Wednesday, November 2, 2016

J/Newsletter- November 2nd, 2016

J/70s sailing in RussiaRussian J/70 Winter Series Announcement
(Sochi, Russia)- The winter season is not a reason to stop sailing, that is why the organizers of the new project- “J/70 Winter Series RADIO MONTE CARLO”- will be hosting fleet racing in J/70 one-design class yachts on the Black Sea.  FGBI "South Sports" in Sochi, a leading training center for the majority of the Russian Olympic team, is the organizer and will provide everything the yachtsmen need to participate in the four events from November 2016 to March 2017.

J/70 sailing off Russian Black Sea resort of SochiThe Sochi Winter Series will be a great opportunity for Russian sailing teams (or Europeans who wish to enjoy some fun training in the sun!) to continue training in the winter, keep in physical shape, develop well-coordinated teamwork, and be fully prepared for the upcoming 2017 Russian National Sailing League.  In fact, the first stage of the League will take place in Sochi in late March, plus all Russian Sailing League events will be sailed in the highly popular J/70 one-design class.  Therefore, training in Sochi all winter long will be very useful to any sailing club wishing to take part in the 2017 Russian sailing league program.

The Winter Series will consist of four stages:
  • Stage 1 - November 18-20
  • Stage 2 - January 27-29
  • Stage 3 - February 24-26
  • Finale - March 17-19
J/70s sailing off Sochi- Russia's Black Sea resortThe team may enter one (or all stages) of the series, except the Finale. The Finale will include the winners of each stage; nine teams in total will qualify from the first three stages.  If a team “places” in two or more stages, the next best team will qualify to participate in the Finale in March.

The schedule for each weekend follows:
  • Friday- orientation/ training program
  • Saturday- opening of the regatta, racing day, “Yacht” Dinner for the teams
  • Sunday - racing day, regatta awards
Cost of participation: 50,000 rubles (approx. $800.00 USD)- that includes the team entry fee, boat rental, all on-water and social activities (without flight and accommodations).

The first phase starts in November! Reserve soon! For any questions please contact Anna Zenkina- email- or ph# +7 (916) 993-36-95

Famous Russian J/70 sailorIf you are contemplating participating, here are Five Reasons to go to Sochi this winter:
  1. Everyone’s favorite fleet to sail in Russia- the J/70 speedster!
  2. Sochi ( sail the warm Black Sea, palm trees, an evening yacht dinner along the coast with friends and family.
  3. Opportunity to take multiple breaks in the long winter season in a beautiful resort!
  4. The most beautiful women & men of the Russian Sailing Federation waiting to serve you!
  5. Arrive on Friday, sail-training on Saturday and Sunday- easily fits your work schedule!
For more Russian J/70 Winter Series RADIO MONTE CARLO sailing information.

San Diego Pt Loma and Hot Rum courseHot Rum Race I Preview
(San Diego, CA)- Twenty-seven J/Teams (24% of the 115 boat fleet) will be racing one of the West Coast’s most famous “pursuit-style” events this coming weekend on Saturday November 5th- the three weekend-long Hot Rum series, hosted by San Diego YC.  “Pursuit” racing is a “fun-for-all” format, where the slowest boats start first, fastest last, and the winners for each class determined by who crossed the finish line first.  In most cases, if the classic WNW breeze is “on” at the noon-time starts, the fleet is sent off on a fast reach to the last channel marker offshore of Point Loma (red buoy #6 4.0nm from the start), turn left down to the next buoy (or a drop buoy), then charge back home 5.5 to 7.0nm upwind to the finish line inside the North Island breakwater.

J/120 sailing SDYC Hot Rum seriesLooking forward to the fun and festivities associated with the races are a huge cross-section of J/teams- ranging from the classics (like J/22s, J/24s, J/27s, J/29s, J/30s, J/35s, etc) to the latest in the offshore sportboat/ sprit range (J/70s, J/80s, J/105s, J/120s, J/125s and so on).

Racing is all based on PHRF Random-leg handicapping.  The eight J/105s and five J/120s will have one-design awards, in addition to competing in their appropriate PHRF classes.  The balance of J/crews will be distributed amongst the PHRF fleets top to bottom.

Not surprisingly, several of the top crews from over the past few years in the J/105 will be looking forward to this annual bash- it’s virtually impossible to handicap this group since all have won something over the years.  Those teams include Dennis Case’ WINGS, Rick Goebel’s SANITY, Steve & Lucy Howell’s BLINK, Dag Fish’s VIGGEN, Stew Cannon’s J-OK, and newcomer Tim Fuller’s STEADFAST.

For the J/120s, the usual cast of characters will be lined up to take aim for the top of the podium.  Who will it be this year?? Depends on the crew and execution.  Amazingly, it changes a lot each year based on who’s got the “mojo” to make it happen.  Of course, Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER springs to mind as a talented team, but so does Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY, John Laun’s CAPER, Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN, and Rudolph Hasl’s HASL FREE.

J/70 sailing Hot Rum SeriesIn the small boat handicap class, the two J/70s (Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR & Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU) will be fast out of the gate, but Scott Biddick’s J/22, David Cattle’s J/27 BLACKADDER, and Robert Noe’s J/30 MAD HATTER all start ahead of the 70s and may be in a better position to hold them off at the finish!  However, given “planing-mode” conditions going offshore for the first two legs, watch out!  You may see J/70s winning the entire race overall!

In the big boat classes, watch for Scott Grealish’s insanely-fast J/88 BLUE FLASH take on the twin J/125s (Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE & Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER), the twin J/124s (Seth Hall’s MARISOL & Tim Harmon’s CIRRUS), Steve Carter’s J/109 GERONIMO, Doug Jorgensen’s J/111 PICOSA, and Fred Hawes’ J/46 ANONA.  If there was ever a division where “anything can happen”, then this is the one to watch!

Post-race festivities at San Diego YC are quite remarkable.  It all starts with SDYC Chefs on the dock serving hors d’ouerves, hot rum toddies, Ballast Point beer and good Lord knows what else.  Now, that is stylin’!! Is it any wonder that sailors show up with casts of thousands to enjoy the post-race “social activities”??  Sailing photo credits- San Diego YC.   For more SDYC Hot Rum Series sailing information

J/105s sailing off Seattle on Puget SoundSeattle’s Round County Race Preview
(Seattle, WA)- For many regattas, participant numbers are a mere shadow of their former glory. However, there are two events with a similar racing format that have been selling out (SELLING OUT!) for the past few years in Seattle- the Orcas Island Yacht Club/Friday Harbor Sailing Club’s “Round the County Race” and the Sloop Tavern Yacht Club’s “Race to the Straits”!!  Over one hundred boats participate in each event. Hundreds of sailors have an awesome time. The registration limit gets reached earlier and earlier every year. So, why do these thrive while others struggle, despite best efforts of good sailors and dedicated volunteers? According to Joe Cline at 48 North, the answer is “the Destination Wedding Principle!”

According to Joe, “I can remember watching a YouTube clip of Ken Read (top-notch American J/24, Etchells 22, Volvo Ocean Race, and America’s Cup racer) talking at a conference a couple of years back. He was beating the drum about prioritizing comfort, fun, and variety in racing. He was saying that a few hours of racing is the right amount. He was also encouraging a move away from simple windward-leeward courses. I tend to agree with many of Read’s ideas. And, I’d say that ‘Round the County’ and ‘Race to the Straits’ align with his philosophy, and that it’s a big part of their success.

Our regional distance classics are races that require sailing into or through the night. Royal Victoria’s Swiftsure is the most notable, but West Vancouver Yacht Club’s ‘Southern Straits’, and the Seattle Yacht Club’s ‘Smith Island/Protection Island Races’ are all in this mold, with distances between 80 and 120 miles. By contrast, both ‘Round the County’ and ‘Race to the Straits’ are two-day mid-distance races. Each race departs from a sailing hotspot on Saturday, and sends the boats on a course through breathtaking Salish Sea scenery for a distance around 30 miles. Each race spends the night in the middle partying in a quaint and picturesque locale. Partying- - as in nobody is going home, nobody has to take the dog for a walk, nobody’s checking on the kids, and nobody has to go to work tomorrow- - just partying. That doesn’t necessarily mean alcohol fueled, though we are sailors and for many it does. On Sunday morning of ‘Race to the Straits’ or ‘Round the County’, you pry your eyes open, and head right out on the water for another 30-mile sail home.

