Wednesday, October 19, 2016

J/Newsletter- October 19th, 2106

J/111 sailing San Francisco BaySt. Francis YC Hosting 2017 J/111 Worlds
(San Francisco, CA)- The 2017 J/111 Worlds will be hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC) in San Francisco, CA from August 23–27, 2017. This will be the fourth World Championship for this competitive one-design class and its first on the U.S. West Coast. Regatta chairman Gerard Sheridan is anticipating a strong turnout with a diverse entry list. Says Sheridan, “We’re expecting boats from the West Coast, the Midwest and the East Coast as well as a solid turnout from Europe and abroad.”

This announcement comes at the conclusion of an impressive 2016 racing season at St. Francis Yacht Club, in which the club hosted multiple consecutive championships and international regattas including Hydrofoil Worlds, International Knarr Championship, Rolex Big Boat Series (the largest in history), Alcatel J/70 Worlds and the US Sailing Adult Championship. “The club has proven itself time and again as one of the most desired regatta hosts in the country,” says Sheridan. “Our race staff and volunteer race committee have earned their reputation for organizing top-flight regattas; our clubhouse wows visitors with every amenity; and our natural venue is second to none.”

The J/111 has been in production for six years now. Introduced in August 2010, there are now about 130 J/111s racing in over a dozen countries. San Francisco sailor Rob Theis has been racing J/111s since 2014 and won the J/111 class in both the 2014 and 2015 Rolex Big Boat Series. “This is a very active boat,” says Theis. “It will plane at 12 knots. It goes 18-20 knots downwind. It’s not technically a sportboat, but it can sure feel like one.”

Recognizing that San Francisco can be a trek for many sailors, St. Francis Yacht Club has organized a 2017 regatta schedule around the J/111 Worlds to accommodate multiple races for visiting sailors. The Aldo Alessio/ Swiftsure Regatta will take place in August and the 2017 Rolex Big Boat Series is scheduled for the 2nd week of September. “If you visit St. Francis Yacht Club in 2017, you’ll be visiting a world-class city and sailing in up to three great regattas,” says Sheridan. Sailing photo credits- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing.  For more 2017 J/111 Worlds sailing information

J/105 sailing offshoreJ/105 Stella Artois North Americans Preview
(Larchmont, NY)- Since 1991, as the world’s first sprit “sportboat class”, the J/105 class continues to attract a strong group of corinthian sailors from across the spectrum of experience; both offshore sailors as well as round the buoys windward/leeward specialists.  For the 2016 edition of the 2016 Stella Artois J/105 North American Championship, forty boats from across several continents- the USA, Canada, Bermuda and Europe- are participating.

The host, Larchmont Yacht Club, is famous for its “Pandemonium” facility and its unconditional support of one-design sailing and offshore events.  The forty teams can expect terrific on-shore festivities for all four days of the event, starting Wednesday evening and ending with the awards ceremony on Sunday.

The field has diverse talents and includes several North American Champions (like Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer’s MANDATE, James Rathbun’s HEY JUDE, Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s GOOD TRADE) as well as multiple regional champions in events like Block Island Race Week, J/Fest Southwest, Marblehead Race Week, NYYC Race Week (like Damian Emery’s ECLIPSE, Fred deNapoli’s ALLEGRO SIMPLICITA, Mike Mountford’s LIVE EDGE, Bill Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE, George & Alex Wilbanks’ REVELATION, Paul Beaudin’s LOULOU, Fred Darlington’s TONTO and Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS).

The previous weekend was treated as a training/ warm-up for several boats sailing the Manhasset Bay YC Fall Series.  What was notable was the dominance of the top three boats, winning was the Toronto, Ontario team hailing from Royal Canadian YC- McLaughlin/ Wilmer’s MANDATE.  They were followed by two teams that finished the regatta tied on points- Stone/Breault’s GOOD TRADE taking the tie-breaker over deNapoli’s ALLEGRO SIMPLICITA.  Another noteworthy performance was to see the American YC’s J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN, sailed by the Young American Junior Big Boat Team, win one race in convincing fashion.

With four days of racing scheduled and up to 12 races to be sailed, the J/105 teams will be working hard to maintain a high degree of consistency.  The weather forecast indicates the first two days will be in light to moderate breezes.  But, a Low that continues to deepen and move up the northeastern shoreline is showing it may give sailors 15-25 kt winds, gusting to 30 kts and much, much cooler temperatures- high 40s and low 50s for Saturday & Sunday!  True fall weather conditions on Long Island Sound!   For more Stella Artois J/105 North Americans sailing information

J/70s sailing off Annapolis, MDJ/70 Corinthian Nationals Preview
(Annapolis, MD)- As 45 corinthian J/70 teams (no category 3 sailors aboard) descend upon Annapolis to prepare for the inaugural J/70 Corinthian National Championship from October 20th to 23rd, they will be met with plenty of professionalism.  In addition to the professional race management provided by Eastport Yacht Club, J/World will be providing on the water coaching, practice drills and short course practice races to all entrants on Thursday October 20th. Designed to be a high level primer to sailing in Annapolis and an opportunity for all teams to receive outside feedback this is one practice session you can't afford to miss.  In addition to J/World staff, one-design sailmaker talent from Ullman Sails, North Sails and Quantum will be on the water working with J/World to provide insights into sail shape, boat handling, strategy and tactics.  Thursday's Practice Session starts at 1030 and concludes no later than 1600.

Following the practice session and immediately after racing on Friday and Saturday, J/World Director Kristen Berry will be moderating a panel discussion to help participants learn and integrate the information and observations of the on the water coaches. Debrief at the Eastport Yacht Club will be at 1800 on Thursday and following racing Friday and Saturday.

