J/News for May 15, 2014

Catalina 380 Reviews and Links
May 17, 2014
BoatTest.com’s Review of the New Beneteau Oceanis 38 (Videos)
May 18, 2014
J/News Murray Yacht Sales
May 14th, 2014

J/22s sailing one-designJ/22 North Americans Preview
(Annapolis, MD)- With spring well underway on the Chesapeake Bay, local hotshots in the J/22 class are looking forward to welcoming top teams from around the country for J/22 North American Championships, hosted by Annapolis YC and sailing from May 16th to 18th.

Thirty nine boats have registered so far and they will be looking forward to the possibility of a soaking on Friday  sailing in 8-15 kts SE breezes.  However, the weather forecast continues to improve and with temperatures in the mid-60s Saturday and Sunday, the sailors will pray they’re not spending time “chilling” on the docks as the light northerlies die out early morning and wait for the afternoon sea-breeze to fill in from the SE-SW quadrants.

Amongst the top “Napolitan’s” battling for local bragging rights will be Allan & Katie Terhune sailing DAZZLER (current J/22 World Champion) along with Brad Julian on THREEDORIES.COM, Jeff Todd on HOT TODDY, JR Maxwell on SCOOBY, and Jen Gaffney on PIRATE PRINCESS RACING TEAM.

The always strong northern New York contingent (from Youngstown and Rochester areas) will see top teams like Peter Doyle on AXE WOUND, Travis Odenbach on HONEY BADGER, Kevin Doyle on MO’MONEY and Chris Doyle on THE JUG 4 1.  The Jamestown team on BAD NEWS TOO, skippered by Mike Marshall will be hoping to repeat their recent Annapolis NOOD winning performance.

The Canadian J/22 teams have come out strongly in support of this year’s NA’s, with several members of Hudson YC in Quebec taking the long trip down across the border.  Ron & Cathy Harris sailing BROOMSTICK, David & Yves Godin together on WON TON, and Trevor Collins on ALTERNATIVE GIRLFRIEND not only hope to put in a good showing, but will certainly have the necessary training under their belts for their upcoming J/22 Canadian’s later.

Finally, don’t count out the two Texan teams that are making an assault on the Napolitan teams, as both of them have World and NA credentials to their names— one is Terry Flynn & Scott Nixon racing TEJAS from Fort Worth Boat Club and the other is Mark Foster from Corpus Christi YC.  With these crews stirring up the pot a bit, it will surely be fun & games for all!   For more J/22 North American Championship sailing information


J/70 sailing Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga in GermanyDeutsche Segel-Bundesliga – Premiere League Begins!
(Starnberg, Germany)- The second stage of the 2014 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga is about to commence this weekend on the Starnberger See- a beautiful lake SSW of Munich surrounded by gently rolling hills to the north and just 15 miles north of the majestic German/ Austrian Alps.  Host for this event is the Bayerischer Yacht-Club Munich situated at the very northern end of the lake.

Sailing in this weekend’s event are the top eighteen clubs that pre-qualified from the first event held from April 4th to 6th in Glucksburg (a total of sixty-one teams participated).  The Bundesliga is now split into two “leagues”- the Premiere League sailing in J/70s for the next four stages and the Bundesliga II League.  The five clubs who qualified for the “Premiere League” from the first Glucksburg event, were the winners Kieler YC, the Bodensee YC Überlingen, the Seglervereinigung Itzehoe, the Segelkameradschaft “Wappen von Bremen” and the Düsseldorf YC.

J/70 sailing Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga- starting lineJoining them will be the top five teams from the 2013 DSBL, including the champions Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, followed by Württembergischer Yacht-Club in second and Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee in third, Yachtclub Berlin-Grünau fourth and Chiemsee Yacht Club fifth.  The winner of the first event at Tutzing last year (also on the Starnberger See) was Yachtclub Berlin-Grünau; they certainly hope to repeat that performance again this year!

In addition, the following clubs will also have strengthened their teams, including the host Bayerischer Yacht-Club, Berliner Yacht-Club, Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (the host for the next event in Tutzing), Flensburger Segel-Club, Konstanzer Yacht Club, Lübecker Yacht-Club, Mühlenberger Segel-Club, and Schweriner Yacht-Club.

The teams hope the weather forecast (http://bit.ly/1qAdgv2) improves a bit, nevertheless, it looks like there will be breeze all weekend long.   After the passage of a Low pressure system on Thursday, it looks like Friday will be in the 50s F. with WNW winds in the 6-12 kts range, followed by the passage of another Low pressure system Saturday bringing some cool rain and WSW winds in the 5-10 kts range.  With any luck, Sunday’s forecast for partly sunny skies in the mid-60s F. may effect the forecast light SW winds (hopefully a sea-breeze can build on the northern end of the lake!).  For more Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information


J/105 sailboat- sailing Seattle NOOD regattaSeattle NOOD Regatta Preview
(Seattle, WA)- From May 16th to 18th, the one-design focused Sperry Top Sider Seattle NOOD regatta will be held in the waters of Puget Sound.  One hopes the sailors will be blessed with great sailing on Friday with sun and good breeze since the weekend forecast looks very “classic” Seattle (a bit of wind, some rain and misty southerly breezes.

Joining the fray are one-design fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/80s and J/105s.  The most significant fleet happens to be the venerable J/24s, with a dozen of the area’s veterans going at it hammer and tong.  Potential fleet leaders could be Chris Snow & Pat Dore on BABBA LOUIE, Scott Milne on TREMENDOUS SLOUCH (a past NOOD 24 winner) and Jasper Van Vliet from Mill Valley, CA sailing EVIL OCTOPUS!

J/24s sailing in Seattle NOOD regattaThe J/70s are starting to prosper in Seattle and this will be their debut in the Seattle NOOD.  Hard to know how it will shake out for this fleet other than the fact that Mike Pitt’s DaSPENCER has the most experience so far.  Andy Mesher’s PERIDOT and Bill Henry’s RIP VAN WINKLE will be doing their best to overcome their experience deficit in the 70s with plain smart sailing.

The J/80s will surely be seeing Bryan Rhodes’s CRAZY IVAN, Bill McKinnon’s SKYE ROCKET and Stan Moen’s UPROAR in a three-way tussle for regatta honors.

Several of the top J/105s will be sailing this weekend in this growing Pacific NW class.  However, included are several new faces as well, so it will be interesting to see how the weekend shakes out for the 105 clan.  Certainly teams like Lorenzo Migliorini’s ALLEGRO VIVACE, Jerry Diercks’s DELIRIUM, Erik Kirsten’s JUBILEE and Jim Geros’s LAST TANGO, all leaders in the Seattle Grand Prix last fall, should be factors in this weekend’s top five, too.

