12 May 2020
Since my last update, we have seen the first glimmer of some relaxation of the lockdown rules which are having a major impact on all our lives. Just yesterday, we had notification that the Hamble River Authority will now permit owners to access their boats and, indeed, can go out sailing with family members only. This has not yet been adopted by neighbouring Authorities. Cowes Harbour, most marinas and the majority of waterside facilities remain no go areas. We continue to watch developments carefully.
Further afield, the Irish sailing authorities are looking into ways of observing safety issues on board with mixed crews and are trying to move things towards a resumption of racing. It is much easier to address this with dinghies and small boats but they are looking at bigger keel boats with a view to specifying safe crew numbers for different length boats, amongst other things. Similarly, the RYA have just issued some guidelines to clubs so that when permitted, there may be a transition from lockdown to limited use of club facilities. Certainly, in America, there have been a small number of clubs permitting dinghy racing and, nearer to home, there are positive messages for the Vendee Globe, Lonely Rock race and other events though, in every case, the same message of “subject to the rules and practicality” are being extolled.
All this is exciting and frustrating in equal measure as, in fact, it doesn’t provide any comprehensive framework for JOG to start a re-plan of the rest of the season. What does look most likely is that cross Channel races may not be possible for the foreseeable future but Coastal racing, returning to your home port, may not be too far away.
The General Committee had a virtual meeting just last night with every member “in attendance”. We are looking at various matters of policy and organisation, discussing programme opportunities and even the longer term prospects for sailing. The club is in good heart and I share the frustrations that everyone is feeling with the recent spell of excellent weather and Bank Holidays galore!
Our virtual regattas have gained some traction and although my personal results reflect my intent to give everyone else a strong chance, I hope that this sort of interaction will help to foster our continued esprit de corps. My thanks, as ever, to the organisers and competitors.
Whilst I don’t have anything entirely new to say, please keep safe and we will keep you up to date with all changes that may bring us nearer to normality.
Dougie Leacy, Captain
21 April 2020
As I sit at my desk thinking about JOG and all of you, it’s members, I realise just how well positioned we are, as a club, to deal with this international health and economic crisis. JOG carries no significant debt, runs no headquarters nor multiple employees relying on us for their wages. We have preserved sufficient resource over the years to cover, with some prudence, our costs until we resume racing, however long that may be away.
The Flag Officers and Secretary had a video conference last night to consider the “state of the nation”. We continue to watch all the health commentary, guidance from the RYA and the actions from sailing clubs and associations, locally and worldwide. It is pretty obvious that opinion varies on the timing of any resumption to normality.
JOG will resume racing when it is legally and socially responsible. We have all the dates and programme in place and have the flexibility to substitute offshore to coastal racing and can reschedule lost races into our published race dates if that is a possible option. Indeed, we have looked at the viability of just running a Coastal series if that is the best option.
We will be holding a conference call Committee meeting soon to continue with our planning options and our normal business.
As your Captain, I promise that we will manage things as best we can. If you haven’t seen it on social media, we are trying out some “virtual” sailing on the net. If it’s supported, we will continue with this so that there is, at least, some member interaction. My thanks to Ross for organising and promotion!
We are still looking at our AGM and ball arrangements, but we don’t expect to make any decisions for a while.
We see other clubs announcing rearranged dates such as Cowes Week and the Round the Island Race. We definitely understand the financial challenges faced by the need to manage sponsors and the running of the clubs but, without those pressures, we are better placed to avoid committing prematurely to such announcements. We will keep our existing dates in place and will let you know as soon as we can see that it is safe to do so. We are as keen as everyone to go racing!
We have already notified every race entrant that we have put in place a voucher credit so that entry fees can be used for the future but I reiterate that if personal circumstances dictate, the Secretary will have a sympathetic ear if refunds are needed. Finally, in this update, may I just wish you all well, keep safe and I’m at your call by email, as is our Secretary, even if you just want a chat.
27 March 2020
In the 10 days since the last announcement, our decision to postpone all racing has quickly become mandated by legislation. We are now all constrained by lockdown to our homes and, no, we don’t believe that we could get away with yacht racing as “daily personal exercise”!
Notwithstanding the current uncertainty of timing before we can race, we have made the decision that, whatever happens, our 70th Anniversary triangle race will be postponed until 2021. Our plans around this year rely on a dialogue with France which is not possible right now with yacht clubs and offices closed down. We think that this important celebration is too precious to be left to chance and last minute arrangements.
We see that several principal events have been re-planned for the Autumn. The Classic regatta and Round the Island race being but two. At the moment, we are unwilling to announce any new dates for the, missed, early season races. There will need to be a relaxation on social distancing and unnecessary travel as well as our own sense of responsibility. The International situation is too fluid for any certainty on dates so we are just continuing to monitor matters as they develop. We certainly hope that we will not have to wait for the Autumn!
