Wednesday, July 8, 2020

J/Newsletter- July 8th, 2020

sunset in ChileJ/Sailing News

As the summer unfolds in the northern hemisphere, it is clear that many sailors dream of getting back out on the water and enjoying a harbor cruise or a sunset sail.  As the ultimate activity for family participation or with friends, sailing activity continues to grow incrementally. Unfortunately, from a public perspective, "sailing" gets lumped in with "boating", and when that happens, the images of thousands of "ravers" partying on a lake full of pontoon boats and powerboats all lumped together gives the impression that sailors are the same. As a result, it has been a frustrating process for sailors to explain to government officials acting as "demagogues" that sailors, in general, are not as imprudent as their environmentally unconscionable gas-guzzling colleagues. So, boating (and, by definition, sailing) continues to be restricted in many areas because of such bias/ perspectives. A truly sad state of affairs.

Nevertheless, there are some enlightened parts of the world where "sailing" as a recreational activity has made its voice known and, as a result, there are events that are taking place. One of the more controversial races is the Bayview Mackinac Race. It will be starting this coming weekend and one hopes that all goes well for the sailors and the weather, too! Along those lines, the Annapolis YC is anticipating that it may again host their Doublehanded Offshore Regatta that includes a fleet of J/105s this coming fall, building on their success from 2019.

J/crew sailing to Mackinac
Bayview Mackinac Race Preview

(Port Huron, MI)- Another year, another very different experience for Mackinac Race veterans.  While the Chicago-Mackinac Race was canceled, due to pandemic scenarios, the 2020 edition of the Belle's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race will be taking place this coming weekend, starting on Saturday, June 11th just offshore from Port Huron. Unlike in past years, where the bigger faster boats would sail the "Cove Island" race, an island just a few miles off the Canadian shoreline and deep into Canadian waters, the entire fleet will simply sail straight up the lake to Mackinac Island.

Due to Canadian restrictions related to the pandemic, no yacht may cross the Canadian "border" in the middle of the lake, having to stay off to the west of that imaginary line. And, the mandatory "trackers" placed on each boat will indicate if there was any violation of crossing international boundaries- an automatic DSQ.

The course is simple enough, go due north up the Michigan shore to the "virtual finish line" at Mackinac Island, leaving Thunder Bay Island and Bois Blanc Island to port. The finish is a virtual GPS finish line. A boat finishes when its position transponder, in its assigned location on the stern, crosses the finish line from the course side. Once you finish, "touch and go" docking is available on Mackinac Island, but that's it.

While many have questioned the wisdom of running the race in these crazy, uncertain times, the Bayview YC and race organizers have worked hard on the "terms and conditions" of competing, ensuring that all boats observe the guidelines for "social distancing" (where possible), wearing masks at all times, not sharing water bottles, and so forth. Nevertheless, that scenario alone will be a challenge for the crews during watch changeovers, changing sails, packing sails, and so forth. An experiment in social interaction, to be sure.

Despite the challenges, there are twenty J/Teams participating, making up nearly one-third of the fleet! Clearly, the passionate J/sailors cannot wait to get back on the water...escapees from months of "lock-down mode" in the State of Michigan.

In Division 2 will be a slew of very fast 36 to 41 foot J's. Leading that charge will be Bob Christoph’s J/121 LOKI and the Matt Schaedler's J/122 BLITZKRIEG. Chasing them hard will be a quartet of J/120s (Mike & Bob Kirkman's HOT TICKET, Steve Polk's KAIROS, Mike Fozo & Robin Kendrick's PROOF, & John Harvey & Rick Titsworth's SLEEPING TIGER), a quartet of J/111s (Jim Cooper's FREEDOM, Don Hudak's CAPERS, Scott Seller's NO SURPRISE, & Carl Hanssen's VARIANCE), and Tim & Cathy McGuire's J/112E ELEVATION.

Division 3 is comprised of the 35-footers division, mostly all J's. The twin J/109s should be setting the pace in this group with Bill Hamilton's PHOENIX and Chris Mallet's SYNCHRONICITY. They will be challenged by a trio of J/105s (Cynthia & Jim Best's PHANTOM, Mark Symonds' PTERODACTYL, & Sam Power's GRYPHON) and a trio of J/35s (Jim Watts' GRIFFIN, Ed & John Bayer's FALCON, & Bill Vogan's MAJOR DETAIL).

