Monday, January 28, 2013

Spectacular Sailing- Quantum Key West- Day 4

J70 fleet sailing fast downwind off Key West, Florida
Healy Leads 70s, TEAMWORK & RUSH Lead PHRF Fleets
(Key West, Florida)-- With four days of racing complete, it is not difficult to identify the stars of Quantum Key West 2013: The sun and the wind!  Even the most veteran sailors have been amazed by the fact every day of the regatta has brought spectacular conditions with warm temperatures and solid breezes. Wednesday brought 18-22 knot winds and Thursday’s breeze held steady between 14-18 knots.

J70s one-design sailboats- sailing at windward mark- Key West“We’ve had an incredible string of great sailing days. I think that is really the story,” said Jonathan McKee, a tactician from Seattle, Washington. “We keep waiting for a crappy day and it just hasn’t happened. We’ve just been really lucky that each day has been spectacular.”  That good fortune is expected to continue on Friday as George Caras of Commanders’ Weather is forecasting winds in the 12-18 knot range and more sunny skies. George Collins was once a regular competitor at Key West, but hasn’t attended for many years. The 72-year-old skipper was equally amazed by the caliber of sailing throughout the week.  “What another beautiful day of racing,” Collins said upon returning to the dock in front of the Half Shell Raw Bar. “I can’t remember a week that had such consistently good breeze. There are usually one or two light days, but not this week. The Key West Chamber of Commerce gets five stars.”

J70s sailing at Quantum Key West Race Week- Key West, FloridaEvent chairman Peter Craig and his Premiere Racing team take pride in giving sailors a full week of action. Over the past 20 years, the annual regatta off the Florida Keys has lost just six days of racing. For any regatta organizer, that's an astonishing statistic! Barring some unforeseen situation, this will be another year that Premiere Racing has completed the target number of 10 races. More remarkable is that Division 2, under the direction of principal race officer Dave Brennan, is likely to get in 12 races for the J/70 fleet.

J70 one-design speedsters- sailing Key West Race WeekNorth Sails pro Tim Healy and his team on HELLY HANSEN seized the lead in J/70 class, largest of the regatta with 39 boats. Geoff Becker is calling tactics for Healy (Newport, RI), who posted a first and second in three races on Thursday and leads SAVASANA (Brian Keane, Weston, MA) by two points.  Just behind them is the Loring/ Pasquinelli team sailing STAMPEDE.  In the J/70 Corinthian Division, it's a serious three-horse race.  Brothers Blake & Lud Kimbrough from Newport, RI are ahead by one point over Brian Elliot and David Hyer on B-SQUARED.  Lying in third is Dave Franzel on SPRING just one point further back sailing SPRING.

J/122 Teamwork sailing off Key West, Florida- Quantum Key West Race WeekIn PHRF A, J/Teams are leading a complete sweep of the class by some incredibly competitive teams.  Robin Team's J/122 TEAMWORK from Lexington, NC continues to lead a very competitive division.  In second is Jim Bishop's J/44 WHITE GOLD from Jamestown, RI and in third is Bob Hesse's J/111 LAKE EFFECT from Youngstown, New York.

Racing in PHRF B may see its first J/109 winner in years.  Bill Sweetser's team from Annapolis, Maryland sailing the J/109 RUSH have a slim lead and are currently winning their division.  In third is Glenn Gault's beautiful flag-blue J/120 REBECCA from League City, Texas.

J80 one-design sailboat- sailing at Quantum Key West Race WeekRon Buzil and his crew on VAYU 2 have put forth an impressive performance in J/80 class, winning seven of eight starts with the lone slipup being a second place in Race 4. Andrew Kerr, who holds the distinction of having competed in every Key West regatta since its inception in 1988, is calling tactics for Buzil (Evanston, ILL). Jahn Tihansky, offshore sailing coach at the Naval Academy and owner of J/World Annapolis, is also part of the crew.  “It’s been a combination of a lot of things,” Buzil said when asked the reason for his team’s success. “We have good boat speed, strong boat-handling and Andrew really knows the weather conditions down here.”  In second is John Krediet from Stamford, CT sailing PARTICIPANT III and third is Gary Panariello sailing COURAGEOUS from Manhasset, New York.

Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal.

More aweome J sailing photos, please see these galleries:
Tuesday photos- Onne Vanderwal
Wednesday photos- Onne Vanderwal
Thursday photos- Onne Vanderwal

For more results and sailing information on Key West Race Week- please see all information here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

"Moving Day" @ Quantum Key West- Day Three

j111 sailing upwind at quantum key west
Lead Changes In J/70s on Heavy Air Day
(Key West, Florida)- Wednesday has always been critical at this annual race week off the Florida Keys. By the time Wednesday is complete, the racing is usually more than half over. Event veterans have even given it the moniker of "moving day."  This year, Wednesday brought what is predicted to be the strongest winds of the five-day regatta, challenging crews to really ramp up their performance. There were some sail and gear failures in the heavy air, which held steady between 18 and 22 knots.

