Wednesday, March 15, 2017

J/Newsletter- March 15th, 2017

J/120 sailing San Diego NOODHelly Hansen San Diego NOOD Regatta Preview
(San Diego, CA)- This weekend marks the second major event in the Helly Hansen Sailing World NOOD events for the summer of 2017.  The host will be the San Diego YC and three large one-design fleets of J’s are sailing (J/70, J/105 & J/120) in the Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD Regatta.  Racing will take place from March 17th to 19th in two principal sailing areas- down in South Bay just past the majestic San Diego city waterfront or off the southwestern tip of the picturesque Point Loma Peninsula and the beaches of North Island (home to the US Navy’s Pacific fleet).

The sailors will likely be preparing for light to moderate conditions all weekend with benign temperatures in the upper 60s.  Friday’s forecast shows overcast skies with westerly winds shifting into the SW quadrant at 4-8 kts; Saturday looks more promising with mostly sunny skies and a decent SW sea breeze building into the 6-10 kts range; then Sunday dawns overcast and sailing looks a bit questionable, but with promise of a late-developing seabreeze from the WNW of 4-8 kts.

J/70s sailing San Diego NOODThe eighteen J/70s have a great turnout of leading West coast teams.  In addition, joining them are at least three Youth teams that are hoping to qualify for the U.S. J/70 Youth Championship in Newport, RI later this summer.  Those youth teams include the HELLY HANSEN JR CREW skippered by Jack Reiter representing the host SDYC; Luke Pierce sailing CAKE, representing Santa Barbara YC; and Robert Garret skippering SLOOP JOHN B, representing Newport Harbor YC.  These three teams will have great racing against such West coast luminaries like Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS from Santa Barbara YC (ex J/24 North American Champions), David Schumann’s BOTTLE ROCKET from San Francisco YC, Craig Tallman’s JAYA from Kings Harbor YC, Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT from Cal YC, Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR from SDYC and the lone Mexican crew- Fabian Gomez-Ibarra’s VAGAZO.

J/70s sailing off San Diego waterfrontNot surprisingly, the eleven J/105s that are primarily from the host SDYC are showing up in force. Most all top crews from previous years will be in the mix, such as Steve Howells BLINK, Stew Cannon’s J-OK, Chuck Driscoll & Tom Hurlburt’s JUICED (the crazily bright orange boat!), Rick Goebel’s SANITY, Tim Fuller’s STEADFAST and Dennis Case’s WINGS.

Like their J/105 colleagues, the seven J/120s entered mostly hail from San Diego YC, but the two “outsiders” from the Los Angeles area will be a threat to the local’s domination on the leaderboard.  Those two challengers include Tom & Teri Manok’s POLE DANCER from Carlsbad, CA and Tim Hogan’s SHAMROCK from Newport Harbor YC.  Planning on holding their own and fly the SDYC burgee onto the winner’s podium might be John Laun’s CAPER, Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER, Rudolph Hasl’s HASL FREE, Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY and Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN.  For more Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD sailing information

J/32 sailing Double Farallones race“New” Double Farallones Race Innovations!
(San Francisco, CA)- The thirty-eighth annual Doublehanded Farallones Race, hosted by the San Francisco Bay Area Multihull Association, starts Saturday, March 18th and organizers are offering a new format for doublehanded sailors- four course options!!

In order to provide sailors options in the race other than the classic 58nm beast offshore around the formidable Farallones rocks, BAMA is now offering 3 additional shorter courses to allow sailors a reduced event that might better suit their needs, skill set or weather conditions for the day.

Double Farallones race coursesHere are the four options for the sailors:
  1. the Farallones Race- the classic "Race to the Farallones”- utilizes the SE Farallones as the turning mark for 58nm of incredibly challenging sailing.
  2. the Weather Buoy Race (DHWB)- aka "Race to The Weather Buoy”- utilizes the NOAA 46026 Weather Buoy as the turning mark for a 39nm “sprint” outside Golden Gate Bridge and back.
  3. the Main Ship Channel Buoy Race (DHG7)- aka “The Race to the Bar”- uses the "San Francisco Main Ship Channel Lighted Buoy 7 (G7) followed by R8" for a 15.5nm casual afternoon sail that gets you back to the Golden Gate YC bar in due course before it closes.
  4. the Boundary Line Course (DHBL)- aka "The Race to Happy Hour”- uses the Boundary Line (BL) demarcation between inshore and offshore regions and is the line between Point Bonita Light and Mile Rock Light.  This breathtaking windsprint of 8nm may just have J/70s blowing around the track fast enough for lunch or for GGYC Happy Hour and some serious celebrating while waiting for others to roll home!
In another interesting wrinkle, for any teams sailing a longer “declared” course where weather conditions have deteriorated (or “Happy Hour” is calling), the teams can always call the GGYC/BABA RC on the VHF and simply tell them they are sailing a shorter course!  Brilliant idea.  The intent is to provide a growth path for sailors in Doublehanded ocean racing through incremental steps in distance and to also provide options for skippers other than a DNS or DNF, as conditions warrant.

About 16% of the 69 keelboats entered in the race are the eleven J/crews that range from J/88s up to the mighty J/125.  At the top of the heap and likely sailing the classic race track will be Rich Pipkin’s J/125 CAN’T TOUCH THIS and Reuben Rocci’s J/111 SWIFT NESS.  Also, likely to join them in the blast around “guano heaven and shark-mellos (baby seal munchies for Great White Sharks)” will be a trio of J/120s- Mike O’Callaghan’s PEREGRINE, Ludovic Milin’s SAETTA & Sean Mulvihill’s JAMANI.