One J/24, Chris Archer’s CHALLENGER, is sailing the NORTH Rally Race, making its debut at the 2014 Seattle NOOD. The NORTH Rally Race, a one day, random leg, PHRF-scored race is perfect for new-to-racing sailors, families, custom boats that don’t fit within the One Design concept of the NOODs as well as the avid racer that only has one free day. After the racing on Saturday the Rally Class can swap stories and raise a glass with their fellow NOOD sailors at the regatta party. The more the merrier!! Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson and Tim Wilkes.com.  For more Seattle NOOD Regatta sailing information


J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide

The first part of May has truly been busy around the globe.  In particular, Europe has seen an explosion of activity across the continent, from the northern parts of Scandinavia down into the warms southern climate of the Mediterranean.  In the north, the Swedish J/80 fleet is getting rolling, having sailed both the famous Lidingo Runt race as well as the Viggan Open, all  in the same weekend.  Just down across the Baltic Sea, the J/80’s sailed their MAIOR Regatta in Kiel, Germany.  Then, in France there were two events that took place, still more J/80s sailing their Interface Concept J/Cup in La Forêt-Fouesnant, France and the J/22s held their French Open Nationals off Nantes, France.  The Spanish J/80 class is getting into high-gear, having just completed their J/80 Spanish Championship in Santander, Spain.  East across the Med, there was lots of activity in Italy, with the J/70s hosting stage III of their J/70 Coppa Italia at Scarlino, Italy.  The J/24s have had two events in recent weeks that mark the start of their summer sailing series across Italy, the first being the J/24 Italian Spring Championships sailed in Marina di Carrara, Italy and then the J/24 PasquaVela sailed in Porto Santo Stefano, Italy.

Heading to the Far East, we find the “classic” J/41 IOR offshore boat now living a new lease on life as the quintessential IRC cruiser-racer in Thailand, with her participating somewhat successfully in the Pattaya TOG Regatta, part of the Asia-Pacific Offshore Series.

Across the Pacific to South America, it also seems the J/24s are dialing up their activity as many are training for the upcoming J/24 Worlds in Newport, RI.  The Brazilians just completed their Brazilian J/24 Nationals in Niteroi, Brazil and the Argentineans south of them just held their Campeonato San Isidro sailed off San Isidro, Argentina.

Finally, in North America, many good American offshore teams on a J/105, J/42, J/122 and J/46 sailed an epic, if not “fresh to frightening” Oregon Offshore Race— a notorious affair that leaves many sailors impressed by participants who thrive in adverse conditions.  Enjoying a bit more benign conditions were friends many of the O.O. Race would be joining soon in the Swiftsure Race; they were simply training in the relative calm waters of Puget Sound sailing the second part of their “Tri-Island Series”, the Vashon Island Race, hosted by Seattle YC.  Then, out East a raft of J’s sailed particularly well in the new “offshore day race” called the Edlu Distance Race, hosted by Larchmont YC in New York and sailed on Long Island Sound.

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:

May 16-18- J/22 North Americans- Annapolis YC- Annapolis, MD
May 16-18- Seattle NOOD Regatta- Seattle, WA
May 24-26- Swiftsure Race- Royal Victoria YC- Victoria, BC, Canada
May 27- Jun 9- Delta Lloyd North Sea Week- Scheveningen, Netherlands
May 28- Jun 1- J/22 Europeans- Cameret-sur-Mer, France
May 29-Jun 2- Italian J/24 Nationals- Tirano, Italy
May 30- Susan Hood Trophy Race- Mississauga, ONT, Canada
May 31- Delta Ditch Run- Stockton Sailing Club- Stockton, CA
Jun 6-8- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago YC- Chicago, IL
Jun 6-9 Norseewoche- Heligoland, Germany
Jun 9-15- Normandy Sailing Week- Le Havre, France
Jun 13-22- Cleveland Race Week- Cleveland, OH

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


J/105 family cruiser-racer- the ultimate family sailing boatJ’s Dominate Epic Oregon Offshore Race
(Seattle, WA)- Said Tom Keffer (sailing his J/42 VELOCITY) after the race, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Some of the best sailing I’ve ever done and some of the most miserable. Definitely, one to tell the grandchildren!

Never saw anything less than 15 knots up the coast, most of the time it was 20-25, with gusts to 35 knots. Boat speed was consistently 8-10 knots, lots of bursts to 12+.

But, it also poured rain from the moment we left the docks, until half way down the Straits. And, I mean poured. Everyone was soaked to the skin and cold. At one point, Paige, one of our crew and a pretty tough chick, said to me, ‘Can we turn the heat on?’

J/42 Velocity sailing Oregon Offshore RaceI think we were competitive up until we broached in one of the 35 knot gusts. The spin pole managed to pop off its bayonet mount and through the only heavy spinnaker we have, tearing a nice gash. We also broke 3 battens, which stuck out of the side of the mainsail. We had to dial it back after that, but still managed to finish middle of the pack.

Total time was about 26.5 hours for an average speed of about 7.5 kn. The fastest I’d ever done the race before was 38h, but it’s usually closer to 48h.  Now, sitting in Victoria, drying out the last of the cushions and bedding.”

And, so it went for the twenty-nine yachts that started the annual Oregon Offshore Race on Thursday, May 8th.  The race starts off Astoria, OR, the last seaside town at the mouth of the Columbia River, a body of water notorious for the collision of powerful offshore storms sweeping in from the northwest running up against the offshore flowing Columbia River— the combination has humbled many seasoned offshore sailors with giant, steep, breaking “chop” in the 6 to 10 foot category!

The race itself is pretty simple, start off Astoria, head north up the Oregon and Washington coastline, turn right at Cape Flattery, head down the Straits of Juan de Fuca and finish off the picturesque harbor of Victoria, BC on the Canadian side of the channel— an often spectacular 193nm adventure around some of the world’s more spectacular coastlines and headlands.

J/105 "Soup" sailing team after winning Oregon Offshore classThe boys on the J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP reveled in the stormy, “fresh to frightening” conditions.  According to them, “it was quite a run! Finished at ~4:40am, just under 21 hours. Hot towels and champagne on the dock from CYC making up for some cold, tired, and wet Soup folks. Lots of time in the teens, with top score of 16.5 knots!”  Furthermore, they said, “We were all crossing our fingers that the forecast would hold, and it sure did…  Almost all under spinnaker, with just a few hours of jib time coming off the coast near Umatilla Reef as the wind switched from SE to the predicted Westerly in time for the run down the straights. We were blown away about what we were seeing out of the J/105, was just lit up!”  Here’s an onboard J/105 “Soup” sailing video clip to give you an idea what they encountered.

