Sproul tucks two more bullets away in his kilt
Having experienced ‘on the ragged edge’ conditions for the first day of racing at the Tacktick J/80 UK National Championship 2011 in Association with Baltic Wharf yesterday, there was a collective and audible sigh of relief on the pontoons at Darthaven Marina this morning as the fleet gathered to go racing today: A more moderate (but oh, so shifty) southwesterly breeze of 12 to 14 knots greeted the fleet in Start Bay, and three more races were sailed under the very bluest of skies, in bright sunshine and flat water.
Kevin Sproul’s J.A.T still tops the leaderboard after two days racing on 8 points, and Sproul tucked two more race wins under his kilt today. Rob Larke had another strong set of results in J2X and, just as he did yesterday, won the final race of the day. In third place is the consistently fast RAFBF Team Spitfire, sailed by Andy Rodwell, Tony Hanlon and crew.
Alan Higgs and team in Juicy had a trying day yesterday, but today found some good form and some notably better results. Higgs, from the Solent explained: "Since the start of the year we have been experimenting with different rig settings and sails. We have a new jib for this event and struggled to get it to drive yesterday. Today our hard work seems to have paid off, the crew and I have settled in to the boat now and I’m delighted with our results (6,4,3) today. I’ve not sailed in Dartmouth for many years but it’s a great venue and I’m delighted to be back."
Higgs is not the only visitor from outside of Devon who is enjoying himself in Dartmouth. Two teams from Cardiff have made the trip to the port, Steve Cooper’s Junior High and Scot Cole’s Purple Haze. While Purple Haze is currently higher up the score sheet than Junior High, in seventh place overall, Steve Cooper was quick to point out that he is here as much for the venue as for the racing. He said: "I am treating this National Championship as a family holiday. My daughter Jo is crewing for me along with my son Andrew and our good friend Ros Farr is also on board. We’re loving the racing though, and Scott Cole and I have decided that we like Dartmouth so much that we are considering making it part of Wales!"
However there are a number of Devon-based crews here too, including Henry Bomby’s crew who are sailing for one of the regatta sponsors in Team Baltic. Bomby put in another strong performance today and lying fifth overall. A number of J/80s sailed to Dartmouth for the championship from Exmouth where there is now a budding J/80 fleet. Andrew McAusland’s Jammy Dodger is currently the top boat from Exmouth, but Frank Rowsell, who had a disappointing day yesterday due to gear failure, is now fully back on form and made his presence felt on the race-track today. Rowsell and his crew sailing Captain Jack kicked things off with a third place in the first race today.
The PRO Mike Pearson, is also from Devon and he seems to be having as much fun as the competitors: "I thoroughly enjoy working with the J/80 Class," he said. "There is some extremely impressive sailing going on here and everyone, whether they are racing in the Class or working on the Race Management side of things shares the same goal: to be at the top of our game ahead of the 2012 J/80 World Championship which will be held here next June".
The two final races of the Tactick J/80 UK National Championship 2011 in Association with Baltic Wharf are scheduled for tomorrow morning and so by lunchtime the J/80 Class will have a new UK National Champion.
|4||Jumping Jenga||Stewart Hawthorn||5||2||2||(12)||8||7||24|
|5||Team Baltic||Henry Bomby||4||7||3||7||(9)||5||26|
|7||Purple Haze||Roger Dunstan||3||6||12||10||3||(14)||34|
|9||Elle S Appelle||Thor Askeland||11||10||(27/DNS)||5||12||11||49|
|10||La Bete||J Powell||10||13||7||9||(15)||12||51|
|11||Jammy Dodger||Andrew Mcausland||12||16||(27/DNS)||15||6||6||55|
|13||Just Do It||Terry Palmer||9||11||14||(19)||14||9||57|
|14||Surf and Turf||Geoffrey Pane||13||14||4||13||(24)||15||59|
|18||Captain Jack||Frank Rowsell||(27/DNS)||27/DNS||27/DNS||3||13||10||80|
|19||Harley Quin||Nigel Skudder||16||17||15||(21)||20||18||86|
|20||Junior High||Steve Cooper||17||18||17||(23)||17||20||89|
|21||Jasmine||George Neville Jones||20||22||19||17||(23)||13||91|
|24||Exe J||Richard Soper||21||23||18||24||(26)||26||112|
|25||Just So||Nigel Banford||(27/DNS)||24||27/DNF||22||21||24||118|
|26||Wave Warrior||Rob Stone-Ward||22||25||(27/DNF)||26||25||23||121|