Wednesday, June 14, 2017

J/Newsletter- June 14th, 2017

J/70 sailing fast downwindCleveland Race Week Preview
J/70 & J/22 Great Lakes Championship
(Cleveland, OH)- Cleveland Race Week (CRW) is the largest sailing regatta on Lake Erie and one of the largest on the Great Lakes. The annual event, now celebrating its 37th year, attracts hundreds of boats from across the Great Lakes and beyond. Nationally, Cleveland Race Week ranks as one of the largest sailing events based on number of sailing classes. Building on that eminence, this year’s CRW Regatta will again play host to multiple Regional Championship events.

Founded in 1980, CRW has developed into ten days of racing and special events. Edgewater Yacht Club, which recently celebrated it’s Centennial, is currently undergoing an exciting renovation and will be the host club for this event, scheduled to take place June 15-25th. CRW annually draws over 1,500 national and international participants.

One-design fleets that participate include J/22, J/70, J/24, and J/105 classes.  And, the PHRF Division has nine racing divisions and three JAM divisions.  This year’s event is also the Great Lakes Championship for J/22s and J/70s.

J/22 crew working hardThe eleven-boat J/22 fleet from across five states in the northeast and Midwest.  As usual, some of the New York J/22 mafia are in attendance, hoping to lift a few pounds of silver from the podium; those teams include Vic Snyder’s MO’MONEY, John Huebschmann’s ESCAPE, Mark Stuhlmiller’s EUDAIMONIA and David Krystaf’s RUFUS.  From the local Ohio fleet are Tim Roberts’ DEUCE, Rick Raymond’s LONDON FOG, Mike Meaney’s MEANIAC, and Jim Latham’s RAMBLE ON.  From farther afield are teams like Chris Princing’s Michigan crew on EVIL DR PORK CHOP/ AWARD & SPORTS, Scott Gelo’s VENTUS from Annapolis, and Dave McBrier’s VAMANOS/ HARDWARECHIMP.COM.

The eight-boat J/24 fleet has virtually an all-Ohio state contingent battling for local honors as Ohio’s “Top Dog”.  For starters, the spoiler to that party could be John O’Brien’s MOSH PIT from Fishers, IN.  Making he has a hard time getting there will be Steve Hronke’s BLACK & TAN, Mike Palmer’s BOOYAH, Ryan Lashaway’s ESCAPE PLAN, Park McRitchie’s NO B.S., Chris Glynn’s THE MYSTERY MACHINE, and two women skippers- Nancy Zangerle’s TBD and Cathy Graf’s GRAFIX.

J/70s sailing off starting lineThe fifteen-boat J/70 fleet has several well-known traveling teams and the locals, representing six states and Canada.  Perhaps the most notable top team is Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS from Alamitos Bay YC in California, the 2016 Pacific Coast Champion.  He will be up against top locals like Trey Sheehan’s HOOLIGAN: FLAT STANLEY RACING, Tod Sackett’s FM, and Lee Sackett’s USA 364.  From Chicago is Jim Prendergast’s USA 167 and from Youngstown is Tim Finkle’s JUNIOR.

The six-boat J/105 class is an all Ohio affair that includes Rick Drucker’s KNOT GUILTY, Steve Mitcham’s BREEZIN BAYOU, Chip Schaffner’s FALL LINE, Lucinda Einhouse’s OVATION, the Uhlir Brothers’ TRIO and Bob Mock’s UNBRIDLED.

In the PHRF Handicap Spinnaker division are 12 J/crews in a fleet of 22 boats- 55% of the fleet! Expected to be at the top of the class are two J/111s- Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF Key West Race Week winning team and Don Hudak’s CAPERS.  They will be chased hard by a plethora of PHRF rocketships (e.g. boats with good ratings), including Chris Mallets’ J/109 SYNCHRONICITY, Tim Yanda’s VIVA LA VIDA, Arne Lillo’s J/29 AQUARIUS, and Mark Saffell’s J/36 PAINKILLER.   In PHRF Non-Spinnaker, Doug Wahl’s J/30 RUBBER SOUL will be taking on the world of 15 boats in his class.  For more Cleveland Race Week sailing information

J/80 setting spinnakerBritish J/80 National Previews
(Southampton, England)- Over the June 17-18 weekend, the Royal Southern Yacht Club, in conjunction with the UK J/80 Class Association, welcomes nineteen teams for their U.K. J/80 Nationals.  The RSYC PRO is hoping to run nine races with a maximum of two discards. The event is being seen by most teams as an excellent training program to tune up boats, sails, and teamwork in preparation for the J/80 World Championship the second week of July that will be held at the same venue (

Three countries are represented in the field, including French teams and Irish teams. The leading UK teams include Terry O’Neill’s AQUA J, Jon Powell’s BETTY, Kevin Sproul’s J.A.T., Clare Carden’s JITTERBUG, and Nick Haigh’s SLIGHTLY STEAMY.  The top Irish boat is Patrick O’Neill’s MOJO and the top French boat is Remy Hurdiel’s DUNKERQUE VOILE- WHITE SAILS.  For more UK J/80 Nationals sailing information

J/70 sailing Kiel WeekKieler Woche Preview
(Kiel, Germany)- The 135th edition of Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) will be taking place from June 17th to the 25th and playing host to 1,500+ sailboats and over 5,000 sailors for the week long event.  Considered one of the world’s largest sailing events, Kiel Week is hosted by several clubs, with Kieler YC as the principal host.

As they did last year, there will be a massive fireworks display celebrating the sport of sailing.  “Sailing in Kiel will be broadcast live at the AUDI-SAP Sailing Arena at the Olympic marina Schilksee, including a stage for interviews and prize giving ceremonies,” says Johannes Polgar, project leader for sailing on the sports marketing team at AUDI AG. Being a partner of the Kieler Woche in the sixth year, AUDI furthermore supports the TV channel "Kieler Woche.TV", which is bringing the sailing action to the fans with modern camera technology and GPS tracking.

J/80 sailing Kiel WeekThree J/fleets are participating as one-design sailboat classes, including J/70s, J/80s and J/24s.  There is a huge turnout for the J/70 class, with 42 boats registered, ready to do battle on the Baltic Sea.  The two visiting teams, Peter Wanders’ Dutch crew on KIND OF MAGIC and Bo Johansson’s Swedish crew on TYRA will be facing a formidable array of talent from the German J/70 class.  Some of those leading teams included Helmut Clauben’s PROJEKT 4, Pit Finis and Karol Jablonski (World Match Race Champion from Poland) sailing DRALION.DE, Jens Ahlgrimm’s GRUN SOFTWARE, Julian Ramm’s VOICE OF ITZEHOE, Jurgen Waldheim’s ROSAROTER PENGUIN, and Bjorn Beilken’s PROCEDES DIVA.

The twenty-one boat J/80 one-design class should also see some amazing racing, with many of Germany’s top crews in attendance.  Those that should be near the top of the leaderboard include Torsten Voss’ FRIDA, Pat Schmidt’s SLEIPNIR, Martin Menzner’s PIKE (past German J/80 Champion), and Hauke Kruss’ TAK FOR TUREN.

J/70 sailing videoWith twenty-six boats on the starting line from five countries (USA, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Sweden), the J/24 one-design class will be seeing very good competition throughout the course of the week.  The leading German teams include Rolf Stupperich’s BIKINI INSPECTOR III, Stefan Karsunke’s SULLBERG, Anke Lukosch’s HENK, Emily Kern’s ROTOGIRL, and Manfred Konig’s VITESSE.  The British J/24 contingent all hail from Parkstone YC J/24 party club; including Duncan McCarthy’s MADELEINE, Roger Morris’ JOLLY ROGER and the American Travis Odenbach sailing GBR 5219 IL RICCIO.  The Dutch entry is Dirk Olyslagers’ JOOL.  The Swedes have three teams participating, including Per-Hakan Persson’s FRONT RUNNER.  Finally, the other American skipper is Mike Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS.   Kiel Week highlights sailing video   For more Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) sailing information

Block IslandBlock Island Race Week Preview
(Block Island, RI)- One of the highlights of summer sailing in northeast America is Storm Trysail Club’s bi-annual bacchanalian sailing festival known as Block Island Race Week.  Sailing from June 18th to 23rd, thousands of sailors migrate to the beautiful island five miles offshore of Rhode Island.  It’s a bit of a pilgrimage for many sailors, some are veterans of more than two dozen BIRW’s; it’s a time to reconnect with old friends, a time to relax and socialize with hundreds of other sailors, enjoy the camaraderie of a shared love for the water, for sailing and for celebrations.

Not surprisingly, by far the largest contingent at Block Island are J/Boats sailors.  Of the 145-keelboat entries, 73 are J/Teams (50% of the fleet)! In addition to the PHRF and IRC handicap fleets, the event is co-hosting several championships for J/One-design classes; including the J/88 East Coast Championship, the J/109 North American Championship, the J/105 New England Championship, and the J/44 North American Championship.

The seven-boat J/88 class includes many of the top teams that have won or placed in a J/88 event in the past year. Those teams should enjoy spirited competition, including Mike Bruno’s WINGS, Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION, Doug Newhouse’s YONDER, Ken & Drew Hall’s NEVERMORE, and Doug McKeige’s JAZZ.

