Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J/Newsletter- April 11th, 2012

J/70 speedster- sailing in SAIL boat testSAIL's J/70 Boat Test
(Newport, RI)- Adam Cort and his colleague Meredith from SAIL Magazine made their way down to the famous seaport town of Bristol, Rhode Island to take their first look and test sail of the latest "baby J" on a nice blustery, challenging day for sailing.  Adam's report follows:

"There’s nothing more disappointing than test sailing a high-octane sport boat in a drifter. But that wasn’t a problem with the new 22ft, 9in J/70. For our sail trial we had a steady 20-knot southerly, gusting over 25 knots and kicking up a sharp chop off Bristol, Rhode Island. Because J/Boats was only about a week into its boat trials at the time, company President Jeff Johnstone decided it might not be prudent to fly the A-sail, but it didn’t matter. Beating out toward Popasquash Point, the boat proved both nimble and manageable. It accelerated in the puffs and had an easy helm, even when we buried the lee rail. At one point I overshot a tack, but I never felt we were completely out of control, thanks to the boat’s ballasted keel and large transom-hung rudder. The fairly high boom and spacious 11-foot self-draining cockpit made getting from one side to the other while tacking a piece of cake—-- a far cry from the 24-footer that first put J/Boats on the map.  Then it came time to bear away---".  Read more here on SAIL's website.  For more J/70 sailboat information here!

Adam and Meredith also put together a sailing video of their experience in these 20-25 knots winds- you can watch that sailing video and J/Boats interview with Jeff Johnstone here.

J/111 sailing Charleston Race WeekCharleston Race Week Preview
(Charleston, SC)- With 260 teams entered to sail this year's Charleston Race Week with a nice mix of inside the Bay one-design fleets and offshore big boats, it's safe to say the event started years ago by Brad Van Liew and friends and now spearheaded by Randy Draftz and crew has firmly established itself in the midwinter sailing circuit.  Hosted by the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina that sports a great harbor, beautiful resort hotel, giant swimming pool and a soft, sand beach, the event has become the "Southern Hospitality" version of the famous Caribbean regattas (e.g. St Maarten, Rolex St Thomas, St Barths, Antigua).

As the regatta's reputation has grown over time, it has continued to attract an ever greater number of one-design classes from across the country and a large group of passionate offshore sailors as well.  The J clan of sailors have certainly embraced the event, with 78 boats attending, J/Boats is by far the biggest sailing brand in attendance, with 30% of the total boats sailing (and easily the largest number of sailors!).  This J contingent is spread amongst the 57 one-designs- J/22's (15 boats), J/24's (24 boats) and J/80's (18 boats) and 21 offshore boats spread across 4 PHRF Divisions.

The J/22 class have World Champion Greg Fisher and team sailing on USA 1586 who will likely be challenged by such teams like Todd Hiller from Annapolis YC sailing LEADING EDGE; Kurt Swanson from Pennsylvania sailing SLINGSHOT; Annapolis sailor Kathy Parks on SUNDOG; and J/22 NA's hosts Chris Princing and crew on TEAM TAWAS.

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing Charleston Race WeekWith two dozen teams showing up from across the country, it's clear the J/24s are always going to have a good'ole fashioned mud-slinging in the trenches.  Several good teams have a potential to make their presence felt, including Travis Odenbach's HONEY BADGER from Annapolis, MD; Chip Till's crew on MURDER INCORPORATED from Wrightsville Beach, NC; and World Champion Mike Ingham from Rochester, NY on USA 5448.  Nevertheless, there will be other teams that are sure to mix it up with these competitive crews to force some roller-coaster rides in the standings-- always happens, always will!

J/80s sailing spinnakers at Charleston Race WeekSeveral J/80 class leaders are in the mix including Chris & Liz Chadwick on CHURCH KEY from Annapolis, MD; Chris Bulger on GOOSE from Buzzards Bay, MA; Andy Burton on GROMIT from Newport, RI; Brian Keane on SAVASANA from Buzzards Bay, MA; and Bruno Pasquinelli on TIAMO from Fort Worth, TX.  This is a tough crew as evidenced by the fact most sailed Key West Race Week in January and the recent Bacardi Miami Sailing Week.  No way to predict this outcome as it all depends on team "karma"-- some will be more dialed in than others by the time crucial races are settled on Sunday afternoon! In the end, the J/80 teams certainly have a lot of fun sailing in Charleston!

Offshore the racing will be close and competitive in the four PHRF divisions.  In the PHRF B Class, it's a class dominated by J's, with 7 of 11 boats and several of them veterans from having raced one another in Key West Race Week 2012 for the top of the podium.  The biggest J sailing will be the J/130 SUGAR MAGNOLIA sailed by David Hackney from James Island, SC.  The two J/122s have proven they're extremely difficult to beat on windward-leeward courses and the teams present will give no quarter to anyone.  Leading the J/122 charge is likely to be Robin Team's TEAMWORK from Lexington, NC, but John Thouron's team on DUNDER from Waterbury, VT will be working hard to match the Key West Race Week champion's speed and smarts.  A quartet of J/111s will be racing not just as a one-design J/111 sub-class, but also doing their best to upset the proverbial apple-cart of fellow PHRF classmates.  Key West Race Week has proven the J/111s are entirely capable of being competitive in both modes.  Doug Curtiss' WICKED 2.0 and Henry Brauer's FLEETWING are both veterans of the Key West Race Week gun-battle.  Entering the fray will be Marty Roesch's VELOCITY and Bob Moran's RAGIN' from the Chesapeake Bay J/111 fleet.  No predictions made here, like the movie, it's simply a "shoot-out at the OK Corral" amongst this fleet of sailors.

PHRF C promises to have some great racing with J/Teams comprising 5 of the 8 boats in class.  The three J/120s include past Charleston Race Week Champion, John Keenan's ILLYRIA from Mt Pleasant, SC and giving them a run for the money will be other local J/120s- Bill Hanckel's EMOCEAN and Rick Moore's MOOSE DOWN.  Mixing it up in this fleet will be the J/109 HEATWAVE sailed by Gary Weisberg from Gloucester, MA and the local J/35 ARROW sailed by Willy Schwenzfeier.

While the J/105s don't have a class, many have competed quite successfully as offshore handicap racers.  Lurking in the shallows and ready to pounce on their innocent rivals in PHRF D will be two local J/105s that have enjoyed offshore success.  They are Ed Parker's THE CITY BOATYARD and Joe Highsmith's DEAD ON ARRIVAL.  With any kind of breeze, it's doubtful their fleet competitors of Alerions and Beneteaus can hold them back.

