Saturday, September 10, 2016

J.A.T. Crowned J/80 UK Champion

J/80 sailing UK Nationals (Lymington, England)- The Royal Lymington Yacht Club did a magnificent job hosting the 2016 J/80 UK Nationals, offering the sailors plenty of opportunities to climb up (and down) the leaderboard during the nine-race series. The racing took place in Christchurch Bay, a great open water venue with minimal tidal influence.

The racing took place for the two-dozen boat fleet from Saturday 27th August to Monday 29th August.  The regatta was characterized by a very tight battle for the top of the rankings with the final outcome not settled until the completion of the last race!  After starting out a bit slow, the J.A.T team (Phil Taylor, Kevin Sproul, Chris Fisher, James Peters) hit their stride mid-series, managing to reel off a 2-1-1-1 mid-series to just win the regatta with 23 pts net.

Behind them, it was a “teeth-gnasher” to the very end for the rest of the podium spots between BETTY, NO REGRETS and PURPLE HAZE- all tied on points at 27 each and having to live with a 3-way tie-break!  Also getting out of the station on at a slow, steam locomotive pace was the famous BETTY crew (John Powell, David Aldridge, Chris Robinson, Keith Smith).  Like J.A.T., the BETTY “boys” began with a less than stellar 7-5 in the first two races, but closed with a flourish and nearly pulled off the regatta win, instead happily collecting the silver medal with 27 pts net.  The fastest team out-of-the-box was the NO REGRETS crew (Chris & Hannah Neve, Nick Hartfield, Phil Lawrence & Simon McCarthy), but it was hard for them to maintain that pace until they won the last race to settle for third overall and also taking the top spot in the Corinthians Division.  Losing the tie-break battle was the PURPLE HAZE crew (Oliver Dunford, Shane Armitage, Simon Shan, Al Fraser), settling for 4th place overall and 2nd in Corinthians.  Fifth position overall and 3rd in Corinthians was CHECKMATE (Ray & Tom Mitchell, Claire Ayling, Nike Froud, Henry Lloyd-Williams).  For more UK J/80 Nationals sailing information