Friday, January 22, 2021

"BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE" J/105 Doublehanded Race Report

 J/105 sailing upwind offshore doublehanded

(San Francisco, CA)- On Sunday, January 10th, nine J/105s gathered informally near Golden Gate YC’s X buoy for some fresh air and double-handed sailing in what has become a monthly event for the fleet. The occasion for this past weekend was the National Bittersweet Chocolate Day; therefore, the inspirational name for the race (the kicker, of course, was the awards were Bruce & Nicole's bittersweet chocolate brownies!). 

With a 4-7 kt northeasterly and a few knots of ebb, expected to build significantly, several skippers wondered whether we could even make it around the course.  The current was strongly flooding INSIDE SF Marina’s West Harbor and drove Bruce Stone’s J/105 Arbitrage sideways into the corner of the guest dock, earning a severe scrape of the hull.  After Co-owner (and spouse) Nicole Breault applied a healthy amount of duct tape, the team headed out to the starting area.

With the wind starting to clock north just before the start, and the windward mark being YRA 8 (channel marker R “4”), most boats started at the wind-favored X buoy, while Akula, skippered by Doug Bailey, started on port at the Wave Organ, the shoreside end of the line, in less adverse current.  Akula heading along the shore all the way to Pier 39, and looked way behind, especially when the wind shifted further north and both Ne*Ne and Arbitrage were able to set their spinnakers while still on the first leg.  With most of the fleet gaining current relief by passing Alcatraz to the north, Akula seemed to be a mile behind.  The northerly then ramped up to 12 kts and the “leaders” were sailing on a tight spinnaker reach, barely under control since they were missing 800 pounds of crew!  All of a sudden, Akula poked out into the ebb exiting from South Bay and achieved a massive VMG as he headed north toward the mark, arriving there a half-mile ahead of Ne*Ne, Russian Roulette, Arrived! and Arbitrage rounding together in that order.  Akula then headed southwest (with the westward flowing ebb) in a fast close jib reach to Blackaller, and the next four boats traded places behind her.  It was quite tactical as Ne*Ne and Russian Roulette sailed high so they could reset their spinnakers, while Arbitrage sailed low with the jib barber-hauled to the rail and Arrived split the difference.  Approaching Blackaller for the final rounding to finish at Golden Gate YC, Arbitrage moved up to third by passing Roulette and Arrived!, while Ne*Ne held on for second behind Akula in first.  

Race winner Doug Bailey on AKULA describes their experience:

"Racing on The Bay in winter is always a crap-shoot with respect to the wind. Sometimes it shows up, and sometimes it doesn’t. The forecast for Sunday did not look promising, with a high-level Northerly flow in relatively stable air, leading to predictions of just 5kts max across the race course. Couple that with a vicious ebb, and I was in half a mind to stay home, cook brownies for myself, settle down on the couch and watch the wildcard games in comfort. There’s nothing worse than hanging out at the Wave Organ for 2 hours in just enough wind to get to it, but not enough to poke your nose out into the current and pass it. Been there, done that. As this was an informal race, Bruce communicated the course – X (start) to Red 4 to Blackaller to X (finish); my crew Roberto Giramonti and I discussed our options.

As luck would have it, we were blessed with 4 kts wind at 11:00 AM and what looked like better air out in the central part of the bay. However, I was not sure that there was enough breeze to overcome the central bay ebb and I was particularly concerned about the wind shadow of Angel Island because of the northerly component. I wanted to try to get our nose out into the long fetch down the bay quickly to avoid parking or worse, getting washed backwards to Harding and beyond. We decided to take the long way around and hide from the ebb along the city front, before making the call to cross the (stronger, but shorter distance) ebb flow to relief at the back of TI.

Surprisingly, no-one came with us, and by the time we figured that out, there was no way to get to the boats that were already well out into the wind line – we were stuck with our plan. It did not look good for a while as we made 0.1 kts SOG past Ft. Mason. The breeze in there was very light – I speculate that it was coming undisturbed at 4kts or less down the bay and the laminar flow was lifting up over the land leaving us with just zephyrs to use to make progress in the more or less slack water behind Aquatic Park. What kept us motivated was the flags flying strongly on Pier 39 – we were pretty sure that if we could make it past the ebb on the marina wall and into the next section of relief, we would be in good shape.

