The New J/97 Takes 2nd in Around Island (Isle of Wight)(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England- June 20th)- The J/UK Team of Paul and Marie-Claude Heys raced the inaugural regatta for their brand new J/97, JENGA.
The race was light and favored the small boats for the near record turnout of 1,800 boats ranging in size from 25 to 110 feet. The J/97 performed far better than anyone had expected.
See the JP Morgan Round Island Race story below.
Beachcombing off Lido Key in Florida"Very few performance daysailers (any?) have the ability to sail well in skinny Florida waters and allow you to step off for a bit of beachcombing", said Craig Crossley. CrossCurrent Marine's J/95 hull #1 demo boat took time out from its tour of gulf coast yacht clubs and allowed Craig to kick back and enjoy a special Fathers Day with a walk on the beaches of Lido Key, one of the Sarasota Bay barrier islands. As Craig said, "a walk on the beach after an amazing sail -- priceless."
The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing WorldwideWith summer solstice behind us, the J calendar saw J sailors enjoying some amazing Around Island Races as well as Race Weeks in both Europe and America. EUROPE had the famous Around Isle of Wight Race and in America the renowned Block Island Race Week started off with the Around Block Island Race!. Read on! More importantly, if you have more J Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page! Below are the summaries.
Stormy Around Island Race Gets Fleet Rockin(Block Island, RI- June 22) - Usually it’s the sailors who get an eyeful of majestic scenery while racing around the island during the Storm Trysail Club’s biennial Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex, but today, spectators ashore oohed and aahed at the magnificent site of 153 boats trying to hold it together in raging winds on the Atlantic Ocean. The spectacle was best viewed from Southeast Lighthouse, perched on a 150-foot cliff at the southern-most tip of tiny Block Island, which for these five week days is serving as the epicenter of sailing in the Northeast. A mass of colorful spinnakers paralleled the shore -- some of them flailing wildly during broaches and a few becoming unwanted anchors when waves rose like jaws to snag them.
The Solent-like conditions led to several mishaps, including a man overboard on a J/122 (and safely recovered). The J's are well represented with one-design class starts for the J/122s, J/44s, J/29s, J/105s and J/109s. The Around Island Race on Monday was a rare event. With a strong NNE 15-25 knots wind, the RC sent the fleet around the island clockwise. A start off the R2 Bell sent the fleet north to 1BI Bell, then a right turn around it to SE Lighthouse cans and the bell off SW corner and back up to the finish off R2.
The winners for this race included the following: J/105s- Brian Keane on SAVASANA, J/122s- Mike Bruno on WINGS; J/29- John and Tony Esposito on HUSTLER; J/109s- Sharp on HUSTLER; J/44s- Jeff Willis on CHALLENGE IV; J/109S- Group W on GOSSIP; and PHRF3- John Storck on J/80 RUMOR.
J/105 VYTIS Wins Overall Title(Chicago, IL- June 19-21)- Tom Petrus and the crew of the J/105 VYTIS were selected as the overall champions of the 2009 Sperry Top-Sider Chicago NOOD. 186 entrants competed amid 17 classes, with Petrus besting 16 other team to earn the title.
Michael Lovett, of Sailing World, interviewed the team- "When I spoke with the crew of the J/105 Vytis on Saturday night (of the Sperry Top-Sider Chicago NOOD), the team stood in fifth place, 8 points out of first. In the blare of the regatta tent, downing Mount Gays and chewing on a dinner roll, crewmember Keith Krause made a hopeful declaration. "We're still in the hunt," he said. "That's all that matters. I nodded my head and wished him luck, but I must admit I never expected Vytis to post two bullets on Sunday and vault to the top of the standings, unseating fellow Chicago boat and perennial rival, Messy Jessy, earning first place overall at the 2009 Sperry-Top Sider Chicago NOOD, and winning a trip to the British Virgin Islands to compete in the NOOD Championships this November.
"This is huge for us," says owner Tomas Petkus. "This is a regatta we've always aspired to win, and we come to the NOOD every year." By every year, he means every year for the past 18. The 2009 event was Petkus' 15th in the J/105 class. And although the team's comeback victory took me by surprise, it shouldn't have. These veteran racers-- Petkus (skipper), Krause (main trimmer), Steven Druszicki (tactics), Andrew Saltys (jib trimmer), and Michael Collins (bow)-- have completed more than 100 Chicago to Mackinac races among them, and when they needed to perform on Sunday, they did.
