JOG Week

JOG News

21 May 2019

 

Yarmouth - Cowes Race Report 2019

From: Purple Mist (Class 4)

So after a friendly night in Yarmouth catching up with the Joggers it was time for the race home Sunday. 
The start line was crowded again and very little wind but we set off close hauled up the Solent to the first mark Quinnell, just beyond Lepe Spit. We didn’t get the best start but we were slightly more south than the rest of the fleet and this was to our advantage as this was where the wind was. As the lead boats sailed into a wind hole on the north shore before Beaulieu , we tacked back south along with Just So and Mzungu and we sailed past the leaders. For a while this position was looking very very good. 
With the very last of the tide the fleet started to bunch up around Lepe spit, I’ve never been North of the South Cardinal before... but hey ho it was high water and others were closer in ... and Fortune favours the brave (The last time I said that was on RORC Cervantes and the result was the Spinnaker wrap that crashed us out of the race) . Anyway we sailed over Lepe spit with 1m under the keel... plenty of depth!

Then in a cruel twist that is racing the wind died.... and the tide strengthen.... and so the fleet went back over Lepe spit inside the cardinal. This time we had less than 1m under the keel, and the engine running in neutral just in case. Then some wind appeared so we carried on, again back over Lepe spit.

Our position was not too bad as we now set off upwind to make Prince Consort. Over to Bramble bank, again inside the buoys to get uptide of Prince consort. At this point Mzungu was past us but many boats had gone too far, caught by a wind shift so we were still ok. Also plenty of boats had retired due to the lack of wind so we knew we had already beaten a few. 
In the end It was another tack to get round Prince consort which lost us a bit of time but we were headed for the end, tide whisking us along we decided to make the most and even though it was a short distance fly the S2 to the end.... what an error! The wind shifted off ahead of us off Cowes and complete died, so now we have an S2 flapping against the forestay that needed to get snuffed ASAP. The heading was not good enough to get inside the final buoy of the line so ourselves and Nimrod drifted past the line outside the outer mark of Gurnard. This was a disaster! White sails were not enough to make progress against the tide so in a slight SW breeze the S2 went up again so we could claw our way back up tide and cross the line. 

Finally we made it and placed 4th out of 7 in 2H so not too bad. I’m now anxiously waiting the updated seasons points as after 3 races I think I might be second in the inshore series... which is a bit of a result given my sum total ever of round the cans races is only 5.

 

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21 May 2019

 

Cowes - Yarmouth Race Report 2019

From: Purple Mist (Class 4)

Compared to AZAB (2400 miles) a race to Yarmouth from Cowes (20miles) should be a doddle. However to make any race boats go you need wind and today there was very little about this morning.
The first attempt to start JOG class 4 was aborted as too many boats were OCS ( =over the line) we were a little way back so on the restart it gave us a chance to get closer. Even closer with such a strong tide it took us, and many others , 4 minutes and lots of tacks to get over the line. First mark was east knoll so we headed off straight over the top of Bramble bank ...this is ok as it was high tide. 

Round the first mark we had a good swop to the code zero and thought we were doing ok until a J105 came past. Just before the mark our friends on Azygos had overtaken us ...neither of us know where their wind came from.

Then it was a long leg down to Newton creek, initially the boats that stayed north like Mzungu looked like they had more wind but then the wind dropped for all of us and the better course was the south side with the tide taking us to the mark. By this time we felt a long way back but we beat Mzungu to the mark. Then we were in luck , a lot of the lead boats had been swept past the next mark on the tide. We zoomed across on the code zero and nearly made the mark but the wind died and it was too close , I turned downwind but then lost speed so joined the pile of boats trying to gybe there way round the mark . This was really frustrating as we had the chance to sweep by the fleet. Third time lucky we made it.

The it was 2 tacks to round the last mark and we were finished I was delighted to be 3rd out of 11 in doubled handed class and 11/16 in class 4 though only 5 minutes of 6th place Same again tomorrow as we race home.

 

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08 May 2019

 

Cowes – St. Vaast 2019 Report from Sapphire Class 5

Well, that was very interesting!  

We are still learning about Sapphire and the differences between a design originating in the 60’s and one from the late 90’s. After the excitement of Friday night we can truthfully say that what was testing on Sapphire would have been truly frightening on Ariane. The assertion that you can still have directional control down the face of a breaking wave, and that you can hit speeds of 15 knots just under a double reefed main and no headsail would have been met with sarcastic laughter from Ariane’s crew this time last year. To reinforce the difference between the two designs, throughout the night Seb was able to keep the on-watch crew supplied with hot drinks and snacks, even whilst your correspondent was driving (a man known far and wide for his incompetence at helming downwind); that would have been impossible a year ago.

With winds forecast to veer from the west to north-east after the start, possibly rising to force 4, we planned accordingly. Choosing the small spinnaker was dictated by the likelihood of the heavier winds being at night and deciding not to ship anything smaller than a no.2 (apart from storm sails of course) by the expectation that anything smaller wouldn’t be needed – how wrong can you be?

We had one of our best starts ever, crossing the line a close second to Virago and we stayed at the head of the fleet some way past Bembridge Ledge, but as the wind veered and the sea became unpleasantly knobbly we failed to gybe early enough. When at last we gybed it took five minutes and a couple of wraps, so dropped the spinny put in one reef and put up the Code 0 which took us through the growing breeze until about 3 a.m. when the sheet decided it was drop time and released itself. It must have been prescient, because almost immediately the wind added a couple of forces and left us having to sail bareheaded, having no sensibly sized headsails on board. Quite soon a second reef was needed, but our speed didn’t drop, quite the reverse, our highest speed and longest surfs were recorded under this rig.

Like many boats we suffered some damage; in our case splits to a couple of the mainsail’s panels and loss of the main’s luff tape, but fortunately no damage to the 28 day rib-eye steaks that our new fridge has allowed us to carry as survival rations. We would not have chosen to in those wind speeds in the dark and rain, but having done so, we have gained confidence in the ability of Sapphire to look after us when things get tough – a great result in its own right. 

 

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29 April 2019

 

Cowes Cherbourg Race Report 2019

This was our second race on new Purple Mist after JOG Nab Tower earlier in April and our first race with her overnight. New Purple Mist is a Sunfast 3200R2 and is a bit faster and feistier than her older sister we were racing on last year.

The start was very calm and with a strong spring tide running the main priority was not to be OCS. We started upwind but soon after the start boats started peeling to zeros and spinnakers. So up went the S2 and we floated on light airs down to the forts. At this point the fleet were bunched together so I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the fleet.

Juliette Off to a strong start

Overtaking Hair of the Dog

Sheevra looking gorgeous

Ahead of the eventual Class 4 and 2H winners All or Nothing

After Bembridge it was all downwind, but which gybe to take many were sailing far west but we decided to try and get south having seen the wind was going to start to die from the North we were trying to head for the stronger winds. As the tide turned East though this meant we were swept East of the rhumb line, however we weren’t too concerned as with light winds we were sure we would be in the West bound tide at the end.

Midnight our position looked good just east of Barfleur, we were 5NM behind Juliette and 1NM behind Hair of the dog when we all gybed for Cherbourg. Under the A5 and the big spring tide were making 10kts SOG with only 15NM to run and 6 hours of west bound tide.... what could possibly go wrong?

Well the thing about sailboats is they need wind to move and in a cruel twist of weather with 2 NM to the line the wind died. Never mind we still had a few hours of west bound tide.... but it was not enough. At 5am we started going backwards and were sat off the east entrance to Cherbourg. I didn’t think the ferries would appreciate a yacht kedged in the entrance, so we basically held station by squeezing every 1/10th of a knot out of the boat with all sorts of creative sail set ups. As we sail double handed and were by now well into our watch system most of this work was single handed.

New Rig for TWA 180° : Poled out Code Zero, Preventer on the Main Finally, at the tide turned and the wind increased we made the finish line, 11:29am just before the race finish deadline of 12noon. We were glad to get the message the party had been delayed so enjoyed a well-earned drink and our Easter egg prize for perseverance. The race home to Cowes was cancelled which for us was not too disappointing. We needed to complete our 300mile qualifying passage for the Azores and back race in June and starting in Cherbourg made for a more interesting course. Saturday afternoon we took full advantage of the westbound tide and headed off down the Alderney race under S2 (14.3kts SOG!!). The sunset over Sark was glorious with the Sahara dust turning the sky red. Then down to the French coast, round the Roches Douvres off Treguier, over to Eddystone and back to Hamble.

 

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15 April 2019

 

Congratulations to Ruth and Dougie!

Our congratulations to JOG Captain, Dougie Leacy and Ruth Coll who married on Saturday 13th April. Celebrations will continue in Cherbourg this weekend! Best wishes from all the members. 

