Wednesday, April 27, 2016

J/Newsletter- April 27th, 2016

Women's J/70 sailing team
Women’s World Keelboat Championship Update
(Portsmouth, RI)– The American Yacht Club in Rye, N.Y. will host the new International Women’s Keelboat Championship in provided J/70 class sailboats from August 14-20, 2016. Twenty-four teams from around the world will be invited to compete, with the intention of an even ratio of North American and intercontinental teams. Teams representing eight countries have already submitted applications. There will be a $250 discount on the entry fee for applications received by Sunday, May 1st, 2016!!  Register here now!

More than ever, this championship will offer women keelboat and offshore sailors high quality racing on the international stage without the need to provide their own boats or sails. To ensure a fast and competitive racing format, additional changes have been made to speed up the action. The format consists of fleet racing with a twist. The championship features two flights of 12 boats each with teams rotating after every two races. Each team will race an equal number of races against the others. Races will be approximately 15 minutes in duration. Host clubs will ensure quick rotations and on-the-water judging, in addition to an improved viewing experience for spectators.

Sally Barkow- Team SCA Volvo RaceThe Magenta Project will host a clinic led by three-time International Women’s Keelboat Champion, Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, and Olympian, Sally Barkow on Monday 15 August. Barkow will host a presentation on her experience as a competitor on TEAM SCA in the 2015 Volvo Ocean Race that same evening. The Magenta Project aims to increase the participation of women at the highest level of sailing and promote inclusion, diversity and positive female role models in society at large.

Learn more and submit your application to race at the 2016 International Women’s Keelboat Championship.  Please contact Liz Walker/ Championships Director @ ph# +1-(401) 682-2951 or email-  Or, visit the event website at US

J/70 sailing Bacardi sailing week regattaBacardi Newport Sailing Week- Register Now!
(Newport, RI)- The J/70 class is again invited to participate for three days of racing in the Bacardi Newport Sailing Week.  The event will take place from June 24th to 26th and hosted by Newport Yacht Club.  Leading the Newport YC Race Committee team will again be PRO Eric Langley.

The regatta in 2015 was great sailing, first-class race committee work, and very entertaining.  The NYC runs the J/70 class just north of the Pell Newport Bridge, inside of Gould Island.  The racing is fast & furious and no race lasts for more than 30-40 minutes at most.  Virtually, college-style sailing with fast turn-arounds between races and very little waiting time.  As one might expect, it’s very tactical sailing and puts a premium on good boathandling, all excellent training for any J/70 crew!

The social events at the NYC Bacardi Tent are nicely done, beautifully catered, and with plenty of food!  In fact, more food than the fleet could consume!  Plus, adult refreshments were excellent, as one might expect from the largest privately held, family-owned spirits & wine company in the world, founded in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba in 1862 and now spanning 200 brands/labels (on tap were beer, wine, various rums, Bombay Sapphire Gin and Grey Goose Vodka)!

Registration takes place Thursday evening at NYC.  The J/70s may base themselves at Fort Adams Alofsin docks and piers.  For more regatta information, please contact Gabriele Pedone, the Event Chair, at ph# (305) 373-6671 or email-  For more Bacardi Newport Sailing Week information and get onto Yachtscoring registration here.

J/80 sailing in EuropeJ/80 Danish Open Invite!
(Taarbaek, Denmark)- The Danish J/80 Class Association wishes to invite one and all J/80 sailors from around Europe (even Americans and Russians who wish a European vacation!) to join them for the National J/80 Danish Open Championship.  The regatta will takes place at the beautiful seaside town of Taarbaek at the Taarbaek Sejlklub (just north of Copenhagen) from August 27-28 2016.  Racing takes place just offshore on the western parts of the Baltic Sea, an ideal place to be sailing in the middle of August with all the beautiful Scandinavian people frolicking along the seashores and on the water!

J/80 charter boats are available on request.  Please be sure to contact the President of the Danish J/80 Class Association for more information- Jens Harsaae-   Sailing photo credit- Tim Wright/  For more Danish J/80 Class sailing information

J/70s sailing Annapolis 
Annapolis NOOD Regatta Preview
(Annapolis, MD)- The end of April has traditionally marked the start of the long racing season on Chesapeake Bay and the principal event that sailors look forward to after a long winter is the Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD regatta, hosted by the trio of clubs around Annapolis- Annapolis YC, Eastport YC and Severn Sailing Association.  As has been the case for years, a veritable J/Navy invades for the weekend to enjoy the warm southern hospitality on offer from the local denizens in downtown Annapolis as well as at the various clubs.

Not surprisingly, the popular event attracts teams from far and wide, Chicago to Maine and upstate New York to Florida.  194 boats will be taking to the water, 146 of them (75% of the total fleet!) spread throughout JBoats’ eight classes (a record number of classes ever in one event!)- J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, J/105s, J/111s and PHRF teams (J/109s, J/42, J/110, J/29).

A rather benign weather forecast indicates the sailors may enjoy the rum squalls under the tents more than what happens on the water.  The weather service indicates a light, rainy east/southeast breeze on Friday; a partly cloudy day on Saturday with a strong northerly in the morning, quickly dying and shifting east; and then a nice sunny day on Sunday with a light southeast wind- temps in the high 50s to mid 60s all weekend.  Not bad, but let’s hope those ivory tower weather gurus are wrong!
Annapolis weather
A new feature for this year’s Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD Regatta is the advent of the Helly Hansen Junior Crew team.  Sailing is a pastime that doesn’t discriminate based on age. It’s a competitive outlet where young sail with, against, and alongside elders, as well their peers. And, whereas many youth sports segregate kids to the field of play and adults to the sidelines, sailboat racing does not. Sailing is the ultimate lifetime sport. Ask the outstanding youth sailors selected to be members of Helly Hansen’s Junior Crew, which will compete at the 2016 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Annapolis in May.

“There’s small hole in the pipeline of our sport where kids can fall out after junior sailing,” says Dave Reed, Editor of Sailing World, which owns the 26-year NOOD Regatta series. “They come back eventually, but miss out on great years of keelboat team sailing. This initiative will prove the value of having young sailors on the team. They bring infectious curiosity and energy to every race.”

J/105 youth sailors at Annapolis NOODThese five sailors, aged 14 to 17 will compete in the J/105 class, against national champions and highly experienced teams, putting their dingy skills to use in the big keelboat:

Annabelle Hutchinson, Age 17
Born and raised in Annapolis, Annabelle Hutchinson comes from a big sailing family. She has raced competitively on the St. Mary's High School sailing team since freshman year, and while she loves dinghy sailing, she is very excited to get more experience on keelboats.

Andrew Hiller, Age 14
Andrew Hiller has been sailing as long as he can remember, mostly in Optis and a local J/70 fleet on Wednesday nights. He also plays Water Polo for Navy.

Kate Riley, Age 16
Kate Riley has been sailing dinghies (420s and Optis) since she was about six years old and has been racing on her high school's sailing team since 8th grade. She has had some experience with sailing keelboats, but she hopes to have more opportunities to do so as her sailing career advances.

Ben Podlich, Age 15
Ben Podlich has been sailing since he was a little kid, and has been racing at the high school level for the past couple years. He loves sailing in dinghies, but gladly takes any opportunity he can get to sail keelboats, as they are the future in terms of sailing as an adult.

