Wednesday, June 7, 2017

J/Newsletter- June 7th, 2017

J/70s sailing off Chicago Chicago NOOD Regatta Preview
(Chicago, IL)- The HELLY HANSEN Chicago NOOD Regatta, presented by SAILING WORLD magazine, will be taking place this weekend.  The regatta will feature over 140 boats and at least 1,000+ sailors that are racing on four racing “circles” across the magnificent Chicago waterfront, the site of the 2016 America’s Cup AC45 Regatta series.  Fifty-seven J teams are racing on all four of those race courses, about 43% of the total fleet- nearly another J/FEST!

The largest fleet, for the second year in a row, will be the J/70 class, with nineteen boats on the starting line; nine of them will be Corinthians teams.  It is a very strong group of teams that are assembled from five states in this regional event (Illinois, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Minnesota, Connecticut). There are a number of veteran teams as well as new faces in the crowd that will surely factor into the overall results.  So, without a great handicap form to work with, the teams that may factor into the top of the leaderboard include John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA, Blane Shea’s GEMINI, Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE, Amy Neill’s NITEMARE, Rob Willis’ RIP RULLAH and Dan Gabriel & Matt Gallagher’s SURPRISE.

The fourteen-boat J/111 class will absolutely provide teeth-gnashing, anxiety-ridden outcomes all weekend-long, from race to race no less!  Why??  Simple.  Many of the teams have won something in some form or another over the past for years.  Plus, newcomers have strong teams.  So, Las Vegas handicapping of this group would be an absolute fool’s errand.  In any event, the top local boat in a variety of offshore, North American, and Worlds events has been the wildly fun and crazy trio aboard the mighty KASHMIR (Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson & Mike Mayer)- you can never discount this crew out of a top three effort in any major J/111 event.  So, who’s willing to trash that reputation?? Plenty of boats, including Mark & Colin Caliban’s NO QUARTER, Brad Faber’s UTAH, Marty Roesch’s VELOCITY rockstars from Annapolis, Tracy Brand’s SOLUTION from Macatawa, Len Siegal’s LUCKY DUBIE (that just won the COLORS Regatta), Rich Witzel’s ROWDY, Kevin Saedi & Raman Yousefi’s MOMENTUS; and Dan Kitchens’ SKULL CRACKER. Yes, there are plenty of teams that can knock the KASHMIR crew off their pedestal as the top Great Lakes J/111, but they won’t go down easy!

For the octet of J/105s, there are many familiar faces that should factor into their leaderboard; including Clark Pellett’s SEALARK, Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM and Gyt Petkus’ VYTIS. Notably, all have won either one-design events or Chicago-Mac Races in class over the course of a few dozen years!

For yet another octet of boats, the J/109s have both veterans and “sleepers” that have won major events in the past in both the offshore and one-design events.  It is going to be an interesting series for this fleet, but the principals factors could be an ice hockey guy like Scott Sims’ SLAPSHOT II, Peter Priede’s FULL TILT, Jim Murray’s CALLISTO, David Gustman’s NORTHSTAR, Jack Toliver’s Mac Race winning VANDA III, or Bruce Danly & Jimmie Mitchell’s Mac Race winning TOA.  Who will it be?? The offshore guys?? Or, the course racing superstars?? Should be fun to watch the outcome!

While the one-design world is fraught with friends, personalities, and fast (or not so fast) teams, the PHRF world of racing could care less.  Right?  Just start, go like hell and let the domino’s fall where they may??  Well, maybe or maybe not.  While one-design racers can be ruthless, handicap racers can be “creative”??  Well, in the PHRF Racing Division will be some well-practiced and well-tested J/teams.  They include Daniel Leslie’s J/35 NOMATA from North Point Sailing Association, and three J/88s (Tod Patton’s BLONDIE 2, Andy Graff’s EXILE, & Tim Wade’s WINDSONG).

In the ORR 2 North Sail Rally, we find two J/88s that are participating on a one-day basis- Boyd Jarrell’s SLOT MACHINE and Ben Wilson’s RAMBLER. In addition, in the PHRF North Sail Rally, we have Jim Caesar’s J/109 LIQUID LOUNGE II up against two J/120s (Frank Giampoli’s JAHAZI from Columbia YC and Arne Fliflet’s MAZAL TOV).

Fun and games for all!! Hopefully, the weather cooperates in good’ole Chicago- famous for tornados, waterspouts, rolling cloud squalls and flying squirrels!  For more Chicago NOOD sailing information

J/44 offshore cruising sailboatNYYC Annual Regatta Preview
(Newport, RI)- This year’s New York YC Annual Regatta has ninety offshore keelboats registered to sail in IRC, ORC, PHRF and J/44 classes.  In that fleet are twenty J/Boats registered (near 25% of the total) to do battle on the offshore waters of Rhode Island Sound or on the beautiful Narragansett Bay surrounded by a gorgeous coastline.

Going for broke in IRC 2 Class will be Robin Team’s J/122 TEAMWORK from Lexington, NC, two J/111s (Sedgwick Ward’s BRAVO and Abhijeet Lele’s VARUNA), Bill Sweetser’s J/109 RUSH from Annapolis, MD, and Tom Sutton’s J/35 LEADING EDGE from Houston, TX.

In the PHRF 1 class are two J/109s (Brian Kiley’s GAMBIT and John Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT) and the J/120 SAYKADOO sailed by Steve McManus & Brad Boston from Annapolis, MD.

The PHRF 2 class is comprised mostly of J/teams (7 of 10)!  It includes two J/105s (Don Santa’s SANTAS REIGN-DEAR from Edgewater, MD and Fred Darlington’s TONTO from McKinney, TX), two J/88s (Dave Malkin’s MI2 from Annapolis, MD and Doug Newhouse’s YONDER from Newport, RI), Jack McGuire’s J/29 DIRTY HARRY from Annapolis, MD, EC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT from Newport, RI, and John Krediet’s J/97E PARTICIPANT II from Stamford, CT.

There are 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.

When New York Yacht Club Vice Commodore Bill Ketcham purchased his J/44 MAXINE in 1996, the popular offshore racing design had been out of production for three years. Normally, this is prime indicator that one-design racing in that particular class is on the wane. More than 20 years later, however, the J/44 is still providing great one-design racing. Six will be sailing off Newport, R.I., this coming weekend at the 163rd New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex and eight will contest the class's North American Championship as part of the Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week later this month.

"We still have 10 to 12 boats that are pretty active in the one-design program, where we use class-owned sails that are rotated between boats every regatta," says Ketcham, of Greenwich, Conn. "We have some new owners in the fleet, and they are sailing in this event. There aren't many boats racing one-design that feel pretty lively, and also have the kind of cruising accommodations that a J/44 has. It's a great dual-purpose boat. And we are usually all overlapped at the first weather mark!”

In terms of it's sail plan, the J/44 is a bit of a throwback, using overlapping jibs, a spinnaker pole and symmetric downwind sails. Throw in the running backstays and getting the boat around the buoys takes a practiced crew. But that, says Ketcham, is part of the fun.

"Our team has been sailing together for so long that we don't think much about it," he says. "But there's nothing more satisfying than a perfect, dip-pole jibe in 25 to 30 knots of breeze. The boat is surprisingly stable and responsive, as long as the helmsman keeps it under the kite,” he says with a grin.

And, of course, even after two decades of racing MAXINE, she is still imparting lessons to the Vice Commodore and his team, which usually includes a few members of his immediate family. "Rig tune is always a challenge, and we have been experimenting with it lately," he says. "We're not quite where we want to be, yet."  For more NYYC Annual Regatta sailing information

J/35 sailing Ida Lewis raceIda Lewis Distance Race Announcement
(Newport, RI)- The 13th running of the popular Ida Lewis Distance Race, hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club, starts on the Friday after J/Fest finishes. J/Fest, hosted by Sail Newport at Fort Adams State Park, already has a slew of teams registered, and some of them are already registered for the Ida Race.

