Wednesday, November 29, 2017

J/Newsletter- November 29th, 2017

J/Boats Sailing CalendarHappy Holidays! Order Your 2018 J/Calendar!
(Newport, RI)- A sailing calendar is a great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew. For 2018, we have created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places.

The 2018 sailing calendar features the most popular as well as latest creations from the J/Design team sailing in many of the worlds most popular sailing areas- Cowes, Newport, San Francisco Bay, Russia, France, Italy, Monaco and French Polynesia in the Pacific!  See the 2018 J/Calendar photo gallery and order here

Heineken St Maarten RegattaHeineken St Maarten Regatta Update
Free Concierge Service Assures Smooth Sailing
(Simpson Bay, St Maarten)- Another year of serious fun and serious racing is on tap for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, and the entire island of Saint Martin is working in overdrive to prepare for the event’s 38th edition, scheduled for March 1-4, 2018. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, organizers are encouraging participants to utilize the event’s free concierge service for assistance with everything from travel and on-site logistics to charter options and beyond.

J/122 El Ocaso sailing Heineken St Maarten regatta“We have been attracting local and international talent to this regatta since 1980 with an epic experience both on and off the water for maxi, monohull and performance multihull classes,” said Regatta Director Michelle van der Werff. “We plan to continue in that spirit to make everyone’s experience next year as seamless as possible when it comes to logistics. The progress of rebuilding following Hurricane Irma has been impressive, and we are confident that the island of Saint Martin will be fully prepared to welcome sailors in March. In the meantime, competitors can visit the regatta website for the most up-to-date news on what hotels, restaurants and marinas are open and taking reservations. We also urge everyone to reach out for any assistance or questions that they may have.”

Already many shops, restaurants and hotels are open and bustling on the island, particularly in the Simpson Bay area where the regatta is hosted. The Princess Juliana International Airport reopened in October and welcomes more flights each day.

J/105 sailing Heineken St Maarten regatta“The Heineken Regatta is one of our largest events of the year on the island,” said May-Ling Chun, general manager of the Commodore Suites, which is within walking distance of the St. Maarten Yacht Club, which serves as regatta host. “And although the regatta may not be exactly the same as it has been in the past, I strongly believe that our island is ready to host again.

“All 17 of our hotel’s units are in perfect shape and already booking guests. The hotel is also preparing for an expansion, with more units being added to the second floor, which will also be available in time for the regatta. We are ready and will provide all the services and amenities needed.”

Chun, who also acted as St. Martin’s Director of Tourism from 2011-2012, added that the regatta would be the first major event to take place since the hurricane. “We have something to work toward and St. Maarten is up to the challenge. It is all about the logistics and what we can offer the visitors."

The "Heineken" will host world-class competitors for the perfect mix of lively shoreside entertainment and rigorous racing- it is a favorite of J/Boats sailors from around the world!

For free concierge service, please contact, phone +1 721 544 2079.  To register for the 2018 event, please visit   For more Heineken St Maarten Regatta sailing information

J/24s sailing Worlds off Newport, RI2018 J/24 Worlds Announcement
(Lake Garda, Italy)- The J/24 World Council Meeting, held at the historic site of Fraglia Vela Riva, has announced that the 2018 J/24 World Championship will take place in Riva del Garda from 24th to 31st August, 2018.

“It is a pleasure to once again host the J/24 fleet for its major events- the Italian Championship in May and the Worlds at the end of August,” stated the Fraglia Vela Riva’s President, Giancarlo Mirandola.  He added, “this class is part of sailing history, in fact celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and it continues to be healthy and actively sailed worldwide. After having hosted the 1999 and 2009 Italian Nationals here in Riva del Garda, it is a great honor to organize and host the 2018 J/24 Worlds.”

The regatta will consist of ten races, for which many talented teams are expected to sail being attracted not only by the magnificent race course, but also by the natural beauties of Garda Trentino and the renowned hosts at Fraglia Vela Riva.

After a tour of the club, the participants of the J/24 World Council Meeting acknowledged the suitability of the facilities and appreciated the professional competence of Fraglia Vela Riva in running world-class events. Moreover, it was decreed the World Championship would be limited to 80 boats. The Italian fleet, as hosting nation, has the right to enter 24 pre-selected boats and one boat for the former World Champion, one for the 2017 Italian Champion, one female team, one youth team (under 25) and two boats from the organizing club.  For more J/24 class and World Championship sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

There is no question that sailing is taking place around the world on a 24x7 basis, virtually year-round for J/sailors.  From various offshore events in the world of British, Dutch and French offshore racing to the world of one-design racing on five continents.  In the past few weeks, there has been an amazing amount of activity taking place in both hemispheres, north and south.

On the European continent, regattas took place in Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, and the United Kingdom.  Real Club Nautico Barcelona hosted the first Barcelona Winter Series event for both J/70s and J/80s in Spain. J/80s are also sailing fall/ winter events in Spain at Baiona in the west and Santander in the north.  Recently, Parkstone YC hosted the annual J/24 Autumn Cup at Parkstone, in southwest England.  J/24s were also active in Italy, with the final regatta for 2017 taking place in Cagliari on the southern tip of Sardinia.  In the Netherlands, there has been the biggest turnout in years for the J/80 class with two dozen boats sailing their annual Frostbite Cup. Then, the Hamble River Sailing Club hosted their Hamble Winter Series finale, with great performances by the J/112E, J/97s, and a competitive J/88 one-design fleet.

Heading over to the Caribbean, we find the J/24 class having a great time in Barbados, with a number of regattas kicking off their 2017/ 2018 winter sailing season, starting with their Barbados J/24 Championship.  Finishing in Saint Lucia and in Tortola, British Virgin Islands are the two large World Cruising “ARC” events- the ARC Atlantic and Caribbean 1500, respectively.  In the southwestern part of the Caribbean, Kingston YC recently held the Jamaica J/22 Nationals in the huge harbor of Kingston, Jamaica.

Heading “down under” the Equator, we find hot action taking place in J/24s in both South America and Australia.  In Argentina, racing has been taking place in Cordoba, Mendoza and Buenos Aires and the action will only get hotter as their summer progresses!  Over in Brazil, the YC Rio de Janeiro hosted their Brazilian J/24 Nationals in view of the sizzling hot beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema with Christ the Redeemer standing 37 meters tall looking down on them.

Finally, our friends in Sydney, Australia saw a big fleet of J/24s sailing along the southern shoreline of Sydney Harbor, racing their J/24 NSW States Championship, hosted by Royal Prince Edward YC.

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

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 8-10- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Jan 5-7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Jan 19-21- J/Fest St Pete- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 9-11- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Feb 15-18- St Pete NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 17-18- SCYA Midwinter Regatta- Long Beach, CA
Feb 19- RORC Caribbean 600 Race- English Harbour, Antigua
Feb 23-25- J/70 Midwinters- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 1-4- Heineken St Maarten Regatta- Simpson Bay, St Maarten
Mar 7-11- Bacardi Cup J/70 Invitational- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 16-18- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-25- St Thomas International Regatta- Red Hook Bay, St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29- Apr 1- Easter Regatta- Columbia, SC
Apr 12-15- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 8-14- Voiles de Saint Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barth
Apr 26-29- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Ft Worth, TX
Apr 28- May 4- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

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

J/112E sport cruiser- wins Hamble Series IRC 1Thrilling Hamble Winter Series Finale
J/112E Trumps IRC 1, J/97 Takes IRC 3
(Hamble, England)- Competitors for the eighth weekend of the Hamble Winter Series enjoyed more good racing, with the Hamble River Sailing Club, supported by OneSails, being blessed with a decent 12-17 kt breeze and partly cloudy, but chilly weather.  Appropriately enough, the final races started at the “” buoy!

The fleets started with a short windward leg and were then tested with a mixture of downwind, reaching and upwind sailing. A good challenge for any crew to test crew work, sail choice and tactics on a fresh and bracing winter series day.

Although this is the South coast's premier winter series, not all good sailors come from the south. There are a number of good northerners, those pond sailors in the NW of England. Lawrie Smith and Ian J/112E sport cruiser winning IRC 1 in Hamble Winter seriesSouthworth come immediately to mind. So, it was no major surprise when the “Yacht of the Series” turned out to be owned and sailed by a lad from Tyldesley. That's near Bolton for you southerners. Chaz Ivill brought his new J/112E DAVANTI TYRES home in first place on Sunday. This made it 6 first places, a second and a third for a very tidy 11 pts in the competitive 20 boat IRC Class 1.

In IRC Class 2, it really was a thrilling climax to the series, the ultimate outcome decided by just 15 seconds!  That was the margin Simon Perry’s J/109 JIRAFFE needed to take both the win on Sunday and to place second overall for the series!

J/92s sailing Hamble winter series IRC 3First place in the nineteen boat IRC Class 3, also went to the wire, as they say. Although Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART had a first in the last two races, it was not enough to break into the overall series lead. Instead, Annie and Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II had enough in the bank with great performances earlier in the series to take it by one point.

The J/88's raced in class for the second year running and this year Avia Willment in GBR 2688 cleaned up from Gavin Howe’s TIGRESS and Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL.

In the clubhouse Chaz Ivill thanked Stuart Childerley and the race management team for some great courses and finished with, “See you all next year!"

J/88 sailing Hamble winter seriesNext year's Hamble Winter Series, the 37th, will start on the 6th& 7th of October with the IRC Autumn Championship and two days of the HWS. The soon to be announced Performance 40 Class will be rounding off their season with a double points series of 5 races on the same weekend. You heard it here first.

In numbers, this year's Hamble Winter Series and its three sub events; the Spinlock IRC Autumn Championship, the Hamble One Design Championship and the Fast 40+ 5th and final event, led to the following: 143 Yachts entered, 16 classes contesting 108 races, 814 starters and 786 finishers.  Thanks for contribution from Trevor Pountain.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/24 Brazil Championship off Rio de JaneiroEURUS Wins Brazilian J/24 Championship
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)- The 2017 edition of the Brazilian J/24 Championship took place over two weekends off Rio de Janeiro, hosted by YC Rio de Janeiro.  The racing took place on the infamous bay, with the huge seaside city in the background, famed for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, the 38 meter tall “Christ the Redeemer” statue atop Mount Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountain, the granite peak (more like a huge rock) with cable cars to its summit.

Brazil J/24 Championship- Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilThe regatta had a great turnout, with eleven teams competing for national honors.  The teams were treated to a range of conditions, but mostly sea breezes from the east/southeast that were a result of nice clear, warm days, with hardly a cloud in the sky.  There was one day that was a bit light, cloudy, and mostly overcast all day long.

