Wednesday, May 17, 2017

J/Newsletter- May 17th, 2017

J/121 offshore speedster hull deck fittingNEW J/121 Offshore Speedster Update!
(Newport, RI)- It’s spring fever in New England and the boat yards and builders are buzzing with activity, no more so than at CCF Composites in Bristol, RI, where the J/121 project has expanded from the prototype shop into the mold room and now the assembly room.

Two J/121 hulls and one deck are now molded and the first deck was just test-fit onto a hull (pictured here) to finalize the interior bulkhead patterns.  One of the benefits of having had the hull and deck plugs precision-machined at Symmetrix was readily apparent when the mating flanges of the finished hull and deck matched together perfectly.  The newly molded deck also shows off the subtle refinements made to the footrest locations and seat-back coamings during the plug process.  These are now beautifully molded in, along with the high-traction, non-skid deck surface essential for offshore sailing.

J/121 deck vacuum baggingThe J/121 hull, deck and bulkheads are vacuum-infused molded to provide high strength to weight ratios and consistent part weights.  The J/121 deck (shown under vacuum) utilizes Corecell structural PVC core for the primary deck panels and then high-density PVC core inserts in way of highly loaded hardware and components.

Specifications update
  • the Jefa twin wheel pedestal steering system includes both a wheel brake and a wheel disengagement control (for reduced cable wear when under auto-pilot). The Jefa autopilot transmission drive is available as an installed option.
  • Two Carbonautica J/Boats custom-styled composite wheels finished in black Awlgrip are included- the same beautiful wheel design that has been an option on other wheel-driven J models.
  • the Harken Performa winch package for the cabin top and primary winches will be available as electric. The same Harken winch body/gearing is used for both manual and electric versions which allows one to easily “electrically power” the winches later in life.  Harken is also supplying the hydraulic backstay system which includes a pump and release button on the front of each wheel pedestal.
  • the Southern Spars carbon mast package features an auto-claved, tapered carbon mast with carbon spreaders and an Antal mainsail luff track.  We’ve added an internal halyard lock for the inner jib, and the masthead has a built-in provision to accommodate an external halyard lock (commissioning option) for a Code 0 spinnaker.  
  • for the inner jib forestay deck fitting, there is a structural chainplate (attached to the forward bulkhead) with a twin ferrule set-up to allow a 3:1 tack purchase.  One hoists the pre-rolled inner jib until the halyard is locked in place and then adjusts forestay tension with the 3:1 downhaul led aft to a clutch/winch.
Project Schedule
With all of the major parts tooled, the prototype shop is now finalizing small part moldings such as the settee, galley and nav station base units, the aft head, and the v-berth supports.  Specifying these components in all-composite material provides an opportunity to save weight, enhance the finish, and provide better long-term durability.  Next for production is installing the deck hardware, while the structural bulkheads and interior components are installed in the hull (from stem to stern).  This will be followed by the mechanical and systems installations and finally the bonding of the deck to the hull. We are eagerly anticipating the launch and sea-trials later this summer in Newport.  For more J/121 Offshore Speedster sailing information

J/70 Argentina debutJ/70 Debuts in Argentina!
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)- As the J/70 class continues to grow around the world, it was clear the rapid adoption of the J/70 in Chile and Uruguay was going to stimulate interest across South America. Many of the world’s top J/24 and Olympic sailors have come from Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. In fact, the passion for the J/70 was so strong that when J/Boats announced several months ago that J/Boats Argentina, based in Buenos Aires, would become the next licensed builder for J/70s, the order book grew quickly to 20+ boats.

Roberto Authier, president of J/Boats Argentina, said this about debuting their first boat a fortnight ago, “We were very pleased the J/70 reception went so well. J/70 sailing off Buenos Aires, ArgentinaWe launched the first boat shortly after the christening ceremony and went sailing for a few hours with many sailors eagerly checking out their next boat. It's going to be a very busy year!"

"The J/70 becomes the second J design we've licensed for production in South America," added Jeff Johnstone of J/Boats. "We couldn't be happier having Roberto and Lucas Authier building the J/70 and continuing to provide long-term support for both the J/24 and J/70 classes."

The first Argentinean J/70 was launched after the christening ceremony and went sailing for a few hours with many new J/70 sailors eagerly hopping aboard to check out the new boat.  For more J/70 speedster sailing information

Women's J/70 sailing team off Newport2017 International Women’s Keelboat Champs Go To Mexico!
(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)– For the first time in event history, the storied International Women’s Keelboat Championship (IWKC) will be contested outside the United States! The revitalized championship, organized by US Sailing, will offer women sailors an opportunity for high-quality racing in J/70’s on the international stage. Club de Vela La Peña in Valle de Bravo, Mexico will host this championship on August 14-19, 2017 and will be providing the J/70’s for the event.

Up to 20 teams will be selected through an application process. The goals is for half the teams selected to represent North American countries and half will represent countries from around the world. The top American boat will be the U.S. representative at the 2018 Sailing Champions League World qualifier. International teams are encouraged to apply.

To ensure fast and competitive racing, the round-robin format for the championship features team rotations after every five races. Each team will race an equal number of races against the other teams. Races will be approximately 15 minutes in duration. The host club will ensure quick rotations and J/70 women's keelboat sailing videoon-the-water umpiring, in addition to a quality viewing experience for spectators.  Here is a nice sailing video summary of the 2016 IWKC event held at American YC in Rye, NY.

If you are interested, please make sure to submit your application by Friday, May 19 to access early registration discount!

We hope to see your team sailing J/70’s in Mexico this August! For more International Women’s Keelboat Championship sailing information.

J/70s sailing at St Petersburg YCUSA Adult Sailing Championships @ St Petersburg YC!
(Portsmouth, RI)- The 2017 edition of the US Sailing Adult Championship will be hosted by St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, FL from November 9th to 12th.  The qualifiers from the various US Sailing regional sailing associations will be racing in StPYC’s new fleet of matched J/70 class sailboats!  The competitors will be in for a real thrill, racing a short course format, all hoping to win the coveted Clifford D Mallory Trophy.  In addition, the winner will be the USA representative racing J/70’s at the Sailing Champions League World qualifier, the principal event that all fourteen European national sailing leagues participate in as well to determine the world’s best sailing club!  The Notice of Race is here.