Liam Kennedy, Age 17
Liam Kennedy has been sailing since Optis in 2008 at Eastern YC, has competed in two previous NOOD regattas on J/70s, the AYC Sunday frostbite series on J/88, and sailed J/22s and J/24s on and J/70s in various local fleets. He is excited to sail in the 2016 NOODs here in Annapolis.

They’re not old enough, yet, however, to be given the keys to the Cadillac. Rather, Annapolis YC’s Sailing Director Jane Millman, will oversee the campaign. She will be on board to ensure the safe return of Dr. Alexander’s J/105 MORE COWBELLS!

“I chose sailors who I feel represent what the sport of sailing is about, a Corinthian spirit and willingness to learn in any situation,” says Millman. “By bringing different ages and skill levels together, we will have success in continuing to instill and foster a passion for keelboat sailing at a young age.”

The Helly Hansen Junior Crew is an initiative of the NOOD’s partner, Helly Hansen, which has been making gear for sports and work on the ocean and in the mountains since 1887. They dress world-class sailors, skiers and adventurers with full-protection gear, with the understanding that if you’re not comfortable, you’re not performing at your best. This is especially true on raceboats, so to be sure the Junior Crew are focused on sailing fast and competitive, they will be outfitted with proper Helly Hansen gear.

J/105s sailing AnnapolisWho will the kids be up against in the hot, nineteen-boat J/105 class on the Chesapeake Bay??  A rogue’s gallery of past NOOD regatta winners and podium finishers, that’s all!  Familiar names will be dueling for class honors, including Mark & Jolene Masur’s TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas, Jack Biddle’s familiar RUM PUPPY from Annapolis YC, Jim Konigsberg’s INIGO, Don Santa’s SANTAS REIGN DEAR, Carl & Scott Gitchell’s TENACIOUS and Andrew Kennedy’s BAT IV.

One of the J/105 skippers from Bermuda offered his perspective on the regatta. “We have learned to enjoy subjecting ourselves to the vagaries of the Chesapeake Bay,” says Bermuda-based skipper James Macdonald. “It’s always a challenge to sail well.”

Macdonald, skipper of the aptly-named, Bermuda-flagged J/105 DISTANT PASSION admits that the class isn’t as active as it once was, but maintains that there are still hotspots for regattas, including Annapolis. In Bermuda, says Macdonald, he generally races between six and eight other boats in their weeknight and weekend racing series. “In Annapolis, we see nearly twenty boats,” he says. “Those twenty are of high caliber as well. When it blows here, the racing gets interesting. When it’s lighter, the J/105 can be underpowered, but that’s when the tweaking and tactics come into play.”

After sailing his first J/105 from Bermuda to Key West Race Week and not enjoying the long haul, Macdonald purchased a second J/105 in 2009, DISTANT PASSION, exclusively for sailing events in North America, like the Annapolis NOOD. When not competing in Annapolis, Block Island, or even Ontario, DISTANT PASSION sits on a trailer in Annapolis, what Macdonald calls a good “jumping off point” for northeast regattas. Conveniently, then, the boat is already in place for this weekend’s competition.

The NOOD is a perfect event for he and his crew, says Macdonald, because the three-day event structure gives them enough time to make the trip worthwhile. Macdonald’s tactician, Jon Corless, also runs his own J/105 program in Bermuda, but the two combine forces for faraway regattas. They bring a variety of crew every year, another option made available by the characteristics of the J/105. “It’s easy to sail in some ways,” says Macdonald. “There are still enough controls for great variation among the fleet, but overall it’s a great way to get new keelboat sailors comfortable with the bigger boats.”

J/70 Wild Child sailing AnnapolisWith forty-three boats on the line, the J/70s will again be the largest fleet sailing in the regatta.  The top foreign team will be none other than 4x J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, sailing BRUSCHETTA.  He will be facing a formidable array of local talent as well as visitors from around the eastern seaboard.  Top teams like J/22 World Champion Al Terhune will be racing DAZZLER, along with other Chesapeake Bay area talents like Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY, Jim Allsopp’s MOXIE, Geoff Becker’s PAPA WHEELIE, Dan & Gannon Troutman’s PIED PIPER, Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND, Peter McChesney’s TROUBLE, and Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD.  Noteworthy out-of-town crews include Brian Keane’s MOJITO/SAVASANA (Buzzards Bay), Heather Gregg & Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE (Boston), Marty Mckenna’s RARITY (Youngstown), John Brim’s RIMETTE (Fisher’s Island), Will Welles (Maine/ Newport), Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE (Forth Worth) and Nick & Bodo von der Wense (Wayne, PA).

J/22 sailing Annapolis NOODAlways a popular local fleet is the twenty-six boat J/22 class.  Having been on a winning streak lately, Mike Marshall’s BAD NEWS hopes to keep their podium finishes rolling.  Chasing them hard all weekend in the shifty stuff where their circle is located will be Jenn Gaffney’s COMMITTED/ PIRATE PRINCESS RACING TEAM, Julie  Mon’s HOT TICKET, Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY, past J/22 World Champion Terry Flynn (Houston), Chris Doyle’s THE JUG 41 (Youngstown), and Brad Julian’s USA 677.

With seven boats, the once super hot J/24 class has dwindled in numbers but they still enjoy fun racing on the Bay.  Virtually all are local teams from Severn Sailing Association or Eastport YC, such as Peter Rich’s BUXTON, Bill Davenport’s JABB, Pat Fitzgerald’s RUSH HOUR or Pete Kassal’s SPACEMAN SPIFF.

Showing a resurgence in class activity in recent years has been a loyal group of local J/30 owners. Many of the boats have been spruced up quite nicely and look virtually good as news with fresh paint jobs, refinished interiors and new sails.  The refrigerators will be filled with cold “cervezas”, but the gloves will be off as the fleet goes to battle over the three days.  Several crews have had a go at each other over the years, including George Watson’s AVITA, Bob Rutsch & Mike Costello’s BEPOP, Pam Morris’ BUMP, Ron Anderson’s INSATIABLE and Tristan & Sheila Keen’s INFECTIOUS SMILE.

J/35 sailing Annapolis NOOD Another old classic that has seen a revival at previous Annapolis NOODs are the J/35s, with a nice half-dozen boat fleet led by a perennial class leader- Jim Sagerholm & Jerry Christofel’s AUNT JEAN.  Who will knock them off the top of the podium this year??  Certainly giving it a try will be Chuck Kohlerman’s MEDICINE MAN, Bruce Artman’s T-BONE and Masci/McGonigle’s WINDEPENDENT.

A strong showing of twenty-two J/80s will produce tight racing and tough mark roundings for this popular Bay class.  Participating will be a top five crew from the 2014 J/80 Worlds- Will & Marie Crump sailing R80 from Annapolis.  They will be chased by other Worlds Top 20 teams, like David Andril’s VAYU, John White’s USA 1162, Ken Mangano’s MANGO, Bert Carp’s ELEVEN, Chris & Liz Chadwick’s CHURCH KEY, Les Beckwith’s FKA and Bill Blank’s BLIND SQUIRREL.

