Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holidays! Wishing You Great Sailing in 2013!

J/70 one-design speedster- sailing off Newport, RI- the "Boat of the Year"!
The J/Team

Al, Bob, Drake, Jeff, Kendra,
Paul, Peter, Phil, Rod and Stuart

J/70 Speedster- Sailboats Made In America!

"America's Best Boat of the Year"
The J/70 one-design speedster was introduced to critical acclaim in March 2012 and has rapidly taken the world by storm with over 300 boats sold in over 15 countries-- it's the fastest growing one-design sportboat ever.  Such remarkable success is a tribute to the entire team, including CCF Composites in Bristol, Rhode Island (the USA builder) and suppliers like Harken, Southern Spars, Marlow, various sailmakers (Doyle, North, Quantum, Ullman, to name a few) and the entire J/Dealer network worldwide.

J/70 one-design speedster- SAIL's Best Boats- Performance Under 30 ftJ/70 Sailing World Boat of the Year 2013 OverallIn addition, the new "baby J" has also achieved sailboat industry acclaim, taking SAIL Magazines "Best Boat- Performance Under 30 ft" category and also SAILING WORLD'S 2013 "Overall Boat of the Year" over all six categories!

J/70 Speedster- Made In Europe in France

"A European Sensation"
J//70 started sailing in Europe mid-summer 2012 wth first deliveries from JB Composites in Les Sables des' Olonne taking place in July.  Since then the fall/ winter boatshows are generating extraordinary enthusiasm across the European Continent as well as in the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa and South America.  Plus, J/70 is a "European Yacht of the Year 2013 Nominee" in the Performance Boat Category!

Friday, December 21, 2012

J/70 Sailing Videos- udpate

(Newport, RI)- As more and more J/70s start sailing around the world, we're seeing more J/70 sailing videos getting posted all the time on YouTube.

J/70 sailing fall brawl regatta- annapolis, mdHere are some new videos of sailing a J/70 in the Annapolis Fall Brawl Regatta- courtesy of North Sails One-Design (Will Welles, Chuck Allen, Vince Brun, Chris Snow);

J/70 sailboat test with Voiles Magazine- FranceHere's a nice video put together by VOILES Magazine while they were doing their sail test for the J/70.

J/70 Ullman Sails Newport Beach testing- CaliforniaUllman Sails one-design team (Dave Ullman, Eric Shampain, Keith Magnussen) in Newport Beach, California put together a nice intro on sail testing the J/70 out West.

J/70 Doyle Sailmakers testing- sailing in FloridaDoyle Sailmakers one-design team from Clearwater/ Marblehead (Robbie Doyle, Mark Ploch, Juddie Smith, Greg Marie) had their sailors doing two boat sail testing on Western Long Island  Sound in preparation for Key West Race Week.

The Seattle gang are having fun, too, and have posted a few videos worth watching. Here's their description of their J/70 sailing experiences:  "These were taken (with a GoPro) from this past weekend’s PSSC up in Seattle, where surprisingly enough we actually had some fairly serious winds; at least we did on Saturday.  This is our downwind leg, we set a new personal speed record of 16.1 on this leg!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Barkow Wins Carlos Aguilar Match Race

sailboats sailing Carlos Aguilar match race- St thomas, Virgin Islands (St Thomas, USVI)- The St. Thomas Yacht Club and the VirginIslands Sailing Association again hosted yet another fabulous regatta on the Charlotte Amalie harbor waterfront using their unique J/24s (modified and call IC-24s).  With the courses set less than 50 yards from the shore, spectators had fantastic views of the action and the sailors. The event offers both an open division and a woman’s division that provides for great sailing and even better prospects for after race entertainment. The rum and tequila drinks are all “free” as are many meals. The “reggae” music starts right after the de–briefs as does the dancing.

Sailing fast, furious and smart was long-time J/22 and J/24 sailor Sally Barkow from Wisconsin, playing the "comeback kid" role and taking the regatta from her mentor/coach, David Perry 3-0 (yes, three-zip!) in the finals! Barkow, who has raced this regatta four times, took second last year after a narrow defeat by Finland’s Staphan Lindberg. That defeat made this year’s win for Barkow and her crew – Annie Lush, Alana O’Reilly, Erik Champaign and Maggie Shea – all the sweeter.

