Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New J/97 Previews at Paris Show

With the launching date of hull #1 slated for Feb/Mar 2009, J/Europe pulled out all the stops to create a J/97 “Preview” display at the Paris Boat Show. The sleek navy hull with finished deck (sans interior) was displayed alongside the J/109 and J/122. The preview party continues in January at the London Show while production of the new design gets into full swing in Olonne Sur Mer, France. website

Thursday, December 4, 2008

J Boats Leadership Award

At the annual J/44 awards party held at New York Yacht Club last month, Jim Bishop of New York, NY was presented the 2008 J Boats Leadership Award by Jeff Johnstone, president of J Boats.

Behind every successful one-design there's a person that's the glue, the visionary, the life of the party,” said Johnstone. “Since 1989, Jim Bishop has been that person for the J/44 Class.”

Under Bishop’s presidency, the J/44 class achieved an unprecedented one-design start for the 1994 Bermuda Race and has continued the streak of continuous class starts through 2008. In the mid 90's, the J/44 class introduced an innovative sail-rotation program where the fleet buys class sails in bulk and rotates them between boats for the inshore buoy events, in order to reduce overall ownership costs and provide for very competitive racing.

It’s been a real team effort,” said Bishop while accepting the award. “We have a great group of owners who are fully committed to the class. It doesn’t seem like a lot of work when you’re having as much fun as we do.”

The J/44 Class turns 20 in 2009.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Testimonial - Buying a New J/105

Chris & Carolyn Groobey have been racing their J/105 JAVA in the very competitive Annapolis fleet on Chesapeake Bay for over 10 years. Last summer, after reviewing all of their potential boat options, the Groobeys decided to trade in hull #58 for a new J/105. Sailing writer Carol Cronin recently spoke with Chris to get his take on the new boat and the continuing success and appeal of the J/105 class.

JB: What was the original inspiration for buying your first J/105?
Chris: I owned a Tripp 26 with a co-owner. We each got married and wanted a one design race boat that was dual purpose. Over the years the J/105 has turned into more of a full-on racing program for us, and now we travel with the boat to Key West and Block Island Race Week.

JB: What is it about the class and boat that you like most?
Chris: We’ve made friends around the country as a result of this boat. That’s why we chose to stay with the J/105 when it was time for a new boat. We looked at the Melges 32, but it was too pro heavy. We appreciate the sail limitations and limitations on pros in the J/105 class and really like that we don’t have to travel, as we have one design racing every weekend. For our season-ending regatta this weekend in Annapolis we have 22 boats signed up. The fleet’s still very strong, which is really amazing. Best of all, there’s a great bunch of people in the fleet and we all like each other.

JB: Why buy a new J/105?
Chris: It’s our old boat with a new car smell. Our old boat was built in 1993, and it was time to move to a new boat anyway. J/Boats started talking about a new boat from a new builder, and they asked current owners for ideas about what options should be standard, etc. I was involved from the beginning, and we were certainly aware of US Watercraft’s reputation and confident we were going to get a great boat. So even though we’d never seen one, we were confident enough to make the commitment. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the high build quality.

JB: How long have you had it, and how much have you sailed it?
Chris: The boat was delivered in early September. We’ve been racing every weekend since then except the Annapolis Boat Show, where the boat was on display. The switch from the wheel to tiller has created a little bit of a learning curve, as I haven’t steered with a tiller for 10 years!

JB: Tell us a little about your team/crew.
Chris: The core crew is Carolyn and me and friends we’ve sailed with for years. Peter Scott and I have raced together for fifteen years. Linda Ambrose, another great friend, is a regular. In our local Fleet 3 we have a head count rule in addition to weight rule that allows for four men and two women. That’s an attractive family friendly rule that other fleets are considering. We’ve never sailed with pros.

JB: What was your best finish in the old boat?
Chris: Our goal at Key West was always the top ten, and we made it once. Usually we finish in the low teens. In recent years we’ve been sailing less since our lives have been crazy, and other programs have become more serious so they’ve passed us by. Goals with the new boat are similar: top five for local high point. We hope to sail Key West next year, and finish in the top third. One nice thing about the new boat is that it’s raised our excitement level again.

JB: Anything you’d like to add?
Chris: Please put in a good word for US Watercraft, and especially Ken Comerford of Northpoint Yacht Sales, the J dealer in Annapolis. Everyone was extraordinarily helpful in getting our boat up to speed, and it was a great buying experience.

J/105 website

Thursday, November 13, 2008

J/80 One-Design Racing in China

Eight teams from eight countries participated last week in the first International J/80 Invitational Regatta in Xiamen, China hosted by J Boats Asia and J World Xiamen. This marked the first ever J/80 one-design event in the Pacific Rim.

Team Belgium captained by Barry Hayes and skippered by China’s Olympic Yngling skipper Song Xia Qun won the five race no-throw out series over Team Hong Kong, Team Singapore and Team USA. Other countries included Philippines, France, China, Taiwan, and Australia. Sailors enjoyed the use of brand new J/80s right off the production line of J Boats’ new Asian builder, Hudson Yacht Industries of Xiamen. Jeff Johnstone of J Boats was on hand to measure boats and run the sailors (most of whom were new to the J/80) through a pre-regatta speed clinic.

“We couldn’t be happier with the turnout and the high quality of the competition,” said Jeff Brown, president of J Boats Asia and the event chairman. “Xiamen is a beautiful sailing venue and the perfect location to launch a new J World sailing school (pictured to the right) and the J/80 Asian class. We look forward to welcoming new students when the school officially opens in 60 days and to hosting even bigger J/80 events in the future.” Results & Info

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chestress 2 Wins Middle Sea Race

Giancarlo Ghislanzoni and his J/133 team scored a victory in Class 3 and a second place Overall in the 2008 Rolex Middle Sea Race recently completed in Malta. This race around the Island of Sicily dealt ever changing conditions this year, including code 0 reaching, 3.5 knot head currents, light air running, 300nm beat upwind in a short chop with breeze and tons of thurderstorms... Giancarlo reports:

"We made it!... We raced every minute as if we were sailing around the cans, fighting for the overall podium and trying to defend from the rest of the class, who were recuperating under more favorable winds. In the end it is a result that we could only dream of. After the 4th overall at the 2006 Giraglia and first overall in the 2007 and 2008 Tre Golfi, the two other main off-shore regattas, our beloved J-133 and her blue asymmetrics are becoming quite known in the Med." results. Congratulations to the entire Chrestress crew for a great race and season!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Introducing Two New J/s for 2009!

The new J/95 (31.2') not only sails in as little as 3' of water, it will sail circles around other modern "pretty" retro-daysailors, all the while in complete comfort and control. Standard carbon mast, retracting centerboard, wheel steering, optional cockpit dodger, removable transom storage and many more unique features will set this new J/apart. It's a boat that solves the problem of draft for many waterfront home owners to extend immediate access to keelboat sailing and fun right from the backyard dock! We've posted some info here at the J/95 web site. For the most up to date information contact your J/dealer, or visit us at the Fall boatshows.