Ida Lewis Distance Race has been called the “perfect overnighter.”  Not too long, not too short, with courses ranging from 100 to 170 miles. The course is chosen on the day of the start and driven by the forecast conditions, with an eye toward getting the competitors back to the club in time for some refreshing libations, the prize giving and the spectacular view from the Ida Lewis Yacht Club decks at sunset.

For the family-oriented boats there is a Youth Challenge class, too. Principle requirements are that 40% of the crew be between age 14 and 20 on the day of the race. On the Thursday before the start, participating juniors are required to attend a Junior Safety at Sea Seminar presented by Storm Trysail Foundation and supported by Sail Newport and Ida Lewis Yacht Club. This also presents another great opportunity for teenagers and high school sailing team members to get a firmer grounding in big-boat sailing and then put those skills to use within 24 hours.

Ida Lewis Distance Race always has welcomed J/Boat teams, many of which have been quite successful over the years, and organizers will accommodate one-design classes if there is enough interest and numbers.

Registration for both events is on, so it couldn’t be easier. Sailors can make it a two-weekend adventure in Newport by combining three days of fun at J/Fest New England with a fantastic overnight race and social events at Ida Lewis Yacht Club, a superb venue for swapping new sea stories!  For more information on Ida Lewis Distance Race, or contact Pat Kennedy (  For more information on J/Fest New England, or contact Bill Kneller ( Veterans Take to the Waters of San Diego
(San Diego, CA)- Twenty-one wounded veterans will be taking on a new challenge, sailing, in the waters of San Diego, June 13-15, 2017. They won’t just be going for a boat ride, these men and women will be participating in an intense three-day course to learn how to sail in a fleet of matched J/22 one-design boats on their own, despite their injuries.

Through a partnership with the Armed Services YMCA and the San Diego Yacht Cub, the Warrior Sailing Program returns to San Diego, a beautiful setting to learn how to sail. The program was founded with a mission to introduce active military and veterans with disabilities to the sport of sailing, with opportunities ranging from introductory level sailing to world championship competition.

J/22 Warrior sailing programThe program offers the Basic Training Camp at no cost to participants. They come from all branches of the military and have varying injuries that range from limb loss, traumatic brain injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to name a few.

“We value our continuing partnership with San Diego Yacht Club and are excited about our new relationship with the Armed Services YMCA,” says Ben Poucher, Warrior Sailing Director. “It is only by working together can we provide an unbelievable experience for the wounded service members who have given so much to us.”

Participants will sail together in teams of three on J/22 sailboats, with an on-board professional coach accompanying each team. The sailboats and facilities are provided by SDYC. “We are proud to host the Warrior Sailing Program at our club for the third year,” affirms John Reiter, SDYC’s 2017 Commodore. “We love to share our resources and love of sailing with a community that has served our country and sacrificed so much. These individuals continue to impress us with their courage, leadership skills, and self-determination both on and off the water.”

J/22 Warrior sailing programSailing is the platform to help these wounded veterans reunite with their fellow service members, feel the camaraderie, and help with integration into civilian life.

“The Warrior Sailing Program is an amazing way to support our warriors from the Naval Medical Center – Balboa and across our nation,” says Tim Ney, Executive Director of the Armed Services YMCA. “We are very excited to be a partner with two great organizations.”

Graduates from the Basic Training Camp will learn about local sailing opportunities and those in their hometowns. Graduates may continue training to earn a keelboat certification, advanced racing skills and compete in open and disabled racing events both across the country and around the world.  For more Warrior Sailing Program information, visit here.

J/46 sailing offshoreMarion to Bermuda Race Preview
(Marion, MA)- On Friday June 9, 2017, the 40th Anniversary Marion to Bermuda Race will start in Buzzards Bay off Marion, Massachusetts, and finish 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 are 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, and yachts are accepted by invitation. 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. Prizes are awarded in various categories with a bonus for celestially navigated yachts.

There are two J/teams participating in the fleet of fifty boats; the J/44 BALLYHOO skippered by Wes McMichael from Marion, MA and the J/47 TENACIOUS sailed by Barrett & Barry Levenson from Marion, MA. For more Marion to Bermuda Race sailing information

J/70 sailing Delta Ditch raceThe Delta Ditch Run Preview
(Stockton, CA)- Want to know the “karma” of doing the infamous Delta Ditch Run that starts off Richmond, CA in the upper San Francisco Bay and sends boats down a very winding 60nm course up-river to Stockton, CA?  The major promotion on the site is oriented to having fun and celebrating a successful finish- “The Party Band- “After Dark”- is awesome, don't miss out...This Band Rocks!!”

Hoping to get there in one piece are a raft of J/crews on boats ranging from J/70s and J/24s up to J/105s!  In the Cruising Division is Chris Kim’s J/105 VUJA STAR, rated at PHRF 78 against a class that includes an Alberg 30 rated at 231- just about the time the J/105 finishes in the next solar system!

race courseThe biggest division is PHRF Racing with 90+ boats, a fleet that also includes a wide range boats, including a Farr 40, Express 37s, 1D35 and Henderson 30 (can these guys actually make the corners in the river without crashing??).  They will be up against a hornet’s nest of small, fast J’s, including two J/80s (Jack Vetter’s PEARL from Vallejo YC and Tim Stapleton’s PK from Richmond YC); two J/70s (Brian Mullen’s ORANGE YOU GLAD from St Francis YC and Cody Shevitz’s BOTTLE ROCKET from St Francis YC); and two J/24s (Jackson Faylor’s GREEN BOAT from Stockton Sailing Club and Val Lulevich’s famous crew on SHUT UP & DRIVE).  For more Delta Ditch Run sailing information

Summer Sailstice.comSail Across the Globe with J/Boats and Celebrate Summer Sailstice!
(Newport, RI)- Invite your J/Boat family, neighbors, friends, fleet members and owner's association members to sign up, hoist sails and celebrate sailing “together” on June 24th - wherever they are in the world!!

What is Summer Sailstice??
Summer Sailstice was founded in February 2001 by John Arndt of fame, as the global, annual celebration of sailing held on the weekend nearest the summer solstice.

JBoats sailorsThe annual Summer Sailstice sailing event is free to all participants and has grown from 200 boats signed up in 2001 to almost 5,000 boats today. Since many sailors join in the fun on many different boats, the actual number of Summer Sailstice sailors participating is estimated at almost 19,000 annually.

The Vision is “To Unite sailors worldwide to celebrate and share their passion for sailing.”

The Mission is to “Host a spectacular weekend uniting and bonding a critical mass of sailors worldwide in a common, publicly visible, inspiring event to demonstrate and celebrate sailing resulting in a significant, positive impact on participation.  And, like sailing, have fun doing it!”

Moreover, in joining with SAILORS FOR THE SEA, Summer Sailstice strives to inform and mobilize sailors, their families and communities to enjoy and conserve the beauty of the oceans and while raising awareness of human impacts on the fragile marine environment and wildlife

Sign up now (it’s FREE!) and hoist your sails and go “day sailing” with the global “J/Boat family”. We can't wait to see J/Boats of all sizes on the water on June 24th or 25th!  Make sure to put your J/Boat “Sailstice-Sailing plans” on the map by posting them here to showcase how you are celebrating Summer Sailstice!  For more Summer Sailstice sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Sailing events were in full swing in the first week of June for J/sailors around the world.  In the eastern parts of Europe, the Russian J/70 Sailing League took place on a lake just northwest of Moscow at the Royal Yacht Club for ten teams from across Russia.  Then, over in The Netherlands, the amazing popular for top European sailors in a variety of classes is the North Sea Week held just off The Hague, sailed out of the Scheveningen Marina.  Simultaneously, the event hosted the J/22 World Championship, the J/111 Summer Series, as well as the Dutch Doublehanded Championship that saw amazing performances from a J/105, J/122s, J/109s, and J/120.

