Wednesday, February 11, 2015

J/Newsletter- February 11th, 2015

J/88 sailing fast on a reachNew England Boat Show!
Go Now!  Better Than Home In a Blizzard!
(Boston, MA)- The boat show is located at Boston’s enormous waterfront Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and will be featuring the J/88.  The show runs from February 14th to 22nd.

Make sure to keep your loved ones in mind for Valentine’s Day!  What better gift from the heart than a J/88 or J/70 wrapped in a giant red bow with roses!  Also, tell them that "Stu" sent you and it's worth a "free beer"!

Ask J/Boat Dealers Rich Hill or George Lowden how you can make that happen, contact them at ph# 781-631-3313 or email-   For more New England Boat Show information.

J/70 sailing league racingSAILING Champions League Growing Dramatically!
(Hamburg, Germany)- Europe is mad about the J/70 sailing leagues! Only two years after the start of the innovative sailing league format in Germany (the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga) and the kickoff of the SAILING Champions League in October 2014 in Copenhagen, many new countries are following Denmark in 2015 and are establishing their own sailing club competitions: Switzerland, Austria, Russia, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Great Britain in Europe, as well as America.  A brief summary of developments in each country follows.

After the Italian FIV (Italian Sailing Association) organizers requested to host the 2015 SCL at the first SAILING Champions League in Copenhagen, it was clear there would be a national sailing league in the South of Europe.

Sailing Champions League trophyThe FIV’s sailing league will start in February. Two to three events are planned with perfect sailing regions set in Trieste, Genoa, Naples and Porto Cervo. Ten to twelve clubs will be among the pioneers in the first season. The Italians plan to use J/70s for most of the events. “We wanted to participate in the SAILING Champions League, because we support the vision and the mission 100%”, explains Roberto Emanuele de Felice of FIV.

The FIV plan to host the SCL Finals from September 17 to 19 at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda on Sardinia.

The Netherlands
The Dutch Sailing League, called “Eredivisie Zeilen”, also started planning their sailing league after the prelude in Copenhagen. Their organization is managed by the Royal Netherlands Yachting Union together with an event organizer.

At their three events, they will be sailing J/70s in a spring and autumn series.  “For the Eredivisie Zeilen, 15 clubs have confirmed their participation. But I am sure, even more would like to participate”, said Rob Franken from the Netherlands Sailing Federation.

J/70s sailing league in Russia, northwest of MoscowRussia
The Russians already started planning their first 2015 sailing league season in the fall of 2014. At a test event in September, the format, the J/70s and “live” broadcasting were thoroughly tested.  The Russian sailing league has the backing of the Russian Sailing Federation, utilizing a fleet of 10 J/70s. No expense was spared in their “test event” for multimedia and social media- the “live” HD video from the J/70s, from videographers ashore and from a helicopter was quite remarkable. Even the GPS system aboard each boat was tested.  For 2015, the Russians have planned five events.

Swedish sailing leagueSweden
Swedish Sailing Federation will establish its national sailing league, “Allsvenskan”, with 18 participating clubs in three regattas.  The events will be sailed in a fleet of J/70s at Saltsjöbaden close to Stockholm (in May), Malmö in the South (in August) and Stenungsund (in September). “We want to make our clubs stronger by establishing the ‘Swedish Sailing League’ and make the sailing sport more popular and attractive for the age range between 18 and 30.  We are also pleased to have the Swedish POSTCODE Lottery as our lead partner″, said Peter Gustafsson of BLUR.SE sailing fame.

Stefan Rahm, SSF's Managing Director, had this to say regards the exciting development of the sailing league in Sweden:

“The clubs are central to the sport of sailing. Kids often first start in sailing school, then practice and sail dinghies, and later sail the family boat. But, racing takes place almost always as an individual sailor or as part of a 2-3 person individual team on your own boat.  However, in many other sports you are competing for your club in regional or national competitions. Shouldn’t that be the case in sailing, too?

Based on the experience from other countries that have sailing leagues, it’s clear the club ‘feeling’ is strengthened. Club members get enthusiastic and more involved in putting together teams.  The members help the team train, create training opportunities, acquire sponsors and promote them in the local news media.  Juniors, Olympic sailors and old seasoned sailors gather together to defend the club's colors.

The sailing will also be simple and accessible in J/70s provided by the Allsvenskan.  Moreover, it seems the media have a better understanding of the sailing and format— especially since there is “live” updates on standings race-by-race.

It's incredibly exciting that we finally have a national race series between clubs in Sweden. A series that will naturally determine Sweden's best sailing club, but will also drive more activity in the clubs and, thereby, increase the accessibility of our sport. The latter is a goal that we share with our main partners Swedish Postcode Lottery.”  More information about the “Allsvenskan” of the Swedish Sailing Association here.

