Wednesday, January 6, 2021

J/Newsletter- January 6th, 2021

Sunset off Malta Happy New Year and Best Wishes and Success in 2021 to J/Crews all over the world. May fair winds carry you swiftly to wherever you wish to go; be that cruising, daysailing, or racing offshore.  

Retrospectively, we wish to thank all “front line” first responders that have helped all of us over the course of the past year to survive the pandemic. Many J/Sailors we know of are nurses, doctors, police, fire, and EMT’s…thank goodness for them and their dedication. Our love and God Speed for them…may they persevere, endure, stay healthy, and help us eclipse this scourge that has afflicted us. May we, together, overcome it in 2021!
J/9 daysailer hull plug

J/9 Daysailer Update!

(Newport, RI)- If the huge buzz of J/9 activity is any indication, the demand for modern, comfortable daysailers is back! Not since the daysailer boom of 2003-2008 have we seen such strong interest. The J/9 announcement has generated more inquiries in three weeks than even the J/70 in 2011!

J/9 Tooling Update

The beautifully faired and finished J/9 hull plug was recently completed at Symmetrix Composite Tooling, and the hull mold is well underway and on target to complete at CCF Composites. Hull #1 is on schedule to mold in January. The deck plug is in the final fairing and finishing stage at Symmetrix and is due for final nonskid application in early January.

J/9 deck tooling plug
Both Al and Jeff Johnstone of J/Boats and members of the Symmetrix Team (ranging in height from 5’4” – 6’2”) tested out the cockpit seating and walk-through transom. The forward corner seats offer J/122E-like protection behind the cabin. With the tiller extension, you can steer the boat from the front of the cockpit, under the dodger, and reach all the controls – perfect if having to sail in adverse weather. The aft corner seats are equally as comfy, and the cockpit coamings are the perfect height for arm rests. The addition of dedicated cockpit drains enables the main cockpit floor to be lower to provide more comfortable, deeper seating and better bracing while standing and steering.

Fun J/9 FAQs

Following are some follow-up questions that have come in since the J/9 announcement.

Can I add an auto-pilot to the J/9? 
Yes, either an above deck or below decks auto pilot can be installed aftermarket.

Why are the jib tracks on the cabin top and not the side deck? 
We learned from the J/99 that the optimal upwind jib lead sheeting angles are generally between 8 and 9 degrees depending on the wind strength and sea state. But to do that on the J/99 (and most other boats) one must rig in-haulers. The J/9 gets rid of all that clutter with jib tracks installed on an 8.5 degree sheeting angle with easy trimming right to the cabin top winches. Tacking between cabin top winches is much easier than primary winches (no scrambling across the cockpit needed). This one, small change significantly cleans up the side decks.

How does the mainsheet system work? 
This is the first J with the primary mainsheet purchase at the end of the boom and the sheet tail coming out mid-boom into the cockpit near the tiller. Instead of a bulky traveler with cars, blocks, purchase, control lines, etc. the J/9 will have a mainsheet purchase that floats on a double Dyneema strop. For 90% of one’s daysailing needs, the double strop attaches to a centerline pad-eye aft of the tiller (much like leaving a traditional traveler centered). Then for the occasional times one wants to optimize centerline boom sheeting, each strop can be quickly moved outboard to a pad-eye (P&S) to create a triangle bridle – similar to the set-up seen on the Olympic 470 and 49er. This is another solution that visually reduces clutter, simplifies sailing, and doesn’t give away performance.

What size outboard do you recommend? 
The ideal outboard for the J/9 will be a 6HP. A 5HP could be sufficient in protected waters without strong tides. The final design for the outboard bracket is in process and will include a tilt-up position so the outboard can remain on the transom while sailing.

Can you tell us more about the electric inboard option? 
We’re reviewing several electric options including a new product coming online in 2021 from our long-time diesel engine supplier Mack-Boring. We’re not able to share specifics yet, but are planning to test out a system on hull #1, before signing off on the final option.

Will there be a bow sprit option? 
The J/9 is designed for main-only or main & jib-only sailing, but we will be offering a sprit option for those wanting to fly an overlapping A-Sail. We are finalizing the design for a 2-3’ fixed carbon sprit option that matches the bow profile of the boat (similar to the J/99) and that will be packaged with all the necessary rigging and blocks. This option will be available to add aftermarket.  For more J/9 daysailer sailing information
J/45 offshore cruising yacht

J/45 Offshore Cruising Yacht Update!

