Wednesday, May 31, 2017

J/Newsletter- May 31st, 2017

J/121 offshore speedsterJ/121 "Open Course” Racing Announcement
(Newport, RI)- The breadth of sailing experience within the first wave of J/121 owners is quite impressive, and so it comes as no surprise that several have already set their sights on signature offshore events for 2018. Six of the first 10 boats will be East Coast USA based, and we’re pleased to outline the preliminary 2018 J/121 Event Schedule.

Open Course Racing
The J/121 is striking such a chord with sailors seeking high performance offshore sailing with half the normal size crew, we created a new racing format we’re calling “Open Course Racing”. The idea is to expand the typical W/L closed course racing into distance day racing with more course variety, less athletic boat-handling, and built-in scoring incentives for winning individual legs. The Open Course concept is growing and we’re currently engaging with event organizers to help introduce this format for future regattas.

J/121 Class Rules apply the best practices from years of one-design management and condensed them into an easy-to-read document that underlines the design mandate of the J/121 –a 40’ speedster that can be day raced or distance sailed by a short- handed crew. A few highlights:
  • Five sail inventory– one main, two jibs, and two spinnakers. The two jibs and Code 0 on furlers.
  • Corinthian crew with limit of one Group 3 sailor.
  • A target crew weight max of 1,050lbs (same as the J/105 Class) to encourage crews of 5-6 sailors.
  • In races over 25 miles, multiple crew can drive.
Proposed 2018 J/121 Event Schedule:
  • Lauderdale to Key West Race (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
  • Miami to Cuba Race (Miami, FL)
  • Palm Beach to Charleston Race Week (Charleston, SC)
Northeast circuit
  • May 12-13   J/121 Spring Invitational (Newport, RI)
  • May 26-28   FIGAWI Race Weekend (Nantucket, MA)
  • Jun 9-10     New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta (Newport, RI)
  • Jun 15        Newport to Bermuda Race (Newport RI)
  • Jun 22        Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Annual Regatta (Hamilton, Bermuda)
  • Jul 12-15    Rolex New York Yacht Club Race Week (Newport RI)
  • Jul 20-22    Edgartown Race Weekend (Edgartown, MA)
  • Aug 17        Ida Lewis Distance Race (Newport, RI)
  • Aug 31        Stamford-Vineyard Race (Stamford, CT)
For more J/121 Offshore Speedster sailing information

J/70 sailing EuropeJ/70 Europeans Preview
(Hamble, England)- The Royal Southern Yacht Club (RSrnYC) is proud to be hosting the 2017 J/70 Class European Championships in conjunction with the J/70 UK Class Association. The Club completed the Prince Philip Yacht Haven, opened by its Royal Patron, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 2015. This, and its associated waterside deck, has greatly enhanced shore-based and entertainment facilities, ideal for such a major Championship.  Karen Henderson-Williams, Commodore of the RSrnYC, said "Hosting the J/70 European Championship is a rewarding challenge for the RSrnYC and its members. We are looking forward to showing the J/70 competitors some great hospitality in our wonderfully enhanced facilities."

Racing commences on Monday 5th June, with an opportunity for competitors to sail a practice race, then the Championships run Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th June. The Championships provide a great opportunity for teams to prepare for the 2017 World Championships in Sardinia, Italy in September. RSrnYC’s PRO Stuart Childerley commented, "The intention is to run eleven Championship races. We are preparing for a large fleet and I am sure the sailors will find racing on the Hillhead Plateau area of the Central Solent challenging and fun. The Solent in June can be a stunning championship venue."

The club is greatly appreciative of its latest sponsor- RAYMARINE Ltd, a world leader in marine electronics. Raymarine will provide onsite support at the event, and a selection of high value prizes for the final prize-giving. Gemma Dunn from Key Yachting, said “Raymarine Racemaster and Tacktick systems are fitted to most of the J/70s we deliver here. They are the go-to, easy to use, easy to read displays for these boats.”

The fleet that has assembled to via for the European Championship title is second to none.  There are ten nations (Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, & USA) participating in the forty-five-boat fleet, including Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE from Ancona, Italy, the 2016 European champion. Chasing her team hard will be another top woman skipper, Russia’s Valeria Kovalenko and her ARTTUBE team from Moscow, winners of the Monaco J/70 Winter Series.  From Monaco, Stefano Roberti’s PICCININA crew, winners of the Monaco Primo Cup Credit Suisse in 2016, will also be hoping to parlay success in Monaco on the Mediterranean Sea into a top performance on the Solent.  Other notable visiting teams include a past J/80 World Champion from Santander, Spain, Jose Maria “Pichu” Torcida and Luis Martin Cabiedes sailing NOTICIAS; the French crew on PAPREC RECYCLAGE skippered by Thomas Mellano for Le Havre, France; Alwin Van Daelen’s KIM FROM HOLLAND from the Netherlands; Fredrik Hedlund’s AGERA 3 from Buchillon, Switzerland; and Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY from New York, NY, USA.

No question, all of the foreign visitors to the fabled waters of the Solent will have to be sailing with eyes “wide open” and hoping to have a fair amount of “local knowledge” input from various sources.  The Solent is relentless in surprising even the local hotshots that have won numerous national and World Championships on this fabled body of water.  Strong currents screaming around the various mud banks and winds that are curving constantly over the local hills have thwarted some of the best teams in the world.  With 29 British teams making up over half the fleet, it’s likely they will populate most of the top of the leaderboard.  Rumored to be participating is multiple World Champion and Whitbread Champion Lawrie Smith from Lymington as main trim/ tactician!  In addition, the top local crews should be Ian Wilson & Marshall King’s SOAK RACING, Martin Dent’s JELVIS 7, Simon Ling’s SPITFIRE, the Calascione/Ripard team on CALYPSO, Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC, and Jack Davies YETI.  For more information on the J/70 European Championships

J/125 sailing offshoreSoCal 300 Race Preview
(Newport Beach, CA)- The 2017 edition of the California Offshore Race Week has been producing epic racing in both of the first two events for the fleet of forty-five of the top offshore teams on the West Coast.  The Spinnaker Cup from San Francisco to Monterrey had light conditions at the outset, but saw classic Pacific swells offshore as the fast-reaching J/crews reveled in the conditions and took off.  The same was true for the Coastal Cup Race from Monterrey down to Santa Barbara, where it blew even harder with winds in the 20-35 kts range and swells up to 15 feet!

The final event of the Cal Offshore Race Week is the big-daddy of the three races- the SoCal 300.  The race goes from Santa Barbara, offshore around the San Islands, past San Clemente Island,

Starting on June 1st, the fleet includes two of the hottest J/125s in the western hemisphere- Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE from Coronado YC and Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC.  Both teams are also practicing for the upcoming Transpac Race which have at least four J/125s registered with hopes for a 5th J/125! Joining them is Jim Goldberg’s J/109 JUNKYARD DOG, the only J/Team that have registered to sail the entire Cal Offshore Race Week series.    For more California Offshore Race Week sailing information

J109 sailnigSusan Hood Trophy Race Preview
(Port Credit, ONT, Canada)- The 2017 Susan Hood Trophy Race presented by is run by the Port Credit Yacht Club and is scheduled to run on Friday, June 2, 2017 at PCYC. Since 1955, fully crewed yachts have been taking the challenge of a spring offshore race.  It is a great event to shake down your boat and crew and start the 2017 season.  Why race the Susan Hood Trophy Race? Here is why it has proven so popular:
- Excellent warm up race for the LO300
- Experience the weather challenges offered in spring
- Convenient overnight racing will not tie up the weekend
- Great pre-race and post- race camaraderie

Taking the challenge are a fleet of ninety-five boats, including eighteen J/crews (nearly 20% of the fleet)!  Leading the charge should be Bruce Pierce’s J/122 HOOLIGAN II from Toronto, Ontario, sailing in the eight-boat IRC Class against some of the most competitive big boats on Lake Ontario.

In the PHRF Singlehanded class of ten boats, Kim Piller’s J/109 LIVE WIRE from host Port Credit YC will be taking on a wide range of boats from an old C&C 27 up to a race-prepped First 40.  In the PHRF Doublehanded class, Leszek Siek’s J/35 JAEGER will be taking on eight teams that include a Figaro Solo up to a swing-keel Shock 40 and a Swan 47.