Perhaps the "sleeper" handicap fleet of the event has to be the PHRF F Class, with J's representing 7 of 10 boats.  But what a clash of titans it promises to be!  For starters, you have "Mr. GILL" (Dave Pritchard) from Atlanta, GA sailing his J/92 AMIGOS with a bunch of buddies from Lake Lanier Sailing Club-- they're always on the podium it seems in any event they sail--and they look good doing it, too!  Pressing them hard are some "classic J/29s", including past Key West Race Week Champion Steve Thurston on the MIGHTY PUFFIN from Bristol, RI.  Hanging tough with them will be other J/29s like John Amyot's BLITZ! from Lake Ontario, Jim Mackevich's FOR SAIL from Edison, NJ, and Ira Perry's SEEFEST from Buzzards Bay, MA. Not to be discounted will be a fast J/27, Robert Key's AUDACIOUS from Columbia, SC and the modified J/80 JAVELIN sailed by Tom Gore/ John Yorkilous  from the Chesapeake Bay.   For more Charleston Race Week sailing information
J/24s sailing into the sun off Arzachena, Sardinia (near Porto Cervo)J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

With the advent of April and Easter and all the festivities associated with this time of the year, it's also a time of closure and celebration in the sailing world.  Down Under in the Antipodean sailing world of Australia and New Zealand, as well as in South American sailing waters of Chile, Argentina and Brazil, their summers are coming to a close, fall is rapidly approaching and all the efforts put forth in sailing summer series are being celebrated by many in such diverse locations.  While the Chilean J/105 fleet rescheduled their Chilean Nationals to October (due to weather challenges), the J/111 in Sydney had a successful summer racing their Offshore Series.  Also in the Pacific, a J/109 and J/145 sailed the Rolex China Sea Race and had cause for celebration for the Easter Weekend.  Keeping within that same theme, the J/24s had fun sailing a long-time Easter "classic", the Easter Regatta in Columbia, SC.  The Caribbean J sailors on a J/122, J/95, J/109 and J/120 were busy divining the Wind God's wild breeze rolling off the enormous cliffs and hills of St Barths during the Les Voiles St Barths.  Finally, over in Europe, the French were hosting their largest regatta, SPI Ouest France off La Trinite sur Mer, offering amazing sailing on Quiberon Bay to an enormous one-design fleet of J/80s and a strong one-design fleet of J/111s.  Just across La Manche (the English Channel), the RORC sailed their Easter Challenge on that famous body of water called "the Solent", a unique regatta that features real-time, on-the-water coaching while you sail around the race-track-- helpful to many J/122, J/133, J/111, J/80, J/109 and J/97 sailors!

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page!  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Mar 18-Apr 29- Warsash Spring Series- Warsash, England-
Apr 12-15- StrictlySail Pacific (J/111)- Oakland, CA-
Apr 19-22- Newport Beach Boatshow (J/111)- Newport Beach, CA-
Apr 19-22- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC-
Apr 22-27- Bermuda Race Week- Bermuda-
Apr 22-May 1- J/24 Trofeo Accademia Navale-
Apr 26-29- Oslo Sailboat Show (J108)- Oslo, Norway-
May 4-6- Annapolis NOOD Regatta-
May 4-6- J/22 East Coasts- Annapolis YC, Annapolis, MD-
May 15-28- Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta- The Hague, Netherlands-
May 18-20- Seattle NOOD Regatta- Seattle, WA-
May 25-Jun 3- J/24 Italian/European Championships- Sardinia, Italy
May 26-28- Swiftsure Offshore Race- Victoria, BC, Canada-
Jun 1-3- J/22 Canadians- Vancouver, BC-
Jun 1-4- J/24 UK Nationals- Poole, England-
Jun 8-10- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL-
Jun 9-15- J/80 Worlds- Dartmouth, England-
Jun 15- Newport-Bermuda Race- Newport, RI-
Jun 16-23- Kieler Woche- Kiel, Germany-
Jun 24-30- J/24 US Nationals- Dillon, CO-
Jun 26-29- J/22 Worlds- Le Crouesty, France-

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

J/111 one-design sailing- SPI Ouest France regattaSpectacular Sailing At SPI OUEST France Regatta
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- The weather was challenging- ranging from sunny and windy to grey, cool, light and shifty.  Nevertheless, the host club, the Société Nautique de la Trinité-sur-Mer, masterfully orchestrated a fabulous, gracious and excellent competition across the board for the enormous 438 boat fleet and the giant J/Classes. In short, one of the most famous spring regattas in the world lived up to its billing as one of the premiere sailing events on the international sailing calendar.

J/80 one-design sailboat- start SPI Ouest France regattaIn one short burst of spontaneous combustion and energy, the quaint, lovely little seaside town called La Trinite sur Mer on Quiberon Bay became a bustling metropolis for some of the world's best sailors in both offshore sailing as well as one-design classes.  All the boats that participated were in for a challenging four days of sailing: great 20-25 kt sunny breezes the first day, two days of cloudy, grey shifty sailing, concluding with another partly cloudy windy day for the finale.  For many of the classes, the regatta outcome was not determined until the last day.  The huge J contingent of 141 boats (32% of the fleet with J/Boats being the largest brand in the regatta!) from across Europe and the U.K. had a wonderful time.  Nine J/111s sailed their first European One-Design event and the 119 J/80s were treated to a tour'de'force by a renown French sailing team.

J/111 one-design sailbot- sailing in SPI Ouest France regattaFor the J/111 class, the racing could not have been any closer.  Literally, the outcome came down to the last leg of the last race to determine who would win!  And, even crazier was the fact that the winner was determined on a tie-breaker!  Prophetically, it became a titanic battle between one of the top offshore French sailing teams led by Didier LeMoal on J-LANCE 7 and the #1 British J/109 offshore team that has now hopped into the J/111 class- the team of David & Kirsty Apthorp on the famously-named J-DREAM.  The regatta went down to the wire for the top three boats.  After six races, J-DREAM was a leading with a 2-1-2-3-1-1 record for only 10 pts, J-LANCE 7 was in second with a 1-3-3-2-2-2 for 13 pts and third was John Van der Starre's XCENTRIC RIPPER with a 3-4-1-1-3-5 for 17 pts.  But, the last four races changed everything for this group.  Didier's team on J-LANCE 7 managed to finish off with a 1-1-3-1 to J-DREAM's 8-2-2-2 and XCENTRIC RIPPER's 2-5-1-3.  As a result, J-LANCE 7 won the tie-break on most 1sts to win the class with J-DREAM second and XCENTRIC RIPPER third.  Rounding out the top five were two other French teams, Stephen Blanchard's LE JOUET in fourth and G. Thomas' ALPHALINK EXTREME YACHTING in fifth.