Swinging across into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, we find an America’s Cup series taking place on foiling 50-foot catamarans as well as the finish for the Bermuda One-Two Race.  Competing were two well-sailed boats- a J/133 and a J/35 that both hail from New England. 

Along the northeastern seaboard, were several events, including the inaugural New York YC One-Design Regatta for J/70s off Newport, RI.  Then, down in Long Island Sound, Cedar Point YC hosted their annual Cedar Point One-Design Regatta that included J/70s, J/105s, J/88s and J/109s.  Down in the Chesapeake Bay, the Hampton YC hosted their popular “southern style” Southern Bay Race Week in Hampton, VA for J/70s, J/24s and a PHRF fleet that included J/29s, J/30s, and J/36s.  Notably, another event was completed this past week, the famous Annapolis to Newport race that featured some fabulously well-sailed and fast J/109s, J/120s, and J/122s.  Up on the Great Lakes, the Port Credit YC in Ontario hosted the Susan Hood Trophy Race, an offshore race on Lake Ontario for fleets of IRC and PHRF classes that included a winning J/92, J/122, J/120, J/109, J/105 and J/30!

Headed to the Great Plains of the American Midwest, we find ourselves in Chicago with a regatta being hosted on Lake Michigan.  Columbia YC held their season-opening event called the COLORS Regatta for one—design fleets of J/111s, J/105s, J/109s, J/88s, and J/35s.

Out west on the “left coast” of America, it was the conclusion of the California Offshore Race Week, with the SoCal 300 Race sailed that goes from Santa Barbara, CA out around the Channel Islands offshore, past San Clemente Island and finish off San Diego’s Point Loma.  It was a frustrating, but successful race for a J/125 and J/109.  Meanwhile, the Cal Race Week was also held off Marina del Rey, CA, hosted by California YC for one-design fleets of J/70s and J/109s and PHRF boats.

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 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
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.

J/122E sailing upwindJ/Teams Sweep Dutch Doublehanded Champs
Fabulous Sailing in North Sea Week
(Scheveningen, The Netherlands)- J/Boats dominated the 2017 Dutch Two Handed Championship, comprising the RORC North Sea Race and a series of middle distance offshore races held during the North Sea Regatta in Scheveningen. John van der Starre and Robin Verhoef captured their third consecutive gold medal on their shorthanded-optimized J/122E AJETO!

North Sea Doublehanded winners- Verhoef & van der StarreCapturing second place was the J/122 JUNIQUE/ RAYMARINE, sailed by Chris Revelman and Pascal Bakker.  The bronze medals were awarded to Chris Schram and Raymond Roesink, campaigning their J-120 MAVERICK. Wim van Slooten's J-109 managed 4th place; the J/105 PANTHER, skippered by the all-woman team of Yvonne Beusker and Edith Voskamp finished in 5th place, and Ad Lagendijk's J-109 IMAGINE rounded out the top 6!!

Chris Schramm on the J/120 MAVERICK provided us his report on the experience over one week of sailing:
“Content, bruised, drained, and happily home after Raymond and I collected bronze medals for finishing J/120 MAVERICK sailing doublehanded regattathird in the 2017 Dutch Doublehanded Championships. The championship series comprises the long North Sea Race from Harwich to Scheveningen, followed by three days of challenging medium distance races off the Dutch coast. It provides a comprehensive test of boats and crew with conditions ranging from dreaded lulls to stiff breezes and lumpy seas. Congratulations to John van der Starre and Robin Verhoef on AJETO for their well-earned 'three-peat', and to long standing Winter series sparing partners Pascal and Chris who picked up silver medals on JUNIQUE. Many thanks to Jasper van Staveren for the great photo of mighty Maverick.

J/111 sailing off NetherlandsThe J/111 class enjoyed great one-design racing for North Sea Week.  Winning class was the Swiss team of LALLEKONIG, skippered by Joerg Sigg with crew of Wick Hillege, Nico van der Kolk, Sigrid Sigg, Joost Aaphes, Gilbert Figaroa, Wouter Kollman, and Michiel van der Meulen.   Their four 1st in nine races enabled them to finish with a 12 pts net tally.  Taking second was based on yet another tie-breaker!  Seems to be a familiar pattern at top J/one-design events!  This time, it was the familiar crew on SWEENEY led by Paul van Driel that took the tie-break on 15 pts over Sjaak Haakman’s RED HERRING.

In the world of handicap racing, Alain Bornet’s J/109 JAI ALAI took second place in IRC 2 Class overall (offshore + inshore). However, when scored as ORC 2 Class, Bornet’s J/109 WON the class!  Hmmm, seems to be that IRC vs ORC ratings are producing independent results where one is better than the other, or the other way around?!

For the ORC 2 Inshores regatta (no offshore events counted), it was Rutger Krijger’s J/109 JACK RABBIT that won with Bornet’s crew on JAI ALAI in second place.  For more North Sea Regatta and Dutch Doublehanded Championship sailing information

J/22 World ChampionsQUANTUM HOLLAND Crowned J/22 World Champion
(Scheveningen, The Netherlands)- This year’s J/22 World Championship was held in conjunction with the famous North Sea Week, held in Scheveningen next to the iconic and famous landmark- “The Hague”.  Thirty-nine teams participated this year with teams coming from the Netherlands, France, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Cayman Islands and the USA.  In the end, it was the second time for Nic Bol’s QUANTUM HOLLAND team to win the J/22 Worlds.  His team consisted of Chris Bol, Niels de Vries and Tim de Weerdt.

Commenting on his win, Nic Bol said, “I really want to thank my young crew! I think I’ve been sailing longer than they’ve been alive, and it’s great sailing with them! It’s a tough place to sail but great conditions. Totally different conditions than seven years ago. I’m now sailing with my son and two students of the Rotterdam Sailing Federation. We’ve been training together since November, we went for the title and earned it! Super happy! And, you all have to keep sailing J/22's because it’s brilliant!”

J/22 sailing around markThe regatta started off with a postponement on the first day, but the sea breeze slowly built and permitted the teams to go sailing in the late afternoon.  Ultimately, three races were held that day and the TU DELFT BROACH student teams all did quite well, with all three in the top ten.  In fact, winning after day one was top woman skipper Lisanne Nijdam on TU DELFT BROACH 1365.

However, after three days of sailing, Nijdam’s team got called for two “black flags” and, as a result, finished in 4th place.  Meanwhile, Bol’s QUANTUM HOLLAND sailed fast and smart and after their slow start on the first day, accumulated three 1st, two 2nds, and two 3rds in twelve races sailed to easily win by 12 pts.  Also having a first day case of the “slows” was Jean-Michel Lautier’s FRAPORITA. Nevertheless, over the next two days they recovered well and sailed mostly top five races to take the silver by just one point!  Completing the podium was Hans Deutz’s BIERTJE with 47 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Nijdam’s TU DELFT BROACH in 4th and taking the 5th position was the French crew on JAZZY, skippered by Reiner Brockerhoff.