(Les Sables d'Olonne, France)- Dreaming of expanding your cruising horizons across the Seven Seas? Why not in the NEW J/45 offshore sailing yacht! Work is proceeding swiftly on this exciting new world cruiser in France.

J/45 resin infusion hull video
Watch this amazing time-lapse video of the first J/45 hull being resin-infused under vacuum pressure at J/Composites in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. 

Learn more about the revolutionary vacuum resin-infusion system and watch J/Composite’s Fred Bouvier explain (in French with English subtitles) how it all works.
J/45 resin infusion system

Learn more about the new J/45 offshore sailing yacht here.
J/80 World Championship

J/80 Worlds Announcement!

(Newport, RI)- The Royal Danish Yacht Club is looking forward to hosting the J/80 World Championship in 2021 from July 3rd to 9th, 2021. J/80 sailing is a very fundamental part of the Club.

The event will take place at Rungsted Harbour approximately 15 km north of downtown Copenhagen. This harbour is one of 3 stations that RDYC runs and it is the station where the club have its J/80 fleet. So, J/80 sailing in this part of the Öresund is huge.

The event will be run as a "sustainability regatta"; meaning among other activities, that we will work hard to minimize paper and try to make as much run electronically off solar and wind power.

And, when you are not on the water, there will be a lot of social activities near the harbour. Copenhagen is fantastic in July – just to mention Tivoli, Canal Touring, Elsinore Castle, Nyhavn and Bakken. And, for those not sailing, Copenhagen shopping is world famous. Please come join us and rejoice in sailing again on the gorgeous Baltic Sea! This regatta is an "open" event, so please come one, come all! Danish hospitality is world-famous!  Register your team here on  For more 2021 J/80 World Championship sailing information
J/70 Europeans

J/70 European Championship Announcement

(Skovshoved, Copenhagen, Denmark)- The Royal Danish Yacht Club is looking forward to hosting the J/70 European Championship from June 4th to 12th, 2021. 

The event will take place at Rungsted Harbour approximately 15 km north of downtown Copenhagen. This harbour is one of 3 stations that Royal Danish YC runs. 

The RDYC has been a strong support of the growth of the Danish J/70 Sailing League and their efforts have led the way for well over eighteen sailing clubs in their small nation to participate and elevate the level of competitiveness for Danish sailors on a world-class level. The KDY/ RDYC have been able to achieve tremendous success in the SAILING Champions League in the past few years; an event that has been held at the YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy for the past few years.

As in years past, the KDY/ RDYC are anticipating up to 100 J/70 teams will be participating in the J/70 European Championships on the Baltic Sea.  For more J/70 European Championship sailing and registration information
J/70s sailing regatta

J/70 North American Championship Announcement

(Annapolis, MD)- The 2021 J/70 North American Championship, hosted by the Annapolis Yacht Club (AYC), will be held May 10-15, 2021 in Annapolis, Maryland.  Registration is now open.  The event will be limited to the first 60 registered boats that are 100% paid in full.  All boats registered after the first 60 will be put on a waiting list.  The hope is that we will be able to expand the entries if pandemic-related restrictions are eased.  For more J/70 North American Championship sailing and registration information
J/24s sailing St Petersburg, FL

St Petersburg NOOD Regatta Announcement

(St. Petersburg, FL)- Sailing World magazine and the St. Petersburg Yacht Club are delighted to announce the 2021 edition of the HELLY HANSEN St Petersburg NOOD Regatta will be taking place later in the spring this year- from April 2nd to 4th, 2021 in St. Petersburg, FL. 

The usual classes are invited to participate, including J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, and PHFR handicap classes. Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/  For St Petersburg NOOD Regatta registration information  For more St Petersburg NOOD Regatta sailing information
J/160 Annapolis Newport

Annapolis to Newport Race Announcement

(Annapolis, MD)- The Annapolis Yacht Club is pleased to announce the Notice of Race for the 2021 Annapolis to Newport Race has been posted and online entry is now open. This will be 38th biennial edition of the Race, which originated in 1947.  Starts will take place on Friday, June 4th and Saturday, June 5th.

