Wednesday, December 12, 2012

J/Newsletter- December 12th, 2012

J/Sailing Calendar 2013- J/70 coverNEW 2013 J/Calendar!
The Perfect Gift For People Who Love Sailing!
(Newport, RI)- For 2013 we've created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places. The 2013 sailing calendar features photos (pictured here) of a dramatic J/111 powering upwind off Newport; a fleet of J/24s off sunny Tampa; surrealistic scenes of J/80s off Santander, Spain and flying downwind off Marseilles, France; a fleet of J/120s rocking downwind under spinnakers on San Francisco Bay; J/70s flying along under spinnakers; J/22s starting in the Rocky Mountains; and a J/97, J/109 and J/122 sailing in sunny Solent conditions.  A great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew!    Order your 2013 J/Calendar today, click here

J/70 SAIL Magazine- Best Boats- PerformanceJ/70 SAIL Best Boat
(Boston, MA)- Recently, SAIL Magazine's panel of sailing experts reviewed a large cross-section of "performance" sailboats in the 30 foot and under size range.  After a thorough evaluation of all the boats, the SAIL Best Boat  expert panel chose the J/70 as the "Best Boat" in the "Performance Category" (30 ft & under).

Here are some comments from them, "..the trailerable J/70 is a simple, nimble sport boat that's rapidly growing into one of the most impressive one-design classes afloat."  And furthermore, "expect big things from this 22 footer as fleets take root and blossom-- the same as with its 24-foot cousin (the J/24) back in the 1970s."  Click on the photo to read more about it.

To that end, there are over a dozen J/70 fleets that have formed already with nearly twice that amount in the formative process.  The J/70 Regatta schedule has expanded considerably, here's a short-list of what's happening in the 70 world for 2013.

J/70 Regatta Schedule
January-     Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
February-   SW NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
March-       Bacardi Race Week- Miami, FL
April-         Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
                  Warsash Spring Series- Solent, England
                  SPI Ouest France- La Trinite sur Mer, France
May-         SW NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
June-         Bacardi Regatta- Newport, RI
                  Sail Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
                  Cleveland Race Week- Cleveland, OH
July-          Leukemia Cup Cleveland- Cleveland, OH
                  Youngstown Level Regatta- Youngstown, NY
                  New Englands/ Marblehead NOOD- Marblehead, MA
August-      Cowes Week- Cowes, England
September- Europeans- Lake Garda, Italy
                  North Americans- Annapolis, MD
October-    Fall Brawl Regatta- Annapolis, MD
                  SoCal Championships- San Diego, CA

J/70 one-design sailboat- Paris Boatshow- Paris, France- More regattas are coming on-line all the time. Teams out West are working out the PCC's and SoCal Championships.  J/70 owners in Texas/Gulf Coast are forming a Texas Circuit rolling between Forth Worth, Austin, Houston.  In the Midwest (Chicago, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio) teams are forming their circuit plans, too. The European 70 teams were discussing at the Paris Show and soon the London Boat show plans for the J/70 European Circuit. In Europe, fleets are developing in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Germany.  South America also has boats and fleets are in development in Chile, Argentina, and Peru.  Also in the Southern Hemisphere, it looks like J/70s may become popular in Sydney, Australia and even in Perth-- can you imagine a J/70 flying home downwind in the "Freemantle Doctor"!?  That would be insanely fun.

Read more about J/70 class development on the newly formed J/70 Class Association- or learn more from owners on the J/70 Class on Facebook-

sunset sailing offshoreJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Remarkably enough, J sailing continues to heat up in the middle of December, particularly for those intrepid J sailors in the Southern Hemispheres.  Starting off with our friends in South America, the J/105s just had a huge fleet sailing their J/105 Chilean Nationals off the beautiful Pacific coastline in Algarrobo, Chile.  There was also a J/70 sighting amongst the 105s!  Around to the west of Chile, a J/35 was having a blast, literally, in near gale conditions sailing the Derwent Sailing Squadron's Harbour Series off Hobart, Tasmania in the River Derwent.  Up along the Equator, the Caribbean sailing circuit are about to start and the big "feeder races" in the form of the ARC Rallies were finishing their trans-Atlantic voyages this past week.  The J/145 ACE just finished their ARC Rally sailing 2,800 nm from Las Palmas, Canary Islands to St Lucia on the trade-wind sailing route to the Caribbean.  And, the J/42 KEEP IT SIMPLE also completed sailing the Caribbean 1500 ARC Rally from Hampton, Virginia to Tortola, BVI, having to skirt past the monstrous "tail-feathers" of Hurricane Sandy that produced rather epic sailing conditions for their crossing.  Speaking of the Caribbean, there were a half-dozen excellent J/22 and J/24 sailors that laid waste to the Carlos Aguilar Match Race event in St Thomas, USVI.  East across the Atlantic, the J/80s sailed their Trofeo AVIA off Santander, Spain in a somewhat stormy regatta.  Finally, with the proliferation of J/70s blossoming all-around the world, J/70 sailing videos are getting posted with greater regularity on YouTube, see the recent J/70 sailing videos links from Seattle, Washington and Toronto, Ontario below.

