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Jackson Yacht Services Bay Race Series at Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club

by Bill Harris 5 Jul 08:35 PDT 28 June 2020
Crumpet finishing race 1 of the Jackson Yacht Services Bay Races at RCIYC © Bill Harris

Strong westerly winds were the order of the day for the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club's annual Jackson Yacht Services Bay Race Series, held in St Aubin's Bay on Sunday 28th June. With gusts into the late twenties, it was only the IRC cruiser fleet that raced, the sport catamarans and windsurfers having been cancelled and the dayboats remaining safely tucked up in their berths.

So, of what was expected to be a strong turnout across the board, just seven boats raced in what, for them, turned out to be exhilarating conditions, a good breeze coupled with slight to moderate seas and a fair degree of sunshine. Frustratingly for sure, spinnakers were to be confined below decks, a feature of all racing since the Covid lockdown eased.

With the race committee boat on station in the middle of the Bay and ready to go, a combined start saw the fleet off on the first of two races, at nine thirty, heading towards Noirmont and the windward mark, thence to the Grune du Port and downwind to the Vrachière buoy before passing through the finish line to begin a second rounding.

Alan Stevens' First 44.7, Zanzibar took line honours, in Class 1, ahead of Bob Milner's Grand Soleil 46.3, Grace, with Darren Stower's Projection 762, Crumpet, finishing third but with a clear win ahead of Zanzibar and Grace on corrected time. Julian Barber's Farr 727, Super Q won Class 2 clear ahead of David Hall's Farr 727, Fahrenheit, and Tom Vallois' Farr 727, Mic Mac, the latter having being slow to clear the start line.

The wind chose to build and veer through almost ninety degrees whilst boats waited for the start of the second race. This was the point at which, sadly, Super Q reported a boom failure and that she was retiring. The St Aubin's Race Mark appeared to be a suitable windward mark and boats were, duly, sent off for a single rounding of the course. Contrarily, the wind backed thirty degrees and eased enabling the fleet to reach the mark on a single tack.

This race saw Grace lead Zanzibar around the Race Mark and Grune with the possibility of making it a hat trick at the Vrachière. However, Zanzibar caught Grace in less than two hundred metres of the mark to lead her onto the final leg to the finish. Exciting times for both boats! Whilst Zanzibar took line honours, it was Crumpet that won on corrected time, once more, to take the series overall. Grace was a fairly close second in the race to clinch second overall.

In Class 2, the two remaining Farr 727s battled it out over the entire course, never separated by more than thirty seconds, or so. Despite putting up a great fight, Fahrenheit had to be content with a second place whilst a well-merited victory went to Mic Mac, finishing a squeak ahead of Fahrenheit to give her the series on countback. Deborah Hutchings and Chris Fritot's Dehler 38, Mystique sailed well to take close third.

Overall Results: (after 2 races)

Class 1
1 Crumpet - Darren Stower (1+1)
2 Grace - Bob Milner (3+2)
3 Zanzibar - Alan Stevens (2+3)

Class 2
1 Mic Mac - Tom Vallois (3+1)
2 Fahrenheit - David Hall (2+2)
3 Super Q - Julian Barber (1+5RET)
4 Mystique - Deborah Hutchings & Chris Fritot (4+3)

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