J/109 E-News

July 2008
In This Issue
Family Team takes North Americans
Adriatic J/Tide Rising
Sprit Fest 2008
Upcoming Events
Buzzards Bay Regatta
Hugh Mclean caught a scoring error in our report on Block Island Race Week last month.  Missing was sixth place finisher SHEARWATER, with 53 points.
The President Speaks
BBR logoRick Lyall recently answered some questions about the J/109 class as a lead-in to the upcoming Buzzards Bay Regatta

What makes sailing a J/109 exciting?   The J109 is truly a great one design class.  At major regattas like BBR there is typically a lot of talent on the water as J109 class rules allow each boat to carry one Category 3 sailor as an option. As a result, the major sailmakers are interested in the class and the competition is very tight for bragging rights.  This class offers a very attractive comprehenisve package of strong one design participation, excellent performance in both light and heavy conditions and a very comfortable cruising platform that can be managed with a small number of crew.
What are the most important skills/attributes of a J/109 sailor?   The top competitors tend to have experience with asymmetrical spinnakers and crews that work very well together.  Each member of the team is important: the helmsman needs to be able to change gears to keep the boat moving, tacticians and trimmers need to make adjustments quickly to respond to conditions and pay close attention to what the rest of the fleet is doing and the pit and bow have to work very well together to ensure clean sets and douses. The team needs to have good boat handling and tactics to be successful.
What makes BBR a great venue for J/109 racing?  BBR is known for BREEZE and that explains why the regatta attracts over 400 boats during the middle of the summer!
Family Team Takes North Americans
NYYC Weather MarkTight fleet action at the first weather mark on the stormy last day.  Below:  GUT FEELING blasts downwind as the squall hits.  Photos courtesy of Jeff Johnstone/JBoats.

Fifteen J/109's finished nine races over four days of varied conditions at NYYC's Race Week at Newport, presented by Rolex.  With two days of light air and sunshine bracketed by two days of heavy rain and squalls, the winning team led by Ted Herlihy on GUT FEELING showed confidence in all conditions.  That's easier to do when the crew has sailed together for a long time.  As bowman Mike Owens explained, "I'm the new guy on the boat, and I've been with them fifteen years."  Herlihy's two sons, a daughter-in-law, and her brother sail on the boat, so half the crew are related by blood or marriage.  

Winning the North Americans was not, however, a walkaway for the family team. "Everyone has very similar boat speed," Herlihy explained.  "So we tried hard to get good starts."  Six different boats won at least one race during the series.
During four days of racing, the overall lead seesawed in a tight battle between GUT FEELING and CAMINOS.  Going into the final day, CAMINOS was winning a tiebreaker, while GOSSIP lurked only three points back in third place. GUT FEELING's second place finish behind GOSSIP in what turned out to be the only race of the day was enough to cement the overall victory.  It was GUT FEELING's first major regatta win in the class.

Team Gut FeelingThe race committee started a second race Sunday afternoon, in spite of a looming thunderstorm.  Halfway through the six leg course, the breeze built suddenly and veered right.  With the last beat turned into a reach and wind gusts pushing toward 50 knots, the race committee pulled the plug.  Rick Lyall (STORM) said "we saw 46kts when they abandoned and were taking our sails down.  I was kind of disappointed because we were winning the race!"

The Herlihys have earned the respect of their competitors as well.  "They are really sweet people, and we love racing against them," Steve Kenny (GOSSIP) said.  His partner, Greg Ames, agreed.  "We beat them at Block Island, and now they beat us here.  We're really looking forward to the rubber match."

Next up for Herlihy:  the Buzzards Bay Regatta, in his home waters of Buzzards Bay.  And after that, he plans to go cruising on GUT FEELING.  Press reports and Video

1. GUT FEELING    Herlihy     25
2. GOSSIP    Kenny/Ames    27
3. CAMINOS    Filippelli    29
4. TASTES LIKE CHICKEN    Tedeschi    33
5. RELENTLESS    Minella    40
6. PICANTE    Salk    42
7. STORM    Lyall    52
8. RUSH    Sweetser    55
9. INSTANT KARMA    Betts     60
10. ECLIPSE    Jannetti    60
11. LADYLOVE    Feeley    71
12. 5CENT    van Reesema    84
13. SUPERSTITION    Zibailo    98
14. HEAT WAVE    Weisberg    106
15. RHIANNON III    Nicholls    119
J/109's in the Adriatic

109 TriesteJeff Johnstone forwarded this letter.  Photo at right:  LADY VIOLET enjoys sunshine and fresh breeze in the Adriatic.

I'm writing from Trieste, Italy and I'm the proud owner of the J/109 hull number 283, LADY VIOLET.  IRC racing is growing in the northern Adriatic Sea and particularly in Trieste.  During the first weekend of June we raced in the first "Campionato IRC dell'Adriatico" with 35 boats on the starting line split into two IRC divisions. We finished third in the second division and I think you will like to know that J/Boats was the best represented yard in the race with four boats in the second division, two of them J/109s.

We are working hard to develop the IRC in our area with my Yacht Club.  As you know, for too many years people in Italy raced under IMS.  But now people understand how important it is to sail with a well-built boat, easy to sail, safe and, no less important, nice to look at, so I think that this is really the right moment for J/Boats in Italy.

Anyways, thanks a lot for your wonderful boats (this is my third J after a J/92 and a J/105) and for the great moments that I can sail with my family and my friends.


Piero Santi
Trieste, Italy    

Sprit Fest 2008
spritfestFive races were held during the recent Sprit Fest for seven boats.  At left, second place CAMINOS (red kite) chases GOSSIP downwind.
1. GOSSIP 4 pts
2. CAMINOS 8 pts
4. SKOOT  17 pts
6. JOY RIDE 19 pts
7. SANIBEL 23 pts

This enewsletter was edited and produced for the J/109 Class Association by
Carol Newman Cronin of Live Wire.