19 July 2020
Jacana is a 20 year old J105, racing out of the Royal Southern Yacht Club. We bought her in February 2020 and launched her in May, following some refurbishment. Having not exactly clothed ourselves in glory last weekend on our first JOG outing (pesky windholes) we were determined to do better this time.
The forecast for the day indicated that there would be a decent breeze for the duration, starting from the West and backing SW during the day. Our pre-race prep included winding our rig on a bit from “base” setting to the 16 – 20 knot setting, but we were still surprised by the amount of wind at the start line, definitely breezier than we anticipated.
We started at the deep water end of the line, in the strong west going tide. With a minute to go it looked like there would be plenty room there, but as we got closer to the start time unsurprisingly it got quite busy! There was a danger of us being pushed past the line, not because our fellow competitors below were pushing us up, but simply because the tide was so strong. We sneaked in with not a lot of room to spare and immediately tacked onto port out into the deeper water.
The beat down the Solent was reasonably uneventful and we were just getting used to sailing the boat upwind in a heavy breeze, without much weight on the rail. We stayed pretty much in the deep water navigation channel all the way down to Hurst, rather than favouring mainland or Island side and gradually made up ground on those in front. As we approached Hurst we experienced some small overfalls which were an indication of bigger things to come!
Once through Hurst we tried to hug the southern edge of the Shingles bank, until we were past the Needles lighthouse. Here the overfalls were quite something, halving boat speed at times and ensuring that everyone on board got a thorough soaking. Luckily both air and water temperature were warm.
We over-stood the Fairway buoy slightly, easy to do when trying to judge the lay-line with that tide and water state and rounded with we think, with about 16 boats ahead of us. We settled onto a white sail reach, slightly higher than the rhumb line to the North Head mark and after about 10 mins decided to hoist our smaller, heavier wind spinnaker, on starboard gybe. Once up, we enjoyed some pretty exhilarating sailing downwind hitting a top speed of around 19 knots and making up good ground on the leading pack. Deciding not to gybe on that leg, we flew the kite until we were about ½ mile west of North Head when we the dropped it and gybed under white sail to pass the mark and continue into the Hurst narrows.
Once through Hurst and into the Solent, we gybed onto port and hoisted our larger “AP” spinnaker and chose to favour the mainland side of the channel, in shallower water and out of the worst of the still west going tide. We could see boats much further inshore and also boats behind us deeper in the main channel so it was balancing act between good angles and watching for the change in tide. Eventually, we decided it was time to cross over to the other side, as our boat speed and SOG numbers started to match.
All was going so well until about 1.5 miles to go to the finish we had an issue with our AP snagging on something up the rig which ripped the head off and continued, to our dismay, to unzip the tape on both sides! We dropped it straight away, obviously, and did the final part of that leg under jib and main only.
All in all, a great day out on the water, our second JOG outing and we learnt a lot about Jacana and how she handles in those conditions. We hope everyone else enjoyed themselves too. Now, where’s that spinnaker tape…
19 July 2020
As Great Escapes go, this one started badly - trapped above the starboard layline by a wall of boats we were forced above Gurnard and had to tack, gybe round and wait for a gap before we could actually cross the start line. Our only consolation was that we weren't the only boat to do so... From there it was a case of never give up, as we fought our way up the Solent working hard to get clear air and stay in the strongest tide. Tacking was physically tiring in the strong winds, but the marks along the Solent en route to Needles Fairway added interest. The wind built, and we needed to depower our full mainsail and number 3 jib as we bounced over the waves to Fairway, trying to maintain our slender lead over Scream 2. As we approached the Fairway it was a case of holding on for dear life on the bow through the bigger waves in order to clip the spinnaker on ready for the bear away.