The monster 53-boat PHRF Racing class includes fourteen J/Teams.  Four J/105s are in the mix (Ed Berkhout’s ALI-KAT, Peter Wolniak’s ANOTHER HAZARD, Geoff Clarke’s CASUAL ELEGANCE & Tom Accardo’s SOTTOVENTO). Joining them are three J/109s (Denys Jones’ CARPE VENTUS, Bob Eckersley’s BLUE STREAK (a past race winner) & Murray Gainer’s LIVELY (another past race winner).  The two J/120s in class include Matt Emerson’s RED LEAF and Graham Toms’ THE CAT CAME BACK.  Two J/35s that have proven to be spoilers in the past include Mike Pietz’s SHORTHANDED and Paul Cavanaugh’s TOP GUN.  Finally, joining them are Wendy Northcotte’s J/30 NORTHCAUGHT, Sean Matthews’ J/33 WEE BEASTIE III, and Andrew Sharp’s J/92 SWITCH.   For more Susan Hood Trophy Race sailing information

J70 sailed by Heather GreggSouthern Bay Race Week Preview
(Hampton, VA)- Hampton YC is looking forward to hosting its annual Southern Bay Race Week, and event that is sponsored by Black Seal Cup rum and has become a highly popular social event for the “southern set”- those that call the southern Chesapeake home and even go sailing offshore sometimes off Virginia Beach.  100 boats are looking forward to good sailing and the fun-times on shore, especially for the one-design fleets of J/24s and J/70s and the large collection of PHRF handicap boats.

In the J/70s, the local fleet is out in force and expect the class honors to be fought between Steve Quiriconi’s HOTTY TODDY, Matt Braun’s E.L.E., Latane Montague’s FULL MONTY, Mike Karn’s INCONCEIVABLE and Walter Gnann’s VORTEX.

The J/24s will have a full-on battle for the top five; include several Hamptonites and a foreigner from Unionville.  Those teams include Sam McGuire’s BLOW’VIATE, Mike Veraldi’s QUICKY, Bill Bomar’s RACING TIDE, Alan Bomar’s ROUNDABOUT, and Ray Nugent’s ROCKET J.

Three J/crews are participating in PHRF A2 class, include Don DeLoatch’s J/105 SPECIAL K, and two J/36s- Phil Briggs’ FEATHER and Will Roberts’ J/36 REMEDY.  In PHRF B1 class, the sole J is Ben Weeks’ J/29 RUMBLE.  Two J/30s are sailing in PHRF B2- Ben Ritger’s BLEW-J and Rusty Burshell’s COOL CHANGE.
For more Southern Bay Race Week sailing information

J/70s sailing one design and offshoreCal Race Week Preview
(Marina del Rey, CA)- The 19th annual Cal Race Week, California YC's signature buoy racing event, is about to take place this weekend from June 3rd to 4th!

Whether you race PHRF or one-design, CYC rolls out the red carpet for two days of well-organized competitive buoy racing. They promise a great event with great prizes.  Mount Gay Rum continues its long tradition of sponsorship, and this year they welcome North Sails as a new sponsor!  And, Good Lord does CYC know how to deliver on their promises!!

CYC's renowned (in fact, truly legendary) hospitality awaits the crews once you hit the docks at the end of each day. Here's what you can expect; after Saturday’s racing, on the main dock the hosts offer Mount Gay Rum tasting, keg beer, and snacks.  Later on, dinner and cash bar and a famous Santa Monica DJ keeps the party going.  Then, for the Sunday Post-Race, there is more keg beer and snacks on the main dock and for the trophy presentation, the most amazing spread (like gigantic!) of hors d'oeuvres along with a cash bar.

In addition to trophies for the top boats of each PHRF and one-design class, the following trophies will be awarded:
- the Junior Crew Trophy will be awarded to the best scoring boat in each class with at least one junior (<18) aboard. Click HERE to access the form for entering the Junior Crew Trophy; and
- the J/80 West Coast Championship Trophy, which shall remain on display at CYC, will be awarded to the first place J/80

The largest and most competitive fleet will be the J/70 class.  Top crews vying for the leaderboard should be Chris Raab’s SUGOI, Craig Tallman’s JAYA, Tom Tunberg’s NAMASTE, Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT and Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU.

The J/109s include Jack Mayer’s ZEPHYR, Bryce Benjamin’s PERSISTENCE, and Heinz Butner’s RAPTOR. The J/80s include past multiple champion Curt Johnson sailing AVET and up against him will be another good boat, Dave Angers’ MISS DEMEANOR. And, in PHRF B class, Scott Torrance’s J/124 FORGIVENESS will be taking on an eclectic fleet of boats that includes a VX One, a Farr 30 and a Tartan 101.  For more Cal Race Week sailing information

J/70 fleet sailing off startCedar Point One-Design Regatta Preview
(Cedar Point, CT)- This coming weekend, the Cedar Point YC is looking forward to hosting four J/classes for their annual Cedar Point One-Design Regatta.  Racing will be taking place in western Long Island Sound for fleets of J/70s, J/88s, J/105, and J/109s.

The biggest class at the event will again be the J/70s, with most of the top Long Island Sound contingent participating in the nineteen-boat fleet.  The leaderboard is difficult to handicap, but look for top crews like John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES, Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA, Josh Goldman’s BUILDING A, Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY, Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK, and Bodo & Nick von der Wense’s TURBO TUCK to be in the chocolates, somewhere, in the final standings.

For the nine-boat J/88 class, the event amounts to the Long Island Sound Championship, also acting as a “training camp” for many top boats sailing at Block Island Race Week for their East Coast Championship.  Many familiar top teams are participating, including Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION, Doug McKeige’s Block Island Race-winning JAZZ, Mike Bruno’s WINGS and Kevin Marks’ VELOCITY.

J/109 East Coast Championship is featuring a tremendous fleet of eighteen boats, with many past champions hoping to collect the East Coast title before vying for their North American Championship at Block Island Race Week in a few weeks time.  In other words, Cedar Point is the “training camp” for many of these teams to ensure they are up to speed.  Who’s on form at the moment?? Several teams, including Bill Rogers’ BIG BOAT, Jon Rechtshaffer’s EMOTICON, David Rosow’s LOKI, Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY, Bill Sweetser’s RUSH, Brooke Mastrorio’s URSA and Bill Kneller’s VENTO SOLARE.

The J/105 class has ten good teams lined up for their first start on Saturday, including Nicole Breault’s GOOD TRADE, Duncan Hennes & Za Jelliffe’s ARETE, Max Kalehoff’s LAURA BEA, Jordan Mindich’s SHAKEDOWN and Richie Palmer’s TOLO.  For more Cedar Point One-Design Regatta sailing information

j/70 sailing off newportNYYC J/70 Regatta Preview
(Newport, RI)- The New York Yacht Club One-Design Regatta, June 2nd to 4th, will be sailed out of the historic Harbour Court clubhouse on Newport Harbor. This new event will feature racing for the sailing world’s most competitive keelboat class- the rapidly growing J/70 class first introduced in 2013. The J/70 fleet will gather for an early season event that will see many teams shaking off the rust and aiming toward national and world championship events later this summer.

In 2014, the J/70 class held its first World Championship out of New York Yacht Club's Harbour Court, with 86 boats. The fleet won’t be quite as large when the class returns this weekend, but former America’s Cup sailor Hannah Swett expects a competitive group.  “It will be a great warm-up event for summer J/70 racing in Newport,” says Swett, who spent her youth sailing on Narragansett Bay and was an All-American sailor at Brown University in Providence. “We are expecting a dozen or more highly competitive boats. It is great to be sailing an one-design regatta at Harbour Court.”

Despite the relatively small size of the fleet, more than half the teams are of World Championship caliber.  In fact, add up all Olympic medals, World, North American and Midwinter Championships in the thirteen-boat fleet and it goes way beyond two dozen!  A formidable group it is; including Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Beverly YC (J/80 World Champion and J/105 Midwinter Champion 3x); Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth Boat Club; Doug Strebel’s crew on BLACK RIVER RACING from Lakewood YC (including Pan Am Games Gold Medallists Jay & Jody Lutz); Heather Gregg & Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE from New York YC (the first J/70 North American Championship winners and first Corinthians winner and fifth overall in the first J/70 Worlds); John Brim’s RIMETTE team from Fishers Island YC (offshore champion); the Sertl Family’s JUNKANOO from Jamestown’s Conanicut YC (J/22 champions); NYYC Commodore Phil Lotz sailing USA 92 (J/105 and Swan 42 Invitational Cup champion); Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY from Annapolis YC; Tim Healy’s USA 2 from Sail Newport (the first J/70 World Champion and two-time J/70 Midwinter champion); Glenn Darden’s HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club (with crew Jonathan McKee- Olympic Gold Medallist alongside Glenn’s J/105 and J/80 North American titles); and, of course, Hannah Swett’s SPARKLE.  Needless to say, Hannah’s observation was not an understatement regards the competition!   Sailing Photo credits- Paul Todd/   For more J/70 New York YC One-Design regatta sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The American Memorial Day Weekend and the European regatta schedules were very busy this past week!  There was an extraordinary amount of activity taking place in both the Americas and the European continent.  Starting in Italy, there was the Alcatel J/70 Cup taking place in Malcesine, Italy on Lake Garda.  Then, just prior to that, the AUDI J/70 Sailing League was hosted by YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy.  Just north of them, the Italian J/24 Nationals took place in La Maddalena, Sardinia, Italy!  Competition was HOT on the Mediterranean!

