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Glory Days in the UBS 20th Jersey Regatta - photo © LBJ Photography
Glory Days in the UBS 20th Jersey Regatta - photo © LBJ Photography

UBS 20th Jersey Regatta

Sunshine, fair breezes and calm seas; what more could one ask for? These were the conditions that generally prevailed throughout the combined clubs’ UBS Jersey Regatta held over the weekend of 14th to 16th September, fitting conditions for the twentieth edition of this super event with a great turnout to match.

Proceedings opened with an informal reception and briefing in St Helier YC on the Thursday evening when Commodore Steve Pearl thanked UBS for their sixth year of sponsorship and warmly welcomed everyone on behalf of the Island’s three sailing clubs.

The race programme got off to a good start in St Aubin’s Bay at 8.40 on Friday morning with a coastal race for cruisers. Although there were sunnier times ahead, skies were overcast at this early hour. Under a light westerly breeze, boats beat across the Bay to the windward mark before bearing away to port for the six-mile run, on the flood, south-eastwards to the Canger Rock buoy. Arriving early, the slower boats caught up as those that were faster found themselves in foul tide with the wind dead on the nose. Happily, the breeze picked up to give all boats a good beat back to the Bay to finish off the Diamond Rock buoy.

Allen Brown and partners’ Melges 24 sportsboat, The Dog’s……..!, was first home soon followed by Rhys Perkins and partners’ Archambault A35, Abracadabra. David Myatt’s 8-Metre, Erica, was second just thirty-seven seconds adrift of the A35 on corrected time. Alex Ohlsson and Neil MacLachlan’s J109, Jai Ho, was third.

This race also saw a win for Sam Laidlaw’s Coutts Quarter Ton Cup winner, Aguila, in the QT class with Louise Morton’s Bullet second and Tom Hill’s Belinda third. Having started ten minutes after Class 1, the leading Class 2 boats were well in touch with Class 1 at the finish. Sparkling performances, indeed. Steve Pearl and partners’ Tom Bombadil, the first Jersey boat to finish, had to give way to Julian Barber’s Farr 727, Super Q, on corrected time.

Chris Fritot’s Sonata, Rondo, was first in Class 2 whilst Paul and Angela Raimbault’s Sadler 29, Ruby, won Class 3.

The Spinlock IRC Channel Islands Championships for Classes 1 and 2 cruiser/racers were the highlight from Saturday to Sunday with Classes 2 and QT sailing together to produce a combined result for the Championship.

Abracadabra and Jai Ho in the UBS 20th Jersey Regatta © LBJ Photography

Abracadabra and Jai Ho in the UBS 20th Jersey Regatta © LBJ Photography

The programme, each day, was three back to back races for all classes over Olympic-type courses in St Aubin’s Bay. Whilst the breeze stayed faithfully in the west throughout Saturday, Sunday dawned with almost cloudless skies and the wind in the south, continuing throughout the morning before veering westerly around midday, necessitating a significant course correction. Despite the wind then dropping very light the race committee persevered to complete the race programme.

In the face of stiff competition, Abracadabra was the star performer in Class 1, winning all but one of the six races. Jai Ho, with a win on Sunday, fought off a strong challenge from Erica to take second just two points clear of the 8-Metre. The Dog’s……..!, however, proved to be the fastest IRC boat, overall, in all but the first race on Saturday Things were no less competitive in Class 2 with Guernsey’s Matt Knowles and David Aslett’s HB31, Glory Days, winning five of the six races ahead of Rondo who, with a win in the final race and five second places, had to be content with second overall. Guernsey’s Alistair Bisson’s Mustang 30, Cavallo, with a string of third places was third.

Given the presence of the three visiting Quarter Ton boats, competition across the board was always going to challenging in the QT Class. Bullet won the day on Saturday ahead of Aguila and Belinda and Tom Bombadil, the latter two on equal points. Aguila took Sunday with two wins over Bullet with one. Belinda was third. Overall, Aguila, with four wins added the Class and Spinlock IRC CI Championship scalps to her belt whilst Bullet, ever a real threat, was a second. Belinda, was a close third, six points separating her from Aguila. Tom Bombadil, the top Jersey boat, finished just two points behind Belinda overall, her best results being second in both the first and last races.

With just two boats sailing in Class 3, under NHC, Starbound with four races to her credit won overall ahead of Leo and Philip Jeune’s Squib, Helio. Whilst Starbound won the day on Saturday, Helio took Sunday despite the flagging breeze.

Operating close inshore under the auspices of a separate race committee, the ‘small’ boat classes’ programme opened late on the Friday afternoon with the junior dinghies opening proceedings. This was to be one race per class. Saturday and Sunday, as with the ‘big’ boats were to feature three races back to back each day.