The J/111s enjoyed excellent media coverage of their event, thanks to BLUR.SE founder Peter Gustafsson (he was sailing his brand new J/111 BLUR!).  For a preview of what it's like to sail the J/111 in tight-quarters one-design racing, see these videos edited by Peter's friend Stefan Blom on VIMEO and also read John Van de Starre's report from X-CENTRIC RIPPER below in the J/Community section.

VIMEO - Day OneDay TwoDay ThreeDay Four

J/80 one-design sailboat- ready for sailing at SPI Ouest France regattaWithout question, the dominant one-design class in SPI Ouest France were the 119 J/80s-- by far the largest one-design class the SPI OUEST Regatta has ever experienced for several years in a row. Why?  Because they're having fun and it's a simple sportboat to sail in France!  Considering the strength and the depth of experience seen at this year's world-class event, it was remarkable to see one team simply dominate the racing over a wide variety of sailing conditions.  The top Frenchman at last year's J/80 Worlds in Copenhagen, Denmark simply demonstrated speed, smart tactics and great boat-handling-- congratulations to Eric Brezellec and crew on INTERFACE CONCEPT for a fantastic sailing series-- hard to beat a record of 1-2-7-1-2-1-7-4-1 tossing a 7th for an aggregate of 19 pts!  Nevertheless, while Eric's was a dominating performance, two other top French teams were giving him a "run-for-the-money".  Coincidentally, like their big brother J/111 teams, they also had to settle for "who-beat-who" on a tie-breaker!  Second was Vincent Vandekerhove sailing DUNKERQUE PLAISANCE to an equally strong 6-1-1-7-bfd-1-1-5-2 record for 24 pts.  Were it not for a BFD in race 5, Vincent and the very fast, smart-sailing DP crew might have won the regatta outright.  Third was Nicolas Lunven sailing GENERALI to an incredibly consistent 2-16-2-2-3-3-2-6-4 also for 24 pts.

J/111 Lady's Sailing Team- sailing SPI Ouest France regattaCongratulations must go out to the top women sailing team that was led by the French team of Maxime Rousseaux on CN ST CAST- GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES, finishing 4th overall out of 119 boats!  She ended up defeating a number of Olympic Medallists, World and European Champions along her route to to the top five.  Fifth behind here was French J/80 Champion Luc Nadal on GANJA.  Top British team was Royal Southern YC's Kevin Sproul sailing ULTIMATE SAILS to sixth and top Spanish team was Inigo Jauregui on GOLD SAILING in eighth.

The J/122s and J/133 had a tough road to drive in a very competitive 32 boat IRC 1 Class.  In the end, the top J/122 was MADE IN LOVE (J. Patier) finishing 7th, followed by another J/122 JOLLY JOKER (R. Marchais) in 12th.  Ending up 13th was Yves Grosjean's J/133 JIVARO and just behind them was the J/122 NUTMEG IV (F. Lognone) in 16th.

Finally, in the largest IRC fleet, IRC 4 class with 64 boats, the J/97 MISPICKEL V sailed by B. Fagart managed to finish 6th despite a "slow start" in Races 1 & 2 and a bad race 8. Otherwise, the MISPICKEL V team were on track to be a regatta leader with a 4-2-8-1-4 for one of the best records in the fleet!  "Next time" promised the crew!   For more Spi Ouest France sailing information

J/109 racer cruiser sailboat- sailing RORC Easter ChallengeJ/Teams Sailing Fast In RORC Easter Challenge
J2X Smokes 80s, J/97s Dust IRC 4A
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- One of the long-standing traditions on the Easter Holiday sailing on the Solent has been the RORC Easter Challenge.  The question always being, "who's in the chocolates" first?  The plot may be the same, but the characters and the scenarios on the Solent, typically, are always changing as fast as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

A strong turnout of both the big J's in IRC and the little J's (J80s) assured the teams of great sailing over the course of the weekend.  In the J/80s, it was a three-way battle for first, but in the end, Robert Larke's J2X team dominated with four 1sts in six races.  Tied for second were William Goldsmith on EXESS and Mike Lewis on JESTER, with EXESS getting the nod on the tie-break for second place.

In the IRC World, the J/Teams all sailed well against formidable competition.  Yet again, the J/97s demonstrated superior form and performance, dominating their IRC Class 4A with a 1-2.  Leading the way home by virtue of a trio of bullets in the last three races were Mike & Jamie Holmes on the famous JIKA-JIKA.  Just behind them after leading the first part of the series was Grant Gordon's crew on FEVER.

In IRC 3 a fleet of seven J/109s were dueling for supremacy with a range well-sailed 35 footers, an incredibly tough fleet overall!  In the end, David Aisher's J/109 YEOMAN OF WIGHT sailing for the British Keelboat Academy managed a second place just 1.0 pt off the lead!  Fourth and fifth in class were Robert Stiles on the J/109 DIAMOND JEM and Jonathan Hearth on BASIC INSTINCT.

The IRC 2 fleet also saw a narrow band of forty-odd footers (plus or minus) all sailing in very close quarters, with places changing in the blink of an eye.  The J/Teams had a great showing at the end of the day.  Sailing to a well-deserved 2nd in class was Jackie Dobson and crew on the J/133 JERONIMO, finishing strongly with two bullets.  Third was Neil Kipling's J/122 JOOPSTER starting off slowly, but finishing with a flourish of top three finishes to just finish 7 pts off first overall!  Fourth was Niall Dowling's latest J/111 JAZZBAND, sailing strong in four of the six races with a "barbell" finish record- 7-1-2-5-5-7, just 6 pts out of 2nd.  Close racing indeed.  Here are the daily sailing reports and synopses below.

DAY ONE- Light to moderate breeze and a mostly sunny outlook is on the cards as three days of racing got underway on the Solent.  The forecast shows the wind mostly to be under 10 knots for the duration of the event, but gusty and with significant shifts occurring over the three days: the wind easterly, but backing into the NNW tomorrow, returning to the east on Saturday before backing into the northwest again and dropping on Sunday.

As the day dawned, it was light, shifty, and bracingly cold wind from the north, combined with a substantial tide made for challenging conditions on the opening day.

