Friday, May 30, 2008

New J/105s are Coming

The first boat is out of the mold and assembly is underway for the new 2009 model J/105 at the US Watercraft facility in Portsmouth, RI. It’s a breath of fresh air for this amazing boat and class and we’re excited to be working with US Watercraft's team of talented one-design boatbuilders. Several orders are already confirmed and a few production slots are available in time for Key West 2009.

The J/105 today is the most successful one-design keelboat class over 30 feet in the USA and numbers over 650 boats worldwide. More than just a one-design, the J/105 is a great family sailboat first, a proven offshore double-hander and a boat that's as easy to own as it is to sail. The new 2009 J/105 is built with faired keel and rudder, an updated Euro layout, and a newly class approved Sparcraft mast. Click here for more info on the J/105 and the class association.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

J Update from Pacific Northwest

J sailors are already well into the season in the Pacific Northwest and collecting some serious silver as well. In the season opener, the new J/122 ANAM CARA owned by Tom Kelly and Barbara Woodford won the Center Sound Series with two firsts and a fourth. Barb & Bob Brunius’ J/120 TIME BANDIT won class and overall fleet honors in the Oregon Offshore Race with Scott Campbell’s J/46 RIVA taking second overall, and Al Calcagno’s J/30 RAUZER II winning PHRF B. It was TIME BANDIT’s 5th overall title (winning crew pictured to the right). 2008 also marketed the first year for the Seattle NOOD Regatta which drew an incredible 231 boats, and featured one-design starts for the J/24, J/29, J/105 and J/109 classes. Coming up June 13-15, is the greatly anticipated 25th anniversary J/FEST SEATTLE regatta. J guru Bob Ross and his staff at Sail Northwest are hosts for the weekend and all J owners and sailors are welcome! J Fest Seattle Event Site

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

32 Boats at J/109 UK Nationals

The J/109 class set an attendance record last weekend as 32 boats raced for the UK National Championship, all part of J-Cup 2008 hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble, UK and organized by J-UK.

The J/109 ZELDA, owned and raced by Ben Richards and Michael Ewart-Smith, had a monumental battle throughout the entire regatta with old adversaries Bruce Jubb, Jeff Dakin and Mike Flood on JOHNNY BLUE II. At the end of the first day these two boats were tied on equal points, but Simon ‘Sling’ Ling and his team on board the RED ARROW were just one point behind. ZELDA went on to have a blinding day on Saturday, revelling in the heavier conditions (20 to 27 knots from the northeast) and clocking up a 2,1,1 scoreline, which extended their lead to four points over JOHNNY BLUE II.

On Sunday the conditions changed yet again: now down to light and shifty. A total glass-out at the end of Race 7 meant that some unfortunates were swept past the line, unable to get back, and a number of boats (including ZELDA) scored a DNF. JOHNNY BLUE II won the race to go up by two points with one race to sail. As it transpired, a risky decision on ZELDA’s part on the final upwind leg left them down the pack, while JOHNNY BLUE II finished third, enough to win the 2008 J/109 UK National Championship. ZELDA finished second overall followed by Matt Boyle’s SHIVA, RED ARROW and then J-DREAM. Results

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

J/Sailing in the Block Island Race

For J/ Owners it was a Memorial Day weekend of fun and challenging racing during Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race, a 190nm course from Stamford, CT sailing east out of Long Island Sound, around Block Island and then back again. For many, this was the final shakedown distance race before the Newport Bermuda Race in June. Fair weather and challenging winds were the rule... J/ Owners were out in force.

In her first east coast race, Jim Madden’s J/65 Brand New Day managed a third in IRC 0 class just ahead of Mark Hansen’s J/145(c) Sweet Lorraine, beating many of the Super 0 class on corrected time (all the while enjoying gourmet meals). Tom Carroll’s J/133 SirenSong topped the IRC 1 class and took the IRC “Tuna Trophy” with John Levinson’s J/46 Tabasco finishing third.

