Wednesday, June 24, 2020

J/Newsletter- June 24th, 2020

sunset in ChileWith summer solstice now come and gone, the pandemic weary sailors in the northern hemisphere can now look forward to shorter and shorter days until the winter solstice on December 21st. A sobering thought. Depends on where you are, of course.  

Our friends Down Under are dancing and celebrating on the beach, that just means a LOT more sailing time for them.  

However, for those of us north of the Equator, it's hard to believe that, just after becoming "escapees" from our own homes, that time is already getting shorter to get out and enjoy our favorite pastime on the water, be that racing, cruising, daysailing, or simply messing about with boats!

Just this past week, we saw a few more bright spots around the world, with "socially responsible" sailing taking place in more places, almost all of it the "shorthanded" kind, or simply "family/ households" on board. Our Caribbean friends in St Maarten have emerged in decent numbers to continue to finish their St Maarten Keelboat Series. Then, out West in Santa Monica Bay, the Pacific Singlehanded Sailing Society opened its arms to include doublehanded teams, and they held their first event of the season- the David Wall Memorial Trophy regatta- good times were had by all off Marina del Rey, California. Then, two J/99's were sailing offshore. One called "Wild Child" from Block Island, Rhode Island reported a spectacular sail offshore on Block Island Sound on Wednesday. Yet another J/99, designer Rod Johnstone's JAZZ, completed their voyage back from Bermuda sailing doublehanded; see Rod's and Clay Burkhalter's report below regards their "dark & stormy" experience! 
J/70 sailing off St Maarten
J/70 Silvers St Maarten Series
(Simpson Bay, St. Maarten)- There will be many stories of the challenges of dealing with the global pandemic from the sailing community. Some sad, some hopeful, some inspiring. Down in the Caribbean, as the "wave" of the Covid-19 virus spread from China to Europe to the USA and elsewhere, the Caribbean islands remained somewhat isolated from what was ravaging the rest of the world. Early measures to stop travel and self-quarantine appears to have paid off, so far. However, the cost of those conservative measures has certainly been economic; the lifeblood of island economies for the most part relying on the enormous tourism industry.

J/70 sailing start off Simpson Bay, St Maarten
Like elsewhere, there are "sprouts" of hope and for those living "down island", there are glimmers of "normal" activity beginning to take place.

For example, Garth Steyn, owner of the J/70 IGY MARINAS in Simpson Bay, St Maarten, had this to say of their recent foray onto the Caribbean Sea...

"We are happy to report that our new normal life is returning in small increments. We have been able to get back onto the water. Our J/70 IGY MARINAS finished second overall in the St Maarten Keelboat Series, a nineteen-race series that started in November 2019 and just finished now in June 2020! The longest one ever, of course, due to pandemic delays.  We sailed against a fleet of M24s, an M32, a J/105, and Esse 850. Tough competition they all are! Fortunately, we sailed consistently and have made huge strides in learning the boat and we are enjoying it thoroughly!" 

J/70 sailing upwind off St Maarten
Garth wished everyone well in the J/70 community worldwide and hopes that fellow J/70 sailors might join them one day on the spectacular azure blue waters and amazing trade winds of the Caribbean!  Sailing Photo credits- Michele Korteweg 
J/70 virtual regatta San Francisco
Breault Goes Bananas in Isolation Series II
(San Francisco, CA)- St. Francis Yacht Club has been running their so-called "Isolation Series" sailing virtual J/70s around a virtual San Francisco Bay race track. They are now into Round 2 of the series and there have been some amusing developments along the way. Without a doubt, the learning curve has been steep for "virgin virtual skippers."  Starting techniques and mark roundings are particularly challenging; especially when hoisting or dowsing the J/70's asymmetric spinnaker. When to go into "planing mode" is also a key differentiator for the many virtual skippers, just as it is in the real world!  Here is the latest report from StFYC:

Did you know that bananas float? In the flotsam of some shipwrecks were found floating stalks of bananas.

Did you know that bananas emit ethylene gas, causing other fruit to ripen quickly?

Did you know that bananas are favored hideouts for tarantulas and other spiders, which then travel around the ship infesting other food stores (and bedding)?

Is it any wonder that sailors are so wary of the yellow fruit coming aboard their vessels, for fear of bad luck? Legend has it that this superstition was even recorded long, long ago in an ancient Sanskrit text.

Nicole Breault brazenly puts that superstition to the test every time she races in the Virtual Regatta Inshore game by brandishing a giant banana on the mainsail of her yellow boat (nbsailor).

Last Wednesday evening, going into the final session of the StFYC Spring Invitational Series Round 2, Breault sat two points behind VR master Philipp Berner (philippdk), the champion of Round 1. Nerves were on edge as the competitive cauldron of our Club racers cranked up the heat on the series leaders.

Race 1 of the night was won by David James (LedaSailor), and Berner added another point to his lead over Breault by finishing 3rd to her 4th place. Race 2 saw both Berner and Breault completely falter off the starting line, and thus became a contest of who might better fight their way back through the fleet.

Breault bailed right and found a clear lane, pressure and a favorable shift, and by Mark 1 was at the front of the pack! Much to his dismay, Berner couldn’t shake the tenacious fleet around him. Breault nabbed the bullet in the end, while Berner finished 10th.

Race 3 brought sporty play at the front of the fleet for both racers, and Berner rallied to win. It was not enough to retake the overall series lead, however, as Breault crossed the line in 4th and secured the Round 2 title.

So back to the humble banana lore… more recent research has shown that authors of ancient Sanskrit texts sometimes use double negatives, as in the case of the banana citation: “Do not fail to bring bananas as they are healthy for your crew!” 

Our virtual racers are back to their daily race at noon. Interested in joining? Newcomers to the Virtual Regatta Inshore game can access play and spectating on VR’s website. Join our StFYC WhatsApp group to get synced up.

Editor's note: the two protagonists in this fierce battle for virtual J/70 regatta supremacy both sail on the same boat in the St. Francis YC J/105 class- Bruce Stone's ARBITRAGE. 
J/109, J/111, and J/46 at Edgartown Regatta
Edgartown Regatta Announcement
(Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, MA)- The Edgartown Yacht Club’s Big Boat Racing Committee is excited to get started with the 2020 sailing season. The team has been working exceptionally hard over the past nine months to enhance Edgartown Race Weekend for this year, and future years, and is excited to welcome sailors to Martha’s Vineyard this summer.

J/105 sailing Edgartown Regatta
While Edgartown YC unfortunately had to cancel the buoy racing segment of Edgartown Race Weekend, we will still be hosting the signature event - ‘Round-the-Island (“RTI”) Race on August 1, in addition to the shorter ‘Round-the-Sound Race the same day.

J/122 Moxiee sailing Edgartown Regatta
Despite the current situation, registration numbers are robust, drawing teams from all over the East Coast who see ‘RTI as the kick-off to the 2020 racing season. Remember, this is a 60.0nm race that rivals any in the world; such as Round Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom, Round Jamestown in Narragansett Bay, Round Hong Kong in China, or Sweden's Gotland Runt race midsummer. 

J/160 sailing Edgartown Regatta
The entire team is looking forward to good racing this summer. Sailing Photo Credits- Stephen Cloutier. Learn more about the Edgartown Regatta here.
J/Gear ronstan bag
J/Gear June 20% OFF Special!
(Newport, RI)- Ronstan has been in the performance sailing business for years and they have designed a quality duffel that is perfect for racing or cruising. Ample space in the 24" x 12" x 12" dimension with wide grip carry strap. Inside wet pouch keeps the dry clothes separate. Rugged stitching and large top loading flap. Embroider with your class logo boat name and sail number.  Check it out here on the J/Gear website
Sailing Calendar

Jul 3-5- Italian J/70 Sailing League- Santa Marinella, Italy
Jul 11th- Belles Beer Bayview Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI
Jul 11-12- SAIL Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 17-19- J/70 Segel Bundesliga- Chiemsee, Germany
Jul 18-19- Fiesta Cup (J/70 & J/111)- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 23-26- Sailing World Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 24-26- Ugotta Regatta- Harbor Springs, MI
Aug 13-16- SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg, Russia
Aug 14-16- Swedish J/70 Sailing League- Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
Aug 15-16- Danish J/70 Sailing League- Aarhus, Denmark
Aug 15-16- J/Fest Newport- Newport, RI
Aug 28-30- J/70 Segel Bundesliga- Wannsee, Germany
Aug 28-30- Under 21 Italian J/70 Sailing League Championship- Rimini, Italy
Sep 5-6- Danish J/70 Sailing League- Skovshoved, Denmark
J/105 sailing singlehanded
J/105s Prevail in Dave Wall Memorial Race

(Marina del Rey, CA)- In one of the first sanctioned races in Santa Monica Bay in a long time, on June 13th the Pacific Singlehanded Sailing Association (PSSA) held its regularly scheduled single/ doublehanded “inverted start” from Marina Del Rey to Redondo Beach and back.

The 16.0nm course attracted what must be a recent record of thirty-two entries. The fleet included a pair of J/105s, a pair of J/92s, a J/29 and J/80. The Class 1 Singlehanded class had 12 boats, while the Class 2 Doublehanded class fielded 16 boats.

The fleet was blessed with a somewhat classical SoCal offshore day. Sunny, good breeze, and in the mid-70s F. In consistent wind of 14-16 knots that ranged from a beam reach to close hauled, Dan Murphy and Rob Dekker sailed their J/105 CUCHULAINN to the top of the leaderboard, more than two minutes ahead of their nearest competitor, the J/29 ZULU sailed by owner Caesar Berger and Ronald Augustsson. Just off the pace was the famous J/80 AVET, the duo of Curt Johnson and Paul Burnett took fourth place. Notably, working out their early season kinks to take an 8th place was Brian Kerr and Edwina Gillin's J/92 DOUBLE DOWN. 

