Wednesday, February 10, 2016

J/Newsletter- February 10th, 2016.

Sailor TurkeyIstanbul Boat Show Time!
(Istanbul, Turkey)- Be sure to swing by the booth for SAILOR Denizcilik at the Istanbul Boat Show, the J/Boats dealer for Turkey and far eastern Mediterranean.  In attendance will be Pinar Coskuner Genc (  She and friends from SAILOR Denizcilik will be at the indoor Istanbul Boat Show from the 13th until the 21st of Feb.  It’s the first time J/Boats will be represented indoors at the Istanbul Boat Show; last year she displayed a J/122 at the outdoor show. For more about the Istanbul Boat Show and tickets.

J/70 Primo CupJ/70 Primo Cup Preview
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- This coming weekend, the J/70 class in Europe will be participating in the annual Primo Cup- Credit Suisse Regatta hosted by YC Monaco, an event that marks the unofficial start to the summer sailing season on the Mediterranean.  Forty-five J/70s, nearly twice the size of any other fleet in the event, will be sailing from the 12th to 14th of February in Act 4 of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series.

The J/70 fleet is even more international this year following the European Championship hosted by the YC Monaco last October.  The J/70 class has grown rapidly in the Principality, with 18 boats now racing under the Yacht Club de Monaco flag-  now it’s largest one-design class in just three years!  Joining them will be top teams from all across the Continent, including teams from Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, and Sweden.

The British contingent is being led by Charlie Esse’s BABY J and Ian Wilson’s GILL RACE TEAM.  The Germans have a number of teams participating that are using it for practice as they prepare for the first of their Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga events taking place in a few weeks.  Top teams include Stephan Molle’s GRUN SOFTWARE AG, Karsten Witte’s J-WD, Stefanie Rothweiler’s MOTHERSHIP, Claas Lehman’s TRE MARKELLER and Valentin Zeller’s UNITED DOMAINS.  The Italians have Michelle Galli and Francesco DeAngelis sailing B2, Ferdinando Battistella on DIVA and Piergirogio Oss on INTOXICA.  For the first time, the Russians are fielding five teams, including Sergi Ezhikov’s JUNO, Alexander Markarov’s MAJIC, Dimitri Zaricktii’s MOJO, Valeriya Kovalenko’s ArtTUBE.RU, and Artem Markov’s YANIS.  The five Swiss teams include Michel Glaus’ CDE.CH, Werner Neuer’s JAWS and Julian Flessati’s RCB.  The Swedish champion and top racer Ingemar Sundstedt on ROCAD RACING will be leading the charge for the Swedes.

As for the hometown crews, their ring-leader and Monaco class President Jacopo Carrain may be leading the charge with CARPE DIEM, with others hoping to factor into competitive landscape, like Anne Rodelato’s JOKER, Phillippe Battaglia’s LE REDOUBTABLE, Irina Travadel’s LIBECCIO, Pierrick Devic’s PAGET, Stefano Roberti’s PICCININA, and Alexis Rodelato’s SIROCCO.

Enjoy the show!  As always the public are more than welcome to watch the along the waterfront. Races can be seen from various observation points in the Principality including the Luciana Jetty near the YC Monaco, the esplanades and slopes of the main harbour wall, Fort Antoine, the terrace of the Oceanographic Museum right on the race course area (spectacular!) and, of course, the famous Casino Gardens.

And finally, in a long established tradition special to the YC Monaco for all its regattas, technical clothing specialist SLAM, a loyal YCM partner for over 30 years, presents crew members of the first three teams with garments from the company’s Advanced Technology line. The famous Italian brand will have boutique during the event and it will be open to the public.  For more Primo Cup- Credit Suisse Regatta information

J/122 Teamwork sailing to Havana, CubaMiami to Havana Race Preview
(Miami, FL)- "Havana day dreamin- - now reality!”  Nearly sixty years have passed since the Southern Ocean Racing Conference last visited Havana, and this week the Florida-based SORC begins the next chapter in that rich history with the inaugural Miami to Havana Race. The race will see 46 sailboats crewed by some 350 skilled sailors from all over the world as they brave stiff breeze and the always-treacherous Gulf Stream on their 254-mile adventure to Cuba’s storied Club Nautico Hemingway. While only one crew will win, they’re all proud to be a part of this historic race.

The races starts on February 10, just south of the Miami harbor entrance.  The race has some formidable challenges— the primary one being the robust Gulf Stream current flowing northeast up to 6 kts, which the sailors will have to battle at some point when they cross open water heading toward Cuba.

