Wednesday, August 6, 2014

J/Newsletter- August 6th, 2014

J/24 Italy sailing in EuropeansJ/24 Europeans Preview
(Angelholm, Sweden)- For the first time in decades, the European J/24 sailors are making a migration north into Scandinavia to sail the J/24 European Championship.  The event takes place from the 9th to 15th of August and will be  hosted by ÄSSS Sailing Club in Ängelholm, south-west of Sweden. The Championship organization and host municipality of Ängelholm are proud and honored to have the J/24 sailors as their guest and look forward to rolling out the red carpet for the thirty-seven teams that are participating from seven countries (Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Sweden and USA).

The single largest contingent participating are the twenty-five German boats, mostly from the northern parts of the country— it’s a quick and easy drive north across Denmark and into SW Sweden for them.  Many of their top sailors who’ve participated in past Europeans and Worlds are in attendance, as well as a number of their top women teams.  Look for Peer Kock (UK SAILMAKERS), Peter Langhans (OSTE STROLCH), Lars Gibbe (HANSA PROJEKT), Nikolas Honnef (HIGH FIVE), Jan Kahler (UNITED 5), Johann Huhn (HUNGRIGER WOLF), Stefan Karsunke (SULLBERG), Frank Schonfeldt (HENK), Tobias Feuerherdt (MS EUROPA 2), Manfred Konig (VITESSE) and Frithjof Schade (JJ ONE) to be among the top German teams.  Also, look for their top women’s teams, like Stephanie Koepcke (VEGA RAGAZZA) and Corina Thiermann (AVALANCHA) to be a factor if the conditions are in the light to medium range.

In addition to the five teams from Sweden, top America sailor Mike Ingham will be racing, as will Dennis Frederiksen from YC Monaco sailed PAGET, Giacomo Del Nero from Italy sailing MOLLICONA, and Paul Holzer from Denmark racing GAMMELDANSKEN.  A trio of UK teams hope to repeat some of their good performances from last year’s Europeans sailed at YC Monaco, including the defending champion Chris McLaughlin on IL RICCIO, Roger Morris sailing JOLLY ROGER and William Pollock skippering FLYING COLOURS.

"This time of year our beautiful beach is very popular with tourists and vacationers. The weather in mid-August usually offers beautiful and serene weather, ideal for sailing and especially for the J/24,” said Kjell Holst, Chairman of Organising Committee.  “On behalf of the Organizing Committee would like to express our gratitude to the town of Ängelholm whose commitment and support have made this event possible in a place where in the early '80s was founded the first Swedish sailing high school. The program also provides some fun social events that will be organized in typical Swedish style. Once again, a warm welcome to all participants and their companions!"  For more J/24 Europeans sailing information

J/109 White Knight sailing Round BritainRound Britain & Ireland Race Preview
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is undoubtedly one of the toughest yacht races in the world. While other ocean races are longer, racing 1,800 miles around a coastline notorious for highly changeable weather and wicked tides and currents, puts the race amongst the most difficult to complete, let alone win. The 2014 entries include an amazing variety of yachts and sailors; exceptional people who come together as a team to attempt to climb one of offshore racing's biggest mountains.

Round Britain RaceThe fleet takes off this Saturday noon from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, Cowes, Isle of Wight.  They will set off down the Solent to the east and turn west around the south side of the Isle of Wight. After that the course is simple: leave Ireland and Great Britain to starboard all the way to the northern tip of the Shetland Isles, a point known as Outer Stack just north of Muckle Flugga, then return down the eastern side of the UK back to where the race started in Cowes. The fastest yachts may complete the course in under a week. For the slower yachts, nearly two weeks is more likely.

The most northerly point on the course, the island and lighthouse of “Muckle Flugga” is a higher latitude north than Cape Horn is south by roughly 300 nm!! Legend has it that Muckle Flugga, and other outlying islands, were formed by two giants fighting over the love of a mermaid. They threw giant rocks at each other, which became the small islands. There isn't a happy ending as the mermaid, fed up with them both, said she would marry whoever could follow her to the North Pole; they then stumbled after her into the sea where they both drowned!  Sad story, eh?  The lighthouse on the island was built over 150 years ago and was first lit on New Year's Day 1858 to protect the ships during the Crimean War. Whilst it was manned by lighthouse-keepers, the island was also the northernmost inhabited island of the UK.  For you literary fans, apparently Robert Louis Stevenson visited the island on 18 June 1869 and there are many who consider Stevenson’s relatively short stay to be inspiration for his classic book- “Treasure Island”!

Muckle Flugga lighthouseMaking their way around Muckle Flugga is a fleet of twenty yachts flying the flags of 11 nations: including China, France, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Ireland, Oman, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and the USA.

"This race is another step up from the offshore races organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The course is three times longer than the Rolex Fastnet Race and it takes the competitors through a myriad of different conditions. Crews will have to cope with a huge number of elements and that is what makes this race so compelling," commented RORC CEO Eddie Warden Owen (himself a J/24 European Champion and UK Champion).

"Most sailors agree that this race is one of the toughest tests of them all. It is nearly as long as an Atlantic crossing, but the changes of direction at headlands, navigating wind farms and oil rigs, will mean constant breaks in the watch system for sail changes and sail trim. The race is only run every four years and is a highly regarded fixture on the yacht racing calendar; experienced amateurs and seasoned professionals alike aspire to compete in a race that is real challenge."

There are three very well prepared J/Teams competing for IRC handicap honors. In IRC 2 Class, the J/111 BRITISH SOLDIER, the UK’s Army Sailing Association team, will by led by Phil Caswell. Joining them is the J/122 RELENTLESS ON JELLYFISH, sailed by Chris Radford and James George.  In IRC 3 Class, Rob Hammond and the UK Royal Armoured Corps Yacht Club will be sailing the J/109 RUAG WHITE KNIGHT 7.

