Wednesday, December 3, 2014

J/Newsletter- December 3rd, 2014

J/80 Worlds Kiel 2015J/80 Worlds 2015 Announcement
(Kiel, Germany)- Please join us for the 2015 J/80 Worlds in Germany!  The regatta will take place from July 4th to 10th in Kiel, Germany on the Baltic Sea. Host of the Worlds is the Kieler Yacht-Club (KYC), which annually conducts the famous Kieler Woche. It’s the second World Championship for the J/80 class in Germany (the first was 2008). Up to 300 sailors from 15 nations are expected in the Olympic Center Kiel-Schilksee.  Apart from top-notch support ashore, we expect ideal wind and weather conditions in July.

The J/80 Worlds Committee, including Ulrich Münker, Peter Hecht, Thore Hansen and Felix Weidling of KYC and German J/80 class representatives, Andreas Rose and Frank Ruehr are absolutely motivated to organize a fantastic and fair regatta for all.

You will find the race-village and berths close to hotels, apartments and camping site in the Olympic Center Kiel-Schilksee. Numerous accommodations are located in Kiel-Schilksee and the villages of Strande are within 15 min walking distance from berth.

J/80 Worlds 2015- Kiel, GermanyBeside the yacht harbor, you and your family will find sandy beaches with shallow waters in Schilksee and Strande. Both places are tourist destinations and offer shops for tourists and sailors like supermarkets, marine chandlers, sail-maker, bakery, restaurants, swimming pool, pharmacy etc. Everything else you will find in Kiel city, which is 15 km along Kiel Fjord to the south. Kiel is the capital of state Schleswig-Holstein with maritime and naval tradition and offers your family a range of activities for the case of bad weather. Further tourist information about Kiel and the charming countryside surrounding you will find on in English, Danish and Swedish. Among the staff of the Kiel Tourist-Information you will find English, Spanish and French speaking team members.

Two weeks prior to the J/80 Worlds, a 4 day “pre-Worlds” will take place at Kieler Woche from Saturday June 20th to Tuesday June 23rd. Please find all information online here:

For those wishing to explore some fun sailing in Germany, three more J/80 regattas in Kiel will start in May and June (MAIOR- May 01-03; WetterWelt Cup; and blau-gelbeKanne)- please see in February when schedules are published.  For 2015 J/80 Worlds sailing information

Awesome J/24 & J/70 Worlds Photo Gifts!
(Newport, RI)- After the success of the J/70 and J/24 Worlds in Newport, Paul Todd/ OUTSIDE IMAGES would like to offer all sailors a Christmas “coupon” so you can buy prints of yourselves (or for friends, family or crew) from the Outside Images website. The two galleries are:  J/70 Worlds   J/24 Worlds

The coupon code “Jchristmas” can be applied at checkout on all prints. It’s a 20% discount on all prints!  For more Outside Images photo or ordering information, please contact Paul Todd @

J/Sailing Calendar 2015The Perfect Gift For People Who Love Sailing!
(Newport, RI)- HOT Off the Press!  The J/Sailing Calendar! For 2015, we have created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places.

The 2015 sailing calendar features photos of J/70s flying off Monte Carlo & Lake Garda; J/24s dueling off Sweden, Newport & Seattle; surrealistic J/80s off Santander, Spain; J/120s gliding off San Diego; J/111s serenely sailing on the Solent; J/22s sailing off the Netherlands; and other gorgeous images of J/105s and J/122.  A great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew (see gallery here). Order your 2015 J/Calendar today here!

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The last week of November continues to see sailing activity in the northern parts ever so slowly wind down, but with many die-hard sailors continuing to take the opportunity to sailing in between the whirlwind weather patterns produced by the “polar vortex” generation off the Arctic Circle.  Meanwhile, our counterparts “down under” are relishing the fact that any polar vortex up north generates fantastic winds down south, much to the delight of our friends in South America, South Africa and Oz/NZ!

