September 3rd, 2014

J/122 Evolution - a signature design of a unique offshore sailboat design
Fall Boat Show Update! 
(Newport, RI)- With the passage of summer now moving into early fall, the boat show season is upon those in the northern hemispheres.  Now is the opportunity to check your diary, make sure you have a day or two to wander around some of the world’s nicest sailboat shows in the world.  On the same extended weekend are the Cannes Boat Show in France, the Southampton Boat Show in Great Britain and the Newport Boat Show in Rhode Island.

First out of the box will be the Cannes Boat Show on what may be one of the hottest and coolest places on the planet to host a boat show.  Next to famous beaches, super hot nightlife and fabulous cuisine, it’s a magnet for all the coolest things happening in southern Europe.  The event marks the debut of the J/97 and J/122 Evolution versions of these two fantastic designs.  Proven cruising boats for their owners and also more than capable of bringing home the silver in both around-the-cans or offshore events.  In addition, the famous J/70 and the new J/88 family speedster will be on display.  The event takes place from September 9th to 14th in Cannes, France.  For more Cannes Sailboat Show information.

The next event to get rolling will be the Newport Sailboat Show in Newport, Rhode Island, running from September 11th to 14th.  The event marks the start of the American boat show season in the fall.  Many new models of all types debut at this event.  J/Boats models that will be on display include the J/70, J/88, J/97 and J/111.  For more Newport Sailboat Show information.

Finally, be sure to mark your calendars for the Southampton Boat Show taking place from September 12th to 21st.  On display in their debut to the European market are the J/97-E and the J/122-E, both Evolutions of excellent sailboats with stylish updates that make for even more family-friendly sailing, whether for sunset sails or weekend sailing events with friends.  In addition, J/UK will have on display the hot J/70 and even hotter J/88 family speedster.  For more Southampton Boat Show information.

J/70s sailing around windard markJ/70 Worlds Preview
(Newport, RI)- In the two and a half years since being introduced, the J/70 has not only become one of the most popular and competitive classes in the world – with 700+ boats sailing in 20+ countries – it has been chosen Sailing World’s 2014 Boat of the Year and also been designated an International Class by ISAF (International Sailing Federation).  With that kind of momentum, it is no surprise the class’ inaugural world championship – the 2014 J/70 World Championship presented by HELLY HANSEN – would see a stampede of entries for the September 8-13 competition.  Adding to the luster of competing in the inaugural worlds is the fact that racing will take place on the fabled waters of Newport, Rhode Island, where it will be hosted by the venerable New York Yacht Club at Harbour Court. In fact, supporting host, Sail Newport and team, are also looking forward to welcoming many of the world’s best sailors for nearly a week of fantastic sailing, with renowned PRO Tom Duggan leading the on-water race management.  

To say the fleet is “loaded” with talent would be a bit of an understatement.  Considering that in the last year the J/70 has overtaken mainland Europe with fantastic sailing in various venues, that South America has undergone rapid development in just months, Scandinavia has taken off, UK teams find themselves already amongst the world’s best, and Canadian, Mexican, Russian and Australian teams are rapidly moving up the learning curve, it can be said the first Worlds for the J/70 will be an eye-opener for many in the sailing world. 

As a point of reference, there are many J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80 European, North American & World Champions in the mix; then add in several Etchells 22, Melges 24 & 32 World Champions as well, plus top-ranked World Match Racing champions, America’s Cup champions as well as offshore champions from around the globe.  As one notable sage purportedly said a few millennia ago, “we live in interesting times”— no class ever in the history of sailing has attracted such a strong cross-section of sailing teams from around the world.

While there are innumerable American teams worth mentioning, perhaps its best to start with the non-USA teams sailing in Newport with championship credentials in various classes.  Amongst those top teams participating are surely Pieter Taselaar’s BLIKSEM from The Netherlands; Australia’s Tim Ryan on VAMOS; England’s Ian Atkins (BOATS.COM) & Simon Ling (Team RAFBF SPITFIRE); Brazil’s Mauricio Santa Cruz (BRUSCHETTA); Puerto Rico’s Marco Teixidor on CACHONDO; Canada’s Stu McCrea; Mexico’s Sean O’Keefe (DeCOLORES III), Diego Berho (DEMON) & Erik Brockmann (VINCITORE); Bermuda’s Chuck Millican (ELUSIVE); Chile’s Felipe Robles (FLECHA) & Juan Reid (WINDMADE); Norway’s Eivind Astrup (NORWEGIAN STEAM); Sweden’s Mikael Lindqvist (ROCAD RACING); Germany’s Juergen Waldheim (ROSAROTER PINGUIN); and Russia’s Andrey Samoylov.

Who are the top American teams?  The favorite would have to be Tim Healy sailing HELLY HANSEN, fresh off twin J/70 Midwinter Championships (2013 & 2014) and the recent win at the J/70 North Americans in Rochester, NY (plus, he’s also a current J/24 World Champion).  Nevertheless, many would throw a good dozen or more candidates into the mix, starting with past 2013 North American Champion Heather Gregg-Earl and Joe Bardenheier on MUSE; John Arendshorst’s 20/20 from Holland, MI; Jud Smith’s AFRICA from Marblehead, MA; Scott Deardorff’s CAKE from Santa Barbara, CA; Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT from Minneapolis, MN; Al Terhune’s DAZZLER from Annapolis, MD (current J/22 World Champ); Bob Hughes’ HEARTBREAKER from Macatawa Bay, MI; Trey Sheehan’s FLAT STANLEY Racing from Ohio; Rob Britts’ HOT MESS from St Petersburg, FL; Craig Tallman’s JAYA from King’s Harbor, CA; Jen & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY from Annapolis, MD; Tim Molony’s JOUST from Southern YC; Jim Cunningham’s LIFTED from San Francisco YC; Kerry Klingler’s MENACE, from Cedar Point YC; Martie Kullman’s NEW WAVE from St Petersburg, FL; Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE; Will Welles’ RASCAL;  Peter Duncan’s REACH AROUND; John Brim’s RIMETTE; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA; John Aras’ SCHOOL’s OUT; Mark Ploch’s SUGAR DADDY; Peter McChesney’s TROUBLE; Dave Ullman’s US 32; and Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD.

Local favorites include Suzy Leech (Jamestown, Rhode Island).  Leech, having gained an international reputation as a top competitor via Olympic and America’s Cup campaigns, is a former “bow chick” who has moved to the back of the boat.  She will steer the only (as of press time) all-woman entry: JUNKANOO RACING.

“A few years ago, I lost my motivation to be on the bow,” said Leech citing the cold, wet and physicality of that critical team position.  “I was looking for a boat that I could race in a competitive fleet, yet also be able to take out with my husband and 7-year-old daughter.  The J/70 has turned out to be the perfect boat for me.”