How do you qualify?  Here is what you will need to do for each individual Regional Sailing Association (RSA):
  • Each Regional Sailing Association (RSA) will select the team they submit. These determinations can include qualification or resume submission to the RSA representative of US Sailing
  • Teams must be made up of sailors from the RSAs they are representing and members of sailing organizations that are members of that RSA.
  • Team members must be current members of US Sailing
  • Sailing organizations must be current members of US Sailing
  • The event will be sailed in J/70s using the league sailing format
  • The minimum number of crew for the event shall be four including the helmsperson.
For more information on how your RSA will select a team, contact them here.

J/70 flying off waveFort-2-Fort Challenge Announcement
(Annapolis, MD)- The Fort 2 Fort Races are comprised of three separate record challenges in Annapolis and Baltimore, linking historical forts of Fort Severn (United States Naval Academy) and Fort McHenry across Chesapeake Bay. The three races are the Fort 2 Fort Race, the R2 Challenge, and the Star Spangled Banner Challenge. Each race is designed to be sailed in either direction to promote the best sailing conditions based on the weather window to set a new record.

The races can be entered between April 1st and November 1st each year.  With each paid entry, your entry gives you the ability to enter all three challenges, a combination of the three, or the same challenge three times. Each entry must be submitted with a valid .gpx file to verify course times.

Eligible classes are Monohull A (15 Ft and below), Monohull B (16 Ft – 30 Ft), Monohull C (30+ FT), Multihull A (20 Ft and below), and Multihull B (21 Ft+).  In addition to these classes, there will be an overall record, and PHRF record.  If there are 5 or more One Design boats entered, than a One Design Class will also be scored.

The Fort 2 Fort Race is between Annapolis (Fort Severn/ Naval Academy) and Baltimore (Fort McHenry). The course is approximately 38 miles starting or finishing depending on the direction of choice from Triton Light at the Naval Academy, to Government Marks off Fort McHenry.

The R2 Challenge is between Triton Light at the Naval Academy and Severn River Marker R2.  The course is approximately 3.8 miles and can be run from either direction.
The Star Spangled Banner Challenge is between Government Marks off Fort McHenry, and the Francis Scott Key Buoy near the Patapsco Bridge. Since the buoy is only in the water starting on June first each year, the Government Marks adjacent create a line through the buoy. The course is approximately 3.4 miles and can be run in either direction.

A portion of the entry fees will be donated to area organizations and foundations supporting sailing and the Chesapeake Bay. If you have any questions please email- or contact race founder- Drew Beach-   For further information on the Fort 2 Fort Races, please visit here.

J/109 sailing Cedar PointCedar Point One-Design Regatta Announcement
(Cedar Point, CT)- Cedar Point Yacht Club’s One Design Regatta in Westport, CT, June 3&4 is an early season sailor favorite event on Long Island Sound. This year, several J/Boat classes have very strong fleets, ten J/70, eight J/88, six J/105 and the biggest class is J/109 with seventeen boats.  J/Boats make up 75% of the registered competitors for the 2017 regatta.

The One Design Regatta is also the 2017 East Coast Championship for the J/109 class with entrants as far away as Annapolis to the south and Newport to the east. It is a very competitive fleet including the past three East Coast Champions Jonathan Rechtschaffer’s EMOTICON, Bengt & Marie Johansson’s ZIG ZAG and David Rosow’s LOKI. LOKI is also the current National Champion that will try to defend that title at Block Island Race Week in just a few weeks. Several other top boats in the class are also competing Bud Roger’s BIG BOAT, Carl Olson’s MORNING GLORY and Bill Sweetser’s RUSH just to name a few.  For more Cedar Point One-Design Regatta sailing information

J/120 sailing Edgartown Race WeekendEdgartown Race Week- The Long & the Short of it
(Edgartown, MA)— Edgartown YC Race Weekend isn’t your typical regatta. For starters, it has two parts: one for the much revered and time-tested (79 years old) 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 do the buoy racing in addition to the ’Round-the-Island and some years just the ’RTI,” said Stephen Besse (Guilford, Conn.), skipper of the J/120 Après. “I use 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.”

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

Besse sailing his J/120Though 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 Après 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 Nomans 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 givings 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 information, go to or contact

Marblehad Halifax raceMarblehead to Halifax Race Announcement
(Marblehead, MA)- A competitive international fleet of boats will be at the starting line July 9 to begin the Marblehead to Halifax ocean race. The 363-mile race, which dates back to 1905, is billed as the “granddaddy of ocean races.”

Seventy-three boats have already signed up with two months of registration to go. “We are excited about the strength of the entries so far,” said Jennie Aspinall, Vice Commodore of the Boston Yacht Club and co-chair of the race. “Sixteen of the entrants will be defending one of more podium finishes from 2015.”

Several J/teams with impressive records have already signed up; including at least three J/120s- Gardner Grant’s ALIBI, Jim Praley’s SHINNECOCK, and Stu McCrea’s J/120 DEVIATION (read their story on preparation below in J/Community section).  Others are Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI from Houston, TX; Brad Willauer’s J/46 BREEZING UP from Scarborough, ME; and Phil Helmes’ J/133 FAST COMPANY III from Marblehead, MA.
J/109 sailing Halifax raceThe event is a cooperative venture of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and the Boston Yacht Club of Marblehead. Title sponsor is the Steele Auto Group of Canada with USA supporting sponsors: Gill, Marblehead Bank, Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty and BNY Mellon Wealth Management.

