See J/97 @ Paris Show with J/111 & J/122
(Paris, France)- The prize of "IRC Boat of the Year" in France is awarded to the builder of a series production boat that has distinguished itself in international IRC competitions throughout Europe. It is presented annually during the "Evening of Ocean Racing" held in conjunction with the Salon Nautique de Paris (Paris Boatshow). This year's winner is the J/97, designed by J-Boats/ Alan Johnstone and built by JB Composites in their shipyard in Les Sables d'Olonne.
The jury presiding over the election of the IRC boat of the year was made up of four elected members of the UNCL: its President, Marc de Saint Denis; Edouard Baetz its general secretary; Jean Michel Carpentier (Racing Commission); and Jean Claude Merlivat ( Commission IRC). They were assisted by four prominent yachting journalists: Olivier Le Carré (BATEAUX), Pierre-Marie Bourguinat (VOILES & VOILIER), Bernard Rubinstein (VOILE Magazine) and Patrice Carpentier (SEAHORSE INTERNATIONAL Racing).
The selection criteria were: 1) sailing results in France and in Europe; 2) the boat-handling and sailing qualities; 3) the ability to both race and cruise; 4) oveall aesthetics; 5) a minimum of 10 boats built in the last year; and 6) have sailed at least 5 races in the IRC in the past year.
The boats selected by the UNCL were an impressive line-up of many winners in IRC events this past year in European waters. The competitive sailboats included: Elan 350, Beneteau First 30, Beneteau First 40, Grand Soleil 43 B&C, J/97, Jeanneau Sun Fast 1010 and Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200.
A top three was reached during the first round of selection: Elan 350, J/97 and Jeanneau Sun Fast 1010. After a thorough comparison of all the information, the Jury's final selection was the J/97.
As a versatile cruising boat with a racing pedigree that is so dear to the IRC, the J/97, with 45 boats built to date, is a boat that is well-designed and well-built, benefiting from the professionalism and experience of JB Composites. Whether sailing nationally (France) or internationally, the winning record of the J/97 is eloquent and prophetic:
- In France: the J/97 was the winner of the Trophy Atlantic UNCL IRC 4 with victories in Spi Ouest France-Intermarché and Crouesty Grand Prix, and a second place in Brest and the Course of Three Islands. A remarkable record considering the extremely tough competition from other factory teams.
- International: the J/97 was the winner of 2010 Cowes Week in IRC Class and won the "Garmin Hamble Winter Series 2011" by a huge margin in IRC 3 Class against stiff competition from other top teams.
Didier LeMoal, CEO of JB Composites commented, "A big thank you to members of the UNCL IRC Jury for this award. The J/97 ultimately demonstrated its pedigree and potential performance in 2011 with several strong campaigns in France and England. At JB Composites, the best way to demonstrate legendary J performance is to race them against world-class competition. This helps customers better understand the performance of boats like the J/97 and optimize them at all levels of sailing."
The prize of "IRC Boat of the Year" will be awarded to Didier LeMoal, CEO of JB Composites at the Evening of Ocean Racing, the annual awards banquet of UNCL that will be held this year at the Ecole Militaire, Paris VII, Saturday, Dec. 10.
JB Composites invites you to join them Friday, December 2 at 20:00 at the "JB Composites" display at the Paris Boat Show to celebrate this award for the J/97 (Hall 1 Stand D60). For more Salon Nautique Paris information, please visit: http://www.salonnautiqueparis.com/GB.htm
NEW 2012 J/Calendar
The Perfect Gift For People Who Love Sailing!
(Newport, RI)- For 2012 we've created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world. Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places. Enjoy the color and excitement of J sailing with these gorgeous photos. The J/Sailing Calendar features photos of a J/44 powering upwind off Key West, a flying J/24 on the Chesapeake, J/125s dueling on San Francisco Bay, surrealistic scenes of J/80s off the Cantabrian and Brittany Coasts, a J/120 and J/95 playing in the azure waters of the Caribbean and J/105s parading past Alcatraz in a pastel of colors. A great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew! See the 2012 J/Calendar and order now.