The fleet is studded with great talent across the board, with teams coming from the Midwest, Texas, the eastern seaboard and Quebec.  Top teams might include Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT from Kemah, TX; Peter McChesney’s ARRR from Annapolis, MD; Bryan Cameron & Brian Elliott’s B-SQUARED from Sayville, NY; Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY from Annapolis, MD; Cole Allsopp & Bill Jorch’s MOXIE from Annapolis; Marty McKenna’s RARITY from Youngstown YC; Alex Meleny’s TRUCKIN from Vineyard Haven YC; Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD from Eastport YC; and John Hammel’s ZOMBIE fro Noroton YC.

For the Thursday practice, please be sure to contact Kristen Berry at ph- 410-280-2040 or on how J/World can support your team at this and other events.  For more J/70 Corinthian Nationals sailing information

J/105 Masters sailing San Diego, CAJ/105 Masters Regatta- The Real Preview
(San Diego, CA)- It may be “horses for courses” in this year’s International Master’s Regatta, hosted by San Diego YC from October 21st to 23rd.  Many of the sailors are past World, Continental and National Champions in various classes, some like heavy air, many prefer lighter air.  San Diego Harbor can be a challenge and even on foggy mornings with a gentle breeze, the mighty thermal that develops from the massive heating over the mountains inland can produce 18-22 kt winds late in the day.  In any event, everyone will likely have their shot at glory depending on the weather conditions.

Masters co-chair, Tim Fuller (owner of the J/125 RESOLUTE), describes the tone and energy of the regatta. "This prestigious event brings together many of the “who’s who” of sailing in years past. The minimum age of the skipper is 60, and the crew is 45. In 2015, SDYC’s heralded Malin Burnham and his top shelf crew took home the Masters trophy after a challenging series of races and weather. It’s safe to say that the Masters competitors have learned to balance their competitive instincts and a good time back on land after the races. No question those folks can tell sailing stories in the comfort of the bar until the cows come home!”

J/105 Masters sailorsFuller also explained why the event is raced in these boats: "For those that may not know, both the International Masters Regatta and Lipton Cup regattas are sailed in J/105’s- 35 foot one-design racing sloops. A few years ago SDYC made the bold decision to take over as host for these events and supply all 12 owner-provided J/105’s with identical club-owned sails and other on-board gear. This combination of identical hulls and sails makes for fair competition.  And, all the rigs are identically tuned by an expert “tuning crew”.  That fact does not go unnoticed by the talented skippers and crews assembled to wrestle over the coveted Lipton Cup and Masters trophy. Because of SDYC’s continued commitment, and the support of local J105 boat owners, these regattas are assured success well into the future."

The event is loaded with a cast of characters, all of whom are champions past and present and can drive any boat fast.  Here’s a quick backgrounder on them.

Jon Andron, with Shawn Bennett as tactician, hails from St Francis YC. An accomplished sailor for many years, Jon has completed 15 Transpac races, is a former 505 North American Champion and sailed on Intrepid in the 1970 America's Cup. Jon will be vying for his first win of the Masters trophy that was last won by St. Francis in 2008 by skipper John Kilroy

Rich du Moulin, with Barrett Holby as tactician, from Larchmont YC.  Richard is from Larchmont Yacht Club has been racing an Express 37. With family and friends, he has won Block Island Race Week, the Vineyard and Block Island Races, and many other events. He also has four first places and four third places in eight Newport Bermuda Races. His lifetime goal is a record thirty Bermuda Races and he says, “My next will be 25….if I can race as long as Malin Burnham I might get to 34!” Richard has also raced the Transatlantic Race, Fastnet and Rolex Sydney Hobart. Richard founded the Storm Trysail Club's Junior Safety at Sea Program which has held over 100 seminars for more than 5,000 junior sailors over the past 20 years.

Tom Ehman, from New York YC, is the winner of the 1976 Championship of Champions and the founder of the San Francisco Yacht Racing Challenge that will be sailed in Super 12s. Tom started working with America's Cup in 1980, and has served many roles including rules advisor, team executive, event manager, and chairman of the Challenger Commission.  Plus, he was Executive Director of US Sailing for over 10 years.

Bob Fisher, with Nigel Brooks as tactician, is from Royal Lymington YC. Bob, a.k.a. “the Fish”, has a background sailing on #EastCoast waters and has won multiple Hornet and Fireball National and World Championships. He is also a previous winner of the Little America’s Cup and has been a navigator on several challenges across the #Atlantic.  Bob is perhaps most famous for his acerbic editorials on all things America’s Cup, is a Yachts & Yachting columnist, and has published several extraordinary books on sailing and the AC.  While many will debate this point, the Fish can be credited with having “hatched” several of the world’s top sailing journalists in their youth- Stew Alexander and Tim Jefferies (both now top dogs at The Independent and The Daily Telegraph, respectively).

Dave Irish is from Little Traverse YC in Harbor Springs, MI. David has extensive sailing leadership background as a three time past president of US SAILING, former Vice President of ISAF (now World Sailing) and founder of the Irish Boat Shop, Inc. in #HarborSprings and #Charlevoix, MI. In 2013, David was awarded the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy for outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing, and in 2015, he was inducted to the Little Traverse Yacht Club Hall of Fame.  As a sailor, Dave has won the Chicago-Mackinac Race in his division so many times over the past 50 years, he’s lost count!

J/105 Masters sailingBill Menninger, with Jon Pinckney as tactician, is from Newport Harbor YC in Newport Beach, CA. Bill, and a former Governor's Cup - Balboa Yacht Club Winner from the mid-70s, now concentrates on local sailing races including the Harbor 20 Sailing Club Championship. He has also gravitated towards team racing in recent years, winning the US Championship and many other prominent events. Bill frequently sails with his son, Michael, and so far, the two are the only father-son winners of the Governor’s Cup. Bill and Michael will crew NHYC’s Lipton Cup team together at SDYC the weekend following the Masters Regatta.  Bill’s biggest moment of fame sailing the J/24 World Championship in San Francisco was winning the infamous “long-distance” race ahead of Stu Johnstone, John Kolius and John Kostecki!