Further north on the continent, J/70 sailing leagues were happening everywhere!  The Swedish Sailing League had their first event in Strangnas, Sweden.  The Danish Sailing League held their first event in Struer, Denmark.  Likewise, the original Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga (the German Sailing League) had their first action for the year in Lindau, Germany.  Next door, the Swiss Sailing League already sailed their second event in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland!  That is hundreds of people sailing and watching J/70s all across Europe!  On the west coast of France, the J/80s were sailing their second part of their J/80 Coupe de France at the Grand Prix Ecole del Navale off Camaret-sur-Mer, France- it was a big competitive fleet!

Hopping over the big pond to the west, we find the eastern seaboard was pretty busy with J/crews sailing all over the place.  For starters, the famous FIGAWI Race took place from Hyannis to Nantucket for a few dozen J/teams.  Just west of them, the famous Storm Trysail Club’s  Block Island Race saw a bunch of J/teams collect a LOT of silverware, again!  That race goes from Larchmont, NY out of Long Island Sound to Block Island, rounding it to starboard and return!  Sounds simple, eh??  Not.  Read on below!  Then, down in Houston, Texas, the J/24s held their North American Championship on Galveston Bay.  Out west along the Pacific coast, things were quite busy.  Up in the Pacific Northwest, the Royal Victoria YC held their annual Swiftsure International Race- comprised of four races, with all J’s sailing the Hein Bank Race, the Cape Flattery Race and the Juan de Fuca Race- again lots of silverware collected by top J/crews.  We also got a report from J/109s sailing in the Pacific Northwest- from the Southern Straits Race and the Round Saltspring Race.  Finally, the California Offshore Race Week started and two races have been completed in the last few days- the Spinnaker Cup Race (San Francisco to Monterrey) and the Coastal Cup Race (Monterrey to Santa Barbara).

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

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Jun 1- SoCal 300 Race- Newport Beach, CA
Jun 2-3- Susan Hood Trophy Race- Port Credit, ONT, Canada
Jun 2-4- Southern Bay Race Week- Hampton, VA
Jun 2-5- J/22 World Championship- Scheveningen, The Netherlands
Jun 3-4- Cal Race Week- Marina del Rey, CA
Jun 3-4- Cedar Point One-Design Regatta- Cedar Point, CT
Jun 3-9- J/70 European Championship- Hamble, England
Jun 9-11- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL
Jun 9-11- New York YC 163rd Annual Regatta- Newport, RI
Jun 16-18- J/70 Great Lakes Championship- Cleveland, OH
Jun 16-18- Cleveland Race Week- Cleveland, OH
Jun 17-18- British J/80 National Championship- Southampton, England
Jun 17-25- Kieler Woche- Kiel, Germany
Jun 18-23- Block Island Race Week- Block Island, RI
Jun 18-23- J/109 North American Championship- Block Island, RI
Jun 29- Jul 1- J/70 Nordic Championship- Hanko, Norway
Jul 8-14- J/80 World Championship- Hamble, England

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

J70 Calvi Network sailingCALVI NETWORK Dominates ALCATEL J/70 CUP II
(Malcesine, Lago di Garda, Italy)- It was an exciting weekend of sailing on Lake Garda, where the second event of the ALCATEL J/70 CUP series took place along the eastern shores of the picturesque town of Malcesine.  The “wind machine”, known as the northern parts of the lake, never ceased to amaze the visiting sailors that had not experienced the regular mountain-based “adabatic” winds.  By midday, the wind would fill in like clockwork and provide sailors with nice southerly winds of 10-15 kts of wind, or more.

Sixty-eight boats from sixteen countries worldwide (Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cayman Islands, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, & Turkey); of that twenty-six were sailing in the Corinthians division.

For the second time in a row, the victory went to Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK, scoring four bullets in eight races to win by an easy 17 pts.  Alberini’s crew included Branko Brcin calling tactics, Karlo Hmeljak at main and Sergio Blosi in the double role of trimmer and skipper. CALVI NETWORK was also the winner of the Alpen Cup prize, awarded to the crew that scored the best result over the eight races without discard.

The two bullets scored in the last day by Marco Salvi's VERTIGO enabled the British crew (with Victor Diaz calling tactics) to take the silver.  Securing third on a tie-breaker at 55 pts each was Krzysztof Krempec’s Polish team on MAG EWA (with Croatian tactician Tomislav Basic) over Franco Solerio’s Italian crew on L’ELAGAIN (the winner of the 2105 & 2016 editions of the ALCATEL J/70 CUP).  Rounding out the top five was a past Farr 40 World Champion- Alberto Rossi’s Italian crew on ENFANT TERRIBLE.

Italian j70 sailors The Corinthian fleet, composed of 26 crews representing eight nations, turned out to be very competitive and in many cases were able to keep up with the professionals, with crews that in many races gained placements within the top-five of the overall ranking.  The Corinthians victory went to Gianfranco Noè's WHITE HAWK, which had already earned some success this season, finishing second the Adriatic Cup and winning the first event of ALCATEL J/70 CUP in Sanremo in the Corinthian division.  Second place went to Andrea Magni’s PENSAVO PEGGIO (with Marco Laurino on tactics) and taking the bronze was Alessandro Zampori’s MAGIE DAS SAILING TEAM.

The top three woman skippers in Malcesine were Italian Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE, followed by Russia’s Valeria Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE.COM, and Swiss Mara Bezel’s EMMA.

Every day after racing, aperitifs were offered by Aperol Spritz and Kitchen Aid, welcoming crews when they got back on dock. Many sailors also took advantage of exciting test drives with professional Alfa Romeo drivers. As in the best tradition of ALCATEL J/70 CUP, a raffle awarded prizes by Alcatel, Fitbit and Gill (official clothing supplier), so no crew went home empty-handed. The road-tour offered by “OhhItaly” to the best foreign crew in the overall ranking went to the Polish crew of MAG EWA.

The J/70 fleet remains on Lake Garda, where the third event of ALCATEL J/70 CUP is scheduled for June 20th to 23rd in Riva del Garda at the northern end of the lake- one of the world’s most famous sailing venues.   Follow the Italian J/70 class on Facebook here   For more Italian J/70 class sailing information

Italy J/70 sailing league winnersCCA Wins 1st AUDI Italian J/70 Sailing League
(Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- The first qualifying event for the 2017 AUDI Sailing League was organized by the YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo and saw 12 teams participating. A round robin formula ensures that each team will race against all of the others over the course of 30 short and highly competitive windward-leeward races with 6 boats on the starting line each time.

"After the kickoff in 2015 and an exciting 2016,” commented Roberto Emanuele de Felice, President of the Italian Sailing League, “we are ready for a new season that will take the Italian Sailing League from Sardinia to Trieste and on to Crotone for the national final in October. Twelve teams are competing in this first leg and the forecast weather conditions should be excellent for this type of racing; we expect spectacular and competitive performances from the clubs: these will be three days of great Italian sailing.”

Riccardo Bonadeo, Commodore of YC Costa Smeralda, said “interclub events are fundamental in our sport in order to attract young people to sailing, so we are delighted to host the second edition of the Audi - Italian Sailing League once again in Porto Cervo.  I would like to take the chance to welcome the teams that have travelled here from all over Italy, including our own YCCS team. Given the format of the event, with fast, technical regattas raced in a healthy spirit of enjoyment, we are looking forward to three thrilling days of racing.”

j/70s off Sardinia- YC Costa SmeraldaThe teams doing battle included Marina Militare (Team Leader Vincenzo Vano, Ignazio Bonanno); Centro Velico 3V (Team Leader Matteo San Giorgi, Helmsman Edoardo Mancinelli Scotti); Circolo Canottieri Aniene (Team Leader Luca Tubaro, Helmsman Lorenzo Bressani); Circolo Nautico Torre del Greco (Team Leader Claudio Polimene, Helmsman Raimondo Orpello); Circolo Velico Ravennate (Team Leader and Helmsman Michele Mazzotti); Club Nautico Gela (Team Leader and Helmsman Massimo Barranco); Club Vela Portocivitanova (Team Leader Alessio Marinelli, Helmsman Michele Regolo); Club Velico Crotone (Team Leader Alessio Frazzitta, Helmsman Mattia Pagani); Yacht Club Quartu (Team Leader Mauro Farris, Helmsman Davide Schintu); Yacht Club Porto Rotondo (Team Leader Camillo Zucconi, Helmsman Ferdinando Palomba); Yacht Club Riviera del Conero (Team Leader Vincenzo Graciotti, Helmsman Francesco Falcetelli); and the home team representing YC Costa Smeralda (Team Leader and Helmsman Antonio Sodo Migliori).

After three days of sailing, it was clear who was the dominant sailing club team for the first event! With eleven 1sts in thirteen races, the Circolo Canottieri Aniene with Lorenzo Bressani at the helm (crew Luca Tubaro, Umberto Molineris and Matteo Mason) claimed victory. Racing went well on Friday, Saturday’s sailing had to be cancelled due to a mistral blowing at 40 kts plus, and Sunday’s sailing saw 18 races crammed into a tight schedule to permit a total of 26 races to be sailed.

