Wednesday, June 30, 2010

J/111 Ready to Fly

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing downwind with spinnaker

(Newport, RI)- Preparations for the first sail of the J/111 are in their final stages.  CCF Composites has done a wonderful job preparing the molds, tooling and finish work; some additional tools were made to increase strength-to-weight ratios and improve production efficiencies.  The end result will be a clean, lightweight, durable performance sailing machine.  Additionally, sailmakers around the world have broken out their heavy artillery to ensure the first sails out of the bag are fast, strong and lightweight.  To date the first boats will have Doyle/New Zealand, North, Quantum and Ullman Sails aboard, all designed by their latest "flow design" programs, with latest materials technologies and managed by their leading sail designers.  Sail design concepts and specifications proposed by these leading sailmakers are pointing to a 111 class inventory of a main, two jibs and two asym spinnakers.  Photo credit- Doyle Sails.  For more J/111 sailboat information.

J/100 Sprit Australia

J/100 sailboat- sprit version with asymmetric spinnaker

First Race a Resounding Success

(Sydney, Australia)- The first of the new sprit J/100s landed in Australia and it has sailed its first events off Sydney Heads.  Here's a brief report from Roy Entwistle regards their first sailing experiences aboard this fun evolution of the J/100:  "J/100 hull no. 163 had a few firsts before it even raced, the first J/100 into Australia, the first J/100 with a bowsprit, and first J/100 with the anchor locker." 

The delighted owner Ralph Hillman had this to say about his new J/100 after its first race in Sydney Harbour last Saturday:  "I am not really a racer and purchased the boat for enjoyable, no fuss day sailing. She is a standard J/100 with a simple sail wardrobe consisting of a 105% non overlapping jib, mainsail & asymmetric spinnaker. We were so impressed with the boats performance and ease of sailing we decided to enter the J/ 100 named JOHN JERVIS into a Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron winter race.  The local handicapper placed the J/100 in division one which consists of much larger boats than the 10 meter J/100. From a custom stripped out Bakewell White 36 up to a Hanse 54  and most things  in between including  the usual mix of boats,  Beneteau  36.7’s, Northshore 369’s Bavaria 38’s ,40,7’s  Cavalier 395’s  and some large X Yachts to name few.  You can imagine our delight when we rounded the top mark set near Sydney Harbour Bridge at Kirribilli Point in second place just behind the X43. With the spinnaker set and dodging the fort y plus footers still heading up the beat, we glided back down the harbour towards Shark Island at almost wind speed making up ground on the large X Yacht. With a dying breeze the course was shortened . At one stage it looked like we may even cross the finish line first on scratch but as we rounded the lee of Shark Island the  much taller rigs of the larger X Yacht and Bakewell White helped them  ghost through just ahead of us. The J/100 was absolutely fantastic to windward with many of our competitors complimenting the boat on how high and fast we could point. Downwind, the asymmetric was a dream to use and gibe. This was our first race so the boat has great potential as we get to know her better. We look forward to racing our J/100 again soon.  JOHN JERVIS was First Lord of the Admiralty in the days of Nelson, so we have some big shoes to fill!"  For more J/100 sailboat information.

Spanish Armada Sweeps J/80 Europeans

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off starting line- Lake Garda, Italy

The Martinez's Re-writing History?

(Lago di Garda, Italy- 27 June)-  With the win of the Spanish boat PERALEJA GOLF, skippered by Carlos Martinez, the Spanish teams may be slowly re-establishing the pre-eminence of Spanish sailors who were once remarkable sailing adventurers that took great risks and opened up the New World (e.g. anything other than Europe) to a wide-eyed European community in the 16th century.

Carlos Martinez and his crew on PERALEJA GOLF from Spain showed what they can do on the water once again after another fantastic day’s racing on the final day. They came 3rd in the first race and 1st in the second and final race of the Championship, giving them 45 points, only one point ahead of the next boat.  Martinez said “Of course we came here to win, but to be honest we didn’t really expect to as we knew how tough the competition was going to be. We knew it was not going to be easy. We have been sailing together as a team now for 3 years and two years ago came 3rd in Kiel and 3rd in the World’s and last year we came 3rd again in the World’s in Santander. So this is our first major win on the international circuit and so makes it extra special for us all.”

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing upwindOn the first day, the racing kicked off with a delayed start. The usual “Ora” wind from the South going up the lake was delayed, which resulted in a delayed start and only two races taking place. Just as the wind was full of surprises, so were the races. The Spanish dominated the leading positions all day finishing first (Luis Martinez Luis), second (ECC VIVIENDAS) and third (PERALEJA GOLF).

The second day saw a complete turn-over in the winner's column with the French leading the day-- as they say, "Vive la France!"  After the day's three races, the French boat ATLANTIS skippered by Laurent Sambran from APLC takes the honor of leading the Europeans with a 9th, 5th and 2nd, giving them 30 points overall. Second overall on the second day was the Italian boat OLJ Spirit steered by Federico Rajola taking 1st, 8th and 14th today giving them 33 points. Following right behind in their shadow, also with 33 points was the Spanish boat FORTY FIVE helmed by Luis Martinez. The British boat TEAM BALTIC WHARF sailed by Henry Bomby was in 4th. So, this scenario set the tone for the next two days, with the four countries and their teams battling it out to maintain or improve their leading positions. The Spanish, however, have five boats in the top ten positions, the French and the Italians have two and the UK just one.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing under spinnakerOn the third day, the impressive fleet was tested and challenged. Tough competition and a high level of expertise among these crews means that every race was something they all have to fight very hard for, and on this day the top three positions changed again.  The wind was constant and gradually increased throughout the afternoon, providing more stability to the conditions than the championship had previously seen.  On Day 3, a new leader emerged in the form of the Spanish boat PERALEJA GOL,F skippered Golf helmed by Carlos Martinez- they dominated racing with a 1st, 3rd, and 1st today placing them firmly ahead of the rest of the fleet with 22 points. This is not such a surprise to J/80 followers, as they came 3rd in the World’s in Kiel in 2008 and again in Santander in 2009.  Second is another Spanish boat, MUSTANG, helmed by Luis Martinez, a boat that is also often found in the top few places (2nd in the Santander Worlds 2009)-- their 2nd , 8th and 7th, gave them 32 points and were thus 10 points behind the leaders. However, new to such high placing in the international circuit and thus a boat to watch out for in the future, is the Italian boat OLJ Spirit helmed by Federico Rajola- their 25th, 10th and 2nd gave them 41 points and third overall with one day to go.

On the final days racing, the top ten standings flip-flopped yet again.  Behind regatta winner PERALEJA GOLF in 2nd overall was the Spanish boat MUSTANG helmed by Luis Martinez, finishing the day with a 2nd and 12th. This team also had a 13 year old boy crewing for them; no doubt someone for us all to watch out for on the water in the future! Third overall was yet another Spanish boat, NEXTEL ENGINEERING helmed by Rodriguez Camino who today had a 7th and spectacular 1st finishing with 58 points. One point behind in 4th position, was another Spanish boat ECC VIVIENDAS helmed by Jose Maria Turcida in 1st and 10th position in the last day's racing. It's clear the Spanish J/80 fleets are producing world-class sailors from their year-round racing in Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Bilbao and Santander.

TEAM BALTIC skippered by Henry Bomby from England finished 5th overall, despite having a 6th and a disappointing 31 on the final day. This team showed great consistency throughout the Championship and have proved themselves to be a boat with great potential. The French boat ATLANTIS, helmed by Laurent Sambron came in 19th and 11th today, resulting in them losing a few places. But this team, too, have displayed some great sailing this week. Dropping a few positions today after a bad start in the first race, OLJ SPIRIT helmed by Rajola Federico took a 29th and 18th today which meant they finished 7th overall and top Italian team. In 8th position overall there was yet another Spanish boat CROCS helmed by Javier Aguado who had a 15th and 8th. Two French boats keep the French tri-color flag flying in 9th and 10th positions overall, giving them three boats in the top ten positions. In 9th was GEODIS steered by Luc Nadal who actually had two 9th positions today and in 10th position overall was ECOLE NAVALE CG29 helmed by Patrick Bot. This year’s Italian Championship winners, TEAM JENIALE! finished 11th after a great day on the water today with an 8th and 3rd.  The top German boat was PROCEDES DIVA who finished 13th and the top Dutch boat was JOIE DE VIVRE finishing in 14th position. In 15th position was the German boat CAMPAIGN. For Estonia, TEAM NAUTILUS came in 26th and also from far afield, MOONRAKER from Poland finished 38th.   For more J/80 Europeans sailing information.      Photo Credits- Jaco Poraule

Big RISK Wins SW NOOD San Francisco

J/105s sailing San Francisco Bay- one-design sailboat

A.K.A. The Champs “Lose It” to Win It

(San Francisco, CA)-  J/105 partners Scott Whitney and Jason Woodley keep their summer winning streak rolling at the San Francisco NOOD.  Scott Whitney and his boat partner, Jason Woodley (“a couple of Silicon Valley guys,” says Whitney), bought their J/105 RISK seven years ago, and thus began the team’s methodical rise into the upper ranks of what is arguably one of San Francisco’s most competitive one-design keelboat fleets. For most major outings on the Bay, the J/105s bring out the big numbers, and while the fleet at the Sperry Top-Sider San Francisco NOOD only numbered a dozen, the sailing was as competitive as we’ve come to expect. And after five races, the regatta’s San Francisco NOOD’s overall trophy—and a trip to the Sperry Top-Sider Caribbean NOOD Championship—went to Whitney and Woodley’s squad.

“We’ve been striving for consistency since the beginning,” says Whitney, the boat’s jib trimmer (Woodley helms). “We’re athletic, and heavy air is really our strength.”