“We worked hard as a team in these last few days and it paid off,” says Barkow, who is ranked 6th in the Women’s and 31st in the Open match race ranking’s divisions as of December 5, 2012. Barkow was awarded a distinctive Ulysse Nardin precision timepiece for her win.

sailboats sailing Carlos Aguilar match race- st thomas, usviA rain squall blowing across the Charlotte Amalie harbor just minutes before the start of the Finals left light and shifty conditions in its wake. This didn’t deter Barkow who handily won the first two matches against Perry.  In what proved the final match of the Finals, Barkow lead at the start and stretched her advantage to 8 boat lengths by the windward mark. She lengthened her frontrunner position into a commanding 10 to 12 boat lengths by the finish even though her team battled through a kink in the spinnaker that cost them a few seconds in boat speed in the last downwind run.

“It was so shifty,” says Barkow. “It was easy to get it either so right or so wrong.”  This match-up of teams in the Finals was an interesting one as Perry, who is the author of Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012, has served as Barkow’s match racing coach.  And, Perry has also sailed J/22s and J/24s, amongst many other J's for well over 30 years himself.

“For me it was a win-win,” says Perry of his team’s second place finish and his student’s first. “Sally’s team is really good and they have evolved their game well. I was impatient. I had some advantages and gave them away. This either put me behind or put me further behind and Sally took advantage of that.”

Two past America’s Cup skippers and also long-time J/22 and J/24 sailors went head-to-head in the Petite Finals. Ultimately, the USVI’s Peter Holmberg won 2-1 over the USA’s Dave Dellenbaugh. Thus, Holmberg finished third and Dellenbaugh fourth in the final standings. Holmberg won this event in 2009.  Another Wisconsin girl and now coach at the Chicago Match Race Center was Sally's close friend Stephanie Roble, sailing a strong series herself to finish just out of the running in seventh overall.  Sailing photo credits- Dean Barnes    For more Carlos Aguilar sailing information and results.


J/80 sailing off Santander Bay, Spain (Santander, Spain)- Ignacio Camino's NEXTEL ENGINEERING was the winner of this year's Trofeo AVIA sailed in J/80s on the waters of Santander Bay.  The wind was a the real "star" of the event as for two days the wind saw gusts over 30 kts at the start of the races.  Going to windward after the starts was a test of seamanship, steering and basic sail-trim.  Going downwind was even a greater test as some crews experienced some pretty remarkable broaches.

On both days, the Race Committee PRO had to change race course area after the first race, taking the fleet inside the "sand spit" into the area of ​​Quebrantas and could fit a smaller, protected course in the vicinity of the island of Horadada.

Jaime Piris on FONESTAR opted for the pin end start and stretched to the left side where the influence of the current tide was lower, in addition to benefiting from the greater wind pressure that came from the west.  On the other side of the course going up the right hand side were ECC VIVIENDAS sailed by Pichu Torcida, GO FIT skippered by David Madrazo and Ignacio Camino on NEXTEL.  Although they finished behind FONESTAR, they did not fare well on the right due to less wind pressure and were sailing against stronger current.

After several more races, it became quite obvious to the sailors that the left hand side of the course was paying off upwind while the right hand side (left going downwind) was much faster going downwind under spinnaker.

It was a good afternoon of sailing for the favorites NEXTEL, ECC and GO FIT, which never finished below the top five.  In the end, Camino won on NEXTEL with just 9 pts followed by Madrazo on GO FIT in second place with 13 pts, narrowly beating out Luis Prieto sailing MAQUECHE who had 14 pts for third place.  The balance of the top five were comprised of Pichu's team on ECC VIVIENDAS in fourth with 15 pts and in fifth was YATES & COSAS.  The Class B champion was A&G Private Banking sailed by Tono Ribalaygua.  For more J/80 Santander Trofeo Avia sailing information

For those of you who are students of sailing tactics & strategies, you may want to take a look at a very interesting video representation of the tracking system used for the J/80 French Nationals in Douarnenez, France.  Take a look at this sailboat tracking system overview on YouTube here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

J/35 Smokin' Down Derwent

J/35 MEM sailing River Derwent, Hobart, Tasmania(Hobart, Tasmania)- A powerful, hot and smokey northerly wind, bringing heatwave conditions to Hobart, sent the fleet 'smokin' down the Derwent in today's final pre-Christmas Combined Clubs harbour racing series.

