J/95 England-the ultimate in sailing freedom- shoal draft sailboat- sailing upwind- J/95 First Sail in England

(Hamble, So’ton, England)- Paul Heys reports on their inaugural sail aboard the first J/95 in Europe.  “Whilst we have been stoked with the downwind performance of the J/95, it is the upwind performance that is the biggest surprise for this shoal-draft sailboat.  We had imagined that the J/95 keel would be much less efficient than a normal fixed fin.  On Thursday last, whilst out sailing with Andy Robertson from yachts and Yachting magazine, we lined up with an Elan 310, which is a new model, fin keeler with twin rudders.  At times the Elan 310 looked like they had height, yet our VMG was definitely better and after half an hour and a few tacks the Elan 310 rolled the jib up, gave up and headed back for home.  Yesterday we lined up the J/95 against the known quantity we sailed all last season, the J/97.  Both boats sailed with code 4 jibs as it was by now 15-22 knots of breeze and choppy seas on the Solent.  The J/95 sailed with four people with two on the rail; the J/97 sailed with three people with 1.5 on the rail (kept moving back and forth).  The J/95 hung onto the J/97 very well for a long period upwind in what would arguably be the worst possible conditions for a shoal-draft keel centerboarder to be testing for upwind performance- steep chop, current, blowing hard.  In short, the J/95 is a sparkling performer.  We anticipate a lot of enthusiasm building for her as we get more people out for demo sails. ” For more J/95 sailing performance information.

J/95 Sailing World/ Cruising World Award

RI Governor Donald Carcier Governor & SW/CW & J/Boats
RI Governor Donald Carcieri for J/Boats Sailing World/ Cruising World Ceremony Sailing World/ Cruising World Awards Ceremony

(Bristol, RI- Feb. 4th)-  Sailing World and Cruising World celebrated the awarding of multiple category winners to J/Boats today at a ceremony held at CCF Composites Bristol, RI facility, builders of the J/95 and the new J/111 speedster.  VIP dignitaries included Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri.  On hand for the awards were Mark Pillsbury, Editor Cruising World; David Reed, Editor Sailing World; Sally Helme, Publisher; and Rod, Jeff and Al Johnstone from J/Boats.  The occasion marked the innovation, resiliency, leadership and long-term tradition of building boats in Rhode Island since it was first established as a colony in 1636.  In recognition of building on that tradition, the Governor, both Senators and Representatives of Rhode Island presented Citations of Congratulations to J/Boats as well as CCF Composites for their Awards. In accepting the awards on behalf of J Boats, Jeff Johnstone credited International Marine Composites of Bristol for their crucial role in the project, thanked the DaPonte family of CCF for building such a quality product, and cited the contributions of many other RI area marine companies.  CCF Composites was founded by the DaPonte family, boat-building veterans for 30+ years in Rhode Island. They have the first “green” boat-building facility that make use of radiant, ambient heated floors and state-of-the-art air-handling systems. They started by building Northcoast Boats, a line of sportfishing powerboats from 18 to 30 feet and now also mold Hunt Yachts, a high-end line of powerboats from 25 to 52 feet.  For more J/95 sailing award information.

