Friday, November 21, 2014

J/122E Bombay Race Winner!

J/122e sitting at anchor off Bombay, India(Bombay, India)- Recently, a brand-new J/122E was delivered to her owners in Bombay, India.  That it was an enormous undertaking to simply get the boat launched and sailing would be worthy of “Sisyphian” feats of wonder and tall tales that would be repeated in many local saloons along the commercial waterfront of Bombay.  The combination of Sunil Lobo of J/India and Jim Johnstone of J/Boats Asia had to work wonders with the local Indians to offload, rig and get the boat sailing; then spend considerable time getting her up to speed. Here is the report from Jim J on the Far Side of the Pacific:

J/122e launch off Bombay, India commercial docks“Nandan (the new J/122E owner) called to say they were excited about winning their first race on their J/122E in Bombay.  The other boats were using spinnakers and his J/122 doesn’t even have one yet!  He said the next closest boat was about a mile behind him.  The breeze was about 17 knots and he was working with the targets, making sure they didn't let the boat go faster then 7.6 kts upwind.  He said that he was noticeably higher then everyone else racing and was completely thrilled, especially against a well-sailed local Nautor Swan 57.

This was quite a remarkable feat considering how it all came together in the first place.  After spending several days in the commercial port of Bombay, we were in a rush to get the boat off the docks and over to Gateway Harbor in downtown Bombay.  Facilities in Bombay are difficult, but there are options.  As you can see in this photo here, this might have been the most expensive way of handling the boat- easily the largest crane that has ever launched a J/Boat??  If you would believe it, this crane was also used for the mast installation!  You’d be amazed at how precise and accurate these crane operators are from such a high vantage point!

Nandan and friends sailing J/122 off Bombay, IndiaOverall, Nandan is very happy with the boat.  He loves buzzing his friends and sailing past them with a few knots of additional boat speed.  Since we have been doing that for the past weeks along with practicing on the boat, the activity on the J/122E has been creating a bit of a stir around the club. As a bit of a backgrounder, he owned a MacGregor 26, then a Hanse 33, and now the J/122E. He could not be happier.

The best way of explaining the experience with the J/122E in India is the smiles you see on the guy driving, Nandan and Sunil are always there!!  They loved the boat. The ease of sailing it. The power it offered and the comfort with bringing out friends to show of the new boat.

The current rig tune is set-up for about 20 knots of wind.  Average daily wind conditions in the area are between 12-17 kts in the afternoon.  Needless to say, the results speak for themselves.  Hopefully, Nandan and crew enjoy more opportunities to win silverware in the future!”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Canada Celebrating Its Sailors!

Canadian Andy Roy sailing Laser (Toronto, Ontario)- Canada was recently celebrating some of its best sailors.  Remarkably (or alarmingly, depending on how you see it all), a number of Canada’s beloved “brothers in arms” were all top J/24 alumni of some form or another over the past decade or three.  You can include in that group Andy Roy, Terry McLaughlin, Greg Tawastjerna, “Bean Pole” (Terry Neilson) and a number of other characters we should mention but may not.

Nevertheless, October marks the time of year where Canadians celebrate good harvest and fortune followed by the ever so popular Halloween, the single night of the year when candy hoarding and unusual attire are encouraged. Amidst all the seasonal traditions included some outstanding showcases by their Canadian sailors.

Olympic silver medalist Mike Wolfs continues to draw attention to his ever-growing resume of sailing success including the latest achievement of 1st place at the J/80 World Championships in Annapolis. The Star Medallist crewed on SAVASANA with helm Brian Keane, Stu McNay & Ron Weed, edging out the competitive 30-boat fleet.

The Laser Masters World Championships was hosted in Hyeres, France with 500 entrants in four different age divisions. The Canadian contingent took the event by storm with top ten performances in each highly competitive division including Peterborough native and North American Laser class President Andy Roy, who ultimately finished second!

What they all forgot, was that Terry McLaughlin just won the J/105 North Americans and taking second was another native son, Greg Tawastjerna who was tactician for Calgary, Alberta native Rick Goebel sailing his J/105 SANITY!

“LIVE” Hot Rum Sailing Report

J/105s sailing Hot Rum Series (San Diego, CA)- What fun!  You can watch a “live” pursuit race play out in real-time on the Internet courtesy of San Diego YC and the sailing teams that are participating in the famous SDYC Hot Rum Series— watch how they all did on Saturday November 8th here- http://raceqs.com/regattas/hot-rum-series.