Racing started on time at 1300 and with the wind rarely getting above 6 knots, the tide was a vital factor, ebbing throughout the afternoon at more than 2 knots (and due to increase with a 4.9m spring tide coming on Sunday).

"The tide was a pretty major factor, particularly at the starts and some of the laylines in the second race," commented Luke McCarthy, Racing Manager and Head Coach at the British Keelboat Academy.

In addition to the BKA's three J/80s, they also sail on David Aisher's J/109 Yeoman of Wight in IRC Three, on which Luke McCarthy is competing this weekend with a BKA crew. After today's two races they are leading IRC Three. In race one they demolished the opposition finishing more than six minutes ahead on corrected time and this was despite being over at the start. "We always wanted to go right up the beat and we piled in there and pushed hard right and then we just extended after that." In the second race they (and a number of other boats) were involved in a big pile up at the pin end of the start line and finished fourth.

McCarthy attributes this partly to the four weekends of training they have put in over the last six weeks and also perhaps benefitting from their J/109 being rated with slightly larger jibs than the six other J/109s racing here.

Approaching low tide during race two, a number of boats went aground on the Brambles Bank, including the J/133 JERONIMO.  Meanwhile in IRC Four A Grant Gordon posted a pair of bullets aboard his J/97 Fever while Robert Larke had the same aboard J2X in the J/80s.

DAY TWO- Today proved a difficult one for both competitors and race officials alike. Under a grey overcast sky, race three of the series got underway on time in light breeze, but on the second beat the wind turned inside out, causing the race to be shortened, finishing at the end of that leg. After this the wind resolutely failed to return, causing today's final two races to be cancelled.

In IRC Two, Niall Dowling's new J/111 JAZZBAND remained in second, although today's race was won by JOOPSTER, Neil Kipling's J/122.  "The bias was swinging at the start and we were going for the pin end and then the bias went 10deg the other way, so we went back to the committee boat," explained one sailor about his start. "We weren't going fast at the gun, but we were going in the right direction and we spotted the pressure up on the left and those that went right lost on the first beat."

On the second beat, matters were made all the more challenging for the IRC 2 teams as there was a tide line just short of the weather mark. "There was east-going tide approaching and then for the last 50 yards, definite west-going tide," a skipper observed. "What became a good layline suddenly became a bad another two tacks, but it was the same for everyone."

Elsewhere in IRC Three the British Keelboat Academy squad sailing David Aisher's J/109 YEOMAN OF WIGHT remained in second. In IRC Four A Grant Gordon and his J/97 FEVER continued her unbroken run of bullets.  However, in the J/80 one design class, Rachel Woods' JUMBLESAIL won today's race breaking Rob Larke's previously perfect scoreline on J2X.

Round-the-world navigator Steve Hayles, racing with the British Keelboat Academy, felt that the race committee had made the right call to send the fleet home mid-afternoon.  "It was a bit confusing," he said of today's situation. "It wasn't really a sea breeze, there just wasn't much gradient about, so a bit of breeze funnels up the western Solent at 270deg, it funnels down Southampton Water and it comes off the north shore, so all it takes is a slight change in balance..."  But it was really the tide turning that finally killed the wind altogether today. "In theory that should have built the breeze a little, but I think it just held it back. To can it was the right thing to do."

As to tomorrow, Hayles (who also runs the weather forecasting company GRIB.US) says: "We hope it will go southwesterly...I was hopeful yesterday, but I'm not today. There is a bit of southwesterly out there, it is just whether it pushes up here. It could be the same again. I am a little more hopeful tomorrow. If it starts more left it will pull left."

DAY 3- Conditions finally came good for the last day of the RORC Easter Challenge with the wind backing into the south and building to double figures. To make up for yesterday's lack of wind, three races were held for all classes.

Despite a strong final push by Jackie Dobson and the crew of the J/133 JERONIMO winning today's two final races,  they still couldn't make it to the top of the podium and settled for second overall.

In IRC Three competition was tight.  David Aisher's British Keelboat Academy crewed J/109 YEOMAN OF WIGHT, which was top of the seven J/109s, finished second just one point shy of first overall.

After today's three races there was a leader change in IRC4A with father and son, Mike and Jamie Holmes and their J/97 JIKA JIKA overhauling sistership, Grant Gordon's FEVER, to win by just two points.  "It was our first time out this season, so it took a while for us to blow away the cobwebs," admitted Jamie Holmes. "We led FEVER during the race the day before a couple of times, but we threw it away through kedging badly!" Of today's race management on their course despite the powerful spring tide, Holmes added: "They did really well to get three fair races off, particularly after yesterday being so challenging. The tide was more of an issue yesterday, going backwards, than it was today."  According to Mike Holmes, their win came as a surprise as they hadn't expected three races to be held today - one more than scheduled.

With a near perfect scoreline was Robert Larke in the J/80 one design class, dropping yesterday's one race to the Rachel Woods-steered JUMBLESAIL.  While Larke posted three bullets in today's races in the Northern Solent, so consistently second was William Goldsmith's Slam-sponsored team on EXESS.  "Yesterday was frustrating to say the least," said Goldsmith. "Today it was a day of no mistakes or fewer mistakes. We struggled with starting earlier on in the week, but finished with a very good start and rather than J2X being off on their own, today we were keeping up with them and it was us and them and the rest of the fleet behind."

Goldsmith is with the British Keelboat Academy and is gunning with his team - average age 20 - for a good position in the J/80 Worlds to be held in Dartmouth later this year. "They will be huge and we want to try and stay up with the top of the fleet there. With the Worlds coming up its in our best interest to have all the British boats work together and that is part of the RORC Easter Challenge to get everyone coached."

At the prize-giving held in the Cowes Yacht Haven Events Centre, Commodore of the RORC Mike Greville thanked the race officials before Easter eggs were handed out as prizes to all of the winners.   Sailing photo credits-  Paul Wyeth  For more RORC Easter Challenge sailing information

J/111 offshore racing sailboat- sailing Sydney, AustraliaJ/111 JAKE Wins Sydney Ocean Series
(Sydney, Australia)- The amazingly long summer series that are sailed Down Under have no peer "Up North".  Remember, Aussie/Kiwi sailing seasons in the southern hemisphere are much, much longer than any experienced up north-- "summer" lasts over six months!  As a result, any sailboat that goes the distance over the course of the summer in these long, testing sailing seasons is deserving of any championship silverware they win.  It just so happens that one of those teams is the J/111 JAKE that has been turning heads off the Sydney Heads for several months.  Here's their report of their final race of the season series:

"With the start close to Potts Point in beautiful Sydney Harbour and the wind edging either side of south, it made for a spectacular spinnaker start heading down the harbour. As with all of this season since our J/111 JAKE was launched, our competition consisted of much larger, more expensive boats. We really feel like a dinghy on the start line however with kites set through the start in the 13 -14 knot breeze we were amongst the leaders towards the Lady Bay mark at South Head. We managed to hang onto our kite longer than most and made up some ground on the 45 and 50 footers. Kite finally down to get out of the harbour and the 80 footer BRINDABELLA already storming out the heads and heading north before the freshening southerly.

