Wednesday, January 25, 2017

J/Newsletter- January 25th, 2017

J/97E sport cruiser/ racerSeattle Boat Show- Displaying J/70 & J/97E!
(Seattle, WA)- Seattle Boat Show Indoors and Afloat starts this Friday January 27 and runs through Saturday February 4.  Sail Northwest will have a J/70 on display at the indoor portion of the show and a J/97E on display at the floating in the water portion of the show.

The wildly popular J/70 continues to expand across America, Europe, and the rest of the world.  In just 3 1/2 years, the class is pushing past 1,300 boat owners and is attracting sailors from all across the spectrum of sailing experience- beginners to Olympic Medallists, women’s teams, kid’s teams and crew from 8 to 80 yrs old!  Learn more about this exciting one-design class from the knowledgeable sailors at Sail Northwest.  For more J/70 information.

The gorgeous new J/97E may be the perfect “pocket rocket cruiser/racer” for the Pacific Northwest.  Fast enough to go upwind or offwind with many modern 40 footers, plus she has the expansive room and comfort inside for a couple to be “gunk-holing” in some of the most sought after anchorages in the San Juan Islands.  For more J/97E informationFor more show information, please contact Bob Ross @ Sail Northwest- mobile- 206-979-3291/  For more Seattle Boat Show information

J/70 sailing off St PetersburgSt Petersburg NOOD Regatta Update
(St Petersburg, FL)- The largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States, the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta series, returns to St. Petersburg, Fla., for its first stop of the season February 17-19, 2017. The event is organized by Sailing World, hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club, and sponsored by HELLY HANSEN.

Hundreds of local and visiting sailors in eleven classes of sailboats will compete for individual trophies and the top prize, an invitation to race in the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship Regatta, presented by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in October.

J/88 sailing St PetersburgThe annual three-day event features one-design racing (J/70, J/24, J/88), where teams compete in races against identical boats. Points are accumulated based on finishing position in each race, and the team with the fewest total points at the conclusion of the regatta wins its class. For competitors in the regatta’s one handicap class (PHRF), time allowances are used to score boats of varying sizes and designs.

Regatta organizers then calculate an overall winner based on the strongest individual finish in the most competitive class. The overall winner earns a berth in the championship regatta, held October 22-29, 2017 in the British Virgin Islands. In addition to winners from each of the five NOOD events this year, interested sailors can charter and compete against the overall winners at the championship.

The Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta is a spectator-friendly event; races can be seen from private yachts on Tampa Bay. Start times are dependent on wind and weather, but racing is scheduled to begin at 10 AM each day.  For more St Petersburg NOOD sailing information.

J/111's sailing San Francisco for WorldsGame On For J/111 Worlds @ San Francisco!
(San Francisco, CA)- Registration is open for the 2017 J/111 Worlds hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA.  The J/111 World Championship is scheduled for August 22–27, 2017, including two days of measurement.

The West Coast already has a highly competitive J/111 Fleet and the World Championship will expand on that with entries from the Midwest, East Coast, Australia and Europe, making this a truly world-class event on one of J/Boats’ most exhilarating rides.

If you are thinking of sending your J/111 to San Francisco to race in the Worlds, consider sticking around for multiple weeks of great racing at the St. Francis Yacht Club. The Aldo Alessio and Phylis Kleinman Swiftsure Regattas take place on the Bay August 18–20, and can serve as an excellent warm-up to Worlds. Following, the 2017 Rolex Big Boat Series is September 14–17 and has proven year after year to be the crown jewel of West Coast regattas.  Sailing photo credits- ROLEX/ Daniel Forster. For more 2017 J/111 World Championship registration and sailing information

Marblehead to Halifax raceMarblehead to Halifax Ocean Race Announcement
(Marblehead, MA)- Registration is now open for the biennial Marblehead to Halifax Ocean race July 9.  “With more than 1,500 ‘likes’ on Facebook we are excited about the early interest,” said Jennie Aspinall, Vice Commodore-elect of the Boston Yacht Club and chair of the 2017 event. “We are looking forward to a full fleet of competitors at the starting line in July,” she continued.

