Wednesday, June 24, 2020

J/Newsletter- June 24th, 2020

sunset in ChileWith summer solstice now come and gone, the pandemic weary sailors in the northern hemisphere can now look forward to shorter and shorter days until the winter solstice on December 21st. A sobering thought. Depends on where you are, of course.  

Our friends Down Under are dancing and celebrating on the beach, that just means a LOT more sailing time for them.  

However, for those of us north of the Equator, it's hard to believe that, just after becoming "escapees" from our own homes, that time is already getting shorter to get out and enjoy our favorite pastime on the water, be that racing, cruising, daysailing, or simply messing about with boats!

Just this past week, we saw a few more bright spots around the world, with "socially responsible" sailing taking place in more places, almost all of it the "shorthanded" kind, or simply "family/ households" on board. Our Caribbean friends in St Maarten have emerged in decent numbers to continue to finish their St Maarten Keelboat Series. Then, out West in Santa Monica Bay, the Pacific Singlehanded Sailing Society opened its arms to include doublehanded teams, and they held their first event of the season- the David Wall Memorial Trophy regatta- good times were had by all off Marina del Rey, California. Then, two J/99's were sailing offshore. One called "Wild Child" from Block Island, Rhode Island reported a spectacular sail offshore on Block Island Sound on Wednesday. Yet another J/99, designer Rod Johnstone's JAZZ, completed their voyage back from Bermuda sailing doublehanded; see Rod's and Clay Burkhalter's report below regards their "dark & stormy" experience! 
J/70 sailing off St Maarten
J/70 Silvers St Maarten Series
(Simpson Bay, St. Maarten)- There will be many stories of the challenges of dealing with the global pandemic from the sailing community. Some sad, some hopeful, some inspiring. Down in the Caribbean, as the "wave" of the Covid-19 virus spread from China to Europe to the USA and elsewhere, the Caribbean islands remained somewhat isolated from what was ravaging the rest of the world. Early measures to stop travel and self-quarantine appears to have paid off, so far. However, the cost of those conservative measures has certainly been economic; the lifeblood of island economies for the most part relying on the enormous tourism industry.

J/70 sailing start off Simpson Bay, St Maarten
Like elsewhere, there are "sprouts" of hope and for those living "down island", there are glimmers of "normal" activity beginning to take place.

For example, Garth Steyn, owner of the J/70 IGY MARINAS in Simpson Bay, St Maarten, had this to say of their recent foray onto the Caribbean Sea...

"We are happy to report that our new normal life is returning in small increments. We have been able to get back onto the water. Our J/70 IGY MARINAS finished second overall in the St Maarten Keelboat Series, a nineteen-race series that started in November 2019 and just finished now in June 2020! The longest one ever, of course, due to pandemic delays.  We sailed against a fleet of M24s, an M32, a J/105, and Esse 850. Tough competition they all are! Fortunately, we sailed consistently and have made huge strides in learning the boat and we are enjoying it thoroughly!" 

J/70 sailing upwind off St Maarten
Garth wished everyone well in the J/70 community worldwide and hopes that fellow J/70 sailors might join them one day on the spectacular azure blue waters and amazing trade winds of the Caribbean!  Sailing Photo credits- Michele Korteweg 
J/70 virtual regatta San Francisco
Breault Goes Bananas in Isolation Series II
(San Francisco, CA)- St. Francis Yacht Club has been running their so-called "Isolation Series" sailing virtual J/70s around a virtual San Francisco Bay race track. They are now into Round 2 of the series and there have been some amusing developments along the way. Without a doubt, the learning curve has been steep for "virgin virtual skippers."  Starting techniques and mark roundings are particularly challenging; especially when hoisting or dowsing the J/70's asymmetric spinnaker. When to go into "planing mode" is also a key differentiator for the many virtual skippers, just as it is in the real world!  Here is the latest report from StFYC:

Did you know that bananas float? In the flotsam of some shipwrecks were found floating stalks of bananas.

