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Carey Olsen Jersey Regatta 2020

by Bill Harris 21 Sep 2020 10:44 BST 11-13 September 2020
Abracadabra leads Jai Ho during the Carey Olsen Jersey Regatta © Nick Poole

Fair winds blessed the whole three days of the combined clubs' Carey Olsen Jersey Regatta held over 11th to 13th September. This was the 22nd edition of the Regatta and a fine start for leading offshore law firm Carey Olsen's tenure in the sponsor's seat.

This 'flagship' did not escape the trials and tribulations of the pandemic; whilst the sailing programme ran seamlessly from beginning to end, the social programme was axed and visiting boats stayed at home due to the threat of quarantine either in Jersey or their home ports. Both were sorely missed. With a significant proportion of the Island's sailing community involved, the forty person limit for organised groups meant that racing classes were split into discrete 'bubbles'.

Weather conditions were fine with light to moderate winds and slight seas prevailing throughout. Cloudy conditions on Friday gave way to overcast on Saturday and wall-to-wall sunshine on Sunday. Very light conditions, late on Sunday, were a serious threat but virtually the whole three-day programme was completed successfully. Almost one hundred cruisers, dayboats, sport catamarans, dinghies and windsurfers raced in the Regatta, putting overall attendance in the top three in the event's twenty-two year history.

The race programme opened on Friday morning with a coastal race taking the fast cruisers downtide and eastwards to the Frouquier Aubert buoy whilst the quarter toners and smaller cruisers sailed a shorter course to the Canger Rock buoy all returning on the ebbing tide to finish off the East Rock buoy off St Helier harbour. Rhys Perkins' Archambault A35, Abracadabra, was first Class 1 boat home just ahead of Alex Ohlsson and Neil Maclachlan's J109, Jai Ho. Allen Brown's Melges 24, The Dog's........!, sailing with the IRC 1 boats, finished forty seconds ahead of the A35 to be the first boat home in the combined classes. David Hall's Farr 727, Fahrenheit finished just ahead of Tom Vallois' Farr 727, MicMac, in the Quarter Ton class, whilst Tom Hill's Albin Express, White Magic, had a clear win ahead of Deborah Hutchings and Chris Fritot's Dehler 38, Mystique, in the NHC class.

The dayboat, sport catamaran, dinghy, and windsurfer classes came to the line for just one race that evening. Mike Harrison's La Rocque beach boat, Jigsaw, took the dayboat class whilst Ollie Voak and Megan Roworth's Hobie 16, Ships & Giggles, won in the open sport catamarans. Will Dengate sailing his Laser 4.7, Exile, won the 'fast' dinghy class with Olin Rogers taking the 'slow' dinghies with his Optimist, Warrior.

With two races on Saturday and Sunday, the 'big' boat fleet was put to the test with short olympic-style courses on Saturday. The race committee relaxed the pace on Sunday, sending boats out to the Hinguette buoy. In the face of stiff competition from last year's winner, Jai Ho, and David Myatt's 8 Metre, Erica, Abracadabra swept the board, taking not only the day and overall trophies but the Spinlock IRC CI Championship too. Erica with one win to her credit and Jai Ho were second and third, respectively.

The Quarter Ton and IRC2 classes were combined for the purposes of the IRC Championship but, as it transpired, the QTs had the field to themselves for their three races per day. Julian Barber's Farr 727, Super Q, followed the A35's example by winning both days to take the class trophies and the IRC2 Championship. Jeff Speller's Farr 727, 2Farr, having notched up a win each day, was second overall with Fahrenheit third.

Following Friday's win, White Magic prevailed in all four of the NHC races, despite her steadily mounting handicap. Jason Baker's Golden Shamrock, Ar-en-Ciel, making a welcome return to the racing scene after a very long break, was second overall with Mystique third.

The increasingly popular dayboats provided a super 'years gone by' spectacle. With two races per day, it was the newest addition, Don Thompson's Falmouth work boat Lena, that stole the show with three wins ahead of Ben Jones' Cornish Coble, Baloo, whilst Malcolm Annan's Oysterman, Jamesina, was third.

As ever, the Island's Hobie Cat fleet was out in force for three races each day. The F18s saw a clean sweep for Darren Stower and Graeme Monks' Wildcat, Smurf, whist Adrian Jesson and Paul Martin's Wildcat 618, with five second places, was second overall. James Fullerton and Perry Stone were third with Wildcat 597, Fearful Symmetry. Veterans Gordon Burgis and Kenny Snell had yet another brilliant regatta with four wins in the open class sailing their Hobie 16, Purr Energy. Elsa Swetenham and Randall Jackson were second with Yeah Buoy and Aaron Le Cornu and Rachael Vibert third with Top Kat. Jack Horton and Alfie Le Cornu scored a narrow win to take the Dragoon class by 1 point ahead of Archie and Jamie Willets who were, in their turn, just one point ahead of Juliette and Russell Walton.