The next group of boats may declare for the classic course, but could just as easily bail and go for the “weather buoy” or “happy hour” options sooner than later if the weather turns ugly.  That set includes Bill Woodruff’s J/105 RUSSIAN ROULETTE, another trio of boats- the J/88s led by Steve Gordon’s INCONCEIVABLE, Jim Hopp’s WHITE SHADOW, and Chris Cartwright’s VENTUS (same guy who won his class in the Transpac Single Race!).

Knowing they are hardy souls as well, the final two boats in the J/team camp will likely declare for the long course and follow the lead of their faster colleagues.  Those crews include Todd Olsen’s J/92S WINDTRIP INFINITY and Peter Jermyn’s J/30 IONE.  Interesting dynamics working out for the new and innovative 2017 edition of the SF BAMA’s Doublehanded Farallones Race!

The weather prognostication may well see teams throwing in the towel sooner than they might expect.  For one, there is a bizarre weather pattern setting up for the end of the week with a weak low pressure ridge moving the breeze into the S-SW quadrants at just 4-7 kts with cool temps and overcast skies.  That means one thing, a very weak seabreeze or, if the valley magically gets lots of sunshine and 90 deg temps, it could simply nuke out of the SW at 15-25 kts inside the Bay only!  Outside, it will likely be a case of a “Catch 22”- the flood tide starts around 12pm and continues in a weird “double-hump” rise until at least 8pm.  In other words, it’s shaping up to be a light airs beat against the current under cloudy skies.  Just ask anyone that tried sailing the Newport to Cabo San Lucas Race to hear how bizarre the weather patterns have been in the last few weeks!  They started in fog with no wind off “sunny” Newport Beach!  For more SF BAMA Doublehanded Farallones Race sailing information

North Sails and J/Boats talk on distance racing in AnnapolisThe Future of Offshore Distance Racing
Presented by North Sails’ Ken Read and J/Boats’ Jeff Johnstone
(Annapolis, MD)- Mark your calendars now!  More importantly, sign-up now!!  On Thursday, April 13th, North Point Yacht Sales, North Sails & J/Boats present an evening presentation and discussion by two of the sport's most influential voices on the growing trend towards adventure and destination sailing.

Experience the Maxi 100 footer COMANCHE on its record breaking Trans-Atlantic run and a recap of Vendee Globe IMOCA 60 flying foilers excitement via video and Ken’s first-hand experience sailing such insane offshore speed machines.

Ken and Jeff J. will discuss the growing trends in adventure racing, what effect it is having on sailing, and how the industry is responding.  From J/Boats’ perspective, Jeff will describe the evolution of such innovative offshore designs like the new J/121 and how it fits into recent offshore trends.

Where? The event will be at the Annapolis Maritime Museum, 732 2nd St, Annapolis, MD 21403.

The schedule for the evening will be:
  • Meet & Greet with Cocktail Hour- 6 to 7pm (cash bar, free munchies)
  • Presentation by Ken and Jeff with open Q&A- 7 to 9pm
Ticket Price Includes 1 Free Drink.  Space is limited. Advance ticket purchase is recommended!  Advance tickets are $10, but at the door $15!  NOTE- Junior (17 and under) sailors admitted FREE!  BUY your tickets here.   For more North Sails information and J/Boats information.  Presentation courtesy of North Point Yacht Sales.

J/70s sailing in Hanko, NorwayOpen J/70 Nordic Championship Announcement
(Hankø, Norway)- Welcome to Grundig Hankø Race Week! The event will take place from June 28th to July 2nd and it will also be hosting the J/70 Open Nordic Championship. The racing area just outside the island of Hankø offers one of the best race courses in Norway, some would say one of the best race courses in the world! The race course is exposed to sea breezes from the southwest and generally offers very good and fair sailing.

Sailing has been an important activity and has made the island internationally well known. For many years, King Olav stayed most of the summer at his summer house on the island or on the Royal Yacht “Norge” parked in front of the harbor. Hankø offers tennis courts, areas for swimming, forest walks and horse riding.

The Royal Norwegian YC cooperates with Hankø Yacht Club (HYC), a private club, which was founded in 1954 by senior members of KNS aiming to promote international yacht racing at Hankø. The club has picturesque clubhouse and a protected harbour on the island a few hundred metres from the mainland. Participating boats will be moored along the berths just outside the clubhouse. The berths are new and offer fresh water and electricity. Wireless internet access is available at HYC on your arrival.

Charter boats are available at very favorable rates and are owned by Norwegian Sailing Federation. Approximately 10 to 12 boats will be available.  Please contact the class on Norwegian J/70 Class Facebook  For more Grundig Cup Hankø Race Week sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The ides of March are upon us and Friday is St Patrick’s Day!  It was also a busy week for sailing around the Blue Planet.  For our friends Down Under, it’s fall and that means crazy weather that can change at a moment’s notice as depressions spin like mad tops off the Roaring Forties around Antarctica and head north to cause havoc!  Experiencing such conditions were a fleet of J/70s sailing their New South Wales States in the Sydney Harbour Regatta.  And, further southeast of them, a J/88 couple were sailing the Hobart Doublehanded Series on the River Derwent in Tasmania.