J70s sailing upwind at Key WestIt appeared there was a new leader in J/70 class after racing concluded on Wednesday.  Newport-based pro Tim Healy and his HELLY HANSEN team won Race 6, finished third in Race 7 and threw out a 23rd suffered in Race 1. That briefly allowed HELLY HANSEN to overtake MOXIE for the overall lead in the regatta's largest class with 39 boats.  However, Healy lost a protest and was hit with a penalty that changed the seventh race result to 19th and dropped HELLY HANSEN to fourth in the overall standings.  MOXIE, sailed by brothers Cole and James Allsopp (Annapolis, MD), remained the leader for the second straight day with 34.5 points, 1.5 better than RELATIVE OBSCURITY (Peter Duncan and Juddie Smith).  Healy was disappointed with the protest decision, but remained confident his crew could wind up on top at the end. "We're going to give it our best shot. We just have to keep plugging away," he said.

J109 RUSH- Bill Sweetser sailing Key West Race WeekBill Sweetser has been racing his J/109 RUSH in Key West since 2004 and has been class runner-up more times than he cares to remember. The Annapolis resident moved one step closer to finally being crowned champion by holding his lead for a third straight day. Conditions were not ideal for RUSH, which excels in moderate winds, but Sweetser posted a third and second to remain seven points ahead of another Annapolis boat. "We knew with the high winds that we couldn't show the full capability of our boat. Our goal was to survive and live to fight another day, which we were able to do," said Sweetser, noting that Rush did not lose any points to the fleet.  Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal and Ultimate Sailing.

More J sailing photos here in these galleries:
Tuesday photos- Onne Vanderwal
Wednesday photos- Onne Vanderwal

For more results and sailing information on Key West Race Week- please see all information here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Awesome Sailing Key West- Day Two

J70s sailing fast at Key West MOXIE Leads J70s, TEAMWORK and RUSH Atop PHRF
(Key West, Florida)- This year's Quantum Key West Race Week may be one for the history books, with epic wind conditions forecast for the rest of the week- winds ranging from 15-25 kts with partly cloudy days- the sailors will be challenged with getting in a full compliment of 10-12 races, depending on their fleets, for the entire week of sailing.  Tuesday's racing saw shifty, streaky NNE winds in the 12-18 knot range.  For most courses, it was yet another classic tactical day on the azure blue Caribbean-like waters off Key West.  With the wind direction moving over a range of 25 degrees with a mean of 15 degrees, the teams had to figure out the cycling of the wind direction and try to stay in phase.  For the most part, those who favored the left side of the course and made it work more often than not led their fleets.  On rare occasions could boats go to the right and make it work. 

After the long day of racing of three races, there were a lot of weary bones, aching muscles and exhausted bodies over at The Galleon Dock and Truman Annex on Tuesday afternoon. The J/70 sailors especially so since they had sailed three races and didn't get into the docks at the end of the day until 1630 hrs!  Advil, beer and massages were the order of the day to keep bodies race-tuned and on the knife-edge of preparedness for an even windier day on Wednesday-- forecast to be the windiest day of the week with 18-25 kts winds out of the northeast.

J70 sailing fast off Key WestJ/70 is the largest class in the regatta with a whopping 38 boats and features several top-notch sailmakers such as Kerry Klingler, Tim Healy and Dave Ullman. However, an upstart team of recent college graduates is leading the fleet after two days and five races. Brothers Cole and James Allsopp grew up sailing together before heading off to College of Charleston and the Naval Academy, respectively. Cole is driving while James is handling the bow aboard Moxie, which closed with a fourth and third on Tuesday to overtake Ullman, the Day 1 leader.

“I can’t say enough about the crew work. I’m not starting very well, but those guys are bailing me out,” said Cole Allsopp, who has former College of Charleston teammates Zeke Horowitz and Brendan Healy aboard as tactician and trimmer. “Brendan is really dialed in on making the boat go fast, Zeke has been putting us in the right places while James does an amazing job of trimming the chute.”  Cole Allsopp said Moxie was among the last boats to come off the start line in Race 5, but managed to fight through the fleet to third place. “We are catching boats around the corners and passing boats all around the track,” he said.

