Tuesday, October 25, 2011

J/Newsletter- October 25th, 2011

J/111 sailing one-design - offshore ultimate racerNEW! J/111 Speedster Sailing Video
(Newport, RI)- Since August, we'd been waiting for the perfect day to do a video/photo shoot of the J/111 off Newport with world-renowned yachting photographer Onne Van der Wall in a helicopter.  Incredibly, the intersection of wind, light, sea and tide conditions didn't materialize until the second Friday in October.  The results were stunning.  Spectacular photos and video of the J/111 sailing in 15-20 knot SSW winds off Newport, in big seas with an ebb tide flowing fast past Castle Hill and Brenton Reef.

As Onne remarked on the radio after 90 minutes in the air (they were about to run out of fuel), "it's a wrap, perfect day, the best!"  Little did we know how good it was.  Later, Onne said, "I've never seen a boat sail to windward so smoothly, the bow just lifts so naturally, leaving little spray or waves rolling over the deck, it's just magic! And, you guys were sailing in at least 3-6 foot seas with breaking waves!  Plus, it was obvious from the air the 111 just accelerates like a scalded cat downwind with that big red spinnaker!  How fast were you going?"  To answer Onne's question, while sailing in just 15-20 kt wind and waves, the J/111 was easily planing along at a steady 10-12 knots with bursts to 16 knots!  Quite a remarkable performance, an extraordinary experience many 111 owners already had in the past year!  See it for yourself in the latest J/111 YouTube video here.   Video and sailing photo credits- Onne Van der wal   For more J/111 sailboat information.

US Sailing One-Design sailing symposium for sailing teamsGrow Grass-roots One-Design Sailing
US SAILING One-Design Symposium @ Bay Head YC
(Bay Head, NJ)- If you have any interest in one-design sailing and growing your local fleets, perhaps it would be fun to hop on down to Bay Head, NY, centrally located in the huge sailing region of Northeast America!  Hosted at Bay Head YC November 12-13, this premier event for one-design class racing brings together one-design leaders and racing standouts for a great exchange of ideas and information.

This year's keynote speakers include US SAILING President Gary Jobson, Greg Fisher, Fried Elliott, Hank Stuart and Nick Turney. Other presenters include Carol Cronin, Joel Hanneman, Dave Rosekrans and Ken Taylor. Enjoy more than 25 panel discussions, workshops and breakout sessions. Two days of "Go Fast" Workshops featuring industry experts and class champions share their expertise on how to get around the course in less time and distance-- amazing, you can learn how to be a better sailor, too!

Visit the US ODSS website for registration details, travel and accommodations, a full schedule of events, agenda topics, speakers and presentation previews.  Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend, from your Opti Fleet Captain in elementary school to Jaba the Huts' star-sailors on Tatooine!  Note- this also includes all J/22, J/24, J/80, J/27, J/29, J/30, J/100, J/35, J/105, J/109, J/44 and J/122 fleet captains.

J/44 and J/122 sailing Key West Race Week- part of J/Fest Winter CircuitNEW! J/Fest Winter Circuit
(Ft Lauderdale, FL)- Great news for J/Sailors worldwide!  A "J/Fest Winter Circuit" has been developed for Winter 2012 in Florida that encompasses J/111s, J/105s, J/109s and larger J's (J/120s, J/122s, J/124s, J/44s).  To that end, a regatta schedule for "big boat" J sailors that includes sailing once per month all winter includes the following dates and events:

1. Lauderdale- Key West- Jan 12-13- http://www.lyc.org (optional)
2. Quantum Key West Race Week- Jan 15-20- http://www.premiere-racing.com
3. J/Fest Ft Lauderdale- Feb 18-19- President's Day- http://www.bahiamarhotel.com/marina
4. J/Fest Ft Lauderdale- Mar 16-18- St Patrick's Day- http://www.bahiamarhotel.com/marina
5. Charleston Race Week- Apr 19-22- http://www.charlestonraceweek.com

For more information on the J/Fest Winter Circuit including "all-in budgets and costs", please contact J/Boats at Ph. +1-401-846-8410 or email- info@jboats.com.  Or, call your local J/Dealer for more information. Please see the complete announcement here.   Sailing Photo credit- Onne Van der Wal

Sunset off Malta's inner harborJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

In Europe, the end of October marks the occasion for the annual Rolex Middle Sea Race, that 600+nm classic offshore race that sends the fleet blasting around a pile of volcano's in the middle of the Mediterranean.  The fleet congregates in that sea-faring island nation of Malta to pay homage to Poseidon and Aelous for fair and safe passage with great winds and then the fleet takes off seeking greater fame and fortune, all expecting the famous island "marks" they round to port haven't atomized!  Speaking of which, there were near nuclear wind conditions in England's Solent this past weekend, making for some interesting racing and maneuvering on the Saturday and Sunday for many wayward warriors from the big city of London!  Both the Garmin Hamble Winter Series and the INEOS Solent Winter Circuit off Lymington managed to get off races both days.  Over in the Americas, the J/24s had tight, closely fought competition in the Pan Am Games, sailed off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  And, in the northeast, Indian Harbor YC sailed their Gear Buster Race, an appropriately named event!

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below 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 9- Dec 4- Garmin Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
Oct 28-30- J/24 East Coast Championship- Severn Sailing Associaiton, Annapolis, MD
Oct 29-30- J/Fest Southwest- Houston, TX
Oct 29- Nov 6- Hamburg Boat Show (J/108, J/80)- Hamburg, Germany- http://www.hanseboot.de
Nov 4-7- Xiamen Boat Show (J/80)- Wuyuan Bay, Xiamen, China
Nov 10-13- J/80 French Nationals- St Cast, France- http://www.classej80france.com/
Nov 11-19- J/24 Worlds- Buenos Aires, Argentina- http://www.j24worlds2011.org.ar/

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

J/97 sailboat- sailing on Solent, EnglandJ/97s Ramble-On @ Winter Series
(Solent, Hamble, England)- A bit like their musically spiritual compatriots in England, "Led Zeppelin", the J/97s continue to "Ramble On" and keep the pedal-to-the-metal in class this past weekend.  Not sure what got this train running down the tracks so fast, but surely the crews on the J/97 JIKA-JIKA and INDULJENCE have got it dialed in so far this fall season on the Solent.

This weekend HRSC hosted some close racing and some epic on-water battles in the Hamble Autumn Championships and Garmin Hamble Winter Series, in conditions that ranged from gusty to fresh & frighteningly epic?! There was some masterful sailing - and the odd impressive wipeout - across the fleet.

Saturday was the start of the second Hamble Autumn Championships weekend, with racing on two courses for J/80 and J/109s. The wind, a gusty and shifty SSE'ly of 14-18 knots, provided some useful shifts for competitors, allowing some to make big gains. Race officers Jamie Wilkinson and Ian Sumner set good windward-leeward courses, and all classes enjoyed some extremely close combat over the day's four races.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing winter series hamble, englandThe J/80s sailed 3 races on Sunday. J2X edged past J.A.T to take the first two races, and OI! beat both of them in the final race of the series, but it wasn't enough to keep J.A.T off the top spot overall. So far, Phil Taylor on J.A.T. leads by 3 pts with 17 total points in 14 races-- about a 2nd average!  Lying second is Rob Larke's J2X with 20 points.  Third is Thor Askellende's ELLE'S'APPELLE with 54 points, about 34 points back.  What's abundantly clear is that a "regime change" has occurred, rapidly, in this year's version of the Fall Championships.  John Cooper's OI! and Patrick Liardet's AQUA-J, leaders from last year's event, are simply scrambling to keep the fabulous pace that has been laid down by Taylor's and Larke's team.

J/109 one-design sailboats- sailing into start at Hamble Winter SeriesWhile this weekend's results for the J/109 One-Design class saw OUTRAJEOUS and STALKER win races, the J/109 fleet standings continue to see Richard and Valerie Griffith’s OUTRAJEOUS in first with 17 pts; Steven Tapper's STALKER in second with 21 pts; Jody Windmiller's J2EAU in third with 32 pts; David and Mary McGough's JUST SO in fourth with 43 points; and Tor McLaren's INSPARA in fifth with 45 pts.  On the Winter Series side of the equation, it's OUTRAJEOUS hanging onto first overall with Paul Griffiths' JAGERBOMB in second and JUST SO in third.

In IRC results are starting to look like a classic American "roller-coaster".  In IRC 1 Class, Doctor Ivan Trotman is now leading with his J/122 JOLOU with a 1-4-3-6 record for 14 pts. Over in IRC 3, still dominated by J's, the top four of five slots are all held by Js! The J/97s JIKA JIKA and INDULJENCE are first and third, respectively, whilst David Greenhalgh and John Taylor's J/92 J-RONIMO is fourth.  Fifth is Andy Howe & Annie Kelly's J/92s BLACKJACK.

Next weekend sees the second Autumn Championships weekend, with racing for J/109 and J/80 one design classes on both days, plus the third Winter Series race day on Sunday.   Sailing photo credits- Hamo Thornycroft   For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/122 Artie sailing team- winners Rolex Middle Sea RaceMalta Rules Middle Sea Race
J/122s and J/133s Cruise Overall/ Class Wins!
(Gzira, Malta)- The 32nd edition of the 606-nautical mile Rolex Middle Sea Race, which began last Saturday, 22 October from Grand Harbour in Malta, with 70 boats from 18 countries, will be remembered as an epic drama that saw FOUR (not one, not two, not three, but 4) J's battling for the overall and class leadership in one of the most challenging offshore races on planet Earth.  And, seemingly, all four boats were part of the Maltese Navy, a "family" from that little island nation known as Malta.  In a drama worthy of Homer's ODYSSEY, where Odysseus's voyage is punctuated by many bizarre twists and turns, it was the Maltese merchants of war that took home all the booty this time around-- hauling off enough silverware to make it seem almost illegal were it not for the fact their chosen steeds of war were nothing else than simple racer-cruisers like the J/122 and J/133. Truth be told, the "locals" won.  Royal Maltesian sailors Lee Satariano and Christian Ripard on their J/122 ARTIE won overall and IRC 4, too.  For them, it was truly the "third time is a charm", having finished second twice before! Christian's cousin, John Ripard's J/133 JARU was 3rd overall and won IRC 3!

J/122 Artie sailing Rolex Middle Sea race- finish in MaltaAfter finishing second overall in 2006 and 2010, owner Lee Satariano was clearly pleased with his first overall win, “It’s a moment to enjoy – it is a dream come true. Since 2002 the fleet has grown bigger, the competition is tremendous. The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a beautiful track. The race is one you can never forget –every year something challenges you to go back out and enjoy the race.”

Satariano was quick to credit Ripard and the rest of his crew and said, “They have been preparing the boat the whole year and have been dedicated to the local races. The preparation for this race was even more and more intense - a lot of effort went into optimizing the boat and sails. During the race the crew worked round the clock, sometimes there were 5-7 sail changes in ten minutes; they worked fast, and in any conditions. It was very nice for them to do so well in such a race.”

