J/70 sailors having fun- sailing in planing modeJ/70 Winter Circuit Overview
(Key West, Florida)- The upcoming US Winter Circuit for J/70s is shaping up to be another fun one for the incredibly popular class.  All events will be well-attended with pre-registration for most in the 30-40+ boat range, with more sure to go as teams figure out their holiday/ post-holiday and spring time calendars with friends and families. The best part about the circuit is that you can sail once per month starting in December and ending in May at some of the nicest, warmest sailing locations during the winter-time.
Starting out in December/ January are the first two of three Quantum J/70 Winter Series being hosted by Davis Island YC in Tampa, FL.  Sailing will take place literally right in front of the club, talk about “stadium-sailing” for those sitting at the bar/ restaurant with a commanding view over beautiful Tampa Bay!
After that warm-up event, the J/70 Midwinters are being sailed in conjunction with Quantum Key West Race Week down in Key West, FL.  As always, the sailing should be fun, epic, warm and friendly!  With excellent Race Committee/ PRO’s managing the fleet, J/70 sailors should be in for another treat at America’s only trade-wind, Caribbean-like setting.
Thereafter, the finale for the Quantum J/70 Winter Series takes place in Tampa, followed by the famous Bacardi Miami Sailing Week in March.  With spring equinox taking place mid-March, the fleet migrates north along the Atlantic Coast to Charleston Race Week in April.  Then, after experiencing what promises to be another amazing event held in the current-heavy Charleston Harbor, the fleet concludes their circuit at the Annapolis Sperry Top Sider NOOD Regatta hosted by Annapolis YC on Chesapeake Bay!  Here are the dates and links to get yourselves organized (register now and reserve important dock/ slip space!):

For more J/70 Regatta calendar information.

J/109 sailing Seattle Grand Prix on Puget SoundRound The County Preview
(Seattle, Washington)- “Ben Braden’s latest series of articles guessing the results in popular local regattas have proved entertaining – so much so I thought I would try it myself,” commented Andy Schwenk from Northwest Rigging in Seattle, Washington.  Andy goes on to say, “What could possibly go wrong? In the case of Round the County Regatta, coming up November 8th & 9th we have 100 boats, probably 750 local sailors all out for a good time and looking to do well!”
“I believe this to be the 27th edition of this battle against the elements and besides a few years in the military I don’t think I’ve missed one. For 2014, the crew at Orcas Island YC and Friday Harbor Sailing Club (hosts of the event) have put in a new twist and added another class to bring the total to 8. Covering 34 miles a day with 8 classes should give everyone a chance to get out in front and show the people they just passed exactly where not to go. Saturday the start is at the North end of Blakely Island and travels South through Rosario Strait then West up the side of San Juan Island to finish at Roche Harbor. They hold the times overnight and then start North from Roche Harbor around Stuart Island, up Boundary Pass, leaving Patos and everything else to starboard finishing again at Lydia Shoal buoy on the North end of Blakely. The finish time is 6pm each day so even if you finish in the dark you aren’t out all night (remember it’s dark at 4:30pm nowadays).
Seattle Grand Prix on Puget SoundThe local big boat fleet is sailing IRC these days and I must say I miss the chance competing against them on some level. Hopefully, soon the PHRF czars will devise a way to address their concerns and we can welcome them back or maybe the other way around. I’ve seen what the TP-52’s are capable of with my own eyes at Big Boat Series in San Francisco and I will give Glory the edge over Valkyrie in the race around the islands. In the battle for third in the IRC class waterline can be the key and I will give the gang aboard the SC-70 Neptune’s Car the edge over the J/145 DOUBLE TAKE.
PHRF Div 1 has a baker’s dozen of various boats. But I’m still not convinced – there is nothing like a J-120 and a bit of breeze. TIME BANDIT, the J/120, won this class some years ago even without her main and I think she’ll take it again in 2014. Plus, the J/109 TANTIVY, another well sailed boat (forgoing her skipper’s annual jaunt to Mexico) will hang on for third.
PHRF Div II is the largest and most diverse class and a candidate for the podium should be the J/105 LAST TANGO, especially if it’s windy.
In PHRF Div IV it could be a J-Boat festival, but only if the HERE AND NOW pirates on the loud black J/29 can get to the start line on time. The J/30 CELEBRATION is bringing in the rock star crew and J/92 HIJINKS is set if the wind blows.” Thanks for Andy’s perspectives!  Follow the action on Facebook/ Round The County page.   For more Round The County sailing information.

J/133 sailing RORC Trans-Atlantic RaceRORC Trans-Atlantic Race Preview
(Lanzarote, Canary Islands)- A varied and international fleet ranging from 40 to 100ft (12.19 to 30.48m) will set off for Grenada on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote, the most eastern in the Canary Islands chain, in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s new offshore race- the RORC Trans-Atlantic Race.
After a week of preparation and social events hosted at Puerto Calero Marina, the inaugural RORC Trans-Atlantic Race will see competitors from several countries weave their way through the historic archipelago before making landfall 2,800 nautical miles away where they will be welcomed at Camper & Nicholsons’ Port Louis Marina.
Ever since Columbus started the trend over 500 years ago, the Canary Islands have remained the jumping-off point for yachts crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean. The RORC Trans-Atlantic Race will provide RORC members and other highly competitive race boats with the chance to compete in a top-level event during the east-west transatlantic crossing.
The J/133 APOLLO 7 (GBR), was bought and refitted by RORC member Nigel Passmore in order to compete in his first Trans-Atlantic race. “I’m taking part in the RORC Trans-Atlantic Race in order to achieve a lifetime ambition of sailing across the Atlantic,” explains Passmore.
The Plymouth, Devon-based team has notched up a string of local victories as well as notable wins in the Rolex Fastnet Race and as overall winner of the RORC’s De Guingand Bowl and Morgan Cup races earlier this season. A crew of six for the crossing includes Isle of Wight sailor Brett Aarons.
“Once the RORC announced its intention to organize the race, I wanted to make sure I took part in the first event. We intend to do the best we can and enjoy the experience.  Maintaining boat equipment and keeping on a race pace for two weeks, 24 hours a day is going to be tough.  I’m looking forward to the whole race and ticking off another ‘To Do’ box when the finish gun goes off in Grenada. It’s sure to be a memorable moment,” says Apollo 7’s owner, Passmore.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/ photoaction.com   For more RORC Trans-Atlantic Race sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide

What an eventful end of October and beginning to November around the world!  For starters, several J alumni finished the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, one winning and taking two of the top three. Not bad for J sailors.  Then, also down under the equator, the J/24s had the first of their summer long series events, starting with the NSW State Championships (plus see the kids sailing video in the community section!).