We found ourselves 2 sail reaching between “About Time” the  Cookson 12 and “St Jude” the Sydney 47 as our line to clear the rocks at North Head came into view. Up with our 120 sq.m. reacher. ‘Bang!’ the kite filled with around 20 knots in it. JAKE leapt out of the water with the crew on "About Time" cheering and clapping at the sight.  The skipper from "About Time" said afterwards, (“JAKE flew past us going to the Island - she almost lifted out of the water - we could see her keel.”). Our J/111 accelerated at such a pace exploding over the waves - we had soon left "About Time" and "St Jude" behind with one of our crew commenting we were 5th boat on the water and what a sight behind with around 15 much larger boats already in the rear-view mirror. We had not sailed in this breeze since the very first offshore race and coincidently the same course at the beginning of the season in October. This time we were ready. We had learned much about the J/111 since then and with rig tweaked for the conditions we were off. The speedo rapidly clicking, 8 to 15 knots almost instantly, then 16, 17 we were flying, the boat was on rails – solid, comfortable and so easy to steer, the crew elated we finally have JAKE in some breeze again. We wanted to keep close inshore so prepped for our first gybe, a little nervous but wait for the next wave, hitting 16 knots nooo problem, sweet as with only a few knots wind speed to boat speed difference - the gybes are so easy. Nervousness gone, the crew are playing spinny tweakers to try and get even more out of JAKE.  Breeze building slightly and now in the mid to upper twenties, confused sea but we’re making the most of the available waves. The tip of the sprit buries a few feet, no problem, crew a little further aft. Four behind the helm know and JAKE picks up another few tenths, then 18, 19, 19.1 knots....

Long Reef, just over halfway to Pittwater is looming fast so we gybe again to give it plenty of clearance. Behind us some boats are having trouble. A 50 footer ‘Never A Dull Moment’ living up to its name kite affray and struggling to get it down, off our port quarter the Sydney GTS 43 looks in trouble, they broach a few times and are soon heading back to safe harbour waters. Our friends on "About Time" have a little Chinese gybe but soon recover. JAKE is solid and the ride is surprisingly dry, water squirting out from under the mast area of the boat 10 feet either side as we nonstop plane north to Lion Island. The speedo starts doing crazy things as it exits the water. ’We are creeping up on Merlin’ calls one of the crew, she’s a fifty footer, ‘19.6’ someone shouts through the spray. Hedgy who is on his second only sail in JAKE says the top speeds are impressive but more impressive is that we are not dropping below 16 knots for many minutes at a time, the last  run was almost  5 minutes doing over 16 knots. Lion Island in Pittwater is soon in sight and we must be careful not to get under the high cliffs too early and into the wind shadow. So we throw our final gybe back toward the land absolutely screaming down the front of wave (back at the club a crew member says he saw 21.4 just before the gybe). We don’t want the ride to end and wish it was the Newcastle race we did a few weeks ago, being another 40 or so miles further north.

We are soon under the wind shadow which is unavoidable and recognized that we probably went a little too far out on the last gybe. The crew trim the boat forward again and comment we feel like we have stopped. Only doing 9.5 knots now as we head into the Lion Island mark. Merlin the 50 footer goes around it a minute ahead of us. We are 4th or 5th boat around the top mark. It’s hard to tell as the Pittwater fleets are now sailing in the same area.  It’s also an amazing site as our 36 footer settles into the long beat back to Sydney to see boats like DK 43s, Beneteau 45s, Sydney 47s and other 40 to 45 footers still sailing towards us with spinnakers set. The breeze has freshened and we see 28 knots of wind often. The J/111 is sweet to windward, very stiff and hardly slams in the building waves. We concentrate hard as some of the bigger boats begin to claw a few minutes back on us during the long beat home but checking our watches we know we have done some significant damage to them on time already. A few larger boats pass us close to Sydney, but JAKE triumphs with a third on IRC and second place overall in Sydney’s division one Ocean Pointscore Series.

Almost as impressive is the 3rd overall in the Short Ocean Point Score Series which Jake had to miss 3 races due to Sail Expo and other commitments. This astonishing 36 footer has proved itself in the most competitive local fleets around in a wide variety of conditions from gale force winds to glass-outs and drifters. It’s been a tale of David and many Goliaths. JAKE will be on the market to make room for the new J/70.  However, another J/111 is on the cards afterwards, these boats are just too much fun.  Our very best regards to all our competitors, and our crew for another fantastic sailing season filled with thrills…"  Thanks to Bobby Joe and Marie.  :)  

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing Easter RegattaIngham Wins J/24 Easter Regatta
(Columbia, SC)- The tradition of great southern hospitality and great weather continued at the J/24 Easter Regatta in Columbia, South Carolina. Good Friday saw a northerly blowing between 8 and 15kts over Lake Murray dam. Sporting large puffs and shifts and sunny skies it was a perfect day of racing with 4 worlds length courses.

Winning race one was Travis Odenbach after a close battle with Tony Parker to the finish. Race two the wind picked up to strong whitecaps and Ron Medlin owned the left side to lead the pack. After a bit of a slow start it was last year’s winner, Peter Bream who won the last two races. The third was a battle between Mike Ingham and Bream all the way to the finish. Peter won race 4 going away.

After day one, Ingham and Parker were tied for the lead with Bream 7 points behind. Odenbach and Dave Van Cleef rounded out the top 5. As always, Columbia sailing club put on a great dinner Friday night and the party moved to Billy Rae’s barn setting up for some sore heads on Saturday.

J/24 one-design sailboat at mark sailing fastDay 2 was a perfect sunny day –except there was no wind. There was a “fun race” with jib only, few rules and a really short course in front of the club where a really local thermal held up long enough to declare Patrick Wilson the winner. Several real races were attempted in the afternoon but with the lack of wind the committee mercifully called it off so the results remained unchanged from Friday.

