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J/22s sailing upwindJ/22 Worlds Preview
(Travemunde, Germany)- Imagine, you awake from a horn, hear the seagulls that follow a fishing boat and the leaves sweep in the wind. After a short swim in the Baltic Sea and a breakfast with your sailing tribe, you rig your J into ready-to-race-mode and relax under the sun. After 3 exhausting races in 14 kts breeze, you drink a beer at the pier and you could not turn away your eyes from the amazing pictures of the day. Right next to you the German J/22 Class President is trying to draw a perfect freezing cold German beer!  Are you hallucinating by now?  Perhaps not.

The slogan for this year’s J/22 Worlds is “to our guests, with friends”.  Of course, unfortunately, the German sailors cannot affect the weather conditions, but we hope for a good breeze and sunshine.

Travemünde Week is one of the biggest sailing events in Germany with more than 1,600 sailors from all over the world and some other sailing classes will have their championships during that week.  Most importantly, the docks for the J/22 class are located directly in front of the big Travemünde promenade. J/22 sailors will have a tent available for the whole week, located close to the pier.

The forty-four J/22 teams from six countries registered are looking forward to the extraordinary hospitality offered by the Travemünder Woche team.  Germany, Netherlands, France, Canada, Cayman Islands, and USA all have top teams that hope to make their mark in the 2015 edition of one of the world’s most popular international offshore keelboat classes.  From the host country Germany, teams like Bernhard Becht’s BEBE, Christian Fliegel’s JAZZ, Christian Rieckborn’s JOLLY JUMPER, Martin Menzner’s JABULANI, and Sven Hartog’s MOJO4ROOKIES should be factors in the overall leaderboard.

The Netherlands are well represented with Lisanne Nijdam’s BIG ROLL/ TU DELF BROACH BERING, Jean-Michel Lautier’s FRAPORITA, and Tim van Batenburg’s DJINN.

Other top teams that have been at the forefront of major J/22 events includes Patrick Huet’s EUROPEAN HOMES from France, Mike Farrington’s JUST LEAVING from the Cayman Islands (third in the 2014 J/22 Worlds), and Chris Doyle’s THE JUG 41 from Youngstown YC in Youngstown, New York.  Formore J/22 Worlds sailing information


J/111s sailing Chicago-Mac raceChicago Mackinac Race Preview
(Chicago, IL)- With 324 boats participating in the 333 mile (289nm) journey from Chicago to Mackinac Island this year, the 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Wintrust, starts on Saturday, July 11th in the afternoon.  The weather forecast certainly won’t present any records for the big boats.  A warmish southerly flow with the chance of thunderstorms and dense fog going up into the northern portions of the lake will make for an interesting experience for navigators.

The J contingent should enjoy the light to moderate conditions since it will have a lot of reaching and VMG sailing; in particular for the asymmetric boats.

With eleven J/111s sailing one-design, the fleet may yet again set the pace for the top 20 overall in the ORC Division.  In the last three Mac Races, just about the entire J/111 fleet occupied most of the top 20 slots.  Most of the top boats from both the Mac Races and the J/111 North Americans will be participating, including HOBGOBLIN from South Shore YC, IMPULSE, KASHMIR, LUCKY DUBIE, and NO SURPRISE.

The J/109 fleet has nine boats participating this year.  What they lack in numbers is made up by the fact that it’s a very competitive fleet.  The leading boats should include CALLISTO from Chicago YC, FULL TILT from Columbia YC, MOMENTUS from Columbia YC, NORTHSTAR from Chicago YC and SLAPSHOT II from Chicago YC.

Chicago Mackinac Race courseThe J/105 class has yet another enormous turnout of twenty-two boats this year.  Many of the Great Lakes top boats are in the mix, including CREATIVE DESTRUCTION from Little Traverse YC, PTERODACTYL from Grosse Pointe YC, Sandy’s ROCKING HORSE from Chicago YC, THE ASYLUM from Chicago YC and the Petkus’ VYTIS.

The Level 35 class has six J/35s participating including known rock stars like TOUCH OF GREY, HAT TRICK and ALPHA PUPPY.