Then, in the greater British Commonwealth, we find the RORC Season Offshore Championship has not only come to a close, but leaders in the series (J/122, J/111, J/105 and J/97) are all headed to the RORC Season’s award ceremonies in downtown London, England soon.  Across La Manche from them, the French concluded their J/80 Nationals in La Rochelle as well as their season-long J/80 Coupe de France.  Just north of them, the J/70’s sailed their season finale of the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga in Hamburg, Germany, hosted on the gorgeous Alster Lake in the middle of the city.  Also, in the Community section, check out the J/122 ARTIE report from Christian Ripard on how they won the west to win the Rolex Middle Sea Race.  Plus, see the breaking news from Germany’s famous Die Welt newspaper- a front-page feature on the J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga!
In the Americas, the East Coast saw two events quite literally blown-out by a massive, gale-force front that rolled through over the weekend.  Affected were the J/24 East Coast Championships hosted by the Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, MD and the J/70 Chesapeake Bay Championships hosted by Fishing Bay YC in Virginia.  Down south, the J/Fest Southwest faired quite a bit better, managing to fulfill an entire weekend of sailing hosted by the Lakewood YC on Galveston Bay, Texas.  Then, out West, the inaugural Rum Runner Race saw some epic performances by the J/88 and J/125 sailing in the 75nm race from Newport Beach, CA to San Diego, CA.  Finally, the 100th anniversary of the Lipton Cup out west was hosted by San Diego YC in J/105s with some amazingly strong competition.
Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page!  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 4- Nov 30- Garmin Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
Oct 24- Mar 8- Monaco J/70 Winter Series- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Nov 8- Hot Rum Series #1- San Diego, CA
Nov 10-16- J/24 South American Championship- La Punta, Chile
Nov 16- Around Island Race- Hong Kong, China
Nov 19-22- J/105 International Invitational- Hamilton, Bermuda
Nov 22- Hot Rum Series #2- San Diego, CA
Dec 4-7- J/22 Jamaica Jammin’ Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 6- Hot Rum Series #3- San Diego, CA
Dec 13- Feb 7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Davis Island, FL
Jan 18-23- Quantum Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
Mar 4-7- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Miami, FL
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

J/80 sailing French Nationals off La Rochelle, FranceSpanish Vanquish French J/80 Nationals
(La Rochelle, France)- The last regatta of the Coupe de France took place off La Rochelle, one of the most famous sailing ports in all of France.  Hosted by the Societe des Regates Rochelaises, 59 teams from France, Spain and Great Britain sailed an incredibly competitive three-day regatta in a wide variety of conditions.
Winning the French Nationals was the Spanish team of ESPALARTA with skipper Iker Almondoz leading the charge with crew of Eneka Juanena, Borja Ponte, and Mikel Vasquez.  And, despite taking a 7th in the event, Simon Moriceau’s team on INTERFACE CONCEPT-CV were crowned the overall J/80 Coupe de France Champion with his crew of Jean Queveau, Hugo Kerhascoet, Herve Corlay, and Christian Ponthieu.  Top women’s skipper was Maxime Mesnil’s team sailing CO-PILOTES NORMANDY ELITE TEAM into 5th overall (her crew included Sophie Faguet, Arthur Herreman, Sophie Fremont and Mael Gueutier).
J/80s sailing off La Rochelle, franceThe fleet was fortunate to have good sailing conditions all three day of the regatta.  On the first day, four great races were run at about one hour each.  The wind started light from the east and, ultimately, swung into the S/ SE with a slight increase in velocity.  The “oscillating-persistent” shift was fraying a few nerves of the various tacticians, to say the least!  The tension was palpable on the starting line because the slightest tactical error caused a substantial decline in the standings.  Starting fast out-of-the-box was Almondoz’s ESPALARTA team, taking a 4-1-3-4 to lead the regatta on Friday.  They were initially followed by Moriceau’s INTERFACE CONCEPT-CV crew in second with a 1-2-7-2 record.  However, Moriceau was DSQ’d for an infraction on the race course.  Consequently, Matthieu Salomon’s CHARIO PLUS- VANNES UTILITAIRES ended up second for the day.
J/80s sailing off start line- La Rochelle, FranceThe second day of sailing saw only two races take place.  The first race of the day was started in SSE winds of 6 kts that diminished during the race.  The second race of the day started in a southwest breeze of about 4-6 kts and, with current pushing the fleet over the starting line, it proved quite fatal to some boats.  In particular, Moriceau’s crew again experienced some self-imposed “bad luck”, getting black flagged and posting a regatta-killing score to their total.  In the end, Mesnil’s CO-PILOT NORMANDY ELITE TEAM won the race and climbed onto the third position on the podium in the overall standings; meanwhile, the Spanish team of GOLD SAILING, skippered by Inigo Jauregui took over second place on the podium while Almandoz’s team on ESPALARTA continued to sail consistently, posting a 3-7 to further stretch out their lead.
As expected, the weather dawned cold and windy on Sunday.  The imminent arrival of an Atlantic depression and strong sustained winds allowed the more experienced teams to show their fluency in the execution of maneuvers— what a beautiful sight!  In this game, the Spanish ESPALARTA easily won the first race of the day, allowing them to win the championship without needing to sail the last race!  Then, proving they still were on championship form, Moriceau’s crew on INTERFACE CONCEPT-CV exacted their revenge on the fleet by sailing away in the last race, emphatically winning the race by a dramatic margin.
In the overall standings, behind Almandoz’s ESPALARTA, it was Salomon’s 2-4 on the last day that sealed the deal for their second place performance, enabling them to also throw-out a BFD score in race 6.  Taking third due to a reasonably steady performance was Sylvain Pellissier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE.  In fact, tied with Pellissier at 55 pts each was the Spanish team of Inigo Jauregui skippering GOLD SAILING.  The Spanish had to settle for 4th based on count-back.  Fifth was top woman skipper, Maxime Mesnil on CO-PILOTES NORMANDY ELITE TEAM.   Sailing photo credits- Olivier Lhopez  For more French J/80 Nationals sailing information

J/70 German Sailing League winners- Deutsche Segel-BundesligaNRV Champions of J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga!
Konstanzer YC Win Hamburg Finale
(Hamburg, Germany)- After sailing 183 races over 15 racing days in five regattas, eighteen sailing clubs converged from all over Germany to participate in the grand finale of the 2014 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga series sailed in J/70s on Hamburg’s Alster Lake.  As one of the co-hosts for this incredibly successful regatta, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) club hoped their sailing team would continue their winning ways from the previous year (they were 2013 DSB Champions) and would, again, be crowned champion for the 2014 series.  Starting off with a substantial 18 pit lead over the rest of the fleet, Team NRV did not disappoint the cheering home team club members, taking a third in the Hamburg finale to win the overall DSB Championship by a commanding lead of 24 pts!
The first day of sailing on the spectacular Alster Lake right in the middle of Hamburg could not have bee nicer, a balmy breeze only permitted jus six races to be completed, just two for each club.  Nevertheless, it was clear the Konstanzer YC team liked the conditions, taking two 1sts to be leading the regatta right out of the starting gate.  Sitting on 2nd and 3rd, respectively, were Schweriner YC and Flensburger SC.
“Even though it did not look good, we were very lucky! Although we have little wind from our home waters, our two victories today were associated with great luck,” said Arne Gülzow, the skipper of the leading Konstanzer YC team.
