Wednesday, April 19, 2017

J/Newsletter- April 19th, 2017

J/70s at CharlestonCharleston Race Week Preview
(Charleston, SC)- Spring maybe finally be arriving for the much anticipated Sperry Charleston Race Week that is taking place from April 20th to 23rd in Charleston, SC. Between the historical downtown of Charleston and the casual atmosphere of Mt Pleasant across the harbor, the sailors will be spoiled for choice for charming restaurants, quaint southern-style inns, and plenty of sites to see, including the famous World War II aircraft carrier- the USS Yorktown.

The incredibly popular regatta is the first large-scale spring event to take place on the East Coast, with 217 boats entered, with just about all boats based at the amazingly accommodating Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina on Patriots Point.  The event has become a mecca for J/sailors in the spring-time, a great chance to dust off the old yacht, toss it on a trailer, and drag it down to Charleston to have some fun-in-the-sun and enjoy good’ole southern hospitality.

The sailing is quite challenging for both Charleston Harbor veterans and rookies learning the vagaries of winds and the notorious currents. While the winds can be tricky and shiftier than most harbors, it is the massive amounts of current produced by the confluence of three rivers (Ashley, Cooper & Wando) that converge at the northwestern part of the harbor that drives both the RC/ PRO’s crazy and the sailors simply cuckoo.  It is not unusual to see upwards of 3 kts of current across the four race courses inside the harbor and enormous current shears and eddies when the tide changes; especially inside of Fort Sumter (the place that is infamous in US history for being bombarded by the Confederate Army on April 12-14, 1861, starting the American Civil War).  Plus, toss in some constantly shifting sand bars and mud banks known simply as “Middle Ground” and you get the picture- it’s a challenge.

J/24s sailing CharlestonThe weekend forecast may actually exacerbate the tactics and strategies employed by the teams, both on the inshore courses and the offshore courses.  In general, it looks to be light to medium breezes for all four days.  Starting Thursday, a light northerly is supposed to die with potential for a 5-8 kts south/southeast seabreeze in the afternoon.  There should be some improvement on Friday, sunny in the high 70s with a SW flow moving SSW in the 8-15 kts range.  Saturday and Sunday look promising, with forecasts indicating SSW winds of 12-18 kts and sunny.

For the 127-strong field of J’s across PHRF handicap and one-design classes of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, and J/88s, it means they will represent by far the biggest brand participating in the event- nearly 60% of the entire fleet!  In short, Charleston Race Week has become another “de facto” J/Fest regatta for the passionate tribe of J/sailors in the eastern half of America.

Leading the charge by far is the largest fleet in the regatta- the 76-boat J/70 fleet.  It has the feeling of a “Woodstock-type” of gathering, sailors are coming from near and far to get a chance to re-unite after a long cold winter and for those who’ve been fortunate enough to have been traveling the Florida and Caribbean winter regatta trail.  Canadians, Nova Scotians, Chileans, Mexicans, Cayman’ers, Italians, Quebecois, and the sort are all looking forward to diving into the muddy, tricky currents of the famous harbor and, later, trading a few bruising war stories in the sands of the tent party about how they missed “the big one”.

The J/70s are loaded with both strong Corinthians teams as well as Open crews from across the world.  Top visitors include World Champion Italian sailor from YC Monaco and of America’s Cup & MOBY Lines fame, Vincenzo Onorato, steering one of his famous MASCALZONE LATINO’s.  He will be challenged by other visiting teams like Felipe Robles from Cofradia Nautico del Pacifico in Santiago, Chile; Peter Cunningham’s Cayman Islands crew on POWERPLAY RACING from Cayman Islands Sailing Club; Fabian Gomez-Ibarra’s VAGAZO from Guadalajara, Mexico; Hadrian Corning’s EMILEE from Pointe Claire YC in Westmount, Quebec; and Matthew Monts crew from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

J/70s sailing CharlestonOn the flip-side of that contingent is a thundering herd of fast crews hoping to maintain some composure in the tricky conditions despite their platinum credentials.  Such teams include current J/70 World Champion Joel Ronning’s crew on CATAPULT from Wayzata, MN; Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT from Kemah, TX; Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING; the formidable Snow/Brigden duo on COOL STORY BRO from San Francisco, CA; Allan Terhune on DAZZLER from Annapolis, MD (a J/22 World Champion); Martie Kullman’s NEW WAVE from St Petersburg YC; Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego YC; Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND from Annapolis YC; John Brim’s RIMETTE from Fishers Island YC; Pamela Rose’s ROSEBUD from Coral Reef YC; Peter Vessella’s RUNNING WILD from St Francis YC; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Buzzards Bay; Will Welles’ SCAMP from Newport, RI; Hannah Swett’s SPARKLE from New York YC; Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth Boat Club, TX (the 2017 Quantum Winter Series winners); and John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES from Riverside YC in CT (the 2016 Quantum Winter Series winners).  Yes, it’s a star-studded, highly competitive event that will see “flights” of 38 boats race each other in a continuous round-robin to determine the winner.

The top Corinthians J/70 crews will certainly include Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY from American YC; Frank McNamara’s CHINOOK from Eastern YC; Tracy Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN from St Francis YC; Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY from Annapolis YC; and Alex Meleny’s TRUCKIN’ from Vineyard Haven YC.

Next up is the most excellent showing of the J/24 class, with twenty teams showing up for a “battery bash” across that waterfront all weekend long.  A number of cataclysmic confrontations of the megaton kind will most certainly take place in this legendary class.  Pulling out every weapon in their arsenal will be past J/24 champions like Mike Ingham’s USA 5443 from Rochester Canoe Club; Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM for Davis Island YC; Tony Parker’s famously-named BANGOR PACKET from Annapolis YC; Ron Medlin’s BASH from Waccamaw SC; Mike Palazzo’s JO MAMMA from Charleston YC; Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS from Lloyd Harbor YC; and Mike Marshall’s USA 5028 from Jamestown, RI.

Celebrating their first Midwinter Championship in some time are the J/80s.  A good fleet of eight teams will be on the starting line, representing seven states!  Familiar crews include Ken Mangano’s MANGO from Eastport YC in Annapolis, MD; John Storck’s J/80 North Americans winning team on RUMOR from Huntington, NY; and the top couple team on-board SHENANIGANS- Bill & Shannon Lockwood from Keyport YC in Holmdel, NJ.

J/88s sailing CharlestonThe five-boat fleet of J/88s promises to be a donnybrook amongst the leading crews.  Featured are two past Key West and East Coast winners, Mike Bruno’s WINGS team from American YC in Rye, NY and Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION crew from Huguenot YC in New Rochelle, NY.  Chasing them hard will be another woman skipper- Laura Weyler’s HIJINKS from Youngstown YC and Williamsville, NY; Brian O’Malley’s BLUE from Peninsula YC in Charlotte, NC and Ryan Ruhlman’s fast SPACEMAN SPIFF team from Lakeside YC in Cleveland, OH.

The J/105 class is making a bit of a comeback in this regatta, with 5 boats on the starting line.  With all local boats, the betting form is a bit suspect since none of the teams have competed on a national level.  Nevertheless, it could be a JOYRIDE (Robert Scribner) as they become the crew that becomes the SKIMMER (Martschink/Hagood) that goes past the RUCKUS (Seif/Smith/Jacques) formed on the RUMFRONT (Martschink/McKenzie), or else they will all be DEAD ON ARRIVAL (Highsmith)!! :0

The J/22s are sailing with four boats, but it must be noted that it includes the WARRIOR SAILING TEAM, a program designed to provide opportunities for America’s war veterans to experience the sea and team-building with friends. Also, the fleet includes two women’s skippers- Allyson Plessner on College of Charleston #9 and Kate O’Donnell on LEVEL PELICAN.

