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Sailing Highlights & J/History - thru 2015

2015   

The J/70 explosion continues with 900+ boats delivered worldwide by year-end, and the first Worlds in European waters (LaRochelle, FRA). The Sailing League phenomenon spreads across Europe, featuring the J/70, and culminates in the Champions League finale held at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Italy. The J/111 Class celebrates its 2nd World Championship in Newport, RI and 25% of the world’s J/111s attend.  George Gamble and teamaboard My Sharona prevail in the 25 boat fleet. The new J/11S, a purpose-built 36’ double-handed, offshore racer is launching in LaRochelle, France. J/122 “Artie” wins second Rolex Middle Sea Race in a row this time it’s Class 5 and both IRC and ORC.  J/122 has now won it’s class three years in a row. The J/88 class kicks off with racing at Key West, Hamble, UK and the inaugural Great Lakes and New England Championship held in Youngstown, NY and Greenwich, CT respectively. The first ever electric powered J/Boat is launched with the J/88 Oceanvolt SEA at the Newport Boat Show along with the brand new J/122E and J/97E built by J/Composites.  The new "E" range with brighter interiors and modern styling is joined by the all-new 36' J/112E sport cruiser launched in November and sea-trialed in Narragansett Bay. 


2014  
 

J/122 “Artie” wins Rolex Middle Sea Race Overall in both IRC and ORC.  Sistership J/122 Otra Vez follows up 2013 win with a second in class. The J/88 wins Sailing World’s Boat of the Year “Best Overall One-Design” and one week later is announced as Yachts & Yachting Boat of the Year at the London Boatshow.  J/88 is the January cover girl for Sailing World Magazine and   production begins in France to meet demand in Europe. The new International J/111 Class holds its first ever World Championship in Cowes, England and hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron. J/70 growth explodes at the grass roots level with fleets developing across the USA, Europe, South America and elsewhere. By year end over 700 J/70s are sailing worldwide with event highlights including the Sportboat Winter Series at the Monaco Yacht Club, a new European J/70 Circuit, the North Americans at Rochester Yacht Club, and the inaugural World Championship in Newport, Rhode Island. J/70 production for the Asian market begins at McConaghy Boats in China. J/70 is awarded Sweden’s Boat of the Year by the Swedish yachting press.  German Sailing League takes off with the J/70 at the heart of this success.  Denmark follows suit with the Danish Sailing League. J/122 El Ocaso wins class at the Heineken Regatta and “Most Worthy Performance Overall” trophy. The new J/97E sport cruiser is introduced at the Southampton Show as a model year upgrade of the J/97 with a redesigned cockpit to accommodate a wheel option along with J/122E inspired styling. J/133 Wins the RORC Trans-Atlantic Race from the Canary Islands to Grenada in the Caribbean. The J/24 Worlds comes “home” to Newport, Rhode Island, site of the first Worlds held in 1979.  Will Wells of the USA prevails over 70 boats representing 12+ countries. Red Dragon Yachts of Xiamen, China begins J/80 production for the Asian market. The J/80 is the featured boat in the 2014 Inter-Collegiate Sailing Worlds in France and World Championship heads to Annapolis, MD in September.


2013

The J/70 hits center stage with an incredible 60 boats at it’s first Midwinter Championship in Key West, nine months after Hull #1 launched. J/70 is voted Best Performance Boat by Yachts and Yachting Magazine… “The Clear Winner” The J/70 is named European Yacht of the Year under the Special Yachts category, after swaying the judging panel with a flawless showing over several test days. 91 boats compete for first North American Championship in Annapolis with Heather Gregg Earl and her team winning against a very competitive fleet of sailors. J/70 Awarded International One Design Status by ISAF. Hugo Rocha of Portugal tops a 117 boat fleet to win the J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France.  J/80 hull #1500 competes. The new 29’ J/88 Speedster is launched in late July. J/120 wins Pineapple Cup from Miami to Montego Bay Jamaica. J/97 one design action heats up in the UK and J/97 is class winner at RORC IRC Nationals and the 2013 Scottish Series. J/111 Class has break-out year with first Euro Cup held in La Trinite, France and first North American Championship in Chicago. J/122 “Otra Vez” & J/133 “Oiltanking Juno” win respective IRC classes at 2013 Rolex Middle Sea Race with J/133 taking first under ORC as well. The new J/122E Sport Cruiser debuts at Grand Pavois Boatshow in La Rochelle France. J/42 “CEOL MOR“ completes global circumnavigation.


2012

This year may well go down in history as one of J's better years on record. The big news was the successful launch of the J/70. The first pair of J/70s launched in March with a record number of 100+ boats ordered before its maiden voyage, a feat un-equalled in J/Boats history. And, it was chosen for New York Yacht Club's US Qualifying Series for a fleet of dozen boats, plus its second one-design regatta was held in Annapolis, MD with DIESEL winning over 24 other boats. By end of the year, over 300 boats are on order and 40 boats are sailing Key West Race Week in January 2013. J/111 is VOILES Magazine's BOAT OF THE YEAR 2012 and it's chosen YACHTS & YACHTING'S READER'S YACHT OF THE YEAR! J/111s win Sydney, Australia's Short Ocean Series (JAKE), take 2nd at Key West Race Week (MENTAL), win IRC class in Warsash Spring Series (J-DREAM), win IRC Class in North Sea Regatta (XCENTRIC RIPPER), are 1-2-3 in PHRF B in Charleston Race Week (WICKED 2.0/ FLEETWING/ VELOCITY), wins Marstrand Big Boat Race in IRC Class (BLUR), wins epic Round Island Race in IRC Class (J-DREAM), take 9 of top 10 in Chicago-Mackinac Race ORR Handicap OVERALL (first time ever by any class of boat) and KASHMIR is awarded the Mackinac Trophy as Overall Winner, wins Bayview-Mackinac Race PHRF C class (NO SURPRISE), wins Nova Scotia Opener Regatta in Halifax, wins Bayview Regatta in Detroit, wins Tri-State Race Overall (MENTAL), 1st overall PHRF Class in Chester Race Week- Nova Scotia (BLAST), is third overall in Tjorn-Runt Race in Sweden (BLUR III sailing in largest race in Sweden with 436 boats!), wins Nova Scotia Offshore Championship overall (BLAST) and wins Netherlands IRC Championship Overall (J-XCENTRIC RIPPER). J/111's sail one-design at SPI Ouest France Regatta, Cowes Race Week, Chicago-Mackinac Race, Verve Cup, Chicago SW NOOD Regatta, Annapolis SW NOOD Regatta, Ugotta Regatta/ Harbor Springs, Vice Admiral's Cup and GARMIN Hamble Winter Series. J/145 wins San Diego YC's "Yacht of the Year 2011" (BAD PAK) for her epic offshore racing success and takes PHRF A in the Newport-Ensenada Race (RADIO FLYER). J/133 JIVARO wins Tour de Belle'Ile off La Trinite sur Mer, France over 600+ boats and HOT WATER smokes IRC Canadian Championship. J/125s crush Puerto Vallarta and Cabo Races, DOUBLE TROUBLE "three-peats" Spinnaker Cup and Big Boat Series in San Francisco, California, and DOUBLE TROUBLE crushes TransPac Pacific Cup overall. J/122s continue to win, taking Key West Race Week PHRF A (TEAMWORK), wins Corsica Race in IRC (650nm sailed by CHRISTINA III), wins Block Island Race and STC Stamford-Vineyard Race (CHRISTOPHER DRAGON), takes 3rd in St Tropez 900 Race (900nm sailed by NOISY OYSTER), 1st & 2nd in US IRC Championships (WINGS & CHRIS DRAGON), 2nd class in RORC North Sea Race, win Rolex Middle Sea Race IRC Class (ARTIE RTFX) again, win Garmin Hamble Winter Series IRC 1 (JOLOU) and in Australia (LITHIUM). The J/120 EL OCASO does another "Caribbean Tour" and walks off with every major regatta, winning class at St Maarten, Rolex St Thomas, BVI and Antigua Race Weeks.  J/109s and J/105 sweep Round Ireland 700nm race overall and in IRC 3 class; sweep IRC 2 Class at CORK Week in Cork, Ireland; and sweep French Pornic Cup Race to Gijon, Spain. J/97s continue their winning ways, taking Warsash Spring Series IRC class, Cowes Week IRC Class, Scottish Race Week, 2nd in Garmin Hamble Winter Series, SAILING FOR JESUS wins class in the Hermano Runt in Sweden and KNOCKABOUT wins in Sydney, Australia. In the one-design world, the J/105 class continues to expand into South America and is growing in Chile with its first South American Championships off Algarrobo, Chile on the Pacific coast. And, J/105s had an unprecedented four regattas in a row in Southern California, with San Diego YC hosting the Southern California Championships, North American Championships, International Masters Championship and the Lipton Cup in October/November-- the first two events featured new J/105 owner- Mr America's Cup- Dennis Conner! The J/22 Worlds were sailed in Le Crouesty, France and won by a Frenchman (Jean Queveau) for the first time ever. The J/24 Worlds had a record turn-out in Rochester, New York (over 100 boats) with Brazilian Mauricio Santa Cruz winning an unprecedented fourth worlds (just one away from Ken Read's famous mark of five J/24 Worlds!). The J/80 Worlds were sailed in Dartmouth, England and the Spanish teams, yet again, sweep with Jose Maria van der Ploeg on NILFISK winning. The J/80s also hosted the World Police Sailing Championships in Hong Kong, China.


2011

As the world economy continued to bounce along and slowly improve, the prospects for J sailors continually improved.  The successful introduction of the J/111 led to world-acclaim and to some remarkable performances offshore.  For starters, the J/111 KONTIKI V wins Key West Race Week in PHRF A; INVISIBLE HAND was 2nd in ORR Class D and 3rd in fleet in Cabo Race (after winning most of the race!); VELOCITY gets 2nd in Charleston Race Week PHRF B; SHMOKING JOE wins IRC Class in its maiden voyage on the famous Round Island Race and 5th overall in 450 boat IRC Class (the famous America's Cup Course around the Isle of Wight- England); JAKE wins its maiden voyage in Sydney, Australia in the Short Offshore Points Series; J/111s win both the Chicago-Mackinac Race (KASHMIR) in class and sweep the Bayview-Mackinac Race (NO SURPRISE); and J/111 gets third overall in the RORC Fastnet Race Double-handed Class (J-XCENTRIC was winning with 100 meters to go at the finish line, but wind died and they "parked" for 7 hours before finishing!).  The J/145 BAD PAK gets 2nd class C and 4th in fleet in the Cabo Race, later wins the Ensenada Race and also the TransPac Race in Division 4!  J/145 also wins Hong Kong- San Fernando Race to the Phillipines. J/122s continued their winning ways, taking the Fastnet Race IRC 2 class (the French NUTMEG IV) and, for the 3rd time, wins the Storm Trysail Club's Stamford-Vineyard Race (CHRISTOPHER DRAGON) and again takes the IRC East Coasts in Annapolis, Maryland (CATAPULT)!  The J/109 wins Double-handed Farallones Race off San Francisco, the Vancouver Isle 360 Race of 800nm+ off Vancouver, BC, the Lake Ontario 300 race (300nm) and the Bayview-Mackinac Race-- plus it's the Irish IRC Boat of the Year!  The J/97 wins SPI Ouest France and JIKA-JIKA wins Cowes Week and J/97 is also selected RORC's IRC Boat of the Year!  In the one-design world, the J/22 Women's Worlds sailed in Rochester, New York was won by local sailor Cory Sertl.  The J/22 Worlds sailed in New Orleans, is won by Rob Johnston from Heath, Texas.  The J/24 Worlds were sailed in Buenos Aires, Argentina and won by the Argentinean Team LUCA with skipper Alejo Rigoni.  And, in the J/24 Pan Am Games, past J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil wins the Gold Medal.  The J/80 Worlds were held in Copenhagen, Denmark with Spanish teams sweeping the top three, again, with Ignacio Camino winning a second time on NEXTEL ENGINEERING.  And, the J/80 North Americans were again won by Glenn Darden on LE TIGRE.  Plus, J/80 wins BEST SAILBOAT AWARD UNDER 40 FEET at the Shanghai China Boatshow. 


2010

The year of 2010 was characterized by an on-going recession worldwide, but unlike its competitors in the sailing industry, the J/Team continued to execute and expand the business worldwide. Two more new models were launched in 2010- the J/111 one-design speedster and the J/108 shoal performance cruiser. The J/111 was launched in August by CCF Composites in Bristol, Rhode Island and after a successful fall boatshow circuit in Newport and Annapolis, it garners the SAILING WORLD BOAT OF THE YEAR "Best One-Design Keelboat" Award and SAIL Magazine BEST BOATS AWARD - Performance Category-- the second year in a row that a J/Design has won the category!  The J/108 was launched in October in Les Sables d'Olonne, France by JB Composites, the next generation of performance, shoal-draft cruising boats in the line after the successful introduction of the J/95.  In the offshore sailing world, the J/122s win both racing divisions in the Chicago-Mackinac Race, the first and only time that feat has ever been accomplished, with FLYING JENNY IV winning the Mackinac Trophy Overall and SKYE winning the Double-handed Division.  J/122s repeat winning the Storm Trysail Club Stamford-Vineyard Race Overall, the IRC East Coasts in Annapolis and the Rolex Middle Sea Race off Malta.  Plus, the J/122s were winning in Australia, winning the IRC 1 Class offshore in Sydney Harbour series.  The classic J/125s win Key West Race Week, Coastal Cup off California and the Cabo Race to Mexico.  And, the Queen of the J/Fleet, the J/65 BRAND NEW DAY wins Bermuda Race Class serving home-cooked meals with red wine and cold white wine from the on-board wine cooler each night and sailing in air-conditioned comfort "off-watch" below decks!  In the one-design world, the Americans re-assert their domination atop the J/24 class with American Tim Healy winning the J/24 Worlds in Malmo, Sweden (America's Cup sailor Ed Baird last won it there in 1981!).  A number of J/80 regattas in France and Spain affected by the monstrous volcanic ash cloud that swept across Europe in April, affecting traffic everywhere.  This didn't stop the Spanish from, again, winning a very windy, epic J/80 Worlds in Newport, RI with Spaniard Pichu Torcida taking it for a second time! 


2009

The year of 2009 was marked by a continuing, persistent economic climate that bordered on "heavy recession", particularly in North America and Europe. The Asian and South American markets maintained a relative degree of prosperity by comparison. Nevertheless, 2009 was a remarkable year for the J/Team worldwide. For the first time ever, J/Boats introduced three new models in one year- the J/95 and J/97 in the spring and the J/111 in the fall. Launched in April in Bristol, Rhode Island by CCF Composites, the J/95 was the first shoal-draft performance cruising sailboat ever launched by J/Boats. With twin-rudders, wheel-steering and a fully-functioning keel-centerboard, the J/95 broke new ground. And, it won a lot of hearts, selling nearly two dozen boats by year-end and winning the first "triple-crown" of sailing industry awards ever-- the CRUISING WORLD BOAT OF THE YEAR, the SAILING WORLD BOAT OF THE YEAR and the SAIL BEST BOATS "Performance Cruising" Category.  In the first weekend of May, the performance IRC cruiser-racer J/97 was launched by JB Composites in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. The J/97 open, innovative interior design, aft head, six foot standing headroom and sleeping for six made it an immediate success in the European market. J/97 quickly demonstrated its capabilities offshore, sweeping its class in Cowes Week in August.  Later in the fall, the somewhat revolutionary J/111 was first announced to the world and by year-end over 25 boats had been sold-- the most successful launch of a new 35 foot boat ever by J/Boats!  On the sailing front, the J/122 J-BELLINO sailed by Rob Craigie from England wins the 2009 OSTAR. Plus, the J/105 KING OF SHAVES sailed by Oscare Meade was 2nd his class and youngest finisher ever in this 2,900nm race. The J/122s continued to win many offshore contests, including a three-peat in the Chicago-Mackinac Race. The J/122 SKYE led a sweep of the Chicago-Mac Double-handed Division, with a J/35 and J/29 coming in 2nd and 3rd, respectively! Other big J's continued to perform as well, with the J/133 BATFISH taking the RORC Offshore Season Points Championship Overall!  In the one-design world, the balance of power in the major J one-design classes had clearly moved away from the Americans. J/24s held their Worlds in Annapolis in May with Brazilian Mauricio Santa Cruz winning his 3rd Worlds title. The J/22 Worlds were held on Lago di Garda, Italy in June and the Dutch teams from the Netherlands swept all top three spots. The J/80s had a record 133 boats for their Worlds in Santander, Spain in July which saw all top three spots swept by the Spanish teams.


2008

Despite the economy slowing down, it was another great year of sailing for J owners. Starting with Key West, good turnouts for the J/80, J/105 and J/109s all hosting their Midwinters. Of the six handicap divisions that included at least one J Boat (5 PHRF divisions and 1 IRC division), J owners dominated the leader board, winning 44% of the top three class trophies. Experienced offshore sailor Ned Cabot recently published a story of the latest adventure aboard his J/46 ‘Cielita’ in Ocean Navigator magazine (Jan/Feb ’08 issue). The J/24 celebrated its 30th birthday at the J/24 Midwinters with 42 teams sailing a tough 11 race, no throw-out series- brothers Waldek and Chris Zaleski aboard TWINS won-- they also won the J/24 Nationals later in the year! 32 J/109s had a fun time sailing the J/UK J/109 Nationals. For the STC Bermuda Race, J owners turned out in record numbers and represented 22% of the 210 boat fleet - the first time J has surpassed Swan (14%) for the most popular brand/design in a Bermuda Race. And, J owners made the most of it. 52% of the top 25 overall finishers sailing IRC were J’s, and owners collected 26% of the top three places in all divisions and overall combined. Andrea Casale of Italy won the J/24 World Championship with 76 boats and an incredible 17 countries represented. Philippe Delaporte’s J/122 PEN AZEN was named the 2008 Yacht of the Year by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, dominating the IRC Classes in most all events. This success in IRC was repeated by the J/122 TKO winning Rolex Big Boat Series in San Francisco. Greg Fisher of Annapolis, MD won the J/22 World Championship in Rochester, NY over a record 103 sailing teams. Over in the Mediterranean, the J/133 CHESTRESS won IRC Class 3 and a 2nd Overall in the 2008 Rolex Middle Sea Race. 8 teams from 8 countries sailed the first International J/80 Invitational Regatta in Xiamen, China-- the first ever J/80 one-design event in the Pacific Rim

2007
A record year for J/Boat owners with major offshore racing wins across the US and Europe. The introduction of the new J/122 built by J/Europe taking the IRC circuit in France, the UK, the Netherlands and the USA by storm achieving several overall wins both inshore and offshore. J/Boat owners are class and overall champions of numerous offshore events including Ft. Lauderdale-Key West Race, Pineapple Cup, Bayview Mac Race, Annapolis-Newport Race, Charleston Bermuda Race, Transpac, Chicago Mac, and several RORC offshore races. J/133 is awarded “Best Series Produced Yacht” and J/122 wins IRC 1 class overall for the entire season in the 2007 RORC series. J/80 production races by the 1,000 hull milestone with over 1050 boats built. A record 120 J/80s sail at the World Championships in La Trinite France. The J/105 Class sets attendance records on both US coasts culminating in a 69 boat fleet at the North American Champs in Annapolis. J/105 also wins RORC 2-handed season trophy. J/109 class activity thrives in the US and UK. Clay Burkhalter successfully sails his Rod Johnstone designed Mini 6.5 ‘Acadia’ across the Atlantic from France to Brazil finishing 12th overall out of 89 entries. The J/80 debuts at the Asian Sportboat Championship placing 1st and 2nd overall. J/Europe increases factory capacity by 40% thanks to increasing demand worldwide for new J/Boats. Several J/Owners actively engaged cruising their boats through the oceans of the world. Congratulations to J/Owners for an incredible year!

2006
The J/92S makes its USA debut. The J/100 reaches 100 boat milestone and production begins in Europe. New 40’ J/122 development begins with J/Europe. J/ owners win 12 trophies in the Centennial Newport to Bermuda Race with the J/44 and J/42 classes the largest in the fleet. Glenn Darden captures the J/80 World title in Galveston Bay, TX, while fellow Texan Jon Halbert wins the inaugural J/109 North American Championships at New York Yacht Club. J/109 and double-handed J/105 finish 1-2 in Rolex Middle Sea Race. The York family completes a circumnavigation aboard their J/46 Aragorn. The J/22 North Americans returns to Fleet #1 Lake Minnetonka, MN with Terry Flynn crowned champion. The J/80 reaches 900 boat milestone and new fleets are established in Spain & Italy. The J/105 is awarded the Serendip Trophy for the Best Series-Produced Yacht in IRC by RORC for 2006 and Shaun Murphy’s Slingshot is named RORC 2006 Yacht of the Year and wins the Somerset Memorial Trophy for outstanding achievement of a 2-handed yacht. The J/122 is introduced and displayed at the Paris Show to rave reviews with a December launch in Hamble, UK and successful sea-trials.

2005
The new J/65 launches in San Diego. Scotsman Ruairidh Scott wins the Silva J/80 Worlds in Falmouth, UK. The J/105 class sets new milestones with a 40 boat fleet at Key West and the first Canadian hosting of a North American Championship. The J/100 rolls out of the factory at nearly 2 boats per week to meet the high demand. The J/133 notches impressive IRC class wins at Spi Ouest and Block Island Race Week. The rapidly growing J/109 class sees one-design starts at Spi Ouest, Block Island and Cowes Week. Anthony Kotoun of Newport, RI wins the J/24 Worlds in Weymouth, England and the J/24 North Americans in Marblehead, MA. The new J/92S, a family-friendly sprit boat with large cockpit and non-overlapping headsail launches in Europe. J/125 'Rienrag' takes class honors again in the Transpac. Sally Barkow wins the Rolex Int’l Women’s Keelboat Champs in J/22s in Annapolis, and the Women's Match Racing Worlds in J/24's in Bermuda. Henry Morgan, sailing his J/42 'Dolphin', wins the Annapolis-Bermuda Race fleet. Short-handed J-sailors celebrate as Pascal Loison wins the 2-Handed Rolex Fastnet Race in his J/105 and Sam and Gordon Vineyard win Marion- to Bermuda Race in their J/46. The new J/124, a 41’ follow-up sensation to the J/100, launches in Rhode Island.

2004
The J/133 Raincloud wins its debut regatta at Key West and production begins in both the US and France. J109s sweep IRC 4 at Spi Ouest, the UK J/109 Jeronimo is on the winning team of the Rolex Commodore’s Cup, and the J/109 class gets underway with 11 fleets formed, a class website and several class events held. Alec Cutler wins the J/22 Worlds in Annapolis over a fleet of 130 boats, an all-time J attendance record! Three J’s (J/35, J/46 and J/160) set sail in the 2004 Blue Water World Rally. The new J/100 (33’) is launched in Newport to rave reviews, is named Sailing World Magazine’s Overall Boat of the Year, and quickly reaches a six month backlog. J/145s enjoy class wins in the Newport to Bermuda and Port Huron-Mackinac races. Dave McConaughy wins the 25th Anniversary J/30 North Americans in Barrington, RI. Glen Darden of TX wins both the J/80 North Americans in Sag Harbor, NY and the 52 boat J/105 North Americans in Marion, MA. Wow! Jens Hookanson outduels Jeff Johnstone on the last leg of the final race to win the J/24 Worlds in Noroton, CT. The new J/65 (65‘) is announced as J Boats’ entry into the luxury performance sailing market with a custom bay set up at Pearson Composites and a highly anticipated 05 launching.

2003
The J/24 class celebrates its Silver 25th Anniversary in Newport, while the J/35 class has its 20th in Toronto with 27 boats racing for the North American Championship. The J/105 class continues to set attendance records and is the only class present at all 9 NOOD Regattas. Dr. Mike Finn’s J/160 ‘Kativa’ wins the Charleston to Bermuda Race; J/125 'Rienrag' that takes line and class honors for Division 3 in the Tranpac. J/42 owners create a new owner association. J/Boats continue to thrive under IRC with J/145 winning the Overall IRC Season Championship in UK (1-2 in class at Fastnet), and the J/109 winning its class at Fastnet as well as at Cowes and Spi Ouest. J/Europe is formed as new European builder (France). Jay Lutz wins J/80 Worlds in Fort Worth Texas as class breaks the hull #600 barrier. Sally Barkow wins the Rolex Women’s Keelboat Champs in J/22s in Annapolis. J/133 is awarded the Overall Boat of the Year award by Sailing World Magazine and Best Performance Cruiser by Cruising World.

2002
J/109 results roll in all year with wins at Spi-Ouest, Cowes Week, Breskens Race Week, Double-handed Round Britain Race and the prestigious Atlantic Trophy. J/109 plugs are shipped to the US and TPI begins production. ISAF selects the J/22 (women’s keelboat division) and J/80 (men’s keelboat division) for the World Sailing Games in Marseilles. J/105 explosion continues with 50 boats at the North Americans in Chicago, hull #600 built, and selected for UBS Challenge Pro Match-Racing. J/80 earns class start at Kiel Week and J/80 Worlds are held in La Rochelle, France. The J/Fest Regatta Series goes national with sponsors and five great events. Brad Read wins J/24 Worlds on its return to Newport. J/109 and J/105 are 1st and 2nd overall in Rolex Middle Sea Race. Terry Flynn wins 60-boat J/22 Worlds in Texas.

2001
J/145 is selected as a Sail Magazine Top 10 winner and wins class at Key West. J/80 class hosts its first World Championships in Newport. J Boats introduces the 35’ J/109 in Europe. Waterline Systems begins building J/22s, helping to revitalize J/22 class growth. J/130 BONKERS is overall winner in the Pineapple Cup race to Jamaica. J/160s win in Newport-Ensenada, Puerto-Vallarta, Marblehead-Halifax and Swiftsure races. J/125 wins overall at Middle Sea Race in Malta. The Rolex Int’l Women’s Keelboat Champs is held in J22s in Annapolis, with Cory Sertl’s team crowned champion.

2000
J/46 earns double honors, first as a Sail Magazine Top 10 winner; and as a category winner in Sailing World Magazine's Boat of the Year Awards. New carbon fiber J/145 (48') is launched. 92 boats attend the J/22 Worlds in Holland. J/105 production accelerates with hull #400 launched and European production underway. Waterline Systems becomes new US builder for J/24 and the World Championship returns to Newport for its 22nd running. New "L" version (L for liveaboard) is introduced for the popular J/42.

1999
J/35 inducted into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame ceremonies in Atlantic City. J/125 wins "Sportboat of the Year" from Sailing World. J/120 J BIRD clean sweeps the Puerta-Vallarta race with 1st to finish, 1st in class and 1st overall- only the 3rd boat in history to do so (other two were 70' sleds). J/46 performance-cruising yacht is launched. J/22 featured in Santa-Maria Cup (women's match racing) and for the ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds. J/30 and J/35 classes combine efforts to run their 20th and 15th North American Championships in Annapolis. 25 J/105s sail one design at Block Island. Over 275 J/105s now sailing in 15 fleets worldwide. The Rolex Int'l Women's Keelboat Champs return to Newport in J/24s.

1998
J/160 PIPEDREAM wins Round-the-World Rally (American division) with a crew of five. Owner Scott Piper departs on cruise around the world in opposite direction! High tech built J/90 and J/125 usher in new wave of technology - carbon composite construction with 50% ballast/displacement ratios. J/90 wins "Sportboat of the Year" from Sailing World. J/125 wins at Block Island Race Week and St. Francis Big Boat Series. J/120s sweep top 3 spots in Newport to Ensenada Race. J/22 featured in ISAF World Championship in Dubai for women's match-racing and fleet disciplines. US Master's Championship held in J/105s in San Francisco. J/80 becomes fastest growing one-design in Sweden with 20 boats sailing. J/120 reaches hull #100, with 28 boats sailing in Southern California.

1997
100 J/24s attend the 20th anniversary J/24 Midwinters in Key West, Florida. Johnstone Family receives The Industry Leadership Award from SAIL Magazine. Harry Smith wins 1100nm Marina Del Rey to Puerto-Vallarta Race on his J/160 'Bushwacker' and J/160 Hull #3 PIPEDREAM begins the 'Round the World Rally'. The Moorings Company purchases a fleet of J/120s for an innovative "race weeks" charter program in Tortola.

1996
The first two of six J/160s are launched in early May. These deluxe flagships go on to win several offshore point-to-point races including a course record from Annapolis to Bermuda! J/44 Class returns for the 1996 Bermuda Race in force with 11 starters. J/105 reaches critical mass for class racing throughout the US with over 165 boats numerous regional events and a successful North American Championship. The new production J/32 Cruiser, designed by Alan Johnstone, is launched in July with over 20 sold in the first six months. J/Boats web site is expanded with a growing on-line class association presence, owner forums and monthly updates.

1995
J/120 named Cruising World Magazine's Overall Boat-of-the-Year and Best Value in a Full-Size Cruiser. J/24 is first of five inductees into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame. J/130 STARLIGHT EXPRESS takes line honors in Newport-Ensenada Race. New J/42 Cruiser is introduced. Hull #1 GANNET wins two New York Yacht Club events and Class A Downeast Racing Circuit with a cruising asymmetric spinnaker and short-handed crew. J/35 class rebounds in participation with 35 entries at its North American Championship. J/105s are featured on ESPN in the Brut Cup professional match-racing circuit. J Composite of France begins European production of the J/80 and J/92.

1994
J/130 named Sailing World's Boat-of-the-Year among Racer-Cruisers. J/22 & J/24 selected for inaugural IYRU World Sailing Championships, J/44 is first one-design class ever given start in Bermuda Race. J/120 introduced at SAIL EXPO with carbon mast and wins New England Solo-Twin. J/110 introduced at Annapolis Boat Show.

1993
J/92 is Sailing World's Overall Boat-of-the-Year. J/80 One-Design is launched- the first J model to be built with TPI's patented SCRIMP molding technology. J/22 celebrates its 10th anniversary by becoming an IYRU International Class with 1200 boats. J/33 DAYBREAK overall winner of Chicago-Mackinac. Newly launched J/130 and J92 sweep Andaman Sea Race in Asia.

1992
J/105 becomes Sailing World's Boat-of-the-Year among racer-cruisers, and ushers in the sport boat revolution. J/92 is introduced and destined for the 1992 Readers Choice Award from Sailing World. J/24 #5000 and J/35 #300 are launched. Rod Johnstone is inducted into the Sailing World Hall of Fame.

1991
Nick Brown's J/44 IONA wins Fastnet in IMS. Fortune Magazine names J Boats as one of the world's 100 best American made products. J/39s and J/35s sweep top 4 positions in CHS at Cowes Week. J Boats pioneers carbon-fiber retractable bowsprits and asymmetric spinnakers on offshore boats, introducing the first of its new "sprit" series, the J/105.

1990
J/35c named Sailing World's Boat-of-the-Year among 30-35 footers. J/44 wins NYYC Cruise. Motor Boating & Sailing names J/24 as 1 of 2 best sailboats of all time. New J/39 wins MBYC Fall Series. J/35 wins class in Sydney-Hobart Race. J/44 J-HAWK wins CHS class at Cowes Week.

1989
New J/44 wins New York Yacht Club Queen's Cup and Cowes Week on way to becoming Sailing World's Overall Boat-of-the-Year.

1988
J/34c named Sailing World's Boat-of-the-Year. New J/33 wins Class at Block Island Race Week. Jeff, Stuart, Drake, & Alan Johnstone commence management of company operations at J/Boat office in Newport, RI. TPI (J Builder) introduces industry-leading 10 year blister warranty.

1987
J/35 becomes America's fastest growing big-boat one-design with 24 sailing in Class at Block Island. J/37s win Class in 3 major race weeks.

1986
J/40 named Sailing World's Boat-of-the-Year among US designs. J/35 is lst Overall in Miami-Montego Bay and New England Solo-Twin. J/28 and J/37 Cruisers introduced.

1985
Charley Scott's J/41 SMILES wins SORC Overall. J boats introduces it's first purpose built cruising boat, the J/40, that then goes on to win Class in Chicago -Mackinac. J/34 becomes best selling IOR design in America.

1984
New J/27 is overall winner of MORC Internationals with J/29 winning Class A. J/35 is 1st Overall MHS in Chicago - Mackinac. J/41 has 1-2-3 sweep of One Ton North Americans and Bermuda Race class.

1983
J/22 and J/35 introduced. J/22 wins Class at MORC Internationals.

1982
New J/29s finish 1-2-3 to sweep Class in Block Island Race Week

1981
Stu, Drake & Jeff Johnstone start J/World Performance Sailing School. J/36 Wins Class A in Antigua.

1980
Nissan Motors becomes Japanese builder. J/24 wins Caribbean Ocean Racing Circuit, becomes IYRU International Class and named by SAIL (10th Anniversary) as "best keelboat in 30 years."

1979
J/30 #1 WARHOOP finishes 3rd in SORC Class. First J/24 Worlds in Newport with 78 boats.

1978
20 boats attend first J/24 one-design event at Key West. 68 boats attend North Americans in Newport. 1000 boats are sold with builders set up in UK, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and US West Coast where Trask family joins Johnstones to build J/24's.

1977

Brothers Bob and Rod Johnstone finish 1-2 in J/24s in MORC Division at Block Island Week. J/24s go on to dominate the MORC Internationals in Annapolis.

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J/Boats: Sailing to Success

The story of J/Boats is a classic entrepreneurial tale: With a $20,000 investment, and a speedy 24-foot sailboat that Rod Johnstone built in his garage, Rod & his brother Bob Johnstone went into business. That was 1977. Now, that boat (the J/24), has become the most popular recreational offshore keelboat in the world. The Johnstone family has made an undeniable mark on the sailing world. In addition to the 5,400 J/24s cruising the waves, there are over 7,000 more J/Boats, ranging from the International J/22 to the J/65, that sailing enthusiasts have bought at prices ranging from $10,000 to $2,000,000.

While other manufacturers may sell more boats, the Johnstones have won the high-end, performance-oriented segment of the market. Theirs is the so-called racer/cruiser category: boats that perform well on the race course but which are comfortable and easy enough for the family to daysail and cruise. It is with knowledgeable, experienced sailors that the Johnstones have done best.

The story begins in 1975. Rod, then an ad salesman for the sailing trade magazine, Soundings, and an active one-design sailor decided to build a sailboat he had been designing since completing a Westlawn School of Yacht Design correspondence course in the 60's. With $400-worth of fiberglass and wood, some rigging and hardware left over from a Soling of Bob's, he built the 24' x 9' wide RAGTIME on weekends in his 3 car garage at his home in Stonington, Connecticut. During the summer of 1976, with an all family crew aboard, RAGTIME beat everything in sight. Rod realized he had created something special.

Enter Everett Pearson, the owner of Tillotson Pearson, Inc, a highly respected boat builder in Warren Rhode Island. He was quite taken with Rod's design and agreed to produce the boat on spec in return for the U.S. building rights. Display ads in Soundings got the word out. That winter they set up a makeshift factory in an old textile mill in nearby Fall River, Massachusetts, and began popping out J/24s.

Enter the marketing experience of brother Bob, a vice president of marketing at AMF/Alcort (the makers of Sunfish sailboats at the time). He saw the potential in the boat Rod had designed. From 1975 to 1977, Bob had helped to take Alcort from the red into the black, and then began trying to convince AMF to start producing a boat similar to the J/24. When AMF didn't jump, in February of 1977, at age 43, Bob did and threw in his lot with J/Boats.

With Rod contributing the design and his prototype 'Ragtime' and Bob investing $20,000 to cover start-up costs, office space, and advertising, their 50-50 partnership was launched. They sold 250+ (and delivered 136) J/24s that first year. Each successive year has marked unique achievements in the sport and industry. 

The next generation of Johnstones has been at the helm since 1988, while founders Rod and Bob continue to contribute their talents. Since 1992, Jeff (president) & Alan (vice president & designer) have managed company operations from J/Boats Headquarters in Newport, RI while a total of six of Bob & Rod's sons (Jeff, Alan, Stu, Drake, Phil and Peter) serve on the J/Boats Board of Directors.

  • J/Newsletter- December 13th, 2017
    HOT New Boat For a Cool New Kind of Racing
    SAIL's 2018 Sailboat Guide for New Boats Features J/121 Offshore Speedster
    (Boston, MA)- Every boat design strives for something new. But, a new kind of racing? In fact, that's exactly what designer Alan Johnstone and the rest of the folks at J/Boats set out to do with their new J/121 one-design offshore speedster. In the process, they also just happened to create a boat that is both drop-dead gorgeous and sails like a witch—two reasons why it won SAIL magazine's 2018 Best Boats award in the 30 to 40ft Performance category.

    DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
    At the heart of the J/121's design brief was a desire to create a shorthanded speedster that can be competitively raced with just five sailors— as opposed to the eight to 10 normally required to race a 40-footer— in the interest of making things easier logistically for today's busy skipper.

    Also, on the agenda was a boat that would work well in something called "Open Course" racing: a middle-distance format that combines the best of both around-the-buoys and offshore racing, with an eye toward getting away from the windward-leeward "sausage" courses that have come to dominate one-design sailboat racing in recent years.

    With this in mind, the J/121 has been spec’d with a "five-sail" rig flying a powerful main, slightly overlapping genoa and a staysail on a continuous-line furler off the boat's deck-stepped, double-spreader Southern Spars carbon-fiber mast.

    Off the wind, sails #4 and #5 consist of a Code 0 or A-2 spinnaker tacked onto the end of a J/ Boats trademark retracting carbon sprit. The idea is to be able to raise or lower the staysail while either fully deploying or rolling up the genoa to "change gears" depending on the sailing conditions, a la a Volvo 65 or IMOCA Open 60 ocean racer.

    All lines are led aft, either to the twin helms set immediately aft of a main traveler spanning the breadth of the cockpit sole—exactly as it should be aboard any serious performance boat—or to the cabin top. These include everything from the headsail sheets to the staysail halyard to a 3D genoa lead that employs a series of high-modulus in- and out-haulers and low-friction rings to place the clew of the genoa exactly where you want it. (The boat also comes with a hydraulic backstay adjuster.) The result is a fairly complex network of lines running aft—this is not a boat for newbies. But, it all makes sense and is well within the grasp of any experienced sailor.

    Then there's the water ballast: yes, water ballast in a J/Boat. Doing away with four or five crew is all well and good, but you still need righting moment if want to carry any kind of sail in a blow, so J/Boats has included a 104gal water ballast tank to either side to take the place of roughly "four big guys" worth of rail meat—rail meat that'll never call in sick or have any kind of family conflicts.

    The system is simple to use: just prime one of the tanks using an electric pump—you'll know its full when the overflow starts gushing out via a drainage port in the transom—then transfer from one side to the other prior to each tack using a set of valves actuated by a pair of short lines set at the aft end of the starboard-side cockpit bench.

    Beyond that, the J/121 is vintage J/Boats, with an infused E-glass, balsa-cored hull, a deep low-center-of gravity L-shaped bulb-keel and a powerful high-aspect spade rudder. I really like the sculpted cabin trunks and plumb ends Al has been drawing in recent years, and the look is an especially good one in this latest design.  Read the rest of the three page article here from SAIL magazine   Read the SAIL magazine 2018 BEST BOATS Review here   For more J/121 offshore speedster sailing information


    Two Decades of J’s Dominate Solent Racing
    (Hamble, England)- Some twenty-four years since J/Boats with bowsprits first appeared on the Solent scene, they continue to be the predominant brand at local series and the larger regattas. This year’s Hamble Winter Series attracted around 60 J’s, ranging from the J/70 to the J/122e.

    The standout J of the Winter Series was the J/112E DAVANTI TYRES. The first Grand Prix version of the J/112E for the United Kingdom.  She was delivered in the nick of time to enter the famous 60nm Round the Island Race (Isle of Wight), where she won her class. The J/112E Grand Prix has since gone on to win her class at J-Cup, Dartmouth Regatta, and the 2017 Hamble Winter Series, where she was also named “Yacht of the Series” for her outstanding results.  It was an extraordinary season for this particular J/112E, as earlier, she was racing as J-LANCE XXII in France where she easily eclipsed her IRC 2 class at SPI Ouest France regatta against all the top factory IRC teams in Europe (JPK, Sunfast, etc.).

    DAVANTI’s owner Chaz Ivill is absolutely delighted with her; “After six months getting accustomed to how she likes to be sailed, we are now 1/4 knot quicker upwind than we were at Round the Island.  We’ve got her pointing higher, which is partly thanks to her floating jib sheet system, and she’s a breeze to keep on her feet. Of the twelve J/Boats that I have owned, the J/112E GP is the best all round performer, quite simply because she’s perfectly balanced and good in any breeze.”  Learn more about J/122E here.

    The J/97E BLACKJACK took the series win in IRC 3 after a hard fought battle with the J/92s Upstart. These two have traded wins in this class for the last few seasons and both boats are past winners of the “Boat of the Series” trophy. Learn more about J/97E here.

    The unwavering popularity of J/Boats in the U.K. can largely be credited to the vast number of opportunities to compete in high level one-design racing, starting with the J/70. This now legendary sportsboat continues to keep production at both the French and US shipyards busy, with the U.K. class fully immersed in preparations for the 2019 J/70 Worlds that will be held in glorious Torbay. An incredible 170 boats entered this year’s event, so the organizers and locals are excited by the potential spectacle for thousands of viewers in Torbay and around the world. Learn more about the J/70 here.


    2018 will be the year that the long-awaited J/121 offshore speedster arrives on U.K. shores. This highly anticipated 40 footer is designed to be the best shorthanded J ever, featuring a low drag, efficient hull, a highly engineered carbon rig package, and a water-ballast assist system that adds nearly 400 kilos (4 big guys) of crew weight to the rail. Hull #3 will be raced on the RORC circuit this spring/summer.  Learn more about J/121 here.

    Gemma Dunn, Marketing Director at Key Yachting, the J/Boats agent for the U.K. said, “Our J/Boats owners are a friendly, inclusive and pro-active community of competitive sportspeople. Owners and their crew vary in age and ability, and we are particularly pleased to have seen a surge of women skippers racing to victory in different competitions this year. For 2018, owners can look forward to a May Bank Holiday J-Cup from Cowes, J/111 Worlds in Holland, J/80 Worlds in France, J/70 UK Nationals in Hamble, and J/80 UK Nationals returning to Lymington, which houses a very strong fleet. The history of this formidable brand, plus their continued ability to answer owner’s demands, means that when you buy a J/Boat, you are making a safe choice in terms of performance and after sales support.”

    Key Yachting and J/Boats are exhibiting at the London Boat Show and the boot Dusseldorf Boat Show this January 2018. Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outsideimages.com and Paul Wyeth/ PWPictures.com.

    Happy Holidays! Order 2018 J/Calendar Today!
    (Newport, RI)- A sailing calendar is a great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew.  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

    St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Update
    (Simpson Bay, St Maarten)– In the countdown to the 38th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, anticipation is building with a number of world-class maxi, multihull and monohull teams having signed up early to race. Scheduled for March 1-4, 2018 and staged out of the St. Maarten Yacht Club in Simpson Bay, the regatta is a staple on the Caribbean racing calendar each year, attracting seasoned sailors from around the world with its perfect blend of top-tier racing and lively shore side entertainment.

    “The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is a big destination regatta for racers from the USA,” said Jordan Mindich (Huntington, N.Y.) who will be returning with his J/105 SOLSTICE. “Up on Long Island Sound, we generally race one-design, but down in the Caribbean we always race under CSA handicap, which we find to be competitive and very even. That, coupled with consistent breeze and great weather, makes for a great time!”

    David Pritchard (Atlanta, Ga.), current President of Gill North America and longtime Heineken Regatta competitor and supporter, has raced in St. Martin post-Hurricane Irma and looks forward to returning again in March.

    “The thing that St. Martin offers most is great sailing,” said Pritchard. “The wind is still there, the island is still there, the ocean is still there, and that’s what the regatta is all about. A lot has happened since Hurricane Irma, and the island is coming back. In three more months when the Heineken Regatta comes around, there will be even more recovery. The sailing will always be great, and the parties have always been beyond anything you ever see at any other regatta.”

    Regatta Format
    The four-day event kicks off on Thursday, March 1, 2018 with the Gill Commodore’s Cup. The optional event is separately scored and followed by an evening prize giving where winners are awarded Gill gear. On Friday, the fleet embarks on the event’s 26 nautical mile Around the Island Race before taking on a series of windward leeward races on Saturday and a single coastal race on Sunday. Each day of racing is rounded out with serious shore-side entertainment, including concerts and parties.

    For free concierge service, please contact- regatta@heinekenregatta.com or phone# +1 721 544 2079.  You can register here- http://regattaguru.com/heineken/100237   For more St Maarten Heineken Regatta sailing information

    J/24 Midwinters Update
    (Coconut Grove, FL)- Was it sunny Miami? Lovely Biscayne Bay? The host Shake-A-Leg Miami (who is still working on replacing their Hurricane Irma damaged docks)? Or, the organizer “Twelve USA” (Mark Pincus and Sara Zanobini) that caused the 2018 J/24 Midwinters (March 2nd to 4th, 2018) to sell out (max 40 boats) so quickly? It was almost as fast a “sell-out” as Coral Reef Yacht Club’s 39th Annual Orange Bowl Regatta where the Optis' 300 available slots sold out in 10 minutes.

