J-Cup 2008

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Förra helgens J-Cup i Hamble samlade 75 båtar, varav 32 i J/109 nationals. De vanliga i topp (alla resultat här) . Svenske Jonas Grandér hade det tufft, men avslutade med en spik och vann söndagens North Sails Boat of the Day. Foton: Ingrid Abery/www.hotcapers.com.

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Racing continued through Saturday and Sunday for the 75 boats competing at the J-Cup 2008, which was hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble. Racing took place in five classes, on two race areas, and the event also incorporates the 32 boat fleet of J/109s racing for their UK National Championship.

The J/109 Zelda, owned and raced by Ben Richards and Michael Ewart-Smith, had a monumental battle throughout the entire regatta with old adversaries Bruce Jubb, Jeff Dakin and Mike Flood on Johnny Blue II. At the end of the first day these two boats were tied on equal points, but Simon ‘Sling’ Ling and his team on board the RAF’s Red Arrow were just one point behind. Matt’s Boyles Shiva was lying in fourth. Zelda went on to have a blinding day on Saturday, revelling in the heavier conditions (20 to 27 knots from the North East) and clocking up a 2,1,1 scoreline, which extended their lead to four points from Johnny Blue II. Shiva sailed well and moved into fourth place with David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J-Dream in fifth place.

On Sunday the conditions had changed yet again: at 1100 instruments were reading seven knots from 220 degrees but by 1330 the breeze had swung round as far as 300 degrees and it was clear that light and shifty would become the order of the day. A total glass-out at the end of Race 7 meant that some unfortunates were swept past the line, unable to get back, and a number of boats (including Zelda) scored a DNF. That said, the team on Johnny Blue II had both tactical intelligence and a little bit of luck on their side and they went on to win the race from Red Arrow in second and J-Dream in third.

Going in to the final race of the series, Zelda had to discard their DNF and count an earlier seventh place and Johnny Blue II had a two point lead at the front of the fleet. Johnny Blue II could sail a safe and conservative race whereas Zelda were going to have to be a little more punchy. As it transpired, a risky decision on the final upwind leg left Zelda some way down the pack. On the line it was Jonas Grander in his brand new boat Matador in first place. Shiva was second, Johnny Blue II finished third which was enough to win them the 2008 J/109 UK National Championship. Zelda finished second overall followed by Shiva, Red Arrow and then J-Dream. Jonas Grander was awarded the North Sails Boat of the Day prize for scoring a bullet in his first regatta in his new boat.

The J/109s were the only fleet to have just two races scheduled for Sunday; all of the other classes had lost a race on Saturday, with the J/80s losing two, due to the heavy weather. The Race Management Team were keen to get full series away if at all possible and so there was plenty to play for on the Red course.

In Class 1 Stewart Hawthorn sailed a fabulous series in his J/133 Jump and extended his points lead each day. The J/122 Jinja, owned and raced by Ian Mathews and family narrowly pipped Chas Ivill’s J/133 JB3 into second by just one point. Duncan MacDonald, Charlie Wise and Phil Thomas raced in this class in their J/90 and deserve special credit for scoring to wins across the series; it’s never easy racing much bigger boats, beating against the tide. Jonty Layfield won the final race of the series in Sleeper his J/39. Sleeper was not only the oldest ‘design’ at the J-Cup this year but was also the only boat with a symmetrical kite; this bullet secured him the North Sails Boat of the Day prize for Class 1.

Who’s to No, the J/92 of Richard Sparrow and Neilson Redeye the J/92 S which belongs to Pete and Pip Tyler were tied on eleven points going in to the final day of the regatta. For the last three races, Who’s to No racked up a 1,2,5 score but were able to discard the fifth place. Neilson Redeye on the other hand had a 4,4,1 but even with their discard being a fourth place they finished one point shy of Who’s to No. In third place overall were Andrew Roberts and Stephen Etheridge from Lymington racing their J/92 S Just in Time. Colin Wall and his team slipped from third overall to fourth on the last day, having to discard a DNF in His J/92 S True Love. However, he was awarded the North Sails Boat of the Day prize and included two wins in his regatta scratch sheet.

The J/105s enjoyed fabulous one-design racing at the J-Cup. The early leader in this class had been Geoff Payne racing Jolene. However, it was Jelly Baby, owned and raced by William Newton, who found fabulous form half way through the regatta and clawed her way through to win the series. At the end of the regatta, Jelly Baby included three wins in her points total. Jelly Baby won the series with Jolene in second and Paul Griffith’s Fay-J was third. Fay-J also won the North Sails Boat of the Day prize on Sunday, having won two of the three races sailed.