In the Chicago-Mac Trophy division Section 2 are two J/145s- MAIN STREET from Port Washington YC and VORTICES from Bayview YC.  In Section 3 are three J/130s (SALSA from Chicago Corinthian YC, WILLIE J from Macatawa Bay YC and EDGE from Milwaukee YC) and two J/133s (RENEGADE from Columbia YC and SIROCCO 3 from Chicago YC).  The J/120s and J/122s will certainly have a royal battle for class honors in Section 4.  Leading the J/122s could be the overall and class Chicago-Mac winner, Mitch Padnos’ SUFFICIENT REASON from Macatawa Bay YC.  They will be up against two other J/122s, EVVAI from Marquette YC and GOTTA WANTA from Grand Traverse YC.  The three J/120s are JAHAZI, MAZAL TOV and PERVERSION.

In the Mackinac Cup Division, sailing Section 6 are three super-fast J/88s- Rich Stearns’ HOKEY SMOKE, RAMBLER and SLOT MACHINE from Columbia YC.  Taking them on will be the J/100 BARRACUDA, the J/33 RETRIEVER, the J/35 BOZOS CIRCUS, and the J/92 CYCLONE.  For more Chicago Mackinac Race sailing information


Transpac Race 2015Transpac Race Preview
(Los Angeles, CA)- On Saturday, July 11th, the Transpacific Yacht Club will host the Aloha Send-Off Party in the band shell next to Gladstone’s Restaurant, located at 330 South Pine Avenue in Long Beach. The party, which is presented by Gladstone’s Restaurant, one of Transacts major sponsors, looks out onto Rainbow Harbor which will see many of the competitors docked in prior to their start.

Then, on July 13th the first of the three starts takes place.  First off to Honolulu on the classic 2,225nm race will be Division 7 with four J teams sailing- Yasuhide Kobayashi’s J/120 JULIAN from Zushi Marina YC in Japan; Ed Sanford’s J/105 CREATIVE from San Diego YC; the Jorgensen Brothers’ J/133 PICANTE from Los Angeles YC and Paul Stemier’s J/44 PATRIOT from Newport Harbor YC.  On the same start in Division 8 will Robert Pace’s J/46 ANDIAMO Coronado Racing Association.

Three days later, Division 4 takes off on July 16th with three J/125s vying for offshore bragging rights with these rocketships.  The trio includes Greg Slyngstad’s HAMACHI, Tim Fuller’s RESOLUTE and Viggo Torbenson’s TIMESHAVER.  For more Transpac Race sailing information


J/109 sailing Lake OntarioLake Ontario 300 Race Preview
(Mississauga, Ontario, Canada)- Starting July 11th, Saturday, the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge is the premier offshore race on Lake Ontario, and it provides a challenging circumnavigation of the lake. A group of double handed racers originally developed the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge as the ultimate double-handed challenge in 1990 and it still remains the longest annual fresh water race.  The Main Duck Island course is 300nm and starts at PCYC. It includes mark roundings at Gibraltar, the Main Duck Islands, Ford Shoal, Niagara R2 and finishes back at PCYC.

Sailing this year’s Main Duck Island Course in IRC 2 Class is Leszek Siek’s J/35 JAEGER from Port Credit YC.  In the PHRF 1, class is Murray Gainer’s J/109 LIVELY and Graham Toms’ J/120 THE CAT CAME BACK.  Two J/105s are sailing in PHRF 3 class, Geoff Clarke’s CASUAL ELEGANCE and Tom Accardo’s SOTTOVENTO.  They are joined by Bonnie Rieb’s J/33 DAYBREAK from Toronto.

This year, LO300 racers will proudly share their waters with the sailing events of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games that will be taking place in the Toronto Inner Harbour and just south of the Toronto Islands in July.

As a result, LO300 organizers are adjusting the initial part of both courses for 2015, removing Gibraltar as a mark and adding a mark offshore, southeast of the start, to be left to port – and a fresh new angle to think about as you plan your race strategy.  For more Lake Ontario 300 Race sailing information


J/70 sailing San DiegoJ/World J/70 Workshop
(San Diego, CA)- Prior to the J/70 North Americans in San Diego, a sailing workshop will be held featuring special guest instructor and J/70 expert Willem Van Waay. In a hot fleet like this, learn from the hottest crew in the 70 class.  In a fleet this competitive, you really need every advantage.  That’s why we here at J/World have put together the ultimate coaching team to get you up to speed.  Willem Van Waay was a regular staffer at J/World San Diego until he went pro.  Now, after a number of World and National titles, we are excited to have him back on our team for a couple of special J/70 workshops.  And trust us, this is the guy you want to listen to.  Not only did he get 2nd in the inaugural J/70 Worlds in 2014, he has been on so many of the fleet-domination boats that its tough too keep track of (and, yes, he did win that 83 boat fleet in Charleston— – by 17 points!!).  Nobody, knows the J70 as well as he does…  and he is a phenomenal coach to boot.  Add to this our top tier J/World coaching staff, and you have a couple of events that you do not want to miss.   No matter who you are, going to get faster in these clinics.