The money decision was when to head out into the current and go for the mark. It was already easily “fetchable” in the absence of current and so the decision rested on the relative strengths of the wind and current on the run up to Red 4. In the end, it was clear that we stayed on the city-front too long – we never had to go above 40 degrees apparent on what turned into a fast white sail reach past Blossom and Red 2. We saw the central bay fleet coming fast carrying kites (and staysails in some cases) at fine angles, but we were pretty sure that we would get to Red 4 with plenty of gap, which is what happened. At that point it was simply a matter of covering the fleet on the way back out to Blackaller and home to X. We had a kite ready to go and we were watching to see if anyone took a flyer south of Alcatraz, but no-one did, and we felt that the guys that did launch would not be able to catch us. We elected to keep it simple and reduce the risk of a mistake by holding our kite in its bag. We won with a few minutes to spare, followed by Ne*Ne, Arbitrage and Arrived!

Bruce handed over our prize – the eponymous Bittersweet Brownies, much better than I would have made if I’d stayed home. A delicious, but nerve-wracking and somewhat lonely, day on the Bay.”

Next up will be the Valentine’s Day Race on February 14th.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race Preview

 J/121 sailing Key West Race

(Fort Lauderdale, FL)- While nowhere near the record fleets of 100+ boats of the past, the remarkably strong turnout of twenty-seven keelboats for the 2021 pandemic edition of the SORC Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race is sure to be a fun time! The weather forecast looks promising, with a frontal passage promising 15-20 kts winds from the N/NW. That could mean an amazing starboard tack sleighride down around the Florida Keys reefs, right-turn signal blinking the entire way!

J/111 sailing Key West RaceA fleet of twenty-seven keelboats will be starting on Friday afternoon hoping to pop their Code Zeros or spinnakers as they head south down the Florida coastline. The largest class is the nineteen-boat ORC Class. Participating will be the J/121 WINGS sailed by Ashley Maltempo & Bill Wiggins from Johns Island, SC; Chris Lewis's J/44 KENAI from Seabrook, TX; the J/109 HARM'S WAY skippered by Andy Wescoat from Galveston Bay, TX; and the J/92 HILLBILLY sailed by Brad Stowers from Melbourne, FL. Have fun! Thousands of J/Sailors will be dreaming of their virtual sleigh ride, too!  For more SORC Key West Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

J/160 Dream Cruiser For Sale!

 J/160 for sale on J/Net Brokerage

Here is one of those beauties, a newly listed J/160 cruiser down on Long Island Sound. A rare opportunity to own this beautiful and lovingly maintained J/160 built in 2000. 

The J/160 is a perfect "world cruiser"; they have truly sailed all Seven Seas since inception. Many J/160s have won famous offshore sailboat races worldwide, too.  

The J/160 combines excellent offshore performance with extremely comfortable accommodations in a four-cabin layout. This boat has an extensive inventory and is ready to cruise the Caribbean now! She's available for viewing in the water today and the owner is asking just $349,000 USD!   Learn more about J/160's here.   Learn more about this newly listed J/160 here and contact the broker

J/70 European Championship Update!

J/70 Europeans logo (Skovshoved, Copenhagen, Denmark)- The Royal Danish Yacht Club is looking forward to hosting the J/70 European Championship in 2021 from June 4th to 12th, 2021. Please note the updated dates!

The event will take place at Rungsted Harbour approximately 15 km north of downtown Copenhagen. This harbour is one of three stations that Royal Danish YC manages. 

The RDYC has been a strong supporter of the growth of the Danish J/70 Sailing League and their efforts have led the way for well over eighteen sailing clubs to participate. As a result, the level of competitiveness for Danish sailors has improved considerably in the J/70 class. The KDY/ RDYC have been able to achieve strong success in the SAILING Champions League in the past few years (finishing in the top 10 every year out of 36 teams); an event that has been held at the YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy and St. Moritz Sailing Club in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

As in years past, the KDY/ RDYC are anticipating over 100 J/70 teams will be participating in the J/70 European Championships on the Baltic Sea in early June.  For more J/70 European Championship sailing and registration informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021


 Monaco J/70's sailing off Monte Carlo

(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- For the start of its eighth season, the Monaco J/70 Winter Series will have around 20 boats on the water this coming weekend. Due to the current pandemic health situation, the teams present at this first official meeting of the race season will mainly comprise local teams. Virtually all the teams will be focused on preparation for the 37th Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse organized by the Yacht Club de Monaco from March 4th to 7th, 2021. 

