Monday, July 9, 2012

J/111 J-DREAM Wins Epic Round Island!

J/111 sailboat- sailing around island (Cowes, IOW, England)- The post-race atmosphere in the sunny town of Cowes was mainly one of relief and immense pleasure after competitors enjoyed a challenging, lively and memorable day of racing, organised and run by the Island Sailing Club.  The 81st Round the Island Race, the biggest yacht race in the world, this year attracted an entry of 1,647 boats across 25 classes.  Of these, 1,198 crossed the finish line within the 10pm deadline; 247 retired, giving a 73% finish rate which is precisely the same percentage of finishers as in 2011 when the 80th Anniversary Race attracted a record entry of 1,908 yachts and welcomed home 1,345 finishers.

J/111 Dave and Kirsty Apthorp winning Round Island RaceThe wind conditions were as forecast with most of the fleets starting in a moderate south-westerly breeze.  However, the forecast for the wind to increase dramatically meant a number of fleets would not start, including the J/80s.  As a whole, the J/Teams faired well in this classic 60nm+ race around the fabled island.  David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J/111 J-DREAM reveled in the conditions planing down the south side of the island after St Catherines Pt in 3-5 meter seas and 20-25 kts of wind to take the overall hours in both IRC 1A class and IRC Group 1, completing the course in just 6 hrs:21 min:54 secs!  In fact, they were first J/Team home and led an enormous contingent of J sailors to honors in a number of classes.  The double-win is a repeat of last year’s victory by fellow J/111 SHMOKIN JOE.

"We are absolutely delighted to have won and the J/111 is proving her versatility whatever the wind strength as we had 13-26 knots.  My crew complained that they missed the spectacle of watching the spinnakers stretching as far as you can see in both directions, because we rounded the corner at Bembridge too quickly - there is no pleasing some!  However to see Actual do a ‘flypast’ and to watch Eleanora was apparently consolation and particularly for crew member Herbie Harford (16) who was on his first trip round the island," said David Apthorp.

J/109s sailing Round Island raceIn IRC IA class alone, J teams were 8 of the top 20, an amazing achievement in the incredibly challenging conditions.   After J-DREAM, the J/111 MANIC was 8th, the J/122 JOULOU was 11th, the J/111 OJE was 12th, the J/122 JOLLY JELLYFISH was 13th, the J/111 MUNKENBECK was 14th, the J/122 GHOST was 16th and the J/122 MINT JULEP was 18th. Were it not for a DSQ, the J/111 JEEZE LOUISE would have been 7th!  In IRC 1B Class, the J/122 NUTMEG IV from France finished 3rd in class were 7th overall in IRC Group 1! A fabulous performance for all these J/Crews!

A similar scenario played out in IRC 2A Class with J's taking 9 of the top 20!  Leading the group home was a classic and incredibly well-sailed J/35 KNIGHT BUILD LTD, finishing 4th overall but just missing overall honors to win by just six minutes!  Amazing for a 25+ year old design.  Next up on the board were a slew of J/109s, with OFFBEAT (6th) leading home the rest of their colleagues- JAHMALI (7th), BASIC INSTINCT (8th), BLUE JAY (9th), HIGH TENSION (14th), JUMUNU (16th), JOUSTER (18th) and JOLENE (19th).  A good show for 35 foot J's in this class!  But, it was IRC 2B Class in Group IRC 2 that took home the overall honors in the group. Nine of the top 15 were J/Teams, led home by the J/105 JELLY BABY taking a 3rd in IRC 2B class and 5th overall in IRC 2 Group.  The J/105 KING LOUIE was next with a 4th in class and 8th in the group.  The J/109 JIBE was 5th in class and 11th in the group.  The balance was filled out by J/105 NEILSON REDEYE (7th), J/109 JAGERBOMB (9th), J/105 JOS OF HAMBLE (10th), J/109 JUKE BOX (11th), J/109 J'TAIME (12th), J/109 JUMPING JELLYFISH (14th) and J/109 J2EAU (15th).

The Needles tower- round island raceIn the highly competitive 30 footers division, IRC 2D, there were a strong mix of J/97s and J/92s participating in "class" configurations.  Most of them found the conditions to their liking and the results speak for themselves, with J/Teams taking 13 of the top 20 places!!  Holy smokes.  Finishing 3rd was the J/97 JJ L'AMOROSSO, followed by the J/97 MCFLY (5th), the J/92 JUST ENOUGH (6th), the J/92 WHO'S TO NO (8th), the J/97s INDULJENCE, INJENIOUS, JIKA JIKA and JEOPARDY 2 in 10th, 11th, 13th & 14th, respectively, the J/92s BOJANGLES in 15th, the J/97 JACKAROO in 16th and the J/92s JAMMIN, BLACK JACK & MOBY J in 17th, 18th and 19th respectively.  Incredible.  For the 30 footer J teams this was quite a dominant performance as a group, no other brands or boats were even close.

Of note, in ISC Division 4, the J/120 ASSARAIN III loved the powerful reaching and running conditions on the south side of the island, St Catherines Point and east in particular, and pulled of a well-deserved 2nd in class and 4th in ISC 4 overall.   Sailing Photo credits- Patrick Eden and Tim Wright/  For more Round Island Race sailing information