Wednesday, February 15, 2017

J/Boats Newsletter- February 15th, 2017

J70s rounding mark in St Petersburg NOODHELLY HANSEN St Pete NOOD Regatta Preview
(St Petersburg, FL)- The first of the many Sailing World NOOD Regattas will be starting this weekend in St Petersburg, FL, hosted by the St Petersburg YC.  A record fleet has turned out for the event, fueled in part by the huge J/70 class.  Racing will be taking place from Friday, February 17th to Sunday, February 19th on Tampa Bay.  The weather forecast looks promising, with light easterlies on Friday, followed by moderate norwesterlies on Saturday and more lightish southerlies on Sunday.

The event attracts a broad cross-section of sailors in both one-design fleets as well as PHRF fleets.  The event is dominated by J/crews from across America, with strong fleets in the J/24 and J/70 one-design classes, as well as a competitive contingent of J/88s, J/29s, and J/105 in the PHRF buoy racing classes.  In the PHRF random-leg classes that get to roam around Tampa Bay, there will be a rematch of top teams sailing J/40s and J/42s!

J/70 sailing St Pete NOODThe J/70 class is out in strength, again, after just completing their Quantum Winter Series last week at Davis Island YC on Tampa Bay.  Thirty-four teams are headed for the starting line that include a number of top teams that had sailed in the Quantum Key West Race Week and are gunning for the J/70 Midwinters the following weekend, as well as the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week later in March.  At the top of that heap is the 2016 J/70 World Champion, Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT crew from Wayzata YC in Minnesota.  They will be hard pressed by a hell’s kitchen of crews that are all capable of being at the top of the leaderboard, including Darby Smith’s AFRICA from Marblehead, MA; Marty Kullman’s NEW WAVE from the host SPYC; Peter Cunningham’s POWERPLAY RACING from the Cayman Islands; Robert Willis’ RIP RULLAH from Columbia YC; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Beverly YC in Buzzards Bay, MA; and Rich Lehmann’s WIND CZAR from Little Traverse YC in Harbor Springs, MI.  Of note for the J/70s are the very talented HELLY HANSEN Junior Crew led by Blair McCarthy from St Petersburg YC.

J/88 Wings sailing St Pete NOODIn the PHRF race course, it promises to be a significant “dust-up” between top J/88 crews and J/cruising crews.  In PHRF 1, three J/88s are sailing, all at the top of their game.  Those crews include Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION from Huguenot YC in New Rochelle, NY; Tod Patton’s BLONDIE 2 from Milwaukee YC and Northbrook, IL; and Mike Bruno’s WINGS from American YC in Rye, NY.  They will be up against two J/105s, Jody Abrams’ ARIEL from SPYC and George Cussins’ FIRE & ICE from Apollo Beach, FL.  Sailing in PHRF 2 are perhaps two of the fastest PHRF boats on Tampa Bay, Ray Mannix’s J/29  SEMPER FI from Largo, FL and the St Pete Sailing Association and the trio aboard the J/29 MEATIER (Brian Davies, Brian Kennalley, and Ed Mui from Chicago Corinthian YC in Chicago, IL). 

The NORTH SAILS Race Rally fleet sees Jeff Russo’s J/40 INTREPID taking on Roger Gatewood’s J/42 SHAZAAM for class and line honors all weekend long!  Both crews hail from the famous Davis Island YC across Tampa Bay.

St Pete NOOD gutter racerWhile the racing on the water promises to be epic, perhaps the roughest and toughest test of sailing skills make take place ashore!  This year marks the inaugural HELLY HANSEN Gutter Boat Regatta at the NOOD.  Meet on the race track at 1900 hrs Saturday night at the post-race party to keep the competition alive.

Grab your “gutter boat racing kit” Thursday evening at registration, first come first serve.  Take a few minutes between Registration and Saturday's party to build your winning catamaran! Foilers??  Maybe.  Each kit contains a sail, trimaran frame, two pieces of balsa wood, a mast, and four screws. You may want to bring some more materials to set yours apart from the rest.  The winning boat will go home with a sweet Helly Hansen trolley bag!  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/   For more Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta sailing information.

RORC 600 courseRORC Caribbean 600 Race Preview
(English Harbour, Antigua)- The RORC Caribbean 600 has quickly become an important event in ocean racing circles in the course of its short history and a 'must do' race on the calendar of those who take their ocean racing seriously. The RORC Caribbean 600 circumnavigates 11 of the Leeward Islands, starting and finishing in Antigua, going as far north as St. Maarten and as far south as Guadeloupe. The race has grown steadily in its nine-year history and the 2017 edition is due to have a new record entry of over 70 boats.

J/122 El Ocaso sailing CaribbeanCommodore of RORC, Michael Boyd is delighted at the rapid development of the RORC Caribbean 600, “this is the tenth anniversary of the RORC Caribbean 600 and with Rolex's support we fully expect to see up to 100 boats competing. This event is quickly becoming a priority on the international racing circuit and we look forward to its continued success for many years to come.”

