Wednesday, January 17, 2018

J/Newsletter- January 17th, 2018

J/121 Seahorse magazine preview“A Single-purpose, Tightly-Focused, Mile-Cruncher- the J/121!”
(Lymington, England)- The new J/121 has been created to allow fast, simple sailing for those who want to spend their time tackling classic ocean races (quickly) as well as local beer can races… and not chasing down a large crew.

Four decades ago a sleek, flush-deck keel boat appeared in the summer race circuits around New England and turned heads with both its looks and its speed around the race courses. Fractional-rigged with a large genoa and balanced sailplan, the J/24 was an instant hit; within a few short years fleets were appearing all over the US and elsewhere, with the top names in the sport enhancing the competition among rival sailmakers fighting for their share of a fast-growing new market for sails.

The newest offering from J/Boats, the J/121, is both a logical extension of other performance designs they have built over the years but also a significant departure for the company. The J/120 brought sprit-boat sailing to the 40ft range two decades ago, and more recently the J/122 brought a more modern and IRC-friendly design to the same size range. Both, however, assumed a full crew of 8-10 people would race onboard, with the sailing systems and interior accommodation arranged accordingly.

While many of us remember the J/24 era clearly, and are still struck by how many J/24s are still out there racing, what people may not remember is that designer Rod Johnstone was not just interested in performance when he drew and built his iconic little design, but also had in mind that this was a boat that could help encourage family sailing. Yes, the J/24 was envisioned to get the family out together on the water, even sleep aboard with its modest but livable accommodation. It was not uncommon in these early days to have crew staying aboard while racing at class regattas…

Times may have changed, but the J/Boats philosophy has not, which is why literally thousands of boats across dozens of different models have been sold under the family brand name – always with one overriding consideration in every design: will this boat be suitable for sailing with family and friends?

“Whether it’s day sailing, buoy racing, long-distance cruising or offshore racing, the family fun characteristic is very much in the J/Boat DNA,” said Jeff Johnstone, company president. He should know: Jeff is one of several second generation Johnstone’s to carry on the family business. Rod’s son Alan has taken on the designing of J/Boats, including the J/121, and Jeff and Alan’s cousin Stuart is active in marketing and also publishes the weekly  J/Newsletter.

Like other global brands, J/Boats’ success is founded on staying in close touch with their customers as they move through the sport. The product line has therefore evolved to remain relevant to their large, well-documented customer base, as well as attracting newcomers with the company’s latest ideas……  Read the rest of the article here at Seahorse magazine website.

J/121 offshore speedster 
Dreaming of Summer?  Winter Boat Shows Update!
(Newport, RI)- With winter reaching out to make life miserable in the northern hemispheres, it’s a great time to dive indoors to a large, warm, exhibition hall and visit J/Boats dealers participating in winter 2018 boat shows to get the latest information and scoop on the newest offerings from J/Boats.  Here is a list of them to add to your future travel plans!

January 20th to 28th- boot Dusseldorf Show
On Display are J/97E, J/112E, and New J/121
With over 300 sailboat related exhibitors, there is no question the world’s largest sailboat show in the heart of Europe is an exciting place to visit.  Das boot, the boat show in Dusseldorf, Germany, takes place from January 20th to 28th, 2018.

On display in Hall 15/ Booth B21 will be three choices for J/Tribe aficionados.  For those into performance, the new J/121 Offshore Speedster will be making her European boat show debut; learn why she was chosen SAIL Best Boat- Performance Over 30 feet Award and SAILING WORLD’s Boat of the Year- Best Crossover Award.

And, check out those new fast, comfortable sport cruisers- the J/97E and the J/112E. The next-generation sport-cruisers, the “E” series of the J/97E and J/112E, are proving to be quite popular in Europe.  At the Paris Boat Show, the J/112E had an enthusiastic reception with sailing families seeking to combine the “joy of sailing” with lots of expansive comfort on deck and down below in the sunny interior.   For more Boot Dusseldorf show information.

J/97E sport cruiser sailing fastJanuary 26th to February 3rd- Seattle Show
For a week, you get a chance to escape the lovely grey, drizzly weather in the Pacific Northwest and pretend it is always sunny, warm, and pleasant by going inside the pavilion at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. Visit Booth WEST 4 to see the easy-to-sail 31 foot sport cruiser that has been taking the European offshore buoy events by storm- the lovely and incredibly roomy J/97E.  On hand to help you chat about the 97E and the latest in the J/Boats range (like the new J/121 Offshore Speedster) will be the team from SAIL Northwest. For an appointment, please call Bob Ross at SAIL NORTHWEST- ph (206) 286-1004 or email-  For more Seattle Boat Show information.

J/Fest Northwest, Seattle, WashingtonJ/FEST Northwest Announcement
Sail Northwest invites you to join them for the comeback of the original J/FEST Northwest! For 26 years, the event produced some of the best racing and after race socializing available on the planet. This two-day regatta (with a Friday night PHRF fun race) is open to all J/Boats owners and crew. Starts will be provided for ONE DESIGN, PHRF AND CRUISING classes. The on the water activities are hosted by Sail Northwest and crew.  Shoreside activities will be in the Courtyard west of the main building on Friday night and at the Corinthian YC Shilshole clubhouse Saturday and Sunday.

Remember, Saturday evening’s dinner and door prize extravaganza, is always a sellout.  So head on down and join them for what Northwest Yachting Magazine called “the most looked forward to regatta of the year,” J/FEST Northwest.

Please contact Bob Ross or Ben Braden with any questions about the weekend’s festivities, sponsorship and racing questions. Phone- 206-286-1004 or email-  They will be at the boat show, visit them to catch up for the new year!

J/24s sailing off BarbadosBarbados Sailing Week Preview
(Bridgetown, Barbados)- The beginning of the Caribbean winter sailing season is marked by the fun and games that are had by all on the wonderful island nation of Barbados.  The famous Barbados Sailing Week is hosted by the Barbados Cruising Club off their enormous harbor in Bridgetown.  There are two events in the event starting first with Barbados Sailing Week from the 17th to 20th of January and is closed with their epic finale- the Round Island Race on the 21st of January.

The event is quite popular with J/sailors on the island.  In the CSA Racing class, is Peter Lewis’ J/105 WHISTLER, sailing for the Barbados Yacht Club.  Then, the island is the last known fleet or regular J/24s, as others have switched over to the US Virgin Island’s version called the IC-24.  The J/24 Barbados fleet is quite active, includes a sailing school for kids, and J/105 sailing Barbadosactively encourages participation by sailors and non-sailors alike to join in on the fun.  For this event, four of their fleet of a dozen will be racing; such as Cyril Lecrenay’s infamous BUNGA BUNGA, Robbie Yearwood’s DIE HARD, Gus Reader’s GLORY DAZE, and Neil Burke’s IMPULSE.

At the close of the regatta, sailing the Round Island Race will be Peter Lewis’ J/105 WHISTLER in CSA Division and the Barbados J/24 Club youth team sailing UNDERCOVER YOUTH for handicap honors as well!
For more Barbados Sailing Week sailing information

J/35 sailing offshore35th Anniversary J/35 Nationals Announcement
(Cheboygan, MI)- All J/35 sailors are cordially invited to compete in the 35th Anniversary J/35 National Championship. This year’s championship regatta will be held July 26 through 29, 2018 in Cheboygan, Michigan. North Star Sail Club, Harrison Twp. Michigan is delighted to host this year’s regatta.

Cheboygan Michigan offers a unique opportunity to J/35 sailors to compete in some of the best fresh water sailing in the United States. It also provides you, your crew and your family the ability to take in and see historic Mackinac Island and the Mackinaw Bridge, just a short drive from Cheboygan. You will also be close to of some of the best vineyards and microbreweries in the state.

The city of Cheboygan provides great harbor facilities and a city park with excellent picnic facilities and live entertainment in the evening.

Come and participate in an established / competitive one design series and take in Pure Michigan. For the first time in the 35 years of this competition, Rod Johnstone, the designer of the J/35 and J-Boats founder will be attending.

As a side note to all J/35 owners, the two weeks preceding the North American Championship are the Bayview Mackinac Race and the Chicago Mackinac Race. Two of the best long distance fresh water races anywhere in the world. For more info on these and  For J/35 Nationals registration information

For any questions, please contact North Star Sail Club’s Race Officer- Tony Schornak- email- or cell# 586-201-9574.  Please also visit North Star Sail Club’s website-

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

What’s interesting about this third week of January is that few events are taking place that have wide participation by J/crews.  The principal reason being that it used to be the 2nd and 3rd weeks were the famous Key West Race Week that was bracketed by the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race and, afterwards, the Conch Grinder Cup.  This year only one J took part, a lonesome J/120.  In the meantime, the rest of January is quite busy as events start to kick-off the start of the Caribbean sailing season and the first events in Europe start to roll at YC Monaco off Monte Carlo.

