Monday, August 31, 2009

J/97 Arrives in USA!

USA Debut in Newport/Annapolis Sailboat Shows

The J/97 will make her boatshow debut at the Newport Boat Show on September 17-20.  Hull #6 arrived in Bristol, RI and will be launched by September 7th.  The J/97 will be available for demos in Newport before and after the Newport Show.  If you're interested in taking a tour/demo of the new J/97, please contact J/Boats or a dealer.

The timing couldn’t be better for the USA introduction of the new J/97: Hull #2 just finished a nearly clean sweep of their IRC Class at Cowes Week and earned the coveted Overall Black Fleet prize for outstanding performance in the fleet; and the USA sailing market is starting to show life with new boat inquiries at J Boats (over the past 8 weeks) at double the monthly rate of the previous 18 months.

We’re excited to debut the J/95 and J/97 together at the Newport and Annapolis shows.  Two new, clearly differentiated, designs with cool design features, high performance value and the easy handling attributes J Boats are known for. 

The J/World Annual Fall Cruise

Southbound from California to Baja and Mexico
Each October and November, J/World heads south for the winter...  we go where the sailing is great, off to the warm waters and predictable breezes of Banderas Bay on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.  And you are invited to join us for the journey!  Come along for one leg, or multiple passages, with our J/World offshore cruising instructor to help show you the ropes.  The best way to learn to cruise is by cruising!

Our getaway to the cruising grounds, pueblos, and spectacular south-of-the-border cities starts with LEG 1 in San Francisco, and we work our way down the rugged and spectacular northern California coastline.  The famous maritime centers of Santa Cruz and Monterey are just a couple of possible ports-of call.

LEG 2, our Southern California leg, begins in the spectacular town of Santa Barbara, and cruises south to San Diego via the unique Santa Catalina Island.  Natural beauty and an intriguing history make this a truly special place.

Then the rally begins on LEG 3. In San Diego, we join up with the (in)famous cruiser's rally to Cabo San Lucas, the Baja-Ha-Ha. Some 150+ boats participate in this annual pilgrimage to Mañana-Land.

There are a total of three legs over the period of two weeks, and the sailing is generally great.  Add to that a couple of stops in some of the most beautiful bays on the Baja peninsula and the camaraderie of a great fleet, and you have one of the most impressive events we have been a part of!

As if that wasn't enough, we wrap up the annual cruise with LEG 4, a 7 day adventure across the Sea of Cortez.  Starting in lovely Cabo San Lucas, the crew will make a couple of stops in Baja, then it is off towards the mainland.  Islands, small towns, and quiet bays await, culminating in the arrival at our beautiful winter base in Puerto Vallarta.

For more details on each leg, including specific dates and costs.

J-CUP and J/109 UK Nationals

J/109 J-DREAM Wins Again!
(Torquay, England- August 22-23)- After two days and six races in big breeze, the final two races of the 2009 J-Cup, sponsored by Dubarry of Ireland, B&G and North Sails, were hotly fought on Saturday. Most of the 63 boats racing at the event, which was hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, seemed to enjoy the benign but shifty 8 to 12 knots from the South to South East.

After much counting and phoning and haranguing of the Race Committee for the results, the nail-biting finale to the 2009 J/109 UK National Championship saw Kirsty and David Apthorp in J-DREAM crowned with the title on 28 points whilst Brian Moreton and his team on JUKE BOX were forced to settle for the runner-up slot.
Silverware and prizes donated by the numerous generous prize sponsors of the J-Cup were presented to the podium finishers in each class racing at the event, in addition to several special awards.

B&G have sponsored the J-Cup as a principal sponsor for a number of years now and their generosity continues; for IRC1, some extremely valuable Deckman software went to the winner, John Patterson, and the new J/109 UK National Champions Kirsty and David Apthorp and the crew on J-DREAM were given B&G branded Henri Lloyd gilets. B&G affiliate, Lowrance, now produce a combined VHF and GPS (complete with MOB alarm transmitter). This fabulous bit of brand new kit was presented to the bowman of the J/105 JEOPARDY, who had taken an unscheduled swim earlier in the regatta.

Dubarry of Ireland also has a long established and extremely valuable sponsorship relationship with the J-Cup and two trophies, fashioned in bronze to represent the iconic Dubarry Ultima Boot, are presented each year, along with numerous valuable product prizes from the Dubarry range.

The Dubarry Boot for Endurance was presented to Mike and Sarah Wallis and their team from the J/109 JAHMALI.

The Dubarry Boot for Outstanding Achievement was presented this year to Brian Moreton and his crew on the J/109 JUKE BOX.

The Elvstrom Trophy for the best newcomer to the J-Cup was presented to Andrew Ashworth and his team on the J/80 JAMMY DODGER. Andrew is by his own definition, relatively new to sportsboat sailing, and this class win at his first J-Cup tops off a very fine season for JAMMY DODGER.

The Musketeer Trophy is a double champagne bucket and is presented to the lowest scoring two boat team (comprising one J/109 and then a second boat from another class) at the event. This year, the bucket and the bubbles were awarded David Richards (J/109 JUMPING JELLYFISH) and Colin Wall (J/97 TRUE LOVE).

And finally… the coveted J-Cup is the trophy... Colin Wall is a stalwart of the J-Cup and has raced at the event in a variety of different J Boat models which have included the J/100, the J/105 and the J/92. Colin has won his class at the J-Cup before but he has never been presented with the J-Cup Trophy. This year, after achieving a perfect 8 out of 8 scoreline, and in recognition of his commitment to the J-Cup cause, Colin Wall and his crew on board the J/97 TRUE LOVE, were deservedly presented with the J-Cup Trophy.