The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing WorldwideAs December ushers itself in with 100 mph Santa Ana winds howling through the Los Angeles Basin and knocking out electrical power and roadway access for many of our fellow J sailors, others are enjoying competitive "winter series" sailing events in Southern California, Europe and "summer" sailing in Oz-Land Down Under and in the western Pacific in a magical place called Phuket, Thailand. For starters, the San Diego YC Hot Rum Series is rolling along and, if anything, they'd probably like a bit more than a zephyr-like sea-breezes to build and provide more excitement than just sun and a great tour of San Diego Bay. Over in Europe, a variety of conditions challenged J sailors depending on where they were sailing. In Hamble, England, they finally got "normal" winter series sailing conditions, having to wait for a chilly 25-35 knots breeze to moderate to begin racing. In Spain, the J/80s wished they had "Hamble-like" conditions, but instead had to settle for unusually light-moderate sea-breezes developing late in the day in both Santander on the Bay of Biscay in northern Spain and in Mar Menor on Spain's southeast coast on the Med. Traveling east, the J/130 JING JING is preparing for the spectacular Phuket King's Cup in Thailand. South of them the J/24s in Australia enjoyed parts of the Sydney Short Ocean Series. Finally, we received another update on the Miami-Nassau Cup Race, this from the J/120 CARINTHIA (from Detroit, Michigan- the motor city capital of the world). Plus, another great story comes from the American Midwest, a sweet article about sisters sailing a classic J/30 off Milwaukee, Wisconsin in that gargantuan body of fresh water known as Lake Michigan.
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
Dec 5-14- Salon Nautique (J/97, J/111, J/122)- Paris, France- http://www.salonnautiqueparis.com
Jan 5-13- London Boatshow (J/80, J/111)- London, England- http://www.londonboatshow.com
Jan 15-25- Key West Race Week- Key West, FL- http://www.premiere-racing.com
Jan 15-25- J/80 Midwinters- Key West, FL- http://www.premiere-racing.com
Feb 11-15- J/24 Midwinters- Davis Island YC- Tampa, FL- http://www.diyc.org/
Feb 16-20- Miami Boatshow- Miami, FL- http://www.miamiboatshow.com/
Feb 17-19- St Petersburg NOOD Regatta- St Pete, FL- http://www.sailingworld.com/nood-regattas
Feb 23-26- J/22 Midwinters- Houston YC- Houston TX- http://www.j22mw.com/
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.
J/109 Irish IRC Boat of the Year
(Dublin, Ireland)- As predicted in Afloat's online reader poll, Pat Kelly's J/109 STORM won the Irish Cruiser Racer Association's (ICRA) "IRC Boat of the Year" award at the ICRA Conference in Dun Laoghaire at the Royal Marine Hotel. Among other wins, the J/109 STORM (a simple, easy-to-sail IRC cruiser-racer) counted five firsts in an impressive victory in Class One IRC at this year's ICRA Nationals held in Crosshaven.
Amongst the contenders were another J/109, Glenn Cahill's JOIE DE VIVRE, along with a Mills 36, X36, Sunfast 32 and three Corby 25s. At the end of the day, the Kelly's sailed an impressive series of races all year long and proved, yet again, the extraordinary versatility of the J/109 as an excellent racer-cruiser for its owners. Over the course of the summer sailing season, the fleet was confronted with everything, from drifters and long rolling swells to near gales with massive chop and breaking waves that saw carnage strewn all over the Irish Sea. J/109s simply sailed through all that Mother Nature had to throw at them and did so with tremendous ease and great style. For more ICRA Boat of the Year sailing awards information
J/97 Trumps GARMIN Hamble Winter Series
JIKA-JIKA Wins IRC 3 With a Weekend to Burn!
