We won the start and crossed the fleet on port; super tidal, light air day. There was probably 10 knots TWS at start time and we were more than holding our own against the larger, higher rated boats. As the breeze dropped down to more like 6TWS in the top third of the beat the longer boats with genoas were able to keep rumbling just that bit better and managed to get away.
The breeze remained light and downwind we were really strong even in the lighter air and simply sail past the boats who had been a click stronger upwind when it went very light.
It was a pretty one-sided track from that point onwards as the tide was so strong so the remaining upwind legs were simply ‘follow’ the leader’ but we made good gains, particularly at the top end of the wind range we saw that day when the 99 looks to be strong.
As an all round IRC boat the J/99 will be hard to beat, big genoa-rigged boats will always win out on a day when the average wind was under 8 knots, but I’m very excited by the potential of the J/99 – when the breeze touched 10 knots we were launched!