The temperature in Hobart peaked at 33 degrees, the north to north-westerly wind averaged 25 knots, gusting to more than 30 knots and more as it funnelled down the river below the Tasman Bridge.

The wooden mast of the 77 year old Derwent class yacht Gnome broke under the pressure and the gusty wind saw some spectacular broaches under spinnaker, including the Farr 40 and a large sportboat that was forced to retire after a mid-river broach as she planed downwind.  The strong breeze contributed to some last day changes in the final point scores for the Combined Clubs pre-Christmas harbour series.

Sailboats sailing the River Derwent, Hobart, TasmaniaGroup 1 ended with three different winners of each of the three handicap categories after two final windward/leeward races today.  Nevertheless, the solid, fast J/35 MEM, skippered by Paul Boutchard, finished with a 2nd and a 4th to win the PHS category with a record of 1-8-1-1-3-3-2-2-4-2 for a net 15 points, ahead of Don Calvert's Castro 40, Intrigue, on 22 points and Darren Clark's Farr 1104, Invincible, on 28 points.  The wins by Paul Bouthard’s J/35 under PHS handicaps was the stand-out performance in the handicap divisions.

The J/35 MEM will always be remembered as the yacht owned by then Sydney-based yachtsman, John Quinn, from which he was tossed overboard when huge waves engulfed the boat in the Tasman Sea during the 1993 Sydney Hobart Race.

Quinn courageously dog-paddled for just short of six hours before being unbelievably heard by a crew member aboard the tanker, Ampol Sorel, before being picked up by fellow competitor, Atara, owned by John Storey. Atara’s crew did all the right things as they headed to Eden and Quinn was able to walk off the yacht unaided.

Quinn sold MEM and she now lives a more sedate life racing on the River Derwent. Quinn returned to ocean racing and the Sydney Hobart, despite his ordeal, but has now retired from the sport and lives of Hobart.

The Combined Clubs post-Christmas harbour series will start on Saturday, 12 January 2013.  Thanks for contribution from Peter Campbell.  For more Derwent Sailing Squadron sailing information

TRICALMA Wins J/105 Chilean Nationals

J/105 sailboats- sailing Chilean Nationals (Algarrobo, Chile)- One-design sailing continues to grow quite dramatically in the Southern Hemisphere.  It's a result of the efforts of numerous sailors and sailing clubs in the region that see sailing as a family activity. In general, the local sailing community continues to grow and foster development both at the beginner levels in Optimist sailing as well as in more advanced levels of offshore keelboats.

A testimonial to that development evolution is the growth of the J/105 fleet in Chile over the last two years.  There is no question the Chileans have some magnificent sailing areas both on the Pacific Ocean as well as in the many bays and island archipelagos in the southern parts of their gorgeous country.

J/105 one-design sailboats- sailing off Algarrobo, ChileWith nineteen boats on the starting line, the 2012 Chilean J/105 Nationals were sailed this weekend in a wide variety of conditions that challenged the sailors during the six races sailed. On the first day, the J/105 teams experienced nice steady 10-12 kts Southwest winds, enabling the PRO to run three races.  On Sunday, the wind shifted into the Northwest and got lighter during the day with winds ranging from 5-10 kts, the fleet again enjoyed three good races.

Most of the boats sailing had family crew onboard, including lots of women and kids as crew.  In fact, several boats had husband/wife combinations and a few even "engaged couples"!  The camaraderie amongst the sailors was evident as all had a lot of fun both on and off the water.

