Wednesday, February 24, 2010

J/122 Winning RORC Caribbean 600 Race

J/122 sailing Caribbean- cruising sailboat- racing sailboat

Glimcher's J/122 CATAPULTs To The Front

(Antigua- Feb. 23)- This latest bluewater classic is both a navigational and tactical challenge.  First, imagine that you are in blue waters sailing up and down an island chain in the Caribbean that spans about 250 miles.  Start and finish a race of about 600 miles from none other than the infamous and renowned English Harbour on Antigua.  Wake up one morning with a mild hangover realizing that for a few days you will experience extraordinary sunrises, sunsets, spectacular cloud formations, gorgeous island backdrops and have to sail in t-shirts and shorts heading first NW downwind towards St. Maarten, round a few marks then head back upwind through the middle of the chain up and around Guadeloupe, leaving it to port and head back downwind to the finish off Antigua.  Yes, life doesn't suck if this is all you had to work for this past week.

Near the head of the pack in this cool and very challenging ocean race is Marc Glimcher's J/122 CATAPULT, leading IRC 1 and potential for a podium finish Overall.  Marc and his crew are all from the East Coast of the United States and compete in many regattas; often in a fleet of J/122s. Marc and his crew are having a great race and are currently amongst the leaders in the RORC Caribbean 600 overall on IRC handicap. Currently, they are making a critical rounding Wednesday evening of Guadeloupe in light, shifty, very spotty winds.  If they escape, it's likely they can be one of the winners on the podium.

CATAPULT crewman, Brock Callen took a few minutes to talk about the ride: "It's freezing cold back home in Massachusetts right now and I am wondering why my sailing buddies at home aren't doing this race? The sailing conditions are just gorgeous. Last night as we were on deck, just in t-shirts, a Humpback whale came right up to the boat. Watching the sun go down with the spinnaker up and surf under the hull is a great experience.  We have a good spirit on board and we all have specific jobs, especially on maneuvers. At Barbuda we gybe peeled from the 3A to the 2A and it was a smooth operation. It paid off, as we passed several boats shortly after the rounding. Things have been going really well and the skipper and the crew are enjoying this race, so much.  The next leg looks like it will be a beat, possibly all the way to Guadeloupe and the wind may go lighter. We will be trying not to get too frustrated and concentrate on sailing the boat to the best of our ability."

The majority of the fleet are entering another stage in this tactical race. At the moment light headwinds are forecast for the boats on the leg to Guadeloupe. After spending a long period with little rest, the sailors will begin to feel the effects. It is often easier to concentrate when the boat is flying along. In light airs, tiredness can become a big problem.

You can track the yachts and read the messages that are coming in by accessing the Tracker Page or the Boat Blogs page on the official RORC Caribbean 600 web site.  

J/100 Owners- Paul & Susan Herer Interview

J/100- day sailing boat- single-handed sailboatSusan and Paul Herer from Chicago, IL, proud owners of J/100 #6, J100 WHAAT'S UP? have been sailing their J/100 quite actively the past few years on Lake Michigan. Here's what they had to say:  "This photo was taken during the Belmont Yacht Club There & Back 50 nm Race off the Chicago lakefront. In 2009, it was a double-handed race from Belmont Harbor to the Gross Point Outer Shoal light to the 68th Street Crib and back around the Wilson Avenue Crib to Belmont Harbor. The winds were 15 to 25 kts West and Southwest with gusts up to 40kts and the seas were 3-4 ft.  Like a true J Boat, it performed well, even when using our small asymmetric reaching chute downwind in these conditions.  We took 1st place and line honors and set the record for fastest time for this race over the 5 year period that this race has been held. We plan to do four double-handed races in 2010 on Lake Michigan.

We love our J/100 that we purchased from Rich Stearns about five years ago.  This back to basics performance daysailor and racer can sharpen your skill level.  The J/100 is easily sailed solo or short-handed for day sailing and port to port racing, or with a crew of five for racing around the buoys or port to port.

The J/100 receives many compliments at the dock and on the water due to its’sleek, simple, and modern design and its’ ability to sail beautifully in light, moderate or heavy air conditions while keeping everyone dry!  Let’s step aboard.

This J/100 is hull # 6 and has a ten horsepowered Volvo Penta engine with saildrive and a two-bladed fourteen inch Gori folding prop. Maneuverability under motor is absolutely the best, both in forward and reverse; the boat never pulls to either direction.  All lines lead aft to the spacious cockpit. The 105% jib is easily rolled out or up on a Harken furling system.  The mainsail is easy to hoist or take down on Harken sailslides on a carbon fiber mast which is supported by rod rigging. The best part?  The mainsail can be flaked by one person! On our boat, the mainsail has a single, continuous line reefing system, an 8:1 mainsheet system and a 4:1 fine tune.  This enables anyone to control the mainsail even under heavy air conditions.

The tiller, autohelm controls, Sailtech hydraulic backstay lever, Harken windward sheeting traveler, primary winches, engine controls, and cockpit waterproof VHF remote mic are all within the easy reach of the helm.  And, our Raymarine ST4000 Plus autohelm is hooked into the belowdeck rudder post assembly and does not need to be disconnected in light air conditions.  It's wonderful to have this degree of control within reach of our finger tips!

Under sail, heading upwind in Lake Michigan’s stiff, choppy waters with short frequency waves, the plumb bow, fine entry and powerful rig push the J/100 thru the water gracefully while keeping you dry.  J/Boats  large spade rudder and fin bulb keel offer great stability and tracking.  For reaching, hull # 6 uses a 1.5 oz Mylar reaching sail on a Harken furler with continuous line and a 2A running asymmetrical spinnaker tacked to a bow turning block on a padeye in front of the headstay and bow pulpit.  This chute is easy to launch from a bag at the rail. Gybing both these sails is easily done by one person, and there is no spinnaker pole or sprit to deploy.  An ATN snuffer works well for solo or short-handed sailing and racing.

This J/100 has a bow pulpit and lifelines which do not detract from the sleek appearance and add a good measure of safety whether sitting in the cockpit or on the rail.  The Thurston dodger is easy to fold down for racing and is wonderful in inclement weather or for sun protection. The raised sea hood that accommodates four Tacktic instrument displays over the companionway is a good option because they are visible to anyone in the cockpit. And the cockpit lockers offer good storage.

Down below, the interior might be considered spartan, but it is bright, uncluttered, and clean with some attractive teak framework and lighting fixtures in the head and cabin.  There is ample storage for necessary items in the lockers under the cabin settees and under the v-berth. The shelves in the cabin, as well as the toiletry cabinet in the head are very nice finishing touches....

The J/100 was the next generation for J/Boats and a departure from the sprit boat. The concept of basic, simple, performance sailing should be embraced by the sailing community."  

J/125 Owner Dr. Laura SA Interview

Dr. Laura- the renowned radio talkshow psychologist, has entered her J/125 on the Cabo San Lucas Race and offered some good thoughts for those people (women in particular) as to why she enjoys racing offshore on her J's.  Sailing Anarchy's Editor, Scot Tempesta, had this interview with her recently:  "We like Dr. Laura. No, not her politics, nor her radio show, but the woman? She's a delight who we have spent some quality time with and gotten to know fairly well. So when we heard she was racing her J/125 on the 600 mile Newport to Cabo race, we had to ask her why. She explains...

Six or seven years ago when I bought my first sailboat (J/80 THE DOC) I had no intentions to race.  I just wanted the wind in my face and the quiet swoosh of a sailboat's wake soothing my ears.  I got dragged into racing by being told, "If you want to really learn to sail well - racing is the way to do it."  And that was correct.  It took two years for my heart to not race in total fear steering the starts with boats going every which way and me not even having a great sense of where the start line was.  From that to steering in frequent 6-8 foot swells and gusts to 30 knots two weeks ago...and I only rounded up twice in several hours!  I was so excited and proud of myself - as the first time I was in those conditions I relinquished the helm and cried all the way to Ventura Harbor - totally terrified.

I enjoy a challenge.  I never considered myself an "inshore racer" - those are just the races that can be squeezed in on an afternoon or weekend and then back to the Yacht Club for wine and home for a shower.  I saw the movie, "Bucket List" and decided (having just turned 63) that I didn't want to have anything on mine.  And the imagery of sailing the open sea with the stars above and critters below seems thrilling.  When I mentioned Transpac to my crew and sailing buddies they all told me..."Yeah, on a bigger boat!"  Well, I don't have a bigger boat - so I went to a smaller race: Cabo.

