23 September 2020
Once again, the JOG sailing season has ended all too soon. We seem to have barely started when it’s suddenly all over. However, we finished with a 40 boat entry for the Final Wrap and there is a race report elsewhere on the website.
This has been an extraordinary year. No one could have foreseen the impact of Covid 19 on our world or our sport until it happened and we have done our utmost to give all our members some testing and worthwhile racing, just as soon as we could. Our membership has risen by 17% and we have acquitted ourselves well financially as will be reported at the AGM. I will save some other pleasing statistics for my Captain’s report at that meeting.
It does not need me to remind you of the rules and guidelines, changing at almost the speed of sound, that thwarted all forms of racing for the first half of the year. But JOG led the field with a massive 140 boat entry list for the Lonely Tower and the subsequent “Covid friendly” races were planned and run with care and a great sense of community awareness and social responsibility. Some of our regular racers, quite rightly, stayed away. Vulnerability issues, responsibilities for families and relatives and personal risk assessments all had to be weighed and considered. We too took these factors into account but hope that those that couldn’t race, as well as those that did, were understanding of the massive effort involved and supportive of the programme we put in place.
Next year, we are planning a full programme and a return of our usual points series. However, there are still angry clouds on the horizon. The pandemic is currently escalating once more, border issues post Brexit, have yet to be finalised and we have seen sudden self-isolation requirements put in place which would make cross Channel racing a fraught experience, even if allowable. The Flag officers and Committee have decided to plan a principal programme of UK coastal and inshore racing, to the normal Cat 3 and 4 requirements, but with some alternative ,traditional, destinations if developing circumstances and rules make it feasible, sensible and within our stated aim of being socially responsible. We will be publishing the programme as soon as we can. Please support it and the club, even if we all want to return to those venues which have beckoned us so warmly in the past.
For your information, Covid restrictions within the marine industry have slowed down the implementation of new rules requiring a mandatory keel inspection. This has been postponed for at least another year whilst the industry defines who exactly is a “competent person”. Nevertheless, JOG still recommends that you follow the requirement at an opportune moment as boats without keels are not great to be on!
Turning to the AGM for later this year, our rules and constitution require us to hold one before Christmas. The date has already been set as Sat 21st Nov. We will be holding a “virtual” meeting on Zoom and Stuart Lawrence, our IT guru, is making the arrangements. The main panel of Chairman, Captain, Treasurer and Secretary will be there to give reports, as usual, and there will be voting and speaking arrangements in place for all those that need to. Pre-registration will be needed to ensure that only members are represented. All the arrangements will be notified, together with the accounts and reports in plenty of time and in accordance with our rules. The confined and unusual nature of the meeting will limit what can be contributed and discussed but if you have pressing topics that can only be heard at an AGM, please contact the Secretary in plenty of time for inclusion in AOB.
Perhaps, if physical attendance is not required, we may see some more faces attending this meeting! In any case, I am only too willing to hear directly from any of you if you have useful input or concerns for what we are doing.
Finally, even if you haven’t been able to race, we had engaged Rick Tomlinson, not only to take photos, but also to act as a safety boat during our racing. We owe him an extraordinary vote of thanks and I urge you to visit his website https://www.rick-tomlinson.com and look at some of the outstanding moments he has captured. I am also sure that he would appreciate your support by buying some.
None of this would have been possible without the hard work of Martin and Ruth and our Race Officers who give so much to JOG. I know you will join me in thanking them for their efforts.
On behalf of the Committee, I wish you all well and please stay safe in the months ahead.
Dougie Leacy Captain
22 September 2020
JOG The Final Wrap
Wind 75 Degrees 16 – 25 knots
A classic Solent Course with a navigational puzzle at the end that would decide the results.
The wind was forecast to be a force 5 from the NE dropping slowly through the day and veering to the East by the end of the day. And the tide was a big spring so was always going to be a factor.
