March 11th, 2015

J/70s sailing under spinnakerSan Diego NOOD Regatta Preview
(San Diego, California)- If it’s March, it must be Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD regatta time!  The popular event continues to be a key element of the Southern California sailing calendar, particularly for the larger J one-design classes in the region.  With ninety teams registered, thirty-one of those boats are sailing in J/classes; including J/70s, J/105s and J/120s. Hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club from March 13th to 15th, the sailors will enjoy the red-carpet treatment and friendly atmosphere that has become synonymous with one of the friendliest sailing clubs anywhere.
In addition to the one-design events, the North Sails team is heading to San Diego to support those sailors who prefer a one-day race format.  As a result, you won’t miss out on the NOOD fun. Join them on Saturday, March 14, by participating in the North Sails Rally Race- – a fun, one-day event for newer sailors, racer-cruisers and teams who don’t have the whole weekend free to race.
As for the one-design J/classes, the J/70s are continue to see growing participation in every West Coast  event because many teams are focusing on their preparations and training for the upcoming J/70 North Americans in September hosted by San Diego YC.  In fact, the fifteen J/70s are the largest class in the regatta for the first time, a sign of growing momentum out on the Pacific Coast.  Top teams include CAKE (Scott Deardorff from Santa Barbara, CA); COOL STORY BRO (John Brigden from St Francis YC in San Francisco); DFZ (Eric Kownacki & Tom Jenkins from San Diego); JENNIFER (Chris Kostanecki from San Francisco); SLOOP JOHN B (Tom Garrett from Newport Beach); SOGGY DOLLAR (Dave Vieregg from San Diego YC); David Ullman sailing USA 32 from Newport Beach, CA; and ZERO TO 60 (Karl Pomeroy from Newport Beach).  This will be a tough class; you could place any one of these crews on the podium!
In the J/105s, seven boats will be vying for their trip to the Caribbean in the fall, too!  Top boats include Jon Dekker’s AIRBOSS; Steve & Lucy Howell’s BLINK!; the dynamic duo of Tom Hurlburt & Chuck Driscoll on BLOW BOAT; Gary Mozer’s CURRENT OBSESSION 2 from Beverly Hills, CA; and Dennis Case’s WINGS.
The J/120s are showing up in force with a solid ten-boat fleet, many of whom have won not just the NOOD regatta, but also many of Southern California’s top offshore trophies.  Certain to be in the hunt for silverware will be teams like John Laun’s CAPER, Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER, Mike Hatch’s J/ALMIGHTY, John Snook’s JIM, Tom & Teri Manok’s POLE DANCER, and Gary Winton’s SHENANIGANS.   For more Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/70s sailing off United Kingdom on SolentJ/70 U.K. Northerns Announcement
(Loch Fyne, Scotland, United Kingdom)- The J/70 UK Class Association is pleased to announce the inaugural J/70 UK Northern Championship.  The regatta will take place as part of the Silvers Marine Scottish Series 2015, Scotland’s biggest sailing event.  Traditionally held in the stunning location of Loch Fyne, the regatta is hosted by the Clyde Cruising Club over the Spring Bank Holiday from Friday, the 22nd of May to Monday the 25th of May.
The rapid expansion of the J/70 fleet across the U.K. means that they’re expecting a substantial number of entries for what will undoubtedly be some hugely fun and competitive racing. Competitors are excited that the championships will span four days, with 12 races planned (weather permitting, of course!). The fleet are treating the event as essential practice for British teams hoping to compete at the 2015 Worlds Championships, taking place in La Rochelle, France this coming July.   For more J/70 Northerns sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide

And then there was sun in Newport.  Finally.  After a brutal winter, Newport and the rest of New England saw temperatures above the freezing mark for nearly an entire week— in March, no less!  Recognizing the latent “cottage fever” that has afflicted sailors, it’s not surprising to see people wearing shorts in 40 F temperatures this past week!  Shorts and shades weather already?  Not. But, it’s getting closer.
However, in other parts of the world it was indeed a time to celebrate some fun and frolic and the gathering of new “pickle dishes” for the trophy shelves.  For starters, the infamous Heineken St Maarten Regatta sailed off Simpson Bay took place in nearly perfect weather, much to the delight of a number of winning J/teams.  Nearby, the J/70s had fun sailing the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week in weather that was almost too warm on land, but just about perfect on the water— sunny, wind, and high 70s F offshore.  Down in Mexico, the Banderas Bay Regatta off Puerto Vallarta saw a cruising J/130 and a flock of J/80s also enjoy plentiful sunshine and good breezes on the Bay. Then, on the Pacific Coast, the Seattle contingent of J’s sailed a spectacular Blakely Rock Race on Puget Sound under crystal clear skies with snow-capped mountains in the background.  Plus, the 130nm  Islands Race from Newport Beach to San Diego, California saw a number of fast-reaching J’s collect more silverware for their mantelpiece.