The 363-nautical mile Marblehead to Halifax is one of the oldest races on the eastern seaboard. It began in 1905 and has continued every other year except during wartime. It is cosponsored by the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in Halifax. Major support comes from the Steele Auto Group of Nova Scotia.

“Marblehead is the idyllic place for the start of this race,” Aspinall declares. “There will be a round of parties and social events throughout the weekend before starting the race.”  The race has been a popular one for J/sailors across the northeastern seaboard, with class and overall wins taken by some over the course of time- J/35s, J/40s, J/44s, J/120s, J/111s all have garnered silverware in this famous race.  For more Marblehead Halifax Race registration and sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The third week in January was a cause for celebration for sailors around the world.  It was the 30th anniversary of Key West Race Week, an event that was ultimately born from fun times had by all during the first three J/24 Midwinters in Key West.  First created by Yachting Magazine, Key West Race Week has unfolded over time to celebrate the joy of racing in gorgeous Caribbean waters with world-class regatta management.  In recent years, Quantum Sails has sponsored the event and it has slowly evolved into a “de facto” Winter J/Fest, with nearly 64% of the fleet represented by J/sailors participating in large one-design classes (J/70, J/88, J/111) and offshore handicap classes (J/105, J/122, J/44).

Further east across the Caribbean, the Mount Gay Barbados Series at Bridgetown took place for their fleet of J/24s and J/105s.  The format is focused on fun and games; with a three-day coastal series, followed by the traditional Round Island Race.

Hopping across the Atlantic, we find the Italian J/24s continuing to partake in their Winter Series around various points on the southern parts of the Italian peninsula- Portoferraio, Anzio & Nettuno and Taranto.

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:

Feb 4-5- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Feb 10-12- J/24 Midwinters- Indian Harbour Beach, FL
Feb 14-19- Hong Kong Race Week- Hong Kong, China
Feb 17-19- St Petersburg NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 20- RORC Caribbean 600 Race- English Harbour, Antigua
Feb 23-26- J/70 Midwinters- St Petersburg, FL
Mar 2-5- St Maarten Heineken Regatta- Phillipsburg, St Maarten
Mar 3-4- Monaco J/70 Winter Series- Act V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Mar 2-5- J/27 Midwinters- New Orleans, LA
Mar 9-11- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 17-19- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 24-26- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Mar 27-Apr 2- BVI Spring Regatta- Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Apr 10-15- Les Voiles de Saint Barth- Gustavia, St Barthelemey
April 20-23- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 30- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
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/70 sailing Key WestEpic Quantum Key West Race Week!
J/Sailors Revel in Spectacular Sailing Conditions
(Key West, FL)- The 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week will go down in history as one of the most beautiful weeks of sailing in recent memory.  For once, the weather forecasters staring into their crystal ball were nearly correct.  It was an epic week of sailing, with postcard sailing conditions for all five days- sunny, good breezes from the east, and gorgeous moon-lit evenings ashore.

The 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week saw the seven racing classes complete 10 or 12 races, all as scheduled. The Performance Cruising Class also completed five races, as scheduled. The week started with a windy and wavy northeasterly that faded over the course of four days before swinging J/88 sailing Key Westaround to a light southeasterly for Friday’s conclusion. Many sailors felt the conditions were “typical of Key West Race Week” and they complemented the race committee’s judgment.

“The race committee work this week was very good,” said Peter Colby (North Kingstown, RI), the North American Service Manager for North Sails and mainsail trimmer on the J/111 Velocity. “Yesterday we had the harbor delay and as a racer you get it in your head that racing’s going to be blown off. Then, when they took us out there I wasn’t sure it’d be good racing, but it was. We had two good races yesterday that were part of a great week of sailing. The race committee got it right this week.”

J/70 Tim Healy Key WestTim Healy’s (Jamestown, RI) NEW ENGLAND ROPES won the J/70 Class, the largest class at race week. New England Ropes finished 11 points ahead of Marty Kullman’s (St. Petersburg, FL) second-placed NEW WAVE, which won a tiebreaker for second over Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK from Italy. CALVI NETWORK, the series leader through 10 races in the stronger breezes, stumbled in the final two light air races, placing 22-12.  The rest of the top five included Brian Keane’s SAVASANA in 4th place and Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT in 5th (the reigning 2016 World Champion).

