Wednesday, February 22, 2017

J/Newsletter- February 22nd, 2017

J/121 cockpit deck mockup  
A Short-handed Sailing Machine Evolves- the J/121
(Bristol, RI)- Step-by-step, the J/121 offshore speedster is evolving at the CCF Composites facility in Bristol, RI; a city famous for its seafaring heritage that includes such notable sailing families as the Herreshoff’s.  Today, it is home to the next generation of offshore sailing design.  Evolving in the shadows of those fabled boat sheds on the Bristol shoreline is the new J/121, an offshore sailing machine designed to be sailed with five or fewer crew.

Critical to this design mandate is the careful engineering of critical boat-handling elements and deck/cockpit ergonomics, where even millimeters can make a difference.  Wheel diameters, pedestal heights and placement, foot rest locations, skipper and crew sight-lines as well as trimming locations all add up to sailing faster and more safely with friends and family.

Full-scale prototyping with actual sailors in the cockpit is the best way to validate and optimize the computer rendering. The J/121 cockpit offers tremendous elbow-room across her expansive decks aft.  The twin 36” wheels (mocked up in plywood in this picture) afford the skipper unprecedented views of the jib telltales and the ability to pick a faster track through steep seas approaching the bow, or diving for deeper troughs to surf and plane faster in following seas.

Today, the J/121’s ultra-fair CNC machined hull plug (by Symmetrix Composite Tooling) has produced gleaming hull molds, with the first hull due to be vacuum-bag formed in the next week.  More news to follow on this game-changing offshore sailing machine!  For more J/121 sailing information

J/70s sailing off FloridaJ/70 Midwinters Preview
(St Petersburg, FL)- The 2017 J/70 Midwinters will be hosted by the award-winning regatta management crew at St Petersburg Yacht Club in St Petersburg, FL.  With fifty-four hungry teams on the line, regatta PRO Todd Fedyszyn will have his hands full keeping the hard-charging crews at bay for three days of racing that commences on Friday, February 24th and concludes on Sunday, February 26th.  It also marks another “first” milestone in the evolution of the J/70 class; it’s the first time the USA J/70 class association has experimented in a major “open” class championship with limiting professional sailors to just one per boat, including the owner or skipper.  Post regatta scuttlebutt will be interesting; the jury will be out on whether this is a welcome development, or not.

The weather forecast will certainly challenge the crews that range in age and experience; from 14 year old Madelyn Ploch on USA 88 to Masters Champions like John Brim on his famous RIMETTE.  Currently, NOAA forecasts moderate northeasterlies on Friday followed by blustery, puffy northwesterlies on Saturday, followed up again, after a frontal passage, by a persistently shifting northeasterly on Sunday veering east over the course of the day.

There are many top teams that are participating that include Olympic Gold Medallists, to World Champions, to local PHRF beer-can Wonder-Women!  Amongst those that should make appearances at the top of the leaderboard are Allen Terhune’s CITY WOK from Annapolis YC (J/22 World Champion); Glenn Darden’s HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club (a J/105 and J/80 North American Champion with Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan McKee on tactics); David Mendelblatt on USA 839 from St Petersburg YC (a multiple College All-American like his brother Mark at Tufts University); Tim Healy’s NEW ENGLAND ROPES from Newport, RI (J/70 & J/24 World and Midwinter Champion); Henry Brauer’s RASCAL from Eastern YC (J/105 North American Champion and J/111 NYYC Annual Regatta and Chicago Verve Cup Champion); Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Beverly YC (J/105 Key West Champion and J/80 World Champion); Will Welles’ SCAMP from Mount Desert Island Sailing Club (J/24 World Champion); and John & Molly Baxter’s VINEYARD VINES from Riverside YC (2016 Quantum J/70 Winter Series Champions).

Notably, SEVEN top women sailors will be participating, including Darby Smith’s AFRICA from Eastern YC; Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP from Chicago, IL; Danette Szakaly’s D2 RACING from St Petersburg YC; Pam Rose’s ROSEBUD from Coral Reef YC, Blaire McCarthy’s SPYC JUNIOR SAILING TEAM from St Petersburg YC; Madelyn Ploch’s USA 88 from American YC; and Kristen Robinson’s ZOMBIE from Annapolis YC.

