Wednesday, May 24, 2017

J/Newsletter- May 24th, 2017

J/22 Worlds NetherlandsJ/22 World Championship Preview
(Scheveningen, The Netherlands)- This coming week, the J/22 World Championship will be taking place as part of the world-famous North Sea Week, hosted in Scheveningen, The Netherlands.  The 2017 edition will include a very competitive fleet of J/22 sailors from Canada, Cayman Islands, France, Germany, and The Netherlands.  The fleet can count on professional race management and extensive social activities on shore as part of the North Sea Week experience, one of the world’s (and Europe’s) best summer-time mega-sailing events.

What is the form for this fleet of thirty-nine boats?  Ironically, the top billing must go to the top two visiting teams- one is a J/22 Worlds Vice—Champion- Mike Farrington’s 7-SITZER/ EX-ISLES from the Cayman Islands and the other is Canadian skipper Johan Koppernaes on RAISED J that has North Sails’ top specialist Mike Marshall as trim/ tactician.

As for the continental European triangle of the German/ Dutch/ French teams, the leading crews on the leaderboard could be Fabien Toureaux’s BEASTIE BOYS, Reiner Brockerhoff’s JAZZY, Patrick Huet’s EUROPEAN HOMES, Svend Hartog’s MOJO4ROOKIES, Tom Losch’s JOUJOU3, Nienke Reina Jorna’s JAM SESSION, Jean-Michel Lautier’s FRAPORITA, Dirk Jan Verdoorn’s JUT EN JUL, Kim Bos’ DJINN, Lisanne Nijdam’s TU DELFT/BROACH/1365, Jochem GrootJen’s SLAM, and Nic Bol’s QUANTUM HOLLAND.  For more J/22 Worlds sailing information

J/111 sailing casual afternoon in North SeaNorth Sea Week Preview
(Scheveningen, The Netherlands)- Concurrent to the J/22 Worlds, the Dutch nation of sailors (most of the country) are hosting their famous North Sea Week that starts with two offshore races (the Vuurschepen Race & the RORC North Sea Race) and concludes with the North Sea Offshore regatta series for offshore one-design and IRC/ORC classes.  There is no question an enormous factor in these events are top J/teams in all divisions.

Starting with the kick-off event for the week of offshore sailing, the Vuurschepen Race starts off The Hague and goes across the infamous shipping channel known as “La Manche” (the ditch) over to England.  Then, after a day’s rest, the fleet races back across the same “English Channel” to The Hague in time to participate in the balance of the North Sea Regatta.  In the offshore races, the IRC class has twenty-three boats entered with Sylvain Duprey’s J/111 DJINN, Alain Bornet’s J/109 JAI ALAI, and Kees Mijs’ J/109 ARETHUSA competing against some of the strongest offshore teams in the North Sea.

J/105 women doublehanded teamIn the seventeen-boat ORC Doublehanded division, nearly 50% of the starters are extremely competitive J/crews! At the top end of the scale, first to finish honors should be Englishmen Bart Desaunois & Alex van Amstel’s J/133 BATFISH.  But, they will be hunted down hard by a rogue’s gallery of pirates and veterans of the North Sea offshore doublehanded community, like the two J/122 teams that have won a lot of shorthanded events offshore- John van der Starre & Robin Verhoef’s AJETO and Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker’s JUNIQUE.  If that were not enough fire-power to make most people wince, they all have the following to contend with that are all capable of reaching the podium; like the two J/120s (MAVERICK- Chris Schram/ Ray Roesink and J-QUATTRO- Joost van der Wal/ Bob Weenink); the two J/109s (FIRESTORM- Wim van Slooten/ Jochem Hamstra and YETI- Paul & Marc van der Pol); and the lone J/105- the famous PANTHER sailed by the only all-women team of Yvonne Beusker and Edith Voskamp.

In the thirty-seven boat ORC Division, with of the IRC division boats “double-scoring”, the only additional teams to add in this “fully-crewed” division are the J/109 TEAM HEINER 4 (Nikolaus Knoflacher), the J/109 JITTERS (Frederic de Visser), and the J/92 JINX (Luc Oomen).

Following these two offshore events across the “big’ole ditch” between the UK and the Continent, the J/111 one-design class will have nearly a half-dozen boats racing one-design in their offshore season points series in The Netherlands.  Those five nations represented include Norbert Burkert’s TOP JOB from Germany, Paul van Driel’s SWEENY from the Netherlands, Sebastien de Liedekerke’s DJINN from Belgium, Sigg Joerg’s LALLEKONIG from Switzerland, and Sjaak Haakman’s RED HERRING from The Netherlands.

In addition, the North Sea Regatta will continue to see the next event in the Netherlands National Doublehanded Championship taking place going around the buoys!  All J/crews from the North Sea races will continue to add points to their series with the aim of taking the season by the end of the summer.
For more RORC North Sea Race sailing information  For more North Sea Week/ North Sea Regatta sailing information

J/80 sailing off FranceGran Prix Ecole del Navale Preview
(Camaret-sur-Mer, France)- The 16th Grand Prix Ecole del Navale is taking place this weekend in Camaret-sur-Mer with 218 participants.  The three-day event goes from May 25th to 28th and is raced both in the bay and offshore in the Bay of Biscay.  Included in the event is the J/80 class, sailing their second event in the summer-long France J/80 Cup series.

Most of the top J/80 teams from across France are participating in the forty-eight boat class, including Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, Eric Brezellec’s COURRIER JUNIOR, Ludovic Gilet’s NUMERO J, top woman skipper Capucine Vitel on her VITEL SAILING TEAM,  Luc Nadal on the familiar GAN’JA, and another top woman skipper- Maxime Rousseaux on J’RAFON.

The J/80s should have a nice weekend of sailing as the forecasts from the UK MET office and the French MET office indicate good breezes all three days!    For more J/80 GPEN sailing information

J/24 team sailing fastJ/24 North American Championship Preview
(Houston, Texas)- It has been a busy month for the J/24 class on a worldwide basis.  After hosting the USA Nationals in Seattle, WA the past week, this week there are two events taking place simultaneously; one is the J/24 North American’s in Houston, TX and the other is the Open J/24 Italian Nationals in La Maddalena, Sardinia!  The winner of the USA J/24 Nationals, Keith Whittemore, is sailing in Italy while the 2nd place finisher, Will Welles, is sailing in Houston!  Spoiled for choice, those J/24 sailors are!

From May 25th to 28th, thirty-four J/24 teams are headed down to sail on the choppy waters of Galveston Bay, hosted by the amazing volunteers at the Houston YC.  No question, the J/24 sailors will be spoiled with good’ole fashioned BBQ’s, beer, brats, and lots of involuntary swimming in their giant pool.  On the water, the racing will be tough, with a number of excellent teams that will be fighting for NA title honors.  Chief amongst them will be Will Welles BOGUS, others will be Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES (perhaps the top woman skipper in the class), Chris Holmes’ BAD MOON, Carter White’s SEA BAGS SAILING TEAM, Mike Ingham’s NATALYTICS, Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS, the Japanese crew of Nobuyuki Imai on SIESTA, Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER, and Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM.  For more J/24 North American Championship sailing information

J/44 Vamp sailing Long Island SoundStorm Trysail Block Island Race Preview
(Larchmont, NY)- A spring classic, this 186nm race from Stamford, CT down Long Island Sound, around Block Island, RI and back to Stamford is an annual rite of passage for many racing yachts.

The Block Island Race was first held in 1946 and is a qualifier for the Northern Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the Double Handed Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF), and the Gulf Stream Series (IRC). The Block Island Race is also a qualifier for the Caper, Sagola, and Windigo trophies awarded by the YRA of Long Island Sound and the 'Tuna' Trophy for the best combined IRC scores in the Edlu (40%) and the Block Island Race (60%).

The race is often regarded by the offshore racing community in Long Island Sound as the start of the summer offshore sailing season.  As a result, the race has many sailors who have participated for a few decades, starting as kids and now as adults (owners, crews, skippers)!  For them, it truly is a rite of passage, breathing in all that salt air, getting soaked in salt water by giant chop breaking over the bow in the famous “Race” or “Plum Gut”— it’s all about becoming one with the sea again and feel that salt coursing through your veins and appreciating how small human life is relative to the extraordinary forces of nature.

Answering that siren song to the sea is a very good fleet of offshore teams from across the Northeast.  Sixty-five teams will be on the starting line off Larchmont YC in western Long Island Sound on Friday, March 26th, racing in PHRF, IRC, and Doublehanded divisions; thirteen of them are J/crews (20% of the fleet).

J/120 Alibi sailing Long Island SoundThe remnants of a Low is hovering over the northeast in the Marblehead, MA area, spinning cool temperatures, drizzle, and solid breeze from the WNW at 15-25 kts.  It’s a promising start and the first leg out to Block Island should go fast, in particular for the asymmetric J’s in the fleet.

In the IRC Doublehanded class, Gardner Grant’s famously successful J/120 ALIBI with by vying for class honors.  Doug McKeige’s J/88 JAZZ will be doing the same with a Young American Junior Big Boat Team going for it in the PHRF Doublehanded class!

The eight boat PHRF 3 class has a quartet of J/105s battling with a trio of First 36.7s for class honors.  The J/105 crews re Francis Racioppi’s HOONIGAN, Hobie Ponting’s PRIVATEER-YCC, Frank Conway’s RAPTOR and the famous Young American Junior Big Boat Team sailing their YOUNG AMERICAN-YCC!  As always, the question on everyone’s mind is “can the kids do it again!”  We wish them fair winds and fast sailing!

In the PHRF 4 class, Jim Farrell’s J/35 SAPPHIRE from Black Rock YC will hope to beat out a Tripp 40, a Thomas 35 and a Sou’wester 51!

J/109 sailing fast offshoreThe nine-boat IRC 2 class has a wide range of fast offshore racer-cruisers, including past winner Len Sitar on his mighty J/44 VAMP, Carl Olsson’s champion J/109 MORNING GLORY, and yet another Young American Junior Big Boat Team on the J/120 VAREKAI-VCC!

PHRF 5 class has three J/crews that will particularly like the course layout for the forecasted winds; the two J/111s are John Donovan’s LIBERTAS and Abhijeet Lele’s VARUNA and the J/122 SUMMER GRACE is skippered by Kevin Kelley.

Finally, watch out in PHRF 6 class, one of the offshore flyers from the J/Design team will be fighting tooth & nail with other fast 40 footers, like Class 40s, custom 40, Farr 40 modified and an IMX 45.  Taking them on and sure to give them all fits will be Brian Prinz’s J/125 SPECTRE from Branford YC.   For more STC Block Island Race sailing information

J/88 sleighride on San Francisco Bay




















Spinnaker Cup Race Preview
(Belvedere, CA)- Back in 2015, Encinal Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, Santa Barbara Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club joined forces and races to provide sailors with an exceptional Offshore Race Week that will take offshore boats from San Francisco down to San Diego with stops in Monterey and Santa Barbara. It brings the historic Spinnaker Cup and a revamped Coastal Cup together and joining in with the second running of the SoCal 300, racers have options of completing the entire week long event, or they can join in for any of the individual races on their own. The schedule is set up to keep the racing fast and fun and also allow enough shore time for family and friends to meet the racers at stops along the way for a wonderful week long tour of the California Coast.

California Offshore Race Week starts on Saturday, May 27 in San Francisco Bay and sends the racers out under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. From there the fleet will make their way 88nm to the port city of Monterey for a day long layover to get rested and ready for the sled ride to Santa Barbara. Picking up on Monday, May 29, the Coastal Cup starts in Monterey Bay and runs 200nm around Point Conception and into Santa Barbara. A multi-day layover in Santa Barbara will allow racers to experience the local scene and all that this beautiful city has to offer. Santa Barbara Yacht Club will be hosting shore side parties and all the racers are invited to a ‘just for fun’ in-port race on Wednesday afternoon, which will see the offshore crews link up with the local Beercan racers who will also be on the water that day. The final leg starts on Thursday, June 1 with the SoCal 300 sending the fleet through the Channel Islands on their way to San Diego, a total trip of 254nm. The awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 3 at San Diego Yacht Club.