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

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Jan 6-10- J/24 Australian Nationals- Sandringham, NSW, Australia
Jan 12-20- London Boatshow (70, 111)- London, England
Jan 19-27- Boot Dusseldorf Boatshow (70)- Dusseldorf, Germany
Jan 21-26- Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
Jan 21-26- J/80 Midwinters- Key West, FL
Jan 21-26- J/70 Midwinters- Key West, FL
Jan 24-27- Strictly Sail Boatshow (70, 111)- Chicago, IL
Jan 24-27- San Diego SunRoad Boatshow (70)- San Diego, CA
Jan 25-Feb 3- Seattle Boatshow (70)- Seattle, WA
Feb 11-15- J/24 Midwinters- Davis Is YC- Tampa, FL
Feb 16-24- New England Boatshow (70)- Boston, MA
Feb 28-Mar 13- J/22 Midwinters- Davis Is YC- Tampa, FL
Mar 6-10- HISWA Amsterdam Boatshow (70)- Amsterdam, Holland
Mar 8-10- J/105 Midwinters- Lakewood YC- Seabrook, TX
Apr 11-14- Strictly Sail Pacific (70, 111)- Alameda, CA

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

J/105 sailboats- sailing Chilean NationalsTRICALMA Wins J/105 Chilean Nationals
(Algarrobo, Chile)- One-design sailing continues to grow quite dramatically in the Southern Hemisphere.  It's a result of the efforts of numerous sailors and sailing clubs in the region that see sailing as a family activity. In general, the local sailing community continues to grow and foster development both at the beginner levels in Optimist sailing as well as in more advanced levels of offshore keelboats.

A testimonial to that development evolution is the growth of the J/105 fleet in Chile over the last two years.  There is no question the Chileans have some magnificent sailing areas both on the Pacific Ocean as well as in the many bays and island archipelagos in the southern parts of their gorgeous country.

J/105 one-design sailboats- sailing off Algarrobo, ChileWith nineteen boats on the starting line, the 2012 Chilean J/105 Nationals were sailed this weekend in a wide variety of conditions that challenged the sailors during the six races sailed. On the first day, the J/105 teams experienced nice steady 10-12 kts Southwest winds, enabling the PRO to run three races.  On Sunday, the wind shifted into the Northwest and got lighter during the day with winds ranging from 5-10 kts, the fleet again enjoyed three good races.

Most of the boats sailing had family crew onboard, including lots of women and kids as crew.  In fact, several boats had husband/wife combinations and a few even "engaged couples"!  The camaraderie amongst the sailors was evident as all had a lot of fun both on and off the water.

The racing was very very close for the fleet with both 1st and 2nd and 3rd and 4th determined by tie-breakers!  Finishing first was TRICALMA sailed by Daniel Gonzalez, the J/105 Chile Class President.  Second was RECLUTA III sailed by Miguel Perez, also with 15 pts.  Third on the podium was BIG BOOTY sJ/70 one-design speedster- sailing off Chile's Pacific Coastailed by Miguel Salas and losing the tie-breaker at 17 pts was Patricio Seguel's GRAND SLAM, taking 4th overall.  Rounding out the top five was Sergio Baesa's family team with 21 pts-- in fact they had perhaps the most family on one boat, Sergio Baesa father & son, Sergio Jr's wife, daughter and two friends!  Their hull #173 was the first J/105 brought into Chile fifteen years ago!  Today, there are now 24 J/105s in Chile, most in the Algarrobo/Valparaiso sailing harbors.

The next event for the J/105 Chile fleet is the "Bio Bio Circuit" at the end of January 2013. For those of you familiar with the disastrous earthquake/tsunami that hit almost 3 years ago on Feb 27 2010, they will be sailing  at "Zone Zero", the waters over the epicenter of that massive earthquake!  Oh, and here's the photo of the the sneak attack by the J/70 on the 105 fleet loaded with pirates!