The regatta’s two days of 20-knot knot averages apparently played into the team’s strengths, and the sort of consistency they’d been striving for was all theirs leading into the second day of racing. But too much of a good thing almost got the better of them. Carrying finishes of 2-1-1, they were sitting on a comfortable lead, and Whitney admits their enthusiasm got the best of them in sunday’s opening race. They a “terrible” start, he tells me, leaving them pinned in a narrow lane. In order to extract themselves, and get to the favored left side, of the racecourse, they took a few sterns, figuring they could gain them back on the run. That proved to be more challenging than they’d thought and they could only sail their way into sixth place. But they redeemed themselves in the final race to shore up a 2-point win over Bruce Stone’s ARBITRAGE.

“Our last regatta win a few weeks ago was the J/105 Invitational, so we’re on a nice roll right now,” says Risk’s mainsail trimmer Bryan Chong. “We’re aiming for the [Rolex] Big Boat Series [in September].

When pressed to reveal Risk’s edge over the weekend, Whitney emphasized the importance of the team’s athleticism as a key to being able to sail fast in the windy conditions. It allows them to recover from mistakes quicker than other teams. He also credits the solid crew they’ve assembled, and even the impromptu team-building exercise before their class weigh-in. “We all had a good session in the club’s sauna,” says Whitney. “We shed 70 pounds 30 minutes before weigh-in.”

Giving credit where it’s due, Whitney also praised his tactician, Harrison Turner, who kept them sticking to their strategy of “getting left at the bottom and right at the top” of the Bay’s Olympic Circle, just off Alcatraz Island. “We’re not normally a corner team,” says Chong, “but both days, all day, it was about getting left. It was left, left, left. Harrison called great laylines all weekend.”   For more Sperry Top-Sider SW NOOD San Francisco sailing information.      Photo credits- Tim Wilkes

JIM Wins J/120 North Americans

J/120s sailing around mark- Long Beach, CA

(Long Beach, CA)- The J/120 North American Championships were contested at Long Beach Race Week in Long Beach, CA June 26th and 27th, 2010.  A very competitive fleet of 10 J/120s raced in 10 to 12 knot shifty southerly winds - lighter and more variable than the Long Beach conditions in past years.  Even though conditions were "not typical Long Beach", local J/120 veteran John Snook and his crew on JIM excelled, winning 3 of 5 races.  It wasn't easy, however. The regatta was very much in play on the last downwind leg of race 4, but JIM passed his two closest challengers, Chuck Nichols' CC RIDER (2 time past J/120 North American Champion and a winner of 2 races in this regatta) and Peter Zarcades' MELTEMI, in the best breeze of the regatta with luffing matches and excitement to win the race and all but lock it up.  Race 5 was a virtual parade lap for JIM, and they still scored a 3rd to lock up the championship.

At the trophy presentation, John was asked by he named his J/120 JIM.  He looked puzzled by the question, since the hailing port on the transom provided the obvious answer - Starship Enterprise's tail numbers.

Local J/120 Southern California Fleet 4 is hoping to host the J/120 North Americans in Southern California in February or March of 2012 in anticipation of luring our northern Fleets to join us in large numbers.  For more J/120 North Americans sailing information.

J's Love LBRW 2010

J/109 sailboat- sailing upwind off California

6 J One-Design Class & 2 PHRF Winners!

(Long Beach, CA)- There were 147 boats in 20 classes, and all except J/120s, which didn't race Friday, sailed seven races over three days in the Ullman Sails Long Beach Race week hosted by Alamitos Bay YC.  The regatta was the third and last stop on the Southern California Ullman Sails Inshore Championship Series, following the Ahmanson Cup at Newport Beach and Cal Race Week at Marina del Rey.

J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing off Long Beach, CAIn the J/105s, CURRENT OBSESSION sailed by Gary Mozer of Long Beach YC won with a very strong, consistent record of 1-1-1-4-3-1-1 for 12 points.  Jeremy Davidson from San Diego YC sailed SANITY to second with 20 points.  And, Doug and Pam Werner sailed their veteran campaigner, JAVELIN, to third with 27 points.

The J/019s saw ELEKTRA repeat their earlier performance, showing they were no flukes and can finish near the top consistently.  Tom Brott's ELEKTRA, from Seal Beach YC zapped them again with a regatta-winning score of 1-2-2-1-3-1-1 for 11 points.  Sailing sweetly was Steve Crooke's SUGAR from host club LBYC with 17 points.  Lying third was Anthony Wetherbee's COMMOTION from Balboa YC with 20 points.

J/29 one-design sailboat- sailing off California under spinnakerSEDONA took class honors for the J/29 class.  Awesome work for Bruce Lotz and crew from Dana Point YC, garnering a 1-2-2-2-2-1-1 score for 10 points.  Dave Randle in COYOTE from Anacapa YC was second, followed by Santa Barbara YC's Larry Leveille sailing RUSH STREET in third.

In the J/80s, Curt Johnson's AVET took their class with a 2-1-1-3-1-4-4/SCP for 16 points.  Second was Gary Kamins also from Cal YC sailing FIRED UP.  Third was Steve Wyman sailing HUNU from Dana Point YC.

Susan Taylor, of California YC, again led all J/24s home with a consistent 2-3-3-1-2-2-1 for 14 points.

In the PHRF 3 class, the J/35 RIVAL sailed by Dick Velthoen from Ventura YC won with straight firsts for 7 points total!  Ouch.  Talk about a hammering.  All other rivals must've felt like they were thrown under the bus!  Still living to tell the tale after RIVAL's bashing was the J/33 NITRO sailed by John Messenger from LBYC/ King Harbor YC.

In the Fast 40s class, the seemingly indomitable J/125 just keeps on ticking.  This time, it was the J/125 DERIVATIVE sailed by Mark Surber from Coronado YC that took home all the marbles, winning their class with four 1sts and three 2nds!    For complete sailing results for Long Beach Race Week.      Photo Credits- David McBride.

WICKED Wins Block Island Race Week

J/109 cruising racing sailboat- sailing off Block Island

(Block Island, RI)- This year's Block Island Race Week was up to its usual, fun, laid-back atmosphere that's associated with a "Bermuda Race" year....while the offshore nuts go offshore, the "day sailors" have fun, hang up their sea boots and oilies, take their showers, and enjoy evening festivities with family and friends at The Oar or Yellow Kittens.  The regatta has a mix of one-design classes (the J/105s and J/109s) and a combination of PHRF and IRC fleets.

The J/109s sure had a competitive, but fun time during the week with finishes for 1-2 and 3-4 all coming down to the wire on the last day.  After the fog cleared and the wind blew in, it was Don Fillippelli's CAMINOS taking first prize with 16 points followed by Steve Kenny and Greg Ames' GOSSIP in second with 18 points, despite GOSSIP's tow firsts in the last two races.  Class champ Bill Sweetser and crew on RUSH had their hands full battling with Ted Herlihy's GUT FEELING just to finish third with 21 points over Ted's team with 24 points.  Talk about a loaded deck, these four J/109s could just as easily win a J/109 Nationals as it was to do bruising battle in a fun-filled Block Island Race Week.

J/122 sailing upwindThe J/105s were "eclipsed" again by Damian Emery's team sailing the well-traveled ECLIPSE, winning with a dominant five firsts in 9 races for a total of 13 points.  Carl Olsson sailed MORNING GLORY well to win out in a three-way battle for 2-3-4 spots on the podium, getting second with 20 points.  At the short end of the stick on that battle were Andy Kennedy's BAT IV in third with 22 points and Nelson Weiderman's KIMA in fourth with 24 points.

In the IRC division, George Marks' beautiful J/122 GEORGETOWN finished second overall, beating all other Swan/ NYYC 42s quite convincingly.

In PHRF 1, Doug Curtiss's J/124 WICKED sailed to first overall in what turned out to be a hotly contested fleet, winning by just one point.  Guests of honor, designers Rodney and son Alan Johnstone, were aboard to witness first-hand the determination of some of their competitors to beat them.  After the smoke cleared, WICKED (and it's incredibly HOT paint job) escaped unscathed to take home the silver.

In PHRF 2, that merry bunch of bandits known as "the HUSTLER's" from New York, again won on their J/29 skippered by class character John "Espo" Esposito and brother Tony.  Good grief, have these guys ever not won a BlRW event?  Last time we asked, seems that Espo and Tony can't figure out where they put all their Rolex watches!? 

The non-spinnaker PHRF class saw two J/34s sailing with Weber's RASCAL getting second and Dan Montero's BODACIOUS cruising into fourth.  Good on ya mates!  The "blender division" as it's known sure know how to enjoy themselves!  For more Block Island Race Week sailing information.

J/80 & J/24- Kieler Woche 2010

IL RICCIO Masters J/24 Class

(Kiel, Germany)- Congratulations to the British J/24 team INMARSAT IL RICCIO who decisively won their class at Kieler Woche last week, finishing the event with a 31-point margin! The team consistently placed in the top five over the course of nine races, ultimately dropping a 6th place as their worst score. The team includes Chris McLaughlin, Ian Southworth of Ullman Sails UK (helm), Andy McLelland, Michael Kyte and Julia Scott. The IL RICCIO (Italian for Hedgehog) team is currently building up to the J/24 World Championship in Malmo, Sweden this August.  A bit off the pace were the next two finishers in this international regatta, the German team of Kai Mares sailing with Jan-Marc Ulrich in second with 48 points and the German team of Dirk Strelow in third with 52 points.

The J/80s had a very competitive regatta for the top two between the two German teams of Martin Menzner on GER 614 and Nils Heyde on GER 1072.  Nils started out slowly but came on strong in the end, losing by just five points to Martin.  In third was Karsten Thode with 40 points.  For more Kiel Week sailing results.

