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J/Boats News is a digest of worldwide events, regattas, and news for sailing enthusiasts and members of our J Community. Contributions regarding your racing, cruising or human interest stories on-board J’s are welcome- please send to “”. For you globe-trotting J cruisers, please keep us up-to-date with your travels- for a great example to chronicle your adventures, see the J/109 GAIA’s blog at:
Key West Race Week Ready To Roll (Key West, Fl- Jan. 14) – Sailors from around the world are arriving and preparing to race in North Americas premiere midwinter regatta – Key West 2010, presented by Nautica. Boats from over 14 countries and 20 states begin five days of intense competition on January 18th. Follow the action, racing excitement, and results through the web-site blog and coverage on the regatta site. Also, Stu J’s on the scene reports/ video and photos will be posted to J/Boats news blog and also J/Anarchy (
 In addition, there will be live tracking of the J/80 fleet by Kattack and nightly on-demand video on For more race results and sailing info.
Winter Sailboat Show Season January and February kick into high gear for the sailboat show season with a number of highlights that might spark some ideas for the upcoming year; a chance to whet your appetite on new J’s that have stimulated significant interest worldwide. The first triple-crown sailing award winner, the J/95 shoal-draft, performance sailboat, will be on display in the London Sailboat Show this coming week. The J/97 will also be on display in London and for those in America, don’t miss the chance to see the winningest 30 foot IRC racer-cruiser this past year in Europe at the Chicago Strictly Sailboat Show at the family-friendly and fun Navy Pier Convention Center– J/97 will be on display with Stearns Boating. Also, the International J/22 will be on display at the world-renowned Boot Dusseldorf Show. For American West Coast sailors, don’t miss the chance to see our J/Dealers at the Seattle Sailboat Show and the San Diego Sailboat Show. Details for all events are linked below.
Regatta & Show Schedules: Jan. 23-31- boot Dusseldorf- Dusseldorf, Germany-
Jan. 28-31- Chicago Strictly Sailboat Show- Chicago, IL-
 Jan. 29-Feb. 6- Seattle Sailboat Show- Seattle, WA-
Jan. 28-31- San Diego Sunroad Boat Show- San Diego, CA-
Feb. 6-10- J/24 Midwinters- Davis Island YC- Tampa, FL-
 Feb. 14- St. Pete NOOD- St. Petersburg YC- St. Petersburg, FL-
 Feb. 18-21- J/30 Midwinters- New Orleans YC- New Orleans, LA-
 Mar. 11-14- J/22 Midwinters- Southern YC, New Orleans, LA –
 Apr. 8-11- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC-
 Jun 20-26- Block Island Race Week- Block Is, RI-
J/Regatta News The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide As J/News goes to press, a cross-section of J’s have started the renowned Ft Lauderdale to Key West Race, that 160 nm offshore dash where you go south and turn right around the Florida Keys that so many of you have enjoyed over the last few decades– yes, “the race to the party tent”. The Aussie contingent had a heckuva fun time racing J/24s in their Australian Nationals– we heard some Tazzie “devils” had fun, too. Finally, an international contingent of sailors are descending upon Key West for Race Week, by air, by land and by sea…. more news next week. Read on! More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page! Below are the summaries.