    So far, the handicap form is looking good, with many top teams represented from across America, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico.  In fact, there are a number of World, North America, and National Champions in the mix.  Ironically, the long distance award has to be Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE from Seattle, WA, the farthest distance away from Miami, FL that you could possibly imagine- 6 hours 45 minutes flying time for some members of the crew, but a 3,302 mile drive in 50 hours for the boat!  Joining them will be other top crews like Will Welles’ BOGUS from Newport, RI; Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER from Rochester, NY; Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS from Huntington, NY; Mark Pincus’ SCOUT’S HONOR from Miami, FL; Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET from Washington, DC; John Mollicone and Tim Healy’s HELLY HANSEN from Newport, RI; and Ken Porter’s MONSTER FISH from Valle de Bravo, Mexico.

    Four very good women’s teams will also be participating, such as Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES from Austin, TX; Elaine Haher’s A GOOD HAIR DAY from Atlantic Highlands, NJ; Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland, ME; and Tonja Holmes-Moon’s SIREN from Denton, TX.  Should be fun!  For more 2018 J/24 Midwinter Championship sailing information.

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The penultimate weekend before the holidays saw a few events take place with great sailing and fantastic competition.  In Europe, the YC Monaco hosted the third Act of their famous Monaco Winter Sportsboat Series off Monte Carlo, with sailing taking place on Hercules Bay.  It was a challenging weekend of racing for the thirty-boat fleet.  Then, Real Club Nautico Barcelona hosted their third Act of the Barcelona Winter Series for J/70s and J/80s.

    In the Americas, the fourth edition of the Quantum J/70 Winter Series was again hosted by Davis Island YC, with racing taking place on Tampa Bay.  It was the first regatta of their three event series.

    Finally, down in the Caribbean, sailing is “heating up” quickly, with the islands in full reconstruction mode after their devastating hit by two huge hurricanes.  Nevertheless, the islanders have cleaned up quickly, a demonstration of their extraordinary resiliency, resourcefulness, and perseverance.  For one, St Lucia welcomed home the last of the ARC Atlantic 2017 fleet that had departed three weeks earlier from Las Palmas, Grand Canaria.  A Dutch J/133 had nice, fast, “delivery race” to the Caribbean.  Then, in the southwestern parts, the Montego Bay YC hosted their annual Jammin J/22 Jamaica International Regatta for teams from Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Canada, and the USA.  A great time was had by all, especially in their traditional Saturday “shindig”, themed “Hawaiian” this year!

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

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Jan 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.

    Russia’s ARTTUBE Continues Monaco Winter Series Domination
    (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- J/70 sailors from nine nationalities were out again in force for Act III of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, organized once a month by the Yacht Club de Monaco from October to March, in collaboration with technical clothing supplier SLAM. It was a particularly testing weekend, with winds alternating between east, west and south, with everything from 3 to 30 knots of breeze!

    Russia’s top women keelboat skipper, Valerya Kovalenko, guided her team on ARTTUBE to yet another profound win in the third event of the series, a consistency worthy of a metronome.  The Russian team has put in a faultless performance since the start of the season.  It seems that it is impossible to distract the lady helmsman from Eastern Europe whose strategy seems to get better and better with every race. Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE team posted a 3-1 to dramatically increase their lead for the overall series as well.

    Nevertheless, for this particular regatta, the Russian ARTTUBE team was feeling the pressure from other teams.  Second place was determined by a three-way tie-breaker on 7 pts each between YC Monaco’s Stefano Roberti on PICCININA, Jacques Leveque on the Swiss W.A.T.C.H. and Andi Lachenschmid’s skippering the German ISI-JET. After countback, it was Roberti’s Monagesque crew on PICCININA that won the tie-breaker and securing second place for Act III, while Leveque’s Swiss W.A.T.C.H. team took the bronze on the podium, followed by Lachenschmid’s ISI-JET team from Augsberger Seglerclub in fourth place.  Rounding out the top five was another German team, Michael Grau’s PAINT IT BLACK from Norddeutscher Regatta Verein.

    As a result, the provisional ranking after three Acts show that Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE crew has a commanding lead, with just 18 pts counted.  However, the scenario behind her is dramatically different, with a battle brewing between several boats for the remainder of the podium.  Currently in 2nd place for the series is Roberti’s PICCININA with 65 pts.  But, in the hunt and, in fact, just two points in arrears is Germano Scarpa’s Italian crew on SPORT CUBE!

    Some teams had come a very long way to compete.  For example, the Brazilians on MANDA CHUVA that were 2nd overall last season. And, as well, the presence of French sailor Jean-Baptiste Bernaz, the Laser star for France at the last three Olympics.  And, another top competitor was Elliot Willis, a member of the British Olympic Sailing Team and a brilliant 470 sailor, “I was here for the previous Act. Every time, it’s a real pleasure both in terms of the conditions and organization. It’s great to meet new teams and be able to race here in the middle of winter, this J/70 fleet is tough!”

    Every year, the YC Monaco’s regatta facilities attract newcomers. For the fifth consecutive year, Monaco has established itself again as a winter training base for many of the major one-design teams come to do battle.  For example, the two OMANI Sail J/70 teams that arrived in October for the entire 2017/ 2018 winter sailing season are out practicing every weekend and sailing in every regatta.

    The final Act of 2017 for the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series comes to an end on the 19th to 21st of January 2018.  Thereafter, the principal opening regatta for the 2018 European sailing season is YC Monaco’s Primo Cup - the Trophée Credit Suisse from 9th to 11th February 2018.  For more YC Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information

    SAVASANA Wins Quantum J/70 Winter Series Opener
    (Tampa, FL)- Fifty-three J/70 teams from the USA, Canada, and the Cayman Islands traveled to Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida for the first weekend of the 2017-2018 Quantum J/70 Winter Series. Brisk weather made its way south with the passage of a cold front on Friday night, bringing breeze into the high 20s on Saturday, but backing off some on Sunday. In all, seven races were completed, much to the delight of the very competitive, closely fought fleet.

    In the end, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA team from Buzzards Bay, MA handily took the victory at 13 net points including two bullets and were the only team in the entire regatta that had all single-digit finishes; in fact, after tossing a 9th place, had all top four finishes as counters! Darby Smith’s AFRICA team from St Petersburg, FL and Marblehead, MA placed second with 35 points after tossing a 38th in race 6.  Just two points back was Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Forth Worth, TX, securing third place with 37 points after tossing out a 5th race DSQ. Rounding out the top five were Peter Cunningham’s POWERPLAY RACING from the Cayman Islands and Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE from New York, finishing 4th and 5th, respectively.

    There was a strong turnout for the Corinthians Division, with twenty-one of the fifty-three teams participating.  Winning by a comfortable margin was Andrew & Mallory Loe’s DIME with 78 pts net.  Then, Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP from Chicago, IL is making a habit of being the bridesmaid, again taking second place (like she did in the J/70 North Americans earlier this year) with a total of 92 pts net.  Rounding out the podium was Frank McNamara’s CHINOOK with 109 pts net.

    Each Friday of the Series, SAIL22 and North U are combining forces for the “Porch Series”. This weekend featured a dock talk discussing boat setup and tuning, followed by on-the-water coaching with North U’s Chuck Allen, Will Welles, and Tim Healy. Practice races were run by J/World, with a debrief immediately after sailing with North U and J/World. A big “thank you” to regatta sponsor MarkSetBot for providing their innovative “auto-locating” GPS-based robotic mark (learn more here- http://www.marksetbot.com).

    Racing continues at Davis Island Yacht Club on January 5-7 and February 9-11.  For more Quantum J/70 Winter Series sailing information

    Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica Celebrates Aloha-style!
    (Montego Bay, Jamaica)- Business as usual! With no promotion and word of mouth only, all the boats were taken very early in 2017 by visiting teams who have been to Jamaica and done this regatta before. Proof this nearly 30 year-old event has great staying power, more than can be said for some of our older crowd.....

    International representation came from CAYMAN ISLANDS again with three teams including defending Champion Bruce Johnson, Suvi with her Vikings and past Commodore Mike Farrington. Representing CANADA was second time competitor Michelle Cimon and from the USA, longtime Montego Bay YC friend Mike Weber.

    The world-famous Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica Regatta is hosted by the incredibly gracious members of 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.

    This year saw the introduction of a chance to improve and learn. Mike Marshall, former J/22 World Champion and North Sails guru, came down to the friendly confines of Mo’Bay and coached for the weekend, enabling some transformations to occur on the race course! Amazing what a little coaching can do!!

    Jamaica J/22 Jamin International Regatta
    This annual regatta is an open invitation to the global sailing community to bring a crew to Jamaica, race someone else’s boat (with no rental fee), get home hosted (at no cost) and get the ultimate high on a great race track for a very modest entry fee. The perfect regatta for these tough economic times; something to look forward to during the dark winter months of our northern neighbors.

    Race Days
    100% of the eleven J/22s in Jamaica made it to the starting line; thanks to owners and racers from Kingston and Montego Bay, and Steven Cooke and PJ Gibson for their help preparing them and transporting them!

    Day 1- Fast Drifting- What?
    The imminent arrival of a strong northerly front presented the first challenge to the race committee in setting a course; given that the northeast trades blow all day every day, there is no consideration of any course outside of 060 to 090 degrees. Therefore, 260 degrees was a challenge, with breezes varying from 1 to 5 knots- not exactly the Caribbean-like “blowing dogs off chains” conditions with 18-25+ kt breezes. Great kudo’s to the Race Committee, as four successful races were run including a downwind start in race three (a.k.a. an insanely chaotic starting line).

    Day 2- Ginormously Huge Swells
    A concerned call from the Montego Bay YC Dockmaster regarding the early, absolutely enormous swell that was sweeping into the bay from the northwest, and well ahead of the front, forced the committee to decide to cancel the day’s racing.  With the huge swell breaking on the reefs surround the race course, no wind and heavy rain expected, it was unfortunately for the best- in retrospect, a very wise and prudent move!

    Hawaiian Party-  It was a night to remember!
    Saturday evening has become the famous regatta tradition at Bryan and Lyn’s beautiful house at Great River Private.  There is always a “theme party” for it and everyone goes out of their way to dress appropriately for the occasion.  This year, it was a funky full-on “Pacific meets the Caribbean session”, with a rocking DJ and awesome decoration. As usual, the bar was flowing and the food was amazing. There was a delicious smorgasbord of food donated by Mo’Bay members and the visitors enjoyed every delicious bite. The highlight of the evening was “Bobbette”, the personal guest of Commodore Nigel, who also featured at prize-giving the next day.  For more Jammin J/22 Jamaica Regatta sailing information

    Barcelona Winter Series- Act III Report
    (Barcelona, Spain)- The third Act of the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona Winter Series for the J/70 and J/80 classes was blessed by good winds, sun, and three races, much to the delight of the sailors and the spectators. The racing took place in a shifty, northerly breeze blowing 10 to 17 kts with occasional gusts over 20+ kts.  The offshore breeze made racing difficult to stay at the front of the pack as boats from behind would often over-run the leaders when large, streaky puffs landed on the race area.

    J/70 REBUFF Wins Weekend
    The highlight for the J/70 class has been the return to racing by the REBUFF team; they had been absent for the first two Acts of the series. Owner David Marco had the great Spanish sailor (2x J/80 World Champion) Rayco Tabares from Las Palmas, Grand Canaria skippering the boat. Their strong performance stopped the runaway train called GUNTER, Javier Scherk’s team that had dominated the series to date.

    REBUFF won the first race of the day and added two 2nds to dominate the weekend.  On the other hand, GUNTER did not even get a podium finish, having to hold on for two 4ths and a 5th to finish 4th place for the weekend.

    The other two boats that scored a victory for the day were Luis Albert Solana’s PATAKIN, with Spanish Finn National Champion Alejandro Muscat on board, and Massimo Rama’s JENIALE EUROSYSTEM.  For the weekend, it was REBUFF first, then PATAKIN second and JENIALE third.

    For the provisional overall series, GUNTER still leads with 26 pts, followed by PATAKIN with 30 pts and JENIALE with 36 pts.

    Star J/80 -> BRIBON MOVISTAR!
    Putting the gas pedal to the floor, and never letting up, was the pugnacious and awesomely fast BRIBON MOVIESTAR sailed by Marc de Antonio.  Three bullets for the weekend simply meant they have dramatically extended their lead over the fleet for the provisional overall series. In fact, they’ve won 8 of 15 races so far!

    The real race, the regatta within the regatta, is for the balance of the podium.  The two stars are top women skippers in Spain and it is a real battle to determine who gets the silver and bronze.  The two women protagonists are Rosa Artigas’ MIKAKU and Silvia Ravetllat’s AKEWELE.  In the first two races, MIKAKU finished right on the transom of BRIBON-MOVISTAR, posting two 2nds.  Meanwhile, in the third race, it was Ravetllat’s turn, taking 2nd in that race over MIKAKU.  As a result, the two teams are in a virtual “dead heat”, with AKEWLE sitting on 30 pts after 15 races and MIKAKU has 31 pts.  The next few weekends should portend the “tale of the tape”.  For more Real Club Nautico Barcelona Winter Series sailing information

    ARC Atlantic Arrives St Lucia!
    (Rodney Bay Marina, St Lucia)- Three weeks to the day since the ARC fleet slipped their lines in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, a steel drum serenade is continually echoing around the docks of IGY Rodney Bay Marina. The initial trickle of arrivals has become a constant stream, with the berths, bars, restaurants and marine services steadily filling up as ARC yachts flow in. Friends are reunited, families greet their loved ones, and the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority are keeping the arriving crews in fine fare with a welcome rum punch on the dock and a basket of goodies for them to enjoy.

    The ARC 2017 fleet has had a particularly challenging year to reach the Caribbean, with the crossing taking longer than anticipated for many yachts. Arriving in Rodney Bay feels like an extra special achievement as crews have seen ‘a bit of everything’ in terms of weather, and some serious seamanship has helped them reach the Caribbean shores. Daily chats on the SSB Radio Nets have provided plenty of entertainment and competitive banter and each arrival is emotionally greeted by fellow windswept, sun-kissed sailors before the conversation inevitably moves to the Boardwalk Bar to compare top speeds, fishing triumphs and breakages along the way over a cold beer or two

    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.  Those sailing directly from Las Palmas have been playing the weather game, with a split fleet between northern and southern routes during their first week at sea when a low pressure to the west of the Azores, and to the north of the rhumb line, affected the seasonal ENE winds in the central north Atlantic. Most boats later dived south where crews have since been rewarded with some great tradewind sailing.

    The lone J/crew participating in this year’s event, the J/133 JACKY X owned and skippered by Gerard Feenema from The Netherlands, sailed well in Cruising Division D, a nineteen-boat fleet comprised of mostly 45 to 55 footers.  In the end, Feenema’s crew enjoyed their passage and finished 6th boat-for-boat and second on handicap.  Like everyone else, after a bit of “R&R” in St Lucia, it will be time to enjoy the rest of the winter season in the Caribbean for this happy Dutch crew!  For more World Cruising- ARC Atlantic sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * Margarita Pchelintseva created a cute sailing video of sailing J/80s on Lake Garda, off Fraglia Vela Riva and racing on their fleet of J/80 one-design sailboats.

    Enjoy their escapades on this beautiful mountain lake at the base of the Italian Alps in northern Italy....very entertaining! Share with your friends!

    https://www.facebook.com/margarita.pchelintseva/videos/1413506578697931/

    * More J/Boats activity in Australia!  As our friends Down Under continue to learn more about the J/Boats brand, they keep picking up famous lovingly pre-owned racing boats from their far northern sailing friends in Europe and the USA.  Recently, Carl Braden, the owner of the J/109 BLUE SKY in Sydney, sent us a nice photo of their team sailing in Sydney Harbour.

    Carl commented, “we love our J/109!  Here is a photo of us doing the ‘Sydney Seven Islands Harbour Race’.  We managed to sail well, got on the podium and collected more silverware, something we seem to do a lot with this boat! This time, we came 3rd in Division 1 and were beaten by two well-known all-out racing teams on a Sydney 38 and a Melges 32.  We had a ball! Have a great Christmas to the Johnstone clan and J/Boats friends around the world!”

    * J/Boats Russia distributor, Dmitry Zaritskiy from Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, sent us a link to a short video based on one of their training sessions this fall.

    On board J/70 RUS 1272 were Dmitry Zaritsky, Irina Gorbatyuk, Victor Poluichik, Daria Krysina and Sergey Dimitriev. Apparently, it was a great training session for this crew!

    https://www.facebook.com/dmitry.zaritskiy/videos/10214047276286211/
     

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

    * The J/40 HERON REACH sailed by Virginia and Jerry participated in the Blue Planet Odyssey project from 2014 to 2015 over a seventeen month period.

    Read their very well-done blog documenting their experience.  In the Pacific basin, they traveled almost 15,000 miles from Bellingham to Tahiti and all points between. Check out what the cannibals great grandchildren thought of their ancestors, what it was like to trade for black pearls,  the problem with the Great Garbage Patch, and how many days did it take to get through it, and much more!   Learn more about their adventures and experiences on HERON REACH here.
    ---------------
    * Jim & Heather Wilson completed a circumnavigation of our "blue planet Earth" in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR.  Said Jim, "The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now.  We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So, we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell 'Painkiller' at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles).  Read more about the Wilson's and their CEOL MOR adventures in their well-documented blog here.
    ---------------
    * The J/42 JARANA has sailed an epic voyage around the Pacific, the Atlantic, and now the Mediterranean.  The crew consists of Bill and Kathy Cuffel, of Seattle, Washington. So far, their travels go way beyond Homer’s Odyssey!  Their itinerary has included:
    • 2009 - departed Seattle on a 3 year cruise of the South Pacific, sailing back from Hobart, Tasmania (Australia) in September 2012.
    • The summer of 2014 they traveled north to Prince Rupert Island, crossed Hecate Strait to Haida Gwaii and had a glorious cruise down the west coast of Vancouver Island.
    • 2015, after trucking the boat to Lake Ontario they traveled out the St Lawrence Seaway to the Canadian Maritime provinces and down the east coast of the USA, then out to the Bahamas.
    • 2016 Winter they spent in the Bahamas, then crossing the Atlantic via Bermuda and the Azores to England and Europe.
    • 2017 Winter they are in Lagos, Portugal,  and in spring 2018 will be working their  way into the western Med.   Follow the Cuffel's and JARANA's adventures on their very well-documented blog here
    ----------------
    * Bill and Judy Stellin, who sailed their J/42 JAYWALKER around the Mediterranean and Europe and back across the Atlantic for nearly three years produced a series of entertaining reading in their blogs/journals- they can be found here.

    The earlier journals have been compiled into two self-published books that can be found at: http://www.blurb.com.  Search for "SEATREK: A Passion for Sailing" by Bill Stellin or William Stellin."  And, they were featured in Wall St Journal about how to "retire and enjoy life with adventure". Fun reading for those predisposed to the "ultimate escape-- sailing"!
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    * John and Mary Driver sailed their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising from June 2010 to July 2013.  John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal. Since then, they sailed from Portugal across the Mediterranean to Cyprus and explored the Turkish Coast.  Read the latest news about SHAZAM's cruising adventures here.
    --------------
    * Alan Fougere and family are back sailing their J/160 AVATAR.  She will be in the Caribbean for winter 2017/ 2018, based at Proper Yachts in St John, US Virgin Islands. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

    Read more...
  • J/Newsletter- December 6th, 2017
    Salon Nautique/ Paris Boat Show - J/112E!
    This Gorgeous “Living Room” Can Surf To 18+ kts??
    (Paris, France)- On display at the Salon Nautique/ Paris Boat Show from December 2nd to 10th is the fabulous new 36 footer from the J/Design team- the J/112E Sport Cruiser.  The show takes place at the Parc de Exposition at Port de Versailles, Paris and the 112E will be on display at Pavilion 1/ Stand 1-G-355.

    The J/112E was presented with SAIL Magazine’s Best Boat Award in the “Best Performance Boat Over 30 ft” category in 2017.  And, she was also presented with the SAILING WORLD Boat of the Year Award for "Best Crossover" cruiser-racer.  She is the latest addition to the J/Boats “E” Series of versatile performance sailing yachts. And, her racing record in 2017 was impressive, including an emphatic win of IRC 1 Class at the famous Hamble Winter Series over outright IRC rule-bending machines, not bad for a well-outfitted sport cruiser like you see in the photo here!

    A welcome 36 feet in length, she features a spacious two-cabin accommodation plan and a comfortable, ergonomic cockpit. The J/112E is as well suited for the annual family cruise as she is racing in the local club regatta or short-handing through rough weather.  Take the opportunity to view this gorgeous sailing yacht in Paris!  For more Salon Nautique/ Paris Boat Show information   Read more about SAIL magazine’s J/112E review in the Best Boats 2017 article here.   Read more about the J/112E Sport Cruiser here


    Happy Holidays! Order 2018 J/Calendar Today!
    (Newport, RI)- A sailing calendar is a great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew.  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

    Quantum J/70 Winter Series Regattas Preview
    (Tampa, FL)- The 2017/ 2018 edition of the fourth Quantum J/70 Winter Series continues to be a popular choice for J/70 sailors from across America, Canada, and even the Caribbean!  The “sailingest yacht club in the south”, the Davis Island YC, is again proud to host the enormous contingent of J/sailors descending upon them for racing the weekend of December 9th to 10th.  The maximum number of entries permitted has been reached, with fifty-six entries ready to do battle on Tampa Bay, with fifteen Corinthian crews.

    There is no question the “snow birds” heading south must be excited about Tampa Bay’s forecast- sunny, warm, low 60s F, northerly at 10-15 kts on Saturday and more sun with lighter northerly winds of 7-12 kts on Sunday!

    The Corinthians division continues to have excellent competition.  Returning are two past champions- Robb Britts’ HOT MESS from the host DIYC and Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY from American YC in Rye, NY. Some of the top crews challenging this formidable duo include Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP from Chicago, IL (2nd in Corinthians at J/70 North Americans); Mallory & Andrew Loe’s DIME from Seattle YC in Seattle, WA; Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH from Chicago, IL; and Al Poindexter’s USA 241 from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX.

    With the 2018 edition of the J/70 World Championship taking place in Marblehead, MA, there is no question there are a number of teams that will be using this year’s winter J/70 circuit to dial in their boat-handling, boatspeed, and tactics with their teams.  The Open division will have a number of top crews that should be near the top of the leaderboard for the series. Amongst those crews should be Darby Smith’s AFRICA from DIYC in Tampa, FL; Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX; past J/70 World Champion Joel Ronning sailing CATAPULT from Wayzata YC in Excelsior, MN; John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA from Chicago YC; class newcomer Kevin Downey on MR. PITIFUL from Seattle YC; Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE from Greenwich, CT; Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA; Peter Cunningham’s POWERPLAY from the Cayman Islands; John Brim’s RIMETTE from Fishers Island YC in New York; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Beverly, MA; Will Welles’ SCAMP from Newport, RI; and Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, TX.

    SAIL22 J/70 “Porch Series” with North U
    SAIL22 and North U are combining forces to get you up to speed and at the front of the fleet. The “Porch Series” will occur on each Friday of the J/70 Winter Series, starting Friday, December 8th.

    To kick off the fun regatta weekend, a dock talk by Chuck Allen and Ed Furry will begin at 12:00 PM to discuss boat setup and tuning, followed by on-the-water coaching with North U at 1:00 PM. Practice races will run by J/WORLD from 2:00 until 4:00 PM, with a debrief immediately after sailing with North U and J/World.

    To make it more interesting and exciting, Ed Furry from SAIL22 will emcee play-by-play action from the Porch at Davis Island YC, a drone will be shooting live footage online so sailors can join in the fun from home. In addition, the racing will feature the new MarkSETBot, the GPS moving mark that can be set from a mobile phone app to keep the races going!   For more Quantum J/70 Winter Series sailing information

    Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica Regatta Preview
    (Montego Bay, Jamaica)- This coming weekend, the famous Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica Regatta is taking place, hosted by the incredibly gracious members of 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.

    A special feature of this year’s event is that North Sails’ Mike Marshall, the 2016 J/22 World Champion, will be providing a weekend-long J/22 North U “go-fast” clinic and on-the-water coaching for everyone!

    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.  Those boats are Peter Harper’s ZIPPER, Richard Hamilton’s RENEGADE, and Mike Morse’s AYAHSO from Mo’Bay.  Hailing from Kingston are Cooke’s GERONIMO and Gibson’s TSUNAMI.

    As for the rest of the boats, the infamous “honest john boat draw” took place.  Video footage will show that an honest draw was made of this year’s visitors and available boats using completely random toilet paper squares.  Impartial by-standers were dragged from the massive crowds at Mo’Bay YC to pull the toilet paper squares and match boats with a skipper.  Thanks to Charlotte and Luna Marr for their unbiased assistance (pictured here)! Cute, eh??

    Ten boats will be on the starting line this year for more fun in the Jamaican sun; three teams from Cayman Islands, one from Canada, and one from the USA.  For more Jammin J/22 Jamaica Regatta sailing information
     

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The natives in southern California were delighted this year’s San Diego YC Hot Rum Series took place over three weekends with near postcard-perfect sailing conditions.  The usual suspects in J/105s, J/120s, and J/125s and others in the J/stable sailed well. However, it was the J/70s that put in a remarkable performance, leading the way for everyone else.  Over on the opposite side of America, down in southeast Florida, the famous, beautiful Sailfish Club in Palm Beach, Florida hosted their 61st Annual Wirth M. Munroe Race from Miami to Palm Beach, a 60nm dash up the Straits of Florida with a massive 4.5+ kt boost northward from the Gulf Stream.

    Over in Europe, the J/24s continue to conclude their 2017 seasons with their fall and winter series events taking place around the isthmus, this time it was Marina di Carrara, with racing taking place off the famous “marble Carrara mountains!”

    Finally, we get an update on the continuous adventures of a modern day Tom Sawyer, a.k.a. Tom Babbitt from Portland, Maine.  He first cruised his J/42 BRAVO for years in Maine, across the Atlantic to Europe, and also the Caribbean.  In recent years, Tom and his wife Jane “upscaled” their ride for a gorgeous J/46 cruising boat also named BRAVO.  Needless to say, if anyone needs advice on long-distance cruising, Tom is your man!  They will be in the Caribbean this winter- based out of Antigua.

    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 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/70s Sweep SDYC Hot Rum Series Class!
    (San Diego, CA)- Originated in 1957, the annual Sinnhoffer Hot Rum Series completed its three race schedule (Nov. 4, 18, Dec. 2) under sunny skies and light to moderate winds in San Diego, CA. With a pursuit start and an 11.9 nm random leg course for the 140 teams, the course setup again favored the big boats powering through the fleet of smaller boats that had started in much lighter winds.

    The J/125s had a rough go of it this year in PHRF 1 class.  In the end, they ended up separated by three points, with Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER edging out Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE, taking 7th and 8th in class, respectively.  Both boats had solid finishes, mostly top ten, but not enough to overcome the big tall rigs of the TP52’s and larger boats.

    PHRF Class 2 was shaping up to be quite a pitched battle between two J/120s and the famous America’s Cup helmsman- Dennis Conner on his appropriately named MENACE.  Going into the last race, the J/120s were 1st and 3rd but could not hold on to those positions.  In a light air reaching drag race, the J/120s were a little out-classed.  John Laun’s CAPER finished on the podium in 3rd place while his friend Chuck Nichols on CC RIDER settled for 4th place.

    Usually the domain of the J/105 class, PHRF 3 Class saw a strong performance from Dagfish’s VIGGEN to take home the silver with all top five scores.  Then, Scheel’s SUN PUFFIN took 7th, Rick Goebel’s SANITY posted a DNC-2-2 to crush the last two races but was only good enough for the 8th spot. Howell’s fun-loving holiday-trimmed BLINK took 9th and Sanford’s CREATIVE placed 11th.

    The big winners in PHRF Class 4 were the trio of J/70s.  Winning on a tie-breaker at 10 pts each was Fabian Gomez-Ibarra’s VAGAZO, getting the short end of that stick was Wyman’s NUNUHUNU.  Then, only one point back was Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR.

    Finally, in PHRF 5 class, The Case’s sailed one of San Diego YC’s J/22s called ZO ZO to 4th place.
    For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series sailing information
     

    J/30 PAPARAZZI Two-Peats The “Buffet Race”
    (Palm Beach, FL)- Nicknamed “the buffet race,” the 61st Annual Wirth M. Munroe Race commenced December 1st for the 60nm course from Miami to Palm Beach. Aside from a short-lived rainstorm, the 22 teams enjoyed sunny conditions with breeze in the teens before arriving to rum drinks and the infamous seafood buffet at the Sailfish Club of Florida.

    This year’s race was a bit more challenging than last year and that one was tough enough. The boats that did well sailed 11-12 miles offshore, first on a port tack, to go “Gulf Stream hunting”- finding the hot 88 F water flowing at 4.5+ kts north over the bottom!

    Donald Lasky’s J/30 PAPARAZZI won PHRF B for the 2nd year in a row and was 2nd overall. PAPARAZZI is very well sailed and the crew were really tired when they reached the Sailfish Club- most of the crew are in their 60’s or 70’s!  For more Wirth M. Munroe Race sailing information
     

    J/24 FIVE FOR FIGHTING Wins Autumn Championship
    (Marina di Carrara, Italy)- The 2017 of the Autumn Championship for the Gulf of Poets J/24 Fleet took place over two weekends and was organized by the Club Nautica Marina di Carrara in collaboration with the Circolo della Vela Marina di Massa.  The region is not necessarily famous for its amazing sailing conditions, since the rest of the world knows it for something decorating many upscale households and offices- their renowned “Carrara marble”!  The mountainsides gleam white in the day and glow orange at sunset- an astonishing view!

    In total, ten races were run over the two weekends.  A victory in the last race simply confirmed the crushing win the young crew on ITA 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING put on the dozen-boat fleet.  The team was led by owner/skipper Eugenia De Giacomo with crew of Nicola and Matilde Pitanti, Lorenzo Cusimano and Bruna Marco.

    The sailing was characterized by sun and perfect wind, about 10-15 knots from the northeast on Saturday.  Then on Sunday, two more races in similar conditions to count five for the weekend.  There were four different winners of the races, including FIVE FOR FIGHTING (race 6 and 10), Riccardo Pacini’s COCCOE, Roberta Banfo’s TALLY-HO (skippered by Luca Macchiarini), and Giuseppe Simonelli’s RAZOR BILL (skippered by Davide Sampiero).

    At the end of racing on Sunday, F4F had five 1sts and three 2nds in their ten-race tally to win with 16 pts net- a huge margin over the second place team.  That boat was Pacini’s COCCOE with 25 pts net. Third and fourth places were determined by a tie-breaker between Pietro Diamanti’s JAMAICA and Macchiarini’s TALLY-HO, with the former getting the benefit of count back to round out the podium. Fifth place went to Simonelli’s RAZOR BILL.

    "They were beautiful regattas, very fun and very competitive,” commented Pietro Diamanti. "I am satisfied with this edition of the Autumn Championship and the victory of a crew made up of determined and very good youngsters like Five for Fighting, always ready to go down into the water and to commit to the maximum. Congratulations also to Riccardo Pacini, a great return with a super crew formed by my brother Giuseppe, Fabio Apollonio and Renzo Marini and Tommy Fusato."  For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * “The J/46 BRAVO has done it again,” says proud and happy owner Tom Babbit from Portland, Maine. “We now have three Maine to Caribbean passages under our belts, the first, nearly 30 years ago on our J/40 with 7 and 10 year old daughters as our only crew. 

    As we’ve aged a bit, we have gone longer [46‘) and gradually transitioned crew from family to great and very experienced friends. 

    This year’s voyage was a nonstop (hopefully) from Camden to Antigua. The crew was Galen Todd (J/42 Tango) with whom I have several thousand passage, cruising, and racing miles, and Paul Rogers, (J/42 Canty) who has a transatlantic (on Canty) and ten years or so cruising Scandinavia and the Med - so far) plus a house full of trophies.

    We delayed our Camden departure to Tuesday, Oct. 31 (Halloween), due to 60-knot winds on Monday in Camden. Our first afternoon and evening were “sporty” going to weather in 25 to 30 TWS with large seas and of course lobster pots to dodge while we had daylight. Things moderated for day two and then we entered the Gulf Stream, with 25 to 30 against the flow. 12 to 14 knots SOG was fun for a while, but the sea state was a bit of a challenge...especially when the tanker Alexia suggested we head up into the mountainous seas and pass astern! A firm negative response from Bravo to that suggestion saw us both agree to alter course hard to starboard and pass port-to-port, nary a mile between us. 

    After that, there was only one more sporty night well south of Bermuda (where we stopped for a few hours to top fuel off). After three days of motoring, the trades filled and we were off on moonlit nights arriving in 10.5 days at first light on 11 November.  Except for two shredded jib sheets in the Gulf Stream, zero damage to BRAVO, and a happy landing in Paradise! What a great boat and crew!”  Thanks for this contribution from Tom Babbitt.

    * At the 2017 Russian Sailor of the Year Awards in Moscow, Russia, Elena Otekina was awarded “Best Sailing Media” due to her amazing coverage of the 2017 J/70 World Championship in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy and also for her coverage of numerous Russian J/70 Sailing League events during the course of the year.  “Congratulations” to Elena for her contribution to growing and bringing awareness of the sport of sailing to the public, not just in Russia, but worldwide.
     

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

    * The J/40 HERON REACH sailed by Virginia and Jerry participated in the Blue Planet Odyssey project from 2014 to 2015 over a seventeen month period.

    Read their very well-done blog documenting their experience.  In the Pacific basin, they traveled almost 15,000 miles from Bellingham to Tahiti and all points between. Check out what the cannibals great grandchildren thought of their ancestors, what it was like to trade for black pearls,  the problem with the Great Garbage Patch, and how many days did it take to get through it, and much more!   Learn more about their adventures and experiences on HERON REACH here.
    ---------------
    * Jim & Heather Wilson completed a circumnavigation of our "blue planet Earth" in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR.  Said Jim, "The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now.  We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So, we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell 'Painkiller' at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles).  Read more about the Wilson's and their CEOL MOR adventures in their well-documented blog here.
    ---------------
    * The J/42 JARANA has sailed an epic voyage around the Pacific, the Atlantic, and now the Mediterranean.  The crew consists of Bill and Kathy Cuffel, of Seattle, Washington. So far, their travels go way beyond Homer’s Odyssey!  Their itinerary has included:
    • 2009 - departed Seattle on a 3 year cruise of the South Pacific, sailing back from Hobart, Tasmania (Australia) in September 2012.
    • The summer of 2014 they traveled north to Prince Rupert Island, crossed Hecate Strait to Haida Gwaii and had a glorious cruise down the west coast of Vancouver Island.
    • 2015, after trucking the boat to Lake Ontario they traveled out the St Lawrence Seaway to the Canadian Maritime provinces and down the east coast of the USA, then out to the Bahamas.
    • 2016 Winter they spent in the Bahamas, then crossing the Atlantic via Bermuda and the Azores to England and Europe.
    • 2017 Winter they are in Lagos, Portugal,  and in spring 2018 will be working their  way into the western Med.   Follow the Cuffel's and JARANA's adventures on their very well-documented blog here
    ----------------
    * Bill and Judy Stellin, who sailed their J/42 JAYWALKER around the Mediterranean and Europe and back across the Atlantic for nearly three years produced a series of entertaining reading in their blogs/journals- they can be found here.

    The earlier journals have been compiled into two self-published books that can be found at: http://www.blurb.com.  Search for "SEATREK: A Passion for Sailing" by Bill Stellin or William Stellin."  And, they were featured in Wall St Journal about how to "retire and enjoy life with adventure". Fun reading for those predisposed to the "ultimate escape-- sailing"!
    --------------
    * John and Mary Driver sailed their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising from June 2010 to July 2013.  John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal. Since then, they sailed from Portugal across the Mediterranean to Cyprus and explored the Turkish Coast.  Read the latest news about SHAZAM's cruising adventures here.
    --------------
    * Alan Fougere and family are back sailing their J/160 AVATAR.  She will be in the Caribbean for winter 2017/ 2018, based at Proper Yachts in St John, US Virgin Islands.
    Add to Flipboard Magazine.

    Read more...
  • J/Newsletter- November 29th, 2017 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


    Heineken 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.

    “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.

    “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 regatta@heinekenregatta.com, phone +1 721 544 2079.  To register for the 2018 event, please visit http://regattaguru.com/heineken/100237   For more Heineken St Maarten Regatta sailing information

    2018 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.

    Thrilling 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 “HambleWinterSeries.com” 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 Southworth 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!

    First 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!"

    Next 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

    EURUS 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.

    The 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.

    Also 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

    KAOTIC 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.

    In 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

    Spanish 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.

    Real 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.

    Monte 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 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.

    The 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

    GUNTER 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.

    It 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.

    Scherk’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

    Italian 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’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.

    After 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

    Jammin’ 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 Red 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.

    This 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

    CHAOTIC 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

    Argentina 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.

    CORDOBA
    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 in 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.

    BUENOS AIRES
    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.

    Chasing 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 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

    ARC 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.

    CARIBBEAN 1500
    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

    ARC 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
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * 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:

    * 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.”

    Completing 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- http://www.volvooceanrace.com

    * 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- http://www.kneedeepsailing.com

    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.

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  • J/Newsletter- November 22nd, 2017
    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


    2018 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.

    These 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.

    The 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

    Mexico 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- roberto.escalante@gmail.com/ j70mexicana@gmail.com or mobile# +51 55 4181 4016.   For more J/70 North Americans sailing and registration information

    Sails 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 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/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.

    This 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

    Another 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.

    As 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.

    The 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.

    The 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/ JOYSailing.com.   For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series results

    Bromby/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

    Hot 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.

    In 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 all the hot and heavy action- particularly on shore.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx8H7O_hXZE

    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

    More 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.

    In 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

    Grab-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.

    “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.

    San 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

    J/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.

    CERVIA
    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  (www.circolonauticocervia.it ).

    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.

    TARANTO
    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).”

    MARINA 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
     

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

    “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 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.

    “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.

    Rossi 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.

    * 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.”

    Looking 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)

    * The Russia J/70 Class Association (https://www.facebook.com/j70rus/) 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.

    The 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- https://www.facebook.com/irinagorbatyuk

    Class Officer- Dmitry Zaritskiy- phone +7-9062-399929, email- dzar@mail.ru and Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/dmitry.zaritskiy

    J/Boats Russia- Grigory Aksenov- phone +7-9091-576924, email- aksenov.grigory@gmail.com, and Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/grigory.aksenov

    For more Russian J/70 Class Association information, please see Facebook page
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  • J/Newsletter- November 15th, 2017 J/121 Awarded SAIL Best Boats- Performance!
    (Boston, MA)- SAIL Magazine has announced the winners of SAIL’s 2018 Best Boats Awards. If there’s one word that sums up the Best Boats Class of 2018, it would have to be “performance.” The boat review team at SAIL magazine determined the new J/121 offshore speedster was SAIL’s choice for Best Boats- Performance 30 to 40 feet. Here is their commentary:

    “The J/Boats team are obviously good designers and boat builders. Their record in this area stands for itself.

    However, ever since the advent of Rod Johnstone’s iconic J/24 in 1977, they have also shown an uncanny ability to discern what exactly it is sailors are looking for in their next boat: think the J/105 and its then cutting-edge retracting bowsprit in 1991, or the phenomenon that is the J/70 sportboat- eclipsing all other similar designs to date- in just four years!

    The latest in this long line of outside-the-box designs is the new 40 foot J/121, a boat specifically tailored to appeal to skippers who are 1) tired of having to round up eight to 10 people to go racing and 2) are looking for something other the usual windward-leeward “sausage” courses that now dominate inshore racing.

    To this end, the boat carries a “five-sail” rig that includes a main, jib and removable staysail (like the IMOCA 60 class), to make shifting gears with a crew of as little as five a snap, whether sailing inshore or off soundings. (A Code 0 or A-sail—sails #4 and 5—can be flown off the boat’s retractable sprit). To keep the boat on its feet, designer Al Johnstone has also included an easy-to-use water ballast system that can shift 104 gallons of water (880 lbs. worth) from side-to-side; the equivalent of four bodies worth of rail meat that’ll never call in sick or have scheduling conflicts.

    With respect to promoting innovative, fun racing, J/Boats is championing something called “Open Course” racing- middle distance events that offer the best of both inshore and distance events (think the famous Three-Bridge Fiasco regatta on San Francisco Bay). The boat would also be perfect for shorthanded offshore racing, whether it be a shorter event like the Ida Lewis distance race or the Marblehead-Halifax. Oh, and did we mention the boat sails like a dream and is a stunner to boot? A winner in every sense of the word.”   J/121 offshore speedster video here.   Read more about the J/121 SAIL Magazine Best Boats award


    European Winter Boat Show Time!
    On display, latest J/Cruisers and J/Racers!
    (Newport, RI)- With the holidays arriving over the next few weeks, now is the time to be thinking about visiting very cool cities in Europe and checking out some of the latest thinking from the J/Design team!

    SALON NAUTIC- Paris, France
    Starting in the first week of December, from December 2nd to 10th, 2017, J/Composites will have on display in their booth (Pavilion 1/ Stand 1-G-35) the amazingly fast and competitive J/112E Grand Prix- the latest sport-cruiser from the J/Boats design team.  This latest evolution of the very fast J/112 hull is the one that eclipsed a number of regattas in Europe this past season and is currently running away with the overall lead in IRC 1 class in the famous Hamble Winter series.  Learn more what makes her so fast and so incredibly comfortable at the same time, her finely appointed interior is an eye-opener!  For more Salon Nautic Paris show & ticket information  For more J/112E sport cruiser information

    BOOT DUSSELDORF- Dusseldorf, Germany
    At the end of January, from January 20th to 28th, 2018, J/Composites and J/European dealers will have on display the J/97E, the J/112E, and the new J/121 offshore speedster at their booth (Hall- 15 / Stand- B21).  In addition to the J/112E sport cruiser, her smaller sistership, the J/97E will amaze you with her new spacious cockpit (about as large as the 112E’s), large diameter wheel for finger-tip steering response, and her luxurious, open, airy interior that will keep you family and friends coming back for more après-sailing parties on your mini-yacht!   For more J/97E sport cruiser information

    Then, be one of the first in Europe to see first-hand the new J/121 offshore speedster- one of the most innovative offshore racing yachts ever in the famous line of J/performance yachts. Her rakish looks, her enormous cockpit, the twin carbon wheels, the novel water-ballast system, all evoke a feeling of “Performance & Speed!”

    In fact, on her last offshore voyage from Annapolis to Newport, double-handed by two experienced offshore sailors, she exceeded 18 kts quite easily with her full main and A4 asymmetric spinnaker in up to 23 kts of wind- and she was averaging 14 kts, that’s cruising!   Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images.com.  For more J/121 offshore speedster information  For more BOOT Dusseldorf show & ticket information

    St Thomas Regatta Update
    BYOB – Bring Your Own Boat! Or, charter!
    (St Thomas, US Virgin Islands)- Registration is open and a number of good teams are already signing up for one of the all-time “classic” regattas in the Caribbean, St. Thomas International Regatta, March 23-25, 2018, held in Cowpet Bay off the eastern tip of St Thomas.  It is no wonder it is a popular regatta, St Thomas YC truly rolls out the red carpet treatment, making you feel like family, and offer simply gorgeous yachting offshore in their emerald green/ turquoise waters between Cowpet Bay and St John island across the channel. It is an idyllic sailing venue that is easy to get to and also easy to find comfortable places to stay.

    If you can’t bring your own boat, charter! The St. Thomas Sailing Center is making repairs to its IC24 fleet and these highly-competitive one-design keelboats (based on the original J/24) are available for teams to charter. In addition, if you want to up your racing game, the Center is holding two North U Racing Clinics – January 31- February 4 and February 28- March 4. Condos and villas are available nearby at the Anchorage, Cowpet Bay and Elysian on “VRBO.com” or “Airbnb.com”

    Or, check out the charter operators in the Caribbean and Europe that have some swift-sailing vessels available. For example, “Caribbean Races” in St. Maarten offer their J/120 JAGUAR.

    Or, you could sail NOISY OYSTER, a highly competitive J/122 offered by Swiss-based J/122 Experience.  And, if needed she’s available with a First Mate that knows how to sail her fast!

    Finally, Caribbean Yacht Racing in the U.S. and St. Maarten has its J/122, the very famous EL OCASO for charter- that boat with the amazing NASCAR-like paint job of turquoise blue and flowing racing stripes of orange & yellow down the topsides. Any more J/122’s? Three or more entries can get their own one-design class!

    Register now! Pay only US $250 for entries received and paid in full by 5 p.m. AST on January 31, 2018. From February 1 to March 20, the entry fee is US $400.  Questions?  You may contact them directly at email- stycisv@gmail.com or cpessler@hotmail.com or call- +1 (340) 642-3204.  For more St Thomas International Regatta sailing information

    Caribbean Sailing Update
    (Lanzarote, Canary Islands)- Each year at this time a mass migration of boats from the continental USA and Europe heads to the Caribbean through numerous rallies and races for sailors that seek a warmer climate.

    The two largest events are the “ARC” races (really cruises in company) that are organized by World Cruising.  One leaves the USA from Portsmouth, VA and heads to Nanny Cay in the British Virgin Islands.  The other event, the “granddaddy” of them all is the ARC Europe rally that leaves from the Canary Islands and heads to St Lucia.

    ARC Caribbean 1500
    The ARC Caribbean 1500 began on November 5th from Portsmouth, VA at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay with eighteen boats sailing 1,500nm to Nanny Cay in Tortola, British Virgin Island.  Included in that fleet is the J/42 MERLIN sailed by Pete Watkins from Boise, Idaho.

    The ARC Europe
    The ARC + Cape Verdes left Gran Canaria on November 5 and the ARC direct to St. Lucia leaves Las Palmas on the November 19. In all, nearly 200 boats will join the fleet.

    The ARC is a ‘must do’ for many sailors, and attracts over 200 boats and 1,200 people every year to sail 2,700 NM across the Atlantic from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia.