J/109s sailing Block IslandThe J/109s have an enormous turnout, with 21 teams from across the Northeast corridor of America.  Many leading teams are present, including past North American champions, like Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY, Robert Schwartz’s NORDLYS, Bill Rogers’ BIG BOAT, Jon Rechtschaffer’s EMOTICON, Ted Herlihy’s GUT FEELING, David Rosow’s LOKI, Bill Sweetser’s RUSH, and Bill Kneller’s VENTO SOLARE.

The fourteen-boat J/105 class will have teams from Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, California, and Rhode Island.  Amongst the top crews will be J/105 North American Champion Bruce Stone and his wife Nicole Breault sailing GOOD TRADE.  Giving them a run-for-the-money include crews like Andrew Kennedy’s BAT IV, Damian Emery’s ECLIPSE, OJ Young’s LOULOU, Don Santa’s SANTAS REIGN-DEAR, Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS and John Koten’s PLANET CLAIRE.

With one of their largest turnout in years, the seven-boat J/44 class will have very close competition.  Not only are most boats well practiced and well sailed, they all share an identical one-design class inventory of main, jibs and chutes.  The outcome truly comes down to the skills of the teams.  Don’t be surprised to see all 7 crews post top 3 finishes on their scorecards!  Those teams include Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE, the US Coast Guard Academy’s GLORY, Jim Bishop’s GOLD DIGGER, Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE, Jeff Willis’ CHALLENGE IV, Chris Lewis’ KENIA and Len Sitar’s VAMP.

In the world of handicap racing, the event is considered the IRC North American Championship.  In the IRC 3 class are three J/122s (Tom Mager’s GIGI, Dan Heun’s MOXIEE, Robin Team’s TEAMWORK) and Peter Hein’s J/120 VAREKAI.  Depending on how this class is scored, you can bet all fireworks will arise from this grouping of J/crews as they vie for the overall IRC title!!

The regatta is also considered the PHRF East Coast Championship.  In PHRF 1 class, are five J/111s (Sedgwick Ward’s BRAVO, David & Maryellen Tortorello’s PARTNERSHIP, Doug Curtiss’ WICKED 2.0, Bill Thomas’ BEAU CHE II, Paul Strauch’s ANDIAMO) and the J/125 SPECTRE sailed by Brian Prinz. The PHRF 2 class includes Tom Sutton’s J/35 LEADING EDGE from Houston, TX. The ten-boat PHRF 3 class has five J/29s (Jack McGuire’s DIRTY HARRY, John Cooper’s COOL BREEZE, Steve Thurston’s MIGHTY PUFFIN, Matt Strand’s STOUT, John Esposito’s HUSTLER- a past 5x BI Week champion) and two J/80s (Jason Viseltear’s UPSETTER, John Storck’s RUMOR) vying for class honors.  The PHRF 4 class has two J/24s (Colby Thim’s NIGHT MOVES and Brian Gibbs USA 4202).

In Performance Cruising Spinnaker Class will be Ben Hodgson’s J/100 GRIMACE, Greg Slamowitz’s J/111 MANITOU, and Jeff Curtin’s J/24 UNCLE AL.  In PHRF Cruising Non-spinnaker class is Peter Hilgendorff’s J/29 MEDDLER.  For more Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week sailing information

Farallones Islands- rock! Farallones Race Preview
(San Francisco, CA)- The famous full-crewed Farallones Islands Race will be taking place this weekend.  The 58nm course goes from inside San Francisco Bay, out around the Farallones Island to port and back to the finish line on the San Francisco city waterfront.  The race is notoriously tough if there is any breeze whistling down the Pacific coast outside the Golden Gate Bridge.  It can be exhilarating as well, producing a fast reach on starboard tack out across the infamous Potato Patch (a shoal outside the Bay that can produce massive breaking waves), around the Farallones, and a fast port tack spinnaker reach on a full-on plane (for some boats) on the return to the Bay that gets you back to the bar to enjoy the fabulous sunset shining through the Bridge.

This year there are seventy keelboat teams participating, fifteen of which are J/crews (21% of the fleet)! There is a great doublehanded fleet registered.  In the twelve-boat Doublehanded Class are Mario Wijtman’s J/105 J-TRIPPER, Sean Mulvihill’s JAMANI, Richard Leute’s J/44 ACEY DEUCY, two J/88s (Jim Hopp’s WHITE SHADOW, Chris Cartwright’s VENTUS), and David Morris’ J/90 RAGTIME.

The biggest class is the thirty-boat PHRF 1 Class that includes two J/105s (Bill Woodruff’s RUSSIAN ROULETTE and Doug Bailey’s AKULA), Jim Goldberg’s J/109 JUNKYARD DOG, two J/120s (Tracy Rogers HOKULANI, Timo Bruck’s TWIST), Graham Ellis’ J/124 ALBION, and Rich Pipkin’s J/125 CAN’T TOUCH THIS.

The twenty—boat PHRF 2 Class includes Jenny Thompson’s J/30 FRICTION LOSS and Tom Borgstrom’s J/92 HIJINKS.  For more Farallones Race sailing information

J/22 youth sailorJ/22 U.S. Youth Match Racing Preview
(Fort Worth, TX)- The 2017 U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup will be held June 16 to 18 on Eagle Mountain Lake in Ft Worth, Texas. This invitational event for 16 to 20 year olds has served as a training ground for young sailors who are passionate about match racing and focused on competing at the next level.

Ten teams of four, consisting of at least one female crew per boat, will be racing J/22s. Five-time U.S. Match Racing Champion, Dave Perry, will lead a North U Advanced Match Racing Clinic on June 14-15 to jump-start the competition.

J/22 Youth team“I’m really excited to work with the 40 sailors competing this week at the U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship,” said Perry. “They are the best youth match racers in the country and will soon be competing at the college level and for the U.S. Match Racing Championship.”

Originally known as the Rose Cup, this event was founded by members of the Balboa Yacht Club and the Newport-Balboa Sailing & Seamanship Association, and was started as an invitational youth match race event in 2010. The mission of the event is to promote youth match racing in the U.S. and improve the skills of racers from around the country in national and international competition. In 2015, US Sailing elevated the Rose Cup to an official US Sailing National Championship.

The top finishing skipper will receive an invitation to the 2017 Governor’s Cup on July 17-22 at the Balboa Yacht Club in Corona del Mar, Calif.  For more J/22 US Youth Match Racing sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The first fortnight of June in Europe has produced a lot of exciting sailing and some extraordinary outcomes not expected by some.  For starters, there was the simply epic J/70 Europeans hosted by the Royal Southern YC in Hamble, England with sailing taking place on the notorious Solent “straits”!  Needless to say, many teams re-learned how to sail in “blowing dogs off chains” conditions!  In addition, in England, the RORC Morgan Cup Race, a 125nm race from the Solent to Guernsey, Channel Islands, sailed the previous weekend and nothing like the same conditions, instead experiencing lighter winds towards the finish along with the insanely massive currents found around the Channel Islands.  That same weekend saw mild conditions for the Harken June Regatta, again hosted by the busy Royal Southern YC on the Hamble for the J/88 class and IRC classes. On the continent, the Swedish J/70 Sailing League- Act II took place in Ekerö, Sweden, just southeast of Stockholm in their pretty archipelago.  Then, the French Sailing Federation (the FFV) and the French Sailing League held their qualifiers in J/80s for the SAILING Champions League semi-finals (St Petersburg, Russia or St Moritz, Switzerland) in Le Havre, France, hosted by SR du Havre. The J/24s in Germany held their Pfingst Cup in Glucksburg, Germany at Flensburger Segel-Club.  More J/24 action took place earlier for the J/24 Irish Westerns off Limerick, Ireland, hosted by Foynes YC.  Then, last week the J/24 Southern Areas were sailed off Parkstone, England, hosted by Parkstone YC.

Winging it over to the Americas, three significant events took place.  For starters, the massive Helly Hansen Chicago NOOD Regatta took place on Lake Michigan, hosted by Chicago YC.  The event hosted one-design fleets of J/70s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/111s and there were six J/88s in various classes in PHRF, including a J/120 and J/44.  What was significant about this event?  J/Teams that were sailing in any handicap class, won that class! Perhaps a first in the annals of yachting history!  Then, in Newport, RI, the New York YC held their 163rd Annual Regatta for a large fleet of offshore yachts in four circles spread across Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound; the event featured one of their largest J/44 one-design fleets ever along with J/88s, J/92, J/105s, J/109s, J/111s, J/120s and so forth all having fun racing around the tracks.  Then, in a one-way mission to get to Bermuda and watch the America’s Cup, several intrepid J/sailors took part in the Marion to Bermuda Race, hosted by Beverly YC and the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club.

Finally, not to be outdone by anyone, not only is it significant that the America’s Cup in foiling AC50 catamarans boils down to which Australian skipper is going to win the Cup (between Peter Burling and Jimmy Spithill), but recently the increasingly popular Australia Women’s Keelboat Regatta took place off Melbourne, NSW, Australia. A J/122 sailing with an all-women crew had an extraordinary experience!

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:

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
Jun 29- Jul 1- J/70 Nordic Championship- Hanko, Norway
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.

Claudia Rossi- J/70 Europeans winnerRossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE Two-peats J/70 Europeans!
Royal Thames YC Academy Students Are Corinthians Winners!
(Hamble, England)- This year’s J/70 European Championship, hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, promised a feast of big-breeze racing for forty-two teams from eleven countries. After nine scintillating races on the Hill Head Plateau, Central Solent, the J/70 European Championship saw a rare “two-peat” unfold before their collective eyes. Claudia Rossi's Italian team, racing PETITE TERRIBLE, retained her title in a thrilling final day of high-speed action in the Central Solent; her all Italian crew included Michele Paoletti, Matteo Mason, Simone Spangard, and Verena Webe.