Team SCA sailing Round Britain RaceOf interest to many J sailors will be the first outing for the brand new fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s that have been built especially for the Volvo Ocean Race which starts in October 2014. It is the first skirmish between five professional teams: Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Alvimedica, Dongfeng Race Team, Team SCA and Team Campos.  Top skippers and crew on a number of the boats have plenty of J/Boat one-design and offshore experience under their belts, including TEAM ALVEMEDICA (Charlie Enright), TEAM SCA (Libby Greenhalgh and Sally Barkow), ABU DHABI (Ian Walker), DONG FENG (Liu Ming and Jiru Yang), TEAM BRUNEL (Andrew Cape), and the Spanish- TEAM CAMPOS (Iker Martinez)!   Sailing photo credits- Rick Tomlinson   Follow the three J/Teams with YellowBrick tracking.  For more RORC Round Britain & Ireland Race sailing information

J/27 one-design sailboatJ/27 North Americans Preview
(Oakville, Ontario, Canada)- The J/27 class continue to enjoy a bit of a “phoenix-like” trajectory over the past few years, mostly due to the extraordinary efforts of a bunch enthusiastic American and Canadian sailors on the western end of Lake Ontario.  This year’s J/27 North Americans will again be hosted by the Oakville Yacht Squadron from August 8th to 10th and sailed out of Oakville, Ontario.

Sixteen boats have registered for the event, the largest turnout the 27 class has seen in years.  Eleven Canadian teams will be up against five American boats.  Who will win this “CanAm” challenge?  There are a number of class veterans and some new faces in the crowd that could factor into the leaderboard.  The only returning top three team from last year is Andre Beese’s team on MESSING ABOUT, so they’ll aim to at least hang in the top three.  Hoping to improve on last year’s fourth place finish will be Mike Seitz’s NORTHERN SEITZ.  Other class veterans like Dirk Sell’s WILLY-T, Bob Fortier’s WILD HARE and Andrew Reim’s CURVED AIR hope to crack the top five as well.  No question the teams will enjoy their hosts’ amazing hospitality, it’s no wonder even more J/27 teams showed up for this year’s event!  For more J/27 North Americans sailing information

J/111s sailing on Lake MichiganVerve Cup Offshore Preview
(Chicago, IL)- Chicago Yacht Club will be hosting the 22nd annual Verve Cup Offshore Regatta over the August 8th to 10th weekend. The event features a three-day offshore regatta, as well as a one day Distance Race. As one of the largest course-racing regattas in North America, Verve Cup has developed as a world-class event, attracting national and international sailing competitors. This three-day event attracts over 175 yachts to the beautiful Chicago lakefront. During the regatta, Chicago YC will welcome over 2,500 racers, spouses and guests at their Monroe harbor clubhouse. These participants are treated to three days of top quality racing, followed by food, entertainment and camaraderie that are second to none.

The Midwest J/teams range from one-design classes (J/105, J/109, J/111) to offshore ORR handicap classes.  The eleven boat J/105 class features most all of the top Chicago area teams, including Gyt & Tom Petkus’s VYTIS, Steve Knoop’s BELLA, Clark Pellet’s SEALARK, Mike Sheppard’s FLYING PING, Mike Ludtke’s SMOKIN J, Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM and Sandy Curtiss’s ROCKING HORSE. 

The J/109s have a somewhat lean fleet this year, perhaps a long-earned hangover from a great showing in the Chicago-Mackinac race for their fleet.  Nevertheless, Kevin Saedi’s MOMENTUS, David Gustman’s NORTHSTAR, Peter Priede’s FULL TILT, Don Meyer’s CERTAINLY and Doug & Betsy Evans’ TIME OUT will figure out in short order who’s at the top of that “pecking order”.

The J/111s may be still settling some unfinished business from both the Chicago-Mackinac race and the recent J/111 North Americans in Harbor Springs, Michigan.  Most of the top boats will be there and many are hoping that the beloved Len Siegal and his LUCKY DUBIE gang are back at it with top hound-dog Lenny at the helm!  Recognizing that virtually every single team has had a podium finish of some kind in the last year or so, it’s a bit of “fools gold” to bet on any winning horse amongst this group.  Having said that, the principal Chicago players are WOOTON (Bill Smith), KASHMIR (Brummel/ Henderson/ Mayer), IMPULSE (Miz/ Dreher/ Hatfield), ROWDY (Rich Witzel), NIGHTHAWK (Dabrowski/ Edman).  Newcomer Dan Kitchens on SKULL CRACKER and the lone visitor, the Chesapeake champion team led by Marty Roesch on VELOCITY, will certainly be determined to show the local veterans that they know how to get around the race-track as well as anyone!

The offshore world has a range of J/Teams competing.  In the ORR Distance Race 1 group we find Frank Giampoli’s J/120 JAHAZI racing against everything from a 36 ft Beneteau cruiser to a Farr 39 footer and a turbo’d Mumm 36!  Should be an interesting outcome!

In the ORR Distance Race 2 group is perhaps an even more diverse group of boats.  This fleet includes the J/88 RAMBLER skippered by Benjamin Wilson, the J/100 BARRACUDA sailed by David Hughes, and the J/105 GLOBAL NOMADS led by Michael Hettel.  Finally, in ORR 3 Class, the J/35s are at it again and hope to attain primal supremacy over fellow 35 footers.  Leading the charge will be Larry Schell’s TOUCH OF GREY from Chicago and the Bayers /Welch/ Busker gang aboard FALCON from Detroit.  For more Verve Cup Offshore sailing information

J/70 sailing AustraliaAirlie Beach Race Week Preview
(Airlie Beach, Whitsundays, Australia)- This year marks the 25th running of the annual Airlie Beach Race Week in the Whitsundays - an event which has grown each year from humble beginnings, originally conceived to promote the opening of the very first Hog's Breath Cafe in Australia.

Don Algie, had arrived in the Whitsundays aboard his classic 55' sloop Storm in 1987 looking for a site to start his brainchild, Hog's Breath Cafe, after spending four years in Key West, Florida. His first taste of big boat regattas was the Hamilton Island Race Week in Easter of 1988 where Storm performed well enough in Cruising division for Don to look at staging a regatta on the mainland at Airlie Beach.

J/70 sailing Airlie Beach race weekA year later, after discussions with the Whitsunday Sailing Club and the upcoming opening of the first Hog's Breath Cafe in Australia, plans were put in place to sponsor a major regatta on the mainland. The regatta was to include a mixture of bay racing around the buoys and long distance races around the adjacent islands of the area over a period of a week.