When I spoke with the crew of the J/105 Vytis on Saturday night, the team stood in fifth place, 8 points out of first. In the blare of the regatta tent, downing Mount Gays and chewing on a dinner roll, crewmember Keith Krause made a hopeful declaration. "We're still in the hunt," he said. "That's all that matters."
I nodded my head and wished him luck, but I must admit I never expected Vytis to post two bullets on Sunday and vault to the top of the standings, unseating fellow Chicago boat and perennial rival, Messy Jessy, earning first place overall at the 2009 Sperry-Top Sider Chicago NOOD, and winning a trip to the British Virgin Islands to compete in the NOOD Championships this November.
By every year, he means every year for the past 18. The 2009 event was Petkus' 15th in the J/105 class. And although the team's comeback victory took me by surprise, it shouldn't have. These veteran racers-- Petkus (skipper), Krause (main trimmer), Steven Druzbicki (tactics), Andrew Soltys (jib trimmer), and Michael Collins (bow)-- have completed more than 100 Chicago to Mackinac races among them, and when they needed to perform on Sunday, they did.
"We had to win both races to win the division," says Krause. "Today we were in phase with every lift, every knock, every change in condition."
Despite the need to pick up points, the team sailed fairly conservatively. "Our strategy was to keep our eyes on the boats ahead of us in the standings," says Collins. "We planned stick with them and try to get ahead when the opportunity arose."
As the racing played out, however, Vytis didn't need to play a lot a catch up-- the boat led at every mark, thanks to excellent starts and spot-on tactics courtesy of Druzbicki. "He's the supercomputer," says Soltys. "We input the information into the supercomputer and he outputs what we need to do."
The supercomputer may work wonders, but it's also incredibly humble. Druzbicki was quick to point out that his tactical decisions are only as good as the boathandling and boatspeed behind them. "The key was we were able to sail higher and faster than the other boats," he says. "That way, we controlled our own destiny."
In the highly competitive J/105 fleet, in which seven boats had a legitimate shot a victory on Sunday morning, holding a lead was no simple task. "With all the great local sailors and the boats that come in from all over the country, who are you going to cover?" says Petkus. "The thing about this regatta was the conditions were very trying. We were constantly changing gears. And in this fleet, if you fail to adjust your jib car before the other boat does, that could be the difference between first and fifth place."
The Vytis guys sail their boat like a professional crew, but they'd never let you mistake them for such. "We're a family boat," says Petkus, "For us, it's more important to have fun with our family and friends than to win."
Vytis is a "family" boat, but only Petkus and Krause are related. It's also a Lithuanian boat, though only Petkus and Krause speak Lithuanian. Don't let these facts fool you-- these friends are as close as family, and they're proud of their Lithuanian heritage (Petkus' parents emigrated to the United States in 1953 after Stalin overran Lithuania).
On the racecourse, they sometimes use Lithuanian to confuse their competition, lobbing around Lithuanian words while pointing at parts of other boats. "We'll be pointing up at the other guy's rig, yelling the Lithuanian words for lunch, dinner, eat, hungry, whatever," says Krause.
The three non-Lithuanian crewmembers are happy to play along. "The rest of us have no idea what's going on," says Soltys. "It's great."
A few years back, when organizers of the Chicago-Mac were considering implementing a new weight limit for the J/105 class that would break up the Vytis crew, Petkus responded that he would sooner race PHRF than give the flick to one of his family members. The solidarity of the team is so great, competitors have a running joke that Petkus must have a 401K plan in place for his crew.
Dan Pesch’s J/100 Remedy wins PHRF section 4. Seventeen J/105s competed in the NOOD; eleven J/109s battled for NOOD honors but ZEITGEIST wins again. Congratulations to Rob Zerban and crew; and in the J/35’s Larry Taunt’s BAD DOG wins.
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Excellent Turnout and Fun Racing for all(Cleveland, OH- June 20-21)- Edgewater Yacht Club commenced the annual Cleveland Race Week with the One Design weekend, which precedes a weeklong schedule of womens, juniors, and handicap class events. Getting the party started this weekend were 75 boats divided into fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/105s, T10s, Ensigns, Jet 14s, and Highlanders. Big winds on Saturday’s racing kicked up some serious Lake Erie chop (the short/steep kind) and allowed only one of the three race circles to get in their scheduled races. On Sunday, it was about warm temps but light winds.
