Wednesday, November 29, 2017

J/Newsletter- November 29th, 2017

J/Boats Sailing CalendarHappy Holidays! Order Your 2018 J/Calendar!
(Newport, RI)- A sailing calendar is a great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew. For 2018, we have created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places.

The 2018 sailing calendar features the most popular as well as latest creations from the J/Design team sailing in many of the worlds most popular sailing areas- Cowes, Newport, San Francisco Bay, Russia, France, Italy, Monaco and French Polynesia in the Pacific!  See the 2018 J/Calendar photo gallery and order here

Heineken St Maarten RegattaHeineken St Maarten Regatta Update
Free Concierge Service Assures Smooth Sailing
(Simpson Bay, St Maarten)- Another year of serious fun and serious racing is on tap for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, and the entire island of Saint Martin is working in overdrive to prepare for the event’s 38th edition, scheduled for March 1-4, 2018. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, organizers are encouraging participants to utilize the event’s free concierge service for assistance with everything from travel and on-site logistics to charter options and beyond.

J/122 El Ocaso sailing Heineken St Maarten regatta“We have been attracting local and international talent to this regatta since 1980 with an epic experience both on and off the water for maxi, monohull and performance multihull classes,” said Regatta Director Michelle van der Werff. “We plan to continue in that spirit to make everyone’s experience next year as seamless as possible when it comes to logistics. The progress of rebuilding following Hurricane Irma has been impressive, and we are confident that the island of Saint Martin will be fully prepared to welcome sailors in March. In the meantime, competitors can visit the regatta website for the most up-to-date news on what hotels, restaurants and marinas are open and taking reservations. We also urge everyone to reach out for any assistance or questions that they may have.”

Already many shops, restaurants and hotels are open and bustling on the island, particularly in the Simpson Bay area where the regatta is hosted. The Princess Juliana International Airport reopened in October and welcomes more flights each day.

J/105 sailing Heineken St Maarten regatta“The Heineken Regatta is one of our largest events of the year on the island,” said May-Ling Chun, general manager of the Commodore Suites, which is within walking distance of the St. Maarten Yacht Club, which serves as regatta host. “And although the regatta may not be exactly the same as it has been in the past, I strongly believe that our island is ready to host again.

“All 17 of our hotel’s units are in perfect shape and already booking guests. The hotel is also preparing for an expansion, with more units being added to the second floor, which will also be available in time for the regatta. We are ready and will provide all the services and amenities needed.”

Chun, who also acted as St. Martin’s Director of Tourism from 2011-2012, added that the regatta would be the first major event to take place since the hurricane. “We have something to work toward and St. Maarten is up to the challenge. It is all about the logistics and what we can offer the visitors."

The "Heineken" will host world-class competitors for the perfect mix of lively shoreside entertainment and rigorous racing- it is a favorite of J/Boats sailors from around the world!

For free concierge service, please contact, phone +1 721 544 2079.  To register for the 2018 event, please visit   For more Heineken St Maarten Regatta sailing information

J/24s sailing Worlds off Newport, RI2018 J/24 Worlds Announcement
(Lake Garda, Italy)- The J/24 World Council Meeting, held at the historic site of Fraglia Vela Riva, has announced that the 2018 J/24 World Championship will take place in Riva del Garda from 24th to 31st August, 2018.

“It is a pleasure to once again host the J/24 fleet for its major events- the Italian Championship in May and the Worlds at the end of August,” stated the Fraglia Vela Riva’s President, Giancarlo Mirandola.  He added, “this class is part of sailing history, in fact celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and it continues to be healthy and actively sailed worldwide. After having hosted the 1999 and 2009 Italian Nationals here in Riva del Garda, it is a great honor to organize and host the 2018 J/24 Worlds.”

The regatta will consist of ten races, for which many talented teams are expected to sail being attracted not only by the magnificent race course, but also by the natural beauties of Garda Trentino and the renowned hosts at Fraglia Vela Riva.

After a tour of the club, the participants of the J/24 World Council Meeting acknowledged the suitability of the facilities and appreciated the professional competence of Fraglia Vela Riva in running world-class events. Moreover, it was decreed the World Championship would be limited to 80 boats. The Italian fleet, as hosting nation, has the right to enter 24 pre-selected boats and one boat for the former World Champion, one for the 2017 Italian Champion, one female team, one youth team (under 25) and two boats from the organizing club.  For more J/24 class and World Championship sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

There is no question that sailing is taking place around the world on a 24x7 basis, virtually year-round for J/sailors.  From various offshore events in the world of British, Dutch and French offshore racing to the world of one-design racing on five continents.  In the past few weeks, there has been an amazing amount of activity taking place in both hemispheres, north and south.

On the European continent, regattas took place in Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, and the United Kingdom.  Real Club Nautico Barcelona hosted the first Barcelona Winter Series event for both J/70s and J/80s in Spain. J/80s are also sailing fall/ winter events in Spain at Baiona in the west and Santander in the north.  Recently, Parkstone YC hosted the annual J/24 Autumn Cup at Parkstone, in southwest England.  J/24s were also active in Italy, with the final regatta for 2017 taking place in Cagliari on the southern tip of Sardinia.  In the Netherlands, there has been the biggest turnout in years for the J/80 class with two dozen boats sailing their annual Frostbite Cup. Then, the Hamble River Sailing Club hosted their Hamble Winter Series finale, with great performances by the J/112E, J/97s, and a competitive J/88 one-design fleet.

