Wednesday, March 25, 2015

J/Newsletter- March 25, 2015

J/70 Calvi NetworkItalian J/70- Campeonato Nazionale 2015 
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The J/70 Italian Class is getting ready to run the largest J/70 regatta series in southern Europe. This was possible with the joint venture of the J/70 fleets from YC Monaco and YC Sanremo, managed with the cooperation of both the J/70 NCA Chairman Vittorio di Mauro from Italy and Jacopo Carrain from the J/70 NCA Monaco.

The main sponsor of the series will be ALCATEL OneTouch and the Federation Italiano de Vela (FIV) have assigned the winner of the series as the J/70 Italian National Champion; this goes to the best finishing Team at the end of a series of five regattas and up to thirty-five races!

The first two events will constitute, as well, the Spring Cup with active participation from both YC Monaco and YC San Remo fleets.  The third event will again be held in San Remo in May before the J/70 class heads across Italy to race for the first time on the Adriatic Sea; the sailors will enjoy the nice, friendly and well-organized location of the Riviera Romagnola and the wonderful host club- Circolo Nautico Cervia.  The final event will take on Lago di Garda in September, already a “classic” event for passionate J/70 enthusiasts in Europe.

J/70s sailing off Monte Carlo, MonacoThe twenty boats of the Italian Fleet are getting ready to move this week to Monaco to meet the local YC Monaco J/70's. Some Teams from North Europe are attending as well. Therefore, expect a crowded starting line in the range of forty-plus J/70’s!  All the best Italian Teams will be there, including Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK.  There is no question, CALVI NETWORK will be the “standard bearer” for all top European teams to be measured against; especially after winning the USA J/70 Midwinters in Key West, Florida, placing 2nd in the recent Bacardi Miami Sailing Week and was also the 2014 European Champion and Italian Champion!

The Italian JCA is looking forward to welcoming teams from all countries across Europe.  The ALCATEL OneTouch Italian Trophy is an “open” event and all Teams are welcome.  There is the opportunity to store your boat in Sanremo and J/Boats Italy is proud to offer their best assistance. The schedule for the events is as follows:
  • Mar 28-29- Spring Cup (YCM & YCS)- Monte Carlo, Monaco- YC Monaco
  • Apr 25-26- Spring Cup (YCM & YCS)- San Remo, Italy- YC San Remo
  • May 16-17- Campeonato Nazionale- San Remo, Italy- YC San Remo
  • Jun 12-14- Campeonato Nazionale- Cervia, Italy- Circolo Nautico Cervia
  • Sep 10-12- EuroCup- Riva del Garda, Italy- Fraglia Vela Riva
For more Alcatel OneTouch Italian J/70 Series sailing information, please contact:  Veronica Tondelli ( Press agent for the J/70 Italian Class (

J/105 women sailors off St ThomasTAG Heuer St Thomas Regatta Preview
(Cowpet Bay, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands)- The TAG Heuer St. Thomas International Regatta is etched into every racer’s mind as the “Crown Jewel” of Caribbean racing– where sailors can experience their reliable breezes, warm azure waters and world-renowned Island hospitality. This year a fleet of 80+ boats will be competing in the three-day series starting March 26th and ending March 29th.  J/Teams are well represented in this year’s regatta in the various CSA Racing and Non-spinnaker divisions.

J/122 El Ocaso sailing St Thomas regattaIn CSA 2 Racing, there are four amazingly competent teams assembled in their class that includes a J/111, two J/122s and a J/120.  This is the first year that Holland, Michigan’s Mitch Padnos and his crew from the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club will charter the J/122 EL OCASO. The boat, under a different skipper and crew, has participated in the STIR on several occasions and won its class in 2014. “We were attracted to this year’s event as the boat was available which allowed the Michigan crew an early spring tune up. In addition, the idea of racing in St. Thomas was too much to resist,” says Padnos. His Michigan crew sail their J/122 SUFFICIENT REASON (winning their class and the 2013 Chicago-Mackinac Race Overall) and have been active in buoy racing on the local Lake Michigan scene.

SUNSET CHILD, a J/120 in Performance Yacht Racing USA’s charter fleet, most recently competed in the Pineapple Cup to Montego Bay Race in February with a Jamaican team onboard. “This is the first time we will sail with her in St. Thomas,” says skipper Marcus Cholerton-Brown. “We have a whole family racing onboard, plus some PYR-USA crew and myself. We can’t wait to get stuck into the racing against a really strong field of boats in CSA 2 class.”

In addition to these two boats, it marks the first appearance of a J/111 in the STIR event. Sam Talbot’s crew from Road Town, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands will be racing SPIKE.  In addition, the J/122 DUNDER will be sailed by Robert & Jan Thouron from Middlesex, Vermont.

J/36 Paladin sailing with St Croix youth/ kids crewIn CSA 3 Class, there will again be the renewed friendly rivalry between three knowledgeable local teams that include two J/105s and a J/27.  Jonathan Lipuscek from San Juan, Puerto Rico and the Club Nautico Puerto Rico will be sailing his well-traveled J/105 DARK STAR and he will be up against the New York-based crew aboard SOLSTICE led by skipper Bryan Coon from Lloyd Harbor YC in Hicksville, New York.  Chasing them around the course and hoping to get them on handicap honors will be Paul Davis’ J/27 MAGNIFICENT 7, the “local knowledge” in the group from St Thomas, USVI.

The CSA Non-Spinnaker Class will have the privilege of racing against “the kids” that sail the J/36 PALADIN with adult supervision led by Stanford Joines of St Croix YC in St Croix, USVI. Watch out!  This crew really knows how to sail their boat hard and they have the silverware to prove it, too!

IC24 crews sailing St ThomasMeanwhile, the homegrown IC-24 class (the J/24 modified) is expected to be the largest of the regatta with 18 entries. “The best part about racing in the IC-24 class is the level of competition and how close the racing is,” says St. Thomas’ Mike Finley, who will sail his Ocean Potion. “Plus, we have fun racing and fun afterwards at the parties.”  Mike should know, World Champion Match Racer Taylor Canfield got “schooled” by the big boys in the IC24s when he was growing up as a kid on St Thomas!

Great Parties Too?!
Unquestionably, all the Caribbean regatta venues are renowned for “fun in the sun, great sailing and great parties”.  St Thomas is no different and has certainly been the “gold standard” by which all other regattas have been judged since the STIR event started so long before all others.  Beach barbeques, nightly parties featuring Presidente beer and the Virgin Islands’ own Cruzan Rum, and live bands will take place at St. Thomas Yacht Club Thursday March 26, Friday March 27 and Sunday March 29. The Awards Ceremony takes place Sunday March 29 starting at 7 p.m. on the beach in front of the St. Thomas Yacht Club. On Saturday March 28, there’s the newest STIR tradition: the Yacht Haven Grande Party with Spectrum Band on stage. Have dinner and enjoy the best of St. Thomas restaurants and bars nearby Yacht Haven Grande while detuning after a day of racing.

