July 16th, 2014

Chicago-Mac Race Preview
(Chicago, IL)- Over 333 boats are entered to go sail in a race that is 333 statue miles long (289.4nm).  Good Karma.  The oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world is an enormous part of the Chicago area and Great Lakes social sailing calendar.  Forgetting the fact that you have to actually sail to get to Mackinac Island, that magical little place on the northern part of the Michigan peninsula, the thousands of sailors that participate from around the world often look forward for months to the annual Mac Race “send off” party hosted by Chicago YC’s Monroe Street clubhouse— a wonderful place to catch up with friends from all points of the compass.  That past Chicago Mayor’s who rule like monarchs from on high call the Chicago YC “home” for weekly luncheons with friends and “patrons” simply adds to the eclectic mix one sees in one of the coolest cities on the planet.  After all, when the world’s largest derivatives, futures, options and commodities traders in the world (Chicago alone accounts for 75% of the world’s trading volume) quit at 1530 hrs, it’s high-time to head down to the waterfront to relax and go for a swim (pealing off every article of clothing) or going sailing with friends!  

Chicago-Mac race courseWhat is considered a “weekend vacation” for many in the Midwest that love the Chicago waterfront?  The “play pen” (just north of Navy Pier and south of Oak Street Beach along Lakeshore Drive) and the festivities associated with the Chicago-Mac Race.  Hundreds of powerboaters, sailors of every persuasion, and the thousands that live in the tall condominium buildings looking down from their 100 story flats (e.g. think of the Trump Tower on the Chicago River), are all participants in this enormous festival of sailing that takes place on Saturday, July 19th.  

More than 3,000 individual sailors from throughout the Midwest, the U.S. and Canada are participating in the 2014 event. Competitors come from nearly all U.S. states as well as internationally, including Germany, Ireland and New Zealand.
“We will have our usual excellent level of competition in this year’s race,” said Matt Gallagher, Chairman of the Race. “All sections— our cruising fleet, one design fleets and our open sections — have deep levels of talent and experience of racing the Mac.  Most especially, we’re excited to have the J/120s back in their own one-design section this year. They join our many other one design sections that include the Level 35s (J/35s), J/105s, J/109s, J/111s and others,” said Gallagher.  No other brand has such an enormous presence in the race, five one-design classes is unprecedented in the history of the race that began back in 1898.

The unpredictable weather and fickle winds on Lake Michigan make the Race to Mackinac a supreme test, which many competitors feel rivals any ocean race. As one veteran sailor put it, “It’s fun, but it’s serious fun.”  Stripped down to its essence, The Mac, like all sailboat racing, is still primarily a test of strength, endurance, strategy and willpower.

Who are the “players” in this year’s race?  Simple.  Just about any J/Team that has their act together that doesn’t stop for one minute the entire race.  It is literally a 289nm sprint, no holds barred, stomp that accelerator to the wall type of race.  No one lets up.  When you do, you lose 10 boat-lengths, and that decides the outcome of the race!  So it goes. A 289nm “day race”.  

Unprecedented for any offshore race worldwide is the simple fact that no less than FIVE (5) one-design fleets of J’s are participating in this year’s MAC- J/35s, J/105s, J/109s, J/111s and J/120s.  For the Level 35 Division, eight J/35s are lining up for one of their best turnouts in years.  Included in their fleet are a number of past Chicago-Mac champions, including ALPHA PUPPY (Richard Stage), BAD DOG (Larry Taunt), BOZO’S CIRCUS (Bruce Metcalf), CANIS MAJOR (Aimee Strittmatter), HOUQUA (Jack Andree), PAPA GAUCHO II (recent Bayview-Mac winner Keith Stauber), SHEARWATER (Tom Anthony), and TOUCH OF GREY (Larry Schell).

After a slow year last year, the J/105 class has fielded the second largest one-design class with 20 boats hitting the starting line.  Leading the charge is J/105 Class President Carter Williams from Harbor Springs, MI on CREATIVE DESTRUCTION.  Joining him in the weekend adventure are other leading teams like GREEN FLASH (Jane Enterline), HERE’S JOHNNY (John Moore), PHANTOM (Peter Schwarzbach & Bob Emanuel), PTERODACTYL (Mark Symonds), ROCKING HORSE (Sandy Curtiss), SEALARK  (Clark Pellett), STRIKING (Vanessa Gates), THE ASYLUM (Jon Weglarz), VALHALLA (Mike & Kathie Newman), and VYTIS (Gytis and Tomas Petkus).

Another competitive fleet of nine J/109s are joining the party, including CALLISTO (Jim Murray), CERTAINLY (Don Meyer), DRIVEN 2 (Jim Milliken), FANDANGO (Martin Luken), FULL TILT (Peter Priede), MOMENTUS (Kevin Saedi, George & Robin Simkins), NORTHSTAR (Dave Gustman), REALT NA MARA (Tom Londrigan) and SLAPSHOT (Scott Sims).

J/111s starting off Chicago waterfrontMost of the top boats on Lake Michigan in the J/111 class are sailing due to the fact that it’s not only part of their offshore season series, but it’s a great warm-up for the following week’s J/111 North Americans taking place in Harbor Springs, MI.  After a strong showing at the Chicago NOOD Regatta, expect to see the trio aboard KASHMIR (Brummel, Henderson & Mayer) leading the thirteen boat fleet off the starting line.  They will be accompanied by twelve other determined teams like IMPULSE (Miz, Dreher & Hatfield), LUCKY DUBIE (Len Siegal), MISTY (Tom & Carol McIntosh), MY SHARONA (George Gamble), NIGHTHAWK (Tom Edman & Steve Dabrowski), NO SURPRISE (Dave Irish), ROWDY (Rick Witzel), SKULL CRACKER (Dan Kitchens), UTAH (Brad Faber), VELOCITY (Marty Roesch), WIND CZAR (the 2013 J/111 NA Champion- Rick Lehmann) and WOOTON (Bill Smith).

Like their J/105 colleagues, the J/120s have also made a big comeback this year with eight boats headed for the starting line.  A favorite may be the winning Bayview-Mac team of Mike & Bob Kirkman on HOT TICKET. Then again, Frank Kern’s CARINTHIA that took 3rd in Bayview-Mac may be working on a redemption plan to secure the gold!  Also sailing are FLYIN IRISH (Bill Bresser), IRRESISTIBLE TOO (Gerald & Joanne Hines),
JAHAZI (Fran Giampoli), NAUTI BOYS (Ed Vermet & John Hughes), NIGHT MOVES (Henry Mistele) and PERVERSION (Dennis Detmer).

In the big handicap divisions, we find the J/145 MAIN STREET sailed by Bill Schanen and family from Port Washington, Wisconsin sailing in Division 2.   The Cup Division 3 fleet has three J/130s, two J/133s and a J/124 registered, including the top two boats from the recent Queen’s Cup Race from Milwaukee, WI to Muskegon, MI.  The 130s are EDGE (Bob McManus), SALSA (Jim Gignac) and WILLIE J (Doug Petter).  The 133s are RENEGADE (Tom & Beth Ann Papoutsis) and SCIROCCO 3 (Bob Klairmont).  The J/124 STILL MESSIN will be sailed by Adam & Jerome Esselman.

The battle of the J/122s continue in Cup Division 4 with Matt Songer’s EVVAI hoping to overcome the legacy of Mitch Padnos’s & Tracy Brand’s famous SUFFICIENT REASON (the 2013 Overall and Class Division winner).  Rounding out the class are fraternal sisters, the J/44 SAGITA (Jon Somes & Larry Oswald) and the J/46 WINDRUSH sailed by George Hender.

Finally, in Cruising Division 1 is the J/42 ANOTHER J skippered by Conrad & Deb Deeter from Hopkins, MN.  There’s just one J entry this year in the Double-Handed Division, the same J/29 TFWB RELENTLESS sailed by George & Scott Petritz that has done well in other big double-handed events on the lakes.  Then, in Trophy Division 6 we see the Mac “debut” of the J/88 HOKEY SMOKE sailed by Richie Stearns and also entered is the J/33 RETRIEVER helmed by Matt Beer.  Lastly, in Trophy Division 7 is the J/92 CYCLONE skippered by John Madey.   For more Chicago Mackinac Race sailing information

J/70s sailing off start lineJ/70 North Americans Preview
(Rochester, NY)- The second annual J/70 North Americans are about to get underway in Rochester, New York hosted by the Rochester YC.  An enormous fleet of 83 boats are registered, the second straight year in a row the J/70 class has fielded its first major championship with a fleet in excess of 80 boats- an unprecedented accomplishment in the third year for any ISAF International keelboat class.