Sailing over a sizeable trapezoidal course, honours in the junior dinghy class, Class 9, went to Jack Horton sailing his Optimist, Little Dipper with Grace Sherrington’s Optimist, Monkey Business, second and Peter Washington’s Topper third. Guernsey’s Clemmie Thompson, of British Youth Sailing renown, sailed her Laser Radial, Little Russell, to victory in Class 8 with Peter Raimbault’s Radial, Rascal, second. Leo Marshall and Chloë Swetenham, sailing the Hobie 16 i-CAT won sport catamaran Class 6 with Aaron Le Cornu and Nina Nowak second on their Hobie 16, Top Cat. Darren Stower and Graeme Monks, sailing their Wildcat, Smurf, won Class 5, the F18 class. Warming up for the weekend’s British Kona One Championship, Guernsey’s Tim Laine, on Speedy, won the windsurfer class, Class W, ahead of Andy Hart on Kona.

In the dinghy classes, Saturday saw Monkey Business winning ahead of Little Dipper in Class 9 whilst Little Dipper took Sunday ahead of Richie Forbes’s Optimist, Firefox, to be the overall winner over the two days, just one point ahead of Monkey Business. In Class 8, Little Russell won the day on Saturday ahead of James Tilley’s Laser Standard, NikNak, whilst Adam Knight sailing his RS100, 100K Out, won on Sunday to take the overall series ahead of NikNak.

In the sport catamaran classes, the Willetts brothers, Archie and James, sailing Hobie Dragoon 220, won both days and the series in Class 7 whilst Will Dengate and Alex Cooper on Dragoon 1076 were second on Saturday with Kyla McDonagh and Juliette Watson second on Sunday sailing Dragoon 1078. The Le Cornu/Nowak duo, with two wins on Top Cat, won Class 6 on Saturday ahead of 2017 Champions Gordon Burgis and Kenny Snell, sailing the Hobie 16 Purr Energy. However, Purr Energy won all three races on Sunday ahead of Elsa Swetenham and Owen Harper’s 16 Rubicat, to take the overall series. Just two boats raced in Class 9 with Adrian Jesson and Paul Martin, sailing Wildcat 565 with four wins relegating Smurf to second place.

Laurence Curtis’ veteran open boat Moana, sailed well to win all six races in Class 4, the Dayboat class, ahead of Malcolm Annan’s Oysterman, Jamesina. Anthony Gibbs Eliza, a 19th century open boat was third.

The British Kona One Championship was the undoubted feature of the Class W programme. Chichester-based James Leeming, sailing Toothpick, won Saturday’s series ahead of Justin Horton’s Kona whilst Tim Laine’s Speedy won on Sunday ahead of Henry Horton’s Kona. Things were tight at the top, overall, with James Leeming winning the Championship by just one point ahead of Tim Laine and three ahead of Justin Horton.

With racing concluded, the Regatta community retired to St Helier YC for refreshment and the prize-giving. Commodore Steve Pearl spoke on behalf of the Commodores of all three clubs to, once again, thank UBS for six years of keen sponsorship, all those who had worked tirelessly in organising and running the event and all who had supported the Regatta in any way. Regatta Chairman Bill Harris then invited Mrs Claudia Rogers to present the many trophies and first place prizes culminating with the presentation of the UBS Trophy to Chris Simon, retiring as Principal Race Officer after many years of association with the Regatta. To conclude proceedings, Bill Harris invited Tom Hill, Group Country Head of UBS, to the floor to receive a framed poster of the UBS 20th Jersey Regatta, presented in recognition of the Company’s outstanding contribution to the Regatta.

The detailed results and photos are available through www.jerseyregatta.com

Spinlock IRC Channel Islands Championship:

Class 1 – Abracadabra – Rhys Perkins & partners
Class 2/QT combination – Aguila – Sam Laidlaw

British Kona One Windsurfer Championship:

Class W – Toothpick – James Leeming

Friday:

1 – Abracadabra
(0) – The Dog’s……..! – Allen Brown & partners
2 – Rondo – Chris Fritot
QT – Aguila
3 – Ruby – Paul & Angela Raimbault
5 – Smurf – Darren Stower
6 – i-CAT – Leo Marshall & Chloë Swetenham
8 – Little Russell – Clemmie Thompson
9 – Little Dipper – Jack Horton
W – Speedy – Tim Laine

Saturday:

1 – Abracadabra
(0) – The Dog’s……..!
2 – Glory Days – Matt Knowles
QT – Bullet – Louise Morton
3 – Starbound – Emma Makin
4 – Moana – Lawrence Curtis
5 – Hobie 565 – Adrian Jesson & Paul Martin
6 – Top Cat – Aaron Le Cornu & Nina Nowak
7 – Dragoon 220 – Archie & James Willetts
8 – Little Russell
9 – Monkey Business – Grace Sherrington
W – Toothpick

Sunday:

1 – Abracadabra
(0) – The Dog’s……..!
2 – Glory Days
QT – Aguila
3 – Helio Leo & Philip Jeune
4 – Moana
5 – Hobie 565
6 – Purr Energy – Gordon Burgis & Kenny Snell
7 – Dragoon 220
8 – 100K Out – Adam Knight
9 – Little Dipper
W – Speedy – Tim Laine

UBS Best in Class:

1 – Abracadabra
2 – Glory Days
QT – Aguila
3 – Starbound
4 – Moana
5 – Hobie 565
6 – Purr Energy
7 – Dragoon 220
8 – 100K Out
9 – Little Dipper
W – Toothpick

by Bill Harris

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