Wednesday, November 18, 2015

J/Newsletter- November 18th, 2015

J/88 Oceanvolt with solar powerSAIL Best Boats Winner- J/88 Oceanvolt!
(Boston, MA)- Few builders are consistently willing to push the technology envelope and accept the risks that entails.  Remember 1991 and the world’s first sprit boat- the J/105?  This fall saw the introduction of the world’s ground-breaking Oceanvolt electric saildrive on the enormously innovative, all-electric J/88 from J/Boats.

TheJ/88 SAIL Best Boats winner Achilles heel of electric propulsion in boats is the high level of energy it takes to power at cruising speeds since large battery banks are required for any kind of substantial range.  However, the J/88 Oceanvolt model is impervious to this in as much as the propulsion system is needed only to maneuver in and out of slips, after which the boat is sailed.

The Valence batteries are lightweight lithium-ion manganese-phosphate (the world’s safest version of this leading edge technology). Although Oceanvolt saildrives have folding propellers, Oceanvolt has found an innovative way to use the folding propeller to stay open and freewheel when so desired, with the electric motor now being driven as a generator to recharge the batteries. The J/88 Oceanvolt also flies a SolarCloth main from UK Sailmakers, which includes a number of integrated solar panels to further top of its battery banks by generating electricity from the sun.  For more J/88 Oceanvolt SAIL Best Boats information

J/70 Norway class with Grundig sponsorshipJ/70 Norway + GRUNDIG Sailing Cup!
(Oslo, Norway)- Kongelig Norsk Seilforening (KNS- the Royal Norwegian YC) recently announced a new sponsor for their J/70 Class initiative- GRUNDIG- one of Europe’s leading hifi and electronics companies.

“We will help to establish the rapidly growing J/70 class in Norway together with the Royal Norwegian YC. Through active cooperation with KNS we will strengthen our commitment to young sailors, as well as contribute to the J/70 as the leading sailboat class,” says Per-Kristian Ervik, CEO of GRUNDIG Nordic.  “The cooperation agreement between GRUNDIG and Royal Norwegian YC runs for three years and means that the company is funding two new J/70 boats to be used by the association. In addition, GRUNDIG will sponsor three regattas, one in Oslo in connection with Færder-week, one with the Hankø Regatta in August and one on the west coast later in the autumn.”

J/70 Norway and Grundig partnership“The J/70 represents the most important initiative to revitalize our sailing with faster boats that can be enjoyed by families and youth in the sailing scene. The long-term cooperation with Grundig helps us provide boats for training and for the exciting Grundig Sailing Cup next year. The Grundig Sailing Cup complements a need for competition and bringing together sailing athletes. Now everything is set for yachting enthusiasts that can buy boats and become part of an active and growing sailing class,” says Anders Kristensen, Secretary General, Royal Norwegian Yacht Club.  “With the new J/70 boats that KNS will provide to members, that means members in the club will be able to enjoy midweek regattas, match-race sailing and participation in the Grundig Cup. At KNS, sailors can participate by paying a fixed annual sum for an established sharing model.”

“The basic values and the important initiative made by the Royal Norwegian YC is very helpful to revitalize the sport of sailing in Scandinavia, coinciding with Grundig brand philosophy and our position in the market,” says Bård Nordhagen, Nordic Marketing Manager at Grundig Nordic.

J/70 Norway youth teamThe KNS is an active supporter of youth sailing.  In 2015 alone, the club sent two teams and eight sailors to Newport for an international youth regatta supported by SailNewport and New York YC.  One of the team members, Tobias Tjome, commented: “On Thursday, we sailed the regatta in beautiful wind conditions, 6-12 kts of breeze from the southwest.  Our KNS team sailed well and in the six races we managed to win the last race of the day. KNS was second overall, right behind the winning team- the Royal Finnish YC.  The Finnish sailors had already trained in J/22s before they arrived, so it was not quite "fair". But, all sailors had a wonderful stay, made new friends, and gained great sailing experiences in Newport!   Watch the Royal Norwegian YC sailing video here   The Royal Norwegian YC Facebook page is here.  For more J/70 & Royal Norwegian YC sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

For the end of November, it was a remarkably busy time for sailors around the world.  In Europe, in particular, there were a number of winter series taking place in various classes. The J/22s held their highly popular Alster Match Race in Hamburg, Germany.  The J/22s also had their Cooling Down Regatta in the Netherlands.  And, some of their colleagues were sailing J/80s in the Frostbite Cup in the Netherlands.  Just across the English Channel, the Belvedere Cup was hosted by Royal Thames YC, sailed on J/80s in the Queen Mary Reservoir just south of London’s Heathrow Airport.  A week later, the RTYC and the Royal Yachting Association hosted the first “test event” for the new UK Sailing League in cooperation with the Queen Mary Sailing Club.

In the Americas and Caribbean, the famous Nassau Cup Race took place- that famous dash from Fort Lauderdale, across the Gulf Stream, over the Bahamas Banks to the port of Nassau on Grand Bahamas Island.  A J/125, a J/122 and a J/120 were quite successful sailing the somewhat light air race.  In the US Virgin Islands, the St Croix International Regatta was hosted by the St Croix YC with J/105, J/36 and J/24s sailing in the beautiful azure blue waters off Christiansted.  Off to the west on the eastern Pacific Ocean, “The Big Sail” was raced in J/22s off St Francis YC in San Francisco, CA.  Down south across the equator, the Peruvian J/24 class hosted their Copa Lexus Regatta off Chorillos.