In order to deal with the complications of Covid-19 we have made a few adjustments to the format:

Given current the current public health climate in Maryland and Rhode Island, we are unable to commit to the social components of the event at this time, including the pre-start All Hands Competitors’ Party at Annapolis Yacht Club, and the Hospitality Tent and Awards Party in Newport.  The resulting good news is that gives us the opportunity to significantly reduce the entry fee to a flat $700 per boat, if paid by March 15th.  By comparison, a 40’ boat paid a $1,400 entry fee in 2019.  The popular social events of the race are still on our radar and if the public health situation improves, we may be able to add some or all to the schedule. Social events will be charged on a per person basis, separately from the entry fee. 
Entry fees are fully refundable if the race is cancelled, or a boat withdraws before May 21st.
The registration process has been streamlined so that all entry requirements or paperwork can be completed online, by email or fax, so that only a quick, socially distanced visit to Annapolis Yacht Club to pick up the YB tracker will be required. 
Trophies will be awarded via a virtual Awards Presentation if we are unable to host an in-person event.
Our very popular seminar series on boat and crew preparation will be presented virtually via Zoom Webinar.  The first "What to Expect Seminar on Sails, Rigging and Electronics" is scheduled for Saturday, February 20th at 1000 EST. 
The official event site will continue to be populated with information including event partners.  At this time, we’d like to thank Spinsheet, Helly Hansen and Team One Newport for joining us again and supporting the 2021 Annapolis to Newport Race.    

In 2021, we will be offering starts for boats rated under the ORC and PHRF rules, including an ORC Double Handed division and a Classic Yacht division rated under PHRF.

Some good things remain the same:
  • As in the past several races, there will be two starts, with the slower ORC and PHRF boats and the Double Handed division starting on Friday, June 4th and the faster boats on Saturday, June 5th.
  • All boats will sail the offshore course, leaving the Chesapeake and rounding Chesapeake Light Tower.
  • We will provide a truck to transport your gear to and from Newport.
  • Arrangements have been made for discounted dockage at Newport Yachting Center.
For more Annapolis to Newport Race sailing information

J/105 doublehanded

Bittersweet Chocolate Doublehanded Regatta Announcement

(San Francisco, CA)- The Bittersweet Chocolate Doublehanded J/105 Regatta will be on Sunday, January 10th, starting and finishing near Buoy X in front of Golden Gate Yacht Club. Come one, come all! Borrow a boat! Already, four boats have signed up.  Here's the link to register:

No entry fee, and the top three boats win some of Bruce's freshly baked bittersweet chocolate brownies, delivered on the water right after racing.  Note- that for all regattas going forward, both the NOTICE OF RACE and SAILING INSTRUCTIONS are important to download!!

Especially note the following in the NOR.  This is a "B" level event with the following exceptions:
  • doublehanding- either of the crew can helm
  • anyone can borrow/ charter a J/105
  • the driver can move anywhere on the boat
  • a spinnaker retrieval tack line is allowed. 
These exceptions change Fleet One Rule 3.1 and J/105 Class rule 7.5.

By allowing anyone to borrow/ charter a J/105 and come out racing, this is intended to promote the wonderful experience of sailing J/105s on the Bay, and possibly inspire purchase.  It also rewards your experienced crew to try their hand (if you'll lend them the boat). Plus, doublehanding a J/105 is fun and a great challenge!

In terms of additional doublehanded racing, we anticipate a good turn-out of J/105s for the SSS's Three Bridge Fiasco on January 30th. Thereafter, the San Francisco J/105 fleet will host another doublehanded regatta on Valentine's Day, February 14th! 

Entry is free, and you may review the NOR and SI's and sign-up here.

When you register, we suggest you list your crew as an additional owner so we can know who is racing.  Alternatively, you can register as a team of two under the crew section and then add the crew there.

Our PRO Don Wieneke will once again send us off at the start, this time either from a boat or from the shore, while we'll take our own times at the finish.  The top three finishers will receive my famous bittersweet chocolate brownies. Feel free to contact Don or myself if you have any questions.  Looking forward to seeing you on the water in January.