J/80 sailing off Santander Bay, SpainNEXTEL Wins Trofeo AVIA
(Santander, Spain)- Ignacio Camino's NEXTEL ENGINEERING was the winner of this year's Trofeo AVIA sailed in J/80s on the waters of Santander Bay.  The wind was a the real "star" of the event as for two days the wind saw gusts over 30 kts at the start of the races.  Going to windward after the starts was a test of seamanship, steering and basic sail-trim.  Going downwind was even a greater test as some crews experienced some pretty remarkable broaches.

On both days, the Race Committee PRO had to change race course area after the first race, taking the fleet inside the "sand spit" into the area of ​​Quebrantas and could fit a smaller, protected course in the vicinity of the island of Horadada.

Jaime Piris on FONESTAR opted for the pin end start and stretched to the left side where the influence of the current tide was lower, in addition to benefiting from the greater wind pressure that came from the west.  On the other side of the course going up the right hand side were ECC VIVIENDAS sailed by Pichu Torcida, GO FIT skippered by David Madrazo and Ignacio Camino on NEXTEL.  Although they finished behind FONESTAR, they did not fare well on the right due to less wind pressure and were sailing against stronger current.

After several more races, it became quite obvious to the sailors that the left hand side of the course was paying off upwind while the right hand side (left going downwind) was much faster going downwind under spinnaker.

It was a good afternoon of sailing for the favorites NEXTEL, ECC and GO FIT, which never finished below the top five.  In the end, Camino won on NEXTEL with just 9 pts followed by Madrazo on GO FIT in second place with 13 pts, narrowly beating out Luis Prieto sailing MAQUECHE who had 14 pts for third place.  The balance of the top five were comprised of Pichu's team on ECC VIVIENDAS in fourth with 15 pts and in fifth was YATES & COSAS.  The Class B champion was A&G Private Banking sailed by Tono Ribalaygua.  For more J/80 Santander Trofeo Avia sailing information

For those of you who are students of sailing tactics & strategies, you may want to take a look at a very interesting video representation of the tracking system used for the J/80 French Nationals in Douarnenez, France.  Take a look at this sailboat tracking system overview on YouTube here.

J/35 MEM sailing River Derwent, Hobart, TasmaniaJ/35 Smokin' Down Derwent
(Hobart, Tasmania)- A powerful, hot and smokey northerly wind, bringing heatwave conditions to Hobart, sent the fleet 'smokin' down the Derwent in today's final pre-Christmas Combined Clubs harbour racing series.

The temperature in Hobart peaked at 33 degrees, the north to north-westerly wind averaged 25 knots, gusting to more than 30 knots and more as it funnelled down the river below the Tasman Bridge.

The wooden mast of the 77 year old Derwent class yacht Gnome broke under the pressure and the gusty wind saw some spectacular broaches under spinnaker, including the Farr 40 and a large sportboat that was forced to retire after a mid-river broach as she planed downwind.  The strong breeze contributed to some last day changes in the final point scores for the Combined Clubs pre-Christmas harbour series.

Sailboats sailing the River Derwent, Hobart, TasmaniaGroup 1 ended with three different winners of each of the three handicap categories after two final windward/leeward races today.  Nevertheless, the solid, fast J/35 MEM, skippered by Paul Boutchard, finished with a 2nd and a 4th to win the PHS category with a record of 1-8-1-1-3-3-2-2-4-2 for a net 15 points, ahead of Don Calvert's Castro 40, Intrigue, on 22 points and Darren Clark's Farr 1104, Invincible, on 28 points.  The wins by Paul Bouthard’s J/35 under PHS handicaps was the stand-out performance in the handicap divisions.

The J/35 MEM will always be remembered as the yacht owned by then Sydney-based yachtsman, John Quinn, from which he was tossed overboard when huge waves engulfed the boat in the Tasman Sea during the 1993 Sydney Hobart Race.

Quinn courageously dog-paddled for just short of six hours before being unbelievably heard by a crew member aboard the tanker, Ampol Sorel, before being picked up by fellow competitor, Atara, owned by John Storey. Atara’s crew did all the right things as they headed to Eden and Quinn was able to walk off the yacht unaided.

Quinn sold MEM and she now lives a more sedate life racing on the River Derwent. Quinn returned to ocean racing and the Sydney Hobart, despite his ordeal, but has now retired from the sport and lives of Hobart.