The Whitsunday Sailing Club and Don decided to hold the first regatta in the lead up to the famous Great Whitsunday Fun Race in September in 1990. This event was to be called the Hog's Breath Cruising Classic to cater for the influx of coastal cruising yachts which visit the Whitsundays at that time of the year.  The rest is history.

The social aspect of Airlie Beach Race Week has always been an attraction with the competitors converging on the Whitsunday Sailing Club beachfront to share their stories and enjoy the hospitality of the locals. The event has many diverse social aspects and the competitors are the ones who pass the word around about the fun of racing in Airlie Beach.

Who is a huge fan of this amazingly fun event, the Australian version of Key West Race Week?  None other than Ray Carless and crew on their J/70 JUNIOR!  Sailing their 70 for the first time last year, Carless and crew not only had a great time but managed to collect some silverware along the way!  This time, with a bit more experience under their belts, they hope to again cash in on some of the fun courses they run over the course of the event!  Carless hopes more J/70s join them in the future, after all it’s a quick’n’easy drive with lightweight J/70 up to Airlie Beach from Sydney or Brisbane!  Toss it into the drink off the ramp and away you go to more than enough fun-in-the-sun than you can possibly handle in a lifetime!   For more Airlie Beach Race Week sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

It’s never a dull moment in August during the latter parts of the sailing summer in the northern hemisphere.  For starters, let’s focus on our friends “Down Under” who are suffering a nice, benign, somewhat cool winter/ spring season.  We already know our J/24 crews are having a fun time up in the Andean Lakes in western Argentina.  Nevertheless, down in Australia a J/130 sailed the recent Brisbane to Keppel Race and demonstrated to many in their “neck of the woods” that you can, in fact, sail comfortably fast.  Plus, J/70’s are having a fun time sailing in Algarrobo, Chile on the Pacific Ocean training for the upcoming J/70 Worlds in Newport, RI.

Looking over to the European continent, we find the J/111 Europeans have just completed on the famous Solent waters as part of the AAM Cowes Week event. The top teams will now be focused on the J/111 World Championships, hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron in the next fortnight.  We also find that a wonderful regatta was recently hosted by the Royal Solent YC in Yarmouth on the western end of the Solent— it was also a J/24 World’s qualifier.

The Americas also saw a few sailing teams headed for some epic events— J/70, J/24 and J/80 Worlds in just about 45 days!  Newport.  Newport.  Annapolis.  So, along the way were some amazing events.  Out in the Midwest/ West is the infamously fun Dillon Open that is sailed on Lake Dillon, Colorado at 9,000+ ft above sea-level. Then, out East is the Buzzards Bay Regatta- the East Coast version of San Francisco Bay- if there’s no wind most people are shocked!  However, on the same weekend is the Marblehead NOOD that is hosted by its renowned group of clubs (Eastern/ Boston/ Corinthian) for a number of one-design classes.  Then, up north our Canadian friends in Oakville, Ontario also hosted the J/80 Canadian Championship.

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 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 22-24- ONE Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Aug 23-24- Verve Cup Inshore Regatta- Chicago, IL
Aug 28-31- Pornic J/80 Cup- Pornic, France
Sep 8-13- J/70 World Championship- New York YC- Newport, RI
Sep 11-15- 50th Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA
Sep 11-14- J/30 North Americans- Riverside, CT
Sep 19-26- J/24 World Championship- Newport, RI
Sep 20-21- J/70 West Coast Championship- Newport Beach, CA
Sep 24-27- J/70 Europeans- Riva del Garda, Italy
Sep 25-28- J/105 North American Championship- Toronto, ONT
Sep 26-28- J/Fest San Diego- San Diego, CA
Sep 28- Oct 5- J/80 World Championship- Annapolis, MD

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

J/111s sailing Europeans off CowesJITTERBUG Crowned J/111 European Champion!
(Cowes, England)- With just over 2 weeks to go till the start of the inaugural J/111 worlds, the J/111 Eurocup couldn’t have come at a better time to get everybody back out on the water. This mini series over the first 4 days of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week comprised of 8 races and out on the water there was no let up in the tension.

Day one in the Eastern Solent saw a very shifty SE breeze and huge East going tides which caught many boats out when it came to laying the windward mark. In contrast to the usual straight windward leewards the race committee put in some reaching legs which gave the crews something different to contend with. The first bullet of this regatta went Stuart Hawthorn on Plan J. Race 2 didn’t see the fleet get off to a clean start and the second attempt was black-flagged. Jitterbug got away and kept clear of the rest of the fleet to take the gun followed by the West Country team on Black dog. Day two returned to the eastern Solent and over night protests had created very interesting results and there was everything to play for. Throughout the day the pressure increased with gusts up to 20 knots, but it was Tony Mack’s Mcfly that kept a level head and took both races today and Jitterbug had to settle for 2 seconds.

Day three broke to light airs which saw a short postponement until the breeze filled from the west. The fleet had a change of scenery in the western Solent, which would mean a need to play the shoreline and keep out of the tide. Again the starts were very close and too close for some. The fleet made a quick break to the mainland shore and started short tacking and playing a game of chicken with the depth gauge. The closeness of the boats at time showed the skill of the crews in keeping a cool head and luckily all the boats came out unscathed. An early break from the shore paid off for Journeymaker which saw them first round the windward mark, but in this fleet there is no room for mistakes and the fleet remained close throughout, Jitterbug took the gun again. In the Second race, it was Jeez Louise who saw an opportunity for clear air and took it which saw Jamie Arnell’s boat take their first bullet of the series.

The final day dawned to gray skies and the wind had shifted back to a SSE direction. So, it was back to the Eastern Solent and with only 3 points separating the top 4 boats there was no room for mistakes. The first course was a short 4 leg windward leeward but the positions of the boats were constantly changing in the course of each leg, playing the shifts was vital and would allow for huge gains or devastating losses. The downwind finish saw the boats being pushed to their limits to get height over the rest of the fleet. But Plan J kept calm and carried on to score their second bullet of the series, shortly followed by Jeez Louise and Jitterbug. This result confirmed that the series was going to go the wire.

