J/108 shoal-performance cruising sailboat- the ultimate freedom machine- sailing in MiamiJ/108 Star Of Miami Show
(Miami, FL)- The spectacular, postcard weather conditions this past week apparently put sailboat buyers in a buying mood.  While no one is clamoring to buy futures derivatives on the next taxi-cab driver stock recommendation, it does seem the “hide-in-the-bunker” mindset is evolving to a more relaxed and confident point of view.  No worries, the world is not going to end in 2012. So far, no meteors, aliens or solar flares in the galaxy headed for us anytime soon.  Good news!
Blessed with seven-plus days of “classic Miami Beach” weather, 70s days, 50s nights, sunny, gentle 5-12 knots NE-SE breezes, the Miami show goers positive and upbeat mood was translating into boat sales.  There was strong interest in the new J/108 shoal performance cruising boat and its sistership J/95.  The overall concept of having your ultimate freedom machine, sailing unfettered across some of the greatest shoal-water cruising grounds on Earth is attracting more J sailors that wish to broaden their horizons more than ever before.  Learn more about the J/108 shoal-performance sailboat here.

J/111 one-design sailing upwindIrish J/111 Review
(Harbor Springs, MI)-  For those of you interested in the J/111, we thought we’d pass along some comments made by David Irish, a very experienced offshore sailor and champion racer from the Great Lakes, that had the opportunity to test sail the J/111 over two days in a variety of conditions off Newport, both in Narragansett Bay and offshore in Rhode Island Sound.  Dave offered his perspectives and reactions to the J/111:
“The J-111 is a different kind of J-Boat.  It has a tall carbon rig and relatively more sail area in relation to its displacement.  The interior is simple, comfortable, and roomy, but not elaborate.  The galley is basic with a stove, sink, and ice box.  The head forward has full privacy, and there is an aft-located sit down navigation station with room for what is needed.  Full headroom in the boat feels great.
But to a sailor who likes going offshore and often races, there are some characteristics of the J-111 that greatly please me.  First, I am ready for wheel steering in a boat of this size, but I am quite fussy about the wheel arrangement.  The gearing or ratio must be quick, with no wheel winding!  If my hand is on the top of the wheel and I move it to the right, the bow pulpit should move to the right with it.  As well, the diameter of the wheel should provide comfortable hand height when standing behind or towards the sides, and to allow you to steer upwind while sitting outboard and even straddling the wheel with small vertical wheel movements.  And of course the rudder has to be up to the job, deep and well designed to provide solid control and direct response.   The J-111 rates a 10 on each of these properties!
Second, the rig is all important for sailing pleasure and racing success.  The days of overlapping genoas on short rigs are largely gone.  Better than big overlapping genoa jobs for power is the taller rig, preferably carbon, with easy to trim jibs that don’t overlap the mast.  Combine that with today’s jib roller furling equipment and we get great performance and simple sail management.  The J-111 has a tall carbon mast from Hall Spars which utilizes some whiz-bang, nano- technology to give great strength and stiffness with a small profile.  The mast has a clever track, which will accept a bolt rope, round slugs, or substantial cars.  I opt for the cars, with the mainsail left on the boom, all ready to hoist, low friction, and simple and safe for short-handed or single-handed sailing.  As well, with luff cars, reefing is both simple and safe.  To raise the sail, take off the sail cover, snap on the halyard, hoist, and trim—that’s it!!! And reversing the process after a sail is as simple- just flake the sail on the boom with the luff supported by the cars and put on the sail cover.  This boat is well suited for single-handed and short-handed sailing, both favorites of mine.
And third, asymmetrical spinnakers set on a sprit have matured nicely.  In the early days of this arrangement I was unconvinced.  Sure, sail handling was easy and reaching was good, but downwind left something to be desired. To keep power in the sail, we had to reach up to a “hotter” angle, and gave away the ability to sail deep.  Probably the biggest change has been the evolution in sail shape to powerful heads on the sails that will lift or roll the sail out to weather, and give a downwind shape similar to a symmetrical spinnaker.  As well, a light and easily driven hull that will get up and go makes downwind sailing with A-sails the fun way to go,  simpler to manage and potentially faster and more fun to sail. With no spinnaker pole, no mast track and eye, no after-guys, no topping lift, and just one string to handle in a jibe, the parts count went way down!
The first three items are big, but of course there are many reasons to like this boat including: the boom ends at a point forward of the wheel and is 6’ above the cockpit floor to minimize the worrisome possibilities of a whack on the head for skipper or crew; the powerful 3 cylinder engine utilizes a sail drive for smooth and quiet propulsion and precise handling and docking; and the cabin house is the right height so that when the helmsman sits at the helm, he or she looks over the cabin top at boats and water, not into the side of the cabin or the foot of an overlapping jib.
Sailing the boat I felt completely at home and comfortable and happy.  I can hardly wait for spring to start the next chapter in my sailing life on J-111 hull #15!!”   For more J/111 one-design sailboat information.