The clinics will be August 28-30 and September 4-6.  Four boats only in each session.  Individuals or full teams may attend.  Charter boats available.    More J/World J/70 workshop information here.


J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide

The past week has seen a lot of activity taking place worldwide in both Europe and the Americas.  In the northeast, one of the classic offshore ocean races took place, the often challenging Marblehead to Halifax Race.  Never a simple, straightforward race, it’s often fraught with fog, tides, and light airs.  This year was no different.

Over in Europe, two enormous events are taking place in the one-design world.  The J/80 Worlds started on Tuesday in Travemunde, Germany and the fleet has faced a wide variety of conditions from light air to “sending it down the mineshaft” winds gusting up to 30 knots.  Then, over in France the J/70s are sailing their World Championships in La Rochelle and have had “classic” weather conditions that the bay is renowned for- WNW winds of 10-15 kts starting around 1300 hours in the afternoon.

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page!  Below are the summaries.


Regatta & Show Schedules:

Jun 26-Jul 5- Delta Week 2015- Grevelingen, The Netherlands
Jun 27-29- J/80 Pornic Cup- Pornic, France
Jun 28- Rolex Trans-Atlantic Race- Newport, RI
Jul 4-10- J/80 World Championship- Kiel, Germany
Jul 5- Marblehead- Halifax Race- Marblehead, MA
Jul 6-11- J/70 World Championship- La Rochelle, France
Jul 9-12- J/24 Irish Easterns- Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Jul 10-26- J/24 Pan Am Games- Toronto, ONT, Canada
Jul 10-12- J/70 Pacific Coast Championship- San Francisco, CA
Jul 10- RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race- Cowes, England
Jul 11- Chicago-Mackinac Island Race- Chicago, IL
Jul 11-19- Larchmont Race Week- Larchmont, NY
Jul 11-12- Fiesta Cup Regatta (J70, J105)- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 11-14- Lake Ontario 300 Race- Mississauga, ONT, Canada
Jul 13- Transpac Race- Los Angeles, CA
Jul 23-26- J/70 New England Championship- Marblehead, MA
Jul 23-26- Helley Hansen Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 25-26- J/105 Great Lakes Championship- Youngstown, NY

For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.


J/122 sailing Marblehead Halifax raceJ/120s Sweep Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race
(Halifax, Nova Scotia)- This year’s Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race, co-sponsored by the Boston Yacht Club and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, won’t go down in the record books as the fastest race on record.  However, it certainly goes down as yet another challenging navigational race for those who love to work on tactics and strategy that is changing dramatically as the race progresses.

Not soon after the start, the racers hit a period of very light winds in the Gulf of Maine on Monday afternoon. The wind then picked up at noon today (Tuesday) and the fleet started picking up speed.

J/111 sailing Marblehead to Halifax raceIRC 2 class saw Scott Miller’s J/122 RESOLUTE sail well but fall victim to a lightish mid-section of the race to take 6th in class (full crew) and take second overall in the Doublehanded IRC Class with team mate Gregg Carville. In the ORR Class, Fred Madeira’s J/44 RESOLUTE finished 5th overall.

In the PHRF division, the two J/111s finished in 3rd and 4th in PHRF 1 class, with Marcel Cote’s SURVENANT leading the way over classmate Jonathan Green’s EAGLES DARE.  The two J/130s finished side-by-side with Kris Kristiansen’s SAGA taking 6th and Jeff Eberle’s CILISTA finishing 7th.