The team representing Circolo Canottieri Aniene (CCA) performed well both in Friday’s strong wind conditions and in Sunday’s medium and shifty breeze, totaling just 16 points overall. In second place with double the number of points was Circolo Velico Ravennate (Michele Mazzotti, Andrea Bazzini, Cesare Trioschi, Francesco Ivaldi) ahead of a team competing in the Italian Sailing League for the first time, the Centro Velico 3V (Matteo Sangiorgi, Edoardo Mancinelli Scotti, Erica Ratti, Alessandro Franzì) which claimed the final place on the podium.

j/70 sailing off sardinia, italy"We are very pleased with the first AUDI sailing league event,” commented Roberto Emanuele de Felice, President of the Italian Sailing League. “The conditions kept the teams and the organizers the YC Costa Smeralda busy. Our thanks go to the YCCS for their work at sea and the splendid hospitality on land. We now have the first qualified teams for the final in Crotone and what is really apparent is how much the quality of the sailors and the racing has risen in just one year. This is a very positive sign for the future and for the role that the Italian Sailing League plays at an international level. Congratulations to Aniene for the resounding victory, to Ravenna for never abandoning the fight for first place and to 3V for such an intelligent debut with a team of well-trained and determined young athletes!”

"We battled against Ravenna,” commented winning helmsman Lorenzo Bressani of Circolo Canottieri Aniene. “We knew they were our closest rivals, but we were able to win with a good margin and I’m particularly happy about that as it means we have started the season on the right foot.”

“The CCA takes the Sailing League season very seriously,” explained Vice President of the Circolo Canottieri Aniene, Francesco Rocco. “We fielded a team that will also compete in the European qualifiers for the next Sailing Champions League. We built the team using athletes from diverse disciplines such as the 49er and Nacra and with experience of offshore boats.”

The next leg of the Italian Sailing League is scheduled for July in Portopiccolo (Trieste, Italy) where the full line up for the national final in Crotone will be decided.

"This first event provided spectacular racing in challenging conditions, with strong wind on the first day and medium and unstable wind on the third day,” commented Vice President of the Italian Sailing League Alessandro Maria Rinaldi. “The League’s formula foresees a large number of short, intense races which allow the teams to repeat starts and maneuvers dozens of times. This is great practice for expert sailors and an excellent opportunity for new teams to find the right balance for future events. The J/70s have proved to be very suitable, agile and fast in all conditions, making the Italian Sailing League a spectacular platform bringing fast and thrilling racing to the world of sailing.”

Riccardo Bonadeo, Commodore of YC Costa Smeralda said, “we are pleased to have hosted the AUDI Italian Sailing League. Today was an intense race day and the event has proved once again to be an exhilarating one. I would like to thank the Italian Sailing League, the Race Committee, Jury, Umpires and YCCS staff as well as the title sponsor Audi and all the teams who travelled to Porto Cervo for the occasion.”

During the final prize giving ceremony the top three classified Clubs received prizes from Garmin Marine, technical Partner of the event. The Circolo Canottieri Aniene (1st place) received a GPS InReach communications system, the Circolo Velico Ravennate (2nd place) a portable GPS 78s and the Circolo Velico 3V (3rd place) a portable GPS 78.  For more YCCS AUDI Sailing League information

J/70 KSSS team sailing winnersKSSS Draws First Blood at Swedish J/70 Sailing League
(Strängnäs, Sweden)- The first of four events in the Swedish J/70 Sailing League took place in Strängnäs, where city-based sailing on the Ulvhällsfjärden Lake just below the cathedral provided an amazing landscape for the eighteen teams participating from across Sweden.  The organizing clubs- Strängnäs Segelsällskap and Ekerö Båtklubb- created a creating a memorable sailing event with short-course races along their picturesque waterfront.

“Since we have a sailing arena that is centrally located, it is a perfect way for us to create interest both for the sport of sailing and for the club. We aim to offer the sailors an urban sailing experience with beautiful scenery and an easily accessible race village," said Tommi Rotonen from Strängnäs Segelsällskap.  “Most importantly, each crew must consist of one person of each sex and at least one sailor under 25 years!”

Day One
The first day of racing was hot and produced very light winds on the lake below the cathedral in the center of Strängnäs.  The light winds permitted just three races to be sailed by each team.  Despite the light winds, the racing attracted a crowd along the town’s waterfront.  The ruling champions from the Cape Crow Yacht Club got off to a slow start and were sitting in eighth place.

j/70 sailing in swedenDay Two
The second day offered perfect conditions- sunshine, winds around 5-7 m/s and tight city-front racing in front of hundreds of spectators - and unusually smooth sailing.  After ten of a total of 15 scheduled races, the champions from 2015- the KSSS team- were tied on points with Hjuvik and Trea, followed by the champion Cape Crow club.

“Strängnäs delivered another great day with fantastic sailing. The race track is close to land, which gives great spectator viewing, but also very difficult conditions," said Oscar Lundqvist from KSSS. "After a tremendous opening race with a penalty at the first start, we managed to win three of six races today. That means we are now leading overall, on a tie-breaker. Before tomorrow, we will try to minimize the mistakes and use our talented crew to beat our competitors!”

j/70 women's team in swedenDay Three Finale
"Today, it was a little different scenario, with even more winds on the lake, shiftier, too! Before the final race, the starting point was clear; we had to get at least a 2nd to win overall,” said Oscar Lundqvist from KSSS. "We took the start of the last race, but got a bad track up to the first mark and rounded last!! After an incredible first leg downwind, we were up to second place and halfway up on the second windward leg, we were leading! Unfortunately, the last battle at the gate marks with Cape Crow made us take a penalty. Again, we were closest to the last puff and had to do our utmost to take second place in the race. Fortunately, everything went our way and we slipped over the finish line just a few centimeters before our competitors!!”

In the end, victory went to KSSS team of Jacob Lundqvist, Per Vickberg, Ida Svensson and Oscar Lundqvist.  Tied with them on points, but losing the tie-breaker was the Cape Crow YC team of Magnus Holmberg, Lasse Linger, Frida Magnusson and Axel Munkby.  Third was Hjuvik BK from Torslanda, who had 21-year-old Johanna Bergqvist at the helm this weekend; her teammates included Isabelle Bergqvist, Sten Bergqvist and Anders Höije.

The next round in Allsvenskan Sailing will be taking place in Ekerö, just outside of Stockholm, from June 9th to 11th.   Follow the Swedish J/70 sailing league on Facebook here   For more Swedish J/70 Sailing league information

J/70 Denmark woman crewFrederikshavn Sejklub Seahawks Lead Danish J/70 Sailing League    
(Struer, Denmark)- There was a clear trend through both Saturday and Sunday racing for the first event of the 2017 Danish Sailing League; the Frederikshavn Seahawks were hungry after defending their 2016 title as winner of the Sailing League. When racing was about to end on Saturday, the North Jutland team of Søren Steen, Rasmus Damsgaard, Rasmus Melsen and Captain Kris Houmann were quite happy with their performance, leading the fleet!

J/70 Denmark sailing leagueBut, there was excitement until the last race when the defending Danish champions had to defend their lead at a single point down from the KDY Sharks.  The crew of Kaløvig Badelaug Cobras took advantage of opportunities on the race track, winning their last race while the crews of Frederikshavn Seahawks and KDY Sharks concentrated on beating each other. Up at the top mark, KDY Sharks looked best. But, then something happened unexpectedly, when KDY tried to sneak around the top mark, they got a red flag for hitting the mark! A disappointed skipper of KDY said afterwards, "We were penalized for touching the top mark.  Bummer. The crew from Frederikshavn Seahawks took advantage of the opportunity and pulled off the overall win.  Congratulations to them.”  Indeed, the last mark rounding determined the ultimate outcome, with the top three teams all separated by just 3 pts in the end, who beat who determined the winner.

Although Frederikshavn Seahawks had a strong performance, with six 1sts in eleven races, they were closely followed by Kerteminde Sejklub, who had the same number of 1sts; this was their best performance in the Sailing League league so far.  As a result of their weather mark penalty, the KDY Sharks dropped to third place.  Rounding out the top five were Skovshoved Sejklub in 4th place and Kaløvig Badelaug in 5th place.

"It is a great honor for us to be allowed to hold such an event with the best sailors in this country. And so we hope to put Struer on the map,” says chairman Tommy Venø Jensen from Struer Sailing Club.

The Mayor of Struer Municipality, Mads Jakobsen, chose to set the road past the mill on Saturday and went out in one of the boats to experience the sailing sport league. He was very excited about the club's great commitment and zeal to attract some of the country's best sailors.   Follow the Danish J/70 sailing league on Facebook here.   For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information  

J/70 german sailing league upwindBayerischer YC Takes German J/70 Sailing League- Act II
(Lindau, Germany)- After the start of the season at the end of April, in the snow-covered Prien am Chiemsee regatta, the 36 clubs of the 1st and 2nd sailing league gathered together in Lindau on Lake Constance for the second act of their season long series. In addition to Segel-und Motorboot Club Uberligin (SMCÜ), five other sailing clubs from southern Germany are at the forefront in the first sailing league.