(Hamble, England)- The PRO/RC team faced a dilemma this week in the penultimate race day of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series. An approaching front early on Sunday morning saw the forecast predicting gusts of 32 knots at start time, reducing to 10 knots by late afternoon. PRO Jamie Wilkinson made a good call with a 2 hour postponement that proved popular with crews, giving time for a leisurely breakfast or lie-in as the wind shrieked in the rigging.
The gusts were still hitting 27 knots as the fleet headed out, and many boats sported reefs and small sails. A strong weather-going spring tide created a sharp chop with the consistency of concrete, making upwind progress tricky. But the wind gradually decreased as the day went on, and by 1500 crews were scrambling to power their boats up and enjoying some flat water and a steady breeze as they beat home.
Enjoying what many saw as "real" fall sailing conditions, a bit of chill in the air, strong breeze whipping up a froth on the Solent, lots of current to create "foul play" (and nasty waves), was the J/133 JINGS! sailed by David Ballantyne and crew. JINGS! managed to stay away from the fray and post another good score to stay in the top three in IRC 0, snagging a third place to jump into third overall for the series.
In IRC 1 it was a see-saw battle amongst the top ten boats for the overall series lead. WIth two throw-outs and 7 of 9 races counting to date, the standings changed dramatically after last weekend's racing. Ivan Trotman's J/122 JOLOU had a tough go of it and posted a ninth to drop to sixth overall with 39 pts. Chaz Ivill's J/111 JENGA VI posted another third to jump up to third overall in the standings, only 2 points out of second! Next weekend, it will be horse race for the second and third spots on the podium. Both the J/122 and the J/111 have a shot at grabbing 2nd and 3rd overall for the series.
The J/109s saw series leader, Richard and Valerie Griffith's OUTRAJEOUS, simply smoke their class, winning by a country furlong, essentially guaranteeing they're the winner of the J/109 class at the Hamble Winter Series. Behind them it's still anybody's guess as to how the top five will fare since there are four boats within seven points of each other. At the moment, Dave and Mary McGough's JUST SO is in second with 20 pts; Paul Griffiths' JAGERBOMB is third with 24 pts; David McLeman's OFFBEAT is fourth with 25 pts; and David Jobson's AUDAJIOUS is fifth with 27 pts! It's pretty clear the off-track betting parlors and odds-makers will be busy on that group of boats for next weekend's racing-- wonder what the odds are that on an "offbeat" day, an "audajious" move dropping the "jagerbomb" might "just so" create a panic enough that a "jazzy, jumping jellyfish" leaps to the top of the standings?!? "J'taime" it, says "me julie", if that happens, I may have to walk the "red arrow" after way, way too much "jynnan tonnyx"! :)
What an amazing story. This year's Garmin Hamble Winter Series saw an epic, dominating performance in IRC 3. No, it was not some custom IRC 52 whiz-banger, or some IRC lead-sled tweaking the rule, it was simply a fun, family racer-cruiser that simply blew away the most competitive class in the entire Winter Series. The more teams that sail J/97s on the Solent, the faster they're learning how to make them go against one another. And, nothing is more self-evident than the improvement in performance of the up-and-coming J/97 class sailing in IRC Class 3 this fall. Leading the charge since day one has been Mike and Jamie Holme's JIKA-JIKA, sailing away with class honors while posting an incredible scoreline of EIGHT firsts in nine races (e.g. they count seven firsts for an average of a, drum-roll please, first)! Wow, even the Editor can count that on his fingers! That scintillating performance would blow most people's socks off their feet. Five J/97s are racing in IRC 3, following JIKA-JIKA is Nick and Adam Munday's INDULJENCE, 2nd in J/97s and 5th overall. Third in the J/97s is Gillian Ross' INJENIOUS. The two J/92s' continue to sail well, with David Greenhalgh and John Taylor's J-RONIMO sitting in 6th and Andy Howe and Annie Kelly's BLACKJACK in 7th just four points back.