The foreign contingent includes two Canadian crews, Stu McCrea’s CAN 550 from Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Scott Weakley’s REX from Port Credit YC in Port Credit (Toronto).  In addition, is the Mexican crew from Puerto Vallarta YC, Ignacio Perez’s ZAQUERO from Guadalajara.

The Corinthian crews should expect strong competition all weekend long from past leaders, like Rob Britts’ HOT MESS from Davis Island YC;  Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY from American YC; Al Poindexter’s USA 241 from Lakewood YC in Houston, TX; and Frank McNamara’s CHINOOK from Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA.  For more J/70 Midwinters sailing information.

Islands Race courseIslands Race Preview
(Newport Beach, CA)- Sailors from all over the Pacific Coast are eagerly preparing for one of San Diego Yacht Club’s signature offshore races. The 130nm Islands Race begins on February 24, and is San Diego YC’s first offshore race of 2017. Following the Islands Race is the SoCal 300, the final event of California Offshore Race Week, in May and the Rum Runner Race in October.

For the eighth year, San Diego Yacht Club will partner with Newport Harbor Yacht Club for the Islands Race. The popular course features genuine sea breezes and deep blue ocean swells. Competitors will depart from the Long Beach Harbor and head west of the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands for some of Southern California’s best sailing before they finish the regatta in San Diego’s Point Loma.

Over 30 boats are expected to compete, ranging from 33 to 70 feet in length.  Skipper Tim Fuller from San Diego Yacht Club has participated in the Islands Race numerous times on his J/125 RESOLUTE. Fuller plans to use the complexities of the Islands Race to prepare for the Transpac Race in July (a 2,225nm adventure).  Comments Fuller, "The Islands Race does have its challenges. First, is lane positioning on the long drag race from LA around the west end of Catalina Island in a typical westerly breeze. Second, is navigating the exclusion zones outside of San Clemente Island, and third, is tactically anticipating the wind fill and direction on the last leg to Point Loma.”  After narrowly missing the overall title last year by a margin of just one minute, Fuller has his eyes set on the overall title for 2017.

J/crew sailing Islands RaceWayne Terry, SDYC Staff Commodore, is once again Co-Chairing the race, along with Daniel Geissmann from Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Terry is ready to host another iconic offshore race with a celebration for competitors after finishing the race.  "The annual Islands Race, now in its 8th year, is a normally well-attended event, co-sponsored by the San Diego and Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs. As of this writing, the fleet numbers 25 competitors in what should be another fun and challenging event, and a tune-up precursor to this year’s Cabo and Transpac Races. While the 2016 Island’s Race experienced somewhat of a weather anomaly, which drove an early morning race day decision to sail the inside course, we hope 2016 was just that – an anomaly. The Island’s Race is one of those events where the sailing offices at the respective clubs deserve all the kudos- they do the heavy lifting. On behalf of the organizing authorities, we hope everyone participating in this year’s event enjoys a fun, fast and most importantly, safe race."

There are seven J/Teams that are participating in the 2017 edition of the Islands Race, nearly 25% of the fleet! In addition to Tim Fuller’s J/125 RESOLUTE, there are two other J/125 stablemates joining them, Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE from Coronado YC and Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC.

Besides the three J/125’s, there are four other J/Crews on the race track that have a great shot at class, as well as overall honors.  Those teams include Ed Sanford’s J/105 CREATIVE from San Diego YC; Doug & Jack Jorgensen’s J/111 PICOSA from Los Angeles YC; Seth Hall’s gorgeous navy blue J/124 MARISOL from Cortez Racing Association; and Paul Stemler’s elegant J/44 PATRIOT from Newport Harbor YC.

