J-Class Worlds

We’ve had a very good year watching remarkable yachts race (Antigua Classic week, America’s Cup and J-Class regatta in Bermuda, Marblehead – Halifax Race…) and when the J-Class Worlds were hosted by the New York Yacht Club in Newport, RI, we knew we had to be there.

The winds were light and the races very close. We listened to the commentators on channel 85 and were impressed by how close these very large sailboats got together at the start. In the end, Lionheart (from Holland) won the World Championship with Hanuman (Newport-based with local, Ken Read, at the helm) in second place and Ranger in third.
The other boats on the line were Topaz, Svea and Velsheda. A good summary after the final day be found here.

Equally impressive was the fleet of spectator boats surrounding the event and the helicopters in the air.

Thanks to Dan and Bob for making it down to Newport for this event.


First YouTube videos about this event:

A few more photos can be found here.

The Majestic J-Class boats and a peculiar smell

Today half the crew went ashore early to get some actual work done. The remaining grew became concerned with a smell in the aft cabin. Was it hydrogen sulfide, plain old hydrogen, or hygiene. We were concerned that the batteries was giving off some gases that could mean we have faulty batteries. There was also a smell from the bilde pump out – were the two associated or just coincidence? A call to Don and Wally (McMackin Engineering’s finest) and the Balmar company put on the right track. After some testing and calibration we were satisfied we corrected any issues. Our new scent was more on
the lines of mountain fresh!
We left the comfortable confines of Grotto Bay and sailed out to catch the majestic J Boat races. The classics raced outside the harbor, but inside the reef. The classics are every bit as beautiful as when the robber barons and captains of industry raced them in the 1930s. This is thought to be the first time that 7 J class boats raced together. We sailed along the course and were able to see them round a mark and set their colorful spinnackers for the down wind leg. After the race we sailed for St. Georges Harbor where will make final preparations for the sail north to Nahant. Coral heads and shallows made for an interesting beat up the narrow channel.
We settled in for a few cold drinks and a swim then headed into town for a last great meal on terra firma. The wait for a table was long but was well worth the wait as we indulged in Wahoo and black grouper. We discuss our plans for the following morning with separate teams collecting the genoa at the sail repair shop, final groceries, and checking out at the customs office. The weather window looks promising and the crew is eager to cast off tomorrow.


Today was a slow and relaxing day.

We stayed in Cascais, got some work done, did laundry, scoped out the supermercado (they do deliver – which is important for our planned shopping spree on Thursday before we leave to Madeira), picked up the not repaired gennaker (and took measurement to potentially find a used replacement online), watched the very impressive J-Class Endeavour tie up in the marina – always quite a sight when the mast length of the tallest mast in the harbor doubles…

We also made a first connection with the Clube Naval de Cascais where Ulf and Philip are planning to work from for the next couple of days (and change burgees with) (they are the first yacht club that has optimists made out of aluminum we came across).

We had spent about 30min debating various ways to get Tioga out of her slip against the gusty northerly and were positively surprised  that the wind had not only calmed down significantly but also turned 180 degrees – making for a very smooth departure – lots of noise about nothing and quite a relief for us (and better than the other way around).
We then left the marina and anchored just outside of it – to learn that we had to move due to the local fireworks.
Moving half a mile further down the coast positioned us well to watch the show and enjoy Ulf’s first pulpo dinner – and what it dinner it was, we want more, a lot more…

Maybe the day wasn’t as slow as it seemed…

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