Meanwhile, below are two reports.  One from our fun-loving friends from Down Under, yes, the notorious “convicts” in the J/24 Sydney and Melbourne fleets.  They recently hosted their Australian J/24 Nationals on Sandringham Bay, hosted by the Royal Sandringham YC.  And, in yet another heart-warming development, the Yucatan J/24 Class in Mexico is growing, with a fleet of more than a dozen boats now racing in the past three years!  Below is their report on their recent “Regata Los Amigos de Yucatan”, held in the gorgeous warm, windy waters of “Porto Progreso”. If you get an invitation, go!!

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 pag  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Jan 19-21- J/Fest St Pete- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 9-11- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Feb 15-18- St Pete NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 17-18- SCYA Midwinter Regatta- Long Beach, CA
Feb 19- RORC Caribbean 600 Race- English Harbour, Antigua
Feb 23-25- J/70 Midwinters- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 1-4- Heineken St Maarten Regatta- Simpson Bay, St Maarten
Mar 7-11- Bacardi Cup J/70 Invitational- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 16-18- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-25- St Thomas International Regatta- Red Hook Bay, St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29- Apr 1- Easter Regatta- Columbia, SC
Apr 12-15- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 8-14- Voiles de Saint Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barth
Apr 26-29- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Ft Worth, TX
Apr 28- May 4- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

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

J/24 Australian NationalsOttoway Clinches Australian J/24 Nationals!
(Melbourne, New South Wales, Australia)- Congratulations to Hugo Ottaway and his crew, Paulina Mattila, Gareth Evans, James Tarode and Megan Aulich sailing BRUSCHETTA VI, the new Australian National J/24 Class Champions for 2018.  Here is a great play-by-play account of how it wall went down in the waters of Sandringham Bay off Melbourne, hosted by the Royal Sandringham YC.

DAY ONE- "Glam" Conditions
Racing got underway in “glam” conditions, sunshine and light southerlies. Race’s one and two were light and then in a building, but shifty breeze.  The fleet sailed another two races, making it four total for the day, with the last race sailed in a perfect 15 -16-knot breeze.

Dave West sailing Arthur Crothers’ KAOTIC jumped out of the box in race one for a win from local sailor Simon Grain in JET, with Jeanette Syme in WILDFIRE from the South Sydney Fleet taking out third.

Race two saw Sandringham’s “Mr J24” Hugo Ottaway in BRUSCHETTA VI take the gun from JET again, with Ron Thomson in KICKING third.

As the breeze built in the race, the placings started to change around. Local class President, John Neville, put in a solid performance to take the gun from Jordan Sunkel-Lozell and Kirsty Harris in HYPERACTIVE. Jordan was sailing the Sandringham J/24 Fleet Youth boat SIDETRACKED like a champ.

Race four, the race management team sensibly got ahead of the program with a questionable weather forecast for Saturday. The local J/24 Worlds aspirant Brendan Lee, sailing BY THE LEE, took the gun from Hugo and Steve Wright sailing TINTO, the latest addition to the Australian fleet from Germany.

So, the top five crews after day one were all basically tied!  Leading was Ottoway’s BRUSCHETTA VI with a 2-7-1-10 for 20 pts.  Behind on the tie-breaker was Wright’s TINTO with a 3-4-8-5 on 20 pts.  Then, third was a tie-break on 21 pts with Simon Grain’s JET with a 6-11-2-2 with Harris’ HYPERACITVE with a 9-3-5-4.  One point back in fifth was West’s KAOTIC with a 4-13-4-1 for 22 pts.

That’s what the results say, so what really happened??

JET looked great after the first two races, then faded. But, in a gentlemen’s agreement with John Neville, is one jug up!

Ottoway started badly with a 10th, but won the day, on a count back from Steve Wright– not exactly creaming the day but 1 point ahead of JET and HYPERACTIVE. And, KAOTIC with mixed performances is a further point back.

Looks like Simon likes the light, but Hugo likes the mid-breezes.

Back in the fleet, Chris Ravesi in SANGUINE had an altercation with newcomer Patricio Sepulveda in BAILE de LUNA. Jordan in SIDETRACKED busted a lower shroud when doing rather well near the top mark.

J/24s sailing off Melbourne, AustraliaDAY TWO- It's Never Like This!
Yes, It’s Melbourne and, as always, it is never like this!  But, friends, it is what it was!

The day’s weather was an even better re-run of Day One.  Warm sunny and with 7-12 knot southerly breezes and flat water, the stay at homers will be wishing they weren’t.

A little point to note from John Neville’s briefing – he/she who wins the first race of the day commits them and their crew to cooking the evening BBQ at the Ken King Centre.

Yesterday’s problems are all fixed, SIDETRACKED got new lower shrouds, SANGUINE had its bow fixed and BAILE De LUNA was replaced with SCRUMPY, thanks to our very generous Leigh MacLeod.

So it was in Race 5 today that Brendan Lee put his hand up to cook the BBQ with a good win from Steve Wright in TINTO and John Neville in VICE VERSA.

Race Six and Sandy’s ex-President, Newsletter Editor in Chief, resident Scotsman and all round keenest skipper, yelled ‘Och aye the noo’, freely translated this means ‘just now I won me first Nationals race’ and let me tell you folks if it wasn’t for being a Scotsman, the credit card would be out and the bartender shouted “free drinks” on Doug! Well done, Doug!

In a race of upsets, Jeanette Syme in WILDFIRE had a well-deserved second and Warren Campbell screamed into third. Wow!

An amazing thing so far is that no boat is a stand out, every boat in the top half of the fleet has had a shocker and with only one drop in this 12 race series, some of these are going to count. Consistency is the key.

Speaking of that. Brendan Lee has now had two wins and a few shockers– here is one of them, ouch!

But, it could be any one of us trying just a bit too hard. Brendan spent the race outside the course looking at this very same video immediately placed on the Vic J/24 FB site by the amazing Craig Wiley on the start boat. I’m told he looked at it over 20 times just to make sure. What I haven’t told you is that we are all under ‘U’ flag in this start. Bye Bye!

Race Seven and ‘Mr J24’ Hugo Ottaway sailed away from the fleet – and John Neville in second to lead around every mark, Dave West in KAOTIC took third in a long battle from Simon Grain in JET.

In the almost as important Thommo Cup, Jeanette is creaming Ron by 4 points. Jack Fullerton, Sandy’s ‘replaced with new’ man is finally putting it together with a solid 10th place – nice shirts too, Jack. Dave McKay from the South Sydney Fleet is back in 11th, but here and sailing, he tells me he left Sydney with just one crew and put the rest together on the drive down! Well done Dave! By the way, has he told you he was World Moth Champion and Australian Sailor of the Year in 1969– buy him two beers and he will tell you about it! We love you in the class Magoo!

So, you would think that Hugo would be looking pretty good at the end of Day Two. And, he is, but not quite as good as John Neville, sitting just one point above him on 23 points. Dave West is third on 25 points and Simon Grain is fourth on 29 points, clearly the results are close and with 5 races still to go, the result is far from settled.

Well how does it all look? Lets ask Brendan.

Back in the pack, the new members of our Sandy group are finding out what bigger one design fleet racing is all about. It’s hard racing, but it’s fun and everyone is thrilled you guys have joined us! Stick with it, we are better for your participation by far. Robin and Jim Townsend from SA have made the trip over and are, as ever, ardent supporters of the class and the regatta circuit. Next year is your turn and we’ll be there.

J/24 sailing off AustraliaDAY 3- Shifty, Hot & Nuking!
Day three turned most things right around. Gone is the light to medium Southerly, in is the 42 C degree (HOT!) and a 20–25 knot Northerly. Jibs for everyone and for the first time in years, code flag  – life jackets today!

Initially felt with some foreboding by some, the hot Northerly belted the fleet all day. But, it wasn’t the boat and crew crusher some expected.

Kirsty Harris sailing HYPERACTIVE cleaned up the first two races.  They had a very, very close win from Simon Grain in JET and Brendan Lee in BY THE LEE in the first race.  Then, they had a convincing win in the second from Hugo Ottaway in BRUSCHETTA VI and Ron Thomson in KICKING.

A little further back, places 5-8 finished in line abreast with a spread of only 5 seconds (on the score sheet – I would have thought it was less than that). It was another great example of the close racing the class is providing. Thanks Craig!

Race Ten was taken out in grand and exciting style by class National President, Ron Thomson, skippering KICKING.

Filling the minor placings in Race Ten were Brendan Lee and Simon Grain.

In any windy day, there are things that just happen. Three people that I know of went into the water, but hung on to be pulled back on board. Steve Wright in TINTO had his bowman and kite pole go over– the pole didn’t come back!

Starting in the strong winds, where you might expect things to get a bit more ragged, it was quite the opposite for most competitors (not all) with no U flag today.

