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JOG NJO Sails Cowes - Cherbourg - Cowes Races

by Pandie Bronsdon on 19 Apr 14-16 April 2017
JOG Cowes - Cherbourg race © Chris Barker

Easter weekend saw a fleet of around 40 yachts across four classes in the ever popular NJO Sails JOG Cowes - Cherbourg and Cherbourg - Cowes races, held on Good Friday and Easter Sunday respectively.

The weather - if a little chilly mid channel - was perfect for a fast trip for both races after a wind hole off Bembridge and that combined with the later fall of Easter meant almost all but Class 6 boats raced the whole event in daylight - always a bonus and helpful for getting rid of those offshore cobwebs.

The challenges of engine off vs. tide vs. light airs caught a few people out on the start line for the Cowes - Cherbourg race on Friday morning, and the later classes had slightly different wind by all accounts, but most if not all classes started under kite heading through the forts towards Bembridge. Once past the ledge a number of Code Zero's were seen for a while but the main bulk of the race was under white sails in a brisk SW breeze. With a fast race on the cards the trick of the day was not to got caught too far East before the tide turned, something some got right... and some didn't. Well done to the winners below who all received bottle prizes at the Saturday am prizegiving:

  • Class 3 Maid of Malham Trophy, Assassin, Mark Brown & Justin Leese
  • Class 4 Myth of Malham Trophy, Just So, David & Will McGough
  • Class 5 Minx of Malham Trophy, Longue Pierre, David Cooper & Paul England
  • Class 6 Wista Trophy, Raffles Peter, Cover & Matt Stiles

After a Saturday sampling the Cherboug delights, Sunday's Cherbourg - Cowes race looked even quicker with a solid F5 Westerly breeze forecast all day, building towards early evening. The somewhat congested startline, not helped this year by two anchored yachts, was quickly cleared for each class again with most people starting under kite to clear the harbour. Once through here it was a case of settling down to a fetch / broad reach - depending on class and choice of course - on the reciprocal course towards Bembridge. A number of yachts did head slightly West in order to hoist kites along the back of the IoW shoreline but these were the (brave?) minority. Once through the forts the building breeze made for some wet tacking towards the finish at Gurnard Buoy but at least it warmed the crew up.

The Sunday winners were remarkably similar to Friday's, proving perhaps that the similar conditions over both days suited some boats more than others!

  • Class 3 Gary Weller Trophy, Assassin, Mark Brown & Justin Leese
  • Class 4 Blue Sabre Trophy, Just So, David & Will McGough
  • Class 5 Theta Trophy, Longue Pierre, David Cooper & Paul England
  • Class 6 Treasurer's Disc Trophy, Raffles, Peter Cover & Matt Stiles

Next JOG Race: Cowes - St Vaast race on Friday 28th April. Frst start at 18:30. Closing for entries is midnight Monday 24th April.

Entry Forms, full race programme & crew available/boats looking for crew information all now available online at

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