Meantime, as a displaced Rhode Islander at the show, I turned another corner and got another surprise: a brand-new J/boat that has yet to see the company's home state (also R.I.). Aboard the new J/122, an IRC racer/cruiser that fits between the 109 and the 133, I found company president Jeff Johnstone, also viewing the finished product for the first time. Built at J/Boats Europe in Les Sable d'Olonnes, the 122 exhibits many attributes of its predecessors, and also several novel details. The entire transom can be opened up for racing by removing an athwartships locker that, when in place, serves as a helmsman's seat. Jeff also showed me how the stanchion bases are glassed into the hull, with the stanchions themselves screwed through the deck for a stronger, cleaner connection. The high-aspect sailplan carries a larger main and 110-percent headsail, with shroud bases secured all the way outboard. On the bow, in front of a split pulpit, there's a new Furlex roller-furling unit on which the drum reel is belowdecks in the anchor locker, allowing the jib tack to be at deck level. The model we saw had three cabins and a forward head, but a more typical American version will have two cabins and a second head, aft. While versions with different spars and other race equipment are being offered in Europe, Jeff says he expects the norm for U.S. sailors will be a carbon spar and aluminum boom. Draft options include keels just over 7 and just over 6 feet in draft.