J/95 is Overall Boat-of-the-Year and J/97 Wins Best Club Racer
Christmas is four days early! The newest issue of Sailing World magazine
arrived by FedX this morning with an action cover shot of the J/95
sailing upwind, and a feature article announcing the J/95 as the OVERALL
WINNER of Sailing World’s Boat of the Year for 2010!  Three pages later,
the J/97 is announced as the winner of the Best Club Racer.  This is the
first time in J history that two different J designs have won BOTY in
the same year; and much appreciated recognition for the huge effort by
the whole J network to bring these models to market in 2009.
The Sailing World press release goes out later today.  Here are a few
“Rodney Johnstone, the J/95’s designer, has been designing boats for
decades, and when he says this is his best boat yet, he’s not kidding,”
says Dave Read, Sailing World’s editor and Boat of the Year director.
“The judges were struck by how well it sails and how well it’s built.
But what cemented the J/95’s selection was its versatility. It’s a 31
footer that sailors of all skill levels will love to race.  And because
of its clever centerboard keel and twin rudders, it can be raced or
daysailed virtually anywhere – shallow bays, lakes, or the open ocean.”
The J/97 sails beautifully and has the volume, look and feel of a 40
footer.  Somehow in the populated J/Boat world, designer Alan Johnstone
has found himself a sweet spot between the more racing oriented J/105
and the cruise-able J/109 and J/122.  “This is a really versatile boat,”
said Chuck Allen, who was most impressed with its simplicity and
comfort.  “The perfect sort of boat for taking to an out-of-town
regatta.  You could stay on it and race it.  It definitely feels bigger
than it really is.”
Thanks to CCF and International Marine for their expertise and hard work
on the J/95 tooling and production, and to J Europe for the successful
introduction of the J/97, which is currently a finalist in the European
Boat of the Year awards (being announced next month).