This year, the race has featured a "Shore Course- Sport Boat" division. The sole J/team is Scott Sorbie's J/88 LEGACY.

Follow the race by going to the tracker web site here.  For more Belle's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race sailing information

Edgartown Round Island Race
Edgartown Race Weekend Update!

(Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, MA)- The Edgartown Yacht Club will be hosting the 82nd running of its signature ‘Round-the-Island (’RTI) race on Saturday, August 1st, 2020.

The Round Island, which began in 1938 and counts as one of America’s oldest distance races, tracks 56 nautical miles around Martha’s Vineyard.

“To ensure the health and safety of sailors and the entire Martha’s Vineyard community, we have been working diligently to comply with the State of Massachusetts guidelines regarding COVID-19,” said Race Co-Chair Alex Nugent.

J/crews sailing off Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard
“Because of the early-August scheduling of our event, we’ve had time to adapt our plans and prepare the competitors for what to expect. Despite necessary changes, registration numbers are robust, drawing teams from all over the East Coast who see Edgartown Race Weekend as the kick-off to the 2020 racing season.”

At this point in the planning, the Skippers’ Meeting and Awards will transpire digitally. Social events or gatherings at the clubhouse are currently on hold, and sailors are highly encouraged to stay on board their boats as much as possible. As of now, provisions have been made for free moorings for competitors.

Happily adapting to the pandemic guidelines are many J/Sailors. Answering the Siren's Song are sixteen J/Crews, ranging from J/29s to J/160!  All divisions have J's participating, such as IRC, ORRez, PHRF, and PHRF Doublehanded (which includes a J/121 and J/122E so far)!

If you haven't considered it, now's the time to hop on board, sign up, and go sailing with at least your immediate family or go doublehanded! It has to be one of the most fun, challenging (because of the currents), and most beautiful races in New England as you enjoy vistas of the island and its beaches. Sailing photo credits- Stephen Cloutier.  For more information Edgartown YC Round Island Race sailing information

Mauri Pro Sailing JBoats shop
Announcing J/Boats Store- for J/22, J/24, J/80!

(Newport, RI)- J/Boats is excited to announce that we've partnered with Juan Mauri's MAURI PRO Sailing organization to provide an extensive array of OEM boat parts and aftermarket parts for the J/22, J/24, and J/80 classes.

Mauri Pro Sailing has been providing service and support for a number of classes for many years and has continually improved their product and service offerings to the J/22, J/24, and J/80 classes. Juan himself had been an active competitor in the J/24 class for years in the Texas circuit, so he is familiar with the needs of one-design sailors.  For more information and product offerings, please take a look at the new J/Boats Parts website.

J/Gear for sale
J/Gear July 20% OFF Special!
(Newport, RI)- The J Under Armour Quarter Zip Top provides Under Armour technology with a competitive design appearance. A bold stripe details the sleeve. The Under Armour logo is displayed on the left sleeve.

The top features a reflective quarter-zip for visibility during after-hours training; contrast fabric overlays on sleeves and collar; rolled forward shoulder seams for unrivaled comfort; and performance loose fit.

It is constructed of a 100% polyester fabric, a soft and durable circular knit construction with brushed interior for extra warmth, with the signature Moisture Transport System that wicks sweat to keep you dry and light.

The J/Class logo of your choice is embroidered on the front. We can also customize with your detail. Perfect for the whole crew!  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

shorthanded sailing
Promoting Shorthanded Racing on Chesapeake Bay

(Annapolis, MD)- The inaugural Annapolis Yacht Club Double-Handed Distance Race, held in September 2019, will be building on the experience for the 2020 edition to be held October 3rd and 4th, 2020 on the Chesapeake Bay.

Last year, 17 entries in two classes exceeded expectations of organizers, with Hall of Fame sailor Randy Smyth and teammate Christina Persson winning the mixed crew J/105 one-design class.

Already committed are R.J. Cooper and Courtney Cumberland, siblings who both competed collegiately at the University of Florida, who will be racing aboard a borrowed J/105 for the second straight year.