    The ARC is for everyone; families with children, tough racers, cruising couples, big boats and modest boats. Crossing the Atlantic together, but having their own adventures. More than just a boat race, the ARC is about friendships made ashore in the two weeks of pre-departure activities continued over the radio net at sea. It’s about arriving in Saint Lucia to be met on the dock with a rum punch and a chilled beer, knowing you have achieved something fantastic - crossing an ocean on a small sailboat.  Participating in this year’s event is the Dutch J/133 JACKY X owned and skippered by Gerard Feenema.  For more ARC Rally sailing information

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The second week of November saw hot racing take place down in the Mediterranean.  YC Monaco hosted the second Act of its Monaco Winter Sportboat Series for a large fleet of J/70s, with a lot of close racing taking place on Hercules Bay off Monte Carlo, Monaco.  Then, off to the northwest, the Hamble River Sailing Club held yet another good set of racing on Sunday for their famous Hamble Winter Series sailed on the Southampton Water and the Solent for one-design classes of J/88s and IRC divisions with J/92s, J/97s, J/109s, and a new J/112E Grand Prix team.

    Across the big pond to the Americas, we find that St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, FL hosted the Mallory Cup Trophy- emblematic of US Adult Sailing Championship- in their matched fleet of twelve J/70s.  Then, out west, what is reputed to be the “best race in America” took place north of Seattle- the 30th annual Round the County Race hosted by Orcas Island Yacht Club and the Friday Harbor Sailing Club- it’s about 76nm of racing on Saturday and Sunday with an overnight stay in Roche Harbor, San Juan Island.  Several J/crews that know their way around the islands and the capricious currents took home lots of silverware!  Then, down south in California, the first weekend of the San Francisco Winter Series took place- hosted by Sausalito YC- for one-design fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, and J/120s.

    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:

    Nov 18- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
    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 Miami Sailing Week- 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.

    SAIL MAINE Crowned Mallory Cup Champion!
    (St Petersburg, FL)- The action was fast and furious on Tampa Bay this past week. Twelve teams in J/70s representing their respective Regional Sailing Associations (RSA) across America enjoyed the speedy and highly entertaining racing format, as well as the spectacular weather and racing conditions at the 2017 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship, hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

    Sailors enjoyed a variety of conditions throughout the week, including light air and sunshine to big breeze and rain. Thirty-eight races were completed throughout the weekend.

    Sailors were greeted with rain, wind and waves for the final day of racing at the U.S. Adult Sailing Championship for the Mallory Trophy. Seven races were completed to round off the championship series. Great work by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club’s waterfront team who were quick on their feet to repair breakdowns throughout the weekend and keep sailors racing.

    In the end, it was Carter White (Portland, Maine) and his team composed of sailors from Sail Maine representing the Northeast Sailing Association, who came out on top in an exciting finish on Sunday. White’s team included Michael McAllister (Portland, Maine), Henry Cole (Freeport, Maine) and Fiona Gordon (Portland, Maine).

    Carter and company were ranked fifth after two round robins. They avoided the qualifying repechage round by one spot, as the bottom six teams dueled it out over four races with the top six teams advancing to the championship round and the last two teams being eliminated from contention. The Sail Maine team saved their best for Sunday afternoon as they dominated the 10-team championship round and won by 11 points through 10 races.

    “We sailed almost 40 races over four days. It’s pretty crazy,” said White. “I had never skippered a J/70 before so it was a lot of fun. The four of us have never sailed before as a team. Mike and I sail a lot together on the J/24.”

    “We had a lot of breeze today, at times, and changing conditions throughout the event from 6 knots to 20 knots. There was a little bit of everything for everyone and the race committee did an excellent job.”

    The win for White and his team earns them an entry to represent the U.S. at the Sailing Champions League World Qualifier.

    David Loring’s team from Charleston, S.C. representing the South Atlantic YRA placed second. This team featured Jeff Woodard, Amy Woodard and Patrick Wilson.  Finishing third was Trey Sheehan (Chagrin Fall, Ohio), Wilson Stout (Annapolis, Md.), Brad Boston (Sarnia, Ontario, Canada), and Curtis Florence (Lakewood, Ohio). They represented the Inland Lake Yachting Association.

    The Championship got underway on Thursday under light breeze. Most of the day was spent under postponement. Racers experienced a Northwest building breeze at 5 to 8 knots later in the afternoon and the fleet managed to complete two races in the first round robin series. Local knowledge paid off for skipper David Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla./Florida Sailing Association) who won both races to take an early lead.

    Friday’s conditions were improved, as sailors experienced a Northeast breeze of 6 to 10 knots. The fleet tallied 16 races. Chris Raab (Huntington Beach, Calif./YRU of Southern California) took command of the leaderboard on Friday and had a six point lead through the first round robin and a five point lead through six races of the second round robin series.

    On Saturday, sailors finished the second round robin, completed four races in the repechage round and the top ten teams sailed three races in the championship round. Sailors enjoyed a variety of conditions from medium breeze to start the day, to lighter breezes mid-day and ideal conditions for the start of the championship round. Raab and crew maintained a five point lead over Pat Toole (Santa Barbara, Calif./Southern California YRA) through the second round robin.

    Teams qualified by competing at a high level in their respective RSA events. Teams consisted of both men and women sailors.

    The league racing format offered sailors quick and competitive races, on-the-water umpiring, no discards, and an improved viewing opportunity for spectators. Every race counted, so consistency was a major factor. Races were approximately 15 minutes in duration. Some of the competitors have likened the format to college sailing in big boats.

    First place team was presented the Clifford D. Mallory Trophy and received entry as the U.S. representative at the Sailing Champions League World Qualifier. The top three teams received US Sailing medals – Gold, Silver, Bronze. Teams representing the Southern Yacht Club, Edgewater Yacht Club, and James Island Yacht Club earned the Staton J. Peele, Jr. Trophy for sportsmanship.

    Sportsmanship Notes:
    • Southern Yacht Club: Following racing Thursday evening, members of the Southern Yacht Club team de-rigged their J/70 and then assisted the St. Petersburg Yacht Club junior sailors by hauling 20+ Optimist prams out of the water.
    • James Island Yacht Club: Thank you to the sailors from the James Island Yacht Club for assisting in the measuring and tuning of the J/70s Saturday afternoon, prior to the start of the championship round.
    • Edgewater Yacht Club: Thank you to the sailors from the Edgewater Yacht Club for assisting in the measuring and tuning of the J/70s Saturday afternoon, prior to the start of the championship round. In addition, on Sunday sailors from the team came in off the water to assist in the replacement of a forestay; they even offered their personal forestay to the event.
    For more U.S. Adult Sailing Championship/ Mallory Cup Trophy sailing information

    ARTTUBE Leading Monaco J/70 Winter Series
    (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series attracts sailors from very diverse circuits and backgrounds. This weekend the J/70 class had several star-studded sailors in their midst.  Olympic champion and three-time Laser World Champion Paul Goodison was on Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO, while the recently crowned European Vice-Champion in the Star class, Diego Negri, was also present in his capacity as coach. Other well-known names such as Sébastien Col, Match Racing and America’s Cup expert, who has done two seasons on the GC32 Malizia helmed by Pierre Casiraghi (HRH Prince Albert’s brother-in-law), was also in the Principality for the occasion.

    However, in the end, no amount of super-star power on any of the J/70 teams could overcome the quick hand and fast sailing by Russia’s top woman keelboat sailor- Valerya Kovalenko skippering ARTTUBE.  She not only won her second regatta in a row, she now has a commanding lead in the overall Monaco Sportboat Winter Series.  Here is how it all happened off Monte Carlo in Hercules Bay.

    Day One
    Forty crews returned to the heart of the Principality this past Friday to kickoff the second act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series. Like the first meeting of the 2017/2018 season, the huge, competitive J/70 fleet was again in the spotlight over the weekend.

    In contrast to the first act dominated by Russian crews, this second meeting took place under the sign of change with the presence of a large number of Monegasque crews on the water. The cards were re-distributed after the three races; a day largely characterized by light to medium winds and a short chop on top of a rolling sea.

    On board Vincenzo Onorato’s J/70 MASCALZONE LATINO, the British sailor Paul Goodison, Gold Medalist at the Beijing Olympic Games and triple Laser World Champion, was among the forces involved pointing them in the right direction as mainsheet trimmer and tactician. At the end of the day’s racing, there were in first place out of 27 competitors. They were followed by the infamous Russians on ARTTUBE skippered by Valerya Kovalenko, winner of the first Act.  Just behind them in third was Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio skippering G-SPOTTINO from the host club YC Monaco.

    Day Two
    It went down to the wire for the top three on the last day in the enormously talented J/70 fleet. The leader after the first day, YCM’s Onorato on MASCALZONE LATINO had to concede victory to his closest rival, the tenacious team on ARTTUBE, helmed by their very talented skipper- Valerya Kovalenko.

    The Russians from Moscow won the previous Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series and have now gotten off to a good start this season by winning Act 1. Peter Harrison from the United Kingdom, skippering SORCHA J, completed the trio at the top, clinching 3rd place. Enjoying the SSW winds that blew 10-12 knots all three days, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s crew on G-SPOTINO was consistent throughout the regatta to finish 4th, just three points adrift of a podium finish.

    At the end of two regattas and after 14 total races, Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE tops the leader board for the 2017/2018 YC Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, a full 43 points ahead of the Italians on SPORT CUBE, followed by YC Monaco member Stefano Roberti on PICCININA.

    The next regatta for the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series is December 8th to 10th.  For more J/70 YC Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series sailing information

    J/Teams Cruise Seattle’s Round the County Race
    (Seattle, WA)- The Orcas Island Yacht Club and the Friday Harbor Sailing Club their 30th annual “Round the County” sailboat race this past weekend on November  11th & 12th. As usual, it provides the sailors with spectacular views of the enormous snow-capped mountains surrounding the challenging waters of San Juan County Washington. The race is approximately 76 miles with an overnight stop in Roche Harbor, San Juan Island. Due to the great venue, the better winds of November, and the overnight stop in Roche Harbor, the race has become one of the more popular events in the Pacific Northwest.  And, for the dozen-plus J/crews participating, it provided yet another great experience and an opportunity to close out the 2017 season with a few more “pickle dishes & silver” for the “man cave” and trophy room in the basement.

    One boat, in particular, celebrated their 20th Round the County Race this year- Bob Brunius’ J/120 TIME BANDIT.  The “banditos” have won their class multiple times (2006, 2009, 2015, 2017) and placed 2nd three times!  Here is Bob’s account of their experience winning this year’s race in PHRF 1 division:

    “While many of the regattas in the Pacific Northwest have been seeing a gradual decline in participation over the years, the Round the County has been growing since it's humble beginnings 30 years ago. The race was the concept of local marina owner and past Orcas Island Yacht Club Commodore Betsy Wareham.  This year the race had 123 participants enter. What makes the race unique is the two starts - one on Saturday and one on Sunday with an overnight at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island.  The race finishes on Sunday afternoon at the same place it started on Saturday morning and it runs clockwise around San Juan County on even years and counterclockwise on odd years.

    The race is long enough to let the fastest boats in the area stretch their legs and still let the slower rated boats finish the full course most years. With 8 divisions, the rating spread is tight and the fleet sizes are big. The venue is really beautiful and boats often get an escort of Dall's porpoise - or on other occasions kelp! Playing the tidal current is a big part of the strategy and can favor those with lots of RTC experience, or the lucky.  Early November is a bit of the sweet spot on the calendar between the doldrums of summer and the frequent storms of December and January. It all adds up to make a very popular event. Results are based on combined times from Saturday and Sunday.

    This marked the 20th year that Barb and Bob Brunius raced their J/120 TIME BANDIT in the event. Most of the boat's race crew are in their second decade of racing the boat and they do understand how to make it go. They were tickled to place 1st in DIV I and 6th overall in the 100 boat PHRF fleet. HINZITE, also a J/120 sailed by Jim Hinz & Peter Dorcey, finished right on the Bandito's heels both days and only 20 seconds behind on combined time!

    Our J/120 is still the consummate race boat. TIME BANDIT has been spending more time carrying kayaks and cruising the waters of the PNW in recent years! The design does well at both duties.”  Thanks to Bob for this report.

    Furthermore, we have a great report from the RTC team from Orcas Island YC and Friday Harbor SC:

    “Round the County – America’s Greatest Sailboat Race – yeah, you know, it probably is America’s greatest sailboat race.  There are some cool ones out there that bring in the numbers, the Mac, or the races to Mexico and Hawaii and I’m sure some others as well but as an admittedly biased Pacific Northwest Sailor there is just something special about braving the short days of November to tackle the challenging current riddled swirly wind waters around the San Juan Islands at a time of year most people in America are hunkering down for winter or waxing up their snowboards and making plans for their winter trip.

    118 boats were entered by race day and something like 100 of em’ were signed up within 72 hours of registration opening.  So there I am thinking about this, stuck in Everett traffic on Friday heading up to A-town.  My eyes drift up and I’m looking at the bow of my boat in the rear-view mirror and pondering about all the boats delivering to the San Juan’s from every direction imaginable – on their keels and on trailers – from the Pacific Northwest, Portland, Hood River, the Great Lakes and more. The draw for this race is amazingly diverse.  Top level sailors on stripped out high performance rockets on down the line to family and friends on heavy cruising boats to old wooden schooners and crazy fast multihulls; Round the County brings em all out, and you know what, depending on how the conditions align, each type of boat has a chance at the podium.

    In years past the party was Saturday night in Roche Harbor but as the entry list has increased and the party wore out its welcome in the now posh marina of Roche Harbor, the revelry seems to have switched to Friday night leaving everyone especially chipper and ready to race come dock call Saturday morning – for many it’s shoving off at 6am to make it to Lydia Shoals for the 8:30 start.

    This year’s forecast was for an OK Southeasterly on Saturday with the currents looking like they will line up well and a bit more breeze forecast for Sunday.  So there we are, ready for the start with our bow pointed 180 degrees from the start line, nose into the current waiting to jibe around at just the right moment and swing up across the line on the moderate Southeasterly.  Two minutes, wait for it, 1:45, 1:30…Ok, helms over, jibe around and come up directly into the new Northeasterly breeze!  That’s how it works back there around Orcas Island, one minute a southerly and the next a northerly…it’s all about the timing.

    Off everyone went, to weather now in a light northeasterly, the current behind us – mostly – running the front of the flood past the Peapods and off towards the Sisters and Clark Island.  Little elevators of flooding current pushing random groups of boats out into the lead until the big fast ORC boats began working through the fleet of early starters moving so fast that they sucked the wind along behind them and pulled the southeasterly back onto the race course and the pretty colored sails popped up across the bay.  Boats lined up across the waters from Clements Reef out towards the mainland looking for wind and positive current to give them that simple little edge on their competition.

    As we came into Patos Island, now sitting somewhere mid-fleet, we watched the Santa Cruz 33 Muffin do a crazy round up away from the island with their chute flying high at the end of their sheets.  When we arrived at the same spot we noticed the depth coming up and saw the rocks over the side in the clear water – so this is why they rounded up!  Up and around it we went, no issues for us, but later, after the race, I learned that Muffin wasn’t as lucky and had actually hit the rock hard causing the roundup and had quickly found themselves scrambling towards safe harbor to deal with and assess the damage.

    Rounding the halfway point at Patos Island brought everyone into Boundary Pass and what looked to be a nice little drag race to Turn point. Pole forward, wind over the port beam at 6 knots, fire up the bbq and have some lunch type of drag race.  But that’s not how the San Juan’s work.  About halfway down Boundary with the upwelling’s of the new ebbing current starting up the winds decided to crap out and we were back to the light weird winds and current elevators that had boats 100 yards from you shooting forward down the course – sometimes on both sides!

    The fleet then stacked up again around Turn Point and it was decision time for everyone. Tack over and get into the bay towards Danger Shoal or lay hard on the starboard bow and hold out into Haro Strait and hope for the building ebb to push you along.  Of course by this time the big fast boats had been tied up for an hour or so while their crews were enjoying the hot tub but us common folk were still out there trying to figure out how in the heck to get to the finish line inside Battleship Island with the building ebb on the nose coming out of Spieden Channel.  Many worked up towards Danger Shoals in the now dying southeasterly while a smaller group sailed down Haro to Henry Island before tacking back in along the island and working the eddy and small puffs back North towards Battleship Island, shooting the gap between McCraken Point and Battleship then sneaking across the line in the now surprisingly strong ebbing current.

    A bunch of boats made this work well.  Stories went around Saturday night of attacking botmarks, finishing in the wrong direction and dodging current line debris but at the end of everything the days challenges left a smile on most everyone’s faces (except the poor Muffin’ers) as they dropped their heads on their pillows wherever they were staying on San Juan Island.

    Sunday dawned much simpler for everyone.  The delivery to the starting area is minimal, the winds looked to be a solid 20 knots out of the Southeast and all everyone has to do is find a lane out of the wind shadowed starting area and push their boats hard around the south end of the islands before popping the chute for the epic run up Rosario to the finish.  Sounds perfect right?  What are odds this will happen in the San Juan’s?

    So, off we went with the fleet taking two distinct tactics as they worked south into the building flood current.  Most chose to short tack along San Juan Island in the eddies, tough work with all the traffic but I’m sure it kept the crew warm and excited.  A few in the fleet decided to take it easy and lay on port tack from the starting line until they had to decide between tea at the Empress or tacking over to starboard towards the halfway finish line and on toward Iceberg Point.  Did you catch that – one tack after the start at Snug Harbor and then lay Iceberg Point on the south end of Lopez.  Now those crews were sitting there cold, legs falling asleep, minds and conversations drifting off towards work and that summer vacation they had in Mexico but you know what?  That was the right way to go.  As the legendary Master Bezwick is fond of saying “It ain’t a flyer if it’s the right way to go.”

    Catch the last of the ebb on the Canadian side of Haro Strait and then turn left into the eastward flooding current of the Straits of Juan De Fuca.  There they were, this little red Chicken Coup Special Blade Runner, sailing out where they shouldn’t otherwise be – ahead of some much bigger and faster boats.  Yet like everything else in San Juan Island racing it’s all about the timing.  The J/120’s were able to run this move all the way to podium finishes while other boats made it just as far as Lydia Shoals before the wind crapped out and they waited, waited, and waited…  Changed sails, changed again, changed back, waited, found the current building against them and then see a little red chicken coup special ghost in behind them – crap – then look up and see a damned Moore 24 reaching in towards the pin from the right and with their momentum coast in around the pin, jibe and sail off into the building darkness of the east literally hours after they had arrived at the finish area.  The emotions, the challenges, the ups and downs, the friends and foes, the conditions at 48 degrees North in November – put it all together and you have the Greatest Race in America.

    Thank you Orcas Island Yacht Club for coming up with this crazy idea of racing around the Islands in November and then actually doing it and sticking with it over all these years.  Each year is different, each year is challenging, each year a different boat has the conditions they need to step up on the podium.  See you all next year.”

    With regards to the class results, the top J in ORC Division was the J/160 JAM in 4th place. Taking 6th place in PHRF Division 0 was the J/122 GRACE.  The J/120s went 1-2 in the PHRF Division 1, TIME BANDIT and HINZITE, respectively. The Petersen’s J/109 LEGACY took fourth in the same division.  In PHRF Division 2, the J/35 ALTAIR took 7th place.  The PHRF Division 3 saw a clean sweep by J/crews, led by the J/105 JADED, with the J/92 ZAFF in 2nd and the J/105 LAST TANGO in 3rd place.  The J/33 KEET took 5th place in the same class.  J/29s faired well in PHRF Division 4, with HERE & NOW taking a 2nd and CRAZY SALSA placing 4th.  Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson- JanPix.com   Follow Round County Facebook page here   For more Round County Race sailing information

    J/Crew’s Chillin’ in Frisco
    (Sausalito, CA)- The annual San Francisco Bay One Design Winter Series kicked off last weekend thanks to Jeff Zarwell's REGATTA-PRO race management and Sausalito Yacht Club. The local San Francisco Bay fleet of J/70s, J/120s and J/105s enjoyed sunshine and mild breeze on the first race day of the weekend series that sails on the second Saturday of each month- from November thru February.  The San Francisco Bay summer wind and fog machine has turned off for the winter and unless it's a storm front, conditions on the Bay can be delightfully balmy on the Berkeley Circle as they were this past weekend. Jeff provided this report on the first weekend of racing:

    “It was typical fall weather, the forecast was for no wind in the circle until 12:30-1:00 when a westerly was to come in with 12-15 kts of breeze.  So, it was no surprise at 11:00 that an un-forecasted northerly (310 at 4-5 kts) was coming down San Pablo Bay, unforeseen by meteorologists.

    The RC was in a quandary as to what to do.  With a westerly forecast in an hour and a half, there was good reason to believe any race started at 11:30am could very well end up abandoned as the northerly typically shuts down before the westerly comes in.

    In postponement, Zarwell was driving around the bay looking for signs of a westerly developing ANYWHERE.  At the same time, everyone seemed to be sailing well in the light northerly with almost no current.  Looking up San Pablo Bay there were no signs of the northerly breaking down any time soon either.

    Realizing the natives might be getting restless, the RC decided to roll the dice and get everyone sailing in the northerly, with expectations of having a 90 degree course change at some point during race 1.  All the fleets were started and the breeze was still holding.

    Ultimately all six fleets had two challenging, yet pretty fair races with a northerly that never broke down.  That is until 3:30, well after the last boat had finished.  At that point, it did not shut down; rather it made a graceful swing over to the west.

    All in all, it was a beautiful day, reasonably warm, flat water and that fall lighting that lets you know summer is over.

    Looking forward to the next race in the series on December 9th. Let’s see if we can get more of you out there in December for some challenging light air racing!  It’s the best time to train new crew and keep you on your game during the winter months.”

    According to Christy Usher, skipper of the J/70 CHRISTINE ROBIN, “two of the five J/70s that signed up for the series raced this past Saturday. As a result, it was a fun match-race between Tom Thayer's RAMPAGE versus my all-women crew on CHRISTINE ROBIN (Terre Layton, Dana Riley and Jessica Chase).  After sailing a few short races, both teams traded wins in the light and tricky conditions.”

    And, Tom Thayer had this to say about the day’s racing:

    “The day started out cool and over cast with a discouraging glassy look to the water.  So, after we rigged the boat, we got at the Torqeedo and slowly headed toward the racing area.  Our conversation on board was mostly jokes about the lack of wind.  But half way out the wind started to fill in, building to about 8 knots allowing us to practice our jibes and wind-on-wings on the way.  The racing was on!

    Once we got to the race area, we searched for other J/70s, but could not find any.  So now, the jokes were about finishing first and last at the same time, port tacking the fleet, and general recalls. Fortunately, Christine Robin made an appearance just before the scheduled 11:30 first gun.  While it would have been great to have more boats, with two boats we could use the races to continue to refine our rig tune, trim settings, weight placement and driving technique in the light air.

    The Regatta Pro/ Sausalito YC team, under the direction of Jeff Zarwell, did their usual great job of setting up a course.  Given the light air, we were given ¾ mile legs.  But the short legs allowed for more boat handling with course 4 (double sausages) for each of the two races.

    Rampage got a good start in the first race.  We were able to use a high mode to force Christine Robin to tack for clear air.  But that was a mistake on our part because as soon as they were free to sail their own race.  Christy Usher and her crew found a fast, high mode that was devastating.  They went on to win the race by a large margin.

    But we continued tweaking or boat, going to a sloppy loose rig setting for the second race as the wind died down.  We also got more power from the jib with a little less halyard tension.  And, we got even more aggressive with our weight placement.

    The result of all of this was that we could come closer to hanging with Christine Robin in the second race.  They still beat us around the first windward mark, but we were closer.  They jibed soon after the mark rounding.  By doing so, we thought they were going the wrong way.  Despite our intent of staying with them to maximize the opportunity for two boat testing, we couldn’t resist the temptation to separate on starboard.  By the time we reached the leeward gate, we had made a substantial gain, that we were able to hold onto for the rest of the race.

    So a successful day for both boats.  Christy had little experience at the helm before, and had to have gained considerable confidence with the excellent way she had the boat performing.  Rampage was able to continue up the light air learning curve, especially with our weight placement and luff tension adjustment.  And both boats ended up with a 1st and 2nd place finish (or is that first and last?)!”

    The J/105s have the largest fleet registered with sixteen teams.  Leading after the first weekend was the duo of Colin Miller and Peter Baldwin on BIG BUOYS  with a 2-2 tally for 4 pts.  Sitting in second with a 1-6 for 7 pts is Sergey Lubarsky’s RUSSIAN ROULETTE.  Then, rounding out the top of the leaderboard is Phil Laby’s GODOT with a 7-3 for 10 pts.

    Like the J/70s, there are five J/120s registered, but only two showed up for the first weekend.  It was a match race between Steve Madeira’s big green machine- the mighty MR MAGOO- and Timo Bruck’s white wonder- TWIST.  After two races, the Magoo Maulers took two bullets to start off their series well.

    Similarly, the J/24s had a match race scenario between Jasper Van Vliet’s EVIL OCTOPUS and Richard Stockdale’s FROGLIPS.  It seemed the Froggers kept leaping ahead of the twisted up Octopus, taking two bullets to start their series.  For more San Francisco Winter Series sailing information

    More 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.

    In the J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s team are 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 #seven on Sunday 19th November.  For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * J/95 (hull no. 15) owned by Paul Eckel has won both the Bird Key Yacht Club and Sarasota Yacht Club first in class and first overall trophies. Continuing a string of victories, "Encore" sailed by Doug Fisher and Paul Eckel took home the Sarasota Bay Cup by finishing first in class and first overall racing in the Mote Marine Laboratory Regatta in April.

    Last week the J/95 Encore finished first in class and first overall to take the Sarasota Yacht Club 2017 Invitational and is now inscribed on the perpetual trophies in both clubs. Thanks for this contribution from J/95 owner Al Agachinsky from Sarasota, FL.

    Read more...
  • J/Newsletter- November 8th, 2017 J/Gear Holiday Special!
    A Holiday Special for all J/Boat owners, crews, and sailing friends!  Lots of great gift ideas & clothing for everyone!

    Please go shopping EARLY for your custom J/GEAR to ensure delivery in time for the holidays!  You can get a 20% discount if you enter this code- JBH2017xm- when you are ready to check out and pay for your items.  This offer is good until November 19th, 2017 (note- half-models and JBoats custom prints are not included in this offer).  Visit the J/Gear store now-  http://jgear.vsport.biz


    Beautiful J/Models for Home or Office
    (San Cristobal, Dominican Republic)- Wondering what kind of fun and unique gift to give to a friend or loved one this holiday season?  Consider Abordage down in the Dominican Republic.

    Founded by Denis Cartier in 1989, his model-making business called Abordage.com has produced a number of gorgeous J/Models, ranging from the J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80 up to the J/109, J/122, J/44, and J/122E.

    With their great devotion to both the sea and sailing, Abordage has been proudly producing beautifully handcrafted ship models; either classic or modern ships for nearly three decades.  Spectacular examples of their work include the 100 footer COMANCHE (4 feet long!) and the equally large (6 feet tall!) model of the ORACLE America’s Cup winged catamaran that was in the lobby of Bermuda’s international airport!

    From their well-established workshop in the Dominican Republic, the highly skilled team of craftsmen works with only the finest materials and produces every ship model in minute detail and with innovative perfection.  If you have an interest in these remarkably affordable models of your boat, please visit- http://www.abordage.com.  For J/Model examples, please take a look at some of the stunning detail here.   For more information, contact Denis Cartier- email- abordage@abordage.com/ tel: +1-809-5281992 ext- 503
     

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The first week of November saw brilliant winter sailing in parts of Europe, South America and southwest USA.  In England, the popular Hamble Winter Series had a bright and beautiful weekend of sailing on the Solent, not like its usual stormy mix of wind and rain.  The Hamble Sailing Club managed to run some great racing for the IRC classes and the one-design J/88 class.  Across the English Channel, we find French J/80 sailors ending their Coupe de France series in Quiberon, France, competing for the French J/80 National Championship- a lot of races were run by the very capable YC Quiberon.  Then, up north in Berlin, Germany, there were two finales in the German J/70 Sailing League (the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga); one was the first league’s finale for the top eighteen teams in Germany, and the second was the Youth J/70 Sailing League finale held on same weekend.

    Over in the Americas were two well-attended events.  In San Diego, CA, southern California J/sailors get excited to have fun in the infamous Hot Rum Series- a “pursuit-style” race that starts and finishes off Shelter Island.  The opening event saw classic conditions, light to moderate WNW breezes and plenty of sunny skies.

    Then, way, way south off the Pacific coastline of Chile, the second annual J/70 South American Championship was hosted by Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico off the port of Algarrobo, Chile.  It was a highly competitive fleet of twenty boats from Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

    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:

    Nov 9-12- Mallory Cup- US Adult Champs- St Petersburg, FL
    Nov 18- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
    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 Miami Sailing Week- 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.

    BLACK SAILS Crowned J/70 South American Champion
    (Algarrobo, Chile)- The second annual J/70 South American Championship took place off Algarrobo, Chile and was hosted by Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico from the 27th to 31st of October. Almost 100 sailors participated on twenty boats including teams from Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.

    There were lots of expectations that had been mounting for months prior to the regatta. Chile had a 20+ active J/70 fleet members among the first 33 boats imported from USA in the last 5 years into South America.  The Chilean class did their best to make a fair championship, with Chief Measurer Dave McNabb and a local team measuring all boats.  Flavio Naveira and Nelson Ilha lead the Jury team.  And, Theodoro (Kiko) Kundig lead the RC team.

    The previous month, some teams started to search for light 5th crew among the Optimist class in Algarrobo.  This time of the year is somewhat famous for the strong winds in Algarrobo, so the average weight among the boats was 340 to 350kgs.  Before the start of the first official race, BLACK SAILS team was set with 5-crew and 370kgs total weight.  But, after a bad practice race with light winds and looking at the weather report for the week, they decided to put one crew back on the shore!  And, they were right.  Everyday, but Sunday, the winds averaged 10-12kts and two races were sailed with less than 10kts. There were four days of racing with a total of nine races.

    On the first day three races were sailed, the first started at 2:30pm.  The fleet was greeted by southwest winds from 230 to 240 deg at 8-12 kts and choppy seas.  Top teams were Per von Appen’s BLACK SAILS with a 1-1-3 tally and TSUNAMI with the Ducasse family on board with an 8-3-1 scoreline (skipper was Andres Ducasse). The Ducasse family had four brothers and their father as the team; a tough crew that would certainly battle until the very end of the regatta! Then, sitting in third with scores of 3-6-5 was URUBORO sailed by Maria “Pipa” Cisternas, her family, and Benjamin Grez calling tactics- they were a very tough team to beat.

    On the second day, two races took place with the 1st start at 12:00. Light southwesterly winds from 240 to 260 deg prevailed and the heavier crews struggled. BLACK SAILS continued to stretch their lead with a 9-1.  And, the Ducasse family on URUBORO did a great job to manage the light winds and the tough fleet to hang on to second overall in the provisional standings with a 3-8.

    On the third day of racing, the more experienced crews maintained their consistency and kept rising to the top of the leaderboard.  With stronger southwest breezes of 12-15 kts, the boats had to manage transitions from planing mode to soak mode in the large Pacific swells and the wind streaks.  In general, sailing off Algarrobo is very favored on the left.  But, this time some boats gained a lot looking for some pressure with the kite downwind on the right side of the course.  Carlos Vergara on board SENSEI/ TECNOFAST posted a 3-2-2 for the day’s best record.  And, Matias Seguel on board VOLVO had the next best tally for the day with a 5-1-1. Unfortunately, SENSEI/ TECNOFAST and team were OCS on the first race of the day (race #6) and could not stay in the top places.

    What became the final day of racing started a little later than 1200 hrs.  Only one race was held with very light winds from the west.  Ducasse’s TSUNAMI did a great job to win the only race of the day, ultimately taking 2nd overall for the Championship.  Closing with a 3rd place in race 9 was von Appen’s BLACK SAILS, effectively shutting the door on all other competitors to win the regatta with just 20 pts net. By taking a 5th place in the final race, Alejandro Perez’s PELIGRO took the final bronze position on the podium. Seguel’s VOLVO could not overcome their mid-regatta “brain fade” of 11-11-9 to take fourth place (note- they had by far the best last four races of the fleet- a 5-1-1-4!).  Then, an early fleet leader, Cisternas’ URUBORO faded fast with a 9-10-7 in the last three races to drop to fifth place overall.

    Winning the Corinthians Division was Benjamin Fuenzalida with father and brothers. Benjamin is an ex-Optimist sailor with a brilliant future in the J/70 class.

    Best boat from abroad was Brazil’s Marcos Soares, sailing HIGHLANDER to a 7th place overall.  Then, Brazil’s Renato Farías sailing TONESSA was 9th and Diego García’s CHAPULIN from Uruguay took 12th place.

    The next South American Championship will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 2018. Brazil will host in 2019. Sailing photo credits- Ben Sans.   Local sailng news story here on Algarrobo Digital   For more J/70 South American Championship sailing information

    Lindauer Segler-Club Wins DSBL Berlin Finale
    Norddeutscher Regatta Verein Crowned 2017 German Champions
    (Berlin, Germany)- The 2017 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga championship (DSBL) was characterized by remarkable “roller-coaster” scorelines by all clubs and the resulting anxiety-ridden finale in Berlin.  After comfortably leading the series with just 20 pts going into the finale, it appeared the last event would just be a coronation for Deutscher Touring YC to win the series, an almost anti-climactic event.  And, all other clubs would just be competing for the balance of the podium, such was the consistency of German’s leading club for the entire season, sailing on the fleet of matched J/70 one-design sailboats.

    In what could only be described as one of the most shocking, chaotic outcomes in the history of the DSBL, the entire top of the leaderboard for the season series was “flip-flopped” in one regatta!

    Winning the Berlin event with a very strong performance was the Lindauer Segler-Club with mostly top three scores to win by a comfortable margin of 8 pts, with a total of 36 pts for 15 races.  A surprisingly good effort was put on by Chiemsee YC, winning a tie-breaker on 44 pts each over Dusseldorf YC.  Then, rounding out the top five were Norddeutscher Regatta Verein in 4th place with 45 pts and Wassersport Verein Hemelingen with 48 pts.

    As a result, the DSBL series experienced an eye-opening outcome.  By virtue of finishing 4th in Berlin, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein won the 2017 edition of the German J/70 Sailing League. The six regatta series (Prien, Lindau, Kiel, Travemunde, Glucksburg, Berlin) was a story of steady, but rocky, improvement for the NRV team.  Their regatta tallies of 10-2-1-9-2-4 were enough to be crowned German DSBL champions with a total of 28 pts.

    After going into the final regatta with a comfortable lead, it was Deutscher Touring YC that must be crying into their 1-liter beer steins! After posting a 4-6-6-1-3 in the first five regattas, the famous Oktoberfest may have influenced their thinking.  A 16th place in the last regatta may have left a sour taste in their mouths, dropping them into 2nd overall with 36 pts.

    Nearly eclipsing their brothers for the worst performance in a finale were the Segel-und Motorboot Club Uberlingen.  After winning the first regatta in Prien, their team was happily in 2nd place for the season going into the finale. However, like their DTYC colleagues, no one seemed to figure out how to sail on the flat lake in Berlin, adding a 13th to their tally to drop to third overall for the season with a 39 pts total.

    View the German J/70 sailing video summaries here:
    https://www.facebook.com/SegelBundesliga/videos/865806976927234/
    https://www.facebook.com/SegelBundesliga/videos/866510640190201/

    German J/70 Youth Sailing League Finale
    After the “open” DSBL championship was completed on Saturday, the youth league held their finale on the same boats and same venue on Sunday. The “youth league” was comprised of five regattas, 143 races, 32 competitors, 66 races, 276 nm of races sailed, with the highest recorded speed of 17.5 kts!  Taking 2017 league honors was Berliner YC, followed by Bayerischer YC in second place and Munchner YC in third to round out the podium.  Follow the German J/70 Sailing League (Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga)   For more German J/70 Sailing League information

    Brilliant Winter Sailing @ Hamble Winter Series
    (Hamble, England)- Competitors for the fifth weekend of the Hamble Winter Series enjoyed a fantastic day of racing with the Hamble River Sailing Club, supported by OneSails. Winter racing doesn't get much better, there may have been a chill in the air, but the sea temperature in the Solent in November is as good as June. Bright sunshine, 15-20 knots of wind over tide, and the whole Solent to choose from, a wide variety of teams and boats reveled in the superb conditions. Principal Race Officer, Stuart Childerley and his team delivered a superb course with one long race for all classes.

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

    "This is the first year with the new boat, and as always it takes time to tune up and figure out the best set up,” commented Chaz Ivill. "We have been sailing the boat much flatter in a good breeze, and that has powered her up, especially upwind."

    In the J/88 Class, Avia Willment is having an outstanding debut season, scoring a fifth bullet for the series, but only just. J/88 National Champion, Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT was just 17 seconds behind. Gavin Howe's TIGRIS was third.  Consequently, Willment’s crew is leading by a hefty margin of 9 pts over fellow 88 teams.  Second is Howe’s TIGRIS with 16 pts net, followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 20 pts in third place.

    In IRC Two, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE pulled off the best start of the day to take second place and is currently sitting in third place overall for the series.

    In IRC Three, David Greenhalgh's J/92 J’RONIMO was third, by just 11 seconds after IRC time correction. Nevertheless, still leading the series id Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II with just 13 pts net after seven races sailed.  Second is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with 19 pts net.

    Racing at the Hamble Winter Series continues with weekend #six on Sunday 12th November.  Sailing photo credits- Hamo Thornycroft.  For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

    ARMEN HABITAT French J/80 National Champion!
    (Quiberon, France)- The French J/80 sailing season ended where it started, on the Bay of Quiberon from October 28 to November 1, 2017, at Quiberon (Port-Haliguen) organized by the Yacht Club of Quiberon.  Forty-seven teams participated in the finale that saw amazing racing from the top J/80 crews in France.  The regatta was held in variable wind conditions, oscillating between 7 and 15 knots.  The first day saw light weather and flat seas, and then the remaining days had medium breezes and chop sitting on top of large swells.

    In the end, it was Pierre Loic Berthet’s crew on ARMEN HABITAT from APCC Voile Sportive that were crowned with the most coveted sportboat title in all of France, that of French J/80 National Champion.

    Once again, the French J/80 Nationals were blessed with good weather and a very high level of competition. After three days of sailing, the top three boats were separated by a mere 7 pts.  Berthet’s ARMEN HABITAT led the way with 31 points. Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGATLANTIQUE from Societe Regate Rochelaises from La Rochelle were second with 35 points. And, Sylvain Pellisier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE from Virtual Regatta YC had 38 points.

    On the last day, Berthet’s ARMEN HABITAT consolidated their lead with two bullets to win with just 33 pts in 10 races!  Pellisier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE also closed out their series with all top five finishes to take the silver on the podium with 45 pts net, 12 pts back from the leader Berthet.  Then, rounding out the podium was Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGATLANTIQUE in the bronze position, suffering from a closing 3-21-7 to finish with 62 pts total.

    The balance of the top five was Jeremy Jean’s APCC EQUIPPE JEUNE MIXTE in fourth from APCC Voile Sportive with 76 pts.  Just two points back in fifth place was Theo Carayon’s VITEL SAILING Team from E.V. Trebeurden with 78 pts.  For more French J/80 National Championship sailing information

    Classic Opening For Hot Rum Series!
    (San Diego, CA)- Every year, many sailors in southern California look forward to what may be one of the most popular SoCal offshore keelboat classics of all time- the infamous “Hot Rum Series” run by San Diego YC in November and December.  It is popular because it is, essentially, a “no brainer” from a racing standpoint. It is a “pursuit race”, so you start at an appointed time pre-determined by the SDYC PRO and PHRF calculators, and where you finish is how you actually finished in the race!  Doh! Yeah.  That simple.  Go home knowing you could have gone from zero to hero in one day! For the most part, the 100+ boats and nearly 1,000 competitors simply love the spectacle and the fact they are participating on yet another beautiful, fall, outrageously spectacular day off “Sunny Diego’s” majestic Point Loma peninsula. 

    The event is a favorite amongst many J/sailors in the region.  Not surprisingly, many of them do quite well and earn more than their fair share of silverware, plates, pickle-dishes, salad bowls, photos, and what not.

    This past weekend’s race was quite typical of the Hot Rum series.  The first starters saw light breezes from the northwest, building as the afternoon progressed up to 8-10 kts.  In such scenarios, it is often the little boats that start first with the lowest ratings that get the short-end of the straw.  Meanwhile, the big fast 50 to 70 footers in the back of the pack roar off the start line in 10-15 kts winds and smoke the little boats by the time everyone converges on the finish line just off Shelter Island inside San Diego Harbor.

    However, this past weekend, it was not so.  Little boats did OK.  An infamous Ericson 35 Mk XXX with a crazy rating took overall honors, yet again.  But, the Gomez-Ibarra crew on he J/70 VAGAZO got 4th overall and first in their class.  Then, Chuck Nichols’ J/120 CC RIDER took 7th overall and fourth in their class.  And, Dag Fish’s J/105 VIGGEN took 8th overall and first in their PHRF 3 class.  Not a bad showing for this trio of J/Boats!

    On a class basis, Mark Surber’s J/125 DERIVATIVE took 5th in PHRF Class 1. And, Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER placed 7th. In PHRF Class 2, Laun’s J/120 CAPER was 6th behind Nichols’ CC RIDER.

    The J/70s just about cleaned house in PHRF 4 class.  Behind VAGAZO, it was Wyman’s NUNUHUNU in 2nd and Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR in 4th.

    Finally, in PHRF 5 class, the Case’s J/22 ZO ZO took third place, followed by Lynch’s J/30 RUFFIAN in 8th and Dave Cattle’s J/27 BLACKADDER in 9th position. Sailing photo credits- SDYC/ Cynthia Sinclair.  For more Hot Rum Series sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * Wish to DONATE your J/105 to a great cause?  Support youth development and youth sailing in St Croix, US Virgin Islands?

    The U.S. Virgin Islands got hammered by Hurricane Irma.  And, the J/36 the high school youth were sailing got destroyed and sank.  Here is the story from her owner, Stan Joines from Christiansted, St Croix:

    “My J/36 #53 called PALADIN was destroyed in Hurricane Irma.  She was anchored in Charlotte Amalie Harbor.  We were dismasted in the 2016 St. Thomas regatta.  Without an engine, I had to leave her over there.  That summer, I found a J/35 mast on a partially sunken boat and raised it.  However, a masthead rig wouldn't work on the J/36.  This summer, I went up to the USA mainland and found one from a boat wrecked in Hurricane Iris in Pensacola, FL.  After arranging for three different trucking companies to carry it for different legs, it was to be shipped from Miami the very day Hurricane Irma hit St. Thomas.

    A friend called on his SAT phone at 5:00 a.m. on Thursday after Hurricane Irma hit; at that time, it had backed off to a tropical storm.  He said that he had to call and let me know that PALADIN was the only boat floating in the harbor, and he was amazed, although she was very low in the water.  Debris from the island had filled her cockpit and it was not draining.  He called back at 5:30 to say that he had watched her sink.  I immediately began making plans to get over and raise her, as soon as humanitarian relief efforts had been put together first.  Two weeks later, I had my team together, kids who had grown up racing on the boat.  It took me four days with ten neighbors to dig out of the bush to the main road in St Croix.  We all helped rebuild roofs, clear brush, and cheer each other.  This weekend, the team was together, and we went to St. Thomas to raise PALADIN.

    We made a grid of 500 yards in any direction from where she went down, and started at the center, working our way out.  Though originally in 12 feet of water, she had dragged her anchors into 35 ft deep water.  The harbor was pea soup, from all of the rain.  A fishing boat used its fish finding sonar to find bumps.  We dragged a weight across the bottom towards the bump until we hooked it, and then we took turns diving.   You could not see your elbow in front of your face; it was really spooky, pieces of old boats or lionfish looming out of the gloom right in front of your face.  In three days, we covered the grid but did not find PALADIN, much to our dismay.

    We all had to return to St. Croix for work and families, but made plans to return to St. Thomas next weekend.  We got a ride to the ferry dock, and as we were walking from the terminal to the ferry, we passed a seven-foot section of PALADIN’s deck leaning against the fence!  The ferry dock is a mile from where she sank off Yacht Haven Grande! It was a very sad moment for all of us who had loved her and sailed her for nearly a decade.

    The privilege of being able to take kids out and win was awesome.  They learned that through regular and focused practice they could win.  The electricity of regattas, meeting sailors from all over the world, night crossings under the stars, all made for great memories.  Most importantly, they not only learned teamwork, they grew into young, mature, responsible adults, excited about taking on the world and challenges in their future.  We miss that camaraderie.  Nevertheless, we are hoping to find a ‘new” PALADIN to replace her.”  Thanks to Stan for his perspectives on this sad loss.

    For J/105 owners, if you have an opportunity to donate your boat to a fantastic cause, please contact Stan Joines directly- email- stanfordjoines@hotmail.com

    Stan has a fiduciary account with the “St. Croix Foundation for Community Development”- donors can use their 501(c)3 status as a tax donation.  For reference, here is their website- http://www.stxfoundation.org/Add to Flipboard Magazine.

    Read more...
  • J/Newsletter- November 1st, 2017 J/Gear Holiday Special!
    A Holiday Special for all J/Boat owners, crews, and sailing friends!  Lots of great gift ideas & clothing for everyone!

