Saturday, April 14, 2018

Why J/105s Are Thriving in Seattle

J/105 sailng off Seattle(Seattle, WA)- Jim Geros, proud owner of the J/105 LAST TANGO from Seattle, WA, provided his insights into why the Pacific Northwest J/105 fleet continues to have fun after nearly two decades of sailing on Puget Sound and the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

“The PNW J/105 Fleet is active and building over that past few years. The fleet is composed of fourteen Seattle-based boats and four Portland-based boats. Each of these home bases has active sailing races during the year with a mix of formal competitive buoy and distance races, as well as local evening "beer can" racing, both PHRF and one-design. There are regularly 7-13 boats on the line for key races. In the Seattle area, turnout for J/105s includes 18 major races, 22 Wednesday evening one-design buoy races and 15 Monday evening PHRF distance races. In these races, the J/105 fleet gets its own class and start when turnout is five or more boats, which is regularly the case.

J/105 sailing off SeattleThe Fleet maintains an active Facebook group page with key events and race outcomes during the year.  The J/105 Fleet is becoming more competitive every year as the new owners get to know how to make their boats go fast and rise in the standings. Many times, the top J/105 boats in the fleet seem to have results where order can be random as to leadership outcome; it is true one-design racing.

Most remarkable of all?  Due to the extremely high level of the class, the J/105s also rank high in the standings against other PNW PHRF non-J/105s in offshore handicap races!

In 2017, one boat consistently took home bullets throughout the year— J/105 #114, MORE JUBILEE owned and skippered by Erik Kristen. Erik has consistently been in the top rankings for many years.

J/105 awards in SeattleMORE JUBILEE was honored with the prestigious Corinthian YC Seattle “2017 Boat of the Year Award” in a ceremony held January 2018.  Erik had firsts at Scatchet Head, Three Tree Point, Puget Sound Sailing Regatta, Puget Sound Sailing Championship, Puget Sound One-Design, all four Wednesday night series, Tri-Island Short Course, winner of the Northwest Challenge Cup and seconds at Grand Prix and Doublehanded Race to the Straits. Erik's consistent racing results won out over other nominated finalists; those CYC member boats included a Melges 32, Fan 39ML, Farr 30, J/29 and a Wauqeuiez Centurion 40. This was the second year in a row that a J/105 won this CYC award (last year's 2016 winner was LAST TANGO).

48° North magazine each year recognizes the high level of racing in the Pacific Northwest. Tracking the racing results of selected series from Olympia, Washington to Vancouver, B.C., this Top 25 rewards not just the occasional bullet, but participation and consistent, top-notch sailing. With a mix of distance and multi-race regattas, the 12 races in the region used for scoring make for a good representation of Northwest racing.

J/105 spinnakers off Seattle, WAThis year, Erik Kristen's J/105 MORE JUBILEE #114, took the coveted first place spot in the Top 25 list! Congratulations to Erik and his crew for having a 100% perfect race result for the scored races. This was also an impressive outcome for the J/105 fleet with three in the Top 10 and six in the Top 25 with 1st MORE JUBILEE #114, 4th LAST TANGO #212, 9th JADED #299, 11th INCONCEIVABLE #403, 21st DELIRIUM #272, and 25th MOOSE UNKNOWN #89.

MORE JUBILEE with Erik Kristen also capped off his performance with being awarded the Fleet 20 PNW J/105 Championship Trophy for 2017!

PNW J/105s participate in many of the Seattle racing events. There were 13 boats out for the past two years at Whidbey Island Race Week (, eight boats at Swiftsure International Yacht Race (, three boats for Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race ( and five boats at Round the County (, just to name a few.

J/105 crewThe Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race hosted by Corinthian YC of Portland, has had a few J/105s competing over the years, but 2017 was the first year that sufficient number of J/105s registered to have their own class. This distance race starts outside the Columbia River in the Pacific and runs north along the Washington coast, turns into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and finishes in Victoria Canada.

Finishing order in the J/105 class was Free Bowl of Soup #519, Abstract #459 and Escape Artist #372. This year, Free Bowl of Soup had the honor of taking the prestigious trophy for winning first Overall PHRF in the Oregon Offshore. This trophy will have another THREE names emblazoned on it this year— Doug Schenk, Erik Hopper and Matt Davis. The trio sailed their J/105 Free Bowl of Soup to an overall victory in the 2017 race under blustery conditions. Congratulations to that boat and crew! (

The Swiftsure International Yacht Race is hosted by the Victoria Yacht Club of Canada. 2017 was the first year we had seven boats (four from Seattle and three up from Portland, Oregon) as a one-design division for the 102nm Cape Flattery Race. We needed to have five or more J/105s turn out and that happened in 2017 (currently five are registered for 2018). It's a great race with a great host city, lots of boats from all over and competitive camaraderie. Top three finishers were Last Tango #212, Jaded #299 and Panic #482.

Big time congratulations to the committed and consistent competitors that make our PNW J/105 Fleet racing fun and competitive. And every bit as important, thanks to everybody who takes to the water to be a part of the racing community, whether the races are long or short, serious or casual, fully-crewed or short-handed, and everything in between! Add to Flipboard Magazine.