The racing was very very close for the fleet with both 1st and 2nd and 3rd and 4th determined by tie-breakers!  Finishing first was TRICALMA sailed by Daniel Gonzalez, the J/105 Chile Class President.  Second was RECLUTA III sailed by Miguel Perez, also with 15 pts.  Third on the podium was BIG BOOTY sJ/70 one-design speedster- sailing off Chile's Pacific Coastailed by Miguel Salas and losing the tie-breaker at 17 pts was Patricio Seguel's GRAND SLAM, taking 4th overall.  Rounding out the top five was Sergio Baesa's family team with 21 pts-- in fact they had perhaps the most family on one boat, Sergio Baesa father & son, Sergio Jr's wife, daughter and two friends!  Their hull #173 was the first J/105 brought into Chile fifteen years ago!  Today, there are now 24 J/105s in Chile, most in the Algarrobo/Valparaiso sailing harbors.

The next event for the J/105 Chile fleet is the "Bio Bio Circuit" at the end of January 2013. For those of you familiar with the disastrous earthquake/tsunami that hit almost 3 years ago on Feb 27 2010, they will be sailing  at "Zone Zero", the waters over the epicenter of that massive earthquake!  Oh, and here's the photo of the the sneak attack by the J/70 on the 105 fleet loaded with pirates!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

J/42 Caribbean 1500 Cruising Report

J/42 Keep It Simple - crew on Tortola, BVI - Carib 1500 Rally (Tortola, BVI)- Joe Reed sailed his J/42 KEEP IT SIMPLE from Hampton, Virginia to Roadtown, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands in this year's Caribbean 1500 Rally.  Here's his report on their experience with Hurricane Sandy and the Atlantic crossing below:

"I left Annapolis aboard Keep It Simple, my J-42 sailboat, 5 weeks ago today on this great Adventure. Don, Lee and I departed Annapolis around 5:30am headed for Hampton, VA with Hurricane Sandy headed for the East Coast. We had heavy rain with the wind from the north and following seas. We did not install the companion-way board and both the crew and the boat got really wet.

We arrived in Hampton around 1:00 pm and there was no one staffing the marina and the floating dock were disconnected from the seawall in preparation for very high tides. We tied up at the fuel dock and weathered Hurricane Sandy out there. Then on Wednesday we moved over to our assigned slip.

Joel arrived on Thursday and we started final preparations for the Caribbean 1500. Friday we heard that a big Low was forecast to start forming on Monday as we were crossing the Gulf Stream that could make things a bit dicey. At the Saturday, 1:00 pm skipper’s briefing, we were told of the forecast and the Tortola group was told they could leave as soon as they were ready and the rally would use a rolling start or we could wait until Thursday. The Bahamas group was told to take the ICW (intra-coastal waterway) down to Buford, NC and depart from there.

We got back to the boat finished our preparations and were away from the Dock by 5:30 pm Saturday Nov. 3. We crossed the starting line at 7:05 pm. Wind was out of the Northeast at around 18 kts. Sometime Saturday evening we put in the 1st reef and it was never removed the entire trip.

Almost the entire rally the wind was coming over the port quarter from the NE from 18 to 26 kts. We were able to maintain around 7.5 kts with either, main with 1st reef only, main with 1st reef plus Jib with 2nd reef, main with 1st reef plus full jib, or motoring. We lost the middle batten so we could not set the second reef in main since it would risk damage to the main.

Don was surprised that we were on the same point of sail for almost the entire trip. We only had a need for one "all hands on deck" call which was around 1:00 am when the wind started climbing and there were gales in the area. Everyone was up, life-vest & harnesses on, on deck, sails down and secure in less that 10 minutes with it blowing over 40 kts. I went forward to get the sail down and Joel assisted in getting the sail ties on, in heavy seas with the boat bouncing around.

The day before we were to cross the finish line, I installed the Caribbean navigations chart card in the navigation display and got nothing. We broke out the paper charts and the iPad to review our approach to Tortola. I set a center channel waypoint into the display and had Don become familiar with the chart since he would have the midnight watch when we should cross the finish.

At midnight Nov. 12 I took the helm and the entire crew was up. The wind started to get light as we approached Tortola. After one boat passed us motoring I decide that we would motor the last few miles. We crossed the finish line at 1:24 AST, 8 day 5 hours and 44 min.  During this entire time we only used the engine for propulsion for 22.2 hours.

