Wednesday, July 30, 2014

J/Newsletter- July 30th, 2014

J/97e- the Evolution of style and performance
New J/97e Launched!
(Les Sables d’Olonne, France)- The latest from the J/Design team and J/Composites is the J/97e, a 2015 “evolution” of the highly successful J/97 that has dominated offshore and around-the-cans events worldwide in IRC in the 28-33 foot category.

Several new features enhance the exceptional cruising qualities of the design, including a T-shaped cockpit with floor mounted traveler, easier transom boarding, and option for large wheel.  New style cabin ports and hull ports “bring the outdoors in” to create an elegant, spacious interior in the same spirit as the recently introduced J/122e.

To get a first hand look at the new J/97e, take a trip down to the Southampton Boat Show (September 12-21) in Southampton, England and the Grand Pavois Boat Show (September 17-22- in La Rochelle, France.  For more J/97e sailboat information

J/111 NA's start 
J/111 Europeans Preview
(Cowes, England)- Concurrent with AAM Cowes Week, the J/111s will be competing for their 2104 European Championship off the Royal Yacht Squadron line.  It promises to be an entertaining, fun, challenging regatta as the J/111s will be vying for both class honors as well as “water” just about anywhere they go criss-crossing the Solent with a few thousand other boats as obstacles.  The crews participating are all very experienced Solent sailors, so nothing should come as a surprise to them sailing the “neap tides” of this year’s event.

The J/111 Europeans will take place from August 2nd to 5th, at the beginning of the entire Cowes Week extravaganza.  Of the thirteen teams participating, perhaps the one team to watch out for based on past performances at premiere events will be David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J/DREAM.  Hot on their heels will be past Round Island Race winner Duncan McDonald and Phil Thomas on SHMOKIN JOE, James Arnell’s JEEZ LOUISE, Cornell Riklin’s JITTERBUG, Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II, Tony Mack’s McFLY, and Munkenbeck & Cheeseman’s MUNKENBECK, to name just a few.

Visiting teams from the Netherlands, Kees van Vliet & Hans J.G. Zwijnenburg sailing SWEENY and Martin Dent’s JELVIS from France will have to contend with a well-trained, fast fleet of boats from Great Britain.   For more J/111 Europeans sailing information

J/fleet sailing on SolentCowes Week Preview
(Cowes, England)- Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is a key part of the British sporting calendar taking place from August 2nd to 9th this year. These dates result from early traditions when the great and the good came to Cowes between “Goodwood” and the “Glorious Twelfth” – day one of the Grouse Shooting Season. The event is a great mix of competitive sailing and a vibrant social scene and has evolved enormously since the early days; it now attracts up to 1,000 competing boats, around 8,500 competitors and at least 100,000 visitors.

Since 1826, Cowes Week has played a key part in the British social summer calendar and is one of the UK's longest running and most successful sporting events. It now stages up to 40 daily races and is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world.  Although the regatta is over 180 years old, it is only in recent times that the Week has become an integrated series of races organized by a single body; today the Cowes Combined Clubs (CCC) of ten member clubs run the racing as a single organization- and the principal starting line is the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line pointed approximately due north of the “castle on the rocks”.

As one of the largest regattas in the world, it’s not surprising that Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week acts as a magnet for international competitors keen to experience the thrills of big fleet racing. It also has the added appeal of being a quintessentially British event with a strong competitive focus.  This year there are entries from far and wide including Antigua, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, and the USA.

Tides for this year’s event are predominately “neaps”, so streams are relatively weak in Solent terms. However, they will still play the most critical function in any race winning strategy, and are likely to play a big factor in the start of races from the Squadron line as the regatta progresses.  On the opening day, low water is just over an hour and a half before the first start, so the stream will be east-going for the entire start sequence. However, as the week progresses and low water moves progressively later, the eddies close inshore will become ever more important for boats starting to the west on the Squadron line.

Amongst the masses will be several dozen J/Teams participating in this classic summertime event.  While the J/111s will be sailing their Europeans (see below), the balance of J/Crews include a combination of one-design fleets like J/70s, J80s and J/109s.  In addition, there are IRC Handicap fleets that have J sailors in IRC 3, 4, 5, 6 and Cruiser A!

J/70s sailing the SolentStarting with the J/70s, a twelve-boat fleet with international representation will be enjoying the reachy courses typical of the event.  Visiting teams include Wouter Kollmann’s PLAJ from the Netherlands (a former J/22 European Champion) as well as Dario Levi’s Italian team sailing FREMITO D’ARJA.  Top local teams familiar with Solent waters have to be Wing Commander Simon Ling’s gang on RAF SPITFIRE Powered by SLAM; Ian Wilson’s WILSON COVERS; Simon Cavey’s JUST 4 PLAY; Dave Atkinson’s JAWBREAKER; and Charlie Esse’s DARWIN PROPERTY INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT.

The twenty-boat J/80 fleet has many of the leading suspects in play for their event, a “de facto” J/80 UK Nationals.  Ladbrokes and other betting parlors would have a tough time handicapping this crowd due to their “chutes & ladders” performances over the past year, even for the top teams.  Nevertheless, contenders no doubt include Jon Powell’s BETTY; Ben Richards & Andrew Dallas’ BOYSTEROUS; Douglass Neville-Jones’ JASMINE; Kevin Sproul’s JAT (Mr Ultimate Sailing himself); and Geoff Payne’s SURF & TURF.

The J/109s are showing up in force with a 22-boat class that sees a nice combination of familiar top teams participating as well as a number of newcomers to the fleet.  Amongst the veterans are the British Army’s WHITE KNIGHT 7 skippered by Capt Robert Hammond, INSPARA (Tor McLaren), J’TAIME (Chris Palmer), JUMPING JELLYFISH (Arthur Gallagher), JYNNAN TONNYX (Owain Franks and Jean Lockett), ME JULIE (Hedley Aylott), OFFBEAT (David McLeman), and SARDONYX IX (William Edwards). Some of the new faces in the crowd include THE SIRENS (Susan Glenny), ARGENT KING’S CROSS (Jim Prower), and BOO (Neil McGrigor).

J/109s sailing one-design on SolentThe world of IRC handicap racing starts with IRC 1 Class for the J/Teams; a combination of two duos of J/122s and J/133s.  In their nineteen-boat fleet, the J/133s (Herman Bergshaven’s MADJUS and Ian Dewhirt’s JUMP) are up against two J/122s (David Cule’s MINT JULEP and Sergey Senchenko’s JOLOU).  Given the mix of Solent conditions, these four boats should fair well against their diverse group of competitors.

The IRC 3 fleet may have one of the most bizarre combinations of boats yet seen in Cowes IRC handicap divisions.  The fleet ranges from a Swan 46 and Nicholson 55 (ancient technologies) down to a J/88 (the smallest, newest boat). Perhaps the IRC world needs to take some serious smelling salts.  Nevertheless, Terry Rowe’s J/122 ASSARAIN III is the top J followed by the twin J/88s- Dirk van Beek’s SABRIEL JR and Paul Ward & Andrew Penman’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT.

If IRC 3 is a bit of an eclectic mixture, perhaps IRC 4 fleet takes the proverbial cake.   Ranging from an Ocean 60 schooner down to a J/92 one knows exactly how to bet a reaching race in about 8-12 kts TWS- certainly not the little boat! Yes, Ladbrokes (or the bettors) would have a field day on this one.  Whatever happens on a class basis, no question the boat to beat is Fiona & Malcolm Thorpe’s J/105 KING LOUIE.  While they’re well-known for better than average performances, the other J/105s like Natalie Jobling’s MOSTLY HARMLESS, Roger Williams’ JOS OF HAMBLE, and William Edgerley’s JIN TONIC will be looking to dethrone them sooner than later.  Plus, Robin & Jaap Stevenson’s J/92 UPSTART will be dreaming of doing just that— upset the King’s Mostly Harmless Hamble Apple Cart!

The twenty-five boat IRC 5 fleet also has an equally unusual mix of boats that ranges from an old Oyster 41 down to an Elan 31.  Smack in the middle of the class are a range of J’s from J/92s to a J/110.  Within that range are four J/97s that include a rogue’s gallery of assassins in the sailing world, such as James & John Owen’s JET, Nick & Adam Munday’s INDULJENCE, Rob and Matt Paski Orr’s JACKAROO and Chaz Ivill’s ETB TYRES JUST LIKE THAT— all champions in past regattas of various sorts.  Good Lord, who would want to face that quartet of gangsters!? On the other side of their muzzles are the J/110 SHADES OF BLUE 2 (Ed Holton), the J/32 DOMAINE (Chris Burbridge) and the twin J/92s- WIZARD (John Greenway) and J’RONIMO (Libby & David Greenhalgh).  As a betting man, it would be safe to say that a bet on a “J/team” here is winner, perhaps even a sweep of the class!

As the upholders of all things “classic”, the J/24s in IRC 6 will have their work cut out for them sailing against some famous British sailors like Jo Richards on his old H-Boat, or Giovanno Belgrano’s very ancient Laurent Giles 38 known as WHOOPER.  Nevertheless. Edmund Gatehouse’s J/24 JUPITER and Simon Lack’s VINYL SOLUTIONS should acquit themselves against such famous competition given a few reaching legs or two!

Finally, in Cruiser A handicap world, the twin J/100s- Julian James’ THUNDER SQUALL and Ole Bettum’s ALAMARA B II, are up against a 30-boat class that has 30 to 48 footers!  Sailing Photo Credits- Tim Wright-   For more AAM Cowes Week sailing information

J/80 sailing Palma MallorcaCopa del Rey Preview
(Palma Mallorca, Spain)- The penultimate event on the busy summer calendar in Palma Mallorca is the famous Copa del Rey MAPFRE, hosted by the Real Club Náutico de Palma, an event geared towards a combination of popular one-design and level rating offshore classes in the Mediterranean.  As has been the case since they were first invited, the J/80s are by far the largest one-design class and other popular level classes include the Mini-Maxi 72 footers, the TP52s and the Soto 40s.  In addition, the event attracts a cross-section of ORC offshore handicap racers.

The racing takes place from August 4th to 9th on the spectacular bay in front of the city’s waterfront, the famous cathedral providing a spectacular backdrop for the sailors during the weekend.

J/80 hosts at Palma Mallorca, SpainFor the fourth consecutive year, the J/80 class will have their own division in the Copa del Rey MAPFRE: the Herbalife J/80 class. Sixteen teams are registered, including the last three winners in the Bay of Palma: Hugo Rocha’s New Territories (current J/80 World Champion and winner of the 32 Copa del Rey MAPFRE as Turismo do Algarve), Martínez, Barrionuevo, Pedreño and Fructuoso’s Deltastone (winner in 2012 as MAPFRE, second in 2013 and current leader of the Spanish National rankings) and José María Van der Ploeg’s Factor Energía (Copa del Rey winner in 2011, second in 2012, third in 2013 and J/80 World Champion in 2012 as Nilfisk).

The J/80 class is in excellent shape at the moment and has a superb level of competition in Spain. Therefore, it is no wonder that several world champions in the class have carried the Spanish flag. "The Spanish J/80 fleet is experiencing a golden age with great results, and we are a reference within the international fleet," says Alex Díaz, President of the J/80 class in Spain. "The number of boats in Spain keeps increasing, and we have managed to organize regattas geographically diversified which allows both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean fleets to take part in several races that belong to the national circuit."

“The J/80 is a very fast boat, easy to maneuver, it doesn’t require many crew members and the cost is not high," says the Spanish Class President. "That’s why this one-design is still a strong boat and highly accepted. The fact that the fleets are strongly established along the Spanish coast is another one of its advantages. Although the J/80s are spread throughout the Spanish coast, the largest number of boats is concentrated in Cantabria, Catalonia and Andalusia.”