In the end, it was a very close battle for the top three boats, with the results going all the way down to the wire on the last day.  After starting out with an OCS, Ronaldo Senfft’s crew on EURUS (Andrea & Leticia Nicolino, Adhara Ginaid, and Carlos Eduardo Brandao) sailed fast and conservatively, sailing the most consistent series in the top three to win the regatta counting only top four finishes for a total of 18 pts net.

J/24 sailing off Rio de Janeiro- Christ the RedeemerAlso starting with an OCS and winning four races was Fernando Tover Gioia’s team on MALABAR (Mauricio Santa Cruz, Rafael Pariz, Joao Pedro Soute de Oliviera, and Sergio Almeida), could not overcome a mid-series streak of bottom half finishes to settle for the silver with 22 pts net.

Rounding out the podium was Murilo Borges’ BRUSCHETTA with crew of Tatiana Almeida, Jorge Bueno, Matheus Goncalves, and Mario Tinoco.  They sailed well and consistently; posting all top five finishes in their final tally, but only enough to secure the bronze with 24 pts net.   Sailing photo credits- Fred Hoffman    For more Brazilian J/24 Class sailing information

J/24 sailing off Sydney, AustraliaKAOTIC Tops NSW States
(Sydney, Australia)- This year’s 2017 New South Wales State Championship was hosted by the Royal Prince Edward YC and sponsored by Doyle MacDiarmid Sails.  The racing took place on the scenic Felix Bay, just off Point Piper on the southern shoreline of Sydney Harbour.

Keeping the fleet in check and also on their toes to keep up with their feverish pace of running races were the RPEYC PRO duo of Terry Matthews and Adrian Broadbent and the race committee team.  Two cold, wet days and tricky weather conditions with shifty breezes was not the easiest for racing, but their herculean efforts were greatly appreciated by the thirteen crews that participated.

J/24 sailing off Sydney, AustraliaIn Australia, they long ago pioneered “handicapping” to their race results, a bit like golf handicaps where performance is rated and top boats are “scratch teams” while those in the mid-fleet get a higher handicap applied to their scores.  As a result, the weekend warriors get their chance to collect some silverware over teams that have pros aboard.

Winning the “Open” division was none other than a long-time stalwart of the Sydney J/24 class, the duo of Sean Kirkjian & Arthur Crothers on the infamous KAOTIC.  Taking second was David West’s ACE. And, rounding out the podium in the bronze position was the truly infamous CONVICTS REVENGE, skippered by Stephen Girdis.

As one might expect, none of the top “open” boats are ever a factor in the handicap division, in most cases.  Yet, there have been some where boats have won both, but rarely.  This years handicap division winners were Janette Syme’s WILDFIRE, she also took the crown as Top Woman Skipper.  Second was the trio of Brendan Lee and the Tromps on WATERBORNE AGAIN.  Then, taking third was Clinton Hood’s VERTIGO.

This year, the “Women on Water Trophy” (WOW, for short) was awarded to Amanda Williams for her efforts skippering JAGGED EDGE in club races, twilights and regattas, showing determination and relentless enthusiasm during her learning curve.  For more Australian J/24 Class sailing information

J/80s sailing off Barcelona, SpainSpanish J/80 Fall Report
(Barcelona, Spain)- All across warm, sunny, Spain, the J/80 class was having multiple regattas this fall that were taking place in very diverse sailing conditions. From Barcelona to the east on the Mediterranean, to Santander to the north on the Bay of Biscay (near France), and Baiona to the west on the Atlantic Ocean, just north of the Portuguese border.  Here is the latest in the Spanish J/80 sailing world.

J/80s sailing off Barcelona, SpainReal Club Nautico Barcelona Winter Series
AKEWELE dominated Act II of the Barcelona Winter Series in J/80
The second act of Barcelona Winter Series for J/80s started with two races on Saturday. Despite the changing conditions with light winds blowing in front of the port of Barcelona, the Committee managed to complete two of the five races scheduled for the weekend. Then, on Sunday the RCNB Race Committee managed to complete three more races.

There was a duel between AKEWELE’s Silvia Ravellat (leader of the fleet) and BRIBON. AKEWELE won the first race of the day, ahead of BRIBON, and he did the same in the second. Ravellat’s crew could only achieve a 6th place; as result, they dropped off their sole position at the top of the leaderboard for the overall series.

At this stage, Marc de Antonio’s BRIBON is now leading the series, having recovered his usual form of sailing fast and staying conservative.  In this last regatta, he achieved three 1st and two 2nd places; giving him a three points lead over Silva Ravellat’s crew on AKEWELE.  The third crew is Rosa Artigas’ MIKAKU, also sailing well and having posted a 1st and two 2nds in the series.

J/80s sailing off SpainMonte Real YC Fall Series
Fernando Yáñez’s CANSINO is leading the AXA J/80 Autumn League
The Commodore of the Monte Real Yacht Club, Fernando Yáñez, managed to get his team on CANSINO to the top of the leaderboard after Sunday’s races in the AXA J/80 Autumn League series that is being sailed on the beautiful Baiona Bay on the west coast of Spain.

After posting two 2nds in two races, Yáñez's CANSINO team managed to overtake OKOFEN, who had been in the series lead.  However, the OKOFEN team was lacking their fearless leader- Javier de la Gándara.  Instead of their usual top 3 finishes, the could only manage a 4th and 5th place, dropping them into second overall on the series. Sitting in third for the series is FERRALEMES, fourth is NAMASTE, and fifth is MARIAS.

Notably, the winners of the third and penultimate day of the AXA J/80 Autumn League were Manuel María Cunha’s MARIAS-CASAS DO TELHADO, with Luis de Mira’s NAMASTE in second place.

The AXA J/80 Autumn League will end on November 25th, with three more windward-leeward races planned for the weekend on pretty Baiona Bay.  Once the competition is over, the Monte Real Club de Yates will host the awards ceremony for the winners, ending their 2017 J/80 sailing season.

Real Club Maritimo Santander, SpainReal Club Maritimo de Santander
The Spanish J/80 Association and the Royal Maritime Club of Santander organize every year the great nautical sports festival- the Mundialito of the J/80 class. It is a regatta whose ultimate goal is to gather together all Spanish J/80 sailors from across the country for great sailing, a big party, and to celebrate good times!

“The Mundialito” (e.g. "the little worlds") celebrated its twentieth edition on Cantabrian waters. Despite its name, the classic and long-lasting celebration aims to welcome all J/80 sailors to the Cantabrian fleet of J/80s.  The event starts with the traditional "costume dinner" on Friday, November 24, an event celebrated by all participants with some amazingly fun and outrageous designs!  They all reflect their beautiful regions throughout Spain, including Galicia, Andalusia, the Balearic Islands, Catalonia, Barcelona, and Madrid.

A total of twenty crews participated in the four races held between Saturday and Sunday, two for each day on Santander’s famous bay inside the monstrous sandy point. During the two days, the sailors sailed on the Quebrantas, between Somo and Isla de Mouro, with a variable wind that blew from the north and waves that reached one meter in height.  As usual, the Real Club Maritimo de Santander provided excellent race course management from its very experienced Race Committee and PRO teams.

J/80 sailing off Santander, SpainThe competition was preceded by the traditional "Cena del Traje" held on Friday and organized by the Spanish J/80 Association and the Royal Maritime Club of Santander. The regatta primary purpose is to bring together all top Spanish J/80 sailors to enjoy a sporting event that combines competition with an atmosphere of friendship and socializing on land— the Saturday evening dinner/ dance party was immensely enjoyed by all in the cozy atmosphere offered by RCMS!

Daniel Pedraja’s ONO, with Alfredo González at the helm, won the Mundialito J/80 event. If you recall, three J/80 World Champions are from this amazing fleet on the north side of Spain.  Then, taking second was Álvaro Mazarrasa’s VERIQUETO, with Gerda Pereda’s KIA rounding out the podium. In fourth place was Pichu Torcida’s AILA, just one point off the podium (himself at two-time J/80 World Champion). Finally, in fifth place was Iker Almandoz’s CENTRAL OPTICA.  Sailing Photography: Real Club Marítimo de Santander   For more Spanish J/80 Class sailing information

J/70 Gunter leads Barcelona Spain winter seriesGUNTER Leading Barcelona J/70 Winter Series
(Barcelona, Spain)- The leader of the Barcelona J/70 Winter Series comes from a most unlikely background, a top Dragon sailor in Europe.  The renowned master of the Dragon class in Europe, Javier Scherk, chartered the well-known J/70 NOTICIAS from Luis Martín Cabiedes and, suitably, renamed it after all his boats- GUNTER.

J/70 Italy team sailing Barcelona, SpainIt is quite evident that Scherk and his crew on GUNTER have familiarized themselves amazingly quickly to the J/70.  After their first day of sailing, they had posted a 1-2 to be the leader of the fleet, followed by Luís Albert Solana’s PATAKIN in second place.  The scuttlebutt onshore was Scherk’s crew would have to figure out how to sail “planing mode” on Sunday versus the lightish winds they sailed on the first day.  Time would soon tell!

What no one expected was for a Dragon sailor to continue to excel in the J/70 class.  It was a fantastic day for sailing on Sunday, with a strong northwest wind of a steady 15 kts, gusting higher into the upper teens.

J/70s sailing off Barcelona, SpainScherk’s GUNTER crew continued to show their overwhelming superiority throughout the two days, closing out the weekend with four 1sts for a record that left practically no option for their competitors to pass them in the series.  Only Luís Albert Solana’s PATAKIN could beat them in one race; and they are laying second overall. Sitting in third place overall is the Italian team of Massimo Rama sailing JENIALE EUROSYSTEM; their best results include two 2nds against this very talented fleet.

For Javier Scherk the J/70 seems to him, "A fantastic boat! What more do you want!! I find it more fun than other sportboats and it is cheaper to maintain, easier to trailer..just a great boat all-around!”   For more Barcelona J/70 Winter Series sailing information

J/24 Italy winning sailing teamItalian J/24 Winter Sailing Series Report
(Cagliari, Italy)- The final event in 2017 for the Italian J/24 Winter series took place off Cagliari this past weekend; one that not only had a new winner for the regatta, but also confirmed the series leader of the regional series- a six event program that takes place during the fall 2017 and winter 2018.

