Harken Derm

Bigger breeze arrives at J/111 World Championship

Published on August 21st, 2014

Cowes, UK (August 21, 2014) – The second day of the inaugural J/111 World Championship completed two races with a variety of race courses.

The morning race was a windward-leeward starting in the region of Fastnet Marine Insurance mark to the east of the Bramble Bank. The race was started on time in 12 knots of wind from 250 degrees, this matched the forecast. The Dutch boat Sweeny of Kees van Vlift won the pin and was first to reach the strong ebb tide on the south side of the course. Series leader Cornel Riklin’s Jitterbug stepped even further into the tide and by dint of this and with perhaps better speed led around the top mark, followed by Sweeny, the French team J Lance 9 and Tony Mack’s McFly in fourth.

An early gybe to seek tidal relief took the fleet back across the North Channel to the leeward mark. The second beat saw the wind increase to 18 knots placing some strain on the code one jibs. Sweeny struggled to hold position as other boats nipped away at them.

Jitterbug took the win followed by the Cornish on Black Dog in a very good second place, Mcfly took third holding off the Dutch pairing of Xcentric Ripper and Sweeny.

The second race of the day, race four in the series, was scheduled as a longer distance race of 21 miles. The course was an extended windward-leeward from Fastnet Marine in the eastern Solent to the Quod Possumus mark near Lymington, with a few realignment reaches thrown in.

Having seen the advantage gained by a pin end start in race three, there was quite a pile up at the pin perhaps exacerbated by a left hand shift. In the melee the bowman from J Lance 9 fell over the side but was recovered very quickly and Sweeny’s wind instrument went flying. Protest flags were flown and some were seen undertaking penalty turns, thirty seconds before the start five or six boats flipped onto port at the other end of the line. Jitterbug was again the first to show at the front, however as the breeze increased she seemed to suffer and gently slipped down the rankings, being passed by McFly, Xcentric Ripper and David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J Dream before the fleet cleared Cowes. At the first mark Gurnard, McFly had a handy lead and set off on a 110 degree fetch to Seven Star buoy on the Lepe shore.

There then followed a long beat up to the Quad Possumus mark near Lymington, most followed McFly out into the deep water utilising the last of the ebb into what was now a solid 18-20 knots true, which with the tidal enhancement meant most were now sailing at the top end of their code two jibs. J Dream, with J Boats president Jeff Johnstone on tactics, was revelling in the conditions round Quod Possumus in third behind McFly and Xcentric Ripper.

A short run to West Lepe mark saw the fleet split strategy with some running as deep as possible straight to the mark and others sailing in hot mode on two reaches. The hot mode was faster but did lead to control problems with one fairly hefty collision between a broaching boat and the boat that was just to windward. A 104 degree fetch across to the Salt Mead mark on the island side of the Western Solent saw the two boats involved in the collision retire to lick their wounds. A final beat to Hampstead ledge saw McFly extend further, Xcentric Ripper held onto second, Shmokin Joe had clawed up into third, J Dream was now fourth just ahead of Jitterbug.

There was again a split strategy on the final run home in what was now a favourable easterly running tide. The brave sailed with three sails at the hottest possible angle gybing numerous times and sailing at 15 knots plus of boat speed in a solid 20 knots of wind. The more conservative sailed deep and in the interests of keeping their boats under control gybed only once on the six mile leg.

The boats blasted across the line in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron with McFly securing the gun with a very handy lead having given a master class of strong wind sailing. Xcentric Ripper held onto second, this team definitely enjoy a bit more breeze than we had yesterday, third was Shmokin Joe, J Lance 9 having passed four boats on the run by sailing in fully arced up J/70 mode took fourth, relegating J Dream to 5th.

Overall tonight McFly and Jitterbug are equal on 11 points, Shmokin Joe remains in third on 16 with Xcentric Ripper moving up to fourth.

Tomorrow PRO Simon van der Byl has scheduled three windward leewards. If it’s windy the Dutch will be happy and Jitterbug will undoubtedly wind their rig down, as their tactician, the Olympic silver medallist Nick Rogers, felt that insufficient rig tension had cost them dear in race four.

Follow the live blog at https://twitter.com/JUKRacing and for the latest results visit the Royal Yacht Squadron website https://www.rys.org.uk/event/j111-world-championship/

Report by Key Yachting. Photos by Rick Tomlinson.

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J111W14-RT0811

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