Among the current 73 entries, 34 are first timers, 17 are second timers and there are four entrants who have only missed two races since 1997. Richard Hinterhoeller of RNSYS, Co-Director, says one of those racing has entered every Marblehead to Halifax since 1997. The Marblehead to Halifax race will cap off a week of Fourth of July celebrations in the picturesque ocean side community. The Boston Yacht club will host a round of parties and receptions throughout the event.   Sailing photo credits- Craig Davis  For more Marblehead to Halifax Race sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The European continent is getting quite busy with their sailing league programs that are sailing J/70s as their boats of choice.  Three events took place this past weekend, Netherlands (Almere), Switzerland (Zurich) and Norway (Oslo).  A total of forty-seven sailing clubs with over 400 sailors were participating, just in sailing league action on the water— their fans at their local sailing clubs are avid followers on the Internet, following them on social media and via “live” video on YouTube- another 5,000 people or so!!

In the United Kingdom, the offshore sailors were already diving into their second major event of the European RORC Offshore Points Series, sailing the De Guingand Bowl Race, starting and finishing off the Royal Yacht Squadron line off Cowes, Isle of Wight.  There were several notable performances from a J/133, J/122, J/105s, amongst others.  The Italian J/24 fleet in week 19 are preparing for their Open National Championship, with teams showing up from the USA, Germany, Hungary.

Hopping across the Atlantic to the Americas, the Mexicans hosted their 5th J/70 Nationals in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico hosted by the Vallarta YC on the gorgeous Bahia de Banderas.

Up in the USA, there were several epic races that took place, all in big breeze, with fast tracks burned on the GPS’s.  On the east coast, it was Larchmont YC’s Edlu Race for what turned out to be an insanely fast day race.  There were several great performances from a cross section of J’s- from J/92s, J/105s, J/120s and so forth.  Then out west, there were two big events: one was the Portland YC’s Oregon Offshore from Astoria, OR (at the mouth of the Columbia River) to Victoria, British Columbia in Canada; the other was the Tri-Island Series- Vashon Island Race that took place in Seattle’s Puget Sound.  In both cases, it was a mix of J/122s, J/46, J/120, J/105s, J/109s, J/42, J/27, J/35 and others that all managed to collect some nice silverware.

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:

May 13-14- Vashon Island/ Tri-Island Race- Seattle, WA
May 17-21- USA J/24 Nationals- Seattle, WA
May 20- Grosse Pointe YC J/70 Sailing League- Detroit, MI
May 20-21- Almere J/80 Regatta- Almere, The Netherlands
May 20-21- J/22 Jackrabbit Regatta- Canandaigua, NY
May 20-21- Stratford Shoal Race- New York, NY
May 23- RORC North Sea Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
May 25-28- Gran Prix Ecole del Navale- Camaret-sur-Mer, France
May 25-28- J/24 North American Championship- Houston, Texas
May 26-28- Storm Trysail Block Island Race- Larchmont, NY
May 26- Spinnaker Cup Race- Belvedere, CA
May 27-28- Swiftsure International Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
May 29- Coastal Cup Race- Santa Barbara, CA
Jun 1- SoCal 300 Race- Newport Beach, CA
Jun 2-3- Susan Hood Trophy Race- Port Credit, ONT, Canada
Jun 2-4- Southern Bay Race Week- Hampton, VA
Jun 2-5- J/22 World Championship- Scheveningen, The Netherlands
Jun 3-4- Cal Race Week- Marina del Rey, CA
Jun 3-4- Cedar Point One-Design Regatta- Cedar Point, CT
Jun 3-9- J/70 European Championship- Hamble, England
Jun 9-11- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL
Jun 9-11- New York YC 163rd Annual Regatta- Newport, RI
Jun 16-18- J/70 Great Lakes Championship- Cleveland, OH
Jun 16-18- Cleveland Race Week- Cleveland, OH
Jun 17-18- British J/80 National Championship- Southampton, England
Jun 17-25- Kieler Woche- Kiel, Germany
Jun 18-23- Block Island Race Week- Block Island, RI
Jun 18-23- J/109 North American Championship- Block Island, RI
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/70s sailing off Puerto Vallarta, MexicoVINCITORE Wins Mexico J/70 Nationals
(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- On May 5th to 7th, the 5th Mexico J/70 National Championship was held in Puerto Vallarta, the fabulous coastal resort town on the western (Pacific) side of the country. It is now the fourth site the Mexican Nationals have been held; the others were Valle de Bravo twice, Acapulco, Cancun and now Vallarta.  A total of twenty teams attended and were graciously hosted by the Vallarta Yacht Club.

Puerto Vallarta in May is a perfect choice as you are 99% sure you will get the thermal sea breeze, permitting the first start of the day at 13:00 hrs with 10-12 knots, building up to 18-20 knots everyday! The J/70 teams that participated in the event were looking forward to the “postcard” sailing weather, teams came from Mexico City, Guadalajara, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta including a youth team sponsored by the BBB Sailing Program.

J/70 sailing off Mexico at NationalsWith three days of racing and 11 races scheduled, the VYC PRO and Committee were punctual and efficient, waiting patiently for the seabreeze to start at midday and, like clockwork, they could set the starting line and the marks, much to the delight of the happy fleet!

The first day of racing ended with Ignacio Perez Moret ZAQUERO in 1st place, tied on points with VINCITORE sailed by the Brockmann brothers and former World Champion Julian Fernandez in 3rd place sailing the familiar FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO.

On the second day, consistency was the key and VINCITORE posted a 2-1-2-1 to move into the lead after eight races. After a 10th place in the lighter air first race of the day, ZAQUERO recovered with three great races (a 2-1-2), but now basically used their drop race. A solid day for Yon Belausteguigoitia´s team LA BALA (a 3-3-6-3) put them in 4th place; this team had a tremendous amount of talent onboard with countless World Championship and Olympic regattas on their CV’s and not to mention an easy 217 years of age between the 4 of them!! Eduardo Porter’s GOLDO’s was also having consistent results (a 4-4-4-5) and was now in 5th place.

On the final day, three races were scheduled. VINCITORE had to be careful with ZAQUERO and FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO (who needed a perfect day to have a chance for the win).  The first race saw VINCITORE in 4th with ZAQUERO 3rd, FLOJITO 2nd and LA BALA in 1st place. VINCITORE went on to win the next two races as the sea breeze increased into the high teens.