Top three by class, were the following:
In IRC Class 1 the J/122 PANACEA sailed by John & Hill Petterson was first, followed by the J/122 JINJA  Ian Matthews in second and Jackie Dobson's J/133 JERONIMO in third.

The IRC Class 2 Colin Wall's J/97 TRUE LOVE got the gold with straight bullets and following him in second and third, respectively were Andrew Robets' J/92s JUST IN TIME and  William Howard's J/92 WIZARD.

For the J/80 class, the usually competitive group was not to disappoint.  Andrew Ashworth won onboard his JAMMY DODGER, but giving them a heck of a run for the money were Peter Wanstall racing JASMINE and Jeremy Round-Smith driving JEZEBEL only four points back and tied, with tie-breaker going to Peter.

The J/105 was essentially dominated by Ron Dorton-Duff steering JAVA, winning again with nearly straight firsts and a thirteen point margin over Richard Watney's JEOPARDY and William Newton's JELLY BABY, second and third, respectively.

The J/109 UK Nationals as mentioned above were won by David & Kirsty Apthorp onboard J-DREAM, capping a wonderful and successful summer sailing season on their well-campainged J/109.  Brian Moreton raced JUKE BOX into second, fighting tooth and nail the entire time only to be beaten by one point!  Nevertheless, while the two class leaders fought it out for the top honors, Ben Richards and Mike Ewart-Smith hung in there to grab the bronze podium finish with ZELDA.

J/105 Southern California Championships

TRIPLE PLAY Wins The Crown
(Los Angeles, CA- August 22-23)- The Long Beach Yacht Club hosted the first ever J/105 SoCal Championships this past weekend with nineteen entrants from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

In the first annual J/105 Southern California Championship Sunday, co-owners Chuck Driscoll and Tom Hurlburt, San Diego Yacht Club, drove their boat TRIPLE PLAY to first place honors in the event sponsored by Ullman Sails and North Sails.

Expecting typical Long Beach conditions of strong breeze and white caps, the 19 mostly San Diego area teams were greeted with light shifty winds of anywhere between 5-8 knots throughout the weekend… kinda like, well… San Diego!

'We were looking forward to heavy air,' Driscoll said, 'wanting to work on our heavy air sailing. But this was a lot like San Diego, which of course our boat is optimized for.'   Of the five races in the regatta, TRIPLE PLAY only had two first-place finishes, getting two fourths and one third-place finish in the last race of the day. But consistency paid off as they picked off competitors one by one, race by race.  'We kept whittling away, whittling away,' Driscoll said, 'getting good starts in each race to keep us in there.'

Posting second place for the regatta was local favorite Gary Mozer, LBYC, and his team onboard CURREN OBSESSION 2.  'This certainly was not normal Long Beach conditions,' Mozer said.  'If it was, we would have had a local advantage. But consistency won and that’s what Triple Play did.  'In our first race Saturday, we went the wrong way and that was the defining moment of the regatta.' Mozer finished eighth in that race.

Third place went to Bennet Greenwald, SDYC, and his crew on PERSEVERANCE.  'The wind machine failed to work this weekend,' Greenwald said. But this is a very competitive fleet and it was always close racing.   'There were boats out there always looking for an inch, straining for that perfect set… and today, that was TRIPLE PLAY.'

Praise came from many sailors for the event organizer, Dennis Case, SDYC, who also competed on his J/105, WINGS.  'I think this was a big success,' Case said, 'to get this many boats together from Santa Barbara to San Diego for a regatta… this was quite an accomplishment.  Santa Barbara out-of-towners included ROCK'N'ROLL, SHORT SKIRT and FREE ENTERPRISE. Alex Rasmussen, Tedd White and the rest of the crew on board FREE ENTERPRISE did the best finishing fourth (they recently won the Fiesta Cup in Santa Barbara).

As Dennis from WINGS proclaimed, 'Our plan is to continue the J/105 SoCal Championships annually, to make it a 'must attend' event for our SoCal J/105 fleet. This was our most significant race of the year and because of this success, it certainly gives us bragging rites as the pre-eminent one-design class in SoCal.'

John Bush, Vice Commodore of Long Beach Yacht Club summed up, 'We were very happy to host the first annual J/105 SoCal Championship here and it was great to see so many boats from all up and down the coast participate. We hope to carry on this tradition and look forward to their return in 2010.'

Catalina Long Point Race Week

J's Clean House With 1-2-3
(Catalina Island, CA- August 20-23)-  The theme of this year's event was "Woodstock" to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the good and bad times of 1969 in the history books.

For those of you who can remember that far back (includes the Editor, by the way) 1969 was a watershed in world history in more ways than anyone may have imagined back then, or even today.  Some of the highlights of that notoriously historical year include, amongst others: in America that was the "Man on the Moon Apollo XI Mission"; Woodstock the bachannalian festival was held in upstate New York; President "I cannot tell a lie" Richard Nixon became President of America; Joe Namath the American football quarterback declared "I can guarantee a victory" and takes the New York Jets to a Super Bowl victory in the last minute; Led Zeppelin releases Led Zep I as the first of the "heavy metal" rockers to make their mark in the music world; not to be outdone, Elvis Presley records and releases the famous "Long Black Limousine" song/album;  the Beatles do their last "live" concert on the roof of Apple Records in London, then release the album Abbey Road to critical acclaim; the Boeing 747 and the Anglo/French Concorde supersonic jets make their debuts; Golda Meir become the first female premier of Israel (antedating, of course, the hand-bag swinging Maggie Thatcher in England); the British Hawker Siddeley Harrier "jump jet" becomes a novelty item as it debuts in the Royal Air Force; US college campus radicals SDS-Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen are running amok in Chicago and Harvard University; the Americans call it quits in Vietnam; US Congressman Ted Kennedy (who passed away today) drove off a bridge at Chappaquidick Island, Martha's Vineyard and accidentally killed Mary Jo Kopechne; Charles Manson runs amok in California; Hurricane Camile obliterates Mississippi; Monty Python's Flying Circus debuts on BBC One; ARPANET (aka "the Internet") connects first computers to send "packet-based" messages; and, remarkably Robin Knox-Johnston from England becomes the first person to sail around the world solo without stopping!!