The Spinnaker Cup Race has thirty-nine entries, nine of which are J/teams (nearly 25% of the fleet!).  The smallest boat in the race will be Chris Cartwright’s J/88 VENTUS, fresh off his experience of winning class and nearly the overall trophy in the 2016 Singlehanded Transpac Race!  He will be joined by a number of offshore speedsters, including the classic J/36 DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT skippered by Kevin Mills, the J/105 JAVELIN helmed by Robert Goosey, the J/109 JUNKYARD DOG sailed by Jim Goldberg, two J/111s (Howard Turner’s SYMMETRY and Reuben Rocci’s SWIFT NESS), and three J/120s (Ludovic Milin’s SAETTA, Tracy Rogers’ HOKULANI, and Barry Lewis’ CHANCE).  Sailing photo credits- ROLEX/ Daniel Forster.  For more California Offshore Race Week and Spinnaker Cup sailing information

J/122 sailing Swiftsure raceSwiftsure International Race Preview
(Victoria, BC, Canada)- The “grand daddy of all offshore races” in the Pacific Northwest has to be Royal Vancouver YC’s famous Swiftsure International Race.  It is always a challenge no matter what the wind and weather conditions, particularly if fronts are rolling in off the northern Pacific and the Gulf of Alaska with lots of wind, wetness and breeding complete chaos in their wakes.

This year, 176 boats are registered to race in one of the four main races that sail up and down the Strait of Juan de Fuca (so named in 1787 by the maritime fur trader Charles William Barkley, captain of the Imperial Eagle, for Juan de Fuca, the Greek navigator who sailed in a Spanish expedition in 1592 to seek the fabled Strait of Anián. Barkley was the first non-indigenous person to find the strait).

Thirty-five J’s (about 20% of fleet) can’t wait to “beat the Strait” at its own infamous games, including a J/160, J/133, a J/46, a J/42, J/125s (2), J/122s (2), J/120s (4), J/109s (4), J/105s (8), J/30s (3), a J/33, J/92 and J/37.  None of the J/crews are sailing the original race, the so-called Swiftsure Lightship Classic- a 138.2nm jaunt from the start off Victoria’s famous waterfront, out around a mark at Swiftsure Bank and return.

Only two J’s are sailing the next longest option, the Hein Bank Race- 118.1nm to a mark at Neah Bay, a mark offshore on the other shore, and return.  Those two are John McPhail’s gorgeous navy-blue J/160 JAM from Gig Harbor YC and Shawn Dougherty’s J/125 HAMACHI from Sloop Tavern YC.

J/35 sailing off SeattleThe most popular option for thirty-two J/Teams is the Cape Flattery Race- 101.9nm to a mark at Neah Bay to port and return to Victoria Harbour.  In the PHRF H1 class are three teams, including Ron Mackenzie’s J/37 FUTURE PRIMITIVE, Tom Keffer’s J/42 VELOCITY, and Scott Campbell’s J/46 RIVA.  The PHRF L1 class has four J/120s (Mike Picco’s WILD BLUE, Kirk Palmer’s LIGHT SCOUT, Jim Hinz’s HINZITE, & Chris Johnson’s WITH GRACE), two J/122s (Tom Kelly’s ANAM CARA & Bron Miller’s JOY RIDE), and the J/133 CONSTELLATION helmed by Bron Miller.

The PHRF L2 class is a battle of the 35-footers, virtually all of them are top boats on Puget Sound and many have won events all over the Pacific Northwest.  To say “the form” on this collection of J/35s and J/109 is difficult would be an understatement.  In any event, the four J/109s include Jim Prentice’s DIVA, Adrian King-Harris’ J, Stu Burnell’s TANTIVY, and Tom Sitar’s SERENDIPITY.  The three J/35s are George Leighton’s TAHLEQUAH, Jason Vannice’s ALTAIR and Karl Haflinger’s SHEARWATER.

Not surprisingly, the J/105s have their own class, sailing as one-design for the Cape Flattery Race!  Top boats include recent Oregon Offshore Race class and overall winner FREE BOWL OF SOUP raced by those “wild & crazy guys” from Portland, Oregon and led by their skipper Doug Schenk.  They will be chased hard by top local crews, such as Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO, Chris Phoenix’s JADED and Chuck Stephens’ PANIC.

There is a quartet of J/teams sailing the shortest option, the Juan de Fuca Race- 78.7nm to a mark at Clallam Bay and return to Victoria Harbour.  In that fleet are Phil Wampold’s J/92 ZAFF fighting three J/30s (Colin Bishop’s REDUX, Ulf George Gwildis’ IMPULSIVE, and Theo Singelis’ TAKU.

Finally, getting out on the water and having fun with his J/105 for a daysail in the Inshore Flying Sales PHRF division will be Tom Kerr on CORVO 105!  For more Swiftsure Race sailing information

J/70 sailing off Sardinia, ItalySardinia J/70 "Elements Race" Announcement
(Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- Guglielmo Fontana-Rava, the Italian founder of the “Elements Race”, had a brilliant insight one day, thinking- - why not combine what sailors like to do a lot of- race sailboats and, vicariously, race their cars in traffic as they search for the fastest, shortest routes to work and back!  It’s all navigation and tactics, after all!

Sailors, no matter where you are in the world, seem to be on this same wavelength, whether in Monaco, Cowes, Newport, Hong Kong, Sydney, Auckland, Hamburg, Cannes, or Buenos Aires.  And, so Guglielmo’s vision became a reality.  As he said, “our formula is a biathlon which combines Sailing and Off-road rally racing into a unique challenge for teams!  It is a lot of fun and sailors in Italy met our ‘test’ event last year quite enthusiastically.  Now, we want to broaden participation to the rest of the world, limited to just 12 twelve teams by application to race J/70s and road rally on four-wheel ATV’s!”

J/70 ATV regattaFrom September 21st to 24th, the second edition of the Elements Race will be sailing the fleet of twelve J/70s from the famous YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia.  All J/Boat owners, sailors and friends are invited to learn more about the event and, hopefully, some will participate and have a wonderful time on the magical island of Sardinia- one of the true treasures in the Mediterranean!  You simply cannot beat the setting, a gorgeous archipelago of islands off the northern shores of Sardinia, aquamarine waters clear to a depth of 25 meters, and extraordinary Mediterranean weather (great for your skin, a tonic for your soul)!  Remember, road rallies are simply time-based, not speed oriented, so the key is to maintain an average speed on your off-road ATV so that you pass each “timing point” at exactly the time you are supposed to pass it.  So, if you take a wrong turn or simply goof up your timing, you are penalized points- the winner of a rally is NOT who went fastest, but who was the most precise team navigating the course- perfect for couples (one drives, one calculates and navigates!).

For more information about this soon-to-be “bucket list” event, please contact Guglielmo Fontana-Rava at phone- +31-6-46608330 or email- guglielmo.fontanarava@elementsrace.com   For more Elements Race (J/70 + ATV) information, please click here.

J/24 40th Round Island RaceJ/24 40th Anniversary Around Island Race Announcement!
(Newport, RI)- Mark your calendars now.  This could be an epic event.  There’s no more iconic a race course in J/24 class history than the 21nm track around Conanicut Island in Narragansett Bay that helped decide the outcome of the first J/24 North Americans in 1978, and then the first J/24 World Championship in 1979 (remember- we got hit by the famous Fastnet Race storm in Newport!).  It would be impossible to count how many times J/24s have circumnavigated Conanicut Island since, but it would be safe to say the “Around the Island Race” is the all-time favorite for generations of J/24 Fleet 50 sailors, not to mention a big income generator for local boat repair shops.  If you have never raced along a rocky coastline interspersed with beautiful beaches, a cool summer sea breeze and lots of current, then this is the race for you!

To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the J/24 Class, J/Fest New England and Sail Newport invite all J/24 sailors, past and present, to enter the Around the Island Race with the first gun at 1300 hrs on Friday August 11th.  To make a whole weekend of it, there’s W/L buoy racing Saturday and Sunday as part of J/Fest New England.  For more J/Fest New England and Around Island Race sailing information  

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

While those in the Caribbean and north of the equator are experiencing wildly varying sailing conditions for spring events the same cannot be said for those “Down Under”, no matter where they are.  It seems the rapidly melting polar ice caps, particularly the Ross ice shelf on Antarctica, is producing beyond idyllic post card sailing weather in the southern hemispheres for their rather long, and extended, sailing summers.  Nevertheless, while it is supposed to be approaching “winter” down south, the weather has been anything but that!!  Witness the recent “fall” sailing events in Chile.  In Higuerillas, Con Con region, north of Valparaiso, Chile, it was all about summer sailing weather.  The debut of the new J/88 family offshore speedster was welcomed by all!  Then, just a bit further south in Algarrobo, Chile (basically due west of the capital of Santiago), the J/70s held the first of their qualifier series for the J/70 South American Championships- twenty-one boats in attendance!!

Over in the “northern” Americas, the J/24s held their USA Nationals in Seattle, WA on the famously shifty and tricky Puget Sound, hosted by the Corinthian YC Seattle.  Just across the SF Bay, St Francis YC was also hosting their US Sailing Match Race Qualifiers in J/22’s.  Finally, out east on the famous Hudson River, the Manhattan Regatta for J/105s was held with the fleet enjoying great racing, lots of current and amazing camaraderie at Liberty Landing Marina- their BBQ’s and evening parties are amazing!!

Flipping across the Big Pond, we find the J/109 and J/80 fleets sailing the Almere Regatta in the Netherlands.  It was a great regatta for Dutch J/109 teams and it was a tremendous tune-up for their J/80 fleet as they focus on the upcoming J/80 Worlds held next door in Hamble, United Kingdom. In those same waters on the Solent off Cowes, Isle of Wight, the RORC held their popular Vice Admiral’s Cup; the event included two fleets of J/109s and J/111s.

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:

May 23- RORC North Sea Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
May 25-28- Gran Prix Ecole del Navale- Camaret-sur-Mer, France
May 25-28- J/24 North American Championship- Houston, Texas
May 26-28- Storm Trysail Block Island Race- Larchmont, NY
May 26- Spinnaker Cup Race- Belvedere, CA
May 27-28- Swiftsure International Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
May 29- Coastal Cup Race- Santa Barbara, CA
Jun 1- SoCal 300 Race- Newport Beach, CA
Jun 2-3- Susan Hood Trophy Race- Port Credit, ONT, Canada
Jun 2-4- Southern Bay Race Week- Hampton, VA
Jun 2-5- J/22 World Championship- Scheveningen, The Netherlands
Jun 3-4- Cal Race Week- Marina del Rey, CA
Jun 3-4- Cedar Point One-Design Regatta- Cedar Point, CT
Jun 3-9- J/70 European Championship- Hamble, England
Jun 9-11- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL
Jun 9-11- New York YC 163rd Annual Regatta- Newport, RI
Jun 16-18- J/70 Great Lakes Championship- Cleveland, OH
Jun 16-18- Cleveland Race Week- Cleveland, OH
Jun 17-18- British J/80 National Championship- Southampton, England
Jun 17-25- Kieler Woche- Kiel, Germany
Jun 18-23- Block Island Race Week- Block Island, RI
Jun 18-23- J/109 North American Championship- Block Island, RI
Jul 8-14- J/80 World Championship- Hamble, England

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

J/88 women sailors having fun in Chile!J/88 Family Speedster Loves Chile!
(Higuerillas, Con Con, Valparaiso, Chile)- On April 29th, Juan Pumpin’s brand new J/88 ESAUTOMATIX made its debut at the Regatta Mes del Mar hosted by Club de Yates Higuerillas, north of Valparaiso in the Con Con region.  This was the yacht club that was heavily affected by the big storm of August 2015 (essentially a Low that could have been classified as a Class 4 hurricane), but now was back and better than ever to host regattas for their friends and sailors all over Chile and South America (a similar story to New Orleans’ famous Southern YC phoenix-like resurrection from the ashes).

