J/109 E-News

May 2009

In This Issue
Sprit Fest
Scottish Series
Block Island East Coasts
Cowes Week Registration
5 Races, 5 Winners
Upcoming Regattas
Deauville Race Week
North Americans
Spring Flurry
CNC headshotWith the Memorial Day and May Bank Holidays past, the season has officially begun on both sides of the pond.  For members of the J/109 family there are enough events to satisfy every taste, from hard-core racing to family cruising.  We hear more from the racing-oriented members but encourage everyone who has a great J/109 story to contribute to this monthly newsletter by sending an email to carol@109.org.  We'll make sure your story is shared with the rest of the J/109 community. 
In the meantime, enjoy the opening events of another season! -Carol Cronin
Planning Ahead:  NA's details available
The North Americans will be hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club in conjunction with their Verve Cup Regatta from August 13-16. Information is available on the CYC website. The NA's will also feature an additional day of racing for the 109's on Thursday 8/13. The deadline for entry is being extended to 6/15 and the NOR is expected to be posted by next week. Discounted trucking/rigging arrangements and charter information is available by contacting Fleet 11 Captain Pete Priede at ppriede@comcast.net.
Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series:  Winning for a Better Cause
 2009 Christie Cancer Care ClydeWhen Nigel Biggs and his crew took to the waters of Loch Fyne last weekend, they headed out to the first races on Friday harbouring the same hopes of overall glory which have been at the back of the Cheshire businessman's mind since he first raced at the North of Britain's premier sailing regatta twenty years ago.  But he and his crew also knew that even if they didn't win, their efforts would be welcomed by one of Europe's leading cancer care and  research centres.    

Biggs, who campaigns his J/109 in the very competitive IRC Class 3 under the name of 'CHRISTIE CANCER CARE',  won the overall Scottish Series Trophy with a string of back to back wins in this highly competitive fleet.  Along the way, he also created awareness of the centre near Manchester that has a special place in his heart.

"My own father was treated by The Christie during his cancer and received the most fantastic care before  his death.  Our involvement with The Christie is a small contribution to trying to avoid other people suffering the way my father did," explains Biggs.    

Biggs and the collection of friends known as the Checkmate Sailing Team has won their class six times, but until this year had never quite managed to get their hands on the overall Scottish Series Trophy.  "I've been to the prize giving so many times and been disappointed and so I really was not expecting to win, so I am pretty much lost for words. It is fantastic to win at last." Said Biggs, "Our philosophy has always been to sail hard, to try and win but with friends and to have a good time doing so."

Conditions for the final day were typical of one of the less pleasing faces of Loch Fyne: wet, grey and a mix of light winds peppered with periods of difficult gusty breezes.

Other contenders for the top award, which is appointed by an executive representing sponsors and the organising club, the Clyde Cruising Club, included the IRC Class 1 winning King 40 and the IRC Class 2 victor Corby 37. "This has been another excellent regatta which I really feel brought the event back to the heart of the village of Tarbert," commented Jamie Matheson of Brewin Dolphin.

More info

Block Island Race Week will be the East Coast Championships
Storm Trysail FlagRick Lyall provided this update on Block Island Race Week:

We currently have 12 boats signed up and will hopefully get some more before the event takes place. The NOR says there will be no throw outs.  This is different than in the past and the J/109 Class will not request an exception.

We have posted additional requirements to those listed in tlhe NOR on the J/109 website which are similar to what we have done at prior championship events. Both owners and drivers will have to have their Class dues paid before participating in the event.  You can pay up at j109.org.

We have also decided to do a trial run of a potential change to the class rules at this regatta. The current rules require a skipper to "call" a jib and spinnaker for the day and use only those sails unless one is damaged to the point it can't be used.  For this regatta, we will allow skippers to change jibs or spinnakers at will during each day.  This will provide somewhat greater flexibility and allow owners to protect their investment in "new" sails in the event conditions strengthen.  Class Secretary Ed Dailey included a provision against sail changes within 3 boat lengths of a mark.  This has been included merely as a safety precaution.  We will hopefully get your feedback on this after the regatta to determine if it is something we would like to permanently incorporate into the class rules.

We are hoping once again to have a class get together.  Bob Schwartz of Nordlys has kindly offered to host the party at his house.  We expect the Class will provide some funds to subsidize this gathering but we will likely ask each boat to either carry a dish or help out with set up, cooking or clean up.  I will put together a list of things that need to be done and circulate it in the next 1-2 weeks.  Hopefully, many hands will make light work!