So, what happened on the result sheet? Well, quite a few changes. Sadly for John Neville, yesterday’s regatta leader, a less than a glam day, resulting in a fall from first to third behind new leader Hugo Ottaway and in second place Simon Grain. Still wide open, the first 6 places cover only 10 points and tomorrow sees some serious work still to be done for the title of National Champion 2018.

By the way, what a fantastic job the whole race management team is doing. The racing has been handled brilliantly with fair start lines and a mix of course length and structure. The protest committee has been busy with a few meetings over the last few days. From us to you– well done!! Thanks Guys and Girls of the Sandy team!!

Australian J/24 champsDAY FOUR- Battle of the Century!
Day four was a battle for first between Hugo and Simon right to the very end, with both finishing the last race in the same order as they finished the regatta.

HYPERACTIVE and VICE VERSA both finished on 58 points for fourth and fifth, respectively, an indication of the close racing throughout the regatta.

The last day started slowly with a 12-15 knot southerly, cloudy skies and much cooler temperatures (to everyone’s relief after the very draining 42 degree Saturday). With a shifty wind, a couple of generals and an exemplary attitude from the race committee, after one and a half hours and seven start sequences we finally got away. Jordan, skippering the Sandy Youth boat SIDETRACKED, had an absolute blinder of a race, finishing out front only to suffer the pain of finding he was OCS on a black flag race.

Australian J/24 winnersSteve Wright in TINTO took the gun, with JET just pipping BRUSCHETTA VI right on the line. Race 12 had BRUSCHETTA VI taking out the race from JET and HYPERACTIVE.

The Performance Handicap was won by Robin Townsend in WITCHES THIMBLE from Jack Fullerton in TWO DOGS and Ron Thomson in KICKING.

In the very popular Thommo Cup, once again Ron took the honours from Jeanette 7 – 5. Although, he tells me he got a real scare in the middle of the regatta when it was 4 all!

There are stories too many to mention from the fleet. The standard of racing is awesome, it doesn’t matter where in the fleet, from front to back the competition is full on. And everyone is loving it.

Our Sandy Race Management Team did a fantastic job in sometimes trying conditions. I heard no grumbles, only praise for their very professional work.

Australian J/24 Race CommitteeA comment from Peter Edwards from Cronulla regarding the Race Committee, “For the next three days I got to experience the most proficient, organized, and skilled Race Committee I have ever been involved with. From the top, Graeme Watt and Peter Taylor empower all their team with a cool calm and sense of importance that make you proud to be involved with them.  My thanks go to all the team for allowing me to be part of your team.
Sandringham Race Committee are as good as it gets, if not better, and I had so much enjoyment in being part of it, I really didn’t want to leave!!”

The Vic J/24 fleet did a fantastic job organizing the regatta. President John Neville and the committee put in huge hours, effort and energy into making these Nationals one of the best anyone can remember.

The presentation was held in the Sandy Harbourview restaurant, another very successful evening with El Presidente, master MC and funnyman John Neville.  He lamented that the regatta had not ended when he was winning, but doing a sterling job presenting trophies, cracking jokes and keeping us all in laughter.

Sailing photo credits- Luis Ferreiro- contact him- PH: 0439 353 865 or website-  And, you can see more fantastic pics of the action here-    For more Australian J/24 Nationals sailing information

J/24s off Yucatan, MexicoSail J/24s Off Yucatan!  
Gulf Stream Sailing with Dolphins, Whales, & Sunfish!
(Yucatan, Mexico)- Two years ago, Jorge Ojeda grew weary of racing mis-matched boats with handicaps. He said to his friends, we should all sail the same boat!

Many amigos were hesitant, but, equally weary of the lack of competition in Yucatán. The small group of sailors believes it was one of their British grandfathers that first brought recreational sailing to Yucatan.  So, los amigos wanted to grow racing, while older members of the yacht club (Club de Yates y Vela de Yucatán) saw no reason.

“In every yacht club there are two yacht clubs,” said Pedro Gianotti. “I know this to be true. In the best scenarios, the groups overlap energies. But, there are the racers and the cruisers, and beyond, the hammock sitters.  And even others, the knife & forkers, and the powerboat guys, and even the fishermen!”

Jorge was determined to change the sailing climate in Yucatán.

That’s when Nacho Cruiser Manzanilla, the club’s Commodore and a locally influential man, stepped in. Nacho and Jorge set a date. They would buy their first J/24 on February 10, 2015!  Together, no less!

J/24s sailing in Yucatan, MexicoThe fleet would grow from there to a dozen boats in two years. While Jorge builds J/24 Yucatan racing, Nacho is working to build a yacht club. Until now, the club would meet in borrowed locations throughout Progreso, the seaside town 30 miles outside of the thriving city of Mérida.

So, by December 2017, I caught wind of Jorge’s invitation to the Regata de Amigos, an annual series of 13 regattas, one held each month, consisting of two or three windward/leeward races.

I flew into Mérida for two days of exploring, a spectacular city for it, and two days of on the water.

Pedro Gianotti, the Argentinian-born UK Sailmaker down from Houston for the weekend, spent Saturday giving a seminar and measuring boats. Saturday night, Nacho organized a holiday boat parade of lights. Pedro spent Sunday coaching the J/24 Yucatan sailors through the Regatta Los Amigos, the 13th and final installment of 2017. After the regatta, the annual award was given to Tomas Dutton and the crew of CARISMA.

Our fearless leader, Jorge, has assumed the responsibilities of his passion, the kind of natural paternity that shines without requiring translation. Gregarious and expressive, when I asked him about the seminar and measurements, he said simply that he was pleased, his fleet having grown [developed] a lot this weekend.

J/24 Yucatan sailorsIt was Jorge who coordinated Pedro’s visit, and who along with his wife and crew, an attractive woman named Mercedes, ushered my own visit. One of four female J24 sailors in the fleet, Mercedes would ask questions during Pedro’s seminar, take notes on the boat’s new list of needs as he measured, and use oil and acrylics to paint the Regatta de Amigos annual trophy, a sunset sailboat scene on a flat cut of oak!

Were it not for their hospitality that brought me there, much of what is special about Yucatán and its sailors would have been beyond my reach. Pedro’s seminar was in Spanish, so for two hours I sat mostly trying to guess the topics with my elementary vocabulary. It turns out I was not alone in translating the words. While South American countries and Spain use Spanish words for the various parts of a boat, Yucatán and Mexican sailors tend to use English words!! How amusing! So, in fact many of the club’s questions for Pedro involved translating his Spanish to their Spanish!

At the Christmas boat parade of lights that followed Saturday’s seminar, Pedro mentioned sailing in a championship regatta once in which he and his three other crew spoke four different languages. When the sail went flapping, a cacophony of words erupted all at once!

J/24 Yucatan Mexico launching tractorOne sailor, who goes so far as to have the definition of the name of his J/24 elegantly strewn down the hull, is French born, Yucatán married, and with American in-laws. He and most my amigos for the weekend moved between English for me as needed, but there were still many more jokes I failed to grasp than those I understood. Instead, I smiled a lot! Moreover, as my skipper Mike Dutton yelled the Mexican-Spanish word for “Hike on Jorge’s boat, Pedro struggled to get his crew to understand the same command in Argentine-Spanish! Needless to say, I was reminded that sailing has but one language.

In sailing as in life, it is all understood through analogy. Mike referred to an electric guitar during the tuning seminar, insisting his boat worked the same way.  In addition, at one point, Tomas shared a story about the race to create a pen that would work in space. If you recall, the crazy American’s at NASA spent tons of money investing in research to make that space pen; meanwhile the Russians simply used a pencil!! Haha! The moral? Do not let the language stop you from accepting Jorge and Los Amigos de Yucatán invitation to race. They are ready, and at 6.5 km, the port of Progreso is the world’s longest, offering a warm bathtub about nine feet deep and averaging 20 knots of perfect regatta time!
For more Yucatan J/24 Fleet sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/70s sailing Quantum J/70 Winter Series in Tampa Bay J/70 “Fast Lane” Tips from Tim Healy- J/70 World and Midwinter Champion.
The North Sails one-design roster boasts impressive credentials; Olympic medalists, World, European, South American, and North American champions. Fortunately, for any J/70 sailor, their One-Design experts are big fans of sharing their tricks and tips to get around the race track.

J/70 World Champion Tim Healy has been sailing in the Davis Island Winter Series and wrote-up his expert advice for maximizing crew technique in flat-water marginal planing conditions.