SAP Sailing Analytics was providing the North Sea Regatta with the latest technology that makes it possible to follow the races online for friends and family. For sailors the SAP Sailing Technology is a perfect way to analyze their performance after the race.  Sailing photo credits- Jasper van Staveren  For more J/22 World Championship sailing information

Russian J/70 sailing leagueQPRO Team Leading Russia J/70 Sailing League
KOREG Team Wins Moscow Act III
(Moscow, Russia)- The third event of the Russian J/70 Sailing League took place on the Khimkinsky Lake just northwest of Moscow, hosted by the Royal Yacht Moscow in a fleet of nine J/70s.  After this third stage (the first two were in Sochi and Sevastopol) and three days of sailing that produced 21 races, it is the QPRO Sailing team that is leading the Russian J/70 Sailing League overall, followed by the Sochi crew on KOREG Team in second and the CALYPSO Team in third.  Team KOREG won the third stage held in Moscow, giving them a significant boost in the overall standings.

Nine teams were competing including the Koreg Sailing Team (Oleg Kuzmin, Sochi), Ugar Crew (Ruslan Yakupov, Moscow), 100 Captains (Alexey Moskvin, Astrakhan), Calypso (Igor Lipen, Tuapse), Traktor Sailing Team (Eduard Podshivalov, Chelyabinsk), QPRO Sailing Team (Anna Burykina, Moscow), Kadetov Team (Ivan Kadetov, Taganrog), Caramba! (Alexey Znamensky / Dmitry Kuznetsov, Moscow) and ZilArt Sailing Team (Zoran Paunovich, Moscow).

During the three days of racing on the flat waters of the pretty, tree-shrouded lake, the sailors experienced completely different weather every day.  Friday was heavy airs with just three races.  Saturday saw ten races in winds from 10 to 18 kts.  Sunday had eight races in just 4 to 9 kts of breeze.

Russian women J/70 sailorsFRIDAY- Windy and shifty!
On the first day, three races were held. Two races were won by the Koreg Sailing Team and one by the QPRO Sailing Team. These teams also occupied the top spots at the end of the day. In third position was the Traktor Sailing Team.

“Today, the racing was held in heavy wind conditions- 3-4 m/s from the south-west,” explains the Chief Judge of the regatta, Vitaly Trushin. “Everything was fine, without excess issues or fouls by any teams. Teams participating in the competition are mostly good, "strong” would be a good description.  Other, however, might be described as ‘rude’ and we will certainly educate them!”

“The feeling was amazing,” said the helmsman of Ugar Crew- Ruslan Yakupov.  “The Moscow Lake always presents surprises, some races can be real lotteries! Of course, for a team like ours, it is convenient to write off everything as a lottery. But, here the percentage of unpredictability is really high. And, we also have maneuvers on which we must work on. The opponents are very strong, especially the three leading teams. They are the league ‘standard’, so it adds excitement to our progress!”

Russian J/70 teams loving sailing leagues!“It was interesting, of course, I would have liked to race more on the first day, but we understand that the weather did not allow it with so much wind,” said Ivan Kadetov from Taganrog. “The conditions were complex, as always on the Moscow lakes! All the guys are good fellows, the competition is high and the racing turned out to be challenging. I'm on a J/70 for the first time, it’s a great boat, we feel quite comfortable sailing it!”

“It's fun,” said the helmsman of 100 Captains- Alexey Moskvin. "The wind was on all sides, and at the same time! The conditions were very difficult. The biggest problem we have was gybing the gennaker in big breeze. For a long time we coped with it, but at the end of the day, we mastered the turning technique, so that we didn’t broach!”

SATURDAY- Perfect Shorts & Shades Day!
The weather on Saturday weather permitted the judges to provide excellent racing all day. Unlike Friday’s puffy, unstable wind, the weather changed drastically, a beautiful stable north wind of 10 knots with gusts to 15 enabled 10 races to be run.

J/70 Russian UC TeamAt the end of the day, the Sochi Koreg Sailing Team of Oleg Kuzmin rose to the first place in the overall standings. The leaders of the overall standings based on the results of the regattas in Sochi and Sevastopol, the QPRO Sailing Team with woman skipper Anna Burykina from Moscow, was not up to par and retreated to second place. Third place was held by the team from Chelyabinsk, the Traktor Sailing Team with skipper Eduard Podshivalov.

“The competitors, as usual, sailed smartly,” said the helmsman Igor Lipen on the Calypso team.  “It was a nice change of weather! If finally allowed us to enjoy the sun and good winds…it was fun racing!  We are excited, too, as our team was selected to represent our club in the Russian J/70 Nationals that will be in the fall!”

"The race is challenging, the competitors are tough,” noted Igor Puzanov of Caramba team.  “The wind was shifty, so each team had the opportunity to win a race. We try, we fight, we compete. Some good, some bad! We are in the middle of the fleet. Nevertheless, today was a success! We hope that tomorrow will be different and the wind will allow us to conduct a large number of races!”

Russian J/70 team at Royal YC MoscowSUNDAY- Cloudy Epic Finale!
The final day of the regatta met the sailors with a gloomy sky and low clouds. The main thing was the wind, just enough to race with 4 to 9 kts of breeze.

There was hot competition with teams pushing the limits. The highly variable wind simply made the competitors more anxious, for those who wanted to improve their standings.  And, for the race managers, they were worried to get in enough good racing for the teams assembled from across the vast empire of Russia.

At the conclusion of racing on Sunday, the KOREG Sailing Team managed to ultimately take a dozen 1sts in 21 races, finally sealing their victory in Moscow.  However, with four 1sts and taking the silver, the Moscow QPRO Sailing Team remained at the top of the overall leaderboard in the series. Taking third was the Traktor Sailing Team with two 1sts in their race tallies.

The next regatta for the Russian J/70 Sailing League takes place from June 23 to 25 on Pskov Lake. After that it will be St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and back to Sochi on the Black Sea.

Some nice J/70 sailing videos from the Russian Sailing League:

Sailing photo credits- Andrey Sheremetyev  Follow on Facebook the Russian J/70 Sailing League here   For more Russian Sailing Federation Sailing League information

J/133 JHawk sailing Bermuda RaceBermuda One-Two Race- Leg 1 Report
(Hamilton, Bermuda)- The Bermuda One-Two Race just completed their first leg of the 635nm adventure from Newport, RI to Hamilton, Bermuda.  The first leg is the “singlehanded” leg, the “one” combatant dueling with all others “mano-a-mano” from the start off Newport’s famous Fort Adams to a line-sight finish off St David’s Head on the eastern end of Bermuda.

The weather at the start was simply spectacular.  A beautiful southerly seabreeze built into Narragansett Bay, blowing about 10-14 kts from the South-southwest.  With a flood current, the goal was to tack as few times as possible for the singlehanded sailors!  In Class 1, while one of the Class 40s nailed the start on starboard tack, Clay Burkhalter’s J/133 J-HAWK took off on port tack from the port end of the line headed for the famous “Clingstone” house on the rock.  Taking just two tacks to get out of the Bay, Clay took a long port board all the way across to Mackerel Cove on the Jamestown side of the Bay’s East Passage.  After tacking onto starboard, he and the top Class 40 were neck-and-neck for the lead of the race headed off on starboard tack on about a 200 deg heading to Bermuda.

J/35 Breakaway sailing Bermuda1-2 Race/ Paul Grimes skipperSimilarly, in Class 2, Paul Grimes’ J/35 BREAKAWAY had a similar approach and was easily the top boat in her class, leading them out of the Bay.

Subsequently, while good breezes prevailed overnight as they headed to Bermuda, there was a solid 24-hour segment of the race that plagued all the competitors.  Making the most of those conditions were Burkhalter’s J-HAWK and Grimes’ BREAKAWAY.  Both boats made significant gain on their competitors in the wildly varying conditions.  For a long time, it looked like both boats would win their class and finish 1-2 overall!  However, the timing of J-HAWK’s finish at St David’s head coincided perfectly with the big squalls that were rolling over Bermuda at 30-35 kts when the New Zealand America’s Cup catamaran skippered by Peter Burling pitch-poled in a big gust at the start!  Needless to say, Burkhalter’s J-HAWK was a bit more conservative, reducing sail and, ultimately, giving up first place to finish safe and sound and take 2nd in class and 3rd overall.  Meanwhile, Grimes’ BREAKAWAY just missed some of the squally chaos and preserved his position to win both class and overall on the first leg!  More news later!