J/70 sailing in Hamburg, Germany- Alster LakeDay two saw a total of 27 races sailed in the light winds with several teams suffering penalties and OCS’s.  After a slight postponement in the morning, the wind filled in steadily with bright sunshine to spoil the cheering crowds along the waterfront of both the NRV and Hamburger Segel-Club.  The 9 races sailed by each team produced some surprising results! After the day’s racing, Konstanzer YC continued their hold on first place, with Kieler YC flying up the standings into second overall with Berliner YC hanging onto third.  Kieler YC’s record for the day was an astounding 5-2-1-2-2-1-3, no other club was even close on this amazing day for the Baltic Sea based team.  Could they continue their dramatic climb up the ladder, or would they become another “Icarus” and crash to Earth the next day?  Only time would tell.
The final day saw more challenging wind conditions with just 6 races sailed. Nevertheless, after 45 races sailed, 15 for each club, the team from Lake Constance triumphed in the end to win the last regatta of the 2014 DSB.  Konstanzer YC’s team of Tino Ellegast, Stefan Schneider, Arne Gülzow and Alex Runciman sailed a beautiful series, closing out their remarkably steady scoreline with a 2-2-4-2-3-2 to win by four pts.  Taking second Berliner YC by winning a tie-breaker over NRV with both teams sitting on 49 pts.  The star that “fell from grace with the sea” happened to be, sadly enough, Kieler YC; plummeting from second overall after Saturday’s racing down to 10th place.
As a result of their 3rd place, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (Hamburg), won the overall silver championship trophy by Robbe & Berking with a total of 104 pts, 24 pts clear of the next team.  Taking second overall was Deutscher Touring YC with 80 pts and just 2 pts back in third place was Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee.
NRV winning J/70 Deutsche Segel-BundesligaHamburg’s Mayor, Michael Neumann, congratulated the winners and was pleased the DSB Championship was hosted by Hamburger SC on the pretty Alster Lake, commenting that, “the introduction of the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga has been an enormous hit for sailors in Germany and it was an honor that Hamburg was selected for the finals. The City is pleased to be able to contribute to the success story of the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga and I certainly hope that the final will also be held in Hamburg in the future!”
While the Hamburg football (soccer) clubs have failed to make it to any German or European Championship, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein has reigned supreme, masters of their domain sailing J/70 one-designs.  The NRV stand again this year at the top of the podium. The entire twelve-man squad for NRV accepted the silver trophy by Robbe & Berking and celebrated another victory with the obligatory champagne shower. “A better ending this season could not have been imagined by any of us! It was terrific to sail before our home crowd and to win the title a second time. This is a victory for our whole club,” said helmsman Johannes Polgar. The NRV team also includes Florian Spalteholz, Klaas Höpcke and Leon Pass.
Said Oliver Schwall, Managing Director of the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga, “we are grateful for our numerous partners and sponsors that made the 2014 DSB such a tremendous success.  We would like to highlight some of them, including Vattenfall consulting, Hanse Boot boat show, Audi AG cars, Marine-Pool clothing, Mittelmans Werft J/Dealership, North Sails and SAP AG software!”   For more J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information

J/105s sailing Lipton Cup San DiegoSt Francis YC Crowned J/105 Lipton Cup Winners
(San Diego, CA)- Chris Raab and his crew from St. Francis Yacht Club showered champagne on an 85-year-old dry spell after crossing the finish line for the 100th Lipton Cup Challenge. The three-day regatta was a true test of skill, with competitors completing a full rotation through 12 chartered J/105s in conditions that ranged from strong, full winds to shifty, unpredictable breezes. While teams like Newport Harbor excelled in the lighter winds, St. Francis demonstrated their versatility by competing well throughout the range of wind conditions.
Some of the best competition of the day didn’t come from the 12 J/105s, but from the spectators. Throughout the day a swarm of boats circled the outside of the course, each hoping to secure a front row seat as history was made on the final day of the regatta’s centennial celebration. Each of the day’s four races was filled with exciting sailing, lead changes and demanding technical maneuvers.
J/105s sailing around mark- Lipton Cup San DiegoIn the 1st race of the day, San Francisco broke away from the fleet with an early gybe on the first downwind leg. Though the maneuver initially appeared premature, a wider look at the course revealed what skipper Chris Perkins noticed: the majority of the fleet had overshot the gate mark. San Francisco stole away with a significant lead and maintained their position all the way to the finish line. Behind them was San Diego, who under the direction of skipper Brad Rodi managed to pull off the most impressive comeback of the whole regatta. Between rounding the weather mark on the first lap and coming upwind off the gate mark, San Diego went from the 11th position to 2nd.
Four boats were OCS at the start of the next race, giving Seattle Yacht Club the opportunity to gain an early lead. With a solid race, they kept their position to finish in 1st place. Seattle repeated their victory with another 1st place victory in Race 11. Going into the final race, it was still anyone’s game with a mere six point spread separating the top three teams: St. Francis, San Francisco and San Diego.
St Francis YC winning J/105 Lipton Cup San DiegoSt. Francis held tight to third place throughout the race, finishing behind Newport Harbor and Long Beach. They won the regatta with a total of 51 points, seven above the 2013 defending champs San Diego who finished second. Newport Harbor’s two 1st place finishes nudged them ahead of San Francisco for 3rd place. Both teams had a total score of 60 points. Coronado rounded out the top five teams in 5th place with a total of 71 points.
Overall, the regatta was an incredible showcase of talented, diverse sailing. Not only was the racing technical, but so was the equipment. This regatta featured the innovative RaceQs app, which allowed race fans from their home clubs to watch the action with a 3D race display online with realistic J/105 “avatars” representing each team. Race replays are available through the RaceQs.com tracking link at http://raceqs.com/regattas/lipton-cup.
Lipton Cup Chairman, Jeff Brown, also announced that, “Jay Renehan’s Seattle YC Team won the iPad-Mini courtesy of J/Boats and RaceQs for participating in the race tracking throughout the Lipton Cup weekend.  Eight of the clubs participated in the race tracking all weekend, and we randomly selected the Seattle YC skipper to win the prize.”
In addition Chairman Brown commented, “we want to sincerely thank all of our supporting sponsors that helped make this regatta happen, including Sunroad Resort Marina, San Diego Boat Show, JK3 Yachts, Ballast Point Brewing, Jackson Design & Remodeling, Dixieline Lumber & Home Centers, Jones Lumber, and North Sails. Furthermore, we also want to thank all our volunteers plus our amazing Race Committee and PRO.  And, finally, I want to make an extra-special thanks to the local J/105 owners for lending their boats to make this regatta possible!”   For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information

J/111 sailing RORC offshore raceJ/122 RORC Season Championship IRC 2 Winner
J/111 Second RORC Season Overall!
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The RORC Offshore Season Championship has finally drawn to a close and all winners are looking forward to collecting their silver “pickle dishes” at the RORC Annual Dinner held at the spectacular InterContinental Hotel on Park Lane.
