Fresh southwesterly winds, gusting to nineteen knots, coupled with a moderate swell, provided some truly exhilarating and eventful sailing for the mixed fleet that came out for the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club’s annual Jackson Yacht Services Bay Race series on Sunday morning.
Under the watchful eyes of race officer Bill Harris and his committee boat team the IRC class 1 cruiser/racers were dispatched, sharp at nine a.m., on a course that took them from the start line in St Aubin’s Bay on a mile and a quarter beat to the Les Fours buoy, downwind to the Balleine, upwind to the Grunes du Port, downwind to the Balleine followed by gybe and reach to the Beach Rock buoy before a short beat to the finish line.
David Jones’ First 34.7, Jackana, dominated the race throughout to take line honours and first place on corrected time whilst Jeff Chinn’s J-92S, Jungle Fever, sailed well to take second place just twenty seconds ahead of Bob Milner’s X-362S, X2C. Having suffered a technical hitch, Nigel Coxshall’s ILC30, Toybox, had to settle for fourth place and did not stay for the start of the second race.
With the tide now on the ebb, the remaining boats set off for the Les Fours once again. Conditions were, predictably, a little lumpier with wind over tide. Things did not go smoothly for either Jungle Fever or X2C, leading to both boats retiring, leaving Jackana to sail a lonely race over a slightly extended course and to a repeat victory.
Shortly after the Class 1 start, the IRC class 2 and club handicap cruiser/racers set off on their first race, sailing the same course. Steve Pearl & partners’ X-79, Less Expense, took an early lead to take line honours ahead of Jeff Speller’s 2Farr, one of the three Farr 727s in the race. It is noteworthy that Less Expense’s corrected time was identical to that of Jackana in her first race! Julian Barber’s Farr 727, Super Q, took third place two minutes ahead of the highest handicapped Farr, Team Micmac’s Micmac.
RCIYC - Jackson Yacht Services 2008 - William Harris
The second race was run over a double triangle course. Once again the fleet got away to a clean start, despite a lot of pressure on the committee boat end of the line. Once again, Less Expense took an early lead to take line honours ahead of 2Farr with Super Q and Micmac in third and fourth places once more. As with Class 1, things did not go smoothly for all competitors, one retiring from the first race with a technical problem whilst another found herself rudderless half way through the second race.
Just two boats raced in the club handicap class. Dan Downey’s Corribee 21 sailed well to take line honours and the race from Daniel Le Marquand’s Jeanneau Sunlight 31, Jasine 2, having sailed for just under two hours! Both boats retired after the first race.
Three back-to-back races were run for the two sport-catamaran classes with the fast boats away shortly after the first of the Class 2 starts. Conditions were ideal for these exciting boats, their multi-coloured sails augmenting the colourful sight of the cruisers’ spinnakers.
With the first two races ‘in the bag’ things looked very promising for Darren Stower and crew Mike Winspear’s Hobie Tiger, Cross-eyed Moose. The technical gremlins had not drawn the line at the cruisers, however, and a spinnaker recovery problem on the leeward mark saw the Tiger slip to fifth place in the third race.
This was the chance that Gordon Burgis and Ken Snell, sailing Hobie 16 Pure Energy, were waiting for giving them a first place to add to their two seconds and overall first place. Ian and Zoë Cabot, Hobie 16 Mr Bigglesworth, sailed into third place in races one and two but were forced to retire in the final race. David Carter and Tom Harris, Hobie 16 Fly-Bi, took third in the final race but it was Grant Neale and Karen Larose, Hobie 16 iCAT, who clinched third overall, with a second in the final race.
Three of the RCIYC’s cadets’ Hobie Dragoons raced in the ‘slow’ sport-catamaran class. With Louis Sangan at the helm and Jonty Gales as crew, Sonny G took all three races, sailed around a triangular course. Hannah Voak and Alex Tucker, sailing Eric Young, sailed into second place in races one and two.
Although the technical and other mishaps undoubtedly marred the enjoyment of those affected, the bright and brisk conditions provided some exciting racing, quite a contrast to last year when the event ran out of wind.
Laura Jackson, of Jackson Yacht Services, presented the place prizes at a very well attended buffet reception held that evening in the RCIYC clubhouse. Principal overall results
Class 1 – IRC cruiser/racer
1 Jackana D Jones 2 points
2 Jungle Fever J Chinn 7
3 X2C B Milner 8
4 Toybox N Coxshall 9
Class 2 – IRC cruiser/racer
1 Less Expense S Pearl & Ptnrs 2
2 2Farr J Speller 4
3 Super Q J Barber 6
Class 3 – RCH cruiser/racer
1 Liza D Downey 1
2 Jasine 2 D Le Marquand 2
Class 5 – Sport-catamaran
1 Pure Energy G Burgis/K Snell 5
2 Cross-eyed Moose D Stower/M Winspear 7
3 iCAT G Neale/K Larose 7
Class 6 – Sport-catamaran
1 Sonny G L Sangan/J Gales 3
2 Eric Young H Voak/A Tucker 8
3 Half & Half R Gueno/E Miller 11
Detailed results have been posted in the RCIYC and on www.rciyc.org