J/News for May 28, 2015

Catalina 309 reviews and more
May 27, 2015
Beneteau Horizons eNewsletter May 2015
May 28, 2015

J/109 sailing off Southern CaliforniaCal Race Week Preview
(Marina del Rey, California)- Participation at Cal Race Week continues to be a highlight for many boats as more and more racers discover the pleasure of late spring sailing in Marina del Rey, with afternoon breezes in the low to mid-teens and perfect temperatures for racing around the buoys.

CYC expects many one-design classes to return in 2015 including the J/70, J/80 and J/109 classes.  In fact, of the fifty-four boats registered to date, 23 of them are J/Teams from the SoCal region (nearly 50% of the fleet).  In addition, several J’s are sailing in the SoCal PHRF handicap fleet.

California Yacht Club has won US SAILING’s St. Petersburg trophy for excellence in race management three times in recent years! Multiple venues with separate start/finish lines will minimize interference between boats in different classes and insure that most of the time on the water will be spent racing.

The weekend’s hospitality will be a fitting complement to the on-the-water competition. There will be entertainment both days, with “hosted” beverages on the docks delivered by friendly, beautiful hostesses and a no-host BBQ on Saturday.  Then, on Sunday at trophy presentation there are more complimentary beverages with the most amazing spread of hors d’oeuvres seen anywhere in the world.  If you have never experienced this type of “red carpet” treatment before (similar to San Diego YC’s largesse), you owe it to yourself to enjoy CYC’s gracious hospitality at least once in your life!

Many of SoCal’s leading J/109s will be participating over the weekend, including Alice Leahey’s GRACE O’MALLEY, Bryce Benjamin’s PERSISTENCE, John Shulze’s LINSTAR and Tom Brott’s famous yellow-bottomed boat- ELECTRA.

The J/70 class continues to expand in SoCal, in particular because the J/70 North Americans will be held in San Diego at San Diego YC later in September.  It seems that every major event is attracting a field of strong J/70 teams as that event date gets closer and closer.  New teams like Chris Raab & Dale Williams’ SUGOI will be contending with class veterans like Karl Pomeroy & Patrick Powell’s ZERO TO 60, David Schumann’s BOTTLE ROCKET, Justin Kromelow’s LOOSE LUCY and Craig Tallman’s JAYA.  Woman skipper Beverly Burr’s crew on VIVACE are moving up the learning curve quickly and hope to give “the boys” a run for the roses, too.

The top SoCal J/80 team will be in attendance hoping to defend their crown, Curt Johnson’s AVET from the hometown Cal YC.  They will be joined by Peter Boland & Erik Pavelka’s ACQUE VELOCE and David Angers’ MISS DEMEANOR.

Making a go of it in the PHRF handicap world offshore will be Glenn Griley’s J/111 STAMPEDE from King’s Harbor YC and Rich Festa & David Navon’s J/120 PRIVATE RESIDENCE from PCCA.  For more Cal Race Week sailing information


J/80 sailing off ItalyJ/80 Blue Project Club Opens in Italy
(Chiavari (Genoa), Italy)- As they continue to grow their sailing club and sailing course offerings, the BLUE PROJECT team will begin their programs in Marina di Chiavari (GE) on board of their J/80s in June of this year.

The program offers sailors an opportunity to improve their sailing capabilities with excellent instructors in one of the most beautiful places to sail in all of Italy.  Situated along the famous coastline that runs along Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino, it offers a great chance to have a wonderful vacation and learn the nuances of sailing in the sensitive, fun-to-sail J/80 class sailboats.

J/80 sailing coach at Blue ProjectPerhaps the most notable benefit of participating in this program is that a famous woman skipper- Anne-Soizic Bertin- is their Technical Director (pictured here). She is a Match Race Champion and has been 5th in the ISAF World Rankings.  She is a French woman that lives in Chiavari and has been a habitué of the J/80 class.  Her regular crew are, in fact, (from the bow in the above photo) Fausto Surini, Mattia Capurso, Andrea Trani and Martino Tortarolo- her team for sailing J/80 events.

The BLUE PROJECT Team can organize full packages that include hotel, meals, excursions, car rental, etc to discover Liguria and its beautiful and enchanting sea, towns and excellent food & wine.

Classes are held on weekends as well as there are 5-day courses from Monday to Friday. For more information and booking, please contact Anne-Soizic Bertin: mobile +39 329 854 9199/ email-anne@blueprojectsailing.com or Ivana Quattrini: mobile +39 335 809 3904/ email- ufficiostampa@blueprojectsailing.com


J/109 sailing Lake OntarioSusan Hood Trophy Race Preview
(Port Credit, Ontario, Canada)- A long time ago (back in the 1950’s), the vast majority of what we now call racer/cruiser yachts were custom built, usually of wood, and at the west end of Lake Ontario the only measurement handicap system was the Cruising Club of America (CCA) Rule. There were two major drawbacks to this rule: (1) you had to have your yacht weighed, and (2) in almost all cases you had to have a set of plans. Tough nutters those old handicap guys were, eh??

In the spring of 1955, Doug Hood, a member of Port Credit Yacht Club, approached George Cuthbertson (of C&C Yachts design fame) and offered to put up a trophy if someone would produce a simple measurement system for handicapping yachts. They decided to try it out with Doug donating the trophy named after his brand new bouncing baby daughter Susan (e.g. the namesake of the Susan Hood Trophy Race). Approximately 25 boats were measured and the first race was held in early June. The course was Port Credit to Oakville to Port Dalhousie and back to Port Credit. In spite of a fire on one yacht, very little wind, and Doug winning his own trophy (in a Cruising 6 Metre “Junge”), the race was a great success.

Today, the race continues in that grand tradition of breaking new ground and welcoming all forms of offshore sailing to the event in the first great race of the Lake Ontario sailing season. This year’s race runs on Friday, May 29th from Port Credit YC. Boats typically are back at PCYC mid-day or during the afternoon of the following day.

