Sunday, November 30, 2014

J/88 Great Lakes Fleet Growing!

J/88 Canada- sailing fast (Rochester, NY)- J/88 Great Lakes sailors extend a warm welcome to Rob & Sandy Butler! They are from Collingwood, Ontario but winter down south. Also new to the “Great Lakes 88’s” fleet is Bob Kreilick from Rochester, New York. What’s new in the J/88 program? Year two of the J/88 demo program is in the books.  This year was a lot of fun because we had 4 other J/88’s to race against on Lake Ontario.  We have the biggest fleet in the country with 5 boats, not bad for a smaller market!  The 88s still raced PHRF, so it was a balance of trying to beat one another but also the rest of PHRF 1 on corrected time.  This year, we were given a 6 second “protect the fleet” rating, so what was going to be an 87 rating, brought us down to an 81.  This was actually OK, because it allowed us to see how the boat stacked up with a tougher rating against those in the area like the Beneteau 36.7 (rates 78 here), J/109 (rates 80), Beneteau 10R (92), Nelson Marek Custom 30 (93), and a J/105 (92). Of course there are many factors that weigh into PHRF besides the boat itself, like wind speed, wave conditions, crew ability, sail inventory, clean bottom, and on and on.  Overall the boat performed very well and all of our owners were pleased with how easy it was to handle and sail, forgiving on the crew, and just plain fun!

My thoughts on the J/88, by Don Finkle:
“I admit to being spoiled.  For over 40 years I have always been able to sail the newest models when they come along, and there have been many.  Each new boat represented the state of the art in production boats at the time.  They varied from just OK to good to really good.  The J/88 falls into the last category in my mind.  With a season and a half of sailing the J/88 under our belts, I can say that with confidence.

J/88 family speedster sailing Rochester, New YorkWhen sizing up a new boat it is important to put the design goal in perspective.  In the case of J/Boats any new model must perform well and be easily handled, with broad-enough appeal to be commercially viable and to sell in numbers sufficient to offer the promise of one design racing.  Boats that are too exotic in construction or too extreme in any way do not fit the pattern that has proven so successful over time.  Sometimes we hear the knock that other boats are faster, and that is true.  There is room in the sport for higher-performance boats but they will always be limited in number.  Examples of new similar sized boats that were designed for that top end speed-wise would be the C&C 30 and Farr 280, and before them the Mumm/Farr 30.  They are each cool boats in their own right but are aimed at the top of the performance curve where fewer sailors reside.

The J/Boats mantra is to offer a level of performance that is fun and exciting but also not intimidating or limiting.  We find that the J/88 is just that, fast and fun but not over the edge.  It is hard to complain about the speed of the 88 when you realize that at 29 feet we are routinely sailing with boats 5-10 feet longer and often beating them boat-for-boat.  At the same time the 88 offers a usable interior with berths, a marine head, modest storage and a comfortable cockpit for daysailing too.  Add in the powerful diesel saildrive and you have a boat that can do limited cruising and overnight racing.  These factors were all part of the plan when the J/88 was conceived; it had to meet a more varied usage profile.  We think the Johnstone’s nailed it.

Race results are not the best way of judging the potential of a boat because so many factors enter into it beyond the capability of the boat itself.  But at this point we are very comfortable saying that the J/88 is a step ahead of most other boats of its size that have gone before, as it should be.  What has surprised us most has been the excellent light air performance, which we did not anticipate, given the lack of an overlapping headsail.  The other aspect that exceeded our expectations is the pointing ability upwind when the in-haulers are employed; it is like riding up an elevator.  The keel really seems to work.

The sail inventory that seems to work best includes a main, two headsails and two spinnakers.  The light-medium jib is 105%, and the heavy jib is 100% but flatter.  The crossover point between the two jibs is in the mid-teens, depending upon sea state.  The heavy jib can be carried down to as low as 12 knots and the Lt/Med up to 18, so there is a fairly large spread where you can get away with either.  The full size A2 spinnaker is 95 square meters, and the heavy/reaching A3 kite is about 80 SM.  Our main has one reef point but if memory serves, we have yet to use it.  Jib battens can be either vertical or roller; either style works with the standard Harken below-deck furler.         

Sailing the J/88:  We would normally sail with 5 or 6 aboard, but could take more if they showed up due to the large cockpit and clean deck.  We hate to leave anyone at the dock but for most conditions five people is probably a good number.  The main controls are set up for the helm to trim the main or for a dedicated main trimmer.  Coarse and fine sheet tackles, traveler and backstay are close together.  If you are using a main trimmer, the easy mode is to move the fine tune block on top of the coarse tune block with both in front of the traveler.  For short-handed sailing, the driver can sit aft, straddling or in front of the traveler, any of those positions work.  Tacking the small headsail is easy, one person can release, and then trim in on the other side so long as the driver makes a reasonable-speed tack! 

We sail with many different people on our boat.  We spend more time exposing people to the fun of J/88 sailing, and often their first exposure to asymmetric spinnaker sailing, as opposed to fine-tuning our trim.  For sure we can get more speed out of the boat over time as we focus more, and we noted that as the season wore on we kept going better and better.  There is a lot you can do with the jib, especially with the adjustable cars and in-haulers.  The 88 really tracks well upwind when in the groove.  When dialed-in, which is not hard, the boat has a very balanced and light helm.    

Before we changed our backstay length (see below) we were probably sailing with a poorly-tuned rig much of the time.  We often got to the boat from work with hardly any time to prep for the race so the rig was often too tight or too loose.  It did not seem to bother the boat much but for sure our performance would have been even better if we tuned for the conditions.  Because we seemed to be going well we also were a bit lazy about the rig.  Finally, as the boat comes the shroud turnbuckles are not as easy to adjust as they should be but we now have a good solution for that (see below).  Looking back on the season, we were probably too tight more often than not.

We found that the big cockpit tended to attract people who ended up sitting further aft than they should be for best performance.  When we moved people forward it always seemed to make us go faster.  The exception is downwind in a breeze where you want to slide people aft.  It is easy to move around the J/88 so there is no problem placing weight where it should be.  Of course, for daysailing, that big cockpit is awesome, you can fit a pile of folks aboard, and they will have a comfortable place to sit.  Tim reminded me of the time we had the young grandchildren aboard this summer and they had a ball, even swimming off the back, easy with the open transom.  The 88 works for daysailing, course racing, distance racing or limited cruising.  The jib furler is convenient as is the Harken luff track on the mast for the mainsail cars.  The boat seems to handle a wide range of wind velocities very well, the sign of a good design.

Toronto Boat Show:  We are lending our hull #27 to Pat Sturgeon Yachts, the dealer for the greater Toronto area so that there can be a J/88 on display at the show.  It will bring good exposure of the boat on the north shore and hopefully we can build out our Lake Ontario fleet even further.  Pat has recently sold an 88 to a Toronto couple.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

TIGRINA Crowned King of Hong Kong J/80s!