J/70 sailing in Danish sailing leagueSwitzerland
For the start of the Swiss Sailing League, two regattas are planned: in April at Lake Thun and in October at Lake Constance. Founding members of the SSL are the Yacht Club Kreuzlingen, Lake Thun Yacht Club and Swiss Sailing (the Swiss Sailing Association). 31 clubs throughout the country have requested to participate in the Swiss Sailing League in their fleet of six J/70s. The first 18 participants will be announced in February 2015.  Like their colleagues in Germany and Denmark, they plan to extend the format and establish a 2nd league.  For 2016, they’re expecting to host five regattas.

“If the top three team of our Swiss Sailing League are qualifying for the SAILING Champions League, it is of course more attractive for the top Swiss sailors to participate in the national league – especially because of the international perspective”, explains Felix Somm, project leader of the Swiss SSL.  For more Swiss Sailing League information.

United Kingdom
For 2015, the British Royal Yachting Association is planning several test events in Portland Harbour and Cowes, Isle of Wight.  With support from the Royal Yacht Squadron and The Royal Thames Yacht Club (the only British club that raced in the SAILING Champions League in Copenhagen), their collective fleet of a dozen J/70s is the likely platform for the test events.

The Austrian Sailing Federation project leader, Rudi Hoeller, first visited his German colleagues in 2013 to get information about the new sailing format and what was required to establish a national sailing league in Austria.  Two promotional events are planned for 2015 to present the sailing league format to the public.  “We formed a Segel-Bundesliga GmbH according to the German model and the organizational committee and the hosting clubs are also set. There will be at least four regattas in 2016”, said Hoeller.

America had already started planning their sailing league following the German model a year ago. The German project leader, Benjamin Klatzka, was one of the first persons to advance the German Sailing League concept.  In August 2015, the “Premiere Sailing League” will start with four regional qualifier regattas (North-Chicago, South-New Orleans, East-Newport, West-San Francisco) for 72 clubs. The best 16 US clubs – four per region – will then compete against each other at the “Premiere Sailing League National Championships” in Annapolis, Maryland in October. They will be sailing on J/70 boats with a crew of four.  A test event is taking place in late spring this year to promote the format to sailors, clubs, sponsors and the hosting clubs.   Please find a list with all National Sailing League events here.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

With Valentine’s Day weekend rapidly approaching, it’s imperative that you ensure loved ones “feel the love” on this special holiday weekend.  How you express that may not be nearly as important as remembering to do “something (!)” and having fun while doing it.  Chocolates?  Flowers?  Huggy stuffed bears?  Trinkets & baubles?  Car?  Not!  Why not a sailboat?!  It’s still not too late to run out to your local J/Dealer and order a serious expression of your love, straight from your heart! :)

In America, it’s also President’s Day weekend, so for those in the WSW on the continent, it could be a gorgeous day outdoors.  However, for those in New England and friends in eastern Canada, we’re going to have yet another blizzard (e.g. that’s snow with a lot of wind).  Heaven for skiers, that’s for sure.  Time to breakout the snowshoes and cross-country skis just to get to the grocery store!

As for the R.O.W., things have been hopping.  Just this past week we’ve seen the quintessential opening regatta for Europe’s sailing season take place off the pretty little principality known as Monaco.  The Yacht Club de Monaco hosted a huge J/70 fleet in Hercules Bay for the XXXI Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse.

Across the Atlantic and the far side of South America, we find yet another burgeoning J/70 fleet hosting their second Chilean National Championships on the simply spectacular mountain lake known as Lago Panguipulli, just 800 miles south of Santiago in a region known as the “Spanish archipelago”.  For those of you who don’t know the area, check it out soon, we can guarantee this one should be on your “bucket list”!

Just north of South America, the semi-annual Pineapple Cup/ Montego Bay Race took place.  The 811nm jaunt around the islands from Fort Lauderdale, past eastern Bahamas and Cuba to MoBay, Jamaica is always a challenging race.  This year a duo of J/120s, a J/122, and a J/145 took up that challenge and sailed a somewhat benign race this time around.

More J/70 activity took place in the northern part of the Americas, this time on Tampa Bay.  Davis Island YC hosted its third and final regatta of the Quantum 70 Winter Series on a sunny, light air weekend with a seriously large and competitive fleet.

Finally, consider reading the insightful commentary coming from top sailors on the winning boats at Quantum Key West Race Week.  Their perspectives on speed, strategies and tuning tips from the three winners in the J/70, J/88 and J/111 classes may be helpful for many crews.