Over the course of time, the race has continued to attract passionate followers that count on getting their boats ready for their inaugural race of the offshore season.  The race can be anything but a “cakewalk” across the lake course.  It can as benign as a cruise around the track in gorgeous spring conditions- 70 deg days, sun and 12 kts of breeze and an evening on the lake watching the Northern Lights dancing in the evening skies while your sails are lit-up with a spring monster moon.  Or, it can all be in fog, like the year one famous Canadian sailor, Terry McLaughlin, spent with his partner figuring out how to make a J/105 go fast.  Or, it can be a hair-raising, beyond fresh-to-frightening ordeal fighting a massively fast-moving frontal system whipping off the Midwestern prairies with God’s light-show blitzing your retinas every few seconds while you try to rationalize why you even bothered to start the race in the first place with the prospect of 1” hail and 45 knot gales blowing down the companionway hatch and exploding your $500 Kaenon sun-glasses!  “Aahhh,” say those hardy Midwestern and Canadian folk, “that’s just the way it is, eh??”  Such is the mentality of ice hockey players used to playing pond—hockey in sub-zero gales and frozen-lake iceboat sailors once it’s time to sail the soft-water stuff.  It is a different world for those northern types.

Loving every minute of it are a certain breed of fun-loving, living-it-on-the-edge J sailors who relish the chance to hop in their boats just after Lake Ontario has melted (meaning un-frozen) and begin to carve new trails of adventure across their beloved lake.  The IRC Class of fourteen boats has three veterans taking on some of Lake Ontario’s best offshore teams.  Nevertheless, Murray Gainer’s J/109 LIVELY from Toronto can more than hold their own against them.  In addition, Leszek Siek’s J/35 JAEGER has proven that “classic” can also mean fast; the same can be said for Andrew Sharp’s J/92 SWITCH from Olcott YC in New York.

Sailing the Solo PHRF Fleet will be Geoff Cornish’s J/124 ROULEUR from Royal Canadian YC in Toronto. In the PHRF FS-FC1 Class is past race winner, Bob Eckersley’s J/109 BLUE STREAK from Toronto as well as Graham Tom’s J/120 THE CAT CAME BACK.  In FS-FC2 class is a quartet of fearless J/105 teams such as Peter Wolniak’s ANOTHER HAZARD, Geoff Clarke’s CASUAL ELEGANCE, Tom Accardo’s SOTTOVENTO and Ed Berkhout’s ALI-KAT.  Finally, in the NFS-FC1 class is Wendy Northcotte’s J/30 NORTH CAUGHT from St Catherines, Ontario.  For more Susan Hood Trophy Race sailing information


J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide

The end of April always seems to bring surprises in the world of sailing.  No one could have predicted, for example, that sailing conditions for most events in Europe, USA and Mexico would produce not just good sailing conditions, but in most places fabulous weather that would go down in the record books in one way or another for sailors as either memorable or, for those offshore, unbelievably fast.

Starting off with our J teams in Europe, it must be said there were several notable performances by top teams both offshore and in the one-design world.  Taking advantage of the excellent conditions off The Hague in The Netherlands were J teams sailing the huge Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta.  The event also marked the first ever Dutch Two-Handed Nationals that saw J/105, J/111, J/120, J/122 and J/133 teams sail lights out in the 2H divisions.  Simultaneously, J/22s and J/80s were enjoying the bright spring conditions.   Just across the border in France, the Grand Prix du Crouesty hosted the first French J/70 Nationals, the annual French J/24 Nationals and the fourth act of the Coupe de France J/80; thanks to the efforts of the YC Crouesty de Arzon.  Further south in Europe, the famous J/80 class in Spain also hosted its J/80 Copa de Espana in Murcia, Spain.

In the North and Central American sphere of sailing, a number of extraordinary sailing events took place from way up north in Canada all the way down to Mexico in equatorial waters. Starting in the east, the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race took place in near idyllic offshore conditions (for raw boat speed, that is!) for fleets of one-design J/44s as well as IRC and PHRF handicap classes, including a well-attended Double-handed class that saw J/105s, a J/88, J/109s, J/120s, J/122s do well.  Simultaneously, loving the same conditions were a huge fleet of boats sailing from Hyannis, Cape Cod to Nantucket in the infamous FIGAWI Race- an event that saw everything from J/29s up to J/46s participate.  In the south, the J/24s held their Heritage & Corinthian Cup at Dallas Corinthian YC in Dallas, Texas.  Out west, the Pacific Coast was quite busy.  In the Pacific Northwest, the renowned Swiftsure Race that starts in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada took place that incorporates five events in one- the Swiftsure Lightship Classic, the new Hanz Bauer Ledge Race, the Cape Flattery Race, the Juan de Fuca Race and the Inshore Classic.  South of them on San Francisco Bay, two events took place simultaneously, the J/24 USA Nationals at Berkeley YC on the Berkeley Circle and the U.S. Sailing J/22 Match Race West Coast series off St Francis YC.

Finally, down in Central America, the J/70 class in Mexico hosted their Copa Aaron Saenz in Acapulco, Mexico- an amazing event that supports youth sailing on an international level, but now also includes the rapidly growing J/70 class in Mexico.

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 29-30- Susan Hood Trophy Race- Mississauga, Ontario
May 29-31- Southern Bay Race Week- Hampton, VA
May 30-31- Cal Race Week- Marina del Rey, CA
May 30- Jun 2- Italian J/24 Nationals- Cala Galera, Italy
Jun 3-6- J/80 Campeonato de Espana- Sotogrande, Spain
Jun 5- RORC de Guingand Bowl- Cowes, IOW, England
Jun 6-8- Cronulla J/24 Short Course Regatta- Sydney, Australia
Jun 6-13- J/24 Europeans- Arzon, France
Jun 11-13- J/Cup Regatta- Cowes, IOW, England
Jun 12-14- NYYC Annual Regatta- Newport, RI
Jun 12-14- Cleveland Race Week- Cleveland, OH
Jun 12-14- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL
Jun 12-14- Italian J/70 Alcatel OneTouch #3- Cervia, Italy
Jun 15-19- J/111 World Championship- Newport, RI
Jun 21-26- Block Island Race Week- Block Island, RI
Jun 21-26- J/109 North Americans- Block Island, RI
Jun 25-28- Kieler Woche- Kiel, Germany
Jun 26-Jul 5- Delta Week 2015- Grevelingen, The Netherlands
Jun 26-28- Long Beach Race Week- Long Beach, CA
Jun 27- JP Morgan Round Island Race- Cowes, IOW- England

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


J/80 sailing Copa de EspanaBRIBON-MOVISTAR- J/80 Copa de Espana Star
(Murcia, Spain)- Marc de Antonio and Sofia Bertrand’s J/80 BRIBON-MOVISTAR, sailing under the flag of the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona and Real Club Nautico de Sanxenxo, again won their title with a good margin of points over the second place finishers.  It was the locals from Murcia that completed the podium, Carlos Martinez at the helm of AKEWUELE and Jose Maria Van der Ploeg skippering NAUTICA WATCHES.