As to what made this year’s race unique, aside from the obvious winning, he added, “Every corner had something we weren’t expecting – you were expecting one thing and then obviously facing different winds, rain, different directions, but it was totally exciting.”
The Middle Sea Race is the flagship race of the Royal Malta Yacht Club and each year, members of the club, young and old take part in the spectacular race. It is a special honor to be the first Maltese boat to finish the Rolex Middle Sea Race, as Georges Bonello Dupuis, Commodore of the Royal Malta Yacht Club explains, “For the entire race, all of the Maltese boats will be concentrating on crossing the line first, it is an incredible honor filled with pride and elation. All of their families will be in the yacht club, hoping that they will win. It is a great feeling to be the first home but a real welcome home party awaits them all.”

Rolex Middle Sea Race courseLaid out on a chart, the RMSR looks simple- it's just a "giant around the islands race" (like Jamestown or Isle of Wight, but on much, much larger scale- for those of you counting, only 606nm).  Just start from Malta, head north to the Straits of Messina, go through it avoiding massive whirlpools and currents (and mythical serpents). Then, go a few bits to the north, avoid island volcano called Stromboli (note 1), keep it to the left, head west past Sicily (yet another island volcano) along its northern shore.  At the NW corner of Sicily off the islands of Favignana (note 2), turn left again and head south keeping the islands of Pantelleria (note 3) to the left and Tunisia (north tip of Africa) to your right (pirates included).  After Pantelleria, head down to the rock (island by some standards) of Lampedusa and turn left, heading east to the finish of Malta (a story and challenge in and of itself)(note 4).  Easy, eh? In some respects, it makes the RORC Rolex Fastnet Race look like a "piece of cake"-- head west from Cowes, turn around Fastnet Rock and finish at Plymouth, your basic "out and back race".  Not!  So, you can begin to understand "why" the "new" RORC 600 Race in the Caribbean and the classic Rolex Middle Sea Race have such appeal, they're easily one of the most challenging offshore races on the international racing calendar. Some times, all sun, fun, shorts and sunscreen.  Other times, one's contending with sailing's version of a nuclear wind with powerful, hurricane-like meltemi's/ scirocco's blasting off the desert or northern Europe.  It's a full-on team effort to simply sail well in this race, forgetting the fact that you're hoping to even get some silverware. In other words, full-blown, fully professional teams paid zillions of dollars can fail and be beaten by "family" teams.  The story, in fact, of this year's race.  David and Goliath reincarnate, if not one worthy of a Greek odyssey.

Who were lined up against the "family" J/Teams in this year's Rolex Middle Sea Race?  Well, nothing short of the 2011 RORC Boat of the Year- Inter-Galactic Winner- Nik Zennstrom's 72 footer RAN. Plus, a few other quick boats like ESIMIT EUROPA, a 100 ft canting-keel "needle" and other "wannabes" in the fast boats category. The collective payroll for one race on the top five finishing boats would pay for ALL four J's that took most of the silverware.  Perhaps sailing is the ultimate egalitarian endeavour.

J/122 Otra Vez- sailing Rolex Middle Sea Race off MaltaBefore we forget, we must mention the fact that a "newbie" to the local Maltese J/Navy is the J/122 OTRA VEZ sailed by Aaron Gatt Floridia / Edward Gatt Floridia.  Remarkably, in their first race on a J/122, against the most formidable competition imaginable, they managed a third overall and a third in IRC 4.  Not bad.  A podium finish in Class and Overall on their first try?  So, what happens when they actually "learn" the boat from the masters in Malta and go faster without hitting any corners?  Sounds like trouble for their competitors anywhere they decide to take their new race-horse.

Not to be forgotten are their stablemates, the J/133 JUNO sailed by David Anastasi racing in IRC 3.  They were nipping at their heels like a mad hound-dog all the way around the track.  Luck was not on their side.  Nevertheless, despite a few mistakes, JUNO hung very tough to get fifth overall and 2nd in IRC 3 Class, helping to lead to a J sweep of IRC 3 and IRC 4 classes.  Not far off the pace was the J/130 ANDAYA sailed by her Italian owner Lorenzo Libe-- ANDAYA won 3rd overall in the 1996 Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Prophetically, Christian Ripard on ARTIE had this to say just 24 hours before the start, "The forecast looks to be quite light for the first couple of days....but with the thunder clouds lurking around at the start we could have very unstable weather which could bring us anything from zero to fifty knots in squalls.....as always this race is the longest around the cans race which will keep us working continuously hour after hour."  Given that perspective (truer than what most would've imagined), here's what happened during the race.

Straits of Messina off ItalySUNDAY Report:
On the first night, the fleet parked up off the coast of Sicily near Catania – in the shadows of Mount Etna.  The bulk of the fleet was nearing the Strait.  The crew of the J/133, OILTANK KING JUNO (MLT), was clearly enjoying itself despite one or two issues yesterday, reporting in with a recap the early adventures, "Once out of the harbour, some local storm clouds brought with them squalls. We saw some boats tear their code zeros and spinnakers. On JUNO, we were not free of problems either. Even though we made the correct sail calls at the right times, at one point we lost both our spinnaker sheets and tack lines, giving us major problems with one of our spinnakers. Due to great teamwork, we managed to make a good recovery and now find ourselves sailing up the east coast of Sicily towards the infamous straits of Messina."

MONDAY Report:
J/133 sailing Rolex Middles Sea race with spinnakerForty-eight hours into the race and the fleet had encountered all of the challenges and conditions that tacticians and navigators had anticipated well before the race start.  The 606-nautical mile course around Sicily is notorious for its changeable conditions, and local anomalies in wind, current, and weather. Many competitors work out a game plan that breaks the course into several parts – each with its own challenges. And over-riding all race plans is the weather forecast – this year the predictions were for lighter breeze at the start, though several fronts passing through the area were expected to bring more wind along the western coast of Sicily.

After a faster than expected first 24 hours, the front-runners suffered on the stretch of the course along the north coast of Sicily where lighter winds finally materialized slowing the boats down to a relative crawl. But once they could stick their bows around the northwest corner of Sicily, past San Vito lo Capo, they were back in the breeze and off again.

Said one navigator in the midst of IRC 3 and IRC 4 fleets, "Looking ahead we expect our world to change when we round the western tip of Sicily and enter the southerly winds. The strength will increase and be more on the nose. At the moment we are peeling between the code zero and headsails, but we will just be using headsails shortly. We’re happy with that. We made a good decision last night to stay north, away from the wind shadows of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands.  Further ahead we think that Lampedusa could be a problem and another park-up. There is a low tracking over Malta on Tuesday that could bring really light winds, changing the picture all over again and really changing the shape of the race."

The bulk of the fleet - including all of Classes 3 and 4 - were fairly closely packed along the rhumbline off the northern coast of Sicily. Abeam of the island of Alicudi (one of the Aeolian Islands), one skipper said they had a visual sighting of 34-35 boats around them. He reported, "It was a tough night, we rounded Stromboli with good breeze around 2300 - its usual eruptions and a very nice view. About an hour later, the breeze started to die, and then it was just a big swell with sails flapping, shock loading the boat. We now are sailing in six knots of wind, making 6.3 knots of boat speed, with the apparent wind just forward of the beam. We anticipate the wind to increase by midday, though forecasts have been mostly inaccurate! Anyway, that’s the name of game. Right now we have bright sunshine some cloud cover."

Island of Sicily off to port of fleet in Rolex Middle Sea RaceTo give you some perspective from the top of the fleet, Nik Zennstrom, owner/skipper on RAN, said "We studied the different weather models that were available to us, and really tried to understand the race-course as well as possible. I think we handled it well; we didn’t make a lot of mistakes, which is what it’s all about in this kind of race. Though it was pretty light conditions; you didn’t have the tough conditions where you really have to handle the boat. It’s a fun race because there are always different corners to go around, different islands-- for sure it’s very tactical.”  RAN's tactician Adrian Stead, echoed that and said, “It was a pretty challenging race-- intriguingly, this race was not a case of the rich getting richer, as the weather conditions continued to confound even the race leaders right to the end – and served as a reminder of what may lie ahead for the rest of the fleet still racing. The last 50 miles into the finish were incredibly tricky. Originally we were pointing straight at Malta, then we were slowly headed and effectively faced with a 30-mile beat to the Comino Channel, and coming in to here at midday the breeze started to get very fickle off the shore, with very big shifts.  The last nine miles saw 40 degree shifts, and breeze as light as five knots to as much as 11 knots. You had to keep your wits about you the whole way.”

The conditions overnight definitely favored the lighter displacement boats and two Maltese yachts came to the fore. J/122 ARTIE skippered by Lee Satariano and double race winner Christian Ripard had an excellent night and were now very much in contention. Aaron and Edward Gatt Floridia’s J/122, OTRA VEZ also came into the running. These two local yachts were barely half a mile apart.

By noon on the third day, the Rolex Middle Sea Race was living up to its billing as a highly changeable and tactically demanding race. As the majority of the fleet turns the corner northwest corner at Favignana, they should encounter stronger head winds, rain and a building sea state; the third night at sea looks set to be a testing one.

TUESDAY Report-
Sailng past Italy's volcanic island chain off SicilyBy Monday evening, the fleet began to experience a situation contrary to the forecast– a reminder again of the fickle weather conditions around Sicily. Several squalls swept through and a few boats were caught unawares, left to quickly douse spinnakers and run through sail changes, as the wind swung around from southeast to northwest.  Then it swung back again!  The fleet were experiencing the roughest conditions of the race so far. Beating into a stiff southeasterly breeze with an agitated sea state, it was a rock and roll ride for the fleet, soaking wet on deck with fresh supplies of food depleted and little sleep, a battle of attrition was the main course and a few hours restless sleep the desert. Malta’s capital Valetta’s famous battlements are testament to the fighting spirit of the nation and several Maltese yachts have come to the fore in these difficult conditions.

In Class Three, at Favignana, the J/133 JARU Team EC, skippered by Andrew Calascione and John Ripard were leading the class on handicap and by 0830 Tuesday morning JARU had pulled ahead of close rival ARTIE (racing in Class Four) by one and half miles to lead the fleet of eight Maltese yachts in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Challenging for the lead and very much in the hunt in Class Three was the other J/133 OILTANK KING JUNO skippered by David Anastasi.

Continuing to lead Class 4 were the two J/122s from the Maltese fleet-- ARTIE and OTRA VEZ. As Ripard said presciently before the race start, “It’s not a long passage race, you have a lot of corners, a lot of changing winds when you go around a corner. They get becalmed, you run away; you get becalmed, they catch you up, it really keeps you on your toes, the whole way around. That’s why it’s so much fun, but it’s so hard doing it.”