Befitting such extraordinary historical milestones, this year's Long Point Race Week included a race from Newport Beach to Catalina Island, followed by a buoy race on Saturday.  However, Sunday's race was cut short after a postponement and finally cancelation with no wind; on Sunday the fleet normally races back to Newport Beach.

The results are as follows:  John Schultze's J/109 LINSTAR was first with twelve points, Anthony Wetherbee's J/109 COMMOTION was second tied with seventeen points with Roy Jones' J/133 TANGO who finished third.  Just off the pace was Mark Surber's J/125 DERIVATIVE in sixth.

Ida Lewis Distance Race

J/42 CEOL MOR and J/35 PALADIN Succeed Double-handed
(Newport, RI- August 22-23)- The end of season long distance race to commemorate the famous lighthouse keeper, Ida Lewis, who became the namesake for the equally renowned Newport yacht club, Ida Lewis YC, was a very fast one indeed for all entrants.  While the maxi sleds (all owned of note by ex-J/24 sailors!!) that included Tom Hill's Reichel-Pugh 75 foot TITAN and George David's 90 foot RAMBLER and Irvine Laidlaw's brand spanking new Wally 90 footer HIGHLAND FLING all started to fly around the course in near record time while the rest of the fleet watched the "three musketeers" take off in a cloud of dust and spray.  Only one of the "big dogs" managed to get around the track without a mishap, Tom's TITAN- winning overall while George's RAMBLER repaired a running backstay and hung on without dropping it's 120 mast over the side.  Only Irvine's HIGHLAND FLING suffered enough of a mishap, tearing all jibs out of its new new carbon luff foil to have to retire, other than look like an awfully expensive 90' Laser cruising around the race course.

The J's had a very nice showing in the DoubleHanded Division with the J/35 PALADIN sailed by Robert Fischer and Jason Richter from Setauket YC finishing 2nd overall.  They were followed by the J/42 CEOL MOR raced by the able bodied team of Jim Wilson and Brian Klippenstein from NYYC handily getting 3rd in the division.

For PHRF Class 2, the beautiful J/42 TRUE owned and well-campaigned by Howard Hodgson from NYYC and Newport, RI finished third overall in class.

Sweden's Around Tjörn Island Race

J/109 BLUR Wins 40-foot Class
(Tjorn Island, Sweden- August 22-23)-  This year 548 boats entered the 28-mile race race around the island of Tjörn on the west coast of Sweden. It was the 46:th race and as usual there was a great mix of boats ranging from 20' to 100' trying to find
the shortest and fastest way through the archipelago.

This year the wind picked up during the day, and a number of boats ran aground in some of the narrow passages. Some of them got caught on film, and are now featured on YouTube-

Meanwhile Peter Gustafsson and crew on J/109 #326 BLUR stayed out of trouble to win the very competetive 40-foot class, beating the all new FinnFlyer 36 Club and First 35 as well an most of the 40' boats on the water.

2010 USA J/80 Tour

Join the J/80 Class in 2010 for an incredible East Coast tour of events - starting in Key West, Florida, then working up the coast and culminating with the J/80 World Championship in Newport, Rhode Island.  If you can’t do them all, partner up with a buddy to share the program and enjoy great sailing, world class competition, and camaraderie in some of the world’s most famous seaports:

Jan 18-22           Key West Race Week - Key West, FL    (J/80 Midwinters)
Feb 12-14          St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta – St. Petersburg, FL
Apr 9-11             Charleston Race Week – Charleston, SC
Apr 23-25           Annapolis NOOD Regatta – Annapolis, MD
Jun 6-7               Sprit Fest – Shelter Island, Long Island
Jul 9-11              Sail Newport Regatta – Newport, RI    (Pre-Worlds) 
Aug 6-8              Buzzard’s Bay Regatta – Marion, MA
Sep 9-12            North American Championship – Marion, MA
Oct 4-9              J/80 World Championship – Newport, RI    

J/109 North Americans/ Verve Cup

Storm-tossed Conclusion to Great Lakes Regatta
(Chicago, IL- August 14-16)-  The word of the day is "carnage". Thankfully, all competitors and race committee were accounted for after a wet and wild Sunday on the lake this past weekend--- complete with blown spinnakers, broaches, man-overboards, and even a capsized race committee boat.

Testing the boat handling skills of the crews, the morning winds were the strongest of the regatta, blowing about 15-20 knots. Mains were reefed, and some boats were on the run without spinnakers. But it was the afternoon storm cell that really shook up the regatta, as puffs up to 30 knots inshore forced a number of boats to retire, Circle C to abandon their second race of the day (since it was blowing near 55 knots!), and drew the Coast Guard out to aid in the rescue of an injured crew member aboard SOCIABLE and the Marine Police to aid three crew on board the capsized race committee whaler.