The weather conditions were not favorable for the two-day event in Cagliari. There was little wind on Saturday and way too much wind on Sunday.  So, the RC Chairman of Société Canottieri Ichnusa, Tanni Spanedda, wisely called off racing on Sunday.  As a result, there was nothing left to do but enjoy the hospitality of the club and enjoy a fabulous Saturday evening dinner that was augmented by very tasty local wines.

Winning the regatta was ITA 460 BOTTA DRITTA sailed by Mariolino Di Fraia, with his crew of Luca Montella, Ezio Diana, Andrea Tirotto and Gianluca Cataldi. They sailed fast in all six short-course races on Saturday to celebrate their good fortune that evening.

As a result of the weekend series, ITA 405 VIGNE SURRAU from Club Nautico Arzachena, skippered by Aurelio Bini, leads after 27 races sailed in three events. Then, sitting in 2nd place is Davide Gorgerino's ITA 431 LNI CARLOFORTE-PUNTO A and then in 3rd place is ITA 396 MOLARA sailed by Federico Manconi.

The next regatta on the circuit does not take place until Sunday, January 21,2018.  For more Italian J/24 Fleet sailing information

J/80 sailing Netherlands Frostbite CupJ’ZUSTER Leads J/80 Frostbite Cup
(Naarden, The Netherlands)- The J/80 fleet in the Netherlands is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, like a “phoenix rising from the ashes”, to again blossom with enthusiastic sailors from across the spectrum of the sport.  Twenty-four teams are participating in the 2017 edition of the classic Frostbite Cup that has been taking place for nearly decades… a tradition of sorts for the “old guard” in the Dutch J/80 fleet.

R&ZV Naarden hosted this year’s event and the Race Committee and PRO team pulled off a great event, running six races over two days, much to the delight of the two dozen teams!  There were many new teams at the front of the fleet, as well as a number of veteran crews familiar to all.

2018 J/80 Worlds video- Les Sables'de'Olonne, FranceAfter six races, it was Nick Elsink’s crew on J’ZUSTER that won with three 1sts in their scoreline for a cumulative total of 19 pts.  Clearly breathing down their necks the entire time and giving them a great battle was Ottejan Golverdingen’s crew on LED2LEASE; never winning a race, but the only boat in the regatta to post all top six finishes and take a well-deserved second overall.  Rounding out the podium in this watershed event was yet another crew that was new to the top of the standings- the duo of Jilko & Sybren on OANT St JEN.  What may have been a shocking revelation to many at this event was the fact that this crew had the best first two and best last two races of everyone- a 2-1 then a 1-2. Wow! Imagine if they only knew how to sail consistently??   Watch a nice Frostbite Cup sailing highlights video here
 2018 J/80 World Championshp teaser announcement- Les Sables’d’Olonne, France

J/22 Jammin Jamaica- girls boat drawJammin’ J/22 Jamaica Nationals
(Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica)- The Caribbean J/22 fleet continues to have fun on their somewhat antique classic J/22s that have survived the test of time and too many hurricanes to mention.  The largest fleets reside in the Cayman Islands and on Jamaica.

In recent years, those two fleets get together and invite sailors from all over the world to come down and sail the gorgeous aquamarine blue waters of the Caribbean off Montego Bay, Jamaica- a famous place to sail on the northern side of the island, a place famous for dozens of fabulous resorts.  The event is called the Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica Regatta and is hosted by the very welcoming Montego Bay YC.  You cannot beat the setting- warm weather, trade winds of 15-20 kts, sunny, and the nicest people you can imagine, sailing on a one-design fleet of J/22s.

The format is designed to encourage foreign sailors (to Jamaica) to visit as duets or entire crews of 3-4 people.  Of the fifteen-odd boats on the island, three are reserved for Kingston teams and three reserved for Mo’Bay teams- that selection is based on qualifiers.

The first qualifier was held in Kingston on the eastern end of the island.  The harbor is notorious for producing steady 20-30 kt winds daily from the east and sailing in flat water, literally!  The conditions are idyllic for anyone that loves the big breeze, gorgeous Caribbean weather, and beautiful views of 7,000 ft tall mountain peaks covered in a verdant green forest- mostly coffee!  Like its counterparts in San Francisco Bay or Lago di Garda in Italy, the combination of big mountains and long valleys literally “suck” the wind off the water and produce amazingly consistent breezes.  In the case of Kingston, it beats them all- with sunny days, 80 F, no fog, clear as a bell, and winds that can hit 25-35 kts steady, gusting higher.

As you can imagine, growing up in those conditions, Kingston sailors are a bit jaded when it comes to breeze.  They have been known to wait until 2pm or so at the Kingston YC situated at the head of the harbor in perfectly flat water for the wind to build to gear-busting conditions.  Then, after being fortified with a few J/22 Geronimo sailing Kingston, Jamaica harborRed Stripes or chasers of Appleton Estate Reserve rum, off they go, hoist the main, hoist the chute and take off in a screaming plane to the far side of the harbor about 4 miles away downwind!  There are a few videos documenting all this craziness.

Here is the sailing video highlights of a Kingston Harbor hurricane speed record attempt (thanks to the J/22 GERONIMO)

And, here is one of their friends sailing and racing in the Cayman Islands.

J/22 Cayman Islands sailing regattaThis past weekend, sailing in decent, though not crazy, winds, the Jamaican J/22 Nationals were held.  The event served as the qualifier for the Kingston teams to sail the Jammin’ event, too.  Winning the event with straight firsts was Richard & Jackie Hamilton’s RENEGADE, an all Mo’Bay crew that included another J/22 owner- Mike Morse.  Taking second and third, respectively, were the top two Kingston boats, “Cookie’s” GERONIMO and Gibson’s TSUNAMI.

The following weekend, the Montego Bay YC held their qualifiers for local boats for the Jammin’ event.  According to Mike Morse, steering his own boat AYAHSO, “we just barely made qualification for Jammin this past weekend.  We were actually tied points with Richard (RENEGADE), but he took the tie-breaker.  So, we ended up third.  Thank goodness, three spots were available for local crews.  The weather has been peculiar recently, with lots of mini-fronts coming down the Caribbean from the east, so goodness knows what the weather will be in another week!”

Reflecting that perspective was Richard Hamilton on RENEGADE, “conditions were east to southeast at 1 to 4 knots!  Thankfully, there is very little current in Montego Bay; otherwise, we would have been going sideways out to sea!  Congratulations to Peter Harper on ZIPPER for winning our qualifier.”

More news next week in the Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica preview of who’s who and wot’s happenin’!  For more Montego Bay YC J/22 sailing information

J/24 sailing Autumn Cup in Parkstone, EnglandCHAOTIC Crushes J/24 Autumn Cup
(Parkstone, England)- The fun-loving crews in the J/24 class in southwest England continue to have a great time, welcoming “newbies” amongst the veterans like they were long-lost friends from years ago.  Nowhere was that more evident than this year’s Autumn Cup hosted by the cozy, warm confines of the Parkstone YC in the “south” of England.  As usual, the Parkstone members welcomed J/24 sailors with open arms as one might expect from a decades long family reunion.  A dozen J/24 crews from across the southern parts of the U.K. answered the call to having fun at PYC.  Herewith the report from the folks down yonder…

“Saturday brought a light south-westerly breeze with four races being sailed out of a scheduled five. Apart from race one, won by Roger Morris' JOLLY ROGER, Nick Philips and his team on CHAOTIC could not put a foot wrong, winning the remaining three races of the day, with the rest of the fleet having a mixed day.

JOLLY ROGER was the overnight leader before the discard kicked in. Sunday morning's start of race five at 09.30 saw most of the fleet changing to jibs minutes before the start as the breeze built - only for a number of the fleet to do a headsail change back to genoas on the first downwind leg.

Duncan McCarthy on MADELEINE was first to finish, only to find out that they had been disqualified by the 'U' Flag Rule, within one minute of the start (along with TEAM IMPACT and FLYING COLOURS), thus handing the lead to Nick McDonald's CACOON.

Race six and all the fleet were back on genoas with Mark Lewers' HIJINKS quick out of the blocks - finding the left hand side of the beat to be favored and never challenged once they reached the windward mark of lap one.

Race seven was won by MADELEINE and Race eight by Andy Taylor's PHOENIX. However, consistency paid and the CHAOTIC team are worthy winners of this year's Autumn Cup.

Of note is the ever-improving youth team on TEAM IMPACT that regularly pushed at the top of the fleet, perhaps not surprising with the Kuzyk brothers on board- past Topper World, European and National Champions. Also, Jack Butters, ex-Spitfire National Champion was sailing with his brothers Pete and Steve, and their father Dave on CRACKERJACK.

At the prize giving, CHAOTIC’S Nick Phillips thanked the race officer, Bryan Drake, and his team for an excellent regatta, managing to get in all eight races in what were sometimes tricky conditions.

Rounding out the top five were Andy Taylor’s PHOENIX in 2nd, Duncan McCarthy’s MADELEINE 3rd, Roger Morris’ JOLLY ROGER 4th, and George Kennedy’s TEAM IMPACT 5th.  For more British J/24 Class sailing information

J/24s sailing Cordoba, Argentina- Lago San RoqueArgentina J/24 Class Rocks!
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)- As the world of J/24 racing in the northern hemisphere slows down to almost a crawl, awaiting midwinter events in the USA as well as winter events in Italy, their counterparts in South America are quickly ramping up their activities from spring to summer series “down under”.

Argentina, in particular, has a very active J/24 class with fleets in the city of Buenos Aires on Rio de La Plata, as well as up in the mountains with fleets just west of Mendoza (famous for rich, delicious malbec red wines) and also in the Cordoba region featuring the gorgeous Lago San Roque in the foothills of the Andes Mountains.

Lago San Roque, Cordoba, ArgentinaCORDOBA
The Cordoba J/24 fleet recently completed its Torneo de Verano (summer tournament).  Host for the event was Club Náutico Córdoba.  They managed to sail eight races over the two weekend series on Lago San Roque, easily one of the prettiest lakes to sail in the entire world.

The crew of Javier "Caraca" Moyano on GRAN CARAJO stood out from the fleet based on their consistency; winning only two races and taking two 2nds in the eight race series, to win with 17 pts net.  While the CARAJO crew won convincingly, behind them it was not the case at all.  The balance of the podium was determined by a tie-breaker between two competitive crews sitting on 22 pts each.  Based on countback, taking second J/24 Buenos Aires, Argentina- YC Olivosin the regatta was Juan Mauri DiFrancesco’s crew on CARRER over Julian Dadona’s team on SIROCCO.  Rounding out the top five was Pablo Somestrari’s SEAWOLF and Carlos Trigo’s PURA VIDA, 4th and 5th, respectively.