The Corinthian Boat of the Week was awarded to Rob Britts’ (Tierra Verde, FL) HOT MESS, which finished 15th in the J/70 Class.  Behind them in Corinthians was Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD in second place and in third was Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY.

J/70 time lapse sailing videoWatch this cool J/70 time-lapse YouTube sailing video!

Phil Haegler’s CLOUD NINE of Brazil, the winner of the final race in the J/70 Class, won the Quantum Sails Boat of the Day trophy on Friday.  The Sailing World Youth Trophy, for the crew with the youngest average age, was presented to Gannon Troutman’s (Gloucester, VA) PIED PIPER, which placed 12th in the J/70 Class (Troutman is current 2016 Mexican National Champion).

Peter Wagner’s (Atherton, CA) SKELETON KEY won the J/111 Class for a second consecutive year with the low score of 25 points. SKELETON KEY won Friday’s race to score a 6-point victory over Rob Ruhlman’s (Cleveland, OH) SPACEMAN SPIFF. The rest of the podium was filled out by Marty Roesch’s VELOCITY from Annapolis, MD.  Fourth place was a new team sailing at Key West, Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK and fifth position was taken by Brad Faber’s UTAH.

Marine Partners’ Day (Thursday) was won by Peter Wagner’s J/111 SKELETON KEY. After posting finishes of 2-1, SKELETON KEY was named Boat of the Day and they also took over the lead in the J/111 Class with the low score of 24 points.

J/111 Skeleton Key at Key WestSkeleton Key won the class last year but got its defense off to a slow start with an 8th in Race 1. Since then, the crew from Northern California steadily climbed the leaderboard while the early series leader, Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF, continued to slowly fall back. In races 6-7-8-9, SKELETON KEY finished 1-3-2-1 while SPACEMAN SPIFF finished 3-9-3-5.

“Today was all about being flexible. It was a very challenging day,” said Wagner, a two-time All-American sailor in the late 1980’s. “We’re always very confident in our boatspeed, the trick is to put ourselves in position to use it. We didn’t see a bias on the racecourse to one side or the other, so we tried to maintain tactical flexibility. That allowed us to benefit from boatspeed.  I have a lot of respect for the Spaceman Spiff guys. They sail their boat very well.  The conditions were so challenging today that it was easy to come out on the wrong side of events. We were fortunate to be able to improve our position today and that’s all that we could hope for.”

J/88 Hijinks sailing Key WestThe J/88’s saw tight fleet racing over the course of ten races and, in fact, each boat’s performance changed depending on the weather.  How close??  5 of 7 boats won races in the 10 race series!  In the first two days, it was breezy out of the northeast at 14-20 kts.  The third day the breeze backed off to 9-15 kts from the east.  Then, Thursday/Friday the wind shifted into a “classic” southeast direction and considerably lighter- 5-9 kts, full of streaks and holes.  Weyler’s HIJINKS posted 5 bullets in 6 races in the first 3 days, then dropped off that pace in the lighter breezes.  Other race winners included Rob Butler’s TOUCH 2 PLAY, Ryan Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF, Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS, and Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION.

In the end, Laura Weyler’s (Williamsville, NY) HIJINKS won the J/88 class and also earned a coveted “Boat of the Day” on Lewmar Day (Tuesday).  After that win on Tuesday, Kris Werner, tactician for HIJINKS, commented that “It was another challenging, windy day, but these are the conditions you expect down here. We’ve had two perfect days of sailing and couldn’t ask for more. It’s been great.”  HIJINKS is Weyler’s first boat. She has never competed at race week before and Tuesday was a day that will live in her memory forever. “This is very exciting,” said Weyler. “I have an outstanding crew.”

Mike Bruno’s WINGS team from American YC in New York, started the regatta off slowly and steadily improved as the week unfolded to take the silver.  Sailing a solid series all week was Ryan Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF, taking the bronze to close out the podium.  Rounding out the top five were Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS from San Francisco, CA and Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION from Long Island Sound, finishing 4th and 5th, respectively.