J/80s sailing off Palma Mallorca, Spain"It is a great satisfaction for the J/80 owners to compete as a class in this regatta,” continues Alex Díaz. "The Copa del Rey MAPFRE is defined by bringing together several categories and boats, professional or amateur projects but always highly regarded. This year we have again the pleasure of competing with other one-design fleets like the Swan 60s or X-35. Without a doubt, it is a great recognition for this class, which has brought so many victories to Spanish sailing in the last five years. We're flattered and we will not disappoint. Thanks to the Copa del Rey MAPFRE for renewing its support in the J/80 class."

In addition to the top Spanish teams, a trio of J/80 teams from Italy are participating, including Giacomo Loro Piana sailing with his CN Porto Cervo team on MAKE A WISH (from the renowned sportswear/ lifestyle fashion house- Loro Piana); long-time Italian class stalwart Massimo Rama skippering his well-traveled JENIALE from YC Chiavari; and Massimo Borghi’s team on PIUMA from YC Chiavari.  For the first time, a French team is sailing for Le Havre, Team PH Finance- Petithuguenin sailing SPIRIT OF MAOUEN 3 from Société des Régates du Havre.

While the J/80s will be sailing a course right up against the shore and the “church”, the ORC teams will be starting further offshore.  In ORC 1, the J/122 NOISY OYSTER will be skippered by Igor Raspopov from the M.A.R.C. sailing club on the Med!  Hopefully, the weather will provide fun & games for all on one of the world’s most spectacular playgrounds for sailing!   Sailing photo credits- Jesus Renedo/   For more MAPFRE Copa del Rey sailing information

J/80s sailing downwindJ/80 Canadians Preview
LYRA Hosting J/105s Too!
(Toronto, Ontario)- The Ashbridge’s Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) in Toronto will host the 130th annual Lake Yacht Racing Association (LYRA) Annual Regatta. This event consists of both long-distance and course racing, with the fleets representing numerous LYRA member yacht clubs in the Great Lakes. The racing extends from July 26 to August 3. In addition, the ABYC is also hosting the J/80 Canadian Open.

Led by the Lake Ontario Fleet Captain Lawrence Alexander (Jiggers), and with support from ABYC member Bart Smit (Nautical Symphony), the J/80 fleet have invited their fleet members to a week of events culminating at LYRA. This initiative, dubbed “Get Ready”, “Get set”, and “Go”, is a major component of a program to prepare for the North Americans and Worlds this fall in Annapolis.

“We’ve put together a great series of events that leads up to a Canadian championship in honour of Hans Fogh”, commented Alexander. “We’d like all of our J/80 counterparts to come on up and experience the fun times at this exciting event in a wonderful location hosted at Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) in Toronto!”

After the CanAm Challenge in Youngstown, the fleet will make its way to ABYC for an exclusive J/80 speed clinic on July 30 with the 2012 J/80 North American champion Mike Wolfs.  July 31 is a day of R&R featuring fleet social activities including a fan demo sail, BBQ and entertainment.

And the climax of the week is the Hans Fogh Canadian J/80 Open 2014.  The championship will be held in conjunction with the three days of course racing on August 1-2-3.  “We are excited to see the J/80 fleet embrace this opportunity and we look forward to welcoming them to LYRA”, said Fleet Co-coordinator Brian Chapman.

The J/105s will also be tuning-up for their North Americans locally in Toronto being held later in September at Royal Canadian YC.  Many local top teams are in attendance, including past champions like Jim Rathbun’s HEY JUDE, local hotshots like Terry McLaughlin & Rod Wilmer sailing MANDATE, Ian Farquharson driving SONIC BOOM and Gavin Disney skippering THE USUAL SUSPECTS.  For more J/80 Canadian Open and LYRA Regatta sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Not surprisingly, the end of July and certainly the upcoming month of August are loaded with major regattas taking place around the world.  Starting in Europe, we find the J/88 family speedster is now beginning to hit its stride in offshore and around-the-buoys racing.  With the recent Chicago-Mackinac Race success of the J/88 HOKEY SMOKE, the J/88 also had an outstanding outing at the J/Cup hosted by the Royal Southampton YC in Southampton, England.  Like the other participants in the J/Cup also had a fabulous time sailing the Solent, fleets of J/70s, J/80s, J/109s, J/111s and an IRC Handicap with every other J participating.  In Germany, the J/22 Masters Regatta was sailed at Travemunde Race Week in Lübeck, Germany on the Baltic Sea.  Then, in Italy the J/70 Summer Circuit continued with event #5 taking place on Lago di Garda and run by the Fraglia Vela Riva.  Over in Ireland, the Irish Sportsboat Cup Regatta was run at Howth YC, it also included the J/24 Easterns and the J/80 one-design fleet.  Plus, it includes a report on the J/24 Westerns in Ireland.  Then, over in Great Britain, the RORC Channel Race concluded with good showings by a variety of J’s like the J/111, J/109s, and J/105.

Diving into the southern hemispheres, while it’s still “winter” down there, it often makes one wonder why more people haven’t discovered the fact that you really can sail there year-round!  For example, the J/24s in Argentina just sailed the second installment of their Winter Series in Cordoba in the Andes Mountains on Lago San Roque!  Then, they had a massive outdoor party on the club’s veranda with awesome Mendocino malbec red wines— all home-grown of course!

Up north, while starved for better reds like malbec from Argentina, the J/111 held their second North American Championship in the quaint seaside village called Harbor Springs, hosted by Little Traverse YC on the northwestern parts of the Michigan peninsula. The fleet had a great time sailing on the crystal clear, azure blue waters of Lake Michigan (truth be told, you really can see 30 feet down in Harbor Springs!). Over in other parts of the Great Lakes, the J/88 story from Europe continues.  The first J/88 Great Lakes Championship was hosted by Youngstown YC at the CanAm Challenge regatta in Youngstown, New York.  The CanAm Challenge Regatta also held one-design races for J/24s and J/70s and hosted a PHRF Pursuit-style race, something a J/111 lovingly enjoyed.  Plus, the “street hockey” challenge between USA, USA, USA and Canada, Canada, Canada was a bit interesting.

While the Great Lakes contingent were enjoying nice, cool, benign weather and sailing on unbelievably fresh, pure, crystal clear waters, the rest of the American sailors were spritzing saltwater vapor into their drinks, sandwiches and hair-do’s all weekend.  On the eastern parts of the world, there was quite a bit of activity.  Up in Marblehead, MA the Sperry Top-Sider Sailing World Marblehead NOOD Regatta was taking place, hosted by Corinthian YC in conjunction with their fabled “trio” of clubs (Eastern YC and Boston YC included).  They offered great one-design sailing for J/70s, J/24s and J/105s.  Moving down the East Coast, we find the Edgartown Race Week and Round Island Race hosted by the fabled Edgartown YC (THE most popular yacht club ever for President John F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, ever!).  Joining that illustrious fleet and celebrity were the J/111, J/105, J/109, J/46, and J/120 amongst many more.  Headed further south, the challenging New England Solo/ Twin Offshore Race was hosted just off Newport, RI.  There were some great stories from sailors aboard a J/35 and a J/111.  To complete the East Coast Tour of J event, none other than Annapolis YC was hosting its AYC Summer Regatta and a “local hero” by the name of Terry Hutchinson, the “new” weekend warrior, was having a frolic sailing J/70s with friends.

Hopping across to the West Coast (Left Coast to some, and to others, “the ONLY Coast”), we find that “adult summer camp” was recently hosted in a lovely place called Oak Harbor, WA and for the unfortunate few, they yet enjoyed another most amazing sailing event.  Uh, where???  Perhaps the world’s best-kept secret for lovers of summer fun, sailing, and camaraderie amongst friends— toss into that mix the Whidbey Island Race Week that is sailed on Saratoga Sound and you won’t be disappointed.  ‘Nuff said.

To continue the J/88 theme, one must elaborate on the recent sighting of a J/88 surfing to victory in a most magnificent fashion, ably skippered by a woman who’s known (or revered) by millions of people across America.  The Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race is one of Southern California’s most favorite “downhill” offshore races— a mere 80nm sprint from Santa Barbara, CA (the windward starting line), down around the bottom of the Channel Islands (Anacapa Island is your only mark rounded to port) and a straight shot to the tip of the Palos Verdes Peninsula off Los Angeles.  Note- it’s not as easy as it seems for the winning J/88 and for other J's sailing- a J/92, J/109s, J/105s, J/111s, a J/145, the J/125s, and a J/120.

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 1-3- Hans Fogh J/80 Canadian Open- ABYC- Toronto, ONT
Aug 2-9- Cowes Week- Cowes, England
Aug 2-5- J/111 Europeans- Cowes, England
Aug 4-9- Copa del Rey- Palma Mallorca, Spain
Aug 8-10- J/27 North Americans- Oakville, Ontario
Aug 9-15- J/24 Europeans- Angelholm, Sweden
Aug 14-17- Chester Race Week- Chester, Nova Scotia
Aug 14-17- Penobscot Bay Rendezvous- Rockland, Maine
Aug 19-24- J/111 World Championship- Royal Yacht Squadron- Cowes, England
Aug 21-24- J/35 North Americans- Muskegon, MI
Aug 22-24- J/24 USA Nationals- Beverly YC- Marion, MA
Aug 28-31- Pornic J/80 Cup- Pornic, France
Sep 8-13- J/70 World Championship- New York YC- Newport, RI

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

J/111 sailing North AmericansWIND CZAR Repeat J/111 NA Champion!
(Harbor Springs, MI)- The J/111 North American Championship was sailed over the July 24-27 weekend at the Little Traverse Yacht Club in Harbor Springs, MI.  Thirteen J/111 boats attended the event in beautiful Northern Michigan ready to race during the LTYC annual Ugotta Regatta. Blue skies, clear water and perfect breeze kicked off the regatta on Thursday as the sailors competed in three races.

At the end of Day One, WIND CZAR (Rich Lehmann) led the fleet with a 1-4-1, followed by NO SURPRISE (Dave Irish) in second posting a 2-2-5 and KASHMIR (Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson, Mike Mayer) in third with a 7-1-2 score. While WIND CZAR and NO SURPRISE were 1-2 in the first race, Annapolis YC offshore veteran Martie Roesch took 3rd.  During the second race, KASHMIR dusted off an awful first race 7th and posted their first (and only) winning race of the regatta, followed by the omnipresent NO SURPRISE (a local by the way) and Bill Smith’s WOOTON in third.  The last race of the day saw several of the top teams start to predominate, with WIND CZAR again taking a first, followed by KASHMIR in second and then Ryan Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF team from Cleveland, Ohio in third.

Day Two had a slow start, but as the afternoon breeze filled in, the race committee was able to run 3 more races.  KASHMIR moved up from third after day two, finishing the day with 20 points as NO SURPRISE took third with 21 points.  Starting fast out the blocks was WIND CZAR, again taking the first race followed by the fast-learning KASHMIR crew in second and Bill Smith’s somewhat roller-coaster riding crew on WOOTON again posting another third.  The fifth race saw Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF find their Key West Race Week winning stride, comfortably taking first and they were followed by the tenacious WIND CZAR gang not wanting to give up their “locals” advantage with a second and taking third again was NO SURPRISE (perhaps the “uber” local, Mr. Irish).  For the final race of the day, local host Dave Irish showed everyone the way home to his boatyard, winning the last race and providing lots of free beer and wine afterwards!  As he should, right?  Second was SPACEMAN SPIFF and third was KASHMIR.

Saturday, the J/111 sailors participated in the “Tour of the Bay” race.  After the wind filled in around 2pm, heavy breeze and large waves sent the sailors on a fun ride around the course.  What everyone knows about this race is that when the wind fills in, sailing in the middle of the bay is a bit like sailing into a “black hole”.  In fact, the faster you sail the “edges” (e.g. the coastline) of the bay the better you do.  While everyone expected locals to do well, and not unexpectedly WIND CZAR won the race, but taking second in the premium-counting race was George Gamble’s MY SHARONA from Pensacola, Florida (the Gulf Coast Offshore series winning team).  Third was NO SURPRISE, fourth was SPACEMAN SPIFF and fifth was KASHMIR.

