Rick Tomlinson Photography / www.rick-tomlinson.com

Shmokin Joe extends

France gets on to the podium at the J/111 World Championship

Saturday August 23rd 2014, Author: Gemma Dunn, Location: United Kingdom

Day four of the inaugural J/111 World Championship was always going to be of massive importance, the last of the three-race-days with just two final races to be sailed tomorrow Sunday.

The first race of the day, the eighth of the series, was started from the vicinity of Bart's Bash buoy to the east of the Bramble Bank in the Solent. The race began in 8 knots of wind from 313°, the forecast was for 10 knots with some expecting the wind to diminish after lunch. Frédéric Bouvier's J Lance 9 was first to flop on to port, within two minutes the whole fleet were on port, with the exception of David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J Dream which had been shut out at the start and had to reround the committee boat.

First to the windward mark was Hamble based McFly owned by Tony Mack, followed by Cornel Riklin’s Jitterbug.

By mark three J Lance 9 had assumed the lead and sailed on to take their first win of the series and moved into the top three. Second was Hans Zwijnenburg and Kees van Vilet’s Sweeny, third McFly and fourth Duncan McDonald’s Shmokin Joe.

After the committee boat repositioned itself 500 yards north, race nine was started in 16 knots of wind. As most days this week the sea breeze had enhanced the gradient to outperform the forecast. Martin Dent’s JElvis and J Dream found themselves over early, JElvis made a bad job of re-crossing the line needing two attempts. Most headed left and those furthest left gained, as the fleet headed to the windward mark on the Bramble Bank. Series leader Shmokin Joe was first to round followed by Jitterbug, Stuart Sawyer’s Black Dog and Jamie Arnell’s Jeez Louise.

On the second beat Jitterbug went hard right towards the Lee-on-Solent shore, while Shmokin Joe hit the left, when the fleet reconvened at the windward mark, Shmokin Joe had extended its lead with Jeez Louise and J Lance 9 following. Jitterbug rounded in sixth with McFly a lowly 11th. A cloud brought strong winds to the leeward mark as the back markers rounded. Some say that JElvis rounded the mark while in a full broach. The win went to Shmokin Joe with J Lance 9 in second and Black Dog in third.

The wind had reduced to 10 knots for the start of race ten. The first attempt resulted in a general recall, thus the black flag made its first appearance of the day. It would be unfair to describe the fleet as cautious in this start with early arrivals bailing out at the pin. The fleet split on the first beat with Sweeney, Black Dog, J Dream and Jeez Louise heading left. Shmokin Joe sailed up the north channel with possible tidal advantage while J Lance 9 and Journeymaker II went up the middle and Jitterbug went hard right.

Again the left paid, Jeez Louise rounded with a big lead followed by Black Dog and J Dream. J Dream did a great job of running low on the next leg and assumed the lead by the leeward mark. The next run saw a big shift to the left leaving the left pack reaching in, J Dream held her lead from Jeez and the Cornish on Black Dog. At the final windward mark the front two were the same with McFly now up to third having played the middle. J Dream thus took her first win of the series.

So on the final night Shmokin Joe is on 22 points, McFly is second on 30 points with the ever improving J Lance 9 on 33. Black Dog is in fourth with 42 points, just half a point clear of Jitterbug in fifth.

The final two races are scheduled from 10:30 tomorrow morning. The first ever J/111 World Champion will be crowned at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.

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