(Newport, Rhode Island)- The second annual J/111 World Championship in Newport, Rhode Island is garnering tremendous enthusiasm from 111 teams. Several boats are participating from the United Kingdom, including the current J/111 World Champion SHMOKIN JOE owned by Duncan McDonald and Phil Thomas. Plus, an Australian team from way Down Under is making the trek to sail in Newport as well as a top Canadian team is coming down from the north. At this stage, over twenty boats have committed to participate, including teams from across America (New England, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Long Island Sound, Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico and the West Coast).
Ida Lewis YC is hosting the regatta with support & logistics from Sail Newport from June 15th to 19th (Monday to Friday), 2015. Registration is now open on the regatta site here. Charter boats are available as well as “split team boats” (4 local crew + 4 visiting crew- a great way to reduce costs, have fun and sail the Worlds!).
Immediately before the Worlds, the New York YC will be hosting their 161st NYYC Annual Regatta presented by Rolex from June 12th to 14th. This is a wonderful opportunity to get in excellent practice at the regatta venue and treat it as a “Pre-Worlds” warm-up for your team! You can learn more about the NYYC Annual Regatta here.
And, for those intrepid adventurers, the following week Storm Trysail Club is hosting their 50th anniversary Block Island Race Week from June 21st to 26th out of the New Harbor in Block Island, Rhode Island. More STC Block Island Race Week information is available here. Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/ Photoactioin.com. For more J/111 World Championship sailing and registration information
Cowes Hosting First J-Cup!
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom)- The annual regatta exclusively for J Boats will head to Cowes in 2015 for the first time in the event’s history. The J-Cup will be hosted by the Island Sailing Club, with racing from the 11th to 13th of June.
The J-Cup has attracted strong entry numbers since the very first regatta in 2000. Organisers Key Yachting attribute this to their legion of very dedicated and passionate owners, 65 of which entered the 2014 event. The largest class at the J-Cup is usually the vivacious J/109 fleet, with one-design racing also on offer for the J/70s, J/80s, J/97s and J/111s. It is expected that the inaugural National Championships for the new J/88 class will be held as part of the J-Cup 2015.
The organisers are looking forward to bringing the event to Cowes. Key Yachting MD Paul Heys said, “Cowes is a natural venue for the J-Cup, with a large contingent of J/Boats based on the Solent and all the facilities our local and visiting teams could wish for. The Island Sailing Club have been hosting our annual Cowes Week party for many years so are accustomed to our owners, we have no doubt they will put on a terrific regatta.”
The timing of the event, two weeks prior to the Round the Island Race, will allow boats that have travelled long distances to compete in two stellar events.
Teams can expect up to eight races across the three days, with music and entertainment planned for the evenings. As is customary at the J-Cup the final prize-giving will give the organisers an excuse to throw the 400 or so competitors a fabulous party with live music, against the backdrop of the infectious atmosphere of Cowes.
In addition, Key Yachting are thrilled to announce the appointment of Landsail Tyres, as title sponsor for the J-Cup 2015. This fantastic news means an even bigger, better J-Cup than before. Peter Cross, UK Brand Manager for Landsail Tyres says of the connection, “We are delighted to be supporting the J-Cup, such a popular and exciting regatta, and are looking forward to being involved in the event's most successful year.”
Entries are already flying in, and thanks to the support of Landsail, competitor berthing at Cowes Yacht Haven Marina will be FREE of charge for the duration of the regatta. The expectation is that many teams will wish to stay in Cowes and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the town and the hospitable nature of hosts the Island Sailing Club. For more Landsail Tyres J/Cup sailing and registration information
St Maarten Heineken Regatta Preview
(Simpson Bay, St Maarten)- For 35 years, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has showcased the top boats and sailing in the Caribbean and has become equally famous for its world-class slate of parties and musical entertainment. Now recognized by sailors around the planet as one of the sailing world’s best regattas, each year the event lives up to its worthy motto: “Serious Fun”.