“That’s the big tactical factor in this race — facing the Gulfstream — and when you will decide to cross it,” said one sailor.  “I think what everybody is going to do at the start of the race is hug the shoreline of Florida, and stay as close to the Keys as you can, to stay out of the Gulf Stream. I expect us to be very close to the Keys, and stay in 12-15 feet of water for that portion of the race.”

Hosted by Coral Reef Yacht Club, the fleet is expecting a very fast race, and one that will put crews in Cuban waters within 24 hours. Many fast J/crews are racing, all with an excellent chance of applying their offshore skills and tactical/ navigational know-how to give the fleet a run-for-the-roses to capture much silverware.

Leading the charge in PHRF A class will be Robin Team’s offshore veterans on the J/122 TEAMWORK from Lexington, NC.  They will be chased hard by Gary Weisberg’s J/111 HEATWAVE from Jubilee YC in Gloucester, MA.

A trio of J/120s could easily be the headliners in their class as virtually each team has offshore silverware gathering dust in their trophy bins— time to add some more pickle-dishes!  Perhaps most notable is Frank Kern’s CARINTHIA from Bayview YC in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.  They will have to fend off their “mortal enemies” (actually, good friends) racing on SUNSET CHILD (Marcus Cholerton-Brown from New York) and Bill Terry’s TAMPA GIRL from Davis Island YC in Tampa, Florida.

Rounding out the J/crews is Ken Ganch & Ed Reagan’s J/105 GONZO from Columbia YC in Chicago, Illinois- they trailered their boat down from the frozen Midwest, explaining that “we wouldn’t miss this opportunity for the world to sail over to Havana for a few genuine Cuban cigars, the legendary moonshine whiskey and even more legendary mojitos made with local rum!”   For more SORC Miami to Havana Race sailing information

J/88 Wings sailing off FloridaSt Petersburg NOOD Preview
(St Petersburg, FL)- Ninety-five keelboats are participating in this year’s HELLY HANSEN St Petersburg NOOD Regatta hosted by the St Petersburg YC.  Thirty-eight of those teams (40% of the fleet) are J/Boats covering the range from one-design classes of J/70s and J/24s and PHRF racing classes that includes J/29s, J/105s, J/100, J/88, J/40 and J/42!

The forecast looks promising for the fleet with light to moderate southwesterly’s on Friday to start the regatta.  Then, over the weekend, a cold front is forecast to blow through and winds will increase out of the northerly quadrant in the 10-18 kts range on Saturday, and then gradually swing to the NE/E on Sunday and diminishing to 8-12 kts.

The J/70 class has a good turnout with 22 boats as many of them are taking the opportunity to sail in race conditions that should be similar to the J/70 Midwinter Championship that will be taking place two weeks later at the same club and in the same waters in southwestern Tampa Bay.  Many tops teams are in attendance; including locals like Rob Britts’ HOT MESS from Davis Island YC, Kerry Klingler’s MENACE from Cedar Point YC, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Beverly YC, Will Welles’ SEA BAGS SAILNG TEAM from Newport, RI, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Forth Worth Boat Club, and Geoff Becker’s USA 25 from Annapolis, MD.

The J/24 class also has a nice turnout with eight teams since they, too, are warming up for their J/24 Midwinters taking place at Davis Island YC in northern Tampa Bay a week later.  Local hotshot David Mendelblatt’s FAT LADY from St Pete YC is sure to be a strong contenders, as will perennial J/24 champion Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER from update New York, Carter White’s SEA BAGS SAILING TEAM from Portland YC in Maine, and Nobuyuki Imai’s SIESTA from Wakayama City, Japan.

There is a good turnout in the PHRF handicap world of offshore racing.  In the PHRF 1 Class, four J/Teams will be vying for contention with nine other boats; they include Peter Tuite’s J/100 CURRAGH from Clearwater, FL, George Cussins’ J/105 FIRE & ICE from Davis Island YC, David Arata’s J/105 J-HAWK from St Pete YC, and Mike Bruno’s J/88 WINGS from American YC (recent winner of the J/88 Class at Key West Race Week).

The fourteen boat PHRF 2 Class sees two J/29s doing battle with each other- Robert Wetmore’s FAMILY CIRCUS Gulfport YC and Raymond Mannix’s SEMPER FI from St Pete Sailing Assoc.

