popular with the single-handed and double-handed fraternity; an easily driven hull and powerful yet manageable sailplan, allow the solo sailor to maintain race-winning pace. Now, the J/122 has been given a new lease of life. The J/122 Evolution benefits from a new interior and exterior design that is both refined and modern. These changes have been made in collaboration with the Roséo Design Studio! It is a stunning combination of style and performance!  Stroll down the docks and enjoy this magnificently appointed cruising yacht any family would be proud to sail.

The NEW J/112E Sport Cruiser!  Nominated for European Yacht of the Year 2017, the J/112E is the newest addition to the J/Boats “E” Series of versatile performance sailing yachts. A welcome 36 feet in length, she features a spacious two-cabin accommodation plan and a comfortable, ergonomic cockpit. The J/112E is as well suited for the annual family cruise as she is racing in the local club regatta or short-handing through rough weather. Please visit us in Cannes to view these gorgeous sailing yachts.  For more Cannes Yachting Festival boat show information

J/112E sailing off FranceLe Grande Pavois Boat Show- J/88 & J/112E on Display
(La Rochelle, France)- At the famous Port des Minimes in La Rochelle, one of the most famous seaports on the Brittany Coast, Le Grande Pavois Boat Show  from September 28th to October 1st will be featuring the new J/112E sport cruiser and the famously fast 29 foot family speedster- the J/88.

The J/88 has achieved extraordinary performances offshore in 2016, including winning her class in the Chicago to Mackinac Race, the Queens Cup Race, the Waukegan Race, the Tri-State Race and the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race.  Learn more about this “pocket rocket” and why she is both fun to sail one-design racing, but an absolute scream to sail fast in offshore planing conditions that start in just the 8-10 kts wind range!  For more J/88 speedster sailing information.  For more Grand Pavois Boat Show information

J/88 family speedster sailing upwind off NewportNewport Boat Show- Displaying J/70, J/88 and J/112E
(Newport, RI)- J/Boats is looking forward to a great turnout for the Newport International Boat Show from September 15th to 18th. The J/112E will be making its East Coast boat show debut at this event, and will be on display with the J/88 family speedster and world’s fastest growing sportsboat class- the International J/70.

The Remarkable J/70 Sportsboat- One Thousand One Hundred Boats Strong!!
The J/70 is J/Boats’ first slipway-launchable keelboat- designed to fulfill the growing need for an easy-to-own, high-performance one-design, that is exciting to sail, stable enough sailboat for the family, and built to last. A natural evolution of its J pedigree, the J/70’s 7.0m of sailing length with high aspect, all carbon rig and deep lifting keel, provides spirited performance and stability that feels like a much larger boat.  For more J/70 speedster sailing information.  For more Newport Boat Show information J/24 North Americans in CanadaThe DriveHG.CA J/24 North Americans Preview
(Mississauga, Ontario, Canada)- The International J/24 Class Association and the Port Credit Yacht Club of Mississauga will be hosting the 2016 North Americans and, in 2017, the World Championship for the J/24 Class. The J/24 is an international One-Design keelboat class and the most popular racing keelboat in the world, with over 5,480 boats being sailed in 165 fleets and 110 countries!

With so many sailors crossing the decks of J/24s every year, around the world, the focus is ALWAYS on FUN!!  So, how does the J/24 NA’s start?  With a social event, of course!

How about a Thursday night BBQ for the crews, with a little jammin’ music while you’re gearing up for day one of racing!?  Then, relax after Friday racing with a sumptuous dinner right at Port Credit YC, with band “Soul Funkshun” (a 9-piece band with four horns and five vocalists) playing from 6:30 to 10:30 pm- thanks to sponsors DriveHG.CA and Weir Foulds LLP. Then, Saturday night everyone heads to the “Crooked Cue” so sailors can enjoy a game of “8 Ball” in a fun atmosphere, with great food provided in a private room upstairs. The Crooked Cue (craft beers!) is located right in the middle of “Port Credit’s Jazz Festival”, which will be in full gear on Saturday night! Sunday afternoon will fortify sailors with an early pizza dinner and celebrations before they hit the road back home with their hard-won hardware.

