Wednesday, April 8, 2020

J/Newsletter- April 8th, 2020

sunset in ChileTo quote our friends at Global Yacht Racing, "over the past few weeks, across the globe, the sailing community has had to adjust, like everyone else, to the new 'normal'. Known for being adaptable and resourceful in the face of a storm, most sailors (we hope) have checked the 'weather forecast' and readied their crew. Although, what lies ahead seems more like entering the uncharted waters of early explorers."

At J/Boats, we wish to say "Thank You" to all those amazing volunteers and sailing clubs that had organized and spent considerable amounts of time hosting the dozens of regattas and races that have been canceled/ postponed due to the pandemic. We hope that we may soon enjoy them again, either later this year or next year. Below are some updates in regard to the significant one-design events and the Helly Hansen NOOD Regattas.

In addition, we would like to say a huge heartfelt "Thank You" to all first responders, emergency personnel, and healthcare providers (nurses, doctors, and everyone else) around the globe that have worked hard to keep us safe and, hopefully, healthy!

Finally, the J/Family wishes you, your family and friends, a lovely, happy, safe holiday weekend.

J/99 Switzerland arrival
J/99 Arrives in the Swiss Alps!
(Lucerne, Switzerland)- In these difficult times, there are still glimmers of hope of what the future may portend for some sailors around the world.

Our friends in Switzerland were happy to see a brand-new J/99 arrive from J/Composites in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. It was the last boat shipped before they suspended building operations in France due to the pandemic. The J/99 took an amazing, long winding, 1,000-kilometer tour over and around the French and Swiss Alps to get to Switzerland.

J/99 trucking route to Switzerland
The report from J/Boats dealer Damian Weiss and his team at Dyna Sportsboats AG was that the boat arrived in excellent condition and was immediately unloaded inside their large boat house. The team is excited to get the boat commissioned and in the water by June for some events that are still on this summer's sailing schedule!  Learn more about the J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster here.

J/70s sailing off Miami on Biscayne Bay
International J/70 Class Announcements
(Newport, RI)- Given that major regattas like European, North American, and World Championships take an enormous amount of planning and logistical coordination between the regatta organizers/ hosts and the hundreds of people sailing or involved in the events, it is not surprising that events scheduled even mid-summer are getting postponed later in the year or simply moved back an entire year.

J/70 Worlds
The International J/70 Class Association has been closely monitoring the worldwide developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 2, the International J/70 Executive Committee met specifically in regard to the upcoming World Championship to be held July 25-August 1 (in Los Angeles, USA). The Executive Committee understands the huge commitment of time and money it takes to participate in a major Championship, as well as the enormous resources that our host clubs and their volunteers and sponsors dedicate to such events.

The Executive Committee has determined that, because of the varying levels of infection and disruption across the world and the reality that any return to normal sailing activity will also vary across the world, it is impossible to assure every Class member will have a fair chance to prepare for the commitment of a World Championship during 2020. Therefore, the Executive Committee, working with the Organizing Authority, has postponed the J/70 World Championship to be hosted by California Yacht Club to August 7-15, 2021. There will be no 2020 J/70 World Championship.

J/70 sailing off Miami, FL
J/70 Europeans
The J/70 I.J.C.A. Executive Committee, working with the Organizing Authority of the 2020 European Championship to be held in Copenhagen Denmark, has also determined to postpone the J/70 European Championship hosted by the Royal Danish Yacht Club to June 4-12, 2021 next year.

With respect to other major J/70 Class events that remain on the schedule for 2020, the Executive Committee remains in constant discussions with these Organizing Authorities and expects to make decisions no less than 75 days prior to the scheduled date for those events.

We hope this approach will help clarify the way the Class is addressing this evolving situation and allow our Class members to plan accordingly. The Executive Committee plans to meet regularly in the coming months and will provide regular updates as needed. In the meantime, the Class wishes all J/70 sailors and their families the best in these difficult times. We look forward to resuming sailing as soon as we can.

Learn more about the International J/70 one-design class here.

J/70s at Sailing World NOOD Regatta
Helly Hansen NOOD Regattas Update
(Newport, RI)- Each year Sailing World magazine presents North America’s largest sailing regatta series, the National Offshore One Design Regattas. This incredibly popular regatta is broadly enjoyed by J/Sailors from around America, Canada, and Mexico. The only regatta that went off without a hitch so far in 2020 was the Helly Hansen St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta in St Petersburg, FL in early February.

At this time, the following Helly Hansen NOOD Regattas are scheduled to be held, two have been rescheduled.
  • Chicago NOOD- Chicago, IL- June 12-14
  • Marblehead NOOD- Marblehead, MA- July 23-26
  • Annapolis NOOD- Annapolis, MD- August 28-30 
  • San Diego NOOD- San Diego, CA- September 4-6
For more Helly Hansen NOOD Regattas sailing information

J/70s sailing Virtual Regatta
Virtual Racing: Better coffee, Less salt spray!
(Newport, RI)- During the coronavirus shutdown, Sail Newport has launched a series of virtual races in partnership with, a non-profit online platform which uses real-time weather and designs simulated courses for virtual racing.