The FBOS team hails from Portland, OR and have been planning on sailing in the “big three” of offshore distance races in the northwest- the Oregon Offshore, the Swiftsure Race and the Pacific Cup (that goes to Hawaii).  The “Souper’s” (Eric Hopper, Doug Schenk, and Matt Davis) are a determined team and showed what they could do in the crazy conditions, not only winning their PHRF B class by the enormous margin of over 6 hours and 30 minutes on corrected, but taking 2nd overall in PHRF Division, just missing out on the overall win by only 16 minutes!  You can learn more about them on the “Soup” Facebook sailing page.

J/120 family cruising sailboat- sailing Oregon Offshore raceSailing in PHRF A class were a trio of J’s that not only all finished within sight of each other at the Victoria finish line, but were only separated by 14 minutes elapsed time when they crossed around half-past five AM (note- about 45 minutes after the J/105 Soup guys!).  The J crews all swept the podium for PHRF A class, not surprising for them since most have either won or placed in this race several times in the past!  This year taking the win was the J/120 TIME BANDIT sailed by Robert Brunius of West Sound, WA.  Second was the pretty navy-blue J/46 RIVA sailed by Portlander and CYC member Scott Campbell and rounding out the podium was another gorgeous blue boat, the J/122 ANAM CARA that hails from Portland, OR and skippered by Tom Kelly (note- she won First Overall in 2013!).

Also sailing in the race was the J/42 VELOCITY sailed by Hood River, OR’s offshore veteran Tom Keffer. Tom and crew certainly pushed their boat hard (as described above), but not enough to keep pace with remarkable efforts of their J/105 SOUP buddies (most likely, prudence was the better part of valor).  Nevertheless, VELOCITY also arrived in Victoria safe and sound and took 5th in PHRF B class. Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson.  For more Oregon Offshore Race sailing information


J/70 Calvi Network sailing Scarlino, ItalyJ/70 CALVI NETWORK Triumphs in Scarlino
(Scarlino, Italy)- The J/70 class continues to grow in Italy, with increasing participation by top Italian sailing teams in this new class.  Many are planning to participate in the upcoming J/70 European Championships being sailed at Riva del Garda from September 23rd to 27th.  Some teams are also considering sailing in the J/70 World Championships in Newport, RI from September 8th to 13th at New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court.

J/70 Calvi Network- skipper Carlo AlberiniAn emerging leader in the Coppa Italia J/70 Circuit is one of Italy’s top sailors- Carlo Alberini sailing his renowned CALVI NETWORK.  Carlo has sailed for years at the top of the game in the M24 and M32 classes around the world as well as sailing in the European offshore circuits on the Mediterranean.  His “Lightbay Sailing Team” are now currently leading the Coppa Italia J/70 Circuit.

This past weekend, the third event in the circuit was sailed off picturesque Scarlino, a beautiful seaside town in Tuscany.  The J/70 teams enjoyed six races during the weekend sailing in the challenging waters of the Gulf of Follonica, bordered to the west by Elba Island, to the north by the headlands of Piombino and to the south Punta Ala.

On the first day of sailing, Carlo and crew aboard CALVI NETWORK sailed “lights out”, taking three bullets and managing to keep themselves out of trouble.  With the wind from the South up to 20 kts with short waves and irregular chop, sailing upwind took some skill to navigate the seas, rewarding those who had fine-tuned their sail-trimming skills.  Downwind was full-on planing-mode, extremely exciting and fast downwind with gennakers flying.

J/70 sailing Coppa Italia in Scarlino, ItalyWhile CALVI NETWORK enjoyed their evening with newfound J/70 friends, it was clear some of them were listening to “go-fast” tips on sailing their boats.  As a result, there were three different winners on the second day of sailing- PENSAVO ITA-262 (1-5-5) sailed by Beppe Zavanone; MAGIE ITA-455 (3-1-4) skippered by Gianluca Grisoli; and ITA-570 (7-4-1) led by helm Andrea Zaoli.  Hanging on tough was CALVI NETWORK, sailing to a 2-3-2 to clinch the regatta and the overall lead for the Coppa Italia circuit; their team was comprised of  Carlo (owner-driver ), the Slovenian Olympic sailor Karlo Hmeljiak (tactics), Irene Bezzi (mainsail trimmer) and Sergio Blosi (trimmer).  Just behind them in the standings were PENSAVO in 2nd, MAGIE in 3rd, SPIN ONE with skipper Peter Saccomanni in 4th and Zaoli’s team in 5th.

The next stage of the Italian Cup will be staged again in the waters off Scarlino between May 31 and June 2.  Thereafter, the last two events are both being sailed at Riva del Garda- the first one on 26-27 July and the last one from 23-27 September for the J/70 European Championships.

For more Italian J/70 sailing information, please contact Paolo Boido at J/Boats Italy- email- jboats@jboats.it or mobile# +39-335-688-5005.


J/80 Spanish Nationals winnersPadron Brothers Win Spanish J/80 Championship
(Santander, Spain)- Gathering together in the famous site of a past J/80 World Championship that saw Spanish sailors make a clean sweep of the podium, forty boats from four provinces of Spain (Cantabria , Catalonia, Andalusia and Murcia) sailed yet another incredibly competitive regatta on Santander Bay.  How good was the competition? Well, there were four J/80 World Champions sailing accounting for six J/80 World titles!

Of the nine races scheduled for the VIII Campeonato de Espana J/80, only three were sailed on Friday, two on Saturday and on Sunday a complete blank due to lack of wind.  Although 5 of the 9 scheduled races were sailed, the fleet was still able to make use of a “discard race”, which had dramatic effects on juggling the overall standings for the regatta.

J/80 sailing in Santander, SpainBy Saturday afternoon, Javier Padron and his brothers on MAQUECHE won three of five races showing excellent form and good speed on Santander bay.  Nevertheless, despite having three bullets as counters, the top five in the overall standings were only separated by only five points!

The high level of competition in the fleet saw the standings vary dramatically from race to race. In fact, on the first day, the leaders were Jose Maria “Pichu” Torcida skippering OXITAL, followed in second by PEUGEOT-PROMOPARK sailed by Javier Aguado and in third was PAR helmed by Ignacio Camino.

The second day saw a drastic change in the standings with Padron’s MAQUECHE climbing on to the podium after recovering from a DSQ the day before.  Meanwhile, PEUGEOT-PROMOPARK hung on to second place with 18 pts and GREAT SAILING’s renowned skipper, Jose María Van der Ploeg, also climbed on to the third step of the podium with 20 pts at the end of Saturday.