J/111 Velocity sailing Annapolis NOODAfter braving wild conditions off Charleston Harbor for the Charleston Race Week Regatta, seven J/111s are looking forward to the “billiard-table-flat” waters of the Bay (at least compared to Gulf Stream-type breaking 10 footers offshore!).  The top three boats could very well include local champion Martie Roesch’s VELOCITY, Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE crew from San Diego, CA, and Doug Curtiss’ WICKED 2.0 team from Buzzards Bay.  However, some stalking horses that could upset that apple cart may be David McCreight’s DARK HORSE or Jim Connelly’s SLUSH FUND.

The world of PHRF offshore racing includes the PHRF 50-75 fleet that looks more like the ninth J one-design class since it has four J/109s in a five-boat class!  So, without further ado, the J/109s are all fast boats, including Bob Schwartz’s NORDLYS from Long Island Sound, Francis Albert’s RESOLUTE from Manassas, VA, Rick Hanson’s ROSALITA from Avondale, PA and multiple class champion Bill Sweetser on the famous RUSH!

The North Sails Rally Race take place on Saturday only and they will be praying for breeze!  Hopefully, the big norther hangs around for a while.  Since it’s a pursuit race, the earlier starts may enjoy a bit of an advantage.  Nevertheless, all will certainly have fun on their “Bay Tour”.  Looking forward to that adventure are Paul & Sue Mikulski’s J/42 FULL CIRCLE, Bob Dymond’s J/29 GABRIELLE and Joe Laun’s J/110 LADY GREY.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside ImagesSailing photo credits- Dan Phelps.  For more Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/105s sailing Yachting CupYachting Cup Preview
(San Diego, CA)- San Diego Yacht Club’s signature spring regatta, the Yachting Cup, will be sailed for the 44th time April 29- May 1 and many prominent sailors are eagerly awaiting and training for the event. There are eighty-eight boats participating, with thirty-three J/Teams (38% of the fleet) competing in offshore PHRF handicap and four one-design classes (J/70, J/80, J/105 and J/120).

Many of those registered for the 2016 Yachting Cup have a history with the event, including Curt Johnson from California Yacht Club, skipper of the J/80 AVET.  “This is probably our tenth or twelfth Yachting Cup we’ve competed in. The spring conditions in San Diego, in addition to the stellar competition and race management, make it a ‘must do’ event for us. SDYC often adds a new element to keep the regatta fresh and interesting, whether it’s a new format for Friday racing or a new social activity. This all adds up to a terrific experience that keeps us coming back year after year.”

The event will feature three days of racing. One design and handicap racing fleets compete on courses in the ocean or in San Diego Bay, usually in ideal sailing conditions normal for this time of year. After racing, crews gather at race parties at SDYC’s beautiful Club facilities for socializing and planning the next day’s strategies.

Many previous winners of Yachting Cup have their goals set high, especially the regatta’s 2013 winner, Tim Fuller on the J/125 RESOLUTE. "The Yachting Cup is the premier fleet racing event in San Diego, and the Resolute crew will do all they can to fly the winners flag."

J/120 CC Rider sailing Yachting CupSDYC Staff Commodore John Laun, winner of the 2012 Yachting Cup and owner of the J/120 CAPER, is also registered for this year’s race. “The level of competition is typically been very high, in fact, J/120 class winners have been named the overall winners of the Yachting Cup for all classes competing 3 times since 2006. As a SDYC signature regatta, it’s always one we aim for on CAPER every year, and this year will be especially fun and focused since it is essential that we win to be in the hunt for the overall series championship. We always look forward to the close competition and excellent camaraderie in the J/120 fleet.”

Another SDYC Staff Commodore and past winners, Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER, will be chasing CAPER around the track along with John Snook’s JIM, Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN and Rudolph Hasl’s HASL FREE.  Missing is the Manok’s POLE DANCER since they just completed the Ensenada Race.

J/105 SANITY sailing Yachting CupThe J/105s have nine boats on the starting line and they will be missing some of their friends from the Los Angeles area.  Nevertheless, in the last event, the San Diego NOOD Regatta, it was a duel to the finish in the final race for Rick Goebel’s SANITY and Dennis Case’s WINGS.  Watch for them to get all tangled up again this weekend.  Meanwhile, other fast teams can slip through the fireworks and score some good races, like Steve Howell’s BLINK or the Hurlburt/ Driscoll duo on the bright safety orange-colored JUICE!

Like the J/105s, there could be some “wash, rinse, repeat” scenarios in the J/70 class after the SD NOODs. With several more new teams showing up on the starting line, veteran teams like Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR, Bruce Cooper/ Shawn Bennett’s USA 32, Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT and Eric Kownacki/ Tom Jenkins’ DFZ are hoping to stay in contention for a podium finish.

J/70 sailing Yachting CupFinally, as outlined above, the J/80s will no doubt have a tough time with Curt Johnson’s super-fast AVET, but Suzuki Yusuke on SAVAGE and Wayne Zittell’s J/WORLD I are looking forward to their three-way cage fight for first!

In the offshore PHRF categories, the dueling J/125s, Tim Fuller’s RESOLUTE and Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE, will spar with one another for handicap honors along with the J/46 ANONA sailed by Fred Hawes in the big boat class.  In the mid-sized PHRF class, two 35-footers will be at it hammer and tong, the classic J/35 RIVAL (David Boatner) vs. the J/109 GERONIMO (Gene Pitkin).

The awards ceremony will be held at San Diego Yacht Club after the completion of races on Sunday, May 1 where prizes will be awarded by class.

The Yachting Cup would like to thank its sponsors: Pirates Lair, Ballast Point, SunBum, Helly Hansen, North Sails, North Sails Graphics, SD Boatworks, Tesla Motors, Anchor Gloves and Lemon & Lime.   For more SDYC Yachting Cup sailing information

J/70s sailing German sailing leagueGerman J/70 Sailing League Act I Preview
(Starnberg, Germany)- On a beautiful lake in Bavaria, 25 kilometers southwest of Munich, will begin the 2016 season for the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga (DSBL).  The fifth largest lake in Germany, it is most notorious for the scandalous drowning death of King Ludwig II in 1886.  While this bit of trivia may be lost on the sailors, there is no question the 36 teams and nearly 200 sailors participating in DSBL’s inaugural 2016 event will try to avoid tragic performances themselves as they all seek the coveted silver plate, emblematic of the Overall DSBL Championship.

The long weekend starts with a qualification series from April 27th to 28th for six teams on the DSBL’s matched fleet of International One-Design J/70 class sailboats.  The pressure is immense since it is the only time these teams can hope to participate in the “premiere” division of the DSBL- League I.

J/70s sailing German Sailing LeagueThe Düsseldorf Yacht Club (13th), the Segelkameradschaft (14th place) and the Yacht Club Berlin-Grünau (15th place) want to confirm their status in the Bundesliga I. Their competitors from the Bundesliga II division want to replace them!  That includes the Hamburger Segel-Club (No. 4), the club at Rupenhorn (No. 5) and the Blankeneser Sailing Club (6th place).  Every point will count and no one will give a millimeter as the teams fight to either stay in, or climb into, League I.

