2021 Newport to Cabo Race Report

Well well well, after a couple mild Cabo Races, it seems the 2021 event was ready for a change, maybe a bit pent up after 2020? From the outset, the forecast called for pretty solid wind.  The start had all the ORR fleets on one line together, so it was an interesting exercise with boats ranging from 40 to 100 feet in length jockeying for position!  Our J/World team got a clean start near the boat end of the line, then headed south on a close-hauled course, trying to work away from the coast and out towards the breeze at sea.  By mid to late afternoon, we had gotten to the wind which veered as we got seaward, and we were able to shift to the jib top, a powerful reaching sail.

Just after dark, the breeze started to shift around behind us. We didn’t want to push things with our new crew, so we took it a bit easy and waited until around midnight when the wind had lifted us even further and we could comfortably hoist the 4S spinnaker. And we were off. It was a dark night with a fair amount of cloud cover hiding the stars, and the seas were pretty disorganized, so overall it was definitely challenging conditions.

The breeze was stronger than forecast and seas were both large and disorganized, so it made for some wild rides. I believe of final speed record was around 19 knots, while surfing down one of those beautiful Pacific swells! But after all the stresses and strains of driving our boat and team southward, the breeze finally got the better of our trusty 4S that afternoon and the sail finally ripped. Blew the head right off, and tore down the edges. So scrambled, cleaned up the mess, then we set an even heavier 5S. That should do it, we thought, and continued the push south.

Spinnakers are numbered from 1 to 5. The smaller numbers denote larger sails built for lighter winds (and hence of lighter material).  Aboard Cazan, we had a 1, two 2s, a 3, a 4, and a 5. It’s pretty tough to blow up a 5. I mean, the sails are built to handle winds into the low to mid 30s.  So we were pretty surprised when our 5S popped after only a couple of hours in mid 20’s conditions.  And just like that, our race changed. With the realization that we were out of heavy air spinnakers, and had only three light and one medium sail left, we decided to throttle back for the evening so we all could get some rest and to fight (sail) another day. Hah, even with a jib up in 25 knots of breeze we were scooting along at steady 12, occasionally 16 knots! And the more forgiving sail plan let everyone focus on improving driving skills, without the scepter of blowing up a spinnaker looming over your head should you lose concentration and broach, so I think it was time well spent.

Monday morning we set the 3A spinnaker on the pole, and were off surfing again. We had a glorious day, sunny skies, blue water, and fun sailing. We knew we were pushing the limits of the poor 3A spinnaker, and alas, it’s number finally came up, and with a pop, our trusty sails was gone.  RIP to say the least. So unfortunately that changed our game plan. We had three light air spinnakers (1A and two 2S) but could only use them in the lighter patches. Luckily  Tuesday morning gave us a couple of opportunities for some light air spin sailing, but by afternoon the breeze had built again and we were resigned to finishing the race with a jib.

It’s now about 2am and we are 40 miles from the finish, broad reaching in towards the cape with (another!) pod of dolphins in accompaniment.  We set off as one of the smallest and slowest boats in a highly competitive fleet, so we expected most of the bigger boats to be well in front of us.  We had hoped to at least be close enough behind to gain some boats on corrected time, but unfortunately given the gear issues, that’s not going to be the case. But as we begin to smell land and start to think of a warm shower and a Margarita, I have to say that I am pretty proud of the team. We faced more than typical challenges over the past 800 miles, and each and every one of the crew rose to the occasion and did a fantastic job. It’s been quite the ride, one for the record books, in fact: Pyewacket set a course record of 1 day 20 hours…  that’s just insanely fast!

I have a theory that part of what make ocean racing so rewarding is the simple challenge of the exercise. A truly gratifying race should put you through a physical and emotional roller-coaster. You should be alternatingly overwhelmed then bored, exhausted then refreshed, depressed then elated. A truly great offshore race offers up all of this, and, given that criteria, the 2021 Newport to Cabo Race definitely did not disappoint.

I’d like to thank our great coaches David, Collin, and Randall for an excellent job, providing insights, sharing their knowledge, and keeping it all fun and safe. And a special thanks to our crew. I’m pretty impressed at how well everyone came together, worked hard, and all the while maintained great attitudes. Well done, and I hope I get to sail with you all again.


Ok, I’d better sign off now. A quick nap, then time to prepare for our arrival. Huevos Rancheros and a morning Margarita? Why not, I think we’ve earned it!

All the best,

Wayne Zittel and J/World’s Team Cazan

Cruising Gallery!

With more people than ever looking to escape the complications of modern life by heading out to sea, our cruising courses in California and Mexico have never been more popular.  Instructor Paul put together a gallery of some of his adventures with students, most of them in Mexico, but I spotted some California shots in there.  There are a lot of pictures.  “Said Paul: “I got a bit carried away!” That’s ok, we understand.  We enjoyed his shots and thought you might too.