When we arrived at Nanny Cay, Tortola around 3:30 am, the rally staff was on the dock and handed us a drink after the boat was tied up.  We spent a few days in Nanny Cay, cleaning the boat up, making repairs and resting. For the 2012 Caribbean 1500 Rally, our great little yacht, the J/42 KEEP IT SIMPLE came in 1st in Class B and 1st overall!  For more Carib 1500 sailing information.

J/70 Class Update

(Newport, RI)- Class development is accelerating dramatically around the world.  In the USA alone, there are over a dozen J/70 fleets that have formed already with nearly twice that amount in the formative process across America. 

The J/70 Regatta schedule has expanded considerably, here's a short-list of what's happening in the 70 world for 2013.

J/70 Regatta Schedule
January-     Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
February-   SW NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
March-       Bacardi Race Week- Miami, FL
April-         Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
                  Warsash Spring Series- Solent, England
                  SPI Ouest France- La Trinite sur Mer, France
May-         SW NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
June-         Bacardi Regatta- Newport, RI
                  Sail Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
                  Cleveland Race Week- Cleveland, OH
July-          Leukemia Cup Cleveland- Cleveland, OH
                  Youngstown Level Regatta- Youngstown, NY
                  New Englands/ Marblehead NOOD- Marblehead, MA
August-      Cowes Week- Cowes, England
September- Europeans- Lake Garda, Italy
                  North Americans- Annapolis, MD
October-    Fall Brawl Regatta- Annapolis, MD
                  SoCal Championships- San Diego, CA

J/70 one-design sailboat- Paris Boatshow- Paris, France- More regattas are coming on-line all the time. Teams out West are working out the PCC's and SoCal Championships.  J/70 owners in Texas/Gulf Coast are forming a Texas Circuit rolling between Forth Worth, Austin, Houston.  In the Midwest (Chicago, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio) teams are forming their circuit plans, too. The European 70 teams were discussing at the Paris Show and soon the London Boat show plans for the J/70 European Circuit. In Europe, fleets are developing in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Germany.  South America also has boats and fleets are in development in Chile, Argentina, and Peru.  Also in the Southern Hemisphere, it looks like J/70s may become popular in Sydney, Australia and even in Perth-- can you imagine a J/70 flying home downwind in the "Freemantle Doctor"!?  That would be insanely fun.

Read more about J/70 class development on the newly formed J/70 Class Association- or learn more from owners on the J/70 Class on Facebook-

Monday, December 17, 2012

J/70 SAIL Best Boat

J/70 SAIL Magazine- Best Boats- Performance (Boston, MA)- Recently, SAIL Magazine's panel of sailing experts reviewed a large cross-section of "performance" sailboats in the 30 foot and under size range.  After a thorough evaluation of all the boats, the SAIL Best Boat  expert panel chose the J/70 as the "Best Boat" in the "Performance Category" (30 ft & under).

Here are some comments from them, "..the trailerable J/70 is a simple, nimble sport boat that's rapidly growing into one of the most impressive one-design classes afloat."  And furthermore, "expect big things from this 22 footer as fleets take root and blossom-- the same as with its 24-foot cousin (the J/24) back in the 1970s."  Click on the photo to read more about it.

Read more about J/70 class development on the newly formed J/70 Class Association- or learn more from owners on the J/70 Class on Facebook-

Gorgeous New 2013 J/Calendar!

J/Sailing Calendar 2013- J/70 coverThe Perfect Gift For People Who Love Sailing!
(Newport, RI)- For 2013 we've created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places. The 2013 sailing calendar features photos (pictured here) of a dramatic J/111 powering upwind off Newport; a fleet of J/24s off sunny Tampa; surrealistic scenes of J/80s off Santander, Spain and flying downwind off Marseilles, France; a fleet of J/120s rocking downwind under spinnakers on San Francisco Bay; J/70s flying along under spinnakers; J/22s starting in the Rocky Mountains; and a J/97, J/109 and J/122 sailing in sunny Solent conditions.  A great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew!    Order your 2013 J/Calendar today, click here