Heading even further west across the Pacific, we find all kinds of J sailing activity taking place in Australia.  A J/122 sailed the Coventry Reef Race off Sydney.  A J/88 has sailed a series of offshore events off Sydney as well, leaving everything they encounter in their wake.  In addition, the J/70 fleet in Sydney Harbour continues to grow nicely and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron is hosting a J/70 class series for the spring and summer.  Finally, on Australia’s West coast, a J/122 has been racing off Fremantle and is collecting a fair amount of silverware, too!

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page!  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 24-Dec 8- Garmin Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
Nov 26-30- J/24 South American Championship- Porto Alegre, Brazil
Nov 28- Dec 6- Peru J/24 National Championship- La Punta, Peru
Dec 4-6- J/22 Jamaica Jammin Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 12-13- Quantum J/70 Winter Series I- Tampa, FL
Jan 9-10- Quantum J/70 Winter Series II- Tampa, FL
Jan 13- Lauderdale- Key West Race- Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jan 18-22- Quantum Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
Feb 6-7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series III- Tampa, FL
Feb 25-28- J/70 Midwinter Championship- St. Petersburg, FL
Mar 10-13- J/70 Miami Sailing Week- Coconut Grove, FL
Apr 16-19- Charleston Race Week– Charleston, SC

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

J/125 sailing Nassau CupRAISIN’ CANE In The SORC Nassau Cup!
(Fort Lauderdale, FL)- This year’s SORC Nassau Cup Race had all the makings of a “fast drifter”, with the forecast calling for winds in the lighter end of the spectrum at the start and providing just moderate gradient flow for the crews as they cross the ubiquitous, cobalt blue Gulf Stream, then bending around the island chain back down into the Nassau finish line off their signature candy-cane striped lighthouse at the end of the point at the harbor entrance.

After a very slow Gulf Stream crossing, the fleet made its way between Great Isaac Cay and Great Stirrup Cay with the J/125 RAISIN’ CANE, sailed by Frank Atkinson and crew from Coconut Grove Sailing Club and West Palm Beach, FL sailing neck and neck with a Carkeek 40 called Decision.

J/122 Teamwork sailing Nassau CupBy Saturday late morning, Decision and RAISIN’ CANE had rounded the corner at Great Stirrup and was making nice progress toward the finish in Nassau, currently along the coast of Little Harbour Cay, home to the famous Flo's Conch Bar and Chester's famous Rum Punch—  which must be as tempting as sirens' song to the sailors as they slide past in the light afternoon breeze.

Ultimately, the PHRF Division was won by the J/125 RAISIN’ CANE helmed by Frank Atkinson.  Taking third overall was the famous J/120 CARINTHIA skippered by Frank Kern from Bayview YC in Detroit, MI.  Along the way, the beautiful (but light) sailing conditions enabled Frank himself to catch on video a school of dolphins playing in front of their bow during the race.  Watch some of that sweet playfulness here on YouTube.

In the meantime, the IRC Division saw a real tussle between the Carkeek 40 and the J/122 TEAMWORK sailed by Robin Team from Lexington, NC. In the end, Robin’s TEAMWORK took 2nd overall, just 22 minutes corrected behind the overall winner.   For more Nassau Cup Race sailing information

J/122 Lithium sailing doublehanded race in AustraliaJ/122 LITHIUM Dominates Coventry Reef Race
(Fremantle, Australia)- Double-handed racing in Western Australia continues to grow in popularity.  This past weekend, a large fleet of double-handers took off the starting line at Fremantle for the 48nm Coventry Reef Race.

Participating in the event was the J/122 LITHIUM sailed by the father and son team of Graeme and Sam Monkhouse.  LITHIUM has a double-handed IRC rating of 1.050 based on only one jib (J4) and one spinnaker (A5 on a top down furler).  The go-to sail in light air is the Code Zero which can be carried to about 65 degrees true wind angle.

LITHIUM was first to the day buoy and hoisted the A5 for the 6 mile reach out to the Western South Passage Lead marker.  The breeze started to lighten and clock left.  With one mile to go LITHIUM was forced to furl the A5 and unfurl the J4.  A frustrating 30 minutes followed with the breeze around 4 knots on the nose and a never ending stream of power boats crossing to Rottnest Island.  The ensuring wash made it very difficult to keep the sails filled.

After rounding the western point in the lead, the Code Zero was hoisted and the speed increased to a respectable 6 knots in 8 knots of wind.  The next leg was 19 mile due south to Coventry Reef– a semi-submerged rock approximately 3 miles offshore.  With the wind continuing to clock left LITHIUM held onto the Code Zero up to Garden Island.  With the wind now at about 220 degrees and dropping LITHIUM was forced to furl the Zero and try to get some speed from the J4.  With more pressure offshore LITHIUM tacked out and sailed the remaining 10 miles down to Coventry.   Great clumps of seaweed were a continuing obstacle for all yachts and I am sure the hockey stick keel on the JBoats was a significant advantage over a T-bulb of some of her competitors.

After rounding Coventry, the A5 was unfurled and LITHIUM ran 12 miles downwind to a shortened finish off the southern end of Garden Island.  The wind had now backed to 170 degrees and a final gybe saw LITHIUM cross the finish line 7 hours and 54 minutes after starting.  As a result, LITHIUM won on IRC by 64 minutes over the second placed yacht.  Congrats to the Monkhouse’s on their stunning performance!

J/24s sailing Pacific Ocean off PeruOlcese Leading J/24 Copa LEXUS Regatta
(Chorillos, Peru)- Leading up to the Peruvian J/24 Nationals are a series of regattas off Peru’s Pacific coast.  The most recent was the Copa LEXUS held off Chorrillos in the second weekend of November.  An excellent turnout was anticipated and the fleet of eight boats was quite competitive.