    Please go shopping EARLY for your custom J/GEAR to ensure delivery in time for the holidays!  You can get a 20% discount if you enter this code- JBH2017xm- when you are ready to check out and pay for your items.  This offer is good until November 19th, 2017 (note- half-models and JBoats custom prints are not included in this offer).  Visit the J/Gear store now-  http://jgear.vsport.biz


    Bacardi Cup J/70 Announcement
    (Coconut Grove, FL)- Bacardi USA is pleased to announce a new format in 2018 for the 91st anniversary of the world-famous Bacardi Cup, sailed on the emerald-green waters of Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida. Started as a regatta for Star boats in Havana, Cuba in 1927, the Bacardi Cup has continued to evolve and change with the times, giving it continued growth and popularity in a sport that has seen numerous regattas come and go.

    In 1962, the series moved to Biscayne Bay and in 2010 the event expanded to include other classes in addition to the Stars. Known since 2013 as Bacardi/Miami Sailing week, recent classes have included J70’s, J80’s, and other sportboats from 18 to 24 feet.

    For 2018, the organizing committee has decided to refocus the series on the original idea of an invitation-only regatta where the best small-boat sailors in the world come together to compete in tight, competitive, thrilling racing with the emphasis on quality instead of quantity. Still sponsored by the venerable Bacardi Rum brand and the Bacardi family, who have been active patrons since the beginning, the series in 2018 will be called the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta.

    The Star class as always will have a single race per day on long, demanding legs rarely seen in today’s short course era. Only one other one-design class has been invited to the regatta in 2018: the J/70 class, the fastest-growing one-design sportboat fleet in the world.

    As always, days on the water will be followed by hospitality and outdoor parties that only Bacardi can deliver, with great food, tropical music and an open bar with plenty of Bacardi rum.

    The Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta will be held March 4-10, 2018 and is being run by a new management company, Twelve MKTG, headed by Sara Zanobini, well-known to competitors in past years as the driving force behind the scenes of the event. She is joined by Miami native Mark Pincus, a US Sailing-certified PRO who is organizing the on-water racing program as he has done in past Bacardi regattas.

    For more information about the Bacardi Invitational Regatta, contact Sara: sara@bacardiinvitational.com, (305) 510-7024, or Mark: mark@bacardiinvitational.com, (305) 915-1438.   For more Bacardi Cup Invitational sailing and registration information

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The Halloween weekend provided many sailors the opportunity to explore the wilder sides of their sailing personalities.  In particular, some events centered around the “Best Dressed” boat or crew “treating” themselves to lots of laughter, fun, zaniness, and a few “refreshments” along the way.  Some of the best examples bringing friends, family, and kids together was the Witches Brew Race held by Charleston YC in Charleston, SC- it was a women’s-only skipper race with contests for Best Dressed Boat and Crew! The entire program was managed and organized by CORA (the Charleston Offshore Racing Association)- needless to say, they know how to have fun!  Then, out West, it was the occasion for the Great Pumpkin Regatta for one-design classes of J/24s, J/70s, J/105s and PHRF boats; Richmond YC in Richmond, CA on northern San Francisco Bay hosted the weekend regatta- they, too, had a Best Dressed Crew at the amazing Saturday night party.  On the more serious side of sailing, Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX hosted the J/105 North American Championship on Galveston Bay.  Out west, the San Diego YC hosted an extremely competitive invitation-only club event on their local fleet of J/105s- the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup.  Out east, three regattas were taking place simultaneously in the northern Chesapeake Bay off Annapolis, MD: the J/24 East Coasts and J/22 Mid-Atlantics hosted by Severn Sailing Association and the J/105 East Coasts hosted by Annapolis YC.

    Hopping across the big pond to Europe, we find the various J/70 sailing leagues in The Netherlands, Finland, and Italy all completing their summer-long season championships.  The only one left is Germany- hosting their finale in Hamburg next week in their J/70s.  The Dutch sailed their finale off The Hague, The Netherlands.  The Finnish J/70 league finale took place in Helsinki, Finland off Lauttasaari.  The Italians actually ran two events concurrently on the beautiful bay off Crotone, Italy.  First, was the finale hosted by Club Velico Crotone.  Then, following the example of their German colleagues to the north, the “LegaVela Italia” held their kick-off event in J/70s for an Under-19 Sailing League at the same venue- it was a wildly popular event for the youth teams!

    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:

    Oct 28- Nov 1- French J/80 National Championship- Quiberon, France
    Oct 28- Nov 1- J/70 South American Championship- Algarrobo, Chile
    Nov 4- Hot Rum Series I- San Diego, CA
    Nov 18- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
    Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
    Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica

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

    MOJO Smokes J/105 North Americans
    (Seabrook, TX)- The 2017 edition of the J/105 North American Championship certainly had its fair share of surprises.  For starters, the weather in the fall in Texas can be fraught with weather fronts moving like freight trains across the prairies, mowing down everything in their path, yet the next day there can be no wind!

    What was the first big surprise?  Plenty of wind for three of the four days!  And, the second one shocked most veteran J/105 sailors- what no one expected was the locals would lead a clean sweep of the podium after ten races run in four days!

    Lakewood Yacht Club hosted this year’s regatta at Seabrook, Texas from October 25-29, 2017.  Twenty-two teams participated, nineteen of which hailed from Texas, while the other three very fast, championship winning teams came from California (2) and Bermuda.

    In the end, it was Steve Rhyne’s local heroes from Lakewood YC that demonstrated a lot of chutzpah, guiding their appropriately named MOJO around the race track to six 1sts in the ten races sailed to win with a total of 23 pts, 26 pts clear of the next boat!  Crowned as the 2017 J/105 N.A. Champions, it is likely that no one has ever taken the title by such a significant margin.  Here is what happened on the mysterious, muddy waters of Galveston Bay.

    Day One
    Under sunny skies and with breeze at 10-15 knots, the teams completed four races on the first day. Local Steve Rhyne’s MOJO grabbed the early advantage with scores of 4-1-1-2 for 8 points. Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO put together a solid day with a line of 1-3-4-4 for 12 points and second place. Rick Goebel’s SANIT from San Diego held the third position with 21 points.

    Winds began at 10 knots, when Zartler kicked off the regatta with a victory, ahead of two Class Presidents (Past President James Macdonald’s DISTANT PASSION and current President Bill Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE). The breeze built throughout the day to 15 knots. Rhyne earned bullets in races two and three, ahead of Osmond Young and Zartler in the second meeting and in front of two Californians in the third (Bruce Stone’s GOOD TRADE and Goebel’s SANITY). Goebel took the final win of the day, as Rhyne and Rick Schaffer’s DOUBLE DARE rounded out the top three.

    Day Two
    As the spotlight shined on the Houston Astros for Major League Baseball’s World Series, so did the focus on Galveston Bay.  The locals, MOJO and DEJA VOODOO, continued to dominate the fleet, as seven races were now in the books of the no-throw-out series.

    By way of a 1-5-1 on Friday, Rhyne held a nine-point advantage over Zartler (MOJO tallies 15 points to DEJA VOODOO’s 24). Fellow Lakewood Yacht Club member Bill Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE moved up to third overall with 35 points.

    It was another solid day on the racecourse with winds between 12-16 knots and puffs into the 20s. Rhyne earned his first of two bullets in the initial contest, trailed by Zartler and Goebel’s SANITY. Stone’s GOOD TRADE seized the win in Friday’s middle battle, as Josh Richline’s VELOCE from Corpus Christi YC and Rick Schaffer’s DOUBLE DARE made the top three. The familiar Rhyne and Zartler were the one/two punch in the last race, followed by Lakenmacher.

    Day Three
    Rhyne’s appropriately named MOJO continued to cast a spell on the fleet on Saturday. Winds at 12-14 knots allowed an additional three races to be completed for a total of 10 so far, with one more on the docket for Sunday.

    Rhyne and crew posted another two race wins and added a rare sixth to give the local helmsman 23 points total. With a 26-point advantage, Rhyne had already secured the Championship in a no-throw out regatta!! An extraordinary scenario, to say the least! Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO scored 4-10-11, but maintained a hold on second place with 49 points. Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE stumbled in race 9 with a 15th place, but recovered with a bullet to retain the third position overall with 57 points. Rhyne and Goebel’s SANITY locked in the gold and silver spots in Saturday’s first two contests, followed initially by Osmond Young and then by Stone’s GOOD TRADE. Lakenmacher ended the day on a positive note, as did James Macdonald’s DISTANT PASSION from Royal Bermuda YC in Hamilton, Bermuda and Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY in the top trio.

    Day Four
    No races took place Sunday due to lack of wind, but it would not have mattered for Rhyne, who had already wrapped up the Championship.  His crew consisted of Brian Shores, Jake Scott, Joe Taylor, Alan Woodyard and Ryan Glaze. Fellow LYC members Bill Zartler on DEJA VOODOO and Bill Lakenmacher on RADIANCE completed the podium as 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

    Rhyne only bought his J/105 in the past year, lured by the strong Fleet 17 in Galveston Bay as well as this Championship at his own club. The conditions did not disappoint over the three sailing days of competition, as winds held in the teens for the duration.

    “These were physical conditions, but not unmanageable,” summarized Rhyne. “After we got the lead on day one, we went into conservative mode. We felt we had speed, so we just could not do anything stupid with a no throw-out series. It was about points management.” Rhyne gave all the credit to his team, saying, “Crew is everything on any boat. I think my crew could’ve stepped on any boat and won.”   Follow the J/105 Class on Facebook here   For more J/105 North American Championship sailing information

     
    WSV Almere Centraal Crowned Dutch League Champs
    (The Hague, The Netherlands)- The Dutch J/70 National Sailing League- “Eredivisie Zeilen”- had yet another successful year with record participation and an amazing increase in the level of competition.

    The leaders of the “EZ” league, Alex Hoeve and Marco de Klerk, had this to say at the finale in Monnickendam;

    "Throughout the season, we have been able to get high quality sailing amongst our sailing club teams. We have seen the level of competition increase dramatically this year. This is a good development, as we can now sail in heavier wind conditions at any event, thanks to the much-improved sailing experience of the sailors. Most importantly, we see more and more youthful participants joining the “old guard”; this trend is important and fits into the philosophy of the Eredivisie Zeilen!”

    In the end, it was the WSV Almere Centraal team that took 4th in the finale to “seal the deal” and clinch the overall title after sailing the five events (Almere, Aalsmeer, Scheveningen, Veere, Monnickendam) with a low point total of 108 pts.  Ironically, there’s was not an easy win since only 11 pts separated them from the 2nd place finishers in the end- Jachtclub Scheveningen.

    For the first day of sailing on the Gouwzee, the fleet was greeted by a tough breeze blowing an average of 24 kts. Spice it up with lulls and torrential downpours on occasion and you get the picture.  It was very challenging for both the sailors as well as the race committee.  Three complete flights were run.  With such a strong breeze, the big issue was (ironically) the teams maintaining (and anticipating) big puffs with tactical situations. For example, VWDTP had a collision with the SheSails Ladies from Amsterdam. Artur Knuppel said, “it was an unfortunate collision. We tried to dive below SheSails, but a big puff hit us as we bore off. So, we hit them amidships, making considerable damage, we feel so badly for this incident."

    The WV Almere Centraal skipper said, “the team is able to make the difference mainly on 'boat handling' and experience. They have been sailing in this event for three years now, and they benefit from it. The plan is to further build the lead, but we can not make mistakes!"

    Sitting in second after the first day, Jachtclub Scheveningen’s Tom Kerkhof commented, “it's a lot of fun sailing! We have a 1st place in the first race and a third place in the second race. In our first race today we could benefit from a mistake by WV Almere Centraal, which we caught in the last leg. We kept the boat going hard and played the wind shifts as best we could."

    The second day of sailing on Saturday was completely blown out, with winds hitting Force 6 & 7- 40+ knots!  So, the race committee wisely canceled races for the day after an initial postponement to 1400 hours.

    For the Sunday finale, only nine points separated WSV Almere Centraal and Jachtclub Scheveningen after 147 races in the course of the 2017 season!  Everyone’s patience was being tested all weekend-long on the Gouwzee- with puffs hitting 32 kts on Friday, 28 kts on Saturday, everyone was hoping Sunday would provide a fair test of the teams. As it turns out, the conditions on Sunday were considerably quieter than the previous days, making it a tactical game in 5-7 knots of wind. Eventually, 24 races were sailed for the weekend.

    WSV Almere Centraal was hoping to win another title. Team captain John Engelsman said, "Our ambition was to win another title. We also wanted to get the final stage in Monnickendam, but unfortunately, it just did not work. At the beginning of this season, we added four new members to our team. All experienced racing sailors, but every round was another challenge to set up the right team. Until this weekend, we managed to win three rounds, although the margins of winning are significantly smaller compared to 2016.  Even for the Sailing Champions League that we sailed, the margins were quite small between the 36 best clubs in Europe; we finished 9th overall and the podium had a four point spread from 1st to 3rd- amazing!”

    Rounding out the top three in the Dutch J/70 National Sailing League was Jachtclub Scheveningen in second place with 119 pts and WSV Giesbeek in third place with 128 pts.   Follow the Dutch J/70 National Sailing League Facebook page   For more Dutch J/70 National Sailing League information

    Åländska SS Take Finnish J/70 Sailing League Series  
    (Helsinki (Lauttasaari), Finland)- The Finnish J/70 Sailing League completed their final event in Lauttasaari, just off the mouth of Helsinki harbor.  Going into the finale, the top team was Åländska Segelsällskapet's first team; they had a solid five-point lead over Mariehamns Seglarförening (MSF), who in turn was just one point ahead of Helsinki's Brändö Seglarea.  However, because of the racing has been so close by the top teams, it was believed by many that it would be hard to displace any of the top three from the podium.

    There was no question that Åländska SS crew were confident.  “Our goal is to win the last race. Our team is in really a good mood and the training has gone well. We hope windy weather, because it's our strength,” said MSF Captain Henrik Lundberg.  No question, those were prophetic words for them.

    The regatta culminated with the Åländska SS First team taking the overall championship.  Second, was the women’s team from Nyländska Jaktklubben (NJK) and taking third because of a strong performance in the last event was Mariehamns Seglarförening (MSF).

    The teams consisted of four-man crew, whose configurations were different in different races. In the competition, Åländska SS's top team was Daniel Mattsson, Mathias Dahlman, Isak Nordlund and Staffan Lindberg.

    Thanks to its victory, Åländska Segelsällskapet will be able to sail to the Nord Stream Race offshore competition in 2018. In addition, the top teams will be able to compete in the 2018 Sailing Champions League qualifying rounds.   Follow the Finnish J/70 Sailing League Facebook page here   For more Finnish J/70 Sailing League information

    C.C.A. Dominates Italian J/70 Sailing League Finale
    CCA Also Crowned the 2017 Italian League Champion
    (Crotone, Italy)- Twenty teams gathered together on the beautiful bay off Crotone, Italy to sail their third and final event of their 2017 Lega Italiano Vela (the Italian J/70 sailing league).  The Club Velico Crotone organized the event.      

    Il Circolo Canottieri Aniene was the winner of the 2017 season of the Italian Sailing League. With a flawless series, built with four first, one second and one third in the six races, the CCA team (Lorenzo Bressani, Luca Tubaro, Matteo Mason and Umberto Molineris) dominated the league’s finale.

    It was an extremely tactical first day, with a wildly shifting wind.  The second day had strong winds, challenging the crews, particularly on their boat-handling and planing mode angles downwind.  On the final day, it was a steady, but streaky breeze of 11 to 15 kts. It was readily apparent to everyone on the race track, the CCA team had it nailed all weekend long.

    "This season we have rallied hard several times, and we have been able to think about the best strategies and tactics.  We changed Matteo Mason's role, adding to jib trim the role of tactician, too.  It was a winning choice, a necessary one for the high level of this finale, which was well above last year,“ commented Lorenzo Bressani- skipper of the CCA team.

    In addition, as it always happens in high-level one-design regattas, the training and crew make the difference; as was evident by the performance of the next two teams on the podium. Second place went to the Yacht Club Adriaco- represented by the victorious J/70 Worlds Corinthian crew (Gianfranco Noè, Emanuele Noè, Andrea Micalli and Samuele Maria Semi). Then, placing third was the Circolo della Vela Bari with crew of Simone Ferrarese, Michele Lecce, Corrado Capece Minutolo, and Gianmaria Foglia.

    "We have an exceptional field of racing sailors,” commented the LegaVela President Roberto Emanuele de Felice.  “It was a perfect venue for racing. A thank you to President Verri and his team- Crotone really did their best to host a wonderful event. Congratulations to the Circolo Canottieri Aniene, which in this finale embodied great spirit and tremendous talent needed. The LIV Formula is outstanding, and it is clear the level of J/70 racing by all clubs is getting much higher."

    “Remarkably, 11 teams had at least a first place,” said LIV Executive Vice President Alessandro Maria Rinaldi.  “This shows the top level talent of all crews! It was clear that CCA had talent and experience, the Club has trained more this year by taking part in the selections at St. Petersburg's Sailing Champions League and at the SAILING Champions final in Porto Cervo. The competitive level was also very high for the other Clubs and for that reason Legavela Servizi will set up a special 2018 bid for sailing clubs that want to train and participate in 2018. A warm and hearty 'Thank You' goes to all the yacht club staff that enabled this event to take place. Thanks Crotone and goodbye to next year!"   Italian J/70 Sailing League video summary   Follow Italian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here   For more Italian J/70 Sailing League information

    Club Velico Crotone Tops Italian U-19 J/70 Sailing League Kick-off
    (Crotone, Italy)- On October 30, the Kick-off for the Club Under 19 Championship, the junior version of the Legavela Championship, took place at Crotone and also hosted by Club Velico Crotone. The program for the seven competing teams included a full day of training on Monday by Italy’s top J/70 sailors for the youth teams.  Then, the teams sailed a round-robin format of racing over two days, just like the adult sailing league.  This is the report on how it all took place.

    Day 1
    Fifteen races were sailed in over 12 knots on the first day. The young sailors aboard the new J/70 one-design sailboats welcomed the Legavela format with great enthusiasm and had a true battle in fifteen races.

    At the top of the leaderboard after the first day were the hosts of the Velico Crotone Club (captain Matteo Verri, skipper Demetrio Sposato, Gaia Verri, Mattia La Greca, and Beatrice Sposato), thanks to winning seven of fifteen races, they had a 40 pt lead. Sitting in second with 55 pts was Centro Velico 3V (captain Alessandro Franzì, skipper Riccardo Sepe, Gabriele Centrone, Alice Tamburini, and Paolo Iacchia).  Then, sitting in third with 60 pts was Societa Velica di Barcola e Grignano (captain/skipper Maria Vittoria Marchesini, Matthias Menis, Zeno Tarlao, Alice Linussi, and Nicolas Starc).

    Day 2
    On the race course, the Club Velico Crotone youth crew repeated their excellent performance on the first day. Comfortable with the sustained strong winds, they kept the results constant- mostly first places! As a result, the CVC youth U-19 team won the first Italian U-19 J/70 kick-off sailing league event.

    Ironically, despite the ups and downs on the results ladder, the top three teams did not change at the conclusion of the regatta.  Second was Centro Velico 3V and holding on to third place was Societa Velica di Barcola e Grignano.

    "We are excited about this event, which closes a great week of sailing, beautifully organized by Club Velico Crotone," said the executive vice president of LIV Alessandro Maria Rinaldi. “The young sailors have done their best and have proven to be perfectly capable of handling the J/70s in the sailing league format. The experiment has been successful, and now we are ready to build a circuit for next season, dedicated to mature young people rising to the top of Italian sailing."   Follow the Italian U-19 J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here   For more Italian J/70 Sailing League information

    San Diego YC Tops J/105 Lipton Cup Challenge
    (San Diego, CA)- The 103rd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup hosted by San Diego Yacht Club invited twelve yacht club teams from California, New York, and Illinois.  After three days of racing, it was “clear as mud” which team was going to walk away with the coveted Sir Thomas Lipton Cup, a massively beautiful piece of silverware donated for this event by the famous “tea baron” from the United Kingdom.  In the end, proving their resiliency yet again in very tough, tactical conditions, it was the young Tyler Sinks leading the host team- the San Diego YC crew- to the overall victory on the last day over their arch-rivals, and nemesis, the 2016 victors Newport Harbor YC skippered by Jon Pinckney.  In this regatta, it has held true that “the opera ain’t over until the fat lady sings”; any one of three teams could have won going into the last race.

    All races were sailed on the San Diego fleet of J/105s in North Bay on the normal venue…bordered by downtown San Diego and the U.S.S. Midway to the east, to the south the US Navy’s North Island (without a 1,200 ft carrier this year), and to the north by Harbor Island with the Sheraton Hotels at San Diego Airport.  Typically, with the breeze in the Southwest to Northwest quadrants, the ship channel next to the North Island Navy base is a significant factor for current, mostly westerly flowing at up to a full knot.

    This year, the conditions were pretty basic San Diego, light, sunny... 6-10kts from the northwest for the first two days.  The last day was from the south, very puffy, streaky and shifty, and made for some fun shorter legs with up to three laps! Here is how it all went down. 

    Day One- Light stuff
    Racing in the northern part of San Diego harbor, the SDYC RC/ PRO team managed to run the first four races.  It was certainly a light day with the breeze hanging around 5-6 knots all day. The heaviest air that Race Committee saw was 8 knots, but unfortunately it did not stay for long and competitors were mostly battling in light air with some current. Because of the light air, Race Committee shortened the course during races 1, 2, and 3. Race 4 was not shortened, but the wind was shifting to the right for a large portion of the race.

    The sailing was hugely variable because of the fact that almost every team in the event was in the top 3 boats at any given mark rounding throughout the afternoon!

    There were four different race winners on this day.  Race 1 went to Commodore Phil Lotz from New York Yacht Club.  Race 2 went to Shane Young from Long Beach Yacht Club.  Race 3 to Chris Perkins from San Francisco Yacht Club.  And, race 4 to Jon Pinckney from Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

    At the end of the day, only four points separated positions one through three. Interestingly enough, the top three teams after day one are the only non-California teams participating!  That was another historical “first” for the Lipton Cup!

    The top three teams after day one were Chicago Yacht Club with the young Will Holz as skipper in first place; the New York Yacht Club led by Commodore Lotz in second; and Larchmont Yacht Club’s Danny Pletsch in third. Notably, all three of these teams were vying for their first win of the Lipton Cup trophy.

    Back at SDYC's guest dock after racing, Chicago Yacht Club skipper Will Holz shared his successful strategy for the day.  "Today it was all about grinding back from bad situations. If I found myself in 9th or 10th at a mark rounding, I tried to grind one boat at a time to get rid of those double-digit races. We focused on our starts for the most part; if you had a good start, you were likely rounding top 6. Other than that, we just tried to stay fast and I tried to let my crew run the boat while I steered. We have a lot of talented sailors on board, so I tried to put ourselves in a position to let them rumble."

    Philip Lotz, skipper and 2017 Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, shared what it was like to win the first of the twelve scheduled races for the three-day regatta.  "Race one was the first race out of the shoot for us. We had a clean start, we got going a little to the left, and we actually stayed in the middle of the race course on the first leg, trying to connect the dots on the breeze lines. We were one of the first boats at the weather mark and we got to the downwind left on the spinnaker run. We got lucky there with more breeze, came in first at the gate, and held that lead for the rest of the race."

    The team from Larchmont Yacht Club, skippered by Danny Pletsch, had some challenges today, but is still third going into Saturday. "Overall, we did well today although we made a few different mistakes that got the umpire involved. Aside from that, we feel that we sailed really well and we feel good. Right now we are in the power of 3s- we got 7th the first year and 4th last year so now it's win or go home. We're pumped for tomorrow."

    Day Two- Roller-coaster Scorelines
    The second day started out similarly to the previous day’s conditions. The marine layer burned off by 10:00 am and wind at 3-5 knots greeted the racers heading out to the course by 11:00 am. The race committee worked hard, managing a very busy San Diego Bay and was able to get five races off, completing Race 9 around 5:00 pm.

    With clear skies and a clear start, the first race of the day got underway and Long Beach YC was ahead right off the line. The team was able to maintain their lead the entire race and secured the top spot. Competitors learned early on that the left side of the course was paying as they followed the leader on the second beat. Long Beach skipper Shane Young said of their victory, “Our game plan was to keep it clean, minimize mistakes, get off the line and we did exactly what we planned.” Meanwhile, San Diego YC continued where they left off yesterday finishing second and Newport Harbor YC got into a consistent groove finishing third and decided that was as low as they were going to go the rest of the day!

    Race 6 began with another clear start and Southwestern YC found themselves second row off the line and threw in a tack briefly before returning to join the rest of the fleet on the left side once again. San Francisco YC and San Diego YC had an excellent match race starting at the first weather mark rounding. At the leeward gate, both boats rounded simultaneously and tried to make gains on their second upwind leg. San Diego YC took the win and got their first taste of the top spot in the 2017 regatta.

    Balboa YC, eager to improve their streak of ninths, had an aggressive start and was OCS for Race 7; but, was able to make it up and finish third. St. Francis YC also managed to improve their score for the third race of the day. During a flurry of protests at the second windward mark rounding, St. Francis YC was able to stay focused, with clean maneuvers and round the mark in second before setting off for their final run to the finish. They crossed the line in second to secure their best race of the regatta so far. Newport Harbor YC also capitalized at the second windward mark rounding while their fellow competitors were making penalty turns and they took first for race seven. Skipper Jon Pinckney said, “With everyone slowing down, it opened up the lead for us... we were the benefactor of a huge pile up at the weather mark. Sometimes the luck goes your way in the Lipton Cup.” Surely, the Newport Harbor team hopes that luck continues into the final day!

    Racers had some external challenges in Race 8 with some major shipping traffic; thankfully, all boats were able to maintain their course. SDYC jumped ahead and Coronado YC got in the game for a top three spot. After the first weather mark rounding, all teams stayed to the left side of the course and Coronado YC decided to go right. Three year veteran Lipton Cup skipper Patrick Powell later said, “I think this was the first race you had to go right a little bit and we played the shifts really well.”

    Race 9 got off to a rocky start with a postponement followed by a general recall. Once the boats were off the line, they were ready to sail fast. Cal YC was first to the windward mark on the first beat and held the number one spot until the finish. Newport Harbor YC landed in second and Larchmont YC improved from placing fifth in Race 8 to third in the final race of the day.

    Day Three- Dramatic Finale
    The final day began with a postponement while breeze filled in from the South. The SDYC Race Committee was able to get the first race off at 1:45pm setting a shorter, 3-lap course across the bay that was key in achieving all 3 races needed to complete the regatta.

    The sun was just breaking through the clouds at the start of Race 10. Chicago YC was OCS, St. Francis YC won the boat end, and Larchmont YC had a great start at the pin; but was soon rolled by San Diego YC. Chicago YC recovered from their start moving into third at the first windward mark rounding. With lots of lead changes throughout the 6-leg course, it was anybody’s race. Cal YC found themselves in great pressure sailing deep on the second run. They were able to keep that momentum and secure the top seat in the first race of the last day. Larchmont had an impressive race as well, finishing second, their best race of the regatta. This morning, main trimmer, Chad Corning, talked about going into the final day, “It’s a hard regatta, the Lipton Cup, to stay consistent. So, today we just want to get some good starts.”

    Consistency came into play in Race 11, as there were not nearly as many lead changes throughout the race. The fleet stayed in the middle to right on the course and there was a change of course to the right for the 3rd leg. At the finish, the results were completely shaken up from Race 10 as Cal YC went from first to twelfth and Coronado came up to take the top spot. Balboa YC also made a big leap to second whereas they finished eleventh in the previous race. Meanwhile San Diego YC and Newport Harbor YC earned a fourth and a sixth respectively for both Race 10 and 11, fighting their point battle further back in the fleet.

    At the start of the dramatic 12th and final race of the series, San Diego YC was sitting in first place overall with 47 points, Newport Harbor YC in second with 48 points, and San Francisco YC in third with 55 points. And in the event of a tiebreaker, Newport Harbor YC would have had the edge.

    It was very quiet as the Race Committee sent the boats on their way up the course. The fleet was even off the line and New York YC was in the lead at the first windward mark rounding. Newport Harbor YC made their way through the fleet on the first three legs and approaching the second windward mark rounding were in the lead, but were just under the layline. As they stalled and slowly managed to get around the mark, Chicago YC and San Diego YC were able to pass by. Chicago YC lead the pack for a little while until Coronado YC sailed in front on the last run of the regatta getting another first. San Diego YC came in at seventh and Newport Harbor YC in tenth resulting in a 4 point overall win for the San Diego team as they won the regatta and brought the Lipton Cup trophy back home to SDYC.

    San Diego YC had a tough first day of the regatta but improved throughout, seeing their best scores Saturday, which put them neck and neck with Newport Harbor YC, the defending 2016 Lipton Cup champs. After the victory, San Diego YC skipper, Tyler Sinks, said, “It feels like redemption. Having won and lost once before – it’s definitely more fun to win than to lose.”

    SDYC Commodore John Reiter talked about the win and regatta. “The future of the sport is in provided boats. We had visionaries back in 2010 that helped to make this event one of the best of the best. The 2017 Lipton Cup win was a great way to cap off a strong year.”  For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information

    SISU Wins 39th Annual J/24 East Coasts!
    Julian Tops J/22 Mid-Atlantics
    (Annapolis, MD)- Over the “pre-Halloween” weekend, the Severn Sailing Association held its 39th annual J/24 East Coast Championship.  Simultaneously, they also hosted the J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship.  Off the mouth of the Severn River on Chesapeake Bay, both fleets enjoyed a lot of racing over the weekend, with J/24s sailing nine races and the J/22s seven races.

    What was not surprising was who won the J/22 class, a long-time leader, Brad Julian from Youngstown YC in Youngstown, NY.  What surprised most everyone in the J/24 class was to see James Bonham’s SISU defeat several J/24 class championship teams (of note- Bonham did have two-time J/70 World Champion crew Willem van Waay in the cockpit and past J/24 East Coast Champion skipper Todd Hillman as “rail meat”).

    The J/24s had twenty-five boats registered for their 39th J/24 East Coast Championship; a terrific turnout considering the class was also celebrating 40 years of J/Boats (e.g. J/24s), too! The teams came from as far away as Bermuda, Nova Scotia, Florida, Maine, New York and the usual suspects from the local Chesapeake Bay fleet.  It was not an easy win by any stretch of the imagination for Bonham’s SISU crew; in fact, it was a three-way battle for at least the first six races.  After the first six races, SISU’s tally of 3-2-1-1-2-1 for 10 pts was just four points in front of perennial J/24 class champion, Tony Parker and the infamous BANGOR PACKET crew.  Parker’s tally was an equally impressive 1-1-3-3-3-3 for 14 pts.  And, just as good in those six races was Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER with a 4-3-2-2-1-2 tally for 14 pts.  However, thereafter, the “wheels fell off the shopping trolley” for Parker and Odenbach.  Parker’s crew misfired in race 7, adding a 7th to their scoreline, while Odenbach’s crew “sent it down the mineshaft” in race 8, adding a 9th to their scorecard.  In the end, consistency paid off for Bonham’s all-star cast on SISU, closing with a 1-2-5 to win by five points.  Second was Parker’s BANGOR PACKET and third was Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER.

    Unlike the J/24s, the top three J/22 teams on the leaderboard were all very close until the last race.  In fact, the final race for the J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship determined the ultimate outcome.  Going into that race, Mike Marshall’s BAD NEWS was leading with 18 pts, followed by Brad Julian’s USA 677 with 19 pts and Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY next with 20 pts.  By winning the last race, Julian’s USA 677 crew snatched the title away from Marshall’s BAD NEWS, who scored a 4th in the last race to drop to 2nd.  Todd’s final race 3rd place kept them in 3rd overall.  Sailing photo credits- Sarah Parker.   For more J/24 East Coast and J/22 Mid-Atlantic Coast Championship sailing information

    Another “White Out” @ J/105 East Coast Champs!
    (Annapolis, MD)- Over the 28th to 29th October weekend, seventeen J/105s took to the line to battle for honors as the 2017 J/105 East Coast Champion.  The host Annapolis YC and its amazing volunteers put on another great weekend of sailing, managing to get in five races for the fleet.

    Winning the regatta handily with two 1sts and a trio of 2nds was John White’s team on USA 113, with a total of just 8 pts.  Working hard to stay with them all weekend was the duo of Cedric Lewis & Fredrik Salvesen on MIRAGE, posting yet another amazing record of 4-1-2-1-3 for 11 pts total.  Then, rounding out the podium was Andrew Kennedy’s BAT IV, winning a tie-breaker on 21 pts each with Carl & Scott Gitchell’s TENACIOUS.  Andrew had this to say about the event, “Thanks to our awesome crew- Jenny Holzer, Christina Mayor, Terry Reese, James Beatty, and, particularly, all-star tactician Ray Wulff- for a great event.”  For more J/105 East Coast Championship sailing information

    J/Wildness @ Great Pumpkin Regatta
    (Richmond, CA)- Richmond Yacht Clubs’ Great Pumpkin Regatta, entering it’s 32nd year, is a bit of a mini-Woodstock for the San Francisco Bay area.  For starters, it is celebrating Halloween and what is there not to like about Halloween in the Bay area for its extraordinary, eclectic collection of people that often have an “alternative” viewpoint on the world- like, “yes, aliens do exist!”  Secondly, the Bay in the fall can also have wildly bizarre weather as it transcends from its legendary nuclear-winds sailing conditions in mid-summer, to light airs/ no winds in the winter and pouring a gazillion gallons of water per second from the heavens.

    The 32nd Great Pumpkin Regatta had a bit of a mix of all the fall weather you can imagine.  Not much sun, that is for sure. Mostly grey, leaden skies, with generally light airs, but some occasions enough breeze for J/70s to plane a little bit on tighter reaches.   On Saturday, the fleet enjoyed three well-run races in classic “around the cans” scenarios in the fabled “Berzerk-ely” Circle. More importantly, the Saturday party was replete with great food, great band, and some equally outrageous costumes.

    Ironically, this year marked the 50th Anniversary of the “Summer of Love” edition (remember Woodstock??) of the Great Pumpkin Regatta, just as the region’s Indian Summer came to an abrupt end. Days of highs in the 80's on the San Francisco Bay with light tranquil winds were replaced with a stout, cold onshore wind, ushered in by a very dense fog bank, causing many to reach in the their closets for the heavy foul weather gear not worn in months.

    Enjoying the racing and the awesome “après-race” festivities were a range of J/sailors from across the Bay area- J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, and sailing PHRF classes- J/80 and J/30.

    In the seven-boat J/70 class, it was David Schumann’s BOTTLE ROCKET from San Francisco YC truly blasted-off to the front of the fleet; posting straight bullets for an easy win.  Similarly, Tom Thayer’s RAMPAGE from Richmond YC dropped all deuces to complete the day in second place.  Then, amazingly, it was Mark Thomas’ USA 29 from Richmond YC that posted all thirds to round out the podium.

    The J/24s were a bit less stratified than the J/70s.  In fact, it was a bit of a donnybrook for the top three boats.  After the smoke cleared, it was rockin’ woman skipper Val Lulevich and her crew on SHUT UP & DRIVE that won with a 3-1-1 tally for 5 pts.  The boys behind her ended up tied for the silver at 8 pts apiece.  Darren Cumming’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR posted a 1-4-3, good enough on count-back to overcome Jasper Van Vliet’s EVIL OCTOPUS with a 2-2-4 scoreline.

    Amazingly enough, the J/105 class had a virtual identical scenario play out as the J/24s.  Winning was Ian Charles’ MAVERICK with a 1-1-2 for 4 pts.  However, tied at 8 pts each was Sergey Lubarsky’s RUSSIAN ROULETTE/ RACEQS.COM and Jamie Isbester’s ENERGY on 8 pts each.  The Russians won that tie-breaker.

    In the SF-30 Class, Tony Castruccio’s J/30 WIND SPEED was sailing fast, had a shot at winning, but did not sail the last race and settled for the bronze in their class.  Then, in PHRF E class, Tim Stapleton’s J/80 PK beat just about every crazy sportboat one could put on the starting line, Open 5.7, Ultimate 24, M20, Rondar K6, etc.     Thanks for contribution and sailng photos from Pressure-drop.us- Erik Simonson  For more Great Pumpkin Regatta sailing information

    Witches Brew Race- Dress for Success!
    (Charleston, SC)- Every Halloween weekend, the Charleston Ocean Racing Association hosts its annual “Witches Brew Race”.  This year, it took place on October 29 in Charleston Harbor in a for-fun, random-leg race around various government markers.  The regatta rules stipulate- “all helms-persons shall be female.  Boats without female helms-persons shall be disqualified.”

    In addition to the highly competitive harbor course racing, there was a costume contest adjudicated by the Race Committee (note- the Race Committee does not take candy for bribes, just rum!).  Special prizes were awarded to the top three “Best Dressed Boats” and “Best Dressed Crew.”

    The start time at 1300 off the Carolina YC dock saw the PHRF A fleet take off in good breeze.  Ten minutes later both PHRF C and PHRF D classes were also on the track, the first two fleets sailing Course 7 (longer) and Class D sailing Course 1

    The conditions for the race were a bit rough on the women skippers and mostly women crews!  In the end, they held their composure in the 15 to 30 kts winds at the top mark!

    In the PHRF A class, the Self’s J/105 RUCKUS took the silver.  Then, in the PHRF D class, the Hanckel’s J/120 EMOCEAN also took silver, followed by the Swatta’s J/30 LAS BRISAS in third place.

    However, the most important trophy for most boats was the Costume Contest for “Best Dressed Crew & Boat”.  By popular vote, it was a tie for second place between the “Astronauts” (on the J/105 RUCKUS) and the “Wonder Women” (on the J/120 EMOCEAN).  A great time was certainly had by all afterwards with copious amounts of Halloween food and refreshments for all.  Sailing Photo Credits- Priscilla Parker    Follow CORA’s Facebook page here   For more CORA Witches Brew Race sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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    * We recently received a report regarding how a J/145 is fairing in its current home in the Pacific Northwest- Seattle, Washington area.  Here is the sweet note from Edie & John Tenneson, owners of the J/145 JEDI:

    “We wanted to give you an update on our J/145 JEDI.  We have had her for five years, having brought her up from San Diego in October 2012 (formerly "Rain Cloud"). We have enjoyed racing in the Pacific Northwest doing longer distance races such as Swiftsure and Round the County, local mid-distance series such as the SYC Tri-Island series, and competing in buoy racing in PSSR (Puget Sound Summer Regatta) and PSSC (Puget Sound Spring Championship).

    We just finished fourth in the Seattle YC invitational Grand Prix this past weekend, holding our own against two TP52s and a RP55.

    We now race in the ORC division. New sails, constant learning, and great teamwork have lead to many successes.

    Our 2001 J/145 is a powerful, all-around cruiser and racer that is a thrill to sail.  She is now the only J/145 in the PNW, and we are proud to have her and be part of the J/Boat family!

    Note- our boat name may have its inspiration in the famous characters of Star Wars, but it’s also a conjugation of our names “John + Edie = Jedi”.

    We hope you enjoy some recent photos of her in Puget Sound, thanks to our friend and amazing photographer- Jan Anderson from Seattle.  All the Best, Edie and John Tenneson”

    * J/70 Sailing League using MarkSETBot for automated race course management!

    Wally Cross has seen the future and wants to share the view. Here he reports on what may be the next big thing in our sport.  Wally comments on this evolutionary product:

    “Three automated buoys from MarkSETBot, two operators and one RIB – that’s all you need to run a regatta with a true course every time. The MarkSETBot buoy is changing the management side of yacht racing.

    Despite heavy reliance on volunteers, many yacht races have significant expenses that are making the events cost prohibitive.

    When I read in Scuttlebutt about the village needed to run the Etchells Worlds, the PRO/organizer was appropriately proud of all the help which made the regatta a success, but when you consider the cost of travel, hotel and food for more than 20 RC people, the event budget quickly swells, and the expense even exceeds the cost of purchasing these automated buoys.

    Key West was one of my favorite regattas until it became too expensive to run. Block Island also is one of my must sail events. However, according to Dick Neville, the cost of volunteer help to run all the courses is over $100,000.

    Not only is the traditional way of running a regatta expensive, it also is slow and rarely perfect. Another drawback is the downtime between races, waiting for courses to be set and reset. When on the water, sailors would rather be racing.

    I recently ran a J/70 Stadium Sailing event at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (Detroit, MI) in partnership with Benjamin Klatzka, USA president of the Premiere Sailing League (PSL). We teamed up with Kevin Morin, inventor of the MarkSETBot, and ran an all-automated race course using three mobile MarkSETBot marks. PSL intends to use MarkSETBot at all future stadium sailing events.

    Three moveable marks can make a windward leeward course complete. The self-propelled MarkSETBot buoy is approximately 6 feet by 4 feet in size and motors at four knots. The mark’s standard battery has an average life of eight hours, with larger battery options available.

    Controlled by a smartphone, the buoys move independently, in pairs, or as a group. A course is set by simply pointing the connected phone at the wind or by using wind instruments on the mark to research trends and then set a bearing based on the data. Once set, the MarkSETBot locks on a GPS location and holds position.

    We held 18 races at the J/70 Stadium Sailing event with 12 teams in less than three hours. With only a five-minute crash course on using the MarkSETBot app, Benjamin controlled the setting of the marks using a smartphone, moving them independently and as a group. The starting line easily became gates, transitioned to a finish line and then moved back to the starting line for the next race.

    The MarkSETBot were put to good use with constant changes to the course based on wind speed and changing wind direction. Just prior to one start, the wind shifted 90 degrees. With a conventional race course, it would have taken up to half an hour to adjust the marks. With MarkSETBot, Benjamin was able to instruct all marks on the course to shift 90 degrees. The complete course was changed in under 60 seconds, and we were ready to race again.

    How can you run a regatta with only three marks, two people and one boat? Here’s how:
    • Three MarkSetBots are needed. One MarkSetBot acts as the windward mark and the other two act as the start/gate/finish.
    • Two people manage the racing: one is responsible for scoring and controlling the marks and the other is the PRO.
    • One RIB is needed for on-the-water judging and sighting start and finish lines. In the future, this could be done via drone without the need for a RIB.
    How is this better than traditional mark set boats?
    • Fewer RC boats and people required
    • Faster course changes – rapid changing of course direction with no effort, leading to a more precise course
    • Fewer marks necessary – start marks can be repurposed to become gates and finish marks in under 30 seconds with the tap of a button
    • More accurate and easier deep water mark setting
    • Better wind information – displays current and past wind readings without having to radio to the mark set boat
    If you are interested in the history behind MarkSetBot, Kevin Morin conceptualized the automated buoys while racing on Cass Lake at the Pontiac Yacht Club. This inland lake is shifty to say the least, and race committee work is a nonstop job. Often, courses are set less than perfect just to get races going.

    This new technology eliminates some of the challenges faced by race committees in locations where the wind is shifty, volunteers are scarce, or the water is too deep to set an anchor. These issues often force them to set a course that is less than ideal or, sometimes, cancel racing entirely.

    Our world is changing fast with new innovations. Just as cars will soon be able to drive without a person steering, buoys for sailboat races can be autonomous too. I’m thrilled about this new technology that will result in better races and eliminate the waste of both money and time. “  Thanks for contribution from Scuttlebutt Sailing News.

    * Congrats to Newport sailing duo Charlie Enright and Mark Towill and the rest of the VESTAS 11th Hour Racing crew (including Newport Shipyard’s Nick Dana, son of Charlie Dana- owner of the yard) on their first leg win in the Volvo Ocean Race!

    VESTAS 11th Hour Racing won Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race, crossing the finish line in the River Tagus in Lisbon, Portugal with a 2.5 hour time cushion over the second place boat.

    It’s a tremendous victory for American skipper Charlie Enright and his team, who earn 8 points for their efforts (including a one point ‘bonus’ for winning the leg).

    It wasn’t easy. The wind shut down on the final approach, and an early morning lead of 34-nautical miles over second-placed MAPFRE was whittled down to 10-miles, with the finish in sight.

    Nevertheless, the crew on the VESTAS 11TH Hour held their nerve; tacking and zigzagging towards the line, into agonizingly light headwinds, and finally securing victory.

    “It’s incredible,” said Mark Towill, Team Director, from on board the boat moments before the finish.  “What a way to kick off the event. it’s been an incredible performance for the team… It’s been a challenging leg. We still have a lot to improve and long way to go… Today is our day, we’ll enjoy it, but then we have to get back to work and focus on the next leg.”

    Charlie Enright is the third American skipper to win Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The others were John Kostecki, on illbruck in 2001-02, and Paul Cayard on EF Language in 1997-98. Both of those teams went on to an overall victory – so the omens for Charlie Enright are certainly good.

    Vestas 11th Hour Racing – which carries US and Danish flags – are the first American flagged team to win Leg 1. They are also the first Danish team to win a leg.

    “We have a long way to go certainly, but this was a good way to start,” said skipper Charlie Enright. “SiFi (navigator Simon Fisher) did a great job. He didn’t really make any missteps. But every sked is nerve-wracking, especially when you’re stuck in a river going backwards!

    “But we pride ourselves on not getting too high or too low and I think we executed that on this leg. It’s about having confidence in ourselves and committing to the process and now we’re starting to see the results of that.”

    From a J/Boats sailor perspective, it’s interesting to note the top three boats were all led by very experienced J/sailors.  Charlie Enright was a J/24 World champion; the second place skipper- Xabi Fernández of MAPFRE and the third place skipper- Charles Caudrelier on Dongfeng Racing Team- both have had extensive experience sailing J/80s at a National and European level.

    The next leg, a 7,000 nm course from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa, starts November 5th, 2017.  For more Volvo Ocean Race sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

    Read more...
  • J/Newsletter- October 25th, 2017 J/Gear Holiday Special!
    A Holiday Special for all J/Boat owners, crews, and sailing friends!  Lots of great gift ideas & clothing for everyone!