J/80 sailboats- sailing off start in Santander, SpainIt was a fateful day for lack of wind of Sunday, much to the disappointment of all the sailors.  In the end, the Real Club Marítimo de Santander skipper Javier Padron sailing MAQUECHE was crowned Spanish Champion!  In second and third place were the Catalonian teams of PEUGEOT-PROMOPARK and GREAT SAILING.

The balance of the top five included “Pichu” Torcida’s OXITAL in fourth with 20 pts and Ignacio Camino’s PAR in fifth with 21 pts.

Amongst the fleets, the Cantabria and Catalonia teams were the best positioned in this year’s championship, followed by Andalusia and Murcia .

Cantabria: The Cantabrian fleet continues to maintain a high level of training and competition as shown in the 1st place reached by Javier Padrón, along with Torcida’s 4th and Camino’s 5th.

J/80 Peugeot-Promomarc sailing in Santander, SpainCatalonia: The Catalan fleet has shown in Santander that they’ve been doing their homework for the J/80 European Championships to be held in El Balis in a few months.  No question, the Catalonians will be a force to contend with- getting 2nd and 3rd place in the Championship (PEUGEOT-PROMOPARK and GREAT SAILING) and a 7th and 8th place by Hugo Rocha’s NEW TERRITORIES and Bertrand and Marc Antony BRIBON-MOVISTAR.

Andalusia: The best Andalusian was Juan Luis Paez’s HERBALIFE in 6th.

Murcia: Despite their current #1 National ranking in Spain, Carlos Martinez and his DELTASTONE team could only manage a 10th overall.  Surely Martinez and crew will improve dramatically by the time the Europeans are held in El Balis.   Sailing photo credits- Marian Pinan   For more Spanish J/80 Championship sailing information


J/80s sailing off FranceMoriceau Wins Interface Concept J-Cup
(La Forêt-Fouesnant, France)- The second part of the season-long J/Cup J/80 series in France just took place off the quaint seaside town of La Forêt-Fouesnant and hosted by Club de La Vallee des Fous.  With many of the top French teams participating in the twenty-one boat fleet, some of the new up-and-coming teams were having to contend with some veteran crews that had re-built their rosters over the winter.

The regatta was blessed with remarkably good weather overall.  On the first day, the fleet was blessed with sun, two races and a 12-18 kts W-SW breezes and flat seas.  The second day was a “dream” according to most sailors; and how could it not be!?  Five races in perfect conditions of 8-15 kts WSW with flat seas and nice shifty winds.  By the third day, the fleet was getting spoiled, this time with a bit more wind and even more sun!  However, the fleet got a bit too much of one thing- wind!  Only two races were run in the 25-30 kts westerlies.  Then, the unthinkable- way, way too much wind on the last day of racing on Sunday!  With even more sun (if you can believe it), the Meteo France was calling for gale force winds of over 35 kts, so races 10 & 11 were canceled for the day. Not many sailors complained about that decision!

J/80 team sailing off Valles de Fous, FranceThe host PRO performed admirably, managing to start nine races for the aggressive teams and enabling the sailors to have a “drop race”.  Continuing where they left off in the previous regatta, Simon Moriceau’s INTERFACE CONCEPT crew took two bullets and two seconds on their way to winning with 24 pts net.  Sailing with a new sponsor this year is Eric Brezellec.  This top French team, sailing under the colors of COURIER JUNIOR, took second, also winning two races for a total of 27 pts net.  Herve Leduc and Christine Briand teamed up to create a new crew, sailing PIERRE OCEANE to third overall.

Perhaps the team that has garnered the most experience, and learned a lot from training with champion Eric Brezellec in the two training weekends in La Trinite sur Mer leading up to Spi Ouest France Intermarche, was Matthieu Salomon on CHARIOT PLUS- VANNE UTILITAIRES.  Had this team avoided some big pitfalls and stayed a bit more consistent, they were easy contenders to win the regatta.  Time will bring that experience to their new team.  However, with a “chutes & ladders” scoreline of 2-dsq-1-7-1-15-2-4 for 34 pts net (and the DSQ being a 2nd!), this team clearly has great potential ahead!

J/80s sailing off Valles des Fous, FranceThe top women skippers were Pauline Chalaux sailing PRINCE DE BRETAGNE to 8th place followed by Sophie & Sandrine Riot leading their team on LE HAVRE LADIES NORMANDIE to 13th overall.

A special “Thank you” to the Club de la Vallée des Fous and volunteers, members of the Race Committee and the Jury, PL Yachting and society Interface Concept, for having been able to organize this 3rd edition of Interface Concept J/Cup Interface with remarkable ease and joy for the J/80 fleet.

Also, special mention to the bar-restaurant “La Hune” for the quality of its reception on these four days, and especially during the evening for all the crews!  Next regatta in the J/80 La Coupe de France is the GPEN (Grand Prix Ecole Navale from May 29th to June 1st.  Thanks for contribution from Herve Leduc.  For more Interface Concept J/Çup sailing information


J/24 Italy Spring ChampionsJAMAICA Take Italian J/24 Spring Championships
(Marina di Carrara, Italy)- Thanks to a “winning poker hand” (e.g. good luck on the tactics), JAMAICA and her skipper  Peter Diamond crushed the fleet with a 1-1-2-1-2-4-4-1 scoreline for just 12 pts to easily take the final victory in the Italian J/24 Spring Championship.  The event was organized and perfectly hosted by the Club Nautico Marina di Carrara under the auspices of the Italian Sailing Federation and marks the first stage in the Italian National J/24 series.

If JAMAICA was dominant, there was an excellent “comeback story” for the team from Trieste, JOC’s skipper Fabio Apollonio, overcome a 5th place in the first race, won the second place, and finished with a 5-2-4-2-1-3-2-3 record for 17 pts to snag second overall for the regatta. Taking third for the regatta was “Giuseppe Verdi Antonio Valenti” owned and skippered by the young James Del Nero, amassing a very consistent 2-5-1-4-3-5-3-2 record.  Taking fourth was TALLY HO sailed by Luca Macchiarini and in fifth was COCCE sailed by Riccardo Pacini.

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing off Italy“After the previous weekend in which the weather conditions only permitted two races, the Race Committee headed by Admiral D’Amico, were able to recover by letting us carry out six races in two days this weekend. Eight race in four days is a good result for everyone,” said Peter Diamond.  “The formula of the two weekend shows once again that it works well for crew’s participation in the Championship and that it helps to limit the number of Sundays away at sea from their families. We spent two wonderful weekend of sailing, thanks to the participation of our friends from Trieste, Parma and La Spezia.”  For more Italian J/24 Spring Championship sailing information


J/24 Bruschetta- Brazilian ChampionBRUSCHETTA Crowned Brazilian J/24 Champion
(Niteroi, Brazil)- In their preparations for an assault on this year’s J/24 World Championship in Newport, RI, several Brazilian teams were working hard, training all spring and planning on putting up good performances in the Brazilian J/24 National Championship.  Hosted by Y.C. Brasileiro in Niteroi, the host Race Committee managed to conduct eight races over the three day event in a broad range of conditions— mostly sunny with nice breeze!