Across the Atlantic another new J/Boat is under development for debut at the 2008 Paris Boatshow. The J/97 (31.6') is the first J in over two decades under 32' to combine 6' headroom and family cruising accommodations in a high performance, easily driven hull. With the handling ease of an asymmetric spinnaker and non-overlapping headsails, the J/97 promises to be one of J Boats' most versatile designs yet under 35' to fit the needs of today's sailing families, both young and old alike. More info for the new J/97 is posted here and we'll have more to share at the boatshow as well.

With fuel prices through the roof and the unused family motor boat becoming more like a permanent extension of the dock, now is a great time to go J/sailing!

Friday, September 19, 2008

J/122 is RORC Yacht of the Year

Philippe Delaporte’s PEN AZEN was recently named the 2008 Yacht of the Year by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Delaporte was recognized for his ‘outstanding racing achievement… and in particular for his sportsmanlike approach, Corinthian spirit and the support he has shown his fellow competitors.’ What a great way to cap off a second straight winning season.

Delaporte, a multiple J owner who helped launch the J/80 class in France, sent the following email report:

“This year was very good for us. We just finished the RORC season and we are more than happy with the results. We won the season’s overall, our class and a total of 6 annual RORC trophies:
- Best Overall IRC
- Best IRC 1
- Best Overseas Yacht
- Best Series-produced Yacht
- Special trophies for events 3 and 4

We raced 9 regattas including 2 long distance races from Cowes to Madeira and back that are 1,480 miles each. Both of them with strong winds. On the way to Madeira we got 30 knots upwind with gusts up to 46 knots during 3 days. 5 boats only arrived and we win overall. We won our class 7 times and finished second the 2 others. In short a full success. Pen Azen has now sailed 11,000 miles and we are very happy with her.”
RORC site

Thursday, September 18, 2008

J/122 Repeats at Rolex Big Boat Series

Dave Kirby of Manhattan Beach, CA sailed his J/122 TKO to a second straight win at the Rolex Big Boat Series hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. Racing in IRC C division, TKO notched 5 bullets in 7 races, finishing 9 points clear of a custom Wylie 42, followed by a Sydney 38 and Tim Fuller’s J/122 RESOLUTE. The J/122 continues to demonstrate her racing versatility with impressive results in light air, heavy air, inshore and offshore venues.

On the heels of just hosting the 2008 J/105 North American Championship three weeks earlier, the J/105 fleet fielded another 30+ boat fleet and Phil Perkins aboard GOOD TIMIN’ took the title followed by Tim Russell's AQUAVIT (Belvedere, CA) and Scooter Simmons (Belvedere, CA) on BLACKHAWK. The SF Bay J/120 fleet also saw competitive one-design action with Barry Lewis (San Francisco) on CHANCE edging out Steve Madeira's MR. MAGOO for the victory.

At the closing ceremony it was announced that US-IRC selected St. Francis Yacht Club's Rolex Big Boat Series for 2009 IRC National Championship to be held September 11-14. Event website

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New J/105 Champion Crowned

Scott Sellers and his crew on DONKEY JACK emerged victorious at the 2008 J/105 North American Championship held recently on San Francisco Bay. With 5 bullets, two 2nds, two 3rds, and a 7th, Sellers along with crewmembers Rolf Kaiser, Eric Ryan, Geoff McDonald, Cam Geer and Ted Conrads managed a 23 point victory over GOOD TIMIN (Dave Wilson/Chris Perkins) who finished 2nd. St. Francis Yacht Club played host for the highly competitive 36 boat fleet and managed 10 championship races over 4 memorable days. Even the I-flags and 2 mile beats couldn’t prevent the 15-20 boat simultaneous mark roundings seen in several of the races. San Francisco Bay delivered a glorious final day of racing with the starting line off the west face of Alcatraz and the fleet racing along the famous city front.

Rounding out the top five were Tim Russell on AQUAVIT followed by BLACKHAWK (Scooter Simmons) and RHYMENOCEROUS (John Horsch). For 2009, the North Americans moves east with the event scheduled for October 29-November 1 at the American Yacht Club in Rye, NY. Results

J/44 wins NORT honors

After finishing 2nd in class and 6th in fleet in the Stamford Vineyard Race last week, Lenny Sitar’s J-44 VAMP was named the overall winner of the 2008 Northern Ocean Racing Trophy presented by Stamford Yacht Club. VAMP is the first J Boat to win this prestigious trophy, based on a series of grueling races that has historically been dominated by larger boats with names like BLUE YANKEE, BRIGHT STAR, CARRERA, etc.

For 2008, the NOR Trophy was based on combined results under IRC in the Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race, Newport-Bermuda Race, Around Long Island Race, Ida Lewis Distance Race and the Stamford Yacht Club’s Vineyard Race. VAMP won her class in the Block Island Race and Newport to Bermuda and was 2nd in class in each of the other events. With 20 years experience racing in the competitive J/44 class and the 2007 Long Island Sound Distance Racing trophy (Windigo Cup) under her belt, VAMP and her seasoned team were dialed in!

VAMP tactician A.J. Evans attributed their success to great crew chemistry as well as little things, like “no freeze dried meals….breakfast served all day!”

We’re pleased to congratulate the entire VAMP team of: Lenny Sitar, A. J. Evans, Skip Smith, Lynden Kibler, Tom Colucci, Doug Lanthier, Brian Purdy, Jason Braunstein, Neil McLaughlin, Nate Fast, Bill Sitar as well as Bjorn Johnson, Adolf Haffenreffer, Kit Will, Gary Martin, and Alex DeWitt for a job well done!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fisher wins 2008 J/22 Worlds

Rochester, New York . . . . Greg Fisher of Annapolis, MD prevailed over 103 other J/22 teams from around the globe at the J/22 World Championship in Rochester, NY. Sailing with wife JoAnn, Jeff Eiber and Sarah Paisley, Fisher finished 17 points ahead of Anthony Kotoun of the Virgin Islands and 30 points ahead of Phil Wehrheim of Rochester, NY who finished third. Fisher was also the victor at last year’s J/22 North American Championship.

“It was such a thrill to be able to win a huge regatta with 104 boats and great sailors from other countries,” Fisher beamed. Multiple nations were represented at the championship, including the Netherlands, South Africa, France, the Virgin Islands, Canada and the United States.