In the second one-design event of the season for the new J/122 class, it was Andrew Weiss’ Christopher Dragon bouncing back to his winning ways finishing ahead of Patriot and Partnership. J/44 and J/120 classes were also out in force with the Vamp team besting Maxine and Honalee in the 44s and Rick Oricchio’s J/120 Rocket Science dominating his class and winning the Commodore’s Trophy. John Towers aboard his newly refit J/37 Ripple won IRC 7, and Peter Rugg’s J/105 Jaded took both the double handed class and the Gerold Abels award correcting ahead of Hewitt Gaynor’s J/120 Mireille. Finally, The Roddie Williams Team Race Trophy was awarded to the Storm Trysail #1 team of Lora Ann (Express 37) - Vamp (J/44)- Christopher Dragon (J/122). ...Whew... if you made it this far into the results you’ll probably agree it was a great race for J/ skippers and crews... Well done all. complete info.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

J-Cup 2008 Underway on the Solent

A record turnout of 75 J/Boats are racing at J-Cup 2008 this weekend on the Solent in the UK. The featured class is a huge 32 boat J/109 fleet racing for the 2008 J/109 UK National Championship. In addition one-design ‘class’ racing is taking place for J/105s and J/80s and there are two IRC classes where J/133s, J/122s, J/92S' & J/100s will enjoy some mixed fleet fun.

All in all, J-Cup 2008 looks ready to set the Solent on fire and for sure, everywhere you look this weekend there will be a J Boat on the horizon. Summing up the real spirit of the J-Cup, and indeed, all racing in the J Family, Bruce Jubb of J/109 Johnny Blue II offered ‘It’s all about having fun and enjoying the regatta’. Well said Mr Jubb. Let’s drink to that...

Great events like these simply wouldn’t happen without generous sponsor support and principal sponsors of J-Cup 2008: B&G, North Sails and Dubarry of Ireland all deserve our thanks and support... results online.

Friday, May 23, 2008

New J/24 "no sink" Interior

The newest 2008 model J/24 is literally "no sink." The aft lockers, v-berth platform and hanging lockers are enclosed with watertight hatches, the main bulkhead opening is wider AND the galley/sink unit to starboard is gone in favor of a low foot locker and hanging locker. This new class-approved specification is being adopted by builders worldwide. Gourmet meals will now have to be served picnic style in the cockpit or at your favorite restaurant! New J/24s are available for late summer 2008 delivery, just in time for the 30th Anniversary J/24 North American Championship in Lake Minnetonka, MN.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Zaleski Brothers win J/24 Nationals

Chris and Waldek Zaleski, aboard their J/24 TWINS (#5259) have done it again. For their seventh consecutive major J/24 regatta, TWINS prevailed in moderate to windy conditions to win the 2008 J/24 Nationals at Staten Island, NY against a very competitive 54 boat fleet. It was not an easy regatta by any means. Staten Island waters saw conditions that were at times shifty, windy and rainy. The scores were as equally dicey with every boat in the fleet finishing at least 18th or lower in one race, and with TWINS averaging 8 points per race in the 7 race no throw-out series.

Runner-up Mark Hillman, from Annapolis, put pressure on the Zaleski’s with a race #7 bullet to the TWINS 28th to close the gap to 6 points by regatta’s end. Rounding out the top three (in the same finishing order as in this year’s 2008 Midwinters) was Tony Parker of Annapolis aboard BANGOR PACKET. With both Zaleski and Hillman having already qualified for the 2009 Worlds in Annapolis, the qualifying slots from the Nationals passed onto Parker and Kris Werner, who finished 4th. Check out some great photos at Thanks to Richmond County Yacht Club for hosting a great event. Event Site

Friday, May 16, 2008

2008 Yachting Cup.....San Diego

40% of the 117 boat fleet at this year’s Yachting Cup were J’s with the J/105 class leading the way with 25 entries. Bill Logan and his team aboard PHOLLY won the five race no throw-out series, ahead of Dennis Case on WINGS and Jeff Janov on INVISIBLE. John Laun was the winning skipper in the J/120 class aboard CAPER, and is pictured (on the right) accepting his award from SDYC Commodore Wayne Terry. In PHRF action, Jim Madden’s J-125 STARK RAVING MAD won the impressive 12 boat PHRF 2 fleet with a string of firsts and a second. And in a show of solidarity – the J/29 class, normally a few strong within the PHRF 5 class, put together 5 entries and enjoyed one design racing with Larry Leveille skippering RUSH STREET placing first.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

“We peaked at 17.2 knots”

