Six races on windward-leeward courses were held in the Central Solent. The highly competitive fleet experienced a variety of wind conditions, from shifty and tactical super-light to glorious planing conditions in flat water. The 20-strong J/70 Class was hotly contested with seven teams making the podium over the six race series.
Graham Clapp’s Jeepster (RSrnYC) scored two race wins and discarded a fourth. Consistency was the name of the game, aided by world class talent including NACRA 17 World Champion Ben Saxton, and Olympic 49er sailor Sophie Ainsworth. Geoff Carveth & Doug Struth’s DSP (RSrnYC) was second , and Clive Bush’s Darcey (CYC), with 49er sailor John Pink calling tactics, was third.
“For years I was a ‘trailer-dad’ to my children Max and Sally, and 20 years after racing Darts, my wife told me I needed to get out of the garage, so she asked Max which boat to buy and he said a J/70.” commented Jeepster’s Graham Clapp. “The team for this weekend have been coaching or racing with my children for many years, so we already have a good relationship. We made a few errors which did not cost us too badly, but to win in this field was amazing.”
Graham Clapp’s Jeepster first overall
Geoff Carveth & Doug Struth’s DSP (RSrnYC) was second , and Clive Bush’s Darcey (CYC), with 49er sailor John Pink calling tactics, was third. Paul Ward’s Eat, Sleep,J,Repeat (RSrnYC), with North Sails One Design expert Charlie Cumbley on board, scored a race win to finish fifth.
Patrick Liardet’s team racing Cosmic (RSrnYC), finished the regatta with a 2-2 to become the top corinthian team and fourth overall.
“We didn’t have a very good first day, the top mark was very busy and like other teams we got caught in the pile up and in our discard race we didn’t get a good start.” admitted Cosmic’s Patrick Liardet. “The last day was really good with two second places, which we are very pleased with. Setting up the boat and how you steer it is very important and that takes lots of practice and application. The other element is trying to sail with the same crew to minimise mistakes, as the worst result tends to determine the outcome of a series. Myself, Andy Page and Mike Johnson have been sailing together since 2010 in the J/80 and J/70 Class. Joining us this season is Billy Venniss-Ozanne, from Hill Head, who won the 2017 UK 29er Nationals, and has been sailing in the 49er with Olympic ambitions. I think it is great that the J/70 Class is attracting sailors like Billy.”