The fleet was blessed with perfect sailing conditions during the three days of racing off the Marina Juan Montiel (Aguilas, Murcia) to compete for the Copa de Espana J/80.  Seventeen teams sailed nine races from the 21st to 24th of May in perfect breezes.

The final victory went to the crew of Marc Antony and Sophie Bertrand, their team on “BRIBON—MOVISTAR” sailed an impeccable championship, taking podium positions in eight of the nine races.  Despite being the leader after the first day of racing, Carlos Martinez’s AKEQUELE finished in second place.

Olympic medalist Jose Maria Van der Ploeg, skippering NAUTICA WATCHES, took third largely because they had to discard a 16 pt Black Flag and count the other eight races instead.

The superiority of the Catalan J/80 fleet was the dominant theme in the Copa de Espana J/80 in Aguilas.  The fact that the podium had all three places occupied by members of the Catalan fleet is quite remarkable and is evidence of the high quality of racing in the local fleet.

In the overall standings, one has to drop to fourth place to find a team that does not belong to the Catalan fleet; that was HM HOTELS skippered by Javier Chacartegui, representing the Yacht Club of Arenal (Baleares).  They were six points off the podium.

The next regatta for the Spanish J/80 class will be the Campeonato de Espana IX to be held in Sotogrande waters- Cádiz- from 3rd to 6th of June.  Already thirty boats have registered for the event with more promising they will be there!  That should be a fantastic warm-up for the J/80 World Championships in Germany in the first week of July!  For more Copa de Espana sailing information


J/111 Xcentric Ripper- North Sea winners- Robin Verhoef & John van der StarreJ/111 Wins Dutch 2H Nationals
J/109 Crushes ORC 2 Class @ North Sea Regatta
(Scheveningen, The Netherlands)- Participants in the 70th North Sea Regatta, powered by Delta Lloyd, were treated to beautiful weather all weekend long.  The participants in the Two-Handed Nationals had a stronger, more demanding three days than they had sailing for 24 hours at sea last week.  As most will admit, it was great training for the Fastnet Race.

After the first day of racing, it was clear amongst the fifteen duos on the Two-Handed Class starting line that Robin Verhoef & John van der Starre’s J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER was going to be a force to contend with.  Easily starting fast and handling their boat as well or better than all their competitors, the super slick J/111 simply outsailed their colleagues to lead after the first day.

Yvonne Buesker and Two-handed crews at North Sea regattaYvonne Beusker, who is responsible for the racing and the competition within Shorthanded group, was positively surprised about the level of competition. “They are all real die-hards, everyone sailing with the knife between the teeth. The level is really high amongst all the teams! Everyone is going to continue until they are exhausted; the two of you have to be very versatile. You saw yesterday, especially with the heavy weather, the teams all sailed very well. We left at 8:45 am from the harbor and were the last ones were back at 17:45 hrs! That is a full day of sailing for two people after three races!  On Saturday, the conditions were calmer and the duos could be little more relaxed about pushing their boats.”

Beusker is thrilled with the number of participants in this first national championship (seen in the photo above). “The atmosphere is very good and most of the participants will also take part in the Fastnet race. As we celebrate, this feast continues forward to the Fastnet Race.  The major competitors there are the French and the English for us.  However, we know the level of Dutch sailing high, particularly with this current group of two-handed teams, so we hope the Dutch are really going to do well during the Fastnet.”

Beusker’s words may be prophetic.  As it was in the last edition of the Fastnet Race that the J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER, after passing Fastnet Rock, was one of the leaders overall in the IRC Class of 250+ boats- including fully-crewed teams!  So, it remains to be seen if this year’s preparations bring everyone in the Netherlands to a much higher level.

J crew sailing past markAt the end of the regatta, the first Netherlands Two-Handed National Championship crown went to John van der Starre and Robin Verhoef’s XCENTRIC RIPPER.  No one could touch them on speed, strategy and boat-handling.  Understandably, Van der Starre was walking on air after winning the first Two-handed Nationals! “I walk on roses,” says van der Starre. “It’s always ups and downs, now with the Vuurschepenrace and North Sea Race experience, we believe we have a good chance in the Fastnet Race. When we were in England, I said that I simply wanted to go sailing and see what happens.  We’re happy with our performance so far!”

“The crossing of the Channel and the races up and down the coast of Scheveningen are not comparable to this weekend,” said van der Starre. “The Channel crossing is really tough, we were awake nearly 25 hours, so it’s mentally and physically challenging. Last weekend saw really how high the level in the Netherlands, it was very physically challenging since you sail so many races!  The North Sea Regatta was one that stood high on the list that we hoped to do well in, we now move on to the Fastnet. And, in between we also still do some competitions in the Netherlands.”

J/109 sailing North Sea regattaIn addition to the winners, taking second in the Two-Handed Nationals was the J/122 JUNIQUE RAYMARINE SAILING TEAM sailed by Chris Revelman and Pascal Bakker, winning the last two races in convincing fashion over their friends on the RIPPER!  In fifth was the J/133 BATFISH sailed by Bart Desaunois and Gerard de Boer; seventh was the J/109 FIRESTORM (Wim van Slooten/ Jochem Hamstra); taking 8th was the J/120 MAVERICK (Chris Schram); and tenth was the women’s duo on the J/105 PANTHER (Yvonne Beusker/ Edith Voskamp).  That is quite a showing for J/Teams in the top ten of the first Two-Handed Nationals- 60% of the top ten!!

Besides the 2H Nationals, XCENTRIC RIPPER duo also won the 2H Yeoman Cup with a 1-2-1-3-2 record for just 9 pts.  Taking second were their friends on the J/133 BATFISH, 3rd place was the J/122 JUNIQUE RAYMARINE SAILING TEAM, 8th was the J/120 MAVERICK, 10th was the J/109 FIRESTORM, and 11th was the J/105 PANTHER.

J/109 Jai Lai crew winning North Sea regattaOver in the world of ORC 2 Class racing, there was another excellent performance by a J/crew-  JC Bornet’s J/109 JAI LAI.  Wouter Kollman, who was sailing aboard as tactics, said, “I can’t believe we won the Dutch ORC Championship, the Yeoman Cup and the North Sea Regatta Overall in ORC 2 Class!  Great sailing with Team ZDH Stevedoring!!”  Their J/109 classmate MAJIC, sailed by Arnout Joorritsma took fourth in class.