“St. Thomas International Regatta organizers are excited about our new partnership with TAG Heuer and their world famous timepieces. TAG Heuer has a long history of sports marketing and we feel honored to have them involved in our sailing event. Their involvement places the STIR back at the top of Caribbean events and offers 8 more reasons to attend our regatta in Cowpet Bay home of the St. Thomas Yacht Club,” says Regatta Director, Bill Canfield.

Class winning skippers in the 2015 STIR will be presented with an Aquaracer Caribbean Limited Edition watch. These models are equipped with key features such as stainless steel craftsmanship, water-resistance to 10,000-feet, screw-in crown and unidirectional turning bezel. The beautiful deep sea-blue dial is imprinted with a map of the Caribbean Islands in a gold tone. These limited editions are exclusively available in the Caribbean; they are individually numbered.  The eight classes eligible to receive an Aquaracer Caribbean Limited Edition watch as prize include all divisions of CSA, Portsmouth, and Beach Cats.  Sailing photo credits- Christine Thompson   For more St Thomas Regatta sailing information

J/70s training/ sailing on Hamburg Lake AlsterDeutsche Segel-Bundesliga Training
(Hamburg, Germany)- Throughout the months of March and April, several of the clubs participating in the 2015 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga are training together on their J/70s to get ready for the start of yet another fun and exciting sailing season where teams have the opportunity to sail in up to seven events from May to the Finals in October.  The primary training venue is the gorgeous Alster Lake in the middle of Hamburg with Norddeutscher Regatta Verein sailing club hosting the teams and running the regatta simulations.

J/70s sailing on Lake Alster, Hamburg, GermanySome of the teams participating in these “warm-ups” were Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (with Peter Kaehl, Sven Jurgensen and Marc-Daniel Mahlman) and Blankeneser Segel-Club (Hamburg), Duisburger Segel-Club (Nordrhein-Westfalen), Flensburger Segel-Club (Schleswig-Holstein), Seglervereinigung Itzehoe (Schleswig-Holstein), Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee (Berlin), Segel-und Motorboot Club Überlingen (Baden-Württemberg) and Berliner Yacht-Club (Berlin).

Sven Jurgensen reported that, “The first day was rather gray and it was raining heavily. However, it was just great to see other DSB League teams coming together for common training programs.  In fact, for many clubs, it has been quite intensive training as they are also going through a process of team and crew selections.”

J/70 sailing in Munich, GermanyMore and more DSB League clubs have been training their teams in other parts of Germany, too. Last weekend several teams from the Munich were trained on their club J/70s.  Munich Yacht Club (MYC) in collaboration with teams from the Bavarian Yacht Club (BYC) had a great practice on their lake. "This is excellent that we have entered a training partnership with the BYC, because the races with five boats are very exciting and close to DSBL-mode," said team manager Michael Liebl from Munich YC. This coming weekend you will be certain to find them back out there working on speed, boat-handling and tactics!

This year’s DSBL schedule has been published and for those who wish to see what the excitement is all about in Germany, be sure to head over to one of these venues over the course of their season.  Most of the events will be sailed in J/70s, including all Champions League Level 1 and the Finale in Hamburg.
  • May 1-3-   Tutzing/ Starnberger See
  • Jun 5-7-   Kiel / Innenförde
  • Jul 4-6-   Warnemünde / Ostsee
  • Jul 18-20- Travemünde / Ostsee
  • Aug 21-23- Berlin / Wannsee
  • Sep 25-27- Überlingen / Bodensee
  • Oct 29-31- Hamburg / Außenalster- the Grand Finale
Sailing photo credits- Sven Jurgensen and C. Herrbold   For more J/70 Deutsche Segel Bundesliga sailing information

J/70 at US Coast Guard Academy, New London, CTUS Coast Guard College J/70 Regatta
(New London, CT)- This coming weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy will be hosting their first intercollegiate keelboat regatta with their J/70 fleet.  Teams will be sailing equalized one-design J/70s with four person crews on the Thames River.  The format is short course, college-style sailing with double windward-leewards and rotations likely after every two races.  Sound familiar for those who’ve been following the “sailing US Coast Guard Academy- Jacobs Rock Sailing Centerleague” formats? College-style sailing is fun, exciting, high-energy and incredibly social as teams hang out on the docks and watch the racing together.

The USCGA’s facility at Jacob’s Rock is one of the nicest sailing facilities anywhere in college sailing.  Built over Jacob’s Rock and accessed by a 300 yard long pier, it offers the sailors, coaches and spectators an extraordinary venue to watch and enjoy the sport of sailing.

If you have any questions about USCGA Sailing or their J/70 cadet offshore sailing program, please contact Jack Neades at email-   For more USCGA Sailing team information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

This past week was a busy one worldwide, east to west, Down Under and Over the Top.  In Europe the bitter winter is finally receding and spring time is beginning to flourish everywhere.  The Brooks MacDonald Warsash Spring Series continued for its second weekend with plenty of sun but not enough of that wind stuff!  Nevertheless, the fleets of J/70s, J/80s, J/109s, J/111s, J/97s, J/92, and J/105 were all the warm-up on the cool Solent.  Across the English Channel, the French and Spanish were all busy with either trophy regattas or training regattas in preparation for major events ahead on the national schedules as well as preparing for an early J/80 World Championship in Germany.  Likewise, the J/24s in Italy were also working hard on their preparations for the J/24 Worlds in Germany, with a solid turnout for their J/24 Trofeo Nettuno regatta.  In addition, preparing for their J/22 Worlds in Germany were the Dutch and German teams sailing in the annual spring Warming UP Regatta held at WV Brassermermeer on the lake— ask them about their 20-30 kts first race!  Interestingly, the J/70s are also preparing for their J/70 Worlds in La Rochelle, France in July; the reason you see a lot of J/70 activity in Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Monaco already with others like Sweden, Norway and Denmark waiting for a few more harbors to thaw out!

Hopping West across the Big Pond, we find lots of activity happening on the Pacific Coast.  Sailing was happening everywhere you looked up and down the Mexican, California and Washington coastlines.  Up north in Seattle, WA the famous Scachet Head Race took place on Puget Sound it what could best be described as “fresh to frightening”, if not truly epic conditions.  A bit further south, the St Francis YC was playing host to the grand finale of the J/22 California Dreamin Match Race series in somewhat benign, sunny conditions for San Francisco Bay along the city waterfront.  Then quite a bit further south, the Cabo San Lucas Race completed with a J/125 completing the 810nm course from Newport Beach, California to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in near record time.