The 9th edition of the race starts in Antigua on 20th February 2017 at 1100.  Vying for class honors will be a number of veteran offshore J/Crews from both Europe and the Americas. In Class 1 will be David Ballantyne’s J/133 WINGS from the United Kingdom.  Then, in the large 27-boat Division C will be Robert Hiller’s J/122 EL OCASO from the USA, Henry Van Melle’s J/46 JENT from the Netherlands, Kevin McLaughlin’s J/44 SPICE from the USA and Andy Middleton’s J/120 SUNSET.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/  For more RORC Caribbean 600 Race sailing information

J/70 San Francisco Fleet Update
(San Francisco, CA)- Want to go sailing and have a fun time sailing J/70s on the fabulous San Francisco Bay??  Look no further!  Click on this link and join in on the fun with the J/70 San Francisco fleet this summer!
J/70 San Francisco Bay
For more J/70 San Francisco fleet sailing information.

J/22 sailing expert- Nicole BreaultJ/22 San Francisco Chalk Talk For Women Sailors!
(San Francisco, CA)- This spring, St Francis YC member Nicole Breault will be teaching a seven-week Learn to Race Course for the yacht club’s female members. Course participants will train every Tuesday on the Club's J/22s, then put their skills to work while racing in the Wednesday Night J/22 Spring Series. The Sailing Course was opened to the Women's Committee on Friday afternoon and sold out within 24 hours. Commodore and Mrs. Kiriakis are thrilled to see this kind of enthusiasm from the members in regards to getting women out on the water, and they hope it's the start of many on-water activities to come.

To kick off the sailing course, Nicole is offering a Chalk Talk for Women on March 7 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.  All women sailors from the Bay area and beyond are welcome!  In this talk, Nicole will discuss the basics of sailing and fleet racing and will provide an orientation of the J/22. Refreshments included.  Please go to or call 415-563-6363.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

While J/Boats is celebrating its 40th anniversary year, the J/24 class was celebrating its 39th annual J/24 Midwinter Championship down at Eau Gallie YC in Melbourne, Florida.  If you recall a bit of history, the first J/24 Midwinter Championship took place with nineteen boats in Key West, Florida in 1978 and was won by Floridian Mark Ploch from Clearwater Beach, FL- on a boat called Red-Eye Express!  This year, thirty-one boats headed for the starting line for yet another fun-loving free-for-all to determine who would be at the top of the totem pole in the world’s largest one-design keelboat class!

In addition to the J/24s enjoying good class racing down south, a number of college sailing teams also headed south to participate in another college big boat event.  On this occasion, it was the College of Charleston hosting the Southern Collegiate Offshore Regatta (SCOR), a PHRF handicap event for nine teams from across the USA.  Again, it was through the incredible generosity of J/Boats owners that helped make the event a huge success, including a number of J/105 owners and a J/120 from the local Charleston offshore fleet.

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 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.

J24 Midwinter ChampionsIngham Crowned J/24 Midwinter Champion
(Indian Harbour Beach, FL)- Just a few days after being named US Sailing’s 2016 National Coach of the Year, Mike Ingham earned his first J/24 Midwinter Championship, helming TARHEEL. The Rochester, NY-based skipper accumulated just 23 points over eight races at Eau Gallie Yacht Club in Indian Harbour Beach, FL to dominate the 31-boat fleet. Here is how it all went down just south of “moon shot” town- NASA’s Cape Canaveral.

On the first day of racing, the sailors enjoyed clear blue skies with breeze and between 10-15 knots of breeze over four races. Keeping all his scores in the top six (6,5,2,4) put Carter White’s Sea Bags Sailing Team at the top of fleet. Mike Ingham’s Tarheel won two races, but added a 16 to give him 21 overall points for second place. Will Welles’ Bogus was two notches farther back in third.

Ingham opened the day with his first victory, ahead of Travis Odenbach’s Honeybadger and Daniel Borrer’s Jesus Lizard. Odenbach snared the next win, with Welles and Ingham completing the top trio. White and Todd Fedyszyn’s Spoony Tactics watched Welles cross the finish line first in race three, before Ingham succeeded in the day’s final battle (followed by John Poulson’s Long Shot and Andrew Carey’s Mr. Hankey).

J/24 sailing MidwintersOn the second day, another four races were completed Saturday. With eight races now in the books, Mike Ingham’s Tarheel and Travis Odenbach’s Honeybadger were tied on points at 23 going into the final day of racing on Sunday. Carter White’s Sea Bags Sailing Team sat in third place with 29 points.

In winds between 6-8 knots following a brief onshore postponement, John Poulson’s Long Shot began the day with his first of two bullets, trailed by Ingham and White. John Mollicone’s Helly Hansen earned line honors in race 6, as Ingham took another second and Even Petley-Jones’ Lifted placed third. With a victory in the next battle, Odenbach made a move up the leaderboard (Aidan Glackin’s Mental Floss and Mollicone rounded out the top group) before Poulson ended the day the way he started it (Will Welles’ Bogus and White followed).