J/42 JAYWALKER Wins Queens Cup

J/42 cruising racing sailboat- double-handed winnersJ/42 sailing double-handed can be fun racing as a couple!  Bill and Judy Stellin have been doing it for years- sailing across the Atlantic together and also racing on Lake Michigan in their J/42 JAYWALKER.  Here's a recent account from them:  "My wife, age 73, and I, age 74, entered the 72nd Sailing of the Queens Cup from Milwaukee, WI to Grand Haven MI.  It is a night time race and we entered the double handed division and won!  The Queens Cup is the oldest fresh water race in the US and a real test of crew and boats.  My hats off to Rod for designing such a marvelous craft.  FYI...this was our first big race in 10 years as up until last year, we were sailing in the Med after having double handed the boat across the Atlantic.  We spent 8 years in the Med sailing and living aboard the boat, returning in 2008, again just the two of us.  Frankly, a 68 nm race across Lake MI was nothing new to us as far as distance short handed sailing goes. Hope you can use the info and inspire others to use their boats for long distance cruising and racing.  I don't think we could have done it in any other boat.  J/Boats are truly designed for couple's use!"


J/125 Double Trouble videoJ/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE sea story- SA contributor Jeff "Elvis" Thorpe from Quantum 'frisco takes you onboard a smokin' downwind race:  "It all started by hoping there was no room for me on my friend Andy Costello’s J-125 Double trouble for this year’s Coastal Cup so I could stay home and spend a nice weekend home not sailing, as last year I did the race and we broke our rudder just before sunset off Monterey and we were glad that we did not have to go thru the night with our current spinnaker inventory as we did not have any kite small enough. If you have never raced from SF to Santa Barbara this stretch of coast line can be some of the windiest and most confused short & steep wave period waves to drive.  If you can drive a boat in this I would bet you could drive anywhere in the world.

Now to last week I was on the phone with Andy reviewing that the new kite that we designed for the race would make it in time and I had to open my mouth saying thanks for the invite as I was just giving him a hard time as I really did not want to go, So next thing I know I am doing the race ?? So much for my weekend off..After reviewing the weather for the race and packing my gear seeing that the weather might be backing off a bit with winds in the low 20 knots forecasted. I still over packed warm dry gear as I showed up to the boat and Trevor gave me shit for how much gear I brought but as it turns out I wore every bit of kit and was still shivering the whole night!!

The race started at 10 am in a max ebb tide so we had a great start at the weather end of the line but could not tack over as limit was a bit late to the line and they were charging up to us at max speed we could not tack and clear them so we waited until they became over lapped with us and then gave them some encouragement on which way was favored they tacked we extended for 3 lengths then tacked and followed them towards the north Tower of the golden gate bridge. Once outside the gate with the wind a fair bit lighter which is normal for a race that starts this early in the morning we saw that there was a bit more wind to the south near mile rock so we tacked and went to the left as to pick up the left shift as limit and the Andrews 70 alchemy  and most of the boats stayed right trying to get out to the northwesterly breeze as the wind got even lighter and went 50 degrees left by mile rock we were boat for boat with limit when they came out from the right could not cross us and went back to the right to pick up the north westerly. From this point we were the most left boat so we stayed on port and worked out to sea as soon as we saw a bit of northwesterly us and the SC 52 Prevail tacked and started heading down the beach on course....."  Read more about the J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE story here.  

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bermuda Race A Breeze

J/65 Brand New Day sailing to Bermuda

J Teams Dominate Double-Handed Class

(Newport to Bermuda- Jun 18th)- The forecast was nice, if not benign, for this year's event.  Good wind was predicted for the early stages of the race. The 184-boat international fleet with nearly 2,000 sailors aboard was the third largest in the race’s 104-year history.  The course runs 635 miles from Castle Hill Light at the opening to Narragansett Bay into the Atlantic Ocean and across the Gulf Stream to the finish line off St. David’s Head, Bermuda.

J/42 Dolphin- Henry Morgan- sailing Newport to Bermuda"We expect a fine afternoon sea breeze of 10 to 15 knots to get the boats out into the Atlantic," said Bjorn Johnson, chairman of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee. "It may get lighter as the boats sail out into the Atlantic, but there will be a strong favorable current in a Gulf Stream meander carrying the boats toward Bermuda. The 184-boat fleet is divided into five divisions whose final standings will be determined by factoring handicaps into the boat’s elapsed times. The largest class of 103 boats is the St. David’s Lighthouse Division for predominately amateur racing crews.  There also is the 26-entry Double-Handed Division for boats sailed by just two sailors. They sail for the Phillip S. Weld Prize and Moxie Prizes. In addition, the top boat in the IRC rule standings will receive the North Rock Beacon Trophy."

In a statement to the sailors, Commodores McCurdy and Shrubb said, "Hundreds of sailors and thousands of supporters make this race a major international sporting event every two years. Ocean racing is a marathon of endurance and finesse. Some experienced crews may make this year’s race look easy: Others will learn more than they thought they would. The challenges can be both stressful and satisfying."

Winning sailing courses for Newport to Bermuda RaceWhat happened on the race course was intriguing, to say the least.  There were three specific entrance/ exit points that all leaders of every class honored within a several mile radius.  Few deviated from the formula, with big boats that generate more speed and apparent wind able to meander a bit less than smaller boats, still make some navigational mistakes and win.  The primary features were (i) the warm water eddy about 90 miles out from Newport with SSE favorable current on its eastern wall, (ii) the SSE flowing Gulf Stream meander and (iii) the small cold water eddy adverse flow just south of the Stream's meander west of rhumbline. In short, the race winning strategies are outlined below.

On Day 1, 24 hours later on Saturday afternoon, most everyone was steering a course just west of rhumbline to determine how early they would enter the favorable current, warm water eddy at its northerly most point about 90 miles offshore (see photo).  39.46.00 N and 70.35.00 W seemed to be the ideal Lat/Lon entry point for the top boats.

J/42 TRUE crew sailing to BermudaBy Day 2, 48 hours later on Sunday afternoon, there was a clear demarcation in the strategies. One group stayed closer to rhumbline and further east of warm eddy with less wind pressure, too- this included race leader SPEEDBOAT and also the J/65 BRAND NEW DAY, J/122 RESOLUTE, J/109 APSARA, J/44s GOLD DIGGER and CHARLIE V, J/120 AVRA, J/120 ROCKET SCIENCE, J/133 SIREN SONG, J/130 CILISTA.  This group entered the Gulf Stream meander quite far SE of the warm water eddy and rode "uphill" SE flow towards Bermuda, but with less wind. The fastest group entered the top of warm eddy about 220nm SSE from Newport taking flow going due SSE and along with more favorable wind angles and breeze- this included the three musketeers amongst the big boats (BEAU GESTE, PUMA, RAMBLER literally tracking on top of each other).  J's that pursued this strategy included the J/35 PALADIN, J/42 DOLPHIN, J/42 FINESSE, J/46 SEA BISCUIT, J/42 TRUE, J/44 BEAGLE, J/44 VAMP, J/44 GLORY, J/44 RUNAWAY, J/133 SIREN SONG, J/120 RICHOCHET and J/145 VORTICES.  At the time, the J/145 VORTICES was simply steaming southeast only 20nm behind the J/65 BND in about a 12-15 kt SSW breeze.

J/35 sailboats- offshore racing cruising- sailing to BermudaOn the afternoon of Day 3, 72 hours into the race, the group that stayed further west of rhumbline and riding perhaps better breeze and more favorable current continued to gain over classmates further East.  At the time, the J/65 BND was  still about 40 miles out from the finish at 1400 hours on Monday and the J/145 VORTICES was flying towards the finish just 85 miles out.  At this point, it was starting to become apparent that perhaps the two stories of this race were the duels between two J/35s and two J/42s.  The two Double-handed J/35s, PALADIN and GREAT SCOT, were both about 200 miles from the finish and match-racing just 2 miles apart-- both had gone the faster route of sailing west enough to catch the favorable south-flowing warm eddy and using that to launch them into the faster part of the Gulf Stream flowing south on its eastern wall.  The other duel between the J/42s, one sailed by one of the most renowned Bermuda Race skippers, Henry Morgan now sailing in his 25th Bermuda Race (over 50 years!) on DOLPHIN and Howie Hodgson on TRUE, both about 3 miles apart and just 190 miles from the finish at 1400 hours.

By Day 4, 96 hours elapsed on the race, all the big boats had finished, with the J/65 BND finishing at 0200 hours and getting a well-deserved, well-sailed 2nd IRC/ 3rd ORR in class.  It was a fast enough race that everything down to the J/42s and J/35s finished by early evening Bermuda time on Tuesday. 

J/46 Sea Biscuit wins Bermuda Double-handed classThe big story for J sailors in this year's event may perhaps be the extraordinary success by several J's racing in the Double-Handed division (comprised of 2 classes).  With 26 varieties of sailboats participating, eight of the Double-Handers were J's- about 33% of the fleet! The J's proved, yet again, they're nearly unbeatable when sailed by competent sailors/navigators who can sail their boat at 85% or more of its speed potential/ VPPs for long periods of time, especially if you point them in the right direction and don't break anything!  Hats off to these intrepid souls who pushed their physical, mental and emotional limits to prevail over a large and very competitive fleet that included some Class 40 luminaries.  In DH2 the duo of J/35s, Jason Richter's PALADIN and Darrien Garnier's GREAT SCOT, simply pushed them to sail better, smarter, faster with the net result that they not only eclipsed their class with a 1-2 punch, but also finished 1-2 overall, respectively in the Double-Handed fleet!  But, here's the quandary, virtually identical boats-- GREAT SCOT wins by 3 minutes elapsed in front of PALADIN, but loses by 30 minutes on corrected handicap time?  Go figure.  In DH1, leading the charge was Nathan Owen's J/46 SEABISCUIT followed by Gardner Grant's J/120 ALIBI in second, followed by Greg Leonard's J/120 HERON fourth and Scott Miller's J/122 RESOLUTE in fifth!  Congratulations to all- job well done!  One-two in both DH classes by J sailors is an awesome achievement!