In the world of offshore sailing, there are a number premiere teams hoping to gather some silverware in both ORC handicap as well as PHRF Pursuit events.  In ORC A with 6 boats, we find multiple Key West Race Week champion, the J/122 TEAMWORK, again being led by owner/skipper Robin Team from Lexington, NC.  In ORC B with 6 boats, there is a quartet of crews that includes the J/120 MOOSE DOWN with Richard Moore from Carolina YC and John Keenan’s ILLYRIA from Mt Pleasant, SC; the J/35 ARROW with Willy Schwenzfeier from Charleston, SC; and the J/36 SOUL with Charles Coyer from College of Charleston YC.

The random-leg PHRF Pursuit Spinnaker fleet includes the J/111 KINETIC with Robert Stein from Charleston YC; the J/120 EMOCEAN with Bill Hanckel from Charleston YC; and the J/130 SCEPTRE with Bob Musor from Mt Pleasant, SC.  Their colleagues in PHRF Pursuit Non-Spin include the J/30 LAS BRISAS with Mark Swatta from Mt Pleasant, SC.  For more SPERRY Charleston Race Week sailing information

J/120s sailing Yachting Cup2017 Yachting Cup Countdown!
(San Diego, CA)- San Diego Yacht Club’s signature spring event, the Yachting Cup regatta, returns on May 5-7, 2017 for the 45th year. Over 80 entries are expected for this year’s regatta from numerous yacht clubs around Southern California as well as international yacht clubs from Canada, Uruguay, and Bermuda.

The 2017 Yachting Cup will feature racing on Saturday and Sunday with two venues out on the Pacific Ocean and one in San Diego Bay. Each day will feature post-race activities and parties back at SDYC after racing.

So far, some of the largest classes entered are the J/105s and J/70s. The J/120 class will also be well represented with 2010 Yachting Cup winner Chuck Nichols’ boat CC Rider on the entry list. Among other accomplishments, Nichols has won the J/120 North American Championship three times and has been the runner-up twice on CC Rider, but Yachting Cup remains one of his favorite races to participate in.

“Yachting Cup is one of the premiere events that we try to sail every year. Entries are always high in our class and the competition is fierce. It gets tougher to win it every year. SDYC does a great job both on land and on the water, so racers can be assured of fun parties and fair racing.”

Early entries for the 2017 race include all of the past overall winners since 2010, including the most recent winner, David Boatner, who won the 2016 Yachting Cup on his J/35 RIVAL. The entry list also includes several class winners from previous Yachting Cups, raising the stakes for competitors throughout the weekend.

Yachting Cup is a great opportunity for handicap fleet racing. Handicap racing is significant because it provides an opportunity for diverse boats to race, ranging from recreational weekend sailors to those with the most updated designs and seasoned crews.

The Organizing Authority is inviting the participants of the Newport to Ensenada Race to plan on stopping in San Diego on their return trip north to sail in the Yachting Cup.  The awards ceremony will be held at San Diego Yacht Club after the completion of races on Sunday, May 7 where prizes will be awarded by class.

The Yachting Cup would like to thank its sponsors: Pantaenius, Lars Remodeling, Bay City Brewing Company, North Sails, Rigworks, Mount Gay Rum, Lemon & Line, and Bare Republic.  For more San Diego YC Yachting Cup sailing information

J/125 sailing EnsenadaNewport to Ensenada Race Update!
(Newport Beach, CA)- Members of the Newport Ocean Sailing Association are thrilled to announce the Kick-Off Party on Sunday, April 23, will be held at Marina Park, the City’s extraordinary waterfront sailing and community center. The public celebration will take place from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.

The 10.5 acre park that opened December 2015 is operated by the City’s Recreation & Senior Services Department. The party will celebrate the 70th running of the iconic Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race - that is now less than seven weeks away - and its relationship to its host city, its residents and sailing partnerships.

“I’m pleased that the Newport Ocean Sailing Association chose to have the kickoff event at the City’s Marina Park. It was recently built as a “window to the bay” for our residents and visitors to enjoy so it’s the perfect location to bring people together to celebrate this year’s race,” said Newport Beach Mayor Kevin Muldoon.

At the new docks, guests can tour two participating race boats or watch juniors compete in a demonstration regatta. The University of California, Irvine’s Campus Recreation Department that runs year-round sailing programs at the facility for residents and students will offer basic sailing instruction, including a sail and will rent out paddle boards and sailboats throughout the day. Children’s activities will include rides on a Coast Guard boat.

If you’re nostalgic, there will be a 6-vehicle display of Woodies, the old-time beach cruising cars from the 50s and 60s. If you like to go fast in the latest street machines, Sterling BMW will have several of its new cars on display. Sponsors tents will be set up for browsing, representatives from the Mexican and Ensenada Tourist Boards will be in attendance.

Upstairs in the open community center, guests can visit with competitors; racers can pick up their official race packets and everyone can enjoy the Stella Artois beer garden and entertainment while ogling a selection of beautiful N2E trophies that will be vied for in the race that starts Friday, April 28, off the Balboa Pier.

“The Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race has been a Newport Beach tradition for seven decades and is woven into our city’s nautical heritage,” Muldoon said. “Each year, it draws sailors and spectators to the coastline to watch as hundreds of boats line up for the start of the race. It’s a spectacular sight.”

So far, with over 150 keelboats racing in the event, including a dozen J/Teams, they will be looking forward to the pre-race festivities!  More news next week once the fleet is finalized for the start on April 28th!  For more Newport to Ensenada Race sailing information

J/120 Apres off Marthas VineyardEdgartown Race Weekend Update!
(Edgartown, MA)- The Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend isn’t your typical regatta. For starters, it has two parts: one for the much revered and time-tested (79 years old) 60nm distance race around Martha’s Vineyard and another for two days of short-course racing (added in 2012) in Edgartown’s Outer Harbor. And no need to fret if you can’t do it all. Only the Round-the-Island Race (RTI) on Saturday, July 22 requires an entry fee, and to boot, each day of the ’Round-the-Buoy Races (‘RTB) are scored separately, so if you can make one day and not the other, you can still win silverware in your class!

“Some years I did the buoy racing in addition to the Round-the-Island and some years I did just the RTI,” said Stephen Besse (Guilford, Conn.), skipper of the J/120 APRES. “I have a lot of family for crew, so it all depends on where my son is, where my daughter is!! For this year, I haven’t yet decided whether to do both or not. The boat serves the family, rather than the other way around!  We love doing it all, if possible!”

Besse has raced in the event on at least five different kinds of boats, and he has done the RTI every year since he has owned the J/120 (2009.) He Lives on Martha’s Vineyard half the year, sails out of Vineyard Haven, and takes APRES across the Sound to Falmouth each year to put her up in winter storage.

J/120 skipper BesseThough he considers himself to be “basically a local racer,” Besse broke the pattern last year and competed in the Newport to Bermuda Race. He and his APRES team wound up winning the J/120 class!

That bodes well for this year’s Round-the-Island Race. Since J/Boat participation in the RTI is typically robust (16 boats in 2016), event organizers have, for a second year, decided to expand the awards to recognize first- through third-place finishers, on corrected time, among all J/Boats in all classes.

“I’m fascinated with sailing around the island,” said Besse, who first circumnavigated Martha’s Vineyard in a Rhodes 19 at age 17 (he will be 68 in June). “It’s breathtakingly beautiful, particularly around Squibnocket Point, which you see when you go between No Man’s Land, south of the Vineyard, and the Vineyard itself. It’s sand dunes on top of cliffs.”