The Combined Clubs post-Christmas harbour series will start on Saturday, 12 January 2013.  Thanks for contribution from Peter Campbell.  For more Derwent Sailing Squadron sailing information

J/145 ACE - cruiser racer sailing ARC Rally in AtlanticJ/145 ACE Flew the ARC Rally!
(Las Palmas, Canary Islands)-  Just over 14 days to sail the ARC Rally across 2,800 nm of open Atlantic Ocean from Las Palmas, Canary Islands to St Lucia's gorgeous harbor in the Caribbean!  For a J/145 that's loaded down with lots of cruising goodies, sailing with just white sails (a jib and main), no monster asymmetric spinnaker used at all, that's an awfully fast passage!  That's about 336 hours of sailing, or an average of over 8.3 knots!

Here are some updates on their progress, how they did it and the joy of arriving "home" in St Lucia!  If you recall, while the crew on the J/145 ACE may appear to be sailing in the lap of luxury, by all accounts even a yacht this large can become quite small in the vast expanse of ocean.  Here are some of their latest, entertaining, insightful and thought-provoking reports below.

12/6- Good Afternoon, Sorry for the late transmission today.

Yesterday and today are the days we knew we would be sailing through a trough of light air and it presented lots of challenges. In addition to losing our air any going 4 knots or less at times, we had to sail a course that was slightly away from St Lucia in order to get to a more favorable wind. As a consequence you may have noticed that we sailed far less distance yesterday than in previous days. Last night we actually sailed away from our destination by about 35 miles. Sometimes it takes a lot of patience and faith in the navigation team! Late this afternoon we finally set a course directly to St.Lucia and put up our first spinnaker. As the sun set a few minutes ago we dropped the kite and put up a working jib for the night sail.

We all love the night sailing because it is a time of sailing in the dark looking at stars, weather, enduring squalls and time to talk with one other crew member. Because it is dark and the rest of the crew is asleep, there is nothing to do but sail. We had other challenges as well. We said goodbye to our roller furling jib as it finally gave up last evening to be replaced by the shiny , relatively new racing #3. We did clear up a problem of a plugged aft head so not the whole day was given to problems, there were some successes and that was one.

We all continue to be healthy and happy enjoying the pleasures of life at sea such as whale sightings as well as dealing with the inevitable challenges. As I write, the crew is enjoying risotto prepared by William and Richard. So I will join them and leave you with this crude verse:

Wind roars, westerly Ace soars, shuddering to plane Breaking free. on course.

Finally thanks for all of the emails, we love getting them and they are the highlight of our midday.

Lots of love from us all, Fred, William, Adrian, Chris, Spider, Rob and Rocky (aka Sticky Ricky). You will have to ask him about that yourself

12/7- Ahoy Landlubbers!
Greetings from the good ship ACE. All is well onboard, with 800miles to go. Better sleeping, cleaner clothes (it's all relative), and less swamp like conditions generally, making for some pretty pleasurable sailing.  Spinnaker has been up the past two days and you'll hopefully have noted that speed is looking a little better again. We are even heading in roughly the right direction now!

A few engine issues ( doesn't work) have kept me pretty busy with my head in the hole that passes for an engine room for the past couple of days, with the occasional ' helpful' comment from passers by. it is not a great problem, as we elected not to motor through the light stuff anyway, and can still run the freezer without it. Hopeful that i can get it sorted today. Funny - the only call I have made this trip has been to my mechanic, not my wife! (Sorry honey).

'Culturally' I have been learning more American by the day, and may even be able to understand some of what these guys are talking about soon. Adrian seems to cope better than I, but i think he is a faster learner!  I find it quite difficult though as they insist on spelling things wrongly, and can't even say words like aluminum properly! I am really not sure how they could have forgotten so much English in such a short time!!

Sartorial elegance is slipping too, William has taken to wearing a Rambo headband in the galley, Peter has given up completely, and the rest sport a variety of clothes which have the interesting feature of no longer needing to be hung up when removed as they hold their shape perfectly wherever they are placed. Some have been more successful than others in growing beards, all containing some 'shades of grey'.

Everyone is still enjoying the ride, and trying to make the most of the last few days, we are all aware that all too soon we will be back to desks, computers and everyday life, with just the memories of 'the journey' remaining. Love to my family, and best wishes to all- Rob

12/9- Water World
Our world is composed of pretty basic elements: the shallow bowl of the sea, it's radius determined by the height of the waves and the inverted globe of the sky, it's blue void animated by clouds.  Endless combinations, permutations, and variations, modulated by the sun and the moon and wind create unique scenes of fascination and beauty.

