J/olly big breeze

25 knot gusts for the impressive fifty eight boat J-Cup fleet in the Solent

Saturday August 19th 2006, Author: Becci Eplett, Location: United Kingdom
Three races were scheduled for day two of the J-Cup 2006, incorporating the J/109 UK National Championship. Competitors were compensated for the early rain by stronger breeze than yesterday; a south to south westerly which increased throughout the day from 12 to 22, gusting 25 at times. PRO Peter Bateson and his team from the Royal Southern Yacht Club made the best of the conditions for the 58 J-Boats at the event.

In the National Championship fleet of 26 J/109s things got extremely exciting with a change in the overall leader of the event from Day One.

Race 3 of the J-Cup was started in 12 knots of breeze and It was Peter Bresnan’s Newton’s Wonder which lead from the off to be first at the top mark. Next round was Matt Boyle’s Shiva, followed by Ben Richards and Michael Ewart-Smith’s Zelda. Newton’s Wonder, out in front of the fleet held the lead established here until the finish. Shiva finished second.

By Race 4 the fleet were enjoying 15 to 20 knots and superb windward- leeward courses in the central Solent. First at the top of the course was Chaz Ivill’s Johnny Blue II, followed by Shiva and Zelda. Working the second beat intelligently, Zelda worked her way through to first place held her lead until the finish, from Johnny Blue II in second.

Almost all the J/109s changed down to #3 jibs for Race 5 with steady breeze of 20 to 22 knots and some really fruity gusts. A general recall and a black flag start helped to focus minds. A shift just moments before the start gun meant that the pin was the favoured end of the line and the clever money spotted it. Zelda worked her magic once more to win from Johnny Blue II. Jason Eker’s Jumping Jellyfish scored her best result of the regatta with a hard earned 6th place.

Elsewhere on the race track the J Boats in the four other classes screamed round the Solent racing marks, also completing three races.

In Class 1 the J/133 Jump of Stewart Hawthorne and another J/133, Graham Hall’s Quicksilver VI whooped it up with 1, 2, 1 scoreline for Jump and 2, 1, 2 score for Quicksilver. And only a point separates the two J/120s, J’Ouvert and Jinja.

If you were racing a J/105 in Class 2 today, irrespective of where you ultimately finished on the racetrack, you were wearing a huge grin simply because the conditions were prime to get these 34 footers fully arked up. However, the biggest smiles of all today in this fleet were those of David and Kirsty Apthorp in J-Dream who have extended their lead to 5 points over Shaun Murphy’s Slingshot. Colin Wall sailing True Love found his form and won the first two races of the day.

In Class 3, once again the boys and girls on Pete and Pip Tyler’s Neilson Redeye achieved a 2, 1, 1 which means they lead Just in Time, the J/92 S of Andrew Robert’s and Steve Etheridge by three points. With two races to go tomorrow it’s anyone’s guess which will come out on top.

In the J/80s Kevin Sproul dominated in Jane, with three bullets. An unlucky navigational error in the Race 4 cost Liz Savage and the Savage Sailing Team dearly although they were still able to work their way up to third place in time for the line. Robert Napier and Helen Foster took second place in this race in Jura, fully on the pace and handling the boat beautifully on the blasting downwind legs. Cornish duo Robert and Jonathan Fox were third in Race 5, a return to the form that we have come to expect from Jevan.

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