The North Sails Rally on Saturday has a strong turnout of fifteen boats ready to take a fun, laid-back tour of Tampa Bay on a random-leg course scenario.  With promising fresh winds it should be a fast tour!  Taking up that challenge are some classic cruising J’s, such as Jeff Russo’s J/40 INTREPID from Davis Island YC and Roger Gatewood’s J/42 SHAZAM from St Pete Sailing Assoc.  For more HELLY HANSEN St Pete NOOD regatta sailing information

J/70s sailing off United KingdomUK J/70 Nationals Announcement!
(Plymouth, England)- The J/70 UK Class Association is delighted the 2016 Nationals will be hosted by the Royal Western Yacht Club in Plymouth, a popular venue amongst J/Boats sailors. The Commodore, flag officers and members are very enthusiastic about welcoming visiting J/70 sailors to the beautiful sailing waters in the south west of England.

Racing will take place from Friday 2nd September to Sunday 4th September with a total of 11 races planned for the Championship. As long as weather conditions are suitable, sailing will be outside (south) of the Plymouth breakwater that is only a short sail from the RWYC and marina base.

The J/70 is the fastest selling sportsboat ever, with 900+ hulls built in the first three years since her launch and 65 boats sailing in UK waters. She is a fast, stable, and easy to own boat, suitable for friends and family.

Entry for the J/70 UK Nationals is open to all members of the J/70 UK Class Association.  Formed in 2013, the aim of the Class is to promote the J/70 in the UK and provide support to boat owners and crew and also to organize one design racing and social events. Berthing is available at Queen Anne’s Battery Marina. Click here to enter.  To enquire about the National Championships please contact Beth Hayward in the sailing office at the Royal Western on +44-1752-660077 or email

J/Fest New England sailing regattaJ/Fest New England Announcement!
(Bristol, RI)- The first New England J/Fest regatta for all J/Boats is taking place this August in Rhode Island!  Bristol Yacht Club on Narragansett Bay is the host with a skipper meeting on Friday 12 August and racing on Saturday & Sunday 13th & 14th of August.

All J/Boats are invited. The racing format will have three race circles and a combination of courses including windward - leeward, and around government marks for some distance races. There will be both one-design and J/PHRF classes. There will be J/22s available to charter for a one-design fleet. J/Boat classes having at least 5 boats will be scored separately as a OD class. Read more about it in the Notice of Race.

We expect to have good racing, good food and good social stuff. The registration is open and the full website with information on logistics, social activities and additional sponsors is open now!!

Register today, and pay no money until 15 July! Registration is $100 for J/22 Class and $125 for all other J/Boat Classes including PHRF. Click now to register!

Thanks to our major supporting sponsors North Sails and East Coast Yacht Sales, we plan to have a fun event with great sailing and social activities.  For more J/Fest New England sailing information

J/80s sailing off United Kingdom/ England/ Great BritainJ/80 UK Nationals Announcement!
(Lymington, England)- The J/80 UK Class Association is delighted their 2016 Nationals will be hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. The racing will take place in Christchurch Bay, which is a great open water venue with minimal tidal influence. Courses will be laid by the highly experienced race team in the Bay with the option to race in the more sheltered Western Solent in the event of inclement weather. The Club is very enthusiastic about welcoming visiting J/80 sailors to join its newly expanded J/80 fleet for some great racing.

Racing will take place from Saturday 27th August to Bank Holiday Monday 29th August, with a total of 10 races planned for the Championship.

The fun social programme will be centered on the Royal Lymington Yacht Club’s delightful riverside clubhouse that has stunning views over the Lymington River and towards the Isle of Wight. A discounted three-night berthing package has been arranged with Berthon Marina in the center of picturesque Lymington and adjacent to RLymYC, and which is only a short sail to Christchurch Bay.

Lymington and the surrounding New Forest are popular tourist destinations, so early booking of accommodation for crews, supporters and families is recommended.  For more J/80 UK Nationals registration and sailing information:

J/70s sailing off southern CaliforniaJ/70s Cruisin’ in Cali!
Register Now for West Coast Midwinters & Cal Race Week
(Los Angeles, California)- California Yacht Club is pleased to welcome the J/70 Class for its inaugural J/70 Midwinter Championship West, to be sailed Friday through Sunday, April 1 - 3.  Late spring brings exciting sailing conditions to Santa Monica Bay, while the longer daylight hours insure a full afternoon of competitive sailing.

The regatta kicks off with a series of practice races on Friday afternoon, followed by a welcoming reception for all skippers and crew at the CYC Clubhouse.  Championship racing will be help Saturday and Sunday with the first start at 1200 each day and a total of seven races scheduled.  The weekend's hospitality will be a fitting complement to the on-the-water competition, with beer on the docks each day, a regatta dinner on Saturday and a reception preceding the awards presentation on Sunday.  Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers overall and in the Corinthian division.