The last race was the longest course so far, a general recall after the first attempt at starting sent the tension soaring for the top boats, the second attempt was black flagged so no room for error this time and luckily all the boats were clear and away. Again, it came down to playing the shifts and keeping clear of the traffic as the whole of the black group was racing in the same area. Chris Jones and Louise Makin’s Journeymaker took an early lead and saw them round the windward mark first. There was much jostling of places throughout the fleet that saw a tough fight for all. However, Journeymaker held off the rest of the fleet and took the final gun to see their first win of the series, shortly followed by Plan J in second that guaranteed them a podium position. Third across the line was Cornell Riklin which confirmed him as the winner of the 2014 J/111 Eurocup.

The trophy and winners champagne was presented at Key Yachting’s annual Cowes week party at the Island sailing club, which will also be the host club for the 2015 J Cup. Following his victory Jitterbug owner Cornell commented on the event saying “We greatly enjoyed the EuroCup – the largest J111 fleet we have raced in so far with some very close and competitive racing! Well done Key Yachting and AAM Cowes Week for organizing the two races a day. It made it all very worthwhile and fun. Looking forward to seeing more of this at the Worlds.”

In the final analysis, it was a high-scoring series for the top five boats.  It took two third places on the final day for Riklin’s JITTERBUG to retain first place overall with 19 pts in the eight race, one throw-out series.  Starting with a 7th in race one, Riklin’s crew overcame their pre-regatta jitters and took two 1sts, two 2nds and two 3rds to win the regatta by three points.

Meanwhile, Hawthorn’s PLAN J started off by leading the series after three races, posting a 1-4-3, but couldn’t maintain the pressure on the JITTERBUG crew.  In the middle of the series, a 7-5-6 dropped them from contention.  Nevertheless, it was a soul-satisfying 1-2 performance in the last two races that enabled them to leap back into second overall with 22 pts net.

Perhaps the most disappointed crew may have been Tony Mack’s McFLY.  After posting a remarkable 1-1-2-3 in races 4 to 6, they closed the series with a 6-7 on the final day.  Consequently, having “fallen from grace with the sea”, they dropped into third overall with 26 pts net.  Then, James Arnell’s JEEZ LOUISE was closing fast on the podium positions with a 4-3-4-1-2 in races 3 to 7, but apparently lost all composure in the last race by posting a 9th place; costing them the bronze and having to settle for fourth overall by just one point!  Fifth was David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J/DREAM.

Of the visiting teams from the Netherlands, Kees van Vliet & Hans Zwijnenburg’s SWEENY clearly showed they had potential with scores of 3-4-5-5-5, but the inconsistency in the three other races dropped them off the radar screen.  Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II likewise had a rough go of the regatta, but closed with an emphatic 1st place in the last race— perhaps “throwing down the gauntlet” to indicate they still should be contenders for the Worlds next week!  The J/111 Worlds hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes starts on the 20th August 2014.  For more J/111 Europeans sailing information

J/130 crew sailing AustraliaJ/130 RAGTIME Dominates Brisbane to Keppel Race!
(Brisbane, NSW, Australia)- Long-time Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron member Chris Morgan wondered pre-race if his boat’s number one berth allocation at the final resting point, at Keppel Bay Marina, could be an omen. Last night he and wife Bernadette’s 20 year-old J/130 RAGTIME was declared the IRC overall winner of the eighth Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race.  RAGTIME’s crew take away the Pineapple Cup trophy for best scored IRC boat.

J/130 sailing AustraliaA fascinating tussle for the top IRC prize played out. Lewis Perrin’s “Italian Job” looked famous until sunset off Yeppoon on the Queensland Capricorn Coast when the sou’east breeze faded along with the light, strangling their fortunes and firming up RAGTIME’s win.

“Since they allocated us berth number one I knew we were in with a chance,” joked Morgan. Really it was the forecast that gave the owner/skipper and his seven crew the idea this could be the year, their third shot with RAGTIME. “I had a good feeling. Our first night was a bit rough, and then it all came together. The crew didn’t do a thing wrong on the final day. Our tactician Chris Anstead said ‘follow the J/130 accepting winners flagnumbers’…he drives us crazy with his figures but the motto on the boat is ‘trust the numbers’.”

The southerly delivered a punch to RAGTIME’s crew off Lady Elliott Island in the morning, 35 knots producing a top boat speed for the race of 14.6 knots.

RAGTIME’s history is somewhat colorful, if not controversial. It was owned and christened RAGTIME by Rod Johnstone, who co-founded the J/Boats business with his brother, Bob, in their garage back in the mid-1970s. A delayed order for an owner wanting to contest the 1995 Sydney Hobart yacht race start saw RAGTIME rushed from overseas as the substitute, only to be refused entry due to its carbon fiber mast! Imagine that, today you’d have to disqualify nearly 50% of the Sydney Hobart boats for having carbon anything in their rigs or hulls using that old-fashioned idea!   For more Brisbane to Keppel sailing information

J/22 sailboats- sailing Lake DillonPINOTAGE & UP FOR AIR Star @ Dillon Open
(Lake Dillon, CO)- Billed as “the world’s highest regatta”, the Dillon Open is the highlight of the summer sailing season in Colorado, a state more renowned for amazing ski resorts like Aspen, Vail and Steamboat than it is for sailing.  Nevertheless, sailing at 9,017 ft above sea level can leave you breathless at times since you’re nearly a mile-and-a-half above where the saltwater types go boating.  Or, consider this- once boats get to 10,000 ft into the air, can they turn on their electronics, too, like you can on American airlines??

The Dillon Yacht Club always extends a warm welcome to all sailors that wish to go sailing on beautiful Lake Dillon.  Over 100 competitors enjoyed this year’s gorgeous weather- sunny days, gentle breezes and spectacular views of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains surrounding them.  It truly was “Chamber of Commerce”, postcard-perfect sailing conditions all weekend long— one of those regattas to toss onto your “bucket list”!

The 41st annual event had light and variable winds Saturday, but event organizer Karin Osterloh Mattern said that beautiful weather allowed for some close and fun racing on Sunday.