The Hamburger Segel-Club (HSC) is a “repeat offender” for the start of the season.  For the second year in a row, the club from Alster Lake is in the qualification round and has to fight for the rite to be in League I. The second time, they hope, things should finally work out:

J/70 German sailing league start"We have trained hard on the Alster Lake and, yet, we are completely relaxed. I think we have a good chance in light winds. Since we have two league newcomers to the Starnberg qualifiers, we will still need for better coordination in our crew, but we are getting better. This past weekend, we practiced one last time our maneuvers.  Now, it’s time to get serious. We know that the other clubs have also trained and at the end, little things will decide how we place. It is an intense competition, a fight to the end that will be exciting and something we look forward to,” said HSC skipper- Silke Basedow.

The qualification races start on Wednesday, 27 April at 1100 hrs in front of Munich YC in on Starnberg Lake. Twelve races are planned. The minimum number of five races must be completed to ensure the qualification to be officially valid. If there is no official rating, the table from last season remains.  Thursday, April 28 is scheduled as a make-up day, just in case.

Then, from Friday through Sunday, the League I teams will be sailing as many races as weather permits!  Truly, the “horses will be on the track” working hard and hoping to establish an early pecking order amongst the top sailing clubs throughout Germany.

The Sailing Instructions, the schedule and, most importantly, LIVE SAP SAILING Analytics Tracking can be found here.   For more Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The third week of April was a busy one both in Europe and in the Americas.  On the west coast, two significant events took place off California.  The annual springtime offshore classic, the Newport to Ensenada Race had truly epic, record-breaking weather conditions.  The 125nm dash down the southern California coast from the Los Angeles basin to the quaint seaside fishing village of Ensenada along the northwestern Mexican coastline will be seared into the memory banks of many ecstatic sailors.  Then, north of them in San Francisco Bay, the Singlehanded Sailing Society (SSS) held their Round the Rocks Race for both single and doublehanded crews.  The sailors enjoyed an enormous turnout, with over 100 boats participating in this challenging race around the Bay.  Light air and current, in general, is not a good recipe for good Bay sailing. Nevertheless, teams of J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/105s, J/111s, J/120s and J/92 made the most of the difficult conditions to collect a lot of silverware!

Heading east to the Caribbean, the ultimate winter regatta- Antigua Sailing Week- is currently taking place, hosted by Antigua YC in English Harbour.  Several J/crews are participating in both the Around Antigua Race that already took place as well as sailing week itself; much fun for J/24s, J/30, J/105, J/36, J/120s and J/122s.

Hopping over the big pond, we find the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series and the Crewsaver Spring Championship concluded last week, sailed out of Warsash Sailing Club, with racing taking place on the Solent for one-design fleets of J/70s, J/80s, J/109s and IRC handicap fleets that included J/92s, J/88s, J/97s, and J/111s.  Then hopping across the English Channel (La Manche), we see the J/22s held their Spring Open Championship at the Van Uden Reco Regatta in Stellendam, The Netherlands.  Concurrently, the J/111s held the first of their summer long series that concludes with the Benelux J/111 fleet participating in the J/111 World Championship hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom.

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:

Apr 23-29- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
Apr 29-May 1- Annapolis NOOD– Annapolis, MD
Apr 27-May 1- German J/70 Sailing League- Starnberg, Germany
Apr 29-May 1- Annapolis NOOD– Annapolis, MD
Apr 30-May 1- Cinco de Mayo Regatta- Santa Barbara, CA
Apr 30- RORC Cervantes Trophy- Cowes, IOW, England
Apr 30-May 1- Yachting Cup- San Diego, CA
May 5-7- GPEN Open France- Brest, France
May 6- RORC North Sea Race- Cowes, IOW, England
May 6-8- Swiss J/70 Sailing League- Neuenberg, Switzerland
May 7-8- ALCATEL J/70 Cup- San Remo, Italy
May 7-8- Catalonia J/80 Championship- Barcelona, Spain
May 7-8- Race to the Straits Regatta- Seattle, WA
May 11-16- J/24 USA Nationals- Blue Point, NY

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

J/120 Pole Dancer sailing Newport Ensenada RaceJ/Teams Crush Epic, Record-breaking Ensenada Race
(Newport Beach, CA)- For decades, one of southern California’s most popular offshore races has been the annual 125nm blast down the SoCal/ Mexico coastline from Newport Beach to Ensenada.  It is a marquee event in SoCal offshore circles for many reasons:  the downhill sleighride more often than not is loads of fun flying spinnakers most of the way; and the pre-race “send-off” party and the post-race awards party have gone into notorious folklore status for many boats and crews, good, bad, or otherwise!  It is truly a classic event for those who’ve experienced the traditions of SoCal offshore sailing.  Organized and hosted by the Newport Ocean Racing Association, the beloved N2E is an eclectic mix of serious sailors campaigning multi-million dollar yachts racing alongside recreational cruisers.

This year, the weather forecasters promised a somewhat benign event, a light start with a building breeze from the north to northwest in the overnight hours.  What no one anticipated was that a bizarre El Nino-influenced setup for weather systems would accelerate the strength of the breeze on a clear evening into the low 20 kts all night long!  The consequence was that records for this 125nm sprint were simply eviscerated!  The multihull record set by a MOD 70 was blown away, and the monohull record that stood for 20+ years was also obliterated.  What this meant for most of the fleet was an epic sleighride downhill into Ensenada of near Biblical proportions guided by the stars and the moon into the finish line!  It was an experience to be memorialized for the scrapbooks!

For starters, read these two stories below, one from the J/88 BLUE FLASH and the other from the well-known J/125 TIMESHAVER to get a flavor of how much fun this record-breaking race was for the crews.

J/88 Blue Flash sailing Newport Ensenada RaceJ/88 BLUE FLASH Report
Sailing the J/88 BLUE FLASH was Scott Grealish from Portland, OR from the Pacific Northwest. Scott bought the gorgeous flag blue, impeccably prepared boat from the famous radio talk-show host, Dr. Laura from Santa Barbara, CA.  His goal was to have fun sailing in warm waters with his son and friends.  To say that he is well on his way to reaping the rewards of that choice would be nothing short of an understatement.  Who knew that a bunch of guys in INTEL-land could race boats even faster than they blast down the famous nuking 20-30 kts Gorge River, which is mostly flat water but blows “dogs off chains” every day!  They are no strangers to pushing boats to their absolute limits.  Here is Scott’s commentary:

“I won’t remember the 2016 Newport Ensenada for the record setting pace, the perfect breeze that veered and built, letting us nearly sail the rhumbline and never set a jib, or the sunny warm day turning into a crystal clear full moon night with that same “just right” wind in the low 20’s at just the right angle to gybe and finish before shutting down on the boats behind solidifying our class win and 4th place overall in a solid 200+ boat fleet.

My memories will be all about coming together as a team and sailing to our potential after a “disappointing” Islands Race the month before where an epic wipeout during a 30 knot gust with the big kite up left us with our new boat speed record of 18.5 knots- - plus, a shredded kite and staysail.  We still had a six mile lead, but in trying to play it “safe”, we throttled back too far and ended up second in division.  As a skipper, I did some serious reflection afterwards and as a crew, we rallied around our strategy for the next race:  Be safe, be totally prepared, keep everyone focused on their roles, but keep pushing the boat!!