Friday, December 14, 2012

J/70 Fun in Santa Barbara Holiday Regatta

J/70 sailing Santa Barbara YC Holiday Regatta(Santa Barbara, CA)- J70 fleets are growing fast on the West Coast- a recent report regards a new J/70 owner's experiences in the Santa Barbara YC Holiday Regatta:

"It was a slow, wet two days for the Santa Barbara YC Holiday Regatta. Nonetheless, it was fun watching Mike Drammer and Eli Parker's new J-70 ROXIE'S ROCKET compete. They won their first regatta in the PHRF B fleet! Saturday's crew included Mike, Eric Stokke and Ken Kieding. We're looking forward to seeing more in 2013 from a new and growing J-70 fleet locally!"  They're pictured here looking focused, going fast and having fun on their practice day!

GOOD VIBES Rocks J/24 Mexico Nationals

J/24s one-designs sailing Mexico (Coporito, Mexico)- The Mexican J/24 Class continues to build on it strength and momentum with fleets continuing to improve and get strong in both Valle de Bravo as well as in Puerto Vallarta. Other fleets continue to develop nicely.  Coporito recently did a fabulous job of hosting the 2012 Mexican J/24 Nationals.

The weather was less than cooperative with only six races of at least eight that were scheduled for the event.  But, sailors are sailors-- the fleet still managed to have great fun!

Weather conditions were changing all the time.  The first day of competition started with 5-8 knots, then the wind died completely and then re-started again with little velocity.  As a result a second race was held but, unfortunately for most fleet, the wind died again before most boats could make to the finish line before the time limit.

The second day the wind began to blow a little early and the first race was held again with light winds of 5-7 knots. Then like what happened on Friday, the wind died for about an hour before returning with gusts of 8 at 11 knots with rain.

On Sunday the racing began an hour earlier and the first race was again run in light winds of 4-7 knots and the last race was run in rain!  In summary, it was fun sailing despite the challenging conditions.  A great turnout for the Mexican J/24 fleet and a special "Congratulations" to the "Good Vibes" team for showing great consistency in widely varying conditions-- winning 4 of 6 races!

Congratulations to Team GOOD VIBES- Jorge Murrieta, Julian Fernandez, Diego Fernandez, Jorge Ogarrio Ander Belausteguigoitia- for being crowned the 2012 Mexican J/24 Champions! Second place went to VENDETTA sailed by Mario Velasquez, with Margarita Pazos, Mario Velasquez Jr, and Walter Porter.  Third overall went to a family team on BESANGA sailed by Jerome, Diego, Paul, Philip and Gloria Cervantes. Fourth spot went to a familiar name often at the top of the leader-board- Ken Porter on COMEX.  And, finally in fifth was Javier Velasquez and crew.  For more Mexican J/24 Nationals sailing information

Thursday, December 13, 2012

J/24 Sailing- Gybe Broach Curtsy?

J/24 sailing in Casco Bay Maine (Casco Bay, Maine) - We received a rather amusing note from John Denman recently, he's a J/24 sailor on Casco Bay, Maine. John had this to say about a recent J/24 sailing experience in a Maine regatta this fall:

"In the 'Photos of the Week' section in Scuttlebutt last Friday, we'd like to say thanks for including the J/24 photo sequence from the Downeast Regatta on Casco Bay, ME. We were the beneficiary of that late gybe broach; I was driving #2109 and we were just yards from the finish line when "Mr. Hankey" was kind enough to take a detour and let us past. They are very generous up there in Maine--- with a great Clambake dinner, free beer and drinks, and letting the visitors pass right before the finish line!!

By the way, the gusts to 30+ knots on Hussey Sound in Falmouth, Maine led to this unplanned jibe (and swim)."  Thanks John!  Sailing Photos by Ann Blanchard.

JAM Wins Vashon Island Race

J/160 JAM sailing Vashon Island Race- Seattle, WA (Seattle, WA)- The Vashon Island Race is full of legends and incredibly amusing stories, some good, some not so good.  For example, one year some sailors got banned from the clubhouse, another year the entire fleet sailed the wrong way around the island and then there was a time you couldn’t see your competitors through the snow (nor could the race committee!).