The next leg is the “two” version of the race, when the Bermuda to Newport leg has all boats sailing doublehanded to finish off Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport, RI.  For more Bermuda One-Two Race sailing information

J/111 sailing offshoreLUCKY DUBIE Smokes Chicago COLORS Regatta!
Great Sailing for J/111s, J/109s, J/105s & 88s!
(Chicago, IL)- The annual regatta that marks the start of the offshore sailing season in Chicago on Lake Michigan is Columbia YC’s Goose Island Colors Regatta.  There was an enormous turnout of J/crews supporting the event, by far the biggest brand of sailboats at the regatta, 36 J/crews in a fleet of 110 keelboats (about 35% of the fleet). Depending on weather and fleets, most boats sailed just 3 to 4 races over the weekend in the challenging weather conditions.

As usual, the nine boat J/111 class was as tight as ever for the top of the podium!  In the end, it was the first big regatta win for Len Siegal’s LUCKY DUBIE crew!  Starting off with double bullets, they were not to be denied, with the “Dubsters” closing with a 2-6 to just snatch victory from the jaws of defeat!  Not unexpectedly, chasing them hard were the three musketeers on KASHMIR (Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson & Mike Mayer); in the end they came up just shy of taking class honors, their 2-2-4-4 for 12 pts good enough for the silver.  Third place was John Kalanik’s PURA VIDA crew with a terribly slow start in the first two races (an 8-5), but an extraordinary comeback in the last two races- double bullets!  Rounding out the top five was Rick Witzel’s ROWDY in 4th place, just one point back with 16 pts, and Kevin Saedi’s & Raman Yousefi’s MOMENTUS in 5th place with 19 pts.

In the eight boat J/109 fleet, it was Peter Priede’s FULL TILT that walked off with class honors with a 1-1-4 for 6 pts.  Second and third were determined on a tie-breaker; with Jim Murray’s CALLISTO winning that battle over Laura Wagner’s NORTHSTAR.  Rounding out the top five were Keith Eickenberg’s BLACKFIN in 4th and Scott Sims’ SLAPSHOT II in 5th place.

A familiar face was at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon in the J/105 class of eight boats!  Clark Pellet’s SEALARK won with straight bullets while Mike Sheppard’s FLYING PIG was 2nd, Bob Amos’ SOUTHBOUND was 3rd, Gyt Petkus’ VYTIS was 4th and Vanessa Gates’ STRIKING was 5th place!

In the PHRF Spinnaker Division, wackily comprised of a TP52 at the top end and the J/88s at the bottom end, it was going to be a “condition-based” outcome for the event.  In the end, the 88s had a rough time, with Tim Wade’s WINDSONG taking 5th and Andy Graff’s EXILE in 7th and Tod Patton’s BLONDIE 2 in 8th.

However, in the PHRF Offshore distance racing scenario, the J/88s did quite well!  Winning was Ben Wilson’s RAMBLER, with Tom Papoutsis’ J/133 RENEGADE in 5th and Boyd Jarrell’s J/88 SLOT MACHINE in 14th.

Then, in the PHRF Singlehanded division, three of the top four were J crews!! Rick Stage’s J/35 ALPHA PUPPY was 2nd, Mark Gannon’s J/105 GANGBUSTERS was 3rd, and Mitch Weisman’s J/35 FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER was 4th position! Monsters they were all!!  For more COLORS Regatta sailing information

J/109 sailing AnnapolisJ/Crews Eclipse Annapolis to Newport Race!
J/122, J/44, J/109, J/120 Collect Silverware Everywhere!
(Newport, RI)– To keep it simple, the 2017 edition of the Annapolis to Newport Race was an extraordinary collection of experiences that ranged from wild & woolly to downright exasperating for some. For one, a race record for the 475nm race was set by a Volvo 70, but for those in the tail-end of the fleet, the frontal systems were not their friend!  In any event, J/Teams performed incredibly well in the demanding conditions for most of the race.

Fifty-two intrepid adventurers approached the starting line at the opening of the Severn River off Annapolis, MD wide-eyed as to what might happen to them in the next 24 to 48 hours as they flew down the Chesapeake Bay, through the cool Bay Bridge spanning the Bay from Virginia to Delaware, then offshore into the wild blue wilderness known as offshore racing in the Atlantic Ocean!

J/120s start Annapolis to Newport RaceThere were some great stories to tell about this classic offshore race.  A race that plays weather systems in three very distinct strategies- Chesapeake Bay flat water, then offshore from the Bay to Block Island traversing that patch of water past New York City, then Block Island to the finish. Each race is exasperatingly different each year, it is extremely influenced by a combination of macro weather systems flowing across the North American continent as well as very influential shore-based wind patterns (shifts and thermal seabreezes). In other words, the Saturday Night Live “wild and crazy guys” with Dan Aykroyd & Steve Martin could be the theme for this race!!

Overcoming their truly wild and crazy race in the previous edition, Paul Milo’s J/122 ORION eclipsed the fleet and took 1st in IRC 2 Class.  Taking the silver (an affirmation of J/Design versatility offshore) was a 20+ year older design, Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI that got the job done!

In PHRF 2 Class, it was just about an all J/crew class.  Winning was Rick Hanson’s J/109 ROSALITA, followed by Jim Praley’s J/120 SHINNECOCK in second.  From there, Greg Leonard’s J/120 HERON was 5th place, Craig Wright’s J/109 AFTERTHOUGHT was 6th, Richard Born’s J/120 WINDBORN was 7th, Steve McManus’ J/120 SAYKADOO in 8th and Rick Oricchio’s J/120 ROCKET SCIENCE in 9th.

Here is a fantastic report from skipper Rick Hanson and his crew aboard the J/109 ROSALITA.  They were out to sea for almost three and a half days. Those seven sailors on the 2017 Annapolis to Newport Race could have relaxed at any time during the grueling passage down the Chesapeake Bay and up the Atlantic Ocean.

After weathering a nasty storm on approach to Block Island and strong winds exceeding 20 knots shortly thereafter, the exhausted crew could be forgiven for easing up a bit. In fact, the exact opposite happened as the crew worked even harder as they neared the finish of the 474-nautical mile course.

Kyle Hanson, the skipper’s son, did the math and figured out that Rosalita had a shot at capturing class honors if it could complete the final 12 miles in a certain time.

“We were cold, wet and tired, but we pushed like crazy coming into Newport,” Rick Hanson said. “I give the crew an awful lot of credit. These guys didn’t let up for a second for the entire race. They were constantly pushing the boat.”

That effort was rewarded when the handicaps were computed and the Rosalita team learned that it had captured PHRF 2 class by less than two minutes on corrected time. That last-gasp push down the stretch proved crucial to the J/109, overtaking the J/120 Shinnecock for the victory.

“We are absolutely ecstatic,” said Hanson, a resident of Avondale, Pa. “We put a lot of time and effort into preparing the boat for this race. To come away first in class is simply spectacular.”

Rosalita crossed the finish line off Fort Adams almost three hours later than Shinnecock, but is owed 21 seconds per mile by the J/120. This was the first Annapolis to Newport Race for Hanson, who has been racing the J/109 for eight years.