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 24- Mar 8- Monaco J/70 Winter Series- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Feb 6-13- Pineapple Cup- Montego Bay YC- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Feb 18-21- J/27 Midwinters- New Orleans, LA
Feb 20-22- J/24 Midwinters- Davis Island YC- Tampa, FL
Feb 23- RORC 600 Race- English Harbour, Antigua
Mar 4-7- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Miami, FL
Mar 5-8- Heineken St Maarten Regatta- St Maarten
Mar 13-15- J/30 Midwinters- New Orleans YC- New Orleans, LA
Mar 27-29- J/22 Midwinters- Jackson YC- Ridgeland, MS
Mar 27-29- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Mar 30- Apr 5- BVI Spring Regatta- Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Apr 13-18- Les Voiles St Barth- Gustavia, St Barthelemy
Apr 16-19- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 24- May 2- EDHEC Sailing Cup- La Rochelle, France
Apr 26- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- Falmouth, Antigua

Boat Shows:
Feb 14-22- New England Boat Show- 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/70s sailing ChileHerman Crowned Chilean J/70 Champion
(Lago Panguipulli, Chile)- From February 7th to 8th, the 2nd annual J/70 Chilean Nationals took place on Panguipulli Lake,  800 miles south of Santiago in the spectacular “lakes district” of southern Chile. The championship was sponsored by Santander Bank as a major class sponsor and Sony Xperia and the regatta was hosted at the beautiful clubhouse on the Puyumen Peninsula (the same location as last year).

Santander Bank sponsorsAn incredibly competitive fleet of nine boats included many good teams with skippers like: Matias Seguel & Per Von Appen (former J/24 sailor), Pablo Herman (famous Lightning sailor), Pablo Amunategui & Juan Eduardo Reid (Soto 40 skippers) and other renowned Chilean skippers such as Walter Astorga, Jorge González, Jorge Lama and Carlos Vergara.

J/70s sailing Chile's Lago PanguipulliThe racing was incredibly close with weather mark and leeward mark rounding’s strongly contested by groups of boats, often the last shift determining places in the last few boat lengths to the mark.  Over the two-day weekend, four of the six scheduled races were sailed.

J/70 youth sailorsOn the first day, the fleet enjoyed good winds from the southwest of 10-14kts. Racing was very close, with Rodrigo Solar’s BLACK JACK XPERIA (skippered by Pablo Amunategui) taking the lead over Nicolas Ibañez’s CAROLINA (with Pablo Herman on the helm).  Third was Juan Eduardo Reid and fourth Per Von Appen. At the end of the day, the point scores were quite close;  Amunategui 7 pts, Herman 8 pts and Reid 10 pts.

J/70 sailing Chilean NationalsSunday’s sailing conditions started out very unstable and by 4:30pm the wind was finally good enough to start the one and only race of the day. Pablo Herman and his team took the lead from the very beginning followed by Carlos Vergara, Jorge Gonzalez and Juan Reid.  On the second windward leg, all locals went left and Herman, Reid and Amunategui (in 6th place) took the right side of the course.

Chiles' Lago PanguipulliAt the middle of the 2nd windward leg, the wind on the left side of the course started to die and the right kept getting stronger. At the windward mark Herman rounded 1st, Reid 2nd and Amunategui 3rd, giving the lead of the championship to Pablo Herman, Felipe “Pipe" Herman, Martin Costa (North Sails Argentina) and Roberto Caneo.

After the summer holiday, the fleet moves to Algarrobo, 90km due west of Santiago, during the year for races between March and December.  Sailing photo credits- Bernie Grez.

J/70s sailing off Monte Carlo, Monaco- Primo CupGermany's Lehman J/70 Primo Cup Winner!
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Snow on the peaks and boats in the breeze under a quasi spring sunshine ... the charm of the Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse, initiated 31 years ago by HSH Prince Albert II, on his arrival to the Presidency of YCM.  Over the weekend of February 6th to 8th, the Yacht Club de Monaco rolled out the red carpet for the enormous J/70 fleet participating in the XXXI Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse.  The spectacular yacht club allows sailors to mix, on land and at sea, with the great names of world sailing and the America's Cup, like this year's Italian Francesco de Angelis (skipper of Luna Rossa Italian challenge for the America's Cup) and famous French sailor Marc Pajot- both sailing J70’s!

J/70 sailing under spinnaker off Monte CarloSince last year, the J/70 fleet tripled in size to thirty-three boats this year, by far the largest one-design fleet seen in Monaco’s waters in years.  As the largest fleet in this year’s Primo Cup, the J/70 teams from across Europe represented seven countries (Monaco, France, Italy, Germany, Great Britain, Spain & Russia).

With warm days under the mellow Mediterranean sun and a welcoming atmosphere, the Northern European sailors in particular were enthusiastic to go sailing in such benign, friendly conditions.

J/70s docked at Yacht Club de Monaco in Monte CarloDay one saw very shifty conditions with winds ranging from 0 to 25 knots and never in the direction forecasted. After a difficult start, the fleet split apart and the boats experienced very unstable winds, randomizing the results table. A massive swell and strong gusts prevented the Race Committee’s PRO- Thierry Leret- from putting up the start signal and everyone went back home to the spectacular new YCM club house to share a few “war stories” and some delicious food and refreshments.

