Sunday, December 15, 2019

2019 Hot Rum Series Closes with a Whimper

J/120 sailing off San Diego, CA

(San Diego, CA)- Sadly, the third and final race of the 2019 San Diego Yacht Club Hot Rum Series could not be sailed due to a substantial lack of wind... the expected sea breeze that often develops from the WNW never fully materialized to launch the fleet of 125+ boats across the starting line with any hope of getting them all back in by sunset.  As a result, the series standings from the previous two races stood as this year's overall results.

In the huge twenty-eight boat PHRF 1 Class of "gold platers", three J/crews all finished next to one another.  Standing Fleming's J/125 TIMESHAVER took 5th place, while Rudy Hasl's J/145 PALAEMON took sixth position and Robert Pace's J/145 ANDIAMO 2 took seventh.

The twenty-one boat PHRF 2 Class saw John Laun's J/120 CAPER win their last race to leap into fourth place for the series.

J/105s sailing off San Diego, CA
The usual suspects in the large twenty-eight boat PHRF 4 Class saw J/105s predominate.  Leading the class was Dennis Case's J/105 J-OK, followed by Tom Garrett's youth team on the J/70 SLOOP JOHN B in second place, followed by Jeff Brown's J/105 SWEET KAREN in 5th place, Steve & Lucy Howell's J/105 BLINK in 7th, Chuck Bowers's J/29 RHUMB RUNNER in 8th, and George Scheel's J/105 SUN PUFFIN rounding out the top ten.

The thirty-one boat PHRF 5 Class saw Tim Lynch's J/30 RUFFIAN sail consistently to take fourth place.  For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Fun-lovin' J/22 Jammin’ Jamaica Regatta

J22 Jamaica sailors
(Montego Bay, Jamaica)- When the final boat docked at the Montego Bay Yacht Club on Sunday, signaling the end of the 30th Annual Jamaica International Invitational (JAMIN) Regatta, it was Team ADJUSTED from the Cayman Islands that were declared the winners.

J/22 Jammin Jamaica winners

Members of Team ADJUSTED (from left) Joe Palone, Mike Farrington and Karin McGarth took the first-place prize.

Five teams from the United States, two from Canada, two from the Cayman Islands arrived on the island on Thursday, along with four teams from Jamaica to assemble the largest fleet of J/22s ever on the island.

Taking second place was Michele Cimon and her team from Ottawa, Canada sailing JIM SCREECHIE and third was Drew Mutch's crew on JUST WING IT from Annapolis, MD (sailing for their first time in Mo'Bay). The Jamaican teams AYAHSO and TSUNAMI placed sixth and ninth, respectively.

J/22s sailing off Montego Bay, Jamaica
At the end of the event, JAMIN organizing committee chairman- Richard Hamilton- thanked the volunteers for their tremendous support:

“This would not have been possible without a number of volunteers who believe in reviving the sport of sailing and boating in general in Jamaica. A number of owners, including myself, gave up our boats to visitors to the island who came with the intent of participating in the regatta. We also sought the support from Seaboard Marine and major lubricant distributor Lubit; combined they were very instrumental in getting two additional boats from Cayman. The turnout was absolutely tremendous, and we look forward to bigger and better events next year,” he said.

In addition to the daily races, participants were given a taste of Jamaican culture with an opening cocktail party hosted by CPJ at the Montego Bay Yacht Club on Thursday and a fete at the Hard Rock Café the following evening. On Saturday night ahead of the final races, participants were shuttled to pirate themed party hosted by Lynn and Brian Langford at their Great River home.

Seaboard Marine - sponsor of J/22 Jammin Jamaica Regatta
The Jamaica International Invitational is one of the oldest regattas in the Caribbean, which aims to highlight the island as a premier sailing destination in the world.