OTRA VEZ had a full on battle Monday night, sustaining damage that prevented them from flying any spinnaker. OTRA VEZ was probably the only yacht that was hoping that they will beat all the way to the finish. OTRA VEZ crew, Sean Arrigo Azzopardi contacted the Royal Malta YC Tuesday morning at 1030 with news from on board- "We’re all fine, doing well overall. The boat is coping, but we broke the bowsprit last night. We were carrying the Code Zero a bit too high in a big chop, and seem to have blown it. I don’t know if we can get it fixed, I hope we don’t need to use it. We had big waves rounding Favignana, and about 20 knots of wind. When we freed off slightly to make Pantelleria, we were sailing at a true wind angle of 050, the wind settled, big waves, and we were doing about 8.5 knots. It was pretty comfortable.  It is a beat to Lampedusa. We’re not sure if we are going to need the bowsprit. The wind looks as though it might come around, but we are not too sure since the wind has been doing its own thing. Apart from in the Strait we have not really had what we’ve been expecting. From the beginning to half the race, nothing at all like what we thought.  Before Favignana, we encountered the squalls, but mildly. Not as bad as others seem to have. Maybe we were ahead of it. We slowed down a lot at Trapani. We were hoping not, it looked like it was going to pull us through but it didn’t. The wind for us did not come around too much.  It is a beautiful day now, the wind is blowing 13 knots, we are beating tight, with a wind angle of 040 heading towards Lampedusa, the sea is mild. It’s pretty nice. Some bigger boats are closing from behind, but we are still chasing ARTIE who is about a mile and a half away. We were together with JARU at Trapani, but he did not slow down like we did. He managed to sneak away, so maybe he is a couple of miles ahead.  Right now we are trying to get as much rest as possible to try and fight out the last bit. We’re loving every minute."

J/122 Artie sailing to finish line in Malta's harborWEDNESDAY Report- Finish
With 18 yachts finished and two retirements, the bulk of the remaining yachts were still battling to reach the finish at the Royal Malta Yacht Club. Lighter conditions beset the fleet but those that rounded Lampedusa were now sailing in a southeasterly breeze and maintaining good boat speed, flying downwind sails. The Royal Malta YC was expecting a monumental party Wednesday night with six Maltese yachts expected to finish in the afternoon and early evening.

At 0930 hours, leading the Maltese fleet of eight yachts home was the J/122 ARTIE, she was 24 miles from the Comino Strait and leading her class, the Maltese fleet and the entire race on IRC handicap!  Can we say that a "Triple-Crown winner" was a possibility?  Nipping at their heels less than 5 nm behind in the final mad dash to the finish line were the three other Maltese J's- the J/133s JARU Team EC, OILTANK KING JUNO and the J/122 OTRA VEZ!  It was a family affair, too.  JARU, was skippered by Andrew Calascione and John Ripard (first cousin to ARTIE's Christian Ripard). John Ripard is also sailing with his son Sebastian. The J/122 OTRA VEZ, co-skippered by brothers Aaron and Edward Gatt Floridia, had to be cursing their luck, their broken bowsprit was now a serious handicap. As they sailed towards the finish off-the-wind, OTRA VEZ couldn't fly their fastest sails.

J/133 Jaru sailing into finish line at MaltaFinally, after racing over 606 nm, the J/122 ARTIE crossed the finish line at 15.22 CEST, eight minutes in front of the J/133 JARU TEAM EC and, in doing so, was the first Maltese boat home. That finish also put the local entry, co-skippered by Lee Satariano and Christian Ripard, ahead of Zenstrom's RAN (GBR) as overall handicap leader.  As a result, ARTIE and crew may have been the first "Triple Crown" Winner ever in the history of the Rolex Middle Sea Race- Overall IRC Winner, IRC Class 4 Winner and Maltese Fleet Champion!

Owner Lee Satariano was clearly relieved to beat his local rivals home and said, “It was very achievable because we worked very hard. The crew has been preparing the boat for the past several months, we even have a new sail wardrobe. Being the first Maltese boat gives us a big satisfaction because the local competition is very, very big.”  Christian Ripard, co-skipper said, “It’s a great feeling. We ended up doing most of the race alongside or crossing tacks with JARU; it’s nearly a re-run of last year, though this time we managed to beat them.  We were sailing the boat as well as we can. We knew if we had the same conditions as the rest of the competition, we’d do well. The boat is going exceptionally well, and it’s a very good crew. This was a very enjoyable race. When you race on a Maxi you tend to be on your own, but when you’re with the smaller boats, then you really have a race on, there are different dynamics -- you’re crossing tacks with foreign boats, with local boats -- it was one of the most enjoyable races for me."

Notes:
Volcanic island of Stromboli(1) Part of the Aeolian island chain, Stromboli is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily. The active volcano is approximately 900 m (3,000 ft) high, and its most recent eruption was in August 2009. There are two villages on the island with several hundred inhabitants.  Stromboli gained acclaim in 1950 when Italian director, Roberto Rossellini set the classic movie 'Stromboli' starring Ingrid Bergman, on the island. The island, and nearby Strombolicchio, are marks of the Rolex Middle Sea Race course, left to port by the race fleet.  Stromboli is part of the Aeolian Island archipelago, named after the wind god, Aeolus. The largest islands in the group are Lipari and Salina; others include Vulcano, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, and Panarea, as well as nearby islets. The islands are of volcanic origin and include two active volcanoes: Vulcano and Stromboli. Over 40 species of birds are found on the islands, including ten that are on the Sicilian Red List for threatened species.

Rolex Middle Sea Race mark rounding(2) The Rolex Middle Sea Race Mark is unusual as many of the marks of the course are physical islands. At the northwest corner of Sicily, off Trapani, lie the Egadi Islands. These islands (Favignana and Levanzo) must all be left to port, except for the island of Marettimo, which must be left to starboard.  The permanent population for the three islands is around 5,000. Although a popular summer destination, it is still possible to find secluded coves and walking paths. The islands are rugged and hilly, but offer wonderful beaches for swimming in the cobalt blue sea.

(3) the Italian island of Pantelleria lies 100 km (62miles) southwest of Sicily and only 60 km (37miles) east of the Tunisian coast. The island has an area of 83 sq km, and a population of around 3,000 inhabitants. Despite being volcanic, Pantelleria is surprisingly fertile. Not to be missed is the Montagna Grand, a natural park and the highest point (836m) on the island. As well, there are many beaches and sea caves to explore.

Rolex Middle Sea race start and finish line(4) The finish line for the Rolex Middle Sea Race is inside Marsamxett Harbour, opposite the Royal Malta Yacht Club in Ta’Xbiex. Marsamxett is the northern of Valletta’s two main harbors (the other is Grand Harbour). This natural harbour is dedicated more for leisure use – with plenty of dockage for recreational and tourist boats.  The harbour is ringed by fortifications. As well as the walled Citadel of Valletta to the south, in the middle of the harbour sits the 18 century Fort Manoel, built by the Knights of Malta, under the patronage of Portuguese Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena. The former home of the Royal Malta Yacht Club, the fort is undergoing major restoration work to repair damage sustained during the Second World War.   To experience live video footage from the J/133 JUNO- access their archives.  Rolex Sailing Photo credits- Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo.   For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information.

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in Pan Am GamesBRAZIL Golden @ J/24 Pan Am Games
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- The final day of the sailing on the gorgeous Bahia de Banderas bay at the Pan American Games regatta saw each of the nine classes hold the double points medal race for the top five in each class to decide the medalists.

Emerging from the smoke on the battlefield, like an apparition out of the fog, was yet again Brazil's J/24 ace Mauricio Santa Cruz at the top of the leader-board.  Mauricio and crew took home the Gold by one point after a battle in the final race with the American team of John Mollicone.  Taking the Bronze Medal on the podium was Matias Sequel from Chile, fourth was Luis Alcese from Peru and fifth was Francisco Van Avermaete from Argentina.   Sixth from the host country Mexico was Jorge Murrietta.

Sailing onboard the American J/24 at the Pan Am Games in Puerto Vallarta was Dan Rabin.  Dan's amusing commentary about their Silver Medal winning experience was posted on Sailing World blogs:   "Security has increased significantly since we first arrived. Getting into the hotel or the yacht club is like going through security at the airport. In addition, the Mexican Navy is patrolling the coast of our hotel and the sailing area - wow!

I feel like karma should be on our side. The Canadian team's jib got lost in transport, so we gave them our practice jib which only has a few days on it. Otherwise, they would have been sailing with a jib that looks older than the kids I coach at Brown.

We had a nice cross-class dinner after the first day of sailing with the Lightning team and Clay Johnson. I learned that Farrah Hall, the U.S. boardsailor went for a run while waiting for her redress hearing. Boardsailing must be one of the most intense physical activities on the planet, and Farrah goes for a run to cool down! I explained to Jay Lutz that if I ran from our dinner table to the restaurant door I would probably go into cardiac arrest. I guess I'm getting old, or maybe I'm flat-out already there, but being on the water for 6 hours in 90+ degrees takes a lot out of me.

Another competition going on in the midst of the Pan Am Games is the country pins. All of the athletes are given about 20 pins which have a national team decal. The idea is that you exchange pins with athletes from other countries. I am failing miserably on this front. I imagine that the pin exchange is a great introduction to meet people if you are single. I am not single, and I'm a bit shy by nature. So far, I have a couple of Mexican pins that I got from one of their American coaches I was already friends with - pathetic, I know. I gave a pin to a waiter today just for getting me some parmesan cheese, and I gave another pin to a waiter with the promise of a Puerto Rican pin in exchange tomorrow.

What's the sailing like, you might ask?  Well, it looks like champagne sailing, but it's mighty hot on the water off Puerto Vallarta on Banderas Bay. And the pressure in only increasing as the medal race approaches.

We were rewarded with a day off on Thursday because the regatta is on schedule with six races completed. Wednesday was the lightest breeze of the regatta. The puffs were very narrow, making for some challenging racing. With the breeze so light, the heat felt even more extreme. Puerto Vallarta travel tip: no need to bring sailing gear here. If I wore a spray top, I would be unconscious by the leeward gate. We pulled a horizon job the first race and managed a 3rd in the next race. After beating the Brazilians both races, we are leading by 1 point with a throw out.

For our day off, we managed to find the only place hotter than a J/24 deck downwind: the beach volleyball court. The U.S. men's and women's teams had matches, so most of the sailors went down to cheer them on. During the men’s match, a group of 30 Mexican elementary school students were cheering “Los Estados Unidos”, so I’m thinking that NAFTA thing has worked out pretty well. The women faced off against Mexico, though, and the stadium was going crazy after every Mexican point. Unfortunately, both U.S. teams lost. I saw the women’s team at dinner and they were in good spirits. I’m glad we were on hand to be part of their small group of supporters in the stands.

We have four more races scheduled over the next two days, and then a medal race on Sunday for the top five boats. In the medal race, the points are double whatever the finish position is, and it cannot be discarded. It’s starting to look like it could come down to us and Brazil as there’s a bit of a gap to 3rd place, so there should be some interesting tactical situations and exciting face offs. A seven-boat regatta has a very different dynamic than the typical big-fleet racing events I sail. For instance, if you’re sailing a 40 boat event, you could round the leeward gate in 18th, and grind back to a top 10 over the next 2 legs. Here, if you round the gate in third, it’s incredibly difficult to pass even one boat. So while every point matters in a typical event, every point is absolutely precious here. If you lose them, it’s really hard to get them back.

Fun fact: I speak a little bit of broken Spanish but Jay Lutz speaks a little bit of fluent Spanish, mostly related to ordering food and beer (cervezas!)-- I'm learning fast!