J/65 Brand New Day racer-cruising sailboat- sailing Newport to Bermuda RaceThe St. David's Lighthouse division, where the vast majority of the fleet was racing, had 105 boats with 26 of them J's- 25% of the fleet.  Leading all J's home to the St. David's finish line was Jim Madden's gorgeous J/65 BRAND NEW DAY followed by the super fast, carbon-flyer, the J/145 VORTICES, sailed by Chris Saxton.  Jim and team sailed BND well to finish 2nd in IRC Class 8 (9th overall IRC) and 3rd ORR in Class 8 (13th overall)-- a damn good showing for a boat so unbelievably well-equipped that with two cavernous slide out refrigerators, a ginormous freezer, a wine cooler fit for a king and air-conditioning going full tilt with enough megawatts to cool off the Middle East, meant its crew could enjoy all the comforts of home yet still fly towards the finish line leaving near rooster-tails in its wake.  Living with almost the same degree of comfort was "newbie" J/145 owner Chris Saxton on the J/145 VORTICES, finishing 3rd in ORR Class 7 (19th overall), quite a showing for taking delivery of the boat just weeks before the start of the race!  

J/120 Windborn winning Newport Bermuda RaceLike the J/35s dueling it out with their bigger, newer brothers in the Double-Handed division, the balance of J's sailing in the St. Davids' Lighthouse division, including J/42s, J/44s and J/120s that sailed hard, fast, smart and gained their fair share of silverware, including winning some divisions!  The duel of the 35s was matched by the J/42s Henry Morgan's DOLPHIN, Howie Hodgson's TRUE, Newton Merrill's FINESSE and Bernie Coyne's AMIGO VI.  In what turned out to be the toughest division in the entire fleet, Class 3 ORR/ IRC, the J/42s went second and third, DOLPHIN and FINESSE, in IRC respectively, behind class and overall SDL winner, CARINA!  In SDL Class 4, the J/120s did well with Richard Born's J/120 WINDBORN winning ORR, Jim Praley's J/120 SHINNECOCK getting fourth and the US Coast Guard Academy's J/120 RICOCHET in fifth in IRC!  In Class 6, Tom Carroll's J/133 SIREN SONG finished fourth and Jeff Eberle's J/130 CILISTA ended up fifth.

J/44 GLORY- US Coast Guard Academy Sailing Team- sailing to BermudaIn the nine boat J/44 class, the ONLY one-design offshore class in the Bermuda Race (take that NYYC 42s!!), the scoring surely must leave open to debate the value of ANY handicap system on what are essentially one-design boats!  In IRC,  Leonard Sitar's VAMP was first, followed by GLORY sailed by Jack Neades from the US Coast Guard Academy and Larry Glen on RUNAWAY!  In ORR (yup, the re-invented IMS), the tale of the tape was completely different, GLORY first (!!), then RUNAWAY and then VAMP in third!! Said the famous cartoon character Wiley Wabbit, "What's up Doc?!?" So, invoking Galileo's law of averages, Einstein's black hole theory of relativity, Murphy's law and the plain and simple "wet finger in the wind", it appears that GLORY won!!  Yahoo!  Celebrate the fact that America's US Coast Guard Academy is doing great things recruiting warhorse J's and getting the cadets to sail hard, fast, smart and navigate well!! Perhaps the Colonialists' "coast guard" taking a page out of the British Navy/ RAF sailing playbook??    For more Bermuda Race sailing information and iTracking real-time positions.

Social Worlds 2010

J/22 one-design sailboat- World Championship- Netherlands

(The Hague, Netherlands- June 22nd)- One week before the spectacle will begin, the Netherlands J/80 Class are ready to kick off the event! The Henri Lloyd J/22 Worlds 2010 the Hague isn’t only about the sailing, they also offer a social program at the end of a good day on the J/22. Sunday evening, the day before the races there will be an opening ceremony at the restaurant "At Sea."

After the first day of sailing all competitors are invited to have dinner at the "At Sea" Restaurant. This dinner is sponsored by Tam Tam & Van Hulzen Public Relations. It’s free for all competitors, so be there!  Everyone can tell their first Worlds 2010 experiences, and get to know each other a little better!  During the Worlds 2010 we will have drinks at the pier, sponsored by Vrolijk Watersport and BigLift Shipping B.V., have dinner together, party’s of course and, most important, a lot of fun!  Next week in Scheveningen you will get the complete social program. You don’t wanna miss anything! We are looking forward to a great week with a lot of sailing and social events, too. So come on, get back to work, only one week to go!   For more J/22 social programming!

J/80 Europeans - Lago di Garda

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing a race in Spain

Team Baltic Joins 50 Boats

(Dartmouth, England)- Team Baltic, a young J/80 team from Dartmouth, sponsored by Baltic Wharf boatyard, Totnes, had a great start to their season winning the J/80 Class at the 2010 J-Cup hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in the Solent. The Team were using the regatta as training for the J/80 Europeans on Lake Garda where they will compete this week.  The team consists of 4 crew members all under the age of 24. Henry Bomby (19) helm, Henry Bagnall (23) tactician, Ryan Gerrish (22) trimmer, and Ellie Mittler (17) on bow. And for the J Cup was helped by stand in crew Robbie Southwell (16) and Lizzie Shawcroft (22), filling in due to exam commitments.

Joining them will be several UK, European and World Champions, including Ian Atkins' and the NEXTEL ENGINEERING Team from Spain. The much anticipated J/80 European Championship is about to begin. Around 50 boats from Italy, Spain, France, Great Britain, Holland, Estonia and Poland have arrived at Lake Garda all raring to go.  Hosted by Fraglia Vela Malcesine, the championship is now underway. At the Opening Ceremony this evening, the competitors were welcomed by the President of the Malecesine Yacht Club (Fraglia Vela Malcesine), the international racing jury, the measurer, the commodore of the Yacht Club, the Italian and International J/80 Presidents - all there to ensure the competitors a warm welcome, a well organised event, and a memorable championship.   For more J/80 Europeans sailing information

Huge J Turnout For Round Island Race

J's sailing in Round Island Race- England

J/109 OFFBEAT Wins IRC 2

(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- A total of 1,754 entries sailed in this past weekend's JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race crewed by nearly 16,000 sailors!  On Saturday, June 19, the race began at 5am, from the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, after which the fleet raced westabout to The Needles, around St Catherine's Point and Bembridge Ledge buoy and back into the Solent, to the finish line in Cowes. It's considered Britain's favorite yacht race and this year's 79th edition of this great event saw thirteen classes ranging from grand prix 100 ft high tech racing boats to the famous J/24s (some 30 years old!) take off on a gorgeous sunrise to enjoy a "shorts and shades" pleasant daysail past all the beautiful sights the Isle of Wight has to offer to its passionate enthusiasts and visitors.

There were three J divisions "scored" in the race for J/24s, J/80s and J/109s.  In the J/24s, William Lack's TIME ON THE WATER won, followed by Richard Fruehmann'S CLEWLESS and Quinton Hall on JABULANI in third (he claims they have oldest J/24 in the UK, built in 1979!). Said William about his team and their boat- "TIME ON THE WATER is a Parkstone Yacht Club based J/24, which is kindly leant by the owners and used all winter usually teaching youths to match race and educate in team building, however the average age for this regatta is rather higher at nearly 55. J/24 4263 is a regular front runner in the IRC white class for Round the Island race and last year won her division and second in the island sailing club trophy in her class. She is a regular winner in local regattas in Poole, where the biggest fleet of J/24s race year round. Entertainment is a high priority in the campaign, and one of the teams' aims is to distract the opposition during racing using laughter and frivolity. We promise not to shout, as in previous years when passing larger boats, 'Our boat costs less than your Genoa!'"  Richard said this about their J/24 Round Island adventure- "CLEWLESS is a Westerly built J/24 from the early 80's. A bit of a handyman's special, this is now her third season under the current owners and the adventure continues.  The crew met during their studies at Southampton University and share a love for sailing and all things ocean.  Still dreaming of a circumnavigation, but a trip round the island will do just fine too!"

J/80s sailing in Round Island Race- fast sailboatsIn the J/80s, SPITFIRE won followed by arch rival Andrew Ashworth on JAMMY DODGER in second and Robert Walters' WILD WALLY in third.  The top three J/80s all finished in about one anxiety-ridden, ulcer-inducing minute after nearly sixty miles of racing!!  Yikes, a few pints of Guinness must've been the order of the day after that clash to calm the frayed nerves and enjoy the celebration.  Wing Commander Simon Ling was skippering SPITFIRE.  Simon is a serving Royal Air Force Logistics Officer who has been racing for nearly 20 years. This year will be his 10th Round the Island Race and 4th as Skipper.  He had sailing with him a crew comprised of a diverse mix of Royal Air Force personnel that included a Royal Air Force Helicopter Engineer, a young Trainee Pilot and a recently retired Fighter Pilot.

The thirty-four J/109s sailing the race in two classes were scored as as "one-design" based on their corrected TCC handicap.  Based on their elapsed time and TCC factor, David Mcleman's OFFBEAT was first by nearly five minutes, followed by Fiona Walker's JUMPING JELLYFISH placing second and Andrew Given's HIGH TENSION in third.

The premiere IRC division for the Round Island Race-IRC 1A- were a fleet of J/122s and J/133s vying for supremacy.  After the gunsmoke cleared on the Royal Yacht Squadron finish line off Cowes, it was Ian Matthews' J/122 JINJA that finished at noon in time for "high tea" on the lawn at RYS, taking both second in class and second overall in IRC 1!  Fifth in class and finishing just 36 seconds behind JINJA was Fiona and Malcolm Thorpe's J/133 KING LOUIE.  Sixth just five minutes back was Neil Kipling's J/122 JOOPSTER.  In seventh, finishing just two minutes in front of JINJA, was Louis Kenna's J/133 BNP PARIBAS.  Ninth was Herman Berghaven's J/133 SOLNESS.  Herman said he's done so many RI races and RORC races that he's simply lost count! 

