J/122 'Jackpot' wins CYCA SOPS Springs Series in IRC Division 1

10:05 AM Sat 12 Dec 2009 GMT

The final race of the 6 race CYCA Short Ocean Pointscore Series was held on Saturday 5th December. It was going to be a nail biter because the first 3 yachts were tied on points for first place on IRC, so the final race would decide the winner. The way the drops were working the J/122 Jackpot sailed by Ray and Sandra Entwistle needed to win by two places to secure the series for IRC Division 1. That was a tough call given the skill level of the competition.

The fleet awoke to a glorious Sydney summer day, about 25 degrees C, and a soft 8-15 knot E/SE breeze. The seas outside the heads had abated, with only a slight swell remaining after the southerly from the previous night. They were also racing for the 'David Burke Memorial Trophy'.

With a combined fleet of 22 yachts on the start line ranging from 40 footers to 60 footers - the J/122 at 40 feet was amongst the smallest. According to Ray, 'Our initial concern was not to be buried at the start by the larger yachts in the fleet. We stayed back a little at the start which allowed us to come in at the committee boat end and tack into clean air. We had a pretty clean beat to get out of the heads, and then our tactician Ian picked the wind shifts perfectly to the top mark which was about 6nm offshore. The course was windward / leewards so we popped our 155sq.m asymmetric running kite for the downwind legs, and with first-rate trimming we ran just as square as the symmetric rigged boats. The design work on the asymmetric kites by 'Ian Short Sailmakers' is excellent.

'After threelaps around the course we had maintained our lead. The finish was a kite run/broad reach back through Sydney Harbour Heads, then a quick gybe and a reach down the harbour to the committee boat at Watson's Bay. We just simply had a great days' sailing. The crew worked seamlessly and our J/122 Jackpot just revelled in the conditions. We came in 1st in IRC, and most importantly, the required 2 places ahead of our main rivals that enabled us to win the series in Division 1. Special thanks to all of our crew for their consistent effort and skill which really made this race series a lot of fun'.

Ray's perspective on the J/122 after a season's worth of sailing follows - 'The main thing about the J/122's performance is her consistency. Our worst result over the six race series was third, and given that the series had all types of wind conditions from 6-8 knots up to 30-35 knots, and from windward/leeward courses to 40nm return passage races, there is a lot to be said for her consistent performance.' Her accomplishments are no fluke - this is the same series in which Jackpot finished equal first last Autumn, just after she was commissioned. She just doesn't have any vices.'

by Sandra Entwistle

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