Racing for the J/109 North American Championship was a very strong one-design fleet of 14 boats that had traveled from just about all points of the continental USA- Connecticut, California andTexas to race with the large Chicago J/109 fleet hosts. STORM, skippered by Rick Lyall of Wilton, Connecticut, sailed a great regatta, winning the section and the championship with a score of 20 points, a 10 point lead ahead of second place finisher Albrecht Goethe's SURPRISE/ TEAM HAMBURG of Seabrook, Texas.  Another thirteen points back in third overall was Robert & Cornelia Zerban's ZEITGEIST from Kenosha, Wisconsin.  “It was an intense day of racing,” said Ryan, crew of Storm. “Overall the Verve was a great event. The race committee did a great job. They treated us out of town boats really well, and it was a solid weekend of racing.

Among the extremely competitive J/105 One-Design class section, Tom Petkus's VYTIS was able to pull out the win above John Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM by just four point. VYTIS was one a few boats awarded redress for their aid in to SOCIABLE, who had a crew member injured and taken to the hospital for treatment.  Lying third on the podium was David Wagner's GIGI just five more points back-- the last race proved to be a cliff-hanger for this group, not just because of the storm but the final race standings essentially determined the ultimate outcome of the regatta.

In PHRF 5, Ed Bayer's J/35 FALCON from Grosse Pointe, Michigan won overall by thirteen points. over another J/35 AFTERSHOCK sailed well by William Newman of Muskegon, Michigan.  Just off the pace were Bruce Metcalf's BOZO'S CIRCUS from Burr Ridge, Illinois in fourth and Geary Finn's IRISH ROVER from Prospect Heights, Illinois in fifth. 

In PHRF 6, Dan Pesch's J/100 REMEDY from Chicago, Illinois sailed a strong regatta to gain second overall and a fellow J/100 BRAVO ZULU sailed by Lee Edwards of Hinsdale, Illinois finished fifth.

And finally, congratulations to Bill and Vivianne Smith on their J/30 AWESOME from Downers Grove, Illinois, who took first in PHRF 7.  A fellow J owner, Dan Arntzen raced his J/27 TRUE NORTH to fourth overall.

Snails Pace For Rolex Fastnet Race

J/133 JIVARO Wins IRC 0-B
(Cowes/ Plymouth, England- August 9th-12th)-  While the previous Rolex Fastnet Race is remembered for the course record time being demolished, the only record broken in this year's running of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial 608 nautical-mile classic was one relating to competitor patience, as light winds at the start and end, combined with powerful spring tides, made for a 'tactically challenging' race, and one of the longest in recent years.

Running from Cowes to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock off southwest Ireland, the race again proved it remains one of the world's most prestigious offshore yacht races. The 300-boat entry limit was reached quickly, attracting boats from a wide spread of nations. The bulk came from the UK and France, but there were potent entries from the USA, Hong Kong, Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands and others coming from afar afield as Chile and Australia.
Although the doomsayers were forecasting no wind for the start, in the end it could not have turned out better with an easterly wind forcing spinnakers to be hoisted in all eight classes - a magnificent colourful spectacle for competitors and the spectators crowding the Cowes seafront, alike. All was good, with the tide shooting the boats west in the early part of Sunday afternoon. Then the wind shut down at the Western extremity of the Solent, with particular abruptness on the mainland shore. After this first roll of the dice, a new south-westerly breeze filled in gently, but with insufficient strength to power the majority of the fleet past Portland Bill on the first night.
Portland Bill was probably the defining moment of the race, with most of the big boats managing to make it past before the tide turned foul. The majority were forced to set their anchor and kedge, typically for an hour or so, but in some instances for up to six hours, to prevent themselves being ripped back east.  While the early stages looked to be favouring the big boats, they by no means had it all their own way. The wind remained on the nose down the Channel, then inconveniently veering northwest causing them to remain upwind while crossing the Celtic Sea towards the Fastnet Rock.
In the sixty boat IRC Class 0-B the J/133 JIVARO sailed by Yves Grosjean from France won its class and just ahead of him is another J/133, the well-campaigned BATFISH III raced by Bill Blain and crew from England that fought hard at the last few turns into Portsmouth Harbor to finish fourth.  A fellow J/133 JAMMY DODGER raced by Neil Martin from England had been a front runner for much of the race but a few zigs which should've been zags cost them some places, dropping them to a well-earned sixth overall in the perplexing conditions.

The J/122s were racing in the twenty three boat IRC Class 1-A and European/French favorite PEN AZEN raced by avid campaigner Philipe Delaporte fought hard towards the end of the race to salvage a well-earned fifth overall and the J/122 NUTMEG IV sailed by fellow Frenchman Francois Lognone finished a well-deserved third overall!

A remarkably consistent season led to a strong performances by the team on board  David Walters' J/39 JACKDAW.  In the thirty boat IRC Class 2-A they've taken advantage of the shifting, light air conditions to win their class overall!  Job well done David and crew!

The thirty boat Doublehanded Class has Simon Curwen's J/105 VOADOR as top J in seventh overall followed by Richard Palmer's J/109 JANGADA TOO in eighth and just down the ladder was Martin & Johnston's J/105 DIABLO-J.  For more info.

Monhegan Island Race

J/120 CAILIN A MARA First Overall
(Portland, ME- August 7-8)- The annual Monhegan Island Race hosted by the Portland Yacht Club in Falmouth, ME had a relatively fast race this year, not the oft times light winds feeling your way through the fog around Monhegan Island at dawn the next day.

The report from Tom Crotty, skipper/ owner of the J/120 CAILIN A MARA follows: "After 129 miles we beat both the Tripp 47 and Aerodyne 43 that were in front of us boat-for-boat as well as the rest of the fleet for a first in class B and a first overall in the primary 2009 Monhegan Race.

