Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2007 – A Look Back @ A Record Year

It’s been a record year for J/Boat owners with major offshore racing wins across the US and Europe. The introduction of the new J/122 built by J/Europe has taken the IRC circuit in France, the UK, the Netherlands and the USA by storm achieving several overall wins both inshore and offshore. J/Boat owners were class and overall champions of numerous offshore events including Ft. Lauderdale-Key West Race, Pineapple Cup, Bayview Mac Race, Annapolis-Newport Race, Charleston Bermuda Race, Transpac (overall winner J/125 Reinrag II pictured here), Chicago Mac, and several RORC offshore races. J/133 was awarded “Best Series Produced Yacht” and the J/122 won IRC 1 class overall for the entire season in the 2007 RORC series. J/80 production raced by the 1,000 hull milestone now with over 1050 boats built. A record 120 J/80s sailed at the World Championships in La Trinite France. The J/105 Class set attendance records on both US coasts culminating in a 69 boat fleet at the North American Champs in Annapolis. J/105 also won the RORC 2-handed season trophy. J/109 class activity is thriving in the US and UK. Clay Burkhalter successfully sailed his Rod Johnstone designed Mini 6.5 ‘Acadia’ across the Atlantic from France to Brazil finishing 12th overall out of 89 entries. The J/80 debuted at the Asian Sportboat Championship placing 1st and 2nd overall. J/Europe increased factory capacity by 40% thanks to increasing demand worldwide for new J/Boats. Then several more J/Owners are actively engaged cruising their boats through the oceans of the world. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Congratulations to J/Owners for an incredible year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

J/Owner: US Sailing Sailor of the Week

As Commodore of Larchmont Yacht Club in New York, Jan Smeets knows a thing or two about the inner workings of a yacht club. Following the path that's common at many yacht clubs, Jan climbed the ranks at the club and is now halfway through his two-year term as commodore. A lifelong sailor who learned to sail as a kid growing up in Curacao, Jan has owned his share of boats over the years. He's currently the proud owner of a J/133 named Bacchanal. According to his wife Anne-Mieke, the name for the boat follows Jan's mantra of enjoying life and having fun. A few weeks ago, Jan celebrated his 60th birthday at the club with plenty of friends and family in attendance. When everyone asked him what he wanted for his birthday, Jan responded with "Please make a donation to US SAILING." Read more.

J/80 Across the Atlantic

“The rough wind had brought up some nice waves rolling in from astern and with storm jib and main our J/80 was constantly planing with top speed above 15 knots. The full moon gave full control over the big waves and I could freely choose which waves to surf down. I thought that this night’s sailing alone was worth all the effort and hard work preparing for this trip when I suddenly see something dark by the side of the boat. It takes a few seconds before I realize that the boat is surrounded by dolphins. Sometimes three to four dolphins jump just in front of the bow, sometimes side by side with the boat. I am actually playing in the waves with the J/80 together with the dolphins. Amazing! I woke Andreas down below (who hadn't been able to sleep anyway in the racketing noise) he looked up and realized where the whistling and clicking noises he had heard actually came from.”

Two good friends and fellow sailors Jens Utbult and Andreas Granberg from Sweden have taken on the challenge to sail to the West Indies from Portugal aboard their J/80 and are just now nearing completion of the crossing/odyssey. Why, you might ask? “The idea of sailing to the West Indies was born during a warm summer night on our way to Fårö. A J/80, is an eight meter long racing boat with the same conveniences as a two-man-tent and is so fast that it even leaves some 40-feet boats behind. J/80s have been sailed in races like Gotland Runt and other ocean races many times but still, no one has crossed the Atlantic Ocean in one. We will change that during 2007.” Follow their adventure here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

J Owners Recognized at RORC Prize Giving

Last month’s Royal Ocean Racing Club’s annual awards dinner was anything but a quiet affair for J owners, who wore a path to the podium to collect an impressive array of silver: Chaz Ivill won the Jazz Trophy for IRC overall in his J/133 JB3; Nick Martin won the Alan Paul Trophy for consistent high performance in IRC in his J/105 DIABLO-J; Philippe Delaporte received the Emily Verger Plate for first place in IRC 1 in his J/122 PEN AZEN; Mike West and Paul Worswick won the Psipsina Trophy for first place in the Two Handed Division in J/105 JUNEAU; Jean-Eudes Renier and Patrick Baune won the J/109 RORC Trophy in JEE-RAFT; Marcus Wilson and those magnificent RAF men in their flying machine, the J/109 RED ARROW were awarded the Haylock Cup for Best British service Yacht in IRC; Chaz Ivill took a second bow and sailed away with the Serendip Trophy in his J/133 JB3 as Best Series Produced Yacht in IRC; and an encore performance for Philippe Delaporte in J/122 PEN AZEN who returned to France with the Stradivarius Trophy for Best Overseas Yacht in IRC. Well done all!

Friday, November 23, 2007

J/80’s 1-2 in Asian Sportboat Champs

The J/80 recently debuted in Asia at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Maersk Asian International Sportboat Championship, where two out-of-the-box J/80 yachts took the top two spots, finishing ahead of a mixed fleet of custom and production built sportboats from China, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. Jeff Johnstone of J Boats and his all-Hong Kong crew edged out colleague Jeff Brown of San Diego to complete the one-two sweep. Brown, with partner Hudson Wang, recently opened the J Boats Asia dealership with an office in downtown Hong Kong and with plans for a mainland China office in 2008.

The Asian debut comes at a time when J/80 activity is booming worldwide. The recent J/80 World Championship in La Trinite-sur-Mer, France had 124 competing teams - a record for the Class, and momentum continues to build. "The J/80 is a solid all-around performer that’s really easy to sail," Johnstone said. "It's more stable than most sportboats, and so attracts and rewards sailors from a wider age and ability range."

