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Nick Cousins Memorial Spring Regatta 2022 at Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club

by Bill Harris 16 May 22:07 PDT 7-8 May 2022

The beautiful natural amphitheatre of Jersey's St Aubin's Bay provided an excellent backdrop to the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club's annual Spring Regatta over the Liberation weekend, 7th and 8th May. Sponsored in memory of Club Member Nick Cousins, the event saw over fifty boats competing in near ideal conditions on both days.

Racing opened at 9.00 a.m. on Saturday with overcast skies and a moderate north-westerly breeze that veered north shortly after the cruiser classes' race committee had finished laying its course. Happily, fog that threatened to descend into the Bay disappeared shortly thereafter. Sunday also dawned under leaden skies but, as before, sunshine brightened proceedings from late morning onwards. Sunday, however, was decidedly colder with the wind having veered northeast overnight. Colder or not, the Bay comes into its own once the wind settles in the northeast giving steady breezes and only slight seas.

Following well-established practice, race control was split between two race committee boats, Lady Sally, well into the Bay, running dayboat, dinghy and sport catamaran racing in conjunction with Spirit of Variety, the finish boat, and Heron of Gorey to the south managing the cruiser, Quarter Ton and F18 sport catamaran classes all ably assisted by the Club's and St Catherine's SC slick mark laying and safety boat teams.

The racing schedule saw two races per day for the cruiser and Quarter Ton classes, all others having three. To the organisers' and competitors delight, the whole weekend ran like clockwork with some extremely competitive racing throughout the classes. Out of the forty-six races run, just one produced a Protest that was upheld in the Quarter Ton Class, causing a mass disqualification in the Class' first race.

There were some decisive overall wins over the weekend whilst things were a lot tighter in some other classes. Racing with the Class 1 cruisers under IRC, Allen Brown and partners' Melges 24, The Dog's........!, won all four races in the combined class. In the face of stiff competition, the Class 1 winner was, however, Darren Stower's newly-acquired First 36.7, Altair, taking all four races ahead of Alex Ohlsson and Neil Maclachlan's J109, Jai Ho.

Competition in the Island's thriving Quarter Ton Class was particularly keen with Justin Horton and partners' Farr 727, Fahrenheit, just beating Julian Barber's Farr 727, Super Q, to first overall by half a point. With the exception of Fahrenheit, the Protest in the first race saw all boats disqualified for not sailing the course, a somewhat painful way of using their one discard!

Skippered by Malcolm Hartigan, honours in the NHC class, went to Roger Atkinson's Soling, Dirty Harry, winning all four races despite increasingly punitive handiacps. Karen Rowarth's newly-acquired First 21.7, Jacamol, racing without a spinnaker, came second with two second places and a third to her name.

Sailing his Cherbourg One Design, the centenarian+ Moana, Laurence Curtis took all four races in the dayboat class well ahead of Ben Jones' Cornish Coble that narrowly beat Malcolm Annan's Oysterman on count back.

Honours were split in the F18 Sport catamaran class with Adrian Jesson's Hobie Wildcat 618 and Andy Hart's Wildcat 517 finishing with seven points each, overall. Whilst each boat won one day, Jesson's superior performance on Sunday saw him clinch victory on count back.

With four wins out of six races, Ollie Voak and Megan Rowarth were clear champions in the open sport catamaran class, exclusively Hobie 16s, sailing Ships & Giggles. Gordon Burgis and Jill Ingram, making her debut, on Purr Energy were second overall, on count back, with equal points to Grant Neale and Karen Larose's iGatto.

Lucas McAllister and Thomas Allo sailed well to win all bar the last race in the junior sport catamaran class, sailing Hobie Dragoon 1366, well ahead of Jamie Washington and Ollie Hunt on Dragoon 1369.

Youth was to the fore in the open dinghy class with Olliver Boyle sailing his Laser Radial, Testarossa, to first place just three points clear of Kai Surcouf's Radial, MEN3. Marc Haslam's Laser Standard, Salvo, was third two points ahead of Paul Raimbault's Laser Standard, Mad Dash, who closed the series by winning the final race.

Just three Optimists turned out to race in the 'slow' dinghy class. Racing was very tight between Oliver Haslam's Flap Jack and Tamsin Ingram's Shrimp with three wins apiece. A better performance on the final day saw Flap Jack win on count back.

The Regatta was brought to a close in a packed Clubhouse on Sunday evening when Mrs Michele Cousins presented each day's place prizes to the worthy winners. The evening's undoubted highlight was the inaugural presentation of the beautiful Nick Cousins Memorial trophy to 14 years-old Olliver Boyle for the best overall youth performance in the Regatta. In closing proceedings, Vice Commodore Kevin Newman thanked everyone involved, competitors, officials and helpers and, especially, Mrs Cousins for sponsoring what was judged to be a truly outstanding event.

Class Winners:

  • Class 0+1 (IRC Sportsboat + Class 1) - The Dog's........! - Allen Brown
  • Class 1 (IRC cruiser/racer) - Altair - Darren Stower
  • Class 3 (NHC cruiser/racer) - Dirty Harry - Malcolm Hartigan
  • Class QT (IRC Quarter Ton) - Fahrenheit - Justin Horton
  • Class 4 (Dayboat) - Moana - Laurence Curtis
  • Class 5 (Sport catamaran (F18)) - Wildcat 618 - Adrian Jesson
  • Class 6 (Sport catamaran (Hobie 16)) - Ships & Giggles - Ollie Voak & Megan Rowarth
  • Class 7 (Sport catamaran) - Dragoon 1366 - Lucas McAllister & Thomas Allo
  • Class 8 (Open dinghy) - Testarossa (Laser Radial) - Oliver Boyle
  • The Nick Cousins Memorial Youth Trophy - Oliver Boyle
  • Class 9 (Open dinghy) - Flap Jack (Optimist) - Oliver Haslam

Detailed results are available on www.halsail.com/result/publicbyclub/269.

A Diary date: Carey Olsen Jersey Regatta & GBR IRC CI Championship 2nd - 4th September (www.jerseyregatta.com)

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