The race was a fast one with the best finishers 10 hours ahead of boats the year before. On CAILIN A MARA we had speeds up to 15 knots for brief periods of time. Normally, the breeze in the Monhegan builds into the classical afternoon sea-breeze, softens at dusk and remains light and fluky overnight. This year saw the sea-breeze, but then a front came through and the wind swung to the North-Northwest at 8 to 18 knots for the rest of the race. This produced some beating, and some tight reaching.

It was the versatility of the J/120 that came to the fore in this race. We had five sails and would not have won without any one of them. And, it is worth observing that CAILIN A MARA was the only real cruising boat in the top finishers. BOREAS, another J/120, finished 3rd in class B.  For more info.

Chester Race Week

J/122 PUGWASH Wins Fleet- Einstein's Influence?
(Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada)- This race week may well be the oldest "race week" event on record in the Northern Hemisphere in terms of its history.  Chester Race Week is billed as  Canada's Largest Keelboat Regatta
hosted by Chester Yacht Club on the Eastern seaboard and sailed around the islands and shorelines of picturesque Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia.  It may well be true with over 150 entries in this latest event.

The history is both charming and reflective of sailing culture we all must not forget as we look forward to the future.  Yacht racing has been a major summer sport in Chester for well over 150 years. Its roots are firmly planted in the mid 19th century when the fishermen raced each other to markets in Halifax or New England.  As sailors and fishermen have been wont to do since time immemorial, they loved to get together and talk shop. Sailing races for pleasure and bragging rights was inevitable.  As the gatherings and races occurred more regularly, the Annual Fishermen’s Regatta was born.  The regatta was a show case for locally built boats of different designs, as well as for sailing skills.  The first documented regatta was in 1856.  It is reported to have been attended by 3,000 people who participated in a parade, amusements, land races as well as the sea races.  In 1858 a rowing race for ladies was added and a dance took place at the Mulgrave Inn which had been hosting guests from Europe, US and Canada since 1820.  In 1860 the press reported the regatta pleasures were “enhanced by a large party consisting of 150, accompanied by the city band, who arrived in the steamer ‘Neptune’ from Halifax”.  In 1885 the two day regatta had boats from Mahone Bay, Lunenburg as well as from the two Tancooks.  The big excitement was a circus which featured a hand cranked Ferris wheel on the parade ground.  According to the Lunenburg
newspaper, the 1888 Annual Regatta attracted 2,000 spectators who were treated to “the closest and most exciting match of its kind ever witnessed in the South Shore”.  After CYC was established in 1902, it became the focal point for racing.  Charter member Ned Fader remembers, “Citizens donated prizes: 100 pounds of sugar, a barrel of flour, maybe a little cash.  A boat crew could get a wonderful view on life for a dollar … best of ale, fifty cents a gallon, good rum at one dollar a quart.  They were all good God-fearing people, but they
did not let it spoil their lives too much.”  OMG, if only the America's Cup were so honest, respectful and thoughtful!

Given that the weather is always an enormous variable, this year was near perfect for Nova Scotia waters; renowned for fog and light airs most times.  The turnout for J's in general was significant, J owners provided strong support for the regatta, two large one-design classes in the J/24 and J/29, and one of the happiest teams to attend were David Murphy's team aboard their J/122 PUGWASH and gorgeous tender TUMBLEHOME. 

In the A1-Black fleet, Murphy's J/122 PUGWASH  from New York YC won class finishing seven races with a total of 31 points just barely a half point ahead of their next competitor. 

The A2-White fleet was dominated by three J's.  In first was Colin Mann from Lunenberg YC sailing his J/92 POOHSTICKS, winning with seven straight firsts in seven races!  Fifteen points back in second was Greg Hardy hailing from Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron racing his J/29 ILLEGITIMI NON CARBORUNDUM and just two points behind him was Will Apold from BBYC racing his J/92 STORM FRONT.

In the Pink Fleet, Jason Penney's J/30 RATTLE AND HUM won their class, counting three races and a total of 6 points to win their class by a convincing margin.

In the J/24 One Design Class, John Whynacht's team Lunenberg YC on-board STICKY FINGERS was first overall with six straight firsts out of eight races!  They won their class by a landslide, 19 points over second place finisher Greg Blunden from BBYC racing ADRENALIN RUSH.  In third was Doug Inglis from Chester YC sailing BUZZ.

The J/29 One-Design class had very close competition compared to the J/24s.  Larry Creaser from Chester YC aboard JAEGER just squeaked out a victory over Matt Christie from BBYC sailing COLMONELL by two points, the last two races determining the final outcome.  Third overall was MacDonald from Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron sailing FEED ME just four points back.   For more info

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

J/22 Match Race Clinic

San Diego YC is hosting a Match Race clinic on its new J/22s!

Any Southern California sailors want to go to a match racing clinic at San Diego YC Sept 18-20 with racing Oct 4th? Please spread the word even if you can't make it. Six J/22's, no need to be on a team, Whit Bachelor will be leading it.

Registration at:


It's All About the Crew
Southern California ’s J/Fest is at the San Diego Yacht Club September 25-27. J/Fest is Southern California ’s largest and most attended regatta… exclusively for J/Boats. Don't miss out on the biggest J/Boat event of the year! This year J/Fest will be focused on celebrating and thanking your crew and those who contribute to the camaraderie and success you have during the sailing season. There will be exciting one design racing, great prizes, and fun parties. Register for J/Fest today at Questions? Contact J/Concierge Amanda Denton at

Monday, August 24, 2009

J/97 JENGA Dominates Cowes Week

This Rocketship Wins With Straight Firsts!
After a solid showing in the Around the Island Race winning her division there, too, JENGA simply continues to demonstrate its capabilities as a good all-around performer in all types of conditions, light to heavy to choppy to flat against any and all comers in their IRC classifications. Learn more about this unique "pocket rocket" and see her soon in the USA at the upcoming Newport Sailboat Show and the Annapolis Sailboat Show this fall. Contact your local dealer now to get in line for demo sails on this unique racer performance-cruiser, or contact J/Boats for more information 401-846-8410.