The regatta was held in honor of Arturo Prat and the Chilean Navy sailors.  Juan-Eduardo Reid commented on the significance of the day, “it was a great event to demonstrate the strength of sailing spirit after the club had to face the big challenge of re-construction. It is still sad and very emotional for members of CYH to remember that five boats sank in the marina and one club member died trying to rescue his boat from the rocks.”

Juan continues to comment, “the morning of the 29th of April had very light winds. At the noon-time ceremony, a memorial was conducted on the yacht club’s deck for the Chilean Navy members of the Esmeralda flag ship that sank at sea.”

J/88 sailing fast off ChileInitially programmed for a start at 1330 hrs, the CYH RC sent the twenty boats to the race course and made them wait for 3-4 hours.  Finally, a nice seabreeze of 10-15 kts came in from the southwest and one W/L race was held for the fleet.

This race was the debut for J/88 #79.  The crew was composed of owner/ skipper Juan Pumpin, his two daughters (Maida & Cote), Juan Reid, Pablo Gallyas, Isidora Urrutia and Ignacio Leiva.

Juan comments on their experience, “We started in the middle of the line with boats from 22 ft to 60 ft long on the same starting line! We started fine in the middle of the line, with Caleuche (former IRC Emme 36) and First 35 Aura (IRC 3 winner for the last 5 seasons) to windward.  So, the challenge was to keep the position against these two IRC fully-tuned boats, plus the bigger boats like the Swan 65 and the X-50 coming from behind at full speed!!

We succeeded in going fast to the left side of the course.  We ended up over-standing upwind on the left layline, with frontal chop, we were getting to the windward mark a little ahead of the Swan 65 coming full speed on the starboard layline!  It was a hard time to decide what to do!!  Tack or cross??  Classic problem!! But, the brave crew decided to tack in front of the big Swan 65.  Easing the sails out of the tack, the J/88 accelerates immediately, so the big white Swan couldn't catch us and we round the mark just in front of them!!

J/88 Chile winning teamWe hoist the asymmetric spinnaker.  We didn't really know if going deep (soaking mode), or higher at 8-10 kts of speed with 12-14 kts of breeze, was going to be faster. We decided the latter was better (wrong)!  We get to the leeward mark on the left side of the course; the J/105 started to approach and the leeward mark was starting to get very complicated.  Add in the huge X-50 coming in from the right on port tack- watch out!  We managed to round close to the mark and tack immediately.  We lost 4 or 5 positions at the mark. But, getting to the left again on the windward leg paid big dividends, we were able to recover and again over the J/105s and others like the X-50.

Coming in again from the left side of the course, we were able to tack in front of the J/105 FOGONAZO (the ultimate winner of the J/105 class).   Again, we hoisted the big asymmetric spinnaker and took off downwind.  Wow, this J/88 is fast downwind!  We managed to increase the distance on the J/105s quite easily; we were learning in real-time from our mistakes regards downwind VMG!

The last approach to the finish line was from the left side of the course, we were looking for more breeze in the RC Flag and we were just able to pass and beat the huge X-50 in real-time!

We finished third in the IRC 3 class on handicap.  And, were sixth on the water, in front of the X-50!! With no practice, no tuning, having no idea on how to sail the boat!

Great boat, great crew. Impressive boat speed, especially downwind in a boat less than 30 feet of length.

The sensation in comparison to the J/70 is quite similar, but in a bigger boat. The J/88 is very sensitive to steering and very easy and stable going downwind.  Of course, you need to spend some hours to get a better understanding for the jib’s in-hauler setting going to windward. But, this was our first race!  Furthermore, we knew our downwind VMG tactics were wrong, better to sail deeper and faster to take advantage of the J/88’s ability to slide downwind on even the smallest puffs!”  For more J/88 offshore family speedster sailing information

J/crew on SolentVice Admiral’s Cup Fun 4 J/111s & J/109s
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The 2017 edition of the RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup continued to expand its inclusion for one-design and offshore classes that have made their mark on the famous “river” known simply as the Solent.  Again, the J/Boats were well represented by the J/109 and J/111 classes, with five of the former and six of the latter entered. Among the J/109s were the second and third placed finishers from last year's Nationals: Robert Stiles' DIAMOND JEM and David Richards' JUMPING JELLYFISH. The J/111 line-up included reigning World Champion, Martin Dent with JELVIS.

Campaigning the J/111 since 2014, Dent typically sails with a young team, including family and students. He reckons being World Champion means nothing, "It is a good fleet and we'll be struggling again against the top teams, like Tony Mack on McFLY, Cornel Riklin on JITTERBUG and Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II."

The Vice Admiral's Cup is becoming a must-do regatta for the J/111s as it is the first event of the year they sail under class rules (as opposed to IRC), limiting their sail inventory and to sailing with one 'pro' on board. Dent also likes it being a three-day event..."that's better than two and the Vice Admiral's Cup has always got good race management."

As to J/111 racing, Dent continues: "It is such good fun: you put the kite up and start ripping downwind at 16-17 knots, and you think 'great – we're going really fast', but then you find that everyone arrives at the same time at the leeward mark. It’s never a procession, there are always lead changes!!”  Here is how it all went down for Martin, the J/111s and the J/109’s at this year’s Vice Admiral’s Cup.

J/109 sailing off Cowes, EnglandDay One
The Solent laid on perfect conditions with brilliant sunshine, wind that built from 10-20 kts through the afternoon, building up a steep chop that was enough to cause crews to struggle to keep boats beneath rigs!  Almost “fresh to frightening” sailing weather.

Dent’s JELVIS repeated his World Championship-winning form, posting a 1-3-1 to lead the J/111 Class, but by just one point from Cornel Riklin’s JITTERBUG. Simon Perry and the crew on JIRAFFE did one better to lead the J/109 class with a 2-1-1 scoreline, which Perry reckoned was the best his team had ever managed, albeit coming straight out of a win at Warsash Spring Series, “we’re savoring the moment. What we enjoy most is sailing with a good group of boats."

Day Two
Conditions turned positively autumnal as crews found themselves wrestling their boats around the courses in 15-20 knot winds until a squall caused conditions to gust up to 28 knots, plus rain and reducing visibility.

Some clearly enjoyed the brisk conditions. Mack's McFLY scored three bullets to take the lead in the J/111s.  After her stand out Friday, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE found it harder going, but managed to retain the lead in the J/109s. John Smart's JUKE BOX was the lowest scorer winning the opening race, with David Richards' JUMPIN JELLYFISH and Robert Stiles' DIAMOND JEM claiming honours in the subsequent two.

Commenting on their three bullets on the J/111 race track, Tony Mack said, ”It was lovely sailing- we are delighted with our results. Sometimes I think things just go well for you and you make the right calls and other days you don't seem to. Perhaps that is why we keep coming back!"

J/111 McFly sailing off Cowes on Solent, EnglandThe J/111s sailed two windward-leewards today ending the day with a round-the-cans course that was shortened at Gurnard Ledge. Even the invincible McFLY had her upsets, including one wild broach coming out of a gybe!!  No one is infallible, that is for sure!  While the results indicate otherwise, racing among the J/111s was still close. "You had to try until the very end. In the J/111s there are some very good owner-drivers," concluded Mack.

Day Three- Finale
Sailing concluded on the central Solent in lighter 10-13 knot winds, this time blowing from the east. The leaderboard was very tight across the J/classes, so discards decided their outcome.

In the J/109s, the final day brought about a change of leader with Robert Stiles on DIAMOND JEM edging out David Richards’ JUMPIN JELLYFISH by a point, in turn finishing one point ahead of Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE. "It has been very, very close racing," admitted Stiles. "We won it on the last tack going into the windward mark. It has been a real ding-dong all through the event. We are delighted to have won it two years in succession."

JUMPIN JELLYFISH had managed to get the overlap on DIAMOND JEM at the final mark of the first race to finish ahead but in the second race DIAMOND JEM turned the tables. "It has been three days of great sailing," said Stiles. "It is a really nice regatta and there were some great courses."

Racing in the J/111 class also came down to the last race with Tony Mack’s McFLY managing to beat Martin Dent’s World Champions crew on JELVIS by a mere point.

"It has been a fantastic three days of sailing,” said Dent. "It has been a fabulous variety of racing– we have had all conditions. The Vice Admiral’s Cup does proper justice to a one-design fleet and it is credit to the RORC race team in setting courses that are challenging, but fair."

JELVIS claimed the first race after winning the pin at the start. Prior to the start of the second race JELVIS and McFLY were involved in a match-racing style dial-up. JELVIS then sailed their opponent away from the start area, but then at the gun, they got held up by another boat that was OCS, enabling the wily Mack to get away. As a result, McFLY beat JELVIS to the overall win by just a point.  For more RORC Vice Admirals Cup sailing information

J/24s sailing off SeattleWhittemore Crowned USA J/24 National Champion!
(Seattle, Washington)- It was worth the wait on Friday for Keith Whittemore’s TUNDRA ROSE at the J/24 USA National Championship, hosted by Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle. After a long day of anticipating breeze, thirty-two teams finally got to compete around 4:00 p.m. PDT in winds at 4-6 knots. Two races went in the books with local Seattle hotshot Whittemore leading the pack with 7 points. The Japanese team SIESTA, led by Nobuyuki Imai, was a mere one point back. Will Welles and Matt Pistay were tied on points at 13 for third and fourth place, respectively.
  
Whittemore’s TUNDRA ROSE may not have started day two on a high note, but he sure ended on one…or two. The Seattle-based skipper went into Saturday with a one-point advantage, but notched a 19 in the opening race. He then promptly added two bullets to hold a two-point lead going into the last day. Scott Milne’s TREMENDOUS SLOUCH moved into second place overall with 30 points, just one ahead of Michael Johnson’s PEARL and Nobuyuki Imai’s SIESTA (both with 31 points).

The locals took charge of Saturday’s first race in winds at 6-8 knots: Johnson’s PEARL, Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE and Steve Travis’ SPARK. The breeze increased a couple knots in the next contest, when Whittemore defeated Bob Kinsman’s ATOM ANT and John Mason’s R.Y.L.A.H. at the finish line. The top three of the final battle mirrored the top three overall: Whittemore, Milne and Johnson.

On the final day, of the nine races completed Whittemore’s TUNDRA ROSE won five of them. Four races were completed on Sunday, but after tallying a 1-2-1 in the first three, Whittemore and crew of Shelby Milne, Brian Thomas, Kevin Downey and Mark Rodgers could head for shore as Champions at their local Corinthian YC of Seattle. Reigning US National Champion Will Welles flew up the standings with two bullets on the day to claim second place on a tie-breaker over Nobuyuki Imai’s Japanese crew on SIESTA (both with 39 points to Whittemore’s 31). Rounding out the top five were Johnson’s PEARL and Milne’s TREMENDOUS SLOUCH, in 4th & 5th, respectively.  For more J/24 USA Nationals sailing information

J/70 sailing off ChileVOLVO Leads Chile J/70 Qualifiers
(Algarrobo, Chile)- Sixteen J/70s took part in the Chilean fleet qualifier regatta for the 2017 J/70 South American Championship in Algarrobo- October 27th to November 1st, 2017.  It was incredibly close racing throughout the regatta, but there was no question the team to beat was a former top J/24 skipper- Matias Seguel!  After posting a 2-1-2-1-2-3 for total of 11 pts, they were winners of the regatta by a significant margin.

The wind conditions were 12-15 kts on the first day. Seguel and his VOLVO crew (they finished 11th in the San Francisco J/70 Worlds) had three clear starts and good speed to have a good track on the course to post a 2-1-2 on the first day and never looked back, easily winning the regatta.

J/70 lagoon in ChilePer Von Appen and crew, a team that also participated in the San Francisco J/70 Worlds and won the J/70 Chilean National Championship in Panguipulli last February, worked hard to recover from a couple of bad starts and finished 2nd overall. Third was Carlos Vergara’s SENSEI.  Rounding out the top five were Pablo Amunategui’s BLACK JACK in 4th and Felipe Robles’ LEXUS in 5th place.

Courses were long, cold and choppy so the crews had to manage the waves, especially on port tack, getting to the weather mark.  The wind was sometimes shifting right and sometimes shifting left at the very end of the weather mark in the left corner, mostly close to the shore.