Dick Tillman, with Tracy Usher as tactician, is from Melbourne YC in Melbourne, FL. Dick last raced the Masters Regatta nine years ago. Among other accomplishments, Tillman was member of the 1976 #Olympic Team and was a 1965 #Rolex Yachtsman of the Year recipient. He wrote a book about sailing and racing Lasers in 2005 and was the 2002 World Lasers Masters Champion. Considered one of the greatest masters sailors of all time, Tillman will be vying for his first win of the Masters Regatta Trophy

Tom Webster, with John Rumsey and Danny Thompson as tactician/ strategists, is from Barnet Bay, NJ. Tom was a South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association Penguin and Y-Flyer Champion and a National Junior Champion in the early 1960s. Tom has sailed with numerous sailors in many events over the years, but has focused the last 20 years of sailing on helping other people in the sport. In 1996, Tom was awarded the ISAF silver medal in Brighton, United Kingdom for contributions in the sport. He has served as a chairman in past NA Finn and NA Europe Class Regattas as well as the 1998 MUMM 30 World Championship. In the early 2000s, Tom was a protocol officer in the #Sydney and #Athens Olympic Games. Most recently in 2013, Tom served as an America’s Cup protocol officer for Golden Gate Yacht Club, the defender of the cup.

Don Trask, with Paul Cayard and Chris Snow as “snack-ticians”, is from St Francis YC in San Francisco, CA.  Don hardly needs any introduction, nor does Paul Cayard.  Nevertheless, it was Don who founded the idea for this amazing regatta.  He is also a Laser Masters winner, won numerous J/24 Westerns, built the J/24 and Lasers for years (into the largest one-designs in their respective categories on the Left Coast).  The original Masters were held at St Francis YC for years on J/24s.  But, that was getting a bit tough on the old guys.  So, in a “master’s stroke”, Don decided “let’s do it in J/105s instead!”  Indeed, it was a brilliant improvement.  Now guys like Don and “the Fish” can still steer at 80+ years old!

Chuck Nichols, with Andy La Dow as tactician, is from San Diego YC in San Diego, CA.  Amongst other numerous accomplishments in sailing, Chuck has been Commodore of  SDYC and has campaigned his J/120 CC RIDER actively for nearly two decades, winning just about every major Southern California regatta in the process.

Doug Rastello (a.k.a. “Rat”), with famous yacht design Bruce Nelson as tactician, is from Newport Harbor YC in Newport Beach, CA.  Doug notably raced 470s for years at a World Championship level against the likes of David Ullman and others.  In addition, Doug also raced successfully in the world of match racing, participating in many of the top events, like the Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA.

Don Martin is from Royal Vancouver YC in Vancouver, BC and is a successful offshore and one-design sailor in the spectacular waters and bays in the shadows of the magnificent Olympic peninsula to the southwest and the Canadian Rockies in their backyard.  For more International J/105 Masters Regatta information

J/80 and J/70s sailing J/WorldJ/World Sailing Program Update
(Annapolis, MD)- This year, J/World coaches will be participating in the Quantum J/70 Winter Series.  They will have spaces available for sailors onboard their J/70's for anyone who is interested in upping their sailing game, gaining experience sailing in a big one design fleet or exploring the shear joy of the easy speed of the J/70.  Space fills fast, but there are three opening spaces for our programs in both December and January.  Like all of the programs, clients will get to do it all, including driving, trimming and calling the shots on the race course.

For J/70 owners who are traveling to these events, there is a great opportunity to join in the structured drills and daily organized debriefs that take place during the practice days.  Any team that is interested in joining us for an organized practice session should contact us to find out how we can provide low cost support prior to the event.

Finally, J/World have experienced racing coaches who are available to support newer J/70 owners at these events.  Let’s face it- a 50 boat fleet of the best sailors in the world tuned up to race the hottest boat on the market can be a little intimidating. We've been there and done that, and would love to help any interested team get up to speed in any capacity that makes sense.  In this capacity, J/World will be at these events:
  • Davis Island #1
  • Davis Island #2
  • Key West Race Week
  • Davis Island #3
  • St. Pete NOODs
  • J/70 Midwinters
  • Miami Bacardi Cup
  • Charleston Race Week
  • Annapolis NOOD
Please note- J/World has space open on the J/88 for the famous Fort Lauderdale- Key West Race.  Their annual "Rocket Round The Reef" event is the most exciting adventure race for J/Boat sailors.  We prepare with three days of intense training before the overnight sprint to Key West.  This year, there will be two other 88's racing and for any J/Boat sailor who can't commit to Key West Race week or is considering moving into an offshore style boat like the new J/121 - this is the training event for them.  Space is very limited and we do ask to review a sailing resume before we book the client.

For more information on J/World’s J/70 and J/88 training programs, please contact Kristen Berry- work- 410-280-2040/  cell- 410-599-3542/ email- website.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The second week of October brought some classic fall series weather to a number of regattas.  On the North American side of the world, the monster harvest moon made for spectacular vistas in the mornings and evenings.  For the Manhasset Bay Fall series- hosted by Manhasset Bay YC at Manhasset Bay, Long Island- it was a fleet of J/105s and several J’s sailing in PHRF handicap divisions (J/88, J/111, J/109) that had some great racing over the weekend.  Out in the Midwest, the Cleveland (216) Regatta took place in Cleveland, OH and hosted by Cleveland YC for J/22s, J/70s and J/105s.  Down south, the Harvest Moon Regatta took place off Seabrook, TX on Galveston Bay and hosted by Lakewood YC- for a J/46, J/120, J/109, and J/105.  Then, out west, the US Sailing Adult Championship (the Mallory Cup Trophy) was sailed at St Francis YC in San Francisco Bay on a fleet of matched J/22 one-design sailboats.