In IRC 1B and 1C were two lone-wolves (at least in terms of J's sailing in the race) competing for handicap honors.  In IRC 1B, Adrian Cook sailed a beautiful race to finish third in class with his J/120 MOJO.  David Walters continues to avidly campaign his beautiful J/39 JACKDAW and sailed a nice race to finish seventh in IRC 1C division.

In IRC 2B was a small fleet of J/109s sailing in IRC "wardrobe".  Top J/109 was Bruce Huber's JOLENE II finishing seventh.  Smith and Rotta sailed the J/109 YEOMAN OF WIGHT to ninth and Richard Griffith rounded out the top ten taking tenth in class sailing his J/109 OUTRAJEOUS.

J/109 one-design sailboat- sailing Round Island RaceIn IRC 2B it was clearly a J-Party!  There were a total of 26 J's in this large fleet of 58 boats.  Leading the charge was David Mcleman's J/109 OFFBEAT, taking not the off-beaten path, but the fastest one, eclipsing all J/109s and vanquishing any remaining competitors in their huge class, winning both class and IRC 2 Group overall.  Third was world-renown sailor Fiona Walker (Sailing Logistics Inc) racing her notable J/109 JUMPING JELLYFISH with a bunch of fun-loving friends.  Fourth was Andrew Given sailing his J/109 HIGH TENSION.  Rounding out the top 15 in this class (ten of which were J's- eight J/109s and two J/105s) were Glaister's J/109 INSTINCT in sixth, Robin Taunt's J/109 JIBE at seventh, Mike Wallis' J/109 JAHMALI in eighth, Paul Griffiths' J/109 JAGERBOMB in tenth, Ivan Trotman's J/105 JOLENE at twelfth, Richard Watney's J/105 JEOPARDY in thirteenth and Robert Stiles' J/109 DIAMOND JEM in fifteenth! 

In IRC 2C there was a gaggle of J/92's (in various forms) with Andrew Dallas leading this J group home finishing 4th in class on his J/92s HULLABALOO.  Seventh were brothers Pip and Pete Tyler racing their J/92s NEILSON REDEYE.  The Swedish boys, Chris and Tony Harris had a great time finishing 11th on their J/92 SWE1 called time try rolling the dice perhaps yet another way to get better winning odds on the outcome!  The J/92s NEILSON REDEYE is owned by 2 directors, Pip & Pete from Neilson Active holidays. The boat has a good racing record - 2009 J/92 National champions, 2010 Sussex champions and 2010 BMYC champions, 3rd place at 2010 J Cup regatta.  Their crew were a mixture of staff and contacts from Neilson Active Holidays; current staff - Pip, Pete, Stu & Andrew. Ex staff - Wooderz & Audrey. Pikey from BBC Sussex and Jamie, old time crew taking a break from childcare!?

In IRC 2D, the J/97 INDULJENCE raced by Mike Flood sailed to a respectable 5th in class and 15th overall in IRC Group 2.  Finishing 11th in class was Mike and Jamie Holmes' J/97 JIKA-JIKA.  Said Mike about his new J/97 INDULJENCE- "As crew of winning boat in 1993 and class wins in J109 with JB2 and earlier class wins in Contessa 32, we're looking to keep our end up with the new J/97.  As for my crew on this race? Far too many collective roundings to remember, Jeff Dakin has 30 but memory fading so probably nearer 50. It's a family and friends event with two lots of father and son, two brothers, a top bloke (Stormy) and a first for a good friend (Thomas) from Cologne, Germany to give us the Schumacher effect - excluding bumping other competitors."

In IRC 3A, the J/92 J'RENIMO sailed by John Taylor was 9th and newcomer to the "mini-offshore" fleet, Bill Blain, finished 18th in his first Round Island Race on his new J/97 BATFISH IV.  If you recall, last year Bill was RORC Boat of the Year Winner racing his J/133 BATFISH III.  For more Round The Island sailing information

J's Enjoy Giraglia Rolex Cup

Sailing the Rolex Giraglia Cup off France and Italy-

NIKITA Top J/122, ALBACOR Top J/109

(St Tropez, France)- The 2010 Giraglia Rolex Cup comprises a series of inshore races in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, followed by a 245nm offshore race starting in St. Tropez via La Giraglia islet off Corsica, then to San Remo in Italy.  It is one of the world's most picturesque coastlines, the views are dramatic and the people equally as beautiful-- the "apres sailing" is just as much fun as the gorgeous sailing venues.  Making it all happen are, of course, Rolex as primary sponsors, as well as strong event organization, managed by the Yacht Club Italiano in collaboration with the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez. 

Sailing Rolex Giraglia Cup off St. Tropez, FranceThe racing had more than its fair share of shifty, windy offshore winds (Mistral like but not too strong) to moderate air on-shore seabreezes.  A total of four races were sailed between San Remo and St. Tropez.  The J sailors faired reasonably well, although based on some of the results of well-campaigned J's it was clear the off-the-water festivities must've been taking their toll-- after all, it is the French and Italian Riviera at the height of summer with far, far too many distractions (or attractions) for one to focus on sailing all week long!  Nevertheless, there were over two dozens J's participating.  Notable performances include Andreas Farber's J/122 NIKITA and Jean Louis Pezin's J/109 ALBACOR.

Sailing the Rolex Giraglia Cup off St. Tropez, FranceIn the 58 nm St. Tropez Race, the Farber's J/122 NIKITA won IRC B class quite handily.  In the 24 nm San Remo-St. Tropez-San Remo Race, Pezin's J/109 ALBACOR finished second by just seconds!  And, for the Giraglia Race Week Combined Overall results for all four races, Farber's J/122 NIKITA finished sixth in IRC A class within a fleet of 137 boats; and in IRC B class, Pezin's J/109 ALBACOR took fourth of 37 boats, including taking a DNC in the first race for not having sailed it!  Otherwise, ALBACOR's average of third was good enough for a second overall for the last three races!   For more Giraglia Rolex Cup Sailing information        Photo credits- ROLEX/ Kurt Arrigo

J/80 Gran Prix Iberdrola

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Barcelona, Spain

Turismo do Algarve Wins

(June 5-6- Barcelona, Spain)- A strong seventeen boat fleet attended this well-run regatta hosted by Real Club Nautico de Barcelona.  After a gorgeous first day of racing with good wind, partly cloudy skies and four excellent races, the expectation was for an epic battle for first  place between Hugo Rocha on TURISMO DO ALGARVE and Josep Maria Pujol during Sunday's racing.  However, light winds, rain and overcast simply washed out the proceedings.  Hugo Rocha, who won the Copa de Espana only one week earlier, counted two first and two seconds to win by two points.  The silver went to the FLASH BACK team skippered by Josep Maria Pujol with a first, second, third and fifth, while CROCS, sailed by Javier Aguado Blanco took the bronze with a second, two fourths and a sixth.   For more Spanish J/80 sailing information     Photo credits: Alfredo Farre

A Jubilee J/Fest Northwest

J/35 one-design sailboats- sailing J/Fest Northwest

J/105 Wins Top Performance Award

(Seattle, WA- Jun 19-20)- A gathering of 30 J's including one-design fleets for J/109s, J/35s, J/105s and J/30s enjoyed eight races over two days of competition in the waters off Shilshole Bay Marina, sponsored by Seattle J-Boats dealer Sailboats Northwest, with Corinthian Yacht Club running the racing and hosting post-race parties.

For the J/109 class, the Dack/ Nordquist team sailed J/TRIPPER to a 1-1-3-1-2-1-2-1 record for twelves points.   The Greene team on IT'S ONLY ROCK & ROLL finished second with a 2-4-1-4-1-4-1-2 record and third was Woodfield's SHADA with a 3-3-5-3-5-3-3-3 tally.

The J/35s were won by the Whitfield/ Chatham team on JABIRU.  Second was White sailing GRACE E and third was the Ellingsen's BERGEN VIKING.

Erik Kirsten's team sailing JUBILEE were not only winners of the J/105 class, but got Top Performance Award for best regatta in biggest fleet at the event.  Second was Petersen racing LAST TANGO and third was Pinkham's USAWI.

The J/30s had a nice turnout with the Gardner/ Adair team winning with seven firsts on ROUNDER.  Battling for second and third were CELEBRATION and OUTLAW. At the end of their epic battle for J/30 supremacy in the greater NW, the Storm/ Gossett team racing OUTLAW just lost out in the last two races to Bottles' CELEBRATION.

J/105 winnersThe PHRF handicap fleet had quite a mix of boats and a donnybrook of a fight for the silver/ bronze positions on the podium.  No matter what anyone could do, the Moynihan/ Conway team raced WINGS to a dominant first place getting eight straight firsts!  Playing "tourists"/ bridesmaids to this amazing performance were Daniel's TOURIST and Sawyer's FEARFUL SYMMETRY.  Finishing in a tie with twenty-one points each, the tie-breaker went in favor of TOURIST with FEARFUL SYMMETRY finishing third- with an average of 2.5 each!

In the photo is the crew of CYC member Erik Kristen's J/105 Jubilee. From left are Joel Thornton, Jeff McLean, Matt Tookey, Bruce Sherman and Kristen. Kristen's wife, Steph, and children Mary and Tom sailed on Saturday.   For more J/Fest Northwest sailing information

J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE Crushes Coastal Cup Dash

J/125 offshore sailboat- sailing Coastal Cup
(San Francisco, CA)- Starting on June 17th, it took no trouble at all for Andy Costello's rabble rousers on the bright red J/125 speedster called DOUBLE TROUBLE to finish this classic feeder race in 27 hours from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, finishing in time for lunch on Sunday at Santa Barbara YC and, most importantly, to celebrate winning Class A by over an hour on corrected time!  