Down Under in both the Americas and Australia, we find the J/24s continuing to offer sailors lots of fun, easy-going, but serious, sailing on everything from lakes to harbors to the big stuff offshore.  In Argentina, the J/24s just completed the final regattas in their Triple Crown Series, effectively their Argentinean National J/24 Championship.  With events concluding in Mendoza and Cordoba up in their gorgeous Andes Mountain lakes- Lago San Roque and Potrerillos Reservoir- it’s hard to imagine anyone not wanting to go spend a weekend in both places for a spiritual and healthy retreat!  Meanwhile, over in Australia, the local J/24 class in Sandringham continues to “grow women sailing” and they offer some ideas on how to encourage greater participation by women in the sport.

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page!  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Mar 27-29- J/22 Midwinters- Jackson YC- Ridgeland, MS
Mar 27-29- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Mar 30- Apr 5- BVI Spring Regatta- Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Apr 13-18- Les Voiles St Barth- Gustavia, St Barthelemy
Apr 16-19- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 24- May 2- EDHEC Sailing Cup- La Rochelle, France
Apr 26- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- Falmouth, Antigua

Boat Shows:
Apr 9-12- Apr 9-12- Strictly Sail Pacific- Oakland, CA- J/70, J/88, J/111

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

J/111 sailing on Solent- Warsash Spring SeriesBig Tide, Shiftiness @ Warsash Spring #2
(Warsash, England)- Sunday 22 March was a day that had the race team on their toes and competitors sailing backwards for the second weekend of the Brooks MacDonald Warsash Spring Series. The wind shifted from the forecast ENE, died and came back, and the big spring tides raced through the Solent - all making for some frustrating racing!

White Group’s first and only race started with competitors being pushed across the line by 2 knots of tide and ended with them being pushed away from the line as they tried to finish the race!

An attempt to get the J/70’s second race started ended with competitors not even being able to reach the start line – at which point the White Group race team declared the bar was open and racing was unfortunately finished!

J70 sailors in EnglandJUST4PLAY (Simon Cavey) narrowly won in the J/70 fleet, beating (Ian Atkins) to second place with COSMIC (Patrick Liardet) in third. As a result, the series continues to see Cavey’s crew atop the leaderboard sitting on 3 pts net from a 1-1-4-1 record.  Racing up the ladder after a toss-race, but tied on points for second, was Nigel Evans’ LITTLE LOUISE with a 4-2-1-7 for 7 pts.  Likewise, classmate David Mitchell’s JUMANJI has a 2-3-2-5 for 7 pts.

In the J/80’s the first three boats were a good minute ahead of the rest of the fleet with BOYSTEROUS (Ali Hall) taking first place, BETTY (Jon Powell) in second and SWALLOW (Romain Patemot) in third.  For the series, that means Powell’s unbroken string of firsts now includes a dastardly 2nd place!  Nevertheless, with a toss race and a record of 1-1-1-2 that’s a class-leading 3 pts.  Sitting on second and showing improvement every race is Ali’s BOYSTEROUS crew with a 3-3-2-1 tally for 6 pts.  Third is Mike Lewis’ JESTER with a 2-2-3-DNS for 7 pts net.

J70s sailing on the SolentFor the Black Group tidal tactics were definitely the name of the game. Racing a series of windward-leeward legs between Wight Vodka and the Hill Head/Lee-on-Solent shore helped keep the boats mainly on the Hill Head plateau and East Knoll bank areas and so out of the strongest current of the big spring tides. However, by the second half of the race the breeze had died away to little or nothing for a very frustrating 1.5 hours or more. By the time it did fill in again it had shifted to the SE making the remaining legs of the race rather processional.

Spring Series Chairman Peter Bateson said, “It was great that nearly three-quarters of the boats kept going and persevered to the finish, which we had been shortened 2.5 miles early at Hill Head buoy”.

Leading the IRC 1 Class home was the J/111 ICARUS (Chris Body & Andrew Christie), now holding the series lead with a 4-1 for 5 pts over fellow J/111 JITTERBUG skippered by Cornell Riklin with a 2-4 for 6 pts.

J/88 sailing Solent- Warsash Spring SeriesIn IRC2 it was clear the J/88 JI FI sailed by Stew Hawthorn and Paul Heys enjoyed the challenging light air going, taking a second in this hotly contested class to move into fourth overall for the series.

The top J/Crew in IRC 3 class continues to be the J/97 BLACKJACK II sailed by Andy Howe, currently lying in 5th for the series with 11 pts.  Sitting in seventh place is David Greenhalgh’s J/92s J’RONIMO with 12 pts.  Remarkably, only five points differentiates 2nd to 8th overall!  Needless to say, there will be some tight racing in the weekends ahead for this class.

Finally, in the J/109 class on the Black Group circle, Paul Griffiths’ JAGERBOMB won another race to lead their class for the day and the series.  Taking second on the day was David McGough’s JUST SO followed by Frank Gmitrowicz’s RED ARROW.   For the time being, Owain Franks & Jean Lockett’s JYNNAN TONNYX is tied for series second overall with Joe Henry’s JACK TAR with 7 pts each.

After a frustrating day on the water competitors headed back to the Warsash Sailing Club where Tiffany Beard from Brooks Macdonald presented the champagne prizes of the day for each of the class winners.  For more Brooks MacDonald Warsash Spring Series sailing information

J/88 sending it down Puget Sound- world's most awesome 29 foot sailboatEpic, Fresh to Frightenin’ Scatchet Head Race
(Seattle, Washington)- A real rip-snortin’, barn razin’, dog flyin’ along with the chain attached, kind of wind came through Puget Sound Saturday March 14th for the second race in the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle’s Center Sound Series- the Scatchet Head Race. Sixty-six boats made it out for the start in what Bruce Hedrick, in his Friday afternoon weather brief, recommended boats “leave the dock in the morning with the crew all in pfd’s, safety harnesses, and tethers, with the jacklines rigged and in place.” Hedrick predicted a strong and fast frontal system to move through our area with its strongest winds soon after the fleet had started on its 26-mile course from Shilshole to Scatchet Head and back.

Once again, slow boats started first but with a new twist, a downwind start in the building 20+ knot southerly. The winds continued to build as the starts rolled off the line but it wasn’t until class 7 that the wipeouts began happening just after the start area – one of the late-starting 30-footers had some good rolls followed by the standard flogging sails with shaking mast until they finally gave up and took the chute down to re-orient things before giving it another go.