There were dozens of J/sailors participating in the fleet of 134 boats, with 32 J/Teams (25% of the fleet!), all hoping to be the first boat to cross the finish line in this epic pursuit race format.  You never know how these things turn-out, but more than half the fun is participating and watching many of your sailing colleagues pass by (one way or another!).

How did it all shake out for the first race of the series?  Overall, Chuck Nichols’ J/120 CC RIDER took a 1st in class and 5th overall sailing an amazing race (check out their track on RaceQs.com to see how they did it).  And, Karl Pomeroy’s J/70 ZERO TO 60 took 1st in class and 21st overall.  The winner boat-for-boat was an old Ericson 35 and 2nd was an STP 65!  As always, fun and games in San Diego “pursuit-style” racing in the Hot Rum Series.

On a class basis, the two J/125s in Class 1 were 6th and 7th, respectively, Jim Madden’s STARK RAVING MAD IV and Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER.  In Class 2, behind Nichols’ CC RIDER, classmate Mike Hatch on J-ALMIGHTY took 5th and Rudolph Hasl’s J/120 HASL FREE took 7th and the Brockmann/ Laun combo on the J/120 CAPER were 9th and Peter Zarcades on the J/120 MELTEMI was 10th.  A great showing overall for the J/120 fleet.

Class 3 was, as usual, a hound dog’s collection of stuff from across the IOR, IMS, PHRF spectrum of a century or so.  While taking 4 of the top 10, 35 ft class J’s were in the middle, with Dennis Case’s J/105 WINGS in 5th, with Ed Sanford’s J/105 CREATIVE in 6th, Herb Zoehrer’s J/35 Z-Force in 7th and Dag Fish’s J/105 VIGGEN in 8th.

Behind Pomeroy’s ZERO TO 60 in first for Class 4, Dave Vieregg’s J/70 SOGGY DOLLAR took a well-deserved 2nd in class, followed by Dave Cheresh’s J/70 FLARE at 7th in class.

Check back again soon to see how the fleet does “live” on RaceQs.com in their next Hot Rum Series #2 race on November 22nd!  Watch the action in real-time here.  For more SDYC Hot Rum Series sailing information

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

J/88 BLUE FLASH Report

J/88 Blue Flash “It Was Love @ First Sight!”
(San Diego, CA)- As we covered in last week’s news, the J/88 is beginning to realize its enormous potential in offshore races in Southern California.  Having already won the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race in its class, new owner Scott Grealish just took his J/88 BLUE FLASH to both class and overall honors in the Rum Runner Race- a 75m dash down the SoCal coastline from Newport Harbor to San Diego.  Here’s Scott’s report (download PDF version here- http://www.jboats.com/images/stories/pdf/J88_BlueFlash_Report.pdf):

“Some days on the water are better than others, and racing my newly bought J/88 offshore in the Rum Runner Race from Newport Beach to San Diego was supposed to be one of the good days. But it wasn’t just our first race, it was also the first time any of the crew had sailed the boat, and only my third day aboard, so anticipation was tempered by the reality that we had no idea how the day would really unfold.

All week the forecast was amazingly consistent; a cold front would move onshore overnight before the start and bring strong 25-30 knot Northwest breeze that would last all day with seas “steep NW”, at least until the remaining SW wind waves stopped mixing with the predominant NW swell.
Interesting. At 29’ and 5000 pounds, we were certainly the smallest boat in the race, and not likely to have much company out there if things got wild.

But it was my 50th birthday weekend, and luck was going to be on our side. The forecast moderated, and by race morning, Commander’s Weather was calling for mid teens, gusting low 20’s. The Beach Boys “Surfin’ USA” started running through my head. And when we woke up gazing over the beach in Newport, the breeze was on, the waves were running, and most important for our Portland based crew, it wasn’t raining and the sun was starting to peek through the clouds. There was even a rainbow offshore. Which should have been a clue. But the shower that passed only made us smile at the Socal “rain”; the skies had been pouring for two straight weeks in Portland and we were fully acclimated. Besides, my buddy Phil from West Coast Sailing in Portland was doing a product demo of the new Zhik foul weather gear, and he was shedding water like a duck!

We weren’t smiling at the start, however, because the cloud was followed by sun and exactly zero wind. As we bobbed across the line in the first start, it wasn’t too clear whether to set a kite or a jib, or maybe just fire up the engine and grab lunch back onshore. It was starting to look like a beautiful, sunny, windless day off Newport Beach, and I started mentally writing a “feedback” email to the good folks at Commanders Weather; “Dear Sirs,  Please elaborate on the value of 20 knot forecasts on windless days....”