Anticipating the top-level helms she will be up against, Leech is hoping to be in the top 20% of the fleet.  She will race with champion dinghy sailor and match racer Elizabeth Kratzig of Miami, three-time Olympian Annemieke Bes of The Netherlands, and another experienced local, Newport’s Chafee Emory who was a member of the Melges 32 winning team at the 2014 Key West Race Week.

“We are again sailing with an all-female crew, as we did in Key West. That makes us significantly lighter (roughly 100 lbs.) than most other crews which could be a disadvantage if it blows over 15 knots as it can at this time of year.  But I really enjoy sailing with my friends.  I love the camarad
erie, and it doesn’t hurt that most of my friends have been, or are currently, coaches and are patiently improving my helming skills.”

Leech admits that the hardest thing to learn has been how to start in a big fleet. “You can’t get coached in those few seconds; you have to really do it yourself because there is no time to wait for directions … your hole will be gone. Only time in the boat and lots of starts will help make up for all my years not driving, but for now, I just try not to start on some great boat’s hip.”

Leech also feels there is not a significant home-court advantage for local teams.  “Newport is a very neutral venue, as long as you are sailing outside on Block Island Sound. There are a few general weather patterns that local knowledge may help with, but even those are not set in stone, and can often catch you unprepared if you rely on them and don’t keep your head out of the boat.  If we race up the Bay then tides become a major factor – and local knowledge could make the difference.”

In addition to the overall awards, there will also be trophies for the top family teams (the Legacy Award presented by Torqeedo) and for top woman skipper (the Helen Johnstone Memorial Trophy).

The J/70 World Championship committee is grateful for its support and sponsorships from HELLY HANSEN, North Sails, Harken, Marlow, Southern Spars, Triad Trailers, Newport Storm Brewing Company, Performance Sail Tool/ Seadek, and Torqeedo.  Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal.  For more J/70 World Championship sailing information

J/70s starting at Rolex Big Boat Series50th Rolex Big Boat Series!
(San Francisco, CA)- No doubt this year’s 50th Rolex Big Boat Series will be a time for celebration and reflection.  A fixture of the West Coast offshore and one-design racing circuit for a long enough period of time that 2-3 generations of sailors will be enjoying the festivities shoreside as well as the amazing sailing on San Francisco Bay.  The “Big Boat” series has evolved with the times, going from the days of IOR Maxi’s (think KIALOA, BLACKFIN & ONDINE) to masses of J/70s, J/105s, J/111s and J/120s criss-crossing the straits in front of Alcatraz Island.  

With over 100 boats participating in this year’s event, the fact that 43 are J/Teams is no coincidence (over 43% of the fleet!).  The combination of fast offshore racer-cruisers and strong one-design fleet participation developing over the past decade has meant that many more sailors with a broad spectrum of talents and interests are participating in Bay sailing— most of them on J/Boats!

J/120s sailing in Rolex Big Boat SeriesIn recent years, the stalwarts of big boat one-design offshore sailing in San Francisco have been the J/105 and J/120 fleets.  Renowned for having close-quarters racing at every single turn on the race course, both fleets have seen the top teams all exchange class leadership (and winning Rolex Submariner watches!).  The J/120s will have Steve Madeira’s MISTER MAGOO, Barry Lewis’ CHANCE and Timo Bruck’s TWIST holding up the “legends” torch for this year’s competition.  However, up against them will be several new teams challenging the old guard, including Yasuhide Kobayashi’s JULIAN crew from Tokyo, Japan, Tom Grennan’s KOOKABURRA team from San Francisco, Dave Halliwill’s PEREGRINE from New York, and Ludovic Milin’s SAETTA from Redwood City.  

The J/105s have the largest single fleet in the event with 18 boats (bigger even than the Farr 40 Worlds!).  Notably, all past J/105 winners are participating, amongst them are Bruce Stone (ARBITRAGE), Scooter Simmons (BLACKHAWK), Shannon Ryan/ Rolf Kaiser/ Ken Turnbull (DONKEY JACK), Phil Laby (GODOT), Adam Spiegel (JAM SESSION), and Jeff Littfin (MOJO).

J/111 one-design sailboats rounding markLast weekend, the J/111 class had a shoot-out in St Francis YC’s Aldo Allessio Regatta.  While it could be said the winner of that regatta, Roland Vandermeer’s BIG BLAST!, could be the favorite for the RBBS, there’s no question there are many pretenders to the throne in this 8 boat class.  Which team will rise to the top this coming weekend, Gorkem Ozcelebi’s DOUBLE DIGIT, Dorian McKelvy’s MADMEN, Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS, Mike Stimson’s BLAST I, Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG or Rob Theis’ AEOLUS?  Time will tell in this fleet.

The J/70s on the Pacific Coast have had a great summer of sailing.  And, many are looking forward to topping off that season off with a 15-18 kts starboard tack blast reach from Sausalito Bay to the Treasure Island green bell on the final Sunday classic- the “Bay Tour”, ducking Alcatraz Island along the way.  If there was ever a more memorable leg of sailing, that would have to rank amongst the best ever for most J/70 crews in last year’s J/70 fleet debut in the “Big Boat Series”!!  Not forgetting that epic sailing occasion are Frank Slootman’s LITTLE HAND (winner of that particular race), Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER, Pete Cameron’s PRIME NUMBER and Tom Jenkins/ Eric Kownacki’s DFZ.  Joining them for more fun in the sun and flying around in 15-25 kts breezes will be Geoff McDonald’s 1FA, John Brigden’s COOL STORY BRO, Justin Kromelow’s LOOSE LUCY, Chris Andersen’s PERFECT WIFE, Tom Thayer’s RAMPAGE, Kermit Schickel & Patrick Carroll’s THE ONCLER and Dave Brumlik’s WHIPPET!

In the offshore side of things, fresh off crushing the Pacific Cup, Greg Slyngstad’s outrageously fast (and smart) Seattle, Washington crew on the J/125 HAMACHI will be back at it hoping to establish further primal supremacy amongst other handicap boats in the IRC/ ORR/ HPR world.   Sailing photo credits- Rolex/ Daniel Forster.  For more Rolex Big Boat Series sailing information

J/70s sailing New York YC USQS off NewportNew York YC USQS Preview
(Newport, RI)- The 2014 New York YC U.S. Qualifying Series for the 2015 NYYC Invitational Cup is taking place this weekend.  With 22 teams hoping to qualify for the top spots for next year’s event, the sailors will have to demonstrate they know how to sail high-octane, one-design J/70 speedsters over the course of a four-day regatta.  Starting on Wednesday, the teams will be rotating through Sonars and J/70s on an elimination basis.  For the last two days, the top teams will be racing J/70s in the Championship Fleet to determine the ultimate winners and qualifiers that will be sailing the 2015 event.  