I mentioned in my last post that the points were shaping up such that we could see some interesting scenarios, and that was certainly the case. On Thursday, we went after Brazil in the pre-start in race 8. Since we had a better drop race than them, we could extend our lead if we forced them into another bad race. We had a great start to windward of them and were able to pin them out to the un-favored side. At one point, we were winning while they were in 6th, but things change quite a bit over the length of a 6 leg, 80 minute race. We had to shift gears again and tack on them relentlessly up the last beat. We were successful, though, and after 8 races we had our biggest lead of the regatta— a whopping 3 points.

On Saturday we were in full match race mode with Brazil, so the pre-starts were pretty intense. We ended up even on the day, still with a 3-points lead, but we had one especially exciting exchange to maintain that lead. Going down the last run of the 2nd race were about 3 boat lengths behind Brazil. We soaked low on them and then jibed right on top of them.  We began to roll them and then jibed back at them with the starboard advantage. We pinned them past lay line and then jibed back with the pole on the head stay and went on for a hard-earned 2nd.

The medal races on Sunday were only half the length of the normal races for most of the fleets. The Lightnings started before us and we were able to watch their entire race before our start. The RC had to do this format because they had to use the same three umpire boats for each race. That’s right, medal races were umpired and if you got a penalty, you had to do a 360 immediately.

For our medal race, we became engaged with Brazil even before the 5-minute warning went off (is that legal? who knows, umpires didn't seem to care).  At less than a minute to the start, we gained an advantage and drew a windward-leeward foul. Brazil had to spin and we continued to slow them down after they came out of their penalty turn. Meanwhile, the other 3 boats were sailing off at least a minute in front of us, duking it out for the bronze. We had a few tacking exchanges with Brazil, and on the last one, they were able to draw a foul on us. We had to spin, but even though we were in last and Brazil was now fourth, it looked like we might have created enough of a gap to the fleet that they would not be able to put the boat in between us that they needed for the gold. Unfortunately, at the bottom of the first run, Peru and Argentina got in a luffing match and Brazil closed the gap. Up the 2nd beat, Brazil passed Argentina. We were just too far behind to do anything and we had to watch as Brazil crossed the finish in third. It was heartbreaking.

I ran into Jody Lutz from the Lightning team at out hotel and he was experiencing similar feelings. We both recognized the achievement of winning a silver medal here, but were very disappointed at coming so close to the gold and watching it slip away. The medal ceremony on the water in downtown Puerto Vallarta helped cushion the blow a bit—the typical awards banquet doesn’t come close to this experience. I’ll always remember Geoff posing for a picture with his two young boys holding his medal – they looked very proud of Dad.

The Pan American Games was like no other regatta I’ve ever sailed. An outsider might look at it and see there are only 7 boats, and think, "That can’t be nearly as hard as a Worlds or North Americans.”  The comparison is pointless. They’re so completely different that it’s not really the same game.

On behalf of USA 5235, I’d like to give a huge thanks to the US SAILING and U.S. Olympic Committee staff for all of their work here.  I hope you’ve enjoyed following along, and a few years from now, will consider lacing it up and competing in your class’s trials for a chance to represent the U.S. at this great event."  Courtesy of Dan Rabin and Sailing World- http://www.sailingworld.com/blogs   For more Pan Am Games sailing information.

J/120 offshore racer cruiser sailboat- sailing offshoreJ/120s Smash Indian Harbor Gear Buster Race
(Greenwich, CT)- Get the bit in her teeth and she'll still show her transom to a lot of boats blasting down the race track.  That's the story of the J/120s sailing in Indian Harbor YC's fall classic called, appropriately, the Gear Buster Race.  Why the  name?  Basically, because it's the last offshore race of the fall season, so gotta for broke-- as they say in San Francisco, "Go Big or Go Home"!  Plus, it almost always nukes in the fall on Long Island Sound when the fast-moving cold fronts go ripping through the Northeastern coast of America and it blows for days at a time 15-30 kts (or more) out of the Northwest.

Reveling in this year's conditions, the J/120s won both PHRF Doublehanded Division and PHRF Spinnaker Division.  In the Double group, it was Gardner Grant on ALIBI that took home the Gold not only in class, but won PHRF Overall!  Other J's that had a respectable showing in the same division were Hewitt Gaynor's J/120 MIREILLE in 5th and Greg Imbruce's J/109 JOYRIDE in sixth.

In the PHRF Spinnaker Division, Barry John's J/120 NO ESCAPE took home the bacon (and the pickle dish) in a big, big way, winning by over one hour forty minutes on corrected and securing 3rd in PHRF Fleet Overall, too!  A gaggle of other J/120s sailed well, with Joe Healey's SOULMATE finishing 3rd and Brian Spears' MADISON getting 4th.  Just behind them was John Pearson's J/109 BLUE SKY in 5th.

Finishing 2nd in the PHRF Non-spinnaker division was Ken Hall's beautiful J/100 NEVERMORE, just missing out winning his class by only 40 seconds!  You can just hear Ken asking himself, "now, why didn't I wing out that jib faster?"  Next time, we hope.

John Towers pretty J/37 RIPPLE sailed a challenging race to beat out an old Maxi World Champion aboard BOOMERANG, Jeff Neuberth and friends on the Farr 11s STRAY DOG.  However, they were no match for the fast Santa Cruz 52 MAGIC, with RIPPLE having to settle for 2nd overall in IRC Division.  For more Indian Harbor YC Gear Buster sailing results

J/109 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing downwindFLAWLESS J Wins INEOS Solent Circuit
(Lymington, England)- Following the previous week's abandoned races due to lack of wind, the third weekend of the Lymington Town Sailing Club INEOS Solent Circuit saw plenty of wind to keep competitors on their toes. True to the forecast, a steady 18 to 20 knots SSE breeze, with gusts to 28 knots greeted the fleet in the West Solent on Sunday morning.

All classes were set courses taking them to the Island shore, where they experienced lulls in the wind and considerable wind shifts, only to sail out of the lee of the Island into some significant gusts. For Class 1 the race committee set a course of 15 nautical miles. FLAWLESS J, James Heald's J/105, sailed a "flawless" race, making the most of the reaching legs with her big, black asymmetric spinnaker to take line honours and first place on handicap.  Not far off the pace was Robin Taunt's J/109 JIBE securing third place.

In the time-honored tradition of fall Solent sailing in its westernmost reaches, the fleet felt the steadily building breeze and choppy conditions were "getting a bit much", so the fleet headed back to the river and welcome refreshments in Lymington Town Sailing Club's Solent Room.  There was much ribbing and chatter about the day's sailing in "almost nuclear" conditions of the "blowing dogs off chains" variety.  The real question of the day was how did a half-tonner lose its mast due to someone else's navigational error!?  Or, was it "the ferry's fault"?  As usual, time will tell in such things.  For more INESO Solent Circuit sailing information

J/Community

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide

J/24 one-design sailboat- with SLAM and Octopus graphic* J/24 Octopussy Graphic Option?  Holy Monster Tentacles! Canadian J/24 Class President Dale Robertson recently made a splash in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when he took advantage of a Hip Hop festival organized by the City of Halifax. "Live Art" is a component of the hip hop culture and the organizers were looking for a boat to paint. World renowned artist Aaron Li-Hill, from Toronto, was flown in for this event and Dale's boat became his canvas at the Nova Scotia Art Museum in September, and then the next day at the Halifax Commons. Thousands of people witnessed Aaron and local Halifax artist Christian Toth, also well known, turned the J24 into the remarkable artwork that can be seen in these photos. Dale then had Luke Porter, a local boat repair expert, paint a clear coat of urethane over the art to protect it. Dale's boat is now an attraction at Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, both on and off the water. Photos courtesy of Billy, and thanks to Greg B for the story in Sailing Anarchy/ Home page- http://www.sailinganarchy.com

J/105 Lego sailboat model on trailer with truck* J/105 Lego sailboat on a trailer for Christmas? Sure, if you ask young Hunter Morisette to make you a custom one!  This picture of a Lego model of a J/105 on her trailer being pulled by a pickup truck is a representation of his parent's J/105  that they sail on quite regularly (his Super Cool Mom is called "Barbara").  Whaddaya think everyone?  Pretty awesome, eh?  Perhaps you can get the "Octopussy Graphic" option above with this J/105 Lego sailboat??  Would look pretty radical. Plus, you can even order ANY color you want since Lego happens to have about 4 dozen colors for these blocks!

Volvo 70 Puma Mar Mastro sailing off Newport, RI- Ken Read skipper* Volvo 70s with "J/24 style" decks?  Yes, according to Ken Read (he would know, of course)!  And, there are significant design differences, too.  Ken Read (USA), skipper of PUMA Ocean Racing, provides his observations of the fleet-

"One of the best parts of participating in a development class is when the boats break out of the shed and you see all of the parts and pieces that others have thought of…and they in turn see what you have done. We went with as low a CG as possible with our entire program. Deck and cabin house design were done to get the weight low and to make sure we kept the all up boat weight at or below the minimum. A couple of the new boats went with "J-24" style decks with no cabin house for a lower windage look. It is all a wash probably, but we like where we ended up.

Abu Dhabi also went with an open cockpit design to get their sail stack lower. We think that the new rules concerning less sails and the lack of being able to fill the very aft compartment in the boat with gear in heavy downwind conditions dissuaded us from going open cockpit. We felt we needed the stacking area downstairs, area that an open cockpit wouldn't give you.

Camper's adjustable headstay system has been a major topic. While the rest of the fleet pinned their headstay at one length, Camper has a hydraulic ram to adjust the rake of the mast in different conditions. For sure the rest of the fleet read the rule in a way that you couldn't do this, but the rules makers had a different idea.

The Camper boat is also different with the daggerboards behind the keel and mast. The rest of the fleet has gone in the other direction. Our daggerboards are actually further forward than even Ericsson 4 had last race - the winning Juan K design. All the Juan K-designed boats - us, Telefonica and Groupama - have negative dihedrals on the daggerboards, also a new look for the class (bottom of board angles toward each other).

The hull shapes have all gone fuller forward. The three Juan K boats are noticeably fuller forward than even Ericsson 4. A very flat forward section underwater with a distinct forward rocker is clearly there to try and get the bow out of the water at pace. Abu Dhabi is even more extreme as their huge bow section is certainly designed for "bow up" sailing, although they
seem to have less transom immersion than the Juan K boats. Camper on the other hand seems to be a bit of a development from our old PUMA boat with some new fullness forward, but not nearly where the other boats have gone.

Look for each boat to have their condition, including Sanya who may "own" light air in this fleet.  The die is cast. This is going to be a serious boat race with a ton of lead changes depending on the conditions."

Good Luck, Ken!  Fair Winds, Fast Sailing! The J/Community will channel positive energy to the PUMA MAR MASTRO gang around the globe!

The J Cruising CommunityJ cruising directions- roll the dice and go!  Sailing to anywhere, anytime! 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/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: http://www.svjarana.blogspot.com/

* Prolific writers, Bill and Judy Stellin, sailed their J/42 JAYWALKER around the Mediterranean and Europe and back across the Atlantic for nearly three years.  Their blogs/journals can be found at- http://blog.mailasail.com/jaywalker.  The earlier journals have been compiled into two self published books which can be found at: http://www.blurb.com.  Search for "SEATREK: A Passion for Sailing" by Bill Stellin or William Stellin."  UPDATE-  Just a short note to update from Bill- "Our cruise began in May of 2000 and ended in May of 2008, some 8 years later. I have just finished and published my third and final book covering the last three or so years including our double handed crossing in 16 days and one winter in the Caribbean. Like the others, "Sea Trek- A Passion for sailing- Book III," can be found at www.blurb.com.  Thanks, Bill and Judy"

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* 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 http://www.sailblogs.com/member/shazam/.