J/88 Blue Flash- docks at Newport BeachBut I have finally learned a little patience at 50, and Commander’s turned out to be spot on as the day unfolded. First a little breeze line came in from the NW, and by this time the big boats had started and were already beginning to creep over us. The OMRA 60 trimaran “Mighty Merloe” didn’t creep, she whooshed past in her own apparent wind, in her own private race, quickly leaving the fleet behind. Onboard our J/88, we set the Code Zero for the first time and got our first pleasant surprise of the day; we were hanging in there with the Flying Tigers, the J/124, and quite a few other big boats. The first “leg” was a 14 mile fetch, and the breeze kept building into the 10-12 knot range. We went between our J1 and the Zero, and felt happy to have our crack bowman David Aymar from Socal onboard. Dave has worked the bow on “Pyewacket” (Andrews 70) and “Bud” (TP52), and despite the small platform, he felt at home on the J/88. We were pretty happy to round just behind one of the Tigers, who owed us quite a bit of time (we rated 75 random leg course and they were 48). The other Tiger was already around and we would never see them again; they went on to take a well sailed second place overall.

Turning the corner, we set the big A2 PHRF kite figuring that the breeze would moderate and we’d need all the help we could get just to get close to home before it died completely at sunset. We also figured that was the last we’d see of the Tiger and the J/124. We were wrong on both counts. We quickly found out that the J/88 likes going downhill in 14-18 knots, and while the seas were a little jumbled, we found a groove and started seeing boat speeds of 12-14. We quickly caught the Beneteau 40 ahead, while we seemed to be hanging with the Tiger and J/124. But we had great rudder control even with our big A2 and the waves a bit more on our beam than ideal; we could stay up on the rhumb line while they fell off to leeward.

We were starting to believe the forecast at this point, so our goal was rhumb line or better yet further right, in order to stay out in pressure as long as possible before it started fading.

But then an interesting thing happened; instead of fading, the pressure came up to the 18-23 range and suddenly we were launched. Boat speeds went to solid sustained 14-16’s and I got my birthday present with the “record of the day” at 17.8! We put the Tiger and J/124 on the horizon and started catching some pretty big boats like the Swan 651 and the Santa Cruz 50. The J/88 was proving to be a weapon in those conditions with a really forgiving groove, excellent buoyancy, and to our surprise, a dry ride. Every once in awhile we’d catch a wave sideways and round a bit, but we never actually totally wiped out; she would be off again in just a few seconds. Kudos to my friend Kerry Poe (North Sails Oregon) who traded driving with me. Kerry was an Olympic level 470 skipper in the 90’s, but I most definitely have a non-sailing day job, so I’m happy to report the J/88 certainly doesn’t require “pro” level skills to be fast.

After years of watching J/125’s surfing on YouTube while heading to Cabo or Hawaii (typically on a dark rainy day in Portland’s bleak mid- winter), I found it almost surreal to be ticking off miles for hours at those speeds in a 29’ boat. Dr Laura had named the boat “Crazy 88”, a reference to a Quentin Tarantino film, but I was thinking “Easy 88”. It was fast, but no drama. We had already re-named the boat “Blue Flash”, a reference to the seldom seen blue version of the “Green Flash” (the boat is painted blue). As the sun set, we got neither green nor blue flash, but I did get another birthday present. The breeze kept blowing!

No matter how much preparation (Thank You Kenyon at JK3 and David and Will at SD Boatworks!), teamwork, and expertise you bring to this sort of sailing, there is no accounting for good luck. We knew full well that with the STP65 and TP 52 catching us in the first minutes of drifting off the start, and then disappearing for good at the turn, we would need luck to correct out in the end. As those boats finish before sunset, the typical pattern would catch us still out there in the dying breeze watching victory fading away with the light. But it was our lucky day and our conditions, and as we gybed into the last mark, we still had 12-14 knots of NW breeze and didn’t even need the Zero to fetch the last 2 miles to the finish. The gun was sweet confirmation of victory in class, but it wasn’t until later that night that we found ourselves correcting out over the Tigers, the J/125, TP52, and Rogers 46. At least on this day, she was the “little blue boat that could”.

How cool would it be to do an even longer race in the J/88 with (hopefully) similar conditions (CABO!)? Well, you’d have to be crazy to do it in such a small boat. But then again, maybe Dr Laura had the right name for this boat in the first place?”

