Wednesday, September 4, 2013

J/Newsletter- September 4th, 2013

J/70 one-design speedster- sailing fast off FranceJ/70 EuroCup Preview
(Riva del Garda, Italy)- The first ever continental European championship regatta for the J/70s will be hosted by the famous Fraglia de Vela yacht club on Lago di Garda, Italy.  The location is famous for its extraordinary hospitality, spectacular scenery, beautiful lakeside village of Riva del Garda and excellent race management, but perhaps the biggest attraction for sailing on Garda is the epic breeze conditions.  The northern part of Lago di Garda is renown for its highly reliable mountain winds that generate 15-20+ kts southerlies every day. The twenty J/70 teams from six countries attending the inaugural J/70 EuroCup should enjoy awesome sailing conditions from September 10th to 14th.

Many of the top European J/70 teams will be coming together for the first time in one of the many "bucket-worthy" places to sail in the entire world.  While conventional wisdom and local knowledge experts may tell you that after starting you have to "go to the wall" on port tack on the upwind legs and play the puffs and shifts from there, it's often those who play the fleet tactically that gain the most.  The downwind sleigh-rides should be thrilling as the J/70s criss-cross in full-on planing conditions, playing the enormous breeze lines and shifts down to the leeward gate.

Of the six nations represented, it's too early to tell who has an advantage over any other since so few of the teams have actually raced against one another.  Having said that, there are four experienced teams from France attending, including Fred Bouvier on FRA-112, Luc Lajoye on FRA-142 and Eric Kerscaven on FRA-115 (seen above sailing 18+ kts off France in an early practice session on the Bay of Biscay).

Other continental teams include Kevin Mehlig's German team on GER 270 and Wouter Kollman's HENRI LLOYD team from the Netherlands (also past J/22 Netherlands champion).  Russia has two boats sailing, including Dmitri Zaritski on RUS 131 and Sergey Ezhikov on RUS 269-- both teams have been sailing constantly since participating in the Primo Cup in Monaco in late February.  They've had opportunities for both match racing and handicap fleet racing on the eastern part of the Baltic Sea, off beach resort community of Kaliningrad.

J/70 Italian boys sailing at YC Monaco at Primo CupThe largest contingent will be from the host nation Italy, with seven teams sailing.  The team to watch may be the duo of Paolo Boido and Mauricio Santa Cruz, both veteran J/24 sailors at numerous World Championships (Santa Cruz is four-times J/24 World Champion and just finished second in the 2013 Worlds recently sailed in Howth, Ireland).  A family team is also sailing from Italy; the two young brothers Gaspade & Tancrede sailed their first J/70 Class event at the Primo Cup de Monaco back in February 2013 and are looking forward to sailing in their home waters of Italy-- here's a cute interview of the two (in Italian).

Finally, having been racing all season long on the Solent, with the Warsash Spring Series, Cowes Race Week, the J/70 UK Nationals and the J/Cup Regatta behind them as part of their regatta experience, it will be interesting to see how well the top British teams perform on the famous Garda Lake.  Four teams from the UK are sailing, including Joe Woods on GBR 108 and Ruairidh Scott on GBR 137 (the current J/70 UK National Champion).    For more J/70 EuroCup sailing information

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing off MaineJ/24 North Americans Preview
(Newport, RI)- Forty one J/24s are entered from six countries across North and South America to compete in the upcoming J/24 North American Championships hosted by SAIL NEWPORT in Newport, RI from September 19th to 22nd.  Renown for their pro-active race management, the J/24 sailors should be treated to superior racing by SAIL NEWPORT's Race Committee team on either Narragansett Bay or outside on Rhode Island Sound, depending on wind and weather conditions.  For America's Cup history buffs, the J/24 NA's are being sailed at about the same time as past Newport-based America's Cup had been sailed for several decades; with promise of cooler weather conditions and generally reliable sea-breezes from the south/southwest.

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing downwindThe largest number of teams hail from the USA, however, eight Canadian teams are sailing and a very competitive group of seven teams are participating from the South American countries of Chile, Peru and Argentina.  What's readily apparent is that many of the J/24 sailors are looking at this year's event as a "warm-up" for the 2014 J/24 Worlds also being sailed in Newport and hosted by SAIL NEWPORT in late September 2014.

The top US teams include Mike Ingham from Rochester, NY; Peter Bream on Team TARHEEL from Florida; John Mollicone on HELLY HANSEN from Newport, RI; Taylor Neff on BUBBLES from Lake Minnetonka, MN; Pat Toole on THREE BIG DOGS from Santa Barbara, CA; and Travis Odenbach sailing HONEY BADGER from Rochester, NY, amongst many other good teams.  Some of these teams have been sailing quite a lot lately, including recent J/24 World's participants Ingham, Odenbach and Mollicone (the cockpit/ tactician for Tim Healy's recent J/24 Worlds win in Howth, Ireland).

Eight Canadian teams from the Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia provinces include Greg Blunden on ADRENALIN RUSH; John Whynacht on STICKY FINGERS; Mike Howarth on MISTER H and Rossi Milev on CLEAR AIR.  Some of these teams are well-practiced having just competed in the Chester Race Week regatta in Nova Scotia.

The South American contingent all have tremendous experience at the top of the J/24 class, including a few with world-class experience.  The top Argentinean crews are Mario Cubria on ELVIS, Sergio Pendola and Guillermo de Martis on TWIN.  The Chilean teams include Matias Seguel sailing GURU and Robert Vernon on GRINGA.  And, the Peruvean teams include Lucas Peschiera on TIAMAT and Javier Arribas on WAYRA.