Brown is equally enthusiastic about the J/80's Asian debut. "We see Hong Kong, China, and Asia as great opportunities for J/80 sailing and for the J/80 Class," said Brown. "There is no better small keelboat for new sailors - the J/80 combines the speed and responsiveness of a small boat with the comfort and stability of a larger yacht. With momentum so strong around the world, we're hoping to host the J/80 Pacific Rim Championship in a few years!"

The J/80 will be on display at the Shanghai International Boat Show next April.

Friday, November 16, 2007

J/80 2007 NA Championship

Kerry Klingler sailing his J/80 Lifted with crew including Doug Lynn, Neil Bresnan & John Bowden recently won his second consecutive J/80 North American Championship and third J80 NA title overall by winning the final show-down race where a single point separated the top three boats.

Just six weeks before the J/80 NA Championships the J/80 Class organization faced a terrible problem. Lake Norman, N.C., where the regatta was scheduled to take place was drying up because of the severe drought in the southeast USA. With too little water to launch boats and race it was panic time! The class’s first call was to Kristen Robinson to ask if Eastport YC, in Annapolis, could host the regatta. The club accepted and started organizing a first class event in record time. The class embraced the move and teams from as far away as California changed plans. The end result was a true championship regatta, raced by 33 competitors who love the boat… Complete wrap-up.

J/109s 1-2 @ IRC East Coast Champs

Bill Sweetser’s J/109 Rush dominated his IRC Class 4 followed by fellow J/109 owner Steve McManus sailing Saykadoo (thumbnail courtesy of to second in the Storm Trysail Club 2007 IRC East Coast Championship recently held in Annapolis. With finishes of 1.5,2,1,1,2,1,1 for a total of 9.5 points after throw-out, Sweetser & crew achieved the lowest point total for all IRC classes at the event! While the overall IRC award somehow eluded Rush and the Class 4 group, overall it was a great showing for both the Rush & Saykadoo teams!

And speaking of teams, Robin Team’s brand new J/122 Teamwork sailing in her first out of the box event finished a respectable 2nd place in IRC Class 3. With no wind during the practice race to tune up and then breeze-on for day 1, the Teamwork crew put their new boat and team on a steep learning curve, improving each race and eventually taking at least one first and a couple of second place finishes for the series….next stop, Key West. In total 45 boats, divided into five classes competed in this the final event in the 2007 IRC Gulf Stream Series. Results.

Masquerade Repeats at J/105 NAs

A repeat win for a great team as Tom Coates and crew from San Francisco Bay aboard Masquerade topped the record 68 boat J/105 fleet in Annapolis earlier this month. With a slow start and a stellar finish these guys literally came out of nowhere to win again. As far as J/105 one-design events go, this was a milestone event and a culmination of 16 years of class development and growth. A record turnout of boats and some competitive racing and challenging conditions. During the buffet dinner party on Friday night, special recognition was given to long time J/Dealer Paul Mikulski by J/Boats President Jeff Johnstone for Paul’s un-tiring contribution to the success of the local J/105 class and his work promoting J/Boats on the Chesapeake over the past two decades. A special J/105 half hull model was awarded to Paul who now continues as broker with the new J/Dealer in Annapolis Ken Comerford of North Point Yacht Sales at J/Port.

Each J/105 competing at the North American event was GPS monitored by the folks at Kattack who recorded every race and through the magic of the web will allow anyone to play, rewind, and replay any race of the series. Go to to download the player….it’s pretty cool stuff.

For complete reports and links to the daily commentary from the event as well as to online photos please visit the J/105 Class web site.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

J/105 Class Draws Record Fleet

Annapolis, MD -- When the entry period officially closed on Wednesday, October 17, a record fleet of 69 J/105s from across North America were in the mix for the upcoming J/105 North American Championship, set for Thursday-Sunday, November 1-4. Among the entries are 40 boats that will be traveling from outside the Chesapeake Bay. Defending North American Champion Thomas Coates from San Francisco, CA, will be on hand with his Masquerade team, hoping to repeat his 2006 win. In addition, Steve Phillips of Arnold, MD, who earned the championship title in 2000 and again in 2002, will be among the 27 representatives of Annapolis’ Fleet 3, sailing Le Renard.

The lineup of competitors is not only challenging, but also diverse. Along with past champions and consistently strong performers from 15 J/105 fleets in North America, two teams of Naval Academy midshipmen also will compete. These collegians are not the youngest participants, however; that honor goes to the Storm Trysail Club’s Chessie Team, made up of five junior sailors and their coach. -- Full report

Burkhalter Finishes 12th in Transat 6.5

Congratulations to Clay Burkhalter of Stonington, CT who recently completed the grueling 4,200nm Atlantic crossing in the Transat 6.5 race (formerly the Mini Transat) in his Rod Johnstone designed 21 foot "mini" Acadia. By crossing the finish line at Salvador Bahia, Brazil on Oct. 25, Clay realized his goal to complete the race and placed a respectable 12th overall out of 86 boats and among the elite tier of European mini specialists... Here are a few bullets from his experience.

• Fastest speed: 17.5 knots in the first few days – during the first several days of the race when in squalls the wind would increase to as much as 50 knots.

• Scariest moments: Climbing the mast twice to untangle halyards. And, a few days into the race, when one of many squalls hit and Clay found himself moving so fast downwind that, as he put it, “All I could do was kneel in the cockpit, struggle to keep control of the rudders and hope it would pass before things started breaking all over the place.”

• During this year’s Transat 650, Acadia did not suffer a single crucial equipment failure that Clay was unable to fix enroute. His sails are intact, but for a small rip in one. However, plenty of hardware broke – from turnbuckles and blocks to a spinnaker pole, and by the end of the race, Clay was substituting hardware from one part of the boat to another. For more info, links to interviews and video clips please visit the Team Acadia web site.