One of Peru’s top sailors, Luis Olcese, was crowned the victor after posting straight bullets on his renowned SCARAMOUCH.  Behind his team, it was a real dogfight for the next few places, all finishing within one point of each other.  Taking second was Javier Arribas’ WAYRA with a 5-2-2 record for 9 pts, it was a quick recovery after a nearly disastrous first race.  Lucas Peshiera’s crew on TIAMAT had a similar scenario, scoring a first race “digger”, followed by a string of good races.  TIAMAT’s 4-3-3 for 10 pts was good enough for third position on the podium.  Rounding out the top five were Rafael Verand’s NAMOYOC in 4th place and Javier Arribas’ HAWKY in 5th.  For more Peruvian J/24 sailing information

J/36 Paladin sailing CaribbeanJ/105 DARK STAR Tops St. Croix Regatta
J/36 PALADIN Takes NonSpin with High School Team!
(Christiansted, St Croix, US Virgin Islands)- This past weekend, from November 13th to 15th, the St Croix YC in Christiansted, St Croix unfurled the regatta flags and signaled the start of the Caribbean winter racing season.

The 23rd edition of the regatta included Optimists, with a VISA (Virgin Island Sailing Association) sponsored Optimist clinic on Friday and racing on Saturday and Sunday. The Big Boat race on Friday was renamed “Captain Nicks Race” in honor of our founder- Nick Castruccio, who turned 90 this year!  The race for the rum was Saturday and Sunday’s overall winner.

The runaway winner in CSA Spinnaker Class for the Captain Nicks Race Regatta was the J/105 DARK STAR from San Juan, Puerto Rico, skippered by Jonathan Lipuscek from Club Nautico Puerto Rico; they posted the unbeatable scoreline of 1-1-1 for three pts.  Finishing third was Douglas DeReu’s J/24 CRUZAN CONFUSSION, a local boat from Christiansted sailing to a 4-2-3 for 9 pts.  And, in 4th place was another J/24, Dave Tomlison’s EL SHADDAI II with a crew from New Hampshire with a 3-4-4 record for 11 pts. 

The CSA Non-spinnaker Division saw Stanford Joines beautifully refinished J/36 PALADIN participating with a crew of kids from the local St Croix High School in Christiansted.  They perfectly mirrored the record of their friends on the J/105 DARK STAR, also posting three bullets to walk off with class honors.

For the weekend regatta, a similar scenario nearly played out for both divisions.  Again, Lipuscek’s J/105 DARK STAR crew rattled off six bullets in CSA Spinnaker Racing Class to finish with 6 pts, winning their weight in Cruzan Rum as the overall regatta winner!  The J/24s finished 3rd (DeReu’s CRUZAN CONFUSSION) and 6th (Tomlinson’s EL SHADDAI II).  Meanwhile, Stanford’s crew on the J/36 PALADIN repeated their solid performance and won CSA Non-spinnaker to win with four 1sts and two 2nds.

According to Stanford, “the youth crew on the J/24 CRUZAN CONFUSSION with Doug Dereau and skipper Ethan Hanley, were awesome.  The boat that won overall was the J/105 DARK STAR, Jonathan dry sails the boat out of Fajardo with a Teflon bottom, and had several veteran PR sailors on board who have been my friends, and competitors, for years.

PALADIN happened to round the leeward mark almost every race just behind 'Bad Monkey', and we always gained on her on the upwind leg until we turned off for the shorter cruising mark.  It makes me think that if PALADIN had such fancy new sails like ’Monkey’s’ (we were sailing with 9 year old Dacron), was dry sailed with a Teflon bottom, and had a nice new symmetrical spinnaker, PALADIN could win in the racing class!  Maybe just the sails would do it, with good wet/dry sandpaper! (As a teacher down here and a single dad, sails won't happen!)”   Learn more about Stanford’s St Croix junior sailing project here.  For more St Croix Regatta sailing information

J/70s sailing in Sydney HarbourAustralian J/70 Fleet Report
(Sydney, Australia)- The Sydney Harbour J/70 fleet has been racing since September thanks to the support of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.  The Squadron’s mini-regatta series follows a two-lap windward-leeward format with 3 races each day.

The fleet is sailing every three weeks for the Squadron’s mini-regatta series, the greater Sydney area has about 10 J/70s.  It has definitely been a thrill sailing on the magnificent Sydney Harbour regularly in one of the most exciting one-design classes around.

The 3 weeks so far have been sailed in light and generally shifty spring conditions, with the last race completed on Saturday being a drifter.  All crews are looking forward to the arrival of the traditional summer northeasterly breezes that tend to hit hard as the weather warms up.

After the completion of the first three regattas, the most experienced crew on the harbour, JAMES skippered by Tim Ryan, has taken 8 bullets out of nine races, but not without being pushed hard by the other boats in each race.

Stephen Brady in YKNOT scored a win in the 9th race after some brilliant light air sailing.  YKNOT led for much of the first leg before being becalmed, then recovered to sail around the fleet and score a comfortable win.  Paul Wood, racing his brand new boat JAVA for only the second time, led around the top mark only to be becalmed and unfortunately finished at the back.

Murray, guest-skippering JUNO for Reg Lord, outsailed JAMES downwind on the last spinnaker run to record a second.  The Series results after nine races have JAMES leading followed by JUNO, YKNOT and JAVA.

J/22s sailing The Big Sail on San Francisco BayThe “Big Sail” = A Big Blast!
(San Francisco, CA)- It came down to the last race. Stanford and Cal were tied 1-1 in a best of three competition sailing the St Francis YC matched J/22s. As both teams prepared to start just yards off the front of the StFYC’s race committee deck, the spectators went wild. The marching bands roared, the cheerleaders flew around and the live commentary rang out.  No, this was not a football game; it was “The Big Sail,” an intercollegiate regatta between Stanford and UC Berkeley, (“Cal”) on San Francisco Bay.