Across the Pacific, we find a J/111 sailing off Melbourne, Australia; making sure that its presence was felt amongst their unfortunate competitors in several major offshore races.
Finally, over in Europe the J/70s completed their first Monaco Winter Series, with the final Act V taking place on Hercules Bay off Monte Carlo in yet more spectacular sailing conditions off the picturesque Principality.
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:

Mar 13-15- J/30 Midwinters- New Orleans YC- New Orleans, LA
Mar 27-29- J/22 Midwinters- Jackson YC- Ridgeland, MS
Mar 27-29- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Mar 30- Apr 5- BVI Spring Regatta- Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Apr 13-18- Les Voiles St Barth- Gustavia, St Barthelemy
Apr 16-19- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 24- May 2- EDHEC Sailing Cup- La Rochelle, France
Apr 26- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- Falmouth, Antigua
Boat Shows:
Apr 9-12- Apr 9-12- Strictly Sail Pacific- Oakland, CA- J/70, J/88, J/111
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

J/70s sailing Bacardi Miami Sailing WeekJ/70s Eclipse BACARDI Miami Sailing Week!
(Miami, Florida)- Forty-eight J/70 teams happily made their migration from the wicked-cold weather in the North down to Coconut Grove to compete in the sixth BACARDI Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank in Miami, Florida.  And, holy smokes were they happy they did! New England, yet again, was hammered by yet another snow storm dropping up to a solid foot of snow in most places!  Even better yet, the fleet was blessed with classic Biscayne Bay sailing conditions, with winds ranging from 4-6 kts and blistering warm on Friday, to gorgeous breezes on Thursday and Saturday in the 8 to 15 kts range.
For the enormous J/70 fleet, the event began on Thursday, March 5 and finished on Saturday, March 7. On the water, Coral Reef Yacht Club coordinated activities in collaboration with the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and with the help of the U.S. Sailing Center and Shake-A-Leg Miami.  And perhaps even better than that amazing slate of hosts, the J/70 fleet was treated to their own race course with “most excellent” race course management all weekend long!
J/70 Bruschetta- sailing from BrazilThis year’s record number of J/70s came from seven nations, including the USA, Italy, Bermuda, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, and Norway.  Many of the top teams from the J/70 Midwinters in Key West and the Quantum J/70 Winter Series were in attendance.  After the dust cleared from the fog of war, it was a startling revelation for many teams to see the entire top three consisting of foreign teams!  Like his Brazilian friends that eclipsed the Star Class, it was Mauricio Santa Cruz’s team on BRUSCHETTA (Sergio Almeira, Maxim Werrgert, & Daniel Glomb) that were crowned the BACARDI Miami Sailing Week J/70 champions!  Their come from behind win was well-deserved and it all came down to the last two races on the final day.
J/70 Calvi Network from ItalyThe J/70s completed eight races over the three-day BMSW event.  The first day of racing started off in amazing weather conditions, with the fleet treated to three races in ESE 10 to 15 kts winds.  Fast out of the box was the deeply talented FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO team from Mexico, with Julian Fernandez Neckelmann driving with a world-class crew of Bill Hardesty (Etchells 22 World Champion and US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year), Willem Van Way and Erik Brockman.  FLOJITO’s 1-3-1 put them comfortably in the lead over J/70 Midwinter Champion CALVI NETWORK from Italy driven by Carlo Alberini and crew of Branko Brcin, Karlo Hmeijak and Sergio Bossi that posted a 2-2-4.  Absent since the J/70 Worlds in Newport, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA dove back into the fray with his team of Tom Barrows, Joe Mavvis, Mike Danish and Stan Edwards to post a 5-7-2 score to hang onto third for the day.  What was most remarkable about the balance of the top ten was that literally every boat had a least one deep double-digit score— a trend that would rear its ugly head for every boat in the top ten by the end of the regatta!
J/70 Flojito from MexicoThe second day dawned with no wind and 80 degree, very humid heat.  The J/70 fleet PRO wisely postponed several times in order to wait for the inevitable seabreeze to fill in by noon-time.  The fleet sailed out by noon in a freshening breeze and despite challenging wind conditions, the PRO managed to knock-out three races on Friday, giving the fleet a total of six races.  Jumping into the lead for the first time were the Italians on CALVI NETWORK with 14 points, followed by the Brazilians on BRUSCHETTA with 19 points and then the Mexicans on FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO with 20 points.