The last day of racing was threatened with storms in the vicinity but the Race Committee was able to get two races off as the storms stayed off the course.  At the end of the Championship, WIND CZAR, NO SURPRISE and KASHMIR took the first, second, and third, respectively.  While WIND CZAR closed the regatta with a 3-1 to win the event in a somewhat convincing fashion with 18.5 total points, the balance of the top five was nowhere near a “closed and done” deal.  In fact, how everyone did on the last leg of the last race determined the ultimate fate for all four teams that were in contention.  Now that some of the visiting teams to that crazy bay in Harbor Springs had learned a few tricks or two, the gloves were off for the final two races.  Holding on by a thread for second place happened to be NO SURPRISE, posting a less than stellar 4-8 to keep second overall with 37.5 pts.  Just 3.0 pts back after posting another riveting, memorable 7-6 score was the KASHMIR team, just hanging on for third with 40.5 pts.  A slightly better tally of 6-3 was knocked out by Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF team to take fourth with a total of 42.0 pts, only 1.5 pts back!  Then, going from “zero-to-hero” on one day was Marty Roesch’s team on VELOCITY, posting the best score of the day (a 1-2) to close out the regatta with 42.5 pts, just a half point back from 4th.

In the aftermath of some great, incredibly close racing, many teams were discussing next steps for J/111 one-design racing.  Included in that evolution were plans for Key West Race Week in 2015 and the J/111 Worlds for 2015 in Newport, RI.  Furthermore, various formats were also considered, like just W-L courses or a mix of W-L and an “offshore random leg” course.  In the theme of “horses for courses”, it was clear that more offshore-oriented teams liked having the offshore experience combined into the modern W-L mix.  Time will tell.   Sailing Photo Credits- Gretchen Dorian   For more J/111 NA’s sailing information

J/88 sailing on SolentJ/88 Celebrates UK Win!
(Hamble, England)- The J/88 is celebrating its first win at a British regatta! The J-Cup in Partnership with B&G, an event held annually exclusively for boats of the J/Boats brand, took place from 24th– 26th July hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble. Amongst the outstanding number of 65 entries, organizers were excited to see four J/88s entered, a model that only landed in the UK towards the end of last year.

The J/88 teams raced in an IRC 2 class with two J/92s. The winner after seven races was JONGLEUR, owned by Stewart Hawthorn. Stewart is a long-time J/Boats sailor, having previously enjoyed many victories in his previous boat a J/80. JONGLEUR scored an incredible six wins and discarded one second place to take the IRC 2 Class title. In a regatta where nearly every race focused on seeking breeze, this was a superb result.

“We worked our way round the strategy that we had set ourselves – to make nice clean starts, get in to a good lane, then watch what was happening,” said Stewart. “The last race of the series was the highpoint I think as we managed to come from a really flaky start, being well down the fleet on the first beat, and from that get in to the lead. Very difficult and tricky conditions for everyone, but having sailed in the Solent for a number of years it wasn’t too much of a shock,” he added.

Boasting a sportsboat feel similar to the J/111 and J/70, the J/88 also features a carbon rig, sit in cockpit, overnight accommodation and an inboard engine. The J/88 will be in the water at Southampton Boat Show 12-21st September.   For more J/88 family speedster sailing information

J/70 sailing Lago di Garda, ItalyCALVI NETWORK Tops J/70 Coppa Italia V
(Riva del Garda, Italy)- The Italian J/70 series has continued to grow in popularity as more teams take delivery of their new boats and others in the fleet continue to improve in their capabilities to compete at the front of the fleet.  Like their American and European counterparts, the learning curve is very fast, so much so that new teams with just a few weeks of practice and/ or regattas can be sailing amongst the top five quite easily.  Reflecting the experience of the top American teams, the fleet depth increases to the point where placing all top five finishes becomes an increasingly difficult proposition.

The Italian fleet, despite its relative size compared to the American fleet, is already experiencing fleet “equalization”.  A good sign the J/70 is proving that it’s not only easy to sail for Italian women and youth, but also for a combination of teams from the most experienced one-design world champions to top local club racers!

For their most recent event on Riva del Garda, the J/70s enjoyed medium strong and steady North winds, perfect to complete the six races on schedule for the 5th event of the Italian J/70 National Circuit.

The fleet experienced great course setting, organized by one of Garda’s most experienced local experts- the 82 year old Mr Menoni, the Chairman of the Race Committee.  He was working like clockwork with his friend, Fausto Da Pre, who was responsible for all mark setting- an incredibly difficult job considering the 300 meter depth of this fascinating lake.

Despite the rapidly ascending experience of the J/70 fleet, for one more time the winner was Carlo Alberini with his team aboard CALVI NETWORK.  From the middle of the Adriatic Sea, Alberini has great one-design experience and a very good team- he was the only team to lead with two 1st places on top of consistent scoring.

Nevertheless, despite very close racing with Piero Saccomanni with SPIN ONE, the outcome could’ve been very different.  Saccomanni’s team from the Northern Adriatic region could’ve won the event!  Without having to take a penalty in one of the races, Piero might have been able to take the overall win for the 5th J/70 Coppa Italia event!

Gianluca Grisoli, the owner/driver from northwestern Italy sailing MA.GI.E, showed very consistent sailing with top finishes never worse then fourth.  For their first major event in J/70s, there were very excited, taking not only third on the podium, but having the great satisfaction of a dominating win in the last race with perfect tactics and most excellent speed on every point of sail.

The Italians J/70 sailors are having a fun time.  It seems that each new owner and each new boat has a chance of getting a podium finish!  The Italians owners like the fact they can easily tow their J/70's to the lovely mountain region in northern Italy to sail on the fascinating Lago di Garda- one of the world’s most spectacular bodies of water to sail!

Next on the Italian as well as European J/70 fleet circuit is the J/70 Europeans being held in the same place by the same host- Fraglia Vela Riva del Garda on Lago di Garda’s gorgeous waters- from September 24th to 27th- Register now at-   For more Italian J/70 sailing information

Wendell and Doc sailing J/88 Crazy 88J/88 CRAZY 88 Trumps Santa Barbara To King Harbor Race
J/111s Cruise Fast in Division
(Santa Barbara, CA)- This year’s Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race did not disappoint the 90 boat fleet assembled for one of the most popular mid-summer offshore races in Southern California.  The race is full of surprises and the most salient element facing the teams headed on yet another classic “downhill sleigh-ride” was the fact that all weather forecasts were wrong— thank goodness. Top dog in this year’s race for J/Teams was Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s J/88 CRAZY 88, sailing the race for its first time and convincingly winning PHRF Sprit B Class.  While the “Doc” has done the race numerous times in the past (J/92, J/125, J/145), the overall and class wins have proven elusive to her team.

The other “most excellent performance” award most assuredly goes to Bill Webster and Mike Moorhead’s J/111 JATO and to Glenn Griley’s J/111 STAMPEDE, both taking a 2nd and 3rd in the highly competitive PHRF A Sprit class.  Here’s how the race evolved from the perspective of co-owner Bill Webster:

“The start of the Santa Barbara to King Harbor race was in light air.  We started down the line a bit and STAMPEDE started at the pin end in clear air.  This allowed them to get in front of us while we had to fight through many other boat's dirties.  The SC 37 started with us and they were able to get a bit ahead of us also.  At Anacapa Island, they both had managed to get a decent lead on us.  We were there with the Ross 40 which owed us time and the J-120 POLE DANCER not far behind us.

We managed to get around Anacapa avoiding the holes and not wasting distance going too far outside.  This race is usually windy with conventional knowledge saying to go inshore before you pass Pt. Dume.  But this year was lighter than usual with more of an offshore flow.  I don't think we ever saw over 13 true on the entire race.  Our feeling was that Pt. Dume was going to be very light instead of the usual breezy and we should stay further offshore which matched our polars very well.

We watched the fleet go inshore and it looked like they were killing us.  But there was no percentage in following them so we stuck to our plan.  We continued down the rhumbline or slightly inside past Pt. Dume and into Santa Monica Bay as it got dark.  Santa Monica Bay started getting its usual lighter and lighter self in the evening although we were able to keep up some boat speed.

About 10:30 the breeze picked up to 6-8 knots and we thought that maybe we were not going to have to spend most of the night out in the bay.  We had lost sight of the boats inside in the dark and were unaware of how they were doing.  Shortly after 11:00 the fog came in thick and we were seeing wind up in the nines from time to time.  It was spooky seeing running lights come out of the fog and then disappear as we crossed jibes.  They looked like pretty good-sized boats but it was hard to judge in the dark and fog.

As we got close to the harbor entrance we heard the J-133 Tango call the finish boat saying they had just finished. As they owed us quite a bit of time that was encouraging.  We crossed the finish line at 12:47 and headed to our slip knowing that we had to pass Stampede's slip.  We were surprised when their slip was empty.  We got a cheer from our friends on the King Harbor Yacht Club balcony as we went past.  One of our friends came down to our slip and told us we were scored 1st in class and 3rd overall at that time.  Unfortunately, they had scored the SC37 in another class.  When the correction was made and all the boats scored the SC 37 was first and we were 2nd in class with a 6th overall out of 90 boats.  Stampede finished 3rd in class and 9th overall just under 7 minutes behind us.  I am glad our plan worked!”

For the balance of their fleet in PHRF Sprit A, the J/133 TANGO sailed by Roy Jones took fourth and fifth in class was Joe Simpkin’s J/133 FORGIVENESS.  Sixth was Tom & Terri Manok’s J/120 POLE DANCER.

Taking 2nd in PHRF B Spinnaker class was the J/33 TIGGER skippered by Fred Cottrell from King Harbor YC.

In the Sprit ULDB A Class, the J/125s clearly had a split-decision on how to approach the race.  One boat went high off the start matching the J/145 and Bernie Girod’s ROCK’N’ROLL (a Farr 400 reverse-bow special, an ex-J/105 owner), the other went low of rhumb.  In the end, Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE got the better of Viggo Torbenson’s TIMESHAVER by a mere 30 seconds at the finish line after 80nm!!  They took 3rd and 4th in class.  Carolyn Parks’ J/145 RADIO FLYER finished just 20 seconds behind her J/125 colleagues, taking 6th in class.

Finally, in the PHRF B Sprit Division, Dr Laura Schlessinger’s new J/88 CRAZY 88 took class honors by nearly 20 minutes on corrected time.  Taking 3rd was Jack Mayer’s J/109 ZEPHYR, 4th was Tom Bollay’s J/105 ARMIDA and 5th was Bryce Benjamin’s J/109 PERSISTENCE.

Doc and Julia sailing to start on J/88Here’s the report from Stu Johnstone sailing aboard Dr Laura’s J/88 CRAZY 88:

“The forecast for this year’s Santa Barbara to King Harbor 80nm race was a bit challenging, if not forbidding, for the 90 entries in this year’s race.  In fact, the weather forecast created a somewhat gloomy outlook on what is regarded as one of the best mid-summer offshore races all year long on the Southern California sailing calendar.  There was talk amongst a number of crews on the smaller boats that if Anacapa Island was not reached by sunset, it was perhaps time to consider the “iron genny” option and simply head for home.  For veterans of 20+ SB-KH races, the prospect of rounding in the lee of Anacapa at night (which can be either a 30 minute scenic tour or 3 1/2 hours of drifting hell) was not to be taken lightly.  What this scenario could lead to was sailing’s version of torture- a mind-numbing exercise of staring at sails and red-lit instruments far too long, fueled by too much Red Bull, leading to hallucinations of “heffalumps & woozles” (pink & green Dr Seuss elephants) crossing the horizon in front of you due to lack of sleep for 24+ hours.  In other words, drifting across Santa Barbara Channel to Point Dume that would lead to drifting across Santa Monica Bay in 0-3 kt whispers of wind towards the towering cape of Palos Verdes that might take until noon the next day!  Sailing a proverbial “glass out” all night long was not appealing to many.