The J/70 Class came back for the action at event #2 of the Davis Island Winter Series in Tampa, Florida. Starting the event off with a bullet, Joel Ronning’s Catapult was ready to take on the 52-boat fleet. A cold front kept things on the chilly side, but with a nice 12-18 knot breeze out of the NE and flat seas, ideal conditions for all teams would be presented for the weekend. The competition was as high as usual. Sailors were eager to get off the line in a clear lane so they could choose their own destiny. After six races, Catapult lived up to their name and stayed clear of the fleet, scoring a total of nine points after one discard. Still having no races out of the top five the entire weekend, they were untouchable and had unbelievable speed. The XCS-1 mainsail, the J-6 jib and AP-1 spinnaker was a common weapon of choice for J/70 teams in the top ten.

Tim Healy and North Sails team seminarAs always, teams had their share of tricks to get them around the race course. North Sails Tim Healy joined John Heaton’s Chicago YC-based team EMPEIRIA for the weekend and shared some tips with everyone afterward. Here is what he had to say about maximizing crew technique in flat-water marginal planing conditions.

Tips for Marginal Planing Conditions in 12-18 knots, flat water

At the top of the beat, it is important to recognize what side of the course has best pressure.

Plan A: If no jibe is the call, then complete a normal set and quickly determine if you are in a planing puff or not, keeping in mind that you still have to protect your lane to weather.

Plan B:  If you decide on a quick jibe, set up on the offset leg so you won’t get overlapped to windward with any boat. It is also important to sail higher, early in the offset leg, so the spinnaker can be set before the offset mark and fill as early as possible. This will allow a jibe at the offset mark to ensure no one will jibe inside you.

If you are in a planing puff, leave the jib out. Once you get planing get more vang on to maximize your power by keeping the main leech from spilling open. You should notice your leech telltales starting to stall then ease off a bit. This will give more power once you are up on a plane, allow you to sail lower while planing and will keep you planing longer as the wind fades off.

J/70 in planing modeThings to keep in mind on crew weight placement:

In marginal or ”lazy” planing conditions, keep crew weight forward. The three forward crew should only move fore and aft in the cockpit section in front of the winch. Helmsman should be hip up to winch to-two feet behind it. The less wind the farther forward the entire crew needs to move.

As your planing puff dies, turn up gradually to maintain power and heel angle. If puff continues to die and you need to start searching up for pressure/power, look upwind and determine if there is another puff coming quickly that you can connect with. If a puff is not coming your way, then quickly go into displacement mode.
  • Furl jib
  • Bear away to max downwind angle
  • Ease main out and adjust vang for proper twist
  • Weight in for a flat boat and weight max forward
  • Make sure your backstay is fully eased
When your are in displacement mode, it might be a good time to think about going wing-on-wing. This will allow you to ride the 8-13 knot puff back down to the center of the course and away from the pack. It works well in these marginal planing conditions because it allows you to separate from other boats that may be searching too high to stay on a plane. You will be sailing close to DDW, while they are sailing high (on a reach) searching for the next planing puff. This is an opportunity to gain a lot of distance from your closest competitors.

Once the next puff is identified as a ‘planing puff’, wait until it hits then it’s time to take immediate action:
  • Unfurl jib (under trim till planing to keep it from disturbing the air flow around spinnaker).
  • Turn boat up to get planing at the same time all the crew weight is moved to the weather rail.
  • Find the correct heading based on heel angle. No more than 12 degrees of heel when puff hits then less than 10 degrees to get planing. Keep in mind that a planing boat should be flat and have no more than 10 degrees of heel.
  • Spin can be eased to see curl when puff first hits. When planing trim in to eliminate that curl. Only test curl from time to time. This keeps the spin leech from twisting too far open and de-powering.
  • Once planing, trim vang on and trim in the jib, being careful not to over-trim.
Here is the article from the North Sails One-Design website

J/70s sailing Tampa Bay winter series* Tim Finkle—  Lessons from the Winter J/70 Circuit
The growth of winter racing for one-design classes in Florida has helped to extend the sailing season for northern competitors, but doing well in these events means overcoming new obstacles. Along with additional travel logistics, the body and mind must be transitioned from snow shoveling to race ready. Not always easy.

Tim Finkle of RCR Yachts is competing in the three-event Quantum J/70 Winter Series with weekend racing in December, January, and February in Tampa, FL. After his result in the January event came a bit short of his goal, here are some of the lessons he hopes to apply at the final event next month.

“Practice is important. Almost all of the teams went out at some point on Friday and had some tuning, practice starts, or just boat handling practice. We did not, and with a new team, that was a mistake. But, we all have jobs and other commitments, so that is the case sometimes.

Don’t start in traffic. With 53 boats on the line, it is tough, but the line was long enough so it was possible to find low-density areas. We didn’t always do that and it made it tough to live in tight lanes off the start. In a big fleet, it is about being free off the line to get to the side you want or being free to tack on the first big shift to cross a big pack of boats. We could never really do that and when you fall back into the middle of the fleet, it is hard to work out of because you don’t have clear air.

Start in the front row. In a fleet that uses Velocitek ProStarts that produces time and distance readings, everyone knows where the line is. It’s not okay to be a few meters off as that will result in being spit out the back. You have to be on or even over in some cases, especially if you have some boats around you for cover. We found that even just a few feet back was not good enough.

Don’t be afraid of the Black Flag. They use it a lot in the J/70 fleet to avoid general recalls. The U-Flag is also used, which is the same as a black flag but that you can restart in a general recall. This event did not have any black flag penalties, which surprised me when looking at the results. The RC was using the U or Black every single race. That either means that it worked and the boats all laid back (I doubt it) or they weren’t calling the line that closely. My take away is that I was too hesitant and didn’t push the line hard enough.

Have a pre-start routine and don’t get lazy. The RC did not waste a lot of time between starts, so that made it even more critical to get your stuff in order between races. There was not a lot of time to drink water or go to the bathroom and sail off the starting area. You had to get back into your routine, checking the line, pinging the ends, looking for wind, tuning the rig, etc. If you were not ready, the 5 minutes goes by very quickly and you will find yourself wishing you had done more prep before the start. Missing a shift and being on the wrong end of the line is very hard to dig out of.

Take what is given. There were times when we had a game plan but did not execute. We may have wanted to get to one side or another but couldn’t get there or worse, chased across the middle of the course to get to the side. Sometimes you need to sail the side you are on and do you best to stay on lifted tack and use what is given to get to where you want to go. It’s not always easy especially if you don’t have good lanes to do it, but chasing something and going for leverage for a big gainer doesn’t work that often.

Trim settings. We did not keep good records from the last regatta and sort of had to start over on that with a new trimmer. We should have made better notes so that when a new trimmer comes aboard, we can hand them the notes so they know what marks to trim to, where to set the jib cars, how much to in-haul, etc. in different conditions. This is not a knock on our trimmer, who is excellent, but it’s just hard to expect someone to step in and know the best settings if they have not trimmed the sails on this boat before; that’s unrealistic.

Work hard to the end. This is an area where we did well this weekend. When we found ourselves deep in a race, we did not quit and kept working at it, trying to make gains until the finish. We caught a lot of boats by communicating and working the boat. I was proud of the guys for keeping it positive and working together. You can’t control everything around you, but you can control your own boat, so it’s important to focus on what you can control and make the best of it.”
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

J/Newsletter- January 10th, 2018

J/70s sailing full moon ScandinaviaDreaming of Summer?  Winter Boat Shows Update!
(Newport, RI)- With winter reaching out to make life miserable in the northern hemispheres, it’s a great time to dive indoors to a large, warm, exhibition hall and visit J/Boats dealers participating in winter 2018 boat shows to get the latest information and scoop on the newest offerings from J/Boats.  Here is a list of them to add to your future travel plans!

J/121 SAIL Best Boats winnerJanuary 20th to 28th- boot Dusseldorf Show
On Display are J/97E, J/112E, and New J/121
With over 300 sailboat related exhibitors, there is no question the world’s largest sailboat show in the heart of Europe is an exciting place to visit.  Das boot, the boat show in Dusseldorf, Germany, takes place from January 20th to 28th, 2018.

On display in Hall 15/ Booth B21 will be three choices for J/Tribe aficionados.  For those into performance, the new J/121 Offshore Speedster will be making her European boat show debut; learn why she was chosen SAIL Best Boat- Performance Over 30 feet Award and SAILING WORLD’s Boat of the Year- Best Crossover Award.

And, check out those new fast, comfortable sport cruisers- the J/97E and the J/112E. The next-generation sport-cruisers, the “E” series of the J/97E and J/112E, are proving to be quite popular in Europe.  At the Paris Boat Show, the J/112E had an enthusiastic reception with sailing families seeking to combine the “joy of sailing” with lots of expansive comfort on deck and down below in the sunny interior.   For more Boot Dusseldorf show information.