“We like the double-handed distance racing for several reasons. First and foremost is the versatility it requires – helming, trimming, eating, navigating, thinking strategically, tactics, sail changes. There are a lot of different skills that are required,” Cooper said.

“I like that you are always busy with meaningful work. There is always something to do. We like the distance aspect as well and the endurance necessary. For sure the racing is challenging – physically, mentally, and emotionally,” Cooper added.

Because of the pandemic, Annapolis Yacht Club has implemented numerous safety measures for its events with the goal of protecting its members, staff, and guests. Double-handed racing is an ideal pursuit during these times, as the risk is greatly reduced.

Event chair Kathy Parks said the inaugural AYC Double-Handed Distance Race was enlightening on numerous levels with competitor feedback leading to some subtle changes. While the initial idea was to have the race last for approximately 24 hours with a noon start on the Severn River and a finish in front of Annapolis Yacht Club around the same time the next day, Mother Nature had other ideas.

Conditions resulted in predominantly windward racing with the fleet beating down the Chesapeake Bay to Hooper’s Island Light then beating on the return trip as well. Along the way, the wind dropped out and the 17 boats were becalmed for almost five hours.

Race committee officials were forced to finish the fleet off Poplar Island, resulting in the ORC class sailing approximately 97 nautical miles and the J/105 class covering about 82. The original course set forth in the Sailing Instructions was 119 nautical miles.

“We created a race that featured several mandatory turning marks. Because the wind shifted 180 degrees, many of those marks essentially became irrelevant,” Parks said. “This year, we’ll have wider legs and we won’t send the fleet all the way to Hooper’s Island. No matter what course conditions, the race will include elements of beating, reaching, and running.”

Principal Race Officer Dick Neville will develop four potential courses that will be included in the Sailing Instructions. Neville will announce which course will be sailed the morning of the race based on the latest weather forecast and wind direction.

“Competitors are looking for longer legs that are more windward-leeward oriented so there are passing lanes,” Neville said. “They are a very competitive group and would like to do some reaching. Longer legs will allow them to play more tactics with the competition.”

Neville intends to keep the course closer to Annapolis in case it needs to be shortened. That way, the fleet finishes closer to home no matter what.

Organizers have prepared a safety checklist that makes it easier for participants to comply with the requirements of an overnight race.

This year, communication with competitors will be conducted through multiple channels. AYC will send alerts via email and text messages in addition to the standard radio announcement.

All registered boats will carry YB Trackers that allow family, friends, and supporters to follow along during the race. That proved a popular feature in 2019 with 1,254 virtual viewers from eight different countries watching an average of 20 minutes of action.

Big Boat double-handed racing has seen a surge of popularity since it was announced as a discipline for the 2024 Olympics being held in Paris, France. Many major offshore races, including the 2021 Annapolis-to-Newport Race, have added a double-handed class because of the increased participation.

Many of the competitors entered in the AYC Double-Handed Race are Olympic hopefuls, including the aforementioned brother-sister duo of Cooper and Cumberland.

“I think this new discipline is growing because it is fun and in the Olympics. Having the event in the Olympics gives it some curb appeal and draws better sailors into the field,” Cooper said. “Most people that compete in these events won’t actually go to the Olympics, but the quality of Olympic-class events is always quite high.”  For more Annapolis YC Doublehanded Distance Race sailing information

J/122 sailing St Maarten Heineken Regatta
How World Sailing & World Sport Needs to Adjust

(English Harbour, Antigua)- We know Pamala Baldwin through her sailing exploits, as the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) had awarded the Antigua-based skipper and her J/122 LIQUID team the CSA Traveler’s Trophy for the second year running.

Although the 2020 racing season was cut short due to the worldwide COVID-19 disease, Team LIQUID had already earned a class win in CSA 1 at Grenada Sailing Week, second in CSA 2 in the RORC Caribbean 600, and second in CSA 3 at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

However, it is her professional side which she shares in this update on how the coronavirus pandemic was impacting her region and the world:

"My business is recruiting for hospitality, super yachts, and professional race (sailing) crews. For hours every day, I speak with medical research professionals, hotel chain owners, private jet companies, regatta organizers, and economists.

