For the Island’s sailing community, September opened on 2nd of the month with the twenty-fourth edition of the three-day combined clubs’ Jersey Regatta, sponsored for the third year running by leading offshore law firm Carey Olsen. With some eighty boats racing in classes ranging through cruisers, dayboats, dinghies, sport catamarans and windsurfers, the beautiful arena of St Aubin’s Bay was a really stunning sight.
Conditions for the cruiser races on the Friday were less than desirable, starting off with sunshine and a long wait for sufficient wind to get boats over the line. The light conditions and relatively strong tide, predictably, proved to be very frustrating for some! Conditions improved for the ‘small boat’ fleet in the late afternoon, the light south-westerly breeze being sufficient to bring the day to a successful conclusion.
Despite an overcast sky and shower to open Saturday, conditions improved quickly with a moderate breeze filling in from the south-west accompanied by partly cloudy skies. Operating to the south of the Bay, the cruiser race committee completed its programme without any significant hitch whilst its alter ego to the north of the Bay had to contend with predictably shiftier breezes, giving rise to some well-rehearsed course adjustments. Once again, the day ended satisfactorily.
Sunday, however, was a different story. Rain opened proceedings, once again, accompanied by a strong southerly blow, big swell and very choppy seas. Once again, the sun appeared and the wind eased a little to provide good if somewhat sporty racing conditions not to mention lively times aboard the committee boat and even more so for the mark layers! Conditions inshore were a little less frenetic although the swell and choppy seas made launching the sport catamaran fleet, from a lee shore, challenging. This proved to be the most telling day in terms of testing boats with several of the main contenders being taken out by breakages. Nevertheless, Sunday’s racing also ran its full course.
As ever, Friday stands apart from the Regatta-proper, as a warm-up for some, with dedicated trophies and prizes. Saturday and Sunday, only, count for the principal trophies, prizes and, for the cruiser classes, the GBR IRC Channel Islands Championship.
With two races scheduled for each day, Allen Brown and partners’ Melges 24, The Dog’s ……..!, proved to be the best boat on IRC, winning all four races in the combined sportsboat and fast cruiser class but it was Alex Ohlsson and Neil Maclachlan’s J 109 that put in the best performance in Class 1 to win the IRC Class 1 Championship and the Spinlock prizes just ahead of last year’s winner, Guernsey’s Alastair Bisson’s Sunfast 3600, Killing Time. With three wins to her credit, the combined Class 2/Quarter Ton honours and the IRC Class 2 Championship went to Team Mic Mac’s Farr 727. Team Fahrenheit’s Farr 727 was second. Racing in the NHC spinnaker class, Jeremy Swetenham’s Contessa 32, Jemmana, won three of her four races to clinch victory ahead of Don Thompson’s beautiful gaff cutter, Foxhound. Mike Smith and Rachael Smith’s Egythene 24, Sombrero, with three wins to her credit won the white sail class, clear ahead of Mick Rabet’s Nicholson 30, Troilus.
There were three races each day for the ‘small’ boats, on courses well clear of the cruisers. The dayboat class produced one of the closest results with Laurence Curtis’ centenarian Cherbourg OD, Moana, just beating Malcolm Annan’s Oysterman, Jamesina, by one point overall. Four wins in the twenty-one-strong ‘fast’ dinghy fleet went to Martin Speller sailing a Laser Standard on Saturday and a Radial on Sunday. Will Dengate, Laser Standard, and Guernsey’s Henrik Asplund and Georgina King, RS200, both clocked up wins but it was Fleur Moisan, Laser Radial, who sailed consistently well to win the Class by four points.
The impressive competition in the dinghy fleet was mirrored by that of the open sport catamaran class, all Hobie 16s, producing the closest finish overall. Ollie Voak and Megan Roworth sailed Ships & Giggles to two firsts on Saturday, Gordon Burgis and Kenny Snell the third. However, Wildwind’s Simon Morgan with Bryony Spieza, 420 World Champion, sailing the borrowed Wild Cat, found the heavier conditions on Sunday more to their liking, taking all three races to win on countback from Ships and Giggles. In the F18 fleet, racing on the cruiser courses, Adrian Jesson and Paul Martin excelled throughout, taking all six races ahead of James Fullerton and Perry Stone, sailing Hobie Wildcats. Unfortunately for the ‘slow’ dinghy and Hobie Dragoon classes, many competitors were delayed in the UK, following a week’s ‘big boat’ sailing, due to a disastrous flight cancellation that took them out of Saturday’s racing. Unaffected by this disruption, Alf Barrowcliffe and Henry Lucas sailed their Dragoon to victory, winning all six races. Ollie Hunt and Thomas Allo were second, also having sailed the full six. Of those that had been ‘marooned’, Lucas McAlister and Jamie Washington sailed on Sunday to be placed third overall.