J/130 sailing fast on Puget SoundBy 11am, the winds began pushing into the 30-knot range and as the fleet moved into the narrower part of sound going into Edmonds things began to happen. Broaches and round ups across the course, the old wind Gods testing the mettle of the sailors on the course with many deciding the Gods were right, it might be a good time to bring that chute down and continue under main and jib. The wind didn’t test only the sailors will and the strength of the cloth and seams of their spinnakers but tested the rigs to the limit as some boats reported gusts from 32, to 36 and on up to 39 knots with sustained winds over 30 for quite some time.

Back on the race course things were fast and furious. The J/88 found themselves flying along with numbers pushing over 20 before the wind gods decided to shake them silly on their side for using an A2 instead of an A3 in such strong winds. The J/105’s reported flying along under control with their (smartly chosen) A3’s, their shy kites, pulling them along at speeds over 16 knots, pushing into 17 at times. The waves built and built as the fleet moved North, 2 feet became 3 and as they got closer and closer to the mark they built to over 4 feet allowing for the now sans-spinnaker boats to surf along at 14, even 16 knots at times.

The faster boats worked through many of the early starters near Scatchet Head with a few coming in from the west. Many boats had spectacular crashes, some even losing rigs; one sailor reported, “I’ve never been that sideways in my life.”

J/35 rocking Puget Sound in Seattle- sailing Scatchet Heads raceBoats wrapped their chutes around their forestays in gybes, some of them shredding apart while they were pulled down the forestay. Boats dropped their chutes in the water, some recovered, some getting cut away after wrapping around their keels and becoming too much of a liability to try and recover. But, just as quick as it started the downwind run was over and the reefs settled down on many of the boats in the fleet for the long slog south to the finish off Shilshole. Almost the entire fleet sailed up the east side of the course short tacking the beach, ducking or tacking away from starboard tacker’s while a couple boats worked up the Western shore, enjoying the westerly wind angle and open un-crowded course.

By this time, the rains had passed through and the sun was out but the wind gods weren’t done with the boats yet, holding winds in the upper 20’s.  What a day, the strong breeze had caused some serious carnage, both in sails and gear but in the end there was no major injuries, no boats requiring outside assistance or help from the coast guard!

J/27 sailing Puget Sound- first in class baby!!The winds began settling down as the middle of the fleet approached Meadow point and wouldn’t you know it, Bruce Hedrick was right again (don’t tell him). Hedrick stated in his weather brief “you should also notice that by around 1500-1600 hrs the breeze will start to drop significantly and back to the east. So if you’re coming off the west side of the Sound this could be painful.” And painful it was – any advantage the J/88 had gained by working up the western shore disappeared about halfway across the Sound as their bow came down below Meadow Point and they fell in line behind the 40 footer in their class. But, the winds didn’t stop changing there, they continued to die down to the point that a few boats barely made it across the line in glassy seas. As Hedrick said, “a fairly quick frontal passage.”

Full results can be found at the CYC Seattle website but here are the highlights. Class 2 was dominated by Andy and Jaime Mack aboard their J/27 TRUE NORTH correcting almost 8 minutes in front and leaving third to the J/27 WIZARD. Class 3 was sailed away with by that fun loving bunch aboard Pat Denny’s J/29 HERE & NOW, winning by an ungodly 12 minutes!

Class 4, the J/105 A3 flying One-Design class was once again taken by those fast sailors aboard Erik Kirsten’s J/105 JUBILEE. Leaving the J/105 LAST TANGO over 6 minutes back in second and the J/105 AVALANCHE, another 13 minutes back in third. Class 5 saw the J/88 take third. Class 6 saw the timeless J/35 TAHLEQUAH take second and third went to Commodore Burnell’s J/109 TANTIVY.  Class 7 saw the J/120 TIME BANDIT take second. Finally, Class 9 saw the J/145 DOUBLE TAKE finish in fine fashion to take third.

Take a gander over to and find yourself a photo to buy your crew or boat owner, there are some amazing shots there and by supporting the Anderson’s your supporting two people that make themselves available for assistance to the those in need on the course while passing up great picture opportunities to render this assistance. Thank you, once again, Skip and Jan!   Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson   For more Scatchet Head Race sailing information

J/22 sailboats- match racing on San Francisco BayDurant California Dreamin Match Race Winner
(San Francisco, California)- The California Dreamin’ Series, the three-event California match racing series held in San Diego (Jan 10-11), Long Beach (Feb 28-Mar 1), and San Francisco (Mar 21-22), concluded with the final event in J/22s hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club.

Vying for the overall series title, the San Francisco event was won by Dustin Durant with Russ Silvestri in second and Shawn Bennett in third. Durant’s win sealed for him the overall series title, with Bennett finishing second and Silvestri in third for the series.   For more J/22 California Dreamin Series sailing information

J/80s sailing off SpainSpanish J/80s Prepare for Worlds
(Santander, Spain)- As they have in the past few years, the Spanish J/80 class meet during the winter time to discuss the regattas, sponsors and events they will participate in for the following year.  Recognizing the J/80 Worlds are being held in Germany in early July, the fleet adjusted their regatta schedules in order for their fleets to get in enough training and racing to feel competitive by early summer.

J/80 sailing off SpainCantabrian Championship
Recently, the Cantabrian Championships were sailed off Santander and the event could not have been harder fought by the teams in attendance. The 22 boat fleet sailed in gorgeous Santander Bay and seeing how close the fleet was sailing over the two days of sailing, it could easily have been mistaken for a world championship event taking place.

Javier Aguado’s MAQUECHE managed to hold off famous J/80 skippers like Pichu Torcida’s OXITAL and David Madrazo’s GO-FIT to take win the regatta.  Since he’s not a Cantabrian registered fleet sailor, the actual title of Cantabrian Champion went to Torcida’s OXITAL.

The difficult sailing conditions that included very light winds for the weekend meant that little errors could become very expensive quickly!  With such a tightly knit and talented fleet, it was hard to crawl back into contention in any given race.  In fact, every team in the top five had at least one race that was in double-digits!

After the conclusion of Sunday’s racing, Aguado’s MAQUECHE won with a 6-1-17-2-2 for 11 pts net.  A last race 14th shot any chances for Pichu’s OXITAL to win the regatta, instead having to settle for a scoreline of 1-5-4-3-14 for 13 pts net and second overall.  Third was Madrazo’s GO-FIT, posting a 4-15-8-5-3 for 20 pts net.

J/80 sailing-- GreatSailing SpainTrofeo GREATSAILING
Elsewhere in Spain, another strong fleet of fourteen boats was sailing to win the Nautica Watches Trophy of Spain— the Trofeo GREATSAILING.  This fleet was nearly as deep and talented as the Santander regatta.  Included in this event were Jose Maria van der Ploeg, a multiple World Champion; Massimo Rama, the Italian J/80 champion; and Marc Antonio, the 2014 Spanish champion.