SDYC will host the award ceremony on the clubhouse main deck at 3pm on Saturday, February 25 with food and drinks for competitors starting at 1400 hrs.  Friends, family, and the sailing community can follow the race by tuning in to the Yellow Brick Tracking website at
For more Islands Race sailing information

Banderas Bay Regatta logo25th Anniversary Banderas Bay Regatta Preview
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- Who would've thought that when a few yachtsmen got together in 1992 to have a little fun regatta, that 25 years later the event would be going strong, and one of the largest and most popular cruisers' events on the west coast?

This year, BBR will celebrate 25 years, and the organizers intend to make it something special! There will be an event that celebrates some of the past regattas, and helps everyone to remember all the great sailors that have come before!

This year's event will be from February 28 to March 4, 2017. The regatta starts off with the famous kick-off party at the Vallarta Yacht Club, and ends with the legendary BBR beach party. In between, expect a little old, a little new and all fun!!

Remember, when you participate in the Banderas Bay Regatta, here is what you get:
  • Two Banderas Bay Regatta shirts!
  • Two Banderas Bay Regatta hats!
  • Two Tickets for dinner opening night (can be used for any of the VYC dinners during the event)
  • A BBR 25 burgee to fly with pride, making your boat the envy of the anchorage where ever you go! This is a special edition and only competitors will get them!
  • Two tickets to the most kickin’ ass beach party of the season!
J/105 sailing Banderas Bay regattaTerry O'Rourke, founder of the Banderas Bay Regatta, loves to tell the story of the boat that was finishing the regatta in first place, calling the race committee to tell them he was dropping out of the race because he caught a fish.

To celebrate 25 years of cruiser racing in Banderas Bay, let's go fishing!  The second day of racing for Banderas Bay Regatta XXV will include a fishing tournament. The tournament is open to all boats, pangas, dinghies, sailboats, paddle boards, kayaks and inner tubes! No handicaps, just fish inside the bay. If you are not already registered in BBR XXV, just pay the registration fee for the fishing tournament.

Fishin’ starts at 7am and finishes at 12pm.  At 1 pm, races will begin.  At around 5pm, we'll have a fish weigh-in on the Paradise Village Marina docks, then we'll head to Vallarta Yacht Club for a fish BBQ to share the bounty of beautiful Banderas Bay!!  Fresh sushi?? Or, will it be awesome ceviche with lime and tequila!  Nevertheless,  awards will be presented by Harbormaster Dick Markie for best and worst fishermen.

Have fun, eat, dance and celebrate 25 years of Banderas Bay cruiser racing!  Joining the fun so far are pioneering J/sailors.  For starters, there is the J/105 SINFONIA NAUTICA skippered by Bart Smit.  Bart’s crew of intrepid adventurers includes the following rockstars:
  • Eugenie Russell- Puerto Vallarta- nobody knows what planet she is from, but great sailor
  • Pascal Desrosiers- owner with Bart from ABYC Toronto- Just sexy anywhere
  • Gitte Frederiksen- ABYC Toronto member- Danish sailor and Sailing Goddess
  • Kyle Harvey- ABYC Toronto- Hercules, single and looking
  • Nicholas Bolden- ABYC Toronto- The professor (we think)
  • Monique Lafleur- SDYC- San Diego- Tactician & Bow Goddess
Then, if the J/105 crew is leading the J/fleet home each day, not far off their transom should be the local J/80 crew- skippered by Rush Faville from Vallarta YC in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.  More good times to be had by these crews and, surely, some great reports about fresh sushi and ceviche with cervezas on the docks!  YUM YUM!!  For more Banderas Bay Regatta sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The sailors down in South America were having yet another week of amazing summer weather while there friends in the northern Americas were suffering from everything from lack of wind to too much wind to too much rain and snow.  Last week, the fast-growing J/70 class in Chile held their National Championship on Lago Panguipulli, a lake at the base of two enormous snow-capped active volcanos in the middle of their Andes Mountain range.  The sailing was truly spectacular.

Heading north into the Caribbean, the RORC Caribbean 600 Race started and it was clear that some J/crews were fairing better than others and a very famous J/122 was showing most of them the road home.