 

- Martin Banfield, JOG Secretary

 

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09 April 2019

 

JOG Nab Tower 2019 Photos

We've uploaded some photos taken from the start and finish line, feel free to post and share.

http://photos.app.goo.gl/ZteT4P9kZwo1grLQ8

 

 

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25 March 2019

 

Captains Log March 19

The committee met in January where we discussed several areas, the main points are below for you to consider. Once our new website has further updates, I plan, with our secretary, to publish minutes in a secure members area. In the interim, Martin Banfield (JOG Secretary) is happy for anyone to contact him to get a copy of the meeting minutes.

70th Anniversary of JOG (2020) – iconic Offshore Race and Inshore Regatta

It is the 70th anniversary of JOG next year and I am pleased to announce that Tim Octon, Rob Hillman and Nick Barlow have come up with two events that reflect our heritage . Both myself and the secretary would welcome a chance to chat with anyone who may be interested in sponsoring either event. They are as follows:

  • An iconic offshore race of 300 miles from Cowes to Saint Quay Portrieux, starting on July 25th, via the Eddystone and the Minquiers. There will be a shorter course for class 5 and 6 (Via Bembridge Ledge)
  • An inshore regatta over three days in the Solent – this will happen in Sept next year.

Further updates to the website

Many members will now have accessed the new JOG website and experienced the enhancements and new features that were built in partnership with The Portal Company. Moving forward, JOG will be able to take advantage of the new integrated platforms. Traditionally, yacht clubs run a website, membership system, entry system, and results systems, all on separate platforms, making the experience when moving from one section to another clunky and disconnected. These have been combined into one holistic system which will allow greater functionality for skippers, crew and JOG.

One of these exciting features is live results. A self-declaration link will be texted to each boat’s nominated mobile number. This link will provide a simple, mobile-friendly, form to complete as soon after their finish as possible. The live result page on the site https://www.jog.org.uk/live-results/ will refresh as declarations are made to show the current order of finishers. Finishing places will continue to change as new declarations are submitted until the last boat has finished. Our race officers will be able to register committee finish times, retirements and protests, as they occur, via an iPad or tablet application. These timings will override any declared times recorded by skippers.

We are looking to enhance club benefits for crew members and are planning on implementing an area on “MyJOG” for them to see what races they have raced in, results and trophies achieved and how many day and night hours completed with the JOG fleet. I’m sure you will agree that this will be very useful if you are building miles or want to track your experience. The objective: to increase our social/crew membership numbers off the back of these and further benefits, also in planning.

We are always keen for suggestions on what features we can add or enhance. If you have any suggestions, please email Martin at secretary@jog.org.uk

5 year Plan for JOG

While there's a lot going on right now in JOG (website enhancements, usual pre-season preparations, etc), it can be easy to get so caught up in the present that we aren't looking to the future. To ensure we're also thinking about the longer term, Jo Farquhar & Martin Banfield are working on a JOG 5 year plan. This isn't a tome, more a set of considerations and recommendations that we'll use to guide our future thinking and ensure we're set up for success. It encompasses areas ranging from building membership numbers to the sailing programme, socials, race officers and JOG administration.

JOG Young Member Representative

I have co-opted Hannah Muskett onto the JOG Committee to look at how we attract the next generation of sailors to JOG. This will supplement the work in the 5 year plan, but also allow us to grow our links into university sailing where we already have strong relationships. Hannah is currently working on a range of options which the committee will discuss next month at our meeting.

JOG Secretariat

Nick Barlow and Martin Banfield are working hard behind the scenes to complete Nick’s handover. This is no mean feat with the setting up of the new website, race entries, administration issues, liason with Port and Harbour Authorities, a whole season of Sailing Instructions and day to day matters, all of which need managing. Nick will step away officially from the secretarial role after the Nab Tower race. We wish him well in “retirement” and thank him for everything he has done. Nick will continue to contribute his experience to the club by looking at some merchandising options for JOG with Hannah and the planning of the 70th Anniversary.

Please be mindful that the team are dealing with a large number of queries related to all the changes and will endeavour to get back to you as quickly as possible.

Brexit

I can’t help but mention Brexit with our first race to Cherbourg not far away. We are keeping an eye on what this might mean to us a club – not just for Cherbourg but in the long-term. Martin will communicate via the usual channels if there is any major news or change to current procedures. There is nothing concrete at the moment, but we are watching this and will inform if need be.

As you can see, these are exciting times with new innovations, celebrations to plan and much going on! I am blessed to have a hardworking committee and a team of Flag Officers that support JOG and myself as Captain. The committee will have some vacancies later this year, please speak with me or Martin if you are interested in joining the committee. We can’t promise accommodating everyone but welcome fresh input.

I look forward to seeing you either after the NAB Tower race or in Cherbourg at Easter. Our race team will be in Cherbourg to greet you as well. Have a great couple of races.

Fair winds

Dougie Leacy

 

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21 March 2019

 

JOG is saddened to record the loss of Keith Gibbs

JOG is saddened to record the death of Keith Gibbs, well known to us from sailing “Change of Course” in numerous races over many years. Details of the funeral arrangements are shown below. Our sympathy from his many JOG friends, Officers and Committee are extended to his family. We will miss him.

 

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27 February 2019

 

Young Member Representative

H. Muskett

Hello! I am Hannah Muskett and I am delighted to be a part of forming the future of JOG and creating a greater platform for the voices of young people within the club. I’ve been a part of JOG racing since 2016, coming from a background of national and international dinghy racing. I started sailing in Lymington at the age of 5 and racing from the age of 7, all the way from Oppies to Lasers and 29ers. Then the time came to choose between racing and university and university won. But this was no great issue, as the people I met and the sailing I was now exposed to were both fantastic. I was then shown the wonderful world of JOG! Easing in with the Nab Tower race I experienced the great standard of racing that JOG is known for – but that was it for 2016, as I didn’t know who to go to be able to do more of this exciting (and sometimes boozy) racing. Thankfully a year later a University friend told me to come do a JOG race with someone I’d never met – and it was the Nab Tower again, though this time even better. From there we started to pull in more and more university sailors and suddenly I was racing in thrilling coastal and offshore events with friends, whether they be 20 or 60 years old.

Now you may have noticed that JOG is changing, from our new website last year and an automatic results system at JOG Week, to a new and very much improved website this year. I think we can all well and truly say JOG is changing to meet our member’s needs (or as Dougie (our Captain) might say “keeping up with the kids”). Though it is not just about making sure JOG is great now, it is about future-proofing our collective interests and goals, so that they work as the club evolves.

With this in mind I have very kindly been asked to hop aboard and help navigate the club with regards to what our younger and future members would like. Whether this includes an easier platform to find a boat to sail on, helping skippers find crew, running events that people from all ages want to attend, or just someone to talk to – I’m happy to say that I’m here to help for all this and more.

So if you have any ideas or questions please do get in touch at h.g.muskett@gmail.com

See you on the water!

Hannah Muskett

 

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06 February 2019

 

Need crew for 2019?

We’ve created a dedicated listing with tendrr: https://tendrr.co/club/jog



 

tendrr provides a free CrewMatch service linking boats with crew. You can see who has a spare berth for JOG Races and communicate directly with each other to compete at each race.

How does it work?

Boat Owners: To get started click Find Crew on the JOG page. Register your boat and add the details of your JOG trip. You can specify how many crew you need, what position they must fill and what experience you’re looking for. Your post will then be visible to all sailors on the tendrr platform.

Crew: You can register your availability by clicking on the star icon in the top right-hand corner of the image of the JOG page. You’ll then be notified by email when a new crew request is added to the site. You can search through existing crew requests by clicking on the Find Boats button.

Once you’ve found a suitable match, you can communicate directly with each other using tendrr's messaging system, making it much more straightforward to get out on the water for JOG races.

For any questions, please get in touch with the team direct at hello@tendrr.co.

 

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05 January 2019

 

Captain's Log Jan 2019

On behalf of JOG may I wish you a very happy new year.

At the AGM, I noted our thanks to Peter Cover as outgoing Captain, to David McGough as outgoing President and to the other committee members and helpers who have done so much for JOG over the last year and beyond. I wish to draw your attention to the dedicated race team in Cowes without whom our races could not take place, I am sure you will join me in thanking them for all of their efforts.

The JOG Dinner was a true JOG evening and well done to our 2 Vice Captains and Peter and Sandie for their huge efforts in organising everything.

We have alot to look forward to in the next season, the NAB Tower race is just under 3 months away, which traditionally draws a large entry for JOG.