Tedeschi’s Top J/109 NA Champs

LONG BEACH, Calif.---“We plan to keep sailing consistently. That is how we win regattas.” Those words as spoken by Stephen Tedeschi on Saturday now seem prophetic as he and co-skipper/father Brian did just that Sunday, sailing their boat Tastes Like Chicken, Newport, R.I., to win the second annual J/109 North American Championships in the waters off Long Beach.

Going into the day, Tedeschi knew there were only two or three boats they had to watch: Gary Mozer’s Current Obsession, Long Beach, John Shulze’s Linstar, Newport Beach, and Tony Wetherbee’s Commotion, Dana Point. In heavy winds of 14-16 knots, some boats had miscues and Current Obsession tore its jib. But the Tedeschi crew of Tony Tedeschi, Mark Ploch, Mark “Gonzo” Gonzales, Alex Millet, Melody Schleusner, and Peter Hamm persevered with fifth- and second-place finishes Sunday to clinch the crown for the championship. results

J/122 Wins Manhasset Fall Series 2007

Andrew Weiss and crew aboard J/122 Christopher Dragon recently capped off a great season on their new boat with another IRC win, this time at the Manhasset Bay YC Fall Series on Long Island Sound. Andrew reports:

“The Fall Series this year had conditions ranging from 5 to 23 Knots. Competition in the class included Tom Carroll’s J/133, an IMX45, two Farr 395s, a Ker 11.3 and a modified Beneteau 40.7. The first race was in very shifty westerly winds where we missed a shift and ended up in 6th place. Ultimately this would be our throw out race for the series. As the wind increased over the first weekend we were very fast upwind passing larger boats on the beats. Downwind we had little to no trouble with boat handling as many of the boats were wiping out.

The second Saturday we sailed three races in 17-23 knots placing 1,3,1. In the last race we were first to finish beating all the big boats on elapsed time. As the year has gone on we have been amazed how fast this boat goes upwind in big breeze. The last race on Sunday was a long seven leg race in shifty conditions. With the boat’s ability to tack faster and sail deeper angle's downwind we won both the race and series with finishes of 6,3,1,3,1,1. This regatta topped a year with Christopher Dragon where we finished first in every series entered except one where we finished second to another J/122. We couldn't be happier with the boat.”

complete results.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Venue Change! J/80 NA Championship

Due to the very low water levels in Lake Norman, NC the 2007 J/80 North American Championship regatta has recently been moved to Annapolis, MD. Eastport Yacht Club will now host the event. Dates for the regatta remain the same, Nov. 9-11, and if you have already registered, your registration fee and application will be transferred to the new race organizers. If you have not already registered, please do so now! Annapolis is the Sailing Capitol of the World and promises great race committee, great parties and a great atmosphere. Details, including a new NOR, schedule of events and information on visiting Annapolis, will be posted shortly. Please help Eastport Yacht Club, Fleet 18 and your J80 USA Executive Board in making this a great National Championship! for latest info

J-122 ‘J-DAY’ Wins Antwerp Race

J-122 'J-DAY', skippered by Robin Verhoef of J/Benelux, showed excellent performance at the recently concluded Antwerp Race in Belgium winning the 52 boat IRC class 1/2. This annual event is one of the largest of the year sailed from Breskens to Antwerp on the tidal ‘Westerschelde’. This year the entire 46 nm course was an upwind stretch with winds varying between 6 – 12 knots. The competition was fierce in the IRC 1/2 class including two Swan 45’s, two Club Swan 42s, an X 41, X 46, X 35, Grand Soleil 40 and 43 and a Bashford 36. By the end of the race J-Day corrected to a 6 minute lead over the second place boat. The light winds made it a long and exciting race which was only decided when the harbor of Antwerp was in sight. Once more – and again the J/122 proves to have great upwind speed. Congratulations to Robin and his all amateur crew! event website.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Burkhalter in top 10 in Mini Transat

After 3000 miles of racing, Clay Burkhalter has moved into 10th position in the 2007 Mini Transat Race. The 83 boat fleet is spread over a 400 mile range and is now literally in the middle of the Atlantic midway between Africa and South America. Sailing in his custom Rod Johnstone designed 21 foot "mini," Clay has managed to move steadily closer to the lead pack over the last week and now it's card shuffling time as the fleet crosses the convergence zone and then settles in for the final 1,200 mile "sprint" to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. You can follow Clay's and the rest of the fleet's progress at the Team Acadia website. There are three positional updates daily.

Junior Sailors Thrive on Keelboats

More junior sailors are discovering the thrill of sailing larger keelboats, thanks to a slew of JBBS (Junior Big Boat Sailing) initiatives cropping up around the country. This is no more evident than on Long Island Sound, where young sailors have been competing in the Beach Point Overnight Regatta now for 50 years. For 2007, the event (also known as the Junior Distance Sailing Championship of Long Island Sound) drew 17 boats, ranging from 30 to 45 footers, all sailing the 60 mile course from Mamaroneck, NY to Stratford Shoals and back. Winning the top prize was the junior team from Black Rock Yacht Club (pictured at left), sailing Dave and Mary Ellen Tortorello’s new J/122 Partnership. Black Rock Yacht Club started an innovative JBBS program 7 years ago that now is being modeled elsewhere. US Sailing is also developing curriculum for JBBS, and will soon be providing sailing program directors with the tools needed to start JBBS programs in their communities. Check out some of these other junior keelboat initiatives that are making a difference in the sport - Team Tsunami . . . . . . Storm Trysail Club

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Annapolis is J/105 Crazy for Oct & Nov

Everything starts with the AYC Fall Series where over 30 J/105s will be tuning up for the NA’s later in the month. And it’s shaping up to be a record turnout as over 67 boats have entered for the 2007 North American Championship so far! Both events are hosted by the Annapolis Yacht Club and J/105 Fleet 3 with racing taking place for the NAs on Nov. 1-4. Measurement is by appointment and will take place from Oct 27-31. This will be the highlight regatta of the year for J/105 sailors. More info at the race web site.