Here’s the collective opinion of the disease’s impact; they all agree the pandemic is here to stay for years as no vaccine will work because COVID-19 keeps morphing. A nightmare!

Last week was a good example. As soon as outsiders arrived in Antigua, we went from zero cases to 69 (all from America)!!

It seems the only way to assure safety, and to move forward with sailing and racing, is to organize for all arrivals to be pre-tested BEFORE they travel. Nothing else will work. This is a huge undertaking, to be coordinated with airlines and the World Health Organization, and the ports which yachts are entering. Seems implausible, but most likely true.

So, something radical has to be in place. If arrivals enter our countries and are tested positive, they’ll not be able to enjoy anything, they’ll be quarantined, so the only solution is preemptive- a pre-flight or pre-passage test and quarantine until take-off."  Thanks for contribution from Scuttlebutt Sailing (

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/109 Netherlands
In Europe, the J/109s are legendary as the ultimate cruiser-racer.  In the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, the boats have enjoyed such tremendous popularity that in major offshore events or race weeks they create one-design classes.  There is not a major trophy event offshore in the RORC and in Europe that does not have a J/109 winning team emblazoned on the silverware.

Here is another example of a well-maintained J/109 lying in the Netherlands that is "ready to race" or cruise for family and friend’s enjoyment. Learn more about this Netherland-based J/109 here

Milwaukee Community Sailing
* Leveling Community Through Sailing
The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center (Milwaukee, WI) is a private, not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 agency located just north of downtown in the heart of Veterans Park at McKinley Marina. MCSC’s mission is to promote sailing and make Lake Michigan available to everyone in the Milwaukee community through quality programming. Amongst the teaching platforms is the famous J/24 sailboat.

Facilities like this are the gateway for introducing people to the sport, and WDJT-TV, a CBS-affiliated television station in Milwaukee, recognized the center’s leader in its weekly segment, Natalie’s Everyday Heroes:

The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center works hard to make sure sailing is accessible for everyone. The center is unique in that you don’t have to have a lot of skills, or a lot of money, to get out in a boat. Holly Church is the director at the center, and she’s this week’s everyday hero.

Church understands learning something new can be intimidating for anyone. “They’re all scared, in the beginning, because none of them really know what to expect or what’s going to happen,” she said of new students.

But every year, kids and adults alike come to the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center to do just that. “Basically, what we do is we teach people how to sail and then they get free access to our equipment to sail on all summer long,” Church said.

She has been working with the sailing center for the last 25 years, but her love for sailing started long before that. “I learned how to sail here when I was 18,” she remembers, and has been a cheerleader, innovator, and advocate for the organization ever since.

“She’s very instrumental in coming up with a lot of the different programming down here,” said Don Ellingsen, member and former board president.

Church is proud that the City of Milwaukee had the foresight to keep the lake accessible for everyone. “Most places privatize the lake,” she said. “And Milwaukee has kept it public and I think that’s amazing.”

Ellingsen, who’s been a member since 1981, said Church’s leadership has made a big difference in the quality of the programs they offer. “She’s really re-energized the club, in that she’s really brought kind of a new spirit to the club,” he said.

US Sailing agrees. Church was recently named Outstanding Organizational Leader. She’s humble about the national recognition.

“The sailing center is one of the country’s premier sailing facilities,” she said. “And we were lucky. It doesn’t just take one person, though.”

But Ellingsen stresses that she helps create an environment that keeps people coming back. And that’s what Church wants—for people to set sail and enjoy all that Lake Michigan has to offer. “I think it gives people a chance to just get off shore for a little bit. Leave everything on shore, just regroup, especially in these days,” Church said.

But the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center’s work isn’t only done on the water. It also goes into middle schools around the city to teach a S.T.E.M program using sailing. “We learn things like angles and weight distribution and how displacement works,” she said.

She calls it an equalizer, and said it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re from, anyone can learn. “Sailing is a leveling platform. It doesn’t matter to kids, when you get into a boat, if you’ve never been in a boat it’s a leveling platform,” Church said. Thanks for contribution from Scuttlebutt Sailing (
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