Charles Spear in his J/105 TWELVE BAR BLUES finished second amongst the Class 1 Singlehanded boats.  
Sailing as a family on a sailboat
Sailing as a Family- A Perspective for Today's Brave  New World

(Traverse City, MI)- Now is the perfect time to re-prioritize sailing with your family. Most of the summer camps are canceled and you're probably not running around to 10 different activities a week; but you are probably itching to get out of the house and spend some time with your family doing something you love. If ever there was a summer to prioritize time on the water or get your kids to love sailing as much as you, it's this one. Quantum's Jason Currie put together his tips for successful family sailing based on years on the water with his own family. Sailing with your family can be rewarding and create lasting memories. The key is to redefine your idea of the perfect sailing day to accommodate everyone on board. Like all things in parenting, sailing with your kids takes patience and effort, but the reward is always worth it.

Time on the water is the perfect place for families to reconnect with each other. Sailing can be a great way to experience the great outdoors by sea, but proper planning is essential. To keep the kids, and even mom and dad, wanting to come back for more, we’ve put together some simple tips to make that special time together fun, enjoyable, and safe.

Check the weather
Keep an eye on the weather forecast. If you’ve lived in an area for quite some time, you will develop a sense for the weather. Weather forecasts become more accurate and reliable as the day gets closer, but always keep an eye on it, even after leaving the dock. Places like Annapolis, Maryland, for example, often experience summertime storm cells in the late afternoon which, may last only 15 to 30 minutes, but can be severe, and definitely enough to frighten the family away from the boat for good. There are some very good Doppler radar apps that are excellent for keeping an eye on things while on the water. Remember that while a 3 to 5-foot chop might seem like nothing to you, to a small child it could be scary and off-putting. Keep their perspective in mind.

Have the boat cleaned, prepared, and ready to go. Shop ahead of time to stock up on extra food, drinks, and supplies. Make sure there is a first aid kit that contains band aids and any medication that might be handy for life’s little emergencies. Also, get as many tasks done beforehand as you can.  

Pack plenty
If you’re planning an overnighter, remember it’s just like camping but on the water, which means it can get cooler at night. Don’t hold back on sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows. Always bring extra fleece and clothes. Remember the sunscreen and bug repellent, especially if it’s the middle of summer, and don’t forget a full propane tank to cook that fantastic breakfast!

What to bring for the kids
The age of the kids will determine what you should bring. Pack their favorite snacks and toys. Barbie, Matchbox cars, a deck of cards, UNO, coloring books and crayons, and even Silly Putty can make the day fun for your little sailors. If your children are under the age of 5, consider bringing an iPad or DVD player to curb that possible meltdown. Most of us would prefer to leave said devices on shore, but this may be just the thing to keep everything in check while you and your spouse enjoy the sunset with a cool beverage.

If the kids are older than 5, definitely disconnect and ditch the devices! Show them all the joys of being on the water. If you anchor, bring the fishing rod and dinghy and let them set off on their own. For a child this can be the experience which gives way to a feeling of great independence.

Show them the ropes
Your family is your crew, so give them meaningful jobs. Let them steer the boat, show them how to hoist the sails, and teach them how to anchor. Give a lesson on channel markers, navigation, and the correct way to pass another vessel. There’s a heap to learn onboard, and it can be fun for all.

Consider your attitude
We wear off on our kids in many ways, so it’s important to keep your attitude in check. If you have a can-do attitude, your kids will too. If you are fearful or negative, your kids will sense this and follow suit. Children observe and absorb everything, and they participate largely by taking cues from mom and Dad. This matters even more onboard, where you are together and in close quarters for most of the time.

Invest in a GoPro!
What better way to capture your family getaway than with a GoPro. The older kids will have a heap of fun putting together a montage of your weekend getaway and the experience they had, both onboard and in the water.

It goes without saying: when the family is together on the water, they must be safe. Lifejackets for the kids are mandatory. For toddlers, consider installing lifeline netting and lee cloths. If you are the only one who truly knows how to operate the engine, teach your spouse and older children the procedure on startup and running, because, if something happens to you, another member of the family must be able to take control. Click here for some quick safety tips and reminders.

Keep it fun
Above all, your time on the boat together is about having fun. If you’re new to it, start out with a short-day sail and gradually move into overnight trips. Don’t rush it. If your kids are young and are done sailing after just an hour, consider heading to anchorage to swim or back to the dock.

Most importantly, don’t think of a shorter sail as a failure. Even if you end up back at the dock earlier than planned, do some fun kid things around the marina. Fish, look for stones, swim if it’s hot, play in the dinghy, order pizza, the list is endless! Eat on board and then walk into town for ice cream. You still had a day on the water. You still had a day as a family. You still had fun outside. And most importantly, your kids will want to come back! Find the positives and celebrate your success. This is your redefined sailing day and what a wonderful day it can be.  Thanks for this contribution from Quantum Sail's Jason Currie.
J/24 Sea Bags Women's Sailing Team
2020 J/24 US National Champs Cancelled

(Burlington, VT) – Because of the varying levels of infection and disruption across the world, the 2020 J/24 US National Championship, originally scheduled for September 24-27, has been cancelled. The 2021 US National Championship will be held at Malletts Bay Boat Club in Burlington, Vermont on September 10-12.

The United States J/24 Class Association (USJCA) Executive Committee has been closely monitoring the worldwide developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. They understand the huge commitment of time and money it takes to participate in a major Championship, as well as the enormous resources that the host clubs dedicate to such events.

The subsequent previously scheduled US J/24 National events will shift back one year. Therefore, Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club in Texas will host the 2022 Championship (May 23-28), and The Lake George Club in New York will present the 2023 event (dates to be determined). In the meantime, the Class wishes all J/24 sailors and their families the best in these difficult times and looks forward to resuming sailing as soon as possible.

Molly White, USJCA President, said, “As much as we all want to go sailing, the US J/24 Class has also taken into consideration the safety of all involved, the ability for people traveling to access these events, and all of the hard work and planning that goes into a quality event such as a National Championship. We hope that while we wait in anticipation for these events to return in 2021, sailors are able to take advantage of all the J/24 racing their local fleets have to offer.”
What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* J/Net Brokerage Specials! Check out our exciting new site for lovingly-owned J/Boats from around the world.

J/122E for sale in Scotland
This week we are featuring a gorgeous J/122E that is currently lying in Glasgow, Scotland. She is ready to hop aboard and enjoy a spectacular cruise of the northwestern archipelago off Scotland- thousands of islands and spectacular vistas. Then, sail her south to the Mediterranean for the winter in the Greek archipelago or a tour of the eastern Adriatic Sea! The perfect getaway offshore cruiser.

This J/122E is in brand new condition. She has a Carbon Mast, 7 North Sails, complete B&G H5000 Instrument system (autopilot, chart plotter), and a cold fridge.   Learn more about the J/122E here.

J/99 off Bermuda
* The J/99 JAZZ Rescue Mission Epilogue
If you all recall from last week, we reported on the "rescue mission" that was undertaken by J/Boats co-founder Rodney Johnstone and his nephew Clay Burkhalter to sail to Bermuda from Stonington, CT with two friends of theirs. The goal was to deliver the owner of a beautiful 65-footer that lay on a mooring at St George's Bay in eastern Bermuda. Their mission was successful, and it was a fast "delivery" on the slippery J/99 offshore speedster!

Upon reaching Bermuda, the team enjoyed an evening of R&R. But less than 48 hours after arriving, the intrepid duo of Rodney and Clay set back out to sea to sail the J/99 JAZZ back to Stonington, CT! The return trip was not the "walk-in-the-park" they had on their way down to Bermuda. In fact, quite the opposite.  

They were both presented with many challenges, including the often capricious, unrelenting and punishing Gulf Stream. A "micro-Low" materialized that was not forecast at all, not surprisingly, over the massive northward moving "river" of the Gulf Stream. Such spontaneous "micro-climates" are not unknown and numerous sailing or motor vessels over time have succumbed to dreadful weather associated with such "micro-bombs".  Here is Rodney's account of their delivery back from Bermuda to Stonington, CT:

"For starters, it was a great adventure and magical experience both ways. Clay and I had two days of light weather coming home, then two days of wild wind and waves through the Gulf Stream as we headed north, which accounts for our big course change to the west late Monday. 

J/99 routing tracking Bermuda to Stonington
To make time, we motor-sailed most of the first 300 miles in benign Northeast winds under 10 knots. We then sailed with double-reefed main and 3.5 heavy weather jib the rest of the way in NE winds. We hit 30 knot winds and monster seas on the North side of Gulf Stream (see photo sequence above of their track). Huge, breaking waves everywhere. So, we took down the jib and sailed all night on a broad reach with double-reefed main only to stay away from the breaking seas with no "backs" (e.g. a wall). 

The J/99 is very well behaved in that stuff. Easy to steer, so the autopilot had no problem staying the course on a dark, rough Monday night. For a while, it looked like we would make landfall at Atlantic City, NJ. As soon as we got onto the continental shelf, the turbulent waves subsided and got regular, and the winds let up to 20-25 knots. We then hoisted the jib and sailed upwind towards Stonington under clear sky and steady East wind.... all the way back from Bermuda to Stonington on starboard tack with jib and double-reefed main at about 6.5 knots!

What a trip back! It took us exactly five days to go the 635.0nm (as the crow flies, more like 725.0nm of actual sailing). Very exciting, and proof that the J/99 is fit for short-handed ocean sailing. Nothing broke or failed! I hope I get to do this sort of sailing trip again!"  Thanks to Rodney J. for this report and being the intrepid adventurer that he is!
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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

J/Newsletter- June 17th, 2020

sunset in Chile
With summer in full-swing in the North, and many more countries in Europe and more states in the USA "opening up", sailing activity is slowly, ever so slowly, beginning to pick up the pace. There is no question that "family/ household" sailing in most places is permitted, as well as "doublehanded" sailing, within practical parameters of social distancing. One hopes that momentum continues in the proper direction as the world, hopefully, continues to blossom like flowers in spring, again.