Summary of N2E 2016?  It was awesome, and everything the Islands should have been for us.  The main difference?  Great boat preparation and bow work from Andrew Coates at SD Boatworks, great navigation and weather calls from fellow Portlander Andrew Haliburton, and fast driving in the waves split between myself, my long time friend Kerry Poe from North Sails Oregon and my 17 year old son Sean.  We all know the boat well, and driving at speed in waves was uneventful this time.  No wipeouts, no drama, just hours of surfing between 10-16 knots boat speed.   We found the class kite to be quick and actually easier to drive than our bigger kite.  With a full moon, it was possible to keep pushing all night, and just when we saw a burst of 17.5 knots on a big wave and thought about “backing off”, the breeze eased just enough keep us comfortable with boat speeds in the low teens.

Overall, the whole race had perfect conditions for the boat, with the big zero up at the start, then the breeze built and veered as expected so we went to the A4, then finally the A2 all the way to the end, while we stayed pretty much on the rhumbline throughout.  But, as the breeze got above 18 kts, rather than follow an exact “route”, we mostly drove to catch waves like sailing a Laser in our home waters of the Gorge.  The boat really comes into it's own with either zero conditions or surfing conditions, and we were lucky to have both!

At the finish, we had no idea where we had placed in the absence of trackers, but when we docked in with some 50 foot boats and saw all the open slips in the marina reserved for race boats, we had a feeling we had placed well!  But more importantly, we knew we had sailed well as a team, and that was an even better feeling.  But, what was the best feeling?  Well, we have a little string of blue LED lights inside the boat that give a cool effect at night.  They have always brought us luck, but for the Islands Race they didn’t work.  Bad juju.  I’m not superstitious, but I tested them the night before N2E just to be sure...and, at the finish, we celebrated in the blue glow of the cabin!  The “Flash” was back!

J/125 Timeshaver sailing Newport Ensenada RaceJ/125 TIMESHAVER Report
The J/125 TIMESHAVER is pretty well-known in the SoCal offshore circuit.  Owner Viggo Torbensen has campaigned her for years and, more often than not, they “finish in the chocolates”!  No strangers at collecting their fair share of silverware, Viggo often has some of the leading edge sailors in his neighborhood sailing with them. One of them happens to be Eric Shampain from Newport Beach. He’s done the race multiple times and won class and overall twice on the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon.  Said Eric about this year’s event, “it was an amazing race! Maybe my personal fastest finish at just a hair over 12 hours elapsed on the mighty J/125 TIMESHAVER. So fun, so fast. Not a bad streak as well! Insanely, we got 3rd class, 3rd overall PHRF monohull! In other words, our class crushed it! The crew consisted of owner Viggo Torbensen, Tom O'Keefe, Jack Maranto, Blake Hamilton, and my dad Jon Shampain!”

Erik continues to explain; “It had been a while since I sailed a J/125 so I was looking for my fix. The 2015 Transpac doublehanded on Tim Fuller’s RESOLUTE was my last J/125 sail to be precise. When Viggo from Dana Point asked if I would do the Ensenada Race along with the following series of races that comprise the California Offshore Race Week, I had to say yes! I figured that the light air battle that is generally the Ensenada Race would be well forgotten by the time we got the boat in its element offshore down the central California Coast!

Our intel had it being a good race. It ended up being a great race. While it never got extremely windy, it did blow a solid 19-22 kts for an extended period of time making the overall race time quick. With the changing wind speeds and directions, I believe we did 6 or 7 spinnaker peels, each better then the last.  The driving was great fun as we hit 16-17 knots consistently. One of the highlights was late in the evening as we gybed into the moonlight on port. The seas lined up and the boat was humming with figure tip control.

We finished just past 12:12am for an elapsed time of just over 12 hours on the 125nm course. The next morning, we awoke and went to the host hotel to find out that we were 3rd in class and 3rd overall PHRF! Not too shabby for having a fleet of around 142 PHRF entrants. 212 counting all the multihulls and various cruising classes.

After that blast, I am really looking forward to the California Offshore Race Week, which is comprised of three legs starting in San Francisco, and stopping in Monterey, and Santa Barbara, before finishing in San Diego.”

The epilogue?  TIMESHAVER was fastest boat down the track on elapsed time in the winningest division- Class C, crushing Shampain’s former SC50 Horizon ride by nearly 45 minutes!  The winner corrected at 12:32:26.  TIMESHAVER corrected at 12:35:24, e.g a delta of just 2 minutes after 125nm!

While the J/88 and the J/125 had amazing runs down the track, a number of other J/Teams also faired incredibly well.

J/120 sailing Newport Ensenada RacePeter Bretschger claimed two trophies for his J/120 ADIOS, for Best Corrected PHRF-D and Best Corrected J/120. “I couldn’t be more elated for my crew,” said Bretschger. One of which is only 14 years-old. “It was our fastest race ever. 15 hours!” he said. In 17 years racing N2E, he’d only placed second one other time.  Rudolph Hasl’s J/120 HASL FREE from San Diego YC took third in class.  In fifth place was the J/122 TKO, sailed by John Raymont from Balboa YC.

Then, the J/120 POLE DANCER skipper Terri Manok, took home the Caroline Starr trophy back to Oceanside Yacht Club. Many of her all-women crew dedicated the race to veteran sailor Sue Senescu, who died unexpectedly last year. “I learned a lot from her,” Manok said and called her crew, “my dream team, the best I could have ever hoped for. The team agreed they were in great company while reviewing all the names of groundbreaking women sailors etched onto the side of the trophy!”

J/145 Radio Flyer sailing Newport Ensenada RaceIn the big boat world in PHRF A, John Lyon’s J/160 INNOCENT MERRIMENT from San Diego YC dueled with classmate Carolyn Parks’ J/145 RADIO FLYER from Santa Barbara YC the entire race.  On elapsed time, the two big J’s were just over 7 minutes apart and docked at virtually the same time in Ensenada!  However, on handicapped time, Lyon’s INNOCENT MERRIMENT took third in class while Parks’ RADIO FLYER took fifth.

The lone J/105 on the race track was Juan Lois’ ROCINANTE from Santa Barbara, taking 4th in PHRF H Class.  Another team from Santa Barbara took fourth in PHRF J Class, Stephen Mcdonough’s J/30 EGGEMOGGIN and Scott McKenney’s cute J/32 cruiser BETTY sailed with determination to grab fifth in class, much to the surprise of her classmates!   Sailing photo credits- Tom Walker   Sailing Photo credits- Leslie Richter.  Sailing photo credits- Ultimate Sailing/ Sharon Green.  For more Newport to Ensenada Race sailing information

J/70s sailing Warsash Helly Hansen Spring seriesGrand Finale- Warsash Spring Series & Championship
(Warsash, England)- According to one observer out on the Solent race track, it was “synchronized broaching on the final weekend of the Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship!”  Perhaps it was not that bad, but it certainly was marked by a bitter wind chill, sunshine and cloud, shifty winds and some cracking racing!

The wind remained in the north similar to last weekend but this time a NNE on the Saturday with around 10-15 kts of wind. The forecast for Sunday had been a NNW veering north but it was in fact close to a NNE backing N that made course setting quite a challenge for the race committee. Gusts of up to 20 kts became a challenge for the competitors, with many significant broaches and trawling of spinnakers and asymmetrics seen during the days racing (no update on the flounder and oyster count yet off Bramble Banks!).