As far as changes on the boat: we had to fulfill all the requirements so we have satellite radio/phone, water maker, etc. but I drew the line at the freeze dried dinner - tried it and my stomach threw up a protest flaq!  I guess it is good I love hard-boiled eggs and peanut butter and jelly...

My crew:  Kevin Miller, Kit Forbes Will (Remember the Disney movie 'Morning Light'? ...that Kit Will!), Paul Wolthausen, Sam Solhaug, Eric Bohman and me.

I am very excited about this...I am the only ocean racing newbie on the boat...I am sure I will have some rude awakenings...but I bet when we arrive in CABO I'll be ready to do it again.

The main point is to have an adventure. I'll let you all know how it went! Jump in the J/Boat Anarchy forum to comment.  

Fast San Diego - Puerto Vallarta Race

J/145 Bad Pak- sailing upwind- Puerto Vallarta Race

(San Diego, CA/ PV, Mexico)- This past weekend saw the San Diego Yacht Club’s Puerto Vallarta Race fleet head south, clear the Baja peninsula and cross the Sea of Cortez to a finish line at Punta Mita, just west of Puerto Vallarta.  In the past, winners of this fabled 600 nautical mile race include Jim Madden's J/125 STARK RAVING MAD, hailing from San Diego YC (this year's winner of PHRF A in Key West Race Week).

It was a very fast, record breaking race this year. Many boats reported speeds in excess of 20+ knots sustained power reaching under asym sails.  For those who made early decisions to break out west after Division 1 boats had passed Ensenada proved to be a strong move as other boats caught one of the few flat points of the race near the shore.

Amongst the J's participating, the J/145 BAD PAK (2009 Transpac Winner) sailed well to garner a 3rd in Division III and 8th overall.  Just off the pace by virtue of running into one of the flatter spots near shore was Stephen and Cyndy Everett's J/160 SALACIA, getting 5th in Division III and 10th overall.  Steve and Cyndy just picked up SALACIA and were using the PV Race to bring along an Aussie and American crew, then continue on their delivery across the Pacific to Sydney, Australia! There was a nice interview after the race with Jeff Brown, principal of JK3 Yachting, who sailed aboard SALACIA- see it on  Photo credit: Bob Bentancourt    For more Puerto Vallarta race info.  

Strong J Fleet @ St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

J/120 El Ocaso- sailing Key West

A Real GREEN Eco-Friendly Event, Too!

(Simpson Bay, St. Maarten)- This coming weekend will be the 30th Anniversary of this renowned event, a favorite for Europeans, South Americans and even a few Norte Americanos.  Billed as the only "Serious Fun" event in the Caribbean circuit, it has also committed to the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta program as it strives to achieve Bronze level certification- the Regatta Organization tries to reduce our impact on our oceans and coastal waters and operate as environmentally friendly as possible. The use of reusable bow numbers, paperless registration, biodegradable products in the office and with the help of sponsors creates environmental awareness to all of those involved with the biggest sailing event in the Caribbean.  Giving new meaning to the infamous description "have a Greenie", the title sponsor Heineken has ordered biodegradable cups that will be used at the parties during the event. And with the success of last year, the bracelets will be sold in order to raise money to protect the natural environment of both the French and Dutch marine parks on the island.

After the racing is done, the partying can begin!  Every night from the 4th up to the 7th of March fantastic parties will take place at different booming locations on St. Maarten. Heineken will make sure that the beer is cold and the music is superb. Make sure you don’t miss out the best four party nights of the year!

Amongst the J/Community participating in this year's event includes the first J/95 in the Caribbean, Tom Mullen's SHAMROCK VIII.  Also in attendance will be renowned race winner BAD GIRL, Bob Armstrong's fire-engine red J/100 (pictured above in the regatta summary); Jonathan Berwin's J/160 BIG BEAR; Rick Wesslund's Key West Race Week winning J/120 EL OCASO (pictured here at KWRW); Dortmondt van Remco's warhorse, the J/35 SUNBELT REALTY; and Jorge Gorbea's J/105 UMAKUA.  Good luck to all and hope to report good news next week!  For more Heineken Regatta and Sailing Info.  

J/30 Midwinters- New Orleans Mardi Gras!

J/30 one-design class sailboat- J/30 Midwinters

Ken Buhler's JALAPENO Wins

(New Orleans- Feb. 20-21)- Hosted by the amazingly charming and low-key New Orleans Yacht Club, this year's J/30 Mid-Winters regatta was held in the balmy 65 degree temperatures and persistent 10 knot plus breezes.  The venue was Mardi Gras Regatta in New Orleans. It was great to shake off the icicles with some hot racing. As always, starts and mark roundings are critical in One Design J/30 racing.  The fleet speed was very close with multiple leaders and three individual first place finishers; BLACK MAGIC, ZEPHYR V2 and JALAPENO.  As a result, with multiple boats winning with a certain amount of braggin rights, it all culminated in great story telling at the bar. JALAPENO was lucky enough to hold off the hard pressing fleet to win the J/30 Midwinters for the third time since 2004. The crew gave credit to their newest crew member, Henrietta, for calling tactics. Second went to  the tough team aboard ZEPHYR V2.0 and third just off the pace was GRITZ II not having won one race.

The Gulf Coast will hold NA 2013 and the Midwinters again next year.  New Orleans is a great venue for J/Boat sailing all year long.  Come on down and join us next time!  Here's a YouTube video of our NOYC "Welcoming Crew".   For J/30 Midwinters regatta and sailing info.  

J/80’s Are Back on Long Island Sound!

J/80 sailing downwind

(NY/ CT)- J/80’s are one of the most exciting one-design boats to sail, but, previously, if you wanted to race one-design on the Long Island Sound, you either had to sail dinghies or buy a larger boat like the J/105.  There always were a few J/80’s around, but split in two different groups: the one-design travel boats and the local PHRF racing boats.  Among the travelers, some of the best crews in the country, if not the world, call the Long Island Sound their home. The more prominent boats are Kerry Klingler’s LIFTED and John Storck, Jr.’s RUMOR who probably both don’t need any further introduction to the readers of this newsletter. On the other hand, there have always been various J/80s scattered about in clubs like AYC, LYC and Centerport that mainly sailed PHRF in club races. But, until this year, the local boats did not come together as a fleet.

This February, representatives from nine boats got together at Larchmont Yacht Club to meet each other, organize and reaffirm that western Long Island Sound was ripe for J/80 one-design events.  Five more boats joined Fleet 17 since the word got out bringing the total count of boats in the area up to 14 and at least two more are expected to join soon. The newly invigorated fleet agreed on three local races for this year to complement the full 2010 USA Tour schedule.  These events are:
May 22-23    Lloyd Harbor YC Spring Race for the Case (of Rum)- Lloyd Neck, NY
Jun 6-7         Cedar Point YC One Design Regatta- East Norwalk, CT
Sep 25-26    American YC Fall Series (1st weekend only)- Rye, NY

In addition, the fleet is planning to launch an annual J/80 Long Island Sound Cup – “J/80 LIS Cup” – which will be scored similar to the J/80 2010 USA Tour with a combination of qualifying local races. For more information on the fleet and how to get involved, please contact J/80 Fleet#17 rep Ansgar Chorhummel ( of  or go here-  J/80 Fleet #17 website.  

J/22 Euro-League 2010

The J/22 class in Europe, led by class leaders from The Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy have announced their J/22 2010 Euro-League circuit.  This year's Euro-League will include the following events:
May 13-16      J/22 Open French Championship (Ecole Navale Lanvéoc, FRA)
Jun 26-Jul 4    J/22 World Championship (Scheveningen, NED)
Jul 30-Aug     Travemünder Woche (Travemünde, GER)
Oct 15-17       J/22 Dutch Open Nationals (Braassemermeer, NED)
For more J/22 Euro-League Sailing information.  