With six 1st counted in their scoreline, past multiple Brazilian Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz and his experienced crew on BRUSCHETTA simply ran away from everyone in the regatta, counting only 8 pts net after eight races!

J/24s sailing off BrazilAlso, dominating the second position was John King sailing MALABAR, counting five 2nds in his tally for just 15 pts net after the drop race.  Third was Renaldo Senfft skippering EURUS to a total of 26 pts, in fact winning the last race since the two regatta leaders simply DNC’d the finale.

The balance of the top five was rough going for at least four boats, including Sr. Gustavo on BRUSCHETTA COOKIE, Sr. Norman on MANDUCA, Marcelo Gilaberte on MARRENTO and long-time J/24 sailor Murilo Borges on BRUSCHETTA TOO.  All four teams finished within four points of each other after the eight races and all shared quite wild-looking scorelines with many a double-digit finish position having a negative effect on the final outcome.  After the last race, it was BRUSCHETTA COOKIE taking 4th with 43 pts followed by MANDUA in 5th with 45 pts.   Sailing photo credits- Fred Hoffmann Fotografias   For more Brazilian J/24 Championship sailing information


J/24s sailboats- sailing in ItalyLA SUPERBA “Three-peats” J/24 PasquaVela
(Porto Santo Stefano, Italy)- The “classic” Easter regatta for Italian J/24 teams has always been the PasquaVela, hosted by Yacht Club Santo Stefano as part of the second stage of the Italian National J/24 series.  The traditional rewards are, of course, an Easter tradition- the most delicious chocolate eggs for all winning crews! Twenty-three J/24 teams attended and managed to sail eight races in four intense days of competition.

On the opening day, the weather was perfect and a Mistral between 10-14 kts enabled the smooth running of three races.  For the second day of racing, the wind shifted south and a strong southerly wind started blowing over 30 kts, making for a difficult decision for the Race Committee.  After initially taking the fleet out onto the bay, hoping the winds and massive seas would subside a bit, the RC’s PRO wisely decided to cancel the scheduled races as things were getting a bit out of control for some boats. With lights winds on the third day, the RC PRO was still able to complete three races sailed.  And, for the final day, with winds in the 12 kts region, the PRO managed to squeeze in two final races.

For the regatta winners, Ignazio Bonanno and crew on LA SUPERBA, it was a thrilling victory, becoming “three-peat” winners of the regatta for the third year in a row!  In fact, LA SUPERBA won on a tie-breaker over the German team EUROPA 2 sailed by Tobias Feuerherdt.  LA SUPERBA’s 1-2-5-3-1-4-1-2 scoreline bested EUROPA 2’s tally of 3-1-1-2-2-7-4-3 on a count-back for most firsts.  Consequently, the Germans took second and taking the bronze was yet another German team, J-J ONE skippered by Frithjog Schade with a 2-3-3-7-3-8-3-1 record. The German teams had a lot of fun and, in fact, were hoping to trade in more German beer for Italian chocolates!   For more Italian J/24 Pasquavela sailing information


J/122 cruiser-racer sailboat-  sailing offshoreJ/Team’s Eclipse Edlu Distance Race
(Larchmont, NY)-  On this year’s Edlu Distance Race, sailors had the pleasure of sailing amongst a massive fleet of 18 J’s (nearly 50% of the total of 39 boats that started).  Ranging in size from the J/92s up to the classic J/44s, three of the four divisions saw J/crews on the podium or taking the top prize.

The format of the Edlu Race has been made very “user-friendly”.  Back in 2005, the event was transformed into a day race.  In fact, the starts have been made much earlier and the distance is set so that all boats can finish before sunset.  The course for this year was 32 nm from Larchmont Breakwater to Gong 11B off Eaton’s Neck and back.

Riding the old horse hard and fast was Phil Gutin’s team on the J/44 BEAGLE, taking top honors in the IRC Class over some well-known rocketships like Steve & Heidi Benjamin’s custom HPR 40 footer.  Also putting in a good performance was John Pearson’s J/122 RED SKY, snagging fourth overall.  George Petrides modified J/120 AVRA took 6th.

It must’ve been “good karma” for J/105s this past weekend, like their colleagues in the Oregon Offshore Race, the J/105s took the top two spots in the Edlu as well  in the PHRF Class (a class that had nine J/Boats registered).  Winner was George & Alex Wilbanks’s J/105 REVELATION and in second was the American YC Junior Big Boat team with coach Peter Becker aboard the J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN!  Good show mates!  Awesome to see the junior sailors place yet again in a major offshore race on Long Island Sound.  Just behind them in fourth was Paul Strauch’s black-hulled beauty, the J/111 ANDIAMO.  The balance of the top ten included Bob Siegel’s J/109 PAX 3 in 8th, Carl Olsson’s J/105 MORNING GLORY IN 9th and Ken Hall’s J/100 NEVERMORE in 10th.

In the PHRF Double-handed class, the J/105s did it again, with Charlie Cannam’s ENGARDE taking third place behind the J/133 ANTIDOTE skippered by Ron Richman.  Fifth was Arthur Hanlon’s J/100 LIBERTY, sixth was Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN and eighth was Marc Berkowitz’s J/105 CLEAN SLATE.

Finally, in PHRF Non-spinnaker class, the gang aboard Chris Roe’s J/32 ECLIPSE sailed a comfortable day on the water to place fourth.   For more Edlu Distance Race sailing information


J/41 Souay 1 sailing Pataya, ThailandJ/41 Wins Pattaya TOG Regatta!
(Pattaya, Thailand)- Jean Rheault, the owner of the J/41 SOUAY 1 in Pattaya, Thailand recently sent us a report of their sailing experiences:

“The J-41 “SOUAY 1” team got inspired this year and managed to get a 1st at the Pattaya TOG Regatta in Thailand! Once a year, the Asian Grand Prix Circuit makes a stopover in Pattaya, the southeast part of Thailand, where the China Sea is at 30 C, with 6-12 Kts of wind 80% of the time, and daily squalls rolling the area with 20-30 kts to add spicy trills.

J/41 Souay 1 crew for Pataya TOG RegattaThis year, a few remarkable top gun sailors joined the cockpit of the classic J-41; Phil Auger, one of the Kiwi Sport Boat National Warriors, who is opening a sail-loft in Langkawi, as well as Marco Belonje, who built his success in the One-design Asian sailing circuit.