Start: West to East
West Ryde Middle (4P): leave to port
East Bramble (41): leave to starboard
South Ryde Middle (4Z): leave to port
Browndown (5C): leave to starboard
South East Ryde Middle (45): leave to starboard
East Bramble (41): leave to port
Hamstead Ledge (26): leave to starboard
East Lepe (3H): leave to starboard
Finish: West to East
Distance approx 23 mls
Starting on a Spring West going tide all starts were well contested but clear the favoured end of the line being at the Gurnard Cardinal end. Some boats starting with reefs and #3 jibs looked a sensible option with the reduced Covid crew numbers.
The first leg was a beat to East Bramble with a passing mark of West Ryde Middle. This gave each fleet a chance to spread out into handicap order before the first top mark. Next was a short run of just over 1 NM spinnakers set the run is deeper than expected due to the tide nearly 50% of the fleet goose winged (again sensible) in the strong wind which wasn’t a massive penalty. The short tidal assisted beat to Browndown was again quick and the short run to SE Ryde Middle led to a power reach of 1.5NM Gentoo the new Sunfast 3300 set a stay sail which enabled her to roll Purple Mist in the class below and pull away from Scream II and NJOS in class 1. Next was the run to Hamstead Ledge the tide was starting to ebb and the run would have tidal assistance. Those closer to the Island shore would benefit as it runs harder earlier here. A few final wraps of the season were spotted on the run down to the mark.
An early drop and smart rounding at Hamstead Ledge would save valuable meters at the turning mark as the tide is now running at a full spring Ebb. This is where the race really started most boats headed to less tide in the shallow water off Beaulieu several boats reported more than 50 tacks up this shore seeking tidal relief. No one was spotted on the putty although on NJOS we did see a 0.3m on the sounder briefly. Several tacking duels were taking place notably the one between the two J109’s Just So and Juke Box where they went on to finish 1st and 3rd. The top 5 boats in class 1 were involved in a great tacking battle (carefully carving through the lower classes) with the eventual winner on the day Tanget Minus 1 taking the early decision to head to Gurnard on the Island side. Avoiding the big tide at Lepe Spit was clearly a good choice (learning point)
A day out racing in fantastic weather with great competition thanks JOG one.
16 August 2020
The Junior Offshore Group announce Cyclope Marine as the title sponsor for The Home Ports Regatta.
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Smarttune installed on a Sunfast 3300
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Watch smarttune by Cyclops Marine in action here.
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04 August 2020
Crew numbers and programme to the end of the season. The Secretary’s update
JOG has led the way with an emphatically successful return to racing, post the Covid Pandemic lockdown, with two well supported coastal races, both of which having a careful regard to health and safety guidelines. Our stated position has been one of caution for our members and the wider community. Whilst we have all seen the rapidly changing scene with Government guidelines and relaxations we now have significant clarification from the RYA who have sought more detailed responses on our behalf. In the sparse few weeks since our Lonely Tower race, the following paper has been circulated by the RYA. Please take a few minutes to follow the link and have a proper read as it is shedding new light on the opportunities to race with somewhat bigger crews. https://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/clubs/RYA%20Sailing%20%26%20Racing%20in%20Mixed%20Households.pdf
In the light of this new guidance, and with due regard to what is clearly happening elsewhere, it has been decided to further relax our restrictions to allow a similar number as adopted by other notable clubs, that is to say a maximum number of 6 on board or 2/3rds of the IRC certificate crew numbers, (rounded down where applicable) whichever is the least. This will be our new mandated position unless there are further changes required by Government agencies or our own sailing authorities.
We do wish to emphasise that these are absolute maximums which may not be appropriate for all. Skippers should have due regard to the guidance provided in the link above as well as personal views on vulnerability, disease transmission and all the associated risks. It is most definitely up to each skipper to manage this and to observe and enforce appropriate social distancing in accordance with this document and common sense. In many cases, a non-family group of 5/6 will be deemed excessive on board although, possibly, easier to accommodate on the bigger vessels.