J/109 sunset sail in SwedenJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide

This past week was marked by the continued presence of J/80s and J/24s racing one-design around the world with notable activity taking place in both Europe and America.  The J/80s in Spain and Italy continue their conclusion of Winter Series while the fleets not only in Spain and Italy, but in France, the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Sweden are training for their upcoming spring series, with many focused on gearing up for the large SPI OUEST Regatta that routinely gets over 100 boats– an 80 “Woodstock-Fest”! In America, the J/24s had great racing in Tampa Bay, despite difficult sailing conditions, with the J/24 Midwinters concluding first, then the fleet rolled into the Sperry Topsider Sailing World NOOD Regatta. The J/105s had a nice Valentine’s Weekend bash around the buoys in San Diego. And, several J’s sailed well in the Southern California Midwinters somewhat stormy regatta. Not surprisingly, a lot of J/24 alumni were powering up and sailing fast a number of big racing boats around the world, including leaders in the RORC 600, Extreme 40s and Farr 40s.  Finally, our collective love, condolences, best wishes and warms hugs from the J Sailing Family go out to Bob Riggle’s family as well as to his companions aboard the sailing yacht QUEST- they were unfortunate victims of Somali pirates– more below.   Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below 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:

Feb 24-26- J/22 Midwinters- Davis Is YC, Tampa, FL- http://www.diyc.org
Feb 26-Mar 6- New England Boatshow- Boston, MA- http://www.newenglandboatshow.com
Mar 9-11- J/30 Mardi Gras Midwinters- New Orleans, LA- http://j30.us/blog
Mar 10-12- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Miami, FL- http://www.miamisailingweek.com/
Mar 13-Apr 17- Warsash Spring Series- Hamble, UK- http://www.warsashspringseries.org.uk/
Mar 18-20- SW NOOD- San Diego, CA- http://www.sailingworld.com
Apr 14-17- Charleston Race Week- http://www.charlestonraceweek.com
Apr 16-23- J/24 South Americans- Montevideo, Uruguay- http://www.ycu.org.uy
Apr 21-25- SPI Ouest France- La Trinite Sur Mer, France- http://www.spi-ouestfrance.com/
May 1-6- Bermuda Race Week (J/224 & J/105)- RBYC, Bermuda- http://www.biirw.bm
May 10-14- J/24 Nationals- Dallas, TX- http://j24texas.com/
May 14-15- J/109 Vice Admirals Cup- Cowes, England- http://www.rorc.com
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