    Please go shopping EARLY for your custom J/GEAR to ensure delivery in time for the holidays!  You can get a 20% discount if you enter this code- JBH2017xm- when you are ready to check out and pay for your items.  This offer is good until November 19th, 2017 (note- half-models and JBoats custom prints are not included in this offer).  Visit the J/Gear store now-  http://jgear.vsport.biz


    J/105 North Americans Preview
    (Seabrook, TX)- Lakewood Yacht Club, in co-operation with the J/105 International Class Association, is hosting the 2017 J/105 North American Championship regatta at Seabrook, Texas from October 25-29, 2017.  Twenty-two teams have entered, nineteen of which hail from Texas, while the other three teams come from California (2) and Bermuda.

    The weather forecast promises a warm, sunny day on Thursday with seabreeze conditions from the SSE up to 10 kts, a dark & stormy Friday with showers and thunderstorms with the wind clocking fast into the NNW as the frontal system passes, then a rapid cool-down overnight with northerly winds Saturday and Sunday with dramatically colder weather- e.g. 40s F in the morning warming to low 60s F by midday! In the fall, such weather patterns are pretty normal as low-pressure systems roll across the Great Plains of America, completely unobstructed to any geographical resistance, and the hot waters (85 F) of the Gulf of Mexico feed cold fronts- producing nasty things like tornados! The conditions will make for tough, challenging racing as the fleet will be presented with a wide variety of wind and sea states- particularly on Saturday/ Sunday when the winds will be very shifty and streaky.

    Amongst the local “homeboys” hoping to make their mark on this year’s J/105 NA’s will be hot teams like J.B. Bednar’s STINGER, Bill Lackenmacher’s RADIANCE, Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY, Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO, Mark Smith’s EAU LA LA, Rick Schaffer’s DOUBLE DARE, Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS, and Josh Richline’s VELOCE.  Teamwork, consistent starts, and boat speed will be the most critical issues for these boats as they face a formidable array of “outsiders” coming in from afar.

    The three boats visiting and racing in Texas for their first times are no spring chickens, that is for sure!  For starters, Bruce Stone’s GOOD TRADE from San Francisco, CA will be racing with a hyper-active, smart crew; as past Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week Champions, Rolex Big Boat Series Champions, and J/105 North American Champions, they are likely the odds-on favorite to be at the top of the leaderboard.  Next up is Rick Goebel’s SANITY crew from San Diego, California, yet another crew of rock stars that have won the San Diego NOOD, silver at Rolex Big Boat Series, and top five at past J/105 North Americans, plus they won last weekend’s J/Fest Southwest Regatta.  Finally, the Bermuda J/105 Champion from the Royal Bermuda YC, James McDonald on DISTANT PASSION, have a lot of J/105 mileage under their belts, having been a top five contender in events on the Chesapeake Bay, Block Island, and Marblehead.  To get current J/105 North American results, click here.  For more J/105 North American Championship sailing information

    J/105 Lipton Cup Preview
    (San Diego, CA)- Racing for one of the most coveted trophies on the West Coast, the 103rd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup will be sailed on October 27-29, 2017 on a fleet of matched J/105 one-design class sailboats.

    Named after Sir Thomas Lipton, the famous yachtsman and tea baron, The Lipton Cup is San Diego Yacht Club’s signature fall regatta. This year twelve teams representing yacht clubs from across the country will race for the chance to win the prestigious trophy and determine which club's team is the “best of the best” of the invited teams (note- it’s an invitation-only event, not based on national qualifiers).

    Racers will compete in San Diego Bay, allowing plenty of viewing opportunities for friends and family along the downtown waterfront. To ensure fairness, the regatta will be held in a round-robin format using equalized J/105s, provided by owners of local Southern California boats.

    The twelve teams competing this year are: Balboa Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Chicago Yacht Club, Coronado Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, San Diego Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Southwestern Yacht Club, and St. Francis Yacht Club.

    Newport Harbor Yacht Club won the 2016 Lipton Cup under the leadership of skipper Jon Pinckney. Previously, Newport Harbor Yacht Club had not won the event since 1980. Winners in the past five years have been San Diego Yacht Club (2015, 2013, 2011), St. Francis Yacht Club (2014), and California Yacht Club (2012). Chicago Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club will be vying for their first win of the trophy, while San Francisco Yacht Club’s last win was back in 1916.

    Jon Pinckney will return to the San Diego waters to defend the trophy on behalf of Newport Harbor Yacht Club.  Jon commented on this year’s event, “There can be a lot of pressure to win this regatta and you only get so many chances before your club replaces you, so it was a huge relief to win on our third attempt, and an incredible achievement at the same time. By equalizing the fleet of J/105’s, and implementing a round-robin format, SDYC has truly created a level playing field where everyone's speed is the same. Success is determined by execution of fundamentals like starting, decision-making, and consistency. Three years ago we surprisingly found no correlation between our practices and overall results, so we conveniently no longer practice ahead of the event."

    Pinckney also shares the challenges behind implementing a winning strategy, “As long as you can get the sails up and down on a J/105, your only focus is to be the most fundamentally sound team for three days. It’s the most basic life-long strategy, and at the same time, the most difficult to execute. Because, eleven other outstanding teams all share the same game plan! Any team can win, and everyone experiences pain and adversity. No throw-outs and it always comes down to the last race. We would love to win again, but you just never know. Welcome to the Lipton Cup!"

    The 2017 Lipton Cup will feature three days of competitive sailing with a dockside social on Friday, and a Saturday night banquet for competitors and guests- often a fun-loving “roast” of friendly competitors from decades of sailing in many classes around America. The awards party will take place on Sunday after racing.

    Event Co-Chair Tim Fuller shares that view, "Things are shaping up nicely for a great Lipton Cup Regatta. Many thanks to all of our volunteers and SDYC staff for helping organize the event. We encourage you to come on down to the bay to check-out the action."

    The 2017 San Diego Yacht Club Commodore, John Reiter, summarizes the reputation of the event; “since a forward thinking group helped us reinvigorate this regatta back during 2011, SDYC has run six incredible competitive and fully subscribed events. With equalized J/105 class sailboats all using the same suits of sails designed and used specifically for the regatta, it has become one of the few 'must sail' events among the most competitive clubs in the U.S.A.  We are proud to host the sailors from competing clubs across the country.  In addition, we would like to thank our event sponsors: Helly Hansen and Cutwater Spirits.”
    For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information

    J/24 East Coasts & J/22 Mid-Atlantics Preview
    (Annapolis, MD)- This coming weekend, the Severn Sailing Association is holding its annual pre-Halloween bash for the J/22 and J/24 classes on Chesapeake Bay.  Always a popular event for the past few decades, the event marks the end of the fall season in the northeast (along with the famous Lake George Regatta) and provides teams an opportunity to catch up before heading south for Midwinter regattas in Florida.

    The J/24s will be enjoying their 39th J/24 East Coast Championship, celebrating 40 years of J/Boats, too!  The magic number seems to be twenty-four!  For, that many boats have registered to race in this year’s event!  Teams are coming from as far away as Bermuda, Nova Scotia, Florida, Maine, New York and the usual suspects from the local Chesapeake Bay fleet.

    For starters, famous Portland, Maine transplant, Tony Parker, will be sailing his BANGOR PACKET as a member of Annapolis YC. Recently, they just finished 1 pt out of first place at the recent J/24 World Championship in Toronto, Ontario; Tony’s crew will be hoping to close the season with a solid performance.  Another long-time class veteran, Al Constants from Seawanhaka Corinthian YC in Oyster Bay, NY will be sailing with a fast crew.  Then, long-time Bermuda class champion, Trevor Boyce will be sailing NO SKIRT REQUIRED for the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club.  Another “Maine-iac”, top woman J/24 skipper Erica Beck-Spencer will be guiding the SEA BAGS WOMENS SAILING TEAM around the track with an all-women’s crew.  Another veteran crew is Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER team from Rochester YC in Rochester, NY.  Finally, the fun-loving crew on Evan Petley-Jones’ LIFTED from Royal Halifax Yacht Squadron will be looking forward to a good racing before winter closes in on them up in Halifax!  For all the J/24 crews, what is also on the line are qualifying slots for the 2018 J/24 World Championship.

    The J/22s will be sailing their Mid-Atlantic Championship on the same race track as the J/24s. The twenty-one boat fleet is quite talented with World and North American Champions in the mix.  Locally, the hot teams are hoping to be a factor on the leaderboard; such as Chris Wilson’s LIL PUFFY, Brad Julian’s USA 677, Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY, Kevin Doyle’s ZOEY, Sandy Adzick’s HOT TICKET, and Chris Junge’s CORNER OF SANITY & HELL.  Top visiting crews include Mike Marshall’s BAD NEWS from Newport, RI and Cory Sertl’s LUCY from Jamestown, RI and Rochester YC.

    For more regatta information, please contact Pat FitzGerald at pfitzgerald@comcast.net or Kelly Brice FitzGerald at 443-600-1182.  For more J/24 East Coast and J/22 Mid-Atlantic Coast Championship sailing information

    J/24 Frostbite Racing Announcement
    (Boston Harbor, MA)- The Boston Sailing Center is kicking off their 26th year of Frostbite Racing J/24s in Boston Harbor! With an anticipated seventeen J/24’s on the line again this season, there is space for a new team in this often sold out program. BSC supplies the J/24’s, so all racers have to do is supply the crew!

    Fleet racing begins on Saturday, November 4th and runs until March 24th, and includes two days of match racing at the end of the season. The post-race gathering back at the Riverboat features video highlights and a debrief of the day's racing, along with hot, spicy chili to warm you up after a long day of racing. A great way to keep your sailing skills sharp over the winter!

    There are always opportunities to crew, so let BSC know if you’re looking to get a spot on a team, or just sail for a Saturday or two. BSC maintains an extensive crew list to help fill in spots for this long sailing season.  For more information, call the office at 617-227-4198 or email info@bostonsailingcenter.com.
    More details on the Frostbite Program including pricing, please click here

    51st Round Key Biscayne Race Announcement
    (Key Biscayne, FL)- Started in 1966, the race has been held in memory of Past Commodore Ed Willman of the Key Biscayne Yacht Club. The Round the Island Race is a fun, competitive event that engages sailboats of all sizes in a race from the waters of Biscayne Bay in front of the Key Biscayne Yacht Club, south through the Stiltsville featherbeds and past Cape Florida, north along the Atlantic coast of Key Biscayne, around a mark at the opening of Bear Cut at the north of the island, and back around to the Key Biscayne Yacht Club.

    Key Biscayne YC wants to invite sailors from all over the world to participate in this regatta.  If you don’t have a boat, let us know, we’ll find you one!  For registration and sailing information for the Round Island Race

    J/70 Florida Winter Sailing!
    Join Fleet #28 in Miami!
    (Coconut Grove, Florida)- Local J/70 racing is coming to Biscayne Bay! Seven owners have formed J/70 Fleet #28, and Biscayne Bay Yacht Racing Association (BBYRA) has committed to having a separate start for the J/70 class beginning with races this fall.

    To find out more about this exciting new class, you can talk to one of the new owners: Phil Haegler, Brian Kamilar, Val Schestopalov, Joe Kolisch, Tiani Hausen or John Logue.

    The new fleet captain and J/70 owner, Pamala Rose, will also be happy to answer any questions. To contact Pamela call her cell at (312) 835-2111 or email- prose1818@me.com.

    PC Performance Boats has a brand new J/70 on a trailer in Miami ready for anyone who wants to join the fleet!  Please contact Mark Pincus by calling (305) 915-1438 or email- mark@pincuscarlson.com

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The penultimate week of October is seeing fall weather kicking in with a rather dramatic flair depending on which part of the northern hemisphere you are.  In Europe, a strange pattern of near hurricane force depressions have been rolling off the North Atlantic and slamming into the U.K. and islands to the west, but then rolling over continental Europe and producing mistrals on the Mediterranean.  As a result, virtually every event was affected in the European region.  The Rolex Middle Sea Race had three J/133s and six J/122s sailing, but only two boats finished!  The new J/122E and a Russian doublehanded J/122 both collected silverware for their hard-won efforts.  Then, the Solent in England also had a similar issue; the Hamble Winter Series- for IRC classes 1-3 and J/88s- was a dark and stormy affair with Saturday getting blown out but Sunday OK.  Similarly, the first act of the YC Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series for J/70s, held off Monte Carlo, Monaco, was a windy series.  Then, the Dutch J/70 Nationals took place in The Netherlands for a big fleet of twenty-one boats!  Further south in Italy, the Italian J/24 circuit completed two more regattas in their series at Cervia, Sardinia and also Genoa/ Portofino.

    Over in the Americas, some wild storm fronts rolled through Texas.  These had a direct affect on the J/Fest Southwest regatta at Seabrook, TX and hosted by Lakewood YC; they provided one-design racing for J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, J/109s, and two classes of J/PHRF boats ranging from J/27s up to a J/122.  Just across the Gulf of Mexico, the New Orleans YC in New Orleans, LA, hosted the J/30 North Americans sponsored by Sugar Bowl Committee.  The J/30s enjoyed tight racing on the choppy waters of Lake Ponchartrain.  Out west, the San Diego YC hosted the International Masters Regatta with a completely new slate of masters sailors (skippers over 60+) using the help of their amazing local J/105 fleet.  Finally, out east, the Manhasset YC completed their Manhasset Fall Series for a one-design J/105 class and PHRF classes that saw J/92, J/111, & J/88 winners.

    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:

    Oct 26-29- J/105 North American Championship- Seabrook, TX
    Oct 27-29- J/24 East Coast Championship- Annapolis, MD
    Oct 27-29- J/105 Lipton Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
    Oct 28- Nov 1- French J/80 National Championship- Quiberon, France
    Oct 28-29- Great Pumpkin Regatta- Point Richmond, CA
    Oct 28- Nov 1- J/70 South American Championship- Algarrobo, Chile
    Nov 4- Hot Rum Series I- San Diego, CA
    Nov 18- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
    Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
    Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica

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

    ARTTUBE Dominates Monaco J/70 Winter Series- Act I
    (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The first Act of the 2017/2018 Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series got off to a cracking start, with winds up to 20-knots for the first two days, allowing the Race Committee to whet the appetites of the 80+ sailors on the water with six races.

    Consistency paid off for the Russians on ARTTUBE who handled the conditions to perfection, winning five of the six races in the J/70 class. Winners last season, the team led by Russia’s top woman keelboat skipper- Valeria Kovalenko- set the pace from the start, taking the opportunity to widen their lead with each race.  The team for this event consisted of Denis Rozhkov, Alex Bozhkov, Egor Ignatenko, & Alex Emsov.  They finished a clear 12 points ahead of newcomers to this Series, OMAN SAIL 1.

    Despite their best efforts, and having at the helm Stevie Morrison, 5th in the 49er class at the London Olympics, the Omanis were not able to overtake ARTTUBE on the race track- finishing in 2nd with 17 pts.  Rounding out the podium was Italian skipper Germano Scarpa, leading his crew on SPORT CUBE to a total of 19 pts.

    Among the Monegasques, Cesare Gabasio’s TINN J/70 came 4th. Congratulations also to a fine 10th place and first prize in the amateur category for Remi Piazza (Levante), a youngster from the YCM’s Sports Section.

    “It is important to encourage amateurs to sail and thereby attract more enthusiasts,” believes Michel Boussard, President of the Monaco J/70 Class Association.  Boussard also express his delight to see that 20-plus J/70 teams are already signed up for the next meeting in November of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2017-2018.

    Come racing all winter!
    Organized once a month from October to March by the Yacht Club de Monaco, in collaboration with technical clothing supplier, SLAM, the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series has proved a huge success since it launched in 2013. As evidenced by the presence of two Omani teams, these regattas for the J/70 and one-design classes continue to attract newcomers keen to prepare for the season ahead.  The regatta schedule of five Acts include:
    • Act 2: 10-12 November 2017
    • Act 3: 8-10 December 2017
    • Act 4: 19-21 January 2018
    • Act 5: 9-11 March 2018
    For more Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information

    TEAM PLAJ Eclipses Dutch J/70 Nationals
    (The Hague, The Netherlands)- Eighteen J/70 teams from The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium participated in the 2017 Dutch Open J/70 Nationals.

    In the end, it was past J/22 World Champion Wouter Kollman and his crew on TEAM PLAJ from WSV Almere Haven that took class honors after the ten race series with three 1sts and three 2nds in their tally to easily win the championship.

    It was a very talented fleet, all things considered. Taking second was a top German J/70 team, Team GIESBEEK GER 775 that was sailed by Bocholt-Peter Wanders.  Then, third was TEAM HENRI LLOYD- John Den Engelsman- also from the same home club as Kollmann’s- WSV Almere Centraal.  Rounding out the top five were Team Giesbeek 2 from WSV Giesbeek and in 5th place was Team KWS from KWS Sneek. Sailing Photo Credits: Michael Hilliges — at Sociëteit der KNZ&RV.  For more Dutch J/70 Open Nationals sailing information

    Awesome, Stormy J/Fest Southwest Regatta
    (Seabrook, TX)- This past weekend, the 8th annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta took place on Clear Lake and Galveston Bay, hosted by the always gracious Lakewood YC members. The event featured the “Legends Regatta” on Friday afternoon, much to the delight of the spectators onshore and those at Barge 295.  Thereafter, it was full-on for trying to get in as many races as possible despite the somewhat crazy weather pattern that had setup over the Gulf of Mexico and the southern plains just to the west of Galveston Bay.

    The event featured one-design racing for J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, J/109s, and two classes of J/PHRF boats ranging from J/27s up to a J/122!  In the end, the seventy boat fleet managed to get in four races and also enjoy the amazing LYC shoreside entertainment.

    The fifteen-boat J/22 fleet saw a tight battle for the top four crews.  Kevin Hayes’ HAYES RIGGING won with a 5-1-4-2 for 12 pts.  The results did come down to the last race, and Vincent Ruder’s USA 365 won that last race, but Hayes crew hung tough to preserve their lead.  Consequently, Ruder’s crew took 2nd with 13 pts.  Similarly, Stu Lindow’s SOUTHERN BELLE was in a battle with Kalyn Lundemo’s YER MUM for the final position on the podium.  By taking 4th to Kalyn’s 6th, Stu’s crew on the BELLE took the bronze, 16 pts to Kalyn’s 17 pts.

    A round dozen boats took part in the J/24 class and no one expected a roundhouse punch from the MISS CONDUCT team skippered by Jim Freedman from Dallas Corinthian YC- an “outsider” for sure those Houstonians!  Nevertheless, Freedman’s crew smoked the fleet with four straight bullets to take the class title.  Behind them, it was tight racing for the next four spots.  Top woman J/24 helm, Natalie Harden, and her crew on GIGGLES from Austin YC took the silver with a steady 3-3-2-4 for 12 pts.  Third was Barry Bailey’s TRICK BAG with an 8-2-4-2 for 16 pts.

    The fifteen boats sailing the J/70 class saw duals taking place for both Open and Corinthians division leadership.  In the Open class, two old J/24 class veterans used to dueling with one another over time dominated the top two spots.  Winning was Glenn Darden’s HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club over local rock star Jay Lutz driving ZOUNDS HEARING from Lakewood YC.  Third was Forbes Durdin’s MOJITO from Lakewood YC and also the Corinthians division winner.  Fourth overall was Al Poindexter’s USA 241, and also second by 2 pts to MOJITO in the Corinthians.

    Utilizing the regatta as their “training session” prior to the upcoming J/105 NA’s, the eighteen-boat J/105 class had spirited competition amongst the top three boats.  Winning was Rick Goebel’s SANITY team from San Diego YC with a 1-4-2-1 tally for 8 pts.  Behind them, it was a battle until the final leg of the 4th race, where two boats ended in a tie for 2nd place with 11 pts each.  Winning that tussle was Osmond Young’s NE*NE with a 2-5-1-3 over Ryan Glaze’s MOJO from Rush Creek YC with a 4-1-4-2.

    The four-boat J/109 class had the “shoot-out at the OK Corral” that was forecast ahead of time.  All boats were fast; it was going to come down to which had the crew to make it happen for the regatta.  Trading places all four races were HAMBURG, AIRBORNE and LEADING EDGE.  All three boats won a race, and all had a 2nd and 3rd in their final tallies!  The winners by a whisker were Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG with a 1-2-1-3 for 7 pts.  One point back was David Christensen’s AIRBORNE with a 3-1-2-2 for 8 pts.  Taking the bronze was Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE with a 2-3-3-1 for 9 pts!  Close, but not close enough.

    PHRF World saw several interesting outcomes.  Because of the weather and the courses, there was some degree of fleet stratification.  In the J/PHRF Asym class, the long beats played well to JD Hill’s beautiful J/122 SECOND STAR, winning with straight bullets.  Second in class was Scott Spurlin’s FIORNA-J with just about all seconds. And, third was Dan Sullivan’s J/92S LITTLE JOE.

    In the PHRF “Classic” Class of Symmetric spinnakers (yes, those things you put out on mast-mounted spinnaker pole!), it was Glen Stromme’s insanely fast J/29 PRESS TO MECO that won with a 1-1-2-1 tally for 5 pts.  Pressing them hard was Gary Trinklein’s almost as fast J/27 TOCCATA with a 2-2-1-2 for 7 pts.  Rounding out the podium was Beverly Caldwell’s pretty J/40 SHAKEN NOT STIRRED.  Follow J/Fest Southwest Facebook page here.  For more J/Fest Southwest Regatta sailing information

    Campbell Crushes J/105 Masters Regatta
    (San Diego, CA)- The 2017 edition of the J/105 International Masters Regatta produced nearly an entirely fresh new slate of masters skippers from around the USA and Caribbean.  The twelve seasoned skippers had their hands full also sailing in an entirely new location- south of the Coronado Bridge in the wide-open South Bay.  It was a refreshing change for those who had sailed in the past in the corner of San Diego Harbor- defined by the USS Midway on the city-front, one of the big 1,200 ft nuclear carriers docked at North Island, and the Sheraton Airport Hotels to the north; it was riddled with huge current issues and even worse boat traffic and wackier wind shifts.

    Demonstrating that he had not lost his touch over time, native southern Californian Bill Campbell simply smoked the fleet of past offshore and dinghy champions; compiling five 1st, four 2nds in eleven races to take the crown of Chief Master with just 24 pts total, easily the lowest average score in Master racing history.  Here is how it all unfolding over the course of three days.

    Day One- Friday
    It was a long day of sailing on the first day of the event.  Four races were completed after an initial postponement.  Competitors were eager to get going, however, racing was delayed due to a J/105 breakdown on the way out to the race course. Luckily, a replacement boat came quickly and Race Committee was able to start race one at 12:30pm. With some slight changes, Race Committee ran course 4 throughout the day in mostly 10 knots of wind and flat water.

    According to PRO Susi Graff, "We had a great day today because there was a lot of wind, and at one point we saw 18 knots of breeze. The wind direction kept swinging from 250 to 280, but we were able to basically put the course where we wanted to. I think the racers had a good time. They were fast!"

    Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Santa Barbara Yacht Club), the only female skipper in this year's Masters Regatta, said she experienced a bit of a learning curve on the first day of racing. "These guys are formidable and I better have a bigger breakfast tomorrow. I'm not used to the J/105s, they are a completely different animal to me, but I sure liked when the wind came up. When I heel, I'm happy!"

    David Irish (Little Traverse Yacht Club) traveled to San Diego all the way from Michigan to compete in the Masters Regatta, and is keeping a positive attitude after day one. "Today had its moments. We had some good results, good performances, and some disappointments. We're doing a lot better than last year though and we enjoyed a good, long day of racing."

    Though racing was tight, local Bill Campbell (SDYC) was undoubtedly the star of the day, winning three out of four races. Dave Perry (Pequot Yacht Club) was the only skipper able to beat Campbell, though Campbell remained close behind him and ultimately finished that race in second place.

    Perry recounted the day and what happened in race three, his winning race. "Today was perfect racing conditions with a lot of close competition. For race three, we were in an orange boat and that boat was sailing really nicely. We had a good start, went out to the left, rounded the mark behind Doug Rastello's team, passed them right before the gate, and never looked back."

    The provisional leaderboard after four races had Campbell on top, followed by John Andron (St. Francis Yacht Club) in second, and Doug Rastello (Newport Harbor Yacht Club) in third.

    Day Two- Commodore Swimming Day
    Saturday’s racing started out with a lot less breeze.  With the wind at a light 5 knots, the Race Committee PRO started the first race on time at 11:30am. By race two, the wind was up to about 10 knots, a speed that continued throughout the rest of the day for the most part, similar to Friday. Luckily, the weather worked out largely as forecasted this weekend; the breeze filled in from the left and SDYC RC got one race in at 250 deg. before the breeze moved to the right.  Four races were run for the day, all windward-leeward, with the final race a course “3” so the windward finish was much closer to home.  Competitors were back to the dock by 4:30pm to get ready for the anticipated Saturday night regatta banquet.

    SDYC Waterfront Director Jeff Johnson commented that, “Race Committee has been thrilled to run these races in San Diego South Bay. Having a full race track is awesome. We think it keeps the boats from collisions that they have been plagued by in the past.”

    Saturday was full of surprises, mainly during race 6 which featured an epic comeback from Bill Campbell (SDYC), and a start that landed the SDYC Commodore in the water. Yes, you read that correctly. The SDYC Commodore John Reiter, crewing for Dave Perry (Pequot Yacht Club), and the boat rep on board both visited the Masters "dunk tank" during race 6!!

    Reiter told the soon-to-be-classic tale back at the dock after sailing. “After the start we tacked immediately on to port. We got going and we were cruising along and the next thing you know there was a puff and Dave yelled at us to hike hard. I leaned out over the lifeline, it snapped, and the boat rep and I just went straight in the water! I was holding on to the cushion that goes over the wire so I just started using it as a pool noodle until we were able to get back on the boat!”

    Once back on board, both sailors dried off in the wind while continuing to sail. Perry ended up finishing 11th that race, and went on to win race 8 later in the day.

    Meanwhile, defending Champion Bill Menninger (Newport Harbor Yacht Club) noticed a pattern in the results between the 2016 and 2017 running of the regatta.

    "We had a better day than yesterday, but it has been very similar to last year. We were seventh on Friday last year, then fourth on Saturday, and we finished today in fourth. All Bill Campbell has to do tomorrow is get three 10th places and then we will be right there!"

    Joking aside, Menninger learned a lot yesterday, which he was able to apply to today to help him move up a few spots. "We did a little better today and went a little faster. We learned from what other boats were doing yesterday, basically pulling the jib in tighter and that helps an awful lot. So, our boat speed was much better and we got off the line faster.”

    Bill Campbell proved that his performance on Friday was not a fluke, and he won races 5 and 7 on Saturday. In race 6 he rounded the first weather mark at the back of the fleet and worked his way up to second by the last leg, ultimately finishing second. Campbell is still in the lead by 20 points after day 2, with Jon Andron (St. Francis Yacht Club) in second, and David Irish (Little Traverse Yacht Club) in third.

    Day Three- Campbell Dominates Finale
    The final day could not have been a more picturesque day out on the water. Under the bright sun in South San Diego Bay, the twelve sailors (some not so bright & bushy-tailed after Saturday night’s bacchanalian dinner) completed the last three races.

    The one weather complaint today was lack of wind at the scheduled start time. The SDYC RC postponed racing for an hour until the breeze came up to 5 knots and they were able to start the first race. There was a huge wind shift to the right at the end of the first race, so Race Committee re-set everything for the second and third races. Due to timing, Race Committee made the call to only run 11 races total, and they sent competitors on a long three-legged race for race 11 in order to get back to SDYC for the awards ceremony.

    By day three of racing, Bill Campbell (SDYC) and Jon Andron (St. Francis Yacht Club) were pretty much locked in for first and second places. However, it was incredibly tight between third through fifth places going into the last race. Tad Lacey (San Francisco Yacht Club) placed fourth in race 11 which solidified his third place podium finish, just one point over defending champion Bill Menninger (Newport Harbor Yacht Club).

    This is Lacey's first time racing the International Masters Regatta as a skipper, though he has crewed it several times before. "We had great races today. We went from 7th place last night to 3rd place overall by the end of today and I owe it all to my crew. They did a fabulous job on the course, calling the wind, trim, tactics, everything. It was a great day."

    Andron placed second overall and was the winner of race 10 today. "We had a fun weekend, but we were all racing for second place. Bill Campbell is a well-deserved champion and he sailed beautifully. My favorite race was the race we won. It was puffy and streaky and we were able to be in the right place at the right time."

    With five bullets over three days, Bill Campbell was a powerhouse this weekend, earning his first place finish by 23 points. In addition to Lacey, this was also Bill's first time skippering the Masters Regatta, though he crewed for Richard du Moulin last year and for Malin Burnham a few years back.

    Campbell has been sailing J/105s for a while now, but attributes his success in this regatta to his crew. "We were fortunate and lucky in many respects. I had a great crew: Al Pleskus on the bow, Chuck Sinks and Andy La Dow trimming, Dwight Allgood in the pit, and Vince Brun as tactician and helping in the back of the boat steering. It's easy when you have a bunch of great guys working for you. We had a wonderful time and we were fortunate to have a couple of great starts and races. We were able not to lose boats, but always to gain boats if we had to."

    Interestingly enough, Bill was not the only talented Campbell out on the San Diego Bay this weekend. Bill's son Andrew, the 2008 Olympian and Team Oracle USA America’s Cup sailor, was racing the Extreme Sailing Series for Team Extreme San Diego. Luckily, the Extreme Sailing Series was just up the bay off Harbor Island and Bill's wife Sherri was able to split time on a spectator boat between events to be able to watch her husband and son!

    Event organizers would like to thank everyone involved in this year's International Masters Regatta for all of their hard work on and off the water.  The International Masters Regatta would like to thank its event sponsors: Helly Hansen, SD Boatworks, and Cutwater Spirits.   Follow the J/105 Masters Regatta on Facebook   For more J/105 International Masters Regatta sailing information

    Gale-force Mistral Decimates Middle Sea Race
    J/122 Wins IRC Doublehanded, J/122E 3rd IRC 5 Class!
    (Gzira, Malta)- As can be the case in the infamous Rolex Middle Sea Race, forecasts can be either “spot-on” or simply way off the mark.  The 2017 edition had one of the simplest forecasts ever, light airs 3-8 kts from the east-southeast at the start, dying off by midnight, then a building mistral from the WNW increasing to 30-45 kts by midday Sunday.  The only boat to make it through the Straits of Messina between the island of Sicily and Messina on the mainland was the 88 ft super-maxi RAMBLER 88.  The rest of the fleet was kicked, literally, straight in the teeth by a fierce mistral sweeping across the long fetch of the Mediterranean, kicking up 15-20 ft seas in the form of a vicious “chop”- the breaking seas were making life miserable for the crews.  Over 70% of the fleet of eighty-five boats retired at some port or harbor along the spectacular shoreline of Sicily- many boats did not even make it to the Straits, simply stopping before they got there.

    The Rolex Middle Sea Race, organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC), certainly bore all of the hallmarks and qualities of a Rolex-partnered offshore race- tough, challenging, pushing the levels of human endurance to the absolute limits of sanity. The 608nm course, principally a counter-clockwise circumnavigation of Sicily, proved to be too much for the vast majority of the fleet.

    In the ultimate test of seamanship and living up to the challenge of the sea, just two of the six J/122s completed the course and the other three J/133s all retired.  As a result, winning the IRC Doublehanded Class was the J/122 STELLAR RACING TEAM, sailed by the incredible tough Russian duo of Dmitry Kondratyev & Alexander Grudnin.  They proved to be fast learners and up to the challenge, taking class honors as the ultimate survivors of the race!

    Then, in the fully-crewed IRC handicap divisions the IRC 5 Division saw the only other J/team to complete the race.  Not soon after taking delivery of their brand-new J/122E called ANITA, the Chilean team of owner/ skipper Nicolás Ibáñez Scott and crew of Juan Pablo Dominguez, Jordi Rabasa, Jorge Mendez, Didac Costa, and Rueben Castells, had to take her on a “shakedown cruise” and sail the qualifier race to be permitted to participate.  In the end, the Chileans were up to the challenge, guiding their newly-tuned J/122E to a bronze on the podium in their first ever attempt at the Rolex Middle Sea Race.  Interestingly, the J/122 STELLAR RACING TEAM placed just behind them in 4th place in the fully-crewed division!  Congratulations to both teams for their formidable performance under incredibly tough sailing conditions.
    For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information

    ZEPHYR Zooms Thru J/30 North American’s
    (New Orleans, LA)- The 2017 J/30 North American Championship was hosted by New Orleans Yacht Club and J/30 Gulf Coast District fleet from October 19th through 22nd.  It was a great experience for all competitors and the eight boats that made it to the starting line were given the red-carpet “southern” treatment by their gracious hosts at NOYC.

    Lake Pontchartrain always provides challenging race conditions and for those that couldn’t figure it out, they could rely on evening visits to the historic New Orleans’ French Quarter and the infamous Bourbon Street to drown their sorrows and, hopefully, live to tell their tales another day.

    Sponsored by The Sugar Bowl Committee, the event certainly had their cheerleaders and supporters from not just the club, but from their local Chamber of Commerce.  After three days of sailing on the lake, Team ZEPHYR won the 2017 J/30 North American Championship; it was their 7th National Championship since winning the first, circa 2001 in Chicago!  The crew included Scott Tonguis, Dan Mather, Whitney Kent, Dani McNeil, RJ Trejo and Jessica Oswalt.  This team of “ringers” zoomed to six straight 1sts in seven races for a total of 12 pts.

    However, behind the Zephyrites, it was quite another story altogether.  It took all seven races to figure out the rest of the podium and the top five, that’s how close it was amongst the next three boats.  By finishing with a flourish in the last two races with a 2-1 tally, Ken Buhler’s hot crew on JALAPENO closed the deal to grab the silver with 20 pts total.  Just three points back, fighting hard the entire way, was Russ Atkinson’s WILDCAT from North Cape YC with 23 pts total.  Rounding out the top five were Dan Mather’s CRUSADER team from Oswego YC in New York in 4th and Carl Sherter’s FAT CITY gangster from Cedar Point YC in Connecticut in 5th place.  For more Sugar Bowl J/30 North American Championship sailing information

    Hamble Winter Series- Week 5- Dark'n'Stormy!
    (Hamble, England)- The fifth weekend of sailing had nearly a full-blown gale all weekend long.  The remnants of a Caribbean hurricane decided to take a right turn into the North Atlantic Ocean and headed right for Scotland, Ireland and the United Kingdom.  The storm thrashed the western coasts of the islands with 60-80 kts winds- basically a hurricane by any other definition.  But, in the U.K. Met offices jargon, a “major depression”.  Sure.  Just like “Fastnet Force 10” many blue moons ago.  As a result, Saturday’s racing was canceled on the Solent due to sustained winds of 25-30 kts gusting to 45+ kts, as some wags put it in The Bugle in the Hamble, a “bit of a dust-up” on the Solent.  Then, on Sunday the winds moderated enough for the IRC classes and the J/88s to go racing in something less than 25 kts of wind.

    In the Hamble Winter Series IRC 1 Class, Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ J/112E GP DAVANTI TYRES continued their blistering pace, adding another 1st to their series tally to be leading the fleet with 8 pts net and a clear 7 pt lead on the fleet.

    The HWS IRC 2 Class is full of J/109s, the top boat is still Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE in third place.  Then, Tom Chatterton’s RED ARROW crew got a 3rd on the weekend and leaped into 4th on the series leaderboard.

    Continuing their strangle-hold on the top two spots in HWS IRC 3 are Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II with just 9 pts net in seven races and in 2nd place is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with just 13 pts net.

    Finally, in the HWS J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s crew on GBR 2688R piled on yet another bullet to their tally, further strengthening their firm grip at the top of the class with just 6 pts net.  Sitting 7 pts back is Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with 13 pts net, followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 16 pts net, then David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with 18 pts.  The eight-boat class is tough, no one is giving one centimeter (or, is it a double pfennig) to each other as they fight tooth and nail around the race track. Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth.  Hamble Winter Series follow on Facebook page  For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series sailing information.

    J’s Cruise Manhasset Fall Series
    (Manhasset, New York)- The 39th annual Manhasset Fall Series took place over October 14th, 15th and 21st, a classic fall series event.  The event was blessed with an incredible variety of conditions over the two weekends, from near gales one day, to sunny and not much winds another day- true shorts & shades conditions.  Such is sailing on the western end of Long Island Sound in the fall- it can be literally any weather condition you can imagine- some year’s it’s even snowed!

    Thankfully, the Manhasset YC Race Committee crew and volunteers did a wonderful job to knock-out a six-race series for most of the classes.  The fleets included three PHRF classes and a J/105 one-design fleet.

    The eight-boat J/105 fleet saw one of the regatta’s perennial winners yet again establish hegemony over the fleet; Damian Emery’s ECLIPSE collected four 1sts enroute to a dominating win with just 6 pts in seven races.  Frank Latawiec’s ATARAXIS was actually winning the regatta after the first three races with a 2-1-3.  However, that staying power did not last long; dropping a 3-6-3 to close out the series with 12 pts net.  Taking third in class was Max Kalehoff’s LAURA BEA with 18 pts net.

    In PHRF 1 class, Sam Talbot’s J/111 SPIKE crew won two races of the seven and was winning class after six races.  However, in race 7 they took a DNC/8 points as their throw-out race, dropping to 3rd overall.  Finishing 4th was Paul Strauch’s J/111 crew and 5th place went to Bob Schwartz’s J/109 NORDLYS.

    One of the fastest woman skippers in the J/88 class, Iris Vogel, guided her DEVIATION crew to a win in the PHRF 2 class, taking three bullets and three deuces to win class.  Third place went to another J/88, Peter Chirlian’s ONE TOO MANY.

    Finally, it was a sweep of the top two spots in PHRF 4 class.  Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN took class honors with an amazing four 1sts and two 2nds to close the regatta with 6 pts net.  Second was Jason Viseltear’s J/80 UPSETTER with a perfect mirror of THIN MAN’s record- two 1sts and four 2nds for 8 pts net.  For Manhasset YC Fall series results   For more Manhasset YC Fall Series sailing information

    J/24 Italy National Circuit- October Report
    (Genoa, Italy)- The Italian J/24 class continues to complete a combination of their summer series and upcoming fall events.  Here are the latest reports from the Cervia Fleet in Sardinia and from the Genovese fleet sailing their annual “Lantern Regatta”.

    CERVIA
    For the fifth leg of the Italian J/24 National Circuit, the Race Committee and PRO at Circolo Nautico de Cervia managed to provide the twenty-three J/24 teams with six races over the two-day weekend.

    Thanks to a very steady series scoreline of 5-3-2-2-3-3, J-OC sailed by Fabio Apollonio ended up winning the Cervia stage of the National J/24 Circuit with 13 pts total.  Just off the pace behind them and taking 2nd place was Italian J/24 Class President, Pietro Diamanti, racing his famous ITA 212 JAMAICA to a record of 4-1-5-3-1-2 for 15 pts.  Rounding out the podium was ITA 424 KISMET owned by Francesca Focardi and skippered by Dario Luciani, with a record of 10-2-1-6-4-9 for 22 pts.

    For the balance of the top five, it was ITA 505 JORE owned by Alessandro Errani and helmed by Marco Pantano that took 4th place.  Then, unceremoniously finishing in 5th place was past Italian J/24 Champion Ignacio Bonanno and his Italian Navy crew on the famous ITA 416 LA SUPERBA; they got DSQ’d in two races and had to count them!

    The Cervia event also qualified another boat for the 2018 World Championship that will take place in Riva del Garda at the end of August 2018- this time it was ITA 424 KISMET that won that slot.

    "We were very pleased with the fact that we had envisaged the participation of more than twenty boats," explained Guido Guadagni, Cervia’s Fleet Captain and co-owner of CAPTAIN NEMO. “We were pleased to see that many of our top local boats ended up on the podium.  Everyone is looking forward to the next stage in the Italian J/24 National circuit in two weeks at Interlaghi, the sixth and final stage of the 2017 series, hosted by Canottieri Lecco.”

    As a result of this regatta, the National Circuit series continues to be led by Diamanti’s JAMAICA, followed by ITA 473 MAGIC FAIRY sailed by Massimo Frigerio in 2nd and ITA 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING J sits in 3rd, sailed by the young Eugenia De Giacomo.

    GENOA/ PORTOFINO- Campionato Della Lanterna
    Over the past weekend, the Marina Genova Airport Nautical Club (http://www.circolonauticomga.it), completed the second and third events of the Campionato Della Lanterna for the fleet of eight J/24s.

    The fleet had to contend with uncertain weather on Saturday, almost a “glass-out” in the morning, but followed up with a southwest breeze of 5-7 kts in the afternoon, enough to get in two races.  Then, Sunday’s racing was defined by a “sirocco” (e.g. a mistral) of 15-18 kts with a short, steep chop.  It was close racing for everyone over the weekend.

    In the end, it was JAWS that won the regatta, followed by JUST A JOKE in second, FINALLY in third, FOR FIVE (A. Criscuolo - P. Ghibaudi) in fourth, and LANDFALL (Simone and Andrea Moretti) in fifth.

    "I am very happy with the way this championship is going," Sr Buffa explained. “Above all, it is the rebirth and the fervor of our Fleet of Portofino/ Genoa, constantly searching for new J/24 owners who wish to join us."

    The Marina Genova Airport Nautical Club was born in 2012 with the aim of organizing and promoting sailing activities and events and spreading the values of “sailing & the sea”, with a sporting footprint and aimed at creating opportunities for encounters among all enthusiasts.  President of the club is Ernesto Moresino; an ocean navigator with 30 years of racing offshore and more than ten years as an instructor and skipper; of particular historical significance is that he was also founder in 1994 and president for 4 years of the Mini 6.50 class!  For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * John Guy has been sailing one of the rare J/90’s produced by J/Boats many moons ago.  He passed along his recent experience having a great time with this early J/Boats speedster:

    “I just wanted to share with you our recent win in J/90 #6 at the West Florida Ocean Racing Conference in Pensacola, FL. The regatta consisted of five windward/leeward races and one ocean race over three days ending October 15th. We won Class A with scores of 1-2-1-2 (ocean race)-1-1.

    In addition, Class A was declared to be the most competitive class, so we won the overall regatta and the Riddle Cup (so named after a prominent sailboat racing family in Pensacola).

    The picture shows a large silver tray for winning Class A, a wooden ship's wheel for winning Class A, a glass keeper Riddle Cup trophy vase held by John, the perpetual silver Riddle Cup trophy, and small silver trays for the winning crew!”  Thanks John for this heart-warming report!

    * Building Your Sailing Tribe-  by Deborah Bennett Elfers
    "I’ve written before about fleet building, and what I’ve found to be the most important strategies in being able to be successful in that work. But it wasn’t until I read Seth Godin’s book, Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us, that I could envision a compelling and simple way to communicate to others what has helped my fleet grow and thrive. And so, because of Seth’s book, I’m hereafter choosing to refer to the work we do as “Building Your Sailing Tribe.” You’ll soon see why.

    To begin, Seth believes that here are just two simple things one needs in order to create a tribe:

    1. A shared interest, and
    2. A way to communicate.

    If you have both of these, you’re well on your way to launching your sailing tribe. Obviously, the shared interest in this case is sailing, so that’s a given. Half of your work is done for you before you even start! But what is often missing is the second requirement: an effective way for the sailing tribe to communicate — and without the connections that this communication affords, your tribe won’t be able to flourish.

    But you can’t stop there, because there’s another important ingredient you need, as well: a leader. Here’s what Seth thinks about tribe leadership, and why a good leader is essential:

    • A leader can transform the tribe’s shared interest into a passionate goal,
    • Provide effective communications tools for its members, and
    • Leverage the success of the tribe to help it grow and attract new members.

    Let’s look further at these recommendations, and at how they might be applied to doing the work of building a fleet. What are the things we can do to plant the seeds, and nurture them, so that our sailing tribe can succeed and grow? Here are some strategies I’ve found to be effective:

    • A regular newsletter during the sailing season, and others sprinkled throughout the year with tips and tricks for getting ready for the season ahead.
    • Gathering the tribe after racing, for kudos on a job well done, a debrief for “on-the-water” happenings and rules learning, and just plain getting to know one another.
    • Building a shared passion around things like getting ready together to participate in a National Championship or area regatta – everyone helps each other to be as successful as they can be, because it benefits the tribe (not to mention making the fleet’s racing that much more satisfying).
    • Connect and inspire your tribe members – through one-on-one conversations, and leading by example. Tribe members will follow your lead and take on some of this work themselves. It takes a village, as they say.
    • Create pride and enthusiasm among the fleet for contributing to the success of the sailing tribe – this is what leveraging the success of your tribe looks like. People want to be part of a successful team, and new members will want to join the tribe you’ve built.
    • Create the culture you want and stick to the messaging – in a sailing tribe, this is especially important in a sport where self-policing and sportsmanship are expected. Understand what you can’t compromise on.
    • Believe in your sailing tribe, and, as the leader, never fail to demonstrate your commitment to the tribe and its mission.
    • Be ready when it comes time to let others lead and innovate – no one can stay at the helm too long; new ideas and outlooks are what keep things fresh and exciting.

    Every single one of these strategies will positively influence your tribe, and, taken together they will have a huge impact on its growth and connectivity. None of them is especially difficult, though they do require a consistent dose of time and commitment. Start small and branch out – it’s a lot of these smaller actions, accomplished over time, that will provide your tribe with the big pay-off.

    As I write this, I’ve recently handed off the leadership of our fleet to two wonderful new leaders, and I know that their ideas and excitement are going to benefit us all. It’s been my absolute joy to do this work, and to have helped people come together to build our amazing community of sailors. Our sailing tribe remains in good hands – and I, for one, can’t wait to see what great things will happen!"