In a field boasting Olympic Medallists and numerous World Champions from other classes, one third of the teams had mixed or full women teams and both the Open and Corinthian European Champions featured women at the helm- the Corinthian Champion skipper on the RTYC Academy team was Fiona Hampshire. Notably, there were THREE women skippers in the top ten, including top Russian women keelboat skipper- Valerya Kovalenko; her crew managed tenth overall on RUS 1 ARTTUBE. Here is how the thrilling racing on the Solent unfolded over the course of four days.

J/70 planing at finishDay 1- Blown Out!
The weather won the first battle on the opening day of the Europeans!  The RSYC Principal Race Officer, Stuart Childerley, and his Race Committee team, braved the conditions to monitor the situation on the racecourse and relayed their updates to competitors ashore, using a closed user group via cell phone. However at 13:30 BST, they called off racing for the day since it was gusting up to 40 kts at times!

Day 2- Baptism By Fire!
The weather conditions did not change much for the second day of racing.  It started windy and just got windier.  Two races were completed, but only just. While the first race was conducted in a lively 18 knots of westerly wind. By the second race, the wind had veered northwest and strengthened to survival conditions of 25 knots, and at times gusts of 30 kts. PRO Stu Childerley, again, wisely stopped the action after a brutal last race, which had plenty of competitors spinning out downwind, with a few spectacular broaches, and plenty of shredded nylon blowing across the race course.  Despite the physically demanding conditions, it was a women helm at the top of the leaderboard.  Claudia Rossi's PETITE TERRIBLE posted a 1-2, while in second place was the Spanish J/70 NOTICIA, skippered by José María Torcida (a past two-time J/80 World Champion) that posted 3-1, then Martin Dent's British team racing JELVIS 7 posted 4-4 to claim third at the end of the day’s racing.

Watch this ballistic video action from Day Two of the J/70 European Championship (

J/70 planing downwind“It was an exciting day, very fast conditions and I love to drive the boat when it is like this,” smiled Claudia Rossi. “We have only completed two races, so it is early in the regatta, but we had two good races, so it was a good day for us. Our tactician made some good calls today.” She was referring to Olympic Finn Medallist and TP52 tactician- Michele Paoletti.

In the Corinthian Class, Tim Gratton's Royal Thames YC Academy Team with woman skipper Fiona Hampshire guiding them around the course, led from Patrick Liardet's COSMIC. The 2015 Corinthian J/70 World Champion, Simon Ling's SPITFIRE, scored well in the first race but spun out and destroyed their spinnaker in the second race, to end the day third in the Corinthian Class. “I know it sounds cheesy but that was full-on today,” commented Simon Ling. “I have raced J/70s since they first came out and that was a first; we blew out both kites. We dug out an old kite and got it measured, so SPITFIRE will be back fighting tomorrow!!”

Day 3- Spanish Conquistadores Take Lead!
After four races on day three, there were aching limbs and bloodshot eyes among the sailors, but plenty of smiling faces after another fantastic day on the water. José María Torcida's Spanish NOTICIA team cracked the Italian defense, with a 1-2-1-2 tally, taking the lead in the championship by a single point, from current J/70 European Champion, Rossi's Petite Terrible.

Peter Duncan's American RELATIVE OBSCURITY team, including past Etchells World Champion Jud Smith, scored three keepers with their 3-1-23-4 tallies to move into third. Martin Dent's British team, including past J/80 World Champion Ruairidh Scott, had the same points as the Americans, but placed fourth on countback.

J/70s sailing off starting line“Pichu” Torcida and his Spanish NOTICIA team are new to the J/70 Class. However, Torcida has won the J/80 World Championship on two occasions. "Balance is so important, in any wind strength, but especially in surfing conditions,” explained Torcida. "You need to get all of the crew to the back and then you will fly faster, and when you need to change direction, you will have more control. My team are from all over Spain, from the Canary Islands to the very North, and I am not the only world champion on the boat: Rayco (Tabares) has won the J/80 World Championship three times, including the last two years!!”  Indeed, a very, very talented and competitive crew!

With the wind initially from the southwest, PRO Stuart Childerley positioned the racetrack further to the east, with a top mark in the vicinity of Osbourne Bay, giving the J/70 fleet some relief from the easterly going tide and the 20 knots plus of wind. The tide turned later in the morning, as did the wind. Giving the opportunity to move back to the preferred Hill Head Plateau - Brambles Bank runway.  With a slight moderation in wind speed, the penultimate day of the J/70 European Championship was a more tactical affair, and after close to five hours on the racecourse, stamina and tenacity were also keys to success.

One of the day’s top performers was past Etchells 22 European Champion, Jeremy Thorp, racing the J/70 PHAN. "Starts are always important, but especially, in big one design fleets. If you manage to just get your bow ahead, and hold your lane, you can break out of the pack into the leading boats and clear air. If you don't, you don't start well, you have to tack away and take so many sterns that you end up over 100 metres behind. In this fleet, you can never expect to make that back. We are a new team to the class and it is exciting to be racing at such high speeds. On the helm, I find concentration to be the biggest challenge, I have quite a young crew, they put in the huge physical effort."

In the Corinthian Class, the Royal Thames YC Academy Team, helmed by Fiona Hampshire continued to impress. However, after two top-ten finishes, Jack Davies Team YETI, from the Isle of Wight, closed the gap on the Corinthian Class leaders. Simon Ling's Team SPITFIRE remained in third.

Claudia Rossi and Petite Terrible crewDay 4- Epic Finale
The last day of racing was full of drama; PETITE TERRIBLE won the first race, putting pressure on overnight leader, NOTICIA. The Spanish team fought back in the penultimate race, to get ahead of PETITE TERRIBLE at the crucial first top mark, only to see their spinnaker explode in a gybe. NOTICIA quickly hoisted their second kite, but in a high caliber fleet, they could not recover. PETITE TERRIBLE held their nerve in the last race to win the J/70 Open European Championship for the second year running.

As the Italian team went up to collect their award, a huge cheer went up from the J/70 crowd. “I want to say ‘Thank You’ to everyone, the standard of the competition and the regatta was very high,” smiled Claudia Rossi. “I also want to say ‘Thank You’ to my team, without them I could not have done this.”

Peter Duncan's Relative Obscurity crewTorcida's World Championship caliber Spanish team on NOTICIA was second. Peter Duncan's American team on RELATIVE OBSCURITY scored an impressive 2-1-1 to snatch third place, just two pts back from the Spanish crew. The top British boat was the Maltese/British alliance of Calascione & Ripard on CALYPSO, finishing the regatta in fourth place.

In the Corinthians Division, it was the young team from the Royal Thames YC Academy helmed by Fiona Hampshire, that was the top Corinthian J/70, placing an impressive 5th overall! Another young team, Jack Davies' J/70 YETI, from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, was second in the Corinthians class, and Simon Ling's Team SPITFIRE was third.

Peter Duncan's team finished third, behind Noticia, winning the last two races to finish the regatta in style. “We put it together today, and this is a new team, so we are pleased to end this regatta on a high. We have plenty more to do, and having seen the standard of racing in the European fleet is very high. The Worlds in Sardinia will be a very tough competition. Many thanks to the organizers of the regatta. The standard of race management, and the hospitality of the Royal Southern Yacht Club, has been absolutely first class."

Corinthians winner- Academy crewCorinthian J/70 European Champion, Tim Gratton is from  Royal Thames YC Academy, and the crew are all still at university or recently graduated. Fiona Hampshire on the helm was quick to point out that the victory was very much a team effort. “Really, I am just the crew that steers the boat, the rest of the team perform the maneuvers, and decide which way to go. I was very much concentrating on keeping the boat driving forwards upwind and as fast as possible downwind. A big thank you to the Royal Thames for giving us the opportunity!”

Royal Southern Yacht Club Vice Commodore, Graham Nixon, welcomed the competitors to the J/70 European Championship Final Prize Giving and thanked the race team, Club volunteers and especially Event Director and Royal Southern Yacht Club Rear Commodore, Robert Vose, for putting on an excellent regatta in difficult conditions. He also profusely thanked PRO Stu Childerley for his highly professional and polished Race Committee crew for managing nine races in very challenging sailing conditions. Raymarine sponsored the final Prize Giving with winners taking away some fantastic prizes.

Raymarine's U.K. OEM Sales Manager, Greg Wells, himself a Flying Fifteen European Champion, explained why Raymarine decided to support the regatta: “It was an easy decision, every J/70 made has our equipment, and the class is the fastest growing one-design keelboat class ever, and incredibly exciting to sail. We are very proud that the teams use Raymarine products, and by supporting the regatta, Raymarine are showing our appreciation.”

Alfa Romeo proudly sponsored the championship. The new SUV model, the Alfa Romeo “Stelvio,” was on display at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, and all competitors had an opportunity to take the first ever SUV by Alfa Romeo for a test drive! Thanks for report contribution by Louay Habib.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth

AMAZING J/70 sailing videos- check them out!!