While most years the starts can often have light airs for the first few miles headed to Anacapa Island about 25nm offshore at a 140 degree course, the breeze often picks up quickly and with 15nm or so to go to that first turning mark, winds seem to have a habit of whistling down the northern side of Santa Cruz Island and blow from 15 to 20 kts and, in some instances, 20-30 kts!  Conventional wisdom for the race seems to be sail rhumbline to Anacapa, then choose an “inshore” course in the island’s lee if light or an “offshore” course (1-2nm) if breezy.  Once clear of the island, shoot straight across to Pt Dume on port tack for 32nm at 80 degrees, gybe once onto starboard, then head straight for King Harbor for 22nm at 100 degrees.  There are some variations on the strategies, of course, like head right towards KH after rounding Anacapa, or gybe back in under Pt Dume to Malibu for localized “point acceleration” of the breeze, or simply gybe on the lifts from Pt Dume to KH for 22nm and hope no one in either corner (LAX Airport beach to the East or Catalina Island wind bend to the South) blows past you.

J/88 approaching Anacapa IslandThis year’s sleigh-ride was on-board Dr Laura’s latest rocketship, the J/88 she named “CRAZY 88”.  For many of you not “in the know” about some of SoCal’s cast of characters that sail offshore, Dr Laura may be one of the most interesting and enigmatic personalities of the California offshore fraternity.  While renowned on public talk-show radio to millions of her fans across America as simply “Dr Laura” (, helping listeners on the trials and tribulations of their daily lives for over 40 years, sailors in SoCal simply know her as “Doc”.  Doc has learned to love sailing as an outlet for her competitive drive- for her it’s therapy.  It’s the thrill of sailing as a team member with a good crew and her passion to succeed combined with her fierce determination enables her to drive for hours on end at a remarkably high level.  For many who know her, perhaps it was that amazing shot of Doc’s 47 ft KATANA blasting down the Molokai Channel that epitomizes her will to win— for 8 days Doc steered from dawn to dusk and while blasting towards the Diamond Head finish line doing 27+ kts down a 15 ft wave, the bow dug in and cast a comber across the decks that washed out her feet at the wheel!  Not only did she not let go, she kept driving to the finish, all 105 lbs of her!

Given the fact that her offshore skills have been strongly tested in big boats (J/145, J/125, Kernan 47, etc), Doc was looking forward to sailing her tiller-steered J/88 in its first SB-KH Race.  Amazingly enough, she was worried that the boat might not be big enough, and fast enough, to finish by midnight (I think she was worried she might turn into a pumpkin and have to go to sleep!).  Nevertheless, as her crew assembled before the start of the race (Wendell Liljedahl, Sam Solhaug, Julia Langford & Stu J) on the Santa Barbara YC docks, it was apparent the various weather models might be a bit “off”.  Prior to the start, every forecast (NOAA NAM/GFS, Sailflow’s proprietary models, Europe’s ECMWF, and even Clearpoint Weather’s highly accurate 1nm/ 5nm models ( was showing a “micro-Low” forming over the Channel Islands early Friday Am and moving south-southeast and consuming all winds in the area like a giant vacuum cleaner (despite showing very strong offshore flows from the Pacific High just 15-20nm offshore).  Based on those forecasts, some boats even dropped out beforehand.  Nevertheless, the majority of the fleet headed off into the unknown, prepared to sail like lemmings into the abyss (the starting line) towards Anacapa and into the proverbial Twilight Zone (the gap in the Channel Islands formed between the enormous Santa Cruz Island and Anacapa Island itself).

Like clockwork, Santa Barbara YC’s RC/ Sailing Director Brad Schaupeter fired off the warning signal at 1155 hrs.  The big boats were the first to take off in very light airs at 1200 hrs sharp, at most 2-4 kts from the SW, the conditions were nowhere near the forecasts.  Why? Friday dawned with a blanket of cool fog that completely enshrouded the Channel Islands, a scenario that often permits the prevailing NNW offshore breezes to permeate inshore and create a WNW flow down the coastline.

By the time that Doc’s J/88 CRAZY 88 took off at 12:15 pm, the winds had not changed much, necessitating the use of the LM1 jib for maneuvering at the start with a Code Zero ready to roll.  A Beneteau 40.7 was in our midst on the wrong side of the starting line yelling “starboard” at everyone (they were supposed to be on the “left” side).  Such is life sailing PHRF.

With a great start near the starboard pin, Doc focused hard to sail fast and maintain clear air.  Less than 5nm after the start, the breeze kept accelerating in velocity from the WSW and we managed to lead our class boat-for-boat for about an hour.  Soon, one of the primary competitors that was clawing well to windward of rhumbline, a Tartan 101 called Mistral, set their Code Zero and rolled over us before we set our own C0 flying.  Nevertheless, after another hour of sailing in a very slowly building westerly, they faded off into seeming oblivion to leeward, at one point bearing 90 degrees to leeward of us while we sailed with a C0 and staysail at 110 TWA doing 6.5kts in just 7.0kts TWS— an apparent wind machine the J/88 is!

Anacapa Island- north endFast forward to the approach into the Anacapa turning point, Doc was sailing fast.  So far, so good on relative fleet position.  All things were good on crew comfort, especially Doc’s homemade PB&J’s (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the uninitiated) using potato bread— the best combo ever!  Lunch included tasty “Food That Tastes So Good” sweet potato tortilla chips!  Wow, combined with the salt-air surrounding us, nothing ever tasted so good with Gatorade!

Meanwhile, the Mistral boys way off to leeward practicing the “zero-to-hero” strategy looked like their gamble might pay off.  Unusually, the breeze did not keep accelerating on the approaches to the Anacapa turning point, puffs never seemed to climb above 15 kts TWS.  It was fantastic conditions for the J/88 as with our A1 chute and staysail flying we were surfing off wave-tops at up to 10-12 kts consistently and giving the J/120 headaches just in front of us.  The “high road” fleet of boats that included the J/105s, J/109s and a host of others in class were feeling the effects of having to bear off using A1/ A2 kites with lower AWS/ AWA and, therefore, much lower relative boatspeeds.

Anacapa Island southBy the time CRAZY 88 hit the Anacapa left turn, Mistral planed across in front of us and was ahead by at least a mile and we were still in the hunt, we hoped, for a top three position in class.  While a number of boats around us turned left in under the lee of the island fairly quickly, we rode a long 13-15 kt wind streak about a half-mile past the island before gybing.  We’d set the A2 “whomper”, a giant PHRF maxi-size chute, and were flying downwind on a favorable headed starboard shift.  Once on the other side of the streak, we gybed in the lift and rode it for at least 2-3nm down the backside of the spectacular cliffs of Anacapa before having to head up and maintain speed to “shoot the gap” between the two massive rocks that form Anacapa island.  By this stage, we caught the J/120 POLE DANCER and the 1D35 DEJA VU, both inshore under the island in no wind.  As the breeze filled beneath the gap in the island, those two took off.  Since we were outside of them, we then settled into a pure VMC/ VMG course scenario keeping the big A2 Max full with staysail flying at around 145 TWA and steadily flying down the large Pacific swells at 8-9.5 kts in a wind that varied from 8-13 kts TWS.  We basically felt like we were on a skateboard zipping down the swells and placing the bow where it felt best and fastest.  Doc was in the back with a big smile on her face simply enjoying the ride.

And so it went for the next 30 odd miles to Pt Dume.  The J/120 ultimately pulled away and a bit to leeward by a mile or so.  So did the 1D35.  That was our world until the fog settled in near Pt Dume.  Approaching Pt Dume at dusk, we took one gybe onto starboard and headed back across Santa Monica Bay.  We lost track of the blue chute flying on Mistral, we last saw them going left into Malibu and perhaps the beaches of Santa Monica.

Doc passing Anacapa IslandWe decided to simply sail a fast angle of 130 to 150 degree TWA with our big A2 asym until the wind started to die (we ultimately changed down to the A1), and steered 110-135 degrees on starboard towards King Harbor, playing the shifts along the way (our port gybe angles varied from 40-65 degrees).  About 8nm down track to the finish (just 14nm left), we crossed ahead of the 1D35 and just astern of the J/120.  Five more gybes on 10-15 degree shifts in 7-12 kts TWS over the ensuing hour and we had put the 1D35 and the J/120 astern of us. The last time we saw these two boats, they were heading off to the south, staying on starboard gybe towards Catalina Island (perhaps waiting for a miracle breeze channeling between the island and Palos Verdes peninsula).

The fog was dense enough that all forms of reference from a steering perspective were literally gone.  Toss in a quartering swell.  No horizon.  No sky.  No moon.  No stars.  Yes, a “detox, de-sense chamber” in real life— better than anything imagined by any NSA/ CIA interrogation unit!  Just a blanket of darkness enshrouding the boat and only the gloom of the bow lights on the chute and the glow of the red-lit instruments guiding you.  Disorientation was easy.  Next step was a descent into the darkness of Dostoyevskyian madness! To say that Doc had never been “instrument-rated” may be a bit of an understatement, she had done little steering at night offshore despite years of sailing (remember?  Her M.O. was sunrise-to-sunset).  Many of you that have done offshore races know that feeling of “hallucinatory tricks” that both your eyes and mind can play on you— a result of physical fatigue as well as intense concentration.  Mental relaxation can often help you overcome such situations.  Focusing on just steering a basic compass course, Doc managed to lock into a “fast, comfort” mode that was loosely based on the fastest TWA of around 135-145.

That is how Doc and the crew rolled all the way into the finish line.  The further we clawed our way down towards the finish line at KH, the more the wind kept dropping and the more we kept passing boats that simply lost all ability to keep sailing good VMC/ VMG angles with their spinnakers (many twice our size).  Throwing in five gybes in the last two miles, we finally clawed our way around the white flashing light at the harbor entrance, doused the A1 and finished under the LM1 jib not having any idea of how we did.  We presumed the worst, of course, because there was no way to track what happened to anyone else.

Doc was elated but somewhat subdued.  Glad to have finished the race around 2am, but clearly exhausted. So were the rest of the crew.  Wendell having trimmed the chute for most of the 14 hours.  Sam and Julia for having executed about 40 gybes nearly flawlessly (no joke, we lost count after 25 gybes) and Stu for frying a few thousand tactical brain circuits along the way. It was an amazing effort.  And, it’s fair to say that Doc quickly achieved her “IFR” (instrument-rating) certification in offshore racing!

As we departed KHYC around 2:30am Saturday morning, we discovered that we’d won our class, boat-for-boat and on handicap.  Doc’s response?  “Thank God, Lew (her husband) won’t kill me now!” she said cracking a smile.  Though her husband Lew doesn’t sail, he supports her passion for sailing with friends and is always happy to know the effort was worthwhile and the crew made it home safely.

The post-mortem?  Wow, having buried the 1D35 and the J/120 with less than 12nm to go, why didn’t we simply go for the “zero-to-hero” move and go way south for a “one gybe & in” approach?  If only we knew what was happening for breeze just south of us.  With no wind sensors in the area, it was a tough gamble to make.  We knew at least 90% of the fleet was to our left towards the LA beaches, not offshore.  When we saw those two boats disappear behind us going south on starboard tack downwind, it was hard to imagine that more breeze lay south and to leeward of our position.  So, we persevered and played every shift we encountered.  In the end, the crew of Doc’s J/88 CRAZY 88 were proud of their hard work.  But, how did those other two boats beat us in by an hour?  The mystery remains and the story to be told another day.”   For more Santa Barbara-King Harbor Race sailing information

J/111 sailing J/CupJ/Cup A Solent Festival!
JAHMALI Crowned J/Cup & J/109 Champions
(Hamble, England)- After facing the very real prospect of not being able to race in the regatta, organized by Key Yachting and run by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, it’s been quite a turn around in fortune for Mike and Sarah Wallis’s Jahmali in the J-Cup 2014 in Partnership with B&G.

With repairs to a snapped mast only completed at 7am on the first day of racing (Thursday 24th July), the J/109 went on to sail to victory in a ferociously competitive class, winning the J/109 UK National Championships in the process.

To cap a memorable event, boat and crew were also awarded the prestigious J-Cup 2014 at Saturday night’s hugely attended Gala Dinner and Prize-giving. Ultimate success, after what proved to be challenging and tricky wind conditions across all three days, was also a personal triumph after years of competition.