Day 3 brought a nice south breeze at about 13kts which held long enough to complete three more races. But first we should recap the Easter-Eve events. It started of course with the beer truck and Ultimate 20 fleet’s rum punch machine. Dinner was the traditional southern spread of pulled pork, chicken and beans. Then great fun was had as local Roger Dougal hosted the annual “beer slide”. Then some dancing and the traditional after hours at Billy Rae’s barn went strong.

So after all the night’s festivities, it was great to wake up to the trees rustling with solid wind. The scores were close between the teams of Parker, Ingham, Odenbach and Bream. So of those four, it was set up such that whoever won the day would probably take the regatta win.

Odenbach got to the top mark first in the first race, with Ingham close behind. But in the end Ingham got past for the race win and Odenbach fell to third. Both Parker and Bream were a bit deeper. John Heaton had a great race finishing second. Race two was still from the south but it was a bit lighter at maybe 6kts.Parker took the lead on the second beat and held on for the win. Race three started in sub 5kts and was left shore favored. It was set up to be a 5 leg course but the breeze got very light as the fleet approached the first gate. This is where it got fun as the boats behind closed in on the leaders who hit the no wind zone first. As the fleet compressed from behind and drifted toward the gate, the RC mercifully shortened course. But that did not stop the carnage as just about the entire fleet compressed for photo finish between the leeward gate marks. In the end it was John Heaton who took the win, followed by local standouts Roger Dougal and Hootie Bushardt.

As always, Columbia Sailing Club put on a great show, thanks to this year’s chair Charles Bumgardner and his cast of many volunteers.  Sailing Photo Credits- Joe Reyes   For more J/24 Easter Regatta sailing information

J/145 cruiser racer sailboat- sailing China Sea RaceJ/109 & J/145 Earn Silver In Rolex China Sea Race
(Hong Kong, China)- The 50th anniversary of the Rolex China Sea Race that started April 4th was not the fastest one on record, not by a long shot.  This 565nm Category 1 Offshore Race run under the auspices of RORC takes competitors from Hong Hong, China to Subic Bay in the Philippines.  The two J/Teams from the Royal Hong Kong YC sailed incredibly well.  The J/109 WHISKEY JACK sailed by Nick Southward from RHKYC managed a 2nd Overall in IRC Racing 2 Class and 7th overall in IRC Fleet against some pretty stiff competition.  And, the J/145c REDEYE skippered by Wayne Thompson in IRC Cruising Class finished a well-deserved 2nd overall and was 9th boat overall line honors against a hot fleet of large racing boats--  from the Maxi 90 foot canting keeler GENUINE RISK to trio of modified TP52s.

J/109 racer cruiser sailboat- sailing at China Sea Race startThe race began under near-perfect conditions for a start in Victoria Harbour, just off the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. Good Easterly breeze at about 12-15 knots gave the 26 participating boats the push they needed to get the fleet out of the harbor-- often not an easy thing to do.  RHKYC Sailing Manager Alex Johnston said, “The fleet got away very cleanly with no boats over the line early, and for a race start of this size we had plenty of breeze, so from a start point of view, one really couldn’t ask for anything better.”

At 12:10 the first warning signal rang out as the boats crisscrossed the Harbour beneath towering skyscrapers and in front of the RHKYC searching for breeze. After the start, the fleet hugged the Kowloon side heading out of the Harbour. The first boats were out of view from the RHKYC by 12:35, as they continued across Junk Bay and out past the Po Toi islands into the South China Sea.

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club before China Sea Race startThe initial weather forecasts indicated that it might favour the smaller boats in the fleet but crews seemed doubtful about a quick trip to the finish. Said one skipper about the conditions, “I think the first 24 hours will be fast sailing upwind. It looks like the wind will die down but hopefully we will have some downwind sailing on the light air later in the race.”  Another echoed a similar sentiment, "What we see regarding weather is a very complex standoff between the Northeast and the Southeast monsoons, which means the race will be very tactical and very challenging.”  As it turns out, these observations were somewhat prophetic.  Not a fast race, but a steady one with a few stops and starts.  In the end, the fleet was treated to a reasonably nice passage of the China Sea to the Philippines.  The Subic Bay YC rolled out the red carpet for the crews, with terrific festivities, entertainment and an extraordinary feast for all to share some mighty sea stories after the race.  For more Rolex China Sea Race sailing information.

J/122 offshore racer cruiser sailboat sailing St Barths regattaLAZY & SHAMROCK Rock St Barths
J/95 SHAMROCK VII Wins, J/122 LAZY DOG Ties For First!
(Gustavia, St Barth)- The third edition of Les Voiles St Barths reinforced the little secret that many sailors have known about their pretty little corner of the Caribbean-- the congenial hospitality is out-of-this-world, the "Les Barthians" are amazingly nice people and go out of their way to put on a fabulous regatta.  Apparently, not only were the sailors wildly enthusiastic about the sailing, no one wanted to leave-- more than once people were overhead assuring "the office" and "loved one's" back home that there were, indeed, headed back to home and work after the regatta.  The "song of the Sirens" on St Barths is undoubtedly a difficult one to resist, the temptation is so alluring.

Out on the refreshing azure blue sparkling waters, the sailing was both fun and serious.  Losing a heart-breaking tie-breaker for first in Racing Spinnaker 2 class was the J/122 LAZY DOG sailed by Sergio Sagramoso from San Juan, Puerto Rico.  They lost out even though they had identical sailing records to their competitor!

In the Non-Spinnaker class, the J/95 SHAMROCK skippered by Tom Mullen from New Hampshire, USA ended up winning class over some steely competitors.  In fact, it turns out the team sailing the modified J/120 JAGUAR ISLAND WATER WORLD skippered by Ben Jelic finished 4th, but having to include in their 1-2-2 scoreline an unfortunate DSQ in the third race.

J/120 racer cruiser sailboat sailing Les Voiles St BarthsThe fleet was in for a treat starting on the first day of their four days of sailing.  On Tuesday, it dawned with flags lightly streaming, instilling hope that there’d be enough wind. After studying the range of course choice, the race committee settled on a 17-nautical miler that kept the fleet entirely along the southern coast, where the pressure held.  The race committee was quite pleased to get all seven classes off the line in the five starts. The faster boats – the Maxis and the IRC 52s – managed to sail the complete course, while the smaller, slower boats would find their race shortened, to finish at the Roche le Boeuf, off Gustavia.  The class leaders after the first day's sailing were:  J/122 LAZY DOG (Spinnaker 1) and the J/120 JAGUAR ISLAND WATER WORLD (Non-Spinnaker).

