Wednesday, June 29, 2016

J/Newsletter- June 29th, 2016

J/109 sailing Vic Maui Race to HawaiiVic-Maui Race Preview
(Victoria, BC, Canada)- Next week, the biennial Vic-Maui Race will start on Thursday, July 7th and send the fleet of just forty boats on a 2,308nm journey across the Pacific to the beautiful island of Maui.  Hosted by the Royal Vancouver YC and Lahaina YC, the fleet starts off Victoria Harbor in British Columbia, heads northwest out the treacherous Straits of Juan de Fuca, then turn left and head straight to the finish line just outside the reef line at Lahaina YC.  The game, as always, is to play the edge of the enormous Pacific High to maintain as fast a VMG angle as possible for most of the race; as a result, most boats end up sailing not the direct “great circle route”, but a course that looks like half an ellipsoid.

The time allowances for the fleet will be calculated from the ORC velocity prediction program, the Vic-Maui Weather Matrix, and a course length of 2,308 nautical miles.  This will result in a single time allowance for each boat for use in the 2016 Vic-Maui Race.

Reed Bernhard’s J/109 MOUNTAIN from Sloop Tavern YC in Seattle, WA will race the Double-handed Class.  The skipper and navigator have ten TransPac races between them, and they look forward to sailing from the great city of Victoria.

In the Swiftsure Lightship Classic Race, Bernhard’s MOUNTAIN took first in ORC Division I in the Swiftsure Lightship Classic Race earlier in the year.  Not only was the race a “qualifier” for the Vic-Maui Race, but it was also a good indicator of the thorough preparation that Bernhard has put into his J/109; all that hard work paid off with their division win.  With the Vic-Maui fleet racing ORC rating rule using a single number, the J/109 could very well be a strong contender for both class and overall honors.  For more Vic-Maui Race sailing information

J/80s sailing match race in helsinki, finlandJ/80 Women's International Match Race Helsinki
(Helsinki, Finland)– The first event of the 2016 Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) is beginning on Finnish waters as a dozen teams go into combat in the Helsinki Women’s Match for their share of the valuable WIM Series points.  The women are sailing matched J/80s using symmetric spinnakers and poles flown from the masthead.  The teams come from Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, Netherlands and Ireland.

Hosting the Helsinki Women’s Match is Nyländska Jaktklubben (NJK) – the yacht club that brought the exciting sailing discipline of match racing to Finland already some 25 years ago. In 2011, the European Women’s Match Racing Championship was sailed in Helsinki and in 2014 the club hosted the Youth Match Racing World Championship.

With heavy showers from a dark grey sky, and temperatures far from what you’d expect this close to summer solstice, the participating teams had quite a rough practice session on the waters close to Hernesaari (Ärtholmen), on the southern shores of Helsinki. The weather for Wednesday is expected to offer good sailing conditions to the teams.

Reigning WIM Series champion, American Stephanie Roble and her Team Epic Racing, will not participate in Finland due to job obligations. But they will be back on the coming events, and cannot be counted out already. Four events out of the five on the 2016 WIM Series will count in the total standings, so you can drop out of one and still have the chance of winning.

Since the inaugural season in 2013, the WIM Series have seen half a dozen Volvo Ocean Race sailors, 26 Olympic sailors (including the 2012 Women’s Match Racing Gold Medallists), multiple National Champions and one World Sailor of the Year. To this date, sailors from 23 nations have participated in the WIM Series.

The racing begins Wednesday with the round-robin to be followed by quarterfinals, semi finals and then the conclusion with the final on Friday, July 1st.  For more Women’s International Match Race Series sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

It has been an epic week on the eastern side of the Atlantic.  For one, the world now knows that the “Leave” vote won in a remarkable referendum in the United Kingdom, though not all in the U.K. agreed to the idea; notable dissenters were Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland!  Oh dear, the Eurocrats were not happy.

Meanwhile, the drumbeat of the sailing world beats on, with racing taking place on both sides of the “English Channel”.  For starters, the German J/70 class was hosting the J/70 European Championship.  It was held in conjunction with the famous Kieler Woche, hosted by Kiel YC in Kiel, Germany.  Racing took place on the southwest portion of the Baltic Sea in a bay called the Schilksee.  It set a new record for the J/70 Europeans, with 94 boats participating from fifteen countries, plus there was a surprise winner!  Then, due south of them, the J/80 World Championship kicked-off, which is currently being held off Marina Sotogrande, in Barcelona, Spain- an update is below.  Then, hopping across the “English Channel” (will it get renamed?), the RORC IRC Nationals was taking place off Cowes, Isle of Wight, England; despite stormy weather, there were good performances by the new J/112E (sailed by a French crew) and a fast J/35 (sailed by an Irish crew), plus some flashes of brilliance from a J/122 and J/97 kept everyone honest.  About the same time, the RORC Round Ireland Race, which started and finished in Wicklow, Ireland, just completed and a group of J/109s, J/111, J/122 and J/97 all had fabulous finishes and added to their “pickle dish” collections!  Over on the Continent, the Swiss J/70 Sailing League sailed their Act VI on Lake Constance off Romanshorn, Switzerland in difficult weather conditions.

Tele-transporting time and distance in Doctor No’s time machine (e.g. outhouse), we find ourselves landing in the Land of Oz, a.k.a. Los Angeles.  There, the Long Beach YC and Alamitos Bay YC were hosting the Long Beach Race Week for one-design J/70s, J/120s and J/109s.  Again, there were amazing performances by J/111s and a J/35 in PHRF handicap classes.  Moving back towards the Midwest, the Edgewater YC hosted the Offshore Edition of the Cleveland Race Week for PHRF handicap racing in over eight classes.  Again, more great performances by J/111s, J/88s, J/109s, J/35s, J/34 IORs, J/29s and fun for J/105 one-design class.  Still further east, the Eastport YC on the Chesapeake Bay hosted their One-Design Classic for J/22s and J/70s.  Then, up in Long Island Sound, it was a near wash-out for Riverside YC’s Stratford Shoals Race for J/105 one-designs and a J/122 in the PHRF Doublehanded class- it was such a light airs race, there were few finishers and mostly DNF’ers!

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:

Jun 25-Jul 1- J/80 World Championship- Sotogrande, Spain
Jun 30- J/80 Pornic Cup- Pornic, France
Jul 7- Victoria to Maui Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
Jul 8- RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race- Cowes, England
Jul 8-10- Vineyard Cup Regatta- Edgartown, MA
Jul 9-10- Sail Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 11- Pacific Cup Race- San Francisco, CA
Jul 11-15- Whidbey Island Race Week- Whidbey Island, WA
Jul 12-16- J/109 North American Championship- Newport, RI
Jul 12-16- New York YC Race Week- Newport, RI
Jul 16-18- J/111 European Championship- Hamble, England
July 22-24- J/70 Great Lakes Championship– Youngstown, NY
Jul 22-24- J/70 Pacific Coast Championship- San Francisco, CA
Jul 27-31- Travemunde Race Week- Travemunde, Germany
Jul 28-31- Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Aug 1-4- J/111 World Championship- Cowes, England
Aug 4-7- J/80 North American Championship- Toronto, ONT, Canada
Aug 5-7- J/27 North American Championship- Oakville, ONT, Canada
Aug 6-13- AAM Cowes Week Regatta- Cowes, IOW, England
Aug 134-14- J/FEST New England- Bristol, RI
Aug 13-19- J/24 European Championship- Plymouth, England
Aug 14-20- Women's J/70 World Keelboat Championship- Rye, NY
Aug 19-25- J/22 World Championship- Kingston, ONT, Canada

J/70 Events:
Jul 22-24- J/70 Great Lakes Championship– Youngstown, NY
Jul 22-24- J/70 Pacific Coast Championship- San Francisco, CA
Sep 15-18- J/70 Rolex Big Boat Series/ Pre-Worlds- San Francisco, CA
Sep 24-Oct 1- J/70 World Championship- San Francisco, CA

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

J/70 Europeans winner- Claudia RossiRossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE Crowned J/70 European Champion!
(Kiel, Germany)- The second J/70 European Championship saw ninety-six boats from fifteen nations sail eleven races over the four day series in everything from stormy weather with epic planing conditions to sunny days with benign, shifty breezes.  Kiel YC hosted the regatta with racing taking place in the choppy waters of the southern Baltic Sea called the Schilksee.  It was a very talent-laden fleet, with multiple European and World Champions in over a dozen classes participating, including the Deutscher Touring YC- winner of the 2015 Deutsche-Segel Bundesliga.  The surprise winner of the event was top Italian woman skipper Claudia Rossi and her PETITE TERRIBLE crew of Matteo Mason, Simone Spangaro and Michele Paoletti.  Claudia sailed an amazing series, she scored all top five finishes and, in fact, tossed a 5th place to score just 29 pts net in ten races- a remarkable 2.9 average!

Day 1 Report
Because of the size of the fleet, the 96 teams were split into four flights that would rotate after each race in order to race each other with 48 teams on the starting line.  After the first race day of racing, several southern European teams were dominating the standings. Stefano Roberti’s PICCININA from the YC Monaco J/70 fleet was at the top of the leaderboard after posting a smoking-hot 2-1-1 scoreline.  They were followed by two Italian crews- Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK (1-2-2) and Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE (1-4-2).  The best German crew was in tenth place- Sven-Erik Horsch team from Norddeutscher Regatta Verein in Hamburg.

J/70s sailing Europeans- Kiel, GermanyCarsten Kemmling’s HELGA was third best German team on the day in 12th place.  They appeared to be satisfied with the first race day, “Our results were respectable with a 5-15-5. But the Italians and the Monegasque are just slightly faster. It is not much, but they obviously have found better settings. We have been trying for three days to adjust the trim accordingly, but the Italians just have had much more training. The day has not been easy with the current and uncomfortable swells.”

Claudia Rossi was hoping to follow the same successful path in Kiel that her father did two years earlier. In 2014, her father, Alberto, won the ORC Worlds in the outer fjord with his boat ENFANT TERRIBLE.  Evidently, Claudia has the same competitive fire in her blood as her Dad!  In fact, Alberto himself flew to Kiel on Thursday to cheer on his daughter.

Stefano Roberti was as surprised as anyone to be leading the regatta after the first day. "This is way above our expectations. Last year, I was 40th in the Europeans”, said Roberti. "I thought last year, that I could keep sailing with friends, but I soon realized that this is not possible in this class. So I brought aboard three very good sailors that understand dinghies and sportboats- my crew is Enrico Fonda, Ludovic Broquaire, and Filippo Lamantia.  We loved the conditions today; they were very similar to Monaco. The starts also worked well. I can say, it has been a happy day for us!“

J/70 Calvi Network sailing J/70 EuropeansDay 2 Report
For the J/70 sailors, it was a late one on the race area on their second day. In the light and shifty breezes, the race committee managed to start two races, before the wind finally disappeared when they were trying to start the third race. So PRO Thorsten Paech decided to send the crews back to the dock.

The leaders of the fleet changed, with Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE taking the lead with a 1-5 compared to Roberti’s PICCININA with a 4-6.  For many in the top ten, it was the fifth and last race of the day that saw some dramatically bad races posted on the scoreboard.

“It was a day, where you would lose so much by making small mistakes. All forty-seven teams in our group rounded the first mark very close together, and then, if you happened to be on the wrong side on the downwind, you lost a lot,” reported Roberti.  "Since we are a rather heavy team, we are very happy with our boat speed. But Claudia, with her crew, is incredibly fast.“

Even for the new regatta leaders- Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE, not everything went smoothly. In the first race, they were third at the first mark, but they were held from making their gybe by their rivals and lost a few places. “Fortunately, we could fight our way back up to fourth place again. That was good for us, especially when we realized that our opponents had started in the wrong group!”

Oliver Schwall, sailing BROTHERHOOD (founder of German Sailing League), was coming to terms with the idea the teams from the Mediterranean had a higher speed potential. "In the national sailing league we are sailing with basic settings on the J/70, which we are not allowed to change. You immediately notice that these other teams know how to set up their boats better."  Oliver was sailing with his brother Rene, Bo Teichmann and Moritz Jaeger-Roschko (all members of Kieler YC).

At the end of racing on Day 2, the only German crew in the top ten was the team of PIT FINIS with tactician Karol Jablonski on board (a DN iceboat World Champion and Match-Racing World Champion).

J/70s sailing in storm- Kiel, GermanyDay 3 Report
The third day appeared to have an enormous effect on the points table. In the first race for the Blue fleet over 30 boats were disqualified due to an early start. And several crews were subsequently judged OCS in other races.  But, staying clear of trouble was Ms Rossi’s crew on PETITE TERRIBLE, as she continued her winning ways with scores of 1-4-4 to become the unchallenged leader of the fleet.

No fewer than 38 disqualifications from OCS’s were reported in the list of the 94 teams. Race director Nino Shmueli defended his tough approach, “It was all according to the rules. We are sailing with huge stickers on the bow in the J/70 fleet, so we could recognize all early starters. Even if only one team had started right it would have stood as a race.”

Three races were sailed and so Shmueli was satisfied with the day, remarking that “Despite the thunderstorms and the shifting winds, the full program could be sailed. In the afternoon, the wind picked up a lot. But, we brought back everyone ashore without damage.”

Of course, the emotions of the disqualified teams were a bit different. “It was fully compliant with the rules, but morally questionable,” said Christian Soyka- skipper of the VOICE OF ITZEHOE (a former 4-time X-99 Word Champion).  They were pushed down to 19th place because of their BFD disqualification. “In the yellow starting group, one start had been cancelled.  But, in the blue group, they kept it running. You have to follow a precedent in this case,” remarked Soyka.  “Our objective here was to learn from the best J/70 teams in Europe.  Today, we were wrong, not good. We have never sailed in this wind and with these waves before.  Up until the sixth race we had all top ten finishes!”

The biggest leaderboard climbers on the day were Eduardo Lupi’s TORPYONE from Italy (3-5-2) and Charlie Esse’s BABY J from the U.K. (4-9-3), both sitting on the provisional podium at 2nd and 3rd, respectively.  Also, sailing “lights out” all day in hyper-kinetic mode was Brazilian Mauricio Santa Cruz on MANDACHUVA (4-1-2) with the best record of the day in the entire fleet to catapult them into 5th place overall.