We look forward to hosting this event for the region's fastest growing one design class! For any questions, please contact- Marylyn Hoenemeyer- Regatta Chair, J70 Midwinter Championship West- ph# 310.617.3870/ email-

CAL Race Week
This year’s Cal Race Week will be held June 4-5 at the California Yacht Club.  J/Boats will again be well-represented at CRW in both one-design and PHRF classes. The host, Cal YC, is famous for its spectacular hospitality, amazing after-race buffets of munchies, wide array of local California wines and selection of locally craft micro-brews served on the docks to thirsty sailors!  An event not to be missed!

For more information, please contact Paula Cameron- Cal Race Week 2016 Regatta Chair- ph# 626-422-6513/ email-   For more information on both regattas at Cal YC.

J/24 sailing upwindJ/24 “30-4-30” Regatta Announcement!
(Portland, Maine)- No this is not an ESPN promotion! (If you know this reference you are into sports documentaries)!

It is 30 boats for the 30th Anniversary J/24 Downeast Regatta.  That's right! The entry field will be limited to 30 boats for the 2016 event.  Coming off a very successful hosting of the J/24 North American Championships the organizing committee has decided to limit this year's event to just 30 boats.  With around 15 boats in our local fleet this may mean that just 15 boats from outside the area will be able to attend, so act fast and register today! SAVE $50 BY REGISTERING BEFORE MAY 1st, 2016.

Here are some additional changes to the traditional line up:

No Weigh-In but there is a max weight of 420kg, so you can be over weight by 30lbs or so but not over by 52 lbs in total weight or you could be protested and asked to step on a scale.

There will be many special awards like; 30 Feet of Yale cordage line for a team that sails with a crew member under the age of 30.  That's right each boat that sails with a crew member under 30 gets FREE Yale Cordage Product.  Stay tuned for other cool prizes and awards as we dream them up!

This year's J/24 Downeast Regatta will be the 30th Anniversary of the Regatta and the J/24 State of Maine Championships!

We expect strong participation both this year and next with the close proximity to the 2017 Worlds and 2016 Nationals both within driving distance to our site in Southern Maine.

On average, the Downeast Regatta sees 30 boats and about 6 races with very strong competition and has a great sailing area with flat water and consistent winds.

As usual, we provide FREE hosted housing to boats from away on a first come first serve basis.  A low all inclusive entry fee provides great meals, drinks, entertainment and awesome sailing for the best value in sailboat racing found anywhere in the world.

The early entry fee is only $230.30 and includes:  Launch & Haul, Twin Lobster Dinner on Saturday, Live Musical Entertainment and Dancing on Sunday, Snacks and Chili on Friday, BBQ Dinner on Sunday at haul out location, Gritty's Beer and Mixed Drinks all weekend, breakfast Saturday and Sunday, two great days of racing, and much more......  For more J/24 Downeast 30-4-30 registration and sailing information

J/111s sailing off startJ/111 Worlds Update
(Cowes, England)- The Island Sailing Club, host for this year’s J/111 Worlds running from August 1st to 4th, is proud to announce that it has 10 official entries already from British teams, the French, a Norwegian and a Dutch team. In addition, Island SC is working on logistics for 3 USA teams, 4 more Dutch teams, an Australian team, a Swedish team and a German team! So, it appears that 20 or more teams may be competing in this summer’s sailing extravaganza for J/111’s on the Solent.

The early entries include: Paul Griffiths (Jagerbomb), Tony Mack (McFly), Cornel Riklin (Jitterbug), Simon Bamford (Ke2trel), Chris Jones and Louise Makin (Journeymaker II), Stuart Sawyer (Black Dog), Martin Dent (Jelvis), Didier LeMoal (J-Composites), Jan van Berne (Red Herring), Norbert & Delores Burkert (Top Job).

J/111s in the Solent have an excellent summer event schedule for the season:
  • June 9-11 National Championships at J-Cup - Royal Southern YC
  • July 16-17 Europeans- Royal Southern YC
  • July 29-30 Pre-Worlds Regatta - Royal Southern YC
  • August 1-4 World Championships - Island Sailing Club
  • August 6-13 Cowes Week- Cowes Combined Clubs
If you need any assistance with getting your boat to the Worlds, local logistics, hotels, etc., please let me know!  Be sure to contact Gemma Dunn at Key Yachting in Hamble at Ph- +44-2380-455669/  email- or check our website.  Please “like” and “share” the J/111 Worlds Facebook page.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

In the far Down Under category, there was a fair amount of significant activity.  Down in South America, the growing J/70 fleet in Chile held their National Championship on the gorgeous Lago Panguipulli, located in the Patagonia region about 800 miles south of the capital city of Santiago.  Then, across the Pacific in Australia, a duo of J/111s are having fun taking some silverware sailing in the Sandringham Summer Series in Melbourne, Australia.