The sixteen J/80s racing in Class at the J-Cup enjoyed fabulous racing and extremely close competition. Whilst Liz Savage and the Savage Sailing Team led the fleet for the first two days racing, Ian Atkins in Boats.com won both of the races on Sunday which put him just one point ahead of Savage Sailing. Third overall in the J/80s were newcomers to the Class, Seb Ripard and the boys and girls on SAO. This young team are racing a boat on charter from the UKSA and their regatta schedule includes the UK Nationals and the 2008 World Championships which takes place in Kiel later this year. They sailed a strong regatta and made friends everywhere they went, which is exactly within the spirit of competition that J/80 owners hold dear. They were awarded the North Sails Boat of the Day Prize on Sunday.

So… after three days of intense competition on the water, and two full evenings of après-sail socialising ashore in the bar, the J-Cup flotilla returned to the Royal Southern Yacht Club on Sunday afternoon and 450 people sat down for the J-Cup 2008 Gala Prize Giving Dinner. In addition to the prizes for the 2008 J/109 UK National Championship and each individual J-Cup points series, a number of other prestigious prizes were awarded.

The evening commenced with the J/109 UK National Championship presentation. For the team on board Johnny Blue II, Bruce Jubb, Jeff Dakin and Mike Flood, the new Nat Champs, the long walk up to the podium had a familiar feel to it. Having won the event in 2007 in a borrowed boat, they were defending their title this year, and the very fact that this team put together such consistent programmes makes their achievement all the more poignant.

The B&G prize, a set of Deckman software and a branded coastal jacket, was presented to Chris Jones of the J/105 Journeymaker 5. Chris races at all of the one-design events for the J/105 class and is a huge advocate and supporter of the Class. His boat was originally bought to enable him to compete in the Three Peaks Race and in 2007 won the Tilman Trophy at this event. He knows a little bit about computers does Chris; he was a popular winner and will no doubt put the prize to extremely good use.

Dubarry have supported the J-Cup for several years now and this year they offered two significant prizes. The Dubarry Boot for Endurance was a new trophy for the 2008 event. It was presented to two gentlemen from Brighton who have raced virtually every model that J Boats have sold in the UK over the last thirty years. In their time they have won National Championships, the J-Cup, the Black Group at Cowes Week as well as many other events. This year they were competing in their J/92 J’Ronimo. David Greenhalgh and John (JT) Taylor; well done, we’ll see you again very soon!

The Dubarry Boot for Outstanding Achievement went to Simon ‘Sling’ Ling and the team from the RAF’s J/109 Red Arrow. These guys cannot possibly sail together, with the same team, every single week because their work commitments within the RAF would never allow it. They have worked hard to get to know the boat whenever the opportunity arises and the fact that this team, skippered by Sling, finished fourth in the J/109 UK National Championship made them the obvious choice for this award. This was an outstanding result for sure.

The Elvstrom Sobastad Best Newcomer Trophy was awarded to William Newton and his team on board the J/105 Jelly Baby. The J-Cup was the first time that William had really raced one-design against the other J/105s in heavier airs and his class win was all the more impressive for this reason.
Another new prize at the J-Cup 2008 was the two boat team event for which the Musketeer Trophy was donated and also presented by Gary Fry of J/109 Mojito and Nick Martin from the J/105 Diablo-J. This pair of handsome, swashbuckling city boys bought the J/105 between them a couple of years ago and Gary and his wife Sasha now also own the J/109. They still race together, on either boat, whenever they can. They perform well and are always to be found in the thick of the party. Dressed to impress in full Musketeer costumes, complete with big swords and thigh boots, the trophy was presented to the winning team of the J/109 Johnny Blue II and the J/80 Boats.com

The J-Cup itself, the trophy from which this event takes its name, is awarded each year by the team at J-UK. It does not necessarily go to the boat with the lowest points score. This year the J-Cup was presented to Michael Ewart-Smith and Ben Richards of the J/109 Zelda. These two gentlemen co-owners have been absolutely instrumental in driving and protecting the development of the J/109 UK One-Design Class. The fact that there were 32 boats racing one-design at this event, the largest fleet of J/109s anywhere in the world, ever, is testament to this fact.

J-UK would like to thank every single competitor at the event for their sportsmanship, energy and enthusiasm. How could the J-Cup possibly happen without you?

Thanks must also go to the whole army of people at the Royal Southern Yacht Club who got behind this event in a way that exceeded all expectations; everyone from the bar staff to the bosuns, the sailing secretary to the chefs, worked tirelessly throughout the weekend. The Race Management Team, headed by Tony Lovell on the Green line and Peter Bateson on the Red, delivered precisely what the competitors at the regatta had hoped for.

Finally, J-UK would specifically like to express enormous gratitude to the three principal regatta sponsors; B&G, Dubarry of Ireland and North Sails. All three of these companies have been involved with the J-Cup for several years, during which time the event has grown and developed to its current size and status.

In addition to the above, J-UK would like to thank the following prize sponsors:

Bonne Bouche Deli
The Daily Sail
Dolphin Sails
Elvstrom Sobstad
Frontline Image
Grapefruit Graphics
Harken
Hyde Sails
Seapower
Quantum Sails
Yacht Catering Company

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