J/70 sailing Europeans- Kiel, GermanyDay 4 Finale
The regatta finished with a packed program of three races. And the weather on the race course made it a perfect day, after difficult wind conditions and a huge number of disqualifications had caused lots of turbulence in the highly competitive class.  By sailing a perfect series of races on the final day, Roberti’s PICCININA counted three victories to end up taking the silver while Gonzalo Araujo from Spain posted a 2-1-5 to vault into the bronze medal to finish off the podium.  Rounding out the top five were Lupi’s TORPYONE in fourth, suffering from having to throw out a Black Flag in the last race, and in fifth was Santa Cruz’s MANDACHUVA.

J/70 European winners podium- Kiel, GermanyClaudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE performance was a surprise for the top J/70 sailors and, also, for herself: "I had not expected to win when I came here. We only had the boat since February. But, the crew had an ambitious objective and made us fast!” The young sailor from Italy has been racing for years at an Olympic level in Italy.  Sailing seems to come naturally for her and her family. She remarked that, “Kiel is a very lucky sailing territory for our family! Now, I am looking forward to going home, where my boyfriend is waiting, and we will have a huge party!” Can anyone blame her?  Party-on! :)

Even the second-placed Roberti, sailing under the Monegasque flag, was outshining the sun in Kiel with his happiness, "I am happy with the silver medal. I had never expected to do this well. On the third day, we thought we had given away the chances at the overall title with a Black Flag and moderate results.  Nevertheless, we are happy to be here on the podium!  It’s an amazing fleet of very accomplished sailors!  We hope to participate in the J/70 Worlds in San Francisco and learn more!”

Roberti congratulated Claudia Rossi, "Their team just stayed cool, hardly made any mistakes and sailed a very consistent series.  I enjoyed it here. To be part of this big event in Kiel was lots of fun. Being in the middle of the young sailors from all the Olympic classes in Kiel Week is wonderful, it makes you feel even younger!“    Watch this J/70 European Championship sailing video highlights here.   For more J/70 European Championship sailing information

J/80 youth- sailing World Championship in SpainJ/80 World Championship Update
(Sotogrande, Spain)- Erik Brezellec’s French team COURRIER JUNIOR maintained their lead after the second day of racing the J/80 World Championship in the waters off Marina Sotogrande.  Despite scoring a fifteenth in the first race of the day and closing the day with a convincing first place, they increased their lead over the second place team.

The J/80 Worlds have now reached its halfway point, with five races run over the three days.  Tuesday’s racing was canceled due to storms in the morning and no wind in the afternoon.

J/80 sailing World Championship- Sotogrande, SpainJuan Luis Paez and Pepequín Orbaneja’s CENYT HOSPITAL MARBELLA Team skyrocketed today, climbing from the sixth position to second after scoring a fifth and second place.  Falling down to third was Rayco Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA, finishing second and fourteenth.

Astern of the leading trio are Spanish Jose Maria “Pichu” Torcida’s OXITAL and Javier Chacartegui’s HM HOTELS, who saved the day in the overall standings despite a bad last race of the day for both.

Spanish Colors Lead First Race of the Day
The first race of the day, under average wind southerly conditions, had purely a Spanish color all the way through. The race was overshadowed by the disqualification, before the start, of some favourite teams: J/80s sailing World Championship- Marina Sotogrande, Spainthe French team GANJA (Luc Nadal) and the Spanish crew MOVISTAR (Iker Martinez). Double J/80 world champion “Pichu” Torcida onboard OXITAL did not give many options to his competitors after a very good start.  From there to the finish, they were able to sail their own race and cover his rivals- Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA (the current world champion) and the Spanish Champion Javier Chacartegui’s HM HOTELS.

France Calls the Shots at the End of the Day
Race 5 was dominated by the French, with Brezellec’s COURRIER JUNIOR leading with unusual authority from start to finish.  They were followed by Paez’s CENYT HOSPITAL MARBELLA Team and Martinez’s MOVISTAR.  In fact, it was a “photo finish” for three Spanish teams all crossing the line simultaneously for MARBELLA, MOVISTAR and AKEWUELE (skippered by J/80 European Champion Carlos Martinez).   For more J/80 World Championship sailing information

J/111 sailing off Cowes, EnglandDark’n’Stormy RORC IRC Nationals
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The sixty-one crews that sailed in the RORC’s IRC National Championship were eased gently into the regatta on their first day, initially with sub-10 knot conditions. However, by the time the fourth and final race was held, the breeze had built to 20+ knots in the gusts. This, combined with a short, sharp chop kicked up by a building flood tide, led to numerous wipe-outs.

The largest class competing at the IRC Nationals is the 19-strong IRC Two. In this, the competition is tight at the top. However, it is the new J/112E J-LANCE 12 of France's Frederic Bouvier that was looking most threatening to the class leader YES!

In IRC Three, a standout performer was the J/35 BENGAL MAGIC that won the last two races of the day.  She is also part of the GBR Red Commodores' Cup team.

On Saturday, the wind was expected to be lighter, with 10-12 knots forecast from the southwest. Race Officer Stuart Childerley intended to stage one windward-leeward race and two round the cans. As he explained: "We want to get three races in, because on Sunday it looks quite light and there might be a slight delay too. I don't want to leave more than two races on the table for Sunday, which is why we pushed hard for four races today."

Day Two- Thunder and lightning - very, very frightening!  With micro-storms, intense, frequent deluges, thunder and lightning, conditions for day two resembled an episode from the Old Testament; the Great Flood perhaps.

This made for a "very testing day," recounted PRO Childerley. "It looked really good for half an hour, but then very quickly, shower cells developed, creating havoc."

The fleet was initially packed off on a windward-leeward course. However, as Childerley explained, “for those, you expect half decent conditions to make it fair, while we were seeing a number of shifts and the wind was up and down. Then the wind just dropped out completely. So the decision-making process wasn't in their hands and I abandoned that one."

Unfortunately, from then on, conditions turned 'biblical' as a stream of storms cells rolled across the Solent, causing the wind range to span nothing to 20 knots, with giant shifts.

During a momentary break in the storms, one round the cans race, was successfully completed, albeit with a few stop-starts. While the intention was to hold three races, in fact after some patient waiting by increasingly soggy crew, the decision was made to send the fleet in, after the conditions failed to stabilize.

In IRC Two, Saturday’s surprise winner was Andy Theobald's J/122 R&W, which in yesterday's four races had been unable to finish a race better than 13th. However, today they were on fire, winning their race and the Tiny Mitchell trophy.

In IRC Three, with five races held to date, the British J/35 BENGAL MAGIC was still laying second overall.

To make up for Saturday’s lost races, the aim was to start half an hour earlier for Sunday, the final day of competition, with a warning signal at 0955. The intention was to run two windward-leewards and one round the cans race. The forecast was for 8-12 knots from the southwest.

Day Three - Unlike stormy Saturday, on a slightly more serene Sunday the race management team was able to hold one windward-leeward in 8-15 knots winds. This was followed by two round the cans races in the central/eastern Solent, during which the wind built to 20+ knots, creating a short sharp chop from the building flood tide.

IRC 1 Class the J/111s ended up finishing in 8th place, Jan Van Berne’s Dutch crew on RED HERRING, and in 10th place, Chris Jones and Louise Makin’s British team on JOURNEYMAKER II.

The J/112E J-LANCE 12, sailed by Fred Bouvier and Didier LeMoal, started out by leading the regatta after the first two races, posting a 1-2.  However, the sailing conditions changed significantly for the next five races, putting an enormous emphasis on DDW sailing against current, where the symmetric spinnaker equipped boats could simply slide down the beach with keels 6” clear of the bottom and make big gains.  In the end, for a sport-cruiser, the J/112E showed it had the fastest speed upwind in its class, comprised mostly of JPK 1080s and First 40s.  Her fourth place in such a large, hot fleet of boats did not go un-noticed by the Solent racing cognoscenti.  After their “flash in the pan” performance on the second day, Andy Theobald’s J/122 R&W finished 12th overall.

Finally, the most remarkable performance by a J/crew over the weekend was that by the J/35 BENGAL MAGIC, one of only two boats in the entire class to post all top five races in eight races counted.  They placed second in class.  Fellow J/sailors on the J/92 WILDEBEEST V skippered by Craig Latimer placed 7th and Richard Sparrow’s J/97 ONLY MAGIC took 8th.  For more RORC IRC Nationals sailing information

J/109 sailing off IrelandJ’s Triumphant In RORC Round Ireland Race
(Wicklow, Ireland)- The Round Ireland is Ireland’s premier offshore yacht race, and the second longest race in the Royal Ocean Racing Club calendar at 704nm (only Round Britain & Ireland Race is longer). The first race took place in 1980 with only thirteen boats. Since then, held biennially, the fleet has grown steadily, attracting a record 64 entrants from all over Ireland and the British Isles.

Wicklow Sailing Club were delighted that the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire, agreed to act as the Dublin host club for the 2016 race. This association with the RIYC was especially beneficial as it enables more and larger competing yachts to be hosted prior to the start of the race.

It also enabled serious characters to have fun and participate in the race at the same time.  One of the more famous happens to be J/109 owner David Cullen.  After being CEO of Ireland’s leading parking provider- EURO CAR PARKS- David credited being useless at football as a kid that led to his decision to get into sailing.  A native of Raheny, he has come from dragging a canoe and windsurfer down the cliff to Kilbarrack Creek to entering his J/109 STORM/ EURO CAR PARKS, into the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland fleet. Thanks to his exceedingly tolerant wife, Deirdre, he was able to devote much of his spare time to sailing and preparing for the race.

Describing his crew as “friends for life,” they have sailed together on a myriad of different boats, from half tonners to Volvo 65s. When asked what they have in common, David answered: “Age and baldness, but also a steely determination to win!”

Why are they taking part in the Volvo Round Ireland?  “Because, it is 18 years since I won the Round Ireland on Jeep Cherokee- a Volvo 60- so it’s a bit overdue. My upcoming 50th birthday inspired me to do something I enjoyed so many times previously, and the fever has spread to my pals.”

J/109 sailing Irish offshore seriesWhat kind of provisions will the crew be keeping themselves fueled with?  “Well, after sampling a few different freeze dried options, they decided the best plan was to indulge in some of Dublin’s best Asian cuisine. Meals will be prepared by Kanoodle Restaurant to be taken on board. The crew has yet to decide who gets the important task of reheating!  They are looking forward to the breath-taking scenery that comes with taking part in the Volvo Round Ireland, but also to the camaraderie, stories and jokes that will no doubt be shared on board.”  Apparently, David was confident there would be no arguments while at sea.. unless anyone disagrees with him!

In what has been one of the toughest ever editions of the race, with rough seas resulting in 15 retirements from the record 63 strong-fleet, sailing history was made across a series of fronts.  For starters, the three MOD 70 trimarans all set a new Round Ireland record for multihulls, then George David’s RAMBLER 88 also set a monohull record.

Race organizers at Wicklow Sailing Club said it had been an unforgettable week of sporting history.  Theo Phelan, Race Chief (speaking on Friday) said, “The race is not over until every single yacht is back safe and sound across the finish line. There are still 4 boats at sea, which we expect in this afternoon.  The reports from the sailors are that it was a fantastic race, with everything a race should contain.  It started on Saturday afternoon and already by midday on Sunday, they were being hit full blast by 30 knot winds, leading to 11 retirements on Sunday alone.”

J/111 sailing Irish offshore seriesOn Friday evening, the tired but exhilarated sailors attended the awards ceremony at Wicklow Sailing Club.  The renowned sailors’ rum- Goslings- put on a special “Goslings Dark’n’Stormy Reception” to welcome all the crews back.  Needless to say, it was a well-attended and highly popular celebration!

In terms of performance by J/crews, nothing was going to hold them back.  In fact, J sailors placed on the podium in every single class they sailed in!  For example, in IRC 2 Class, the Army Sailing Association’s J/111 BRITISH SOLDIER placed second in class and 16th overall to continue to lead IRC 2 RORC Season Points Championship.  Chris Power-Smith’s J/122 AURELIA finished third in class and 18th overall.

IRC 3 Class, David Cullen’s J/109 STORM won class by nearly three hours corrected time after 4 days, 22 hours at sea (no arguments & great Asian food were the recipe of success!) and also placed 5th overall in the fleet of 37 boats that finished the race.  Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox’s J/109 MOJITO was in 7th place and 14th overall.  They were followed by Chris Palmer’s J/109 J-T’AIME in 9th and the Royal Armoured Corps YC J/109 AJA was 10th in class.

IRC 4 class, Stephen Quinn’s J/97 LAMBAY RULES was 3rd on the podium, finishing the race in 5 days, 12 hours and she also took 17th overall.  As a result, it is interesting to note that J/Boat teams comprised nearly one-third of the top eighteen places overall in this tough, demanding race!   For more RORC Round Ireland Race sailing information

J/70 snuggie bearGood Winds, Good Times at Long Beach
J/111 PICOSA Wins PHRF A, J/35 RIVAL Smokes PHRF B
(Long Beach, CA)– If there were any dusty sailors, following Saturday night’s Mount Gay Rum party at Long Beach Yacht Club, it wasn’t evident in the level of racing on the third and final day of Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW).  The 120 teams greeted the day head-on, with tight racing in 14 classes on three windward-leeward and random leg courses.

Reigning J/70 World Champion, Julian Fernandez’s FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO, handsomely won the J/70 division, with Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS in second and Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT in third.

While the big boats bring excitement and cachet to LBRW, the J/70 fleet has drawn some of the big guns too, including World Champion Bill Hardesty on FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO, and John Kostecki – Olympic medalist, America’s Cup champion, and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year – on CATAPULT.  Behind this line-up of super-stars were two perennial SoCal contenders, sitting just 5 pts back and having their outcome determined by a tie-breaker.  Sitting on 45 pts each, Jeff Janov’s crew on MINOR THREAT took fourth place while Bruce Cooper & Shawn Bennet’s USA 32 was fifth.

J/120 crazy sailors“I like to see how I stack up against the pros,” said Corinthian sailor George Hershman, who finished 23rd out of 26 teams. A newcomer to the J/70 fleet with SOLARCOASTER, he said the pro talent provides, “a really great way to learn” for Corinthian racers. The top Corinthian team was Chris Raab & Dale Williams’ SUGOI, followed by Craig Tallman’s JAYA in second, Scott Deardorff’s CAKE in third, Tracy & Christine Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN in fourth and Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR in fifth.

As one might have expected, the J/120s yet again had rivalries materialize just for the regatta.  This time around, it happened to be John Snook’s JIM vs John Laun’s CAPER.  They chased each other around the racetrack all weekend and still only ended up one point apart.  Laun’s CAPER crew started out fastest, posting a 2-1-1-3 to be leading going into Saturday night.  However, it was Snook’s JIM team that closed with an identical record of 2-1-1-3 to win class.  Third was Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER and fourth place was determined on a tie-breaker, with Rudolph Hasl’s HASL FREE taking it over Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY.