Among the favorites for Act I of the winter series will be the leaders that started their winter season with the Christmas Regatta in December 2020. Winning that event was Ludovic Fassitelli's JUNDA- BANCA DEL SEMPIONE. Challengers should include teams like Stefano Roberti's PICCININA, Herve Maino's SOPWITH CAMEL, Jeremy Moutot's LOKOMOTIV, and the French team on Guillaume Charon's KISS & FLY.   For more YC Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information

Monday, January 18, 2021

J/99 Chile Update

 J/99 sailing off Chile

(Algarrobo, Chile)- In July 2019 Eduardo Capdeville was very interested in the new J/99 when it was first introduced. He was looking for a boat that his family could enjoy, one that he could race with them, and have the ability to do some doublehanded coastal sailing.

As a result, Eduardo decided to visit the J/Composites factory in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. He wanted to see how the boat was built and to take a test sail. Thanks to the efforts of Fred Bouvier, a day of sailing and taking a J/Composites factory tour was organized for Eduardo and friends.

J/99 family sailing off Chile
One year later, in June 2020, Mr. Capdeville placed an order for J/99 hull #60 (pictured skippering with family crew).

After the confirmation of the order, the J/Boats dealer in Chile- Juan Eduardo Reid- started the process of organizing all the details and logistics for Mr. Capdeville to complete the boat in France, ship the boat from France to Chile via the Panama Canal; and commission the boat in Algarrobo, Chile.

The optional equipment was finalized, including the big wheel J/111 pedestal option. ONE SAILS were selected for the entire set of sail, the first J/99 worldwide to have them. Additional items included a 12" chart plotter for the wheel pedestal, a long list of West Marine safety equipment, covers, cradle, mooring, proper anti-fouling bottom paint and so forth.  As Juan exclaimed, "I soon realized I was configuring this boat like it was for me, but keeping the customer's desire in mind for all things onboard.

J/99 sailing offshore of Algarrobo, Chile
The boat arrived safely on November 22nd, 2020 and, amazingly, we were ready to go sailing on the 9th of December with very light winds!"

As Juan described the occasion, "I wanted to make it a real sea trail for our owner. So, I got together with a famous and very experienced South American sailor- José Muñoz- and we did some test sailing on January 10th, 2021 as the weather would be the right ones.

The conditions were perfect- 12-14 kts, sun, and gentle rolling swells from the southeast (e.g., storm swells from the Roaring Forties down by the Antarctic Ocean).

"During the current pandemic, with the daily cases going up again, going to sail a brand-new J/99 with a great sail inventory and my friend José with the perfect sunny and windy day, was kind of a miracle", commented Juan. "Also, we got Yanko to film with his DJI Drone and Choncho to rent his nice FE 580 RIB.  Sailing was perfect! The IFS A4 asymmetric spinnaker fit and performed perfectly, as well as the rest of the ONE Sail inventory. Flavio Formosa from design and Slovenian Loft 
did a great job."

J/99 sailing with doublehead rig
Juan continues describing their experience, "the J/99 is amazing. The wheel is sensitive and transmits the sensation from the rudder perfectly. With 14 kts of breeze, the boat was going 6.8 to 7.1 kts with no crew on the rail. Very stable, similar to the J/105. And, the hull going through the waves was smooth and strong... hard to describe, but easy to understand for a J/Boats owner. The V shape section and the good hull, sail plan, foils and ballast make the whole combination perfect and the boat just flies through the water."

He added, "downwind, we were making 8 to 9 kts, with a breeze of just 12 to 14 kts. There was no planing condition, but you can see that the boat will go planing very easily with winds over 15 to 16 kts.  Very stable, very easy. Nice, nice, nice.

Other aspects that surprised us was the nicely appointed interior, nice headroom (almost 1.8 meters) and simple, but good distribution. This is a big step ahead of the J/105, a boat that we are very used to in Chile, with a fleet of thirty boats.

J/99 sailing upwind offshore- Algarrobo, Chile
For the J/99, another really nice aspect is the nice aluminum mast with an integral mainsail luff track (for sliders), that makes mainsail handling very easy. Also, the trimming system for the jib (with up- down and in-out) makes it very easy to tune the jib shape to any wind/wave condition. This gives you the opportunity of having only one all-purpose jib, as we did for "Lady Chopper II", with Harken furler and vertical battens.

Congratulations to Al Johnstone for the nice design, J/Composite for the good construction, and the entire J/Boats team to achieve more than 60 J/99's built to date. We are happy to have two already in South America; one in Chile and one in Perú.

Now, we look forward to racing doublehanded regattas in IRC, a TCC of 1.005 is very promising.