Unlike their friends in Santander, the fleet never got a race off on Saturday due to such light winds.  However, the regatta PRO and the RC committee more than redeemed themselves by running four excellent races on Sunday.  It was abundantly clear after the first two races that BRIBON MOVISTAR was going to be the “star” of the show, with Marc de Antonio and Sofía Bertrand ultimately claiming victory and taking the Nautica Watches Trophy - Trofeo GreatSailing.  After posting an opening duo of bullets, the MOVISTAR Team took a 3-1-4 to close the series with 6 pts net and win the tiebreaker.  The NAUTICA WATCHES team skippered by van der Ploeg took second with a 5-2-1-2-1 series for 6 pts net to lose the tiebreaker!  Third was Rosa Artigas skippering MIKAKU, fourth was Javier Scherk’s GUNTER and fifth was the Italian team on JENIALE! which was skippered by Massimo Rama.

J/80 sailing with friends off SpainMI MONEDA Leads Trofeo Vitaldent
There was spectacular sailing over the past weekend of the Bay of Baiona, with weather conditions that led to the quick races and lots of tight maneuvering for the teams. The crew of MI MONEDA, skippered by Jacobo Vecino, took advantage of the 20 knots of wind and successfully completed the races crossing the finish line first in all three races!

Behind the dominant MI MONEDA, the FERRALEMES team with skipper Roberto Fontan and the NEW MOON crew with Juan Luis Tuero at the helm, managed to place second and third place, respectively, for the weekend’s sailing.

After this event, the MI MONEDA team strengthens its leadership in the overall Trofeo Monte Real, with three wins in five days of competition. VIRAZON and NEW MOON could end up with the silver and bronze trophies if they can keep their good performances going next weekend.   Rounding out the top five in the standings are NAMASTE, NORTADA and FERRALEMES.

The Trofeo Vitaldent continues on March 28-29 with the last two days of the competition and the awards to the overall winners.   For more Spanish J/80 sailing information

J/24 Trofeo Nettuno winners- La Superba- Ignacio BonnanoJ/24 LA SUPERBA Crowned Trofeo Nettuno Champion
(Nettuno, Italy)- With a stunning performance, the Naples Navy crew on LA SUPERBA, skippered by Ignazio Bonnano and crew of Simone Recivo, Alfredo Branciforte, Picaro Francesco and Luigi Ravioli, won all six races to win the first of seven stages of the Italian J/24 Championship.

The event was perfectly organized by Neptune Yacht Club, in collaboration with the Italian Navy League section of Anzio, the Sailing Club of Rome, the Royal Rowing Club Tevere Remo, the Marina di Nettuno and the support of the Italian J/24 Class.

J/24 sailor- Litkey Farkas from Hungary and Lake BalatonThe presence of the best sailors in the twenty-four boat fleet made the event exciting and for close competition, at least for the balance of the top ten!  Amongst those competitors were Ignazio Bonnano (European Champion in 2012 in Cannigione), Luigi Ravioli (Italian champion in 2013), Massimo Mariotti (Italian champion in 2009 in Cagliari), Litkey Farkas (Hungarian champion in 2014 and current Soling World Champion- photo here), the James Black (current Italian J/24 National champion); and Italian Massimo Peter Noons (former champion of the Italian Laser class).

With six wins on the six races, LA SUPERBA was firmly in command of the regatta beginning on the first of racing.  They finished the regatta 10 points ahead of JAMAICA, sailed by the President of Italian J/24 Class, Pietro Diamanti, who sailed to a 6-2-2-2-10-4 record for 16 pts.  Taking third on the podium was JUMPIN JACK FLASH helmed this year the Hungarian Farkas Litkey (including crew Erica Manauzzi, Federico Miccio, Alessio Carvellin, Giorgio Caprini); their record was a reasonably consistent 8-6-4-3-2-7 for 22 pts.

Fourth place, just one point from the podium, was LILY PAD skippered by the young Giacomo Del Nero (owner/crew was Massimiliano Biagini), with a record of OCS-7-5-4-5-2 for 23 pts.  Fifth was JULIUS CEASAR skippered by Peter Max Noons with 25 pts.

"For the three days of racing, the PRO chose the bay to the north, an area not often sailed by the local fleet so as to make the competition fairer for crews from the other fleets,” said Federico Miccio. "Adding to the complexity of the sailing area was also the weather conditions: light wind from the south for the two races on Friday, a little more intense, but from the same direction, on Saturday (three races) and a light north-east wind Sunday for the only race completed before the wind fell below two knots."

"As President and as a sailor, I am extremely satisfied with this first leg of our circuit, thanks to great racing and a fun fleet to sail against; this confirms the strength of our class in Italy and the excellent camaraderie of our crews,” commented Pietro Diamanti. “On behalf of the entire class and especially the sailors and boat owners present these days in Nettuno, would like to thank and congratulate all the staff of the Nettuno Yacht Club and Marina di Nettuno, for their great hospitality and professionalism. Also, thanks to the jury, the measurer Cesare Cislaghi and all those who have worked on the water and on land for the great success of the event."

The National J/24 Circuit will continue with the Pasquavela- now in its twenty-eighth edition.  The event is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano and will begin April 3, with sailing from April 4 to 6 inclusive. For more information, please visit YCSS link:   Thanks for the contribution from Paola Zanoni- Italian J/24 Class Press Officer-  For more Trofeo Nettuno sailing information

J/125 sailing Cabo RaceJ/125 Flies In Cabo Race- 9.1 Kts Average!
(Newport Beach, California)- Cabo Race veterans dream of the idyllic offshore sailing conditions made famous in record-setting years.  Imagine taking off in sunshine, mid-70s temperature, just t-shirts and shorts and a light to moderate seabreeze building as the afternoon goes on.  Switch from Code Zero’s over to A3s overnight, then take off in trade-wind type conditions launched to Cabo San Lucas just 800nm away.  Much to the delight of this year’s 37-odd boat fleet, that’s how Neptune answered their prayers.  The sailors relished the solid northerlies blowing down the coast in big oscillations, surfing down the enormous Pacific Ocean swells, enjoying the moonlit nights filled with stars and watching long trails of phosphorescence in their stern wakes, watching in amazement as pods or schools of dolphins frolicked around their boats.

While the start was a bit of the usual light winds blowing onshore, it didn’t take long for the fleet to experience nice breeze offshore on the way down Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.  The ORR fleet saw the big boats whistling along at 17+ kt boatspeeds and the smaller boats simply peeling the miles away on their speedos in the 9 to 12+ kts range. There were several lead changes throughout the night in the class; it was amazing that boats can be this close after sailing so many miles.