In the J/109 Class, it was yet again Tom Brott’s Santa Barbara YC crew on ELECTRA that nearly ran the table of seven races, posting four bullets to win with just 11 pts.  Second was Heinz Butner’s RAPTOR team with 16 pts and third was Peter Nelson’s SPRAY from Cal YC.

J/35 RIVAL- sailing Long BeachIn addition to the two one-design fleets, there was intense PHRF racing on both windward/leeward and random leg courses.  In the ten boat PHRF A division, Doug Jorgensen’s PICOSA crew from Alamitos Bay YC sailed a very consistent series to take the class win.  Their sistership, Glen Griley’s STAMPEDE from Kings Harbor YC, placed fourth and Tim Harmon’s J/124 CIRRUS placed seventh.

The PHRF Sportboat division saw Curt Johnson’s Cal YC crew on the J/80 AVET finish an uncharacteristic fourth in class.  But, then again, they were up against much faster boats like a Bolt 37, M32 and C&C 30. They were followed by Steve Maynard’s J/80 IN TENTHS in fifth place.

PHRF B was dominated by a very well-sailed J/35, David Boatner’s RIVAL from Ventura YC.  After winning six races in a row of possible seven, they finally took their foot off the gas and took a celebratory 2nd in the last race to win class by an astounding 13 pts.  Third in class was Scott McDaniel’s J/105 OFF THE PORCH.

LBRW maintained its reputation as a favorite west coast regatta, thanks to great competition and race management, bookended by lively parties where long-time friends mingle and compare racing notes.  For more Long Beach Race Week sailing information

J/70 women sailorsSV Kreuzlingen Leads Swiss J/70 Sailing League II
(Romanshorn, Switzerland)- This past weekend, the Swiss Sailing 2nd League of twelve teams were competing in Romanshorn for the hope to qualify for the Swiss Super League.  The top three teams after the first regatta (Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen 1st, Seglervereinigung Bottighofen 2nd, Bordée de Tribord 3rd) were hoping to maintain their position, if not improve upon them by the end of the weekend sailing on beautiful Lake Constance.  Throwing a monkey wrench into the proceedings was the fact that the weather forecast for the weekend was mixed- good winds but the possibility for thunder showers!  In the end, the shifty winds and nervousness of some teams to maintain good pace got some into trouble and others onto the podium!

The first day of racing brought about a wilder, more variable weather pattern than what anyone predicted.  In the morning, it was blowing lightly from the southeast.   However, the wind was not enough to get the first race in.  Then, the breeze died and refilled from the ENE and permitted the fleet to sail five races.  The light wind specialists for each team were asked to sail the J/70s and trim the sails with feeling. The Yacht Club Luzern achieved this best and was leading by early afternoon.  Then, the wind shifted still further north and freshened considerably.  The frontal system that was predicted to move through the region all of a sudden materialized over the mountain peaks.  All around Lake Constance, afternoon thunderstorms developed and the storm front went from Säntis eastward across Lake Constance.  After the storm front had passed, there was a beautiful evening southerly breeze that enable the final rounds to be completed for the day.

Swiss J/70 winnersAfter a botched first race, the SV Kreuzlingen team strung together straight firsts to be leading after a total of 13 races sailed. Segel-Club Enge was in second place and just two points further back was YC Luzern.  Sitting in fourth place was the all women crew from SV Thalwil- they were smart, light and fast!

After a long day of sailing, all participants- sailors and volunteers- enjoyed some refreshingly cold beers and a barbecue at the Festhalle.

On Sunday morning, a cool northwest wind started out nicely, but gradually blew itself out by midday.  The first races were won by YC Luzern and Zurcher YC and the girls on the SV Thalwil team were also up to the task, posting another second place.  The Segelclub Romanshorn’s PRO tried in vain to get another race started, but ultimately had to send everyone back to shore with just 14 races completed.

As a result, SV Kreuzlingen won the second round of the Swiss Sailing 2nd League, winning a tie-breaker on 14.67 pts each over Segelclub Enge.  Third was YC Luzern, fourth the women’s crew from SV Thalwil and fifth Zurcher YC.  That outcome meant a wholesale changeover in the overall series leaderboard for most of the fleet!  While SV Kreuzlingen had now won two events in a row, Segelclub Mannedorf and SV Thalwil are tied for second with identical records of 4-6 each.  Fourth overall is Bordee de Tribord with a 3-8 tally and fifth is Segelclub Enge with a 10-2 record.  More excitement soon for these dozen teams dueling it out on gorgeous Swiss lakes up high in the Alps!  For more Swiss Sailing 2nd League information

J/88 Spaceman Spiff sailing off Cleveland, OHGreat Cleveland Race Week!
J/Teams Sweep Three PHRF Divisions
(Cleveland, OH)- Like they did the weekend before, the Edgewater YC rolled out the red carpet and did a fantastic job of hosting the “Offshore CRW” this past weekend.  The regatta was blessed with four good days of racing with winds ranging from 4 to 20 kts from a variety of directions.  The format was made fun for everyone, mixing up “random leg” offshore buoy racing with finish lines on the inner harbor just outside the iconic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Brown’s football stadium along Cleveland’s picturesque waterfront.  The weekend finished with two days of windward-leeward course, providing each team a chance to demonstrate their knowledge and diversity sailing both offshore and around-the-cans races.

J/120 sailing off ClevelandThe regatta started off on Thursday with spectacular weather.  After racing, the Edgewater YC hosted their infamous “Ragin' Cajun party,” where they served up spicy, spicy gumbo with Tito's Vodka and Regatta Ginger Beer- a helluva concoction known as an “American Mule” (a.k.a.- it does give you a kick in the proverbial booty!).  On that note, everyone seemed to enjoy the camaraderie and no matter how many American Mules were served, it was pretty clear that a number of J/crews were going to knock it out of the park out on the water!

Exhibit number one- the J/111s swept the podium in PHRC C Class!  Rob Ruhlman’s J/111 SPACEMAN SPIFF was 1st, followed by Don Hudak’s CAPERS in 2nd and Jeff Davis & Bob Knestrick’s SHAMROCK in 3rd.  Fourth was the beautifully restored J/39 BLACK SEAL sailed by Seth & Kevin Young.  Tim Yanda’s J/120 VIVA LA VIDA was 6th in class.

J/Teams nearly pulled off the same scenario in PHRF D class.  Winning was Paul Matthews’ J/35 WHITEHAWK with Mark Saffell’s J/36 PAINKILLER in 3rd place.

PHRF E Class saw David Koski’s J/109 USA 77 win class counting just straight bullets in six races!  Second was the duo of Doug Moose & Jim Sminchak racing the brand new J/88 SPACEMAN SPIFF.  Chris Mallett’s J/109 SYNCHRONICITY took 5th place, while Charles & Andrew Drumm’s J/100 D2 took 6th position.

J/105s off ClevelandIt was an all J/gangsta’s affair in PHRF F class, made up of three J/29s, two J/34 IORs and one J/70!  Quite an eclectic mix of new and old designs from three different decades!  In the end, Brett Langolf’s J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP won class counting all 1sts in their six races that counted (one toss was permitted).  Second was yet another J/34 IOR boat, Dave Krotseng’s BONAFIDE.  Third was Cindy & Tom Einhouse’s J/29 OVATION, followed by John Zelli’s J/70 FREE ENERGY in fourth and Aarne Lillo’s J/29 AQUARIUS in fifth position.

Finally, in PHRF G class, Rich Galaska’s J/30 BREEZIN’ took third position, managing to win the first race of the regatta along the way!

In the J/105 class, Chip Schaffner’s FALL LINE won convincingly, posting six bullets for a final tally of 6 pts.  Sailing fast, but not fast enough to catch FALL LINE, was Robert Mock’s UNBRIDLED, settling for 2nd with 11 pts and Jim Uhlir’s TRIO finished third.   Sailing photo credits- Dave Mathias/ Reaching Leg Photo.   For more Cleveland Race Week sailing information

Slow, Hot Stratford Shoal Race
(Riverside, CT)- It was not to be, based on the NOAA weather forecast.  And, indeed it wasn’t.  For once, the weather forecasters got it right.  Lightish breezes all weekend and warm weather means only one thing on Long Island Sound- a perfect “mill pond”.  Great for powerboaters, fishermen and wakeboarders.  Not so hot for a fleet of offshore racers hoping to sail the Riverside YC’s 85th annual running of the Stratford Shoals Race.  The attrition rate was so high, that is had to be a record number of DNF’s as teams simply dropped out due to little or no wind on the Sound.  Nevertheless, some boats persevered in the mind-searing conditions to collect their silverware come hell or flat water!

Starting with the J/105 one-design division, there was only one finisher in the fleet, with George & Alex Wilbanks’ crew on REVELATION taking the class title by default- just for finishing!

The scenario was true for the rest of the divisions sailing PHRF handicap.  In the PHRF Double-handed division, Chris Hall’s J/122 WILY SILVER FOX grabbed the silverware for second place.  And, that was about it for J/teams!  Over a dozen J/crews took the DNF and headed home.  For more Stratford Shoal Race sailing information

J/22 sailing off AnnapolisThrilla’Minute Eastport One-Design Classic
(Eastport, MD)- While many of their friends were drifting around Long Island Sound, ironically, the Chesapeake Bay sailors enjoyed good racing all weekend and were able to sail four races in each one-design division of J/22s and J/70s.  Kudos to the host, Eastport YC, for persisting each day to provide fun racing over the weekend.

Winning the J/70 division was Jennifer Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY from Annapolis YC with a consistent 3-2-1-2 record for 8 pts.  Hoping to reel her team back in was Peter Firey’s PHOENX from Annapolis YC, but they could only manage a 1-4-2-3 for 10 pts to secure second.  Third was Todd Jenner’s AYC crew on TEA DANCE SNAKE with a 2-5-4-1 tally for 12 pts.

A cast of characters appeared to have a go at around-the-cans racing in the J/22 fleets.  Starting from the post position in first and never looking back after the racing was over was Eastport YC’s Chris Gaffney on COMMITTED- indeed, they were committed to getting just 1st places!  Second place went to Annapolis YC’s Gunnar Gode on his mighty steed- USA 977- with a 2-5-2 record for 9 pts.  Third was taken by Trevor Perkins from Severn Sailing Association on SLOW SHOW, posting a 4-3-4 for 11 pts total.  For more Eastport YC One-Design Classic sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
*  To Bermuda or Bust!  The story of how the J/160 PIPE DREAM, Scott Piper’s magnificent cruising yacht that hails from Coconut Grove, Florida, managed to hang out in New York City for yet another day and have even more fun (or more angst) before heading off across the wild blue Atlantic Ocean to that little gem in the middle of it all- Bermuda.  Here is their story:

“Subject: Pipe Dream Bermuda
Date: June 24, 2016 at 6:52:21 PM PDT

Our decision to delay our departure from New York City by one day was based on a nasty weather report. This was a very last minute decision.  With the last day in New York suddenly free, we got tickets to the Broadway Show "Aladdin". The show was wonderful.

Mary made it very clear she wanted New York pizza, saying there is nothing like it anywhere else. My nieces, who live in New York, recommended "John's Pizza” only three blocks from the theater. I have a hard time walking any distance, so Mary, LLoyd and I took a "bicycle taxi".   Lee, Kelly and Lee's husband Andrew contacted us and they joined us. All worked out very well-- lovely girls.

We didn't get back to the boat till 9:30 PM by Uber. We left the dock early the next morning. We went to Liberty Landing Harbor to top off on fuel. The Clipper ships were there, which was fun to look at. The Clipper ships are a group of identical boats that sail around the world  and amateur adventurers can do some of it or all of it for $1.00 a mile.

We sailed by the Statue of Liberty, Staten Island and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, then into the open Atlantic on Monday. The first day was easy, but by nightfall the wind was building.

To make a long story short, the next two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, were awful. The wind was ahead of the beam and the baseline wind speed was 35 kts, with gusts up to 39 kts! This should not present a problem for the 53 ft Pipe Dream and, in reality, it didn't. We were always safe and nothing broke, and we were going fast.

On the negative side, the seas and the Gulf Stream were confused and large, and hit us from different directions. White water frequently rolled over the boat, even filling the cockpit sometimes. It felt like being in a giant washing machine. This resulted in sudden exaggerated motions making any movement in the boat a gymnastic exercise.

Three of our five man crew "fed the fish" and I'm not naming names, but none were Pipers.  It was saltine crackers only for everyone.

After two days of misery, we got out of the Gulf Stream and things gradually improved. Indeed, the last half day was a lovely sail into Bermuda. We cleared customs at 11:30 PM and anchored in calm water harbor for the night. It would have been perfect except everything onboard was soaking wet including sheets and mattresses.

Today, June 24, 2016 we spent the morning drying the boat out. Oh yes, on our last day motor sailing in, something hit our prop causing significant vibration of the boat. So, Jason dived and found a huge piece of shredded synthetic fiber surrounding the prop. Amazing the prop worked at all.

Anxious to get to a dock and do laundry, we motored from St. Georges to Hamilton. Here we are Med moored at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club with the entire race fleet for the Newport to Bermuda Race.

There were awards and a big party tonight sponsored by Gosling Black Seal Rum, and was open to the public. There were two bands, food and a thousand people walking the docks sightseeing. We had Dark’n’Stormies and ate, but were too tired to stay and party. Sally Browne flys in tomorrow night. The America's Cup boats  are doing speed trials tomorrow so we will go out to watch them. The day after that, our CCA Cruise starts, which is what brought us here in the first place! More later!”

* Giving Back to the Sport You Love.  Juniors Learn Big Boat Safety and Skills with the help of J/Boats owners in the Chesapeake Bay.

As the first week of summer program sailing started throughout the region, 18 students from throughout the Chesapeake and as far away as New York came to Annapolis YC to learn about Big Boat safety and skills at the Junior Safety at Sea Seminar, conducted by members of the Chesapeake Station of the Storm Trysail Club.

This program, started in 2002 by the Storm Trysail Foundation in memory of Jamie Boeckel, is pledged to educate junior sailors on the proper methods and equipment used for efficient and safe big boat and offshore sailing.