Heading east across the Pacific, we find two events took place on the California coast, one was the conclusion of the J/22 California Dreamin’ match-race series on San Francisco Bay, hosted by St Francis YC, and the other was the Big Daddy Regatta at Richmond YC for offshore racing boats.  On the American East Coast, the J/70’s sailed a very light airs Bacardi Miami Sailing Week on Biscayne Bay, hosted by Biscayne Bay YC and for the offshore teams, a J/125 and J/111 sailed the second Miami to Havana Race, finishing off Marina Hemingway on the northern side of Cuba- it was a fast ride this year!

Zipping across the Atlantic, we see the hardy sailors participating in the first weekend of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series took place on the Southampton Water and the Solent in splendidly light conditions.  One-design fleets of J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, and J/109s were barely making headway against the strong currents, while the IRC handicap fleets with J/111s, J/92s, J/97s, and J/122s also faced similar dilemmas.  Finally, over on the Mediterranean, the Italian J/24 fleets were concluding their winter series and some were starting their spring/summer series for 2017.

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:

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/70s sailing Bacardi Miami Sailing WeekDuncan Triumphs @ Bacardi Sailing Week Regatta
(Coconut Grove, FL)- This year’s Bacardi regatta took place from March 9th to 11th, hosted by the triumvirate of Biscayne Bay sailing clubs- Coral Reef YC, Biscayne Bay YC, and Coconut Grove SC.  The regatta conditions were challenging for all, for both sailors as well as the RC/PRO’s on each circle.

The thirty-six boats from seven nations (USA, Argentina, United Kingdom, Monaco, Brazil, Poland, & Uruguay) that participated in event were treated to a challenging combination of light to moderate conditions that never seemed to fall into the “normal” tactical/ strategic patterns many sailors are accustomed to on Biscayne Bay.

J/70s sailin on Biscayne BayThe three days of racing saw mostly light winds from the Eastern to Southerly quadrants, with enormous wind streaks and massive holes characterizing the dynamics of the race course.  According to many, the “middle was death”, you either had to pick one corner or another and try to control (or stay in touch) with your grouping.  The standings changed dramatically for one day to another.  In the end, it was the team on RELATIVE OBSCURITY that prevailed in the tough conditions, a very talented team that was led by owner/skipper Peter Duncan and renowned sailors like “Moose” McClintock from Newport, RI, Willem Van Waay from San Diego, CA and Victor Diaz DeLeon from Caracas, Venezuela.  Smart. Light. Fast. They were a hard combination to beat!

J/70s sailing off start at Bacardi MiamiChasing them hard all weekend were leading teams from both American coasts, with the Europeans and South Americans having a rough time divining what was happening on the course.  In the end, it was a talented group of College All-American sailors on TEAM VINEYARD VINES that took the silver six points back- John & Molly Baxter with Mark Ivey and Jake Ledow.  Taking third one point in arrears was a superstar crew from Southern California on-board MIDLIFE CRISIS, led by Bruce Golison with crew of Steve Hunt, Jeff Reynolds and Eric Shampain.  The balance of the top five include Mary Kullman’s NEW WAVE team from Tampa Bay, including Alex Shafer, Steve Liebel, and Megan Hislop in fourth place.  Fifth was secured by Brian Keane’s SAVASANA crew from Buzzards Bay, MA- Tom Barous, Stew McNay and Juan Weed.

Bruce Golison's Midlife Crisis sailing Bacardi MiamiIt was a very talented fleet that saw several leading teams with skipper/tacticians of America’s Cup contenders, Olympic Games Medallists, World Champions and European Champions that did not finish in the top ten overall.  Such is the state of the J/70 class today, the world’s great equalizer.  As Bob Fisher (and his friend Jack Knights) at Yachts & Yachting magazine in the United Kingdom once said about the J/24- “it’s a Laser with a lid”!  So simple, that many top teams can get it up to speed extremely quickly and be competitive.”

For some perspective, here is a “Note to Self” for many teams that sailed the Bacardi: “at some point in this regatta, I crossed ahead of an Olympic Medallist (470, Soling, Star) or World Champion (Star, Etchells 22, Farr 40, Melges 24, Melges 20, Melges 32, J/24, J/22, J/70, J/80, Lightning, 470, 420, Soling, Rainbow, Sonar, etc) or World Champion Match Racers (#1 in both Open and Women) or World Champion Team Racers.” In other words, it was a deeply talented fleet that rewarded those teams that made fewer mistakes.

Coral Reef YC Youth Sailing TeamThe event also marked the second qualifier for the U.S. J/70 Youth Championship.  The qualifying Coral Reef YC Youth Team was comprised of the following youth sailors (from left to right)- Ivan Schestopalov (skipper), Shawn Harvey (main/tactician), Clay Snyder (kite trimmer), Claudia Loiacono (Jib Trimmer), and Jack Johansson (crew/ tactics).  Claudia had this to say about their experience:

“The Coral Reef Youth Sailing Team and the crew of the Sail22/ Harken Headknockers would like to thank you for sponsoring us in the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week.  It was our first time racing a small keelboat and we are really excited to sail in the J/70 Youth Nationals in August!