The new details will apply to the Home Ports Regatta and the remaining races for the season.
We have also amended the remaining Programme as follows:
29/30th Aug. Home Ports Regatta as published.
5th Sept. Cowes-Owers-Cowes to replace Poole and back weekend. SI’s will be published soon.
19th Sept Day Coastal race to replace Cherbourg. SI’s will be published soon.
3/4th Oct Date to be deleted.
We are sad indeed to lose some well established events but, clearly, the opportunity to plan social gatherings and offshore, overnight, racing has conflicted with the practical needs of keeping everyone safe!
Martin Banfield, JOG Secretary
27 July 2020
The Junior Offshore group (JOG) are pleased to announce that entry is now open for the Home Ports Regatta weekend to be held on the 29th and 30th August in the Solent.
The weekend racing will start with a longer course leaving the Cowes start line, heading out to Poole bay and returning to finish outside of Cowes Isle of Wight. Day 2 will be a shorter course around sailing marks in the Solent.
Courses will be modified to suit conditions.
JOG endeavours to promote competitive sailing whilst not encouraging unnecessary risk of COVID 19 transmission.
Just a few of our measures include limiting crew numbers and ensuring competitors can return to their home ports during the 2-day regatta. Competitors can also opt to race using their non-spinnaker rating.
Entry is open to both JOG and non-JOG members for IRC rating boats with a TCC limit of 1.200 and no lower limit providing yachts comply with Category 4 world sailing regulations.
Early entry Fees - until 21st August
Members Entry Fee - £25 Non-Members - £50
Fees increase by 25% after the 21st August and entry closes at 5pm 26th August.
Entries will be limited and are on a first come basis.
24 July 2020
Hard work starts to pay off - Scaramouche Sailing Trust Riot and Eros
It was weekend number two of back to back races for Riot and Eros of the Scaramouche Sailing Trust. This was a new week, a different race, tweaks had been carried out on the boats and the crews, same as the Lonely Tower, had been out practising. What would the Great Escape bring, as the crews head west to the Needles Fairway?
Game on – Eros by Azat Ulutas
After the Lonely Tower, we had a week in Cowes, making some little adjustments to Eros looking to get some extra gains and see if we could get closer to the leaders on corrected time.
As always, we (Suen, Matt and I) looked at the conditions, tide, wind, and general weather, and we created our strategy for the day ahead. We decided to start near Gurnard where there was most tidal flow. Racing through the first leg we stayed in the channel to make the most of the ebbing tide for more leverage. Whilst beating toward the Needles the waves started to intensify as well as the wind, and Eros was being put to the test. This is the resilience bit Mr Holt always talks about!
After rounding the Needles Fairway, the kite went up as well as the level of concentration. There were some broaches along the way but still be moved on, flying towards the finish line.
Eros finished in 5hrs 22mins 35secs, which put us first in class on corrected time!
We were all delighted with the result and thank you to JOG, the Scaramouche Sailing Trust and everyone particularly those on the dockside in Cowes, who continue to support us.
Exercising caution in a building breeze - Riot by Jaydon Owusu
The course set by JOG was a beat out to the Needles Fairway, a fetch to North Head and then a kite leg back to the finish. Sailing three up, our combined crew age is 43, the youngest crew on the water. For us, every race is about putting our theory into practice. During lockdown, we all completed our Day Skipper Theory and our RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship Course so during the planning stage of the race, looking at our course, strategy and tactics now was the time to test our new skills.
Exercising caution was the name of our game, to finish first, first you must finish. During the week we were trialling new sail plans, we have a couple of different spinnakers and we also changed our reefing systems. This race would be a test of how good our boat work is. The beat out was tough, the wind was due to be around 15 knots, but by the time we were at the Needles Fairway it was more like 21 knots, plus did we mention the wind against tide element?! That’s a big day at sea in a 22 ft boat.
