Wednesday, February 19, 2020

J/Newsletter- February 19th, 2020

sunset in ChileJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Over the past week, the J/sailing family Down Under have had some great experiences racing their beloved J's offshore in a few signature regional races. Off to Western Australia, the Hillary's Yacht Club hosted their Freemantle Race, "Pot of Gold Race", and the Sheperdess Cup in near-successive weekends. Leading the charge to the top of the podium was a well-sailed J/122 from Perth.  Then, off to the opposite end of their enormous continent, north of Sydney, the Queensland 100.0nm "Surf to City Offshore Race" took place with a J/122 and J/111 both sweeping class with silverware.

Over in the USA, the Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta took place on Tampa Bay, with the event again hosted by St Petersburg Yacht Club. By far the largest contingent of sailors in attendance were the dozens of J/Teams sailing on J/24s, J/70s, and J/88 one-design classes. Plus, in the PHRF handicap classes the J/111s, J/105, J/29s, and J/35 all swept or collected silver in their respective classes; quite an extraordinary achievement by these teams of sailors in the three-day event. Read more below!

J/99 offshore shorthanded speedster
J/99 Debuts at Pittwater Sail Expo!

(Pittwater, Australia)- The multiple award-winning new J/99 will be making its Australian boat show debut at the Pittwater Sail Expo from March 21st to 22nd, 2020.

The J/99 is Category A Certified for offshore racing, due to its exceptional build standard and superior engineering. She is an accessible, high-performance yacht that can easily be adapted to your needs.  The sail and deck plan are optimized for easy-handing by short-handed and fully crewed teams. The 99's enhanced form stability, minimal wetted surface, plus the high-tech rig reflects the latest technological advances. Learn more here about the J/99 Offshore Speedster

Please contact J/Boats Australia here- email- or phone- 02-9997-7158 or visit website-

J/80 sailing World Championship
J/80 Worlds Fleet Special!

(Newport, RI)- The J/80 World Championship returns to Newport, Rhode Island in September 2020 for what promises to be another epic event. J/80 sailors are still talking about the last Newport-hosted Worlds in 2010.

The demand for charter boats this year is high, so J/Boats is offering a limited number of new J/80s on a pre-order Worlds Fleet Special. The new fleet will be commissioned in Newport, RI and sailed during the J/80 Worlds by international teams (September 28 – October 3) and then available for pick-up by owners following the event.

J/80 Worlds Fleet Special:
  • 2020 Model J/80 with standard specifications including:
  • AG+ mast and boom
  • Profurl R250 New Gen roller furling system
  • Lewmar winches and Harken deck gear
  • Triad Trailer - Galvanized, double-axle lift off trailer
  • Companionway spinnaker bag.
  • Safety Gear package – anchor, chain & rode, bucket, bilge pump, first aid kit, two fenders, two docklines.
  • 3.5hp Outboard motor (TBD) with padded engine bag.
The special package price is $52,900 FOB Bristol, Rhode Island with an order deadline of February 28, 2020. This represents an $8,000+ savings and is the best opportunity to get a race-ready J/80 at a great price. Please contact your J/Dealer or J/Boats to learn more!

J/122 sailing off Australia
Hot J/122 Gathering Australian Offshore Silver!

(Perth, Australia)- The Perth-based J/122 JOSS and owner/skipper Ian Clyne continued their winning ways in Western Australia and is proving to be one of the hottest boats on the Western Seaboard. There doesn’t seem to be a week go by that JOSS isn’t on the podium.

Saturday, February 1st saw the 32.0nm "Pot of Gold Race" from Fremantle to Hillary's Yacht Club. While Hillary's YC is located only 14.0 nm north of Fremantle as "the crow flies", so to speak, the zig-zag course produces over 32.0nm of sailing.

