Monday, August 18, 2014

Sparkling Cowes Week For J/Sailors!

J/80s sailing off Cowes (Cowes, England)- This past Saturday saw the conclusion of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2014. The overall prize-giving on Saturday evening was attended by some 300 people and regatta organizers, Cowes Week Limited, reflected on a Week of mixed weather conditions. Champagne sailing conditions started the Week with sunshine and great breeze but this was followed by much lighter conditions resulting in disappointing abandonments for some on Thursday and for all classes on Friday. For those that raced on the final Saturday though, there was a welcome return of good breeze and sun providing some fantastic conditions for the last day of racing, with the added spectacle of Black Group starting on the Royal Yacht Squadron line for the first time in as long as anyone can remember.

The final day of racing delivered sparkling conditions with plenty of sun and wind, including gusts of 25 knots that gave exhilarating and energetic racing under predominately cloudless skies.  The lively weather wrapped up a great week of racing that featured plenty of sun and a mix of winds that tested crews in different conditions.

Amongst the J/111s, a thirteen-boat fleet continued to sail for the duration of the week after their EuroCup at the outset.  Taking the top of the class was relative class newcomer PLAN J, closing out the series with a 2.5-5-5.5-1.5-4 for 18.5 pts.  Second was Tony Mack’s McFLY with a 10-1-2.5-6.5-1 for 21 pts.  Third was Cornel Riklin’s JEEZ LOUISE with a 9-3.5-2.5-5.5-2 for 22.5 pts.

Jon Powell’s BETTY took the overall victory in the J/80 class with four race wins and one second place, while Colin Simonds’ DOOLALLI IV took second overall with 13 points. With the top two boats dominating the racing, Douglas Struth’s DSP was third overall, with 26 points.  In the Royal J/80s class, it was ROYAL 2 winning quite handily with just 6 pts net followed by ROYAL 3 at 12 pts net and ROYAL 5 at 14 pts net.

The J/70s had a similar format to the J/111s, with double-races starting on Saturday at the beginning of the week (the “Short Series”) and then the regular Cowes Week participants counting afternoon races until the end.  The Short Series was won by Wouter Kollmann’s PLAJ from the Netherlands followed by Simon Ling’s SPITFIRE/ RAF BENEVOLENT FUND and Ian Wilson’s WILSON COVERS.  For the regular series, things flip-flopped a bit with Ling’s SPITFIRE gang winning followed by PLAJ and JUGADOR in third (the kids!).

J/109 crew sailing happily upwindThe J/109s had a fantastic turnout of 23 boats.  In the end, it was Tor McLaren’s INSPARA that showed her booty to the fleet most of the time, accumulating a 1-7-5-2-1 for just 16 pts.  A new face in the crowd, Neil McGrigor’a BOO, grabbed second overall with just 23.5 pts while Arjen van Leeuwen’s JOULE team from the Netherlands was third with 26 pts.  Fourth and fifth, respectively, were David McLeman’s OFFBEAT and Jamie Sheldon’s JUMUNU.  Other top teams from past events were a bit off the pace, presumably the post-race entertainment at the Pimms or Guinness tents had a bit of an impact on crew work or global synapses!

In the IRC handicap world, it was no surprise the two J/97s dominated their IRC 5 Class; in fact, it was a J/Boats sweep!  Chaz Ivill’s ETB TYRES/ JUST LIKE THAT took the class win with a reasonable record of four 1sts and two 2nds for 6 pts.  Second was Nick & Adam Munday’s INDULJENCE (also winners of the Commodores Challenge Trophy!).  Third was the Libby & David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO.

In IRC 1 Class, a combination of two duos of J/122s and J/133s posted some good performances.  In their nineteen-boat fleet, Herman Bergshaven’s J/133 MADJUS took 9th while Sergey Senchenko’s Russian team on the J/122 JOLOU placed tenth.

Finally, in Cruiser A handicap world, the twin J/100s had a fabulous week.  Julian James’ THUNDER SQUALL took second (with a 1-1-2-2-2) and Ole Bettum’s ALAMARA B II took third (3-3-3-4-3); they were up against a 30-boat class that had 30 to 48 footers!

The Aberdeen Asset Management Under 25 Trophy was even more competitive this year with crews from across 20 different boats racing for the award with their entry fee covered by title sponsor, Aberdeen Asset Management. The crew of JUGADOR in the J/70 class fought off competition from across many classes, with JUGADOR skipper, Jack Davies, also taking the Young Skipper’s Trophy!  Congratulations to Jack and crew for “doubling-down” and sending it!  Third was the J/80 SEAFIRE.
For more AAM Cowes Week sailing information