The regatta was held in conjunction with the Jamaica Olympic Association, the Jamaica Yachting Association, the Montego Bay Yacht Club and the 2019 committee of volunteers- Welcome to Montego Bay, Welcome to the Yacht Club and Welcome to Jamin 2019. The beginnings of the regatta was enabled by the generous heart of Tony Hart, he was instrumental in bringing the boats to Montego Bay in the 1980s. Finally, it's important to recognize the historical supporters of the regatta: 
  • the longest standing repeat customer: Galen Freeman- who was in MoBay 30 years ago at the inaugural regatta. Galen is from Tennessee.
  • the second longest sailor- Bruce Berner– who was in MoBay 28 years ago and still has the T shirt to prove it. Bruce is from Indianapolis, Indiana.
Follow the J/22 Jammin' Jamaica Regatta on Facebook here  For more J/22 Jammin' Jamaica Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

J/70 Bacardi Winter Series I Preview

J/70s sailing upwind

(Miami, FL)- While the Tampa Bay Winter Series launched this past weekend, the Bacardi J/70 Winter Series starts this coming weekend on Biscayne Bay. Hosting the series will be the Shake-A-Leg Foundation sailing program located next to the completely refurbished Monty Trainer's Bar and Restaurant in Coconut Grove, FL.  Twenty-three boats have registered and despite being half the size of the Tampa Bay series fleet, the concentration of many top American teams ensure the fleet will have plenty of hot competition to begin gearing themselves up for the 2020 J/70 World Championship in Marina del Rey, CA in late July 2020.

Featured amongst those leading teams are past World Champion Joel Ronning skippering CATAPULT from Wayzata Yacht Club in Minnesota.  Ronning will be have to contend with other hot teams like Dan Goldberg's BAZINGA from American Yacht Club in New York, John Heaton's EMPEIRIA from Chicago Yacht Club in Illinois, Jeff Janov & David Ullman sailing MINOR THREAT from the 2020 J/70 World's host California Yacht Club, John Brim's RIMETTE from Fishers Island Yacht Club in New York, Buddy Cribb's VICTORY from Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, and Pamela Rose's ROSEBUD from Chicago Yacht Club in Illinois.  A stellar group of teams with hot prospects for a podium finish!  For more Bacardi J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Award-winning J/99 @ Paris Boat Show!

J/99 sailing offshore doublehanded

J/Composites Celebrates 25 Years!
(Paris, France)- The 2019 edition of the Salon Nautique Paris will be taking place on the southside of Paris in its usual location at the Parc d'Exposition from December 7th to 15th.  The J/Composites team from Les Sables d'Olonne, France will be in attendance with the award-winning J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster at Pavillon 1, Stand 1-G-64.  For Salon Nautique Paris boat show information

Since its debut one year ago, the J/99 has been critically acclaimed by many of the world's leading sailboat analysts as an exciting new entry into the mid-size offshore cruiser-racer marketplace, with a focus on offering an exceptional experience for those focused on short-handed sailing- doublehanded offshore or a family wishing for a fun, fast, easy-to-sail, weekday evening "beer can" racer.  The J/99's pedigree is without peer and her performance is enough to get anyone out for a spontaneous sunset sail with family and friends in comfort and style.  For more J/99 offshore shorthanded speedster sailing information

J/Composites teamJ/Composites Celebrates 25 Years!
J/Boats is pleased to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the J/Composites and J/Boats partnership with a truly great group of yacht builders and dedicated sailors. The journey with J/Composites (based in Les Sables d’Olonne, France) began with the J/92 in 1994, quickly followed by the J/80 the following year. Before long, hundreds of J/Composites built J’s were sailing in dozens of countries across Europe, and the foundation was firmly laid that would lead to building the full-line of J/Models from 22’ to 43’ and a successful 25+ year relationship together.

An important turning point came in 2001 with the launch of the J/109- the first new "J" design to be tooled, developed and launched outside of the USA. The success of this model opened the door to new collaborations between J/Boats designer Alan Johnstone and Didier LeMoal, President of J/Composites, including the development of the J/97, J/122, the E series of racing/cruising yachts (J/97E, J/112E, J/122E) and most recently- the award-winning J/99.