I look forward to seeing you all on Block Island!


Rick Lyall
Cowes Week Registration Now Open
CowesWeek2009logoCowes Week Limited is delighted to announce that entries for Cowes Week are now open, and looks forward to welcoming regular participants and new competitors to this year's regatta.

While a full programme of racing will be provided on all eight days of Cowes Week 2009, the results from the final Saturday will not count towards the points series, allowing boats racing in the Rolex Fastnet Race time to prepare without compromising their series. Instead, boats will race on Saturday 8 August for trophies presented by the Royal Southern Yacht Club and the Island Sailing Club.

J/109s racing on this day will sail with the J/Sprit class.

The RNLI Cowes Week Ball 2009, featuring 'Talisker Tales', is the perfect way to round off the Official Charity Day at Cowes Week on Monday 3 August. This exclusive event, supported by Talisker single malt Scotch whisky, will include a champagne reception, fine dining, dancing, whisky tasting and an evening of tales from the sea with guest speaker and RNLI crew members. There will also be an auction with some exciting and exclusive lots! Tickets are now on sale.  Also, Cowes Yacht Haven has announced that specially-discounted passes will be available to all competitors during Cowes Week. The 15 GBP passes will provide access to the Haven throughout the week, giving competitors the opportunity to enjoy some top class entertainment at very low cost. 

More info

Western Solent Champs: 5 races and 5 winners
The J/109 Western Solent Championships was held over the weekend of 16/17 May by Royal Solent Yacht Club in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight.  An uncomfortable delivery for the majority of the fleet on Friday evening resulted in tales of big waves and lots of red wine was consumed to steady the nerves!

Saturday morning saw the Race Committee set a course on Lymington Bank in S-SW 25 knots.  The first race saw ZELDA (Michael Ewart-Smith/Ben Richards) demonstrate their excellence in heavy weather and they led the entire race.  Meanwhile JAMBAHLA (Richard Sainsbury/Gillian Ross) were the only boat to hoist a spinnaker.  With gusts of 30 knots this did not particularly gain them places but was exhilarating to watch! 

The second race saw JOHNNY BLUE II have an issue with their headsail and miss the start by some 2 minutes.  They powered through the fleet and were hot on the heels of J-DREAM and JAMBAHLA having passed JUMPING JELLYFISH (David Richards) as they crossed the finish line to claim 3rd place.   

JOHNNY BLUE II found her winning form in the third race and showed the fleet both their transom and their keel, with a spectacular broach as a gust of 34 knots went through the fleet. 

The Royal Solent Yacht Club arranged an excellent Class dinner for the fleet and there were also birthday celebrations for Sarah Wallis of JAHMALI.  The band encouraged all of the fleet to hit the dancefloor, despite claims of being tired or too bruised!

Sunday morning was wet (very!) and many crews were slow to appear on the pontoon.  The first race saw JOUSTER start well and lead the fleet.  The second race was started in 28knots and gusts in excess of 35knots were seen.  JAMBAHLA led at the windward mark, but J-DREAM move to take the lead with a quick spinnaker hoist.  With boat speeds of 17 knots, the crew were grinning from ear-to-ear.  A J/109 can plane - and it was awesome!!  A MOB off J-DREAM at the leeward mark allowed JAMBAHLA to regain the lead which she held for the short beat to the finish.  The top three boats finished within 22 seconds of each other.

Nigel Young of North Sails Ireland, sailing with JOUSTER, said, "This is the first time I have raced with a reef in 4 years.  In Ireland the PRO wouldn't start a race in more than 25 knots.  It has been the best sailing I have done for ages."   

With a discard only applicable if 6 races were sailed, consistency was rewarded and J-DREAM will be crowned Western Solent Champions at the prizegiving which will take place at the J/109 Class Annual Dinner in January 2010.

1st - J-DREAM David & Kirsty Apthorp    13 points

2nd - JAMBAHLA Richard Sainsbury/Gillian Ross    17 points

3rd - JOHNNY BLUE II Jeff Dakin/Bruce Jubb/Mike Flood   19 points

4th - JOUSTER Adam & Helen Wright      21 points

5th - ZELDA Michael Ewart-Smith/Ben Richards    24 points
This enewsletter was edited and produced for the J/109 Class Association by
Carol Newman Cronin of Live Wire.