“Today, 6 knots of shifty wind and high temperatures made racing very difficult,” said Carlo Alberini. “Today’s was a tactician day and ours made the difference. Competition between Mauricio Santa Cruz, Julian Fernandez and us is always very close and it seems to be a continuation of our Key West battles. In reality, the top ten boats are all very competitive. For tomorrow I hope we have stronger winds!”
The last day of racing saw a little change in the weather with overcast skies and scattered showers. The wind also switched directions and was coming out of the NE between 10 and 15 knots. All courses had 10:55 a.m. warning signals with no races starting after 2:00 pm.  It was going to be a battle for the final day for the entire top ten.  While there was a three-way race for the overall championship, there was also a duel for 4th and 5th between Will Welles’ RASCAL and Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND and a free-for-all between the next six boats for the top ten places that included Kerry Klingler’s NEW WAVE, Keane’s SAVASANA, Stan Edwards’ LICKETY SPLIT, Heather Gregg’s MUSE, Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT and Dave Franzel’s SPRING.  No one in this grouping of boats was immune from having yet another bad race!
J/70s sailing off MiamiThe first race on the last day turned into a bit of a Russian roulette parlor game!  Literally, 45 seconds before the start the wind just about evaporated to nothing, with an enormous chop left over from what was a steady 8-13 kt breeze out of the North.  As the fleet scratched and clawed their way off the congested starting line at the frenetic pace of 0.75 kts (thereabouts), various packs of boats decided to shoot both corners while yet others tried to play it conservative up one side of the middle or the other.  What was certain was the Gods must be crazy or Neptune was upset.  In either case, the entire fleet “flip-flopped”, with many top boats taking high double-digit scores and most of the bottom of the fleet experiencing single-digit scores for the first time!  As insane as that race was, only the two leaders escaped the veracity of the Gods in this one, with BRUSCHETTA taking a 6th to FLOJITO’s 4th.  CALVI NETWORKS’ 17th dropped them out of the running for the overall win.
The grand finale was perhaps by far the most epic race of the regatta; the combination of good breeze and very close competition made for a memorable regatta.  With a nice long starting line, the fleet took off into a 12-17 kts NNE breeze with sparkling sun dancing across the wave-tops.  It was a fitting end to an excellent regatta.  It was “planing mode” downwind for the entire race, making for some huge cheshire-cat grins on everyone’s faces at the end.  By taking 2nd in the finale, BRUSCHETTA earned a well-deserved come-from-behind victory.  FLOJITO’s 5th place garnered them a 2nd overall while CALVI took 1st in the race; not enough to overcome their colleagues, settling instead for 3rd overall.  The balance of the top five was Welle’s RASCAL in 4th overall and fifth went to Bowen’s REACH AROUND.
J/70 Spring- sailed by Dave Franzel from BostonIn the Corinthian’s Division, Heather Gregg’s MUSE repeated her performance at the J/70 Worlds in Newport, winning the class by an enormous margin of 37 points; finishing tied for 8th overall in the Open Division; and was top women’s skipper again.  Second was Jim Cunningham’s LIFTED, repeating yet another top performance after winning Corinthians in the J/70 Midwinters in Key West.  Third was Catharine Evans’ MOJITO, sailing one of her best overall regattas to date, taking 20th overall and was 2nd women’s skipper.  Of note, third women’s skipper was Amy Neill’s NITEMARE and she also took 4th overall in Corinthians.  In fact, Amy’s 11-11 performance on the last day was better than 80% of the top 15 boats!
After the races, Mauricio Santa Cruz, the skipper of the winning Brazilian BRUSCHETTA team, commented, “The racing was very good with all kinds of winds.  Four boats could have won today, but my crew did an excellent job in difficult conditions with prevailing winds coming from the north. We are very happy to have won in Miami and I guess Brazilians do love this City!”
Julian Fernandez Neckelmann from Mexico, skipper of FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO, added, “We will be back, we feel good about the result and about the week spent here. It was good all around; good race committee, competition and organization!!”   Sailing Photos by Cory Silken and John Payne
Bacardi Miami Sailing Week YouTube video
Day 4-
Day 5-
Day 6-
Music Highlights-
For more BACARDI Miami Sailing Week information

J/70s sailing off MonacoA Grand Monaco J/70 Winter Series Finale
CARPE DIEM Wins Series, DIVA Takes Act V
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- While their colleagues were enjoying the best that Biscayne Bay had to offer off the city of Miami, Florida, the twenty-nine J/70s that had assembled to race the fifth and final act of the Monaco J/70 Winter Series could easily boast they had even better sailing conditions on Hercules Bay on the Mediterranean!