While most sailors, and everyone else, are either stuck somewhere or self-imposed at home, the race was welcomed entertainment for the sailing-obsessed globally, but especially for sailors in Newport, RI!

The inaugural race, The Quahog Cup, was held March 22 and received a monumental response as over 600 sailors registered for the Newport-area race.

On April 4 at 1700 (2100 UTC), Sail Newport started the second in their racing series titled “The Captain Bartholomew Gosnold Memorial Race” from Castle Hill in Newport.

This overnighter attracted over 300 sailors from the U.S., Croatia, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Canada, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Portugal, Brazil, Bulgaria, Togo, France, and other countries.

The course was sailed on virtual TP52s, with the course beginning at Castle Hill Light and took online sailors along a tricky course around No Man’s Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, through Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds, in and out of the Elizabeth Islands, and then back to Newport for the finish.

Rufus Van Gruisen, avid sailor and owner of Cay Electronics, Inc (Portsmouth, RI) which equips sail and power boats with marine navigation and electronic systems, was one of the top US finishers of the 137.5nm course. As a new online racer, he shares his view of the genre:

How did you get ready for the race?
RVG: I prepared by looking at the weather forecast and studied polars and sailing angles for the boat, but other than that I didn’t do very much.

Did you provision?
RVG: No, I forgot and had no food. I had a pot of coffee on in the middle of the night, so I was well hyped-up.

How did you manage “on your own” with no crew?
RVG: I’m a bit geeky. In my home office I had the race up on a 24” screen, used a laptop for a zoomed-out view of the race and my iPad, so that I could lie on the couch for a while and take the race with me. Maybe I was taking it too seriously.

How do you mean?
RVG: I stayed up all night, probably had 1.5 hours of sleep in 24 hours.

Did other family members participate?
RVG: No, they thought I was totally nuts and went to bed.

What were the conditions?
RVG: The first four hours were tedious. There was little opportunity to pass other boats because of the reach out to Nantucket as the wind was just east of north. We had about 15 knots at the start but early on day two it died down to nothing. Around 6 a.m. it came back up out of the south.

Are you familiar with those waters? Anything particularly challenging?
RVG: Yes, I have done a couple of races in those areas. It was a bit challenging through the Elizabeth Islands. Quicks Hole was tight, and I remember sailing there before GPS, hoping you got all the flashing lights right on the buoys to get through. It felt a bit like doing the overnight Ida Lewis Distance Race; similar length but better coffee and less salt spray!

Without crew, participants admit they are crouched over monitors, using laptops and other devices to gather information usually fed to them by navigators and tacticians onboard. How did you find that factor?
RVG: I can see how singlehanded racing has become more popular. There’s no crew to contradict you!

Will you continue racing online?
RVG: Yes, I loved it. There are remarkable similarities with real racing, highly active, beating up wind, and some tedious sections on the run. It’s a lot of fun to race with so many boats, it doesn’t matter where you are in the race there’s always boats to compete with. It’s especially fun to race against people you know in your home waters. The chat rooms are quite active with comments. LOL! For example, some entrant asked if I was “having a barbecue on the island” on a slow leg around Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Hahaha, yes, I was "parked up" for a while there!

How was the last leg, any close maneuvering?
RVG: Yes, coming out of Woods Hole I was side-by-side with Brad Read (Sail Newport's Executive Director). I came up so close to his boat, I think he could smell the virtual coffee I was having. I almost had to put out some virtual fenders. It was a cat-and-mouse race from Cuttyhunk all the way back to the Castle Hill finish.

Brad Read, who designed the race with, finished 4th in the race and was the top US finisher (though recused himself from the trophies).

Van Gruisen is a lifelong sailor and has most recently served as navigator in Bermuda Races and New York Yacht Club regattas.

He is also an active racer on Sail Newport’s J/22s for Newport Yacht Club's Tuesday and Wednesday night racing summer series. In the winter, he frostbites on Newport Yacht Club’s Turnabouts (no navigation required in the 8 foot "turn-a-tubs").

As for the race name, Captain Bartholomew Gosnold was an English barrister, explorer, and privateer. He led the first recorded English expedition to the Elizabeth Islands. Gosnold named Cape Cod for the plentiful fish supply he found there and named Martha’s Vineyard for his daughter.  Thanks to Scuttlebutt USA for the interview. Learn more about SAIL NEWPORT here

J/Gear SpecialJ/Gear April 17% OFF Special!
(Newport, RI)- The "J" Marmot Vest is a superb choice for quality and performance. Excellent wind and water-resistant properties while offering a soft comfortable fit. Full-zip front with side-zip pockets and a convenient chest-zip pocket for your phone.