The Cherbourg Race, the penultimate race of the RORC Season Championship and the last race of the season across the English Channel, was a cliff-hanger for many of the top participants.  For many of the competing yachts, the 75-mile dash to Cherbourg was the final race of the RORC season and several class winners were determined over the weekend.
Following a gutsy performance in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, the Army Sailing Association’s J/111 BRITISH SOLDIER was the overall leader for the championship going into the Cherbourg Race.  “It came as a bit of a surprise to us to be leading for the season but we are not getting carried away with that,” commented British Soldier’s skipper, Will Naylor. “For the Cherbourg Race we are especially looking forward to a battle with the J/122 RELENTLESS ON JELLYFISH, which was our big rival in the last race and they are just ahead of us in IRC Two. However, we will just concentrate on our own performance, as it is the only thing we can influence. For the Cherbourg Race we will be back to a full crew of eight. Unlike the Round Britain and Ireland Race, we will be able to load up the rail and as it’s a much shorter race, we will probably keep the crew there for the duration. BRITISH SOLDIER performs much better with a full crew hiking out.”
As it turned out, the Cherbourg Race was a light winds affair and, consequently, would have a dramatic effect on both class and overall standings.  RORC Racing Manager Nick Elliott explained, “The fleet had just enough pressure to get out of the Solent but the light breeze faded during the night. The breeze did not materialize until the morning and this year’s race definitely favored the smaller yachts. The best performers were those that used the tide to their advantage and although it was a long and at times frustrating race, most of the fleet finished.”
Winning the Cherbourg Race overall on corrected time was Blair Forsyth’s J/97 HIGH JINKS. “The race conditions were great for our boat, and the other smaller boats in the race,” commented Blair Forsyth. “The sail plan was straightforward; we had a 1.5 kite that worked really well and we only had to drop it and get the No. 1 jib back up when what wind there was shifted. I don’t think we saw more than 10 knots of breeze the whole race, and even that was only fleeting at times. Thankfully, our kite was up for most of the crossing!  On Saturday night, when the tide shifted, we lost nearly all our apparent wind, but we didn’t have to drop anchor, and the rest of the pack seemed to drift with us. Once it picked up we had a good run into Cherbourg, with the smaller boats.”
It was HIGH JINKS’ first RORC offshore season during which the boat had been principally sailed two-handed. The Cherbourg Race was their first fully crewed RORC race of 2014 and the additional crew played their part in the success as Blair recounted, “this time we had four crew onboard, making the night watches much easier – particularly given the conditions!  Altogether a fantastic way to end our first offshore season, made particularly enjoyable by the great welcome form the Cherbourg Yacht Club, and the rest of the fleet.”  HIGH JINKS not only won IRC Overall, but also won IRC 4 Class.
Because it was a “small boat” race, the overall leadership for the RORC Season Championship hung in the balance.  In the end, the balance tilted to one of BRITISH SOLDIER’s rivals in the same class.  By  finishing 12th and 16th overall, respectively, BRITISH SOLDIER was knocked into second place overall for the season, although merely by half a point!
In IRC 2 Class, the J/122 RELENTLESS ON JELLYFISH sailed by David Richards continued their consistently top performances and managed to hang on their lead to take IRC 2 Class for the season.  BRITISH SOLDIER remained in 2nd for the season in this class, perversely also beating the IRC Overall Season championship winner, a 34 footer from Belgium!
In IRC 3 Class,  DIABLO-J, Nick Martin’s J-105, took a 2nd place in the Cherbourg Race, propelling them third place overall in IRC 3 Class RORC Season’s Points Championship.  In fact, and Nick Martin continued his feat of not finishing lower than 4th place overall in class since 2010.  Furthermore, Martin finished 4th in the IRC Two-Handed division for the season.  Other J/Teams did well in IRC 3 class, with Chris Palmer’s J/109 J-T’AIME taking 4th overall and another J/109, Kevin Armstrong’s JAZZY JELLYFISH taking 5th.
As well as winning IRC Overall, the J/97 HIGH JINKS claimed the win in IRC Four in the Cherbourg Race, vaulting them into 6th overall in IRC 4 for the season’s point championship.   Sailing photo credits- Rick Tomlinson   For more RORC Season Championship sailing information

J/24s sailing off Sandringham, AustraliaCONVICTS REVENGE Takes J/24 NSW States
(Queensland, Australia)- This year’s NSW States offered something for everyone, or in reality everything for everyone. From almost no wind in race 4 on Sunday morning to around 60 kts in Saturday afternoon’s thunderstorm, along with lightning, thunder and rain … a good decision by the race committee to close the show down after race 3.
Saturday always looked like being windy, jib weather from way back – although there were a couple of genoas being stretched on the course, the comment was that they weren’t really any advantage though. Looks like there were a couple of people taking a swim too, Sean lost Big Tim and one of the girls over the side when the lifeline let go. The default question was why the other two weren’t hiking hard enough to go in with them …. mmm questions being asked !  I heard Jeanette also had a swimmer but don’t have the details. Tricky sailing with really shifty westerlies and a start line deep in Rose bay to a top mark to the north of Shark Is. Race two and a course change saw us and a couple of others head out to the left only to find that the top mark hadn’t moved more than a boat length, so we had a reach in around the island back to the top mark …. so much for thinking I had picked a winner there !
We were having our own little problems on Code, the boat hadn’t been raced for a couple of years and we had a few boat issues, new crew (Trimmer Pete is used to steering a bigger boat and our training prior was in everything under 5knots and how to use a motor to get back home) and of course the weather and the bloke on the helm – no wonder we won the handicap prize. But seriously we improved with every race until the last two and I have to thank my crew for the huge effort in getting up from Melbourne and racing the boat, as usual we had fun and when you aren’t winning, that is what sailing is all about.
Race 2 gave us all a chance to go downwind in a big breeze (for a change) and many boats took the no kite option … Terry, next time I am risking the national debt with the kite and you are coasting along without one at the same speed next to me, could you just please move away so it isn’t so obvious!
But of course the front of the fleet is sailing away from us at light speed and as usual the bloody Black Prince is up there and will ask ‘where was I’ later, but this time he’s not getting it all his own way. Steve Girdis has gone cycling on pain of death from someone and Robbie Brewer is out of retirement and driving Convicts and driving well, with two to one on Dave in Kaotic, he is the day winner. In fact, we are all winners when most of us get home before the next storm cell hits. So glad we are not racing in that. Not without some drama at the club and round the corner for the boats going back to the CYC though. It’s as black as … and then white, as the 60-knot front of the thunderstorm lifts the top 2 feet of water into the air around the boats in pleasant little Felix Bay. Some of us got ashore  … and some didn’t. Vortex went ashore too, well done Sean in the crew tender turned rescue boat dragging Vortex off in the height of the storm. Sean, yes that’s the Commodore, organizer, tender driver, boat rescuer, crew rescuer and the guy that also comes 3rd  – makes me feel very humble!