The lone ranger from Japan is Sumio Shimoyama sailing aboard SOKOKUMARU. Sumio is no stranger to top flight J/24 competition, having been a top Japanese J/24 team for years and is always a factor in the J/24 Worlds in recent years.   Sailing photo credits- Carter White   For more J/24 North Americans sailing information

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing upwindJ/80 Worlds USA Circuit Announcement
(Annapolis, MD)- The 2014 J/80 USA Worlds Circuit has been set! The season kicks off with the J/80 Midwinters at Quantum Key West Race Week in January, then travels up north with different stops along the way, landing in New Hampshire in June for J/Jamboree.  The fleet then heads south to Annapolis for a series of events culminating with the J/80 Worlds at Eastport yacht Club in Annapolis, MD.  Great boats, great friends, great competition!  Come join the party!

The details of the 2014 J/80 Worlds Circuit is as follows:
  • Jan 19-24- Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
  • Mar 6-8- Bacardi Cup Miami- Miami, FL
  • Mar 21-23- Davis Island Yacht Club Regatta- Tampa, FL
  • Apr 10-13- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
  • May 3-5- Annapolis NOODs- Annapolis, MD
  • May 30-Jun 1- J/Jamboree- New Hampshire
  • Aug 30-Sep 1- Annapolis Race Week/East Coasts- Annapolis, MD
  • Sep 10-14- J/80 North Americans- Annapolis, MD
  • Sep 28- Oct 5- J/80 World Championship- Eastport YC- Annapolis, MD
There will be an Overall Circuit Champion and Runner-Up Award.  Boats need to compete in at least 50% of the races to qualify. Finishes will be weighted based on fleet size.  Please be sure to contact J/80 Class Secretary for any info: Chris Chadwick, email-   For more J/80 Worlds USA Circuit sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The big guns at the end of August were all trained on the J/24 World Championship that was sailed on the Irish Sea and hosted by Howth YC in Howth, Ireland.  It was an epic affair and it continues to demonstrate the strength and popularity of the nearly four decade old international class around the world-- five nations were represented in the top ten- USA, Brazil, England, Italy and Germany!  Also going on in Europe was the popular end-of-summer regatta in the Netherlands called Breskens Sailing Weekend, with a J/111 one-design class sailing along with J/109s, J/105, J/133 and J/97.  North of them was the third stage of Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga, a match-race this time sailing J/70s on the gorgeous Alster Lake in the middle of Germany's beautiful city of Hamburg along the northern coast.

While J/111s were sailing fast offshore in the Netherlands, one of the southernmost J/111s was tearing a fleet to shreds Down Under, having a wonderful time sailing the Royal South Australia YC Winter Series off Adelaide.

Across the Pacific, yet another J/111 laid waste to some of the fastest and most famous "sleds" on the Pacific Coast, having a 20-23 kts blast down the California coastline to Santa Cruz (birthplace of the famous "sleds" built by Bill Lee) while sailing the Windjammers Race-- a J/125 also sailed to glory as well.  Not far away down off Los Angeles, the Long Point Race Weekend took place, a blast to Catalina for catered beachside barbecues from Balboa YC and Newport Harbor YC chefs and toss in a bit of sailing to say you actually did some!  Having a ball in this event were J/125s, J/120s, J/109s and a J/160!

Finally, out East two significant events were taking place on two famous bodies of water, one on Long Island Sound and the other on Chesapeake Bay.  The end of summer Vineyard Race took place, an offshore classic that starts off Stamford, CT and sends the fleet down and back on the Sound, rounding Buzzards Bay Tower just offshore of Cuttyhunk Island.  Dozens of J/Teams sailed, including J/133s, J/122s, J/120s, J/109s, J/105s, a J/92, a J/35 and others.  There was an especially heartwarming story about a "youth" sailing team on a J/122 that showed all the old salty dogs how to have fun and do well!  On the Chesapeake, another end-of-summer classic took place, the fun-loving Annapolis Race Weekend-- large one-design fleets of J/70s, J/80s, J/24s, J/30s and J/35s had an excellent sailing adventure for three straight days!

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:

Aug 22-30- J/24 World Championships- Howth (Dublin), Ireland
Sep 9-14- J/70 EuroCup Regatta- Lago di Garda, Italy
Sep 19-22- J/24 North Americans- SailNewport- Newport, RI
Sep 20-22- J/22 Netherlands Championship- Brassermeer, Netherlands
Sep 20-22- J/22 Lake George Open Regatta- Lake George, NY
Sep 26-28- J/70 North Americans- Annapolis YC- Annapolis, MD
Sep 26-29- Rolex Big Boat Series (70, 105, 120)- St Francis YC- San Francisco, CA
Sep 27-29- J/Fest- San Diego YC- San Diego, CA
Sep 27-29- J/24 Changing of the Colors Regatta- Lake George, NY
Oct 1-5- J/22 World Championships- Newport, RI
Oct 5-12- J/24 European Championship- YC Monaco- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Oct 12-14- J/80 China Coast Race Week- Hong Kong, China
Oct 31- Nov 3- J/105 North Americans- Annapolis, MD
Nov 1-3- J/80 French Nationals- Cherbourg, France
Nov 1-3- J/24 East Coast Championships- Annapolis, MD
Nov 21-25- J/24 South American Championships- Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dec 6-7- Jamaica Jammin' J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Jan 19-24- 2014 Key West Race Week- Key West, FL

