This year the Round the Island delivered challenging conditions with light and variable winds from the east and late finishing times for those that made it. But the J/109s we’re out in force…
18 J/109s entered for this year’s Round the Island Race on Saturday. This is the highest concentration of J/109s in any event on the South Coast and brought out a few new names who have not been regularly present on the one design circuit, like Jura, Space 8, Jigsaw, Jomalija, Trojan, Ajax, and Jumunu.
With a relatively leisurely start time of 8:30, the fleet awoke to find a south easterly breeze which delivered the novelty of a run down to the needles and a beat around the back of the island. With a flukey and dying breeze on the south side, this presented a challenge and resulted in one of the longest races for a long time. The first J/109 took nearly 12 1/2 hours to complete their lap of the island and the last took nearly 14 hours. Many retired, leaving 10 finishers.
Jubilee and Jukebox enjoyed a close battle all the way around with Jubilee taking the win, Jukebox in second and Jybe Talkin’ just behind in third.
Jubilee carried IRC non-overlapping headsails and Jukebox had an overlapping J2. What was the verdict? John Smart from JukeBox commented: “Horses for courses- was it ever which way but. All I can say is neither are a replacement for grit or gruel”. Chris Preston was the one who delivered the grit and the gruel, winning on the water and on corrected time with the non-overlapping set up. Chris commented “My impression was that overlapping was faster but lower and definitely better in close reaching drifting conditions”.
So, the jury remains out and we’ve all got some challenging decisions to take ahead of the J-Cup, incorporating the National Championships, which starts at the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble on 18th July. Come and join us Jura, Space 8, Jigsaw, Jomalija, Trojan, Ajax, and Jumunu. We guarantee you a warm reception.
Photos courtesy of Paul Wyeth.