Having already taken the step to introduce an interactive website we have learnt alot. Based on our learnings and feedback from members we are taking the opportunity given to us by the Portal Company to streamline our website and to improve the user experience. Examples include; making the race entry process and race results easier for all of us to manage. We will use the current members forum area of the website to publish minutes of meetings in the members only area. Other member benefits will be introduced to the website development, which will improve the overall experience for JOG members.

Martin Banfield is currently working with Nick Barlow to map out and start the transition of the secretarial role. Martin will become the face of JOG as secretary with some dedicated support that we are currently working through with Nick and the other flag officers.

The committee voted last year to make AIS Transponders for Cat 3 races mandatory. The use of AIS transponders is an important safety feature that the club has decided to embrace in terms of best practice and due diligence. Having stood on a finish line in Deauville, St Vaast and Cherbourg for JOG last season, knowing where the fleet is and that it is safe is reasurring, plus I am sure you will all agree is in the best interests of JOG. The change will be reflected in the NOR and SI’s for the season.

We have a full and varied programme in place for 2019, also we are looking to finalise the 70TH anniversary of JOG next season. We intend to have a long race leading into a short regatta in the Solent area.

Your committee will be discussing this at our next meeting at the end of January and we report the outline plan to you via the website.

I look forward to seeing you on the water or at one of our JOG Post Race parties very soon.

Dougie Leacy

JOG Captain

 

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05 October 2018

 

Cowes Lymington Cowes Race Reports 2018

JOG Lymington – Cowes 30th September – Spectrum

Sunday morning offered less sunshine than Saturday, however there were promising breaths of wind. The race officer sensibly opted for the red flag course which would have us zig-zagging up the western Solent back to Cowes.

Similarly to Saturday there was big tide washing over the start line, and with a downwind start everybody still seemed to be heading uptide and away from the line with one minute to go. Spectrum made a good start, only a few seconds off the line, though we were promptly rolled by the Laser 28’s who seem uncatchable downwind! Both rounding Salt Mead several minutes ahead of us, perhaps this was not the weekend to have 7 on an Impala.

From Salt Mead we headed upwind to Dick Johnson, opting to stick on port until we reached the shallower water on the other edge of the channel. Blazer and Moondog both seemed to tack onto starboard mid channel, battling the tide pushing them east, some keen navigation and choosing to tack up in shallower water saw us round Dick Johnson in the lead, shortly followed by Blazer. The kite shot up around the mark, accelerating us into the lead back downwind to Gurnard Ledge, from where it appeared we may be able to fetch over to Quinnell. We were lifted well and making the mark with all 7 crew on the high side, before being knocked back, only a supposed back eddy outside the Beaulieu River could make this a one tack leg, however a fishing boat sat at anchor just off the mark disagreed with the eddy from the tidal atlas. A short starboard tack popped us around the mark and onto the final downwind leg of the course, for a west to east finish on the JOG line. Both Blazer and Moondog made gains heading towards the finish, however it was too little too late as we looked set to be the first boat to finish over the water. We completed another close inspection of Gurnard, just missing out on ‘line honours’ by two seconds to Quokka 9 from class 5. A big thank you to the JOG committee from all the crew of Spectrum for organising an excellent weekend, in sometimes challenging conditions.

 

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29 August 2018

 

St Peter Port 2018 Reports

Sapphire, Class 5: Cowes - St. Peter Port

After twenty years of racing and cruising one of the oldest and smallest boats in the JOG fleet, Team Ariane has become Team Sapphire, in the form of a First 31.7, and moved up to Class 5.

What a difference three decades makes – the contrast between a yacht designed in the 1970's and one designed at the end of the century is spectacular. What is particularly noticeable, apart from the sheer amount of working space in the cockpit due to the much broader stern, is the ease of operation of the sail controls, although, as will become apparent, learning how to handle some of the systems was not entirely painless.

Because of issues (lack of wind) on the delivery trip from her former base in Burnham on Crouch, Friday’s start was the first time ever that we'd had the sails up, and it showed! Wrestling with un- hanked foresails and main led to Sapphire briefly carrying two spinnakers at once as the luffs of both main and headsail pulled out of their respective grooves and flew free, making us late over the line and putting the crew into a state of embarrassment, the more so because it also showed that we had no reefing lines rigged. Two days earlier the skipper had promised us a comfortable Code 0 breeze all the way across, so we set up the big sail ready to launch it once out of the Solent. We should have known better, because in the Ariane days his promises of fair weather have always brought down the ire of the weather gods and new boat or not, it was inevitable that for the majority of the night we were to be down to our smallest headsail and a reefed main.

Mrs Patrick Campbell, when asked how she found marriage, replied “ Ah! The deep, deep, peace of the double bed after the hurly-burly of the chaise longue". As with marriage, so with a more modern yacht. That Friday night on an elderly Oyster 26 would have been hard work, but on Sapphire it was exhilarating as she tore through the chop, heading towards the full moon and rewarding every tweak of the helm and the mainsheet. We were only three on board, and it was apparent after several wilder moments, that in the much healthier breeze than had been promised a main trimmer was needed as well as a helm, so sleep was in short supply. But the pleasure in her responsiveness, the much more comfortable cockpit, and the sheer speed made the night pass more enjoyably than we had any right to expect.

If it sounds as if we were glad to have left Ariane behind, nothing could be further from the truth; the challenge of racing a small IOR based yacht that embodied the original JOG spirit has made all of the team far better sailors and has given us immense rewards and pleasure. Not one of us regrets the time spent on one of the toughest and most sea-worthy small boats ever made, but aging backs and arms deserve a little more comfort and space.

As the moon went down and the sun came up, so the wind at last began to drop to more reasonable levels and, long delayed, the Code 0 came out and stayed up until the finish, pushing us over the line at one of our favorite destinations. Our result was not at all distinguished, but as a shakedown sail the learning curve was steep and I think we all felt happy with the boat and ourselves.

Whether we will ever manage to match the success we had with Ariane remains to be seen, but all the signs are that we are going to enjoy a very different but equally rewarding type of sailing.

Vale Ariane, ave Sapphire.

 

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02 August 2018

 

The Portal Company JOG Week Race Report

The Portal Company JUNIOR OFFSHORE GROUP (JOG) WEEK – A Newcomer's Perspective

by Lieutenant Colonel Col Gill Duncan Royal Marines

7 hours into the Plymouth to Dartmouth race and the crew of Niki are probably now on their 10thspinnaker gybe, the foredeck crew working the spinnaker pole across the boat to complete the manoeuvre. "Raffles" and "Spectrum", up ahead of us, are straight-lining it for the finish and in the dying winds we’re working the angles to increase our velocity to catch them, both on our corrected-time handicap and across the water.  It’s been an exhausting race; a test of patience, tactics and skill to eke out the very last tenth of a knot of boat-speed and staying as close inshore as possible to avoid the strongest of the foul tide.  New to coastal passage racing, the Royal Marines Sailing Club (RMSC) team is becoming increasingly proficient and it's addictive stuff.

From distant '90s days at Southampton Institute I well remember the Junior Offshore Group (or JOG) races, now in its 68th year, criss-crossing the Channel and enabling us as young sailors to cut our teeth in handicap yacht racing.  The focus has always been on smaller boats, where the competition is fierce and the crews develop seamanship and endurance.  It is not the big-budget, sponsor-laden yachts with “rock-stars but the camaraderie is strong and the community tight.  We feel lucky to be a new part of it.

The RMSC has entered a four-man team from Operation ATALANTA’s (the EU Maritime Counter-Piracy operation off the coast of Somalia, run from its Operational Headquarters in Northwood) to compete in JOG Week.  Run every couple of years; this time from stunning Dartmouth and hosted by the Royal Dart Yacht Club.  Our crew of 4 comprises of 2 novices (Majors Tom Mobbs and Chris Hurt Royal Marines), one beginner (Lieutenant Birger Axelsson (Swedish Navy)) and one relative old sea-dog (Lieutenant Colonel Gill Duncan Royal Marines), with the intent to compete in a week’s racing, learning as we go along.  The team meets up in Dartmouth on the evening of 20 Jul and is on board early the following morning.  The first job is to empty the boat of anything not tied down; trolley-loads of cruising kit from Niki, our elderly but pedigree Sparkman & Stephens 30.  Visibly the boat's waterline is rising – each kilo is a another tiny increase in acceleration away from the tack; with light winds forecast for the week ahead it’s going to be critical.

Now lighter we head out for a crash course in sailing, sail trim and race-tactics.  Out in Start Bay there is little wind, so we head back into the river, passing close by the moored boats short-tacking and then gybing back and forth with the spinnaker up, terrifying the local boat owners and ferry operators.  Nonetheless the lads are learning fast and the drills become slicker as the day progresses.  Once back on the mooring we put down two divers to clean the fine layer of riverine film that has built up on the keel and hull to reduce friction – every second counts. 