Heading over to the Caribbean, we find the J/24 class having a great time in Barbados, with a number of regattas kicking off their 2017/ 2018 winter sailing season, starting with their Barbados J/24 Championship.  Finishing in Saint Lucia and in Tortola, British Virgin Islands are the two large World Cruising “ARC” events- the ARC Atlantic and Caribbean 1500, respectively.  In the southwestern part of the Caribbean, Kingston YC recently held the Jamaica J/22 Nationals in the huge harbor of Kingston, Jamaica.

Heading “down under” the Equator, we find hot action taking place in J/24s in both South America and Australia.  In Argentina, racing has been taking place in Cordoba, Mendoza and Buenos Aires and the action will only get hotter as their summer progresses!  Over in Brazil, the YC Rio de Janeiro hosted their Brazilian J/24 Nationals in view of the sizzling hot beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema with Christ the Redeemer standing 37 meters tall looking down on them.

Finally, our friends in Sydney, Australia saw a big fleet of J/24s sailing along the southern shoreline of Sydney Harbor, racing their J/24 NSW States Championship, hosted by Royal Prince Edward YC.

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 pag  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 8-10- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Jan 5-7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Jan 19-21- J/Fest St Pete- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 9-11- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Feb 15-18- St Pete NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 17-18- SCYA Midwinter Regatta- Long Beach, CA
Feb 19- RORC Caribbean 600 Race- English Harbour, Antigua
Feb 23-25- J/70 Midwinters- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 1-4- Heineken St Maarten Regatta- Simpson Bay, St Maarten
Mar 7-11- Bacardi Cup J/70 Invitational- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 16-18- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-25- St Thomas International Regatta- Red Hook Bay, St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29- Apr 1- Easter Regatta- Columbia, SC
Apr 12-15- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 8-14- Voiles de Saint Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barth
Apr 26-29- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Ft Worth, TX
Apr 28- May 4- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

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

J/112E sport cruiser- wins Hamble Series IRC 1Thrilling Hamble Winter Series Finale
J/112E Trumps IRC 1, J/97 Takes IRC 3
(Hamble, England)- Competitors for the eighth weekend of the Hamble Winter Series enjoyed more good racing, with the Hamble River Sailing Club, supported by OneSails, being blessed with a decent 12-17 kt breeze and partly cloudy, but chilly weather.  Appropriately enough, the final races started at the “” buoy!

The fleets started with a short windward leg and were then tested with a mixture of downwind, reaching and upwind sailing. A good challenge for any crew to test crew work, sail choice and tactics on a fresh and bracing winter series day.

Although this is the South coast's premier winter series, not all good sailors come from the south. There are a number of good northerners, those pond sailors in the NW of England. Lawrie Smith and Ian J/112E sport cruiser winning IRC 1 in Hamble Winter seriesSouthworth come immediately to mind. So, it was no major surprise when the “Yacht of the Series” turned out to be owned and sailed by a lad from Tyldesley. That's near Bolton for you southerners. Chaz Ivill brought his new J/112E DAVANTI TYRES home in first place on Sunday. This made it 6 first places, a second and a third for a very tidy 11 pts in the competitive 20 boat IRC Class 1.

In IRC Class 2, it really was a thrilling climax to the series, the ultimate outcome decided by just 15 seconds!  That was the margin Simon Perry’s J/109 JIRAFFE needed to take both the win on Sunday and to place second overall for the series!

J/92s sailing Hamble winter series IRC 3First place in the nineteen boat IRC Class 3, also went to the wire, as they say. Although Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART had a first in the last two races, it was not enough to break into the overall series lead. Instead, Annie and Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II had enough in the bank with great performances earlier in the series to take it by one point.

The J/88's raced in class for the second year running and this year Avia Willment in GBR 2688 cleaned up from Gavin Howe’s TIGRESS and Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL.

In the clubhouse Chaz Ivill thanked Stuart Childerley and the race management team for some great courses and finished with, “See you all next year!"

J/88 sailing Hamble winter seriesNext year's Hamble Winter Series, the 37th, will start on the 6th& 7th of October with the IRC Autumn Championship and two days of the HWS. The soon to be announced Performance 40 Class will be rounding off their season with a double points series of 5 races on the same weekend. You heard it here first.

In numbers, this year's Hamble Winter Series and its three sub events; the Spinlock IRC Autumn Championship, the Hamble One Design Championship and the Fast 40+ 5th and final event, led to the following: 143 Yachts entered, 16 classes contesting 108 races, 814 starters and 786 finishers.  Thanks for contribution from Trevor Pountain.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/24 Brazil Championship off Rio de JaneiroEURUS Wins Brazilian J/24 Championship
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)- The 2017 edition of the Brazilian J/24 Championship took place over two weekends off Rio de Janeiro, hosted by YC Rio de Janeiro.  The racing took place on the infamous bay, with the huge seaside city in the background, famed for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, the 38 meter tall “Christ the Redeemer” statue atop Mount Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountain, the granite peak (more like a huge rock) with cable cars to its summit.