Check this out-  http://youtu.be/eLcBjieN-H0
This year we have 4 boats from Cronulla, the fast developing fleet down in the ‘Shire’. One might say a mixed bag of boats and sailors like anywhere, but a great group of guys and girls that love a good time and some hard racing. It’s been a process to get them to the harbour but 3 have sailed up and Dave Mackay has trailed. Dave is the guy that won the big one in the Moths some … well quite some years ago. Known affectionately as “Magoo” and with a sense of humor that instantly puts you at ease and laughing, he is no slug on the race course and comes home 4th overall in Stockcar. Welcome to our world Dave, hope you come and play more often. And that goes for all our new friends at Cronulla, Barry Ryan in Pinot, Clinton Hood in CJ Constructions and Mick Reynolds in Slippery Fish who has worked so hard to get the Cronulla Js into class racing with us. Lets get more of you to come and play.
Sunday has dawned sunny and with a dropping westerly breeze, very shifty and getting very light, the Black Prince sailing Arthur Crother’s Kaotic with a mixed crew out of Melbourne bangs in another win to make the tally 2 all with Convicts. We drift around for a little while as the wind tries to make up it’s mind. Finally the wind changes to a south east breeze, settling down and offering great top end genoa racing for the last two …. or was that the last 5 races.
Three practice starts in the last race had the RO threatening the black flag and that was enough to finally get a clean start away. Convicts they might be, but they nailed the last two and it was a done deal. Robbie Brewer and team on Convicts Revenge taking it out from Dave Suda on Kaotic and the Commodore on Sailpac coming in 3rd.
The team on Code Violation won the Zimmer Frame with Barry Ryan in Pinot and Geoff Cowen in Nokomis 2nd and 3rd.
Congratulations to Kate Holmes for being awarded the Women on Water Trophy for many years of attendance and effort with Jeanette on various boats. No Thommo Cup this year as Ron didn’t show, so I guess Jeanette keeps it by default.
Thanks to the team at RPEYC, the NSW Association, the help at the crane at RANSA and the effort from the Cronulla guys to get there, all the Sydney guys and girls that turn up and race and thanks to all the volunteers and friendly smiling faces that made the regatta an event we look forward to.   Formore J/24 NSW States sailing information

J/24s sailing on Chesapeake BayBANGOR PACKET Eclipses J/24 East Coasts!
(Annapolis, MD)- Congratulations to Tony Parker for winning the 2014 Hillman Capital Management J24 East Coast Championship aboard the famously-named J/24 yacht called BANGOR PACKET!  Sailing with Tony were a bunch of characters, namely the Hungarian/Canadian Rossi Milev, Team One’s famous Martha Parker and Ross Dierdorff, a worldly man about town.
Hosted by Severn Sailing Association, the J/24s suffered the same fate as many of their colleagues did down south in the J/70 Chesapeake championship.  Saturday dawned with a lot of promise for clouds, drizzle and wind, like lots and lots of wind.  While down in Fishing Bay it was blowing 20-25 kts, gusting to 30 kts by 2pm, it was blowing even harder in the northern Chesapeake Bay as a monster front was rolling through the region.  Such was the blow-out that racing was quite rightfully canceled Saturday afternoon.  As Sunday dawned, no one on the docks even bothered to pull out mainsails as it was truly epic, fresh-to-frightening conditions, e.g. “blowing dogs off chains” and babies in strollers blown all over the countryside!!
For the fourteen boat fleet, it was great racing while they were able to get some in on Saturday morning.  Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET showed their transom to most, taking a 2-1-3 to win with 6 pts.  Behind them, it was a brief battle for second.  Nevertheless, it was Travis Odenbach’s crew from Rochester YC in Rochester, NY that grabbed the silver by posting a 3-4-2 for 9 pts.  Just one point back after being tied for the lead with Parker after the second race with a 1-2 was the “Scotians” from Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in Halifax.  Evan Petley-Jones led their LIFTED team down the chute in the last race, snagging defeat from the jaws of victory on the podium.  Their 7th place in the 3rd race dropped them from sure regatta leader down to 3rd overall.  Rounding out the top five were Pat Fitzgerald’s RUSH HOUR and Mike Marshall’s PIPE DREAM, in 4th and 5th, respectively.
No question, the “All In The Family Award” goes to the Constants family sailing BLITZ from Seawanhaka Corinthian YC in Oyster Bay, NY.  Onboard were Al, Dave, Steve and Mike Constants with Dave Hammand and Barbara Gold filling out their crew!
J/24 Fleet 8 in Annapolis would like to give a special thank you to Mark Hillman and Hillman Capital Management for being the title sponsor and making this special event possible.  For more Hillman Capital Management J/24 East Coast Championship sailing information

J/70 sailing Galveston Bay, TexasFun & Games @ J/Fest Southwest
(Seabrook, TX)- J/Fest Southwest Committee Chairman Al Goethe and the team at Lakewood Yacht Club (LYC) welcomed the 58 J/Teams to the 5th Annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta, sailed November 1st to 2nd on Galveston Bay. Over the weekend, most fleets were treated to 6+ races in classic Galveston Bay sailing conditions, breeze, chop and plenty of wind shifts!
There was a nice turnout for the J/PHRF and One-design fleets (J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s & J/109s). As he has done several times over the past few years, J/Boats co-founder Rod Johnstone sailed in the event as well as played host to entertaining festivities on Saturday evening.
The ten-boat J/22 class had an unexpected early eclipse happen in their fleet.  Sailing “lights out” for all six races was Casey Lambert’s team on BLACKBURN MARINE RACING, posting the obscenely low score of just 8 pts, an average of just over a 1st!  Sailing fast and learning fast was Marek Valasek, the only other boat to take any 1sts away from Lambert’s crew!  Third was Dov Kivlovitz.
As part of their Texas Circuit, the 15-boat J/24 fleet saw top competitors pull out all the stops to win the event.  It was a donnybrook for the top three boats.  Surviving the “shootout at the OK Corral” was Natalie Penner’s GIGGLES, perhaps the first time a woman skipper eviscerated “the boys” in this popular regatta.  She collected three bullets on her way to a 4 pt win.  Just behind her, the final race saw Stuart Lindow’s TROPICAL AGGRESSION win the race to also win the tie-breaker for 2nd overall against Tonja Holmes’ SIREN.  It’s a milestone in Texas J/24 racing history to see two women skippers in the top three— congratulations to both for such a terrific achievement!
The 13-boat J/70 fleet was loaded with talent from all three points of the Texas compass.  In the end, it was the talented young Taylor Lutz on ZOUNDS HEARING that also performed a near eclipse of his class, scoring two bullets and five 2nds to win class with just 12 pts.  J/70 class veteran, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, took 2nd despite the fact his team won four races!  Third was Chris Lewis’s GB, managing to take a bullet themselves on their way onto the podium.  “Good show” to Dillon YC member Kurt Vanderwall for traveling the 1,500 miles from Dillon, Colorado to take 4th overall!