J/97E sport cruiser sailing fastJanuary 26th to February 3rd- Seattle Show
For a week, you get a chance to escape the lovely grey, drizzly weather in the Pacific Northwest and pretend it is always sunny, warm, and pleasant by going inside the pavilion at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. Visit Booth WEST 4 to see the easy-to-sail 31 foot sport cruiser that has been taking the European offshore buoy events by storm- the lovely and incredibly roomy J/97E.  On hand to help you chat about the 97E and the latest in the J/Boats range (like the new J/121 Offshore Speedster) will be the team from SAIL Northwest. For an appointment, please call Bob Ross at SAIL NORTHWEST- ph (206) 286-1004 or email-  For more Seattle Boat Show information

J/70s sailing St Petersburg and Tampa, FloridaJ/Fest St Pete Preview
(St Petersburg, FL)- The inaugural J/Fest St Pete 2018 will be sailed on Tampa Bay from January 19th to 21st and is being hosted by the historic and famous St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, Florida.  Three fleets are participating, J/70s, J/88s, and J/111s.  For the J/88s, it represents their 2018 Midwinter Championship.

Without a Key West Race Week, it was readily apparent the active J/111 owners were looking for another outlet to escape the crazy winter weather in the north and enjoy a nice sunny, warm break in sunny southern Florida.  An excellent contingent of a half-dozen boats is participating from across the Northeast, the Midwest, and California- all are championship-caliber crews.

The current J/111 World Champion, Peter Wagner and his crew on SKELETON KEY from St Francis YC in San Francisco, CA will be hoping to continue their good performances in this highly competitive fleet.  Past J/111 Midwinter Champion and Key West Race Week winner, Rob Ruhlman and his team on SPACEMAN SPIFF from Lakeside YC in Cleveland, OH are anticipating they will be in the hunt and giving Wagner’s crew a run-for-the-money.  Chesapeake Bay Champion, Chicago NOOD Champion and perennial contender in the North Americans, Marty Roesch on VELOCITY, is hoping his Annapolis YC crew will enjoy the Tampa Bay conditions, a body of water quite similar to their home base- the Chesapeake Bay.  Other well-sailed Midwest teams include Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK from the Cleveland Yachting Club in Ohio and Brad Faber’s UTAH from Macatawa Bay YC in Michigan.  From New England is Doug Curtiss’ crew on the famous WICKED 2.0, a boat as famous for its cool paint job as for being the New England Champion, Block Island Race Week Champion, Buzzards Bay Regatta Champion and Martha’s Vineyard Round Island winner.  The 111’s should enjoy very tight racing all weekend.

The J/88’s are looking forward to compete for the title of “Midwinter Champion” on the choppy waters of the bay.  Two past Key West Race Week and J/88 Midwinter Champions will be in attendance, J/88 Class President Iris Vogel and her crew on DEVIATION from Huguenot YC in New York and Mike Bruno’s WINGS team from American YC in Rye, New York.  Top Chicago boat EXILE, sailed by Andy Graff from Chicago Corinthian YC in Chicago, Illinois, will be getting another taste of high-level competition.  And, Al Minella’s ALBONDIGAS crew from Milwaukee, Wisconsin is anticipating improving their performance after lessons learned at the 88 NA’s in Youngstown, New York last summer.

Finally, the J/70s have a half-dozen boats that will promise a wide-open race-track and plenty of opportunities to have passing lanes upwind and downwind.  As a result, it makes for a dangerous race course, no matter who is leading the race.  Watch out for one of Italy’s top international sailors sailing the event as a warm-up for the J/70 Midwinters and Bacardi Cup J/70 Regatta later in March- Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO team are a formidable bunch, having won World Championships in Farr 40s, M32s, the Rolex Middle Sea Race and recognized as YC Monaco’s Yachtsman of the Year in 2016.
For more J/Fest St Pete sailing information

J/70 MonacoMonaco J/70 Winter Sportboat Series Overview
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Kicking off the 2018 J/70 regatta circuit in Europe will be the incredibly popular YC Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series.  Attracting three dozen crews from across Europe (Monaco, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, United Kingdom, Italy, Austria) the event always promises top-level competition for all participants.

Act IV of this series takes place from January 19th to 20th.  Will Russia’s top woman keelboat sailor maintain her extraordinary advantage?  Valeriya Kovalenko’s crew on ARTTUBE from Moscow has an almost unassailable advantage to become the first “two-peat” winner of the event.  Nevertheless, stranger things have happened in the capricious waters of the Bay of Hercules off the picturesque waterfront in front of what may be the world’s most famous casino in Monte Carlo.   J/70 YC Monaco Winter Series highlights video

J/70 Primo Cup MonacoPrimo Cup- Trophy Credit Suisse Update
Since 1985, top European one-design sailors are to be found in Monaco at the beginning of February to compete in this first event on the Mediterranean circuit. The J/70 sailors that have been competing in YC Monaco’s Sportsboat Winter Series will have a distinct advantage, since they have been training in those waters since December 2017!

The Primo Cup- Trophy Credit Suisse takes place from February 8th to 11th.  With 800 sailors from 15 nationalities taking part, the event is unusual in that top European teams are competing on the same race area as enthusiastic amateurs. By far the largest class in the last few years has been the International J/70 Class.  Meteoric in its ascendancy to the top of the world’s sportboat classes, the YC Monaco’s embrace of the J/70 class has created a strong following not only amongst the cognoscenti of Monaco’s top sailors, but an enthusiastic group of participants from across Europe and, indeed, from across the world.  For example, participants in the J/70 class at the Primo Cup include a team from Brazil that the 4-times J/24 World Champion- Mauricio Santa Cruz from Rio de Janeiro.    YC Monaco Primo Cup sailing video Teaser   For more YC Monaco Sportsboat series J/70 sailing information.

J/122 EL OCASO sailing Caribbean Charter The World’s Coolest J/122?
Why Not! WIN Silverware for the Trophy Room!
(English Harbour, Antigua)- Caribbean Yacht Racing was founded on the idea to make racing in the Caribbean on a truly race-ready yacht a reality and a really, really fun time.

The goal is to make your experience not only fun, but to offer you a proven yacht to truly compete in some of the best yacht racing venues in the world!

Caribbean Yacht Racing offers the world-famous, race-ready, J/122 EL OCASO for J/Boats’ aficionados.

EL OCASO is one of the most consistent podium-finishing racing yachts on the Caribbean Sailing circuit and is a past winner of the Caribbean 600, Antigua Sailing Week, St. Thomas, BVI Regatta, and Heineken-St Maarten Regattas.

Why? Because Caribbean racing has random-leg courses that requires a boat that can race successfully on every point of sail- upwind, downwind, reaching from light to medium to heavy airs.  No wonder smart sailors in the Caribbean have chosen versatile boats like the J/122 to excel, have fun, and get their fair share of silverware!

CYR is a boutique charter business and caters to teams that want to experience a Caribbean regatta, but also want to race in a very competitive class and have a yacht that is truly race-ready.  The KEY-> have FUN and WIN some SILVER ‘mon!

EL OCASO is setup to race and offers charter customers the absolute best chance to be successful from the moment they leave the dock. Charters are available for 2018 and the CYR team can assist with everything from travel logistics to lodging & food.  Visit the website: or email Bob Hillier-

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Happy New Year to the “J/Tribe” around the world! 

The second week of the New Year sees a few reports finally making their way via the jungle telegraph to Newport, Rhode Island.  They come from far away places like Chile down in South America, Buenos Aires, Argentina on the same continent, some events spread across America, and yet another cool event at YC Monaco in J/70s with 2x2 team racing.

In the USA, there was a one of the rare J/90’s having fun in the Florida Ocean Racing Circuit in Pensacola, FL; they raced their offshore series on the Gulf of Mexico, hosted by the Pensacola YC.  In the east there was also the second act of the J/70 Quantum Winter Series sailed on Tampa Bay and hosted by the Davis Island YC in Florida. Out west, the J/70 fleet at Santa Barbara YC had a fun SBYC Holiday Regatta; however, had to live with the astonishing natural weather disasters known as the Thomas Fire burning down the house and Winter Storm Hunter mud sliding everything into the ocean.

Down in South America, two popular events recently took place.  The J/24 PIMMS Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina, hosted by Club Nautico Olivos on the Rio de la Plata.  And, the J/70 Chilean Nationals were held in Algarrobo, Chile, hosted by Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico.

Finally, the Grand Finale of the J/70 Monaco 2K Team Race had a dramatic conclusion.  The 2-versus-2 team race program had seven events across Europe.  The grand finale at YC Monaco was hosted in their fleet of J/70s.