Brazil J/24 Championship- Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilThe regatta had a great turnout, with eleven teams competing for national honors.  The teams were treated to a range of conditions, but mostly sea breezes from the east/southeast that were a result of nice clear, warm days, with hardly a cloud in the sky.  There was one day that was a bit light, cloudy, and mostly overcast all day long.

In the end, it was a very close battle for the top three boats, with the results going all the way down to the wire on the last day.  After starting out with an OCS, Ronaldo Senfft’s crew on EURUS (Andrea & Leticia Nicolino, Adhara Ginaid, and Carlos Eduardo Brandao) sailed fast and conservatively, sailing the most consistent series in the top three to win the regatta counting only top four finishes for a total of 18 pts net.

J/24 sailing off Rio de Janeiro- Christ the RedeemerAlso starting with an OCS and winning four races was Fernando Tover Gioia’s team on MALABAR (Mauricio Santa Cruz, Rafael Pariz, Joao Pedro Soute de Oliviera, and Sergio Almeida), could not overcome a mid-series streak of bottom half finishes to settle for the silver with 22 pts net.

Rounding out the podium was Murilo Borges’ BRUSCHETTA with crew of Tatiana Almeida, Jorge Bueno, Matheus Goncalves, and Mario Tinoco.  They sailed well and consistently; posting all top five finishes in their final tally, but only enough to secure the bronze with 24 pts net.   Sailing photo credits- Fred Hoffman    For more Brazilian J/24 Class sailing information

J/24 sailing off Sydney, AustraliaKAOTIC Tops NSW States
(Sydney, Australia)- This year’s 2017 New South Wales State Championship was hosted by the Royal Prince Edward YC and sponsored by Doyle MacDiarmid Sails.  The racing took place on the scenic Felix Bay, just off Point Piper on the southern shoreline of Sydney Harbour.

Keeping the fleet in check and also on their toes to keep up with their feverish pace of running races were the RPEYC PRO duo of Terry Matthews and Adrian Broadbent and the race committee team.  Two cold, wet days and tricky weather conditions with shifty breezes was not the easiest for racing, but their herculean efforts were greatly appreciated by the thirteen crews that participated.

J/24 sailing off Sydney, AustraliaIn Australia, they long ago pioneered “handicapping” to their race results, a bit like golf handicaps where performance is rated and top boats are “scratch teams” while those in the mid-fleet get a higher handicap applied to their scores.  As a result, the weekend warriors get their chance to collect some silverware over teams that have pros aboard.

Winning the “Open” division was none other than a long-time stalwart of the Sydney J/24 class, the duo of Sean Kirkjian & Arthur Crothers on the infamous KAOTIC.  Taking second was David West’s ACE. And, rounding out the podium in the bronze position was the truly infamous CONVICTS REVENGE, skippered by Stephen Girdis.

As one might expect, none of the top “open” boats are ever a factor in the handicap division, in most cases.  Yet, there have been some where boats have won both, but rarely.  This years handicap division winners were Janette Syme’s WILDFIRE, she also took the crown as Top Woman Skipper.  Second was the trio of Brendan Lee and the Tromps on WATERBORNE AGAIN.  Then, taking third was Clinton Hood’s VERTIGO.

This year, the “Women on Water Trophy” (WOW, for short) was awarded to Amanda Williams for her efforts skippering JAGGED EDGE in club races, twilights and regattas, showing determination and relentless enthusiasm during her learning curve.  For more Australian J/24 Class sailing information

J/80s sailing off Barcelona, SpainSpanish J/80 Fall Report
(Barcelona, Spain)- All across warm, sunny, Spain, the J/80 class was having multiple regattas this fall that were taking place in very diverse sailing conditions. From Barcelona to the east on the Mediterranean, to Santander to the north on the Bay of Biscay (near France), and Baiona to the west on the Atlantic Ocean, just north of the Portuguese border.  Here is the latest in the Spanish J/80 sailing world.

J/80s sailing off Barcelona, SpainReal Club Nautico Barcelona Winter Series
AKEWELE dominated Act II of the Barcelona Winter Series in J/80
The second act of Barcelona Winter Series for J/80s started with two races on Saturday. Despite the changing conditions with light winds blowing in front of the port of Barcelona, the Committee managed to complete two of the five races scheduled for the weekend. Then, on Sunday the RCNB Race Committee managed to complete three more races.

There was a duel between AKEWELE’s Silvia Ravellat (leader of the fleet) and BRIBON. AKEWELE won the first race of the day, ahead of BRIBON, and he did the same in the second. Ravellat’s crew could only achieve a 6th place; as result, they dropped off their sole position at the top of the leaderboard for the overall series.

At this stage, Marc de Antonio’s BRIBON is now leading the series, having recovered his usual form of sailing fast and staying conservative.  In this last regatta, he achieved three 1st and two 2nd places; giving him a three points lead over Silva Ravellat’s crew on AKEWELE.  The third crew is Rosa Artigas’ MIKAKU, also sailing well and having posted a 1st and two 2nds in the series.