For many teams, sailing with the asymmetric spinnaker, there were important differences in pressure, so the teams needed to manage between soaking or planing mode, and especially dealing with the wave angle in both tacks.

The next date for the J/70 South American qualifiers in Chile is June 3rd and 4th.  From that event, the first 14 boats will be selected as the local representatives at the South American Championship.  For more Chile J/70 South American qualifier sailing information

J/80s sailing off the NetherlandsJoy @ Almere Regatta For 80s & 109s
(Almere, The Netherlands)- Perhaps the biggest opening regatta of the season for Benelux/ Dutch sailors in the J/80 and J/109 classes is the Almere Regatta hosted by WSV Flevomare.  It was tight competition in the J/80 class, but in the J/109s it was clear that a “schooling” was taking place that many other boats needed to learn from to continue to pursue a better summer season.

Starting with the J/80s, an eight-boat fleet produced tremendous racing over a seven-race series.  In the end, it was the last race that truly determined the outcome for the regatta.  Winning was the Roel & Torsten team on JOYRIDE by just one point over Robert Raadsheer’s JETZT GEHTS LOS crew.  Just two points back with 17 points was Jorrit Beekman’s JSB.  Rounding out the top five was Bernhard Holsboer’s JUUL with 21 pts in 4th place and Louis Kanters’ JIP in 5th with 25 pts.

The Netherlands J/109 class saw a rabbit take off in flight, never to be seen again!  Winning was top woman skipper Caroline van Beelen-Rutger Kri on her JACK RABBIT with an astounding record of seven 1sts and one 2nd- tossing out a 1st and 2nd to win with just all 1sts!  Ouch!!  Talk about a “spanking” of her J/109 fleet, she showed how it’s done with a fast girl on the wheel!  Taking second a country mile behind was Arjen van Leeuwen’s JOULE with 17 pts, third was Team Heiner Talents on TEAM HEINER 4 with 19 pts, fourth was Dennis Zuidam’s JAM SESSION with 19 pts (losing the tie-breaker), and fifth was Arnout Jorritsma’s MAJIC with 20 pts.   Follow the Almere Regatta on FB here   For more Almere Regatta sailing information

J/105's sailing off New York cityLOULOU Tops Manhattan J/105 Regatta!
(New York, NY)- Continuing a New York City and J/105 tradition, J/105 Fleet 10 in conjunction with the Liberty YC hosted the 7th Annual Manhattan Regatta in the amazing racing venue of New York Harbor.  Nine J/105’s fought it out in eight races over two days in courses set by PRO Vicky Neiner between Lady Liberty and the Brooklyn shoreline- no question, currents in the fabulous venue were the overwhelming tactical consideration for the entire weekend!  Doh!  The Hudson River was overloaded with all kind of rainwater run-off from various storms from the past week or so, draining thousands of square miles of the mountain ranges north of New York City.

The regatta started with a light air first race in a course paralleling the Staten Island Ferry path where the wind shifted 180 degrees.  At one point, spinnakers were simultaneously used in opposite directions!

After this slow start, a steady sea breeze kicked in from the south necessitating a course reset to the Brooklyn shore.  Three races were then completed with tight competition, leaving area favorite Paul Beaudin’s LOULOU first with Ann and Gary Myer’s MAGIC and Mark van Schalkwyk’s CIRCE close behind.  LOULOU is currently the area’s hot boat after winning the AYC’s Spring Regatta earlier in May.

Additionally, the Perth Amboy, NJ based boat ESCAPADE skippered by Al Rothschild won the single day PHRF division.  At the end of the day, all competitors returned to the Liberty Landing Marina to enjoy the traditional BBQ aboard the Liberty Lightship under the Manhattan skyline.

Sunday featured a steady mid-teens Southeast breeze and bright sunshine.  Another course was set up along the Brooklyn shoreline under the gaze of Lady Liberty.  The competitors enjoyed four races with MAGIC constantly nipping at LOULOU’s heels in every race.  Both split the bullets while MAGIC gained ground in races they did not win.  An exhausted LOULOU survived the 8th race of the weekend to win their first place Lady Liberty trophy.  MAGIV and CIRCE completed the podium positions.

We thank Liberty YC members Jim Chambers and Huhnsik Chung for generously providing their boats and time for RC. Also, we wish to “thank” our Fleet 10 officers David Spence and Paul Zajac for once again organizing a great spring event!!  For more Manhattan J/105 Regatta sailing information

J/22 match race off St Francis YCBennet Wins USA Match Race Western Qualifier
(San Francisco, CA)- Shawn Bennett of the St. Francis Yacht Club, together with team-mates Eric Baumhoff, Tom Purdy and Melissa Purdy Feagin, won the USA Match Racing Championship Qualifier hosted at the St. Francis on May 20-21, 2017 in J/22s.

Fellow St. Francis YC member Nicole Breault was second and her husband Bruce Stone was third, winning the tie-breaker over Andrew Meade from Hawaii.

The conditions were perfect with wind in the 12-18 kt range and relatively flat water, though the meandering ebb tide created extra work for the mark-set team and difficult calls for tacticians due to a “false flood” running up the city front from the excessive snow-melt water trying to exit San Francisco Bay.

Bennett qualified to compete for the USA Match Racing Championship for the Prince of Wales Bowl Trophy at Oakcliff Sailing Center, Oyster Bay NY on October 13-15, 2017.   Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray- http://www.crayivp.com   For more St Francis YC USA Match Race sailing information.

J/Community
What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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J70 stadium sailing No question, J/70 Sailors Love GPYC Stadium Sailing!  Here is the commentary from Wally Cross, the Grosse Pointe YC Sailing Director:

“The wonderful aspect of stadium sailing is that you never know what the day’s conditions will bring for sailing.  We were lucky to get a fantastic 12-17 kts easterly with big chop.  It would have been nice to have sun and warmer temperatures, but we did have a great wind speed and direction.

We are working hard to make the next event, the June 23rd evening Stadium Sailing event even more fun.  We will have music and a commentator announcing the action for the spectators for our next event.  We will also have a bar set up for the spectators and sailors during this four hour sailing work out.  After the event, at 9pm we will have pizza and a keg on the Gazebo bar deck area. I am hoping we have wonderful summer like conditions and hope everyone will all attend the after party.  Consider bringing your J/70 over on Thursday or early Friday and leaving on Saturday.  It would be fun to share stories of the racing with each other.  Encourage more boats and spectators!

J/70 sailing league at GPYCWe are talking to sponsors now and my goal by the last event is to supply each boat racing a set of ‘Stadium Sails’.  The sails would have graphics and numbers for just this event. Each boat would also have the rig adjusted by one person to make all the boats the same.  Only adjustment you would be using is backstay. Once our sailing center is complete, we will truly make this a spectator sport. Sailing has to be fun and any ideas you have that could make this better, please let us know.

For now, keep enjoying your J/70 and spread the word to get more boats from out of town to sail in our stadium.

‘Thank You’ to boats that traveled to this event- Jerry Hines, Kevin Meier and the winner, James Prendergast.

The boats that scored well got off the line.  Boat handling was hard for most boats, but starting was the single biggest difference from the top to the bottom.  This is why the races on Tuesday and Stadium races will make you a better sailor at any regatta.

Thanks, again, for everyone for taking the time to sail at GPYC’s inaugural stadium sailing event, we look forward to seeing you all at the June 23rd event!”

“MarkSetBot” made its debut this weekend at Grosse Pointe YC for Premiere Sailing League's Stadium Races in J/70s. Over the 36 races this weekend, there were at least 30 mark changes and MSB performed flawlessly. It was quite the test, too, Saturday's races saw winds of 15-20 knots and waves of 3-5 feet. Learn more here-   MarkSetBot- facebook.com/MarkSetBot   For more J/70 GPYC sailing video.
 

J/Cruisers
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- http://heronreachodyssey.blogspot.com/
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:  http://www.svceolmor.com/SVCeolMor/Welcome.html

* 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."

READ MORE ABOUT BILL'S INSIGHTFUL COMMENTARY AND THOUGHTS ON WSJ ONLINE HERE

J/42 sailing off France* 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 and points further around the Blue Planet Earth.  Here is their latest update (December 2016) from Bill & Kathy:

“We completed a three year tour of the south pacific and sailed from Hobart Tasmania back to Seattle in the fall of 2012.  After two seasons of local cruising, we decided to truck the boat to Rochester NY.  In the summer of 2015, we sailed out the Saint Lawrence seaway and down the east coast of Nova Scotia and the US, with a few months in the Bahamas that winter.  This past summer, we crossed the Atlantic with stops in Bermuda and the Azores, making landfall in Falmouth, UK.  We have worked down the coast of France, Spain and Portugal and are now in Lagos Portugal.  We plan on passing through the Straits of Gibraltar and spending a couple seasons in the Med.”

Their blog is here: http://www.svjarana.blogspot.com/

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

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 (http://web.me.com/susangrun).  Read about their latest adventures as they've gotten to New Zealand- "Avante Cruises the Pacific".

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

J/Newsletter- May 17th, 2017

J/121 offshore speedster hull deck fittingNEW J/121 Offshore Speedster Update!
(Newport, RI)- It’s spring fever in New England and the boat yards and builders are buzzing with activity, no more so than at CCF Composites in Bristol, RI, where the J/121 project has expanded from the prototype shop into the mold room and now the assembly room.

Two J/121 hulls and one deck are now molded and the first deck was just test-fit onto a hull (pictured here) to finalize the interior bulkhead patterns.  One of the benefits of having had the hull and deck plugs precision-machined at Symmetrix was readily apparent when the mating flanges of the finished hull and deck matched together perfectly.  The newly molded deck also shows off the subtle refinements made to the footrest locations and seat-back coamings during the plug process.  These are now beautifully molded in, along with the high-traction, non-skid deck surface essential for offshore sailing.

J/121 deck vacuum baggingThe J/121 hull, deck and bulkheads are vacuum-infused molded to provide high strength to weight ratios and consistent part weights.  The J/121 deck (shown under vacuum) utilizes Corecell structural PVC core for the primary deck panels and then high-density PVC core inserts in way of highly loaded hardware and components.

Specifications update
  • the Jefa twin wheel pedestal steering system includes both a wheel brake and a wheel disengagement control (for reduced cable wear when under auto-pilot). The Jefa autopilot transmission drive is available as an installed option.
  • Two Carbonautica J/Boats custom-styled composite wheels finished in black Awlgrip are included- the same beautiful wheel design that has been an option on other wheel-driven J models.
  • the Harken Performa winch package for the cabin top and primary winches will be available as electric. The same Harken winch body/gearing is used for both manual and electric versions which allows one to easily “electrically power” the winches later in life.  Harken is also supplying the hydraulic backstay system which includes a pump and release button on the front of each wheel pedestal.
  • the Southern Spars carbon mast package features an auto-claved, tapered carbon mast with carbon spreaders and an Antal mainsail luff track.  We’ve added an internal halyard lock for the inner jib, and the masthead has a built-in provision to accommodate an external halyard lock (commissioning option) for a Code 0 spinnaker.  
  • for the inner jib forestay deck fitting, there is a structural chainplate (attached to the forward bulkhead) with a twin ferrule set-up to allow a 3:1 tack purchase.  One hoists the pre-rolled inner jib until the halyard is locked in place and then adjusts forestay tension with the 3:1 downhaul led aft to a clutch/winch.
Project Schedule
With all of the major parts tooled, the prototype shop is now finalizing small part moldings such as the settee, galley and nav station base units, the aft head, and the v-berth supports.  Specifying these components in all-composite material provides an opportunity to save weight, enhance the finish, and provide better long-term durability.  Next for production is installing the deck hardware, while the structural bulkheads and interior components are installed in the hull (from stem to stern).  This will be followed by the mechanical and systems installations and finally the bonding of the deck to the hull. We are eagerly anticipating the launch and sea-trials later this summer in Newport.  For more J/121 Offshore Speedster sailing information

J/70 Argentina debutJ/70 Debuts in Argentina!
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)- As the J/70 class continues to grow around the world, it was clear the rapid adoption of the J/70 in Chile and Uruguay was going to stimulate interest across South America. Many of the world’s top J/24 and Olympic sailors have come from Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. In fact, the passion for the J/70 was so strong that when J/Boats announced several months ago that J/Boats Argentina, based in Buenos Aires, would become the next licensed builder for J/70s, the order book grew quickly to 20+ boats.

