Photos: Peter Newton

Two bullets for Sproul

Breezy opening day at the Tacktick J/80 UK National Championship

Wednesday June 8th 2011, Author: Becci Eplett, Location: United Kingdom

Racing commenced today at the Tacktick J/80 UK National Championship 2011 in association with Baltic Wharf, hosted by the Royal Dart Yacht Club.

The first three races of the championship were sailed on windward-leeward courses laid in Start Bay, just outside the beautiful port of Dartmouth. In their eagerness to let the games commence, sadly, most of the J/80 fleet missed a visit from the Mayor of Dartmouth who took time to walk the pontoons of Darthaven Marina, who are berthing the fleet and sponsoring the Class for the Nationals. However, all 26 crews enjoyed brilliant sunshine and a strong and shifty westerly breeze for the racing, which ranged between 25 and 30 knots for the greater part of the bay. A short and choppy work bench (wind with tide) only served to add to the thrills and spills on the race course.

The provisional results (still subject to protest at the time of going to press) show Kevin Sproul and the crew of J.A.T at the top of the leaderboard at the end of day one with seven points; a scoreline which includes two race wins. In second is Jumpin Jenga, skippered by Stewart Hawthorn on nine points. This is a particularly impressive scoreline considering the major blow-out of Hawthorn’s bright red kite which the Solent fleet has become used to seeing out towards the front of the fleet. Rob Larke’s J2X is third overall as we go to press - a great result for him too. Larke’s ‘fresh out of the box’ J/80 won the last race of the day and he feels that he has found his form. Larke said: "We’ve definitely got good pace, especially downwind, and the crew are settling in nicely to the new boat. Our boat handling is good in these testing conditions and we got the first beat of the last race just right too."

RABF Team Spitfire helmed by Andy ‘Rodders’ Rodwell and skippered by Tony Hanlon had a fabulous day and are currently in a very respectable fifth overall. They explained "We had a storming first race with some extremely close boat on boat racing and so we are delighted with the third place for that one. We seem to be fast upwind and we were good turning the corners today too."

Three more races are scheduled for tomorrow and the weather people are telling us that we will have a little less of the fruity stuff for these. Tonight the fleet dines at Rockfish in Dartmouth, courtesy of a very kind invitation from celebrity chef and food critic Mitch Tonks.

There is a huge buzz in this class at the moment, in part because everyone is gearing up for the 2012 J/80 World Championship which will also be held in the port in June next year. Perhaps the best summing up of the day came from Sarah Norbury, Editor of Practical Boat Owner magazine who has just joined the class with her partner Jon Powell in their new J/80 La Bete. She explained "This is our first regatta in our J/80 and conditions today have been somewhat a baptism by fire! It’s an extremely competitive fleet but extremely friendly and we are delighted to be sitting in eighth place at the end of day one. We are really looking forward to tomorrow!"


Pos Sail No Boat Helm R1 R2 R3 Tot
1 GBR 1360 J.A.T. Kevin Sproul 1 1 5 7
2 GBR 1339 Jumping Jenga Stewart Hawthorn 5 2 2 9
3 GBR 1362 J2X Rob Lake 6 4 1 11
4 GBR 573 Team Baltic Henry Bomby 4 7 3 14
5 GBR 912 Spitfire Andrew Rodwell 2 8 6 16
6 GBR 725 Purple Haze Roger Dunstan 3 6 12 21
7 GBR 1262 Oi John Cooper 7 3 16 26
8 FR 1256 La Bete J Powell 10 13 7 30
9 GBR 811 Surf and Turf Geoffrey Pane 13 14 4 31
10 GBR 801 Just Do It Terry Palmer 9 11 14 34
11 GBR 734 Juicy Alan Hibbs 19 9 8 36
12 GBR 743 Swallow Gordon Craigen 14 15 10 39
13 GBR 908 Peloton Mark Greenway 8 21 11 40
14 GBR 1338 Flipper Matthew Vincent 27/DNF 5 13 45
15 GBR 433 Excess Chris Goldsmith 27/DNF 12 9 48
16 GBR 605 Elle S Appelle Thor Askeland 11 10 27/DNS 48
17 GBR 891 Harley Quin Nigel Skudder 16 17 15 48
18 GBR 571 Junior High Steve Cooper 17 18 17 52
19 GBR 527 Jammy Dodger Andrew Mcausland 12 16 27/DNS 55
20 GBR 109 Jester Michael Lewis 18 19 20 57
21 GBR 393 Jasmine George Neville Jones 20 22 19 61
22 GBR 511 Jammin Steve Best 15 20 27/DNS 62
23 GBR 744 Exe J Richard Soper 21 23 18 62
24 GBR 534 Wave Warrior Rob Stone-Ward 22 25 27/DNF 74
25 GBR 1138 Just So Nigel Banford 27/DNS 24 27/DNF 78
26 GBR 80998 Captain Jack Frank Rowsell 27/DNS 27/DNS 27/DNS 81



Latest Comments

Add a comment - Members log in

Latest news!

Back to top
    Back to top