As a precursor for the J/70 World Championship being held at New York YC in September off Newport, RI, this event promises exciting racing for many American teams as well as numerous entries from overseas that are representing Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Brazil, Ireland, Sweden and Great Britain.

So far, the fleet can expect good winds from the WSW quadrants interspersed with wet weather in the beginning of the week; then clearing skies and improved weather with decent breezes out of the WSW quadrants at 6-12 kts for Wednesday through Friday, then the return of wet weather on Saturday and Sunday with light to medium ESE breezes.

If last weekend’s J/70 class at the Bacardi Sail Newport Regatta was any indication of things to come this week, then look for many of these top teams in the top fifteen at the NA’s- Martie McKenna, Peter Vessella, Brandon Flack, Heather Gregg-Earl & Joe Bardenheier (current 2012 J/70 NA Champions), Bruno Pasquinelli & Patrick Wilson, Jen & Ray Wulff, Dave Franzel, Henry Filter, Doug Strebel, Brian Keane, Jud & Cynthia Smith, Will Welles, Joel Ronning and Al Terhune.  

For those top teams that missed the 70s in Newport, one should also see several other top American teams in the hunt like Jim Barnash, Jim & Cole Allsopp, Tim Healy, Bennet Greenwald, Mark Ploch and Kerry Klingler.

The top Canadian teams include Stu McCrea, Scott Weakley, Andrew Papierz and Ed Backman.  Attending from Brazil is past J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz; from Great Britain there are two teams- Ian Atkins on boats.com (third at 2014 J/70 Midwinters and UK National Champion) and Joe Woods on RED; from Mexico is Julian Fernandez Neckelmann & Bernard Minkow; from Puerto Rico is Marco Teixidor; from Ireland is Trey Sheehan and from Sweden is Mikael Lindqvist & Ingemar Sundstedt (J/80 Swedish Champions).   For more J/70 North Americans sailing information

J/111 sailing past markJ/Cup Preview
(Hamble, England)- This year the J-Cup returns to the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble and includes the Lombard-sponsored J/97 Championships and incorporates the J/109 UK National Championships. A record turnout is expected with over 60 boats already entered and organizers are looking forward to seeing some new, as well as some of the more familiar sailors, racing in this competitive annual regatta.
The majority of the individual class numbers are up on last year’s regatta held in Plymouth and as the Cup itself is awarded to the most deserving team in the regatta (which is not necessarily the team with the most bullets), this prestigious trophy is up for grabs to any owner who has entered.

Some names to watch out for include, in the J/111 fleet, the current J/105 National Champions Chris Jones and Louise Makin who return to the Solent after their recent triumph in Journeymaker at the NYYC Newport Regatta. They could be the dark horse this year. Expected front-runners include Tony Mack on McFly, Duncan McDonald on Shmokin Joe and Cornel Riklin with Jitterbug.
J/109 sailboats sailing at startThe J/109 drivers are renowned for being quite a feisty bunch on the water and as the largest fleet competing they are sure to deliver plenty of thrills and spills! Class Chairman Paul Griffiths is racing Jaegerbomb and he’ll no doubt be fighting off the likes of Tony Dickin on Jubilee and Ian McKinnon on Tigh Soluis.
The biggest-ever fleet of the four year-old J/97 class will compete in this year’s J-Cup featuring some top runners & riders including a previous J-Cup winner Chas Ivill, ETB Tyres. The father and son pairing, the Mundays, pulled out all the stops on the race course last year, achieving the best overall results for the year with their J/97 Induljence. They also walked away with the Royal Southern Yacht Club’s 2013 ‘Champion of Champions’ prize of a round trip to Barbados, including racing on board the winning boat Monster Project in last January’s Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race.
Enjoying their first season with the J/97 Blackjack II, Annie Kelly and Andy Howe won the J-Cup in Guernsey in their J/92 in 2011. Another fresh out of the box J/97 is being raced by Nick Barlow who is really excited about his new purchase called Jeopardy. Organisers believe this will be Nick’s first inshore regatta with his new boat.

J/Fest winnersThis year’s J-Cup heralds the debut of the J/88 so there’s no form guide to go on as yet but it will be interesting to keep an eye on the efforts of Eat Sleep J Repeat and Paul Ward who achieved an excellent result coming 2nd in IRC Div 1C in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race in June. Ivan Trotman, a former J/122 owner is now campaigning JoJo and the competition will be keeping their eye on him in his first regatta in his new J/88.
Registration and the Regatta briefing will take place at the Royal Southern on Wednesday 23rd July and then follows three days of top quality racing under the supervision of the Royal Southern’s PRO Tony Lovell. Prize-giving will be held in the Club after racing concludes on Saturday 26th July.
The J-Cup is organized by Hamble-based Key Yachting Ltd., an agent and distributor for J/Boats throughout the UK and Ireland.
Follow the racing news on the J-Cup official Twitter feed: @jukracing #jcup14.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright- Photoaction.com

J/109 Rush sailing offshoreNew York YC Race Week Preview
Featuring the J/109 North Americans
(Newport, RI)- This year’s New York YC Race Week, running from July 15-19 and hosted by the club in Newport, RI will be featuring the J/109 North American Championships.  In addition, they will also conduct racing for other one-design classes, like the J/44s, as well as IRC and PHRF handicap classes.

J/44 Gold Digger sailing off NewportThe J/109 class has responded with tremendous enthusiasm for the 2014 NA’s, with seventeen boats registered from across the Northeast. Past NA Champion Bill Sweetser from Annapolis YC will again be sailing RUSH against many of the top teams from the region, including Jim Vos’s SKOOT, Don Fillipelli’s CAMINOS, Ted Herlihy’s GUT FEELING (also a past NA Champion), Gary Weisberg’s HEAT WAVE, Adrian Begley’s MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN, Bob Schwartz’s NORDLYS, and Bill Kneller’s VENTO SOLARE.

After a successful outing in this year’s Newport Bermuda Race, the J/44 crews are back in force with another good showing of leading teams.  Past NYYC Race Week champions and podium finishers are all in the mix, including class cheerleader Jim Bishop’s GOLD DIGGER, Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE, Len Sitar’s VAMP, Jeff Willis’s CHALLENGE IV and Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE.

J/111 sailing in New York YC regattaThe IRC handicap classes have a number of J/Teams sailing in the IRC 3 Division.  The duel of the J/122s continue with the US Naval Academy Sailing team sailing DOLPHIN (with skipper John Tyler Martenstein) against multiple class winner WINGS led by Mike Bruno from Long Island Sound.  The “sleeper” could easily be Tom Sutton’s J/35 LEADING EDGE that hails from Houston, TX.

The PHRF handicap division will be scored based on both handicap and one-design results for the J/105s and J/111s.  Amongst the J/111s registered is Dave Brodsky & Fred Van Liew’s ODYSSEY, Dave & Maryellen Tortorello’s PARTNERSHIP and Sedgwick Ward’s BRAVO.  The J/105 fleet features Mark Lindquist’s STERLING, Fred Darlington’s TONTO, Mark & Jolene Masur’s TWO FEATHERS and Jordan Mindich’s SHAKEDOWN.   For more New York YC Race Week sailing information

J/111 sailboat- a one-design speedster for sailing offshoreEdgartown Race Weekend Preview
(Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard)— The Edgartown Yacht Club’s ‘Round-the-Island Race, coming up July 26 on Martha’s Vineyard, has a storied past that begins in 1938 when the club’s Commodore E. Jared Bliss dedicated the Venona Trophy as a top prize. The trophy was named after his ocean racing yacht that won the Bermuda Race in 1908, and since then, many similarly famous boats and decorated sailors have gone on to win the Venona Trophy, presented each year to the yacht in the spinnaker divisions that turns in the best overall corrected time.

Last year, a total of 62 teams (in IRC, Double-Handed, PHRF Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker Divisions) met breezes of 25 knots plus during the 54.7 nautical mile circumnavigation of Martha’s Vineyard, and no one enjoyed it more than Doug Curtiss’s (S. Dartmouth, Mass.) team aboard the J/111 Wicked 2.0, which has been a regular at the race since 2008.

“Not only did we secure a first place in PHRF A Class by three minutes (corrected time) in this six-hour race but also we went toe-to-toe with a OD35 for most of the day,” said Curtiss in his recap of the racing last year.  “And did I mention some great sailing with gusts to 30 knots and a top speed of 18.6 knots for Wicked 2.0?”