J/122 sailing Key WestIn the ORC Class, J.D. Hill’s (Houston, TX) J/122 SECOND STAR took the class victory. Earlier in the week, it was Chris & Karen Lewis’ J/44 KENAI that was leading the class after the first two days with a 2-1-1-3 tally, with Hill’s SECOND STAR in second place.  However, KENAI faltered a bit in the final races while Hill’s SECOND STAR collected two more firsts along the way to winning class by 2 pts.  Ultimately, KENAI finished tied for third and settling for 4th on the tie-breaker. Having fun all week long was Jon Weglarz’s J/105 THE ASYLUM from Chicago, Illinois.

Race week was more than just the action on the water. All shoreside activities were held at the Waterfront Brewery, which was a gracious host. The nightly debriefs and panel discussions covered a host of topics pertinent to the sport. Morning weather briefings with Ed Adams (presented by Quantum Sails and Gowrie Group) got everyone ready for the day’s racing. The daily prize-giving ceremonies gave all winners a chance to celebrate their day on the water.

The next major event for the Storm Trysail Club is Block Island Race Week, scheduled June 18-23 off the coast of Rhode Island. For more information, visit the event website.

Sailing photo credits- Max Ranchi, Sarah Proctor, Sharon Green/, Alan Clark/   For more Quantum Key West Race Week sailing information

J/70 sailing off Punta del Este, UruguayDuarte Crowned J/70 South American Champion!
(Punta del Este, Uruguay)- With the advent of a new J/70 builder in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the momentum for the class continues to grow across South America.  Building on that enthusiasm, the YC Punta del Este in Uruguay hosted the inaugural J/70 South American Championship in the spectacular waters off the famous resort- known as the “Riviera” of Latin America.

J/70s sailing off Punta del Este, UruguayTen boats from Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay participated in the five race series. It was clear the Brazilian team BRA 757, led by Rodrigo Duarte, was comfortable in the local wind and sea conditions, posting an unassailable record of 4 1sts and a 3rd for a commanding win.  Not far off their pace was the top Uruguayan team URU 780, skippered by Aldo Centanaro, posting a very consistent 2-3-4-1-3 for 13 pts to easily take the silver.

However, who was going to fill out the final bronze position on the podium was another story altogether! Remarkably enough, six teams were in contention going into the last race separated by just 4 pts!!  After the furious thrash around the race track, the winner of that battle was URU 75 sailed by Sebastian Rana on a tie-breaker over URU 759 skippered by Matias Garcia on 28 pts each.  And, only one point back, the balance of the top five was also settled by a tie-breaker; with URU 779 skippered by Philippe Umpierre taking the 5th spot over URU 777 helmed by Felix Leborgne at 29 pts each!  For more Uruguay J/70 fleet sailing information

J/105 sailing BarbadosFabulous Mount Gay Barbados Series
(Bridgetown, Barbados)- The Mount Gay Round Barbados Series organized by Barbados Cruising Club, in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing and Mount Gay, got off to a spectacular start with the first race of the three-day Coastal Series blessed with glorious sailing conditions.

A good 17-20 kts of north-easterly breeze and relatively flat seas resulted in exciting close racing for the five fleets, which ranged from Windsurfers and Foiling International Moths, Cruising classes, to the CSA Racing class.

The courses started in Carlisle Bay and took the fleets generally out to the southeast, round South Point to Tapas, a mark just off the beach up the east coast. The CSA Racing Division, the largest fleet in the Coastal Series, enjoyed exciting racing along the south coast.  Local hotshot Peter Lewis, and team on the J/105 WHISTLER sailed well and managed to clinch the opening race on corrected time.

The second day produced spectacular competition once again. Although it was an unusually damp day with rain squalls passing through for most of the race, the wind built under the clouds to 15-16kts, which made for really exciting racing along the west coast of the island.

J/105 sailing off BarbadosAccording to Steven Kern, tactician aboard the J/105 WHISTLER and winner of the day’s CSA Racing division, this week is one of the most competitive he has experienced in the event’s recent history. “The starts and the close racing throughout have been fantastic. It has been consistently competitive, which is what we love.”