J/80s sailing off SpainMonte Real YC Fall Series
Fernando Yáñez’s CANSINO is leading the AXA J/80 Autumn League
The Commodore of the Monte Real Yacht Club, Fernando Yáñez, managed to get his team on CANSINO to the top of the leaderboard after Sunday’s races in the AXA J/80 Autumn League series that is being sailed on the beautiful Baiona Bay on the west coast of Spain.

After posting two 2nds in two races, Yáñez's CANSINO team managed to overtake OKOFEN, who had been in the series lead.  However, the OKOFEN team was lacking their fearless leader- Javier de la Gándara.  Instead of their usual top 3 finishes, the could only manage a 4th and 5th place, dropping them into second overall on the series. Sitting in third for the series is FERRALEMES, fourth is NAMASTE, and fifth is MARIAS.

Notably, the winners of the third and penultimate day of the AXA J/80 Autumn League were Manuel María Cunha’s MARIAS-CASAS DO TELHADO, with Luis de Mira’s NAMASTE in second place.

The AXA J/80 Autumn League will end on November 25th, with three more windward-leeward races planned for the weekend on pretty Baiona Bay.  Once the competition is over, the Monte Real Club de Yates will host the awards ceremony for the winners, ending their 2017 J/80 sailing season.

Real Club Maritimo Santander, SpainReal Club Maritimo de Santander
The Spanish J/80 Association and the Royal Maritime Club of Santander organize every year the great nautical sports festival- the Mundialito of the J/80 class. It is a regatta whose ultimate goal is to gather together all Spanish J/80 sailors from across the country for great sailing, a big party, and to celebrate good times!

“The Mundialito” (e.g. "the little worlds") celebrated its twentieth edition on Cantabrian waters. Despite its name, the classic and long-lasting celebration aims to welcome all J/80 sailors to the Cantabrian fleet of J/80s.  The event starts with the traditional "costume dinner" on Friday, November 24, an event celebrated by all participants with some amazingly fun and outrageous designs!  They all reflect their beautiful regions throughout Spain, including Galicia, Andalusia, the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, Barcelona, and Madrid.

A total of twenty crews participated in the four races held between Saturday and Sunday, two for each day on Santander’s famous bay inside the monstrous sandy point. During the two days, the sailors sailed on the Quebrantas, between Somo and Isla de Mouro, with a variable wind that blew from the north and waves that reached one meter in height.  As usual, the Real Club Maritimo de Santander provided excellent race course management from its very experienced Race Committee and PRO teams.

J/80 sailing off Santander, SpainThe competition was preceded by the traditional "Cena del Traje" held on Friday and organized by the Spanish J/80 Association and the Royal Maritime Club of Santander. The regatta primary purpose is to bring together all top Spanish J/80 sailors to enjoy a sporting event that combines competition with an atmosphere of friendship and socializing on land— the Saturday evening dinner/ dance party was immensely enjoyed by all in the cozy atmosphere offered by RCMS!

Daniel Pedraja’s ONO, with Alfredo González at the helm, won the Mundialito J/80 event. If you recall, three J/80 World Champions are from this amazing fleet on the north side of Spain.  Then, taking second was Álvaro Mazarrasa’s VERIQUETO, with Gerda Pereda’s KIA rounding out the podium. In fourth place was Pichu Torcida’s AILA, just one point off the podium (himself at two-time J/80 World Champion). Finally, in fifth place was Iker Almandoz’s CENTRAL OPTICA.  Sailing Photography: Real Club Marítimo de Santander   For more Spanish J/80 Class sailing information

J/70 Gunter leads Barcelona Spain winter seriesGUNTER Leading Barcelona J/70 Winter Series
(Barcelona, Spain)- The leader of the Barcelona J/70 Winter Series comes from a most unlikely background, a top Dragon sailor in Europe.  The renowned master of the Dragon class in Europe, Javier Scherk, chartered the well-known J/70 NOTICIAS from Luis Martín Cabiedes and, suitably, renamed it after all his boats- GUNTER.

J/70 Italy team sailing Barcelona, SpainIt is quite evident that Scherk and his crew on GUNTER have familiarized themselves amazingly quickly to the J/70.  After their first day of sailing, they had posted a 1-2 to be the leader of the fleet, followed by Luís Albert Solana’s PATAKIN in second place.  The scuttlebutt onshore was Scherk’s crew would have to figure out how to sail “planing mode” on Sunday versus the lightish winds they sailed on the first day.  Time would soon tell!

What no one expected was for a Dragon sailor to continue to excel in the J/70 class.  It was a fantastic day for sailing on Sunday, with a strong northwest wind of a steady 15 kts, gusting higher into the upper teens.

J/70s sailing off Barcelona, SpainScherk’s GUNTER crew continued to show their overwhelming superiority throughout the two days, closing out the weekend with four 1sts for a record that left practically no option for their competitors to pass them in the series.  Only Luís Albert Solana’s PATAKIN could beat them in one race; and they are laying second overall. Sitting in third place overall is the Italian team of Massimo Rama sailing JENIALE EUROSYSTEM; their best results include two 2nds against this very talented fleet.