Feel free to contact Bruce Stone for more J/105 sailing information- email- or call- 917-822-4060. Sailing photo credit- Will Keyworth.  For more Bittersweet Chocolate Doublehanded Regatta sailing information
J/24 arizona

"Watership Down Series" Announcement

(Phoenix, Arizona)- This year long regatta has been designed to provide sailors of all skill levels a different approach to utilizing their skills and competition on the water.  Though not a normal part of a Notice of Race, and before diving into the Sailing Instructions, this is meant to give an overview of the event and explain the “why” behind many of its aspects.
  • The races will be distance races, therefore, one race per day.
  • Registrants will enter as Co-Skipper teams and must share the helm pro-rata.
  • Throw-outs, if any, must follow the pro-rata skipper ratio.
  • Rating bonuses and penalties will be done on a percentage basis, not a fixed amount, in order to maintain a level playing field across all boats.
  • The short-handed aspect goes for competitors and Race Committee, thus the Rabbit Start.
  • The short-handed idea goes for both skill and our social distancing guidelines.
  • Regarding social distancing, we have noticed, through conversations and social media, that most folks have started hanging out in small, contained groups again, and from what we can tell, most groups resemble their crews.  - The entire crew may not be there, but a partial crew is, thus, the short-handed structure.
  • Pay attention to the allowed number of crew per LOA of the boat being sailed as there are both penalties and bonuses related to this.
  • Pay attention to the Rabbit changing every race and the rules surrounding the Rabbit.
  • Throw-outs come at the very end, so this series will not be decided until the very end.
  • Building on this, pay attention to DNCs being registrants plus one, not competitors plus one.
  • Understand the age bonuses, both young and old!
  • Please note that the team registers, not a boat.  
  • The team may race different boats every race per skipper availability, crew availability, etc. 
  • If you want to participate but do not have a boat, let us know. We have quite a few!
J/24 arizonaThe underlying idea is simple – come race, different boat, different crew, different helmsman, different approach on any given day.

Victor and his friends at TILLER & KITES have a number of beautifully restored J/24s to sail- all pretty bright pink!  

For more Watership Down Series sailing information
J/Duffels for sale

January Special for a J/Duffel!

(Newport, RI)- Ronstan has been in the performance sailing business for years and they have designed a quality duffel that is perfect for racing or cruising. Ample space in the 24"x12"x12" dimension with wide grip carry strap. Inside wet pouch keeps the dry clothes separate. Rugged stitching and large top loading flap. Embroider with your class logo, boat name, and sail number.  We are offering a 21% discount for the month of January! Click here to order now!

Sailing Calendar

Jan 14-17- Monaco J/70 Winter Series- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Jan 16-18- J/111 Key West Winter Series- Key West, FL
Jan 21- STC Lauderdale to Key West Race- Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jan 22-24- J/70 Bacardi Winter Series II- Miami, FL
Feb 4-7- Monaco J/70 Winter Series- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Feb 17- SORC Miami to Eleuthera Race- Miami, FL
Mar 4-7- J/70 Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Mar 5-7- J/111 Key West Winter Series- Key West, FL
Mar 5-8- St Maarten Heineken Regatta- Simpson Bay, Saint Maarten
Mar 10-13- J/70 Bacardi Cup- Miami, FL
Mar 19-21- J/70 Davis Island Winter Series III- Tampa, FL
Mar 19-21- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 26-28- St. Thomas International Regatta- St. Thomas, USVI
Mar 29- Apr 4- BVI Spring Regatta- Road Town, Tortola, BVI
Apr 2-4- St Petersburg NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Apr 11-17- Les Voiles de St Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barthelemy 
Apr 8-11- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 24-30- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua, West Indies

For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.
J/70 Monaco

J/70 Sailors Factor @ Yacht Club Monaco Awards- TROPHÉE CREDIT SUISSE 2020

(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The traditional Winter Cocktail Party, which welcomes new members before the YCM Awards - Trophée Credit Suisse are presented, went ahead this year albeit remotely in compliance with the current health situation. 

Yacht Club de Monaco President, HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II, rewarded sailors who proudly fly the Principality’s colors and have made a mark on the world’s race areas. As J/Sailors recall, Prince Albert was a J/24 sailor for two decades in Monaco and actively supports the J/70 fleet today.

A regular on the J/70 regatta scene, Pierrik Devic received a special prize for his excellent results in the Laser Master. Having embarked on this physically tough Olympic class boat, he won the Euro Master Circuit 2020 in the Laser Radial Master category and clinched 4th place in his category at the Laser Master European Championship. 