The well-traveled and very experienced team on Mark and Jolene Masur’s TWO FEATHERS won the J/105 class in a closely fought affair.  Not surprisingly, just 2 pts behind them was Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY.  However, the biggest dog fight in the entire regatta may have been for the bronze in the J/105s, with FIVE (yes 5) teams all scrapping for any advantage over one another to claw their way onto the podium.  When the smoke cleared from the field of battle, all five teams finished just four pts apart!  Holy rattlesnakes, Robin!  Winning this dustup by the nail-biting margin of just one point was John Barnett’s VICI with 32 pts to take the bronze.  Fourth was Bill Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE with 33 pts after suffering an SCP (scoring penalty) in the last race.  Then, fifth yet one more point back was Alan Bates’ ZIPPITY with 34 pts.  Sailing like rabid dogs in the last two races, with each boat winning a race, were John Bell’s KINDERSPIEL 2 and Mark Young’s KILLER RABBIT.  Incredibly, both boats also had a mathematical possibility of finishing 3rd, but instead ended up tied with one another, with KINDERSPIEL 2 getting the nod on countback for 6th place!  Fun racing in these near equally matched boats!
The J/109s saw a “two-peat” performance by Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG, winning their class counting five 1st in their 7 race scoreline.  Second was David Christensen’s AIRBORNE and third was Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE.
Finally, the J/PHRF fleet was divided into Asym & Sym divisions. In the Asym Division, it was George Cushing’s well-sailed J/92 that took first overall.  Second was JD Hill’s beautiful J/122 SECOND STAR and in third was Scott Spurlin’s J/88 THRILLER.
In the Sym Division, the classic warhorses of the J/Boats line-up, it was a pair of J/27s that engaged in an all weekend-long match-race.  In the end, Chris Alk’s FOOTLOOSE took class honors, followed by Gary Trinklein’s TOCCATA.  Sailing photo credits- Andrea Todaro/ John Lacy   For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information

J/70 Rascal team- winners with Will Welles skipperTie-Break Determines J/70 Chesapeake Bay Champs
(Deltaville, VA)- The first J/70 Chesapeake Championship was held at Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Deltaville, Virginia, on November 1-2. The event saw challenging weather conditions as a cold front rushed into an offshore Low Pressure, creating a NE Gale with gusts above 30 knots and temperatures in the low forties.
Faced with large waves and heavy gusts in the Chesapeake Bay, the races were moved into the Piankatank River in Fishing Bay.  In difficult conditions, the Race Committee led by John McCarthy, got off two races Saturday before winds exceeded Class Guidelines, consistently gusting above 25 kts.  The fleet then sailed back to the Club outside the lee of Fishing Bay, facing winds over 30 kts and steep, short interval waves in the mouth of the Piankatank below Stingray Point.
The sailors enjoyed libations and southern BarBQ while licking their wounds and drying their foul weather gear.  Around dinnertime, with a numerous dire forecasts for Sunday, racing was abandoned for the following day and results and awards were presented.
J/70 sailing Chesapeake Bay champsSurviving the gear-buster were Will Welles’ crew on RASCAL and Bruce Golison sailing AFRICA.  Both teams posted a 1-2, but Welles won the last race, therefore winning the tie-breaker for first.  Third was Cole Allsop on MOXIE also winning on a three-way tie-breaker at 8 pts with Blake and Lud Kimbrough’s NOSTALGIA and Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND; they finished in that order.
In the Corinthians Division, top boat was the Kimbrough’s NOSTALGIA, followed by Ron Thompson in 2nd place and Drake Johnstone’s CAT’S PAJAMAS in 3rd place.
Said Jon Deutsch about their experience, “it was a wild day of racing on Saturday at the J/70 Chesapeake Bay Championship with the winds in the 20’s and 30’s and gusts into the 40’s by the time we were headed in.  We got two races in and ended up abandoning Sunday’s racing with heavier winds expected. For you couch-potato sailors, we got some decent video of us on HOTTY TODDY that you might enjoy!”  See Deutsch’s wild & woolly experience on the southern Chesapeake Bay here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joPSxsnpHFQ   For more J/70 Chesapeake Bay Championship sailing information

J/88 sailing fast under spinnakerLightning Fast J/88 BLUE FLASH Crushes Rum Runner Race
J/125 TIMESHAVER Third Overall
(San Diego, CA)- The first annual Rum Runner Race from Newport Beach to San Diego has now also seen the enormous potential for the J/88 in “classic” California offshore races.  In this year’s Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race, it was the “seldom seen” J/88 CRAZY EIGHTS that not only won her class but at one point was winning overall in the last 15nm of the race.  Now, with a new race and a new 75nm long course layout, the fleet of top Southern California offshore teams sailed from Newport Beach offshore to an inflatable mark stationed on “14 Mile Bank” then flew downwind to the finish line off San Diego.  The race was hosted by Balboa Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club.
In his first offshore race on the J/88, Scott Grealish’s BLUE FLASH streaked down the race course to San Diego at a 7.42 kt average to win both PHRF Division 3 as well as PHRF Overall!
In the shark-infested waters that comprise some of SoCal’s best offshore racing teams in PHRF Division 2, it was Viggo Torbenson’s gangstah’s sailing the classic offshore speedster, the J/125 TIMESHAVER, that took 2nd in PHRF Division 2 and 3rd in PHRF Overall. Not a bad outing for J/Crews on a percentage basis!
For more Rum Runner Race sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* There’s no question they start’em young down in “Oz”.  Yes, the land “down under” that is renowned for “convicts” of the 18th century evolving into a funner-than-hell place to live (like Sydney) and enjoy the great life of the outdoors along its amazing harbour and eye-popping places like Bondi Beach.  To that end, the J/24 sailors down there continue to have fun.  Now the kids themselves are getting into the act.  Here’s a J/24 video from our friends Down Under, taken during “Family J/24 Day” at Sandringham YC.  According to Dad, “we don’t get our J/24 out anywhere near as much as we would like but, when we do, we try and film something.” Click the link for an entertaining look at kids (and Mom’s & Dad’s) sailing J/24s at Sandringham YC.
J/70s sailing Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga* “Die Welt” (Frankfurt, Germany)- it seems that the momentum of J/70s in Europe are now starting to become part of the fabric of Germany’s social calendar.  After another momentous year for the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga that was founded by Oliver Schwall (a two-time Tornado World Champion), the J/70s are on a roll in Europe.  Here’s the front-page story from Germany’s equivalent of America’s New York Times newspaper:
“Sport boats of type J/70 are impetuous and fast- but easy to control. Sailors in the Segel-Bundesliga are thrilled. The manufacturer J/Boats has created a real blockbuster!
Like racehorses in the chute, the athletic keelboats have lined up. The white hull glistening aggressive in the spray. With one second to launch, then they break loose. Bow-to-bow, they  shoot forward with extraordinary power with four people on board off the start line, striving to be first at the mark. Pure sailing pleasure is seen in the sailor’s faces.  The boats- J/70s- they are true “Shooting Stars” on the water.