Over in Europe, the J/80s closed out their Coupe de France J/80 season long series in Arzon, France- hosting their J/80 Crouesty Coupe de France.  The J/22s in the Netherlands had the first of their J/22 Cooling Down Regattas in Braassermermeer, The Netherlands.  Meanwhile, the J/24s in Italy held the next event in their winter series in Anzio & Nettuno.

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 20-23- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Annapolis, MD
Oct 20-23- J/105 North American Championship- Larchmont, NY
Oct 21-23- J/105 Masters Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 28-30- J/105 Lipton Cup- San Diego, CA
Oct 28-30- J/Fest Southwest Regatta- Seabrook, TX
Oct 29-Nov 1- French J/80 Nationals- Pornichet, France

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

J/105 Manhasset winnersClassic Manhasset Bay Fall Series
(Manhasset, Long Island, NY)- The Manhasset Bay YC has for decades hosted what is the grand finale to the western Long Island Sound sailing season.  Massively popular for years, it has now become the final event for masses of J/105s, J/109s and several offshore J/crews.  This year, Chamber of Commerce fall weather greeted sailors with temps in the low-mid 60's and winds in the 4-8 kt range Saturday and 14-18 kts on Sunday, offering a chance for the fleets to test out both light air and medium-heavy air skills and settings.

Out-of-towners dominated the J/105 fleet at the Manhasset Bay Fall Series, a precursor to the J/105 NA's being held later this week in the same waters. Team MANDATE from Toronto, sailed by Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer, won in convincing fashion, posting a 2-1-2-1-1-1 for six points net, followed by San Franciscans Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault on GOOD TRADE with 15 points, winning the tie-breaker over Fred deNapoli's gang from Marblehead on ALLEGRO SIMPLICITA.  The photo below shows the winners (Left to right)- Terry McLaughlin, Bruce Stone, Fred de Napoli.

J/105 top three- Manhasset BayThe John B. Thomson, Sr. trophy was awarded to the Canadian team on the J/105 MANDATE (skipper Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer) as having the best overall performance in one design racing!

In the PHRF 1 Class, Sam Talbot’s J/111 SPIKE crushed it on the last day, closing out their series with a 2-1-1 to nearly take the overall class win.  Instead, they settled for a well-deserved silver in a class full of wildly disparate boats (Melges 32, Custom 40 ft sled, Tripp 40 and IMX-45).

In PHRF 2 Class, it was a battle of the J/Crews.  Winning was Carl Olsson’s bright red J/109 MORNING GLORY with an amazing 2-1-1-1.5-2-1 record for 6.5 pts net.  Second was Iris Vogel’s J/88 DEVIATION, she sailed fast and like her J/109 stablemate, posted all top three finishes.  Fourth was Bob Schwartz’s navy-blue J/109 NORDLYS, winning the tie-breaker over Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN at 21 pts each.  Sixth was Jason Viseltear’s J/80 UPSETTER with 26 pts.  For more Manhasset Bay Fall Series sailing information

J/22 Mallory Cup in San FranciscoSilvestri Wins Mallory Cup (US Adult Sailing Championship)
(San Francisco, CA)- Quick and competitive races, on-the-water umpiring, no discards, and an improved viewing experience of the fleet racing for everyone involved, proved to be the key recipe for a successful 2016 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship held October 12-15 in San Francisco, CA.

Hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay, this US Sailing National Championship truly challenged the ten teams competing in equalized J/22 one-design keelboats. In the end it was the experience, local knowledge and preparation of the team representing the Northern California Yachting Association/ St. Francis Yacht Club who came out on top.  The fleet tallied eight races on Wednesday; six races on Thursday; two on Friday, and four on Saturday.

J/22 Russ Silvestri at Mallory CupRuss Silvestri (San Francisco, Calif.), John Collins (Mill Valley, Calif.), Mario Yovkov (San Francisco, Calif.), and Maggie Bacon (San Francisco, Calif.) won by 13 points over 20 races. The team representing Southern California Yachting Association/San Diego Yacht Club, led by Tyler Sinks (San Diego, Calif.), placed second overall. Sinks was joined by crew mates Jake La Dow (San Diego, Calif.), Jake Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.), and Max Hutcheson (San Diego, Calif.).

Despite the close races throughout the four-day event, this championship was a two-team duel from start to finish. Silvestri won nine races and placed second nine times. Sinks won eight races and had a lead through most of Wednesday.

Silvestri led by nine points entering Saturday’s racing and his team continued to post consistent results (4-1-2-1) to seal the championship and the Clifford D. Mallory Trophy.

“We knew from the start that Tyler Sinks was going to be the guy to beat,” said Silvestri. “They went after us in the starts today, but with a nine point lead, we wanted to stay close with them and not make any mistakes. We had the benefit of the local knowledge and confidence in our boat speed and how to set up our boat every day.”

“Today, we started races on the north side of Alcatraz with the wind coming from the south,” Silvestri continued. “Usually we are closer to Alcatraz, so that was different. There were storms coming through, so it was shifty at times. At the start of the tide, the wind was coming in and at the end it was going out, so just racing here all the time you have a sense of that and it helped us.”