The J/22 Benelux Open Championship went to Jean-Michel Lautier’s FRAPORITA, posting five 1sts in the twelve races the J/22 class sailed over the four days.  The FRAPORITA gang sailed a remarkably steady series, posting only top five finishes to win with just 19 pts.  Despite leading after the first half of the series (6 races), having to take second overall was Dirk Jan Verdoorn’s JUT EN JUL.  Dirk’s crew may have “lost their minds” after celebrating their good fortune at the start of the regatta, for their disastrous performances in the next four races, an epic 8-11-10-11 tally, saw them tumble hard down the standings.  J/22s sailing North Sea regattaOnly three points back in 3rd place was Ivo Jeukens’ DA KANTOORBUTLER.  Rounding out the top five was Erik Verboom’s JAM SESSION in 4th and in 5th place was the famous BIG ROLL/ TU DELFT/ BROACH/ BERING crew led by skipper Lisanne Nijdam.

This year there was four J/80’s registered in the North Sea Regatta for their Open Benelux Championship.  It turned into a match race struggle between Peter Paul de Vries and Bram Adema.  “We were a bit wild at the start,” said Peter Paul, “but then we were happy to have a match race for the regatta with Bram!  Fun sailing all weekend!”  In the end, Peter Paul’s team on DE SJAAK won with eight bullets in the scoreline with Bram’s NJORD taking the second seat on the podium.  Sailing photo credits- Sander van der Borch.  For more Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta sailing information


J/24 sailing at GP CrouestyJ’s J’Taime GP du Crouesty
Pellissier Tops J/80s, Sambron Eclipses J/70s, MAJIC Dusts J/24s
(Crouesty de Arzon, France)- Blessed with better than average sailing conditions over all three days of the regatta, the Yacht Club du Crouesty Arzon did a fantastic job of hosting their famous annual regatta- the Grand Prix du Crouesty.

With such great conditions, the sailing off Port Navalo on the Baie de Morbihan saw the YCCA able to get in as many as a dozen races for some fleets!  Both the J/70s and J/24s were hosting their French National Championships and the J/80s were sailing the next act in the season long Coupe de France J/80 series.

Perhaps the big surprise was the outstanding performance of Laurent Sempron’s HEMON CAMUS in the eleven boats J/70 class. It is evident that his long-term success in the J/80 class was a great background for sailing the 70s.  Starting out by winning the first race, Sambron’s crew won all but one race to close out the series with just 8 pts.  As a result, Sambron’s crew are declared the first French J/70 National Champions!  Behind them, it was a close contest for the top five.  Taking 2nd overall was Gwenael Thomas’ OUEST GREEMENT with 21 pts net and the only other boat to win a race.  Third place was Francois Dore’s CELE’J from EV Rochelaises with 25 pts net- they are from the homeport for the upcoming J/70 World Championships.  Fourth was Pierre Ducom’s ENER-J with 27 pts net and fifth place was taken by Thomas Mellano’s PAPREC RECYCLAGE LE HAVRE NAUTIC.

J/70 and J/80 round mark at  GP CrouestyThere was a good turnout for the J/80s, with twenty-two boats vying for good positions in their overall season series.  Sailing at a very high level all season long has been Sylvain Pellissier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE team.  After winning the first two races with ease, Pellissier’s team put their boat on “cruise control” and posted the rest of their scores in the top five to win with just 12 pts net.  Not giving a millimeter, but just never able to close the gap on Pellissier’s fast & smart team was past French J/80 National Champion, Eric Brezellec on COURRIER JUNIOR.  After posting two seconds in as many races, they could do nothing to close the gap with Pellissier, having to settle for second overall with 17 pts net.  Sailing one of their better regattas in recent memory was Luc Nadal’s crew on GAN’JA, collecting a 2-1-2 in his scoreline to secure third overall with 26 pts.  The balance of the top five include Adrien Mouillon’s APCC TJM in 4th place and Marc Noesmoen’s TEAM VENDEE in fifth.

Compared to their J one-design colleagues in the 70s and 80s classes, the French J/24 Nationals saw a very closely fought contest for the top three.  The three contenders- Francois De Herce’s MAJIC, Aorelian Garcia’s INSULARIS and Phillippe Boudgourd’s FIL D’O- were essentially tied after six races.  With two more races to go, it would be a horse race to see which team would top the winner’s circle.  At this stage, it was apparent that MAJIC was ready to get the job done, posting a closing score of double bullets to win with 12 pts net.  Sailing nearly as well was INSULARIS, but their 2-3 was only good enough for 2nd place with 15 pts net.  Finally, just about falling off their race horse must have been FIL D’O’s crew, their 5-2 dropped them out of contention into 3rd place overall with 18 pts net.  It was fun, close racing for this trio.  Taking 4th was Charles Gury’s JINETTE and in 5th was Pierre Antoine’s MARTA.  For more Grand Prix du Crouesty France sailing information


J/120 sailing around markJ/105 YOUNG AMERICAN Kids Two-Peat!
1st PHRF 3 and 1st PHRF Overall In Block Island Race
(Larchmont, NY)– The 70th edition of the Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race yielded winners in ten classes – four IRC (including one for Double-hand), four PHRF, J/44 and Multihull – and a place in the record books for Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark’s new 100-foot Maxi Comanche with past J/24 World Champion Ken Read at the helm. Fifty eight boats started the 185 nautical mile race (from Stamford Yacht Club in Connecticut, down Long Island Sound, around Block Island, R.I. and back to Stamford) on Friday afternoon (May 22) of Memorial Day Weekend, with Comanche finishing exactly one second after 2:50 a.m. the next morning, giving her an elapsed time of 11 hours 25 minutes and 01 second. Speed-wise, Comanche averaged 16.2 knots, crushing the old Rambler 100 record that averaged 14 knots.

“If I could have drawn the weather map, I think it is what I would have drawn,” said Comanche’s Navigator Stan Honey. The favorable conditions included winds of 15-27 knots and outgoing/incoming tides at all the right times, especially at “The Race” and “Plum Gut,” two notoriously difficult passage choices for exiting and re-entering Long Island Sound.

Repeating its PHRF 3 Class victory from last year was American Yacht Club’s J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN, another entry with junior sailors, but in this case, the kids were the majority onboard with Peter Becker serving as the team’s single adult safety officer and coach. “Last year, we won our class and finished third overall, which was a huge moment,” said Becker. “This year, we were first in PHRF division and first overall in PHRF, so we bested our performance by a big margin. The kids are on fire; they love it!”