Just off to the west, the HELLY HANSEN St Petersburg NOOD Regatta took place on Tampa Bay, hosted by the St Petersburg YC for one-design fleets of J/70s and J/24s as well as a PHRF/ORC fleet comprised of J/29s, J/88s and others.

Finally, further out west, the Southern California Yachting Association hosted their SCYA Midwinters between 20+ yacht clubs across the regions for dozens of classes and thousands of sailors.  Included in that mix were some of the largest one-design keelboat classes in all of Southern California- the J/70s, J/80s, J/109s, and J/120s.

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 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/24s sailing St Pete NOODJ/Crews Loved Sunny St Pete NOOD
(St Petersburg, FL)- The first of the many Sailing World NOOD Regattas took place this past weekend in St Petersburg, FL, hosted by the St Petersburg YC.  A record fleet turned out for the event, fueled in part by the huge J/70 class.  Racing took place from Friday, February 17th to Sunday, February 17th on Tampa Bay.  The weather forecast looked promising, and in the end Tampa Bay lived up to its classic scenario of light to moderate winds- from every direction.

The event attracted a cross-section of sailors in both one-design fleets as well as PHRF fleets.  The J/70 class was out in strength, again, after just completing their Quantum Winter Series last week at Davis Island YC on Tampa Bay.  Thirty-four teams were headed for the starting line that included a number of top teams that had sailed in the Quantum Key West Race Week and were gunning for the J/70 Midwinters the following weekend, as well as the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week later in March.

In the J/70 class, first place winner Peter Bowe, of Baltimore, Md., echoed remarks about the importance of aggressive gear shifting in the shifty weather. The TEA DANCE SNAKE skipper typically competes in the Corinthian (non-professional) level, but with some of his team missing this week, he opted to learn a few new tricks from a hired coach, Jackson Benvenutti.  “He obviously upped our game,” Bowe said, laughing. “We’ve been sailing a long time, but this time we were faster and had better starts. This was our best performance in a major regatta!”

J/70 sailing ST Pete NOODTied with Bowe’s team for the overall lead was Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Beverly YC in Buzzards Bay, MA.  Keane’s team posted the most consistent scores in the event with a 3-2-2-6 for 13 pts, but not good enough to take the overall win.  Behind them it was an enormous battle between six boats for the final position on the podium!  Just four points separted 3rd from 10th place!  Ultimately, winning that fight was Peter Cunningham from the Cayman Islands Sailing Club in Grand Cayman, posting an 11-4-14-3 for 32 points.  Peter was the “de facto” Masters Champion for the regatta and this was his first top three finish in a major J/70 regatta.  Behind them were Will Welle’s RASCAL in 4th place from Newport, RI.  Then, in a first ever scenario for J/70 class racing, three women skippers occupied the next three slots!  Pam Rose sailed her ROSEBUD into fifth, with Madelyn Ploch’s USA 88 in sixth position and Darby Smith’s AFRICA in the seventh spot!

The J/24 class had five boats participating on Course B near the St Petersburg waterfront.  Winning that class was not easy either.  Just like the J/70s, the winner was determined on a tie-breaker!  In this case, both boats had 10 point each, with local J/24 guru Jim Lindsay on SIGHT SEEING taking the win with a 1-5-1-1-2 over Seth Rosenthal’s SHOCK WAVE from Crystal Beach, FL, who posted a 2-1-2-2-2-3!  Tight stuff!  Sitting in the bleacher seats watching the fight in front of him was Nathan Bresett’s WOODICHUCK from Belleville, Ontario, Canada; their record of 4-3-3-3-1 for 14 points was good enough for the bronze.

The world of handicap racing on Course D took place off to the southwest near the enormously long Bay Bridge.  For the first time, the NOOD regatta offered both PHRF and ORC handicap scoring for the entire fleet.  It produced interesting results, in particular because it offered perspectives on how much an “objective” rule (ORC) compared to a highly “subjective” rule (PHRF) can differ with regards to rating boats.  Winning the ORC Class of ten boats was Iris Vogel’s J/88 DEVIATION from Long Island Sound, New York.  She was the top women skipper in the entire NOOD Regatta!  Third in class was Ray Mannix’s J/29 SEMPER FI.  In the PHRF 1 Class of 11 boats, Vogel’s J/88 finished third behind two known PHRF “rule beaters” (e.g. boats that rate unlike any other boats in the PHRF rating spectrum).