This past weekend, flying on them were some of Germany’s best young German sailors, sailing the Bundesliga finale in their second season in Hamburg.  It was all about “sailing fast and fun” during the season as skipper Max Rieger from Württemberg Yacht Club proclaimed, “Wow!”  That was heard from him and many of his comrades on the J/70s again and again all season.
The full name of the boat in Germany all year on everyone’s lips was: “J/70 Speedster.” It is a speedster that is known in this country simply as ‘J/70’ and its popularity is increasing by leaps and bounds linearly.  In Germany alone this year, more than 70 boats will be sold. This is a record-breaking result for a small keelboat on the competitive German boat market within a year of its introduction.
The manufacturer is J/Boats in the United States. For the international success story of the J/70 “designed in USA” there are four main reasons:  1) the good image of the American builder J/Boats, 2) the better sailing characteristics of the J/70 over competitors, 3) the J/70s ease of use and 4) the clever marketing like the partnership with the Segel-Bundesliga.
When the news of a 7-meter sporty newcomer in 2012 from the house of J/Boats in Newport, Rhode Island, people started talking about the idea, then even before the maiden voyage of the first two boats from their boat yard, there were more than 100 pre-orders- the concept had sailors already convinced on the paper. Since its premiere on the water the growing interest in the boats now exceeds the laurels again many times.
More than 700 J/70 have already been sold worldwide. Two, three decades ago, those numbers would not have been remarkable. Today they are the exclamation mark of a superior success. The hull number 701 had the Schleswig-Holstein Mittelmans Werft delivered by the end of July to the Bavarian Yacht Club.  A native of Kappeln, the J/Boats exclusive agent for Germany and Denmark know what they have on the J/70.  “It is our good fortune that we have a dynamic and hip boat,” says CEO Bo Teichmann, “the J/70 symbolizes the new desire for simplicity in sailing. The people get it, set sail and have fun. It is as if you get into a VW Golf: we know at once all the levers and buttons.”
A long waterline, a deep lifting keel, the transport and launching is just easy, and the modern carbon fiber mast are basic properties that bring the almost seven meters long and 2.25 meters wide boat its good sailing characteristics. Fittings and trim functions are clearly arranged and meaningful.
Experienced crews arrived at the Kieler Woche sailing in the Segel-Bundesliga, easily achieving top speeds of 20 knots and more. For the pleasure of 45,000 euros you get a boat, sails and trailer to go anywhere behind your car or caravan.
The German importers in Kappeln could rely solely on the strengths of the boat- as in southern Germany, where the J/70 in a democratic consultation with the clubs in the Bodensee-Sailing Association in the final against the competition boats Longtze and Bavaria’s much cheaper B/One was selected as the new Bodensee one-design keelboat class. But, Mittelmans Werft invested wisely and inspired the J/70 class success with the commitment to the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga.
“Our commitment is substantial, but worth it,” said Teichmann. Seven J/70s are sailing the first division in each league weekend. Worth the effort: Meanwhile, 14 of the 18 top-flight sailing clubs in Germany have bought at least one J/70 for training purposes for their club. Some clubs have even bought four J/70s.  They are not only training equipment for the Bundesliga sailors, but also flagships of the clubs to engage younger sailors in programs like- “Sail Now!”  It’s transforming many German sailing clubs.
While a member of the club guarantees the loan of a J/70 for the club, both members and non-members will also have the chance to sail and have fun on the boats. “With this concept, people can go sailing, which so far they have not had the opportunity to do so,” said the VSaW Vice President and Olympic Champion Ulrike Schumann.  The J/70 concept for her club means that more people will have access to the sport of sailing!
The “fun, easy sailing” has been decisive in the choice of boats, believes Schumann (she is a Segel-Bundesliga tactician and has learned to appreciate the power of this new concept). The experienced woman sailor says, “The J/70 sailboat is the perfect blend of a sports boat for experts and a well-mannered, charming boat for families.” The current Star Class World Champion, Robert Stanjek, describes the J/70 boat as “modern and fair sport boat on which every sailor can achieve their complete potential as a sailor, depending on their capability and desire.”  With the J/70, J/Boats repeated the now historic early success of the shipyard.  In 1977, Rod and Bob Johnstone conquered the sailboat market with their J/24 that Rod had built  in his garage. Bob made the start-up investment of $20,000 USD and the rest is history. The prototype “Ragtime” won races in ECYRA series and was soon spoken about on everyone’s lips. From that family project,  there were delivered more than 5,600 J/24s, one of the most successful small keelboats in boat building history.  It established the overall success of J/Boats.  Today there are more than 13,500 J/Boats at prices (new & used) between € 2,500 and € 1.5 million worldwide.
In German on Die Welt website
J/122 sailing Rolex Middle Sea Race*  J/122 sailing video and “how the West was won”, according to ARTIE’s long-time strategist/ tactician, Christina Ripard from Malta.  Here he reports on how they won the Rolex Middle Sea Race by going west and north of their competitors, drifting to gain leverage for the impending Mistral that decimated the fleet:
“This was my fifth RMSR sailing on the J/122 ARTIE and 8th together as co-skipper with Lee Satariano, a very good friend of mine. It also is my fourth Overall Win with a J/Boat- starting with 1996 on the J/105 BIGFOOT, then 2001 on the J/125 STRAIT DEALER, then 2011 on the J/122 ARTIE, then again in 2014 on the J/122 ARTIE.
I like offshore racing with my friends and family, as it’s more of an adventure and challenge, rather then when doing it professionally. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but both are demanding in terms of boat prep and individual crew contribution. All in all, they are both similar in terms of work demands and crew commitment.
Obviously when doing it as a professional one must excel in their designated role and is expected to do the job to the best of their ability, as a pro. When one does a campaign as an amateur, then another dynamic is introduced …. passion.
So when we started this year’s race, all were doing it with great passion to win as amateurs. All are good sailors but more importantly all are mariners with seamanship in their blood, experienced to handle whatever we would get.
From the start, the frame of mind on board was of a very focused team. We knew that this year our competition was even greater then ever before and that we’d have to work hard to secure a decent result.
The first leg to Sicily was a race with no overtaking zones and we found early that our main competition was OTRA VEZ (another J/122 sailed by friend Aaron Gatt Floridia with the exact same rating!), they were being sailed very well. On reaching the southeastern most tip of Sicily, the fleet was split into three main groups that were to the west, middle and east of the rhumbline.  ORA VEZ was in the middle group and us in the east group. As the sun went down the wind died for all yachts but started favoring the middle group and who quickly made large gains on the other two groups (west and east groups). After a painful two hours looking at OV disappear over the horizon we where now ten miles behind them before we finally got into the same breeze. This was a blow to us and we knew, would be hard to regain, especially as OV was sailing as fast as we were! This pushed us to concentrate hard at keeping the boat moving (only 3 knots of wind!) and at getting all the ‘shifts’ right. By morning we had closed to gap (behind OV) to six miles and were moving better then a lot of boats around us, in the light downwind conditions. By the time we got to the Messina Straits we had closed the gap to three miles and getting closer with every gybe. On exiting the straits we found a large number of yachts (approx. 70) spread wide from east to west covering a large area all trying to get the best angle to Stromboli, us still light running downwind with our A1 asymmetric and still gaining.