On the good news side, J/99 #50 was just completed and was delivered to her new owners in France. Then, we get late-breaking news that the J/145 KATANA enjoyed great success in MEXORC off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico just before the world shutdown.

Then, United Kingdom sailors recently had the great fortune to experience their first sailing outing in months. The Singlehanded Offshore Racing Club sailed a fun race around the Solent for both Singlehanders and Doublehanders. Furthermore, we get a report from Sail Newport in Rhode Island that the "family/ household" and "doublehanded" series in J/22s has been a great success. Then, we get a quick report from Bermuda's Royal Gazette that a J/99 managed to get to Bermuda quickly and safely to help retrieve a friend's boat stranded in St Georges Harbor in amazing story to follow!

J/99 #50 in France
Celebrating J/99 Offshore Speedster #50!
(Les Sables'd'Olonne, France)- The challenging world events in the past few months have not been kind to humans, sailing, and the boating industry. To say the least, it has been devastating in terms of human cost as well as economic costs. Fortunately, in France, building has resumed after a brief period of "lockdown" and boat builders/ manufacturers were permitted to get back to work.

J/99 sailing doublehanded
As a result, the momentum continues for the "doublehander's boat of choice" in France for many of the top French offshore sailors. While many competitors are offering "free boats" to top French sailing professionals that have an eye on the 2024 Paris Olympics sailed in the Mediterranean, the "smart money" sailors are working with their sponsors to purchase their own J/99s for training and racing offshore. Not surprising, considering that J/99s crushed all of their competition in the famous Duo Cat-Amania Doublehanded Offshore Championship in France against its competitors in the 29 to 33 foot size range.

J/99 sailing off Australia
The most exciting news is celebrating the fact that J/99 #50 has rolled off the production line at J/Composites in Les Sables'd'Olonne, France and she is looking forward to doing some offshore sailing this summer!  Learn more about the J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster here.

J/88 sailing singlehanded in Solent, England
J/Sailors Enjoy SORC "Covid Shakedown Race"
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Thirty-four Solo & Doublehanded yachts enjoyed champagne racing on the Solent on Sunday, 7th June 2020. SORC (Singlehanded Offshore Racing Club) staged the largest yacht race since the start of the Covid Lockdown for socially distant compliant solo and duo teams.

Unusually for SORC, which is the United Kingdom's only yacht club dedicated to solo yacht racing, the club also staged a Doublehanded proved to be a wildly popular, prescient decision. Commented the Commodore of SORC, "with the Covid pandemic starving us of yacht racing generally, and Doublehanded racing gaining real traction at the moment, it seemed only fair to share our resources and have them join us in a race. It was a well-received, successful initiative."

The race team behind SORC wisely delayed their inaugural 2020 race from a 30 knot, grey Saturday to a sparkly, sunny, 12 knot Sunday. Given the enthusiasm to get afloat, the epic 27 boat solo fleet extended the race invitation to include double handers, increasing the entry field by a further 9 boats on the start line.

The numerous shoreside observers, perambulators, cyclists, and the generally curious were treated to a mixed fleet apparently aimlessly sailing in random directions, whilst awaiting the start sequence. The DH fleet were planned to start at 1100, but SORC's PRO Steve Cole wisely decided to delay starting the sequence until 1130 to allow the wind to fill in. Perfect timing because the first wind ripples soon arrived, with a steady 10-12 knot westerly propelling the DH start. All starts were “stealth” starts [radio only], so along with obviously only solo or two person yachts, any adverse comments from shore regarding yachts racing would be completely negated. The reverse being true, that the Solent coming alive again was welcomed.

J/99 JET sailing Solent doublehanded race
General Race Report
"The race....should I give a blow-by-blow account of who went where and when? Or, perhaps not! Sufficient to say that from the start, the place to be was in the west flowing back-eddy along the Gurnard shore. Most yachts headed this way, but the art was in gauging when to tack across the easterly flow towards Beaulieu and the first mark. Here, fortunes changed, the leading boats off the line who stayed on the island shore lost out. A group of five boats led by the J/105 MOSTLY HARMLESS popped out in a favorable position.

It was evident that course-setter and long-term SORC race official Dave Giddings with Steve Cole had used the crystal ball to great effect; the course was enjoyable with true windward legs and downwind legs that were actually downwind. The course mainly featured navigation buoys rather than racing marks, giving the solo/DH sailor a fighting chance of finding them!

Heading off to East Bramble, symmetric spinnaker boats were able to lay the mark, whilst the rest zigzagged their way there allowing for much gybing practice. Two tight fetches to S Ryde Middle then NW to Hillhead caused us in Mzungu to decide that we could use the code zero; no we can`t. Yes, we should have done. Presumably everyone else had the same discussion, because I didn`t see one hoisted.  Perhaps the solo sailors didn`t have a crew discussion. Those that did can get appropriate help once the NHS is less busy. A beat back to East Lepe with the now strongly ebbing spring tide was quick, the port turn around the mark into the tide punished slow spinnaker work as SOG dwindled for those with no power. The fleet closed up considerably and had a great, sunny run to finish, Cowes Week style, at Gurnard [many close inshore out of the tide] where competitors took their own times. The J/105 MOSTLY HARMLESS, sailed by the duo of Natalie Jobling and Tom Hayhoe took line honors and IRC Overall.

The weather was kind, the wind was just right, the course was spot on and it was a "free race". Thanks SORC!" Thanks for this report from Tony White.

Class 1 Solo Class
It was a game of "snakes and ladders" in a closely-fought race. Fifteen boats on the starting line with solo skippers can make for interesting incidents, to say the least. After zigging and zagging across the Solent, it was the J/88 TIGRIS, skippered by Sam Cooper that took line honors with an elapsed time of 2 hrs 36 min. However, TIGRIS was closely followed by a bunch of other boats in less than 1 min 12 secs, dropping him down to 4th place on IRC handicap time.  Jerry Freeman's J/105 JULIETTE finished in 5th place about a minute off the pace of the top boats.

J/105 sailing doublehanded on Solent, England
Class 4 Doublehanded IRC Class
While it may have been a closely fought duel in the Solo I class, it was anything but that in the Class 4 Doublehanded class of nine boats. Starting off fast, going the right direction off the start, the team of Natalie Jobling and Tom Hayhoe on their J/105 MOSTLY HARMLESS led the lead pack to the first mark and simply kept expanding their lead. By the end, the "classic J/105" beat some of the newest boats off competitor's drawing boards, taking line honors by over 4 minutes on the next boat and also taking IRC handicap honors by 1 min 33 secs! Unfortunately, their stablemates on the J/99 JET made a few too many "wrong turns" tactically in the swift-moving Solent currents. At one point JET was a top three contender, but fell back again towards the end, so the JET team of James & Charlie Owen crossed the line 8 minutes behind the J/105 to take sixth on their first outing of the year.

A bonus for all sailors was the fact that North offshore expert Ronan Grealish was on the water in the North Sails RIB, offering coaching, sail trim tips, and support to all. Based on their experience last weekend, Ronan came up with three key tips for shorthanded sailing:

Sail Trim:
Optimize your sail controls so you can control the mainsail and headsail from the same position. Cross-sheeting the headsails are a good option to allow both sails to be trimmed from the windward side. It is important to have your sheets marked for average upwind trim so you can quickly pull them to the mark before fine-tuning, once settled on your new tack.

Planning Ahead:
Thinking two steps ahead will mean you are always ready and anticipating the next maneuver, reducing the likelihood of sailing past a turning mark. Sailing the shortest distance will pay more than keeping the sail up until the last moment.

Having an Autopilot:
A good autopilot is crucial, allowing you to concentrate on sail trim which powers the boat and gives you the best speed. Keeping your head out of the boat to look for changing conditions and tactical decisions will pay dividends when paired with effective sail trimming.

Did you miss our doublehanded webinar with renowned offshore sailor Armel Le Cléac’h and phenom Clarisse sur l’Atlantique? The duo joined North Sails President Ken Read for an inside look into the trials of doublehanded sailing and the grit it takes to race shorthanded.

Doublehanded Webinar
Watch a "Doublehanded Master Class" on YouTube video here.   Sailing photo credits- Rick Tomlinson   For more SORC Offshore series sailing information

J/105 sailing offshore shorthanded
Newport YC Shorthanded Races Announcement
(Newport, RI)- Shorthanded events in Rhode Island on Narragansett Bay remain on schedule despite the COVID-19 environment, with the Offshore 160 (singlehanded) on July 10 and the New England Solo/Twin (singlehanded/doublehanded) on July 24.

Held annually, the New England Solo/Twin has courses of ocean triangles from 60 to 103 nm which begin and end in Narragansett Bay. The race will vary in length, depending on weather, for the Monohulls, Multihulls, and Cruising Canvas divisions.

The biennial Offshore 160 is held in the off-year from the Bermuda One-Two, and is a low-keyed, bare-bones event designed to potentially get new skippers’ singlehanded qualifying passage out of the way in the off-year, and to provide past competitors with a long-distance racing “fix.”  Registration is open for both at the Newport Yacht Club

J/99 sailing doublehanded offshore
Supporting Doublehanded Sailing Growth
(London, United Kingdom)- World Sailing has established a dedicated section for doublehanded offshore sailing to support the growth and interest in this segment of the sport.

Following the selection of a Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat Event at Paris 2024, event numbers for doublehanded offshore events in One-Design boats and handicap racing have increased.

The dedicated section on provides information on Paris 2024, as well as a list of doublehanded offshore events that will be regularly updated. A section on equipment is also included.

To encourage focus on the discipline of offshore sailing itself rather than on specific equipment, the Paris 2024 Olympic Equipment will be selected relatively close to the event.

The broad discipline of doublehanded offshore sailing, which includes all doublehanded events over 50 miles in length, with no gender restrictions, and sailed one-design or under any rating system (e.g. ORC, IRC, or regional systems) can guide sailors to focus their preparation efforts on the required skills to succeed. Skills such as seamanship, navigation, weather prediction, route selection, boat-handling and, of course, fast sailing.