J/80s sailing off Hong Kong J/111 Wins Around The Island Race
(Hong Kong, China)- Over the past few weekends, the J/80s in Hong Kong have been quite busy, having a wonderful time sailing their Hong Kong Championships, the Lipton Trophy Pursuit Race and the classic Around The Island Race; all events hosted by the extraordinary Royal Hong Kong YC.

Starting with the Hong Kong Championship on November 1st & 2nd, an excellent turnout of seventeen boats participated, with the fleet enjoying a total of eight races to complete the series.  It was extremely close racing for the top two boats, Andrew Moore & Lionel Welch’s TIGRINA and Felix Ng’s JAVELIN.  After the first day of racing, JAVELIN had the upper hand, closing out the day with a 1-3-2-2 for 8 pts with TIGRINA just one point back with an equally stellar record of 2-2-4-1 for 9 pts.  Behind this duo, the fleet was experiencing a bit of the “snakes & ladders” conundrum, working hard to stay in the top three, but often snagging defeat from the jaws of victory.

Hong Kong J/80s sailingOn Sunday, it was clear that Moore’s TIGRINA crew must’ve had a can of “whup-ass” for breakfast in their steak & eggs and heaps of coffee.  For after starting out the day with bullet, they closed out with a 3-1-1 to win the series by four points over the friendly rivalry with Ng’s JAVELIN team.  The balance of the top five was equally tough competition with next three boats finishing just four points apart.  Winning (or perhaps, surviving) this battle was Dan Tullberg’s UNKNOWN PLEASURES, completing the podium on third with 27 pts net.  Only one point back was Jonathan Hodgson’s J-CHI with 28 pts in fourth and sitting on fifth place was Gill Keefe’s JELIGNITE with 31 pts. For more J/80 Hong Kong sailing information.

Lipton Trophy Pursuit Race
The replenishment of the northeast monsoon coincided with the first pursuit race of RHKYC’s 2014-15 season, with an average 10kts of easterly wind bestowed on the competitors sailing in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour.  A total of 47 boats started the race in front of Kellett island, on staggered start times according to their RHKATI ratings. For many boats it was a great warm-up for the much anticipated Around The Island Race, the circumnavigation of Honk Kong Island.  In the end, top J/80 was David Fan’s SEA BISCUIT, followed by Alex Cheung’s FIGURE OF EIGHT in second and Paul Lam’s LILA in third.  For more Lipton Trophy sailing information.

J/111 sailing Hong KongAround The Island Race
While the Lipton Trophy took place on Saturday and was good sailing, Sunday’s Around the Island Race was shortened due to a bit too much light air.  Sailing like a man possessed, it was clear David Fan’s J/80 SEA BISCUIT crew were simply on fire.  Starting first in the J/80 Class and increasing his lead (isn’t that what the textbooks tell you to do?), Fan’s crew finished first with a nearly six minute lead at the gun!  Lonny Chen’s crew on MAY-13th took second and they were 4:30 seconds clear of the third place finisher, Henry Wong on FOOT LOOSE.

Amongst the J/70 Class, it was John Leven’s SAN LONG that took class honors followed by Paul McMaster & Fabrice Bureau taking second with DAZIBAO.

In the offshore IRC handicap world, Simon Blore’s J/111 MOJITO again took class honors over the best-sailed boats and most competitive offshore class at the Royal Hong Kong YC.  For more Around The Island Race sailing information.   For more Royal Hong Kong YC Facebook photos

Friday, November 28, 2014

J/36 Cruising from Mediterranean to United Kingdom

J/36 Jazz getting cleaned (Cornwall, England)-  Long distance cruiser Norman Curnow has provided us his latest update from cruising several thousand miles from the Med to England.  More often than not, Norm is single-handing his boat from port to port and occasionally brings along a friend or so for double-handing.

Said Norm recently, “just catching up with my J colleagues around the world.  My J/36 JAZZ (Rodney Johnstone’s original J/36) is back at her homeport after a 9,000 mile sail single-handed covering many places in and on the cost of Portugal, Spain and France.  She awaits 2015 for more racing at her club and homeport of Cornwall.  We are looking forward to some offshore racing with friends.  Here is a photo of JAZZ having her scrub off in the Tamarriver River after her trip back home!” All the best, Norman

Williams Wins 5th RYA National Match Racing Title

J/80 sailors- Queen Mary Sailing Club- Heathrow, England (London, England)- Ian Williams confirmed his match racing caliber this weekend as the quadruple World Champion scooped a fifth RYA National Match Racing title at Queen Mary Sailing Club sailing on the matched fleet of J/80 one-designs supplied by the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Thames YC. The Lymington-based skipper now joins Mark Campbell-James and two-time Olympian and America’s Cup sailor Andy Beadsworth at the top of the all-time winners list with five wins each.

The Championships got underway in a light five-six knot breeze on Friday, with results going very much according to the seeding’s, however the big match of the afternoon saw Ali Hall beat the world number two and former world champion leaving Williams with it all to do after the opening day’s eight flights of round-robin.

With no racing possible on Saturday due to very little wind, Sunday again started with a light five-six knot breeze with the racing more varied with unexpected wins and losses for many of the teams.

Williams wins RYA Match Race ChampionshipWilliams, and his crew at the event, Gerry Mitchell, Simon Shaw and the British Keelboat Academy’s James French, found their winning rhythm taking nothing but race wins, while Hall who had led after Friday’s racing with five wins was only able to win one of his four races. The breeze dropped early in the afternoon and the decision was made to finish the program at the end of the round-robin stage, handing Williams event honors with eight out of nine race wins.

A delighted Williams said: “It is always satisfying to win any match racing regatta. We were obviously the most experienced team but in match racing it is all about the performance on the day and you’ve still got to get the job done so we were pleased to come out on top in the end. Conditions were mainly on the light side, but the Race Committee did a great job of getting all the racing away which were good fair races and, by the way, in very evenly matched J/80s.”

“After losing to Ali Hall in our sixth race we needed to win all our remaining three races and hope that he slipped up along the way, so when we crossed the finish line in our last race we did not know if we had won or not as we did not know his results. Fortunately for us Ali had lost some races so we came out on top,” explained the 37-year-old.

This year’s event set a very high bar for the quality of sailing in the round-robin stages, as evidenced by the real mix of results between sailors.  Racing in J/80s got underway on Friday (November 14) with a 15-flight round-robin schedule followed by knockout quarter-final and semi-final rounds before the Champion was decided in the final round on Sunday.

“We last competed in the RYA National Match Racing Championships two years ago and I think the standard has definitely improved a great deal in that time. We were behind at some point in four out of our nine races and really had to fight for all our wins. It was just really good fun to get out and do some racing in the UK as we don’t get to sail at home very often,” said Williams.

The final scores showed a tie between Mark Lees, Tom Mallindine and Ali Hall each with six wins. As Lees had beaten both Mallindine and Hall in the round robin he gained second overall with Mallindine taking third. The British Sailing Team’s Olympic classes sailor Nick Thompson took fifth on his first outing into match racing while Annabel Vose finished sixth.   For more RYA National Match Racing sailing information

Thursday, November 27, 2014

J/27 Midwinters Announcement!