J/122 JOSS crew
The race started in a very fluky ESE breeze which saw a spinnaker run to the first mark. That breeze ultimately dropped out during the first seaward leg. During this leg, the breeze shifted south and started to increase. The largest boat in the fleet, a Carkeek 47 began to ease away as the breeze increased. However, JOSS was in the pack with other front runners and it became a closely fought battle between the J/122, a King 40, an Archambault 40 RC. As the race progressed the breeze strengthened and moves to the southwest at about 24 kts, culminating in an exciting duel between JOSS and a King 40 owned by local sailmaker Geoff Bishop. The IRC results produced a 3rd place for JOSS.

The next day was the return to Fremantle Race, known as the "Shepherdess Cup".  The fleet left Hillary's in a very blustery ESE breeze starting with a 6.0nm tight reach. As the fleet moved south, the wind dropped away to a glass out, and it was all about maneuvering to get the new wind first. JOSS was well placed with the southwest wind change and finished 1st on IRC with a corrected time of nearly 4 minutes ahead of the second placed boat. As a result, Clyne's JOSS won the weekend with their 3-1 record!

J/111 sailing off Australia
J/Crews Sweep Queensland Surf to City Race

(Southport, Australia)- The annual Surf to City Yacht Race from Southport on the Gold Coast to Sandgate in Brisbane started on Saturday, February 1st.

There are two fleets for this race, an inshore fleet going inside Stradbroke Island, and an offshore fleet sailing a 100.0nm course up the seaward side of Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island, around Cape Moreton and back into Moreton Bay. Rodger Vinton's J/111 BLACK DOG and James & Sally Crowley's J/122 JAVELIN competed in the 100.0nm offshore course.

At 1000 hrs the race started in 4 knots of breeze that built during the day. Most boats started under Code 0 before the breeze shifted further north, that meant a change to headsail and tacking up the shoreline of Stradbroke to stay out of the current; astonishingly, there were FORTY-TWO tacks recorded on the J/111 BLACK DOG.

J/122 Javelin winning team
Then, it was a long, tight starboard lay to Cape Moreton before turning the corner across the top of Moreton Island to the entrance of the bay at NE2. From there, the course took the fleet on a spinnaker run along past Tangalooma via a series of shoals and channels which are a challenge in the dark. Finally, turning to the southwest at Cowan Cowan for the 14 miles to the finish line, the fleet saw the wind gradually fading and rotating further north. As luck would have it, the wind shifted to the northwest about 1 mile from the finish line! Who knew that J/Boats asymmetrics can double as a headsail! The net result was the J/122 JAVELIN taking IRC handicap honors with the J/111 BLACK DOG taking the silver...good on ya, good show mates!

J/24s sailing on Tampa Bay
J/Crews Love St Petersburg NOOD Regatta

(St Petersburg, FL)– The season opener for the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta Series (a.k.a. NOODS) — the largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States- was blessed with nice weather conditions, albeit on the light to medium side of the equation on Tampa Bay this year. The St. Petersburg NOOD regatta, organized by Sailing World and hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club, has developed into the one of the largest regattas in Florida, and its 32nd edition saw 185 boats and more than 1,000 professional and amateur sailors converging onto Tampa Bay and the bustling downtown area for racing and fun on the Valentine’s Day weekend on the Bay.

The one-design classes of J/24s, J/70s, and J/88s, saw spirited competition, for the most part. Here is what took place day-by-day on the various race courses.

J/70s sailing on Tampa Bay
Day 1- Light and Fickle
Iris Vogel, of New Rochelle, NY, skipper of the J/88 DEVIATION, won her recent J/88 Midwinter Championship and, Friday, on the waters off St. Petersburg, Vogel and her teammates continued their winning streak with a win in the only race of the day. Light winds proved challenging for the race committees and the regatta’s 193 teams racing in 13 different classes.

Vogel came away with the race win, but it wasn’t easy. “We were deep at the first weather mark, but just focused downwind going from puff-to-puff,” Vogel said. “The team did an excellent job coming back to win the race.”