On the final day, the fleet had a chance to sail in classic, sunny, moderate breezes in Hercules Bay off Monte Carlo.  The breeze, the dramatic backdrop of the historical waterfront and the snowy peaks in the background made for a near picture-perfect day.  Overcoming their first race 14th, German skipper Claus Lehman and his BLANKER HANS team (Marc-Daniel Maehlmann, Dennis Ruge and Valentin Zeller) fired off a 3-3-2 scoreline to narrowly win by one point over the Italian team UJI UJI skippered by Alesio Marinelli. The UJI UJI team posted the most consistent scoreline for the regatta with a 2-6-1-6 for 9 pts net.

J/70 Primo Cup winnersAfter the first two races, Frenchman Ludovic Senechal and his LULU NANTAISE team led the regatta with a 1-2 tally, but fell off the pace tactically with a 6-9 in the last two races to hang on to third with 9 pts net, too, losing the tie-breaker.

Rounding out the top five were two of the host YC Monaco teams, in fourth was the team led by skipper Pierrik Devic (with crew Claude & Jean Rodelato and Blandine Medicin) and in fifth was the YCM J/70 Fleet Captain, Jacopo Carrain’s CARPE DIEM (with crew Enrico Fonda, Alessandro Siviero and Filippo La Mantia).

Of note, finishing a respectable sixth in their first major J/70 outing was local Monegasque skipper Ian Isley on ST ANDREW.  Italian superstar Francesco De Angelis crewed for the Russian team B2 skippered by Michele Galli in 17th place and fellow French rock-star Marc Pajot crewed for Thomas Mellano on LE HAVRE NAUTIC (Pajot had his daughters Zoe Pajot and Eve Pajot-Bremond sailing with them- their finish clearly didn’t represent their amazing talent; they demonstrated the ability to sail in the top ten when not getting in trouble on the course!).  Thanks for contribution from Sven Jürgensen.  Sailing photo credits- YC Monaco/ Carlo Borlenghi. For more J/70 Primo Cup sailing information

J/70s sailing Tampa Bay- Quantum Winter Series 
Dazzling Quantum J/70 Winter Series Finale
(Tampa, Florida)- The weather forecast certainly looked promising, with 10-15 kts Northeast on Friday, veering East 6-10 kts Saturday, and veering further Southeast on Sunday at 5-9 kts.  However, as the J/70 sailors have all learned by now, such rosy forecasts, no matter how good, are no guarantees on Tampa Bay.

This past weekend marked the third and final “act” of the Quantum J/70 Winter Series, hosted by Davis Island YC.  The fleet of 47 boats was ready to chase Marty Kullman’s NEW WAVE, the leader after the two previous Quantum J/70 Winter Series events in December and January. 

The event turned into a flat water, light air regatta of three races.  Saturday’s conditions started in 10-12 knots from the Northeast in Race 1, but the race was sailed in 5-6 knots with righty puffs and 4-knot lulls.  Race 2 wind strength was variable with 4 to 8 knots of breeze.  On Sunday, during race 3, the fleet sailed in 4-6 knots from the Southeast in fluky conditions, but no particular bias to one side of the course.  The AP flag was flown after Sunday morning’s race, ultimately resulting in fleet motoring home after a two-hour wait for the wind to fill.

Learning a few lessons from his first major regatta of the year at the Key West J/70 Midwinters, Allan Terhune and company aboard the mighty DAZZLER blinded the fleet with two bullets and a 6th to win with 8 pts total.  Also benefitting from flashes of brilliance and practice at Key West was second place finisher Cole Allsopp and crew on MOXIE, sailing the most consistent scoreline with a 4-3-3 for 10 pts.  Perhaps in the same category of “practice made good in Key West”, Tim Molony’s crew on JOUST had some good races in the Midwinters, but lacked consistency.  In Tampa, he found the conditions to his liking and managed a 9-4-5 for 18 pts to round out the podium in third place.

The balance of the top five included local hotshot Rob Britts on HOT MESS, not only winning Corinthians Overall for the Quantum Winter Series, but also winning Corinthians in the Q-3 regatta.  Taking 2nd in Corinthians in Q-3 was Henry Brauer on SCAMP and his able-bodied crew from Marblehead, MA (which included Tufts Jumbo classmate Stewart Neff).  Third Corinthian was David Koski’s SOUL.

Despite a 7th place finish in Q-3, Marty Kullman’s NEW WAVE secured the overall win for the 2014-2015 Quantum J/70 Winter Series.

The next three J/70 events on the winter circuit are: (1) St Pete NOODS, (2) Miami Sailing Week in March, and (3) Charleston Race Week in April.   For more Quantum J/70 Winter Series sailing information

J/145 Vortices sailing Montego Bay off Jamaica and CubaAn Enchanting Cruise on Montego Bay Race!
Lovely Seabreezes off SE Shore of Cuba!
(Montego Bay, Jamaica)- For the start of this year’s 2015 Pineapple Cup/ Montego Bay Race, the fleet faced classic MoBay Race conditions.  A stout northerly breeze expected to deliver a challenging Gulfstream crossing, before shifting eastward in the following days, go light, then pick up again as the fleet encountered the trade winds in the famous Windward Passage just off the eastern tip of Cuba.