J/27 one-design sailboat off Toronto (New Orleans, LA)- On behalf of Merlin Wilson (Commodore & J/27 Sailor) at the Southern Yacht Club, you are all cordially invited to attend the inaugural annual J/27 Midwinters (and Mardi Gras festivities) in New Orleans this coming February 18th to 21st, 2015.

For those of you who are unaware, Southern YC has a fleet of 5 J/27s and is actively growing.  This presents a real opportunity to build another OD/Class event so those of you who are closer to NOLA and too far to make it to the NAs in Oakville can now also have a chance to race the 27 at its most exciting level.  And for those of us stuck in a "Polar Vortex"; an excuse to head South to escape the cold!!

For more information on sailing J/27s outside of the Polar Vortex, contact Andrew "Curved Air" Riem (CAN 59) at-  As a Canadian, Andrew knows about all that polar vortex stuff, how it relates to your financial future and how to go “short” certain energy futures for all you hedge fund guys.  Plus, it also affects the trajectory of hockey pucks!  Finally, so that you can take advantage of some really fun sailing activities in the “French Quarter” (no explanation needed), be sure to contact J/27 maestro “Curved Air” Andrew.  Andrew truly is your “go to” guy for all things J/27s this winter.  The simple recommendation here?  Go South with your J/27!  Trust us, these J/27 guys (and some of their all girl boats) tend to have a LOT of fun!

TEAMWORK Makes the Dream Work!

J/122 sailing Miami Nassau Cup RaceJ/122 2nd In Nassau Cup Race
(Nassau, Bahamas)- Since 1934, some of the best offshore sailors in the world have battled for the prestigious Miami to Nassau Cup, including Ted Turner, Dennis Conner, Dick Bertram, and Ted Hood, aboard legendary boats like Running Tide, Windward Passage, Tenacious, and Boomerang.  Half a generation after World War II forced a short intermission, the race became part of the fabled Southern Ocean Racing Conference in the 1980s until the series’ dissolution in the 1980s.  Building on the race’s welcome rebirth in 2003, the new SORC, a group of race-veteran race managers, announced its management of the Nassau Cup Race in 2010.

Starting in South Florida, racers leave Great Isaacs Light to starboard and proceed past Great Stirrup Light, finally finishing at Nassau harbor. Today’s modern boats just need the right conditions to claim this legendary prize, and racers of all types will enjoy the navigational and crew challenge of the race across the Gulf Stream.

J/125 sailing Miami Nassau Cup raceIt was a “come from behind victory parade” this year for the 2014 Miami-Nassau Cup Race, with slower boats riding new breeze right up to the leaders on the final leg into Nassau Harbor. The entire fleet finished within 2.5 hours of each other on Friday evening. First across the line was Frank Atkinson’s new J/125 RAISIN’ CANE, sailing in the IRC Class.

For the faster boats, it was a day of light downhill work that brought the leaders slowly to Nassau.   Behind them, a classic frontal system blowing off Florida and across the Gulf Stream brought strong, new breeze to the tail-enders in the fleet, the proverbial “fleet compression puff” on an enormous, macro scale!  Nevertheless, Robin Team’s illustrious J/122 TEAMWORK managed to play their cards right and take 2nd overall in the IRC Class for the Nassau Cup.  Getting the short-end of that stick was Atkinson’s RAISIN’ CANE, having to settle for 5th overall after watching their substantial lead over the fleet evaporate in the last 12 hours of the race!

J/122 Teamwork in 2nd IRC at Miami Nassau CupA similar scenario played out in PHRF Class for the top J/120s.  After a great start and strong overnight performances, the two J/120s, Frank Kern’s famous Detroit team aboard CARINTHIA and Bill Terry’s crew on TAMPA GIRL, could only watch in dismay as they saw the little spinnakers popping up over the horizon behind them with the incoming breeze.

To the fleet’s great amusement, teams were selected to participate in a J/22 Match Race event right off Nassau YC.  Sailing just main & jibs only, a great time was had by all in this fun, low-key regatta that brings local kids aboard to experience keelboat racing on J/22s— a bit different than their Optimist dinghies!    SORC Media - C. Woolsey   For Mr Dunkley’s sailing photos:   For more Miami- Nassau Cup sailing information

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hamble Winter Series- Weekend #6

J/111 sailing Hamble Winter Series (Hamble, England)- Menacing skies, a torrential rain squall and an indecisive breeze couldn't stop the assembled Garmin Hamble Winter Series fleet from getting in some cracking racing on the sixth weekend of the series.

After a vicious rain squall caught the fleet on the way out, the wind shifted around between southeast and northerly until it settled in the northeast for long enough to get a good race in for all classes. The race team combined some starts to get everyone away in good time, with all classes sailing short courses between Royal Southern and East Knoll buoys. This led to some close-quarters racing to keep everyone on their toes, but the frequent windshifts gave tacticians the chance to make some big gains up the beats and down the runs.

In IRC 0, Chris Body's J/111 Icarus added a first place to her scoreline which leaves her equal on points with fellow J/111, Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II.  Just 2 pts back is Martin Dent’s J-ELVIS.  With two weekends left, is it possible there is a three-boat clean sweep of IRC 0 Class for the J/111s? 

J/88 family speedster- sailing Hamble on SolentStew Hawthorn’s J/88 JIFI sailed a great race to take the top spot in IRC 2, ahead of Paul Hayes' J/88 JONGLEUR in third.  At this stage of the game, JIFI is sitting in third overall with 24 pts with a good mathematical chance for 1st overall. Not far off the stage is Paul Ward’s J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT; and an outside chance for the top three is Ivan Trotman’s J/88 JOJO.

It appears that Charles Ivill's J/97 JTB TYRES/ JUST LIKE THAT, which finished just under two minutes ahead of the fleet on corrected in their last race, is poised to be the primary candidate for series leader.  However, they have a mere 2 pts lead over Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II and knowing how the teams have responded to sailing conditions in the last few weekends, this class could still be open for a surprising outcome?

J/109 fleet rounding mark on SolentIn the J/109s Adrian Wheal's JOLLY JACK TAR added another first to her scoreline, with Owain Franks' JYNNAN TONNYX in 2nd place. As a result, Wheal’s crew is leading for the series with 9 pts, followed by Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR II in second with 12 pts and Franks’ JYNNAN TONNYX in third with 18 pts.  Given the fact that any one crew is capable of winning one or more races, it would not be prudent to go down to your local Ladbrokes Betting Parlour and bet on a horse that may not leading by a nose on the final furlong!