Les Voiles St Barths sailing regatta fleet anchorageFor Wednesday's sailing, there was better breeze was on tap with a variable 8-12 knot easterly which offered all classes a proper chance to perform. The race committee chose well again – reaching into their bag of 25+ courses and selecting picture postcard worthy courses around the northwestern end of the island and neighboring islets: 20-nautical mile for the Maxi and IRC 52 classes, and 17 miles for all of the other classes.  In the Non-Spinnaker Racing class only a point back from the lead was Ben Jelic’s J/120 JAGUAR ISLAND WATER WORLD, the local boat and local favorites from St. Maarten. In Spinnaker Racing class, with 19 boats the biggest class, and one rife with competition, the leader after two days was Sergio Sagramoso’s J/122, LAZY DOG with two bullets.

Perhaps it was the mandatory "Lay Day Thursday" festivities that got both the "big dogs" on LAZY DOG in trouble and the "crazy cats" on JAGUAR ISLAND WATER WORLD into even hotter water.  For after the bacchanalian festival of fun and games on the beach, great bands and party in the evening, both teams lost a bit of their "racing edge".

Friday dawned with perhaps the most important race of the event.  A favorite staple of racing in St Barth’s is the round-the-island race, and today the Les Voiles de St. Barth competitors had their turn. The fleet was sent anti-clockwise on either a 23- or 17-nautical mile course, that included the island itself, as well as neighboring Ile Fourchue.  A land-based spectator could easily follow the fleet around – as easily as they could navigate a car along the island’s windy and narrow roads. The volcanic French island offers some impressive views: the start from historic Fort Oscar, midway around at the beachside village of Lorient, and finally from the overlook near Colombier, several hundred feet above the passage to Ile Chevreau, with the fleet by then on a downwind leg, spinnakers and staysails flying.

At the start off Gustavia, an eight to ten knot southeasterly helped send the seven classes off the line. Around the southern end, out of the lee of the island, boats encountered more breeze and bigger swells. Added to that, several rain squalls brought more wind as well, with boats experiencing 20-25 knots in the passing showers. These cells challenged some crews, who struggled to keep in phase with sail changes; those that could react faster, made big gains around the island course.

J/122 Lazy Dog sailing team at Les Voiles St Barths regattaThe battle brewing in Spinnaker 1 class saw the J/122 LAZY DOG just miss their third win for the week, correcting out only by 46 seconds behind the race winner.  LAZY DOG's team, all from Puerto Rico, have successfully sailed together for eight to nine years, winning quite a few regattas.  Sagramoso said, “We know each other from windsurfing competitively when we were younger, then we all moved to sailing.  My foredeck used to be the best windsurfer in Puerto Rico! We have had an amazing few days, a great time, great racing and a lot of fun.  Probably the best regatta we have ever been to.  I came once as a tourist and thought that it looked like a beautiful place to sail. This is now our new favorite regatta in the Caribbean!"

J/95 Shamrock VII sailing team at Les Voile St Barths regattaSaturday's final day of sailing was going to be a cliff-hanger for many fleets, the outcomes of the racing determining the podium positions for many.  No one said racing in paradise was easy, and on Saturday crews were again tested with light and variable winds. Tacticians and navigators found it challenging – as did helmsman and trimmers who were looking for any advantage in the changeable conditions.  Spinnaker 1 class came down to a battle for first overall, with Sergio’s J/122 LAZY DOG finished tied on six points, losing the tie-breaker by virtue of their second place finish!  In the Non-Spinnaker class,  Tom's J/95 SHAMROCK VII triumphed over their friendly competitor's mis-adventures. If you recall, SHAMROCK came straight from the BVI Spring Regatta, where they won their class.  Right after finishing, they delivered the boat to St Barth’s with barely time to register, let alone practice.  Tom attributed his boat’s win to a combination of bad luck for some of their competitors and extraordinarily hard work on part of his crew.  Congratulations to all the J/Teams for great sailing and fun-- we hope to join you next year!  Sailing photos courtesy of Christophe Jouany.  For more Les Voiles St Barth sailing information


What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide

J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER sailing SPI Ouest France regatta*  John Van de Starre's J/111 X-CENTRIC RIPPER sailed a fantastic SPI Ouest France Regatta.   Here's their report on what it was like to sail the J/111 one-design class in La Trinite sur Mer, France:

"Last month , our team, unexpectedly, got the fantastic opportunity to start the season in La Trinite sur Mer. The Easter regatta, called “ Spi Ouest”, is an annual sailing regatta with international participants. Here the first J/111 One design regatta in Europe would take place and we were invited by the J-Europe factory to participate!

After the winter series, we made a great effort in a short period to prepare the boat for La Trinite. There were 10 J/111 enlisted, coming from France, Belgium, Sweden, New Zealand, the UK and Holland. Paul Heys, the UK J-agent (last year 3rd in Cowes week) was there and so was Didier le Moal, CEO of J/Boats Europe with a professional crew.

DAY 1- Good Friday was a splendid day with 25 kts of wind from the NE and sun, so magnificent sailing conditions. This day, our class was starting with the First 31.7 class on course B. Also the M34 and Grand Surprises with a field of 44 boats were on our course. Our first start was good and we were first at the top mark.. Downwind we were too precautious with our A5 asymmetrical, because we wanted to spare the new 130 m2 A2 with 25 kts of wind. At once we were overrun by the planing French boat helmed by Didier with its large spinnaker. After the second upwind leg, we came 2nd at the upwind mark, it became painfully clear how incredibly busy it can be at the top mark. We wanted to round the mark after a starboard tack but surrounded by lots of Grand Surprises, we were stuck in the pack. On top of that, one of them hit us and its mast came between our forestay and our mast. No escape possible with 25 kts of wind. Fortunately, with utmost physical efforts, we could get free and continue the race without substantial damage and no dismasting!

We had to turn a 720 degrees and became 5th in position. Finally, we finished 3 rd but realized that we were very lucky to be able to continue racing . Without a mast, the racing season would be over…….Race 2 was not really good, too precautious choosing the A5 and struggling with flocks of other boats , we became 4th. Race 3 was a beautiful 15 miles coastal to round fixed cans. We had a good start and could take charge after some sensible decisions. This resulted in a first place!! Conclusion of the day: stay out of the crowd and hoist the large spinnaker.

DAY 2- Looks again to be a top-day. We started with 10 kts of wind, many wind shifts, and again a first place. However, in the 2nd race, we were put back to earth. After a start over port, we could not climb out of the field and were forced to continue too far. We could not get the speed of the last race and with defensive tactics, we could press out a 3 rd place.