J/70 sailing at Puerto Vallarta Nationals- MexicoDefinitely enjoying the event and conditions to win the National Championship was the crew of VINCITORE- Ricky Brockmann was skipper, Erik Brockmann (Ricky’s brother) was calling tactics, Jeronimo Mariscal was trimmer, and Diego Velasco was bowman. Second place went to Ignacio Perez Moret and team on ZAQUERO; they also won the Corinthians Division! Julian Fernandez ended in 3rd place with FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO.  Rounding out the top five were LA BALA in 4th and Porter’s GOLDO’S in 5th place.

According to Rod (“Caracas”) Favela, who was sailing in the regatta, “family and friends had a great time sailing in the gorgeous weather of the Pacific coast off Mexico, Bahia de Banderas is a beautiful place to sail!!  Great winds!

The most common, and probably most important phenomenon, I noticed was how many crews were families: Mom, Dad and the kids, and they were fast, talented crews that will get to the top without much difficulty.  No wonder why the class is growing so quickly in Mexico, as it allows a great family and social platform to be very competitive and fun!

I cannot say enough about the Mexican hospitality- great food, good laughs and very good quality racing, all happening under the umbrella of a top-of-the line Race Committee from Vallarta YC who ran perfect courses for all 11 races of the week! I want to go back already!!”  For more Mexico J/70 Nationals sailing information.

J/105 sailing RORC raceJ/133 Wins @ RORC De Guingand Bowl Race
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- This past weekend, the RORC held their fourth event in their season-long RORC Offshore Points Series, the De Guingand Bowl.  The race starts and finishes off the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line at Cowes, Isle of Wight.  The course picked for the fleet included a fair amount of fetching, reaching and running.  In fact, the intensity of competition is such that a good start can make all the difference, the first leg being a spinnaker run off the starting line. North Head was tough for a number of boats. At this point, the competition had all positioned themselves for the maximum tide running out of Portland. Some boats continued across to Swanage to see if the anticipated lift provided gains; and it worked to a tee. Those who did get there made the East Shingles Buoy without a tack and the wind freed enough that some boats even got the Code Zero aloft.  Another boat remarked that using their Code Zero on the leg back to St. Catherine's Point was the one part of the race where they made significant gains on their class.

In the end, the J/133s have done it again.  In the last race, the French J/133 PINTIA won IRC 1 Class and Overall.  In this race, a big shout out to Angus Bates’ J/133 ASSARAIN IV, “congratulations” to Angus and crew for winning IRC 1 Class!

Meanwhile, IRC 2 class saw Andy Theobald’s J/122 R&W take 2nd; while Elin Haf Davies & Chris Frost’s J/120 NUNATAK took 4th and Chris Daniel’s new J/122E JUNO took 5th place!

In the extremely competitive IRC Doublehanded fleet, it was Nick Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J in 6th, followed by Elin Haf Davies & Chris Frost’s J/120 NUNATAK in 7th, Jerry Freeman’s J/105 JULIETTE in 9th and Robert Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT in 10th.

For the RORC Season Series, here is the big picture: in IRC 2 class the J/122 R&W is 2nd; in IRC 3 class the J/105 DIABLO-J is 5th, the J/109 JELENKO (Trevor Sainty) is 7th, and the J/105 JULIETTE is 8th; in IRC 4 class the J/105 BIGFOOT is 3rd; and in the IRC Doublehanded class, the J/105 DIABLO-J is 5th, the J/105 JULIETTE (Jerry Freeman) is 7th and the J/105 BIGFOOT is 9th.

Next race is the Myth of Malham Trophy Race, basically a “mini-Fastnet Race” that starts off the Squadron line in Cowes and heads west, turn around and head back for the finish- very much a coastal race with a number of “tidal gates” and shoreline breezes to take into consideration.  For more RORC de Guingand Bowl Race sailing information

J/88s starting Edlu race 
Epic, Windy Edlu Distance Race
AYC Young American J/105 Wins, Again!
(Larchmont, NY)- This year’s 62nd annual Edlu Distance Race, a quick 32nm race from Larchmont breakwater to Eaton’s Neck and back was a bit more of a classic tune-up race than most people expected.  Saturday morning dawned, grey, cold, and quite breezy- in fact, blowing up to 30+ kts.  As a result, there was a bit of carnage on the race course with broaching, torn sails, ripped chutes and bruised egos.  For those that finished the race (about 25% of the fleet DNF’d), it was an epic race to tell tall tales at the LYC party afterwards.

J/105 sailing Edlu RaceThe big winners of the event were, once again, the incredibly talented young sailors from American YC’s Offshore Youth program.  Their J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN won the Edlu Trophy, emblematic of the overall winner and the Wilfred Kluss Trophy for winning PHRF 2 class.  Behind them in second place was another strong J/105 team, Duncan Hennes with Za & Lib Jelliffe on ARETE.  Taking 4th in class was another J/105, Hobie Ponting’s PRIVATEER YCC.

In PHRF 1 class, Bill Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE took 4th in the rough conditions while Cory Eaves’ J/109 FREEDOM was 5th and Greg Slamowitz’s J/111 MANITOU was 7th place.

J/88 Deviation sailing Edlu raceThe five-boat J/88 class became a walk-away for Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION YCC team, as they were the only boat that finished the race!  Needless to say, it was a very rough race for smaller boats, plus quite cold.

The PHRF Doublehanded division, one of the largest in the race with ten boats, was dominated by top-performing J crews taking 4 of the top 6 slots.  Top boat was Peter Hein’s J/120 VAREKAI, taking 2nd.  They were followed by Randy Saunders’ J/100 JACKAL in 3rd, Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN in 4th, Abhijeet Lele’s J/111 VARUNA in 6th.

Finally, the IRC Division saw Len Sitar’s J/44 VAMP from Storm Trysail Club finish in fourth place. Sailing photo credits- Howie McMichael/ McMichaels Yachts.  For more Edlu Distance Race sailing information

Netherlands J/70 sailing league spinnakersJachtclub Scheveningen Leads Netherlands J/70 Sailing League
(Almere, The Netherlands)- The first act of the Netherlands J/70 Sailing League started this past weekend on the Weerwater in Almere. Eighteen well-prepared sailing clubs will be competing in five rounds for the 2017 season championship. The national champion will automatically end up in Champions League Sailing in 2018.