Winter Vashon, the annual 30.7nm race that kicks off the South Sound Series, has often been renown for providing the sailors grey, wet and windy conditions as enormous fronts blow down from the Gulf of Alaska and provide the Seattle area with their notorious wet, grey weather.  This year was a bit different and the relatively warm, benign conditions were enthusiastically welcomed by the sailors.

J/29 sailboat- sailing Vashon Island Race SeattleAs she has done many times before, leading all the J's home was the J/160 JAM sailed by John McPhail, sailing the race in a reasonably fast elapsed time of 4:14:05.  The result of their herculean efforts was first prize for Class 2 amongst all the big boats!

In Class 4, the J/120 HINZITE sailed by James and Charles Hinz managed to snag second in class with an elapsed time of 4:41:24, about a half hour behind the speeding J/160.

J/35 sailing Vashon Island Race in SeattleThe J/35s and J/109s comprised most of Class 6 and managed to take 6 of the top 7 spots!  Leading the J's home was the J/35 GREAT WHITE sailed by Dan Wierman with a 2nd in class.  Third was the J/109 TANTIVY sailed by Stuart Brunell.  Fourth and fifth, respectively, were two J/35s, GRACE E skippered by Brian White and MELANGE sailed by Jerry McKay and V Beyehe.

The J/105 DULCINEA helmed by Matthew Gardner-Brown won her Class 7 by the narrowest of margins, 8 seconds!

Class 8 saw J's take 3 of the top 5.  The J/35c WILDFLOWER sailed by Tom Mitchell took second overall, followed by the J/29 SLICK skippered by Pat Nelson and Bob Mayfield in third and the J/29 HERE & NOW skippered by Pat Denney in fourth.   Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson  For Tacoma Yacht Club’s Winter Vashon Island Race sailing information

KONG EASYNET GRIFONE Italian EuroCup Winners

J/24 sailing in Italy lakes (Lecco, Italy)- The Italian J/24 National Circuit concluded recently with the final stage in their series determining the winner at the Trophy Credito Valtellinese hosted the by Societa Canottieri Lecco.  The great yacht "KONG EASYNET GRIFONE" sailed by Marco Stefanoni, Fabio Mazzoni, Massimo Consonni, Roberto Santomanco and Giusi Riva won the XXXVIII edition of the Winter Championship.

They took the lead on the second day of racing and never looked back, accumulating a scoreline of 2-2-1-4-5-1-4-6-5-1 for 20 pts net.  Joining them on the podium was JAMAICA sailed by Gianluca Caridi, Ginesi Fabrizio, Giuseppe Garofalo and Paul Governato who sailed a very strong series but after losing the lead on the second day could never gain it back.  Their record of 4-3-4-1-1-14-1-5-5-8 for 24 pts was good enough for second place.  Lying third was JJ EXTRALARGE sailed by Roberto Spata, Robert Martignoni, Michele Malandra, Andrea and Stefano Zamboni Carnelli.  They had a great comeback on Saturday and Sunday but not enough to overcome the other leaders with their record of 8-7-2-5-4-3-3-1-3-7 for 28 pts net.

J/24s sailing Lecco, Italy
The opening day of racing saw the "breva" wind (local wind from the south) around 6-7 kts, providing the fleet with two good races that didn't complete until sunset!  After all, this is what you must do when sailing high in the Italian Alps!

On the following day, the crews started in the early morning to take advantage of the "tivano" wind (typical wind from the north of the lake).  However, despite starting twice in these conditions, the sudden drop in the wind forced the race PRO's to postpone racing until the afternoon "breva" wind would show up to complete two races very late in the day.

For Saturday's racing, the decision was made to start even earlier in the impetuous "tivano" winds, sailing from 0800 hrs to 1300 hrs!  It resulted in getting in four races in 5-8 kts of wind and was a good test for the sailors.