Over in North America, the J/70’s concluded their three-event regatta series- the Quantum J/70 Winter Series- on Tampa Bay, hosted by Davis Island YC in Tampa, Florida.  Another series of four races also concluded between Key West and Cuba- the inaugural Conch Republic Race and Regatta that raced from Key West over to Havana, then over to Varadero and back, ultimately, to Key West.  A J/125, a pair of J/111s and a pair of J/120s made the most of their participation, gathering a good amount of awards along the way for their performances.

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:

Feb 19-21- J/24 Midwinters- Tampa, FL-
Feb 25-28- J/70 Midwinter Championship- St. Petersburg, FL
Mar 10-13- J/70 Miami Sailing Week- Coconut Grove, FL
Apr 16-19- Charleston Race Week– Charleston, SC

Sailboat Shows:
Feb 11-15- Miami Boat Show (112E, 122E, 70)- Miami, FL
Feb 13-21- Boston Boat Show (88)- Boston, MA

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

J/70 Vineyard Vines crew championsVINEYARD VINES Wins Tampa Series
Kullman’s NEW WAVE Wins Quantum Series #3
(Tampa, FL)- John and Molly Baxter’s Team VINEYARD VINES sailed a very consistent three-regatta series from December until last weekend to take the Quantum J/70 Winter Series in Tampa, Florida.  Hosted by the amazing volunteers at the Davis Island YC (the “sailingest sailing club in the south”), the fleet of forty-seven J/70s were treated to great sailing and over-the-top hospitality over the three weekends.  By finishing 6th in the final regatta at Act 3, the Baxter’s secured the overall series win.

The final event of the series held over the February 6th to 7th weekend saw some significant changes in the standing.  For starters, Marty Kullman’s NEW WAVE sailed a very strong, consistent regatta, posting a 5-1-4-2-2 to win comfortably with 14 pts.  The big impact on the regatta was the presence of two Fort Worth Boat Club teams that jumped onto the podium; both are familiar faces in J/Boats’ winner’s circles in the past having been J/80, J/24 and J/105 Midwinter and North American Champions.  Not surprisingly, Glenn Darden’s crew on HOSS figured things out fast on the race course, closing with two bullets to add to their scoreline of a 3-4-10 to finish with 19 pts and take second overall.  Their colleagues from FWBC, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, started out with a bullet in race one and sailed a consistent series of 10-5-7-4 to finish with 27 pts to take the bronze.  Rounding out the top five was Dave Kerr’s USA 364 in 4th and yet another Texas team, Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS HEARING, taking 5th place.

In the Corinthians Division, Rob Britts HOT MESS took the top spot, followed by Brian Elliott in B-SQUARED in second, John Arendshorts’s 20/20 in third Matt Braun’s E.L.E. in fourth and Chuck Millican’s ELUSIVE crew from Bermuda in fifth.  For more Quantum J/70 Winters Series sailing information

J/120 sailing Conch Republic regattaConch Republic Fantasia!
(Key West, FL)- With newly thawed relations between the USA and Cuba, the Conch Republic Cup (CRC) regatta sailed again after a 13-year hiatus. With a warm invitation from Marina Hemingway in Havana, the CRC just completed the Key West Cuba Race week. With just enough wind but an abundance of Cuban hospitality, a successful cultural and sports exchange was achieved.

Weather Delays Make Way For The Best Sailing Days
A one-day weather delay was our introduction to the 8th Conch Republic Cup. Weather experts and the CRC race committee gave every opportunity for the weather to break and keep racing on schedule but the low-pressure system built in the Gulf Stream making a passage more than challenging. The delay was followed by a 5PM start on Friday, January 29th and pleasant crossing in 12 – 17 knots of Easterly breeze and a comfortable 6-foot swell.

That one-day delay made for a tight schedule to get racing back on track. After the early morning to mid afternoon arrival at Marina Gaviota in Varadero Cuba on Saturday the crews were welcomed with an evening bash. A long slog to the starting area designated by our Cuban host yacht club, Club Nautico International Hemingway de La Havana gave recovery time to all before the race start in view of Varadero Beach. The day's racing was again followed by festivities at Marina Gaviota that included a large buffet and awards ceremony for races 1 & 2.