This year's race started off on a gorgeous day sailing out of San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge and turning left past Land's End (thank goodness turning before the God-forsaken and notorious "Potato Patch").  The race down the coast to Santa Barbara was fun and challenging, featuring white knuckle spinnaker reaching off the treacherous Pt. Conception and Pt. Sur, to ghosting in the light morning breezes through the Channel Islands to finish off Santa Barbara-- just about what the "postcard" promoting the race said it would be.

The J fleet sailed well.  In addition DOUBLE TROUBLE's winning ways, Tom Holthus' Transpac-winning J/145 BAD PAK didn't appear to be up-to-speed and dropped to seventh on corrected, in fact even finishing behind DOUBLE TROUBLE on elapsed time.  Sadly, Dr. Laura Schlessinger did not participate in the race with her J/125 WARRIOR.  Howard Turner's J/109 SYMMETRY finished a respectable fifth in Class B and Peter Molnar's J/105 POSEIDON turned out not to be a giant killer, finishing seventh in class.   For more Coastal Cup sailing resultsPhoto credits- Erik Simonson

Bermuda Race True Confessions #1- Ken Read

Ken Read- J/24 World Champ- PUMA skipper- sailing to BermudaMultiple J/24 World Champion and native of Rhode Island chats about his first offshore racing experiences just before taking off on PUMA for the Newport-Bermuda Race:  “I did my first Bermuda race when I was seventeen, so I think that puts my count up to 12 of these races (?!?).

This is an ocean racing classic,” said the PUMA skipper. “I remember the good old days where I used to be a bit nervous heading out into the ocean and the great unknown.” After sailing around the world, the Bermuda Race is still a great adventure, but a little different now. “This is really just a bit more than a day race for us”, said Read. “The boat is fast and we’re pushing to get down to the finish as quick as possible.”

For PUMA, the Bermuda Race is a great opportunity to test the crew, boat, sails and all the little parts and pieces. “We still have il mostro and we’re going to get as much as we can out of the old girl. Our team has a schedule throughout the summer that includes everything we want to work on.”

Kenny went on to explain, “Putting ourselves in a racing situation is key. Simply testing the boat has a whole different mentality- there is a lack of tension onboard, but when you’re race-testing it’s just a whole different feeling onboard. Even though this isn’t a high pressure event for us, racing brings out different reactions, adds the element of intensity, and make the crew push the boat a bit harder. I’m a big promoter of doing as much race-testing as we can.”

Unlike the NYYC Regatta this past weekend, when PUMA was sailing under IRC handicap rules, the team expects to be a bit more competitive during the Bermuda Race. “In this race, we’re sailing under the ORR handicap system so the fact that we’re not racing against any other Volvo 70’s really is not a huge factor. What that means is that all the boats with canting keels (all three of us) are in the same division. We’ll be calling ourselves the bizarre and abnormal division.”

In addition to PUMA, this division includes the 100 foot Speedboat and 90 foot Genuine Risk. Kenny has also pin pointed a few similar sized boat, like Rambler and Bella Mente, and will treat them as if they were head to head battles. “It’s not the same as the typical racing we do, but we’ll try to create as much pressure as we can.”  Interviewed by Craig Leweck/ Scuttlebutt.

Bermuda Race True Confessions #2- Craig Leweck

As it stands as one of the classic ocean races in the sport, Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck distinctly remembers his baptism when he joined Bill Shore (co-founder of SHORE SAILS) in 1984 to sail on a J/41. Notes Leweck, "From the 'condo-hopping' thru the Stream with double reef main and blade jib, to the light winds later when our navigator sheepishly informed us that we were going backwards, to the rainstorm after the finish when I was asleep on deck, this was all a shocker for a SoCal sailor used to the warm downwind slides that characterize the distance racing out west. But Bermuda is heaven!"  Read (or hear) more about Craig's Newport Bermuda Race report here.

Victoria J/24 Class (Australia) Launch News!

J/24s Australia launch vibrant newsletter- the "Vic fleet" sure has fun.  Doug MacGregor (Crackerack) has been promoted to the Victorian Publicity Officer position – first job get a regular newsletter going. It’s called ‘Hit the Mark’ and I’m sure you’ll agree it certainly does that well.  As irreverent as a dour Scot can be, Doug’s editorial style is already flourishing in Issue One, emailed to the great unwashed of the Victoria J24 community today. His hard hitting, ‘pull no punches’ style will engage you from the start and you will be waiting for the next one to hit. Make sure you’re not the subject of the editors pen !  Move over MAD magazine.  Here’s the first one-

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bermuda Race Preview

J/44 sailing to Bermuda on Newport-Bermuda Race

J's Largest Brand Sailing

(Newport, RI)- The town of Newport is buzzing with sailors frenetically gathering together the last minute details one sweats preparing for a 635 nautical mile race that sends you bashing and crashing across the capricious Gulf Stream.  Despite the somewhat chaotic pre-race logistics, it's only to be rewarded with the delight of digging your toes into soft, pink sands sitting in plaid Bermuda shorts, shades on with a garishly bright polo shirt, sipping goofy drinks with umbrellas stuck in them or some brownish concoction called a "dark'n'stormy".  The surrealistic magnetic pull Bermuda exerts on its long-time participants  (and some "newbs") is seemingly more powerful than the fabled Siren's songs luring sailors to their demise in ancient seas.  This year, there are 185 boats entered headed for the fabled St. David's Light finish line.  The weather should be an improvement over 2008's head-bashing beat through the monstrous walls and breaking waves of the Gulf Stream (toss in a few suicidal flying fish hitting you in the head and you wonder what the attraction is to get to Bermuda by boat?).

The most startling (and heart-warming) development from the last edition is the growth of the Double-handed Division.  Is this "baby boom" market demographics kicking in big time?  After going around the track a few times with big budget programs and lots of crew, isn't it still about the skill of the sailor?  With 26 varieties of sailboats participating, eight of the double-handers are J's- about 33% of the fleet!  Leading the charge may be Nathan Owen's J/46 SEABISCUIT, but in hot pursuit will be Scott Miller's J/122 RESOLUTE and a trio of J/120s- Gardner Grant's ALIBI, Greg Leonard's HERON and Edwin Gaynor's MIREILLE.  Filling out the J fleet are even more intrepid sailors racing some "classic" short-handed J's, including Dana Oviatt on his J/40 EAGLE and a duo of J/35s- Darrien Garnier's GREAT SCOT and Jason Richter's PALADIN.

The St. David's Light division, where the vast majority of the fleet is racing, has 105 boats and 26 of them are J's- 25% of the fleet.  Leading the charge in the SDL J-fleet will be Jim Madden's gorgeous J/65 BRAND NEW DAY (are you guys sure the new 20,000 watt espresso machine works better than the freeze-dried version on the J/125 STARK RAVING MAD?).  If there is a lot of broad-reaching in heavy winds, BND will be hard pressed to hold off the super fast, carbon-flyer, the J/145 VORTICES, sailed by Chris Saxton.  Nipping at their heals will be twin J/133s, Tom Carroll's incredibly successful SIREN SONG and Andrew Hall's well-sailed JACK KNIFE.  While they may not be first-to-finish screamers, there is no question the fleet of nine J/44s, five J/42s and five J/120s will be pushing each other very hard sailing in one-design racing type conditions--- a reason why one or more from these three groups can usually be counted on to factor into overall handicap honors and podium finishes in their respective classes.  We wish everyone fair winds, fair current and sail fast (oh, and remember to duck when the fish start flying)!  For more Bermuda Race sailing information and iTracking real-time positions.

Fast J's Pursue Coastal Cup Dash

J/125 offshore sailboat- sailing Coastal Cup

(San Francisco, CA)- Starting  on June 17th, the classic feeder race from San Francisco's Encinal YC to the Los Angeles area for the Long Beach Race Week will feature a Santa Barbara finish this year.

The Coastal Cup returns to the beautiful city of Santa Barbara for the first time in years. Though little more than an hour north of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is an oasis of peace and quiet on the warm, sandy California coast. The Spanish architecture and rugged mountains sloping down to the sea combine to give the city a distinctively Mediterranean flavor, and make it a tourist favorite.

Racing down the coast to Santa Barbara is fun and challenging, featuring a wide range of conditions - from the unpredictable upwind beat out past Land's End, the white knuckle spinnaker reaching off the treacherous Pt. Conception and Pt. Sur, to ghosting in the light morning breezes through the Channel Islands to finish off lovely, sublime Santa Barbara (America's self-proclaimed Cote'd'Azur). There is truly something to satisfy every sailing appetite.  The race attracts a wide variety of boats from across the sailing spectrum, from the famous to the un-noteworthy, from the outrageously fast to the biggest pigs one could ever design for the IOR (remember those pinched-ended, swap-ends-in-a-second monsters?).

The J fleet will feature a remarkably strong contingent of offshore warriors with resumes as long as any tattooed, Harley Davidson riding, hot mama.  Leading the charge will surely be one of the baddest of the bunch, Tom Holthus' Transpac-winning J/145 BAD PAK.  Not to be intimidated by anyone is the diminutive Dr. Laura Schlessinger racing her renowned J/125 WARRIOR (is she the ultimate baddest sailing gurl?).  Andy Costello's bright red flyer, the J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE will be giving everyone a run for the money, too, no wall-flowers those guys, who consider a 30 knot windy day simply a walk-in-the-park on-board their heavily campaigned J/125.  Howard Turner's J/109 SYMMETRY can bring these high-testosterone speedsters serious heart-burn given the right conditions, a nearly unbeatable boat if you give them all-around weather.  And, if the race becomes a sleigh-ride, the J/105 offshore has proven time and again its a complete pain-in-the-neck for the savviest of salty dogs hanging ten surfing off the most ginormous Pacific swells out for Peter Molnar's J/105 POSEIDON...could be a giant killer.   For more Coastal Cup sailing information.