Sunday's racing started under a light rain and the schedule was for two more races in the "tivano" breeze of about 6-9 kts, much to the satisfaction of all the participating sailors!  This was the seventh and last stage of the Italian J/24 Circuit that began in February in Monaco with the Primo Cup!  Many thanks for this contribution from Paola Zanoni.  More Italian J/24 Sailing photos and results.   For more J/24 Italian National Circuit sailing information

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

J/24 Sailboat Screen Prints

J/24 sailcloth image gift(Charleston, SC)- This Holiday season, surprise that sailing fanatic who already has everything with a gift they're sure to love, a custom handmade J/24 sail print. Each 18"x24" J/24 print is screen-printed on recycled sail cloth and is hand-signed and numbered by the artist (and avid sailor)- Chad Covert. Made locally in Charleston, SC, this print makes a wonderful gift—but hurry, as these are limited-run prints. Customize the print with your very own sail numbers for a small charge. Each print retails for $80.00. Please order at-

ONLINE Blitzes J/24 Spring Cup

J/24s sailing Lago San Roque, Cordoba, Argentina (Lago San Roque, Cordoba, Argentina)-- High in the Argentinean side of the Andes along its western borders their lies a simply spectacular lake set into the foothills of the Andes Mountain range.  In winter (the northern hemisphere summer) many Olympic ski teams from around the world head south to the famous town of Bariloche and places nearby to continue their year-round downhill ski-training programs.  While Argentinean sailors can often be found on the slopes themselves, they look forward to their spring-time sailing on simply spectacular lakes at the base of the Andes Mountains in quaint mountain village towns like Cordoba's Lago San Roque ( or San Carlos de Bariloche's Lago Nahuel Huapi (  It's a bit like the South American version of Italy's famous Lago di Garda in Italy's northern region bordering the southern reaches of the Austrian/ Swiss/ Italian Alps.

Recently, the J/24 fleet in Cordoba held their Spring Cup and had a solid turnout of sixteen boats to experience the rather chilly waters, amazing winds and spectacular vistas of Lago San Roque-- at least that's what the local Chamber of Commerce usually predicts for this time of year.

J/24s sailing Argentina's Andes mountain lakesOn the first weekend of racing the fleet was confronted with not too much wind.  In fact, it was uncharacteristically light for this time of year when the fronts are still raging around the South Pole and often the northern fingers hit the Andes and produce some monstrous winds.  Nevertheless, the RC managed to run three races with much effort, despite the wind at times blowing in from the Northeast, dying and then returning back again from the East.
The first race went to the ONLINE Team sailed by Adrian Bongioanni at the helm with his brother Saul on the sheets.  Second went to CALEUCHE sailed by Matías Arrambide, Gringo Betendorf and Pedrito Lozada.  Third went to Team CAMBURY skippered by Alvaro Abate.

In the second race, SAMA skippered by Frank Pesci, Mariana Buteler in the bow, Ezekiel Despontin in sheets and Carlos took the lead from the start to cross the line first!  They were followed closely by J-MAC sailed by Spoceti Gabriel, his son Paul, Adrian Berelejis on the sheets and Marcelo Romero at the helm.

The third and final race of the regatta went to ONLINE in first, with SAMA in second.  At the end, ONLINE's 1-3-1 for 5 pts total meant the Bongioanni brothers were crowned Spring Cup Champions in Cordoba!  Second was Team SAMA with a 5-1-2 for 8 pts for Frank Pesci and crew.  Rounding out the podium ws J-MAC's team led by Spoceti Gabriel with a 7-2-6 for 15 pts.  The balance of the top five was CALEUCHE winning a tie-breaker with a 2-5-10 for 17 pts over CLICK with a 6-3-8 for 17 pts.  If you're ever in Buenos Aires, be sure to take a trip out West to Cordoba and volunteer to  crew on a J/24 in this spectacular setting!

J/24 sailboat- sailing Bariloche, ArgentinaJ/24 sailboats are also racing on Lago "Nahuel Huapi" in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, quite a bit further south of Cordoba and next to the famous Andes ski areas WSW of San Carlos de Bariloche. Take a look at this YouTube video of a regatta from Cumelen Bay on the NE shore of the lake to Piedras Blancas near San Carlos de Bariloche.

For a backgrounder on the 7 Lakes District around Bariloche take a peek at this GEO TV video.   For more J/24 Spring Cup Argentina sailing results