J/crews sailing off SeattleIt’s kind of the dream, isn’t it? Have you ever left a destination wedding having had a bad time? All your friends are hanging out, and real-life obligations are suspended while you’re in some temporary, far-off utopia. You get to see people you know in a different context (like Hollywood star Charlize Theron seen at right). I’d say I seldom encounter someone who is anything but floored that they spent their weekend doing ‘Race to the Straits’ or ‘Round the County’. People eat it up– they get to catch up with more people from different boats, and they don’t muck up their sleep schedule as they freeze their way through overnight watches. I love those tough distance races and want to see them thrive, too. But, is it as fun as those with an overnight stop? The numbers are beginning to say no, and so do I.

‘Round the County’ is a loop course around the San Juan Islands. These waters, most often thought of as cruising grounds, become an extraordinarily fun racing venue in early November. The day-one start and day-two finish are off of Lydia Shoal on the east side of Orcas Island in Rosario Strait. The direction around the islands (clockwise, counterclockwise) switches each year. This year, the fleet of fully crewed race boats went counterclockwise, a direction that traditionally affords a bit more downwind sailing, and Saturday delivered with 30 knots and a lightning quick transit for those who avoided shredded sails or worse. Regardless of the direction, you can be sure you will be sailing a variety of points of sail, allowing different designs to capitalize, and rewarding those who most quickly recognize the changes in pressure, wind direction, or tidal currents. You wind up flying a bunch of your sails: there will be reaching sections, under jib and spinnaker, to complement the windward and running legs.

For what started with, and maintains, a good-time dynamic, Round the County’s fleet runs the gamut. This year, there were three TP 52s and a Reichel/Pugh 55 leading the way in the IRC fleet. The variety of boats from the US and Canada range in size from 24’ to 70’.  And, there is an enormous fleet of enthusiastic members of the J/tribe that join the festivities.

Regardless of the direction, day one always finishes just outside of the fairytale hamlet of Roche Harbor. The boats drop sail and head into this one-of-a-kind port. During the summer, this historical lime-quarry-turned-resort community can feel a little touristy, but the cute quaintness of the town has the perfect vibe when it is otherwise empty and overrun by happy sailors in early November. A floating tent party on the dock with provided beer and cookies, as well as BBQs set up for your crew to grill their own dinner, make the party unpretentious and, in my opinion, kind of perfect.

Day two completes the loop around San Juan County. Just like at a destination wedding, those nursing hangovers may be a little green as Sunday gets rolling. There’s not a lot of fanfare at the finish, and though there’s a generous awards dinner at Orcas Island Yacht Club on Sunday evening, I’ve never attended. The party was Saturday night, Monday is a workday, and those of us from Seattle have a two-hour drive (or a 8+ hour delivery) home.

J's sailing offshore of SeattleIf you think of inland or coastal distance racing like I do, geographic landmarks divide the course. It creates a bunch of little races – to the next point, to the tide line, through the pass. The chase start promotes fun and competitive racing in these little micro-races, regardless of your class or division. I find this helps me focus and increases my enjoyment. “Can we catch those guys by the turn at Patos Island? Can we keep that boat behind us until Double Bluff? etc.” It really makes it fun, and enriches my personal experience of a distance race.

Both Round the County and Race to the Strait aggregate the results over the two days. So, if you crush it one day, you’re definitely in the hunt even if the other doesn’t afford the same conditions or good fortune.

In a region where you can still go out and compete with Olympians and pros in boats big and small, the fun-focused stuff continues to tip the scales. I love to sail, and I really love to race. I usually prefer to line up against best competition, to learn as much as possible and raise my game. But, not everybody enjoys this. And these two-day, stopover events illustrate that everybody, myself included, seems to love a feel-good, mid-distance race with an epic party among friends in the middle. It’s as good as a destination wedding, only with a truly compelling activity on either side.

This idea is absolutely applicable in a cruising setting, too. Flotillas, rallies, and rendezvous events, whether organized by a club or your pals, give you the same ability to share an experience. So, as we look ahead to a great season of sailing in the Pacific Northwest, don’t just go sailing. Live large, join fun events like these, and bring your friends.”

The event also attracts its stars- is this Charlize Theron- sailor gurl (see above)?!!  Maybe.  ;)  No matter what, there are squadrons of J/sailors looking forward to peeling back the eyelids in the morning, rolling out of bed, brewing up the Navy-style “cup of joe” (e.g. mud), and wandering down to the docks for a gorgeous day on the water with the rest of the J/tribe!  At least, that’s the plan.  Someday’s it’s sunny.  Other’s not so much.  It’s the fall, after all in the Pacific Northwest.  Anything goes. Everyone prays for that perfect day- Mariner’s win, Seahawks win, it’s the fall, it’s October, sun’s out, wind’s up, and all’s good.

Looking forward to that scenario are the following J’s in ORC Class, John McPhail’s J/160 JAM, John Tenneson’s J/145 JEDI, and Shawn Dougherty & Jason Andrews’ J/125 HAMACHI.  Chasing them in the PHRF classes will be over two dozen J’s.  In PHRF Class Zero are two J/111s (Graeme Clendeman’s 65 RED ROSES & Kevin Welch’s RECON), Andy & Jamie Mack’s J/122 GRACE, Brian Duchin & Kelsey Sheldon’s J/133 TANGO, and Kyle Caldwell & Jamie Thomas’ J/44 ASYLUM- a clash of the J/classics against the J/newbies!

There is an interesting dynamic shaping up in PHRF Class 1- five J/109s vs three J/120s!  Good grief.  That will be a battle in the trenches and highly dependent on breeze direction and pressure!  And, just about as impossible to determine how it will all shake out!  Nevertheless, expect to see some of the top teams on the leaderboard someplace- Stu Burnell & Joe James’ J/109 TANTIVY, Mark Hansen’s J/109 MOJO, John Peterson’s LEGACY, Bob Brunius’ J/120 TIME BANDIT, and Lou Bianco’s CROSSFIRE.

J/35 sailing off SeattlePHRF Class 2 might as well be called the battle of the six J/35s vs the “rest of the world”; the rest of their classmates cannot be happy about that pairing!  It is the largest turnout of J/35s in the Pacific Northwest in quite some time; those teams include Chad & Anna Stenwick’s THE BOSS, Tyson Varosyan’s SOLUTION, Walt Meagher & John Sanford’s SUNSHINE GIRL, Jason Vannice & Hans Seegers’ ALTAIR, Karl Haflinger’s SHEARWATER and Don Butler’s INTREPID.

Similarly, the same scenario is playing out in PHRF Class 3 with a bunch of J/mercenaries taking on 20+ other competitors, perhaps one of the most competitive classes in the event.  J/crews that are tackling them include three J/105s (Ed Wilder’s AVALANCHE, Jim Geros & Mike Campbell’s LAST TANGO, & Eric Hopper/ Schenk/ Davis on FREE BOWL OF SOUP- notably, ALL famously successful boats!), Brian Lawrence’s J/33 KEET, and Marc Frazer & Chris White’s J/88 BON BINI.  Given all the notorious “stop & go” driving in the islands, it might be prudent to double-down on the J/88 at the betting parlor (this presumes these guys know how to race, of course!).

In a “battle of the classics”, PHRF Class 4 could easily turn into a “donnybrook” between the fastest, mercenary-like J/29s versus the “family cruisers” on the venerable J/30s.  People forget how fast a well-sailed J/30 can go, 30+ years henceforth from its humble origins on Narragansett Bay!  Against 17 competitors, these 29 & 30 crews are no “shrinking violets”!  Leading the charge home on elapsed should be the three J/29s (Pat Denney’s HERE AND NOW, John Kazaras & Jessica Aguilar’s RUBY, & Mike Reams’ NATURAL MYSTIC) followed by the two J/30s (Theo Singelis’ TAKU & Jim Bottles’ CELEBRATION).  However, how it all shakes out on handicap will be up to the twist and turns of the fabled “chutes & ladders” of sailing around the islands!   Sailing Photo credits- Jan Anderson   Round the County Facebook page  For more Seattle YC Round The County sailing information

J/24s sailing South AmericaJ/24 South Americans Announcement
(Punta del Este, Uruguay)- The Yacht Club Punta del Este, in Punta del Este, Uruguay, will be hosting the 2016 J/24 South American Championship from December 6th to 11th on the gorgeous waters at the opening of the Rio de la Plata.  The sailors often experience surging south Atlantic swells born by gales swirling in the Roaring Forties not that far south.  As one of South America’s most famous “playgrounds” for the rich and famous, it is also a fun beach community and the YC Punta del Este does a wonderful job of rolling out the red carpet for the J/24 class, now sailing in Uruguay for over 30 years!