Long Beach Race Week Update

J/120 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing Long Beach Race Week

(Long Beach, CA- June 25-27)- This West Coast classic is quite popular amongst the "left coast" advocates of "fun in the sun" all year long.  So far, there are 111 entries in 16 classes, approaching last year's turnout of 132 boats.  The J contingent will be quite significant, including J/120s, J/105s, J/109s, J/24s, J/29s and J/80s and an assortment of PHRFs (like the J/125 DERIVATIVE) racing buoy and random leg courses separately.  It's an amazing program--- all will enjoy free mooring or docking, courtesy of the City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine; nightly parties with complimentary hors d'oeuvres and free water taxi transportation between the sponsoring clubs.  The regatta is the climactic event of the Ullman Sails Inshore Championship Series, following the Ahmanson Cup at Newport Beach and Cal Race Week at Marina del Rey.  For more Long Beach Race Week sailing information

RORC IRC Nationals Preview

J/122 Pen Azen- offshore racing cruising sailboat- sailing off Cowes

(Solent, England- June 25-27)- This year's RORC IRC National Championship includes competitors from Belgium, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland and the Netherlands.  Several well-sailed J's will be competing, ranging from the J/97 to the J/122s.

IRC One has a highly competitive international line-up. Philippe Delaporte's, PEN AZEN, is over from France and the J/122 is a proven winner; having been awarded RORC Yacht of the Year in 2008.

IRC Two is the largest fleet competing and includes the biggest variety of designs including David Aisher's J/109, YEOMAN OF WIGHT.

The scratch boat in IRC Three is Mike and Jamie Holmes' J/97, JIKA JIKA, who should have a close tussle on the water with Richard Sparrow's J/92, WHO'S TO NO.   For more RORC IRC Nationals sailing information.

J's Dominate Rolex New York YC Annual Regatta

J/122 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing New York YC Annual Regatta

J/122s and J/109s Sweep IRC Classes

(Newport, RI- June 11-13) – Known as the longest running regatta in America, having started in 1845, the New York Yacht Club’s 156th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex also has the distinction of kicking off the sailing season in New England. This past weekend, June 11-13, over 1,000 sailors on 111 boats gathered from across the U.S. and Europe for three days of racing on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. 

The start to the weekend was the Around the (Conanicut) Island Race on Friday, which is scored separately from the Saturday/Sunday races. The race has become a popular “add on” for competitors, especially those gearing up for the biennial Newport Bermuda Race the following week.  The J/122 WINGS was second in IRC Class (the winner last year) and Governor Pete du Pont's J/122 SPITFIRE was third. Winning their IRC Class was Bill Sweetser's J/109 RUSH.  As a result, the J's won the prestigious ROLEX CUP – presented to the best performing two-boat team in the Around the Island Race – won by a globally dominating "J-Team"-  RUSH, a J/109 sailed by Bill Sweetser (Annapolis, MD) and SPITFIRE, a J/122 skippered by Pierre (Governor Pete) du Pont (Rockland, DE).

On Saturday, the first day of the two-day buoy racing, most classes completed three races. The skies may have threatened rain but didn’t deliver much on that promise. The wind was forecast to be S veering SW in a classic scenario.  However, it was not to be.  No matter what fleet one spoke to, it was quite clear that "middle left" on the windward legs prevailed and hanging into longish streaks downwind, no matter the direction, was the strategy that prevailed for the winners.  Those who'd gone right upwind simply evaporated into thin air.  By Sunday, the promise of ideal conditions didn’t materialize until late in the day, and most classes ended up adding only one more race to the total score.  And, with a breeze forecast to go from Easterlies to North and later Northwest in the day, it didn't seem clear that going right upwind would pay dearly.  Yup, as one might've guessed, staying left of your competitors was the winning strategy.

J/122 Spitfire- one-design sailboat- Gov Pierre du  Pont sailing as skipperAdhering to good starts and sound strategies all weekend was IRC4 overall winner WINGS, a J/122 co-skippered by Mike Bruno and Tom Boyle; they won the largest class in the regatta with fifteen boats from across the IRC spectrum.  WINGS' 3-2-1-2 score was more than enough to overcome a strong challenge from Andrew Weiss' very well-sailed J/122 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON with a 4-1-2-4 record.  Most importantly, rounding out a J/122 sweep of IRC4 was Governor Pete du Pont's J/122 SPITFIRE with a 1-3-4-5 tally.  Just off the pace was Jim Bishop's experienced, winning team racing the J/44 GOLD DIGGER, finishing in fourth place and giving the J/122s a strong run for the money all three days of sailing (note- these are the same guys who won the Miami Grand Prix in March this year).

J/109 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing New York YC Annual RegattaIRC5 was dominated by the J/109s against some tough IRC competitors.  STORM, the champion J/109 owned and skippered by Rick Lyall (Wilton, CT), was winner of the 12-boat IRC 5 class with a 1-2-4-3- record.  STORM certainly did not walk off with the lead, they were challenged all weekend long by fellow J/109 RUSH sailed by Bill Sweetser's strong team.  In fact, RUSH's score of 5-3-2-2 score was just two points back from the lead and with the shifty winds, it was anyone's regatta going into the last race.

The nine boat J/105 class sailed in the Green Fleet division and sailed all five of their races in northern Narragansett Bay.  The J/105s were won by LIVE EDGE, owned by Michael Mountford (Toronto, CAN) with a 4-2-4-1-2 record, six points clear of JADED.   Dudley Nostrand’s (Hamilton, MA) JADED placed second in a three-way fight for the 2nd and 3rd spots.  JADED's record started out very strong with a 1-1-2 streak to be winning after Saturday's races, but Sunday's crazy conditions threw them for a loop and a 9-6 scoring dropped them into second.  Chris Beane's (Marblehead, MA) VIXEN finished third with a consistent 7-3-3-4-3 score.  For more Rolex NYYC Annual Regatta sailing information.

J/105 CONVEXITY Wins Chicago SW NOOD

J/105 sailing off Chicago waterfront- Lake Michigan

Siegal's LUCKY DUBIE 2 Dominates J/109s

(Chicago, IL)- A strong turnout of J one-design classes by the J/105s and J/109s assured some great racing.  The weather overlords even cooperated to supply some breeze but perhaps a few too many lightning bolts in occasional thunderstorms rolling in off the vast prairies just West of downtown Chicago.  On Day 1 of the Sperry Top-Sider Chicago NOOD, the sailors had a little bit of everything. The first race on Circle B, the southern-most of the three circles finished in a steady, but fading, southeast breeze. That breeze all but vanished as PHRF 4, led by Robert Armstrong’s modified J/100 Good Girl, rounded the first windward mark in Circle C’s second race. Local J/Boat dealer Rich Stearns is sailing the new J/97 in that fleet. The 100-yard offset leg took him a few minutes to complete when the wind dropped to nothing. But the breeze returned and the J/97 showed some light-air legs on the run.  For the rest of the weekend, the RC PRO's were able to get in a good set of races, six each for the J/105 and J/109 classes.

J/105 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing in Chicago SW NOOD RegattaIn the sixteen boat J/105 class, local hero Don Wilson (Mr. Chicago Match Race Center) showed that he had not lost his touch racing J/105s and took CONVEXITY to a 6-1-1-1-1-5 finish to win the regatta by 11 points!  Dueling it our for second were Tom Petkus on VYTIS and Dorin Candea on MESSY JESSY.  Dorin pulled every trick in the book to overcome the steady sailing shown by Tom's experienced team, including winning the last race.  However, even a first place finish in Race 6 was not enough for Dorin's MESSY JESSY team to grab second place.  In the end, Tom's VYTIS sailed to a 3-3-2-6-5-7 finish to secure second and Dorin's MESSY JESSY started slow and finished strong with an 8-2-5-8-3-1 score.

A familiar face in the J/105 fleet, Len Siegal, jumped ship to race J/109s and took his LUCKY DUBIE 2 to a win in a very tightly contested series.   LUCKY DUBIE 2's scores of 2-2-1-1-3-1 were very consistent and dominant to win by 7 points.  Battling it out for second and third were Jack Toliver's VANDA III and David Gustman's NORTHSTAR.  The gloves were off going into the last race whomever beat who would grab the silver.  However, only three boats actually finished in the final  race #6 within the time limit, so five boats were scored with TLE's (Time Limit Expired)!  As a result, Jack's VANDA III finished second with a 1-1-3-5-2-TLE record tied with David's NORTHSTAR with a 4-3-2-2-1-TLE tally to finish third.

J/97 racer cruiser sailboat- sailing Chicago SW NOOD RegattaIn the PHRF4 handicap classes, Richie Stearns reports- "The J/97 sailed great! I sailed a few races and the new owners of the J-111 sailed the others. The J/100 GOOD GIRL was untouchable and was well-sailed. We learned quite a bit about the J/97, the in-hualers work well on the boat. We were not sailing to polars downwind and that hurt. The weather was mixed anywhere from 3 to 15 knots and the boat is a pleasure to sail in all winds. The real great thing about the boat is how easy it is to sail.  We were third in section, the J/100 GOOD GIRL was first, fifth was the J/29 RELENTLESS and sixth was the J/27 RELENTLESS!  In the Level 35 Class, the J/35s swept and went 1-2-3 with William Newman's AFTERSHOCK running the table winning with ten points, Larry Taunt's BAD DOG in second and Bruce Metcalf's BOZO'S CIRCUS in third."   For more Sperry Top-Sider Chicago SW NOOD sailing information.