In the PHRF 2 Class of nine boats, it was Mannix’s J/29 SEMPER FI from Largo, Florida that took the class win.  For more Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta sailing information.

J/70s sailing ChileSUR II Crowned J/70 Chilean Champion
(Algarrobo, Chile)- The growth of the J/70 class in the world’s “longest” country- Chile- is nothing short of remarkable.  Over the last three years, Chile leads the development of the J/70 class in South America with twenty-seven boats!  And, with advent of a South American builder in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the class expects to grow significantly larger!  That the class is growing so big is not altogether too surprising.  Many are converts from the country’s J/24 class, which also was South America’s largest one-design keelboat class with over 200 boats at one point in its history.  The growing popularity of the J/70 is attributed to its ability to be easily trailered and ramp-launched on any of Chile’s spectacular lakes that lie at the base of the world’s longest string of massive 14,000+ foot snow-capped volcanoes.

In fact, the 2017 Chilean J/70 Championship, which took place from February 10th to 12th, was sailed on the gorgeous Lago Panguipulli, a lake that is surrounded by three massive snow-capped volcanoes, two of which “smoke” every day!  Hosting the event was Club Nautico Panguipulli, supported by Nicolás Ibañez and sponsored by Santander Bank, Volvo Chile, Windmade and Harken.

J/70 sailing Lake Panguipulli, ChileThe fleet of fourteen boats was treated to fantastic weather all weekend long.  On Friday and Saturday, the classic southwest “sea breeze” blew in with 10-14 kt winds, with the fleet taking advantage of windshifts that often exceeded 20 degrees. Two races were completed on Friday and four races were sailed on Saturday!  Sailing on Sunday was limited to just one race because the 6-10 kts sea breeze didn’t fill in until 4:30 pm.

What makes setting the race course especially challenging in the shifty breezes is the fact that the windward marks are often set in 300 to 500 feet of water while the starting line and leeward gates are set in nearly 2,000 feet of water!!  Imagine that!?  Like their counterparts in Hawaii, the marks use rocks tied in a “basket” of biodegradable line that is chucked over the side from the mark set boat and after “timing” the descent of the “rock anchor” (often 5 minutes or more), the line is held for 15-20 seconds to determine if it’s on the bottom! Only then do you tie on the mark- which has to be a small red tomato mark to prevent getting blown around.

J/70 Chilean crewOver the seven race series (with one throw-out), the teams had to be sharp with their tactics and boat-speed, having to make constant gear changes in the breeze that saw significant fluctuations in strength and direction.  In the end, it was the team of SUR II, skippered by Sebastin Halperm and crewed by the Despontin Brothers and Nacho Giamona that demonstrated great boat speed and amazing lake sailing skills to win the championship with 16 points total.  Finishing in second place was the 2016 Chilean Champion, Per Von Appen’s BLACK SAILS with 19 pts.  Third place was determined by a tie-breaker on 21 pts, with Carlos Vergara’s SENSEI taking the bronze over Pablo Amunategui’s BLACK JACK.  Rounding out the top five was Matias Seguel’s VOLVO with 22 pts.

The Chilean J/70 fleet will head north (about a 6 hour drive) to the Pacific coast for the J/70 South American Championship in March.  Hosting the event in Algarrobo will be the Cofradía Nautica del Pacifico.  Twenty boats are expected from Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Perú and Uruguay!

For more Chile J/70 fleet sailing information, please visit their Facebook page

J/122 sailing RORC 600RORC Caribbean 600 Race Update
(English Harbour, Antigua)- It was an awe-inspiring start for the ninth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600.  The fleet started in magnificent conditions with the largest ever offshore fleet assembled in the Caribbean enjoying sparkling conditions. A southeasterly breeze, occasionally gusting up to 15 knots and a relatively calm sea state provided conditions for the perfect start with some close battles on the water.