If you are looking for a new kind of regatta that will inject pure fun back into the sport of sailing, take notes.

“We keep having fun with this event, because, how can we not?” said Big Sail Co-founder and live-race commentator, Ron Young. “People always consider how to win the game of sailing. But it’s also important to think about how the game can win. And that’s what The Big Sail does, by bringing in fans and fun to the sport of sailing.”

Cal and Stanford sailors- in The Big SailNow in its 12th year, The Big Sail takes place each November on the Tuesday before “The Big Game”, Cal and Stanford’s 123-year-old college football rivalry. The Big Sail features four divisions: Varsity, Young Alum, Masters, and Grandmasters, and is raced in a fleet of one-design J/22s provided by St. Francis Yacht Club. Each division match-races on short 300-yard courses for the best two out of three races. Should each school win two of the four divisions, Varsity is the tiebreaker.

This year, Stanford won the Varsity Division and Cal won Young Alum and Masters. Each school won one race of Grandmasters, which meant the third race would determine it all.

Cal won the start, but Stanford had a good first upwind leg. They opted for the northern side of the course, which was favored, and gained four boat lengths on Cal. At the windward mark, a starboard-tack Stanford narrowly crossed Cal, and even though they had to tack twice to make the weather mark, they rounded ahead, executed a quick jibe set, and never looked back.

Stanford and Cal cheerleaders- at The Big SailMeanwhile, on the RC deck at the club, the crowd went wild. Both school’s marching bands played fight songs while the mascots wove in and out of the crowds. The dining room and the audience were decked out in red & white for Stanford or blue & gold for Cal; nearly everyone was an alumni or family of one of the Bay Area rival schools.

“My Co-founders Jaren Leet, Jim Mullen, and I believe this is the only intercollegiate sailing competition in the country like this,” explained Young. “It incorporates marching bands, cheerleaders and mascots while capitalizing on a vibrant rivalry.”

Marching bands, cheerleaders, mascots and- - - sailboat racing? It was even more fun than it sounds.

The regatta has spent a decade perfecting the schedule: first gun sounded at noon and last race finished no later than 1350 hours so competitors could accept their awards in front of a live and enthused audience.

It was easy to watch—short courses immediately in front of the Club so that, as Young said, “even the oldest grandmother in the room doesn’t have to turn more than 60 degrees side-to-side to see all the action.” It was also easy to follow, as the live commentary rang out from both levels of the Club—sailors on the water could hear just as well as spectators in the clubhouse.

The Big Sail posterRivalry was a big draw. Yacht designer Alan Andrews (’77) flew in to race for Stanford. Cal performed the perfect collegiate caper by covertly delivering a 500-pound (immovable without a folk-lift) wooden statue of “Oski the Bear” to the Yacht Club’s lobby on the eve of the Big Sail. Stanford, the gauntlet has been thrown for next year!

Multi-generational loyalty also fueled the excitement. With sailors ranging from college freshmen to the class of ‘67, the event appealed to generations of friends, fans, and fraternity brothers. Many of the young alums remember racing against each other as Varsity sailors. “The older folks get to remember their college days and the younger kids realize you can sail your whole life,” said Young.

In the end, Stanford won by a hair, but everyone celebrated. Next year, Young plans to add a fifth division— a Women’s Division— to get more female sailors out on the race course.

Following the awards, Young said, “People sometimes question how important yacht clubs are, but look around! What’s more important than happiness? Yacht Clubs enable us to have fun together. Outside there is a demonstration of skill; inside there are smiles and loads of laughter.”  Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray   For more Big Sail sailing information

J/88 sailing on Sydney Harbour, AustraliaJ/88 JEDI Taking Sydney By Storm
(Sydney, Australia)- “From the moment we first read about the design concept of the J/88, we wanted one,” said Ray Entwistle, skipper of the J/88 JEDI. “The J/88 spells fun.  Super easy to sail, fast, low maintenance, responsive, sea-kindly, a true pocket-rocket.”

Ray goes on to report that, “she hasn’t disappointed.  Since arriving in Sydney, we have competed in some harbour and offshore races and we are just blown away with her sailing performance and attributes.  Here is a short summary of races so far.

For her very first races, the J/88 “JEDI 5” has competed in a few twilight races at Greenwich Flying Squadron. She wasn’t able to start in the division of similar sized boats due to the early start time. Hence, the J/88 competed in a division with a later start time, comprising 37 to 39 footers. However, this has not fazed the J/88 where she is currently leading the series, with a 2nd as the worse result.

On the second weekend of October, JEDI 5 sailed in the very hotly contested Super 30 fleet on Sydney Harbour under the AMS (Australian Measurement System).  Although not many boats entered for this event, the J/88 finished 1st by an astonishing 11 minutes with guest skipper Jim Chambers. Jim has dominated this event for the past 3 years with his highly successful J/97 KNOCKABOUT.

The following weekend, the Super 30 Gold fleet was racing on Sydney Harbour with more boats guaranteed to turn up, and so they did.  Flying Tigers, Bull 9000, ID35, Melges 32, Sydney 32, Cape 31, Hick 31, Archambault 32, Elliotts, Thompson 870, to name a few.