We decided to wait until we were back in the Solent past Hurst Spit before hoisting the kite, much to Mr Holt’s delight, and once hoisted we had a great blast to the finish line. Although we were last to cross, we were closer to the boat in front that the week before finishing in 5hrs 50mins 43secs, putting us in 17th place on corrected time, a big improvement.
We would like to say a big that you to the JOG. For a second week running we have been the last boat to cross the finish line, and we appreciate always seeing you there waiting for us to finish. We are getting closer to the boat on the water in front (40 mins in the Lonely Tower, 25 mins in the Great Escape). The race team are very personable, and you make the racing clear and it’s a great way for us to gain experience, thank you we are looking forward to the next one already.
Both crews will compete in the JOG Home Ports Regatta at the end of August where a third boat, a new Limbo 7.7 If, kindly donated to the charity will be joining them.
Scaramouche Sailing Trust – Eros and Riot. Scaramouchesailing.org.uk, @ScaramoucheST on your favourite social media channel.
Help us continue to inspire and provide opportunities for more young students, by making a donation through our website here.
24 July 2020
Saturday the 11th of July marked a milestone of our sailing program and a much-awaited start of our 2020 race season.
The race started with a strong East flowing tide and very little breeze, which meant being on the correct side of the line and in the vicinity of Gurnard was our game plan – simple yet effective!
Accelerating and maintaining momentum was also a focus of ours and we knew the breeze would fill eventually so staying with the leading pack was our priority, although we didn’t always have much control over this… Quick successions of peeling between the J1, MH0 and A2 was the story of the first two hours which was both frustrating but also a great opportunity to work on our maneuvers and how to make these sail changes as efficient as possible while sailing shorthanded.
Eventually once the breeze filled in from the North West, we got the A2 up and VMG ran down the Solent staying in maximum tide and following the pockets of breeze. Eyes forward meant we stayed alert to the changes ahead, and once rounding No Mans Fort, it was clear the breeze would suddenly swing to the South and we would jib reach to Nab Tower. By this point we had lost touch with some of the symmetric boats like Bellino, who are no newbie to the shorthanded racing scene, but we knew it was key to work to our strengths and learn our weaknesses.
Rounding the Nab Tower was a short-lived relief as it soon sank it that we had a long beat upwind to the finish, which not to state the obvious, is not a fun wind angle for a boat like Gentoo. We are also in the early stages of learning the boat and how to make her sail fast in our less favorable conditions but we enjoyed the opportunity to do some jib peels and experiment with our sail trim a little.
After crossing the finish line, we were pleased with a 5th place, behind some very well sailed boats. Above this, it was just great to be back out on the water racing and seeing some familiar faces (from afar).
Dee and I would also like to thank JOG for putting on a great race and turning the weather on! We look forward to being on the start line in future races.
20 July 2020
Saturday was our first double handed semi-offshore race with Matt as my new 2020 co-skipper. We were in a confident mood after doing well in the RSYC Thursday night series and beating Joy JPK 10.10 in an informal race from the Scillies to Falmouth at the end of our 2 weeks training camp last week. I thought I was going on Summer holidays for 2 weeks but Matt had other ideas and we had spent 2 weeks training.
We had looked at the weather but not hard enough as we chose the J2 and full main. Wind picked up to 18kts before the start so we quickly reefed to reefed J2 (=J3) and 1 reef in the main.
The start was busy but we snuck in at the pin end of the line. It was very very tight between keeping clear of other boats and not getting swept with 3 kts of tide onto Gurnard cardinal but I made the gap. The photo (Rick Tomlinson) makes it look like I had lots of room but I think I was the last windward boat to make the gap. I was very very pleased to be one of the first boats over the start line and happy it was witnessed by Sophie Palmer in a rib who was whooping her support and taking photos.