The day’s introductory remarks by noted yachting journalist Angus Phillips included fresh news of how a junior crew on board the 41-foot High Noon crossed the finish line in the 635-mile Newport-Bermuda Race as the second-fastest monohull behind the massive 100-foot Comanche. This was quite a feat, and worthy to note that these juniors were also trained in the Storm Trysail program.

A morning of class room training on principles conducted by Dobbs Davis was followed by hands-on dockside demonstrations led by Peter Sarelas on fire extinguisher and flare use, as well as inflation of a full-size life raft. Crews were then formed to adjourn to four boats for an afternoon of practical training on three J/105’s – Art Libby’s DOG HOUSE, Pen Alexander’s MORE COWBELLS, and Angelo Guarino’s CRESCENDO – as well as Jim Praley’s J/120 SHINNECOCK.

On board instruction on boat and sail handling, as well as practicing Crew Overboard drills, were led by coaches Pete Carrico, Brad Cole, Woody Brumfield, Art Libby, Andy Hughes, Angus Phillips, Elliott Oldak, and Ross Dierdorff. After two hours of sailing and training, the four teams raced on a simple one-lap course that had to include performing a Crew Overboard drill before finishing...More Cowbell won both races.

After returning to the dock and over pizza served at the debrief, each team elected their own ‘most-improved’ crew member to receive a hardcover edition of Jim Kilroy’s KIALOA US-1: Dare to Win, in Business, in Sailing, in Life, courtesy of Trice Kilroy and the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

Another interesting note from the debrief: when asked what was the most important principle among several taught this day, the most common answer was communication and its importance at building team work. Coming from this group of Opti, Laser and 420 sailors, this bodes well for the future of big boat sailing.   For more information on Junior Safety at Sea seminars... click here.

Sailing J/22s with friends* Giving back to the sport of sailing we love!  War veterans of all stripes all around the world in the Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force face countless struggles in life.  Sailing provides an amazing platform for “team building”, “team recognition”, “love & friendship”.  In the UK, there are examples like the RAF Benevolent Fund Sailing Program- its most visible programs being the J/109 and J/70 programs- like Simon Ling’s J/70 RAF SPITFIRE program.  Or, the J/111 BRITISH SOLDIER program. Then, there are great Police and Navy programs in Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, France, Italy, Spain and Germany, to name a few, that are sailing on J/24, J/80s and J/105s.  Have you ever visited Antarctica via Porto Williams, Chile or Ushuaia, Argentina?  Chances are your “safety officers” and “coast guard” are none other than Chilean/ Argentinean navy officers that have trained in J/24s as part of learning “the sea”!!

In the USA, there are a number of such programs, including the Warrior Sailing Program and others.  Here is another one to consider. . .

Veterans find camaraderie at Annapolis Sailing Clinic— When Marine Corps veteran Hector Cardona heard about a sailing clinic designed to assist veterans as they transition to civilian life, he said he couldn’t sign up quickly enough, even though he had never sailed.

Cardona was among eight veterans, transitioning service members and wounded warriors who participated in the nonprofit Valhalla Sailing Project’s first two-day clinic to teach veterans the fundamentals of sailing and racing, held on the Chesapeake Bay here June 25-26.

“I’ve lost a lot of friends to suicide,” Cardona said, explaining that he came to the sailing clinic in his quest to find activities veterans can learn to do together.

It’s difficult for veterans to re-enter the civilian sector when the one relationship they crave is missing: the brotherhood of their battle buddies, said Marine Corps combat veteran Mike Wood, Valhalla’s executive director.

Valhalla assists military veterans by filling the need for a squad atmosphere through formations of four-person crews to sail and race as teams, Wood said, noting the organization is operated by combat veterans who are sailboat racers.

Wood said he believes the veteran suicide rate is a reflection of that missing squad system. “We hope to get them back in a core group,” he said of Valhalla’s goal to put veterans in the integrated teamwork and social atmosphere of sailing.

Learning to sail and race as a crew member, Wood said, prompts similar emotions service members experience as members of the military’s brotherhood in arms. “You rely on each other [in battle],” he said. “With sailing, everyone has a job … and you have to know everyone’s job if you have to step in as needed. And you learn to excel.”

And as with military missions, sailing success is based on communication and being able to predict each crew member’s actions to “execute the job successfully, which almost mirrors a squad,” he said.

“It also gives them names in their Rolodex to call” when something in life goes awry, Wood added. The organization, he said, is developing crews to keep veterans together to build the core structure and camaraderie they’re so used to relying upon.

As new members are introduced to the clinic, Wood said, the veteran-sailor crews will mentor the new recruits. Sailing is a year-round activity, and racing begins in the fall when the wind picks up, he added.

“With repetition come the pursuit of perfection,” Wood said. “Service members are dialed into perfection. They figure out what went wrong and fix the problem for the next mission.”

Cardona said he related to feeling alone without his squad, and he, too, emphasized the importance of “knowing your role so you do it automatically and successfully.”

After a brief introductory classroom session, the veterans gathered into two groups of four-person crews, and with an instructor on both sailboats, all eight veterans -- experienced or not -- took the helm while their new crewmates fell into position and assumed other duties in first morning session.

Following a barbecue social with 30 volunteers and Valhalla staff, the crews gathered for more class instruction and were back on the water, honing skills quickly.

“By the end of the clinic, it was like these vets have been sailing together for years,” Wood said in a Facebook post. “The bonding, camaraderie and skill they displayed was astounding. To top it off, some of the vets have secured spots on race boats in Annapolis!”  Wood said he was proud of what the veterans accomplished in just two days.

“And, I am beyond excited to hear that they all want to continue building their skills and become one of the premier racing crews in the area,” he added.   Thanks for the contribution from Terri Moon Cronk

Paul Heys on J/Boats in the United Kingdom and future sailing development* With the fleet waiting for breeze ashore for the last day of the Landsail Tyres J-Cup 2016 in the Hamble River, hanging out at Royal Southampton YC, Key Yachting's Paul Heys gave an update from the regatta and the J/Boat scene in the United Kingdom.   Paul offers a good perspective on how the sport of sailing and J/Boats, in particular, are evolving into the “new” United Kingdom offshore of Europe.  Watch this saiiling interview on Facebook 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

J/Newsletter- June 22nd, 2016

J/80 Worlds- Sotogrande, SpainJ/80 World Championship Preview
(Sotogrande, Spain)- The first J/80 teams started to arrive in Marina Sotogrande during last month’s RC-44 World Championship.  In fact, several of the J/80 sailors were also sailing the RC-44s before their preparation for participating in this year’s J/80 World Championship that will be running from June 25th to July 2nd.  All that time offshore of Club Nautico Bevelle’s beautiful facilities may pay off for some teams; many of them have been training for weeks in the waters of Barcelona to learn as much as possible about the wind and currents.

Fifty-seven teams are entered from six countries (Spain, Norway, Great Britain, Italy, France, Russia). The CNB PRO plans for up to fifteen races in a windward-leeward format over the five days of competition.

Spain's Sotogrande MarinaNot surprisingly, the largest group will be fielded by the host nation- Spain- with thirty-nine teams from across their half-dozen fleets.  They will have most of their past World Champions hoping to duplicate past success yet again versus some of the world’s top one-design keelboat sailors.  Amongst that rarified group are NAUTICA WATCHES (Jose Maria van der Ploeg), BRIBON MOVISTAR (Marc de Antonio), HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA (Rayco Tabares Alvarez), OXITAL (Jose Maria “Pichu” Torcida), HM HOTELS (Javier Chacartegui), and MOVISTAR (Iker Martinez).  It is significant the Martinez Brothers are jumping back into the class and campaigning for another World Championship title; amongst their other accomplishments were nearly winning the Volvo Ocean Race on TELEFONICA and are Olympic Medallists in the 49er Class and also 49er World Champions.  Collectively, this group of talented sailors would be the envy of any national Olympic team selection committee around the world!

While the Spanish crews will be fighting huge battles for the honor of being the top Spanish sailor in 2016 on the J/80 World’s stage, the visiting foreign contingent are just as capable of sailing at the top of the leaderboard.  Leading French teams that have been sailing all spring will certainly create havoc at the top of the fleet, they include COURRIER JUNIOR (Eric Brezellec), GAN’JA (Luc Nadal), and ARMEN HABITAT (Simon Moriceau)- all winners of major J/80 regattas in France over the years and have placed on the leaderboard in past J/80 Worlds.  The same can be said for the United Kingdom crews like BETTY (Jon Powell) and AQUA J (Terence O’Neil)- both winners in UK and European waters over time, perhaps this year they will surprise everyone!  Finally, Italy’s JENIALE EUROSYSTEM (Massimo Rama) and Russia’s Alexey Semenov on RUS 1154 from Royal St Petersburg YC have participated in numerous J/80 events this past spring in preparation for the Worlds and expect to enjoy competitive racing!  For more J/80 World Championship sailing information

J/120s sailing Long BeachLong Beach Race Week Preview
(Long Beach, CA) – There are many reasons Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) is the “best in the west” each year; this sailing season opener draws racers from San Diego to San Francisco (and even a few renegades from as far as Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Seattle) for three days of hot racing, cool parties, and warm hospitality.

This year’s LBRW, running from June 24th to 26th to 26, 2016, will be no exception, as roughly 150 entrants compete in windward-leeward or random leg courses, in both one-design and PHRF classes, on lively ocean and outer harbor courses.

Now in its third decade, the popular LBRW counts toward the Southern California High Point Series for J/70, J/80, J/105, J/109 and J/120 fleets. Plus, racers vie for the Satariano Boat of the Week and PHRF Boat of the Week; Kent Golison Family Trophy; Travel Trophy; and coveted Yacht Club Challenge.

J/70s sailing Long BeachThe social side of the event is shared by the two leading clubs in Long Beach.  For starters, Friday’s classic Alamitos Bay Yacht Club After-Race Party features a live band, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and no-host bar!  Then, there is Saturday’s legendary Mt Gay Rum After-Race Party at Long Beach Yacht Club, also featuring a live band, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and no-host bar.  If that was not enough opportunity for socializing with family and friends, there is always Sunday’s prize-giving, with more free food and no-host bar!! YowZAH!!  Plus, new this year is the “Buzz Bar” catered coffee bistro, hosted by US Sailing; and a pre-regatta Welcome Party at “Boathouse-on-the-Bay on Thursday night. Race all day, party all night!  For four days?  By Sunday, it is likely many at the Buzz Bar will be contemplating taking a vacation from their LBRW sailing weekend!

Initial forecasts are for a hot weekend, with temperatures into the 80s and idyllic 10-knot breezes.  In fact, there are “heat warnings” forecast just inland; a good thing for sailors since the hot air rises fast and creates nice cool 10-15 kt sea breezes along the coast.

J/70 Bruce Golison sailing Long BeachBruce Golison won the Overall LBRW title last year, and returns as defending champion aboard MIDLIFE CRISIS in the larger-than-ever J/70 fleet with twenty-five boats!  Joining Bruce for some fun & frolic on the rolling Pacific Ocean swells are an amazing assembly of West Coast sailing talent, such as Bruce Cooper/ Shawn Bennet’s USA 32, Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER, Justin Kromelow’s LOOSE LUCY, Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT, Craig Tallman’s JAYA, Tracy & Kristy Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN, Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT, Chris Raab/ Dale Williams’ SUGOI, Scott Deardorff’s CAKE, Chris Snow/ John Bridgen’s COOL STORY BRO, and Pat Toole’s MONKEY HOUSE.  Facing this seriously fast crowd will be Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT team from Wayzata, Minnesota.

The J/120 SoCal fleet is showing up in full force and the crews on the seven boats will most assuredly have a good time!  Most of the headliners from the past will be hoping to make their mark again this coming weekend.  Legendary match-ups in this class include John Laun’s CAPER and Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER, plus John Snook’s JIM and Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY.  ADIOS (Peter Bretschger), PRIVATE RESIDENCE (Rich Festa) and HASL FREE (Rudolph Hasl) will be doing their best to upset everyone else’s apple cart along the way!

In addition to the two one-design fleets, there will be intense PHRF racing on both windward/leeward and random leg courses.  In PHRF Random Leg A division, Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER will be up against seriously big boats like SC 52s and SC 70s.  In PHRF Sportboat division is Scott McDaniel’s J/105 OFF THE PORCH and Curt Johnson’s champion crew on the J/80 AVET.

In the ten boat PHRF A division that will be sailing W/L courses are two J/111s- Glen Griley’s STAMPEDE and Doug Jorgensen’s PICOSA- and Tim Harmon’s J/124 CIRRUS.  Then, PHRF B will have to contend with a quartet of bloodthirsty J/109s that include past multiple LBRW winners Tom Brott on ELECTRA, Steve Carter’s GERONIMO, Heinz Butner’s RAPTOR, and Peter Nelson’s SPRAY.  A very well-sailed J/35 will be joining the fun for J/team dominance- David Boatner’s RIVAL from Ventura YC.  Sailing photo credits-  For more Long Beach Race Week sailing information

J/70 sailing leagueJ/70 Sailing Leagues- June 24-26
(Hamburg, Germany)- For the third week of June, post Summer Solstice, the J/70s wil be sailing in such exotic locations at St Petersburg, Oslo and the Swiss Alps.  The sailors hope to enjoy gorgeous moonlit evenings and good breezes all weekend.  Those events include the follow sites:

J/70 sailing league actionTen Nations Start International Sailing League Association
(Hamburg, Germany)- The SAILING Champions League and official representatives of the national sailing leagues met in Hamburg on the 17th of June to establish the International Sailing League Association. All participants agreed on the standardization of the rulebook for international league sailing.

Ten representatives established the “International Sailing League Association” (ISLA) in Hamburg today and elected the Board represented by Peter Wolsing (Denmark), Edward Russo (France) and Roberto Emanuele de Felice (Italy).

“This development is the logical consequence of the growing international league family,” said Oliver Schwall, founder and creator of the German Sailing League (Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga). “We are creating stable structures, a clear rulebook and represent all interests to lead international sailing leagues into a successful future”.

International Sailing League Association Board membersLeague sailing has become incredibly popular in the past three years. More than 16 nations have committed to the league format already; more than 300 clubs are involved and more than 2,000 sailors are fighting for the title of the “best sailing club” in over 80 league events each year. The best clubs per country qualify for the SAILING Champions League that will take place in two acts; one in St. Petersburg, the other in Porto Cervo in 2016- both are hosted in matched one-design J/70 class sailboats.

“The new format of league sailing has been one of the biggest innovations in sailing for a long time and that is why the ISLA was needed“, said Peter Wolsing, head of the Danish Sailing League.