"This fleet is awe-inspiring because of the quality of the boats and you can see that by the competition at the start to get close to the cliffs. From the first gun, people were pushing hard to win the race. The RORC Caribbean 600 has grown, year after year and we just love it, it is the perfect playground for offshore racing," commented Eddie Warden Owen, RORC Chief Executive.

J/122 Redshift race trackingRORC Commodore Michael Boyd commented, "It was almost as nerve racking to be up at Fort Charlotte as on the water, and, of course, we are all hurlers from the ditch telling them to get closer to the cliffs. It was a fascinating start from an amazing and historic vantage point to see these wonderful boats take off. Everything went very smoothly, which is a great tribute to our professional race management team and our volunteers. This was quite an emotional moment for me and we will of course be wishing them all well for the next few days and a safe return."

Ed Fishwick's J/122 REDSHIFT ON EL OCASO nailed the pin end at the first start which saw the combined IRC 2 & IRC 3 classes away clear. This year with softer winds predicted, perhaps one of these yachts will win the overall prize of the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy. REDSHIFT ON EL OCASEO was leading on the water at Green Island but two hours into the race.  As of Thursday at 0900 hours, with just over 145nm left to go, the J/122 REDSHIFT ON EL OCASO is 1st in IRC 2 Class and 1st in CSA 2 Class, and they have a shot at overall honors, too!

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 has a new record entry of over 70 boats.  For more RORC Caribbean 600 Race sailing information

J/70 sailing off SoCalJ/One-Designs Dominate SCYA Midwinters
(Long Beach, CA)- The SCYA Midwinter Regatta, an 88-year yachting tradition, is a chance for sailors to test their skills against the best skippers in the West Coast. It also provides an opportunity to experience the thrill of competitive racing for the first time in a name event in less formal cruising classes or as crew in one of the many boats participating.

The Regatta, one of the Nation’s largest sailing competitions, was held over two weekends in February, offering over 25 venues with 600 boats competing in 100 classes and 2,500 sailors participating. Not surprisingly, the four J/classes participating continue to grow and dominate the regatta- J/70s, J/80s, J/24s, J/120s, and J/109s.

Coronado YC hosted the highly competitive fifteen-boat J/70 class and it was Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT from California YC that posted a runaway win with finishes of 1-1-4-2-1-1 for just 10 points total.  However, behind his team it was tenacious fight to the very end and the top five was ultimately determined by less than 2 points and a tie-breaker!  Holy Smokes, Batman!  A nail-biter until the finish!  The ultimate winner for the silver was Jim Murrell’s HUCKLEBERRY from King Harbor YC, taking the tie-breaker on 28 pts over Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego YC.  Just one point back was Chris Snow’s SOGGY DOLLAR from San Diego YC (a past J/24 North American Champion).  Then, fifth place was taken by Chris Raab’s SUGOI from Newport Harbor YC only one point further back!

Hosted by San Diego YC, the J/80 class saw local sailor Curt Johnson and his crew on AVET that again showed their booty to the fleet all regatta-long.  Their unassailable five straight firsts enabled them to win their class with ease.  Taking second on JWORLD TWO was Sean Palizza’s crew with 11 pts and in third was Patrick Farrell’s JWORLD ONE with 14 pts. 

J/120s sailing off San DiegoAlso hosted at San Diego YC were the half-dozen J/120s that again had fantastic racing overall.  However, it was pretty clear that one team happened to break-out their can of “whupass”; John Laun’s CAPER gangsters simply put the pedal-to-the-metal, tossed in some laughing gas and nitrous, kicked-in the after-burners and blew away from the fleet with straight bullets in five races for just five points total!  Good Grief, Charley Brown!  How did that happen??  Needless to say, it was an unexpected white-wash of a fleet that customarily sees such tight racing that the top three has often been determined on near tie-breakers.  In any event, behind Laun’s amazing performance, it was Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN that just squeaked out a silver with a 2-4-5-4-2 record for 17 pts.  Taking the bronze was past regatta winner, Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER, with a tally of 5-2-3-3-5 for 18 pts.  As an illustration of how close the racing can be in the J/120s, Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY took fourth just one point back from CC RIDER with a 4-5-2-2-6 tally. And, fifth only 2 pts in arrears was Rudolph Hasl’s HASL FREE with a 3-3-6-6–3!!