Yacht Club Monaco played host to the big fleet of J/70s, with the entire fleet parked right in front of the spectacular “yacht-like” club house recently christened by ex-J/24 sailor, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.  In addition to their extraordinary hospitality for the J/70 sailors, it was clear the Prince ordered up some good weather, too!  For three straight days, the fleet enjoyed excellent sailing conditions and a total of nine races!
J/70s sailing under spinnaker off MonacoOn Friday, perfect spring-like conditions with a brisk 12-knot south-westerly and sunshine at the tail-end of a Mistral, launched the fifth and final act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2015.  In the J/70s, with their sights set on the European Championship organized by the YC Monaco from the 12th to 17th October, the foreign teams were in force to try out the race course area in Monaco. Several starts were necessary with the whole fleet champing at the bit in big packs on the starting line, proof of the technical capabilities of the crews.
At the close of play on Friday, and after two good races that saw enormous swings in each team’s finishing positions, only the top four teams could count finishes in the top ten!  The Italian team on DIVA, skippered by Ferdinando Battistella, led the provisional ranking just one small point ahead of fellow Italian countryman Andrea Zaoli.  Sailing smartly and taking home a 4-7 for the day was the Monaco Class President Jacopo Carrain skippering CARPE DIEM.
On Saturday, all went according to Prince Albert’s plan, with superb conditions for the second day that saw four races completed for the J/70’s. Conditions were ideal with steady winds throughout the day and more brilliant sunshine.
J/70s sailing under spinnaker off MonacoIn the J/70’s, five teams dominated the fleet: the Italians on DIVA (Ferdinando Battistella), the British on JOYRIDE (Geoff Carveth), the Germans on LED ZEPPELIN (Yannick Heffner), the Italians on ??? (Andrea Zaoli) and host from Monaco- Jacopo Carrain on CARPE DIEM. It was an amazing sight all day, particularly in the last race with the entire fleet finishing within four minutes of each other. Having led the fleet at the start of the last race and rounded the marks in first place, Carrain’s CARPE DIEM was overtaken by Carveth’S JOYRIDE on the last downwind leg, only grabbing back his pole position and victory in the last 50 metres, with both delivering a text-book match race duel!
At the end of Saturday’s racing, Battistella’s DIVA managed to hang on to the lead in the provisional ranking, thanks to two race wins ahead of Klaus Diesch’s LADY LIKE and Carveth’s JOYRIDE.  Just two points separate the first three boats with DIVA first at 14 pts, JOYRIDE sitting on 15 pts and LED ZEPPELIN at 16 pts.
J/70s sailing dock- at Yacht Club Monaco- Prince Albert II's yacht clubSunday saw a fitting finale to the 2nd edition of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series. The aim was to give experienced professional and amateur teams a chance to train for the big meetings of the season, alternating races with training sessions.
Taking full advantage of its new building and facilities, the YCM is now better equipped than ever to bring life to the harbour during winter with these monthly regattas. For the five Acts of this series, the YCM hosted a total of 44 J/70s which had set up their winter headquarters in the Principality and have competed in 25 total races since October.
For the last day of the fifth and final Act, the competitors enjoyed sunny skies and the 12-15-knot tail-end of a Mistral; which meant a total of nine races could be run by the race committee, with Olivier Roinson acting as PRO for the J/70s.
The J/70s really put on a show over the weekend, with all boats jostling for position on the start requiring all their talent and determination to catch that extra breeze and pull away from the crowd.  Throughout the weekend, the leaders battled it out round every mark, proof of how tight the races were being that all competitors crossed the finish line in less than four minutes in most races.
J/70 sailors off MonacoJacopo Carrain, 4th in Act 5, won the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2015 Overall. “I am very satisfied, as the general level in the J/70s improves every month across the fleet. It’s a great opportunity for the 17 Monegasque boats to compete with the best European teams who were there in force from Germany, Italy and England,” said a delighted Monaco Class President.
For this last Act, it was the foreigners who dominated the podium led by Ferdinando Battistella’s DIVA from Italy in first place.  Second and third was determined by a tie-breaker on 32 pts each, with Geoff Carveth’s JOYRIDE from the United Kingdom winning the tie-break over Yannick Heffner’s LED ZEPPELIN from Germany.
The next regatta at the YC Monaco is from the 28th to 29th March when the first J/70 Italian Championship Series will be held.  Over 40 boats are expected to kick off this competitive series.  For Italian and European teams, it certainly all bodes well that Italian teams are at the top of their game in both Europe (DIVA) and the Americas (CALVI NETWORK)!  Plus, with top UK and German teams getting up the learning curve faster, the J/70 European Open Championship in Monaco from 12th to 17th October should be a fun, competitive event with over 50 boats expected to attend.   Sailing photo credits- Sven Jurgensen/ Mittelmanns Werft   For more YC Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information

J/125 sailing Heineken Regatta off St MaartenJ’s Lovin’ Heineken St Maarten Regatta
J/125 Crushes, EL OCASO Pre-dominates!