In addition to other models like the J/88, J/92s, J/100, J/105, J/110, J/120 and J/133, J/Composites has successfully built and helped promote and grow the most active keelboat one-design classes sailing in Europe today, including the International J/70, International J/80, and International J/111.

Congratulations to Didier LeMoal, Fred Bouvier and the entire J/Composites staff for 25 years of great work! Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, December 13, 2019

FREDO Wins J/80 Mundialito Regatta

J/80s sailing off Santander, Spain
(Santander, Spain)- The Real Club Maritimo Santander in Santander, Spain hosted the 2019 J/80 Mundialito Cup Regatta off their famous setting in front of Spain's Pyrenees on the northeastern shoreline of Spain, located on the Bay of Biscay.  The fleet was treated to good racing when the breeze was over the weekend, but it was not without its challenges for the RCM Santander's PRO!

J/80s sailing off Santander, Spain
In the end, it was a past J/80 World Champion- Jose Maria "Pichu" Torcida-Seghers that won the regatta on the fabulous FREDO!  Taking second was Alfredo Gonzalez's EDIFICIO and rounding out the podium was Jose Azqueta-Arrue's BIOBIZZ that took the bronze medal.  The balance of the top five in this always hyper-competitive fleet was determined by a tie-breaker at 10 pts each; winning that countback was Rafael Malo's HATUEY in fourth place and Ignacio Camino-Rodriguez’s ESP 899 in fifth place. For more J/80 Mundialito Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

All-women's J/92 Team Triumph on Great Lakes!

(Grand Traverse Bay, MI)- This past summer, an all-women's team sailed on the J/92 KNOCKOUT with owner/ skipper Libby Tomlinson from Quantum Sails in Traverse City, MI. They had a very successful season sailing on Grand Traverse Bay.... here is Libby's report on the fun times and the challenges they face...

J/92 women's team
"I’m excited to share that our J/92 KNOCKOUT was named Yacht of the Year at Grand Traverse Yacht Club, in Traverse City, Michigan! The all-women crew of KNOCKOUT came together seven years ago after the husband of a good friend of mine recognized that his wife wanted to get more involved in sailing but felt uncomfortable being the only woman on the boat (typically).  So, we got to talking, and Rob suggested that we go in together on a boat, “for the girls”, and we decided a B-25 would suit the needs and budget nicely.  The name KNOCKOUT came after a long, hilarious, democratic process to name an all-girls boat.

J/92 all women's crew
During the six seasons on the B-25, we enabled over 25 women to get out on the water for Wednesday night racing, a little cruising, and some weekend short-distance events.  At the start of it all, only myself and my foredeck, Petra, knew anything about sailing!  Coaching from the helm, while driving and trimming main, and Petra coaching from the bow, we managed to get everyone up to speed in their positions.  Our first season was also our most successful, being named Yacht of the Year and winning our Intermediate level fleet.

J/92 women's team kids
Being a Knockout crew is something special, and everyone onboard has become part of the team by asking to be there.  We’ve never recruited.  Nonetheless, we’ve grown over the years a bit, in numbers and skill level, and Rob and I both have had children who we wanted to introduce to sailing on a more family-friendly boat.  That led us to wanting a J/92.

I joined the forum and kept watch for boats coming up for sale.  One day last fall, the opportunity came:  Bob Johnston on San Francisco Bay listed his beloved J/92 RAGTIME, hull #18.  I jumped, and about a week later, after a glowing survey, she started the journey across the country from San Francisco to Michigan.  Yes, fall isn’t the best time to buy a boat in Michigan!  She went into heated storage, amongst the area’s most prized auto collectors’ treasures, presiding high.

Come to find out, hull #18 has some special history.  Originally owned by Rod Johnstone himself and named RAGTIME! Yes, the co-founder of J/Boats had sailed her for two summers in the Stonington, CT sailing circles, Off Soundings, Block Island, etc.

