50 J Boats have entered the Landsail Tyres J-Cup and the sizeable fleet had a thrilling start to the three-day regatta with a fresh south-westerly breeze gusting over 25 knots. The RORC Race Team, led by PRO Stuart Childerley, completed one race for all classes before the tide changed, stirring up an already agitated Solent. Class winners on the opening day were Gavin Howe’s J/88 Tigris, David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’ronimo, Tony & Sally Mack’s J/111 McFly, Simon Perry’s J/109 Jiraffe and Paul Ward’s J/70 Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat.
In IRC One, three former J-Cup winners filled the podium for the first race of the regatta. Gavin Howe’s J/88 Tigris won by just 22 seconds on corrected time from David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J/88 J-Dream. Chaz Ivill’s J/112E Davanti Tyres was third.
“I am delighted with the team’s performance today,” commented Gavin Howe. “The race was very competitive. In the conditions we decided not to hoist are spinnaker on the downwind leg and J-Dream decided to go for it and passed us. However, Tigris fought back to win, which was delightful.”
In IRC Two, David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’ronimo revelled in the conditions to take line honours and the race win after time correction by nearly three minutes. Nick Munday’s J/97 Induljence was second and Becky Walford’s J/92 Brenda’s J was third.
Volvo Ocean Race sailor Libby Greenhalgh is navigator and tactician for her father driving J’ronimo. “We went for an early reef on J’ronimo and sailed the course that suited our boat rather than following the fleet,” she commented. “Our overall strategy was to minimize tacks and race in flat water, rather than use the tide.”
In the J/111 Class, Tony & Sally Mack’s McFly opened their defence of the J/111 UK National Championship with a solid performance taking the race win. Chris Jones’ Journeymaker II was second and Tim Tolcher’s Raging Bull 2 was third.
In the J/109 Class, also their UK National Championship, Simon Perry’s Jiraffe was today’s race winner. Mike & Susie Yates’ Jago was second and David Richards’ Jumping Jellyfish was third.
Paul Ward’s Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat won a high-speed encounter in the J/70 Class. Nick Phillips racing RTYC Charter boat Chaotic, only racing in a J/70 for the second time, was runner up. Tim Collins racing EV Experts was third.
The daily prize givings were held at the RORC Clubhouse. Dividing the fleet for social distancing, the J Boat family enjoyed complimentary pasta and a bottle beer and applauded today’s prize winners. Racing continues tomorrow, Friday 4th September, with lighter winds forecast for the Landsail Tyres J-Cup.