Wednesday, November 23, 2016

J/Newsletter- November 23rd, 2016

J/121 offshore speedster- hull plug at SymmetrixJ/121 Project Update #3
(Newport, RI)- The J/121 hull plug is taking shape at Symmetrix Composite Tooling in Bristol, RI as the Poseidon 5-Axis milling machine performs its first “pass” this week.

Next week the foam hull form, supported by its steel backbone frame, will be reinforced with glass/epoxy before a thick epoxy milling paste is applied over the hull surface. Once the milling paste is cured, the Poseidon will perform a second and final precision machining operation to take the hull to its final surface. This is followed by a multi-stage sanding process to achieve 800 grit finish and a final buffing to a mirror shine. Just in time for the Happy Holidays! One big 40 ft present from Santa for passionate, offshore J/sailors!  You can watch this fascinating process here on J/Boats YouTube page.
For more J/121 Offshore speedster sailing information

J/70s at Sailing Champions LeagueSAILING Champion Leagues 2017 Program
(Hamburg, Germany)- All thirteen National Sailing Leagues have finished racing for 2016 and planning for next season is in full swing. Three events have been scheduled for the SAILING Champions League 2017. The provisional dates are as follows:
  • Act 1: 4 – 6 August or 11 – 13 August, St. Petersburg Yacht Club, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Act 2: 1 – 3 September, Segel-Club St. Moritz, St. Moritz, Switzerland
  • Final: 22 – 24 September, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo, Italy
Due to the high demand for places in the SAILING Champions League, the International Sailing League Association (ISLA) has decided on a modified qualification mode for the 2017 season. Sixty-four clubs will have the chance to qualify for the Grand Finale in Porto Cervo, Italy in September– only the hosting club and the reigning SCL champion will automatically qualify for the SCL final.

J/70 Sailing Champions League scheduleOver 300 clubs are now competing in the thirteen National Sailing Leagues that have been established all over Europe since 2013.  Here is how the SCL championship breaks down for next year:
  • 52 clubs, being the top 4 clubs from each 2016 national league, qualify for the SAILING Champions League 2017. These clubs will be assigned by lottery: 26 (2 from each nation) to each Act.
  • 32 clubs will compete in each Act.
  • 1 place at each Act is given to the hosting club (St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Russia and Segel-Club St. Moritz in Switzerland).
  • 5 places at each Act are wild card spots that will be awarded to clubs from nations that are currently founding their National Sailing League, plus additional states (e.g. Malta and Monaco).
The finale in Porto Cervo will be for 32 teams: the top 15 clubs from each Act, plus a team from the host club (Yacht Club Costa Smeralda), and the current SCL champion (Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club from Germany).  For more SAILING Champions League sailing information

J/122 Jackpot sailing off AustraliaJ/122 Sailing Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race
(Sydney, Australia)- In less than 39 days, ninety-seven boats from Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, Sweden, Germany, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea will be lining up in Sydney Harbour for the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.  The YouTube video sailing preview can be found here.

One of the competing yachts is the J/122 JACKPOT, skippered by Adrian van Bellen. Their team has been practicing a lot as a work-up to what is famous for being one of the world’s toughest yacht races anywhere. For the past 71 years, the Rolex Sydney Hobart has become an icon of Australia's summer sport, ranking in public interest with such national events as the Melbourne Cup horse race, the Australian Open tennis and the cricket tests between Australia and England. No regular annual yachting event in the world attracts such huge media coverage than does the start on Sydney Harbour.

The weather can be benign or treacherous.  In most cases, it is the later.  Like the two current round-the-world record attempts with 130 ft trimarans (one a singlehander, one a fully-crewed team) and the leading boats in the Vendee Globe Race, experienced sailors are well-aware of how quickly forecasts can change in the southern latitudes, particularly in the infamous Bass Straits, the relatively shallow body of water between the southeastern tip of Australia and the northernmost point of Tasmania.  It’s where the southerly flowing Australian current rolling at 2 to 4 kts often meets strong west to southwest winds in the 15-25 kts range, sometimes in the 40-60 kts range!  To say the least, seas can be steep and nasty with the wind on the nose!  A winning combination for a fast, well-sailed J/122, like van Bellen’s experienced crew on JACKPOT.  More news around Christmas-time!  For more Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race sailing information

J/World Sailing SchoolNew J/World Training Programs for 2017
(Annapolis, CA)- The J/World team has created some exciting new programming for 2017.  It all starts this winter with coaches on both coasts heading south for racing and cruising training in Florida, San Diego and Puerto Vallarta. Most of the programs dovetail with prominent race weeks or cruising rallies, giving students the unique opportunity to learn new skills and immediately apply them.  Learn more about their respective training programs here:
J/World New Boat Training Option!
Now available for any new J/Boats orders is a “J/World training option” for new J/Owners!  J/World will custom-tailor a training/orientation program for a new owner aboard their new boat!  The coaching fee is $600/day (not including travel and housing). The program can range from a thorough boat orientation of onboard systems and basic docking/sail handling skills to a full-on race-prep training session for the whole team.   For more J/World boat owner training program ideas

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The final week of November was full of action around the blue planet Earth- east, west and Down Under in the Americas and Australia.  For starters, a J/111 sailed the Lipton Cup off Melbourne, Australia while off to their east in South America, the J/24s in Chile were sailing their National Championship in Talcahuano, a town near Concepcion on the west coast of Chile that was infamous for being the epicenter of the massive earthquake/ tsunami in 2010.