Year after year, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta orchestrates a balance between excellent sailing and international artists to give visitors and competitors a one of a kind experience. This year is no different, and organizers have stepped it up a notch and booked none other than Tessanne Chin to perform on Saturday night as the headliner for the Caribbean Jam night on Kim Sha Beach. She just recently performed at “Redemption Live: Bob Marley’s 70th Birthday” celebration, in Kingston Jamaica.
In addition to Tessanne, celebrated artists Kool & the Gang will close out the festivities, bringing a truly global flair to the event. This renowned group has been performing for 35 years and has sold over 70 million albums worldwide. Their smooth vibes and soul moving beats will certainly bring everyone to the beach on Sunday night, and keep them on their sandy toes until the very end.
On the sailing side of things, let’s not forget that some fantastic teams and beautiful boats will be plying the gorgeous aquamarine waters of Simpson Bay. In addition to the “pre-regatta”, the GILL Cup, many of the J/Teams will be participating in various CSA Racing classes with spinnakers.
Perhaps the headliners could be the J/125 HAMACHI, sailed by Greg Slyngstad from Seattle, Washington along with a superstar crew that should help “bring home the bacon”. Depending on class splits, they may have their hands full taking on two J/122s. One is the renowned EL OCASO, sailed by Caribbean champion Rick Wesslund’s crew from Miami, Florida; they have won many of the “island” regattas, including overall champion at least twice in their J/120 by the same name. The other J/122 is DUNDER sailed by John Thouron; this will be their major Caribbean event in the 122.
A pair of J/120s will again be participating, including SUNSET CHILD that is under charter and the JAGUAR sailed by Ben Jelic from Sint Maarten (Dutch side of the island). They will likely have to contend with the J/39 BUDGET MARINE ARUBA skippered by Robbie Ferron, also from Sint Maarten.
In the 30-35 ft category, there will be a trio of well-sailed J’s, including the J/105 SOLSTICE helmed by Bryan Coon; the fire-engine red, infamous J/100 called BAD GIRL sailed by Robert Armstrong from Christiansted, St Croix, USVI; and the beautiful blue J/30 BLUE PETER skippered by the Tanner & Shari duo from Antigua and Barbuda. For more St Maarten Heineken Regatta sailing information
Banderas Bay International Regatta Preview
(Bahia de Banderas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- The 23rd Annual Banderas Bay Regatta is scheduled to take place March 3rd to 7th, 2015. A well-rounded fleet of twenty-five boats ranging in size from 24 feet to 50+ feet is looking forward to a fun-filled week of music, good food, great camaraderie, and great racing.
This regatta is the one of the biggest cruiser regattas in the world and is the largest and oldest on Mexico’s west coast. For the past 22 years, the event has brought together cruisers as well as serious racers for a week of parties and yacht racing. Handicaps are calculated based on the fact that most competitors are loaded with gear; a dinghy or two, extra anchors, a complete sail inventory, and most likely lots provisions (refreshments, too). The idea is to have four days of fun and three days of racing on a body of water that is considered one of the greatest sailing venues in the world.
Richard Williams, the Rear Commodore of Vallarta Yacht Club and Chairperson of the 2015 Banderas Bay Regatta said, “If you are planning on cruising to Mexico’s west coast (or beyond), please consider joining us. Entry fees are about $77 USD and include 2 tickets to the Awards Banquet to be held on the beach at Paradise Village Resort in Nuevo Vallarta!” The VYC truly enjoys rolling out the red carpet for visiting yachtsmen in their special corner of the world.
The Banderas Bay Regatta has enjoyed a proud history of providing competitive FUN for all classes of cruising and race boats in the tropical paradise of Vallarta, México. The balmy weather and consistent March winds make the protected Bahía de Banderas the ideal sailing venue on the Mexican Pacific coast.
The Regatta is a non-profit event hosted by the Vallarta Yacht Club, host to international regattas for serious racers, mega-yachts, and cruisers alike including such prominent events like the 2011 Pan American Games, J/24 World Championship & Mexican Nationals, and Opti Nationals & North Americans.