J/109 East Coast Circuit

J/109 sailboat - sailing downwind- Key West

(East Coast, America)- In addition to Bill Sweetser's offering up the gorgeous trophy now hanging at Annapolis YC, US J/109 Class President Rick Lyall has outlined a proposed schedule of J/109 events for the 2010 season.  The key one-design events are:
- J109 Mid Atlantic Championship at the Annapolis NOOD (Part I- East Coast Series)
- American YC Spring Series
- Breakwater Yacht Club Sprit Fest
- Block Island Race Week
- J109 North American Championship at NYYC Race Week
- J109 East Coast Championship- Larchmont NOOD (Part II- East Coast Series)
- American YC Fall Series
- Storm Trysail Club Intercollegiate Regatta

I have also included a number of events where J109s are likely to sail under IRC, hopefully in the IRC 35 Class.  These include:
- Larchmont YC Edlu Distance Race
- Roosevelt Cup
- Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race
- NYYC Annual Regatta
- NYYC Race Week 2nd half: IRC National Championship
- Vineyard Race
- Long Island Sound IRC Championship
  For more information on the J/109 East Coast Circuit.  

SpritFest- June 5-6- Breakwater YC

J/80 sailboat surfing downwind

(Long Island, NY)- Ok, so it is cold outside (yes, we are way North of the Equator), your boat is covered and the snow is once again on the forecast but do not fear! Breakwater Yacht Club is already working on Sprit Fest 2010 and we are proud to be sponsoring it once again!

We will be returning to Noyack Bay on June 5th and 6th to battle it out!  You can expect the same great racing as year's past and the same after race social events that Breakwater is known for!  Limited dockage is available at Breakwater Yacht Club's Community Sailing Center in Sag Harbor.  There is a Gin pole at the club and reduced rates for stepping masts and launching at the Sag Harbor Yacht Yard.

Party? Doh! Of course we are going to have a party! This is a Breakwater Yacht Club event! We always have a party! Details of the party to follow when our Entertainment Committee returns from Jamaica (with some new ideas, too)!

J/80 Hot Spot? This is a big year for the J/80 class and the racing calendar is full of amazing races all season long culminating with the North American Championships in September and the Worlds in October! Sprit Fest has been selected as the LI Championship as well as one of the 9 races of the J/80 2010 USA Tour!  Boats coming from Annapolis can stop here on their way to Newport!  Contacts for each of the Classes:  J/80   Don Suter- / J/105 Bruce Tait- / J/109 David Betts- / J/120 Bruce Tait- / PHRF for Sprit Boats Chris Dowling-   For more regatta and sailing information at Breakwater YC.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

J/95 Sailing Swiss Lakes

J/95 shoal draft cruising sailboatJ/Lane, the J Dealer based in Strasse, Switzerland has its J/95 just about ready to roll on the gorgeous Swiss lakes, starting with the HallwillerSee (Lake Hallwiller).  Peter Bangerter is quite excited about the enthusiasm they're seeing for the revolutionary shoal-draft J/95.  The fact that it can be towed on European Community roadways ensures  that J/95 will have broad appeal to those who wish to explore not just remote reaches of their own lakes and shorelines but to take it far afield to the Med, the Atlantic or to the Adriatic Sea-- it will be interesting to see how far European J/95 sailors push the limits of its capabilities- the ultimate in sailing freedom.  Take it anywhere you wish to sail in complete comfort and with remarkable performance.  

J/105 Narragansett Bay Championship Tour

J/105 one-design class sailing

(Newport, RI)- Fleet 14 (southern New England) is pleased to announce the J-105 Narragansett Bay Championship Tour consisting of three closely-spaced regattas that typically draw competitors from Marblehead to Annapolis:

July 10-11    Coastal Living Sail Newport- Newport, RI
July 17-19    Rolex NYYC Race Week- Newport, RI
August 7-8    West Passage Regatta- Wickford, RI

To make it easy for out-of-towners, Brewer Wickford Cove Marina, adjacent to Wickford Yacht Club, will haul, power wash and store visiting boats during the Tour at deeply discounted rates.

During the West Passage Regatta, Sampson Rigging will award the top boats their choice of its newest hi-tech sheets and halyards, West Marine will spice up the Saturday night dinner with some exciting product giveaways, and Waterlines, the Portsmouth RI builder of the J-105, will award the overall Tour winner the J-105 Narragansett Bay Championship half-model perpetual trophy along with gift certificates for spare parts.

Along with these generous product contributions, North Sails will provide mark set boats during the West Passage Regatta as well as offering on-the-water coaching for all comers on Friday, August 6, followed by a debrief and welcome party at Wickford Yacht Club.

For further information, contact Nelson Weiderman ( of J/105 Fleet 14. And for more J/105 Class information.  

J/122 Northeast Circuit

J/122 one-design class sailing

(Newport, RI)- The J/122 Class is pleased to announce its 2010 J/122 Northeast Circuit.  J/122 WINGS co-owner, Mike Bruno, said "We encourage all J/122 owners to join us in a wonderful series of J/122 one-design class events this summer that includes the highlight, the J/122 North Americans held in conjunction with the Rolex New York Yacht Club Race Week."  Here are the events all J/122s are invited to:

April 24-25   American Yacht Club Spring Series-  Rye, NY
May 1-2        American Yacht Club Spring Series-  Rye, NY
May 28         Storm Trysail Block Island Race- Stamford, CT
June 11-13    NYYC Spring Regatta- Newport, RI
July 16-19     J/122 North Americans at Rolex NYYC Race Week- Newport, RI
Sept 11-12    Larchmont SW NOOD Regatta- Larchmont, NY
Sept 25-26    American Yacht Club Fall Series- Rye, NY
Oct 2-3         American Yacht Club Fall Series- Rye, NY

For J/122 Class information- please contact   

Sailing World NOOD- St. Petersburg

J/24 Tim Healy- J/24 Midwinters

Tim Healy's J/24 Wins St. Pete Overall

(Feb. 12-14- St. Petersburg, FL)- This year's SW NOOD St. Pete was an excellent kickoff to the nine-stop 2010 NOOD Regatta series, with ninety six keelboats boats contesting six quality races—which is pretty good considering the light-air conditions that have challenged this regatta venue over the past several years.  Of the ninety six keelboats attending, the largest sailing fleet were the J/24s with twenty-three racing around the track, followed by the fifteen J/80s participating in the second stop of the J/80 USA Tour and four happy-go-luck J/22s enjoying all the festivities.  In short, with forty-two J's sailing, they constituted 44.0% of the SW NOOD fleet-- nearly a J/Fest Southeast!

As the final day of racing progressed on Tampa Bay on Sunday, the towering smoke stacks on the eastern shore hinted at what was to come: the morning's horizontal streaming plumes slowly giving way to vertical trails. Luckily, the 0930 warning signals at the Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta's three circles allowed the race committee to squeeze in two more races before it all went kaput.  And in the dying northeasterly that defined the day's sunny but cold conditions there were all sorts of puffs, lulls, shifts, and holes and to avoid. There was no predictably to the breeze whatsoever. Even a few competitors that came out on top in the day's races admitted that conditions were of the mind-bending sort.

For the J/24s, one smart move by Tim Healy netted his team the overall win in St. Pete and a trip to the Caribbean later in the year for SW NOOD Championships.  Healy, a sailmaker with Quantum Sails, Rhode Island, went into the last race with a slim lead over Argentinean champion Joaquin Doval sailing U2 for YCA (Yate Club Argentina in Buenos Aires), and approached it with a pretty simple plan: beat Doval and keep his nose clean in the process. That later element would later be critical.  "We didn't want to be over early or hit anyone," says Healy. "We just wanted to be conservative."

Healy, with crew John Mollicone, Steve Lopez, Dan Rabin, and Gordon Borges, got a decent jump on Doval's U2 squad on the first beat, but their focus on the Argentineans almost cost them the regatta. "We sailed ourselves pretty deep into the fleet, and we gave them the opportunity to put a lot of boats between us," says Healy. "We should have sailed our own race and just stayed in phase with the shifts."

At the ensuing leeward mark rounding, some heads-up logic saved their bacon. Approaching the mark on starboard, and with inside rights on a multiple-boat pile-up, they quickly realized that taking advantage of their right-of-way wasn't going to do them any good. "We would have stuck it in there and either hit the mark or other boats," says Healy. Instead, they sailed around the entire pack and got in on the tail end of the pinwheel. "It definitely got pretty bad."

He estimates they rounded 20th (while Doval was top-five), but they worked the right side of the race course hard on the following beat, where they were banking on better pressure. They passed enough boats to make it nearly impossible for Doval to put enough points between them, and Healy's eighth to Doval's fourth gave the New Englanders a 1-point win and a trip to the Caribbean in November to the Sperry Top-Sider Caribbean NOOD Championship.  Finishing just behind these two were another Argentinean Champion Nicolas Cubria racing JESUS LIZZARD for Real Club Nautico, winning the last race but not nearly enough points to knock the other two off the podium.