The 2024 Mixed Keelboat Offshore Event will be a representation of this discipline. A very specific, one-race, mixed-gender, one-design, supplied-equipment, event with a specified duration.

In recent weeks and months, a 2024 Offshore Equipment Working Party, that brings together members of the Equipment Committee and Oceanic and Offshore Committee, have been in consultation with manufacturers of offshore boats. The Working Party is developing a set of criteria in consultation with the industry both for the Paris 2024 Olympic event and for the qualification events.

An initial draft of the criteria will be made public and accessible when available here.

Towards the end of 2019, World Sailing issued a Request for Information to engage manufacturers and classes in the discussions around the equipment. World Sailing received 12 responses from manufacturers and designers who provided information on initial proposals. The principal brand represented, fully one-fourth of the dozen recommended, were J/Boats- the J/88, J/99, and J/105.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the manufacturers all met World Sailing collectively via a video conference. Discussions centered around opportunities for all fleets, how World Sailing can help all manufacturers thrive and increase events, as well as emphasizing the importance of equipment equalization and the one-design aspect for the Paris 2024 Olympic event to ensure the focus remains on the skills of the sailor.

The discussion was positively received by all manufacturers as they underlined their commitment to ensuring the continued growth of the discipline. The criteria for suitable Equipment for the Olympic Offshore Event will be published no later than 31 December 2020 and the Equipment will be selected no later than 31 December 2023.

Promoters of sailing circuits, training camps, and event organizers seeking to incorporate doublehanded offshore events are invited to contact World Sailing to contribute to the promotion of this exciting and fast-growing discipline.

J/88 one-design sailing offshore
J/88 North Americans to be Sailed in 2021
(San Francisco, CA)- The J/88 Class Association and St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA have determined, because of the varying levels of infection and disruption across the world, that the 2020 J/88 North American Championship scheduled for September 17-20 will be raced in 2021 as part of the 2021 Rolex Big Boat Series. The regional J/88 Fleet still plans to race at the 2020 Rolex Big Boat Series; however, their Championship will now be the West Coast Championship.

The J/88 Class Officers have been closely monitoring the worldwide developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. They understand the commitment of time and money required to participate in a Continental Championship, as well as the enormous resources that our hosts dedicate to such events.

Gary Panariello, J/88 Class Officer from Sausalito, CA, says, “The regional Fleet looks forward to the Rolex Big Boat Series each year, as it is known for great competition, camaraderie, and an unbeatable venue. The Class wants to make sure the North American Championship is a great competition, and in the current circumstances, participants from the North American fleet cannot fairly compete due to travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Postponing the North American Championship until 2021 is the right thing to do to make sure all competitors can compete safely.”

In the meantime, the Class wishes all J/88 sailors and their families the best in these difficult times. We look forward to resuming sailing as soon as we can.  For more J/88 offshore speedster and one-design information

J/Gear ronstan bag
J/Gear June 20% OFF Special!
(Newport, RI)- Ronstan has been in the performance sailing business for years and they have designed a quality duffel that is perfect for racing or cruising. Ample space in the 24" x 12" x 12" dimension with wide grip carry strap. Inside wet pouch keeps the dry clothes separate. Rugged stitching and large top loading flap. Embroider with your class logo boat name and sail number.  Check it out here on the J/Gear website

Sailing Calendar

Jul 3-5- Italian J/70 Sailing League- Santa Marinella, Italy
Jul 11th- Belles Beer Bayview Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI
Jul 11-12- SAIL Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 17-19- J/70 Segel Bundesliga- Chiemsee, Germany
Jul 18-19- Fiesta Cup (J/70 & J/111)- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 23-26- Sailing World Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 24-26- Ugotta Regatta- Harbor Springs, MI
Aug 13-16- SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg, Russia
Aug 14-16- Swedish J/70 Sailing League- Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
Aug 15-16- Danish J/70 Sailing League- Aarhus, Denmark
Aug 15-16- J/Fest Newport- Newport, RI
Aug 28-30- J/70 Segel Bundesliga- Wannsee, Germany
Aug 28-30- Under 21 Italian J/70 Sailing League Championship- Rimini, Italy
Sep 5-6- Danish J/70 Sailing League- Skovshoved, Denmark

J/99 sailing offshore
Throwback Thursday- Sending It Around Island!
(Newport, RI)- At this time last year, many sailors from the northeastern seaboard of the USA and, indeed, from around the world, were sailing in the NYYC Annual Regatta and the famous Around Island Race.

Remember this photo? Jeff Johnstone and his team of former J/24 crew in Newport were having a blast winning their class in the NYYC Around Island Race, that fun and always challenging 21.0nm circumnavigation of Jamestown (Conanicut) Island in the middle of Narragansett Bay.

In this particular part of the race, gusts were hitting 25 kts and it was "round-up" city for a whole slew of boats. Jeff reported hitting 16 kts boat speed in one of the puffs, cruising along in full planing-mode under the big pink kite.  Fun and games!  To learn more about the J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster

J/145 Katara sailing team
J/145 Takes MEXORC Silver!
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- The MEXORC Trophy 2020 took place over a three-race series that starts with the famous Puerto Vallarta Race from San Diego, CA to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It has proven to be a popular event of the years since the series ends with an amazing awards ceremony in Puerto Vallarta.

It is not hard to see why the MEXORC Trophy continues to attract sailors from around the world. Fun racing. Amazing hospitality. Sailing on the azure waters of Bahia de Banderas with whales, sharks, sunfish, flying fish, wahoo, dorado, tuna, lobster, and good Lord knows what else. It's a seafood fiesta, sailing fiesta to excite the senses.

J/145 Katara sailing offshore
Notably, Roger Gatewood's J/145 KATARA took 2nd in the ORR 5 Class in the Puerto Vallarta Race, then managed to post an overall record of 5-5-2 for the MEXORC Trophy to take 3rd overall! Job well done...and, notably, just about a week before Mexico went into "shutdown/ lockdown" mode in Mexico as well.

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* J/Net Brokerage Specials! Check out our exciting new site for lovingly-owned J/Boats from around the world.

J/124 sailing offshore

If you wish to become an "escapee" from this challenging world we are living in today, here is a yacht that can comfortably cruise across the Seven Seas in style and comfort. A gorgeous, fast sailing yacht designed to be sailed short-handed with ease by a couple.

From its large carbon wheel to the fine cherry and teak joiner work and Ultra-Suede upholstery below, or simply by the smooth, graceful way it slides through the water, the J/124 is every bit a sailing yacht in the best sense of the word. One that is a joy to sail in all conditions with minimal crew and with rare need to employ the auxiliary diesel engine.

"Sea Loft" is a one-owner yacht and a rare find. She is in like-new condition, exceptionally well-equipped, and maintained to a discerning standard. In indoor heated storage for every winter season, other than re-commissioning, this boat needs nothing. The many custom options and specifications will astound you. Come take a look at Eastern Yachts Sales in Maine, you will not be disappointed.

* Four "Crazy" Sailors Go on Rescue Mission
J/99 in Bermuda
Four sailors launched an unusual rescue mission from the US to retrieve a sailboat stranded in Bermuda.

They did so in a 33 ft boat, Rodney Johnstone's brand-new J/99 JAZZ. It was a choice that made some people declare they were “crazy” to attempt such a trip.

However, this was no ordinary quartet of sailors, for among them was boat designer Rod Johnstone, an iconic figure in the sailing world. The other three also had extensive sailing credentials.

Their goal was to reunite Jean de Fontenay with his 67ft sailboat Baraka. It was moored in St George’s Harbour for the winter, but Mr de Fontenay had been in the US when travel restrictions were put in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and he had not been able to return to collect it before the start of the hurricane season on June 1st.

J/99 rescue team
Rescue team on deck: Andy Williams, left, Rod Johnstone, Clay Burkhalter, and owner Jean de Fontenay help to get Baraka back to the USA after being stranded in Bermuda.

With no commercial flights to the island, he searched for another way to reach Bermuda and retrieve Baraka.

One of his friends, Clay Burkhalter, said: “I know Jean well. He called and asked if I knew anyone who could sail him to Bermuda. I asked around, but could not find anyone.

“Finally, it dawned on me, my uncle, who is a designer of J-Boats — a whole series of sailboats produced over 45 years — had a new design J-99 that he had just taken delivery of. We’d planned to do the Newport Bermuda Race in it, but the race was cancelled.”

He called his uncle Rodney and asked if he wanted to do the trip to Bermuda anyway, taking Mr de Fontenay and another friend to collect Baraka.

“I said we can’t go on land, we can tie up and rest and then turn around and leave. He said yes, let’s do it,” said Clay.

Before embarking on the trip, they checked with the authorities in the US and Bermuda to make sure they could do the trip without being required to go into quarantine. They took Covid-19 tests before leaving the US and were all negative.

It took them 4½ days to sail from Connecticut to Bermuda.

Arriving in St George’s Harbour, they tied up against Baraka and cleared Customs. They had to remain on the two boats at all times.

Food supplies were placed in Baraka’s dinghy, which was on land. It was towed out to the boats by Steve Hollis, of Ocean Sails, in St George’s.

He said: “Jean’s been a customer of ours for a long time.”

After a day and night of rest, the crew, whose ages range from 62 to 83, split with Mr de Fontenay and Alan Williams on Baraka for the return trip, and Mr Burkhalter and his uncle on the J-99.

Mr Burkhalter said: “This rescue mission for Jean’s 67-footer was pretty unusual.

“Most people at home thought we were crazy. What! You are doing that in a 33-footer? But, when we got going we had a tracking link so friends and family could see where we were. Once we got going everyone was enthusiastic.”

J/99 off Bermuda
Mr Hollis said: “You’re rescuing your boat, you can’t fly there, so you have to sail there to get it— what a great adventure to do that.”