Racing began on August 20 and concluded Sunday with variable breezes of 5 to 10 knots. The Rochester Yacht Club did a stellar job of getting 10 races completed over a five day period, and all this with 104 boats starting together on one line. Rounding out the top ten were: 1) Greg Fisher, 2) Anthony Kotoun, 3) Phil Wehrheim, 4) Chris Doyle, 5) Bill Hardesty, 6) Peter McChesney, 7) Jim Barnash, 8) Todd Hiller, 9) Rob Johnston and 10) Allan Terhune, Jr.

Visit for complete results.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

104 J/22s on One Starting Line

The J/22 Class celebrates its 25th birthday this week at the Ultimate Marine Group J/22 World Championship, taking place in Rochester, New York, USA from August 20-24. 105 teams are competing, representing sailors from across the United States, nearby Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa, France, the Virgin Islands and other countries. Host Rochester Yacht Club plans to start the fleet on one line with 2007 champion Mark Sadler of South Africa given the near impossible task of defending his title.

Visit for daily updates and results.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

2008 Skandia Cowes Week

J owners were out in force (accounting for 10% of the 900+ entries) at 2008 Skandia Cowes Week, the pinnacle event of the UK sailing season. Most impressive was the record 39 boat turnout in the J/109 class, the third consecutive year that the J/109s have sailed as a class. Add to that the 23 boat J/80 class, the “J/Sprit” class loaded with J/92s and J/105s, and the various J’s sailing IRC, and Cowes Week was like a J owner rendezvous!

In J/109 action it was former UK National Champ, ZELDA (Ben Richards & Michael Ewart-Smith) who put on the show, winning 5 of 7 races to capture the title over Matt Boyle’s SHIVA, last year’s Cowes Week winner. The J/80 class made a splash with two major awards received. First, Chris & Liz Savage of SAVAGE SAILING TEAM won the J/80 class and were additionally awarded the Overall White Group Trophy for most outstanding performance (200+ boats). The Skandia Young Skipper's Trophy for the top performing yacht skippered by a young person under the age of 25 was presented to 21-year-old Sebastian Ripard sailing his J/80 AGAINST MALARIA.COM.

Six J/122s sailed within in the 42 boat IRC-2 fleet. The J/122 JOLLY JOKER (pictured above), skippered by Rodolphe Marchais of France, topped the J/122 fleet and finished 3rd overall in class. J/122s took 5 of the top 12 spots. In more J Sprit action, Duncan McDonald on his J/90 JOE showed jets with five bullets to capture the J Sprit class over the J/92 J’RONIMO and J/105 JEOPARDY. Cowes Results Pictures by Rick Tomlinson

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

J Rendezvous DownEast

The J Rendezvous DownEast in Camden ME was a great success with 24 boats participating from a J/28 to a J/46. Everyone got prizes. Gary Bennett was the first legal finisher, won the Masters Trophy for top skipper over 65 (among 7), the Top Dog trophy for the 150 lb. black Newfoundland named Miles aboard and was sailing the oldest boat, a 1985 J/35. Peter & Carol Willauer got the Far Horizon's Trophy for their live-aboard exploits over 43,000 miles in 8 years. Pete duPont's J/124 WARBRIDE was awarded the prize as being the most prolific with a family crew with 9 aboard. The Naturalist Award for the most eagles, ospreys, seals, and dolphins sighted was won by INDULJENCE with a score of 73. Eagles counted twice, but the big counter was a small island with 52 seals. And, to demonstrate that "rubber-necking" to spot wildlife was not a major hindrance to speed, Sandy Mackey drove the boat to the top Female award (among 4) as well. The skippers of the J/124 SEA LOFT and J/34c SAMVARO were at the helm in their first race ever. Frank & Libby Simon's J/100 took the prize for the most senior crew, rumored to be in their 80's. All goes to show you that you're never too old to fall in love and boats have a way of living up to their names. SMITTEN is right on! Spirit of the "relaxed nature" of the event goes to Heidi Welch in the J/28 AQUILO, who decided to kick back and enjoy the afternoon, after leading the fleet for half the race.

East Coast Yacht Sales, the J Boats dealer, sponsored the event with their Camden office head Tom Babbitt serving as host and Kendra Muenter of J Boats coordinating the overall event. A tent was pitched on the grounds of Wayfarer Marine for a cocktail reception on Friday night with boats rafted along the floats below. Designer Rod Johnstone cruised up from Newport in the first of the new J/105s. To underline the versatility of this tweaked creation, he and wife Lucia were off for two weeks of cruising aboard... complete with a rail-mounted charcoal grill and fiberglass Dyer sailing dinghy.

Saturday morning was foggy, gray and calm... not very promising for the planned afternoon sailing event. The morning seminar program included: John Gass of Wayfarer Marine, Ben Ellison (SAIL and Power & Motor Yacht electronics editor) and Nick DeMaria of Blue Maple Systems on electronics; Win Fowler of Maine Sailing Partners on seamanship and cruising sail design; and Scott Harris of East Coast Yacht Sales on "Keeping your J looking new."

A 13.3 mile pursuit race was scheduled for the afternoon. The idea of a pursuit race is that handicaps are assessed at the start with the fastest boats starting last so, in theory, all boats finish at the same time. The course was through Gilkey Harbor, leaving Seven Hundred Acre Island to port and return to Camden. 29 minutes separated the start between the slowest rated boat, Heidi Welch sailing the J/28 AQUILO and the fastest rated boat, Peter Van Alstine's J/44 STOLEN HOUR, complete with kayaks lashed to the deck. The start was in such light air that it took most of the boats about a minute to cross the line after their starting time, then 2 hours to do the 3.3 miles upwind to the harbor entrance bell. It's interesting to note that the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishers had a start order of 4th, 16th, 10th and 21st respectively... pretty good random distribution.

Cruise Directors, Tom & Jane Babbitt showed the fleet how to get there fastest in their shoal draft J/42 BRAVO (with 3 bladed folding prop no less!). Gary Bennett in the oldest boat participating, his J/35 J'AI'TU, eventually passed Rod J sailing the newest boat in the race, his J/105 RAGTIME. What this demonstrates is the lasting value and undiminished performance of J Boats over time... in this case 23 years.

The Cruise Committee consisted of Bob and Drake Johnstone on one of his MJM 29z motorboats. With 3 hours elapsed time from the start approaching and the fleet still in Gilkey Harbor, Islesboro (about an hour from Camden even under power), Bob J. decided to shorten course, finishing BRAVO, J'AI'TU, RAGTIME, Pete duPont's J/124 WARBRIDE, and Kirk Brown's before lifting anchor and heading back down the course to give the remaining finishers a horn and finish place... allowing them all to turn around and power for the barn. Otherwise the tail enders would have missed the party. So, if you see this race management move put into practice anywhere else: Remember it first happened at the J Rendezvous.