J/88 Blue Flash owner- Scott GrealishHere are some of Scott’s impressions sailing the J/88:

Looks good, feels better!
I’ve been fortunate over the years to have owned a J/80, J/105, J/70 and now the J/88 and I’ve driven several other J/Boats including the J/111 in some breeze. I’ve always appreciated reading about the sailing impressions of others, so hopefully mine will help those considering their options. I find the J/88 so far to be an extremely well done mix of the J/70 and the J/111. The helm is great, and in flat water she feels light like a J/70, yet offshore it felt like you had the control of a J/105 (a really solid boat in a big breeze).

It’s easy to make a lower drag rudder than the one on the J/88, and I’m sure we could debate certain aspects of the design (it could be smaller, higher aspect, better tip efficiency etc.); but while others wiped out around us trying to go higher, we were able to point ourselves where we wanted to be and stay in control. I’m a big fan of rudder control in small boats without dedicated grinders etc, where the driver spends a lot of time steering to the waves and the kite isn’t always constantly trimmed (or properly trimmed!).

One-Design, Multi-Purpose
I think the J/88 benefits from the sum of many incremental changes in yacht design over the past 20 years: the hull is lighter and stiffer, the sections are finer forward and flatter aft.  The rig is taller with a higher aspect ratio that is more efficient and better in light air.  The sprit is longer which moves the kite forward helping to drive the boat and reducing interference with the main.  The keel is more efficient with better lift and lower drag (and, importantly, it is encapsulated in molded glass so doesn’t require fairing).

We had hoped she would be stiffer than the J/70 and J/80, to allow easy shorthanded family sailing.  And as a matter of fact, she does feel like a much bigger boat, again much closer to a J/105 or J/111 in breeze and waves. The interior is really similar the J/105, and for day racing it works well with room for sails, stuff, and people. Compared to our J/80 and J/70 experience, the J/88 will be much better for family outings!!  The inboard engine is a “game changer”, as is the “head” (with privacy curtain). You can go below and sit or sleep comfortably. Who cares on a “race boat”? I do. My wife and daughter go sailing to be with my son (a dedicated racer) and I, not to be in “race mode”; we want them happy!  Yet, after 21 years, my wife is shrewd enough to know that if the boys are sailing fast in a fun boat, the whole day is going to be a winner.

The purchase price is a little high for this size boat, and there are many new and used boat options (including many older J/Boats) that will give more boat for the money.  But, my experience has been that it’s the “round trip costs” that really count in the end, and resale on J/Boats is always strong precisely because they do keep making incremental and meaningful improvements in their designs that keeps driving greater demand.  I wish I could buy one of their bigger boats in some ways, but our plan has been “buy the one we can afford and just go sailing”.  Lot’s of fun so far!!”  Here’s Scott’s PDF download version of the story.   For more J/88 family speedster sailing information

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

JAVASCRIPT Wins J/80 ANYWAYANYDAY Cup

J/80 AnyWayAnyDay Cup winner (Limassol, Cyprus)- For the first time, the AnyWayAnyDay Cup was held in Cyprus on 10 newly built J/80 yachts from 30th October to 4th of November.  With the support of the Russian Sailing Federation, the Cup attracted many famous Russian yachtsmen such as Igor Lisovenko (a two-time Russian Olympian), Vladimir Silkin (President of the Russian Yachting Federation) and Russian Olympic Gold Medallist at the Sydney Olympic Games- Evgeniy Braslavec.

The format for the regatta was mixed teams, in which professional yachtsmen shared their experiences with novices. The goal of the event was to show that every person can start sailing despite of their age and abilities!

J/80 Russian sailing team- off CyprusThe event was blessed with good weather conditions for most of the four-day regatta.  Strong and steady winds up to 20 knots provided a really exciting start of races on the first day. It was a sunny and warm afternoon that made possible the celebration of the opening ceremony outside on the roof of the restaurant at the newly built Limassol Marina.   There was lots of sun and shifty 15 kts winds on the second day, making for a challenging day of racing for most teams.

During the third regatta day, races were cancelled due to lack of the wind (1-2 knots) and a rainy morning.  As a result, all yachtsmen went for a trip to see sights around the island – the birthplace of the famous Greek goddess Aphrodite and the beautiful, picturesque mountains of Cyprus!

For the final day of the regatta, everyone was treated to magnificent weather! Lots of sunshine, moderate winds up to 9 knots made the final races both memorable and remarkable for some teams!

After all the festivities and fun-and-games, the racing was incredibly close for the top four in the regatta between JAVASCRIPT, JOKER, JIBBER and JAMESON. Only six points separated the teams after nine races and, in fact, going into the last race only first place was secure, but the balance of the podium hung in the balance.  In the end, it was the Olympic champion Evgenii Braslavec (skipper) on JAVASCRIPT that took the lead on the first day and won the first Anywayanyday Cup J/80 in Cyprus! Congratulations to Evgenii and crew of Timohov Sergey, Bolotnikov Vladimir, Petuhov Alexei, Myasnikov Sergey!

