Saturday, January 30, 2021


Ding Schoonmaker sailor(Naples, FL)- Bob Johnstone provided us some perspective on Ding's recent passing down in Naples, Florida:

"Ding and I raced against each other as teenagers in Lightnings on Little Narragansett Bay back in the 50s. Ding in Watch Hill and me in Stonington. Twenty-two years later in 1973, when Ding was NAYRU’s Director of Junior Sailing, he was able to persuade a fairly reactionary NAYRU Board of Directors to approve placing the “United States” label on an unproven invitational youth regatta to be called- U.S. Youth Championship! His friend (me!) was proposing the first regatta take place out in the boonies of the Midwest - Wilmette, IL.  That wasn’t an easy process to get "approval".

Back then, NAYRU (North American Yacht Racing Union) was mostly an Eastern establishment. Ding thus played a major role in the birth of that first United States Youth Championship at the Sheridan Shore YC in Lasers and 470s, bringing youth under 19 years of age together from all over the country. For this and his many other contributions, the sport and about 5,000 Youth Champs alumni owe Ding a huge debt of gratitude. Mary’s and my prayers go out to his wife Treecie and Ding’s many sailing friends worldwide."

How influential was the nascent US Youth Champs? Over the past 47+ years, it has helped create multiple World, North American, National, and European Champions, along with a number of Olympic Medallists. You may notice a number of America's leading sailors in this list:

Ed Adams, Tom Barrows, Steve Benjamin, JB Braun, Carl Buchan, Bruce & Glenn Burton, Andy Campbell, Amanda Clark, Peter Commette, Augie Diaz, Mark Foster, Neal Fowler, Kelly Gough, Bill Hardesty, Stan Honey, Peter Isler, Stu, Drake & Peter Johnstone, Brian Keane, Gary Knapp, Mark Laura, Pete Levesque, Tom Lihan, Andy & John Lovell, Chris Maas, Jonathan & Charlie McKee, Stu McNay, Pete Melvin, Andy Menkart, Stew & Terry Neff, Bruce Nelson, Dave Perry, Nat Philbrick, Chris Raab, Buzz Reynolds, Nevin Sayre, Russ Silvestri, Bob & Tom Whitehurst, Scott Young. An impressive list of sailors (if I missed anyone, please don't shoot the messenger). 

Yet another long-time friend of both J/Boats and Ding- Gary Jobson- wrote a nice tribute to him that appeared in Scuttlebutt Sailing News:

"One of America’s sailing heroes, James “Ding” Schoonmaker II, 87, passed away January 19 in Naples, Florida. His wife, Treecie, noted he had been feeling well until just two days ago, ultimately succumbing to lung cancer.

Ding, as his friends referred to him, was a Star Class World Champion and served as a Vice President of World Sailing, the international governing body of the sport.

He was a long-time steward of the sport of sailing and a generous supporter of the US Sailing Foundation, the National Sailing Hall of Fame, the United States Olympic Sailing Team, and the US Sailing Training Center in Miami, Florida.

At the 1975 Star World Championship, President Gerald Ford was invited by Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley to welcome the 73 crews and guests to the Windy City. Said President Ford to the gathering, “One skipper and crew in particular has caught my eye, and I would like them to stand up and take a bow– the skipper of Star 5607, Ding Schoonmaker and his very talented and capable crew – Jerry Ford!”

Everyone got a good laugh, and Ding and Jerry Ford (the sailor) must have been inspired because they went on to win the 1975 Star World Championship.

Two years later, Ding returned to the Star Worlds with a new crew who wanted to get acquainted with the class, and learn from the master. The 47-year-old crew was named, Buddy Melges! Buddy must have learned a lot from Ding, because he went on to win the Star Worlds in 1978 and 1979.

Born June 10, 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, his name comes from his Grandfather, of the same name, who was a Medal of Honor recipient in the Civil War. Ding’s first race was in 1944 at the age of eleven off Watch Hill, RI. He spent his summers in Watch Hill and winters in Florida over the past 87 years.

Ding started out in the Star Class as a crew for Olympian Jack Price in 1946. He remarked during an interview for the National Maritime Historical Society in 2019, “I immediately fell in love with the boat. From the beginning I liked the class organization, the accomplished sailors who raced the boat, and the challenge to win.”