By Sunday, the J/125 TIMESHAVER had taken the lead in ORR 3 Class. For them it was a drag race all day Sunday with few changes in position, and even into the night some of the boats were bundled together likely in sight of each other as they pass close by Isla Cedros. It was going to be a close race both across the line and corrected.

By the time they finished on Tuesday, the fleet continued to enjoy good winds and, generally, those who stood offshore of boats that kept gybing too far inshore kept making incremental gains.  In the end, it’s not too surprising that one of the top west coast offshore J/125 teams, Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER from Dana Point Yacht Club, pulled off a stellar performance to take second in ORR 3 Class and eighth overall!  It was an amazing ride for the TIMESHAVER gang; they averaged 9.1 kts boatspeed for the 810nm course, finished 3rd boat-for-boat against four SC 50s and beat their nemesis HORIZON by over 45 minutes corrected ORR time (they crossed the line only 26 minutes behind them, in sight after 810nm!!). Congratulations to Viggo and the crew!  For more Cabo Race sailing information.

J/24 Argentina sailorsINDIGO J/24 Argentina Triple Crown Winner!
(Cordoba, Argentina)- The Argentinean J/24 fleet just concluded its regatta series called the Campeonato Centro de la Republica.  The series starts February in gorgeous Mendoza and ended this past weekend in a red-hot regatta with a huge fleet on the beautiful Andean mountain lake- Lago San Roque and its pretty village called Villa Carlos Paz.

It all started out on the February 20-21 weekend sailing on the Potrerillos Reservoir  west of the mountain town of Mendoza. The event was organized by members of the Mendoza Fleet with the support of the Córdoba Fleet.

In a wonderful atmosphere, the fleet was blessed with strong winds between 15-25 knots with almost no waves, blowing in the dominant direction from the southeast (an adiabatic mountain wind like Lago di Garda in Italy). The water in the lake is so deep, cold, so pure and clear that it was fully drinkable by the crews!

Argentina J/24 bow girl- sailing regattaAfter measurement Thursday and practice racing Friday, the fleet retired to shore for a massive feast with canapés, appetizers and fabulous Malbec red wine, plus all the drinks you could want.  The atmosphere was warm and familiar to all at the social events as all sailors were that traveled from Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Salta were accompanied by wives, girlfriends, friends and family!  The final touch of the day concluded with a river-rafting tour in the Mendoza River, a tributary of the lake!  What amazing hospitality!

Saturday’s racing had four hard races with winds up to 25 kts.  After the conclusion of the day’s racing, the fleet was led by Ezequiel Despontin’s INDIGO, followed by Nicolas Cubría’s RINA, Sebastian Halpern’s MORRUCHO and Javier Moyano’s GRAN CARAJO. However, clearly none of those behind were willing to give anything in the water to these leaders. After these four grueling races, another excellent assortment of refreshments met the weary sailors.  In addition, to crown the day, a guided tour to an excellent local winery.

Sunday dawned with lighter winds, much to the relief of all the crews.  After a morning postponement, another three races were run with wind in the 15-20 kts range.  Again, by 1700 hrs the fleet was home, showered and ready to put on their best attire to attend another party at a nearby farm where the sailors spent a wonderful evening with music, dancing, food and even more fine wines!  Needless to say, you can imagine that all this fun and wine made for a lot of camaraderie and glamor until it all ended at 0200 hours!

J/24 sailing ArgentinaThe fleet approached Monday’s racing a bit less ambitiously than they had the first two days.  At this point it was clear the Despontin’s INDIGO had an unassailable lead.  The real battle was going to be for the balance of the podium and the top five.  In the end, Cubria’s RINA sailed fast and smart on the last day to post a 1-1-4 to take second overall by one point with 24 pts total.  Moyano’s crew must’ve had too good a time during the previous evenings festivities for their first race 13th knocked them right down the ladder so that their closing effort of a 2-3 was just good enough to hang onto third place with 25 pts.  Nearly catching them and taking fourth place was Halpern’s MORRUCHO with 28 pts due to a strong closing series of races with a 2-8-5.  Fifth place went to Alvaro Abate on CAMBURY.

After this memorable event, the fleet then traveled 672 km (directions here) and re-grouped on yet another picturesque lake, Lago San Roque and the fleet expanded even further to 28 boats, one of the largest turnouts in recent memory!  The fleet was blessed with good conditions all weekend for the final event of the Championship.  Teams came from all major fleets in Argentina, including Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Mendoza, Rosario and Salta.

The hosts for the final event were Club Nautico Cordoba and 400 Yacht Club, both in Villa Carlos Paz along the lake.  Again they hosted rather remarkable events after sailing each day for all three days.

J/24s sailing Argentina Lago San RoqueThe PRO and the clubs volunteers managed to conduct eight races over the three days; two on Saturday, three on Sunday and three on Monday.  The good winds on the last day were to Despontin’s liking, he and his INDIGO crew managed to close with a 7-1-1 to take the Cordoba regatta by one point to also be crowned the “Triple Crown” winner of Argentina with his crew composed of Franca Pesci, Daniel Merlo and Martin Costa.

Bridesmaid again for the second time in a row was Nicolas Cubria’s RINA with 31 pts; Nico’s crew included Mario Cubria, Fernando Bertrand, and Viviana Florencia Grau.

There was a real battle for the balance of the top five.  The three players included Pablo Despontin’s CARRER, Gustavo Saul’s ON LINE and Javier Moyano’s GRAN CARAJO.  After the first three races, Saul’s ON LINE was winning the regatta with an enormous lead due to their 1-2-1 tallies.  And, Despontin’s CARRER also had some flashy finishes during the regatta that included a 1-2-3.  However, neither team could sail consistently, in fact experiencing a “snakes & ladders” ride all weekend long.  Sailing steadily but just a touch off pace was Moyano’s GRAN CARAJO.  The last day proved to be a tough one for the ON LINE team, their hopes for even an easy top three getting dashed by a 3-21-2 closing scoreline and being forced to eat the 21 as a counter instead of dropping a BFD in race# 5.  As a result, Despontin’s CARRER finished in third with 40 pts, Saul’s ON LINE in fourth with 47 pts and Moyano’s GRAN CARAJO in fifth with 48 pts.
For more Argentinean J/24 sailing information

J/80 sailing off FranceJ/80 France Spring Training
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- The French J/80 teams have not only gotten themselves well-organized for the 2015 Coupe de France J/80 season, but they are firm in their sights to get their teams quickly up to speed for both their first major event of the season, the SPI Ouest Regatta in La Trinite sur Mer, but also operating at world-class level for the upcoming J/80 Worlds next door in Germany in the first week of July.