J70s sailing upwind off start at Key WestIn fact, the J/70s were planing for most of the races downwind, playing fast gybe-angles downwind, hitting upwards of 13+ kts in the 12-18 kts winds-- those who could figure out "plane mode" versus "soak mode" were making big gains on the race track, including the Allsopp boys on MOXIE.  As a result, the standings for the 70s were also changing significantly.  The Allsopp boys on MOXIE have now posted a 5-10-14-4-3 scoreline for 36 pts followed by yesterday's race leader, Dave Ullman and Joe Colling's team on USA 69, with a 2-2-15-11-13 record for 43 pts.  They're just in front of Tim Healey's HELLY HANSEN team that has rapidly ascended the ladder to leap into third place with the best day's results, now counting a 23-14-3-3-1 for 44 pts.  Just behind them are Peter Duncan and Juddie Smith on RELATIVE OBSCURITY with a 19-6-7-9-5 score for 46 pts in fourth place and rounding out the top five is Bennet greenwald's team sailing PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA with a 14-24-10-2-6 for 56 pts.

J/111s sailing Key West- rounding markOn the Division 3 course, both PHRF A and PHRF B fleets were having excellent racing.  The J/122 TEAMWORK posted two bullets and two seconds in building a four-point lead in PHRF 1. Skipper Robin Team only does three regattas per year, but always has his J/122 well prepared and sailed by a well-oiled team. “We’re fast and the crew work has been impeccable. We’re going really well both upwind and downwind,” said Teamwork tactician Jonathan Bartlett, a North Sails pro. “Robin is quite amazing for someone who doesn’t get a lot of practice with starts and mark roundings. He’s just incredibly skilled considering the small amount of time he races.”  Behind them is Jim Bishop's J/44 WHITE GOLD in second with a 3-1-5-1 for 10 pts and third is Bob Hesse's J/111 LAKE EFFECT with a 2-3-2-4 for 11 pts.  In PHRF B, Bill Sweetser continues to lead their fleet on RUSH with a strong record of two 1sts and two ends for 6 pts.

J70 class tuning and speed panelAt the end of the day, there was a J/70 Tuning & Boatspeed Panel that had Dave Ullman, Jeff Johnstone and Al Terhune talking about ways in which to make the J/70 go faster and sail better.

For more results and sailing information on Key West Race Week- please see all information here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Classic First Day Sailing @ Key West

J70s sailing downwind- Key West (Key West, Florida)- The first day of sailing could not have turned out nicer for the start of Key West Race Week.  For many, its why the sailors come back for more every year to this corner of the far western Caribbean.  With gorgeous aquamarine waters punctuated by white, torn cotton cumulus scudding across sunlit skies, it's not hard to imagine the sailing is second to none.  Today's weather forecasts of lightish N/NE winds of 4-8 kts for Monday and building late in the afternoon to 8-13 kts from the NW meant the fleet was going to be in for some unusual strategies going around the race course.  Would the sailors follow the classic tactics of going into the island, or go left and pray the weather forecasters were wrong?!  The "chutes & ladders" results in the J/70 class were certainly an indicator that ideas ranged across the board.

In the J/70 class, all the sailors were going into the first day of racing with wide-open expectations about what might happen on the race track.  With a fleet deeply-laden with talent, the outcomes for the first two races were going to help the teams learn more about how their boats were going to perform against their colleagues.  With two races behind them, it was pretty clear one team had the day "dialed in", with Joe Collings from Ohio and friend Dave Ullman and Tommie Lihan scoring an impressive 2-2 to lead the fleet.  Just behind them in second place is Brian Elliott on B-SQUARED with a 4-7; Bob Hughes on HEARTBREAKER with a 1-12 tied with Ryan Ruhlman on SPACEMAN SPIFF with an 8-5; and lying fifth is Cole Allsop on MOXIE with a 5-10.  In the J/70 Corinthian Division, Brian Elliott on B-SQUARED is leaded with a 1-1, Chris Carroll on TORQEEDO is second with a 2-4 and Kathy Parks and husband Paul Parks are third on SUNDOG with a 6-2.

J/122 Teamwork sailing Key WestThe PHRF Racers had some incredibly tight racing on the Division Three course.  In PHRF 1, a familiar name as at the top of the heap, with Robin Team's J/122 TEAMWORK sailing to a 1-2 and holds a narrow edge over Jim Bishops J/44 WHITE GOLD with a 3-1 and Bob Hesse's J/111 LAKE EFFECT in third with a 2-3. In PHRF 2, Bill Sweetser's J/109 RUSH leading the fleet with a 2-1.

In the J/80s Ron Buzil and Andrew Kerr on VAYU 2 from Chicago had a good day, posting a 1-2 to lead their fleet. Second is John Krediet on PARTICIPANT III with a 2-2 and third is WILLY  T with a 3-3 for third.