J/24 one-designs sailing downwind on Tampa BayTeam TARHEEL Wins J/24 Midwinters
(Tampa, FL)- It was not to be.  Racing the last two days, that is.  No chance for the top five to fight it out for top honors at this years J/24 Midwinters sailed on Tampa Bay;  the final two days of the four day Midwinter event were cancelled due to no wind.  As a result, the Davis Island YC in Tampa, FL, host to the Twenty-seven boats that participated in the Midwinters, did an admirable job in getting off six good races on Thursday and Friday.  As a result, Peter Bream from Jacksonville, FL racing TEAM TARHEEL won the J/24 Midwinter Championship with just 7 points, counting three first and two seconds in his score after six races. Getting silver on the podium was Pan Am Games Trials Gold Medallist John Mollicone sailing the “green” boat, 11th HOUR RACING/ SAILORS FOR THE SEA with 13 points.  Third overall was Rossi Milev on ORANGE BLOSSOM/ CLEAN AIR, another “green” boat.  Fourth was class veteran and wise man, Tony Parker sailed the “never-say-die-cause-we-will-catch-you” BANGOR PACKET from Washington, DC with 30 points.  Fifth was Robby Brown on USA 799 with 35 points.  
The racing was tight in sailing conditions that ranged from 5 to 12 knots in the two days the fleet did race.  The usually aggressive starting line maneuvering got some boats in trouble while others took advantage and gained solid positions on the first upwind legs to carve out better fleet positions.  In these conditions, lanes upwind on the first leg were critical for clear air and boat speed.  Aggressive tactics downwind often bunched up the fleet at the leeward mark, creating very tight, contentious mark roundings– permitting some boats to swing past a half-dozen boats or more and jump higher in the race standings.   For more J/24 Midwinter sailing  results

J/24 Midwinters winnersSPOONY TACTICS Wins J/24 St Pete NOODs
A Heart-warming Wedding Present Goes Big and Dominates!!
(St. Petersburg, FL- Feb 20th)- Todd and Genoa Fedyszyn on SPOONY TACTICS edged out Mike Ingham’s FAWN LIEBOWITZ and Travis Odenbach’s WATERLINE SYSTEMS to win the 20-boat J/24 division at Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD, the largest fleet at the regatta by a country mile!  As a result, the Fedyszyn’s also earned overall honors over the 86 boat, 9 class event, which includes an invitation to compete in the Sperry Top-Sider Caribbean NOOD Championship in the British Virgin Islands this November.  Cool!
Todd and Genoa Fedyszyn received their J/24 SPOONY TACTICS as a wedding present from her parents. “It’s a good boat,” she says. “It might not be pretty, but it’s fast.”
J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing on starting lineLike many wedding presents, however, the Fedyszyn’s doesn’t get used all that much. Both husband and wife coach sailing for St. Petersburg YC’s junior program; they spend most weekends attending the sailing aspirations of others. One regatta they never miss—not for the past six years, at least—is the Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD. “With our schedules, this is the one event we set aside in advance,” says Todd Fedyszyn. “We look forward to it every year. You can bet we’ll be here next year.”
As is so often the case, the key to victory was consistency on the starting line. In the ultra-competitive J/24 class, many of the pre-regatta favorites found their score lines mired in alphabet soup after incurring OCS penalties. “We were able to avoid being over early,” says Fedyszyn. “One of our biggest problems in the past was our starts were either unbelievable or second-row. This year, three of our four starts were great, and even the one that wasn’t, we were able to tack away early and get right, which was our plan.
“We were actually a little more aggressive with our starts than we’ve been in the past,” continues Fedyszyn. “We used to always start in the middle of the line. This year, we were either within two boats of the boat end, or two boats of the pin. We just took a stab at the favored end. Having sailed against [local J/24 ace] Robby Brown in the past few years, that seemed to be where he was getting us. So we were a little more aggressive this year, and it paid off.”
J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing past mark at Sperry Topsider SW Nood St Petersburg RegattaThe SPOONY TACTICS crew—which also includes trimmer Doug Weekly and tactician Eric Bardes—has a fairly democratic approach to onboard communication. Information flows to Todd Fedyszyn, the skipper, from the bow on back. “Having worked together over the years, we respect each other,” says Genoa Fedyszyn, who handles foredeck duties. “There isn’t the sense that someone’s opinion is better than someone else’s.”  “We like to make decisions as a team,” adds her husband. “There’s not just one decision maker. Everyone’s input is welcome. We don’t like decisions to be one person’s. Of course, sometimes it doesn’t end up that way.”
On Sunday, the SPOONY TACTICS brain trust had some difficult decisions to make. “That dying easterly breeze is hard to understand,” says Todd Fedyszyn. “We see those conditions a lot, but they’re hard to read. It’s hard to know whether to go right or left, especially with the current switching mid race.”
Although he’s been sailing on Tampa Bay for years, Bardes was at a loss when confronting Sunday’s sputtering winds. “Local knowledge? Not today,” he says. “It was tough. We took some risks looking for fresh air, and they paid off.”  It was risky business maintaining a consistent scoreline in St. Petersburg, and when they’re kicking back in the Caribbean this fall, the SPOONY TACTICS gang will be thanking their lucky stars. Contributed by by Michael Lovett at Sailing World.  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes.    Full Sperry Topsider Sailing World NOOD St Petersburg report and sailing results

