Thirty knot squalls inter-dispersed with beautiful sunshine and flat water, produced a testing race course for six classes, competing on Day Two of the 2017 Landsail Tyres J-Cup.
At times the fleet disappeared upwind into the raging tempest, to return downwind, in a halo of bright sunlight. The bizarre weather tested boat handing skills, and stamina, considering the teams had now completed six races in two days.
For the J/88 UK National Championship, all guns were blazing with three different teams scoring race wins in the feisty conditions. David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-Dream won the first race of the day by 35 seconds to take the lead in the championship. Paul Ward’s Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat, fought back winning Race 5, to regain the lead for the national title. The last race of the day was won by Tim Tolcher’s Rajing Bull, by just 7 seconds. Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat lead the class going into the final day.
The reigning J/97 UK National Champions, Andy & Annie Howe’s Blackjack II, still lead the class after winning two of today’s races. However, the competition was hard on their heels. Bob Baker’s Royal Lymington team, racing Jaywalker, was North Sails boat of the day, after finishing every race on the podium. Royal Torbay YC member George Rock-Evans, scored his first National Championship win, and Nick Barlow’s Jeopardy II, scored two podium finishes.
“We have our mascot, Blackjack Davy, strapped to the back of the boat, and he kept us all safe today. There was a lot of breeze and plenty of water below us and falling down from the sky.” smiled Blackjack’s Andy Howe. “Our boat handling kept us in it today, and kept us in front. Torquay holds a special place for us. We did our first J-Cup here and it is great to come back. It is a great place to sail. We are in a good position but we need at least one good result tomorrow, and the fleet are not far behind us, it is still all to play for.”
For the J/109 UK National Championship, there is a new leader. Steve Berry’s Cardiff Bay YC team, racing Blue Jay, scored three keepers today, and now lead the championship after discard. Simon Perry’s Jiraffe had a day of ups and downs but two good races means that the Royal Southern YC team retain second place, just a single point off the lead. “Laugh rhymes with Jiraffe, hence the name.” commented Simon Perry. “We race hard but we love to enjoy our sailing as well, and the J-Cup has the right balance of fun and great racing.” David McGough’s Just So, scored two good results and then won the last race of the day, to climb to third, just two points off the lead. “This is definitely the most competitive racing I have done.” Declared David Gough. “This is an exceptional regatta.”
For the J/111 UK National Championship, Paul Van Driel’s Dutch J/111 Sweeney was in scintillating form today. The team from Breskens showed excellent boat handling skills in the brutal conditions to win all three races and take the lead in the championship. Sjaak Haaman’s Dutch team, racing Red Herring, scored well, as did Tony Mack’s McFly. The British owner driver was also spotted wearing a pair of frogman’s goggles, ripping fun at the wet weather!
In the IRC Class, Chaz Ivill’s J/112E Davanti Tyres, helmed by Marie-Claude Heys, has now scored a perfect six bullets, securing the class win with a day to spare. The battle for second is a very even contest between two J/105s, both from the Royal Lymington YC. Andy Roberts Jin Tonic holds the upper hand, by two points, but failed to finish the last race, William Newton’s Jelly Baby is two points behind. Mike Wallis’ J/122 Jamali, scored a four – four – two today, to challenge for the podium.
All four UK National Championship’s remain undecided going into the last day. Racing at the 2017 Landsail Tyres J-Cup will conclude tomorrow, Saturday 19th August 2017, with two races scheduled for all six classes. For more information visit our Facebook page or www.j-cup.co.uk.
by Louay Habib