Besse also appreciates the gentle slopes and beaches of Wasque as well as the iconic rounding at Devils Bridge and Aquinnah. “It’s one of the few races where I don’t have any trouble getting crew,” he said. “In fact, I’m usually oversubscribed for crew when it comes to the RTI!!”

Regularly attracting entrants from the Eastern Seaboard and beyond, Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend delivers exceptional racing opportunities for boats 28 feet and longer in classes for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF (spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions), Double-Handed, and Classic.

A Welcome Reception on Wednesday night (July 19); a Mount Gay-sponsored “jump-up” party on Friday night; and prize giving’s on both Friday and Sunday (July 23) round out the schedule for competitors who are entered in one or the other, or both, of the racing sessions.

Deadline for entry is Wednesday, July 19 for the Round-the-Buoy Races and Friday, July 21 for the Round-the-Island Race.  For more Edgartown Race Weekend sailing information

J/105 sailing TexasCowtown Stampede Preview
(Fort Worth, TX)- The Fort Worth Boat Club is looking forward to hosting their Annual Regatta & Cowtown Stampede to be held on Eagle Mountain Lake, with racing taking place on Saturday and Sunday, April 22nd & 23rd. Make plans to attend “THE PARTY” on Saturday night- e.g. the namesake for the event- the “Cowtown Stampede”!

The club is hosting several one-design classes for their event on the picturesque Eagle Mountain Lake, including J/105s, J/22s, and J/24s.  Looking after the cowboys out on the water are PRO Bob Gough for Course 1 (J/22 & J/24s) and PRO Chet Klyn on Course 2 (J/105s).

The J/105 class has some stiff competition shaping up for the weekend, including Rick Shaeffer’s DOUBLE DARE, Dwight Horton’s BEAUTY, Bill Chambers and Martin Peacey’s EB2.0 METAMORPHOSIS, Matt Arno and Tiffany O’Kelley’s BLUE FLASH, and Jason Dyer and Mark Smith’s EAU LA LA!

The J/22 fleet is showing up in style, with seven boats registered from across the south- Houston, TX; New Orleans, LA; and San Antonio, TX.  Watch out for these teams on the leaderboard- Stu Lindow’s SOUTHERN BELLE; Kevin Orff, Eric Simonson, & Aaron Brittain’s TRES LOCOS; Alberto Simoncini’s BON GRIEF; and Keith Zars’ VOODOO BABY.

As part of their season-long Texas Circuit (that started over 35 years ago!), the J/24s have several strong contenders in their midst.  Teams are from Dallas, Fort Worth, and the Austin fleets.  Known “stampeders” are Tim Johnson’s GRAY WOLF, Jim Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT, Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES, Stu Juengst’s VANG GO, Chris Holmes on BAD MOON, and Andrew Theismann sailing YOUNG’UNS.  For more Cowtown Stampede sailing information

J/22s sailing San Francisco match racePromoting Women’s Match Racing
(Portsmouth, RI)- The US Sailing Match Racing Committee has put together a “Women in Match Racing” working group and Liz Baylis has been asked to lead it.  The group has been tasked with “promoting women in match racing and creating and inspiring programs to increase the number of women participating in match racing in the U.S. and raising the level of all women who match race.”

As a working group, Liz and crew are brainstorming and gathering ideas on how best to accomplish this.  Please do not hesitate to drop them an email to share your ideas, let them know about existing programs, and help them identify contacts at clubs or sailing centers that might be interested in hosting clinics or starting new match racing programs.  One of the first events they wish to promote is taking place on J/22s at St Francis YC- July 7th to 9th on San Francisco Bay.  The Clinic is from July 7-8 and they will host a Grade 5 Regatta on July 9th.

The program will be run by an all-star cast of women’s match racers- Nicole Breault, Molly Carapiet, Karen Loutzenheiser, and Hannah Burroughs.  They will coach sailors on nine matched J/22’s supplied by St Francis YC.  The event is for experienced women sailors who want to learn to match race.   Sailors can sign up as individuals ($95) or as a team ($380).   More sailing information and the event NOR can be found here.   Contact Nicole Breault ( with any questions.  Nicole is the 2nd ranked U.S. Women’s match racer and 6th in the World, plus she’s the only woman ranked in the Open (including men’s) Ranking- 5th in USA and 29th in the World (a remarkable achievement that is)! 

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Easter Weekend around the world seemingly produces an amazing amount of sailing activity, perhaps the wish to celebrate religious holidays as well as getting into the spirit of spring in the northern climates.  And, for those Down Under (South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand), a time to also celebrate similar events and their extended warm summers!

Starting with one of the world’s largest regattas, over 400 boats participated in the famous SPI Ouest France Regatta in La Trinite sur Mer, France.  Hosted by CN La Trinite sur Mer, their amazing organization of volunteers played host to large fleets of J/70s and J/80s as well as handicap fleets of IRC and OSH offshore keelboats- there was an exciting outcome for the new J/112E!  North of them along “La Manche”, the sailors in the Netherlands, Germany, and France were busy sailing J/80s in their Open Netherlands Championship (a preparation for the upcoming J/80 Worlds in Southampton, England) and they were also training in their J/22s in the Warming UP Regatta (a preparation for their imminent J/22 Worlds in The Netherlands).  Across continental Europe to the southeast, the Italian J/24 fleet was enjoying week 16 sailing in their various series- this past weekend events took place on Lago di Caldonazzo/ Valcanover in the Lakes District up north and Arzachena/ Palau on the island of Sardinia.

Heading down to one of the final regattas in the winter Caribbean circuit, the fabulous Les Voiles de St Barth Regatta took place off Gustavia, Saint Barthelemy.  A flock of J’s were sailing CSA Racing handicap classes, on hand were several well-sailed J/teams in a J/105, J/109s, J/111, J/120s, and J/122s- a bit of silverware and endless jeroboams of Veuve Clicquot champagne were awarded on the victory stage by these crews!

Heading down under, we find several J/24 events that have concluded in their late summer/ early fall.  For the Argentinean J/24 fleet, they held their Triple Crown series consisting of events in Buenos Aires, Potrerillos/ Mendoza, and Lago San Roque/ Cordoba.  The last event, Campeonato del Centro Republica, completed the series, producing quite the shake-up in the overall standings!  Then, just around the horn from them, the Australian J/24 fleet (a.k.a. “Mr J/24”), sponsored a J/24 women’s team for the Women In Sailing Regatta at Sandringham YC near Melbourne- they certainly had a lot of fun!

Finally, over in the America’s, the J/70 Governors Cup Regatta took place on Lake Travis, hosted by Austin YC in Texas. It was the first stop on the J/70 Texas Circuit.  Off to the east, the Columbia Sailing Cub hosted their 51st (!) Easter Regatta for J/24s and J/70s in Columbia, SC- sailing was on pretty Lake Murray and, apparently, there were several Easter bunny sightings!

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:

Apr 10-15- Les Voiles de Saint Barth- Gustavia, St Barthelemey
April 20-23- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 29-30- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY
Apr 29- RORC Cervantes Trophy- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Apr 30- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
May 5-7- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 5-7- Yachting Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
May 6-7- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY
May 6-7- Race to the Straits Regatta- Seattle, WA
May 3- RORC De Guingand Bowl Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
May 13-14- Vashon Island/ Tri-Island Race- Seattle, WA
May 17-21- USA J/24 Nationals- Seattle, WA
Jun 2-5- J/22 World Championship- Scheveningen, The Netherlands
Jun 3-4- Cedar Point One-Design Regatta- Cedar Point, CT
Jun 3-9- J/70 European Championship- Hamble, England
Jun 16-18- J/70 Great Lakes Championship- Cleveland, OH
Jul 8-14- J/80 World Championship- Hamble, England

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

J/122E JLance 12 sailing SPI OuestJ/112E Tops Class @ SPI Ouest France!
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- The 38th edition of the SPI Ouest-France- Destination Morbihan regatta is one of the most important sailing events in Europe and it is the first major regatta of the year after a long, cold winter.  How major is it??  Well, just 409 boats, with more than 2,500 sailors, that were all looking forward to shaking-out the cobwebs, dial-up the adrenalin, and figure out “who’s on first” after a winter of repairs, preparation, new bottom paint, new sails, new electronics and, often, new crew!  A lot is at stake as well for many of the leading builders in Europe as it is the first time they get to test out their newest (or revamped) models against many of the best sailors in France, if not Europe.