At the age of 19, he placed second in the Olympic Trials in the Star Class and was named the team’s alternate in Helsinki. He earned that honor again in 1964 at the Games in Tokyo. Along the way, Ding won World, North American, South American, Western Hemisphere, and European Championships in the Star Class. In 1962, following the Cuban revolution, he worked with Tito Bacardi and Frank Zagarino to move the Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta to Biscayne Bay off Miami, where it is still raced today.

In 1971, he raced with another Star World Champion, Joe Duplin, as his crew at an Olympic Classes regatta in Kiel, Germany. Ding noted, “It blew very hard the entire week. Thanks to Joe, we won every race.”

Ding was named US Yachtsman of the Year in 1971 for that accomplishment and a long list of other victories that year. In addition to racing a Star at a high level, he also raced Thistles, Flying Dutchman, Herreshoff 12 1/2s, X Dinghies, Finns, Lasers, and Soling’s (he placed third in the first World Championship in 1969).

In 1968, he was asked to join a committee working on class measurement and development issues for the International Yacht Racing Union (now World Sailing). Ding learned the value of service and how it translated into improving his beloved sport. He was a Board member on the US Yacht Racing Union (now US Sailing) and would serve on several international committees. He was elected to serve on the Board of IRYU for 14 years (1986-1994 and 1998-2004).

Ding observed that sailing has changed a lot over his lifetime. “One of the best changes is modern technology, but one of the worst is the high costs associated with Grand Prix racing. Unfortunately, the Olympics has become an arms race for some of the affluent nations.”

He added, “Talent and ability win medals. Sailing is a sport you can compete in for many years.” Looking toward the future he suggested, “I would like to see the sport like it was 25 years ago. Promote the fleet, club, recreational sailing, and racing. We need to keep grass roots (sailing) and club racing active. Also, we need to encourage young sailors to remain in the sport.”

For his distinguished career, he was awarded the Nathanael Greene Herreshoff Award, US Sailing’s highest honor, in 1988 and the Beppe Croce Award, World Sailing’s highest honor in 2011. In 2018 he was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame and in 2019 he was presented the Distinguished Service Award by the National Maritime Historical Society.

Notable among all of his philanthropic work was creating the US Sailing Center in Miami in 1987, establishing the World Youth Sailing Trust to help aspiring sailors in emerging countries and creating the US Sailing Foundation in 1990.

Ding Schoonmaker has been an important counselor to the leaders of the sport both in the United States, and throughout the world for decades. He will be missed, while his lifelong work will serve as enduring legacy for sailors in the USA and around the world." Again, thanks to Gary Jobson from Annapolis, Maryland for this tribute. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Awesome Family Sailing on J/35c

J/35c Blue Knight offshore(Rochester, NY)- The summer of 2020 was challenging for sailors on Lake Ontario. The Canada/ USA boarder closure prevented cross-lake travel. Many friends were left stranded on their side of the lake.

The area’s Regional Sailing Association (RSA) is Lake Yacht Racing Association that holds an annual regatta. Clubs from Canada and the USA make up the LYRA. Due to Covid restrictions, the usual regatta was cancelled. LYRA organizers instead created a handful of one race events all held on August 1st, both in the US and Canada.

LYRA organized a race from Rochester to Pultneyville and return, approximately 38.0nm. Eighteen boats from Rochester Yacht Club and Genesee Yacht Club participated in the race. BLUE KNIGHT, a 1992 J/35c from Sodus Bay Yacht Club also competed.

BLUE KNIGHT was built for Peter Pape of the Rochester Yacht Club. In 1994, Peter met Hank Stuart and the two began a lifelong friendship centered on racing BLUE KNIGHT on Lake Ontario. They also traveled with their team to events outside of the US, including Antigua Race Week in 1995.

The pinnacle of their efforts was Lake Ontario Boat of the Year honor in 2002, which offered them a chance to represent US Sailing Area E at the 2003 US Sailing Offshore National Championships (the Lloyd Phoenix Trophy) at the US Naval Academy. They won! The first and only time so far that Area E has won the national title.

Hank Stuart sailing his J/35c offshoreThe team was mixed, four men and four women. Hank Stuart (skipper), Mary Stuart, Mark Sertl, Annemarie Cook, Michael and Kristin Carbone, Michele Villani and Peter Pape. US Naval Academy Midshipman Evan Scott completed the crew.

The following summer 2004, BLUE KNIGHT was again named Lake Ontario Boat of the Year. In the years since she has continued to have a fun and successful cruising/racing career on Lake Ontario.