There were few surprises in the results with those boats leading their class at the end of the first weekend of the Championship further consolidating their lead this weekend to finish overall winner in their class.

The Black Group classes were started near South Ryde Middle with four windward / leeward races on part laid courses with some use of fixed marks when they served our purpose. The first General Recall of the Championship (and in fact the Spring Series as well) was for IRC2 in the first race of the weekend but all boats were away cleanly at the second attempt.

White Group starts were laid at the Jonathan Janson mark with courses running diagonally into the Meon shore.

J/111 sailing Spring Championship in Warsash, EnglandCREWSAVER SPRING CHAMPIONSHIP
Peter Bateson, Series and Championship Chairman, summed up the Championship saying, "Each year I think that the Spring Championship can't get any better, and each year it does. With 110 boats and around a thousand people taking part there has been a real buzz to the event and some really exciting racing out on the Solent. So far, the feedback has been positive so we are really pleased. A big thank you to Crewsaver and race partner Rolly Tasker for their continued support of the Spring Championship."

In IRC 2 Championship, the J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT sailed by Paul Ward managed a fifth place after twelve races and fellow J/88 crew SABRIEL JR skippered by Dirk Van Beek placed seventh.

Despite not having sailed the first weekend and taking all DNS’s, the J/35 BENGAL TIGER just about thrashed her IRC 3 Championship class on the last weekend, posting an amazing 2-2.5-1-1-4 to win the day by an Irish country furlong!

Finally, the J/109 Championship fleet saw Supercalifragilistically-close sailing between Robert Stiles’ DIAMOND JEM and David McGough’s JUST SO.  After 12 races, just one point separated them with DIAMOND JEM taking the crown followed by JUST SO.  Third was Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE.  The balance of the top five was Chris Copeland & John Smart’s JUKE BOX and past class winner, Owain Franks’ JYNNAN TONNYX in fifth place.

J/70 Team RAF Spitfire- with Simon Ling, captainThe J/70s produced a winner that was not too surprising to the locals.  As winner of the J/70 World Championship Corinthians Division, Simon Ling’s TEAM RAF BENEVOLENT FUND SPITFIRE won their class with room to spare after posting five 1sts after an awfully slow start in their first race- a 10th place.  Taking second and sailing lights out was Russell Peters on BOB (a past I-14 World Champion and former West Kirby Sailing Club Commodore, famous for the World Championship Team Race Regatta- the Wilson Trophy).  Third in this talented class was Ian Wilson’s GILL RACE TEAM (the skipper is an SB20 World Champion himself!).  Fourth was Jonathan Calascione’s HARLEQUIN and fifth was Allen Higg’s ESF ENERGY.

According to Simon Ling, captain of the RAF SPITFIRE TEAM, “The second and final weekend of racing at the Warsash Spring Championships was amazing. 24 J/70s battling it out over two weekends and twelve races. Some fabulous racing in a very competitive and talented fleet. Team RAF Benevolent Fund Spitfire scored 1,2,3,2,1,1,1,3,2,3 and, in so doing, won the Championships. This is the first event of our 2016 campaign that will culminate in San Francisco in September for the J/70 World Championships. Great start for Team RAF BENEVOLENT SPITFIRE that includes myself, Ian Southworth, Craig Burlton and Tony Hanlon!”

J/111 Jitterbug sailing Warsash spring seriesHELLY HANSEN WARSASH SPRING SERIES
The final Sunday (24 April) of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring proved to be a tricky day's racing when the wind ignored the forecast and dished up between 5-20 kts plus, with massive, cold microbursts that switched direction up to 30 degrees; dumping more than one crew's legs in the water!

The start for race one for the Black Group was near S Ryde Middle, courses with a 2-mile first beat to a laid mark just inshore of the North Channel and then triangles and windward / leeward legs between there and the Ryde Middle Bank before a finish between the East Bramble and Hill Head buoys.

The first windward mark was carried away by a boat in the first class to race was then left drifting! The next two classes managed somehow to round it as it blew rapidly downwind before it was spotted by the race committee and replaced in position with new ground tackle; the final two classes were delayed whilst this was done.

The second Black Group race start was near Deloitte Sailing Club mark; 6-7 mile courses with a first windward leg up to mark, then one or two windward / leeward legs before a spinnaker reach to a laid mark near Kilchoman and a short beat back to the same finish.

As a result of their incredibly strong leadoff to their series, Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG walked off with the Black Group IRC 1 Class championship.  Paul Griffiths’ JAGERBOMB managed a sixth in class despite missing the first two races.

J/88 sailing Warsash spring seriesThe Black Group IRC 2 division was a tough one, but in the end Paul Ward’s crew on the J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT were up to the difficult task of taking a non-IRC boat up against IRC-rule-beaters and busting their bubble through superior tactics, boat-handling and just plain-old boatspeed when it counted.  They took third in their grouping.

Just about leading from the start in IRC 3 division was David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO. However, they were put to the test on the last weekend but managed to close and win their class by one point.  Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II took fourth in a closely fought group.

J/109 sailing Warsash spring seriesAnother closely fought series took place in the Black Group J/109 Class; the last two races of the series determined that outcome.  In contention were David McGough’s JUST SO and Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE.  However, when “the pedal meets the metal”, you begin to separate “the wheat from the chaff” as they say in America.  In this case, the intense pressure of firewalling their team led to the JUST SO crew blasting two bullets in the last two races to take the class win.  Meanwhile, wilting under the nuclear winter was JIRAFFE, closing with a 2-7 to just eke out a second place on a tie-breaker, much to their surprise!  The points scenario going into the last weekend for the leaders was “clear as Lymington mud” (just ask Bob Fisher what than means!).  Nevertheless, JIRAFFE took second over Owain Franks’ JYNNAN TONNYX on the tie-breaker based on number of firsts.  Fourth in class was Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN and fifth David Richards’ JAZZY JELLYFISH.

J/70 Spinnaker Wealth Management sailing Warsash seriesIn the White Group, it was anything but obvious who was going to win the J/70 fleet.  But, an experienced former J/80 sailor who knows the Solent better than the color of his socks each morning took the J/70 sailors to task over the entire spring series.  Local knowledge is a good thing.  Patrick Liardet and his J/70 COSMIC crew were truly “on”, or at least beyond, the B52’s Planet Claire and perhaps to “the future and beyond”, according to Buzz Light-year!  In short, after a 1-3-1-2 at the start of the series, it was their’s to lose and they did not squander that position, winning the series by 12 pts.  The huge surprise was the great performance by J/70 class newcomer, Steve Venables’ crew on INJUNCTION, taking second overall. Third was taken by a J/Class veteran, Andrew Barraclough’s JENGA VIII.  The balance of the top five was Nick Denney’s JALAPENO in fourth and Nigel Evans’ SPINNAKER WEALTH MANAGEMENT in fifth position.

