Monday, December 17, 2007

J/80 Across the Atlantic

“The rough wind had brought up some nice waves rolling in from astern and with storm jib and main our J/80 was constantly planing with top speed above 15 knots. The full moon gave full control over the big waves and I could freely choose which waves to surf down. I thought that this night’s sailing alone was worth all the effort and hard work preparing for this trip when I suddenly see something dark by the side of the boat. It takes a few seconds before I realize that the boat is surrounded by dolphins. Sometimes three to four dolphins jump just in front of the bow, sometimes side by side with the boat. I am actually playing in the waves with the J/80 together with the dolphins. Amazing! I woke Andreas down below (who hadn't been able to sleep anyway in the racketing noise) he looked up and realized where the whistling and clicking noises he had heard actually came from.”

Two good friends and fellow sailors Jens Utbult and Andreas Granberg from Sweden have taken on the challenge to sail to the West Indies from Portugal aboard their J/80 and are just now nearing completion of the crossing/odyssey. Why, you might ask? “The idea of sailing to the West Indies was born during a warm summer night on our way to Fårö. A J/80, is an eight meter long racing boat with the same conveniences as a two-man-tent and is so fast that it even leaves some 40-feet boats behind. J/80s have been sailed in races like Gotland Runt and other ocean races many times but still, no one has crossed the Atlantic Ocean in one. We will change that during 2007.” Follow their adventure here.