Wow, what a year it was! Thanks so much to all our supporters for a fantastic 2018. We raced to Puerto Vallarta, Bermuda, Hawaii, and along the California Coast. We cruised to Baja, Cabo, Hawaii, the Channel Islands, and Newport RI. We rounded innumerable buoys, dropped thousands of feet of anchor rode (and had to pull it all back up!), all while introducing hundreds of sailors to the sport we love!
Thank you all, and we hope to see you again (or for the first time) in 2019!
Wayne Zittel & the J/World Team
Well the 2018 Newport to Bermuda Race is all wrapped up! It was a challenging year, with a lot of light breeze and some periods of slow going, but we had an excellent time. Team J/World boasted a full team of our alumni from other offshore events and was backed up by coaches Paul, Patrick, and Wayne.
The mighty Westerly, a sweet Santa Cruz 52, provided a comfortable and fast platform. While we were one of the leading pack into Bermuda and thought we were doing pretty well (tracker had us in second), the late filling breeze brought up the competition from behind and a number of boats corrected out in front of us.
But it didn’t dampen our spirits at all. We were in Bermuda after an excellent sail with fabulous crew.
Here’s our gallery:
Thanks tons to Dave, Derek, Jimmy, Chris, Tom, an Jimmy…. and a big ‘atta boy to Paul and Patrick for a fantastic event!
Wayne Zittel and the J/World Team
So this is winter down at our Puerto Vallarta J/World facility. Our fleet is all dialed in, and we have a whole range of courses and activities on tap. Not sure what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but it really doesn’t get any better than this.
Palm trees, flip-flop, whales and sea-turtles. We love winter. And we aren’t bragging. We are inviting. Come join us for a sail!
So we got this report from Paul yesterday, filed from the finish of the cruiser’s rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas that marks the start of the southern cruising season. And he sent a bunch of photos with the direction to post what we wanted. I have to say we dug them all, so they are ALL published. When it’s this cool, who can pick and choose?
Our season starts NOW in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, with sailing, racing, and cruising courses offered all winter long. And in April and May we’ll be offering TWO cruises from Puerto Vallarta to Cabo San Lucas. Fire us a note for more details. And soak in the images below to get a feel for what could be in store for you….
Thanks for a great passage Paul!
Hola from Cabo Falso! We are dropping the hook soon and things will get busy, so I wanted to let you know everything is great aboard. To go with this, I will send some photos when I get a margarita, I mean, WiFi…
– Capt Paul
2017 Baja Ha Ha Wrap Up
Vanishing Girl sailed across the finish line of the 24th Annual Baja Ha-Ha at 10am on Thursday.
The deal is that this year was rather light, wind-wise. But at least half the course was sailed… under three different spinnakers and a harvest moon!
Highlights include sailing among the 130-boat fleet into three very different Mexican bays; Tortuga, Santa Maria, and the quiet puebla of Cabo San Lucas, jaja! In addition to the sailing there was playing baseball with the local kids, SUP surfing, cooking good meals, reading, sleeping, and generally disconnecting from the hustle for 10 days.
Vanishing Girl will be back out voyaging on Sunday. This next leg takes us across the Sea of Cortez, and down the Mexican mainland coast for a visit with the Blue Footed Boobies of Isla Isabella. By Thanksgiving, you can find us for a sail – a day, a week, or more – in Beautiful Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta.
Ok, we are excited to be announcing that J/World will be entering the 2018 Newport to Bermuda Race. The Newport to Bermuda Race is one of the world’s most renown offshore events, and as such draws premier boats and sailors from every corner of the globe.
As if just racing in the N2B wasn’t exciting enough, how about this: we’ll be doing it on a super sweet Santa Cruz 52, Westerly. Yeah, I thought that might get your attention. So we are really looking forward to the race. Our clients have been clamoring for this one for a while, so understandably, this event sold out before we even announced it formally! So that’s the bad news.