J/22 sailboats on Lake DillonTwo one-design J fleets were competing, the J/22s and J/24s.  In the 24s, it was Greg Johnson’s PINOTAGE that took class honors by winning on a tie-breaker- they won the last race!  Second was Alan Dille’s SEPTILLION, taking the short-end of that tie-breaking scenario.  Third was Doug Pierini’s COLD SMOKE.  They were followed by Steve Bergman’s EVENT HORIZON and David Helmer’s BLUE SIDE DOWN, taking 4th & 5th, respectively.

Gasping for air in the dozen boat J/22 fleet were all the competitors of UP FOR AIR.  It can be said that David Baker’s UP FOR AIR team took the fleets breath away, posting a runaway score of 1-2 to win by a landslide.  Peter Fornell’s team on MAYBE LATER took second followed by Richard Hallagan’s crew on USA 1510.  The infamous DOES THIS BOAT MAKE MY BUTT LOOK BIG, sailed by Robin Jackson, took fourth and in fifth was Shane Salisbury’s STIR CRAZY.  The J/22s had a lot of fun and apparently enjoyed having one of their best turnouts in years for the event,

The PHRF A handicap fleet was two J/80s racing so close to one another (match-racing, maybe?) that they had to use a tie-breaker to determine who beat who!  It was Tom Downing’s HENDRIX that won those bragging rights and earning the third spot on the podium.  Missing out on more “silver & pickle dishes” was Keith Tayman’s GOOSE, ending up in 4th place.  For more Dillon Open regatta sailing information

J/24 sailing Buzzards Bay regattaHot J’s Blitz Buzzards Bay
Margaret Beat the Boys Sailing J/24s
(Marion, MA)- As they have for decades, the Beverly YC again rolled out their welcome mat to legions of sailors from across the New England coastline to sail in all manner of boats, big and small, dinghies to offshore keelboats and everything in between— for many it’s just the “Buzzards Bay Regatta”.  What’s the attraction for all those years when Tempests, Flying Dutchmans, 505s, zillions of J24s and Lord Knows what else congregated there to sail?  Plain and simple.  Wind and waves.  And, plenty of it.  Buzzards Bay is the East Coast’s version of San Francisco Bay.  While Newport and Narragansett Bay (or the Sakonnet River, for that matter) are no second cousins to Buzzards in terms of generating great sea-breezes, there’s no question if it’s blowing 10-15 kts further West, it’s at least 15-20 kts in Buzzards. In some respects, it’s in a class of its own when you get down to the narrow “cone” that is concentrated just a few miles before the opening of the Cape Cod Canal— it can simply “go nuclear” there at times for breeze.

Enjoying somewhat classic Buzzards conditions were a range of one-design J/24s and J/80s and a fleet of PHRF offshore boats that ranged from the J/29 and J/30 up to the J/111s and J/122s.

J/80 sailboats- sailing Buzzards Bay regattaStarting with the world of one-designs, it was quite apparent the seven boat J/80 fleet in Buzzards Bay saw their world re-defined by what could be a new J/80 World Champion.  Chip Johns of Laser/ Performance Sailcraft fame has been campaigning his J/80 for some time and their dominating performance certainly drew considerable attention to their newfound speed, performance, and sheer brilliance on the race course.  After all, after seven 1sts, two 2nds and tossing a 3rd place for just 11 pts net in a ten race series, it just may draw just a little attention to their world-dominating performance!  Suffering at their hands of defeat were Nicholas Kotsatos in second (taking mostly 2nds) in second place and third was Bernardo Pacini.  Of note was the fact that Jack Gierhart’s AEGIR and Dan Cooney’s SWEDISH FISH were in a close battle for third until the final race.

If the J/80s saw a dominating performance, the J/24 fleet was in for a huge surprise.  The top SIX boats were all in contention to win their class until the final race— yes, a true one-design race until the last horse crosses the line.  Guess what?  “Maggie” beat the boys! Huh?  Yes, Margaret Borden and her HEFFA’s team from SAIL NEWPORT (Rhode Island, that is) took the gold by employing a bit of “smash-mouth” sailing.  Starting out with a 2-1-1-5-2-3 they simply rocked the house for the first part of the regatta. Then, having to re-gather themselves after an uncharacteristic 8th in race 7 they took home a 3-3 to win with 20 pts- not elegant, but just enough to do the deal.  Dogging them the entire way was Joe Mozzzzzooonnneeee on BOREAS from the home club. Joey and the boys managed a 4-2-2-3-1-5-3-4-2 for 21 pts net (rumor was they bought the girls a case of beer and suffered the consequences!).  Third was Craig Correia’s QUEEQUEG (remember that guy in MOBY DICK??) with just 24 pts net.  Fourth and fifth, respectively, were Jamie Ciffolillo’s WILD THANG and Craig Fidler/ Sanford Tyler’s STRAIGHT JACKET.

In the nine boat PHRF Cruise fleet, it was the J/100 SUNDANCE sailed by Albert Signorella that took a steady 2-5-5-2-3 for 12 pts net to secure the bronze on the podium!

J/80 sailing Buzzards Bay regattaOver in PHRF 1 Racing class of fifteen incredibly diverse boats, it was the J/111 WICKED 2.0 skippered by Doug Curtiss that just missed out on taking the top position and settled for third overall.  Winning the first race, they bombed races 3 and 6 to miss the giant pickle dish for top honors.  Nevertheless, WICKED 2.0’s 1-5-6-2-4-6 was by far the most consistent record in the fleet and would’ve won in a  “no throw-out” series.  Others hit corners to beat them.  C’est la vie, c’est la guerre!  Classmate J/111 BRAVO, skippered by Sedgwick Ward, sailed a nice series to take 6th in class. Just behind them in 7th was the J/122 URSUS MARITIMUS skippered by Jim Masiero.