In the European orbit comes various bits of good news past and present.  For starters, J/22s in France continue to have a great time, with one in particular giving their IRC handicap sailing friends fits in the Arcachon Bay Premium Class series.  Northwest of them across La Manche, we find the Garmin Hamble Winter Series concludes on a perfect note- warm, sunny, mild breezes— nearly “shorts & shades” weather!  And, in the “it’s never too late department”, it’s important to note that a youth team on a J/70 sailing in the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Race Week walked off with several notable awards post-regatta!  Traveling SSW from the Solent, we find a famous J/133 sailing the RORC Trans-Atlantic Race from the Canary Islands to Grenada and, so far so good, they are enjoying beautiful tradewinds sailing down to the Caribbean (if only Columbus, Vasco de Gama, Magellan and others had it so good!).

Hopping across the pond to the far west of America, there is no question the Pacific Northwest is a world apart in so many ways- culturally, metaphysically, geographically, and meteorologically.  One day it’s raining and there is no salmon to catch, nor is there any wind.  Next day it’s sunny, the salmon seiners are sinking from too much fish, and the scenery is simply fantastic, almost otherworldly.  Next day, it’s blowing dogs off chains and its sleeting/ hailing at 50 kts while those on the weather rail don helmets with face-shields like the poor guys in the Volvo Ocean Race.  Yes, the Pacific Northwest breeds them different up there.  All fun-loving sailors, some of the hardiest in the world, and many of them are J sailors!  We love them all. :)  Keeping up the “winter series” tradition in Seattle, Washington is the Snowbird Series hosted by Shilshole Bay Yacht Club, with a number of J/Teams enjoying gorgeous sailing on their beloved Puget Sound.

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:

Oct 4- Nov 30- Garmin Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
Oct 24- Mar 8- Monaco J/70 Winter Series- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Dec 4-7- J/22 Jamaica Jammin’ Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 6- Hot Rum Series #3- San Diego, CA
Dec 13- Feb 7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Davis Island, FL
Jan 18-23- Quantum Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
Mar 4-7- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Miami, FL

Boat Shows:
Dec 6-14- Salon Nautique- Paris, France- J/122E and J/70
Jan 9-18- London Boat Show- London, England- J/70, J/88, J/97e, J/122e
Jan 10-18- Toronto Boat Show- Toronto, Ontario- J/70, J/88
Jan 14-18- Chicago Strictly Sail Boat Show- J/88 and J/70
Jan 17-25- Boot Dusseldorf- Dusseldorf, Germany- J/122E and J/70
Jan 22-25- San Diego Sun Road Boat Show- J/70, J/88, J/111
Jan 22-25- San Francisco Boat Show- J/70, J/88, J/111
Jan 23- Feb 1- Seattle Boat Show- J/122E, J/70 and J/88
Apr 9-12- Apr 9-12- Strictly Sail Pacific- Oakland, CA- J/70, J/88, J/111

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

J/88 sailing on Solent off Cowes, EnglandSunny, Warm Conclusion @ Hamble Winter Series
J/111s Sweep IRC 0, J/97s Dominate IRC 3
(Hamble, England)- The final race of the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series was ushered in by sunshine and an unseasonably warm breeze – quite a change from the previous week's biblical rain and cold winds!  What is wrong with this picture?  Some considered it warm enough to toss on shorts, shades and sunscreen to celebrate the beginning of December!

The wind was from the north and shifty, which gave all classes some great opportunities to make gains on their competitors – just as well, as throughout the fleet there were scores to settle and places to be gained and lost, even at this late stage. In most fleets the established order was turned on its head, with the usual winners often well down the pack.

J/109s sailing on Solent off Cowes, EnglandIn IRC 0, the J/111s swept the class for the first time in history.  Martin Dent's J-ELVIS added another first place to her scoreline to win the class overall by eight points. Taking second overall was Chris Body's ICARUS.  Despite not sailing the last race, Louise Makin's JOURNEYMAKER II took third overall.

In IRC 2, the five J/88s took five of top 11 spots- placing 4th (Stew Hawthorn’s J/88 JIFI), 5th (Paul Ward’s J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT), 6th (Ivan Trotman’s J/88 JOJO) and 11th, respectively.

J/97s filled the first two podium spots in IRC 3, with Charles Ivill's ETB TYRES/ JUST LIKE THAT first overall, four points clear of Andy Howe's BLACKJACK II.  In retrospect, it was clear from the first two weekends of racing that Ivill's crew was not to be denied, closing out the series with nearly straight firsts!