As high school seniors, our sailing experience has been primarily, if not exclusively, in dinghies. Our challenges in sailing the J/70 were understanding the dynamics of having five people on the boat, focusing on our individual jobs and learning to trust each other to do the same.  We also learned a lot about tuning to different conditions and enjoyed sailing in a much more competitive fleet.  The skills learned will definitely advance our sailing careers and help us all keep competing in more advanced fleets.  Thank you for the wonderful opportunity this past weekend.  We really enjoyed sailing the J/70.”

Congratulations to them as they will be sailing in the U.S. J/70 Youths in Newport, RI this summer in the middle of August representing Coral Reef YC!  For more Bacardi Miami Sailing Week information

J/88 sailing Hobart, TasmaniaJ/88 JIYUU Winning Hobart Offshore Double Series
(Hobart, Tasmania)- The J/88 JIYUU, owned by Peter & Karen Davis, have been sailing their boat in the Hobart Doublehanded series on the Derwent River.  This past weekend, they had an opportunity to sail a 12.0nm race up and down the river in the always tactically demanding conditions on the river- there are some big hills (mountains & cliffs!) that cause amazing cat’s-paws and tornado-like puffs to whirl down the river!  Here is Peter’s report on their most recent adventures:

“We had a great day on the river today. Karen and I have entered JIYUU in the Doublehanded Long Race Series and today was the first race.

Finally, we had a lovely sunny day with a light sea breeze that started at 5 knots and gradually built to about 12 knots- perfect for a short-handed J/88!

The race was a windward and return down the Derwent, finishing through the famous Sydney-Hobart finish line with our new A2 spinnaker on display.

We ended up 2nd across the line boat-for-boat!  In fact, we were only 11 seconds behind the Marten 49 "Tilt" after 3 hours of racing!  Incredible!  As a result, we finished 1st on AMS, and 5th on PHS (the smaller boats ran up behind us with the freshening sea breeze).

This picture was taken by one of Matthew's friends who was the crew on Tilt as we crossed gybes just before the finish line!  Needless to say, they were amazed at our overall performance! Cheers, Peter”  For more J/88 family speedster sailing information

J/70 sailing Sydney, AustraliaRozenauers Family Win J/70 NSW State Championship!
(Sydney, Australia)- The J/70 Class held its NSW State Championships during this year’s Sydney Harbour Regatta held by Middle Harbour Yacht Club.  Although typically raced between North and South Head at the opening of the harbour, Sydney's uncharacteristic blustery conditions found the fleet of nine J/70's racing in Middle Harbour this year.  Over the March 4th weekend, the weather was atrocious with an east coast low-pressure system arriving that resulted in rain and very strong winds.

Due to some engine trouble on the starter boat on Saturday (where it nearly washed onto the rocks), unfortunately only one windward/leeward course was raced on the first day instead of the scheduled three. Here is the story of what it was like to sail and win the regatta by Nick Rozenauers (skipper of the Rozenauers’ THE JACKAL):

“Our first taste of J/70 racing proved to be intense.  However, our family-based crew of Anne Rozenauers (Mother ’Boss’), Alex Rozenauers (Son) and Zac ‘Rozenauers’ Quinlan took it in stride as we faced 25+ knot winds.

With the combination of Zac and Alex picking the shifts particularly around the top mark, we were able to stay around the top end of the fleet. Ultimately, it came down to better gust management on the downhill leg, avoiding costly broaches that secured us the win.

J/70 family wins Sydney Harbour Regatta, AustraliaIt has to be noted that during the final run of the first race all the crew experienced their top speed on a boat with The Jackal hitting upward of 18-19 knots on one particular gust!! As one onlooker remarked- we were about to take off!    (Editors note:  the Rozenauers only took delivery of their J/70 just one month ago, so have done extremely well to handle the tough conditions and competition).

Sunday brought more of the same conditions with moderate to heavy breeze. With suburb trimming from Alex, we were able to develop a nice downwind mode and create some gauge with other boats that were able to sneak away from us on the upwind. As Nick (Skipper) and Zac found their groove within the shifts on the course, we were able to edge away from the competition. Importantly though, all onboard were fueled by Anne's ANZAC biscuits (with her secret ingredients) that played a huge role in keeping all the crew on their toes and full of energy.

I would like to thank Ray, Sandra and the J/70 class for welcoming us with such open arms and Middle Harbour for running such a smooth weekend!”

Last year’s winner, Tim Ryan from JAMES, congratulated the JACKAL crew, saying “they sailed extremely well and deserved the win!”  Taking second for the NSW States was JUNO with Reg Lord skippering and holding on for the bronze was Tim Ryan’s JAMES.  For more J/70 speedster sailing information

J/88 sailing Warsash Spring seriesMisty Start To Warsash Spring Series
(Warsash, England)- Last year the first race of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series took place in unseasonably glorious sunshine, but this year (Sunday 12 March) entrants were faced with drizzle, mist and light winds. Not ideal conditions, however, crews were undeterred and some good competitive racing was still enjoyed.

With light fair tide beats and foul tide runs, the latter were always going to a challenge, and both the White and Black Groups boats found that avoiding holes downwind was the main priority of the day.

J/97E sailing Warsash Spring seriesIt was a challenging day also for line and course setting for the committee boats.  The winds reported on Bramblenet were 7-10 knots South West, but Dock Heads was reporting 7-10 knots North West.  In the end, North West predominated, but 10 knots was rarely if ever seen.

On the White Group, Race 2 had to be abandoned when the wind switched through 90 degrees or more and dropped below 3 knots.  However, another two races were completed and as Race Officer Peter Knight noted, the same boats were up at the front.