* 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).

SALACIA, the J/160 owned by Stephen and Cyndy Everett has an on-going blog describing some of their more amusing experiences (http://www.salacia1.blogspot.com).

-  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 (http://web.me.com/susangrun).  Check out there recent travels- now past Fiji!

- Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog at http://www.sailmandalay.com.  Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA)J/109 racer-cruiser sailboat GAIA- sailing off Java Sea cruising offshore, 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.

* The J/109 GAIA (seen right in the Java Sea) was sailed by Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay around the world. In February 2011, their cruising adventures came to an abrupt, sad ending.  As a tribute to them and their cruising friends worldwide, we hope their chronicles on their GAIA website remains a tribute to their warm-hearted spirits- read more about why many loved them dearly and will remain touched by their loving spirit forever- http://www.gaiaworldtour.net/

J/108 shoal performance cruising sailboatFeatured Boats

Annapolis Show J/108 Ready To Cruise!

J/Boats' modern new shoal performance cruiser/ racer, the J/108, has just completed her well received introduction at the Annapolis Boat Show and is now available for sea trials. Please contact Ken Comerford at phone 410-991-1511 or email- ken@northpointyachtsales.com- to schedule an appointment and learn more about this stunning new J - luxuriate in her Ultra-Leather interior, enjoy her enormous cockpit  and find out how you can broaden your cruising horizons with just 4.0 feet of draft!  Plus, you'll love her lively performance.

To learn more about this particular J/108, please take a look at the listing here on Yachtworld.comSailing photo credits- Billy Black
  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

J/Newsletter- October 19th, 2011

J/122 ARTIE sailing Rolex Middle Sea RaceRolex Middle Sea Race Preview
(Gzira, Malta)- The 32nd edition of the 606-nautical mile Rolex Middle Sea Race begins this Saturday, 22 October from Grand Harbour in Malta. Currently, there are 80 boats entered from 18 countries.  The RMSR is easily one of the most challenging offshore races on the international racing calendar.  Asked whether there is anything about the race in particular that drives sailors to participate over the years, one sailor said, “I don’t think there is one thing-- there are several things. Getting through the Strait of Messina is always a challenge (a.k.a. "the around boot challenge"), you are always relieved to get through it. Next on the way is Stromboli, a volcano that erupts about every 20 minutes or so. For people that haven’t seen it before it is an amazing sight. From there it remains interesting all the way through to the finish, turning left around two enormous rock precipices jutting out from the ocean, and right up to the line in Marsamxett Harbour where the wind is fickle and you are not finished until you are over the line.”

J/111 J-STORM sailing Rolex Middle Sea Race off MaltaLooking forward to their first tour in the RMSR are two new J owners, one sailing the J/111 and the other in a J/122.  Said J/Boats Italy's Paolo Boido- "The first J/111 J-STORM just delivered to owner Massimo Colosimo will race the Middle Sea Race.  They just called me now (Wednesday night), on their way to Malta, reaching with full main and Code 0 in medium/heavy SW at the remarkable average speed of 18 knots!"  Sure sounds like that Italian crew are going to have a fun, challenging time racing around the track.  If there was a race ever purpose-built for any one boat, the J/111 sailed conservatively should do just fine (avoid the corners, my friends!).  In addition, a new J/122 added to the local fleet is OTRA VEZ sailed by Aaron Gatt Floridia / Edward Gatt Floridia from Malta, sailing in IRC 4.

J/122 finishing Rolex Middle Sea Race off MaltaJoining these two "newbies" in the RMSR are perhaps the craftiest and smartest Maltese yachtsmen, the teams on JUNO and ARTIE, both of whom have either won the RMSR overall on handicap and/or won their classes over many, many years.  Leading the charge at least boat-for-boat will be the J/133 JUNO sailed by David Anastasi racing in IRC 3.  Nipping at their heels like a mad hound-dog will be that tenacious team on the J/122 ARTIE, led by renowned Maltese sailors Lee Satariano and Christian Ripard, dueling it out not just for IRC 4 Class honors but for overall honors as well.  If J/News readers recall, in last year's 2010 RMSR, both JUNO and ARTIE were not only class leaders, but overall RMSR IRC leaders literally up to the final 5 miles in the harbor-- which, as everyone knows, can be the "heartbreaker" for many well-sailed, tenacious teams.

Starting Saturday afternoon UTC time, you can track these teams as they make their way around this epic race course.  Sailing photo credits- Rolex/ Carlo Borlenghi.  Please take a look at the official Rolex Middle Sea Race website.

J24s sailing one-design regattaHalloween J/24 East Coasts Preview
(Annapolis, MD)- The 2011 HCM (Hillman Capital Management) J/24 East Coast Championship will be a 21st Century Event like you cannot imagine-- Halloween costumes included!  This Fall Classic will be better than ever. Live race video and commentary on the web, coaching on the water and debriefing (with cocktails) on-shore are part of this year's event.

Nearly SIXTY boats are competing and the entry list keeps growing like kudzu weed every day.  At the moment, forgetting the fact that Ken Read, Brad Read, Terry Hutchinson and Ed Baird, amongst others, are a bit busy with some other sailing events, this year's J/24 East Coasts reads like a "who's who" of current class leaders-- all capable of winning since amongst them are World Champions, North American Champions, Midwinter Champions and Champion of Champions-- did we miss anything here?

In completely random order are teams that you've got to watch out for on the leader-board since they can all wreak havoc at a moments notice.  Amongst them, look for some characters on the yacht called COUGAR with Will Welles and Chuckie Allen brokering traffic behind them.  Class stalwart on BANGOR PACKET, Tony Parker, is working with friend Geoff Ewenson to keep them out of the corners.  Some guy named Tim Healy skippering SAILORS FOR THE SEA hopes to ensure his World's credentials aren't resigned to the ash-heap of history.  Keeping everyone in check at the start line and, most certainly, at the corners of the course are World Team Race Champions and another J/24 not-so-newb sailing WEST MARINE RIGGING- do both Peter and Carol Levesque and Charlie Enright ring a bell (is that fair?)?  Then, don't forget some old characters who are a throwback to the past in the J/24 class (like Mr Parker) but may be far, far more dangerous than ANY scorpion bite you've ever encountered-- a pilot/trainer for Alaska Airlines called Mark Laura may have your number far faster than you can snap themselves into a seat-belt, plus he's got MIT Master of the Universe Number Cruncher Steve Cucchiaro calling statistical analyses and tactical arbitration on every puff and wind shift.  If that weren't enough, fellow Bostonian Mark Hillman (yeah, the regatta sponsor) on WIP has a helluva strong team, so does Dave Van Cleef on CAROLINA GIRL.  Nameless on their boats, but absolutely not nameless in their track records are Mike Ingham (doh, another J/24 Champion?) from Rochester, NY and Mike Hobson (Ultimate Yacht Race Champion) from Annapolis, MD simply making sure the younger kids on the block don't get too uppity.

So, why such a stellar group of J/24 sailors thrashing around the buoys in Annapolis in late October masquerading in all kinds of Halloween costumes trying to remain un-noticed in the parking lots, chain hoists and the yacht club bar?  Well, next year's J/24 Worlds in Rochester, NY are an "open" J/24 Worlds, the first ever.  And, this event in Annapolis is one of the last "district" events you have to sail in to qualify to sail next year's 2012 J/24 Worlds!  That also explains why the "long distance" traveler award can already be named! TEAM SOKOKUMARU with Satoshi Kume from Tokyo, Japan at the helm-- now's never too late to get some practice in for next year!  For more J/24 HCM East Coast Championships sailing information

BMW J/80s sailing match race cup Berlin, GermanyBMW Berlin Match Race Preview
(Berlin, Germany)- What do Jochen Schumann, Markus Wieser, and Bjorn Hansen - the match race world elite have in common?  They're guests competing in Wannsee on J/80s soon!  These World class sailors will participate in the 20th edition of the Berlin Match Race, that was initiated by prominent members of both organizing clubs, Achim Kadelbach (VSaW) and Peter Barnikow (BYC).

Markus Wieser, multiple World, and European Champion is looking forward to challenging his adversary of last year in the finals, Bj√∂rn Hansen from Sweden, who won the 19th Berlin Match Race and currently is 4th in the world ranking list. Mads Ebler, the Danish European match race champion in 2010, will also be fighting for every inch of the race. Undoubtedly the helmsmen William Tiller (New Zealand) and Keith Swinton (Australia) and their crews have had the longest journey to Berlin. Having travelled all the way around the world, returning empty handed is not an option for them. In the fight for the title Markus Wieser will be challenged by the top German sailor Jochen Schumann, twice winner of the America´s Cup and Olympic Games, who would also like to reclaim the victory and prize money (totaling about 20,000 Euro)!  The race will be sailed on J 80 class boats from 2nd to 6th November.  For more BMW Berlin Match Race sailing information, please visit the BMW Sailing site

J/111 sailing one-design - offshore ultimate racerNEW! J/Fest Winter Circuit
(Ft Lauderdale, FL)- Great news for J/Sailors worldwide!  A "J/Fest Winter Circuit" has been developed for Winter 2012 in Florida that encompasses J/111s, J/105s, J/109s and larger J's (J/120s, J/122s, J/124s, J/44s).  To that end, a regatta schedule for "big boat" J sailors that includes sailing once per month all winter includes the following dates and events:

1. Lauderdale- Key West- Jan 12-13- http://www.lyc.org (optional)
2. Quantum Key West Race Week- Jan 15-20- http://www.premiere-racing.com
3. J/Fest Ft Lauderdale- Feb 18-19- President's Day- http://www.bahiamarhotel.com/marina
4. J/Fest Ft Lauderdale- Mar 16-18- St Patrick's Day- http://www.bahiamarhotel.com/marina
5. Charleston Race Week- Apr 19-22- http://www.charlestonraceweek.com

So far, several J/111s, J/105s, J/109s, J/120s and J/122s have expressed interest in a winter circuit based out of easy-to-access deep-water facilities in Fort Lauderdale- the Bahia Mar Marina and Hotel complex will be the base of operations for the regattas.

Racing will be one-design (for fleets over 6 boats) and J/PHRF handicapping based on a TCF (time-on-time) correction using the J/Boats PHRF table- a guideline that can be reviewed here- http://www.jboats.com/sailboat-phrf-handicap.htm  Any questions?  Contact Rod J, his contacts are on the J/PHRF page.  An NOR will be posted soon!

A complete, professional "concierge service" has been developed to make it a "turn-key", affordable proposition for J owners from Chicago to Houston, Newport to Halifax and Annapolis to fully transport their boats, launch/ haul and have their boats "ready-to-sail" at each location- cleaned, polished, rigged, literally ready-to-race.

Fly down with the crew, hop aboard and off you go, "no worries", ready to go sailing!  Daily awards will be given for each event as well as overall and at the end of the J/Fest Winter Circuit, awards will be given for best three of five results at the conclusion of Charleston Race Week.