J/80 Sailing World NOOD Regatta- Kerry KlinglerFor the J/80 class, J/80 champion Kerry Klingler won this important tune-up regatta for the October J/80 Worlds in Newport. After establishing primal supremacy over the fleet, starting off with two bullets, Kerry and crew onboard LIFTED rattled off three thirds and a last race first to win the regatta by a healthy margin of six points.  Two fellow Long Island Sounders also sailed solid series to further establish the primacy of their light air, shifty wind sailing skills.  In second was John DiMatteo racing CHRISTE and just off the pace in third overall was John Storck and family sailing RUMOR. 

The J/22s apparently had some fun despite the low turnout.  Everyone won races and in the end they nearly all finished tied!  How's that for some healthy racing!  Nevertheless, it was a tie-breaker for first place with Jackson Pentith sailing DELERIUM winning the regatta by having more first places.  In second on the short end of that stick was Jim Chorostecki racing THREE'S COMPANY.  Finishing third was Daniel Kresge on board JABBERWOCKY.  Photo Credits:  Tim Wilkes   For more Sailing World NOOD Regatta and sailing information.  

J/22 Grows and Grows in Germany

J/22 one-design class- Germany- boot sailboat show

Hardy Kleinefeld has this to report about J/22 class development in Germany: "The Boot 2010 Sailboat Show has once again confirmed that the J22 continues to grow nicely as a class in Germany.  The two week boot show saw great interest in the J/22 class. The German J/22 Class Association was well prepared and had plenty of KV-members willing to accommodate the crowds that came by in their high-traffic location in Hall 17. The attention has been great and the J/22 class in Germany continues to grow. Since 2005, the number of members has almost doubled. And if the ice has melted, the class will start racing in March, probably around 40 boats on the Braassemermeer for the first event.  By the way, after Europe's 2010 "Ice Age", we will have a winter training session under the leadership of former J/22 World, European and Masters Champion, Dutchman Jeroen den Boer.  For more German J/22 Class Sailing information.  

Challenge J/80 La Trinité France

J/80 France- La Trinite sur Mer- one-design class sailing

(La Trinite sur Mer, France- Feb 6-7)- Like their J/80 classmates in Spain, the J/80 French teams are starting their late winter/ early spring racing and training programs for the 2010 summer season and many of the teams are looking at gearing up for the J/80 Worlds in Newport, RI in October. 

Thirteen teams participated in the second weekend of the Challenge J80 Trinitaine, racing in very tough weather conditions.  On Saturday in light, shifty six to twelve knot NW winds off La Trinite, marked by lots of current, the teams spent a lot of time training on their maneuvers; with starts, mark roundings and leeward gate roundings.  On Sunday, under bright spring sunshine and fifteen knot NE winds, the Race Committee sent the teams around a one nautical mile windward-leeward course.  At the end of the day, it was COYOTE that won the day with a 4-1-1 record.  J'BOULET was second with a 5-2-2 tally and third lay JALUCYNE with a 4-3-3 series score.  For more J/80 French Class sailing information.  

J/80s Spain Report

(Feb. 17th)- The Spanish J/80 teams press on regardless of wind, weather, European Ice Age and anything else that may be thrown in front of them.  This past weekend was no exception.  Of note were the training sessions conducted by past J/80 World and European Champions, highlighted by the participation of Murciano Carlos Martinez (3rd in the 2009 Worlds in Santander, Spain and 3rd in the 2008 Worlds at Kiel, Germany), the Spaniard Jose Maria Torcida (2007 World Champion in La Trinité, France and 6th in the 2009 Worlds in Santander, Spain).

J/80 one-design sailng- Barcelona, SpainRCNB Winter Trophy 

(Barcelona, Spain)- This past weekend, Real Club Nautico Barcelona conducted six races in excellent wind conditions- shifty fifteen knot winds from the southwest.  The RC PRO setup a nice 3.5 nautical mile windward leeward course.  Jordi Negroni won two of the three races Saturday while FORTY FIVE, skippered by Richard Terrades, continued to dominate the rest of the races. For more Spanish J/80 sailing info.

Castro Ricardo III Trophy

(La Coruna, Spain)- This past weekend saw the start of the Castro Ricardo III Trophy for the J/80 class, hosted by Real Club Náutico de La Coruña.  The fleet was greeted by two solid days of racing with widely varying conditions.  On Saturday, it blew hard from the NE at 20-25 knots and two fun, fast races were sailed.  Ultimately, it was a dogfight between MELTEMIA skippered by Fernando Lago, MARINA CORUNA skippered by Paul Chavert and IN ITINERIES skippered by Miguel Fernandez.  Miguel Fernandez sailed well on the final downwind leg of the last race to win.  On Sunday, it started light from the south at 6-7 knots, but later built to a gusty 20-23 knot winds, testing the crews again in large choppy seas and shifty breezes.  Overall the J/80s are led by MELTEMI followed by IN INITNERIES and MARINA CORUNA.  For more Spanish J/80 sailing info.

J/80 RCN Clinic a Success

(La Coruna, Spain- Feb. 8th)- There was a lot of intense activity at Real Club Náutico de La Coruña during the past weekend with the celebration of "CLINICA CORUNNA J/80."  RCNLC hosted this training for the local J/80 fleet.  Renowned J/80 sailors were invited to conduct the clinic, including Murciano Carlos Martinez (3rd in the 2009 Worlds in Santander, Spain and 3rd in the 2008 Worlds at Kiel, Germany), the Spaniard Jose Maria Torcida (2007 World Champion in La Trinité, France and 6th in the 2009 Worlds in Santander, Spain) and Peru Bilbaino Mugica. At 1030 hours the J80s began with a lecture-panel led by Carlos Martinez, on the set-up and speed for J/80s. When finished, the crews got aboard their J/80s for a very constructive on-the-water training session.  Each of the guest coaches sailed on the boats with their owners and crew, focusing on boat-handling and boat speed. Upon returning to the club from these on-the-water sessions, everyone analyzed training videos of the day, examined the pictures, always striving to improve tuning, speed and maneuvering.  The day ended with a dinner where sailors and guests continued their discussions of the tips and trick learned from the days' training session. For more Spanish J/80 sailing info.

J/80 one-design sailing- Santander, Spain

J/80 Lacre Memorial Trophy

(Santander, Spain)- This past weekend, Toño Piris-Santi Lopez-Vazquez onboard YATES & THINGS continued their winning ways in the J/80 Santander fleet, they continue to lead the Lacre Memorial Trophy series.  Not to be outdone, Pichu Torcida-Alex Muscat sailing ECC VIVIENDAS got the win in the second race of the day was the best boat of the day and is second overall.  True to the determination of the Santander sailors, the freezing cold did not deter the twenty five crews from going to the starting line.  The teams were greeted by a moderate southwest breeze blowing 8-10 knots, which permitted the RC to conduct two races.  After some spirited racing that saw boats play both sides of the course and shifts influenced by the renowned "Moors" section of grassy beach off Santander (see J/Sailing Calendar photo), the teams are looking forward to more racing next weekend.  Lying third after the dust settled is FONESTART sailed by Jaime Piris, fourth is SPACIO 10 raced by Paul Santurde and fifth is BANCAJA sailed by Javier López-Vázquez and Alvaro Mazarrasa.  For more Spanish J/80 sailing info.  

J/80s and J/World Annapolis Partner with USSTAG/GEL Sailing Program

J/80 US Sailing Team- Olympics- GEL* J/80s at J/World Annapolis were used for a USSTAG/ GEL program with US Olympian Graham Biehl.  Donna Berry from GEL had this to say about the program-  "I wanted to share the following sailing story with you involving the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, sailing experiential learning company Group Experiential Learning, J World Annapolis and Olympian Graham Biehl.

