The weekend of 10/11 May saw sixteen J/109s arrive in Yarmouth for their annual Western Solent Championship run by Royal Solent Yacht Club. After a week of wonderful sunshine, Saturday was a disappointment in every way – no sun and no wind.
After an initial postponement the Race Officer, George Chapman headed out to Christchurch Bay and summoned the fleet to join him. Frustratingly the little bit of wind disappeared as the sixteen J/109s arrived and with a strong tide, racing was abandoned for the day.
The J/109 UK Class held a dinner on the Saturday evening and after dinner there was live music which enabled the excess energy to be burnt off. Mojito (Gary Fry) did an excellent job together with his crew to get all boats dancing – to sea shanties!!
Sunday saw the Race Officer again head out to Christchurch Bay and summon the fleet. This time the wind stayed and the Race Officer amazingly managed to get the breeze to stay for two races, although he did need to relay marks during the second race.
The first race saw Jura (Kevin Moll), Jahmali (Mike & Sarah Wallis) and High Tension (Andrew Given) round the windward mark and spreader with a nice lead from the remainder of the fleet which was led by Johnny Blue II (Jeff Dakin/Bruce Jubb). The second beat saw many of the fleet caught out by the shifting wind and the final run at times saw the fleet becalmed. The first race was won by Jura, followed by Jahmali. Johnny Blue II managed to pass High Tension on the finish line to secure third place.
The second race of the day saw more consistent wind (for the majority of it) and the fleet was convincingly led from start to finish by Jahmali. There were many changes of places during the final downwind leg, which saw J-Dream (David & Kirsty Apthorp) gain the advantage over Zelda (Ben Richards/Michael Ewart-Smith), to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The Race Officer decided that there would be no more racing and the fleet returned to Yarmouth. Two races were enough to constitute a series and Jahmali were pronounced victorious. J/109 - Leading positions
1st – Jahmali (Mike & Sarah Wallis)
2nd – Johnny Blue II ( Jeff Dakin/Bruce Jubb)
3rd= – Jura (Kevin Moll)
3rd= - High Tension (Andrew Given)