For more information on the J/Fest Winter Circuit including "all-in budgets and costs", please contact J/Boats at Ph. +1-401-846-8410 or email- info@jboats.com.  Or, call your local J/Dealer for more information.  Sailing Photo credit- Onne Van der Wal

Sunset- sailing the ultimate romantic evening on a JJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

It was a busy week for J sailors across three continents and six countries, perhaps just another week of sailing for enthusiastic crews wishing to experience anything Mother Nature can throw at them-- and boy, did she ever throw a few curve balls across race courses around the world.

Starting in the America's, the Pan Am Games started with teams from Canada, USA, Brazil and Argentina leading the charge in the "Pan Am J/24s" racing on Bahia de Banderas off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  Just northeast of them a hugely competitive and strong fleet of J/22s just finished sailing their J/22 Worlds in the fabulously fun place called "Norleans", a.k.a. New Orleans and its even more famously gracious host club- Southern YC on Lake Ponchartrain.  Just around the corner on the Gulf of Mexico, Lakewood YC in Houston hosted their 25th Harvest Moon Regatta-- a very, very fun event for most sailors in warm, brown waters.  Up near the Canadian border were a bunch of J/24 sailors getting it done on the water, sailing a 2012 J/24 Worlds qualifying event on Lake Minnetonka, MN hosted by Wayzata YC-- called the "Ugotta Regatta Wayzata" (almost rhymes, eh?).  Out East, surviving what amounted to a four-day windstorm were J/109s racing their North Americans off Annapolis, MD and in the capable hands of the Annapolis YC.  Even further East were a fleet of J's racing the annual Greenport Ocean Race co-hosted by the China YC and the Old Cove YC-- it was a windy one for sure!  Traveling across the big Atlantic Pond, the RORC Season Championship awards saw the J/111 and the J/122 walk off with some well-deserved silverware.  The Garmin Hamble Winter Series on the Solent, England continued with J/97s putting the hammer down on their breathless rivals!  As usual, the J/80s saw a action across the Continent with the J/80 German Open hosted by Flensburg Sailing Club in Flensburg, Germany; the KSSS (Royal Swedish) club hosting the conclusion of the J/80 Dynamant Cup sailing series off Stockholm, Sweden.  Down in Italy off the picturesque town of Chiavari, the J/80s showed the "open" fleet in the Dollorso Cup how to get it done! Moving this whistle-stop tour Down Under, it's pretty clear the new J/111 JAKE is giving lots and lots of top Sydney offshore sailors huge, huge headaches.

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below 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 9- Dec 4- Garmin Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
Oct 14-16- J/80 China Fall Regatta- LiuZhou, GuangXi, China - http://www.cnmcr.com/
Oct 28-30- J/24 East Coast Championship- Severn Sailing Associaiton, Annapolis, MD
Oct 29-30- J/Fest Southwest- Houston, TX
Oct 29- Nov 6- Hamburg Boat Show (J/108, J/80)- Hamburg, Germany- http://www.hanseboot.de
Nov 4-7- Xiamen Boat Show (J/80)- Wuyuan Bay, Xiamen, China
Nov 10-13- J/80 French Nationals- St Cast, France- http://www.classej80france.com/
Nov 11-19- J/24 Worlds- Buenos Aires, Argentina- http://www.j24worlds2011.org.ar/

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

J/22 Worlds- sailing  around markJohnston Wins J/22 Worlds
(New Orleans, LA)- Rob Johnston of Heath, TX won the Allstate Sugar Bowl J/22 World Championship by six points over Jim Barnash of Rochester, NY with a fifth-place finish on the last race of the regatta. Racing hull #203, team DIESELSNACK sailed a consistent regatta with all top 20 tallies, dropping a 19 in race 3. Sixty-four boats competed in the event in New Orleans, LA, and 12 races were completed.

Barnash went into the last day of the four-day regatta in the lead but finished 26th to Johnston’s third in the first race. He came back strong, however, with a win in the second race while Johnston finished 12th bringing the championship into play on the last race. Johnston’s fifth place in the last race of the regatta was enough to earn him the winner’s trophy.

Allan Terhune from Arnold, MD rounded out the top three with 103 points overall, including two firsts in the last two races Friday. Saturday’s race winners were Zak Fanberg, Barnash and J. Dwight LeBlanc, III.

On the first day, competitors were postponed on shore due to a lack of wind, and the first gun was rescheduled for 11:55 a.m. CT out of Southern Yacht Club. During the day’s races, breeze started at 5-8 knots but decreased throughout the afternoon, with sunny skies and temperatures around 80 degrees.

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing at WorldsLocal Benz Faget scored two bullets and a sixth-place tally to lead the fleet.  With crew Randall Richmond and Thomas Sweeney, Fats stood with a solid lead of 8 points.  Jim Barnash, helming his Rochester, NY team, had 14 points in second place; Fred Hunger from Cleveland, OH was in third with 23 points.  Faget opened the regatta with a victory in Race 1, trailed by a fellow New Orleans boat skippered by Zak Fanberg in second and Barnash in third. Race 2 saw another local winner in Richard “Boo” Heausler, followed by Hunger and then Southern Yacht Club commodore J. Dwight LeBlanc, III. In the day’s final, race, Faget took the victory again, with Brant Koepke (Texas) in second and Nick Turney (Ohio) in third.

On the second day of racing, competitors enjoyed a gorgeous day of racing on Lake Pontchartrain with breeze at 10-15 knots, brilliant sunshine and temperatures staying around 80 degrees.  It seemed the "playbook" again favored New Orleans native Benz Faget, who held on to his first-place position. With consistent finishes in the top 12 (dropping the 12), Team Fats tallied just 26 points over the first seven races of the regatta. With crew Randall Richmond and Thomas Sweeney, Faget was four points ahead of Texan Terry Flynn who registered consistent scores of 3, 5, 5, 1 (with a drop from day 1 of 18 points).  Max Scott opened day two with a victory in Race 4, pursued by Chris Doyle in second and Flynn in third. Race 5 was won by Travis Odenbach, with Faget and Chad Wilson in the next two slots. Rob Johnston took the top position in Race 6, trailed by Chris Doyle and Dave Kerr, who just returned to the race course after a repair needed from an incident in the day’s first race. In Thursday’s fourth and final contest, Flynn nailed first place, and Zak Fanberg and Mike Farrington followed.

The J/22 Class extends appreciation to PRO Hank Stuart and his Race Committee, the staff of Southern Yacht Club and all sponsors including the title sponsor Allstate Sugar Bowl.  For more J/22 Worlds sailing information

J/109 one-design racer cruiser sailboat- sailing in Annapolis, MDGUT FEELING Wins J/109 North Americans
(Annapolis, MD)-  The forecast this past weekend for any sailor north of Cape Hatteras along the northeastern seaboard of America was simply this- "fresh to frightening" weather conditions, winds 15-30 knots (thereabouts) and, depending on "fetch", seas could be huge (e.g. ginormous).  Fortunately, the J/109 competitors sailing off Annapolis only had to worry about a 1-2 nm "fetch" from the SSW and waves under 3-5 feet, not bad considering what fishermen were facing offshore-- nearly four days of gale force 25-45 knots winds and massive seas.

As expected, the extraordinarily competitive East Coasts during Rolex Block Island Race Week were a precursor for this year's J/109 NA's.  The host Annapolis YC in Annapolis, MD did a remarkable job to fire-off eight races over the weekend in the challenging conditions.

J/109s sailing one-design- a racer cruiser sailboatIn the end, it was Ted Herlihy's GUT FEELING team (pictured above) from New Bedford YC that showed remarkable consistency, garnering a 1-2-2-4-5-2-1-8 for 25 pts to win the regatta by 12 points.  Past champion Rick Lyall on STORM from Cedar Point YC was sailing a solid series and were an easy contender for the championship until they had to retire in race 5, their 4-5-3-1-16/DNF-1-5-2 for 37 points was strong enough to finish second.  The dark horse amongst this year's event had to be CAMINOS, Don and Cristina Fillipelli's crew from Devon YC.  Somewhat like Lyall's STORM team, the CAMINOS team were also strong contenders with a solid 3-1-1-3-3-8-3-16/DSQ, but their last race DSQ knocked them off the top of the podium, finishing just one point back from second with 38 pts.  Other than a 10th and 9th in races 5 and 7, Bill Sweetser's Annapolis YC team on RUSH were also in the hunt with a record of 2-4-8-7-10-3-9-1 for 44 pts.  Craig Wright's AFTERTHOUGHT sailed a very steady regatta to accumulate a 6-6-4-6-1-4-6-14 for 47 pts.   For more J/109 North Americans sailing informationSailing photo credits- Dan Phelps.

J/80s one-design sailing on Solent, Hamble, EnglandA Smashing Day for J/97s
Hamble Winter Series Update
(Hamble, England)-  After the first weekend's boisterous conditions, light winds saw in the 2nd weekend of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series, with the conditions giving all classes some sparkling sailing and nail-bitingly close racing.

This weekend featured the Hamble Big Boat Series on both days, with top-class racing for everyone. Thanks to Rule 26 who sponsored the event. Saturday dawned with 8-12 knots of breeze from the east, expected to shift to the right during the day. Four races were run, with a windward-leeward course set across the North Channel from a committee boat at East Knoll

By contrast, Sunday morning saw thick fog, with ships sounding their way slowly up Southampton water with foghorns blaring. PRO Jamie Wilkinson set an hour's postponement to let the fog clear, later postponed by a further hour when ABP, backed up by a competitor in a RIB reported that the Southampton Water was impassable. Every cloud has a silver lining, however, and this wasn't an unpopular move as it allowed competitors to watch the end of the rugby.

By 1000 the fog began to clear to reveal a millpond, with zero wind – but by 1230 a light breeze had built from the WSW and the race committee hurriedly set a course for all classes, with starts combined to get racing underway as soon as possible.

After a false start, the wind built to 10 knots during the race, which meant that all classes converged on the leeward mark at once, with large gains for the taking for those with an inside overlap.

IRC 3 was dominated by J/Boats, the top five slots all being held by Js! The J/97s JIKA JIKA and INDULJENCE were first and second respectively whilst David Greenhalgh and John Taylor's J/92 J-RONIMO was third. Fourth was Tony Mack's J/97 McFLY and fifth was Andy Howe & Annie Kelly's J/92s BLACKJACK.  Special mention should go to J/97 INDULJENCE which was out for the second time with new owners, Nick and Adam Munday.  Adam helmed his Dad’s new boat and he’s a fab sailor. At the age of only 19, Adam comes from good J sailing pedigree, having been part of the J/109 European Champ winning crew on Dave and Kirsty Apthorp's J-DREAM.  So far, the J/97 JIKA-JIKA is dominating the proceedings with three straight bullets and the J/97 INDULJENCE is just off the pace only one point out of second!

Paul Griffith’s JAGERBOMB won the J/109 class with David McLeman’s OFFBEAT in second and Richard and Valerie Griffith’s OUTRAJEOUS took third in Class.  Overall standings so far continue to see OUTRAJEOUS in first with a 1-1-4 record for 6 pts; David and Mary McGough's JUST SO in second with a 5-2-3 record for 10 pts; and JAGERBOMB just one point back from them.