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 pag  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Jan 19-21- J/Fest St Pete- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 9-11- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Feb 15-18- St Pete NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 17-18- SCYA Midwinter Regatta- Long Beach, CA
Feb 19- RORC Caribbean 600 Race- English Harbour, Antigua
Feb 23-25- J/70 Midwinters- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 1-4- Heineken St Maarten Regatta- Simpson Bay, St Maarten
Mar 7-11- Bacardi Cup J/70 Invitational- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 16-18- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-25- St Thomas International Regatta- Red Hook Bay, St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29- Apr 1- Easter Regatta- Columbia, SC
Apr 12-15- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 8-14- Voiles de Saint Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barth
Apr 26-29- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Ft Worth, TX
Apr 28- May 4- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

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

J/70s sailing Tampa BayCATAPULT Vaults To J/70 Winter Series Win
(Tampa, FL)– Fifty-three J/70 teams traveled to Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida for the middle weekend of the 2017-2018 Quantum J/70 Winter Series. Chilly, but sunny conditions, greeted the crews, with winds that ranged from 8-10 knot breezes on Saturday to 16+ knots on Sunday.  The DIYC PRO/ RC team, yet again, did wonderful job to complete three races each day… much to the delight of all the sailors on the water seeking to escape the deep freeze, sub-zero temperatures not that far north of the race course!

Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT topped the fleet with 9 net points, dropping a fifth in Saturday’s last contest and otherwise keeping all top three finishes. Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE took second place with 20 points. Brian Keane’s SAVASANA, who won the first weekend of the Series in December, was just one point back in third.

No question, this event marked the beginning for a number of teams as their “training regattas” leading up to the 2018 J/70 World Championship that will be sailed in Marblehead, MA, hosted by Eastern YC in September 2018.  For example, Ronning’s team included his 2016 World Championship tactician- John “JK” Kostecki from San Francisco, CA.  John is a past J/24 World Champion and America’s Cup tactician- considered one of the world’s best.  That’s for starters.

J/70s sailing Tampa BayGiven that SAVASANA’s Brian Keane, himself a College All-American, College Singlehanded Champion, J/80 & J/105 Champion, and has America’s top USA Olympic 49er skipper Stu McNay as his mainsheet/ tactician, it’s not surprising the competition is tough.

But, who is “Mr Pitiful”??  Seriously, a wildcard from the Northwest?? NOT!! Such is the talent in the Pacific Northwest.  Brothers Jonathan and Charlie McKee, both World Champions and Olympic Medallists in their own right in various classes, have often gotten blown-out in local racing by such local Seattle talents like Kevin Downey and friends such as the Buchan family (John, Carl, etc).

Yes, it is a remarkably smart and talented group of sailors in Puget Sound. J/24 sailors can reference world-class talents like Mark Laura (a USA J/24 National Champion) and Keith Whittemore- the 2017 European Champion on Lake Balaton in Hungary! In other words, despite sailing in flat water, no wind, and eternal mists gently wafting over Puget Sound or Lake Washington, they are not hacks.

J/70s sailing Tampa BayOf note, rounding out the top five in this event was Peter Cunningham from the Cayman Islands, sailing POWERPLAY RACING team into a strong close of a 9-4-5 in the 53-boat fleet. Not bad for a 70+ year old skipper amongst some of the world’s best sailors!

The 22-boat Corinthian division was topped by Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH.  As a result of winning race 2, they held on to that euphoric finish position in this talented fleet to finish 10th overall.  Second was Nancy Glover’s crew on WINTER WIND, skippered by a good friend of hers, the famous Corpus Christi sailor- Mark Foster. Third in the division was Frank McNamara’s ever-consistent CHINOOK.

Each Friday of the Series, SAIL22 and North U combined forces for the “Porch Series” to offer practice races and coaching. Racing concludes at Davis Island Yacht Club on February 9-11. For more Quantum J/70 Winter Series sailing information

J/70 sailing Chile NationalsVOLVO Wins J/70 Chile Nationals
(Algarrobo, Chile)- In the third week of December, the Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico hosted the 2017 J/70 Chilean Nationals off Algarrobo, Chile.  The fleet of fourteen boats was blessed with great conditions all weekend, with sunny skies and 8-12 kts on the first day and a much windier, sunny day on Sunday with 14-20 kts.  An enormous swell was hitting the coastline, a result of a huge storm offshore in the Pacific Ocean, making for fantastic long surfs on the first day, with high double-digit planing conditions on the second.  A total of six races were completed for the championship.

J/70 sailing off Algarrobo, ChileIn the end, it was a former J/24 South American Champion, Matias Seguel on VOLVO, that was crowned as the 2017 Chilean J/70 National Champion.  After winning five races, it was clear they had mastered the J/70 quickly and won with just 7 pts total.

Meanwhile, it was a tight series for the next three teams and a real battle for the next two spots on the podium.  Winning that battle was Andres Ducasse skippering TSUNAMI, compiling a 4-4-3-2-3-5 tally for 21 pts to take the silver.  Just one point back taking the bronze was Pablo Amunategui’s KENMORE with a 5-3-6-3-2-3 record for 22 pts total.  Rounding out the top five were Juan Eduardo Reid’s WINDMADE sailing J/70 #1 (yes, that’s true!) into 4th position with 28 pts, followed by Carlos Vergara’s SENSEI in 5th place with 37 pts.  For more Chile J/70 Class sailing information

J/24 PIMMS Cup Buenos Aires, ArgentinaCACIQUE Dominates PIMMS Cup
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)- In mid-December, the Club Nautico Olivos just north of Buenos Aires, Argentina, hosted the COPA PIMMS on the Rio de la Plata for the J/24 class.  The weather was not the best as only three races could be held over the two-day event for the nine-boat J/24 fleet.

Club Nautico Olivos hosts the Pimms Cup as their traditional closing of the racing season. They provide a very, very relaxed atmosphere after Saturday's racing. The sailors have a great time, there is lots of camaraderie, music, good food and abundant drink based on the classic English liquor with soda, strawberries, and mint.  The “bartender” is famous for this concoction, and many sailors got the complete recipe from Ken Johnson! Finally, in a simple ceremony, after the regattas on Sunday, the CNO organizes a very nice award ceremony to end the 2017 regatta season.

J/24s sailing ArgentinaThe winner of the 2017 COPA PIMMS was Santiago Doval’s crew on CACIQUE with the unassailable record of three bullets for 3 pts total! However, behind him the standings were about as clear as the muddy waters of the Rio Plata! And, it was a seesaw battle until the very end.  Winning the fight was Nicolas Cubria’s RINA ALAGUA with a consistent 4-3-3 tally for 10 pts.  Only one point back was Andres Guerra’s CARRERA with a 2-5-4 record for 11 pts.  Rounding out the top five was Rodrigo Benedetto’s HAIK-THOMSON REUTERS with 13 pts to take 4th place and lying in 5th position was Gonzalo Nandin’s NOCTURNO with 17 pts.  For more Argentina J/24 Class sailing information

J/70s sailing 2x2 team race MonacoJ/70 Monaco 2K Team Race Report
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Nine teams went to Monaco for 2K Tour grand finale. The 2K Tour comprises seven events in England, Italy, Sweden, Germany and The Netherlands. Targeted at young sailors aged 20-25 from major yacht clubs, this is a team race two-against-two format with races every 15 minutes and no spinnakers allowed. It’s not about speed, but mastering tactics and techniques that requires total concentration by competitors who must avoid coming last at all costs in each round robin.

This is the second time the Yacht Club de Monaco has hosted the season’s final event, making its facilities and J/70 fleet available to participants. This year the Principality was represented by François Brenac and Pierrik Devic.

J/70s sailing off MonacoThe racing took place from the 15th to 17th of December 2017. Eighteen mixed teams representing nine yacht clubs made the trip to the YC Monaco.

A steady 15-knot southwesterly kept up the pressure and pace with a total of 44 races completed over the weekend. With fewer than 20 minutes for each two-on-two match race, consistency was key. Every 4th place is synonymous with defeat as it’s impossible to recover in the rankings. With sailors ready to pounce, it was clear this was going to be a closely fought battle.

Newcomers to the circuit, the Monegasques led by Pierrik Devic and Francois Brenac held their own, making life difficult for the top teams. Every maneuver was a match-racing demo as competitors strived to exploit leeward positions to push opponents offside and maintain their boat’s priority position to the finish. This year’s finale went down to the wire with the British crew from the Royal Thames Yacht Club nipping the Nautico di Roma team to win the 2K Tour Grand Finale.  For more 2K Tour Grand Finale sailing information

J/70 offshore3 BIG DOGS Top SBYC Holiday Regatta
(Santa Barbara, CA)- Just before Christmas, the Santa Barbara YC in Santa Barbara, California hosts their annual SBYC Holiday Regatta.  The sailors have a wonderful time, often dress up in Christmas themes (like Santa, elves, etc.), and look forward to an awesome holiday party at the club on Saturday evening.  The turn-out for the event this year was higher than previous years with a very competitive J/70 fleet in attendance.