Silvestri was also impressed with the new racing format, “I love the on-the-water umpiring. They are in the right position 99 percent of the time. You finish the race and there is no protest. It’s infinitely better.  It couldn’t be a better regatta to come to. The boats are prepared. It’s a $350 USD entry fee. You get all your food. It’s a great deal.  St. Francis YC did a great job running the event. It was great having the umpires out there and the race committee work was good in a challenging environment with the cross current and deep water. Getting the marks in the right spot was not easy.”  For more Mallory Cup/ US Adult Sailing Championship information

J/80 sailing off FranceGAN’JA Tops Crouesty J/80 Coupe de France
(Arzon, France)- Eighteen teams enjoyed the 2016 edition of the Crouesty J/Cup. It was an incredibly challenging regatta, starting on Friday in light to moderate winds and ending up with mind-blowing 20-35 kts winds on the final day of racing on Sunday.  Winning four races to take the title was Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA from NDCV Angers with a scoreline of 3-1-6-1-12-1-1-2-3 for 18 pts net.

The event started Friday with three general recalls in the first race alone! Two more races were sailed that day and leading after the first day’s racing was Sylvain Pellisier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE with a 6-2-1 record for 9 pts. Second on the day was Nadal’s GAN’JA with a 3-1-6 for 10 pts and third was top female skipper- Capucine Vitel’s VITEL SAILING TEAM with a 1-3-7 for 11 pts.

On Saturday, three more races were sailed in a wind that gradually freshened from 8 to 25 knots.  Three different teams won races- VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE, DONGFENG, and GAN’JA.  It was clear that DONGFENG’s crew (Charles Caudrelier, Marie Riou, Pascal Bid├ęgorry, Thomas Rouxel) were obviously at ease in the breeze.

J/80s sailing off FranceSunday was altogether different for everyone.  With 35 knots of breeze (a small gale, by most measures) on the south Bay of Quiberon, a J/80, even without spinnaker, is mind-blowing!!  But, with a spinnaker, and the DONGFENG team skippered by Charles Caudrelier, it was the exceptional. Indeed, the third and final race of the day started in a good 22 knots and at the end of the first run, it was gusting over 35 knots- - that destroyed a main and some spinnakers.

After all the carnage on Sunday, GAN’JA’s Nadal emerged the overall winner. They were followed by Pellissier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE in second with Caudrelier’s DONGFENG in third.  Rounding out the top five was Ms Vitel’s VITEL SAILING TEAM in 4th and Charles le guil Gaetan’s 3D PAYSAGES in fifth place.

A big congratulations to the race committee for its effectiveness throughout the three days of racing and thank you to the volunteers of YCCA for their warm welcome.  For more J/80 Crouesty de Arzon sailing information

J/111 sailing Cleveland 216 regattaGorgeous Cleveland (216) Regatta!
(Cleveland, OH)- Warm weather and chamber of commerce breeze welcomed seven J/22s, thirteen J/70s and six J/105s this weekend for the second annual Cleveland (216) Regatta. Four races were completed on a bright and sunny Saturday in varying breeze, flat water and 8-15 knots out of the south. All fleets were extremely competitive with aggressive starts and close finishes.

After day one, Mark Stuhlmiller on Eudaimonia was leading the J/22 fleet by 1 point over Adam Masters' Trainwreck, both out of Buffalo Yacht Club and Tim Roberts' MD Deuce, out of Edgewater Yacht Club, closely following. Tick Tock Croc, driven by Richard Nesbett out of Edgewater Yacht Club, had six points on a tiebreaker between Lee Sackett's Breaking Wind, also out of EYC, and Mark Allen's Macro Connect out of Pontiac Yacht Club. In the J/105 fleet, Chip Schaffner's Fall Line, out of Cleveland Yachting Club, was leading with four bullets and Robert Mock's Limousine Liberals, from Edgewater Yacht Club, was following with all second place finishes.

J/105s sailing ClevelandDay two started off cloudy, but with more breeze out of the southwest at 15-22 knots, gusting over 25 and nearing eighty degree temperatures. All fleets were again aggressive getting off the starting line and competitive at each mark rounding battling for podium finishes. After three races on Sunday, Mark Stuhlmiller on Eudaimonia placed first in the J/22 fleet with thirteen points, local Tim Roberts on MD Deuce had fourteen points, and Adam Masters on Trainwreck had nineteen points in third place. Richard Nesbett's Tick Tock Croc held onto the lead in the J/70 fleet with twenty points, followed by Lee Sackett's Breaking Wind with twenty eight points and Mark Allen's Macro Connect with thirty one points in third. Chip Schaffner's Fall Line won the J/105 fleet with straight bullets followed by Robert Mock's Limousine Liberals in second and Stephen Mitcham's Breezin' Bayou in third.

Many thanks to the sponsors: Quantum Sails Cleveland, Sailing Inc., Tito's Vodka, Boston Beer Co., Mapleside Farms and APS, as well as the families who were so generous to host visiting teams. Bobbi and Bruce Sundman pulled off a traditional Southern boil on Saturday evening and Quantum Sails sponsored the tailgate party on Sunday during the awards ceremony. PRO Mike Vining put together a flawless Race Committee and great fun was had by all! The third annual Cleveland (216) Regatta will be held in early October 2017 and we hope to see you there!  For Cleveland (216) Regatta sailing information

J/105 sailing HoustonJ/Crews Sweep Harvest Moon Regatta
(Seabrook, TX)- Perhaps one of the most beautiful experiences any offshore sailor can have is to take off from Galveston Bay on an afternoon start, sail out into the Gulf of Mexico and turn left down the shoreline to Port Aransas about 50 nm down the coastline.  In most years, it’s a gentle cruise down the coast under spinnaker with a massive “fall harvest moon” slowly emerging over the ESE horizon, seemingly ready to engulf the entire Earth in its glow.  For those who have sailed this race over the years, it is a mind-bending experience to see the Moon refracting so that it looks like it is the Second Coming of Christ- or some other out-of-body scenario.  Blood orange, giant, and melting across the horizon on the Gulf of Mexico, it’s no wonder that so many people keep coming back for more!