He added that many people bring their boats to Bermuda in the winter and stay for a few months, putting money into the local economy while here. He believes it is something that Bermuda could expand on.
Thanks for this contribution from Scott Neil, Assistant Business Editor/ Royal Gazette Bermuda

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing off Newport, RI
* J/22 "Household Racing" is HUGE Hit in Newport!
Recently, the Executive Director of SAIL NEWPORT- Brad Read- provided an update on their experience "opening up" their facility at Fort Adams in Newport, RI. In summary, here is what Brad had to say:

"Our staff has been working overtime to ensure that all of our services are available for all of our sailors!

With excellent communication with Rhode Island's Department of Environmental Management (DEM), we have received approval to run:
  • Our summer youth and racing programs have been approved and will start on June 29th!!  
  • Household racing in J/22s has been a HUGE hit! 
  • Household rentals and lessons on the J/22s have slowly increased since the start of Phase II.
SAIL NEWPORT has received these approvals due to the trust that the state has put in us to monitor the areas of the park that are within our lease. These actions include health checks for staff and patrons, parking, face coverings, ensuring compliance with hygiene regiments in bathrooms/on boats /on surfaces /hand washing/PPE, contact tracing, and other protocols.

Thank you to all of the sailors in our facility for their understanding of the new guidelines that we must live under. I am super proud of our entire team, which includes staff, Executive Board, Board of Directors and Advisory Council!

Our sailing/racing schedule continues to be robust and is working daily with the state to find ways to get more people safely on the water. Stay tuned for our July and August schedule."  For more J/22 Family Racing information

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

J/Newsletter- June 10th, 2020

sunset in Chile Summer is here in the northern hemisphere and across Europe, North America, and Asia. The so-called "opening-up" process is seeing people finally getting on the water! And, our friends "down under" that have weathered the "pandemic storm", particularly Australia and New Zealand, have not gotten back to "normal", but are at least experiencing a "new normal" that enables sailors to get back on the water again practicing the known "safe protocols".

As for Newport, it has been complete madness. As soon as the beaches were open, the bars and restaurants open, it seems as if the locusts from across the northeast have descended upon the famous America's Cup Avenue, Ocean Drive, the three beaches. Biker gangs with their festooned leather vests, Corvette rallies, Ferrari rallies (yes, they do exist), and good Lord knows what else have come from afar, "escapees" from their life in lock-down mode. Perhaps, a case of "cottage fever" run a mock. Who can blame them, if one were stuck in a city apartment for nearly 3 months in a concrete canyon, you would too.

Two creative "lock-down" events concluded in this past week, sailing J/70s in their Virtual Regattas. One in Germany, a virtual version of the Deutsche J/70 Segel-Bundesliga and the other the J/Boats Portugal VR Regatta series.

Social Distance Sailing
SORC Social Distance Race Announcement
(Miami, Florida)- As event organizers navigate their local health restrictions, for some areas that means participation is permitted only with same household crew while other areas focus on group size.

On June 27, the SORC Social Distance Race will offer rating racing along a 21.0nm course around Key Biscayne in Miami, FL. A pursuit start will meet the mandate that boats must remain more than 50 feet apart, and participants must follow the crew capacity limits based on boat length:

• Boats less than 25 feet: 4 adults max. plus children 17 and under; max. of 8 people.
• Boats 25 to 36 feet: 6 adults max. plus children 17 and under; max. of 8 people.
• Boats greater than 36 feet: 8 adults max. plus children 17 and under; max. of 10 people.

Initially scheduled for May 24, the storm that became Tropical Storm Arthur caused a postponement to the week after Father’s Day. We look forward to seeing as many of you on the water as possible! For more SORC Social Distance Race sailing information

German J/70 eSailing League winners
Muhlenberger Segel-Club Crowned Champions of e-Sailing Bundesliga!
(Hamburg, Germany)- On Friday evening, the Hamburg club confidently prevailed against its eleven competitors in the heartbeat final of the e-Sailing Bundesliga powered by BAY. As the top-ranked sailing club in Germany, the Mühlenberger Sailing Club can call itself "e-Sailing Master of the Sailing Clubs". The runner-up was the Lake Constance Yacht Club Überlingen. Third place went to the Düsseldorf Yacht Club.

Over seven days of matches, a total of 68 clubs qualified for the final. Then, during the finale, the top twelve finalists competed against each other in three races to determine the four teams that ultimately fought for overall victory in the Final Series.

The duo of Philipp Schrader and Timon Treichel from the Düsseldorf Yacht Club dominated the first races and confidently secured a place for the Final Series alongside Tim Federspiel and Lukas Ammon from the Württemberg Yacht Club and Jonathan Koch from the Bodensee Yacht Club Überlingen. Hamburg-based Till Krüger from the Mühlenberger Segel-Club was the only one of seven northern clubs represented in the final.

In the final series, Mühlenberg and Überlingen each won their third race to qualify for the heartbeat final. With another win, Mühlenberg, Überlingen and Düsseldorf could have won the overall victory. However, after a tough and exciting duel with Überlingen, the Mühlenberg sailing club finally prevailed and became the first club to become the "e-Sailing Master of the Sailing Clubs."

“It's an extremely cool format. We loved the eSailing Bundesliga series event and proud for our home club," said Till Krüger.

The races were broadcast live on YouTube, Facebook and and followed by eSailing and league fans across Germany.

"The success of the series, both in terms of the number of participating clubs and the media attention, has shown great interest in the virtual version of the Bundesliga. There will certainly be a continuation at the national level,” said Oliver Schwall, Managing Director of the Segel-Bundesliga. "Other countries such as Italy and Denmark have already adapted the format. So, implementation at the international level is conceivable as a counterpart to the SAILING Champions League."

After the e-Sailing season is over, the league clubs are now fully concentrated on preparing for their first on-the-water racing for the 2020 sailing season. The season start of the German J/70 Segel-Bundesliga will take place on July 17th at the Chiemsee Yacht Club in Prien, Germany.  Sailing Photo credits: DSBL/ Lars Wehrmann.  For more Deutsche J/70 Segel-Bundesliga information.

J/Gear ronstan bag
J/Gear June 20% OFF Special!
(Newport, RI)- Ronstan has been in the performance sailing business for years and they have designed a quality duffel that is perfect for racing or cruising. Ample space in the 24" x 12" x 12" dimension with wide grip carry strap. Inside wet pouch keeps the dry clothes separate. Rugged stitching and large top loading flap. Embroider with your class logo boat name and sail number.  Check it out here on the J/Gear website

Sailing Calendar

Jul 3-5- Italian J/70 Sailing League- Santa Marinella, Italy
Jul 11th- Belles Beer Bayview Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI
Jul 11-12- SAIL Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 17-19- J/70 Segel Bundesliga- Chiemsee, Germany
Jul 18-19- Fiesta Cup (J/70 & J/111)- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 23-26- Sailing World Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 24-26- Ugotta Regatta- Harbor Springs, MI
Aug 13-16- SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg, Russia
Aug 14-16- Swedish J/70 Sailing League- Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
Aug 15-16- Danish J/70 Sailing League- Aarhus, Denmark
Aug 15-16- J/Fest Newport- Newport, RI
Aug 28-30- J/70 Segel Bundesliga- Wannsee, Germany
Aug 28-30- Under 21 Italian J/70 Sailing League Championship- Rimini, Italy
Sep 5-6- Danish J/70 Sailing League- Skovshoved, Denmark

J/70 Virtual Regatta
DEJA VU Wins 10th edition of J/Boats Portugal Virtual Regatta Series
(Planet Earth)- Over time, the popularity of J/Boats Portugal's Virtual Regatta program using the popular J/70 has continued to grow and this past weekend it had its largest participation yet. 169 entries from around the world participated in the 10th edition of the J/Boats Portugal VR Series, a three-day event! After the qualifiers, 20 boats sailed in the Grand Finale on Sunday, the racing was exciting, fast & furious, with many lead changes!  Teams hailed from over 14+ countries, including United Kingdom, Turkey, Russia, Greece, Portugal, Argentina, Spain, France, Denmark, Croatia, United States, Italy, Belgium, and Slovenia.

To get a feel for how the event was staged, you can watch an hour-long highlights video with live commentary, live analysis, and replay of the principal races. The entire program was produced by eSailing.TV with passionate and knowledgeable sailors providing the blow-by-blow of each race.

Here is that link on

In the end, it was clear the top British boat DEJA VU, skippered by Mike O'Donovan from Stokes Bay Sailing Club in Aberdeen, Scotland was setting a hot pace throughout the three-day event. However, it was a trio of Turkish sailors from Istanbul, Turkey that were giving him a run-for-the-money! In fact, in the final "Gold Medal" race (modeled after the Olympics where it's winner-take-all) the ultimate outcome literally came down to the last gybe into the finish!

J/70 eSailing virtual regatta
Here is how it all finally played out.  Winning was O'Donovan's DEJA VU from Aberdeen, Scotland. Just losing the finale by a hair's breadth to take home the silver was Turkey's Umut Efe Alpkoçak from the eSailing Club Turkey. Rounding out the podium taking the bronze was fellow Turkish countryman Kaan Mazlunca sailing for Istanbul Yelken Kulübü.

Rounding out the top five and not that far off the pace were Oguz Er in 4th position, sailing for Istanbul Sailing Club and in 5th position was John Kok from the Thessaloniki Sailing Club in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The links to the live stream of the Finals and Medal Race.
For more information about the J/Boats Portugal VR Series.

J/122 sailing RORC offshore series
RORC Offshore Series Updates

(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- As with other major offshore events, the window of opportunity to get back to racing on the Seven Seas depends on jurisdiction and where the races start and end. For the race management team at RORC, the varying rules and jurisdictions are particularly vexing when conducting races between the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Belgium, and The Netherlands.  Here are some of the latest updates.

IRC National Championship - move to September confirmed
The RORC Committee have confirmed the move of the IRC National Championships from its scheduled June time slot to September 11th to13th, Friday to Sunday. The move sees the IRC Nationals being run together with the IRC Double-Handed National Championship scheduled for the same weekend.