J/88 JEDI sailing Sydney Harbour, AustraliaMaking a conservative start in an 8 knots nor’easter breeze, and with 50% of the crew new to the boat, JEDI surged around the top mark at South Head ahead of some of the Flying Tigers and the M32 boat-for-boat! The breeze started to build to 16 knots, the J/88 recording impressive speed and depth downwind. Back upwind we go the wrong way up the beat, so the Flying Tigers get through as they pick the right side of the harbour.  The second reach back down the harbour and the Melges 32 pips us to the bottom mark for the last time. A short beat to the finish line and despite the slow start and going the wrong way there still a lot of boats behind us. The new crew members were surprised at the pace and how easy the J/88 was to sail. After an anxious wait for the results, the J/88 had kept her impeccable record intact with a first on AMS complimented by another first on the local PHS system!

It was then time to take the J/88 to Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on Pittwater, north of Sydney, to do a few races there. She is placed in Division 2 and is the smallest boat at 29ft, the next boat at 34ft and right up to 40 footers.

It was an offshore race with a lumpy 1 to 1.5 mtr swell, gusting to 18 knots from the nor’east.  It was the first time for this J/88 in waves, and more breeze than she has sailed in before. The crew was pleasantly surprised by its performance.  We put the crew weight a little further back, and the boat steered very easily through the waves, pointing quite high with superb speed.

Despite being in unfamiliar waters, the J/88 was first around the top mark. Up with the class 95 sqr mtr running spinnaker and whoosh off we go.  Downwind, the boat has a very light helm, only moderate sheet loads, and incredibly smooth handling as we planed down the waves. An amazing kite ride to the bottom mark, dramatically extending our lead. On the next beat, we start to haul in some of tail end of the Division 1 boats!  We experiment moving the crew weight fore and aft up the next beat as we learn more about this stunning 29 footer. Around the top mark again and another fantastic spinnaker ride, surfing the swell to the finish line.  We blasted through the finish line clocking 16.2 knots, our fastest speed to date on the J/88!

Simply a fantastic boat.  We just can’t get enough of the 88 – she is such a beautiful yacht to sail, and we look forward to sailing and racing her, whatever the conditions.”     For more J/88 sailboat information

J/122 Jackpot sailing off Sydney, Australia offshore seriesJ/122 Hits the JACKPOT In Botany Bay Race
(Sydney, Australia)- There was near perfect conditions for the 54nm offshore round trip- the Sydney to Botany Bay race, held by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

The second race of the Ocean Point Score Series started on time at 10am on Sydney Harbour. Principal Race Officer, Robyn Morton, said: “We started them in a nice north to north-easterly of 10-12 knots, but there was more pressure the further they got down the Harbour, around 15-16 knots. We got 25 starters away in perfectly pleasant conditions on an incoming tide.”

The fleet split almost in two off the start, some choosing the eastern side, the rest going west, which they seemed to benefit from.

It was a quick downhill ride to Botany Bay, with the fleet under spinnaker, but the return journey was not as comfortable, with fleet beating into the increasing breeze.

Adrian van Bellen’s J/122 JACKPOT continued her great performances of last season, winning the race quite handily in ORCi.

J/80s sailing in the NetherlandsHolsboer Wins J/80 Frostbite Cup
(Naarden, Netherlands)- During the first weekend in November, the J/80 fleet in the Netherlands held their Frostbite Cup off Naarden, hosted by the Rowing & Sailing Club of Naarden. For the first time in years, a near record fleet of thirteen J/80's appeared on the starting line. After three races in 8-12 kt winds, Bernard Holsboer’s team on JUUL won with a 3-2-2 record.

J80 sailing videoTaking second overall for the regatta was Nick Elsink’s J’ZUS with a steadily improving 4-3-1 tally for 8 pts.  This was Roel Wever’s JOYRIDE, posting a 2-4-5 for 11 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Bram Adema’s nJORD in 4th place and Jilko Andringa’s OANT sJEN in 5th position.   Watch the J/80 Frostbite Cup sailing video here  For more J/80 Netherlands sailing information

J/80s sailing Belvedere Cup on Queen Mary ReservoirBelvidere Cup Report
(London, England)- The Royal Thames Yacht Club ran the Belvidere Cup on Saturday 14th November at Queen Mary Sailing Club at Ashford Middlesex- it is a match racing regatta sailed in J/80s provided by the RTYC.

There were four teams participating- Old Abingdonians, Old Radleians, Old Wellingtonians and a Royal Thames Academy team consisting of three girls and a token fella. The regatta consisted of two round robins followed by a final and petit final.

At the end of the round robin stage the RTYC Academy had 6 wins, Abingdon 3, Radley 2 and Wellington 1. The final was fought out between Abingdon and the RTYC Academy.  The Academy had so far been unbeaten and were odds on favorites to win. However, Abingdon won the first match by a whisker, the second match was won easily by the Academy.

Everything rested on the last match's result. The Academy was leading passed the last rounding of the windward mark, but Abingdon's crew had a more than 50% weight advantage over the girls who were disadvantaged by the strong gusts. In the end, Abingdon passed the Academy boat, winning by a few seconds and taking the match and the trophy.

The conditions were contrary to forecast, the wind was SSW varying between 6-10 knots during the round robin stage. The wind during the finals backed as the stronger breezes came in with gusts of 20 knots plus. Congratulations to Ben Clothier and his crew.  Thanks for the report from Alexis Dogilewski.  For more Belvidere Cup sailing information

J/80s sailing UK Sailing League at Queen Mary Sailing ClubUK Sailing League Debuts in London
(Heathrow, United Kingdom)- On the 31st October and 1st November RTYC and the RYA launched the first ever club keelboat fleet racing league in the UK at Queen Mary Sailing Club. Seven teams participated in the trial event.