The last 48 hours has seen prototypical trade wind sailing, puffy white clouds, or no clouds at all. chute up all day into the evening as this new sailing experience with the big sail requires a bit more focus on the compass and apparent wind indicator if a bit less of a physical workout. like i said, a beautiful day, too bad Rob spent most of it in the engine room patiently and expertly fixing the diesel, with barely an audible expletive all day. chris extracted the broken key out of the starter, obviating the need for his hot wire kit to start the now fixed motor. this lad would make an excellent car thief. and the trifecta; William didn't have to go over the side with a stick to clear the poop hole since it inexplicably cleared. both heads now operable.  All these accomplishments led Fred to make yet another important executive decision and break out the rum to toast everything that needed toasting, including all of you. cocktails followed by a brilliant dinner by Adrian.

Whoops, i think i conflated two days here. No matter, some things consistent, some constantly changing. We added 2 hours to the clock today to be on Antigua time and it was the perfect day to do it. Sunny breezy and tropically warm. Hard to think it's winter in the northern hemisphere.

A gannet (i think) made a few dives near the boat and came up with a fish each time. We've seen petrels, tern like gulls, and one or two other unidentifiables. Need the bird book!

Chris got active after dinner, spreading around balloons, noisemakers (all prepared by Andrea), and a lot of felicidades for Peter's b'day, accompanied by a truly wretched rendition of 'happy birthday' and a great apple crumble prepared by William. The candles barely made it to the companionway hatch before Peter and the 25 knot breeze blew them out. Our wishes have been granted.

This morning brought crepes to the galley, an excellent vehicle for jam and peanut butter. And, Rob just fixed the gas supply to the stove. A day without a minor glitch wouldn't be the same. This group of men has built a dynamic environment out of patience, humor, cooperation and trust. A great adventure.

12/10- Approaching our last Day
Our Chart plotter is telling us that we are going to finish sometime tomorrow.  If the winds hold and it's correct, that would mean that I wouldn't get a chance to send the final email that's been bouncing around my head for the past few days, thus I am secretly penning this while our morning routine is underway.  An email to make a brief, but important, 7 acknowledgments.

The first is to Adrian and his incredible bravery and determination. For someone who has never spent a night at sea to sign on for an Atlantic crossing in an "Athletic" boat, and then to overcome his trepidation by proving himself a skillful helmsmen during tough conditions, and then when off watch, to whip up an absolutely incredible Nicoise….need I say more?

William had similar hurdles, proved himself equally as well, but most Importantly he took control of the galley, and thus the boat's "real" fuel supply.  Irregardless of the weather conditions, he cooked amazingly delicious hot meals…not an easy feat when the boat is crashing through waves at 20 knots.  In addition his enthusiasm to help in all made him the perfect shipmate.

Rocky Gluckman in many books would be the MVP.  He was an animal!  Tireless at the wheel, omnipresent in the galley as William's right hand…he was like a weeble….impossible to keep down. And this makes no mention of his sense of humor….and his vast vault of stories….

Captain Rob not only prepared the canvas for our masterpiece, but repaired it competently along the way as all the usual hiccups emerged.  His calm demeanor and unflappable character and smile were bedrocks throughout.  Whether we were crash jibing the boat, tearing sails, or blocking the heads, he never flinched!  Perhaps he didn't smile at these times…..but he never flinched.

We all know Chris is funny, but his smile and laugh contributed more than I can possibly put into words throughout our journey.  Never were we faced with a situation where Chris didn't have an appropriate joke, and his ability to organize a birthday party is unparalleled.  I must personally thank him for that.  In addition to his getting us to St Lucia, his command of the Nav Station kept us all in touch with weather, the other boats, and all of you.  I would never hesitate to accepting an offer to sail offshore with him again.  Its a complete joy.

And perhaps the biggest nod to Fred.  Rob may have been the Captain.  Chris may have been in charge of the Nav, but Fred was our leader.  Fred has an amazing ability to bring out the best in everyone, and I truly believe that it was because of him that we all enjoyed our journey as much as we did. He organized and hand picked the crew, and in doing so put together our Atlantic experience, for while the trip was certainly about the physical act of sailing, it was perhaps more about the camaraderie and the experience we shared as a team.  I always say that the attitude on a boat stems from the top down, and on Ace, Fred was directly responsible for the positive environment that pervaded.

And the final nod must go to the Good Ship herself, the Mighty ACE.  Any boat that can put up with the 7 of us, while delivering thirteen 200+ mile days, with top speeds of over 23 knots, is a damn fine ship. Long Live ACE!!