J/80 Russian women's team sailing off CyprusNot to be outdone, giving Braslavec a run-for-the-money on JOKER was the 2nd place team of Vladimir Silkin (skipper) - the President of the Russian Yachting Federation! Our congrats to “Vlad” and his team of Besputin Konstantin, Zaharov Petr, Sergeev Anton, Silkin Kirill!

Literally, just meters away from the 2nd place at the finish line and, having to settle for 3rd place, was the JIBBER team of Kirill Podolsky (skipper)! Congrats to Kirill and crew of Zelensky Vladimir, Lisovenko Igor (a two-time Olympic sailor), and Bozhko Alexandr!

The balance of the top five were in 4th place JAMESON (Alexander Generalov-skipper- with Sergey Shvecov, Nikolay Kovalenko) and in 5th place JAMES BOND (Anatolii Karachensky-skipper with Alexey Krilov, Vitalii Zubkov and Maxim Kuzmin).

There was a women team from the famous Russian newspaper “Vedomosti” - Elena Nikitina, Arina Chindina, Olga Oreshnikova, Anna Semenyk (seen here) with one “token” male aboard- Maxim Duunov.

The Closing Ceremony took place in the “Yacht Club” Restaurant in Limassol Marina where the Mayor of Limassol, Andreas Christou, came to congratulate the sailors of the J/80 Anywayanyday Cup Regatta.

“Cyprus is a perfect place for sailing– it is warm, most of the time steady winds, sunny, tasty and with great hospitality!  Also, I enjoyed sailing the chartered J/80 yachts– all new, all the same, under new sails,” says Anton Sergeev – a sailor on the JOKER Team that took 2nd place!

Michael Nicholas, the director of SailFirst Sailing Club and the host club of the event in Cyprus, said “A big thank you for all organizers of the regatta and sailors. We are proud to be a host club and partner for the J/80 Anywayanyday Cup Regatta”! Nicholas also thanked other partners, such as “Communications sponsors” LENTA.RU; Russian newspaper “VEDOMOSTI”; the “Educational sponsor” MOSCOW BUSINESS SCHOOL; and the main sponsor– AnyWayAnyDay Corporation.

For more J/80 AnyWayAnyDay Cup sailing information, please contact Anastasia Marinskaya- Tel- +(357) 96392768/ email- anastasia@sailfirst.com/ www.sailfirst.com

J/70 “Storms” Mirabaud Photo Competition

J/70s sailing off start at Key West- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing.com (Paris, France)- For those passionate J/70 sailors, J/Crew and J/Lovers around the world, here’s a wonderful chance to continue to grow the momentum of not just the J/70, but “J” sailing worldwide with family and friends.

Sharon Green/ UltimateSailing.comSharon Green of Ultimate Sailing took this awesome photo of J/70s starting off Key West on the first day of racing at the J/70 Midwinters, held in conjunction with Key West Race Week 2014.  As she describes, “it was like a battalion of white sails raking the coal-black squall behind the fleet, symbolizing how the J/70 has literally taken the sailing world ‘by storm’ since its introduction in 2012.”

As the only J/Boat represented in the “Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image” contest, the “J/70 Storm” photo needs your VOTE!  Please click on this link here to vote now.

Monday, November 17, 2014

J/24 South Americans Preview

J/24 women sailors- La Punta, Peru (La Punta, Peru)- With the advent of spring sailing “down under”, the various J/24 fleets in South America and Australia are beginning to get the ball rolling in their various summer season championships as well as major events.

In La Punta, Peru, the J/24s have just started their South American Championships sailing on the Pacific Ocean along the spectacular coastline of this mountainous country.  The fleet so far has been blessed with good sailing conditions for the highly competitive fleet.

While the betting is that Mauricio Santa Cruz on BRUSCHETTA may be able to repeat as South American Champion, behind him there is no question many are expecting to challenge them enough to dethrone them for 2014!  Leading that charge should be several good local teams, like Luis Olcese’s SCARAMOUCH, Javier Arribas’ WAYRA, Matias Seguel’s GURU, Lucas Peschiera’s TIAMAT and Vernon Robert’s JOYTIA.  There is a lot of racing planned for the fleet, with the regatta starting on November 8th and finishing one week later on November 15th.  For Facebook photos & commentary on the J/24 South Americans    For more J/24 South American Championship sailing information