The UK Sailing League is a new keelboat model that has been successfully run in Germany over a number of years. RTYC bought into the concept and collaborated with the RYA to help launch the new enterprise. Sailing clubs from all around the UK competed at the trial event; the format will now be rolled out across the UK.  Participating teams included Port Edgar YC, Royal Corinthian YC, Queen Mary SC, Royal Southern YC, Royal Western YC, Poole YC, Royal Thames YC.

The event uses a round-robin schedule with teams racing each other a number of times before the team with the lowest number of points is crowned the winner. Six boats competed in each 15-minute race with teams rotating boats throughout the event.

On Saturday evening a presentation about the Sailing Champions League, which is now operating all over Europe, was given to all visiting sailing clubs who are now being encouraged and supported by the RYA and RTYC to run their own event within their region.
The RYA will the assist in the running of these events with the end goal being a greater participation in club keelboat racing around the country.

J/80 UK Sailing League videoWhilst the boats, race officials, umpires and sailors were ready for a weekend packed full of back to back racing, the weather had a different plan altogether. On Saturday, with wind speeds averaging 1-2kts, PRO Linda Pennington, bravely squeezed three races out of the dying wind before calling a halt to the sailing. Sunday’s weather proved even more challenging with dense fog settling all across London, and no more than 10m visibility on the reservoir. Unfortunately, a result could not be determined as a whole round robin is required to be sailed.

Everyone involved, graciously recognized that this was a trial event, and took it as a great opportunity to discuss the format for the upcoming UK League. Thank you to everyone who helped to make the weekend a success, we look forward to seeing more of these events taking place throughout the UK.  Port Edgar YC sailors made a short film about their experience of the Sailing League, view it here  For more UK Sailing League information

J/122 Joss sailing offshore- AustraliaAustralian J/122 JOSS Victorious Offshore
(Freemantle, Australia)- The 2015 FSC Rockwater Coventry Reef Offshore Race (48nm) had a bit of everything, 34 yachts competing in 4 Divisions started the race at around 9.30 in very warm, light and ever changing conditions. By mid-day it was approaching 38 degrees, and the finish saw many boats racing against a spectacular lightning storm with rain.

Division 2 (IRC 1 to 1.10) had the largest fleet of 13 yachts all dueling at the start line in a 6-knot breeze. It was Giddy Up (Farr 395), JOSS (J122) and Aquila (Northshore 369) who got away best, closely followed by Circa (C&C 115) Wasabi (Elan 410) Prime Factor (Farr 40), Argo (Archaumbault 40) and Cro-Connection (C&C 115).

Giddy Up was fastest to the 1st mark, with the majority of yachts launching their A2’s for the 6 nm 2nd leg to the Windward Channel Marker off the south of Rottnest Island. This was by far the toughest and most frustrating leg as the first hints of seaweed appeared and the winds lightened and started to swing from the northeast to the north. It didn’t help being in Gauge Roads with large ships powering through the fleet and Rottnest Island power boat enthusiasts heading to the island.

When the fleet finally rounded the Windward Channel Marker, Giddy Up continued to lead and Wasabi had edged ahead of JOSS.  The winds shifted from northwesterly to southwesterly, and throughout the 18 nm leg down to Coventry Reef the winds slowly built to 8-10 knots. JOSS, using our No 1 Light jib, did the best, catching Wasabi and closing on Giddy Up. The highlight was a 6 tack duel between JOSS & Wasabi near Coventry Reef that saw JOSS come out ahead, & round the windward Coventry Reef mark 100 m ahead of Wasabi and in clear view of the Giddy Up crew.

With JOSS’ big light green A2 flying it was a straight run back to the channel North of Garden Island, JOSS & Giddy Up were well matched in terms of speed however it appeared clear that Giddy Ups lead did not appear nearly enough from an IRC rating perspective. Wasabi was falling back so tacked in closer to Garden Island.

Due to the challenging light conditions & the impending lightning storm, race control shortened the race to the Garden Island Channel (40nm), with a downwind finish.

JOSS crossed the line 2nd on the water in Div 2, at 5.45pm only 5 minutes behind Giddy Up in a time of 7 hours 54 minutes winning both Div 2 IRC and 1st in Div 2 YAH.

JOSS has enjoyed a strong start to the 2015/16 Offshore Season, having won the 2015 Valmadre Series Div 2 YAH, 3rd IRC, & 1st in the recent Roland Smith (80nm) IRC, & 2nd YAH. It now adds the Coventry Reef Honours to its tally.

J/22s sailing on Alster Lake, Hamburg, GermanyNorddeutscher RegattaVerein Wins J/22 Match Race Germany
(Hamburg, Germany)- This past weekend was the 27th time the Alster Match Race was hosted by the Hamburg Sailing Club.  Twelve teams from six nations participated sailing J/22s on the gorgeous Alster Lake all weekend long.  With perfect weather and good wind, the sailors had a total of 66 matches over the two days.

The winner was unbeaten.  With eleven victories, Felix Oehme’s team from the Norddeutscher RegattaVerein won the match race quite easily.  Taking second overall was Max Gurgel from Hamburger SC and in third was Christian Tang.

One of the highlights of the event was the match between Felix Oehme and Max Gurgel; both teams left everything on the race course, working hard to defeat one another at every stage of the race.  As a result, it made for an exciting finish for the regatta.   Sailing photo credits- Pepe Hartmann.  For more German J/22 sailing information

J/22s sailing The Netherlands Frostbite regattaFRAPORITA Ices Cooling Down Regatta
(The Hague, The Netherlands)- Like their colleagues in the local J/80 fleet in the Netherlands, the J/22s enjoyed one of their largest turnouts for the fall Cooling Down Regatta.  Ten boats sailed this year’s regatta in good sailing conditions, with the fleet being treated to eight races over the weekend!  The winning FRAPORITA team consisted of Jean-Michel Lautier, Giuseeppe d’Aquino, and Denis Neves.  The margin of victory was enormous, posting seven 1sts in the eight race series for a total of 9 pts.