J/109 sailboat- sailing on Solent off Cowes, EnglandFor the J109s, at the start of the final race, only a few points separated the top three boats, with any capable of winning the series. Owain Franks' JYNNAN TONNYX won Sunday's race, with Adrian Wheal's JOLLY JACK TAR second – but this wasn't quite enough to knock JOLLY JACK TAR from the top spot, which she won by a point. Roger Phillips' DESIGNSTAR 2 fell a place to third, only a point behind second place.  Great, close racing for this beloved Solent one-design class.

Day prizes were provided by Wadworth's Brewery, as crews with sun-kissed faces returned to the HRSC clubhouse after racing. Thanks must go to the army of volunteers who run the event, from race teams to mark-layers and kitchen and bar staff – the event wouldn't happen without them! Grateful thanks also go to the event sponsors, from title sponsor Garmin to the day sponsors who provided the weekly prizes.

Next Saturday sees the event prize-giving at 6pm in the clubhouse, where event sponsors Garmin will be on hand to distribute prizes to boats on the podium. Thank you to all competitors who have sailed in the Garmin Hamble Winter Series in 2014 – we hope to see you on the water again next year!  Thanks for contribution from Ben Meakins.   Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Wyeth/   For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/70 Jugador youth team at CowesYoung J/70 team Sweeps Cowes Week Youth Awards
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- In the aftermath of the famous Cowes Week, a young J/70 team comprising of brothers Jack (20) and Freddie (19) and Charlie Davies (18), joined by Tim Carter (22) and Harry Houlding (21) were crowned champions of the Aberdeen Asset Management Under 25 Trophy at Cowes Week 2014.  The crew raced JUGADOR in the J/70 fleet at Cowes this year and were awarded the prize for best-performing boat across the entire 1,000-boat regatta made up exclusively of sailors under the age of 25.

The Under 25 trophy is a recent initiative brought to the regatta by principal sponsors of Cowes Week: Aberdeen Asset Management. Crews made up of individuals under 25 years of age may enter the regatta and have their entry fee covered, as well as receive complementary sailing gear.

Jack Davies, the team’s helmsman, also received the Cowes Week Young Skipper’s Trophy on the back of his team’s performance through the week.  Jack spoke about their experience at Cowes:

J/70 Jugador- youth team at Cowes Race Week“I’m thrilled with how we performed as a team this week and I’m delighted our achievements as a young team have been recognized. Winning the awards that cover the whole regatta of 40 different fleets and classes is a huge milestone for us. Our main strengths this week were good boatspeed backed up by solid crew work and strong tactical decision-making.”

Team JUGADOR finished 3rd overall in the J/70 class after a week’s racing, with highlights being race wins on Tuesday and Wednesday. “It was a tough long race on Wednesday, but crossing the Shrape Finish Line in the lead was a really special moment for us, especially given that we’d started the final leg in third,” said Jack Davies.

This is the second time JUGADOR has finished on the podium in 2 years of competing at Aberdeen Asset Cowes Week. A successful Cowes Week outing for the team runs alongside other good results this season, including 3rd place at the J-Cup in Hamble, and 1st place at the Royal Southern July Regatta.

The team’s bowman, Harry Houlding, remarked, “the J/70 is a great class to be racing in at the moment. The boat is great to sail, and racing is competitive but still well spirited. The class is growing quickly and new boats are on the race course at every regatta.”

When asked about what it was like to sail with both his older brothers in the regatta, Charlie Davies, who joined the team as tactician for the final 4 races of the week had this to add, “well, we’ve been sailing together for quite a few years now, so we tend to get along better and have fewer arguments than we used to. Still, when things are going badly things can tend to get a little too heated, but we’re working on that!”

It is likely that Team Jugador will be one of the youngest teams at the upcoming 2015 J/70 World Championship in La Rochelle, France. To keep up with the team’s progress into next season follow the via their Facebook page.