The 811nm jaunt through the Bahamas, around Cuba, to Montego Bay, can be fast & furious or frustratingly slow going at times.  This year, the fleet faced just about everything.  Four J/Teams were participating this year, two J/120s (MISS JAMICA and TAMPA GIRL), Mark Jordan’s J/122 MISS MARIS and Chris Saxton’s J/145 VORTICES.  Not soon after the start, TAMPA GIRL unfortunately retired, while the other three pressed on.

J/122 Miss Maris sailing off Jamaica and CubaBy Saturday morning, 18 hours into the race, the majority of the fleet was either just past or just approaching Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.  As Sunday morning dawned, the fleet continued to make good progress as well, with most past the eastern side of Cat Island on the eastern side of Bahamas Bank.  By late Sunday, the J/145 VORTICES was past the southern end of Long Island and chasing them were the J/122 MISS MARIS and Montego Bay YC favorite, the J/120 MISS JAMAICA not far behind. Light wind was beginning to be a factor for this trio of boats overnight as they entered the Windward Passage.

By Monday morning, MISS JAMAICA, with the race’s youngest sailor Zoe Knowles aboard, rounded Cape Maisi on her way through the Windward Passage, and was on the last leg to Montego Bay.  A number of boats ended up working the southern shore of Cuba hard on Monday, looking for land breeze and a bit of leverage over fleet.  Some sailed right past the infamous Guantanamo Bay, the American military base on the ESE tip of Cuba.  Many reported stunning tropical views which many of us have never seen, gorgeous landscapes with not a house or boat in sight along the coastline!  The J/145 VORTICES was one of those boats that played the “Cuba card”, a strategy that ultimately played out well in the end since it gave them a better gybe angle on port tack going into the finish line off Montego Bay.

J/120 Miss Jamaica sailing Montego Bay Race off Cuba and JamaicaTuesday morning dawned with VORTICES finishing by 3:16am; enough for the experienced Great Lakes crew from Detroit, Michigan to take 3rd in class and 5th overall.  It also found the J/122 MISS MARIS and the J/120 MISS JAMAICA still out on the race-track with about a day of sailing to go.  Both boats were tracking around rhumbline to the Montego Bay finish line off what is known locally as “Doctor’s Cave” buoy.

Finally, the J/122 MISS MARIS finished just after 5:00pm on Wednesday, good enough to take 4th in class and 7th overall.  This set the stage for undoubtedly the most anticipated arrival in Montego Bay, that of local favorites MISS JAMAICA.  On Thursday at just after 1:00pm, the hometown gang aboard MISS JAMAICA crossed the finish line to close out the finishers in the 32nd Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race and arrive home at the docks to a jubilant celebration with family and friends at MoBay YC. Congratulations to Team Easy Skanking on the J/120 MISS JAMAICA and all competitors who completed the course and arrived to the warmest welcome in racing. A job well done by all. Enjoy Montego Bay!  Here is the Montego Bay Race Facebook page.  For more Pineapple Cup/ Montego Bay Race sailing information

Los Tres Amigos- Key West Speed & Strategies
(Key West, Florida)- The evolution of three strong J one-design classes at this year’s Quantum Key West Race Week is an exciting development for J sailors around the world.  While the largest and perhaps most deeply talented class were the fifty-four J/70s, the J/111s and J/88s both sailed Key West for the first time as one-design classes.  In both cases, the ultimate results after a week of sailing for the 111s and 88s came down to the final races!  To say that skippers and sailors in both these classes came away “pumped up” would be a bit of an understatement.  To give you some perspectives on how each of the class winners tackled sailing a five-day, 10+ race series, please enjoy the following reports from three members of the Quantum Sails team (the regatta sponsor) that sailed on top boats in each class (J/70s- Allan Terhune, J/88s- Kerry Klingler, & J/111s- Scott Nixon).

J/70 Calvi Network sailing off Key WestJ/70s- The Winner’s Edge: Interview with Carlo Alberini
Allan Terhune, Quantum One Design Director and current J/22 World Champion, had a chance to catch up with the winner this year’s J/70 Midwinters- Carlo Alberini from Italy. Of note, it was a “first” in the J/70 class to have a European win in American waters and is an excellent indication that 70 sailors around the world are moving up the learning curve quite rapidly.  Allan’s interview and his commentary are below:

“Quantum Key West was the host of the J/70 Midwinter Championship, which provided the class with an awesome venue for a top-rate event. We were so fortunate this year to have some of the best weather I have ever experienced, as well as some top-notch racing in a variety of conditions.

The winner this year was Carlo Alberini and his team from Italy on the CALVI NETWORK. They are the reigning European Champs and I was able to catch up with Carlo to get some of his impressions on Key West and the J/70 class.

AT: Carlo, Congrats on your win! How long have you been racing the J70?
CA: Thanks for the compliments but the big credit goes to Branko and crew. We started sailing in March 2014.