"We are extremely proud that our Lindauer Segler Club is the host of the best sailors in Germany this weekend", explains the Chairman of the Lindauer Segler Club, Karl-Christian Bay. "In the Bundesliga the best clubs in Germany often consist of former Olympic athletes and squad sailors. It's fascinating and exciting to see how much commitment, team spirit, and passion are expressed by all the teams in the event!!"

Showing up in style and determined to make their impression on the fleet, the Bavarian Yacht Club (BYC) earned their victory on their home waters at high summer temperatures and light wind conditions. The racing was extremely close for the top five teams, separated by only six points for the top four after 50+ (yes FIFTY) plus races for the fleet!!

J/70 Audi germany sailboats leagueThe victory was not determined until the 46th race when the Bavarian Yacht Club (Maximilian Hibler, Julian Autenrieth, Raoul Heraeus, Leopold Lindner) delivered an exciting duel with their closest competitor, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV), and then with a scarce advantage. "We did  not expect to be so far ahead. The first place is a great surprise for us," enthused the Bavarian YC skipper Maximilian Hibler.

The NRV took second place, closely followed by the Lindauer Segler-Club (LSC), which could take home advantage in weak, changing light winds and finished third. "Our strategy went on and in the last race we had a great start. If we had not had an early start, it would have been even better!”  said Veit Hemmeter from the LSC.

The reigning German champion, the Deutscher Touring YC, won the last race on Saturday (48th race in Flight 16) and ended up in sixth place. Rounding out the top five after BYC, NRV and LSC were SMCU and KAR (Klub am Rupenhorn).

J/70 crew Germany sailing league interviewIn three weeks, the teams are going to Kiel, where the third act of the German Sailing Bundesliga 2017 will take place at the beginning of Kiel Week (17-19 June)!!  Exciting times for all teams as they look forward to sailing on open waters- the Baltic Sea!!

Follow the German J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here.  For more Deutsche Segel Bundesliga sailing information

J/70 women sailors SwitzerlandRC Bodensee Tops Swiss J/70 Act III
(Kreuzlingen, Switzerland)- The third act of the Swiss Sailing League was held on Lake Constance, hosted by the Kreuzlingen Yachthafen.  A dozen teams from across Switzerland were participating in a wide variety of weather conditions, from a near “glass-out” to good medium breezes blowing down the length of the near 40nm long lake that borders Germany, Switzerland and Austria.  Over the three-day event, seventeen races were sailed and the sailing could not have been closer, with the lead determined on a tie-breaker and the top five separated by a mere 7 pts!!

It was a pretty “hair raising” regatta for many of the top teams.  Going into the 14th race of the regatta (out of 17 sailed), you could easily say that the top three teams, Regattaclub Bodensee, Regattaclub Oberhofen, and Societe Nautique de Geneve were all tied on points.  Plus, just sitting on the edge of that cliff for third were Societe Nautique Rolloise and YC Bielersee.  The racing was so close that if you sneezed, missed a shift, or left a spinnaker sheet in the water, you would gain or lose a place!! Insanity, to say the least for all the tacticians on the various teams.

In the end, by closing with two bullets after an OCS in race 14, RC Bodensee crew (Julian Flessati, Stephan Ammann, Jonathan Rutishauser and Lea Rüegg) took the regatta win on a tie-breaker on 49 pts over their arch-nemesis, the RC Oberhofen (with skipper Alain Stettler) that closed with a 3-3  Happy to be in the frame and sitting on the bronze position on the podium was SN Geneve with 50 pts.  Rounding out the top five were SN Rolloise in 4th place with 52 pts and YC Bielersee in 5th place with 53 pts.  Did we say this was close?? Wow, a hiccup would have cost you the entire regatta!   Follow the Swiss J/70 Sailing League here   For more Swiss J/70 Sailing League information

J/80s sailing regatta ARMEN HABITAT Grand Prix Ecole del Navale J/80 Champions!
(Camaret-sur-Mer, France)- The 16th edition of the Grand Prix Ecole del Navale was marked by light winds and incredibly strong tides.  The weather was beautiful, clear blue skies, and for tacticians amongst the fleet it proved to one of the most challenging GPEN regattas they have experienced in a long, long time.

The regatta took place in Camaret-sur-Mer with 218 participants.  The three-day event took place from May 25th to 28th and included the most popular one-design class in France- the International J/80 class, sailing their second event in the summer-long France J/80 Cup series.

Most of the top J/80 teams from across France were participating in the forty-eight boat class.  Not surprisingly, the team that had been showing top form all spring was Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, posting a 2-1-5-3-1-1 to eclipse their class with just 8 pts net! Simon’s crew included Pierre Loic Berthet, Vincent Guillarm, Paul Medinger, & Julien Bourgeois.  Their arch-nemesis, Eric Brezellec’s COURRIER JUNIOR team (Julie Richeux, Thierry Brezellec, Nicolas Richard, Gideon Kliger) simply could not overcome the pace established by Moriceau’s crew on ARMEN HABITAT.

The highlight of the regatta was the extraordinary performance by top woman skipper Capucine Vitel, driving her VITEL SAILING TEAM to the bronze position on the podium with her crew of Jules Bonnier, Theo Carayon, Mathieu Lays, and Killian Zimmowitch.  Rounding out the top five were Luc Nadal’s talented crew on GAN’JA (Yvonne Goude, David Nadal, Gilles Corcaud) in 4th and Patrick Bot’s team on ECOLE NAVALE CG 29 (Frederic Hauville, Nedeleg Bigi, & Fabrice Morin).  For more J/80 GPEN sailing information

women sailing J/24sWelles Three-Peats J/24 North Americans!
(Houston, Texas)- After a second place at the USA J/24 Nationals in Seattle, WA just a fortnight earlier, Welles’ BOGUS team took the North American Championship crown for the third time in as many years!  Yo, dude! Up there next to LeBron and Mikey of NBA fame! Focus. Focus. Five-peat!!

For the third consecutive year, Will Welles holds the title of J/24 North American Champion. With crew Jeff Linton, Chris Morgan, Monica Morgan and Erik Rexford, TEAM BOGUS bested 28 other J/24s at the Championship hosted by Houston Yacht Club in Texas from May 26-28.

Mike Ingham's NAUTALYTICS entered the final day with a shot at the victory, however they lodged a 12-3 compared to Welles' 7-2, leaving Ingham and crew in the silver position with 31 points. Welles finished with 22 pts. Despite a bullet in the tenth and final contest, Travis Odenbach's HONEYBADGER settled for third, just one point behind Ingham.

Over the three-day regatta, all races were completed on schedule each day in solid breeze. Welles relished the conditions, especially on Saturday, May 27 when they had four firsts, saying, "We really had the boat dialed in to the conditions, getting off the line with good speed at the upper end of the genoa in short chop."

Welles' J24 winnersWelles summarized that going into Sunday with a three-point advantage on Ingham, he wanted BOGUS to focus on its own destiny. "If an opportunity presented itself to win, we would go for it, but we just made sure to hang around the competition while we did our own thing." Here is how it all went down in the world of J/24s 40 years hence!!

Day One
On Galveston Bay, 12-18 knots of breeze allowed four races. Odenbach collected the early advantage with scores of 4,3,3,2 for 12 points. The Japanese team SIESTA, led by Nobuyuki Imai, held second place with 18 points. The opening contest saw Patricio Sly's MUY MUY Muy in the top spot, while Imai took line honors in race two. Ingham won the remaining two races.

Day Two
Welles went four for four in winds at 12-18 knots. Able to discard an OCS from race 1 left him a scoreline of 4,2,3,1,1,1,1 for 13 points. Ingham, also dropping an OCS from race 1, moved up to second with a solid day including three runner-up finishes. A sixth in the day's final contest, paired with Welles perfect afternoon, prevented him from taking the overall lead. Odenbach dropped to third with 22 points.

Day Three
In winds at 6-8 knots building to 10-14, the day's race winners were James Freedman's Miss Conduct and Odenbach.  Brendan Feeney, the first recipient of the Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Scholarship Boat, crewed on Aidan Glackin's Mental Floss.

Beyond the top three teams, the balance of the top five was Imai’s Japanese crew on SIESTA in 4th and Carter White’s SEA BAGS SAILING TEAM in 5th.  For more J/24 North American Championship sailing information

J/120 sailing Block Island raceJ/Crews Crush Block Island Race!
AYC Junior Big Boat Team Overall Club Winners!
(Larchmont, NY)- Who could have guessed that J/Teams would ever dominate a race in so many divisions??  And, that “the kids” would win again??