Another quick turn around on Monday had crews checking out of the marina early and headed to the start of the Cuba Coastal Challenge from Varadero to Marina Hemingway, Havana. With over 50 boats checking out and light morning winds there was double cause for the 1hr 45min delay. This gave way to a steady 8-12 knot breeze through the afternoon and evening with partly cloudy skies and a clear view of the Cuba coast as we headed West in some close quarters coastal dueling. Our finishers were greeted at Marina Hemingway with clear skies and a jet ski guide down the entrance channel to the customs dock.

Finally a lay day!!! The hard working crews and even harder working race committee had the chance to visit the real Cuba with bus tours and vintage convertible taxi rides through Havana, the culturally rich and diverse city that has been lost to most Americans for decades. Although key race management and partial race committee took this opportunity to look ahead at the weather to assure the safest possible passage back across the Florida Straits. Tuesday evening saw yet another welcome reception at Club Nautico International with our host Commodore Jose Escrich. Also joining us on this evening was the US Embassy representative, USCG Lieutenant Commander Cromwell. Some of the best live Cuban music and a very succulent roast pig were the featured attraction of the evening,

An updated weather forecast and a new amendment to the Sailing Instructions had crews hustling once again. Weather patterns were changing our race schedule for an early departure this time. The announcement Tuesday evening called for the finish of the Wednesday buoy race to also be the start of the Havana to Key West crossing race in order to avoid being shut into Marina Hemingway by northern fronts. The noon Wednesday start of the Castle de Morro Cup went of in pleasant racing conditions with the picturesque backdrop of the Havana waterfront.

Conditions turned challenging in the afternoon and evening for the crossing home, just the conditions most competitors were looking for to finish off a great week of close racing. 10 foot seas and 17 – 25 knot winds from the east made for a quick passage back to Key West to finish the regatta.

Overall, J/Teams sailed exceptionally well in this inaugural Conch Republic Cup.  In the largest fleet in the regatta, J sailors took four of the top five spots.  After a slow start in the first race, it was Rick Moore’s J/120 MOOSE DOWN that took the silver by just a 1/2 point!  Due to a DNF in the final race, Bennet Greenwald’s J/111 PERSEVERANCE was easily in contention to win overall with a 4-1-6-1 record, but dropped to third place.  Finishing out the series in fourth position was Bill Smith’s J/111 WOOTON and in fifth place was Marcus Cholerton-Brown’s J/120 SUNSET CHILD.  Several J/Teams did not sail the last two races but had some good performances during the event, including Peter Krueger’s J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE and David Malkin’s J/88 MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2.

J/Boats sailing Conch Republic Cup regatta sailing video Here is a nice sailing video compilation and summary of the event- another one will be coming soon! 

For what began in 1997 as a cordial invitation from Commodore Escrich to the Key West Sailing Club (as it was known at the time) to resume our annual race to Varadero from the 1970s, this has become an epic event. The KWSC Fleet Captain at the time was Peter Goldsmith who, upon receiving the invitation stated, "I don't care what anybody thinks, I just want to sail my boat to Cuba." The 1997 and 1998 race continued as the previous races had been run. Then in 1999 Commodore Escrich proposed this multi race format we use today. The 5 race series of the Conch Republic Cup was run by Peter Goldsmith and his partner Michele Geslin for the entire 7 year with the last such event being held in 2003. At this time, with the "encouragement" of the US Government this regatta was discontinued. Recent developments and policy changes within the US – Cuba relations normalization have once again made it possible to continue our annual "Cultural Exchange Through Sport" after a 13 year hiatus.  Sailing photo credits- Priscilla Parker.   Take a look at the Conch Republic Facebook page.  For more Conch Republic Cup sailing information

J/70s sailing Patagonia, Chile- Volcano Villarico in backgroundBLACK SAILS Crowned Chile J/70 Champion!
(Lake Panguipulli, Patagonia, Chile)- The setting could not have been more idyllic.  Imagine your are sailing on a lake high in the Patagonian range of the majestic Andes Mountains in southern Chile.  The water is refreshingly cool (60 degrees) and so clear you can see down into the lake at least 50 feet.  In the distance are the sun-drenched slopes of jagged mountain ridges festooned with a dense green forest, rock outcroppings jutting out boldly to capture the morning sun.  A few miles to the north you can see “Villarica”, a live volcano smoking, standing proudly at sunset, its snow-capped summit bathed in an orange glow of yet another clear day summer day just north of the Antarctic Circle. Sailing in this spectacular location comes naturally to the locals who’ve grown up with it.  However, for those who’ve never seen such a juxtaposition of extraordinary landscape, it can be breathtaking.

For the third year in a row, the J/70 Chilean National Championship was hosted at Puerto Puyumen on Lago Panguipulli, thanks to the generosity of Nicolas Ibanez and the regatta’s sponsors- Santander Bank of Chile.  Heading up the Race Committee PRO duties was Cristian González; he did an amazing job considering that windward marks or the starting line were often being set in waters that exceeded 280 meters (900 ft) of depth!

