Greetings J35 Racers,
As the tumultuous year of 2020 comes to an end it is time to start looking to what I certainly hope and expect to be a much better season in 2021.
Unfortunately, nearly all major sailing events (with a few notable exceptions) were cancelled or postponed in 2020 due to the Covid 19 pandemic. This included the J35 North American Championship Regatta that had been scheduled to be held in Milwaukee WI in September, the Chicago to Mackinac race (though Port Huron to Mac were able to get it done), NOOD, and most other regional regattas. Many club races continued albeit in a modified format with limited onshore activities. . My local club was able to hold an almost full season of Wed night races and we even were able to run the Lake Michigan Clipper Cup from Muskegon Michigan to Port Washington Wisconsin. Congratulations and THANK YOU! to the many yacht clubs and countless volunteers, skippers, and crew, that gave us the opportunity to continue to enjoy the sport that we love.
The South Shore Yacht Club in Milwaukee, the host of our scheduled NA regatta was hit with a double dose of trouble in 2020. In early January, a massive storm coupled with a record high water levels in Lake Michigan did significant damage to the protective seawall and marina of the club. I coincidently was with the leadership team of SSYC in Chicago as the storm was hitting and their phones lit up with calls about the destruction in progress. SSYC is rebuilding but the seawall damage is going to take time and as such we have made the difficult decision to move from postponement to a cancellation of the 2020 NA Regatta.
Given the logistics and planning involved, and the significant advance notice that is required to be given to potential competitors for a successful NA Championship regatta and given the continued uncertainties as we overcome the impact of the pandemic, we will now focus on planning for the 2022 event. We have several possible locations in discussion, and we hope to make an announcement soon as to the location of our biannual event.
As things reopen and come back to life in 2021 there will be lots of sailing and racing opportunities all over the country. The J35 continues to be an extremely popula One Design, as well as a very competitive Handicap racing boat. We have very active fleets in the Great Lakes, and East Coast, along with pockets of boat in the Pacific Northwest, Gulf States, and the West Coast. There is even one in Hawaii, and I have seen a picture of one in Alaska, as well as several in Australia. In terms of bang for the buck, the J35 offers a Grand Prix level of racing excitement that is both affordable and accessible.
It is time for you to renew your membership to (or join) the J35 Class Association. Membership and your dues are what keep the class alive and moving forward. Dues are used to maintain the website, provide seed money for NA Championship Regattas, maintain records, templates, and to promote the class (which protects the value of your boat) . Please take a moment to renew your membership. Information is available under the “join/renew” tab on the website @ www.j35.org
If you have not done so already, please visit, like, follow our Facebook page @ www.facebook.com/j35onedesign Post your race results, pictures, activities, and memories to share with the greater J35 community. We also have a discussion forum via the Sailing Anarchy website @ http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?/topic/100917-j35-anarchist/ that gives you access to other J35 owners and enthusiast all over the world.
Happy New Year to all as we look forward to a much better 2021!
J35 Class President