For Javier Scherk the J/70 seems to him, "A fantastic boat! What more do you want!! I find it more fun than other sportboats and it is cheaper to maintain, easier to trailer..just a great boat all-around!”   For more Barcelona J/70 Winter Series sailing information

J/24 Italy winning sailing teamItalian J/24 Winter Sailing Series Report
(Cagliari, Italy)- The final event in 2017 for the Italian J/24 Winter series took place off Cagliari this past weekend; one that not only had a new winner for the regatta, but also confirmed the series leader of the regional series- a six event program that takes place during the fall 2017 and winter 2018.

The weather conditions were not favorable for the two-day event in Cagliari. There was little wind on Saturday and way too much wind on Sunday.  So, the RC Chairman of Société Canottieri Ichnusa, Tanni Spanedda, wisely called off racing on Sunday.  As a result, there was nothing left to do but enjoy the hospitality of the club and enjoy a fabulous Saturday evening dinner that was augmented by very tasty local wines.

Winning the regatta was ITA 460 BOTTA DRITTA sailed by Mariolino Di Fraia, with his crew of Luca Montella, Ezio Diana, Andrea Tirotto and Gianluca Cataldi. They sailed fast in all six short-course races on Saturday to celebrate their good fortune that evening.

As a result of the weekend series, ITA 405 VIGNE SURRAU from Club Nautico Arzachena, skippered by Aurelio Bini, leads after 27 races sailed in three events. Then, sitting in 2nd place is Davide Gorgerino's ITA 431 LNI CARLOFORTE-PUNTO A and then in 3rd place is ITA 396 MOLARA sailed by Federico Manconi.

The next regatta on the circuit does not take place until Sunday, January 21,2018.  For more Italian J/24 Fleet sailing information

J/80 sailing Netherlands Frostbite CupJ’ZUSTER Leads J/80 Frostbite Cup
(Naarden, The Netherlands)- The J/80 fleet in the Netherlands is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, like a “phoenix rising from the ashes”, to again blossom with enthusiastic sailors from across the spectrum of the sport.  Twenty-four teams are participating in the 2017 edition of the classic Frostbite Cup that has been taking place for nearly decades… a tradition of sorts for the “old guard” in the Dutch J/80 fleet.

R&ZV Naarden hosted this year’s event and the Race Committee and PRO team pulled off a great event, running six races over two days, much to the delight of the two dozen teams!  There were many new teams at the front of the fleet, as well as a number of veteran crews familiar to all.

2018 J/80 Worlds video- Les Sables'de'Olonne, FranceAfter six races, it was Nick Elsink’s crew on J’ZUSTER that won with three 1sts in their scoreline for a cumulative total of 19 pts.  Clearly breathing down their necks the entire time and giving them a great battle was Ottejan Golverdingen’s crew on LED2LEASE; never winning a race, but the only boat in the regatta to post all top six finishes and take a well-deserved second overall.  Rounding out the podium in this watershed event was yet another crew that was new to the top of the standings- the duo of Jilko & Sybren on OANT St JEN.  What may have been a shocking revelation to many at this event was the fact that this crew had the best first two and best last two races of everyone- a 2-1 then a 1-2. Wow! Imagine if they only knew how to sail consistently??   Watch a nice Frostbite Cup sailing highlights video here
 2018 J/80 World Championshp teaser announcement- Les Sables’d’Olonne, France

J/22 Jammin Jamaica- girls boat drawJammin’ J/22 Jamaica Nationals
(Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica)- The Caribbean J/22 fleet continues to have fun on their somewhat antique classic J/22s that have survived the test of time and too many hurricanes to mention.  The largest fleets reside in the Cayman Islands and on Jamaica.

In recent years, those two fleets get together and invite sailors from all over the world to come down and sail the gorgeous aquamarine blue waters of the Caribbean off Montego Bay, Jamaica- a famous place to sail on the northern side of the island, a place famous for dozens of fabulous resorts.  The event is called the Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica Regatta and is hosted by the very welcoming Montego Bay YC.  You cannot beat the setting- warm weather, trade winds of 15-20 kts, sunny, and the nicest people you can imagine, sailing on a one-design fleet of J/22s.

The format is designed to encourage foreign sailors (to Jamaica) to visit as duets or entire crews of 3-4 people.  Of the fifteen-odd boats on the island, three are reserved for Kingston teams and three reserved for Mo’Bay teams- that selection is based on qualifiers.

The first qualifier was held in Kingston on the eastern end of the island.  The harbor is notorious for producing steady 20-30 kt winds daily from the east and sailing in flat water, literally!  The conditions are idyllic for anyone that loves the big breeze, gorgeous Caribbean weather, and beautiful views of 7,000 ft tall mountain peaks covered in a verdant green forest- mostly coffee!  Like its counterparts in San Francisco Bay or Lago di Garda in Italy, the combination of big mountains and long valleys literally “suck” the wind off the water and produce amazingly consistent breezes.  In the case of Kingston, it beats them all- with sunny days, 80 F, no fog, clear as a bell, and winds that can hit 25-35 kts steady, gusting higher.

As you can imagine, growing up in those conditions, Kingston sailors are a bit jaded when it comes to breeze.  They have been known to wait until 2pm or so at the Kingston YC situated at the head of the harbor in perfectly flat water for the wind to build to gear-busting conditions.  Then, after being fortified with a few J/22 Geronimo sailing Kingston, Jamaica harborRed Stripes or chasers of Appleton Estate Reserve rum, off they go, hoist the main, hoist the chute and take off in a screaming plane to the far side of the harbor about 4 miles away downwind!  There are a few videos documenting all this craziness.