The big story of the race was the performance of several classic offshore racing J’s in PHRF 2 class, with a sweep of the top six places.  Topping everyone was Gardner Grant’s J/120 ALIBI taking class honors followed by Eliot Shanabrook’s J/109 HAFA ADAI in second and Stu McCrea’s J/120 DEVIATION in third.  The next three places were occupied by J/120s with James Chen’s CHAOTIC FLUX in 4th, Jim Praley’s SHINNECOCK in 5th and Ross Leighton’s BLACK PEARL in 6th.   Finally, in PHRF 3 class the J/35 HARRIER skippered by Evan Petley-Jones placed 5th in class.  Sailing photo credits  For more Marblehead to Halifax Race sailing information


J/70s sailing Worlds off La Rochelle, FranceJ/70 Worlds Update
(La Rochelle, France)- After two days of racing under sunny skies, the Mexican team of FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO skippered by Julian Fernandez Neckelmann from Valle de Bravo is leading the fleet overall with an impressive scoreline of 2-2-7-4-3-1 for 12 pts net, the only boat counting all top five finishes.  In second is the current J/70 Midwinter champion, the Italian team led by Carlo Alberini on CALVI NETWORK with a 4-7-10-1-4-3 tally for 19 pts net.  Not far off the pace is Ian Atkins’ BOATS.COM crew from Great Britain posting a 1-BFD-9-8-2-2 for 22 pts net.  Rounding out the top five is Tim Healy’s HELLY HANSEN in 4th, the current J/70 World Champion, and in fifth is another Italian team, Franco Solero’s L’ELAGAIN.

The competitors have been treated to two days of amazing sailing with three races per day in gorgeous weather.  The crews enjoyed a thermal breeze between 8 and 17 knots from 270 to 280, typical of La Rochelle, that maintained itself throughout the afternoon.

Nothing is yet settled, since there is still two days of competition, but until the next race tomorrow, the crews were able to relax and enjoy the regatta diner in front of a beautiful sunset on the La Rochelle harbour. Sailing photo credits- Christophe Breschi.  For more J/70 Worlds sailing information


J/80 Worlds sailing off Travemunde, GermanyJ/80 Worlds Update
(Kiel, Germany)- The Kiel Fjord had everything in store for the 50 sailing teams of eight nationalities. After Tuesday’s racing, when for two hours everything stopped due to lack of wind on the competition course, the wind came in late Wednesday afternoon with a lot of force. The Race Officer Fabian Bach called the yachts back into the shelter of the harbour. After consultation with the meteorologist Meeno Schrader from “WetterWelt”, the following races for Wednesday were cancelled.

Closer than yesterday, the Spanish BRIBON MOVISTAR managed to hold the first place, just one point ahead of the second place currently held by the Spaniard Rayco Babares Alvarez. Marc de Antonio was quite satisfied with the day’s racing, “Again we sailed well, and our competitors from the PRINCESA YAIZA did too. They are closing in on us and Friday should be a very thrilling final,” explained Marc de Antonio straight after the two races Thursday.

J/80s sailing Worlds off Travemunde, GermanyThe third place is, with 17 points, held by the French CO-PILOTES ahead of the best German team around Björn Beilken from Bremen. Beilken profited from the first discard result after seven races that the crew can choose after a bad result. The remaining races will counted. And so, Beilken was able to overtake the best German, Martin Menzner.

“At strong winds we have the boat well under control and although we did a spin-out, at the end we were third,” explained Beilken. Nothing for people with bad nerves!”

The skipper of the PROCEDES DIVA added, “Today we were sailing in Strand Bay where the swell was light but wind gusts prevailed. We sailed to our tactic and tried to cash in on the wind changes”. The crew has sailed in the current formation since 2012 and took home in the World Championship both in 2011 and 2012 the 11th place.

Beilken’s comment after three day’s racing, “We know Kiel and we enjoy sailing here. The judges responded to adverse situations speedily, thus cancelling the only “pig’s race” on Tuesday. The on-shore organization is super. The food tasted good and everyone was satisfied”.

With a six-point gap, the “Bootswerft Winkler-campaign“ was able to enter 5th place in the results list. Helmsman Sven Vagt was able to delete his 51st placing of yesterday that he pocketed after a protest, and jumped from the 11th to the 5th place. Martin Menzner with his crew is the third best German team with taking the 8th place in the overall score of the 2nd racing day.