JP Morgan Round The Island Race
J/97's Inaugural Race is 2nd in Class, J/80 "boats.com" Wins Class(Cowes, IOW, England- June 22nd)- The annual JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, is one of the most popular fixtures on the Solent racing calendar. There were 1,779 entrants from Europe and the USA, as well as all over the UK, to follow the 50 mile course round the Isle of Wight. Starting on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, the fleet races westabout, to The Needles, round St Catherine's Point and Bembridge Ledge buoy back into the Solent.
Conditions in today's JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race gave everyone a challenge. The breeze at the start was light, with some boats swept over the line early and having to make their way back slowly. At the Needles the most popular description competitors had of the race was "champagne sailing". Then the wind played tricks. Off Bembridge everyone was on a spinnaker reach when the breeze suddenly went through a 180 degree turn and then dropped. From 80-footers down to Laser SB3s, crews were kept busy fending off other boats. Once into the eastern Solent most of the fleet had to cheat the tide and creep close into Ryde Sands. Then it was short tacking to the line. The 'rush hour' was between 1900 and 2000 when a close to a thousand boats were finishing. Here were the significant J finishes:
IRC-1A- J/133- Neil Martin's JAMMY DODGER - 2nd
IRC-1A- J/122- John Patterson PANACEA- 3rd
IRC-1A- J/122- Ian Matthews JINJA- 4th
IRC- 1B- J/120- Adrian Cooks- MOJO- 2nd
IRC-1C- J/39- David Walters JACKDAW- 2nd
IRC-1C- J//39- Jonty & Vicky LayfieldS- SLEEPER- 3rd
IRC-2A- J/109- Richard Griffith- OUTRAJEOUS- 4th
IRC-2B- J/109- Mike and Sarah Wallis- JHAMALI- 2nd
IRC 2B- J/109- Will Leonard-JUST WILLIAM- 3rd
IRC-3A- J/97-Marie-Claude and Paul Heys- JENGA- 2nd
One doesn’t expect to end up on the podium when racing against 1700-plus boats, but that’s what happened to the crew from Boats.com last weekend when we raced in the JP Morgan Round Island Race, starting and ending in Cowes, England. Actually, there are something like 60 classes in the race, and we won one of them, but the day, and our result, still left us feeling we had beaten the odds.
Skippering the boat was the boss man at Boats.com and YachtWorld.com, Ian Atkins, a top J/80 class sailor, who just finished third in the class’s U.K. Nationals. His righthand man and sail trimmer, European Boats.com sales manager Dan Brown, was chief trimmer. Ian’s son, Sam, was the third experienced member of the crew, and I was the guest strati-guesser, in from the States for his first ever trip around.
Over the course of nine-odd hours, beginning with a 0750 start off the Royal Yacht Squadron line at Cowes, we had a great start and immediately started losing places until we were worse than mid-fleet by the time we rounded the Needles at the western end. By then the seabreeze had kicked in and at least we were moving fast under the spinnaker. Gradually we began to pass competitors and near St. Catherines, at the south corner, we jibed about 30 times and overhauled several more. We learned later that we had moved into the lead; if we’d known that, we’d have been much more nervous when the wind died completely and we approached the Bembridge Ledge buoy with about 400 boats immediately ahead and behind us.
We took a risk, jibing offshore into the current and carrying the breeze forward and around one big pile of boats, then jibing in again and sneaking around the buoy with at least 30 more outside us. The wind then died, but at least whatever air there was could reach our sails and we crept forward, with the wind gradually building again from the north. It was several more hours to the finish, and we always felt slow because there were lots of big boats passing us. We couldn’t see any J/80s ahead or behind and when we finally crossed the line back at Cowes, we received a cannon salute, meaning that we were first.
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Biscay Challenge 540 Mile Doublehanded
J/133 PINTIA Wins, J/105 ONLY JUST Second(Southampton, England/ Santander, Spain)- The Royal Southampton Yacht Club's 540-mile Biscay Challenge two-handed yacht race from the Solent to northern Spain was a close event for the leading participants.
Borja Garbizu's J/133 PINTIA had only ten minutes margin on corrected time from the winner of the last Solent to Santander race, Andy Hill and Matthieu Lathoud on the J105, ONLY JUST. The finish line was at Hondarribia, in the heart of Basque country on the Spanish border with France.