Over the course of the summer, each yacht club that has been “invited” to this qualifying event has been hard at work on crew work and hoping their teams “gel” in time to put on good performances in Newport this coming weekend.  One of the leading teams, Eastern YC’s Billy Lynn, hopes to repeat their previous performance to qualify as a top team— their win in the J/70 class in last week’s Marblehead ONE Regatta may improve their prospects.  Lynn will be up against a host of other top college All-American and J/70 teams, including Brian Keane’s Beverly YC crew, Stu Hebb’s Coral Reef YC team, Jamie Cummiskey’s Indian Harbor YC crew, Mike Menninger’s Newport Harbor YC gang, Ryan Glaze’s Rush Creek YC team and Shawn Bennet’s San Francisco YC crew, amongst many other very talented teams.  For more New York YC US Qualifying Series sailing information

J/70s sailing Lago di Garda, ItalyJ/70 Europeans Update
(Lago di Garda, Italy)- What are you waiting for!?  The world’s best sailing on one of the world’s best freshwater lakes!  Guaranteed winds morning and afternoon in the 15-20 kts range with a setting that many consider to be one of the most picturesque anywhere— verdant green, tree-laden cliffs diving right into the waters on your starboard tack layline, rolling pastures of goats, vineyards and late summer snows in the distant Italian Alps glistening in the background!?  Exquisite, cozy little villages, cafes that encompass all the best Italy has to offer- tasty bruschetta, delicious pastas, insalata caprese, yummy wine.  You simply cannot imagine a better place to be at the end of summer, the warm, loving Italian hospitality is simply to die for!  

By the way, the first J/70 Europeans is getting closer and for those teams who have not made their final decision to travel to Riva del Garda, Italy, now is time for “last-minute” boarding!

At present, we have twenty-seven entries from eight European countries (Austria, Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Netherlands & Russia) and we are still missing some of the most representative Europeans Teams especially from North Europe.  We invite more friends from the UK, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands to join us for fun in the sun in Italy!

The Club Fraglia della Vela, the J/70 Italian Class, and Italian Sailing Federation (FIV) are making all efforts to offer the warmest and most friendly welcome to all J/70 sailors.  Plus, we can promise the best organization on this marvelous spot of water in the Italian Alps, were wind is never missing!

We are getting ready to provide you with great social events taking place at Fraglia della Vela Club House, with the typical hospitality of our lovely Trentino Region, were food and wine are famous and so good!

Furthermore, we are working on incredibly generous Awards and nice gadgets for your boat, in order that you will have a great memory of your sailing at the first J/70 Europeans.  Our sponsors Toyota – Alcatel Onetouch – Gill – Hann Spree – J/Boats Italy will be providing some amazing “gifts”.
Do not forget that the J/70 European Championships will be a qualifier to enter next year’s J/70 Worlds 2015 in La Rochelle, France!

With Fausto da Prè, the famous Club Fraglia della Vela PRO, responsible for all marks setting, they have tested new courses on both shores of the Lake, technically valuable inputs with the local winds experienced on Lago di Garda- the “Ora” from North and “Peler” from the South. Sailing upwind will definitely be more open and competitive. Downwind sailing will be so fast, you’ll need good eyes and goggles to find the leeward mark!!

Accommodations in Riva are easy and convenient and Matteo Reboli at Fraglia della Vela will offer his assistance to help you to find the best solution for your requirements- from villas, to local bed & breakfast inns to campgrounds.

To J/70 sailor friends, the YC Fraglia della Vela awaits to take care of you in the best way possible on our beautiful lake at Riva del Garda!  Please contact Paolo Boido at- or cell# +39-33-56885005

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide

The close of the August holiday in Europe always brings with it an interesting cross-section of events.  While many of the largest Euro-events have already taken place towards the beginning of the month (e.g. Travemunde or Cowes Race Week, amongst others), many equally important ones are also taking place.  The French hosted the next stage of their J/80 Coupe de France at Club Nautique de Pornic along the famous Bay of Biscay, great racing for all and some surprising outcomes!  Across “La Manche”, the British sailors were enjoying one of their late summer-time classics- Dartmouth Race Week, sailed off the beautiful headlands of the Dartmouth Moor.  Then, one of the world’s leading yacht clubs, the Royal Yacht Squadron  of Cowes, Isle of Wight, Great Britain, hosted the inaugural J/111 World Championships on the famously tricky waters of the Solent.  To say the J/111 sailors LOVE  “the Castle’s” hospitality and remarkable stewardship of the event would be an enormous understatement (note- “Trish the Dish” may be a U.K. Prime Minister nominee!).  

Over in the Americas, several events took place from coast-to-coast that demonstrated yet again that the broad cross-section of J/Cruisers to J/Racers could more than “have their cake and eat it, too”!  Starting out East, the Stamford YC hosted their famous Stamford-Vineyard Offshore Race for IRC and PHRF offshore racers. While last year “the kids” won it all, you’d be amazed to hear what happened again this year!  Not far away, the Conanicut YC in Jamestown, Rhode Island hosted their annually famous “Round Island” race, an event that can be equally serious racing as it’s a celebration of fun, family & friends.  A 20nm jaunt around Narragansett Bay is always a wonderful way to enjoy time with loved ones for the weekend.

Out in the broad expanse of America’s Prairies (several thousand square miles- about 3x larger than Europe), the sailors in the Great Lakes (the world’s largest freshwater supply anywhere) enjoyed a few “sprints” that criss-crossed Lake Michigan alone. The late summer “sailing party/ festival” that is known, simply, as the “Tri-State Race”.  For many it has become the “Bi-State Race”.  That a J/88, J/111 and J/133, amongst many other J/Teams enjoyed the experience should be a good indication that it’s “bucket list” material for anyone who loves fast reaching races in “sweetwater”!!

Not to be left out, the West Coast contingent (e.g. “the left coast”), had more than their fair share of fun sailing the St Francis YC’s Aldo Alessio Regatta.  While it may not be famous worldwide, it does have its roots in recruiting (encouraging, perhaps?) sailors back in the 1960s/ 1970s to get out on the water and sail “with friends”.  Old Man Aldo, the regatta’s namesake, would be proud to see today the J/111 One-Design fleet on San Francisco Bay having a BLAST- literally!