Twelve nations were represented in this year’s event along with over a dozen classes that included big fleets of J/70s, J/80s, and handicap classes for both IRC and OSH rules. As usual, the Societe Nautique de La Trinite sur Mer did a fabulous job hosting the event off their gorgeous, quaint little seaport along the Bay of Quiberon.  They were lucky to be blessed with reasonably good winds and weather over the four-day weekend regatta.  The fleet was treated to westerlies on Friday of 10-15 kts; then on Saturday it was a somewhat grey day with breezes of 10-15 kts from the N-NW and quite shifty; Easter Sunday saw the Easter Bunny deliver a suitably sunny day for Easter Egg hunts for the children while the sailors enjoyed a rather light N-NW shifty wind with big holes; and, finally, on Monday the regatta was blessed with more N-NW winds in the 10-15 kts range.

J/112E JLance 12 winning SPI OuestIn the end, the most notable and impressive victory was the spectacular IRC 2 Class win by Didier Le Moal’s J/112E J-LANCE 12 from Societe Regate Rochelaises. Their record of 3-1-1-2-1-15-5 for 13 pts net was a decisive 10+ point victory over Dream Pearls- a JPK 10.80 factory team. Ironically, J-LANCE 12’s win may have been even greater had they not missed the penultimate race and score a DNC (their discard race)- somehow their navigator missed the flags at the rear of the RC finish boat indicating there would be one more race on Sunday!

According to Le Moal, “The J/112E has shown impressive upwind capability (being able to overtake higher rated boats in the class above them in real-time). Downwind, the asymmetric spinnaker has confirmed its benefits in a mix of coastal and around-the-cans races.”

There were several other good performances by J/crews in IRC classes. In IRC 1 Class, 5th was J/133 GICQUEL ASSOCIATES with E Gicquel skippering, just two points from fourth place. Then, in IRC 3 (with 31 boats), 5th place was J/97 MISPICKEL VI skippered by Benoit Fagart from Societe Regate Rochelaises, notably beating Rolex Fastnet Race winner FOGGY DEW, the JPK 10.10 sailed by Noel Racine.

J/11S shorthanded custom sailing SPI OuestFinally, there was an impressive performance by a newly launched, un-tuned, un-optimized J/11S in the massive IRC Double Class of 35 boats- the largest offshore keelboat section in the entire regatta!  Taking 3rd was the J/11S JATAKA with the team of Nicholas Troussel & E Kerscaven from CVF with an 11-4-2-2 record!  They were up against a rogue’s gallery of the top French offshore short-handed teams, many of them “factory teams” on JPK 10.10s (5), JPK 10.80s (3), Sun Fast 3200s (7), and A35s (3).  According to D Le Moal, “she finished in IRC Doublehanded class with a not yet optimized rating and just a few days of training for the crew. The overall performance was fantastic, she showed the ability to overtook all the fleet as soon as the wind was over 5 knots!”

In the French version of PHRF in America, the OSH 1 Class of 25 boats saw a solid performance by J/crews, with 6 boats finishing in the top 15 places!   Second was the J/111 J4F sailed by P Vidon from SR Douarnenez; 5th was the J/120 HEY JUDE skippered by P Girardin from CN Pornic; 7th was the J/92 LUXIOR ASSURANCES ET IMMOBILIER with M Le Formal from SR Brest; 11th was the J/120 LADY JANE with P Tostivint from CN Pornic; 14th was the J/122 JOLLY JOKER with L Marchais from SN Trinite sur Mer; and 15th was the J/105 J-SQUARED skippered by V Jomier from SN Trinite sur Mer!  Congratulations to all!

J/80s sailing SPI OuestAs has been the case for over the past dozen years at SPI Ouest, the 67 J/80s had great sailing, great competition, and a surprising outcome!  “The Spanish are back!”  And, in a big way.  Taking the top two spots were two of Spain’s top sailors and past J/80 World Champions.  Winning with just 57 pts net was Ignacio Jauregui’s GOLD SAILING, counting just top 8 finishes in this incredibly competitive fleet. Fellow countryman, Jose Maria van der Ploeg (also an Olympic Medallist for Spain), sailed VSA COMUNICACION fast enough to take the silver just 2 pts back, counting an astonishing SIX 4th places (plus, never winning a race) in his 11 races counted scoreline!

Rounding out the bronze medal position on the podium for the J/80 class was top French sailor Eric Brezellec on COURRIER JUNIOR with 62 pts net. The balance of the top five included Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT in 4th place and Luc Nadal’s familiar GAN’JA in 5th place. Top woman skipper for the event was Ms C Vitel sailing with her crackerjack crew on VITEL SAILING TEAM- she was 7th overall- a fabulous performance for her! It is clear the Spanish and the French are “dialing up” their activities and focused on the J/80 World Championship that will soon be taking place at Royal Southampton YC on the Solent in the United Kingdom.

J/70 Easter bunny at SPI OuestThe J/70s had their largest fleet so far at this year’s SPI Ouest.  With twenty-one boats on the line, there is no question the class is beginning to gain momentum in France.  Many top J/80, J/22, J/24 sailors, plus refugees from Surprise and 5.70 Classes in France are recognizing the J/70 is a fun, easy-to-sail class that can be easily trailered anywhere due to its simple ramp-launch-ability!  To say that French sailors are a quick study of the class is an understatement- after all, they have some of the most extreme offshore boats imaginable in the entire world- pioneering stuff no one else even dares to try (like globe-girdling IMOCA 60 and Mini 6.50 foilers).  The J/70 has become the “world’s proving ground” for many of those top French sailors training for their other offshore programs- Vendee, Volvo, Mini-TransAt, and so forth- the J/70 forces extreme attention to detail on the simplest boat, focusing on a sailor’s ability to read wind, waves, and their competitors for optimum performance.  As a reflection of that effort to learn from the world’s best sailors, winning the SPI Ouest J/70 class was Luc Sambron’s HEMON-CAMUS team.  They sailed a very consistent series, winning just 2 races but placing in the top 6 in every race to win by a scant one-point margin!  Just one point back was top UK J/70 team SOAK RACING, skippered by Ian Williams.  Although they won 4 races, they could not match the consistency of Sambron’s team.  Third was Oscar Lundqvist’s Swedish crew on TBA with 50 pts net, winning two of the last three races to race up the leaderboard.  Fourth was Herve Leduc’s French crew on JIBE SET with 54 pts net, demonstrating their fast learning curve by winning the first race and never finishing out of the top 8!  Finally, 5th place was evidence the Spanish are beginning to focus their efforts on the world of J/70s- G Alfredo’s LANZAROTE EUROPEAN SPORTS DESTINAT crew from the infamous Canary Islands (home of many great heavy air sailors) demonstrated flashes of brilliance and speed- taking 2nd in the first race and winning two races!   Sailing photo credits- Thomas Brégardis and Marc Ollivier.   For more SPI OUEST-France sailing information

Voiles de St Barth Nikki Beach roseJ/Teams Loving Les Voiles de St Barth Regatta
(Gustavia, St Barthelemy) – After three days of tight competition on the waters off the French West Indies island of St. Barth, many of the teams racing in Les Voiles de St. Barth headed into the final day today with the hopes of either dismounting class leaders or fending off competitors that were climbing up in the rankings. However, due to lack of wind the Race Committee was forced to make the difficult decision to cancel the final day of racing. Nevertheless, the eighth edition of the regatta didn't disappoint, with a week of fun and entertainment satisfying sailors both on and off the water. In the end, winners were crowned in all nine classes.