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

J/24 world champion- Tim Healy- Helly Hansen sailing teamHealy Crowned BMW J/24 World Champion
(Howth, Ireland)- "It's usually not like this here", was the familiar refrain heard from the local J/24 sailors from Howth Yacht Club.  After a reasonably windy J/24 Irish Nationals, the forty teams attending the J/24 Worlds were looking forward to battles on the windy, storm-tossed Irish Sea-- at least that was the promise from the Mayor of Howth and the local Chamber of Commerce!  However, an unusual front passed over Ireland for the first few days, producing somewhat capricious, light airs for the first few days of the event, even forcing cancellation of sailing on the Tuesday due to lack of wind (and later a notorious Irish pub crawl for those with too much time on their hands)!  With the exception of the one day, the  championship featured four good days of racing, with the wind strength progressively increasing as the week went on-- in fact hitting 20-25 kts on the last day.

The racing was very closely fought, especially by the top three teams.  There were six different race winners and the four American entries all finished in the top ten, which featured two British boats, two German boats and the sole Italian and Brazilian entries.

Tim Healy, John Mollicone, and Newport J/24 sailing crew win Worlds!In a tense and closely fought final day any one of the top three teams could win the regatta, with all three of them trading positions atop the leaderboard during the previous three days.  Going into the last day, Travis Odenbach's HONEY BADGER was winning, followed by Mauricio Santa Cruz's BRUSCHETTA in second and Tim Healy's HELLY HANSEN in third.  On the final two races in fairly big breeze, Healy's HELLY HANSEN scored a 4-5 to become the impressive winners of the BMW J/24 World Championship-- they had eight top-five results (including three race wins) in the ten race series.

Healy, who previously won the title in 2010, was pushed all the way by the defending champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil on BRUSCHETTA, who also demonstrated remarkable consistency, but who had to be content with the runner-up spot, four points adrift of his rival.  BRUSCHETTA's final day tally of 9-3 was not enough to pull off a record-tying fifth J/24 World title to match the famous Ken Read from Newport, RI (now President of North Sails).

Third place overall went to another American crew led by Travis Odenbach from Rochester on HONEY BADGER who had been the series leader overnight but who did not enjoy the final day. A 20-8 score completely blew-up their chances of winning the regatta, although he was only two points off Brazil's Santa Cruz in the end.

Top J/24 Teams- Ian Southworth and Tim Healy dueling at J/24 WorldsIn fresh westerly winds which touched 25 knots at times, the penultimate race saw a second win in the series for Britain’s Ian Southworth on IL RICIO, ahead of fellow Briton Bob Turner’s SERCO. Third place went to local Howth skipper Mossy Shanahan on CRAZY HORSE, following up on his great form the previous day, a result which contributed to him finishing as the top Irish boat overall in 19th place.  Success in the last race went to the German boat ROTOMAN skippered by Tobias Feuerherd, with Keith Whittemore sailing FURIO from Seattle 2nd and Santa Cruz 3rd.

Rounding out the top ten was England's Ian Southworth in fourth followed by Germany's ROTOMAN in fifth-- for both sailors their best J/24 World's regatta performance to date.  After leading the first day, Seattle's Keith Whittemore sailed FURIO fast and furiously, but not enough to overcome a third race "black flag" that knocked them out of contention, settling for sixth overall.  British skipper Bob Turner sailed Team SERCO fast and smart at times, managing scores of 1-2-2-4, but five higher double-digit scores moved them down the ladder into seventh overall.  Posting five top ten finishes was Italy's Ignacio Bonanno sailing LA SUPERBA (also J/24 Italian Nationals champions) to place eight overall.  Top Washington, DC political strategist and, arguably, the "wiseman cometh" of the J/24 "tribe", Tony Parker, sailed his famous BANGOR PACKET team to a first place in the first race to put their stamp on this year's Worlds-- cool, eh?!  Tony has only sailed a J/24 since 1977, since back in his Falmouth Foreside/ Portland, Maine days-- almost four decades!  Nevertheless, after winning the World Championships for a few hours, Parker's crew may have been blinded by ambition, scoring a few double-digit races but still celebrating their time in the limelight with five top ten finishes-- good enough for ninth overall.  In tenth was the other top German team, SULLBERG skippered by Stefan Karsunke from the Blankeneser Segel Club.   Sailing photo credits- by David Branigan - Oceansport Gallery   For more J/24 World Championship sailing information

J/122 Patriot- American Yacht Club youth team 
J/Teams Crush Vineyard Race
AYC Juniors Sail J/122 PATRIOT To Overall Win!
(Stamford, CT)-  Labor Day weekend's Vineyard Race is a classic American yachting event; a 238-mile course stretching from Shippan Point off Stamford, CT, through the swirling currents of the Race or Plum Gut, past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay, to return leaving Block Island to starboard en route to the finish in Stamford Harbor. Begun in 1932, it has attracted the finest sailors and fastest boats in the northeast corridor of America for nearly 80 years, and its intricacies and challenges bring them back time after time. Those who are successful nearly always credit local knowledge of these tricky waters and a good deal of luck.

Many sailors compete for a lifetime without winning a Vineyard Race, despite countless tries. But for eight junior sailors from American Yacht Club the first time was a charm as they captured the prestigious Vineyard Lighthouse trophy given annually to the boat with the best corrected IRC time.