Andy Hart took the honours in the Kona windsurfer class, winning four of the six races. Laurence Carter, with two wins on Saturday was a close second.
The event concluded in a packed St Helier YC on Sunday evening when Regatta Chairman Bill Harris thanked the competitors, especially the visitors from the UK, Guernsey and Greece, the race officers, committee boat owners and the multitude of volunteers who had made the Regatta possible. Mr Chris Carpenter, representing Carey Olsen, thanked everyone for what had been an excellent Regatta. He went on to present the myriad trophies and prizes before confirming, to great applause, that Carey Olsen will be sponsoring the Jersey Regatta in 2023, its silver jubilee year.
Sportsboat & Class1 – The Dog’s ……..! – Allen Brown & Partners
IRC Class 1 – Abracadabra – Rhys Perkins & Bob De la Haye
IRC Class 2 – Adelie – Rob Salter
Quarter Ton – Fahrenheit – Team Fahrenheit
NHC (Spinnaker) Class 3a – Jemmana – Jeremy Swetenham
NHC (No spinnaker) Class 3b – Mystique – Deborah Hutchings & Chris Fritot
Dayboat Class 4 – Moana – Laurence Curtis
Sport catamaran Class 6 – Ships & Giggles – Ollie Voak & Megan Roworth
Open dinghy – 8 – RS200 – Henrik Asplund & Georgina King
(All winners ‘Best-in-Class’)
Class 0+1 (IRC)
1 The Dog’s ……..! – Allen Brown & Partners(3)
Class 1 (IRC)
1 Jai Ho – Alex Ohlsson & Neil Maclachlan (7) (GBR IRC CI Championship – Class 1)
2 Killing Time – Alastair Bisson (9)
3 Abracadabra – Rhys Perkins & Bob De la Haye (13)
Class 2/QT (IRC)
1 Mic Mac – Team Mic Mac (3) (GBR IRC CI Championship – Class 2)
2 Fahrenheit – Team Fahrenheit (6)
3 Super Q – Team Super Q (7)
Class 3a (Spinnaker) (NHC)
1 Jemmana – Jeremy Swetenham (3)
2 Foxhound – Don Thompson (6)
3 Bandit – Ben Rogers (7)
Class 3b (White sail) (NHC)
1 Sombrero – Rachael Smith & Mike Smith (3)
2 Troilus – Michael Rabet (6)
3 Mystique of Jersey – Deborah Hutchings & Chris Fritot (7)
Class 4 – Dayboat
1 Moana – Laurence Curtis (8)
2 Jamesina – Malcolm Annan (9)
3 Soda – Will Carnegie (16)
Class 5 – Hobie F18 Sport catamaran
1 Hobie 618 – Adrian Jesson & Paul Martin (5)
2 Lulu Blue – James Fullerton & Perry Stone (11)
3 Sinbad – Simon Martin & Ed Thorogood/Andy Frigot(13)
Class 6 – Hobie 16 Sport catamaran
1 Tom Cat – Simon Morgan & Bryony Spieza (9)
2 Ships & Giggles – Ollie Voak & Megan Roworth (9)
3 iGatto – Grant Neale & Karen Larose (14)
Class 7 – Hobie Dragoon
1 1078 – Alf Barrowcliffe & Henry Lucas (5)
2 1366 – Ollie Hunt & Thomas Allo (11)
3 1370 – Lucas McAlister & Jamie Washington (19)
Class 8 – Open Dinghy (‘fast’)
1 Laser Radial 192468 – Fleur Moisan (14)
2 RS200 1573 – Henrik Asplund & Georgina King (18)
3 Laser Radial 166436 – Harry Wood (20)
4 Laser 208968 – Kai Surcouf (21)
5 Laser 178329 – Will Dengate (23)
Class 9 – Open Dinghy (‘slow’)
1 Optimist 5885 – Olin Rogers (2)
Class W – Kona OD Windsurfer
1 Andy Hart (6)
2 Laurence Carter (8)
3 Lily Carter (19)