(Simpson Bay, St. Maarten)- A record entry of 81 yachts entered the Gill Commodore’s Cup, the prelude to the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. 30 knots of wind with breaking waves, provided testing conditions for the fleet. The starting area on the south side of St. Maarten provided some relief from the ocean swell but the big breeze from the east cascaded over the hill tops forming bullets of pressure causing several boats to spin-out. Today’s best performers were the teams that kept their yachts under control in difficult conditions.
J/122 sailing Heineken St Maarten regattaIn this “warm-up” regatta, many of the J/Teams attending had a fun time working out the “rust” of winter and collecting some silverware along the way.  In CSA 2 Class, Greg Slyngstad’s fantastic crew from Seattle, Washington and San Francisco, California sailed the J/125 rocketship called HAMACHI to an easy class win with two bullets.  In CSA 4 Class, fellow J owner Rick Wesslund also sailed “lights out” on the fleet, posting double bullets to take CSA 4 on his highly photogenic J/122 EL OCASO.  Not far behind in third was John Thouron’s J/122 DUNDER with a 2-3, losing the tie-breaker for 2nd.  And, in third was Global Yacht Racing’s J/120 SUNSET CHILD.  CSA 7 Class saw the resurrection of the famous J/39, now named BUDGET MARINE ARUBA, and sailed by Robbie Ferron from St Maarten to a 2nd in class.  Finally, CSA 8 saw Bryan Coon’s J/105 SOLSTICE take class honors followed by David Cullen’s J/109 POCKET ROCKET from St Barths.
Green sailing sensationsAfte the racing it was time for a new “sensation”.  For years the Heineken Regatta has pulled out all the stops when it comes to on the water racing, and on shore parties, which is what has made the event the success that it is.  For the 35th anniversary edition, things were a little different.  This year the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and Heineken hosted the largest party St. Maarten has ever seen, the Thursday night “Green Sensation Party”!!  Port de Plaisance hosted the party to kick off the regatta festivities— for some it was a night to remember (or forget completely!).
The evening was packed with local DJ talents as well as international mixing artists that delivered electronic music of pop, disco, rock and the hottest beats that only Heineken can deliver.  DJ Nachum, Heineken Caribbean DJ champion, teamed up with Soggy Dollar Bar DJ Bossman, to bring everyone a nonstop party vibe. But it didn’t stop there, making an appearance from New York City’s hottest nightclubs, DJ Riz and Chris Moody layered on top of all that a new energy that could only be described as “Green Sensational, Mon”!!
J/105 sailing Heineken St Maarten regattaAfter hundreds of sailors lazily woke up on Friday morning feeling a bit “green flushed”, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta got underway with 188 yachts entered for the three-day extravaganza. The huge fleet was a magnificent sight and very likely to be the biggest gathering of racing yachts in the Caribbean this season. Sailors from all over the world that came for fun-in-the-sun, competitive racing were not disappointed. Strong trade winds, gusting up to 25 knots, with brilliant sunshine served up spectacular conditions. Close to 2,000 sailors enjoyed a long first day of amazing yachting in the crystal-clear aquamarine waters off Simpson Bay. The vast majority of the fleet sailed a 30 mile course around St. Maarten and as an appealing change, the fleet raced counter-clockwise starting upwind from Simpson Bay.
The second day of sailing produced more thrilling action for the international fleet of yachts. All classes had at least two races. In comparison to the last two days, a breeze of about 20 knots was in more people’s comfort zone, but the racing was no less spectacular with close racing right through the fleet. Most of the northern hemisphere was gripped by freezing temperatures, but not the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta with an air temperature of 75 F. degrees and a water temperature to match! It was shades, t-shirt and shorts weather even with blue water across the deck.
J/109 sailing Heineken St Maarten regattaThe last day was as good as it ever gets in the Caribbean with even more big breeze, plentiful sunshine and dolphin and flying fish flashing across the wave-tops, frolicking with the fleet.  The raw ingredients of fantastic sailing conditions and intense competition gave the regatta organizers the opportunity to lay on a tremendous spectacle – needless to say, it was an unqualified success for all!
For the Heineken St Maarten Regatta, it was clear the Slyngstad’s J/125 HAMACHI crew were on a mission after sweeping the GILL Commodore’s Cup.  After five races, HAMACHI swept the fleet with five bullets!  Needless to say, they crushed the fleet of sportboats in their class that included several Puerto Rican Melges 32s.