This year’s ‘Round-the-Island Race is tracking to top last year’s numbers, with 44 entries already registered. They include defending class champions like Ned Joyce’s (Plymouth, Mass.) J/105 Dark ‘n Stormy in PHRF Spinnaker Division.

Around Island race map“There’s a long tradition in this race,” said Curtiss, after signing up again for this year, “and a high caliber of competitors, so it’s just an honor to compete.  You get every kind of condition—usually a heavy tide going out past Chappaquiddick on the east side of the island and a long beat to windward on the south side of the island to Gay Head. Then you get a nice long spinnaker run down Vineyard Sound on a southwesterly prevailing wind.  There are a lot of tactics and calculations about tides and winds; you deal with a lot of variables, so it’s just a very exciting race.”

The largest division last year (22 entries) was for PHRF Non-Spinnaker, and for that there is a prestigious trophy as well: the Upbeat Cup, for best overall finish. In 2011, Commodore Owen C. Smith (Weston, Conn.) donated this cup, named after his yacht that had done this race more often than any other boat, always in non-spinnaker division. (Smith switched to Spinnaker Division in 2013 and has registered to race in that class again for 2014 with his J/28 Resurgo).

Other J/Teams that are racing in the Big Boat event on Thursday and Friday include Richard Egan’s J/46 WINGS in the Double-handed Class and in the PHRF Spinnaker Class, the US Naval Academy’s J/122 DOLPHIN skippered by Tyler Martenstein, two J/120s- Stephen Besse’s APRES and Stephen McManus’s SAYKADOO, and the trio of Joyce, Reservitz and Wagner sailing their J/105 DARK’N’STORMY.

For the popular Round Island Race, the Double-handed Class includes Adrian Little’s J/100 FLASHPOINT.  The PHRF Spinnaker Class has a large turnout of J/Teams, including Curtiss’s J/111 WICKED 2.0, two J/122s- the US Naval Academy’s DOLPHIN & Jim Maseiro’s URSUS MARITIMUS, Jeff Eberle’s J/130 CILISTA, two J/46s- Bill Jacobson’s VANISH & Richard Egan’s WINGS, three J/120s- Bess’s APRES, McManus’s SAYKADOO & Richard Joy’s KINDRED SPIRITS, Ed Dailey’s J/109 RAPTOR, the J/105 DARK’N’STORMY, Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST, Steve Dahill’s J/35c RIVA and Smith’s J/28 RESURGO.

There is also a good presence of J’s sailing in PHRF Non-Spinnaker class that includes Wes McMichael’s J/44 BALLYHOO and Ken Nicholas’s J/42 PANASEA.   For more Edgartown Race Week sailing information

bow girl on J/105 in Screwpile regattaScrewpile Lighthouse Challenge Preview
Featuring the J/80 East Coasts
(Solomons Island, MD)- For twenty years, the Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge has been a racer’s favorite regatta on the Chesapeake Bay.  It is held every mid-July in the middle of summer at Solomons Island, right in the middle (north and south) of the Bay.  The most significant change for the 21st running of the SPLC is that the event has moved to a weekend date, running from July 18th to 20th.  The format also includes a distance race for all fleets on Saturday.

Friday and Saturday night following our tent parties, live music in Isaac’s Pub starting at 9pm to 1am for the Screwpilers 2014. Friday’s band “Funkzilla” and Saturday’s “The Piranha’s” (who appeared at Screwpile in 2012) are back by popular demand.

J/111 Bad Cat sailing Screwpile Challenge racePerhaps most importantly, the Screwpile Challenge 2014 will also serve as the J/80 East Coast Championship.  The J/80 Fleet is sailing through a banner year on the Chesapeake Bay in 2014 with the J/80 North American Championships at Annapolis Yacht Club in mid-September and the J/80 Worlds at Eastport Yacht Club in late September.  A sizable fleet is expected and the competition close as seen in past years.  Screwpile has always been a favorite of many sailors; J/80 skippers included.  In fact, the J/80 sailors will also sail the same Distance Course race as the PHRF B Class.

Sailing in the thirteen boat J/80 fleet are KNEE DEEP (Clarke McKinney), ELEVEN (Bert Carp), RAKALI (Mark & Robin Witte), John White, VAYU (David Andrill), STACKED (Ramzi Bannura), MELTINI (Mike Hobson), OUTLAWS (Derrick Lynch), COOL-J (Alex Kraus), CHURCH KEY (Jesse McKnight), WHITE LIGHTNING (Vince Kalish), MANGO (Ken Mangano) and WINDRIDER (John Potvin & Tom Walth).

In the PHRF Handicap fleet there’s a broad range of J’s sailing, including Jim Whited’s J/111 BAD CAT, two J/109s- Sam Mitchener’s DOUBLE EAGLE & Craig Wright’s AFTERTHOUGHT, Peter D’Arista’s J/100 SUPRA, Dan Shannon’s J/29 THE DOGHOUSE and Larry Ray’s J/70 J-RAY.  Sailing photo credits- Spinsheet.com magazine.  For more Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge sailing information

J/80s sailing Galveston Bay, Houston, TxJ/Fest Southwest Announcement
(Seabrook, TX)- The final Lakewood YC sponsored regatta of 2014 will again be one of the regatta highlights of the year: the 5th Annual J/Fest Southwest will be held on November 1-2 and promises to be the biggest and best yet! The previous editions of this unique event have each seen strong increases in participation, as the quality of the regatta has become better known in the region and beyond.

The City of Seabrook is again the title sponsor of the event. The city’s contribution allows us to put on a very special event with amenities and services for participants and spectators that set the event apart from other area regattas. J/Fest Southwest attracts a large number of boats that travel from other areas of the state and as far away as Colorado. We’re still working on getting the travel happy crews from the Northeast to come down and extend their racing season. What could be better than to take your boat to a great event instead of putting it on the hard for the winter?

J/105 sailboat- sailing Galveston Bay- Houston, TXWe are again expecting a record attendance in 2014. The super popular J/70 has seen its local fleet grow substantially, with several LYC members getting into this great speedster. Last year we were very successful attracting a number of J/Boats that don’t currently have strong one-design fleets but came out to race in PHRF handicap classes. We’re hoping to again expand our reach in these classes. To all you racers and crew members: talk it up with the J/Boat owner friends! Every J/Boat is a race boat, even if it’s a ‘cruising J’! We also expect strong participation for the J/22, J/24, J/80, J/105 and J/109 classes as well as several J/120s.  We have a new J/122 SECOND STAR in our LYC family. New members J.D. and Susan Hill will be at the starting line as ‘scratch boat’ that everyone else will chase. It will be exciting for sure! We hope to give participants an event that will put it onto their ‘can’t miss’ list.

Further to Seabrook, a number of returning sponsors have committed to supporting this regatta: Hayes Rigging, UK Sails, North Sails, The Sundance Grill II, Rejex, Blackburn Marine, Harken to name a few. I know that the racers appreciate their support! You can help by thanking them when the opportunity arises. Use their services, and when you do, mention their support for this regatta!

As always, J/Fest Southwest is co-sponsored by Scott and Terry Spurlin of J/Boats Southwest. Scott was instrumental in developing the concept of this unique regatta and the Spurlins have every year invested countless hours in the promotion and preparation of the event, prominently including the event’s informative web site at www.jfestsouthwest.com. Scott and Terry are also using their considerable network of J/Boat owners to spread the word about the regatta and bring in new crews from around the country.

This event is also designed to reach out to those who want to watch the regatta: Family members, friends and other sailing enthusiasts can board LYC member Paul Dunphey’s Liberty Belle, which is again serving as our spectator boat. Thank you Paul and Amy!! Another excellent way to follow the racing is to volunteer on the water: run or crew a mark-set boat or help out on the signal boat. Contact Kathy Goethe (281) 844-7010 if that’s interesting to you. Of course, it is still best to hop on a J/Boat and mix it up with the others! It’s friendly competition at its best!! See you there! I can’t wait!   For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide

There was a lot of activity taking place in the Great Britain and Ireland in the past fortnight!  After the women left Cork, Ireland having sailed the ISAF Women’s Worlds Match Race Championship in their fleet of matched J/80 one-design sailboats, the wonderful town of Cork then turned on the charm again and rolled out the red carpet for the enormously popular CORK Week.  Sailing in IRC handicap fleets, a number of J/teams were participating, including a J/133, J/109s, J/105s, J/88, and J/24s.  Also overlapping these events was the week-long offshore adventures called the RORC Round Ireland Yacht Race co-hosted with Wicklow Sailing Club in Wicklow, Ireland; participating were a fleet that included a J/111, J/109s and J/105s with some good results!  Other events that have taken place in the RORC offshore community were the recent Morgan Cup that had a J/133, J/122s, J/109s, J/105s and J/97 participating.  After that event, the highly popular RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race took place where teams enjoy the savoire-faire of delicious French cuisine and wine after the finish; several J/teams produced some excellent results including a J/133, J/122s, J/105 and J/97.  Two of their UK stablemates, a J/35 and J/97, also competed in the RORC IRC Nationals held off Cowes.  Finally, the Royal Yacht Squadron and Royal Thames YC hosted their inaugural Inter-Club Sailing Regatta for women off the “Squadron line” using their matched J/80 one-designs for the ladies.