J/80 Nationals UK - sailing upwind off starting lineJ/80 UK Nationals

(Cardiff, Wales, UK- May 5-8th)- The Tacktick Suunto J/80 UK National Championship 2010 will be hosted by the Cardiff Bay Yacht Club from May 5-8th.  The J/80 is fastest selling sportsboat in Europe and with this in mind, marine electronics specialists Tacktick have agreed title sponsorship for the J/80 UK Nationals.  James Hewitt, Sales Manager for Tacktick Suunto said, “We are delighted to kick start what we hope will be a long standing association with the UK J/80 Class. We see the Tacktick Race Master as the perfect product for this performance sportsboat. Of course the Suunto range of watches also hold massive appeal across all J Boat sailors from the J/80 to the J/133, as does our entire range of wireless, self powered marine electronics.” This is the second time the J/80 National Championships have been fought in the waters of Cardiff Bay. The racing is extremely tactical, tidal considerations are clearly important and racing here on short windward-leeward courses presents a real challenge and reaps it’s own rewards for the clever sailor. Facilities at Cardiff Bay Yacht Club are superb for sportsboats and the Class is very pleased to be back.  Thirty plus UK boats are expected at the event in June, along with visitors from Italy and elsewhere in Europe. The growing domestic fleet welcomes many new owners in 2010 and the spring date for the Tacktick Suunto J/80 UK Nationals means that this is the first time most teams will be lining up against each other in advance of the J/80 Europeans on Lake Garda in June and the J/80 Worlds in Newport at the end of the summer.  Photo Credit- ChapiFoto.  For more J/80 regatta and sailing information.

MERCEDES BENZ J/22 North Americans

(Buffalo Yacht Club, NY)- Even though many of us, in the Northeast, are getting ready to attack the slopes and wreck our knees and other body parts, some of us are making plans for the 2010 J/22 campaign. The Midwinters and the first spring regattas will be a great tune-up for the 2010 season.  The Buffalo Yacht Club and it sponsor, Mercedes-Benz, will be hosting the 2010 J/22 North American Championship. BYC have built-up a great resume in hosting many world-class regattas. As for the J/22 fleet, the word about Buffalo is out after hosting several J/22 “Raw Bar Regattas. The Raw Bar festivities will be moved to August 19-21 as the Buffalo Yacht Club celebrates its 150th year by welcoming you all to its beautiful facility on Lake Erie. August in Buffalo is usually blessed with temperatures in the 80s and 8-12 knot winds. The competition is great, and the camaraderie has been fabulous.
The J/22 NA’s are going to feature not only the Gold Class (the fast guys and girls), but they’ll present a Junior Division, a Ladies Division and a Masters Division.  Plans are to have one start for all classes but separate awards for the aforementioned. A practice race will be run on Wednesday, August 18 and Sunday the 22nd can be a travel day.  Help the Buffalo Yacht Club celebrate its 150th anniversary. Come join us in August!  For more J/22 regatta and sailing information.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Jan. 29-Feb. 6- Seattle Sailboat Show- Seattle, WA- http://www.seattleboatshow.com/
Jan. 28-31- San Diego Sunroad Boat Show- San Diego, CA- http://www.bigbayboatshow.com/
Feb. 6-10- J/24 Midwinters- Davis Island YC- Tampa, FL- http://j24d10.org
Feb. 14- St. Pete NOOD- St. Petersburg YC- St. Petersburg, FL- http://www.sailingworld.com
Feb. 18-21- J/30 Midwinters- New Orleans YC- New Orleans, LA- http://noyc.org/rc/2010MardiGrasNOR.htm
Mar 7–13- J/24 Copa Mexico- Puerto Vallarta Mexico – http://www.j24mex.com/copamexico/index.html
Mar 8-13- Bacardi Cup- J/24s- Coral Reef YC, Miami, FL- http://www.miamisailingweek.com
Mar. 11-14- J/22 Midwinters- Southern YC, New Orleans, LA – http://www.j22mw.com/
Apr. 8-11- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC- http://www.charlestonraceweek.com
Jun 20-26- Block Island Race Week- Block Is, RI- http://www.blockislandraceweek.org