On Sunday morning, ahead of JOG Week, the Royal Dart Yacht Club runs a number of preparatory races (this builds upon Saturday's training).  This 18-mile coastal race entails a short beat and spinnaker run to Brixham and back to Dartmouth.  Out of the blocks we hold the tail-enders all the way.  This is absolutely fine; Niki, at virtually 50 years old, has the lowest handicap so staying in touch means competing strongly against the opposition.  As Torbay opens up we find that we can still hold the spinnaker and try to catch the boats ahead of us.  The beat home is a mixture of finding the weakest foul tide by keeping close inshore and then heading offshore to find more breeze, nonetheless we stay in contention and as we cross back into Start Bay we’re across the line to complete our inaugural race, in a very respectable forth place on handicap.  Later, back on the quay the crew of "Jeopardy 2" express surprise that that our scratch crew is able to sail all the way to the buoy without dropping our green commando-dagger-emblazoned spinnaker.  Thinking on it this is the benefit of a good directional stability from the relatively full fin-keel.  We store this away in the back of our minds – it's going to be a useful skill as the week progresses.  

Monday starts, as much of July has, with very light winds.  Much of the JOG fleet has limped in from Portland late the night before, hampered by no wind for hours across Lyme Bay; few have made the time limit and already crews are looking a little sun-battered.  Out in the Start Bay the Committee Boat has two short inshore courses for us to navigate.  This plays to the fast accelerating modern yachts and polished crews; we have our work cut out on a busy start line; broken into 3 zones “Wally World” (where barging aplenty happens), “Oh God!” (where you pray for a pin end, port tack flyer) and behind the starting line in an ever contracting time space (where we try to stay).  We have 2 reasonable starts but the odds are stacked against us.  We improve against the 8 in our class with a 6thand 5thplace, as the day progresses.  By now we are finding an optimal light-winds set up, which will be crucial through the week.  The novices are quickly learning the new sailing jargon; phrases such as “more twist”, “ease on the Kicker / Cunningham” and “more / less power on the headsail” – even more so for Birger who has to translate everything into Swedish!  This is progress.

Tuesday; we are set for a long race to Plymouth.  Coastal racing requires fewer tight manoeuvres and ought to be less punitive to the older boats. We have a 30-mile beat ahead which should favour us.  Niki heads out past Start Point.  From the start we’re in amongst the pack and ahead of a couple of our closest competitors.  Its roasting hot but the sandwiches and cups of tea keep being handed up from Chris in the galley – this is a marathon and not a sprint.  Sailing is a sport requiring both strength and guile – if the tactics are wrong we'll have no chance.  An overall plan and timeline with Decision Points en route is critical for each race, which we calculate and brief ahead of each start (military planning has its uses here – particularly the line "no plan survives contact with the enemy!" but it's a baseline to work from).  Coming into Plymouth it becomes apparent that the fridge in the hot weather has drained the domestic battery and the instruments, including the chart-plotter, decide to call time on us as we now, with a building wind and hard-charging on a tight spinnaker reach, hurtle towards the only isolated danger mark – appropriately named “Shag Rock”.  We just manage to climb above it closing on one of the leaders as they cross the finish line off the Cattedown Breakwater.  As hoped we have improved again and move further up the points table with a fourth place but a couple of yachts (Elan 295 "Raffles" and Impala 28 "Spectrum") remain resolutely tough to catch.  We drop into seats in Plymouth Yacht Haven’s restaurant to wash down a fabulous seafood platter (with less-fabulous vinegar-pickled cockles) with delicious champagne generously provided by the Portal Company – the week's sponsor– this is the life!

www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/208388/The-Portal-Company-JOG-Week-2018

 

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01 July 2018

 

JOG News July 2018

The following news items are updates from the June Committee meeting.

New website. The JOG website has now been running since December last year and whilst we have had a lot of positive feedback from Club Members and other clubs, we are acutely aware that some aspects of the site need refining. Rob Hillman has taken in a number of suggestions for improvements from members and a working group will be looking to bundle any changes into a couple of release packages that we can get our developers working on over the winter. 

2018 Programme. Compared to 2016 and 2017 this year has seen an overall increase in racing numbers. The offshore races especially have been well supported. The club has been very lucky to attract good sponsorship and as a result the postrace events have been well funded.

JOG Week:The Club is lucky to have a proactive sponsor, The Portal Company for “The Portal Company JOG week” and excellent support from the RDYC who will be running the racing for the week. Support sponsorship is now in place from Salcombe Brewery, Dean & Readyhoff, Plymouth Yacht Haven, Dartmouth Chandlery and now Chatham Shoes. More details can be viewed on https://www.jogweek.com

2019 & 2020 Programme. The 2019 programme is broadly in place and JOG has shared the programme with local clubs. 2020 will be JOG’s 70 anniversary of racing and a special programme for the season is currently being planned 

AIS. Most JOG Cat 3 boats are now equipped with AIS capable of transmitting. RORC have adopted AIS Tx Rx as mandatory in order to compete in their CAT 3 and below races. JOG is out of step with their  recommendation for AIS Tx Rx for all CAT 3 races. It is proposed that JOG will adopt the same standard as RORC in 2019 for CAT 3 races.

RORC NoR etc:

1.5.6.2 Automatic Identification System (AIS) Boats shall carry an AIS Transponder in all Offshore Races. See OSR 3.29.1. Competitors shall ensure that the racing name of the boat is transmitted rather than just the MMSI number. Competitors shall use their best endeavours to ensure that their AIS Transponder is switched on (i.e. transmitting and receiving) at least every 5 minutes during Offshore Races.

The Cost of an AIS installation has come down since they were first introduced and a simple standalone unit can be purchased for a price of £273

2018 AGM and JOG BALL.  The venue for this year’s JOG Ball boasts excellent media facilities.
 
Safety Tethers. 
Crew should have either 2 separate tethers 1 @ 2m and the other @ 1m length or an integrated 3 point tether with 1 @ 2m strops. The material should have inbuilt strain overload markers.
 
Sail Numbers. Please ensure that your sail numbers are of a sufficient contrasting colour in order that shore side race officers can spot you. If your vessel cannot be identified it will result in a DNS or DNF. Examples are Blue numbers on Black sails and some of the darker Reds on Black sails are difficult to spot.

 

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21 June 2018

 

JOG Osmotech Alderney Race 2018

It was a breezy start at Cowes for competitors in JOG's four classes on the evening of Friday 15th June – a good entry of 35 yachts with just one or two not making the line. The smaller boats in Class 6 were away at 18:00 with some on reduced sail at the start of the new spring tide down to the eastern Solent and through the forts to Bembridge Ledge.

The fresh south-westerly and fair tide ensured swift progress for all with the bigger boats slowly catching Class 6 – they don't come much bigger than the X55 Lutine right on the upper rating limit for JOG racing and she looked quite majestic with a single reef seemingly untroubled by the now adverse tide after Bembridge on her way to line honours at 07:54 on Saturday. No wonder the crew looked rested at Alderney!

It was interesting to see how opinions varied on when to make the jump away from the south side of the island but it seemed that pretty nearly all the fleet stayed inshore tacking into Sandown Bay with some hanging onto the island until St Catherine's Point. Thus there was a big lateral separation mid-channel with navigators weighing up how best to approach Alderney in the monster tides and forecast backing and strengthening wind.

If you wanted an early arrival in Braye harbour it paid to be on a fast boat – slower and smaller boats were hit hard when the second east-going tide of the race came in and could only make proper progress when it went west again. Life was then made more difficult with rain, poor visibility and a need to shorten sail on the final approach. It was useful to get that about right with 5 knots plus of tide just north of the harbour entrance.

As in previous years everyone enjoyed a great welcome at Alderney SC with a free bar and the first three in all the classes were rewarded for their efforts with prizes – grateful thanks to Alderney for good food and refreshment and of course to our sponsors Osmotech who will be pleased to know their support was appreciated by all.