For more results and sailing information on Key West Race Week- please see all information here.

J70s sailing Key WestBill Wagner from Premier Racing had a chance to wander the docks and chat with some of the J/70 teams that are participating in the event.  One of them was Tate Russack sailing DIESEL.  Tate Russack was looking for a small sailboat he could trailer to major regattas around the country. The Annapolis resident liked everything about the new J/70 sloop and pulled the trigger on purchasing one when he learned enough had been sold to sustain viable one-design racing.  “J/Boats has upped the ante on the sport boat market with this design. It’s easy to sail, but highly competitive,” Russack said. Russack was pleasantly surprised to see 23 boats show up for the Fall Brawl, hosted by Eastport Yacht Club in early November. He is downright shocked that a whopping 39 boats will be on the start line at Quantum Key West 2013, making J/70 the largest fleet at the annual midwinter regatta.  “It’s really amazing how fast this class has exploded,” he said. “This regatta is filled with a bunch of top-notch sailors. Having a fleet as competitive as this is great; what better way to gauge yourself?”

Russack and his team on Diesel won the EYC Fall Brawl, a very competitive two-day event that ended with the top three finishers separated by just five points. North Sails professional Allan Terhune served as tactician for Russack in Annapolis and will do so again in Key West.  “Allan is unbelievable, like a gift from the sailing gods. I can’t tell you how many times we had a bad start and Allen brought us back by calling all the wind shifts,” Russack said of Terhune’s performance at the Fall Brawl.  While Russack was the winner of the only J/70 regatta held to date, he is not the favorite here in Key West. That’s because several renowned professionals such as Tim Healy, Kerry Klingler and Dave Ullman have joined the class.  “We’re ready for the regatta. We’ve done a lot of work with the boat and practiced to hone our skills,” Russack said. “It’s an extremely competitive fleet and all we can do is sail to the best of our ability and let the chips fall where they will.”

Designed by Al Johnstone, the J/70 is a 22-foot sport boat with all carbon-fiber rigging and an asymmetrical spinnaker that gets the boat planning downwind in about 14 knots. Russack said the boat “lends itself to highly technical sailing” in terms of tuning the rig and adjusting the sail trim to fit certain conditions. These boats are really fun and exciting. When you put the spinnaker up, it’s like going to warp speed. The boat just takes off. It also has very good acceleration upwind.”

J70 Diesel - Tate Russack sailing Key WestThe J/70 has taken the sailing world by storm with J/Boats having already sold 350 of the small one-design racers. Rod Johnstone, founder of J/Boats, said the company felt there was a void in the market for a club racer that could be ramp launched and garage stored, and clearly that assessment was correct.  “The J/70 is stable enough that an average sailor can handle it and seaworthy enough that it can be raced in any venue,” Johnstone said. “It’s got a great cockpit that easily fits four people and steers really well. We were very disciplined in keeping the boat simple and economical.”  Many top-notch skippers that have captured major championships in other one-design classes have jumped into the J/70, including Klingler (J/80), Healy (J/24) and Ullman (Melges 24). Johnstone said J/Boats had sailors of that caliber test drive prototypes and offer input for improvements.  “When the wind hits the sails of this boat it really responds. It’s a fast, lively boat that planes quickly downwind and points well upwind,” Johnstone said. “We feel it’s a good family boat because you don’t need a bunch of experts to sail it safely.”
J70s sailing Key WestKey West will serve as the inaugural midwinter championship for the class and will mark the largest gathering of J/70s to date.  “Key West has always been a tremendous showcase for any new design and we are looking forward to really launching the J/70 to a wider audience with great competition at one of the world’s most renowned regattas,” Johnstone said. “We debuted the J/24 in Key West back in January, 1978 so this is like going back to where it all started for our company.”

Brian Keane, a past winner at Key West in both the J/105 and J/80 classes, is among the owners impressed enough to buy a J/70 and is eager to test his new toy against such a deep fleet.  “It’s truly amazing for a brand new boat to be the largest class at such a quality regatta as Key West,” Keane said. “I’m really impressed with the caliber of sailors in the fleet. This is going to be hot competition and a lot of fun.”

Klingler noted that all the owners are still learning the boat, particularly how to handle the oversized spinnaker that will be critical to success.

Johnstone, who will be racing with son Jeff, said he is “prepared for mayhem” in the inevitable windy conditions. His other son, J/Boats vice president Al Johnstone, was the chief designer of the J/70.  Ullman has a somewhat selfish reason for joining the class. Obviously, the West Coast sailmaker wants to sell his product to this suddenly burgeoning market.