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:

Sep 6-7- J/105 Canadian Nationals- Toronto, Ontario
ep 8-13- J/70 World Championship- New York YC- Newport, RI
Sep 10-14- J/80 North Americans- Annapolis, MD- Annapolis YC
Sep 11-15- 50th Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA
Sep 11-14- J/30 North Americans- Riverside, CT
Sep 12-14- J/80 German Nationals- Glucksburg, Germany
Sep 19-26- J/24 World Championship- Newport, RI
Sep 20-21- J/70 West Coast Championship- Newport Beach, CA
Sep 24-27- J/70 Europeans- Riva del Garda, Italy
Sep 25-28- J/80 Italian Nationals- Loano, Italy
Sep 25-28- J/105 North American Championship- Toronto, ONT
Sep 26-28- J/Fest San Diego- San Diego, CA
Sep 28- Oct 5- J/80 World Championship- Annapolis, MD
Oct 10-12- Lorient J/80 Open- Lorient, France
Oct 24-26- J/105 Masters Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 24-26- Seattle Grand Prix Regatta- Seattle, WA
Oct 30- Nov 2- French J/80 Nationals- La Rochelle, France
Oct 31- Nov 2- J/105 Lipton Cup- San Diego, CA
Jan 18-23- Key West Race Week- Key West, FL

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

J/111 SHMOKIN JOE teamSHMOKIN JOE Crowned J/111 World Champion
(Cowes, England)- Day five of the J/111 World Championships dawned with a clear sky, low temperature and no gradient wind. The forecast was for 5 knots at 1030 rising to 8 by noon. The overnight leader SHMOKIN JOE owned by Duncan McDonald and Phil Thomas had a strong enough score that if one or less races were sailed the trophy was going home to Brighton with them.  The Royal Yacht Squadron’s race team made their best efforts, but after two hours of studying a glassy sea, PRO Simon van der Byl took the popular decision to draw the regatta to close. With ten great races completed, SHMOKIN JOE was declared first ever J/111 World Champion; a fitting follow-up to their terrific victory at the J-Cup held earlier in the summer at Royal Southampton YC.  There trip to the top was not an easy one, in fact it followed a somewhat tortuous path until one amazing string of races on the third day.

The conditions all five days of racing were challenging, to say the least.  Many Solent veterans were amazed to see how each day played out for tactics and strategies; with many commenting on the extremely shifty and “streaky” breezes.  

Day One:
After the first day of racing, the British teams took an early lead.  The day dawned with a forecast of light and fickle breeze.  The first start was scheduled for 13:00, the race got under way on time in 6 knots of wind, but was abandoned after a short period as the wind faded. The restarted race one resulted in a general recall and the subsequent use of the Z flag.
J/111 rounding mark at Worlds in Cowes, EnglandIn a shifty West to North Westerly, the fleet were led to the top mark by Stuart Sawyer’s BLACK DOG from Falmouth closely followed by Cornel Riklin’s JITTERBUG.  Clockwise rotation of the wind turned the first run into a slightly one-sided affair resulting in a repositioning of the windward mark for leg three. BLACK DOG found more snakes than ladders whilst Tony and Sally Mack’s McFLY did a super job of working her way to the front of the fleet to win the first race. Taking a very useful second place was JITTERBUG with Hamble based Chris Jones and Louise Makin bringing JOURNEYMAKER II home in third.
The shifting winds made the job of PRO Simon van der Byl and his team, dig deep into their reserves of patience before race two got away again in less than six knots of wind.
Beating toward the Calshot shore the fleet had to deal with a fight between the Southampton Water orientated gradient breeze and a South Westerly that advanced and receded several times. Early leader MCFLY fell foul of the transition dropping from first to a finishing place of sixth. JITTERBUG kept their nerve and took the win, whilst SHMOKIN JOE made great use of Lee on Solent high street to single their way round the pack to finish second. Cool heads helped Andrew Christie and Chris Body’s ICARUS to the final podium spot.
Overnight the lead table was JITTERBUG on 3 points, SHMOKIN JOE on 6, McFLY on 7, JOURNEYMAKER II in fourth with 8 points and Fred Bouvier’s French team on J-LANCE IX holding fifth with 10 points.
J/111 Jitterbug planing at 17.5 kts across SolentDay Two:
The bigger breeze definitely arrived for the second day of racing, much to the delight of all the sailors hoping for some planing conditions criss-crossing the Solent.

The morning race was a windward-leeward starting in the region of Fastnet Marine Insurance mark to the east of the Bramble Bank. The race was started on time in 12 knots of wind from 250 degrees, this matched the forecast. The Dutch boat SWEENY of Kees van Vlift won the pin and was first to reach the strong ebb tide on the south side of the course. Series leader Cornel Riklin’s JITTERBUG stepped even further into the tide and by dint of this and with perhaps better speed led around the top mark, followed by SWEENY, J-LANCE IX and McFLY.
An early gybe to seek tidal relief took the fleet back across the North Channel to the leeward mark. The second beat saw the wind increase to 18 knots placing some strain on the code one jibs. JITTERBUG took the win followed by BLACK DOG in second place, McFLY took third holding off the Dutch pairing of XCENTRIC RIPPER and SWEENY.
The second race of the day, race four in the series, was scheduled as a longer distance race of 21 miles. The course was an extended windward-leeward from Fastnet Marine in the eastern Solent to the Quod Possumus mark near Lymington, with a few realignment reaches thrown in.
J/111 XCentric Ripper sailing in Worlds off Cowes, EnglandHaving seen the advantage gained by a pin end start in race three, there was quite a pile up at the pin perhaps exacerbated by a left hand shift. In the melee the bowman from J-LANCE IX fell over the side but was recovered very quickly and SWEENY’s wind instrument went flying. Protest flags were flown and some were seen undertaking penalty turns, thirty seconds before the start five or six boats flipped onto port at the other end of the line. JITTERBUG was again the first to show at the front, however as the breeze increased she seemed to suffer and gently slipped down the rankings, being passed by McFLY, Robin Verhoef and John van der Starre’s XCENTRIC RIPPER and David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM before the fleet cleared Cowes. At the first mark Gurnard, MCFLY had a handy lead and set off on a 110 degree fetch to Seven Star buoy on the Lepe shore.
There then followed a long beat up to the Quad Possumus mark near Lymington, most followed McFLY out into the deep water utilizing the last of the ebb into what was now a solid 18-20 knots true, which with the tidal enhancement meant most were now sailing at the top end of their code two jibs. J-DREAM was reveling in the conditions and rounded Quod Possumus in third behind McFLY and XCENTRIC RIPPER.
A short run to West Lepe mark saw the fleet split strategy with some running as deep as possible straight to the mark and others sailing in hot mode on two reaches. The hot mode was faster but did lead to control problems with one fairly hefty collision between a broaching boat and the boat that was just to windward. A 104 degree fetch across to the Salt Mead mark on the island side of the Western Solent saw the two boats involved in the collision retire to lick their wounds. A final beat to Hampstead ledge saw McFLY extend further, XCENTRIC RIPPER held onto second, SHMOKIN JOE had clawed up into third, J-DREAM was now fourth just ahead of JITTERBUG.
There was again a split strategy on the final run home in what was now a favorable easterly running tide. The brave sailed with three sails at the hottest possible angle gybing numerous times and sailing at 15 knots plus of boat speed in a solid 20 knots of wind. The more conservative sailed deep and in the interests of keeping their boats under control gybed only once on the six mile leg.
The boats blasted across the line in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron with McFLY securing the gun with a very handy lead, having given a master class of strong wind sailing.  XCENTRIC RIPPER held onto second, this team definitely enjoy a bit more breeze than they had yesterday, third was SHMOKIN JOE, J-LANCE IX having passed four boats on the run by sailing in fully arced-up J/70 mode took fourth, relegating J-DREAM to 5th.
After four races, McFLY and JITTERBUG were equal on 11 points, SHMOKIN JOE remained in third on 16 with XCENTRIC RIPPER moving up to fourth.