Over in the Americas, several significant events took place last weekend, both offshore long-distance events as well as one-design events.  In the offshore world, the Bayview-Mackinac Race took place with a one-design fleet of J/120s sailing the longer Cove Island Course, as did a pair of J/111s. The rest of the J/Navy sailed the Short Course Race direct to Mackinac Island with a gaggle of J/35s sailing the Level 35 class and the rest of the J’s (J/44, J/109, J/105, J/42, J/33, J/92, J/30 and J/29) sailing in other PHRF handicap classes.  Another Great Lakes “classic” offshore event was hosted by Port Credit YC, the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge Race.  Several good performances were put in by J/owners in a J/133, J/120, J/111, J/35, J/33 and J/29.  Also taking place offshore and hoping to finish later this week are the Vic-Maui Race and the Pacific Cup— both headed for the gorgeous, seductive Hawaiian Islands.

In the American one-design community, two events took place simultaneously on the “left” and “right” coasts.  Out East, the Bacardi Sail Newport Regatta hosted fleets of J/70s and J/24s and were blessed with spectacular conditions all weekend long- lots of sun, fun and breeze on!  Out West, similar conditions blessed the fleet of J/70s sailing Santa Barbara YC’s infamous sailing festival known as the Fiesta Cup Regatta.

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:

Jul 3- Vic-Maui Race- Victoria, BC
Jul 6- Pacific Cup Race- San Francisco, CA
Jul 14-20- J/70 North Americans- Rochester, NY
Jul 15-19- J/109 North Americans- Newport, RI
Jul 18-20- Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge- Solomons Island, MD
Jul 19-22- Chicago Mackinac Race- Chicago, IL
Jul 23-26- J-Cup Regatta- Hamble, England
Jul 24-27- J/111 North Americans- Harbor Springs, MI
Jul 24-27- Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 26-27- Can-Am Challenge Regatta- Youngtown, NY
Aug 1-3- Hans Fogh J/80 Canadian Open- ABYC- Toronto, ONT
Aug 2-9- Cowes Week- Cowes, England
Aug 2-5- J/111 Europeans- Cowes, England
Aug 4-9- Copa del Rey- Palma Mallorca, Spain
Aug 8-10- J/27 North Americans- Oakville, Ontario
Aug 9-15- J/24 Europeans- Angelholm, Sweden
Aug 14-17- Chester Race Week- Chester, Nova Scotia
Aug 14-17- Penobscot Bay Rendezvous- Rockland, Maine
Aug 19-24- J/111 World Championship- Royal Yacht Squadron- Cowes, England
Aug 21-24- J/35 North Americans- Muskegon, MI
Aug 22-24- J/24 USA Nationals- Beverly YC- Marion, MA
Aug 28-31- Pornic J/80 Cup- Pornic, France
Sep 8-13- J/70 World Championship- New York YC- Newport, RI

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

J/133 offshore sailboat- winning Morgan CupJ/133 APOLLO 7 Wins RORC Morgan Cup Race
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Morgan Cup Race took the fleet from Cowes, east out the Solent, along the southside of the Isle of Wight and the southwest coast of England to Dartmouth and it proved to be a tough test. To make the finish, a 110-mile beat, required determination, even tenacity. After the fleet received their finishing times, corrected under IRC, the results made several significant changes to the standings for the RORC Season’s Points Championship, including the overall lead.

Nigel Passmore’s J/133, APOLLO 7, with an all-Devonian crew, were celebrating in Dartmouth after winning the Morgan Cup.  “It was a great blast out of the Solent at the start,” smiled Nigel. “Full on downwind, 150 degree wind angle, kite up and the breeze gusting up to 20 knots. We were soon approaching the Forts and decided to peel to a Code Zero, which was a real thrill. After hardening up, we dug in for a 110 mile beat. The big decision was whether we could make Portland Bill before the tide turned but that decision had to be made before Anvil Point and we decided to go for it.

We went tight in at Portland and got there just before the tide turned but we had to deal with a back eddy off the point straight after and we footed off, went for the Code Zero and powered our way through it. After that, it was all about driving through the waves, putting in fat tacks to keep up the speed. Definitely, the decisive move was staying in shore and that is where we pulled it off.

As we came into Dartmouth, it was pitch black with wind over tide causing a very lumpy seaway, so we waited until first light to get up the Dart. Most of the lads are from Plymouth, but we had a pasty and a couple of beers, waiting for the result before heading to our local pub. After all those long deliveries back and forwards to Cowes for races, it was a real indulgence to be so close to home at the finish and winning such a prestigious trophy on home soil – we are over the moon!”

Behind APOLLO 7 in IRC 2 class was the J/122 RELENTLESS ON JELLYFISH sailed by Chris Radford and James George, taking 4th in class.

In IRC Three, Kevin Armstrong’s J/109 ME JULIE, a temporary replacement for their regular yacht, JAZZY JELLYFISH, crewed by the Summit Sailing Team, scored a very respectable second in IRC Three after a tremendous battle with Christopher Palmer’s J/109, JE T’AIME. The two teams enjoyed a private duel for over 22 hours and just over six minutes separated the J/109’s at the finish.  Behind them in 6th was the J/105 DIABLO-J skippered by Nick Martin; 7th was the J/109 JARHEAD sailed by Greg Nasmyth; and in 8th was another J/109, RUAG WHIE KNIGHT 7 sailed by the Royal Armoured Corps Yacht Club crew and skipper Rob Hammond.  Finally, in IRC 4 class, the J/97 HIGH JINKS sailed by Blair Forsyth took 3rd overall.  For more RORC Morgan Cup sailing information

J/70 Muse sailing around markDAZZLING Bacardi Sail Newport Regatta
Terhune Tops 70s, Mollicone Dominates 24s
(Newport, RI) – Sailors from 21 U.S. States and eight countries gathered in Newport for Sail Newport’s annual Newport Regatta on July 11-13, featuring Bacardi Newport Race Week with long-term sponsors Heineken and new sponsor Helly Hansen.  The mammoth event on four circles of racing on Narragansett Bay, in its 31st year, required over 100 volunteers and partnerships with New York Yacht Club, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, Newport Yacht Club and Barrington Yacht Club.  

The fleet was blessed with three straight days of absolutely gorgeous weather.  Friday started out slowly for some fleets with light northerlies dying out and the classic Newport seabreeze built into the 6-10 kts range.  Saturday and Sunday were nearly perfect sailing conditions for both the offshore fleets in Rhode Island Sound and fleets inside Narragansett Bay; winds were SSW both days with Saturday seeing 6-12 kt breezes and Sunday was blessed with even more sun and fun with breezes building from 10-15 kts and ending in the 18-25 kts range for the last race.  

The event featured two large, competitive fleets of J/24s and J/70s.  The 33-boat J/70 fleet was by far the largest in the regatta and the competition was perhaps the deepest overall as well.

J/70s sailing upwind off NewportThe 70 fleet saw competitors having remarkable roller-coaster experiences each day; such as Dave Franzel’s SPRING, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA and Jud Smith’s AFRICA all in the top five but dropping down the ladder quite far due to their finishes on the heavy air day on Sunday.  Conversely, Allan Terhune’s DAZZLER raced up the ladder on the last day to take the overall win.  In fact, after the first day, DAZZLER sailing with rock star Moose McClintock on board as tactician weren’t even in the top ten with their 5-3-23 record.  But, their blistering “big breeze” performance Sunday with a 1-3-4 record enabled them to win class with just 16 pts net (after toss race).  Sailing the most consistently all weekend was Martie Kullman’s TOUCH2PLAY, scoring 3-7-9-8-1-5 to easily take second with 24 pts net.  Third was Will Welles sailing RASCAL, posting an 8-1-6-13-6-9 for 30 pts net.  Rounding out the top five were BLACK RIVER RACING sailed by Doug Strebel & Jay Lutz with 31 pts net and in fifth was Tim Molony’s JOUST with 33 pts net.