    Author: Deborah Bennett Elfers was practically born on a boat, though on a working lobster boat rather than a sailboat. But now she is all about sailing and shares her random musings about things like falling in love with a boat, building a fleet, learning to become a winner, and the beauty of sailing classic boats on legendary Buzzards Bay on her blog – Take the Tiller.

    * J/24 Tiller & Kites Program @ Lake Pleasant, Arizona- a new sailing program as described by Juan Mari.

    “Based on our commitment to be your direct access to sailing solutions and with the goal of providing the highest level of customer support, MAURI PRO SAILING is pleased to announce that it has selected Tiller and Kites as it representative and On-The-Water technical support for Lake Pleasant and other areas in Arizona.

    Tiller & Kites will be operating under the umbrella of Mauri Pro Sailing as ‘Mauri Pro Sailing– Arizona’ while remaining as an independent International Yacht Training accredited sailing school and a sailboat services, repair and reconditioning facility for the Phoenix area.

    This new partnership will allow us to provide Arizona sailors with a more personalized service and technical support, as well as a physical location where to go and discuss about how to improve your deck layout, better tune your rig, or simply talk all about sailboats; in addition to picking up all your www.mauriprosailing.com purchases if needed.

    Victor Felice, Juan Mauri and all the Mauri Pro Sailing team are excited to start this road together and to provide unique consumer experience, both online and directly at your boat.”

    About Mauri Pro Sailing: it is an international group of companies dedicated to provide sailing technical support and to supply sailboat parts and sailing clothing to sailors around the world. With offices in 5 different countries and an infrastructure for global logistics, Mauri Pro Sailing drives on, becoming the global and sailor’s sailing store.  For more Tiller & Kites Program sailing information

    For more information, please contact Victor Felice/ Tiller and Kites at email-victor@tillerankites.com or website- http://www.tillerandkites.com.  Also, you can contact Juan Mauri/ Mauri Pro Sailing at email- juan@mauriprosailing.com or website-  http://www.mauriprosailing.com

    * J/80s Sailing Strong In Hong Kong!  A member of the Royal Hong Kong YC J/80 fleet, Jason Keg, sent us this note recently:

    “We thought you might like the attached picture of the J/80 fleet in Hong Kong.  It's not very often that the entire J/80 fleet from Royal Hong Kong YC and neighboring clubs is moored in the water at the same time.  This occurred due to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club hosting the recent Optimist Asian and Oceanian Championships 2017 at the Middle Island Clubhouse, with the fleet vacating the hardstands to make space for the competitors ashore.”
    Add to Flipboard Magazine.

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  • J/Newsletter- October 18th, 2017
    J/121 Boat Show & Offshore Test Update
    (Annapolis to Newport)- The debut of the new J/121 Offshore Speedster in the Newport and Annapolis Sailboat Shows was welcomed by enthusiastic J/sailors from across the spectrum of experience.  Long-distance offshore cruisers, one-design offshore racers, and a number of performance-oriented couples that enjoy coastal cruising without having to turn on the “iron genny”, were all quite passionate about what the J/121 had to offer to them.

    While the overall response to the 1-2-1 at the shows was fantastically positive, what we had yet to learn about the boat in all sea-trials to date was how would she perform offshore in the conditions she was designed for.  On the first delivery from Newport to Annapolis, the remnants of a hurricane delayed the departure date, and created difficult conditions for delivering a brand new boat.  As a result, it was mostly motoring under the J4 jib or motoring period.  However, after a fantastic reception at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, it was clear that after the three days of media reviews, testing, and demos, the weather window might permit an excellent chance to determine how the 1-2-1 behaved in reaching conditions offshore.  Here is Clay Burkhalter’s report delivering the J/121 from Annapolis to Newport:

    “On Saturday October 14th, Andy Williams, Arturo Pilar and I moved the new J/121, INCOGNITO, from Annapolis to Newport. I have been delivering boats for 38 years, and despite being a partner in two restaurants, I still manage to do 5 or 6 offshore trips each year. To the extent that I still do any racing, it is almost exclusively offshore… the Mini Transat 10 years ago, numerous Newport to Bermuda races and the occasional Bermuda 1-2, including the 2017 race in which I competed on a J/133. So it was with great anticipation that we’d be testing out the J/121 in the 20-25 knot southwest breeze predicted offshore between Cape May and Montauk, starting on Sunday morning.

    After motoring north up the Chesapeake in no wind, we passed through the C&D canal that connects the Chesapeake Bay with Delaware Bay, across the top of the state of Delaware.  We continued to motor south in Delaware Bay and rounded Cape May about 0600 on Sunday, heading northeast, still motoring in no wind.  At 1100, the breeze started to fill in and within 30 minutes, it was blowing 15 knots. By sunset, the winds would build to 25 knots with seas of four to six feet.

    Typically, on deliveries, I am cautious about sail choice, often reefing early and rarely using spinnakers. The risk of damage to sails, rigging, and steering increases dramatically when pushing a boat with too much sail up. It’s one thing to have a problem on your own boat, but entirely different when you have to explain to an owner that the sails are now ready to donate to the folks who make fashion bags from sail material.

    However, I knew the J/121 had yet to be sailed in the offshore conditions it was designed for, and since Al and Jeff Johnstone are my cousins, I figured they might be more understanding if we dialed the boat up a bit and see what she could do… so after a lame attempt at sailing deep with the main and the jib (Montauk was almost dead downwind, 200 miles away), we hoisted the A4 heavy weather spinnaker, and bang, we were off and running. It was an exciting moment for us as the boat instantly accelerated to double-digit speeds.

    There was a leftover east-southeast swell combining with a new southwest wind wave; which made for challenging steering at the outset.  We then filled the starboard water-ballast tank to about 65%; and instantly the motion on-board smoothed out and INCOGNITO began to slide through the waves like she was on rails. Speeds became more consistent and steering was effortless.  We also soon realized, that despite the occasional roll at the bottom of a wave, combined with a puff, and perhaps a momentary lapse in steering concentration, if the boat got to 100 degrees APA (apparent wind angle) and wanted to keep going, it was easy to steer her back to our course average of 120 degrees AWA . . . no blowing the vang, easing the main sheet or releasing the spinnaker sheet. After the first hour, we sailed with those controls cleated and simply steered to the kite, it was that easy to steer. With three crew, one could rest below, while the other two maintained watch.

    The ease at which the boat accelerated and sustained its speed was incredible. In 18 kts TWS (true wind speed) we were averaging 10.5 and surfing at 13 to 14 kts. In 22 kts TWS, we were doing a steady 12-13 kts and surfing for sustained periods at 14-16 kts, running up and over waves ahead.  And in 24-25 kts TWS, we were doing 13.5 to 14 kts consistently and surfing at 16 to 18.5 kts quite easily.  Needless to say, for all those who steered her in these conditions, it left everyone with a big grin on their face!

    I often reach a point on a boat where I say to myself, I don’t want to go this fast. . it could be the keel and rudder vibrating excessively, the bow submarining in waves, steering on the edge of control, and so forth.  Not once did we have a panicked feeling on board the 1-2-1, and not once in seven hours did someone have to lunge for a sail control to put the brakes on an incredible ride!!  Ease-of-handling is great no matter how many crew are on-board, but it’s especially critical when you’re out there way offshore, short-handed, tired, and steering for hours-on-end, or when the autopilot is running the show. The easier the boat steers in demanding conditions, the less fatigue and also the less drain on your batteries when you’re on autopilot!!

    At sunset, the delivery side of my persona kicked in. knowing that the chances for problems ramp up significantly after dark, so we snuffed the spinnaker and put it below decks.

    We then sailed with mainsail-only Sunday evening and Monday morning at 160 degrees AWA, heading for Block Island, averaging 9.5 knots in 25 knots of wind.

    As we slid by Block Island, we considered continuing on, over the horizon. . thinking maybe we could send a note to Jeff to let him know that the son of a deceased Nigerian King would be wiring money to the J/Boats account. . he would just need to send along his bank account details.”  For more J/121 Offshore Speedster sailing information


    ROLEX Middle Sea Race Preview
    (Gzira, Malta)- Starting and finishing in Malta, an island often referred to as the ‘Crossroads of the Mediterranean’, the Rolex Middle Sea Race is an international competition of distinction and an offshore race par excellence. The proof lies in the numbers. Registrations for this year’s 38th edition come from yachts representing 30 different countries. The expected number of race starters from Valletta’s Grand Harbour on Saturday 21 October is on course to challenge the record of 122 yachts set in 2014.

    The Rolex Middle Sea Race, organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC), bears all of the hallmarks and qualities of a Rolex-partnered offshore race. Its 608nm course, principally a counter-clockwise circumnavigation of Sicily, is tactically and navigationally challenging. Frequent corners lead into different geographical segments and expose the fleet to changing weather patterns. With most crews expected to spend at least five nights at sea, it is an exacting test of resources, requiring mental fortitude, excellent preparation and shrewd anticipation, as well as an ability to make precise decisions in a pressured environment. Teamwork and seamanship are vital to succeed.

    The Rolex Middle Sea Race course is 608 nautical miles long and is sailed counter-clockwise. Starting from the Grand Harbour, Valletta, beneath Fort St Angelo and the Saluting Battery in Valletta, the fleet head north along the eastern coasts of Sicily up towards the Straits of Messina. Mt Etna is usually visible on the fleets’ port side, billowing ashes and lava throughout the night. Once through the Straits, the course leads north to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli where the yachts turn west to the Egadi Islands.

    Passing between Marettimo and Favignana, the crews head south towards the island of Lampedusa leaving Pantelleria to port.

    Once past Lampedusa the fleet turns northeast on the final leg towards the South Comino Channel and the finish at Marsamxett Harbour. En route the crews take in an amazing diversity of landscape and sea conditions, all of which combine to create the attraction and challenge of the race.

    There is no doubt that Maltese skippers are competitive and have a long and proud participation in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Malta has produced overall race winners on seven occasions, most recently in 2014. Crews regularly feature on the Class podiums.

    This year the Maltese flag will be flown by several boats, including the J/122 OTRA VEZ, a boat with a strong association with the race. This year there is a twist, with the J/122 entrusted to Sean Arrigo and Brian Flahive who will be flying the Maltese flag in the IRC Doublehanded Class.

    Sean Arrigo is looking forward to another adventure, “having decided to go doublehanded for this year’s race brought some anxiety, but most of all, excitement, and the urge to do well. Preparations are well-advanced, with some final touches and tweaks to lines and hardware. We also feel that we’re well-prepared mentally and physically, thanks to dedicated training, something quite new to us, but very effective! Finally and above all, we want to enjoy ourselves.”

    In addition to OTRA VEZ, a Russian team on yet another J/122 will be joining them in the IRC Double-handed Class.  Calling themselves STELLAR RACING TEAM, the Russian crew of Dmitry Kondratyev & Alexander Grudnin have become students of the race, are fast learners, very tough, and don’t be surprised if they are contending at the end for class honors.

    Then, in the fully-crewed IRC handicap divisions there are also a number of very-well sailed J/crews; totaling three J/133s and, remarkably, FOUR more J/122s!  That’s a total of SIX J/122s vying for the overall prize.

    In the IRC 4 Division are the two J/133s.  The Canadian team on BLUE JAY III consists of Matthew Stokes and crew of Todd Rutter, Andrew Childs, Allan MacDonald, Peter Sargeant, Hugh Goodday, Crosby Johnson, and John Simpkin- the boat is from Edmonton, Alberta and calls Bras d’Or YC home.  They will have a tough fight on their hand with a British crew on board JINGS!, one of the top U.K. J/133s, having won a number of RORC offshores in the past.  Owner David Ballantyne has a full crew that includes Nicola Ballantyne, Nicky Vella, Lydia Coffey, Bernard Hilli, Jonathan & Chris Mckay, Albrecht Seer, James Alviles, Kelly Alviles, Charlotte Vella, and Marianna Kozlova.

    Arguably, one of the toughest, and largest, fleet in the race is IRC 5 Division; the class has routinely produced the overall race winner and often several boats in the top ten.  The lone J/133 in the class from France is famous in French offshore circles. JIVARO will be sailed by Yves GROSJEAN and crew of Goulven Royer, Jean-Paul Mallet, Séverin Richter, Jean-Michel Diemer, Patrick Paris, Julien Orus, Marie Chabanel, Julien Herve, and Zasika Musdi.  Arrayed against them are a formidable group of J/122s.  From Chile is the brand new J/122E ANITA- with owner/ skipper Nicolás Ibáñez Scott and crew of Juan Pablo Dominguez, Jordi Rabasa, Jorge Mendez, Didac Costa, and Rueben Castells.  A Russian team is sailing the J/122 JOLOU- Sergey Senchenko is sailing with a crew consisting of Serguei Chevtsov, Alexander Agafonov, Dmitry Piskovatskov, Natalia Agafonova, Elena Strelina, Nikolay Sbitnev, Pavel Popov, Roman Medvedev, and Igor Skalin.  Then, there are two Italian teams both sailing J/122s- DAMACLE RC BROKER (Roy Caramagno and crew of Domenico Campo, Moreno Boldini, Giuseppe Fazio, Francesco Merluzzo, Giuseppe Boscarello, Remon Sant Hill, Daniel Bartolo, Enrico Civello) and JOY (giuseppe Cascino and crew of Carlo Brenco,  Duccio Colombi, Carlo Bellanca, Vittorio Ruffolo, Giuseppe Sferruzza, Tom Alessi, Conrad Muscat, and Fabio Galea.  For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information

    J/80 North Americans Preview
    J/70 Fall Brawl Preview
    (Annapolis, MD)- This coming weekend, there is no question the Eastport YC will have their hands full hosting two of the more aggressive one-design classes in the world- the J/70s and J/80s.  For the J/80s, they are hosting their 2017 North American Championship, while the J/70s are sailing their annual Fall Brawl.

    J/80 North American Championship
    The J/80 class on the Chesapeake Bay, New Hampshire, Toronto, and Buzzards Bay continue to have excellent one-design class racing.  For this year’s North Americans, a talented fleet of twenty-one crews have come from nearly all four corners of the continental USA to participate, with twenty-one teams representing five states.  In the mix are several leading contenders, including past N.A. Champions like Kerry Klinger on LIFTED from Cedar Point YC and Will and Marie Crump on R80 from New York YC. They will be challenged hard by teams that have also won Key West Race Week in the past, like Bill & Shannon Lockwood on SHENANIGANS from the local club as well as Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS from Sausalito, California.  Plus, there are top crews like Mike Hobson’s MELTEMI and Ken Mangano’s MANGO that have proven they can dish out top five results.  Most interestingly, the entire top three from the previous weekend’s AYC Fall Series will be raring to go to battle against these top crews that had not shown up for that event; those crews include John White’s ANOTHER ON THE TAB, Alex Kraus’ COOL J, and David Andril’s VAYU.

    J/70 Fall Brawl
    The 2017 edition of the Fall Brawl should be an interesting mix of teams that have just come off sailing the highly competitive and challenging J/70 North American Championship sailed at American YC in Rye, New York.  A top five finisher overall was Marty Mckenna, though sailing a different boat called RARITY this weekend.  Then, you have the Corinthians Division winner, Jenn & Ray Wulff sailing JOINT CUSTODY.  Joining them in the hunt to be Chief Brawler are fast teams like Mark Hillman’s SIX, Tim Finkle’s JUNIOR from Youngstown YC in New York, Todd Hiller’s LEADING EDGE, Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE, and Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD.  Should be fun racing for this group!  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes Media.  For more J/80 North Americans & J/70 Fall Brawl sailing information & results

    J/Fest Southwest Preview
    Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of J/Boats!
    (Seabrook, TX)- This coming weekend, the waters of Clear Lake and Galveston Bay will come alive again with dozens of J/sailors competing for honors in the 8th annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta, hosted by the always gracious Lakewood YC members.  The event features one-design racing for J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s (who are also using it as a tune-up/ training regatta for the upcoming J/105 North Americans), J/109s, and two classes of J/PHRF boats ranging from J/27s up to a J/122!

    As part of celebrating J/Boats’ 40th Anniversary, the kick-off event for the regatta will be the “spectator-friendly” LEGENDS RACE sailed on Friday afternoon on Clear Lake, literally right in front of Lakewood YC!  The event can be viewed from Barge 295 (formerly, The Turtle Club).  The participating “Legends” are:  Scott Young, Farley Fontenot, Jay Lutz, and Jeff Johnstone (President of J/Boats).  The sailors will be racing borrowed J/24s from the Houston J/24 Fleet.  And, spectators can follow the “live” video broadcast on Barge 295’s Facebook page for a live feed of the event.

    Seventy boats have signed up which will make the event truly EPIC! No one will believe a hurricane had just ravaged the Houston/ Galveston Bay coastline; such is the amazing turnout of volunteers and support from friends across the nation.  The 330+ sailors will be looking forward to the amazing LYC shoreside entertainment, it starts with pool-side talent when the racers return from the course on Saturday, followed by a great dinner and then more live music in the evening! Pretend like you’re 35 again, stick around, and have fun!

    The biggest class at the regatta is the J/105s, most of whom are also participating in the J/105 North Americans the following week, also hosted by Lakewood YC.  Many strong local crews have upped the ante and have great crews; such as Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth Boat Club, Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO from LYC, Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY from LYC, JB Bednar’s STINGER from LYC, Bill Lackenmacher’s RADIANCE from LYC.    Visiting crews include some of the top crews in the J/105 class, such as J/105 NA Champion Bruce Stone’s GOOD TRADE from St. Francis YC and Rick Goebel’s SANITY crew from San Diego YC- a winner of the San Diego NOOD Regatta.

    The J/70s are bringing their best local heroes to the event, and at fifteen boats the next largest fleet in the regatta. Perhaps top seed goes to past J/80 World Champion Glenn Darden and crew on HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club, on-board as tactician is Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan McKee as tactician.  Giving them a serious run-for-the-roses will be other top traveling teams like Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, also from Ft Worth BC, Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT, and Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS HEARING.

    At a round dozen boats and fielding the third largest fleet of sailors in the event are the J/24 teams!  Featured are top local crews like Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES from Austin YC, one of the top women skippers in the class; Chris Holmes’ BADMOON from Dallas Corinthian YC; Stu Juengst’s VANG GO from Austin YC; and Tonja Holmes-Moon’s SIREN 2.0 from Dallas Corinthian YC.

    Fielding a fleet of fifteen boats and fourth largest fleet (in terms of number of sailors) are the J/22s.  Hard to handicap this group, nevertheless several teams have done well in regional events in the past, like Chris Moran’s TILT, Danny Pletsch’s SKETCHY, Stu Lindow’s SOUTHERN BELLE, Dov Kivlovitz’s USA 951, and Anne Lee’s HELMS A LEE.

    Sailing as a four-boat class will be the largest big-boat one-design- the J/109s.  The frightful thing about this class is they are all about dead even.  In short, it’s whom they bring to the table in their crews that may make the difference between “lights-out” over the horizon, or shrimping the spinnaker at the leeward mark.  While no one ever expects the latter, most are banking on the horizon job scenario; teams like Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBUG (a past winner), David Christensen’s AIRBORNE (another winner); Andy Wescoat’s HARM’S WAY (another winner) and Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE (yet, another winner).  So, will be interesting to see how the cards are played in this quartet!

    Finally, in the J/PHRF world, the big boat class in PHRF A (Asym chutes), led by JD & Susan Hill’s gorgeous J/122 SECOND STAR.  They will be chased hard on handicap by Scott Spurlin’s J/88 FIORNA-J, Dan Sullivan’s J/92S LITTLE JOE, and Dan Kelsey’s J/80 HARMATTAN (who hails from Dillon YC in Colorado and Puerto Vallarta YC in Mexico).   PHRF B class (Sym chutes), will be led by Beverly Caldwell’s J/40 SHAKEN NOT STIRRED, with two J/29s in hot pursuit (John McCuthen’s SUPERGIRL and Glenn Stromme’s PRESS TO MECO), and Gary Trinklein’s J/27 TOCCATA hoping to be in the same zip code when the bigger boats finish (as a result, he’s win!).  For more J/Fest Southwest Regatta sailing information

    Spanish Winter Sailing J/70s & J/80s
    Come Join the Barcelona or Vigo Winter Series!!
    (Barcelona, Spain)- Over the October 21st and 22nd weekend, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona held the first stage of the Barcelona Winter Series (BWS) for J/70s and J/80s.

    The seven J/70’s and seven J/80’s competed in three races every day.  It marked the inaugural event for J/70’s in Barcelona, with more J/70 teams planning to arrive when winter freezes northern Europe!!

    The first provisional leaders of the series after six races were NOTICIA in J/70s and AKEWUELE in J/80s.  The fleets are quite competitive, with several J/80 World Champions and Olympic class medal winners sailing in both classes- it makes for great “tuning” and “training” over the winter in preparation for the 2018 sailing season!

    BARCELONA WINTER SERIES
    Barcelona is a great place to sail in the winter to prepare for the J/70 Europeans in Vigo, Spain and the J/80 Worlds in Les Sables d'Olonne, France for 2018, so don’t hesitate to come down with your J/teams for a great winter sailing!

    The sailing conditions in Barcelona during the winter are gorgeous.  It’s warm weather on the Mediterranean, with mostly thermal sea breezes every day from 6 to 13 kts, nice temperatures and sunny!!  Our friends in northern Europe and Scandinavia who are no longer experiencing “the land of the midnight sun”, should join us for lots of “fun-in-the-sun” on the gorgeous Spanish Riviera!

    The Barcelona Winter Series will be held one weekend every month from October 2017 through March 2018, with very professional sailing management by RC Nautico de Barcelona.  For more RCNB Winter Series sailing information

    VIGO WINTER SERIES
    While Barcelona is in northeastern Spain in the beautiful Catalonia province, essentially the Spanish Riviera along the Mediterranean Sea, Vigo is on the opposite coast on the Atlantic, in northwestern Spain.

    Real Club Náutico De Vigo invites teams to participate in their winter series. They promise a warm welcome, wind, races on Saturdays and Sundays.  The most significant attraction for J/70 sailors is that RC Nautico De Vigo will be the host for the 2018 J/70 European Championship, running from June 12th to 16th, 2018.  Here are their dates for the 2017/ 2018 Winter Series:

    - October 28-29th
    - November 18-19th
    - December 16-17th
    - January 13-14th
    - February 3-4th
    - February 24-25th
    - March 17-18

    Please note, it is possible to rent boats for individual events for the complete series in Vigo. It's not too late to order a new boat that will be waiting for your team at the yacht club!  J/70 Spain Facebook page

    J/24 East Coasts & J/22 Mid-Atlantics Championship Update
    (Annapolis, MD)- Join us for the 39th J/24 East Coast Championship October 27th to 29th and the J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship October 28th & 29th at Severn Sailing Association! Late October in Annapolis boasts great fall sailing conditions and a regatta you don't want to miss!!

    Best Fall Sailing Around!
    - Twenty-three J/24s & thirteen J/22s already registered- Tip-Top Competition!
    - 2018 Qualifier for J/24 World Championship!
    - Free Housing & Boat Storage Available
    - The Rigging Co. will put up your rig - first come, first served!
    - Dock Talks & Weather Briefs with your favorite pros

    On-Shore Fun - All Included With Entry!
    - Beers & Snacks After Racing Friday
    - Saturday Night Regatta Party with Live Band- “The Shatners”. Dinner for 5 & Dancing Under the Tent!
    - Post-Race Burgers 'n' Brats Sunday afternoon

    Please contact Pat FitzGerald at pfitzgerald@comcast.net or Kelly Brice FitzGerald at 443-600-1182.  For more J/24 East Coast and J/22 Mid-Atlantic Coast Championship sailing information

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    This past fortnight was busy with many fall regattas in the northern hemisphere and a significant one in the southern hemisphere, many of them including the hyperactive active J/70 fleets around the world.

    Starting Down Under, Australia is moving into their springtime and, therefore, into the world’s longest sailing summertime!  No wonder so many Australians know how to sail well, nearly nine months of perfect summer sailing weather.  And, what better way to kick it off than have the famous Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Sydney host the 2017 Australian J/70 Nationals!  Great turnout and fantastic racing!

    Flipping ourselves up over the Equator to Europe and Asia, we find Russian J/70 sailors completing two significant regatta series.  For starters, the Russian Sailing Federation supports the Russian J/70 National Sailing League, a series of six events that start in May in Sochi (site of the Winter Olympics) and ends in Sochi in October.  Just this past weekend, a fleet of 24 teams sailed J/70s in the Grand Finale at Sochi; some familiar faces to sailors on the European J/70 circuit finished on the leaderboard.  Then, PROyachting with partner ULYSSE NARDIN, completed their summer-long weekly regatta series sailed on J/70s and hosted by the Royal YC in Moscow in an amazing “stadium sailing” venue.

    Off to the west in Europe/ UK, we find the French J/80 sailors sail a tricky weekend series in the Crouesty J/Cup, hosted by YC Crouesty-Arzon, in Crouesty, France. Then, just across “La Manche”, the  Hamble Winter Series completed their third weekend, hosted by the Hamble River Sailing Club in Hamble, Southampton, England for IRC fleets and the J/88 class.  Still further west, we get a report from the Lough Erne J/24 fleet sailing their Autumn Series at Lough Erne YC in Ireland- they sure know how to have fun!

    Hopping west across the Atlantic, a fleet of 53 teams assembled at American YC in Rye, New York to compete for the 2017 J/70 North American Championship; it was a deeply talented fleet, including two World Champions and three North American Champions.  Finally, we get a report from the fun and entertaining Annapolis YC Fall Series, in Annapolis, Maryland, for ORC/ PHRF handicap fleets and one-design classes of J/22s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, and J/105s.

    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:

    Oct 19-22- J/30 North American Championship- New Orleans, LA
    Oct 20-22- J/105 Masters Regatta- San Diego, CA
    Oct 21-22- J/Fest Southwest- Lakewood, TX
    Oct 21- Rolex Middle Sea Race- Valleta, Malta
    Oct 26-29- J/105 North American Championship- Seabrook, TX
    Oct 27-29- J/24 East Coast Championship- Annapolis, MD
    Oct 27-29- J/105 Lipton Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
    Oct 28- Nov 1- French J/80 National Championship- Quiberon, France
    Oct 28-29- Great Pumpkin Regatta- Point Richmond, CA
    Oct 28- Nov 1- J/70 South American Championship- Algarrobo, Chile
    Nov 4- Hot Rum Series I- San Diego, CA
    Nov 18- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
    Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
    Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica

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

    CATAPULT Swings to Victory @ J/70 North Americans!
    (Rye, NY)- It was an epic regatta in more ways than one.  Fifty-three boats from thirteen States and two Canadian Provinces participated in the 2017 J/70 North American Championship presented by Domaine Chandon, hosted by American YC in Rye, New York.  There was no question the AYC volunteers, Race Committee and mark boat team, the PRO Mark Foster from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the entire AYC shore team made a magnificent effort to ensure everyone in the event were treated as “family” all weekend long- it is not often that an entire club rallies from members to volunteers to their shore teams to make everyone feel welcome- it was greatly appreciated by all the J/70 teams in attendance!

    The sailing itself was challenging with winds, waves, and current literally coming from every quadrant on the compass.  Plus, the fleet was incredibly talented and very deep, with many champions of many different sailing classes pushing the starting line hard all weekend- reflected in the number of general recalls and U-flag/Black-flag starts. AYC’s “homie” and Commodore Peter Duncan on RELATIVE OBSCURITY were pre-regatta favorites, having just won the AUDI J/70 World Championship off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy at YC Costa Smeralda.  However, success can be fleeting and it’s hard to maintain 100% perfection, even on your home waters.  In the end, with Duncan’s team leading the regatta going into the last day, it was the 2016 J/70 World Champion at San Francisco, California that prevailed; Joel Ronning’s crew on CATAPULT, including J/24 World Champion John Kostecki as mainsheet/ tactician, were declared the 2017 J/70 North American Champions!  Here is how it all took place over the course of four days.

    Day One- Blow-Out Thursday!
    With sustained winds over 25 kts and gusts breaking 30 kts, the race committee spared the sailors of the difficulties of broken boats and risk of injury. As result, a number of crews went exploring; which meant a quick visit to New York City to see the “bright lights and big city” that it can be on such a gorgeous day.  For the rest, the regatta hosts and sponsors did not disappoint. Thanks to the sponsors, Greatest Blaze & Co. and Watson's Catering, a barbeque of grilled delights calmed the nerves of the sailors eagerly awaiting the start of the Championship. Fine slices of filet mignon, mini-Reuben sandwiches, Kobe beef mini hot dogs, and skewered shrimp ... what a spread! Such a great party kept everyone engaged for the rest of the evening.

    The raging Long Island Sound, only suitable for windsurfers and kite-boarders on Thursday, was expected to settle down to a perfect 10-15 kts on Wednesday from the east with huge waves, setting the stage for a fun and competitive day on the water.

    Day Two- Blustery, Head-banging Friday!
    The morning weather conditions arrived as expected, though a bit misty, chilly and grey with the forecast predicting partly sunny, warmer weather later in the afternoon. The wind had been mostly out of the East all week, blowing across the longest fetch of Long Island Sound, creating nasty, steep 4-5 ft waves in a tight frequency; somewhat reminiscent of Lake Michigan “chop” off the Chicago lakefront.

    The AYC Race Committee was able to pull off four action-packed races by 1700 hrs- a long day for the exhausted sailors! The entire fleet was very competitive with the top four boats earning a bullet each. Current J/70 World Champion, Commodore Peter Duncan on RELATIVE OBSCURITY was in first, but Joel Ronning and the CATAPULT crew were right on his heels only two points back. The MIDLIFE CRISIS team from Long Beach, California, led by Bruce Golison, held third, and only a few points separated them from the next two boats.

    Sarah Renz from the Chicago Yacht Club, sailing BERTEAU GROUP, led the Corinthians Division, only one point ahead of Heather Gregg and Joe Bardenheier on MUSE and yet another point back was Jen & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY.

    Upon reaching the docks after racing by 1730 hrs, the tired and satisfied sailors were treated to fine sparkling wine given out with white glove treatment, thanks to main sponsors- Domaine Chandon. Domaine Chandon is from California's famed Napa Valley region and uses the same three noble grape varietals as used in French Champagne.

    The American Yacht Club put on a wonderful feast to accompany the bubbly, while Tanqueray gin provided fine spirits. The evening was topped off with a generous quantity of great raffle prizes provided by Eric Magnuson and Patrick Aylward's Landfall Navigation, specializing in gear for the adventurous.

    Day Three- Saturday Glass-out!
    Many throw-outs were likely used on the only race that was sailed on Saturday, as the breeze lightened and began to turn southeast and die across the Sound- a familiar scenario for many Long Island Sound sailors!  However, AYC past Commodore, Peter Duncan, managed to stay consistent with a 6th place in the lone race. Ronning's CATAPULT, currently 2nd, did not fare so well, finishing in 18th place- that's a number that would likely remain a throw-out for them, leaving no room for error on the final day.

    Victor Diaz de Leon, sailing with Peter Duncan said, "today we tried to focus on minimizing maneuvers. When we did t, to tack or jibe, we did it in a puff because that makes it so much less painful."

    An impressive light-air performance was delivered by John and Molly Baxter, sailing Team VINEYARD VINES to a 1st today, moving them up to 9th overall. Current 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place boats all posted big numbers making their final day a challenge.

    Meanwhile, competition for the Corinthian crown had become fierce. The Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY was now equal on points with Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP. Gregg/ Bardenheier’s MUSE was holding on just one point behind. The stage is set for a critical final day where the breeze will be back but from another new direction- the southwest. Anything can happen on the race course Sunday, as the southwester will inevitably throw a few curve-balls at the fleet, a very tricky direction based on current and winds coming off the high-bluffs of Long Island to the south.

    On land, the hospitality at AYC remained consistent all week- superb!  Saturday evening, the sailors settled in with chili, clam chowder and a fantastic drink selection. The finest Scotch whiskeys Johnny Walker has to offer were on display for tasting. Aficionados be jealous! Sailors were able to come off the water and enjoy several blends including the 18-year-old Platinum Label blend. All of these fine delectables led the sailors into our second Doyle Sailmakers debrief. Tony Rey guided the discussion and called upon several top pro sailors to give their thoughts and opinions on sail trim and boat-handling techniques. Victor Diaz de Leon and Willem van Waay shared their secrets on how they make the J/70 go fast, while Judd Smith shed some light on how to deal with the tough sea state while on the helm.

    Day Four- The Dramatic, Tricky Finale
    Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY team controlled this regatta from day one. Not surprisingly, coming off a J/70 World Championship title, his crew was at the top of their game. But, there was a twist to the plot. Ronning's CATAPULT never fell very far behind in points, always lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce. And, pounce they did in the final race; a bullet in the final race by CATAPULT, coupled with a 10th place finish by RELATIVE OBSCURITY, was enough to push them ahead with a 3 point cushion.

    Sunday’s conditions were challenging. A new wind direction with varying intensity made for a tactician's nightmare. Credit to Bruce Golison for staying in the hunt and finishing 3rd overall with line honors in race seven. This was not an easy task with Brian Keane’s SAVASANA and Mary Kullman’s NEW WAVE right on his heels, in 4th and 5th, respectively.

    The Corinthian title was no easy achievement either. The lead swapped multiple times throughout the day.  After race 6, Gregg’s MUSE crew was leading the division on a tiebreaker.  After the 7th race, Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP was leading by one pt. But, with a 7th in the 8th and final race, Jenn Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY managed to win in the end. BERTEAU GROUP and MUSE held their top three spots, finishing in that order. What is remarkable about that outcome was that it was the first time in J/70 class history that three women skippers swept the Corinthians Division!  Notably, women crews were also present on the next two boats- Mallory Loe on DIME in 4th and Melissa Fisher on BUTTON FLY in 5th place!

    Ashore after the racing and the frenetic process of hauling and preparing boats for traveling home, the AYC Team hosted a wonderful awards presentation with crystal and framed photographs as prizes. Tanqueray took center stage in relaxing the tired sailors with their signature gin & tonic for any and all in attendance- it was a warmly received and generous effort by the Domaine Chandon team and their team of hostesses to look after the sailors!

    What a fantastic regatta it was. In addition, it would not have been possible without the generosity of the sponsors of the event:
    • Presenting sponsor Domaine Chandon and their portfolio of fine spirit brands - Lead Sponsor Doyle Sailmakers who generously shared their knowledge and expertise in sailor with all the competitors
    • Lead Sponsor Tanqueray traditional gins and cocktails
    • Supporting Sponsor Landfall Navigation - "Your journey starts here…”
    • Supporting Sponsor Greatest Blaze Co.- offering exotic kiln dried wood, fire pits, and 41 sorts of grilling essentials
    • Supporting Sponsor Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, second to none in outfitting sailors
    • Supporting Sponsor Sail 22, the premier sailing concierge service providing all of your campaign management needs.
    Additional Sponsors included: Captain Lawrence, Don Julio, Captain Morgan, Bulleit Bourbon, Watson's Catering, Summerties, Anne Arundel Dive Services, and Poland Spring.

    Sailing photo & video credits- Tim Wilkes Media Productions  American YC Promotions Team- Donavan McSorley/ Steffie Pomp

    J/70 NA’s Facebook sailing videos
    Day 1   Day 2 first day racing   Day 3- second day racing   Day 4- third day racing   American YC Facebook page   For more J/70 North American Championship sailing and scoring information

    JUNO Tops Australian J/70 Nationals
    (Sydney, Australia)- The inaugural J/70 Australian Championship was held on the weekend of 14-15 October, with the race management support provided by the team from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

    Six races were held over the weekend of racing. Saturday’s breeze was forecast for 25 kts, but abated to 15-20 kts providing some exhilarating kite runs down the harbour for the fleet. Sunday’s winds softened to 10-12 kts from the southeast.

    First place with 6 bullets was a clean sweep by Reg and Sally Lord, Jordan Reece, Tom Grimes, and Cam Gundy on JUNO from the CYCA.  A thrilled Reg said, “We had good speed around the course, expert tactics from Jordan, and great trim and boat-handling all round. Sailing with the team on a J/70 is just so enjoyable.” Reg and crew were fresh from competing in the 168-boat fleet in the J/70 Worlds held in Sardinia, the largest sportboat event ever.

    In 2nd place, also from the CYCA were Tim Ryan and crew on JAMES. Third place was tightly contested and ultimately went to JACKAL team from Royal Sydney YS.

    It’s great to be part of the J/70 International Class, and have the opportunity to sail a high-performance boat with family and friends, and compete in International regattas.

    Not since the J/24 have we seen such a worldwide response to a new one-design keelboat.  Like its predecessor, the J/70 has struck a chord across a wide age and skill range and has proven itself to be an extremely versatile platform.

    The J/70 Class offers the highest level of competition and yet the boat can be successfully crewed by a three-generation team. The real secret to the success of the J/70 is its inclusiveness of all sailors.

    Nick Rozenauers, sailing THE JACKAL with brother Alex, Dad, Peter, and two mates really enjoyed the racing. “The first race on Sunday was nearly 80 minutes and four of the J/70’s finished within 16 seconds of each other, brilliant close racing!”  New to the J/70, Andrew from JABBERWOCKY said, “it was a great learning experience for the crew, but good fun!”

    The J/70 is a dream to sail.  Most expect her to fly downwind, but few expect her to sail to windward as well as she does.  This “two-way” ability (thanks to excellent stability) clearly distinguishes the J/70 from the pack of other sportboats and presents a compelling option and appeal to both youth and mature sailors.

    Over 1,400 J/70’s have been delivered to happy owners in the four short years since its launch, making the J/70 the fastest growing and largest sportboat class in the World.

    The J/70 fleet thanks Chris Stone and Margaret Carney at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron for their support of the Championships, and also for running the W/L Mini Regatta series throughout the year.  Thanks also to North Sails and Harken for their on-going support of the J/70 Australian Class.

    ARTTUBE Wins Sochi J/70 Sailing League Finale!
    LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA Crowned Russian National League Champions!
    (Sochi, Russia)- After sailing six events all season, it can be said the twenty-four teams in the Russian J/70 Sailing League were easily the most-traveled J/70 crews in the world; having to crisscross the vast expanse of Russia, from as far east as Sochi, the resort on the Black Sea that hosted the Winter Olympics, to the far west to St. Petersburg, on the eastern end of the Baltic Sea!  The logistics sound intimidating, but the Russian Sailing Federation worked hard to include sailing teams from every part of Russia to participate in the summer-long series over a period of nearly six months.

    The season started and ended in Sochi.  So, at the start of the decisive regatta season these were the twenty-four teams: LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA (skipper Sergei Musikhin); LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE (Vyacheslav Ermolenko); KONAKOVO RIVER CLUB (Mark Kagansky); NAVIGATOR Sailing Team (Igor Rytov), ROCK’N’ROLLA Sailing Team (Alisa Kirilyuk); PIROGOVO TEAM (Yuri Morozov); ARTTUBE RUS7-2 (Valeria Kovalenko); ST. PETERSBURG YC SAILING ACADEMY (Anna Basalkina); LEVIATHAN TEAM (Vadim Yakhinson); DC TEAM (Denis Cherevatenko); X-FIT SPORTS (Vladimir Silk); NAVIGATOR NEXT (Irina Sorokina); REGION 23 TEAM (Evgeny Nikiforov), USC TEAM (Dmitry Sharubin); M1-CLOUD TEAM (Alexey Danilyants); PARMA LUKOMORYE (Vitaly Tarakanov); VOS TEAM (Yevgeny Anishev); FPS SOCHI-YUG SPORT (Oleg Kuzmin); KOMATEK (Yuri Kryuchenkov); SPORTTECH TEAM (Andrei Nikolaev); RUS7 TEAM (Anatoly Arnautov); CSKA TEAM (Darya Ivanova); SKOLKOVO SAILING TEAM (Andrey Davidyuk); and the ROYAL YC TEAM (Sergey Peshkov).

    In the Grand Finale, it was great racing all three days right on the Sochi waterfront.  Every team had a chance to sail in a wide variety of wind and sea conditions.  Showing that her experience in winning the YC Monaco Winter Series in the J/70 class was no fluke, Valerya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE with crew of Alexander Bozhko, Igor Lisovenko and Egor Ignatenko, simply showed their tail-feathers to the fleet for most of the regatta, winning most races and never finishing out of the top three to win by a commanding margin.

    As a result of the Sochi regatta, Sergei Musikhin’s LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA team managed to sail a solid regatta to claim the ultimate sailing prize in Russia- to be crowned Russia’s Best Sailing Team- winning the Russian J/70 National Sailing League for 2017!  Here is how it all took place off Sochi.

    Day One- Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE Leads
    On Friday, twelve races took place, each team had 4 starts.

    It was an excellent beginning for ARTTUBE RUS7-2 and their skipper Valeriya Kovalenko- one of Russia’s top women sailors and skippers.  Her team produced two 1sts and two 2nds for a total of 6 pts to easily lead the regatta.  Next came PIROGOVO’s Morozov and NAVIGATOR SAILING TEAM’s Rytov tied on 8 point each.  Rounding out the top five were LORD OF SAIL- ASIA’s Musikhin sitting on 10 pts in fourth.  Then, 5th place had a three-way tie at 12 pts each between KONAKOVO RIVER CLUB’s Kagansky, ST PETERSBURG YC ACADEMY SAILING TEAM’s Basalkina, and LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE’s Ermolenko.

    Day Two- ARTTUBE Maintains Furious Pace!
    The penultimate day of racing had some seriously crazy, unpredictable weather patterns.  The weather on Saturday was a struggle for all teams: in the morning, Sochi was covered by a torrential rainstorm; then the sun came out and a stable wind of 12-14 knots appeared for awhile; and then at the end of the day, arrived a big frontal system with winds of 25+ kts and sheets of rain again!  Yes, the weather Godz must be crazy!

    Despite the difficult weather, the Race Committee and the race judges managed to ensure a good pace of the competition; fourteen races were held, for a total of twenty-six races run by the close of Saturday.

    Continuing to demonstrate their outstanding performance was Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE RUS7-2, adding three 1sts and a 5th to their dominant scorecard for a total of 14 pts in eight races!  Seven points back was Musikhin’s LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA, having clawed there way back onto the leaderboard after a disappointing start on the first day. Lying in third new was Morozov's PIROGOVO.

    On Saturday evening, the Russian J/70 sailing teams celebrated a tradition for Sochi, launching 350 balloons into the sky in honor of the 350th anniversary of Russian shipbuilding and the 10th anniversary of the United Shipbuilding Corporation. The volunteers of the “World Festival of Youth” and “Students 2017” launched the balloons. As part of the celebration, a race was held for guests and partners of the League, as well as volunteers of the World Festival of Youth and Students-2017.

    Day Three- ARTTUBE wins finale!
    On the final day for the Grand Finale of the summer-long series, six more races were completed to determine the winner of the Sochi Regatta, but also the overall champion for the Russian J/70 National Sailing League.  After thirty-two races, the winner of the "big finale" of the season was Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE team, sporting a scorecard that had only one race outside the top three, including six 1sts in ten races!

    Second place went to yet another woman skipper- Anna Basalkina from the ST PETERSBURG ACADEMY SAILING TEAM!  There is no question that would a “first ever” scenario in the history of Russian sailing that two women skippers swept the top two spots in a major national sailing championship!

    Finally, taking the bronze on the podium was Igor Rytov’s NAVIGATOR Sailing Team.

    The Grand Finale in Sochi also produced the Russian J/70 National Sailing League Champions- that crowned was award to LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA, with skipper Sergei Musikhin and crew of Pavel Trofimchuk, Denis Tyurikov and Mikhail Korznikov.  Their fourth place in the Grand Finale earned them their hard-won championship title.

    The overall series silver was awarded to NAVIGATOR Sailing Team and rounding out the podium with the bronze was LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE’s Vyacheslav Ermolenko and crew.

    The success of the 2017 Russian J/70 National Sailing League could have happened without the generous support of its partners and sponsors.  “Thank You” to the following:
    • General partner- JSC "United Shipbuilding"
    • Official partners- GAZPROM and NORD STREAM AG
    • Financial partner- ALFA Private
    • Fitness partner- X-FIT fitness clubs across the federation
    • Sochi Regatta partner- SOCHI GRAND MARINA by Burevestnik group
    • Technological Partner- INTERPROCOM provided tracking
    • Radio communication partner- COMPASS-R.
    • Sport media partner- TV channel “MATCH!”
    • Radio partner- radio station MAXIMUM.
    • General media partners- the newspaper SOVETSKY SPORT, MAXIM magazine, FORBES.LIFE, Sport FM, YACHTING magazine.
    Russian J/70 Sailing League video highlights:
    Day 3 Highlights     Day 2 Highlights    Day 1 Highlights
    Grand Finale on Russian Sports TV News- MATCH:
    Day 3    Day 2    Day 1
    For more Russian J/70 Sailing League information

    Hamble Winter Series- Week 3 Report
    (Hamble, England)- The third weekend of sailing took place last weekend for the Hamble Winter Series, sponsored by The Bugle Hamble. The weather was typical of the fall, with a light mist, wisps of fog, cool temperatures and breezes in the 7-13 kts range.

    Nevertheless, in spite of the conditions, the hotly contested racing continued unabated with some boats beginning to consolidate their positions atop the leaderboard while others were still getting a handle on why they were seemingly signed up for the “Magical Mystery Tour” on some yellow bus that careened frenetically around the race track!

    In the Hamble Winter Series IRC 1 Class, Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ J/112E GP DAVANTI TYRES continued to set the pace, adding a 3-1 to the tally to be leading the fleet by one point.  The next J/team is Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL sitting in 7th place.