J/111 Journeymaker II sailing Worlds off Cowes, EnglandDay Three:
“Whatever those guys are Shmokin I want some!” said an unnamed European tactician at the end of day’s racing in Cowes, after Phil Thomas and Duncan McDonald’s SHMOKIN JOE had stunned the fleet with three bullets.
The day dawned overcast and autumnal with a forecast of 15 knots of north westerly wind. The start line set from Jonathan Perry’s Storm Trader was again adjacent to the Fastnet Marine Insurance mark on the north shore of the Solent.
The first race of the day, race five of the series, was started in 15 knots of wind from 275 degrees. An abundance of adrenalin coupled with a strong weather going tide resulted in a general recall, this was of great benefit to Stuart Sawyer’s BLACK DOG who were so far on course side, some thought they were on the delivery trip home!
At the
second start, under black flag, most got away clean, some who infringed were off to do turns. The wind had shifted hard at the start, causing all to tack onto port, this favored those on the left, including Chris Jones and Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II, Jamie Arnell’s JEEZ LOUISE and SHMOKIN JOE. Most were surprised to see regatta leader Cornel Riklin’s JITTERBUG take the stern of the fleet several hundred metres behind.

First round the windward mark was JOURNEYMAKER II, followed by JEEZ LOUISE, SHMOKIN JOE, XCENTRIC RIPPER and then the Dent family on JELVIS. Surprisingly, JITTERBUG was last.
SHMOKIN JOE gybed early and blasted down the run to move into the lead, a huge 30 degree right shift made the next beat one sided, SHMOKIN JOE having found real pace extended to lead JEEZ LOUISE and JOURNEYMAKER II round the windward mark for the final time.
Race six commenced in 10 knots of wind from 315 degrees, the wind more aligned with Southampton Water. BLACK DOG held up a pack of boats at the committee boat end, leaving more space for those at the pin. J-DREAM made a great full pace start at the committee boat end. SHMOKIN JOE, McFLY and JEEZ LOUISE went left whilst the French on J-LANCE IX split right.
J/111 Shmokin Joe sailing upwindAt the first cross SHMOKIN JOE were in the lead, a position they maintained until the end. Second to arrive at the top mark was JEEZ LOUISE, unfortunately they were on port tack and perhaps misjudging the pace of the boats arriving on starboard, they charged in with neither space or nor rights, this resulted in some crash avoidance maneuvers from J-LANCE IX and J-DREAM, followed by JEEZ LOUISE taking a penalty.
With a right shifting breeze the leeward marks had been realigned, SHMOKIN JOE led J-LANCE IX with JITTERBUG in third. SHMOKIN JOE sailed a great beat sailing straight up the north channel, taking the tidal benefit and went on to win the race quite handily.  At this point, SHMOKIN JOE now led the regatta.

Race seven, the final one of the day, was started in 10 knots of wind from 307. Course setter Tony Singer increased the length of the beat to 1.6 miles on a bearing of 315. The day had warmed up nicely and most had discarded jackets as the risk of rain appeared to have passed.
BLACK DOG started on port on the right hand side of the line, but once again the left paid as a left-shifting breeze made it a one-sided drag race to the top of the course.  Sure enough, SHMOKIN JOE came smoking up the left side of the pack; even the boats that had to re-round the pin end were ahead of those that had started at the committee boat end.
J/111s sailing under spinnaker at Worlds in Cowes, EnglandWith the wind shifting right in the final quarter of the beat, the first boats onto starboard were McFLY and XCENTRIC RIPPER, crossing behind the leaders from the left. First to round mark one was SHMOKIN JOE followed by JOURNEYMAKER II and JITTERBUG.  BLACK DOG’s excursion to the right cost them dear as they rounded in tenth. JITTERBUG and JOURNEYMAKER II gybe-set and headed for the mainland shore whilst the rest of the pack sailed down on starboard and at some stages looked as though they might lay the gate without gybing. Arriving at the gate SHMOKIN JOE led and rounded the left-hand mark, JITTERBUG in second chose the right hand mark. Once again, it was a fairly one-sided drag race upwind, in the final third SHMOKIN JOE tacked across on a small shift only to become the wrong side of a huge right shift dropping them to fifth at the final weather mark rounding.  JITTERBUG shot the mark to round in the lead; J-LANCE IX was second followed by JOURNEYMAKER II in third.
SHMOKIN JOE sailed a tremendous run sailing almost dead downwind with great pace, rumors that this was a result of a malfunction in the steering system were strongly denied by helmsman Duncan McDonald. This low and fast mode brought them through to second where they split gates with J-LANCE IX who were leading.  With one final cross before the finish line and SHMOKIN JOE, as the give way boat preparing to duck, J-LANCE IX tacked, but SHMOKIN JOE’s momentum carried them through to take the win by a whisker!  Amazing!  Three bullets for SHMOKIN JOE, having turned a five-point deficit into a six point lead, now counting 12 points.  Behind them, McFLY moved ahead of JITTERBUG on 18 and J-LANCE IX were top non-British boat in fourth place.
J/111s sailing off start at J/111 Worlds in Cowes, EnglandDay Four:
The fourth day was always going to be of massive importance, the last of the three-race-days with just two final races to be sailed Sunday.
The first race of the day, the eighth of the series, was started from the vicinity of Bart’s Bash buoy to the east of the Bramble Bank in the Solent.  The race began in 8 knots of wind from 313, the forecast was for 10 knots with some expecting the wind to diminish after lunch.  Fred Bouvier’s  J-LANCE IX was first to flop on to port, within two minutes the whole fleet was on port. First to the windward mark was McFLY, followed by JITTERBUG.

By mark three, J-LANCE IX had assumed the lead and sailed on to take their first win of the series and moved into the top three. Second was Hans Zwijnenburg and Kees van Vilet’s SWEENY, third McFLY and fourth SHMOKIN JOE.
After the committee boat repositioned itself 500 yards north, race nine was started in 16 knots of wind. As most days this week the sea-breeze had enhanced the gradient to outperform the forecast. After the start, most of the fleet headed left and those furthest left gained, as the fleet headed to the windward mark on the Bramble Bank. Series leader SHMOKIN JOE was first to round followed by JITTERBUG, BLACK DOG & JEEZ LOUISE. On the second beat JITTERBUG went hard right towards the Lee-on-Solent shore whilst SHMOKIN JOE hit the left.  When the fleet reconvened at the windward mark, SHMOKIN JOE had extended their lead with JEEZ LOUISE & J-LANCE IX following.  SHMOKIN JOE took their fourth bullet to further consolidate their lead.