Next up in the JOG programme is the Dean & Reddyhoff Portland race on Saturday 21st July which is the feeder race for The Portal Company JOG Week in association with the Royal Dart Yacht Club starting from Portland to Dartmouth on Sunday 22nd July. A varied menu of coastal and inshore racing runs through to Friday 27th July supplemented by socials through the week. Entry is still available and competitors will enjoy a variety of benefits including free berthing and funded evenings! More information here: www.jogweek.com

Osmotech Alderney Results

Class 3:
1st Minx 3
2nd Old Mother Gun
3rd British Soldier

Class 4:
1st Just So
2nd Juno
3rd All or Nothing

Class 5:
1st With Alacrity 
2nd Xara
3rd Longue Pierre

Class 6:
1st Raffles
2nd Snowbound
3rd Thistle VI

Double-Handed:
1st All or Nothing
2nd Bigfoot
3rd Snowbound

Please contact secretary@jog.org.uk if you have any questions about the route into small yacht racing with JOG (Junior Offshore Group).
www.jog.org.uk
www.facebook.com/JOGyachtracing

 

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30 May 2018

 

Cowes Dielette Race Reports 2018

Shades of Blue Race report

Just four up on Shades of Blue for this race, and judging by the forecast, that would be plenty, particularly with the race committee's wise decision to shorten the course to the same route as the inaugural Diélette race 3 years earlier. A gentle easterly breeze was blowing in Cowes as we prepared the boat, but when we ventured out into the Solent, this had become a south-westerly and even more gentle. The start was a very sedate affair, with just enough wind to allow the necessary manoeuvres and as the sun set, we drifted slowly west on the tide, with occasional puffs allowing a degree of positioning, rather than actual movement through the water.

Dinner ( M&S Curry, very palatable ) was served and it was well after dark that the tide accelerated us through Hurst narrows, where we somehow managed to avoid being swept across the Shingles bank, unlike a couple of our colleagues, who we watched anxiously on AIS. After the Needles, the wind did fill in slightly, and from the forecast North Easterly direction, and the trusty old purple Relling asymmetric kite was hoisted to speed our progress south. The visibility dropped at this point too, and one 2 hour watch in the shipping lanes was completed without seeing any other craft, either yacht or tanker, with only the little blue triangles on the AIS display, and the occasional rumble of engines, reassuring us that we hadn't sailed off the edge of the world.

Progress across the channel was steady, rather than fast, and as we approached the Casquets, the wind picked up. A couple of gybes later, we were skirting along rocks around Burhou, and then the Casquets themselves loomed out of the fog, with the boat getting close to being overpowered. An early kite drop was called for, as overshooting the mark would have been very expensive, and with only 4 crew, this was a bit of a handful, but was executed without incident, and we gybed outside the most outlying of the Casquets' outlying rocks and hardened up onto a close fetch to the finish.

A few miles down this final leg, the wind increased quite quickly, and we were hit by burst of at least 30 knots, causing us to put in a reef, and to even contemplate a second before it stopped increasing and then gradually decreased to a more manageable level. We paused for breath, shook out the reef, put the kettle on, and should have put some sun cream on ( but didn't ) , as the wind had blown away the fog, revealing a warm, sunny afternoon.

A small split in the mainsail, just below the top batten, gradually increased to something more major, and by the time we finished the race, under the shadow of the Flamanville Nuclear plant, it was only holding on at the luff and leech lines, which didn't help the sail shape. Fortunately, it all came down in one piece as we motored over to Diélette harbour and after tying up in the inner basin, we cleared up in the hot sunshine, opened all the hatches and windows to let out the all Channel fog that had accumulated below, and joined the rest of the crews at the very welcoming bar at the top of the ramp.

After a very pleasant JOG reception and wine tasting ( OK, wine drinking ) session, we adjourned to the charming Le Bouche à Oreille restaurant for an excellent meal. Unfortunately, as we came to leave, we were enveloped by a rainstorm of biblical proportions, with an spectacular accompanying Son et Lumière of thunder and lightning. Not only did we all get drenched walking back to the boat, but when we got there, we found that our plan to dry the boat out by leaving the hatches open had backfired badly, and there were pools of water on the bunks and in people's bags, and everything below was soaked.

We just managed to find enough dry cushions to sleep on, and in the morning sunshine, we started the drying out process all over again, this time successfully. After a huge bowl of Moules Frites for lunch and a walk along the beautiful beach to the north of the port, we set off home early on Saturday evening, motoring all the way across a glassy English Channel, arriving home just after a spectacular sunrise.

The last 3 attempts at an offshore race on Shades of Blue had resulted in retirement and early returns home, so we were so pleased to step foot on foreign soil, and all in all, it was a great weekend. So, many thanks to the race committee for their usual immaculate organisation, their decision to shorten the course, and also to Tim Lester on J-Fever, for donating a big enough Mylar patch to enable us to make an proper, and completely invisible, repair to the mainsail. Who knows, it might last one more race.

 

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30 May 2018

 

St Malo Race Report 2018

Race Report St Malo Purple Mist

With the weather reports all showing light winds, interspersed with no wind at all, St Malo was always going to be a very long race. However what Purple Mist lacks for in speed, she makes up for in endurance. The crew was all determined that, unless the boat was falling apart, we were going to finish the race and not going to retire.

Purple Mist is new to JOG this season so by way of an introduction here are her vital statistics. She is a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 36i Performance and very much a cruising boat. I’m still looking for what justifies “performance” in the name. She is most definitely not a “Sunfast”, rather more a “Sun Lounger”. We affectionately call her “Hotel Purple Mist”. The boat and skipper started racing at the end of 2016 and in 2017 we did a RORC season including Fastnet.

The start line had reasonable wind, with 10kts or so from the East. Trinity House had clearly not received the message that 120 boats would be starting on the RORC line as they had moored Galatea, their buoy maintenance vessel, right in the start area. We had a reasonable start, it would have been better if the Red Funnel ferry hadn’t chosen that moment to exit the Medina river as we had to take some avoiding action which cost us some time.

As the wind had been a bit shifty I chose the code zero then, wishing I had chosen the A2 from the start, switched over to the A2. At Beaulieu the wind shifted 180° and we were then in a SW 8kts. Tacking down the Solent we made good progress, even after a French Class 40 tried to mow us down at Hurst Narrows… silly old me thinking starboard tack had priority! … seems the technique of this boat on port tack was to make no move, forcing us to tack, then shout that we tacked first…. Umm yes Mr Frenchman that is because you were going to collide with us if we didn’t tack. Anyway, after some mumbling aboard about protests, we exited the Needles and stayed west until St Albans as we had seen some weather models suggesting the breeze would be stronger in the west.

Overnight the sea breeze died away leaving us in 3-4kts of tide going east, just where we didn’t want to go. Out came the newish kedge for its first race deployment. Knowing the last time I kedged it never came back, I chose some sacrificial lines and we started to lower the anchor to try to catch the bottom 35m away. 3 lines down, about 80m of warp, and we were still travelling east at 2.7kts. Another 60m of warp was added and the boat speed slowed to 1.5kts but the anchor was still not dug in. We watched with some satisfaction as a couple of other boats slide past at 3.5kts. Then after 5NM of anchor dragging we stopped. The warp was bar tight and the sea was rushing past the hull. We were not going anywhere. I imagined the kedge hooking into some underwater object, never to be seen again. Checking the AIS I noted Queen Mary 2 heading straight towards us, this was going to be interesting as there was no way we could retrieve the anchor and move. However, a quick call on the radio reassured us we had been spotted and they slide past at a safe distance.

Once the tide turned west we could start to pull up the kedge and miraculously after some serious lifting all 6 lines and the anchor were retrieved, and we were off again … well we were drifting west at least.

Saturday morning brought us into the shipping lanes. Helpfully Eurotraffic was issuing a useful new navigational warning in the Casquets TSS that an obstruction of 120 boats in a race to St Malo were drifting about. The big boats took heed and avoided us, so we could concentrate on squeezing 0.5kts boat speed out from the 3kts of wind and drying out 140m of warp.

By Saturday afternoon we were heading towards Casquets where we just squeezed round the lighthouse on the last of the westbound tide. This left us in a reasonable position north of Guernsey for the 6hrs of foul tide and no overnight breeze. Whilst others tracked north on the tide we were sheltered from the worst tide by Guernsey and as the wind and tide turned in our favour at about 1am we were off again first creeping towards St Malo at 2kts then during the night picking up to an SOG of 6-7kts.

Sunday was another mixed day of some breeze, some calm, some 5kts boat speed, some 0kts drifting north on the tide. Crew morale was good, after all we were on a boat, there was plenty of chance to get good at light airs trim, it was warm and sunny, we had all prepacked a book to read and we had 5 days of food and water. We were further boosted by a spot of fishing and catching a mackerel. All the boats behind us had retired… and many of the boats in front as well …. so I figured the drag of a fishing line was not going to make a material difference to our final position.

Sunday afternoon a miracle from the wind gods appeared in the shape of a really decent sea breeze from the NW and we were off. At 19:30 we were doing 9-10Kts SOG with the A2 with only 9NM to go… all was looking good. We were within 30mins of beating our friends on Bigfoot J105, we were going to make the Sunday night lock into Vauban and we could celebrate the football with the French. However, in that cruel twist that is so often found at the back of the IRC 4 fleet in a RORC race the sun set and the sea breeze turned off. 6NM to the finish line and we had 0Kts boat speed……how could it be? So we regrouped into the watch system and prepared for the worst – drifting outside St Malo until the sea breeze on Monday. Luckily the wind gods were not that cruel and by 10pm a light NW had filled in allowing us to progress to the line at 3kts, crossing at 11pm Sunday.