Kern, sailing with skipper Peter Lewis and team, who are seasoned Caribbean circuit sailors, added another win to their race win yesterday and were now looking good for an overall Coastal Series win. They say their secret weapon this week is a new flat spinnaker.

“The new spinnaker worked beautifully going up the west coast. It is a smaller spinnaker we can fly for longer. I think we also managed to stay focused even when we dropped up the coast. The wind dropped to less than 2kts at one stage off Holetown, but we popped the kite and gained a lot.”

The final day of the Coastal Series concluded in spectacular style with sunshine, a good working breeze up to 17-18kts, and a relatively flat sea. The 15nm course took the fleet out to the west, followed by a long windward leg to Oistins, not far off South Point.  The conditions made for a particularly exciting conclusion to the Series with results in some classes going down to the wire.

Peter Lewis and his seasoned local team aboard WHISTLER clinched the series today with three straight wins. This super-tuned team demonstrated their impressive kite handling skills once again, so it wasn’t particularly surprising to see them take overall honours. Their closest rivals throughout the series were Stimson 42 and a local TP52 race team.

Interestingly Calvin Piggott & Mark Mostovac on the J/24 PADDINGTON sailed a storming first beat and led round the windward mark. With clear air, this team looked set to challenge for the win in the early stages but sailed a long way out to the right on first reach and, unfortunately, were overhauled.  Had they won the race, they might have earned silver!  However, their risky move did not pay off and ended up in 3rd for the race and 4th overall in Non-CSA Racing Class.

Following the Coastal Series Awards and the Round Barbados Race Skippers’ Briefing, teams enjoyed the party at Copacabana Beach Bar, just along the beach from Barbados Cruising Club. With a planned lay day, crews have a chance to recuperate before the lay day Regatta Polo Match, which was taking place in the afternoon at Holders Polo Field, St James.

J/24s sailing BarbadosRound Island Race
The 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race took place on Saturday 21 January.  The wind was generally light from the east-north-east, reaching no more that 12-15kts so it was never going to be a big record breaking day, but those who took part raced hard for a chance to smash one of the 14 records up for grabs, all of which offered a chance to win the skipper’s weight in Mount Gay Rum.

Following on their success in the Coastal Series, the J/105 WHISTLER continued her winning ways, taking CSA 35 ft Under Division and taking 6th overall in the fleet of fifteen boats.

Meanwhile, the local J/24 sailors Cyril Lecrenay on BUNGA BUNGA and Gus Reader on GLORY DAZE enjoyed close racing at the head of the fleet, despite the extremely light airs at the 0700 start. As they rounded the top of the Island three hours into the race, they were still neck and neck and reveling in the breeze that had built to 10-12kts. A close race continued down the east coast but it was GLORY DAZE that finally took the One-Design Division win.  For more Mount Gay Rum Barbados series sailing information

J/24 sailing off ItalyItalian J/24 Winter Series Report
(Anzio & Nettuno, Italy)- After celebrating the New Year, the Italian J/24 sailors are back at it again sailing around the various picturesque bays punctuating the gorgeous coastline of the Italian peninsula.  Races took place recently in Anzio & Nettuno (near Rome), Portoferraio (northeast bay on Isla Elbe) and in Taranto (down south inside the “heel”).

Anzio & Nettuno- Trofeo Roberto Lozzi
After the fifth weekend of sailing, the crew of the Hungarian J/24 JUKE BOXING (Miklòs Rauschenberger, Balmaz Litkey, Tamas Peter, Akos Pecsvaradi, & Tamas Richter) drove fast and sailed smart to be leading the famous Trofeo Roberto Lozzi.

The fleet was treated to good racing despite it being a cod winter day.  There was a residual storm swell from the west of around 4-5 ft (1-1.5m) that was overlaid with a NNW wind of 10-15 kts; making for a confused wave/chop sea state for the drivers.  Nevertheless, the fleet was treated to two more races for their series.

The Provisional results (compiled after the first 8 races) sees the Hungarian JUKE BOX team leading with 11 pts, followed by ITA 447 in second with 19 pts and ITA 358 in third with 24 pts.