    The HWS IRC 2 Class is full of J/109s, the top boat is Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, posting three straight bullets since showing their faces on the racetrack on October 1st.  While three 1sts does not create a lead, at the pace they are going, the discard races will start to kick in and they should fault towards the top of the standings; currently they sit in 3rd place.  In 5th place is Tom Chatterton’s RED ARROW crew and in 6th is Roger Phillips DESIGNSTAR 2.

    Currently having a strangle-hold on the top two spots in HWS IRC 3 are Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II with just 9 pts in six races and in 2nd place is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with just 13 pts.

    Finally, in the HWS J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s crew on GBR 2688R are leading by an extraordinarily comfortable margin- 3 bullets and a 3rd give them 8 pts in six races.  The next three teams are all very tight on points.  Leading that pack is Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with 15 pts, followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 16 pts, then David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with 18 pts.  The eight-boat class is tough and they are having great sailing on the Solent!   Hamble Winter Series follow on Facebook page   Sailing photo credits- Hamo Thornycroft   For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series sailing information

    Pellissier Tops Crouesty J/80 Regatta
    (Crouesty Arzon, France)- The Crouesty J/Cup could have been nicknamed the "Crouesty-tricks Cup” this year, in view of the crazy weather the YC Crouesty- Arzon Race Committee and the crews had to contend with over the weekend.  Nevertheless, in the tricky conditions, Sylvain Pellisier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE and his crew (Mathieu Durand, Edouard Gendreau, & Gabriel Couronne) sailed their J/80 smartly and conservatively to win the regatta.

    On the first day of sailing Friday afternoon, there was barely ripple on the water, with a very light easterly wind of 3-5 knots. Fortunately, on this flat sea, the J/80s moved nicely and the YCCA Race Committee (bravo!) was in an opportunistic mode and made the most of the light air/ glass-out conditions. Two races were run, both won quite easily by Sylvain Pelissier's VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE, obviously very comfortable on this playing field.

    Saturday’s weather was more in line with the forecasts, moderate winds at best. Forgot the surfing and planing at 18 knots like last year, this year it was necessary to finesse the boat in a light to moderate south-east breeze between 5 and 10 knots. Luc Nadal’s GANJA, that had started modestly the first day, returns to the forefront with 2 victories over the 5 races. Despite a modest fleet of thirteen teams, the races were very close, with no less than 4 different winners in the 5 races of the day. With two 2nd and one 3rd, Pellesier’s VOILERIE AP was still doing very well and kept a comfortable points lead.

    Sunday’s racing was wild and different!  With a good 15+ kts forecast by midday, the crews tightened their rigging in anticipation of a good breeze. Strangely, it was the fog, and not the wind, that dominated this day’s one and only race! 10 minutes after the start, you could not see more than 50m! Over the VHF radio, the YCCA RC strongly urged the sailors not to lose sight of the nearest competitor, not just to avoid his wind! Luc Nadal, in the lead, was the leader of the expedition. A 1st place well deserved! But, GANJA’s efforts were not enough to displace Pélissier’s crew.  GANJA’s crew (Luc Nadal, Pierre Mousselon, Yvon Goude, David Nadal) finished two points back after their discard race to finish with 21 pts.  Third was a local YCCA crew, that of Gaétan Le Guil sailing GUESS WHO’S BACK with crew of Brice Menay, Pierre Hervet-Cozette, and Quentin Le Saout.

    Congratulations to the YCCA Race Committee chaired by Marc Eymond, who did everything humanly possible to make a regatta work in light winds ... and fog and run eight races against seemingly insurmountable odds!  Applause also for the YCCA volunteers who have provided a benevolent and warm welcome in the very quaint club house.

    COUPE DE FRANCE J/80 RANKINGS
    The Coupe de France rankings are determined by the seven race series sailed from the spring to the fall.  Starting with SPI Ouest France in April (La Trinite sur Mer), the fleet then went to GPEN in March (Brest Lanveoc), then Pornic J/Cup in June (Pornic), then Obelix Trophy in August (Benodet), then Atlantique Telegramme in September (Lorient), then Crouesty J/Cup in October (Crouesty), and finishes with the French J/80 Nationals in first weekend of November in Port Haliguen over the Halloween weekend!

    With more than 100 points ahead of his pursuers, Simon Moriceau’s ARMENT HABITAT is guaranteed to win the Coupe de France J/80 for 2017. On the other hand, the fight for the podium promises to be exciting between five teams: Nadal, Pélissier, Guilhot, Bot and Le Guil.

    The Masters J/80 title will be played out between Patrick Bot and Luc Nadal, provided each have a sufficiently senior crew (> 40 years on average). There are four contenders for the third step of the podium with a short lead for Xavier Tinel.

    Top women’s teams are Elodie Bonafous’s BAIE DE MORLAIZ, Christelle Phillipe’s APCC EQUIPE FEMININE I and Margot Riou’s APCC EQUIPE FEMININE II.  For more French J/80 Coupe de France sailing information

    Gorgeous Moscow J/70 ULYSSE NARDIN Finale
    Kovalenko’s SSA-9 wins coveted ULYSSE NARDIN chronograph!
    (Moscow, Russia)- In 2017, two series of summer racing took place on a fleet of matched J/70 one-design class sailboats at Royal YC Moscow: the Tuesday Warm-Up Races and the Wednesday Night Races. PROyachting managed the regatta schedule and the teams and the principal partner was the Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin.

    Tuesday Warm-Up Race Series
    For the Tuesday Warm-Up Races, a total of thirty-five teams competed! All teams were made up of people that work and sail in the greater region surrounding Moscow.  Winning the Tuesday series was MOSCOW-24, a team comprised of young professionals with a woman skipper; they never missed a single race all season-long!  Taking second place was Team HURRICANE and, finally, taking the bronze was Team BIG FISH!

    Throughout the entire yachting season, the teams were very close in the provisional rankings, with at least four different teams leading the season and changes taking place virtually every Tuesday.

    Wednesday Night Race Series- Sponsored by ULYSSE NARDIN

    While the Tuesday races were oriented to sailors with little or no experience and included a lot of training on the water for them, the Wednesday Night Ulysse Nardin races were focused primarily on more advanced sailors that had experience in regional, national, or European regattas.  Forty-two teams participated in the 2017 season.  Guess who won??

    The winner and winner of the main prize for the season- the ULYSSE NARDIN chronograph- was Team SSA-9 skippered by Valerya Kovalenko. The NO PASARAN Team took second place and third place went to Team ULYSSE NARDIN.

    Valeria Kovalenko, the woman skipper of SSA-9, commented:  "I sailed this summer series for the first time in the summer of 2015 and I fell in love with incredible pink sunsets! In the 2016 season, we formed a team of my fellow students at the Startup Academy of Skolkovo and began to participate in the series Tuesday Warm-Up Race, where we took second place. The guys from the first regatta liked everything: the opportunity to race right in the city, a soulful atmosphere, strong rivals, a clear organization, and wonderful prizes! Therefore, for the 2017 season, we prepared in advance and formed a large and strong team. I really believe the series of summer evening regattas created by PROyachting and hosted by Royal YC Moscow is the best way for a relaxing and fun evening of sailing with friends!!"

    Maxim Andrianov, CEO of ULYSSE NARDIN Russia, summed up the 2017 yachting season 2017 with the following words: "First of all, I want to thank PROyachting for the great opportunity to go sailing each week! Three years ago, I could not even imagine that I would sail and participate in competitions. This applies not only to me, but also to other regatta participants in Moscow and Sochi. And this is the main merit of PROyachting. I want to note the increased level of the organization and the participants themselves. This is a very serious level- imagine that, seventy-two teams from around Moscow were racing every evening this summer! Many youth take part in the National Sailing League and international competitions sail J/70s, and it all started here at the Water Stadium west of Moscow on a matched fleet of J/70s- perfect! I will tell you a secret that I also thought about developing in this direction. It is a pity that the season is over, but we will wait for the start of new season in 2018 and, of course, I will go to Sochi to support the National Sailing League and the 24 teams competing on the famous J/70 class sailboats! Thank you, PROyachting, you are good fellows!"

    For more PROyachting sailing event information, please contact PROyachting at ph- +7 499 393 31 33 (Moscow), +7 988 143 17 57 (Sochi) or email- info@pro-yachting.ru.

    Lough Erne YC Autumn J/24 Series Report
    (Lough Erne, Ireland)- Lough Erne YC’s third J/24 Autumn Sunday series got underway a week late on Sunday, 17 September.  The previous Sunday’s racing had been cancelled with a gale forecast. Race Officer, JP McCaldin, did very well to manage three races for the fleet in sunny light winds with calms that provoked the tense tussle pictured above to gain and retain momentum downwind to finish.

    Barry’s TJ with crew of Martyn, Philomena and Deidre, scored 2-2-3 for 7 pts to place 2nd overall.  Nipping at their heels was Michael’s JERIATRIX with crew of Sheila, Karen and Lisa with a 3-3-2 for 8 pts, securing third position.

    Finbarr in JELIGNITE won all three races for a 3 point total, with top deck crew June and James. And Finbarr even had time after finishing to take these pictures. Thanks!

    J/24 Autumn Sunday Series - Programme
    Repeating what worked well in 2015 and 2016, LEYC’s third J/24 Autumn Sunday Series plans 20 races, 4 on each of 5 Sundays (10) 17, 24 September and 8, 15, and 22 October. Crew gather 1100 hrs, tea/coffee, boat preparation, registration 1130 hrs, Briefing 1200 hrs, first of four races on simple windward/leeward courses, at 1300 hrs, ashore before 1700 hrs for BBQ (own food) and Bar! Prize Giving on final Sunday afternoon.

    Many LEYC sailors have raced in International J/24 events. Nearly all our boats have been at international events: notably JIGALO, winning boat in two J/24 World Championships, with Tim Rippey’s name on the placards.

    Crew Needed & Welcome: Expert & Novice
    On Sunday, second time sailing, Karen steered J/24 JERIATRIX downwind as the owner trimmed spinnaker.  They got 4th overall, best race was a 2nd place! Amazingly, they did it in an old Westerly and they challenged the fleet’s three better modern J/24s! Dockside preparation included sharing out crew amongst boats that needed crew. Brenna, for example, went from TJ to JIGALO, as did Michael from INDIGO KISS to JERIATRIX.

    This is the core spirit of our Autumn J/24 Series, enjoying ancient sport and bringing new folk into it, for the sailing and companionship. Seeking this opportunity? Come crew in races in October!  More news to follow at the end of our Autumn event!

    Riveting Annapolis YC Fall Series
    (Annapolis, MD)- For the 2017 edition of the annual fall tradition on the Chesapeake Bay, a large turn-out of J/crews participated in the Annapolis YC’s Fall Series.  A wind variety of weather conditions greeted the eager crews that were sailing in J/22s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, J/105s and a smattering of J’s in ORC handicap division.

    In six windward/leeward races and one long distance coastal race, the Annapolis YC Fall Series “Big Boat” division in ORC 1 Class was won by Jim Connelly’s J/111 SLUSH FUND; they were well-tuned and trained after going up against the world’s best at the J/111 World Championship held earlier in the summer on San Francisco Bay.  Conditions were varied enough to use all three levels of ORC Triple Number Scoring – Low, Medium and High – and both the Windward/Leeward and Long Distance scoring models. In the end, Connelly’s SLUSH FUND posted five 1sts and 4-2 to win with just 11 pts, well clear of the next boat. Fourth in class, after having to count a DNC/9 in the first race, was Marty Roesch’s J/111 VELOCITY; posting the second best scores in class other than the 9th they had to count!

    In the PHRF ToT Division, the same boats above were scored using PHRF handicap ratings.  Connelly’s crew on SLUSH FUND still won, but Roesch’s VELOCITY crew jumped into 3rd place.

    The eighteen J/105s had their usual tight racing throughout the fleet.  Depending on how well “crewed-up” each team is for the series will have a dramatic effect on how each boat gets around the track- an easy way to tell is whether (a) they can start and (b) they can get around the corners without making bad mistakes!  Leading the pack after seven races was the duo of Cedric Lewis & Fredrik Salvesen on MIRAGE, posting all top four finishes to win with 20 pts.  Not far off their pace was Ben duPont’s CTRL ALT DEL, never winning a race and had all top five finishes to close with 24 pts!  Taking third on the podium was John White’s USA 113 with 35 pts. Rounding out the top five were Jim Koningsberg’s INIGO with 39 pts and Carl & Scott Gitchell’s TENACIOUS with 42 pts.

    The familiar couple team of Jenn & Ray Wulff, posting a 3-2-1-1-3 for 10 pts, won the eight-boat J/70 class.  Two points back was the Chip/ Steiner/ Vickers team on GNIXE with a 1-4-4-2-1 tally for 12 pts.  Only one point back in third place was Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE with a 4-1-3-3-2 for 13 pts. Just off the pace in fourth was Mark Hillman’s SIX with a 2-3-2-4-4 scoreline for 15 pts.  Yes, it was very close racing for the top four teams in this event!

    The J/80 class had good participation with ten boats on the line.  Winning was John White’s ANOTHER ON THE TAB with a 3-5-3-1-1 record for 13 pts.  Alex Kraus’ COOL J had to win a tiebreaker on 16 pts each to take second over David Andril’s VAYU.  Taking 4th was Derrick Lynch’s OUTLAWS and 5th was Will Crump’s R80.

    Also showing up with ten boats on the line were the J/30 class, experiencing a “classic renaissance” on the Chesapeake Bay.  It’s a tough class and all the top boats are completely re-conditioned and look nearly “as-new”!  Still setting the standard for the fleet is Bob Rutsch’s BEPOP, winning four of six races to easily win with 10 pts.  However, behind him it was “gloves-off” all series long for the next four places behind them.  Despite trying hard to throw away their advantage with a 6th place in their last race, Ron Anderson’s crew on INSATIABLE survived to tell the tale of the tape, taking second with 21 pts.  Starting off very slowly with a 6-8, Rob & Beth Lundahl’s crew on RAG DOLL got it all together and blitzed the fleet in the last three races with a 1-1-2 to take 3rd on a tie-breaker, much to the surprise of everyone!  Losing the tiebreaker and taking fourth place was Tristan & Sheila Keen’s INFECTIOUS SMILE.  Then, fifth was taken by David Johnson’s AVENGER with 27 pts.

    The J/35 class continues to have fun on the Chesapeake.  However, like their J/30 colleagues, the J/35s also experienced a bit of a “schooling” on how to sail J/35s fast and furious and have a lot of fun doing it!  With straight bullets, the duo on AUNT JEAN, Jim Sagerholm & Jerry Christofel, carried home yet more silverware and pickle dishes for their “man cave” trophy room at home.  The balance of the podium was another story altogether.  Battling it out all series were Bruce Artman’s T-BONE and Roger Lant’s ABIENTOT, with Artman getting the upper hand in the end to take the silver.

    Finally, the J/22s had a somewhat abbreviated series.  Nevertheless, winning was Cassie Todd on HOT TODDY.  She was followed by Chris Wilson’s LIL’PUFFY in second and Jason Goscha’s DOUBLE J in third.
    For more Annapolis YC Fall Series sailing information and results.
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * Terry Hutchinson has accrued a track record of being a winner. He gets involved in big-time keelboat racing programs and makes them better. However, the basis for what he does today is deeply rooted in extremely tough one-design racing at a world-class level.  After sailing FJ’s and 420’s in college and became a College Sailor of the Year, Terry competed in J/24s for a long time, ultimately winning the J/24 World Championship.  Like other J/24 World Champions, such as his colleague Ken Read at North Sails (now its President), Terry also capitalized on his know-how on what it takes to win and proceeded to help Quantum Sails Racing program, first in one-designs, then later in big boats.

    It is now through his work as tactician for Hap Fauth’s Maxi72 Bella Mente and Doug DeVos’s TP52 Quantum Racing that Terry has brought these two successful owners together, alongside New York Yacht Cup, to challenge for the 36th America’s Cup. Here Terry discusses this new campaign.

    CL: Let’s start with some background.
    TH: It’s an incredible opportunity in front of us. I’m incredibly mindful of the history and the tradition that the New York Yacht Club has for the event, and so from the team side, it’s an honor to be a part of New York’s effort in this 36th America’s Cup.

    This campaign probably started five years ago with Doug, and three years ago with Hap, as our sailing relationships have evolved over that period of time. When it became obvious that Team New Zealand was going to win, and after having discussions with them and their Challenger of Record where they indicated what they were going to do with the boat, it seemed like an opportunity to at least sit down and discuss if this was a challenge we wanted to take on.

    The more myself, and Doug, and Hap talked about it, the more it became apparent how our goals were aligned in what we wanted to do, what we wanted the team to look like, and if we’re fortunate enough to be successful partnering with New York, to make the next match another step towards what we feel is represented in the sport. To get to this point has been about six month’s worth of work and it’s just on the front side of a lot more.

    But I think when I look at our team and where we’re at, we have a lot of great sailing infrastructure already in place, and that component of the program has been operating at a reasonably high level for just over the better part of five years.

    So under Hap’s and Doug’s leadership, they’re helping us get the business infrastructure in place and I think Hap summed it up best when he said, “Being successful in the America’s Cup is as much of a sailing venture, as it is a business venture,” and so it’s going to take an absolute team effort from all of us to be successful.

    CL: Any particular vision for the team?
    TH: For starters, we have two great principals. We have Doug and Hap. Then we have a third partner with the New York Yacht Club. But we are going to need to continue to find commercial and private funding to help support this challenge. Additionally, an important point to make is how this is going to be a US team. It’s a US flag team.

    When you travel and you race the 52s or the 72s, you realize there is a massive gap in sailors from my generation, or slightly behind, to people in their early twenties. So as a team, we want to return the America’s Cup back to the base of our sport and garner support in that manner. In all of our minds, we want to represent the United States in the manner we feel is appropriate and do it through hard work and good results on the race course.

    Is the team going to be 100% American? Probably not, but again, it’s going to be born and bred here. The way the Protocol is written right now, the sailing team must be comprised of 20% nationals and 80% have to be residents. I’m expecting the residency clause to be a pretty difficult to achieve by bringing in outsiders, so our goal is to have a team that is US based and using and developing sailors in our country.

    When you talk about winning and then defending in the grand scheme of things, if we’re successful enough on the water this is time around, the goal would be to have developed a team of younger sailors that can then defend it. If you think about it in the big picture world, if it’s a nine-year cycle, I will have probably aged out of it by then. And that’s why we have to do a good enough job developing the younger generation.

    That’ll likely be a combination of American sailors and international sailors, but as the skipper of the team and as an American, my feelings and thoughts are in this is going to be an American team. Is every single person going to be an American citizen? Probably not, but we’re going to definitely wave the flag proudly.

    CL: Any details at this time about team members?
    TH: It’s a bit too soon for specifics but I will say that my role is team skipper and not helm…. though in the America’s Cup you never say never. If you break down the timeline, and start working backwards from when the actual match, there’s not a lot of sailing time in the boat itself. But there’s some great young American sailors right now pursuing various avenues, so there’s a lot of talent that we have to go and cultivate and see who is going to be the right fit for this campaign.

    It’s pretty simple when the underlying agenda is winning, which it is, and then doing it in a manner that’s going to make us all proud. When you work backwards from there then the cream will rise to the top. We just have to make sure that we then have a structure in place that allows us to pick the best sailors and execute on the day.

    CL: What do we know about the boat?
    TH: In all the discussions that we’ve had with the defender, we have a sense of the direction but it’s premature to know the full scope as there are a lot of variables that need to get addressed. The challenge for the organizers is how they want to make sure they have a great event that has participation and that brings people to New Zealand, and that brings the event back to where the base of the sport feels like it should be. Within all that the America’s Cup needs to maintain its position as the pinnacle of the sport.

    So this is a tricky challenge. They want participants, they need to control the costs so it doesn’t become a ridiculous arm’s race, yet it needs to be the pinnacle of our sport. Having been in the loop of the conversations and email exchanges with Grant Dalton, I see clearly how he’s in a tough spot. While he’s in a great spot because he just won the thing, but he has got a great responsibility as well. I know they’re not taking any of it lightly.

    CL: What have been some of the lessons you’ve learned in the past that are now directing you out of the blocks?
    TH: With regard to the game itself, you can make extremely complicated, so lesson number one is to seek simplicity and focus on the priorities which is to design a fast boat and race it well with good people. If you keep those principles you can make it an easier game.

    Significant to keeping it simple is getting the right people for the job. As I’ve evolved in my sailing, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be tactician for some really great teams, and what you learn in those experiences in how vital it is to have the right people for the jobs ashore and on the water. So we will be focused on bringing together those people.

    One of the strengths for Bella Mente and Quantum Racing programs is to have great teams from bow to stern, where everybody works hard and respects the process that’s in place. We have a great system sailing where we evaluate our performance each day and we critique it and we go back out and we do the same thing the next day. We look forward to continuing this approach with this new campaign.

    When the club announced this challenge, Hap made mention to how the event would now embody “a more traditional style of yacht and the windward-leeward courses with which the vast majority of racing sailors are intimately familiar…” Does this infer the America’s Cup got off track with the previous few additions?

    I wouldn’t say it went off track. In fact, I’d say there was some great things as a show. The last America’s Cup, as a visual spectator, was pretty darn impressive. The organization did a really good job of producing a broadcast product that was pretty exciting to watch.

    However, I’m not sure it’s the vision I would’ve followed but that’s not really my position to say because we weren’t in their situation. They followed what they thought was a correct vision to take sailing to a different part of the sport. And that’s what they did. Team New Zealand has won it now and as competitors we follow their vision.

    Four years from now, if we’re fortunate enough to be the defender, our vision will likely be a variation of several of the recent America’s Cup. But without question, the vision going forward is to do what we can to broaden our sport.”  Thanks to Scuttlebutt Sailing Newsletter for this contribution.

    * Volvo Ocean Race: Meet Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a team that includes as its leader the J/24 World Champion Charlie Enright.  Furthermore, he is joined by friend Mark Towill, both avid sailors and racers since they were little kids growing up on Narragansett Bay, sailing out of the Bristol YC on Sunfishes, J/24s, J/35s, J/105s and even the new J/121 recently.

    Young guns Charlie Enright and Mark Towill are back in the Volvo Ocean Race, and they've teamed up with Danish wind energy company Vestas and marine conservation program 11th Hour Racing hoping to make a lasting impact on and off the water in 2017-18.

    American duo Enright and Towill return to lead the blue boat, and want to make an impact on and off the water. Enright and Towill got their first taste of Volvo Ocean Race action in the 2014-15 edition as with Team Alvimedica, and in doing so realized a long-awaited dream to test their mettles offshore in the ultimate round-the-world race.

    Two In-Port Race wins and victory in the final ocean leg from Lorient to Gothenburg left the talented Americans wanting more, and now they're back with a star-studded crew, an even bigger hunger for success and an important message about the health of our oceans to promote.

    The team's partnership with 11th Hour Racing will see them engage with communities around the world to increase understanding of marine environments and how best to respect them.

    Joining Towill and Enright in the team's high command is Simon 'SiFi' Fisher, who helped orchestrate Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's win in 2014-15 from the navigation station, and returns for a fourth consecutive Volvo Ocean Race.

    Around them are some of the most talented ocean racers on the planet. The likes of Damian Foxall, Tony Mutter, SCA's Stacey Jackson and Phil Harmer, all with Volvo Ocean Race victories on their CVs, will guarantee Vestas 11th Hour Racing are top contenders. Indeed, Harmer is hunting a hat-trick of consecutive wins after lifting the trophy with Groupama and Abu Dhabi in 2011-12 and 2014-15, respectively.

    Nick Dana (Newport, RI) returns for a second race as a full crew member, then there are the team's under-30 crew members, bursting with enthusiasm and talent. Brit Hannah Diamond and Denmark's Jena Mai Hansen join the team from Olympic dinghy racing backgrounds, Diamond from the Nacra 17 multihull and Jensen from winning bronze in the 49er FX at Rio 2016. Young Aussie Tom Johnson joins the crew after racing with Vestas in the 2014-15 edition, then with Oracle Team USA for the most recent America's Cup.

    Vestas 11th Hour Racing finished fifth in Leg Zero, the four-stage qualifying series before, then headed straight for Lisbon where they've been working hard to get up to speed, two-boat testing alongside team AkzoNobel as the countdown to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race continues.

    Follow these guys as the go around the world on the Volvo Ocean Race website (great tracker, too!). Add to Flipboard Magazine.

    Read more...
  • J/Newsletter- October 11th, 2017 J/105 International Masters Regatta Preview
    (San Diego, CA)- Returning to the San Diego Bay on October 20-22, 2017 is the International Masters Regatta, hosted by San Diego Yacht Club for the sixth consecutive year. Twelve teams from all around the world will compete in this year’s regatta, which will be sailed in a round robin format.

    Historically, the International Masters Regatta was first established in 1975 and took place in the San Francisco Bay until 2012 when SDYC began hosting the distinguished event. The name of the event originates from the rule that invited skippers must be over the age of 60 and crew members must be over the age of 45.

    Competitors will race the three day regatta in equalized J/105 sailboats and teams will rotate boats after each race. Local J/105 owners generously lend their boats for both the Masters Regatta and the Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup Regatta held October 27-29, 2017. To keep racing fair among the teams, the J/105 boats are rigged to a one-design standard. SDYC appreciates the generosity of these owners.

    The 2017 event will feature some of the most accomplished skippers in the sport of sailing. Included below are just some of their many highlights over the years.

    • Bill Campbell (SDYC): World Champion in the 420 Class in 1971, E-Scow National Champion in 1981, three time America’s Cup sailor in 1983, 1992, and 1995
    • Bill Menninger (NHYC): Defending Champion- 2016 Masters Regatta winner and crew for 2016 Lipton Cup winning team, former Governor's Cup Winner from the mid-1970s, US Team Racing Championship Team Winner
    • Jon Andron (St. Francis YC): has completed 15 Transpac races, is a former 505 North American Champion, sailed on Intrepid in the 1970 America’s Cup.
    • Richard du Moulin (Larchmont YC): past winner of Block Island Race Week, the Vineyard and Block Island Races, lifetime goal is to sail 30 Bermuda races.
    • David Irish (Little Traverse YC): three time past President of US Sailing, former Vice President of ISAF (now World Sailing), in 2013 was awarded the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy for outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing.
    • Tad Lacey (SFYC): winner of the San Francisco Cup in 2013, class winner at the Rolex Big Boat Series (has raced the Rolex Big Boat Series for almost 40 years), SFYC Commodore in 2013.
    • Jimmie Lowe (Nassau YC): 2016 Snipe Worlds Grandmaster Class Winner, currently the Director of Sailing at the Bahamas Sailing Association.
    • Ted Moore (NYYC): won the 2017 NYYC Grandmaster’s Team Race, tied for first at the Nantucket Pro Am in IODS for the past two years.
    • Dave Perry (Pequot YC): 1975 Intercollegiate Dinghy National Champion (Yale) and 2-time All-American in college, the 1983 & 1984 Congressional Cup winner, the 1978 Tasar North American Champion, the 1994, 1999 and 2003 Ideal 18 North American Champion.
    • Doug Rastello (NHYC): participated in three America’s Cups, 1989 Prince of Wales trophy winner at the US Match Racing Championship, two-time winner of the Big Boat Series as crew.
    • Dr. Laura Schlessinger (SBYC): has raced the Corona del Mar to Cabo Race (Class D winner and second boat to finish), Transpac, and Puerto Vallarta Races, only female skipper in the 2017 International Masters Regatta.
    • Tom Webster (YC of Hilton Head): South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association Penguin and Y-Flyer Champion and a National Junior Champion, chairman in past NA Finn, NA Europe Class Regattas, and the 1998 MUMM 30 World Championship.
    Defending Champion Bill Menninger won the International Masters Regatta for the first time in 2016, which was also the regatta’s first win from a Newport Harbor Yacht Club skipper. Never a dull moment on the San Diego Bay, Menninger won last year’s regatta after breaking a three-way tie for first place going into the last race. Jon Andron and Richard du Moulin who were involved in that three-way tie will be back this year for the opportunity to claim the 2017 title.

    To kick-off the 2017 Masters Regatta, SDYC will once again host the popular Taste of Point Loma on Thursday, October 19 on the Sail Wash Lawn. Regatta competitors, guests, and SDYC members are invited to attend and sample dishes and beverages from over 30 restaurants in the Point Loma community.

    The intended race area will consist of typical windward-leeward courses set on South San Diego Bay. Competitors are invited to practice on Thursday, October 19.

    Following the practice day, the International Masters Regatta will consist of three days of competitive sailing with a dockside social on Friday night and a Saturday night banquet for competitors and guests upon the conclusion of racing. The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday after racing on the front deck.

    Event Co-Chair Alli Bell extends a warm welcome to the 2017 competitors. “SDYC is excited to once again host the International Masters Regatta and we look forward to competitive racing and great fun on and off the water. This year, we are sailing in the South Bay, which is a new venue for this event, and we are eager to see how this raises the caliber of racing.”

    The International Masters Regatta would like to thank its event sponsors: Helly Hansen and Cutwater Spirits.  For more J/105 Masters Regatta sailing information

    Caribbean Winter Regattas- Go For It & Help!!
    (Gustavia, St Barths)- Sadly, the islands in the Caribbean were recently devastated by the full force of one of the strongest series of hurricanes in history. The islanders and wider communities have rallied together and incredibly many businesses, marinas, bars and restaurants are already open!  Such is the power of perseverance, love, and passion amongst sailors around the world.

    The message is loud and clear; the Caribbean will be open and ready to welcome sailors for the 2018 racing and cruising season.

    The 2018 season is going to be a very special year in the Caribbean, as we all come together to rebuild the livelihoods of the resilient locals who will open their hearts and share their wonderful islands with all those who visit and enjoy the love for the sea.

    ST MAARTEN HEINEKEN REGATTA
    The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will celebrate its 38th anniversary and takes place from March 1 – 4, 2018. This Regatta is the largest warm water Regatta in the world and offers a great combination of challenging races and fantastic parties, keeping with the event’s motto “Serious Fun”!

    The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is open to all levels of sailors from professional teams to novice and first time on the water sailors.

    The event kicks off with the GILL Commodores Cup on Thursday 1st March, with windward-leeward races starting and finishing between Philipsburg and Simpson Bay.

    Friday 2nd March is a race around the Island of St. Maarten clockwise from Simpson Bay, passing Tintamarre in the north and finishing back in Philipsburg.

    Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th, will see the racing fleet enjoying some windward leeward racing in the Anguilla Channel followed by a coastal race back to a grand finish in Simpson Bay.  For more St Maarten Heineken Regatta sailing information
       
    ST THOMAS INTERNATIONAL REGATTA
    Organizers of the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) are pleased to announce that 2018 event, set for March 23 to 25, will take place as scheduled despite damage to the island from Hurricane’s Irma and Maria. Never in the 48-year history of STIR has a fall storm, even a major one, interrupted the running of the ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing’, and it will not in 2018. The host St. Thomas Yacht Club suffered some damage and the fleet took more than a few dents, but the venue for fantastic round the island races is still very much here. The resilience of regatta organizers, sponsors, volunteers, and club members as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands’ business community, hotel and tourism sectors is strong. Show your support and be part of our island’s recovery and future.

    EL OCASO, Caribbean Yacht Racing’s swift-sailing J/122 is signed up and ready for a team who wants to charter her to a podium finish like last year.

    If you are concerned about helping out, please help in the Virgin Islands’ recovery efforts by donating to the non-profit VI Marine Build Fund (tinyurl.com/savethevi). All funds will be used for the cleanup of the current cruising grounds, growth of marine industry offerings and development of marine vocational programs.  Register Now for Round the Rocks Race and STIR 2018

    LES VOILE DE SAINT BARTHS Regatta
    There is no question the Les Voiles de St. Barth Regatta will carry on in 2018!

    Considered a high point of the tourist season on the island of Saint-Barthélemy, Les Voiles de St. Barth will take place as planned over April 8-14, 2018.

    A little over two weeks ago, the Caribbean Islands were ravaged by one of the deadliest hurricanes of the century. While it took a hard hit, Saint-Barthélemy is already well on the road to recovery, revealing its courage and energy to rise up, much like the organizers of Les Voiles de St. Barth who have decided to maintain the regatta in 2018.

    “We are working hard so that our island can welcome all of our guests, crews and spectators with the same level of hospitality and professionalism as usual,” announced François Tolède, who organizes Les Voiles along with Luc Poupon and a large group of volunteers. “We will produce this ninth edition of Les Voiles as a symbol of our reconstruction, with the same quality of service and the same degree of competition. We are going to concentrate our energy in organizing a regatta every bit as exceptional as in past years, with five days of competition, a day off, concerts every evening…the fundamentals will be there!”

    Looking Toward the Future
    There is one very clear common goal: to get the island ready for a limited 2018 tourist season. “We must remain confident,” said Bruno Magras, president of the Collectivity of Saint-Barthélemy. “We are capable of getting the island back in shape and putting its best foot forward!”

    French President Emmanuel Macron noted with great optimism when he visited the island just one week after the storm, “Saint Barth is an island that is still standing, that retains its strength and values, and is in the process of getting back on its feet.”

    Every Boat Matters!
    With boats ranging in size from 24 feet to 100+, Les Voiles de St. Barth is defined by the diversity of its fleet, and every boat, be it large or small, professional or amateur, is invited to participate to show its support for the regatta and for the island of Saint-Barthélemy.

    There are already some boats that have registered for this ninth edition of Les Voiles. The organizers of Les Voiles are sending this message to crews around the world: ”Come next April, participate and discover our paradise re-found. Hurricane Irma tried to destroy us, but we have nerves of steel, and by rebuilding together, our island will be even more beautiful.”  Here is a highlights reel from the last edition  To register for Les Voiles de St. Barth:

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    While it may be fall in Europe, that does not slow down many J sailors across the continent and the United Kingdom.  The second weekend of racing took place in the Hamble Winter Series for one-design fleets of J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, and J/109s.  The event is hosted by the Hamble River Sailing Club, with the fleet sailing in the halo’d confines of the Southampton Water and the Solent.  Across the continent, the J/24s sailed their fourth event in the Italian Winter Series, sailing the regatta off the pretty, quaint seaside town of Cervia on the western shoreline of the Adriatic Sea.

    Over in the Americas, the Canadians hosted their J/105 Canadian Championship at the Royal Canadian YC in Toronto, Ontario and sailed on Lake Ontario.  Not too far south the 30th annual J-Jamboree took place on Lake Winnipesaukee hosted by the Winnipesaukee YC, the event also served as the J/80 East Coast Championship.  Then, further south on western Long Island Sound, two regattas took place within sight of each other.  To the east, the American YC hosted their annual HPR Regatta for J/70s and just to their west towards New York City, Larchmont YC hosted their incredibly popular “college big boat” regatta, a.k.a. Storm Trysail Club’s Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta- the boat owners acted as “chaperones”, sailing on board their boats in fleets of J/105s, J/88s, J/109s, J/44s and a few PHRF boats, too.

    Finally, down in South America, the Chilean J/70 fleet hosted the last of their qualifying regattas for the J/70 South Americans in Algarrobo, Chile.  Racing took place on giant Pacific Ocean swells on the Chilean coastline.

    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:

    Oct 7-8- Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Big Boat- Larchmont, NY
    Oct 9-15- J/70 North American Championship- Rye, NY
    Oct 13-15- J/80 Crouesty Cup- Crouesty, France

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

    TSUNAMI Wins Chilean J/70 Regatta Qualifier
    (Algarrobo, Chile)- On September 23rd and 24th weekend, the last qualifying regatta for the 2017 J/70 South American Championship took place at Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico.  Eighteen Chilean teams participated in the racing, the fleet was treated to light to medium winds all weekend from the southwest.

    In the relatively cold weather, the crews had to choose to go right and get slightly more breeze, or go left into the bay and get a more geographical wind shift that would help at the windward mark.

    After just four windward-leeward races were sailed, the winners were the team on TSUNAMI, consisting of the Ducasse family- four brothers (Andrés, Ignacio, Coco, Rodrigo) and their father Andrés Ducasse. Andrés Jr and Cocó (Francisco) represented Chile in the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the 470 class.

    Taking second was WINDMADE, sailed by Juan Reid, his wife Francisca, Alvaro, Sebastián and Mati.

    Third place went to Pablo Amunátegui and Rodrigo Guzman onboard BLACK JACK with Tomás Guzman Jr, Pipe and Pablo Herman. Both brothers are coming from the 49er and Lightning class.

    In addition to the top three boats, the J/70 class in Chile will other sailors participating in the J/70 South Americans, like Per Von Appen (former J/24 sailor), Matías Seguel (former J/24 and Laser sailor), Alejandro Pérez (former Optimist and Lightning sailor), Rodrigo Zuazola (former J/24 and Lightning sailor), Felipe Robles (former Lightning sailor), and Vernon Robert (ex-J24 sailor).

    All of these crews will be participating from the 26th to 30th of October for the second J/70 South American Championship.  The twenty local boats that have qualified will welcome five teams from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay- for a total of twenty-five teams.  Thirteen races are programmed for the J/70 South American in Algarrobo.

    Windy Hamble Winter Series Regatta
    (Hamble, England)- The first day of the Hamble One Design Championships began with wind in the low 20s, and gusts of up to 30 knots. The Hamble River Sailing Club race committee team headed out to Jonathan Jansen, and after a short AP the wind began to ease to around 16 knots, and the race team delivered a full schedule of four windward-leeward races in short order. The conditions provided spectacular autumn racing for the sportsboat classes, with fast and thrilling downwind surfing conditions. By contrast, the second day produced light winds of about four knots, which slowly built allowing one race for competitors. However, after the first race of the day, the wind died and sadly did not rebuild.

    In the J/70 Class, there was a dramatic final flourish. Doug Struth's DSP gained the upper hand in the very last race to finish top J/70 for the regatta. Graham Clapp's JEEPSTER was second, but only on countback from Marshall King's THE JANITOR third. Patrick Liardet's COSMIC scored a bullet to claim fourth on countback, ahead of David McLeman's OFFBEAT.

    In the J/80 Class, Mike Lewis' JESTER reeled off three straight bullets to stamp his authority on the class. However, Louise Makin's RYOKO MEKA and Nigel Skudder's HARLEY QUINN took a race win each and ended the regatta tied on points. RYOKO MEKA was second after countback.

    For the second round of the Hamble Winter Series, sponsored by The Bugle Hamble, there were class wins for Gavin Howe's TIGRIS in the J/88 Class and Annie & Andy Howe's J/97 BLACKJACK II in IRC Three. Matt Harris General Manager of The Bugle, Hamble, was on hand to congratulate the winners with complimentary wine and dinner invitations to the gastro-pub located on the River Hamble. "The Bugle is only 100 metres away from the Hamble River Sailing Club, and many of the members are regular customers, so by supporting the Hamble Winter Series, we are giving a little back to our community."

    In IRC Spinlock Autumn Championship, currently lying in first place with a 6-1-2 record is Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ J/112E Grand Prix DAVANTI TYRES.  A little further down the ladder is Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL with a DNF-4-5 for a total of 18 pts; they are in a three-way tie for 5th place!

    In the IRC 2 division, a number of J/109s are registered, but only started racing on October 8th. While they are all sitting in the top six, it was Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE that won on Sunday, followed by another sistership- Tom Chatterton’s RED ARROW in 5th place.

    The three 30-foot J’s sailing in IRC 3 Class are leading a clean sweep in their division.  Sitting on top is Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II with a 1-3-1 for 5 pts.  Second is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with a 3-2-2 tally for 7 pts.  And, sitting in third is David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO with a 2-1-6 record 9 pts.

    Finally, in the J/88 class, Avia Willment’s GBR 2688R is leading with a 3-1-2 scoreline for 6 pts.  Tied at 8 pts each are Kirsty & David Apthorp’s J-DREAM and Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS.

    Racing organized by the Hamble River Sailing Club continues 7-8 October, with another double helping of exciting racing in the Solent. The Hamble One-Design Championship, supported by Grapefruit Graphics, and The Bugle PH, Hamble, will consist of fast thrilling sportboats racing over two days. Thirty teams have already entered, with room for more! The Second round of the Hamble Winter Series will take place on Sunday October 8th.   Hamble Winter Series follow on Facebook page  Sailing photo credits- Hamo Thornycroft  For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series sailing information

    Awesome Storm Trysail College Big Boat Regatta!
    (Larchmont, NY)– Over 360 college students from the United States, as well as international teams from Canada and France, participated in the 2017 Storm Trysail Foundation’s Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR).

    Conditions for the regatta varied between 8-10 knots of breeze on Saturday to a slightly more rugged 18-20 knots with higher gusts on Sunday. Sunday’s more-challenging conditions led to two crew overboard situations. In the first instance, the Grand Valley State crew on the J/109 MORNING GLORY– under the guidance of long-time Storm Trysail Club member and boat owner Carl Olsson - initiated a successful recovery maneuver while sailing downwind. In the second instance, one of the two safety boats swiftly picked up the crew person who had fallen off of the J/105 ELMO. Both were recovered quickly and unharmed.

    Barry Gold, Chairman of the event, said “In spite of some of early Saturday pea-soup fog and intermittent rain on Sunday, we had two days of fantastic racing, with steady and increasing breeze. With a few well-timed postponements and relocations, the race committee gave the teams five competitive and fun races. We want to thank The Corinthians, who started the Corinthians Intercollegiate Regatta in 1983 and ran it until 1999, for transferring their original four perpetual trophies to the Storm Trysail Foundation. These four beautiful trophies bring together the initial regatta with its later reincarnation by Storm Trysail, and begin new traditions for the competitors. The re-dedicated trophies were presented to class winners this year for the first time along with two perpetual trophies donated by Larchmont Yacht Club.”

    Boston University took home the overall honors and the “Paul Hoffmann Trophy” in the hotly contested J/105 class on YOUNG AMERICAN with four bullets and a second place in the second largest class in the regatta. ECHO, crewed by Vanderbilt University (a first time entrant to the regatta), took home second place in the J/105 class by edging out Drexel University on FAIRHOPE with a tie-breaking first in the third race. Robert Alexander and Peter Becker received the “Ed du Moulin Trophy” awarded to the boat owner/syndicate of the overall winning team.

    In the J/44 class– which by tradition is a generally an all-service academy class– was won by Maine Maritime Academy on GOLD DIGGER, closely followed by the US Coast Guard Academy sailing their own GLORY, just 1 point ahead of last year’s overall winner, the US Naval Academy on MAXINE.

    The University of Rhode Island ran away with the J/109 Class with four 1sts in five races on EMOTICON. Taking second was MORNING GLORY sailed by Grand Valley State University and Tulane University on GROWTH SPURT rounded out the class podium.

    There were three PHRF classes. In PHRF 2, the University of Michigan on the J/133 placed third.  Then, in PHRF 3 the J/88 WINGS with the University of South Florida aboard took second and Roger Williams University on the J/92 THIN MAN took third position.

    Erica Vandeveer, Captain of the victorious Virginia Tech squad, is a Behavioral Psychology Major and sees the relevance of big-boat sailing, “communication is critical to being successful on the race course. We had some challenges but we were able to talk and work through them to win.”

    Juliette Joffre, captain of the Club Voile EDHEC Business School team who came all the way from Lille, France declared, “this is a big, serious and very competitive regatta.”

    Marianne Pierres, another member of the EDHEC crew, described how offshore racing is similar to business, “the starts were really exciting, and so was the broach! But you have to manage and keep calm; you have to understand roles and do your job.” Juliette continued “There is a lot of pressure to perform at your best, but I know that the team is much closer now because of this experience.” This was their first time at the IOR, and they had to win an international student regatta in France for the right to come to the IOR with an all-expenses paid trip through a partnership between the Storm Trysail Foundation and the EDHEC Sailing Cup.

    Thanks to the high-quality list of sponsors, some private donations, and the generosity of participating boat owners, Storm Trysail Foundation and Larchmont Yacht Club were able to run the regatta at no cost for the college sailing teams! The sponsors include Rolex, North Sails, Gill North America, Safe Flight Instruments, Flintrock Construction, and Dimension-Polyant.  For more Storm Trysail College Big Boat Regatta sailing information

    MANDATE Three-Peats J/105 Canadians!
    (Toronto, ONT, Canada)- Continuing their extraordinary run in the J/105 class is the dynamic Canadian duo on MANDATE from the Royal Canadian YC- Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer. They added yet a few more pickle dishes to their already over-stuffed trophy shelves by winning the 2017 J/105 Canadian Championship for the third time in as many years.  The McLaughlin/Wilmer crew are already two-time J/105 North American Champions.

    Host for this year’s regatta was the world-famous Royal Canadian YC, also home to the largest J/105 fleet on Lake Ontario.  Sixteen boats were treated to three-days of good racing, with seven races completed by the close of racing on Sunday.

    The MANDATE crew did not win the regatta very easily. In fact they started off slowly in the first race with a 6th place, then had a streak of 1sts and 2nds, before closing on a low note with a 7th place.  Their total score of 22 pts was just enough to take the championship.

    Fighting the MANDATE crew the entire regatta was yet another J/105 North American Champion, Jim Rathbun’s fun—loving crew on HEY JUDE.  Other than a bad third race, their crew posted all top three finishes to take the silver just one point back with 23 pts total.

    Sailing their best regatta in awhile was Frank McLaughlin’s STARCROSS, taking third place another three points in arrears.  Then, one point behind them in fourth place was Mike Chapman’s SENTIENT and in fifth place was Kevin Pask’s FULL TILT.  For more J/105 Canadian Championship sailing information

    J/70 RIMETTE Tops HPR Regatta
    (Rye, New York)- The American Yacht Club hosted its annual HPR Regatta (formerly known as the High Performance One-Design Regatta) on western Long Island Sound off Rye, New York.  Twenty-one J/70 teams participated in the event as it provided them an excellent opportunity to become familiar with the often-tricky wind and current conditions before they sailed in the upcoming J/70 North American Championship.