Of special note-- in the "mixed sportboat class", Mike Lewis sailing his J/80 JESTER has been having a go at the Laser SB3s and Hunter 707s. So far, he's hanging tough and is lying in second overall after missing the first four races and is counting two DNC's in his scoreline!
After a chilly day’s racing, as winter finally moves in after a seriously warm series, a packed clubhouse provided some welcome warmth as crews piled in for the prize-giving, with prizes this week from Yachts and Yachting. Next weekend is the final race of the 2011 Garmin Hamble Winter Series. While the long-term forecast is for some serious breeze, here’s hoping for a gentle end to the series! Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth. For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information
San Diego Cool Rum II
J Sailors Enjoying Laid Back Hot Rum Series
(San Diego, CA)- Every year in the late fall the San Diego YC kicks off its winter sailing season with the infamous "Hot Rum Series" off Point Loma, a series of pursuit races that take place over the period of a month, just before Christmas/ Holiday season. Depending on the winds, the fleet either sails out off Pt Loma, sails a giant triangle into the Pacific Ocean, then heads home to finish just off the breakwater entering San Diego's enormous harbor populated with none other than several US Navy nuclear carriers, nuclear submarines and monstrous cruise ships that should be nuke powered, too. If the weather gets nasty, with giant Lows swirling offshore throwing up massive swells and breaking waves, the SDYC RC/PRO's prudently keep the fleet inside, making for unbelievably tight racing inside Coronado Island while ducking around all the military/ cruise ship hardware!
Last year, it seemed the Hot Rum Series could hardly buy a break from all kinds of bad weather. If you recall, it all started pretty off with a vicious Low blowing onshore at 20-30 knots with rain squalls sweeping by about every five minutes, or so it seemed. This year it's nearly the converse with barely a breath of air, lots of monstrous, long period swells and the fleet of 120+ boats making every effort to keep themselves moving in the lightish on-shore sea breezes that keep developing late afternoon.
Many J sailors in the SoCal region look forward to this event every year. Just take a look at the PHRF 1 Fleet for the big boats- a fleet of four J/125s are sailing plus a J/145 is thrown into the mix. In PHRF 2, there's six J/120s, two J/124s and four J/109s. In PHRF 3 you have ten J/105s, one J/35s and one J/100. In PHRF 4 there's a J/27 and J/32 cruiser. In PHRF 5 you see one each of a J/22, J/24 and J/30. That's quite a turn-out for J aficionados in this laid-back regatta.
Amongst the J/125s in PHRF 1, Jim Madden's crew on STARK RAVING MAD is leading the pack of J/125s and is 6th in class. Second J/125 is Mark Surber's DERIVATIVE, third is Viggo Torbenson's TIMESHAVER and fourth is Tim Fuller's RESOLUTE. Hanging in there is Tom Holthus' beautiful J/145 BAD PAK (they're praying for more breeze!).
PHRF 2 has local ring-leader Chuck Nicholl sailing his famous J/120 CC RIDER into first in class and first in the J/120s. Second in the 120s is Tom and Terri Manok's POLE DANCER, third is John Laun's CAPER. Top J/109 is Daylen Teren's GREAT BALLS OF FIRE, lying 11th in class. And, top J/124 is Seth Hall's MARISOL in 14th class, just ahead of Tom Barker's J/124 GOOD CALL.
The J/105s seem to be having their way in PHRF Class 3, with Dennis and Sharon Case's WINGS leading the pack, 2nd in class and top J/105. Next is Team Boline/Kyel racing JETSTREAM sitting 4th class and 2nd J/105. Third J/105 is Team Fisher/ Dagostino on VIGGEN sitting 6th in class. Just behind them is Dave Vieregg's TRIPLE PLAY at 4th in J/105s and 7th in class.
Over in PHRF 4 Class, David Cattle's J/27 BLACKADDER seems to have a great looking, fast crew and are hanging tough to hang in 6th in class ahead of fellow J/classmate Steve Worcester's J/32 RHAPSODY in 11th class.