While not having raced as much in the past three or four years, the team dusted off their sunglasses and made their way to Rochester for the LYRA race on August 1, 2020.

The race started in a light southeasterly breeze, which persistently clocked to the right. By afternoon the northeast thermal had filled in and the fleet was hard on the wind for the leg to Pultneyville.

Once around the turning mark it was a reach, then run back to the bar at Rochester YC. BLUE KNIGHT had not lost her stride, she won her class and was best in fleet. The crew during COVID times was small, including Hank Stuart (skipper, now owner), Annemarie Cook, Michael and Kristin Carbone, their daughter Makyala, and Peter Pape.

The J/35c is an easily-sailed cruiser-racer. Both Hank and Peter commented on the balance between comfortable shorthanded sailing and a hull design that is easy to feel and make necessary adjustments for maximum efficiency while racing.

For most of the 2020 summer, Hank sailed BLUE KNIGHT singlehanded. But, don’t think that means he did not fly the spinnaker, because he did! 

Thanks for this story from Hank Stuart. Hank is a member at Sodus Bay Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, St Francis Yacht Club, Bayview Yacht Club, Storm Trysail Club, Oswego Yacht Club and is Commodore of the Rochester Corinthian Yacht Club. When not sailing he provides race management services to sailors around the world. He is an International Race Officer. J/Boats sailors would have seen Hank most recently as PRO for the J/70 World Championship.

We wish BLUE KNIGHT continued success on the race course and fair winds wherever she goes cruising with family and friends.  For more J/35c sailboat information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


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 Add to Flipboard Magazine.


 J/111s sailing off Key West, FL

(Key West, Florida)- The inaugural 2021 Key West Winter Series took place January 16-18 off Key West, Florida. Thanks to the efforts of Ryan and Rob Ruhlman and the entire team at SAILING INC (with J/Dealerships in Ohio and South Carolina) for pulling this together. 

J/111 winter series off Key West, FL
The five-boat fleet were chomping on their bits and could not wait to get back down to Key West and do some sailing in the gorgeous aquamarine waters and mild 70's temperatures with plenty of sun! They were not disappointed, as Key West delivered on some great sailing in the race course area just 2.0 miles southwest of Key West Harbor. 

After a thrilling, fun-filled three days of racing offshore, the regatta PRO Mark Foster managed to run a tight series of races, completing eight races by Sunday afternoon. 

J/111 Ramrod sailing Key West Winter Series
A well-known Chesapeake Bay sailor who has several offshore and World Championship titles to his name managed to win in his inaugural debut in the J/111 class. Rod Jabin's crew on RAMROD took the first J/111 Key West Winter Series event with the stunning record of three 1sts, four 2nds, and a 4th for total of 15 pts. While the RAMROD crew mastered their boat and the conditions, showing their transom to the fleet most of the time, behind them it was anything but clear which teams would make the podium. Sailing perhaps one of their best regattas in recent years was Andy and Sedge Ward's BRAVO posting five races in the top three and winning the last race to cement their hold on the silver. Finishing just four points behind them was another Chesapeake Bay team on Marty Roesch's VELOCITY, posting six races in the top three to take the bronze. 

The next regatta in Key West will be sailed on March 5th to 7th, 2021. 

Follow the J/111 class on Facebook here   For more information regards Key West Winter J/111 Series, presented by SAILING INC 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021


J/45 hull demolding
(Les Sables d'Olonne, France)- This past week, the team at J/Composites in Les Sables d'Olonne, France is proud to present the first hull "out-of-the-box" of the brand-new J/45 offshore cruising yacht.  

Designed to be a comfortable offshore greyhound, the J/45 design is reminiscent of the remarkable heritage of J/Boats offshore cruising yachts of the past, such as the J/145, J/160, and J/65. Clean, crisp lines, fine entry, forgiving hull shape, and flat exit off the stern quarters all point to a cruising yacht that will reel-off the miles offshore, wherever the heart desires. 

J/45 offshore cruising yacht transom
Fulfill that dream, escape to world's unknown. As Sarah Frances Brown once said, "twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover!"  Learn more about the new J/45 offshore cruising yacht here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, January 25, 2021


J/9 daysailer hull mold
(Newport, RI)- The J/9 hull mold was recently completed at CCF Composites and is now being waxed in preparation for the molding of hull #1 next week. In the picture, the contrasting boot stripe can be seen as well as the insert for the rudder post/bearing. The hull stripe is 100% flush with the hull surface so that the finished molded boot-stripe will also be flush with no marks visible. A separate transom mold fits on the back of the hull mold and is precisely aligned with 6 round keyways.