It’s not every day that one gets to meet an Olympic sailor, let alone race with one.  On February 4, 2010 in Naples, Fla., AlphaGraphics, the title sponsor of the US Sailing Team, took its sponsorship to the next level with a pioneering event that intertwined world-class sailing with corporate relationship building.   AlphaGraphics brought its top franchisees out to sail and race with US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) team member Graham Biehl, a 2008 Olympian and 2012 Olympic hopeful, in an event organized by fellow sponsor, Group Experiential Learning (GEL), the country’s premier provider of experiential outdoor and sailboat-based leadership development, team building and corporate entertainment programs.  Ninety-five percent of the participants had never sailed, let alone raced, prior to the afternoon on the home waters of the Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club, but tight racing ensued, facilitated by a highly experienced coaching team from J World Annapolis, a sailing school partner which powers many GEL programs.   Participants were divided into four teams on J80s, with each team guest-coached by Biehl during one round of the four races which comprised the regatta.

“Our role as a title sponsor of US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics has really evolved into a greater and greater relationship year-after-year,” said Kevin Cushing, CEO of AlphaGraphics.  “Our event was a great example of how the members of the team are more engaged with our franchisees and our franchisees are engaged with them.  Graham Biehl was present on every boat giving us tips and having a blast with our franchisees.  It was a once-in-a-life experience.”  

Added Dan Cooney, Commercial Director for US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, "We were thrilled to have our team-building partner GEL lead our title sponsor AlphaGraphics and their top franchisees through the paces on the water, culminating in some competitive but friendly racing.  It serves to deepen and add value to these relationships."

The day’s outcome?  Sixteen key franchisees and AlphaGraphics employees experienced an unprecedented opportunity to compete with and against a young Olympic athlete, and got a glimpse into the teamwork required to battle wind, currents and competitors in the intense world of sailboat racing.  Several teams won individual races and the regatta did award trophies, but as Kevin Cushing pointed out, the victories are truly measured in the smiles of the participants and the deepened relationships between AlphaGraphics and its vital franchisees.  

J/35: Pimped Super-fast Family Cruising Classic

J/35 Cavallino- sailing, cruising, boating in Caribbean Dan Moll- from Puerto Rico took an old J/35, now renamed CAVALLINO, and "pimped" their ride into the ultimate cruising, sailing "crib".  Here's Dan's story:

"Someone told me once that I’ll be doing fine if I get a foot of boat for every year of my age.  At 34, my second life for some years now had been as a race-car driver.  But with a four-year-old, racing was just taking time away from my new family.  As a kid, I sailed Lasers at the Club Náutico de San Juan and spent many summers sailing the Virgin Islands on my best friend’s sailboat.  I grew to love the ocean and the adventure of discovering the thousands of destinations on land and under water that Puerto Rico and the Virgins offered.  It was the lifestyle I wanted for my children one day, so it was logical to go back to sailing.   They say every time two sailboats heading in the same direction see each other on the water, a silent race is on.  It’s true.  I wanted a cheap super-fast cruiser.  What is it?  How about retro-fitting an aged race boat to cruise?

This red hot rod of a boat caught my eye on December 2004, standing on the yard at Puerto del Rey, in Fajardo, PR.  The 1984 J/35 “Ventajero” was a local legend.  Previous winner of the ‘Round Puerto Rico Race and the St. Thomas Rolex, it was full of great stories.  After a quick visit and some research on the internet, I was very interested.  Over two-hundred boats on the water, five active one-design fleets, and an American Sailboat Hall of Fame Inductee.  In other words, a “Certified Classic”. If my dream car would have been a Ferrari, at least here I got my fast red toy for a fraction of the cost.

I called my friend, professional sailor and rigger Jorge Hernandez to please come and see it and give me a dead honest opinion whether to purchase the boat or keep looking.  Jorge came and after a close inspection, I still remember his advice:  “It’s on its way to becoming a cadaver, but the basics are healthy and we can save it.  It’s an awesome boat.  You’ll sail faster than most 40-footers today.”  He was in, and so was I.  So here I was, $27,000 later, with my beat-up-racer-to-become-superfast-cruiser.  I was lucky to have a multi-talented construction employee, Albert, who lived nearby the yard.  We took the thing apart and called it "Monster Garage J" for some time.  Jorge supervised.  I also called J/Boats, to see if by any chance, I was able to get a copy of an owner’s manual for the restoration of my almost twenty-year old boat.  I talked briefly with a very nice lady on the phone and got a quick reply: “Just mail us a check for $20.  I’ll be mailing you right away.”  She even offered Rod Johnstone’s phone number mentioning he’d be glad to offer any advise if I needed.  I was very impressed.  That’s how a world-class family business provides customer services, and I had just bought an old boat!  I received my owner’s manual copy in two days.

I won’t go into detail, but after three months, the project wasn’t worth $1,000.  Outside, all deck hardware was out.  Inside, everything went out, with the exception of bulkheads, engine, diesel tank and the only two small cabinets.  That’s when the news came, my wife was pregnant!  Make that a family cruiser, baby included, with a wife who had never sailed.   Call it either brave or stubborn.

I was kept excited by many who I met in the marina, asking if I was the one who purchased Ventajero.  Eyes lit up with awesome racing stories…many.  I’m an architect, with 15 years in the construction business.  That means probably too much creativity for the assignment and no fear of destruction and reconstruction.  Jorge, a perfectionist.  We discussed the project.  The basic requirement for the ideal boat given the situation:  safety first, and it had to sail singlehanded.

Fifteen months later, with new everything and then some, “CAVALLINO” went in the water.  It looked beautiful, shiny red hull with brand new white non-skid and all new Harken hardware, running and standing rigging.   With tiller steering, it felt like a big Laser.  It sailed beautifully, although a bit “sporty” for the family.  By that, I mean a wet cockpit, and a bit too much heel.  The boat also felt light against 3’ chop.  You usually see these boats crewed with 8-10 guys, 6 of them on the rail, and now I know why.

The J/35 sure is beamy, at 11.8’.  I also needed more fresh water.  Ta-da! Two custom fiberglass tanks behind settees.  I met a local artisan, Ismael, who promised to deliver.  He built both tanks shaped and bonded against the hull.  We measured and they made about 95 gallons each!  We installed them with Rule bilge pumps inside each of them and placed switches at the cockpit.  Water ballast transfer happened at 3.5 minutes for a full tank.  The heel correction is good for about 3-4 degrees, and the boat feels a lot more planted as it slices upwind. 

It was time to make the cruiser look like it inside.  I worked with local shop Sand, Sea and Air interiors to design the interior upholstery.  Sunbrella textile was child friendly, and a top 1” layer of memory foam provided extra comfort.  We got an award from the Marine Fabricators Association for “Ourstanding Achievement” in 2008.  Custom teak cabinets were installed for storage above tanks and many more projects followed.  With plenty of water, extra-large batteries, new AC/DC panel, inverter, diesel generator, A/C, microwave, electric cooktop, fresh water electric head, auto pilot and GPS, now we have a fully equipped cruiser.  The kids’ biggest smile was when they saw the 22-in. LCD, where we hookup our Apple TV.  I had gone from “Monster Garage” to “Pimp my J”.

On the cockpit, custom molded fiberglass backrests deflect water and keep the seating dry.  A table was fabricated and it doubles as a center insert turning the seats into a big lounge pad, with cushions also by SSA.  The last projects were to move the primary winches back and make them electric.  The main halyard was routed back and I can raise the mainsail from the helm with the electric winch.  Also, I added a hatch for the bow locker.  J35s have huge bow lockers, but only accessible from the v-berth.  The space was good for anchor locker and also for the gennaker bag.  A Forte Carbon bowsprit was installed on deck and rigged to extend and retract from the cockpit.

I’ve had the best time pimpin’ my J and sailing CAVALLINO, our pimped super-fast family cruising classic.  Hope you enjoy our recent YouTube movie, “Sailing Culebra 2010”.  In contrast to very tough economic times, we had some great moments to start the new decade.  

See Sailing Culebra on J/35 CAVALLINO on YouTube.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

J/95 Saving Sailing in Florida

The Ultimate in Sailing Freedom- Go Anywhere with 3.5' Draft!

(Naples, FL- Feb. 10th)- Florida J Dealer Craig Crossley from CrossCurrent Marine took author Nick Hayes, renowned for his recently published book SAVING SAILING, for an afternoon sail aboard the J/95 from the Hamilton Harbor YC off Naples, FL, where J/95 One Design Fleet #1 is forming. The sail among the shallows and sandbars in the narrow channels between Gordon Pass and downtown Naples demonstrated the extraordinary flexibility of how one can use a J/95 for shoal-draft cruising and sailing in regions with a lot of shallow water like Florida.  As Nick commented to Craig, "Coming from snowy Wisconsin, it was a pleasure to sail in the Naples inter-coastal. The highlight, of course, was short tacking the J/95 between narrow channel markers, with 11-year old Drew at the helm, and his dad John sheeting the jib for him. The J/95 seems like a perfect boat for the shallow water areas in Florida, and it is clear that it is a great family boat too. Thanks to Craig for the invitation!"