For more J/70 European Championship sailing information

J/111s sailing in ChicagoJ’s Sweep Epic Chicago NOOD Regatta
(Chicago, IL)- “If there ever was a perfect weekend for sailing in the world, it was in Chicago for the NOOD regatta! Nearly half the boats entered were J/Boats. And, if there was a J/Boat in a section, the J/Boat won. Day One saw shifting conditions with wind 6-12 kts, sunny, warm, and a bit of fresh water spray just a bit refreshing. The Southwest breeze shifted to North, but the timing on the shifts was such that for many of the classes it came between races. Day Two was a windy day, 20-30 kts out of the Southwest. The offshore, gusty breeze was just fun to sail in. Then, Day Three, it was back to moderate Southwest breezes of 8-14 kts on a perfectly sunny day on Lake Michigan,” reported Richie Stearns.

The HELLY HANSEN Chicago NOOD Regatta, presented by SAILING WORLD magazine, featured over 140 boats and at least 1,000+ sailors that raced on four racing “circles” across the magnificent Chicago waterfront, the site of the 2016 America’s Cup AC45 Regatta series.  Fifty-seven J/Crews (about 43% of the fleet) reveled in the fabulous sailing conditions all weekend-long.

J/70s sailing off ChicagoIn the twenty-boat J/70 class, it was Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE team that compiled an incredible record of 5 bullets in seven races to win by just two points over Bob Hughes’ HEARTBREAKER team. Third place went to Martin Johnsson’s crew on AQUAHOLIKS and they were first place as well in the Corinthians Division. Rounding out the top five were John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA in 4th and Mark Teborek’s NORBY in 5th position (and 2nd in Corinthians).

The J/70 Corinthians Division was rounded out by Dave Dennison’s PIRANHA in third, Ian Beckley’s youth team from Little Traverse YC in fourth, and Adam Bowen’s BLACK PEARL in fifth place.  Here is a summary of the sailing from Corinthians top dog, Martin Johnsson:

“For the regatta, our pre-game strategy was simply to avoid mistakes; over early, caught outside in roundings, protests, going for too much leverage, etc.  In hindsight, this proved to be an effective strategy.

On Friday, we set up for a conservative midline start as we are confident in our speed and point in light to mid-range breeze.  For Saturday, we were a bit off the pace, but with height, and tried to maintain position upwind.  We were able to make gains downwind.  This worked well in race 3 and 4, however, in race 5 our spin halyard slipped on two separate occasions that caused an "auto-broach”!!  That proved to be quite costly.  On Sunday, we were very aggressive in the start and felt fast.  By sailing to reduce risk we made gains on each leg and took a bullet in race 6 and a 3rd in race 7. It was a tricky regatta considering the range in conditions.  A key point for me is that we stayed calm and talked through our boat-handling and speed concerns or positioning.  That calmness is what I attribute our ability to make the podium.”

Roesch's J/111 Velocity crew- winnersIt was epic racing for the fourteen crews in the J/111 class.  For the first time, an “outsider” from the Great Lakes won a regatta on Lake Michigan!  Kudos go to Martie Roesch’s fast crew from Annapolis, MD sailing their familiar VELOCITY; posting a two bullets in their seven-race tally to win with 16 pts.  Not surprisingly, their battles came from leading Chicago area teams in the form of Brad Faber’s UTHA and the three musketeers on KASHMIR (Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson, Mike Mayer).  Faber’s crew sailed consistently, winning three races themselves to post 24 pts and take the silver.  Rounding out the podium was KASHMIR, also winning two races, but suffering a DSQ in race two in a tussle with SHAMROCK, to toss out the door their chances for the overall lead. The balance of the top five was Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK in 4th and John Kalanik’s PURA VIDA in 5th.

Here is the report on the J/109 class from the perspective of Peter Priede’s winning crew on FULL TILT:
“The Chicago NOOD regatta had an incredibly close J/109 fleet this year.  Friday was a perfect sailing day. 6 to 12 knots wind but big shifts all day that kept everyone on their toes. It was easy to slip from first to forth on any given leg. After 3 races Jim Mitchel and Bruce Danly’s TOA had a one point lead over us and Dave Gustman’s NORTHSTAR. Day two brought on the big breeze, 18 to 30 all day on the southern course but the 109’s seem to be made for the wind and all spinnakers up except the last run of the day when the wind topped 30, only half the fleet set. The final day saw moderate winds and a perfect sailing day. NORTHSTAR and TOA got tangled up on the first start and were over the line. NORTHSTAR was thrown out and TOA didn’t realize they were over and got a OCS.”

FULL TILT sailed away with the regatta scoring two first on the final day for 18 pts total. The silver went to the Danly/Mitchell duo on TOA and the bronze to Gustman’s NORTHSTAR.  Fourth was Keith Eickenberg’s BLACKFIN and fifth Jim Murray’s CALLISTO.

J/88 sailing Chicago NOODThe J/88 Chicago fleet report contribution comes from Andy Graff on EXILE:
“Five J/88s raced at the Chicago NOODs, including Ben Wilson's RAMBLER, which took first place in a the 15-boat distance racing section. Three J/88s competed all three days in a 10-boat PHRF section for course racing. On Friday, J/88s EXILE and Tim Wade’s WINDSONG ended the day in the top two spots after two races in medium-light, shifty breeze. Saturday was a completely different story, with steady breeze building to 30 knots by the end of racing. At 29 feet, the J/88s were five feet shorter than anyone else in the fleet and lost a bit of ground upwind, but not so much as to fall out of contention. Tod Patton's BLONDIE 2 had the best boat speed uphill in the higher winds and improved their standing with a 4-4-3. EXILE was the only boat to fly a running kite in the last race and promptly broached a few times after the set in 27 knots. However, this proved to be worth the risk as EXILE still made large gains on the downwind despite the delay and ended the day with a 3-3-2. Sunday featured some match racing at the start between EXILE and the J/35 NOMATA, which entered the day with a two-point lead. NOMATA went on to win the regatta, while the J/88s EXILE, WINDSONG and BLONDIE 2 took 2nd, 3rd and 5th, respectively.”

Ben Wilson’s report about their adventures offshore on the J/88 RAMBLER indicated they had a scream racing in the EPIC sailing conditions on Saturday:
“RAMBLER had another fun day in big-breeze racing in the ORR 2 Section of the NOOD Distance Race. Conditions were nice for the Blue Course of roughly 32 miles in SSW breezes of 25-30 knots. Staying patient in the first 17 miles upwind, it came time for the 15-mile downwind leg bearing 349 degrees to the Wilson Intake Crib. RAMBLER followed the polar chart that had them hoisting the Doyle A3 Spinnaker. After popping the A3 kit, RAMBLER was sending it at 16.5 knots boat speed virtually the entire leg!! And like that…RAMBLER was gone!! Never saw anyone again!!  Team RAMBLER MVP was 12 year old Danielle Ewing, a student at Columbia Yacht Club Sailing School- Danielle enjoyed the big breeze, the excitement of ripping along at 16 knots, and the experience of winning her first bullet in a J/88!”

J/105 Striking- sailed by woman skipper Vanessa GatesThe J/105 class saw near total domination take place in their fleet of eight boats.  In other words, a “schooling” on how to sail consistent, fast, with few mistakes.  That would be the SEALARK crew, skippered by Clark Pellet, posting three bullets in a row and coasting to the class win with 16 pts.  Second was Mark Gurney’s BUZZ with 21 pts and third was Chicago class stalwart Gyt Petkus on VYTIS.  The rest of the top five included Vanessa Gates’ STRIKING in 4th (a first for her crew to finish in the top five!) and Robert Amos’ SOUTHBOUND in 5th.

Finally, to round out the clean sweep of every single class that had a J/Boats participating, it was Arne Fliflet’s J/120 MAZAL TOV that won PHRF NS Rally Offshore class.  Similarly, it was Jay Burler’s J/44 CHEEP’N’DEEP 2 that took class honors in the ORR 1 Offshore class. That rounds out a most amazing weekend for J/Crews on the Chicago waterfront!  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/
For more Chicago NOOD sailing information

J/122 Australian women's teamJ/122 JAVELIN wins Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta
(Melbourne, Australia)- The Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta (AWKR) is an annual regatta hosted by Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron on Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne Australia held on the long weekend in June. It is the only “all women” regatta in Australia and this year attracted 25 boats. The regatta is run over three days and consists of six races that form a series of mostly windward-leeward races.  Here is the story from Sally Crowley, she sailed the event as skipper on her J/122 JAVELIN with an all-women’s crew:

“I had hoped to participate in the regatta for 2 years and decided that 2017 was the year. Meanwhile, my husband and I had been looking for a J/122 for some time when ‘Javelin’ came up for sale. The J/122’s size, layout and pedigree was very appealing for the type of bay and offshore racing we are keen to pursue in Queensland, so we flew to Melbourne for a test sail and knew straight away this was the boat for us!

Having taken delivery of ‘Javelin’ at the end of April, I formed a crew of 9 from various Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron boats, including 3 crew from the J/130 ‘Ragtime’, skippered by Chris Morgan. Chris kindly allowed us to train on Ragtime to become familiar with the “J” layout prior to the regatta. The crew and I also flew to Melbourne for a training weekend in mid-May knowing our next trip down would be for the AWKR.