Sistership Prevail Looking Great
The good news? Well, there’s a couple of things. First, we still have an opportunity for you to join us in the 2018 San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race. And the other good news is that following the Bermuda Race (and some other East Coast adventures), Westerly will be trekking to the West Coast and we’ll have her entered in the 2019 Transpac! Yep, including Hula Girl and Cazan, that makes three J/World entries in the race to Hawaii. So while the 2018 Pacific Cup is sold out, we still have spaces available for the 2019 race to Hawaii. But I wouldn’t wait too long…
So below is the calendar as it is taking shape for our big boat racing events (keep in mind, this doesn’t include our full suite of cruising adventures and buoy racing offerings):
All the best,
The J/World Team
Ok, the spray has settled after the 2017 Transpac and wow, what an absolute blast! I have to say that our fleet comprised of 10 Santa Cruz 50s and 52s was probably one of the most competitive fleets I have race in an offshore event…. ever! The boats were all highly competitive and stacked with top tier sailors. So it makes me especially proud that our mixed team of clients and coaches was able to sail into third place! Oh, and we missed second by a mere four minutes. And only 46 minutes separated second from sixth place after 2225 miles. Now that is something.
The J/World Team aboard Hula Girl did a fantastic job all the way through. Many thanks to coaches Patrick and Paul, and congratulations to Andreas, Jimmy, Derek, Chris, Vern, and Dave! Thanks to Rick Shema (http://theweatherguy.com/) for the routing, thanks to Jeff and Tanja for the warm reception (your family rocks!!), thanks to Lauren (http://www.leialohacreative.com/) for the awesome photos, and thanks to all our friends and families for the support!
Ok, here are some photos from the trip:
Hello to our Friends and Families!
Ok, we are on the home-stretch of the 2017 Transpac. We are aiming straight at Molokai about 10 miles out, with Oahu just in sight. It feels good. And boy it’s been a tough couple days. Really shifty out here, with light breezes that require a lot of concentration to keep the boat moving… and moving in the right direction. We knew this was a fierce fleet from the outset. And it is panning out to be a hotly contested event.
Horizon pulled out into a comfortable lead, but second thru fifth or sixth are completely up for grabs. We dropped to fifth in the position report a couple days ago, but reclaimed third yesterday and are hot on the heels of second place! Apparently Sin Duda and Prevail were racing within sight of each other most of the day Thursday, and crossed paths less than 100 yards apart after 2000 miles of ocean racing! It’s more like a bouy race as the boats approach the finish. As I write this, Sin Duda, Previal, and Triumph are all in a tight pack just to the north of us (of course that was four hours ago since tracking information is delayed four hours for competitors), but it’s too close to call right now. This morning’s roll call has us in third still, but my calculations put us really really close to second. With the shifty conditions, our emotions oscillate with the rise and fall of our fortunes, but what has remained steady is the hard work everyone is putting in!
We are definitely in the tropics now. We had lines of squalls pass by in the early morning hours the past couple of days, giving some wild wind shifts and dramatic starts to the days. Now it’s sunny, hot, and beautiful out. Breeze is finally up a bit, around 18 knots, and the seas are very flat, but a bit confused. The nights have been stunning. A starry sky that defies description, with a late night moonrise that looked like a freight train’s spotlight coming thru the clouds. And while the days are getting hot, the nights are perfect shorts-and-t-shirts sailing conditions.
Life onboard is great… it’s a really fun bunch of people and spirits are high. Everyone has showered… and a couple have even shaved. It was our last night at sea, so dinner was Cornish game hens with a port wine reduction, a potato galette, and roasted asparagus. This was paired with a 2017 Charles Shaw Chardonay. Desert was a Neapolitan gellato. Just kidding. We had freeze dried.
So now, with the finish line more or less straight up ahead and Hula Girl in line for a happy-hour finish off Diamond Head, I want to thank all the folks who have helped pull this effort together. Coaches Patrick and Paul have been absolute rockstars. Thanks to Rick Shema for his world class weather routing info. Thanks to my parents for being shore support in Long Beach (and everywhere else). And thanks to my wonderful wife for all the support and letting me disappear every summer for weeks on end!