A tent cocktail party and dinner followed, hosted by Kendra Muenter from J Boats and the East Coast Yacht Sales staff. For prizes and goodies, thanks go to our sponsors: Hall Spars, Harken, V Sport, Lewmar, Wayfarer Marine, Edson, Maine Sailing Partners, Mack Boring/Yanmar, Village Soup, and Broomfield Industries.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Herlihy wins J/109 NA’s at NYYC Rolex

It would be hard to find a tougher test of racing skill than at the 2008 New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex. 120 boats competed across 6 classes in this four day event that featured the J/109 North American Championship and both the J/122 and J/105 East Coast Championship. Thursday’s racing was wet and woolly with all fleets having to race inside the Bay due to the severe conditions. Friday and Saturday conditions eased enough to sail outside but with very lumpy seas. Then the T-Storms returned on Sunday with winds hitting 50 knots to shorten the day’s racing.

In J/109 action, Ted Herlihy (South Dartmouth, MA) and his mostly family crew aboard GUT FEELING sailed an impressive nine-race series to narrowly beat out GOSSIP (Steve Kenny & Greg Ames, Wainscott, NY), and CAMINOS (Donald Filippelli, Amagansett, NY) for the North American title. “Five of our eight crew are family,”said Herlihy, who came close to winning the North Americans two years ago. "We thought we'd do well but this feels great," he said about his victory.

"You know it's windy when everything is going sideways -- the wind, the rain, the boat," said Damian Emery on ECLIPSE (Shoreham, N.Y.), who won the J/105 East Coast Championship. Starting out with two bullets, Emery was able to hold off a strong charge by Brian Keane's SAVASANA. "Today we were definitely sailing against each other," said Emery, who finished second to Keane's fifth in what was to be the final race before a rapidly moving line of thunderstorms forced cancellation of the final race.

In the J/122 class, Andrew Weiss (Rye, N.Y.) on CHRISTOPHER DRAGON opened the series with 6 straight bullets, before being really tested by both FLYING JENNY VI (David Askew, Annapolis, MD) and GAMBLER (Doug Shaffer, Houston, TX). The J/122s raced around the Island on Sunday, and with a 3rd place finish (behind FLYING JENNY and GAMBLER), Weiss locked up the J/122 East Coast Championship by two points over FLYING JENNY VI and 10 points over GAMBLER. Event website

Friday, July 25, 2008

J/122 SKYE Wins in Mac Race Debut

Some call the Chicago-Mackinac Race one of the most difficult distance races to win. It’s a 333 mile sprint from the southern end to northern end of Lake Michigan and the rule of thumb is that no lead is a safe lead. Many a boat can claim to have been winning the Mac only to park in the final few miles and watch the rest of the fleet catch up. 2008 marked the 100th running of this Great Lakes classic, and J owners celebrated with some great performances.

In one-design action, the MVP award goes to Peter Fray’s PRONTO II who topped a record sized J/105 division (27 boats) which included many Mac Race veterans. Pre-race J/109 favorite Rob Zerban on ZEITGEIST continued his hot streak by winning the 14 boat J/109 division AND finishing 3rd overall for the Mackinac Cup behind two 70 footers! Frank Kern and his J/120 CARINTHIA have been one of the most traveled and successful J/120 programs of the past two years. This time the CARINTHIA team could enjoy a victory closer to home, as they narrowly beat Matthew Songer’s PERSEVERANCE by two minutes to win the 12 boat J/120 division

Bill Zeiler and his new J/122 SKYE have been on a tear since arriving in Lake Michigan earlier this year. Their 22 boat Section 3 division included a wide mix of performance boats (1D35 Heartbreaker, CM1200s, Sydney 41, GS 44, etc) as well as the J/124 SUFFICIENT REASON and the J/130 EDGE. SKYE and SUFFICIENT REASON outpaced their class to cross the line 1-2 with SUFFICIENT REASON winning the elapsed time battle by 3 minutes and SKYE correcting out under ORR handicap to secure the class win.

Other handicap highlights include the J/133's RENEGADE and HOT WATER sailing to a 2nd and 3rd place in the 25 boat Section 2 division; and a clean J/35 sweep of Section 6 with Bob Pethick’s BRETWALDA coming out on top. In the cruising divisions, former J/24 Class president Glenn Gustafason and his wife Elsa, aboard their J/46 WINDARA, showed just how well they’ve adapted to the cruising lifestyle by taking 2nd Overall in the Cruising Division. Event Website

Friday, July 18, 2008

100th Chicago-Mac Race Preview

On the eve of the 100th Chicago-Mac Race, a record size 439 boat fleet is preparing for the 333 mile classic. J/109 owner Rob Zerban of Kenosha, WI will be one of the favorites to watch. Zerban, aboard his J/109 ZEITGEIST finished 2nd overall in the 2007 Chicago-Mac Race and is on a hot streak so far in 2008. He single-handed ZEITGEIST to a 2nd place class finish in the 287 mile Chicago-Mac Solo Challenge despite not having a working auto-pilot for most of the race. Then in round the buoys action, ZEITGEIST paced the J/109 class on all three days of the 2008 Chicago NOOD Regatta and earned both class and Overall Winner recognition for his team’s efforts.

The J/105 and J/120 classes are fielding great turnouts with 26 and 12 boats respectively. Bill Zeiler’s new J/122 SKYE will make her Mac Race debut on the heels of notching recent class victories in the Chicago-Waukegan Race and the Olympic Cup, but the competition is tough with Bill Schanen’s J/145 MAIN STREET and eight other large J sprit speedsters (three J/133’s, four J/130s and a J/125) to contend with. Follow your favorites during the race on Chicago Yacht Club’s event website.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Spaniard Crowned J/80 World Champion

J/80 sailing has exploded in Spain over the last two years, and the Spanish have shown just how quickly they’ve mastered the boat. After a near sweep of the 2007 Worlds in La Trinite, France, the “armada” sailed into Kiel, Germany and captured 1st, 3rd and 6th places at the 2008 Tutima J/80 World Championship. Ignacio Camino Rodriguez with his crew of Alberdo Padron, Gomez Jose Luis and Armando Gutierrez aboard ESP 899 NEXTEL ENGINEERING sailed a nearly flawless series from start to finish to capture the world title. But their task was far from easy. Runner-up Jeff Johnstone, USA, sailing with the all German crew of Henning Mittelmann, Bo Teichmann, and teenagers Stella Mau and Florian Föh, narrowed the gap to only 2 points after winning race #11 while Rodriguez suffered a black flag disqualification, which he was able to discard to preserve the victory.

Sailing conditions were dynamic with winds from 10-25 knots, big shifts, alternating rain and sun on a daily basis, not to mention 64 boats from 12 countries on one starting line with liberal use of the black flag penalty to keep the fleet in check. Rounding out the top five were Carlos Martinez of Spain in 3rd, followed by Patrick Bot of France in 4th and Kevin Sproul of UK in 5th. 6 different countries finished in the top ten, including hosts Peter Hecht and Uli Muenker from Germany aboard NEEDLES and PINS in 9th. Spain will host the 2009 Worlds in Santander June 28th-July 4th. Results.