J/122 women's Australia teamJune 8th saw our arrival for the regatta where we were greeted with light winds that stayed for the whole regatta. Besides being my first regatta as skipper, our biggest challenge was to keep the boat moving to compete against many smaller and lighter boats.  Out came our largest sails, the number 2 headsail and the A3 spinnaker for the whole regatta. Day one saw a call for 3 races from the RO placing us 1st overall on EHC Div-1 and 3rd on IRC Div-1. Day 2 more light winds and a longer course on Race 5, it was a long day but we managed to keep ‘Javelin’ moving by keeping the crew forward and leeward on the downwind legs and bunched up amidships and leeward on the windward legs. We finished the day 2nd overall on EHC by 1 point and 3rd overall in IRC. Day 3 and a 10-15kts westerly greeted us 20 minutes before the start and the boat livened up ready for a great J/Boat day. This breeze was short lived and we then faced a final 6th race with sub 5 kts and a need to make sure we finished at least 2 places ahead of the Melges 32 ‘Envyus’. The final downwind run saw the best crew work of the regatta with an almost 180 degree wind shift, a challenging spinnaker drop in 14 kts of breeze TWA of 45 degrees to turn the downwind run to the finish into a shy J/122 sailing Australian Women's Keelboatreach. Finally, ‘Javelin’ was able to come into her own, landing us in 1st position to take out the EHC Div-1 trophy for the regatta and 3rd overall on IRC Div-1!

It was a pleasure to skipper such a wonderful group of women ranging in experience from 6 months to decades and thanks go to Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron members and staff who supported our campaign and the generous advice of our more experienced crew members who helped us win.

Delivery of ‘Javelin’ to her new home at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron is planned in the coming week (approx. 1,000nm).  Next splashes out are the Brisbane to Keppel Cat-2 race in August followed by Hamilton Island Race week, with 3 J/Boats already entered in IRC Passage.”  Sailing photo credits- Bruno Cocozza

J/122 Teamwork sailing New York YC Annual RegattaJ/Crews Sweep New York YC Annual Regatta
Epic, Sunny, Fast Round Island Race!
(Newport, RI)- After three days of racing in excellent Narragansett Bay sailing conditions, it was hard for participants to name their favorite day, that’s how beautiful the weather was for this year’s 163rd edition of the New York YC Annual Regatta.  The three-day festival of sailing started with the highly popular 21.0 nm Around Island Race (Jamestown) on Friday.  Then, Saturday/Sunday the various fleets spread across four sailing areas from offshore on Rhode Island Sound, to a “stadium sailing” course next to Fort Adams, to round the buoys and random-leg courses set in Narragansett Bay.  There is a little of something for everyone in this format and it was clear that most sailors in the fleet of ninety offshore keelboats had a blast sailing in IRC, ORC, PHRF and J/44 classes. Twenty J/Boats participated (25% of the total) and many walked off with a fair amount of silverware for their trophy rooms!

J/44 Gold Digger wins Around Island RaceFor the Around Island Race on Friday, the winds started out slowly, forcing an initial one-hour postponement.  However, the breeze finally filled in from the west at 8-15 kts, as forecast, and the fleet enjoyed basically a super-fast “reach around” the track.  The only opportunity to not go white sail reaching was on the short 2nm segment at the north end of Jamestown, going from Green Can #4 to Bell #8.  At the very end of the race, the smaller boats experienced a building seabreeze that shifted the breeze further south, creating a beat for the bottom half of the fleet.  As a result, it was a “big boat” race for overall handicap scoring.

In IRC 3 Class, Tom Sutton’s J/35 LEADING EDGE demonstrated why the love the Round Island Race so much, taking the bronze for the class to add to their Overall Class/Title awards from the 2016 event.  Bringing his amazing offshore crew from Lexington, NC up to the northeast to do battle with the top crews this summer was Robin Team’s J/122 TEAMWORK; this time managing a 5th in class despite not having a lot of local knowledge aboard.  Sixth went to Bill Sweetser’s J/109 RUSH.

A sweet victory was savored by local Jamestown hero, Jim Bishop’s famous ocean green J/44 GOLD DIGGER, taking the J/44 class after a pitched battle with the US Coast Guard Academy’s J/44 GLORY.  Third was Chris Lewis’ KENIA from Houston, TX.

J/109 sailing Around Jamestown RaceIn PHRF 1 division, John Greifzu’s J/109 GROWTH SPURT placed 5th, Steve McManus and Brad Boston’s J/120 SAYKADOO took 8th, Brian Kiley’s J/109 GAMBIT was 10th and Abhijeet Lele’s J/111 VARUNA was 12th.

The PHRF 2 division saw a J/sweep of the top five!  Winning was Don Santa’s J/105 SANTA’S REIGN-DEAR, 2nd was Doug Newhouse’ J/88 YONDER, third was another J/88- Dave Malkin’s MI-2, fourth saw John Krediet’s J/97 PARTICIPANT enjoy their 1st Round Island, and fifth place went to EC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT.

For the Annual Regatta racing that took place on Saturday and Sunday, there were several impressive performances by J/teams.  Notably, it was Robin Team’s J/122 TEAMWORK that simply smoked IRC 3 Division, posting three bullets enroute to a dominating class win with just 12 pts.  In fact, they led yet another J/sweep of the podium, as they were followed by Tom Sutton’s J/35 LEADING EDGE in 2nd place, and Bill Sweetser’s J/109 RUSH in the bronze position.

In PHRF 2 Division, it was yet another J/sweep, led by Fred Darlington’s J/105 TONTO.  In a tie-breaker, it was Jack McGuire’s J/29 DIRTY HARRY over Doug Newhouse’s YONDER, for 2nd and 3rd, respectively. In fourth was SANTA’S REIGN-DEAR and fifth went to Malkin’s J/88 MI-2.  Krediet’s J/97 PARTICIPANT II was 7th overall.

There were six J/44s sailing in their one-design class configuration; including the US Coast Guard Academy’s GLORY, Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE, Bill Mooney’s KATANA, Willets Meyer’s BEAGLE, Jim Bishop’s GOLD DIGGER, and Chris Lewis’ KENAI.

J/44 Maxine- Vice Commodore New York YC Bill KetchamFor Lewis’ KENAI, the issue wasn't coming into the event with low expectations, it was not having anything on which to base expectations. While Lewis has owned his boat for 21 years, he'd never raced against other J/44s utilizing the class one-design sails until this weekend.

"We normally race with a sprit and asymmetric spinnakers," said Lewis, from Houston, Texas. "We've been doing distance races in that format. We spent three days converting the boat to the one-design format to compete in this regatta and the J/44 North American championship at Block Island Race Week. We had really no idea how we would perform. We've never lined up against these guys."

The early returns were promising, with KENAI notching a first and two seconds on Saturday. But that still left Lewis and his team a point in arrears of NYYC Vice Commodore Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE. In Sunday’s fresher breeze, KENAI was the class of the fleet with a second and two firsts and a three-point overall win.

"We sailed very consistently and my tactician, Mike McGagh, made some good calls on the race course," said Lewis. "We were pretty much always able to match the other boat's speed. We had a very good battle with Bill’s MAXINE and the outcome was decided in the last two races. We're based in Texas, and so we're the dark horse of the J/44 fleet. But, I guess the dark horse did well this weekend!”  For more NYYC Annual Regatta sailing information

French J/80 sailing league winnersCV Saint-Aubin-Elbeuf Win French J/80 Sailing League
(Le Havre, France)- After La Rochelle last year, it was Le Havre that hosted, from 8 to 11 June, fourteen French clubs for the 2nd edition of the National Sailing League. This unique event was created to determine which French clubs would qualify for the Sailing Champions League semi-final event that will be sailing J/70s in St Petersburg, Russia. The top 50% of the teams at St Petersburg will qualify to participate in the Sailing Champions League finals in Porto Cervo, Sardinia at YC Costa Smeralda.

Nicolas Hénard, President of the French Sailing Federation (FFV), commented that, “the concept of the National Sailing League brings a new dynamic in the way we must consider and design our competitions. The Test Event in La Rochelle last year made it possible to validate the concept and we are delighted that Le Havre hosted the 2017 edition. It was a great occasion to discuss our work in progress and understand their expectations vis-à-vis the FFVoile and how we can expand the exciting National Sailing League throughout France.”

Edward Russo, President of the French National Sailing League Committee, said, "La Rochelle was a great success, it allowed us to select the four sailing clubs for the 2017 Sailing Champions League. The Le Havre event promised an exciting competition between the clubs from all across France, and SR Le Havre delivered.“

J/80 women's sailing team at French Sailing LeagueAs host of this year’s event, Société des Régates du Havre provided a fleet of matched J/80 one-design class sailboats for the fourteen teams. What distinguished the 2017 edition from last year is that eleven different provinces in France were represented, from the “Maritimes” on the north, west and south coasts as well as sailing clubs from the lakes in the French Alps!  It was truly the first national sailing club championship ever held in the history of French sailing!  The supporting partners in the event included MARINEPOOL (the global clothing brand), SAP (the global leader in enterprise technology) and the City of Le Havre.

The hard work put in by the FFV and the French National Sailing League committee paid off in big dividends in terms of the high-quality teams they attracted.  World Champions, Olympic Medallists, European Champions, offshore champions in IMOCA 60s/ Mini 6.5s, all were present!  For example, there was a 100% all women team from CNTL Marseille! Team tactician Marie Duvignac explained their mission, “we are proud to be the only all-women crew in the event. We compete as sailors, not girls, so although there may be some disadvantages in terms of strength, the wonderful part about sailing is that it is mostly skill and brains!  We have plenty of that on our team!  And, we’re not afraid to take on the world’s best, we know the J/80 sailboat quite well.”