Why is the sailing area called “Bahia de Banderas” (the Bay of Flags)?? Apparently, in 1524 Spanish conquistador Francisco Cortés de Buenaventura arrived on the coast of this beautiful bay. Legends say that 20,000 warriors came down from the mountains above and assembled in the lush valley, into his path. Their bows, decorated with banners in a rainbow of colors, were so impressive that the Bay became known as the “Bay of Flags,” or Bahía de Banderas. Today the bay is sanctuary to sea life including giant manta rays, sea bass, red snapper, sailfish, marlin, dorado, dolphins and more. Humpback whales come each winter to birth their young, and Olive Ridley sea turtles return each year to the nesting grounds along its shores.
Several J/Teams are participating. In particular, the J/130 ITAJIME (seen here). According to her owner Alan Robin, “last June, Aline (my wife), Millie (our dog), left from San Francisco, and we sailed out the Golden Gate and headed south. We just left the Sea of Cortez and are headed to mainland Mexico before crossing to the Marquesas in April. This is our first race ever and we are really in it just for fun and to meet other cruisers who really sail their boats. We would love to sail in one of the crewed categories, but we have no additional crew and will not be arriving in Banderas Bay until Tuesday evening. If you or anyone you know want to crew with us on our J/130, please drop us a short email at our SailMail account wdh5114@sailmail[dot]com!
Also participating is the J/109 JOYRIDE skippered by James Vickers from Encinal Yacht Club and San Jose, CA- another refugee from San Francisco Bay! Joining them will be the J/24 JUGGS skippered by Ken Yachehcak from North Flathead YC on Flathead Lake, Montana (easily the long-distance travel award winner!) and also the J/80 SHIVA sailed by Rush Faville, a local sailor from Vallarta YC and Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. For more Regata Internacional Banderas Bay Regatta sailing information
The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing WorldwideThe vise-grip that Mother Nature has had on the northeastern USA and Eastern Canada has not abated, not even close! Yet more snow and more meat locker weather with powerful winds chilling you to the bone have kept sailors dreaming about sailing in “shorts & shades” in the Caribbean and the Keys. Some lucky souls are zipping around the islands in the RORC 600 Challenge race, of note is that a J/145 is still in the hunt!
In the meantime, the J/24s recently had their 2015 Midwinter Championship hosted by the welcoming arms at Davis Island YC on Tampa Bay. They were blessed with a nice turnout and excellent competition. On the far west side of America, the Southern California sailors enjoyed a combination of wind, weather and moisture, but still had it better than their colleagues in the Midwest or to the East. The classic start of the SoCal sailing season, the Southern California Yachting Association Midwinters, took place at a number of participating clubs in four venues, with Coronado YC hosting the J/70s and San Diego YC hosting the J/80s and J/120s. Halfway between the left and right coasts, there were some good times happening on Ash Wednesday down in “naw’lins” (a.k.a. New Orleans, Louisiana). The occasion of “Mardi Gras” is an experience many are happy to live through at least once; that many people do it every year is a testimony to their passion or insanity (not sure which comes first). Nevertheless, J/27 sailors decided this would be perfect timing to have their J/27 Midwinter Championship in New Orleans; the spectacular “new” Southern Yacht Club played host to this enthusiastic fleet.
Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north. Check them out! More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page! Below are the summaries.
Regatta & Show Schedules:Feb 23- RORC 600 Race- English Harbour, Antigua
Mar 4-7- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Miami, FL
Mar 5-8- Heineken St Maarten Regatta- St Maarten
Mar 13-15- J/30 Midwinters- New Orleans YC- New Orleans, LA
Mar 27-29- J/22 Midwinters- Jackson YC- Ridgeland, MS
Mar 27-29- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Mar 30- Apr 5- BVI Spring Regatta- Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Apr 13-18- Les Voiles St Barth- Gustavia, St Barthelemy
Apr 16-19- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 24- May 2- EDHEC Sailing Cup- La Rochelle, France
Apr 26- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- Falmouth, Antigua
Apr 9-12- Apr 9-12- Strictly Sail Pacific- Oakland, CA- J/70, J/88, J/111
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.