The YOUNG AMERICAN team was pressured up at the start for their spinnaker run in 25 knots. When the tack of their chute blew out, they switched to a spare and were surfing down Long Island Sound at 15 knots.  “We were all hiking off the stern and hanging with the big boats and double-handed boats.  They started the double-hands, then small to large classes in order, so Comanche was the last start. It was really cool when it went whizzing by us doing 18-20 knots.”  For their offshore feats, the YOUNG AMERICAN crew was awarded the TERRAPIN TROPHY for “Best corrected time in PHRF”!

Behind the YOUNG AMERICAN team was Rick Oricchio’s J/120 ROCKET SCIENCE with a 4th in class and sitting in 7th was Dan Nash’s J/105 MISTRAL.

In the IRC Divisions, several J crews had excellent performances.  Most notably, about on par with the kids triumph was Hewitt Gaynor’s J/120 MIREILLE taking 1st in the IRC Double-handed Division.  A fellow J/120 duo on ALIBI skippered by Gardner Grant took 2nd!  Fifth in class was Rod Johnstone’ J/88 JAZZ (see Rod J’s report below in the Community section) and taking 7th place was Andrew Berdon’s J/109 STRIDER.  For their epic win in the Double-handed Division, MIREILLE took home the GEROLD ABELS Trophy for “Best Performance Double-Handed”.

For IRC 2 Class, the J/122 RED SKY helmed by John Pearson placed third overall of eight boats.

The J/44s once again sailed as a one-design class with long-time J/105 champion Joerg Esdorn demonstrating both strong tactics and long-term offshore strategies to pull off their first big J/44 class win since they traded up to the 44s over four years ago.  Tough class!  Second was veteran 44 class winner Len Sitar’s VAMP and rounding out the podium was Chris Lewis’ Houston, Texas team sailing KENAI (bet they were happy to be avoiding the massive flooding in their hometown!). As a result of their performance in the 44 class, Esdorn’s KINCSEM was awarded the GEORGE LAUDER TROPHY for the “Best performance by a Vintage boat (25 years old +)!

Chairman Redniss said this was a tough year for getting boats prepared for the Block Island Race, which was a week earlier than usual. “It was quite cold and harbors were frozen; yards were simply weeks behind.  Overall, we had 68 entries; however, eight notified us before race day that they were not going to make it, and another two did not make the start. Conditions for the race were near perfect, but of course, another 10 or 12 degrees warmer would have been nice!  We were cold on the Committee Boat overnight; I can imagine there was a lot of shivering on the rail!”  For more Storm Trysail Block Island Race sailing information


J/24s sailing San Francisco's Berkeley CircleJ/24 US Nationals Snow’d Under!
(Berkeley, California) – It took all nine races to determine the victor at the J/24 US National Championship, hosted by Berkeley Yacht Club on May 22-24. Chris Snow’s BOGUS and David Klatt’s JADED came into the final day with just one point separating them, and in the end, it was still one single point that secured victory for Snow and his crew, which included current J/24 World Champion Will Welles (tactics), Chris Nesbitt (trim), Garth Reynolds (mast) and Doug Weitz (bow, a J/24 World Champion crew in 1995).

Snow’s BOGUS team gained the early advantage on day 1 on the highly competitive fleet of twenty-five boats; they posted a 1,2,3 on Friday. Just two notches behind them was Klatt’s JADED of Ventura, CA with 8 points. Tokuma Takesue’s GEKKO from Japan stood in third with 12 points.

Snow took control of the opening bout, when winds were between 10-12 knots on San Francisco Bay. Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE trailed in second, and Klatt in third. In the next race, it was Takesue’s GEKKO in the top spot, as Snow dropped to second and Scott Milne’s Tremendous Slouch completed the top trio. Klatt claimed the victory in Friday’s final contest, followed by Carl Sheath’s Suspence (who subsequently incurred a 20% scoring penalty) and Snow. The breeze increased to 14-16 knots by the start of race 3.

Three more races were completed on the second day with only one point now dividing the top two in the standings: BOGUS and JADED. Snow dropped a six in Saturday’s middle race to keep scores of 1,2,3,3,1 for 10 points. Klatt had to drop his last tally (a fifth), leaving a line of 3,4,1,2,1 for 11 points. Laura’s BABA LOUIE moved up to third in the standings.

J/24s sailing at USA Nationals in San FranciscoLight winds between 4-6 knots greeted the teams on Saturday morning when Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS of Santa Barbara, CA won the opening contest. Klatt and Snow then settled in the familiar top three. Klatt inched out Laura’s Baba Louie to claim the top spot in the next race in breeze between 6-8 knots (Toole got the bronze position). The wind stepped up to 10-12 in Saturday’s final battle, and it was Snow who secured the victory, trailed by Scott Milne’s TREMENDOUS SLOUCH and Laura.

BOGUS started off Sunday with a 2,1, leaving them with a five-point advantage. Klatt did all he could in the final bout and took line honors, but Snow placed fifth which was exactly enough to win with 18 net points, to Klatt’s 19. Takesue’s GEKKO of Japan, with Mike Ingham as a crew member, took third with 32 points.

Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS was finally getting their “mojo” going and opened the day with a victory, ahead of Snow and Michael Whitfield’s TMC RACING, while winds hovered around 10 knots on the Bay. Snow snagged the bullet in the next contest, as Klatt and Takesue rounded out the top three. Closing out the regatta in 12-14 knots of wind, Klatt claimed the final race win, trailed by Scott Milne’s TREMENDOUS SLOUCH and Takesue.

Behind the top two boats overall, taking a well-deserved third place was Takesue’s GEKKO with 32 pts net.  Fourth was Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS with 36 pts net and fifth was Laura’s Seattle crew on BABA LOUIE with 43 pts net.

One of the more notable performances in the regatta was woman skipper Natalie Penner on GIGGLES.  Hailing from Austin YC in Texas, this was her first major regatta on the notorious Berkeley Circle on San Francisco Bay.  While her team still had their “training wheels” on in the first few races, she closed with a 4-6 in the last two races to jump into 8th spot overall— not bad for here crew to snare a top ten finish!  For more J/24 US Nationals sailing information


J/120 sailing Swiftsure RaceJ’s Sweep Swiftsure Classes
(Victoria, BC, Canada)- This year’s Swiftsure Race had nearly all the best elements of a near-perfect race!  Good winds, smooth waters, incredible competitors from far and wide, the largest complement of racers in years.  The Swiftsure is now actually five different races over three separate courses, plus an inshore regatta.  The principal races include the following:

  • Swiftsure Lightship Classic- 138nm
  • Hein Bank Race- 118.1nm
  • Cape Flattery Race- 101.9nm
  • Juan de Fuca Race- 78.7nm
  • Inshore Classic Race- 24.0nm

Starting off with the granddaddy of them all, the Lightship Classic, we find Ron Holbrook’s crew on the J/133 CONSTELLATION sailed a great race to complete the 138.2nm course in 22:52:20 to take second overall in the division of eleven boats.

