The central Solent delivered spectacular racing conditions for the first day of the Landsail Tyres J-Cup in partnership with B&G. An easterly to south easterly breeze, oscillating 20 degrees during the day, kept the sailors racing the 67-J Boat fleet on their toes. Warm sunshine and a solid breeze of fifteen knots had the high performance J-Boats surfing at double digit boat speeds. Smart starts and getting the right side of the tide and the shifts were the key to success, as well as downwind boat speed and slick mark roundings.
Three teams remain unbeaten after the first day of racing at the Landsail Tyres J-Cup. Robin Stevenson’s J/92, Upstart was in impressive form winning all three of today’s races and Ian Nagle’s Royal Cork YC team, racing Jelly Baby tops the leader board for the Lifedge J/109 National Championship. Geoff Carveth’s Gill Racing Team is unbeaten in the high performance J/70 Class.
The inaugural J/88 National Championship got off to a highly competitive start with three different teams winning today’s races. Stewart Hawthorn’s Ji Fi won the first race by 26 seconds. Paul Ward’s Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat won the second race by just 10 seconds and David Apthorp’s J-Dream won the last race of the day by just six seconds. Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat lead the J/88 National Championship by a single point after three races.
A cracking day on the water.” smiled Paul Ward, skipper of J/88 Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat. We have been looking forward to racing with a good fleet of J/88 for some time and today was really exciting with just a few boat lengths separating the leaders the whole way around the race track. We will be working on our manoeuvres and perhaps being a little less conservative judging lay lines in the tide, but all in all, we are very happy with our performance today.”
Irish eyes are smiling after the first day of the Lifedge J/109 National Championship, with Ian Nagles team from the Royal Cork Yacht Club scoring two bullets on J/109 Jelly Baby. “We had a great start in the first race, which put us in a good shape but we had a shocking start in the second and had to fight back from a very poor position. The core of the team has been together since we started racing the J/109 in 2008 and that experience means that we have built up a lot of knowledge about how to sail fast and I have to admit our boat speed was very good today. This has been a very encouraging start and we hope to build on that tomorrow.”
In the J/70 Class, Geoff Carveth’s Gill Racing Team stamped their authority on the 19-strong fleet, winning all three of today’s races but it was far from easy for the multiple dingy racing champion. Gill Racing Team won the first race of the regatta by just four seconds from Nigel Evans’ Little Louise and the second race by a single second from Simon Cavey’s Just4Play.
We are a light crew compared to others in this regatta, so our upwind speed today wasn’t special but we made up for it downwind.” commented Geoff Carveth. “Downwind performance is all about heating it up just the right amount to keep the boat speed up but not sailing too many extra metres. Judging the optimum VMG is all about feel and getting your shoulders out of the boat at the right moment adds to the trick. We had our work cut out for us to make up for the deficit upwind and we made some good boat-on-boat decisions.”
In the J/97 National Championship sponsored by Fastnet Marine Insurance Richard Sparrow’s Only Magic leads by virtue of a winning the last race of the day. However, Andy Howe’s Blackjack II is on equal points after two races with Helen Hofmann’s Jaslan in third.
Top of the leader board for the J/111 fleet is Stuart Sawyer’s Blackdog, having scored a first and a second in today’s races. Cornel Riklin’s Jitterbug won the first race of the day and scored a third in the last, securing second place with Chris Body’s Icarus scoring two podium finishes claiming third just a point behind Jitterbug.
Champagne sailing just beautiful conditions to start the regatta off.” commented Black Dog’s owner Stuart Sawyer. “This is our second season in the J/111 and it is a much more physical boat than the J/97 and so rewarding when we get it right. Back in Cornwall, we don’t have the opportunity to race other J/111s. We can practice manoeuvres and work on boat speed but you don’t really know where you are until you race other J/111s, Jitterbug sailed well today and deserved their win in the first race but it was great to win the last race before heading in for a couple of beers.”
After racing Stuart Sawyer’s cornishmen racing Black Dog was the first team to the Island Sailing Club bar, triggering happy hour, and the North Sails fully Interactive race debrief at the Island Sailing Club was well received. A lively daily prize giving was held at the club prior to a Curry Supper in the Lowe Marquee. Racing at the Landsail Tyres J-Cup in partnership with B&G continues tomorrow.
by Louay Habib