In the ten boat PHRF 2 Racing fleet it was clear that ONLY a J/Boat was going to sweep the entire fleet; after all, in a somewhat unprecedented fashion, it’s the first time that Buzzards Bay has ever seen an “all J/Boats” handicap class.  What was also abundantly clear was that “local knowledge” in such an equally matched fleet would make an enormous difference.  Past J/109 North American Champion Ted Herlihy and crew aboard GUT FEELING took class honors with a very steady 3-2-2-1–2 for 7 net points.  Second was top J/105 sailor Mark Lindquist on STERLING with a 2-3-1-6-4 for 10 net points.  Third was the J/109 WILD THING sailed by the duo of Dan Boyd/ Mitch West, posting a 2-1 in the last two races to put down their marker for next season!  Fourth was the J/120 ISURUS skippered by Mark Verville and fifth was the new J/88 YONDER sailed by Doug Newhouse.

While the PHRF 2 Racing fleet was literally a battle amongst J/Teams everywhere, the PHRF 3 Racing fleet of eleven boats had six J teams vying for class honors.  Top banana in the J’s was Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST, taking a 5-3-3-1-9 for 12 pts net down for the count and wishing like hell they didn’t have to toss the 9th!  Nevertheless, that record got them a third position and some hard-earned silver pickle-dish hardware! Just, just off their pace was Tom Sutton’s J/35 LEADING EDGE, posting a 6-2-7-2-3 for 13 pts net.  Of note was a good performance by the J/30 BAYAMO sailed by Eric Braitmayer, nearly pulling off a top five finish!   For more Buzzards Bay Regatta sailing information

J/70s sailing Marblehead NOOD“Home Boys” Dominate Marblehead NOOD
Smith Tops 70s, Denman 24s & Dexter 105s
(Marblehead, MA)- Not surprisingly, the Marblehead contingent of “home boys” took all the top honors in the 125th running of Marblehead Race Week that wrapped up on Sunday with 158 boats competing.

This years’ Race Week, officially known as the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta at Marblehead Race Week, drew competitors from as far away as Texas, as a result of the event’s reputation, not to mention the historic Marblehead yachting traditions.  While Friday’s sailing was nice, Saturday was superbly wet, drenching, somewhat “thundery”, and decidedly crappy (same for sailors in the always sunny Newport, too!).  Sunday was at least a reprieve on the theme with some nice sea-breezes late in the day.

For the J/105 fleet, it turned out to be a down-to-the-last race finish that was eventually won by the CIRCE’s CUP of Marblehead, skippered by Ric Dexter. They accumulated 19 points, beating out Fred deNapoli sailing ALLEGRO SEMPLICITA, who finished with 20 points.

J/105 sailing Marblehead NOODAt one time during the regatta, one of the top boats hailing from Texas and owned by Mark Masur, TWO FEATHERS, had a chance to take it home to the Lone Star State, but Marblehead’s sailing talent prevailed to take the top two spots, while the Texan finished third with 21 points.

"The J/105 fleet in Marblehead is really strong. We can race here three times a week if needed, and this helps keep the fleet intact. It’s just great to be racing here this week," Dexter said.  For second place finisher Fred deNapoli, it was tough racing all the way through.  "They got us by one point," he said. "So, it was actually possible that five boats could have won it. We were covering one of those boats, the Texans, and while we were covering them Circe’s Cup got out in front and [secured] the win."

J/24 sailboat- sailing Marblehead NOOD regattaAnother not so surprising outcome in the J/24 fleet was the fact that if they were “on their game” the AIRDOODLE gang led by John Denman would totally dominate their friends in the J/24 Worlds of light air “go left” MarbleDead.  Yup, in fact, they did.  Chris Clancy’s LITTLE MARTHA could do nothing to overcome AIRDOODLE’s fabulously smart, insightful, sailing, happy to take second with such a remarkable display of the art of sailing.  Huh?  Check out the next chapter in this soliloquy if they ever show their feathers at the J/24 Worlds in Newport.  Third was Mike Taber’s XINGU.

Perhaps what was most interesting in the world of one-design J/70 sailing was to see the battle for the top five in the fleet.  While the “Smith family” on AFRICA took first quite easily with four 1sts, two 2nds amongst their nine-race scoreline, the balance of the top five was nothing but normal based on recent regattas.  Second was Stein Skaane on SHRED, starting out tied for the lead after the first three races, but settling into a comfortable second place.  Third was the Bill Lynn Matt Hooks team on SCAMP, narrowly beating Will Welles on RASCAL with 31 pts.  Fifth was Tyler Doyle’s crew on USA 245.  Sailing photo credits- Sir Leighton O’Connor   For more Marblehead NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/24s sailing Royal Solent RegattaJ/24 CHAOTIC Tastes Taittinger Champagne Victory!
(Yarmouth, England)- This past Friday saw the opening of the Taittinger Royal Solent Regatta with the champagne reception held at the Royal Solent Yacht Club's landmark clubhouse in Yarmouth. It was gratifying to see that the Regatta had attracted over 170 entries. Perfect weather conditions enabled over 700 guests to spread out into the grounds for the Taittinger Champagne Reception and watch a stunning display from Yarmouth's RNLI Lifeboat and the Coastguard Helicopter.

A great IRC entry, boosted by support from the Solent IRC Owner's Association (SIRCOA), meant that four IRC divisions. For the first time, they were joined by a big fleet of J/24s, who were running the qualifiers for the J/24 World Championships in Germany in 2015.

Saturday dawned bright and clear, but with a light and faltering breeze. Because of the numbers and different classes of yachts two separate start lines were employed and racing started at 10 o'clock. In the late morning, the breeze died completely and many competitors anchored or drifted, in blistering heat, awaiting the promised sea breeze. It turned up as expected, but not quite enough to enable all classes to enjoy the promised two races.

In Black Group, two races were completed only for IRC divisions. Most of the fleet passed an idle hour or so kedged off Yarmouth Common. Most spent the windless and sweltering middle of the day drifting gently, to be brought back by the sea breeze as it filled in from the west. There was no time to run a second race.

J/24 sailors enjoying Taittinger champagne toastRacing was over by mid-afternoon with competitors returning to the clubhouse for a well-earned drink, followed by a sailing supper. Many then went on to the annual Towers Party where the aim is to raise money for charity; this year the recipient charity was the Saturday Club for Deaf Children.