J/9 deck plug

Deck Plug Update

Symmetrix Composite Tooling recently applied a custom-mixed nonskid to all the horizontal surfaces of the J/9 deck and cockpit. Four different nonskid samples were tooled up, with molds taken from each and subsequent parts molded and tested, before the winner was selected. Symmetrix is now adding the final finishing touches to the deck plug before it is transported to CCF later this week. 

J/9 Specification Update

With the North American sailboat market recently importing more new sailboats than building domestically, we set out to reverse that trend with the J/9. Most of the content and key J/9 components are being supplied and supported by North American companies with extensive J/Boats experience.

Composite Materials

Quality composite construction starts with high-quality composite materials. The J/9 composites are sourced through Composites One, the largest North American distributor, whose regional office/warehouse is nearby in Bristol, Rhode Island. The fiberglass used in molding the J/9 is manufactured by Vectorply in Phenix City, Alabama. The Corecell core is produced by Gurit in Quebec, and the resins are made by AOC Resins from their facilities in Tennessee and Ontario.

J/9 keel profile

J/9 Keel

A key contributor to J/9’s exceptional stability is the all-lead, L-shaped, low VCG (vertical center-of-gravity) keel featuring a foil-shaped, wedge bulb that increases stability (vs. conventional keels) without increasing draft. The modest 4.9’ draft allows the J/9 to sail in most areas, and an optional 3.9’ shoal keel is available for even skinnier water access. The J/9 keels are being produced at Broomfield & Son in Rhode Island.

J/9 sailplan

Jib Furling System

The J/9 design philosophy of keeping things simple is carried through to the sailing hardware and systems. In-deck jib furlers might look great, but for less weight, less cost, easier maintenance and much less friction, nothing beats a high quality above-deck furler like the Mark IV Unit 0 from Harken, Inc. of Pewaukee, WI.

J/9 Spar Package

After carefully considering several spar options, Sparcraft USA (Charlotte, NC) was chosen to supply the J/9’s spar package. The Sparcraft extrusions (mast and boom sections) match the J/9’s performance profile, and the company’s ability to anodize and powder coat the spars provides the most durable painted finish available.  For more J/9 Daysailer information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, January 24, 2021


J/70s sailing off Monte Carlo, Monaco
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- For the start of its eighth season, the Monaco J/70 Winter Series had twenty-one teams participating from Monaco, Switzerland, Italy, and France! As usual, the Yacht Club de Monaco rolled out the red carpet for the happy and enthusiastic J/70 teams, hosting a wonderful event despite all of the precautions put in place for Covid virus mitigation. 

Like their compatriots in the USA, the Mediterranean Sea also delivered relatively light weather for the duration of the three-day series. In the end, the YC Monaco PRO managed complete a five-race series.

J/70s sailing off Monte Carlo, Monaco
The fleet was deeply talented, including the past three-time European J/70 Champion- Italian Claudia Rossi's famous PETITE TERRIBLE- ADRIA FERRIES. Hopping aboard her boat with her familiar crew must have sent chills down the spines of the other top tacticians and skippers. Not surprisingly, it was pretty clear after the first day that Claudia had not lost her form, taking a 1-2 to easily lead the fleet. Thereafter, she posted a 1-7-5 to win the regatta with just 9 pts.  

Swiss sailor, Thomas Studer, started off slowly on the first day, then quickly made the necessary adjustments with his crew to sail smarter and faster the rest of the regatta. Studer's JERRY posted a 6-8-2-2-1 tally for a total of 11 net pts, nearly catching Rossi's PETITE TERRIBLE in the end. Sailing consistently from start to finish with all top 6 finishes was Giangiacomo Serena Di Lapigio's G-SPOT, posting a 4-6-4-5-3 tally for 16 pts net. 

Winning the Corinthians Division was Thomas Studer's JERRY. The balance of the podium was determined by a tie-breaker at 23 pts each. Taking the silver based on the countback was Ludovico Fassitelli's JUNDA- BANCO DEL SEMPIONE from Monaco. As a result, Cesare Gabasio's TINN J70 took the bronze medal. 