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Canary Islands, SpainTabares Wins Match Race Qualifier
Sailing J/80s In Club Canarias Match Race
(Islas Canarias, Spain- Feb 22)- Over the past weekend, a qualifying regatta in J/80s took place at the Real Club Nautico de Arrecife in the Canary Islands to decide the representative of the club in the next Canarios Club Match Race to be held on March 11-13 in Lanzarote.
The four finalists had been racing and practicing quite hard to win the honor of representing the RCNA club in this prestigious match race event.  At the end, one of RCNA’s best known J/80 sailors, Rayco Tabares won the event on his J/80 HOTEL PRINCESSA YAIZA. Second was Nete Arms with TGA ADVISERS.  Third was Alfredo Gonzalez with the OKUPA III and Juan Pablo Rompeltien with BODEGAS EL GRIFO ended up fourth.  
The mode of competition was under the Round Robin system. In the first round, the HOTEL PRINCESA YAIZA beat OKUPA III. At the second round, TGA ADVISERS defeated BODEGAS EL GRIFO. At the third round, Rayco bdeat Juan Pablo and with two wins climbed the ladder into the final. In the fourth round, Nete defeated Alfredo to also go into the final with two victories.  In the Finals between the Rayco Tabares on HOTEL PRINCESA YAIZA and TG ADVISERS’ Nete Arms it was very close in the first race, but with Rayco winning.  The second race of the best of three match clearly went to Rayco Tabares, winning the series 2-0.  
The Canaries Match Race event will take place in the capital of Lanzarote, close to the coast, between the zone from the Islet Reef and the harbor, making it even more beautiful and close to the viewer, with ideal condition and winds between 12 and 14 knots.   For more J/80 Spain and Canary Islands sailing information.

