Friday, November 23, 2007

J/80’s 1-2 in Asian Sportboat Champs

The J/80 recently debuted in Asia at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Maersk Asian International Sportboat Championship, where two out-of-the-box J/80 yachts took the top two spots, finishing ahead of a mixed fleet of custom and production built sportboats from China, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. Jeff Johnstone of J Boats and his all-Hong Kong crew edged out colleague Jeff Brown of San Diego to complete the one-two sweep. Brown, with partner Hudson Wang, recently opened the J Boats Asia dealership with an office in downtown Hong Kong and with plans for a mainland China office in 2008.

The Asian debut comes at a time when J/80 activity is booming worldwide. The recent J/80 World Championship in La Trinite-sur-Mer, France had 124 competing teams - a record for the Class, and momentum continues to build. "The J/80 is a solid all-around performer that’s really easy to sail," Johnstone said. "It's more stable than most sportboats, and so attracts and rewards sailors from a wider age and ability range."

Brown is equally enthusiastic about the J/80's Asian debut. "We see Hong Kong, China, and Asia as great opportunities for J/80 sailing and for the J/80 Class," said Brown. "There is no better small keelboat for new sailors - the J/80 combines the speed and responsiveness of a small boat with the comfort and stability of a larger yacht. With momentum so strong around the world, we're hoping to host the J/80 Pacific Rim Championship in a few years!"

The J/80 will be on display at the Shanghai International Boat Show next April.

Friday, November 16, 2007

J/80 2007 NA Championship

Kerry Klingler sailing his J/80 Lifted with crew including Doug Lynn, Neil Bresnan & John Bowden recently won his second consecutive J/80 North American Championship and third J80 NA title overall by winning the final show-down race where a single point separated the top three boats.

Just six weeks before the J/80 NA Championships the J/80 Class organization faced a terrible problem. Lake Norman, N.C., where the regatta was scheduled to take place was drying up because of the severe drought in the southeast USA. With too little water to launch boats and race it was panic time! The class’s first call was to Kristen Robinson to ask if Eastport YC, in Annapolis, could host the regatta. The club accepted and started organizing a first class event in record time. The class embraced the move and teams from as far away as California changed plans. The end result was a true championship regatta, raced by 33 competitors who love the boat… Complete wrap-up.