IRC Rating Director Dr Jason Smithwick commented, "The later schedule is a good result for the IRC fleet and allows us the best chance of giving them a top-level event with sailing in good conditions."

Channel Race & L'Île d'Ouessant Race
The Club now turns its attention to August and the traditional Channel Race and the quadrennial favorite of the L'Île d'Ouessant Race (or Ushant race), where it is hoped club racing can begin again.

RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone discusses some of the complexities and considerations in getting racing under way, "we are working to provide information as early as possible for all races, with a view to giving members and competitors an update about races no later than 30 days (4 weeks) before the scheduled race date. We will continue to ensure these updates come as early as possible to limit the disruption to those competing. There are many areas to monitor and consider, including the safety of the RORC staff and volunteers before we simply set off and go racing."

"With the cancellation of the July events, we now look more seriously at the Channel Race and the L'Île d'Ouessant Race," continues Stone. "Will Government regulations allow yachts to sail fully crewed? Current social distancing measures make it difficult for that to happen safely. Regulations also currently don't permit people to stay away from their primary residence, so we eagerly await some changes before overnight races can return to normal. There is also more serious border and immigration issues that need to be resolved. At present, sailing into foreign waters in a recreational capacity is against regulations. But, potentially, there may also be some quarantine issues to consider going forward. And lastly, we need to be extremely aware of the situation with our search and rescue authorities and examine their willingness to have events start up again. They are, after all, crucial to our sport, especially in maintaining the safety of all those competing."

Stone further noted, "we appreciate that it must be terribly frustrating watching the season go by from land. We feel the same and would like to ensure all our competitors that we are doing everything within our power to get us back to racing as quickly and as safely as possible."  Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Wyeth/  For more RORC Offshore event sailing information

J/22s sailing off Montego Bay, Jamaica
2020 J/22 North Americans Cancelled

(Kingston, Ontario, Canada)– The International J/22 Class Association (IJ22CA) and CORK in Kingston, Ontario Canada have determined, because of the varying levels of infection and disruption across the world, that the 2020 J/22 North American Championship scheduled for August 6-9 is cancelled. The Executive Committee has been closely monitoring the worldwide developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. They understand the huge commitment of time and money it takes to participate in a major Championship, as well as the enormous resources that our hosts dedicate to such events.

The Class intends to hold the 2023 J/22 North American Championship at CORK in Kingston, following the 2021 J/22 World Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas (July 18-24) and the 2022 J/22 North American Championship in Tawas Bay, Michigan (September 13-17). In the meantime, the Class wishes all J/22 sailors and their families the best in these difficult times. We look forward to resuming sailing as soon as we can.

Trevor Collins, J/22 Canadian Class President, said, “It was important to the organizing group that we would be able to offer competitors an event complete, memorable and worthy of a North American Championship title. We hope all J/22 sailors get on the water soon, and we look forward to inviting you all back to CORK in the near future.”  Learn more about the J/22 and the class here.

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* J/Net Brokerage Specials! Check out our exciting new site for lovingly-owned J/Boats from around the world.

J/133 Scirocco 3 for sale
A very pretty 2006 J/133 is available on Lake Michigan. Having sailed most of her life in fresh water for about five months per season, this boat is in impeccable condition. SIROCCO 3 was originally customized with the help of Butch Ulmer (of the famous Ulmer-Kolius Sailmakers). SIROCCO 3 has many custom features such as aft pilot berths. Sails and electronics updated. Beautiful condition!  Learn more about the J/133 SIROCCO 3 here

J/111 Shorthanded ready to sail on Lake Michigan!
* J/111 SHORTHANDED- we recently got a report from the new owner of the famous J/111 LUCKY DUBIE. Now renamed SHORTHANDED, Bob Hughes of Macatawa, MI was excited about getting her ready for sailing this summer on Lake Michigan.  

Bob had this to report, "our J/111 Shorthanded is now home in Macatawa, MI after a safe crossing from Waukegan, IL in mid-May. The trip was actually quite pleasant considering the chilly air temperature. The sun was shining, and we motor sailed with the main up, with the autopilot in charge, while we (Bob Hughes and Jeff Deyoung) took shelter from the wind under the dodger. We had a southerly wind around 15 knots and averaged over 8 knots for the trip. When we checked the water temp, it was a chilly 39 degrees. Shorthanded will participate in the usual distance races on Lake Michigan, both fully crewed and double handed, as well as mixing it up with the other Lake Michigan J/111s in one-design racing. We cannot wait to get back on the water again with family and friends!"

Howie McMichael - sailor extraordinaire* Eight Bells- Howie McMichael

Howard McMichael, Jr. died at the age of 82 on June 2, 2020 in White Plains, NY. Howie, as he was known to family and friends, suffered a stroke on May 28 from which he never recovered.

Howie was the longtime leader of and inspiration for McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers, having taken over the company from his father, Howard Sr., upon Howie’s return from serving in the U.S. Army in 1962.

Having grown up in the boat yard, Howie started selling boats, managing purchasing and marketing for the company. Under his leadership, McMichael grew to one of the country’s major yacht brokerages and yacht servicing companies.

Howie served as President of McMichael through 2019 at which time he became the company’s Chairman. Under his watchful eye, the leadership of the company transitioned to its current President, Steve Leicht, a McMichael family member.

The company continues to be fully family-owned with a board comprised of his sister Susan McMichael Robertson, his sister Joan’s son-in-law Steve Leicht, and his son-in-law H.L. DeVore.

Nothing pleased Howie more than being out on the water. You could find him on his beloved boat “Puff” setting the weather mark with his best friends Joe Fontanella and perpetual PRO Butch Ulmer. If he wasn’t at that perfectly set weather mark, then he was off cruising on the family J/44 HONAHLEE with his grandchildren.

Howie was a yachtsman in the truest sense of the word. An active sailboat racer his entire life, he was a former Commodore of Larchmont Yacht Club and active member of the Storm Trysail Club.

His love and dedication to the yachting and boating communities was demonstrated in many ways, including countless hours volunteering for Storm Trysail’s Safety-at-Sea programs and Intercollegiate Offshore Regattas, as well as recently supporting the Newport-to-Bermuda Race and the youth sailors of the MudRatz and the Young American Sailing Academy.

Howie will be missed for those and his many other contributions to the sport he loved. More so, he will be missed by all to whom he was a friend. Gregarious and willing to share his vast knowledge about sail and power boats, Howie was always willing to stop whatever he was doing to help answer a question or address a concern. For those and his other inspiring characteristics, his legacy as a leader and crew mate will continue for generations.

Howie is survived by his wife Carolyn of 56 years; children James McMichael (Kirsten), Heather Conner (Steve), and Catherine DeVore (HL); seven grandchildren JB, Jack, and Teddy Conner; Katie, Jackie, Lindsey, and Daisy DeVore; and sisters Joan McMichael Kelly and Susan McMichael Robertson.

Plans for a celebration of Howie’s life will be forthcoming. In the meantime, fair winds and following seas, Howie.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

J/Newsletter- June 3rd, 2020

sunset in Chile It has been another challenging week around the world for our community of J/Sailors. Some good, some hopeful, some bad, some sad. Our sailing friends in South America are having a difficult time with the pandemic in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina; hopefully turning the corner sometime soon. In America, everyone is coming to grips with both the pandemic problem and with civil unrest regarding the death of George Floyd and issues of equal justice and fair treatment of all Americans, from every walk of life. In short, many Americans are looking for, and hoping, for a "brighter tomorrow". And, yet other sailors are watching the rights of spring begin to bloom and offer we transition into summer in the northern hemisphere and can, with a degree of caution, begin to go sailing again.

As the activity of sailing is given the "green light" by various organizations, J/22's are making their presence felt in various sailing programs across the country and the Caribbean; from Sail Newport in Rhode Island to Park City Community Sailing next to that famous ski resort in Utah; to the Montego Bay YC sailing program in Jamaica!

A "Social Distance Race" series organized for sailors in western Long Island Sound has been a resounding success for double-handers and family teams, with two J/88's and a J/27 enjoying an offshore challenge from Greenwich, CT to Stratford Shoals and back.

College sailors in MAISA (Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association) jumped into the "virtual racing" game using the Virtual Regatta J/70s. They have had a series of "inshore racing" events using virtual J/70s with "live" virtual coaching from their team coaches. Apparently, many lessons learned regarding the process of thinking tactically and strategically.

Then, a recently published recap and highlights video of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race provides you a very educational perspective on what it takes to campaign a sailboat in a major offshore distance race.

J/22s sailing off Montego Bay, Jamaica
Jamin Jamaica J/22 Regatta Announcement
(Montego Bay, Jamaica)- The Montego Bay YC is announcing that the Jamin Jamaica J/22 2020 regatta will be held from December 10th to 13th, with racing yet again taking place on the gorgeous aquamarine waters of Montego Bay! Come and truly get yer 'ya'ya's out after hibernating under lockdown for months!

For the Pirates who came, saw, and conquered the "Course of the Black Pearl", thank you for making it such a memorable event for the 30th Edition!

Jamin Jamaica J/22 Regatta winners
We had such a fantastic time! Sailors representing the first-ever JamAm Regattas, like Galen Freeman and Bruce Berner, to some first-time scallywags, all loved sailing in the tropical blue, warm sea around Montego Bay Harbor! It was a fabulous event on and off the water!

Please take a look at our highlight reel: Jamin 30th Edition Highlights

And check out some of the press:
- An interview with Richard Hamilton on the Jamin’ Jamaica J/22 Regatta
- 30th Annual JAMIN Regatta Ends On a High Note (Jamaica Observer)

If you would like to keep in touch, please fill out the form here.

We will be sending out the Jamin 2020 Registration ASAP! So, make sure all your friends that might want to join have filled out the form above so they will know when registration is live!