J/24 one-design sailboat at startThe world of J/24s was subjected to a “clinic” by the current World Champions in the form of Tim Healy & John Mollicone joining forces on Team HELLY HANSEN. Taking three 1sts in six races sealed the deal for their team with a total of 8 pts.  Up and coming J/24 hotshot, Mike Marshall, sailed PIPE DREAM into second by winning the first and last races and keeping Team HELLY HANSEN honest by keeping the racing close- accumulating just 10 pts.  This was Mike Ingham with a total of 14 pts with three 2nds in their scoreline for 14 pts.  After these “three musketeers” dominated the top three finishes nearly every race, the 4th to 7th place boats were only spread apart by 6 pts.  Taking fourth was the Japanese entry, SOKOKUMARU skippered by Sumio Shimoyama, with 24 pts and fifth was Kevin Coughlin finishing with 25 pts.   Sailing photo credits- Cate Brown Photography   For more Bacardi Sail Newport Regatta sailing information

J/133 Blackjack wins Cowes Dinard St Malo raceJ/133 BLACKJACK Wins Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- A favorite of the RORC offshore sailing community is the annual Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race.  After starting off the famous Royal Yacht Squadron starting line, the fleet heads off around a 150nm triangle that ends up in St Malo, France- a wonderful seaside town on the north coast of France steeped in history and a place that offers the weary sailors delicious seafood delicacies enhanced by the equally impressive wines from the local vineyards.

The big story for this year’s race were the fact that two J’s swept the top two spots both overall and in IRC 2 Class.  The overall winner of the race was Eric Gicquel’s J/133 BLACK JACK skippered by Nils Boyer. François Lognoné’s J/122 NUTMEG- SPARKLING CHARTER, also from St.Malo, was second.

Nils Boyer, BLACK JACK’s skipper, was born in St.Malo and, under the tutelage of Franck-Yves Escoffier, is one of the rising stars in French solo sailing. Nils Boyer’s goal is to participate in the Route Du Rhum and his dream is to win the transatlantic race that starts from his hometown of St.Malo. Nils Boyer will be racing across the Atlantic this November in L’eau de là, from St.Malo to Guadeloupe, West Indies.

“Winning the Cowes-Dinard-St.Malo is magical,” smiled Nils. “BLACK JACK is a young team all from the Sociéte Nautique de la Baie de St Malo and the champagne will be flowing with all our family and friends tonight. I have been part of teams that have won a class in the race on four occasions but this is the first time that I have won the trophy overall. L’eau de là is an association of young sailors, 16-20 years of age, and to win this prestigious trophy in our home town is fantastic”.

IRC Two was highly competitive with J/Teams taking five of the top seven spots. The top seven yachts finished the 150 mile race within half an hour after time correction. BLACK JACK was the winner with J/122 NUTMEG- SPARKLING CHARTER second and fourth was Ian Dewhirst’s J/133 JUMP.  Sixth was Nigel Passmore’s J/133 APOLLO 7 and eighth was Chris Radford’s J/122 RELENTLESS ON JELLYFISH.

IRC Three was the largest class with 22 yachts competing and there was less than an hour on corrected time between the winner and 14th place. J/teams enjoyed the conditions, taking 4 of the top 10 places.  Taking 6th in class was Nick Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J (they also took 6th in IRC Double-handed class).  Eighth in class was Chris Palmer’s J/109 J-T’AIME, ninth was Fred Nadaud’s J/105 VERONIKA and tenth was Kevin Armstrong’s JAZZY JELLYFISH.

In IRC Four the top eight yachts were all from France, including Francois Boue’s J/109, FIROUZEH 4 taking the bronze and in eighth was Jean-Pierre Briand’s J/97 JJ L’AMOROSSO.  For more RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race sailing information

J/120s at starting line for Bayview Mackinac raceJ’s Perform In Bayview Mackinac Race
(Mackinac Island, MI) – This year’s Bell’s Beer 90th Bayview Mackinac Race began on July 12 in Southern Lake Huron, with 9-11 knots of breeze offering the 227 boats in 14 classes a swift downwind leg along the two courses offered, either to the Presque Isle Lighthouse (on the Michigan shoreline), where the Shore course begins taking a left, or the Cove Buoy where the Cove Island Course does the same (about 130 miles away from the start).

The shorter Shore course covers 204 nm along the Michigan shoreline before heading west to Mackinac Island Bell’s Beer finish line. The longer Cove Island Course is 259 nm and takes sailors around a buoy off the tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Canadian waters before heading west toward the finish line.

A westerly breeze of 9-11 knots allowed an initially mellow downwind spinnaker run to the first turning points in each of two courses. During the evening, however, “a lot of everything” happened when it came to weather and wind, including rain, dense fog and gusts up to 36 knots.  The front continued to move and produced a brisk westerly breeze that kept the fleet “on its nose” throughout Saturday evening and into Sunday. That meant the Cove Island course had the unfortunate task of playing windshifts for nearly 90nm upwind to Mackinac Island after rounding the Cove Buoy.

J/120 sailing Bayview Mackinac race- Hot TicketThis year, the J/120 one-design fleet sailed the longer Cove Island Course with a big fleet of ten boats participating.  All the usual suspects from the Great Lakes J/120 fleet were sailing, including most past winners in class.  The big class winner was HOT TICKET (Mike & Bob Kirkman), beating the next set of boats by over one hour!  No question there was a duel all the way to the finish for the next two boats, both finishing within 45 seconds of each other!  Taking second was FUNTECH RACING (Charlie Hess) and at the short end of that stick was CARINTHIA (Frank Kern).  The balance of the top five was NIGHT MOVES (Henry Mistele) in fourth and FLYIN IRISH (Bill Bresser) in fifth.

In PHRF A on the Cove Island Course were also two J/111s, Tim Clayson’s UNPLUGGED took 5th and Don Hudak’s CAPERS took 7th.

J/105 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing Bayview MacThe Short Course had the largest contingent of J’s sailing.  In the Level 35 Division, there are nine J/35s sailing in the fleet of eleven boats!  Taking the class honors was PAPA GAUCHO II (Keith Stauber) with the Bayer/ Bayer/ Barnes trio on FALCON only 1:50 sec behind them!  In fourth was MR BILL’S WILD RIDE sailed by Bill Wildner and fifth was MAJOR DETAIL (Bill Vogan).

Sailing into fourth overall in the 12 boat PHRF C Division was the classic navy-blue J/44 SAGITTA sailed by the team of Jon Somes and Larry Oswald from Bayview YC.  

PHRF D division had an eclectic, diverse group of boats in their fleet of 16 entries.  The J/105s swept the class. The resounding winner by over 1.5 hours on elapsed time was the J/105 PTERODACTYL (Mary Symonds). J/29 sailing Bayview Mackinac race A country furlong behind was the J/105 SEND IN THE CLOWNS (Terry Timm) in second place.  Fourth was SNAKE OIL (Don Harthorn) and a J/92 took 7th- KOHATSU (John Stromberg).

Top J in the PHRF E division was the J/33 SHENANIGAN skippered by the team of Dick & Dan Synowiec from North Cape YC, placing a respectable third place.  Then in PHRF G, the J/30 CONUNDRUM skippered by Donald King from Lake Shore Sailing Club took 4th place.  

On the Shore Course Cruising (white sails) division, Cruising A class saw the J/42 DOS MAS sailed by Gary Gonzalez from Grosse Pointe YC finish second!  Then, in the Division IV Shore Course Double-handed group the J/29 PATRIOT led by Lyndon Lattie took second place followed by the J/100 VANQUISH sailed by Don Fick in sixth.   For more Bayview Mackinac sailing information

J/109 sailing RORC Round Ireland raceJ’s Trounce Round Ireland
J/109 Tops IRC 3, J/111 2nd IRC 2
(Wicklow, Ireland)- When the fleet of 35 ocean racing yachts took off on the from the starting line at Wicklow, Ireland, in the RORC Round Ireland Race, everyone secretly hoped the relatively light wind forecasts were wrong.  After all, sailing 704nm in 5-10 kt winds might take awhile!  In the end, for most it took 5+ days to complete the race and the competitors commented on the fantastic views, the pods of dolphins, whale and shark sightings, as well as the wonderful navigational challenges that the island of Ireland offered. For most, the significant amount of reaching mixed in with some running and beating provided a fairly high average speed for the boats finishing in just over 5 days— about a 9.0+ average!