For the J/80 class, it was a whitewash by Jon Powell’s BETTY, taking eleven 1sts on their way to a class win by 15 pts.  Second was Mike Lewis’ JESTER and in third was Rachel & Robert Hunt’s JUMBLESAIL.  For more Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series sailing information

J/105 sailing SSS Round Rocks RaceJ’s Romp In SSS Round Rocks Race
(San Francisco, CA)- 106 intrepid short-handed boats signed up for this years Singlehanded Sailing Society Round the Rocks Race. An in the Bay, 19.3 nm event that originates on the Berkeley Circle just off Richmond YC, leaves Alcatraz to starboard, Harding Rock to starboard, The Brothers to starboard, Red Rock to Port and on to finish in the Point Potrero Channel next to Richmond YC.

Light winds at the start left some boats drifting on the flats while others we able to ghost their way up towards Treasure Island into a slight westerly. However, unusually soft, lightening winds and a steady, stubborn 2-knot flood was too much for the fleet. The winds, for what they were worth, seemed to stay on the left side of the course, paving a way for the sportboats to work their way above the mark, with a generous over stand in Harding Rock in the middle of the Bay.

The lucky few on the initial pulse that rounded Harding then rode the flood for all it was worth straight east, some setting kites and some not. Initially it looked liked either method proved equally effective. Some of the early rounders set their kites, leaving Point Blunt well to port and went right to the edge of the flats to stay in favorable current and milk what little breeze their was.

Harding Rock bell- San Francisco BayAs the morning turned into early afternoon, a second, more populous pulse of boats, tangled with the Harding Hole, riding high over the top after observing the fate of their predecessors, many choosing Raccoon Strait as a path to the North Bay. Why not? With the flood and expected westerly, it made sense. Until it didn't. The Raccoon can be stubborn as well, and what appeared to be a short cut turned into a park up for many, who saw their sails go limp as they swirled about in the current, making some easterly VMG, but not much. Slowly, the westerly filled from the back of the fleet and a tight parade of boats spilled into the North Bay.

The big slug of boats fanned out quickly across the North Bay as the majority slipped past Red Rock. It was gonna be a slow speed drag race to the finish right off Richmond YC!  Thanks for contribution from Chris Ray at!

J/Teams faired incredibly well in these challenging conditions.  In Class 4- Singlehanded Spin, Chad Peddy’s J/24 IRISH BLESSING got her blessing, taking 2nd in class after sailing the 19.3nm course.  As he has done in the past more than once, Bob Johnston’s J/92 RAGTIME took the Class 4-Singlehanded Spin class by over 6 minutes.  In Class 9 Doublehanded Spin, Tony & Maureen Castruccio’s J/30 WIND SPEED managed a 5th place while the two dueling J/32s finished next to each other- Luther & Robert Ismirian’s PARADIGM over John Riley & Larry Weinhoff’s LA DOLCE VITA, in 7th & 8th position, respectively.  Yet another J/24 enjoyed shorthanded racing success, in this case it was Jasper Van Vliet & John Pytlak’s CAN’O’WHOOPAS commanding the bronze in Class 10 Doublehanded Spin.  The big J’s had great success in Class 11 Doublehanded, with Ludovic Millin & Dave Corbin’s J/120 SAETTA winning class with Richard Leute & Ken Grayson’s J/44 ACEY DEUCY in third position and Reuben Ricci & Nesrin Basoz’s J/111 SWIFT NESS completing the race track in eighth place.  Just off the pace was Timo Bruck & Fraser Novakowski’s J/120 TWIST in eleventh.  Finally, in Class 12 Doublehanded Sportboat, Morgan Paxhia & Dave Roach’s J/70 PENNY PINCHER took fourth overall.  Thanks for report contribution from   Sailing photo credits- and   For more SSS Round the Rocks Race sailing information

J/111 sailing Van Uden Reco regatta- NetherlandsJ/111s Loving Benelux Series!
(Stellendam, The Netherlands)- Last weekend saw the start of J/111 One-Design Racing in the Benelux region at the Van Uden Reco Regatta in Stellendam.  And, what a great start it was!!

The conditions on Saturday were very tricky, to say at the least. The conditions saw very tight, close racing, demanding everything from everybody on the boats; resulting in some very exhausted crews at the end of the day.

But, what great racing! Three races, three different winners with the top three boats (Zwijnenburg’s SWEENY, Sigg’s LALLEKONIG and Vroom’s RED HERRING) all in a three-way tie on equal points!  As a result, that meant the racing on Sunday was going to be anyone’s game to play for. Both de Liedekerke’s DJINN and Burkert’s TOP JOB were playing “catch-up”, learning a lot every turn around the course and getting closer and closer to the top 3.

J/111 fleet sailing Benelux seriesOn Sunday, the wind kicked in like a hammer, beating the boats with brutal force all day long. This ended up with TOP JOB (broken Jib#3.5) and LALLEKONIG (injured person on board) needing to retire before the racing actually began. Thankfully, they are both in good shape and will be ready to resume racing at the next J/111-event in two week’s time.

The two races sailed that day had two different winners: Zwijnenburg’s SWEENY and Vroom’s RED HERRING.  The outcome again left both boats on equal points, tied for the lead.  However, as ISAF-rules apply (best result in the last race is decisive), this made Vroom’s RED HERRING the winner of the first event. De Liedekerke’s DJINN showed great progress that day by catching up on the two leaders to take third overall.

All owners and crews were very enthusiastic and looking forward to the next J/111 Benelux One Design event- the North Sea Regatta in Scheveningen from May 13th to 16th.  Then, all participating boats in the races in the Benelux countries will also participate in the J/111 World Championship in Cowes (UK) in early August!  Thanks for the report from Paul Gladdines!   For more J/111 Benelux Van Uden Reco sailing information

J/122 sailing Antigua Sailing WeekAntigua Sailing Week Update
(English Harbour, Antigua)- There were near perfect conditions for the two stand-alone long distance races prior to Antigua Sailing Week. Following the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race, a record fleet of 42 yachts took part in the Round Antigua Race and it turned out to be a race that one young up-and-coming Antiguan sailor will never forget.

15-20 knots from the southeast produced a fast race, threatening the monohull race record that has stood for six years. The fantastic weather is forecast to remain for the entire regatta, providing thrilling racing for teams from all over the world. With warm trade winds, deep blue ocean and a festival atmosphere ashore, Antigua Sailing Week is the place to be.

J/11S sailing Antigua Sailing WeekThe 52 nautical-mile, Round Antigua Race was held on Saturday 23rd April and attracted 42 yachts; nearly twice as many as the 2015 race. Race Officer Stuart Childerley, officiating at his first race for Antigua Sailing Week, got the fleet off to a flying start from Fort Charlotte outside English Harbour. “We had beautiful conditions for the race with 14 knots, just south of east and every start was very competitive. The breeze built up throughout the day and there were reports of up to 20 knots of wind later during the race,” commented Childerley.

In CSA 2, Chris Body’s J/122 EL OCASO team comprised of an all United Kingdom team was second over Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID crew that was an all-Antiguan race team!

The Round Antigua Race Prize Giving was preceded by a cultural parade starting from Antigua Yacht Club to Nelson’s Dockyard including Iron-Band percussion, stilt walkers and local drummers to get the party started. It was followed by the Antigua Sailing Week Welcome Party with the Hon. Asot Michael, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy of Antigua and Barbuda and the former Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Denzil Douglas.