J/109 sailing upwind in choppy wavesAustralian J’s Winning in Sydney

(Sydney, Australia)- A report from Keith Wilson sailing his J/109 MAJIKAL.  “MAJIKAL continues to be in first three in our summer series of off-shore racing.  We race in a mixed fleet that includes boats from 32 feet up to around 40 to 45 feet.    Racing today from Cronulla to Botany Bay, via a wave rider buoy, some 3 miles off-shore.  Wind looks to be 15-20, with a  few spinnaker runs, so hoping for a good result. In the race last week, we ran into a nasty storm.  Wind started at 10-15 and we were leading the fleet out of Botany Bay towards Wedding Cake Island.  We rounded the island second behind a 45 footer, and started back south toward wave rider when the southerly came in.  As we had seen it coming, we had dropped the #3, double reefed the main and donned our wet gear.  Before long it was 35, gusting 45 knots.  Unfortunately, before we got home, it was 45 gusting 55!  The J-109 went well, but obviously did get quite wet, sometimes having 12” of green water over the bow due to the short sea (waves only up to 8 or 9 feet, but very sharp).   Even the hatches, securely dogged down, too water.  Sadly the main blew out and we were forced to retire and head home.  Fleet casualties included 5 mains blown, 4 jibs shredded, lots of bruises and bumps, with one bloke to hospital for concussion.  Quite a ride.
Our Wednesday twilight races showed the first 3 places to be J’s.  MAJIKAL (J/109) first, THE CROW (J/24) second and J-FORCE (J/35) third.  The finish was exciting as there was less than a boat’s length between us: fourth boat was about 50 metres behind. This was again from a very eclectic fleet, ranging up to 45 feet.  Wind was extremely light, only reaching 6 knots at best.   For these twilights, we have a handicap start, where the race starts at 6:00 pm – we get to start at 6:24, second last boat off the mark, with only a 45 footer 2 minutes after us.

J/80 Sailing off Palma Mallorca, SpainJ/80 Spain Winter Sailing Report

The teams in Spain continue to be a dominant force in the J/80 class.  With several Olympians, World Champions from various classes participating, it’s not surprising the Spanish teams continue to be competitive on a world-class level– after all, the Mediterranean is their backyard.  And, of all things, even with strange (but interesting) events like the Americas Cup 33 DOG Match with a bunch of big cats taking place in Valencia, the Spaniards are intent on winning yet another J/80 World Championship.  Who’s to argue with their success?  Cats be damned.  One-design is where it’s at (ironically, Ellison, Bertarelli know that, too!).  Here’s a synopsis of their activities this winter.  The Palma Mallorca fleet is active, as always in one of the more spectacular sailing settings one could ever imagine worldwide– famous church, beautiful bay, great breeze as your settings and backdrop.  The Bilbao and Santander fleets continue to race and conduct training sessions for their teams. Photo Credit- Jesus Renedo.

J/80 fleet of Bilbao, Spain in Winter Sailing seriesBilbao Winter Trophy

(Bilbao, Spain- Feb. 3-4th)- This past weekend, the J/80 fleet in Bilbao had two days or racing with fourteen boats on the line. After some delays on Saturday, the fleet enjoyed a beautiful fifteen knot breeze from the southeast but fighting a strong 1.5 knots current.  The first race was won by Pakea Freus followed by Christian Jauregui.  The second race was held with less wind, and was also very competitive among the top finishers. It is worth noting again that Freus and Paul Riquelme with their boat VIAJES IBERIA will be one of the rivals to beat at the top. The end result was the first race went to Peru Pakea Mugica and the second to the Jose Azqueta.  More next week on how these rivals begin to duke it out leading up to this years European events.  Photo Creidt- VeoVeoImg.com

J/80 one-design class sailing off Santander, SpainReal Club Náutico Training Session- Clinica Coruna

(Santander, Spain)-  On February 6, RCN will be hosting a training program for J/80 teams to get them up to speed for the 2010 sailing season.  In attendance will be some of Spain’s more renowned J/80 sailors, including Carlos Martinez (Peraleja Golf), José María Torcida (ECC Housing) and Peru Mugica (Pakea Bizcaia).  The program is a very full day with the intention of learning the most from their distinguished guests and, most importantly, to spend a fun day at sea.  Photo Credit- ChapiFoto.com
For more J/80 Spain regatta and sailing information.