Ft. Lauderdale Key West Race (Ft Lauderdale, FL- Jan. 13th)- And they’re off like a herd of snails in a dust storm, led by of all things ex-J/24 sailor George David’s 90 foot sailing machine- RAMBLER. A fleet of fifty five PHRF and IRC classes took off at noon Wednesday, January 13th, for the 160 nm winter classic that starts off the Ft Lauderdale sea buoy and heads south, then slowly curving west, keeping the string of Florida Keys reef buoys to starboard, finishing in the Key West channel off the old Truman Annex Navy Base. J’s are well represented in both fleets. Racing in IRC B is Robin Team’s J/122 TEAMWORK from Lexington, NC. Sailing PHRF B is John Gehrig’s J/46 FULL DECK from Ft Lauderdale as well as David Bond’s J/105 LOKI from Miami, FL. In PHRF A, Frank Kern from Grosse Pointe Park, MI is racing his well-campaigned and very successful J/120 CARINTHIA. The race started in light to medium northerly breezes with everyone under spinnakers. Chasing down streaks and better gybe angles has been the name of the game so far. Some boats doing better than others as they seek to maximize VMC down course, dodging the reef, playing wind streaks and avoiding as much as possible playing shifts that take you offshore into the teeth of the fast-flowing Gulf Stream just outside the reef lines. As of 1030 hours EST Thursday, Jan 14th, it looks like Robin Team’s J/122 TEAMWORK is headed for a podium finish in IRC B (currently in 2nd); Frank Kern’s J/120 CARINTHIA is also looking at a podium finish in PHRF A (currently 2nd); and John Gehrig’s J/46 FULL DECK may get 3rd in PHRF B. The tale of the tape will tell all if they were successful at maintaing their leads. For you armchair sailors, navigators, racers, be sure to go to the race site and check out the action happening in real-time. For more race and sailing information:
J/24 Australian Nationals WETTY GRIPPER Takes All The Marbles (Sandringham, Australia)- The lads aboard WETTY GRIPPER, lead by cosmic J/24 sailing genius Sean Wallis, bested the lot at this year’s 2010 Australian J/24 National Championship. Hosted by Sandringham Yacht Club, the event was blessed with great sailing, good breeze and a great sailing time by all. On a day where bad luck stories abound, Sean Wallis and his team on WETTY GRIPPER came home to win one of the closest and most hard fought titles for many years. Doug McGain on CODE VIOLATION was bridesmaid and Dave Suda sailing PACEMAKER was third. Adam Evans and his youth team won the Handicap Title. In true one design tradition you can always rely on great a competition. With the last days racing to go only one point between first and second and one point between third and fourth separated the top teams. At that point, Doug McGain from NSW was first with 14 points, Sean Wallis from WA was second 15 points, Hugo Ottaway from VIC in third with 22 points, Dave Suda from VIC in fourth with 23 points and Sean Kirkjian from NSW at 32 points. For some perspective on how competitive this group was, McGain, Wallis, Ottaway and Kirkjian, are all former J/24 Australian Champions, and Suda a runner-up J/24 National Champion. A bit like having Ed Baird, Ken Read, Jon Kostecki and John Kolius beating each other up for podium finishes separated by only five points going into the final heat. On the second to last day, it was a postcard perfect day on Port Philip Bay, a 10 to 15 knot southeast wind matched with a flat sea and clear 28 degree temperature that saw both Suda and Kirkjian win heats putting additional pressure on the front three boats. Doug McGain and Hugo Ottaway consolidated their positions with two seconds for Doug and two thirds for Hugo. Sean Wallis had his worst day so far with an 8th and 4th, however with the one race drop system now achieved after six races completed, Wallis was still able to hold second. The rest is history, as evidenced by Wallis’s WETTY GRIPPER excellent performance on the last day, consolidating their position to win over McGain on CODE VIOLATION. For more sailing and regatta info.
J/Community What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide * J/133 SIREN SONG Wins Long Island Sound IRC Championship. Tom Carroll’s J/133 SIREN SONG wins the Caper Trophy which is awarded by the Yacht Racing Association to the IRC season champion. * Mel Hawkes had a wonderful, endearing story of her experience sailing the J/24 Australia Nationals on-board STARPAC: “When my legs had finally stopped shaking and after I had stuffed a roll in my face I headed for the bar. Not normally a drinker I am finding I am quickly making up for that in the last few days. Still in a bit of a daze, I found myself being asked how we did. I had no idea, so was very surprised to find not only had we come fourth overall, but we had been leading for a while on the first race. The whole experience has been a steep learning curve and another one I found was probably how to annoy everyone by me piping up, I had no idea where we were, I was too busy concentrating on my two little lines that were my job. The correct terms for them would be the topping and the kicker line. I must confess to shutting my eyes at each start as it looked more like a pack of bumper cars about to attack and judging by a rather loud thud at one point I think that theory was correct. I have an absolute respect for all skippers, especially mine, as to how they manage to pick their spots, remain calm, is a new mystery to me. I also have to re-think the theory that men cant multi-task as our skipper, apart from helming and trimming the boat, prevented me from hanging myself on more than one occasion and hoisting up the bow girl with the pole and thats just the parts I had my eyes open for. My goal tomorrow is to try and look up at one point. Baby steps! I started sailing with Pacific Sailing School a few months ago after a holiday in St. Lucia and I managed to flip a Hobie Cat which I am told is pretty hard to do. A few months later I find myself racing in the J/24 Nationals way out of my comfort zone. Hank at the school reassured me that girls can be very good sailors, lets see what our skipper has to say at the end of the week. ;)” Thanks Mel for such a heartwarming story— we all started sailing somewhere, sometime, someplace…some great, some not so great. 😉 Persevere, have fun and God Speed!
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