By the way, we had a poem-writing contest that may have been influenced by Jamaica's famous rum. The winning poem came from BLU DOG CALYPSO's Galen Freeman and Laura Johnson:

"Jamin J is wild ‘n’ fun
And we are here to drink the rum

Banged all up from ups ‘n’s downs
But on our faces you’ll see no frowns

Cus all the peeps are cool ‘n’ nice
And all the drinks are filled with ice

Yo ho ho for very few J's
Beautiful nights ‘n’ sunny days

Great Great Sailin ‘n’ dancing the night away
Lord help us, we’ll never stop Comin to the Jamin J"

Cheers and we look forward to seeing you in December!  For more Jamin Jamaica J/22 Regatta sailing information    Instagram    Facebook

J/22 Sail Newport
Let's Go Sailing @ Sail Newport!
(Newport, RI)- After a long winter, made longer by the pandemic, Sail Newport's J/22 sailboats are on the water and ready to rent! We are thankful to have the "green light" from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to resume rentals, but of course, within guidelines to keep our staff and customers safe.

Here’s how it will work:
  • Per the State of Rhode Island DEM regulations, all individuals for a boat rental must be from the same household and be R.I. residents (Unless you can document your required 14-day Quarantine per R.I Exec. Order. This will likely only be until June 1 - bear with us!)
  • The boats are available seven days a week for three-hour rentals by appointment only
  • (Absolutely no walk-ins at this time)
  • We have twelve boats in the water
  • Make an appointment by calling the Sail Newport Dock Office at (401) 849-8385
  • All rentals must be paid in full at the time of the reservation, we will take your card number over the telephone
  • If we are unable to provide a boat because of weather conditions, or, if the sailor does not pass a checkout, we will issue a refund
Please know that the rental start times will be a bit different than previous seasons. We appreciate your cooperation, patience and understanding as we vary arrival times to respect social distancing.

J/22 Sail Newport
Full House J/22 Racing Series: June 9 - June 30
Sail Newport will be hosting a "household-only" J/22 spinnaker series on Tuesday nights and non-spinnaker series on Wednesday nights during the month of June in our fleet of J/22s to kick-off the 2020 regatta season. Racing will begin at 6pm between Rose and Goat Island with multiple races planned each night.  We anticipate a full fleet of 12 boats for each series, so sign up today to save your spot!

Narragansett Bay is our greatest natural resource, and there’s no better way to enjoy the water than sailing a J/22 on a beautiful day.

Kim Hapgood, Program Director.  Call for Reservation: 401-849-8385.  For more Sail Newport J/22 rental information

J/70s sailing offshore
More Regatta Cancellations & Postponements
(Newport, RI)- Sadly, several more major events have been either cancelled or postponed as the cycle of the pandemic sweeps through other countries around the world.

2020 J/80 World Champs is cancelled
Due to current events impacting sailing regattas, travel, and related global disruptions, the J/80 North American Class Association Executive Board has cancelled the 2020 J/80 World Championships that were originally scheduled to be held from September 28 to October 3, 2020 in Newport, RI.

While the J/80 Worlds will return to North America in 2022, the 2021 J/80 World Championship will be hosted by the Royal Danish Yacht Club in Hellerup Denmark.

2020 J/70 North Americans is cancelled
The International J/70 Class Association (IJ70CA) and the Port Credit Yacht Club have decided, because of the varying levels of infection and disruption across the world, to cancel the 2020 J/70 North American Championship scheduled for September 20-27, 2020 in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

The Executive Committee has been closely monitoring the worldwide developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. They understand 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 dedicate to such events.

The 2021 J/70 North American Championship will remain as planned from May 12-15 at the Annapolis Yacht Club in Annapolis, MD. The Class intends to hold the 2022 J/70 North American Championship at the Port Credit Yacht Club, meaning the 2023 J/70 North American Championship will be hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida (originally scheduled for 2022).

J/24 North American Championship Postponed to August 2021
The International J/24 Class Association (IJCA) and the Sayville Yacht Club in Blue Point, New York today announced the postponement of the Good Samaritan Hospital J/24 North American Championship slated for August 11th to 16th, 2020. The revised dates are August 18th to 22nd, 2021, pending approval of the SYC Board.

The Organizing Authority reviewed COVID-19 guidance documents from World Sailing, US Sailing and New York State, as well as working closely with event sponsors.

The Sayville Yacht Club started an Infectious Disease Committee which has been monitoring the CDC, state and local government agencies in order to develop the Club's policies for the summer of 2020.

Joseph Buonasera, SYC Rear Commodore and J/24 NAC Regatta Chairman, said, “First and foremost, the organizing committee has the responsibility to make sure that all of the participants, including the volunteers and the race committee are able to participate in a safe and secure manner. We also have a responsibility to our sponsors. We understand this is very disappointing for all of us. There has been a great deal of work done to prepare for this regatta, and due to reasons beyond our control we feel that this postponement is the right thing to do. Our sponsors are ready to come back in 2021, and it will allow our participants to have the event that they have come to expect and deserve.”

The previously scheduled J/24 North American Championships will now shift one year, with Kingston, Ontario Canada hosting in 2022 and Sandusky Sailing Club in Ohio in 2023. In the meantime, the Class wishes all J/24 sailors and their families the best in these unusual times. We look forward to resuming sailing as soon as we can.

J/Gear ronstan bag
J/Gear June 20% OFF Special!
(Newport, RI)- Ronstan has been in the performance sailing business for years and they have designed a quality duffel that is perfect for racing or cruising. Ample space in the 24" x 12" x 12" dimension with wide grip carry strap. Inside wet pouch keeps the dry clothes separate. Rugged stitching and large top loading flap. Embroider with your class logo boat name and sail number.  Check it out here on the J/Gear website

J/88 sailing offshore
J/Crews Dominate Social Distance Race
(Greenwich, CT)- With organized racing on New York’s Long Island Sound shut down, UK Sailmakers’ Adam Loory organized a series of doublehanded “pick-up” races over the last three weekends. The races are not run by any club or sailing association, there is no entry fee, no trophies and no party; just boats meeting up to go racing. By sailing doublehanded, crews are able to social distance and nearly eliminate the chance of spreading the Covid-19 virus.

In lieu of an entry fee, all sailors have been donating to the Larchmont/ Mamaroneck Food Pantry, which feeds those in need during this time of massive unemployment. Nearly $5,000 has been donated so far, which makes the races doubly rewarding.

On May 23rd, the race was a 45-miler that went from Greenwich, Ct., around Stratford Shoal Light House and back. Luckily, the no-wind-at-the-start forecast was wrong; there was 8-12 knots of wind out of the east-northeast for the start and the first half of the race. At one point racers sailed through fog so thick they could barely see 100 feet. The forecast did call for a building in the late afternoon, but not the 20-26 knots out of the northeast most of the fleet got hit by when they were within three miles of making the turn home. Once around the light house it was a quick run to the finish. Those who flew spinnakers reported speeds up to 17 knots.

J/Sailors off starting line on Long Island Sound
Andrew Weiss and Lawrence Cutler, co-owners of the J/88 ONE TOO MANY finished first in Class 2 and first overall. After the race Andrew wrote, “We had great trip back. Lawrence hit 14 knots, which we thought was pretty good for a 29-foot boat. We never broached all the way back. It’s a good little boat for doublehanding-- still it was a long beat for us.”

Andrew was happy the race didn’t take much longer as they were navigating with an iPhone and didn’t know what they would do if the battery went dead!

Taking second in Class 2 was yet another J/88- Paul Strauch's ANDIAMO.  Then, winning Class 1 by a handy margin was Barry Purcell's J/27 LUCIDA!

Twenty-four boats signed up, five didn’t start and five more retired during the race, leaving 14 finishers. Everyone, including those who retired wrote thanking for the opportunity to race and for the good time they had.

Long-time Long Island Sound racer Rich Gold said, “Thank you Adam for providing a spring worth remembering amidst a year of Covid-19 we want to forget. Racing doublehanded requires a lot of dynamic skills to enable skipper and crew to have fun safely. Congratulations to the winners, crews and to the entire bunch of sailing enthusiasts that defined their May in a sailor’s way.”

Two more races are planned before the regular season starts up. Anyone interested in joining in should email Adam Loory at:

Sailing photo credits- Suzy Bradford

J/70 Virtual Regatta
College Sailors in the Virtual World
(Philadelphia, PA)- The Drexel University Club Sailing Team had a pretty good fall season, qualifying for the Mid-Atlantic Fall Championship and putting in a solid team effort in challenging conditions there. The team was really looking good going into the spring season, and then March happened…

COVID-19 hit the US hard. Soon travel was canceled, followed swiftly by, well – everything else, including the entire spring college sailing season. The students were held off campus on an extended spring break, and the team never rigged boats for the year before campus was shut down and the student athletes became digital distance learners.

That could have been the end of the story, but as people were learning all sorts of way to suddenly be digitally social, an idea was formed. What if the Drexel sailors combined video conference hangouts and online virtual sailing?

“At first I thought it would be a good social outlet for my sailors, but as soon as we started, I learned it was actually a valuable teaching tool,” said Coach Craig Priniski.

The team used Virtual Regatta Inshore since it was an established platform with an eSailing World Sailing sanction. The app and website-based eSport also allowed for private races to be held with only the team participating.

“I found out that teaching strategy and tactics using the live video feed and interactive one design fleets was very effective,” noted Priniski. “The platform offered a better way to demonstrate topics like persistent and oscillating shifts, effects of wind shadows from competitors, and even the importance of finding dark water for pressure up the race course.”

virtual J/70 sailing regatta
The now-scattered team enjoyed the virtual practice sessions, too.

“As a graduating senior, I was very disappointed to have been left out of my last season,” admitted Haley Clemson. “Though it definitely is not the same, and I still wish for the ability to sail a physical boat every day of social distancing, the practices and regatta that we planned through VR inshore are a great way for us to connect as a team and through MAISA when we can’t in person.

“It is very cool that there is a platform where we can still ‘practice’ our sport through all of this, and is a cool way to have the semblance of practice with the team when a real practice is not possible”

The virtual season culminated with the first ever eSailing college regatta, at least that the team has heard of!