So, here is textbook example of how to organize a regatta.  Social schedule first.  Then, make sure the PCYC RC/PRO crew are on schedule to make sure those somewhat “foggy” sailors are ready to go racing each day, promptly on schedule at 1030 hrs!

Women's J/24 sailing team from GermanyWho’s going?? Just about a “who’s who” of J/24 sailors in North America and South America!  The Americans include Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM from Davis Island YC in St Petersburg, FL; Will Welles’ COUGAR from Mount Desert Island Cruising & Sailing Club in Southwest Harbor, Maine; Natalie Harden’s women’s crew on GIGGLES from Austin YC in Austin, TX; Travis Odenbach’s infamous HONEY BADGER from Webstah, NY; Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS from Lloyd Harbor YC; Jim Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT from DALLAS Corinthian YC in Ft Worth, Texas; Erica Beck Spencer’s gorgeous women crew on SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland YC; Todd Fedysyzn’s SPOONY TACTICS from Davis Island YC in St Petersburg, Florida; and Chris Stone’s VELOCIDAD from Atlantic Highlands YC in Middletown, NJ!

Canadians that are expecting to put the “big hurt” on their “south of the border neighbors” include the likes of Rossi Milev’s CLEAR AIR from Port Credit YC; Matt Kenny’s CLUSTER from Royal Canadian YC; Ted Bartlewski’s DRIVERS WANTED from Port Credit YC; Evan Petley-Jones’s LIFTED from Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron from Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Katie Coleman Nicoll’s QUICK NICK from Port Credit YC.

The long-distance award easily goes to the two Argentinean teams- Sergio Pendola’s CACIQUE and Santiago Mocorrea’s ZEPHYRUS.  Both are familiar with tough international competition and have proven to be up to the task with top ten finishes in past J/24 Worlds!  The waters off Port Credit have proven to be great equalizers for all sailors from every point of the compass.   For more J/24 North American Championship sailing information

Alcatel J/70 Cup in ItalyALCATEL J/70 Cup Series Finale Preview
(Riva del Garda, Italy)- From September 9th to 11th, one of Europe’s most highly regarded sailing clubs- Fraglia Vela Riva del Garda- will be hosting forty-five J/70s for the grande finale of their season-long ALCATEL J/70 CUP Series.  It also marks the conclusion of awards for the “Lake Garda J/70 Champion”, emblematic as the ALPEN CUP that combines the scores of the last two major J/70 events- Malcesine + Riva del Garda.

J/70 sailing Lago di Garda, Italy- Alcatel J/70 CupIn the overall ALCATEL J/70 CUP standings, fifty-six teams from across Italy and Europe have participated and the current leader is Franco Solerio’s ITA 629 team from YC San Remo with 46 pts net.  Second is the famous crew from Compagnia della vela Pesaro- Carlo Alberini’s team on CALVI NETWORK with 66 pts net.  Third is Alessandro Zampori’s team with 110 pts, fourth Filippo Pacinotti’s crew with 113 pts, and fifth Claudia Rossi’s J/70 Europeans winning crew with 113 pts (she is also the top woman J/70 skipper in Europe and will be sailing the J/70 Worlds in San Francisco, CA!).

The Corinthians Teams are being led by Alessandro Zampori’s crew with 110 pts, followed by Gianfranco Noe with 135 pts and Alesio Querin’s boat with 285 pts.  Sailing photo credits- Fabio Taccola.  For more ALCATEL J/70 Cup sailing information

J/80s sailing upwindGerman J/80 Nationals Preview
(Glucksburg, Germany)- Twenty hot teams from Germany and Denmark are sailing the Open J/80 German Nationals in Glucksburg, Germany from September 9th to 11th.  They are participating in the 106th edition of the highly popular Flensburger Fördewoche.

Amongst the 20 teams are two Danish crews- BLUE WATER SHIPPING (Flemming Djernaes, Kim Londal, Soren Bro Mikkelsen and Jorn Anderson from Sonderborg YC) and BHJ-FONDEN (Johnny & Frederik Jeppesen from Sonderborg YC).