There's a huge, huge, massive, ginormous, epic battle for Hot Rum braggin rights brewing in PHRF 5! Wow, the J "classics" division is seeing the J/22, J/24 and J/30 all vying for top honors on the podium. So far, Mary Snow's J/24 BOGUS is leading the J/Classics division, sitting 2nd in class. Then, Bob Noe's J/30 MAD HATTER is 3rd in class just barely ahead of Shala Lawrence's cute little J/22 NOTHING DRIVES LIKE A RENTAL (it is a rental, isn't' it??). Watch this page next week to see who wins this epic, winner take all battle! We're breathless with anticipation-- if Mary doesn't win in her J/24, rumor has it that Chris may be doomed to hand-cutting thousand-panel tri-radial J/24 North Sails genoas for life in Sri Lanka! Uh oh, the stakes and drama are going to be high in this class next weekend! Sailing photo credits- the infamous Sir DA-Woody (a.k.a. Dennis St Onge)(the ONLY person who can drive a car on water!) For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series sailing information
Torcida's ECC VIVIENDAS Becomes "El Maqueche"
(Santander, Spain)- Pichu Torcida and his championship crew on the J/80 ECC VIVIENDAS were proclaimed "El Maqueche", celebrating the overall win after winning the third and final race of the series. Second overall went to yet another J/80 World Champion, Ignacio Camino on NEXTEL ENGINEERING and third overall was GO FIT sailed by Paul Santurde and David Madrazo. With two J/80 World Champions at the top of the fleet, the fleet of thirty J/80s knew they were going to be in a battle to be in the top positions.
Only half the races scheduled for the regatta were sailed due to the light, fickle winds of the second weekend. On the last day the boats went to "Abra del Sardinero", inside the giant sand-spit off Santander's river, hoping to get in two races in a building, but very light sea breeze. After first trying to get in a race at 1530 hrs late in the afternoon, the PRO Enrique Perez finally convinced the sailors to wait and give it one last shot at 1700 hours, just before sunset! At that point, the sea-breeze sprung to life and filled in about 7-8 knots. The PRO and RC team were ready for it, quickly setting a windward-leeward short course, two times around. In these conditions, most of the fleet went left towards the beach, including ECC VIVIENDAS, followed closely by NEXTEL, YATES & COSAS, BANCAJA and GO FIT. At the bottom of the run, Pichu's ECC VIVIENDAS continued leading, but BANCAJA jumped into second position ahead of NEXTEL.
By winning the last race, Torcida became "El Maqueche" by scoring a 1-2-1 to easily win with four points, well clear of Ignacio's NEXTEL in second place with 8 pts. Third was GO FIT's Santurde and Madrazo, fourth was Cesar Obregon's LUPA and fifth was Alex Diaz's SOLUCIONES CINQUA.
Next weekend will be the traditional "Mundialito" (mini-Worlds for J/80s in Spain), sailing a doubleheader Saturday and Sunday. This regatta invites J/80 sailors from all over Spain to share a weekend of racing with members of the YC Maritimo de Santander. For more Spanish J/80 sailing information
J/80s Sailing Mar Menor
(Cartagena, Spain)- Along the SE tip of Spain jutting into the Mediterranean is a gorgeous "ocean lake", a fully enclosed body of water with access to the sea via a ditch cut through the border island. The flat water and strong sea-breezes make for fun, fast, exciting sailing.
Setting the bar high in this series was Carlos Martinez sailing MAPFRE to victory in the Trophy V "Infanta Cristina". The trophy series started in October, completing six races over three weekends in 8-12 knot NE winds. Such steady, stable breezes made for very competitive sailing as it was not easy to break away from the fleet on massive, oscillating wind shifts. Instead, it was like sailing in ocean breezes with mild oscillations in direction and minor changes in wind speed.
The courses were windward-leeward, with a duration of approximately 50 minutes per race. The presiding PRO Jesus Moreno, aided by the stable wind conditions, managed to get off nearly flawless races for the J/80 fleet.