St Barth, CaribbeanFor the sixty-five boats that participated in the regatta, the first day was easily the most memorable.  Perfect Caribbean conditions offered the backdrop for the stacked competition that took to the starting line for day one of racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth.  All the classes were sent on coastal courses, ranging from 24 to 31 nautical miles, tracing the western and northern coast of the island, all starting and finishing in the port of Gustavia in St. Barth.

For the second day of racing, it was a very different story from a weather perspective. Shiftier breezes and a change of the race course forced many competitors to shift gears and that dynamic yielded a mixed bag of results. The fleet navigated the rocky coast and its strong currents on courses around the eastern side of the island between 26 and 32 nautical miles.

After two days of rigorous on-the-water battles, the Les Voiles de St. Barth sailors were well deserving of a break from competition, and event organizers had the perfect remedy: an official "Day Off" at Nikki Beach Saint Barth, the famous beach club located in St. Jean. Many of the teams joined in the organized fun, which was complete with water activities and a beautiful lunch spread of fresh sushi and jeroboams of rosé wine.

The Sirens win Nikki BeachThe setting may have been relaxed, but the rivalry among teams could still be felt when the sailors went head-to-head in jousting matches aboard giant stand-up paddleboards. Sixteen teams took to the water off the beach to compete with four to five sailors on each paddleboard; all with long paddle poles in hand, trying to push their opponents into the water for the win. The event was fierce, but the all-women team, “The Sirens”, took first overall. Many of the same teams had some light-hearted fun in an underwater treasure hunt for bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne, with 10 lucky sailors retrieving the hidden bottles in St. Jean Bay.

The regatta, in its eighth edition, prides itself on providing top-class fun and entertainment, and it never disappoints.  As in the past, there were daily awards for the day’s winners along with live music and performances pulsating through the island every night after racing.

For the third day of racing, an uncharacteristically light breeze for the Caribbean welcomed the crews on Friday.  The lighter breezes resulted in a shakeup of the rankings, with many new teams taking the win in their class for the first time this week. The fleet started the race off the port of Gustavia and headed up the western side of the island on one of two courses between 17 and 20 nautical miles, a bit too long in the opinion of many top racers given the light winds forecasted; especially for the smaller boats!

J/88 Touch2Play Racing at St Barth“Our particular boat performs well in light air, so that made a big difference for us today,” said Rob Butler, owner and driver of the J/88 TOUCH2PLAY RACING, adding that the CSA 4 Class and M24s were the only classes racing on the shorter course of the day, which took them up to a mark rounding south of Île Fourchue. “It was really important to be the first boat to the shore and to tack and stay close to the shoreline the entire time upwind to the first mark at La Saline red buoy. On the downwind leg, we were pretty conservative and it worked pretty well.”

Sadly, that was the last day of sailing for the fleet.  Like last year’s event, that saw Friday’s sailing lost to no wind, this year it was the finale that was canceled due to lack of wind- like absolutely zero wind and light showers all day.  Strange, considering the Caribbean’s reputation for endless sunny days of easterlies blowing 15-25 kts each day in a classic “trade wind” scenario.  Nevertheless, sailors enjoyed their second day off exploring the gorgeous island of St Barths.

J/122 LIQUID- skippered by Pamala Baldwin from AntiguaTherefore, the results at the end of Friday stood as the finale for the event.  In CSA 3 Class, the battle between the J/122s concluded with Pamala Baldwin’s LIQUID team from Antigua finally overcoming their arch-nemesis BETTER THAN..EL OCASO with a 4-2-3 record for 9 pts. The BETTER THAN crew, that customarily sail a Swan 42 by the same name from New York YC, proved they were a formidable competitor, but did not have enough local knowledge to overcome their colleagues- posting a 3-3-4 for 10 pts to take the bronze (therefore, preserving EL OCASO’s extraordinary record of finishing on the podium in very Caribbean regatta it has sailed for the past six years). For the first time in the history of the Voiles de St Barth, it was two women skippers on the podium!

While competition was certainly close in CSA 3, it was the ten boat CSA 4 division that saw some of the hottest competition in the entire event.  Unlike other classes at LVSB, no one won as a result of a runaway, and instead, every race was a battle until the very end.  The weather largely determined the outcome of the class. The first race was the only “windy” one of the entire regatta- if you can call 8-14 kts “windy” by Caribbean standards. The second race was 6-12 kts around the “upwind” (easterly) side of St Barth.  And, the third was largely a 3-8 kts affair from an uncharacteristic SE quadrant (135 to 155 deg), with massive holes.  How light was that last race?? Well, RAMBLER 88 flew its masthead Code Zero most of the race!

J/105 Solstice sailing St BarthAfter starting out leading CSA 3 class after the first two races, Jordan & Shannon Mindich’s J/105 SOLSTICE (skippered by Bruce Stone) suffered most in the light airs third race.  At the leeward turning mark #3 off Ile Fourche, it was clear Butler’s J/88 TOUCH2PLAY was going to win by a country mile, but SOLSTICE was a solid 2nd at that time. The shortened course home to finish off Paine de Sucre (Sugarloaf Rock) was painful for the entire fleet.  That one leg determined the outcome for many classes in the event— imagine that the Maxi 72 BELLA MENTE had an A0 up next to RAMBLER 88’s masthead Code Zero, next to the Maxi 72 PROTEUS’s light air jib— all within 500 yards of each other and on opposite tacks!!?  Yes, the last race was a complete “crap shoot”.  So much so, that the J/88 won by 14 minutes corrected time, deservedly so!  Moreover, past 3-time regatta winner, the Sun Fast 3200 CREDIT MUTUEL from Martinique finished nearly ONE HOUR corrected behind the J/88.  Q.E.D.  Despite all the drama on the race course, the Mindich/Stone crew on SOLSTICE took the silver while Butler’s TOUCH2PLAY team leaped into the bronze position overall!  A great outcome to a crazy penultimate day for all J/crews!  For more Les Voiles de St Barths sailing information

Australia J/24 women's teamJ/24 Girls RULE @ WISC Regatta
(Port Phillip Bay, Australia)- Hugo Ottaway, a.k.a. ‘“Mr J/24”, and long-time champion of introducing women to sailing on J/24s, in particular, put a team together on his own J/24 recently to compete in the Women In Sailing Regatta held at Sandringham Yacht Club.  Here is Hugo’s report on the proceedings:

“Despite only one J/24 entry in the Sandringham YC Women In Sailing regatta 2017, the result sheet was full of our ‘J/Girls’ winning every division and 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Doris Little Memorial Perpetual Trophy. Amongst the entries were Krystal Weir, dual Olympic representative, Kirsty Harris, competitor at the 2013 J/24 World Championship in Sweden and Sophie Cisek, Volvo Round the World competitor and 2016 Victorian Female Sailor of the Year.

The regatta was sailed over 4 heats on Port Phillip Bay in ideal conditions with sunny skies and a breeze that freshened to 12 knots. J/24 BRUSCHETTA VI won the AMS division and placed 3rd in the Doris Little PHS trophy sailed by a mixture of girls from our Sandy J/24 fleet, skipper- Madeline Linton (Jet), Trim- Paulina Mattila (Bruschetta VI), Kirby O’Brien, and Maria Vasardani (both from Kicking).