Four of the six J/88s hail from New York and use the St. Petersburg NOOD for winter training. Vogel says the level of competition in the class is very high as a result. “We are an active travel fleet; not to mention every team is well sailed and it’s anyone’s win at each regatta,” Vogel said. “The racing is that close.”

J/111s sailing on Tampa Bay
Day 2- Moderate and streaky
David Jannetti, skipper of the J/70 VERY ODD, moved into the top spot on the J/70 leaderboard, which Jannetti credits entirely to his professional crew of Scott Nixon, Patrick Wilson and Danny Lawless.

“These guys really know what they are doing, and I am learning a ton from them,” Jannetti said, of Miami. The St. Petersburg NOOD is Jannetti’s fourth regatta after returning from an eight-year absence from the sport. “I’m sitting in the back [of the boat focused on keeping the yarns upfront flying evenly, and they are changing gears constantly,” Jannetti said. “They’re keeping everything tuned perfectly, working the body weight on the boat and helping me minimize mistakes.”

He credited Nixon for saving the day’s last race after a poor start. “With great tactics and the right windshifts, we still managed to round the top mark in first. I initially thought ‘Oh, where is that throwout,’ but he turned it around.”

Jannetti is looking forward to accelerating the learning curve in tomorrow’s final day of racing, but he is fully aware of the depth of talent at the top of the class. “The other boats will remind you very quickly if you make a mistake,” he said. “My goal is to keep it light, keep it fun and go home with a smile on my face.”

J/70 Youth sailors in St Petersburg, FL
Two junior teams sponsored by Helly Hansen are battling hard in the J/70 fleet. The all-female team, skippered by 17-year-old Heather Kerns, of Apollo Beach, Fla., is made up of high school-aged sailors and say they are “having a blast doing the event with ‘girl power.’” Together for almost four years, they finished third overall in the 2019 J/70 U.S. Youth National Championship, held at the NOOD’s host club, St. Petersburg YC.

Kerns and her team concluded today’s racing on a high note, finishing fourth, which she attributes to them sailing a well-rounded race. “We got a good start and stayed focused on boatspeed and good communication,” Kerns said. “The wind had picked back up and since we are a light team we really focused on de-powering. Everything just came together. It’s fun to show the guys that an all-girls team is competitive; and it’s great to have Helly Hansen supporting us.”

J/88 Deviation sailing St Petersburg NOOD Regatta
Day 3- Awesome Finale
First-time St. Petersburg NOOD skipper, David Jannetti in the J/70 class, won top honors. With a 1-5 scoreline Sunday, Jannetti and his teammates on VERY ODD, cemented their lead. While they finished fifth in the final race, Jannetti said it was the result of a strategic decision to ensure no surprises from Dave Kerr’s second-place USA 1516. “We were keeping tabs on them and doing a loose cover,” said Jannetti. “While that was our worst finish, it was still the right thing to do.”

Jannetti, of Miami Beach, Fla., said he is already planning his return. “St. Pete is such a fun and vibrant city. We enjoyed great sailing all weekend; and it has been a great way to warm up for next weekend’s J/70 Midwinter Championship.”

Rounding out the podium behind Jannetti and Kerr was the well-traveled Travis Odenbach on his notorious HONEYBADGER. The rest of the top five included Matt Braun's E.L.E. in fourth and Mike Schroff's ELECTRIC PICKLE in fifth place.

Michael Quaid, of Williston, Vt., skipper of the J/24 ICE CUBE is a longtime NOOD competitor, and while his team finished third in 2019, this was his year. “To win feels great,” said Quaid, praising his longtime crew and its light-air sailing skills. “We scored four firsts when it was light, but when the breeze came up like in Saturday’s first race, it was our worst finish [fourth place]. The mid-range conditions today were my favorite; it made for a lot closer racing. It was very tactical and exciting.”

Finishing in second place in the J/24s was Nate Vilardebo's SABOTAGE while third place went LUCIFERS HAMMER. The balance of the top five included Jon Stewart's BREEZE in fourth and Rick Jarchow's TEAM EXIT STRATEGY in fifth position.