The leg to Stromboli is crucial and big gains can be made . . .if you read the signs correctly . . . which thankfully we did very well and calculated that we actually overtook around 60 yachts by the time we got to Strombolicio (the turning point). . .and only one hundred meters behind Otra Vez. We had gained the ten miles we lost in 24hrs!
At this stage we also knew that the next longest leg to Capo San Vito on the northern side of Sicily would be the race decider and we worked very hard (very little sleep) to keep the boat moving and head northwest for the forecasted North-Westerlies due to arrive in 30 hrs.
With good crew work and constant watch on our competition we edged forward on the fleet, albeit very slowly to gain a few crucial miles on our nearest rivals on the water. . . a TP 52, Swan 82, Marten 49 and five other larger race yachts, so that when the first little signs of the NW came we started multiplying our advantage with every minute and gained enough on Otra Vez to round Capo San Vito fifteen miles ahead and also leading all the IRC Class 3 yachts (we were IRC Class 4) as well, boat for boat! This was our winning move.
Once we rounded Favignana (the enormous rock island we leave to port to head south halfway through the race) we had 25knots TWS at 120 TWA and we started to put on the miles on our competition. The lead we had of fifteen miles translated to around 35/40 miles in front of Otra Vez and counting by the time they rounded the corner behind us.
The advantages of having a talented and experienced crew is that when we did get the breeze (40 to 50+ TWS) and large seas (8 to 10 meters) we handled the boat without any dramas and or damage, only ripping the JT out the foil twice and broaching (a few times!) plus losing our wind instrument at the top of the rig, only to settle down with our storm jib and two reefs in the main (still over-powered at times!) and be sure that we did actually finish the race. We did not have to push the boat but we were still racing and didn’t actually know at the time that we were hours ahead of all our competition.
Basically we sailed from Favignana to the finish line in 25hrs!…nearly half the race …not bad going for a bunch of amateurs!
ARTIE’s winning team was comprised of Lee Satariano, Christian Ripard, Sebastian Ripard, Tommy Ripard, Tim Davis, Mathieu Almekinders, Matt Gusman, Sam Pizzuto and Gordon Bugeja.  Great team!  If you don’t have a good team, you just won’t get through it or you will break things and when it comes down to it, this team proved excellent.”  Christian Ripard
Watch the short YouTube sailing video of J/122 ARTIE in the Med
Sailing IC24s off Bitter End YC* Anthony Kotoun wins Bitter End YC Pro-Am Regatta! Anthony grew up in St Thomas on the U.S. Virgin Islands – just 30 miles away from the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the BVI. And he will readily acknowledge that throughout his life he has regarded the skippers who were invited to compete in the BEYC’s Pro-Am Regatta as sailing’s “Hall of Fame.”  When Kotoun got the opportunity to skipper one of BEYC’s matched IC-24s in this year’s 28th annual Pro Am Regatta, he did not squander it.
His regatta began on an inauspicious note with an OCS call in the first fleet race, and a last place finish. But from that lowly spot, the former J/24 World Champion and current Moth National Champion charged straight uphill. After the 12 scheduled fleet races, with guests of the BEYC rotating through his crew list, Kotoun had climbed his way into fourth place, a single point ahead of Pro-Am veteran Dave Ullman. That fourth place standing qualified Kotoun for the event’s match racing championship round.
Dave Perry won the fleet racing portion of the Pro-Am Regatta, and quickly exercised his option to select Kotoun as his opponent in the initial round of match races. Pro-Am skipper Stephanie Roble fittingly dubbed that match, “the Legend and the Local.” Kotoun was only three years old when Perry won the first of his many US Match Racing Championships – and was just four years old when Perry won his first Congressional Cup Regatta. That obviously did not intimidate Kotoun who won their tightly contested series, 2-1.
So Pro-Am rookie Anthony Kotoun had made it to the finals of the event he’d looked up to all of his life (clearly the J/24 World Championship training was helpful!). And his opponent was Taylor Canfield – the 2012 BEYC Pro Am Champion and reigning World Match Racing Champion. Interestingly, Kotoun once coached Canfield in Optis when the two were growing up in St Thomas, so any intimidation factor was simply non-existent.
Three great match races followed in magnificent trade wind conditions, and for the third consecutive year it was a rookie who prevailed to claim the BEYC Pro Am Championship. This year the only rookie in the event was Anthony Kotoun.

J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent “blogs” written by their prolific publishers.  Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You’ll love it.
*Giant whale breaching in front of J/160 SALACIA off  Australia's Whitsunday Islands J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands.  Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination?  A giant whale!  Look at this amazing photo!
J/42 cruiser- sailing across Atlantic Ocean* Jim & Heather Wilson just completed a circumnavigation of our “blue planet Earth” in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR.  Said Jim, “The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now.  We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell ‘Painkiller’ at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles). Read more about their adventures in their  well-documented blog here:  http://www.svceolmor.com/SVCeolMor/Welcome.html
J/160 sailing offshore to US Virgin Islands- rainbow over ocean* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again!  We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR.   Alan sent us an email update commenting on their passage south this winter, “In mid-December AVATAR completed her sixth transit to her winter Caribbean home, Grand Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI (seen above)  from her home port in Quissett (Falmouth), MA.  A crew of three, Captain Alan (e.g. me), Crew Pablo Brissett and Mark Conroy, covered the 1,500 nm trip in in her best time to date- 7 Days 5 Hours, averaging 8.7 kts, that’s about 208 nm per day!  Amazing passage it was!  Rainbow at right far offshore was some of the amazing phenomenon we experienced on this fast offshore passage.
AVATAR will participate in the BVI Sailing Festival/Regatta again in 2013, where last year she won the Nanny Key Cup Cruising Class race around the Island of Virgin Gorda.  Here are some photos for you to share with the J/Community at-large.  Enjoy!”
Best, Alan Fougere/ AVATAR
Bill & Judy Stellin- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* Bill & Judy Stellin recently had an interview about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called “Retiring on the Open Sea”.  The Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ’s Editor desks. Here’s the update:
Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers’ Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety
Wall St Journal interview- Stellin's Offshore cruising/ sailing retirementThe article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— “Retiring to the Open Sea”— prompted many questions and comments from readers.  We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.
WSJ- “What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?”
Bill- “In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.
Although long-distance cruising wasn’t what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.
People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather.”
* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel’s big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand.  Their blog is here:http://www.svjarana.blogspot.com/
* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam after completion of their ARC Rally. Read the latest news athttp://www.sailblogs.com/member/shazam/.
J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world’s oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between.  Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).
–  Bill and Susan Grun on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (http://web.me.com/susangrun).  Read about their latest adventures as they’ve gotten to New Zealand- “Avante Cruises the Pacific”.
Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog athttp://www.sailmandalay.com.  Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA), then to the South Pacific and New Zealand.  MANDALAY is back in San Francisco now, and in the J/World fleet–she is available for skippered charters, private instruction, and corporate/executive groups.