Friday, July 4, 2008

J/80 Worlds Preview

64 teams from 12 countries will be competing this coming week at the Tutima 2008 J/80 World Championship in Kiel, Germany. Never before have so many countries been represented at this pinnacle J/80 event, now in its 8th year. Kieler Yacht Club and the German J/80 Class Association look forward to welcoming competitors to Kiel for the week long event. Several of the top teams from last year’s worlds will be in attendance including Ignacio Camino (Spain), Uli Muenker (Germany), Kevin Sproul (UK) and Patrick Bot (France). Regatta news and results will be posted here during the week.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

J-Racing around the Isle of Wight

On the morning of the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race 2008, the day dawned with overcast skies and a nice 10-12 kt SW breeze. Carrying fair tide, the 15 mile beat to the Needles, soon passed. As the leading J’s set out on a blast reach towards St Catherine's Point, the sun came out and shone bright for the rest of the day. The sea conditions on the south of the Isle of Wight were variously described as rolling, hairy, wild, lumpy and on the edge! The WSW breeze ranged between 10 and 28 knots, which when combined with a contrary tide, gave everyone some exhilarating sailing!

J/109's were numerically the largest J fleet, with 34 boats battling it out. Taking a break from their one design program, the boats were sailing under various IRC configurations and split between classes 2B and 2C. J/109 victory went to Johnny Blue II helmed by Jeff Dakin, as they made a great start, were always on the right side of the course, and maintained their lead all the way to the finish followed by Offbeat, Jamhali, Zelda and Shiva.

The J/80's this year had the added incentive of racing for a collection of Nautica watches. Past form was upset when Louis Kenna’s new Jirolamo snatched a 10 second victory from Seb Ripards young UKSA crew on Against

IRC-2C saw a close battle at the front of the fleet between the three J/92S's Jack Sparrow, Neilson Redeye and Just in Time. During the second half of the race Jack Sparrow (pictured here doing 19.6 kts) put their new North Code 2 spinnaker to good effect, stretching to a 7 minute victory over Neilson Redeye to take 1st in class.

Class 1A saw a tremendous battle between Stuart Hawthorn's J/133 Jump and Mike Grevill's custom 39 Erivale III with Erivale winning by just 2 minutes, this is the third year in a row that Jump has made the podium. IRC-1C, a 58 boat fleet was won by Cowes based J/39 Jackdaw owned by David Walters. David has owned the boat since she was launched in 1991 and has been a great supporter of this race.

Peter Bainbridge entered his brand new J/122 Sky Hunter II in the ISC division 4. Peter was delighted with the handling and performance of the boat and even more pleased to find he had won his class by a massive 17 minutes!

Top J/105 of the day was the St Malo based Moontiger who took third in IRC-2B behind Full Pelt a modified 1720 Sportsboat and Johnny Blue II the winning J/109.

Top reported speed of the day was Richard Atherton in his brand new J/124 Josephine at 21.4 knots under main and jib!

Friday, June 27, 2008

J’s Fly Uphill to Bermuda

Imagine 3 to 4 days of sailing upwind in big chop, shifty winds, large current eddies, and with folks back home second-guessing your every course change via satellite tracking, and you’ll have an inkling of what racing was like in the 2008 Newport Bermuda Race. Many a nice meal was put on hold while crews acclimated to the bumpy conditions that greeted the 200+ boat fleet as they moved through the Gulf Stream along the 630 mile passage from Newport to Bermuda. No spinnakers were to be seen and several boats reported tacking onto the layline 200-300 miles from the finish.

J owners turned out in record numbers and represented 22% of the entire fleet - the first time J has surpassed Swan (14%) for the most popular brand/design in a Bermuda Race. From Doug Hannah’s J/109 OFFBEAT (one of the smallest boats in the fleet and sailing double-handed) to Jim Madden’s J/65, BRAND NEW DAY, there were 14 different J designs sailing. And J owners made the most of it. 52% of the top 25 overall finishers in IRC were J’s, and owners collected 26% of the top three places in all divisions and overall combined. That’s a lot of silver!

Performance highlights:
Lenny Sitar aboard J/44 VAMP sailed to victory in the hard fought J/44 class (the only one-design class in the fleet), and was the top J finisher overall in IRC. In fact, the top four J/44s finished within 35 minutes of each other after nearly 4 days of racing!

Tom Carroll on the J/133 SIREN SONG finished 2nd under IRC in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division just in front of Mark Hansen’s J/145C SWEET LORRAINE. Howie Hodgson had his J/42 TRUE moving like a thoroughbred to finish as the top J/42 and 2nd in Class 3 under ORR. George Petrides on AVRA was top J/120 finisher and came out 3rd in Class 4 ORR.

One of the more impressive class performances was that of TABASCO a J/46 skippered by John Levinson, who sailed to victory in the Class 6 ORR ahead of the fleet of J/122s, who had a great battle on their own. With several lead changes right down to the wire, David Askew and Ken Comerford on the J/122 FLYING JENNY VI were first to finish by only 1 min 7 seconds over Marc Glimcher on CATAPULT and 35 minutes over Stephen Furnary on PATRIOT, who had been the J/122 pace-setter for most of the race. After handicaps were applied, the top J/122s in ORR were CATAPULT, PATRIOT & FLYING JENNY VI. Under IRC, it was FLYING JENNY VI, CATAPULT then PATRIOT.

Jim Madden’s J/65, BRAND NEW DAY made her Bermuda Race debut by finishing 2nd in the Class 9 ORR maxi division, against the likes of the RP80 SHOCKWAVE, Frers 80 HEXE, RP66 ZARAFFA, J/V66 DEFIANT, etc.

In the Class 14 Cruising division, the Willauer family aboard their J/46 BREEZING UP proved again just how nice an upwind sailing boat the J/46 is, by winning line honors and 2nd on corrected time (as the second smallest boat) against a Hinckley 59, Apogee 50, Swan 53, Baltic 52, and several others. Four of the 9 boats in the double-handed division were J’s, and Hewitt Gaynor aboard his J/120 MIREILLE took line honors and corrected to 2nd, only 17 minutes behind Rich du Moulin’s LORA ANN.

We congratulate all the J owners for participating in the Bermuda Race and look forward to seeing many more new faces in 2010.