The big question was how the various teams would evolve after a long winter? WSV Almere Centraal, the 2016 champion, is hoping their home field advantage might help them during the season opener. In addition to Almere Centraal, KWS Sneek, Jachtclub Scheveningen, VWDTP Groningen, WSV Giebeek, RR & ZV Maas and Roer from Roermond and WV Brassermermeer would also be great contenders, at least on paper.

women's J/70 Netherlands teamThe International Yacht Club Amsterdam (IYCA), an all women’s team, was one of the two debutants this season. Fettje Osinga- team captain of IYCA commented, "The IYCA has only existed for two years. For us, it is great to be able to compete in the league. As a women’s team, we believe that you should always participate in winning. We are all bloodthirsty and ready to take on everyone! But, we know this is our first event, so we do not have high expectations to win. The league events are fun to bring friends and family together; that is something that cannot really be done at regular sailing matches."

The opening day was characterized by little wind. In the morning, a 5-6 knot wind (2 beaufort) enabled some races to be held.  But, in the afternoon, the breezes left and it was perfectly flat across the water.  As a result, it was test of light air sailing skills.  The initial leader of the regatta was a result of the good performance put in by the Groningen crew at the VWDTP sailing club.  Wouter Westerhof, team member of VWDTP, commented, "Yes, we have started to work hard and the results have paid off. Last winter we chartered two boats in Monnickendam at Waterland and sailed every two weeks, and we have been able to grow our team to about ten sailors."

Coach Frans Robertus explained the VWDTP selection process, "We started by making everybody try out the different positions on the boat. As we get closer to the start of the season, we focused crewmembers on specific positions to improve their performance. And, we then combined the two best crew from each boat. So, that is how we created crew.  Ironically, it was the same four crew as in 2016! But, they now sail on different positions this year!”

J/70 Netherlands sailing leagueAfter two days of sailing, SZ & WV Uitdam was sailing fast and was leading the standings. VWDTP from Groningen fell to third place and Jachtclub Scheveningen was second.  What was most striking was the comeback of the KWS Sneek team, who, after the disappointing performance on Friday, was able to dramatically leap up the leaderboard after winning four races.  Amazingly, the WSV Almere Centraal team, international champions 2016, ended up fourth in the ranking and cannot even score a victory on the water! In other words, the fleet is quite deep in talent and the top is getting wider!

Wietze Zetzema, crew on SZ & WV Uitdam was very pleased with their results. He commented, "We are very happy. Well, that is the result of a combination of factors. We are growing better at this game. We know when we have a bad start. We are better aware of how we can prevent problems and penalties. We found a mode to stay out of trouble. In short, we are growing better and better in our league sailing competitiveness!  We joined the league as a sailing club, so we have 15 people on our team, young, old, women and men- all very good sailors!  The sailing is really exciting and so close together!  The difference between us and number seven in the rankings is less than six points. Six points can be gained or lost in one race!”

After the smoke cleared on the race course after Sunday’s racing, it was the Jachtclub Scheveningen sailors that scored seven wins over fourteen races in three days to win the first act. In total, there were 42 races sailed on the Weerwater in Almere in beautiful and challenging circumstances.

Evert Jansen talks about the success of Scheveningen, the club that finished third in 2016. "Our secret? Consistent sailing, keep calm and keep the same team of 2016 together. We have also received no penalties, as far as I know. So go well, stay calm and stay out of trouble. That certainly matters."

In the “time to eat humble pie category” were the big winners in 2016, WSV Almere Centraal.  They had a wildly fluctuating scoreline all weekend long, but managed to get it all together to win the last three races and secure third overall.  SZ & WV Uitdam was second.  Taking fourth place was WSV Giesbeek and in fifth place was the original regatta leader- VWDTP sailing club.  Meanwhile, after a brilliant second day where they could do no wrong, KWS Sneek fell off their shopping trolley into 7th place; it was easy to fall down the slippery slope with such close competition!   Follow the Dutch J/70 Sailing league on Facebook here.   For more Netherlands J/70 Sailing League information

J/70 Swiss sailing league- ZurichRC Oberhofen Triumph @ Swiss Sailing League- Act II
(Zurich, Switzerland)- The twelve best sailing clubs in Switzerland have already been fighting for valuable points in the Swiss national league. The brilliant start on Lake Maggiore has shown that the level of sailing is enormously high. Many clubs have once again strengthened their teams with top sailors, including several Olympic athletes.

The fastest climbers were SV Kreuzlingen, with the Olympic sailor Tom Rüegge at the wheel; their goal in Zurich was to show that the victory on Lake Maggiore was no coincidence. The winners of the Swiss Sailing Super League 2016 and second in the Sailing Champions League finale in Porto Cervo, Sardinia were the Regattaclub Bodensee, they were not satisfied with the fourth place in the Lago Maggiore opener; the young sailors from St. Gallen (Massimo Soriano, Lea Rüegg, Stephan Zurfluh and Rene Ott) came to Zurich with the firm determination to win.

The air at the top of the Swiss Sailing Super League is, however, literally quite thin. A whole series of teams- SN Geneva, SN Role, RC Oberhofen/BE, Thunersee YC and Neuchâtel- have the potential to sail for victory and podium places.  Plus, the Zurich Yacht Club in particular has strengthened and converted its team since Locarno and wants to free itself from the bottom of the barrel.  That was the “form” going into last weekend.

J/70 swiss sailing league mark roundingThe weather happened to be the determining factor in the event, playing to some team’s strengths and other’s weaknesses. The Swiss Sailing League meteorologist, Nicola Möckli, expected good sailing conditions, however, spiked with thunderstorms, rain and sunny sections.

In difficult wind conditions between doldrums and storms, the Regattaclub Oberhofen won the second round and is now sitting in the overall lead for the series. The Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen confirmed, by taking second place, their performance of Locarno and they are sitting in second place based on a tie-breaker with Oberhofen. In third for the series is Regattaclub Lake Constance.