Greg Slyngstad commented, “HAMACHI goes really well in big breeze and we love big breeze, it is what we are used to in San Francisco. All of us have had a great time, we loved it. We have been sailing together for years, the weather was perfect for us and we have been tuning up the boat for two years and when the wind blows hard we know we can do well. Today’s my birthday, so it was a great present to go up on stage and take the trophy!!”
J/125 sailing offshore at Heineken St Maarten regattaHAMACHI’s tactician, Jonathan McKee, said “HAMACHI is not a one man show, all of the crew are great sailors and we are all from the same area, so we are a California/ Seattle team that have come a long way to compete here and it is great to get such a good result. The courses here are great, windward-leeward, point to point and round the island. That is the stuff we love and the format is a big part of why we are here.”
In the CSA 4 Class, it was clear there was going to be a strong fight for class honors between Wesslund’s Miami team on the J/122 EL OCASO and a local Guadeloupe A40.  After a disastrous first race in which EL OCASO sailed to an unheard of “out-of-the-money” 8th place, Wesslund’s crew settled down and basically won their class with a 1-1-2-3 for the last four races- not good enough to win but at leastthey could take pride in a strong performance.  Their 2nd place finish will certainly help their bid to win the 2015 Caribbean Offshore Series.
Like they did in the GILL Commodore’s Cup, Ferron’s J/39 BUDGET MARINE ARUBA sailed fast and smart to take a 3-2-2-2 series scoreline to grab the silver on the podium.
CSA 8 Class saw Sophie Olivaud’s J/109 ALBACOR IV crew from St Barths sail a superb series, posting a 5-4-3-3 record to take 2nd overall in class!  Her best finish to date in “the Heineken”!  Fourth was yet another top J/109 from St Barths, David Cullen’s POCKET ROCKET, taking a scoreline of 4-3-5-5 into 4th place.  Just behind them in 5th place was a perennial Caribbean sailing ace, the Tanner & Shari crew from Antigua sailing their fabled aqua-blue J/30 called BLUE PETER.  Sadly, despite having posted three bullets (yes, 1-1-1), the BLUE PETER crew had to take a DNF in race 1 and could not throw it out— otherwise, it looks like they could’ve swept CSA 8 class!  In turn, they were followed in 6th place by Bryan Coon’s J/105 SOLSTICE; after winning the first race perhaps all that celebration went to their heads!   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright   For more Heineken St Maarten sailing information

Sunset on Islands Race on J/160Islands Race Lovely Triangle Challenges Sailors!
(Long Beach, California)- The 2015 Islands Race marks the start of the offshore racing season in Southern California.  An eclectic mix of yachts from the Mexican border to Santa Barbara collect themselves in Long Beach and race around two islands and into San Diego every year. Yes, it’s a lovely triangular course that is far more challenging and deceiving tactically and strategically than most sailors can imagine.
The 130 nm course is far more challenging than meets the eye– you have to navigate offshore from Long Beach Harbor, transit the deep blue ocean swells and genuine sea breezes to the west of Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands, and finally negotiate various points of sail to the finish off San Diego’s Point Loma.
J/111 sailing Islands RaceThe 2015 Islands Race marks the 6th year of this well-attended event developed in partnership between San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club. The successful long-term co-hosting of this race has proven to be a positive example of yacht clubs working together to promote, advance and improve the sport of yacht racing.
For this year’s edition, arm-chair weather forecasters and weather routing experts were busy trying to predict the race and some of them were even posting their Expedition tracks on FaceBook for everyone to enjoy.
The start was a bit unusual as the fleet ended up starting at the Point Fermin sea buoy; this was due to the heavy commercial traffic inside the breakwater.  Once the race commenced, the boats that held an outside (northerly) rhumbline to San Clemente Island generally benefitted from stronger breeze; those who held a closer line were in a lot less breeze than most.
J/133 sailing past San Clemente IslandOnce past San Clemente, the boats that held a lower line towards San Diego’s Point Loma did better and got more pressure. Was this perhaps due to the Coriolis Effect, the Venturi Effect, the Halo Effect, the Polar Vortex, the Laminar Flow Effect and winds wrapping around the ends of incredibly tall islands like San Clemente?!  Hmmm, the jury is still out on that phenomenon.
According to “K-Mag” (Keith Magnussen from Ullman Sails Newport Beach), it was about the time he was rounding San Clemente Island that he began viewing on his iPad the awesome surf movie- “North Shore”.  According to Keith, “I already know the full movie back to front but what better way to inspire sailing to Hawaii than watching this awesome movie.  If you do not have a clue what I am talking about then do not worry about it Haole. Night time and early morning was filled with apparent wind games.  For lead sleds, pole forward.  For sprits, simply sending it with A1’s or Code Zeros. By no means was it frustrating, more like taxing on the mind.  Sailing in light breeze in any distance race is tough, but essential to do well.”