    Winning his first event on the Sound was John Brim’s RIMETTE from Fisher’s Island, New York.  Sailing with John was tactician Taylor Canfield, one of the world’s top match racers.  Their very consistent scoreline of all top five finishes enabled them to finish with just 15 pts in eight races.  Just four points back was Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE with a total of 19 pts.  Then, rounding out the podium was Heather Gregg and Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE from Newport/Boston with a total of 27 pts, they were also the winning Corinthians Division team.  Fourth was Jack Franco’s FLOJITO3 JT crew from Austin, Texas with 31 pts, and fifth place was a local American YC crew- Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY with 36 pts- they were also second Corinthians Division team.  Third in Corinthians was Trevor Roach’s SEMI-CHARMED.  For more AYC HPR Regatta sailing information

    J/24 JAMAICA Leads Italian Winter Series
    (Cervia, Italy)- After five races run by the well-organized by Circolo Nautico Brenzone, the Italian J/24 Class President- Pietro Diamanti- won the fourth regatta in the J/24 Winter Series sailing on ITA 212 JAMAICA.  His crew included Paolo Governato, Antonio Lupo, Edoardo Ghirlanda and Nicola Bocci.

    As a result, the top teams for the series in the provisional standings have a familiar team in the lead- Ignacio Bonanno’s ITA 416 LA SUPERBA and his crew from the Italian Naval Base in Naples.  Second is Diamanti’s JAMAICA and this is AVOLTORE sailed by owner Massimo Mariotti and skippered by Francesco Cruciani.

    After the next stage in Cervia (www.circolonauticocervia.it), the J/24 fleet will move to Lecco for the sixth and final stages of the National Circuit, the Interlaghi a seasonal classic organized by Società Canottieri Lecco (canottierilecco @ canottieri. lc.it) on Saturday 28 and Sunday, 29 October. For more Italian J/24 winter series sailing information

    MANGO Mashes 30th J-Jamboree
    (Gilford, NH)- The annual J-Jamboree celebrated its 30th Anniversary this fall, the event also served as the J/80 East Coast Championship.  The Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association, the Winnipesaukee Yacht Club, J/80 Fleet 1, and Fay's Boat Yard held the on Lake Winnipesaukee, with sailing taking place out of Sanders Bay.

    A highly talented fleet of fourteen teams participated in this year’s regatta.  In the end, it was the Annapolis crew on MANGO, led by their fearless leader Ken Mangano, that won the regatta and earned the title of J/80 East Coast Champion!

    Taking second was Guy Nickerson’s PRESSURE, just one point back.  Rounding out the podium was Peter D’Anjou’s LE TIGRE.  The balance of the top five included the Hayes/ Kirchhoff duo on MORE GOSTOSA and Les Beckwith’s FKA, fourth and fifth, respectively.  For more J-Jamboree and J/80 East Coasts sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * Perspectives on sailing the J/70 Worlds- by Willem van Waay and Victor Diaz De Leon- team members that sailed on Peter Duncan’s winning boat- RELATIVE OBSCURITY.  Thanks to Jud Smith and Doyle Sailmakers for the stories.

    Willem’s report:
    “I recently had breakfast with my good friend, Fabian.  He owns a J70 at Coronado Yacht Club and is very excited about his boat, racing one design, and improving his skills on the race course.  The weekend before we had a local San Diego J70 Regatta called J Fest.  Fabian was a little frustrated with his results in the 13-boat fleet.  He only sailed Saturday and the conditions were quite challenging- shifty, light, and a little sea swell- plus he was sailing one man short.  As a big, beautiful plate of Huevos Rancheros landed in front of me Fabian asked, "How do you do it?  How have you been top 2 at all 4 J70 Worlds?  How do I get better?  What does it take? How do I get a steady team?  What should I do?  Help me please."

    I said, "Fabian: you tell me what your budget is, what your goals are, and what kind of time you can dedicate to this. I'll do my very best to get you where you want to be."  Fabian is by no means alone in his quest to improve his results, take down some of his friends in the class, have a team with great chemistry, enjoy himself, etc.  One thing I like about Fabian is that he’s never shy about asking questions about how he can improve.  It’s ok to ask questions, and when you want the best answer go the person you think is the most qualified to answer it.  It's often like in middle school where the prettiest, most popular girls don't have a date to the dance.  It's not because they don't want one, but more because all the boys were afraid to ask.  The worst thing that can happen is they could say no.  One of the biggest lessons in life that I've learned is that it never hurts to ask.

    I hope that what I share here will help Fabian and others like him have a better idea of what it really takes to be at the top.  Unfortunately, there is no quick answer, no magic pill, no trick rig set up.   Yacht racing is a very unique sport in that the list of variables is limitless.  We don't just strap on some shoes and run the 100 yard dash.  I used to race road bikes competitively and that's a sport with a lot of important elements for success: fitness, endurance, diet, weight, body type, lung capacity, managing lactic acid and pain, lack of fear, bike handling, tactics, terrain covered, length of race, drafting, and of course the bicycle.  Yacht Racing has ten times the factors involved (fortunately, all the physical fitness aspects are relatively less important in our sport!)  In order to be the very best, we need to think less about the big picture and focus almost obsessively on all the little things, understanding that each of them is important for success.  If we focus on the top 10 most important things, we can maybe win our Club Championships, top 20 things we might be able to win Bacardi, top 30 variables we might be able to take down Charleston, North Americans, or the Europeans.  If we check everything off of the list and have a little luck on our side we might have a chance going into the final race to win the World Championships with 160 + boats, 8,000 miles from home.  It’s all the little things that add up to a successful campaign.

    When I won the Worlds in 2015 with Flojito, it was because we put in the most time, did the most regattas, and simply worked really hard.  In 2016 the pure determination and dedication of Joel Ronning and team Catapult crowned them champions.  Better coaching, more time in the boat at the venue, and more extensive sail testing gave them the edge.  This year our team, on Relative Obscurity, followed suit and did the hard work to put all the little pieces in place.

    Victor and I showed up a couple extra days prior to practice to make the boat and rig as close to perfect as possible.  The boat was marked beautifully throughout, all settings perfectly symmetrical, we’d gone over the rigging meticulously, any possible breakdown or malfunction had been considered, windage was scrutinized and discussed while any piece of hardware or line was rigged, no extra gear was allowed on board (Vic was so obsessed with weight he was getting a little on my nerves.   "Victor- when you were like 5 I was trying to win a Farr 40 Worlds here and we were loading every tool in the trailer onto the boat for extra weight.. get to the top mark first in chop and 20 kts and we would figure it out from there.")  Anyhow, my point is, from the bottom of the keel to the top of the mast, drag, weight, windage, strength, and reliability was discussed.  We changed out some of the hardware at the base of the mast that we had seen break in the past- through-bolted on a heavier spin cleat and block…”We are in Italy and we don't have any of the right tools, this a massive pain and probably wouldn’t break but we are going to spend an extra 5 hrs to know we can trust it to hold up.”  We figured out how to best clean the bottom of the boat during the regatta (it wasn't legal to dive the boat or tip it over using halyards or hanging on shrouds once it was splashed but Victor and I had a 45 min technique that was pretty exhausting and ridiculous, but we didn't care, we just wanted to go faster).  We had a velocitek for each side of the starting line, installed Erik Shampain's wider hatch cover with stronger Velcro to keep the boat super dry down below, put together a break down kit, etc.  The boat would only have the parts and tools we absolutely needed.  This boat was ready for anything.   In 2014, I thought we had Catapult perfect, in 2015-2016 I thought Flojito was tricked out even better, Relative Obscurity was top level/no excuses.  What's next?

    Fortunately, Jud had the exact same attitude with his sails.  His attention to the details is impressive.  He has done his homework over the last few decades; he's worked with some of the best guys in the business, and undoubtedly taught them some tricks of his own.  Any class (Etchells, Star, J70, etc) that he has ever become passionate about has some beautiful Doyle sails that can only improve her results.  Vic and Jud sailed together in the San Fran Worlds and they made some pretty big positive changes to the main for the breeze.  Jud is a fantastic team player and always willing to share his ideas.  A couple times, we shared coaches with other good teams in regattas leading up to the Worlds (2nd place Savasana with Stu McNay and no slouch Bruce Golison with Steve Hunt).  Jud would just happily discuss with Steve and Stu how to better tune the rig, inhaul more efficiently, or best balance twist between the jib and main.  Sometimes the rest of his team, sitting on the other side of the table, would just stare at each other thinking ‘WTF:)’.  I'm sure I was just as guilty when explaining the wing on wing, or weight movement downwind when the coach asked me a question.

    Boat speed makes everything easier out there; as the conditions become more challenging so does the possibility of an increased speed edge.  Fortunately for us, Porto Cervo was very choppy with plenty of breeze.  It was tough stuff.  That being said we were also very prepared for the flat water and light breezes that we experience in Porto Cervo the other half of the time.  Boat preparation, efficient sail testing, and time together as a team are the main keys to superior boat speed.  Time, money, and the team's dedication to the cause are the limiting factors that simply determine how extensively we can work on getting that speed edge.

    The best way to measure speed is with a very good paddle wheel and a good eye on the rail. We went with the B&G system- it has an excellent compass and it updates the speed more frequently.  As the trimmer, I'm sitting in the very best spot to see the machine and the competition to weather.  You need to be brutally honest about speed and height with those boats that the driver and trimmer can't see.  After sailing with Bill Hardesty for three years, we developed a system that worked very well.  We had a target number on each tack that was the responsibility of the driver and main trimmer to stay near.  That being said, I could personally adjust that target to improve our tactical situation.  Fortunately, if we were ever slower than another boat or even lacked height the solution was usually pretty simple.  I would raise the target number- example 6.3 was our target but in this particular piece of water I would raise the number to 6.5.  Victor and Peter would focus on going faster (usually putting the bow down and freeing up the main a touch). This new speed would turn into more lift and our almost dangerous situation would quickly improve.  The more we can forecast shifts, puffs, and lulls from the rail the better the driver/main trimmer can anticipate their next move.  Sometimes you’re going to be wrong with your call but you'll probably be right 80+% of the time.  Never give up and force yourself to perform the same regardless of your position in the race.

    Coach, training partners, and team dynamics are probably the most critical parts of the whole puzzle.

    Our coach at the worlds was Tony Rey and he did a fantastic job.  He was attentive, focused, great with the weather, took photos of other top boats, etc.  He didn't try to change our set up or boat handling techniques but if he thought someone did something better we had a video of it.  Our training partners were Peter Cunningham with teammates Lucas, John, and Ben- a team that Tony Rey and I had assembled.  Young, hungry, strong guys determined to bring Peter to a new level and help us with our project.  They trained with us 5 days prior to the event, also had Doyle sails, and seemed to be the closest to our equal in upwind straight line boat speed.  Sometimes even faster- when we had a question- Lucas and team shared immediately.  They even won a race in gold but unfortunately snapped their rudder prior to the first race on the final day.  Our other training partner Glen Darden with Jonathon McKee did the same- add check pintles and gudgeons to that quickly growing list.

    Our team- Relative Obscurity: Peter Duncan, Victor Diaz de Leon, Jud Smith, and myself.

    We worked hard on our team dynamics; it's never super easy.  Sometimes too much talent is a bad thing. It's a shame when that happens, but it's pretty common in all team sports.  We were all very committed and focused, but every once in awhile we would have a little hiccup/blow up that would be distracting and detrimental to our results.  We all wanted to win and constantly make gains on the race course; being all very experienced we often had our own ideas about how to best do that.   Victor would often display his Latin passion and young confidence.  His effort was never lacking, he wanted this as much or more than any of us, but there were times when the young stud just needed to listen to us old and older farts.  In my often-shaking head during these situations, "Flojito y Cooperando"(relaxxxxx and cooperate in Spanish) was my mantra.  Becoming a cohesive unit takes time, it doesn’t just fall into place on day 1.  Just like a Navy Seal Team on a night mission we needed to stay focused, trust each other, have each other’s back, and only talk about what’s most important.  Countless hours training together enable the Seals to perform this way: we needed our time together and training too.  Instead of ever pushing a teammate down we needed to make the mission to pull him up.  Now that’s the goal of course but typically after most regattas I’m apologizing to teammates for being such a hard ass; we can only do our best.

    I would say that there were four regattas that were major steps to our success at worlds… this was our rehab institute, we all needed work.  At each event we had breakthroughs that heavily influenced us and helped us grow into our final product at Porto Cervo.  Bacardi, New England Champs, the Italian Nationals, and the Ted Hood Regatta in Marblehead.

    Bacardi Miami:
    Moose joined us here instead of Jud and it was my very first event ever with Peter Duncan.  Moose had been the trimmer for Peter in the past but here he would move to bow and let me slide into his old spot. With more J24 worlds championship wins than Tom Brady has Super Bowl rings, Moose acted as an absolute true professional.  Winning was our goal and no egos between us ever caused any friction.  His wind calls were spot on great to have an awesome trimmer in the bow spot giving me the exact input I needed to make the boat go faster downwind.  We came back on the final day to win the event.  In the last race we got unlucky off the line, but after rounding the weather mark deep in the high 20s, we just powered through the fleet with good speed and great tactics in the building breeze to finish 7th or so and win Peter his biggest event ever in the J70.  Peter gained confidence in his campaign and I gained a ton of confidence in Jud's sail package and Peter’s driving.  To be at the top in Italy we needed to start winning- great to check that off my list.

    New England Champs in Newport:
    Victor had previous commitments so he couldn’t race with us this time.  In a big fleet with a fair amount of talent, I would do the main sheet, tactics with Jud's help, and trim the kite downwind.  Dirk Johnson, a young sailor from The College of Charleston and a Newport local, would be tossed into our hot fire.  He tacked the jib, helped Jud where he could, and hung on tight.  He listened, left any FJ and laser ego at the door and just did his very best to be a team player and improve himself on the boat.  A great 5 day crash course on how to race a J70 with 3 pretty seasoned teachers.  We trained a few days before the event with Glen Darden, Jonathon McKee, and team Hoss.  We focused a great deal on the wing on wing- I knew the wind strength would be mostly 8-14 and I wanted to have that part of my play book with the boys pretty dialed in.  I've worked hard over the years on this part of the J70 game and wanted to share it with Peter and Jud without Victor jumping around with different ideas.  I knew that better mastering this element would not only greatly improve our chances here but also at the Worlds.  Not just using it to gain right away, round a leeward mark easier, cut off some distance at the finish line or stay in a leeward puff longer.  I wanted to experiment more with it- actually feel the shift and jibe the appropriate sail to take advantage of that shift.  Nice to have a team with me that can handle the boat handling tasks I wanted to execute.  We lead the event from race 2 and never looked back.  On day two we sailed a couple entire runs in wing from top to bottom, making insane gains.  On one run I remember the pressure being entirely 6-8 knots.  Our position was pretty established in that race so I opted to race the entire leg in Wing.  Not easy for 100 feet to a finish line in that breeze; we went for 1+ miles and never lost an inch.  We won both races on the final breezy day and learned some upwind techniques in 20+ knots and chop.  Lessons learned- better understanding of the wing on wing and Victor gained more confidence in his team.  We were not a one-man band.  We're not going to be Weird Al Yankovick... let's be Talking Heads or The Cure.  Let's continue to improve as a team and have some time near the top cranking out hits.

    The Italian Nationals:
    With a stacked fleet of 50+ boats we sat in 6th or so after day 1.  This wasn't working.  These guys were better than us, we were all heads down and frustrated during the sail in.  5 hrs or so after racing that day we all took a couple big deep breaths and regrouped ourselves.  We chatted with one another about how to better distribute roles and responsibilities because our current style wasn't going to cut it.  This style would not win here and probably not get top 10 at worlds.   Peter would have to trust Victor on the starting line and tight situations.  Vic's instincts in those tight situations are excellent, and his communication of those instincts is pretty damn spot on.  Victor has had some great results with relatively inexperienced drivers - here we had an awesome driver but the mojo wasn’t quite right yet.  Peter’s main focus now would be to keep the boat at target speeds and simply do what he does best: drive the boat.  Victor would trust Jud and me more with big picture tactics/strategy (Jud and I would agree on a game plan and try to speak always as one voice tactically.  We shared wind and wave calls from the rail while doing our best- within the rules- to hike the boat flat).  Victor could then spend more energy on trimming the main right and keeping the boat fast with Peter.  Now we were finding a new gear.  This new trust, and next level appreciation for one another on the boat, enabled us to finish off the regatta with a 1,1,4,1,1 and an unexpected win.  A few of those firsts came by passing Claudia and Petite on the final runs usually in some type of wing battle.  “We can do this.  We will be a contender at the Worlds in 2 months!  If we put our heads down, be willing to grind for every point, work together through thick and thin, and push each other to our limits we are going to be hard to beat.”

    Ted Hood Regatta:
    A small but stacked fleet, the perfect wake up call.  We decided to train with Savasana and Midlife Crisis for two days.  Both of these teams are excellent, very polished with changing gears, boat handling, and tactics.  We were the heaviest team and it was mostly 4-7 kts but still we managed to lead by a point or two after two days of racing.   Saturday night there was the big fight between Mayweather and McGregor.  Peter's good friend had ordered the fight and wanted us all to join.  Being on the east coast that meant being up well past 2am and drinking a few more cocktails than needed.  Hung over, we lost the regatta in the final day, argued half the time, felt like s$&@ and ended up third, losing to both our training partners.   Probably just what we needed- a good slap in the face.  We can only win when we are at our very best.  “Winning isn't easy, let's not get cocky!  Let's not screw this up!”

    The Worlds:
    The stage had been set and we were as ready as possible.  Boat, sails, and team were all prepped and looking forward to being tested.  Looked like it was going to be nasty- big wind with unrelenting chop.  After days of training in that stuff our confidence rose.  We needed to use our speed to our advantage, properly control the risk, enjoy ourselves, and try to stay loose.  Most importantly, we needed to avoid drama, stay out of trouble on the start line, and just do what we do best.  Bill Hardesty had a comment years ago that has always stuck with me: "Let's just keep it boring boys.”  Another boring 4- that'll do... Oh a 5 that's ok… low risk 2nd- we'll keep it.

    We ate in at the house a lot, quick and easy.  We avoided alcohol and Claudia's Bday party at the YC, we got lots of sleep.  We stuck to the same program and did the same boring thing day in and day out.   Racing in one of the most epic places on the planet and I'm home with my team by 6 and just chilling- pretty lame but winning isn't.  I wore the same clothes every day and washed them every night.  I'm a superstitious guy and I wasn't going to race with some unlucky or untested undies.  We stayed pretty loose, enjoyed our view of the water, dined on home cooked pasta with the freshest anchovies and Parmesan cheese we could find.  We kept as much of our lives during those 5 days simple and clean, the basics done very well.  We facetimed with our families, and when people got excited about our results we simply said, "It's far from over, 3 more races, anything can happen", etc.  This was our job for the week, nothing else mattered.  "Let's just get through another day."

    The event was like a dream.  We averaged less than 2 points per race including our drop.  In all my years of racing, I've never been able to put a score line like that together; I’ve never even seen it.  Not in a fleet of that caliber and size. This was our time-we peaked at the perfect moment- nothing was going to stop us.  We had a few challenging moments but it seemed as though, just before we got into serious trouble (sitting in the mid 20s and approaching a lay line), the world would adjust for us.  The winds would head us, force us to tack, and then lift us so that we could cross the fleet and lay the mark.  Our team was silent on the rail thinking, ‘Holy crap!!  What is going on out here?!?!’  A few days earlier my daughter Vela (“sail” in Italian) was learning to meditate with her amazing mother Stephanie.  At 2 1/2 years old, in a lotus position on a little round cushion she said something like, "winds will push daddy right."  Did this have something to do with our good fortune?

    It was awesome sailing with this team.  We came a long way and it was a fantastic voyage.  Thanks Peter and team for involving me.  It was great to make new friends and to accomplish a lofty goal that the four of us had set together just 6 months earlier.  We believed in ourselves and never gave up.  No one can ever take this away from us.  Biggest one design, keelboat world championship attendance in history.  This was our year!  Our time!  Champions!!

    Winning the Worlds is one thing.  But, the main point is that if you ask the right questions, if you enjoy what you’re doing, involve people you trust, and invest the time and energy, any team can quickly move up towards the top of the fleet.  My objective here is not to overwhelm people with all that is involved to win a World Championship, but instead to encourage others that with desire anything is possible.  Since the Worlds, I was asked by J/Boats and Jeff Brown to coach the entire fleet at the event Fabian was asking me about (J Fest in San Diego).  Through the course of the weekend I watched teams quickly improve simply by having their questions answered and by making little changes to gain speed; sometimes that gain was 40+ boat lengths a race.  It was fun to be involved and to watch the light bulbs flicking on!  It’s not always just about having the most expensive program, it’s about being efficient with your time and your money.  Sometimes a quick question, a little change, or a few hours working with the right coach can make all the difference.  Spending money on something does not necessarily mean your project will be done right; find the best person for the task at hand and wait for him if he’s busy.   He’s probably busy for a reason.  Good luck friends, hope this helps.”

    Victor’s report:
    “The first time I sailed a J70 was at the 2013 Key West Race Week. I had recently met Willem Van Waay and he had asked me to join his team. He thought I was the right weight to complete his crew trimming main legs in. Once there, I quickly volunteered to dive the boat, bail between races, and do other chores. It seemed to me that those had my name all over it, since I was the youngest and most inexperienced by a long stretch! Going forward from that regatta, Willem took me under his wing and took me along with most of the programs he was involved with. I guess he saw my passion and enthusiasm for the sport. He introduced me to pro-sailing, always having my back and looking after me. He still does.

    Willem and I sailed with Catapult for two years. We had so many great tacticians sail with us including: Jeremy Wilmot, Vasco Vascotto, Chris Rast, and Bill Hardesty for the longest stretch. I picked up tricks from all of them and observed what aspects of racing each guy valued. I learned the importance of boat speed from Billy. We spent most of our time speed testing with various set ups and techniques. Sailing with all these guys was like getting a college degree in sailing.

    I decided to find my own team to try calling the shots and being in charge. I started sailing with Gannon Troutman and his dad on Piper. Gannon was very young and therefore a great listener and fast learner. Some of our highlights were placing second at Charleston Race Week with over eighty boats competing for two years in a row. The first we lost on a tie breaker to Catapult, which Willem and Hardesty were sailing on. I was hoping to kick their ass, but it was still rewarding to battle with the old mentors!

    This was the first time I had sailed with a high clew jib in the J70 with the possibility of unlimited in-hauling. It was also the first high clew jib on the market. Jud and I sailed together in the J70 for the first time in the San Diego NA's. We decided to team up in order to have a chance at winning the event. We showed up about four days before the start of the regatta with the rest of our team: Will Felder and Marc Gauthier. We had plenty of work to do as we had never sailed together, the boat needed work, and we had different sail combinations to try.

    I knew this was a great opportunity. I was sailing with Jud Smith as his tactician.  This was my chance to learn from one of the best sail makers in the industry. We tried different sail set-ups before the regatta started. All built by him. To me, it was fascinating. We finally decided to sail with the M1 and the new, at the time, J6 jib. This was the first time I had sailed with a high clew jib in the J70 with the possibility of unlimited in-hauling. It was also the first high clew jib on the market. Boy did it work well! We thought we had a speed edge with this combo and we eventually proved to be right. It was a very good light air set up.
    Double Bracket: Peter is one of those owners that are hard to come by. He is a very talented driver, comparable to a 'pro-driver,” and has the time and desire to put the hard hours in.  During the event, Jud and I clicked and developed an enjoyable friendship, as well as a deep trust of each other's sailing. Well, I already trusted and admired the guy: but I was surprised that despite my young age, he fully trusted my tactics. He asked for my opinion in sail combos and rig tune. I guess for Jud, it was an opportunity he didn't yet have since he started sailing the J70s. To sail with a younger guy who pushed him to think outside the box and was deeply invested in getting the program to the top.  We went on to win the event. It was my first big win as a tactician and what a great feeling it was!

    After Winning the NA's, Jud and I decided to sail the San Francisco Worlds together, holding the same key positions of him driving and me on tactics. In the meantime, Jud hooked me up with his long-time client, Peter Duncan, to be his tactician. Peter is one of those owners that are hard to come by. He is a very talented driver, comparable to a "pro driver,” and has the time and desire to put the hard hours in. We did a few events and had Jud's team as tuning partners. We did a week plus of two boat testing in Key West 2016. We kept refining shroud tuning ratios, jib lead positions, in-hauler amounts throughout the wind range, etc. We finished in second place behind Calvi Network and beat some of the top guys like Tim Healy, and the reigning world champion at the time, Julian Hernandez.

    Jud and I made our way to San Francisco to get ready for the Worlds. We showed up a few days before big boat series, which was the tune up event. We again had a new team and hadn't done a lot of practice. Alec Anderson trimmed and Fin legend, Ed Wright, did the bow. We were off the pace compared to the top teams. It took a week of long days to get the heavy air set up dialed in. We added rake, tweaked main luff curve, completely changed shroud ratios, etc. We finally found another gear and led the first and second day of Worlds. Having Jud trim the main sheet upwind gave me the freedom to keep the jib in-hauler in my hands and off the cleat. I experimented with it and discovered how powerful this tool is. I played it constantly, depending on sea state and wind changes. Off: during puffs or in chop. On: in flat water and lighter air. Unfortunately, it wasn't in the cards for us to take that Worlds home. I called a gybe set in a race and lost a lot of boats. I still remember the moment: it was too high risk and cost us the chance of winning the event. It was a bitter sweet regatta for having a chance and losing it. But, it was very rewarding to sail amongst the best and be a contender. It gave me confidence in our approach and philosophy. I felt that if we put more time and a greater effort, we could take Porto Cervo home.

    After Worlds, Peter Duncan and I teamed up again and did many regattas together. We even did Melges 24 Worlds and Nationals. Willem Van Waay joined our team in Bacardi cup. We passed boats every downwind. Willem’s downwind expertise helped us improve our technique and we became one of the fastest boats downwind. We won the event.

    Jud joined our J70 team for The Europeans in Cowes. He was so cool to come in and do the bow. It was trial by fire, since it blew 25 plus in every race. It was the windiest event I have yet sailed. Jud's experience in sail design and sail making was so helpful in our campaign. We kept refining the heavy air technique in Cowes. We sailed most of the regatta using the winch to allow us to play the jib upwind. It proved to be very effective in terms of speed, but made tacking and sailing in close quarters very difficult.

    Next up on the events were the Scarlino Italian Nationals and the New England's in Newport. We won both using the same set up used in Porto Cervo: The M2 mainsail and J6 jib.

    Jud built the J7: a jib of the same radial design as the J6, but slightly fuller in certain areas of the sail. We tested it in Porto Cervo and it proved to be very fast throughout the range. For our final tune up event before Worlds, we did the Ted Hood regatta. We experimented with an older Main design version that I thought might be better in light air. But I was wrong. We were reminded that the M2 is so far the best main in all conditions that we have used. We took a third place. It was a good wake-up call that there are other strong teams and that we needed to keep working towards Worlds. What we did take away was that maybe a fuller jib would be better for light air. Jud built the J7: a jib of the same radial design as the J6, but slightly fuller in certain areas of the sail. We tested it in Porto Cervo and it proved to be very fast throughout the range. We decided to go with the J6 because of a windy forecast, and a flatter sail would probably be better.

    In Porto Cervo, we had a great tuning session with our training partner Peter Cunningham, which was the fastest boat we lined up with in Porto Cervo. They won a day in gold fleet, but unfortunately had a break down the last day, which kept them out of two races. We were able to test some ideas I had of rake combinations with different tack shackle heights. We also developed a jib trim that was as fast as using the winch for heavy air.  It is nice to have Jud around to monitor my ideas and experiments. He is very open-minded, but also has so much knowledge and experience. I have many ideas but little experience so it’s a good balance! He says one out of every ten ideas I have work out.

    By the end of the tuning session, we never lost a line up against any team, including the former World Champs on Catapult. I knew then we had superior gear.  By the end of the tuning session, we never lost a line up against any team, including the former World Champs on Catapult. I knew then we had superior gear. All the hard work we put into tweaking the sails, the set up, and technique paid off. This gave me confidence that if we had good low-density starts, we would probably win the event. So we focused on low risk starts and races, so our speed could take care of business. We sailed away from the fleet. What a great feeling, we won the Worlds!

    I loved sailing with Peter, Willem, and Jud. They are all badass sailors and I learned from all of them. It is so special when you win something so big with your friends. After all, we are all buddies and enjoy hanging out with each other. Four buddies conquered the world for a week.

    I am thankful that Willem, Jud, and Peter have taken me under their wing. Willem showed me work ethic and taught me how to sail keelboats. Jud taught me about sail trim and sail design. Peter showed me that I can do it. He trusted me to lead the best team one could ask for.”
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  • Russian Woman Sailing Photographer Honored

    Russian Woman Sailing Photographer Honored (Moscow,  Russia)- At the 2017 Russian Sailor of the Year Awards in Moscow, Russia, Elena Otekina was awarded “Best Sailing Media” due to her amazing coverage of the 2017 J/70 World Championship inPorto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy and also for her coverage of numerousRussian J/70 Sailing League events during the course of the year.

    “Congratulations” to Elena for her contribution to both growing and bringingawareness of the sport of sailing to the public, not just in Russia, butworldwide. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

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  • J/24 FIVE FOR FIGHTING Wins Autumn Championship

    J/24 FIVE FOR FIGHTING Wins Autumn Championship (Marina di Carrara, Italy)- The 2017 Autumn Championship for theGulf of Poets J/24 Fleet took place over two weekends and was organizedby the Club Nautica Marina di Carrara in collaboration with the Circolodella Vela Marina di Massa.  The region is not necessarily famous forits amazing sailing conditions, since the rest of the world knows it forsomething decorating many upscale households and offices- theirrenowned “Carrara marble”!  The mountainsides gleam white in the day andglow orange at sunset- an astonishing view!

    Intotal, ten races were run over the two weekends.  A victory in the lastrace simply confirmed the crushing win the young crew on ITA 304 FIVEFOR FIGHTING put on the dozen-boat fleet.  The team was led byowner/skipper Eugenia De Giacomo with crew of Nicola and MatildePitanti, Lorenzo Cusimano and Bruna Marco.

    The sailing was characterized by sun and perfect wind, about 10-15 knotsfrom the northeast on Saturday.  Then on Sunday, two more races insimilar conditions to count five for the weekend.  There were fourdifferent winners of the races, including FIVE FOR FIGHTING (race 6 and10), Riccardo Pacini’s COCCOE, Roberta Banfo’s TALLY-HO (skippered byLuca Macchiarini), and Giuseppe Simonelli’s RAZOR BILL (skippered byDavide Sampiero).

    Atthe end of racing on Sunday, F4F had five 1sts and three 2nds in theirten-race tally to win with 16 pts net- a huge margin over the secondplace team.  That boat was Pacini’s COCCOE with 25 pts net. Third andfourth places were determined by a tie-breaker between Pietro Diamanti’sJAMAICA and Macchiarini’s TALLY-HO, with the former getting the benefitof count back to round out the podium. Fifth place went to Simonelli’sRAZOR BILL.

    "They were beautiful regattas, very fun and very competitive,” commentedPietro Diamanti. "I am satisfied with this edition of the AutumnChampionship and the victory of a crew made up of determined and verygood youngsters like Five for Fighting, always ready to go down into thewater and to commit to the maximum. Congratulations also to RiccardoPacini, a great return with a super crew formed by my brother Giuseppe,Fabio Apollonio and Renzo Marini and Tommy Fusato."  For more Italian J/24 Class sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

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  • J/46 BRAVO World Cruising Update

    J/46 BRAVO World Cruising Update (English Harbour, Antigua)- “The J/46 BRAVO has done it again,” says proud and happy owner Tom Babbit from Portland, Maine. “Wenow have three Maine to Caribbean passages under our belts, the first,nearly 30 years ago on our J/40 with 7 and 10 year old daughters as ouronly crew. 

    As we’ve aged a bit, we have gone longer [46‘) and graduallytransitioned crew from family to great and very experienced friends. 

    This year’s voyage was a nonstop (hopefully) from Camden to Antigua. Thecrew was Galen Todd (J/42 Tango) with whom I have several thousandpassage, cruising, and racing miles, and Paul Rogers, (J/42 Canty) whohas a transatlantic (on Canty) and ten years or so cruising Scandinaviaand the Med - so far) plus a house full of trophies.

    We delayed our Camden departure to Tuesday, Oct. 31 (Halloween), due to60-knot winds on Monday in Camden. Our first afternoon and evening were“sporty” going to weather in 25 to 30 TWS with large seas and of courselobster pots to dodge while we had daylight. Things moderated for daytwo and then we entered the Gulf Stream, with 25 to 30 against the flow.12 to 14 knots SOG was fun for a while, but the sea state was a bit of achallenge...especially when the tanker Alexia suggested we head up intothe mountainous seas and pass astern! A firm negative response fromBravo to that suggestion saw us both agree to alter course hard tostarboard and pass port-to-port, nary a mile between us. 

    Afterthat, there was only one more sporty night well south of Bermuda (wherewe stopped for a few hours to top fuel off). After three days ofmotoring, the trades filled and we were off on moonlit nights arrivingin 10.5 days at first light on 11 November.  Except for two shredded jibsheets in the Gulf Stream, zero damage to BRAVO, and a happy landing inParadise! What a great boat and crew!”  Thanks for this contributionfrom Tom Babbitt. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

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  • J/30 PAPARAZZI Two-Peats The “Buffet Race”

    J/30 PAPARAZZI Two-Peats The “Buffet Race” (Palm Beach, FL)- Nicknamed “the buffet race,” the 61st Annual Wirth M.Munroe Race commenced December 1st for the 60nm course from Miami toPalm Beach. Aside from a short-lived rainstorm, the 22 teams enjoyedsunny conditions with breeze in the teens before arriving to rum drinksand the infamous seafood buffet at the Sailfish Club of Florida.

    This year’s race was a bit more challenging than last year and that onewas tough enough. The boats that did well sailed 11-12 miles offshore,first on a port tack, to go “Gulf Stream hunting”- finding the hot 88 Fwater flowing at 4.5+ kts north over the bottom!

    Donald Lasky’s J/30 PAPARAZZI won PHRF B for the 2nd year in a row andwas 2nd overall. PAPARAZZI is very well sailed and the crew were reallytired when they reached the Sailfish Club- most of the crew are in their60’s or 70’s!  For more Wirth M. Munroe Race sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

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  • J/70s Sweep SDYC Hot Rum Series Class!

    J/70s Sweep SDYC Hot Rum Series Class! (San Diego, CA)- Originated in 1957, the annual Sinnhoffer Hot RumSeries completed its three race schedule (Nov. 4, 18, Dec. 2) undersunny skies and light to moderate winds in San Diego, CA. With a pursuitstart and an 11.9 nm random leg course for the 140 teams, the coursesetup again favored the big boats powering through the fleet of smallerboats that had started in much lighter winds.

    TheJ/125s had a rough go of it this year in PHRF 1 class.  In the end,they ended up separated by three points, with Viggo Torbensen’sTIMESHAVER edging out Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE, taking 7th and 8th inclass, respectively.  Both boats had solid finishes, mostly top ten, butnot enough to overcome the big tall rigs of the TP52’s and largerboats.

    PHRF Class 2 was shaping up to be quite a pitched battle between twoJ/120s and the famous America’s Cup helmsman- Dennis Conner on hisappropriately named MENACE.  Going into the last race, the J/120s were1st and 3rd but could not hold on to those positions.  In a light airreaching drag race, the J/120s were a little out-classed.  John Laun’sCAPER finished on the podium in 3rd place while his friend Chuck Nicholson CC RIDER settled for 4th place.

    Usuallythe domain of the J/105 class, PHRF 3 Class saw a strong performancefrom Dagfish’s VIGGEN to take home the silver with all top five scores. Then, Scheel’s SUN PUFFIN took 7th, Rick Goebel’s SANITY posted aDNC-2-2 to crush the last two races but was only good enough for the 8thspot. Howell’s fun-loving holiday-trimmed BLINK took 9th and Sanford’sCREATIVE placed 11th.

    The big winners in PHRF Class 4 were the trio of J/70s.  Winning on atie-breaker at 10 pts each was Fabian Gomez-Ibarra’s VAGAZO, getting theshort end of that stick was Wyman’s NUNUHUNU.  Then, only one pointback was Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR.

    Finally, in PHRF 5 class, The Case’s sailed one of San Diego YC’s J/22s called ZO ZO to 4th place.
    For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

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  • J/34 Knee Deep- Summer 2017 Video

    J/34 Knee Deep- Summer 2017 Video (Sandusky, Ohio)-  From Brett Langolf, owner of the classic J/34 IOR boat called KNEE DEEP,yet another awesome compilation of sailing their beloved boat on LakeErie.  Said Brett, “we won some, lost some, got wet, went fast &drank out of trophies. Cheers to family & friends for a greatseason!”

    Their team is based out of Deadman's Flat Yacht Club & Sandusky Sailing Club.  Here is KNEE DEEP’s website- http://www.kneedeepsailing.com

    This video, without question, is the very essence of what this sport isall about! Fun, family, perhaps some adult libations (okay, a lot ofthose), 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 seasonAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

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  • J/Sailors Leading Sweep of Volvo Ocean Race?

    J/Sailors Leading Sweep of Volvo Ocean Race? (Capetown, South Africa)-J/sailors leading sweep of Volvo Ocean Race after two legs? Theskippers 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, andDONGFENG Race Team. Yes, indeed, knowing how to cut your teeth onthe knife-edge against one-design world champions hones your instinctsto sail fast, consistently 24x7, and continually tweak the boat andsails to gain tenths of a knot, here and there.

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

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

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

    In contrast, after leading from the first night, Dongfeng suddenly founditself in fourth place two weeks into the leg. But skipper CharlesCaudrelier 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 manycrew on J/80s in China). “For sure, at one moment we were hoping forbetter, but a few days ago it was much worse and we made a fantasticcomeback. Well done to MAPFRE, they made fewer mistakes than us, but wenever gave up, the crew never complained, they just worked on thecomeback… We have amazing speed in strong winds, we’ve worked on that alot, and it was unbelievable, we were nearly a knot faster sometimes.”

    Completingthe podium was Vestas 11th Hour Racing, the winner of Leg 1. SkipperCharlie Enright’s team (long-time J/24 sailor and World Champion) wasalways in the mix with the leaders on this leg, but couldn’t find a wayto slip into the lead.

    “We’re happy with a podium result against a lot of good teams,” Enrightsaid, dockside in Cape Town. “We’re not satisfied yet with how we’resailing the boat, so we still have a lot of work to do, but we’ll keepchipping away. We’re still trying to get faster through the water andstreamline 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, MAPFREsailed 7,886.5 nautical miles over the ground at an average speed of17.3 knots!

    The teams will now prepare for the In-Port Race on December 8 before the6,500nm Leg 3 from Cape Town, South Africa to Melbourne, Australia thatstarts on December 10.  Follow these three teams on the Volvo Ocean Race here- http://www.volvooceanrace.comAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

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  • ARC Rallies- Caribbean 1500 & Atlantic Update

    ARC Rallies- Caribbean 1500 & Atlantic Update (Grand Canary, Spain)- “World Cruising”, the organization that created anumber of “cruising rallies” called “ARC” (originally, Atlantic RallyCruising), has seen its first major event finish in Tortola, BritishVirgin Islands, while the second event, ARC Atlantic, is still takingplace having started on November 19th.

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

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

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

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

    ARC ATLANTIC
    The 2017 edition of the ARC Atlantic attracted nearly 200 boats and1,200 people to sail 2,700nm across the Atlantic from Gran Canary Island(Spain) to Saint Lucia situated in the Windward Islands of theCaribbean.

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

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

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

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  • Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica Regatta Preview

    Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica Regatta Preview (Montego Bay, Jamaica)- This coming weekend, the famous Jammin’ J/22Jamaica Regatta is taking place, hosted by the incredibly graciousmembers of 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.

    A special feature of this year’s event is that North Sails’ MikeMarshall, the 2016 J/22 World Champion, will be providing a weekend-longJ/22 North U “go-fast” clinic and on-the-water coaching for everyone!

    The format is designed to encourage foreign sailors (to Jamaica) tovisit as duets or entire crews of 3-4 people.  Of the fifteen-odd boatson the island, three are reserved for Kingston teams and three reservedfor Mo’Bay teams- that selection is based on qualifiers.  Those boatsare Peter Harper’s ZIPPER, Richard Hamilton’s RENEGADE, and Mike Morse’sAYAHSO from Mo’Bay.  Hailing from Kingston are Cooke’s GERONIMO and Gibson’s TSUNAMI.

    As for the rest of the boats, the infamous “honest john boat draw” tookplace.  Video footage will show that an honest draw was made of thisyear’s visitors and available boats using completely random toilet papersquares.  Impartial by-standers were dragged from the massive crowds atMo’Bay YC to pull the toilet paper squares and match boats with askipper.  Thanks to Charlotte and Luna Marr for their unbiasedassistance (pictured here)! Cute, eh??

    Ten boats will be on the starting line this year for more fun in theJamaican sun; three teams from Cayman Islands, one from Canada, and onefrom the USA.  For more Jammin J/22 Jamaica Regatta sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

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  • J/70s World Sailing Show Video

    J/70s World Sailing Show Video (London, England)- The World Sailing Show-is a highlights video produced by the “World Sailing” organization inLondon, England. The November highlights reel talks about the radicalnew America’s Cup class design. Then, they discuss why winning anOlympic medal doesn’t get you a head start, especially if you’reembarking on a 7,000nm race offshore (however, having one-designexperience in strong one-design classes like J/24s, J/80s and J/70sdoes). Finally, they have a nice segment about the massive turnoutfor the AUDI J/70 World Championship in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italyhosted by YC Costa Smeralda.  The event started with controversyand ended with spectacular racing in the biggest one-design sportsboatfleet ever seen in history.   Watch this J/70 Worlds segment at 09:38 in the World Sailing videoAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

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Sailing for Life in Better Sailboats

Sailing is the ultimate freedom, the experience of being at one with nature and the sea, powered only by the wind and one's imagination. It's one of the few "life sports" that offers both a relaxing escape as well as an invigorating challenge. You pick your level of comfort and excitement. Sailing is never the same twice - each time on the water with your sailboat is a unique adventure that can enrich friendships, strengthen family ties, and refresh one's own sense of well-being. How many other outdoor activities can be shared with three or more family generations?  It's been said there are two types of sailors in the world - the young and the young-at-heart. How great is that?

What a Difference a J Makes

Fulfilling those sailing dreams starts with finding a sailboat that fits you - whether you aspire to sail close to home, cruise to distant shores, or take up the challenge of competitive sailing. Performance differences between sailboats are greater than differences between golf clubs, tennis rackets, skis or cars. There aren't many wooden or metal tennis rackets, skis or golf clubs in use anymore. That's because newer boat designs that perform better and are easier to use are MORE FUN!  A well designed sailboat, like a good sports car, is an extension of its owner. It could take years of sailing other boats to learn the difference that good design and quality make to one's sailing enjoyment. Or you can save time and take advantage of what we've learned and designed into every "J." We invite you to explore our site to learn more.

J/Sailing Gear For 2017

JGear 250pxLook great this season in J sailing apparel. Check out the comfortable and fashionable sailing clothing, tech shirts, polo shirts, sailing jackets and sailing hats at the J/Sailing Gear site. Also backpacks, totes, J battleflags and other fun items like half-model sailboats are available as gifts and trophies. 

J/Gear is fully customizable to your needs.  When you order, you can specify just about anything you wish, including boat name, boat type, yacht club, hailing port, etc.  Please be sure to visit our store here.

Upcoming Sailing Events

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 7-10- Bacardi Cup J/70 Invitational- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 16-18- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA

NEW 40' Offshore Speedster for 5 or fewer Crew

J/121 offshore speedster sailing off Newport The new J/121 is a 40’ offshore speedster that can be day raced or distance sailed by just 5 or fewer crew…. the best short-handed J ever…. capable of winning on any race track while also excelling in daysailing and weekend mode. J/121 redefines offshore sailboat racing as a recreation and shared adventure with friends - fulfilling the growing need to simplify life and reconnect with those you really want to sail with on a boat that’s pure magic to sail. Learn more about J/121 here.

Elegance, Comfort & Style - NEW J/112E

J112E 01 19986J/112E is the newest “E” Series of sport-cruising yachts.  An Evolution of Elegant performance cruising design. This dual- purpose 36 footer has a spacious two-cabin layout and a roomy, comfortable,  cockpit.  Perfect for the annual club cruise, offshore racing or short-handed blue-water sailing.  Learn about J/112E here.

J/70 - The Sportboat Changing Sailing

J70 spin08 redThe J/70 speedster is a fun, fast, stable, 22 footer that can be towed behind a small SUV and ramped launched and rigged by two people.  J/70 sails upwind like her larger sibling (the J/80) and off the wind she simply flies - planing fast in moderate winds. With 1,300+ boats delivered worldwide, the choice is clear. Learn more about J/70 here.

A Family-friendly One-Design & Daysailer - J/88

J88 SolarSailer cockpit 001 18209The J/88 combines big boat feel with sportsboat-like acceleration.  Add a weekend interior, inboard head, engine and huge cockpit and you have a versatile 29 footer.  Blistering upwind speed of 6.5 kts and trailblazing speed offshore means smiles all around as you collect both the silverware and priceless sailing memories. Learn more about J/88 here.

J/News Around the World

Better Sailboats for People Who Love Sailing