JENIALE Wins J/80 Italian Championships

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing on Lake Garda, Italy

(Lago di Garda, Italy- 14 June)-  With the last day's racing at Malcesine wrapped up, JENIALE! of Extreme Sailing Team are the winners of the Italian National Championships 2010. In the stunning area of Navene, Fraglia Vela Malcesine assured impeccable organization and Lake Garda provided 3 days of consistent wind of around 15-20 knots allowing the full schedule of races to take place.

On the first race of the first day, JENIALE! was over the line at the start, one of four boats to be so. Not a great start to  the championship, but they quickly recovered with two first places in the 2nd and 3rd races of the day. And so, after the first day's racing, the German boat ANAKIN took the lead with 3 second places and one third place. Second after the first day, was the Italian boat ORSO J of Giorgio Guzzi (helm Elli) with a 1st, 3rd and 5th. JENAILIE! lay in 3rd position overall after day one.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing under spinnaker on Lake Garda, ItalyThe second day of the regatta saw all the boats fighting hard, most heading closer to the land where the wind was stronger. This offered the spectators a good close up of the regatta but also made it very busy with all the boats tacking inshore, working hard for the best positions. The results on the second day saw JENAILAE! ITA-1143 take an impressive lead with one third, one second and one first. ANAKIN followed closely behind, only 2 points away from, and ORSO J, six points behind.

The final day began tensely, with everyone waiting for the wind to arrive. The 11am start was postponed but at 12.15 the "ora" wind arrived and starting procedures got under way. The first race once again saw most of the boats head inland, with ANAKIN taking the lead and JENIALE! following less than a boat length behind. The two boats remained in close battle for the entire race, with ORSO J a close third just behind. The positions remained so until the finish. The third and final race saw JENAILE! take the lead very quickly, with the German boat ANAKIN right behind and relentlessly covering every move. JENAILE! took a course through the middle of the lake this time. It was a risky move, but ANAKIN followed JENIALE! closely, battling with all that they had. The rest of the fleet hugged the land lead by ORSO J and HATAMURI OLJ SPIRIT who were juggling for third and fourth position. But the final race concluded with JENAILE! in first position, ORSO J in second, HATAMURI OLJ SPIRIT in third and ANAKIN in fourth. And so after 3 days of exciting top class racing, JENIALE! won the championship. The J/80 boat proved to be highly technical and extremely entertaining when sailed 'to the max' as this regatta showed.  For further information or more photos, please contact Maris Lyons (

SERCO Wins J/24 European Championship

(Kamperland, The Netherlands)- The J/24 European Championship sailing in Kamperland had a stunning last day.  England's Bob Turner sailing SERCO surprised everybody to take the lead in the standings from favorite XENON of Peer Kock from Germany. The final day was even more exciting as the reigning European champion Alexandros Tagaropoulos sailed HELLENIC POLICE to three perfect races in a row. The Greek crew won all three races while SERCO sailed to a 15th and 21st in the last two races. WILD STUFF!! The final results after 11 races showed that Bob Turner grabbed the European Championship from the Greeks with the smallest of margins. Favorite Peer Kock who was in first place during the first days of the championship had an off day for the final three races. He moved to third place overall.  Rounding out the top five were Jan Kaehler sailing UNITED 5 from Germany in fourth and Dimitros Altsiadi from Greece finishing fifth sailing EYNIKH.

New European Champion Bob Turner of SERCO: “This was a though regatta with a very close finish, indeed. But fortunately we won. We have a good  team, a combination of experience and youth. Despite of the weather the Race Management en organization here did a great job. The atmosphere was fantastic during this event. Our next target is the World Championship J/24 Sailing in Sweden”

  Alexandros Tagaropoulos, skipper of GRE 751 HELLENIC POLICE, immediately after losing his European title: “Yes, very sad. We missed the title with only one point difference! After the second race, we had some strange trimming problems with our mainsail. Yesterday, I was inside the boat and I saw by incident that the mast step inside the boat was moving all the time. So I made a quick repair. Maybe that’s why we were performing much better today”.  For more J/24 Europeans sailing information

J's Shine at Cal Race Week

J/109 Northstar- one-design racing cruising sailboat- sailing under spinnaker

ELEKTRA Zaps J/109 Class

(Los Angeles, CA)- California Yacht Club plays host to one of the longest running race weeks on the West Coast and attracts, in particular, good one-design fleets from greater southern California.  The J/80s, J/105s and J/109s all had fun sailing around-the-cans with excellent courses set by CYC's PROs.

Tom Brott's ELEKTRA truly did zap the J/109 fleet, sailing to an extraordinarily consistent score of 1-2-2-1-1 to win their class by four points.  Chris Mewes sailed SHADOWFAX to second with a 3-1-3-2-2 tally followed by Bryce Benjamin in PERSISTENCE  with a 2-5-1-3-3 record.

Gary Mozer's CURRENT OBSESSION 2 literally dominated the J/105 class winning with four firsts and not sailing the last race.  Second Steve and Lucy Howell sailing BLINK! into second with a 2-3-2-2-1 score.  Third overall was ROCK & ROLL, sailed by Don Poppe.

The J/80s also had a dominant performance from Curt Johnson racing AVET to four firsts and a 6th place.  The Mullen/ Witt team sailed an remarkably consistent score of 2-2-2-3-2 to grab second and third was Jeff Friedman's FIRED UP.

In the handicap fleets, Susan Taylor won PHRF4 division in her J/24 and Fred Cottrell finished second in the Sportboat division with his J/33 TIGGER.   For more Cal Race week sailing information.     Photo Credits- Sam Haythorn Photography

Dave Schmidt- Sailing J/44 In Seattle Leukemia Cup

David Schmidt- USA Sail-World Editor had a wonderful experience recently sailing a J/44 in the Seattle Leukemia Cup. Here's what he had to say about it- "Sailing is just sailing, right? A wonderful, adventure-orientated pastime perhaps, but a pastime nonetheless. But this past Saturday's Leukemia Cup Regatta, held out of Seattle's Elliot Bay Marina, reminded me that sailing can also generate a greater good.  Racing aboard IMAGINE, Lisa and Rusty Hill's well-rigged J/44, provided a firsthand look at one way that sailors can contribute and have fun doing it. Admittedly, we were enjoying steady breezes, bluebird skies and a sweeping panoramic view of the Olympic Mountains, but our fleet of several dozen boats was also helping to generate money for an excellent cause.

And the positive vibrations didn't stop there.  A glance around the fleet revealed families and friends out 'racing' together (it was casual competition at best, with the emphasis on participation and good times), with everybody getting chances at the helm, everybody getting chances to learn and to have fun. Aboard Imagine, complete novices had an opportunity to experience sailing/racing under ideal conditions, in a positive, nurturing environment.  Big smiles were enjoyed by all —great proof that sailing can be more than a mere addiction, er, 'pastime'.   Fair winds and following seas,  David Schmidt"

Peter Tanner- On Cruising J/122 OOJAH

Peter Tanner is currently cruising in Norway in his J/122 OOJAH. He previously owned a J/110 of the same name.  Here is Peter's latest report-  "Hi all.  For the benefit of the navigators amongst you we're at 61 36N 05 02E, for the rest of you Floro is just south of the big kink in the Norway coastline & just North of the mighty Sognefjord, at 115 miles the longest fjord in Norway. Thanks to Gordon Cossor's help we had a relatively easy passage up the North Sea dodging all the gas & oil rigs & arriving in Stavanger 6 days after leaving Hamble - it was cold (4 or 5 layers) & we had to motor half the way due light wind. Christene thought she was suffering from a bit of seasickness but it turned out to be a hangover after an unsuccessful attempt to lock herself out of Lowestoft marina!

Stavanger is a forgettable landfall but the Lysefjord just inland was quite stunning with sheer rock faces, steep sides, wooded slopes & tumbling streams all intermingled. We then motored north weaving in & out of fjords, between islands, through nooks & crannies for a week until we reached Bergen. There is no way we'll have time to explore all the fjords but we did go into the Hardangerfjord and moored against an old pontoon from where we were able to walk up to the Bondhus glacier - it was beautiful but the effect of global warming on the retreating glacier was all too evident. In Victorian times ice was carried down to the fjord & exported all over Europe for refrigeration. Bergen was buzzing, with a jazz festival in progress, & everyone was out partying - boats were rafted 4 or 5 out. The waterfront with its old colourful wooden houses & narrow streets is very picturesque, & even the more modern parts of the centre are attractive It is the wettest place in Norway with rain over 250 days a year, & it is said that when a young boy was asked if it ever stopped raining he replied "I don't know - I'm only 13!".   However our weather was improving day by day & we were down to 3 layers! The next 2 days of the inner lead through the Radsund were very intricate with sometimes less than a boat's length between the rocks but all well marked. The anchorages have been beautiful but some proved too cramped, too deep or subject to fierce mountain downdrafts (fallvindor probably in plain mans English "foul wind") & after several attempts we had to move on! The depth can vary from nothing to over 1,000 metres in a moment, a marked contrast to the North Sea much of which is only 25 m deep. If a rock has your name on it you certainly will not see it coming!

After a week of predominantly motoring we had our first real sail today and we're down to 2 layers & shorts. The coastline has opened out a little although we're still weaving between mountainous islands with the wind coming from all angles. Some days we see hardly anyone but tonight we're in a small marina - trying to operate a Norwegian washing machine was the most stress we've had so far! The Norwegians are all delightful & usually speak very good English - fortunate for us because Norwegian is a bit of a mystery. It remains chilly but dry & increasingly sunny & we're not running the heating for the first time this evening; night is about 3 hours of twilight. Shopping or eating out are around twice as expensive as at home, but diesel is similar to the UK and berthing a lot cheaper. OOJAH is behaving herself & absolutely rocketed along on the few occasions we've had the spinnaker up, although we struggle to de-power her in stronger wind.  To answer one question - we are still speaking, & C's not missing  work, although she says looking after me is a full time job.  With much love,  Christene, Peter & OOJAH"