Kirsty Harris and her crew from J/24 HYPERACTIVE sailed a modified Adams 10 to win IRC and come second in the Doris Little PHS trophy and Janet Dean, Past Commodore of RMYS and owner of Adams 10 ‘Jungle Juice’ and crew member on J/24 Kicking, winner of the Doris Little perpetual trophy and PHS division. There were also many other women J/24 sailors amongst the competitors.

The talent amongst our J/24 female sailors has risen to a point where they have repeatedly won almost all the Women’s sailing events in Victoria over the past few years.  The number of women sailing J’s has risen to 30% + of our overall crew group, with the class focused hard on fostering growth in this area. These results are a reminder of the strength and depth of talent of our female J/24 sailors!  Well done girls, you make us proud!!”  For more J/24 Girls Rule sailing information

J/Easter bunny Easter J/Bunny Visits Regatta
(Columbia, SC)- Being one of the most popular J/24 regatta's since 1988, the J/24 Easter Regatta brings a mix of excellent shore side events with world class sailing. The competition can vary from an amateur crew at their first regatta, to sailing against professional skippers such as Tim Healy, Mike Ingham, and Tony Parker.

One of the many perks of attending the Easter Regatta is the sailing club facility. With a recently rebuilt clubhouse, the shore-side events are better than ever. The Columbia Sailing Club offers FREE camping to all competitors that attend the regatta. The beautiful peninsula and gorgeous beach provide an excellent camping experience for families and friends.

Since its humble beginnings, the sailors in Columbia have now expanded their interest to the J/70 class as well. Two years ago, the class was invited to participate and the growing interest (it’s still VERY top secret) is reflected by their fun-loving presence.  For those “in the know”, it is an incredibly fun, casual regatta that is focused less on the competition and more on learning from each other and the amazing shore-side festivities for all!

J/24s sailing Easter Regatta- Lake Murray, SCThis year’s regatta saw nearly two dozen J/24s participate from across the spectrum of experience, and the same can be said for the J/70 class, too.

The sailors were greeted by a wide variety of weather that was punctuated by a gorgeous day of sailing on Easter Sunday, a suitable day for Easter Bunny sightings and awesome Easter Egg Hunts for the kiddies.

In the end, the leaders in each class had an enjoyable time helping out their colleagues on the nuances of sailing their boats over a few brewskies.  It helps that everyone ends the day of racing at the moorings/ docks and all the socials are taking place right there at the beautiful facilities provided by the host- Columbia Sailing Club.  Their staff and volunteers are second to none and provide good’ole down-home southern-style hospitality.

In the J/24 class, top crew was Daniel Borrer’s JESUS LIZARD in 1st with a 1-4-7 tally for 12 pts.  Taking 2nd was a famous J/24 champion sailor- Mike Ingham’s USA 5443 from Rochester Canoe Club with a 3-9-3 record for 15 pts.  Taking home the bronze was James Howard’s CLASSIC with an astonishing roller coaster line of 2-14-1 for 17 pts.  The balance of the top five included Ron Medlin’s BASH in 4th and Roger Dougal’s TUTAKRNAUT in 5th place.

J/70s sailing Easter RegattaOver in the J/70s, it was San Francisco “transplant”, Don Trask, that showed some of his hidden light-air, flat-water skills to win the regatta with all bullets on the suitably named SMOKIN’J- not often an 80+ year old can apply a scorched Earth policy to the millennials and baby boomers in the fleet! Behind that blitzkrieg score line, it was an evolving battle for the remainder of the podium.  In the end, Jay Greenfield’s TBD took 2nd with a 2-3-2 tally for 7 pts. Just 2 pts back in third place was Hunter C Davidson’s LOONATICTU with a 3-2-4 score for 9 pts.  The rest of the top five include David Betts’ INSTANT KARMA in 4th place and Steve Kiemele’s WHITE RABBIT in 5th.  Follow on Easter Regatta Facebook page here.   For more J/70 & J/24 Easter Regatta sailing information

J/80 Netherlands sailing Wild Outcome @ Benelux Open J/80 Champs
(Naarden, The Netherlands)- This year’s Benelux Open J/80 Championship was hosted by R&ZV Naarden from April 15th to 16th.  The outcome was all but determined after the first day of racing.  The team of Jilko & Sybren on OANT S’JEN were in their element and were simply unstoppable, they were way too fast for any other team on the race course, no matter what the conditions were.

After two days of racing with eight races sailed and one discard for all teams, the Jilko/Sybren crew kept winning races to easily take top honors for the event with a tally of 2-3-2-1-2-1-1-1 for about a 1st average with 10 pts net! Doh! Hard to beat that number, right? Sailing their hearts out and hoping to forestall the inevitable was Bernard Holsboer’s crew on JUUL. Despite tossing a 4th place, JUUL’s crew still could not match the blistering pace set by the Jilko/Sybren crew, happily settling for the silver.  Zeroing in for the bronze position was Jorrit Beekman’s JSB with 23 pts net. Rounding out the top five was OJ Golverdingen’s LED2LEASE with 27 pts net in 4th place and in 5th place was Bart van Breeschoten & Michel van der Stelt’s DEEP with 33 pts net.  For more J/80 Netherlands sailing information

J/70 setting spinnakerSpurlin Takes J/70 Governor’s Cup!
(Austin, Texas)- This year’s Austin YC annual Governors Cup Regatta, hosted on the beautiful Lake Travis, featured the first stop on the J/70 Southwest Circuit series.  It was a great event with three (3!) bands, and a championship level barbecue for dinner on Saturday! Not to mention the mandatory kegs of Texas's own Shiner Bock beer.

Ten J/70's showed up from out of town and with the four local boats there were 14 boats on the line!  Saturday was a windy day with gusts in the high 20’s, that made for some great downwind rides with boats hitting 17+ kts in full-on planing mode, spray flying everywhere, people hootin’n’hollerin’ as they waved their ten-gallon hats in the air- big Tejas style!  This crowd does not use baseball caps! :0

The J/Boats Southwest Racing team had a great Saturday, bringing home straight bullets. Holding on to their fast pace just a few points back was Forbes Durdin's MOJITO team in second place.

Saturday after racing, 40+ J/70 sailors gathered to discuss the days racing and share their "go fast" secrets.  There was no question, many tongues were loosened as a result of the top secret J/Boats Southwest rum punch!  Everyone in the crowd learned helpful pointers and go-fast ideas!

Sunday started off overcast with lighter winds that brought the famous "Lake Travis" shore effects into play. It was very easy to be suckered into going to the right shore when the left shore was the place to be!  Nevertheless, the fleet was able to fit in 3 races on Sunday for a total of 7 scored races.  In addition, there were at least 4 extra starts as most of the fleet was trying to get that starting line jump- but the RC did not let anyone get away with it.

It was a great weekend with a great fleet of sailors.  Circuit stop #2 is at Fort Worth Boat club on April 29th and 30th.  Finally, “thanks” to professional photographer Bill Records for his photos- he was a former US Presidential staff member in the White House!

J/22s sailing NetherlandsNetherlands J/22 Warming Up Report
(Brassermermeer, The Netherlands)- The J/22 class in the Netherlands are all “warming up” for the J/22 World Championship that is starting on May 30th and goes until June 4th in Scheveningen.

As part of that program, they host their annual “Spring Warming Up” Regatta series. Over the weekend, in the Dutch Roelofarendveen, the traditional Warming Up took place.  The Brassermermeer showed its most beautiful side with beautiful sunshine, a blue sky, and 3-5 bft breeze from the northeast.