And, we are also looking forward to sailing the bigger brother of this boat, the new J/45. We see in both models the same design considerations; we believe the J/45 will be a rocket in the water; an easy to sail, soft, stable, well-built, comfortable rocket offshore."   To learn more about the J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster

Sunday, January 17, 2021

J/35 Learn to Sail Classes

J/35 sailing class Hey! Have you ever wanted to learn to sail a big sailboat? On January 24th at 1:00 we are starting a Zoom class on how to sail. There will be five lessons out of a book (provided by our instructor) and starting in late April there will be five on the boat lessons. The cost is $750.00, but you will get your money back if you race on any sailboat between June and September. We have put over 30 new people on the water racing in the last two years. This is open to all, and it just might be an opportunity to get the teenagers involved. Ian Pouliot is our class instructor. Ian has over 35 years of racing sailboats. He is the current instructor at North Star Sail Club for Junior sailors. Ian is also a sail maker and has just a wealth of knowledge about sailing.

The sailboat for you to get involved with is called a J/35. It is 35 feet long, weighs 10,500 lbs, and is the most iconic sailboat ever designed. It was the first sailboat to be inducted into the United States Sailboat Hall of Fame. It was designed by Rod & Bob Johnstone in the early 80s. We have enough boats to race ONE DESIGN (very important) all summer out of North Star SC. You will have a chance to learn the lines (ropes?) and positions on a J/35. Sign up with a friend and take this experience with you for the rest of your life.

You can call me- Mike Fitzgerald- at (248) 790-0666 or call Ian (586) 295-9344 and get registered. This is a great chance to get involved with a new sport that you will take with you even when you're in your 80s. I say that because I am 70!! Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Bittersweet Chocolate Doublehanded Regatta Announcement

 J/105 doublehanded

(San Francisco, CA)- The Bittersweet Chocolate Doublehanded J/105 Regatta will be on Sunday, January 10th, starting and finishing near Buoy X in front of Golden Gate Yacht Club. Come one, come all! Borrow a boat! Already, four boats have signed up.  Here's the link to register:

No entry fee, and the top three boats win some of Bruce's freshly baked bittersweet chocolate brownies, delivered on the water right after racing.  Note- that for all regattas going forward, both the NOTICE OF RACE and SAILING INSTRUCTIONS are important to download!!

Especially note the following in the NOR.  This is a "B" level event with the following exceptions:
  • doublehanding- either of the crew can helm
  • anyone can borrow/ charter a J/105
  • the driver can move anywhere on the boat
  • a spinnaker retrieval tack line is allowed. 
These exceptions change Fleet One Rule 3.1 and J/105 Class rule 7.5.

By allowing anyone to borrow/ charter a J/105 and come out racing, this is intended to promote the wonderful experience of sailing J/105s on the Bay, and possibly inspire purchase.  It also rewards your experienced crew to try their hand (if you'll lend them the boat). Plus, doublehanding a J/105 is fun and a great challenge!

In terms of additional doublehanded racing, we anticipate a good turn-out of J/105s for the SSS's Three Bridge Fiasco on January 30th. Thereafter, the San Francisco J/105 fleet will host another doublehanded regatta on Valentine's Day, February 14th! 

Entry is free, and you may review the NOR and SI's and sign-up here.

When you register, we suggest you list your crew as an additional owner so we can know who is racing.  Alternatively, you can register as a team of two under the crew section and then add the crew there.

Our PRO Don Wieneke will once again send us off at the start, this time either from a boat or from the shore, while we'll take our own times at the finish.  The top three finishers will receive my famous bittersweet chocolate brownies. Feel free to contact Don or myself if you have any questions.  Looking forward to seeing you on the water in January.

Feel free to contact Bruce Stone for more J/105 sailing information- email- or call- 917-822-4060. Sailing photo credit- Will Keyworth.  For more Bittersweet Chocolate Doublehanded Regatta sailing information

Saturday, January 16, 2021

J/70 Sailors Factor @ Yacht Club Monaco Awards

 J/70 Monaco

(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The traditional Winter Cocktail Party, which welcomes new members before the YCM Awards - Trophée Credit Suisse are presented, went ahead this year albeit remotely in compliance with the current health situation. 

Yacht Club de Monaco President, HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II, rewarded sailors who proudly fly the Principality’s colors and have made a mark on the world’s race areas. As J/Sailors recall, Prince Albert was a J/24 sailor for two decades in Monaco and actively supports the J/70 fleet today.

A regular on the J/70 regatta scene, Pierrik Devic received a special prize for his excellent results in the Laser Master. Having embarked on this physically tough Olympic class boat, he won the Euro Master Circuit 2020 in the Laser Radial Master category and clinched 4th place in his category at the Laser Master European Championship. 

