Photos: Steve Bell/

Apthorps claims J/109 Nationals

Lively three days of racing in Weymouth Bay

Friday June 3rd 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy hosted twenty five J/109 race boats over 27-29 May for the Tacktick J/109 UK National Championship 2011.

Dorset did not disappoint the seasoned sailors. Big Bay conditions dominated the long weekend’s racing with only the strongest of crew regularly securing top 10 finishes.

J-Dream owned by the team of David and Kirsty Apthorp now have a whole year reigning as Tacktick J/109 National Champions when they finished five points ahead of Velvet Elvis after seven races.

Helm of J-Dream, David Apthorp, said: "We are exhausted but absolutely delighted to have achieved this for the second time. The entire fleet has enjoyed close and competitive racing and the hospitality of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has been second to none."

Entries were from some of the highest profile national yacht clubs; The Royal Yacht Squadron, Royal Thames, Royal Southern, Royal Channel Islands and the Royal Ocean Racing Club, all having member representatives within the overall top 20 positions.

With the majority of racing taking place in the upper wind bracket conditions were challenging on Weymouth Bay. The final day of racing produced a notable downhill dual between Velvet Elvis and J-Dream with a luffing match in 28+ knot winds, which forced some teams to keep the spinnaker safely stowed below decks for a more stable last downhill sprint.

Jeremy Robinson from North Sails, who finished fourth overall aboard Matt Boyle’s Shiva commented: "Racing from the WPNSA meant that we raced in some quality big boat conditions which created some tight one design fleet racing. It is great to see the J/109 Class flourishing in the UK and consistently attracting a strong race fleet."

The J/109 UK Class Association would like to extend their thanks to the event sponsor ‘Tacktick Wireless powered by Suunto’ as well as ‘Sebago’ for supplying their Wave Extreme shoes ‘aggressive athletic marine footwear’ during the prize giving.

J/109 UK Class Captain, Adam Wright noted a very successful 2011 event: "We would like to thank our sponsors for their support and generosity and also the WPNSA staff as well as volunteers who ensured that the J/109 fleet had one of their best regattas ever."

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