J/22 warming up security detailTwenty boats participated, with most of the crews from The Netherlands, plus there were four top crews from Germany’s J/22 class and two top French teams. Everyone was highly motivated to prepare their boats, get their crews working like a well-oiled machine, and tune their rigs and sails for optimum performance.  After all, the World Championships are less than two months away, and the security detail (pictured here at right) are ready to hug, snuggle, and lick you to death! :)

After a total of nine exciting races, it was quickly clear who would be at the forefront of the World Championship!  Nic Bol (NL), the 2010 J/22 World Champion, won the Warming Up with 37 points lead, counting four 1sts and two 2nds in his scoreline. Nic’s crew consisted of Chris Bol, Niels de Vries, and Tim de Weerdt.

J/22 warming up winnersWhile Bol and crew were simply sailing in a league and class higher than anyone else, the fight for the last two positions on the podium was a rough and tumble one!  Those protagonists were a Dutch and French crew- Lisanne Nidjam’s NED 1365 and Reiner Brockerhoff’s FRA 1444.  Both teams started off their first five races quite slowly, in fact neither one was in the top five after five races counted.  However, both went into much higher gears, sailed faster, smarter and made less crew work mistakes and got better starts.  That combination enabled both of them to race up the standings.  Nijdam’s crew closed with a 3-2-4-2 while Brockerhoff’s team closed with a 4-ocs-3-1.  In the end, it was Nijdam’s crew (Tomas te Velde, Derk Hillege, Iris van Gerrevink) that finished with 56 pts to take the silver.  Three points in arrears was Brockerhoff’s crew (Christophe Deckecp & Charles Mic), settling for the bronze with 59 pts.  The balance of the top five included Jean-Michel Lautier’s NED 1273 with 65 pts in fourth place and 5th was Hylke Kooistra’s NED 1455.

Next event for additional World’s “training” will be the VanUdenReco Regatta in Stellendam at the end of April.  For more Netherlands J/22 class sailing information

J/24s sailing Lago San Roque, ArgentinaINDIGO Wins Campeonato Centro Republica!
Pereira’s CARRERA Becomes Triple Crown Winner!
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)- The Argentinean J/24 class hosts what may be one of the most picturesque regatta series in the world of sailing.  Every year, they host the Triple Corona (triple crown), an event that encompasses three regattas starting in Buenos Aires/Rio de la Plata, then transitioning to the beautiful mountain lakes in the foothills of the towering Andes mountain range- where snow-capped volcanic peaks often hit 12 to 14,000 feet (Lago Potrerillos/ Mendoza and Lago San Roque/ Villa Carlos Paz, Cordoba)!  It makes for truly breathtaking sailing, especially when the breezes howl from the west down the slopes and hit the lake with a ferocity that would surprise anyone- whipping up 20-30 kt “helicopter puffs” that cause knockdowns even upwind!

J/24s sailing ArgentinaThis year saw twenty-seven boats participate in the complete series; it truly is a favorite of Argentine sailors as it is family-oriented and, in the evenings, the social festivities ashore are second to none.  Imagine ending sailing on a sunny day, then one family (of many that own famous Malbec vineyards in the region) pop open several cases of vintage Malbec red wine and it’s shared with everyone at sunset! Locally made cheeses and fruits of various sorts are laid out in a big spread for everyone to enjoy!  Yes, put this one on your “bucket list”- the days are still warm, more importantly, the lakes are still somewhat warm (although it’s all snow-capped, crystal clear water from the mountain-tops).

The third and final regatta in the “triple crown” recently took place on Lago San Roque at Villa Carlos Paz- the Campeonato Centro de Republica.  The event produced dramatic changes in the overall series standings. By winning the final regatta, Ezequiel Despontin’s INDIGO from Club Nautico Cordoba and his crew of Martin Costa, Marcelo Freytes, Franca Pesci, and Carolina Lorenzon, managed to leap up the standings in the overall series- taking 2nd for the Triple Crown!

Potrerillos Lake, Argentina- J/24 regattaAfter winning the Potrerillos event in Mendoza, Javier Moyano’s GRAN CARAJO from Club Nautico Cordoba was hoping to post high enough finishes to get onto the series podium.  His crew of Francisco Agusti, Pablo Avila Gray and Adrian Berelejis sailed well, but not well enough to overcome the fact they did not sail the first event at CUBA in Buenos Aires.  Nevertheless, they won two races in the finale and took the silver in the Lago San Roque event.

In a similar situation as GRAN CARAJO, Sebastien Halpern’s team on BELUGA (Federico Roser, Franco Monetti, and Yael Malem) sailed the last two regattas well, taking the bronze in the San Roque event with most finishes in the top five.

After winning Buenos Aires, Matias Pereira’s crew on CARRERA (Andres Guerra, Guillermo Bellinotto, and Emilliano Homps) started off by winning the first two races at Lago San Roque, then managed to nearly throw away the entire Triple Crown series with a number of double-digit finishes and an OCS (28) pts in the last race.  Despite their hair-raising final regatta, CARRERA held on for a 5th place finish on Lago San Roque, enough for them to be declared the overall Triple Crown Winner!

Nicolas Cubria’s crew from Club Nautico Olivos (Mario Cubria, Gonzalo Frejenal, and Fernando Bertrand) had also gather enough points in the first two events so their 6th place finish on Lago San Roque was good enough for them to earn the bronze for the Triple Crown. Although they had a tough series with mediocre results sailing their boat ALAGUA RINA, winning the final race of the entire series in style lifted their spirits!  For more Argentina J/24 sailing information

J/24s sailing Italy's lakesItaly J/24 Report- Week 16
(Rome, Italy)- This past weekend saw sailing activity taking place in two of the Italian peninsula’s signature resort/ yachting destinations.  One was on the alpine lake of Lago di Caldonazzo in the north and the other was off Arzachena on the island of Sardinia.

Lago di Caldonazzo/ Valcanover
They were two beautiful sailing days for the dozen J/24s that were sailing on Lake Caldonazzo for the Trofeo Autopergine.   The Associazione Velica Trentino hosted the event.

Commented Ale Ferrara from the host club, “As usual, after Saturday's races, there was a big party where all the sailors share their ‘war stories’ from their day of sailing on the water.  Fine wines augmented the conversations and an equally excellent dinner offered by the club, thanks to the excellent catering offered by the Hotel Valcanover next door.  The sailors clearly enjoyed the entire evening!”

After posting a record of two 1sts and three 2nds in six races, it was an easy victory for Dario Cattarozzi’s crew on ITA 182 J-JAM, claiming the title for the Trofeo Autopergine. In second and third place, respectively, was Giuliano Cattarozzi on ITA 432 KASTER with 11 pts and Giuseppe De Mori on ITA 49 EOS with 14 pts.

J/24 sailing off Sardinia, ItalyArzachena/ Palau
The Club Nautico Arzachena (, situated on the beautiful harbor of Palau, played host to the talented fleet of local crews.

"After the customary preparations, the boats were heading towards the sailing area located between the islands of La Maddalena, Spargi and Santa Maria,” explained Fleet Captain Marco Whirring.  “The light wind from the northeast permitted three races to take place on the first day. There was no favored side of the course due to the tremendous wind shifts.  As a result, three races produced three different winners!  The RC Chairman, Sandro Ricetto and his team (Giovanni Porcu, Karin Paternost, Francesca Campus and Salvatore Corda) waited patiently for all boats to finish each race, made quick adjustments, then fired off another race quickly!  They are to be commended for their first-class management of the races!”