J/145 sailing Swiftsure RaceIn the Cape Flattery Race, perennially the largest race fleet with 65 boats in six PHRF divisions.  The J’s had fantastic performances in some of the divisions. “Bringing home the bacon”, so to speak, were a duo of J/120s at the top of L2 Division.  First on corrected time was Kirk Palmer’s LIGHTSCOUT and second was Bob Brunius’ famous veteran offshore crew on TIME BANDIT.  Together they also took 2nd and 4th overall in the entire Cape Flattery Race!  In fact, J crews swept the L2 Division, with the J/46 DIVA sailed by Jim Prentice taking 3rd in class and 8th overall. Fifth in class went to the J/35 TAHLEQUAH skippered by Don Leighton followed by Chris Johnson’s J/120 WITH GRACE in 7th and Mark Hansen’s J/109 MOJO in 8th.  In short, J’s took 60% of the top ten spots in L2 Division.

Repeating their J colleague’s performances in L2, the J/105s simply swept top honors in L3 Division.  At the top of the trio was Matt Davis’ FREE BOWL OF SOUP from Arizona YC, if you recall they won their class in the Oregon Offshore Race last year and went on to repeat that same performance in the Pacific Cup Race. Second was a well-known fast local boat, Jerry Diercks’ DELIRIUM and third place went to Ed Wilder’s AVALANCHE.

Swiftsure Race starting lineIn the H1 Division, it was Scott Campbell’s pretty J/46 DIVA from Portland, Oregon that simply trounced their competitors to win their class by 22 minutes on corrected time.  Not too far off the pace was fellow Portland YC member Tom Keffer on his J/42 VELOCITY posting a 9th in class.

There were 46 boats in four PHRF divisions sailing the 78.7nm Juan de Fuca Race.  Top J was the J/35 MOONLIGHT MILE sailed by Duncan Stamper, taking a 7th in L1 Division.  The J/30s in L2 Division sailed well, with Joe Geck’s BOB taking 3rd and Theo Singelis’ TAKU placing 8th.

The Inshore Race was fast and furious with most competitors finished by 3 PM.  This 24nm race saw nearly the entire top twenty boats overall finish within 10 minutes of each other on corrected time!  Needless to say, the conditions seriously favored the smaller, slower handicapped boats.  Top J was Kevin Reath’s J/80 SW-II from host Royal Vancouver YC, taking 6th in the Flying Sails Division.  Next was Ben Braden sailing the J/88 in 14th place, then in 16th was Tom Kerr’s J/33 CORVO.  In FS-Division I, Braden’s J/88 placed 5th and Kerr’s J/33 CORVO was 6th.  In FS-Division 2, Reath’s J/80 SW-II won class.

The big changes for Swiftsure 2015 seem to have been well received– a brand new race course (the Hein Bank Race) and a brand new venue for Swiftsure Centre in the Steamship Terminal, many thanks to sponsors Steamship Grill & Bar and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.   Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson   Swiftsure Facebook page   For more Swiftsure Race sailing information


J/105 sailing Figawi RaceJ/105s Sweep FIGAWI
(Falmouth, MA)- It would be safe to say the FIGAWI Race organizers must pray every year for relatively benign, easy-going conditions for their classic 36nm pursuit race from Hyannis Port, Massachusetts on Cape Cod to Nantucket Harbor.  Their prayers were answered this year, as it will go down in memory as one of the prettiest ever.  Dawning with a gorgeous sunrise and a fresh breeze from the WNW, the day simply got better and better.  It was a spectacular race.  Sunny day, with plenty of wind all day to fill brightly colored spinnakers that stretched across the horizon.

For those standing on the beach next to Brant Point Lighthouse that marks the entrance to the Nantucket Boat Basin, it was glorious sight as the parade of boats effortlessly glided by on sunlit seas.

In PHRF A class, Richard Egan’s J/46 WINGS enjoyed the race but conditions were a bit too reachy for them to haul in the lighter weight boats in front of them surfing down the waves, taking 7th in their class.  In PHRF B, Kirk Brown’s J/40 JAZZ managed to take home some silverware with a 2nd in their class.

In the sprit divisions, the Daniel Heun’s J/122 MOXIE pulled off a 3rd in class in PHRF S1 division.  The other J/122, Jimmy Masiero’s URSUS MARITIMUS took 6th and Dave Follett’s J/120 GLORY ended up 9th.  In PHRF S2 division, the J/105s swept the top four spots, led by the Joyce/ Reservitz/ Wagner trio on DARK’N’STORMY.  Their classmates that followed were Matt & Lisa Schmidt’s HARDTACK in 2nd, Steve Widdis’ PRIMA in 3rd and Ed Lobo’s WATERWOLF in 4th.  Taking 5th in class was Alex Kraus’ J/80 COOL J.

In Division 2 Racing, the PHRF C class saw Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST yet again take silverware in this race, taking a 3rd overall.  In PHRF F class, Bill Jones’ J/40 SMITTEN surfed home to a 3rd in their class, too.

The Division 5 racing fleet saw Brad Butman’s pretty little J/28 SHADOWFAX take 3rd in PHRF N class.
For more Figawi Race sailing information


J/70 sailing AcapulcoFernandez Wins Copa Aaron Saenz Regatta
(Acapulco, Mexico)- The basis for this event was the result of a passionate sailor who wished to bring together youth sailors from across Mexico to join other international Optimist sailors in Acapulco, a venue famous for its sailing conditions and extraordinary hospitality.  That person, Aaron “El Chat” Saenz, believed in bringing together the hottest, best sailors so that everyone could learn together and improve the “state of Mexican sailing” to a much higher level.  The regatta has succeeded beyond “El Chat’s” wildest imaginations.  This year, in addition to the huge Optimist class, they invited other fleets to participate, including the Mexican J/70 class.

The Club de Yates Acapulco rolled out the red carpet for the huge fleet of twenty-two J/70s that showed up in Acapulco to participate in the event.  All of the top boats in Mexico were present to have fun and take a page from their Optimist friends and treat the event as a way to train those who wished to learn how to sail faster and handle their boats better.