J/122 Patriot American YC junior sailing teamThe AYC junior crew, sailing the J/122 PATRIOT, received the loudest cheers Sunday night at the awards ceremony on the front lawn of host Stamford Yacht Club for accomplishing something many in the crowd can only hope to do. They were also the first winner of the Corinthian Challenge trophy created last year by the SYC’s Vineyard Race to encourage young sailors to participate.

“I’ve never won a Vineyard Race, so this is a pretty magical moment,” said Peter Becker, head of the junior big boat program at American Y.C. who was one of two adults on the boat. “And to do it with our young sailors makes it even better.” Doug McKeige, father of one of the junior sailors aboard, was the other adult.

PATRIOT beat out RAMBLER, George David’s sleek 90-footer, on corrected time, a feat they didn’t think possible when returning to Stamford late Saturday when they spotted her heading East off New Haven. “So she was 100 miles ahead of us,” Becker said. “How do we beat that?”

“You always wonder if there’s some smaller boat that is going to finish way behind you and beat you on corrected time,” Becker added. “This weekend, we were that little boat.”

After the crew finished Saturday evening, they headed back to Rye from Stamford and it was only when they got to the dock they realized they had a chance when one of the crew received a text from a friend. It was confirmed when Becker headed back to Stamford to return his transponder.

J sailors at Stamford Vineyard Race- Maryellen TortorelloThe crew of PATRIOT comes from the junior big boat program Becker heads up at American. The eight juniors – Will McKeige, Colin Alexander, Sean Walsh, Key Becker, Carina Becker, Madeline Ploch, Haley Rodriguez and Sam Papert – have spent the summer with others in the program, not only racing but also cruising and learning all about big boats. “Big boat sailing delivers all kinds of experience and offshore racing is one such experience,” Becker said.

The 2013 racing schedule started with the American Spring Series and will conclude with the Fall Series. It included the Block Island Race, Larchmont Race Week, several Stratford Shoal races, the Dorade Race and the Vineyard Race.

It was during the Block Island Race Memorial Day weekend the group thought about doing the Vineyard Race for the first time. The junior program, which includes about 35 young sailors, has a J/105 named YOUNG AMERICAN. But for the Block Island Race the group hitched a ride on Lir, a Swan 45 owned by John McNamara. This year’s Block Island Race produced some wild conditions. “It was initiation by fire,” Becker said. “But all the kids came home with smiles on their faces. They were so cold, beat up, and still they wanted to do more. That’s when they started thinking about the Vineyard Race, but not many of them wanted to do it on a J/105. So the Vineyard Race was a bright star on their horizon and they wanted to figure out how to do this race.”

Eventually they were able to secure the use of the J/122 PATRIOT, co-owned by former American YC Commodore Steve Furnary and Vice Commodore Peter Duncan. The team had use of the boat for the Beach Point Overnight junior race in early August, but not much other time to prepare. One of the biggest challenges was learning how to use double halyards, something they mastered pretty quickly.

Going into the Vineyard Race, Becker knew the boat had a chance. “We knew they were prepared and would be able to complete the course,” he said. “They’re also very competitive.”

J/109 LOKI winning class- sailing fast in Vineyard RaceThe first hint they had that they were in the running for hardware was on the way out. The crew stayed with its original plan to stay down the middle of the Sound despite their competition heading off to one of the shores. The crew saw that several boats they thought should have passed them by Port Jefferson were still behind them. They continued to stick with their plan to go out the Gut, even though that was tested when they had a tight reach getting around the island after the lighthouse.

Most of the tactical decisions were made by the junior sailors. “I was playing navigator,” Becker said. “I presented various options and concepts. Doug (McKeige) would check various weather reports on his phone and the kids were into it and made the key decisions.”

One of the junior sailors, Madeline Ploch, 12, was competing against her father, sailmaker Mark Ploch, sailing on Lir. During the ride out, when Lir was behind Patriot, Mark texted images of Patriot’s transom to his daughter wondering if they would ever be able to pass the smaller boat. They eventually did, but not before Patriot gave them a run. “It was fun having that father/daughter competition,” Becker said.

The eight junior crew members ranged in age from 12 to 16. Becker made special note of Madeline Ploch’s accomplishment. “If she does the Vineyard Race for the next nine years she will become a Buzzard before she ages out of the Corinthian class.”

What’s next? After the team wraps up the 2013 season they’ve set their sites on Bermuda. They don’t have a boat yet, but are starting to look. Based on what they’ve accomplished in the Vineyard Race, that shouldn’t be too hard.

J/105 Morning Glory sailing Vineyard RacePATRIOT was one of five boats that competed this year in the newly-formed Corinthian Challenge. To compete for the challenge boats must have two-thirds of the crew between the ages of 14 and 24 and enrolled in high school or college. The Challenge was created by David White (sailing coach at Fairfield Prep School) and Stamford Yacht Club’s Vineyard Race Committee to encourage more youth involvement in the event and sport.

Stamford Yacht Club Commodore Tom Campfield presented the Chelsea Clock trophy to the team for their IRC win and praised them afterwards. “Stamford Yacht Club is a strong supporter of junior sailing so PATRIOT’s win is very meaningful. We hosted several junior events this summer so this is a fitting cap to a great season. Congratulations to American Yacht Club and its team.”