Rob Franken from the Dutch Sailing League said: “League sailing has the potential to change the sailing world: Easy to understand, one common playground offering huge media potential. The foundation of the ISLA gives this great format the necessary momentum to grow and inspire more clubs, countries and sailors in the world.“

Roberto Emanuele de Felice, President of the Italian Sailing League: “We are proud and honored that the idea of league sailing resulted in so much enthusiasm. In 2016, there will be more than 16 nations with fully established national sailing leagues. We are very happy about the foundation of the ISLA. It is time to move forward and let the format grow.”

After careful consideration, the ISLA will be a registered association in Hamburg according to German law. With membership in the “International Sailing League Association”, all national league organizations commit to the framework and thus ensure their eligibility for the qualification for the SAILING Champions League. Konzeptwerft Holding GmbH from Hamburg, the originator of the innovative sailing league format continues to hold all rights to the SAILING Champions League.  For more information on the ISLA & SAILING Champions League

German J/70 Junior Sailing LeagueJunior Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga Announced!
Segel-Club Munster Juniors Win Inaugural Event
(Sorpesee, Germany)- Germany is a pioneer in sailing and invented the idea of league sailing four years ago. Because the concept has become attractive to so many enthusiastic followers, the format has now been extended to younger sailors. The "Deutsche Junioren Segel-Lega" (DJSL) was born in June; the young crews will also get to enjoy great fun sailing on the DSBL matched-fleet of J/70 class sailboats this summer!

Last weekend the kick-off event started successfully on Sorpesee Lake in the middle of Germany, hosted by Segel-Club Sorpesee-Iserlohn (SCSI). Ten teams with sailors aged between 12 and 21 years had 20 tough races. It was a perfectly organized event that generated a lot of excitement amongst the competitors and spectators. At the end, it was Segel-Club Munster that won over YC Lister am Biggesee in second and Segler-Clu Dummer in third.

German J/70 Junior sailing league actionThe euphoria surrounding the new Junior Sailing League was palpable, with dozens of spectators cheering the kids on at every start and every mark-rounding.  Forty-five youth sailors participated over the weekend, each team sailing a total of ten races.

"It was a great atmosphere. Sailors, guests, club members and all participants were enthusiastic. We had a lot of luck sailing in front of our club- Sorpesee-Iserlohn. The whole game was visible from the waterfront and we were able to see the sailing at close quarters. Without the substantial support of the Heinz Nixdorf Association for the promotion of sailing this event would not have been possible," said Rüdiger Margale, DJSL Coordinator.

The next event for the DJSL is the kick-off event in Warnemünde- July 2nd to 4th. This is followed by an event in the northern region from 23rd to 25th September in Travemunde.  The East Region is planning their event on August 27th to 28th on the Wansee.  Dates for the Southern Region are still pending. The grand finale takes place on the Alster Lake in Hamburg starting October 30th.  The DJSL finale will be comprised of six teams: the top two teams in the kick-off event in Warnemünde and the four winners of the regional regattas. We look forward to more exciting events of the German Junior Sailing League!  For more Deutsche Junior Segel-Lega sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

It was yet another busy sailing week in June around the blue-green marble known as Earth.  Perhaps the sailors in England were wondering if they should “stay or should I go” (a famous CLASH tune)?  The referendum confronting the United Kingdom was of some passing interest to some sailors, others could care less- though many wondered why un-elected, un-accountable EuroCrats in Brussels were regulating some of their sailing stuff in British sovereign waters?  You mean, if I take a pee off my boat I can be penalized 1,000 EUR by a Brussels EuroCrat for polluting “European waters”??  Time will tell.

As for British sailing activities that were notable, you cannot discount the simply extraordinary adventure of participating in an event that would enable you to race/sail to a Scottish islet called St Kilda.  Legends abound, but check out the report to one of the UK’s most remote outposts on Western Civilization- the St Kilda Challenge and the experiences from a “local” J/122 crew.  Taking place in the middle of the Mediterranean was the YC Costa Smeralda J/70 International Team Racing Challenge- a 2-on-2 team racing format that pitted three European teams against three American teams.  Also taking place were a number of European J/70 sailing league events in Juelsminde, Denmark; Kreuzlingen, Switzerland; Sandefjord, Norway.

In the Americas, action was hot and heavy everywhere and, particularly, along the eastern seaboard.  For starters, it was the 50th anniversary of the eponymous Storm Trysail Club Newport to Bermuda Race.  Though not a record entry, only 130-odd boats made the trek, it was notable that not ONE Gibbs Hill Lighthouse entry (just professional sailors) sailed the race and the other was the amazing performance by several J/Teams! Moving to the Midwest, three significant events took place; the J/111 North American Championship in Chicago, IL and hosted by the Chicago YC.  Simultaneously, the HELLY HANSEN Chicago NOOD Regatta for one-design classes of J/70s, J/105s, J/109s, J/88s and PHRF for J/111, J/133, J/35, J/130.  Then, just about next door to the east on Lake Erie, the Edgewater YC hosted the first part of their Cleveland Race Week for one-design classes of J/22s, J/24s, and J/70s.  On the “left coast”, the Pacific Northwest experienced the next incarnation of their Ballard Cup Series II hosted by Sloop Tavern YC in Seattle with J/24, J/80, J/29, J/30, J/35, J/35c, J/120 teams on the start line.  Also, taking place was the Three Buoy Fiasco hosted by  Sloop Tavern YC for J/133, j/24, J/100, J/109, J/105, J/80, J/30 crews.

Recognizing that it is “Mid-Summer” in the north and “Mid-Winter” in the south, J/24s in Australia were determined to sail all year!  Featured this past weekend was the J/24 Wet Tech Rigging Cronulla J/24 Short Course Regatta in Sydney, Australia.

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:

Jun 25-Jul 1- J/80 World Championship- Sotogrande, Spain
Jun 21-26- J/70 Europeans- Kiel, Germany
Jun 24-26- Kieler Woche- Kiel, Germany
Jun 24-26- Long Beach Race Week- Long Beach, CA
Jun 24-26- Russia J/70 Sailing League- St Petersburg, Russia
Jun 24-26- Norway J/70 Sailing League- Oslo, Norway
Jun 24-26- Swiss J/70 Sailing League- Romanshorn, Switzerland
Jun 25-Jul 1- J/80 World Championship- Sotogrande, Spain
Jul 16-18- J/111 European Championship- Hamble, England
Aug 1-4- J/111 World Championship- Cowes, England

J/70 Events:
Jul 22-24- J/70 Great Lakes Championship– Youngstown, NY
Jul 22-24- J/70 Pacific Coast Championship- San Francisco, CA
Sep 15-18- J/70 Rolex Big Boat Series/ Pre-Worlds- San Francisco, CA
Sep 24-Oct 1- J/70 World Championship- San Francisco, CA

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

J/111 sailing North AmericansKASHMIR Crowned J/111 N.A. Champion
(Chicago, IL)- The J/111 North American Championship, hosted by Chicago Yacht Club in Illinois in conjunction with the HELLY HANSEN NOOD Regatta, got underway Thursday in NNE winds of 10-15 knots, allowing two races to be completed. Recording a 3-1 for the day, Bill Smith’s WOOTON gained a two-point lead over Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE, with Richard Witzel’s ROWDY another notch back in third.

The fifteen J/111 teams got a jump on their fellow Helly Hansen Chicago NOOD entrants, as the North American Championship began a day earlier than the remainder of the fleets. After a postponement, Bradley Faber’s UTAH took line honors in the opening contest, with Greenwald and Smith hot on his heels. Smith’s bullet in the next battle gave him the day’s overall edge, as Witzel and Kevin Saedi’s MOMENTUS cracked the top three. That is how the third J/111 NA’s started.  From there on end, the players in the regatta had rather extraordinary scenarios confront them over the next three days.

J/111s sailing Chicago North AmericansFor the second day, the teams experienced a postponement that permitted the CYC PRO to run three more races on the Belmont Station course offshore of the cribs.  The conditions on Thursday were essentially duplicated on Friday.  Northerlies produced significant chop and “backwash” off the all steel/concrete Chicago waterfront, notorious conditions that produce near-impossible steering conditions for some skippers on the upwind legs.  Imagine a “washing machine”, then try to steer straight— that only begins the exasperation for both drivers and sail-trimmers.  After the second day, three more races on a spectacular sunny day continued to see Bill Smith’s WOOTON crew in the lead after accumulating a 2-4-4 to head home with just 14 pts after five races.  Climbing quickly up the ladder after a 1-3-2 into the second position were the KASHMIR trio (Brummel/ Henderson/ Mayer) for 17 pts total.  Third at the close of the day was Rob Ruhlman’s Cleveland, Ohio team on SPACEMAN SPIFF with a 3-1-1 record (winners on the day) to close with 19 pts total.

Bill Smith- owner of J/111 WootonSaturday morning dawned with hardly a whisper of wind and an onshore postponement that lasted until 11:30am.  At that point, the J/111 fleet had found out that one of their own had passed away overnight- the current regatta leader Bill Smith, the skipper/ owner of WOOTON.  Sadly, as crew of each team passed along their condolences to the WOOTON team members, they all slowly made their way out to the race course.  Perhaps fittingly, the wind never arose enough to start any races and respects were paid by many to the Smith family and the crew later at the docks as the day wound down- a “last race” was performed by the WOOTON crew on the water to commemorate their lost crewmate, with the finish punctuated by horns and teams clapping at the finish.

Sunday morning dawned with the potential for classic racing off Chicago.  The wind flowed in somewhat lazily from the southeast and, ultimately, developed into a nice breeze from the ESE at 7-12 kts.  After two races and two bullets, it was the KASHMIR crew from Chicago YC that won the regatta with just 18 pts.  Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE sailed well to grab two 2nds and take the silver in his first J/111 NA’s.  Third was Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF with 29 pts.  Rounding out the top five was Brad Faber’s J/111 Spaceman Spiff with Wooton spinnakerUTAH with 40 pts and fifth was Smith’s WOOTON with 46 pts, even accounting for two DNC’s (the crew did not sail that last day in honor of their owner).

In fact, Smith’s crew took WOOTON out to spectate on Sunday, when their friends on SPACEMAN SPIFF (the Ruhlman family) hoisted Smith’s spinnaker on the final run in a tribute to Smith- a much beloved character in the J/111 fleet. Smith was a self-made man who started as a carpenter and loved Chicago; he ended his life as a highly respected developer and project builder after a career the Chicago Tribune called ‘a towering achievement.’   Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/  For more J/111 North American Championship sailing information

J/44 sailing to BermudaJ/Teams Lead Bermuda Race!
J/Cruisers Sweep Class 5! J/46 Crushes Giants!
(Newport RI)– Despite the foreboding weather forecasts, virtually every J/Crew registered for the Newport Bermuda Race went sailing, confident their fast and seaworthy boats would make the most of whatever Mother Nature threw at them.  As it turned out, the forecasts were nowhere close to being accurate, with many boats reporting winds that never exceeded 25 kts, even in minor squalls crossing the notoriously fickle and monstrously choppy Gulf Stream.  In fact, because of an unusual high pressure ridge, the one that the superyacht COMANCHE blew through to establish a new race record of 35+ hours, the 130-odd teams that ventured forth into the unknown had a basic choice- breeze or current.  The divergent strategies meant the overall outcome quickly became a “two-track” race; those who stayed close to rhumbline and east of the fleet, or those who strayed way west and lost out on a lot of breeze.  You can see the results of those choices by re-running the race on Yellow Brick Tracker here-

Storm Trysail- AJ Evans on J/44 VampThe Storm Trysail Club Chair for the Bermuda Race, AJ Evans, was sailing aboard Len Sitar’s beautiful J/44 VAMP.  His commentary on Tuesday was, “we had a spectacular evening of sailing here on a gentle sea with a decent breeze under a full moon and stars. Nights like these sell the next race.  A most excellent sail so far, especially this year. Following last night, it’s been a typically beautiful morning with sun and those puffy soft yellow/purple/gray clouds dancing across the skies, breeze just a gentle 10-15kts from the WSW.  Sure glad we went for it!”

This year’s Newport Bermuda Race was the 50th running of the biennial offshore race and had one of the largest entry lists it had seen in history.  However, over 50 boats dropped out before the start, including all the “hot boats” in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division- like Maxi 72s, TP 52s, Ker 47s, etc- in fact there was no award since nobody sailed- a first for the race!!  Imagine that, now that’s a serious footnote to consider, isn’t it?!  Presumably, the owners felt their boats may not be seaworthy enough to sail through a gale!??

The action started on-time at 3:00PM EDT Friday, June 17 from Newport, Rhode Island. The 635nm adventure “is not a race for novices,” that is certain.  The race demands good seamanship, great care, and a boat that is both well-built and properly equipped. To that end, most of the J/Teams sailed with confidence, sailed fast and were top contenders in many classes!

Most noteworthy was the complete sweep of SDL Class 5 by three J/Teams.  Winning was the J/37 CARINA skippered by Will Passano from Gibson Island Yacht Squadron; winning by just 5 minutes on corrected time over Eliot Merrill’s J/42 FINESSE.  Taking third was yet another J/42- Roger Gatewood’s SHAZAAM from Davis Island YC about an hour further back on corrected. While most of this class virtually all went due south, west of rhumb for the first 48 hours, it was CARINA and SHAZAAM that stayed much further east along the rhumbline, with SHAZAAM hanging furthest east.

The only “one-design” division in the entire event was the J/120s in SDL Class 6.  Needless to say, as a class, they all pushed each other quite hard and there were few “strays” on the race course.  Seemingly, all six boats that raced (out of the nine originally registered) were all strung out on a rope, virtually tied together, for the first half of the race.  At that point on Monday 1400 hrs, Stephen Besse’s APRES from Vineyard Haven YC was leading with Jim Chen’s CHAOTIC FLUX running neck-and-neck with them down the race course, Greg Leonard’s HERON just astern.  Sitting in the “cheap seats” were VAMOOSE, HERON and DEVIATION.  However, the next 24 hours must have produced a lot of drama and consternation for the various J/120 navigators.  Either no one believed their “grib” downloads, or they weren’t getting them. In either case, Richard Born’s WINDBORN from Annapolis YC and Canadian Stu McCrea’s DEVIATION from Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron made a significant gamble (“calculated risk”) and headed much further east, across rhumb relative to the rest of the fleet.  Ultimately, it was a brilliant move in their 635nm chess match.  Both boats closed rapidly on the race leader APRES, moving DEVIATION and WINDBORN into 2nd and 3rd, respectively just 50nm from the finish.  Then, it was “game-on” all over again Tuesday at 1530 hrs as the fleet experienced a big windshift from the SSE and all bets were off as the boats started beating to windward for several hours.  APRES anticipated the change nicely and became windward boat while HERON slid back into second place astern and to leeward. By Tuesday midnight the breeze had swung quickly into the SW, so it was a quick fetch into the finish for the westward boats.  APRES won her class, followed by HERON in second. However, behind them there was a wholesale re-ordering of positions again, with Bob Manchester’s VAMOOSE roaring in from the west on power beat/tight reach while others caught east of rhumb (DEVIATION, CHAOTIC FLUX, WINDBORN) got caught outside on the shift and having to tack to make the finish!