Up north in the Americas, several events took place east and west.  On the Pacific, the San Diego YC hosted their second Hot Rum Series “pursuit race” off Point Loma, in San Diego, CA.  Simultaneously, San Diego YC hosted the College Sailing National Match Race Championships for ten teams in their matched fleet of one-design J/22s.  Then, out east the ISSA (Interscholastic Sailing Association) National Keelboat Invitational Championship was held at St. Petersburg Yacht Club, in St Petersburg, FL with sailing taking place on Tampa Bay in a matched fleet of one-design J/70s.  Meanwhile, the J/22’s held their annual Turkey Bowl at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, MD.

Off to the east in the middle of the Atlantic, Royal Bermuda YC on the Great Sound of Bermuda hosted the J/105 Bacardi Keelboat Invitational.

Over in Europe, the Hamble Winter Series, hosted by Hamble River Sailing Club on the Hamble River, sailed their sixth weekend on the Solent and the Southampton Water for a one-design fleet of J/88s and IRC classes for J/92s, J/97s, J/109s, J/111s, and J/122s. On the Continent, the Italian J/24 Winter Series continued with events taking place in Taranto, Anzio & Nettuno near Rome, and Portoferraio.

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

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Dec 3- Hot Rum Race III- San Diego, CA
Dec 3-4- J/22 Jammin’ Jamaica Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 10-11- Quantum J/70 Winter Series I- Tampa, FL
Jan 7-8- Quantum J/70 Winter Series II- Tampa, FL
Jan 15-23- Quantum Key West Regatta- Key West, FL
Feb 4-5- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Feb 10-12- J/24 Midwinters- Indian Harbour Beach, FL
Feb 17-19- St Petersburg NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 23-26- J/70 Midwinters- St Petersburg, FL
Mar 9-11- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 17-19- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
April 20-23- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
May 5-7- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD

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

J/111 Joust sailing Lipton CupJ/111 JOUST Wins Lipton Cup Australia
(Melbourne, Australia)- Despite earlier results, indicating that the winner of the Lipton Cup Trophy was another boat, a scoring review was taken on Monday morning following the announcement of the results on Sunday. It was determined that there was an anomaly in placings - this was then rectified, subsequently changing the overall results.

As a result of the review, the finish time of the J/122 JAKE was altered for race 1, and there was a net effect on the fleet results. As a result, Dr Rod Warren's J/111 JOUST wins the Lipton Cup Regatta off Melbourne, Australia!  Congratulations on the great sailing to the JOUST team!

The 2016 Lipton Cup Regatta came to an end after a weekend of gorgeous, beautiful blue skies and light winds.  Needless to say, the racing was very close.

Official Lipton Cup photographer- Bernie Kaaks- was hard at work over the course of the regatta. The images are  available for viewing and purchase through Bernie's Flickr page.  If you'd like a copy of any photographs, please contact Bernie by email (, quoting the name and details of the photo you'd like to order or go to the website.  For more Lipton Cup sailing information

J/70s sailing high school nationals- ISSASea Kings Win High School Nationals
(St Petersburg, FL)- The inaugural ISSA (Interscholastic Sailing Association) National Keelboat Invitational Championship was held November 19 - 20 at St. Petersburg Yacht Club in St Petersburg, FL with sailing taking place on Tampa Bay. Ten high school teams from across the country competed in a new fleet of matched J/70 one-designs for the Mendelblatt Trophy. Conditions ranged from 10–18 knots over the weekend and the fleet was able to enjoy a full rotation for ten races in total.  In the end, the two teams from Newport Beach, CA dominated the regatta.  Winning was the Corona Del Mar High School “Sea Kings” with the team of Robert Garrett, Max Mayol, David Wood and Cameron Wood; second was taken by their cross-town rivals, the Newport Harbor “Sailors”.

The regatta started out fast for the Sea Kings, winning the first race and closing out their first four races with two more bullets for a clear lead in the overall standings.  Behind them, it was a pretty radical games of “chutes & ladders” for the top five, with the “Sailors” posting a 3-4-5-4, the Falmouth Maine High School “Yachtsmen” a 5-BFD-3-5, the Archbishop Spalding High School “Cavaliers” a 4-1-4-8, the Annapolis High School “Panthers” an 8-3-8-3 and the Severn High School “Admirals” a 2-9-2-6.  In short, after the first four races, these five teams were virtually tied on points.