COUGAR Crushes J/24 Midwinters
(Tampa, Florida)- Will Welles continues his six-month hot streak, adding the 2015 J/24 Midwinter Championship to his trophy case, which also holds the 2014 J/24 US National Championship and 2014 J/24 World Championship. Racing COUGAR with Chris Morgan, Monica Morgan, Jeff Linton and Erik Rexford, Welles totaled 25 points in eight races with a scoreline that included four bullets.
Welles credited Chris Morgan for putting the crew together and using his local boat. “I’d been looking forward to sailing with this team, and it just all fit together.” He commended the race committee for completing eight races in the first two days. “The Bay has lake-like conditions. It’s very shifty racing. There’s nothing better than the people, the club and the grounds at Davis Island Yacht Club. It all makes this spot a gem.”
This is Welles first J/24 Midwinter Championship victory, and he noted that he’s especially excited to be the first recipient of the new Midwinters perpetual trophy in honor of Lambert Lai. Lai, USJCA President for the last two years, passed away on December 30, 2014. Lai and Welles worked closely together. In fact, Welles is now the current USJCA President.
Twenty-seven teams from across the United States and Canada participated in the event hosted by Davis Island Yacht Club. The three-day event got in two solid days of racing to start with Sunday’s finale canceled due to glass-out conditions.
Welles started out at the top of the leaderboard on the first day or racing. His scores of 1-2-1-12 gave them a 12 pt lead over Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER. Welles seemed to enjoy the beautiful, but chilly and sunny sailing conditions that followed record low temperatures recorded earlier that morning in Tampa. Winds were light and shifty between 8 to 10 kts.
In the day’s first contest, Welles took line honors, with Odenbach in second and Christopher Stone’s VELOCIDAD in third. Welles and Odenbach reversed their top two positions in the next battle, while Robby Brown made his way into the top three. Welles took another bullet in the third race, trailed by Brian and Kat Malone on SUPERNATURAL FISHSLAPPER and Dan Busch’s BUSCHWACKER. In race four, some new names emerged at the top: David Ogden/John Mollicone’s BUCKAROO, Bob Kinsman’s DOGFISH and John Poulson’s LONG SHOT.
On Saturday, another four races were sailed in just about perfect sailing conditions on Tampa Bay. Under sunny skies and temperatures that warmed into the 70s, winds began around 6-8 knots, but picked up to 10-15 with a light chop, before falling off in late afternoon.
Welles’ COUGAR took just a two-point advantage into the final day of competition, following a 7-1-1-16 (dropping the 16). Robby Brown’s USA799 was knocking on the door in second place with 27 points to Welles’ 25. John Mollicone and David Ogden’s BUCKAROO stood in third place with 37 points.
Patricio Sly’s MUY MUY opened the day with a victory (although took a 20% penalty), trailed by Brown and Carter White’s SEA BAGS Sailing Team. Welles returned to the top of the pack in Saturday’s second bout, while Mollicone/Ogden placed second and Brown third. White and Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER followed Welles’ second bullet in race seven. Daniel Borrer on JESUS LIZARD INC ended the day on a positive note, with Brown and Mollicone/Ogden rounding out the top three.
And, so that is how it all ended Sunday afternoon. Welles continuing his extraordinary streak of the last three major J/24 events on American shores. Second was local hero Robby Brown followed by David Odgen/ John Mollicone on BUCKAROO (with friend Tim Healy aboard) in third overall. The balance of the top five included Carter White’s SEA BAGS Sailing Team in fourth and Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER in fifth. Sailing photo credits- Chris Howell/ J/24 Class.org/ Facebook For more J/24 Midwinters sailing information
J/Sailors Chill @ SCYA Midwinters
(San Diego, CA)- Over the February 21-22nd weekend, the Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) hosted their famous SCYA Midwinters at over four yacht clubs in four different venues across the region. A number of J/Classes participated including J/70s at Coronado YC and J/80s and J/120s at San Diego YC.