J/105 offshore sailboat- sailing RORC Round Ireland raceThe Round Ireland Yacht Race is one of the classic middle distance offshore yacht races of the world and over the years, the challenging, interesting and beautiful race course has attracted world-class sailors and their boats.  The event is Ireland’s premier offshore sailing race and is held every two years by Wicklow Sailing Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The 704nm race was first held in 1980 and still retains the original course; “leave Ireland and all its islands, excluding Rockall, to starboard.”  With a long range forecast for relatively light winds, one hopes it doesn’t become another “Bermuda 2014 (the new longest version ever)!”

Loving the conditions were the four J’s entered in this year’s edition.  In IRC 2 Class, the J/111 FUJITSU skippered by veteran offshore yachtsman DB Cattle took 2nd in class and 7th overall!

An even more remarkable story was that of another veteran Irish offshore yachtsman- Liam Shanahan’s J/109 RUTH not only won IRC 3 Class, but also took 2nd overall!  Another J/109 sailed by P Dunlop & V Cox took 3rd in class and 11th overall!  They were closely followed by the fourth place J/105 JET DREAM sailed by Philip Bourke.  Good show mates!   For more Round Ireland Yacht Race sailing information

J/80s ladies- sailing at Royal Yacht Squadron- Cowes, EnglandRORC Ladies Victorious
J/80 2+2 Team Racing at Royal Yacht Squadron
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Congratulations to the RORC Ladies Team that finished in First Place at the Royal Yacht Squadron Inter-Club Sailing Regatta in Cowes on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th July 2014.

Here’s the report from the RORC Helm/Team Captain and RORC Member Laetitia Mason:

“The Royal Yacht Squadron invited various yacht clubs from around London and the South Coast to participate in the first event of its kind- all women, 2 boat team racing. Upon invitation, I jumped at the chance to pull together a team of girls with (and some without) team racing experience for what seemed to be a fun event. The RYS is opening its doors to women members and alongside that, all women events as well.

We turned up on Saturday for the brief (after a rather raucous brief of our own at the Pier View the previous evening) and received a warm welcome from the race committee, Jonathan Peel and our fellow competitors. . The race officers explained the schedule for the day and off we went down to the pontoon to find our J/80s with brand new jibs, kindly supplied by the RYS and the RTYC.

The wind looked very light on the first morning and appeared to be quite shifty as we sailed (and got towed) out to the start. We sailed a practice race, which set the scene of things to come! Upon the completion of 6 more races and 4 wins for team RORC, we felt very satisfied with our first days racing results. The race officers and umpires did a brilliant job setting a box course in Osborne bay that provided very interesting team racing with the tide and eddies constantly challenging us.

Upon our return to the RYS, we were supplied with a much needed cup of tea and a slice of cake; all very civilized and sat down with our fellow competitors to chat about the day and plan our social event in the evening together.

Christopher Sharples, the Commodore, invited us to a fantastic 3-course meal at the Squadron, to which we attended in our frocks and heels. It was brilliant to get to know the ladies and gentleman of the RYS discussing many elements of yachting life including the evolution of both our clubs, which we are all embracing.

Sunday’s sailing conditions were expected to be about 12-15 knots with light drizzle; but it turned out sunny and around 10 knots; perfect conditions for more idealistic team racing in the Solent. There was a little more consideration today as we had swapped boats and were racing for double points so by no means was this a done deal! Team racing proved to be very successful again for team RORC as we nailed down another 4 wins to put us safely into the lead of the regatta.

I would like to thank the RYS for generously hosting this event, making us feel very welcome and putting on some truly enjoyable sailing. Thank you to Commodore Christopher Sharples who was on the race committee on Sunday alongside the Richard Acland and Mrs Boyd. Thank you to Chris Mason who ensured the J/80s were in peak condition and for umpiring alongside Graham Bailey. Thank you also to Ally Acland for making us feel so welcome and relaxed at the RYS.

My team and I had a fantastic weekend and we would love to participate again in this event next year. I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to my brilliant team for racing with me and showing skill and commitment to the team.”

The winning RORC team was comprised of Laetitia Mason, Marianthe Evangelidis- tactician/mainsheet, Carol O’Kelly, Sachi Sault and Ellie Aarons on jib trim.  The other RORC boat was comprised of skipper Josie Glidden, Mugs Gohl on mainsheet, and Lizzie Chellew and Stephanie Hensley on jib trim.  Formore RORC Ladies sailing information

J/88 speedster sailboat- sailing Cork, IrelandJ’s LOVE CORK Week
J/109s Dominate IRC 3
(Cork, Ireland)- Thrilling conditions welcomed the international fleet of yachts from all over Europe and the United States to Volvo Cork Week. 100 yachts racing in Cork Harbour produced a magnificent spectacle. Cork Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world and provides stunning scenery and tricky wind and tidal conditions. The gusty northeasterly breeze tested the boat handling skills of the international fleet, with several yachts reporting boatspeeds of up to 20 knots on the surf.

The first race of Volvo Cork Week started just outside Roches Point, the wind speed piped up to 17 knots with a short sea state. The beat into Cork Harbour had the fleet swapping tacks past Spike Island, before negotiating close tight reaching legs along the picturesque town of Cobh. For many it was a race of over three hours, before returning to the Royal Cork Yacht Club to enjoy the full facilities of the exclusive race village. Victory in IRC Three went to Pat Kelly’s J/109, Storm (Rush YC). It was a long day on the water in IRC Five, but Dave Lane & Sinead Enright’s J/24, YaGottaWanna took second.

The second day saw more fresh wind conditions for the fleet.  Fleet B, consisting of IRC 3, IRC 4, and IRC 5 Classes enjoyed three races on the Windward-Leeward Course, three miles south east of Roches Point. Warm sunshine and stable conditions prevailed, with blue skies and fresh breeze coming off the land to provide a classic racetrack. “Champagne sailing,” described one sailor. “12 knots of breeze, a great course and really competitive racing. I just love Cork Week and today was a very special day to be out on the water.”  In IRC Three, Pat Kelly’s J/109, Storm (Rush YC) was in impressive form scoring a win and a second in today’s races to open up an 8.5 point lead at the top of the class.

J/80s sailing Cork Week in IrelandUnsettled weather provided changeable conditions for the third day of racing at Volvo Cork Week. The day started with bright sunshine and balmy conditions causing a short postponement for many classes and light rain (honestly!) and a stiffer breeze was encountered during the day. With many classes now completing six races, the discard has kicked in and front-runners have become more apparent. What is plainly obvious from the results is races and places are being contested by mere seconds.

Fleet B, consisting of IRC 3, IRC 4, and IRC 5 Classes enjoyed three races on the Olympic Course, near Roches Point with over 40 yachts racing on a tight triangular course.  In IRC Three, Pat Kelly’s J/109, Storm (Rush YC) still leads the class after an intense battle.  Last year’s class champion, Ian Nagle & Paul O’Malley’s J/109, Jelly Baby (Royal Cork YC) was the winner of Race 6 by just 23 seconds from Storm. However, the Kelly family racing Storm, finished the day on top by winning the last race of the day.

“The Olympic Course is a real test, especially the gybe mark, where yachts are converging for a maneuver all at the same time. Just a few seconds can make the difference between first and fifth.” Explained Joss Walsh, trimmer on the J/109 Storm. “The overall game plan was to keep with the yachts around us and try and compete with them for speed and avoid errors, which would be very costly. Pat Kelly has four sons on board, Storm is a real family boat but we are quite a heavy crew, which has made racing difficult in light conditions. We are all here to enjoy very competitive racing and a few pints at the club afterwards. We are here to win but having fun is just as important.”

Storm leads IRC Three by 10.5 points points from Paul O’Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V, (Royal Irish YC). Jelly Baby is just half a point behind Rockabill V in third.  In IRC Four, Ronan Fenton’s J/35, Sky Hunter (Blackwater SC) finished the day in style, taking their first win of the regatta in Race 7.

J/105 sailing off Cork Harbour, IrelandThe fourth day started out ashore under harbor postponement. Marvin Gaye’s song “Let’s get it on” and The Stranglers “Something better change” rang out over the air waves as the Volvo Cork Week fleet waited for the breeze to set in for the final day of racing. However, the wind was sufficient to allow for a full racing programme to decide the winners for the regatta.  