ISSA J/70 High School Nationals winners- Sea KingsHowever, the “tale of the tape” changed quite dramatically for the balance of the six races.  The Sea Kings continued to dominate, despite a fifth race 7th place to close the regatta with mostly top three finishes to win the overall title with just 28 pts- a 2.8 average for ten races- that is quite an accomplishment!  Behind them, chaos ruled for most teams.  The exception was the “Sailors” from Newport Harbor, the only team to post all top four finishes to secure second place overall, but not without some anxious moments.  Here’s the reason why- the “lobstermen” from Maine went on a tear starting in race 5, rising like a phoenix from the ashes.  They posted a 1-1-1-2 over the next four races to scream up to the top of the leaderboard and were hoping to maintain that pace.  In fact, had the Yachtsmen been able to post that average going into the last two races, they might have won!  However, the “song of the sirens” befell them, dramatically crashing onto the proverbial shoals, and closing with a profoundly earth—shattering tally of 8-9 to end up just three points back from second.  Despite those anxious final moments, the Falmouth Maine HS Yachtsmen team, consisting of Daniel Denison, Hanna Brydon, Kurban Ali, Cameron Delgado, were proud of their ability to bounce back and take the bronze.

Rounding out the top five were the Annapolis HS Panthers in fourth with 45 pts and the Severn HS Admirals in fifth with 46 pts.  What was interesting was that many teams had their chance at basking in the limelight, with schools placing all the way down to eighth place in the field of ten to have at least one or more top three finishes; that was a great indicator of each team’s potential!  In fact, the 8th place St Ignatius College “Wolfpack” had to be ecstatic with their closing races, posting a 3-1 in their last two races- a great way to close the regatta!   For more ISSA High School Keelboat Nationals sailing information

J/105 sailing Hot Rum Series- San DiegoHot Rum Race II Report
(San Diego, CA)- It was more fun and games for the enormous fleet of 140+ boats that have been racing the infamous San Diego Yacht Club Hot Rum Series.  The second race that took place on Saturday, November 19th proved to be an excruciatingly slow light air affair.  It was a case of “haves” and “have not’s” just about everywhere on the racecourse in the various divisions.  The PHRF “pursuit style” race meant that the small boats (with highest PHRF handicaps) took off in light airs going out the Pt Loma channel to the first mark offshore.  The larger boats that started later, however, were not much better off; they, too, took off in light airs but had just enough extra to play with to dominate the top of the leaderboard.  Having started off so slowly, the small boats took a beating in the early light air going.

As a consequence of the weather conditions, the top J/Teams in the overall standings were the bigger J’s.  Leading the J/crews home was Mark Surber’s J/125 DERIVATIVE in 11th overall, followed by Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER in 14th overall, just 45 seconds behind DERIVATIVE and only 8 seconds behind Dennis Conner’s MENACE XXIV.  Third J/team home was John Laun’s J/120 CAPE about 45 seconds back.

J/120 sailing Hot Rum seriesThe current standings in each fleet now see the two J/125s sitting next to each other in the top ten in Class I.  DERIVATIVE’s 8-9 for 17 pts sits in 9th place while TIMESHAVER’s 9-11 for 20 pts is in 10th.

In Class 2, four J’s are in the top ten.  John Laun’s CAPER has a 14-3 for 17 pts to hang onto 5th place.  They are leading on a tie-breaker over Rudolph Hasl’s HASL FREE that has a 9-8 also sitting at 17 pts.  Next is Chuck Nichols’ J/120 CC RIDER with a 10-11 for 21 pts in 9th place.  Finally, Tim Harmon’s J/124 CIRRUS has a 12-10 for 22 pts to hang in at 10th position.

J/105 Wings sailing Hot Rum seriesThe “J/105” division, Class 3, continues to have four J/105s in the top ten.  Lead boat is Rick Goebel’s SANITY with a 1-5 for 6 pts to hold 2nd overall.  Dennis Case’s WINGS has an 11-3 for 14 pts, good enough for 5th place.  Tim Fuller’s STEADFAST has a 7-10 for 17 pts and is in 7th position.  Then, “Dag” Fish’s VIGGEN is 10th place with a 4-16 for 20 pts.

The “J/70” division, Class 4, also sees near class domination by three J/70s in the top five placings.  Top banana is Fabian Gomez-Ibarra’s VAGAZO with two bullets for just 2 pts.  Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR has a 5-3 for 8 pts in third position.  And, Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU has a 4-6 for 10 pts to hang in for 5th place.

In Class 5, the overall top five has a pretty remarkable scenario developing going into the third and final race next weekend.  While David Cattle’s J/27 BLACK ADDER is sitting in 8th place with a 7-6 for 13 pts, they are just three points out of third place overall!  Anything can happen in this class, so it will all be on the line next week for the top ten boats overall!  Crazy stuff, that’s for sure!  For more San Diego YC Hot Rum sailing information

J/92 sailing Hamble winter seriesHamble Winter Series VII Report
(Hamble, Great Britain)- Saturday's miserable autumn rain cleared up in time for the weather gods to deliver a day of champagne sailing for Sunday's Hamble Winter Series race.

A very shifty northwesterly welcomed competitors to a game of “snakes and ladders”, with oscillating windshifts providing plenty of opportunity for position changes in the large fleets. From a start line near “ buoy”, fleets beat up towards the Hamble, with the bigger boats using Hamble Point as their windward mark. IRC 3 and 4 rounded Bald Head as their first mark, with the nearby shoreline adding some extra tactical challenges.