At the end of the days racing, the J/70 SOAK RACING (Marshall King and Ian Wilson) was leading the J/70s and the combined White Group with the J/70 JENGA 8 (Andrew Barraclough) in second place and BETTY J/109 sailing Warsash Spring seriesJ/80 (Jon Powell) in third place and leading the J/80s.

IRC1 was won by JITTERBUG (J/111 - Cornel Riklin) with KESTREL (J/111 - Simon Bamford) third.  In IRC2 it was J'OUVERT (J/1112e - Peter Symons) second.

The J/109s had an interesting tussle, with many place changes, but the final result was JYNNAN TONNYX (Owain Franks) first and JAGO (Mike & Susie Yates)) second.

The J/88 fleet was won by JONGLUER (Richard Cooper) with EAT SLEEP J REPEAT (Paul Ward) second.  For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information

J/111 sailing Miami to Havana, Cuba raceJ’s Cruzan Miami to Havana Cuba Race
(Miami, FL)- The second Miami to Havana Race fleet started on March 15th, Wednesday, off Miami, Florida.  Hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club and Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba, along with SORC as Race Committee, they sent the horses down the track and across the Gulf Stream to Havana, Cuba on a nice windy day.

J/125 Raisin Cane sailing Miami to Havana Cuba raceIt was a pretty fast race overall. The fastest J/crew down that trail took just 24 hours to get there in a 160nm+ race.  Taking 2nd in PHRF A Class and 3rd overall was Frank Atkinson’s J/125 RAISIN CANE with a corrected time of 1:04:46:31, missing out on first overall by just 30 minutes.  A gybe here, a gybe there, that was all the difference.

In PHRF 2 Class, Gary Weisberg’s crew from Marblehead, MA sailed their J/111 HEAT WAVE fast & furious, finishing in a corrected time of 1:06:23:55 to take 2nd in class and 4th overall.  For more Miami to Havana Race sailing information

J/24 sailors on San Francisco BayBig Daddy Regatta Silver For J/Teams!
(Point Richmond, CA)- Not surprisingly, the first major offshore event on San Francisco Bay hosted by Richmond YC- the “Big Daddy”- produced great results across the board for J/Teams in their northeast corner on the Bay.

Eleven J’s (about 1/3 of the fleet) from across all points of the compass on the Bay had a fun time sailing their unofficial start of the 2017 sailing season.  In PHRF B, it was Jack Clapper’s J/44 PHANTOM that took home the bronze in their class.

The PHRF C Class was full of hot racing boats and a trio of J/88s.  In the end, it was Gary Panariello’s J/88 COURAGEOUS from Sausalito YC that took the bronze, while stablemate Marc McMorris’ crew took 4th place and Jimi Hopp’s J/88 WHITE SHADOW from the San Francisco Singlehanded Society cruised home in 6th.

Taking home the gold in PHRF D class was Brian Richards’ J/109 LA VIAJERA from the San Francisco Singlehanded Sailing Society.  Fifth in class was Charles Pick’s J/105 BOX OF RAIN from San Francisco YC.

Finally, rounding out the J/Crew haul of silverware was Richard Stockdale’s classic J/24 FROG LIPS, blasting off three straight bullets to simply crush their class. The Olsen 24, Melges 20, Open 5.70 meter, and Moore 24 in their class simply had no chance against this class act!  For more Big Daddy Regatta sailing information

J/22s sailing match race on San Francisco BaySilvestri Dominates J/22 Cal Dreamin Match!
(San Francisco, CA)- The St Francis Yacht Club hosted the California Dreamin' Match Race Regatta this weekend. Eight teams from across the West Coast got wind in the low double digits, sun, and a fair bit of tide.  The St Francis YC Race Committee managed a full double round robin, plus the championship round starting with quarter-finals and ending with the top two teams in the finale- a good time was had by all!

The 2017 California Dreamin’ Series – match racing at San Diego YC, Long Beach YC, and St. Francis YC – finished this past weekend at the St. Francis under sunny skies and light winds that delayed the starts but then filled in nicely, leading to action-packed, close matches.

J/22 Match Race winners- Russ SilvestriIn the San Francisco finale, the third of the three regattas, it was two St. Francis YC teams, Russ Silvestri and Nicole Breault that finished first and second, with Russ winning all of his matches and Nicole losing only to Russ.  Third place went to Dave Hood of Long Beach YC.

The overall winner of the J/22 California Dreamin' Series was Long Beach YC member Shane Young due to his second place finish at SDYC and his victory at LBYC, the second stop.  Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray  For more J/22 California Dreamin’ Match Race sailing information

J/24 sailing Lago Como, ItalyItalian J/24 Series Reports
(Rome, Italy)- For many of the J/24 fleets across the Italian peninsula, the conclusion of their winter series over the past few weeks has meant just a short breather.  Now, some of the fleets have started up their official 2017 summer series.  Here are the latest reports on that activity.

Marina di Carrara
In the “Gulf of Poets”, as it is referred to, two days of great sailing have taken place.  For the ten teams sailing off the breakwater of the Marina di Carrara, six races were held.  It is pretty clear that one team is dominating the proceedings, with ITA 215 MOLLICONA, sailed by Vincenzo Mercuri and James Del Nero, compiling a 2-1-1-5-2-1 for just 7 pts net.  Despite their excellent record, just two points back is Italian J/24 Class President Pietro Diamanti, sailing ITA 212 JAMAICA to a 1-2-4-1-3-2 tally for 9 pts net.  Sitting in third is IRA 202 TALLY HO, sailed by Roberta Banfo and Luca Macchiarini.