Since the J/70 North Americans are being hosted by San Diego YC later in the fall, the J/70s had a modest, but deeply talented fleet, ready to cut their teeth at closely-packed college-style racing. Leading home teams from not only the local area, but also many from Los Angeles and San Francisco fleets, was none other than John Fuller and Vince Brun (past J/24 Champion, Etchells 22 World Champion and Star World Champion). While their three bullets and a pair of deuces took the 70 crown with just seven points, the next six places were hotly contested all weekend long.
In fact, there were three pairings that were essentially decided by tie-breakers- perhaps a first in any fleet ever! In the first pairing, Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER from San Francisco YC closed out strongly with a 2-2 to take 2nd overall by just one point over Tom Jenkins & Eric Kownacki’s DFZ. In the next pairing, Craig Tallman’s JAYA started the regatta strongly with a 3-1-5 to hang onto second place, but faltered in the last two races to still end up in a tie for fourth place, winning that tie-breaker on 23 pts each over Jeff Brown’s San Diego YC team. In the third pairing, Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR included a bullet in his scoreline, enough to take the tie-break on 27 pts over Karl Pomeroy’s ZERO TO 60, to take 6th and 7th, respectively.
In the world of J/120s, two of the past winners of the regatta dueled all weekend long. Somewhat like their J/70 colleagues, Chuck Nichols’ crew on CC RIDER started off with a dominant 1-2-1 tally to be leading after three races. Nevertheless, it seems Saturday night may have done in some of Chuck’s crew as they posted a modest 3-4 to close out the regatta in 2nd place! Long-time nemesis and close friend John Laun sailed the mighty CAPER from a distant second early in the game to close with two bullets and the J/120 title in the end. Third was Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY.
The universe of J/80s also saw a very, very close fight for the top of the podium all weekend. Perhaps it was the first time in recent memory that Curt Johnson’s crew on AVET had to claw and scratch their way back into the lead in the last race to win! AVET’s record of 1-1-2-2-1 for 7 pts was just good enough to sneak in front of Steve Wyman’s NUHUNU team that managed to accumulate a near identical record of 2-2-1-1-2 for 8 pts! Taking third was J/WORLD #4 Team with 17 pts. For more SCYA Midwinters sailing information
Carnage & Crawfish, Mayhem & Mardi Gras!
A J/27 Midwinter Extravaganza
(New Orleans, LA)- And, "Ya'll" thought a "yawl" was like a 27 with her after mast ripped off? Which brings me to the carnage said Andrew Reims:
“So we're in New Orleans...an amazingly cool city for both attitude and weather. Granted it was a lot warmer than Canada or the Northeast USA but really - in the 40s - definitely not sandals/ shorts weather. Nevertheless, it was the 2015 J/27 Mid-Winters (emphasis on “winter”) after all.
I don't think anyone bobbing around on Lake Ponchartrain on Day 1 could have predicted what was to come but the RC miraculously were able to get a race off in winds speeds that were even lower than the temperature. Somehow Dan on "Hot Molasses" figured a way through the Zero to Nuthin variable winds to claim victory by at least a leg on a shortened 2 leg course. The rest of the fleet of eight boats trickled into the finish line on random puffs.
Day 2 didn't promise much in temperature but what it lacked in heat it made up for in wind. Three races were run starting in about 18 knots for Race 1 and ending in 25 gusting to 30 kts by Race 3. Merlin "Alegre" Wilson claimed the bullet in Race 1 after a couple lead changes with Al "Wind Shift" Gooch who finished overlapped at the line. The rest of the day belonged to Burt "Demitasse" Benrud and his crew of seven with bullets in the remaining races and who, from my vantage point in pursuit on "Alegre", gave us a textbook example of boat control and driving a 27 in heavy air (I didn't know you could stack that many people on the rail?).