J/35 Paladin sailing Vineyard RaceWhile the AYC Juniors stole the limelight, there were a number of other significant J sailing team performances.  On the Vineyard Course race (e.g. the long, classic version), The IRC 1 Double-handers saw Jason Richter's J/35 PALADIN take third in class while Todd Aven's J/92 THIN MAN took fourth and Cao Deambrosio's J/109 RHIANNON  III took fifth!  That's quite a showing for these fast J/Double-handers!

IRC 2 saw the top two J/109s sweep their class, led by David Rosow's LOKI followed by Jim Vos's SKOOT in second.  Both boats finished in the top ten overall, with LOKI fifth and SKOOT in ninth.

J/44 Vamp sailed by Len Sitar on Vineyard RaceThe IRC 3 Class saw J teams take four of the top five positions.  Behind PATRIOT was Len Sitar's J/44 VAMP, taking second in class and third overall.  Joerg Esdorn and Duncan Hennes sailed their J/44 KINCSEM to third in class and fourth overall!  They were followed by John Pearson's J/122 RED SKY taking fourth in class and sixth overall!

J/120 Rocket Science- sailing fast off start in Vineyard RaceIRC 4 had the modified J/120 AVRA sailed by George Petrides from Port Washington, NY taking third in class.  Sister J/120s dominated the PHRF 7 class, taking three of the top four positions, proving once again these classic 41 footers are tough to beat in offshore competitions!  First was Steve Levy's EAGLE followed by Brian Spears's MADISON in second and fourth was Rick Oricchio's ROCKET SCIENCE.

For those teams that sailed the shortest "Seaflower Reef Course", the racing was also close and there were two standout performances by J/105s sailing in separate PHRF divisions!  Winning the PHRF Double-handed division was Carl Olsson's MORNING GLORY from Larchmont, New York. And, taking second in the PHRF 2 Racing division was David Spence's SYNERGY from Maplewood, New Jersey!   For more Stamford Vineyard Race sailing results

J/111 SYMMETRY Smokes Windjammer Race!
J/125 HAMACHI Takes Third Overall
(San Francisco, CA)- This past weekend was the occasion for one of the most popular offshore classics in the San Francisco/ Monterrey Bay region that take place all summer long.  The Windjammer Race is the late summer dash of 67nm from San Francisco, past Año Nuevo, down the picturesque California coastline to the sunshine of Santa Cruz. For many, it's a great way to enjoy a Labor Day holiday weekend in the sun and join in with the "Day on The Bay" charity organization to support the "Big Brothers" and "Big Sisters" organization.

Celebrating more than most this past weekend may have been Howard Turner's brand new, fresh out-of-the-box, J/111 #91 called SYMMETRY.  Indeed, there was good "karma" for this team from Santa Cruz YC, as all the commissioning bits & pieces all magically came together in time to sail their first offshore race!  And, what a ride it was!

Up against the creme'de'la'creme of the Northern California offshore racing community, Turner's J/111 team on SYMMETRY simply blew the doors off their competition to take both class honors and overall fleet honors!  Their sleigh-ride down the California coastline was described as "breathtaking"!  With spinnakers up and all kinds of "laundry flying", the J/111 flew down the track and when the breeze came on they were just sitting at 20-22 kts boat-speed for minutes at a time, totally planed-off and "hauling the mail" down to Santa Cruz!  SYMMETRY's win was all the more astonishing since they beat the pants off other well-known, famous Left Coast sleds like the SC 50 ROLLER COASTER in 2nd, Greg Slyngstad's J/125 HAMACHI in 3rd, the SC 50 HANA HO in 4th and the infamous R/P 45 CRIMINAL MISCHIEF in 5th.  One can only begin to hear the drumbeat of why J/111's are so effective offshore-- this "newbie" crew simply proved it, again.  Given most conditions, the J/111 is simply a "roller-skate" once the wind is aft of abeam when it's smoking, or when it can launch a Code Zero and simply disappear on any fleet.  No wonder it's such a wildly successful, popular boat for the Chicago-Mackinac Race (a largely reaching race).

In PHRF 2 division, the J/105s sailed well, liking the reaching conditions as well.  Second in class was Richard Pipkin's RACER X from Encinal YC and third was Jon Kim's VUJA DE from Santa Cruz YC.  For more Windjammer Race sailing information

J/111 sailing off Adelaide, AustraliaJ/111 Adelaide Winter Series Champion!
(Adelaide, Australia)- South Australian based J/111 HOROPITO scored an impressive 1st in the Royal South Australia Yacht Squadron Nautilus Marine Winter Series and 2nd overall in the combined series with their close neighbors The Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia.

From the owner Mark Robertson- "We have just completed our second winter series here in Adelaide in our J/111, HOROPITO that was launched in 2012. This 6 race series is a PHS format with a mix of windward leeward and fixed mark races that saw 10-15 combined RSAYS and CYCSA Division One boats turn out fortnightly for some keenly contested racing.

Our crew had been getting progressively more comfortable with the systems on HOROPITO through the summer IRC racing and, with that confidence, had begun to extract more speed and consistent performances as we headed into the winter racing. Our competition was a competitive mix of Sydney 38’s, First 40’s and 45’s and a couple of 47.4 foot Benetaus to name a few, drawn from the combined fleets of the Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron (our club) and the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia. Winter sailing in Adelaide can be challenging from a wind perspective. The normally reliable sea breezes depart and are replaced by either 2 knots or 25 knots depending on the weather systems that roll in from the Great Australian Bight.