J/145 sailing Islands RaceIn such mind-bending conditions where the reality-distortion field was taking effect, many of the J/Teams faired quite well when playing apparent wind & mind games.  Shades of the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race in July 2014!
PHRF 2 Class saw the J/145 GOOD CALL skippered by Tom Barker take third while John Lyon’s J/160 INNOCENT MERRIMENT placed seventh and Tim Fuller’s J/125 RESOLUTE took eighth in class (the result of a negative strategic outcomme at zero dark hundred hours when the tactical team played Pokemon to determine their strategery decision- got it?!).
In PHRF 3 Class, the J/111 STAMPEDE sailed by Glenn Griley enjoyed the race track and strategic challenges better than most and took second in class followed closely by Gary Winton’s J/120 SHENANIGANS in third place.  Taking fifth place were the Jorgensen Brothers sailing their J/133 PICANTE and in sixth was Paul Stemler’s pretty J/44 PATRIOT.  For more Islands Race sailing information

J/24 sailing Banderas Bay regattaJ/24 Top Banana @ Banderas Bay Regatta!
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- What a day the first day of Banderas Bay Regatta XXIII was! With more pirates parading out of the marina than you can shake a saber at, then the first race! Things were okay, then they got light, and for those who stuck it out, it got windy again at the end. No matter, everyone had a great time!
The second day of BBR brought more wind, and the lovable PRO decided everyone (well, almost everyone) needed a sightseeing tour of Puerto Vallarta and all of Banderas Bay!  All classes, except two, headed to the Puerto Vallarta Sea Buoy, enjoying winds that diminished a little on the PV side, but definitely didn’t disappoint on the Nuevo Vallarta side of the course.  What a day! Absolutely beautiful winds and fantastic racing from start to finish. It was a spectacular day of sailing to show off the beautiful Banderas Bay to so many folks.
J/109 sailing Banderas Bay regattaThe beach party that evening was to die for! For those of you who don’t know how the Mexican hosts celebrate in such grand style, well, you just gotta be there!  If you thought ANY Caribbean regatta was fun, then you can rest assured their Mexican counterparts are their equal, if not a few notches higher on the entertainment scale.  No joke!
How did the J/Teams fair in their quest for eternal with the Aztec God’s?  Not bad.  While the J/War Canoes were up to the task across the board, some faired better than others.
J/80s sailing Banderas Bay regattaIn the case of Performance Class B, the runaway winner was the J/24 JUGGS sailed by Ken Yachehcak.  Not far behind them were a trio of J/80s from the local Puerto Vallarta fleet, including 3rd place J/80 J/WORLD BLUE skippered by Patrick Farrell, 4th place J/80 J/WORLD RED sailed by Debby Coach, and 5th place J/80 SHIVA led by Rush Faville.
In the big boat divisions, it was the J/130 ITAJIME sailed by Alan Robin that took 3rd place in the Cruiser Class E division!  Good on ya mates!  It was the first time that Alan had ever raced his J/130!  He was thrilled to pick up some silverware!  Why?!  Because he and his lovely lady friend were simply headed south on their way to sail into the South Pacific for a long cruise together!  An awesome performance for this cruising couple!
Finally, the J/109 JOYRIDE sailed by James Vicker managed to place 5th in Performance Class A with a number of friends on board who were just learning to sail.  Cool.   For more Banderas Bay Regatta sailing photos   For more Banderas Bay sailing regatta information

J/105s sailing Blakely Rock race off SeattleBlakely Rock Light Race Report
(Seattle, Washington)- Daffodils shimmered on the wave tops once again as sailors floated those yellow emblems of spring into the winds while rounding the beacon on the rock and remembering the light that was taken from us too early – a race that should be properly called the Kelly O’Neil Memorial.
J/160 sailing off Seattle66 boats made it out for Corinthian Yacht Club Seattle’s Blakely Rock Light race; the first in their three race Center Sound Series- – conditions couldn’t have been better for slowly sweeping out the proverbial cobwebs! Winds were out of the north at 6 to 8 by start time and at 10am class one led the fleet off the line towards the first mark in the course. With a starting area off Shilshole Marina the Northerly breeze takes sailors up to a temporary mark set off the tank farms south of Edmonds, then all the way south to Blakely Rock before returning to the finish area off Shilshole Marina, a distance of just over 20nm – an easy distance for any boat out there.
Picture 66 boats working up the sound in sunny skies, through the last of the ebb and the winds building up towards 10 knots as it slowly oscillated right to left. The solid J/105 one design fleet became the indicator for many as they split across the course and those from behind watched who had the advantage on which side of the course before making their tactical choices. The right seemed to pay on that first beat and in the middle of the fleet the big Wauquiez 40 Different Drummer waterlined out of the lee of the little J/88 before tacking over to layline and rounding first in class 5.