Did you know that bananas emit ethylene gas, causing other fruit to ripen quickly?

Did you know that bananas are favored hideouts for tarantulas and other spiders, which then travel around the ship infesting other food stores (and bedding)?

Is it any wonder that sailors are so wary of the yellow fruit coming aboard their vessels, for fear of bad luck? Legend has it that this superstition was even recorded long, long ago in an ancient Sanskrit text.

Nicole Breault brazenly puts that superstition to the test every time she races in the Virtual Regatta Inshore game by brandishing a giant banana on the mainsail of her yellow boat (nbsailor).

Last Wednesday evening, going into the final session of the StFYC Spring Invitational Series Round 2, Breault sat two points behind VR master Philipp Berner (philippdk), the champion of Round 1. Nerves were on edge as the competitive cauldron of our Club racers cranked up the heat on the series leaders.

Race 1 of the night was won by David James (LedaSailor), and Berner added another point to his lead over Breault by finishing 3rd to her 4th place. Race 2 saw both Berner and Breault completely falter off the starting line, and thus became a contest of who might better fight their way back through the fleet.

Breault bailed right and found a clear lane, pressure and a favorable shift, and by Mark 1 was at the front of the pack! Much to his dismay, Berner couldn’t shake the tenacious fleet around him. Breault nabbed the bullet in the end, while Berner finished 10th.

Race 3 brought sporty play at the front of the fleet for both racers, and Berner rallied to win. It was not enough to retake the overall series lead, however, as Breault crossed the line in 4th and secured the Round 2 title.

So back to the humble banana lore… more recent research has shown that authors of ancient Sanskrit texts sometimes use double negatives, as in the case of the banana citation: “Do not fail to bring bananas as they are healthy for your crew!” 

Our virtual racers are back to their daily race at noon. Interested in joining? Newcomers to the Virtual Regatta Inshore game can access play and spectating on VR’s website. Join our StFYC WhatsApp group to get synced up.

Editor's note: the two protagonists in this fierce battle for virtual J/70 regatta supremacy both sail on the same boat in the St. Francis YC J/105 class- Bruce Stone's ARBITRAGE. 
J/109, J/111, and J/46 at Edgartown Regatta
Edgartown Regatta Announcement
(Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, MA)- The Edgartown Yacht Club’s Big Boat Racing Committee is excited to get started with the 2020 sailing season. The team has been working exceptionally hard over the past nine months to enhance Edgartown Race Weekend for this year, and future years, and is excited to welcome sailors to Martha’s Vineyard this summer.

J/105 sailing Edgartown Regatta
While Edgartown YC unfortunately had to cancel the buoy racing segment of Edgartown Race Weekend, we will still be hosting the signature event - ‘Round-the-Island (“RTI”) Race on August 1, in addition to the shorter ‘Round-the-Sound Race the same day.

J/122 Moxiee sailing Edgartown Regatta
Despite the current situation, registration numbers are robust, drawing teams from all over the East Coast who see ‘RTI as the kick-off to the 2020 racing season. Remember, this is a 60.0nm race that rivals any in the world; such as Round Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom, Round Jamestown in Narragansett Bay, Round Hong Kong in China, or Sweden's Gotland Runt race midsummer. 

J/160 sailing Edgartown Regatta
The entire team is looking forward to good racing this summer. Sailing Photo Credits- Stephen Cloutier. Learn more about the Edgartown Regatta here.
J/Gear ronstan bag
J/Gear June 20% OFF Special!
(Newport, RI)- Ronstan has been in the performance sailing business for years and they have designed a quality duffel that is perfect for racing or cruising. Ample space in the 24" x 12" x 12" dimension with wide grip carry strap. Inside wet pouch keeps the dry clothes separate. Rugged stitching and large top loading flap. Embroider with your class logo boat name and sail number.  Check it out here on the J/Gear website
Sailing Calendar