The YC Olivos in Buenos Aires held their XXXVII Grand Prix International Luis Alberto Cerrato Cup for J/24s on the Rio de la Plata.  After a six races series masterfully managed by the YC Olivos team that ran the J/24 World Championships a few years back, it was a familiar team that was at the front of the pack.  After five bullets and a second, Matias Pereira’s crew on ARG 5486 took home the title and the pretty trophy to grace their “cave man” trophy room for yet another year.

PIMM's J/24 regatta- ArgentinaChasing Pereira’s team hard all weekend long was Sergio Pendola’s ARG 5463, the only boat to win a race off Pereira, but having to settle for second place.  Third was another top Argentinean crew on Hernan Cubria’s ARG 5461 with just 15 pts in six races (5 counters net).

PIMMS Regatta notice
The YC Olivos and the local J/24 class are looking forward to the closing of the 2017 racing season.  It is a relaxed atmosphere; there is an excellent time with lots of camaraderie, music, good food and abundant drink based on the classic English liquor (PIMMS) with soda, strawberries, and mint.

If you want to know the complete recipe from an expert “mixologist”- Ken Johnson- you will have to come and participate!! It is an excellent program, not to be missed!!  For more Argentina J/24 class sailing information

Barbados J/24 sailing championsBarbados J/24 Champions- BUNGA BUNGA!
(Barbados, Caribbean)- After a year long trial by fire, the 2017 Barbados J/24 Champions are Team BUNGA BUNGA- BAR 2420.  The crew consists of Raphaël Grisoni, Cyril Lecrenay, Roderick Mascoll and Jason Trotter.

That’s all we know so far and hope we can get a much more detailed report sometime soon!  We know their competitors include Neil Burke’s IMPULSE, Robert Povey’s HAWKEYE, Webster’s THE PHOENIX, Tindale’s COLLEGE FUND$, Gus Reader’s GLORY DAZE, Paul Johnson’s FLY RACING Team, and “the kidz”- with K Hinds as the skipper on UNDERCOVER JUNIORS.  For more Barbados J/24 Sailing fun, follow them on Facebook here

Sailing the ARC Atlantic rallyARC Rallies- Caribbean 1500 & Atlantic Update
(Grand Canary, Spain)- “World Cruising”, the organization that created a number of “cruising rallies” called “ARC” (originally, Atlantic Rally Cruising), has seen its first major event finish in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, while the second event, ARC Atlantic, is still taking place having started on November 19th.

The longest-running ocean crossing rally in North America, the “1500” is a must-do for many cruisers. The ARC Caribbean 1500 fleet sails from Portsmouth, VA at the mouth the Chesapeake Bay to Nanny Cay on Tortola, British Virgin Islands. The start port and dates make the most of the available weather to maximize your Caribbean sailing, and the week-long pre-departure program will get you relaxed and ready for cruising.

Without a doubt, the most difficult part of getting to the Caribbean is timing the weather window before departure. Fall on the East Coast is squeezed between late summer hurricane season and early winter gale season. By joining the 1500, cruisers can rest assured that the “experts” are there to take the pressure off that decision. The support team consists of professional ocean sailors working closely with weather forecasters at WRI to ensure the fleet makes it across the Gulf Stream and into warmer waters in the best possible conditions.

Shortly after the start of the 2017 edition of the “1500”, one boat sent out an update over satellite email explaining, “it is an absolutely gorgeous day here in the North Atlantic. We are currently 640 nm off the coast of Georgia.  Last night was equally stunning. We were treated to a blaze orange moonrise followed by a moonlit night that danced on the water. The winds were favorable and we were cruising along comfortably at 11 knots or so.”

It did not take the fleet very long this year to make the 1,500nm crossing to Nanny Cay in Tortola, BVI.  In fact, Pete Watkins from Boise, Idaho, sailed his J/42 MERLIN so fast that he ended up 2nd Overall and 2nd in Cruising A Class!  Now, that’s a nice way to celebrate the start of the 2017/ 2018 winter Caribbean sailing season!  For more Caribbean 1500 sailing information

J/133 sailing ARC Atlantic RallyARC ATLANTIC
The 2017 edition of the ARC Atlantic attracted nearly 200 boats and 1,200 people to sail 2,700nm across the Atlantic from Gran Canary Island (Spain) to Saint Lucia situated in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean.

This year’s “cruising rally” attracted a broad cross-section of sailors; families with children, tough offshore racers, cruising couples, big boats and modest boats. Crossing the Atlantic together, but having their own adventures. Many are already looking forward to their arrival in Saint Lucia to be met on the dock with a rum punch and a chilled beer after two weeks at sea!

After starting November 19th, Sunday, the fleet is making good progress towards St Lucia, and the crews are celebrating and enjoying the Atlantic crossing on board their yachts in many different ways. For some it’s flying a spinnaker, others it’s catching a fish or practicing celestial navigation.

The lone J/crew participating in this year’s event is the J/133 JACKY X owned and skippered by Gerard Feenema from The Netherlands.  Currently, as of 1500 hrs, November 30th, they are lying 4th in Cruising D, but on a significantly better, faster track to St Lucia than her erstwhile classmates.  They are approximately 1,500nm from landfall in the Caribbean.  For more ARC Atlantic sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/70 World Sailing show* The World Sailing Show- is a highlights video produced by the “World Sailing” organization in London, England. The November highlights reel talks about the radical new America’s Cup class design. Then, they discuss why winning an Olympic medal doesn’t get you a head start, especially if you’re embarking on a 7,000nm race offshore (however, having one-design experience in strong one-design classes like J/24s, J/80s and J/70s does). Finally, they have a nice segment about the massive turnout for the AUDI J/70 World Championship in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy hosted by YC Costa Smeralda.  The event started with controversy and ended with spectacular racing in the biggest one-design sportsboat fleet ever seen in history.   Watch this J/70 Worlds segment at 09:38 in the World Sailing video:

Team Vestas 11th Hour sailing Volvo race* J/sailors leading sweep of Volvo Ocean Race after two legs? The skippers with extensive J/one-design experience were 1st- J/80, 2nd- J/24, 3rd- J/80, or in other words- MAPFRE, VESTAS 11th HOUR RACING, and DONGFENG Race Team. Yes, indeed, knowing how to cut your teeth on the knife-edge against one-design world champions hones your instincts to sail fast, consistently 24x7, and continually tweak the boat and sails to gain tenths of a knot, here and there.

The Spanish flagged MAPFRE team won Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race on November 24, the 7,000 nautical mile marathon from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa.

“It’s amazing, we’re super-happy. We came here in one piece and in front of the others, we can’t ask for more,” said skipper Xabi Fernández (a long-time champion J/80 sailor in Spain). “This is what we will see all the way around the world. Super-tight racing, everyone has good speed and small mistakes are very expensive. This time we were luck to do the least mistakes and that’s why we won.”

MAPFRE trailed Dongfeng Race Team on the long charge to the south, but last weekend, 14 days into the leg and after crossing the Doldrums, navigator Juan Vila (another J/24 and J/80 sailor) and skipper Xabi Fernández put in a quick gybe to the southwest that Dongfeng didn’t match. It turned out to be a winning move; within hours the Spanish team had a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

In contrast, after leading from the first night, Dongfeng suddenly found itself in fourth place two weeks into the leg. But skipper Charles Caudrelier led his team to an inspiring fight-back. Over the final days, Dongfeng clawed its way back into a well-deserved second place.

“A good second place,” said Caudrelier (who selected and trained many crew on J/80s in China). “For sure, at one moment we were hoping for better, but a few days ago it was much worse and we made a fantastic comeback. Well done to MAPFRE, they made fewer mistakes than us, but we never gave up, the crew never complained, they just worked on the comeback… We have amazing speed in strong winds, we’ve worked on that a lot, and it was unbelievable, we were nearly a knot faster sometimes.”

Charlie Enright- skipper of Team Vestas 11th Hour in Volvo raceCompleting the podium was Vestas 11th Hour Racing, the winner of Leg 1. Skipper Charlie Enright’s team (long-time J/24 sailor and World Champion) was always in the mix with the leaders on this leg, but couldn’t find a way to slip into the lead.

“We’re happy with a podium result against a lot of good teams,” Enright said, dockside in Cape Town. “We’re not satisfied yet with how we’re sailing the boat, so we still have a lot of work to do, but we’ll keep chipping away. We’re still trying to get faster through the water and streamline our decision-making, but it’s a long race. We have time.”

MAPRFE won Leg 2 and now takes the overall lead. For Leg 2, MAPFRE sailed 7,886.5 nautical miles over the ground at an average speed of 17.3 knots!

The teams will now prepare for the In-Port Race on December 8 before the 6,500nm Leg 3 from Cape Town, South Africa to Melbourne, Australia that starts on December 10.  Follow these three teams on the Volvo Ocean Race here-

J/34 IOR Knee Deep sailing Lake Erie* From Brett Langolf, owner of the classic J/34 IOR boat called KNEE DEEP, yet another awesome compilation of sailing their beloved boat on Lake Erie.  Said Brett, “we won some, lost some, got wet, went fast & drank out of trophies. Cheers to family & friends for a great season!”

Their team is based out of Deadman's Flat Yacht Club & Sandusky Sailing Club.  Here is KNEE DEEP’s website-

This video, without question, is the very essence of what this sport is all about! Fun, family, perhaps some adult libations (okay, a lot of those), and just getting out there and doing it you’re own way.  Watch J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP sailing video compilation here of their 2017 sailing season
Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

J/Newsletter- November 22nd, 2017

J/Boats Sailing Wall Calendar
Happy Holidays! Order Your 2018 J/Calendar!
(Newport, RI)- A sailing calendar is a great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew. For 2018, we have created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places.

The 2018 sailing calendar features the most popular as well as latest creations from the J/Design team sailing in many of the worlds most popular sailing areas- Cowes, Newport, San Francisco Bay, Russia, France, Italy, Monaco and French Polynesia in the Pacific!  See the 2018 J/Calendar photo gallery and order here

J/70 Sailing Champions League2018 SAILING Champions League Announcement
(Hamburg, Germany)- There are still a few months to go before the first event of the SAILING Champions League 2018 in Porto Cervo, Italy (31 May – 3 June), but the preparations are already in progress. As in 2017, the first four clubs from every nation qualify for Act 1 and Act 2, where they will compete for their places in the SAILING Champion League Finale.