While the FRAPORITA gang vaporized the race course, it was quite the battle for the balance of the top five.  Just barely hanging onto second place after posting a string of three 4ths for the last three races was the crew on ELAINE (Ivo Jeukens, Ir. Schildkamp, and Danny Struijkenkamp).  Taking the bronze on the podium was JAM SESSION sailed by the team of Erik Verboom, Murat Almat, and Chris Bern. Their 2-3-2 in the last three races enabled them to nearly grab the silver, finishing just 3 pts back from ELAINE.
Sailing a consistent series all weekend long was the family team on JUT EN JUL (Dirk, Jan, Rosemarijn, Sanne and Liselotte Verdoorn), taking 4th place with just about a 4th average!  Fifth place was one of the famous J/22 teams in The Netherlands- the BIG ROLL TU DELFT- BROACH BARENT (with crew of Joost van der Heiden, Madelief Doeleman, Matthjis Vo, and Daan Grundeman).   Taking 6th place was the top German team  JOU JOU 3 (Thomas Loesch, Rob Longridge, and Katya Lenskaya).

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/24 Vega Ragazza- German women's sailing team* RAGAZZA!  Not only sounds FAST - Girls are FAST!  Stephanie "Steffi" Köpke (30 yrs old) first started sailing on the Elbe River in Optimists.  Then, eight years ago she became the skipper of the J/24 VEGA RAGAZZA and the women’s team from Mühlenberger Sailing Club (MSC). Meanwhile, she is working today at Audi AG in Ingolstadt, Germany in marketing/communications.

At the J/24 World Championships in Boltenhagen, many women teams were participating from across Europe.  In fact, Steffi’s team won the “Ladies Trophy” for the top women’s team at the J/24 Worlds!  Sven Jurgensen at Mittelman’s Werft interviewed Steffi and the team.  Photo here- Nele-Marie Bock, Silke Basedow, Ann-Katrin Bruges,  Stephanie Köpcke, Amelie Panuschka

Stephanie Koepcke- German women's sailing skipper on J/24s and J/70sWhen did you start sailing together as a women's team?
“The beginning of the MSC women's teams was due to the efforts of Kirsten Harmstorf, she built the first female J/Team at MSC.  When she and her team finished sailing the 2007 Trans-Atlantic in a bigger boat, the MSC’s club J/24 was free for them to use in German and European J/24 regattas.  So, she formed a six women team.  Since then, Nele, Annika and I have remained together all these years. Through professional training and jobs, some of our team had to be changed over time.   Inga and Amelie joined in 2009 and Silke supported us after her match-race career.”

How did you choose the name "Vega Ragazza"?
“VEGA is the name of a Hamburg shipping company that has sponsored us. When we sailed for the first time in Italy, we heard some Italian J/24 teams shout out, ‘ciao ragazzi’.  We learned later they meant “hi fun girls”!  So, we changed it to rhyme with Vega, that is how it became Vega Ragazza.

Why were there so many women-only teams in the J/24 Worlds at the start?
“The J/24 is a simple boat to sail, well understood, and with a women’s crew we can be competitive even in very windy conditions! We always have five people sitting on the rail.  With a crew weight of 400 kg, we have a higher percentage of our weight on the rail!  In addition, there are many women’s teams that have seen us (and other women’s crews) as examples to follow that have been successful at the pinnacle of sailing sport in Germany and J/24s worldwide.

J/24 Vega Ragazza- German women's sailing teamWhat distinguishes the J/24 from other boats to sail in Europe?
“The J/24 is easy to sail, the deck layout is clearly understandable and simple and it makes the jump much easier for teenagers that have been sailing a two-man dinghy!  A bigger boat needs more crew and considerably more strength from the crew.  In addition, Hamburg has a large, active scene in the J/24 class that has constant competition with the other clubs, especially BSC and SVAO.  Lots of fun! A real plus is the affordable price point of a used J/24; it is a nice inexpensive “keelboat for kids”!

Is the J/70 a competition for the J/24?
“Each new, modern class is a challenge for an older style boat. I myself would love to try to sail J/70 and find out how the boat sails; especially where the technical differences are relative to the J/24.  But, in order to succeed at the amateur level, I think the J/24 is still a great boat.  A J/24 is cheaper than the J/70 (used boats, of course), but also the sailors in the class are a little less performance-oriented.”

What distinguishes the J/24 class?
“Personally, I remember especially a fairly cool party in the summer of 2014 in the boat shed the FSC... Yes, the party was great.  But, the class can do much more than party and drink beer. We have a very good cohesion, as we had at the beginning of our campaign.”

J/24 Vega Ragazza- German women's sailing teamHow does your 2016 season look like?
“It will, unfortunately, be not much different than our 2015 season.  We are much more restricted professionally (we all have jobs and family to worry about!) and that means less time for training.  We are now at a cross-roads as a team, so after a great performance at the J/24 Worlds in Boltenhagen, we need to move forward as individuals (family, works, kids, school, etc).  It’s sad that we have to move on from here.”

As a result you have to celebrate properly the end of your tenure in J/24s!  First winner of the German Open and then the best women's team in the World Cup!
“Yes, we are!  It was a wonderful way to end our three seasons of sailing together.  We learned a tremendous amount from our experience.”

Will the Mühlenberger SC build a new women's team?
Unfortunately, not in J/24s.  Instead, the club wants to sell the J/24 and invest in a new J/70, so that the club has the proper training boat for the Deutsche Segel-bundesliga.  As a result, I hope to have my first experience sailing in J/70s!  I look forward to sailing more regattas in the future!