Ullman, who is calling tactics for Joseph Colling in Key West, could not think of another class that has grown so quickly.  “I’ve never seen anything like this, especially in what was considered a down market. J/Boats found the right niche and the right time,” said Ullman, who did not hesitate when asked why the design has been so successful. “Price point, quality of construction, timing. They just hit it all. Apparently, they’ve had this on the boards for a while and picked the right time to go.”  Thanks for this contribution from Bill Wagner- Premiere Racing.  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes

For some fun interviews about sailing in Key West, please take a peek at these video interviews of J/Sailors (past & present).

Allen Terhune sailing on J70 DieselAllen Terhune Interview- "Albie" is sailing with Tate Russack on the J/70 DIESEL from Annapolis, Maryland.

J/109 sailor Bill SweetserBill Sweetser Interview- Bill is a long-time veteran of the J/109 RUSH and is a formidable competitor in the class as well as PHRF competition in Key West.

David Ullman- from Ullman Sails sailing J/70David Ullman Interview- as founder of Ullman Sails, Dave is renowned for his extraordinary talent across a wide-variety of classes.  Dave Ullman talks with Bill Wagner about the J/70 class.

Terry Hutchinson Interview - as a J/24 World Champions, amongst other many notable accomplishments, "the Hutch" is sailing on Barking Mad with Newporter Jim Richardson.

Robin Team - J122 TeamworkRobin Team Interview- as a perennial J/122 campaigner, Robin's team on TEAMWORK have been veterans  of Key West Race Week for years and are a top team.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

J/24 Europeans & Monaco Match-Race Championship

Yacht Club de Monaco hosting J/24 Europeans regatta (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- More great news from Prince Albert's sailors at Yacht Club de Monaco! Twenty years after welcoming the J/24 European Championship to the Principality for the first time, the YCM will host the J/24 Europeans in Monaco once again, uniting the international elite of this series, considered to be of the world’s most important events for the J/24 Class.  The regatta will be held from October 5th to 12th at the spectacular, new clubhouse of the YCM situated on Monte Carlo's Port Hercule.

J/24s sailing Monaco Match Race Regatta- Monte CarloAlso, from March 8th to 10th, the YCM is organizing a new Monaco Match Race Regatta.  The event is a collaboration with Bruce Hebbert and Ian Ilsley, who's very active and successful on the European Team Racing circuit-- getting on the podium on many occasions, including the Cowes Team Race (since 2006) and second during the Cumberland Cup in 2010 (Royal St George Yacht Club taking the victory).

The Cumberland Cup was organized by the Royal Thames Yacht Club of London, England and now the key challengers from that event are coming together again for the edition organized by Yacht Club de Monaco.  The YCM Match Race Regatta is open to "Twinned" and "Reciprocal Clubs" of the YCM.  The primary focus of the regatta is not individual performance and winning, but instead on overall team’s performance and learning. This highly tactical contest in J/24s will bring together ten Yacht Clubs comprising two teams each including at least three women (a requirement).    For more J/24 Europeans and Monaco Match Race sailing information

Saturday, January 19, 2013

J/80 & J/70 UK Nationals- Register Now!

Royal Yacht Squadron- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England- sailing center of the Solent (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)-  J/UK and the UK J/80 and J/70 Class are pleased to announce that J/80 and J/70 owners can now submit their entries for their UK National Championships hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes. Registration at the regatta will commence on Thursday 13th June, with racing from Friday 14th June to Sunday 16th June. The overall prize-giving will take place after the final race on Sunday.

As the championships will fall on the same weekend as Isle of Wight Festival, we are advising our customers to book their accommodation as soon as possible, and to transport crew to the island via their J/70 or J/80 as opposed to the ferries, which can become very stacked up during this period.  To enter the UK National Championships and to view the Notice of Race, please visit the event website:
2013 J/80 and J/70 UK National Championships.

Friday, January 18, 2013

J Teams Sailing Rolex Fastnet Race

J/111 Xcentric Ripper- from Netherlands- sailing Fastnet Race (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)-  The infamous Fastnet Rock off Ireland has its fanatical, passionate followers.  It's a bit like British mountaineer George Mallory's famous quote about why he climbed the ginormous, challenging Mount Everest in Tibet (29,029 ft or about 5.5 miles above sea-level)-- he said, "because it's there"!  J/Teams love, even thrive, on the "call of the running tide" and the challenge of weather that often confronts the fleet in this 608nm classic.  Its reputation as the most grueling and tactically challenging of the classic offshore races is due to its course along England's southwestern coastline and criss-crossing the southern Irish Sea twice-- the boats go from the start line off Cowes, Isles of Wight, sail towards the Fastnet Rock off southwest Ireland (rounding it to port), then sail back around the outside of the Scilly Isles off southwest England (leaving them to port) and on to the finish line in Plymouth, facing massive current gates and gigantic whirlpools (literally) along the way.