According to Fleet Captain Pedro Garra from Montevideo, “this will be yet another exciting Championship for J/24s in South America.  We have commitments for at least twenty-two boats that are coming from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Perú and Uruguay!”   For more J/24 South American Championship sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The Halloween weekend always brings many surprises around the world in the form of costumes as well as outcomes in various regattas.  Starting in the Americas, the weekend slate was full with events taking place from coast-to-coast.  Out West, it was the Great Pumpkin Regatta headlining all activities in San Francisco Bay, with scores of J sailors dressing up and enjoying a rather epic weekend of breeze in J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, J/92s, J/105s, J/111s and so forth.  South of them in San Diego, CA, the San Diego YC was hosting the Lipton Cup for twelve yacht clubs in a matched fleet of J/105s.  Moving to the south, the Lakewood YC hosted their enormously popular J/Fest Southwest on Galveston Bay for one-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, and PHRF handicap for J/27, J/29, J/92, J/109s and J/122s.  Out East, there were epic conditions (good and bad) for everyone sailing on Chesapeake Bay!  Those events included the J/24 East Coast Championship hosted by Severn Sailing Association.  They also hosted the J/22 Mid-Atlantic Coast Championship.  Literally next door, the Annapolis YC hosted the J/105 Chesapeake Bay Champs and the J/35 Mid-Atlantic Coasts.

Hopping across the Big Pond to Europe, there were finales for two J/70 sailing league events in Germany and the J/80 fleet in France.  The Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga Finale took place in Hamburg, Germany on the gorgeous Alster Lake, hosted by the Flensberger SC in a fleet of matched J/70’s.  Earlier, the Deutsche Junior Segel-Bundesliga Finale was sailed in Kohlfleet, Germany hosted by Muhlenberger Segel-club.  Then, south of them along the coastline of the Bay of Biscay, the French J/80 Nationals were raced off Pornic, France; it also marked the conclusion of the J/80 Coupe de France 2016!

Across “La Manche” (aka the "English Channel"- depends on who you're talking to!), the sailors in the United Kingdom were enjoying their fourth weekend of sailing the annual Hamble Winter Series, as well as the Hamble One-Design Championship and the Hamble Big Boat Series.  It was a busy weekend on the Solent!

Finally, in the Far East, it was the annual China Cup Regatta, an incredibly popular event that was sailed on Daya Bay, Shenzhen, China for one-design J/80s and IRC classes with a J/109 and J/111 participating.

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:

Nov 5- Hot Rum Race I- San Diego, CA
Nov 5-6- Round County Race & Regatta- Seattle, WA
Nov 12- J/22 Turkey Bowl- Annapolis, MD
Nov 17-19- Bacardi Bermuda Keelboat Invitational- Hamilton, Bermuda
Nov 19- Hot Rum Race II- San Diego, CA
Nov 19-20- J/22 Jamaican Nationals- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 3- Hot Rum Race III- San Diego, CA
Dec 3-4- J/22 Jammin’ Jamaica Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Jan 15-23- Quantum Key West Regatta- Key West, FL
Feb 10-12- J/24 Midwinters- Indian Harbour Beach, FL

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

J/70s sailing German Bundesliga on Alster Lake in Hamburg, GermanyDeutscher Touring YC Triumphant in German Sailing League Finale
(Hamburg, Germany)- The final outcome of the 2016 German Sailing League was not without its drama.  The favorites for the regatta were the Deutscher Touring YC, but they faltered on the 2nd and 3rd day of the regatta.  Nevertheless, in the end the Tutzinger team held on by a thread to win the title for the second time- crowned as champions with the Robbe & Berking Trophy!

"It is a great relief and we are very happy about the title and the repeat win. Yesterday and today did not work well for us, so we had to fight all the more today. The field is strong and the conditions on the Alster were partly difficult. Today, we will be celebrating properly with the whole team," said Patrick Follmann.  Sailing with him were the crew of Steuermann Julian Stückl, Jonas Vogt and Luis Tarabochia.

J/70 German Sailing League winnersIn the last regatta of the year, the DTYC finished in tenth place!  In fact, they nearly blew their enormous lead they had going into the finale on the beautiful Alster Lake in Hamburg's gorgeous park-like setting.  The team was so out of sync, they did not even qualify for the Final Six finale on Sunday!

The victory in Hamburg went to Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee, the team consisted of Malte Kamrath, Tim Elsner, Jens Steinborn and Julian Bergemann.  Taking second for the weekend was the Düsseldorf Yacht Club with crew of Julian Stuckl, Patrick Follmann, Jonas Vogt, and Luis Tarabochia.  Finally, rounding out the top three was Segel-und Motorboot Club Uberlingen with the team of Tino Mittlemeier, Sven Hebberger, Frederik Schaal, and Christian Zittlau.

J/70s sailing Hamburg, GermanyAs a result of the Hamburg finale, DTYC won the six regatta series with a total of 21 pts, just two points clear of VSaW.  The big jump came for the balance of the top five.  Leaping into the bronze position on the podium was Bayerischer YC with 38 pts, sneaking past Lindauer Segler-club by one point.  LSC had a strong start for the overall title, posting a 3-4-2-2 and were easily in contention, sitting just one point back from DTYC.  However, two disastrous results in Kiel (14th) and Hamburg (14th) dropped them off a cliff into fourth place.

Similarly, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein rode a crazy roller-coaster scoreline all season, winning the first regatta in Starnberg, then disappearing off the map in Konstanz (12th) and Travemunde (16th), then climbing back into a decent finish with a 2-4 in the last two events.  It was a drama-filled event for the top five since where you placed determined the entire outcome for the season.  While the winners were dancing and showering in champagne, the rest of the top five were swimming in beer, thankful, for the most part, for their good fortunes!  Sailing photo credits- Lars Wehrmann  Follow the German Sailing League on Facebook  For more J/70 German Sailing League information

J/70 Junior League winners- GermanyBavarian YC Wins Deutscher Junior Sailing League Finale
(Kohlfleet, Germany)- For the Junior Sailing League finale in Germany, a premiere event took place in two ways: 1) the junior sailing league for Under 21 sailors was held for the first time in the northern part of Germany using the one-design J/70 fleet; and 2) the Köhlfleet was almost unknown as a sailing center, but the organizing authority- Mühlenberger Segel-Club- made the decision to explore new terrain and bring this exciting sailing format to more sailors.

In cooperation with the Elbseglervereinigung, the participating teams were able to offer an almost perfect environment and the spectators “sailing sport” literally right off the shore.  Just dozens of yards away from the beautiful town squares, the teams passed by with their brightly colored spinnakers.  It was poetry in motion, as they say, simply spectacular views for everyone onshore.

J/70 Junior League sailing in GermanyIn total, 15 races were completed with moderate winds and bright sunshine. Numerous leadership changes kept the tension high. In the end, the local champions from the Mühlenberger Segel-club (Jacob Ahlers, Anton Schroeder, Tom Luis Schönfeldt and Moritz Jung) clearly dominated their guests from Flensburg.  The MSC crew enjoyed their great victory and the obligatory champagne shower!

Behind the Bavarian Yacht-Club winners were Potsdamer YC in second and the Württembergischer YC in third.

Thanks to the support of the Heinz-Nixdorf club, as well as Frosta, Deutsche See, Carroux Caffee, Clown Sails and Budweiser, the teams that were on the scene experienced a great kick-off event for the North region. It turned out that even the teams from smaller clubs, who first sailed the J/70s in the regatta, were quick learners and quite competitive at the end. It was apparent everyone had fun, the camaraderie was excellent between the sailors and all are looking forward to 2017! The Junior Sailing League Rocks!   Deutscher Junior Sailing League YouTube video summary  Sailing photo credits- Lars Wehrmann   For more J/70 German Sailing League information

J/105 Lipton Cup winners- Newport Harbor YCNewport Harbor Wins Lipton Cup!
(San Diego, CA)- The 102nd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup, San Diego Yacht Club’s signature fall regatta, was sailed on October 28-30, 2016. Twelve teams from around the country sailed the full round-robin of twelve races in evenly matched J/105s generously supplied by their owners. Representing the California contingent were Cabrillo Beach YC, California YC, Coronado YC, Long Beach YC, Newport Harbor YC, San Diego YC, San Francisco YC, Southwestern YC, and St. Francis YC.  Representing the East Coast were Eastern YC, Larchmont YC, and New York YC.