Decent Proposals & J/105 Hot Stuff

San Diego J/Owners are always dreaming up fun new ways to spice up life. First, Steve & Lucy Howell, owners of J/105 Blink!, conspired with their son, Matt to expand the family recently. Matt took his girlfriend Liz out to a nice romantic lunch at a local restaurant right on the bay, and the family casually sailed by on Blink! with a special proposal to Liz to join the Howell family… Then, on Friday night before J/Fest, J/105 owners hosted a BBQ to thank their crews for a great season. Complete with personalized costumes, the owners were “on fire” as they grilled up goodies for everyone! BBQ pics here.

PS. She said yes!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

J/133 ‘Best Series Produced Yacht’

The RORC recently announced the Annual Challenge Trophies & Special Awards for the 2007 Offshore Series and what a year it was for J/Owners. Charles Ivill’s J/133 JB3 has won both the Overall IRC award and the Serendip Trophy for Best Series Produced Yacht in IRC after a fantastic season. Philippe Delaport’s new J/122 Pen Azen has been named the IRC 1 champion and Best Overseas Yacht in IRC with an impressive racing record, and J/105s topped the 2 Handed IRC Division for the second season with Mike West’s J/105 Juneau in first and Nick Martin’s J/105 Diablo J placing second. The J/109 RORC trophy will be awarded to Jean-Eudes Renier/Patrick Baune aboard Jee-Raft. All trophies and medallions are to be awarded at the upcoming RORC Annual Dinner on Friday 2nd November 2007. Congratulations to these and all participating J/Owners for a great season! Press Release

J/Fest Weekend in San Diego

This weekend (9/28-30) J/Fest San Diego 2007 will be hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club and sponsored by Longboard Vineyards and JK3 Nautical Enterprises, Inc. Nearly 50 J/Boats are expected including J/24’s, J/80’s, J/105’s, J/120’s and J/109’s. It should be fun for all with great racing, seminars and parties.

After the traditional warm up race on Friday afternoon come visit us for the annual wine tasting party hosted by our good friend Robert with Longboard Vineyards. On Saturday morning we'll kick off the day with a seminar by B&G and then it’s off to the races!

Upon the return to the dock the festivities will kick into high gear! We’ll be raffling off tons of great stuff and tossing a few hats! This event is always the best of the year with lots of food, fun & friends. Look forward to seeing you all there! Complete Regatta Info Here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

J/122 & J/105 win at Big Boat Series

Dave Kirby of Manhattan Beach, CA, skippered his brand new J/122 “TKO” to victory in the IRC C class at the Rolex Big Boat Series last weekend to capture both the Keefe-Kilborn Memorial Trophy as well as a Rolex submariner watch. TKO excelled in the windy San Francisco Bay conditions that saw 112 boats competing in 10 IRC and One-design divisions. In the 34 boat J/105 fleet, Chris Perkins and his crew from San Francisco were awarded the Commodore’s Cup for winning the largest one-design division. This was the fifth time in seven years that Perkins and GOOD TIMIN have won. The J/120 fleet also saw tight action with Steve Madeira on MR. MAGOO edging out Barry Lewis on CHANCE in the final race. The 2008 Rolex Big Boat Series will be held September 11-14 at the St. Francis Yacht Club. Results

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

J/Boats... Number One in IRC!

Among the 566 boats on file with US Sailing in 2007 with endorsed IRC certificates, J/Boats is the number one brand, with twice the participants of the next closest brand. Here's the tally:

(1) 108 - J/Boats - 19.0%
(2) 53 - Swan - 9.4%
(3) 49 - Beneteau - 8.7%
(4) 34 - Farr - 6.0%
(5) 18 - C&C - 3.2%
(6) 15 - X-Yachts - 2.7%
(7) 8 - Tartan - 1.4%

These 7 brands account for 285 boats, or better than half the total.

Not only are J Boats more fun to sail, easier to own, in constant demand, and more likely to hold their value over time, but the world is beginning to discover (thanks to the extraordinary race results being posted under IRC by the latest J series of racer/cruisers: J/109, new J/122 and J/133) that J Boat designs are excelling in a domain previously dominated by custom boats. US IRC List.

J/109 'Tastes Like Chicken' wins NOOD

In sailboat racing there are two degrees of quickness: there's fast and then there's blazing fast. Ask Stephen Tedeschi where his J/109 team fell in that range at the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta in Larchmont and we guarantee he has no qualms confessing that his Tastes Like Chicken is plenty fast: fast enough, that is, to earn the regatta's overall trophy and a trip to the British Virgin Islands for the Caribbean NOOD Championship in November! 58% of the entries for the regatta were J/Boats, with plenty of J/one-design action in the J/27, J/30, J/105 & J/109 classes… report & results here.

Friday, August 31, 2007

A UK Triumph of the J’s – J/Cup 2007

On August 23-25 fifty-two J/Boats gathered for the annual J/Cup regatta in the famous southern town of Plymouth, UK. J/Cup is a regatta organized by J/UK exclusively for J/Boat owners and like J/Fest in the USA all models, ranging from the J/22 up to the J/65 are eligible to compete. This year there was some great one-design action in the J/80, J/105 and J/109 classes with the 109s racing-off for the 2007 UK National Championship. In addition, there was IRC racing in two additional classes.