AT: How did you approach training for this event?
CA: Our approach was to study the difference with the USA fleet; we especially concentrated on studying the different rig.

AT: What are the differences in racing fleets in the US from racing fleets in Europe?
CA:The level of the USA fleet is higher than Europeans because they started sailing two-three years ago.

AT: What was your daily plan once you left the dock?
CA: We start every day with zero tuning and before arriving on the race field, we sail with the other competitors, changing the tuning according the sea and wind conditions.

AT: The fleet sets up very close to the line, making starting difficult. How did you approach the starts?
CA: Branko (Brcin, Tactician) placed us in a perfect area of the start line every time and as you know, is not easy to stay there perfectly any time because the other competitors are very good. On average, we went where we wanted.

AT: With so many races in a regatta, it is difficult to be consistent. Did you make any decisions on regatta/race management to reduce risk for the entire event?
CA: For me, is more important to do a lot of good placing rather than win a single race; it is the final result that matters.

AT: Downwind – how do you decide when to plane and when to sail low?
CA: The edge is around 15th knots.

AT: What weight are you sailing at?
CA: We were too heavy right now (350kg). In fact, we are more heavy than last year by 20 kilos! It’s important for us to reduce it to around 325kgs or less.

AT: What did you think of Key West?
CA: It was a great venue, with great competition; we cannot wait to sail again in Miami for Bacardi Race Week.”

In addition to this interview with Carlo, Allan has some additional commentary:

“One of the highlights of the week was the panel discussion on Tuesday Night ( please see YouTube video here ). One of the strongest aspects about the J/70 class is that everyone is willing to share and help each other out and grow the sport. There were also many opportunities to learn from class experts as well as great coaches, like Ed Adams and Ed Baird, who shared their knowledge throughout the week.

I was fortunate to sail with Bob Hughes on HEARTBREAKER for the week. Looking back, here are a few things that I took away from the event:

- We started out the week with light to moderate air. This put a premium on weight placement in the boat and sail trim. As the breeze went up and down it was critical to adjust the sheets to keep the boat tracking through the chop and to keep the boat at the proper heel angle to stay powered up. If you got too flat, the boat would stall; if you were too heeled, you would slide. It took a lot of effort to keep it constant, but if you did, there were high rewards.

- Windy upwind: It felt much faster to sit with the weight a little bit aft to get the bow up over the waves.

- Downwind the last day, there were big gains to be made in the big breeze if you had space to let the boat rip. If you got caught in traffic and didn’t have the ability to steer where you wanted and keep the boat on a plane, you would lose out to the boats that had their own water.

Lastly, it was easy to see some boats had good days and some bad; the key to long events is being able to stay even and always keep working for points. The boats that were good at treating the event like the marathon that KWRW is, did the best.”

J/88 sailboats tuning off Key WestJ/88s- A Personal Touch to Race Week
Long-time J sailor Kerry Klingler, the Quantum J/Boat Division Leader and a J/80 World Champion, had an opportunity to sail in the new J/88 class at Key West on-board Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION.  For most of the week, they were class leaders until the last heavy air day on Friday when their colleagues aboard TOUCH2PLAY RACING (Rob & Sandy Butler) seemed to dial-in a 5th gear in the big breeze and wrestle their lead on a tie-breaker!  Very, very exciting racing for those two boats. Here is Kerry’s commentary on how it all went down off the Florida Keys:

“My perspective and role on-board was not only that of tactician and trimmer on the J/88 DEVIATION, but also to help our customers get up to speed in any way possible and facilitate the flow of information between good boats.

FJ/88 sailboat sailing off Key West, Floridaor the J/88 class, Key West is the second largest regional regatta for a new boat. This makes for some unknowns in regards to how fast your sails and boat are compared to the competition. For our crew on Deviation the goals were simple. First, get to the regatta early, set up the boat, work on slight boat improvements, and go sailing. Second, practice, try to line up with the competition, and see how fast we were.

One of our advantages on Deviation was the season of sailing we had under our belt. The disadvantage was the fact our sails were one season old. Last year, I raced with owner Iris Vogel at Block Island Race Week and as a result, instituted some sail development improvements now part of our current products.  Rob Butler on Touch2Play benefited from these improvements in his newly purchased sails.  To overcome this, Deviation’s sails were brought into the loft for service and were adjusted to current designs wherever possible. The biggest change was made to the A2 Asymmetrical, where the head of the sail was replaced. This adjustment was made to increase twist in the sail and make the head slightly deeper.

J/88 sailboat- sailing upwind at Key WestDuring the week, Touch2Play and Deviation proved to be the fastest J/88s out there. We worked with daily debriefs on what we thought were fast combinations. Details were exchanged on rig settings, in-haul amount, and sheet tension. Overall, the boats proved to be very close in speed. An important thing we learned was that the main could be sheeted with the boom above centerline in the lighter winds. Our tuning guide was pretty accurate, and the headstay length seemed to work well.

