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Savills Jersey to Guernsey Inter Island Yacht Race

by Rhys Perkins 26 Jun 2023 16:48 BST 24 June 2023
Savills Jersey to Guernsey Inter Island Yacht Race - Crew of Abracadabra (l-r) Russell Walton, Mike Jonston, Rhys Perkins, Jon Durbin, Will Dengate © Phil Burton

This year's Savills Inter Island Yacht Race which was held on 24th June was won by Abracadabra, skippered by Rhys Perkins and Jersey's team of Abracadabra, Jai Ho (Alex Ohlsson) and Jewel (Jeff Chinn) regained the Sir James Knott Trophy from Guernsey.

This annual event is the largest race in the local sailing calendar with 56 entries from between the two islands. This year it started in Jersey and the yachts raced to St Peter Port. Because of the forecast of light winds in the morning the start was moved from St Aubin's Bay to St Ouen's Bay in order to give the best chance for the slower boats to finish before the time limit. This was an excellent decision as the forecast was correct and the race started in very light conditions. Most of the fleet lead by Abracadabra, The Dogs and Lady Penelope headed north to pick up the new easterly breeze but Black Jack was the first to head west and this paid off as the wind filled in.

With a reach towards Guernsey there were many sail changes amongst the front of the fleet as they tried to make best use of the wind which was constantly changing in both direction and speed. By the time they got to Lower Heads buoy south of Sark Black Jack had increased her lead from Abracadabra whilst Majic was taking a more westerly course. Jai Ho was closing on the first two yachts and not far behind were Gentoo and Jewel.

As the boats then headed for the finish there were two options either to sail directly for the line towards the coast or take a longer route further east to try to keep stronger wind. Black Jack chose the more direct course whilst Abracadabra went furthest east. This certainly paid off as she overhauled Black Jack and took line honours and she was also first on handicap. Overall on handicap Black Jack was second with Jai Ho third, Sun of a Gun 3 fourth and Jewel fifth. Unfortunately, by the time the slower boats were approaching the finish the wind dropped and the tide turned against them so this made it very difficult for them to climb up the leader board when the handicaps were worked out.

The Sir James Knott Trophy was won by the Jersey Team. This is calculated from the first three yachts form each Island and is a very prestigious trophy always keenly fought for. Overall the Jersey yachts did extremely well this year also collecting the first Two Handed Yacht (Lady Penelope), first Quarter Tonner (Tom Bombadil), first family sailed yacht (Indigo), First multihull (Aquafly), first 'Ancient Mariner' (Rhys Perkins) and first Junior helm (Olin Rogers).

Many thanks to Savills for sponsoring the event and to Nick O'Hare, Race Officer.

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