These two leaders did great on the tactics and the sail-trimming, leading the entire team, and helped bring “SOUAY 1” on the top podium position at the TOG 2014, IRC3 Division!!

J/41 painting from PangMaThe great thing about yachting, is the inspiration that can catch not only sailors, but someone like “Tangmo”.  She is a painter and she was also very touched during a sunset sailing ride with the big red asym spinnaker flying on the J-41.  She later made an emotional painting of “SOUAY 1” and presented it to us at the yacht club.

It brings great happiness for me, to share with the J-Boat gang and sailing friends around the world, this satisfaction, to bring on their boats any type of people, who get inspired by these moments on the ocean, especially to a point they try to surpass themselves!  Fair winds, “Thai Sailor Jean”


J/80 sailboats- sailing in Kiel, GermanyMenzner Tops J/80 MAIOR Cup Regatta
(Kiel, Germany)- With the MAIOR- MAY Offshore Regatta- the big boat sailing season begins in Germany every year, the regatta season opener for the sailing elite in Kiel. With 100 boats participating in this year’s event, it was clear many teams were looking forward to getting back onto the water after a very, very long, difficult winter ashore!  Amongst the regatta participants was a large fleet of twenty-four J/80s sailing on the bay.

J/80 sailboats- sailing off start in Kiel, GermanyAlmost consistently, the best sailing weather greeted the sailors at the beach and on the race-track north of Bülker Lighthouse.  Sunshine and 10-17 kts NE winds greeted the fleet with nice waves rolling down the bay on Friday, enough to get in three races for the J/80’s.  By Saturday, the day dawned brightly with promise of good winds, but these died off until 1500 hrs.  At that point, the PRO’s on the one-design course wisely waited for the newly developing breeze and managed to get in two more races by early evening.  On the finale on Sunday, the wind shifted to WNW and challenged the RC PRO- Stefan Kunstmann- to once more display a lot of skill at adapting the course to the changing conditions. In the end they managed to get two more races off for the one-design fleets, good enough for them to count 7 races in the 10 scheduled for the weekend.

The J/80s had an exciting duel until the very end.  Before the last race, Martin Menzner and Sven Vagt were still head to head. Ultimately, the veteran Menzner from Kiel prevailed and won with the narrow margin of one point! Menzner won the last race while Vagt’s crew faltered and sailed their “drop race”, a sixth.  In the end, Menzner’s and Vagt’s crew were sailing in a class by themselves.  Menzner’s crew compiled a 1-1-3-2-1-2-1 record for 8 pts net while Vagt’s took a 2-2-1-1-2-1-6 for 9 pts net.  A distant third was Soren Hadeler’s crew scoring a 6-4-2-3-3-4-3 for 19 pts net.  The rest of the top five included Heinrichs Patrick in 4th and Bjorn Beilken in 5th.   For more J/80 MAIOR Regatta sailing information


J/80 fleet sailing off Lidingo Runt startA HAPPY J/80 Sweden Report
(Stockholm, Sweden)- The season has officially started for J/80s in northern Scandinavia!  For many, the sailing starts with one of the most insane, fun, wild races in the world— the infamous Lidingo Runt race around the island of Lidingo.  Hundreds of boats try to squeeze between dozens of islands as the fleet sails around rocks, ledges and straits barely wide enough to fit three J/80s!  And, mind you, some of the boats are over 60 feet!

J/80 sailboats- sailing at start in Stockholm, SwedenSeven brave J/80s made it up and around Lidingo Runt in somewhat light winds.  In the beginning, right after the start at 1120am, YACHTI sailed by Per Svahn slid away and kept away from the fleet for a long time, chasing them in hot pursuit were Lars Gellerhard’s MK-PRODUKTER, Pontus Tornlund’s HEAVY DUTY and Johannes Berg’s HAPPY. The whole race was settled downwind on Askrikefjärden where HAPPY snuck past both YACHTI and MK-PRODUKTER, a lead that HAPPY maintained all the way to målskottet at the finish line!  Incredibly, after all that sailing, the top three J/80s all finished within 5 minutes of each other.  Behind HAPPY was Svahn’s YACHTI in 2nd and in 3rd was Gellerhed’s MK-PRODUKTER. For more Lidingo Runt sailing information.

Also this weekend was the Viggan Open sailed on Sunday, the tradition after partying and celebrating any victories or poor performances in the Lidingo.  Sunday offered a little more stable wind around 2-4 m s and Peter Witt and the TKSS Race Committee managed to run four races for the J/80s. In fact, the starts were a bit crazy on one starting line since three one-design classes started together- the J/80s, Emerald’s and CB66’s.

At the end of Sunday, Bergh’s HAPPY won again, this time beating Gellerhard’s MK-PRODUKTER in second.  Tornlund’s HEAVY DUTY started by winning the first race but fell down the standings, but still grabbed the final position on the podium.   Phil Karlberg’s LUFFA took fourth on Sunday by taking a 2nd in the final race. For more Viggan Open J/80 sailing results.    For more Swedish J/80 Class sailing results


J/145 sailboat- JEDI sailing in SeattleJ’s Trump Vashon Island Race
(Seattle, WA)- The second part of the Tri-Island Series for Seattle YC’s hardy group of offshore sailors took place over the weekend with one IRC and six PHRF classes working hard to not get dinged by a TLE (time-limit expired)- somewhat of a known experience sailing in those parts of Puget Sound when fronts slow down as they hit the majestic Cascade Mountain ranges.

While their first race was not much to brag about (taking an 8th in the Smith Island Race), their performance in the Vashon was nothing short of scintillating.  John Tenneson’s J/145 JEDI took home the big pickle-dish, winning IRC 1 Class and, as a result, vaulting themselves up the series standing to second overall behind John Buchan’s TP52 GLORY.

A similar scenario played out for the J/133 CONSTELLATION in PHRF 2 Class.  There, Ron Holbrook’s crew pulled off a 2nd in the Vashon to also move into fourth in the series standings.

The two J/109s in PHRF 3 Class seem to be playing a game of “trading places”, with both having one good score plus a DNC.  While Stu Burnell’s TANTIVY won the Smith Race, it was Jerry Woodfield’s SHADA taking 3rd in the Vashon Race; currently Burnell is in second for the series.