In light winds, we were between 1.5 and 2 steps below base setting. In the windy conditions, we were two steps up. In the last few races we did not realize that our shims fell out of the rudder pintles and two bolts backed out, causing trouble after the last race. I am sure we were slowed down the last day because of this. Other owners should check their pintles and bolts to insure they are properly installed and working well.

In the end, Touch2Play and Deviation tied with 19 points, with Touch2Play winning on the tie-breaker. The next closest boat had 34 points. Between the two boats, they won 9 of the 10 races. From where I sit, that’s nearly a perfect ending!

J/111 My Sharona sailing upwind off Key West, FloridaJ/111s- Practice Like You Race
Scott Nixon, from Quantum Sails, brings you the perspective of sailing aboard the regatta winner MY SHARONA.  Here is his commentary:

"I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to sail with a George Gamble and his J/111 team from Pensacola, FL on MY SHARONA at this year's Quantum Key West Race Week. This was the first KWRW where the J/111's had a one-design start; it was also the first J/111 Midwinter Championship. This event, along with the looming J/111 World Championships in Newport, RI, set the stage for a great start to 2015 for this exciting class.

This was my first J/111 regatta so I was the rookie on board. George Gamble selected a great, fun team from the Pensacola YC including his teenage son Kyle who was our man in the middle who kept the team motivated on the rail all week. The MY SHARONA team has put a lot of miles on their boat the past few years including a few races along the Gulf Coast of Florida and a race all the way to Mexico. They have also done a lot of local PHRF racing and even drove the boat out to the Great Lakes the last two years for the J/111 North Americans. When George decided to get me on board we knew a weakness would be time in the boat together so we set a goal of trying to get as much quality practice time in as possible in preparation for the Worlds in early June.

Doing the Pre-Regatta Homework
Working with the great team at Quantum Sails, my pre-regatta homework was not too hard. I started with our sail designer Kerry Klingler, who has done all of our J/111 sail designs that have won the last two North Americans. We discussed the standard class inventory and suggested wind ranges for the class sails. George ordered a new light jib and A1.5 light spinnaker for the event.

After ordering the sails, I spoke with Quantum's J/111 speed doctor Wally Cross (two-time NA Champ and European Champ in the J/111). He walked me through the rig set up, rake numbers, pre bend, mast butt locations and the full Quantum tuning guide for our class sails. We felt we had a grasp on the setup but needed a way to confirm this in KW.  Who better to talk with than the winner of Key West last year!

I called Nick Turney who does tactics and helps run the great SPACEMAN SPIFF programs. He was a wealth of information on sailing the boat. Nick discussed the importance of sailing the J/111 to targets upwind and downwind and to really keep an eye on the target TWA off the breeze. Nick runs Quantum Cleveland, a recent addition to the Quantum network, so both of us were new to the Quantum J/111 sail program and setup. We decided the best way to get up to speed was to team up and train together before racing started, and to also tune up each morning on race day to make sure we felt fast before the start.

J/111 My Sharona sailing downwind under spinnaker off Key West, Florida“Practicing Like You Race”
This homework really paid off for our teams during the week. We trained very hard for three full days before racing started on Monday. I don't think I was too popular with our team the first few days as we spent a solid six hours on the water each practice day! We would leave the dock each morning with our training partner and do a long, downwind tune followed by a long, upwind tune. At times we would stop and chat on the VHF to make sure the slower boat could adjust settings to match the faster boat.

The teams hiked hard and practiced like we were racing. After tuning, Spaceman's coach boat would run some practice starts and shore races where other J/111's would jump on with us. This gave us great, real-time racing situations to work on together as a team. Starting, close lee-bows, ducks and layline positioning were just some of the maneuvers we were forced to perfect. All of the J/111's would head in for a late afternoon cocktail after the short races but I made the unpopular decision to stay on the water "just a little while longer!"

Perfecting Maneuvers with “Hot Laps”
I introduced our team to “hot laps,” which are simple windward-leeward laps where the marks are very close together so you just have time to set the spinnaker, gybe and then take it down before the leeward rounding sends you back around again. Our first few laps did not go very well, as they rarely do! Everyone was tired and struggling to find their role individually for all these quick maneuvers. But after pushing hard and digging deep our team started to gel. We did three days of hard training, but the sweat and bruises were all worth it. After the training sessions we headed into the regatta with the confidence to pull off any maneuver required. The credit has to go to the team on board as everyone embraced the long, hard practice sessions and improved a massive amount in a very short time.

Heading out for race day one, our goals were to be safe and stay in the top four of each race. George and our bowman Derrick Riddle did a fantastic job of getting us off the line and we were able to sail each race the way we wanted. The week was fairly light so we were extremely fast with our new Quantum class light jib that we used all but the last day, which was over 15 knots.