Still after three successful racing days, there is no definite favorite in sight. In addition, between the German teams it remains thrilling. The weather forecast for Thursday is very strong winds so that it is not yet sure whether sailing can take place.  For more J/80 Worlds sailing information


J/Community
What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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J111 My Sharona sailing upwind* The Road to Winning the J/111 Worlds- Since its launch in 2010, the J/111 class has been on a roll. After gaining International Class status from ISAF, 18 teams attended the inaugural World Championship in Cowes, England in 2014. Now with over 115 boats launched, the 2015 Worlds in Newport attracted 25 teams to vie for the title on June 15-19.

Dominating that series was George Gamble’s My Sharona from Pensacola, Florida, whose team had secured the championship prior to the final race. Quantum Sails’ Scott Nixon, tactician for the team, provides this update…

Did the team start the season with a game plan to win the Worlds?
George Gamble has been a great client for a number of years in the Melges 20 and the J/111. For one reason or another we never raced together but stayed in touch over the years. He approached me last fall with a plan to do the full J/111 one design season on the East Coast with the goal of winning the Worlds in Newport. When I saw how excited and focused he was on this, I was all in. I love long-term, focused projects and George was very vocal with his desire to win the Worlds. He was amazing to work with and gave us everything we needed to win and out-prepare the rest of the fleet.

Tell us about your training and racing schedule.
My Sharona did every one design event possible this year leading up to the Worlds. Key West Race Week in January was the first-ever J/111 Midwinters, which was our first event together as a team and my first J/111 experience. We showed up five days early to train and prepare for the event. We were very green as a group but improved every day in practice and during the regatta. We sailed well in Key West and were able to pull off the win on the last day versus some very good teams that have been doing a lot of J/111 racing in the Midwest and around the US. This gave us a great start to the season and some added motivation to keep working hard.

Next up was Charleston Race Week in April. We teamed up with the great Ruhlman family’s Spaceman Spiff team to train for the year. We trained and tuned together before the events to get faster and share ideas for improving at a faster rate as a group. Charleston was a great event, and while we struggled a bit the first two days, we put it together on the last today again to win the event. A few weeks after Charleston, the team came to Annapolis where we did a few days of sail testing with our Worlds sails and training before the NOOD Regatta. The team was starting to gel and we were able to win the event.

J/111 My Sharona sailing fastAfter Annapolis the boat went to Newport and we trained three days before the New York Yacht Club Annual (J/111 Pre-Worlds) with Coach Ed Adams. We trained with the Kashmir team from the Great Lakes for a few days in beautiful 15 to 20 knot conditions and got our confidence up in breeze. We had an okay pre-regatta going but needed to win the last race on Sunday to win the event. Our goal was never to win all the events but to focus on the process of improving and getting better to be a top and consistent team at the Worlds. George and our bowman Keith Glynn pulled off a sweet start and we were launched and went on to win the race and the event.

What did you think of the Worlds format?
It was a four day race schedule, which I prefer as five-day events seem to drag on too long for the teams. The Ida Lewis YC did a fantastic job all week and raced the fleet offshore in open water three of the four days, with a short distance race held on day two inside the Bay in flat water and shifty conditions.

I think the owners and J/111 teams really liked the short distance race. We do so many windward-leeward races all year that it’s great to mix it up. The race offered all the out-of-town teams a great way to see Narragansett Bay as we had to round six marks on the way to the finish off Forth Adams. More one-design classes should look at holding a short distance race during championships to mix it up and give the racing some variety. Good fun for sure.

Are there crew restrictions in the J/111 class?
My Sharona sailed with eight and close to class maximum weight for all the events. The J/111 allows for one ISAF Group 3 professional for class racing. I think this is perfect for this class to keep it low-key, fun and allow the owners to sail with their family and friends. However, I do think the class should adapt a max of eight people and no weight limit, which would help to keep it low key so no one has to worry about dropping weight. The owners and Group 1 sailors will have more fun, which I have seen in the classes that have adopted this philosophy. They all seem to determine what weights are okay to race with.

My Sharona sailing teamTell us about the winning team.
George Gamble is an amazing guy and was not afraid to roll up his sleeves, go to work, practice hard and give us all the assets we needed for this great season to happen. We had a talented team including George’s 14-year-old son Kyle who was our hardest worker. We sailed with a variety of very good local Pensacola Yacht Club sailors and some friends I brought along to fill-in during the year. Our success is due to how our crew out-hiked and out-worked the other teams this year. Our winning Worlds team, besides George and myself, consisted of Keith Glynn on the bow, Scotty Raines on the mast, Kyle Gamble in the middle, Mike Pedersen on offside trim and navigation, Kieran “Sirloin” Searle in the pit and tactical help, and Ian Coleman on jib and spin trim.