J/24 one-design sailboat- youth sailing in SW NOOD regattaGood Times in St. Pete
Youngest Team Sailing J/24 RUSH
(St. Petersburg, FL)- For the youngest team competing at the 2011 Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD, it’s all gravy.  Noah Blacker has a catch phrase. Or, at least, he had one on Day 1 of the 2011 Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD.  “Good times,” says the teenage skipper of the J/24 RUSH. “For us, it’s all about having a good time and racing against some really good sailors.”
Blacker and crew—Addison Hackstaff, Alexandria Church, Martin Hood, Hayden Grant, Liam McCarthy—are products of the St. Petersburg YC’s junior-sailing program. “We all sail Lasers and 420s for our high schools,” says Blacker. “We sail against each other a lot, but when we sail together, it’s just all fun. We have the music going— good times.
“It’s funny,” continues Blacker. “Our coach gets mad at us because we’d all rather go to a J/24 regatta. I mean, we love sailing Lasers, but they’re so solitary. When we get to sail together, it’s more fun. There’s jokes going around, and we all kind of play off each other.”
Two years ago, Blacker convinced his father, Michael—who’s sailing this weekend on the J/24 HOT WHEELS—to trade in the family’s 30-foot racer-cruiser for the 24-foot one-design. “At first, we just wanted to throw a crew together and see what we could do,” says the younger Blacker. “This year, we wanted to be a bit more competitive.  As dinghy sailors, we practice a lot, and [compared to keelboat sailors] we probably get out on the water on a more consistent basis. We wanted to show that dinghy sailors can be competitive in keelboats.”
In two races on Friday afternoon, this team of dinghy sailors showed some respectable keelboat chops, posting a 14-4 in a 20-boat fleet that includes such hotshot skippers as former national and North American champion Mike Ingham. “The first race was rough,” says Blacker. “We don’t start in the J/24 too often, and they don’t start like a Laser, by any means. We got shut out, and had a second-row start.
“The second race, everything went well for us,” he continues. “We came off the start, knew our plan, and when it came down to it, the stars aligned and we had the ability to execute. We got to go where we wanted to and tack on our own shifts. We were a little disappointed that we didn’t hold on to the lead we had going around the first windward mark, but none of us holds it against each other for making the wrong call. Hey, we’re just trying to have a good time.”  Contributed by by Michael Lovett at Sailing World.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes.    Full Sperry Topsider Sailing World NOOD St Petersburg report and sailing results

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Santader, SpainNEXTEL Leading J/80 Memorial Regatta
(Santander, Spain)- The Santander J/80 fleet is competing in the 5th Antonio Pereda-Sealing Memorial Regatta on the Bay of Santander.  In the past weekend, the fleet was greeted by a NW wind that started out nicely but slowly diminished during the course of the day.  It was pert clear that the right hand side of the course was the place to be along the shore to get out of the current and play the shifts and puffs coming off the shore, providing strong lifts on starboard tack.  Conversely, riding a puff on starboard gybe after the set to get out into the current and gybing on a good shift to get on port to ride it hard downwind was the best bet.
Making the best “plays” of the day was past J/80 World Champ Ignacio Camino on NEXTEL ENGINEERING, now standing in first.  Second for the day in this regatta was Tono Gorostegui sailing SLAM RACING and third is currently Jose Miguel Oriol on MABLE.  Not too far from the hunt for the top three is another J/80 World Champion, the 2010 winner Pichu Torcida on ECC VIVIENDAS, now lying fourth and just behind him is Javier Lopez-Vazquez, a Spanish Champion, in fifth sailing BANCAJA AVIVA.
With one more weekend to go in this Memorial Regatta, anything goes for the top three as with one more race, the fleet can then post scores with throwouts and the picture will change dramatically, especially if Pichu’s ECC VIVIENDAS sails consistently.  It also means BANCAJA AVIVA ha a chance to finish in the top three as well.  It’s been close and very competitive racing in the fleet of twenty-nine boats, surely one of the most toughest gathering of J/80s in the world on a weekend basis!   For more Spanish J/80 Sailing information.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing in ItalyOLJ SPIRIT HATAMURI Wins
J/80 Italian Winter Cup Finishes in Style
(Tigullio, Italy- Feb 20)- This past weekend saw the completion of the 35th Winter Championship in Tigullio, a beautiful lake to sail in Italy.  The last weekend was not without its own dramas, thanks in part to the crazy weather conditions and “nightmarish” wind.  
The breeze first started out nicely form the Northeast, the usual northern wind for the lake at this time of year.  However, after nearly 10 perfects races over the course of the many weekends of sailing, the last Sunday was one of the most difficult days for sailing.  Poor PRO on the TYC Race Committee!  The first race started OK but the coursed was shortened halfway through.  The second race turned into the “nightmare”, with very little air starting from the North, then Westerly, then SE, then nearly nothing.  In the end, Frederick Rajola’s OLJ SPIRIT HATAMURI wins the Winter Championship and takes home the Cup!  Second was Rama Massimon’s JENIALE! from YCC and third MONTPRES sailed by Paolo Montedonico also from YCC.
The Italian J/80 heads next weekend to Santa Margherita along the coast near Portofino for their next regatta on February 27th.  Then after that it looks like Rama Massimo’s team on JENIALE! are headed to La Trinite Sur Mer, France to compete against a few thousand Frenchmen (and women) racing J/80s in the huge SPI OUEST Regatta later in March.  For more J/80 Italy sailing information.