The YCM Awards 2020 also recognizes members who have best defended the Club’s burgee during the past year. In the YC Monaco’s flagship J/70 class with 17 boats flying the burgee, Ludovico Fassitelli took the honours as he did last year. He finished 3rd in the 2019/2020 Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series at the end of 20 races, 1st in the Med Cup, 7th in the Malcesine J/70 Cup, 5th in the J/70 Italian Championship and winner in the Corinthian (amateur) category. 

The coveted "YCM Sailor of the Year" 2020 award went to Lord Irving Laidlaw (Highland Fling), nominated three years in a row since 2017, for the sum of his successes in the world’s most prestigious races. He talked of his passion and what motivates him, “I like new challenges, but above all I love getting a project to work and making it a success, which is not easy. It means finding the right boat, a good crew, organizing the training sessions. Everything must dovetail to perfection. What inspires me most is winning. I love competing but I prefer winning races even more”. 

Where did Lord Laidlaw first learn how to compete at a world-class level? He sailed J/24s for nearly two decades in the United Kingdom, Italy, and across Europe.

Lord Laidlaw is not only passionate about sailing, but he is also a committed philanthropist focused on young people through his Laidlaw Foundation. This revolves around three main principles: 
  • fighting inequality and poverty through education
  • inspiring young people to believe in their potential to be tomorrow’s leaders
  • supporting young women to achieve top class business degrees and take their place in the business world. 
With the dawning of a new year, the YCM fully intends to maintain its course when it comes to innovative projects like the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge (6-10 July 2021). This annual event transforms the Club into an incubator supporting R&D in the shipping sector, stimulating the creativity of tomorrow’s engineers and professionals to devise propulsion systems using only clean energy.  For more YC Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.


J/111s sailing offshore
(Key West, Florida)- The inaugural 2021 Key West Winter Series will take place January 16-18 and then March 5-7, 2021. And, if you want to go, you need a J/111! Our hats off to Ryan and Rob Ruhlman and the entire team at SAILING INC (with J/Dealerships in Ohio and South Carolina) for pulling this together. 

When the difficult decision was made not to hold Key West Race Week in January 2018, it was a harsh blow to passionate, enthusiastic sailors from across the USA and the rest of the world that loved the amazing Caribbean-like tropical weather. It is hard to forget the roosters running amuck, the raucous night life, the amazing restaurants, and key limes in everything you eat or drink. Determined to overcome the lack of any sailing event in Key West, the Ruhlman family and SAILING INC. from Cleveland, OH decided to do something about it.  Here's an interview from Scuttlebutt Sailing Newsletter to give you a perspective. 

J/111's sailing at Key West
Where did the idea come from?
Rob Ruhlman: Key West Race Week had an epic 30 year run and being part of nearly every one of those years made it more than an annual event but a way of life. It was what January was dedicated to every year. The opportunity to reignite that flame, albeit on a much smaller scale, is worth pursuing in the hope that when properly fanned and fed the fire will once again burn brightly. The J/111 class has gotten together to organize an event this year and with the support we have and a little bit of luck, we can use this as a starting point for bigger and better events going forward.

Why Key West and not somewhere else?
Ryan Ruhlman: Key West is a signature destination in the United States, an honest-to-God tropical paradise. The opportunity to race on blue water, experience the island culture, and reconnect with our friends during the cold winter months is just too good to pass up.

J/111 sailing Key WestKey West had become less accommodating when KWRW ended. Has that changed?
Karl Felger: The City of Key West has graciously signed off on the event, and we’re going to have a lot of help from our friends and sponsors. The majority of the organized activity will be on-the-water, with our social gatherings leveraging some of the best spots in Key West. We appreciate the City of Key West’s cooperation and are happy to help support the local community and economy.

There is no infrastructure in Key West... how do you pull this off?
Karl Felger: Our goal is to provide a grand prix racing experience, while planting the seeds for the future. Our focus is on offering multiple great races each day over the two-weekend format, leveraging resources provided by the J/111 owners, and with the help of a world class PRO. We have secured the services of a full-service marina, allowing the fleet a venue to launch, haul-out, and store their boat between two events. Boat owners then have an option for dockage at any marina of their choosing.