PHRF 4 Class is a mixed bag of 35ish footers that includes a J/33, J/100, J/35, J/36 and J/105s.  All are experienced offshore campaigners, it shows since 7 of the top 11 are all J/Teams!  Currently, on top of the heap is Tom Kerr’s J/33 CORVO with a 1-3 for 4 pts.  Tied for second is Jim Geros’s J/105 LAST TANGO with a 2-5 for 7 pts.  Sixth is Rick Poulin’s J/105 DELIRIUM, 8th is Svein Ellingsen’s J/35 BERGEN VIKING, 9th is Shawn Dougherty & Jason Andrews’s J/36 MONKEY BONES, 10th is Bill Daniel’s J/100 TOURIST and 11th is Steve Summers’s J/105 LIFE IS GOOD.  Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson.   For more SYC Vashon Island Race sailing information


J/24s sailing off Argentina on Rio de la PlataMENDIETA Wins J/24 Campeonato San Isidro
(San Isidro, Argentina)- Over the past two weekends, from April 26-27 and May 3-4, the Club Nautico San Isidro held their annual J/24 Campeonato San Isidro for a very strong showing of the Argentinean J/24 fleet.  There was some “new blood” in the class with good teams participating from CUBA, YCA and CNO yacht clubs across Argentina.  For the first four boats (RINA, MENDIETA, CACIQUE and COCOON), in fact, the racing proved to be very close for the eleven race regatta.

For the first weekend, it was clear there were four very well-sailed teams that all had their eyes on being at the top of the podium after the two weekends of racing, some of whom have already registered to sail in the J/24 Worlds in Newport, RI this September.  The racing was electrifying, with finishes being determined by less than 10 meters between all four, sometimes even just centimeters differences!

J/24 sailboats-sailing downwind in ArgentinaOn Sunday, 27 April the CNSI club PRO managed to conduct three races with steady breezes from the ENE.  For the first race, it was blowing up to 18 kts, forcing many teams to choose between genoas and jibs.  Then, for races 2 and 3 that day, the wind calmed down to 9 kts or so, so genoas ruled the day.

On Sunday, the fleet was more compact than most of Saturday and positions juggled wildly during the course of each race. After the first weekend, other than having to contend with a DSQ for MENDIETA, the top three boats were essentially tied.

The following weekend was going to be a suspense-filled, anxiety-ridden affair since all three boats, with COCOON hanging tough, could again see the standings get juggled again.  No one knew what to expect.

Sailing like a man possessed, Montes’s COCOON team were determined to make a comeback against the other three.  After Saturday’s racing, their three 2nds in a row allowed them to climb back quickly into overall contention for the lead while the other three boats faltered.  Sunday was going to bring a lot of drama if Saturday was any indication of what could happen with the top four boats.

J/24 sailboats- at start off ArgentinaThe morning started with fog and the start of the race was postponed until there was good visibility.  With “borneantes” winds blowing from 120-160 degrees and wind strength varying between 5-10 kts all day, it was going to be a challenging day for everyone. The four top positions were well fought and the championship was on the line for any one of them.

The first race went to COCOON, and that happened after making a 720-penalty turn, their excellent recovery was enabled by the other three boats spending too much time focusing on one another. MENDIETA was second, third RINA and fourth CACIQUE.

The results after the first hard-fought race had RINA leading overall with 20 pts with MENDIETA and CACIQUE tied with 21 pts and COCOON following closely with 23 pts!!  In short, whoever won the last race won the championship! To add more excitement, RINA match-raced CACIQUE off the starting line, but both had good windward legs and rounded together 1-2.  In the end, after passing them, MENDIETA took the bullet with CACIQUE in 2nd, COCOON in 3rd and RINA in 4th!  What a crazy finish to a long, hard fought series— fun for all!

The final top five was 1st MENDIETA (Pancho Van Avermaete), 2nd CACIQUE (Sergio Pendola), 3rd RINA (Nico Cubría), 4th COCOON (Fernando Montes) and 5th Juan Pablo Rixon.   Sailing photo credits- Mattias Capizzano  For more Argentinean J/24 sailing information


J/22 sailboats- sailing around gybe markJAZZED French J/22 Nationals
(Nantes, France)- Host for this year’s French J/22 Nationals was Societe Nautique Nantes for the nearly dozen boats that participated.  Unusual for this type of event, the SNON and J/22 class permitted two toss races in just seven races, counting just five!  As a result, the fleet was more than a bit confused as to “who’s zooming who” as they went around the race-track, particularly for the top five boats.

Other than the winner, German sailor Reiner Brockerhoff (skippering JAZZY with a French crew of Christophe Declerq and Charles Michaux), none of the other boats could match their steady top five finishes.  JAZZY simply sailed conservatively and kept themselves out of trouble most races, only winning three races but never finishing worse than 4th.  Their 3-1-2-4-1-4-1 record for 8 pts net gave them a clear-cut victory!

As for the next four places in the top five, the results were never clear-cut until the very last race, especially with two races to discard!  After the dust cleared on the fields of battle, it was the BEASTIE BOYS led by Jean Queveau and sailing with Damien Bourbigot and Francois Rongere that “snatched victory from the jaws of defeat!”  They nearly lost it all with a 6-4-1-6 string in the last four races, nevertheless winning the tie-breaker for second place over the Andre family team aboard MAJIC team (with skipper Bernard Andre and crew Pascale Andre, Remi Nobileau and Thomas Andre).

Unfortunately, the MAJIC team simply didn’t have it together in the last few races, posting a 3-7-7 to lose what seemed their firm grip on the silver position.  Keeping a close eye on the top of the podium all regatta long was Patrick Huet on EUROPEAN HOMES (with crew Pierre Royne and Cecil Keriel); but an early blow-up in race 1 with a 9th place and a closing 8th in the last race simply erased all chances for at least a third, instead having to settle for fourth overall.  Rounding out the top five was the German JADORLO team skippered by Imke Brockerhoff with crew Gabriele Brockerhoff and Mathias Weidenbach.  For more French J/22 Nationals sailing information


J/Community

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide

J/70 sailing fast off Malta in Mediterranean* The gang from Malta were having fun sailing their fleet of J/70s in the often epic sailing conditions they encounter in the middle of the Mediterranean- 18.6 knots boatspeed!!  Things get especially fun and the amp-meter goes off the charts when they get the tail end of giant mistrals that blow across from France and Italy, often churning up enormous 10-15 ft waves and 40-60 kts winds from the NNW.  Catch the tail end of one of these on a spectacular sunny day and you can have the ride of your life in 20-30 kt winds and ginormous left over waves!  Watch this video made by the Maltese gang (Christian Ripard steering with friends) on their J/70s ripping around the Med.

J/105 sailboat- sailing on lake in Chile* Many J’s find themselves in some of the world’s most unusual, spectacular, and un-imaginable places to go sailing.  One of these happens to be a J/105 now sailing high up in the Andes Mountains in Chile, on a place called “Rapel Lake”, two hours south of the capitol of Santiago! Find it on Google maps here.