Having endured one rain squall before the race, competitors were relieved that the clouds held their rain until the fleet was assembled in the HRSC clubhouse for the prize-giving, were day prizes were presented by Peter Kay and Ian Brown from One Sails, who have been longstanding supporters of the Hamble Winter Series for over 20 years.  Next week sees the penultimate weekend of racing in the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series. Thanks for contribution from Ben Meakins.   Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Wyeth/    For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

BRUSCHETTA J/24 South American Champion

Bruschetta- Santa Cruz win South Americans (La Punta, Peru)- With spring sailing going full-tilt “down under” the equator everywhere, it was perhaps the South American J/24 sailors who were most eager to get the ball rolling in their 2014 South American Championship hosted by Centro Naval de Peru- Club Nautico.  An enthusiastic group of thirteen J/24s, mostly from Peru and Chile, were ready to take on the top Brazilian team led by skipper Mauricio Santa Cruz on his famously-named BRUSCHETTA.

Sailing in the spectacular bay surround La Punta, the fleet was treated to excellent sailing conditions all five days of the event with winds averaging around 8-13 kts for the total of ten races.  It was a fair test of skills and it was pretty self-evident after the first day of racing that Santa Cruz’s BRUSCHETTA simply had “another gear” and could extricate themselves from difficult situations and still manage to win races.  In the end, they were crowned South American Champions after posting a remarkable seven 1st and a 3-4 as counters for a total of 14 pts net.

J/24 women's sailing team- La Punta, PeruBehind BRUSCHETTA, it was a game of consistency and avoiding “the big mistake”, some teams faired better than others.  After day one, the Brazilian BRUSCHETTA team led the fleet, followed by Luis Olcese’s SCARAMOUSH from Peru, then Javier Arribas’ WAYRA team also from Peru.  For two more days, the top three didn’t change.  Then, disaster struck the WAYRA team.  After posting mostly top three finishes, the WAYRA gang seemingly “lost the edge” and plunged into the abyss and off the podium.  In their last five races, WAYRA posted a 6-6-10-8-10 to seriously “fall from grace with the sea,” ending up in 5th overall.

On the third day of the regatta, the composition of the top five began to change, with Matias Seguel’s GURU team from Chile getting two 4ths to slide into third by a point to spare.  Then, on the final day of racing Saturday, WAYRA continued to be snake-bitten while GURU finished off the series by winning the last race and taking the bronze.   The race for the top five was rounded out by Vernon Robert’s Chilean team on JOYITA, taking 4th overall with relatively consistent finishes.

Of note was the continuing improvement of the all-women’s team sailing JITANA, skippered by Tania Zimmerman and her sisters and friends from Peru.  While they finished 8th, they managed to post a 1st and 3rd in races #8 and #9.  In fact, their 9-3-1-6 in the last four races on the last two days of the regatta was the 5th best in the fleet!   Sailing photo credits- Bernardita Grez  For Facebook photos & commentary on the J/24 South Americans   For more J/24 South American Championship sailing information

Monday, November 24, 2014

J/88 The Perfect Sailboat?

J/88 sailboat- family speedster (Chicago, IL)- “When I sailed the J/88 in Newport in the fall of 2013 I really liked the boat but wondered how was it going to fit into the racing scene in Lake Michigan and who would want the boat. I have sailed boats from Sunfish to IOR Maxi's and America’s Cup 12 meters and I enjoy smaller boats more than the big ones. So, for me a 29 footer was right up my alley. The big question was could it do all the things I want to do with a boat?” said Richie Stearns.   Rich went on to say, “my perfect boat" needs to do the following:
  1. Has to be fast and fun to sail.
  2. Has to be affordable (price/ resale price) J/Boats hold their value better than any boat.
  3. Has to have a head with privacy
  4. Has to be able to trail behind a normal size vehicle
  5. Single-point lift and mast-up with gin pole. Doesn't need a boat yard to launch.
  6. Can sail the Chicago-Mackinac race.
  7. Can sail short-handed and around the buoys.
  8. Have an inboard engine to get some place.
After sailing in Newport with Stu J, I bought our first demo boat.  We had an amazing sail in 15-20 kts, a spectacular northwesterly breeze, clear skies, sunny, on Narragansett Bay.  I had to put all the pieces together to see if this was my perfect boat. So, I started looking at vehicles. That was tough, I live in downtown Chicago in a 1924 building, and the parking is tight. No way could I have a truck or a big SUV and I don't want one either. Most medium SUV's can only tow 3,500 pounds. However, Jeep had just come out with a diesel and that fit the bill. The Hemi in the Jeep would have worked, but didn't get good mileage.

J/88 sailboat- towing on trailerSo, I picked up the boat in December 2012 during winter storm “Hercules.” They were closing schools in Rhode Island and I was pulling a boat to Chicago. We did have to stop in the mountains but it wasn't it was the car or trailer's fault, there was 2" of ice on the road and the spin outs of other vehicles were getting out of control. But, the next day we made it to Chicago. Until we got to Indiana everything was very stable. There was some rocking in the rig as we approached Chicago. We found out later they closed Interstate 80 to trucks because of 50 kts cross-winds. The answer is, “yes a mid-size SUV can tow the J/88 over mountains and through storms!”  Read more about Rich’s experiences here (PDF download):

Then, the J/88 Great Lakes fleet invites everyone to join them for the 107th running of the Chicago-Mackinac Race in 2015.  Afterwards, you can then cruise the beautiful waters of the lakes, like the North Channel in Canada or Harbor Springs, Michigan and surrounding islands. It is an experience that cannot be beat anywhere in the world with your J/88! When you’re done, just pull at Mackinac City, Harbor Springs (or anywhere else) and drive home!

Here is the J/88 invitation to sail the gorgeous Great Lakes in awesome fresh water sailing, you can truly knock-off several “bucket list” programs with these experiences (PDF download):

Sunday, November 23, 2014

J/Boat Show Schedule

(Newport, RI)- Over the course of the next few months, there are some excellent boat shows to view some of the latest J/Designs and also have a chance to speak with many of your friends and colleagues about the world of sailing.  Here are some of those events to consider, so mark your calendars to see the latest J’s on display:

J-BOSS Loves Triskell Cup

J/111 JBoss sailing off Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe in Triskell Cup(Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe)- What may be the first regatta of the 2014/ 2015 Caribbean Winter Sailing Season is the Triskell Cup hosted on the island of Guadeloupe.  Sailing a series of races off the quaint French-inspired village of Pointe a Pitre, the fleet of boats enjoyed a broad range of “post-tropical depression” conditions; meaning that clear skies and steady 8-15 kts of breeze could often be punctuated by sudden squalls developing rapidly with rain, 20-30 kts winds and massive changes in wind direction.  Such is the difficult life of sailing in the tropics with temperatures ranging from an extreme of 65 degrees up to 85 degrees F!

After the smoke cleared, Eddy Chalono’s J/111 J-BOSS finished second in the Triskell Cup 2014, but the crew is extremely proud of their result after having to fight off one of the world’s most famous Figaro Sailing Champions- Gildas Morvan.

As reported by Eddy’s crew, “the big problem of this regatta was in particular to avoid the huge patches of sea-grass that had the tendency to drop our boat speed of 1.5-2.0 kts— impossible to see them sometimes!  So, we needed very frequent stops and back-ups that penalized us on our handicap times.”  Hmmm, sounds like J-BOSS needs a classic “SoCal Kelp-Cutter”!!   For more Triskell Cup sailing information

Saturday, November 22, 2014

J/46 BRAVO Cruising Maine Islands!