Jul 3-5- Italian J/70 Sailing League- Santa Marinella, Italy
Jul 11th- Belles Beer Bayview Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI
Jul 11-12- SAIL Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 17-19- J/70 Segel Bundesliga- Chiemsee, Germany
Jul 18-19- Fiesta Cup (J/70 & J/111)- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 23-26- Sailing World Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 24-26- Ugotta Regatta- Harbor Springs, MI
Aug 13-16- SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg, Russia
Aug 14-16- Swedish J/70 Sailing League- Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
Aug 15-16- Danish J/70 Sailing League- Aarhus, Denmark
Aug 15-16- J/Fest Newport- Newport, RI
Aug 28-30- J/70 Segel Bundesliga- Wannsee, Germany
Aug 28-30- Under 21 Italian J/70 Sailing League Championship- Rimini, Italy
Sep 5-6- Danish J/70 Sailing League- Skovshoved, Denmark
J/105 sailing singlehanded
J/105s Prevail in Dave Wall Memorial Race

(Marina del Rey, CA)- In one of the first sanctioned races in Santa Monica Bay in a long time, on June 13th the Pacific Singlehanded Sailing Association (PSSA) held its regularly scheduled single/ doublehanded “inverted start” from Marina Del Rey to Redondo Beach and back.

The 16.0nm course attracted what must be a recent record of thirty-two entries. The fleet included a pair of J/105s, a pair of J/92s, a J/29 and J/80. The Class 1 Singlehanded class had 12 boats, while the Class 2 Doublehanded class fielded 16 boats.

The fleet was blessed with a somewhat classical SoCal offshore day. Sunny, good breeze, and in the mid-70s F. In consistent wind of 14-16 knots that ranged from a beam reach to close hauled, Dan Murphy and Rob Dekker sailed their J/105 CUCHULAINN to the top of the leaderboard, more than two minutes ahead of their nearest competitor, the J/29 ZULU sailed by owner Caesar Berger and Ronald Augustsson. Just off the pace was the famous J/80 AVET, the duo of Curt Johnson and Paul Burnett took fourth place. Notably, working out their early season kinks to take an 8th place was Brian Kerr and Edwina Gillin's J/92 DOUBLE DOWN. 

Charles Spear in his J/105 TWELVE BAR BLUES finished second amongst the Class 1 Singlehanded boats.  
Sailing as a family on a sailboat
Sailing as a Family- A Perspective for Today's Brave  New World

(Traverse City, MI)- Now is the perfect time to re-prioritize sailing with your family. Most of the summer camps are canceled and you're probably not running around to 10 different activities a week; but you are probably itching to get out of the house and spend some time with your family doing something you love. If ever there was a summer to prioritize time on the water or get your kids to love sailing as much as you, it's this one. Quantum's Jason Currie put together his tips for successful family sailing based on years on the water with his own family. Sailing with your family can be rewarding and create lasting memories. The key is to redefine your idea of the perfect sailing day to accommodate everyone on board. Like all things in parenting, sailing with your kids takes patience and effort, but the reward is always worth it.

Time on the water is the perfect place for families to reconnect with each other. Sailing can be a great way to experience the great outdoors by sea, but proper planning is essential. To keep the kids, and even mom and dad, wanting to come back for more, we’ve put together some simple tips to make that special time together fun, enjoyable, and safe.

Check the weather
Keep an eye on the weather forecast. If you’ve lived in an area for quite some time, you will develop a sense for the weather. Weather forecasts become more accurate and reliable as the day gets closer, but always keep an eye on it, even after leaving the dock. Places like Annapolis, Maryland, for example, often experience summertime storm cells in the late afternoon which, may last only 15 to 30 minutes, but can be severe, and definitely enough to frighten the family away from the boat for good. There are some very good Doppler radar apps that are excellent for keeping an eye on things while on the water. Remember that while a 3 to 5-foot chop might seem like nothing to you, to a small child it could be scary and off-putting. Keep their perspective in mind.