Monday, June 23, 2008

J’s are 55% of Block Island Fleet

Block Island Race Week has been a magnet for J sailors for years and 2008 was no exception. While overall regatta enrollment was down from prior years, you wouldn’t have known it by the quality and quantity of racing packed into the week. Regatta hosts Duck Island Yacht Club and Zuse, Inc. ran 11 races over 5 days, including the classic Round the Island Race midweek. With the Newport Bermuda Race drawing away most of the larger boats, the tightest action was found in the J/105 and J/109 divisions, where in each case the eventual runner-up ran off a streak of 4 bullets over the final two days to make things very interesting. J/105 veteran Damian Emery on ECLIPSE edged out Brian Keane on SAVASANA and Ken Colburn on GHOST to capture the J/105 class; while Greg Ames and Steve Kenny on GOSSIP held off a late charge from Ted Herlihy (GUT FEELING) to win the J/109 class by one point. Other notable finishes included the Esposito family aboard the J/29 HUSTLER who won PHRF 2 with Ira Perry on the J/29 SEEFEST finishing 2nd. Results

Friday, June 13, 2008

J/24 Worlds Go Italian

Andrea Casale of Italy didn’t have to sail the last race to win the 2008 J/24 World Championship. In fact none of the fleet left port as storm conditions blew across northern Sardinia on the final day of racing, hosted by Club Nautico Arzachena in Cannigione, Italy. There was still a lot of racing to talk about with 8 races over 5 days, 76 boats and an incredible 17 countries represented. Any of the top six teams had a shot at the title going into the last 2 races. Milev Rossi of Canada finished a close 2nd to Casale followed by Ian Southworth of Great Britain and Daniel Glomb of Brazil. Mark Hillman of Annapolis, MD was the top US finisher in 6th, including back-to-back bullets in races 3 & 4. Annapolis will be the site for the 30th Anniversary J/24 Worlds in 2009. 2008 event website

Record J Fleet to Bermuda

The Newport waterfront is rapidly filling with boats in preparation for next week’s 2008 Newport to Bermuda Race. A record 46 of the 198 boat entries are J’s, which is 23% of the fleet. Of the 13 different J designs in the event, the J/44 leads the way with 14 teams (Jim Bishop's GOLD DIGGER pictured), following by the J/120 with 8 (3 in the double-handed division) and the J/42 with 7. The J/122 fleet makes its Bermuda Race debut with five entries, including Andrew Weiss aboard CHRISTOPHER DRAGON, who won IRC Class 7 in 2006 aboard his J/130 of the same name. All boats will be equipped with GPS transponders so that fans back home can track the progress of their favorites during the race. event website

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Helen C. Johnstone, Sailor

Helen C. Johnstone, 47, an outgoing, caring and much loved member of the J Boats sailing family from Newport RI, died during an outing on the Potomac River the morning of June 4, 2008 in Washington, DC where she resided.

Helen was born in Cali, Colombia on September 7, 1960. She was a graduate of the Choate School and the University of Rhode Island. She has served as an instructor at the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School and J World Sailing School, and was a leading sales producer at Bloomingdales, Chico ’s and Ann Taylor stores in the D.C. area.

She was a competitive figure skater in her youth in Wilmette Il. Sailing accomplishments included 1st in the 1976 National Interscholastic Champs, a 3rd in 470s at the 1975 US Youth Champs and a 6th in the 1985 International Women’s Keelboat Championships. In 2007, she was a key member of the winning J/105 in the Newport Regatta and on her father's J/100 in winning the Maine Retired Skipper’s Race.

“Heli” will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Her immediate family includes her parents, the Rev. Mary and Robert L. Johnstone, III of Boston and Newport RI; brother Stuart of Lake Forest, IL, and his sons Hunter and Ford; brother Drake and wife Elizabeth of Charlottesville, VA, and brother Peter of Jamestown RI and his son Nick and daughter India.

A memorial fund has been founded in Helen's honor to provide scholarships for under-privileged youth. Tax deductible donations may be sent to the: Helen C. Johnstone Memorial Fund c/o Sail Newport 60 Fort Adams Drive, Newport, RI 02840.

Friday, June 6, 2008

2008 Northeast J/Cruise

J owners will be gathering in picturesque Camden, Maine over the weekend of August 1-3 for some fun sailing and socializing, downeast style at the 2008 Northeast J/Cruise. Wayfarer Marine will be headquarters for the event, which is being hosted by East Coast Yacht Sales and J Boats. Enjoy meeting fellow J sailors, checking out each other's boats, and participating in a low key pursuit day-cruise in Penobscot Bay. You can leave your spinnakers and genoas ashore! All J owners are invited to attend. Click here for more information.

Friday, May 30, 2008

New J/105s are Coming

The first boat is out of the mold and assembly is underway for the new 2009 model J/105 at the US Watercraft facility in Portsmouth, RI. It’s a breath of fresh air for this amazing boat and class and we’re excited to be working with US Watercraft's team of talented one-design boatbuilders. Several orders are already confirmed and a few production slots are available in time for Key West 2009.

The J/105 today is the most successful one-design keelboat class over 30 feet in the USA and numbers over 650 boats worldwide. More than just a one-design, the J/105 is a great family sailboat first, a proven offshore double-hander and a boat that's as easy to own as it is to sail. The new 2009 J/105 is built with faired keel and rudder, an updated Euro layout, and a newly class approved Sparcraft mast. Click here for more info on the J/105 and the class association.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

J Update from Pacific Northwest

J sailors are already well into the season in the Pacific Northwest and collecting some serious silver as well. In the season opener, the new J/122 ANAM CARA owned by Tom Kelly and Barbara Woodford won the Center Sound Series with two firsts and a fourth. Barb & Bob Brunius’ J/120 TIME BANDIT won class and overall fleet honors in the Oregon Offshore Race with Scott Campbell’s J/46 RIVA taking second overall, and Al Calcagno’s J/30 RAUZER II winning PHRF B. It was TIME BANDIT’s 5th overall title (winning crew pictured to the right). 2008 also marketed the first year for the Seattle NOOD Regatta which drew an incredible 231 boats, and featured one-design starts for the J/24, J/29, J/105 and J/109 classes. Coming up June 13-15, is the greatly anticipated 25th anniversary J/FEST SEATTLE regatta. J guru Bob Ross and his staff at Sail Northwest are hosts for the weekend and all J owners and sailors are welcome! J Fest Seattle Event Site

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

32 Boats at J/109 UK Nationals

The J/109 class set an attendance record last weekend as 32 boats raced for the UK National Championship, all part of J-Cup 2008 hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble, UK and organized by J-UK.

The J/109 ZELDA, owned and raced by Ben Richards and Michael Ewart-Smith, had a monumental battle throughout the entire regatta with old adversaries Bruce Jubb, Jeff Dakin and Mike Flood on JOHNNY BLUE II. At the end of the first day these two boats were tied on equal points, but Simon ‘Sling’ Ling and his team on board the RED ARROW were just one point behind. ZELDA went on to have a blinding day on Saturday, revelling in the heavier conditions (20 to 27 knots from the northeast) and clocking up a 2,1,1 scoreline, which extended their lead to four points over JOHNNY BLUE II.