We had a great series and were first equal on handicap as we headed into the penultimate 3 lap windward leeward race held on Sunday the 11th August. The day turned out to be a cracker with an 8-14 knot breeze out of the North a sign that spring is just around the corner. After a conservative start we were second around the top mark and gave little away as we worked down-wind to the bottom gate. The longer boats started to eat into us upwind  on the second and third legs as the breeze built but we held on to third across the line after sailing a pretty much flawless race in terms of positioning the boat on the course and executing transitions. It turned out that we were giving too much time to a couple of the bigger boats but came away really happy to have secured 1st place in our own club results by 5 points and 2nd place by one point for the overall combined club series series.

It is a credit to the J/111’s great design that an inexperienced group can quickly get up to speed and extract the obvious potential that the boat has. Sailing HOROPITO has been fun and always rewarding. We are now looking forward to summer racing with the Adelaide – Port Lincoln race firmly in our sights."

The Port Lincoln Race is South Australia’s premier ocean racing event.  Nearly eighty boats leave Outer Harbour to compete in a 156 nautical mile race that takes them south west to Marion Reef at the foot of York Peninsula along the foot to the spectacular Cape Spencer then North West past Wedge and Thistle Islands and Dangerous Reef to the welcome of Port Lincoln nestled on Boston Bay.   For more Royal South Australian Winter Series sailing information

J/111 Xcentric Ripper- winning team at Breskens Sailing weekendJ/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER Rips Breskens Weekend
J/33 TRIPLE J Dominates IRC 3 Class
(Breskens, Netherlands)- The tenth edition of the Gaastra Breskens Sailing Weekend was blessed with great weather and, especially, big breeze and big seas almost all weekend long.  With gorgeous sunny days on Friday and the finale Sunday punctuated by a rainy, cold front early on Saturday morning meant the sailors could go home happy after sailing hard in seven races over three days!  In fact, the Chairman of the Gaastra Breskens Sailing Weekend, Roy Aller, said "unlike the past few years, we were blessed this year with great weather!"

J/111 Xcentric Ripper sailing Breskens sailing weekendA number of J/Teams sailed in the J/111 One-Design class as well as IRC handicap divisions.  The five-star performance of the weekend goes to John van der Starre's famous J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER, simply dominating their class with straight firsts.  Sailing fast up the learning curve was K. van Vliet's SWEENY, taking mostly 2nds in the four boat fleet.  Third overall was K. Cleeren's J-BIE just 1.5 pts back.

J/111 Xcentric Ripper- rounding markThe IRC 2 Division was treated to the presence of one of the classic, beautifully refinished J/35s, RAGAZZA skippered by J Gabriel.  She sailed well to grab 5th in class, improving nearly every race to take a 3rd in class in the seventh race!

In the IRC 3 Division, the J/33 TRIPLE-J sailed by J. van der Velden also did a horizon job on their fleet, collecting six 1sts and one 2nd (which they dropped) to win their class by a country mile.  Sailing well and taking sixth in class was the J/97 JAI-HO sailed by R. van Quekelberghe.   Sailing photo credits- Anusjka Martens   For more Breskens Race Week sailing information

J/70 sailing on Alster Lake in Hamburg, GermanyNRV J/70 Match Race Winner
Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga - Stage III- Great Sailing!
(Hamburg, Germany)- The third event in the highly popular Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga took place in the heart of Hamburg, on the famously beautiful Alster Lake, from August 30th to September 1st.  This regatta format was different than the "all fleet" racing in the first two events, instead it pitted J/70s in a match-race format with "club against club" duels in a double-elimination/ repechage ladder to determine the final champion.

J/70 sailing in Hamburg, Germany- on Alster LakeAll eighteen sailing clubs that have been participating sent their best sailors; many sent their match-race experts to Hamburg, including former Olympic medalists, Olympians, and German National Sailing Team members.  After an intensive schedule of 153 races, 17 for each club, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) team comprised of Carsten Kemmling, Felix Oehme, and Florian Weser posted 15 wins in 17 races to take the match-race win!  The three day event saw a wide range of conditions, but mostly flat water with very shifty winds ranging up to 18 kts and a combination of sun and rain on occasion!

J/70 German women sailing teams in Hamburg, GermanyAfter the first day of racing the Flensburg Sailing Club was leading after the race director managed to pull off 48 races on a day of bright sunshine and winds up to twelve knots!  With five wins in six races, the team from Flensburg Sailing Club that included skipper Lennart Brieseneck-Pudenz, Nils Carstensen, Jan and Philipp Frigge Linstädt found themselves at the top of the standings.  At this time, NRV was in second with four wins in five races followed by the Bavarian Yacht Club and Yacht Club Berlin Grunau.

NRV- winners of J/70 Hamburg match race sailing regattaOn the second day, the North German sailing clubs sitting at the top of the standings felt particularly comfortable.  The host NRV held a razor-thin lead over the Schwerin YC. Lurking behind were four teams all tied on points with 18 pts each.  The duels between the neighboring clubs would be decided on the final day!  The top six teams were only separated by two points. As in Travemünde, it could hardly be a more exciting finale! Behind NRV and Schwerin YC was a four-way tie between YC Berlin-Grunau, the YC Württemberg, the Flensburg Sailing Club and the Chiemsee Yacht Club.

In the end, it was clear "local knowledge" of Hamburg's Alster Lake would play a key role in NRV's win, providing them a clear advantage for the final races on the last day.  With years of experience in match racing the NRV team skippered by Carsten Kemmling posted 15 wins in 17 races. "We have worked great as a team and were able to exploit the wind shifts perfectly," said Kemmling.