The next regatta will take place in Monte Carlo on February 4th to 7th, 2021. For more YC Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Load Data is Key When Racing One-Design

SmartTune readout(Southampton, England)- One-design racing is all about those tiny margins when gaining and losing positions in a race. A skipper that knows this better than most is Tony Mack who retained the J/111 National Championship and was awarded the J-Cup at the helm of McFly back in September last year. Cyclops Marine proudly sponsored the event and gifted the winner of the J-Cup a SmartTune load sensor.

Cyclops were excited that Tony should be the recipient of the device, not just as a worthy winner after his crew’s performance, but because they knew that he was a competitor who would get the most out of it. The owner of McFly is well respected not just for being fast on the water, but for the effort and diligence put in in preparation and fine tuning.

Tony Mack- owner of J/111 McFly“As with our J/111 one-design class the margins are very close, technology that can help us go a little faster can be invaluable”.

McFly leaves nothing to chance, because their skipper knows what all the best do: that you can always get faster, tighten those margins and know more about your boat – that resting on your laurels is the first step toward letting your upper-hand slip.

“Last year we lost a Cowes Week race by just 12 seconds after almost 5 hours sailing. Having been able to test SmartTune we can already see that it is an essential product that will provide us with the next competitive edge”. 

Easily swapping in for existing turnbuckle (forestay/backstay/shrouds/diagonals), the device sends live lSmartTune on J/111 headstayoad data to your phone via the SmartFittings manager app, and to existing on-board displays, allowing you to learn your fastest settings, set up to match them, make real time adjustments to conditions, and see immediate results in the numbers – finding that winning gear time and time again.

The app also logs data integrated with GPS, ready for export to sailing analytics software – maximizing the value of time spent in training and taking post-race analysis to new levels of detail. (Unsurprisingly) this excited McFly’s owner: 

“During the winter we are looking forward to developing our base setting numbers and continual improvement through the 2021 race season to hit our fast numbers quicker and more reliably.”   Learn more about the SmartTune Load sensor here Add to Flipboard Magazine.


 J/70s sailing Biscayne Bay off Miami, FL

Miami, FL- Hosted principally by the Bacardi Event management team and Shake-A-Leg Miami's beautiful facilities in Coconut Grove (Miami), Florida, the second of the three event Bacardi Winter Series will be taking place this weekend from January 22nd to 24th, 2021.  

The forecast continues to improve for the weekend for the twenty J/70 teams that are entered from around the world. There are teams from Germany, Brazil, Cayman Islands, and USA. 

The first regatta in mid-December was nearly washed out due to no wind...a single, very marginal, race was held for the highly competitive fleet.  No question, everyone is looking forward to the classic breezes from the southeast that Biscayne Bay is famous for this coming weekend.  

By J/70 standards, the small fleet is deeply laden with talent across the board, counting well over two-dozen World Champions in various classes amongst them. Some teams that may be at the top of the leaderboard include Joel Ronning's CATAPULT (with Erik Shampain & Morgan Reeser on speed/tactics), Germany's Mike Illbruck on PINTA (including famous tactician John Kostecki), Peter Cunningham's POWERPLAY from the Cayman Islands, John Brim's RIMETTE (with Zeke Horowitz on tactics), Pam Rose's ROSEBUD (with Bill Hardesty on tactics), Steve Benjamin's SAINT (with 2 World Champion tacticians aboard- Al Terhune & Chris Larson), Ryan McKillen's SURGE (with Lucas Calabrese & John Wallace on speed/ tactics), Dave Janetti's VERY ODD (with Travis Odenbach on tactics), Buddy Cribb's VICTORY (with Greiner Hobbs & Malcolm Lamphere on speed/tactics), and Doug Newhouse's YONDER (with Jeremy Wilmot & Tomas Dietrich on speed/ tactics). That is a breath-taking collection of smart, fast sailors on those teams.  For more Bacardi Winter Series II sailing information

Friday, January 22, 2021


J/92 sailing Key West Race
(Fort Lauderdale, FL)- The third event of the 2020-21 SORC Islands in the Stream Series, the 2021 Lauderdale to Key West Race, got underway today with a slow, light winds forecast for the 155 nm course. The 31 entrants are competing in four ORC divisions, PHRF, and Multihull. The four J/Crews are making tracks down the Florida Keys, right-turn signal blinking the entire way! 

You can watch their progress with the Kattack Tracker, click here and cheer on your buddies

Want to watch the weather in Key West and wish you were there? Check out the Key West Harbor webcam here   Follow the race here on the SORC Sailing Facebook page   For more Key West Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

"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.