“We normally do distance racing on the Chesapeake Bay,” said Hanson, who has secured class honors in the Governor’s Cup multiple times. “This is our first time taking the boat offshore so it goes without saying that we are extremely pleased with this result. Annapolis to Newport was on our bucket list. Just completing the race is an accomplishment. Winning is icing on the cake.”

Similar reports were told by the other class winners as the sea stories were told on the docks of the Newport Yachting Center. Thirty-two boats started June 2 with the balance of 16 starters on June 3, with sailors braving spitting rain and unseasonably cold temperatures to perform the work of stowing sails and other post-race boat breakdown.

Just down the dock from Rosalita, skipper Jimmy Praley could only lament how close Shinnecock came to winning PHRF 2. This was the second straight runner-up result for the boat, which was beaten by fellow J/120 Saykadoo by just 43 seconds in the 2015 Annapolis to Newport Race.

Praley and his crew could console themselves with the accomplishment of winning the J/120 sub-class, which consisted of five boats. Shinnecock came from behind during the latter stages of the 474-nautical mile race to beat Heron (Greg Leonard) by 1 minute, 22 seconds.

“We are very, very excited. It’s always great to walk away with the win in a one-design class like this,” said Praley, a lifelong Annapolis resident. “Any one of the 120s could have easily won this race. They are all so equally matched. We put together the strongest crew we possibly could and worked really hard. We never stopped adjusting sails and changing gears.”

Orion almost didn’t make it to the starting line for the Annapolis to Newport Race. The J/122, owned by Annapolis Yacht Club member Paul Milo, was dismasted during Key West Race Week and repairs took much longer than expected. Milo said the new mast showed up two weeks before the June 2 start and it was a mad scramble to get it stepped into the boat.

Jay Herman of Annapolis Rigging did a remarkable job of getting the rig ready, earning high praise from Milo for his efforts. Several other industry professionals in the Annapolis area also contributed to making sure the J/122 was properly prepared for an offshore passage.

“A lot of people pitched in to make this race happen for Orion,” Milo said. “I’m just so thankful for all the people that helped us out.”

Orion put forth a fantastic performance, leading the entire fleet for much of the way and capturing line honors among the Friday starters with an elapsed time of 3 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes, 27 seconds. The J/122 wound up winning IRC 2 class on corrected time by about 21 minutes over Kenai, a J/44 skippered by Chris Lewis.

“I am absolutely thrilled to win Annapolis to Newport,” Milo said. “This is a premier event and it’s just a terrific feeling of accomplishment to be a class winner. My crew was just phenomenal. Everybody did exactly what they were supposed to do.”

Milo was extremely impressed with the work of navigator Libby Greenhalgh, who performed the same role for Team SCA in the last Volvo Ocean Race.  “You can ask any member of the crew, Libby was our secret weapon,” he said. “She kept a close eye on the weather and called all the shots.”  For more Annapolis to Newport Race results

J/109 sailing offshore of CaliforniaJ/125 Flies In SoCAL 300 Race
J/109 takes 3rd overall in CORA
(San Diego, CA)- Returning for its second year, the 2017 California Offshore Race Week featured the combined powers of five yacht clubs along the California coast. With efforts from Encinal Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, Santa Barbara Yacht Club, and San Diego Yacht Club, a week-long schedule of races occurred covering almost 600 miles of the California coast between May 27 and June 3.

The week brought together the previously independent Spinnaker Cup, Coastal Cup and SoCal 300. Participants had the option to compete in the whole week with layover time in ports along the way or they could chose to compete in the individual races.

Prior to the start of the SoCal 300, eleven boats had participated in the first two California Offshore Race Week (CORW) events. Many of these racers described the Spinnaker Cup as "typical" and "a great one-day race" to start off the week. The Coastal Cup followed which was much more challenging than expected with winds over 30 knots and exceptionally rough seas!  However, unlike the previous two events, the SoCal 300 was a longer race that usually features a variety of winds, which was certainly true for 2017. After a slow start, the breeze shot up to around 30 knots around the Santa Cruz Islands, and then all but shut off prior to the finish. Perhaps the biggest impact of this scenario was the J/125 TIMESHAVER skippered by Viggo Torbensen and hi compatriot Mark Surber on the J/125 DERIVATIVE. Both boats were vying for the overall lead of the race after they passed the offshore mark on the course and were flying down the track on port gybe past the southern parts of San Clemente Island into the San Diego finish line off Point Loma.

The J/109 winning team!But, here is where the most exasperating parts of SoCal offshore racing can create more than a few anxiety attacks for many.  Or, point to the differences in races that can be finished on A (the “same day”), or B (the “night” with no wind), or C (“next day” where everyone goes through A & B).  The sad part of this story for J/teams was that it was a combo of B+C.  For the big boats, they got in just in time to finish with breeze.  The 35-45 footers did not and had to deal with much less breeze as they finished, as in the case of the J/125s, like drifting kind of stuff.  Up until the last few miles in the race, both J/125s were on track for class and overall honors.  Such is the “tale of the tape.”

In the end, despite all obstacles thrown in front of them, in Division C it was Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER in 2nd and Surber’s DERIVATIVE was 3rd. Meanwhile, taking 3rd in Division D was the J/109 JUNKYARD DOG.

Here is the report from Jim Goldberg from the gang on the J/109 JUNKYARD DOG regards sailing the entire California Offshore Race Week:

“Last year we raced just the first leg of the California Offshore Race Week, the 100 mile Spinnaker Cup from San Francisco to Monterey.  After the race we kept asking ourselves "Why didn't we keep going?"  This year we committed to racing all three legs and what a wild ride it was.

Nothing too unexpected for this years Spinnaker Cup, just business as usual getting out past the Golden Gate Bridge in the typical early morning light winds and finding the best current relief against the building flood tide.  Once past Mile Rock and outside the bay it was all about guessing where the winds would shift from upwind to a reach, then downwind.  Guess too early and you suffer an extra tack away from shore, play it right, set the kite at just the right time and you could enjoy a nice downwind sleigh ride all the way to Monterey potentially without a single gybe until you turn into Monterey Bay.

Unfortunately, we missed that call this year.  We set the code zero and turned slightly downwind for better speed expecting a lift which never materialized, forcing us to hitch a painful close haul tack offshore until we had enough in the bank to set the A3.  We set the A3 and were feeling good about our position compared to the other lead boats.  Parallel with the leaders but farther offshore we figured they would run into the same problem we experienced and would eventually have to tack out and offshore in which case we should take over the lead.  But, sure enough the wind clocked around, the boats close to shore get a huge lift and we're changing to the A2 for a deep downwind run.  Timing is everything I guess, next year we'll remember this and be a little more patient waiting for the lift.  Despite our poor timing on the lift we still managed to place 5th in our division.

We had a day off in Monterey before the next leg which was the 204 mile Coastal Cup from Monterey to Santa Barbara.  One of the great things about the race week is the chance to socialize with all the other boats and competitors at each stop. The talk of the dock was the forecast which looked rather ominous for the next leg.  Getting around Point Conception is no joke and is often referred to as the "Cape Horn of the Pacific".  Once again timing is everything here. Get lucky and you may catch it on an off day with mild to moderate winds and seas, but that's the exception and not the rule.

Initially, the forecast looked like the usual 20-30 knot winds and 5-7 ft seas one expects in that region.  What we came upon there was even worse than any of the forecasts called for.  We saw true wind speeds hit 40 knots on our instruments a handful of times and the US Coast Guard said the seas were steep 10-12 ft with occasional 14 ft sets.  To top it off, there was at least 2 or 3 different swells coming in from different directions making for some very confused seas.  It was for sure the most difficult conditions our boat and crew had ever experienced.

crew relaxationDarkness was quickly arriving and having already blown up our A4 earlier in the evening we prepared for a long night of white knuckle sailing.  We decided to just go with the mainsail and point as deep as we could down the coast.  We were planing down the face of the waves and at one point hit a new boat speed record of 21 knots with mainsail only! Who says a J/109 is too heavy to plane?  Ok, so it didn't do it for long but it did plane and make some very strange noises in the process!!