In IRC 1 class, Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL and Christopher Daniel's J/122 JUNO are still neck-and-neck in the standings, with KESTREL sitting in 6th overall and JUNO now dropping to 8th position.  At this stage, with two good races left, it is still possible for Bamford’s KESTREL to crack the top five, sitting just four points back from fifth position.

J/92 sailing off Hamble, EnglandThe “J/109 division”, e.g. IRC 2 class, close racing continues between the top boats. After posting second place last weekend, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE still lies in second overall, four points back from the lead with 14 pts total. The second J/109 is Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN and the third is Rob Cotterill’s MOJO RISIN, respectively, with 42 and 50 pts each.

The “Cinderella story” of the HWS IRC 3 class (and the overall series) so far has to be Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART.  His team continues to sail brilliantly, maintaining their overall lead, 3.5 pts clear of the next boat.  The top five saw a “flip-flop” occur in the standings between the next two J/teams.  By virtue of taking a 4th place in their last race, Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 GBR 97X- BLACKJACK II- has 31.5 pts total to stealthily move into 4th place overall, just a half-point clear of David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO with 32 pts!  The drama and excitement are building steadily race-by-race as these two also have a chance for the top three in the series!

Sailing in Hamble Winter Series, EnglandFinally, “los tres amigos” leading the highly competitive nine-boat J/88 class continue to do battle with a bit of a dramatic twist this past weekend!  Kirsty and David Apthorp's J-DREAM won the race to lengthen their lead to a somewhat comfortable 12 pts total, now 6 pts clear of the next two boats.  However, the anxiety is brewing like a tempest in a teapot for the silver and bronze.  Gavin Howe's TIGRIS posted a 2nd place to close-out the weekend with 19 pts total for the series, just one point back from Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT.  ESJR had a battle with Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR in the last race, dropping to 4th place and, thus, holding onto second place for the series with 18 pts, but closing the gap quite dramatically with TIGRIS.

There are two races remaining, and everyone is hoping that the gales currently forecast for next weekend abate in time!  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/ and Hamo Thornycroft  For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/22 College match race champions- GeorgetownGeorgetown Wins College Match Racing Nationals
(San Diego, CA)– The 2016 College Sailing Match Racing Nationals, hosted by San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC), concluded last weekend on San Diego Bay. After three days of competitive racing on SDYC’s fleet of matched one-design J/22 class sailboats, Georgetown University won the Cornelius Shields Sr. Trophy, emblematic of the college match-racing champion.

The final day of racing consisted of a knockout round for 9th and 10th place, Quarter Finals, Semi-Finals, Petite Finals and Finals. Race Committee was able to pull off all races with winds at 5-7 knots.

After the Semi-Finals, Dartmouth College and College of Charleston raced for the first to 2 points in the Petite Finals. Dartmouth won the first two races and was first to two points, making them the third place finishers and College of Charleston fourth in the overall standings.

Georgetown University and Hobart & William Smith Colleges faced off in the Finals. Due to slow winds at the end of the day, Race Committee changed the format to declaring the first team to 2 points as the winner. Since Georgetown won the first race and HWS Colleges won the second race, it came down to the 3rd race where Georgetown University finished first, and ultimately won the overall championship.

Coach Janel Zarkowsky reflected on how it felt when Georgetown won. "It feels great. We realized that Georgetown has won 3 out of the last 5 match racing championships. It feels good to be developing a team with that many wins. One of the takeaways from this weekend is that the fastest boat always wins. So if you put 90% effort into being the fastest, the match racing becomes really easy.”

Georgetown alumnus Nevin Snow joined Zarkowsky on the water today to support the Hoyas. Snow, a San Diego native, won this title twice during his college career and is currently the #2 match racer in the country. Georgetown University won the Coed Nationals in May that was also raced in San Diego Bay.  The winning team consisted of AJ Reiter '17, Meaghan MacRae '18, Sean Segerblom '20, and Roger Dorr '18.

HWS Colleges, coached by Scott Ikle, finished second overall. Ikle was proud of his team for placing second after the exciting last three races of the weekend against Georgetown. “Collegiate match racing has come a long way and this weekend's top teams were all great competitors. All of the teams here were well prepared, which made it even more fun to be a part of."  Sailing for HWS Colleges was Greiner Hobbs '18, Sam Hallowell '16, Noah Barrengos '18, and Maya Weber '20.

Dartmouth College also had another great day of sailing, focusing on good handling and boat speed throughout each race. Though they were not able to beat Georgetown in the Semi-Finals, Coach David Thompson was happy to finish third after winning against College of Charleston in the Petite Final.

“It was bittersweet. We have three seniors on the boat; so placing in the top 3 was a good way to cap their season. I'm 90% positive that our skipper, Charlie, is going to keep match-racing in the future.  So, the match-racing world has not seen the last of him, that’s for sure!”