Iris Vogel and her team on DEVIATION finished on top of the six-boat J/88 fleet with five first-place and two fifth-place finishes. She said the key to her team’s success was not to panic, especially after a few bad starts. “This fleet is so competitive,” said Vogel, of New Rochelle, NY. “There are no favors in this fleet; all the racing is very close and every little move counts. What saved us was good crew work, making the right calls and keeping our head out of the boat. The conditions were constantly changing all weekend.”

J/88 Exile from Chicago on Tampa Bay
The balance of the J/88 podium saw Andy Graff's Chicago-based crew on EXILE take the silver, with William Purdy's WHIRLWIND taking the bronze. The rest of the top five included Lawrence Cutler & Andrew Weiss' ONE TOO MANY in fourth and Dave Tufts' GAUCHO in fifth.

In the PHRF handicap classes, the J/Crews nearly swept all the top spots. In PHRF 1 Division, the J/111s did sweep the podium in quite a convincing fashion against their eclectic fleet of a dozen boats. Winning yet again in successive weekends was SPACEMAN SPIFF skippered by Jim Sminchak. The silver went to Ian Hill's SITELLA and third to Doug Curtiss' beautiful black and green WICKED 2.0.

J/111 Wicked 2.0 sailing off St. Petersburg, FL
Winning PHRF 2 Division, it was Stephen Mitcham's J/105 BREEZIN BAYOU that set the pace all weekend to take class honors. Third on the podium went to yet another J/105, George Cussins' FIRE & ICE.

The PHRF 3 Division was bracing for yet another onslaught of the dueling J/29s to lay waste to the fleet. While it may have been a touch light airs for that outcome to happen, Ray Mannix's team on the J/29 SEMPER FI continued their annual tradition of collecting silverware in the St Pete NOOD Regatta...for perhaps the 20th time! This time it was silver....losing the regatta as a result of a last race DSQ! Ouch!! Fellow partners in crime, Robert Whetmore's J/29 FAMILY CIRCUS managed a fifth place in this year's edition.

Finally, in Saturday's North Sails Rally- Cruiser Racer Division- it was Jose Suarez-Hoyos' team on the J/35 NO WAY JOSE that managed to sail home after the one long day race with a bronze medal to add to their trophy cave.  Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Todd/Outside Images  For more St Petersburg NOOD Regatta Sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Feb 20-23- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
Feb 28- Mar 1- J/24 Midwinter Championship- Indian Harbour Beach, FL
Mar 4-7- J/70 Bacardi Cup- Miami, FL
Mar 5-8- St Maarten Heineken Regatta- Simpson Bay, Saint Maarten
Mar 5- Puerto Vallarta Race- San Diego, CA
Mar 6-8- St. Croix International Regatta- Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI
Mar 10- SORC Miami to Eleuthera Race- Miami, FL
Mar 17-21- St. Augustine Race Week- St. Augustine, FL
Mar 19-22- J/22 Midwinter Championship- New Orleans, LA
Mar 20-22- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 26-29- St. Thomas International Regatta- St. Thomas, USVI
Mar 30- Apr1- BVI Spring Regatta- Road Town, Tortola, BVI
Apr 12-18- Les Voiles de St Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barthelemy
Apr 17-25- EDHEC J/80 Sailing Cup Regatta- Port du Crouesty, Arzon, France
Apr 23-26- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 26- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua, West Indies
May 1-3- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 27-31- J/24 North American Championship- Blue Point, NY
Jun 11-14- Helga Cup Ladies J/70 Regatta- Hamburg, Germany
Jun 12-14- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL
Jun 20-21- J/70 East Coast Championship- Cape May, NJ
Jul 26-Aug 1- J/70 World Championship- Marina del Rey, CA

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

J/70s sailing off Miami, Florida
J/70 Midwinter Championship Preview
(Miami, Florida)- The 2020 J/70 Midwinter Championship promises to be a fun, sociable, and wildly competitive regatta; a bit of a reunion of sorts for many top teams that have been at the top of the leaderboard at past Worlds, North Americans, Europeans, and South Americans. Fifty-seven teams from eight nations (USA, Argentina, United Kingdom, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Denmark) will be represented on the race track on Biscayne Bay. As host for the event, the Coral Reef Yacht Club will have their hands full managing a fleet that has the same depth as most World Championships. At play for the strong representation from foreign crews is the fact the 2020 J/70 World Championship will be hosted by California YC in Marina del Rey, CA in July.