At the end of the series, behind Carlos Martinez's MAPFRE, was Emilio Azofra's OPORTO YATES in second and Charles Beltri's SAYULA in third- in a very tight final match only 2 points separated the top three when all results were tabulated. For more Spanish J/80 sailing information.
J/130 JING JING Plans King's Cup Redux
(Kata Beach, Phuket, Thailand)- A record fleet is expected for the 25th Anniversary edition of the Phuket King's Cup Regatta. From December 3rd to 10th, over 1,000 sailors will descend upon the gorgeous, crescent shaped Kata Beach for more fun and games in Asia's largest regatta. More than 35 nationalities will partake, noting an especially strong increase in the number of sailors from China taking part in the sailing and festivities.
Famed for being Asia's largest big boat regatta, the Phuket King's Cup Regatta was founded in 1987 with a mixed fleet of dinghies, boards and keelboats. Over the years, the Regatta has grown in size and stature to become the jewel in the crown of the Asia yachting circuit, welcoming the best-of-the-best from around Asia and beyond to compete annually in Phuket.
As they have in past years, hoping to be amongst the top three of the IRC Class 2 leader-board will again be Rick Pointon's team on the J/130 JING JING from Hong Kong, China. Last year, Rick's team was dueling for the lead of IRC Class 2 for most of the event, but finished third overall. Rick's crew is hoping to build on their experiences and have another go at the top of the podium! For more Phuket King's Cup Regatta sailing information.
J/24s Sailing Sydney Short Ocean Series
(Sydney, Australia)- Starting in late spring Down Under, the Sydney Short Ocean Series gets rolling, a popular series of weekend races that takes place both inside Sydney Harbour as well as rounding marks offshore past the infamous Sydney Heads.
The event incorporates an Ocean Passage Race on Saturday with a common Start/Finish in Sydney Harbour. And, then on Sunday, there's a combination of Windward/Leeward Courses and Triangle courses in the harbour. A number of J/24s have been participating in the lead-up to the series, with three of them taking top five positions in what was known as the Seven Islands Race- Division 2.
It was clear the racing was close for the J/24s. Leading the J/24 fleet home was Marc Tromp's WATERBORNE AGAIN, beating the next J/24 home by 12 seconds, a very tight finish for the top two. INNAMINKA sailed by John Crawford was second and managed to stave off the charge by Brett Hudson's WILD FIRE, beating them by 30 seconds. A bit off the pace about four minutes back was John Terry's PINOT. For more Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship sailing information
Another Miami-Nassau Cup Update- CARINTHIA
(Nassau, Bahamas)- Oh boy, you think the sailing is good to Nassau? How about the fishing on the delivery back for mahi-mahi/ dolphin (see below)!? Extraordinary! And, in between is a lot of fun and entertainment both on the sailing side getting there from Miami to Nassau, but also the shoreside festivities on Paradise Island (a.k.a. the home of the "New Atlantis"-- basically a monster casino and water park on spectacular beaches).
Frank Kern sailed his J/120 CARINTHIA on this famous race. Here's some excerpts from their blog. According to Frank, "This was was a 'Swiss Cheese Sail'. 'Easy peazee, lemon squeezeee!' This race was across the Florida Straits from Miami around Great Isaac and Stirrup Reef and down to Nassau. This year our Bayview Yacht Club dock neighbor and fierce competitor, the J/120 HOT TICKET sailed by Bob Kirkman elected to do the race with us. The wind was out of the northeast at 12 knots but it soon proved that a code 0 was in order. When we rounded Great Isaac we turned about 20 degrees to the right and went to a 3/4 spinnaker.