On Sunday the conditions changed yet again: now down to light and shifty. A total glass-out at the end of Race 7 meant that some unfortunates were swept past the line, unable to get back, and a number of boats (including ZELDA) scored a DNF. JOHNNY BLUE II won the race to go up by two points with one race to sail. As it transpired, a risky decision on ZELDA’s part on the final upwind leg left them down the pack, while JOHNNY BLUE II finished third, enough to win the 2008 J/109 UK National Championship. ZELDA finished second overall followed by Matt Boyle’s SHIVA, RED ARROW and then J-DREAM. Results

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

J/Sailing in the Block Island Race

For J/ Owners it was a Memorial Day weekend of fun and challenging racing during Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race, a 190nm course from Stamford, CT sailing east out of Long Island Sound, around Block Island and then back again. For many, this was the final shakedown distance race before the Newport Bermuda Race in June. Fair weather and challenging winds were the rule... J/ Owners were out in force.

In her first east coast race, Jim Madden’s J/65 Brand New Day managed a third in IRC 0 class just ahead of Mark Hansen’s J/145(c) Sweet Lorraine, beating many of the Super 0 class on corrected time (all the while enjoying gourmet meals). Tom Carroll’s J/133 SirenSong topped the IRC 1 class and took the IRC “Tuna Trophy” with John Levinson’s J/46 Tabasco finishing third.

In the second one-design event of the season for the new J/122 class, it was Andrew Weiss’ Christopher Dragon bouncing back to his winning ways finishing ahead of Patriot and Partnership. J/44 and J/120 classes were also out in force with the Vamp team besting Maxine and Honalee in the 44s and Rick Oricchio’s J/120 Rocket Science dominating his class and winning the Commodore’s Trophy. John Towers aboard his newly refit J/37 Ripple won IRC 7, and Peter Rugg’s J/105 Jaded took both the double handed class and the Gerold Abels award correcting ahead of Hewitt Gaynor’s J/120 Mireille. Finally, The Roddie Williams Team Race Trophy was awarded to the Storm Trysail #1 team of Lora Ann (Express 37) - Vamp (J/44)- Christopher Dragon (J/122). ...Whew... if you made it this far into the results you’ll probably agree it was a great race for J/ skippers and crews... Well done all. complete info.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

J-Cup 2008 Underway on the Solent

A record turnout of 75 J/Boats are racing at J-Cup 2008 this weekend on the Solent in the UK. The featured class is a huge 32 boat J/109 fleet racing for the 2008 J/109 UK National Championship. In addition one-design ‘class’ racing is taking place for J/105s and J/80s and there are two IRC classes where J/133s, J/122s, J/92S' & J/100s will enjoy some mixed fleet fun.

All in all, J-Cup 2008 looks ready to set the Solent on fire and for sure, everywhere you look this weekend there will be a J Boat on the horizon. Summing up the real spirit of the J-Cup, and indeed, all racing in the J Family, Bruce Jubb of J/109 Johnny Blue II offered ‘It’s all about having fun and enjoying the regatta’. Well said Mr Jubb. Let’s drink to that...

Great events like these simply wouldn’t happen without generous sponsor support and principal sponsors of J-Cup 2008: B&G, North Sails and Dubarry of Ireland all deserve our thanks and support... results online.

Friday, May 23, 2008

New J/24 "no sink" Interior

The newest 2008 model J/24 is literally "no sink." The aft lockers, v-berth platform and hanging lockers are enclosed with watertight hatches, the main bulkhead opening is wider AND the galley/sink unit to starboard is gone in favor of a low foot locker and hanging locker. This new class-approved specification is being adopted by builders worldwide. Gourmet meals will now have to be served picnic style in the cockpit or at your favorite restaurant! New J/24s are available for late summer 2008 delivery, just in time for the 30th Anniversary J/24 North American Championship in Lake Minnetonka, MN.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Zaleski Brothers win J/24 Nationals

Chris and Waldek Zaleski, aboard their J/24 TWINS (#5259) have done it again. For their seventh consecutive major J/24 regatta, TWINS prevailed in moderate to windy conditions to win the 2008 J/24 Nationals at Staten Island, NY against a very competitive 54 boat fleet. It was not an easy regatta by any means. Staten Island waters saw conditions that were at times shifty, windy and rainy. The scores were as equally dicey with every boat in the fleet finishing at least 18th or lower in one race, and with TWINS averaging 8 points per race in the 7 race no throw-out series.

Runner-up Mark Hillman, from Annapolis, put pressure on the Zaleski’s with a race #7 bullet to the TWINS 28th to close the gap to 6 points by regatta’s end. Rounding out the top three (in the same finishing order as in this year’s 2008 Midwinters) was Tony Parker of Annapolis aboard BANGOR PACKET. With both Zaleski and Hillman having already qualified for the 2009 Worlds in Annapolis, the qualifying slots from the Nationals passed onto Parker and Kris Werner, who finished 4th. Check out some great photos at Thanks to Richmond County Yacht Club for hosting a great event. Event Site

Friday, May 16, 2008

2008 Yachting Cup.....San Diego

40% of the 117 boat fleet at this year’s Yachting Cup were J’s with the J/105 class leading the way with 25 entries. Bill Logan and his team aboard PHOLLY won the five race no throw-out series, ahead of Dennis Case on WINGS and Jeff Janov on INVISIBLE. John Laun was the winning skipper in the J/120 class aboard CAPER, and is pictured (on the right) accepting his award from SDYC Commodore Wayne Terry. In PHRF action, Jim Madden’s J-125 STARK RAVING MAD won the impressive 12 boat PHRF 2 fleet with a string of firsts and a second. And in a show of solidarity – the J/29 class, normally a few strong within the PHRF 5 class, put together 5 entries and enjoyed one design racing with Larry Leveille skippering RUSH STREET placing first.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

“We peaked at 17.2 knots”

Hamilton, Bermuda....the Wednesday night mixed-racing fleet had quite the ride this week, as strong spring winds blew across the island. Jon Corless is captured here driving his J/105 MAYHEM in full control ahead of 3 other J/105s in the background. None of the other 32 boats in the fleet are in sight. "We peaked at 17.2 knots and sat steady at 14-15 all the way from the 99 Buoy to White Island.” Wow, that's FAST! We assume the photographer got out of the way.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

J Owners on the Podium in Antigua

Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua.... It was a week of great competition on the water and lively parties ashore - another fine edition of Stanford Antigua Sailing Week, the 41st annual. 17 classes competed for several prestigious trophies with J owners making many podium appearances.

David Cullen’s J/109 POCKET ROCKET won the Chippy Fine Yacht Woodwork Cup for the top overall boat in the Performance Cruiser III and IV ranks, plus the British Airways Trophy for supremacy in the Performance Cruiser III division over the J/133 SOLNES III owned and raced by Herman Bergshaven.