The series points are under review. If we can still run a viable series on a restricted programme we will but, again, it’s too early to decide. The Committee plan to have a teleconference soon so that we keep the general business of JOG on track. The Flag Officers are in frequent touch and keen to get things moving when we can. In the meantime, we will post occasional updates here as our plans evolve. This will include any decisions on the AGM and Annual Ball where there are financial considerations if we have to make a late cancellation.
A quote from Pierre Huglo “ you must keep your humility when you sail. This is the right way to approach the sea and life”. We can’t control events but we do wish you and your families the best for a safe outcome to these unprecedented times.
Dougie Leacy. Captain
23 March 2020
Colin Mudie, designer of Sopranino and close friend of our founder Patrick Ellam
The Captain and Committee have been notified of the death of Colin Mudie, fellow Transatlantic sailor with Patrick and designer of Sopranino. Colin supported our 60th Anniversary gathering and his speech is still on our website with a photo in “JOG History” It’s worth a listen!
An obituary has been published here: https://www.advertiserandtimes.co.uk/colin-mudie-obituary
In the current climate, funeral arrangements will be restricted to family only but we hope to give details of a memorial service in due course.
Our condolences go to his family and friends on the passing of an incredible character and benefactor of JOG.
17 March 2020
Since our last announcement, successive Government briefings and the impending likelihood of further restrictions in travel and community interaction, lead us to make the, earlier than planned, judgement call to postpone the One Sails Nab Tower race and suspend our future programme until further notice.
As we have previously stated, we are mindful of the overwhelming circumstances which threaten our members, economically as well as health, and the external criticism of flying against international recommendations. As a club that puts its members first, our social responsibility makes any other considerations of secondary importance.
With the postponement of the Nab Tower race, JOG will transfer your entry automatically to the rescheduled Nab Tower race when we have fixed a date.
For any cancelled races, JOG will automatically credit your MyJOG account as the credit can be used for any future race entries. All season entries or all Category entries will be credited proportionally to the discount applied at the point of purchase.
Where skippers would prefer a payment refund for any races, they will be made on request by email to the secretary.
We wish all our community well during these challenging times and are here to support you where we can.
Dougie Leacy Captain.
10 March 2020
The ORC Special Regulations 2021
This new rule clearly states that a keel inspection, every two years, will be needed with appropriate certificate of inspection by a suitable qualified person. This will be needed for all Cat 3 racing yachts before the start of the 2021 season.
We have spoken to our regular sponsor, Osmotech. Their advice is that you should take action whilst the boat is in slings at the winter lift out as this is the only time that you can try to “waggle” the keel and frequently will show up signs of movement. The external inspection for cracking and movement is self evident. However, the inspection needs an internal view of the keel attachment which can only be done by removing the flooring, tables and anything else that obscures all the bolts. It is also essential to have a clean bilge so that a clear view is possible.
We have agreed with Osmotech a fixed fee of £250 +vat for JOG members based on the above conditions. This includes travel to the boat at an agreed time, within a radius from Lymington to Chichester, detailed inspection (limited to visual only) and suppling a certificate.
Osmotech are based at Hamble Point Marina, School Lane, Hamble, SO31 4NB
They also recommend that all owners utilise an appropriate socket and T bar to check the tightness of the keel bolts, but do use some common sense discretion so as not to over tighten them! As many boats do not have a manual available for a proper torqueing specification, you may wish Osmotech to check them to comply with the new rule but arrange this in advance.
JOG recommends that all boats have their keels checked, even if you only race under Cat 4, inshore, regulations. There are an ever increasing number of keel failures and this safety check is vital to the safety of your boat and crew. It applies to all keel types, including long , encapsulated , lifting, fin and wing types. JOG will include proof of certification in the safety checklist next year. In any case, this fundamental inspection is considered to be high priority without waiting for next year.
09 March 2020
A happy new racing year (if it’s not too late in March!) to all the JOG Community as we look forward to our 70th anniversary as a warm and friendly club – more on that in a bit. Turning back to a great AGM and Dinner Dance, many of you would have been aware that I, literally, left in great style after an altercation with the floor. Ruth and I were touched by your messages of support. Thank you to Martin, Peter and the team for making it such a great night (by all accounts!)
We recently hosted the Annual JOG Race Officers Dinner at the Island Sailing Club. We had a fantastic evening and were lucky to have Marc and Cathy Giraudon who let us use the start box, and the race team comprising Phil and Ruth Catterall, Margaret Joy, Rosemary Joy, Mike and Maureen Thom, Martin and Ruth Banfield and the indomitable Peter and Sandie Chartres as guests, all of whom have been so kind to JOG. We are blessed to have such a great team who support us from the shore (and committee boat).