“We had two beautiful days of sailing and sun during which we sailed six good races,” commented Pietro Diamanti. “All crews were very happy. A big thank you to all those who worked on the Race Committee for their most excellent race management."

Pare Valmadrera/ Lario
With three victories in six races, there are no questions that ITA 503 KONG GRIFONE sailed by Marco Stefani has a narrow lead in their series; their tally so far is 1-1-2-1-2-3 for 7 pts!  However, keeping close tabs on them is Roger Spreafico’s ITA 476 DEJA VU, posting scores of 3-2-1-3-1-1 for just 8 pts!  Sitting in third position in the cheap seats is Mauro Benfatto’s ITA 352 with 15 pts.

“It was amazing racing over the two days on the lake water of Parè Valmadrera!  Plus, we had admirable organization by the Circolo Vela Tivano, they deserve a big Thanks from the Fleet,” commented Mauro Benfatto. "The next stage is scheduled for March 25th & 26th at the Navy League of Mandello del Lario. Here we will designate the winner of our series in Lario.”

La Superba J/24 sailing crewAnzio & Nettuno/ Rome
The Roman J/24 fleet concluded their Trofeo Roberto Lozzi series with a flourish; four races were held over the weekend, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. Not surprisingly, it was ITA 416 LA SUPERBA that won the series; she was skippered by Ignazio Bonanno and crewed by Simone Tarjeta, Alfredo Branciforte, and Francesco and Vincenzo Picaro.  Sailing faster and smarter all series long was the Hungarian team on HUN 1622 JUKE BOX; their crew was Miklòs Rauschenberger, Balmaz Litkey, Tamas Peter, Akos Pecsvaradi, & Tamas Richter.

"On Saturday we had a nice strong wind of 18 kts,” explained Federico Miccio.  “In fact, by the time we started racing it was gusting up to 25 kts!  Loving the 100% blade jib conditions were the Hungarians on JUKE BOX, they posted a 1-2 on Saturday’s racing.

Then on Sunday, we were presented with totally different conditions.  There was no sirocco wind as forecasted; instead, we had a light breeze of 5-6 kts, true 150% genoa conditions! The conditions were a bit crazy. In fact, on the first race we had a 70-degree shift to the south (from the original easterly direction), so the teams on the right side of the course simply sailed away into the lead!  In particular, ITA 40 ALBA CHIARA, skippered by Stefano Ventures (with crew of Raffaele Venditto, Alessandro de Julio, Luciano Tricarico and Eugenio Aurisicchio) sailed over the horizon to win the race, followed by ITA 447 PELLE NERO (with the Hungarian Farkas Litkey steering) in second and JUKE BOX in third place.

J/24 Juke Box from HungaryWith the wind now positioned at 190 degrees, the RC started the last race of the series.  Winning was ITA 447 PELLE NERO followed by ITA 210 JULIUS CAESAR, then JUKE BOX.

As a result, the final standings for the series was LA SUPERBA first with 21 pts, followed by PELLE NERO in second with 37 pts and JUKE BOX in third with 38 pts.  Rounding out the top five were ITA 428 PELLE ROZ in fourth with 80 pts and JULIUS CAESAR in fifth with 86 pts.

"This year, both the Trofeo Lozzi and the series gave us many surprises,” commented Miccio. “Not only did we have the honor to host the Hungarian crew that won the Trofeo Lozzi, but Farkas Litkey was able to give the crew of LA SUPERBA a hard time for the series.  It was the first time any team had challenged them so hard for the top of the podium! This is a great sign that our fleet is getting more competitive and we hope that will show in the upcoming J/24 European Championship in the home waters for the Hungarians- Lake Balaton.”  For more Italian J/24 fleet sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/105 Young American- youth sailing team* The Perfect Junior Offshore Big Boat Trainer??  Peter Becker, head coach of the Young American Junior Big Boat Team at American Yacht Club in Rye, New York, reports how the success of their program begins with their J/105.

“American YC has had an active junior big boat program for generations which traditionally overlapped with the eight-week-long junior dinghy program. However, in 2013, Rob Alexander and myself teamed up to supersize the program by expanding the junior’s racing season from spring to fall, setting the juniors up to race against the adult-sailed boats.

The philosophy was to do as much distance racing as possible and to “hand the juniors the keys to the boat,” thus giving the juniors full command (within reason). Peter and I figured that a J/105 was the perfect trainer for the juniors, and Joerg Esdorn’s J/105 Kincsem was available. The boat was purchased by a syndicate of members with the specific intent to be exclusively used by the junior big boat team. Young American became the boat’s new name.

The Young American Jr. Big Boat Team has 30-35 enrolled junior sailors between the ages of 13-18. The team competes from spring to fall in every race possible: distance races, one-design races, and club evening non-spinnaker races. The boat is also sailed by the juniors in the annual club’s weeklong cruise. Over the course of the summer, Young American has been typically sailed in 50-70 race days, providing in excess of 300-person days of sailing.