Historic Nelson’s Dockyard was buzzing and crews were ready to be entertained by “DJ Nez” and live music from sensational Antiguan cover band “1761.” Racing at Antigua Sailing Week started Sunday 24th April with as many as nine races scheduled for the Week and concludes on Friday 29th April.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/  For more Antigua Sailing Week information

J/22 Bigroll sailing Van Uden Reco regattaJ/22s Huge at Van Uden Reco Regatta
“Two-peat” by Lisanne Nijdam!
(Stellendam, The Netherlands)- With rain, hail, sun and a lot of wind, the Van Uden Reco Stellendam Regatta was a spectacular season opener for the more than 100 registered sailing race teams.

The two days of competition were spectacularly produced by OnAir Media, photographer Lawrence Morel, On-Board Reporter Klaas Wiersma and the teams themselves!

Martine Fox, president of the Holland Regatta Club is very proud of the teams that participated in the event- they ranged in age from 16 to well over 50. Martine commented, "It is a special mix of young and enthusiastic sailors, ambition and years of experience. During the day, they sail very tight, close matches and in the evening, they make up a party! I'm really proud of that!”

J/22 sailing NetherlandsThe sponsors Van Uden Reco and the Marina Group look back with pride on their first regatta in the Netherlands that attained the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas Certificate!

Enjoying the camaraderie both on and, especially, off the water was the largest class at the regatta- the Benelux J/22 Class.  With nineteen participants, racing battles were happening on every part of the racecourse, from the starts, to mark roundings, to the finish in every race!

The J/22s saw their first “two-peat” winner in quite some time. Lisanne Nijdam on TU DELFT/ BIG ROLL won last year by one point. This year, the BIG ROLL winning gap was much larger, winning by 10 pts!  Her record of three 1sts, a 2nd and two 3rds was significantly more consistent than her erstwhile competitors, plus she was top women skipper in the entire regatta!  Her TU DELFT/ BIG ROLL 2 colleagues led by Grundeman as skipper took the silver by just one point over van der Beek’s RSZJ.  Fourth in class was Verdoorn’s JUT & JUL and fifth was Rieckborn’s JOLLY JUMPER.   Sailing photo credits- Laurens Morel/   For more Van Uden Reco Regatta sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Sailor/ write Nick Hayes*  “‘Sailing for Good’ and ‘Sailing, for Good,’ are what keeps us coming back,” so says Milwaukee-based sailor Nick Hayes (who sometimes sails on J/30s on Lake Michigan with family & friends).  Nick continues his commentary on “why”:

“I'll admit to obsessing about why we sail. What drives us to be cold, wet and often bored, and yet still go sailing? Is it the camaraderie? The challenge? The adventure? The competition? Promoters and advocates will often boil it down to the premise that sailors sail because it is fun, and, by inference, don’t sail when it’s not. Logic would suggest that as long as sailing is fun, more people will do it, but the numbers don’t support it. We all know that sailing can be a blast, but search Google trends for the word “sailing” and you’ll see that sailing struggles for relevance in the online world. Offline, I would suggest, sailing is far more than just fun; many are Sailing for Good.

It’s one of the most significant trends in sailing. What is Sailing for Good? I see at least four adaptations on the theme.  

The most apparent: the merging of cause-fundraising with a sailing race, regatta or rally. These events are everywhere boats and crews gather. For example, sailors have raised more than $50 million dollars to help find a cure for Leukemia while sailing in regattas held all over the country. In my town, thoughtful sailors got together a decade ago to create a fun fall race called Louie’s Last Regatta to raise money for a local pediatric hospital. Louie’s has since grown into a year-round spectacle of sailor parties that raises more money for the hospital than any other independently organized event. At clubs all over the country, sailors pass the hat at parties for good local causes like youth fleets, sailing schools and school trips. After a hurricane slammed Haiti, sailing clubs rallied to send donated sails to the Red Cross to be used as roofs for temporary shelters. It’s widely assumed that the more free rum available at one of these events, the more money will be raised. Call this “Sailing for Feel-Good.”

Another adaptation: The idea that teaching sailing is, in fact, the teaching of many other vital life skills, and can therefore be good in ways more meaningful than fun. It’s an old idea that is catching on in modern, substantive ways. What was once a path on which a mentor might set a crooked kid straight is now a widespread movement. Youth sailing schools will often say that they’re in the business of leadership or resilience training. Sailing organizations teach from lesson plans integrated with subjects like physics, climatology, and biology. Colleges are expanding their extracurricular sailing teams owing to the life-skills taught by travel and teamwork. Some call it “expeditionary learning,” but we might also call it “Sailing for Social Good.”   Read more here at SAILING

J/70- Tim Healy gybing under spinnaker* Tips for Gybing Asymmetrical Spinnaker- Tim Healy (North Sails) offers some tips on the two types of gybes for the asymmetrical spinnaker on the J/70:

Conventional Gybe
This gybe is performed in the lighter wind conditions (5-10 knots). Another indicator is the angle you are sailing downwind. If you are sailing a low angle (almost running dead downwind), then this style of gybe is best. When performing this style of gybe, you do want your jib furled during the maneuver.

The end goal with this gybe is to reduce steering through the maneuver. This allows the boat to keep consistent speed through the gybe and allows you to stay in a narrow wind lane, if needed. A clear indicator of doing this gybe correctly is if the spinnaker rotates around the headstay before the main crosses the boat.

To do this, steer down slowly while the crew overhauls the new spinnaker sheet as the boat approaches dead downwind. During this time, the crew rolls the boat, the new sheet continues to be trimmed until the spinnaker fills and the main is pulled across the boat. Once the sails are filled on the new side, the crew should use their weight to flatten the boat. As the boat is flattened, the main should be trimmed to the higher exit heading and the spinnaker should be eased because the spinnaker is over trimmed during the gybe.

Blow-Through (or Skiff) Gybe
We like to use this style of gybe in 12+ knots of wind. During the Blow-Through Gybe, the jib stays out and plays a factor in the maneuver. The end goal with this type of gybe is to achieve maximum speed going into the maneuver and then regain your speed as quickly as possible after the maneuver (spinnaker filled, proper angle of heel).

Again, we do not over-steer the boat. You have to be slow and smooth, especially now that the boat is reaching high speeds. We count down the gybe: “Gybing in 3, 2, 1”. On the 2 count the helmsperson slowly turns down. On 3 the spinnaker trimmer will begin to trim in about five feet of sheet. The forward crew will trim the jib hard creating a wall at the fore triangle of the boat. When the trimmer trims in, the clew gets pulled down which is what you want. The forward crew then grabs the clew of the spinnaker and holds it for about 1.5 seconds, all the while the boat is being steered through the gybe slowly.

The trimmer then calls “CUT”, meaning release the clew. The spinnaker then backwinds into the jib and the fore triangle of the boat. The spinnaker trimmer pulls the new sheet and, with some timing practice, the boat will exit the gybe at an angle where only 2-3 pulls on the new sheet will fill the spinnaker after the gybe.

Key indicators after the gybe: If you come out of the gybe over-heeled, then you oversteered through the process. If you come out of the gybe too low -the spinnaker will need to be over-trimmed to fill. The boat will be slow and flat in the water. Practice these!

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.