With the help of great sponsors, great parties, stellar race management by the Royal Western Yacht Club and tons of awards including, of course, the J/Cup itself, this year’s event was a complete success… Weather conditions were clear with winds of 20 knots on day 1 and 8-10 for days 2-3 after the sea breeze kicked in. Complete results, info & photos are available on the J-UK web site. (photos by Lee Whitehead).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Aftershock Wins Verve Cup Overall

Aftershock, a J35 owned by William Newman (Muskegeon, Mich.) is the overall winner of the 2007 Verve Cup, presented by Audi. The 2007 Verve Cup was held on August 17-19 with a mix of windward-leeward racing and a combined fleet course race. Racing was cancelled Sunday due to weather. The Verve Cup is awarded to the section winner whose section features the closest, most competitive racing. Overall awards are also awarded for each class.

Newman won the tiebreaker over last years winner Bruce Metcalf aboard his J/35 Bozo's Circus and beat out the newer C&C 115s and Beneteau 10R among others in the PHRF section. complete results

New J/80 Production in USA

J/80 momentum is cranking along worldwide and production has resumed in the USA with new 2008 models shipping from Pearson Composites in Rhode Island. Current J/80 Midwinter and former J/80 World champion Kerry Klingler picked up Hull #1001 last month (pictured). Designer Rod Johnstone sold his bigger J and will be sailing a new J/80 at the North Americans in November. The 2008 model incorporates several new features: new style rails and stanchions reduced to the 450mm class minimum height; molded companionway step; tack line clutch; Sparcraft France J/80 anodized spar package; J/Europe style bowsprit and end fitting; all California gray deck; Harken carbo block upgrade; Ronstan jib tracks and plunger cars. A special boat/trailer package is available this fall from your local J Boats dealer.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bad Pack Wins Bishop Rock Race

Shown here accepting the first place award with his children, between SDYC Commodore James Moxham and race director Jeff Johnson, Tom Houlthus aboard his J/145 Bad Pack recently won a light and shifty Bishop Rock Race off San Diego, CA. Hosted by San Diego Yacht Club, this is a 189 nautical mile offshore race beginning off Ship Rock at Two Harbors, Catalina Island to the Bishop Rock Buoy and then finishing off the entrance to the San Diego Channel at Sea Buoy #1.

As the scratch boat of the fleet Bad Pack was destined to be first to finish, and this year that advantage was two-fold as the breeze lightened for the remainder of the fleet after Bad Pack got the gun. With a final corrected time win of over 9 hours, it sounds like the wind conditions may not have mattered... Congratulations to Tom and the Bad Pack team for a great start to their racing future... results

Alaska & Back with Avante

Bill & Susan Grun of Telluride, CO. recently completed a 2200nm summer sailing adventure from Victoria, BC to Juneau, Alaska and back aboard their J/160 Avante. In the process Susan compiled a complete blog of the trip with several beautiful pictures taken along the way....This is year two of their ten year quest to sail to “as much of the world as we are interested in”… upon reaching Tracy Arm (shown here in picture) near Juneau Susan writes:

“I do not have the words or the elegance to describe this place and this day. It was more of everything than any of us expected. The blue skies, the relative warmth, the iceberg fields, the steep chiseled walls, the views, the glaciers --- so very much more.”

Enjoy the complete Avante cruising log here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

J/122 Dominates 2007 RORC IRC Class 1

Philippe DELAPORTE and his new J/122 Pen Azen have been quietly dominating the 2007 RORC Offshore Series in IRC 1 with a record of 6 firsts and 1 second. The Pen Azen crew have nearly wrapped up the season win in class and are close behind J/133 JB3 for one of the top three overall IRC fleet trophies with only one race remaining. The race record to date:

1st in Class 1st Overall Rorc Cowes – Ouistreham (16 boats)
1st in Class 2nd Overall Rorc Channel Race (91 boats)
2nd in Class 5th Overall Rorc Cowes - Dinard St Malo (197 boats)
1st in Class 8th Overall Rorc Cowes – Jersey (104 boats)
1st in Class 2nd Overall Rorc Cowes - North Head (88 boats)
1st in Class 2nd Overall Rorc Cowes - St Quay (51 boats)
1st in Class 27th Overall Rorc Cowes - Le Havre (122 boats)

J/27 Breaks Own Speed Record

Trygve Roberts submitted this story early this season of his experiences racing his J/27 Smack Water Jack in the ROBBEN ISLAND PURSUIT RACE…

“Deliciously terrifying - That’s about the best way to describe this race. Not only did we have the satisfaction of being one of the smallest boats to complete the race, but we also finished on the podium (3rd overall) having been beaten by the Mumm 36 ‘Ballyhoo Too’ and the ILC 40 ‘Gumption’ respectively. These were relatively minor achievements as the real glamour of the day went to a breathtakingly fast, downwind sleigh ride in 35 knots of winter gale with huge waves. Add to that a brand new speed record for Smackwater Jack of 17,6 knots – smashing our previous record of 16,6 in the process. I wouldn’t have missed this one for all the tea in China."

Read the “abridged” story here (.pdf).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

J/100 Crew Sports Pink Toe Nails

After winning the 30+ knot gear buster, tied up to the Castine YC float taking off their seaboots, TERN's crew Ginger Miller and Helen Johnstone discovered what they had in painted toenails! It was shocking enough to the seasoned salts racing in this 56th Annual Maine Retired Skippers Race that a J/100 would be racing in such rough conditions with only two crew on the rail weighing maybe 270 lbs. A 47 foot yawl was dismasted and many boats elected either not to start or retire from this classic event run from the Maine Maritime Academy off Castine. Complete story.

Brilliance Wins Gold at Chester RW

Richard & Sharon Calder's J120 "Brilliance" finished a successful Chester Race Week by winning the Gold Fleet. The crew sailed a consistent regatta in weather that ranged from light, fluky winds with great sun to high winds combined with driving rain over the four day event. The Gold Fleet sailed two distance races and two windward leeward courses. Some of her competitors included a Swan 48-2 & 51, an Aerodyne 38, a J44. The regatta draws over 150 boats including one designs (13 J29's) and handicap fleets. Chester Race Week is the largest keelboat regatta in Eastern Canada. results here

Monday, August 6, 2007

J/120 Wins Bayview Mac Race Overall

Frank Kern and crew took home the grand prize of the event and their second major overall win in offshore racing this year at the recent Bayview to Mackinac Race aboard the J/120 Carinthia. As many of you may recall the Carinthia crew also won the overall award at the Pineapple Cup back in February.