The wind had reduced to 10 knots for the start of race ten. The first attempt resulted in a general recall, thus the black flag made its first appearance of the day. It would be unfair to describe the fleet as cautious in this start with early arrivals bailing out at the pin. The fleet split on the first beat with SWEENY, BLACK DOG, J-DREAM and JEEZ LOUISE heading left. SHMOKIN JOE sailed right up the north channel with possible tidal advantage whilst J-LANCE IX and JOURNEYMAKER II went up the middle and JITTERBUG went hard right.
Again, the left paid, JEEZ LOUISE rounded with a big lead followed by BLACK DOG and J-DREAM. J-DREAM did a great job of running low on the next leg and assumed the lead by the leeward mark. The next run saw a big shift to the left leaving the left pack reaching in, J-DREAM held her lead and thus took her first win of the series.
And that is how it all went down for the first J/111 World Championship.  The rest, as they say, is now history.  At the end of Saturday’s racing, SHMOKIN JOE had 22 pts, McFLY took second with 30 pts, the ever-improving French team on J-LANCE IX took third with 33 pts, BLACK DOG’s Cornish team was fourth and JITTERBUG ended up fifth.  

The 2015 World Championships will be held June 17th in Newport, Rhode Island. At a lively owner’s meeting held on Saturday night, there was tremendous interest from the European teams in competing at that event. With 112 J/111s built in the last three years, this class has shown that it has a bright future.
For more J/111 Worlds sailing information- visit the Royal Yacht Squadron website

J/122 Patriot sailing with American YC Junior Big Boat TeamJ/Teams Triumph In Vineyard Race
(Stamford, CT) – Stamford Yacht Club’s Vineyard Race is a classic American yachting event, a 238-mile offshore course stretching from Shippan Point east, through swirling currents of the famous “Race”, past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard’s Bay, to return leaving Block Island to starboard to the finish in Stamford Harbor. Begun in 1932, it has attracted the finest sailors and fastest boats for nearly 80 years, and its intricacies and challenges bring them back time after time. 96 boats entered this year’s race with a number of J crews dragging off bags full of silverware and pickle-dishes for their kitchens (or trophy cabinets).

Sailing the classic Vineyard Course were a combination of IRC, PHRF and Double-handed classes.  In the Class 6 IRC Double-handed fleet, Hewitt Gaynor’s J/120 MIREILLE took first followed by Jason Richter’s J/35 PALADIN in fourth. In Class 9 IRC, the J/109s dominated the top five, with Jim Vos’ SKOOT in 2nd, Bob Siegel’s PAX 3 in 3rd, Chris Nicholls & Cao Deambrosio’s RHIANNON III in 4th and Eric Kamisher’s BLUE RIDER in 5th.  In the large Class 12 IRC, the J/teams dominated their division, taking 7 of the top ten.  Winning was HL Devore’s J/44 HONALEE, followed by Peter Becker’s American YC Jr Big Boat Team sailing the J/122 PATRIOT (note- they won this division last year!).  Fourth was Joerg Esdorn  & Duncan Hennes’ J/44 KINCSEM, 5th was Len Sitar’s J/44 VAMP, 6th was Dan Heun’s J/122 MOXIE, 7th was John Pearson’s J/122 RED SKY and 9th was Paul Milo’s J/122 ORION.  Finally, in Class 13 PHRF, the two J/120s took 3rd and 4th, respectively, Steven Levy’s EAGLE and Marcus Cholertown-Brown’s SUNSET CHILD.

The shorter Seaflower Reef Course also saw J/Teams take their fair share of the loot.  In PHRF 4 Class, Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN was first.  And, in PHRF 5 Class, Marc Berkowitz’s J/105 CLEAN SLATE was third followed by Paul Zajac’s J/105 SKAL in fourth.   For more Stamford Vineyard Race sailing information

J/80 sailors at Pornic Cup in FranceJ/80 ATLANTIS Ices Pornic Cup France
(Pornic, France)- As one of the sailors in Pornic described the regatta on the first day, “the 2014 edition is a big party under a big sun with 21 crews from all over France!”  Sailed over a three-day weekend, the Club Nautique de Pornic rolls out the red carpet for the J/80 crews partaking in their next edition of the summer-long J/80 Coupe de France.  After winning the first three races on the first day, it became readily apparent to all teams that Herve Leduc and friends on ATLANTIS (Jean Yves Jaffrezic, Benjamin Diouris, & Jose Vazquez) were well-prepared and were sailing fast and smart— they never let off pressure on the gas-pedal, winning by a comfortable 13 point margin.

The first day saw four races sailed in simply ideal sailing conditions- flat water, steady 8-15 kt winds from the southwest and a strong current following the same axis as the breeze.  While ATLANTIS won the first three races, Ludovic Gilet’s JACUZZI took the fourth race.  Ending up second for the day and valiantly trying to maintain second place with a steady 3-2-3-6 record was Franck Vallet’s CABINET BROUILLON LASSALLE sailing for the host CN Pornic.  Also, showing flashes of brilliance was the women’s team on J80 AU FEMININ skippered by Christelle Philippe, posting a first race DSQ, but closing strongly with a 7-2-2.  The day ended around pizzas and beers offered by the Club Nautique de Pornic.

J/80 one-design sailboats off FranceThe second day was the perfect sequel to the first day, in fact a near carbon-copy!  More flat water, winds of 6-10 kts from the WNW and shifty- a treat for savvy tacticians!  It was nice enough to get in four more races, much to the delight of all the sailors.  It was a great race committee, an amazing team of volunteers and the “picnic” shrimp Thai buffet and delicious chardonnay from the local vineyard was greatly appreciated by all!  A special mention was made of the J80 AU FEMINIM women’s sailing team, not only for their friendliness, but for their beautiful demonstration of sailing skills and tactics to earn a commendable 6th overall (they’re planning on participating in the J/80 Women’s Cup later in the season). 

Behind Leduc’s fast and savvy crew on ATLANTIC, Vallet’s CABINET BROUILLON LASSALE maintained their second place with 30 pts.  Marc Noesmoen’s TEAM VENDEE climbed back into third place to finish with 34 pts and take third, narrowly beating out George Kick’s team on NAVIGATLANTIQUE in fourth with 35 pts.  Fifth was Adrien Mouillon’s APCC TJM team, followed by the women’s crew on J80 AU FEMININ.   Sailing Photo credits- Sandrine Vallet and more on their Facebook sailing page:   For more J/80 Pornic Cup sailing information

J/111 sailing San Francisco BayJ/111 BIG BLAST Nukes Aldo Alessio
(San Francisco, CA)- Three days of tight racing with an offshore buoy ocean combo made for a superb weekend during the 2014 Aldo Alessio Regatta hosted by the St Francis YC this past weekend. With nine different courses that would take the fleets out to Point Bonita twice on Friday, beginning with a flood for the first rounding in 12-15 knots, and then switching to a boisterous ebb with 15-18 outside the Gate and much more inside. The fleet, sailing course 5 would leave Harding to starboard, then Alcatraz to port, then down to the red number four buoy east of Point Blunt before sailing back uphill to Blackaller before finishing in front of the StFYC.  The weather and wind conditions made for fabulous sailing.

