J Boats success in the Morgan Cup

Morgan Cup Race

Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club

Start: Friday 11th June 2021

RYS Line, Cowes to Dartmouth, Devon (110nm)

Congratulations to all of the J Boats competing in the Morgan Cup. Especially, Michael O’Donnell’s J/121 Darkwood winner of IRC One and second overall in a fleet of 73 boats. Bruce Huber’s J/112E Xanaboo was the winner of IRC Three and fifth overall. William McGough & Christian Jeffery racing J/109 Just So double-handed, finishing runner up in IRC 4.

The impressive RORC fleet got away on a spinnaker run, exiting the Solent to the east before turning upwind to race in the English Channel to finish at Dartmouth, Devon. After one of the hottest days of the year, the overnight race was held in the comfort of a warm south westerly breeze. However, dense fog greeted the fleet as they tacked around the southside of the Isle of Wight. By morning on Day Two, with the race leaders closing in on the finish, high pressure arrived over the racecourse. The teams that could maintain their optimum velocity reaped the rewards.

J/121 Darkwood 2021 RORC Morgan Cup Cowes – Dartmouth. © Rick Tomlinson/RORC
J/112E Xanaboo RORC Morgan Cup 2021 © James Tomlinson/RORC

J/112E Xanaboo is owned by Bruce Huber who lives in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. On the first night, local knowledge and great crew work paid great dividends for the team, as Huber explains. “I could actually see my house from the racecourse, it’s where we sail Bembridge Illusions, so we know where the rocks are,” commented Bruce. “While the fleet were tacking for tidal relief, we managed to hold a lane and get a high line without tacking, so a big gain there. As with the rest of the fleet, the Xanaboo crew worked really well to put in many tacks to stay out of the tide after Ventnor. There was the added complication of staying in the best pressure with a lot of sailcloth around us, plus there was dense fog. The end of the race was very frustrating, we were in contention for the overall win but hit a wind hole. We did everything we could to tweak the boat to the finish, but the overall win was not to be.”

The next big event for the J Boats family will be the 22nd edition of the Landsail Tyres J-Cup. Three days of great racing action 24-26 June, hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. For more information: www.j-cup.co.uk

J/109 Just So 2021 RORC Morgan Cup Cowes – Dartmouth. © Rick Tomlinson/RORC