On Sunday the weather was light overcast and refreshingly cooler. The light breeze held and it was possible for most of the classes who had only one race on Saturday to catch up with two on Sunday. On return to the clubhouse, hungry competitors descended on the hog roast whilst anticipating the prize giving. With so many classes, this took a little time, but nobody minded the wait as the winner of each class received a Magnum of Taittinger Champagne.

Bob Fisher, a decades-long J/24 veteran from Lymington and skipper of his diminutive 1898 Fife-designed yacht called MIGNON, said: "What a super weekend the Taittinger Regatta turned out to be. Blunted by the sponsors' generosity on the Friday evening, it demanded quick thinking by the crews on both days. Light and often fickle winds require constantly changing decisions to meet the new challenges of both breeze and tidal streams. Those who race regularly in the western Solent had some advantage, as the result sheets showed!!”

In the world of J/24s, the racing was all about thrashing around the cans, kedging and drifting and dodging all manner of other much-less maneuverable boats.  Nevertheless, taking the title was CHAOTIC followed by JOLLY ROGER and PHOENIX for the top three.  JOBS FOR THE GIRLZ had a shot at the top five, but a dinger in their 2nd of three races (e.g. the first one on Sunday morning) was a bit hard on the gals; the 11th dropped them out of an easy shot at the top five.

Commodore Mark Hall said: "This year's Taittinger Regatta was the best ever. Huge entries, blue skies and challenging racing. The RSYC had wonderful support from their sponsors Taittinger and Charles Stanley and the 800 competitors partied on Champagne, the Towers party and glorious weather. We are already preparing for the 2015 regatta on the 25th and 26th of July."   For more Taittinger Royal Solent Regatta sailing information

J/80s sailing off starting lineJ/80 Canadians a NAUTICAL SYMPHONY
J/Teams Enjoy LYRA Regatta
(Ashbridges Bay, Ontario, Canada)- The Ashbridge’s Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) hosted the 130th annual Lake Yacht Racing Association (LYRA) Annual Regatta. This event consisted of both long-distance and course racing, with the fleets representing numerous LYRA member yacht clubs in the Great Lakes. Also, held in conjunction with the event was the Hans Fogh J/80 Canadian Open (held in honor and a tribute to the late Canadian champion- Hans Fogh).

Led by the Lake Ontario Fleet Captain Lawrence Alexander (JIGGERS), and with support from ABYC member Bart Smit (NAUTICAL SYMPHONY), the J/80 fleet invited sailors to join them on Lake Ontario as part of their preparation for the J/80 North Americans and J/80 Worlds this fall in Annapolis.  Perhaps taking advantage of their profound local knowledge and rather extraordinary speed and agility, it turns out it was Smit’s NAUTICAL SYMPHONY that took class honors in a rather light air affair!  They had to work hard over the four races to be David Smith’s EAGLES WINGS by just one point.  Smit’s 2-1-1-3 tally for 7 pts was just good enough over Smith’s 1-3-2-2 for 8 pts!  Fleet Captain Alexander closed with a flourish, winning the last race, to post a 5-6-3-1 scoreline for 15 pts to snag third.  One point in arrears of them was Dave Neasmith’s SEGUEH in 4th and two more points back was Eric Jacob’s UQILAJUQ!

The J/105s were also tuning-up for their J/105 North Americans locally in Toronto being held later in September at Royal Canadian YC.  Many local top teams are in attendance, but the fleet were a bit disappointed to get in only one race! The highly-talented twelve boat fleet saw Peter Hall’s JAMAICA ME CRAZY win, followed by the dynamic and dangerous duo of Terry McLaughlin & Rod Wilmer in second.  Third was snagged by another J/105 Champion- Jim Rathbun’s HEY JUDE!  Ted Weir’s TUSK and Gavin Disney’s THE USUAL SUSPECTS, respectively, rounded out the top five.

Out on Course Alpha, the offshore handicap boats managed to get in two races.  In IRC 1 Class, the J/133 HOT WATER sailed by John Mcleod took third overall.  In the IRC 3 Class, Paul-angus Bark’s J/35 CRIME SCENE managed a 4th overall.  And in IRC 4 Class, Andrew Sharp’s J/92  SWITCH took 4th, too.

In the Course Charlie PHRF divisions, the J/33 DAYBREAK sailed by Bonnie Reib posted all top five finishes to grab third on the podium!

Finally, in the Founders Race, Sharp’s J/92 SWITCH won IRC 3 Fleet and Murray Gainer’s J/109 LIVELY took 2nd in IRC 2 fleet.   For more J/80 Canadian Open and LYRA Regatta sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/70s sailing in Algarobbo, Chile*  J/70s Growing Nicely in Chile! Here’s the latest report from Juan Eduardo Reid:  “Things are OK in Chile, the economy slowing down, but the momentum with the J70 is good!  We have six boats in Algarrobo, all in the same yacht club where most of the yachting activity is located in northern Chile.  Also, this is the same yacht club where the J/105 idea start with Mr Seguel, Del Castillo, González, Gumucio, Rosales and others.

Two J/70s are sailing almost every a little for the upcoming J/70 Worlds in Newport.  It is winter time here, but you can sail nicely some days and two boats sailing and match racing is very nice and good marketing even if there are not to full at this time of the year.

We manage to obtain a sponsorship with Santander Bank, that enables the J/70 fleet to offer free dry-space parking for their boats to the owners until December. We expect five boats for the J/70 class regatta on August 30th!  Should be fun and we hope for a good breeze!

*  The J/70s in Italy continue to grow as well and their summer-long sailing circuit around some of the nicest places to sail have attracted a lot of interest to the class.  One of the boats, Carlo Alberini’s  CALVI NETWORK have put together some nice YouTube sailing videos (see links below) of each event held so far (Scarlino, San Remo, Alassio and Lago di Garda).  Join them for the J/70 Europeans in late September!  The Lago di Garda video should be an inspiration to go there for great sailing and the famous Italian hospitality- delicious Italian food, tasty vino and fun people!
J/70 Italian Circuit #1- Alassio
J/70 Italian Circuit #2- San Remo
J/70 Italian Circuit #$3- Scarlino
J/70 Italian Circuit #4- Scarlino
J/70 Italian Circuit #5- Lago di Garda

Sarah Ayrton sailing J/80 in Cowes, England* Olympic Gold Medallist Sarah Ayrton Sailing J/80 at Cowes Week!  Well, it seems that sailing's profile is finally growing.  According to Abigail Butcher of the Daily Telegraph, “As Cowes Week begins, we join double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayrton on board a J/80 one-design class sailboat off the Isle of Wight.