In a race that started fast on Saturday afternoon with a beat in 15 knots of wind out of the north, ended up slow with some boats sitting in wind holes up for 5 or 6 hours off of Saginaw Bay. With these difficult conditions the J Boat fleet showed their mettle. The J/145, Bill Schanen's Mainstreet, turned in a decent performance by placing 3rd in the 18 boat IRC A class. In the J/105 class it was Larry and Brian Smith's Sorcery who won that class with Windshadow less than 5 minutes behind and Tenacious one minute behind them. The J/120 fleet turned in the best performance. Carinthia, owned by Frank Kern, won 1st in the J/120 class and 1st overall in the 158 boat IRC Division followed by Bob Kirkman's Hot Ticket, placing 5th overall and Dave Sandlin's Jayhawker placing 10th overall. results

J/29 Wins Overall at Whitby Island RW

Bob Ross of Sail Northwest reports: We had a great J/Boat owner and crew party at Whidbey Island Race Week. Well over 200 people and 28 J/boats represented out of 95 entries. We ate 20 lbs of potato salad, 20 lbs of pasta salad and 750 pieces of chicken (that’s 93.5 chickens!). We had lots of door prizes from the sponsors and auctioned off Jr sailors as crew making $220 for the Jr. sailing program. Required attire at entry gate to the party: The J/Boat T-shirt…

The J/29 Here and Now was the overall winner of race week receiving the coveted Chelsea Mantle Clock. The J/109 "Astral Plane" down from Vancouver BC won the always tight PHRF 72 - 73 fleet with the J/35 "The Boss" in third place.

The J/105 fleet had the only One Design Start with 9 boats. The racing was close in every race with four to six boats overlapped at every mark. After 6 races the top two boats had 21 points the next two boats had 22 points and the 5th place boat had 25 points. Eventually "Last Tango" prevailed and got class trophy for the week. complete results

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Two Old Men ...and the Sea

That’s the caption overlayed on the image of the home page of along with the Tango team slogan ‘it takes two’. Tango is Mike Abraham’s new J/133 that he had built specifically for the 2007 Transpac Race. Mike along with his good friend & crew Phil Rowe, both of Newport Beach California & both 70 years old, took home the Ancient Mariner Trophy for the wisest (AKA oldest) crew in the race, and finished 2nd in the double handed group, 4th in class and 37th in a fleet of 65 at this years Race to Honolulu. The good humored duo dawned their canes on the way up to the Transpac trophy presentation stage and instantly won over the crowd... This was the second Transpac race for the team who in 2001 won the Tail-End Charlie award on Mike’s former boat Watercolors. The caption update on their web news announcement now reads “2 Studs and the Sea” (see the awards video here) Congrats to the Tango Team!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

J/145c Wins Around Long Island Race

Mark Hansen's J/145c Sweet Lorraine just recently won class as well as overall IRC and overall PHRF in the Around Long Island Race. They were slowest rated boat in big boat fleet that included USMMA's Andrew's 77 Alchemy, USNA's NM 66 Zarafa, NM 55 Rima 2, Santa Cruz 52 Magic and Steve Benjamin's High Noon (ILC 40). Mark previously owned a J/120 (also Sweet Lorraine). Sweet Lorraine finished the 190 mile race in just under 31 hours and was the 4th of 66 boats to cross the finish line. Crew was an all-star J/Boat Owner group including Mark Hansen (skipper/owner), Kerry Klingler (tactician, owns J/80 Lifted), H.L. Devore (navigator, owns J/44 Honalee), John and Dan Fallon, Greg Davis, Jim and Morgan (age 12) Buffum and Rick Lyall (owns J/109 Storm). Impressive performance considering this was the second time Mark had raced the boat and the first time the crew had sailed together. Awards included:

- 1st Place PHRF Overall
- 1st Place IRC Overall
- 1st Place IRC Division 1
- 1st Place Div. 10
- Foredeck Award (to the foredeck captain on the winning boat)

Complete Results

J/100 Goes Transpac: Double-handed

California J/100 owner Tim Fuller and crew/navigator Erik Shampain completed the recent 2007 Transpac in just over fifteen days, finishing fourth in both class and the double-handed division. Afterward J/Boats asked Tim a few questions about his trip.

J/Boats: Congratulations on sailing to Hawaii on a 33 foot boat! What made you decide to do the Transpac in a daysailer?

Tim Fuller: "The J/100 is very easy to sail, which is one of the reasons I originally got it. I walked away from top tier ocean racing in the early 90's to concentrate on work and family. I have a six and a nine year old and I wanted to teach them to sail, so I bought the 100. Then I couldn't help myself so I got a PHRF rating. I've done well locally in 24 hour double-handed races, so 2200 miles wasn't really that much of a stretch. And seaworthiness was never a concern." …complete interview here.

J/105 Wins Chicago-Mac Overall

J/105 Vytis, owned by Tomas and Gytis Petkus of Chicago took the Mackinac Cup overall award and a first place in the J/105 Section of the 99th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac.

J/Owners took seven of the top ten overall positions in the Mackinac Cup Division. With J/105s finishing 1st, 2nd & 4th and a J/110 in third... in fact 7 of top 10 finishers overall in this division were J/Owners with five J/105s, the Metcalf family J/35 Bozo’s Circus who topped Section 6, and Don Meyer’s J/110 Certainly winning Section 7. In the Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Division, three of the top ten were J’s including J/109 class winner and runner up Zeitgeist & Guaranteed Period finishing 2nd & 3rd on corrected time behind only the MaxZ86 Windquest overall. Bill Schanen’s J/145 Mainstreet finished second in the big boat class, again only behind Windquest. In addition there was one-design for the J/120, J/109 and J/105 classes. It was reported to be one of the lightest Mac races in recent years… more.