J/70s sailing off Patagonia, ChileThe weather was postcard perfect, with clear deep blue skies and mountain winds (adiabatic phenomenon) that would develop mid-afternoon, affording the avid J/70 sailors to sail 3 to 4 races per day.  With sunset occurring at 9pm at night with twilight easily extending visible light well past 10pm, it was easy to sail late in the day and not realize that you were getting off the water much before 8pm!  Nevertheless, with the Chilean tradition of having dinner at 10-11pm, that didn’t matter.

While Friday’s sailing was canceled due to lack of wind by 7:30pm (the “drop-dead” time for the day’s racing), the fleet did experience a gorgeous sail home in a fast-developing southwesterly of 8-10 kts at sunset.

J/70s sailing Patagonia, ChileSaturday dawned with great promise and the weather Godz delivered- with a beautiful southerly thermal wind of 6-15 knots in the late afternoon.  After four races, it was the ALLEGRO team leading with Matias Seguel at the helm and crew of Cristobal Lira, Manuel Jose Lira and Sergio Baeza.  Their record of 2-2-9-2 for 15 pts was enough to overcome the persistent efforts of the second place team, Per Von Appen’s crew on BLACK SAILS that consisted of Juan Sanchez, Sergio Blurel and Felipe Robles.  BLACK SAILS had some difficulties maintaining consistency, but they worked hard to recover some bad starts and legs and closed with two bullets for the day to produce a tally of 3-11-1-1 for 16 pts.  Third for the day was SIRTECOM skippered by Walter Astorga and crew of Martin Busch, Jose Lopez and Ewecer Morales with a record of 8-3-2-10 for 23 pts.

J/70 sailing downwind- Lago Panguipulli, Patagonia, ChileOn Sunday, the winds ultimately filled in from the south to southeast for the first start, producing some race course anomalies the fleet had yet to contend with.  Shortly after the first start, an enormous gust filled in from the southeast, and took boats from last to first (boat in the middle right) and others from first to last (those who had gone left).  However, as was typical for the conditions, the geographically induced “wind bend” on the left-hand side of the course settled back in a few legs later and those who favored playing shifts to the middle-left of the course kept making persistent gains on those who did not.

J/70s sailing off Patagonia, ChileSailing very consistently on the last day was the regatta winner, Per Von Appen and team on BLACK SAILS.  With a 2-3-4 record, they closed out the series with 14 points to handily take the win and be declared the 2016 Chile J/70 National Champion. It was a well-earned win and they worked quite hard to make good recoveries when the chips were against them on some legs.  Starting out fast on the day with a 1st was skipper Matias Seguel on ALLEGRO, easily winning the regatta by a big margin after race 5. However, some big mistakes on course strategy cost them in the next two races, posting a 9-7 to finish with regatta with 23 pts net to take the silver.  Third was Carlos Vergara’s team on SENSEI (Diego Gonzalez, Miguel Perez, Tomas Middleton), winning the 7th race and just squeezing onto the podium by one point with 27 pts net.

Rounding out the top five was a horse race to the final race.  On a tie-breaker, it was Rodrigo Solar’s BLACK JACK over Juan Eduardo Reid’s SANTANDER at 28 pts each.

Winning the “Owner/Driver” category for the regatta was CHUCRU II sailed by Carlos Kühlenthal with his son Ian Kühlenthal and two women crew- Nikola Abello and Danya Rferrer.  Sailing photo credits- Matias Daroch/   J/70 Chile Class Facebook page.   For more J/70 Chilean Nationals sailing information

J/111 sailing off Melbourne, AustraliaJ/111s Crushing Australia Offshore
(Melbourne, Australia)- The latest report to come from way, way Down Under reveals that a pair of J/111s, that family-friendly easy-going family rocketship, is continuing to produce dominant performances offshore and, even more importantly, produce amazing amounts of silverware for her happy owners!  Here’s the latest from Rod Warren, owner of the J/111 JOUST:

“The Melbourne J/111s have won four of the last five IRC races at Sandringham YC, proving their ability even in the difficult conditions of IRC.

Stuart Lyon on his boat JAKE simply blitzkrieged the field in an eight leg windward-leeward races, increasing his lead at every mark.

Our JOUST won three of the four races held to decide the Port Philip and Commodore-in-Chief’s trophies in warm conditions for those of you suffering in winter in those far, far northern parts above the equator.  We simply love our nine month summers and spectacular sailing conditions.  More of you should join us some time!  One-design or IRC, the J/111 is just a great boat!!”