Swiss J/70 sailing league winnersA mix of sun, clouds with occasional wind fields from the southwest and in the evening thunderbolts- these were the challenges the sailing teams had to master over the weekend in Zurich. On Friday, the first 4 races could be sailed in the wake of a thunderstorm. On Saturday morning, two races were taking place with rolling, light southern winds. Then postponements were announced. Only in the evening, with the thunder and winds growing again from the west could the Zurich YC PRO conduct another three races. However, when the thunderstorm discharged directly above the regatta course, the races had to be stopped and every returned to the safe harbor. Unfortunately, only one race was possible on Sunday morning and the second round was completed with 10 races.

The Regattaclub Oberhofen (RCO) with Alain Stettler, Simon Brügger, Christoph Rytz and Stephan Rupp were best able to handle the changing and difficult to read wind conditions. With three straights firsts, they tackled the team of the Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen (SVKr) with skipper Tom Rüegge.  Third place went to Regattaclub Bodensee from St. Gallen on Lake Constance; they were beaten with a penalty by the referees on Saturday because of a race offense and ended this race in the second place. This slip-up cost the St. Gallen the chances for victory.  That is how close the racing was between the top three teams- one point!!

Rounding out the top five were Societe Nautique de Geneve in 4th and Cercle de la Voile de Neuchatel in 5th place. The next round of the Swiss Sailing Challenge League will take place in Estavayer and Davos.  Follow the Swiss J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here.   For more Swiss Sailing League information

J/70 Norway sailing league- OsloMOSS Wins Norwegian J/70 Sailing League Opener
(Oslo, Norway)- This past weekend, the Norwegian Sailing League opened in Oslo, Norway.  There were thirty sailing clubs participating in two divisions, the Premiere League and the Challenge League.  The weather was a bit brisk, even by Norwegian standards, moderate breezes but with temperatures at 15 degrees C!  No one wants to mention, of course, that it was snowing at times just before and during the regatta!  Host was the Vippa sailing club, famous for serving both food and drinks, with many nice sailors volunteering to make everyone feel at home and having a great time!  By all accounts, they succeeded beyond everyone’s expectations- hot sailing, hot food, great refreshments- all in the grand Norwegian tradition of sailing hard, sailing fast and having fun!

Norway J/70 sailing league winnersAfter two days of sailing, it was the “newcomers”, the Moss Seilforening and Risør Seilforening who set the standard in each division in this year's first Seilsportsliga event. The conditions in Inner Oslofjord were quite demanding and challenging for all the teams.

The Moss Sailing Association moved up to the 1st division after last year's superb effort in the 2nd division and this weekend they showed they had certainly qualified to the right division!  In fact, they won four races in their six races to beat last year’s Seilsports League winner KNS (Kongelig Norsk Seilforening)!!  Brevik Sailing Association also showed good form after a winter's rest. They ended up in a 7th place last year, but opened the season much stronger by taking a third place in the first regatta.

J/70 sailing league team- Norway- OsloIn the 2nd division, newcomers also made changes. Risør Sailing Association had its very first regatta in the Seilsports League this weekend. They set the standard for the rest of the season by securing the first place. Hurum SF, who finished in 10th place last year, showed new moves and got 2nd place; while another newcomer Askøy Seilforening opened their participation in the Seilsports League 2nd Division with a 3rd place.  Follow the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here.   For more Norwegian Sailing League information

J/105 The Soup winners Oregon OffshoreAwesome, Fast Oregon Offshore Race
J/105 "The Soup" Wins PHRF Overall!
(Portland, OR)- The prestigious trophy for winning first Overall in the Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race will have another THREE names emblazoned on it this year - Schenk, Hopper & Davis.  The trio sailed their J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP to an overall victory in the 2017 race under blustery conditions. “Congratulations” to the crew! They were not only the PHRF Overall winner, but the J/105 Class winner, too.  In fact, J/Teams in general sailed extremely well; with six J’s in the top eight boats overall.

According to Schenk from “the Soup”, “another epic one is in the books with a Southerly up the coast, and not too dead in the straights for an early finish.  Having a J/105 division was super cool, and J/105’s finished 1st, 3rd, and 8th overall!  Riva (J/46) also had a great race winning their division and 3rd across the line behind Rage and the TP52!”

J/122 Anam Cara at Oregon OffshoreThe Oregon Offshore is one of the toughest races on the entire West Coast and also one that has seen very loyal teams participate year after year; the event is hosted by Corinthian YC of Portland and the Astoria YC in Astoria, OR along the opening of the Columbia River.

Historically, the race acts as a “feeder” for the Swiftsure Race and for the Vic-Maui Race, too.  The race starts off the Columbia River Buoy 2 and goes 193nm north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, leaving Duntze Rock buoy to starboard and finish off the piers at Victoria, British Columbia in Canada on the northern side of the Straits.

Twenty-one teams entered this year and besides the J/105s, other J/Crews gathered their fair share of silverware.

The PHRF A2 Class saw a sweep of the top three positions on the podium, led by Corinthian YC’s Scott Campbell and his team on the pretty blue J/46 RIVA (4th overall).  Second in class was Tom Keffer’s J/42 VELOCITY (5th overall) and third in class was Tom Kelly’s beautiful blue J/122 ANAM CARA (6th overall).

Behind the winners in the J/105 class (the “Soupers” that also won last year’s PHRF A class), it was Doug Pihlaja’s ABSTRACT that took second place (3rd overall) while Dana Sibilla’s ESCAPE ARTIST placed third (8th overall). That is a great showing for the J/105s in general. For the two “newbies” in the race, it was especially gratifying to do so well overall, too!!  For more Oregon Offshore Race sailing information

sailing off Seattle on Puget SoundVashon Island/ Tri-Island Series Report
(Seattle, WA)- Last weekend, Seattle YC continued their popular Tri-Island Series of races, hosting the Vashon Island Race on Puget Sound for a fleet of nearly eighty boats.  The J/teams all faired well on the circuitous course down and around the island chains in the Sound, with some crews advancing their cause and continuing to elevate in the series standings.