J/22 sailboat- sailing off Arcachon, FranceJ/22 MARLOTTE V Repeats Premium Class Crown!
(Arcachon, France)- It seems that J/22s happen to pop up in the most unusual places performing rather well and, even more heartening, posting some remarkable performances.  In the world of one-design racing, they continue to be quite popular in the USA, Europe and South Africa.  And, for those who simply enjoy day sailing and weekending, the J/22 has proven to equally adept at winning under various handicap systems- like PHRF or IRC!  Who knew, eh?!

To that end, Olivier Saint Martin from Arcachon, France is happy to report they have repeated their 2013 performance as the “kings” of Arcachon Bay, taking the Premium Class Championship for the second time in a row!  The event consists of fourteen races and had over twenty-three boats participating for the series- over eighty sailors participated!

The happy crew aboard the J/22 MARLOTTE V includes Olivier Saint Martin, Philippe De Galzain and Christophe Mathieu.  For more Voile Arcachon Premium Class Championship sailing information

J/105 sailing Puget Sound off SeattlePNW Snowbird Series #1
(Seattle, Washington)- While many offshore teams in the northern hemisphere have already put their boats up on the blocks for the winter, the hardened breed of sailors that call Seattle and Puget Sound home are still often found out sailing while friends are enjoying skiing on weekends on the snow-capped mountains that form a spectacular background to the verdant, pine-infused coastline.  Here’s Ben Braden’s latest report on the first of their “Snowbird Series” taking place on the Sound:

“Stellar, spectacular, this is why we do this, I can’t believe how nice it was – these comments and more rolled around the boisterous and smiling group of sailors gathered at the Anthony’s Bar after participating in the first Snowbird Series race of the year, hosted by Shilshole Bay Yacht Club. Bookending a spectacular week of cool temperatures, sunny skies and strong Northerly winds, Saturday’s weather couldn’t have been much better.

‘Are there really people crazy enough to race in this freezing weather? Hell ya!’ laughs Lisa Cole sailing aboard the J/105 with the most race miles under their keel, LAST TANGO. With a forecast of 5 knots or less and temps in the 40’s the fleet was met with a building 12 to 14 knot northerly, sunny skies and temps in the mid 40‘s, but with the sun shining so hard it was easy to stay warm and enjoy the stellar views. One of those dry sunny winter days when the mountains seem so close that you can touch the little bit of white at their peaks. When the lighthouses stretch so tall that you think you’re just a few feet away from them and a day the lucky few that came out racing will be talking about for the next month as they await Snowbird Series Race #2 on December 13th.

18 boats registered for the first race of the series and the RC broke them up into a NFS class and three Flying Sails classes with remarkably good rating spreads for their Time on Time scoring. As with many of the smaller races over the year, SBYC is bringing out the sub 125 raters with even a class of raters from 153 to 204 in class B flying sails. Class C brought out an Olson 911, Q boat, Catalina 36, J/30 and a Jeanneau 36. Class D has a J/105, Farr 30, Beneteau 44.7, J/35 and a Wauquiez 42.  18 boats of amazingly different designs and eras out racing on an amazing PNW cool & crisp fall day.

A course area that starts off Shilshole Marina and took racers up to the always elusive Spring Beach spar buoy, back downwind to West Point, through the starting area and up to the NOAA weather buoy and back downwind through the finish was led off the line by the small class of Non-flying sails boats. As they headed out into the sound on starboard, class B lined up with Perfectly Strange hovering in that pin end position, the precursor to the always sought after port tack start. With the perfect left shift holding through the sequence, they nailed it and crossed the fleet while looking back at the international sign of disapproval held high on some of the crossed boats. But their advantage quickly disappeared as the wind shifted back to the right and built on the outside leaving the little Pocket Rocket sailing in the middle of their fleet, losing the gains they made on the port tack start.

The final two starts rolled off the line without a hitch and a few tacks in and around Meadow point led the fleet into that long port tack up to the Spring Beach buoy. The Dufour 34, Frog Prints was charging north, out in the front after starting first in the NFS class, but sailing in that un-enviable position of having to be the first boat to find the little white spar buoy that so easily gets lost in the background. As the fleet was consistently lifted with the wind shifting to the NW, Frog Prints finally found and rounded the mark causing many to bump out a few inches on their jib sheets as they put their bows down a degree or two towards the first mark in the course.