The French J/80 fleets coordinated to hold training events both in La Rochelle and in La Trinite sur Mer.  As the La Trinite coaches and Arnaud Walter reported:

“In the beginning of the year the wind was strong, sometimes too strong.  Then, this weekend it was weak.

It is in the conditions of Saturday, a wind easing off from to a moderate breeze that the crew must learn to sail fast!  Between the placement and movement of the crew in the boat, the constant attention of the sails adjustments, it had to be done!

The crews practiced ten rounds of hard boat-handling maneuvers.  Then, they spent time doing speed tests.  Finally, they closed with 3-minute starts.  The end of the day closed with three races of double windward-leewards.

With racing canceled on Sunday for lack of wind, the three races on Saturday counted for the qualification of the 7th edition of the Challenge J/80 La Trinité.  At this time, the top five teams include: 1- EV CATASCHOOL (Quentin Delapierre), 2nd MILLESIM (Jean-Pierre Richard), 3rd JDISMERCIPAPA (Matthew Visbecq), 4TH J-VENTURE (Marc Leborgne) and 5th J’HALLUCINE (Eric Despierre)

On the following weekend, it was exceptional spring weather with winds blowing 15-25 kts from the SE, lots of sun, a lunar eclipse on Friday morning and a “tide of the century” on Saturday (so bad that you had to time launching/ retrieving the J/80s)!  Like the previous weekend, even more of the same disciplined approach to their training that should pay off big for the top French teams.  Thanks for the contribution from Arnaud Walter.  For more French J/80 Class sailing information

J/22s sailing Netherlands Warming Up regattaJ/22 Warming UP Regatta Report
(Brassermermeer, Netherlands)- Marijke Hasselman from the WV Brassermermeer sailing club reports that, “A Warming Up was this weekend for sure! On Saturday, the strong wind in the morning and on Sunday the many starts and the sun. The new concept, many short races, was very well received by the sailors. On Saturday, the winds were such that the sailors had to focus on not crashing in the heavier breezes, particularly downwind!  Much practice needed!  But, in the afternoon, it was with the northern winds and it was fine sailing weather for a total of three races Saturday. On Sunday, everything went according to plan and all the fleets had six starts and short races!”  Participating was the very competitive Dutch and German fleet of J/22s as well as a new J/70 on the lake in the Sportboat class.

J/22s sailing Brassermermeer lakeThe German J/22 team had a similar report of their weekend experience: “Twenty J/22s were sailing over the weekend on the Brassermermeer, including 5 German teams (Thomas deletion, Holger Schmitt, John Albert Buitenhuis, Peter Hillebrand and Christian Rieck Born) and the German-French team JAZZY. Saturday morning was crazy, some bump and various bruises today.  With gusts to 32kts TWS in the 1st race, it was almost pointless to race.  Many boats tore sails, lots of them broached, one J/22 even ended up on the lee shore! As some sailors had to say, that water temperature is not really suitable for bathing in!! Saturday afternoon was much better as the breeze died and the front passed by fast. However, there were fantastic sailing conditions on Sunday!”

The J/22 teams don’t have much time to get “warmed UP” for their upcoming J/22 World Championship in Germany.  Many teams were working hard on their boat speed, tuning setups and most importantly, trying to work out a lot of winter rust!!  Coming out on top was FRAPORITA with skipper Jean-Michel Lautier and crew of Giuseppe d’Aquino and Denis Neves.  With 29 pts FRAPORITA just nipped another local Dutch team, JUT EN JUL sailed by Rosemarijn Verdoom.  Taking third was BIG ROLL-TU Delft sailed by Hylke Kooistra.  The top French boat was JAZZY sailed by Reiner Brockerhoof, managing a fourth.  Top German team was 7 SITZER skippered by Holger Schmitt in sixth.   Sailing photo credits- Cora Chess   For more Warming UP regatta sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/80 women sailors enjoying afternoon sail off Cyprus* Taarbaek Sailing Club in Denmark now has a new J/80 for their adult sailing program.  It’s a sweet story about how one of the smallest sailing clubs in Denmark was blessed with an un-traditional source to raise funds to purchase their J/80.  Here’s the story from Torsten Rasmussen from Denmark’s BAADNYT sailing magazine (

“One of the Sound’s smallest yacht clubs located in Taarbaek is linked to a very small harbor with only 100 moorings.

But, the club, which just had its 75th anniversary, is a very active club with a large junior section with three youths and an adult program with two H-boats. The Club has the stated goal that it should be inexpensive to become a member for both their junior sailing as well as adult sailing programs.  This is achieved with little help from sailing foundations and using mostly the club’s volunteer labor.

It has long been a desire to make the club's adult program more attractive. The club has therefore decided to replace the adult program’s H-boats with new J/80s.  But, the idea was to get one J/80 first, then when there was time and money in the future, to get another J/80 to replace the second H-boat.

And, so why select the J/80?  Simple.  The small yacht club needed a very sturdy boat that was safe, easy to use, fun to sail, could stay in the water all the time.  Plus, there are a number of J/80s at good sailing clubs nearby in Denmark.

Then, the most amazing thing happened, almost as if a gift from God fell out of the sky!  An envelope was dropped into the club’s mailbox one day, sent by the Association for Sail Sports Joy.  The envelope contained a letter that expressed their “congratulations” to the club on deciding to acquire their new boat and included inside the letter was a check for a large sum of money to help them buy the new J/80! The Board of Taarbaek SC has carefully considered and guessed, but who is the Association for Sail Sports joy?

The club will certainly “thank” the Association for the donation and together with the Kai Nielsen Houmann Fund, it has made it possible to buy the new J/80 for the adult program.  The world is wonderful and the club is convinced that the purchase is the right decision for their older adults in the Taarbæk Sailing Club.  Please note— Taarbaek has begun the hunt for the J/80 #2 soon!  Read it all in Danish here.

Women J/24 sailors off Australia* J/24s- The Female-friendly Class in Australia!!  Our girls are doing it with style and fun, the J/24 is a very female-friendly class and the boat can be sailed enjoyably and raced competitively by young and older women, something not many other keelboat classes can offer. Hugo Ottaway,  “Mr J/24” and long time class sailor, takes up the story.

“Women have been sailing J/24s since they arrived in Victoria in 1982.  Our first international representative was Barney Hartnett who competed in both the 1986 Newport Rhode Island and 1988 Sydney J/24 World Championships. Since then women have represented the Victorian J/24 association across the board. Gai Clough, Commodore of Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron and J owner won two Australian Championships.  She and Nikki Clarringbold represented Australia in the 1996 Worlds in Argentina; Nikki also sailed at the 2006 worlds in Sweden along with the all female crew of Kirsty Harris.  Kerry Dickerson and Diane Grimshaw crewed in the 1995 worlds in Sardinia and there are others I can’t recall.