Downeast Race Week

J/100 TERN Wins a Cliff-hanger

(Blue Hill Bay, Maine- Aug 7-9)- After the three most beautful days of the summer, racing on scenic Blue Hill and Jericho Bays in a fleet of 26 boats, Bob Johnstone sailing his J/100 TERN (pic right) with finishes of 5,3,1 was declared overall winner of Downeast Raceweek to earn “The Max” Warburg Trophy, the Morris Trophy for Division II, the Paul Nevin Memorial Trophy for the best cumulative corrected time in fleet on Saturday and Sunday and the Arundel Plate for Division II in the August Cruise-- quite the haul of silverware for a family affair. The question was whether, as predicted last week, that father and both sons would survive? Well, they did....kind of. TERN’s crew included owner/skipper Bob Johnstone; son Drake Johnstone of Charlottesville VA; Andrew Kennedy of Washington DC; son Stuart Johnstone and Julia Langford from Newport, RI. However, as part of winning the first race in a 45 knot squall that tore through the fleet, Stuart injured his back and was relegated to GRACE, the beautiful and comfortable 29z powerboat tender along with his "nurse" Julia.

Of note was the fun and camaraderie amongst the 26-odd competing boats over the three days, especially the four J/100s sailing-- which included some Tufts University classmates of Stuart- Henri Brauer and Stewart Neff aboard the J/100 REIVER (all of whom were being supervised by another Tufts classmate, the Northeast Fleet P.R.O. Fran Charles). Going into the last day, there were 3 boats tied with 8 points, including the J/100 TERN. TERN got off the starting line with the big boats but then fell into a huge hole, allowing their larger competitors to move out into a substantial lead. Eventually TERN closed the gap with a building southerly, then played the western shore and slipped in behind the fleet leader to share the lead. TERN held on to much larger boats (50 feet plus) on the long beat to the finish.. ending up 3rd boat for boat, to save their time, win the day and the overall trophy! Who says father/sons teams can't prevail against all adversity-- it was great fun for all! For more info.

Buzzards Bay Regatta

Power Play J/105 rounding mark at Buzzards Bay Race Week

J/105 POWER PLAY Wins Tie-breaker

(New Bedford, MA- Aug 7-9)- As usual the Buzzards Bay Regatta was hosted by a great BBR Committee that did an admiral job of hosting a cast of thousands for their annual first week of August event. This year's host New Bedford YC laid out the red carpet for the fleet and most everyone went home with a smile on their face if not having gained a few more pounds from all the good food and drink.

There was a large turnout of J's for this event and has become a fixture for many J owners as one of the last regattas of the summer sailing season in New England waters. This year's classes included the J/24, the J/80 and the J/105. Numerous other J's competed in the PHRF handicap classes.

The J/105s had a very closely fought event between this years primary summer regatta competitors, Brian Keane racing his renowned SAVASANA and Bruce Stone sailing POWER PLAY (pic above). Much like Block Island Race Week, the regatta between these two keen competitors came down to the last race, Gorgeous shot of a J upwindwhomever beat whom would win the regatta. In this case Bruce won the last race and Brian Keane dropped a valuable third place to finish tied on points but lost on who had most first places! This was the wiley old fox Charlie Shumway racing his classic looking J/105 SEA SHADOW.

The J/80s were dominated by Kerry Klingler sailing LIFTED into first place with a fourteen point lead over Chip Johns CAVATICA. Chip just beat out Steve Kirkpatrick racing STIMULUS PACKAGE.

The J/24s were won by Craig Correia by four points over Bonnie Kirchner and Sanford Tyler ended up just one point behind Bonnie...again the last race determining whom beat whom to get the top three podium finishes.

The J/109 GUT FEELING raced by Ted Herlihy won IRC1 Class by four points; dominating their class of five IRC racing boats. For more info. Photo Credits- Spectrum Photo.

Fastnet Race- Mid-Race Report

Fastnet Rock rounding for the J/Boats in the Fastnet Race

Results as of 0000 GMT on Thursday

(Cowes/ Plymouth, England- August 9th-12th)- What a cracking start to the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race, in excess of 300 boats got away cleanly in a fair easterly breeze of about ten knots. It was a spectacular sight, the Solent festooned with spinnakers at the start of the epic journey to the Fastnet rock. Every colour of the rainbow set in sail by a diverse fleet ranging from the powerful professional super yachts to family cruisers. For sailors, the Rolex Fastnet Race is iconic, a tough challenge, just completing the race is something to be rightly proud of. However, the weather turned pretty cold and nasty by Monday afternoon, especially after the sunshine start in the Solent. The seas kicked up and the fine rain is soaked the sailors watch after watch. By Tuesday, for the larger and smaller boats going past the Irish Coast to "the Rock" (pic above), it was a frustrating approach with the wind dying as competitors got near to the famous lighthouse. Nevertheless, as the front continued to move, competitors expect building breezes to push the fleet home. So far, here are preliminary positions of various J's ranging from about 100 to 200 miles away from the Plymouth finish line.

In IRC Class Z, the J/133 JIVARO sailed by Neil Martin is projected as 5th in class and just ahead of him is another J/133, JAMMY DODGER in 4th sailed by Yves Grosjean.

The J/122s are racing in IRC Class 1 and European/French favorite PEN AZEN raced by avid campaigner Philipe Delaporte is projected to be in 9th and the J/122 NUTMEG IV sailed by Francois Lognone looks to be lying in 6th position.