Why did the US Coast Guard (USCG) give a wave height you ask?  Around 9pm there was a distress call made over the radio of a boat in the race which lost their rig.  The 200 mile stretch of coast from Monterey to Santa Barbara has no safe harbor or close port to turn into.  Morro Bay is about half way, but getting in and out of there in any kind of weather and in the dark is not much of an option at all.

We heard the radio call and realized the boat was just a few miles behind and abeam to us, so we made radio contact with the USCG on Channel 16, as well as the vessel in distress.  The USCG asked us if we could move closer to the vessel and stand by until they arrived.  Turning into the wind and swell and dropping the main, then tying it off to the boom was quite possibly one of the most difficult things we've ever had to do on the boat.  Having said that, it still pales in comparison to what the Moore 24 had to do to get their rig and sails secured to their boat.  Luckily there was another boat, the Cal 40 "Azure" who was also close by and also came over and remained on standby with us.  We later joked that we came over to provide assistance to the Moore 24 but the Cal 40 Azure came over to provide assistance to us.  Coincidentally, one of the crew on Azure, Jim Vickers also owns a J/109 in San Francisco.  I always knew there was something about those J/109 owners I liked!!

After remaining on standby and circling around the Moore 24 for over 2 hours, the USCG arrived and cut us loose.  The Moore 24 was only able to make about 1-2 knots of boat speed with the rig dragging in the water, so we just motored in circles around them.  Motoring with the waves was not so bad, motoring into and abeam in those conditions was something I hope I never experience again.  We were all absolutely drenched, cold exhausted and half the crew was sea sick.  It's a good thing bailing out into Morro Bay wasn't an option, because at that point, I'm sure we would have taken it and not resumed racing.

Eventually, we collected ourselves, hoisted the main and started racing again.  Once you turn around Point Conception, it's like another world. The seas become smaller and the winds eventually ease.  We reached the finish of the Coastal Cup and even managed to snag a 2nd place in division.

Santa Barbara was a time to lick our wounds, rest up and catch up with the rest of the fleet.  It seemed like everywhere you looked, there were teams making repairs on their boats caused by the brutal conditions of the Coastal Cup.

The last race of the series was the SoCal 300 which is a 254 mile race from Santa Barbara, offshore through the Channel Islands and down to San Diego.  While the Coastal Cup will be remembered as the most extreme leg of the series, the winners of the SoCal 300 quite possibly will represent the most well rounded teams.  This years SoCal 300 had it all.  From the postcard perfect conditions at the start in Santa Barbara, with plenty of Southern California sunshine and easy moderate winds, to the breezy second leg with sustained winds in the high 20's to mid 30's, ending with the very challenging near drifting conditions of the 3rd leg.

I'm not going to lie, the drifting in the third leg almost broke me. The crew threatened to duct-tape me to the mast if they saw me make one move toward the engine ignition switch.  Eventually, the winds filled in just enough to power us to the finish.  The SoCal 300 uses a unique scoring system where it's divided up into 3 legs as well as a score for the entire race which is weighted as 1.5x.  We placed 2nd in the first leg, 2nd in the second leg and 3rd in the 3rd leg,  For the entire race week series we placed 3rd.

It was an insanely fun week of racing. Junkyard Dog held up extremely well and delivered the "Dog Pound" to each port safe and sound. The only major mechanical failure through all the extreme conditions was a blown speaker.  I'm incredibly proud of our boat and the crew.  We learned an enormous amount during this week and have all grown closer as a team.  There are no superstars in the Dog Pound, just a bunch of guys who get along with each other, aren't afraid to work hard and have a very strange idea of what's fun!”  Junkyard Dogger’s out!   Sailing photo credits- Erik Simonson-
Sailing Video of the entire race week here of the J/109
J/125 TIMESHAVER sailing video
For more California Offshore Race Week sailing information

J/92 Crowned Susan Hood Race Winner!
J/Teams Dominate Four Divisions
(Port Credit, ONT, Canada)- Congratulations to all the racers who made it out of their own clubs to compete in the “Coolest Race on the Lake”, The Susan Hood Trophy Race. This year provided many obstacles around Lake Ontario just to get boats in the water and sailing (due to abnormally high water levels, but 91 yachts were on the start line Friday, June 3rd to take on the 78 mile overnight challenge.

At the start of the race, winds were looking solid and a tight reach to Burlington was anticipated. Somewhere between the first and the eight starts the winds died and moved west with the lead boats pulling away, creating the largest gap between fleets ever experienced in this race!! With the wind vanishing from the west end of the lake for over half the competitors, a special congratulations goes to all those who had the perseverance to endure and finish the race. In total, 28 yachts withdrew from this year’s Susan Hood Trophy Race!! A record for the race!! Bummer.

Nevertheless, a special congratulation goes to this year’s Susan Hood Trophy Race Champions!  SWITCH, a J/92 skippered by Andrew Sharp from Olcott Yacht Club, finishing with a corrected time of 0:16:19:46.  SWITCH competed in FS-FC 4 and finished with many boats from Division 3, almost a full hour ahead of the next division 4 finisher, which is great sailing.  It is worth noting that according to our records, SWITCH has become the first boat from an American Yacht Club to win the Susan Hood trophy! The SWITCH crew included Doug Folsetter, Zoe Folsetter, Louis Johnson, Maureen Johnson and Ethan Sharp.

Overall, J/teams performed incredibly well.  In the IRC 1 class, Bruce Pierce’s J/122 HOOLIGAN II was second, just 5 minutes off from winning on corrected time!  In the PHRF Singlehanded class, Kim Piller’s J/109 LIVE WIRE won overall.  In the PHRF Doublehanded class, Leszek Siek’s J/35 JAEGER also won class by over 45 minutes!  In the PHRF FS-FC 1 class, J/crews were five of the top 7 boats, including Matt Emerson’s J/120 RED LEAF in 2nd, Graham Toms J/120 THE CAT CAME BACK in 3rd, Mike Pietz’s J/35 SHORTHANDED in 4th, Murray Gainer’s J/109 LIVELY in 5th and Paul Cavanaugh’s J/35 TOP GUN in 7th placed.  In PHRF FS-FC 2 class, Denys Jones’ J/109 CARPE VENTUS was 6th place.

Behind Sharp’s J/92 SWITCH in PHRF FS-FC 4 class, it was a complete sweep by J/teams of the top 6!  In second was Geoff Clarke’s J/105 CASUAL ELEGANCE, 3rd was Ed Berkhout’s J/105 ALI-KAT, 4th was Tom Accardo’s SOTTOVENTO, 5th was Sean Matthews J/33 WEE BEASTIE III, and 6th was Peter Wolniak’s J/105 ANOTHER HAZARD. IN PHRF FS-FC 5 class, Wendy Northcotte’s J/30 NORTHCAUGHT placed 4th.  For more Susan Hood Trophy Race sailing information

J/70s sailing upwindAnother Gracious Southern Bay Race Week
(Hampton, VA)- This year’s Southern Bay Race Week, hosted at Hampton YC, ranks as one of the largest regattas on the Chesapeake with 100+ entries. According to many sailors at the regatta, the fact that Hampton YC’s claim to honest-to-goodness awesome southern hospitality is the best, is absolutely spot on!!  If you’ve never been down to the Southern Bay for this event, heed the call of “Y’all come racing!” and sign up for the weekend after Memorial Day 2018! Here is how it all went down for the J/70 and J/24 one-design classes and the very large PHRF contingent.