Top German teams include Arne Wilcken’s DIVA, Martin Menzner’s PIKE (with crew of Mika Rolfs, Frank Lichte, Nils Beltermann), Soren Hadeler’s THE BEAST IS BACK (with crew of Peer Schickedanz, Hauke Koller & Tammo Ocke Koller) and Sven Winterberg’s ELBE 9 (with crew of Hasso Hoffmeister, Jens-Peer Mausch and Andreas Wolfers).  For more German J/80 Nationals sailing information

Women J/22 sailing team match racingUS Sailing Women’s Match Race Preview
(Annapolis, MD)- This year’s US Women’s Match Racing Championship will be the “best ever”, according to Annapolis YC’s Sailing Director, Linda Ambrose.  A field of six teams from across America will be participating from September 9th to 11th, hosted at Annapolis YC, with an awesome PRO and the typically amazing AYC RC volunteer team- chucking in marks for precision race course management and running races with better timing than a Swiss clock!  The women will be sailing identically matched International J/22 one-design sailboats using standard mains, jibs and spinnakers.

The event is shaping up to be a “left coast” vs. “right coast” scenario!  Standing on the eastern side of the ring are the following teams:
  • Janel Zarkowsky- from Annapolis, MD with Meg Six, Meaghan MacRae and Amanda Callahan
  • Danielle Gallo- from New York, NY with Anne Corvi, Sandy Krasovec and Prudence Thierry
  • Morgan Wilson- from Port Washington, NY with Elle Wells, Kim Couranz, and Tierney Driscoll
  • Robyn Lesh- from Oyster Bay, NY with Ashley Love, Elizabeth Shaw and Madeline Gill
J/22 women's match race team- Nicole BreaultStanding on the western side of the ring are:
  • Nicole Breault- from San Francisco, CA with Molly Carapiet, Karen Loutzenheiser and Hannah Burroughs
  • Rebecca McElvain- from San Diego, CA- with a mostly college crew from Dartmouth Sailing Team with Emma White, Sophia Diserio and Abigail Rohman
The racing promises to be close, exciting and will surely produce a lot of thrilling finishes!  You can watch the racing in real-time since all the boats will have tracking on them supplied by US Sailing partner SAP SAILING Analytics.   For more US Sailing Women’s Match Race Championship sailing information.

Women J/24 sailors in MaineJ/24 Downeast Regatta Preview
(Portland, ME)- This year's J/24 Downeast Regatta will be the 30th Anniversary of the Regatta and the J/24 State of Maine Championships, sailing from September 10th to 11th on the beautiful waters off Portland, ME.

The Portland YC regatta organizers expect strong participation both this year and next year with the close proximity to the 2017 Worlds and 2016 Nationals both within driving distance to our site in southern Maine. On average, the Downeast Regatta sees 30 boats and about 6 races with very strong competition and has a great sailing area with flat water and consistent winds.

As has been the long-standing tradition, PYC members provide FREE hosted housing to boats from away on a first-come, first-serve basis!  A low, all-inclusive, entry fee provides great meals, drinks, entertainment and awesome sailing for the best value in sailboat racing found anywhere in the world!  Get this, the early entry fee was only $230.30 (yes, down to the penny matters!) and includes:
  • Launch & Haul of your ultra-cool J/24 racing sailboat!
  • Snacks, Beer and Chili on Friday (when you are launching)
  • Twin Lobster Dinner on Saturday (per person!)
  • Live Musical & Dancing on Saturday Evening (mandatory, or get a DNC tomorrow!)
  • BBQ Dinner on Sunday at haul out location (to “die for” ribs- fresh cow!)
  • “Gritty's Beer” and Mixed Drinks all weekend (like lots of this stuff)
  • Breakfast Saturday and Sunday (you will need it to stay focused!)
This deal simply cannot be beat, no wonder it was only available for a short time!  And, this year the regatta was restricted to the first 30 boats to register!

And, 30 for 30 entries it is!!  From all over the northeast- Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts!!