I feel honored to be included in the above group, wish to publicly voice my thanks to all of them, and look forward to continuing our relationships and furthering our sailing adventures together.

12/10- Midnight- Greetings to our extended Ace family from the crew:

Today begins as yesterday ended, with ACE running on a starboard tack towards Saint Lucia, now about 260 miles distant.  The morning rose with the sun on a blue sky, steady winds, relatively modest rolling seas and a decent heading towards the Caribbean.  It was the air, however, which dominated the setting.  Warm, sweet, velvety, seductively gentle -- it offered an enticing welcome to those of us awakening for another watch shift.

The Ace of the last couple of days differs from the Ace of last week.  Gone for now is the relentless muscular, ever demanding  locomotive of last week,  substituted by a steadier, albeit slower course towards home on an ocean that herself has tamed considerably.  The ever changing scenery on this stage they call the North Atlantic is nothing if not temporary.  And today's slightly hypnotic rhythms belie that darker capabilities that lurk just off-set, and which help fuel the quiet edginess that is a constant, rain or shine, flat or gusty.

Two weeks have enabled us all to shape our roles and activities into functioning routines that work.  Preparing and consuming food -- three squares a day -- lie at the heart of our social world, while sailing Ace 24/7 is the hub of our work world.  Tending to Ace and her systems is also a constant, a frequent function arising unannounced on a daily basis with one little thing after another  --  surprising insofar as Ace's pristine quality and readiness might suggest otherwise.

From a people perspective, the surprise of the adventure is the subtle but very evident effort of all of us participants to shape ourselves into a functioning whole.  Largely stripped of all the many layers of stuff with which we layer our personalities and identities in our "normal" worlds, we orient our selves -- each of us -- to the demands and responsibilities of our present   --- simple and inescapable -- and simply get on with it.  It is a curious blend of the serious and the light-hearted.  We try to ready ourselves and Ace for whatever risks may be at hand whilst simultaneously marvel at the great good fortune that has ended each of us here, aboard Ace in late 2012, doing a crossing of the North Atlantic which has, thus far, proven both rich and forgiving.   Tomorrow Saint Lucia awaits, and with it, our return.

Fondly, and with great appreciation from us all for your attentiveness and affections.  William (a.k.a. Uncle Boo Boo).

12/11- Last Sea Report
After 14 days and over 2,700 nautical sea miles we are finally in sight of St. Lucia!  The last 24 hours were pretty fun with a few nice squalls passing with tons of rain and a bit of wind!  Richard has now made it into the "Over 20 Club" with a top speed of 23 knots!!!  It is a small club but we are happy to have him as our newest member!  Well earned!

This will probably be the last email you will receive from the boat and this address.  Soon our cell phones and iPads will have service and we will be in contact with you all individually.  Back to reality…  We still have a few more miles to go to the northern tip of St. Lucia and then a nice beat into the finish line.  We have 22-25 knots of wind so we will have good ride right up to the end.

I could go on and on about our experiences during the trip but instead I thought I would cull through the many responses we have received during our passage and let you read a few tidbits that we have received along the way.  We had quite a few so I cannot include all of them but I thought I would include some of the daily poems sent to us as well as light hearted comments on our general condition!  And just so you know, we have gotten the smell under control!  Mostly!

12/11- ACE has Finished!!!!
Greetings all!  We have FINISHED!  Let the clean-up and festivities begin!
Time:  12:26:30
Position:   Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia, West Indies
Wind:  Apparently Zero
Weather:  Rum Squalls
Speed:  Declining, Not Meaningful
Heading:  To the party!

So, while the J/145 ACE were living it up on St Lucia, their J sailing "comrade-in-arms", Sophie Olivaud from France also finished racing her J/109 ALBACOR IV in Racing Division II!  Congratulations to all on a fast, safe offshore passage to the gorgeous Caribbean-- a "dark'n'stormy" is certainly well-deserved!
For more ARC Rally sailing information- You can follow all the sailing teams on the ARC Tracker

sailboats sailing Carlos Aguilar match race- St thomas, Virgin IslandsBarkow Wins Carlos Aguilar Match Race
(St Thomas, USVI)- The St. Thomas Yacht Club and the Virgin Islands Sailing Association again hosted yet another fabulous regatta on the Charlotte Amalie harbor waterfront using their unique J/24s (modified and call IC-24s).  With the courses set less than 50 yards from the shore, spectators had fantastic views of the action and the sailors. The event offers both an open division and a woman’s division that provides for great sailing and even better prospects for after race entertainment. The rum and tequila drinks are all “free” as are many meals. The “reggae” music starts right after the de–briefs as does the dancing.