J/105 Young American sailing teamSome of the great successes the junior team has had with Young American is with distance racing. Over the last four years, Young American has been a multiple winner of all of the various Stratford Shoal races. For distance races, the boat is equipped with an A3 spinnaker and a second spinnaker halyard. In 2015, Young American had a banner year, not only winning the Block Island Race overall (PHRF) but also winning the prestigious New England Lighthouse Series Trophy which is the culmination of the scores from the Vineyard Race (1st class), Around Long Island Race (1st class, 2nd overall) and the Block Island Race (1st class, 1st overall).

The one-design racing has been the most difficult for the junior team to master. Since we are rarely sailing with the same crew members with the same lineup, each race day often presents a new set of training opportunities and challenges. While this is perfect for creating high-level training, it makes it very difficult to sail a series with consistent finishes. To date, Young American’s best one-design placing has been third place, which she has scored now in multiple series. The junior team had a fantastic time participating in the 2016 J/105 North American Championship held at Larchmont Yacht Club in an incredibly windy regatta.

The Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound holds two big boat races that are an all-junior event: the Dorade Race and the Beach Point Overnight. The J/105 has become the standard-bearer and the go-to boat for most of the junior programs so much so that despite the fact that the Dorade Race is a PHRF event, the J/105s compete as a one-design fleet.

J/105 Young American youth sailing team take down chuteFollowing are comments and stories from some of the juniors who have participated in the program (who are now graduated), and Carina and Collin who are instructing junior big boat sailing at other clubs. Richard is hoping to head to Navy sailing. The J/105 training prepared all who participated in the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race as a predominantly junior crew sailing High Noon, winning line-honors (1st in class and 3rd overall).”

Carina Becker, 2016 Graduate of the Young American Jr. Big Boat Team:
“My first time sailing a J/105 was around the buoys, competing against our local J/105 fleet of almost 10 boats. This fleet is one of the strongest fleets on Long Island Sound, and the fleet never passes up the opportunity to race hard. Through the years, I have gotten to know many of our fellow J/105 sailors. In particular, Paul Beaudin, our J/105 Fleet Captain, has always been supportive of our junior team and of Fleet #6.

In 2015, Paul put together a crew made up from our local fleet to compete in the J/105 North Americans in San Francisco. Being part of this crew, racing with (not against) some of Young American’s biggest home competitors was an amazing experience. While the North American racing was cutthroat with almost 30 boats on the line, the way “Team New York” came together to represent our home fleet shows the camaraderie the J/105 community holds.

Having such an amazing group of sailors to race against has made my experience in the J/105 outstanding. These boats, when used for junior programs like Young American, produce sailors who love the sport for what it is and what they want to make of it. I hope that more people (and juniors) will join in with the opportunities and friendships associated with a J/105 fleet.”

Richard O’Leary, 2016 Graduate of the Young American Jr. Big Boat Team:
“The J/105 acts as the foundation of the American Yacht Club Jr. Big Boat Team. Most of what I know about big boat racing is attributed to my first summers spent racing on Young American. The J/105 makes it possible for a crew of predominantly 14- to 16-year-old kids to race competitively against juniors and adults alike. The fact that Young American has a tiller makes the boat more approachable for those of us used to dinghy sailing.

J/105 Young American planing downwindSummer racing means the boat sees plenty of use from the junior sailors, with Can One Evening races every Thursday night and the Sunset Series on Fridays, in addition to the many other races throughout the season. I even had the opportunity to act as “owner’s rep” for the Boston University Sailing Team on their training day for the Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta a few years ago. A 15-year-old teaching college students about the J/105 was an experience that was bizarre but rewarding nonetheless.

Whether two or twelve juniors show up to sail on a given day, and the J/105 somehow manages to stay the perfect educational platform and a really fun boat to sail.”

Collin Alexander, 2015 Graduate of the Young American Jr. Big Boat Team:
“The J/105 is an all-around perfect boat for juniors to learn how to sail big boats and for junior programs in general. My experience with J/105s goes back before my time sailing on Young American, where an AYC member loaned his J/105 War Horse to the junior program. Today I think so highly of the design of the boat that I recommended it to the Riverside Yacht Club’s big boat program where I now am an instructor. I am glad to say that they hooked one up for this upcoming summer.

The J/105 has a nice balance of sport and safety. You can get one of those bad boys planing in enough breeze at the right angle. They are super fun boats to race, and they are certainly not the “slow beasts” that those that do not know sometimes make J/105s out to be. They have a fair PHRF rating, and I can remember pushing ourselves to our limits while we were distance racing, sometimes a hundred miles behind, knowing our efforts would pay off. Not many ratings are like that.

On the flip side, I have witnessed a J/105 heel so far over that the mast touched the water, only to right itself and keep on going. Our team on occasion has been thrown breakdown after breakdown, only for us to bounce back. One time, our main halyard broke mid-race on an upwind leg. We sent our guy up there and managed to fix it with a temporary halyard, and we finished the race with boats behind us. J/105s are seaworthy, and I would be comfortable taking one the distance offshore. They are solid boats and can be distance-raced, something that I found to be very valuable for our team.

J/105 Young American team relaxingIn Long Island Sound, there are so many that one-design racing is popular and super fun. I remember learning to get competitive and stripping off all the extra gear and stuff from the boat, right down to the minimum required by Class Rules. In a super competitive fleet, we still needed more speed, but it gave our team a taste of what great one-design sailing is really like.

It is small and simple enough that our team has been entrusted with taking care of and maintaining Young American. I remember long and hot afternoons out on the mooring with Capt. Becker fixing stanchions and trying to figure out what in the world was wrong with our engine. We repaired the boom on one occasion when it just gave out on us one day on the water.