J/46 sailing off Maine coast (Casco Bay, Maine)- The J/46 BRAVO has been sailing in Maine during the beautiful fall season.  As many long-distance and day sailors know, once Labor Day hits in Europe and in the Americas, some of the world’s best cruising grounds are literally devoid of all forms of tourists and “outsiders”.  As both a long-distance cruiser and a bit of a “local” in those parts Downeast in Maine, Tom Babbit from Portland, Maine can often pick his days for a lovely cruise on any given day or weekend.

For example, here’s Tom at the helm of his J/46 BRAVO.  As he comments, “just cruising along on a beautiful Saturday up here in Maine near Casco Bay, TWS 15 kts, AWA 60, going 9.1 kts.  Zero angst, just 100% blade jib and full main.  Couldn’t be easier on this delightful cruising boat! We’re so loving this J/46.  Great evening in Pulpit Harbor compliments of Espar heat.  Best, Tom and Jane”

J/92 HIJINKS Dominates Round The County!

J/92 offshore sailboat (Seattle, Washington)- Here’s the report from Pacific Northwest offshore racing guru, Ben Braden.  “What an event - it’s taken days to digest everything from the race.  A four day event – 30 to 50 mile deliveries for 2 days of racing, 30 miles each day for only 60 miles total and then another 30 to 50 mile delivery home in some of the most beautiful waters this country has to offer, and doing it in November when most East Coast boats above 39 degrees North are on blocks for the winter.

“Round The County,” hosted by Orcas Island Yacht Club, has become a fixture here in the PNW and is easily one of the premier point-to-point rally races that North America has to offer.  Known for its majestic views of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, Mt. Baker fixed to the east and the rugged terrain of the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands, Round the County, in her 27th year, has become a “happening” – an entity of her own – and she keeps bringing out the numbers in an era when participation has declined all across the board.  They cap the entries at 100 boats and reach it a month before race day!

Is it the often frigid temperatures?  The early morning, well before sunrise, dock calls?  Is it the spectacular currents or the unique geographical wind holes and shifts? What is it that brings out the Olympic class sailors and Professionals (many sailing their personal yachts), the Local Talent, and even the 6 old guys at the yacht club bar that are always complaining against everything that happens? People fly in from California and the midwest, boats come together from Canada and the United States all to spend countless hours and dollars racing just 30 miles a day in the cold, wet, snowy, rainy, windy, drifty, sometimes sunny, current riddled waters of the San Juan Islands.  It’s just the type of racing sailors love to do and sometimes things just make sense, right?

J/145 Double Take sailing off Seattle, WAAnd what really made sense was the Race Committee postponing the start Saturday morning at Lydia Shoals until enough wind came up that they could “hit a home-run” (their words) and get the first starters off of the line far enough that the next start had a clear lane.  It then became a game of linking the puffs to work your way south in Rosario Strait.  One minute you looked like the hero as you linked from one lifting puff to the next and even found a little escalator ride in some good current and the next you were flushed out the back watching the fleet sail by and around the corner out of sight.

The first boats to reach Davidson rock had the tough choice of heading for the halfway point along the bottom of Lopez or sailing off over the horizon offshore.  One of the leaders headed offshore and it quickly, very quickly, became apparent that offshore was the way to go.  It didn’t take much more time before the TP52’s, having started last, worked their way past Davidson rock and Iceberg point with the big SC70’s hot on their heels.  The wind began to pick up and things looked great as the leaders crossed the bottom of Lopez, passed the Cattle Pass lighthouse and began turning up towards the entrance to Haro Strait.  But, it didn’t last long and as the wind crapped out the currents became the real battle for the fleet.

A large group didn’t make it past Davidson Rock into the Straits of Juan De Fuca and of the boats that did make it out and past the halfway finish off Iceberg Point only two boats eventually made it across the full course finish line at Roche Harbor; leaving everyone else motoring in across the line to the evening festivities graciously hosted by the Roche Harbor Resort.  Heated dock tent, BBQ’s and libations meet the sailors every year now for the biggest and best dock party the month of November has to offer.

J/30 sailing off Seattle, WASunday arrived with a stellar forecast of 20 to 30 knots, clouds, a bit of rain and a bit of sun and by 8:30am all 100 boats were pacing back and forth waiting for their turn at the downwind start and their charge to the first corner at Turn Point Lighthouse and into the predicted breeze.  The J/105 LAST TANGO led the way around the corner with the J/92 HIJINKS hot on their tail and it wasn’t long before Boundary Pass looked like a 70’s shag carpet with all those colorful spinnakers pulling hard on port pole, but without the forecast big breeze.  Enough to keep the boats moving well but not the small craft advisory predicted by the forecasters.  Canada to the left, America to the right and the fleet split between the middle and the left with each choice working for some and not working for others as the finicky breeze rolled through from the Northwest.

The old Baltic warhorse Pangaea bulldozed her way down the middle of Boundary Pass while a large portion of the fleet worked the Canadian shoreline until shooting down towards Patos Island in the current heading south out of the Straits of Georgia.  And man was the current running hard at Patos!  The boats that worked too low along Boundary Pass found themselves slipping to leeward at over 30 degrees while they strapped their chutes in and flogged their way up and around the point while giving up every gain they had made by sailing the shorter course.

As the majority of the fleet turned their bows South towards the finish near Lydia Shoals, the big fast IRC boats and Multi-hulls had already found the finish line and were motoring off to their corners to drop off their crews.  Moves could still be made in the drag race south and often boats would jibe out away from the group on what looked like a horrible VMG angle and then jibe back and smoke by everyone as they found their own personal current or puff.  But, no matter what year it is, no matter what direction the race goes (it switches every year) it always comes down to the decision on going inside or outside the Peapods to make or break someone’s race. 

J/120 Time Bandit sailing off Seattle, WAThe large majority of the boats chose the low road towards Cypress Island and around the Peapods but then one boat turned hard right, then another, then the puffs began rolling down the hills, one surprisingly creating a small water spout, and the next thing you saw was the inside boats rounding up in the puffs and then dropping their bows down and charging inside the rocks towards the finish.  The closer to Obstruction Island they got the better the wind became and soon their spinnakers were out again and the inside boats slid across the line passing many of the outside boats utilizing the shorter inside line.

Finally, finally, the forecast breeze began to roll in over the hills and as the finishers turned their bows towards their respective ports the winds piped up into the 25-30 kts range.  The sun was still out, the views were still stellar, the winds had picked up and the smiles stretched from bow to stern on every boat out there.  Thank you, once again, OIYC for putting on a crazy fun event.”  Thanks to Senor Braden for the report.

Amongst the J/Teams, the big honors go to Ellis’s J/92 HIJINKS, not only grabbing 2nd PHRF Overall but also winning their PHRF Division 4.  In their same division, the Bottles’ family J/30 CELEBRATION took 4th.