Hamilton, Bermuda....the Wednesday night mixed-racing fleet had quite the ride this week, as strong spring winds blew across the island. Jon Corless is captured here driving his J/105 MAYHEM in full control ahead of 3 other J/105s in the background. None of the other 32 boats in the fleet are in sight. "We peaked at 17.2 knots and sat steady at 14-15 all the way from the 99 Buoy to White Island.” Wow, that's FAST! We assume the photographer got out of the way.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

J Owners on the Podium in Antigua

Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua.... It was a week of great competition on the water and lively parties ashore - another fine edition of Stanford Antigua Sailing Week, the 41st annual. 17 classes competed for several prestigious trophies with J owners making many podium appearances.

David Cullen’s J/109 POCKET ROCKET won the Chippy Fine Yacht Woodwork Cup for the top overall boat in the Performance Cruiser III and IV ranks, plus the British Airways Trophy for supremacy in the Performance Cruiser III division over the J/133 SOLNES III owned and raced by Herman Bergshaven.

In the Racing IV, V and VI fleets, the overall winner in the combined rankings, for which they received the Global Bank of Commerce Cup, was James Dobbs' new J/122, LOST HORIZON. Dobbs was also presented with the Air Canada Cup for winning Racing V; the Beefeater Trophy as Best Caribbean Yacht in Division A; and the Hightide Trophy as the Best Antigua Yacht in Division A. Not to be outdone by the newer J models, Philippe Champion steering his J/120, PAULISTA, won the Antigua & Barbuda Investment Bank Trophy, for besting the Racing VI fleet. News & Results

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

First Launched for the Season

Is there a better display of the "Boats for People who Love to Sail" mantra at J Boats than this May 6th picture of the J/105 Fleet launched for the season in Marblehead, Mass. Doug Zurn captured the early morning scene from his design office. Doug is the bowman on Rich Hill and George Lowden's J/105 DARK HORSE.
The J/105 class is on a roll with attendance records being set across the country. Enjoy one-design at home or on the road at Key West, Block Island, the nine event NOOD Regatta series, St. Francis Big Boat, and the 2008 North Americans (SF Bay 8/20-24). New 2009 model J/105s are in production at US Watercraft and available for late summer completion!

Monday, May 5, 2008

J/122 Class debuts at AYC Spring Regatta

It was “spring” in name only at the American Yacht Club Spring Regatta as blustery, wet conditions forced sailors to keep out the winter frostbite gear for at least two more weekends. 100 boats competed in 12 one-design, IRC and PHRF classes in the annual event that kicks off the big boat racing season in the Northeast. 51% of the entries were J’s, including one-design starts for the J/105, J/109, J/120, J/122 and J/44 classes.

In the first J/122 one-design event held in the USA, American Yacht Club Commodore Michael Bruno and co-owner Tom Boyle skippered their new J/122 WINGS (pictured above doing 14.5 kts) to an impressive victory. Action was tight in the 7 boat class and is expected to ratchet up even further as more boats are slated to attend upcoming New England events including the East Coast Championship at NYYC Race Week in Newport in mid July.

“Having never sailed a sprit boat in the past, or competed in one design racing, it was particularly rewarding to do well in our Spring Series,” said Commodore Bruno. “The 122 is a superb boat with excellent build quality, awesome performance in all the conditions we have experienced to date, and great looks. The boat was totally in control on the days we saw 30kt gusts with steep seas, and was also very fast on the two light days. We already have three 122s at American and I suspect our fleet will grow quickly.”

Jeff Willis and his team on CHALLENGE IV were equally as impressive in winning the competitive J/44 class, as owners prepare for what will be a record J/44 fleet (14+ boats) in the Newport Bermuda Race. In J/120 action, Steve Levy on EAGLE won on a tie-break over PEREGRINE steered by Brian Giorgio. Al Minella skippered RELENTLESS to victory in the J/109 class, and in the largest, most competitive class in the fleet, Damian Emery on ECLIPSE edged out Joerg Esdorn on KINSCEM by one point to win the 17 boat, J/105 division.

In the handicap classes, J/133s swept the top 3 positions in IRC 3 with Tom Carroll on SIRENSONG winning 5 of 6 races. The Esposito family on the J/29 HUSTLER won the PHRF 5 division. Results