J/70 sailing team in AcapulcoIn the end, it was Mexico’s top J/70 team that took class honors after a nine race series.  In what one might call FLOCO II (e.g. FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO), it was clear the team of Julian Fernandez from Club Nautico Valle de Bravo and his crew of Erick Brockman, Willem van Waay (an American from San Diego, CA) and Diego Cervantes were benefitting from their sailing at the top level in the American J/70 regattas.  After posting five bullets and three 2nds, The FLOCO II gang won with 11 pts net.

Behind Fernandez’s crew, it was a very close battle not just to be on the podium, but also to be in the top five.  A top all Mexican J/24 team took second overall for the regatta, Jorge Murrieta and his crew of Javier Navarro, Javier Patron, and Ander Belauteguigoitia.  Third was another top J/24 team, Eduardo Saenz from the host CY Acapulco with crew of Jimena Saenz, Jay Lutz (an American from Houston, TX), and Eduardo Saenz Jr.  Rounding out the top five was Giovanni Aloi Timeus Salvato from CY Acapulco taking fourth with crew of Matt Ciesicki (an American from San Francisco, CA), Fernando Bulajch and Alejandro Sole (an Argentinean Olympic class 470 sailor living in Houston, TX).  Fifth was another all Mexican crew, Ricardo Brockman Ohea from YC Acapulco and crew of Daniel Inde, Jeronimo Mariscal and Diego Velazco.   For more Copa Aaron Saenz sailing information


J/24 sailing Texas CircuitBAD MOON RISING Over Heritage Cup
(Dallas, Texas)- The 3rd Circuit Stop of the Texas Circuit took place May 2-3rd and was hosted by Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club and J/24 Fleet 163. This regatta is not only the annual fundraising regatta for DCYC, but it is also the J/24 Fleet 163 Corinthian Cup Regatta.

The perpetual Corinthian Cup trophy began in 2005 by Fleet 163 founders Kelly Holmes-Moon, Pete Pitzer and Brian Carter to recognize the growing fleet in North Texas.

Because of the low water in North Texas and the 2nd Circuit Stop being held at DCYC on behalf of Fort Worth Boat Club, J/24 competitors arrived with their 17 boats already set up and ready to go in the water. In the two weeks between regattas, North Texas got several inches of rain and competitors had to wade in some ankle deep water to get their boats to the crane.

On Saturday, after a one hour postponement to the first gun due to roads being shut down for an event near the yacht club that prevented several competitors from arriving on time, boats began their jaunt out to the racecourse in temperatures of about 75 degrees and winds around 7.5 knots out of the SSE. The weather prediction for the day was supposed to be light to medium.

As boats sailed around the predicted racecourse, the race committee began to set the marks and start line. Races were a go and the boats started racing to the first weather leg of the day. The winds fluctuated throughout the day from SSE to South and back and varied from 8 to 11 knots. There was a fair amount of land effect to consider so many of the top boats played the corners of both courses. It appeared that regardless of the side that was played, boats made out. The key was how much of a commitment to make on that side. It was a very competitive day of racing on Saturday and several newcomers took some top wins. The top 4 finishers of races on Saturday were:

Race 1: 1st James Freedman/Team Miss Conduct; 2nd Amanda Casey/Team Momentus; 3rd Natalie Penner/Team GIGGLES; 4th Tonja Holmes-Moon/Team Siren

Race 2: 1st Kelly Holmes-Moon/Team BadMoon; 2nd Brandon Furey/Team Jolly Bevo I; 3rd Juan Mauri/Team sr. happy; 4th Natalie Penner/Team GIGGLES

Race 3: 1st Natalie Penner/Team GIGGLES; 2nd Brandon Furey/Team Jolly Bevo I; 3rd Kelly Holmes-Moon/Team BadMoon; 4th Tonja Holmes-Moon/Team Siren

Race 4: 1st Juan Mauri/Team sr. happy; 2nd Kelly Holmes-Moon/Team BadMoon; 3rd James Freedman/Team Miss Conduct; 4th David Broadway/Team Superman

The weather on Sunday was predicted to be much windier and teams were eager to hit the racecourse early. While still somewhat out of the South, the 8-knot winds were shifty and puffy once again. Winds ranged again from 8 knots to 12 knots with a few bigger puffs later in the morning, and shifted from South to SSW and back, but not quite long enough for a course change. The top 8 boats were very tight in their numbers and there was no clear winner going into Race 5. Top 4 finishers for Race 5 were: 1st James Freedman/Team Misconduct; 2nd Kelly Holmes-Moon/Team BadMoon; 3rd Juan Mauri/Team sr. happy; 4th Tim Johnson/Team Gray Wolf.

Sitting in first place by one point after racing on Saturday and still holding onto it in Race 5, there was still some strategizing to do for Team BadMoon in order to win the regatta. They sailed a good clean race on Race 6 and took home the win. Top 4 finishers of Race 6 were: 1st Kelly Holmes-Moon/Team BadMoon; 2nd James Freedman/Team Miss Conduct; 3rd David Broadway/Team Superman; 4th Juan Mauri/Team sr. happy.

Congratulations to Team Bad Moon’s Kelly Holmes-Moon, David Haslip, Chris Pittman, Drake Ditmer, and Chris Lombardo for winning the Corinthian Cup and 3rd Circuit Stop of the Texas Circuit, and the additional top 5 winners! It was a tight and competitive weekend of racing!

First Place with 17 points – Kelly Holmes-Moon/Team BadMoon
Second Place with 23 points – Juan Mauri/Team sr. happy
Third Place with 24 points – James Freedman/Team Miss Conduct
Fourth Place with 26 points – Natalie Penner/Team GIGGLES
Fifth Place with 43 points (and beating the tie-breaker) – Brandon Furey/Team Jolly Bevo I
For more Texas J/24 Circuit sailing information


J/22 Match Racing in San Francisco BaySilvestri Dominates J/22 Match Race Qualifier
(San Francisco, CA)- Last weekend, the St. Francis YC hosted the first of two U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifiers being held at the Club this year, with the second event on Sept 5-6, 2015.  Conditions were challenging with an ebb tide shifting to a flood, and winds from 13 to 23 kts from the westerly quadrants beneath Golden Gate Bridge.