Roberto Authier, president of J/Boats Argentina, said this about debuting their first boat a fortnight ago, “We were very pleased the J/70 reception went so well. J/70 sailing off Buenos Aires, ArgentinaWe launched the first boat shortly after the christening ceremony and went sailing for a few hours with many sailors eagerly checking out their next boat. It's going to be a very busy year!"

"The J/70 becomes the second J design we've licensed for production in South America," added Jeff Johnstone of J/Boats. "We couldn't be happier having Roberto and Lucas Authier building the J/70 and continuing to provide long-term support for both the J/24 and J/70 classes."

The first Argentinean J/70 was launched after the christening ceremony and went sailing for a few hours with many new J/70 sailors eagerly hopping aboard to check out the new boat.  For more J/70 speedster sailing information

Women's J/70 sailing team off Newport2017 International Women’s Keelboat Champs Go To Mexico!
(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)– For the first time in event history, the storied International Women’s Keelboat Championship (IWKC) will be contested outside the United States! The revitalized championship, organized by US Sailing, will offer women sailors an opportunity for high-quality racing in J/70’s on the international stage. Club de Vela La Peña in Valle de Bravo, Mexico will host this championship on August 14-19, 2017 and will be providing the J/70’s for the event.

Up to 20 teams will be selected through an application process. The goals is for half the teams selected to represent North American countries and half will represent countries from around the world. The top American boat will be the U.S. representative at the 2018 Sailing Champions League World qualifier. International teams are encouraged to apply.

To ensure fast and competitive racing, the round-robin format for the championship features team rotations after every five races. Each team will race an equal number of races against the other teams. Races will be approximately 15 minutes in duration. The host club will ensure quick rotations and J/70 women's keelboat sailing videoon-the-water umpiring, in addition to a quality viewing experience for spectators.  Here is a nice sailing video summary of the 2016 IWKC event held at American YC in Rye, NY.

If you are interested, please make sure to submit your application by Friday, May 19 to access early registration discount!

We hope to see your team sailing J/70’s in Mexico this August! For more International Women’s Keelboat Championship sailing information.

J/70s sailing at St Petersburg YCUSA Adult Sailing Championships @ St Petersburg YC!
(Portsmouth, RI)- The 2017 edition of the US Sailing Adult Championship will be hosted by St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, FL from November 9th to 12th.  The qualifiers from the various US Sailing regional sailing associations will be racing in StPYC’s new fleet of matched J/70 class sailboats!  The competitors will be in for a real thrill, racing a short course format, all hoping to win the coveted Clifford D Mallory Trophy.  In addition, the winner will be the USA representative racing J/70’s at the Sailing Champions League World qualifier, the principal event that all fourteen European national sailing leagues participate in as well to determine the world’s best sailing club!  The Notice of Race is here.

How do you qualify?  Here is what you will need to do for each individual Regional Sailing Association (RSA):
  • Each Regional Sailing Association (RSA) will select the team they submit. These determinations can include qualification or resume submission to the RSA representative of US Sailing
  • Teams must be made up of sailors from the RSAs they are representing and members of sailing organizations that are members of that RSA.
  • Team members must be current members of US Sailing
  • Sailing organizations must be current members of US Sailing
  • The event will be sailed in J/70s using the league sailing format
  • The minimum number of crew for the event shall be four including the helmsperson.
For more information on how your RSA will select a team, contact them here.

J/70 flying off waveFort-2-Fort Challenge Announcement
(Annapolis, MD)- The Fort 2 Fort Races are comprised of three separate record challenges in Annapolis and Baltimore, linking historical forts of Fort Severn (United States Naval Academy) and Fort McHenry across Chesapeake Bay. The three races are the Fort 2 Fort Race, the R2 Challenge, and the Star Spangled Banner Challenge. Each race is designed to be sailed in either direction to promote the best sailing conditions based on the weather window to set a new record.

The races can be entered between April 1st and November 1st each year.  With each paid entry, your entry gives you the ability to enter all three challenges, a combination of the three, or the same challenge three times. Each entry must be submitted with a valid .gpx file to verify course times.

Eligible classes are Monohull A (15 Ft and below), Monohull B (16 Ft – 30 Ft), Monohull C (30+ FT), Multihull A (20 Ft and below), and Multihull B (21 Ft+).  In addition to these classes, there will be an overall record, and PHRF record.  If there are 5 or more One Design boats entered, than a One Design Class will also be scored.

The Fort 2 Fort Race is between Annapolis (Fort Severn/ Naval Academy) and Baltimore (Fort McHenry). The course is approximately 38 miles starting or finishing depending on the direction of choice from Triton Light at the Naval Academy, to Government Marks off Fort McHenry.

The R2 Challenge is between Triton Light at the Naval Academy and Severn River Marker R2.  The course is approximately 3.8 miles and can be run from either direction.
   
The Star Spangled Banner Challenge is between Government Marks off Fort McHenry, and the Francis Scott Key Buoy near the Patapsco Bridge. Since the buoy is only in the water starting on June first each year, the Government Marks adjacent create a line through the buoy. The course is approximately 3.4 miles and can be run in either direction.

A portion of the entry fees will be donated to area organizations and foundations supporting sailing and the Chesapeake Bay. If you have any questions please email- racedirector@fort2fortrace.com or contact race founder- Drew Beach- drewjbeach@gmail.com.   For further information on the Fort 2 Fort Races, please visit here.

J/109 sailing Cedar PointCedar Point One-Design Regatta Announcement
(Cedar Point, CT)- Cedar Point Yacht Club’s One Design Regatta in Westport, CT, June 3&4 is an early season sailor favorite event on Long Island Sound. This year, several J/Boat classes have very strong fleets, ten J/70, eight J/88, six J/105 and the biggest class is J/109 with seventeen boats.  J/Boats make up 75% of the registered competitors for the 2017 regatta.

The One Design Regatta is also the 2017 East Coast Championship for the J/109 class with entrants as far away as Annapolis to the south and Newport to the east. It is a very competitive fleet including the past three East Coast Champions Jonathan Rechtschaffer’s EMOTICON, Bengt & Marie Johansson’s ZIG ZAG and David Rosow’s LOKI. LOKI is also the current National Champion that will try to defend that title at Block Island Race Week in just a few weeks. Several other top boats in the class are also competing Bud Roger’s BIG BOAT, Carl Olson’s MORNING GLORY and Bill Sweetser’s RUSH just to name a few.  For more Cedar Point One-Design Regatta sailing information

J/120 sailing Edgartown Race WeekendEdgartown Race Week- The Long & the Short of it
(Edgartown, MA)— Edgartown YC Race Weekend isn’t your typical regatta. For starters, it has two parts: one for the much revered and time-tested (79 years old) distance race around Martha’s Vineyard and another for two days of short-course racing (added in 2012) in Edgartown’s Outer Harbor. And no need to fret if you can’t do it all. Only the ’Round-the-Island Race (‘RTI) on Saturday, July 22 requires an entry fee, and to boot, each day of the ’Round-the-Buoy Races (‘RTB) are scored separately, so if you can make one day and not the other, you can still win silverware in your class!

“Some years I do the buoy racing in addition to the ’Round-the-Island and some years just the ’RTI,” said Stephen Besse (Guilford, Conn.), skipper of the J/120 Après. “I use a lot of family for crew, so it all depends on where my son is, where my daughter is.... For this year, I haven’t yet decided whether to do both or not. The boat serves the family, rather than the other way around.”

Besse has raced in the event on at least five different kinds of boats, and he has done the ‘RTI every year since he has owned the J/120 (2009.) He Lives on Martha’s Vineyard half the year, sails out of Vineyard Haven, and

Besse sailing his J/120Though he considers himself to be “basically a local racer,” Besse broke the pattern last year and competed in the Newport to Bermuda Race. He and his Après team wound up winning the J/120 class.

That bodes well for this year’s ’Round-the-Island Race. Since J/Boat participation in the ‘RTI is typically robust (16 boats in 2016), event organizers have, for a second year, decided to expand the awards to recognize first- through third-place finishers, on corrected time, among all J/Boats in all classes

“I’m fascinated with sailing around the island,” said Besse, who first circumnavigated Martha’s Vineyard in a Rhodes 19 at age 17 (he will be 68 in June). “It’s breathtakingly beautiful, particularly around Squibnocket Point, which you see when you go between Nomans Land, south of the Vineyard, and the Vineyard itself. It’s sand dunes on top of cliffs.”

Besse also appreciates the gentle slopes and beaches of Wasque as well as the iconic rounding at Devils Bridge and Aquinnah. “It’s one of the few races where I don’t have any trouble getting crew,” he said. “In fact, I’m usually oversubscribed for crew when it comes to the ’RTI.”

Regularly attracting entrants from the Eastern Seaboard and beyond, Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend delivers exceptional racing opportunities for boats 28 feet and longer in classes for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF (spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions), Double-Handed, and Classic. A Welcome Reception on Wednesday night (July 19); a Mount Gay-sponsored “jump-up” party on Friday night; and prize givings on both Friday and Sunday (July 23) round out the schedule for competitors who are entered in one or the other, or both, of the racing sessions.

Deadline for entry is Wednesday, July 19 for the ’Round-the-Buoy Races and Friday, July 21 for the ’Round-the- Island Race. For more information, go to http://www.RTIrace.org or contact raceadministrator@edgartownyc.org.

Marblehad Halifax raceMarblehead to Halifax Race Announcement
(Marblehead, MA)- A competitive international fleet of boats will be at the starting line July 9 to begin the Marblehead to Halifax ocean race. The 363-mile race, which dates back to 1905, is billed as the “granddaddy of ocean races.”

Seventy-three boats have already signed up with two months of registration to go. “We are excited about the strength of the entries so far,” said Jennie Aspinall, Vice Commodore of the Boston Yacht Club and co-chair of the race. “Sixteen of the entrants will be defending one of more podium finishes from 2015.”

Several J/teams with impressive records have already signed up; including at least three J/120s- Gardner Grant’s ALIBI, Jim Praley’s SHINNECOCK, and Stu McCrea’s J/120 DEVIATION (read their story on preparation below in J/Community section).  Others are Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI from Houston, TX; Brad Willauer’s J/46 BREEZING UP from Scarborough, ME; and Phil Helmes’ J/133 FAST COMPANY III from Marblehead, MA.
J/109 sailing Halifax raceThe event is a cooperative venture of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and the Boston Yacht Club of Marblehead. Title sponsor is the Steele Auto Group of Canada with USA supporting sponsors: Gill, Marblehead Bank, Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty and BNY Mellon Wealth Management.

Among the current 73 entries, 34 are first timers, 17 are second timers and there are four entrants who have only missed two races since 1997. Richard Hinterhoeller of RNSYS, Co-Director, says one of those racing has entered every Marblehead to Halifax since 1997. The Marblehead to Halifax race will cap off a week of Fourth of July celebrations in the picturesque ocean side community. The Boston Yacht club will host a round of parties and receptions throughout the event.   Sailing photo credits- Craig Davis  For more Marblehead to Halifax Race sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The European continent is getting quite busy with their sailing league programs that are sailing J/70s as their boats of choice.  Three events took place this past weekend, Netherlands (Almere), Switzerland (Zurich) and Norway (Oslo).  A total of forty-seven sailing clubs with over 400 sailors were participating, just in sailing league action on the water— their fans at their local sailing clubs are avid followers on the Internet, following them on social media and via “live” video on YouTube- another 5,000 people or so!!

In the United Kingdom, the offshore sailors were already diving into their second major event of the European RORC Offshore Points Series, sailing the De Guingand Bowl Race, starting and finishing off the Royal Yacht Squadron line off Cowes, Isle of Wight.  There were several notable performances from a J/133, J/122, J/105s, amongst others.  The Italian J/24 fleet in week 19 are preparing for their Open National Championship, with teams showing up from the USA, Germany, Hungary.