Bob Johnston bought RAGTIME in November 2002.  She was in Marion, MA and owned by a former J/24 sailor, Joe Moore.  Joe was/is an engineer and meticulous.  Being in the Northeast, the boat (then called Acrobat) was kept inside for 5 months every year.  Joe sent many photos of every bit of the boat and they had some good conversations, such that Bob bought the boat sight-unseen.

Bob and RAGTIME had many great adventures in their 16 years together, including double-handing to Hawaii once, and single-handing 4 more times!  Besides the Hawaii races, Bob and "Rags" have been the singlehanded season champions in the SSS (200 members), won the local ocean series (most recently singlehanded in 2016 and doublehanded in 2017), and had success in many other races on San Francisco Bay and the coast.

J/92 boat owner- Libby
So, we on the KNOCKOUT crew had a bit of a legacy to live up to!  Our season started out slowly, learning the changes needed to our crew work and positions, adjusting to the bigger loads and honing our teamwork, and getting our rig tuned for our new suit of Quantum sails.  The boat was a delight to sail from the get-go.

We attended every Wednesday night race all summer, finishing the Spring series in second and the Summer series in third.   About mid-season we seemed to hit our stride with a string of bullets in August.  Our biggest competitor, an Express 34 fitted with a bowsprit, had been leading the season and we were quickly coming from behind.  It came down to the final race of the year, winner-take-all, and we managed to take line honors that night!  We also enjoyed a fun race mid-season and dressed up like Rosie The Riveter(s).  And our kids really enjoyed Knockout too!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Hamble Winter Series VII Report

J/109s sailing Solent
(Hamble, England)- The past weekend proved to be a bit of an anti-climax for most teams sailing the Hamble Sailing Club's annual Hamble Winter Series. The lack of a race did little to clarify the remaining positions in the IRC classes. While a number of the prize-winners are now set in stone, or at least Solent mud, there are a number of podium places still to fight for.

In IRC 2, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE has also been safe at the top for a while. Gavin Howe's J/88 TIGRIS in second is some ten points adrift. Third place will be one of next Sunday’s big battles, including Dirk Van Beek's J/88 SABRIEL JR and Mike and Susie Yates's J/109 JAGO-- a three-way match race" as one old wag put it. How JAGO must wish they could have got rid of that 13 points from Race 6, last week.

J/109 sailing off Cowes, England on Solent
The other big scrap will be at the top of IRC 1, where Ian Atkins Icy and Chaz Ivill's J/112E DAVANTI TYRES have been slugging it out all series. They both have the same four first places and a three two split in second places in favour of Icy. Will the J/112E that has won the class for the two previous years ultimately triumph? Time will tell.

The good news is that the forecast is showing some 15-23 knots of breeze for Sunday. The bad news is that it will be from that tricky NE direction, producing very shifty, streaky, offshore breezes!

As well as the overall prizes, this coming Sunday finale will see the "Yacht of the Series Trophy" presented and the "Paul Heys Trophy", to the best J/Boat, in memory of Paul who was such a great supporter of the HYS Hamble Winter Series. For more HYS Hamble Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Award-winning J/99 @ Paris Boat Show!

J/99 sailing offshore doublehanded
(Paris, France)- The 2019 edition of the Salon Nautique Paris will be taking place on the southside of Paris in its usual location at the Parc d'Exposition from December 7th to 15th.  The J/Composites team from Les Sables d'Olonne, France will be in attendance with the award-winning J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster at Pavillon 1, Stand 1-G-64.  For Salon Nautique Paris boat show information

Since its debut one year ago, the J/99 has been critically acclaimed by many of the world's leading sailboat analysts as an exciting new entry into the mid-size offshore cruiser-racer marketplace, with a focus on offering an exceptional experience for those focused on short-handed sailing- doublehanded offshore or a family wishing for a fun, fast, easy-to-sail, weekday evening "beer can" racer.  The J/99's pedigree is without peer and her performance is enough to get anyone out for a spontaneous sunset sail with family and friends in comfort and style.  For more J/99 offshore shorthanded speedster sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

J/99 Wins SAIL Magazine Awards Best Boats- Performance Boat 31'+!

