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Jeff Brown
Scuttlebutt News:

J/Fest - Celebrating the J Boat Family

(September 28, 2009) Jeff Brown operates JK3 Nautical Enterprises, providing brokerage and new boat sales and service. JK3 represents J/Boats in Southern California, and Jeff's team was busy this past weekend hosting the annual J/Fest event in San Diego, CA. What is J/Fest, you say. Here is a report:

How is J/Fest unique from other events?

The name J/Fest says it all. We started this event in the 90’s, and what we wanted to do is bring all the J Boats together, primarily racing one design, but do it at an event to celebrate the J Boat family. It is definitely family oriented, and we try to make it fun both on the race course and off the race course.

We hear each year there is a theme. What is it this year?

This year’s theme is all about the crew. So Saturday night, for example, we will have all the skippers in chef’s hats and aprons, and they will help tend bar, flip the burgers, and wait the tables. Then we are going to have special crew awards, like loyalty or funny stories about crew. In fact, all the awards this weekend are going to the crews instead of the skippers. So the crews will be coming up to pick up the trophies at the end of the event.

J/Fest seems to attract strong industry support.

It is a great satisfaction to see over 40 J Boats in this economy all coming together for a weekend in San Diego. We have a J/Concierge service, and so this is an extension of the assistance we provide to our customers. We move the event around each year in Southern California between San Diego, Newport Beach, and Long Beach. The event also provides an opportunity to our J Boat vendors such as B&G, North Sails and Ullman Sails to show their appreciation for the business they receive from J sailing. At this event we have loads of great ‘schwag’ that gets handed out, with all the sponsors contributing everything from clothes to electronics to free bottom paint jobs. It has become a real tradition on Saturday night, and it is the culmination of all our partners, vendors and ourselves as J Boat dealers coming together to give back to our customers at the regatta.

How do you get the scoop on the crews?

When each boat checks in before the regatta, they received a nomination form to complete. Our esteemed jury will review the nominations, with one of the sought after awards being the opportunity to send an entire crew to a racing class at J/World. There is some fun stuff that gets highlighted during the event, but really it is a chance for the skippers to express their thanks toward the loyalty of their crew.

Are there J/Fest events elsewhere in the U.S.?

Yes, in Seattle and San Francisco on the west coast, and also on the east coast too.

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