Hopping across the Atlantic to the Americas, the Mexicans hosted their 5th J/70 Nationals in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico hosted by the Vallarta YC on the gorgeous Bahia de Banderas.

Up in the USA, there were several epic races that took place, all in big breeze, with fast tracks burned on the GPS’s.  On the east coast, it was Larchmont YC’s Edlu Race for what turned out to be an insanely fast day race.  There were several great performances from a cross section of J’s- from J/92s, J/105s, J/120s and so forth.  Then out west, there were two big events: one was the Portland YC’s Oregon Offshore from Astoria, OR (at the mouth of the Columbia River) to Victoria, British Columbia in Canada; the other was the Tri-Island Series- Vashon Island Race that took place in Seattle’s Puget Sound.  In both cases, it was a mix of J/122s, J/46, J/120, J/105s, J/109s, J/42, J/27, J/35 and others that all managed to collect some nice silverware.

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:

May 13-14- Vashon Island/ Tri-Island Race- Seattle, WA
May 17-21- USA J/24 Nationals- Seattle, WA
May 20- Grosse Pointe YC J/70 Sailing League- Detroit, MI
May 20-21- Almere J/80 Regatta- Almere, The Netherlands
May 20-21- J/22 Jackrabbit Regatta- Canandaigua, NY
May 20-21- Stratford Shoal Race- New York, NY
May 23- RORC North Sea Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
May 25-28- Gran Prix Ecole del Navale- Camaret-sur-Mer, France
May 25-28- J/24 North American Championship- Houston, Texas
May 26-28- Storm Trysail Block Island Race- Larchmont, NY
May 26- Spinnaker Cup Race- Belvedere, CA
May 27-28- Swiftsure International Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
May 29- Coastal Cup Race- Santa Barbara, CA
Jun 1- SoCal 300 Race- Newport Beach, CA
Jun 2-3- Susan Hood Trophy Race- Port Credit, ONT, Canada
Jun 2-4- Southern Bay Race Week- Hampton, VA
Jun 2-5- J/22 World Championship- Scheveningen, The Netherlands
Jun 3-4- Cal Race Week- Marina del Rey, CA
Jun 3-4- Cedar Point One-Design Regatta- Cedar Point, CT
Jun 3-9- J/70 European Championship- Hamble, England
Jun 9-11- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL
Jun 9-11- New York YC 163rd Annual Regatta- Newport, RI
Jun 16-18- J/70 Great Lakes Championship- Cleveland, OH
Jun 16-18- Cleveland Race Week- Cleveland, OH
Jun 17-18- British J/80 National Championship- Southampton, England
Jun 17-25- Kieler Woche- Kiel, Germany
Jun 18-23- Block Island Race Week- Block Island, RI
Jun 18-23- J/109 North American Championship- Block Island, RI
Jul 8-14- J/80 World Championship- Hamble, England

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

J/70s sailing off Puerto Vallarta, MexicoVINCITORE Wins Mexico J/70 Nationals
(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- On May 5th to 7th, the 5th Mexico J/70 National Championship was held in Puerto Vallarta, the fabulous coastal resort town on the western (Pacific) side of the country. It is now the fourth site the Mexican Nationals have been held; the others were Valle de Bravo twice, Acapulco, Cancun and now Vallarta.  A total of twenty teams attended and were graciously hosted by the Vallarta Yacht Club.

Puerto Vallarta in May is a perfect choice as you are 99% sure you will get the thermal sea breeze, permitting the first start of the day at 13:00 hrs with 10-12 knots, building up to 18-20 knots everyday! The J/70 teams that participated in the event were looking forward to the “postcard” sailing weather, teams came from Mexico City, Guadalajara, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta including a youth team sponsored by the BBB Sailing Program.

J/70 sailing off Mexico at NationalsWith three days of racing and 11 races scheduled, the VYC PRO and Committee were punctual and efficient, waiting patiently for the seabreeze to start at midday and, like clockwork, they could set the starting line and the marks, much to the delight of the happy fleet!

The first day of racing ended with Ignacio Perez Moret ZAQUERO in 1st place, tied on points with VINCITORE sailed by the Brockmann brothers and former World Champion Julian Fernandez in 3rd place sailing the familiar FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO.

On the second day, consistency was the key and VINCITORE posted a 2-1-2-1 to move into the lead after eight races. After a 10th place in the lighter air first race of the day, ZAQUERO recovered with three great races (a 2-1-2), but now basically used their drop race. A solid day for Yon Belausteguigoitia´s team LA BALA (a 3-3-6-3) put them in 4th place; this team had a tremendous amount of talent onboard with countless World Championship and Olympic regattas on their CV’s and not to mention an easy 217 years of age between the 4 of them!! Eduardo Porter’s GOLDO’s was also having consistent results (a 4-4-4-5) and was now in 5th place.

On the final day, three races were scheduled. VINCITORE had to be careful with ZAQUERO and FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO (who needed a perfect day to have a chance for the win).  The first race saw VINCITORE in 4th with ZAQUERO 3rd, FLOJITO 2nd and LA BALA in 1st place. VINCITORE went on to win the next two races as the sea breeze increased into the high teens.

J/70 sailing at Puerto Vallarta Nationals- MexicoDefinitely enjoying the event and conditions to win the National Championship was the crew of VINCITORE- Ricky Brockmann was skipper, Erik Brockmann (Ricky’s brother) was calling tactics, Jeronimo Mariscal was trimmer, and Diego Velasco was bowman. Second place went to Ignacio Perez Moret and team on ZAQUERO; they also won the Corinthians Division! Julian Fernandez ended in 3rd place with FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO.  Rounding out the top five were LA BALA in 4th and Porter’s GOLDO’S in 5th place.

According to Rod (“Caracas”) Favela, who was sailing in the regatta, “family and friends had a great time sailing in the gorgeous weather of the Pacific coast off Mexico, Bahia de Banderas is a beautiful place to sail!!  Great winds!

The most common, and probably most important phenomenon, I noticed was how many crews were families: Mom, Dad and the kids, and they were fast, talented crews that will get to the top without much difficulty.  No wonder why the class is growing so quickly in Mexico, as it allows a great family and social platform to be very competitive and fun!

I cannot say enough about the Mexican hospitality- great food, good laughs and very good quality racing, all happening under the umbrella of a top-of-the line Race Committee from Vallarta YC who ran perfect courses for all 11 races of the week! I want to go back already!!”  For more Mexico J/70 Nationals sailing information.

J/105 sailing RORC raceJ/133 Wins @ RORC De Guingand Bowl Race
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- This past weekend, the RORC held their fourth event in their season-long RORC Offshore Points Series, the De Guingand Bowl.  The race starts and finishes off the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line at Cowes, Isle of Wight.  The course picked for the fleet included a fair amount of fetching, reaching and running.  In fact, the intensity of competition is such that a good start can make all the difference, the first leg being a spinnaker run off the starting line. North Head was tough for a number of boats. At this point, the competition had all positioned themselves for the maximum tide running out of Portland. Some boats continued across to Swanage to see if the anticipated lift provided gains; and it worked to a tee. Those who did get there made the East Shingles Buoy without a tack and the wind freed enough that some boats even got the Code Zero aloft.  Another boat remarked that using their Code Zero on the leg back to St. Catherine's Point was the one part of the race where they made significant gains on their class.

In the end, the J/133s have done it again.  In the last race, the French J/133 PINTIA won IRC 1 Class and Overall.  In this race, a big shout out to Angus Bates’ J/133 ASSARAIN IV, “congratulations” to Angus and crew for winning IRC 1 Class!

Meanwhile, IRC 2 class saw Andy Theobald’s J/122 R&W take 2nd; while Elin Haf Davies & Chris Frost’s J/120 NUNATAK took 4th and Chris Daniel’s new J/122E JUNO took 5th place!

In the extremely competitive IRC Doublehanded fleet, it was Nick Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J in 6th, followed by Elin Haf Davies & Chris Frost’s J/120 NUNATAK in 7th, Jerry Freeman’s J/105 JULIETTE in 9th and Robert Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT in 10th.

For the RORC Season Series, here is the big picture: in IRC 2 class the J/122 R&W is 2nd; in IRC 3 class the J/105 DIABLO-J is 5th, the J/109 JELENKO (Trevor Sainty) is 7th, and the J/105 JULIETTE is 8th; in IRC 4 class the J/105 BIGFOOT is 3rd; and in the IRC Doublehanded class, the J/105 DIABLO-J is 5th, the J/105 JULIETTE (Jerry Freeman) is 7th and the J/105 BIGFOOT is 9th.

Next race is the Myth of Malham Trophy Race, basically a “mini-Fastnet Race” that starts off the Squadron line in Cowes and heads west, turn around and head back for the finish- very much a coastal race with a number of “tidal gates” and shoreline breezes to take into consideration.  For more RORC de Guingand Bowl Race sailing information

J/88s starting Edlu race 
Epic, Windy Edlu Distance Race
AYC Young American J/105 Wins, Again!
(Larchmont, NY)- This year’s 62nd annual Edlu Distance Race, a quick 32nm race from Larchmont breakwater to Eaton’s Neck and back was a bit more of a classic tune-up race than most people expected.  Saturday morning dawned, grey, cold, and quite breezy- in fact, blowing up to 30+ kts.  As a result, there was a bit of carnage on the race course with broaching, torn sails, ripped chutes and bruised egos.  For those that finished the race (about 25% of the fleet DNF’d), it was an epic race to tell tall tales at the LYC party afterwards.

J/105 sailing Edlu RaceThe big winners of the event were, once again, the incredibly talented young sailors from American YC’s Offshore Youth program.  Their J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN won the Edlu Trophy, emblematic of the overall winner and the Wilfred Kluss Trophy for winning PHRF 2 class.  Behind them in second place was another strong J/105 team, Duncan Hennes with Za & Lib Jelliffe on ARETE.  Taking 4th in class was another J/105, Hobie Ponting’s PRIVATEER YCC.

In PHRF 1 class, Bill Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE took 4th in the rough conditions while Cory Eaves’ J/109 FREEDOM was 5th and Greg Slamowitz’s J/111 MANITOU was 7th place.

J/88 Deviation sailing Edlu raceThe five-boat J/88 class became a walk-away for Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION YCC team, as they were the only boat that finished the race!  Needless to say, it was a very rough race for smaller boats, plus quite cold.

The PHRF Doublehanded division, one of the largest in the race with ten boats, was dominated by top-performing J crews taking 4 of the top 6 slots.  Top boat was Peter Hein’s J/120 VAREKAI, taking 2nd.  They were followed by Randy Saunders’ J/100 JACKAL in 3rd, Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN in 4th, Abhijeet Lele’s J/111 VARUNA in 6th.

Finally, the IRC Division saw Len Sitar’s J/44 VAMP from Storm Trysail Club finish in fourth place. Sailing photo credits- Howie McMichael/ McMichaels Yachts.  For more Edlu Distance Race sailing information

Netherlands J/70 sailing league spinnakersJachtclub Scheveningen Leads Netherlands J/70 Sailing League
(Almere, The Netherlands)- The first act of the Netherlands J/70 Sailing League started this past weekend on the Weerwater in Almere. Eighteen well-prepared sailing clubs will be competing in five rounds for the 2017 season championship. The national champion will automatically end up in Champions League Sailing in 2018.

The big question was how the various teams would evolve after a long winter? WSV Almere Centraal, the 2016 champion, is hoping their home field advantage might help them during the season opener. In addition to Almere Centraal, KWS Sneek, Jachtclub Scheveningen, VWDTP Groningen, WSV Giebeek, RR & ZV Maas and Roer from Roermond and WV Brassermermeer would also be great contenders, at least on paper.

women's J/70 Netherlands teamThe International Yacht Club Amsterdam (IYCA), an all women’s team, was one of the two debutants this season. Fettje Osinga- team captain of IYCA commented, "The IYCA has only existed for two years. For us, it is great to be able to compete in the league. As a women’s team, we believe that you should always participate in winning. We are all bloodthirsty and ready to take on everyone! But, we know this is our first event, so we do not have high expectations to win. The league events are fun to bring friends and family together; that is something that cannot really be done at regular sailing matches."