The song remained the same this year, with the three protagonists from the past three years dueling one another for the ultimate honor of being crowned Lipton Cup Champion.  All weekend-long, it was a mighty battle between Newport Harbor, St Francis and 2015 winners- San Diego.  In the end, the Newport Harbor team comprised of skipper Jon Pinckney, Bill Menninger, Michael Menninger, Greg Helias, JP Peschelt, and Peter Kinney, were crowned 2016 Lipton Cup Champions.  It was a very successful week for the Newport Harbor gang, the previous weekend it was Bill Menninger winning the International Masters Regatta with Pinckney as tactician!

New York YC J/105 crew at Lipton Cup in San DiegoDay One- Friday
In contrast to some pre-event forecasts, the breeze filled in nicely on Friday.  After a delay of about 20 minutes, races one and two began in 8 knots of wind with a battle between the California teams at the top of the fleet. Newport Harbor Yacht Club (NHYC), San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC), and St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC) finished in the first three places in race one, and the three were tied for first place overall after race two. NHYC pulled out the win for race one and race three later on in the day, helping to solidify themselves as the day one leaders.

Jon Pinckney from NHYC said his strategy behind winning the first race was to "stay in the pressure and stay out of the other guys’ bad air. We just tried to get a clean start with clean air and we’ll try to do that for the next 11 races.”

Jon is no stranger to the San Diego Bay, having participated in SDYC's Masters Regatta last weekend. However, Jon said there is a difference between the Masters Regatta and the Lipton Cup this weekend. "This weekend is far more intense than last weekend. There’s more pressure. We keep coming to this event every year, and we were third two years ago and second last year. Last weekend was great, but the pressure is on for this weekend. It was good to get a win in the first race and get some of that pressure off.”

Larchmont Yacht Club won the second race after finishing eighth in the first race. Larchmont YC was the first team from out of state to win a race. Eastern Yacht Club in Massachusetts, another out of state team, finished second in race three.

After a brief delay, the course was changed slightly for race four once the wind speed was up to 7-8 knots. Though StFYC started out with the lead, Southwestern Yacht Club (SWYC) passed them on the first downwind leg and kept the lead to win race four.

Shala Youngerman, the skipper of the SWYC team, contributes her win to breathing and communicating well with her team. “I think the big strategy was that my tactician said 'don’t forget to breathe'. Breathing is very important. We got a nice, clean start and we were really, really patient to make sure that we didn’t tack too much or didn’t turn the boat too much. We kept our communication clear.”

J/105s rounding markDay 2- Saturday
Saturday was a picturesque day of racing. With bright, sunny skies and winds between 7 and 10 knots throughout the afternoon, the Race Committee ran five races and the competition stayed equally fierce throughout each race. San Diego Bay was packed with activity, from a Lipton Cup spectator fleet, to the Cortez Racing Association Halloween Regatta competitors, to kite-boarders practicing foiling and jumps.

Three of the twelve teams participating in this year's Lipton Cup are from the East Coast. Danny Pietsch, the skipper from Larchmont Yacht Club, is happy to be sailing in San Diego's warm weather for this event. “We’re from New York, but we love coming to San Diego- the weather, the people, the event itself. This is our second time at the Lipton Cup. We had a blast last year and were pumped to be invited back this year."

Feeding off the great weather and the bay energy was host club San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) who were tied with Newport Harbor Yacht Club (NHYC) for first overall going into the last race. According to SDYC's skipper, Tyler Sinks, “The last race went well- we got second. We were shooting for top three, so we were pretty happy with the finish.”  That second place finish moved SDYC from second place to first place overall at the end of the day.

Most racers attributed their success to good starts and staying on the left side of the course where there was more pressure and strong ebb current in the main shipping channel. Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) raced well today, finishing second in race five. After race five, skipper Shane Young reflected on his performance, "We did well. We had a tough time holding our lane off the start. The first run we caught a lot of boats, held on to the lead and stayed in the pressure. We ended up in second."

Young claims that his strategy on the downwind legs is a secret, but whatever he's doing is working because LBYC won race eight, and they are in fourth place overall after day two.

After a general recall during race six, NHYC started with a great lead, which they successfully maintained throughout the whole race to the finish line. Coronado Yacht Club, who is essentially racing in their own backyard, won race seven.

St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC) had the most wins of the day, bookmarking their afternoon with winning race five and race nine. Perhaps StFYC skipper, Chris Raab, was trying to get off the water as quickly as possible to get ready for one of his favorite Lipton Cup traditions- the Saturday night dinner.  Raab says, "We started with a bullet and we ended with a bullet. We had a couple things go haywire in between, but we had a good team effort across the board. It was a great day for us and now we’re excited for the greatest party of all at SDYC!”

J/105 team- St Francis YC at Lipton CupDay 3- Sunday
The regatta ended dramatically on Sunday under ominous clouds and light rain. Despite challenging wind directions on San Diego Bay, the Race Committee ran three races, completing all twelve scheduled races for the weekend, meaning every team competed in each of the supplied J/105s with identically-matched sail inventories.

Newport Harbor Yacht Club (NHYC) won the first two races and even though they finished ninth in the third race, they were able to keep their overall lead and win the regatta by one point. NHYC finished third in 2014 and second in 2015, so it was game on to see if they could pull off the win this year.

The first race of the today was between Coronado Yacht Club (CorYC) and NHYC. CorYC was leading until the second weather mark when NHYC moved into first place, with a clean spinnaker hoist. Race two was a Southern California battle between San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC), Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) and NHYC who were all neck and neck at the beginning of the race. LBYC passed SDYC on a tack and maintained their lead around the second weather mark and downwind to the finish.

Pinckney shared how he was successful both today and during the whole weekend. "We fought really hard and we had a really good team. I think one of keys was whenever we were down in the race, we were able to come back. There were two races we didn’t, but there were also a lot of other races when we did. The first two races today we started well, but the last race we had to battle once again. When you’re battling you have to rely on your whole team and everyone was really good.”

The skies opened up and it started raining for the final race of the day at 3pm in about 9 knots of wind. Almost the whole fleet rounded the first weather on top of each other, but St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC) managed to break in front of the fleet and keep the lead until the finish. StFYC's win of the last race moved them up to a second place finish overall and just one point away from the overall win.  Finishing second in the race was San Francisco YC and taking third was Brian Keane’s team from New York YC.

StFYC's skipper, Chris Raab, knew where he needed to finish going into the last race. "I was thinking about how badly I screwed up in race eleven, so I knew we had to win the last race. It was an interesting race since SDYC and NHYC were so close. My strategy was to get ahead of NHYC, because once we get ahead, we stay strong and nobody catches us. So that's what we did."

J/105s starting at Lipton Cup in San DiegoDuring the awards ceremony, Pinckney reflected on his overall win, ”It feels really good. It's been a long time coming."  Pinckney commented further, “it’s hard sailing in the corner (of San Diego Harbor).  I mean, with the tide ebbing like crazy, if you don’t win the pin, you’re like shot out the back into the pack.  Life’s tough when that happens.  Rabo (Chris Raab) and Sinks (SDYC) really fought hard to get that pin end start, you saw that!  Sinks even rolled up his jib just to hang there head to wind- that’s how desperate they were to start at the pin. It’s crazy, man. Just plain crazy. Gotta fix that somehow, maybe skew the line about 10 degrees!  Then, today, with that breeze coming from the north and the rain?  Wow, we nearly got roasted.  And, putting the weather marks in under the hotels (Sheraton) or under that restaurant creates complete chaos.  Boats stalled at the weather mark with other’s flying in from both laylines makes for a scary scenario, we’re just happy to get out of there each time without getting hit!  In any event, kudos to San Diego YC, they run a great event and their volunteers are simply awesome!”

The Lipton Cup would like to thank its sponsors: Ballast Point, Helly Hansen, North Sails, Pacific Gate San Diego & Zeal Optics. And special thanks to the local J/105 owners for lending their boats to make this regatta possible.  For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information

J/80s sailing off FranceCOURRIER JUNIOR Crowned French J/80 Champion
GANJA Wins J/80 Coupe de France Series!
(Pornichet, France)- From October 29th to November 1st, sixty-two J/80 teams from across France and Spain were treated to an amazing four days of wind and sun; an event that will be long remembered for its amazing organization, thanks to Club Nautique APCC Voile Sportive, and the incredible sailing conditions!  Ten races were sailed in offshore winds (East/ Northeast) between 6 and 15 knots, with extremely tactical conditions. The races were sailed hard by the entire fleet.  In fact, every race had multiple general recalls, resulting in every start taking place under the nasty black flag.