And finally, of course a big thank you to the whole team for making this a special experience. When we start these things, we are essentially a bunch of strangers, albeit strangers with similar mindsets and one great aspiration: to race to Hawaii. For some aboard, it is the first time. For others, they are doing it again (take it from me, it can be addicting). But as the trip progresses, we see that the strangers become collaborators, shipmates, and friends. For us coaches, it is truly a gratifying experience to both bear witness to individuals realizing the dream of the Transpac and to see a disparate group work together towards a common goal, and in so doing become something quite different: a true racing team. So to the crew this year, awesome job cranking out a fantastic showing in one of the toughest fleets in one of the world’s premier yacht races. Seriously impressive. And beyond the excellent performance, I had an absolutely fantastic time sailing with all of you.
Ok, enough of this. I’m going to go sit in the cockpit and watch the green hills of Molokai slip by, then shoot across the channel, and start looking for the lovely, familiar Diamond Head profile that marks the finish line. Then I’m thinking a Mai Tai might taste pretty good. And if it does, I might just have to have a second one…
Cheers all, and Aloha!
Wayne Zittel and the Hulagains
Oh man, we have a race on out here! We are one week into the 2017 Transpac aboard J/World’s Hula Girl, and this is fantastic sailing.
Our fleet is phenomenally tight as pass the 75% mark. Consider this: we were in fourth place a couple days ago. We got some fishing net stuck on the keel which we dragged a while before we could drop the spinnaker and ‘back down’ to get it off. That was Monday morning. Then Monday night we got an unknown something stuck on the keel and had to repeat the process. Come next standings update, we had fallen to 7th. Ouch. Newly motivated to redeem ourselves, we busted our humps and, what do you know, next roll call we were in 4th again. Then after another couple days of hard work, we were excited to see that as of roll call this morning, we had climbed into third place. But it is super close. With Horizon a bit punched out, there are about 5 boats seriously in contention for second place. This is some seriously fun stuff and close racing!
Just before sunset yesterday we jibed towards the south. It’s a bit early to make that move as usually in the Transpac you want to hold off on the turn south until you are pretty far West, almost to the layline for Hawaii. But this year there will be some general lightening across the course and all the weather models are showing a left shift in a couple days, at which point we will want to jibe back to starboard tack. It’s a bit nerve wracking to be separating from most of our fleet, but in analyzing and (re-analyzing) all the data, it really looks like the right thing to do. And as of this morning, we have a number of boats coming our way. So here goes nothing!
Yesterday we dried out some of the sails and jibs used earlier in the race, refolded them and packed them down below. We had some nice sunshine and beautiful sailing, and it looks like more of the same on tap for today. Most of the crew took showers (woo-hoo!). Last night we had chef’s select sashimi grade Ahi, lightly seared, crusted with sesame seeds and prepared with a dijon mustard laced ponzu sauce. The fish was served with garden greens tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette, and paired with a crisp dry Napa Chardonay. Just kidding. We had freeze dried.
Early this morning we had our first tropical squall. It was a pretty weak one, but brought a little bit of rain. Nice. We saw a cruise ship a couple days ago, a few birds, a good number of flying fish, and sadly more trash. Other than that, we could be led to believe that we are pretty much alone out here. But we know that there are a whole lot of boats racing, and we will probably start to bunch up in the bottleneck towards the finish, so maybe we’ll see more of our fleet in the next couple days.
Everyone is doing great…. driving has been super solid, and I have been really impressed with everyone’s level of engagement: there is no cleat-it-and-forget-it mindset here. The trimming and grinding has been top shelf and the whole team has earned my admiration! It’s about 8am local time here. “Easy D” (Derek) is driving, Jimmy ‘Peterbilt’ is trimming, Andreas grinding, and Patrick is trying to untangle the spinnaker net. Argh.
Ok, that’s it for now… more soon… stay tuned for what could be an exciting finish!
Wayne Zittel and the Hula Girl Team