After Fairway we were one of a handful of boats to brave a kite, hoisting our smaller A5. After a bit of excitement setting it and wrestling the jib to the foredeck it was nicely under control and we enjoyed surfs of 14-15 knots, with big grins on our faces. We worked our way through the fleet, with a wary eye on the Shingles Bank to leeward. After North Head we reached under white sails to Hurst, losing out to Dusty P who was further inshore out of the foul tide. We decided to go close inshore at Hurst itself, to make amends, only to have to luff sharply when the depth alarm went off - the depth fell to an alarming 0.9m before we escaped the Trap and made our way into the Solent.
We had debated tactics at Hurst. An early gybe followed by a spinnaker hoist felt too risky with so little time before the shallows. Did we white sail gybe out of the tide or bear away and get the spinnaker up straight away? When it came to it, Rob called for a spinnaker hoist and by the time we'd wrestled the jib down we were mid-Solent and too late to seek tidal relief on the mainland shore. We headed for the island, sailing deep under our S3 symmetric. On the run we had a very civilised crossing with Emily of Cowes - they found themselves to leeward, wanting to go high under asymmetric but unable to sail through our lee; we wanted to go deep. We had a quick chat and agreed that we'd sail low, allowing them to cut behind us, so we could each sail our courses. The wind was kind to us, allowing us to lay the finish line without gybing. We finishing tired but happy after a tough race, and certainly felt we'd earned our post race beer. COVID provided one more hurdle - the need to jump through hoops, download an app, navigate various menus and pass through layers of security before we could actually order a beer - but my it tasted good.
Thanks to JOG for getting us racing, and for setting a fun and challenging course that certainly made the most of the conditions.
16 July 2020
15 July 2020
It seems that my updates are coming thick and fast as the, ever changing, Covid guidelines evolve. We have been very busy behind the scenes reviewing our own programme and activities, not to mention monitoring all that is going on around us.
The Lonely Tower race, on its rescheduled date, saw 120 boats out on the water on a classic sea breeze day and, if the feedback is anything to go by, was enjoyed by several hundred crew and race staff who have been champing at the bit to get back out there. JOG has led the way with a framework that does its best to keep everyone safe. For some, the crew restrictions imposed have not been as flexible as other clubs. However, you only have to look at how difficult the on-board social distancing was to achieve, to realise that multiple crew from non-family groups verges on irresponsible. We have taken, and considered, advice from all quarters, including our National sailing bodies, and are sticking behind our early stance that we would be “socially responsible” in our own prescriptions. We can see that others are choosing to interpret the guidelines in their own way but, if you assume that someone in the crew steps aboard with infection, our own policies offer some real chance of not passing it on to everyone. You only have to think about crew in normal times with a common cold to see why we continue to be massively concerned. We are monitoring outcomes and will continue to make changes as things settle down and the sport develops. In the meantime, the cooperation and support from you all is very much appreciated. The last thing we want is a further embargo on racing in the event that we see a spread of the virus as a direct result of our activities.
We have had a number of virtual committee and flag officer meetings and, to assist in your planning, we have taken the decision to announce that we will not be holding our annual Dinner and Prizegiving. We are, of course, disappointed but it is in line with our policy of prudence, even if there are further social relaxations which may make it possible.
Similarly, with no prospect of presenting trophies, we have suspended the points series, as such, until we have a new start next year. We are still not able to plan any offshore races and the limited remaining coastal, cat 4 races, will almost certainly be run on our current format. We will, however, be awarding informal prizes as we go along and, as there are no immediate prospects of a social get together, we will be awarding JOG vouchers as prizes which will be added to your account (if you are in the podium spaces) so you can use them against race entry fees or purchases from the JOG Shop for Polo Shirts, flags and burgees. You will find them when you next use the checkout. Non members will still be able to find and use them! Shame on you for not joining though!
As I write this, the Great Escape race is nearly here. The virtual race briefings and our recent two-handed webinar are new innovations by us and have been informative and well received. Whatever the world is doing, we are doing our very best, and putting in the effort, to give all our members the best experience that circumstances will allow.
14 July 2020
Great to be back racing
With 24 hrs to go to the start of the JOG Lonely Tower Race the two entries from the Scaramouche Sailing Trust Eros and Riot, were at two completely different spectrums of being race ready.