"The race course was very gusty as the J/24 crews struggled with the ‘fiocco’ winds,” explained Federico Miccio, crew on JUMPING JACK FLASH. “In addition, with the breeze constantly shifting right and a significant current flowing southeast, meant the J/24 crews were having difficulties judging the starting line. The day started right away with two general recalls; that prompted the race committee to hoist the black flag in the third preparatory.  We opted to go with the jib that gave us greater stability in the big gusts.  This decision combined with going right on the first beat enabled us to take advantage of the shift and finish third in the race behind Spear and the Hungarians.”

J/24s sailing off Taranto, ItalyTaranto- Winter Championship
Unlike their friends to the north in Rome, the J/24 crews down south in Taranto had a beautiful weekend of sailing, with racing hosted by the Sailing Club Ondabuena Academy.

“We were fortunate to have nice conditions to get three races,” explained Chief of the Puglia J/24 fleet- Nino Soriano, helmsman and co-owner of JEBEDEE. “The difficult interpretation of the course, with different pressure zones of wind and frequent changes in direction are what characterized this day.  Apart from the first race, in which they recorded an OCS, Thomas De Bellis Vitti and Elia Masi sailed FIVE FOR FIGHTING fast and dominated the day with two first places in the last two races.  Also having a good performance was Sandro Negro’s DOCTOR J, winner of the first race, and Massimo Ruggiero’s CANARINO FEROCE, taking second in the last two races behind FIVE FOR FIGHTING.”

In the overall standings for the series, FIVE FOR FIGHTING continues to lead the fleet, followed by JEBEDEE in 2nd, DOCTOR J in 3rd, MARBEA (Marcello Bellacicca) in 4th and LITTLE DEVIL (Ferdinand Capobianco) in 5th.

J/24s sailing off Portoferraio, ItalyPortoferraio- Elbe Winter Cup
Henry Gambelunghe’s BE-BEEF continues to lead the Elbe Winter Cup, sailing off Portoferraio on the northeastern coast of the island of Elba.  According the Gambelunghe, “the weather conditions were not the most heartening; the forecast was for up to 25 kts of wind and rain.  But, the crews were not discouraged and at 1030 hrs, the PRO onboard the famous S&S 1971 design WA WA TOO, managed to send us off in two good races.  The wind started out strong, with gusts hitting 25 kts, but it soon diminished after the first two legs of the first race and a light rain, as expected, started to fall.  When we were finished after a wet, but exciting day of sailing on our beautiful bay, all the crews found themselves in front of huge plates of homemade pasta cooked by the President of the Italian Naval League in Portoferraio- Alessandro Schezzini!!  Good pasta and our delicious Italian red wines- fantastico!!”

He went on to say, “Thanks to all, the organization, the jury, and to the Italian Naval League for their supports.  Elba Winter Cup will continue on the Sundays of 19 February and 5 March. The final stage of the championship will be held Sunday, March 19."  For more Italian J/24 sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/44 Kenai sailing Key West race* Chris & Karen Lewis, proud owners of the J/44 KENAI from Houston, Texas, are having fun sailing their gorgeous navy-blue yacht on the Gulf of Mexico, in the Northeast and the Gulf Stream Series.  Chris commented on their recent experiences this past year:

“In 2016, the J/44 KENAI won 1st in IRC class and the Rolex Cup in the Around Conanicut Island Race, 1st in the NYYC Annual Regatta IRC 3 Class, 3rd in NBR ORR class, 2nd in the Onion Patch series to High Noon, first in IRC Overall in the Stamford Vineyard Race winning the Vineyard Lightship Trophy,  then 1st in the SORC Nassau Cup and now 1st in the Key West Feeder Race in ORC. Pretty good for a 25 yr old J/44!! Only slightly modified with a 1.5m sprit, all A-kites and a deeper, skinnier rudder.”