Representing Dartmouth College for the weekend was Charles Lalumiere '17, Nathaniel Greason '17, Rebecca McElvain '19 and Madeline Cooney '17. McElvain is currently the #8 women's match-racer in the U.S. and Lalumiere is the #6 match racer in the U.S. Sailing Match Race National open rankings.  For more College Sailing Match Race Nationals information

J/105s sailing BermudaDark’n’Stormy J/105 Bacardi Bermuda Invite
(Hamilton, Bermuda)- The prognosticators who sail Bermuda’s Great Sound (e.g. local knowledge) were convinced the weather forecast was perfect for this year’s Bacardi XL Catlin Bermuda Keelboat Invitational.  From November 17 to 19, Bermuda Weather Service, as well as the European Community Model Weather Forecast service (ECMWF), were in agreement that winds would be near gale force from the westerly quadrants for most of the weekend.  A “nice breeze” for locals, by the way, is 15-25 knots in this beautiful little island community about 635nm offshore southeast of Newport, RI.  For J/105 sailors, especially for those familiar with San Francisco Bay conditions, such breezes are just a “walk in the park” on a Sunday afternoon.  It really only begins to get a bit challenging when puffs start to peak into the 30-35 kts range, like that experienced in the recent J/105 North Americans in Larchmont, NY.

As the teams wandered down Thursday morning for the 0930 hrs skipper’s briefing at the Royal Bermuda YC regatta HQ, it was abundantly clear that weather conditions were bordering on the extreme end of the range.  The Bermuda Weather Service has four AWOS (automated weather observation systems) spread across their island nation from the west (little Pearl Island in the Great Sound) to the east (Bermuda Airport in St David’s).  Both locations were reporting steady 15-25 kt winds, gusting to 32 kts by 0930 hrs.  The forecast was for the breezes to increase to 20-30 kts, gusting to 40 kts by midday and abating back to 15-25 kts, gusting 30 by mid-afternoon.  After a harbor postponement was posted for the J/105, IOD and Etchells 22 classes, it became abundantly clear it was (a) a good decision to postpone and (b) the weather forecasts were, as usual, wrong.  By 11am, gusts at Pearl Island were in excess of 45 kts with intermittent rain squalls flooding the streets and there was no indication the “micro-low” positioned just north of Bermuda was slowing down anytime soon. So, by noon, the RBYC PRO canceled racing for the day.  Most teams made the most of their newfound “tourist pass” and went exploring all over the island, with many headed over to the famous Dockyards to take a tour of some America’s Cup bases- ORACLE Racing Team and Team SOFTBANK JAPAN. 

The regatta is a unique format.  It’s invitation-only.  Local Bermuda J/105 teams “invite” a non-Bermuda team to join them, so three “foreigners” join three “locals” to form a team of six crew.  Then, the skippers of each group (Bermuda/ foreigner) take turns skippering each race.  Awards are given for the top three Bermuda skippers, the top three foreign skippers, and for the overall team leaders.  It is a fun regatta format that produces copious amounts of camaraderie between the crews, particularly since the event sponsors include Bacardi.  In fact, the welcoming Captain’s Reception on Wednesday evening is truly a bacchanalian festival of feasts at Bacardi’s World Headquarters on the front street next to Royal Bermuda YC.

After Thursday’s race-day cancellation, the crews were anxious to get in some good racing since the forecasts had actually taken a turn for the worst.  There was a distinct possibility that a three-day event might turn into one-day’s racing only!  Friday dawned partly cloudy and sunny with a 10-12 kts westerly breeze caressing the Great Sound.  As the teams took off to get some early practice, it was evident it was going to be a difficult day to get in 4 to 5 races (the race day’s schedule).  The weather radar showed large cumulous formations with rainy, squally conditions beneath them marching across the horizon towards Bermuda, a by-product of two fronts colliding as they moved east.  Over the course of the day, the wind direction changed 70 degrees at least twice, and during the racing there was little rhyme or reason to the wind shifts as the cloud lines passed by, often producing 30-45 degree shifts per leg and at least twice per race!  Needless to say, it was a dilemma for most teams as the fleet kept splitting into “wolf packs” heading into corners of the race course upwind and downwind.

After four races on Friday, local Star World Champion, Peter Bromby’s team on AIRFORCE from the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club posted a very consistent 1-2-3-1 to take the lead with 7 pts total.  Just behind them was Jon Corless’s MAYHEM from Royal Bermuda YC posting a 4-3-2-3 for 12 pts and James McDonald’s PASSION from RBYC in third with a 3-7-1-2 for 13 pts.

Saturday dawned with one rain squall after another sweeping the Great Sound, truly another “dark’n’stormy” morning.  It was a rather foreboding weather forecast for even the most jaded offshore sailors.  Again, BWS and the ECMWF showed a Low depression 100nm to the north deepening and heading south (!) towards Bermuda over the course of the day before it took its “hockey stick” course off to the east by early evening.  Forecasted was a rapid increase of breeze from 10-20 kts to 20-35 kts, accompanied by massive rain squalls.  The RBYC PRO took no chances and simply postponed for one hour.  As expected, the weather did not improve at all and simply got dramatically worse, again.  At that point, the gig was up and it was time to put the boats away and celebrate the coronation of the winners of Friday’s racing by early afternoon.    For more Bacardi Keelboat Invitational sailing information

J/24 sailing off ItalyJ/24 ITALY Winter Series Report
(Taranto, Italy)- The J/24s in Italy continue to enjoy their annual winter series in the various fleets spread across the peninsula.  This past weekend, racing continued in Taranto, Anzio & Nettuno, and Portoferraio.  Here are their updates.