Here is the sailing video highlights of a Kingston Harbor hurricane speed record attempt (thanks to the J/22 GERONIMO)

And, here is one of their friends sailing and racing in the Cayman Islands.

J/22 Cayman Islands sailing regattaThis past weekend, sailing in decent, though not crazy, winds, the Jamaican J/22 Nationals were held.  The event served as the qualifier for the Kingston teams to sail the Jammin’ event, too.  Winning the event with straight firsts was Richard & Jackie Hamilton’s RENEGADE, an all Mo’Bay crew that included another J/22 owner- Mike Morse.  Taking second and third, respectively, were the top two Kingston boats, “Cookie’s” GERONIMO and Gibson’s TSUNAMI.

The following weekend, the Montego Bay YC held their qualifiers for local boats for the Jammin’ event.  According to Mike Morse, steering his own boat AYAHSO, “we just barely made qualification for Jammin this past weekend.  We were actually tied points with Richard (RENEGADE), but he took the tie-breaker.  So, we ended up third.  Thank goodness, three spots were available for local crews.  The weather has been peculiar recently, with lots of mini-fronts coming down the Caribbean from the east, so goodness knows what the weather will be in another week!”

Reflecting that perspective was Richard Hamilton on RENEGADE, “conditions were east to southeast at 1 to 4 knots!  Thankfully, there is very little current in Montego Bay; otherwise, we would have been going sideways out to sea!  Congratulations to Peter Harper on ZIPPER for winning our qualifier.”

More news next week in the Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica preview of who’s who and wot’s happenin’!  For more Montego Bay YC J/22 sailing information

J/24 sailing Autumn Cup in Parkstone, EnglandCHAOTIC Crushes J/24 Autumn Cup
(Parkstone, England)- The fun-loving crews in the J/24 class in southwest England continue to have a great time, welcoming “newbies” amongst the veterans like they were long-lost friends from years ago.  Nowhere was that more evident than this year’s Autumn Cup hosted by the cozy, warm confines of the Parkstone YC in the “south” of England.  As usual, the Parkstone members welcomed J/24 sailors with open arms as one might expect from a decades long family reunion.  A dozen J/24 crews from across the southern parts of the U.K. answered the call to having fun at PYC.  Herewith the report from the folks down yonder…

“Saturday brought a light south-westerly breeze with four races being sailed out of a scheduled five. Apart from race one, won by Roger Morris' JOLLY ROGER, Nick Philips and his team on CHAOTIC could not put a foot wrong, winning the remaining three races of the day, with the rest of the fleet having a mixed day.

JOLLY ROGER was the overnight leader before the discard kicked in. Sunday morning's start of race five at 09.30 saw most of the fleet changing to jibs minutes before the start as the breeze built - only for a number of the fleet to do a headsail change back to genoas on the first downwind leg.

Duncan McCarthy on MADELEINE was first to finish, only to find out that they had been disqualified by the 'U' Flag Rule, within one minute of the start (along with TEAM IMPACT and FLYING COLOURS), thus handing the lead to Nick McDonald's CACOON.

Race six and all the fleet were back on genoas with Mark Lewers' HIJINKS quick out of the blocks - finding the left hand side of the beat to be favored and never challenged once they reached the windward mark of lap one.

Race seven was won by MADELEINE and Race eight by Andy Taylor's PHOENIX. However, consistency paid and the CHAOTIC team are worthy winners of this year's Autumn Cup.

Of note is the ever-improving youth team on TEAM IMPACT that regularly pushed at the top of the fleet, perhaps not surprising with the Kuzyk brothers on board- past Topper World, European and National Champions. Also, Jack Butters, ex-Spitfire National Champion was sailing with his brothers Pete and Steve, and their father Dave on CRACKERJACK.

At the prize giving, CHAOTIC’S Nick Phillips thanked the race officer, Bryan Drake, and his team for an excellent regatta, managing to get in all eight races in what were sometimes tricky conditions.

Rounding out the top five were Andy Taylor’s PHOENIX in 2nd, Duncan McCarthy’s MADELEINE 3rd, Roger Morris’ JOLLY ROGER 4th, and George Kennedy’s TEAM IMPACT 5th.  For more British J/24 Class sailing information

J/24s sailing Cordoba, Argentina- Lago San RoqueArgentina J/24 Class Rocks!
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)- As the world of J/24 racing in the northern hemisphere slows down to almost a crawl, awaiting midwinter events in the USA as well as winter events in Italy, their counterparts in South America are quickly ramping up their activities from spring to summer series “down under”.

Argentina, in particular, has a very active J/24 class with fleets in the city of Buenos Aires on Rio de La Plata, as well as up in the mountains with fleets just west of Mendoza (famous for rich, delicious malbec red wines) and also in the Cordoba region featuring the gorgeous Lago San Roque in the foothills of the Andes Mountains.

Lago San Roque, Cordoba, ArgentinaCORDOBA
The Cordoba J/24 fleet recently completed its Torneo de Verano (summer tournament).  Host for the event was Club Náutico Córdoba.  They managed to sail eight races over the two weekend series on Lago San Roque, easily one of the prettiest lakes to sail in the entire world.