Those lucky crews include: Carter & Molly White’s SEA BAGS SAILING TEAM, Tim Corbett’s ESKIMO SISTERS, Nate Huber’s WATERBORN TRANSPORTATION FACILITATOR, Andre Carey’s MR HANKEY, Groves Dinning’s BREW HA HA, John Wells' SHELDON-J, Denman/Smith’s AIRODOODLE from Marblehead, Chris Clancy’s LITTLE MARTHA, and Lee Buress’ ON THE BEACH from Newport.  Fun will most certainly be had by all!  You can track them all going around the race course with US Sailing’s partner- SAP Sailing Analytics   For more J/24 Down East Regatta sailing information.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

In the America’s, it seemed the entire week and Labor Day holiday weekend was preoccupied with tropical storms running amok in both the Atlantic/ Caribbean basin and the Pacific Ocean.  Hawaii was about to get pounded by hurricane force winds and massive amounts of rain, beloved Cabo San Lucas was about to disappear underneath another 90 kt hurricane!  Simultaneously, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the southeast, then northeastern seaboard of the USA was facing another potential “Hurricane Sandy” type scenario.  Global warming, melting ice caps, and radically accelerating magnetic pole reversals-  hmm, good and bad for sailors! Well, it's all water!!  Despite all prognostications, while the Florida Panhandle (Pensacola to Panama City) was hit mostly by rain and winds into the 60-75 kts range, it was mostly a “water event” with storm surges and waves being the main culprits.

Despite the foreboding weather forecasts, major races took place in New England, with the strong winds and steady ENE direction from Hurricane/ Tropical Storm Hermione actually enhancing the experience.  The most significant offshore race was Stamford YC’s traditional 240nm Vineyard Race that includes two additional races- the Cornfield Point Race and the Seaflower Reef Race.  Dozens of J/teams participated, ranging from J/92s, J/97s up to J/120s and J/122s- many walking off with the top trophies, including a Texas J/44!  Then, just northeast of their track, the famous Conanicut YC Round Island Race took place on Sunday for 65 boats of the original 96 registered!  It was simply a spectacular day for all, epic to say the least, for those participants in the 15-25 kt NE breezes under brilliant, sunny skies.  Then, out west, another Labor Day tradition took place, the Windjammers Race, a 90nm offshore sojourn from St Francis YC’s starting line off the face of Alcatraz Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, out past the infamous Potato Patch outside the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, then south to Santa Cruz- a surfer’s paradise on the California coastline.  This race is a favorite amongst J/111 and J/125 owners on the west coast- for good reason!

Meanwhile, on the sunny, benign (somewhat) side of the Atlantic, the Royal Western YC in Plymouth, England hosted the Ullman Sails J/70 UK Nationals, much to the delight of the enthusiastic J/70 crews from across the United Kingdom!

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:

Sep 8-11- J/24 North Americans- Port Credit, ONT, Canada
Sep 9-11- ALCATEL J/70 Cup- Riva del Garda, Italy
Sep 9-11- German J/80 Nationals- Glucksburg, Germany
Sep 9-11- US Sailing Women’s Match Race Nationals (J/22s)- Annapolis, MD
Sep 10-11- J/105 Long Island Sound Championship- Riverside, CT
Sep 10-12- J/24 Downeast Regatta- Portland, ME
Sep 15-18- Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA
Sep 16-18- Netherlands J/22 Nationals- Hoorn, The Netherlands
Sep 17-19- J/105 Canadian Championship- Toronto, ONT
Sep 19-23- J/24 World Championship- Wakayama, Japan
Sep 22-25- SAILING Champions League (J/70s)- Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy
Sep 23-25- J/30 North Americans- Eastport, MD
Sep 24-Oct 1- J/70 World Championship- San Francisco, CA

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

J/70 UK Nationals sailing off Plymouth, EnglandHARLEQUIN Wins Ullman Sails J/70 UK Nationals
Liardet’s COSMIC Top English Team, JUST4PLAY Crowned Jack & Jill Champion!
(Plymouth, England)- This year’s J/70 UK Nationals were hosted by the Royal Western YC in Plymouth, England.  The racing was intense, fun, and saw many of the nineteen teams experiencing enormous swings of fame & fortune + disaster, all on the same day!  In the end, a Royal Malta YC crew on HARLEQUIN (Sebastian Ripard & Jonathan Calascione) won the Open Division, with Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC winning the UK Nationals!  Here is how it all went down over the three-day regatta.

Day 1-  Incredibly, there were four winners in four races on day one.  The crews awoke to a steady breeze of 10-15 kts from the southwest. The skies were grey with light drizzle in the air, but with the forecast for sun later in the day, spirits were high as the crews headed to the south side of Plymouth breakwater.

