Sunday, June 19, 2011

J-DREAM Crowned J/109 UK Champion

J/109 sailing team- J-Dream from England
(Weymouth, England)- Sunshine met the fleet on the first day.  And on the final day of racing at the Tacktick J/109 UK National Championship, the fleet arrived on the dock to find gusts of mid 20s in the marina. The PRO took the sensible decision to postpone for one hour to see if the wind would settle as there were gusts of 30+ out in the bay. For some this was a welcome rest as three races the day before had been tough on everyone.

The first start saw the J/109 fleet underestimate the tide taking them across the line and the restart was a black flag. Again some of the fleet had to be called back. VELVET ELVIS and J-DREAM arrived at the windward mark so close that J-DREAM could not pull her pole out to hoist the spinnaker. The run saw these two boats battle for the lead as the wind built to 28 knots. When both boats gybed simultaneously for the leeward gate, a luffing match ensued before J-DREAM got a perfectly timed puff and wave and moved ahead.

The final run saw the majority of the fleet choose not to fly spinnakers as the wind was now 32 knots. VELVET ELVIS, BLUEJAY and STALKER flew the spinnaker but it was not enough to beat those who sailed dead downwind.  JYNNAN TONNYX (Owain Franks) had their fourth top ten position of the regatta which gave them equal points with J2EAU (Steve & Jodie Maine) and moved them into 11th overall. JEEZ LOISE (Jamie Arnell) had her best race of the series (6th) give them equal overall points with JAZZY JELLYFISH (David Richards).  As the fleet finished gusts of mid 30s were seen and the PRO decided that there would be no more racing. This was a sensible call as many boats got caught out dropping their sails as the mid/high 30knot gusts swept across Weymouth Bay.

Pre-dinner drinks saw the fleet exchanging their excited tales and the pros and cons of hoisting spinnakers for a straight run, before they enjoyed an excellent dinner and the prize-giving. In addition to the Perpetual Trophy there were keeper trophies made by Tide Designs which attracted much admiration together with three Suunto watches. Sebago had kindly donated pairs of Wave Extreme shoes and these were awarded to DESIGNSTAR 2 (Roger Phillips), AUDAJIOUS (David Jobson), OUTRAJEOUS (Richard & Valerie Griffiths) and HIGH TENSION (Andrew Given) for their support and dedication to the Class.

J-DREAM was crowned Tacktick UK National Champion 2011. Her helm, David Apthorp said, "We are exhausted but absolutely delighted to have achieved this for the second time. The entire fleet has enjoyed close and competitive racing and the hospitality of WPNSA has been second to none. Now it is time to party!"  Second overall was VELVET ELVIS (Adam and Helen Wright), third Steven Tapper's STALKER, fourth Matt Boyle's SHIVA and fifth Mike and Sarah Wallis' JAHMALI. The J/109 UK Class Association would like to thank their sponsors-- Tacktick Wireless powered by Suunto and Sebago for their support and generosity, and to WPNSA staff and volunteers who ensured that the J/109 fleet had one of their best regattas ever.   For more J/109 UK Nationals sailing information