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The Portal Company JOG Week 2018 in association with Royal Dart Yacht Club

by Pandie Bronsdon 3 Aug 2018 10:09 BST 22-27 July 2018
Axeman wins Class 5 at The Portal Company JOG Week 2018 © JOG & The Portal Company

Lights airs, sunshine, champagne and fun!

The headline sums up the Portal Company JOG Week 2018 in association with the Royal Dart Yacht Club over the week of 22nd - 27th July 2018 with 31 yachts, in 4 classes, taking part in six days of mainly passage racing along the South coast from Cowes to Plymouth.

The week started with separate feeder races on Saturday 21st July from Cowes in the Solent and Dartmouth on the Southwest coast to Portland, where Dean & Reddyhoff hosted the opening party at Portland Marina. Conditions for the Saturday race were light, unfortunately meaning the Southwest boats were unable to start. However for those in the Solent the tide helped initially until the sea breeze built, ensuing a fun trip down to the Weymouth approaches where the wind died and the tide built, providing some interesting challenges for the last leg to Portland.

Sunday was the start of JOG Week proper, with a long passage race to Dartmouth. Tidal gates were going to be key in the light airs and those lucky enough to get round the first mark at SW Shambles before the tide built were both clever and admired. Kedging skills were deployed, some more successfully than others. Once round (3hrs after the start for some) the remainder of the fleet split between going offshore to get more breeze (maybe) and rock hopping up the Dorset coast, in some cases close enough to have conversations with the rock climbers and beach goers. After the last of the fleet arrived in Dartmouth on Sunday evening the extremely hospitable Royal Dart YC provided a superb club supper (the fish pie was great) and a specially commissioned JOG beer from Salcombe Brewery.

Monday saw a day of inshore 'sausages and triangles' in Start Bay, with a relatively steady F3, F4 at times, S/SW'ly. Two races per class provided an opportunity for the local boats to use their insider knowledge to gain an edge in some classes, with some of the smaller day boats finishing well ahead of their rivals in classes 5 & 6.

Tuesday was a return to a more traditional JOG race, with a race to Plymouth. The option of going via Eddystone was abandoned due to the light airs, and an option to shorten the course was also provided to ensure the smaller boats could finish before the cut off time. Luckily this wasn't needed and everyone was in with 15 minutes to spare. Plymouth Yacht Haven and The Portal Company hosted this evening, with a fantastic Champagne reception and cold platter supper at The Bridge which prompted a few slow mornings and sore heads on Wednesday for the race back to Dartmouth.

Again the inshore shorter course was used, which was lucky as the wind died about two minutes after the Class 5 & 6 start. It eventually switched itself back on again however the expected kite run back was by this point another up-wind leg, although freeing for a great F4 SWly once the fleet were past Salcombe.

By now the summer heat wave was on the point of breaking and Thursday morning's sky was an unprecedented grey colour, with even less breeze than the rest of the week. The first of two scheduled 'sausage & triangle' short races was completed but unfortunately the second was abandoned mid-race at as there was no prospect of anything filling in. This did at least allow some 'scrubbing up time' before a special evening in the Royal Naval College, complete with canapés and drinks.

By Friday it was obvious the weather window was rapidly losing and a few Solent based yachts decided to forgo the last day's Torbay race and head back to the safety of the Solent before the predicted storms kicked in overnight. Those that did race had a good morning, with the sun eventually breaking through the drizzle and a good E/SE breeze. This was followed by an early prize giving at the Royal Dartmouth YC before the week closed.

Competitor feedback since the week has been very positive and thanks must go to everyone involved, from sponsors (The Portal Company, Dean & Reddyhoff, Salcombe Brewery, Chatham Shoes, Plymouth Yacht Haven and Dartmouth Chandlery) to staff at the marinas and yacht clubs, to competitors and finally, again, to all the various race officers and supporters from Royal Dart YC (it's classes 5 & 6 Richard - not 6 & 7)! See you in 2022 for the next one!

Series Winners:

Class 6
1st - Raffles
2nd - Spectrum
3rd - Lennie

Class 5
1st - Axeman
2nd - Jackdaw
3rd – Jeopardy 2

Class 4
1st – Just So
2nd - Arcsine
3rd – Jangarda

Class 3
1st - Scream2
2nd - Prime Suspect
3rd – Kimanche Eve II

Next JOG Race:

Cowes – St Peter Port. Friday August 24th, first start 20:00.

Entry Forms, full race programme & crew available/boats looking for crew information all now available online at www.jog.org.uk

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