J/105 sailing off SeattleMost in the fleet pushed west into the last of the ebbing current and as the later starters compressed into the fleet ahead a few boats were seen heading off to the East, towards Shilshole Marina.  Winds built a touch more on the run down the sound, solid 10’s and 12’s with a few puffs to 14 knots as the sun continued to warm up the city and create that solid thermal suction as temps downtown moved into the 60’s.
Rounding the rock and the long drag race across the sound to Magnolia began. Each boat battled for a clear lane and if you got your bow across a boat that was slightly faster and could sail slightly higher you were tossed off the wheel and had to tack away to clear before coming back on port and lining up again for Magnolia. While sailing through the yellow memories of Kelly one particular J/105 stuck their bow between the new J/88 and Blakely Rock while being told “that isn’t going to work for you” by the mainsail trimmer. As they hardened up the J/88 easily peeled them away, the 88 was able to point higher and pull out faster sending that J/105 off on starboard as one of the first boats on the clearing tack.
J/88 sailing off SeattleBelow them, the new J/122e JOYRIDE lined up below the J/111 ADALGISA, bow to bow as they hardened up on port with the always fast J/29 SLICK and the J/88 to weather of them. After a minute of setting up, that shiny blue CSR Marine paint job on the J/122e began edging out on the J/111 and with their bow down and speed building they lifted right up around the J/111 forcing them into a clearing tack and leaving the J/29 and J/88 in their dust. Speed and beauty combined to make sailing fun, even if you’re just watching the action from afar.
The bigger faster boats continued to blow through the fleet on the long tack towards Magnolia Bluff and the closer you got to that shallow muddy beach the better you made out against your fleet. Tough to keep a clear lane but if you got forced outside to the left you found yourself coming back in on the transoms of your competitors. Next up was West point and how to get across the sand bar without running aground but stay close enough in to spend the least amount of time in the adverse flooding current. A true depth sounder test and the J/29 Here and Now played it in tight and close. With cheers of triumph as the numbers got bigger and bigger on their screen they hardened up after gaining a huge advantage on their fleet after crossing the sand bar so close inshore.
J/27 sailing off SeattleBut then an odd thing happened; usually you tack onto port and get out of the current along the beach and sail away from anyone on the outside. But there was still a finger of ebbing current out in the middle of Shilshole bay. If you held out to the left just long enough boats tacked over onto port in positive current and lifted right up past the ship canal towards the breakwater before tacking over onto layline and the finish. A tricky day for the hidden currents but what a civilized day for sailing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Wind, sun & sailing combined in that perfect way to slightly challenge everyone without stressing anything to the breaking point – spring is truly here.
J/105 sailing on Puget Sound off Seattle, WAAnd now for the results.  Class 2 was taken by the J/27 TRUE NORTH, owned by Andy and Jamie Mack. Class 3 was won by those risk takers on the J/29 HERE & NOW, owned by Pat Denny, correcting just 3 minutes in front of the J/29 SLICK.
The seven boat J/105 One-Design group, Class 4, was dominated by JUBILEE, skippered by Erik Kirsten. Just a minute back in 2nd was #272 DELERIUM leaving third to #403 INCONCEIVABLE.
Class 5 saw Sail Northwest’s stock J/88 taking second.  Then, in Class 6 it was Commodore Stuart Burnell and crew aboard their J/109 TANTIVY securing second overall.  Finally, the big, fast, blue J/145 DOUBLE TAKE took third in the IRC fleet.  Thanks for contribution from Ben Braden at Sail Northwest.  Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson   For more Blakely Rock Light sailing information.

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/111 sailing off Melbourne, Australia* A quick report from our friends Down Under sailing their J/111 off Melbourne, Australia.  The owner of JOUST, Rod Warren, was recently sailing with his team in the Tam O’Shanter Overnight Race and the Jisuma Race.  Rod’s comments were quite amusing, especially in light of the less than corinthian behavior exhibited by some of his competitors.
“Not a bad boat in light winds that 111 is”, said Rod.  “In fact, for the Tam O’Shanter Overnight, three Beneteau 40.7 teams all agreed to withdraw before the start as light conditions favored us (at least that was their perception).  Their withdrawal moved us into Division 2 since there were not enough boats for a Division 1 start! Not only did we take line honours, but we won all three handicap classes (IRC, AMS, EHC) by two hours, including beating a Beneteau First 45. They can run but they can’t hide!!”  For more J/111 JOUST results at Sandringham Yacht Club.

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.
*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:
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.”
* 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:
* 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
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 (  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  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.