In the final hour of the race we watched as a red flare rose into the sky NE of St Malo. The French coastguard called up Purple Mist and we confirmed we had seen it. We were asked to keep a look out for anyone in distress. The next day in St Malo we learnt it was football fans celebrating the win.

Monday we enjoyed the hospitality of the beautiful city of St Malo. Even though the French waiters were a bit hungover and tired after celebrating the world cup all night, we had a delicious lunch and dinner within the walls of the city. Then it was a good wander to restock Hotel Purple Mist supplies for the long trip home … though for the return trip Purple Mists secret weapon of the 29HP engine could be used to full effect. Only 3 GBR boats finished in RORC IRC4 and 2 finished in JOG Classes 4 and 5. Well done Bigfoot, Jangada and Longue Pierre for sticking it out.

 

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30 May 2018

 

Yarmouth Race Report 2018

Just So. Class 4

What a fantastic weekend!

Didn’t look that promising though as we left Lymington on Saturday morning in thick fog with less than a knot of wind! But we were told by our crew that it was sunny in Southampton and as the fog gradually cleared we could see a few thermal clouds over the mainland. Our race officers waited and set a very sensible short course. The first leg was downtide on a beat and then it was round Prince Consort, up with the kite and off towards the mainland shore so that we could get the first of the turning tide. As the wind dropped, we changed to the code 0. There was a hole at Lepe Spit that we couldn’t avoid, but the tide was already positive there and we managed to drift past. The new wind from the SW was off Beaulieu and we managed to get into it, having dropped the 0 and  gone to jib. Then a beat in the shallows towards Lymington, then across and to the finish.

Although Sunday morning was misty, there was some wind from the start, if not much. Our start wasn’t great and another J/109, Moontiger was well ahead, as was Mostly Harmless. The wind was all over the place, veering by more than 30 degrees and seemed to be in bands. What started as a fetch, became a beat and we had a great battle, tacking on the shifts, trying to catch the others. We made some ground, but then lost it again several times. The wind on the Bramble bank was SSE whilst we still had it N of E. Will decided to go South of the Brambles, but NJOS ahead had gone North. After a couple of “Are you sure there’s enough water, Will ”s, despite the fact that we were following Moontiger, we cleared them and hoisted the trusty 0. At Hill Head we dropped and then re-hoisted the zero, then peeled to the kite as we were freed and the wind dropped a bit. Will went for the back-eddy off Cowes and we managed to finish just behind NJOS and ahead of Elaine, but it was very close and we didn’t think that we were close enough to NJOS, but we were!

Thanks to all our race officers who set great courses in difficult conditions.

 

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02 April 2018

 

Exposure Lights St Vaast Race Reports 2018

Photos and Video by kind permission from Jeremy Waitt

https://photos.app.goo.gl/DyRsVUWLiIaiTVrE3

Photos and Video by kind permission from AK Gantes

https://photos.app.goo.gl/lJZ3sRMZivHeOEul1

Yachts & Yachting Report

http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/205064/JOG-Exposure-Lights-St-Vaast-and-Nab-Tower-races?source=email

St. Vaast Race Report – ARIANE, Class 6

Cherbourg on a Sunday in May is a sleepy place first thing in the morning, but this has charms, particularly when the sun is warm and the sky a long-missed clear blue. I know that the race was to St. Vaast, but unfortunately we didn’t make it there, so this ultimately is a report about a visit to the Cotentin peninsula’s most important port, rather than the race’s official destination.

Our failure to make it may have stemmed from the decision to ship five crew rather than our usual three, the extra beer and food needed to cater for the additional mouths putting Ariane well down on her marks. As things worked out, those extra faces became welcome as the race wore tediously on, as the rolling watches meant one had someone new to talk to each time. But their effect on Ariane’s performance was apparent from the beginning as despite a good start, by the forts we had lost touch with the rest of Class 6. Once past Bembridge Ledge night fell and so did the breeze, often as a result of mighty Class 3’s deciding to pass our diminutive rig to windward, killing our air and dropping us further back. If your ears burned in those hours towards midnight, you know who to blame!

Swapping between spinnaker and our new Code 0 helped us make progress in the very fickle and unreliable wind, but it still took us nearly 24 hours before we saw the Phare de Gatteville. And there we stayed, trapped by the turning tide, to the extent that a 5 degree course change led to an 85 degree track change, in either direction. Knowing we had missed the lock, and that what little wind there was had dropped to less than 3 knots, we concluded that staying out for at least another seven hours was just too close to purgatory, so an executive decision was taken to retire and hot-foot it for the flesh-pots of Cherbourg. And as the opening line may have indicated, even the flesh-pots were closed (except one hoarse sounding night-club, which was still pounding away at 8.30 in the morning).

Congratulations to Sheevra on winning Class 6; our skipper learned his craft upon her when just a youngster (a few eons ago as his Dad bought her from new and she won everything then aswell) so her success has taken some of the sting out of our failure to finish.

Just So Race report for the Exposure Lights Cowes to St Vaast race.

We weren’t optimistic About reaching St Vaast. Despite checking the weather forecast repeatedly throughout the week, there didn’t seem to be any increase in the wind forecast! So we departed on Friday evening with masses of fuel and food and lots of layers of clothing packed. We thought that if we did finish, it would be after the lock gates had closed and that we’d turn around and motor home.

We made a reasonable start, but had a big wrap in the kite, so our eventual hoist was late. We ended up in the middle of the pack. At first the breeze was ok, but then it dropped and dropped and despite Will getting us crossing from Island side to mainland side ( “They look to have more breeze over there....”) progress was slow. A 3 hour drift to the forts on the favourable tide confirmed our pessimism. But then we had a bit of luck as we carried on Eastwards and the veering wind lifted us up to Bembridge. The wind dropped wind dropped as we got to Bembridge and we joined the fleet in “the hole” . So we went to the Code 0 as this holds its shape in very little wind better than the kite. By early morning the wind had continued to build and veer and we had the kite up. We realised we were too far West as we hadn’t expected to go that fast! We changed to the code 0 again and headed for Barfleur. Although we could see yachts on the horizon to left and right, we did not know where everyone else was. 

Then we heard Red Arrow on the radio and realised that they were quite a few miles ahead of us. Then we joined up with Arcsine and Longue Pierre on the run down to the finish.

We arrived in plenty of time for the lock gates, had lunch and a few rums, and later a very pleasant Vin d’Honneur followed by a nice dinner.

In the end we came second to NJOS who had continued further East and had gained the wind more quickly. Thanks to Red Arrow having a rating based on overlapping jibs (which didn’t really help them in this race) we beat them on corrected time but by less than a minute.

Part way across the channel on the return we gained an extra passenger – a tired racing pigeon that tried to land on the rig, missed, bounced down the spreaders and landed in the cockpit. It was dazed, but didn’t seem injured and came back to Lymington with us where Alex left it on the pontoon. 

Our thanks to our very generous sponsors and to all who helped organise this great weekend.

 

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02 April 2018

 

Nab Tower Race Report 2018

Shades of Blue Nab Tower report.

5 crew, most of whom seemed to be called Chris, turned up bright and early on a lovely sunny Saturday morning in Cowes, and waited for a 6th to appear, who wasn't called Chris, but thought that Ed was called Nick. After a quick run to Costa, it was established that none of the crew had ever done foredeck, and when the 6th crew failed to appear, the job went to one of the Chris's, who did, at least, know which end of the boat the foredeck was at.

The windward start, in bright sunshine with a little mist reducing the visibility, was fairly uneventful, and although we were using the extended line, most of the class 5 boats didn't stray too far from their comfort zone, and started near the Gurnard buoy. There followed a light beat in gentle and quite patchy winds, with the mainland shore favoured early on, but the Island side favoured later. The mist got a bit thicker, perhaps almost fog, and after a couple of bad tacks, Shades found herself at the wrong end of the fleet approaching the forts.

Normally, at this point of the race, you can see the Nab Tower, but this time, the visibility was down to less than a mile and we just pointed the boat out into the white oblivion and trusted to the GPS to take us there. A tack to the east seemed to improve our position amongst the boats nearby, but we enjoyed it so much that we slightly over-stood. Cracking the sheets very slightly, we sped towards the vestigial stump that is all that remains of the tower, and Foredeck Chris got ready for his moment of glory.