Back on shore the free beer and sail repair tape were in abundance as the transplanted Canadians on Wilson LaGraize's "Pocket Rocket" patched their inventory back together for the following day. Not to be outdone, "Seamma" with the support and efforts of our hosts at the Southern Yacht Club were able to get a new leech sewn onto Patsy's main as it seems they lost their old one somewhere up one of the upwind legs! It was a great day of racing as the photos attest to.
Day 3 saw a bit warmer temperatures and a bit more wind for the final race of the regatta with "Demitasse" aggressively defending their lead; the bite on the rudder of "Alegre" being evidence of that. The penalty accepted did not however change the outcome as "Demitasse" continued schooling the fleet on heavy weather sailing and claimed the victory in the race and the regatta overall with "Alegre" and "Hot Molasses" second and third, respectively. Linda "Instant Kharma" Webster had a bit of an altercation with the RC Boat which was more a statement of the conditions than a criticism of the Committee who did an amazing job. No one was hurt except for maybe a bit of pride and if anyone is looking for some modern sculpture that resembles a bow pulpit, please speak with Linda.
Finally, a big shout out/ huge “Thanks” to the Southern Yacht Club, their Commodore Merlin "Alegre" Wilson, the Race Committee and everyone for putting the event together. The invitation to come sailing, the great hospitality and free beer every night were truly awesome! For any 27s who didn't make it this year, put the event on the calendar and Merlin will save you a spot in the yard next to Curved Air!” You can watch 3D replay of the Midwinter action on RaceQs.com Sailing photo credits- New Orleans Sailing For more J/27 Midwinters sailing information
What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* VOTE for Gannon Troutman- as Seahorse Sailor of the Month!!
As a young (12 years old) rising star in the J/70 class, he sailed his first major event in January, the J/70 Midwinter Championship in Key West, Florida.
Gannon had his father crewing for him and they managed to post scores of 1-2-3 in the 11 race regatta and, better yet, they finished 5th overall! Vote for Gannon on the Seahorse website here!
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.
* J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands. Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination? A giant whale! Look at this amazing photo!
* Jim & Heather Wilson just completed a circumnavigation of our "blue planet Earth" in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR. Said Jim, "The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now. We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell 'Painkiller' at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles). Read more about their adventures in their well-documented blog here: http://www.svceolmor.com/SVCeolMor/Welcome.html
* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again! We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR. Alan sent us an email update commenting on their passage south this winter, "In mid-December AVATAR completed her sixth transit to her winter Caribbean home, Grand Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI (seen above) from her home port in Quissett (Falmouth), MA. A crew of three, Captain Alan (e.g. me), Crew Pablo Brissett and Mark Conroy, covered the 1,500 nm trip in in her best time to date- 7 Days 5 Hours, averaging 8.7 kts, that's about 208 nm per day! Amazing passage it was! Rainbow at right far offshore was some of the amazing phenomenon we experienced on this fast offshore passage.
AVATAR will participate in the BVI Sailing Festival/Regatta again in 2013, where last year she won the Nanny Key Cup Cruising Class race around the Island of Virgin Gorda. Here are some photos for you to share with the J/Community at-large. Enjoy!"
Best, Alan Fougere/ AVATAR
* Bill & Judy Stellin recently had an interview about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called "Retiring on the Open Sea". The Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ's Editor desks. Here's the update:
Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers' Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety
The article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— "Retiring to the Open Sea"— prompted many questions and comments from readers. We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.
WSJ- "What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?"
Bill- "In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.
Although long-distance cruising wasn't what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.
People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather."
READ MORE ABOUT BILL'S INSIGHTFUL COMMENTARY AND THOUGHTS ON WSJ ONLINE HERE
* 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/
* 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).
- 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). Read about their latest adventures as they've gotten to New Zealand- "Avante Cruises the Pacific".
- Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog at 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.