The start of Race 1 confirmed the committee’s suspicions that getting this very competitive class away would be tricky, with a general recall followed by the first (and by no means last) use of the black flag. Luckily, all teams were clear the next time of asking. With 3 laps of the windward leeward course, a snakes and ladders effect was felt across the fleet. Clive Bush’s Darcey, a newcomer to the fleet this year, snuck away to secure an early bullet. David McLeman, fresh from a few weeks cruising the Brittany coast in his 46ft catamaran, showed he was just as comfortable back in a 23 footer by taking 2nd place in Offbeat.

The committee of the Royal Western Yacht Club wasted no time in getting the second race going. With good breeze holding, crews searched for tidal benefits in and around the breakwater. The large rolling seas tested even the best of drivers. Cosmic owned by seasoned J/sailor Patrick Liardet, took full advantage and sailed away to finish first.

The breeze began to ease in race 3, but super sailing from Allan Higgs and his crew saw ESF Energy split from the fleet in to a great position which they held to finish first.

With the wind rapidly dropping and shifting left, the committee were forced to move the windward mark a few times in race 4 keeping the crews on their toes. Jonathan Calascione’s Harlequin fought right to the end to take the last gun.

After starting a murky day on the water, crews were pleased to sail in under the West Country’s mostly brilliant sunshine. On the dock awaited a drinks party courtesy of event sponsor Sol, which was enjoyed whilst the teams reminisced about the day’s events. Most agreed that conditions were tough and any small error meant places would be lost, but it’s the challenge of constancy which is the draw of one design racing. Proven by the team on Ian Wilson’s Shiver; no bullet to celebrate on day one, but a score sheet of 3-5-2-2 was good enough to hold the top spot overnight!

Day 2-  The BIG Breeze brings BIG grins on day two of the BIG UK regatta!  Yup.  It was a Brilliant BIG Day for all! But, it was a BIT damp!

What a difference a day makes! With BIG breeze forecast, the committee kept the fleet inside the historic Plymouth breakwater on Saturday, a wise decision as gusts of up to 28 kts were recorded!!  Under these conditions, it was the teams who kept cool under pressure who were set to see their fortunes change. In the first of 3 races, the black flag made an early appearance, with the tide helping to push the confident fleet over the start line. However all boats got away on the second attempt. Awesome planing conditions meant not even the rain could dampen spirits, and with the tidal effect from Drake Island, staying right was a tactic that continued to pay throughout the day.

Harlequin helmed by Sebastian Ripard was on fire in the breeze, with a hat trick performance today they are certainly hungry for the title. Back in the bar, his crew (and uncle) Jonathan Calascione described the boat as a joy to sail. The team will be competing at the ALCATEL J/70 CUP in Lake Garda, Italy next weekend.

Others that were on the podium today included Allen Higgs’ ESF Energy who are in their final stages of preparation for the J/70 Worlds in San Francisco later in the month. With a 2nd and 3rd on the board today they have plenty to play for going in to the last day.

Other teams who were having a great time in the high breeze and moving through the fleet included the J/111 World Champion Martin Dent, sailing with his daughter Ruby on JELVIS (also training for the J/70 Worlds in San Francisco!).  Nigel Evans with Spinnaker Wealth Management, who recorded 15.3 knots on a downwind leg, scored a 3rd place in race 5, their best result so far.

As the weather continued to deteriorate (like a LOT more wind), the decision was made to head home after 3 races. The crews were delighted to seek shelter in the welcoming bar of the Royal Western YC and a drinks party courtesy of sponsor Sagres. A delicious class supper was also on the menu.

Day 3-  The final showdown took results to the wire on day three of the J/70 Ullman Sails UK Nationals!  After the thrills and spills of Saturday’s high winds, a brilliant sunny start was a welcome sight to competitors as they followed the committee back to the south side of the break water for the final 3 races of the championships.

With the same 3-lap race course format as the previous 2 days, the crews were well aware in a tight fleet how quickly fortunes could change. The day’s first race had a variable breeze of 10–14 kts and dropping, combined with a rolling swell. The crew of Harlequin continued their trend and took the first bullet to further extend their lead overall.

Whilst the top position was now looking secured, the rest of the podium was still very much up for grabs and Shiver‘s consistent finishes in the top 5 were showing their value. A 5th place in race 9 put him into second place with one race to go.