The regatta took place on December 2nd and 3rd.  Those were happy times.  Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS crew finally got their “mojo” going and won two races in the four races sailed, but only won by one point!  With a winning tally of 1-2-2 after three races, all Scott and Leslie Deardorff’s crew on CAKE had to do was sail in the same waters as the “big doggers” and win the regatta.  However, that didn’t happen, with the CAKE crew “eating crow” instead, posting a 5th in the final race to disappointingly drop to second for the regatta with 10 pts total.  Third for the event was Tom Tunberg’s NAMASTE with a 4-1-3-6 record for 14 pts.  The J/70 sailors celebrated the fun weekend of racing and the awards afterwards on the beautiful deck of Santa Barbara YC overlooking the Pacific Ocean sunset.  Those celebrations were short-lived.

Santa Barbara Thomas FireWhat no one ever anticipated, of course, was that only one day later- December 4th, the so-called “Thomas Fire” would start and end up blazing out of control due to powerful “Santa Ana” winds that blow hot, dry air offshore.  The Thomas Fire would end up burning 273,400 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, causing traffic disruptions, school closures, hazardous air conditions, and power outages.  As 2018 started, California firefighters were still fighting the Thomas Fire, the single largest wildfire in California history.

Then, this past week, a massive “pineapple express” weather scenario descended upon the region, not a good thing. An enormous Pacific depression swept south from the Aleutian Islands off Alaska, pulling in huge amounts of moisture from as far away as Hawaii (e.g. the pineapple express source), creating a deluge of rain, falling in massive amounts in a few short hours as it hit the coasts.

Exacerbating the scenario were the high (up to 4,000 ft) mountain ranges along the Southern California coastline northwest of Los Angeles, the tall peaks creating a “compression” that simply squeezes more rain out of the systems.

J/70 CAKE in Santa Barbara, CAThe net result was that mountainsides de-nuded of any brush or trees from the wildfires simply produced landslides and huge mudslides that swept down valleys and to the ocean, creating walls of mud up to 4 feet high (1.25 meters) racing downhill, crushing anything in its path- houses, fences, trees, cars, boats, bridges, and sadly people, too.  Over ten miles of Route 101 highway along the Pacific Coast were closed from Ventura west to the Santa Barbara; some parts of the highway are under 10 feet of mud and debris.

Incredibly, Scott and Leslie Deardorff’s J/70 CAKE survived one of those massive mudslides, but one of their buildings didn’t, nor did a car, but thankfully their family is OK and so is their main house.  The photos here don’t do it justice, nor indicate how frightening it was.  According to Scott, “it sounded like a freight train coming down the hill at us”.  For more Santa Barbara YC J/70 fleet sailing information

J/90 Hot Toddy wins Pensacola, FL offshoreJ/90 HOT TODDY Wins F.O.R.C.
(Pensacola, FL)- The 43rd West Florida Ocean Racing Circuit, held at Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC), provided a good variety of wind conditions for the three-day series. This factor was appreciated by both local and out-of-town competitors who were all too weary of this year's active hurricane season—including Hurricane Nate, whose Oct. 8 landfall near Biloxi, MS, also caused damage to PYC's marina.

Fortunately, PYC's dockmaster, Greg Spitzer, had matters well in hand before WFORC began. A widely distributed email reassured everyone that necessary repairs were made, and along with the club's bulkhead space, three-ton hoist, and newly widened boat ramp, the regatta would start as scheduled.

PYC also offered visiting competitors' boats and trailers storage for up to one week prior to and after the regatta without any storage charge.

Last year, 30 boats competed, including five that participated concurrently in the first WFORC Ocean Race.

For 2017, the fleet totaled 14, including three who did just the Ocean Race. It is opined that the recent storms had impacted many along the Gulf Coast who normally participate in this highly competitive event.

PYC's fleet captain, John D. (Dave) Oerting, had established the Ocean Race in his desire to be all-inclusive and offer something for everyone. "It provides an option for those who aren't equipped for three days of racing; for those who don't perform well in W-L buoy races, and for those who harken back to the earlier WFORC days when the series actually included offshore racing," Oerting explained.

Clinton Edwards (Gulfport), the Gulf Yachting Association's Race Management Committee chair, was Principal Race Officer (PRO) for Friday's three races. PRO for Saturday's distance Ocean Race and the final two races on Sunday was PYC's Richard Brent.

With six races completed, competitors were allowed to drop one race score.

Class awards for first place were presented after Day 1 and Day 2. On Sunday, class awards were awarded for first, second, and third overall. However, a familiar name was called to accept the coveted Dr. Lindsay Riddle Trophy for the most competitive PHRF class. John Guy of Saint Andrews Bay YC, skippering his J/90 HOT TODDY, accepted the perpetual trophy for a record seven times!! And, for the first time, he also won the Commodore Ronald F. Richards Memorial Trophy for overall winner, Spinnaker Class A, corrected time.

Guy was understandably a little overwhelmed. He told the crowd that he considers Pensacola his second home and vacations here every year in anticipation of WFORC. He graciously thanked long-time Pensacola sailors Hunter Riddle (son of the late Dr. Riddle) and Rick Zern for having "taught me how to sail."

But, the real kudos went to his crew. "This sport, he said, "runs on people and money. The better people you have, the better you can do."

2017 WFORC overall winning crew. From left: Dan Peckham, Jupiter, FL; Rives Allen, Mandeville, LA; PYC's Vice Commodore Linda Brent; skipper John Guy, Thomasville, GA/Panama City, FL; Billy Ross, Mandeville, LA; James "Pee Wee" Chason, Pensacola, FL; John Tribaldos, Panama City, FL; and Alex Johnson, Panama City, FL.  Photo by Julie B. Connerley

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Nicole Breault- St Francis YC Yachtsmen of the Year* St Francis YC Names “Yachtswomen of the Year”!  Nicole Breault awarded the Jerome B White Trophy, awarded annually, for St Francis YC’s “Yachtsman of the Year”!  There are many famous yachtsmen that have been awarded that trophy- such as Tom Blackaller, to name one. Nicole is the first woman, ever, to have a plaque on the trophy.

Nicole Breault has been an important role model in motivating women to improve their skills and lose their fear of taking responsibility on board. She created and coached the immensely successful women’s Learn to Sail program in the spring, the women’s Learn to Match Race program in the summer, and was an on-going supporter and leader of the Wednesday night J/22 program, which has attracted younger people to join the Club and has enabled many regular members to come out of retirement and go sailing.

In addition to coaching, she was either skipper or main/tactician winning nine major regattas this year on both coasts:
  • St. Francis YC Spring One Design (main/tactician)
  • San Francisco J/Fest (main/tactician)
  • San Francisco YC Resin Regatta (main/tactician)
  • Cedar Point YC One Design Regatta (main/tactician)
  • Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week (main/tactician)
  • Hinman Grand Masters Team Race (skipper)
  • Buzzards Bay Regatta (skipper)
  • Storm Trysail Ted Hood Regatta (skipper)
  • American Yacht Club Fall Series (skipper)
She also serves as national grading secretary for US Match Racing, a time-consuming job given the numerous events around the country, is an active participant on the US Match Racing Committee where she chairs the Women’s Match Racing Subcommittee and is the top-ranked woman’s match racer in the U.S.A.

J/32 Courage in Caribbean* Bob Kowalski- proud owner of the J/32 COURAGE provided us a quick synopsis of his “courageous” passage down to the islands (Caribbean) in the fall of 2017.  Here is Bob’s commentary:

“So, I soloed COURAGE, my lovely J/32, from Sakonnet Point (the east side of Aquidneck Island/ Newport, RI) to Brewers Bay, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands through two storms; yeah, two of them!

One was real fun, and I did over 200 miles in a day going 10+ knots for a good amount of time until a lower started to fray. Amazing boat, yup, she’s ‘just a cruiser’, says your Uncle Rod. Not! She flies!

The other storm, not so fun!  Heaved-to for over 24 hours.  I call it “the magic storm”.  With every wave, a thousand bucks disappeared off the deck!!  OMFG, it was crazy.  Never seen ‘nuthin like it!

But, I’m thinking that I am feeling pretty good about myself, almost beating my chest. Pulled into Nanny Cay to do the repairs next to a J/35 called SUNDAY.  Very nice Dutch couple.  They have sailed around the world on SUNDAY; done two Atlantic crossings and their boat survived Hurricane Irma. But, she looks PERFECT!  I’m humbled. Can learn a lot from this Dutch couple on their J/35, so cool!

Oh, BTW, I did the trip- 1,500+ nautical miles- in 10 days. I’m wondering, do I get a “throw-out” for the 24 hours when I heaved-to?  Can I subtract that and call it 9 days for my passage?  Haha!

Thought you guys would like to hear about it.  Amazing boat!  Awesome cruiser!  Thank you Al and Rod, keep up the great work!”

J/24 youth sailor* Helping move young sailors forward- 40+ years later the J/24 Class makes things happen!

Finn Hadlock was just 24 years old when he led his young team from Maine to compete in the 2017 J/24 World Championship in Toronto, Canada. There were many steps between when he first bought the boat to fulfilling this goal, and has provided this report in hopes that other young adults looking to start their own team can learn from his two-year odyssey.