Poles forward for the first few miles of the run with the waves almost big enough to surf, the wind almost strong enough to scoot, and those stellar views all around the boat. The further south the fleet sailed the more the wind shifted behind them and as they got within the last mile of West point the inside boats had the advantage sailing their hotter angle towards the mark. The Farr 30 Deep Pickle led the low road around the mark with the J/105 Last Tango hot on their tail.

Deep Pickle kept legging out on the second upwind and they extended their lead by over 4 minutes in front of Last Tango at the shorter weather mark (the first NOAA buoy). Behind them Kowloon led the 5 boats in Class C with Grayling and Outlaw pushing hard up there transoms.

Back to the finish everyone went after rounding the NOAA buoy with Deep Pickle leading the way finishing over 5 minutes in front of the J/105 LAST TANGO, but not far enough in front to hold their position after correction leaving LAST TANGO in first, Deep Pickle in second & Bonni Jean in third. Full results can be found at the Shilshole Bay Yacht Club website, as well as, entry forms for the December 13th race.  For more SBYC Snowbird Series sailing information.

start of RORC Trans-Atlantic race off Grand Canaria, Canary IslandsRORC TransAtlantic Report
(Grand Canaria, Canary Islands)- And they’re off, plying down the classic tradewind route from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, a mixed bag of modern day carbon racing machines along with traditional old cruising boats of various ilk.  In the mix is the J/133 APOLLO 7 from the United Kingdom, skippered by her owner Nigel Passmore.

After two delays to the start due to horrendous weather conditions, the RORC Transatlantic Race started from Puerto Calero Marina at 1000 UTC, Sunday 30th November.  It was third time lucky as the RORC fleet departed Puerto Calero Marina, Lanzarote bound for Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada West Indies, 2,995 nm away across the Atlantic Ocean. Rain squalls had been disturbing the air in the early hours of the morning, but virtually nothing would have prevented the eager fleet to set off on the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race. Sunshine and a gentle northerly breeze prevailed for the start- the only abnormal weather feature was a perfect double rainbow, pointing the way to the turning mark off Marina Lanzarote, Arrecife - the only mark of the course before the fleet would make landfall in Grenada.

The rainbow was not the only surreal experience at the start; a fleet of young Spanish Optimist sailors had decided to use the yellow inflatable turning mark for a training session. However, three loud blasts from the coach's whistle recalled the young sailors to a safe position, as humming deck gear and huge sail area, announced the imminent arrival of the Maxi fleet. No doubt, the young sailors will tell the tale for years to come!

After a competitive start, the fleets have been battling through the first night to negotiate the fastest passage through the Canary Islands and into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The entire fleet chose the northerly route through the channel between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura and once again north of Tenerife. The northerly route puts the fleet nearer the fresh breeze coming from the north rather than south where an area of little wind has developed. The rhumb line goes straight through Tenerife but the highest point, Mount Teide, has an elevation of 3,718 m (12,198ft), which would give a significant wind shadow to any yachts that ventured south.

A tremendous battle kicked off right from the start in IRC Two, the French X40 Optim'X sailed smartly to take the lead from Nigel Passmore's British J/133, APOLLO 7, at the start, which the French team held right along the coast of Lanzarote. APOLLO 7, mainly crewed by friends from Plymouth, took a slender lead after passing the southern tip of Lanzarote and unfurled their Code Zero to open up a three mile lead on their rivals by dawn. It may be the last time Optim’X ever sees APOLLO 7 until they enter the harbor of Port Louis Marina in Grenada!

Nigel Passmore reports from the course on APOLLO 7: “We are round the top of Tenerife and enroute to La Palma with a welcome to offshore Atlantic sailing more like the English Channel! Rain, waves and wind shifts. Still heading in the right direction with a good breeze. Crew are happy and settling in. Very much waterline length sailing at the moment.”