J/95 Saving Sailing- author Nick Hayes out for sail in Naples J/95 Saving Sailing with author Nick Hayes in Naples, FL

Come on down and take this remarkable new shoal-draft cruising boat for a ride!  J/95 Demo Sails are available in Southwest Florida; Dallas, TX; Annapolis, MD/ Chesapeake Bay; Solent, England; and Lake Constance, Switzerland (soon)!  Please contact your local J Dealer to arrange a demo sail or contact J/Boats for more information- or phone- 401-846-8410.  Southeast sailors can contact Craig Crossley- CrossCurrent Marine- cell 401-330-6135 or   

J/109 East Coast Series

J/109 East Coast Championship trophy

Bill Sweetser, owner of the J/109 RUSH, has a challenge for you!  "The RUSH team will proudly display the prestigious J/109 East Coast Regatta Series trophy at the Annapolis Yacht Club until someone takes it away."  All you have to do is compete in this year’s J/109 Mid-Atlantic Championships at the Sailing World Annapolis NOOD, and the Sailing World Larchmont NOOD, and achieve the best average points. Each year the Class Association defines the Series events.

The SW Annapolis NOOD is on April 30-May 2 and the SW Larchmont NOOD is September 11-12.  The Larchmont NOOD’s will be the awards ceremony. The Class Association will ship it to the yacht club you designate where it will remain on display until another team wins it. The "keeper trophy" is a beautiful 16 inch silver tray engraved with the year and names of the Series regattas.  For more J/109 sailing and regatta information.  

Sailing World NOOD- St. Petersburg

J/80 one-design sailing fast downwind with spinnaker

J/80 2nd Stop of USA Tour

(St. Petersburg, FL- Feb 12-14)- The Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD is pleased to host the second stop of the J/80 World Championship Tour.  Premiere Racing's Nautica Key West Race Week, the first stop of the tour, saw nineteen J/80s on the starting line and the St. Pete NOOD is sure to see a strong showing as well with fifteen boats already registered. The J/80 tour will be heading up the East Coast throughout the spring and summer including a stop at the Annapolis NOOD and concluding with the J/80 World Championship hosted by SailNewport in Newport, RI during October of this year.  Look for class leaders like John Storck on RUMOR; Kerry Klingler on LIFTED; Al MInella on RELENTLESS; and Henry Brauer on RASCAL to be contenders for the podium-- all of them had flashes of brilliance at  Key West Race Week.

J/24s will also be participating with a twenty-two boat strong showing, one of the largest classes at the SW NOOD event.  Many of the J/24 Midwinters participants racing this past weekend at Davis Island Yacht Club will be racing in St. Petersburg, too.  In addition, the J/22s will have a fleet racing, too, with mostly local sailors and a team from Toronto, Canada looking forward to sunny Florida sailing.  For regatta and sailing news go here.

Sea Scouts at St. Peter NOOD

The St. Pete NOOD is pleased to welcome members of the Sea Scouts who will be racing two boats in the J/22 class and one boat in the J/24 class. All participating Sea Scouts are members of Ship 185, based out of Apollo Beach, FL. Don St. Amour has been an adult skipper for Ship185 for about 6 years. Sailing World is happy to have The Sea Scouts, a non-profit youth organization, participating in the event. Jabberwocky, a J/22 sailed by 3 young adults ranging in age from 14 to 20, will be skippered by Ryan Kresge, the Ship's Bos'n. Don will be skippering J/24 Black Magic. Don hopes to increase the number of Sea Scout boats racing in the St. Pete NOOD for 2011.

Sea Scouting is a part of the Boy Scouts of America, and is a co-educational program offered to young adults between the ages of 14 and 21. Sea Scouting is organized to promote citizenship, improve boating skills, increase knowledge through instruction, promote water safety, enhance outdoor, social, and service experiences, and expand knowledge of our maritime heritage.   For more SeaScout information.  

RSYC Doyle Sails Frostbite Series

J/92s sailing upwind on the Hamble River, England

Crews Scrape the Ice for Second Weekend

(Southampton, England- Feb 6-7)- The series name was apt as crews scraped ice from the decks of their boats in preparation for the second day of racing in the Royal Southampton Yacht Club’s Doyle Sails ‘Frostbite Series’. The clear skies and -4ºC slowed the build up of the wind, resulting in the AP being raised at 1000. Eventually the WNW breeze steadied at about 7 knots which allowed class 1 to start at 1140. Everyone was happy to be moving again and warming up.

In Class 1 IRC, David and Kirsty Apthorp's J/109 J-DREAM is hanging onto third spot overall for the series, just one point out of second place.    After starting the first weekend with two seconds, the fifth place this past weekend dropped them to third oJ/109 J-Dream sailing off start- Hamble River, Englandverall.  Also competing is IvanTrotman's J/105 JOLENE, enjoying the challenging conditions on the Hamble River/ Solent.

The J/92 fleet were close at the start but soon split into two groups choosing different routes to the first mark.  Andy Howe's BLACK JACK edged into the lead with Mike Cooper's JAVA LITE and the trio of Andrew, Matt & Pete aboard JAMMIN in hot pursuit. The slower class 1 boats were soon overtaken by the J92’s which were enjoying the lighter wind conditions. Racing remained tight all round the course with shouts for water at the mark roundings. Andy Howe kept BLACK JACK in the lead to take line honours and the class win. Close behind were JAVA LITE and JAMMIN who crossed the line together allowing JAMMIN to take second on handicap. After an hours racing only 40 seconds covered the first three boats.  In the series lead after two weekends is JAVA LITE followed by BLACK JACK and Mike Garvey's J-ARROW.

For more RSYC Frostbite Sailing series info.   Photo credits- Hamo Thornycraft Marine.  

J/24 Midwinter Championship

Enright Wins Nail-biter In Last Race

(Tampa, FL- Feb 6-10)-  The Davis Island Yacht Club offers a great escape from the February temperatures, a famous laid-back social atmosphere, and an an inviting venue for the 2010 Midwinters regatta. Februrary in Tampa Bay typically includes some excellent weather for sailing and an excellent way to spend your winter vacation.

Thirty three boats were on the line and amongst them include class notables such as veteran J/24 sailor Tony Parker of Annapolis, MD on BANGOR PACKET, Kirk Reynolds of Skaneateles, NY on OLD CROW, class stalwart Mark Pincus from Miami, FL on SCOUTS HONOR, strong contenders such as Charlie Enright, Peter Bream, Will Welles (fresh from J/80 Midwinters) and from Buenos Aires, Argentina, champion sailor Nicolas Cubria racing JESUS LIZARD.

By the fourth day of the regatta, Charlie Enright from Bristol YC (RI) kept the team of John Mollicone/ Tim Healy from getting in front of them in the last race to win the regatta by two points, they finished first and second respectively.  Just behind them in 3rd, 4th and 5th places, respectively, were Will Welles, Peter Bream and Tony Parker, each having won at least one race each.   For more J/24 Midwinters regatta and sailing information.  

J/80 Spain Winter Series Update

The J/80 fleets in Bilbao, Santander and Palma Mallorca, Spain continue strong racing with some series leaders emerging.  Come rain, snow, cold or violent squalls, nothing seems to deter this group of sailors from having great sailing on the water and camaraderie in the local harborside pubs after sailing.

J/80 sailing off Bilbao, SpainWinter Trophy 2010

(Bilbao, Spain- Feb 6-7)-  Winter Trophy 2010 and has a clear candidate for title: Peru Mugica and his crew of PAKEA BIZKAIA. A first and a second on the third weekend helped Peru Mugica consolidate his lead with eight points, five less than the AS DE GUIA VIII's skipper Joseph Azqueta, who finished third and fourth.  In third place overall is FREUS's  Cristian Jauregui with seventeen points.