J/80 Courrier Junior wins French NationalsFor the victors (see at right), the suspense and anxiety were tremendous all weekend.  Before the final race, the DONG FENG team (with skipper Charles Caudrelier) was leading Eric Brezellec’s COURRIER JUNIOR.  But, winning the last race assured Brezellec’s COURRIER JUNIOR team (Nicolas Richard, Christian Ponthieu, Herve Corlay & Julie Richeux) of the overall victory; winning four of the ten races to be crowned 2016 French National Champion.  A last race 12th dropped DONG FENG into the silver position for skipper Caudrelier and crew of Thomas Rouxel, Matthieu Salomon, and Erwan Israel.  Rounding out the podium was the Spanish team from Barcelona- GOLD SAILING with the team of Iker Almandoz, Ponte Borja, Inigo Sanchez and Jauregui Inigo. The rest of the top five included Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT in 4th place and Baptiste Choquenet’s CO-PILOTES in 5th position.  Top women skipper was Maxime Rousseaux’s CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES in 8th place.

Caudrelier from DONG FENG commented, "I do not know much about the J/80 or the regatta format, but I know the bay quite well, having sailed here when I was young! So, we're happy with second place here. Congratulations to everyone: my team-mates, including Erwan (Israel) who was a great tactician, bravo to the competitors and the organization, and of course to the winner- Eric Brezellec and crew!”

J/80 women sailors in FranceCoupe de France Honors
As a result, the combination of the Nationals in Pornichet, the Women’s Cup at APCC Voile Sportive  (video summary here), and the five events in the J/80 Coupe de France 2016 meant the final awards could be made for the top French teams in five categories- Overall Champion, Club Champion, Women’s Champion, Juniors Champion and Masters Champion.

The Coupe de France Trophy goes to Luc Nadal’s GANJA from NDC Voile Angers with a total of 312 pts (high point scoring).  Second overall was Sylvain Pellisier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE for YC Crouesty with 292 pts, just two points in from of Frederic Hauville’s TETHYS from Ecole Navale Marine Brest.  Rounding out the top five were Capucine Vitel (top woman skipper) with partner Damian Micheller on GRIOTTE/ VITEL J80 SAILING TEAM from YC St-Quay Portrieux in fourth position and Ludovic Gilet’s NUMERO J from YC Pornic in fifth place.

J/80s sailing French NationalsFinally, you cannot overlook the exceptional attendance of Jacques Hubert (EOS - St Cast) who participated in all the circuit races to place 7th overall, a level unmatched since 2007 (at that time the circuit had only 5 races) by any other French J/80 team!

In the “Clubs Division” Trophy, it was the "Crouesty Boys" from the YC CROUESTY Team (Le Guill, Pellisier, Montecot, Nadal and Bourrut Lacouture) that took the opportunity to grab the lead (1,2 and 5). The YC PORNIC Team (Gilet, Vallet, Drogou, Teffaud, Daquin) took 2nd place thanks to the points earned by the young Team Vendée. For their part, CN Saint-Cast (Allain, Rousseaux, Hubert, Brezellec, Launay) and APCC (Guihot, Ramee, Cottron, Sambron, Mouillon) follow in 3rd and 4th positions.  Finally, far behind but (almost) out of reach of was La Trinité (Despierre, Le Borgne, Zucconi).

J/80 women's sailorsThe “Women’s Trophy” for 100% women teams had six crews contending for the title all within a range from 112 to 80 points.  In the end, it was Pauline Chalaux’s FRAMBOISE crew from CN St Brieuc that won the title as “best all women’s team” with a total of 112 pts.  Taking the silver was Laura Simon sailing University NANTES/ APCC from the APCC with 107 pts.  Just five points behind to take the bronze was Charlotte Lab’s PORNIC J GIRLS crew form CN Pornic (Sandrine Vallet, Melanie Vindimian, Celine Augereau Le Bohec, & Elizabeth Cabus Bordron).  Rounding out the top five were Dee Caffari’s J/EXIGE- OMAN SAILS from the Oman Sails Club in 4th and Elodie Bonafous’ FRAMBOISE/ NAUTISME EN FINISTERE from EV Loquirec in 5th.

The “Masters Trophy” saw no fewer than 24 teams listed in the category.  In the end, the overall winner was Frederic Hauville’s Ecole Navale crew on TETHYS with 290 pts, an enormous lead of 123 pts over the second place boat- Francois Drogou’s CN Moutiers crew on FEED-J.  In fact, Drogou’s team won on a tie-breaker over Damien Zucconi’s AXELLE-J.  Fourth place went to Jerome Picard’s LES 3 MOUSS and fifth position was taken by Ludovic Gilet’s NUMERO J.

The “Juniors Trophy” had seven teams competing and was easily won by woman skipper Capucine Vitel and her partner Damian Micheller on GRIOTTE/ J80 VITEL SAILING TEAM, with a total of 215 points.  Second was Alexandre Cottron on GEOLAN from APCC with 134 pts and third was Alrick Barbarin’s SUAPS from Pole Voile Oceanis with 100.7 pts.  Fourth was Sebastien Riot’s TEAM ESPOIR PAPREC with 75 pts and fifth place was Antoine Connan’s CENTRALE NANTES- APCC.  For more French J/80 Nationals sailing information

J/70s sailing Galveston BayFabulous J/Fest Southwest!
(Lakewood, TX)- This year’s turnout for J/Fest Southwest was awesome and the sailing was even “awesomer”!  The fleet of several dozen J’s and 100+ J sailors were treated to yet another amazing weekend of sailing by the Lakewood YC team of volunteers both on and off the water!

Sailing on the always-challenging Galveston Bay was a treat for the one-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, and J/105s and the PHRF handicap classes for the J/130, J/122, J/109s, J/92s, J/29s and J/27s.

The J/22 class was won by the locals- Casey Lambert on BLACKBURN MARINE RACING in a very tight battle with Tom Meeh on MEEHEM.  After seven races, Lambert’s crew won the last race and prevailed by one point with Meeh in second.  Third was past North American and World Champion Terry Flynn on TEJAS.  The rest of the top five included Mark Foster’s PRESSURE DROP from Corpus Christi in fourth place and Vince Ruder’s USA 365 in fifth.

The large J/24 class was bedazzled by the fabulous performance by top woman skipper Natalie Harden. She and her GIGGLES team just about laughed there way to the top of the leaderboard, posting four 1sts in five races to win by a country furlong- just 6 pts total!  A distant second was Jim Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT with 18 pts.  Third was settled by a tie-breaker between Mark Smith’s AFTER MIDNIGHT and Barry Bailey’s TRICK BAG.  Winning the treat, not the trick, was Smith’s crew.  Fifth place went to John Parker’s CHUPACABRA from Austin YC.

Class domination reigned in the J/70 class as well, with Chris Lewis’ GB taking honors with all top three finishes, compiling four 1sts, two 2nds and one 3rd on their way to the win with just 11 pts in seven races!  Behind them, it was three-way battle for the balance of the podium by some of the most experienced J/70 teams in America!  In the end, Lakewood YC homeboy Forbes Durdin skippered MOJITO into second place in that dog fight over Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS HEARING, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE and Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING- 2, 3, 4, 5 finishers, respectively.

J/Fest J/80 fleetThe leaderboard for J/105s was a three-way battle all weekend-long.  Yet another homeboy from Lakewood YC, Uzi Ozeri, took class honors skippering INFINITY to a squeaker of a one point victory over Scott Spurlin’s AFTERSHOCK.  In fact, in a fleet of ten quite well-sailed boats, Ozeri nearly threw it all away in the last race by taking 5th place, while Spurlin’s crew rose to the occasion and won the last race!  After watching all the histrionics at the front of the fleet, John Barnett’s VICI crew got it all together in the last three races to post a 3-2-2 to close within four pts on AFTERSHOCK, taking the bronze on the podium.  After traveling all over to hell and back (including the J/105 NA’s in Larchmont, NY), Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth Boat Club sailed consistently to take fourth place.  Meanwhile, Brad Robbins’ RUMPUS started off well, including two 3rds, but could not hang in there towards the end, settling for fifth overall.