This year, a good weather forecast meant that teams turned out “en’masse” to enjoy the gorgeous overnight sail.  In ORC Spinnaker classes, it was remarkable that both “A” and “B” classes saw total “clean sweeps” by J/Crews!

In ORC Class A, 1st was Jim Liston’s J/120 AEOLUS from Houston YC, 2nd was Albrecht Goethe’s J/46 HAMBURG II from Lakewood YC, 3rd was JD Hill’s J/122 SECOND STAR from Lakewood YC and 6th was Andy Wescoat’s J/109 HARM’s WAY from Galveston Bay Cruising Association!

The scenario was the same for ORC Class B.  But, in this case, it was a sweep of the top five!  1st was John Barnett’s J/105 VICI from Lakewood YC, 2nd was Josh Richline’s J/105 VELOCE from Corpus Christi YC, 3rd was JB Bednar’s J/105 STINGER from Lakewood YC, 4th was John Bell’s J/105 KINDERSPIEL 2 from Corpus Christi YC, and 5th was Jeff Progelhof’s J/36 SENOR MOMENT for Houston YC! An amazing accomplishment for all J/Sailors across the board!  For more Harvest Moon Regatta sailing information

J/22 sailing NetherlandsJ/22 Cooling Down Regatta Report
(Braassermermeer, The Netherlands)- No one could complain last weekend, to have such a beautiful day in October is rare. So, with 23 boats lining up for four races, it was beautiful sailing under a clear blue sky, a lovely temperature and a steady wind from a direction the fleet does not often experience on the Braassermermeer.

Leading the event after four races is NED 1295 with a 4-1-1-2 record for 8 pts.  Sitting in second is Anne van der Beek’s NED 1152 with a 6-2-3-1 for 12 pts.  And, holding onto third place is NED 1514 sailed by Thom van der Starr, Cedric Willekens, Jesper Overbeeke, and Maarten Beerendschot with a 2-3-4-5 for 14 pts.

The Winter training series will continue until next month!  It has been a great turnout for J/22 sailors, please invite more to join us!  For more J/22 Cooling Down/ Training sailing information

J/24 sailing ItalyJ/24 Italy Report
(Anzio Nettuno, Italy)- Over the weekend, the 42nd Winter Championship of Anzio and Nettuno had twenty-one J/24 crews take to the water.  It was a tight battle between the protagonists of the last edition, LA SUPERBA skippered by Ignazio Bonanno BLACK LEATHER sailed Paul Cecamore and skippered by the 2014 Soling World Champion- the Hungarian Farkas Litkey.

"It’s been a good start for the regatta,” commented SUPERBA’s skipper Bonanno.  “In the opening race, won by Farkas Litkey and Paul Cecamore, we finished in second place because of a slight collision with the J/24 skippered by Federico Miccio (Ita 216 Jumpin'jack Flash).  “In the second race, however, we won with a good gap from the second place boat, Black Leather.  For this regatta, the J/24 Fleet was a little less numerous than recent years, but the competition was always on a good level."

The provisional rankings has LA SUPERBA in first, followed by BLACK LEATHER in second, DAIQUIRI in third (with skipper Fabrizio Sabatini), AMERICAN PASSAGE in fourth (with Paul Rinaldi as skipper/ owner), and GREEN RAY in fifth (with Carmelo Savastano as skipper).   For more Italian J/24 sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/70 sailing San Francisco* The husband and wife team of Tracy and Christy Usher bought their J/70 sailboat CHRISTINE ROBIN one year ago setting their sights on sailing in the 2016 Alcatel World Championships in San Francisco, just six months from their first major regatta. Here, Christy tells their story and explains why buying the J/70 was the best decision they ever made.

“My first year sailing in the J/70 Class has been one of the most exhilarating and by far one of the best years of my life—culminating just recently with the Alcatel J/70 World Championship hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC). Almost exactly one year ago to the start of the Worlds, my husband Tracy and I bought our J/70 sailboat. Buying the J/70 has proven to be the best decision we’ve made together.

My husband and I had been looking for the right sailboat for us as a family for over a decade. Tracy had been content competing on the Laser Master circuit, so for many years we sailed Lasers “together separately.” He sailed the Laser Standard Masters while I sailed in the Laser Radial Masters. As much as I enjoyed sailing in the Laser Class, I aspired for a sailboat we could race and sail together.

J/70 with UshersOur first introduction to the J/70 was in Newport, RI, in Fall 2012. StFYC sent a team that included my husband and Peter Vessella to the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) for a regatta, which was to be sailed in J/Boats’ latest speedster, the J/70. Peter Vessella was rightfully and quickly smitten with the boat and purchased one soon after.

It wasn’t until a couple of years later after seeing several J/70s on display at the Monaco Yacht Club that I started to take notice of this sporty, sleek, and fast-looking yacht. The next time Tracy mentioned Peter Vessella’s J/70 program, Running Wild, I suggested we consider getting a J/70 of our own, and the rest is history.

We took delivery of our boat in September 2015, which my husband named Christine Robin (my first and middle names), splashed and christened her for the first time in Sausalito, and then spent the winter months getting her race ready. By spring we were off to the races—literally. The National Offshore One Design (NOOD) regatta in San Diego was our first major regatta, followed by the J/70 North Americans in Texas, and Long Beach Race Week in Southern California. Some epic summer sailing on the San Francisco Bay followed, including the Pacific Coast Champs, Summer Keel, and Rolex Big Boat Series, all of which would culminate with the World Championships the end of September. We had set our sights on sailing well at the Worlds, which would be hosted by StFYC, and we knew we had a lot to learn in a short amount of time to make our little boat go fast.

