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!