The Drexel Open Regatta, which is traditionally sailed on the team’s home waters of the Delaware River, was instead moved to a virtual experience.

A notice was sent out to the Mid-Atlantic Conference’s email list to invite other teams and recent grads to come together for one college regatta on May 16. The regatta was held in various simulated venues around the world and the sailors got to try sailing Stars, J/70s, and even 49ers over a six-race series. A Zoom skippers’ meeting was held, and all participants were invited to ‘stand by’ on Zoom or even chat with their competitors, as appropriate.

The Drexel Open succeeded beyond the original intent of uniting a few local teams. Instead, there were more sailors than the 20 boat races could accommodate. Several Drexel sailors opted to spectate so all could participate. In the end, 26 sailors were in a 20-boat fleet spanning two continents, three countries, and 10 colleges. Patrick Modin, sailing for Kings Point, took top honors for the regatta.

International Drexel student Paula Cabot commented, “I had to move back home to Spain to finish the quarter. It was hard to adjust, but it has been fun to be able to video call with the whole team and play Virtual Regatta. I am really happy that we were able to do the Drexel Open Regatta and hangout with the other teams!”

Drexel Sailing still has a few practices left…. look for them in the Virtual Regatta Inshore custom races around 7 pm ET on Mondays and Thursdays.   Thanks for contribution from Scuttlebutt Sailing News

J/22s sailing off Park City, UT
Keeping Sailing Healthy and Well
(Park City, UT)- We admit to having digital fatigue. During the coronavirus pandemic, the go-to solution to remain connected was to create video content, but there are only so many how-to topics we can consume. Enough already!

Sailors want to sail, and while most regions have some form of health restriction impacting the sport, making adjustments to activate participation is the function of every sailing organization.

For those waiting to return to their normal competition schedule, they will be waiting too long as the season is on and people want to get on the water. Sailing is about reacting to the conditions, so let’s react!

That’s the game plan at Park City Sailing Association (, located 32 miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City at an elevation of 7,000 feet (yes, over a mile high!) amid some of Utah’s great ski resorts.

Ken Block provides the update:
"So much of today’s sailing news is either stories of the past or an announcement of a regatta cancellation. Here on the Jordanelle Reservoir, just outside of Park City, sailing is growing at a record rate. This is our 13th season and 13 may be our lucky number.

As the month of May started, members began to use the club’s J/22s the moment the boats hit the frigid mountain water. Families that had been quarantined at home since mid- March found an opportunity to have a safe family activity under the ski slopes of Deer Valley. The club boats are each equipped with “Sani-Kits” to allow members to sanitize the cockpits to adhere to County regulations.

The entire team at Park City Sailing offers encouragement to the countless clubs that are facing some difficult challenges this year. Let us all work to keeping sailing healthy and well."  Thanks for contribution from Scuttlebutt Sailing News

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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J/111 for sale
A beautiful dark navy-blue J/111 is ready to transport you across the Seven Seas in grand style. One of the prettiest boats you can lay your eyes on to..check her out and imagine how she would feel for a spin around-the-buoys or a long offshore sleighride over moonlit seas...

Learn more about this SAIL California J/111 listing here

J/133 sailing Rolex Sydney Hobart Race
* Australian Jason Close, owner of the J/133 PATRIOT, won his division in the Rolex Sydney Hobart last year- starting on Boxing Day, December 26th, 2019.

Jason's first attempt didn't go so well. However, he saw no alternative but to come back for the 75th race after PATRIOT broke her rudder (a submerged object broke it clean off) and retired from last year’s race.

Originally owned and raced in the USA, this J/133 was the second USA-built boat to be imported into Australia. Her only other Rolex Sydney Hobart was 2010, when owned by Queenslander Tony Love. Their successful outing enabled them to finish 25th overall for second in Division 3. Otherwise, PATRIOT has been lightly raced, used more for cruising.

For our 2019 race, the crew consisted mainly of members of Sandringham Yacht Club members, with four of the sailors either current or ex-international 14-foot skiff sailors.

"We were all very disappointed after striking an object and breaking our rudder last year and we are all keen to see the finish line at Hobart this year," said Close.

Here is a well-done sailing video documentary of that Rolex Sydney Hobart Race victory, giving insights into the race preparation, the importance of crew management, and the crucial process of on-going race navigation and strategies.

Women community sailing
* Celebrating the Community of Women in Racing- a perspective offered by Cindy Einhouse, co-owner of the J/105 OVATION.

"According to, the definition of “role model” is “a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.”

There were very few women skippers and/or boat owners in the Cleveland area when I started sailing. My husband Tom and I were introduced to the sport during the summer of 1987 and
show that people are more likely to emulate role models with whom they can identify.

That’s what extraordinary about people like Tracy Edwards, who skippered the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race in 1989. And, Dawn Riley - the first woman to manage an entire America’s Cup syndicate in 2007. They influenced many young women to go beyond commonly accepted boundaries and insert themselves into a previously male-dominated sport. Role models and inspiration can be found in many places, though.

I crewed on a C&C41 out of Edgewater Yacht Club from 1988-1994. Eventually (because we were the ones who always showed up for every single race!) over time, the skipper relied on us for recruiting, training and organizing crew for club races and travel regattas. At first, it was the men on the boat who primarily got the regular crew positions, while the women generally would ride the rail. However, that eventually changed when inevitably we were short on regular crew, and women were ready and able to do some hands-on learning.

It was at the end of 1994 that Edgewater YC member Corrine del Bane had the idea to form a women’s sailing association, and I joined the inaugural group that kicked off the organization with a fundraising event at the University Club in early 1995, with Dawn Riley as keynote speaker. Now known as the North Coast Women’s Sailing Association (NCWSA), the group is still going strong with 200+ members, and the original mission still in place: “To empower women to become more actively involved in sailboat racing through regattas and clinics, and to create a spirit of good fellowship among members.”

Hosted by Edgewater Yacht Club and operated solely by volunteers, NCWSA organizes races, educational meetings, social events and an annual regatta throughout the year. The group encourages men to be active in coaching, training and race committee, and relies on many to loan their boats for NCWSA activities. Fleets include J/22s, J/24s, Ensigns, Dragons, as well as JAM, PHRF and Race “Prep” boats for those who are brand- new to sailing. Tom and I both participate with NCWSA as well as regular club races and regattas on our own boat.

That same year of 1994, we bought our first boat when our oldest son was three months old– the J/29 OVATION– and put together a crew. For the next several years, we took turns; one of us raced while the other stayed home with our son, and a few years later, two sons. This allowed us to equally develop our skills and confidence at the helm. Eventually, when we started to race together again, we had to work on our team management skills, since we were both used to being “in charge.”

J/105 women's sailing team
In 2018, we sold the J/29 and bought a J/105, still named OVATION, and began racing in the one-design fleet at Edgewater YC. We still take turns at the helm, while the other takes the pit, sail trim, foredeck or navigation, depending on whatever needs to be covered. We have found one-design racing to be a welcome challenge, extremely competitive, with a hugely supportive fleet.

The one-design fleet reminds me of what is special about all-women crews– the camaraderie. But nothing beats an all-woman crew, because female networks tend to feel warm, welcome, and safe. Just ask anyone who is in a book club. Same thing.  Sailing photo credit- Cindy Einhouse

J/35 Houqua
* J/35 HOUQUA - A Great Boat Recalled Twice in 48 Hours
J/Boats co-founder Bob Johnstone, had provided us a "Throwback Thursday" perspective regards sailing his J/35 HOUQUA back in the mid-1980's.  Here was his commentary...

"An Easter message, perhaps from Job 1:21? 'The Lord Gave, and the Lord Hath Taken Away.' Yes, within 48 hours that beautiful, dark blue J/35 HOUQUA, was the cause of a happy phone call on April 5th.  48 hours later it recalled a dramatic moment in the life of a friend and shipmate that had recently passed away.

The happy phone call was to meet and converse with two new friends on April 5th, Cheryl Miller, HOUQUA’s (now named DEAN’S LIST) current owner and boat yard owner Dean Fitzpatrick.  Then 48 hours later, I learned that Dayton Carr, with whom I had shared a dramatic yacht race, passed away.

J/35 Houqua at Block Island Race WeekDayton, and by coincidence another Dean (Matthews), sailed with me on HOUQUA in what I recall was the New York Yacht Club's 1987 Queen’s Cup. We had the race won handily in 30-35 knot winds with many boats having dropped out. It was blowing so hard that with 100% blade, the main was sometimes totally ragged, if not sailed on just the battens.  HOUQUA was on the starboard layline about 1/2 mile from being first to finish. Dayton was wincing in great pain, having cracked or broken a rib, falling against a cockpit winch and not being able to hike. John Marshall’s Hinckley 42C DRAGON FIRE was approaching on port about a mile to leeward.  When what to our astonishment did we witness?  The New York YC Race Committee fired off 3 guns to abandon the race. What a bummer!

There are trophy races that are listed in a given year as “No Race” or “Not Awarded”, but the 1987 Queen’s Cup is the only major trophy race listed in the NYYC Yearbook as “Race Abandoned”.

Seas were very rough with the RC Boat (Black Knight?) rolling to such an extent, and likely with injured and very sick committee members aboard, they pulled up anchor to head in.

At the time, HOUQUA and DRAGON FIRE were in plain sight about to finish. Couldn’t see anyone else. The RC probably decided that a half-dozen other boats were still a half hour or more from finishing... and, with more than half the fleet damaged or having retired: this was not a race, but “survival”. There would only be a few boats listed in the results. Survival to the finish was, for the crew of HOUQUA, a huge yacht racing challenge. In any event, to successfully overcome those challenges was one of life’s great moments for a great boat and crew.

We felt so badly for Dayton, who had given up a rib for naught. On the way back in, off Castle Hill, John Marshall’s DRAGON FIRE gave up a part as well: it’s binnacle and wheel.... yanked completely out of the deck when John lurched against it in a wipeout.  Yes, it was quite a day of sailing!"
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