Using Crew Weight to Help Steer the Boat
We also had great speed off the wind with the new A1.5 class spinnaker that we used in 11 knots and under. With clean starts and good speed, we were able to just stay ahead of the clumps of boats to make good decisions on which side to protect upwind. George focused solely on driving the boat at target speed and angle and the crew constantly moved their weight to keep us at the target heel angle upwind and downwind. This made my job easier as we tried to sail by ourselves in clear air and toward the next expected shift. This strategy worked well all week as we only had two races out of the top two and were able to win five of the ten races. The class was tight at each rounding, so having good sets, gybes and spinnaker drops perfected by our team during training really helped us stay out of trouble all week and kept the pressure on the boats around us.

As a team, we worked really hard all week to focus on our own individual jobs and come together as a group. It was great to see the team get better each day and come away from this regatta with a ton of knowledge to build on as we head to the next events in preparation for the Worlds this summer. I was very impressed with our team all week as they used two GoPros to record our races. They religiously watched them each night at our dinner/ debriefs to implement ways on improving their onboard roles.

Top Lessons Learned
Here are the top five things we learned in Key West about sailing the J/111 in a tight, one design fleet:

1. The boats take a while to build speed, so hitting the line at full speed and target angle are key.

2. Don't be afraid to in-haul the jib off the line to hold a lane or sail in a slightly higher mode, especially in light winds under 15 TWS with the light jib. On the flip side, don't hesitate to ease the in-hauler when you want to sail fast or in bow-down mode for tactical reasons.

3. Having the crew hike hard upwind on the rail allows the trimmers to keep the leeches tight and keep power in the boat longer. Hike hard out of tacks and off the starting line to hit target speed faster.

4. Downwind, the stock J/111 class polars published by J/Boats are very good! We sailed to them all week with regards to target boat speed and target true wind angle.

5. Off the wind, use crew weight to help steer the boat, especially in over 11 knots with the A2 runner up. Hike the boat to windward to bear off and weight to leeward the helmsman head up. This helps minimize rudder movement so you can remain fast.

Thanks again to George and the MY SHARONA team for an outstanding attitude and effort in Key West. Also special thanks to Nick Turney on SPACEMAN SPIFF and Wally Cross on UTAH for sharing J/111 tips and tuning with us on the water. The Quantum sails and set-up were very fast and easy to do. Q teams were 1,2,3 and 4! We all improved each day and had fun on shore sharing war stories at the tent and on Duvall Street. We are really looking forward to the next J/111 one design start this spring at Charleston Race Week. Hope to see you on the water soon."  Sailing photo credits- Tim and Alan Clark/

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
US Sailing Paralympic team member- Maureen McKinnon*  Maureen McKinnon first began sailing on J/22's and J/24's in Marblehead, Massachusetts.  After an unfortunate accident that left her physically as a paraplegic, she maintained her passion as a sailor and wished to get back out on the water again.  Not soon after, she discovered the Paralympic circuit and special boats she could sail.  Ultimately, she teamed up with Nick Scandone to sail a SKUD 18 (a mini-sportboat type boat).  After a lot of trials and tribulations, they not only won the US Paralympic Sailing Trials with straight bullets, but they won the Olympic Gold Medal in the 2008 Qingdao Olympics in China!  Sadly, six months later, her teammate, Nick, passed away from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Maureen is now on a new mission.  Having overcome such difficult life experiences, she’s continued to sail a variety of boats.  She’s even sailed on J/105s as the middle person/ pit in local Marblehead beer-can races.  Perhaps some “J” sailors may wish to help her in her goal to again represent the USA for the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.

Maureen commented that, “I have continued to sail part-time on the Paralympic circuit over the past 6 years since our Gold medal win in China. In November 2014, I began practicing with a talented college sailor from San Diego, California and I am back in the SKUD18!

We have just returned from a World Cup event, our first racing together as a team. My new teammate, Ryan Porteous, and I secured the second place SKUD 18 spot on the Sperry Top Sider US Sailing Team, one year prior to the upcoming Paralympic team selection for Rio Games 2016. We are just two points behind the other US team.

Maureen McKinnon sailing to Gold Medal at 2008 Qingdao Olympics with Nick ScandoneThe US Paralympic Sailing Team has a long history of Paralympic medal achievement in the 3 sailing disciplines. Since the sport's inception in 1996, the US has won 3 Bronze, 3 Silver and one Gold for our country. We are very proud to make the US Sailing Team in this critical year, just before the 2016 Rio Games in Brazil.

It will take a lot of practice, training days, good regatta performances and public support over the next year to win the US Trials.  The Marblehead community (especially the sailing community) really got behind us for my last bid in 2008.  I hope to rally up the support we need to bring MORE gold back to our proud sailing community! The Olympic stipends provided to serious Rio campaigners falls well short of the fundraising needs of any team.

Our schedule will include two expensive overseas regattas and two boat charters for this year. We also have 4 local New England regattas (Newport & New York), and we are hoping to be granted a SKUD 18 start line for the 126th  Marblehead Race Week this summer.” Here’s a biography/ backgrounder of Maureen on the US Sailing Team site.  If you wish to help her efforts, please contact Maureen McKinnon’s email-

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.