Tension grew as once again the pressure of the start with 19 closely matched one-design boats was too much and caused a general recall. The committee once again raised the black flag to maintain order on the start line. At the second time of asking the fleet were away cleanly, once again remaining in close contact around the course but it was Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC who sneaked away to finish the regatta on a bullet. Thereby, joining Wilson’s SHIVER in second place on equal points, but beating them on count back! They also take home the title of top Corinthian team!

Prizes were presented outside the Royal Western’s club house by Nigel Dunkley. The winner, Sebastian Ripard, thanked the club, sponsors and the J/70 committee for their hard work and effort they put in to this great event.

Additional awards including “Top Young Crew”- Cowes Race Week winner- Jack Davies on YETI; “Top Senior Crew”- Ian Wilson’s SHIVER; and “Top Mixed Crew”- Simon Cavey’s JUST4PLAY (e.g. the “Jack & Jill” Champions!).  For more Ullman Sails J/70 UK Nationals sailing information

J/111 wins Windjammers RaceJ/111 Crushes Windjammers Race!
(Santa Cruz, CA)- On September 2nd, the 74th Windjammers Race took place, the classic late-summer dash from San Francisco past Año Nuevo down to the sunshine of Santa Cruz 90nm to the south; the event is one of the oldest annual regattas on California's Pacific Coast.

J/111 sprit inspirationThe Windjammer Regatta was first hosted by The Santa Cruz Yacht Club in the early 1930's but enjoys deep roots going back to the Pacific Yacht Club's Race To Santa Cruz in 1884. Racers can always expect exciting downwind fun as they fly down the coast to the “Surfer’s City”. Finishes are scored off the Santa Cruz Wharf throughout the day and into the night.

The big winner in this year’s race was Howard Turner’s J/111 SYMMETRY from Santa Cruz YC.  After sailing to windward from the start line on the face of Alcatraz Island, out under the famous Golden Gate Bridge in typical westerlies on San Francisco Bay, the J/111 turned left and quickly went through a succession of J/crew on winch grinder!double-head rig with jib and Code Zero to the A3 offshore reaching kite to the big A2 runner towards the end of the race.  Winds were reported to hit 30 kts at times with the J/111 flying down the enormous Pacific swells at 20-22 kts!  In the end, Turner’s SYMMETRY corrected out at 10:35:36, good enough for the class win in PHRF 2 and taking 2nd overall on corrected, just behind one of those enormous SoCal sleds- the Santa Cruz 70 Buona Sera.

SYMMETRY’s win marked the second time in a row that J/111s have won their class in this offshore classic; last year they won over the infamously fast all-carbon/foam/epoxy J/125s (finishing just 5 minutes elapsed time behind them)!  For more Windjammers Race sailing information

J/109 sailing Vineyard Race off StamfordJ/Crews Dominate Vineyard Offshore Races
J/44s Top IRC Overall, J/92 & J/120 Win Class
(Stamford, CT)- Labor Day weekend's Vineyard Race is a classic American yachting event: a 238-mile course stretching from Shippan Point, through the swirling currents of the Race or Plum Gut, past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay, to return leaving Block Island to starboard en route to the finish in Stamford Harbor. Begun in 1932, it has attracted the finest sailors and fastest boats for nearly 80 years, and its intricacies and challenges bring them back time after time. Those who are successful nearly always credit local knowledge of these tricky waters and a good deal of luck.

In 1982 the race was described by Bob Bavier in Yachting as one of the "yachting classics." Here's how he describes it:  "The greatest distance races of the world have several things in common - a challenging course, competitive fleets and an interesting array of famous yachts. By those standards, the Stamford Yacht Club's Vineyard Race rates close to the top. Like a miniature Fastnet, the Vineyard has a combination of coastal cruising, where currents play a big role, a stretch of ocean sailing, and a mark to round - the Buzzards Bay tower - before returning."  And, what a challenge it was for the various J/teams sailing the three races- the classic Vineyard Race, the Seaflower Reef Race and the Cornfield Point Race.