J/80 sailing league off Le Havre, FranceOther top French Olympic sailors were also present.  Sofian Bouvet sailed with SR Antibes; he was European champion in 470s in 2013 and 2016 with Jérémie Mion, bronze medalist in 470 at the 2016 World Championships and 7th at the Rio Olympic Games. In addition, Camille Lecointre sailed with SR Brest; he was bronze medalist at the Rio Olympic Games in 470s!  Talk about hauling in “the ringers” to help your club sail fast!  That ain’t whistling Dixie!

How did the winners of this event- CV Saint-Aubin-Elbeuf overcome all this talent and, on top of that, call their home a tiny lake in the French Alps??  Here is how it all went down.

Day One- Friday
The first day saw seven races completed for the fleet.  It was a very intense day for all the teammates who had to work on their maneuvers on the short courses set by the Race Committee. The standings at the end of the day saw SR Antibes in the lead, followed by CVSAE and APCC Nantes.

Day Two- Saturday
The wind conditions on the Le Havre bay did not allow the organizing team to launch as many races as the program foresaw. In the morning, only one race per crew could be completed. It was not until around 5 pm, after a return to shore for the whole fleet, that the crews were able to return to the water to compete for one or two more races.

On the eve of the final day, the podium was identical to the ranking on Friday. But, thanks to their victory in the last race of the day, the CVSAE was tied on equal points with SR Antibes. A duel that was reminiscent of that of last year in La Rochelle between the CVSQ and the CVSAE. In third place, was APCC Nantes and hot on their heels giving them a lot of pressure was the crew from Granville.

French J/80 sailing league winnersDay Three- Sunday
While the first day of racing on Friday took place with 12 knots of wind, then all but disappeared on Saturday, but fortunately, returned on Sunday with 4 to 8 kt winds.  As a result, sail handling and boat handling were at a premium as one meter lost was a hard meter to earn back!  It was incredibly tight competition.  Starting off the day, the two leaders were tied on points, so it was “all or nothing” for them to win the regatta between Antibes Regatta Society (SR Antibes) and the lakes sailors from CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf.  The delicious irony for the team on CVSAE was that Sunday’s conditions exactly mirrored the type of conditions they see on their lake, flat waters, light streaky breezes; it was clear they felt more at home in these conditions than many of the other teams.

The battle on the high seas was intense.  Nevertheless, in the final tally it was CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf that was crowned regatta winners.  That means the final four qualifiers from France to go to the Sailing Champions League in either St Petersburg, Russia or St Moritz, Switzerland will be CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf, SR Antibes, APCC Voiles Sportive Nantes and CV Saint Quentin.

The winning skipper on CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf, Cédric Château, said, "It was a bit complicated this morning because we did not sail very well, we had our three worst races of the regatta. Then we had a little debrief and we recovered ourselves. We were able to get back into the game and it ended rather well for us! We are very pleased, we were sailing against many of the best sailors in France, so we are very proud of this victory.”  Follow the French National Sailing League on Facebook here   For more French National Sailing League information

J/70 KSSS sailing teamKSSS Leads Swedish J/70 Sailing League- Act II
(Ekerö, Sweden)- The second round of Allsvenskan Sailing was decided in Jungfrusund on Ekerö, outside of Stockholm. And just like the first round, there was a battle between the KSSS (Royal Swedish YC) and the Cape Crow YC- where the KSSS once again drew the longest straw!

The KSSS team consisted of Niklas Edler, Fredrik Appelberg, Martin Wigforss and Julia Gross.  They sailed an impressive series, winning nine of 15 races during the three days of sailing.

J/70 crews loving Swedish Sailing LeagueKSSS skipper Niklas Edler commented, "It was really nice to finally beat Cape Crow and Patrik Sturesson!  They are fast and a grea team! Last year, it was Cape Crow who won here and also here at Ekerö. Then, the same crew that won the Sailing Champions League last fall still came in second in the first regatta this year. So, today's victory was extra big!”

After 15 rounds and 45 races at Ekerö, KSSS eventually became the winner, with the Cape Crow Yacht Club from Gothenburg in second place and the Ekolns Segelklubb from Uppsala in third place.

J/70 Swedish crew at Sweden Sailing LeagueNow that the Swedish J/70 League is at the halfway point, with two of four acts completed, KSSS can take a summer break as the series leader before the ruling champions from Cape Crow. KSSS, who won Allsvenskan 2015, has two points while Cape Crow has four points. Then, there is a jump down to the third place team- Rörvik on 14 points.

The next round will be sailed in Jönköping from the 25th to 27th August on Munksjön in the middle of town. Last event for Allsvenskan 2017, will be held on Kungsbackafjord from the 8th to 10th September.
Follow the Swedish J/70 Sailing League on Facebook  For more Swedish J/70 Sailing League information

J/133 Pintia sailing RORC offshore raceRORC Morgan Cup Race Report
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The 2017 RORC Season's Points Championship continued with another big entry for the Morgan Cup Race from the Solent to Guernsey, Channel Islands. 120 yachts entered the race, the second largest entry so far in the 2017 RORC Season's Points Championship, but only 94 yachts completed the race.

As with all RORC races starting from the Royal Squadron Line, the 125nm race required strategy at the start to negotiate the complex tidal streams and shifting winds of the Solent. After crossing the open waters of the English Channel, competitors negotiated the Casquets, west of Alderney, followed by the rocky west coast of Guernsey and the Les Hanois Lighthouse on the exposed southwestern tip of the island. Approaching the finish, competitors experienced some of the biggest and strongest tides in the Northern Hemisphere (e.g. imagine the tidal whirlpools often seen in Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy with up to 35 ft tides!).

Overall, it was such a tight race that Gilles Fournier and Corinne Migraine’s J/133 PINTIA crossed the finish line and after IRC time correction found that PINTIA was second in IRC 2 and was third overall by just two seconds!! Taking 7th in IRC 2 was Chris Daniel’s J/122E JUNO.

J/105 sailing RORC offshoreThe IRC 3 Class saw the J/105s and J/109s all finished in a clump together; Trevor Sainty’s J/109 JELENKO took 6th, the Royal Navy Sailing Association’s Joe Henry and crew on JOLLY JACK TAR took 7th, Nick Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J was 8th and Kevin Armstrong’s J/109 JUMPING JELLYFISH was 9th.  Notably the latter two boats were double-handed teams!

In IRC Two Handed, Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J was 9th, Armstrong’s J/109 JUMPING JELLYFISH 10th, Robert Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT 12th and Jonty Layfield's J/11s SLEEPER was 14th.

At this stage in the RORC Season Championship (a.k.a. the Mainseries), here is how the various classes are progressing:
  • IRC 2 Class, the J/133 PINTIA is sitting in 3rd and Andy Theobald’s J/122 R&W is 5th.
  • IRC 3 Class, Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J is 7th, Trevor Sainty’s J/109 JELENKO is 8th, and the J/109 MOJO RISIN is 10th.
  • IRC 4 Class, Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT is 2nd overall
  • IRC Doublehanded division, Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT sits in 4th, Martin’s DIABLO-J is 6th and Jeremy Freeman’s J/105 JULIETTE is 7th.
The 2017 RORC Season's Points Championship continues on Friday 30th June with a Celtic flavor: The 110nm Lyver Race, across the Irish Sea, starts from Holyhead, North Wales and finishes in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season Points Championship consists of a testing series of races that attracts an international and varied fleet. For the serious offshore sailor, trying to win the Season's Points Championship is a real challenge. The Season's Points Championship this year includes the tactically and physically challenging Rolex Fastnet Race, one of the oldest and most prestigious offshore yacht races in the world.  For more RORC Morgan Cup sailing information

J/88 spinnaker set at Harken June Solent RegattaJ/Crews Enjoy Spectacular Harken June Regatta
(Hamble, United Kingdom)- The Royal Southern Yacht Club's Summer Series Harken June Regatta was blessed with spectacular conditions for the final day of action. The southwesterly wind piped up from 15 to 20 knots by the end of the day, and with wind over tide, a lumpy sea state tested the resolve of well over 300 hundred sailors taking part.

The reigning J/97 UK National Champions, Andy & Annie Howe's BLACKJACK II, were unbeaten in IRC Three Class. In IRC 1, Cornel Riklin's J/111 JITTERBUG was third.  In IRC Two, Roger Phillips' J/109 DESIGNSTAR 2 was third.

In the J/88 Class, David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM scored a win in the last race of the regatta to secure the class win from Dirk & Dianne van Beek's SABRIEL Jr.  And, Richard Cooper's JONGLEUR won Race 4 and finished the regatta third in class.

Jonathan Powell's J/80 BETTY continued to impress, scoring two more race wins, to secure the class win in the J/80 One-Design Division, by seven points. Nick Haigh's J/80 SLIGHTLY STEAM, scored a 1-2-2, taking second place on countback from Chris & Hannah Neve's NO REGRETS.

In the J/70 match-race duels, Ben Mansfield's J/70 YETI won all of final day's races to beat Philip Chandler's BLACKJAX.

Royal Southern Yacht Club Commodore, Karen Henderson-Williams, welcomed competitors to the Harken June Regatta Prize Giving, and paid tribute to race officers, Philip Gauge and Tony Lovell, as well as the entire race team. “It has been a wonderful weekend of racing, with 74 boats entered, and it would not have been possible without our race management team and club volunteers - thank you all very much. A big thank you also to Harken UK for generously providing all the prizes.”  For more Harken June Regatta sailing information

J/46 sailing Marion to Bermuda Race offshoreDrift-a-thon Offshore (a.k.a. the Marion Bermuda Race)
(St Georges, Bermuda)- The 40th Anniversary Marion to Bermuda Race started in Buzzards Bay off Marion, Massachusetts, and finished off St. David’s Head, Bermuda.  Joining all the madness in Bermuda that includes thousands at the America’s Cup, plus all the sailors participating in the Bermuda One-Two Race!!  Hosting the event were the Beverly Yacht Club, Blue Water Sailing Club and the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club.

