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).

J/92s Takes Red Funnel Easter Win

After two days of frustration, on day three the racing finally got underway for the RORC Red Funnel Easter Challenge... and it was worth the wait. For Paul & Marie-Claude Heys, racing the J/92s Jack Sparrow, it was a perfect day as they won both races by a comfortable margin to win in IRC 3 Class. “I thought we had a great mix of racing today,” commented Paul. “The first race was all about spotting the big wind shift early on and then trying to keep in clear air amongst a compressed fleet, especially out of the bad air from larger boats. Race two, we managed to get a good start and due to a round the cans course, we managed to stay in clean air for most of the way around. All in all, a great day’s sailing!” This annual Easter weekend regatta is the first on the RORC 2008 calendar. Complete results at http://www.rorc.org.

Spring Racing Takes off in the UK

Hosted by the Warsash Sailing Club, the 2008 edition of the Raymarine Warsash Spring Series is now officially underway on the Solent, and J/s are everywhere to be found. Three J one-design classes; the J/80s, J/105s and the J/109s are all enjoying the level playing field that one-design racing affords and three brand new J/122s, two J/133s, a J/92 a J/110, a J/35 and a J/39 are all competing in the IRC classes. On the first weekend the fleet was met with gusts over 30 knots which made for some challenging crew work and flat-out exhilarating downhill rides. The second day of racing (a total of 10 possible races over six weekends) gets going Sunday March 30. event website

J-Cup 2008 Set for End of May

J-Cup 2008 takes place from Friday May 23-25 and will be sponsored once again by B&G, Dubarry of Ireland and North Sails. The regatta is open exclusively to owners of J Boats and will be hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble, UK. Racing will be presided over by PRO Tony Lovell of totalracecontrol.com. The J/109 Class will sail for their UK National Championship with 25-30 entries expected, the J/80 and J/105 will also race class and perhaps even the J/100. In addition several J/133s, J/122s, and J/120s will race under IRC. J/Cup, with its unparalleled reputation for offering superb race management, great competition and ‘energetic’ apr├Ęs sail is expected to attract over sixty boats and 400 competitors in 2008. This is in no small part due to the continued support of the event sponsors, the dedication of the carefully selected host clubs and the boundless enthusiasm of the competing J Boat owners. The race management team is in place, the sponsors are ready, the band has been booked and the race documents are online: All systems go for another fabulous J-Cup. Visit the Events page at www.j-uk.com for all relevant race documents.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

McMichael Declares Spring Early

On a beautiful, cloudless, mid-March day, top US J/Boat dealer Howie McMichael recently stated "We have declared it spring at McMichael!" His yard in Mamaroneck, NY on Western Long Island Sound is buzzing with activity with three brilliant new J/122s (pictured here) in the launch basin undergoing final commissioning, two more on the way & a J/109 waiting under the crane. In fact, virtually every J/Boat model ever introduced is likely already in the spring launch queue at the McM yard. A total of seven new J/122s are being prepared to compete for the first ever J/122 Class one-design event in conjunction with the upcoming American Yacht Club Spring Regatta. This event could turn out to be a virtual J/Fest with starts planned for the J/105, J/109 & J/44 classes in addition to the J/122. Complete regatta info is available at the American Yacht Club website here. In the meantime we'll agree with Howie... an early spring is here. Let's go sailing!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

J/109 - The Ultimate World Tour

J/109 Owner, and retired vet Dr. Bob Riggle from Seattle and his companion Phyllis MaCay have embarked on the ultimate around the world cruising adventure aboard the J/109 Gaia. Dr. Bob is the former J/109 Fleet #1 Champion and finished 4th in the Vic-Maui race back in 2004 so he is no stranger to racing and offshore sailing. This new cruising voyage started back in September and is now thousands of miles underway with the pair having sailed the entire west coast of the US, Mexico and Central America. According to their web site chart, Gaia is now somewhere in the vicinity of the Galapagos. For stories, photos, port of call schedule and more visit www.gaiaworldtour.net

J/100 & J/122 Win in St. Maarten

Yet another big story in this lively edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta was the strong showing by the U.S. builder J/Boats, particularly in three of the flat-out racing classes. In Spinnaker 4, James Dobbs’s J/122, Lost Horizon, held off a strong challenge from Arnaud de Meillac’s Archambault 40, Sailing Styl’ Caraibes, to register the victory. Though the class standings ended in a tie between both boats, Lost Horizon was awarded the win based on more first-place finishes.

Fresh from winning the 50-boat U.S. PHRF championships in Key West, Florida, in January, the J/100 Bad Girl, campaigned by a St. Croix crew led by owner Robert Armstrong, was the other major J/Boat winner, taking the Spinnaker 5 class in impressive style, with four firsts and today’s fifth. Bad Girl is a souped-up version of the J/100, having been tricked out by the team at Hall Spars.

In Spinnaker 7, it was almost a trifecta for J/Boats, as the J/109, Pocket Rocket, was leading the division coming into the final day of racing. More info and results.

J/122 Takes 2nd @ Miami Grand Prix

It was a complete 10 race one throw-out series for Premier Racing's Acura Miami Grand Prix regatta with beautiful sailing conditions over four days. J/122 ‘Teamwork’ and J/44 ‘Gold Digger’ each tallied multiple race wins in the series and finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in the final standings of IRC Class 2. Ironically it was the tie in race 7 between these two J/s and the extra .5 point that ultimately proved to be the difference in preventing the J/122 crew from wrestling the series away. It is about as close as it gets to a win. Congratulations to Robin Team and crew on Teamwork and to Jim Bishop and his always competitive J/44 Gold Digger crew.

IRC 2 (6 entries)

1, Bandit, Swan 42, Andy Fisher, Newport, R.I., (4)-2-2-3-1-3-2-4-4-(5)=25
2, Teamwork, J/122, Robin Team, Beaufort, N.C., 1-1-4-4-4-(6)-3.5-1-5-2=25.5
3, Gold Digger, J/44, James Bishop, Jamestown, R.I., 3-(6)-1-2-3-1-3.5-3-6-4=26.5