J/70 SAILING Champions League sailorsThese are the teams that are eligible for the two qualifier events in Porto Cervo and St Petersburg:
  • Austria- Burgenländischer Yacht Club, SCTWV Achensee, Union Yacht Club Wolfgangsee, Yacht Club Bregenz
  • Czech Republik- ICZ RODOP, TJ LS Brno, JK Truc Plzeň, YC Neratovice
  • Denmark: Frederikshavn Sejlklub, Kongelig Dansk Yachtclub, Kerteminde Sejlklub, Hellerup Sejlklub
  • Finland: Åländska Segelsällskapet, Nyländska Jaktklubben, Mariehamns Seglarförening, Brändö Segalare
  • France: tbd
  • Germany: Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club, Segel- und Motorboot Club Überlingen, Wassersport-Verein Hemelingen
  • Italy: Circolo Canottieri Aniene, Yacht Club Adriano, Circolo della Vela Bari, Società Canottieri Garda Salò
  • Lithuania: tbd
  • Netherlands: WV Almere Centraal, Jachtclub Scheveningen, WSV Giesbeek, VWDTP Groningen
  • Norway: Moss Seilforening, Åsgårdstrand Seilforening, Ran Seilforening, Trønsberg Seilforening
  • Poland: Jacht Klub Kamień Pomorski, Yacht Club Sopot, MOS IIawa, Olsztynski Klub Zeglarski
  • Russia: Lord of the Sail – Asia, Navigator Sailing Team, Lord of the Sail – Europe, PIRogovo
  • Slovenia: tbd
  • Sweden: Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet, Cape Crow Yacht Club, Hjuviks BK, Malmö Segelsällskapet
  • Switzerland: Regattaclub Bodensee, Regattaclub Oberhofen, Société Nautique de Genève, Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen
  • United Kingdom: Itchenor Sailing Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Wessex Sailing Club, Port Edgar Yacht Club
  • USA: Winner of Women’s Worlds in Mexico and Winner of US Sailing Mallory Trophy
In the qualifier events for Act 1 (Porto Cervo) and Act 2 (St. Petersburg), the top four ranked clubs from sixteen National Sailing Leagues compete against each other to win a ticket for the 2018 Grand Finale in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

J/70 SAILING Champions League teams 2018The principal upcoming events for the 2018 SAILING Champions League are:
  • Act I: May 31 to June 6- Porto Cervo, Italy- Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
  • Act II: tbd- St. Petersburg, Russia- St. Petersburg Yacht Club
  • Final: August 30 to September 2nd- St. Moritz, Switzerland- Segelclub St. Moritz
2018 SAILING Champions League sailing video overview  For more SAILING Champions League sailing information

J/70 North Americans MexicoMexico J/70 Valle Week!
Get Ready for 2018 J70 North Americans!
(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- Sailing has never been as exciting in Valle de Bravo as it is with the amazing J/70´s. J/70 fever hit the lake in 2014, and only a couple of years later the fleet was already 29 strong.  Hosting the 2018 North American Championship will definitely boost local enthusiasm, and having amongst the best J/70 sailors on the continent in our home waters as our distinguished guests will make it the hottest ticket yet. 

We are very eager to put together "J/70 Valle Sailing Week 2018".  A week to devote to sailing and friendship.  A week to remember for many years to come.  A grown up "Sailing Disney trip" if you will.  The regatta is being hosted by Club de Vela La Peña and the J/70 Mexican Class Association from May 12th to 19th, 2018 on their gorgeous mountain lake.

The venue and its warm collaborators make the Valle sailing experience entirely pleasant.  No early wake up calls, hour-long motor trips to the course, heavy foul weather gear and cold water.  Only sailing under the sunny Mexican sky and being greeted with cold margaritas at the dock as soon racing is over and your boat is put away for you.  Hollywood sailing, Mexican style.

The Race Management will be top level.  With the formidable Mark Foster from Corpus Christi, Texas as the regatta PRO and the legendary Willii Gohl as Chief Judge, nothing can go wrong!

So, brace yourselves and stay tuned, for we have all the ingredients for an unforgettable Sailing Festival.  All we are missing is you, and our daily breeze, of course!  Call us now for local charter boats!

You may contact the Regatta Chairman Roberto Escalante at email- or mobile# +51 55 4181 4016.   For more J/70 North Americans sailing and registration information

SailsUp 4 Cancer TuesdaySails Up 4 Cancer!
#GivingTuesday #SailsUp4Cancer
(Mystic, CT)- #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaborative efforts. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season.

One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. This November 28th, join the movement and give.  Your contribution to SailsUp 4 Cancer will fund research, prevention & care.

SailsUp 4 CancerSailsUp 4 Cancer is extremely proud of its Spinnaker Fund.  This Fund has been specifically tailored to individuals and families who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the loss of income due to their struggles with cancer. SailsUp realizes that the last thing a cancer patient needs is additional stress.
“The SU4C board has saved my life in more ways than one. I can’t say thank you enough. You are true angels and your generosity has made life a little less stressful and that means so much.” Sincerely forever, B.D.

“There are not enough words to express my thanks for the Spinnaker Fund Grant I received from you. I put it toward paying my mortgage.”  Warmly, B.F

“I am writing on behalf of my father, L.P., who unfortunately is suffering from metastatic liver cancer. Your organization brightened his day when he received your letter containing the generous spinnaker fund grant that your organization provided. Your contribution clearly will help with the cost and more importantly, brightened his day knowing that others are helping him though this difficult time.”  Sincerely, K.W.

"SailsUp 4 Cancer is a wonderful local charity that assists people dealing with a cancer diagnosis. They have assisted many of my customers at The Pink Mermaid that are dealing with cancer & lymphedema. The group is devoted to their cause and I wish them blessings of every type! When you see their many events advertised you should attend! The concerts are soooo much fun and such a worthy cause!!"  ~ C.R.
Please make any donation here and learn more about SailsUp 4 Cancer.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The third week of November is traditionally marked in America by the “Thanksgiving” celebration, a national holiday that honors the first harvest feast held in November 1623 by the first European settlers (the “pilgrims”) at Plymouth colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  It was an occasion to give “thanks” to God for their surviving a horrible winter, and “thanks” for an amazing harvest of food with help from friendly local Indian natives. Today, it has become a time for families and friends to gather together and enjoy a reunion of sorts to celebrate that first feast nearly four centuries ago.  Not much sailing takes place on this weekend!  However, last weekend, the San Diego YC held yet another lively race for their Hot Rum Series off of San Diego Harbor and Point Loma.  And, on San Francisco Bay the Fifth Annual "Crew You" Regatta took place with "beer ducks" as marks of the course! :)

As for the rest of the world, in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, the Royal Bermuda YC and Bacardi held their annual Bacardi Keelboat Regatta and J/105 Invitational for seven teams on the beautiful Great Sound- the recent site for the America’s Cup this past summer.

Hopping over to Europe, we find more time to celebrate for J/sailors in the Netherlands.  Recently, the Noordzeeclub held their annual Dutch Doublehanded Series Awards, with J/crews on a J/109, J/120, and J/122E nearly sweeping all the top prizes in this fast-growing discipline in Europe.  Just across the English Channel, the Hamble Sailing Club hosted their penultimate weekend of racing for the Hamble Winter Series- for a J/88 one-design class and three IRC classes with a J/112E, J/111, J/109, J/97E, J/92 participating.  Then, southeast across the European continent, the Italy J/24 class had several winter series events take place with three fleets (mostly in the southern parts of the isthmus)- Marina di Carrara, Cervia (Rome), and Taranto.

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

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 8-10- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Jan 5-7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Jan 19-21- J/Fest St Pete- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 9-11- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Feb 15-18- St Pete NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 17-18- SCYA Midwinter Regatta- Long Beach, CA
Feb 19- RORC Caribbean 600 Race- English Harbour, Antigua
Feb 23-25- J/70 Midwinters- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 1-4- Heineken St Maarten Regatta- Simpson Bay, St Maarten
Mar 7-11- Bacardi Cup J/70 Invitational- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 16-18- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-25- St Thomas International Regatta- Red Hook Bay, St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29- Apr 1- Easter Regatta- Columbia, SC
Apr 12-15- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 8-14- Voiles de Saint Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barth
Apr 26-29- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Ft Worth, TX
Apr 28- May 4- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

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

J/122E doublehanded championJ/Crews Dominate Dutch Doublehanded Awards
(The Hague, The Netherlands)- At the season-ending awards banquet hosted by the Dutch Noordzeeclub, J/Boat teams swept all three season-series spots in the highly competitive doublehanded class, and picked up another season trophy in the fully crewed IRC classes.

Doublehanded racing is the fastest growing discipline in the Dutch racing circuit, with over 120 boats taking part in at least one of the season series and 30 boats competing in multiple events.

J/120 Maverick- doublehanded championThis season three J/crews took the top honors with the J-109 FIRESTORM, crewed by Wim Van Slooten and Jochem Heemstra, completing the season series in third place and the well campaigned J-120 MAVERICK, crewed by Chris Schram and Raymond Roesink, added to their 6th place finish in the RORC 2-handed class and 2017 EAORA Doublehanded Trophy with a second place finish for the season. 

Overall, the competition was dominated by the shorthanded-optimized J-122E AJETO, crewed by John van der Starre and Robin Verhoef, winning five of the six events they entered.  John and Robin also took their top form abroad this season with an impressive second place finish in the IRC Double-handed class in the famously tough 635nm RORC Fastnet Race.

Finally, Alain Bornet’s J-109 JAI ALAI earned a third place trophy for the season in the fully-crewed IRC 2 Class, highlighted by a second place class finish in the North Sea Regatta inshore series.  For more Dutch Offshore sailing season information at Noordzeeclub

J/125 sailing Hot Rum seriesAnother Classic Hot Rum Series II
(San Diego, CA)- Despite attempts by the weather Gods to throw another curveball for the weekend, with a large system brewing offshore that natives call “the pineapple express” (a wet, rainy, warm front with moisture flowing from as far west as the Hawaiian Islands), the sailors were instead treated to another classic day of sailing off San Diego’s beautiful Point Loma.

As usual, the little boats and early starters (the lower rating boats) go off in relatively light winds as they sailed out the channel to the first turning mark.  Then, with the building WNW seabreeze, the “platinum raters”, the big boats, took off in a decent breeze that was starting to hit 8-10 kts off Point Loma.  As a result, the “big boats” had huge advantage for the second weekend in a row as they steamed out of the channel with their enormous A5 spinnakers or double-slotting with their Code Zeros.  As they barreled through the fleet, they again occupied most of the top 15 slots overall.