In the Racing IV, V and VI fleets, the overall winner in the combined rankings, for which they received the Global Bank of Commerce Cup, was James Dobbs' new J/122, LOST HORIZON. Dobbs was also presented with the Air Canada Cup for winning Racing V; the Beefeater Trophy as Best Caribbean Yacht in Division A; and the Hightide Trophy as the Best Antigua Yacht in Division A. Not to be outdone by the newer J models, Philippe Champion steering his J/120, PAULISTA, won the Antigua & Barbuda Investment Bank Trophy, for besting the Racing VI fleet. News & Results

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

First Launched for the Season

Is there a better display of the "Boats for People who Love to Sail" mantra at J Boats than this May 6th picture of the J/105 Fleet launched for the season in Marblehead, Mass. Doug Zurn captured the early morning scene from his design office. Doug is the bowman on Rich Hill and George Lowden's J/105 DARK HORSE.
The J/105 class is on a roll with attendance records being set across the country. Enjoy one-design at home or on the road at Key West, Block Island, the nine event NOOD Regatta series, St. Francis Big Boat, and the 2008 North Americans (SF Bay 8/20-24). New 2009 model J/105s are in production at US Watercraft and available for late summer completion!

Monday, May 5, 2008

J/122 Class debuts at AYC Spring Regatta

It was “spring” in name only at the American Yacht Club Spring Regatta as blustery, wet conditions forced sailors to keep out the winter frostbite gear for at least two more weekends. 100 boats competed in 12 one-design, IRC and PHRF classes in the annual event that kicks off the big boat racing season in the Northeast. 51% of the entries were J’s, including one-design starts for the J/105, J/109, J/120, J/122 and J/44 classes.

In the first J/122 one-design event held in the USA, American Yacht Club Commodore Michael Bruno and co-owner Tom Boyle skippered their new J/122 WINGS (pictured above doing 14.5 kts) to an impressive victory. Action was tight in the 7 boat class and is expected to ratchet up even further as more boats are slated to attend upcoming New England events including the East Coast Championship at NYYC Race Week in Newport in mid July.

“Having never sailed a sprit boat in the past, or competed in one design racing, it was particularly rewarding to do well in our Spring Series,” said Commodore Bruno. “The 122 is a superb boat with excellent build quality, awesome performance in all the conditions we have experienced to date, and great looks. The boat was totally in control on the days we saw 30kt gusts with steep seas, and was also very fast on the two light days. We already have three 122s at American and I suspect our fleet will grow quickly.”

Jeff Willis and his team on CHALLENGE IV were equally as impressive in winning the competitive J/44 class, as owners prepare for what will be a record J/44 fleet (14+ boats) in the Newport Bermuda Race. In J/120 action, Steve Levy on EAGLE won on a tie-break over PEREGRINE steered by Brian Giorgio. Al Minella skippered RELENTLESS to victory in the J/109 class, and in the largest, most competitive class in the fleet, Damian Emery on ECLIPSE edged out Joerg Esdorn on KINSCEM by one point to win the 17 boat, J/105 division.

In the handicap classes, J/133s swept the top 3 positions in IRC 3 with Tom Carroll on SIRENSONG winning 5 of 6 races. The Esposito family on the J/29 HUSTLER won the PHRF 5 division. Results

Thursday, April 10, 2008

J/125 Reinrag 2 Streaks to Cabo

The Garnier's J/125 Reinrag 2 from Portland, OR scored yet another offshore class win (and a second overall!) at the recently completed CDM to Cabo San Lucas Race hosted by Balboa Yacht Club. This team has already taken three consecutive Transpac class wins culminating last July in an overall Transpac victory. Surfing down the coast of Mexico the team took line honors ahead of the entire fleet of mainly larger boats. Tim Fuller on his J/122 Resolute had a good run as well taking a 4th in PHRF and 2nd under ORR in his class. Click the Reinrag icon for some great R2 action video from the Race. More results here

Js Sail Fast @ Rolex International

Winning four of the seven handicap classes, J/Boat sailors were having more than just fun at the Rolex International regatta in St. Thomas., they were collecting silver. In total, (including the IC 24 class) over 37% of the Rolex fleet were sailing aboard J/Boat hulls at the event.

Winning Spinnaker Racing 2 was Gilberto Rivera's (Guaynabo, PR) J/24 Urayo, which also won in 2006. Rivera, who gave his Rolex watch to his father in 2006, gave this year's prize to foredeck crew Francisco Velez and plans to give any watch he wins in the future here to a crewmember until it's his turn. "That's so my crew will stay with the boat," said Rivera jokingly. "Seriously, this is such a great event; we've been coming since 1998."

Jens Hookansen (Middletown, R.I.), who steered Robert Armstrong's J/100 Bad Girl to win Spinnaker Racing 1, had similar sentiments. "I love coming down here," said Hookansen, a native of St. Croix and past J/24 World Champion. "The venue is fantastic and you get a chance to wear a Rolex home. What could be better?"

Non-spinnaker Racing class was won by Juan Moline's (Vega Baja, PR) J/24 Medalla Light, while Spinnaker Racing/Cruising class was won by James Dobbs' new J/122 Lost Horizon continuing his string of 2008 wins... results and pics.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pellissier Wins J/80 Class @ Spi-Ouest

In the Bay of Quiberon off of La Trinite, France no less than 79 J80s arrived for the Easter weekend of the 30th annual Spi Ouest Regatta in France. The talent level was very high and the first 10 in the overall standings battled until the last race. Sylvain Pellissier and his crew were first, followed by the German Ulrich Muenker and Luke Nadal, a mainstay of the class. Under extremely cold conditions and strong wind (especially on Saturday), the forest of white mainsails at the start of each of the five races offered a magnificent spectacle to observers. The J/80 class has clearly arrived and the 2008 season is now off to a great start.

In the IRC 1 division, J/133 Jivaro with an all amateur crew finished a respectable 6th place in a fleet of over 44 boats while J/122 J/Lance 4 skippered by Didier Le Moal finished 8th. The J/Lance team suffered sail damage in the heavy air of race 1 which forced them to withdraw. The 44 points proved too much of a deficit from which to recover a podium position, but the crew gave it their best effort for the final three races. results & info.

J/122 Wins Culebra Regatta

Jamie Dobbs and his new J/122 Lost Horizon II followed up their recent win at the St. Maarten Heineken regatta with another convincing win in the Racer-Cruiser class of the Culebra Heineken International Regatta in Culebra, PR. This is the second leg of the 2008 Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle (C.O.R.T.) and this year featured both round-the-buoy and round-the-island racing in a variety of conditions. J/100 Bad Girl, the Key West & US PHRF National Champion, also enjoyed a return to the award podium by placing third in class 1. results here (Thanks to Bob Grieser for photo).