How progressed is the one design racing for the class?
The teams that have been racing in the class for a few years are quite good. There is a large group of first-time one design campaigners that are new to the traveling race circuits, and from what I can tell, these are the teams really embracing the class and having the most fun as it is all brand new to them. Great to see and fun to be involved with these owners and team that are learning so quickly and having a blast. The largest and most competitive fleets are the Midwest and San Francisco in the USA. There are small pockets of boats in Newport and Annapolis and hopes of these fleets growing for 2016 and beyond.

Where does the J/111 fit in the landscape of boat buyers?
I think the boat is perfect for the owners looking to get into a bigger, newer, and faster one design after racing the J/70, J/80, J/105 and J/109 classes. The boat performs well upwind and is relatively simple to sail with a nice sized asymmetrical spinnaker. If the class keeps growing in a few different areas of the country, you could see some Farr 30 and 40 sailors getting into the fun.


J/Cruisers
J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent “blogs” written by their prolific publishers.  Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You’ll love it.

* The J/40 HERON REACH sailed by Virginia and Jerry is participating in the Blue Planet Odyssey project and have recently joined them in the Marquesas Islands in the Eastern Pacific.  Learn more about their adventures and experiences here- http://heronreachodyssey.blogspot.com/
Giant whale breaching in front of J/160 SALACIA off  Australia's Whitsunday Islands* J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands.  Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination?  A giant whale!  Look at this amazing photo!

J/42 cruiser- sailing across Atlantic Ocean

* Jim & Heather Wilson just completed a circumnavigation of our “blue planet Earth” in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR.  Said Jim, “The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now.  We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell ‘Painkiller’ at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles). Read more about their adventures in their  well-documented blog here:  http://www.svceolmor.com/SVCeolMor/Welcome.html

J/160 sailing offshore to US Virgin Islands- rainbow over ocean* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again!  We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR.   Alan sent us an email update commenting on their passage south this winter, “In mid-December AVATAR completed her sixth transit to her winter Caribbean home, Grand Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI (seen above)  from her home port in Quissett (Falmouth), MA.  A crew of three, Captain Alan (e.g. me), Crew Pablo Brissett and Mark Conroy, covered the 1,500 nm trip in in her best time to date- 7 Days 5 Hours, averaging 8.7 kts, that’s about 208 nm per day!  Amazing passage it was!  Rainbow at right far offshore was some of the amazing phenomenon we experienced on this fast offshore passage.

AVATAR will participate in the BVI Sailing Festival/Regatta again in 2013, where last year she won the Nanny Key Cup Cruising Class race around the Island of Virgin Gorda.  Here are some photos for you to share with the J/Community at-large.  Enjoy!”
Best, Alan Fougere/ AVATAR

Bill & Judy Stellin- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* Bill & Judy Stellin recently had an interview about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called “Retiring on the Open Sea”.  The Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ’s Editor desks. Here’s the update:

Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers’ Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety

Wall St Journal interview- Stellin's Offshore cruising/ sailing retirementThe article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— “Retiring to the Open Sea”— prompted many questions and comments from readers.  We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.

WSJ- “What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?”

Bill- “In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.

Although long-distance cruising wasn’t what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.

People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather.”

READ MORE ABOUT BILL’S INSIGHTFUL COMMENTARY AND THOUGHTS ON WSJ ONLINE HERE

* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel’s big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand.  Their blog is here:http://www.svjarana.blogspot.com/

* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam after completion of their ARC Rally. Read the latest news athttp://www.sailblogs.com/member/shazam/.

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world’s oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between.  Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).

–  Bill and Susan Grun on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (http://web.me.com/susangrun).  Read about their latest adventures as they’ve gotten to New Zealand- “Avante Cruises the Pacific”.

Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog athttp://www.sailmandalay.com.  Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA), then to the South Pacific and New Zealand.  MANDALAY is back in San Francisco now, and in the J/World fleet–she is available for skippered charters, private instruction, and corporate/executive groups.

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Michael James has been with Murray Yacht Sales since 1995 and is in the the New Orleans office.

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