This years Cowes Week, which starts on Saturday 10th August, will see 17 J/109s line up for a week of highly competitive, one design racing.
In fact, this could be the most competitive J/109 racing in recent history.
Last years winners, Caroline van Belen and Rutger Krijger’s Jack Rabbit are back over from the Netherlands to defend their J/109 and Black Group title. They won last year with an incredible score line of 5 bullets. They are joined by another Dutch yacht, Joule, who last competed in the regatta in 2017.
The current National Champion, John Smart’s Jukebox will be looking to repeat their performance at the J-Cup earlier in the year where they delivered a convincing victory. However past National Champions Dave Richards’ Jumping Jellyfish and the Navy’s Jolly Jack Tar will be pushing hard to stop them.
Chris Preston’s Jubilee and Simon Perry’s Jiraffe will resurrect their on the water rivalry both having exchanged positions on the podium throughout the season. And past Cowes Week winner, Neil McGrigor’s Boo will also be challenging hard. They specialise in extracting the most from the Solent’s complicated tidal streams.
In addition to the fleet regulars, Cowes Week attracts some very competitive teams who join just for the week in chartered boats. This year Christopher Sharples and Richard Acland will return in Jazzy Jellyfish. Last year they finished third overall and, along with Jiraffe, were the only boats able to sneak ahead of Jack Rabbit in individual race results.
The RYS team of Clementi, Sheldon, Simpson and Walker will return as Brown Teal. They are always competitive and have been responsible for bringing on many younger sailors, introduced to yacht racing by the clubs youth training programme.
Nick Southward and John Scott are back with a very competitive Irish boat, Whisky Jedi and the dark horse of the week could be Kevin Sussmilch’s Sunset Rum team.
In addition, Mike and Susie Yates Jago will be looking to put in some podium results and don’t discount good results from Roger Phillips Designstar 2, Rob Cotterill’s Mojo Risin’, fresh back from the Fastnet, Chris Brooks J!nks and local Cowes boat, Steve Horne’s Jambo.
Add to this dock parties and fireworks and we should be set for a spectacular, if a little windy, week.