Wednesday, June 22, 2016

J/CUP U.K. Extravaganza!

JCup J/109s (Hamble, United Kingdom)- Sixty-six yachts from the J/Boat range made up the highly competitive fleet for the Landsail Tyres J-Cup in partnership with B&G. This was the 17th edition of the J-Cup and four one-design fleets were racing for their UK National Championships. Of the thirty-four yachts vying for UK Championship honours, an incredible twenty-three of them made the podium. The racing right across the fleet was incredibly close, with seconds deciding winners over the three-day regatta.  Thanks to our extraordinary colleagues and our hosts that helped make it all happen- the Royal Southern Yacht Club in The Hamble.

J/Cup J/88 NationalsJ/88 UK National Championship
Gavin Howe's TIGRIS was the 2016 J/88 UK National Champion and was also awarded the J-CUP for the Best Performance at the regatta.  TIGRIS had to hold off a spirited challenge from David Apthorp's J-DREAM, which finished runner-up and also the 2015 champion, Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT that claimed third. Paul Ward's team won the penultimate race to get right in the mix but a fifth in the final race had E.S.J.R. just holding off Dirk van Beek's SABRIEL JR and Richard Cooper's JONGLEUR. The competition in the J/88 Class was incredibly close, often with boats overlapped at mark-roundings and groups at finishes!

“The last race was all about making sure we were ahead of the immediate competition,” commented Gavin Howe. “Without being too aggressive, we knew that if we got ahead of J-DREAM and covered them, we would win the championship. I have to say that we have new sails on the boat and our speed is very good and the crew worked together extremely well. To win the J-CUP is amazing and completely unexpected and a lovely way to end a perfect regatta.”

J/Cup J/111 Nationals winnersJ/111 UK National Championship
Stuart Sawyer's BLACK DOG sealed victory for the J/111 UK National Championship with a race to spare, but it was far from easy for the team from Falmouth Cornwall. Marco van Driel's Dutch J/111 SWEENY finished the regatta in second place, with fellow Dutch team, RED HERRING skippered by Sjaak Haakman, finishing third. Last year's UK National Champion, Tony Mack's McFLY, finished in fourth place. During the three-day regatta six out of the eight teams made the podium, including Cornel Riklin's JITTERBUG and Chris Jones' JOURNEYMAKER II, who both won races.

“The introduction of the two Dutch boats, has really mixed it up, they are definitely on the pace. In Race 7, we matched race SWEENY all the way around and coming into the finish we were covering them, it was super close. The team have had to be very precise to come out on top, we have been getting out early, practicing our maneuvers, getting our transits, so that we could relax a bit at game time and enjoy our mantra of having fun. BLACK DOG will be going back to Falmouth and we will be back for the Pre-Worlds and the Worlds in Cowes. We will have American, Swiss and Australian teams joining the Dutch for the Worlds and that will bring another dynamic in as well. It is great to be National Champions and that has come from a big effort from all of the BLACK DOG team. Roger, our pirate, has done exceptionally well on tactics, he has been up here a few times now, and he is getting to know the water pretty well.”

J/97 Nationals at JCupJ/97 UK National Championship
Defending J/97 UK National Champion, Andy Howe's BLACKJACK II, scored two more bullets on their last day, to dominate the class and retain the championship. Ole Bettum's ALMARA B III finished the regatta as runner up. Rachel and Robert Hunt's JUMBLESAIL 2, won the battle for third with Richard Sparrow's ONLY MAGIC.

Andy Howe and fiancĂ©e Annie Kelly know how to enjoy themselves and so do the BLACK JACK crew who are always the life and soul of the party. “We have had an absolutely amazing time at the regatta and we will have a big party tonight, but to win at the J-Cup you have to have a good team and sail well on the water. We have been learning and working well together for some time now. It is all the little tiny things in sailing that make you a little bit faster than everybody else. Keeping the same team and building our level of performance is the key to that success and we are very pleased.”

J/109 UK National Championship
Joe Henry's JOLLY JACK TAR finished the regatta with a 2-4 score line to take the win the UK National Championship. The team is all serving members of the British Royal Navy. Robert Stiles' DIAMOND JEM was runner up with David Richards' JUMPING JELLYFISH third. Newcomers to the J/109 fleet, Simon Perry's JIRAFFE had an excellent last day winning both races to finish the regatta in style. There were also podium finishes today for Rob Cotterill's MOJO RISING, Peter Nicholson's JUBILEE and the original J/109, now fifteen years old, Richard Marsden's JUDGEMENT DAY.

J/70s sailing JCupJ/70 Class
With only one race sailed on the last day, Jonathan Calascione & Seb Ripard's HARLEQUIN were unbeatable in the 20 strong J/70 fleet. The Maltese-British team, including Royal Southern's 420 World Champion Annabel Vose and Sebastian Ripard from Malta, were pushed all the way by Simon Ling's RAF BENEVOLENT FUND SPITFIRE, the reigning J/70 Corinthian World Champions, whose team include the current J/24 World Champion, Ian Southworth. Charlie Esse's BABY J was third, with a crew including multiple Sportboat world champion and J/70 EuroCup champion, Ruairidh Scott. Congratulations should also go to J/70 teams that made the podium against three notable adversaries; Steve Northmore's WATERJET PRECISION CUTTING, Clive Bush's DARCEY, Greg Hall's VALKYRIE and Allan Higgs EFS ENERGY.

J/112E sailing JCupIRC Class
Didier Le Moal's J/112 J-LANCE and Craig Latimer's J/92 WILDEBEEST V had a titanic battle for the class with half a point deciding the winner. J-LANCE won the penultimate race of the regatta and Robin Stevenson's UPSTART was second, heaping pressure on class leader WILDEBEEST V. J-LANCE won the last race but WILDEBEEST V was second, just enough to win the class. J-LANCE was second with UPSTART third. David Greenhalgh's J/92 J’RONIMO took third in the last race to place fourth.

“The Royal Southern has been the home for the J-Boat fleet for a long time,” commented Key Yachting's Paul Heys. “This year they have the great facility of the Prince Philip Yacht Haven with new walk ashore pontoons and the club is so efficient because they have hosted regattas so many times and they know exactly what we need. We have a great regatta marquee for our regatta gala dinner and we still have room for a proper dance floor and a top band and that is all part of J-CUP. We love to have a big hoe down at the end of the regatta and we thank the Royal Southern for hosting us and running such a fantastic event.”

The Landsail Tyres J-Cup was hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, their excellent race team led by PRO Tony Lovell and Dermod O'Malley, provided 45 races in the Eastern Solent, and superb facilities from their waterside club house on the Hamble River. Over 300 owners, sailors and guests enjoyed the Saturday night gala prize giving dinner, held at the Royal Southern Yacht Club with 7-piece band “Groove Instinct” rocking the house.

The 2017 J-Cup will be held in Torbay, hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club from the 17-19 August 2017.

For social media updates for the Landsail Tyres J-Cup: and For full provisional results, pictures and more visit here.