On a cold rainy day with little wind, the race committee postponed for two hours.  Then, they got two races off, the first one being light winds and strong currents making for challenging tactical decisions and the second marked by a powerful squall shifting the winds into the north.    In the first race, Zubiaga Ramon sailing MANDOVI led the race from start to finish after a difficult start.  MANDOVI chose to duck a bunch of transoms on port to get to the favored side and simply sailed away with the race.   Behind them, Peru Mugica staged a great comeback to finish second by the end of the race. The second race was considerably closer and much windier for the fleet.  The leaders all went to the right side of the course, playing the shifts.  In the end, victory belonged to Peru's PAKEA BIZKAIA followed by Cristian's FREUS and Joseph's AS DE GUIA VIII' in third place.

After the racing a dinner was held at SALTILLO's.  After the cold and rain, the warm atmosphere and great food and drink made for some amusing stories and celebration-- a lot of potato's were eaten!  More Spanish sailing news here.  

The J/80 Mafias Trophy- Spain

J/80 Spacio 10 winner of Mafias Trophy


(Santander, Spain- Feb 6-7)-  On the final day of the first trophy of the year, Pichu Torcida continued his winning ways from the 2009 season.  Pichu's ECC VIVIENDAS sailed extremely well, winning two races on the last day, to finish just two points back from Mafias Trophy winner, Paul Santurde on SPACIO 10.  SPACIO 10 consistently led the series, despite not winning any races.  And, thanks to an extraordinarily consistent series of 2-2-2-2 in the first four races, Santurde managed to hang in there for the overall win.

Like their friends in Bilbao, heavy rain in the afternoon on Saturday in Santander Bay did not stop to the fleet from having an interesting day of racing.  There was high tide, the wind blew between 15 and 18 knots from the west, and the race committee managed to run five races.  There were 22 boats on the starting line.  Unusually, the fleet went right the first time, without needing to have to repeat the same tactic later in the day.  In later races, the fleet was distributed equally throughout the race course. Some sought more favorable tide, some surfed the channel area of the bay and others simply played the left side, sailing further south. 

While ECC VIVIENDAS was winning the last two races, SPACIO 10 was wrapping up the series with a solid performance.  With their fourth consecutive second place, Santurde's SPACIO 10 secured winning the Mafias Trophy.  Antonio Piris sailed his YATES&THINGS very well to finish third for the series, followed by Alberto Padron's MABLE V and Jamie Piris' FONESTAR in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Next weekend the Santander J/80 fleet starts the Waxy-Memorial de Antonio Pereda Trophy during the month of February.  More Spanish sailing news.  

J/30 Class Growing Stronger

Bill Kneller and Dave Erwin, J/30 Class Co-Presidents have been doing a magnificent job re-connecting many J/30 sailors from across the country.  The resurgent interest in the class is heartwarming to see and, more importantly, they're having a helluva lot of fun!  Like the J/24 Australia story below regards "revamp that old boat", the J/30 Class has similar initiatives.  Read more about what Dave Erwin did to take a J/30 wrecked by Hurricane Katrina and resurrected it as the great "as new" looking J/30 called TOY BOX.  Furthermore, another great story on Tim Lawton resurrecting another J/30 called CHAOS.  Read more about these J/30 Class building efforts.  

J/24 Åustralian Sailors Growing Fleets

J/24s sailing in Australia and Tasmania J/24 Australian sailors are growing their fleets and having a lot of fun.   Recently, Simon Grain, from Melbourne, sailing MAKE MY J, had some thoughtful hints on "Get out and revamp your old boat, it's worth it!".  As Simon explains, "One of the huge benefits of sailing a windward leeward course is, it evens out the boats. At the 2006 Melbourne World Championships, many of the top performers were boats with a minimum age of 15 years. None was more noticeable than Mike Ingham who shipped a 20 year old J out from America, whilst not in the top 3, his top 5 finish was excellent. He then went on to come second at the 2007 Worlds in Mexico in the same boat. At the 2009 J Worlds in Sardinia last year, the majority of the fleet were boats 10 years+, just with new rigs and fast as ever. Since then in Melbourne we have seen older J’s revamped and now competing at the front of the fleet. Ron Thompson’s AUS 1324 “Kicking Bottom” ( 20+ years old) has won several races at the beginning of the season, and Micheal Lewenhagen has just put AUS 1687 “Excite your Senses”, back in the water after a major rebuild. In addition, 3 boats have new rigs and 2 have upgraded 2nd hand rigs. The end result of all of this effort, is improved performance across the fleet.

J/24 refurb for Tasmanian J/24 fleetThis was driven home when the J fleet sailed in the Audi Victoria Week at Geelong. Out of the 4 races that weekend the J’s got line honours in 3 and a 2nd in the 4th. A fantastic effort out of 50+ boats all of whom were bigger. In past years the S80 design yachts would have sailed past the J’s, this year, none of the 10 S80’s beat a J24 for line honours!  In South Australia several owners have revamped old J’s. Some of these boats were past Australian champions, were cheap to buy, cheap to clean up and revamp and are now sailing at the front of the national fleet again.  J24’s in Australia, can be brought up to race speed with a minimum of effort and experience. With the racing opportunities now offered, the excuse that your boat is no longer competitive no longer holds water. There are around 200 J24’s in Australia and most can be revamped into a competitive boat.  Over the next few months I will be listing hints on how to get old J’s fast, by reducing weight and getting rid of the huge amounts of junk found down stairs.

So, to all the owners of J’s not currently being used because of a notion that they’re no longer competitive, get out there and fix them up and see how quick they still can be.  Just maybe, your boat may have been one that started a legend…. and …. one that could start another. A revamped active fleet maintains the investment we all have in our boats, increases the enjoyment and interest in the class. So get the spanners out, find the screw driver and start taking off all that old crap.  Read more about sailing J/24s in Australia/ Tasmania  

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

J/95 First Sail in England

J/95 England-the ultimate in sailing freedom- shoal draft sailboat- sailing upwind-

(Hamble, So'ton, England)- Paul Heys reports on their inaugural sail aboard the first J/95 in Europe.  "Whilst we have been stoked with the downwind performance of the J/95, it is the upwind performance that is the biggest surprise for this shoal-draft sailboat.  We had imagined that the J/95 keel would be much less efficient than a normal fixed fin.  On Thursday last, whilst out sailing with Andy Robertson from yachts and Yachting magazine, we lined up with an Elan 310, which is a new model, fin keeler with twin rudders.  At times the Elan 310 looked like they had height, yet our VMG was definitely better and after half an hour and a few tacks the Elan 310 rolled the jib up, gave up and headed back for home.  Yesterday we lined up the J/95 against the known quantity we sailed all last season, the J/97.  Both boats sailed with code 4 jibs as it was by now 15-22 knots of breeze and choppy seas on the Solent.  The J/95 sailed with four people with two on the rail; the J/97 sailed with three people with 1.5 on the rail (kept moving back and forth).  The J/95 hung onto the J/97 very well for a long period upwind in what would arguably be the worst possible conditions for a shoal-draft keel centerboarder to be testing for upwind performance- steep chop, current, blowing hard.  In short, the J/95 is a sparkling performer.  We anticipate a lot of enthusiasm building for her as we get more people out for demo sails. " For more J/95 sailing performance information.  

J/80 UK Nationals- Cardiff, Wales, UK

J/80 Nationals UK - sailing upwind off starting line

(Cardiff, Wales, UK- May 5-8th)- The Tacktick Suunto J/80 UK National Championship 2010 will be hosted by the Cardiff Bay Yacht Club from May 5-8th.  The J/80 is fastest selling sportsboat in Europe and with this in mind, marine electronics specialists Tacktick have agreed title sponsorship for the J/80 UK Nationals.  James Hewitt, Sales Manager for Tacktick Suunto said, "We are delighted to kick start what we hope will be a long standing association with the UK J/80 Class. We see the Tacktick Race Master as the perfect product for this performance sportsboat. Of course the Suunto range of watches also hold massive appeal across all J Boat sailors from the J/80 to the J/133, as does our entire range of wireless, self powered marine electronics." This is the second time the J/80 National Championships have been fought in the waters of Cardiff Bay. The racing is extremely tactical, tidal considerations are clearly important and racing here on short windward-leeward courses presents a real challenge and reaps it’s own rewards for the clever sailor. Facilities at Cardiff Bay Yacht Club are superb for sportsboats and the Class is very pleased to be back.  Thirty plus UK boats are expected at the event in June, along with visitors from Italy and elsewhere in Europe. The growing domestic fleet welcomes many new owners in 2010 and the spring date for the Tacktick Suunto J/80 UK Nationals means that this is the first time most teams will be lining up against each other in advance of the J/80 Europeans on Lake Garda in June and the J/80 Worlds in Newport at the end of the summer.  Photo Credit- ChapiFoto.  For more J/80 regatta and sailing information.  