In IRC Three, Pat Kelly’s J/109, Storm (Rush YC) had a shaky start to racing on the final day, placing 12th but a 2nd place in the last race secured the all Irish team the class win. Ian Nagle’s J/109, Jelly Baby (Royal Cork YC) was third. Liam Shanahan’s J/109 RUTH took 7th and another 109 took 9th- Chris Moore’s POWDER MONKEY.  The J/88 JONGLEUR sailed by Andrew Creighton and James Davis claimed the 10th spot, making for 5 J/teams in the top 10!

In IRC Four, the J/35c SKY HUNTER sailed by Ronan Fenton took 6th place and fellow J sailor Patrick Beckett placed 7th on his J/92 JOSTLER.

In IRC Five, the J/24 YAGOTTAWANNA skippered by the duo of Dave Lane and Sinead Enright sailed a great last half of the series with all scores posted in the top five to claim 4th overall!

Happy Cork Week sailorsVolvo Cork Week Racing Chairman, Anthony O’Leary was quick to praise both the race management team and the staff of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. “To conduct such magnificent races in difficult conditions was highly commendable, congratulations should go to the Race Officers, Jack Roy, Robert Lamb and Peter Crowley and all of the management team out on the water. The Royal Cork Yacht Club has welcomed competitors to the club with open arms and Gavin Deane, all of the staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to make sure the competitors have had a memorable time. That result is ably assisted by good race management, sailors coming off the water happy are much easier to please at the bar!”

The Volvo Cork Week Prize Giving was well attended, the music and the drinks were flowing long into the night. “Souldriven” playing live at the Volvo Cork Week Marquee followed by DJ – Bar with a bar extension until 2.00am! The legendary Craic of Cork Week went on long into the night.  Thanks for the contribution from Louay Habit/ RORC.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/ Photoaction.com  For more CORK Week sailing information

J/70 eclipse winning Fiesta Cup regattaFiesta Cup ECLIPSED!
(Santa Barbara, CA)- The 8th annual Fiesta Cup at Santa Barbara Yacht Club had an excellent turnout of J/70s and the fleet of eight boats enjoyed two good days of racing.  As has been the tradition since the event started, the sailors were treated on Saturday evening to an awesome luau-styled barbecue sponsored by Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard and Cerveza Pacifico and supplanted by the famous Santa Barbara YC “margaritas”.

The J/70 fleet is growing nicely in Santa Barbara and this year’s event attracted a competitive cross-section of fun-loving 70 sailors from across California.  On the first day, BOTTLE ROCKET (Jeff Thorpe & David Schuman) took off like a rocket and posted an unbeatable scoreline of 2-1-2 to lead the fleet on the first day.  In their wake was Scott Deardorff’s CAKE with 4-3-3 for second and in third was Ken Kieding’s SMOKE & MIRROS with a 1-4-4.

J/70s at Santa Barbara Fiesta Cup- sailing off startThe next day of racing saw dramatic “chutes & ladders” scorelines for the entire fleet with a surprising outcome for the regatta.  After starting slowly, very slowly in fact, the ECLIPSE team led by past J/24 North American Champion Pat Toole (of THREE BIG DOGS fame) took the bit in his teeth and was determined to beat the others around the track.  When the dust settled on Sunday afternoon ECLIPSE’s three straight bullets for the day gave them a record of 7-6-1-1-1-1 for 17 pts.  In short, they simply “ECLIPSED” the fleet.  Sailing with Pat were Shawn Hughes, Andrew Nunn, and Mike Drammer.

The balance of the top five was extremely close, with just three points separating them after six races; the outcome determined by the last leg of the last race!  After posting a strong finish at Long Beach Race Week, Scott Deardorff’s team on CAKE (wife Leslie Dierdorff and Matt & Laura Wilson) sailed a very consistent series and, in fact, were the only team to post all top four finishes in the regatta.  Their record of 4-3-3-4-4-2 for 20 pts was good enough for second place.  CAKE just beat Mike Wolfe’s IN SHEEP’s CLOTHING crew by one point.  The “Sheep” posted a 3-5-5-2-3-3 tally for 21 pts to secure third.  Fourth was Chris Gabriel’s DIVERSION with 22 pts and fifth was the top visiting team, Jeff Thorpe & David Schumann’s BOTTLE ROCKET from San Francisco YC.  The sailors commented the event was as fun as ever and “kudos” should go to Fiesta Cup Regatta Chairman Jane Watkins and to Santa Barbara YC’s PRO Brad Schaupeter. Sailing photo credits- Taggart Lee.  For more Fiesta Cup sailing information

J/35 bengal magic sailing IRC Nationals off Cowes, EnglandMAGIC J/35 Enjoys IRC Nationals
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- For over a decade, the RORC IRC National Championship has produced great racing and this year’s was an absolute cracker. The open event features yachts from six different countries, crewed by 400 sailors from all over the world. Bolstered by nine yachts competing for the 2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup, the international fleet, of nearly 50 yachts, had an intense three-day battle on tight Solent courses.

In IRC Three James Chalmers’ J/35 BENGAL MAGIC, was back to defend their class win. Last year, the team from Weymouth Sailing Club had a close battle with the overall winner in 2012, David Franks’ Strait Dealer.  “It will be nice to line up against Strait Dealer again; they are always going to be strong in their home waters,” commented James Chalmers. “We had to sail well last year but the light airs contributed to our victory so we will be praying for more of the same. There is a lot of talent right through our class – we will just have to see how we go.”

IRC Nationals startThe largest and most diverse class racing at the RORC IRC National Championship was IRC Four, with most of the class comprised of Quarter and Half Tonners, immaculately restored for racing.  Meanwhile, father and son team Nick and Adam Munday, were back to defend their title onboard their J/97 INDULJENCE.  “It is definitely a tough class this year and we will have our work cut out for us,” commented Adam Munday. “This is one of the big regattas of the year and we have been training hard right through the winter. I share the driving with my dad throughout the season but dad will be driving all three days and we have a couple of new sails for the regatta, which we are really happy about. The conditions will play a big part in deciding the winner; the Quarter Tonners are hard to beat in the light and when the breeze gets up the heavier boats, like Winsome, have `get up and go’ – it’s going to be a hell of a challenge.”

Here is how it all went down for the two J/Teams participating.  For the first day of sailing, the hottest day in the UK this year caused a delay to the start but it was well worth the wait. Once a sea breeze had fully developed in the Western Solent, three races were completed: two windward leewards, followed by a round the buoys race back to the central Solent. The stable westerly breeze of 10 knots lasted all afternoon, building for the last race, to give a late but great finish to the first day of action for the RORC fleet. The boat-on-boat action was intense with a wall of boats arriving in unison at mark roundings and results decided by seconds. The Western Solent is famed for its tidal race and with Spring Tides in force, the effects were accentuated. Reading the tide today was a crucial factor towards performance.

J/35 offshore sailboatThere was a dramatic start to the championship with reigning class champion, James Chalmer’s British J/35 BENGAL MAGIC coming last in the first race. After hitting a mark in a crowd of yachts, BENGAL MAGIC took a penalty and couldn’t recover.

Three vintage yachts dominated the podium with every race winner being decided by a matter of seconds. Reigning class champion, Nick and Adam Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE struggled against the opposition on the windward leeward courses but came back in the last round the cans race to lift the team to fourth in class.

The Eastern Solent provided a fascinating combat zone for the second day of racing. A fickle northerly breeze at the start provided shifty conditions before clocking east and building to a solid 15 knots of pressure. During the final race a massive rainsquall brought a short sharp intensity to the final race with over 20 knots of wind and driving rain, testing the endurance of the teams. The second day of the championship was full of incident and intense boat-on-boat action. The teams that handled their yachts well, in close quarters and rapidly changing conditions, were the outstanding performers of the day.

The best performer of the day in IRC Three was Chalmers’ J/35 BENGAL MAGIC, which won the first race of the day and followed up the victory with two second places. Their performance kept them solidly in second place.

The Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE experienced somewhat of an “off” day, posting a 10-14-6 to likely take them completely out of contention for a podium finish.

The last day of racing was critical for a number of boats.  Most importantly, keeping in clear air and playing the shifts were the big factors towards a top performance, but maintaining concentration, in an adrenalin packed final day, was just all important.

In IRC Three, last year’s IRC Three champion BENGAL MAGIC posted three solid races on the last day (2, 3.5, 2) to finish second overall— losing their on-going annual battle with their friends on David Franks’ Strait Dealer.

