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Tactick J/80 UK Nationals at Royal Dart Yacht Club - Day 1

by Becci Eplett, J/80 UK Class Association on 8 Jun 2011 7-10 June 2011

What a day THAT was!

Racing commenced today at The Tactick J/80 UK National Championship 2011 in association with Baltic Wharf which is being hosted by the Royal Dart Yacht Club. The first three races of the championship were sailed on windward leeward courses laid in Start Bay, just outside the beautiful port of Dartmouth. In their eagerness to let the games commence, sadly, most of the J/80 fleet missed a visit from the Mayor of Dartmouth who took time to walk the pontoons of Darthaven Marina, who are berthing the fleet and sponsoring the Class for the Nationals. However, all 26 crews enjoyed brilliant sunshine and a strong and shifty westerly breeze for the racing, which ranged between 25 and 30 knots for the greater part of the bay. A short and choppy work bench (wind with tide) only served to add to the thrills and spills on the racecourse.

The provisional results (still subject to protest at the time of going to press) show Kevin Sproul and the crew of J.A.T at the top of the leader board at the end of day one with seven points; a scoreline which includes two race wins. In third is Jumpin Jenga, skippered by Stewart Hawthorn on nine points. This is a particularly impressive scoreline considering the major blow-out of Hawthorn’s bright red kite which the Solent fleet has become used to seeing out towards the front of the fleet. Rob Larke’s J2X is third overall as we go to press and this is a great result for him too. Rob’s ‘fresh out of the box’ J/80 won the last race of the day and Rob feels that he has found his form. Rob said ‘We’ve definitely got good pace, especially downwind, and the crew are settling in nicely to the new boat. Our boat handling is good in these testing conditions and we got the first beat of the last race just right too.’

RABF Team Spitfire helmed by Andy ‘Rodders’ Rodwell and skippered by Tony Hanlon had a fabulous day and are currently in a very respectable fifth position on the leaderboard. They explained ‘We had a storming first race with some extremely close boat on boat racing and so we are delighted with the third place for that one. We seem to be fast upwind and we were good turning the corners today too’.

Three more races are scheduled for tomorrow and the weather people are telling us that we will have a little less of the fruity stuff for these. Tonight the fleet dines at Rockfish in Dartmouth, courtesy of a very kind invitation from celebrity chef and food critic Mitch Tonks.

There is a huge buzz in this class at the moment, in part because everyone is gearing up for the 2012 J/80 World Championship which will also be held in the port in June next year. Perhaps the best summing up of the day came from Sarah Norbury, Editor of Practical Boat Owner magazine who has just joined the class with her partner Jon Powell in their new J/80 La Bete. Sarah explained ‘This is our first regatta in our J/80 and conditions today have been somewhat a baptism by fire! It’s an extremely competitive fleet but extremely friendly and we are delighted to be sitting in eighth place at the end of day one. We are really looking forward to tomorrow!’

Results after Day 1:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmR1R2R3Pts
1GBR 1360J.A.T.Kevin Sproul1157
2GBR 1339Jumping JengaStewart Hawthorn5229
3GBR 1362J2XRob Lake64111
4GBR 573Team BalticHenry Bomby47314
5GBR 912SpitfireAndrew Rodwell28616
6GBR 725Purple HazeRoger Dunstan361221
7GBR 1262OiJohn Cooper731626
8FR 1256La BeteJ Powell1013730
9GBR 811Surf and TurfGeoffrey Pane1314431
10GBR 801Just Do ItTerry Palmer9111434
11GBR 734JuicyAlan Hibbs199836
12GBR 743SwallowGordon Craigen14151039
13GBR 908PelotonMark Greenway8211140
14GBR 1338FlipperMatthew VincentDNF51345
15GBR 433ExcessChris GoldsmithDNF12948
16GBR 605Elle S AppelleThor Askeland1110DNS48
17GBR 891Harley QuinNigel Skudder16171548
18GBR 571Junior HighSteve Cooper17181752
19GBR 527Jammy DodgerAndrew Mcausland1216DNS55
20GBR 109JesterMichael Lewis18192057
21GBR 393JasmineGeorge Neville Jones20221961
22GBR 511JamminSteve Best1520DNS62
23GBR 744Exe JRichard Soper21231862
24GBR 534Wave WarriorRob Stone-Ward2225DNF74
25GBR 1138Just SoNigel BanfordDNS24DNF78
26GBR 80998Captain JackFrank RowsellDNSDNSDNS81