The Coral Reef YC PRO Mark Foster (who performed the same role at last fall's J/24 Worlds) will be blessed with an amazing weather forecast for the weekend. The sailors may see strong northerly breezes on Friday in the 10-20 kts range as a classic weather scenario sets up with a big High pressure to the north squeezing a Low Pressure off to the east. On Saturday and Sunday, the breeze will simply keep swinging Northeast to East and gradually lighten into the 8-15 kts range.

J/70s sailing off Miami, FloridaLooking forward to that weather forecast will be a number of top American teams that have successfully sailed in Biscayne Bay waters with a near "carbon copy" scenario. Those teams may include Jack Franco's 3 BALL JT from Kemah, TX; Doug Strebel's BLACK RIVER RACING from Dallas, TX; Joel Ronning's CATAPULT from Wayzata, MN; John Heaton's EMPEIRIA from Chicago, IL; Glenn Darden's HOSS from Fort Worth, TX; Bruce Golison's MIDLIFE CRISIS from Long Beach, CA; the Jeff Janov/ Dave Ullman duo on MINOR THREAT from Malibu, CA; Kevin Downey's MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; Heather Gregg skippering MUSE from Boston, MA; Oivind Lorentzen's NINE from Greenwich, CT; Henry Brauer's RASCAL from Marblehead, MA; John Brim's RIMETTE from Palm Beach, FL; Pamela Rose's ROSE from Chicago, IL; Brian Keane's SAVASANA from Boston, MA; Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, TX; Ryan McKillen's SURGE from New York, NY; John & Molly Baxter's TEAM VINEYARD VINES from Riverside, CT; David Jannetti’s VERY ODD 1513 from Miami, FL; and Mike Goldfarb's WAR CANOE from Seattle, WA. To say the least, that is an incredibly diverse, amazingly talented group of teams.

As if the USA teams were not strong enough, the foreign teams in attendance are not exactly "window-dressing" or "chump-change".  On the contrary, "the British are coming" is a refrain that may not make many J/70 sailors quake in their proverbial "wellies".  However, most of the teams participating either won the J/70 Worlds in Torquay, England, or have placed in the top ten in the past few Worlds and Europeans.  Britain's Ladbrokes Betting Parlour would certainly place odds on teams like Charles Thompson's BRUTUS (recent winner at Primo Cup Monaco), Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT (2019 J/70 World Champion), Martin Dent's JELVIS (J/111 World Champion), and Tilly Harrison's JOLT (Monaco J/70 winner). Then, the two Brazilian teams are always contenders; Selmo Nissenbaum's HIGHLANDERS (with 5x J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz as main/ tactician) and Pedro Camargo's MANCHA NEGRA (a few Lightning Worlds aces on board).  For more J/70 Midwinter Championship sailing information

J/125 sailing Islands RaceThe Islands Race Preview
(San Diego, CA)- San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Islands Race is making its way to the starting line on February 21-22, 2020. Returning to the sea for its 11th annual running, this signature event is expecting over 25 boats to race from Long Beach, California, around offshore landmarks Santa Catalina Island and San Clemente Islands, and then to finish off Point Loma in San Diego.

For many, the Islands Race kicks off start of the 2020 Offshore Racing Calendar and doubles as a shakedown for the Newport Harbor Yacht Club Cabo San Lucas Race or, on alternate years, San Diego Yacht Club's Puerto Vallarta Race. With the race only involving one night at sea, it works as the perfect opportunity to gain offshore experience.