J/109 overall J/Cup winners’I’ve been doing the J-Cup as long as Paul Heys has been running them, so it’s been a while,’ said a delighted Mike. ‘It’s a great day for us and very much appreciated.

‘It’s the first time I’ve won the J/109 class. I won the 105 class as an owner 14 years ago, and as a tactician nine years ago. I’ve drunk out of the J-Cup at other people’s expense many, many times,’ he laughed.

Mike admitted that the conditions particularly suited Jahmali and her long-standing crew.

‘On our boat we tend to be a lot better in the lighter and flukier conditions, so these have played to our strengths and helped us achieve this. I think if it had been blowing force 6 we wouldn’t be where we are or anything like that.

‘Going into the last race we were only one point ahead of Tigh Soluis and Jubilee, but fortunately we got the right end of the line and everything was easier after that as we had clear air and clear wind.’

He added: ‘`Certainly it’s been very much up to the wire as it always is with the 109s. It’s always very, very close, and perhaps being lighter has opened things out a little bit. When the wind’s up and there’s less chance of opening up gaps it’s very, very close, so we are also grateful for that. I don’t think there were any collisions this time, which is very unusual for the 109s!‘

Echoing the opinion of many other competitors, Mike also paid tribute to regatta organizers and race officers. ‘It’s been a great regatta, very well run by the Royal Southern in very difficult conditions. They’ve done an extraordinarily good job.’

A win in the final race helped secure Jahmali‘s class and national championships victories, finishing five points clear of Tony Dickin’s Jubilee with Iain MacKinnon’s Tigh Soluis two further back.

In the other nationals run within the regatta – the Lombard-sponsored J/97 Championships – Charles Ivill’s ETB Tyres Just Like That took four wins from seven races to finish three points clear of Nick and Adam Munday’s Induljence, with Helen Hoffman’s Jaslan taking the final podium place.

Also celebrating success was Guernsey’s Roger Martel with his J/122 Kaya, winner in IRC1.

‘We had a few good results and a few less so, which we’ve managed to come back from, so we’re really pleased,’ said Roger, taking part in only his second J-Cup.

J/109 crew going fast!‘We got a good start on the last race but had to tack to avoid a dredger, then fell in to a hole and a 133 got past us. We got round the weather mark and the wind disappeared, so one minute we were ahead, the next behind.

‘Luckily they shortened the race – everyone else had fallen into holes around us and we just managed to squeak it.’

The last race win, along with three previous bullets, put Kaya five points clear of East coast-based Angus Bates’ Assarain IV, which was three ahead of Ian Dewhirst’s Jump.

Experience counted in IRC2 where Stewart Hawthorn’s J/88 Jongleur, most of whose crew have raced together for over 15 years, almost managed a clean sweep but ended up discarding a second place.

‘We worked our way round the strategy that we had set ourselves – to make nice clean starts, get in to a good lane, then watch what was happening,’ said Stewart. ‘The last race of the series was the high point I think as we managed to come from a really flaky start, being well down the fleet on the first beat, and from that get in to the lead.

‘Very difficult and tricky conditions for everyone, but having sailed in the Solent for a number of years it wasn’t too much of a shock,’ he added.

J/crew hikingJongleur finished nine points clear of Richard Sparrow’s J/92 Who’s To Know, which was two clear of another J/92, David Greenhalgh’s J’Ronimo.

Also discarding a second in a dominant performance in the J/70 class was Simon Cavey’s Just4Play. She finished on a high with three bullets, 12 points ahead of Steve Northmore’s Waterjet2, with Jack Davies’ Jugador a further two back.

However, the regatta’s comeback kid award was surely deserved by Patrick Liardet’s Aqua J, whose four successive bullets – following a 4-(7)-2 scoreline – powered her to the top of the J/80 table. She finished five clear of Douglas Struth’s DSP and 12 ahead of Brian Denney’s Jalapeno.

The J/111s didn’t get the chance to get on the plane, but a competitive class was won by Duncan McDonald’s Shmokin Joe, seven points ahead of Chris Jones and Louise Makin’s Journeymaker II who managed to hold off Cornel Riklin’s hard-charging Jitterbug which won the last three races.

The J-Cup is organized by Hamble-based Key Yachting Ltd., an agent and distributor for J/Boats throughout the UK and Ireland.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/  For more J/Cup sailing information

J/team rounding Solent markJ’s Persevere In RORC Channel Race
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The tenth race of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship took place this weekend.  The race started on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, with the RORC fleet beating into a light southwesterly wind helped on by a positive tide.  The weather forecast was for a light northerly breeze for the start, which may build as the race develops. High pressure is likely to cause the current heat wave to continue, providing fantastic conditions for the RORC fleet.

After leaving the Solent, the wind was enhanced by sea breeze, giving the fleet a tactical dead beat to a DZB buoy south of Anvil Point followed by a run to a virtual mark south of the Isle of Wight, before beating up to Poole. The course then took the competitors around the south of the Isle of Wight bringing them into the finish at Gilkicker via the Nab Tower.

For several yachts competing in the Channel Race, this was their last test before racing in next month's Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, including the British Army Sailing Association's J/111, British Soldier. Lt Col Tim Hill explains the Army team's approach to offshore sailing.

"The Channel Race is the last proper test before the highlight of our season," stated Tim. "British Soldier will be approaching the task in the same method as we always do. This will be the final dress rehearsal but as all the Round Britain and Ireland Team have already completed the qualifying miles we will be introducing new members to the team this weekend, to encourage and empower younger members for the future.

"British Soldier is very much a team and whilst I grandly sit as Rear Commodore of the Army Sailing Association, I have a team beneath me that do the hard work and hard graft. Capt Phil Caswell is the Race Team Manager and organizes and co-ordinates the crew for every race that we do. Sitting alongside him is Maj Will Naylor who is responsible for all of the equipment and logistics required for RORC Racing, from victualing the boat to making sure we are race compliant. These two leaders then delegate individual tasks for all crew members - it is very much a team effort."

The British Army are used to operating in hot conditions on operations around the world. With the present heat wave in mind, Lt Col Tim Hill gives some good advice on avoiding dehydration.

"For high exertion activity in high temperatures, you need to be consuming a minimum of 1 litre of water per hour. That is a lot of fluid but it is essential to budget accordingly, sometimes during an offshore, the activity is less than other sports, but not taking enough water is unhealthy and a team's performance can be seriously affected by it. To avoid dehydration we use a buddy-buddy ethos; each team member keeps an eye on another and ultimately it is the skipper's responsibility to monitor how much water is being consumed."

In the end, the J/111 BRITISH SOLDIER took 5th in IRC 2 Class for the Channel Race.  Of note, they thoroughly acquitted themselves in the preceding RORC East Coast Mersea Race, taking 2nd overall behind the famous Tonnere de Breskens sailed by Piet Vroon.

The largest class was the IRC Three with 12 boats taking part including Nick Martin's J/105 DIABLO-J.  By getting a 5th place in Double-handed class and 7th in IRC 3 Class, Martin gained valuable points for the Season’s championship.  Meanwhile, Chris Palmer’s J/109 J’TAIME and Kevin Armstrong’s J/109 JAZZY JELLYFISH took 4th and 5th, respectively, in IRC 3 Class.

In the overall RORC Series Championship, Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J is sitting in 5th place only 50 points back from first place overall in IRC!  Classmate J’TAIME, the J/109 sailed by Armstrong is only 70 points back from first as well!  Could be a cracker going into the last few races!

On a class-by-class basis, the J/122 RELENTLESS JELLYFISH skippered by Chris Radford is currently sitting 4th in the IRC 2 Season series and has a good chance for 2nd overall.  If the J/111 BRITISH SOLDIER has an excellent Round Ireland Britain Race, a good finish could easily vault them into 1st or 2nd since it’s a “double-counter” of a race— it’s over 1,200 nm long!

IRC 3 Class for RORC Season series has SIX J’s in the top ten.  Top of the group in 2nd is Palmer’s J’TAIME, 3rd is Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J, 6th is Armstrong’s J/109 JAZZY JELLYFISH, 8th is the Royal Armoured Corps YC’s J/109 RUAG WHITE KNIGHT 7, 9th is Dom Monkhouse’s J/109 ME JULIE and 10th is John Allison’s JUMBUCK. Any one of the top six boats have a solid mathematical shot at taking the overall season’s point championship!

Finally, in IRC 4 Season series, the J/97 HIGH JINKS sailed by Blair Forsyth is currently lying in 7th and has a reasonable chance of getting into the top three if any of the last few races are good scores.  For more RORC Channel Race sailing information

J/22 sailing Masters- Travemunde, GermanyMenzner The J/22 Master!
(Travemunde, Germany)- According to Thomas Hemp, skipper of the JOLLY JUMPER, “The Travemünde Week was again a great success. The great social program, 3 days of sun, wind and wave and the exciting races on the water made for a perfect sailing weekend; and also making for an excellent celebration of the 125th anniversary of Travemunde Week. Next? The J/22 Worlds 2015 are coming to town!”

Hemp continues to say that, “we were looking forward especially to use this event as a small rehearsal for next year’s Worlds. 17 teams, including three from the Netherlands and one from France, arrived to the shipyard on Wednesday. The cranes proceeded as usual, quickly and smoothly on launching all the boats.

After that, we moored JOLLY JUMPER in front of the Regatta Centre.  Right at the centre, there is the breathtaking scent of countless stalls and booths with their wonderful food delights down the mile long waterfront promenade. Whether roasted almonds, roasted in garlic scampi, baked cheese, fish sandwiches, pizza ... the land of plenty cannot be different! Gourmet eaters as we are, we treated ourselves once together with Hardy and his crew a Currywurst with french mayo and a cold beer!

Then we moved into our apartment, which was only a 5-minute walk from the boat.

J22 fireworks and laser show at Travemunde, GermanyEverything unpacked and forced into the dress uniform, we met with the rest of the sailors at the festival stage in Brügmanngarten, where the honorable Julia Neigel handed in a first-class appearance. After the concert there was a laser and fireworks show from the Passat. What a great welcome for all us sailors!

Thursday morning we went to register at the race office. Well, what can I say ... a few weeks ago we easily weighed in under the 275kg crew weight limit.  Now, we were 2Kg too much! How could that be? After a few reproachful looks at the bellies of the others, we simply undressed and got rid of all the heavy cloths ... thanks goodness that worked!

For the first day of racing, we sailed along with the 505 class to Course Bravo, which was very far out. There was a constant wind with 10-14 kts from the Northeast, splendid summer weather and 1-1.5 m waves. Three races were sailed with virtually no wind shifts, but the right side was generally better. So, after starting, go out right until you could see the first outlines of the sunbathers at the nudist beach, then tack on the layline to the windward mark and repeat again.

J/22 rock and roll concertWe had no problems with the waves, our height and the necessary boat speed.  But, whoever got the jump at the starting line and led the fleet right often won, it was difficult to pass on a tactical basis since every leg was almost always the same strategy, no surprises there.  After an exhausting first day of sailing Martin Menzner and his crew led by a single point ahead of local hero Svend Hartog.

Back at the dock, there was a reward- "Pierbier" for all (delicious German beer) - sponsored by the J/22 Class Association. In the evening is was more of what sailors do well when back in port best: eating, drinking and partying in the Sailor's Bar, until the host shut-off the beer-tap!  Oh well.  Back to sleep.

Sailing on the second day was actually like the day before, except that we enjoyed instead of the predicted rain lots of bright sunshine and a perhaps slightly higher waves. After three more races (we got a 5-6-5), we were quite happy with our sailing performance at the end of the day, but still hung on to 7th place, while Svend Hartog and his crew had three faultless races (2-1-1) and were now leading the J/22 fleet.

In the evening, the Hanseatic city of Lübeck invited all the sailors on the four-masted barque "Passat". In glorious sunshine, there was a great buffet on deck. Shortly after we left the Passat at 22h, it was also once again the center of the nightly fireworks and laser show.  Always a unique experience!