The YCM Awards 2020 also recognizes members who have best defended the Club’s burgee during the past year. In the YC Monaco’s flagship J/70 class with 17 boats flying the burgee, Ludovico Fassitelli took the honours as he did last year. He finished 3rd in the 2019/2020 Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series at the end of 20 races, 1st in the Med Cup, 7th in the Malcesine J/70 Cup, 5th in the J/70 Italian Championship and winner in the Corinthian (amateur) category. 

The coveted "YCM Sailor of the Year" 2020 award went to Lord Irving Laidlaw (Highland Fling), nominated three years in a row since 2017, for the sum of his successes in the world’s most prestigious races. He talked of his passion and what motivates him, “I like new challenges, but above all I love getting a project to work and making it a success, which is not easy. It means finding the right boat, a good crew, organizing the training sessions. Everything must dovetail to perfection. What inspires me most is winning. I love competing but I prefer winning races even more”. 

Where did Lord Laidlaw first learn how to compete at a world-class level? He sailed J/24s for nearly two decades in the United Kingdom, Italy, and across Europe.

Lord Laidlaw is not only passionate about sailing, but he is also a committed philanthropist focused on young people through his Laidlaw Foundation. This revolves around three main principles: 
  • fighting inequality and poverty through education
  • inspiring young people to believe in their potential to be tomorrow’s leaders
  • supporting young women to achieve top class business degrees and take their place in the business world. 
With the dawning of a new year, the YCM fully intends to maintain its course when it comes to innovative projects like the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge (6-10 July 2021). This annual event transforms the Club into an incubator supporting R&D in the shipping sector, stimulating the creativity of tomorrow’s engineers and professionals to devise propulsion systems using only clean energy.  For more YC Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information



What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide


J/145 racer cruiser

* Love retro reviews of some of the most iconic J/Boats in the sailing world?

We will pass along some more in the next few weeks from SAILING  For this first week in January, we have Sailing founder Scot Tempesta taking you on a tour of the J/145 offshore racer cruiser.

As a quick backgrounder, the J/145 was a "follow-on" design to the famous offshore silver-winning speedster- the J/125. It was created as a request by J/Boats owners (most of whom started with the world-famous J/24) to have a "more comfortable" version of the J/125 for their family, while still having "cruise-ability". 

Well, the specification for the J/145 was a bit O.T.T. (yes, over the top). Like the J/125, it was constructed of a combination of foam core and balsa core with a combination of carbon fiber layers, vacuum-infused in triple layers (outer skin, core, inner skin). That construction specification made for a robust, strong, lightweight, amazingly quick offshore racer/cruiser.

For those who have sailed J/145s, it's an "eye-opening" experience. No one expects what looks like a family cockpit, wheel-steered, cabin with opening ports, sailboat to have a PHRF rating of -15! Seriously?

Another shocker is the interior... a REAL navigation station, a REAL J-shaped galley (offshore friendly), and enough room to sail an offshore crew in seriously comfortable Ritz-Carlton/ Peninsula Hotel comfort fashion (at least by most offshore racer standards!).

Enjoy this YouTube video tour of a nicely appointed J/145 here by Scot Tempesta from Sailing Anarchy.

J/35 sailing class

* J/35 Learn to Sail Classes

Hey! Have you ever wanted to learn to sail a big sailboat? On January 24th at 1:00 we are starting a Zoom class on how to sail. There will be five lessons out of a book (provided by our instructor) and starting in late April there will be five on the boat lessons. The cost is $750.00, but you will get your money back if you race on any sailboat between June and September. We have put over 30 new people on the water racing in the last two years. This is open to all, and it just might be an opportunity to get the teenagers involved. Ian Pouliot is our class instructor. Ian has over 35 years of racing sailboats. He is the current instructor at North Star Sail Club for Junior sailors. Ian is also a sail maker and has just a wealth of knowledge about sailing.

The sailboat for you to get involved with is called a J/35. It is 35 feet long, weighs 10,500 lbs, and is the most iconic sailboat ever designed. It was the first sailboat to be inducted into the United States Sailboat Hall of Fame. It was designed by Rod & Bob Johnstone in the early 80s. We have enough boats to race ONE DESIGN (very important) all summer out of North Star SC. You will have a chance to learn the lines (ropes?) and positions on a J/35. Sign up with a friend and take this experience with you for the rest of your life.

You can call me- Mike Fitzgerald- at (248) 790-0666 or call Ian (586) 295-9344 and get registered. This is a great chance to get involved with a new sport that you will take with you even when you're in your 80s. I say that because I am 70!!