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J/99 Rum Rebellion victorious in Bird Island Race

by J/Boats 21 Nov 2022 13:16 PST 12 November 2022
J/99 Rum Rebellion victorious in Bird Island Race © Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

At 10:00 am on Saturday 12th November 2022 a fleet of 49 yachts started the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 83.0nm Bird Island race where competitors sail from Sydney Harbour to Bird Island (approximately 3nm northeast of Norah Head), before returning to Sydney Harbour to finish.

In light breeze conditions, the fleet headed north out of Sydney Harbour with Jules Hall in his J/99 Disko Trooper- Contender Sailcloth leading the way out the heads in the Two-Handed Division followed closely by Ian Smith in his J/99 Jupiter, Andrew Butler in his J/122E Rum Chaser and Shane Connelly in his J/99 Rum Rebellion They were joined by a good fleet of Sunfast 3300's.

In total 11 Two-handed yachts were competing in the race representing 20% of the total fleet. A light south easter of about 6 to 8 knots kicked in about four hours after the race start which finally got the fleet moving. This prevailed to just south of Bird Island with the entire Division 2 fleet including most of the Two-handed boats very close together. The fleet rounded Bird Island in fickle conditions which prevailed as the fleet commenced its slow trek home.

Shane Connelly's Rum Rebellion was able to find whispers of breeze around dawn on Sunday morning which got Rum Rebellion moving and climbing through and ahead of most of Div 2 fully-crewed fleet.

"The J/99 is an amazing little boat," said Connelly. "I was able to keep up with many well-sailed and much longer crewed boats sailed by very good sailors." Connelly won't give up his light wind secrets, saying only "we had the right sail up at the right time and persevered when the wind dropped or changed direction radically!"

The results speak for themselves. Amazingly J/99 Rum Rebellion was 1st IRC Two-handed, 1st IRC Div 2 Overall, 2nd ORCi Two-handed, and 2nd IRC Corinthian overall. That is a lot of silverware to haul home!

Congratulations to all who competed, with a special shout out to J/99's Disko Trooper- Contender Sailcloth and Jupiter, and J/122's Joss and Rum Rebellion (another one!). We look forward to the Cabbage Tree Island Race (172nm) which commences on the 2nd of December.

Thanks for this contribution from Shane Connelly, owner of the J/99 Rum Rebellion.

More information at www.jcomposites.eu/j99-sport-sailboat

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