HOT TICKET (seen at right) then put up their .6 oz and at that point we caught up and rolled her. But as long distance races go it was not over as the wind clocked some more. After dark we could see Ticket catching up and we went to our .6 runner but it was not enough. She rolled us and continue to pace away from us. It turns out that this 4 year old spinnaker was just too porous and we just could not get enough juice to keep up. For us this was a two boat race and this is one we wanted to beat her. In all Ticket finished 8 minutes ahead of us. But at least the conditions were great...full moon, steady breeze, and temperatures in the 70s." Read on and see more photos on CARINTHIA's sailing blog.
What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide* J/30 Sister Sailors Love the Challenge! Erin Schanen at SAILING magazine recently had a chance to sit down and chat with two very passionate and enthusiastic sisters, Whitney and Alison Kent, who love to sail. Here's their story.
"The J/30 is sailing on the final downwind leg of the last race of the season in the hotly contested women’s series and although the boat is not in contention for the season championship because of missed races, it’s looking pretty good in this race. It’s not easy sailing: a leftover lumpy sea and a dying breeze require a good deal of concentration and it would be great if the boat could make it to the finish without having to jibe.
The crew is in full race mode, constantly looking over the transom to see how the competition is doing. And then, a question pierces the concentration-- “Who is your chemistry teacher this year?”
So goes life sailing on a boat sailed by teenage girls from 14 to 18 years old. Other quirks to expect: a constant supply of Tootsie pops, a cornucopia of snack foods and sodas that appears in the cockpit as the race committee’s finish horn quiets, and a fair amount of gossip. And one other thing: a whole lot of great sailing.
The leaders on the J/30 RAFIKI are a pair of sisters younger than most of the sails on their boat!! Whitney Kent, 18, is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Alison Kent, 17, is a high school senior. Both started sailing RAFIKI two years ago after their stepfather Eric Jones, a yacht broker, found the J/30 languishing in a boatyard.
Since then the pair have been the core of a crew of teenage friends on Monday nights, and a crew made up of other family members and good friends for other series, and even a crew of their own. This summer the two sailed the Queen’s Cup, a nighttime race across Lake Michigan, doublehanded, something their parents didn’t allow until after a thorough quiz of what they would do in various scenarios, their mother Cheri Kent said.
The race was one of the fastest on record, with big seas and fluctuating winds, challenging even for the fully crewed boats.
“We took turns sort of dozing in the cockpit while the other person steered,” said Alison, affectionately known as Gator. “Our arms were so tired.” Whitney said she likes the doublehanded sailing challenge.
“It’s really fun when it’s just the two of us,” she said. “It’s certainly harder, but I think it’s more rewarding. It’s fun to try to do everything on the boat.”
RAFIKI finished in ninth place in the doublehanded division, but the boat has its fair share of brag flags, all won with Whitney at the helm and Alison on the bow. On weekends and Wednesdays, Jones serves as tactician and their mother Cheri trims sails.
And the family sailing connection doesn’t stop there. The girls get plenty of inspiration from their father, Tim Kent, who sailed in the 2002-2003 Around Alone race. His daughters said they have fond memories of meeting him at stopovers around the world.
“When you’re a parent and your kids are young, you try to do things to inspire them,” Tim said. “That’s one of the reasons I did the Around Alone: to prove to them they could do anything they wanted. Now the tables are turning and they are the inspiration.”
Cheri, who sails most Monday nights with the girls and two years ago sailed the family’s C&C 41 in the Queen’s Cup with just her daughters, said sailing is second nature to Whitney and Alison. Family photos from the time the two were babies bring back fond memories of bathing them in buckets on the foredeck and matching Barbie life jackets.
“I always thought we might lose them to soccer at some point, but the best thing ever is that we all still sail together as a family,” she said. “Watching their progression as sailors has been super cool and as a mom I’m very proud.”
One of the benefits of growing up in a sailing family is that the friends the girls have grown up with, both on land and water, are now fellow sailors. Among the Monday night crew on RAFIKI are sisters Kate, 17, and Elizabeth Hayes, 14. A treasured photograph of the four girls taken more than a decade ago at a yacht club party is a reminder of the bond their shared love of the sport has fostered." You can read the rest of Erin's story about the sisters at SAILING magazine website here.