The crew of Javier "Caraca" Moyano on GRAN CARAJO stood out from the fleet based on their consistency; winning only two races and taking two 2nds in the eight race series, to win with 17 pts net.  While the CARAJO crew won convincingly, behind them it was not the case at all.  The balance of the podium was determined by a tie-breaker between two competitive crews sitting on 22 pts each.  Based on countback, taking second J/24 Buenos Aires, Argentina- YC Olivosin the regatta was Juan Mauri DiFrancesco’s crew on CARRER over Julian Dadona’s team on SIROCCO.  Rounding out the top five was Pablo Somestrari’s SEAWOLF and Carlos Trigo’s PURA VIDA, 4th and 5th, respectively.

The YC Olivos in Buenos Aires held their XXXVII Grand Prix International Luis Alberto Cerrato Cup for J/24s on the Rio de la Plata.  After a six races series masterfully managed by the YC Olivos team that ran the J/24 World Championships a few years back, it was a familiar team that was at the front of the pack.  After five bullets and a second, Matias Pereira’s crew on ARG 5486 took home the title and the pretty trophy to grace their “cave man” trophy room for yet another year.

PIMM's J/24 regatta- ArgentinaChasing Pereira’s team hard all weekend long was Sergio Pendola’s ARG 5463, the only boat to win a race off Pereira, but having to settle for second place.  Third was another top Argentinean crew on Hernan Cubria’s ARG 5461 with just 15 pts in six races (5 counters net).

PIMMS Regatta notice
The YC Olivos and the local J/24 class are looking forward to the closing of the 2017 racing season.  It is a relaxed atmosphere; there is an excellent time with lots of camaraderie, music, good food and abundant drink based on the classic English liquor (PIMMS) with soda, strawberries, and mint.

If you want to know the complete recipe from an expert “mixologist”- Ken Johnson- you will have to come and participate!! It is an excellent program, not to be missed!!  For more Argentina J/24 class sailing information

Barbados J/24 sailing championsBarbados J/24 Champions- BUNGA BUNGA!
(Barbados, Caribbean)- After a year long trial by fire, the 2017 Barbados J/24 Champions are Team BUNGA BUNGA- BAR 2420.  The crew consists of Raphaël Grisoni, Cyril Lecrenay, Roderick Mascoll and Jason Trotter.

That’s all we know so far and hope we can get a much more detailed report sometime soon!  We know their competitors include Neil Burke’s IMPULSE, Robert Povey’s HAWKEYE, Webster’s THE PHOENIX, Tindale’s COLLEGE FUND$, Gus Reader’s GLORY DAZE, Paul Johnson’s FLY RACING Team, and “the kidz”- with K Hinds as the skipper on UNDERCOVER JUNIORS.  For more Barbados J/24 Sailing fun, follow them on Facebook here

Sailing the ARC Atlantic rallyARC Rallies- Caribbean 1500 & Atlantic Update
(Grand Canary, Spain)- “World Cruising”, the organization that created a number of “cruising rallies” called “ARC” (originally, Atlantic Rally Cruising), has seen its first major event finish in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, while the second event, ARC Atlantic, is still taking place having started on November 19th.

The longest-running ocean crossing rally in North America, the “1500” is a must-do for many cruisers. The ARC Caribbean 1500 fleet sails from Portsmouth, VA at the mouth the Chesapeake Bay to Nanny Cay on Tortola, British Virgin Islands. The start port and dates make the most of the available weather to maximize your Caribbean sailing, and the week-long pre-departure program will get you relaxed and ready for cruising.

Without a doubt, the most difficult part of getting to the Caribbean is timing the weather window before departure. Fall on the East Coast is squeezed between late summer hurricane season and early winter gale season. By joining the 1500, cruisers can rest assured that the “experts” are there to take the pressure off that decision. The support team consists of professional ocean sailors working closely with weather forecasters at WRI to ensure the fleet makes it across the Gulf Stream and into warmer waters in the best possible conditions.

Shortly after the start of the 2017 edition of the “1500”, one boat sent out an update over satellite email explaining, “it is an absolutely gorgeous day here in the North Atlantic. We are currently 640 nm off the coast of Georgia.  Last night was equally stunning. We were treated to a blaze orange moonrise followed by a moonlit night that danced on the water. The winds were favorable and we were cruising along comfortably at 11 knots or so.”

It did not take the fleet very long this year to make the 1,500nm crossing to Nanny Cay in Tortola, BVI.  In fact, Pete Watkins from Boise, Idaho, sailed his J/42 MERLIN so fast that he ended up 2nd Overall and 2nd in Cruising A Class!  Now, that’s a nice way to celebrate the start of the 2017/ 2018 winter Caribbean sailing season!  For more Caribbean 1500 sailing information

J/133 sailing ARC Atlantic RallyARC ATLANTIC
The 2017 edition of the ARC Atlantic attracted nearly 200 boats and 1,200 people to sail 2,700nm across the Atlantic from Gran Canary Island (Spain) to Saint Lucia situated in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean.