J/70 match race in Hamburg, GermanyFinishing second behind the NRV was perhaps the surprise performance of the regatta, with the Chiemsee Yacht Club (CYC) led by the two brothers Leopold and Moritz Müller.  Just behind them was YC Berlin-Grunau (YCGB) led by skipper Stefan Meister and tactician Gunnar Bahr. "We are always pleased when we sail into the top three - we did it again", said Bahr!

After the first three events, the YCBG and NRV are tied with 50 pts each leading the overall Bundes-Liga standings.  Tied for third are Bayerischer YC and Wurttembergischer YC with 44 pts each and in fifth all alone is Chiemsee YC with 41 pts.

J/70 match race sailing in Hamburg, GermanyThe next exciting regatta on the J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga circuit will be held from 27 to 29 September 2013 at Württemberg Yacht Club.

Here are sailing video highlights of the J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga match-racing:
Day 1-
Day 2-
Day 3-

For more Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga J/70 sailing information

J/105 teams enjoying Annapolis Race weekendJ/Teams Relish Gorgeous Annapolis Race Week
(Annapolis, MD)- The 2013 edition of CBYRA’s Annapolis Race Week opened Saturday to Chamber of Commerce conditions.  Clear blue skies and a steadily increasing breeze made for great racing action across the three courses off Annapolis harbor where 79 J-boats were doing battle in six separate classes.  The annual three-day event, saw smaller turnouts in some of the classes, but by far the largest one design on the water were the J/70s.  The class posted twenty-eight boats for the weekend, most of whom were tuning up for the North American Championship to be held here later this month.

J/70 Catapult sailing off AnnapolisOn Sunday, conditions deteriorated somewhat as an approaching frontal system imposed steadily decreasing wind speeds that saw the final races of that day staged in less than 10 knots.  While this was bad enough, the fleets were also plagued by a roaring 2 knot current that the skippers had to manage through for all three days.  Thankfully, the weather turned again on Labor Day, again freshening to 10-15 for the final day of racing.

J/30 cruiser racer sailing AnnapolisStarting from the southern course, Hugh Bethell on JESTER lead the fifteen boat J/105 fleet for all three days and finished 3 points over Cedric Lewis’ MIRAGE. Taking third for the class was Carl & Scott Gitchell's TENACIOUS.  Using the same strategy, Peter Scheidt’s J/35 MAGGIE took 1st place honors in the six boat fleet, staying 9 points ahead of both Charles Kohlerman’s MEDICINE MAN in second and Bruce Artman’s T-BONE in third.

J/70 one-design speedster- sailing off Annapolis, MDOn the J/70 & J/80 course, it was Peter McChesney who edged out Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT team to win the twenty-eight boat J/70 fleet by just 3-points in the closely fought battle for the top three spots on the podium.  Sailing well was young James Allsopp's MOXIE, grabbing third overall ahed of Marty Kullman's TOUCH 2 PLAY in fourth and Brian Keane's SAVASANA in fifth.  Extremely close competition produced seven winners in eight races, no one had all top five finishes and, in fact, nine of the top ten boats all posted at least one or more double-digits counters in their scoreline!  Amazingly, a better than 5th average won the regatta in the J/70s!

J/80 R80 sailed by Will & Marie Crump off Annapolis, MDShowing lots of consistency, Will Crump’s R80 team kept the J/80 fleet on their toes with a string of bullets marred only by one 2nd in race six, winning by the comfortable margin of ten points.  John White's team put up a valiant effort to match the Crump's performance, but had to settle for a strong second place.  Third was David Andril's VAYU.  Behind them was a gritty battle for the balance of the top five with four boats dueling hard for the three days-- namely, Andrew Beeler from NAVY SAILING, Derick Lynch on OUTLAWS, Gary Panariello on COURAGEOUS and  Bill Blank on BLIND SQUIRREL.  Ultimately, the last race determined their finish positions since just four points separated them in the final scoring.  Beeler snatched the fourth position while Lynch took fifth.

J/24 one-design sailboat- team sailing off Annapolis, MDThe Northern-most course saw Peter Rich in USA 4006 hold on to the lead on in the J/24s, beating Paul van Ravenswaay and Pete Kassal who finished the regatta with 25 points apiece, with Ravenswaay getting the second on count-back tie-breaker.

J/30 cruiser one-design sailboat- rounding mark at Annapolis Race weekFinally, Bob Rutsch and Mike Costello drove the J/30 BEPOP to a 7-point victory in their seven boat fleet as they traded bullets much of the weekend with David Moss who finished in second on THE WHITE BOAT.  Close aboard in the bleacher seats was Ron Anderson's INSATIABLE, thirsting for a win or two but not quite cutting ahead of the two leaders, counting a string of 2nds and 3rds to take the bronze for the regatta.

More than 200 photos of all the boats on the water are up in the photo gallery at (  Thanks for this contribution from Dan Phelps at  For more CBYRA Race Week sailing information

J/109 winners on Linstar off Newport Beach, CAJ/Teams Leaders @ Long Point/ Catalina Race Week
(Long Point, CA)- One of the classic end of summer events enjoyed by many sailors in the Los Angeles offshore circuit are the three point-to-point races that constitute Long Point Race Week.  The event is jointly hosted by Newport Harbor YC and Balboa YC and the three races that are run are 1) Newport Beach to Long Point , 2) the Ship Rock race, and 3) Long Point back to Newport Beach.