* Love Boating? Love Sailing? Check out this YouTube video promotion from DiscoverBoating.com. Should we make one for sailing, too?
In addition to the YouTube video, here are the "Top Ten Reasons to Rent or Buy A Boat" according to the NMMA's Discover Boating research and development project for "growing boating" in general:
1. Boating Improves Quality of Life
2. Boating is an Affordable Recreation Alternative
3. Water Access is Closer Than You Think
4. Boating Fun Helps you Bond with Friends and Family
5. Boating Helps Reduce Stress
6. Boating is Convenient
7. Boating is an Engaging and Rewarding Activity
8. Boating is Good Exercise
9. Recreational Boating is Easy to Learn
10. Boating is Fun
What do you think are the Top Ten Reasons to go boating or buying a sailboat? Please let us know- firstname.lastname@example.org
* Volvo Ocean Race Friends. More Win Some, Lose Some Stories. Spanish team TELEFONICA skipper by Iker Martinez wins the first leg and is loaded with Spanish J/80 sailing friends (including English/Aussie friend Andrew Cape). Meanwhile, friend Ken Read is temporarily marooned on Tristan da Cunha for four days of "cow pie" golf, baby-sitting their mast-less 70 foot carbon coffin offshore each night and praying their delivery ship arrives soon! Time is ticking and a-wasting away. December 10th is the next start and the ship takes 5 days in transit from Tristan to Capetown, South Africa. Ken's take on his arrival on Tristan is upbeat and amusing, a sure sign these guys are determined to keep up the spirits. As Ken describes, "We have now been on Tristan da Cunha for 24 hours. And, it is exactly what we thought it would be. A cloud seems to surround the island always. We still haven't seen the peak of the mountain, but the cliffs that make up the borders of the rock are breathtaking.
Yesterday at daybreak we arrived to a police escort (one large inflatable boat) to the anchorage area that they suggested we use. Of course, we are the only anchored boat in about a 1,500 mile radius. After anchoring Puma’s Mar Mostro in about 20 meters of water, we all went in on the RIB to meet several of the town administrators eager to help.
Housing, food, coffee, showers – all the necessities that we were craving were provided. And, of course, that 9 am cold beer! Police Inspector Conrad Glass explained the rules. We met the harbormaster – Jonathan Swain’s long-lost relative; Iris, the Minister of Tourism; Lorraine, the Treasurer and hairdresser; Sean Burns, the British government administrator, and of course Andy, the radio and communications director. And, so on and so on. I am leaving a lot of important people out for sure, but the fact is they are all fantastic.
The rest of the day was all about getting organized and relaxing. Figuring out how we are going to deal with our yacht on anchor. A night in the pub for the boys, and Jono and I took the first night shift on the boat. Pretty much setting up a routine that we will likely follow until the ship gets here to bring us back to the mainland.
Today will be golf day. Played in a cow pasture with flags but no greens. For sure the cow patties will bring a new meaning to 'lift, clean and place.' Ought to be interesting. We have trips planned to nearby Nightingale Island, a hike up the mountain, and of course more boat chores than we know what to do with. For sure we will keep busy.
In the meantime, we use the internet cafe to constantly check on communication from our families and look up the progress of the ship heading this way. The clock is ticking louder ever minute. PUMA hopes to be back by December 6th in Cape Town and ready to go by Dec 10th for first inshore race! Ouch!
The J Cruising Community 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"
* 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), 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 Ready To Cruise in Florida!
J/Boats' modern new shoal performance cruiser/ racer, the J/108, had a great introduction at the Annapolis Boat Show and is now available for demo sails in Florida along it's fabled West Coast near Naples and San Marco Island.
To learn more about the J/108, J/Boats' latest high-performance 35 foot shoal-draft cruiser, please contact: Craig Crossley @ CrossCurrent Marine- cell 401-330-6135 or email- email@example.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.com. Sailing photo credits- Billy Black