The star of the weekend was Davide Gorgerion’s ITA 431 LIN CARLISLE with just 8 pts. Second was ITA 318 NORTEOESTE with 10 pts and third was Lucio Balzano’s ITA 4 SAINT LUCIA with 12 pts. Just behind them in fourth and fifth, respectively, were ITA 405 SURRAU VIGNE and ITA 460 BOTTA LIGNE.

The second stage of the Sardinia J/24 series continues on Sunday, April 23 and will conclude May 7. Every Sunday, at the end of the event, there will be a pasta party for all participants along with great vino!  For more Italian J/24 class sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/120 Post Nup Cup* Ashley Perrin and Merfyn Owen celebrated their marriage with their very own “Post-Nup Cup” a week ago on Friday sailing on J/120s on San Francisco Bay.  The casual “regatta” took place before the official wedding reception on Saturday.

J/120 Post Nup Cup 2Crewed by friends from around the globe and facilitated by the San Francisco YC and PRO Jeff Zarwell, everyone was treated to a beautiful day of sailing on San Francisco Bay. Racing was quite close at times, but luckily, they ended the series tied at 2-2!!

How sweet is that idea!?  The J/Community wishes them fair winds and a fun voyage together forever!   Sailing photo credits- Leslie Richter/

J/22s sailing downwind* Encouraging Talented Young Sailors!!  The USA J/22 Class Association has awarded the second-annual Scholarship Boat to students from Jacksonville University Sailing Team. The enthusiastic crew members— Alfonso Garcia Bringas, Andre Guaragna, Jack Gower and David Hein— will be campaigning the boat in 2017. Their goal is to become the top youth team at the 2018 J/22 World Championship in Annapolis, MD.

This summer, the Scholarship Boat Program members will be racing the sailboat with J/22 Fleet 20 at Edgewater Yacht Club in Cleveland, OH. During the school year, they will be sailing at Florida Yacht Club in Jacksonville. Helmsman Alfonso Garcia Bringas and crew have an ambitious regatta schedule, including the Annapolis NOOD, Chicago NOOD, Cleveland Race Week, J/22 North American Championship, CanAm Challenge and J/Fest.

The J/22 Youth Scholarship Boat Program encourages talented young sailors to gain first-hand experience racing within the J/22 Class of one-design sailors at virtually no cost. Scholarship recipients receive a fully outfitted J/22 sailboat and trailer for one season. Generous contributions from members of the J/22 Class Association make this program possible.

To learn more about the J/22 Scholarship Boat Program, how to donate, or how to apply for the 2018 scholarship.  Here are the 2017 Scholarship Boat Member Biographies:

BringasAlfonso Garcia Bringas, from Mexico City, Mexico, has experience racing as skipper and crew in several sailboat classes throughout the world. Bringas finished in first place in several national championships in Mexico and a regional regatta in Canada. He finished second in numerous regattas throughout North America and participated in the IODA World Championship events in New Zealand and Dominican Republic. Majoring in mechanical engineering, his goal is to gain experience and become a top-ranking international sailor.

GuaragnaAndre Guaragna, from Miami, FL, has diverse crew position and helm experience on a multitude of sailboats. Guaragna won many Snipe regattas throughout the nation and has competed with impressive results in international Snipe events. He also received first place at the 2016 Melges 32 Lauderdale Cup and third in the 2014 LYC Laser Commodores. Guaragna is starting a campaign for the next Red Bull Youth Americas Cup at Lauderdale Yacht Club. He is earning a degree in mechanical engineering.

GowerJack Gower, from North Fort Myers, FL, was the head instructor for Edison Sailing Center Sailing Summer Camp from 2010 to 2016. In addition, Gower was the green fleet coach for the 2015/2016 school year at Edison Sailing Center. The 2014 winner of Sail Fest Laser radial class, he has sailed Optimists, Laser and 420s. Gower also has several second- and third-place results in radial class Laser regattas. He is currently a freshman at Jacksonville University majoring in business.

HeinDavid Alan Hein, from South Miami, FL, has been a competitive international sailor since the age of eight. Hein conducted an Olympic sailing campaign from 2011 to 2016 and qualified for the US Olympic Sailing Development Team from 2013 to 2014. In addition to rigorous training on the water and in the gym, Hein promoted and raised funds for his Olympic sailing campaign. He competed in both youth and adult Championships in the F16 and the Olympic NACRA17 classes of sailboats. He has coached youth and adult sailors.

Mystic JY 15s* Come celebrate the start of summer with the opening of the Mystic Seaport Sailing Center on Saturday, May 13. From 10 am to 2 pm, we’ll have a barbeque and a “meet and greet” with our staff. If the wind is good, we’ll even have some boats out on the water to sail!

Mystic Seaport’s summer Community Sailing classes will begin June 19th. With options for adults, women, and children ages 8 and up, the classes are the perfect way to introduce new sailors to the fundamentals of the sport while fostering a love for time on the water. The JY-15 is the core instructional boat of our Community Sailing fleet, and all instructors are U.S. Sailing Certified.

You can register for any of the Museum’s sailing classes by visiting our website.

Finally, visitors to Mystic Seaport this summer will have a new way to connect with America’s maritime heritage. Beginning June 28th, visitors to the Museum on Wednesday and Thursday evenings (5:30 pm – 7:30 pm), will have the opportunity to sail a JY 15 or Dyer Dhow belonging to the Museum’s Community Sailing Center. At $10 per family per session, it’s the best way to enjoy sunset on the Mystic River.*  The Making of the Legends of Sailing Regatta in J/22 one-design class sailboats.  We are big fans of club events that activate the membership, and of events that enlighten youth sailors about life beyond youth sailing. Russ Silvestri has hit both of these targets with a new event at St Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA. Here is his report:

“An all-new event on April 21 will bridge the gap between our Club’s Legends by celebrating those who have been Legends, those competing who hope to become Legends, and our youth that dream to one day be a Legend.

The regatta is known as the Legends of Sailing. My idea (as a 40-year loyal servant of the kingdom of St. Francis) behind it was to create a Club championship showcasing the most members putting skin in the game, and to provide an opportunity to back it up.

The Legends were determined at the discretion of Commodore Kiriakis; he exerted his commodorial influence, waved his wand, and said it was so. The thought is that the Legends are like NFL team owners, in charge of fielding a team and managing their play on the field.

However, unlike the NFL’s 32 teams, we only have ten because, let’s face it, we are more selective than the NFL. The ten chosen Legends have been tasked with putting together the best team they can muster, prepared to fight for the honor of the Club.

I have discovered all of the Legends “believe” they have the skills to compete in the arena until they hear of the competition. Most have not chosen a martyrdom and have passed the baton to a skipper willing to suffer for the Glory of the Legend. The skippers/jockeys will be riding the horse (read: one-design J/22s) provided to them by their Legend.

On the sidelines in the realm of “Skin in the Game”, Club members will be able to show their support by taking a line on any team in the Calcutta Pool, managed by Staff Commodore Rick Pfaff. Legends are encouraged to bring an entourage dressed in their team’s colors because shoreside spirit earns points (the largest entourage saves 2 points on that team’s score).

As for the Legends of the Future, this event is our opportunity to inspire our youth by showing them the depth of legendary sailors that exists at their Club. The sailing rosters are still being finalized, but we have Olympians, World Champions and US Sailing Yachtsmen of the Year signed up to sail. I want our youth to know the power within the Club and the resources this Club has to build champions and teach life’s lessons on the water.

Where else will you find Cinde Delmas building a mighty all-women’s team to challenge Staff Commodore Doug Holm with his skipper Paul Cayard? Will Sean Svendsen prove he is a Legend or go down a martyr? What happens when you match Knarr sailors against foiling kiteboarders? Or Commodores against a Chairman of the Board? The answer, my friends, will be blowing in the wind at the Legends Regatta!!”

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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