Tim Wright / www.photoaction.com

North Sails perfect scoreline

As J-Cup racing continues in Plymouth

Friday August 23rd 2013, Author: Louay Habib, Location: United Kingdom

In stark contrast to yesterday's sailing conditions, racing for the second day of the J-Cup 2013 In Partnership With B&G was delayed by lack of breeze in Plymouth Sound. Racing got underway in the early afternoon, once a light and just raceable breeze stabilised. All classes got one good race in, but the second was abandoned, as light rain killed off the gradient wind completely.

Jamie Arnell's J/111 Jeez-Louise continued to excel in IRC One, winning today's race to open up a three point margin at the top of the leader board. Tony Mack's J/111 McFly wasn't far behind and with one more day to go, McFly can still catch Jeez-Louise. IRC Class One is likely to be won by one of these two yachts. However, there is a close battle for third place. David & Kirsty Apthorp's J/111 J Dream is currently lying third but four other J-Boats are still in the hunt for third place; Martin Miller's J/111 Velvet Elvis Ian Dewhurst's J/133 Jump, Richard Barnes' J/111 Biela Munkenbeck and Jackie and Robert Dobson's J/133 Jeronimo.

In IRC 2, Stuart Sawyer's J/97 Black Dog scored yet another win, but it wasn't easy for the Cornish team. Chaz Ivill's J/97 Jiggery Pokery led for most of the race, but was eventually passed by Black Dog, which crossed the line just 15 seconds ahead. Andy Howe's J/92 Blackjack could only manage a 7th place today, but is still lying third in class. Andy Roberts' J/105 Jin & Tonic scored their first podium finish of the regatta propelling them to fourth in IRC 2 and lead the J/105 Class. “We had our share of luck today, especially as an anchored yacht made as tack, just at the right moment to get a good lead on the first beat," admitted Roberts. “Well done to the race committee for getting a good race in, under difficult circumstances. We were over-joyed with our result today and we are thoroughly enjoying a great regatta.”

In the J/70 Class, North Sails kept up their perfect scoreline, but Nick Haigh's crew on Lightly Steamy will be kicking themselves. “We got a great start by winning the pin end, which was a hard fought victory and we should have gone on to win the race but we made a school boy error.” confessed Haigh. “We were a long way ahead and didn't cover North Sails, we managed to put ourselves in a wind hole and that was that. You don't expect to beat a class act like North Sails with that sort of mistake and I only have myself to blame. However, I think we had good boat speed today and we have learnt a few tricks upwind.”

In the J/70 Class, Nigel Passmore's Apollo is second, after five races, with Mike Flood's J7t third.

Day Two marked a change in the overall lead for the 20-strong J/109 fleet and the winner of the Lifedge J/109 UK National Championship is wide open. The overnight leader, Tony Dickin's Jubilee, could only manage ninth, dropping the team to third in class. David Richards’ Jumping Jellyfish took the gun, propelling her into pole position, but a protest resulted in her disqualification. This led to Iain Mackinnon's Tigh Solius II taking the lead in the championship, with Jubilee and David Rolfe’s Shadowfax in second and third respectively, with one day to go. However, with a discard kicking in after six races, Jumping Jellyfish could still win the championship.

“One Design racing is all about staying out of trouble and getting off the start line well.” said Tigh Solius II tactician, David Bedford. “We got a great start today but unfortunately got the wrong side of a wind shift and we had to dig deep to get back to fifth. The boat is going well and we still have another day racing and it's all to play for.”

With three races scheduled for the last day of the J-Cup, the winner of the Lifedge J/109 UK National Championship hangs in the balance. Tigh Solius II, Jubilee and Shadowfax are all in the hunt and watch out for Alice. The team suffered a collision on the first day and after redress, will be scoring average points for the four races missed, theoretically Alastair Speare-Cole's Alice is currently tied on points for the lead.

Racing continues at the J-Cup with three races scheduled for Friday.


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