As they have countless times before, the PHRF Division 1 saw Brunius & Wareham’s J/120 TIME BANDIT sail remarkably consistently to take 3rd in their division, yet another podium finish for this illustrious team.

For the IRC 2 PNW Championships, it was John McPhail’s majestic blue J/160 JAM taking 2nd place while Tom Huseby’s J/145 DOUBLE TAKE sailed fast to take the 3rd spot on the podium!    Sailing photo credits- Sean Trew/ Facebook   Follow the action on Facebook/ Round The County page   For more Round The County sailing information

Friday, November 21, 2014

J/122E Bombay Race Winner!

J/122e sitting at anchor off Bombay, India(Bombay, India)- Recently, a brand-new J/122E was delivered to her owners in Bombay, India.  That it was an enormous undertaking to simply get the boat launched and sailing would be worthy of “Sisyphian” feats of wonder and tall tales that would be repeated in many local saloons along the commercial waterfront of Bombay.  The combination of Sunil Lobo of J/India and Jim Johnstone of J/Boats Asia had to work wonders with the local Indians to offload, rig and get the boat sailing; then spend considerable time getting her up to speed. Here is the report from Jim J on the Far Side of the Pacific:

J/122e launch off Bombay, India commercial docks“Nandan (the new J/122E owner) called to say they were excited about winning their first race on their J/122E in Bombay.  The other boats were using spinnakers and his J/122 doesn’t even have one yet!  He said the next closest boat was about a mile behind him.  The breeze was about 17 knots and he was working with the targets, making sure they didn't let the boat go faster then 7.6 kts upwind.  He said that he was noticeably higher then everyone else racing and was completely thrilled, especially against a well-sailed local Nautor Swan 57.

This was quite a remarkable feat considering how it all came together in the first place.  After spending several days in the commercial port of Bombay, we were in a rush to get the boat off the docks and over to Gateway Harbor in downtown Bombay.  Facilities in Bombay are difficult, but there are options.  As you can see in this photo here, this might have been the most expensive way of handling the boat- easily the largest crane that has ever launched a J/Boat??  If you would believe it, this crane was also used for the mast installation!  You’d be amazed at how precise and accurate these crane operators are from such a high vantage point!

Nandan and friends sailing J/122 off Bombay, IndiaOverall, Nandan is very happy with the boat.  He loves buzzing his friends and sailing past them with a few knots of additional boat speed.  Since we have been doing that for the past weeks along with practicing on the boat, the activity on the J/122E has been creating a bit of a stir around the club. As a bit of a backgrounder, he owned a MacGregor 26, then a Hanse 33, and now the J/122E. He could not be happier.

The best way of explaining the experience with the J/122E in India is the smiles you see on the guy driving, Nandan and Sunil are always there!!  They loved the boat. The ease of sailing it. The power it offered and the comfort with bringing out friends to show of the new boat.

The current rig tune is set-up for about 20 knots of wind.  Average daily wind conditions in the area are between 12-17 kts in the afternoon.  Needless to say, the results speak for themselves.  Hopefully, Nandan and crew enjoy more opportunities to win silverware in the future!”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Canada Celebrating Its Sailors!

Canadian Andy Roy sailing Laser (Toronto, Ontario)- Canada was recently celebrating some of its best sailors.  Remarkably (or alarmingly, depending on how you see it all), a number of Canada’s beloved “brothers in arms” were all top J/24 alumni of some form or another over the past decade or three.  You can include in that group Andy Roy, Terry McLaughlin, Greg Tawastjerna, “Bean Pole” (Terry Neilson) and a number of other characters we should mention but may not.

Nevertheless, October marks the time of year where Canadians celebrate good harvest and fortune followed by the ever so popular Halloween, the single night of the year when candy hoarding and unusual attire are encouraged. Amidst all the seasonal traditions included some outstanding showcases by their Canadian sailors.

Olympic silver medalist Mike Wolfs continues to draw attention to his ever-growing resume of sailing success including the latest achievement of 1st place at the J/80 World Championships in Annapolis. The Star Medallist crewed on SAVASANA with helm Brian Keane, Stu McNay & Ron Weed, edging out the competitive 30-boat fleet.

The Laser Masters World Championships was hosted in Hyeres, France with 500 entrants in four different age divisions. The Canadian contingent took the event by storm with top ten performances in each highly competitive division including Peterborough native and North American Laser class President Andy Roy, who ultimately finished second!

What they all forgot, was that Terry McLaughlin just won the J/105 North Americans and taking second was another native son, Greg Tawastjerna who was tactician for Calgary, Alberta native Rick Goebel sailing his J/105 SANITY!

“LIVE” Hot Rum Sailing Report

J/105s sailing Hot Rum Series (San Diego, CA)- What fun!  You can watch a “live” pursuit race play out in real-time on the Internet courtesy of San Diego YC and the sailing teams that are participating in the famous SDYC Hot Rum Series— watch how they all did on Saturday November 8th here-

There were dozens of J/sailors participating in the fleet of 134 boats, with 32 J/Teams (25% of the fleet!), all hoping to be the first boat to cross the finish line in this epic pursuit race format.  You never know how these things turn-out, but more than half the fun is participating and watching many of your sailing colleagues pass by (one way or another!).

How did it all shake out for the first race of the series?  Overall, Chuck Nichols’ J/120 CC RIDER took a 1st in class and 5th overall sailing an amazing race (check out their track on to see how they did it).  And, Karl Pomeroy’s J/70 ZERO TO 60 took 1st in class and 21st overall.  The winner boat-for-boat was an old Ericson 35 and 2nd was an STP 65!  As always, fun and games in San Diego “pursuit-style” racing in the Hot Rum Series.

On a class basis, the two J/125s in Class 1 were 6th and 7th, respectively, Jim Madden’s STARK RAVING MAD IV and Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER.  In Class 2, behind Nichols’ CC RIDER, classmate Mike Hatch on J-ALMIGHTY took 5th and Rudolph Hasl’s J/120 HASL FREE took 7th and the Brockmann/ Laun combo on the J/120 CAPER were 9th and Peter Zarcades on the J/120 MELTEMI was 10th.  A great showing overall for the J/120 fleet.

Class 3 was, as usual, a hound dog’s collection of stuff from across the IOR, IMS, PHRF spectrum of a century or so.  While taking 4 of the top 10, 35 ft class J’s were in the middle, with Dennis Case’s J/105 WINGS in 5th, with Ed Sanford’s J/105 CREATIVE in 6th, Herb Zoehrer’s J/35 Z-Force in 7th and Dag Fish’s J/105 VIGGEN in 8th.

Behind Pomeroy’s ZERO TO 60 in first for Class 4, Dave Vieregg’s J/70 SOGGY DOLLAR took a well-deserved 2nd in class, followed by Dave Cheresh’s J/70 FLARE at 7th in class.