In IRC 1 Class, the good Doctor Ivan Trotman continues to be a force amongst the leaders on his J/122 JOLOU with his 1-4-5 record to be currently lying 2nd in class.  Ken Lowes J/122 GHOST is showing improvement every race  and with his current progress may be winning by next week!  So far GHOSTS record of 9-8-4 for 21 pts is promising.  The big curve that got thrown at the IRC 1 Class was a the presence of the J/111 JENGA VI being sailed by Chaz Ivill, scoring 2nd in their first race.  David and Kirsty Apthorp also started  sailing their new J/111 J-DREAM and are working on their speed and crew work.  More good things to come next week!

In IRC 0 Class, racing the Black Fleet are four J/133s with the top J/133 being Jackie and Robert Dodson's JERONIMO, followed by Neil Martin's JAMMY DODGER second, Dave Ballantyne's JINGS third and Ian Dewhirt's JUMP in fourth.  In IRC handicap, the Dobson's JERONIMO is lying in fifth just 9 pts back from second overall.

Next weekend sees the second Autumn Championships weekend, with racing for J/109 and J/80 one design classes on both days, plus the third Winter Series race day on Sunday.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/111 sailboat- sailing Sydney Harbour, AustraliaAustralian J/111 JAKE Proves Good Design Matters
(Sydney, Australia)-  In what many sailors were reporting as a frustrating day on the race course with light winds and lumpy seas off Sydney’s North Head, Ray Entwistle’s new J/111 JAKE had a tremendous day out sailing. Here is Ray's report:

"Granted it was a light fickle day, with the wind swinging from north east to north west from 2 to 8 knots and a very lumpy seaway with 1.5 knots of current running south 3 miles offshore.  Despite the J/111 being one of the smallest boats in the 19 boat division you just know you are going to have a good day when you leave the Sydney Harbour start line in Watson's Bay and go around the top mark 4 miles offshore not far behind the TP 52 and just behind the new Ker 40 and Sydney Ker 43. The J/111 just sliced through the choppy water and pointed high!

After the first lap of the windward leeward course we were already leaving 44.7s, DK43s, First 40s and 45’s, A40’s, Cookson 12s, and large X yachts a long way behind.  We, like most, were hoping for a shortened course on the second lap as we could the see TP52 extending on every leg. However, unbeknown to us (due a last minute change of support boats because of a mechanical issue) the replacement support boat did not have an ‘S’ flag to shorten the course so the full 3 lap course had to be sailed.

On the last beat we heard the retirements coming in over the VHF radio as the boats a long way back began to realize they would time out and not finish the course.  We were surprised as some of the 38 to 45 footers behind us started to call it day....we were going to make it with ease. On the last rounding of the top mark, spinnaker flying and crew calling the angles perfectly to enter Sydney Harbour we still had many things to smile about. As we passed the bottom mark (which was no longer part of the course for us as we were on our way back to Watson's Bay and the finish line) we actually lapped a First 40 and an Archambault 40. Not surprisingly, they called it a day and followed us back into the harbour.

The J/111 finished 5th on the water and 2nd on IRC beating the new Sydney Ker 43 and Ker 40 by 7 and 8 minutes and a racing carbon/kevlar 51 footer by an astonishing 26 minutes.

We would like to thank our crew for their constant perseverance and Ian Short for yet another superb set of sails which have been devastatingly quick in all conditions, and of course to all the Johnstone’s for another stunningly designed boat!  Thanks, Ray"

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing past Fastnet Rock- in RORC's Rolex Fastnet RaceJ/Teams Win Silver in RORC Season Championships
(London, England)- It was a tough year.  It was a Fastnet year.  And, an RORC 600 year.  It was not going to be easy for any boat participating in this years RORC Seasons Points Championships to easily walk off with all the silverware and pickle-dishes.  Nevertheless, some J/Teams prevailed despite some harsh and very, very challenging conditions offshore- some absolutely not within the "wheelhouse" of where these J/Teams can succeed, if not dominate offshore.  Again, this year's series points to the fact that a good all-around design is critical to offshore success-- too "type-formed" and you win big in one event and get crushed in the next.  Such was the case this year.

In the IRC Classes the best five offshore races are counted towards the RORC Season's Points Championship. These were heavily contested and in some of the classes, the results were undecided until after the Cherbourg Race, the last race of the season.  For the J/Teams, "Congratulations" are in order for those that persevered and prevailed against the best offshore sailors from Western Europe.  Here's the scoreline for these J/Teams:
- Alan Paul Trophy - Consistent High Performance in IRC Overall: ARABELLA- J/111 - Niall Dowling (GBR)
- Emily Verger Plate - IRC Two Overall-  JOOPSTER- J/122 - Neil Kipling (GBR) and in the same division Niall's team on ARABELLA finished 5th overall.

In addition to the winners, special mention should be made of the following performances:
- IRC Overall- the J/111 ARABELLA sailed by Niall Dowling was 2nd overall behind the custom Ker 46 Tonnere- the overall winner.  Just behind them was the J/122 sailed by Neil Kipling.
- In IRC One- the J/133 JINGS sailed by David Ballantyne was 5th overall, just 40 points from first overall.  In other words, a top ten finish in any of two more races would have put them in contention for top two overall!
- In IRC Three- J Teams took 50% of the top 10!  They included Nikki Curwen's J/105 VOADOR in 3rd, Nick Martin's J/105 DIABLO-J in 4th, Tor McLarens' J/109 INSPARA in 6th, Greg Nasmyth's J/109 JARHEAD in 7th and Robin Taunt's J/109 JIBE in 9th.  Good show by all!
- In IRC Doublehanded- the series could've gone anywhere in the last two races.  In the end, Nick Martin's J/105 DIABLO-J nipped Nikki Curwen's J/105 VOADOR for 5th and 6th, respectively.  It was a "nip-and-tuck" battle until the end of the series for the thirty-plus hardy group of souls and sailors in this fleet.

The net, net of the 2011 RORC summer sailing season is that it takes solid, easy-to-sail, all-around boats to succeed in the RORC events.  Again, with primarily all amateur/ corinthian teams, the fleet of J sailors not only had fun but won their fair share of silverware, too.  Nothing like adding a few more pickle-dishes to the serving inventory at home!  For more RORC Offshore Season sailing information.

J/24s one-design sailboats- starting lineJ/24 Pan Am Games Update
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- USA team Manager Dave Johnson provided this recent update on the American sailing team and, specifically, the American J/24 Team.  By the way, the USA Pan Am Games team is packed with current/ former J/24 sailors, including Augie Diaz (Snipe), Lutz Brothers from Texas (Lightning), Foerster (Sunfish), so are the other Pan Am Teams!

Said Dave, "Today was a great start to the Pan Am Games for Team USA. All three courses sailed today in 6-12 kts breeze and lots of sun. On the far course Charlie (J/24, Lightning, Snipe) got the first race off with consistently more breeze. The J/24 team of Mollicone, Rabin, Becker, and Abdullah went 1-1 as their boat speed proved superior on the long course.

"We really used speed to our advantage," said John Mollicone, skipper for the J/24. "The races are really long, even longer than Worlds."  With a much smaller fleet of boats in the Pan Am Games, John pointed out that keeping your competition in check is critical in the long races.

And what John said makes sense because one boat going out on a flyer could be a hero or a zero, as they say. In their 7-boat fleet, one boat is nearly 15% of the fleet.

Our Lightning Team of the Lutz brothers (Jody - skipper, Jay - crew) and Greg Thomas also sailed a top performance today, going 1-3 and tied for the lead with Brazil. They too had long races today but their fleet was intense. With teams not leaving any good 'lanes' open, having clear air and a clean lane is important.

Other good performances include four-time Olympian, Paul Foerster, sitting atop the Sunfish fleet with a 1-2. Augie Diaz and Kathleen Tocke finished 2-4 in the Snipe class while Paige Railey went 5-1 in the Radial.

For more USA sailing team information:
USA team: http://tinyurl.com/USSTAG-Pan-Am-2011
Event website: http://www.guadalajara2011.org.mx/ENG/01_inicio
Results: http://tinyurl.com/PAG-2011-results

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing Stockholm, SwedenHAPPY wins J/80 Dynamant Cup
(Stockholm, Sweden)- It was in brilliant sunshine and winds of 4-6 metres/second for the last and final J/80 regatta of the year.  A total of nine J/80's were on the starting line at 10am for the first start.  What followed was a brisk tempo with short and quick races for everyone. Many boats were leading the various races with many changes at the top due to the premium put on not only boatspeed off the starting line but good boat-handling as well!

The winner was TEAM HAPPY with John Berg at the helm with 53 points.  John became the proud winner of the gift card for 6,000 kronor (sponsored by the I.T. company DYNAMANT)!!  Before this last regatta, the Dynamant Summer Series was evenly matched between the teams DYNAMANT and HEAVY DUTY, with the outcome of the last regatta determining who would get 2nd and 3rd.  In the end, DYNAMANT's solid, consistent sailing decided the outcome, giving them second oval with 48 points and a giftcard of 3,000 kronor!  Finishing third was HEVY DUTY with 46 points.

This year's "Rookie of the Year" was awarded to TEAM VICTORY, which debuted in mid-season and finished well in the last few regattas. That bodes well for next season!

At the Awards Presentation, prizes were also awarded to the three boats who have distinguished themselves for their commitment to sailing the Dynamant Cup Series-- those teams were  PARBELU, HEAVY DUTY and HAPPY-- none of them have missed a regatta!  Their hard work and perseverance was rewarded handsomely, each team were given HUGE, well-filled bags of chocolate and coffee from Marabou and Gevalia.  Yummy!  For more "Happy" Dynamant Cup sailing results

J/24 Bubbles sailing team- win Ugotta Regatta WayzataBUBBLES Wins Ugotta Regatta Wayzata!
(Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota)- J/24 Fleet #1 is the first and oldest J/24 fleet in the world. They held their Ugotta Regatta last week at Wayzata Yacht Club, one of the oldest clubs in Minnesota.  Chairman Josh Bone sent in his report of the event.

"We had a great showing of out-of-town boats and regatta participation was up 30% over last year for the Ugotta on October 7-9. A special thank you to: 2XS, MIJAH, STRANGE CREW, CONTEXT, “2”, U-LA-LA and INSATIABLE. Boats came from Duluth, Chicago, and other parts of the Midwest. One skipper came from Florida, another from Chicago and there was even one crew member from Spain! We even have our very own Olympic Medalist racing out there, Billy Allen. This is THE place to be. While Scows are known here, there is also a great keelboat scene. We also have the only real racers’ party of the year up here (I say that to challenge others to step up their game!).  We do a full bar (out of an old E-Scow, no less!), sponsored beer and a community shrimp boil, no fancy tablecloths for us, and all for 10 bucks per person.

The J/24 district qualifier for the 2012 J/24 Worlds had 20 competitors and excellent race management from our inspiring PRO Blake Middleton – a true racers’ PRO. Blake had been on a whirlwind tour of the globe just before the event, and we were lucky to have him back on Lake Minnetonka.