Surprisingly strong performances all year long have been put in by the team on board David Walters' J/39 JACKDAW. In IRC Class 2 they've taken advantage of the shifting, light air conditions to maintain a second place pace!

The Doublehanded Class has Simon Curwen's J/105 VOADOR as top J in fifth followed at the moment by Gareth Thomas's J/120 JALFREZI in sixth and Richard Palmer's J/109 JANGADA TOO in seventh.

For more info and real-time updates/ tracking. Photo Credits- Thierry Martinez

Cowes Week- Final Results

J/97 racing off Cowes waterfront

J/97 JENGA Wins Overall!

(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England- August 1-8)- Over 700 boats had enormously variable set of weather conditions for their week of sailing on the Solent-- and it was a good test for the newest J hatched on the block-- the J/97 JENGA (pic right). Everything from calms to breeze, rain/mist and massive amounts of current didn't dissuade the tenacious crew aboard JENGA, sweeping into the overall "boat of the week" overall winner over all 700+ boats.

The J/97 JENGA being campaigned by Paul and Marie-Claude Heys' simply dominated Class IRC 5 with six firsts and a third, so with one throwout they averaged first!! Wow, they were clearly the "class of the entire Cowes Week"!! JENGA won by eight points over the second place boat that averaged just over second place! Despite the often tricky conditions that perplexed their competitors, it was clear that Paul and Marie-Claude continued to lead the fleet home in virtually every race. Good on ya Paul and Marie-Claude, extremely impressive showing-- reminiscent of Stuart Johnstone's J/44 J-HAWK days when America was seen ruling Brittania again on the waters back in 1990 (much has changed since, one might add, seeing the recent results of the British Olympic Sailing Team!).

J/109 racing off Cowes waterfront The J/109 One-Design Class had a fleet of thirty-two boats, the largest offshore one-design class gathering known in recent years on the Solent for 36 footers. Winners in the closely fought series were Ewart-Smith and Richards' ZELDA followed by ubiquitous contenders David and Kirsty Aphthorp's J-DREAM in second. Overcoming an early deficit midweek to finish third overall was the RAF Red Arrows team sailing the J/109 RED ARROW. They just beat out in the last two days Matt Boyle's well sailed and campaigned SHIVA. The racing was extremely and the last two races determined the ultimate outcome.

The J/80 One-Design class had twenty-one contenders scraping for all the marbles. HOOLINGKAZAM raced by Mark Baskerville and Steve Sault put on a full frontal assault to overcome an early midweek deficit to win by two points the very competitive J/80 class. Early leaders Rob and John Fox's JEVAN were contenders for the lead midweek but fell from the graces of the wind Gods to finish third. Stepping into the frying pan for the silver podium finish was Gordon Craigen's JUICY by one point over JEVAN, by virtue of winning the last race!

After a rough start, John and Jill Patterson's J/122 PANACEA overcame significant obstacles to finish fourth overall and Ian Matthew's J/122 JINJA finished 5th in a highly competitive and closely fought Class IRC2.

In Class IRC3, the well-sailed J/39 SLEEPER sailed by Jonty Layfield wins by two points over Tom McDonald's J/90 JOE 90 in second. Sure enough, the standings were mixed enough day-to-day that anything that could happen did happen in this very competitive class. However, never in anyone's wildest predictions would have these two boats track eachother to the top of the podium! Congratulations Jonty and Tom, job well done!

In the overall J/Boats Class scoring for all J's sailing at Cowes Week, a special trophy for J Owners only, JENGA sailed by Paul and Marie-Claude Heys took home the honors followed in second by the John and Jill Patterson's J/122 PANACEA and Tom and Wise McDonald's J/90 JOE 90 taking the bronze positions. For more information.

Santa Barbara-King Harbor Race

J/29 RUSH STREET Wins Class C

(Santa Barbara, CA- August 7th-8th)- Twenty two J's (over 20% of the whole fleet of 100 boats) participated in this annual summer offshore sailing classic that kicks off the month of August in the Los Angeles basin. This eighty-one nautical mile race can be a fast one from Santa Barbara to Kings Harbor, using Anacapa Island as the one and only mark to leave to port on the way south from Santa Barbara. Most often, though, this is characterized as a slow race with a dying Westerly thermal and slatting in light winds and large rolling swells all night long on the west side of Anacapa Island as the fleet drifts with the breeze towards LA. Not this year. A good solid breeze built all day long and sent the fleet off on a fast reach and, for some, incredibly quick planing conditions most of the way down to Kings Harbor.

The J/105 fleet was won by Mark Noble from Santa Barbara YC aboard ESCAPADE. In second was Scott McDaniel hailing from SBYC racing OFF THE PORCH and lying third was David Gomey from AYC aboard NO COMPROMISE. After the eight one plus miles, the top three only finished ten minutes apart!

In the various PHRF divisions, there were some notable successes, including Larry Leveille racing his venerable J/29 RUSH STREET to first in PHRF Class C. A good showing was put in by Shawn Ivie on his equally classic J/30 FRICTION LOSS with a fourth in PHRF Class D. A smattering of J's raced PHRF Class B with Fred Cottrell sailing his J/33 TIGGER into third, Eric McClure racing his J/35 MACS into fourth and Bill Webster cruising fast in his J/37 SIDEKICK into fifth.

In the PRHF Sprit divisions, there was some controversy in the class splits especially as it regards the placement of the two J/125s, Dr. Laura's WARRIOR and Mark Surber's DERIVATIVE. In short, they should've been in ULDB Class B to race against like boats and should've finished second and fourth respectively. No matter, they finished 1st and 2nd boat-for-boat in their class. In the PHRF P Sprit group basically loaded with all J's, Gary Winton's J/120 SHENANIGANS was the winner by just over a minute followed by Peter Bretschger's J/120 ADIOS fifteen minutes further back on corrected time was Bryce Benjamin's J/109 PERSISTENCE. For more info.