The large PHRF Asym class saw a near whitewash (or, maybe it really was!) of the fleet by JD Hills’ magnificent J/122 SECOND STAR; seven 1sts in eight races is not too shabby.  Finishing a comfortable second place was Tom Sutton’s J/109 LEADING EDGE with 17 pts.  Third was Albrecht Goethe’s J/109 HAMBURG.  Fourth was determined by a tie-breaker on 37 pts each between Dan Sullivan’s J/92 LITTLE JOE and Dave Christensen’s J/109 AIRBORNE, each finishing 4th and 5th, respectively.

The PHRF Spin class saw Ray Bentele’s J/29 PRESS TO MECO win with Gary Trinklein’s J/27 TOCCATA taking the silver.   Congratulations to all and thanks again to the numerous sponsors and supporters of the event as well as all the volunteers at Lakewood YC!  For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information

J/24s sailing off AnnapolisBANGOR PACKET Crushes J/24 East Coast Champs!
(Annapolis, MD)- The annual fall J/24 classic took place on the Chesapeake Bay from October 28th to 30th.  Host for the twenty-six teams that came from near and far was the Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, MD.  Many luminaries of the J/24 class were in attendance, as highly competitive a fleet as anyone has seen in recent years.  In the end, no one ever said it was going to be easy, but it was past East Coast Champion Tony Parker sailing his famously-named BANGOR PACKET to a drama-filled overall win- counting three 1sts, two 2nds and a DNC/27 in the overall no-throw-out scoreline.

Bangor Packet winning crewTony and his amazing crew (Rossi Milev, James Nubeck, Chris Ball & "Mad" Martha Parker) could have made it a little easier on themselves.  After the first race, they somehow broke their main halyard and had to take a DNC for the second race of the regatta!  According to Martha Parker, uber bow girl phenom, “we sailed with the jib to a creek for flat water and relief from the breeze.  We got to a pier and Chris made a soft chair and we took him up to the hounds.  We then sent the spinnaker pole up to Chris and he was able to grab the halyard, where we discovered the shackle bent open to an L shape.  We took the shackle off and tied the halyard to the head of the sail.  Then, we sailed out to start the 3rd race but they called racing for the day!!”  A “fitting end”, from their perspective for the day!

The sailing was quite amazing.  You wouldn't believe it was almost November 1, considering the weather over the weekend. The temperatures were in the mid-70s, the leaves were just starting to change into awesome colors, and it was the absolute perfect weekend to be out on the water.

Well, Friday was a little questionable, according to one crew member.  Here’s why- as described another sailor, “on Friday, when west winds were at 25 knots with sustained gusts at 30, 24 boats went out to race. Then, things got a little dicey. The fleet could hardly keep their keels in the water, and one boat broached so hard that she busted her spreader.

J/24s sailing off AnnapolisOn another boat, a mark rounding went particularly badly when a crew member's legs got smashed between boats and he broke his leg. He then sailed upwind and downwind, though. Afterward, when it became apparent that he needed to get off the race course, local super-hero Terry Hutchinson was thankfully on the scene, spectating in his powerboat, and was able to get the sailor to land to be taken to the hospital.  After the second race, the day was called.”

"If I lose a quarter of the fleet, I can still get a race off," said PRO Juliet Thompson. "But, I had lost a third of the fleet after the second race. We had to send them in."

Living to tell the tale with little drama was Evan Petley-Jones on LIFTED, sailing all top ten races to close with 44 pts and the silver.  Taking the bronze was Travis Odenbach’s infamous HONEY BADGER, but not without a few dramas of their own.  Like BANGOR PACKET, they too go the short end of a stick, in this case a DSQ in race two due to a “U-flag” penalty!

Travis describes how this 3-day championship had social balance too, “From a competitive standpoint, this fleet was the strongest I have seen it in the last three years. But it was Severn Sailing Association, Pat FitzGerald and his team of volunteers, that really came through to put on a very fun on-land part of the regatta.

J/24s sailing on Chesapeake BayThe Quantum and Sparcraft sponsored beer truck was up and running as teams set their boats up Thursday afternoon. I ran around with my head cut off helping skippers tune their boats in the rain. The organizers had scheduled Dock Talks each day (led by North Sails), cornhole tournaments and on Saturday the longest flip cup table I have ever seen!

The Saturday party included oysters on the half-shell, Maryland crab soups and a great dinner with over 170 sailors eating, having fun and partying into the evening. This regatta has become a great social event, as well as competition. Rarely do we see teams hang around for four hours after the sailing was done. No one wanted to miss the great time that was had each night!

This regatta was amazing on the water and even more fun off the water. My advice to everyone is to put this event on your schedule next year and let’s make it a 30 boat regatta! Thank you to Pat Fitzgerald, Commodore Peter Rich, and to everyone else who worked hard to put this event on. See you next year!”

Rounding out the top five was Mike Marshall’s PIPE DREAM in fourth place and Andrew Carey’s MR HANKEY in fifth position.  Top woman skipper was Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM in 14th place overall.   Sailing photo credits- Dan Phelps/   For more J/24 fall championship sailing information

J/22s sailing on Chesapeake BaySCOOBY Tops J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship
(Annapolis, MD)- On the same course as the J/24 East Coasts, but racing only Saturday and Sunday (thankfully), the J/22 fleet had a great turnout for their Mid-Atlantic Championships.  Seventeen boats showed up to race with many new faces in the crowd, such as Brady Stagg, JR Maxwell, Kira Munger, Lorenzo Carrera and Gunnar Gode.

It was definitely the type of regatta where you start the day thinking, "I'm getting too old for this," and end it thinking, "really? We aren't going to run just one more race?!”

J/22 sailing around markOn-the-water organization by Severn Sailing Association was fantastic, and off the water the party planning paid off big time!  Again, the annual J/22 Mid-Atlantic “Flip Cup” Championship proving that these people won't stop trying to trounce each other even when they're at a partaaay!!  No question, the evidence of far too many beer showers was seen everywhere!

JR Maxwell’s SCOOBY and Zeke Horowitz’s UNCLE FLUFFY both had great regattas, with Horowitz ending up on top the first day. But, on Sunday, Maxwell took the opportunity to really stretch his legs and go for a run, leaving the fleet on the horizon behind him for three races (impressive, since his lucky little brother wasn't onboard). The fleet never lets any one boat stay on top for long, though, so we can't wait to see what happens this spring.

Behind the two leaders, it was Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY that took third, followed by Brady Stagg on USA 111 in fourth and Chris Jung’s CORNER OF SANITY & MADNESS in fifth place.  Top woman skipper was Kira Munger on USA 469 in 10th place.   Sailing photo credits- Dan Phelps/   For J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship sailing information

J/105 sailing33 THOUSAND EMAILS Wins J/105 Chesapeake Champs!
(San Diego, CA)- The J/105s were hosting their Chesapeake Bay Championships this past weekend at Annapolis YC. Competition was tight between John White's 33 THOUSAND EMAILS (who has finally decided to name his boat with somewhat relevant political terms, apparently) and Andrew Kennedy's BAT IV. Kennedy had three bullets in five races, and was on top for the weekend. But, it all came down to the final race, and Kennedy fell to fifth place, allowing White to come in on top by just a point.

The balance of the top five was three-way gunfight at the OK Corral.  The three teams- Lewis/Salvesen’s MIRAGE, Ben duPont’s CTRL ALT DEL (something to do with 33,000 emails?), and Hugh Bethell’s JESTER- all traded off top five finishes in the five races sailed.  In the end, the final race also determined the outcome of this trio, with MIRAGE taking the bronze, duPont settling for fourth and JESTER in fifth.  For more J/105 Chesapeake Bay Championship sailing information

J/35 sailing Chesapeake BayAUNT JEAN Repeats As J/35 Mid-Atlantic Champion!
(Annapolis, MD)- Enjoying the rather spectacular sailing conditions on Saturday and Sunday were the local Chesapeake Bay fleet of J/35s.  Hosted by Annapolis YC, the 35’s enjoyed five good races with the top three sharing all top three finishes.

