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!