Friday, July 27, 2007

J/122 Video Available Online

The J/122 has been turning heads all year in Europe and North America. Now you can hop aboard for a quick demo sail from the comfort of your living room or office. Join the J staff and friends for a nine minute sailing tour of the J/122 off of Newport, RI and see how easy this boat is to sail and get up to speed. Please click here to view online. Enjoy!

Monday, July 23, 2007

J/125 Wins Transpac Overall!

Tom & Kevin Garnier have won Division 4 and the Overall 2007 Transpac Race award aboard their J/125 Reinrag 2! The famous offshore downhill 2240nm marathon from Los Angeles to Honolulu is the third consecutive victory for the Reinrag 2 crew who have won Division 4 in 2003, 2005 & now 2007. Here is the Day 10 report from the Reinrag 2 blog posted last Saturday (7/21):

It was what we came for. The moon was out, we were headed straight for Diamondhead and we were surfing down 15 ft seas. About 20 - 25 kt winds and R^2 just dances. The boat starts off at 12 kts, picks up a wave and suddenly you're doing 15... then you come up on the wave in front, punch in with the spray going both ways and over the deck and you just keep going faster. 17kts? Sure... sometimes 20... feels like you've broken the sound barrier and speed no longer matters. After a while a lull comes or you bounce of a wave a little hard so you slow down.... Then you start all over again. You could spend millions to get a ride on a rocket, and not get the experience we had... Dr. D.

Transpac web site

J133, J122, J105 Lead RORC Series

With several 2007 RORC offshore races now complete, Charles Ivill’s J/133 JB3 and Philippe Delaporte’s J/122 Pen Azen have each compiled an impressive victory list and are currently in first place in their respective IRC classes and hold 1st and 2nd positions in the running for the 2007 RORC IRC Overall fleet points scoring. In the double-handed IRC Class, four of the top five boats are J/105s with Nick Martin’s Diablo-J currently in the lead. There remain four events in 2007 including the world famous Fastnet Race. It is clear that the crews on all of these J’s will be working hard to stay at the top of their game for the remainder of the season. Results & RORC news here.

J/122 2nd in Marblehead-Halifax Race

Fresh from a convincing class win at the US IRC National Championships at Block Island Race Week, George Shaw and his crew aboard J/122 ‘Tumbleweed’ finished their first offshore distance race with a second place in IRC 2 (the largest class of the event) finishing behind only the larger Swan 56 on corrected time. Third in class was Lawrence Glenn’s J/44 Runaway. The biennial Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race is one of the pre-eminent ocean races of the North Atlantic and has a long and prestigious history. Congratulations to the Tumbleweed crew! more details…

Acadia Takes 3rd in Tune up Race

In a double-handed tune-up race off the coast of France, Clay Burkhalter of Stonington, CT finished 3rd in Open Sail Simrad Race sailing his carbon 6.5m Prototype ‘Acadia’. This is a 110 mile sprint race down the coast of France and is Acadia’s best result to date. Rod Johnstone, Clay’s uncle and Acadia’s designer, was the choice of crew for this race and the team proved to be among the best.

Clay is steadily improving with each tune up race this season and is looking forward to the start of the 2007 Mini Transat Race. This is a one stop solo 4250 nm race from France to Brazil in 21ft (very powerful and small) offshore race boats known as mini’s. Only 80 or so well qualified skippers are granted entry to this marathon race with the start in La Rochelle France on September 16, 2007. If you’d like to support Clay’s effort or learn more, please visit the Team Acadia web site.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

J/109 ‘Sweet Chariot’ Wins Series

Report from Owner’s Ray & Sandra Entwistle, Hull 264, Sweet Chariot:

“After racing for the past 11 Sundays in Australia’s premier winter racing series (CYCA Audi Winter Series) we are delighted to inform you we have won the event.

We competed in one of the largest divisions giving between 5 and 25 minutes head start to the fleet. Our division comprised of 19 yachts in the 34 to 42 foot range. Although racing under PHS we were giving time to boats we know are rated similar and in many cases quicker than the J109 under IRC. In pursuit style racing we started last in every race and posted 7 fastest elapsed times over a wide range of conditions ranging from drifters to 35 knots.

The J109 continues to impress us, our colleagues, crew and competition. The elapsed times prove we have chosen the right boat as yet again this 35 footer shows she can mix it with many larger yachts on the race course continuing to show the competition her racing pedigree. The real secret of this boat however is the fact all we have to do to go cruising is top up the water tanks and fridge then decide north or south at Sydney Heads. Last Christmas in our two week leave we clocked over 460 nautical miles two up and no autopilot. Sailing from Sydney to Jervis Bay, Pittwater, Newcastle, Port Stephens, returned to Newcastle for the first twilight of the New Year and finally back to Sydney and reluctantly prized ourselves off our comfortable Chariot. We believe the J109 has the best interior in its class. Many who have viewed the boat during the winter series have been surprised how comfortable she is below decks which certainly belie her race winning performance. She is a delight to race and very easy to sail two handed. Her powerful asymmetric rig making her a flyer downwind even when short handed cruising.”

Monday, July 16, 2007

J/65 Makes East Coast Debut

Newport, RI…..The J/65 BRAND NEW DAY recently arrived from California and is soon to launch in Newport, RI for peak sailing season. Designed as the ultimate offshore performance cruiser, the J/65 features a carbon/vinylester infused hull and deck, Hall autoclaved carbon rig and a luxuriously appointed interior. If cruising at nearly the speed of the wind with minimal effort sounds appealing, we invite you to take a closer look at the J/65. More info...