It was a good winter series start for Puglian J/24 sailor- Nino Soriano; he returned to racing after a brief absence with his ITA 427 JEBEDEE (co-skippered with Luca Gaglione).  At the end of the first day, they shared the lead with the same score (3 pts) with Thomas De Bellis Vitti’s ENG 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING.

The racing on Sunday was, in fact, the first of the eight days scheduled (November 20, December 4 and 18, January 22, February 5 and 19, March 5 and 19, for a total maximum of 24 tests).  Eleven J/24 crews are more determined more than ever to contend for the title.

Already, the protagonists for the winter series are rising to the top.  Nino Soriano explained, ”In 2016 ITA 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING, skippered by Thomas De Bellis Vitti, is riding a wave of wins and are hoping to continue that streak in the 2016/2017 winter series. They are a considerable force, have gotten expert training, and have become a more cohesive team with the highly-acclaimed Andrea Airò at the helm and are currently leading.  They are being chased hard by ITA 450 MARBEA, owned by Marcello Bellacicca and skippered by Tony Macina with 6 pts. Then, not far off the pace is ITA 429 DOCTOR J skippered by Sandro Negro, ITA 301 PICCOLO DIAVOLO sailed by Nando Capobianco, ITA 429 AMBRA skippered by Marc Arata, and ITS 355 BESTIA NERA skippered by Fabio Indovina.

The ideal weather conditions for the first day of the winter series in the Mar di Grande was well-organized and managed by the Circolo Velico Ondabuena Academy with assistance from Molo Sant'Eligio.

“Two beautiful races, lots of adrenaline and fun for the fleet, thanks to the short courses chosen by CVOA PRO,“ commented Nino Soriano.

J/24 sailing off Rome, ItalyPORTOFERRAIO
It was a great start for the second weekend of the Elbe Winter Cup, the offshore sailing championship organized by the Yacht Club Portoferraio.  For the first time, three J/24s are participating from the two historic clubs in Elba- Marciana Marina and Porto Azzuro.

For the first weekend there were many new faces, with several young crews arriving in Elba that were looking forward to the winter series.  At the start of the day, the racing was postponed due to the fact it was barely reaching 5 kts of breeze. However, by noon it had risen to 12 kts to produce great racing for the teams.

Sailing in the fleet is BE-BEEF skippered by Enrico Gamelunghe; getting the better of ZIO CELESTE sailed by Marco Marmeggi.  As always, BE-BEEF is leading the overall standings.  After a very nice day of racing, the fleet enjoyed their traditional spaghetti dinner at PIER G, accompanied by Elba Bianco Doc La Fazenda, partners of the event.  The next event is Sunday, December 4th.

J/24 sailing off Roma, ItalyANZIO & NETTUNO
The Anzio & Nettuno J/24 fleet in Rome sailed the third stage of their winter series, competing for the IX Memorial Stefano Pirini Trofeo.  The regatta PRO, Mario de Greneti, was able to provide the twenty-three boat fleet with two most excellent races.  The day’s wins were taken by ITA 447 PELLE NERA sailed by Paolo Cecamore and by JUKE BOX skippered by the Hungarian Miklos Rauschenberger.

Provisional results after the first day or racing (compiled after the first 2 races) saw JUKE BOX leading with a 2-1 for 3 pts with PELLE NERA in second.  Third place belonged to ITA 358 ARPIONE sailed by Michele Potenza with a 3-4 for 7 pts.  They are followed by two teams tied on 10 pts each- ITA 333 DAIQUIRI sailed by Fabrizio Sabatini with a 4-6 and ITA 487 AMERICAN PASSAGE with a 5-5.

The following day, it was a milder day with nearly calm seas.  The steady breeze of 10 kts from the southeast permitted three races to be sailed.  Three bullets by Ignazio Bonanno’s ITA 416 LA SUPERBA (with crew of Simone Scontrino, Alfredo Branciforte, Francesco Picaro and Vincenzo Vano) jumped into the overall lead for the regatta.  An increasingly determined ITA 447 PELLE NERA, owned by Paolo Cecamore and skippered by the 2014 Soling World Champion Farkas Litkey from Hungary, consolidated their second place position with a record of 1-4-3-4-3 for 11 pts net.  Leaping into third from sixth place the day before was ITA 428 PELLE ROSSA, skippered by Gianni Riccobono and sailing with tactician Sergio Strippoli, garnering a record of 10-5-2-2-4 for 13 pts.  Meanwhile, slipping from 3rd to 4th place was ITA 333 DAIQUIRI sailed by Fabrizio Sabatini and sitting in 5th place was Rome J/24 fleet captain Paolo Rinaldi.