In the J/70 class, it was Latane Montague’s FULL MONTY that took class honors, with Matt Braun’s E.L.E. in second, followed by Mike Karn’s INCONCEIVABLE in third place.

The J/24s were determined by a tie-break, won by Mike Veraldi’s QUICKY over Alan Bomar’s ROUNDABOUT.  Third, just one point back, was Sam McGuire’s BLOW’VIATE.

In PHRF 2 class, Phil Briggs’ J/36 FEATHER sailed well and took the silver.  His stablemate, another J/36 called REMEDY sailed by Will Roberts, could only muster a 7th place.

In PHRF B1 class, Ben Weeks’ J/29 crushed their class, posting all top three finishes and three 1sts to win by a comfortable margin.

In PHRF B2 class, Rusty Burshell’s J/30 COOL CHANGE snagged the silver while another J/30, Ben Ritger’s BLEW-J took fourth place.  For more Southern Bay Race Week sailing information

J/70s sailing off CaliforniaJ/Crews Lovin’ Cal Race Week
Janov Wins 70s, Butner Tops 109s
(Marina del Rey, CA)- The 19th annual Cal Race Week, California YC's signature buoy racing event, took place over the June 3rd to 4th weekend.  No question, everyone enjoyed the amazing red carpet treatment provided by Cal YC’s amazing volunteer team!  How can you possibly argue when CYC's legendary hospitality awaits the crews once you hit the docks at the end of each day. After Saturday’s racing, on the main dock the hosts offered Mount Gay Rum tasting, keg beer, and snacks.  Later on, dinner and cash bar and a famous Santa Monica DJ kept the party going.  Then, for the Sunday Post-Race, there was more keg beer and snacks on the main dock and for the trophy presentation, the most amazing spread (like gigantic!) of hors d'oeuvres along with a cash bar.

The nine-boat J/70 one-design class was quite competitive for the top five.  Winning was Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT with a 2-1-1-2-4 record for 10 pts.  Craig Tallman’s JAYA was second with a 1-2-6-3-1 tally for 13 pts.  Then, Chris Raab’s SUGOI was third with a rapidly improving scoreline of 5-4-3-1-3 for 16 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Bruce Coopers USA 32 in 4th and Tony Collins’ FLY in 5th place.

In the J/109 one-design class, Heinz Butner’s RAPTOR took the crown with a 1-2-1-2-1 tally for 7 pts!  Consistent, eh?  The silver was taken by Bryce Benjamin’s PERSISTENCE with a 2-1-3-1-2 for 9 pts.  And, securing the bronze was Jack Mayer’s ZEPHYR with a 3-3-2-4-4 for 16 pts.

Winning PHRF D class by a country mile was none other than Curt Johnson’s J/80 AVET, posting just bullets to eclipse the fleet.  Second was Mike Guthrie’s J/24 CRITTER with a solid record of 2-2-5-3-2 fro 14 pts!  For more Cal Race Week sailing information

J/70s sailing on Long Island SoundJ/Fest @ Cedar Point One-Design Regatta!
(Cedar Point, CT)- As usual, the Cedar Point YC were fabulous hosts for the four J/classes for their annual Cedar Point One-Design Regatta.  Racing took place in western Long Island Sound for fleets of J/70s, J/88s, J/105, and J/109s. The fleet experienced a wide variety of weather conditions, from good breeze to near drifters.

The nine-boat J/88 class was a close battle between two top woman skipper/owners- Elizabeth Barry on ESCAPE and Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION.  After taking a first race DNF, Barry’s crew on ESCAPE came roaring back to post a 5-2-1-1-1 for 10 pts net!  An amazing performance by this crew since it was their first appearance in a major J/88 event- essentially the Long Island Sound Championship!  Vogel’s crew took the silver, winning the first two races, but then posting a 3-3-6-3 for 11 pts net.  Doug McKeige’s crew on JAZZ were just off the pace, posting a roller-coaster scoreline of 6-2-1-8-2-2 for 13 pts.  Rounding out the top five was John Pearson’s RED SKY in 4th and Mike Bruno’s WINGS in 5th place.

J/109s sailing off Cedar PointThe winner of the seventeen-boat J/109 East Coast Championship was David Rosow’s LOKI.  It was a stellar performance by Rosow’s team, posting five bullets in just six races, discarding a 2nd place to win with just 5 pts!!  Just behind them, it was an all-out battle for the rest of the podium.  Going neck-and-neck all weekend were Jonathan Rechtschaffer’s EMOTICON and Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY. Both boats had pretty roller-coaster-like scorelines and in the end, it was EMOTICON over MORNING GLORY by just one point.  Taking 4th place was Bill Rogers’ BIG BOAT and in 5th position was Bill Sweetser’s RUSH.

The nineteen-boat J/70 class was a battle all the way for six races.  Amongst the top five boats, it was close until the waning hours of the regatta when some boats made good moves and trumped the other teams.  Winning was Doug Clark’s US Coast Guard Academy Sailing Team on POLAR, posting all top five finishes of 1-5-1-1-5-5 for 13 pts net.  Matching them closely all regatta long was Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY, logging a respectable 3-6-5-2-3-1 for 14 pts net.  Third was TEAM VICTURA with a record of 6-2-3-8-1-6 for 18 pts net.  Rounding out the top five were Trevor Roach’s SEMI-CHARMED in 4th with 19 pts and 5th place went to Canadian Louis Donahue’s NIRVANA 7 with 22 pts.

In the J/70 Corinthians Division, it was Roach’s SEMI-CHARMED that won, with Donahue’s NIRVANA 7 in 2nd place and Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK in 3rd place.

The eleven-boat J/105 class was taken by the dynamic duo of Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault, posting 4 bullets in seven races to comfortably win with just 8 pts net.  Second was George & Alex Wilbanks’ REVELATION with 11 pts net.  Third place was secured by David Willis’ SOLUTION with 18 pts net.  The rest of the top five included Jordan Mindich’s SHAKEDOWN in 4th and Randy Bourne’s STRANGE BREW in 5th place.  For more Cedar Point One-Design Regatta sailing information

J/70 sailing offshore at New York YC RegattaSAVASANA Tops NYYC J/70 Regatta
(Newport, RI)- The New York Yacht Club One-Design Regatta hosted an incredibly talented fleet of thirteen J/70s that featured an astonishing number of World, Olympic, and North American Champions in the crew.  The fleet was treated to two amazing days of racing offshore in Rhode Island Sound, with breezes generally in the S/SW quadrants and breezes fluctuating from 6 to 18 kts over the course of the day- depending, of course, on the mini-thunder cells that would roll through!

Winning was Brian Keane’s SAVASANA team from Beverly YC with a record of 2-4-1-1-5 for 8 pts net.  John Brim’s RIMETTE from Fisher’s Island YC had two-time World Match Racing Champion Taylor Canfield trimming main and calling tactics; their 4-5-2-3-1 tally was good enough to take the silver! Rounding out the podium and taking the bronze was Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE crew that included Jeremy Wilmot as tactician, one of Australia’s “young guns”!  The balance of the podium included Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY in 4th place and Glenn Darden’s HOSS in 5th place.   Sailing Photo credits- Paul Todd/   For more J/70 New York YC One-Design regatta sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/24s at Lake Pleasant, AZ From Victor Felice, Vice-Commodore of Arizona YC on Lake Pleasant, we find twin J/24s completed in their finest livery for two top women’s teams to be sailed on the lake in all major events.  Victor provides us this latest update to their program to provide two fully-equipped J/24s for two six-woman teams to be sailing in all major events for 2017 and beyond!  As Buzz Lightyear once said, really, “to infinity and beyond”!!

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.