Of the 22 yachts which began the race in the Solent a week ago on Saturday, June 15, twelve made it to the finish in Hondarribia. Ten boats retired, primarily through lack of wind during the race both in the English Channel, off Ushant, and in the Bay of Biscay.
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Yacht Club Italiano's Giraglia Race
Slowly, Slowly, to La Giraglia Rock and Return to Genoa(St.Tropez, France / Genoa, Italy)- If patience is a virtue, than the 190-boat Giraglia fleet had it in spades early Thursday morning as the boats seemingly crept towards La Giraglia rock and the turn towards the finish in Genoa, 90 miles away.
After Wednesday's start of the 243-nautical mile race in St Tropez, the breeze slowly built and once the fleet rounded La Fourmigue to head for La Giraglia a northeasterly of 8 - 10 knots settled in, and backed enough to let the boats enjoy a close reach on the rhumbline to the rock. Through Wednesday night the fleet made slow but steady progress, but just before sunrise, the wind died out.
With the breeze so light, the fleet is fairly compacted which gives the smaller boats have an excellent chance to do well on corrected time. The finish line for the Giraglia distance race is just off Sturla in Genoa. The fleet will dock at the Yacht Club Italiano.
The J's had a good showing in this perennial event held by YCI. The J/133 CHESTTRESS II was 2nd in IRC-A and sailed by Yacht Club Italiano's Giancarlo Ghislanzoni. There were also several J/122s that managed to sail themselves out of contention despite being early race leaders. For the J/109s, GALANGA was 3rd in IRC B, raced by Phillipe De Saignes from International Yacht Club de'Hyeres, France.
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What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide* Block Island Race Week- in attendance were a number of notables from the the J/World events of the past. Collegiate All-Americans and J Champions seen helping friends getting around the track or driving were Jack Slattery, Mark Ploch, Farly Fontenot, Jay Lutz, Geoff Ewenson, Bryson Hall amongst others. Hmmm, it seems the "wise man" cometh and never go away. Can't go wrong with any of that crew-- who did we miss??
New J/105 Incentive AvailableThere’s plenty of new J/105 talk these days, thanks to the great reviews of the 2009 model J/105 built by US Watercraft of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
Introduced in 1992 as the world’s first modern day keelboat with a bow sprit, the J/105 continues to thrive around the world - whether one-design racing on San Francisco Bay or sailing non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean in the OSTAR Race. There are now over 676 boats sailing in 16+ countries. While the racing successes get the headlines, the real story is that the J/105 meets the needs of today’s active sailing families perhaps better than any other design on the market. Daysailing, weekending, distance sailing, one-design racing – the J/105 does it all.
J Boats is pleased to announce that US Watercraft is offering a complimentary Waterline Systems “Club Racer” bottom job (in epoxy or anti-fouling) for the first three J/105 orders placed between June 18th and August 1, 2009. This is a $6k+ value and provides you with a boat ready to launch out of the box. Please contact J/Boats or your nearest J dealer for details.
About J/BoatsStarted in 1977, J/Boats continues to lead the world in designing fun-to-sail, easy-to-handle, performance sailboats that can be enjoyed by a broad spectrum of sailors. The International J/24 has become the most popular recreational offshore keelboat in the world with over 5,400 J/24s cruising the waves. Today, there are 13,000+ J/Boats, ranging from the International J/22 to the J/65 and ranging in style from one-designs to racers, cruisers to daysailers and, of course, the ubiquitous J sprit boats- J/Boats' innovation in 1992 for easy-to-use asymmetric spinnakers and retractable carbon bowsprits (J/80, J/92, J/95, J/105, J/109, J/110, J/120, J/122, J/130, J/133, J/125, J/145, J/160).
J/Boats has the best track record in sailing for innovation and design as evidenced by: 11 Sailing World/ Cruising World Boat of the Year Awards in 14 years; 2 SAIL Awards for Industry Leadership; 2 American Sailboat Hall of Fame Designs (J/24 & J/35); and the three largest ISAF International One-Design keelboat classes (J/22, J/24, J/80).
Counting crew, every year there are over 100,000 friends to meet sailing J's, populating the most beautiful sailing harbors in 35+ countries around the world. Sailing is all about friends. Come join us and expand your social network everywhere! For background info.