Teamwork makes the dream work. Buoyed by a great team of talented sailors, my husband Tracy Usher and I participated in the Corinthian class of the 2016 J/70 Worlds. Mike Bishop and Jon Andron joined Tracy and I as trimmer and bowman respectively.

J/70 with Ushers sailingMike was the staple of our J/70 program. He kept his composure on the boat all season long while the rest of us each lost it at one time or another, cursing like pirates, and sometimes at each other. Mike always remained so calm and focused onboard, and he dedicated so much of his personal time to training with us—I can’t thank him enough.

Jon was so very gracious and flexible switching positions with me from mainsail trimmer to bowman. Half way through the season we came to the realization that due to my size, I wouldn’t be able to douse the spinnaker in the big breeze on the Bay: Instead of me pulling the spinnaker in the boat, the spinnaker was pulling me off the boat! Jon now gets a lot more wet and cold sitting first on the rail as bowman, but has taken it all in stride. “Just another sail on Moonlight Bay,” he often jokes after a massive wave breaks over on him on the bow.

Sailboat racing is an emotional and physical test on so many levels. Sharing that intensity as a team is both the biggest reward and the biggest challenge. Crew bonds are the best. You become family in so many ways, sharing a closeness literally and figuratively that compares to nothing else. Those good times and great laughs we had all season long as a team will stay with me always.

J/70 crew positions and duties are somewhat formulaic, though with four positions and lots to do there are a variety of ways to delegate who does what. Size me up in person and you might rightly conclude I have limited strength to offer, and indeed this true. I often get asked about my role on the boat, especially from other female sailors who would like to sail on the J/70 but find themselves overlooked in favor of stronger, typically male counterparts. Often, though, having at least one lightweight crewmember is an advantage. I trim the main downwind, which is by far the most fun job on the boat; having the throttle on a ripping reach is the best assignment any sailor could ask for! I also play the backstay, “jump” the jib sheets for final trim, adjust the traveller, and finish packing the spinnaker in the bag after we have rounded the downwind mark.

J/70s sailing San FranciscoTo give ourselves the best chance of being competitive, and perhaps even take home the Corinthian World Championship title at the J/70 Worlds, we splurged on a lot of high-level training and coaching sessions with some of the best pro sailors in the business, including Willem Van Waay, Victor Diaz de Leon, and Steve Bourdow. With Victor trimming the main, we cut across the Bay like a knife through butter in over 25 knots. That day with Victor was one I will never forget because our boat reached speeds we hadn’t imagined were possible. Experiencing just how far the boat could be pushed gave us a “no fear” attitude to “breeze on” conditions, which served us well on those windy reaches during the World Championships.

Steve has an uncanny ability for comparisons when it comes to sail trim and rig set up, and his daily debriefs during the Worlds were invaluable to our team. We were also lucky enough to have Willem with us for several training sessions. Over the course of the summer, he completely overhauled everything about our program, including sails, rig, settings, markings, lines—I mean everything! And after extracting and stripping everything non-essential or “cute” off our boat (including my missing flip-flop) he had us doing Zambookas (jibe set drills) in our sleep.

In the days prior to racing, during hull and sail measurement and inspection, the anticipation in the air at StFYC was palpable. I was excited to see how the top Italian teams would pace against some of the top teams we had been sailing with all season.

Joel Ronning’s Catapult had unrivaled speed at the Pacific Coast Championships in July and Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s Flojito y Cooperando had been on an impressive winning streak all year long, winning every regatta they entered, with the exception of Key West Race Week. At Key West, Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network won the regatta with five bullets in 10 races.

How Claudia Rossi’s formidable Petite Terrible would stack up seemed like a complete wild card since neither Catapult nor Flojito had lined up with them yet. It was a sailing soap opera of sorts and I couldn’t wait for the racing to get started!

It was clear at the end of the first day of racing that any of five top teams seemed worthy of the World Champion title. The 2016 Alcatel Worlds was going to be nothing short of a nail biter, and even with a throw-out, every race and every point, was going to count.

What is great about the J/70 Class is that it “brings together the sailing legends with the weekend warriors,” said Karlo Hmeljat, main trimmer on Calvi Network. I couldn’t agree more. From what I’ve seen so far, the professional sailors enhance the racing both on and off the water. Nonetheless, there is a clear distinction between the professional and Corinthian (or amateur) sailors, and I am more concerned that some teams that clearly belong in the former (pro) category somehow qualify for the latter (Corinthian) classification.

It was very inspiring for me to meet so many incredibly talented and skilled top female sailors. Meeting the current European J/70 Champion Claudia Rossi of Petite Terrible, former North American J/70 Champion Heather Gregg of Muse, and Irene Bezzi, a former champion J/70 mainsail trimmer and coach with Calvi Network, as well as Laser Master Champion Guilia Albuzio, was one of the highlights of the regatta for me. These women have style and strength, and I admire them greatly as role models on and off the water.

It was a surreal experience to find myself sailing on the San Francisco Bay with the world’s top professional and Corinthian J/70 teams. After following these teams for many months, not only to see them here sailing on my home waters but also to find myself on the same starting line and sailing the same racecourse with them was an indescribable experience and the privilege of a lifetime. And just when things couldn’t get more surreal, a helicopter packed with photographers hovered over our race course on day four.

 “It was a gathering of eagles. You could not have gone anywhere on the planet that week and found a comparable assemblage of talent,” StFYC Commodore Kimball Livingston told Sail Couture.

