Day one of the inaugural J/111 World Championships hosted by Royal Yacht Squadron Racing in Cowes dawned with a forecast of light and fickle breeze.
The first start was scheduled for 13:00, the race got under way on time in six knots of wind, but was abandoned after a short period as the wind faded. The restarted race one resulted in a general recall and the subsequent use of the Z flag.
In a shifty West to North Westerly, the fleet were led to the top mark by Stuart Sawyer's Black Dog from Falmouth closely followed by Cornel Riklin's Jitterbug. Clockwise rotation of the wind turned the first run into a slightly one- sided affair resulting in a repositioning of the windward mark for leg three. Black Dog found more snakes than ladders whilst Tony and Sally Mack's Mcfly did a super job of working her way to the front of the fleet to win the first race of the first ever J/111 Worlds. Taking a very useful second place was Jitterbug with Hamble based Chris Jones and Louise Makin bringing Journeymaker II home in third.
J/111 fleet rounding leeward mark - Rick Tomlinson
The shifting winds made the job of PRO Simon van der Byl and his team, dig deep into their reserves of patience before race two got away again in less than six knots of wind.
Beating toward the Calshot shore the fleet had to deal with a fight between the Southampton Water orientated gradient breeze and a South Westerly that advanced and receeded several times. Early leader Mcfly fell foul of the transition dropping from first to a finishing place of sixth. Jitterbug kept their nerve and took the win, whilst Shmokin Joe made great use of Lee on Solent high street to single their way round the pack to finish second. Cool heads helped Andrew Christie and Chris Body's Icarus to the final podium spot.
J/111 JITTERBUG leading fleet in first race of J/111 Worlds off Cowes - Rick Tomlinson
Overnight the lead table has Jitterbug on three points, Shmokin Joe on six, Mcfly on seven, Journeymaker II in fourth with eight points and Fréd Bouvier’s French team on J Lance nine holding fifth with 10 points.
J/111 SHMOKIN JOE leading off start at J/111 Worlds off Cowes - Rick Tomlinson