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Jackson Yacht Services Bay Races at Royal Channel Island Yacht Club

by Bill Harris on 20 Oct 14 October 2017
Dayboat Start during the Jackson Yacht Services Bay Race Series © Bill Harris

The Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club's annual Jackson Yacht Services Bay Race Series was held in St Aubin's Bay on Saturday 14th October. At the outset, conditions looked fair for a good if gentle afternoon's sailing with partly cloudy skies, a light south-easterly breeze and calm seas, in line with the weather forecast.

The cruiser class opened proceedings at twelve thirty with the first of two races around olympic-type courses, albeit shortened at the leeward mark as the wind had dropped a touch during the race. The first race went well with David Carter, sailing his Sunfast 3200, Lady Penelope, single-handed taking line honours. However, Jeff Speller's Farr 727, 2Farr, was a clear winner on corrected time under both NHC and IRC (Jersey uses dual scoring). Julian Barber's Farr 727, Super Q, was just seconds adrift to take third place behind Lady Penelope.

The second race also got off to a reasonable start and was well under way when a thick bank of fog suddenly rolled into the Bay. With barely a hundred metres visibility, the race committee decided to recall the fleet to the starting area to await an improvement.

Despite hearing that the fog extended all the way to the Minquiers, the visibility improved sufficiently to enable the race to be restarted. Conditions remained light from the southeast allowing the leading boats to finish on a run but swung northwesterly as Tom Vallois' Moonlight Sonata rounded the windward mark providing him with a long beat to the finish line on the 'leeward' mark. This time the NHC result went to Lady Penelope finishing just five seconds ahead of 2Farr on corrected time with Super Q third. The tables were turned under IRC with 2Farr relegating the Sunfast 3200 to second place.

Overall, Lady Penelope won on NHC with three points against 2Farr's four. The IRC title went to 2Farr with two wins.

The dayboat fleet's first race of three got under way shortly after the first cruiser start. Eagerness overcame caution, it seemed, with several boats over the line at the start. Malcolm Annan sailing his Oysterman Jamesina, was clear away and went on to take line honours and win the race beating Ben Jones' Cornish Crabber, Baloo, by just five seconds. Mike Harrison's La Rocque OD, Jigsaw, was third.

The whole fleet was seriously line shy for the second race that saw Jamesina taking her second line honours. This time, however, Baloo sailed to win on corrected time, beating Jamesina by a little under a minute. Jigsaw was third with sponsor Mike Jackson's Charity fourth.

Whilst the third race started successfully, if slowly, the wind failed as boats beat to the windward mark leading to all retiring. Thus the overall winner was Baloo on equal points with Jamesina.

The sport catamaran classes also had three races in the schedule but it was only the F18 boats that managed to complete a race before the wind dropped to a knot. Adrian Jesson and Paul Martin sailed their Hobie Wildcat, Hobie 565, to victory in the very light airs whilst James Fullerton and Perry Stone's Hobie Tiger, Fearful Symmetry, finished second. The third boat, Andy Hart and Michael Kinross's Hobie Wildcat i517, retired.

Sadly for the Hobie 16 and Hobie Dragoon fleets, racing was abandoned due to absence of any prospect of an improvement.

The prize-giving was held in the RCIYC Clubhouse that evening when Mrs Anne Pallett, wife of St Brelade's Constable Steve Pallett, presented the place prizes. Commodore James Wilding thanked the Constable and his lady for their presence and Mike Jackson for Jackson Yacht Services' continuing support for the Bay Race Series. The Constable responded by outlining the political support for sport, in all its forms, on the Island and looked forward to sailing playing an increasingly important part.

Overall Results:

Cruiser Class (two races)

1 - 2 Farr - Jeff Speller (2) (Overall winner IRC)
2 - Lady Penelope - David Carter (4)
3 - Super Q - Julian Barber (6)
4 - Moonlight Sonata - Tom Vallois (8)

1 - Lady Penelope (3) (Overall winner NHC)
2 - 2Farr (4)
3 - Super Q (5)
4 - Moonlight Sonata (8)

Dayboat Class (3 races)
1 - Baloo - Ben Jones (10)
2 - Jamesina - Malcolm Annan (10)
3 - Jigsaw - Mike Harrison (13)
4 - Charity - Mike Jackson (15)

Sport catamaran (F18) (one race)
1 - Hobie 565 - Adrian Jesson & Paul Martin
2 - Fearful Symmetry - James Fullerton & Perry Stone
DNF - Wildcat 517 - Andy Hart & Michael Kinross

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