“Right, let’s try that again — we can do better than that. Standby to gybe,” says Sarah Ayrton kindly, taking the tiller from my hands and maneuvering the 26ft racing boat with minimal disruption to our speed and balance, showing me how to fill the sails and maintain our course.

Double Olympic gold medallist Sarah, 34, is brushing up my skills just off the Isle of Wight on a J/80 owned by the UKSA, the official charity for this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, which starts today.

Though I pottered about in dinghies as a child, I didn’t start sailing properly until five or six years ago. Loving the sea, fresh air and challenge of learning a new skill, I progressed quickly from cruising with friends to taking a couple of courses in boat skills with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), moving to the south coast and starting to race.

I am now completely hooked, and have several Channel races and even a transatlantic under my belt — with next year’s Rolex Fastnet race firmly in my sights.

And I’m not alone. Thanks to the London Olympics, Sir Ben Ainslie and his launch of a British challenge for the America’s Cup, interest and participation in sailing is growing.

In June, Cowes played host to the start and finish of the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, one of the largest yacht races in the world and, perhaps surprisingly, the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs.

The RYA, the governing body for sailing in the UK, has recorded an increase from 1.1 million people sailing in 2012 to 1.3 million last year!  Nearly 15.0% growth in one year!

“The profile of the sport is growing – it’s never going to be tennis or football, but Ben Ainslie is now a personality being talked about in a more mainstream way,” says RYA spokesman Louise Nicholls.

The UKSA, where my sailing day with Ayrton is based, teaches the whole gamut of sailing courses, from beginner dinghy to the RYA Yacht-master Ocean, and has seen the number of people through its doors each year increase from 7,500 in 2010 to 9,000 in 2013.

And the number of women competing is growing, too. The organisers of Cowes Week, which runs for a week, report an increase of more than 150 per cent in female participation in the past 15 years – something that Ayrton is keen to see rise even further.

The blonde mother of two, who won Olympic Gold for Great Britain in the Yngling class at the Athens Games, and as one of “three blondes in a boat” at the Beijing Games, has this year returned to racing with The Wave, Muscat, on the Oman Sail team in the Extreme 40 racing series – the closest and fastest yacht racing in the world. Slight of build and only 5ft 6in tall, Ayrton is the only female sailor in her five-strong team crewing a 40ft catamaran. “I do the bits the guys can’t,” she says, grinning.

In June, Ayrton was the only female in the 12-strong fleet of 60 elite-level sailors in St Petersburg, where she picked up the “Above and Beyond Award” presented by Land Rover, for her work with the grassroots sailing community. “I want to dispel this perception that sailing is elitist,” she says as we practice tacking and gybing and talk through the basics of sail trim – setting the sails to get the optimum out of the wind conditions on a beautifully sunny morning.

“I’m passionate about creating opportunities for children and families to enjoy the sport together. Sailing is great for everyone, any age or ability — there’s always something you can bring to the team,” she explains, eyes constantly on the boat, the surroundings and the sails.

Sarah began sailing at the age of eight when a family friend suggested that she and her older brother, Daniel, try the sport at the Queen Mary Sailing Club on a reservoir in Middlesex. “Dad was a courier driver, we were a typical working-class family and money was tight, but it didn’t stop us,” says Sarah. “I ended up crewing for local members and spent every spare moment at the reservoir.”

The turning point in her life came when Olympic sailor Paul Brotherton visited the club, spotted her potential and suggested she try out for the RYA Youth Squad. He later became her coach, and Sarah left school at 16 to take up sailing full-time. “Sailing teaches you so much – your shared experience unites you, there’s a special bond with every team,” she says.

That bond is one of the reasons I love sailing. Being part of JIBE, the J/109 I help crew from Lymington, has changed my life. We are like a little family, racing regularly throughout the year, working together hard on the water and putting a reasonable show of effort in the bar afterwards, too.

The 35ft yacht is owned by Robin Taunt, captain of racing at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, who kindly answered the note I put on the club’s website when I moved to the area.

Like most owners, Dr Taunt asks for very little financial contribution other than costs of entry and food – often only £10 per day.

“Boats are usually short of crew so if you have an aptitude and some experience, don’t hesitate to try,” says Dr Taunt, who introduced a crew-matching event at the RLymYC several years ago. “Every April we advertise in the local press and people come along and meet the skippers – it’s rather like speed-dating.”

And he advises: “If you want to get into racing, it’s best to do a sailing course first – dinghy sailing or RYA Competent Crew. You have to show good commitment, too – it’s no good turning up three times a year or canceling if the weather is bad.”

No matter the weather, sea air is good for our well-being. Research has shown that the sound of waves alters the patterns in our brain, lulling us into a deeply relaxed state.

So how to start??

“The key is to find a sailing club,” Ayrton says. “Google your nearest RYA sailing school and do an introductory course. There’s a bit of an initial outlay, but the course is a similar price to other sports – if you do tennis or golf, it all adds up to the same. After you’ve done your first week, you can take a boat out at your local sailing club or become part of a crew.

“Just do some research, be bold and put your name on a noticeboard and say you are keen to learn. The sailing community is very friendly and you will definitely get a response.”

Learn to sail yourself

- Find your nearest Royal Yachting Association club:

- The Volvo Sailing Academy operates free sessions at 12 venues around the UK for adults and children from eight upwards:

- UKSA ( in Cowes offers the largest range of youth development opportunities and yachting courses for adults in the world.

- Racing: Royal Ocean Racing Club ( and Junior Offshore Group ( have sections on their websites devoted to matchmaking crews with skippers. Be brave and sign up – but be honest about your sailing experience.   Thanks for contribution from Abigail Butcher at the Daily Telegraph

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.