J/24 women sailors- ArgentinaBuilt on this rich heritage of successful female participation, is a new wave of women who have embraced the J/24 as the weapon of choice.  Today, we see a group of females who not only equal the men in numbers, but also in talent.  Without a doubt, owner Robyn Coombs, skipper Kirsty Harris and crew are the best all female crew today, having won races in the Australian and Victorian Championships. In 2012 and 2014, two J/24 teams from Victoria represented Australia at the Dennis Conner International Yacht Club Challenge in New York (sailed on J/24s), in 2014 Alicia Ray was on one and Cherry Birch, who sailed in both regattas, was on the other.

The 2015 J/24 Australian Champion “Pacemaker” crew includes Rachel Suda, also included in the teams that came 3rd and 4th were Lisa Simonov and Candice Lee.

Recently Paullina Mattila won the 2015 RMYS Linda Goldsmith memorial trophy with Kirsty Harris 2nd, both sailing their J/24s.

J/24 women sailors- ArgentinaOur girls have progressively been making an impact, locally, nationally and internationally and it’s only going to get bigger. The J/24 is an ideal boat for Victorian conditions; here we have strong winds and an open bay that provides challenging conditions, the equal to any around the world. Due to their unique design the boat works perfectly with either all or part female crews. The class weight restriction of 400 kilos means the boats can sail with either 5 or 6 crew, this makes women crews competitive. Very few classes offer true International one design sailing, with strong competitive fleets in as many as 60 countries, that women can compete equally with the men.

In Adelaide, class stalwart Robin Townsend has long campaigned and skippered ‘Good Company’ with a mostly female crew and now with her newer J ‘Witches Thimble’ she continues to compete. In Cronulla, Sheryl Brighton and “the girls” compete – and win – club sailing in their 19 boat J fleet in “Cooee Two”. On Sydney Harbour and around the country, Jeanette Syme is a fierce competitor with her mixed crew. In Melbourne, we have had several young all female crews on our youth boats achieve great success. The names of many other female crews and skippers escape me but are too numerous to mention.

Women J/24 sailors The name Kirsty Harris continually pops up throughout recent J folklore and this article and she and owner Robyn Coombs deserve special mention. In Robyn’s own words, “The Melbourne based ‘Hyperactive’ all girl crew joined forces in 2006 when Sarah Thompson and I borrowed a J/24 and competed in and won our first regatta, The Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta. I decided this boat had to be ours! So, that’s where it all began! We have been predominantly an all female crew. Competing in many AWKR regattas at RMYS, WISC series at SYC, J/24 Worlds in Sweden, many J/24 Nationals and State Titles along with our one design racing on a regular basis out of SYC and recently competed in The Marley Point overnight race.

J/24 Ladies Race- AustraliaKirsty Harris and myself are two of the original crew members. We had a stint of approx 2 years where we had one of the male variety sailing with us, luckily for us he was more than happy to don our crew colours of hot pink (which represents Breast cancer awareness) along with a colour coordinated mini-skirt for special occasions!  As you can see, it’s all about fun otherwise we wouldn’t be there. Saying that, we are very committed and competitive, to say the least. We are also very lucky to have a lot of support around the buoys from members and especially our past sponsors “Red Bluff Homes and Clearly Frameless” and present sponsor “Crystal”.

Sarah left our crew recently due to baby commitments and Mary has stepped in as the new partner. Our next big adventure will be in Mexico in 2016!  So, bring it on! Robyn Coombs Team Hyperactive – Kirsty Harris, Mary McCauley, Joelle Roderick, Amanda Alyward and Robyn Coombs.”

Women J/24 sailors- Kiel, GermanyIn Victoria, Sandringham Yacht Club is the home of J/24. The club has embraced the class and over the past 3 weeks we have had two new owners join us, swelling the ranks to 21. New owner, Eddie Ragauskas, has been joined by his wife and daughters as a team.

This growth is not without effort. Bruce Alexander, who owns a local J/24 has created a user-friendly Internet site- “Melbourne Sailing Meet up” ( which boasts over 1,000 members, 2/3rds of which are women. Says Bruce “this site allows potential crews to access sailing at the click of a button, without the intimidation of the yacht club walls. The Victorian J/24 class has grown and benefited enormously from this group”. Hugo notes, “on my boat I now have two women and one male, who all came from Bruce Alexander’s Meet Up site, thanks Bruce for that!!”  Here’s their Facebook Melbourne Sailing page-

J24 Melbourne Meet Up sailing in AustraliaA recent Friday evening sunset cruise with three “new” sailors aboard the J/24 features the simple fun and camaraderie they are having- check out this YouTube sailing video here:

J24 sailing MeetUp- Melbourne, AustraliaBruce has provided several charts that have shown a rapid increase in interest in sailing J/24 yachts and women have made up the majority of that interest. I urge all J owners to look closely at the benefit and enjoyment of having either part or all female teams. Here is an indication of the popularity of Melbourne Sailing Meet Up and the interest in sailing J24s. Remember 2/3rds of these are women!

Want to Join the Group?
Interest should be directed to, J/24 Victoria Class President Doug McGregor or just go to the Melbourne Sailing Meet Up website here:!

Thanks for contribution from Simon Grain (with help from Hugo Ottaway, Robyn Coombs and Bruce Alexander).  For more Women J/24 Sailing in Australia information.

J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent "blogs" written by their prolific publishers.  Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You'll love it.
*Giant whale breaching in front of J/160 SALACIA off  Australia's Whitsunday Islands J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands.  Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination?  A giant whale!  Look at this amazing photo!

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

J/160 sailing offshore to US Virgin Islands- rainbow over ocean* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again!  We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR.   Alan sent us an email update commenting on their passage south this winter, "In mid-December AVATAR completed her sixth transit to her winter Caribbean home, Grand Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI (seen above)  from her home port in Quissett (Falmouth), MA.  A crew of three, Captain Alan (e.g. me), Crew Pablo Brissett and Mark Conroy, covered the 1,500 nm trip in in her best time to date- 7 Days 5 Hours, averaging 8.7 kts, that's about 208 nm per day!  Amazing passage it was!  Rainbow at right far offshore was some of the amazing phenomenon we experienced on this fast offshore passage.

AVATAR will participate in the BVI Sailing Festival/Regatta again in 2013, where last year she won the Nanny Key Cup Cruising Class race around the Island of Virgin Gorda.  Here are some photos for you to share with the J/Community at-large.  Enjoy!"
Best, Alan Fougere/ AVATAR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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