There were many factors that initially led to buying a J/24. The first was that there was a local fleet in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Although not a very large fleet, at anywhere from 9 to 13 boats, the local “knucklehead” fleet seemed perfect. The second draw was the high level of racing at a regional level.

The J/24 class is still one of, if not the most, competitive one-design classes in the New England area. With over 5,100 boats built, the J/24 has a long history of being a great one-design keelboat. Lastly, J/24s are a great value. I went through about every forum and listings page I could find and there were a lot of great boats in the $4,000 to $10,000 range.

My first big break was buying a $5,000 boat from a guy named Joe. Throughout this search process, I knew I needed a boat that was race ready, had a good trailer, and a measurement certificate. You will see the term “Race Ready” on many boat listings. I think the easiest way to validate this is to simply research how much racing the boat has done.

The boat I bought, BOREAS, had a good track record and documentation from Waterline Systems of a bottom and keel job. In addition, she had relatively new winches, a Tacktick compass, carbon pole, and a very decent set of sails. These all would have made retrofitting a slightly less expensive boat more expensive.

J/24 YOUTH sailorsAfter I bought the boat there were many things I would have liked to upgrade, but financially just buying the boat was a big stretch at the time. I was just starting to figure out all the expenses involved – joining the local fleet, registering the boat, get a mooring, having a dinghy slip, etc. Things were adding up in a hurry.

With bills mounting, this was when I decided to end my housing lease and live on my J/24. This sounds crazy, and it was, but after exhausting every resource I had in the area, I ended up on a mooring for free. I then joined a local yacht club as suggested by a longtime friend Vince. It was a great deal because I could join and have my small inflatable tied up for $500. Most importantly, the club had a shower.

Living on a J/24 is a lot like camping. There isn’t space for anything and it’s relatively damp. I had a small assortment of cooking essentials, a boom tent, and a well-stocked cooler. In order to save hauling everything to and from the boat, I bought plastic drawers for the back of my car to hold my clothes.

To be competitive for local fleet racing I would pack everything in two plastic bins and put them into the dinghy to reduce weight. For those three months, I had the best commute to work anyone could ask for. Although it felt a little tight at times, I would highly suggest it.

A huge resource was my dad, Parker, who owned and raced J/24s back in the 1980s. Although a lot has changed on the boat, having someone who could feel the boat and know the roles of the team helped immensely. The other set of eyes helping was a GoPro mounted on the stern.

J/24 youth sailing teamThat summer I filmed every race and then watched it the following night to note how we could get better. I would freeze the video, look at my heel, sail trim, and look up the tensioning from my log and compare it to the tuning guide to see what we needed to change.

Speed is king in the J/24 class, and most of the major controls are controlled by the skipper when going up wind. Reading, watching videos, and getting help from people who know the boat helped us improve every time we went out on the water. I became addicted to the process of becoming faster.

At our first regatta, we expected some challenges…but nothing quite like your jib trimmer getting kidney stones the first morning. We saw every end of the fleet at the Downeast Regatta but came out knowing we could compete. We also got to meet Molly and Carter White. Molly told me about the youth team (under 25) bid for the 2017 Toronto World Championship.

Like many other one design classes, in order to go the J/24 Worlds you have to qualify through different events or be accepted based on previous results, and two of these spots were reserved for youth teams. The goal of making it to Toronto for Worlds was set into motion after we had a successful event at the Changing of the Colors Regatta.

We ended up in third place in a relatively competitive fleet, but more importantly, we had shown ourselves we could improve. The new sails we got from Quantum’s Travis Odenbach certainly helped. We finished the year with a strong last race at the East Coast Championship and sent in our resume to the USA J/24 Class Association for the youth team bid at Worlds. Throughout these events, we got to meet some great people and even developed some fun rivalries with other boats.

I was ecstatic when I found out we were selected as the youth team for Worlds, but I also recognized we had a long way to go before we’d be ready. The backbone of our team was two Yarmouth High School students – Griffin (17) trimming the spinnaker and Anna (18) on the bow – though we had no twing or jib trimmer locked in. To add another challenge to the mix, I was relocated to Houston, Texas, for work.

Luckily, I had the opportunity to sail with Carter White’s team in Houston for a weekend regatta. Having only skippered the boat up to that point, I had not been able to focus on the other positions on the boat. Carter is extremely good at simplifying the systems on the boat. I had been following the tuning guide and feeling my way through each individual situation. Coming out of that event, I realized in order to continue to get better, I needed to be more systematic in my approach.

Being more systematic applied off the water too. When I asked someone to sail with me, I feel it is important to be upfront about my expectations. I’d provide lunch on the water (most likely PB&Js) and sleeping arrangements. I also like to take everyone out for a team dinner on one of the first nights of the event. Most importantly, I would send my team our schedule and two or three goals for the event.

After arriving to the Sail Newport Regatta with my lifting bar forgotten back in Texas, we became more systematic in our rigging and de-rigging of the boat. Creating a set place for everything to go, including tools, reduces stress and helps speed up the packing process. We’re definitely still working on this organization, but it is significantly better compared to when we were in Newport.

Everything started coming together quickly at the Downeast Regatta, a week before Worlds. Our team was topped off with two very experienced J/24 sailors named Matt (23) and Emmet (22). Matt was brought on board through our mutual connection, Molly White. Emmet was an old family friend and foe from racing in Portsmouth. This experience helped us immensely. We finished the regatta in 3rd place, and were one of the fastest boats all weekend.

Finally, we made it to Worlds. The 12 hour drive there was a lot like a long drive to an interview for a job you don’t know you’re qualified for. We certainly did not feel qualified after opening the regatta with 50th place. But, much like the last two years, we learned from our mistakes and relied on the process that got us there. We ended up 28th overall and winning the U-25 Turner Trophy.

I am very grateful for all the help we had to get our program up and running. I know that through the Boat Grant Program, youth bids for Worlds, and a great community of sailors, the J/24 class will continue to help move young sailors forward.

If you have any questions about the BOREAS team, please feel free to contact me-

You can continue to follow our racing on Instagram: Boreas_USA2736 or at

Also, if you’re interested in applying for the boat grant, go here: http://J/

J/105 crew* J/105 Class Lake Ontario- Winning Attributes of a Successful Fleet- contributed by Doug Bullock, J/105 Class President

On Lake Ontario, we have a relatively short six-month sailing season from May to October. So to be a successful fleet, you have to have the right combination of boat, culture and schedule to attract and retain owners and crew.

J/105 Fleet 4 Lake Ontario has been a very successful fleet, and I thought I would share what I believe for us are the winning attributes of the J/105 as a boat, the culture of the Class, and our own approach to each season’s schedule.

Our schedule looks for a balance of our racing life with our other life that really helps owners get the crew out and committed for the summer. Our goal is to hold two regattas per month while ensuring that every other weekend and every long weekend are free. This creates a balance that owners, and especially crew, love because it allows them to enjoy other activities during our short summers. It is a winning formula we have used for years.

As for J/105 culture—it is one thing to get people out racing and another to ensure their total experience for the weekend is a good one. There are two essential ingredients of every weekend regatta, the racing and the social.

With the racing, the J/105 Class nailed it with the Corinthian approach to the Rules, and while our fleet is very competitive, it is the camaraderie between owners and crew that is Corinthian to the core. It is this culture of our Class that I believe is one of the true attractions that keeps our fleet alive and vibrant.

With the social, it is the “off the water” receptions, BBQs and dinners that help ensure a regatta is remembered as a good time. This is where the camaraderie of sharing knowledge and helping each other to do better reflects the true Corinthian culture of the J/105 Class. We always work at ensuring everyone attends with free dinner and drinks tickets, live bands and fun games, like Flip Cup, Bocce Ball, and Beer Pong.

Then there is having the right boat, and here the J/105 is nothing short of awesome. It was a revolutionary one-design when it came out in 1991 with its asymmetrical spinnaker on a bow sprit, huge cockpit, sleek low profile hull, and it is still one hot boat to race today 26 years later. It is easy to sail, yet challenging to master.

We have 21 boats in our fleet, and it is the largest one-design big keelboat on Lake Ontario. Most of the boats have been in the fleet over 15 years, and while the owners may change occasionally, the boats remain. It is just the right boat for us.

I am going into my eighth year of owning a J/105, and while I am never on the podium at our regattas, I never tire of participating in the racing. A great start, a well-executed duck or perfect mark rounding give me huge satisfaction. When everyone on my boat is having fun, we have completed the regatta to our best ability and at the end of the weekend everyone had a good time, then I am one happy skipper.

To continue the success of J/105 fleets everywhere, we need to support the one-design nature of the J/105 boat and ensure there is always a balance to all our fleet activities while embracing our Corinthian culture.
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