J/111s sailing SPI Ouest France gybing for finish lineWith new energy we started another coastal, but again not enough speed. We were ending up at the back of the field………. What is the matter??? There is only one possibility and that is that something is wrong under water. Underway we saw some seaweed in the water, so maybe there is some stuck at the keel, saildrive or rudder. During our daily drink on the mooring pontoon, we could borrow a wetsuit, luckily for some of us a small one, so Pascal our bowman was the only lucky one to fit in. As Pascal is a brave man, he goes under the boat in the ice cold water and at the rudder he found seaweed. We found the reason of our bad performance! Our self-confidence was damaged a bit, but we started day 3 with full enthusiasm. Race 1, less wind, 6 kts, looking out for pressure. Especially downwind, the dices are thrown. Are you choosing depth and less speed or more speed with less height. We kept on watching VMG and gusts and tried to find the right mixture. Especially the French boat “ J-Lance” with Didier goes like hell and wins this race. We became 2nd. Race 2 is like a one design race should be, 8 knots within 50 meters from each other , changing positions all the time, great racing!! We fought hard and ended 3 rd. Race 3 was top of the bill. Another first place!!

DAY 4- Early start at 09.30 hrs. We sail race 1 with 20 kts of wind. We have a safe 3 rd pace in general ranking with only 1 point difference between # 2 “ J-Dream” and # 1 “ J-Lance” and us 4 points behind the latter. With some luck, we could climb one or two places if we were going to win two races. Unfortunately, after one race and a 3rd. place, the committee decides to send us back to the marina. J-Lance became the winner, with J-Dream second and Xcentric Ripper third.

Spi-Ouest, a splendid event. What an excellent racing weekend!! I have to say that one design sailing in J-111 is great. It is very close racing. Every tiny mistake is being punished straight away and winning is really winning. A fine result and a very good team spirit and atmosphere on board of our Xcentric Ripper!

Participating Spi-Ouest gave us the opportunity to work on our tuning and boat handling and we became very confident in the new season, starting with the Van Uden Reco races in 2 weeks!"

Volvo Ocean Race skipper Ken Read sailing PUMA mar mostro*  The Volvo Ocean Race is a game of logistics, luck, seamanship and smarts.  Gotta have it all to win and, like in one-design racing, those who make the least mistakes wins.  Such a maxim is applying in a huge way to the 2011-2012 edition of the VOR.  So far, a bunch of guys who've sailed one-design J/80s in their hometowns in Spain, including skipper Iker Martinez, are winning sailing their blue-colored beauty called TELEFONICA.  Another contender happens to be another one-design champion, multi-J/24 World Champ Ken Read skippering the red & black "octo-pussy" called PUMA Mar Mastro.  Incredibly, these two teams sailed an epic, mind-blowing fifth leg from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil-- by far the toughest sailing leg in the whole event.  A down-to-the-wire finish with classic one-design boat-to-boat tactics (keep yourself between your competitors and the mark!) saw Ken's PUMA Mar Mostro picking up their first leg win of the race, by just ten minutes elapsed time over Iker's TELEFONICA!

"Unbelievable!", reported Kenny. "Nobody quit and the atmosphere on the boat was really cool and everybody was ready to tackle the task at hand. I'm very proud of this team. It's a great feeling." Kenny further went on to say, "I don't remember when I wrote my last blog. I don't really remember when I slept last. We started rationing food days ago and had our last meal this am. And I am really, really happy.

This has been an epic leg. Like nothing any of us in the sailing world has ever seen. It seems like every leg we come in and say, "This was the toughest leg ever." But, this time we mean it. This was the toughest leg ever.

Volvo 70 Telefonica sailing off Brazil- skipper Iker MartinezGoing around Cape Horn was amazing. Our duel with the incredibly unlucky Groupama. The remarkable fortune of Telefonica to get the weather window they did in order to eat up a 450 mile gap in the last 2,000 miles. And to be able to hold them off not once, but twice, drifting to the finish when they closed the gap to within 100 yards. Just unreal.

I am very proud of the boat building team (New England Boatworks), the shore team and all the engineers and designers that put this boat together. Your boat made it folks. It is in great shape and lord only knows we put her through the ringer. The sailing team salutes you all.

And to the sailing team who hung in there through thick and thin, amazing work. As safe as we can be. All in great spirits. And we get to do it all over again in two weeks.

This is a leg and a trip that I will remember forever. Probably my last foray into the Southern Ocean. An adventure within an adventure you might call it. Glad this one is behind us and the "friendly" confines of the Atlantic Ocean await."  We wish Kenny and the PUMA Mar Mastro boys "Fair winds and following seas" on the next leg.  And, as a fellow J sailor, we also wish the best to Iker and his TELEFONICA team.

The J Cruising CommunityJ cruising directions- roll the dice and go!  Sailing to anywhere, anytime! J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent "blogs" written by their prolific publishers.  Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You'll love it.

* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel's big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand.  Their blog is here:

* Prolific writers, Bill and Judy Stellin, sailed their J/42 JAYWALKER around the Mediterranean and Europe and back across the Atlantic for nearly three years.  Their blogs/journals can be found at-  The earlier journals have been compiled into two self published books which can be found at:  Search for "SEATREK: A Passion for Sailing" by Bill Stellin or William Stellin."  UPDATE-  Just a short note to update from Bill- "Our cruise began in May of 2000 and ended in May of 2008, some 8 years later. I have just finished and published my third and final book covering the last three or so years including our double handed crossing in 16 days and one winter in the Caribbean. Like the others, "Sea Trek- A Passion for sailing- Book III," can be found at  Thanks, Bill and Judy"

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam after completion of their ARC Rally. Read the latest news at

* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world's oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between.  Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).

SALACIA, the J/160 owned by Stephen and Cyndy Everett has an on-going blog describing some of their more amusing experiences (

-  Bill and Susan Grun on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (  Read about their latest adventures as they've gotten to New Zealand- "Avante Cruises the Pacific".

- Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog at  Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA)J/109 racer-cruiser sailboat GAIA- sailing off Java Sea cruising offshore, then to the South Pacific and New Zealand.  MANDALAY is back in San Francisco now, and in the J/World fleet--she is available for skippered charters, private instruction, and corporate/executive groups.

* The J/109 GAIA (seen right in the Java Sea) was sailed by Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay around the world. In February 2011, their cruising adventures came to an abrupt, sad ending.  As a tribute to them and their cruising friends worldwide, we hope their chronicles on their GAIA website remains a tribute to their warm-hearted spirits- read more about why many loved them dearly and will remain touched by their loving spirit forever-