Since its inception in 1977, the Marion Bermuda Race has been a Corinthian event; the spirit of the race is that all yachts and crew are participating for the joy and pleasure of sailing, competition, and the camaraderie that accompanies such an offshore event. The race provides an opportunity for cruising yachts and amateur crews to participate in an ocean race and a rendezvous in Bermuda. It encourages the development of blue water sailing skills on seaworthy yachts that can be handled safely offshore with limited crew.

Commented one of the sailors in this year’s race, “There was no wind for most of the race. The beginning and the end were fantastic. Total calm and then nice wind, total calm, nice wind… not rough weather.”

“We saw a lot of boats every day,” another sailor chimed in. “The race started over again every day!”

After what many might also describe as an exasperating “rubber-banding morning commuter drive to work” over the course of four days, the fleet finished off St David’s Head Lighthouse and were looking forward to watching catamarans foiling at 30 kts in just 6 kts of breeze!  Yes, a pretty radical concept for sailors of 45 foot cruising boats pushing 35,000 lbs!

There were two J/teams participating in the fleet of fifty boats.  In the Founders Division Class A, the J/44 BALLYHOO skippered by Wes McMichael from Marion, MA was 4th just 3 minutes from 2nd place on corrected time after 4 days!  And, the J/47 TENACIOUS sailed by Barrett & Barry Levenson from Marion, MA was 5th place, only 3 1/2 minutes behind her stablemate!  How’s that for tight racing after four days of drifting offshore forever!  Notably, it was a race of “catch as catch can” and a bit of rolling the dice, no matter what anyone says- the overall winners were only two hours ahead of these two boats!  For more Marion to Bermuda Race sailing information

J/24 planing mode!J/24 UK Southern Areas Report
(Parkstone, England)- Being a bank holiday weekend, we knew what to expect... wind and rain! We got them both, but not at the same time.

The UK J/24 Fleet converged on Parkstone Yacht Club for the bank holiday weekend to contest the Southern Areas, however glancing around the boat park whilst final preparations were taking place indications were that things had gone up a gear or two for most teams. Past event winners, Olympic Coaches, Youth, National, European and World champions filled crew spots across the fleet and certainly left you feeling that, whichever team was to rise to the top, they would have been pushed all the way.

As PRO David Lush and his race team readied the course, teams began to familiarize themselves with the conditions, knowing that with 5 races scheduled for day one and a forecast for a freshening breeze some energy needed to be preserved.

J/24s sailing downwind on sunny day in EnglandGenoas were deemed to be the smart choice, however, this was to be a brief outing for the shiny sails.  Soon, the jibs were deployed by race 2 and teams setting in for a day when 'the breeze' became 'the wind' and 'the wind' became 'strong'!

Competition was fierce as always with the U-flag quickly replaced by the black one to encourage some semblance of order. Through this, two teams showed consistent pace and good decision making and by the end of the day their counting scores each consisted of two 1's and two 2's, Duncan McCarthy's MADELEINE and Nick Phillips' CHAOTIC. There was, however, a glimmer of hope for the rest of the teams with both of these standouts holding a high score discard. Behind them, the scores were extremely close with many teams showing good pace and boat handling, but not having the ability to punch clear.

By the time race 5 started we had gusts well into the high 20's, and had seen high octane planing downwind legs, a few wipe-outs, a broken boom, a small altercation between two J/24's and the committee boat and a growing collection of bumps and bruises, which are the J/24 sailors' badges of honor!

J/24s sailing upwind in windy weatherAfter an evening recovering in front of the America's Cup, day 2 offered a much gentler face of Poole Bay. Teams headed out knowing that they would need to do something special to upset the top two, and only then if assisted by a capitulation or match race between Messer's Phillips and McCarthy allowing the rest of the fleet to sneak through.

Unfortunately, for the hopeful this was not to be.  And, despite Andy Taylor's PHOENIX team (Paul Williams, Rob Clark, Zoe Dunne, Izzy Savage) posting a 1,1,2 for the day they were only able to secure the bottom step of the podium. The Silver medal went to MADELEINE (Steve Phelps, Charlie Fisher, Josh Irons, and Hannah McCarthy), who presumably rued the keen eye of Saturday's race team with their Black Flag.

However, having compiled the scores it was clear the top step belonged to Nick Phillips and his CHAOTIC team (Jules Scott, Rachel Montgomery, Matt Hardy and Hugh Styles). With only one counting score outside the top 2, their consistent pace and good decision-making made them worthy champions.

The next event on the calendar are the UK Nationals to be hosted by the RWYC in Plymouth in July, however, before that a number of the British teams are heading to Germany for Kiel Week.  Thanks for the report by Rob Clark.  You can follow the UK J/24 Class on Facebook page here   Sailing photo credits- David Harding

J/24 sailing Pfingst Cup RegattaVITESSE Crowned J/24 Pfingst Cup Champion
(Glucksburg, Germany)- The Flensburger Segel-Club held their annual Pfingst Cup in Glucksburg, Germany for an incredibly competitive fleet of J/24s in the first week of June.  Many of the teams were of European and World Championship caliber in the dozen-boat fleet.

In the end, winning the event was none other than Manfred Konig’s VITESSE from Muhlenberger Sailing Club, winning three races on their way to a narrow win on 13 pts (crew consisted of Nils GLOCKOW, Tina LÜLFING, Rollo BÖHM, Olaf SCHMIDT).  Taking second was another well-known team, Daniel Frost’s JJONE with 15 pts (crew was Benjamin VOIGT, Daniel SCHWARZE, Jeronimo LANDAUER, Cynthia SASSENROTH). Then, taking third was Till Pomarius’s crew from SVAOE with 17 pts (crew of Ole WITTENBERG, Maximilian BISCHOF, Bele SCHÜTT, Christian WARNECKE)!  Rounding out the top five was Frank Schonfeldt’s HENK just one point back with 18 pts and in fifth was Jannik Barop’s QUICK & DIRTY with 27 pts.

An interesting dynamic of this regatta was that all three women’s’ teams all finished together in the standings overall.  First women’s crew was Lynn Wolgast’s crew on GER 5266 (Svea WREDE (MSC) Isabel SPRANDEL, Jette LYSSEWSKI, Lynn THORNS), followed by Emily Kern’s ROTOGIRL team 4 pts behind them (Corinna THIERMANN, Maike HASS, Naomi KOSMEHL, Janne SCHLEIFER, Gesa GÖLLNER), and Ann-Kathrin Frank’s JUELSSAND team only three points further back (Lisa RASCHDORF, Carlotta MEEVES, Lea TORRNOW, Caren RAMIEN, Janne HÖPKEN)! Close racing for the women’s crews!  For more German J/24 Class sailing information

J/24 Ireland- sailing WesternsAwesome Irish J/24 Western Championships!
(Limerick, Ireland)- Eighty five sailors on sixteen J/24s from around Ireland gathered in Limerick with all province’s being represented at the two day Yachtsman Euromarine J/24 Western Championships. Crews were welcomed by their host with a complimentary bottle of beer/soft drink supplied by Gala Supermarkets. BCS Crane Hire LTD. made short work of lifting the boats in and out, much to the delight of all participants in this year's Irish Westerns!

“After the three hour drive - the smooth operation of the crane and the welcoming committee were second to none & rumor has it the Guinness is good in the clubhouse. Looking forward to the racing”, commented Harry Cronin of the K25 Team from Howth Yacht Club.  That is how it all started, and that was before the infamous Guinness beer started flowing the taps!

J/24 Ireland Western ChampionshipThe J/24 Western Championship weekend was characterized by great racing, even more fantastic sailing conditions and extraordinary hospitality by the Foynes Yacht Club. The Championship, which saw boats from all around the island of Ireland take part, culminated in a great two final races in southerly breeze of 25 knots with gusts up to 30 knots!  Oh yes, just a “walk in the park” for many in this part of the world that are used to 70 kt gales (a.k.a. hurricanes in other parts) as a weekend “duster”.  Yup, hardy souls these Irishmen (and women) are!

Day 1
The Yachtsman Euromarine J/24 West Coast Championships at Foynes YC dawned to overcast skies with a westerly 8-10 kts of breeze. Last minute tweaking on the pontoon was followed by a procession of J/24’s out of the main channel. Race area one, west of the clubhouse was chosen, which paid dividend for anyone travelling the coast road during the races as they were sailing close to the shore at Mount Trenchard that made for a spectacular sight between Foynes and Glin.

J/24 sailing off Ireland with women crew“The first Championships of the 2017 for the Irish J/24 fleet showed a high level of skill from the teams, matched by a very competitive spirit. The racing was physical, but fun, with new J/24 crew (press ganged at the last minute) getting a baptism of fire. The close racing, typical of the class, gave the newcomers an experience they will remember for some time. The fourteen year old on our boat didn’t know racing could be so scary and fun at the same time. I think we have a new convert! The future of the J/24 is looking good!”

Finbarr Ryan of LRYC/HYC commented, “Race one, after battling with the pin end, the fleet headed left up the beat, hugging the shore, which led to several port-starboard incidents across the fleet. Both windward marks were incident-rich, with many suffering from tide and port raiders.