The three J/122s had strikingly diverse strategies for the race in SDL Class 7.  For the first 24 hours into Saturday evening, John Gregg’s TARAHUMARA from Corinthian YC inn Boston, MA simply took off from the start and doggedly headed south and west from the rhumb.  Dan Heun’s MOXIEE took a left turn instead and held east of rhumb until late Saturday.  Then, Jim Shachoy’s AUGUST WEST started just left of rhumb then slowly meandered back just west of rhumb, leading the entire class boat-for-boat at that point.  From Saturday night to Sunday midday, the “wheels fell off that shopping trolley” fast, like lightning quick!  TARAHUMARA persevered on staying west.  After moments of indecision, MOXIEE made a radical move back west and surely regretted that move from that point forward.  AUGUST WEST was flipping and flopping just west of rhumb but never made the winning move back east that so many other boats had done in other classes.  As a result, both the F40 ZOE and the F44.7 VALKYRIE headed much further east of the J/122s, and flew down rhumbline to beat their class.  Consequently, Shachoy’s AUGUST WEST settled for 4th in class and MOXIEE 8th and TARAHUMARA 9th.

Again, it was a tale of two cities in SDL Class 8 for the one-design fleet of J/44s and the lone J/111.  However, in this case it turned into group suicide by most everyone in the class; virtually every boat except, that is, for Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX.  After taking a southerly routing after the start, just about the entire class was well west of rhumb.  The first boat to make a break for it to the east was the F395 OLD SCHOOL, around 24 hours into the race on Saturday evening.  At the time, KENAI was leading the class boat-for-boat.  However, 24 hours later the OLD SCHOOL crew had sailed much farther east but were still around 30nm west of rhumb, but steering directly at Bermuda at 145 deg and built an unassailable 90nm lead over the class!  Meanwhile, KENAI made a prophetic move east themselves, first 30nm, then 50nm, further east than their colleagues.  For this class, virtually everyone that stayed west of rhumb got hammered overall.  However, relative to one another, you could just about assign your place in class based on how far west you were of rhumbline between 24-48 hours into the race.  Lewis’ KENIA took second followed by Len Sitar’s VAMP in 4th, Dan Kitchens’ J/111 SKULL CRACKER from Chicago YC in 8th and the Noahs (Shanghai) Sailing Club on SPIRIT OF NOAHS in 9th place.

The J/133s acquitted themselves in SDL Class 9 after starting off on the wrong foot, like the stories above- headed more south and west than their class.  Both Mike & Dale Mcivor’s MATADOR from Pequot YC and the Nova Scotians, Ray & Andrea Rhinelander’s BELLA J, clawed there way back into contention for their class and it took until late Tuesday afternoon where they were able to play the new southwesterly correctly to take 3rd and 5th in class, respectively.  Like a bad movie for those navigators caught on the wrong side of the coin flip, the class winner, the XP44 WARRIOR WON, split from their class on Saturday morning and from 8:30am to 11:30am sailed at right angles, literally, to the rhumbline course to Bermuda.  Prior to that tactical move, the two J/133s were neck-and-neck for the class lead on elapsed time!  However, the move paid off big time for WARRIOR WON, sailing down rhumbline for 75% of the race and finishing 17 hours earlier than either J/133, winning the coveted St Davids Lighthouse Trophy overall. 

For Brian Prinz’s J/125 SPECTRE, the same scenario played out as it had for many other J/Teams.  The class winner HIGH NOON, sailed by the American YC Young American Junior Big Boat Sailing Team, started out on the eastern side of their class, stayed there and split further east towards rhumbline late Saturday evening and simply aimed their boat at 145 deg towards Bermuda— not deviating much at all from rhumb all the way into the finish line off St David’s Light.  Meanwhile, the J/125 SPECTRE sailed off to the south and west of rhumb and not until Monday night did they make their way into better breeze just on the west side of rhumb on Monday afternoon.  Despite that self-imposed handicap, SPECTRE still took 4th in class.

In Double-handed I Class, the class winner KIVA sailed east of the rhumbline for two/thirds of the race and hardly deviated, other than going a bit westabout in the first 48 hours in the race, crossing east over the rhumb Sunday noontime.  Taking 2nd and 3rd, respectively, were Steve Berlack’s J/42 ARROWHEAD and Hewitt Gaynor’s J/120 MIREILLE; both stayed west, sometimes way west of rhumb and paid the price.  Conversely, Sharon Winkler & Noel Sterrett’s J/130 SOLARUS sailed 15-20nm west of rhumb until halfway through the race and was leading the entire division boat-for-boat until late Monday afternoon; at that point KIVA overtook them in the stronger breezes to the east.  Unfortunately, SOLARUS got too far east coming into the finish and had to tack back to the finish line in the new sou’wester breeze to take 5th in class.

In the Cruiser Division, Brad Willauer’s J/46 BREEZING UP from Prouts Neck YC simply crushed it!  They had the winning formula right from the start, were east-most boat of their class when it mattered most in the first 24-36 hours of the race.  From there on end, it was a game of chase by giant 55 to 84 footers trying to catch the “little” J/46 leading their class boat-for-boat by a substantial margin for the first 72 hours.  The big Frers 84 finally caught them on Monday evening, then the Alden 63 by Tuesday morning.  As the smallest boat in a class of giants, it was an impressive race for the Willauer family- very experienced long-distance sailors in their own right!    For more Storm Trysail Club Newport to Bermuda Race sailing information

J/70s racing Norway sailing leagueKNS Wins Norway J/70 Sailing League Act II
(Sandefjord, Norway)- Sandefjord Sailing Association was ready and looking forward to hosting the 1st Division in the Norwegian Sailing League, racing J/70s in their beautiful fjord.  The weather forecasts promised sunshine and light winds from the north-northeast for the June 17th to 19th regatta.

Fifteen teams were sailing the second round and all were hoping they could challenge Åsgårdstrand SF, the league leader after the Oslo regatta.  The regatta’s PRO, Karl Kjørstad, was hoping to get in fifteen races in total for the teams.

Friday’s racing had the wind go through a complete 360 degrees from beginning to end of the day.  The shifty winds, coming from all sides of the race course, meant teams had to vigilant and not hit corners.  In fact, freedom to tack and play a shift was critical.  Nevertheless, Åsgårdstrand SF showed their conservative tactics led to four out of five victories to start off the series quickly in the lead.

J/70 Norway sailing league winners podiumSaturday dawned with much more stable winds and by 12 noon three flights had already been carried out.  After a very lackluster start on Saturday, Kongelig Norsk Seilforening (KNS) felt that enough was enough. It was time to make a change. “We had a little meeting aboard during the midday break when the course was reset to account for a 180 deg shift. For 90 percent of the meeting, we talked about our starts. If you win the start, you are first at the weather mark. After the talk, everything was so much better for us,” says Kristoffer Spone, the skipper for KNS.

At the end of Saturday KNS remained in second place, behind the increasingly bigger lead being created by Åsgårdstrand SF.  KNS was tied at the conclusion of Saturday’s racing with Larvik SF. Larvik SF had shown they have speed, smarts and great boat-handling in Sandefjord.

Several of the other teams had also shown they got a better grip on league sailing in general and, especially, how to sail the J/70s faster.  The volunteers from Sandefjord SF, the regatta organizers, were widely praised for their efforts on Saturday night during the evening cookout and party for the sailors.

The final day was truly epic.  Good winds, lots of racing and an enormous upset was in the making.  KNS continued to be labeled as the “comeback kids” and managed to get past Åsgårdstrand SF by just one point after winning the last race!  A tie-breaker was not good enough for KNS to win, they simply had to beat ASF by a point and they did it! Kristoffer Spone and his KNS team had to fight hard for every point!

The battle for third place was equally hard and it was the RAN Club that triumphed with yet another single point win over Larvik SF.  Fifth place went to Brevik SF.  For more Norwegian J/70 Sailing League sailing information

J/70s racing Swiss Sailing LeagueRegattaclub Bodensee Leads Swiss J/70 Sailing League Act V
(Kreuzlingen, Switzerland)- The Regatta Club Bodensee won the fifth round of the Swiss Sailing National League (first division) in Kreuzlingen, hosted by the Société Nautique Rolloise and the Regatta Club Oberhofen. With this victory, the Regatta Club Bodensee also assumes the lead in the overall leader board and is now two points ahead of the Société Nautique de Genève.

Strong westerly winds allowed seventeen races per team (34 races total) of fast and exciting sailing for the fifth round of the Swiss Sailing Super League in Kreuzlingen. The team of the Regattaclub Bodensee with Julian Flessati, Tobias Rüdlinger, Stephan Ammann and Stephan Zurfluh used their home advantage and took the victory.

Swiss J/70 Sailing League- podium winnersFor the top three teams, it was actually incredibly tight racing.  While RCB won, it was only by two points over Societe Nautique Rolloise and just three points over Regattaclub Oberhofen!  The overall lead changed several times over the weekend. The many wind shifts and gusts demanded high concentration and perfect maneuvers. A misread wind shift or bad set of the large asym spinnaker meant even more places were lost!  The crews were on edge all the time as each foot gained or lost meant 3 to 4 positions per race!

After sailing Friday and Saturday in beautiful winds and sunshine, Sunday started rainy, cloudy. The Regatta Club Bodensee (RCB) had lost its leadership role in the intermediate standings after Saturday’s racing.

Nevertheless, after a few match-racing tactics with both SNR and RCO, the RCB team closed with a 1-1-2 in the final three races to just squeak out a thrilling finish for their team.  The Oberhofen crew sailed nearly as well, closing with a 1-2-2.  However, that was not the case for the somewhat frazzled crew on SNR, the leader before the start of racing on Sunday.  SNR sailed to a 3-2-5 and nearly threw away a podium finish.  Rounding out the top five after RCB, SNR and RCO were Societe Nautique de Geneve in 4th and Yachtklub Bielersee in 5th position.  For more Swiss J/70 Sailing League information

J/70s racing Danish Sailing LeagueSønderborg Wins Danish J/70 Sailing League Act II
(Juelsminde, Denmark)- Never before it has been closer than it was in Juelsminde at the June 17-19 Danish J/70 Sailing League Division 2 event. Sønderborg Yacht Club kept their cool and won the event ahead of the Sejlklubben Sundet and the Yachtklubben Furesøen. Yachtklubben Furesøen still leads the overall leaderboard in the second division.

Five clubs were within two points of each other before the last race.  The entire outcome of the regatta, therefore, was based on “who beat who” in the third FINAL 6 race.  Sailing like a boat possessed, the Sejlklubben Sundet team posted a 2-1-2 in the finale to nearly steal the event from Sonderborg.  For their part, Sonderborg seemingly wilted under the pressure after an initial 5-4, but won the last race to clinch the win overall.

Danish J/70 sailing league winnersPerhaps the biggest “choke” of the regatta was by the previous winner's mistakes on the last day’s finale. Yachtklubben Furesøen impressed their competitors with five straight bullets in a row in the last six races before the FINAL 6 sail-off.  However, a shrimping of their gennaker in the 10-12 m/s wind totally ruined the Furesoen team’s second FINAL 6 sail-off.  So, the four young skiff sailors for YF sailed to a 3-6-3 to settle for third place.  Fourth was Silkeborg Sejlklub and fifth Struer Sejlklub. 

Since YK Furesøen won the season's first event in Lundeborg, they now lead the overall second division with 34 points - ahead of Sønderborg with 33 points and with Sejlklubben Sound and Silkeborg Yacht Club on a shared third place with 31 points.  For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information

J/70s sailing Chicago NOOD Helly Hansen RegattaJ/70 AQUAHOLIKS Wins Chicago NOOD Overall!
EXILE Tops Fast, Competitive J/88 Class!
(Chicago, IL)- Patience. Plenty of it was required over the four-day Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Chicago as wind conditions varied from fresh to frustrating and wind shifts swung unpredictably from the lakeshore to offshore. But those who kept their composure during long morning postponements were rewarded with challenging races in the end.

Irrespective of the outcome for each of the 163 teams sailing in the regatta, it was a beautiful weekend to be on the cooler Lake Michigan waters, looking westward to the heat factory of downtown Chicago. For the family teams that populated the fleets, it was also an ideal way to spend their Father’s Day doing what they love.

Chicago NOOD J/70 winnersMartin Johnsson, Jorgen Johnsson, August Hernandez, and Sue O’Neil, the all-amateur J/70 team on AQUAHOLIKS, triumphed in Chicago after finishing in the top three in each of the regatta’s five races and winning by a single point over John Heaton’s EMPERIA. They’re now another HELLY HANSEN NOOD regatta father-son team with a winning streak — the younger Martin is 38 and the elder, Jorgen, is 67.

“We’ve always had smaller one-designs and dabbled in big boats, but we enjoy the purity of the smaller one-designs,” says Martin. Onboard Aquaholiks, Jorgen is the spinnaker trimmer, Martin drives, Augie does tactics, and Sue does bow.

“It’s the first sportboat my father has raced so it’s different for him, especially trimming the asymmetric,” says Johnsson, “which is a good thing because it forces him to focus on his trimming and not my driving.”

For the Johnssons and their teammates, the regatta ultimately came down to the final race. Heaton was in control in the overall standings as they motored out to Chicago YC’s Belmont Circle, but only just.

“We had a two races today and had a good one in the first, but going into the last race we were trying to be more conservative,” says Martin. “We knew we needed to be top three. We knew where our two competitors were — Robert Hughes’ HEARTBREAKER and John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA.”

The AQUAHOLIKS kept close tabs on their competition and rounded the weather mark second and jammed in a tight four-boat pack. “We just tried to be calm as we went downwind,” says Martin. “HEARTBREAKER peeled out so we had stay with the other boat. Then it got really challenging at the leeward mark with the J/111s coming upwind. It was difficult to decide which gate to take, but John Heaton split to the left gate and we went to the other so we could do our own thing.”

