Wednesday, October 20, 2010

HOT Premier Marinas Autumn Championships

J/109 one-design, racing, cruising sailboat- sailing downwind Garmin Winter Series
Awesome Toe-In-The-Water Party

(Hamble, England)- Both the J/80s and the J/109s were in for an extra special treat for this year's version of the Premier Marinas Autumn Championships-- lots of races!  Run by the Hamble River Sailing Club, the PRO's did a fantastic job of getting the troops mobilized early and running a lot of races in great sailing conditions.  In addition to the hot competition on the water, the J/80 and J/109 classes were treated to a fantastic party on Saturday evening sponsored by Key Yachting and in aid of Toe in the Water- the charity that benefits recovering British military war veterans (damn good sailors, too!.

J/109 one-design starting line- sailing upwindThe J/109s saw a terrific turnout with 15 boats participating.  It was quite a battle for first overall in the The Velvet Elvis Sailing Team just about "ran the table" sailing VELVET ELVIS to a remarkably consistent 1-2-2-1-2-1 record for a mere 9 points.  Giving them a run for the money was the powerful J-DREAM team headed by David and Kirsty Apthorp, sailing to an equally as strong 4-1-1-2-1-2 record for 11 points. Watching the drama unfold in front of them were Richard and Valerie Griffith sailing OUTRAJEOUS to a 2-4-3-3-3-3 record for 18 points and third overall.  Perhaps sailing one of his strongest series in awhile is David Aisher's YEOMAN OF WIGHT, starting strongly, then fading a bit, with a 3-3-6-4-7-6 for 29 points.  Fifth is Dom Monkhouse's team on ME JULIE with a consistent 5-5-5-10-5-4 tally for 34 points.
If the J/109s had some hot competition, the competition amongst 17 J/80s was smokin' hot!  Dueling amongst a trio of boats were J/80 UK fleet leaders Ian Atkins, John Cooper and Team Spitfire. Talk about throwing three teams into the proverbial frying pan, the tale of the tape was determined in the last race with all three teams finishing within 3 points of each other-- shades of the recent J/80 Worlds in Newport!  Fun stuff. 

J/80 one-design sailboats- Toe In The Water Charity- British servicemen
Ian Atkins finally got his BOATS.COM team rolling this 2010 season, firing the first salvo of the series with a 1st in the first race.  Second in that race was John Cooper on OI!  Lurking just behind in 4th was British Royal Air Force's Team Spitfire firing on all cylinders with SPITFIRE.  By the next race, the standings amongst these three amigos flip-flopped, so in short they were tied after two races!  And so the story went on for the next four races. After the dust cleared, Ian Atkin's team on BOATS.COM prevailed by a mere 2 points, sailing to a 1-4-1-2-1-3 score for 12 points.  Second was John Cooper's OI! with a 2-3-3-1-3-2 tally for 14 points.  One point back in third was Team Spitfire's SPITFIRE getting a 4-2-2-4-2-1 record for 15 points, finishing strongly! The tri-service initiative, Toe in the Water (TITW), entered four J/80s in the event, and each of these boats had a crew of five on board, some of whom are recovering from traumatic injuries. According to Becci Eplett of the J-Boats UK agents Key Yachting, who supported the party; "They are a hugely competitive bunch on the race-track and a delight to race against".  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth Pictures    For more Premier Marinas Autumn Championships sailing info.