Some of the world-class tacticians included: John Kostecki (Catapult), the only sailor to have ever won an Olympic medal, the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race, 11-time World Champion, Olympic Silver medalist, two-time Rolex US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, winner of Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup; Bill Hardesty (Flojito y Cooperando) former US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year winner, Melges World Champion, Match Race World Champion and Paul Cayard (Calvi Network) former US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, 7-time America’s Cup competitor, first American to win the Whitbread Round the World Race, two-time Olympian, US Sailing Hall of Fame inductee and Rolex Yachtsman of the year. These in addition to a bevy of former J/70 world, European and national champions.

The racing conditions during the Worlds were challenging for our team. The breeze and the infamous tides that enter and exit through the narrow opening at the Golden Gate were different and difficult to predict every day. For better or worse, there was a wide range of wind conditions. In most races we saw up to 25 knots of breeze, but some races were sailed in less than 10 knots.

Sailing in a large fleet of nearly 70 sailboats posed additional tactical challenges with respect to managing our position relative to the rest of the fleet on the upwind and downwind legs, as well, as navigating often crowded mark roundings.

Getting a clear lane off the starting line was critical. The fleet was aggressive on the line from the very first day and as a result, the race committee didn’t hesitate to deploy various penalty flags throughout the week to discourage boats from being over early. With only one race discard for the entire regatta, avoiding a penalty at the start was critical for all of the competitors but especially the top teams vying for the title.

“We set the race course in the East Bay, in the Olympic Circle, out of the shipping lanes and out of the worst of the tides, but over the week of racing we gave the competitors the full gamut of conditions: Warm mild days in the beginning of the week and toward the end they got the full San Francisco bear. By the time the regatta was over, they knew they had sailed on San Francisco Bay,” said Livingston.

The racecourse was located on the Berkeley Circle some six nautical miles from the St. Francis Yacht Club. Either by tow or by sail, it was a long way home at the end of the day.

Congratulations to the new J/70 World Champion Joel Ronning, owner and driver of Catapult, their friendly coach “Fuzz,” and the rest of the team for raising the bar and showing us their world-class speed and consistency on the race course. It is a well-deserved win after their yearlong training effort on the San Francisco Bay.

Taking home the top Corinthian honor was Ullman Sails Newport Beach’s USA-32 skippered by Shawn Bennett. Bennet together with his crew of Craig Healy, Jon Perkins and Eric Baumhoff claimed the World Championship Corinthian title.  Racing against the highly competitive professional sailing teams, USA-32 finished ahead of 53 boats and 15th overall in the open division.

“It’s easily the best regatta we’ve ever done and we’ve done a lot [of regattas],” Simon Ling of Great Britain’s Team RAF Benevolent Fund told Sail Couture. “The venue, the race organization, the hosting by StFYC, all together was excellent, a winning recipe.”

For me, sailboat racing is about more than sailboat racing. After a day on the water, the highlight for me is often hanging out with all the sailors while we try to figure out how to make our boats go faster tomorrow. The StFYC provided the perfect post-racing atmosphere during the Worlds including a California wine tasting, hot toddies at the World’s Fair outdoor carnival, and Aperol Spritz cocktails on Italian night while we all dreamt of sailing in Porto Cervo, Italy, where the J/70 Worlds will be held in 2017.

Sailboat racing is dopamine, regattas are a rush, and a weeklong high comes with a great crash. These weeks following the end of the J/70 Alcatel Worlds and our 2016 sailing season have been tough for me. I miss that collective passion for sailing buzzing between my fellow competitors, coaches, and teammates. Set in the iconic City by the Bay, the Worlds delivered more than results. It was about friendships, family, and memories fueled by wind, water, and teamwork that keep us all coming back regatta after regatta. I think all of the J/70 sailors left a little piece of their heart in San Francisco. I know I did.”

J/22 sailing one design*  J/22 Growing the fleet program update.  This year, the US J/22 Class Association awarded its first annual scholarship boat to Patrick Shanahan of the Brown University Sailing Team, which earned his team a fully outfitted J/22 and trailer. The team of six members competed on the J/22 circuit this summer that led up to J/22 Worlds in Kingston, Ontario in late August.

What are you learning about keelboat fleet racing as opposed to match racing you often do?
For me personally, I have never really sailed anything but dinghies, and this summer began match racing and fleet racing keelboats. It has been a huge aid to have the other members of the team who have an extensive background in keelboats crewing and helping me learn quickly.

The two aspects of racing, whether it is match or fleet racing, are so different but so similar at the same time. One thing we really focus on when sailing the J/22 is to keep it simple. We don’t know the boat very well, but we know if we do the basics like focus on the shifts and breeze and keep the boat moving as best we can, we will get a good result. Once we start overthinking everything and focusing on all the little details, we will forget the basics and perform worse.

Being new to the J/22 Class this summer, how would you characterize the fleet?
The fleet has exceeded every single one of our expectations; everyone has been nothing but kind and friendly. Whenever we didn’t know how to do something or needed help, every single person has been willing to help and assist us. It has been the best experience to sail against such a kind and driven fleet because it is so intense and competitive, but everyone is so sportsmanlike and welcoming. We all want to find a way to remain a part of the Class.

There are many statistics about the drop-off in sailing participation post-college. What can be done to keep young people interested in the sport at that age?
Giving grants and scholarships like the J/22 Class Association has done is the best way to keep post-college sailors interested and able to sail. It doesn’t always have to be giving away a boat for the year either, it can be any sort of grant or help. Even if it is just a certain amount of money to aid in the costs of sailing or hardware for their old boat.

The biggest problem with continuing sailing after college is the cost of participating. Most of the time, recent graduates have to pay for their accommodations, car, food, etc. That leaves them with not enough money to continue to sail. With grants that help any little bit, this allows these recent grads to be able to continue to sail and remain competitive in the sport.

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.