The opening day was characterized by little wind. In the morning, a 5-6 knot wind (2 beaufort) enabled some races to be held.  But, in the afternoon, the breezes left and it was perfectly flat across the water.  As a result, it was test of light air sailing skills.  The initial leader of the regatta was a result of the good performance put in by the Groningen crew at the VWDTP sailing club.  Wouter Westerhof, team member of VWDTP, commented, "Yes, we have started to work hard and the results have paid off. Last winter we chartered two boats in Monnickendam at Waterland and sailed every two weeks, and we have been able to grow our team to about ten sailors."

Coach Frans Robertus explained the VWDTP selection process, "We started by making everybody try out the different positions on the boat. As we get closer to the start of the season, we focused crewmembers on specific positions to improve their performance. And, we then combined the two best crew from each boat. So, that is how we created crew.  Ironically, it was the same four crew as in 2016! But, they now sail on different positions this year!”

J/70 Netherlands sailing leagueAfter two days of sailing, SZ & WV Uitdam was sailing fast and was leading the standings. VWDTP from Groningen fell to third place and Jachtclub Scheveningen was second.  What was most striking was the comeback of the KWS Sneek team, who, after the disappointing performance on Friday, was able to dramatically leap up the leaderboard after winning four races.  Amazingly, the WSV Almere Centraal team, international champions 2016, ended up fourth in the ranking and cannot even score a victory on the water! In other words, the fleet is quite deep in talent and the top is getting wider!

Wietze Zetzema, crew on SZ & WV Uitdam was very pleased with their results. He commented, "We are very happy. Well, that is the result of a combination of factors. We are growing better at this game. We know when we have a bad start. We are better aware of how we can prevent problems and penalties. We found a mode to stay out of trouble. In short, we are growing better and better in our league sailing competitiveness!  We joined the league as a sailing club, so we have 15 people on our team, young, old, women and men- all very good sailors!  The sailing is really exciting and so close together!  The difference between us and number seven in the rankings is less than six points. Six points can be gained or lost in one race!”

After the smoke cleared on the race course after Sunday’s racing, it was the Jachtclub Scheveningen sailors that scored seven wins over fourteen races in three days to win the first act. In total, there were 42 races sailed on the Weerwater in Almere in beautiful and challenging circumstances.

Evert Jansen talks about the success of Scheveningen, the club that finished third in 2016. "Our secret? Consistent sailing, keep calm and keep the same team of 2016 together. We have also received no penalties, as far as I know. So go well, stay calm and stay out of trouble. That certainly matters."

In the “time to eat humble pie category” were the big winners in 2016, WSV Almere Centraal.  They had a wildly fluctuating scoreline all weekend long, but managed to get it all together to win the last three races and secure third overall.  SZ & WV Uitdam was second.  Taking fourth place was WSV Giesbeek and in fifth place was the original regatta leader- VWDTP sailing club.  Meanwhile, after a brilliant second day where they could do no wrong, KWS Sneek fell off their shopping trolley into 7th place; it was easy to fall down the slippery slope with such close competition!   Follow the Dutch J/70 Sailing league on Facebook here.   For more Netherlands J/70 Sailing League information

J/70 Swiss sailing league- ZurichRC Oberhofen Triumph @ Swiss Sailing League- Act II
(Zurich, Switzerland)- The twelve best sailing clubs in Switzerland have already been fighting for valuable points in the Swiss national league. The brilliant start on Lake Maggiore has shown that the level of sailing is enormously high. Many clubs have once again strengthened their teams with top sailors, including several Olympic athletes.

The fastest climbers were SV Kreuzlingen, with the Olympic sailor Tom Rüegge at the wheel; their goal in Zurich was to show that the victory on Lake Maggiore was no coincidence. The winners of the Swiss Sailing Super League 2016 and second in the Sailing Champions League finale in Porto Cervo, Sardinia were the Regattaclub Bodensee, they were not satisfied with the fourth place in the Lago Maggiore opener; the young sailors from St. Gallen (Massimo Soriano, Lea Rüegg, Stephan Zurfluh and Rene Ott) came to Zurich with the firm determination to win.

The air at the top of the Swiss Sailing Super League is, however, literally quite thin. A whole series of teams- SN Geneva, SN Role, RC Oberhofen/BE, Thunersee YC and Neuchâtel- have the potential to sail for victory and podium places.  Plus, the Zurich Yacht Club in particular has strengthened and converted its team since Locarno and wants to free itself from the bottom of the barrel.  That was the “form” going into last weekend.

J/70 swiss sailing league mark roundingThe weather happened to be the determining factor in the event, playing to some team’s strengths and other’s weaknesses. The Swiss Sailing League meteorologist, Nicola Möckli, expected good sailing conditions, however, spiked with thunderstorms, rain and sunny sections.

In difficult wind conditions between doldrums and storms, the Regattaclub Oberhofen won the second round and is now sitting in the overall lead for the series. The Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen confirmed, by taking second place, their performance of Locarno and they are sitting in second place based on a tie-breaker with Oberhofen. In third for the series is Regattaclub Lake Constance.

Swiss J/70 sailing league winnersA mix of sun, clouds with occasional wind fields from the southwest and in the evening thunderbolts- these were the challenges the sailing teams had to master over the weekend in Zurich. On Friday, the first 4 races could be sailed in the wake of a thunderstorm. On Saturday morning, two races were taking place with rolling, light southern winds. Then postponements were announced. Only in the evening, with the thunder and winds growing again from the west could the Zurich YC PRO conduct another three races. However, when the thunderstorm discharged directly above the regatta course, the races had to be stopped and every returned to the safe harbor. Unfortunately, only one race was possible on Sunday morning and the second round was completed with 10 races.

The Regattaclub Oberhofen (RCO) with Alain Stettler, Simon Brügger, Christoph Rytz and Stephan Rupp were best able to handle the changing and difficult to read wind conditions. With three straights firsts, they tackled the team of the Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen (SVKr) with skipper Tom Rüegge.  Third place went to Regattaclub Bodensee from St. Gallen on Lake Constance; they were beaten with a penalty by the referees on Saturday because of a race offense and ended this race in the second place. This slip-up cost the St. Gallen the chances for victory.  That is how close the racing was between the top three teams- one point!!

Rounding out the top five were Societe Nautique de Geneve in 4th and Cercle de la Voile de Neuchatel in 5th place. The next round of the Swiss Sailing Challenge League will take place in Estavayer and Davos.  Follow the Swiss J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here.   For more Swiss Sailing League information

J/70 Norway sailing league- OsloMOSS Wins Norwegian J/70 Sailing League Opener
(Oslo, Norway)- This past weekend, the Norwegian Sailing League opened in Oslo, Norway.  There were thirty sailing clubs participating in two divisions, the Premiere League and the Challenge League.  The weather was a bit brisk, even by Norwegian standards, moderate breezes but with temperatures at 15 degrees C!  No one wants to mention, of course, that it was snowing at times just before and during the regatta!  Host was the Vippa sailing club, famous for serving both food and drinks, with many nice sailors volunteering to make everyone feel at home and having a great time!  By all accounts, they succeeded beyond everyone’s expectations- hot sailing, hot food, great refreshments- all in the grand Norwegian tradition of sailing hard, sailing fast and having fun!

Norway J/70 sailing league winnersAfter two days of sailing, it was the “newcomers”, the Moss Seilforening and Risør Seilforening who set the standard in each division in this year's first Seilsportsliga event. The conditions in Inner Oslofjord were quite demanding and challenging for all the teams.

The Moss Sailing Association moved up to the 1st division after last year's superb effort in the 2nd division and this weekend they showed they had certainly qualified to the right division!  In fact, they won four races in their six races to beat last year’s Seilsports League winner KNS (Kongelig Norsk Seilforening)!!  Brevik Sailing Association also showed good form after a winter's rest. They ended up in a 7th place last year, but opened the season much stronger by taking a third place in the first regatta.

J/70 sailing league team- Norway- OsloIn the 2nd division, newcomers also made changes. Risør Sailing Association had its very first regatta in the Seilsports League this weekend. They set the standard for the rest of the season by securing the first place. Hurum SF, who finished in 10th place last year, showed new moves and got 2nd place; while another newcomer Askøy Seilforening opened their participation in the Seilsports League 2nd Division with a 3rd place.  Follow the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here.   For more Norwegian Sailing League information

J/105 The Soup winners Oregon OffshoreAwesome, Fast Oregon Offshore Race
J/105 "The Soup" Wins PHRF Overall!
(Portland, OR)- The prestigious trophy for winning first Overall in the Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race will have another THREE names emblazoned on it this year - Schenk, Hopper & Davis.  The trio sailed their J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP to an overall victory in the 2017 race under blustery conditions. “Congratulations” to the crew! They were not only the PHRF Overall winner, but the J/105 Class winner, too.  In fact, J/Teams in general sailed extremely well; with six J’s in the top eight boats overall.

According to Schenk from “the Soup”, “another epic one is in the books with a Southerly up the coast, and not too dead in the straights for an early finish.  Having a J/105 division was super cool, and J/105’s finished 1st, 3rd, and 8th overall!  Riva (J/46) also had a great race winning their division and 3rd across the line behind Rage and the TP52!”

J/122 Anam Cara at Oregon OffshoreThe Oregon Offshore is one of the toughest races on the entire West Coast and also one that has seen very loyal teams participate year after year; the event is hosted by Corinthian YC of Portland and the Astoria YC in Astoria, OR along the opening of the Columbia River.

Historically, the race acts as a “feeder” for the Swiftsure Race and for the Vic-Maui Race, too.  The race starts off the Columbia River Buoy 2 and goes 193nm north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, leaving Duntze Rock buoy to starboard and finish off the piers at Victoria, British Columbia in Canada on the northern side of the Straits.

Twenty-one teams entered this year and besides the J/105s, other J/Crews gathered their fair share of silverware.

The PHRF A2 Class saw a sweep of the top three positions on the podium, led by Corinthian YC’s Scott Campbell and his team on the pretty blue J/46 RIVA (4th overall).  Second in class was Tom Keffer’s J/42 VELOCITY (5th overall) and third in class was Tom Kelly’s beautiful blue J/122 ANAM CARA (6th overall).

Behind the winners in the J/105 class (the “Soupers” that also won last year’s PHRF A class), it was Doug Pihlaja’s ABSTRACT that took second place (3rd overall) while Dana Sibilla’s ESCAPE ARTIST placed third (8th overall). That is a great showing for the J/105s in general. For the two “newbies” in the race, it was especially gratifying to do so well overall, too!!  For more Oregon Offshore Race sailing information

sailing off Seattle on Puget SoundVashon Island/ Tri-Island Series Report
(Seattle, WA)- Last weekend, Seattle YC continued their popular Tri-Island Series of races, hosting the Vashon Island Race on Puget Sound for a fleet of nearly eighty boats.  The J/teams all faired well on the circuitous course down and around the island chains in the Sound, with some crews advancing their cause and continuing to elevate in the series standings.

In the PHRF 2 Class, Shawn Dogherty & Jason Andrew’s J/125 HAMACHI did not race, but they still sit third in class for the series.  In the PHRF 3 class, Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION took a 4th in class.

The PHRF 4 class was led by Jim Hinz’s J/120 HINZITE, taking 2nd in the Vashon and sitting in 2nd for the series.  Third was Jerry Woodfield’s J/109 SHASA (now in 4th for the series) and fourth was Mark Liffring’s J/120 WITH GRACE (now sitting in 3rd for the series).

The large J/105 class is experiencing a bit of a “schooling” on how to sail the tricky “island” series. Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE is on a winning streak, posting another first to easily be leading the series.  Lance Rummel & David Cohen’s INCONCEIVABLE added a 2nd to their scoreline to now sit in 2nd for the series.  Third in Vashon was Chris Phoenix’s JADED (4th in series) and then taking a 4th place and sitting in 3rd for the series is Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO.