The California YC hosted the fleet of J/109s and it was a new face in the crowd that won class this year.  Bryce Benjamin’s PERSISTENCE from Cal YC won the event, but it was not without moments of stark terror and undeniable determination on the part of their crew!  After starting with a 2-3, Benjamin’s crew posted three bullets to win the regatta by just one point.  Taking the silver was Peter Nelson’s SPRAY from Cal YC with a strong showing of 1-1-3-2–2 for 9 pts total.  Alice Leahey’s GRACE O’MALLEY completed the Cal YC clean sweep of the J/109 class, finishing third with a record of 3-2-2-3-3 for 13 pts.

The Southern California Yachting Association, now in its 96th year of service, facilitates member club communications, sponsors a variety of boat safety seminars, club Feb 18-19 training, legislative representation, honor awards and much more.  For more SCYA Midwinters sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/70 sailors at St Petersburg YC* Growing Sailing With J/70s! SAILING WORLD’s Dave Reed interviewed St Petersburg YC members about the impact of their fleet of ten brand new J/70s at the St Pete Sailing Center.  Here’s their story…

“High-rise condominiums are sprouting all around St. Petersburg YC and the nightlife in once sleepy downtown St. Pete is more alive than it’s ever been. The little city is growing up, with a hip new generation of working professionals, creating a fertile pool of potential new young members to pull through the iconic pink clubhouse’s doors.

There’s change happening across the street, too, over at the yacht club’s sailing center who’s chainlink gate is a revolving door for one-designs class all winter long. This week it’s the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta and in a few days it'll be the J/70 Midwinters, and out on Tampa Bay will be a handful of members racing the club’s new sportboats.

The club purchased 10 J/70s in 2016 as part of a scheduled replacement of its Sonar fleet. The process took more than three years says SPYC waterfront director Shawn Macking. “We’re not making money on them and we don’t intend to,” he says. “We spent $500,000 on boats, but it’s just an amenity of the club, like a pool, or a dock, or whatever.”

Club member Peter Davidson, who’s racing this weekend in the NOOD's 32-boat fleet, is the programs biggest cheerleader, says Macking.

Davidson, a longtime New England snowbird, has owned a Melges 32 and a Farr 40, but in this phase of his life he’s happy to have the staff deal with nagging boat maintenance. He prefers to show up, fill the boat with friends or college-age crews, and knock off a few winter regattas.

“It’s incredible that I can call, have it ready to go, and be racing the next morning,” says Davidson. “It’s the best program out there.”

Selection took more than three years, says Macking, because their search for the right boat for the club was comprehensive. “We literally started with every boat that’s out there,” he says. “We did spreadsheets, talked to other clubs and manufacturers. We also watched closely what the Gulf Yachting Association did with their selection trials [Ed.-GYA chose the Viper 640 as its official boat]”

SPYC’s sailors range from 7 to 80, says Macking, and the J/70, especially with institutional sails, suits everybody. Before members can use a boat they must go through orientation, regardless of their sailing resume. “Once they’re checked out on boats it’s only a 50-dollar drop free,” says Macking. “We just charge it to their club account. With 24-hours-notice, we drop it in, you rig it and go have a good time. Bring it back, we take it out, wash it down and put it away.”

With the average age of St. Pete's year round residents plummeting over the past decade, the club is aggressively chasing younger members. The J/70 has simplified that task tremendously, says Macking. “A lot of what we call intermediates are joining the club and being active in the sailing program, which is exactly what we wanted,” he says. “To join the club at a discounted rate, have access to a brand new fleet of boats and sail them for 50 bucks each time — that sure beats buying a boat.”

The boats are used for weekend and twilight racing, too, and recently for the J/70 winter series at nearby Davis Island YC. That’s where Davidson was last week. He says he gets in more than enough sailing, and he’s all the happier for it.