J/44 sailing Vineyard Race- winnerChris Lewis’ crew from Houston, Texas were the big winners on their J/44 KENAI!  They not only won class, but won the coveted Vineyard Race Trophy overall against the fastest IRC custom boats on Long Island Sound!  Yet another J/44, Len Sitar’s VAMP, took 2nd in class and 2nd overall!  Third in the Class 11 IRC was Bob & June Kendrick’s J/44 PALANTIR 5, completing an unprecedented sweep of the podium for J/44s!  As for the rest of the Vineyard Race teams, Gardner Grant’s J/120 ALIBI took third in Class 5- IRC Doublehanded.  The J/109s sailed en-masse in Class 9 PHRF, with John Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT grabbing the silver with Cao Deambrosio & Chris Nicholls’ RHIANNON III placing 4th and Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY taking 5th place.  Greg Leonard’s J/120 HERON continued her winning ways, winning Class 10 PHRF, with three more J/120s rounding out the top six- Brian Spears’ MADISON in 4th, Steve Levy’s EAGLE in 5th and Rick Oricchio’s ROCKET SCIENCE in 6th.

J/92 Thin Man wins Vineyard Race/ Seaflower Reef divisionIn the Seaflower Reef Race, Greg Imbruce’s J/109 JOYRIDE placed second in Class 3 PHRF Doublehanded.  Meanwhile, an entire armada of J/teams swept the podium in Class 4 PHRF.  Leading the charge was Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN, followed by John Pearson’s J/88 RED SKY in 2nd, Marc Berkowitz’s J/105 CLEAN SLATE in 3rd, David Spence’s J/105 SYNERGY in 4th, Steve Chronert’s J/109 ZUMA was 6th and Mark Parry’s J/35 BLUE MOUSE was 8th.  In the shorter Cornfield Point Race, John Krediet’s J/97 PARTICIPANT II won the silver in Class 2 PHRF.   For more Vineyard Race sailing information

J/70 winning Conanicut Round Island RaceBrilliant, Epic, CYC Round Island Race!
(Jamestown, RI)- Imagine the scenario.  For about a week, a tropical disturbance lovingly called “Hermione” (after the famous heroine in the Harry Potter series of books/ movies), slowly meandered its way from the western Sahara in Africa, across the Caribbean, wandered around the Gulf of Mexico, then strolled towards the northeastern USA shoreline (the most populous and wealthiest 400nm stretch of real estate on the planet), often acting like a drunken sailor- truly meandering and walking in circles without a definitive mission in mind, other than to annoy sailors in New England!  The forecast kept changing for days and with Monster Storm Sandy as a recent nightmare to forget (which shut down New York City), many people were experiencing anxiety attacks (e.g. they were freakin’ out!). For the Labor Day weekend in New England, the forecasts ranged from a full-blown hurricane to nothing other than a mild tropical disturbance blowing 15-30 kts. In the end, little “Hermione” ended up being a 22-day weather event for most in the northeast with somewhat benign impact, other than lots of rain.

J/22 starting Conanicut Round Island RaceWaking up Sunday morning, no one could believe what they saw!  Blessed with NE winds of 15-25 kts, clear, sunny, with torn-cotton clouds racing across the skies, the fleet of 65 intrepid adventurers (out of the original 96 boats registered!) congregated in front of Conanicut YC, looking forward to a counter-clockwise blast around Narragansett Bay- easily one of the most popular races run all year long in New England.

The start was off the CYC starting line, just south of the Newport Bridge.  The first mark to windward was a starboard-tack favored beat of 5.1nm. Then, the fleet turned left at Can #3 going to Can #5 at the northern tip of Conanicut Island (about 1.8nm), then a super-fast 9.5nm planing reach from Can #5 to Beavertail Bell off the southern tip of the island, then a 4.0nm beat against a ripping 1.5-2.0 kts current, clawing around the Dumplings Bell for a last left turn to the finish, a fetch on starboard of 1.25nm.  No matter how you looked at it, it was going to be a hugely favored big-boat race for the overall finishes!

J/70 sailing downwind- Conanicut Round Island Race“I’ve wondered all week if we would actually be able to do a race on Sunday,” said Conanicut YC RC Chairman Alan Baines.  “However, everything turned out all right and the fleet started in a breezy northeasterly wind, heading up East Passage, and around the top of the island before flying downwind down the West Passage of Narragansett Bay. Rounding Beavertail Point, competitors experienced enormous swells, before beating back up the Bay to the finish off Conanicut Yacht Club.”