Well, it does help that J/designs are easy to sail by a wide variety of sailors! No question, no matter what “watch” you sail, the “dogwatch” from 12am to 8am, or anything in between, family crews and friends have proven beyond repute that they can sail at a faster higher average speed than many of their competitors!  J/Boat designs are simply easier to sail to nearly 90-95% efficiency, unlike other very “twitchy” designs that have way too narrow a groove! That formula has proven itself time and time again offshore, J/Boat designs are simply easier to sail fast offshore, in any weather condition- light and variable to blowing dogs off chains!

With the planned start of the 72nd edition of the Block Island Race on May 26 off of Stamford, CT, conflicting weather models had navigators and skippers scratching their heads as they planned their strategies. Hiro Nakajima, a famous navigator, made a comment along the lines of “the only thing the weathermen can agree on is that the race starts on Friday!” Ha Ha!  So, so true!

J/109 sailing fast Block Island raceEven under the best of circumstances, the 186nm Block Island Race was a complex one given the number of exits from (and re-entries into) Long Island Sound, the significant currents that occur at multiple points along the course, local thermal winds, other geographic effects, etc. This year’s race promised to be one of the more challenging outings for the 66 entrants.

The breeze at the first start was a shifty 4 knots, but by the third start, it settled into a stiff northwesterly of 15 knots with significantly higher gusts. Most of the fleet popped their kites right at the start, with the majority paralleling the CT coast for the first 15-20 miles.

A number of forecasts predicted a big wind hole in the middle of L.I. Sound in the Bridgeport-to-New Haven area, and soon the leading boats in the fleet began to see the first signs of its unwelcome appearance. The quandary was which side of the Sound would be better for getting around the hole – the CT shore, or the Long Island shore – and it was likely that this decision was of the “bet the whole race” variety.

Some gybed toward the LI shore, and others decided to stay the course along the CT side. Cutting across the Sound carried an additional risk of not making it to the other shore before the wind shut down. Getting caught in the “Death Zone” between two competing breezes is a common-enough circumstance in this part of the world.

As it turned out, there were boats on both sides of the hole that did well, but having the fleet divided as the sun sets leaves navigators feeling lonely and nervous. The key– in hindsight– was being close to either shore: it mattered less which shore you were on, as long as you weren’t out toward the middle.

J/109 loves sailing glass outThe hole, however, didn’t last nearly as long as some of the gloomier forecasts had predicted and the fleet made good progress toward buoy 1BI off the north end of Block Island, with most flying spinnakers all the way to, and then around, the island. As they passed the south side of the island, the fleet was faced with a NW breeze and back toward Long Island Sound. The forecasts indicated a good chance the wind would shift toward the SE, with a light and fluky transition period…yet another potential “make-or-break” decision point.

After the fleet leaders re-entered the Sound (most through Plum Gut), the wind from the NW faded to a period of calm before the southerly wind began to fill in, but somewhat erratically. Back in Long Island Sound, the age-old battle between the Northerly and Southerly winds was playing out once again.

Eventually, the southerly took precedence and by Saturday afternoon (May 27) the lead competitors began to reappear on the Stamford horizon. In the PHRF fleet, LIBERTAS– a J/111 skippered by John Donovan– took first place overall on corrected time.

The IRC Double-handed Class was led by Gardner Grant’s J/120 ALIBI, winner of the Gerold Abels Trophy, and who also managed a fifth overall within the fully-crewed IRC fleet!! An incredible feat! Furthermore, the PHRF Double-handed class was won by the Young American Junior big Boat Team (the McKeige Family)!

At the end of the day, a special note was that American Yacht Club’s “Young American Junior Big Boat Team”, continuing its collective winning ways, took a first place in the Double-handed PHRF Class with JAZZ– a J/88; a first place in PHRF Class 3 with their J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN; and rounding out their Roddie Williams Team Race Trophy win was VAREKAI– a J/120 that finished 5th in IRC Class 2!! This truly is an excellent example of the results of fostering the next generation of world-class blue water big boat sailors!!

Other great performances included Jim Farrell’s J/35 SAPPHIRE taking third in PHRF 4 and Brian Prinz’s J/125 SPECTRE taking the silver in PHRF 6 class.  The balance of PHRF 5 class saw Donovan’s J/111 LIBERTAS winning with Kevin Kelley’s J/122 SUMMER GRACE third and Abhijeet Lele’s J/111 VARUNA in 4th place!  For more STC Block Island Race sailing information

J/111 Symmetry on San Franciso BayJ/111 Crushes Spinnaker Cup Race
J/Teams Fly On Coastal Cup Race
(Belvedere, CA)- The 2017 edition of the Spinnaker Cup saw thirty-eight boats and crews lined up on a cold, grey early morning start for the 88 nm downhill slide from San Francisco to Monterey.

Now, an unofficial feeder race for Transpac, the Spinnaker Cup provides an early, first step option for NorCal boats to get to SoCal in advance of the Transpac. Eighteen of the boats entered in Saturday's Spinnaker Cup will continue south, competing in the revamped Coastal Cup, now racing from Monterey to Santa Barbara Yacht Club.

Mondays 204nm sprint from Monterey to Santa Barbara is a departure from its days of glory as well, but participation had dropped dramatically in recent years, and with the blessing of the original hosting club, Encinal YC, out of Alameda a compromise was achieved. Encinal now runs the start from Monterey with the assistance of Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, and has members assisting at SBYC for the finish. From there, SBYC joins forces with San Diego Yacht Club for the SoCal 300, a 245nm jaunt from Santa Barbara to San Diego that includes 3 virtual scoring legs to broaden the strategy. It's a remarkable collaboration from 5 yacht clubs to merge efforts and compromise to create an offshore week that goes well beyond a week.

J/111 spinnaker cup race leaderSpinnaker Cup Report
With a heavy flood entering the Bay, the fleet had worked over to Yellow Bluff on the Marin side before sneaking past Lime Point and working across the river to seek relief on the south side. It was much calmer than forecasted in the early part of the race.  However, once past Pillar Point, the breeze increased to high teens and lower twenty's after Ano Nuevo. All the top boats shot tight to the coast where the pressure was greatest and then had a beeline straight across Monterey Bay to the finish.

Howard Turner’s J/111 SYMMETRY, aided by a generous dose of Crum brothers, simply crushed PHRF Division E and won PHRF Overall.  Behind them in class was Barry Lewis’ J/120 CHANCE in 5th lace and Ludovic Milin’s J/120 SAETTA in 6th.  In ORR B Class, James Goldberg’s J/109 JUNKYARD DOG took fourth place and in PHRF F class, they placed 5th.

Coastal Cup Report
Just two days after finishing the Spinnaker Cup, the fleet started the Coastal Cup Race from Monterrey down to Santa Barbara, leave Point Conception to port.  It simply blew dogs off chains this race.  The fleet took off in a good breeze that only got stronger as the boats got offshore, blowing 15 to 32 kts most of the way down.  Loving the conditions again was Howard Turner’s J/111 SYMMETRY, taking a well-deserved third in PHRF A division that included Santa Cruz 70s!!  They were reported to be hitting 25+ kts down the monstrous Pacific rollers that were moving living freight trains down a mountain from the northwest- it was planing mode for the J/111 most of the way.  In PHRF D Division, James Goldberg’s J/109 JUNKYARD DOG took a well-earned 2nd in class.  Sailing photo credits-  For more California Offshore Race Week and Spinnaker Cup sailing information

J/109 sailing SeattleJ/Fest @ Swiftsure International Race
(Victoria, BC, Canada)- Racers heard last Friday evening at the Skipper’s Meeting that currents, as forecast by Dr Richard Dewey, would not favor them and the winds, with a large and stationary high foretold by Bruce Hedrick, may not be a positive. Hallmarks for a light airs competition seemed evident.

What really transpired? Wind. Consistent enough to keep moving if you didn’t seek out holes. Dolphins, a pod of about 30 male sea lions, a grey whale, orcas. An Aurora Borealis on Saturday night. And fog that helped create the wind. Lots of sun, starlight reflected on the water’s surface. Ditch diving away from cruise ships and towboats. A bit of busted gear, ropes tangled in props.

And for all this, a beautiful race.

All race starts got away cleanly and on time. Conditions, though light, showed consistent winds and the starts for the Four Long Courses were gently swept toward Race Passage. There were some spinnakers at the start line, but most chose to begin on whites and shift to asymmetricals as they approached Race Passage.

It was a very tactical race that tested the very limits of knowledge, endurance and correct interpretation of the conditions. In general, the J/Crews sailed fast, smart and overcome amazing diversity in terms of wind and current to win, place, and show in many divisions!

J/46 sailing Swiftsure raceCape Flattery Race
In PHRF L1, Jim Hinz’s J/120 took 2nd place followed by Tom Kelly’s J/122 ANAM CARA in 4th, Mike Picco’s J/120 WILD BLUE in 5th, John Murkowski’s J/122E JOYRIDE in 6th, Chris Johnson’s J/120 WITH GRACE in 7th and Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION in 9th.