Answering that siren song to participate across the J/111 world are the following teams; Andrew & Sedge Ward's BRAVO from Shelter Island, NY; Rod Jabin's RAMROD from Annapolis, MD; Ian Hill's SITELLA from Hampton, VA; Rob Ruhlman's SPACEMAN SPIFF from Cleveland, OH; and Marty Roesch's VELOCITY from Annapolis, MD.   Follow the J/111 class on Facebook here   For more information regards Key West Winter J/111 Series, presented by SAILING INCAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

Annapolis to Newport Race Announcement

(Annapolis, MD)- The Annapolis Yacht Club is pleased to announce the Notice of Race for the 2021 Annapolis to Newport Race has been posted and online entry is now open. This will be 38th biennial edition of the Race, which originated in 1947.  Starts will take place on Friday, June 4th and Saturday, June 5th.

In order to deal with the complications of Covid-19 we have made a few adjustments to the format:

Given current the current public health climate in Maryland and Rhode Island, we are unable to commit to the social components of the event at this time, including the pre-start All Hands Competitors’ Party at Annapolis Yacht Club, and the Hospitality Tent and Awards Party in Newport.  The resulting good news is that gives us the opportunity to significantly reduce the entry fee to a flat $700 per boat, if paid by March 15th.  By comparison, a 40’ boat paid a $1,400 entry fee in 2019.  The popular social events of the race are still on our radar and if the public health situation improves, we may be able to add some or all to the schedule. Social events will be charged on a per person basis, separately from the entry fee. 
Entry fees are fully refundable if the race is cancelled, or a boat withdraws before May 21st.
The registration process has been streamlined so that all entry requirements or paperwork can be completed online, by email or fax, so that only a quick, socially distanced visit to Annapolis Yacht Club to pick up the YB tracker will be required. 
Trophies will be awarded via a virtual Awards Presentation if we are unable to host an in-person event.
Our very popular seminar series on boat and crew preparation will be presented virtually via Zoom Webinar.  The first "What to Expect Seminar on Sails, Rigging and Electronics" is scheduled for Saturday, February 20th at 1000 EST. 
The official event site will continue to be populated with information including event partners.  At this time, we’d like to thank Spinsheet, Helly Hansen and Team One Newport for joining us again and supporting the 2021 Annapolis to Newport Race.    

In 2021, we will be offering starts for boats rated under the ORC and PHRF rules, including an ORC Double Handed division and a Classic Yacht division rated under PHRF.

Some good things remain the same:
  • As in the past several races, there will be two starts, with the slower ORC and PHRF boats and the Double Handed division starting on Friday, June 4th and the faster boats on Saturday, June 5th.
  • All boats will sail the offshore course, leaving the Chesapeake and rounding Chesapeake Light Tower.
  • We will provide a truck to transport your gear to and from Newport.
  • Arrangements have been made for discounted dockage at Newport Yachting Center.
For more Annapolis to Newport Race sailing information

Friday, January 15, 2021

St Petersburg NOOD Regatta Announcement

 J/24s sailing St Petersburg, FL

(St. Petersburg, FL)- Sailing World magazine and the St. Petersburg Yacht Club are delighted to announce the 2021 edition of the HELLY HANSEN St Petersburg NOOD Regatta will be taking place later in the spring this year- from April 2nd to 4th, 2021 in St. Petersburg, FL. 

The usual classes are invited to participate, including J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, and PHFR handicap classes. Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/  For St Petersburg NOOD Regatta registration information  For more St Petersburg NOOD Regatta sailing information

Thursday, January 14, 2021

* Love retro reviews of iconic J/Boats in the sailing world?

 J/145 racer cruiser

We will pass along some more in the next few weeks from SAILING  For this first week in January, we have Sailing founder Scot Tempesta taking you on a tour of the J/145 offshore racer cruiser.

As a quick backgrounder, the J/145 was a "follow-on" design to the famous offshore silver-winning speedster- the J/125. It was created as a request by J/Boats owners (most of whom started with the world-famous J/24) to have a "more comfortable" version of the J/125 for their family, while still having "cruise-ability". 

Well, the specification for the J/145 was a bit O.T.T. (yes, over the top). Like the J/125, it was constructed of a combination of foam core and balsa core with a combination of carbon fiber layers, vacuum-infused in triple layers (outer skin, core, inner skin). That construction specification made for a robust, strong, lightweight, amazingly quick offshore racer/cruiser.

For those who have sailed J/145s, it's an "eye-opening" experience. No one expects what looks like a family cockpit, wheel-steered, cabin with opening ports, sailboat to have a PHRF rating of -15! Seriously?

Another shocker is the interior... a REAL navigation station, a REAL J-shaped galley (offshore friendly), and enough room to sail an offshore crew in seriously comfortable Ritz-Carlton/ Peninsula Hotel comfort fashion (at least by most offshore racer standards!).