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ole! Spanish Armada takes on J/80 Worlds

First a great showing at the America’s Cup, both as host country and a leading challenger, and now Spain has shown its stuff at the top of the one-design world with 3 out of the top 4 placings in the 2007 J/80 World Championship. Spain is the newest country to adopt the J/80 as its one-design keelboat of choice (100 new boats delivered in the past 14 months with another 30 on order) but you wouldn’t know it by the way they handled the windy conditions and a record 124 boat fleet off of La Trinite, France last week. Spanish skippers Jose Maria Torcida Seghers and Ignacio Camino battled against each other until the last and decisive 11th race. Torcida Seghers aboard ECC VIVIENDAS emerged as the new J/80 World Champion with an impressive 5 wins in 11 races.

"We came here with very limited objectives knowing we would face the word's best. We've only been sailing seriously and competitively in the J/80 since last October. We decided to train as a team with the entire 30 boat fleet gathered in Santander. All that hard work has paid off."

Germany's Ulrich Muenker's third place overall prevents the Spaniards from heading home with a unique grand slam in the J/80's World history. For the very first time, the Worlds winner did not come from the organizing country. The 2008 Worlds will take place in mid-July in Kiel, Germany.

Overall top six (results...)
1. Jose Maria Torcida Seghers, ESP, 29 points
2. Ignacio Camino, ESP, 46
3. Ulrich Muenker, GER, 57
4. Rayco Tabares, ESP, 61
5. Sylvain Pellissier, FRA, 65
6. Glenn Darden, USA, 66

Friday, June 29, 2007

J/105 Perseverance Wins @ LBRW

Ben Greenwald's J/105 Perseverance of San Diego topped the largest and most competitive fleet @ Acura's presentation of Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week in LONG BEACH, CA earning him a bonus Boat of the Week award. Gary Mozer's Current Obsession won by tiebreaker in the J/109 class, Roland Fournier with Blue Moon 2 took the J/80s and Steve Aichele’s Cherry Bomb took honors for the J/29 group. On the handicap circle it was Dr. Laura Schlessinger aboard her new J/145 The Doc winning the Fast 40 class with a near perfect score and Dick Velthoen & Paul Defrietas’ J/35 Rival dominating PHRF 4. Weather was light to moderate over three days of racing.

The new Kattack system was employed by most of the J’s in the fleet for this event. Kattack is a web-based software application that collects position data via GPS from boats in a race. Data is collected and uploaded to the web and can then be replayed with performance data to indicate which elements can be improved: starting, boat handling, and strategy, etc... Those who have studied the replays from LBRW have called it an essential learning tool. It’s your own virtual race record… check it out.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

J/Fest @ BI Race Week

J Owners turned out in force last week at the 22nd running of Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex. 40% of the total fleet were J’s including five one-design classes (J/29, J/120, J/109, J/105 and J/44) and numerous other Js sailing in PHRF and IRC. The new J/122 made its Block Island debut with George Shaw’s TUMBLEWEED and Andrew Weiss’ CHRISTOPHER DRAGON finishing 1, 2 in IRC 4. Two of the three overall Rolex watch awards went to J owners: Overall PHRF winner was John Storck's (Huntington, N.Y.) J/80 RUMOR, skippered by his college All-American daughter Kaity, while Stephen Tedeschi's TASTES LIKE CHICKEN (St. Petersburg, Fla.) took overall honors in One-Design racing, sailing in the 19-boat J/109 class. Brian Keane on SAVASANA topped the highly competitive J/105 class (24 boats). Other class winners included John Esposito’s HUSTLER (J/29), David & Sandra Askew’s FLYING JENNY V (J/120), Jeff Willis' CHALLENGER IV (J/44) and Kel Weber’s J/34c RASCAL in Non-Spinnaker. complete results

Monday, June 11, 2007

J’s Win @ Annapolis-Newport Race

Newport, RI - J/Owners recently finished first in three of six classes at the 2007 Annapolis Newport Race... USCG J/44 Glory & Scott Dinhofer's J/44 Brown-Eyed Girl finished first and second in IRC class II while David Askew’s J/120 Flying Jenny V won PHRF I (with J/120s placing four of the top five places in this class). Henry Morgan’s J/42 Dolphin finished first in PHRF Class II and won the PHRF overall award with the best corrected time. In all a great showing for the J/Owners... With the fleet facing a stormy offshore weather forecast, due to remnants of a tropical depression blowing through, several boats in the 56 boat fleet chose to retire from the race early. High winds and seas eventually caught up to those who continued on with this 473-mile offshore passage from Annapolis, MD to Newport, RI with some seeing as much as 40 knots and 10-foot seas…

Other notable J finishes included Tom Carroll's J/133 SirenSong who finished 2nd in the big boat class and James Wilson’s J/42 Ceol Mor finishing 2nd in the Double Handed class. complete news & results.

J/122 & 124 Top Class at NYYC Annual

J/122 RAGTIME, skippered by J Boats’ president Jeff Johnstone and the new J/124 WAR BRIDE sailed by Pete Dupont, sailed to a 1-2 overall in IRC 4 at New York Yacht Club’s 153rd Annual Regatta June 9-10. Both boats excelled in the generally light and shifty conditions that prevailed on Rhode Island Sound. Acceleration out of the tacks, keeping pace through an awkward chop, and pointing the boat in the right direction were the keys to staying ahead of the pack. The J/105 class had the best one-design turnout, and the series came down to the final race. Class veteran Brian Keane of Beverly, MA aboard SAVASANA took the bullet and the overall victory, finishing ahead of Phil & Wendy Lotz on INDEFATIGIBLE and Ken Colburn on GHOST. The northeast J fleets head next to Block Island Race Week. This will also continue the J/122’s string of debut events, only this time with three sisterships competing for IRC honors. NYYC results...