In the PHRF 2 Class, Shawn Dogherty & Jason Andrew’s J/125 HAMACHI did not race, but they still sit third in class for the series.  In the PHRF 3 class, Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION took a 4th in class.

The PHRF 4 class was led by Jim Hinz’s J/120 HINZITE, taking 2nd in the Vashon and sitting in 2nd for the series.  Third was Jerry Woodfield’s J/109 SHASA (now in 4th for the series) and fourth was Mark Liffring’s J/120 WITH GRACE (now sitting in 3rd for the series).

The large J/105 class is experiencing a bit of a “schooling” on how to sail the tricky “island” series. Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE is on a winning streak, posting another first to easily be leading the series.  Lance Rummel & David Cohen’s INCONCEIVABLE added a 2nd to their scoreline to now sit in 2nd for the series.  Third in Vashon was Chris Phoenix’s JADED (4th in series) and then taking a 4th place and sitting in 3rd for the series is Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO.

In the PHRF 8 class, Leo Morales’ J/27 WIZARD is sailing well and consistently, posting a 3-6 tally in the Protection Island and Vashon Island races to be just 2 pts out of second for the overall.  Finally, in the PHRF 9 class, Bill Boyeson’s classic J/42 JIMINY won the Vashon to be leading the series by a point.  Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson/  For more SYC Tri-Island Series sailing information

J/24 sailing off ItalyJ/24 Italy Report- Week 19
(La Maddalena, Sardinia, Italy)- The 37th Italian National Open J/ 24 Championship will be featured on May 23rd to 28th in the enchanting seaside town of La Maddalena.  The countdown to the most anticipated event of the Italian J/24 sailing season sees thirty-five crews already registered to sail in the gorgeous azure blue waters of the Mediterranean off the southeastern coastline of Sardinia.  The bay of Cagliari is famous for its steady, predictable sea breezes that can build out of the southeast from 10 to 18 kts on any sunny day; only the meltemi (sirocco) can overpower it if it blows out of the north from the Italian Alps at 35 to 50 kts!

On Thursday 25th, after the skipper meeting, the races will start (12 o'clock warning signal of the first race), which will continue until Sunday. On Saturday evening the traditional dinner for the crews is planned and the next day the final ceremony will be held

There are twelve races scheduled and there will be no more than three per day. The Championship will be valid with a minimum of four races completed and with five races, the scores will reflect a discard race.

J24 sailing off Sardinia, ItalyMore determined than ever to defend the tricolor title will be last year’s champions- ITA 503 owned by Marco Stefanoni (LNI Mandello) and skippered by Francesco Bertone (CVLa Scuffia).  On a roll this spring and certainly their strongest challengers will be ITA 416 LA SUPERBA, skippered by Italian Navy sailor- Ignatius Bonanno.  A past winner of the “open” division will be attending, the top American J/24 sailor, Keith Whittemore from Seattle, WA, skippering USA 5399 FURIO.

Other top Italian crews that will be a factor on the leaderboard should be ITA 212 JAMAICA skippered by Pietro Diamanti, the young team on ITA 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING led by Eugenia de Giacomo, the Sardinia leaders on ITA 405 VIGNE SURRAU skippered by Aurelio Bini and ITA 443 ARIA skippered by Marco Frulio.

"A good thanks to those who are working for the success of this Championship and to make Maddalena stay pleasant and engaging; I especially want to thank Discover Nikola Tesla Elica, Cantine Contini, Moby Line, Delcomar and Tirrenia for their valuable support. At the event, the J/24 Class has entered into an important agreement with Moby Line- Tirrenia for the carriage of boats from the ports of Genoa, Livorno and Civitavecchia to Olbia. Delcomar offered free return to Palau-Maddalena for all competitors. Significant agreements have also been reached with the accommodation facilities,” explained the organizer and former president of the Italian Class J/24- Mariolino Di Fraia- he is sailing his ITA 460 BOTTA DRITTA MAYOR in the regatta. “Furthermore, I am sure, the active collaboration with the Italian Navy for regatta support and management will make for an even more impressive stay in Maddalena!!”  For more Italian J/24 Nationals sailing information.

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/125 Tower Race- Santa Barbara, CA The J/125 WARRIOR has been having a lot of fun sailing off windy, sunny Santa Barbara on some spectacular sailing days this spring, enjoying the nuking conditions that often sweep around Point Conception to the north and blast the fleet with 20-35 kts winds on a clear day!

On April 8th weekend was the famous Race to the Tower and back.  Basically, a wind sprint on starboard gybe from the starting line set just off the famous pier at the southeastern part of the harbor- Stearns Wharf- then off to one of the big oil rigs offshore in the Santa Barbara Channel and return to the finish.  In that race, the J/125 WARRIOR simply lit it up, sent it down to the rig at speeds up to 23 kts and won the fleet overall by three minutes.  Here is the YouTube video of the experience by Paul Harteck, the son of the skipper Larry Harteck in the video.

More J/125 Warrior sailing videoThen, as if they did not have enough fun on the April 8th Tower Race, then WARRIOR’s owner, Dr Laura Schlessinger got in on the act for their May 4th extremely windy “Wet Wednesday Night” series race.  Again, it was blowing up to 25 kts and the mighty WARRIOR took off again!  With Dr Laura on the helm, they easily hit 21 kts of boat speed- “girl power on steroids!!”  The crew included Sam Solhaug, Larry Harteck, Bill Daffron, Dean Duesette, Xander, Brett Decampos, Colin Campbell, and Steve Goularte.  Watch the J/125 sailing video here.

J/120 sailing Halifax race* J/120 DEVIATION- Practice, practice, practice- that is how it’s done to win the Marblehead to Halifax Race! Thanks for this story from Kathy Large/ Sailing photos by Tim

Stuart McCrea and his crew on the J/120 DEVIATION had a big year in 2016. And, there is a lot of hardware to show for their efforts. The Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron team won the trophy for the best results for a Canadian boat in the Newport-Bermuda Race, also winning the first ever J/120 class at Chester Race Week and the Prince of Wales trophy at RNSYS. And, Stuart was recognized by both Sail Nova Scotia and Sail Canada as Canada’s “2016 Offshore Sailor of the Year.”