The next leg, up to the Winner buoy, was a beam reach and the spinnaker hoist was unhurried and uneventful. The visibility improved, and the sun came out again, making this the perfect antidote to the cold and rain of the Cherbourg weekend.

Winner turned out to be a gybe mark and the run back to Cowes began well enough, but after a while was dogged by decreasing wind, increasing clouds, and even a spot or two of rain. Approaching the forts for the second time, we could see that there was more wind at the Horse Sand end of the gap, so headed in towards Portsmouth. A couple of gybes in the company of Prime Suspect took us round the stationary boats further south, improved our standing a little and we then pointed the bows at the finishing line, grabbed a slab or two of Cath's chocolate brownie, and hoped that it was a straight-line trip back.

Of course, nothing is that simple, and nearing Cowes, the wind died and went further aft, necessitating a few more gybes and a close encounter with a car transporter ship, eventually crossing the line just under 6 hours after starting. The full deterioration of the weather waited until we were tied up, when several downpours interrupted the tidying up process, driving us below for more chocolate brownies.

Many thanks to the race team for organising a excellent race, and the good weather too, and to the 70 other boats out there making it quite a spectacle and a great start to the JOG inshore series.

Red Arrow Race report

RAF Sailing Association Offshore Racing Team raced in the ‘Nab Tower’ event on Saturday on board RAFSA Yacht “Red Arrow”.  This was a 35 mile race across the Solent as part of the national ‘Junior Offshore Group’ series of races.  After the crew had a very early start transiting to the start line at Cowes, the wind was much lighter than forecast at 1-12 knots and they were blessed with sunny spells which occasionally stopped them from shivering. The Team had a great start just to leeward of a competitor yacht “Just So” and punched out ahead of the fleet into clean wind.  “Red Arrow” dropped out of the top 5 on for the majority of the race, leaving others far behind in what was a highly competitive class.  The boat speed was consistently 0.5 knots over the predicted rate, the boat felt very quick with the crew working hard! Rounded Nab Tower and hoisted the new RAF100 spinnaker for the downwind run.   The team pushed through the yachts that started prior to them and soon found their way to the front of everyone along with the rest of the top 5 in class 4.

Just as Red Arrow approached the Horse Sands and No Mans Fort gate the wind shut down to just 1 knot allowing the fleet to concertina. “Just So” gybed out about 100 meters in front of Red Arrow and went to the north side of the Solent, albeit slowly.  “Just So” was now being swept down tide, side on.

Painfully the wind filled back in on the north side first allowing “Just So” and followers to eat up the last 8 miles whilst Red Arrow drifted. Had a fantastic gybing duel however with another competitor “Jybe Talkin’” all the way up the south side in the last 2 miles until they got a spinnaker wrap and dropped back and ended up suffering from an exploding kite halyard!  A great race for the team despite the wind reducing. 

RAFSA Yacht Red Arrow races every weekend in both inshore and offshore races.  We are looking forward to JOG St Vaast!

 

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02 April 2018

 

Cherbourg Race Report 2018

All Or Nothing Cherbourg Race report

When Chris asked me if I fancied going to France for a week-end at Easter I instantly thought Paris, the Eiffel Tower…how wrong was I! Turned out to be sailing doubled handed to Cherbourg & back. No problem, I was sold on a pleasant daytime race & the weather can be pretty good around Easter...So with a 5 am wakeup call we were up & ready to go. Everyone made a cautious start holding back a little due to the strong tide, heading up wind to the east we hadn’t gone far before the shackle failed on the halyard & down the jib came, not to worry Chris put a spinnaker halyard on it & it was back up, not perfect but it worked. 

With 4 Sunfast 3200’s in the race our completion was obvious, we got ahead of Nirvana & Hair of the Dog and were right behind Mzungu by the forts. Bearing away at Bembridge we put the Code 0 up & we were off. Apparently topping 10 knots, I missed that as I needed a snooze, sailing is supposed to be relaxing after all.
When I got up we’d got the J2 back up & the wind was easing & shifting further south. As I needed to build my confidence of being on watch by myself I insisted Chris had a rest for a bit. Well I don’t really know what happened but somehow I went the wrong way! Maybe it was the new touch screen plotter on deck was when I lost the plot, you only have to look at in the rain & it think’s your pressing it. I don’t think Chris was impressed! We headed back towards the fleet, but as the wind died we practically ground to a halt. Even with 6 layers on I was freezing so went below. It was turning out to be a marathon rather than a sprint. After 3 hours of no wind we were looking at around 8 hours to Cherbourg assuming the wind picked up and also the grib forecast we’d got for Sunday looked like light/no wind for much of the day. Coupled with being cold & wet we decided to call it a day & head for the Needles as we could still catch the tide up to Lymington. Once tied up; Hot chocolate, food & with fan heater on full we soon started to warm us up, well, until the fan heater broke, it was time for bed, Goodnight.
 
Shades of Blue Race report
 
We only got halfway across when somebody switched the wind ( but not the rain ) off. We drifted aimlessly for 6 hours then decided to call it a day. Cowes was still closer than Cherbourg, and somehow seemed more inviting. From Bembridge up to that point, it was quite a nice spinnaker reach, started tight then eased back to a run. Nice, apart from the cold, rain and rather indifferent visibility. Can't really think of anything else to add,   Chris

Bellino Race Report

Cowes-Cherbourg
My that was a cold and wet one! The race started well for us, crossing the line soon after Dusty P and settling down to play the wind shifts on the beat down the Solent. At Bembridge we bore away and hoisted the code zero, and watched with interest as the fleet dispersed in totally different directions. Our strategy was to get South as quickly as possible, as the forecasts suggested the wind would build from the South, sticking to the rhumb line or slighty West of it to be up tide (not realising that we'd finish on the following tide - doh!). Before long we found ourselves becalmed, sitting on the deck getting rained on while the sails flogged - nasty. East of us, Bigfoot suddenly started moving at 6 knots towards Cherbourg. Was he motoring? Nope, he had wind. There was only one thing to do - rustle up dinner - Mexican pork stir fry - as the wind seems to like to pick up when you are in the middle of dinner. It worked - just as we finished eating, Diablo to our West suddenly started moving and even had heel on - there was wind. We headed towards the breeze as quickly as we could and were just debating hoisting the code zero when the wind increased from 5 to 15 knots in seconds and we found ourselves heeled over and suddenly moving - hoorah! The race was back on. We sailed fast and low, slightly overpowered when the wind increased to 20 knots, and slowly overhauled Diablo and Bigfoot. Wet and cold as we were, however, by the time our tired brains had registered that we were slowing down and should hoist the code zero we were just 10 minutes from the harbour entrance and didn't bother. All credit to Bigfoot who did and beat us by minutes on corrected time in a 16 hour race - well done.

Cherbourg - Cowes
We we got another good start to the return race (just behind...you guessed it, Dusty P) and just cleared the fleet on port. Mercifully there was more wind than forecast and we kept moving although for a while we struggled in light winds once outside the harbour watching class 4 extend their lead before finally starting to reel them in. Eventually the wind freed enough to hoist the code zero and we took it in turns to trim and bank some sleep in the relative warm and dry of the cabin. Juliette was going impressively fast under her code zero and we only finally overtook her a few miles before Bembridge. As we approached the island the wind built until we found a two-sail reach to be faster than the zero. At Bembridge we hoisted the heavy runner in the dark only to find that it was trapped behind the spreaders by the topping lift. We ran deep and eased the halyard until it freed itself and we were off. Being symmetric we were able to sail deep in an effort to cheat the tide before gybing at the fort, skirting Ryde sands and heading into the shallows for relief from the tide. Several gybes later in a building wind we crossed the line, breathed a sigh of relief and dropped the spinnaker shortly before the wind increased to 25 knots.

It was lovely to catch up with the JOG crowd in Cherbourg.Thanks to all involved in running two challenging, if cold, races, and to NJO Sails for sponsoring the race.