Ready for an adventure of your own?














































Good Times…. SD to PV Race 2020

Ok, I have to say we’ve been pretty bad about posting updates.  But sitting here locked down found me actually starting to organize the photo folders on my computer (yes, it’s come to that!) and I realized that a report on our SD-PV race is long overdue.

The 2020 race was a largely light air event so maybe I was trying to block out some of the massive parking lots we found ourselves in (my therapist says I’m making great progress).  Or maybe since we rolled into the MEXORC regatta literally hours after finishing, I never had the time to mentally digest everything. And we were at sea from March 6 to March 13.  The world was a pretty different place when we made landfall.  Looking at these pictures now makes it feel like a loooong time ago.

Regardless of the reasons, here we go, a photo report from the 2020 San Diego to Puerto Vallarta race aboard J/World’s Cazan with coaches Wayne, Randall, and David, and crew Eric, Douglas, Bjorn, Mike, Lindsey and Bill.  Spoiler:  we got third in class!


The team gathers in San Diego for team briefings, boat orientation, and initial coaching.


Cazan and the gang in prep mode: packing bags and bags and bags of sails!


San Diego Yacht Club send off party.  Looking good in crew gear.  Watch out for the Tequila sampling table!


Finally headed south!  The race start up in San Diego Bay, with a tight reach/beat out past Point Loma.  We’ll be in Mexico and passing the Coronado Islands pretty soon….


Perfect sailing conditions for a clean exit from California! The race is ON!


The 2020 race was a light one.  A bit too much light air reaching, and a couple of really big parking lots.  But even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good!


Hmmm…..  I’m going to have to talk to coach Randall about this.  I’m not sure why he’s letting people smile.  It almost looks like we were having fun.


A lot of water, out there.  Light air reaching with the A1.  Lindsey showing us how it’s done.  Mike polishing the glasses to get a clearer perspective on things. Randall ignoring me,Bill probably wondering if he could get away with shoving me off the stern.


Ok, either Bill got dressed in the dark, or he’s just sleep deprived. Or both.


Blue sky and cool colors, and happy sailors.  I dig it.


Nav station chaos.  Yeah, the wind instrument is reading 4.2 knots.  Sigh.


Still heading South!


The one nice thing about a light air race:  it’s amazingly civilized down below!


One thousand miles of racing, and here we are, in an early morning struggle to the finish in a drifter, battling it out with another boat.  Good stuff!


Puerto Vallarta!!


Into Marina Vallarta.  This is a welcome sight.


Um, yeah, the big boys were already there.


Happy arrival!  Man, that first cold beer tastes nice…


The mighty Cazan.  So about 30 minutes after this picture was taken, we headed over to our assigned slip and met our MEXORC crew.  An hour later, we were out practicing for the regatta which was starting the next day with a slightly sleep deprived team of coaches!


Team Cazan at the awards ceremony with our hardware for third place.  Well done, team! It was an extremely challenging event given the light and variable conditions which dominated the sailing, but everyone did a fantastic job.  And I can tell you that I had a blast and it was a real pleasure to sail with each and every one of you.  Hasta Pronto!


2019 Transpac – Ready to go!

Out boats and teams are in Long Beach making final preparations for the 2019 Transpac to Hawaii! Man, this is going to be fun.  It is the 50th running of this iconic race, and there are over 90 boats setting off to the tropics in the coming days.  J/World is contributing 27 sailors on three boats, and we are chomping at the bit to get sailing! Check out the YB Tracker for latest positions, and we’ll try to get some blog posts here while racing!


Cazan and Hula Girl in prep mode


Hula Girl, Westerly just behind her, and Cazan at the far dock with the blue J/World battle flag…. Team J/World!


Team Westerly ready to rumble

2019 Transpac Opportunity!

We have just had a couple of cancellations in the 2019 Transpac aboard our J/World boats.  All three of our entries have been sold out for well over a year, so this is a rare opportunity to join the 50th running of this iconic race.  Our teams a re comprised of six sailors each supported by three coaches per boat.  Everyone is a fully engaged, active member of the team.  Every one of our boats is a blast to sail:  DK46, turboed Santa Cruz 50, and a Santa Cruz 52.  J/World has run programs in the past twelve races from CA to HI and has a proven record, including podium finishes in more than half of the events.

Don’t miss out on the adventure of a lifetime.  Visit here for more info and contact us for a team brief and additional information.












J/105 Racing Week!

Cruising Mexico – A Photo Report

Happy Holidays and Thank You from J/World!

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


2018 Newport to Bermuda Race Report

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

Palm trees, flip-flop, whales and sea-turtles: Winter Sailing!

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!