"The Islands Race is our final check before Puerto Vallarta 2020 and we are preparing for it as we would any other major offshore regatta...with safety gear, boat preparation, weather planning, communication, et cetera," explained navigator Ivan Batanov.

J/111 Picosa sailing Islands RaceNewcomer Andrew Wescoat, sailing the J/109 HARMS'S WAY, has an array of offshore races planned after the Islands Race and looks forward to spending some time on the west coast. "This is our first Islands Race. We're bringing Harm's Way from Texas to California to race in a number of offshore events between February and June. Over this past summer, we've been sailing in a number of offshore events in the Gulf of Mexico, so we're really looking forward to this chance to sail with everyone in California."

Roy Disney's giant sled PYEWACKET has a loyal crew that can attest to some of the challenges of the Islands Race. "I've done this race about five times, and it seems to always be a challenge," said Robbie Haines. "There's either lots of wind, or tricky navigational issues. Rounding San Clemente Island is very tactical, especially on the East End. We always seem to finish early morning off Point Loma with interesting transitions to stay in the wind on our way in."

Islands Race course mapCompetitors in the Islands Race will head offshore in west to northwest trade-winds that flow southward down the coast. Boats will typically encounter better sailing winds in the evening as they get further into the trades, and round Catalina and San Clemente islands. However, as they pass to windward off these islands, they are exposing themselves to larger swells and wind waves that are not blocked by the islands.

SDYC Waterfront Director Jeff Johnson explains the challenges with these offshore winds. “As the winds flow down the coast, they continue south even as the coastal shoreline recedes to the east. This creates a gap between those trade winds and the coastline, over most of Southern California. During the day, the thermal effect pulls those offshore winds into the coast. But, at night, coastal waters are largely calm. However, the trade winds continue to flow, just further out to sea. The Islands Race course places competitors among those night-time winds and gives them valuable night-time offshore sailing experience."

A number of top offshore Southern California J/Teams are participating in this classic "SoCal" race. Sailing the ORR 5 Division is Wescoat's J/109 HARM'S WAY, Doug & Jack Jorgensen's J/111 PICOSA, Standish Fleming's J/125 NEREID, and Paul Stemler's J/44 PATRIOT.  For more Islands Race sailing information

RORC 600 start
RORC Caribbean 600 Race Preview

(English Harbour, Antigua)- Sailors from over thirty-seven nations will be competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The 12th edition of the spectacular race will start off Fort Charlotte, Antigua on Monday 24th February 2020. Over 70 teams, featuring close to 700 sailors, are expected on the start line.

RORC 600 sailing race course
The challenging 600-mile race, in tropical heat with ocean swell, is renowned for stunning vistas of the eleven Caribbean islands that are featured as turning marks on the race track. Winners from the Olympic Games, America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and multiple world champions have gathered in Antigua and will be competing alongside passionate Corinthian sailors, both young and old.

J/122 Liquid in Caribbean
For a number of J/Teams that love participating in the Caribbean winter offshore sailing circuit, the "reaching tour" of the islands could not be a more perfect scenario. Pamala Baldwin’s Antiguan crew on the J/122 LIQUID (with talented young skipper Julian White) will be participating for the fourth time in this “bucket list” race; her team has proven time and again they can race against the world’s best sailors in their Caribbean “backyard” and her “homies” can get the job and get on the podium.

J/160 True sailing offshore
Two other J/Crews are making their debut in the race. From the New England region is Howie Hodgson's J/160 TRUE; they have sailed in the northeast for decades and have sailed Block Island Race Weeks, FIGAWI Races, and Bermuda Races, often jumping onto the podium to garner silverware.

J/121 Whistler sailing offshore
Similarly, Peter Lewis' new J/121 WHISTLER is just starting to get their legs under them. They sailed the Grenada Race Week as their Caribbean 2020 winter season "warm up". Still learning their boat, they are getting faster and faster and with good tactics/ navigation they should be a strong contender in the 600.  For more RORC Caribbean 600 sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.