Mzungu Race report
Outbound: Mzungu was duly prepared and “pre-flight checked” as is only appropriate for 2 pilots masquerading as mariners. No 1 on the check list was the Eberspacher heater. Yes!, working as advertised and with sufficient fuel. As no pilot flies an open cockpit aircraft these days [although most racing sailors prefer that option], the canopy was also pre-flighted and declared serviceable, for it`s inevitable use later that day.
The well trodden track East along the Solent and down to Bembridge Ledge was unremarkable although co-pilot Dave did remark that we seemed to be going well as we led the majority of class 4 [unfortunately a temporary situation!]. Following our trusted and calculated passage plan from the newly acquired  “Squid” weather planner [finally out-voted and flown in manual!] we headed for Cherbourg; all going well until we parked up along with most others and sluiced West for a few hours, then East for a few more, slopping about on a queasy sea.  The fix on the chart at 1930 showed that we were in exactly the same position as at 1330. Precision navigation at it`s best!  The experienced, wizened, meteorology trained eye of “the skipper” [Tony, to whom all blame shall be attached] scanned the horizon and sky for any sign of the forecast wind band; concluding that no wind was apparent and that “J105 Bigfoot”, heading South at 6 knots must be motoring as he was SE of us and could not possibly have any wind. The same applied to “Bellino” [and I know Rob never retires] also heading S at 6 knots, only 2.5 nm away. My conclusion...no wind and they had binned it. “Start the engine” announced the skipper [t.w.a.b.s.b.a] we`re retiring. The engine was put into gear and off we went for about 100 metres until hit by the first 15 knot building gust, maintaining 18-22 knots within minutes. 
 

 

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09 March 2018

 

Need crew for 2018?

We update this page regularly, so please email secretary@jog.org.uk if you'd like anything added, but we do also curate and encourage crew wanted and available posts via JOG Facebook page, which is often helpful for short-turnaround requests.

Crew Available:

Rowan Walton: 

Im Iooking to join a competitive racing team hopefully to be on bow
Experience includes.
Cowes Week: crewed on J/70's
Super Yacht Cup 
Crewed midship for Athos (68m) during the Palma Mallorca Super Yacht 
Sailed and crewed on an Erwin 45 from George Town Bahamas to Miami Florida 
Qualified Day Skipper
Contact: 07500 170658
Email: rowanwalton@hotmail.com
 
Richard Lycett: I am available for all of JOG Week, have day skipper and good racing experience over the last 7 years including RTI, RORC Caribbean 600 and other week-long regattas plus I've just started doing double handed racing (first race was last weekend in the Morgan Cup to Dartmouth and back from Cowes). Happy with all positions aboard. 
 
 Contact:  07977 596662

Email: Richard@RichardLycettPhotography.co.uk
 
 
Benedict East: I am looking to crew on JOG offshore races. The yacht I normally race is out of the water for repairs and it is taking longer than planned. I'd like to get back out on a boat and the water again soon. I have previously competed in a number of JOG offshore seasons and enjoyed the experience. I'm happiest in the pit or helming, but can do most jobs around the boat and slot in as needed.
Good team player, Coastal Skipper, 13,000nm with 600 night hours. Oxford based but available most weekends due to circumstances listed above. Sailing CV and references available on request."
Contact: +44 (0)7808 812 343
benedicteast@googlemail.com
 
David Sammons;
Crew on five or six occasions for Tim Lester (J Fever).
I describe myself as: Handy with a Winch, Good moveable Ballast and Excellent Chief Squirrel’ Also in years gone by ‘Cruising’ five/six Channel crossings for a week at a time, one of six on-board, Ports including Alderney and Ushant          
General Summary:
Rusty but fit. Willing and able (but not a Bowman) – and I have always looked upon myself as a good team player.
Happy to meet  Skipper and Crew between now and then so that they can judge if they want me / will be a good fit.
And happy to oblige with any additional information, questions or telephone ‘Interview’. – Just ask.
Look forward to hearing from you.
 Mobile: 07973 293361
davidsammons@corporatestatement.co.uk
 
Adam Owen: I currently own a small yacht kept in Plymouth for day sailing and have completed deliveries from France to England and around the South Coast of England, as well as club racing from Poole and Plymouth yacht clubs.
 I'm easy going, work well with a team, enjoy travel and meeting people and places, particularly by sea.
 I am a confident navigator, understand the weather and happy keeping watch as well as pitching in on all tasks.
 The races I have completed have mainly been club nights around the cans, but I have also done two Round the Island races.  I have helmed, done the cockpit and also foredeck in these races.
 I would very much like for you to consider putting me forward as crew for JOG week.
 
Contact number 07948 978 784.
frondlife@aol.com 

 

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17 October 2017

 

2017 AGM Minutes

Minutes of the 67th Annual General Meeting of the Junior Offshore Group held at the University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR on Saturday 11th November 2017.

Present: David McGough (President),Peter Cover (Captain), Jo Farquhar (Vice Captain) Dougie Leacy (Vice Captain), Jo Chugg (Hon Treasurer), Nick Barlow (Secretary), Mary McGough, Peter Chartres, Sandie Chartres, Fiona Cloke, Jonathan Rolls, Rob Hillman, George Beevor, Deb Fish, Kathy Claydon, Simon Hunt, David Cooper, Dianne Cooper, Ruth Coll, Emma Vale, Colin Woodruff, Tim Octon, Tim Hare, Keith Richards, Mark Wynter, James Collingwood, Bill Wyatt, Stuart Lawrence, Martin Banfield, Richard Palmer, Peter Chugg, Andy Hill, Martin Perry, Don Jones Apologies for absence were received from, Brian & Maggie Yeomans, Tom Flint, Tim & Frances Lester, Oliver Barlow, Chris Burliegh, Mike Thompson & Leslie Brooman The meeting was opened at 1800 and the President welcomed everyone to the 67th Annual General Meeting. Minutes of the 66th Annual General Meeting: It was noted that not all members present had seen a copy of the 66th AGM minutes and that they would be posted on the JOG website for approval at the 68th AGM. This was accepted by the members as a pragmatic solution. Honorary Members. The Honorary Members as presented by the Secretary were re-elected. It was proposed that Jo Chugg is made an Honorary Membership of JOG to recognise her contribution to the Group over many years. This was proposed by Peter Cover and seconded by Dougie Leacy. This received a unanimous vote. The Captain presented Jo with a box of Chocolates to mark the occasion. Treasurer’s Report. The Honorary Treasurer, Jo Chugg, presented the accounts for the year ending 31st October 2017. Copies of the accounts were circulated to those present. We currently have £40,000 on deposit which allows us to have free banking. Membership remains steady and the Treasurer wished to thank our Sponsors. Where possible we have managed costs by reducing travel and using technology for communications. This year we have spent additional funds on the new website development and hand over from the outgoing Secretary to the incoming secretary has had a small impact. The Captain thanked the Treasurer for her continued hard work. Captains Report. A very warm welcome to the AGM and Prize-Giving Ball from all of us on the JOG Committee. In an environment where there is real ‘event congestion’ and where other clubs in the Solent and elsewhere are becoming more adept at marketing often with commercial partners and bigger budgets than us, I think we can say we have had a pretty good year. Some headline entry stats: Total entries 658, made up of 218 in Cat 3 and 440 in Cat 4. Once again racing has been close but as always the JOG joie de vivre has ensured great competition, interesting courses and a sociable atmosphere ashore. None of this happens without a lot of commitment from your committee and indeed our sponsors, both commercial organisations and private members who go a long way towards funding our finish parties. If you know an organisation that would like to get on board with JOG and can make a modest contribution let us know. Many thanks to the race start and finish teams - at Cowes a big thank you to Peter and Sandie for their coordination and work on trophy administration and set-up. Prize winners please note, we need your signatures after presentation and we have arranged for cloakroom checking so they remain secure. As with last year the weather hasn’t always co-operated and difficult decisions have been made by our Secretary in consultation with others of us as a result – we didn’t get to Poole but did get two good Solent races in before Sunday’s blast arrived in full and berthing/shoreside arrangements were put in place by Nick. Regrettably the St Quay Portrieux race was cancelled as entries did not make it viable but we did at least attract more entries for the Vectis alternative which turned out

 

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29 June 2017

 

Use of engine after preparatory signal

The use of an engine after the Preparatory signal is not allowed. However JOG General Condition 14c allows its use in a specific circumstance:


A Yacht which is required by the Sailing Instructions to pass through an identity gate and does so, for the first time, after her preparatory signal, may use an engine or tow provided that she:- (i) switches off her engine or drops her tow and then completes a 360 degree turn before starting; (ii) does not start until five minutes after her starting signal (iii) reports the incident on her Declaration Form. 

(Usually the above allows for any delay in your arrival for the start).

 

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27 June 2017

 

ISAF Regulation 20 Advertising Code

The Committee wish to remind all Competitors of the following:

1) The Junior Offshore Group race under ISAF Regulation 20 Advertising Code (formally Category A, No Advertising)


Yachts shall comply with ISAF (RRS) Regulation 20. 5 .1 - 20.6.3 & IRC Part D. Advertising not permitted.

Advertising on your yacht is not permitted and the name of a Yacht shall not promote a commercial enterprise.

The code defines advertising as "the name, logo, slogan, description, depiction, a variation or distortion thereof or any other form of communication that promotes an organisation, person, product, service, brand or idea so as to call attention to it or to persuade persons or organisations to buy, approve or otherwise support it".

 

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