Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club’s Connex Spring Regatta 2011 was held in St Aubin’s Bay, Jersey, over the weekend of 9th and 10th April. Connex, the Island´s bus company, sponsored the race for the third year running.
Despite forecasts giving very light and variable airs for Sunday, the race officers’ and competitor’s perseverance paid off with all thirty-nine races (spread over eight classes) being run more or less to schedule. Despite the vagaries of the wind, conditions were excellent, blazing sunshine and calm seas that, coupled with generally light and fickle breezes, provided challenging but enjoyable racing for all. The neap tide was an added bonus for those involved in dragging dinghies and sport catamarans up the beach and for cruiser skippers negotiating marks out in the tide.
Saturday dawned with a light easterly breeze ashore but not a lot over the Bay giving rise to speculation about a long postponement. Happily sufficient breeze arrived shortly afterwards to allow things to get under way. Sunday was little better but with the wind having swung through 180o.
Rhys Perkins & Partners Archambault 35, Abracadabra took honours overall in cruiser class 1, having spent two days tussling with Alex Ohlsson and Neil Maclachlan’s J-109, Jai Ho, Saturday’s winner, to finish on equal points but victor on countback. Nigel Coxshall’s ILC30, Toybox, had to be content with third place throughout.
In cruiser class 2, Steve Pearl’s X-79, Less Xpense having swept the board on Saturday slipped on Sunday but still took the overall top spot by just one point ahead of David Myatt’s beautiful IOD, Marguerite, which won the first race on Sunday. Julian Barber’s Farr 727, Super Q won the second race on Sunday but it was Dave Williams’ Conrad 760, Tom Bombadil, on equal points with Marguerite, which took third overall.
Competition in cruiser class 3 was equally tough with Chris Fritot’s Hunter Sonata, Rondo, battling it out with Bruce Harrison’s IOD Aphros (equally beautiful) and Kevin Holden’s UFO27, Matchless. With two wins to her name Aphros sailing two-handed, took Saturday’s prize but did not race on Sunday. Sunday saw Rondo and Matchless with a win apiece, Matchless winning the day on countback but having to give way to Rondo who beat her by just one point to take the overall result in which Aphros came third.
The light airs were undoubtedly most frustrating for the four-strong Formula 18 sport catamaran class. Top performer on Saturday was Andy Hart and Michael Kinross’ Hobie Tiger, Breaching 69 with a first and a third. Second place went to Darren Stower and Steve Longstaff’s Hobie Wildcat and third to David Carter and Simon Le Huray’s Tiger, Home Run. A starting error took Home Run out the running in the first race but she recovered with a first in the second. Sunday was very much Home Run’s day, with two wins and a second. Breaching 69 having won the first race on day one, won the last race on day two but Home Run’s four intervening wins gave her the series by two points over Breaching 69. Wildcat 1 was third.
But for a third place in the first race of the series and allowing for a discarded DNF, last year’s winner Gordon Burgis sailing with Patrycja Bocianowska on the Hobie 16 Pure Energy, would have had a clean sweep in class 6. Grant Neale and Karen Larose’s Hobie 16, iCAT, sailed consistently into second place, save for a discarded third, to come second overall whilst David Howell’s Hobie 16, El T’s, won the first and last races in the series to come third overall. An unusually small turnout in this class possibly reflected a reluctance to sail in such light airs
Class 7, the junior sport catamarans saw just one boat out on Saturday, a Dragoon Xtreme, sailed by Lily Carter and Mary Perkins. Racing with the class 8 dinghies, the girls put in a very creditable performance. Five boats raced on Sunday with the Xtreme taking all three races. Andrew Graham and Alicia Ibbotson came second overall with Oliver and Bethany Voak third, just one point behind.
In dinghy class 8, Martin Speller, sailing his standard rig Laser Liquid Logic, won all three races on Saturday but was seriously challenged by Mark and Rosie Lamy, sailing the RS200 Twinkle Toes on Sunday, the latter winning two of the three races, the third going to Ian and George Moisan’s RS200 Flying Eyore. Liquid Logic won overall by just one point from Twinkle Toes with Flying Eyore third.
David Raimbault, sailing his Optimist More Mischief, was the man of the moment in dinghy class 9, winning four of the six races, all three on Saturday. William Holden sailed his Optimist to two wins on Sunday to finish two points behind the leader. David’s brother, Peter, placed a consistent third to finish third overall.
This very successful event was brought to a close in a packed clubhouse on Sunday evening when Denise Waller, wife of the Commodore, presented the many place prizes. Commodore Rodney Waller warmly thanked Connex Transport for their continued and highly valued support for the Spring Regatta, thanking also the race committee, RIB crews and the many helpers who had been key to staging a superb event.
Rodney Waller and Tony Eggleston were the race officers.
The next event in the Club’s cruiser calendar is the Commodore’s Cup and Cook Salver race to St Malo on Good Friday for which the Notice of Race is available in the Clubs and on the RCIYC website
Detailed results of the Connex Spring Regatta have been posted in the Clubhouse. Day winners:
Saturday 9th April
Class 1 – Cruiser/racer – Jai Ho – Alex Ohlsson & Neil Maclachlan
Class 2 – Cruiser/racer – Less Xpense – Steve Pearl
Class 3 – Cruiser/racer – Aphros – Bruce Harrison
Class 5 – F18 Sport catamaran – Breaching 69 – Michael Kinross & Andy Hart
Class 6 – Sport catamaran – Pure Energy – Gordon Burgis &Patrycja Bocianowska
Class 8 – Open dinghy – Liquid Logic – Martin Speller
Class 9 – Open dinghy – More Mischief – David Raimbault
Sunday 10th April
Class 1 – Cruiser/racer – Abracadabra – Rhys Perkins & Ptnrs
Class 2 – Cruiser/racer – Marguerite – David Myatt
Class 3 – Cruiser/racer – Matchless – Kevin Holden
Class 5 – F18 Sport catamaran – Home Run – David Carter & Simon Le Huray
Class 6 – Sport catamaran – iCAT – Grant Neale & Karen Larose
Class 7 – Sport catamaran – Xtreme – Mary Perkins & Lily Carter
Class 8 – Open dinghy – Twinkle Toes – Mark & Rosie Lamy
Class 9 – Open dinghy – Whatever! – William Holden Principal overall results:
1 Abracadabra (4)
2 Jai Ho (4)
3 Toybox – Nigel Coxshall (9)
1 Less Xpense (5)
2 Marguerite (6)
3 Tom Bombadil – Dave Williams (6)
1 Rondo – Chris Fritot (5)
2 Matchless (6)
3 Aphros (8)
1 Home Run (7)
2 Breaching 69 (9)
3 Wildcat 1 – Darren Stower & Steve Longstaffe (13)
1 Pure Energy (7)
2 iCAT (10)
3 El T’s – David Howell (13)
1 Xtreme (2)
2 1077 – Andrew Graham & Alicia Ibbotson (6)
3 1076 – Oliver & Bethany Voak (7)
1 Liquid Logic (10)
2 Twinkle Toes (11)
3 Flying Eyore – Ian & George Moisan (15)
1 More Mischief (6)
2 Whatever! (8)
3 Slipstream – Peter Raimbault (15) RCIYC website