In the PHRF 8 class, Leo Morales’ J/27 WIZARD is sailing well and consistently, posting a 3-6 tally in the Protection Island and Vashon Island races to be just 2 pts out of second for the overall.  Finally, in the PHRF 9 class, Bill Boyeson’s classic J/42 JIMINY won the Vashon to be leading the series by a point.  Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson/ Janpix.com.  For more SYC Tri-Island Series sailing information

J/24 sailing off ItalyJ/24 Italy Report- Week 19
(La Maddalena, Sardinia, Italy)- The 37th Italian National Open J/ 24 Championship will be featured on May 23rd to 28th in the enchanting seaside town of La Maddalena.  The countdown to the most anticipated event of the Italian J/24 sailing season sees thirty-five crews already registered to sail in the gorgeous azure blue waters of the Mediterranean off the southeastern coastline of Sardinia.  The bay of Cagliari is famous for its steady, predictable sea breezes that can build out of the southeast from 10 to 18 kts on any sunny day; only the meltemi (sirocco) can overpower it if it blows out of the north from the Italian Alps at 35 to 50 kts!

On Thursday 25th, after the skipper meeting, the races will start (12 o'clock warning signal of the first race), which will continue until Sunday. On Saturday evening the traditional dinner for the crews is planned and the next day the final ceremony will be held

There are twelve races scheduled and there will be no more than three per day. The Championship will be valid with a minimum of four races completed and with five races, the scores will reflect a discard race.

J24 sailing off Sardinia, ItalyMore determined than ever to defend the tricolor title will be last year’s champions- ITA 503 owned by Marco Stefanoni (LNI Mandello) and skippered by Francesco Bertone (CVLa Scuffia).  On a roll this spring and certainly their strongest challengers will be ITA 416 LA SUPERBA, skippered by Italian Navy sailor- Ignatius Bonanno.  A past winner of the “open” division will be attending, the top American J/24 sailor, Keith Whittemore from Seattle, WA, skippering USA 5399 FURIO.

Other top Italian crews that will be a factor on the leaderboard should be ITA 212 JAMAICA skippered by Pietro Diamanti, the young team on ITA 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING led by Eugenia de Giacomo, the Sardinia leaders on ITA 405 VIGNE SURRAU skippered by Aurelio Bini and ITA 443 ARIA skippered by Marco Frulio.

"A good thanks to those who are working for the success of this Championship and to make Maddalena stay pleasant and engaging; I especially want to thank Discover Nikola Tesla Elica, Cantine Contini, Moby Line, Delcomar and Tirrenia for their valuable support. At the event, the J/24 Class has entered into an important agreement with Moby Line- Tirrenia for the carriage of boats from the ports of Genoa, Livorno and Civitavecchia to Olbia. Delcomar offered free return to Palau-Maddalena for all competitors. Significant agreements have also been reached with the accommodation facilities,” explained the organizer and former president of the Italian Class J/24- Mariolino Di Fraia- he is sailing his ITA 460 BOTTA DRITTA MAYOR in the regatta. “Furthermore, I am sure, the active collaboration with the Italian Navy for regatta support and management will make for an even more impressive stay in Maddalena!!”  For more Italian J/24 Nationals sailing information.

J/Community
What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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J/125 Tower Race- Santa Barbara, CA The J/125 WARRIOR has been having a lot of fun sailing off windy, sunny Santa Barbara on some spectacular sailing days this spring, enjoying the nuking conditions that often sweep around Point Conception to the north and blast the fleet with 20-35 kts winds on a clear day!

On April 8th weekend was the famous Race to the Tower and back.  Basically, a wind sprint on starboard gybe from the starting line set just off the famous pier at the southeastern part of the harbor- Stearns Wharf- then off to one of the big oil rigs offshore in the Santa Barbara Channel and return to the finish.  In that race, the J/125 WARRIOR simply lit it up, sent it down to the rig at speeds up to 23 kts and won the fleet overall by three minutes.  Here is the YouTube video of the experience by Paul Harteck, the son of the skipper Larry Harteck in the video.

More J/125 Warrior sailing videoThen, as if they did not have enough fun on the April 8th Tower Race, then WARRIOR’s owner, Dr Laura Schlessinger got in on the act for their May 4th extremely windy “Wet Wednesday Night” series race.  Again, it was blowing up to 25 kts and the mighty WARRIOR took off again!  With Dr Laura on the helm, they easily hit 21 kts of boat speed- “girl power on steroids!!”  The crew included Sam Solhaug, Larry Harteck, Bill Daffron, Dean Duesette, Xander, Brett Decampos, Colin Campbell, and Steve Goularte.  Watch the J/125 sailing video here.

J/120 sailing Halifax race* J/120 DEVIATION- Practice, practice, practice- that is how it’s done to win the Marblehead to Halifax Race! Thanks for this story from Kathy Large/ Sailing photos by Tim Wilkes.com.

Stuart McCrea and his crew on the J/120 DEVIATION had a big year in 2016. And, there is a lot of hardware to show for their efforts. The Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron team won the trophy for the best results for a Canadian boat in the Newport-Bermuda Race, also winning the first ever J/120 class at Chester Race Week and the Prince of Wales trophy at RNSYS. And, Stuart was recognized by both Sail Nova Scotia and Sail Canada as Canada’s “2016 Offshore Sailor of the Year.”

So, that will be a hard act to follow. But McCrea is taking the same approach as he did last year– getting his boat and his crew ready by focusing on preparation. “Your best performance is directly linked to the preparation of the yacht and its crew,” according to McCrea. “This is one aspect of our sport that is most taken for granted, as some boats and their crews believe just showing up will mean success.”

“Like the NHL, NBA, and other sports, time is spent practicing plays, scenarios, and strengthening team work to improve a team’s success. And while most of the time, our sport has us sailing during the day, hopefully under a nice sea breeze and sunshine, ocean racing adds the complexities of sailing at night and or sailing in weather most wouldn’t leave the dock for.”

J/120 sailing HalifaxMcCrea’s own preparation includes years of training and competing, starting when he joined the Squadron as a ten year old. He graduated from dinghies after competing in provincial and North American championships. His experience in keelboats includes at least a dozen Marblehead to Halifax races. This will be the second as a boat owner.

Starting at the end of April, he gets the boat out and the crew together, and they spend time practicing tactics. Like the old chestnut about how a musician can get to Carnegie Hall, winning at sailing for McCrea means practice, practice and more practices. He will plan for 30-mile stints, using the time to test sails to find out which works best in which condition. Man overboard drills are also important to McCrea. “I don’t take it lightly. Everyone needs to practice this. Just think about trying to find a crew member in the dark when the boat is going 10 or 12 knots. It would be very hard.”

His regular crew includes Mathew Christie as tactician, Jason and India White, Geoff Dalzell, Robert Maclean, Cameron Fraser and Dr. Sean Christie. Others who regularly take part, depending on the race are Giles Oland, Jonathan Ladha, and Stuart MacIntosh.

McCrea is not shy to look for expert help, either. “Last year we were able to have Andreas Josenhans and Sandy MacMillan on board for a day.” Josenhans and MacMillan are decorated Nova Scotia sailors who are world champions and Olympians who both work in different roles with North Sails.

“We were learning to understand what the boat is capable of and how to shift gears,” McCrea said. “Things happen very quickly when you are racing. If you don’t practice ahead of time, you won’t be ready to handle the circumstances when they come up. Doing these drills well in advance of the race is simply good seamanship, providing an advantage over other boats that aren’t prepared. I mean the last thing you want to do is be searching around below for a needed part as a fast approaching squall hits, or worst case trying to find the ditch bag as you and the boat are being tossed around,” says McCrea.

McCrea does focus on the safety requirements for ocean racing and makes a careful inventory and assessment of the gear needed to make sure the boat is safe. Plus he says it is crucial to review the rules and regulations of your rating organization. “Navigation and tactics come a bit later, when all the other things are tuned up.”

J/120 sailing crewAs the shakedown practices continue, McCrea starts thinking forward to the race and the tactics needed to win. “There is a large debate about whether you should go inshore at night, stay east or west of the rhumb line or try to grab the thermolift along the coast of Nova Scotia. Most of my success has come from staying close to the rhumb line. We have also noticed out in the Gulf of Maine there is a pushing and settling of the current that can cause some trouble.”

DEVIATION has all the latest equipment to help make those tactical decisions – satellite phone, a weather service that provides faxes and grib files plus the software that helps choose the optimum routing.

McCrea breaks the Marblehead to Halifax race into three important segments. "The first one is how to handle the start in Marblehead, offshore or inshore route, which will depend on the conditions of the day."

Then he says the next big strategy decision involves Brazil Rock (the shoal that sits off the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia). “I have never gone inside the Rock but I have heard lots of stories of people doing this. Your arrival time at Brazil Rock will make or break your race. I am afraid a lot of people don’t understand the Bay of Fundy tides. They are a lot bigger than what you have experienced anywhere else. It all comes down to timing.”

J/120 crew offshoreThe Bay of Fundy tides are generally recognized as the most extreme in the world. In Southwestern Nova Scotia, the height of the tide is 3.5 metres (11 ft). Depending on the wind conditions, when the tide is flooding into the Bay, a boat can be sucked north or west towards the Bay of Fundy. Especially if there is little to no wind to power the boat, the crew will have no choice but to sit and wait for the tide to turn to get back into the race.

“There is one last part of the race that I have found can be decisive,” says McCrea. “There’s a transition zone just inside Chebucto Head as you are approaching Halifax Harbour. I have seen the race won and lost there a number of times. Back in 2015, we came in on a tight close-hauled course running 12-14 knots with 20 knots of apparent wind. Then we gybed at Halifax Bravo (a light buoy). And then we spent several hours and five separate sail changes trying to coax the boat in by Chebucto Head. When we finally got moving, we managed to overtake a couple of boats but we felt like we had lost our advantage. In the end, DEVIATION was 12th in line honours and if you look at the results, a large number of boats came in after us in the next three hours, so quite a few others went through that same scenario.”

Apart from race tactics, McCrea also emphasizes to be prepared for all kinds of possible weather conditions and temperatures. Most people expect cool temperatures and fog along the coast of Nova Scotia. But McCrea also recalls a period of hours that Deviation and many other boats were becalmed on a sunny day in the Gulf of Maine during the last race. “There was no way to escape the sun on a day like that.” He also gives priority to planning for quality food and lots of smaller meals plus drinking lots of water. "I have found it very important to have smaller and more frequent meals to help people deal with the mental fatigue that comes during a long race."

A couple of other quick tips from McCrea:
  • Watch out for fishing boats while you are in the Yarmouth and south shore area. AIS is very important because there is a lot of commercial traffic in these waters and they don’t always follow the rules – gross tonnage is the rule they use!
  • Rest is paramount for the crew before the race. “I have a curfew on Saturday in Marblehead…the party is always great but I aim for me and my crew to be in bed by 10 pm. Especially if the weather gets bumpy, everyone needs that extra sleep.”

J/Cruisers
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- http://heronreachodyssey.blogspot.com/
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:  http://www.svceolmor.com/SVCeolMor/Welcome.html

* 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."

READ MORE ABOUT BILL'S INSIGHTFUL COMMENTARY AND THOUGHTS ON WSJ ONLINE HERE

J/42 sailing off France* 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 and points further around the Blue Planet Earth.  Here is their latest update (December 2016) from Bill & Kathy:

“We completed a three year tour of the south pacific and sailed from Hobart Tasmania back to Seattle in the fall of 2012.  After two seasons of local cruising, we decided to truck the boat to Rochester NY.  In the summer of 2015, we sailed out the Saint Lawrence seaway and down the east coast of Nova Scotia and the US, with a few months in the Bahamas that winter.  This past summer, we crossed the Atlantic with stops in Bermuda and the Azores, making landfall in Falmouth, UK.  We have worked down the coast of France, Spain and Portugal and are now in Lagos Portugal.  We plan on passing through the Straits of Gibraltar and spending a couple seasons in the Med.”

Their blog is here: http://www.svjarana.blogspot.com/

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

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 (http://web.me.com/susangrun).  Read about their latest adventures as they've gotten to New Zealand- "Avante Cruises the Pacific".

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