Enjoy this YouTube video tour of a nicely appointed J/145 here by Scot Tempesta from Sailing Anarchy.

J/70 North American Championship Announcement

 J/70s sailing regatta

(Annapolis, MD)- The 2021 J/70 North American Championship, hosted by the Annapolis Yacht Club (AYC), will be held May 10-15, 2021 in Annapolis, Maryland.  Registration is now open.  The event will be limited to the first 60 registered boats that are 100% paid in full.  All boats registered after the first 60 will be put on a waiting list.  The hope is that we will be able to expand the entries if pandemic-related restrictions are eased.  For more J/70 North American Championship sailing and registration information

J/70 European Championship Announcement

J/70 Europeans (Skovshoved, Copenhagen, Denmark)- The Royal Danish Yacht Club is looking forward to hosting the J/70 European Championship from June 4th to 12th, 2021. 

The event will take place at Rungsted Harbour approximately 15 km north of downtown Copenhagen. This harbour is one of 3 stations that Royal Danish YC runs. 

The RDYC has been a strong support of the growth of the Danish J/70 Sailing League and their efforts have led the way for well over eighteen sailing clubs in their small nation to participate and elevate the level of competitiveness for Danish sailors on a world-class level. The KDY/ RDYC have been able to achieve tremendous success in the SAILING Champions League in the past few years; an event that has been held at the YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy for the past few years.

As in years past, the KDY/ RDYC are anticipating up to 100 J/70 teams will be participating in the J/70 European Championships on the Baltic Sea.  For more J/70 European Championship sailing and registration information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

J/80 Worlds Announcement!

 J/80 World Championship

(Copenhagen, Denmark)- The Royal Danish Yacht Club is looking forward to hosting the J/80 World Championship in 2021 from July 3rd to 9th, 2021. J/80 sailing is a very fundamental part of the Club.

The event will take place at Rungsted Harbour approximately 15 km north of downtown Copenhagen. This harbour is one of 3 stations that RDYC runs and it is the station where the club have its J/80 fleet. So, J/80 sailing in this part of the Öresund is huge.

The event will be run as a "sustainability regatta"; meaning among other activities, that we will work hard to minimize paper and try to make as much run electronically off solar and wind power.

And, when you are not on the water, there will be a lot of social activities near the harbour. Copenhagen is fantastic in July – just to mention Tivoli, Canal Touring, Elsinore Castle, Nyhavn and Bakken. And, for those not sailing, Copenhagen shopping is world famous. Please come join us and rejoice in sailing again on the gorgeous Baltic Sea! This regatta is an "open" event, so please come one, come all! Danish hospitality is world-famous!  Register your team here on  For more 2021 J/80 World Championship sailing information

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

"Watership Down Series" Announcement

J/24 arizona (Phoenix, Arizona)- This year long regatta has been designed to provide sailors of all skill levels a different approach to utilizing their skills and competition on the water.  Though not a normal part of a Notice of Race, and before diving into the Sailing Instructions, this is meant to give an overview of the event and explain the “why” behind many of its aspects.
  • The races will be distance races, therefore, one race per day.
  • Registrants will enter as Co-Skipper teams and must share the helm pro-rata.
  • Throw-outs, if any, must follow the pro-rata skipper ratio.
  • Rating bonuses and penalties will be done on a percentage basis, not a fixed amount, in order to maintain a level playing field across all boats.
  • The short-handed aspect goes for competitors and Race Committee, thus the Rabbit Start.
  • The short-handed idea goes for both skill and our social distancing guidelines.
  • Regarding social distancing, we have noticed, through conversations and social media, that most folks have started hanging out in small, contained groups again, and from what we can tell, most groups resemble their crews.  - The entire crew may not be there, but a partial crew is, thus, the short-handed structure.
  • Pay attention to the allowed number of crew per LOA of the boat being sailed as there are both penalties and bonuses related to this.
  • Pay attention to the Rabbit changing every race and the rules surrounding the Rabbit.
  • Throw-outs come at the very end, so this series will not be decided until the very end.
  • Building on this, pay attention to DNCs being registrants plus one, not competitors plus one.
  • Understand the age bonuses, both young and old!
  • Please note that the team registers, not a boat.  
  • The team may race different boats every race per skipper availability, crew availability, etc. 
  • If you want to participate but do not have a boat, let us know. We have quite a few!
J/24 arizonaThe underlying idea is simple – come race, different boat, different crew, different helmsman, different approach on any given day.