J/22s sailing in Travemunde, GermanyOn Saturday, the wind-god ‘Rasmus’ ran out of steam. In the morning, the Bay of Lübeck lay flat and unmoved. But the weakening gradient wind was unexpected, so the thermals could develop.  Ultimately, the sun broke through the clouds and we got reasonable sailing conditions. The weak wind filled in nicely and we got two more races off for the final day.  Our second race was exciting, only Menzner was faster and ahead.  We were in second place, but with just meters to go to the finish, lost our place to the Dutch team led by Jean-Michel Lautier.

After the two races, the clear winner of the J/22 German Masters was the Kieler crew of Martin Menzner.  Second was local hero from Lubeck, Svend Hartog.  Third was the Netherlands team led by Jean-Michel Lautier.  By the last day of racing, the fabulous JOLLY JUMPER jumped again, somewhat skillfully, up into fourth place, so we could ride off into the sunset happy!”  Thanks to Thomas Hemp, the amazing JOLLY JUMPER skipper of GER 1562 for their story!   For more J/22 Germany sailing information

J/35 sailing Newport Solo/ TwinJ’s Lead New England Solo/ Twin Offshore Race
(Newport, RI)- The New England Solo/ Twin Race, a near shore shorthanded race, was held July 25th and 26th in the waters of Rhode Island Sound.  The race is designed to introduce new skippers to overnight racing in the hopes of enticing new skippers into the Bermuda One-Two run every two years.

There were classes for singlehanded and doublehanded boats, cruising canvas and spinnaker, monohulls and multihulls.  Of the boat that raced, seven were crewed by families, 20 boats were repeat skippers and 11 had new skippers.  The courses ranged from 67nm to 100nm.

J/Teams lead divisions across the board.  In the Class 5 Spinnaker Singlehanded class, Mike Piper’s J/111 EAGLES DARE simply dominated the competition, winning by 22 minutes on corrected time.  In the Class 3 Cruising Canvas Twin class, the J/109 URSA sailed by the duo of Brooke Mastrorio and Mark Franklin won their class quite handily.  They were followed in second by the J/37 ALLEGRO VIVACE sailed by Dick and Sam Waterman.  Finally, in the Class 1 Spinnaker Twin class, Paul Grimes and Dave Moffet sailed the J/35 BREAKAWAY to second place, just 22 minutes on corrected time behind their friends on the 30 foot SAMBA.

Mike Piper commented on his performance in the J/111 EAGLES DARE: “I twisted the chute as I botched a gybe due to me forgetting what mode the autopilot was in.  On the downwind leg, I experimented a lot with VMG angles, as I finally have all the instrumentation worked out.  I wasted too much time going hot & fast, as it's more fun, but not always smart. Wind speeds were 13-14 knots, so not enough to break free.  I collected tons of data that will help me in the next race though.  The boat did well on upwind leg from Gay Head to Pt Judith, punching through the chop and only a couple degrees off where I'd be if fully-crewed.”

Paul Grimes commented on what it was like to sail the classic J/35 BREAKAWAY: “I'd say Bob Manchester and Barrett Holy had the comeback of the race after getting caught on the wrong side of a sudden 150 degree windshift on the first leg. As for us, it was great to sail with Dave Moffet. He really ramps up the program.  In our class, there was a big spread in ratings, and we just kept pushing - and barely corrected out over boats that owed us a lot of time. Who knows how valid that really is, but that's the way the scoring worked this time.

In general, the J/35 continues to be a great boat for shorthanded racing. It is so forgiving and versatile, and has no real weaknesses. Other designs may shine in certain conditions or on certain headings, but the 35 keeps us in the mix no matter what. It's not hard to keep it going fast, and the Autohelm loves it - which is a big help at 3 AM.

For this race, we also wanted to do it "right" - actually cook some dinner in the oven and switch-off taking naps down below when possible. Not all boats out there could do that, and it makes a big difference when racing through the early morning hours.

Our only regret is that we missed a pod of whales that came through the fleet during the only few minutes of the race when both of us were down below repacking a sail. Oh well . . .”   For more New England Solo/Twin sailing information.

J/111s sailing to windwardJ/111 WICKED 2.0 Round Island Champion 2x!
Edgartown Race Weekend Fun For All!
(Edgartown, MA)— Buoy racing followed by a circumnavigation of Martha’s Vineyard made Edgartown Yacht Club’s three-day Edgartown Race Weekend (July 24-26) the just-right combination for dozens of teams competing. The Thursday/Friday Big Boat Buoy Races, a separately scored fleet racing series that made its full debut last year after organizers trial-tested a one-day buoy racing event the year prior, hosted 32 boats, while the 77-year old ‘Round-the-Island Race -- decidedly more storied, if not downright legendary -- saw 67 boats taking on the hearty 56 nautical mile rounding of one of America’s most beloved island vacation destinations.

The 10-boat PHRF Spinnaker class completed three races on day two for a five-race series, and it was the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron’s J/122 DOLPHIN, wound up tied on point score for second but having to settle for third place because of tie breaker rules.

Richard Egan’s (Hyannis, Mass.) J/44 WINGS won the six-boat Double-Handed class, counting four races total for their series.  Sailing with his 18-year-old son Joe, Richard Egan said he was a bit overpowered on Thursday:  “With a big boat like ours and just the two of us, it’s hard to change sails.” Joe still liked the bigger wind, however, calling Friday’s races “painfully slow” and was looking forward to the projected heavy air in the ‘Round-the-Island Race where his brother and two cousins were due to join him for a fully crewed attempt at victory there.

“What’s happening is we’re seeing an evolution, which is really healthy, of a shift to the next generation,” said the elder Egan, who has been sailing this event since he was his son’s age.  “They know how to make the boat go, and I have total confidence in them to run the boat.”

Sailors had to tuck in early on Friday night to be ready for 6:30 a.m. boat calls Saturday morning--before the 8 a.m. start of the ‘Round-the-Island Race. And that hadn’t been easy with the now-traditional Mt. Gay Jump-up Party dutifully following Friday evening’s awards for the Big Boat Buoy Racing. A building 10-12 knot breeze for the start made it all worth the effort, however, and the memory of a dreaded alarm clock going off was replaced with adrenalin-infused concentration on the next task at hand: to hit the starting line right on the money and, if you had them, immediately hoist a spinnaker for harnessing as much downwind power as possible.

Defending champion Doug Curtiss (New Bedford, Mass.), who won PHRF A class with his J/111 Wicked 2.0, said the 8-10 knot breeze, a south/southwesterly, kept filling in after the start, and by the time his team got to East Chop it was gusting to 18. “It was a beautiful, beautiful day out there,” he said, adding that victory was not easy.  “First and second place (won by Vanish) was decided by three minutes over 7+ hours of racing, so if you boil that down to percentages, that’s a 3% difference in speed. The Naval Academy, too, was toe-to-toe with us, and they held two out of the top five finish positions, so I’d say that they have a very competitive program for sailing, and it is making a difference.”

The J/122 DOLPHIN won the Hobart Cook Maritime Award for Best Performance by a Naval, Coast Guard or Maritime Academy boat, while Buzzards Yacht Club (Pocasset, Mass.) won the Yacht Club Team Trophy with great performances from their team that included Matthew Schmitt’s J/105 HARD TACK.

Behind Curtiss’s J/111 WICKED 2.0 in PHRF A class was Bill Jacobson’s J/46 VANISH, taking 2nd.  Stephen McManus’s J/120 SAYKADOO was class winner of PHRF B and they were followed by another J/120, APRES, sailed by Stephen Besse.  In PHRF C class, it was the J/105 HARD TACK skippered by Matt Schmitt that took third.  Finally, in PHRF Non-Spinnaker A class, the J/44 BALLYHOO sailed by Wes McMichael placed third.   For more Edgartown Race Week sailing information

J/105 sailing Marblehead NOODCIRCE’s CUP Crowned Marblehead NOOD Champ!
(Marblehead, MA)- With a storm front moving through Massachusetts Bay Sunday afternoon, the conditions between Saturday and Sunday of the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta in Marblehead could not have been more different. As the first guns sounded, the rain started to fall and by the third leg of the J/105 fleet's first race the combination of light air and building chop kept many of the lead boats from making significant gains up the course.

"It made the course very challenging going upwind," said J/105 overall winner Rick Dexter, skipper of CIRCE’S CUP. "Our fleet was extremely close, all three top boats were within one point of each other. Fred deNapoli in the second place boat, and TWO FEATHERS [third place] from Dallas are all fantastic competition and inspirational sailors." Dexter and his crew aboard CIRCE’S CUP not only won the J/105 class but also the Wilmington Trust leader spinnaker, a new award added to this year's Marblehead NOOD.

The racing all started on Friday under postponement.  Light air early on made for a slow start to the regatta. With the left side of the course favored heavily, it was tactical decisions over routine local knowledge that produced the best results in the J/105 class.

Rick Dexter, skipper aboard Circe’s Cup, favored the left side and finished the day second in the fleet. “Very recently, the pattern has been a strong sea breeze on that side,” he said. “The first race we tried the right side, and it didn’t pay, so we read the course carefully and changed our tactics over to the left-hand side in the second race to improve.”  And improve they did, going from a fourth to first place finish by the end of the day.

“Basically the strategy is clean air,” explained Dexter, “That’s what we’re going to focus on tomorrow. The breeze should fill in and we should have better conditions. The fleet is strong, we have a great showing at this regatta, and the level of competition is great.”

Ahead of Circe’s Cup in the overall standings was Chris Lund and his crew aboard WHOMPER, who snagged two second place finishes, placing them at the head of the fleet with four overall points.

J/105 sailing past mark“Everything really came together for us today,” said Lund. “We work really well together, we have a lot of great voices on the boat. Collaboration was key in order to read everything that was going on out there. We just trust each other, we’re a more confident team.” The crew has taken a full year off from sailing together, and today’s success was their first foray back onto the water together.

“It came together so quickly, and that first race was almost flawless,” said WHOMPER tactician Caleb Sloan. “We recovered from any mistakes we made in the second race quickly, and worked together really well on recovery. Tactically, we paid attention to each other and whoever had the most confident voice made the call.”

J/70 sailing under spinnaker off Marblehead, MAThanks to their tactical teamwork, WHOMPER had to fly the Wilmington Trust leader spinnaker, awarded each night to the J/105 class leader and finally to the overall winner to keep at the end of the weekend. All eyes were on WHOMPER to see if they would hold on to their class lead— you simply could not miss them on the race course in the middle of the 17 boat fleet.

On Saturday, the Westerly winds filled in slightly in Massachusetts Bay, staying shifty and in the low teens. The funky wind patterns made for a livelier day of competition. It also proved to be the undoing of the might WHOMPER, posting a 13-6 for the day and by Sunday adding in a 13-12 to drop them down to 5th place.  CIRCE’s CUP had a bad day as well Saturday, adding a 10-15 to their scoreline to drop them from contention after Saturday’s racing. However, their 1-3 on the last day was enough to just claw back into first place by one point over long-time local hotshot- Fred deNapoli sailing ALLEGRO SEMPLICITA.  Third for the weekend was Mark & Jolene Masur’s TWO FEATHERS only two points off the lead, suffering a 2-8 to drop them into at least a podium position.  Rounding out the J/105 top five was Jon and Stuart Wales sailing BANTRY to fourth place.

J/24 sailing downwind under spinnakerThe J/24 class had a nice turnout with eight boats. Leading that fleet home was John Denham’s AIRODOODLE, a past regatta winner; their four 1sts in eight races proved insurmountable to Chris Clancy’s crew sailing LITTLE MARTHA, settling for second overall.  Third was Mike Taber on XING, winning at least one race from the top two boats.  Fourth was Mike Lachmayr on BLACKFIN and fifth was Martin Gallagher on SHIFTY.