In the IRC Handicap class, Zan Drejes helped pull together a team that included Tom Siebel (owner of the MOD 70 ft trimaran ORION) to compete on a borrowed J/125- Andy Costello’s DOUBLE TROUBLE.  “We really loved the course selection,” said Zan, “It kept crews on their toes and always something interesting. We didn’t sail on Saturday because Tom had other things on the schedule, but Sunday’s race was fun too, with the ride out to Point Diablo and then below Alcatraz, back up to Yellow Bluff, back to X down to 21 again then up to Blackaller before the finish, was great.”

J/111 sailing under spinnaker on San Francisco BayIn the ever-competitive J/111 Class, no boat had a bigger comeback than Rob Thies’ J/111 AEOLUS, which had a couple snafus during the first trip out the Gate on Friday and was at the back of the fleet as they headed towards the first leeward mark, but was in third when the fleet re-entered the Bay on lap 2.  “We had some hiccups early and the breeze was light, which did not allow us any opportunities on the first lap. But when things picked up a bit, we were able to reel in boats that had trouble with the building breeze and big bay ebb,” alluded AEOLUS crewman Bryan Edwards.

AEOLUS’ owner Rob Thies said, “the Aldo races were great and weather was fantastic. First, we didn’t have our regular crew for the Aldo race and several substitutes, therefore execution and workflow was not exactly in synch. We had many good things happen (like – Race 1 in first place, then spinnaker problems put us in last place and then had to climb back up to finishing in 3rd place), but it was largely a disappointment for us over the weekend. Second, I think the fleet is progressing very well. All the other J/111s have stepped their execution on boat-handling. The fleet is very competitive overall and with strong racers. And, third, we would LOVE to see more boats participate for RBBS!!”

Roland Vandermeer’s BIG BLAST was able to reel in Dorian McKelvy’s MADMEN to claim 1st in Fridays Double Bonita Race, and 3 bullets in Saturday’s Buoy races and a deuce on Sunday’s Bay Tour finale enabled them to win the seven boat J-111 division.

Taking second in the 111s was Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG, winning the tie-breaker over MADMEN by virtue of winning the last race of the series on Sunday.  Fourth was Theis’ AELOUS and fifth was Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS.  Sailing photo credits- Erik Simonson-

J/88 team wins Chicago Tri-State or Bi-State raceJ/88 Smokes Chicago Bi-State Race
(Chicago, IL)- An estimated 700 sailors and crew members sailed the into St. Joseph on Saturday on the first leg of this year’s Tri-State Regatta.  The race, which sails from Chicago to St. Joseph overnight from Friday into Saturday, from St. Joseph to Michigan City, Ind., on Sunday and from there back to Chicago on Monday, has been conducted since the 1940s.

Terry Deegan, fleet vice commodore for the St. Joseph River Yacht Club, said earlier this week that 115 boats were registered for the first leg of the race.  Pam Bower, one of the event organizers, said the events all day Saturday at the St. Joseph River Yacht Club will be held “rain or shine.”  The yacht club pool was open to the public all day. Plus, the big bonus on Saturday night was the band “P.S. Dump Your Boyfriend” that performed for everyone- for free!  No wonder, Saturday in St Joe is billed as “The Best Regatta Party on the Great Lakes”!

J/88 blast reaching with Code Zero and jib/staysailFor the 50.5 mile race of Leg 1, the forecasted thunderstorms that loomed to the south never materialized over the lake for most of the night without a single drop spilled on anyone. The light show stayed onshore far to the south, but provided the sailors with a steady 14-16 kts with gusts upwards thereof. The steady southerly meant a swift race for many.  The interesting, wet ride was probably on the new RAMBLER – the J/88 owned by Ben Wilson. Wilson took the lead ahead of a lot of local St. Joe talent right out of the box from Chicago.  According to Rich Stearns, a crew on board, “Friday night race was 15 to 22 knots fetch which turned into a tight reach. We struggled a bit when it was really tight; we had to catch another boat’s wake for an hour. But when the wind just went back 10 degrees off we went!” They ended up winning PHRF Class 4 as a result.

On the way back for the Bi-State Race (now the biggest leg since many boats from Chicago elect not to go to Michigan City, Indiana), the fleet saw the same weather conditions but lighter from the south-southeast. The wind shifted aft more on port gybe as the fleet headed across the lake on Sunday from St Joe to Chicago.  According to Stearns on the J/88 RAMBLER, “once we could put up the code 0- sayonara, baby, never saw our fleet again”.  Sailing quite well in PHRF 2 was the J/133 RENEGADE, taking 2nd in class as well as the J/111 WOOTON taking third place.   For more Chicago Bi-State Race sailing information

Early J-Sprit designs at Royal Dartmouth RegattaA MAGIC Dartmouth Week
(Dartmouth, England)- Regattas have flourished along the English south coast since the early 1820s, with Dartmouth being recognized as a key player on ‘the regatta circuit’ since 1822. The dramatic cliffs around the mouth of the River Dart (The Range) form a beautiful natural theatre with many vantage points from where the sailing races can be easily seen. Since 1822, The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta has grown extensively – it now offers an extraordinary mix of high-class competitive sailing and rowing, with a plethora of diverse social events and activities.

Dartmouth Week is coordinated by the three sailing clubs on the River Dart – Dartmouth Yacht Club (DYC), Dittisham Sailing Club (DSC) and Royal Dart Yacht Club (RDYC) – with all three clubs being represented on The Joint Regatta Sailing Committee (JRSC). The combined expertise and resources of the three clubs enables us to organize an exciting and rewarding event for dinghies, yachts and keelboats.

J/105 sailing Dartmouth WeekDartmouth Week 2014 began with dinghy racing from 23rd to 26th August within the River Dart. From the 28th to 31st August were four full days of racing, for all classes of yachts and keelboats, in Start Bay. The Big winner in IRC 2 Class this year?  It was the spectacular J/35 BENGAL MAGIC sailed by Jim Chalmers from Weymouth SC taking 1st overall. Third was Peter Tyler’s J/105 NEILSON REDEYE.

In the Sportsboat Class, Joe Woods sailed his J/70 RED to six straight bullets to win class by a country furlong. Second was Darren Roach’s J/80 JACKAROO with 12 pts net, followed by Nigel & Alison Banford’s J/70 HIPHOP in third with 16 pts net.  Fourth was Jeff Knapman’s J/70 LIFEDGE and fifth was David Goulden’s J/80 JOE BLACK!