With three races scheduled each day, also, thirty two boats sailed in the dinghy classes. Victory in the 'fast' class on Saturday went to Peter Raimbault's Laser Standard, Rascal, whilst Laurence Carter's Rooster 8.1, Deely Bopper, took Sunday to win overall. Rascal was second, with a win on Saturday, and Martin Speller's Laser Standard, Liquid Impulse, third with two wins on Saturday. Overall victory in the 'slow' dinghy class went to Oliver Boyle's Topper, Sea Shrimp, with two wins on Sunday. Olin Rodgers' Optimist, Warrior, had a win each day to be second overall, followed by Alf Barrowcliffe's Optimist 4777 with two wins on Saturday third. Great competitive racing in both dinghy classes!

Conditions throughout the regatta were really benign and, whilst acceptable to most, cannot be said to have suited those who prefer the adrenalin rush of a blow. This was surely true for Kona windsurfers whose final race of the Regatta was abandoned due to the dying breeze. Sailing only on Saturday, Rob McAllistair took all three races to win the day. With three second places already in his pocket, Justin Horton went on to win on Sunday. McAllistair was second and Lily Carter third, overall.

The restrictions on group size meant that the closing prize-giving was a very different affair to that which is normal when a gathering of up to two hundred people would be expected. Instead, separate ceremonies were held to which only prize-winners were invited, with Commodore David De Carteret and Carey Olsen's Chris Carpenter officiating at St Helier YC whilst St Catherine's SC Commodore David Jones did likewise at the Royal Channel Islands YC. With hearty congratulations to the winners of the myriad prizes and thanks all who had competed, the Commodores also thanked the organisers and the host of volunteers who had manned the committee boats, RIBs and 'bubble' bases to help make the Regatta such a success.

For the diaries of locals and visitors, alike, the next Carey Olsen Jersey Regatta is scheduled for 10th to 12th September 2021.

Overall Results: (See for detailed results and photographs)

Cruiser - Class 1
1 Abracadabra - Rhys Perkins & ptnrs (3)
Spinlock IRC (1) Channel Islands Championship
2 Erica - David Myatt (7)
3 Jai Ho - Alex Ohlsson & Neil Maclachlan (7)

Quarter Ton - Class QT
1 Super Q - Julian Barber (7)
Spinlock IRC (2) Channel Islands Championship
2 2Farr - Jeff Speller (9)
3 Fahrenheit - David Hall (15)

Cruiser - Class 3
1 White Magic - Tom Hill (3)
2 Arc-en-Ciel - Jason Baker (7)
3 Mystique of St Helier - Deborah Hutchings & Chris Fritot (7.5)

Dayboat - Class 4
1 Lena - Don Thompson (3)
2 Baloo - Ben Jones (8)
3 Jamesina - Malcolm Annan (9)

Sport catamaran - Class 5
1 Smurf - Darren Stower & Graeme Monks (5)
2 Wildcat 618 - Andy Hart & Jonty Gales (10)
3 Fearful Symmetry - James Fullerton & Perry Stone (19)

Sport catamaran - Class 6
1 Purr Energy - Gordon Burgis & Kenny Snell (6)
2 Yeah Buoy - Elsa Swetenham & Randal Jackson (13)
3 Top Kat - Aaron Le Cornu & Rachael Vibert (17)

Sport catamaran - Class 7
1 Dragoon 1376 - Jack Horton & Alfie Le Cornu (6)
2 Dragoon 1077 - Juliette & Russell Walton (11)
3 Dragoon 1076 - Archie & Jamie Willetts (11)

Dinghy - Class 8
1 Deely Bopper - Laurence Carter (8)
2 Rascal - Peter Raimbault (9.5)
3 Liquid Impulse - Marti Speller (10)

Dinghy - Class 9
1 Sea Shrimp - Oliver Boyle (5)
2 Warrior - Olin Rogers (7)
3 Little Dipper - Tamsin Ingram (8)

Windsurfer - Class W
1 Kona 2866 - Justin Horton (9)
2 Kona 2498 - Robert McAllistair (23)
3 Kona 46 - Lily Carter (29)

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