In PHRF L2, Don Leighton’s J/35 TAHLEQUAH took 2nd followed by Jim Prentice’s J/109 DIVA in 3rd, Adrian King-Harris’ J/105 “J” in 6th, Tom Sitar’s J/109 SERENDIPITY in 8th, and Karl Haflinger’s J/35 SHEARWATER in 10th. 

The J/105 one-design class, PHRF L3, saw Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO win by nearly 15 minutes over Chris Phoenix’s JADED and Chuck Stephens’ PANIC, in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.  Rounding out the top five were Doug Schenk’s FREE BOWL OF SOUP in 4th and Doug Pihlaja’s ABSTRACT in 5th.

In PHRF H1 class, Scott Campbell’s J/46 RIVA placed 4th, just 9 minutes from taking the bronze in her fleet. Ron Mackenzie’s J/37 FUTURE PRIMITIVE took 7th and Tom Keffer’s J/42 VELOCITY finished 8th.

Juan de Fuca Race
In this race, there were several smaller divisions.  In PHRF L1 class, Walt Meagher’s J/35 SUNSHINE GIRL placed 6th and Phil Wampold’s J/92 ZAFF finished 7th.  In PHRF L2 class, Theo Singeli’s J/30 took 2nd position, Colin Bishop’s J/30 REDUX placed 5th, and Ulf George Gwildis’ J/30 IMPULSIVE finished 8th.

In the Hein Bank Race, taking 3rd in ORC B Class and 4th ORC Overall was Shawn Dougherty’s J/125 HAMACHI. Here is their story of the “Swiftsure experience”:

J/125 Hamachi sailing Swiftsure race“There are beautiful weekends in the Pacific Northwest, and then there are epic amazing weekends.  Swiftsure 2017 fell on one of those epic amazing weekends with clear blue skies and low to mid 80 deg temps.  Team Hamachi comprised of Shawn, Jason, Chris, Max, Mike, Pete and Alyosha.  The eight of us, our limit under our current ORC rating, set out Saturday morning to compete on the Hein Bank ORC course.  The 118 nm course left Victoria BC and boats sailed west to Neah Bay near the entrance to the Pacific Ocean, and then returned back east passing Victoria to a buoy near Hein Bank, then a quick 10 nm beat home to Victoria inner harbor and the finish line.  The Hein Bank ORC fleet was comprised of all the fast boats including the big sleds (three TP52s, R/P 55, SC 70).  Hamachi was one of the faster boats in Class 2.

For Swiftsure 2017 there were 175 boats on the line competing on four different courses.  The first fleet was off at 9:00 and the Hein Bank ORC fleet of 16 boats started near the back at 9:30.  Hamachi had a conservative start which left us dealing with lots of traffic and bad air.  The wind was light (4-6 kts) out of the S/SE and the current ebbing, so we started on port tack and pushed south with the tide carrying us down the course.  We found the left edge of the fleet and traded tacks with Occam’s Razor (Farr 40) and several other boats.  Due to our starting position, we were near the back of the ORC fleet and had over 100 boats in front of us.  We kept our patience and stepped up and to the south, eventually finding a river of ebbing current on the left side before everyone else, except Smoke (TP52) which had done the same and was rapidly escaping to the S/SW.  This river gave us a 20 deg COG advantage and at least a 2kt SOG advantage and allowed us to drive right up and around the entire fleet.  We rapidly gained a half mile on many boats and a few (like Terremoto) tried to come out to join us.  We decided to tack to catch the conveyor running past Race Rocks, versus continuing on to the outside.  By Race Rocks we were nearing the front echelon of a dozen or so boats who were tacking back and forth to stay in the current and avoid the swirling back eddies on each side, which had trapped several boats.  On the other side of race rocks the wind started to fade and boats were left to guess at what to do next.  We saw Neptune’s Car push south across the Strait in the faint breeze while most of the sleds decided to press the north shore.  We chose to push south with Neptune and KineticV (TP52) and were able to hold some boat speed in 3-4 kts of wind.  Both Neptune and Kinetic tacked back in, presumably to cover their competition, while we continued on, since we were now at the head of our fleet.  It was light and we downshifted to the drifter enjoying our little bit of pressure and seeing more ripples ahead of us.  We eventually reached the ripples and set the A1.5 and continued to put the hammer down on the entire fleet as we chased the fleet leader Smoke ahead of us.  The tide was going to shift soon to a big flood and our goal was to reach across to the other side, making as much time as we could in the wind we had.  Further, we saw that a westerly was filling in from the mouth of the Strait and that we would have to pass through a transition zone from our SE.

Soon after our wind died and we struck the asym and switched back to the drifter.  We floated amongst the swells for 20 minutes until the westerly reached us and continued on with first our drifter, and then our Lt/Med #1.  We pressed S/SW as the wind built up to 5-6 kts making for the southern shore as the flood began in earnest.  We made landfall around Pillar Point where we were caught by the big sleds Westerly and Crossfire, as well as Dragonfly (unlimited 40 cat).  We all tacked up the southern shore as the wind continued to build.  We held our own until we made the mistake of tacking into Clallam Bay where the wind was light, and we missed a shift on the outside.  This cost us at least 15 minutes and dropped us back a half mile relative to our competition.  We pressed back out into the Strait where the wind was stronger and got into a tacking duel with Absolutely and Dark Star.  We were a little late shifting to our Heavy #1, but once we did we accelerated and put distance on those boats.  The wind built to 15 kts as we tacked up and rounded the Neah Bay mark at 8:50 pm.

We rounded Neah Bay first in class as well as first overall in ORC and hoped we could protect that lead downwind.  We set the A2.0 and stay sail, and headed back east.  We made for the north side of the course and had a nervous crossing as we maneuvered through lots of shipping lane traffic as darkness fell and the fog thickened.  The wind was backing off at that point and we sailed to Hein Bank in 9-13 kts, which was unfortunate as Hamachi really likes 17 kts plus to get up on a step.  This was our first night sailing on Hamachi so it took us a bit to get into a groove and we gave up some ground early but made up ground later.  It was a beautiful night and the watch crew enjoyed the northern lights around 1:30 am.  We unfortunately had to listen to Terremoto getting into trouble behind us around 3:30 am and there was nothing we could do – it’s never good to hear the DSC alarm go off in the middle of the night.  We passed Race Rocks on the outside around 4:00 am enjoying the last of the flood, and made for Hein Bank.  The sky was brightening behind Mt Baker as we rounded the eastern mark at 5:00 am and we pressed home as the seventh boat on our course.

As we approached the finish at Victoria we saw from the race tracker that there was a huge wind hole that has swallowed the fleet leaders.  Smoke, who had lead everyone from the start, was stuck against the shore and had to watch helplessly as their competition, learning from their misfortune, sailed out and around them.  We stayed off the shore but struggled with our own fading wind conditions.  At Hein Bank we were pretty sure we were still winning ORC outright and knew that this compression would further consolidate this lead.  But now the tables had turned and the slower boats were sailing up behind us.  The tide had switched to an ebb and we didn’t want it to sweep us past the finish so we avoided going outside.  We struggled in using our drifter and a few puffs to make some headway.  We eventually created 1.5 kts of boat speed 500 yards from the finish and were on a good line to pass Westerly at the line, but then a big cruiser came out of the harbor and his wake killed all momentum.  We never recreated it and limped across the line to finish at 7:52 am.  A few puffs were filling in which allowed the other boats in ORC 2, ones that were 20-40 minutes behind us at Hein Bank, to finish 5-10 minutes behind us.

We tumbled a few spots down to finish 3rd in Class and 4th in ORC, which was still very respectable given the competition. After the finish, and our safety inspection, Hamachi made its way to the San Juans where it will stay for the next two weeks, and then off to VanIsle 360!!”   Sailing photos credits- RMS Media   For more Swiftsure Race sailing information

J/24 Italy nationals winnersLA SUPERBA Four-peats Italian J/24 Nationals!
(La Maddalena, Sardinia, Italy)- Sailing in the beautiful waters of the La Maddalena archipelago has to be one of life’s simple, but most amazing pleasures.  Sun, clear blue skies, aquamarine clear blue waters, gorgeous rocky islands, and steady 10-15 kt sea-breezes appear to be a “normal” day in this part of the Mediterranean.  Loving the conditions every minute of the long weekend for the 37th Italian J/24 Nationals was the dominating performance of LA SUPERBA, skippered by Ignazio Bonanno with crew of Simone Scontrino, Vincenzo Vano, Francesco Picaro and Alfredo Branciforte.

J/24s sailing off ItalyAfter winning the USA J/24 Nationals just two weeks earlier, the team on FURIO (skipper Keith Whittemore with Kevin Downey, Brian Thomas, Mark Rogers, & Shelley Milne)- flew over 15 hours from Seattle to Rome, Italy in order to participate in the Italian “Open” J/24 Nationals on the exotic island of Sardinia.  Despite having to toss a UFD black flag, the FURIO team took the silver in the Open division behind LA SUPERBA.

