Thursday, July 6, 2017

J/Crews Dominate Van Isle 360 Race Comfortably!

J/122E Joy Ride winning Van Isle 360 (Nanaimo, BC, Canada)- Once again sailors are showing that the Pacific Northwest is J/Boat country by taking 1st or 2nd in all three classes in the 2017 Van Isle 360! Thirty keelboats participated in this year's race, of which seven of them are J/teams (23% of the fleet!).

J/122E luxurious interiorThe conditions for this year's event covered almost the full spectrum of the Beaufort scale with beautiful summer winds up the inside of the island while crossing tacks with the Race to Alaska teams followed by winds kissing 40 knots from Telegraph Cove to Port Hardy with big rolling waves, smooth sailing over the Nahwitti Bar and around Cape Scott to Winter Harbor followed by a brutal 138 mile slog to Ucluelet with waves approaching 12 ft and 30+ knot winds, and then a beautiful run down the straits to Victoria followed by the most challenging leg of the race - Victoria to Nanaimo with its plethora of navigational choices, currents and light wind conditions. The Van Isle 360 race course is one of the most varied and challenging courses you'll ever compete on.

Sailing under the Offshore Racing Congress Rule (ORC) Class 1 was taken by the beautiful teak decked J/122E JOY RIDE owned and skippered by John Murkowski. JOY RIDE is a beautiful 2015 model of the J/122E and the ride around the island must have been in style with her comfortable two head two-cabin layout! (

J/125 sailing Van Isle 360 RaceSecond in class 1, putting on the steam in the middle of the course was the J/125 HAMACHI and her new owners Jason Andrews & Shawn Dougherty. The J/125 continues to prove that high performance can be manageable and even though she doesn't sport the comfortable interior of the J/122E she can sail you around Vancouver Island through some varied and rather gnarly conditions and bring you into the finish well ahead of much bigger yachts. (

Fourth place in Class 1 was taken by the J/133 CONSTELLATION, just 3 points out of 3rd after sailing such a long way. Built in 2005 and owned by Ron Holbrook, CONSTELLATION takes comfort to a new level with her 43' length and her microwave, television, double heads and plenty of tankage- this is performance cruising at its best!

J/109 luxurious interiorClass 2 was taken by the J/109 MOJO owned by Mark Hansen. Based out of Vancouver, British Columbia these Canadians took this performance cruiser- arguably one of the most capable performance cruisers ever built- around Vancouver Island and through consistent sailing took the overall win by 4 points over the second place boat. (

Just 3 points out of second after the 9-leg course was another J/109, SERENDIPITY, owned by Tom Sitar. SERENDIPITY pulled off 2 first place finishes and if it wasn't for an 8th coming into Victoria would have had a chance at 2nd place in ORC 2.

J/30 luxurious interior for cruisingIn ORC Class 3, second place, just 4 points back from 1st, was the original J Performance Cruising Boat, the J/30! Designed as the perfect all around cruising and racing boat, the J/30 continues to perform over 30 years after its inception- and this 1979, yep 79 model year(!), naturally took things to a new level and took 2nd place in Class 3 racing doublehanded! Well done NATURAL HIGH sailed by Mardy Grossman & Scott Shaw-MacLaren.

Congratulations to the Van Isle 360 J/Boat teams! We are sure you had an experience of a lifetime and showed us all that manageability and comfort can go hand and hand with performance and will put you on the podium.  Thanks for report contribution from Ben Braden at Sailboat Northwest in Seattle, WA.  For more Van Isle 360 Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.