J team enjoying Dartmouth week sailing offshoreThe J/109 Class had 12 boats.  Top dog was Ian Mackinnon’s TIGH SOLIUS II, winner by just exactly 1.0 points!  Second was Tony Dickin’s JUBILEE followed by Paul Griffiths’ JAGERBOMB in third.  The balance of the top five were Angus McPhie’s WAVE WARRIOR in 4th and David & Mary McGough’s JUST SO in 5th.

The J/24s also showed up “en masse” as a one-design class (within an IRC Class— more on this in moment).  The 24s produced an infamous winner in the form of John Gorman on ITALIAN JOB.  He was unashamedly followed by Hugh Conway’s JAXXXIVA in second and the exotic trio of Savage/ Rogers/ Greenhalgh in third (is that an accountancy firm or a bunch of whigs on the London High Court?!).  

As if that weren’t enough J/Teams wasting away some great classes, the “Small Non-IRC Yacht Class” was just about crushed by all of the aforementioned J/24s!!  Three of the top five.  Aaagh.  Hard to believe they aren’t banned altogether!?  Seriously, a 35 year old design should have at least a few zillion minutes of “age credit”, don’t you think?!  Even the original had a porta-potty mounted on the port side and a sink to starboard with four bunks in just 24 feet of boat!?  By definition, the J/24 is a cruiser and the J/70 a sporty-boat?   Sailing photo credits- Mike Wynn-Powell   For more Dartmouth Sailing Week sailing information

J/44 Gold Digger sailing off Newport, Rhode IslandJ/109 PICANTE Hot In Round Island Race
J/44 GOLD DIGGER Flies Platinum Class
(Jamestown, RI)- Annually attracting a fleet of 100+ boats over America’s “Labor Day” holiday weekend, the Conanicut Yacht Club’s “Round Island Race” ranks right up there with many of the classic around island events.  With the standard course for most boats presenting a nearly 20nm challenge, usually clockwise, around Conanicut Island, the fleet enjoys a picturesque tour around Narragansett Bay and an opportunity to traverse beneath two magnificent bridges- the Jamestown Bridge to the west and the Newport Bridge to the east.  

Competitors this year were confronted with somewhat grey, overcast skies in the morning with a nicely developed SSW gradient breeze that, ultimately, was reinforced with awesome sailing conditions later in the afternoon when the clouds broke like magic over the smaller boats in the fleet finishing later in the afternoon.  

Two of the more notable achievements on Sunday’s memorable race were Rob Salk’s J/109 PICANTE winning PHRF H Spinnaker class and fellow Conanicut YC member, Jim Bishop, winning aboard his famous J/44 GOLD DIGGER, taking PHRF J Spinnaker division.

As for the rest of the J crews, there were many notable achievements.  In PHRF A Non-Spin, 3rd in class went to the J/24 TENACIOUS sailed by Bob Iriye from Newport YC.  PHRF B Spinnaker division saw its top five swept by J/24s with line and handicap honors going to Mike Hill’s OBSTREPEROUS, followed by Henry Lane’s FAST LANE, Maggie Borden’s HEFFA, Larry Buckley’s POTATO and Tim Pennington’s ISLAND BOUND.

The Class C was J/22 One-designs, won by Matt Dunbar’s WHARF RAT, followed by Bill Porter’s USA 1533, and Neil McDermott’s KONA.  

In PHRF D Spin, Jim Cornwall’s J/35c SUGAREE took second in class.  Then, in PHRF E Spin, the J/30 RHAPSODY sailed by class veteran Bill Kneller was 2nd, followed by Stephen Russell’s J/34 FIRST BORN in 5th.  The PHRF G Spin division saw a good outing by the J/92s SPIRIT, skippered by EC Helme into 3rd on the podium.

As mentioned above, the PHRF H Spin was taken by the Rob Salk’s J/109 PICANTE, followed by Brooke Mastrorio’s J/109 URSA in 4th and Paul Grimes’ J/35 BREAKAWAY in 5th.

While PHRF J Spin was won, appropriately, by Jim Bishop’s J/44 GOLD DIGGER from host Conanicut YC, Fred Van Liew’s performance on the J/111 ODYSSEY to take 3rd has meant his J/111 has just about gotten a podium finish in every major regatta they have sailed in their 2014 summer sailing season!  For more CYC Round Island Race sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Heather Gregg-Earl- J/70 sailor and owner of MUSE* Nantucket Race Week inspires perspective on global picture– this annual summer event is a nine-day experience that brings the entire Nantucket community together in a fun-filled week of regattas, awards ceremonies, and parties. Over the course of the week, there are 15 race events that provide sport for everyone from young dinghy sailors and families in the household one design to grand prix racers at the very top of their profession.

Skipper Heather Gregg-Earl won the IOD Celebrity Invitational Regatta, with Robbie Doyle as her celebrity tactician, raced in IOD International One Design class boats. Her victory also earned Nantucket Race Week’s overall “Best Performance in a One-Design Class” presented by Stacee Mahoney, Regional Manager, Porsche Cars North America. Hearing of the award, Heather commented on the mission of Nantucket Community Sailing, which the Celebrity Invitational and other NRW activities help sustain:

“Bringing sailing into kids lives is such a wonderful and valuable initiative – and after having had a son experience the world through sailing this summer I wanted to share a quick story.

My 11 year old son had the opportunity to go to the Opti Europeans in Ireland and also to spend 10 days in Israel beforehand training with the Israeli National Opti Team.

I flew the 4 US kids over to Tel Aviv, which was before the conflict erupted, but had to return while they stayed. They got out the day before the airport closed and had a wonderful time. My son came back to tell me the story of having sailed on the Sea of Galilee, then on the Med, his local host family, his time living on a kibbutz, the Hebrew words he learned, and then with great big eyes, he told me “mom, there is a place called Gaza!” (as if no one knew about it, very cute) and proceeded to tell me they had to go into a bunker at midnight when they stayed with their local family.

He grew up a lot this trip and it really hit me that this experience was all possible because of his sailing.

While many kids may not pursue sailing at the national/international level, the principles are all the same. Independence, making new friends, teamwork, camaraderie, confidence, and a desire to experience the world and the sea with different eyes, the work NCS does in bringing sailing into kids life’s is, in my book, life changing.

Thanks to Nantucket Community Sailing for all it does to make sailing accessible to all.”

Nantucket Race Week is hosted by the Nantucket Yacht Club and the Great Harbor Yacht Club to benefit Nantucket Community Sailing (NCS), a non-profit, educational organization that provides affordable access to sailing and water sports to the public. Now in its 20th year, NCS served over 2000 sailors last year, providing free equipment and instruction through many community outreach programs, including sponsoring and coaching Nantucket’s High School Sailing Team, offering scholarships to year-round island youth, running informal sailboat races for all levels and teaching adaptive windsurfing and sailing clinics for disabled athletes.

Giant whale breaching in front of J/160 SALACIA off  Australia's Whitsunday IslandsJ/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.

* J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands.  Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination?  A giant whale!  Look at this amazing photo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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