  • 96% polyester, 4% elastane
  • water-repellent and breathable
  • zippered chest pocket
  • zippered handwarmer pockets
  • elastic drawcord hem
The perfect mate for a performance race crew or just cruising the bay. Comes with the J/Class logo of your choice and can be customized with your boat name and sail number. Comes in colors of Black, Carbon, and Navy and sizes from S to XXL.  Check it out here on the J/Gear website

Regatta & Show Schedules:

May 27-31- J/24 North American Championship- Blue Point, NY
Jun 11-14- Helga Cup Ladies J/70 Regatta- Hamburg, Germany
Jun 12-14- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL
Jun 20-21- J/70 East Coast Championship- Cape May, NJ
Jul 26-Aug 1- J/70 World Championship- Marina del Rey, CA

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

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Dayton CarrEight Bells: Dayton Carr

The sailing community lost a great friend, sailor, and champion as Dayton Thomas Carr passed peacefully at his New York City home on April 7, 2020. He was 78 years. Dayton was a great friend of the Johnstone family and a great supporter of J/Boats starting way back in 1977.

Dayton established the Venture Capital Fund of America Group (VCFA Group) in 1982 and is credited as being the founder of the secondary private equity industry. He was a visionary who was the first to recognize the opportunity to buy illiquid investments from the original investors in venture capital funds.

Dayton was a storyteller who often enjoyed re-telling the origins of his firm, the benefits of secondaries, and the many adventures he had through his life-long love of sailing.

Dayton began sailing as a 7–year old child in the San Francisco Bay area. His first boat was an El Toro dinghy which he raced in the Small Boat Racing Association in Northern California. Moving up to a Blue Jay, Dayton also raced a Rhodes 33 and crewed on a large racing schooner on San Francisco Bay.

At 15, he won the Pacific Coast Lightning Championship in Victoria, British Columbia and placed second in the West Coast Sears Cup Eliminations to Allen Holt who went on to win the Sears Cup.

Dayton’s family moved to Winnetka, Illinois soon after, where he was a member of the Sheridan Shore Yacht Club and a junior member of the Chicago Yacht Club. Aboard his 110 Class sailboat, he won the fleet championship on a number of occasions, won the Southern Lake Michigan Championships and the District Championships.

He also placed third in the World Championships held in San Diego, California, and sailed in two Chicago Mackinac races. During his youth he spent several summers teaching sailing on Lake Merritt in Oakland, California and spent one summer as the sailing instructor for the Sheridan Shore Yacht Club in Wilmette, Illinois.

While at Brown University, Dayton became captain of the sailing team, Commodore of the Brown University Yacht Club, and was active in intercollegiate racing for several years. After receiving his MBA from Harvard Business School, he moved to New York City and bought an International One Design class (the first in a long line of Gunga Din’s) which he kept at Larchmont Yacht Club.

With the IOD class, he won the fleet championship, the YRA of Long Island Sound Championship, and the King Edward VII Gold Cup for match racing in Bermuda in 1971 with his friend and crew Corny Shields, Sr.

In the same year, Dayton purchased the prototype Chance 30–30 which he named Ragtime and raced and cruised on Long Island Sound until about 1976 when he acquired a Tartan–10 Mandalay which he raced in PHRF races in the same.

Not content to race just his own boats, Dayton joined with a friend who had purchased one of the first New York 36s, Drive, and won the first New York 36 National Championship and many other races over the next several years.

Throughout the 1980s, Dayton chartered a number of boats with which he had great success, winning (among other races), the cruising division of several New York Yacht Club Cruises. Racing throughout New England and the Caribbean brought Dayton triumph on the race course and a camaraderie with his fellow sailors that he would tell stories about for years to come.

In May of 1993, Dayton purchased a Sweden Yachts–41, his final Gunga Din. He raced and cruised extensively up through this last year, racking up a host of high finishes in events hosted by New York Yacht Club.

In addition to racing Gunga Din, Dayton was a regular participant in superyacht events across the Caribbean, his most recent victory aboard Sojana with friend Sir Peter Harrison at the 2019 St. Barths Bucket Regatta, where they won the Les Mademoiselles del Mers Class.

While much of his sailing activity was related to racing, he enjoyed cruising under sail and power, the latter inspired by the twin-screw powerboat his family owned during his childhood in San Francisco. With his friends, Dayton cruised both Eastern and Western seaboards, the Great Lakes, Caribbean, Canada, and much of Europe.

But he declared his favorite sailing in recent years was in late fall aboard his meticulously kept yellow sloop Gunga Din on the waters of Narragansett Bay. He was known to recite the poem that inspired his boats’ name, raising his voice at the end to exclaim, “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”

Dayton was a larger-than-life figure who made an impression on everyone that he met. Known for a mischievous streak, his antics often elicited raucous laughter (and sometimes ended with him in a pickle). A gentleman through and through, Dayton brightened every room he entered and was a master of meaningful introductions between people he thought shared common interests.

Generous of time and spirit, he was a champion and ambassador for the causes he supported.

He served on the Board of Directors of the National Sailing Hall of Fame for many years and played a vital role in bringing it to Newport, RI. Other organizations dear to him were US Sailing, Sail Newport, Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island, Herreshoff Marine Museum, Brown University and the Sailing Team, Harvard University, The Preservation Society of Newport County, Redwood Library & Athenaeum, Childfund International and many others.

The National Sailing Hall of Fame will hold a memorial event at its new home in Newport, RI on a future date when conditions permit so that his many friends may come together to share their memories of this extraordinary man.

Fair winds and following seas, Dayton. You will be missed. Add to Flipboard Magazine.