Have the boat cleaned, prepared, and ready to go. Shop ahead of time to stock up on extra food, drinks, and supplies. Make sure there is a first aid kit that contains band aids and any medication that might be handy for life’s little emergencies. Also, get as many tasks done beforehand as you can.  

Pack plenty
If you’re planning an overnighter, remember it’s just like camping but on the water, which means it can get cooler at night. Don’t hold back on sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows. Always bring extra fleece and clothes. Remember the sunscreen and bug repellent, especially if it’s the middle of summer, and don’t forget a full propane tank to cook that fantastic breakfast!

What to bring for the kids
The age of the kids will determine what you should bring. Pack their favorite snacks and toys. Barbie, Matchbox cars, a deck of cards, UNO, coloring books and crayons, and even Silly Putty can make the day fun for your little sailors. If your children are under the age of 5, consider bringing an iPad or DVD player to curb that possible meltdown. Most of us would prefer to leave said devices on shore, but this may be just the thing to keep everything in check while you and your spouse enjoy the sunset with a cool beverage.

If the kids are older than 5, definitely disconnect and ditch the devices! Show them all the joys of being on the water. If you anchor, bring the fishing rod and dinghy and let them set off on their own. For a child this can be the experience which gives way to a feeling of great independence.

Show them the ropes
Your family is your crew, so give them meaningful jobs. Let them steer the boat, show them how to hoist the sails, and teach them how to anchor. Give a lesson on channel markers, navigation, and the correct way to pass another vessel. There’s a heap to learn onboard, and it can be fun for all.

Consider your attitude
We wear off on our kids in many ways, so it’s important to keep your attitude in check. If you have a can-do attitude, your kids will too. If you are fearful or negative, your kids will sense this and follow suit. Children observe and absorb everything, and they participate largely by taking cues from mom and Dad. This matters even more onboard, where you are together and in close quarters for most of the time.

Invest in a GoPro!
What better way to capture your family getaway than with a GoPro. The older kids will have a heap of fun putting together a montage of your weekend getaway and the experience they had, both onboard and in the water.

It goes without saying: when the family is together on the water, they must be safe. Lifejackets for the kids are mandatory. For toddlers, consider installing lifeline netting and lee cloths. If you are the only one who truly knows how to operate the engine, teach your spouse and older children the procedure on startup and running, because, if something happens to you, another member of the family must be able to take control. Click here for some quick safety tips and reminders.

Keep it fun
Above all, your time on the boat together is about having fun. If you’re new to it, start out with a short-day sail and gradually move into overnight trips. Don’t rush it. If your kids are young and are done sailing after just an hour, consider heading to anchorage to swim or back to the dock.

Most importantly, don’t think of a shorter sail as a failure. Even if you end up back at the dock earlier than planned, do some fun kid things around the marina. Fish, look for stones, swim if it’s hot, play in the dinghy, order pizza, the list is endless! Eat on board and then walk into town for ice cream. You still had a day on the water. You still had a day as a family. You still had fun outside. And most importantly, your kids will want to come back! Find the positives and celebrate your success. This is your redefined sailing day and what a wonderful day it can be.  Thanks for this contribution from Quantum Sail's Jason Currie.
J/24 Sea Bags Women's Sailing Team
2020 J/24 US National Champs Cancelled

(Burlington, VT) – Because of the varying levels of infection and disruption across the world, the 2020 J/24 US National Championship, originally scheduled for September 24-27, has been cancelled. The 2021 US National Championship will be held at Malletts Bay Boat Club in Burlington, Vermont on September 10-12.

The United States J/24 Class Association (USJCA) Executive Committee has been closely monitoring the worldwide developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. They understand the huge commitment of time and money it takes to participate in a major Championship, as well as the enormous resources that the host clubs dedicate to such events.

The subsequent previously scheduled US J/24 National events will shift back one year. Therefore, Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club in Texas will host the 2022 Championship (May 23-28), and The Lake George Club in New York will present the 2023 event (dates to be determined). In the meantime, the Class wishes all J/24 sailors and their families the best in these difficult times and looks forward to resuming sailing as soon as possible.