The seventeen boat J/70 class had a combination of class veterans as well as new faces in the crowd amongst the top five.  It was Jud and Cindy Smith’s first significant regatta win, taking four 1st and two 2nds in nine races to win by a convincing 12 points.  Class newcomer Stein Skaane sailed SHRED to second overall with 27 pts.  He was followed by Bill Lynn & Matt Hooks sailing the great yacht SCAMP, taking third with 30 pts.  Fourth was Will Welles on RASCAL, winning two races but also suffering two bombers in a row for 313 pts.  Fifth was Tyler Doyle on USA 245 with 40 pts.  Sailing photo credits- Leighton O’Connor 
For more Marblehead NOOD sailing information.

J/88 sailing one-design SEAWEED Is J/88 Great Lakes Champ!
(Youngstown, NY)- The inaugural J/88 Great Lakes Championship took place last weekend concurrent with the CanAm Challenge Regatta hosed by Youngstown YC in Youngstown, New York.  The 88s enjoyed excellent competition over the weekend and the regatta PRO managed to knock out five races for the fleet. 

On the first day of racing, it was evident the fleet had a two-tiered competition going on.  Leading after the first day by one point was Joe Pawlowski’s CRAZY EIGHTS with a 1-2-1 record for 4 pts.  Just behind was Jim Egloff’s SEAWEED with a 2-1-2 for 5 pts.  Then, the next three boats kept trading places with one another in very tight racing with Richard Lohr’s NIGHT OWL leading this trio followed by Joe O’Brien’s SQUIRMY and John Frank’s RUMBLE BEE.

Sunday’s racing saw even more jumbling of the fleet in the two races that were sailed.  While the SEAWEED crew finally got it all together and produced two bullets in a row to win the regatta with just 7 pts, behind them other teams were quick learners on extracting more boatspeed as well as sailing better tactics.  In the fourth race, CRAZY EIGHTS was 2nd followed by SQUIRMY in 3rd.  Then, in the last race, NIGHT OWL was 2nd and CRAZY EIGHTS took 3rd.  

On an overall basis, with SEAWEED’s Jim Egloff declared the first J/88 Great Lakes Champion, second was Pawlowski’s CRAZY EIGHTS and taking third was Lohr’s NIGHT OWL.

All five 88 owners were “pumped up” about sailing one-design against each other and are already making plans for the future.  In fact, they are now working on getting more boats for the 2015 Key West Race Week that runs from January 18-23 (   For more J/88 Great Lakes Championship sailing information.    Sailing photo credits- Tim   For more J/88 family speedster sailing information

CanAm Challenger Cup winnersCANADA Wins CanAm Challenge!
The Mighty KRAKEN Annihilates J/70s
(Youngstown, NY)- Last weekend, the Youngstown Yacht Club hosted the CanAm Challenge, a one-design and pursuit class event that emphasizes a friendly rivalry between the United States and Canada, with each country vying for bragging rights.  92 boats registered for this inaugural event; split between 12 One Design divisions as well as 2 Pursuit classes, spinnaker and non-spinnaker.  Beginning on Friday evening, boats descended upon Youngstown, NY from as far away as San Diego in the U.S. and Ottawa, Ontario in Canada.

While the Regatta was sailed in winds on the lighter sides, the Regatta PRO’s did an exceptional job with most courses sailing six good races with great competition.  Competitors from both the US and Canada had impressive results in the various classes which featured four “J” divisions- J/22s, J/24s, J/70s and J/88s, as well as spinnaker and non-spinnaker Pursuit classes.

To determine the winner of the CanAm Challenge, the racing was so close that there was only a 1 point spread between US and Canada to determine the winning country.  In the end, the 2014 CanAm perpetual trophy winner goes to Team Canada.

The week leading up to the actual racing was highlighted with clinics and a “Junior CanAm Challenge” sailed in Lasers, 420s and Optis.  Quantum Sail Design group had representatives hold J/70 and J/88 clinic’s focusing on rig tuning, on the water practice starts, and debriefs.  The Junior CanAm ran on Tuesday and Wednesday with crews representing Yacht Clubs from Western and Central NY as well as Southern Ontario.

The twelve-boat J/70 class was taken over by the scarily smart, fast team on the mighty KRAKEN.  Starting off with three 1sts, Gary Tisdale & Adam Burns simply smoked the fleet, counting four 1sts in their six race scoreline for a total of 9 points.  Second was well-known yachtsman Travis Odenbach sailing HONEY BADGER with 21 pts.  A Toronto & New York team on USA 410 was sailed by John Goller and Brian Hill, taking two bullets in races 4 & 5 to quickly pull themselves into contention and grab a third overall.  Four was Paul Cannon in USA 302 and fifth was Tim Finkle sailing the famous JUNIOR.

In the J/24s, the top boat was the Canadian team of A1 skippered by Tom Taylor, winning by a country mile with five 1sts and one 2nd for just 7 pts total.  Second was the American team of Gabriel Lewis (also top woman sailor in the entire regatta) sailing HANG LOOSE and third was another Canadian team, Rick Sherk’s IN THE MOMENT.

The J/22s also saw Canadian teams dominate the fleet.  Paul Davignon’s THREE’S COMPANY won by sweeping the last three races with three bullets!  Second was fellow Canadian Darcy Fuller on PROST, just one point back. Third was the American team of TRAINWRECK sailed by Adam Masters.

The Can Am Challenge was an all-inclusive event that helped build camaraderie amongst the crews, as well as helped to keep costs down for the sailors.  The entry fee included on-grounds wristband for skipper and their crew and provided breakfast treat and coffee on Saturday and Sunday mornings before racing, a chicken dinner on Saturday night, and pizza before the awards ceremony. This on top of already discounted beer and rum drinks!

While this event is new to YYC, hosting great regatta’s is not and many of the friendships that began at past events like the Level Regatta were rekindled, as well as many new traditions.  In addition to great music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the event also hosted a Street Hockey Tournament to continue the friendly rivalry between the US & Canada! Multiple teams competed for their country but in the end, just like on the water, Canada came out on top!  This is sure to become a tradition that you will not want to miss.

The Youngstown Yacht Club is thankful to all our sponsors that made this event such a great success including Towne Auto, First Niagara, Mount Gay Rum, Double Cross Vodka, Haarstick Sailmakers, Quantum Sails, Ullman Sails, RCR Yachts, Brown & Brown Insurance, Sail 22, APS, Alpha Ropes, and RBS Battens.  In addition, the YYC is grateful to all of the volunteers who pitched in to make this first time event one to remember!  If you couldn’t make it to this year’s CanAm Challenge, we hope to see you at next year’s event.   For more CanAm Challenge Regatta sailing information

J/30 crew at Whidbey Island Race WeekJ/Teams Love Adult Summer Camp!
(Oak Harbor, WA)- The City of Oak Harbor, the Oak Harbor Yacht Club, the Oak Harbor Junior Sailing program and the Whidbey Island organizers welcomed racers to their private little playground for another year of fun-in-the-sun and sailboat racing in Penn Cove and in the Saratoga Passage!

For 32 years, sailors have convened in Oak Harbor, Washington for “Adult Summer Camp” to enjoy the most spectacular sailing event in the Pacific Northwest. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, predictable breeze and an occasional Orca sighting, Whidbey Island Race Week has earned the reputation for offering some of the best racing in the region.  Under the management of the incredibly talented and compassionate couple, Charley and Schelleen Rathkopf, they’ve managed Race Committee at Whidbey Island Race Week for over a decade and have a highly experienced race committee team.

Racers can look forward to “the Whidbey” every year because it’s such a fantastic vacation for the family as well.  Plus, when crews dress-up in costumes while sailing and, hopefully, not only winning the race but the party and the awards for the “best dressed” crew (getting that rare “trifecta”), the bottom line is that everyone is having a good time!  Indeed, it is an “adult summer camp” where just about everyone is getting “there ya’ ya’s out”!

The Whidbey is a ‘Must-Do’ for Pacific Northwest sailors and it attracts a broad range of boats from the Seattle, WA area as well as Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia.  This year’s racing featured J/105 one-designs as well as PHRF handicap racing.

J/109 sailing at Whidbey IslandThe J/105s had a half-dozen boats on the starting line and after winning 7 of 9 races sailed, it was pretty clear that everyone knew who was #1 in the J/105 fleet- Jerry Diercks and the most deliriously happy crew on the big ship DELIRIUM.  While they gave it their all, the trio of Cohen, McKinnon & Rummel (a law firm?) that sailed INCONCEIVABLE strung together a series of 2nds and 3rds to take second.  Robert Blaylock’s USAWI took whatever 3rds that were left to also finish third for the event!

In the world of PHRF handicap racing, it appears the J/Teams took at least their fair share of the silverware.  In PHRF 4, they took 3 of the top 5, including Bob Mayfield & Christine Nelson’s J/29 SLICK topping the charts with just 9 pts!  Fourth and fifth, respectively, were the two J/33s, Tom Kerr’s renowned CORVO and Todd Koetje’s HRAVN.

In PHRF P1, the mighty J/122 ANAM CARA sailed by Tom Kelly could only manage a fourth in the light conditions they faced all week long.  In PHRF P8, Peter Sauer’s J/24 GARAGE SAIL took a third place.

PHRF P3 was overwhelmed by well-sailed J/crews that ranged from the J/90 up to a cast of J/109s; in fact, there were nine J’s in a class of 12 boats!  Winning class was Jim Prentice’s J/109 DIVA from Canada, sailing “lights out” and never giving an inch to the rest of the class, posting six 1sts and two 2nds in the nine races sailed. Stu Brunell’s J/109 TANTIVY took third while Brian White’s J/35 GRACE E was 5th and David & Vernice Cohen’s J/90 EYE EYE was 6th.  The rest of the top ten were J’s, including Jerry Woodfield’s J/109 SHADA 7th, Ernie Chatham’s J/35 JABIRU 8th, Jerry McKay’s J/35 MELANGE 9th and Ed Pinkham’s J/109 JEOPARDY in 10th!    Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson  For more Whidbey Island Race Week sailing information

Terry Hutchinson ready to sail J/70!Hutchinson A Weekend Warrior?
Wins J/70 class at AYC Summer Regatta
(Annapolis, MD)- Terry Hutchinson has been an integral member of multiple America’s Cup programs and currently spends the majority of his time competing at the highest level of monohull sailing as tactician for Quantum Racing in the 52 Super Series.

However, Hutchinson was just another weekend warrior this past Saturday as he skippered an entry in the annual Annapolis Yacht Club Summer One Design regatta.

While new to the boat, Hutchinson’s overall experience showed through as he won both races in skippering USA 419 to victory in J/70 class. Admittedly rusty steering a small boat for the first time in five years, the Harwood resident got great support from a top-notch crew as fellow professional Allan Terhune served as tactician and jib trimmer while standout local sailor Ray Wulff handled the bow.

“I needed all the help I could get,” Hutchinson said with a laugh. “It was the maiden sail for this boat and I was learning every step of the way.”

Hutchinson, recently hired by Quantum Sail Design Group as an Executive Vice President, said he wanted to sail more locally now that he has moved back home after nearly five years away. The St. Mary’s High graduate co-owns the J/70 with fellow Quantum pro Scott Nixon and both intend to primarily sail the boat with family.

“It was fun to go out and participate with the local fleet. We had a lot of fun on the water and it was good to meet everybody before and after racing,” Hutchinson said.

Occam’s Razor, owned by Annapolis residents Walt and Tricia Pletcher, finished second on the strength of a second and third place results. Walt Pletcher said it was a thrill to compete against such renowned pros as Hutchinson and Terhune, former of whom is a past Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and latter of whom was a finalist for the award last year.

“It definitely takes things up a notch when you are going against sailors of that caliber,” he said. “That’s one of the great things about our sport: Full-on amateurs can compete against the best in the world. It’s exciting and a great deal of fun.”

Occam’s Razor has enjoyed a strong season and earned a berth in the inaugural J/70 World Championships by placing 11th at the Annapolis stop of the National Offshore One-Design series. Pletcher was not surprised that Hutchinson won his very first J/70 regatta in a fleet filled with owners who have been racing the hot new sport boat for a year or more.

“Terry can jump into anything and do well because he understands how to make a boat go fast in different conditions,” Pletcher said.