J/109 racer-cruiser sailboat-sailing off Los Angeles, Long Beach, CAGod’s Fireworks Blitz SCYA Midwinters
J/109 ELECTRA Zaps Fleet
(Los Angeles, CA)- The 82nd SCYA Midwinter Regatta had its fair share of drama this past weekend.  A massive storm system rolled across southern California Saturday bringing with it God’s lightning show and waterspouts nearby.  That meant the race committee abandoned racing Saturday afternoon when a waterspout was sighted and an electrical storm with heavy rain crashed across the harbor.
There were more than 600 boats competing along the Southern California coast with entrants coming from as far east as Arizona. Alamitos Bay YC alone had 59 boats in nine classes, enjoying brilliant sunshine on what someone described as “a chamber of commerce day,” although the wind never topped 7 knots and thermometers flirted with 60 degrees—balmy by current U.S. weather patterns.  Other than, of course, Midwest-like tornado’s, water spouts, epic light shows in the sky and driving, torrential rain.  Fun, eh?
J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off San Diego, CAAs for racing action, on Saturday the breeze of 5-8 knots bounced back and forth making it tough for the teams to find fastest way around course. After only two of three scheduled races, the line squall roared across the race area, forcing abandonment of racing.  “On Saturday we had 40 degree wind shifts,” said one competitor, “and it was all we could do to keep up with the shifts. Sunday was much more steady. We went left all day long and it was a pretty good day to be going left!”  Sunday had more wind with 8-12 knots throughout the day and the seas had calmed down allowing the boats to focus more on racing each other rather than the weather.
After the dust settled on the course area, John Snooks J/120 JIM from Long Beach YC finished third in PHRF A Class.  And, following on his earlier season success, Tom Brott’s J/109 ELECTRA from Seal Beach YC sailed to a hard-fought second overall in PHRF B Class while Scott McDaniels’ J/105 OFF THE PORCH was fourth in class.  
In the J/80 one-design class, Curt Johnson on AVET showed their transom to the fleet most of the time, finishing first with a 2-1-1-1 record for 5 points.  Second was Peter Arpesella’s BLUE JAY with a 1-2-2-3 record for 8 points.  Coming into the bronze position on the podium was Jerry Kaye on MisQue with a 3-3-3-2 record for 11 points.  For more SCYA Midwinters sailing information- http://www.abyc.org  or http://www.lbyc.org and see some more sailing photos here- Sailing Photo credits- Dennis St. Onge aka- DA Woody

J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing off San Diego, CA0WINGS Wins SDYC One-Design Weekend
(San Diego, CA)- Over the Valentines Day Weekend, San Diego YC held their one-design weekend for J/105s and other classes.  A very competitive fleet of J/105s turned out for the event.  While the Cases were not sailing their boat, Jim Dorsey took over WINGS and simply dominated the fleet with straight bullets for a total of 3 points!  Second was hard-charging Chuck Driscoll on BLOW BOAT getting an equally impressive record of three 2nds for 6 points.  However, behind these two was a real battle for third place. Going into the last race it was wide open for the top five.  Getting the better of the group was Mark Mitchell on STRAIGHT EDGE with a 7-4-3 record for 14 points to grab third overall.  Lying fourth after the fight was Rick Goebel on SANITY with a 3-6-9 record for 18 points and fifth was the Majemik/ O’Connell team on SPEEDPLAY with a 6-9-4 record for 19 points!  Close racing for this pack.  For more San Diego YC sailing results.