MERCEDES BENZ J/22 North Americans

(Buffalo Yacht Club, NY)- Even though many of us, in the Northeast, are getting ready to attack the slopes and wreck our knees and other body parts, some of us are making plans for the 2010 J/22 campaign. The Midwinters and the first spring regattas will be a great tune-up for the 2010 season.  The Buffalo Yacht Club and it sponsor, Mercedes-Benz, will be hosting the 2010 J/22 North American Championship. BYC have built-up a great resume in hosting many world-class regattas. As for the J/22 fleet, the word about Buffalo is out after hosting several J/22 “Raw Bar Regattas. The Raw Bar festivities will be moved to August 19-21 as the Buffalo Yacht Club celebrates its 150th year by welcoming you all to its beautiful facility on Lake Erie. August in Buffalo is usually blessed with temperatures in the 80s and 8-12 knot winds. The competition is great, and the camaraderie has been fabulous.

The J/22 NA's are going to feature not only the Gold Class (the fast guys and girls), but they'll present a Junior Division, a Ladies Division and a Masters Division.  Plans are to have one start for all classes but separate awards for the aforementioned. A practice race will be run on Wednesday, August 18 and Sunday the 22nd can be a travel day.  Help the Buffalo Yacht Club celebrate its 150th anniversary. Come join us in August!  For more J/22 regatta and sailing information.  

Australian J's Winning in Sydney

J/109 sailing upwind in choppy waves

(Sydney, Australia)- A report from Keith Wilson sailing his J/109 MAJIKAL.  "MAJIKAL continues to be in first three in our summer series of off-shore racing.  We race in a mixed fleet that includes boats from 32 feet up to around 40 to 45 feet.    Racing today from Cronulla to Botany Bay, via a wave rider buoy, some 3 miles off-shore.  Wind looks to be 15-20, with a  few spinnaker runs, so hoping for a good result. In the race last week, we ran into a nasty storm.  Wind started at 10-15 and we were leading the fleet out of Botany Bay towards Wedding Cake Island.  We rounded the island second behind a 45 footer, and started back south toward wave rider when the southerly came in.  As we had seen it coming, we had dropped the #3, double reefed the main and donned our wet gear.  Before long it was 35, gusting 45 knots.  Unfortunately, before we got home, it was 45 gusting 55!  The J-109 went well, but obviously did get quite wet, sometimes having 12" of green water over the bow due to the short sea (waves only up to 8 or 9 feet, but very sharp).   Even the hatches, securely dogged down, too water.  Sadly the main blew out and we were forced to retire and head home.  Fleet casualties included 5 mains blown, 4 jibs shredded, lots of bruises and bumps, with one bloke to hospital for concussion.  Quite a ride.

Our Wednesday twilight races showed the first 3 places to be J's.  MAJIKAL (J/109) first, THE CROW (J/24) second and J-FORCE (J/35) third.  The finish was exciting as there was less than a boat's length between us: fourth boat was about 50 metres behind. This was again from a very eclectic fleet, ranging up to 45 feet.  Wind was extremely light, only reaching 6 knots at best.   For these twilights, we have a handicap start, where the race starts at 6:00 pm - we get to start at 6:24, second last boat off the mark, with only a 45 footer 2 minutes after us.  

J/80 Spain- Winter Sailing Report

J/80 Sailing off Palma Mallorca, Spain

The teams in Spain continue to be a dominant force in the J/80 class.  With several Olympians, World Champions from various classes participating, it's not surprising the Spanish teams continue to be competitive on a world-class level-- after all, the Mediterranean is their backyard.  And, of all things, even with strange (but interesting) events like the Americas Cup 33 DOG Match with a bunch of big cats taking place in Valencia, the Spaniards are intent on winning yet another J/80 World Championship.  Who's to argue with their success?  Cats be damned.  One-design is where it's at (ironically, Ellison, Bertarelli know that, too!).  Here's a synopsis of their activities this winter.  The Palma Mallorca fleet is active, as always in one of the more spectacular sailing settings one could ever imagine worldwide-- famous church, beautiful bay, great breeze as your settings and backdrop.  The Bilbao and Santander fleets continue to race and conduct training sessions for their teams. Photo Credit- Jesus Renedo.

J/80 fleet of Bilbao, Spain in Winter Sailing seriesBilbao Winter Trophy

(Bilbao, Spain- Feb. 3-4th)- This past weekend, the J/80 fleet in Bilbao had two days or racing with fourteen boats on the line. After some delays on Saturday, the fleet enjoyed a beautiful fifteen knot breeze from the southeast but fighting a strong 1.5 knots current.  The first race was won by Pakea Freus followed by Christian Jauregui.  The second race was held with less wind, and was also very competitive among the top finishers. It is worth noting again that Freus and Paul Riquelme with their boat VIAJES IBERIA will be one of the rivals to beat at the top. The end result was the first race went to Peru Pakea Mugica and the second to the Jose Azqueta.  More next week on how these rivals begin to duke it out leading up to this years European events.  Photo Creidt-

J/80 one-design class sailing off Santander, SpainReal Club Náutico Training Session- Clinica Coruna

(Santander, Spain)-  On February 6, RCN will be hosting a training program for J/80 teams to get them up to speed for the 2010 sailing season.  In attendance will be some of Spain's more renowned J/80 sailors, including Carlos Martinez (Peraleja Golf), José María Torcida (ECC Housing) and Peru Mugica (Pakea Bizcaia).  The program is a very full day with the intention of learning the most from their distinguished guests and, most importantly, to spend a fun day at sea.  Photo Credit-

For more J/80 Spain regatta and sailing information.  

Key West Race Week J/105 Videos

Manhattan Yacht Club J/24 sailor Doug Moy was in Key West and he kindly posted some videos of J/105s racing during Key West Race Week.  Please click any of these photos below to view them:
Race 2 Race 7 & 8
J/105 one-design sailboats- sailing off start line
J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing before start

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

J/95 Sailing World/ Cruising World Award

RI Governor Donald Carcieri Governor & SW/CW & J/Boats
RI Governor Donald Carcieri for J/Boats Sailing World/ Cruising World Ceremony Sailing World/ Cruising World Awards Ceremony
(Bristol, RI- Feb. 4th)-  Sailing World and Cruising World celebrated the awarding of multiple category winners to J/Boats today at a ceremony held at CCF Composites Bristol, RI facility, builders of the J/95 and the new J/111 speedster.  VIP dignitaries included Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri.  On hand for the awards were Mark Pillsbury, Editor Cruising World; David Reed, Editor Sailing World; Sally Helme, Publisher; and Rod, Jeff and Al Johnstone from J/Boats.  The occasion marked the innovation, resiliency, leadership and long-term tradition of building boats in Rhode Island since it was first established as a colony in 1636.  In recognition of building on that tradition, the Governor, both Senators and Representatives of Rhode Island presented Citations of Congratulations to J/Boats as well as CCF Composites for their Awards. In accepting the awards on behalf of J Boats, Jeff Johnstone credited International Marine Composites of Bristol for their crucial role in the project, thanked the DaPonte family of CCF for building such a quality product, and cited the contributions of many other RI area marine companies.  CCF Composites was founded by the DaPonte family, boat-building veterans for 30+ years in Rhode Island. They have the first "green" boat-building facility that make use of radiant, ambient heated floors and state-of-the-art air-handling systems. They started by building Northcoast Boats, a line of sportfishing powerboats from 18 to 30 feet and now also mold Hunt Yachts, a high-end line of powerboats from 25 to 52 feet.  For more J/95 sailing award information.  

Monday, February 1, 2010

J/111 Speedster - It's Alive! Ready to Rock!

J/111 Speedster- the ultimate sailing boat- hull plug

(Newport, RI)- J/Boats' partner in building the J/111, CCF Composites from Bristol, RI, has done a beautiful job lofting and building an incredibly fair and spectacular looking hull plug.  Prepare yourselves for some eye-candy and mouth-watering performance in June flying across the waters of Narragansett Bay.  With twenty J/111s on order from all over the world (1/4 from Europe alone) the momentum and excitement continues to build for this new J speedster....certain to "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee".  For more J/111 information, sailing performance and more pictures.