Back at the dock and during the post-regatta social, Hutchinson and Terhune both happily dispensed advice and pass along tricks of the trade.

“Guys like Terry and Allan are very approachable and more than willing to tell anyone who asks what they are doing out on the course,” Pletcher said. “It’s a case of pros giving back to the amateurs who keep the sport alive.”

A total of 23 boats in four classes competed in the Summer One Design Regatta, which was held in light southwesterly winds that started in the 4-6 knot range and gradually built. Three starts were planned, but principal race officer Steve Kling called it a day after two in order to get the fleet into port before dark.

Tim Mowry and his team on Dakota Girl won both races in topping J/35 class while Skimmer (Jack & Marti Detweiler, Alerion 28), Hot Toddy (Jeff Todd, J/22) and Rush Hour (Pat FitzGerald) all won with score lines of 2-1.   Thanks for contribution from Capital Gazette- Bill Wagner/

J/24 one-design sailboatHARD ON PORT Tops Sportsboat Cup
Irish J/24 Easterns & Westerns Report
(Howth, Ireland)- Flor O’Driscoll and the crew of his J/24 HARD ON PORT were the deserving overall Sportsboat Cup winners for 2014 and were awarded the Romaine Cagney Trophy. Impressively, they did not count a result worse than second for the regatta and won half of the races. The popular winners have been stalwarts of the J24 class in Ireland who also have won several IRC titles in the well-campaigned boat. They were only delighted to be taking another piece of silverware out of the Pale to Munster. When Flor was awarded the title, he was overcome and went into a state of delirium and started repeatedly chanting “Mumhan Abú” clenching his fists above his head.

When the wind dropped on Saturday for the J/24s and J/80s racing was as rapid as “Elephant Polo”. The wind direction chopped and changed to the point where PRO Richard Kissane decided to abandon and restart Race 2. Whereas it didn't suit those doing nicely at the time, it was the sensible decision. The restarted race got away smartly in a bit more breeze allowing the fleet to get all scheduled races under their belts and home in time for tea and tiffin....and after-sun!

Sunday's racing was brought forward an hour to test those who were out the night before. A few cups of Blue Nun did nothing to slow up Flor O'Driscoll and his team who put in a stellar Sunday performance.

Lough Swilly's "Bandit" lived up to its name by putting in a sweet port tack start in Race 5. Open-jawed, the rest of the fleet took some time catching!

J/24 Ireland- Easterns championsOvernight leader Stefan Hyde on Hamilton Bear had a wobbly start to the day but finished off the weekend with a well-deserved bullet. In the last, they weren’t able to push Hard On Port down the fleet enough in the last to snatch the overall title at the death, so it was second overall for them. Howth Yacht Club’s Under 25 Keelboat Team on Eurocarparks Kilcullen rounded out the podium in third place.

In the Sailfleet J/80 class, Gillian Guinness and her ladies team took the title ahead of Mossy Shanahan. In the closely fought class, young Ewan McMahon finished a close third. With most of the fleet trading blows Gillian and her crew were very consistent and eked out a lead which meant they had the series wrapped up with a race to spare. There were even sightings of wine and other delights on the sail home each day on board. The bulk of the fleet from second to fifth place were separated by only four points. Exactly what you want and expect from such evenly matched one design racing.

J/24 Westerns
Light airs and large shifts were the order of the day at the J/24 Western Championships in Iniscealtra Sailing Club.   14 teams battled it out over 6 closely fought races. In the end it was local boat Scorpio Jnr, skippered by Andrew Deakin who emerged out of a 6 boat leading pack, to take the title with the K25 squad just behind in 2nd. Four races on Saturday left the team in 4th place but it was our consistency over the event that saw us finish 2nd overall. We were the only team to have all results in the top five. This result builds on a strong performance in the Eastern Championships as we look forward to represent Howth YC in the Dennis Conner Challenge at Manhattan Yacht Club next month before heading to Lough Erne to defend our National title.   For Howth YC J/24 sailing information

J/24s sailing Lago San Roque, Cordoba, ArgentinaINDIGO Leads J/24 Winter Regatta
(Cordoba, Argentina)- The Argentinean J/24 fleet is a bit like the proverbial “Energizer Bunny” ad one sees in America for the “battery that keeps on ticking”.  Between Buenos Aires and the Cordoba fleet in the hills of the Andes Mountains, these J/24 fleets never seem to stop sailing and, more importantly, never stop having fun!

As part of their three venue J/24 Winter Series, the latest event took place at Villa Carloz Paz along their spectacular mountain lake- Lago San Roque.  A lake so close to the famous Cordoba ski resorts, that you can ski in the morning and in less than 30 minutes be sailing in sunny skies in the afternoon down at the lake.

J/24s sailing Argentina in the Andes Mountains- Cordoba, Lago San RoqueIn the latest regatta, eighteen boats sailed, two driven by women and two by teenagers.  Club Nauticos Cordoba played host for the event.  Taking first this year was INDIGO sailed by Despontin Ezekiel.  Then, in second was OJOTA skippered by Sebastián Halpern and third was PURA VIDA.  Another crew aboard MEDIO POLLO took 7th, an honorable result despite being brand new to the class and sailing their first regatta!

The meeting and party amongst all the J/24 teams after the three races on Saturday was epic, it remains a moment of camaraderie noteworthy for the amazing food, great Mendocino wines, empanadas, photos and discussions!  We welcome anyone in the “J” world to join us!  For more Argentina J/24 Fleet sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/22 sailors- Kevin Bacon and Michael Bacon*  Bacon Brothers Rock Sailing World!  Yes, it's those fabulous Bacon Brothers— Kevin the Hollywood star, Michael the amazing musician!

Amazing, but true.  Ever since learning how to sail on Sunfish at Red Cross summer camp in upstate New York as little kids, Michael Bacon and his younger brother Kevin, always loved to head down to the lake, go for a swim and sail (often doing both at the same time!).  Having growing up in the summers at their family’s Adirondack camp, the big challenge was often hopping into a cedar sailing canoe that their Mother gave to their Father as a wedding present.  Using a simple leeboard and a paddle to steer, the boys would have fun trimming the sail on the little lateen rig, going for adventures across the lake like one of their childhood folk heroes, Huck Finn.

After growing up in Philadelphia, the boys went their separate ways, but their common bond was always boating with friends as well as their love for music.  While Kevin went off to greater fame and fortune as a Hollywood movie star, Michael stayed in the New York area and ultimately grew his business in the music industry, both as a songwriter and performer.  Having played in various groups in the past, the two brothers joined together in 1995 to create the “Bacon Brothers” (see  That re-connection also fueled their passion for going sailing and having fun anywhere they had a gig near water.

Kevin Bacon and Michael Bacon sailing J/80s in Annapolis, MDRecently, Michael became a happy J/22 owner, having bought his boat from Andrew Armstrong, Commodore of the Corinthian YC, a beautiful little club on the Delaware River not far from Philadelphia, PA.  With the help of the Commodore himself and friends at the club, Michael not only became a proficient sailor on his J/22, but also managed to squeeze in taking the A.S.A. Coastal Navigation course at Manhattan YC (located on the Hudson River in lower Manhattan), practicing on J/24s and J/105s.  His dream is to bareboat charter in the Caribbean and is already charter certified!  Plus, a J/World Sailing School in Key West is also in the offing!

On their latest trip down to Annapolis, the Bacon brothers had four sold out shows at the famous Ram's Head Tavern, where they make an annual appearance.  What to do with a weekend full of working nights and lots of playtime during the day?  Of course, find some Napolitan locals and go sailing!

Each of the past few years, Harry Legum of Annapolis Sailing Fitness, has urged the brothers to go sailing on the Chesapeake Bay with friends.  Last year they sailed a J/105 and took a tour of the bay.  However, this year Harry wanted to dial-up the sailing experience a notch and tap into the brother’s competitive side.  He enlisted the current J/80 North American champs and entrepreneurs of local tech start-up DATUM LLC, Will & Marie Crump, to host a little match-racing on two identically matched J/80s.

With cool weather and steady easterly breeze that seemed to defy the standard July “hot & muggy” conditions with “less than zero” winds on the Bay, the group gathered at the Annapolis YC dry-sail area for a brief white-boarding session from Marie Crump. Shortly after, teams were divvied up first by driver, Will on one and Marie on the other. Then sorted by Bacon brother, Michael with Will and Kevin with Marie and then on to the rest of the group that included Michael’s wife Betsy and twin sister Pat along with other close friends Hilary and Andrew Armstrong who are members of Michael’s home club- the Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia. Rounding out the J/80 experience on the teams to keep competition tight were Brent Allen, Thomas Klok and Roger Kagan.

The morning plan was to perform 4 practice starts before moving on to actual races. Once off the dock, the Bacon’s were introduced to the trimming techniques on the J/80 and then a few practice maneuvers including start-stops and penalty turns. When the first sequence began the teams wasted no time showing that bragging rights were important. From the first dial-up, the Bacon’s were into it with a little shock, some excitement and smiles all around.

Race by race, the teams sailed matches that included penalties, changes in lead and overall tight racing with some extremely close calls. Neither team was out to make any concessions in this friendly outing. By the end, older brother Michael was happily taunting younger brother Kevin over the race record and challenging for more— seemingly the old “playground rules” when they were kids haven’t been forgotten!

Later that evening, the Crumps, friends and fellow Napolitans, enjoyed the Bacon Brothers’ show at Ram's Head Tavern.  Kevin, in particular, was gracious enough to talk about their interest in the town and the sailing it offered with a special “Thanks” to all their hosts.

J/111 sailing Gulfstream Race* Congratulations to Rob Stein and crew aboard the J/111 KINETIC!  They were the overall winner of the HRYC Gulfstreamer Race from Ponce Inlet (near Daytona Beach, Florida) to Charleston, South Carolina.  The J/111 performanceCharleston-based crew sailed the 226nm course in 28:55:48- an incredibly fast pace!

Said the owner, Rob, “Us and the J/120 ILLRYIA were 1st and 2nd in the Gulfstreamer Race.  Check out our Speed-over-ground and boat-speed graph from the Nexus/Garmin system.  Lots of fun and excitement running in the pitch black night with the A2 kite up in the stream.  The boat and crew performed great!”

J/34 IOR Mills Race winners* J/34 IOR boat in Toledo, Ohio??  What is that? Well, in the recent Toledo Mills Trophy Race-  KNEE DEEP, owned by Brett and Katie Langolf, recently won the Commodore Wood Trophy at the annual Mills Trophy J/34 IOR sailing Great LakesRace.  The Mills Trophy Race, sponsored by the Toledo Yacht Club, began in 1907 as a test of navigational skills in the Great Lakes. The race has been held nearly every year since then.  In addition to the Commodore Wood Trophy, KNEE DEEP also took 2nd in their class.  The previous week they used the Commodore Perry Race at North Cape Yacht Club as a tune up and took a 3rd overall.  KNEE DEEP races under the Sandusky Sailing Club and Deadman's Flat Yacht Club burgees.

J/42 Jaywalker- Judy & Bill Stellin- winners at Ugotta Regatta* Bill & Judy Stellin take 2nd in PHRF 5 at Ugotta Regatta in Harbor Springs, MI.  After sailing 32,000nm around the world, they still have not forgotten how to make their J/42 JAYWALKER go fast around the tricky bay waters on Lake Michigan!  Word around town is that the real "wizard of Harbor Springs" is that spry old guy named just "Bill", not "Dave".  In other words, making magical things happen with two-sails is far harder to do, and in fact far more of an "art form" than having to sail with all the laundry known to man that you can hang off an enormously tall rig.  Here’s Judy happily holding their “brag flag” for their fantastic performance over the weekend regatta!

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.

J/42 cruiser- sailing across Atlantic Ocean* Jim & Heather Wilson just completed a circumnavigation of our "blue planet Earth" in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR.  Said Jim, "The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now.  We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell 'Painkiller' at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles). Read more about their adventures in their  well-documented blog here:

J/160 sailing offshore to US Virgin Islands- rainbow over ocean* 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.   Alan 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/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.