Elena VandenBerg- women's J/105 and college sailor* Spinsheet Racer Profile- Elena VandenBerg comes from a sailing family in Annapolis that has sailed J/105s for a long time.  Elena is now a Stanford University sophomore and sailing team member, she learned to sail on the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay. When she first started sailing in Annapolis YC (AYC) Wednesday Night Races with her dad on a J/105, she says, “My mom asked me what I had done, and I said, ‘I pulled on the green string!’ I’ve learned a lot since then. Now, I trim the kite and occasionally critique my dad’s tactics!” Spinsheet interviewed her about her college sailing career.

What junior sailing programs did you participate in as a kid?
“I started sailing at the Severn Sailing Association (SSA) when I was six and moved to the Green Fleet when I was nine. I moved to AYC when I decided to race in the Red, White, and Blue fleet. After my parents bought me a Winner Opti, I knew I was going to sail for the rest of my life. My friends and I all moved into Club 420s at the same time, and we looked forward to traveling to clinics and regattas. Our parents dropped us off at the airport, and we had to figure it out from there. We all learned so much from sailing in high level Club 420 and I420 clinics.

Lilla Salvesen and I worked hard to be competitive in 420s. We travelled all over the nation together and got to race in Canada and Nova Scotia. We also competed in Club 420s during the Orange Bowl Regatta in Miami between Christmas and New Year’s and in the Club 420 Midwinters in Jensen Beach. AYC ensured our team was able to work with some of the top sailors and coaches in the country including Russ O’Reilly, Katy Stork, Zach Brown, Alana O’Reilly, Nick Martin, Adam Werblow, and so many others.  During the academic year I sailed on the Archbishop Spalding High School sailing team (and co-captained with Amanda Wagner).”

Tell us a bit about your experiences sailing at Stanford.
“It was an easy transition since there are lots of former AYC junior sailors on the team, including four of us who are all classmates. I started my freshman year skippering, and then I started crewing a bit last spring to learn more from the upperclassmen and to compete in some coed regattas. I am now skippering and crewing this fall. It has been beneficial being able to switch back and forth, because it has made me a better sailor.”

Do you have a favorite moment or regatta from your college sailing experience?
“When I was crewing at this fall’s Navy Women’s Regatta, we were in second in our division by two points going into the last race of the regatta. My skipper, Mimi El-Khazindar, and I were getting ready for the last race and were trying not to think about the points between us and Yale. At the windward mark, we were three boats behind Yale. We worked really hard downwind and rounded the leeward mark right behind the Yale boat. On the last upwind leg, we split sides. It was hard to see how it would all play out, but we focused on keeping our eyes on our own race. We finished right before the Yale boat and two other boats. It was so close that we could not tell who finished first. Those other two boats ended up beating the Yale boat, and we won the overall tie-breaker, winning our division!”

What are the three pieces of sailing gear you can’t live without?
“My Kaenon sunglasses are definitely the piece of gear I value the most. I recently bought some new Zhik boots that lace up the side. The extra ankle support helps me hike, especially while crewing… I’m still wearing my Extrasport RetroGlide Avenger lifejacket. They don’t make them anymore, but all of my friends who have them haven’t found anything as nice or as comfortable.”

What advice do you have for competitive high school sailors?
“Keep loving sailing and working really hard at practice! I loved sailing in high school… I found myself on the waterfront everyday whether or not I had practice… cleaning my boat, fixing something, checking my settings, bugging my coaches to let me go sailing on our off days, or just paddleboarding. Keeping the passion for sailing is huge, as many kids in high school can get burnt out. In terms of college recruiting, email a lot of coaches and send them a short resume with your top results. They won’t reach out to you, so start sending emails your junior year and making connections.”   Elena’s story courtesy of Spinsheet Magazine/ Dan Phelps

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

* The J/40 HERON REACH sailed by Virginia and Jerry is participating in the Blue Planet Odyssey project and have recently joined them in the Marquesas Islands in the Eastern Pacific.  Learn more about their adventures and experiences here-
Giant whale breaching in front of J/160 SALACIA off  Australia's Whitsunday Islands* J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands.  Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination?  A giant whale!  Look at this amazing photo!

J/42 cruiser- sailing across Atlantic Ocean* Jim & Heather Wilson just completed a circumnavigation of our "blue planet Earth" in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR.  Said Jim, "The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now.  We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell 'Painkiller' at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles). Read more about their adventures in their  well-documented blog here:

* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again, for 2015/ 2016!  We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR.   Alan sent us an email update regards their various improvements and refit to the boat (see above).  They will again be based at Proper Yachts in St John, US Virgin Islands.

Bill & Judy Stellin- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* Bill & Judy Stellin were interviewed about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called "Retiring on the Open Sea".  The Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ's Editor desks. Here's the update:

Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers' Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety

Wall St Journal interview- Stellin's Offshore cruising/ sailing retirementThe article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— "Retiring to the Open Sea"— prompted many questions and comments from readers.  We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.

WSJ- "What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?"

Bill- "In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.

Although long-distance cruising wasn't what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.

People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather."


* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel's big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand.  Their blog is here:

* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam after completion of their ARC Rally. Read the latest news at

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world's oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between.  Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).

-  Bill and Susan Grun on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (  Read about their latest adventures as they've gotten to New Zealand- "Avante Cruises the Pacific".

- Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog at  Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA), then to the South Pacific and New Zealand.  MANDALAY is back in San Francisco now, and in the J/World fleet--she is available for skippered charters, private instruction, and corporate/executive groups.