J/105 #279 has now found itself in a “happy” place, lovingly looked after by a very proud family enjoying what is essentially a “maxi-boat” on one of Chile’s largest lakes. Her enthusiastic new owner is Marcelo Tapia.  He sails mainly with his son and daughter. Most of the time with 2 or 3 onboard.

J/105 on launch ramp in ChileHow it got onto Rapel Lake is a story in and of itself!  First, he bought the boat from its American owner, shipped it to Chile and picked it up in September 2012 at the Port of San Antonio.  Next, he personally unloaded the boat from the ship, then he painted it with antifouling, cleaned and change all what was needed: engine supports, ropes, instruments, lights, new WC tubes, new chart-plotter and VHF, all new canvas made at home, etc.  He recently renewed all the keel box gelcoat, too.

J/105 family sailing on Chilean lakeThe boat was then trucked to the marina on Rapel Lake that only has launch ramps.  Then, she was backed down to the water’s edge next to a giant tree.  This was going to be the “mast crane tree”!  You guessed it.  After attaching a block & tackle high in the tree, they hauled the mast up and lowered it into the boat!  Finally, to launch the boat, they attached a long extension tongue to an old farm tractor and backed the entire trailer, boat and all, into the lake, deep enough to float the boat off!

As the happy owner motored off to its new home in a cove in front of Marcelo’s house on the lake, she ended up securing herself onto a mooring line and block of concrete that Marcelo himself had put into the bottom of the very cold freshwater lake.  Needless to say, Marcelo’s girls are ecstatic!  Enjoy the photos of their happy faces and some key parts of getting their boat to Rapel Lake.

J/35 sailing upwind in Solent in Fastnet Race* Yet another “classic” 35-footer, this time a J/35 that made its way over the North Atlantic and has now been resurrected in Belgium- she looks simply spectacular.  Her current owner, Jan Gabriel, renamed her RAGAZZA and sent us this note:

“Thought it would be good to inform you that we entered our J/35 RAGAZZA in last year’s 2013 RORC Fastnet Race.  The old girl is still going strong, we managed a 7th place in the 83 boat strong class 4!  Please find attached a picture of RAGAZZA when beating out of the Solent last August. Love this boat! Thank you for any advice on polars, tuning and sail trim!  Cheers, Jan”

J/Fest sailing video of J/105s, J/70s and J/120s* The recent J/Fest West Regatta, hosted by St Francis YC on San Francisco Bay, had two wonderful days of sailing with sunny skies and plenty of the famous Bay winds roaring in under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Watching with some degree of admiration was Halsey Fulton from Fish Hawk Films in the Bay area.  He decided to take his “photo drone” for a tour of the Bay and took some awesome sailing video, capturing the J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, J/111s, J/120s sailing on Sunday April 6th.  Check out this cool sailing video on YouTube here:  http://youtu.be/3nMkW_qWxxA

J/24 sailing upwind* Marco d’Aloisio Mayo- an Italian J/24 sailor who sails in the PasquaVela/ Argentario fleet had some refreshing perspectives about sailing the J/24 as a one-design over the course of time:

“During this year’s Pasquavela regatta, we counted eighteen J/24’s on the waters of Argentario. What’s fascinating is to see the fleet continually revitalize itself and see strong participation across Italy as well as continue to see J/24s produce such good sailors!

For example, a long-time J/24 sailor who also sailed in Italy is now the new Soling World Champion-  Farkas Litkey from the Hungarian J/24 fleet.  Other examples are strong sailing teams in Germany (EUROPE 2 saw Tobias Feuerherdt came close to winning the trophy), the Monaco sailor Peter Langhans (already the champion’s of Europe and of Italy with La Superba Ignazio Bonanno at the helm), the crew of the “Blue Flames” and Massimo Mariotti on ALVOTORE (the 2007 Italian J/24 Champion in Cagliari).

The J/24 still requires a very good technical knowledge to sail the boat well, and that shows by the interest around the PasquaVela event and to our J/24 one-design.  Yet, compared to previous years, the number of boats sailing in the PasquaVela have diminished, not only in the J/24 fleet, but especially in Class Altura. In fact, many of the other one-design classes are completely gone! There are no more C21, First 7.5, Melges 24 or 20, Este 24, UFO 22, or even X32.

Only the J/24 class continues to be the leading one-design fleet in Italy and is often the largest fleet in many important regattas.  Yet, some say that it is an old boat. By now, there are boats much faster and efficient. It is probably more rewarding for a sailor, novice or aspiring champion, to climb aboard a “wedge of cheese”, killing themselves upwind touching hands to your toes, then planing with huge asym spinnaker on the carbon mast and the sponsor on the chest.  Then, such sailors wait for the right wind at the dock, then sail at 10-20 kts downwind, only to find themselves firmly planted in the sea in a monster broach! They’re spending a lot of money to buy the ultimate and, most importantly, keep it. After racing for a few years with these “hydrofoils of the sea”, they then abandon them because they are no longer competitive with the new boats since such contraptions always have structural failures of the hull!

J/Boats are simply built better!  In 2013, at Anzio, the winner of the Italian J/24 Championship was the former J/24 European Champion Luigi Ravioli.  Ravioli renovated an old “J” built in 1984 by Cantiere Biagini, bringing it back to life and and making it competitive and successful!

Today, any kid who grew up on the water can afford to buy a J/24, alone or creating a team of small boat owners, with an initial outlay of around 2,000- 3,000 EUR per person.  They can buy the boat together, put it back in order and enter into one of the nine Italian J/24 fleets!  Or, they can participate in the regattas on the lakes or the Mediterranean, sail against great sailors, and grow and conquer each race— one day, maybe even, the a World title! Only in Italy are there more than 150 J/24s racing each year; with 5,400-plus worldwide . Everyone has the opportunity to participate in a National or European title events.  No one-design in the world offers so many opportunities with an investment comparable to that of an old used Fiat!

But above all, no one-design is so technical with such simple adjustments. The amount of fine-tuning and variables makes the J/24 a joy to discover and understand forever. Intriguing for the most creative minds and simply crazy for the stubborn! Angry are the defeated, but the tenacious fall in love. You can spend twenty years of tuning, wins, losses, changes, but each time the J/24 will amaze you and you will ask yet another new question!

Yes. The J/24 is a passion; like all the feelings you have in your heart. Suffering and rejoicing, angry and embracing with happiness, trying to understand and find out what you do not understand, reaching a milestone and realizing that there is a sea and another race to conquer in front of you, and that every time you realize that you know that it is infinite.”


J/Cruising CommunityJ cruising directions- roll the dice and go!  Sailing to anywhere, anytime!

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.

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 at http://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 at http://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.

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

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