Sail choice and boat handling have been the major factors to performance at this early stage in the race. Getting into the open waters of the Atlantic first pays high dividend as more wind is expected for the leaders. Just a few hours difference can turn into enough miles for leading yachts to disappear over the horizon. All of the fleet should pass La Palma into the Atlantic today, raising spinnakers that should be flying for the near future. After days of confused weather systems, the Trade Winds are forecast to re-establish over the coming days. Downwind racing, surfing down Atlantic rollers with the sun on your back – it doesn't get a lot better than that.  For more RORC Trans-Atlantic Race sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/70 sailboats- sailing off Key West- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing photo* J/70 Key West Photo In Top Twenty Finalists- Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award 2014! Thanks to all J/Sailors worldwide for your support!

This competition is open to professional photographers from all over the world. Its goal is to pay tribute to their work, to provide them with a promotional platform and to help promote the sport of sailing to a wider audience.  No less than 120 racing photographers from all over the world submitted photographs of their choice for the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award 2014.

The votes are now closed and the top 20 pictures– chosen by the public– are presented in this gallery, including Sharon Green’s (Ultimate photo of the J/70’s starting in storm conditions off Key West in January 2014. See this photo here.

Two prizes will be awarded on December 11, in Barcelona, during the World Yacht Racing Forum:
  1. The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image (main prize)- selected by an international, independent jury consisting of Carlo Croce (ISAF President, ITA), Ken Read (North Sails Group President, USA), Karin Bäcklund (Volvo Ocean Race Commercial Director / Volvo Cars Sponsorship Director, SWE), Antonio Palma (Partner and CEO of Mirabaud, SUI) and Abner Kingman (Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award winner 2013, USA),
  2. The Prize of the Public- with the winner selected by delegates attending the World Yacht Racing Forum from the top twenty photos.
Learn more about the Mirabaud Yacht Racing image award here.

J/105 family sailing off Cleveland, Ohio * “Happy Thanksgiving” from J/Boats Cleveland from our annual Thanksgiving Day sail! According to Doug Moose, “The annual Thanksgiving Day Sail on Lake Erie is an honored tradition for us Clevelanders.  Whatever the weather you will always find one or two boats braving the elements to gain bragging rights at the dinner table for the evenings feast.  This year we were treated to a 30 degree day with 18 knot winds out of the north and a fresh inch or two of wet snow on the decks.  Now its time to get the boat out of the water!!”

David Ashton- J/24 sailor from Bermuda* Eight Bells- for long-time J/24 sailor David Ashton of Bermuda.   Family and friends are grieving the death of well-known sailor David Ashton, who passed away on November 21. He was 62. Mr Ashton died from complications following surgery in a Boston hospital.

He was a veteran of multiple Newport Bermuda Races, including the 2012 race aboard the Spirit of Bermuda. He was also co-founder of the local J/24 fleet in Bermuda and represented Bermuda at the J/24 World Championships in the United States.

In the 1970s, Mr Ashton owned a boat rental company and also operated a performance keelboat sailing school, using J/24s as the design of choice. More recently, he was a member of the International One Design Class of Bermuda and owner of the IOD sloop, Slingshot.

Paul Doughty, a former business partner of Mr Ashton, described the late sailor as a “reckoning force” in competitive sailing.

“He was a very good racing sailor because obviously he earned the right to go the J/24 World Championships,” Mr Doughty said. “Usually when he skippered a boat he was fiery and we used to have a saying ‘which one is it today? Is it Sugar Bear or is it Grumpy Bear’ because he was very bear like.

“David is a great loss to the local community and was always a supporter of any sailing event. My condolences go out to his family.”

At the time of his death, Mr Ashton was joint-owner and manager of Greenbank Guesthouse in Paget.  A statement on the guest house’s Facebook page read: “It is with great sadness that the family of David William Ashton announces his passing on November 21, 2014.  The Ashton family has owned and managed Greenbank Guesthouse since 1952, and David dedicated his time, love and energy to Greenbank and its guests for over twenty years, along with his wife, Cindy. Many of our guests will remember David sharing the history of the property and of Bermuda, and his passion for his Island home. David will be greatly missed by his family, friends and many of Greenbank’s loyal guests.”  Any comments welcome here-

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.
*Giant whale breaching in front of J/160 SALACIA off  Australia's Whitsunday Islands J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands.  Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination?  A giant whale!  Look at this amazing photo!

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.