The beat up to the first mark was slow though and we lost the advantage, The sail plan was simply wrong. Next leg was a short reach, not enough time for anyone to deploy another sail but easy for us to un-reef the J2 and we gained a few places as we powered down to the island. For the next beat out to Hurst we un-reefed the main and were doing OK, we came past both Mostly Harmless and Mzungu which is usually a sign of doing well. The next tack I spotted a familiar looking cruising boat crossing ahead, it was some friends of ours on Quintessa a Dufour 38, As we tacked onto port I hoped I was ahead of them on the next tack.... or at least I hoped I was ahead enough that David on Quintessa would let me through.
All went downhill when we had a very dodgy tack outside Yarmouth where the outboard sheet lead got caught and left us heave to for a minute or two.. Advantage lost over Mzungu but Mostly was still behind.
Beat out to the Needles and the wind was now 23kts... for sure too much for our J2 and no amount of backstay was saving the day. However we crossed tacks and stayed ahead of Mostly.
The waves at the Needles were significant as you can see on the photo from Rick Tomlinson. That is where Mostly got past us as their slim hull (and correct sail plan) slid through the waves and we were overpowered,
Round the Needles fairway and onto a downwind sleigh ride. Almost everyone was on white sails but big shout out to Rob Craigie and Deb Fish on Bellino who hoisted there A5. The hoist was a bit messy but once set they powered past the fleet, We kept to white sails as were very powered up at times decided to save the A5 for back in the Solent. At North head the angle hotted up and Purple Mist had a mini broach and tried to take out Rick Tomlinson on the photo boat. They powered away the rib just in time.
Once through Hurst it was straight to the A5 Spinnaker. The hoist and unsnuff went well but during the J2 drop the cleat on the J2 Leech captured the leech of the A5 causing a tangle and a tear... nicely caught on camera by Ross Perchard on Ayaya.
Anyway after some tugging and dropping we untangled the two sails and we were off to the finish. I was watching the small tear slightly grow in size but luckily the spinnaker held until the end.
Final result Mid fleet and another job for the sewing machine Class 2 12th/ 24, Double handed 17th/42, Sunfast 3200 3rd/6, Female Helm 5th/7, We still retain the youth helm trophy 1/1 !!
Thanks to everyone out on the water taking photos.
19 July 2020
The JOG Great Escape Race offered some brisk conditions and a revised course enabled competitors to finally escape the Solent around the needles Fairway buoy and back to the finish with a few separator marks in between.
Rick Tomlinson was on hand to capture all the best moments of the race with the ebbing tide and opposing wind in the Needles channel creating the perfect setting for some dramatic photography.
Over 80 entries for this race adapted with covid precautions to limit crew numbers proved a great success with all three class winners racing with no more than 4 crew made up of family plus one groups.
Congratulations to Class 1 winners Bellino with Rob Craigie and Deb Fish, who were also 2nd in the Double Handed Class. Not many risked a kite from the fairway buoy to North Head but Bellino certainly weren’t going to allow the 20 knots + wind to stop them. If you haven’t seen Deb’s slot on the double handed webinar, you should watch to see why they are such confident sailors in these conditions. http://youtu.be/eTWP-C5gOoA
Class 2 winners were White Cloud ix, skippered by John Donnelly, sailed with 3 of his family plus one. We are certain that John will be celebrating his family success with this excellent result.
Class 3 winners Eros skippered by rising star Azat Ulutas, part of project Scaramouche who continue to impress with great results. Their second boat Riot should also be applauded for pressing on through the rough seas of the Needles Channel and completing the course in what must have seemed a very small boat in high seas.
Double handed winners Ziggy sailed by Kevin Downer and Timothy Eccles finished in just under 5 hours. Congratulations to them both.
All results can be found at https://www.jog.org.uk/race-results/results/?raceid=c1ec3f32-d036-ea11-a813-000d3a0b6d42
JOG next take to the Solent for the Home Ports Regatta, a weekend of Solent based racing in the August sunshine on 29th and 30th August. (Sunshine not promised!)