Sailing fast, furious and smart was long-time J/22 and J/24 sailor Sally Barkow from Wisconsin, playing the "comeback kid" role and taking the regatta from her mentor/coach, David Perry 3-0 (yes, three-zip!) in the finals! Barkow, who has raced this regatta four times, took second last year after a narrow defeat by Finland’s Staphan Lindberg. That defeat made this year’s win for Barkow and her crew – Annie Lush, Alana O’Reilly, Erik Champaign and Maggie Shea – all the sweeter.

“We worked hard as a team in these last few days and it paid off,” says Barkow, who is ranked 6th in the Women’s and 31st in the Open match race ranking’s divisions as of December 5, 2012. Barkow was awarded a distinctive Ulysse Nardin precision timepiece for her win.

sailboats sailing Carlos Aguilar match race- st thomas, usviA rain squall blowing across the Charlotte Amalie harbor just minutes before the start of the Finals left light and shifty conditions in its wake. This didn’t deter Barkow who handily won the first two matches against Perry.  In what proved the final match of the Finals, Barkow lead at the start and stretched her advantage to 8 boat lengths by the windward mark. She lengthened her frontrunner position into a commanding 10 to 12 boat lengths by the finish even though her team battled through a kink in the spinnaker that cost them a few seconds in boat speed in the last downwind run.

“It was so shifty,” says Barkow. “It was easy to get it either so right or so wrong.”  This match-up of teams in the Finals was an interesting one as Perry, who is the author of Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012, has served as Barkow’s match racing coach.  And, Perry has also sailed J/22s and J/24s, amongst many other J's for well over 30 years himself.

“For me it was a win-win,” says Perry of his team’s second place finish and his student’s first. “Sally’s team is really good and they have evolved their game well. I was impatient. I had some advantages and gave them away. This either put me behind or put me further behind and Sally took advantage of that.”

Two past America’s Cup skippers and also long-time J/22 and J/24 sailors went head-to-head in the Petite Finals. Ultimately, the USVI’s Peter Holmberg won 2-1 over the USA’s Dave Dellenbaugh. Thus, Holmberg finished third and Dellenbaugh fourth in the final standings. Holmberg won this event in 2009.  Another Wisconsin girl and now coach at the Chicago Match Race Center was Sally's close friend Stephanie Roble, sailing a strong series herself to finish just out of the running in seventh overall.  Sailing photo credits- Dean Barnes    For more Carlos Aguilar sailing information and results.


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

J/42 Keep It Simple - crew on Tortola, BVI - Carib 1500 Rally* J/42 Caribbean 1500 report- Joe Reed sailed his J/42 KEEP IT SIMPLE from Hampton, Virginia to Roadtown, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands in this year's Caribbean 1500 Rally.  Here's his report on their experience with Hurricane Sandy and the Atlantic crossing below:

"I left Annapolis aboard Keep It Simple, my J-42 sailboat, 5 weeks ago today on this great Adventure. Don, Lee and I departed Annapolis around 5:30am headed for Hampton, VA with Hurricane Sandy headed for the East Coast. We had heavy rain with the wind from the north and following seas. We did not install the companion-way board and both the crew and the boat got really wet.

We arrived in Hampton around 1:00 pm and there was no one staffing the marina and the floating dock were disconnected from the seawall in preparation for very high tides. We tied up at the fuel dock and weathered Hurricane Sandy out there. Then on Wednesday we moved over to our assigned slip.

Joel arrived on Thursday and we started final preparations for the Caribbean 1500. Friday we heard that a big Low was forecast to start forming on Monday as we were crossing the Gulf Stream that could make things a bit dicey. At the Saturday, 1:00 pm skipper’s briefing, we were told of the forecast and the Tortola group was told they could leave as soon as they were ready and the rally would use a rolling start or we could wait until Thursday. The Bahamas group was told to take the ICW (intra-coastal waterway) down to Buford, NC and depart from there.

We got back to the boat finished our preparations and were away from the Dock by 5:30 pm Saturday Nov. 3. We crossed the starting line at 7:05 pm. Wind was out of the Northeast at around 18 kts. Sometime Saturday evening we put in the 1st reef and it was never removed the entire trip.