The split worked out well, he says, but at the top of the beat, a right shift appeared and suddenly the fourth-placed was in play and Martin had to defend their position again.  “It was a lot of match racing up the last beat,” says Martin. “We probably did six or seven tacks, but we just needed to be close.”

At the weather mark again they were fourth, close behind third and covered the boat immediately ahead. “We got on their air and positioned ourselves for the finish,” says Martin. “We did a good job at position ourselves to get on top of those guys at the finish and the last two jibes.”

In the last 50 meters they advanced from fourth to third to win the regatta by one point, which in turn won them the Helly Hansen’s NOOD Regatta in Chicago’s Overall trophy and a trip to the British Virgin Islands to compete in the NOOD Caribbean Championship!!  The elder Johnsson is a veteran of the Caribbean racing scene, having won numerous regattas in Antigua, and will be a key asset come October.

Taking third was Hughes’ HEARTBREAKER, fourth was Jim Prendergast’s USA 167 and fifth was Mark Teborek’s NORBOY.  Top women’s skipper was Amy Neill’s NITEMARE crew, second women’s skipper was Pamela Rose on ROSEBUD.

In the Corinthians Division, after the winners- Johnsson’s AQUAHOLIKS- it was David Dennison’s PIRANHA in 2nd, Steve Knoop’s SPECIAL K2 in 3rd, John Arendshorst’s 20/20 in 4th and Blane Shea’s GEMINI in 5th place.

J/88 class party at Chicago NOOD Helly Hansen regattaThe J/88 Class had a wonderful time sailing over the weekend (their J/88 Class Party was fun!).  Day one was course racing, day two was a 14nm random-leg course, and day three was course racing.  The format was well-suited to the seven teams that had gathered together to experience close one-design racing and learn more how to get more out of their boats as they prepare for the upcoming Chicago to Mackinac Race- a 289nm one-design battle to the Pink Pony!  Winning with a 1-3-3-1-1-1 tally was Andy Graff’s crew on EXILE, just edging out by one point the Stearns Sosa Racing team on HOKEY SMOKE.  Third was Tod Patton’s BLONDIE 2, also counting a first in their record for 15 pts total.  Fourth was Ben Wilson’s RAMBLER and fifth Tim Wade’s WINDSONG.  Next up for these intrepid sailors is the Mac Race!

With an even tenner for teams, the J/105s saw an amazingly good performance from a long-time class stalwart, Clark Pellett’s team on SEALARK.  After winning the first two races, they never looked back, collecting two more bullets along the way to close out their scoreline with just 16 pts, four pts clear of Mike Sheppard’s FLYING PIG- yet another “new” crew in the top three.  Taking third was a familiar team on the J/105 podium, Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM.  Sailing one of their best regattas to date was Sandy Curtiss’ ROCKING HORSE with son Alex, a College All-American, onboard calling tactics.  Fifth was Ken Ganch’s GONZO.

Perhaps a blitzkrieg can happen anytime in any fleet, however, no one anticipated the “lights out” performance by Peter Priede’s FULL TILT crew in the J/109 class- winning with four 1sts and just 9 pts total.  Double their score behind was Scott Sims’ SLAPSHOT II with 18 pts, with third taken by Dave Gustman’s NORTHSTAR, fourth Jim Murray’s CALLISTO and fifth Jack Toliver’s VANDA III.

In the PHRF 1 Class, after three days of sailing, the J/111 WARLOCK skippered by Tom Dickson managed a 6th place overall.  In PHRF 2 Class, Dan Leslie’s J/35 NOMATA took the bronze.   In the PHRF Rally 1 division, sailing Saturday only, it was Jim Gignac’s J/130 SALSO that beat out a pretty hot fleet of boats, including boat-for-boat over an M32, First 40, Arcona 460 and Elan 43.  Fifth was Tom Papoutsis’ family crew on the J/133 RENEGADE and ninth was Fran Giampoli’s JAHAZI.   For more Chicago NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/70s sailing Cleveland Race WeekAmazing Cleveland Race Week!
(Cleveland, OH)- According to Erik Shampain, “What a great time at Cleveland Race Week sailing aboard the J-70 SOUL along with David Koski, Greg Gregory Koski, and Bill Wiggins. We had an amazing first day in the breeze. Unfortunately, we couldn't hang on in the light tricky last day and ended up second. Congratulations to the HOOLIGAN gang on the well deserved win. I learned a bit, met some great people (including on the flight home), ate like a king, drank some wine that was far better then I should be allowed, and got lucky and caught the second half of the NBA finals at the Houston Admirals Club!”

J/70 sailing Cleveland Race WeekThose sentiments were shared by many at Cleveland’s Edgewater Yacht Club.  The first weekend of one-design racing was enjoyed by all, with great breeze on the first day and shifty, streaky breezes on the second day.  Winning the J/70 class was Trey Sheehan’s HOOLIGAN FLAT STANLEY RACING from Put-in-Bay YC with an amazing scorecard of 1-2-2-2-2 for just 9 pts total.  Behind them, Dave Koski’s crew on SOUL actually had to overcome a tie-breaker on 15 pts each to take the silver over Lee Sackett’s USA 364 from Edgewater YC.  Fourth was also determined on a tie-break at 26 pts each, with Dan Klassen’s LUXURY PROBLEMS winning that matchup over another Sackett family member- Tod’s FM taking fifth.

The huge J/22 class had fourteen wildly enthusiastic crews participating in the event.   Unfortunately, just two races counted, it was Vic Snyder’s MO from Youngstown YC that won with all 2nds.  Mike Marshall’s Jamestown, RI based crew took home the silver on BAD NEWS with a 5-3.  Third was Chris Princing’s EVIL DR PORK CHOP from Tawas Bay YC.  Meanwhile, a MEANIAC crew sailing for Mike Meaney was fourth and behind them was Mark Stuhlmiller’s EUDAIMONIA from Buffalo YC across the lake.

J/24s also sailed just two races with Dean Riedy’s HALL PASS from Sandusky Sailing Club bulleting everything thrown at them.  Second was Louie Palmer’s BOOYAH from SSC as well.  The long-distance traveler, John O’Brien’s FLYBY from Indianapolis YC, must have felt it was worth the effort collecting the bronze at this major event!  Behind them in fourth was Steve Hronke’s BLACK & TAN and Cathleen Graf’s GRAFIX in fifth (go Gurl Pow’r!).  Next week if Cleveland Offshore Race weekend!  For more Cleveland Race Week sailing information

J/105 sailing off SeattleThree Buoy Fiasco Report
(Seattle, WA)- The Sloop Tavern YC in Seattle, WA held their annual version of the Three Buoy Fiasco this past weekend to much fanfare and aplomb from the masses aligning the shore at daybreak.  OK, well a few happy dogs being taken for a walk in the morning along the seawall enjoyed the spectacle.  The STYC got the ball rolling on time for the enthusiastic sailors and all took off on their prescribed 13.515nm course around the three buoys either clockwise or counter-clockwise.  It was a relatively quick race with the top boats getting around in an elapsed time of just over 2 hours!

The Three Buoy Fiasco courseIn Class 1 No-Flying Sails (e.g. just the white triangle stuff), Tom Kerr’s J/33 CORVO took second with Bill Daniel’s J/100 TOURIST in third.  In Class 3 Flying Sails, we saw Mark Daniel’s J/24 ROSHAMBO haul off the silver- good going!  Then, Class 5 Flying Sails there was a virtual sweep of the class, with Leo’s J/27 WIZARD winning with Geoff Wolf’s J/30 CONRAD J in second, Walker Lockhart’s J/80 JOLLY GREEN in third and Ulf George Gwildis’ J/30 IMPULSIVE in fifth.  Finally, in the Class 6 Flying Sails it was Jerry Woodfield’s J/109 SHADA that won and also took third overall!  Taking second was the most famous Pacific NW J/105, Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO, also securing sixth overall!

Yes, it was quite an eclectic fleet of “classic” J’s, hauling the mail around the 13+nm course had to make for a great weekend of sailing with the Cascade Mountains towering off to the East and the mighty Olympics thrusting skyward to the west as a pretty little tapestry in the background of every selfie taken in the race!!  Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson/ For more Three Buoy Fiasco sailing information

J/70s sailing YC Costa Smeralda team raceNewport Harbor Eclipses YCCS J/70 International Team Race Challenge
(Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- The second edition of the YC Costa Smeralda Invitational Team Racing Challenge regatta in Porto Cervo concluded with a resounding victory for California's Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Over the course of three day's racing the six participating teams completed a total of 62 matches in varied sea and wind conditions!

Newport Harbor YC wins J/70 YC Costa Smeralda team raceThe team flying the Newport Harbor burgee (skippers Justin Law and Mac Mace with crew of Dan Geissman, Whit Batchelor, Rod Rader and Bill Menninger), together with the crews from New York Yacht Club and Marblehead's Eastern Yacht Club, proved to be strong contenders from the beginning of the series. While New York YC racked up a perfect scorecard in the first day's Round Robin, winning 5 out 5 races, Newport Harbor YC managed to consistently win each one of their races in the Round Robins of days two and three. The battle to attain second position overall, and consequently a place in the final knock-out round, was fought between New York YC (consisting of skippers Stu Saffer and Senet Bischoff with crew of Carrie Saffer, Ned Glenn, Monique Singer and Roland Singer) and Eastern Yacht Club (consisting of skippers Matt Hook and Doug Sabin with crew of Chris Remelka, Sinan Kunt, Peter Lynn and Callie Naughton). However, after a lackluster performance in the final Round Robin from the New York team, it was Eastern that pipped their New York YC counterparts to the post by just one point.

The final, which took place in 15 knots of Mistral breeze accompanied by warm sunshine, once again saw Newport Harbor dominate as they immediately tucked away two wins in the best-of-three competition. The final leaderboard, therefore, saw an all-American top three with Newport Harbor YC followed by Eastern YC in second and New York Yacht Club in third place. The team representing host club YCCS claimed fourth place ahead of Royal Thames Yacht Club and Gamla Stans YC of Sweden.

J/70s sailing off Sardinia- YC Costa Smeralda team raceThe J/70 fleet provided by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda for the event proved to be agile even in Friday’s light airs and the Race Committee had no problem fitting in the full programme of flights scheduled for the day. The New York Yacht Club enjoyed a perfect scorecard so far, with Newport Harbour Yacht Club in second place with three wins and two defeats.  While racing Friday was fast and fun, teams were looking forward to a stronger breeze Saturday as the infamous Sardinian Mistral moves in. Forecasts had it blowing at 15-20 knots on the course. Fortunately, staff from both Quantum Sails, technical partner of the event, and J/Boats Italy were on hand on the race course for any technical tweaking that may be required.

In the meantime all concerned relaxed and took in the stunning views from the YCCS Pool terrace at the evening's Team Barbecue!  Tough duty to be team-racing J/70s in Sardinia watching the sun set over the Aga Khan’s empire!

Day two saw the Stars & Stripes flying from the top of all three flagpoles at YC Costa Smeralda at the end of the day.  At the same time, everyone discovered how devastating the teamwork was from Newport Harbor YC’s skippers and crew- wiping the table clean by winning every single race with supreme confidence.  In fact, all three American yacht clubs showed a clean pair of heels to all their European counterparts.

With three round robins and a total of 45 matches completed, Newport Harbour YC sat atop the leaderboard followed by New York YC and Eastern YC.  Fourth was YC Costa Smeralda.  The event would then turn to fourth round-robin, a semi-finals and finals on the last day.

J/70s sailing YC Costa Smeralda team race- Sardinia, ItalyIn two-on-two team racing, easily one of the most exciting formats in this game, each Club takes to the starting line with two boats, the objective is to ensure that one of the opposing Club's boats crosses the line last - thereby decreeing the losing team. Tactics play an important role, as does seamless synergy between the two crews, and the sailors from Newport Harbour YC clearly had their routine down pat as they triumphed in 10 out of 10 races on the second day. Their competitors at New York YC were not far behind, with  7 of 10 wins on the board.

In the finale on Sunday, Newport Harbor YC’s team simply ran the table to take their inaugural YCCS International Team Race Challenge Trophy home to Newport Beach, CA.  Second was Eastern YC from Marblehead, MA and third was New York YC from Newport, RI.

YC Costa Smeralda Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo commented during the prize giving: "Team racing is a fantastic discipline, it really underlines the fundamental values of sailing: teamwork, concentration and tactical ability. This week we were lucky enough to have three American Clubs who have a great deal of experience in this specialty, from whom we can only learn. Conditions were varied but today everyone had the real "Costa Smeralda" experience, with ideal wind and sea conditions and sunshine making for a perfect day's racing. My thanks go to all the teams who travelled here from near and far and I look forward to seeing you all again in 2018."

To round off the event, which combined competitive racing with first-rate social events since day one, the teams were invited to a gala dinner and prize giving at the YC Costa Smeralda Clubhouse overlooking Porto Cervo Marina.  For more YC Costa Smeralda International Team Racing Challenge sailing information

J/24s sailing AustraliaThe Mexicans are Coming!
Wet Tech Rigging Cronulla J/24 ShortCourse Regatta Report
(Cronulla, NSW, Australia)- Will this be the rallying cry from the border as we prepare for the up coming J/24 NSW States in November and Australian Titles in January 2017?? We shall see...

The Wet Tech Rigging Cronulla J/24 Short Course Regatta, started under the watchful eye of Cronulla Sailing Club Principle Race Officer Dave McLachlan. A stalwart at Cronulla who can remember when the Club last hosted a J/24 State and Australian Titles back in the mid 1980's, just like yesterday.

With a solid 18 plus knots from the west and a course set inside the confines of the Port Hacking Estuary, all boats set a jib on the first day. The first race was taken out by the visitor from Sandringham Yacht Club Ron Thomson driving his sister's boat Wildfire, by 7 seconds to J/24 stalwart Hugo Ottaway and Bruschetta IV from Sandringham Yacht Club, and a further 30 seconds back to Dave West and Ace from Middle Harbour Yacht Club. The Short Course format with Legs of no more than 800 metres ensures close fast racing with the field complete within 4 minutes first to fifteenth.

The second race saw Bruschetta IV again perform taking first followed closely by Wildfire and then to John Crawford NSW J/24 Class President from MHYC on Innamincka taking third. The Third started soon after in a steady westerly with 20 plus knot bullets hurtling down Port Hacking. The third saw Mr Consistency Hugo first with Cronulla contender Barry Ryan on Pinot second and Ace again third. A pattern was emerging…

J/24s sailing off AustraliaRacing continued with Wildfire returning to the podium followed by Ace then Bruschetta IV , at this stage the Cronulla locals were getting restless. Race PRO made the call to conduct a fifth race for the day knowing the forecast for Sunday wasn't the most pleasant. And here Team Cronulla showed its tenacity, Pinot first over the line to Wildfire and then Bruschetta IV.