Riot was ready, and the young crew skippered by 15-year-old Jaydon had been out training with the Kai (14) and Tyler (14). For the crew of Eros, Azat, Seun and coach Matt Reid, it was all hands on deck getting the keel and rudder back in place following a lockdown project of hull preparation. A restoration project they have led with support from the marine industry along the way.
Eros and Riot were both on the start line and ready to race on Saturday 11th July, their first race of 2020, with Jon Holt, founder of the Scaramouche Sailing Trust as RIB Support for the young crew of Riot.
Our race onboard Eros – Azat Ulutas
The start was extremely light, however as were the lowest rated boat that was good for us, so we were not worried. With Seun on the helm, we started close of the Gurnard Cardinal, and our strategy was to stay in the strong flooding tide off the start and look for pockets of wind pressure, which Matt and I were keeping an eye out for.
Our strategy changed when we went over the Ryde Middle Sands Bank, although there was significantly less tide with us, there was a lot more breeze, and it paid off.
As we approached the Nab Tower, we wondered if we would be able to hold our kite, almost all the boats only had two sails up. We managed to hold the kite, and even hit 8.1 knots of boat speed, which is pretty incredible for us!
The finish was upwind, and with high morale onboard we kept pushing on, beating boats in our class to the finish line. As the slowest in class, that was a good sign.
We were really pleased to finish 3rd in Class 3 and thank JOG for putting on the race and giving us the opportunity to get back out on the water.
Steep learning curve for Riot – Jaydon Owusu
Our goal was to put our training and new navigational skills into practice in a race situation. This was my first race as skipper and responsible for my crew, although we are all experienced in offshore sailing, this race felt like a big one for the three of us, as Jon would be following in a RIB.
Our strategy was to keep hold of the main pack for as long as we could, watch what those around us were doing and learn as much as we could from this experience. One third of the way into the race and we couldn’t believe it, we were in a great position and close to Eros, who we were secretly hoping we could beat. Redshift, Nick Cherry and Ed Fishwick, who have been great with giving us some tips and sharing their knowledge were also insight. So, we were so pleased to be up near them at this stage.
We then made an error and were a little cautious dropping our kite early as we looked to the boats ahead who seemed to be overpowered. We are still learning to judge the distance on the water in these conditions, and we were actually looking too far ahead rather than at the boats closer to us. Dropping the kite early meant we ended up in a huge wind hole (although I think Mr Holt would rather we did that than be overpowered and get ourselves in to trouble!)
We rounded the Nab Tower and headed back up to Cowes for the finish, whilst we may have been the last boat across the line, we finished, and once our handicap had been applied, we finished 25th.
Thank you JOG for a great race; we are looking forward to the next one already.
Both crews are looking forward to entering The Great Escape on 18th July.
Scaramouche Sailing Trust – Eros and Riot. Scaramouchesailing.org.uk, @ScaramoucheST on your favourite social media channel.
26 June 2020
22 June 2020
Tuesday 30th June 7:30pm
JOG Short Handed Webinar Recorded Session
Click Here to watch the recording of this Webinar
Due to the Corona virus the current racing on offer from all clubs is all shorthanded or family groups. At JOG we thought you might appreciate the chance to pick up some tips from JOG members who regularly race double handed.
Topics will include
Kate Cope: Purple Mist
Kate has been offshore racing since 2016 , getting hooked after the 2017 Fastnet campaign. Although she had 6 crew for Fastnet there were only ever 2 on deck so she figured she may as well start racing double handed. Kate has been JOG racing since 2018 and on the committee since 2019. Highlights in 2019 were completing the 2019 AZAB including rescue of Bigfoot J105 and winning the JOG 2H inshore series. She is currently part of the Magenta project to accelerate women in sailing. Kates races Purple Mist a Sunfast 3200R2 with co-skipper Matt Beecher.... and a couple of penguins.