J/22s sailing San Francisco waterfrontThe winner, Russ Silvestri, dominated the event with 13 wins and only one loss, earning a berth at this year’s U.S. Match Racing Championship on October 10-12, 2015 at Oakcliff Sailing Center, Oyster Bay, NY.  In second place was Nicole Breault with 11 wins and three losses.  Both had been favored to be on top of the leaderboard, as they had earlier qualified to represent North America in the upcoming Nation’s Cup match-racing event in Vladivostok, Russia.  Up-and-coming college sailors Jack Thompson and Jack Barton tied for third, with Thompson winning on the tie-breaker.

This Qualifier was held using the Club’s fleet of identical J/22s and was the second of seven U.S. Sailing Match Race Qualifiers taking place across the country this summer. According to Regatta Chair Bruce Stone, who also heads the U.S. Match Racing Championships Committee for U.S. SAILING: “In a major change from the past, Qualifiers are now open to competitors from around the country regardless of their home area, and skippers can apply to race in more than one Qualifier – Oakcliff Sailing Center, St. Francis YC, San Diego YC, Bayshore YC (Detroit), Chicago Match Race Center, and Annapolis YC – in a variety of keelboats, April through September.  In previous years, qualifiers around the country were limited to people from that region. We have opened it up so people can venue shop, traveling to places that are interesting to them or play to their skills, i.e. windy or light conditions, or different types of boats used by the host club.”  There are still slots open for some of the remaining Qualifiers. Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray.  Formore U.S. Match Racing Series sailing information.


J/Community
What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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J/88 sailing downwind under spinnaker* Rod Johnstone’s report on sailing the J/88 JAZZ with Clay Burkhalter in the Storm Trysail Club’s recent Block Island Race is a particularly helpful primer on opportunities gained and lost while sailing offshore:

“The Storm Trysail BI Race on the J/88 in the doublehanded IRC division was exciting, fun, and exhausting. We (literally) had a blast all the way to Block Island from Stamford — and got blasted all the way back on Saturday. We started off Stamford on a puffy port tack spinnaker reach at 1405 on Friday. We won the leeward start with the main and jib only in about 20 knots of breeze and decided to go with our heavy (80 square meter) spinnaker a few minutes into the race. I was worried about blowing up the big (95sm) chute in the occasional puffs over 25 knots. Control was no issue. We held even with the two J/120s for the first three hours and blew away everyone else in our class. When the wind dropped down to about 15 knots we switched to the big kite. We made it to Valiant Rock in the Race by 2130 hours and just got through before the flood began – 6.5 hours to cover the first 69 miles. Not bad for the smallest boat in the fleet. Wind dropped off and went ahead between the Race and “1-BI”. We rounded “1-BI” shortly after midnight and cleared around the south side of Block Island before 0200 on Saturday. Most of the big boats did not catch us until just before we jibed round “1-BI”. I think we rounded inside a couple of J/44s. Hard to tell in the dark. We were definitely winning our class big time at that point, because the two J/120s were not too far ahead.

The fan was turned up to about 25 knots with higher gusts as we thrashed our way upwind against the current from Block Island to Plum Gut. We did not have the right sail combo available for these conditions. First, we reefed the main then rolled up the jib as it blew harder. Waves were crashing over the boat.

From about 0300 to 0600, we sailed the boat like a Laser with a reefed main and no headsail. We were doing almost seven knots, but VMG was about 10 degrees lower than normal. Not good against a foul current. For doublehanded racing with no weight on the rail the J/88 needs a real “Yankee” jib with a short hoist and high clew.  In over 20 knots, I highly recommend a second mainsail reef that we do not have, but would have used. STC required this for this race or you had to carry a storm trysail aboard (which we flew “demo’ before the start but would likely never use in a race!). Another option would be to have a longer jib sheet track which extends further forward so you can roll the jib to storm jib size and just pull the jib lead forward. We did this on our J/95 (whose jib track extends way forward) a few years ago and the boat sailed great (even upwind) with the jib half rolled up in 30-40 knots of breeze with no mainsail, or a full mainsail in 20 knot winds, or reefed main in between.

It was a beautiful beat with reefed main and jib from Plum Gut to Stratford Shoal in 18 knots wind when we shook out the reef. The wind dropped way off from there to the finish. Despite our relative upwind “slows ” against the 35 to 46 foot boats in our class, we finished fourth boat-for-boat. The Morris 46 was the only boat to pass us on the 90 mile beat to the finish. IRC is definitely not recommended for the J/88, which gives time to the J/109 under that rule (huh?). Under PHRF, our corrected time would have put us in third place behind the two J/120s instead of fifth. This probably would have also been the case under any other handicap-rating rule other than IRC.

Clay and I were really beat as we approached the finish line at Stamford in light air and glass calm sea wondering whether the wind would completely die and leave us stranded just short of the finish line against a foul current. Clay leaned out of the hatch to adjust the jib sheet lead when his life vest suddenly decided to inflate on its own – appearing almost to choke him to death – a punch-drunk moment when you can’t stop laughing – a great way to end an exhausting race. Clay could not let the air out quick enough. Even though our combined age (134 yrs old) probably topped all the double-handers in both classes in this race it was double-fun sailing with Clay and sailing on the J/88. I would do it again!”

Terry McLaughlin- J/105 NA Champion* Canadian Sailing Team nominated for Pan Am Games 2015 with ex-470 ace and Canadian J/24 ace Terry McLaughlin leading the charge (Terry is also the J/105 North American Champion and the only two-time winner of the New York YC Invitational Cup)!  The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Sail Canada announced the athletes nominated to represent Team Canada at the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games from July 10 to 26.

Eighteen athletes have been selected to compete in the sailing competition based on their performances at the designated class qualifiers, including the most recent trials held this past weekend at the Toronto Sailing and Canoe Club.

Among the qualified sailors are 1984 Olympic silver Medallist Terry McLaughlin, who will sail the four-person keelboat, the J/24 with Donald (Sandi) Andrews, David Ogden and David Jarvis. These sailors represent the strongest Pan Am sailing team fielded since the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg, MB.

The sailing competition will be hosted by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club July 12-19 with a rare glimpse of sailing taking place on the downtown Toronto waterfront. As a non-ticketed sporting event, spectators will soak in the finals from one of Toronto’s most popular urban beaches – Sugar Beach.

“Sail Canada and our sailing athletes have been working hard together to develop our team and ensure they are at their best heading into TORONTO 2015. Congratulations to all the athletes who made it onto the Team, your hard work and dedication has paid off – you deserve this great honour.” -Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee

“TORONTO 2015 is a fantastic opportunity to showcase sailing front and center. We are fielding our strongest squad to date and look forward to home ice advantage!” -Ken Dool, High Performance Director, Sail Canada


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
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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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