So, that will be a hard act to follow. But McCrea is taking the same approach as he did last year– getting his boat and his crew ready by focusing on preparation. “Your best performance is directly linked to the preparation of the yacht and its crew,” according to McCrea. “This is one aspect of our sport that is most taken for granted, as some boats and their crews believe just showing up will mean success.”

“Like the NHL, NBA, and other sports, time is spent practicing plays, scenarios, and strengthening team work to improve a team’s success. And while most of the time, our sport has us sailing during the day, hopefully under a nice sea breeze and sunshine, ocean racing adds the complexities of sailing at night and or sailing in weather most wouldn’t leave the dock for.”

J/120 sailing HalifaxMcCrea’s own preparation includes years of training and competing, starting when he joined the Squadron as a ten year old. He graduated from dinghies after competing in provincial and North American championships. His experience in keelboats includes at least a dozen Marblehead to Halifax races. This will be the second as a boat owner.

Starting at the end of April, he gets the boat out and the crew together, and they spend time practicing tactics. Like the old chestnut about how a musician can get to Carnegie Hall, winning at sailing for McCrea means practice, practice and more practices. He will plan for 30-mile stints, using the time to test sails to find out which works best in which condition. Man overboard drills are also important to McCrea. “I don’t take it lightly. Everyone needs to practice this. Just think about trying to find a crew member in the dark when the boat is going 10 or 12 knots. It would be very hard.”

His regular crew includes Mathew Christie as tactician, Jason and India White, Geoff Dalzell, Robert Maclean, Cameron Fraser and Dr. Sean Christie. Others who regularly take part, depending on the race are Giles Oland, Jonathan Ladha, and Stuart MacIntosh.

McCrea is not shy to look for expert help, either. “Last year we were able to have Andreas Josenhans and Sandy MacMillan on board for a day.” Josenhans and MacMillan are decorated Nova Scotia sailors who are world champions and Olympians who both work in different roles with North Sails.

“We were learning to understand what the boat is capable of and how to shift gears,” McCrea said. “Things happen very quickly when you are racing. If you don’t practice ahead of time, you won’t be ready to handle the circumstances when they come up. Doing these drills well in advance of the race is simply good seamanship, providing an advantage over other boats that aren’t prepared. I mean the last thing you want to do is be searching around below for a needed part as a fast approaching squall hits, or worst case trying to find the ditch bag as you and the boat are being tossed around,” says McCrea.

McCrea does focus on the safety requirements for ocean racing and makes a careful inventory and assessment of the gear needed to make sure the boat is safe. Plus he says it is crucial to review the rules and regulations of your rating organization. “Navigation and tactics come a bit later, when all the other things are tuned up.”

J/120 sailing crewAs the shakedown practices continue, McCrea starts thinking forward to the race and the tactics needed to win. “There is a large debate about whether you should go inshore at night, stay east or west of the rhumb line or try to grab the thermolift along the coast of Nova Scotia. Most of my success has come from staying close to the rhumb line. We have also noticed out in the Gulf of Maine there is a pushing and settling of the current that can cause some trouble.”

DEVIATION has all the latest equipment to help make those tactical decisions – satellite phone, a weather service that provides faxes and grib files plus the software that helps choose the optimum routing.

McCrea breaks the Marblehead to Halifax race into three important segments. "The first one is how to handle the start in Marblehead, offshore or inshore route, which will depend on the conditions of the day."

Then he says the next big strategy decision involves Brazil Rock (the shoal that sits off the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia). “I have never gone inside the Rock but I have heard lots of stories of people doing this. Your arrival time at Brazil Rock will make or break your race. I am afraid a lot of people don’t understand the Bay of Fundy tides. They are a lot bigger than what you have experienced anywhere else. It all comes down to timing.”

J/120 crew offshoreThe Bay of Fundy tides are generally recognized as the most extreme in the world. In Southwestern Nova Scotia, the height of the tide is 3.5 metres (11 ft). Depending on the wind conditions, when the tide is flooding into the Bay, a boat can be sucked north or west towards the Bay of Fundy. Especially if there is little to no wind to power the boat, the crew will have no choice but to sit and wait for the tide to turn to get back into the race.

“There is one last part of the race that I have found can be decisive,” says McCrea. “There’s a transition zone just inside Chebucto Head as you are approaching Halifax Harbour. I have seen the race won and lost there a number of times. Back in 2015, we came in on a tight close-hauled course running 12-14 knots with 20 knots of apparent wind. Then we gybed at Halifax Bravo (a light buoy). And then we spent several hours and five separate sail changes trying to coax the boat in by Chebucto Head. When we finally got moving, we managed to overtake a couple of boats but we felt like we had lost our advantage. In the end, DEVIATION was 12th in line honours and if you look at the results, a large number of boats came in after us in the next three hours, so quite a few others went through that same scenario.”

Apart from race tactics, McCrea also emphasizes to be prepared for all kinds of possible weather conditions and temperatures. Most people expect cool temperatures and fog along the coast of Nova Scotia. But McCrea also recalls a period of hours that Deviation and many other boats were becalmed on a sunny day in the Gulf of Maine during the last race. “There was no way to escape the sun on a day like that.” He also gives priority to planning for quality food and lots of smaller meals plus drinking lots of water. "I have found it very important to have smaller and more frequent meals to help people deal with the mental fatigue that comes during a long race."

A couple of other quick tips from McCrea:
  • Watch out for fishing boats while you are in the Yarmouth and south shore area. AIS is very important because there is a lot of commercial traffic in these waters and they don’t always follow the rules – gross tonnage is the rule they use!
  • Rest is paramount for the crew before the race. “I have a curfew on Saturday in Marblehead…the party is always great but I aim for me and my crew to be in bed by 10 pm. Especially if the weather gets bumpy, everyone needs that extra sleep.”

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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