First day the teams raced 26 nm from Newport Beach to Whites Cove, Catalina island where all the racers were catered for by the superbly prepared chefs from Newport Harbor and Balboa Yacht Clubs. The event is by invitation only and features some of the best in SoCal racing.  Saturday's racing started super-light, the race committee decided to move the start up the coast closer to Ship Rock- the top mark of the race course.  The breeze kept building and the racers enjoyed a downwind finish in 15-16 kts with a dash of brilliant sunshine.  Then, it was back to the chefs and more culinary pleasures, all served on the beautiful sandy beach on Catalina Island! Sunday's race back to the mainland saw 8-15 knots of breeze from the west, making for a fast-paced race. 

J/125 Timeshaver sailing off Catalina Island- CaliforniaSailing "lights out" was Viggo Torbensen's Dana Point YC team on his J/125 TIMESHAVER-- the famous boat with the pink bottom!  Their 2-1-1 record for 4 pts gave them an enormous lead over the class rivals in Division Two.  Second to them was Myron Lyon's San Diego YC crew on the J/160 INNOCENT MERRIMENT, winning the first race and adding a 5-6 for 12 pts total.  Third was the other J/125 DERIVATIVE sailed by Mark Thurber's Coronado YC team, starting slow with a 9th, but closing fast with a 3-2 for 14 pts to snag the last spot on the podium.

The J/120 one-design class was tossed into a mixed fleet of boats in Division Three, perhaps much to their competitors collective dismay.  With all that one-design racing experience under their belts, the J/120s took four of the top five spots.  Leading the charge was Mike Hatch's San Diego YC crew on the infamous J-ALMIGHTY, taking second overall with a 4-2-1 for 7 pts.  Third was Gary Winton's Cabrillo Beach YC crew on SHENANIGANS, posting a 1-8-4 scoreline for 13 pts.  Fourth overall was Jim Barber's Los Angeles YC crew on HOT TAMALE, losing the tie-breaker to SHENANIGANS by virtue of their 6-4-3 record for 13 pts.  Fifth place was Tom & Teri Manok's Oceanside YC gang sailing POLE DANCER.

The two J/109s that sailed in Division Four ended up tied after three races!  Consequently, after the count-back, the top J/109 happened to be John Shulze's LINSTAR from host Balboa YC, taking 5th in the class.  The second J/109 was Rex Butler's JD from San Diego YC.   For more Long Point Race Week sailing information


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

J/80 sailing- off Lahaina, Hawaii offshore* J/80 CRUSADER sailing video- the Lahaina Return Race off Hawaii-- sailing across the channel in 15-25 kt winds and well over 10-15 ft seas!  As they were getting ready for this weekend's 2013 Lahaina Return Race from Lahaina, Maui to Waikiki, Oahu and the CRUSADER gang felt they should put up their video from last year's race as a reminder of their goal-- to exceed the max speed 17.5 knots again!!  Come one, come all!  They LOVE this race!  Who wouldn't?!  Have to put this one on the "bucket list", too!  Downwind the whole way-- J/70s, J/88s, J/111s, even J/24s (the original "sportster" in 1977-- remember masthead rigged 1/4 tonners?  Ouch.)!  Awesome sailing.  Soon, we hope. ;)

J/34 IOR sailboat- sailing upwind* Brett Langoff- is a proud new owner of a classic J/34 IOR 3/4 ton boat from the late 1980s! A very pretty, classic boat like the old J/41 IOR one-ton design.  Here's Brett's comments: "I thought you would enjoy this picture, our first weekend out on our newly purchased J/34 IOR boat.  We bought it from the original owner 3 weeks ago.  First time out with the family, daughters 3 & 5 years old and we race the boat!  The family was all over it for a 16 mile PHRF race and we won!  As the former owner of a J/24, a J/30 and now a J/34 IOR boat, please keep up the great work and designs!"  Cheers, Brett.  We LOVE these testimonials!  Great to see the J/34 IORs having a great time.  Please keep these stories coming.  :)

* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again!  We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR.

J/160 sailing offshore to US Virgin Islands- rainbow over oceanAlan sent us an email update commenting on their passage south this winter, "In mid-December AVATAR completed her sixth transit to her winter Caribbean home, Grand Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI (seen above)  from her home port in Quissett (Falmouth), MA.  A crew of three, Captain Alan (e.g. me), Crew Pablo Brissett and Mark Conroy, covered the 1,500 nm trip in in her best time to date- 7 Days 5 Hours, averaging 8.7 kts, that's about 208 nm per day!  Amazing passage it was!  Rainbow at right far offshore was some of the amazing phenomenon we experienced on this fast offshore passage.

AVATAR will participate in the BVI Sailing Festival/Regatta again in 2013, where last year she won the Nanny Key Cup Cruising Class race around the Island of Virgin Gorda.  Here are some photos for you to share with the J/Community at-large.  Enjoy!"
Best, Alan Fougere/ AVATAR

Bill & Judy Stellin- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* Bill & Judy Stellin recently had an interview about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called "Retiring on the Open Sea".  The Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ's Editor desks. Here's the update:

Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers' Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety

Wall St Journal interview- Stellin's Offshore cruising/ sailing retirementThe article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— "Retiring to the Open Sea"— prompted many questions and comments from readers.  We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.

WSJ- "What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?"

Bill- "In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.

Although long-distance cruising wasn't what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.

People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather."


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:

* 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

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* 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).

-  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), 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.