Our Race Committee and competitors raced 5 races on Saturday in winds from 7kts to 17kts. Sunday was very light in the morning. The call was made to wait. The wind came in with 10 minutes to spare on the limit. The race was won by Terry Neff and his crew aboard "BUBBLES". Job well done Terry! It was in the 80's both days.

This race was also a true tiebreaker between BUBBLES and ZOOM. Zoom had some issues with the pin due to an unforeseen additional left shift. It was awful to see them get tangled with the mark in such an important race. Terry was above him. Terry bought the left side big, followed closely by John Heaton on USA 592 Mijah. Motorhome went right, or really just on port because the left was really big for a long time. Bubbles rounded in first, Motorhome in 2nd, Mijah in 3rd. Zoom was really deep, but blasting thru the fleet, always a contender. Motorhome was passed by Mijah at the first leeward gate. Bubbles had launched, at one point I couldn't see them. Then we saw them on the 2nd downwind leg, 250 yards ahead of us. We started to open a delicious Surly Furious, when a puff nearly knocked us over. The wind had gone very hard to the right, 25 - 30 degrees. Bubbles rounded the right gate in first, Mijah followed in second, and Motorhome went to the left gate. It was a thrilling race. At the final cross Bubbles crossed Motorhome by only 2 boat lengths. Motorhome cheered for them when the gun went off, continued to hike for a 2nd place in the race. Mijah was 3rd. Guess who was 4th? ZOOM!

BUBBLES won the regatta by 2 points. Picture is attached of them with their trophy full of delicious Surly Brewing Co.'s amazing product.  The "Spanking Award" went to co-winners Mark Soya and Dave DeSanto (they were very bad boys)!

"We were fortunate to have good wind and the boat was set up for it. And we had the benefit of sailing districts in Maine (40+ boats) a few weeks before. I got the bad starts out of my system. You need to have things go your way. And that's what happened." - Terry Neff (Owner and Helmsman of BUBBLES). BUBBLES crew was: Terry Neff, Sean Delaney, Paula Neff, Mark Oppen and Paul "Jake" Jacobs.

WYC hopes to see you all again next year. They also welcome you to the 2013 J/24 National Championship!  Thanks for contribution from Sailing Anarchy-  Photos from Mark Puariea

J/80 sailboat- sailing Flensburg, GermanyTeam PIKE Wins German J/80 Open
(Flensburg, Germany)- Flensburg Sailing Club hosts the annual Flensburg Sailing Week every autumn and for the last few years has also hosted the FSC Deutsche Open for the J/80 class.

Over the three days in mid-September, sixteen J/80s managed to get in some great sailing with the weather, in general, cooperating nicely for the three days.

Day 1 - The first two races were sailed at about 8 knots of wind, with PROCEEDS DIVA winning the first two. In the third race of the day the wind was barely strong enough for a race, this nerve-sapping race could ultimately decide the leaders for the first day.  At the end of the day, PROCEEDS DIVA was first, just two points behind them were the past winner of the regatta- Team PIKE- and third was Gordon Nickel skippering ANEGADA from Bremen.

Day 2 - At 2-6 knots, the two races on Saturday were long, long races with many exciting changes in positions.  After several hours of postponement the fleet sailed what some sailors thought were "lottery" races.  Nevertheless, Team PIKE took advantage and won two races, moving themselves into first overall. Behind him was a complete turnover in the standings.  Lying 2nd was Sven Vagt sailing CAMPAIGN and third was Kiel sailor Martin Menzer.  PROCEEDS DIVA and ANEGADA dropped to 4th and 5th, respectively.

Day 3 Final Day- On Sunday morning the teams were excited about the great sailing weather for the last three races: a constant WNW wind around 10 knots with brilliant sunshine.  Team PIKE took a 1st and 2nd in the first two races and didn't have to sail the race last.  PROCEEDS DIVA sailed to a 3-1-1 to secure 2nd overall, ANEGADA persevered and took third overall and the surprise was the strong showing of the Polish team MOONRAKER, snagging 4th place in from of Team CAMPAIGN that finished 5th.

In conclusion, it was an exciting event for all and some great sailing.  It was also the third title for Team PIKE, having regained their former performance from previous seasons.  For more German Open J/80 sailing information

J/80 sailboat- sailing off Chiavari, ItalyJ/80 Wins Dollorso Open Cup
(Chiavari, Italy)-  This past weekend, the Yacht Club Chiavari hosted their annual Dollorso Open Cup with over seventy boats participating in ORC, IRC and Multihull classes.

With refreshments and award ceremony in the presence of the Family Dollorso, Aldermen of the City of Chiavari and Mr. Segalerba Rombolini and representatives of TCI, it was the J/80 JENIALE! sailed by Massimo Rama from YC Chiavari that won the huge Open Class!  Massimo receive the much revered trophy, the Silver Plaque Nicholas Dollorso.

The first day of racing took place on Saturday in sunny weather, calm seas and extremely variable breeze. The second day of racing, the return in Chiavari, took place on Sunday, in a beautiful summer day, with calm seas and gentle breezes-- as a result, not many boats finished within the time limit.  For more Copa Dollorso sailing information

J's sailing Greenport Ocean RaceJ/105s Sweep Greenport Ocean Race
(Greenport, New York)- The Greenport Ocean Race is held every year in the fall as the final offshore event for Long Island Sound racers on the eastern end of Long Island.  It's hosted by the Chinese YC and the Old Cove YC.

This year's event was about as "epic" an event as many have recalled, with winds blowing 15-30 knots for basically four straight days.  When the racing started on Saturday, the PRO on the RC wisely decided to shorten course and keep the fleet inside Long Island Sound instead of sending them into 15 foot crashing waves not the far offshore from the infamous "Race"- that body of water with 4-6 knot currents against 15-30 kt winds is no picnic!

Reveling in the heavy going were the J/105s.  Again, Mike LaChance and the crew of DARK'N'STORMY (appropriately named, I might add) led the sweep of PHRF 3 with the other J/105s.  Second was Tim O'Brien on the J/105 ROPEBURN and third was the J/105 ALLIANCE sailed by Steve Guyer.  As a result, the oval Brooklyn Ocean Challenge Cup was awarded to Team  DARN'N'STORMY for the fourth year in a row!

In PHRF 2, Jason Richter's much-traveled J/35 PALADIN finished second and just behind in third was Jim Vos' J/109 SKOOT and fourth was Steve Kenny's GOSSIP.  In PHRF 1, the J/111 BRAVO sailed by Sedgiwck Ward finished just out of the money in fifth.  For more Greenport Ocean Race sailing results

Dolphins, sailing the ultimate offshore race in Texas under harvest moonJ's Cruise Harvest Moon Regatta
(Houston, TX)-  The annual fall "big boat" regatta in Houston, the Harvest Moon Regatta, is hosted by one of the Houston area's famously gracious yacht clubs, the Lakewood YC on Galveston Bay.  The HMR event has attracted a loyal following over its 25 year history and this year was no exception.  Great sailing weather (generally) and awesome hospitality (always!) makes for a fun event.  The race is basically sailing from the Galveston jetties to Port Isabel for race #1, then back up the coast to Port Aransas (Port A) as race #2. Then there was Port Aransas to inside the Galveston jetties for race #3 and on to the Seabrook marker two for race #4.

In the huge PHRF Bacardi Racing fleet, thirty-one boats showed up for local bragging rights in the offshore racing community.  In the end, the J/120 AEOLUS sailed by Jim Liston was the top dog in the J sailing clan, getting third overall.  JB Bednar's J/105 STINGER stuck it in the top ten, snagging a fifth overall.  Albrecht Goethe's J/109 HAMBURG was sixth.

The "cruising boat" divisions are even "huger".   The Non-Spinnaker class had 108 boats.  The Cruising Spinnaker class had 30 boats.  Right at the top was Walter Caldwell's J/40 shoal-draft special called SHAKEN NOT STIRRED, getting a respectable second overall.  For more 25th Harvest Moon Regatta sailing information.

J/Community

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide

J/24 sailing gadgets* "Yo, it's the situation, dude!"  Jah, mon!  Cool story, about the resurrection of a really OLD (a.k.a. "classic") J/24.  Skipper David Heisserer and accomplice Dillon Hodapp sail the J/24 THE SITUATION, hull #15 built in 1977 (the math means it's 34 years old!), and race in J/24 Fleet #1. She has picked up the infamous nickname “Red Boat” - strangely fitting for the Russian components on-board.

Skipper David and accomplice Dillon have designed and built a digital compass that uses nixi tubes - a cold war era vacuum tube that produces a glowing number. Inside they use an extremely precise J/24 one-design sailboat number 15!  Sailing Lake MinnetonkaHoneywell two axis digital compass chip. The precision is on par with high end sailing compasses on the market. The compass displays lifts and headers by displaying a plus or minus and the degree on each board. The windows are laser cut with a J/24 polar diagram on Starboard and a map of Lake Minnetonka on Port.

“We were looking for an outrageous aesthetic without sacrificing function.”

The boat is back from the dead after 20 years of neglect, every part of the project has been DIY. THE SITUATION  races at WYC in Minnesota and is creeping up from the back of the fleet. The club will be hosting the 2013 J/24 Nationals where they hope to make an appearance.

David an artist/designer and Dillon a mechanical engineer, are recent winners of Red Bull Creation an invention contest in New York this summer. Their company Mixed Media Engineering does product design and experiential marketing pushing always for artistic and unbelievable builds.  They have been featured on CNN money, are in the November issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine, and have been featured on psfk.com, techcrunch.com and coolthings.com for their creations.

The J Cruising CommunityJ cruising directions- roll the dice and go!  Sailing to anywhere, anytime! 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/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: http://www.svjarana.blogspot.com/

* Prolific writers, Bill and Judy Stellin, sailed their J/42 JAYWALKER around the Mediterranean and Europe and back across the Atlantic for nearly three years.  Their blogs/journals can be found at- http://blog.mailasail.com/jaywalker.  The earlier journals have been compiled into two self published books which can be found at: http://www.blurb.com.  Search for "SEATREK: A Passion for Sailing" by Bill Stellin or William Stellin."  UPDATE-  Just a short note to update from Bill- "Our cruise began in May of 2000 and ended in May of 2008, some 8 years later. I have just finished and published my third and final book covering the last three or so years including our double handed crossing in 16 days and one winter in the Caribbean. Like the others, "Sea Trek- A Passion for sailing- Book III," can be found at www.blurb.com.  Thanks, Bill and Judy"

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* 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 http://www.sailblogs.com/member/shazam/.

* 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).

SALACIA, the J/160 owned by Stephen and Cyndy Everett has an on-going blog describing some of their more amusing experiences (http://www.salacia1.blogspot.com).

-  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 (http://web.me.com/susangrun).  Check out there recent travels- now past Fiji!

- Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog at http://www.sailmandalay.com.  Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA)J/109 racer-cruiser sailboat GAIA- sailing off Java Sea cruising offshore, 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.

* The J/109 GAIA (seen right in the Java Sea) was sailed by Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay around the world. In February 2011, their cruising adventures came to an abrupt, sad ending.  As a tribute to them and their cruising friends worldwide, we hope their chronicles on their GAIA website remains a tribute to their warm-hearted spirits- read more about why many loved them dearly and will remain touched by their loving spirit forever- http://www.gaiaworldtour.net/