J109 – Garmin Hamble Winter Series – Autumn Championship

J109 – Garmin Hamble Winter Series – Autumn Championship

Wednesday October 26 2011 Author: British Keelboat Academy Location: United Kingdom

Yeoman of Wight with her owner David Aisher (who has kindly lent the boat to the BKA). Lizzy Foreman and Leo Schofield reflect on their weekend of sailing: 

Leo - Overall I thought that the weekend was a resounding success; it would be foolish to say that it went completely 100% without a glitch but I feel we made a good impression on David Aisher and most importantly did ourselves and the BKA proud.  

Our finishing positions were certainly respectable given that it was the first time that we had sailed the boat as a team and for some of us, myself included, the first time that we had ever sailed a J109. The best position was a very credible 2nd place and we were consistently in the top 4 or 5 boats showing our potential as a crew. I think that 5th place in the longer race on Sunday was the best achievement, namely because it was much windier, there were more boats to race against and there was a BKA member on the helm not David. Full credit to Stevie he did a great job as did the rest of the crew in a tough but very enjoyable race.  

Many thanks must go to David for coming onboard with us, letting us use the boat and bringing two friends to come sailing with us, I learnt a huge amount from both of them and having the RIB was a real bonus enabling us to compare sail settings with the other boats and for all our own manoeuvres to be analysed and lessons learnt from seeing these replays; what might feel like a flat boat when your hiking on the rail can often be well heeled over when seen from behind and feedback from points of view like these are massively beneficial. 

All in all a positive weekend and I’m really looking forward to campaigning the J109 next year for a hopefully successful Commodore’s Cup regatta and a great experience along the way.


Lizzy - First weekend on the J/109 went well, with the new Development squad members fitting in well with those of us who had sailed J80s together last year; after reporting that they were feeling a bit nervous about the first sailing weekend with the Academy!  

With everybody arriving on time to help prep the boat on the Friday evening (good effort from Chris who flew down from Scotland), we met David Aisher, the boat owner, and Stu, who runs the boat, on the Saturday morning. David was great and very keen to get everyone involved. We had a few too many of us to all be sailing at once, so we got to take the RIB out for a blast to swap people over between races. Having the RIB gave those in it a good view of our tactical decisions.... and requiring them to be good at catching flying sandwiches!  

We had four intense races on Saturday, starting at 10.30 and finishing by 2.15; so a quick turn-over! We came 2nd, 4th, 5th, and then a rather misplaced 11th....so were pleased with the day's sailing, having achieved our aim of finishing within the top 5.  

Sunday started off breezier as expected; we were prepared having put on the offshore main and swapped for the smaller kites. Due to the building breeze there was only one, long, round the cans race, in which we finished 5th. On Sunday we sailed with Bill from Batfish IV, while David kindly took out the RIB to get some great video footage with Paul, our bowman. Paul is clearly good at multi-tasking, seemingly driving the RIB, filming, and madly tweeting (#yeoman109) all at the same time..... 

Post-sailing on Sunday Alex and I spent some time thinking about the crew's performance over the weekend, taking notes and keeping a sailing log. We thought about what needs to happen next to take the campaign forward (mainly finalising sailing dates and getting a sponsorship proposal together!), and were pleased that everyone had such a great weekend, ready for the season ahead. 

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