The racing in the Gulf of Anzio will continue for the Trofeo Lozzi on December 4 & 18, January 15 & 29, February 12 & 26, and March 12th.  For more Italian J/24 class sailing information

J/24 ChileSeguel’s GURU Crowned Chilean J/24 Champion!
(Talcahuano, Chile)- Over the weekend of November 19th & 20th, the Chile J/24 class held their National Championship and it also served as the qualifying event for the J/24 South American Championship being sailed later in December in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

The J/24 fleet in Talcahuano hosted the regatta out of the Chilean Navy Base in Marina El Manzano.  Of note, this harbor was located at the center of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2010 that flooded coastal cities and harbors up to 8,000nm away!  The fleet and harbor have since recovered and have a growing fleet of J/24s in the last few years, now numbering a dozen boats!  Participating in this year’s event were several famous South American sailors, including Patricio Seguel, Matias Seguel, Vernon Robert, Raúl del Castillo and Carlos Pérez.

Racing started on Saturday for the fifteen-boat fleet that had participants from Talcahuano (10 teams) and Concepción (5 crews). The fleet was challenged by tricky, shifty northerly all day.  The wind was shifting from due north to the west and then back again during the course of three races held during the day.

From the very beginning, Matias Seguel’s GURU and Raul el Castillo’s LA BANCA were dueling for the top of the leaderboard. At the conclusion of racing, GURU was leading with a 2-2-1 for 5 pts with LA BANCA in second with a 3-4-2 for 9 pts.  Third position was held by Patricio Seguel’s MACH POINT with a 6-1-4.  Vernon Robert’s JOYITA could have been amongst the leaders with all top three finishes, but was DSQ’d in the second race to end up with a 1-DSQ-3.

At the end of the long day a burgers & beers party was offered at the Chilean naval base by the local fleet and with support of Navy people- led by Ricardo Vío, who is in charge of sailing development at the Marina, and Fernando González, owner JOTE, a local J/24.

For the second day of racing on the famous Talcahuano bay, well known for their strong thermal seabreezes, the fleet ended up having to camp out on the shoreline until the breeze built to a sailable level.  Around noon, the southwesterly seabreeze built quickly with winds blowing form 10-15 kts, gusting to 17 kts.  Three very good races were sailed to determine the championship.   Seguel’s GURU continued to dominate the regatta, sailing away with a 1-2-1 for an easy win with 7 pts net, throwing out a 2nd as his worst score!  The balance of the podium was a battle between el Castillo’s LA BANCA and Robert’s JOYITA.  Robert closed with a 2-4-4 but it was not enough to overcome el Castillo’s 4-1-6; both were tied at 14 pts each with LA BANCA taking 2nd overall and JOYITA third.  Rounding out the top five was Patricio Seguel’s MACH POINT in 4th just 1 pt out of third with 15 pts and fifth place was taken by Carlos Perez’s BUFFALO.

J/22s sailing Chesapeake BaySOLSTICE Eclipses J/22 Turkey Bowl
(Annapolis, MD)- The Severn Sailing Association held their annual pre-Thanksgiving regatta- the Turkey Bowl- in Annapolis, MD for the local J/22 fleet on the weekend of November 12th to 13th.

After enjoying a weekend of delightful racing on the Chesapeake Bay, the SSA PRO managed to run four races.  Taking the honors as Chief Turkey was the team on the mighty SOLSTICE, comprised of David Waiting, Natalie Burls and Pedro Espina with a record of 2-1-1-1 for 5 pts- a virtual eclipse of the fleet.  Second overall was determined on a tie-breaker at 12 pts each!  Taking the tiebreak was the crew of HOT TICKET with Jason Goscha, Jonah Seiger and Dan Wilson.  Losing based on having just all 3rds was Team VENTUS, with Scott Gelo, Jennifer Bickford, and Grant Beach on the rail. Sailing photo credits- Dan PhelpsFollow the J/22 Turkey Bowl social media here on Facebook  For more J/22 Turkey Bowl sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Ben Ainslie's America's Cup AC45 Land Rover BAR team winners* J/sailors leading America’s Cup!??  What do Ben Ainslie and Jimmie Spithill have in common?  Both have sailed various J/Boats over time.  Ben has raced J/80s and J/109s in the United Kingdom on the Solent (off Cowes) as well as down in Plymouth.  Jimmie moved to San Diego, CA after the last America’s Cup in San Francisco to settle down with his wife and friends.  In that process, Jimmie bought Dennis Conner’s J/105 #3 and renamed it “17”, Jimmie’s lucky number for all his sailboats.

In Fukuoka, Japan, Land Rover BAR, the British challenge headed by Olympic legend Ben Ainslie– won the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series with a first place finish at the final event in Japan. Ainslie’s team sailed extremely well to secure the overall title with a race to spare.

ORACLE TEAM USA and skipper Jimmy Spithill pushed hard, finishing ahead of BAR in the first race of the day, but Ainslie was able to post a 4, 2, 3 scoreline, and into the overall series win.

“This has been a goal for us for the whole season and for this event,” said Ainslie. “The guys have done an incredible job,” Ainslie said from the water following the second race of the day. For us as a new team it sends out a strong message for all our supporters that we can do it.”