Competing in their second SORC event, the 2017 Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, the Lewis' J/44 KENAI took first place in ORC and won the best performance award of any boat entered that was 25+ years old.   Crewed by a mix of Texas and East Coast sailors, KENAI completed the 161 nm course in 16 hours 56 minutes and corrected 27 minutes ahead of the second placed boat.  Here is more of Chris’ perspective on the Key West Race:

“The opposite watch captain to me on board was Lenny Sitar, owner of J/44 VAMP, and Commodore of Storm Try-Sail Club who are organizing Quantum Key West Race Week.  With another J-44 owner, H.L. DeVore navigating, there was a huge breadth of J/44 experience onboard.

The winds were 20 to 30 knots out of the east making for a course record run of 10 hours 18 minutes for Wizard, a 74 ft mini-maxi.

KENAI saw speeds of 17 knots, and at one point, before our Code Zero sail split in two during a gust, we were catching 56 and 57-foot boats ahead of us.

Running down the reef that was a lee shore, it looked like everything was fine until we were hit by a 30-knot squall in front of the beam with the A4 spinnaker up. Suddenly, we were charging at the reef at night with a big kite to dowse!!  Thankfully, we survived that drama to tell the story!"

KENAI is now leading the SORC Islands In The Stream series that concludes in March with a race from Miami to Havana.

J/22 sailing Midwinters* Maintaining a Successful Mental State means successful racing! Mental state has a lot to do with performance. Races can have unexpected twists that result in situations you weren’t expecting, and maintaining a positive mind state can be tough when your days on the water are long. North Sails Expert Mike Marshall, 2016 J/22 World Champion and nominee for the 2016 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award, shares advice on maintaining a successful mental state:

“Getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and staying organized are all key components to a fun, successful regatta. When tensions are high and competition is tough, you have to remember the big picture – for every race start there is a finish, and getting stuck on the details can affect the entire team.

Here’s a list on how to maintain intensity while keeping the mood light:

1. Move on when something goes wrong.
No matter how good the sailors are, things sometimes go wrong during a race. When they do, it’s important to manage the situation so that you can move on smoothly. What’s gone wrong is over and is in the past. Yelling about it or harping on it will only do more harm. These behaviors are distractions that will interfere with mounting a comeback. That’s why one key to maintaining intensity on the racecourse is to keep your focus forward, not backward.

2. Take a break between races.
You can’t maintain the intensity needed during a race for an entire day of sailing. It’s therefore important to take a break from high intensity after a race ends. If there’s nothing pressing that needs to be fixed, it’s good practice to stop and refresh. Eat some food; drink some water; recharge. This will put you in much better shape to gear up your intensity as the next race begins.

3. Focus on the positive.
Even when some things have gone wrong on your boat, there are also things that have gone right. Focusing on the positive things, while still acknowledging the negatives, can boost a team’s morale and help maintain focus. People in general tend to give up and not perform at their peak when their outlook is largely negative. This is why it’s important to keep a positive outlook overall.

4. Don’t worry about things that are out of your control.
Whether it’s traffic getting to the venue or an issue with the crane in the boat park, your team can’t stay positive if they fret about problems they have no control over. Lamenting the lost time that you could be practicing or prepping the boat only leads to frustration. And frustration is counterproductive when it comes to achieving the focus and intensity needed for top performance.

5. Limit stress through preparation and sticking to a routine.
Stress is the number one culprit causing you to get frustrated, become negative, and make bad decisions. Through good preparation, you can eliminate a great many of the things that cause stress. Have a well-thought-out routine and stick to it. This routine will help you avoid having to make decisions on the fly. The more you refine your routine and prepare your boat and team in advance, the more ready you’ll be for anything that comes your way. This, in turn, will help eliminate distractions that can reduce your focus and intensity on the racecourse.”  Thanks for contribution from NORTH SAILS ONE-DESIGN/ Craig Leweck at Scuttlebutt.

SailAhead J/105 sailors- all veterans* American Veterans Want a J/105!  Kilian Duclay from SailAhead, a nonprofit in Long Island, is hoping to get more veterans suffering from PTSD and/or depression into sailing as a form of therapy.  Here is Kilian’s appeal to J/105 sailors/owners:

“In the winter of 2013 I started, with my younger brother Sean, the nonprofit called SailAhead. I was 16 years old at the time. This year I will be 20, and this is how 2016 was such a moving year for me.