Key West Race Week J/105 Videos

Manhattan Yacht Club J/24 sailor Doug Moy was in Key West and he kindly posted some videos of J/105s racing during Key West Race Week.  Please click any of these photos below to view them:

Race 2 Race 7 & 8
J/105 one-design sailboats- sailing off start line J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing before start


What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide

* Susan Taylor, a sailing coach at NAVY has a special request for J/24s: “The National Sailing Hall of Fame and Annapolis Community Boating are interested in securing donated J/24’s for the FreeSail 2010 program in Annapolis, MD. The 2009 FreeSail program involved 465 people, 98% of whom had never sailed before. The boats would be wet-sailed from the National Sailing Hall of Fame piers from mid April through September. If you have a used J/24 or know of someone who may be able to donate their boat, please contact Susan Taylor at susan.taylor@nshof.org or 410-991-9815 or Lorie Stout at info@annapolisboating.org
J/109 Lady Violet Racing off Trieste, Italy* From Piero Santi who’s sailing his J/109 LADY VIOLET in Trieste, Italy– “I sent you some pics of my J/109 LADY VIOLET that is racing under IRC rating system in Northern Adriatic Italy.  We’re always  competitive even against new boats designed for IRC like First 34.7.  Anyway, I really don’t know any better way to go sailing for me, my family and my friends.  Thank you for your great products and for the great fun that you allow us!  Regards, Piero Santi, Trieste Italy”
* Alan Bomar, the J/24 driver of “Roundabout,” a frequent winner and one of our strongest supporters of J Boat racing in the Hampton Yacht Club of Virginia is currently participating in a very “unique” race for his life and needs the encouragement of our entire J Boat family.  Multiple myeloma is a very formidable competitor and one that seldom plays by the rules. Alan and his crew of physicians have decided to attack “the course” with a suit of sails comprised of his own stem cells. The race is a long one with rough weather predicted at various points but one which he is certain he can defeat.
Alan Bomar’s story is one that must be heard by all who love J Boat racing as he does. Fortunately for those of us who would want to join his campaign, there is a website known as Caringbridge. org that supports such efforts.  Those of us who know Alan personally, have found him to be an exceptionally caring and competitive person who has given much to help others enjoy the life of J Boat racing. Right now, he needs our help.  Please take a moment of your time to sign-in, read his journal and visit him at:  www.caringbridge.org/visit/alanbomar   Knowing that fellow J Boat sailors are on his “windward rail” will surely give him the added measure of confidence he needs to overcome the challenge he now faces.  Thank you!     – Bill Crawford- a friend & fellow J/24 sailor  @HYC.
* Former J/35 owner, Bob Hughes, provided Scuttlebutt with a nice tribute for Buddy Melges’ 80th birthday.  “Over the years the HEARTBREAKER program has been fortunate to have some of the world’s best and well known sailors grace her decks, but I will never forget the first! Back in 1989 was the second year with our J/35 HEARTBREAKER and Melges Sails (before they were Sobstad and North) decided they wanted to get into the bigger boat market.
I had read Buddy’s books and as I got more into sailing he was becoming the ultimate sailor I looked up to the most. As an inexperienced owner at the time who was impressed with well established sail makers, this sounded like a risky move….but in a rare smart move I went for it and purchased a Dacron main, Kevlar jib and chute from Melges Sails and Eric Hood. This was the also the beginning of the NOOD regattas and they started out as a big deal.
We were doing our first J/35 class regatta at the Chicago NOOD and on the last day of the event Buddy showed up and agreed to sail with us! Simply amazing…from the moment he got on the boat and shared many funny jokes about his recent Cup campaign down under (the jokes are still funny today) to everything he taught me about steering a boat that day as he trimmed the main next to me. It seemed like magic at the time when he would call out to the crew “puff header hitting in 10!” and sure enough the blast would hit  the boat like clockwork.  In my 23 years of big boat sailing this day remains one of the best.”
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