J/120 CC Rider sailing Hot Rum seriesAs a result, in the 137-boat fleet, a number of J/teams are doing well overall in this popular series, with six teams in the top 16. The top banana is Mark Surber’s J/125 DERIVATIVE in 5th place overall.  Just behind in 7th if John Laun’s J/120 CAPER, followed by Dagfish’s J/105 VIGGEN in 8th, Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER in 11th, Gomez-Ibarra’s J/70 VAGAZO in 15th and Chuck Nichols’ J/120 CC RIDER in 16th.

On a class basis, Surber’s J/125 DERIVATIVE is also sitting in 5th place in PHRF 1 Class.  Meanwhile, Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER is in 8th place.

In PHRF 2 Class, the J/120s generally predominate over the course of the series.  And, this year is no exception.  Laun’s CAPER is leading, with Nichols’ CC RIDER in 3rd position, and Pennell’s J/120 MAD MEN is in 10th place.  Chasing the top three boats hard is local America’s Cup legend Dennis Conner sailing his Nelson Marek 43 MENACE.

J/105s sailing Hot Rum series off San DiegoThe PHRF 3 Class probably wishes the J/105 didn’t exist, that is how dominating they can be in their class.  However, a few missteps here and there don’t have them occupying the entire top five of the leaderboard so far.  Dagfish’s J/105 VIGGEN is in 2nd; just 2 pts back from the lead.  Scheel’s J/105 PUFFIN sits in 5th place, 10 pts off the lead. And, Jan Dekker’s J/105 AIRBOSS is in 9th, but only 14 pts off the lead.  All three boats have proven they can win not just class, but overall.  The final race in the series will have quite an impact on this group.

J/70 sailing Hot Rum series off San DiegoThe one class that has seen J/crews predominate like they never have before is PHRF 4 Class.  The only three J/70s racing must be having a three-way match race to see who wins, and who has to pay-up at the bar later!  So far, the Gomez-Ibarra duo on VAGAZO is leading with a 1-2 for 3 pts.  Then, Wyman’s NUNUHUNU sits in 2nd with a 2-3 tally for 5 pts.  And, tied in 3rd place is Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR with a 4-5 for 9 pts.  Any hiccup in the last race could easily flip-flop the standings amongst the three boats.

Finally, in PHRF 5 Class, the Case’s are sailing the J/22 ZO ZO and have sailed fast and smart, posting a 3-6 to hold on to 4th place, only 4 pts off the lead! Sailing photo credits- Bronny Daniels/   For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series results

J/105s sailing BermudaBromby/Murphy Three-peat Bermuda J/105  Regatta
(Hamilton, Bermuda)- The Royal Bermuda YC and the sponsor/partner Bacardi host their annual Bacardi Bermuda Keelboat Invitational every year just prior to Thanksgiving weekend.  For three days, one-design fleets of J/105s, IOD’s and Etchells 22s are treated to spectacular sailing on the Great Sound, the recent site of the America’s Cup.

For the J/105 fleet, the format is designed to be fun and inclusive of J/105 sailors around the world.  The local fleet provides their boats and three crew and invite three “international” sailors (e.g. non-Bermudian) to race with them.  In the past, the international crews have come from the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Caribbean.  The racing format is all short-course W-4’s, the Bermudians race against each on odd-numbered races, the International skippers on even-numbered races.

For the first time in the event’s history, one team has posted a “three-peat” performance.  The local hero and Star World Champion Peter Bromby from Warwick, Bermuda partnered with Kevin Murphy from the USA to dominate this year’s series with three bullets and two deuces in their six-race tally to win with just 12 pts.

While the Bromby/Murphy team may have sailed away with the event, it was nothing like that taking place for the balance of the podium.  After six races, three boats finished 3 pts apart.  A 5th in their last race nearly “snatched victory from the jaws of defeat” for the trio of Trevor Boyce/ Mike Neff from Bermuda and Stew Neff from Marblehead, MA, USA.  Onboard their team was the third Neff, brother Terry from Wisconsin.  While posting top three finishes in 3 races, a last in race #2 and a 5th in the last race gave the trio 20 pts, just enough to hang on for the silver. Hot on their heels with a nearly identical scoreline was the duo of James Macdonald from Smiths, Bermuda and Bill Lackenmacher from Seabrook, Texas in the USA.  Their last two races were a mirror of the Boyce/ Neff record of 2-5, posting a 5-2 to finish with 21 pts to close out the podium.  Dropping out of contention completely for silverware was Keith Chiappa’s team on BER 535, a last place on the last race torpedoed all hopes of a top three finish.
Bacardi Bermuda J/105 Invitational sailing video- leeward gate roundings   Follow the J/105 Bermuda keelboat event here on Facebook   For more Bacardi Bermuda J/105 Invitational sailing information

The Big Sail on J/22s at St Francis YCHot Sailors + Hot Bands + Cold Waters = The Big Sail
(San Francisco, CA)- The weekend of Thanksgiving in America has become what is known as “Rivalry Week” in American college football.  Over time, many events have been created that augment the gathering together of the “tribes” that support each university, whether competing schools have fun in tug-of-wars, go-kart racing, battle of the bands, chili cook-offs, or bocce ball.  All in the name of fun and, for the most part, engaging in a friendly reparte’ with the opposing team and alumni.

J/22 sailing the Big Sail on San Francisco BayIn California, the San Francisco Bay region enjoys two of the more prestigious universities in the world- University of California- Berkeley (a.k.a. “Cal”) and Stanford University.  Alumni from both schools, many of whom are members of St Francis YC, decided it would be fun to have an informal, off-beat, regatta at StFYC prior to “the game”.  In recent years, it has been a fun event sailed on StFYC’s J/22’s literally right off the clubs extended waterfront decks. This year, the club hosted the 14th edition of the “Big Sail” with Paul Heineken as chief on-water commentator.

The shoreside entertainment has sometimes eclipsed the hot and heavy action on the water.  As it turns out, this year that was the case.  The “battle of the bands” and the “battle of the cheerleaders” all drew a lot more attention than the “drift-a-thon” that was occurring just off the waterfront.  Watch the entertaining video here- The Pac-12 TV Network showed up for the event and produced a nice highlight of Pac 12 TV highlights of Big Sail on J/22sall the hot and heavy action- particularly on shore.

Nevertheless, the sailing still took place.  The two schools fielded teams in all four categories- Varsity, Young Alumni, Masters Alumni, and Grandmasters Alumni.  Due to the insanely light conditions on a perfectly sunny day, a most unusual scenario for sunny, windy San Francisco Bay, each division was only able to sail one race.  After winning three of the four divisions, Stanford was declared the 2017 winner of the Big Sail with a 3-1 record.  For more Big Sail event and sailing information

J/88 woman sailor going fastMore Hot Winter Sailing @ HWS
(Hamble, England)- Competitors for the sixth weekend of the Hamble Winter Series enjoyed more racing with the Hamble River Sailing Club, supported by OneSails.

In IRC One, Chaz Ivill's J/112E DAVANTI TYRES scored their fifth bullet of the series, and was yet again the fastest boat around the track in any class after IRC time correction. They are now leading their class by the considerable margin of ten points.

J/88 hot water action on SolentIn the J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s team is sailing remarkably well, scoring a sixth bullet for the series.  They, too, are leading their class by an enormous margin of ten points. As a result, Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS is holding on to 2nd place with 16 pts net. They are followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR in third place, just three points adrift.

In IRC Two, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE continues to sail fast and consistent.  Despite missing three races, their blistering pace of three 1sts and a 2-3 have them now sitting in third place just 2.5 pts away from the silver.

In IRC Three, Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II have two drop scores after ten races sailed, giving them a comfortable leading margin of 5 pts.  Second is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with 16 pts net.

Racing at the Hamble Winter Series continues with weekend #eight, the finale, on Sunday 26th November.
For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/24 no crew beer duckGrab-da-duck, F%$#&, OK?
"Crew You Regatta" Fun & Games
(San Francisco, CA)- Five years ago Northern California resident Jasper Van Vliet, a sailing instructor at that time, was lamenting the lack of opportunities for non-boat-owning enthusiasts to drive during a race. So he invented a regatta, then turned to his favorite San Francisco fleet—J/24, number 17. What he and peers developed is the Crew You Regatta sponsored by OPB-YC (Other Peoples’ Boats Yacht Club). This group staged the fifth annual regatta on Sunday, November 19. It’s a simple-no frills parade of fun for sailboats of length 24 feet and less, and the owner is disqualified from touching the tiller— the crew must drive. Courses are short windward-leeward loops, and there’s a "beer duck" placed mid-course; come within proximity and try to grab a longneck from the net. A beer in the hand is worth, well, subtract one point from your day’s total.

J/24 beer duck at No Crew Regatta“The premise is to permit more sailors the opportunity to helm during race conditions,” says Van Vliet. “This year we were able to run several back-to-back starts. And I hear that the beer duck was next to empty. Either that equates to an extra degree of navigation and boat handling skills from our ranks, or a higher level of exertion and thirst on the course.” This year, courtesy light winds and flat water, the fleet was scored for five official starts. Additional races were run late in the day when two Richmond Yacht Club junior sailor J/22 crews, returning from the day’s match racing along the San Francisco city front, joined. Coming out on top with 2017 accolades was Downtown Uproar owned by the Melissa Litwicki/Darren Cumming combo. In second was Valentin Lulevich’s Shut Up and Drive, Randall Rasicot’s Flight took third, Jasper and Robin Van Vliet’s Evil Octopus nabbed fourth and Brandon Whitney’s Backwards claimed fifth.

J/24 no crew beer duck markSan Francisco Bay race conditions in November can be a mixed bag. Last year, officials called a shortened course in order to complete the first and only race of the day. Quite the contrary in 2015 with its non-stop tip and clench, dip and drench. Once conditions hovered near 25-knots, race execs deemed it best to wrap for the day.   Thanks for photos and words by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing.  More sailing photos of “Crew You Regatta” on Facebook here.   Read more about the Crew You Regattas

Italian J/24 crew winnersJ/24 Italy Winter Racing Report
(Rome, Italy)- The Italian J/24 class continued to enjoy a full-slate of racing in their on-going winter series events taking place in Cervia (Rome), Taranto, and Marina di Carrara.  Over fifty teams are competing in these various series, a wonderful turn-out for this 40th Anniversary class that has enjoyed over three decades of popularity in Italy.  Here are the latest reports from each fleet.