The Committee has changed this year and we are thankful to the departing members, Jo Farquhar, Rob Hillman and George Beevor, as we welcome Peter Rutter, Olly Love, Will McGough and Mark Brown. Please speak to any of us at any time and we will endeavour to assist. The Committee have been hard at work and, amongst many changes and innovations, you will notice our new safety regulations check list, updated to reflect the revised regulations but in a JOG format. We will start inspections in Cherbourg and, whilst they will be done in a JOG-like way, we ask that you assist us with this. Safety of our yachts and crew is a key priority for the Committee.
Some other priorities include looking over the horizon at what we need to do as a club to adapt and ensure a prospering future, whilst making sure that we continue to listen to our members and provide a warm welcome wherever we race.
On the safety front – there is quite a significant change coming in the OCR Special regs 2021 – the Committee would like to draw your attention to changes which introduce mandatory keel Inspections. Have a look now so they don’t come as a surprise: https://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/OSR20202021-.pdf. Martin is looking into possible ways for this to be done with boats out of the water this winter and next. We will update you in due course.
As announced at the AGM, we have also made some changes to the flag signals at the starts this year. Also, look out for a small amendment to the NOR - we have adjusted the banding to make the top of class 2: 1.011 and the bottom of class 1: 1.012. Also, please note the new categorisation of classes for the fleet.
The website continues to evolve and Stuart Lawrence and his team are working wonders with what, I know you will also feel, is a great asset to JOG. Another update is the launch of a member’s directory, in response to the request at the AGM, where you can get in touch with other members securely. However, you need to opt-in to this by going to “Edit My Details” in My JOG and selecting “If I am a member list me in the member's directory”. There is also a Profile Picture tab here where you can upload a picture of yourself to make it easier for people to recognise you. The new “JOG Connect” is a fantastic addition for skippers and crew looking to match or find boats. We have introduced a few limitations to its use to restrict any commercial activity but it’s a brilliant tool.
Our 70th anniversary will be marked by the triangle race – full details can be found here on our mini site: https://www.jog.org.uk/jog-events/jog-70th-platinum-anniversary-triangle/ but it promises to be a wonderful 4/5 days of racing and celebrations at some of our historical venues. A warm welcome awaits. The fleet will depart the Solent on Fri 31 July.
We have been working closely with our friends at the Royal Southern, Royal London, YC de France and Deauville Yacht Clubs to ensure that our return to Deauville will be a great success for JOG. There are inter-club team prizes to be won so please look at the SI’s in the race documents section as soon as they are posted (just awaiting confirmation from the other clubs!) so you can make arrangements as you see fit! These will be restricted to a max of two teams per club.
Race winners this year will receive a, special edition, backstay class winner’s flag that will be presented, where practical, at the end of each race. The recipients are encouraged to carry their flags for the entire 70th season. These, we feel, will be a novel addition to our racing. Our Anniversary celebrations will be reaching a climax with the AGM and Dinner Dance on the 21st November 2020 at the Macdonald Botley Park Hotel and Spa. Discounted hotel rooms and tickets are already on sale on our website.
Look out for details of the watering holes in the SI’s for the NAB Tower Race. We hope to see you there or in Cherbourg. Have a great start to the season.
Post Script: We are very aware of the health concerns and spread of the Covid 19 virus. At the time of writing, we have no negative directives to our racing plans but we will, of course, give as much relevant information as we can as things continue to develop.
02 March 2020
JOG is excited to announce that the 70th Year Anniversary Celebration Evening and Prize Giving will be held at The Macdonald Botley Park Hotel and Spa on Saturday 21st November 2020.
The AGM will be held at 18:00 hrs in the Hampshire Grove Suite and welcome drinks will be served at 19:00. The event will end at 01:00am.
Ticket prices are £47.50 for adults and £30.00 for guests 25 and under. Included in the ticket price are welcome drinks and a three-course meal. Guests will have a choice of menu prior to the event and this should be confirmed online prior to Saturday 7th November.
This year’s event will celebrate 70 years of JOG and as well as the main banqueting hall, there will be quieter areas with a dedicated bar away from the disco.
JOG has secured a limited discounted block of rooms that can be on the JOG website at £75 per single room and £85 per double room per night.
All room guests will have full access to the hotels spa facilities and the rate included bed and breakfast.
23 January 2020
The JOG 70th Anniversary will be marked with a triangular series starting and ending in Cowes with stop overs in Le Havre and Dieppe. We have a dedicated page where we will be updating information about social events and mooring arrangement at https://jog.org.uk/jog-events/jog-70th-platinum-anniversary-triangle/
Why not show your support for JOG and offshore racing by entering early as this helps the committee plan social events well in advance and will ensure that we maximise the social events.