For this year's 2013 edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race, all 300 yachts "registered" in an astonishing 24 hours! The good news, is that a bunch of hot J sailors are in the mix, including the J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER from The Netherlands.  Looks like "the boys" are going to chase the Double-handed crown, again.  John van der Starre and Robin Verhoef are not to be denied.  Who can blame them??  For most of the Fastnet Race in 2011, they were winning the Double-handed Division by days (OK, maybe hours), and were one of the top boats overall in ALL IRC Divisions.  However, the RIPPER couldn't make it through the final wind/current gate literally a "stone's throw" from the finish-- having to wait nearly seven hours for the winds/current to re-build for their finish.  Imagine that!! Hard to believe they didn't go simply, stark, raving, mad!  Kudos to them for hanging tough knowing they'd be back for another go of it all.  Watch out, the RIPPER is much, much faster this time around having learned a lot about the best wind/ sail/ angle combinations.

Along with them will be a fair number of fellow J/Colleagues racing everything from J/133s and J/122s down to J/109s, J/105s and J/97s.  And at both ends of the spectrum these teams are known to be tough competitors, having fun while collecting silverware on the podium!  For more RORC Fastnet Race sailing information

Thursday, January 17, 2013

J/122 OOJAH Sails ARC Rally

J/122 cruiser-racer OOJAH sailing to ARC Rally finish line(St Lucia)- Tim Wright at was recently on assignment in one of his favorite places in the world-- the Caribbean- and sent along some shots of the J/122 OOJAH, sailed by Peter Tanner from England, arriving at the ARC finish in St. Lucia.

The recent ARC Rally had some fabulous boats sailing amongst a fleet of nearly 300 boats racing 2,700nm from Las Palmas in the Canary Islands to St Lucia.  Amongst them were the J/109 we reported on last week, Sophie Olivaud's ALBACOR IV- the first women skipper to finish and first double-handed boat to finish (which BTW Tim got a picture of finishing, too).  The next J to finish was the J/122 pictured here in full-on race-cruise mode-- LOVE that bimini over the wheel in the back!  That's styling' baby!  I wonder what the IRC penalty is for that-- adds lots of horizontal sail area off-the-wind?!
Sailing Photos courtesy of Tim Wright/

Never Too Late- Get The 2013 J/Calendar Today!

J/80 sailboats- sailing off Santander, Spain (Newport, RI)- It's not too late to grab the gift that lasts all year-- the 2013 J/Calendar. Whether you're a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, you'll love the stunning sailboat photographs from around the world.  The sailing calendar features photos (pictured here-) of a dramatic J/111 powering upwind off Newport; a fleet of J/24s off sunny Tampa; surrealistic scenes of J/80s off Santander, Spain and flying downwind off Marseilles, France; a fleet of J/120s rocking downwind under spinnakers on San Francisco Bay; J/70s flying along under spinnakers; J/22s starting in the Rocky Mountains; and a J/97, J/109 and J/122 sailing in sunny Solent conditions.  A great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew!  Order your 2013 J/Calendar today, click here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

J/27 BLACKADDER Loses to Dennis Conner's FAME!

Dennis Conner's gaff-rigged schooner FAME(San Diego, CA)- True Story. David Cattle, owner of the J/27 BLACKADDER in San Diego, California, loses to FAME!  Seriously.  "FAME".  The man, the boat, the designer, the legends.  This time it was in the form of Dennis Conner (Mr. America's Cup and J/105 owner)  on a completely revitalized and gorgeously re-built schooner, called "FAME".  She's from "turn of the century days"- back in 1910 when gorgeous J/Class yachts of 130+ feet were racing for the America's Cup!

Conner picked up the 40-foot BB Crowninshield-designed gaff schooner FAME in 2009. The yacht was the winner of many Great Lakes races, but she had seen better days.  Conner bought FAME for $17,000 and had her sailing the summer of 2010, her centenary year. FAME is a 1910 Long Island Sound gaff-rigged schooner that was designed and built by BB Crowninshield for his personal use. He wanted to create "the largest and fastest boat he could handle and take care of alone."

J/27 sailing with Dennis Conner's schooner FAME David commented on his experience of being beaten by two legends, "It was a fun day, though it got colder and we were forced to put jeans on at the end of the race.  We had Dennis for two-thirds of the race, then he made a great tactical move, avoided current and got a great shift and angle to the leeward mark. And with his waterline and a long reach leg back into the finish, he got us!