On the Mediterranean Sea, in front of the beach at Milano Marittima, sixteen crews from the Romagna J/24 fleet have now completed three regattas for their Winter Championship- the X Memorial Stefano Pirini Cup- hosted by Circolo Nautico Cervia  ( ).

The day's winners for the three races were ITA 402 ARMED sailed by Marco Maccaferri, ITA 424 KISMET owned by Francesca Focardi and skippered by Dario Luciani from CN Cervia Amici della Vela, and ITA 400 CAPTAIN NEMO co-owned by co-armed by Guido Guadagni and Domenico Brighi from CV Ravennate.

As a result, of the third weekend of racing, the J/24 KISMET is still in the lead for the series. They are followed by CAPTAIN NEMO in 2nd place and in third place is ITA 382 VENTO BLUE sailed by Mauro Martelli.

The Winter Championship- X Memorial Stefano Pirini Cup is divided into two stages.  The first stage will conclude with races on Sunday, December 3. The second stage starts on February 18, 2018 and ends on March 18th.

J/24 winter series in ItalyTARANTO
Thanks to the three wins in the opening day and three more excellent races on the final weekend ITA 417 LA SUPERBA won the 2017 Cup Final, the closing leg of the J24 Trofeo Ciccolo National Circuit that took place off Taranto. The Italian Navy team sailing LA SUPERBA is skipper Ignazio Bonanno and crew of Simone Scontrino, Francesco Picaro, Francesco Linares and Alfredo Branciforte.

Taking second position was a new fleet member, ITA 427 JEBEDEE owned by Nino Soriano and skippered by Luca Gaglione from the Puglia fleet.  Included on the crew were Nino’s son Remo Soriano at the mast, Vittorio Renzi in the cockpit and Silvio Tullo at the bow- all of them are from the Circolo Nautico Sailing School.

Rounding out the podium in third place was ITA 467 CANARINO FEROCE owned by Massimo Ruggiero and skippered by Giuseppe Maglietta.

"It was an honor for us on JEBEDEE and for our fleet to be able to compete with crews like those who came to Taranto to qualify for the J/24 Worlds," commented Puglia J/24 Fleet Captain- Nino Soriano. “It was impressive to watch LA SUPERBA being at ease in the difficult sailing conditions.  It surprised us and incentivized us to practice and train more to raise our level of competition. It was a great event and very good organization!  Thank you!”

"It was a national qualifier for the J/24 Worlds with a very high level of talent. The presence of competitive teams such as JEBEDEE and CANARINO FEROCE (with tactician Paolo Montefusco) made the races very tough,” added the helmsman of LA SUPERBA, Ignazio Bonanno. “Taranto’s offshore winds made it very difficult to make the best tactical choices all the time and the conditions certainly favored the local crews.”

“The 2018 J/24 World Championship 2018 will take place from 24th to 31st August on Riva di Garda and with ten races scheduled.  The host is Fraglia Vela Riva. The Italian J/24 Class, as the regatta organizer, has the right to enter twenty-four boats, plus additional teams for a former World Champion, one for the 2017 National Champion, a female team, a youth under-25 team, and two boats selected by the organizing committee,” explained the President of the Italian J/24 Class, Pietro Diamanti.  “The worlds are limited to 80 boats.  As one of the world’s most beautiful and famous places to sail, with spectacular mountain landscapes, fabulous breezes, and the impeccable organization of Fraglia Vela Riva, we expect to fill all 80 entry slots (limited by qualifiers worldwide).”

J/24s sailing Italian winter seriesMARINA DI CARRARA
For the opening weekend of the Autumn Cup sailed on the Golf of Poets off Marina di Carrara, five races were completed in a variety of wind conditions over a sunny Saturday and Sunday weekend.  The host RC crew from CN Marina di Carrera was pleased to run 2 races the first day and 3 very nice races on the final day.

Twelve teams headed out with great anticipation on Saturday, enjoying in particular the warm temperatures and the bright sunny day.  However, the conditions were not conducive for the regular seabreeze to build, so two races were barely completed in the dying breeze.  The day’s winners were ITA 212 JAMAICA sailed by Pietro Diamanti and ITA 449 RAZOR BILL owned by Giuseppe Simonelli and helmed by Davide Sampiero.

However, the standings changed dramatically on the second day. ITA 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING sailed by Eugenia De Giacomo (with crew of Nicola and Matilde Pitanti, Lorenzo Cusimano and Bruna Marco) did not leave anything to chance for their erstwhile opponents, winning all three races in the sunny southwest winds of 8-10 kts.

Consequently, De Giacomo’s FIVE FOR FIGHTING team led the standings with a 3-4-1-1-1 for 6 pts net.  They are followed in second place by ITA 202 TALLY I owned by Roberta Banfo and skippered by Luca Macchiarini with a record of 4-3-2-5-2 for 11 pts net.  Sitting in third place is ITA 481 COCO sailed by Riccardo Pacini with a 2-ocs-4-2-4 for 12 pts net.

"These have been beautiful races, particularly Sunday, very fun and hard-fought," commented Pietro Diamanti. "The next and last event of our Autumn Cup 2017 is on Saturday 2 and Sunday, December 3rd."
For more Italian J/24 Winter series sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Russian J/70 women sailor- Valerya Kovalenko- winner ProYachting* Top Russian woman keelboat skipper, Valerya Kovalenko, was honored this past week for her performance in the PRO-Yachting series hosted by The Royal YC in Moscow, Russia.

On November 14, in the private club “SPY Moscow,” an awesome celebration and awards ceremony took place for the PRO-Yachting 2017 Ulysse Nardin Summer Series.  The event was attended by well over 300 people and was presided over by Ekaterina Skudina, a famous Russian woman Olympic dinghy sailor and Maxim Andrianov, the Managing Director of Ulysse Nardin Russia.

The culmination of the evening was the awarding Wednesday Night Race series winners, whose participants fought for the whole summer season for the possession of the gorgeous (and wildly expensive) Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph watch.  In the end, it was Russia’s top woman keelboat skipper, Valerya Kovalenko, that led her Team SSA-9 (Valeriya Kovalenko, Alexey Tarasov, Nikolay Chernikov, and Sergey Avdonin) to victory in the summer-long series.

J/70 ProYachting winner- Team ss9- Valerya Kovalenko“Thanks to PROyachting, there is always wonderful organization and a wonderful atmosphere. It seems to me this is the best place in Moscow to spend an evening sailing and watch absolutely incredible sunsets,” commented Ms Kovalenko. "I would like to wish everyone who are starting to get involved in sailing great success, to find their place in the boat where they feel most comfortable, find their place in sailing where they enjoy friends and competition, and choose those classes and regattas they like most.” NOTE- she and many other top women and youth sailors in Russia have chosen the J/70 class!

Second place in the series was taken by the NO PASARAN Team (Mikhail Loskov- skipper, Nikolai Khlystov, Valentin Uvarkin, Ekaterina Sychev, and Igor Manshin).

Third place overall was taken by Team ULYSSE NARDIN (Maxim Andrianov- skipper, Denis Trynin, Jonas Gigon, Victoria Chelnokova, Arman Chobanyan, and Egor Zuev).

Maxim Andrianov, the ULYSSE NARDIN team captain said, “although we did not aspire to do this well, we honestly worked and trained hard to improve each race, we are quite happy to have achieved this result!”

The Tuesday Warm-Up Race Series was won by the Team MOSCOW 24 (Denis Elahovsky- skipper, Anna Semkina, Ivan Lozovoy, Svetlana Zaboleva, and Valentin Uvarkin).

Note that the troika of winners of the Tuesday series of regattas finished the season with a minimum separation from each other. "It was a constant stress, constant nerves, it was very competitive.  At some point I realized that I was tired, but when it was all over, I began to regret that now I will have to wait for May," commented Denis Elahovsky, team captain of MOSCOW 24.

Second place went to the Team HURRICANE (Elena Buyanova- skipper, Alexey Sekirin, Pavel Ovanesyan, and Pavel Kirilyuk). Then, third position was Team BIG FISH (Inna Ozhogina- skipper, Olga Selezneva, Ivan Bodyagin, Stanislav Melinger, and Igor Puzanov).

Canadian J/24 sailor- Rossi Milev* Canadian J/24 sailor Rossi Milev recently won his first J/24 World Championship at Port Credit (Toronto), Ontario this past summer.  His success was a story of how much time and perseverance it took to win in the J/24 class.

Milev sailed his first J/24 Worlds in 2000 in Newport. He didn’t win, but really enjoyed the class and the boat, so like a lot of J/24 sailors, he kept coming back for more.

Seventeen years later, he finally sailed to victory at his home yacht club in Port Credit, Ontario. He set his sights on the Worlds, which happened in September of this year. Boats began to collect in the parking lot days before the event with sailors who were eager to get their boats measured in and race-ready.

Port Credit Yacht Club was so “on-point” for the World Championship, they were able to get all 63 boats registered and measured one day ahead of time. From a racer’s perspective, this speedy inspection was ideal, as sailors wanted to start focusing on racing and put in some practice time.

Given the conditions that happened this year, and keeping in mind that weather is unpredictable, Rossi worked hard to get this regatta to his home yacht club, as he knew they would do a great job running a World Championship for the J/24 Class. Once they won the bid for hosting the event, Rossi set his sights on taking home the trophy.

Before the first race came to an end, the fleet knew this was going to be a very tough regatta. Rossi’s team Clear Air came across the finish line not quite where they expected.

J/24 Clear Air- World Champion“Looking at our results from the first race, local knowledge did not pay off. The fog was thick. Halfway through the beat we had committed to the left, which was normal, but it didn’t pay off at all.” Team Clear Air was disappointed, but before the second race they put their heads together and shared a prediction. “Everybody can have a 46th place. This is the World’s. It’s going to come down the last leg of the last race.”

“We had pretty good starts, and some not so good ones. When we had bad ones we flipped on port and made the best of it. It was the perfect opportunity to crack off the sails and get the boat going as fast as we could. We would take some sterns, and even duck, which wasn’t necessarily bad. Boat speed was so important.”

All the teams found their own challenges during 8 light air races, including current. Rossi stated; “The current here was going east to west, it wasn’t really normal. We usually see [that] more in windier weather.” This unexpected adverse current became an obstacle when coming in on the starboard lay line and at mark roundings.

“Winning the J/24 Worlds is as hard as winning the Worlds in any other class. It may actually be harder, because the boats are all even. There are a lot of great sailors in the class who had deep results. Up until the last race it was still not determined who would win.”