Overall, J/Teams did quite well.  For starters, it was an amazing performance by a number of J/Crews. The first two boats around Beavertail Bell (15nm into the race!) were the J/35C SUGAREE sailed by Jim Cornwall and Dennis Nixon’s J/29 LYNX! Fourth boat was Suzy Leech’s amazing team on her J/70 JUNKANOO!  Leech commented, “this was the most amazing Round Island Race ever!!  The weather was just unbelievably perfect! Sunny. Windy, gusting to 25 kts plus! Planing for 9 miles down the Bay’s western passage, wow! We even crashed twice (massively), with me swimming in a monster broach (Stu J fell on the tiller)! Loved my crew- Stu & Julia J and Joey B!”

In the end, the top J/crew overall on corrected time was the Sertl family from Jamestown- Katja, Mark and Cory sailing with J/22 World Champion Mike Marshall aboard their boat LUCY! They won the J/22 class and placed 6th overall!  Quite an accomplishment in a very “big boat” favored race.  Taking second in the J/22s was Neil McDermott’s KONA and third was Bill Porter’s CONUNDRUM.  As a result of their amazing performance, the Sertl Family were awarded the Robert MacLeod Rear Commodore Trophy (Day-sailer, Fastest corrected time)!

J/70 Junkanoo- Suzy Leech sailing Conanicut Round Island RaceSecond J/crew overall was Ms Leech’s team on her J/70 JUNKANOO- with Stu & Julia Johnstone on bow & superstar Joe Bardenheier on mainsheet/go fast.  After a somewhat slow start, their J/70 caught the leading J/22 at Dutch Harbor Island, then flew down to Beavertail Bell, rounded the mark in monster waves from the latent Hurricane Hermione, and fought their way home with the rest of the fleet against an ebb tide to the finish.  As just 7th boat to finish in the entire fleet of 65 boats, JUNKANOO won the J/70 one-design class and took 16th overall (just two crashes and 8 minutes corrected from the overall win!).  Second in the J/70 class was Gordon Fletcher’s GIJIMA from Wickford YC and third was Chris Murray’s LUCKY from Ida Lewis YC.

Winning PHRF B Division was Dennis Nixon’s J/29 LYNX from CYC with Jim Cornwall’s J/35C SUGAREE taking second place! Continuing the winning theme for J/teams was Mike Hill’s J/24 OBSTREPEROUS from Ida Lewis YC, winning PHRF E Division with Matt Coughlin’s J/24 RISKY BUSINESS in 2nd, Marc Holdwaway’s J/24 MUTINOUS DOGS in 4th, and Dan Borsutsky’s J/30 VOLADOR in 7th.

In PHRF F Division, Paul Grimes’ family crew on the J/35 BREAKAWAY was fourth place.  Then, in PHRF G Division, John Sahagian’s J/109 PICANTE took third overall.  Four J/crews sailed PHRF H Division, with Sean Doyle’s J/105 KESTREL taking 2nd, followed by Doug Newhouse’s J/88 YONDER in 4th, and EC Helme’s J/92 SPIRIT in 6th place.  Sailing photo credits- Cate Brown  For more Conanicut YC Round Island Race sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Young J/105 skipper sailing to Block IslandSo what is life like when cruising & day-sailing with family over the Labor Day weekend in New England as a young skipper on a J/105?

Well, here’s an endearing sailing video of 9 year-old Julian Kalehoff at the helm of the J/105 LAURA BEA, surfing from Stonington, CT to Block Island, RI on an absolutely spectacular day, with a bright sunny northwester breeze of 10-15 kts pushing them down the motorway!

“He’s warming up for next year’s Block Island Race Week Around Island Race,” father Max Kalehoff explains. “Julian cannot do this year’s J/105 North Americans at Larchmont YC, since his Mom will not let him miss school!”  Bummer, dude!!

When asked about halfway across their 15nm passage whether he needed “helm relief”, the young captain responded, “Dad, I’m not tired yet. You are on mainsheet! When can I have my peanut butter & jelly sandwich!”  Ha!  Gotta love it, tough kid!  Spoken like a true Captain Bligh in training!

In any event, enjoy this cute sailing video clip on

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.