Check back again soon to see how the fleet does “live” on in their next Hot Rum Series #2 race on November 22nd!  Watch the action in real-time here.  For more SDYC Hot Rum Series sailing information

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

J/88 BLUE FLASH Report

J/88 Blue Flash “It Was Love @ First Sight!”
(San Diego, CA)- As we covered in last week’s news, the J/88 is beginning to realize its enormous potential in offshore races in Southern California.  Having already won the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race in its class, new owner Scott Grealish just took his J/88 BLUE FLASH to both class and overall honors in the Rum Runner Race- a 75m dash down the SoCal coastline from Newport Harbor to San Diego.  Here’s Scott’s report (download PDF version here-

“Some days on the water are better than others, and racing my newly bought J/88 offshore in the Rum Runner Race from Newport Beach to San Diego was supposed to be one of the good days. But it wasn’t just our first race, it was also the first time any of the crew had sailed the boat, and only my third day aboard, so anticipation was tempered by the reality that we had no idea how the day would really unfold.

All week the forecast was amazingly consistent; a cold front would move onshore overnight before the start and bring strong 25-30 knot Northwest breeze that would last all day with seas “steep NW”, at least until the remaining SW wind waves stopped mixing with the predominant NW swell.
Interesting. At 29’ and 5000 pounds, we were certainly the smallest boat in the race, and not likely to have much company out there if things got wild.

But it was my 50th birthday weekend, and luck was going to be on our side. The forecast moderated, and by race morning, Commander’s Weather was calling for mid teens, gusting low 20’s. The Beach Boys “Surfin’ USA” started running through my head. And when we woke up gazing over the beach in Newport, the breeze was on, the waves were running, and most important for our Portland based crew, it wasn’t raining and the sun was starting to peek through the clouds. There was even a rainbow offshore. Which should have been a clue. But the shower that passed only made us smile at the Socal “rain”; the skies had been pouring for two straight weeks in Portland and we were fully acclimated. Besides, my buddy Phil from West Coast Sailing in Portland was doing a product demo of the new Zhik foul weather gear, and he was shedding water like a duck!

We weren’t smiling at the start, however, because the cloud was followed by sun and exactly zero wind. As we bobbed across the line in the first start, it wasn’t too clear whether to set a kite or a jib, or maybe just fire up the engine and grab lunch back onshore. It was starting to look like a beautiful, sunny, windless day off Newport Beach, and I started mentally writing a “feedback” email to the good folks at Commanders Weather; “Dear Sirs,  Please elaborate on the value of 20 knot forecasts on windless days....”

J/88 Blue Flash- docks at Newport BeachBut I have finally learned a little patience at 50, and Commander’s turned out to be spot on as the day unfolded. First a little breeze line came in from the NW, and by this time the big boats had started and were already beginning to creep over us. The OMRA 60 trimaran “Mighty Merloe” didn’t creep, she whooshed past in her own apparent wind, in her own private race, quickly leaving the fleet behind. Onboard our J/88, we set the Code Zero for the first time and got our first pleasant surprise of the day; we were hanging in there with the Flying Tigers, the J/124, and quite a few other big boats. The first “leg” was a 14 mile fetch, and the breeze kept building into the 10-12 knot range. We went between our J1 and the Zero, and felt happy to have our crack bowman David Aymar from Socal onboard. Dave has worked the bow on “Pyewacket” (Andrews 70) and “Bud” (TP52), and despite the small platform, he felt at home on the J/88. We were pretty happy to round just behind one of the Tigers, who owed us quite a bit of time (we rated 75 random leg course and they were 48). The other Tiger was already around and we would never see them again; they went on to take a well sailed second place overall.

Turning the corner, we set the big A2 PHRF kite figuring that the breeze would moderate and we’d need all the help we could get just to get close to home before it died completely at sunset. We also figured that was the last we’d see of the Tiger and the J/124. We were wrong on both counts. We quickly found out that the J/88 likes going downhill in 14-18 knots, and while the seas were a little jumbled, we found a groove and started seeing boat speeds of 12-14. We quickly caught the Beneteau 40 ahead, while we seemed to be hanging with the Tiger and J/124. But we had great rudder control even with our big A2 and the waves a bit more on our beam than ideal; we could stay up on the rhumb line while they fell off to leeward.

We were starting to believe the forecast at this point, so our goal was rhumb line or better yet further right, in order to stay out in pressure as long as possible before it started fading.

But then an interesting thing happened; instead of fading, the pressure came up to the 18-23 range and suddenly we were launched. Boat speeds went to solid sustained 14-16’s and I got my birthday present with the “record of the day” at 17.8! We put the Tiger and J/124 on the horizon and started catching some pretty big boats like the Swan 651 and the Santa Cruz 50. The J/88 was proving to be a weapon in those conditions with a really forgiving groove, excellent buoyancy, and to our surprise, a dry ride. Every once in awhile we’d catch a wave sideways and round a bit, but we never actually totally wiped out; she would be off again in just a few seconds. Kudos to my friend Kerry Poe (North Sails Oregon) who traded driving with me. Kerry was an Olympic level 470 skipper in the 90’s, but I most definitely have a non-sailing day job, so I’m happy to report the J/88 certainly doesn’t require “pro” level skills to be fast.

After years of watching J/125’s surfing on YouTube while heading to Cabo or Hawaii (typically on a dark rainy day in Portland’s bleak mid- winter), I found it almost surreal to be ticking off miles for hours at those speeds in a 29’ boat. Dr Laura had named the boat “Crazy 88”, a reference to a Quentin Tarantino film, but I was thinking “Easy 88”. It was fast, but no drama. We had already re-named the boat “Blue Flash”, a reference to the seldom seen blue version of the “Green Flash” (the boat is painted blue). As the sun set, we got neither green nor blue flash, but I did get another birthday present. The breeze kept blowing!

No matter how much preparation (Thank You Kenyon at JK3 and David and Will at SD Boatworks!), teamwork, and expertise you bring to this sort of sailing, there is no accounting for good luck. We knew full well that with the STP65 and TP 52 catching us in the first minutes of drifting off the start, and then disappearing for good at the turn, we would need luck to correct out in the end. As those boats finish before sunset, the typical pattern would catch us still out there in the dying breeze watching victory fading away with the light. But it was our lucky day and our conditions, and as we gybed into the last mark, we still had 12-14 knots of NW breeze and didn’t even need the Zero to fetch the last 2 miles to the finish. The gun was sweet confirmation of victory in class, but it wasn’t until later that night that we found ourselves correcting out over the Tigers, the J/125, TP52, and Rogers 46. At least on this day, she was the “little blue boat that could”.

How cool would it be to do an even longer race in the J/88 with (hopefully) similar conditions (CABO!)? Well, you’d have to be crazy to do it in such a small boat. But then again, maybe Dr Laura had the right name for this boat in the first place?”