In IRC Four, the Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE finished the regatta on a high, winning the ninth (and last) race after posting an equally impressive 2nd in the 8th race.  A bit late finding their “high gear”, but nevertheless good enough for them to capture fourth overall.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   Formore RORC IRC Nationals sailing information

J/109 sailing Lake Ontario 300 Challenge raceJ’s Reign Supreme In LO 300 Challenge Race
(Mississauga, Ontario)- The Lake Ontario 300 Challenge always provides a challenging circumnavigation of Lake Ontario.  Co-hosted by Oakville Yacht Squadron and the Port Credit Yacht Club.  Teams have the option of two courses, the Main Duck Island course of 300nm and the shorter Scotch Bonnet Island course of 190nm.  Both courses start and finish at Port Credit YC.  

On the longer MDI course it was John McLeod’s J/133 HOT WATER sail a fantastic race to take IRC Overall honors.  Not far behind on handicap time was Murray Gainer’s J/109 LIVELY in fourth place (a past overall winner of the race).

In PHRF A division, Mike Pietz’s J/35 SHORTHANDED grabbed the top honors followed by Graham Toms’s J/120 THE CAT CAME BACK in 3rd place, Bob Hesse’s J/111 LAKE EFFECT in 5th place, Geoff Clarke’s J/105 CASUAL ELEGANCE in 6th, then Geoff Roulet’s J/35 JEANNIE in 7th and Paul-Angus Bark’s J/35 CRIME SCENE.

In the Scotch Bonnet Race, the PHRF “white sail” class saw Bonnie Reib’s J/33 DAYBREAK sail a beautiful race to take 2nd and Leszek Siek’s J/35 JAEGER finish 3rd.   For more Lake Ontario 300 Challenge sailing information

Pacific Cup Update
(San Francisco, CA)- As of Wednesday, July 16th, the Pacific Cup race from San Francisco Bay to Kaneohe, Hawaii is at the halfway point for most of the sixty boats on their way in the 18th edition of the “Fun Race to Hawaii”- a 2,070nm adventure from San Francisco to Oahu.  

The fleet has not exactly had riveting, epic conditions to sail in yet.  The first two fleets have had difficult times with breeze, but the good news in the most recent forecast is that the Pacific High is finally moving north and all boats along the rhumbline have seen good breezes since Monday.

In the Weems & Plath PHRF Division B, the J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP from the Corinthian YC Portland, OR (Eric Hopper skipper with crew of Eric Albertson, Scott Davey, Keith Sheets, and Doug Schenk as Navigator) is currently 2nd in class.  In the Matson’s PHRF C Division, the J/109 BLUE CRUSH (Eric, Will, Yong, Ken and Eric Devaney with Scott Prysi as a watch captain) is hot on their heels and is 4th in class!  Also tagging along at a rapid pace in the Kolea PHRF Double-Handed Division is Bob Johnston’s J/92 RAGTIME from Richmond YC, with crew Tracy Rodgers (sitting in 7th but with a much hotter angle to play over their class in the next few days) and their classmate, the J/120 SHEARWATER sailed by Justin & Christina Wolfe from Seattle, WA, sitting 4th in class and in a similar position to RAGTIME.  

In the SONNEN BMW Division D ORR fleet, featuring the battle of the J/125s- Greg Slyngstad’s J/125 HAMACHI from Corinthian YC Seattle and Tom Garnier’s J/125 REINRAG 2 from Los Angeles YC are both amongst their fleet leaders boat-for-boat with about 1,000nm from the finish! At their current projected speeds, Yellowbrick shows HAMACHI 1st and REINRAG 2 in 2nd! They are leading Santa Cruz 50s, a Swan 45 and a Riptide 35 boat-for-boat!  This will be a fun match-race to watch over the final 1,000nm to the finish!  Yellowbrick is providing the tracking.    For more Pacific Cup sailing information

Vic-Maui Race Update
(Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)- Sailors in the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race are experiencing similar conditions to their colleagues in the south sailing the Pacific Cup Race.  Up north, a “Zone of Death” materialized along the rhumbline squeezed between Lows and the Pacific Highs.  On Monday roll call, it’s apparent that the Class 1 boats, like the J/160 JAM, are moving well and are stretching south of the Zone of Death; finding the first zephyrs of the trade winds. They are reporting winds close to 10 kts and the tracker shows boat speeds of in 7-8 knot range. Nevertheless, they are still sailing south and Hawaii is southwest.

At this time, John McPhail’s J/160 JAM from Gig Harbor Yacht Club on Fox Island, WA is sitting 3rd in its class, but the veteran team hopes to be a “first to finish” in the keelboat division.  One interesting statistic to monitor is the total distance sailed trying to get the best winds. If this was a prize, it would currently go to JAM, who is projected to have sailed a total distance of 2680 miles, quite a bit more than the rhumb line distance of 2308 miles!  Yellowbrick is providing the tracking.   For more Vic-Maui Race sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Charlie Enright and Team Alvemedica- sailing Volvo Race*  The Volvo Ocean Race may not officially start until October, but this isn’t stopping Team Alvimedica and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing from engaging in a ‘friendly delivery’ thanks to some special permission from the race organizers. According to reports, the two teams organized a ‘promotional start’ out of Newport, Rhode Island on Wednesday that was enjoyed by hundreds of spectators. Both boats are bound for the UK, with Team Alvimedica destined for Southampton and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing bound for Gosport.

“It’s not easy to leave friends and family behind but it is time to get out and go sailing,” said Charlie Enright, skipper of Team Alvimedica (a champion Newport J/24 sailor).  “While we have achieved a lot in our month here in Newport, we now need to maximize our time at sea together as a team.”

The next time that either Team Alvimedica or Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing sail into Newport Harbor will be during the actual Volvo Ocean Race stopover, so this was obviously a big moment for both teams, especially the American- and Turkish-flagged Team Alvimedica, whose skipper is a proud Newport-area local.

Step Roble and the EPIC Race Team- winning match race* Stephanie Roble wins U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship on Long Island Sound!  Having sailed a diversity of boats in the past few years, especially J/22s, J/24s, J/70s and J/80s in various one-design fleet and match-racing regattas, Steph has applied her extraordinary ability to adapt to different boats to go fast and win!

Having just come off an excellent performance in the recent ISAF Women’s Match Race Worlds sailed on J/80s in Ireland, Steph added yet another feather in her distinguished list of accomplishments by defeating another long-time J sailor (J/22s, J/24s, J/80s, J/105s), Nicole Breault from St Francis YC, 2-0 in Sunday’s final series to win the 2014 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, hosted by Oakcliff Sailing.
The win for Roble marks her first U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship title in five attempts. Roble receives an invitation to the 2014 U.S. Match Racing Championship, which will be sailed October 3-5, 2014 at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, Calif. She also receives an invitation to the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge at Sail Sheboygan (Wis.) on September 23-28, 2014. The U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship Committee will be providing travel grants to the team for both events.

Crewing for Roble’s Epic Racing Team this week was Maggie Shea (Chicago, Ill.), Jane Zarkowsky (Annapolis, Md.), Martha Pitt (Newport, R.I.), Hollister Poole (Falmouth, Maine), Elizabeth Shaw (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada).

An exuberant Roble explained her team’s success this week: “We expected light air this weekend and we got a wide range of conditions, including heavy breeze today. We did a great job getting in good position for the finals. We had our hands full in the finals with Nicole’s team. They led us along the track, but we were able to get some lead changes. I thought we had great boat handling and Maggie did an amazing job downwind on the kite, which is where we made most of our moves.”

Roble advanced to the Finals with a 2-0 series win over Sandy Hayes (Scituate, Mass.) in the morning semifinals. Breault also advanced to the finals with a 2-0 win over Katie Maxim (Napa, Calif.).

“We learned a lot this week in the Swedish Match 40s,” said Breault. “At times we felt like we were in control and other times it got hectic. Our hats off to Stephanie’s team. In more breeze they were able to handle their chute better. We are looking forward to our next chance to race at this championship.

Roble placed third at the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship in June at Cork, Ireland. Roble is the third ranked women’s match racer in the world and #1 in the U.S. She also won the 2013 Stena Match Cup Sweden Women’s Trophy. She returned to the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship after placing second last year in Chicago.   For more US Sailing Match Race sailing information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


* 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 e
xtended 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 (http://web.me.com/susangrun).  Read about their latest adventures as they’ve gotten to New Zealand- “Avante Cruises the Pacific”.

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