Third overall and 2nd in the Italian championship was VIGNE SURRAU, a team comprised of skipper Aurelio Nini with crew Evero Niccolini, Danilo Deiana, Roberta Piras, M. Mario Pisanu and Fabrizio Zuddas.  Rounding out the top five were the German crew of SUELLBERG in 4th place, skippered by Stefan Karsunke and in 5th place was the Italian crew of AVOLTORE skippered by Francesco Cruciani.

"I am sure to interpret the thought of all the crews and their friends and family,” explained the President of the Italian J/24 Class, Pietro Diamanti. "Maddalena is a wonderful place to host great events. The gorgeous sea, the welcome and the unique hospitality, the lovely resorts and breathtaking views have made our stay in La Maddalena very special. A heartfelt thank you to all those who have made efforts to organize our Championship in the best way possible. An advice? Back to Maddalena! I am also very pleased with the "pleasant climate" among our crews: so much competition and fairness in the water, great friendliness and friendship on the ground are among the winning secrets of a constantly growing class, also appreciated by young people.”  For more Italian J/24 class sailing information

J/Blast @ FIGAWI Race
(Nantucket, MA)- Serious fun, camaraderie, sailing, and most of all, charity- - - that’s what the Figawi Race is all about.  The race attracts over 200 boats each year. Thousands of sailors convene for the Northeast’s first major regatta to kickoff summer. The Figawi Charity Race is recognized as a premier sailing event not only on the east coast but is known nationally as well as internationally.

The Figawi Ball is held the weekend before the race. A premier event featuring two bands, a sampling from 11 local restaurants, and a fabulous silent auction and raffle.

J/122 sailing Figawi RaceThe race weekend begins with a Kickoff Party at Hyannis Yacht Club on Friday. It is for competitors, friends, family, and Figawi fans.   Then, early Saturday morning, crews begin gathering. Skippers and boat owners prepare their boats, gather their crews, and head out to the start line. Beginning around 8 am, the parade of sailboats head out of Lewis Bay, pass by Kalmus Beach, and gather off the Hyannis Port jetty. It is a pursuit regatta and the first boats begin at 10 am.

Depending on the various conditions, the theory of the Pursuit Race format is all competitors should reach the Nantucket MO(A) at around the same time. They finish at the entrance of Nantucket Harbor and parade into Nantucket Boat Basin. Standing on the beach at Brant Point Light is a great spot to watch all the action.

Saturday night Figawi hosts a Competitor Party under the Tent on New Whale Street. After the day of racing, it is a great place to come and see old friends and make new ones. Dance and enjoy a great band and enjoy the products our sponsors have provided.

Sunday is a day to enjoy Nantucket Island whether visiting local shops, enjoying restaurants, or walking on the docks at Nantucket Boat Basin.  As the day winds down, the Prize Giving starts in the late afternoon. After the Award Ceremony, the tent is prepped for the Sunday night party. It is, well, pretty much a repeat of Saturday night.

Monday morning, Memorial Day, it was time to get back to racing. The newly formatted Monday Race dubbed “Redux” has been changed to encourage as many entrants as possible. The race now ends in a neutral location allowing skippers to head north or south towards home. The gathering at HYC in the later afternoon includes entertainment and one last time to enjoy the Figawi camaraderie until next year.  Overall, J/Crews love this event and is a focus for many crews to get their boats cleaned up and ready for a summer of racing.

In PHRF S1 class, Jim Masiero’s J/122 URSUS MARITIMUS was 3rd, followed by Dan Heun’s J/122 MOXIEE in 4th.  Gordon Mack’s J/120 M-SQUARED was 6th, Chris Lund’s J/133 JUMP was 8th, Dave Follett’s J/120 GLORY was 9th and Rich Pierce’s J/120 MOOSE was 10th.  The class was nearly an all big boat J’affaire.

A similar story held true for PHRF S2, with the trio of Joyce/ Reservitz/ Wagner sailing their J/105 DARK’N’STORMY to 2nd, followed by Gerry Lorusso’s J/105 LYRIC in 3rd, Ed Lobo’s J/105 WATERWOLF in 5th, and Andrew Meincke’s J/97E ADRENALINE took 6th.

In PHRF C class, Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST easily won her class by 10 minutes.  In PHRF M class, Brad Butman’s pretty little J/28 SHADOWFAX won her class by 3 minutes over Mark Barrett’s classic J/24 STUDENT DRIVER in 2nd place.  For more Figawi Race sailing information

J/70s sailing off San FranciscoJ/70 CHRISTINE ROBIN Wins Elite Keel Regatta
(San Francisco, CA)- Here is the regatta wrap-up of the Elite Keel Regatta hosted by San Francisco YC from a crew on the J/70 CHRISTINE ROBIN- Christy Usher.

“We had eight J/70s sail the Elite Keel Regatta this past weekend hosted by SFYC with great sailing and socials, as you can see by the photos! We had our first regatta win on CHRISTINE ROBIN with my husband Tracy, me, Mike Bishop and Jon Andron.  We were followed by PRIME NUMBER with Peter, Ben, Marcos, and Shawn in second position. TEAM 1FA with Scott, Cam and crew came in third place.  And Congrats to Fleet 19’s Jim Cunningham of LIFTED who sailed his Etchells this weekend instead of his J/70 and qualified for the Etchells Worlds by winning his fleet.

Lady J/70 Sailors! A big “shout out” to the other two gals sailing this weekend- Terry Layton doing bow on David Schumann’s BOTTLE ROCKET and Katie Carter sailing on Brian Mullen’s ORANGE YOU GLAD.  I am putting together a list of Lady J/70 Sailors to help support woman J/70 sailing efforts. If you would like to be added to this list or know of any other ladies who might like to be added to this list or our Fleet email list please let me know (  Team Christine Robin takes home their first, first place trophy. L-R Jon Andron, Tracy Usher, Mike Bishop

More photos from Sunday including on the water photos are online here by RoxShots.  More photos from Saturday by Leslie Richer/ should be available here.

J/109 sailing off Victoria, BCJ/109s Sweep Class- Southern Straits Race
(Victoria, BC)- Here is a quick report from Shawna Hansen, who sails with her husband on the J/109 MOJO.

“Hi J/fans!  We’ve been having a wonderful time racing our J/109 in the Pacific Northwest.  It is beautiful up here, with pine trees on big rocky islands, orca’s everywhere, big whales swimming all over, and pods and pods of porpoises that join us every race!  The sheer wildness and beauty is often breath-taking!  One of the best things about our J/109 is its tenacity in light airs (which we get a lot of up here in the straits).  So far this year, we’ve had a successful season.

In this year’s Southern Straits Race, the three J/109s swept the podium in our class!  On MOJO we were 2nd.

A few weeks later at the Round Saltspring Race, two J/109's finished their division and were part of a small group of boats that even finished the race due to light winds (10 boats of approximately 105 boats finished with several DNFs during the night).  We ghost along fast with our asymmetrics or code 0’s!  On MOJO, we took first while our friends on LEGACY took 2nd!

Finally, just wanted to let you know that there will also be a few J/109's (SERENDIPITY and MOJO, at least) at this year's VANISLE 360 Race and, hopefully, the J's prove they are a great all around racer and do well in this amazing race around Vancouver Island!”  Thanks to Shawna for the report!

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Securing the Future with Youth Sailors- from the J/105 class perspective.  It is easy to be misled about the health of the sport when seeing overflowing classes of youth instruction during the summer season. While youth participation tends to be strong, the transition out of youth sailing to other facets of the sport is not always.

Forward thinking class organizations should be looking to capture these young sailors fully engaged in youth competition, as the time will come when they will age out this level of sailing. Additionally, attrition in youth sailing occurs when kids are not fulfilled with the types of boats most commonly promoted.

The sooner that ‘life after youth sailing’ can be introduced, the greater the likelihood that young people will be sailing beyond their youth years.

Bill Lakenmacher, President of the J/105 Class, recognizes how their rules need to be adjusted to facilitate this kind of growth.

J/105 youth sailors“One new facet regarding racing is adapting our Class Rules to make some changes so that it will be easier for youth sailors to participate as skippers. On our last phone conference, we had a strong consensus in favor of doing what we can to encourage more sailors for the future.

“Clearly there is a gap for many young sailors as they transition out of dinghies before they start racing keel boats. Unfortunately, many young sailors are lost to other interests, never to return. How much fun is it for a 13-year-old to sail an Opti at 135 pounds on a light to moderate wind day? Answer: not so much. Let them fly the chute on your 105 when it is blowing 8-12, and they have all they can handle.

“Hopefully, we will have the new Rule in place in time for next year’s sailing. In the meantime, feel free to ask for an exemption if you are a fleet that is ready to launch an aggressive youth sailing program.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


J/42 sailing off France* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel's big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand and points further around the Blue Planet Earth.  Here is their latest update (December 2016) from Bill & Kathy:

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

Their blog is here:

* 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.
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