Deb Fish: Bellino
Deb has been JOG racing since the early 2000s, initially chartering Independent Bear with a crew of 10 reprobates. She started short-handed sailing in 2007, jumping in at the deep end with her first AZAB, and was hooked. Deb owned the sunfast 3200 Exocet for 4 years racing 2h in JOG and solo in SORC. She loves racing offshore, and has completed the Fastnet, Middle Sea Race and Sydney Hobart within the last year. Highlights of her short-handed racing career include winning the SORC championship in 2015, completing SORC’s round the (Fastnet) rock race, and winning the 2h class in RORC in 2017 & 2019 as coskipper on Rob Craigie’s sunfast 3600 Bellino. Lowlights include hitting a whale, and being awarded Normandie solo’s garden gnome for the biggest mistake in a solo race. Picture is Deb after finishing the 605M solo round the rock race. Deb is definitely not still bitter about finishing 12 minutes behind Jeremy.”
Richard Palmer: Jangada
Richard first started racing with JOG in the mid 1980’s, especially enjoying destinations like Fecamp and St Peter Port. Since then over 60,000nm has passed under the keel. Moving to 2-handed racing with Jeremy for the 2009 Fastnet he has since raced twice around Britain & Ireland and threes time across the Atlantic, all double-handed. Still making mistakes and still learning!.
Jeremy Waitt: Jangada/ Lady Penrose
Jeremy has been a watersports fanatic since the age of 13 having been given windsurfing lessons for his 13th Birthday. He is a a professional watersports instructor and equipment tester. Since 2009, he has grown his passion for double and single-handed racing, mainly but not exclusively sailing with Richard Palmer on Jangada. With Circa 30k short-handed sailing he has been ironing out mistakes, though with plenty more to make his favourite phrase is 'every day is a learning day'. Most recently he is nearly famous for falling off a boat mid-Atlantic and can, therefore, give a first-hand account of the salinity of that area as well as what it’s like to have your life flash before your eyes. Richard and Jeremy have won a fair few races and come close on many others. He is the current holder of the 'Anticipation Cup' the annual Single Handed around the Island race for the second time and has won the class trophy three years in a row.
18 June 2020
MyJOG users that manage boats can now add up to three tags to their boat. These will display on the Who's entered page and the race results. These pages can be filtered by clicking on the tag to show entries and results for boats using the same tags.
If your a club, a group. one design or just want to express yourself, you can add a tag and see how you compare to all other boats using the same tag.
To manage this, login to MyJOG and navigate to My Boats and edit your boat. You will see the tags at the bottom of the page.
07 June 2020
By the time most of you read this, you will probably have seen our Social Media and WhatsApp group announcements that we are going back on the water with our “Lonely Tower” race on 27th June and a further, shortly to be detailed, race on the 18th July. You can find the documents in the Programme in the usual place.
Firstly, may I say, that these are low key, not for points, races which will be unusually weather dependent. We will be observing the RYA Guidance:
1 We will always follow Government guidance
2 We will, as a boating community, take a considerate and conservative approach:
Considerate: be mindful of the potential impact that you could have on other water users and do not place unnecessary extra strain on the RNLI or emergency services.
Conservative: help to minimise risk by taking an extra conservative approach to your boating.
This has led us to introduce a number of safety measures, all of which are detailed in the documents. Above all, it is up to every competitor to decide for themselves whether to race, based on their own health and safety considerations as well as Government guidelines. I cannot over stress this.
Nevertheless, it seems like a massive milestone after months of frustration whilst we watch the good weather go by.
Please help us to make these events a success by taking extra care, not just whilst racing, but in your travel arrangements, on board activity and in your interaction with other users of the marinas, yacht clubs and public at large. Inevitably, the public see yachting as an elite sport and we must all be aware that bad publicity must be avoided at all cost.
We are planning a skipper’s video briefing prior to the event where we will detail any last minute changes and provide an overview of our procedures. The date and time will be announced here and by Social Media as before.
We can preserve social distancing at the race box and we want everyone to have the best day out sailing for, what seems, a very long time.
Dougie Leacy, Captain