This year’s “cruising rally” attracted a broad cross-section of sailors; families with children, tough offshore racers, cruising couples, big boats and modest boats. Crossing the Atlantic together, but having their own adventures. Many are already looking forward to their arrival in Saint Lucia to be met on the dock with a rum punch and a chilled beer after two weeks at sea!

After starting November 19th, Sunday, the fleet is making good progress towards St Lucia, and the crews are celebrating and enjoying the Atlantic crossing on board their yachts in many different ways. For some it’s flying a spinnaker, others it’s catching a fish or practicing celestial navigation.

The lone J/crew participating in this year’s event is the J/133 JACKY X owned and skippered by Gerard Feenema from The Netherlands.  Currently, as of 1500 hrs, November 30th, they are lying 4th in Cruising D, but on a significantly better, faster track to St Lucia than her erstwhile classmates.  They are approximately 1,500nm from landfall in the Caribbean.  For more ARC Atlantic sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/70 World Sailing show* The World Sailing Show- is a highlights video produced by the “World Sailing” organization in London, England. The November highlights reel talks about the radical new America’s Cup class design. Then, they discuss why winning an Olympic medal doesn’t get you a head start, especially if you’re embarking on a 7,000nm race offshore (however, having one-design experience in strong one-design classes like J/24s, J/80s and J/70s does). Finally, they have a nice segment about the massive turnout for the AUDI J/70 World Championship in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy hosted by YC Costa Smeralda.  The event started with controversy and ended with spectacular racing in the biggest one-design sportsboat fleet ever seen in history.   Watch this J/70 Worlds segment at 09:38 in the World Sailing video:

Team Vestas 11th Hour sailing Volvo race* J/sailors leading sweep of Volvo Ocean Race after two legs? The skippers with extensive J/one-design experience were 1st- J/80, 2nd- J/24, 3rd- J/80, or in other words- MAPFRE, VESTAS 11th HOUR RACING, and DONGFENG Race Team. Yes, indeed, knowing how to cut your teeth on the knife-edge against one-design world champions hones your instincts to sail fast, consistently 24x7, and continually tweak the boat and sails to gain tenths of a knot, here and there.

The Spanish flagged MAPFRE team won Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race on November 24, the 7,000 nautical mile marathon from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa.

“It’s amazing, we’re super-happy. We came here in one piece and in front of the others, we can’t ask for more,” said skipper Xabi Fernández (a long-time champion J/80 sailor in Spain). “This is what we will see all the way around the world. Super-tight racing, everyone has good speed and small mistakes are very expensive. This time we were luck to do the least mistakes and that’s why we won.”

MAPFRE trailed Dongfeng Race Team on the long charge to the south, but last weekend, 14 days into the leg and after crossing the Doldrums, navigator Juan Vila (another J/24 and J/80 sailor) and skipper Xabi Fernández put in a quick gybe to the southwest that Dongfeng didn’t match. It turned out to be a winning move; within hours the Spanish team had a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

In contrast, after leading from the first night, Dongfeng suddenly found itself in fourth place two weeks into the leg. But skipper Charles Caudrelier led his team to an inspiring fight-back. Over the final days, Dongfeng clawed its way back into a well-deserved second place.

“A good second place,” said Caudrelier (who selected and trained many crew on J/80s in China). “For sure, at one moment we were hoping for better, but a few days ago it was much worse and we made a fantastic comeback. Well done to MAPFRE, they made fewer mistakes than us, but we never gave up, the crew never complained, they just worked on the comeback… We have amazing speed in strong winds, we’ve worked on that a lot, and it was unbelievable, we were nearly a knot faster sometimes.”

Charlie Enright- skipper of Team Vestas 11th Hour in Volvo raceCompleting the podium was Vestas 11th Hour Racing, the winner of Leg 1. Skipper Charlie Enright’s team (long-time J/24 sailor and World Champion) was always in the mix with the leaders on this leg, but couldn’t find a way to slip into the lead.

“We’re happy with a podium result against a lot of good teams,” Enright said, dockside in Cape Town. “We’re not satisfied yet with how we’re sailing the boat, so we still have a lot of work to do, but we’ll keep chipping away. We’re still trying to get faster through the water and streamline our decision-making, but it’s a long race. We have time.”

MAPRFE won Leg 2 and now takes the overall lead. For Leg 2, MAPFRE sailed 7,886.5 nautical miles over the ground at an average speed of 17.3 knots!

The teams will now prepare for the In-Port Race on December 8 before the 6,500nm Leg 3 from Cape Town, South Africa to Melbourne, Australia that starts on December 10.  Follow these three teams on the Volvo Ocean Race here-

J/34 IOR Knee Deep sailing Lake Erie* From Brett Langolf, owner of the classic J/34 IOR boat called KNEE DEEP, yet another awesome compilation of sailing their beloved boat on Lake Erie.  Said Brett, “we won some, lost some, got wet, went fast & drank out of trophies. Cheers to family & friends for a great season!”

Their team is based out of Deadman's Flat Yacht Club & Sandusky Sailing Club.  Here is KNEE DEEP’s website-

This video, without question, is the very essence of what this sport is all about! Fun, family, perhaps some adult libations (okay, a lot of those), and just getting out there and doing it you’re own way.  Watch J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP sailing video compilation here of their 2017 sailing season
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