For the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Fukuoka, it came down to a tiebreak with Land Rover BAR clawing into a tie with Artemis Racing in the final contest, and taking the regatta by virtue of a better result in the last race.

However, with attention shifting to Bermuda and the America’s Cup racing next year, the focus was on the overall title and bonus points it confers.

By taking first place on the overall Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series leaderboard, Land Rover BAR has collected two bonus points to carry forward into next year’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in Bermuda. With a second place finish on the overall leaderboard, ORACLE TEAM USA secured one bonus point for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers next year.

America's Cup AC45 foiling catamaransSir Ben commented on the weekend's racing, “It’s been an incredible day of racing and for our team, Land Rover BAR, to come out on top here in Fukuoka, Japan in the final race of the series, and to win the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, that was our goal and to achieve that is special for us. We are a completely new team, two and a half years ago we were a blank sheet back in Portsmouth in the UK and now, for our designers, our shore team and everyone back in the UK, it’s a real boost, so now we set our sights on Bermuda for the America’s Cup.

“Looking at this weekend, I think for all of us it’s what we love, when it gets aggressive. We had really good battles with Jimmy and with Emirates Team New Zealand and to go into that final race with the overall series sewn up, we were trying to get that bonus point off ORACLE TEAM USA and make life hard for them, but to their credit they did a good job of recovering.

“So, now we go ahead to next year. It is going to be neck and neck and I can see it being incredibly tight. I think the bonus points are going to be a factor next year. They’re 20% of the points on offer in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers so it’s definitely worth having them, but also, for a new organization like ours, we need to show that we can perform at the highest level, for our own team, or our partners and our supporters, to show them all that we have a team with the capability of winning the America’s Cup, and I think we’ve shown that.

“I think this series has showcased just how tight it’s going to be in Bermuda next year. The level of competition and the skillsets of the sailors have been phenomenal, and now we move into our own race boats, our own designs, and I think that’s going to be fascinating for all the fans to see.”  For more America’s Cup sailing information

Thomson's Hugo Boss IMOCA 60 sailboat* J/Sailors leading Vendee Globe!?  It’s all “glam” at the front of the fleet.   The phrase 'the rich get richer' has rarely been more fitting than when describing the current state of the Vendée Globe fleet in the third week of the solo round the world race.  Experienced J/sailors at the top include race leader Alex Thomson (HUGO BOSS), Morgan Lagravière (SAFRAN), and now up into 7th place- Jeane-Pierre Dick’s St MICHEL-BIRBACK.

The gap between the seven frontrunners and the 21 skippers trying desperately to keep up with them has turned from a gully into a chasm.  Life could not be much better for those at the head of the fleet; with winds of more than 30 knots transforming their 60ft IMOCA yachts into waterborne rockets blasting southeast at top speed. The frontrunners, led by Alex Thomson's Hugo Boss who had the biggest 24 hour tally of 492.4 nm, are due to arrive at the Cape of Good Hope, the southern tip of South Africa and the gateway to the Southern Ocean, on Friday, four days ahead of schedule.

Nevertheless, while the rich get richer, it stands that the poor get poorer. And those in the middle of the Vendee Globe fleet are among the hardest up, snared by the St Helena High with little sign of her relinquishing her grip.  Continue to follow these intrepid adventurers on the high seas here.

J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent "blogs" written by their prolific publishers.  Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You'll love it.

* The J/40 HERON REACH sailed by Virginia and Jerry is participating in the Blue Planet Odyssey project and have recently joined them in the Marquesas Islands in the Eastern Pacific.  Learn more about their adventures and experiences here-
Giant whale breaching in front of J/160 SALACIA off  Australia's Whitsunday Islands* J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands.  Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination?  A giant whale!  Look at this amazing photo!

J/42 cruiser- sailing across Atlantic Ocean* Jim & Heather Wilson just completed a circumnavigation of our "blue planet Earth" in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR.  Said Jim, "The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now.  We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell 'Painkiller' at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles). Read more about their adventures in their  well-documented blog here:

* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again, for 2015/ 2016!  We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR.   Alan sent us an email update regards their various improvements and refit to the boat (see above).  They will again be based at Proper Yachts in St John, US Virgin Islands.

Bill & Judy Stellin- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* Bill & Judy Stellin were interviewed about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called "Retiring on the Open Sea".  The Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ's Editor desks. Here's the update:

Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers' Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety

Wall St Journal interview- Stellin's Offshore cruising/ sailing retirementThe article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— "Retiring to the Open Sea"— prompted many questions and comments from readers.  We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.

WSJ- "What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?"

Bill- "In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.

Although long-distance cruising wasn't what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.

People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather."


* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel's big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand.  Their blog is here:

* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam after completion of their ARC Rally. Read the latest news at

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world's oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between.  Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).

-  Bill and Susan Grun on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (  Read about their latest adventures as they've gotten to New Zealand- "Avante Cruises the Pacific".

- Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog at  Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA), then to the South Pacific and New Zealand.  MANDALAY is back in San Francisco now, and in the J/World fleet--she is available for skippered charters, private instruction, and corporate/executive groups.