J/24 crew sailing MidwintersThe third day dawned with a virtual mill pond, a condition sailors often describe as a “glass-out”- flat water and the sky being reflected on the surface.  With no promise of wind in sight, despite everyone’s best efforts, all races were cancelled on Sunday due to the lack of breeze.  As a result, Ingham was declared the 2017 J/24 Midwinter Champion. Travis Odenbach’s Honeybadger was initially tied on points with Ingham after Saturday’s races, but a scoring penalty was later posted, leaving Odenbach with 29 points and second place, which is where he ended up after no races were completed Sunday due to lack of breeze. Both John Mollicone’s Helly Hansen and Carter White’s Sea Bags Sailing Team also tallied 29 points, with Mollicone clearing the tie-breaker for third place. Will Welles’ Bogus captured the fifth position with 41 points. “It was really hard to be consistent,” shared Ingham. “It was too shifty. If you got out of phase, it was really hard to get back.”

Sailing with Tucker Gilliam (bow), Scott Smith (mast), Scott Griffin (tactics) and Paul Abdullah (trimmer), Ingham now proudly holds The Lambert Lai Trophy, named in honor of the previous USJCA President who passed away in 2014 and also raced in the Rochester, NY fleet. Team Tarheel was previously led by Peter Bream, who died last October. Ingham has sailed the boat for the last two regattas. “The fun thing about this is it’s the Tarheel team, which was really Peter getting these guys sailing when they were younger,” explained Ingham. “I had this feeling that I needed to do him proud. And I don’t mean winning. I mean just being a sportsman because that’s the way he was.”  For more J/24 Midwinters sailing information

J/105 Univ South Florida Southern College big Boat winnersUSF Wins Southern Collegiate Offshore Regatta
(Charleston, SC)- Nine universities from across the U.S. competed in the Southern Collegiate Offshore Regatta, held February 11-12 in Charleston, SC. Held in keelboats using PHRF, the 7-race series was won by University of South Florida. The competition was staged in a fleet of donated boats randomly assigned to the nine teams with racing inside Charleston Harbor on medium-distance courses.

The University of South Florida team won on the J/105 JOYRIDE with an amazing record of 5-1-2-1-4-1-2 for just 16 pts total.  Not far off the pace in third place were the College of Charleston racing the J/120 ILLYRIA with an extremely consistent scoreline of 3-2-3-2-2-2 for 24 pts total, losing a tie-breaker for the silver based on 1st’s against another team. Securing 5th position on the J/105 SKIMMER was the Vanderbilt University team with a total of 43 pts.

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
US Sailing winners* Tim Winger wins major US Sailing award for work with J/24 Class!
A remarkable list of sailing’s most accomplished contributors received high honors during Wednesday night’s US Sailing Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol in Austin, Texas. US Sailing recognized these esteemed award winners for their extraordinary achievements in support of sailing in the United States. The awards dinner is a featured event at US Sailing’s 2017 National Conference.

Tim Winger (Lancaster, Pa.) was awarded the Harman Hawkins Trophy for his contributions to race administration as a measurer and equipment inspector. Winger sustained a passion for the J/24 the first time he saw one, and he has been sailing and working on J/24s ever since. He has exerted a major influence on the class for over 30 years.

Winger has held numerous positions related to J/24 sailing, including event measurer at seven of the 20 J/24 World Championships he has attended, district governor for the J/24 USA Class Association, and member of the executive committee of the International J/24 Class Association, where he currently serves as chair of the technical committee. Perhaps his most significant achievement was the effort he led to rewrite the class rules and the modifications required to gain World Sailing’s approval – a project that ultimately took over three years.

“The people behind the scenes make it possible for us to control the equipment and develop the tools and procedures for enforcement of the rules,” said Winger. “Thank you to US Sailing for supporting the sport we all love.”

An International Measurer (IM) since 2008, Winger has measured hundreds of boats at venues all over the world. His wife, Marie, often travels with him and shares in the measurement work.

“Between us we’ve seen the bottoms of more J/24s than anyone in the word,” added Winger.

Alex Finsterbusch, an IM from Argentina, said, “One of his many abilities is to recognize what your strengths are as an inspector. He always had the right guy in the right position. He is always calm, never loses his cool and is polite to sailors, coaches and everybody involved in the regatta.”   Learn more here about the US Sailing Awards.

J/34 family sailing on Lake Erie* Another awesome J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP sailing video!  Here is yet another nicely produced summary of sailing experiences over their 2016 sailing season from Brett Langolf and crew that race on Lake Erie out of Cleveland.

Knee Deep Sailing is a team of family and friends that race hard across The Great Lakes and also know how to slow it down with cold ones. Cheers to sailing!!   Learn more about the KNEE DEEP sailing team 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. Add to Flipboard Magazine.