“Peter’s a perfect example of the program’s success," says Macking. "He was looking into getting a sportboat of some type, and he loves this fleet. He’s taken full advantage of the winter series in Davis Island and we delivered the boat for him and picked it up when he’s done racing. For 300 bucks he gets a boat three-day events and walks away at the end. That’s awesome for him. He’s telling everyone about it and trying to get people to join the club because of it.”

Morty* Robert “Morty” Morton has been sailing for decades in Newport, RI on the fabled Narragansett Bay.  Recently, Morty has been paying attention to the needs of our environment, as well as enjoying better sailing boats.  Starting with the latter, Morty has recently become the proud owner of a J/33 that he looks forward to sailing this summer with his family and, especially, hi son.  On the former, read more about how Morty and friends in Newport are benefitting the environment in their support of the Oliver Hazard Perry Project.

“Biodiesel Sees the Sea: New Sailing School Vessel Fueled with B20.  Newport Biodiesel provides 6,000 gallons of B20 for voyage ending in Cuba

A one-of-a-kind ship with a special mission is now fueled with 20 percent biodiesel as it begins a voyage from New England to Florida, then on to Cuba in March. On February 21, 2017, the 200-foot Sailing School Vessel Oliver Hazard Perry took on 6,000 gallons of B20 at Newport Shipyard in Newport, Rhode Island.

Oliver Hazard Perry in NewportCompleted in 2017, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry is the first ocean-going, full-rigged ship built in the U.S. in more than 100 years. It has the profile of an early 19th century vessel, but is a modern, state-of-the-art floating classroom hosting practical sail training as well as leadership development activities.

Newport Biodiesel, a biodiesel producer based in Rhode Island, provided the B20 blend to Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI) at a discount. The federal government categorizes biodiesel, a renewable fuel, as an Advanced Biofuel.

“Supplying this ship with B20 biodiesel gives us a chance to support a worthwhile seafaring mission, while educating the public and marine industry about the environmental benefits of B20,” said Robert Morton, chairman of the board for Newport Biodiesel. “This is the largest deployment of B20 we have ever done for a marine vessel, so it represents a significant step.”

Morton, a former oceanographer, volunteers on the board of OHPRI and also serves as vice chair of the marketing committee on the National Biodiesel Board. He sees big potential for American biodiesel for marine use. Biodiesel not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to petroleum, but biodegrades in water as fast as sugar and is healthier for people to breathe.

The ship is sold out for two round-trip voyages to Cuba in March that target high school and college students, but after that, the ship sails back to Newport from Florida, via Bermuda. During the two legs of that voyage (April 2-12 and April 14-22), adults have the opportunity to learn celestial navigation and study meteorology through courses offered in partnership with Ocean Navigator Magazine.

“Despite having 20 sails and 14,000 square feet of sail area, there will certainly be times when Perry will need to use her engines as she covers an estimated 14,000 nautical miles on her journey this year,” said OHPRI Executive Director Jess Wurzbacher. “As mariners tied so closely to the ocean and appreciative of its value, we are pleased to be able to reduce pressure on non-renewable resources. We are thankful to our Marine Trade Partner Newport Biodiesel for helping us keep our commitment to being as green as possible.”

T.H. Malloy & Sons, a progressive, family-owned energy distributor based in Rhode Island, fueled the ship with one of its own biodiesel-powered fuel trucks.

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, cleaner burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines. It was the nation’s first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. NBB is the U.S. biodiesel trade association.

More About OHPRI
Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island’s mission is to provide innovative, empowering education-at-sea programs that promote personal and professional growth. The mission is achieved by partnering with schools, organizations, and universities for unique experiential learning opportunities that incorporate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) educational concepts. The non-profit organization offers a variety of onboard learning experiences to program partners as well as the broader public and also participates at festivals and other events to reinforce the importance of and interest in Rhode Island’s and America’s maritime history.

U.S. Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry led the first U.S. naval victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

For more information on SSV Oliver Hazard Perry and its programs, please visit or contact, 401-841-0080.

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.