Cowes Week 2009- Midweek Report

Huge J/109 Fleet Offers Gorgeous Spectacle

(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England- August 1-8)- Over 750 boats have been presented with an enormously variable set of weather conditions for the past five days in the Solent. Everything from a good breeze to calm to weather fronts passing overhead and treating the fleet to more rain and no wind and the usual massive amounts of current sweeping boats up and down the Solent (kedging is a unique local talent and expertise acquired by some of the best sailors in the world!). Despite the difficult conditions, the Chief Race Officer Stuart Quarrie and his race committee team have done a remarkable job keeping the troops happy and racing in whatever the weather Gods have presented to the fleets. Imagine that! Coordinating starts for over 750 boats each day?

The J/109 One-Design Class have a fleet of thirty-two boats, the largest offshore one-design class gathering known in recent years on the Solent for 36 footers. At the head of the class are some familiar faces-- David and Kirsty Aphthorp's J-DREAM is just ahead of Ewart-Smith and Richards' ZELDA and Matt Boyle's SHIVA. The racing has been tight and with four races to go anything can happen based on what the fleet has seen to date.

J/80s tacking off Cowes and Royal Yacht SquadronThe J/80s have a twenty-one boat one-design class. Rob and John Fox's JEVAN is winning by ten points followed by Nick Kirkman and Andrew Dykes' JANE and Adrian Stell's TOE IN THE WATER TOO.

The J/97 JENGA being campaigned by Paul and Marie-Claude Heys' is dominating Class IRC 5 with four firsts and a third so far. Despite the often tricky conditions, Paul and Marie-Claude have continued to lead the fleet home in most of the races...we hope they continue to do so when the event concludes on Saturday.

Ian Matthew's J/122 JINJA is lying 5th in a highly competitive and closely fought Class IRC2. With a few shifts here and some good current calls there, JINJA could easily be in the hunt for a podium finish by the end of the week.

In Class IRC3, the well-sailed J/39 SLEEPER sailed by Jonty Layfield is third and Tom McDonald's J/90 JOE 90 is sixth. Again, the standings are mixed enough day-to-day that anything can happen in this class and both boats could be vying for podium finishes by week's end. For more information.

Swedish J/80 Championships

Sundelin Family Affair Wins

(Stockholm, Sweden- June 25-28)- The Swedish J/80 Championship took place in Sandhamn in the Stockhom Archipelago 25-28th of June as a part of Sandhamn Race Week, Volvo Ocean Race Stopover and Around Gotland Off Shore Race.

Twenty boats competed with representatives from both Estonia and Norway. With stable winds of 3-5 m/s and a sunny sky the conditions couldn't be better and the races offered a really tight fleet. The proud winner was SWE 562 with former Olympic Champion Peter Sundelin as a tactician and his son Martin Sundelin skippering the boat!! Good on ya, mates! Awesome to see father/son combinations enjoying the love of a life long sport.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Aldo Alessio Perpetual Trophy Regatta

J/120 MISTER MAGOO Dominates

(San Francisco, CA- August 8-9)- This prestigious trophy has been raced for a very long time by veterans of the offshore arena at St Francis YC. In recent years it's evolved to one handicap class and two one-design classes- the J/105s and the J/120s. In late July, early August San Francisco Bay can most assuredly promise a great sailing day as the valleys inland get good and super hot and the cool sea air pumping through the Golden Gate Bridge from the frosty, treacherous offshore shoals known as the "Potato Patch" ensure that a solid 15-25 knot breeze develops each day. Was it Jack London that once said "the coldest winter I ever spent out West was a summer on San Francisco Bay"....he ain't kidding. Can be 85 F. degrees on shore but a frigid 50 F. degrees out on the waters in front of the infamous prison on Alcatraz Island.

Not to be intimidated, but instead reveling in these conditions were Philip Laby and Rich Pipkin, co-owners of RACER X; they won the nineteen boat strong J/105 class. Finishing second was JAM SESSION co-owned by Adam Spiegel and Guillemette Brouillat. Third on the podium was Scooter Simmons on BLACKHAWK.

The J/120s had a strong showing as well. However, bi-coastal racer (Maine/ California) Steve Madeira won the eight boat J/120 class with his team aboard MISTER MAGOO (pic above). Second was GRACE DANCES raced by Dick Swanson's team and third overall was Barry Lewis racing CHANCE. For more info.

J/95 #5 Launched in Annapolis

J/95 off Sandy Point ready to sail with you!Ken Comerford and the team at North Point Yacht Sales just launched J/95 hull #5 in Annapolis. The boat is sailing to Oxford, MD this weekend and then will be based at J/Port in Annapolis through the Annapolis Boatshow. As part of Rod's "J/95 tour" he had the opportunity to have J/95 North Sails consultant Ron LaNeve sail aboard and provide some personal viewpoints on the meaning of this breakthrough design from J/Boats. Here's Ron's commentary- " I have come away with the feeling that the boat is really made for areas like this and that there is tons of potential for the J/95 here as well as other areas with thin water. Please feel free to pass along my name should anyone want an impartial opinion about the boat and how she sails. In my years sailing I cannot remember a time I sailed on a “centerboard” (big) boat that had such great performance. I sure felt like I was sailing a much larger boat with a deep keel. Thanks again for joining us at the Squan Trisail Regatta and spending some time at the Jersey Shore with your cool new boat! Kindest Regards, Ron". For more info contact J/Boats or see more here.