In the end, it was the dynamic duo of Jim Sagerholm & Jerry Christofel that guided the mighty AUNT JEAN to yet another solid victory.  Winning the first race but not able to hold off the freight train known as AUNT JEAN was Roger Lant’s ABIENTOT, taking the silver four points behind their nemesis.  Also winning a race and holding on for the bronze was the duo of Ben Travis & Scott Steele on BZING.  Sailing photo credits- Dan Phelps/  For more J/35 Mid-Atlantic Coast Championship sailing information

J/80s sailing China CupChina Cup Success For J/Crews!
(Daya Bay, Shenzhen, China)- Success or victory can be measured in a number of ways. There are the ten teams that won their respective divisions at this year’s China Cup International Regatta, but there are also the victories within those fleets.  For example, the ten boat J/80 one-design class with crews from across Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.  The China Cup and the J/80 fleet have helped foster the groJ/80 China Cup 3rd placewth of competitive sailing in China. This was the 10th edition and it attracted 138 entries from 38 different nations and regions around the world. The event brings together first-time racers with some of the very best in professional sailing.

It was not a classic week for good breeze, with the previous week’s Typhoon Haima upsetting the usual weather systems and making this a predominantly light airs regatta. But, day three was windy and wavy.  Then, the conditions were very light for the final day.

J/80 J/Boats Race TeamIn the J/80 one-design class, Jim Johnstone steered J/BOATS RACING TEAM to easy victory with a string of bullets to win class with 4 pts in 4 races.  Taking second was the XIAMEN JIEPENG SAILING TEAM with scores of 2-2-2-6 for 12 pts.  Sailing a very consistent regatta was the TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY SAILING TEAM with 3-4-4-5 on their scorecard for 16 pts.   Rounding out the top five were FRESH SAILING TEAM in 4th place with 18 points and the famous CHINA NAVAL AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING INSTITUTE taking the 5th position just one point back with 19 points.

J/111 Mojito practiceIn the handicap world, it was Nick Southward’s J/109 WHISKEY JACK taking the silver in IRC C class.  And, in IRC A class, a mixed bag of boats that ranged from Mini-maxi’s to TP52’s to a J/111.  In the end, the enormous spread on handicap did nothing to help the J/111 MOJITO, sailed by Michele & Simon Blore into 7th place.  Here’s a nice YouTube sailing video of the team practicing off Royal Hong Kong YC this summer.  Watch this nice China Cup sailing highlights video here

Pumpkin weatherEpic Great Pumpkin Regatta!
(Richmond, CA)- The Richmond YC's Annual toast to the pagan ritual involving orange gourds, ghoulish disguises and costumed merry-making usually involves some quiet autumn romping about the Berkeley Circle, and a party that cannot be beat, followed by a late starting 12nm pursuit race from the Berkeley Circle, around Angel Island and Alcatraz and finishes at the mouth of the Richmond Riviera. It is usually a banal weather event on San Francisco Bay, with light winds and those lazy autumn skies thick with the moist aroma of decaying organic matter, cinnamon ladened pumpkin everything. The 2016 edition will be remembered as a year of early weather systems, potent and wet with southerly winds which began mellow on Saturday and ramped up to white knuckle conditions for the Sunday finale.

While the timing of fronts was near perfect for Saturday, with rain overnight, cloudy and mild at 1st gun and eventually ramping up to sunny and mid teens for the buoy races, the forecasted timing for Sunday was not as advertised. The more potent of the two systems to visit the Bay Area, was originally projected to blow through the wee hours of Sunday and slowly mellow by Noon's scheduled 1st start. Someone forgot to get the memo to the weather gods, and the system stalled, 1st reaching the Bay after dawn and ramping up through the morning. The deluge began around 0900 when the skies opened up, and many a mariner preparing to leave the dock and head to the starting area, decided that getting soaked and beat up even before the race began wasn't what was in the brochure.

Add to the equation, the venturi effect caused by Alcatraz and Angel Islands, some pelting cloudbursts and you get the gist. It was to be a quick race, unless you were one of several boats that suffered involuntary sail area reduction or salt water intrusion into the cabin area.

For starters, the Sunday Pursuit Race was quite an epic event, with rain and winds pushing 33 kts making it a challenge for everyone.  Most of the fleet sailed the CCW course.  The strongest winds and rain were during the first beat from the Berkeley Circle start up the Raccoon Straits around Angel Island. Then a windy close reach to Alcatraz, but sun breaking thru the clouds.  At the east end of Alcatraz many boats rounded up when they set their spinnakers. Winds were around 26 knots. Most boats set something like a A3 kite after rounding Alcatraz and held a direct rhumbline course to the finish, sailing deep, 160-165 TWA off the wind, wind consistently in high teens to low thirties!  It was a tough, wet conditions on the Bay for the 2016 season closer!

The first J/Boat to finish was Charlie Abraham’s J/105 JAVELIN, taking 10th overall of the 124 boats entered.  Not far behind was Gary Panariello’s J/88 COURAGEOUS in 13th, Trig Liljstrand’s J/90 RAGTIME in  15th, Val Lulevich’s J/24 SHUT UP & DRIVE in 16th and Gorkem Ozcelebi’s J/111 DOUBLE DIGIT in 18th.

Saturday’s racing saw beautiful conditions and most racing classes managed to post three races.   In the J/24s, it was Val Lulevich’s SHUT UP & DRIVE winning with an unassailable 1-1-2 scoreline for 4 pts.  They were followed by Darren Cumming’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR in second with a 3-2-1 for 6 pts.  Third was determined on a tie-breaker, with Randall Rasicot’s FLIGHT taking the tie over Jasper Van Vliet’s EVIL OCTOPUS.  Fifth place was taken by Wall Whittier’s WOOF.

In the world of PHRF handicap racing, Trig Liljstrand’s J/80 RAGTIME took second in PHRF B class.  The J/111s laid waste to PHRC C class, with Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFTNESS winning and Howard Turner’s SYMMETRY taking third.  Similarly, the J/105s did the same thing in PHRF E class, with Charlie Abraham’s JAVELIN winning with a 4-3-1 for 8 pts, followed by Sergey Lubarsky’s RUSSIAN ROULETTE in 3rd.  Fourth place went to the Bilafer Family’s J/35 KIRI.  In PHRF F class, the J/88s took 3rd and 5th- Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS and Steve Gordon’s INCONCEIVABLE.  Cleaning house in PHRF R Class were two J/70s taking 1st and 2nd- Robert Milligan’s RAMPAGE and Mark Thomas’ PRIME NUMBER.  Finally, in the SF-30 Class, Anthony Castruccio’s J/30 WINDSPEED took the bronze.    Thanks for report contributed in part by Erik Simonson/ PressureDrop.US.  For more Great Pumpkin Regatta sailing information

J/111 Journeymaker II sailing HambleHamble Winter Series IV Report
(Hamble, Great Britain)- The annual fall offshore classic on the Solent continues to rumble on.  The Hamble River Sailing Club is hosting its 35th Hamble Winter Series and this week the fleet was treated to a day of shifty, gusty winds and steep waves for the fourth weekend, which this week played host to the Hamble Big Boat Championships and the Hamble One Design Championships.

The race team saw a maximum gust of 26 knots, with an average wind speed of 17.8 knots from a wind direction that swung between 050-090°. Combined with a strong cross-tide, this gave competitors some challenging and exhilarating sailing. “It was a great day's sailing for everyone and a big thank you to all the race team volunteers that make it happen,” said PRO Stuart Childerley.  Here are the reports of each event courtesy of Louay Habib.

J/97E sailing Hamble winter seriesHamble Winter Series
The race team got two races underway from the vicinity of Sunsail buoy, and the exciting conditions can be seen in Hamo Thorneycroft’s excellent photos. He commented: “it was a bit wet out there in the photo boat - but everyone was having such a good time it was good to be able to capture some of it on camera!”

One discard kicked in with this weekend's racing completed, which has shaken up the overall results in some classes ahead of a break weekend next week.

In IRC 1, Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL has had their moments of glory, but is now sitting in fifth place after seven races counted (one throw out).

IRC2 was very close with Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE, scoring a first and a second. That leaves JIRAFFE just one point back for the series lead, with four races left to sail.

IRC 3 saw some of the closest racing of the day. The first race was won by Robin Stevenson's J/92S UPSTART, 22 seconds ahead of Annie and Andy Howe's J/97 BLACKJACK II.  That leaves UPSTART atop the podium overall, followed by David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO in fourth position and the Howe’s BLACKJACK II in fifth overall.