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/105 women sailors in Chile* J/105 Women’s team- the Chiloe Regatta saw a women’s sailing team racing as Team HDI SEGUROS, they were sailing Campeonato Nacional Oceanico de Vela in the archipelago in southern parts of Puerto Montt. The General Manager of the company HDI SEGUROS accompanied the team during the event, observing from a motor yacht “mothership”.  The HDI SEGUROS team was the only one competing in the event with an all-women crew that included Paula Herman, Elisa Vial, Marcia Suazo and Ana Maria Salinero.

* Boot Düsseldorf 2016 Report: The Worlds Best Boat show?  Here’s the “Inside Edition” from Alan Johnstone at JBoats:  “I recently attended the Dusseldorf Boat show in the southwest of Germany where our build team from J/Composites set-up a beautiful stand featuring the new J/Boat E-series range including the all-new 36' J/112E, and the amazingly successful IRC 40' J/122E. The International J/70 speedster was also on display as part of the Dusseldorf Yacht Club booth and promoting the Segel Bundesliga sailing league.  It is clear that the International J/70 is now the hottest sailboat class in Europe and many new sailing leagues based on the J/70 are rapidly growing and expanding across Europe and Asia. By this summer over 1050 J/70s will be sailing throughout the world.

J/112E and J/122E at Dusseldorf Boot Boat showIf you have never been to the Dusseldorf show, then this is one to put on the must-see/must-go list.  The historic city of Dusseldorf is only 10 minutes from an international airport and filled with great shops, pubs and restaurants. The boat show itself is 10 minutes in the other direction and it's the largest and most extensive that I have ever seen.  There are 17 different very large halls in one enormous compound with nearly everything that you can imagine for sailing (and any other boating or watersport activity for that matter) on display.  From the most basic small dinghy to the most deluxe custom yachts and almost everything in between, it's all there!  It's such a big compound that a full indoor-outdoor soccer (football) stadium, Esprit Arena, (home of the German soccer club Fortuna Dusseldorf), lives at one to a very large hotel.  In the center of this huge compound are outdoor open restaurants offering up variations of knackwurst sausage and fried potato, beer and other German cuisine.

Attendance for the boat show was very high over the first few days and reports received since from dealers are that the second weekend was also very busy, they reported good traffic even during the week... The E series J/s were well received with many serious clients & journalists stopping by to tour the new J/112E. The J/112E was also nominated for the 2016 European Boat of the Year contest this year.  Several of the judges stopped by the stand over the first weekend to inspect the boat.   It is an honor to be recognized as a nominee in the performance category for this prestigious award.  We will surely invite these folks for test sails to evaluate the boat on the water this spring and summer.   Be sure to look for editorial reviews and boat test articles later in 2016.

J/122E designer- Alan Johnstone at Boot Dusseldorf Boat Show, GermanyThe resurgent International J/22 Class was represented at the show as well with a dedicated booth just around the corner from the J/Boat stand displaying a fully rigged J/22. Friendly folks from the German J/22 Class, were on hand to greet owners and sailors, sign up new members and promote the 2016 class schedule for Europe.  There is North American J/22 action in 2016 to report as well! This year the 2016 J/22 World Championship will take place August 19-25 at CORK/Sail Kingston, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada so there will be building momentum in the US and Canada as the event approaches. New growth in J/22 activity in Holland, Germany and elsewhere across Europe is exciting, contagious and great to see!

I returned to J/Boats in Newport energized with new design ideas, new enthusiasm and excited for the start of the 2016 sailing season. The Dusseldorf boat show was a unique opportunity for me to meet and spend time with several J/Boat owners, the enthusiastic J/Dealers from across Europe, many industry folks and our build partners from J/Composites. It was most enjoyable to spend time walking through the sailboat halls to explore a wealth of diverse ideas, interesting sailboats, concepts and boat equipment on display.  I can safely say it was the best boat show I have ever attended.  Unfortunately, I only made it through a few of the halls on this trip but I'm planning to return next year to discover much more.”

J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent "blogs" written by their prolific publishers.  Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You'll love it.

* The J/40 HERON REACH sailed by Virginia and Jerry is participating in the Blue Planet Odyssey project and have recently joined them in the Marquesas Islands in the Eastern Pacific.  Learn more about their adventures and experiences here-
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 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again, for 2015/ 2016!  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 regards their various improvements and refit to the boat (see above).  They will again be based at Proper Yachts in St John, US Virgin Islands.

Bill & Judy Stellin- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* Bill & Judy Stellin were interviewed 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.