Race two, HARD ON PORT nailed the pin end, hugged the shore, and led from start to finish, oblivious to the battles going on astern. A similar format at the front followed for race three.

In race four, with an ebbing tide, eager beavers led to a general recall. HARD ON PORT was taken out at the start, leaving JELIGNITE, SCANDAL and JAMAIS ENCORE in a battle up the first beat. With the breeze shifting right and the tide having turned, the right side of the course was favored, catching much of the fleet off guard after the swelling flood tide. More pressure and an early gybe allowed JAMAIS to move from third to first & dominated the rest of the race to take the bullet. All the fleet were met with a pontoon beer reception which was a perfect finish to a great day’s sailing!”

Jeff Harrison of LEYC had this to say about the racing, “The night finished off with over one hundred sailors sitting down for the championship dinner followed by a live band.  This was both good and bad, good for those who didn’t embellish too much, bad for those who did!”

J/24 sailing at Limerick, IrelandThe day’s racing concluded with JP McCaldin’S JAMAIS ENCORE leading with Flor O’Driscoll’s HARD ON PORT from Royal Saint George YC in second and in third place was Mark Usher’s JUMPIN JIVE from Greystones Sailing Club.

The Silver Fleet was all tied with Howth YC U25 Keelboat Team joint first with Fergus Kelliher on JIBE from Tralee Bay Sailing Club, with Sinéad Enright and Dave Lane’s YAGOTTAWANNA from Royal Cork YC in third.

Day Two
For the second day of racing, Principal Race Officer Raymond McGibney chose Race Area Two and set a course east off Foynes Island. The penultimate race got underway on schedule with JAMAIS ENCORE, HARD ON PORT dueling for the championship title. After a difficult first beat, only about 25% of the fleet flew spinnakers on the first downwind leg resulting in a big change in the leaders on that leg. In the testing conditions- truly “dogs blowing off chains scenario”- HARD ON PORT fell outside the top three giving the title to the Lough Erne boat with one race to spare.

J/24 winners IrelandThe last race of the day got underway with a clear start with the boats taking the right hand side of the course gaining at the top. Three rounds of the course were completed with the Howth YC U25 Team leading from the start to the finish followed in second place by Flor O’Driscoll, and Finbarr Ryan on JELIGNITE in third. Battles continued throughout the rest of the fleet with JUMPIN JIVE from Greystones YC representing the east coast on the podium in third place. After finishing, the fleet sailed to the safe haven of FYC where all were quickly lifted from the water by BCS Crane Hire LTD.

Irish J/24 Class President, Flor O’Driscoll, commented with delight about the rejuvenation in the J/24 fleet, “This event had two newcomers to our regional events, the new Howth YC U25 Team on SCANDAL sailing a superb event and finishing first in the Silver Fleet, three points ahead of another newcomer Fergus Kelliher on JIBE from Tralee Bay Sailing Club. Third place went to Dave Lane & Sinéad Enright on YAGOTTAWANNA from the Royal Cork Yacht Club.  The local contingent was led by GALA RACING from Foynes YC, coming in fifth in Gold & seventh place overall.”

The prize-giving took place in the club with all competitors in attendance. Sponsors Yachtsman Euromarine, UK McWilliam Sailmakers, North Sails, Quantum Sails, BCS Crane Hire LTD and Clifford’s Cash & Carry were thanked. A special thanks went to the members of Foynes YC for all their help over the weekend.  For more Irish J/24 Class sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/22 Worlds winner- Nic Bol J/22 Worlds winner Nic Bol reports on “How to Talk Your Way to a Trophy- Winning the J/22 Worlds”.

Quantum Sails racer Nic Bol and his crew sailed their way to the J/22 World Championship at The North Sea Regatta in The Hague, Netherlands. Seven years after winning the event the first time, he’s done it again. After four days of sailing, Nic and his team are the new World Champions J/22!

Nic commented, “I really want to thank my young crew. I’ve been sailing J/22’s longer than they’ve been alive, and it’s been great sailing with them. The North Sea is a tough place to sail, but we had great conditions ranging from 7 to 20 knots, totally different conditions than seven years ago. I sailed with my son and two other students from our sailing club the RZV- Rotterdam Sailing Club. We’ve been training together since November.” He added, “We went for the podium, and we earned it & I’m super happy that we ended up on the top spot!”

Nic’s crew consisted of his son Christopher, who turned 18 during the regatta, Neil DeVries, age 21, and Tim DeWeerdt, age 20.  We caught up with Nic to talk to him about his big win.

How long have you been sailing J/22s?
“Since the 1980s. The J/22 is fantastic. Sailing them is a fairly economical way to lift your game in a short period of time. I was one of the first to buy a J/22 in 1991, since its inception in Holland. I’ve sailed many world championships. When I saw that the Worlds were going to be held here in the North Sea again, I decided to put a crew together to defend my title that I won at the same venue in 2010.”

What’s your style? What’s it like to sail with you?
“I’m quite an intense guy to sail with, but it’s quality intensity vs. meaningless yelling. I’m serious about the commitment. I put a lot of effort into making sure we peak at the right moment, select the right equipment, practice hard, and select a crew that is dedicated, knowledgeable and most importantly keen to learn.”

What was the most difficult aspect of this regatta?
“The current. It gets bumpy in no time at all. The focus had to always be about keeping the boat going as fast as possible. It’s much less important to sail high than it is to maintain boat speed.”

You were sailing with a very young crew. How did you handle that?
“As most sailing youngsters are (and like I used to be when I was 20), their sailing style is aggressive and impulsive, and even though they’re well-trained sailors who have come up through the ranks in Optimists and Lasers & are versed in the theory of sailing, they tend to make their decisions based on the boat that’s right next to them. I had to work hard to temper that and keep them focused on our race plan and to think about the big picture. This was obviously their first international regatta where they had the opportunity to finish on the podium, so it was easy to get caught up in the moment.”

What decision went well for you?
“We sailed conservatively and didn’t take any unnecessary risks. Our goal was to finish in the top ten of every race. It was up to us to not lose the regatta in the first three days. We got a black flag disqualification midway through the regatta, and that was really a challenging time, with hard words being exchanged. After that, we refocused. That’s when we shifted and the guys really dialed in on the job in front of them.”

What was the communication like on board?
“That’s a really good question. Communication is absolutely key. These guys have limited experience in big fleets and important regattas. I told my tactician that I wanted to know everything he was thinking, everything he saw. Talk, talk, talk. Never stop talking. His job was to tell us what his thoughts were all the time.

I also made sure he knew he was on notice to say when he didn’t know what to do. You can’t expect any tactician to be able to handle every situation. Sometimes we had to all work together to determine the best way forward.”

What is your best memory from a spectacular weekend?
“It was really special to do this campaign and race with my son. I’ll remember that forever. The coolest moment was when we crossed the final finish line and I told the guys, “You are now World Champions for the rest of your lives!” They went absolutely mad and it was quite an emotional moment for me!”

J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent "blogs" written by their prolific publishers.  Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You'll love it.

* The J/40 HERON REACH sailed by Virginia and Jerry is participating in the Blue Planet Odyssey project and have recently joined them in the Marquesas Islands in the Eastern Pacific.  Learn more about their adventures and experiences here-
Giant whale breaching in front of J/160 SALACIA off  Australia's Whitsunday Islands* J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands.  Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination?  A giant whale!  Look at this amazing photo!

J/42 cruiser- sailing across Atlantic Ocean* Jim & Heather Wilson just completed a circumnavigation of our "blue planet Earth" in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR.  Said Jim, "The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now.  We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell 'Painkiller' at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles). Read more about their adventures in their  well-documented blog here:

* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again, for 2015/ 2016!  We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR.   Alan sent us an email update regards their various improvements and refit to the boat (see above).  They will again be based at Proper Yachts in St John, US Virgin Islands.

Bill & Judy Stellin- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* Bill & Judy Stellin were interviewed about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called "Retiring on the Open Sea".  The Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ's Editor desks. Here's the update:

Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers' Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety

Wall St Journal interview- Stellin's Offshore cruising/ sailing retirementThe article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— "Retiring to the Open Sea"— prompted many questions and comments from readers.  We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.

WSJ- "What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?"

Bill- "In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.

Although long-distance cruising wasn't what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.

People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather."


J/42 sailing off France* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel's big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand and points further around the Blue Planet Earth.  Here is their latest update (December 2016) from Bill & Kathy:

“We completed a three year tour of the south pacific and sailed from Hobart Tasmania back to Seattle in the fall of 2012.  After two seasons of local cruising, we decided to truck the boat to Rochester NY.  In the summer of 2015, we sailed out the Saint Lawrence seaway and down the east coast of Nova Scotia and the US, with a few months in the Bahamas that winter.  This past summer, we crossed the Atlantic with stops in Bermuda and the Azores, making landfall in Falmouth, UK.  We have worked down the coast of France, Spain and Portugal and are now in Lagos Portugal.  We plan on passing through the Straits of Gibraltar and spending a couple seasons in the Med.”

Their blog is here:

* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam after completion of their ARC Rally. Read the latest news at

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world's oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between.  Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).

-  Bill and Susan Grun on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (  Read about their latest adventures as they've gotten to New Zealand- "Avante Cruises the Pacific".

- Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog at  Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA), then to the South Pacific and New Zealand.  MANDALAY is back in San Francisco now, and in the J/World fleet--she is available for skippered charters, private instruction, and corporate/executive groups. Add to Flipboard Magazine.