FAME is gorgeous. Look at the difference in size in the picture here. My crew were complaining she has two spinnakers to our one, each of her's are bigger than ours! Dennis St Onge- a.k.a. DA-Woody- sailing photographerDC was about 300 yds away from us in this pic."  We wish you "Good Luck" next time, DC's a hard man to beat in his home waters!

FAME and BLACKADDER sailing photo credits- DA-Woody (Dennis St. Onge)- himself another local legend in that funny little yellow car and giant American flag flying off the back. 

J/70 Wins Yachts & Yachting Best Performance Award

J/70 Yachts & Yachting 2013 Award Winner (Southampton, England)- The winners of the Yachts & Yachting Awards 2013 have just been announced and we are delighted to confirm that the J/70 has been voted the "Best Performance Boat under 30 feet".  The Yachts & Yachting Awards celebrate the very best in what was a fabulous year for sport and for sailing. Readers of the Yachts & Yachting Magazine and web users were asked to vote for their preferred "winner" in each of ten categories and then these "reader" votes were added to the votes of the official judging panel.  The award for "Best Performance Boat Under 30 feet" is sponsored by Garmin.

The commentary from Y&Y Editors was, "This was a clear winner. Arguably a boat on which the hopes of many sailors are resting – it fills a hole in a sector of the market that has been waiting for the next new thing for several years. J-Boats has almost 40 years of success with one-designs of this size, and this design brings the concept bang up to date. It’s a lightweight boat that planes readily in moderate breezes and is therefore great fun to sail in its own right. Add in one-design racing and you have a recipe that’s proven to make owners and their crews very happy.

The J/70 is also well-mannered, easy to sail and to look after, minimising hassle and maximising sailing time. The lifting keel format that makes it launchable from a slipway is also one of a number of factors that helps to minimise annual running costs. It’s easy to see why the boat has been so successful just months after its launch, with almost 200 already built."  Read more about Y&Y's Awards here.

The team at Key Yachting would like to thank everyone who voted in the competition; this prestigious award ensures a cracking start to 2013 for the J/70 Class and one more accolade for the boat, which has also been voted Sailing World Magazine’s "2013 Boat of the Year".

Both the J/70 and the J/80 will be on display with Key Yachting at London Boat Show, 12th - 20th January (  And, for Pacific Northwest sailing enthusiasts in America, the J/70 will be on display from January 9th to 13th at the Portland Boat Show in Portland, Oregon (

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

KAOTIC Winning J/24 Australian Nationals

J/24 Australian Nationals- Calypso Reggae Night (Sandringham, NSW, Australia)- The J/24s in Australia continue to grow their fleets, have fun (most importantly) and are getting a lot of people out on the water who've never before experienced sailing or racing a J/24.  Down Under there are a lot of J/24s to be had for a relatively small investment, so it's easy to get racing quickly and be competitive.  As a result, this year's J/24 Australia Nationals being held in "Sandy" have attracted an excellent fleet of around two dozen boats from up and down the southeastern seaboard of Australia- sailors of various ilk coming from as far north as Brisbane (north of Sydney), to way down west of Melbourne (Adelaide), to the far south off the island of Tasmania (the Tazzie's).

So far, it looks like the KAOTIC team skippered by Ben Lamb are liking the conditions in the bay and are leading the event.  Starting off slowly in the first race (a 15th), the KAOTIC gang have amassed several 1sts and 2nds to be on top.  Behind them in second place is Sean Kirkjian's team on SAILPAC, winners of various J/24 Oz events over the years.  And lying third is Stephen Girdis' CONVICTS REVENGE.  The top three "locals" from Sandringham YC are Adam Evans on SDM followed by Simon Grain on JET and Hugo Ottoway on the old BRUSCHETTA VI (a past World Champion's boat from Brazil- Mauricio Santa Cruz).  More news and photos after the regatta finishes this week.   Meanwhile, check out Sandringham YC's webcam-- they've had spectacular weather.  For more J/24 Australian Nationals sailing information

J/160, J/46, J/42 NA's Sailing in Maine!

J/160 sailing Penobscot Bay, Maine (Portland, Maine)- Over the past few summers, a very nice high-end event has been held in mid-August on the gorgeous Penobscot Bay in Maine-- truly one of the world's prettier cruising grounds and often referred to as "God's Country".  This year's Penobscot Bay Rendezvous will be held from August 15th to 18th and will feature the North American Championships for J/160s, J/46s and J/42s!  Plus, there are also classes for single-handed, double-handed, cruising canvas and two PHRF classes - all of which were swelled by J participation (40% of the fleet in 2012)!