Before I begin, let me tell you a bit more about SailAhead. First off, what do we do really? We introduce the therapeutic powers sailing has to offer whether it is cruising calmly and happily, or racing like intense maniacs in short or long distance races. So yea, SailAhead has been basically consuming all of my free time. Don’t get the wrong idea, we don’t just put wounded veterans on our boats and take them for a joy ride, we actually teach them how to navigate and sail with the goal that they teach other fellow veterans.

Being a civilian that I am, I can only connect so much with veterans when we sail. Our goal is to teach veterans to sail sufficiently so they can in turn, teach other fellow veterans to sail. Of course, because of the veteran-to-veteran contact instead of civilian-to-veteran contact, the bond they create will be infinitely more profound than if it was just me, because they can relate more with each other’s struggles and experiences. The bond veterans create through sailing is a large factor that contributes to the therapy we try to provide.

Aside from PTSD awareness and networking events we organize with our partners, SailAhead has five core teams/programs that work in conjunction and are designed to get veterans of different interests, needs, and abilities, involved on the water. So, after countless hours behind the computer, on the phone or on the water, I am proud to say that we are responsible for taking 1,000 veterans to the water in just 3 years! If you are interested in what we do more specifically then I invite you to visit our website at for more info on our programs and events.

Finally, I will tell you why 2016 was such an immensely moving year for SailAhead and myself. Upon reading the rest of this article, I wish you feel just as motivated as I did after realizing my new reality. It shook me, it motivated me, and I am pushing myself forward in positive ways for the sake of our veterans and humanity.

So, like I said, 2016 was a very moving year for SailAhead because 219 new members, identified as our mates, have joined our ranks. These 219 mates have at least two things in common. One, they were once soldiers, and two; they each took their own lives.

According to the VA, at least 22 veterans commit suicide daily in the United States. The “22 a day” reality is what inspired Sean and I to create SailAhead, so with the permission of the families of these 219 veterans, we had the nametags of these veterans duplicated. These name tags come along with us when we sail with PTSD suffering veterans and we are honored to carry the spirits of our 219 mates every time we set sail. Because of the nametags, I designed a “219” flag which has become our banner. When this flag is up, you know our mates are on board sailing with us.

At least 22 a day means 220 veterans every ten days, which is the size of a USMC size company lost. So why 219 as opposed to 220? This is because the one missing in that equation is the life saved. The lives SailAhead are trying to save. The flagship of our fleet flies a white flag with the number 219 in black in the center. In addition to the 219 mates that it represents, the number 2 on the flag symbolizes how SailAhead was started by two brothers, and the 19 represents the age of Michael Blanco, a Long Island local US marine who was only 19 when he took his life on Monday, February 15th, 2010. The black of the numbers and white of the flag symbolize the fight SailAhead is in, like in a storm at sea, when the water is turned white by the frothy swells as they rise and crash, and the sky’s turned black by the ominous menacing clouds overhead, trying their best to sink and derail those who sail beneath them. But we don’t sink. And we continue to sail, sail ahead…

The camaraderie and intensity that racing and sailing has to offer is why in 2017, SailAhead appointed a Green Beret Special Forces Veteran in charge of the SailAhead (offshore) racing team, and is why we are currently looking for our own race boat. If you know anyone looking to sell or possibly donating a J/105 racer/cruiser (or any boat like a J/105), please send them our way or contact us! You can contact us through our website. Thank you for reading!”  Learn more about SailAhead 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."


J/42 sailing off France* 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 and points further around the Blue Planet Earth.  Here is their latest update (December 2016) from Bill & Kathy:

“We completed a three year tour of the south pacific and sailed from Hobart Tasmania back to Seattle in the fall of 2012.  After two seasons of local cruising, we decided to truck the boat to Rochester NY.  In the summer of 2015, we sailed out the Saint Lawrence seaway and down the east coast of Nova Scotia and the US, with a few months in the Bahamas that winter.  This past summer, we crossed the Atlantic with stops in Bermuda and the Azores, making landfall in Falmouth, UK.  We have worked down the coast of France, Spain and Portugal and are now in Lagos Portugal.  We plan on passing through the Straits of Gibraltar and spending a couple seasons in the Med.”

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.