J/88 sailing Hamble Winter SeriesIn the J/88 class, overall leaders, David and Kirsty Apthorp on J-DREAM added a first and second to their scoreline to leave them four points clear at the top. Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT scored a third and a first, and now sit three points ahead of Gavin Howe's TIGRIS in the overall results. TIGRIS finished second and fourth in the day's races, with Dirk Van Beek's SABRIEL JR scoring fourth and third.  The three leaders are well clear of the balance of the top five.  In fourth is Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ JENGA and in fifth place is Tim Tocher’s RAGING BULL.

The day sponsor was Key Yachting; and Marie Claude Heys was on hand to give out the prizes in a packed HRSC clubhouse. Prize for “Best Start of the Day' went to J/88 TIGRIS.

There is a well deserved Mid-series break next weekend, before the clocks go back and the series resumes on the 6th November with one race a day.

Hamble Big Boat Championships - Day 3 & 4
This weekend saw racing for the IRC 1 class, forming the second of two Big Boat Championships weekends on the Solent.  Racing was close and exciting. Twelve races were sailed over the two weekends, but the results were by no means a done deal until the final day.

IRC 1 saw five winners in twelve races.  Simon Bamford’s KESTREL is sitting in fourth place just 6 pts back from 3rd with four races left in the series.  In fifth position is Paul Griffiths’ J/111 JAGERBOMB.  What is revealing is that in the last five races in the series, Louise Makin & Chris Jones’ J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II have the third best record in the fleet- too bad they missed the first six races!

J/109 sailing Hamble Winter seriesHamble One Design Championships - Day 3 & 4
This weekend hosted the final half of the Hamble One Design Championships. A total of 14 races were sailed over the two weekends, giving the J/boats three discards to play with – but, as race officer Kathy Smalley commented: “The J/70s were all pushing it in the last race. Even the use of the U-flag didn't stop the competitors pushing the line, and with the tide underneath them 3 boats ended up paying the price!”

Overall winner of the J/70 class, Mark Lees commented: "It is such a close class, that if you make one small mistake you lose three places". Sunday's exhilarating conditions gave competitors and race teams alike a grandstand view of some exciting sailing. To demonstrate how close the racing was, eight boats won races in the 14-race series.

At the end of the weekend, it was Mark Lees and crew on JUST4SALE that topped the 20-strong J/70 class. They didn't have it all their own way, however, with boats snapping at their heels. Simon Cavey's JUST4PLAY finished second overall, with Patrick Liardet and crew on COSMIC in third place. In fourth is Dave McLeman’s OFFBEAT and fifth is Andrew Barraclough’s JENGA 8.

The J/80 class was dominated by Jon Powell and crew on BETTY, who cleaned up, winning 6 of the 7 races this weekend and 11 over the series. Second overall was Terence O Neill on AQUA J, with Michael Lewis and crew on JESTER in third.  The rest of the top five includes Chris Body’s MOCKING J in fourth and Stephen Armitage’s NINJA in fifth.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/ and Hamo Thornycroft   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Russian J/70 women's sailing team* Hot Russian J/70 teams had a really fun time sailing in their inaugural J/70 National Championship sailed on the Konakovo River northwest of downtown Moscow’s famous Red Square.  The teams were blessed with light to moderate conditions and some sunny days.

The J/70 Russia Class Association collaborated with the Yacht Club Konakovo River Club to produce a short, but sweet sailing video of this first Russian J/70 championship.  Watch, enjoy, and plan a winter training program in Sochi (see above) & fantastic 2017 season sailing in J/70s all year long!   Watch the Russian J/70 sailing video on YouTube here   Follow the Russian J/70 teams here on Facebook

Rod and Bob Johnstone- J/Boats co-founders* The Johnstone Brothers, co-founders of J/Boats, enjoy a fortnight of awards!  For starters, Bob and Rod Johnstone were honored the previous weekend with “The American & The Sea Award” at the Mystic Seaport Museum for their contributions to the marine world- an extraordinary honor that has seen only 10 recipients in the past 10 years.  The America and the Sea Award recognizes an individual or organization whose contributions to the history, arts, business or sciences of the sea best exemplify the American spirit and character. Presented annually by Mystic Seaport, the award honors and celebrates those who embrace the scholarship, exploration, adventure, aesthetics, competition, and freedom that the sea inspires.  Here is a highlights video of the Mystic Seaport Museum presentation.

Then, over the Halloween weekend, the National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) marked its on-going effort to preserve the history of sailing and its effect on American culture as it inducted nine sailing legends for their impact on the sport.  The prestigious St. Francis Yacht Club hosted the sixth annual Induction weekend on October 29 to 30 in San Francisco, CA.  With sailboats seen club racing on San Francisco Bay, from Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz, it visually underscored the link to the sport and its significant contributors who were being honored.

Six living and three posthumously inducted sailors make up the NSHOF Class of 2016: America’s Cup winning helmsman Ed Baird (St. Petersburg, Fla.); legendary sailing champion (Star Worlds, Congressional Cup and America’s Cup) Bill Ficker (Newport Beach, Calif.); husband and wife sail training pioneers, adventurers and authors Irving and Electa “Exy” Johnson (Hadley, Mass.); brothers and J/Boats co-founders, Robert Johnstone (Newport, R.I.) and Rodney Johnstone (Stonington, Conn.), respectively, marketing guru and boat designer; yachtsman and sailmaker Dave Ullman (Newport Beach, Calif.); as well as America’s Cup sailor and Star World Champion Malin Burnham (San Diego, Calif.) and the innovator behind the superyacht The Maltese Falcon, Tom Perkins (Belvedere, Calif.), each of whom was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Beginning with a forum attended by a large contingent of high school sailors, the course of the Induction weekend was navigated by Master of Ceremonies and 2011 Inductee Paul Cayard. The student athletes were interested in what the Inductees did to win and why so many had stayed in the sport so long.

“First, and most important, is to have a good time while you’re doing it and to make sure the people you are doing it with have a good time, otherwise it will be a one-time thing,” said Inductee Rod Johnstone.

Johnstone and his brother Bob were born in Glen Ridge, N.J., and grew up racing out of the Wadawanuck Yacht Club in Stonington, Conn.

When Bob Johnstone helped his parents build a Lightning in the garage of his childhood home at age 13, it was clearly a sign of things to come. He worked as a sailing instructor and raced intercollegiate regattas while studying history at Princeton (class of 1956), before starting a 17-years long career with Quaker Oats, first managing subsidiaries in Colombia and Venezuela, before returning to Chicago where he would become the company’s Marketing Man of the Year.

All the Bob continued to sail in a variety of classes, including a Soling with which he placed sixth in the 1972 Olympic Trials. Bob is the founder of the U.S. Youth Championship and the community boating program SAIL Wilmette.

“What brings me joy in life is sharing that love of sailing and the sea with others,” said Bob Johnstone.

Rod Johnstone also graduated from Princeton (1958), but his career as a yacht designer got its start in the 1960s through a correspondence course he took with Westlawn School of Yacht Design (now the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology).

While working as an ad salesman for Soundings magazine, he, too, built his first sailboat in his garage. It cost him roughly $400 in fiberglass and wood and incorporated rigging and hardware from his brother’s Soling. Ragtime would go on to beat everything she came up against while being sailed by an all-family crew.

In 1977, Bob and Rod founded J Boats Inc., after AMF/Alcort (producer of the Sunfish), which Bob had taken from the red into the black, passed on getting involved in the Johnstone’s new boat. Bob left his position as Vice-President to go into partnership with Rod and Tillotson-Pearson agreed to produce the design on spec in return for the U.S. build rights. They were soon producing the J/24 that has gone on to become the most popular recreational keelboat in the world. Rod’s designs (44 and counting) include 17 that have been named Boat of the Year, received ISAF international class status or recognition in the American Sailboat Hall of Fame. Four decades and 14,000 J/Boats later, the Johnstone’s family business now includes six of their sons in various roles.

J/24 Ragtime launch“I designed the J/24 because of my family. Because I wanted a family sailboat,” said Rod Johnstone. “It all came together because we loved to sail and because sailing together has been a thing for us right from the beginning… I thank everyone who sails our boats, for living the dream for me. Whether I wanted to go around the world or around Cape Horn, all these were dreams I’ve had while designing these boats. There are a lot of our owners who’ve done that. Thank you very much to everybody who has ever sailed a J/Boat and has lived those dreams. I still want to live those dreams and I’ll still keep designing boats.”
Here is a video of the US National Sailing Hall of Fame inductees  For more sailing information on the NSHOF Inductees

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.