The next day, 3 races were planned to achieve the series as dictated. With the wind abating, all decided the Genoa was on. Race 6 saw Barry Ryan return with first, Innamincka and the always there Bruschetta IV. Race 7 and again Hugo Ottaway rose to the top with Cronulla local Dave McKay and Stockcar in second and Ace in third.

The penultimate race of the series and the PRO calls for three laps, Ace completed the series on a high followed again by Bruschetta IV and Pinot in third.

The presentation was conducted back at the sailing club, taking in the fantastic views from the head of Gunnamatta Bay as all the competitors enjoyed the fruits of the BBQ provided by the always present CSC Volunteers lead by Dennis Mclaren and Ken Mackay.

J/24s sailing off Melbourne, AustraliaAs you can guess “Mr J/24” Hugo Ottaway finished in first, followed by Wildfire and Ace in third.

The Cronulla Sailing Club would like to thank its primary sponsor Wet Tech Rigging and its supporting sponsors Macquart Marine, Quantum Sails, Cronulla Marina, AUSSEA Sailing School, Spot-A-Yacht and Afloat Magazine. Without this support the event would not have been possible.

The Club would also like to thank its volunteers, the Cronulla Sailing Club is run by sailors not employees, and the leader of those volunteers in organising the J/24 regatta is Fiona Campbell, without her drive and attention to detail this event simply would not be the success it is.

The next event for the club is the J/24 NSW State Titles over the weekend of 6-7 Nov. This is shaping up to arguably be one of the best and most closely contested titles in recent years, with an expected field of 20 plus boats State, National and World Champions all competing on the waters of Bate Bay.

Just look out for those Mexicans, they really are coming to sail with us…

J/122 sailing St Kilda Challenge raceJ/122 MOONSTRUCK Wins
St Kilda Challenge!

(St Kilda, Ireland)- After 100nm and almost exactly 23 hours at sea, MOONSTRUCK TOO, Gordon Lawson’s J/122, took victory at the inaugural St Kilda Challenge- a race to the northernmost outposts of Scotland.

Organized by North Uist’s Comann Na Mara, the challenge brought together 27 yachts from all corners of the UK and beyond to a far nook of the Western Isles with a long-held and shared common goal – to reach the alluring, mysterious, rugged cliffs of St Kilda. One of the most beautiful regions in all of the United Kingdom.

St Kilda island off ScotlandSt Kilda (Scottish Gaelic: Hiort) is an isolated archipelago 64 kilometres (40nm) west-northwest of North Uist in the North Atlantic Ocean. It contains the westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.  The largest island is Hirta, whose sea cliffs are the highest in the United Kingdom; three other islands (Dùn, Soay and Boreray) were also used for grazing and seabird hunting.

Back to the sailing story.  So, despite having been at sea for such a prolonged period, it was a nail-biting finish between Grant Kinsman’s Sigma 400 Thalia and Port Edgar Yacht Club’s MOONSTRUCK.

Thus, ensued several hours of nervous waiting for the final yachts to arrive and the much-anticipated results – and when they came, they were exceptionally close. In the end, MOONSTRUCK prevailed with a corrected time margin of five minutes and 50 seconds over her rival; an astonishingly tight result after such distance, and so many vagaries of tide, swell and fickle breeze.  It was a real testament to a very long night of grit and determination in some very difficult conditions.

St Kilda island in fogIn all of the hundreds and hundreds of hour of planning which had gone into this short 24 hour race, it had been expected that the yachts would probably have to dig deep to overcome some perilous seas and howling wind – so typical of even summer weather in this notoriously exposed and blasted outpost of the UK. There were strict guidelines in place about how much wind could actually thwart even a start. Inclement weather could have seen the flotilla shore-bound while the racers were set free to pit their wits against the elements. They could all have made the journey for nought.

What had not been expected was yachts peaking at a mere seven knots, struggling against a sometimes unpleasant swell, crews toiling from fatigue and occasional seasickness as windless conditions made fast progress near impossible.

“Sailing in conditions like that is much harder than racing hard in heavy weather,” said race officer John Readman. “It is very hard work to keep morale up and attention span lively when you are wallowing in the sea like that with barely a breath of air and no real sign of any to come.”

St Kilda Challenge starting lineOf the 15 racing yachts that started, seven of them judged that discretion was the better part of valor and joined the cruising flotilla – allowing the luxury of switching on the engine. Of the cruisers, just a single one– Sea Fever– actually made the determined journey to St Kilda under sail.

And yet, despite a voyage which had clearly taken its toll and after a well-earned nap, there was universal praise ashore from the participants– both the racers and the cruisers.

In the flotilla, those unknown to one another have now enjoyed an experience which has turned them into friends. For all of them, getting ashore on Hirta – the main island of St Kilda, and the only one which was inhabited– was the stuff of dreams!!

Rachel Vejar and her husband Alvaro from Inverness joined Mick and Sally Ineson from Yorkshire on their boat Casares for the journey as part of the cruise in company. The two couples had never met before– Rachel and Alvaro were introduced to Mick and Sally the day before the challenge began. And were invited to join them.

St Kilda island beach“We tried sailing but there wasn't enough wind,” said Rachel. “The boat is a cruiser and without a spinnaker we were hardly getting anywhere.  As the main objective was to land on St Kilda we just motored there. We loved the journey, and like many people, going to St Kilda has always been a dream of mine.  It was great to just land on the island and have a walk round.”

Her story mirrors that of many others having experienced the grandeur of St Kilda and the pleasure of sailing in company.

Phrases like “a mission accomplished” and “a real sense of pleasure and achievement” pervaded across Lochmaddy’s packed marina. It was an epic in ways few had considered, but an epic adventure nonetheless!

wild sheep on St Kilda islandMost regattas are run by yacht clubs or sailing organizations.  However, the St Kilda Challenge was run not only by sailors, but by a whole community. A community which had a vision many years ago and has worked tirelessly to bring it to fruition. The committee vessel was the local fishing boat “Harmony”. The “escort vessel” for the starting line was the Leverburgh Lifeboat.

The shoreside events explored the rich cultural heritage of the area and produced a festival to remember. Born and brought up on North Uist, internationally acclaimed Julie Fowlis was proud to return to her roots at the weekend giving a fabulous concert treat. There were plays and films, there was music and food. There were friendships renewed and new ones forged.

J/122 Moonstruck crew celebratingIt was, plainly put, a simply smashing success!!  Next time, we want more of you J/SAILORS to join us!!

“We are exhausted but thrilled,” said Comann Na Mara chairman Gus MacAulay. “The intention is to make this a biennial event, so we will start planning for 2018 shortly.  In the meantime, though, we know that we have done a good job because the participants have told us so. After so long waiting for this to happen, just to hear that everyone enjoyed it has made it all worthwhile.  There was great camaraderie among the sailors and a tremendous buzz on North Uist. We simply could not have asked for more and I would like to thank all those who helped and collaborated to make it happen!”

The challenge brought the windswept St Kilda Island group into focus– helping to highlight the UK’s only dual World Heritage Site, recognized for both its natural and cultural significance, in what will be the 30th anniversary of it receiving its designation in 1986.

Wild puffin on St Kilda islandSailing’s governing body RYA Scotland was involved with Clyde Cruising Club providing race management expertise, and CalMac  offering significant support as proud prime sponsor. Collaboration partners on the event advisory board also include Ocean Youth Trust, Sail Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, University of St Andrews, Scottish Natural Heritage, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Harris Tweed and Harris Distillery.

But, perhaps the greatest achievement of the St Kilda Challenge was that a small community in a extraordinarily remote area,  pulled together a dream so fascinating that the rest of the country (and a few more besides) wanted to join them!!  We LOVE our FRIENDS in St Kilda— back at you soon with more help and love from friends worldwide! :)

For more information about St Kilda and Scottish National Heritage sites, please contact Fiona Holland, PR Manager, Caledonian MacBrayne- +44-(0)7885-268775 or go to  On behalf of Comann Na Mara, the photos are courtesy of Island News and Rachel Vejar.  Further information about a major sponsor- CalMac- is available here-

J/109 sailing off SeattleBallard Cup Series II Update
(Seattle, WA)- Ethereal fog. Dazzling sun. Leaping orcas. Playful porpoises. Sexy sasquatches. Salacious salmon sushi.  Alien Alaska king crabs crawling onto boats at night (huh?).  Lens clouds on 14,000 ft Cascade Peaks. Smelly pine cones creating aromatic wisps of gentle breeze at dawn.  All form the canvas on which many a painter have interpreted the random beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Not for the bright lights, big city stilleto crowd, that's for sure.  That is just how those who live and love the life in Seattle like it.  Adding in some wind helps, of course. Not too much, not too little.  Unfortunately, when Neptune decides which version of the knotmeter to choose in these parts, it’s often the extremes!  Ouch!

The Sloop Tavern YC, a notoriously fun place, is enjoying hosting yet another of their famous Ballard Cup Series.  There are three of them.  The first one is cold, foggy and messy. The second one is less cold, less foggy and less messy.  The third one is perfect, warm and windy according to the Chamber of Commerce weather forecast!

The Ballard Cup Series is all about having fun.  No drama.  No pretense.  Just sailing. That is the way it should be.  And, J/Teams are loving it!  Note to all- the women owners and skippers are fast learners and are creating some great teams in the Pacific Northwest!

J/105 sailing off SeattleAt this stage, a J/105 is leading overall with 10 of the top 25 overall are J/Teams. Three of the top six are J/teams and, significantly, two are women-owned and skippered boats!  That is a wonderful development in offshore sailing, not just for the Pacific Northwest, but for the rest of offshore sailing in general.  That is a trend that continues to accelerate since a vast majority of new women sailboat owners happen to be J/Boats sailors!

Here is what is happening to date on a class-by-class basis.  In Class 3 Flying Sails, Scott Galbraith’s J/24 FLYER is 3rd class and 9th overall.  In Class 4 Flying Sails, David Jade’s J/35c SHADOWFAX is 7th class and 47th overall.

There are a lot of J/crews in Class 5 Flying Sails. Laurie Ann Kaplan’s J/29 WINGS is 1st class and 5th overall followed by Jacob Kemp’s J/80 FEARFUL SYMMETRY in second and 14th overall, then Dulnath Wijayratne’s J/80 JOLLY GREEN in third and 22nd overall, J Aguilar & J Kazaras’ J/29 RUBY in 4th and 19th overall, Thomas’ J/29 JOYRIDE in 6th and 26th overall, Cindy Gossett’s J/30 OUTLAW 7th and 32nd overall, Dave Revell’s J/80 UNDERDOG 8th and 35th overall, Rodolphe Destouches’ J/80 TAJ MAHAL 9th and 36th overall.

The current rockstar is in Class 6 Flying Sails- John Aitchison’s J/105 MOOSE UNKNOWN is 1st class and 1st overall.  Lloyd Fogg’s J/105 AVALANCHE 3rd and 21st overall, Tom Kerr’s J/33 CORVO 5th and 20th overall.  Margaret Pommert’s J/105 PUFF 6th and 39th overall.  Jim Geros’ J/105 LAST TANGO in 8th and 44th overall.

Finally, in Class 7 Flying Sails, Jenny Heins’ J/35 THOSE GUYS is 3rd class and 6th overall; Ken Jones’ J/120 WITH GRACE 5th class and 10th overall.

The PHRF Cruising Spinnaker Class saw the modified J/30 HURON skippered by Karl von Schwarz take fourth.   For more Annapolis YC Regatta sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/112E model sailboat- half-model*  Half-models of your boat?  Recently, the owners of the J/70 DIVERSION and the J/112E XYZZZ commissioned Abordage Models to create beautifully colored half-models that are 3D “printed” and mounted on various shape wall plagues.  Abordage has a huge selection of half-hulls and full-hulls of various J/Boats.

For more information, please contact Denis Cartier/
tel: +1-809-528-1992 ext: 503

J/105s sailing Chile* The Chilean Grez family are at it again.  Avid supporters of sailing in Chile, whether sailing on J/105s in Algarrobo, J/70s on Lago Panguipulli or J/105s in Juan de Fuca, they always participate as a family and provide enormous support to their kids.  The latest generation of the Grez family has grown up in Optis, dinghies, J24s, J/70s, J/105 and now 49ers.  More importantly, as the 49er reps for Chile in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, just a short hop over the Andes Mountain range from their native sailing waters.  Here’s a nice tribute to the Grez kids and their development from Scuttlebutt News:

Road to Rio: Parallel Paths
Run a Google search of parallel and it gives you the noun, a person or thing that is similar or analogous to another. This description could not be more accurate for two Chilean sailing teams who draw distinct similarities in their game of life.

Let us introduce you to brothers Benjamin and Cristóbal Grez as well as sisters Arantza and Begoña Gumucio who have followed the same pathway to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

At the turn of 2016, the start of the Olympic year, the Sailing World Cup Miami was an opportunity for sailors from North and South America to qualify for the upcoming summer spectacular.

Taking that chance and seizing it in the 49er were brothers Benjamin and Cristóbal and their female counterparts in the 49erFX, sisters Arantza and Begoña. They are two teams from Santiago, Chile, both in a high performance skiff  and made up of family members. It would seem that they were in-sync with each other, and you would be correct.

The sets of siblings are from Santiago, Chile and the double acts set off on their Olympic and sailing journey at the Club de Yates in Algarrobo, to the west of their home town at the same time. They were almost destined to follow the same route.

Reflecting on the relationship with the Gumucio sisters and the times they've shared in sailing, Cristóbal said, "They used to sail Optimists with us. They are around the same age as us. A long life together. We used to share accommodation with them and spend a lot of time with them."

Growing up together, following the same path in sailing and being on the road from regatta to regatta around the world has its benefits. Arantza recognises having the familiarity, not just within her boat, but in and around the boat park, "We are usually a really small team so having someone from your country that speaks your language makes it fun and easy."

Sailing alongside family members is not uncommon in recreational sailing and the same can be said in the Olympic fleets. Siblings will regularly be seen sailing together and the same question is constantly asked by peers, media and officials, are there any arguments?

NOTE- their mother Benita Grez is an excellent photographer, expect some gorgeous photos from Rio!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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