J/99 SAIL Best Boats Award winner
(Boston, MA)- Eleven of the nominees for SAIL Magazine’s 2020 Best Boats Awards have been advanced as winners for this annual recognition.

“Once again, the boatbuilding industry has shown how it never seems to run out of fresh ideas—something that is clearly evident in SAIL’s Best Boats contest,” says SAIL’s executive editor Adam Cort, who was joined in judging by associate editor Lydia Mullan, cruising editor Charles J. Doane, charter editor Zuzana Prochazka, veteran boat-reviewer Tom Dove and SAIL’s contributing editor Tom Hale.

J/99 SAIL Best Boats winnerOne of the winners of SAIL’s 2020 Best Boats Awards was the new J/99- awarded the Best Performance Boat over 31ft! Here is the commentary from the SAIL Best Boats Judges:

"It was a fun year for SAIL’s Best Boats judges with a number of mid-sized performance boats to sail trial. Alas, the downside to having so many boats to choose from is also having to pick a winner. This was especially tough because of the variety of boats involved. How do you compare, for example, our winner in this category with, say, the Sun Fast 3300? In the end, though, our judges decided to give the J/99 the nod for two reasons: build quality and breadth of sailing ability.

With respect to the build quality, the J/99 is wonderfully constructed: top to bottom, stem to stern. Topsides, the boat continues designer Al Johnstone’s use of plumb ends and elegantly sculpted cabin trunk to create a look that is all business, yet still elegant.

Belowdecks, the saloon and accommodations are well laid out, with just enough woodwork to keep things from looking sterile while still saving owners a lot of maintenance headaches. The rig is aluminum with a fixed sprit for flying an A-sail. The layup, overall finish and hardware installations are top-notch.

With respect to sailing ability, what most impressed our judges was the combination of performance and versatility, all in a surprisingly low-key package. While some of the other boats in this space very much wear their performance cred on their sleeve in the form of a welter of halyards and control lines, the J/99 is a fairly simple platform by comparison. Not that there’s anything wrong with complexity. On the contrary, for an awful lot of sailors out there, it’s all part of the fun. However, there are also an awful lot of other sailors out there, not to mention friends and family when out daysailing, for whom it’s not, and it’s here that the J/99 truly excels. On the one hand, with its tiller and carefully apportioned cockpit, the boat is perfect for such offshore events as the Chicago-Mac race, whether fully crewed or shorthanded. On the other, it’s also the perfect boat for beer-can racing or just tooling around the harbor on a sunny day. Successfully combining these two types of sailing in a single 32ft sloop is no mean feat— and the reason our judges chose the J/99 as the winner in a very strong field."  For more SAIL Magazine's Best Boats 2020 Awards information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Eights Bells- Dr. Scott Piper- owner of J/160 PIPEDREAM IX

Scott Piper- J/160 Pipedream IX owner(Miami, FL)- A friend of Dr. Piper's- Tom Byrne- had this to say regards his recent passing:

"It is with deep regret that I inform you of the passing of William “Scott” Piper III, M.D. of Miami Florida on Monday, December 2, 2019.

Scott Piper was a world class sailor, with five circumnavigations to his name, with a detailed memory of the hundreds of people and places he had encountered in his life time.

Dr Scott Piper's J/160 Pipedream IXScott was the 2008 recipient of the Cruising Club of America's "Blue Water Medal" and was planning his next Atlantic crossing with his wife Mary on his beloved J/160 “PIPEDREAM IX” at the time of his passing.

Scott included 100's of “friends” in his adventures and inspired sailors and non-sailors alike to push themselves to live their lives to the fullest. We will miss Scott. Our best wishes and condolences to Mary and the rest of the Piper family." Add to Flipboard Magazine.