Almost the entire rally the wind was coming over the port quarter from the NE from 18 to 26 kts. We were able to maintain around 7.5 kts with either, main with 1st reef only, main with 1st reef plus Jib with 2nd reef, main with 1st reef plus full jib, or motoring. We lost the middle batten so we could not set the second reef in main since it would risk damage to the main.

Don was surprised that we were on the same point of sail for almost the entire trip. We only had a need for one "all hands on deck" call which was around 1:00 am when the wind started climbing and there were gales in the area. Everyone was up, life-vest & harnesses on, on deck, sails down and secure in less that 10 minutes with it blowing over 40 kts. I went forward to get the sail down and Joel assisted in getting the sail ties on, in heavy seas with the boat bouncing around.

The day before we were to cross the finish line, I installed the Caribbean navigations chart card in the navigation display and got nothing. We broke out the paper charts and the iPad to review our approach to Tortola. I set a center channel waypoint into the display and had Don become familiar with the chart since he would have the midnight watch when we should cross the finish.

At midnight Nov. 12 I took the helm and the entire crew was up. The wind started to get light as we approached Tortola. After one boat passed us motoring I decide that we would motor the last few miles. We crossed the finish line at 1:24 AST, 8 day 5 hours and 44 min.  During this entire time we only used the engine for propulsion for 22.2 hours.

When we arrived at Nanny Cay, Tortola around 3:30 am, the rally staff was on the dock and handed us a drink after the boat was tied up.  We spent a few days in Nanny Cay, cleaning the boat up, making repairs and resting. For the 2012 Caribbean 1500 Rally, our great little yacht, the J/42 KEEP IT SIMPLE came in 1st in Class B and 1st overall!  For more Carib 1500 sailing information.

* J/70 Sailing Videos- as more and more J/70s start sailing around the world, we're seeing more J/70 sailing videos get posted all the time on YouTube.

J/70 sailing fall brawl regatta- annapolis, mdHere are some new videos of sailing a J/70 in the Annapolis Fall Brawl Regatta- courtesy of North Sails One-Design (Will Welles, Chuck Allen, Vince Brun, Chris Snow);

J/70 sailboat test with Voiles Magazine- FranceHere's a nice video put together by VOILES Magazine while they were doing their sail test for the J/70.

J/70 Ullman Sails Newport Beach testing- CaliforniaUllman Sails one-design team (Dave Ullman, Eric Shampain, Keith Magnussen) in Newport Beach, California put together a nice intro on sail testing the J/70 out West.

J/70 Doyle Sailmakers testing- sailing in FloridaDoyle Sailmakers one-design team from Clearwater/ Marblehead (Robbie Doyle, Mark Ploch, Juddie Smith, Greg Marie) had their sailors doing two boat sail testing on Western Long Island  Sound in preparation for Key West Race Week.

The Seattle gang are having fun, too, and have posted a few videos worth watching. Here's their description of their J/70 sailing experiences:  "These were taken (with a GoPro) from this past weekend’s PSSC up in Seattle, where surprisingly enough we actually had some fairly serious winds; at least we did on Saturday.  This is our downwind leg, we set a new personal speed record of 16.1 on this leg!!

* "Eight Bells" for a long-time J/24 sailor in Santa Barbara, California- Barry Berkus. He was a Santa Barbara icon and award-winning architect whose work has been recognized both locally and abroad, died Nov. 30 in Santa Barbara, CA at the age of 77.

The founder and president of B3 Architects and Berkus Design Studio, Berkus and his firms have been involved in a diversity of projects over several decades, ranging from residential designs to commercial and institutional buildings and master-planned communities.

"I sold him many boats to Barry while becoming his sailing friend," said marine industry icon Roy Cundiff. "First a Cal 20 for him to learn sailing, and the same day he ordered a Cal 36 as he wanted to do the Transpac Race. The 1967 race was a really light year and we managed to win Class D and 3rd overall with mostly a crew of his novice friends on the Cal 36 'Intrepid'. Other boats that Barry owned and raced were the Cal 20 'Manta Rey', the Cal 37 'Intrepid II', the Ericson 46 'Warlock', the Eva Hollman 50 'Sunset Blvd', the Choate ULDB 68-foot 'Saga', and the J/24 'Watermelon'."

Berkus was a man of immense generosity, and was exceedingly active in the community of Santa Barbara. His parting advice: "Go where life takes you and run hard. Passion is what's going to take you to the other end."  A Memorial is scheduled for Jan 26, 2013 in Santa Barbara. Contact Pat Moser at B3 Berkus Design Studio- for details call 805-966-1547

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-