Molly White, USJCA President, said, “As much as we all want to go sailing, the US J/24 Class has also taken into consideration the safety of all involved, the ability for people traveling to access these events, and all of the hard work and planning that goes into a quality event such as a National Championship. We hope that while we wait in anticipation for these events to return in 2021, sailors are able to take advantage of all the J/24 racing their local fleets have to offer.”
What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* J/Net Brokerage Specials! Check out our exciting new site for lovingly-owned J/Boats from around the world.

J/122E for sale in Scotland
This week we are featuring a gorgeous J/122E that is currently lying in Glasgow, Scotland. She is ready to hop aboard and enjoy a spectacular cruise of the northwestern archipelago off Scotland- thousands of islands and spectacular vistas. Then, sail her south to the Mediterranean for the winter in the Greek archipelago or a tour of the eastern Adriatic Sea! The perfect getaway offshore cruiser.

This J/122E is in brand new condition. She has a Carbon Mast, 7 North Sails, complete B&G H5000 Instrument system (autopilot, chart plotter), and a cold fridge.   Learn more about the J/122E here.

J/99 off Bermuda
* The J/99 JAZZ Rescue Mission Epilogue
If you all recall from last week, we reported on the "rescue mission" that was undertaken by J/Boats co-founder Rodney Johnstone and his nephew Clay Burkhalter to sail to Bermuda from Stonington, CT with two friends of theirs. The goal was to deliver the owner of a beautiful 65-footer that lay on a mooring at St George's Bay in eastern Bermuda. Their mission was successful, and it was a fast "delivery" on the slippery J/99 offshore speedster!

Upon reaching Bermuda, the team enjoyed an evening of R&R. But less than 48 hours after arriving, the intrepid duo of Rodney and Clay set back out to sea to sail the J/99 JAZZ back to Stonington, CT! The return trip was not the "walk-in-the-park" they had on their way down to Bermuda. In fact, quite the opposite.  

They were both presented with many challenges, including the often capricious, unrelenting and punishing Gulf Stream. A "micro-Low" materialized that was not forecast at all, not surprisingly, over the massive northward moving "river" of the Gulf Stream. Such spontaneous "micro-climates" are not unknown and numerous sailing or motor vessels over time have succumbed to dreadful weather associated with such "micro-bombs".  Here is Rodney's account of their delivery back from Bermuda to Stonington, CT:

"For starters, it was a great adventure and magical experience both ways. Clay and I had two days of light weather coming home, then two days of wild wind and waves through the Gulf Stream as we headed north, which accounts for our big course change to the west late Monday. 

J/99 routing tracking Bermuda to Stonington
To make time, we motor-sailed most of the first 300 miles in benign Northeast winds under 10 knots. We then sailed with double-reefed main and 3.5 heavy weather jib the rest of the way in NE winds. We hit 30 knot winds and monster seas on the North side of Gulf Stream (see photo sequence above of their track). Huge, breaking waves everywhere. So, we took down the jib and sailed all night on a broad reach with double-reefed main only to stay away from the breaking seas with no "backs" (e.g. a wall). 

The J/99 is very well behaved in that stuff. Easy to steer, so the autopilot had no problem staying the course on a dark, rough Monday night. For a while, it looked like we would make landfall at Atlantic City, NJ. As soon as we got onto the continental shelf, the turbulent waves subsided and got regular, and the winds let up to 20-25 knots. We then hoisted the jib and sailed upwind towards Stonington under clear sky and steady East wind.... all the way back from Bermuda to Stonington on starboard tack with jib and double-reefed main at about 6.5 knots!

What a trip back! It took us exactly five days to go the 635.0nm (as the crow flies, more like 725.0nm of actual sailing). Very exciting, and proof that the J/99 is fit for short-handed ocean sailing. Nothing broke or failed! I hope I get to do this sort of sailing trip again!"  Thanks to Rodney J. for this report and being the intrepid adventurer that he is!
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