I am not trying to say that J/105s are unreliable…it is the opposite. Young American is old, and boats break. Maintaining Young American taught our team what owning a boat entailed and gave us valuable experience with repairs. J/105s are an all-around type of boat. They are good for buoy racing, distance racing, cruising and educating.

J/105s are also excellent cruising boats. Many of the memories I made with my teammates were not in competition but on the Junior American Yacht Club (JAYC) cruises that we went on. A bunch of us juniors sailed the American Yacht Club cruise, which is a weeklong cruise, on Young American.

We had lots of fun challenges that week which included not having an engine for most of the cruise. We sailed from port to port making it all the way to Newport, RI and back to AYC in Rye, NY. I was only 16, and my parents trusted me with unsupervised overnights on the J/105, and those were perhaps the most fun and educational sails of my life. Imagine that, four boys cruising a J/105 down Long Island Sound with NO ADULTS.

We were in heaven and having a blast of a time. This would not have been appropriate on any other boat; but we knew Young American like the back of our hands, and it was not the most delicate and expensive boat out there either.

In regard to the Jr. American Yacht Club Big Boat Program, we had a blast. It was led by my father, Robert Alexander, and Peter Becker. Other adults definitely helped along the way. Doug McKeige, Mark Ploch and basically every parent contributed. Those four were the guys who went on the races with us kids. Each taught me to be a proper helmsman and competent in every position. I would like to thank those adults and especially my father; without him, our program would not have been successful. These guys are some talented sailors.

You have to have some guts to head into certain danger with a bunch of kids. I think of one windy overnight race when the junior team sailed a New York 42. It was a crazy adventure but in retrospect, I can only think of the adults who were willing to be responsible when things went wrong. They must have had serious confidence in their abilities and in our abilities as junior sailors.

The success of our team reflects Rob and Peter’s own seamanship. They have taught us everything from navigation to spinnaker trimming. The secret to our team was that we went out and actually did it, by ourselves and frequently. It starts and ends with the J/105 Young American— she taught us everything a junior needs know about big boat sailing.”

J/111 Velocity sailing Chesapeake Bay- Annapolis* Capital Gazette’s Nancy Noyes reported on the recent Chesapeake Bay High Point Honors winners for 2016 that notably had J/Team winners in several categories:

“Racing sailors from the length of the Chesapeake Bay convened at the Gibson Island Club on Saturday for the presentation of the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association's annual High Point Awards.

High Point honors recognize top performances over the 2016 racing season in Cruising One Design and Handicap division classes including PHRF, Multihull, and the new Chesapeake Racer Cruiser Association and Chesapeake Shorthanded Sailing Society classes.

High Point awards are determined using a mathematical formula in which a qualifying sailor's actual score in the races in which he or she competed is divided by the score that sailor would have earned had he or she won each of the relevant races.

A minimum number of races must be sailed in order to qualify, and, if more races than the minimum are completed, some of the worst performances may be thrown out.

In addition to the High Point trophies, several prestigious overall awards also were announced, including divisional championships.

Taking top honors for best performance in the Handicap Division with the Labrot Trophy was Marty Roesch, an Annapolis Yacht Club member. Roesch and his team sailed his J/111 VELOCITY to the top spot in PHRF A1 in Region 3AW (Annapolis/Western Shore). Since worst-race throw-outs aren't part of the calculation for determining the LaBrot winner, it always signifies a consistently strong performance over the year.

Roesch's counterparts in the Cruising One Design division, winners of the J.F. Healy Memorial Trophy, were Jim Sagerholm and Jerry Christofel, leaders of the AUNT JEAN in the J/35 class.

Regional honors also were presented, including the Lady Anne Arundel Trophy for the 2016 highest scoring Anne Arundel County skipper and the Decker Memorial award for best performance in PHRF in Region 2.

No stranger to recognition for strong performance, John White was the recipient of the Lady Anne Arundel Trophy. While the numbers of qualifying sailors and starting line totals may be lower over the last several years than they once were, White not only won the highly competitive J/105 Class (a fleet still thriving with strong numbers of qualifiers and competitors in any given event).  He also sailed enough races in the J/80 class to qualify and finish second in that class as well!

J/24 (17 participants, 3 qualifiers)
1. USA 4006- Peter Rich 2. Spaceman Spiff- Pete Kassal 3. Rush Hour- Pat Fitzgerald

J/30 (13 participants, 7 qualifiers)
1. Infectious Smile- Tristan and Sheila Keen 2. Bebop- Bob Rutsch / Mike Costello 3. Insatiable- Ron Anderson

J/35 (8 participants, 3 qualifiers)
1. Aunt Jean- Jim Sagerholm and Jerry Christofel 2. T-Bone- Bruce Artman 3. Medicine Man- Chuck Kohlerman

J/80 (30 participants, 5 qualifiers)
1, Vayu- David Andril 2. John White 3. Eleven- Bert Carp

J/105 (28 participants, 15 qualifiers)
1. John White 2. Bat IV- Andrew Kennedy 3. Tenacious- Carl and Scott Gitchell 4. Mirage- Fred Salvesen and Cedric Lewis 5. Jester- Hugh Bethel

Full High Point standings on the CBYRA website.  THANKS to Nancy Noyes for the contribution from Capital Gazette.

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.
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