Last year's edition had the "J/160 Worlds" and attracted five boats-- like the serious racers pictured here! The racing was all based on sailing with main and 100% blade jib only to keep crew requirements to mostly husband and wife with a raft of kids or some friends - and the only handicapping was six seconds a mile for deep draft.

This year, with the New York YC and Cruising Club of America Cruises both in Maine in August, the ability for J/160, J/46 and J/42 owners to have an extended cruising/ racing program for August provides a great way to also catch up with far-flung friends and family from around the world.  The NYYC and CCA events frequently have sailors participating from across the America's, Europe, Australia, NZ and Asia.

The Penobscot Bay Rendezvous is co-hosted by Wayfarer Marine and Lyman Morse - over the top in every way!  For more information, please be sure to contact Tom Babbitt at email- or work phone- 207-236-8656.   For more Penobscot Bay Rendezvous sailing information

Monday, January 14, 2013

J/70's Sailing Primo Cup

J/70s one-design sailing (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- With nearly 1,000 sailors coming from all over Europe, representing some 15 nationalities, the Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse organized by the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM), is one of the most important winter events in Europe, marking the start of the international sailing season.

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing Primo Cup Monaco- Monte CarloThe regatta is sailed over two weekends in the beginning of February Feb 1-3 and Feb 8-10, with a primary focus on one-design sailing and youth sailing.  For the first weekend, included amongst the classes are the European J/80 and J/24 fleets.  Amongst the J/24s will be the Swedish entry from YCM and Marstrand SS- Marianne Schoke and Stu Jardine from the UK sailing SWE 330 JULIA!  Also sailing are Alessandro Pedone from YCM sailing ITA 455 BEL COLP JESTER; longtime local sailor Dennis Frederiksen sailing MON 5452 PAGET for YCM and fellow club member Anne Rodelato sailing the famous MON 24 JOKER.

The second weekend marks the introduction of the new J/70 Class for the Primo Cup, and also the first major J/70 one-design event in Europe.  The YCM are thrilled to have the J/70 class sailing and it looks like over a dozen boats will be participating from across Europe- so far, teams are coming from Italy, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, England and Russia!  Amongst the teams will be a top J/22 Worlds team (2nd in 2012 in France), Woulter Kollmann from the Royal Dutch Sailing Association from The Netherlands, they will be sailing HENRI LLOYD.  Also participating are Pietro & Giovanni Saccomani from Diporto Velico Veneziano from Venice, Italy!

J/70s sailing Yacht Club de Monaco Primo Cup- off Monte CarloThe Primo Cup attracts a lot of good sailors from across Europe to sail in the prestigious venue of Monaco.  Not hard to imagine why, since Monte Carlo is one of the coolest places to sail on the Med, plus Monaco is tres'chic!  The YCM has the support of the famous royal family- the Grimaldi's- a sailing family for generations.  Monaco's Prince Rainier collected his bride Grace Kelly by yacht from the deck of the USS Constitution, the ship she had travelled aboard from America.  And, it was on the same yacht, "Deo Juvante II", that he and the new Princess Grace spent their honeymoon cruising the Mediterranean.  In other words, salt water and sailing were in their blood.

Prince Albert of Monaco giving out sailing awards Prince Rainier founded YCM in 1953 with the aim of promoting yachting within the principality-- starting with the old Société des Régates. In 1984, his son Prince Albert became its President (seen here at far right) and today the harbour is a seasonal focus of the international super yacht fleet.  Although a social venue par excellence, racing will always occupy a major role in the club’s activities, the Primo Cup in February being the season’s opener.  Youth and one-design sailing are a vital element of the club social life.  Prince Rainier founded the YCM Sailing School in 1970 for young people- it now uses a fleet of Optimists, Lasers and Picos. The club also hosts fleets of one-designs, including the J/24's which saw Prince Albert sailing for nearly two dozen years! Perhaps the J/70s will be the next fleet for YCM's club activities!

Yacht Club de Monaco- pool/ piscine deckOne of the great attractions will be YCM's new clubhouse, designed along the lines of a super yacht!  With its magnificent setting overlooking Port Hercule and the Med, it promises to be a superb showcase for Monaco, reinforcing its position as the Mediterranean's "capital of yachting". Designed by the world famous architect Lord Norman Foster, the new YCM building will contribute to the vitality of life in Monaco and the prestige of the Principality. It's an ambitious and symbolic project, check out this YouTube video of the new Yacht Club de Monaco-- pretty amazing-- J/70s can easily sail in the pool!   For more YCM Regatta and sailing information    For more YCM Primo Cup sailing information