Victor and his friends at TILLER & KITES have a number of beautifully restored J/24s to sail- all pretty bright pink!  

For more Watership Down Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/45 Offshore Cruising Yacht Update!

 J/45 offshore cruising yacht

(Les Sables d'Olonne, France)- Dreaming of expanding your cruising horizons across the Seven Seas? Why not in the NEW J/45 offshore sailing yacht! Work is proceeding swiftly on this exciting new world cruiser in France.

J/45 resin infusion hull video
Watch this amazing time-lapse video of the first J/45 hull being resin-infused under vacuum pressure at J/Composites in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. 

Learn more about the revolutionary vacuum resin-infusion system and watch J/Composite’s Fred Bouvier explain (in French with English subtitles) how it all works.
J/45 resin infusion system

Learn more about the new J/45 offshore sailing yacht here.

Monday, January 11, 2021

J/9 Daysailer Update!

 J/9 daysailer hull plug

(Newport, RI)- If the huge buzz of J/9 activity is any indication, the demand for modern, comfortable daysailers is back! Not since the daysailer boom of 2003-2008 have we seen such strong interest. The J/9 announcement has generated more inquiries in three weeks than even the J/70 in 2011!

J/9 Tooling Update

The beautifully faired and finished J/9 hull plug was recently completed at Symmetrix Composite Tooling, and the hull mold is well underway and on target to complete at CCF Composites. Hull #1 is on schedule to mold in January. The deck plug is in the final fairing and finishing stage at Symmetrix and is due for final nonskid application in early January.

J/9 deck tooling plug
Both Al and Jeff Johnstone of J/Boats and members of the Symmetrix Team (ranging in height from 5’4” – 6’2”) tested out the cockpit seating and walk-through transom. The forward corner seats offer J/122E-like protection behind the cabin. With the tiller extension, you can steer the boat from the front of the cockpit, under the dodger, and reach all the controls – perfect if having to sail in adverse weather. The aft corner seats are equally as comfy, and the cockpit coamings are the perfect height for arm rests. The addition of dedicated cockpit drains enables the main cockpit floor to be lower to provide more comfortable, deeper seating and better bracing while standing and steering.

Fun J/9 FAQs

Following are some follow-up questions that have come in since the J/9 announcement.

Can I add an auto-pilot to the J/9? 
Yes, either an above deck or below decks auto pilot can be installed aftermarket.

Why are the jib tracks on the cabin top and not the side deck? 
We learned from the J/99 that the optimal upwind jib lead sheeting angles are generally between 8 and 9 degrees depending on the wind strength and sea state. But to do that on the J/99 (and most other boats) one must rig in-haulers. The J/9 gets rid of all that clutter with jib tracks installed on an 8.5 degree sheeting angle with easy trimming right to the cabin top winches. Tacking between cabin top winches is much easier than primary winches (no scrambling across the cockpit needed). This one, small change significantly cleans up the side decks.

How does the mainsheet system work? 
This is the first J with the primary mainsheet purchase at the end of the boom and the sheet tail coming out mid-boom into the cockpit near the tiller. Instead of a bulky traveler with cars, blocks, purchase, control lines, etc. the J/9 will have a mainsheet purchase that floats on a double Dyneema strop. For 90% of one’s daysailing needs, the double strop attaches to a centerline pad-eye aft of the tiller (much like leaving a traditional traveler centered). Then for the occasional times one wants to optimize centerline boom sheeting, each strop can be quickly moved outboard to a pad-eye (P&S) to create a triangle bridle – similar to the set-up seen on the Olympic 470 and 49er. This is another solution that visually reduces clutter, simplifies sailing, and doesn’t give away performance.

What size outboard do you recommend? 
The ideal outboard for the J/9 will be a 6HP. A 5HP could be sufficient in protected waters without strong tides. The final design for the outboard bracket is in process and will include a tilt-up position so the outboard can remain on the transom while sailing.

Can you tell us more about the electric inboard option? 
We’re reviewing several electric options including a new product coming online in 2021 from our long-time diesel engine supplier Mack-Boring. We’re not able to share specifics yet, but are planning to test out a system on hull #1, before signing off on the final option.

Will there be a bow sprit option? 
The J/9 is designed for main-only or main & jib-only sailing, but we will be offering a sprit option for those wanting to fly an overlapping A-Sail. We are finalizing the design for a 2-3’ fixed carbon sprit option that matches the bow profile of the boat (similar to the J/99) and that will be packaged with all the necessary rigging and blocks. This option will be available to add aftermarket.  For more J/9 daysailer sailing information