Rossi’s team sailed the 2016 North Americans (minus 1 crew member) as well as many local races, so they knew each other; they just hadn’t been sailing the J/24 together leading up to the Worlds. Rossi only sailed one J/24 event a couple weeks before the Worlds at his home club, with a different team. “Everyone has families, work, growing businesses. We all kind of parted ways for a while.”

For the Worlds, he said, “Each day our communication got better.” He was very confident in his crew. Although they hadn’t been sailing much together, they were able to pick up where they left off. By the end of the week, they were right where they wanted to be. Rossi was also very familiar with his boat, which had won a previous J/24 Worlds. He claims she has unbelievable speed, especially in light air.

J/24 Clear Air- Rossi Milev- CanadaRossi worked with Will Welles when he won the 2014 J/24 Worlds, and he says he learned a lot from his experiences sailing with and against Will about technique and boat setup during their tuning sessions. “I keep my rig just a bit looser than what the tuning guide says. I can feel the boat better, and I feel quicker and have more options and can settle into the groove.” He uses the tuning guide as a tool. He knows he is in a “safe” range, then goes by feel. He has a great feel for the boat and knows when changes need to be made for overall boat speed improvement. Rossi had trained on Lake Ontario in light air ahead of the Pan Am Games a few years ago. He said that contributed to his loose rig setting at this years’ Worlds; in the same conditions, he felt very confident in his settings.

“The steps I would move to on the rig were in increments, at a half-turn rate. Small adjustments are key in lighter air, and I never go the next full step unless the wind picks up more significantly. I have a great feel for the boat and helm, and can tell when changes need to be made.”

We asked Rossi what he thought about moving the mast butt. “I did move it a couple of times when I was training with Will and Tony Parker in the days prior to racing. I found a sweet spot that I liked and the boat felt great. I ended up leaving it there for the whole regatta, as it was the right balance between my sails, foils, and helm.” As for moving the mast butt, he says, “just gives you a piece of mind.”

We asked Rossi what his number one tip would be to all J/24 sailors. He replied;

“Always look at your leeward shrouds. You want to see them dangle a bit. That’s how I decide how much I need to come on or off the rig.”

Rossi is focusing on work again, but he’d like to sail with other teams in 2018. He already has his sights set on the 2019 Worlds in Miami, and the upcoming winter circuit is of interest to him spending time sailing with good friends.

“Miami will be awesome. It will be another hard Worlds to win again. The stronger more prominent current, bigger breeze, and waves will have more effect on overall performance. It will be very different from this year.”

We asked Rossi what he likes about the J/24 Class and what keeps him coming back for more. He was humble as he replied;

“I like the J/24 Class because it is affordable and the sailors are very good. We wouldn’t have as many youth and women’s teams out there if it was expensive like a lot of other more high-performance classes. The J/24 is a great boat to learn from and race, and the events are a lot of fun. There is a reason why nothing has replaced it. How many young people have learned how to sail on a J/24? A lot of them. Because it is fun. It’s a good Class to be a part of.”  Thanks to North Sails and Scuttlebutt for this contribution.

J/70 Japan- Petit Star at San Francisco Rolex Big Boat Series* Japan’s PETIT STAR J/70 crew- Infectious Grins @ Rolex Big Boat Series.  It’s day three of Rolex Big Boat Series and the photo boat is pointed at the J/70 fleet fresh off the start line. The fleet tacks left. We slowly follow for a few moments. That tunnel vision forward tracking racers yields to a huge surprise when dropping the viewfinder and stepping round to face back of boat. There is a lone J/70 immediately behind and its bow splash is close enough to reach us. The surprised expressions from we three in the photo boat initiated a grin and a wave from all racers--those infectious smiles from the Japanese crew of PETIT STAR inspired this post.

Back on land, PETIT STAR’s Yu Stanly Fujinaga told me, “Every time we passed near a media boat I would say to the crew: ‘With a smile!’ because I was nervous about unfamiliar strong winds.” The team is comprised of members from the Osaka-Tannowa Yacht Club. The core crew, Akinori Takezawa, Hirokazu Hayasi and Akiba Kawaguchi, started sailing together on a J/24; three years ago they shifted to a J/70.

Following a Star
Fujinaga is the new tactician/navigator/sailing manager. “Our crew races in the Osaka-Kansai area. In Japan, handicap races use IRC and local ratings system so there few opportunities to race One Design. Mr. Takezawa, owner of PETIT STAR, and I both have a desire to travel abroad and compete in One Design competition. Racing One Design is a new experience for me.”

Six months ago, a decision was made to enter the 2017 Rolex Big Boat Series San Francisco, J/70 division. In March, the crew began preparations. The local winds of Tannowa being on the weaker side, the sailors usually headed to Wakaura, approximately 19nm south, to participate in Wakayama Ocean Yacht Club competition.

Fujinaga is the newest of the crew. His experience counts Farr 31, Beneteau First 36.7 and X35 boats; he says this was his first J/70 campaign. In preparation for Big Boat Series, he steadfastly monitored San Francisco Bay marine weather condition for the six weeks in advance of the competition. Fujinaga personally put in more than 50 hours training, plus participated in many regional races back home. “I set my goal to be 70 hours practice, but that was still not enough. It was hard work, but it paid off,” adding that he is very proud to work aside peers Akinori and Hiroko.  Smiling, he says it felt as if he was, “Starting from scratch, with a fumbling start.”

Going the Distance
The crew chartered a J/70 from an owner in San Francisco, and transported two sets of sails, control rope and additional items within three suitcases. “I was worried whether it would fit within the weight limit of an airplane, but it was nice to stay safe. For racing, we have experiences of short distance [travel] from our home port, but this is the first time [for us to make] a long way traveling abroad.”

This was also a first time for PETIT STAR crew members to experience the signature heavy wind conditions of San Francisco Bay. For the most part, their field practice and race conditions saw southwest afternoon sea breezes at 15 to 20 knots. “Since we were only here for a short amount of time we did not have much time to practice in a lot of strong wind.”

J/70 Japan- Petit StarLooking West to Conditions in the East
Fujinaga says that things are notably different between the two sailing venues. “Back home in Japan there are numerous local yacht clubs at each marina. Kansai Yacht Club, which belongs to Softbank Team Japan, is also located near us in Osaka Bay. At club races we usually see 10 to 15 boats gather.” Larger races, where 50 to 60 boats may compete, include events such as ‘Around KIX Yacht Race’ organized by the Farewell Yacht Club. There are about 80 boats at the club where PETIT STAR is kept. Organizers welcome entries from other countries and, for the most part, sailing occurs year round in the Osaka Kansai area; most popular times are May to November. Competition is brisk during even the coldest months of January to March. “Those who sail at this season are serious people. I participate in ‘New Year Sailing’ every year.”

Is sailing a popular sport in Japan? Is yacht racing in Japan a sport for the wealthy or do students and middle-income people compete?

Replies Fujinaga, “Unfortunately, sailing is a minor sport in Japan. In general, the impression that yachting is a hobby of wealthy people is also believed.” While there are many sailing clubs at the high school and university levels, few people continue after graduation. “At Wakayama Ocean Yacht Club, I hold sailing events several times a year to recruit the public. I also ask friends to invite friends to join us on a day cruise. We try to increase the number of young people, but I think perhaps many have the impression that the threshold to participate in this sport is high; or that it is difficult to get on to a boat.”

He goes on to assert that with an aging sail demographic, attracting young people is important. “I joined Wakayama Ocean Yacht Club nine years ago when I was 18 years old. Since that time I remain the youngest member. Recently, Koujiro Shiraishi, who first challenged in Vendée Globe and of Softbank Team Japan (America's Cup), was featured in the media. I think his participation and comments in the media will help the sport gain popularity here.”

Having spent one week in San Francisco, the crew cites their time at Rolex Big Boats was quite valuable. “It is important to our sailing careers. I am thrilled with the hospitality of the race organizers and the management staff at St Francis YC. The greatest appreciation to all the people who have accepted our challenge to this event.”

With a wide grin, “Thank you so much! From Team Petit Star:
Skipper: Akinori Takezawa from Amagasaki, Hyogo
Pit: Hirokazu Hayasi from Settsu, Osaka
Trim: Akiba Kawaguchi from Misaki, Osaka
Tactician/navigator/sailing manager: Yu Stanly Fujinaga from Kanan, Osaka
Onshore manager: Hiroko Takezawa from Amagasaki, Hyogo
Learn more about Renegade Sailing on their blog (thanks for their contribution)

Russia J/70 class* The Russia J/70 Class Association ( has been formalized as part of the Ministry of Sport in the Russian Federation.  It is a tribute to the efforts of Dmitri Zarickij and Grigory Aksenov, partners in J/Boats Russia to have gotten the class this far and have made such an enormous impact on a national basis across the Russian Federation- from as far east as Sochi (the Black Sea resort) across the continent to St Petersburg in the west on the eastern Baltic Sea.

The Russia J/70 Association started developing the J/70 class across Russia in 2013. In the spring of 2017 year, a decision was made to register as a formal organization with the Russian Ministry of Sport.  The association operates in Kaliningrad, Moscow, Krasnodar Krai (east of Moscow).

The class is healthy.  As of September 2017, 29 boats are members, including 11 boats that have been used in three commercial projects- such as the Russian J/70 Sailing League. Around 200 people are constantly sailing (more than 10 days a year), about 1,000 people at least once a year.

J/70s off St Petersburg, RussiaThe J/70 class participates annually in the boat shows in Moscow and Europe.  Russian J/70 sailors are quite active both nationally and internationally.  They have participated in the YC Monaco Winter Sportboat series; the Sochi Winter Series; several stages of the ALCATEL J/70 Cup National circuit in Italy; the Russian J/70 Sailing League series; the SAILING Champion League series (and finale); and seven Russian crews sailed the 2017 AUDI J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo at YC Costa Smeralda.

Notably, the Russian J/70 class plans to engage the help of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Sports to put in a bid to host the J/70 World Championship in 2019, most likely in St Petersburg on the eastern Baltic Sea!  For more information, contact these class representatives:

President- Irina Gorbatûk- phone +7-9062-346422, email- Irina_gorbatyuk@Mail.Ru and Facebook-

Class Officer- Dmitry Zaritskiy- phone +7-9062-399929, email- and Facebook-

J/Boats Russia- Grigory Aksenov- phone +7-9091-576924, email-, and Facebook-

For more Russian J/70 Class Association information, please see Facebook page
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