J/88 Blue Flash owner- Scott GrealishHere are some of Scott’s impressions sailing the J/88:

Looks good, feels better!
I’ve been fortunate over the years to have owned a J/80, J/105, J/70 and now the J/88 and I’ve driven several other J/Boats including the J/111 in some breeze. I’ve always appreciated reading about the sailing impressions of others, so hopefully mine will help those considering their options. I find the J/88 so far to be an extremely well done mix of the J/70 and the J/111. The helm is great, and in flat water she feels light like a J/70, yet offshore it felt like you had the control of a J/105 (a really solid boat in a big breeze).

It’s easy to make a lower drag rudder than the one on the J/88, and I’m sure we could debate certain aspects of the design (it could be smaller, higher aspect, better tip efficiency etc.); but while others wiped out around us trying to go higher, we were able to point ourselves where we wanted to be and stay in control. I’m a big fan of rudder control in small boats without dedicated grinders etc, where the driver spends a lot of time steering to the waves and the kite isn’t always constantly trimmed (or properly trimmed!).

One-Design, Multi-Purpose
I think the J/88 benefits from the sum of many incremental changes in yacht design over the past 20 years: the hull is lighter and stiffer, the sections are finer forward and flatter aft.  The rig is taller with a higher aspect ratio that is more efficient and better in light air.  The sprit is longer which moves the kite forward helping to drive the boat and reducing interference with the main.  The keel is more efficient with better lift and lower drag (and, importantly, it is encapsulated in molded glass so doesn’t require fairing).

We had hoped she would be stiffer than the J/70 and J/80, to allow easy shorthanded family sailing.  And as a matter of fact, she does feel like a much bigger boat, again much closer to a J/105 or J/111 in breeze and waves. The interior is really similar the J/105, and for day racing it works well with room for sails, stuff, and people. Compared to our J/80 and J/70 experience, the J/88 will be much better for family outings!!  The inboard engine is a “game changer”, as is the “head” (with privacy curtain). You can go below and sit or sleep comfortably. Who cares on a “race boat”? I do. My wife and daughter go sailing to be with my son (a dedicated racer) and I, not to be in “race mode”; we want them happy!  Yet, after 21 years, my wife is shrewd enough to know that if the boys are sailing fast in a fun boat, the whole day is going to be a winner.

The purchase price is a little high for this size boat, and there are many new and used boat options (including many older J/Boats) that will give more boat for the money.  But, my experience has been that it’s the “round trip costs” that really count in the end, and resale on J/Boats is always strong precisely because they do keep making incremental and meaningful improvements in their designs that keeps driving greater demand.  I wish I could buy one of their bigger boats in some ways, but our plan has been “buy the one we can afford and just go sailing”.  Lot’s of fun so far!!”  Here’s Scott’s PDF download version of the story.   For more J/88 family speedster sailing information

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


J/80 AnyWayAnyDay Cup winner (Limassol, Cyprus)- For the first time, the AnyWayAnyDay Cup was held in Cyprus on 10 newly built J/80 yachts from 30th October to 4th of November.  With the support of the Russian Sailing Federation, the Cup attracted many famous Russian yachtsmen such as Igor Lisovenko (a two-time Russian Olympian), Vladimir Silkin (President of the Russian Yachting Federation) and Russian Olympic Gold Medallist at the Sydney Olympic Games- Evgeniy Braslavec.

The format for the regatta was mixed teams, in which professional yachtsmen shared their experiences with novices. The goal of the event was to show that every person can start sailing despite of their age and abilities!

J/80 Russian sailing team- off CyprusThe event was blessed with good weather conditions for most of the four-day regatta.  Strong and steady winds up to 20 knots provided a really exciting start of races on the first day. It was a sunny and warm afternoon that made possible the celebration of the opening ceremony outside on the roof of the restaurant at the newly built Limassol Marina.   There was lots of sun and shifty 15 kts winds on the second day, making for a challenging day of racing for most teams.

During the third regatta day, races were cancelled due to lack of the wind (1-2 knots) and a rainy morning.  As a result, all yachtsmen went for a trip to see sights around the island – the birthplace of the famous Greek goddess Aphrodite and the beautiful, picturesque mountains of Cyprus!

For the final day of the regatta, everyone was treated to magnificent weather! Lots of sunshine, moderate winds up to 9 knots made the final races both memorable and remarkable for some teams!

After all the festivities and fun-and-games, the racing was incredibly close for the top four in the regatta between JAVASCRIPT, JOKER, JIBBER and JAMESON. Only six points separated the teams after nine races and, in fact, going into the last race only first place was secure, but the balance of the podium hung in the balance.  In the end, it was the Olympic champion Evgenii Braslavec (skipper) on JAVASCRIPT that took the lead on the first day and won the first Anywayanyday Cup J/80 in Cyprus! Congratulations to Evgenii and crew of Timohov Sergey, Bolotnikov Vladimir, Petuhov Alexei, Myasnikov Sergey!

J/80 Russian women's team sailing off CyprusNot to be outdone, giving Braslavec a run-for-the-money on JOKER was the 2nd place team of Vladimir Silkin (skipper) - the President of the Russian Yachting Federation! Our congrats to “Vlad” and his team of Besputin Konstantin, Zaharov Petr, Sergeev Anton, Silkin Kirill!

Literally, just meters away from the 2nd place at the finish line and, having to settle for 3rd place, was the JIBBER team of Kirill Podolsky (skipper)! Congrats to Kirill and crew of Zelensky Vladimir, Lisovenko Igor (a two-time Olympic sailor), and Bozhko Alexandr!

The balance of the top five were in 4th place JAMESON (Alexander Generalov-skipper- with Sergey Shvecov, Nikolay Kovalenko) and in 5th place JAMES BOND (Anatolii Karachensky-skipper with Alexey Krilov, Vitalii Zubkov and Maxim Kuzmin).

There was a women team from the famous Russian newspaper “Vedomosti” - Elena Nikitina, Arina Chindina, Olga Oreshnikova, Anna Semenyk (seen here) with one “token” male aboard- Maxim Duunov.

The Closing Ceremony took place in the “Yacht Club” Restaurant in Limassol Marina where the Mayor of Limassol, Andreas Christou, came to congratulate the sailors of the J/80 Anywayanyday Cup Regatta.

“Cyprus is a perfect place for sailing– it is warm, most of the time steady winds, sunny, tasty and with great hospitality!  Also, I enjoyed sailing the chartered J/80 yachts– all new, all the same, under new sails,” says Anton Sergeev – a sailor on the JOKER Team that took 2nd place!

Michael Nicholas, the director of SailFirst Sailing Club and the host club of the event in Cyprus, said “A big thank you for all organizers of the regatta and sailors. We are proud to be a host club and partner for the J/80 Anywayanyday Cup Regatta”! Nicholas also thanked other partners, such as “Communications sponsors” LENTA.RU; Russian newspaper “VEDOMOSTI”; the “Educational sponsor” MOSCOW BUSINESS SCHOOL; and the main sponsor– AnyWayAnyDay Corporation.

For more J/80 AnyWayAnyDay Cup sailing information, please contact Anastasia Marinskaya- Tel- +(357) 96392768/ email-