Cowes to Cherbourg - Lovely starry night sailing downwind

Anticipation in Solent sunset - JOG Cherbourg2
Fiona Cloke
Junior Offshore Group (JOG) Race Cowes to Cherbourg II was held on Friday 21st September 2012. The well sailed HOD35 Malice was first into Cherbourg - sailing two handed - narrowly beating With Alacrity on corrected in class four.

The J111 OJE was first class three boat home but was beaten into fourth on IRC by the X40 Xinska, then Exuberant and Anticipation - all with spinnaker poles which suited the running conditions.

Malice suffered a couple of spinnaker wraps, Xinska had to change course for a couple of ships and Anticipation had a couple of small delays on spinnaker work in the dark.

Many yachts of the different classes finished very closely together in the dark.

The Salona 37 Red Zeppelin wrote an amusing report about the race:

The crew was depleted from the original eight down to six. Unfortunately Don had to go to a funeral and Chris has a mountain to climb in France.

Oli convinced his girl friend, Justina, that offshore sailing is all down wind and starry nights. Given the trip out he would have been fully supported by fact, unfortunately the trip back more or less erased any memory of the nice trip there and he now has to buy her lots of flowers. Tom, Billy, Dougie and myself comprised the rest of the crew,

The start of the race was in light airs and as a result of this the race officers wisely decided to send us out via Bridge. At the start we held back a bit because of the tide ripping out of the Solent. Unfortunately this put us into the second row, a position we were unable to recover from. As ever our main sail still fails to set with anything like the nice shape it had on Substitute and until Bridge we were a couple of % off the pace. At Bridge we hoisted to lightweight kite and tucked into a rather nice savory mince with new potatoes washed down with a casual tin of the amber nectar. After a couple of hours the wind had risen to about 15kts with the odd gust of 19kts. We made the decision to change to the heavy kite. We set up for the rehoist. Up went the kite, followed by a shout from the dark foredeck, 'oh my goodness, the kite is upside down'. At least that is what Oli told us he and Tom had said. The kite had been put in the bag with one of the clews taped where the head would normally have been. We now had to drop the kite, re-pack it and re-hoist it. 20mins later the kite is back up, the right way. At this point I stood the foredeck crew down for a rest. Bang!!! The tack let go, lots of flapping kite and a re-drop. After 40mins of slow sailing and sorting out the mess on the foredeck we discovered that the problem had been down to the snap shackle springing open under load. Considering the nature of the problem we decided to re-hoist again. Finally the kite was up and stayed up all the way to the finish line. We believed that we had completely lost touch with the class 3 fleet, however at the finish we were pleased to hear some of the class 3 boats finishing, not far in front of us.

Once in the Marina we enjoyed a glass of coke with a drop of rum in it before retiring to our beds. It was nice to be joined at 7am by Zippy who was in Cherbourg on business. Dougie, who had been nursing a very painful back was especially pleased to see Zippy who offered him a lift to Calais where he was intending to travel back to Blighty on the shuttle.

We discovered that Pete and Sandie had not been able to make it to Cherbourg because of a ferry strike. Although Pete and Sandie were missed Andy Hill did a sterling job of standing in for Peter at the party handing out prizes to the top three boats in each class.

The next big decision after the party was, when to leave in order to beat the forecast storm that was about to plague the channel.

A few boats decided to go for it before the party, the rest of us were torn between an afternoon depart or an early Sunday depart. We eventually opted to head back before dark on the Saturday and allow Raymond, (said with a suitably poor Yorkshire accent) our new autohelm, to steer a course for Bembridge.

The trip back was rather bumpy and we did see one gust of 35kts, however, the worst thing that blighted us was the gas cooker appearing to run out, leaving us with cold drinks only for the trip back. The odd thing was when we had got back the cooker lit and boiled a kettle with no problem at all. The other thing that blighted us was the tap in the galley swinging round and turning on, depositing the entire contents of our water tank into the bilge. Top marks to Justina for braving the nasty squall and only going back below after being ordered to; by which point she had already been vomiting for nearly an hour and was shivering rather uncontrollably, Stugeron next time.

The trip back had been almost as fast as the trip out. Rather than heading up Beaulieu river in the dark we popped into Cowes for a short sleep and headed over to the River first thing in the morning, ringing Sally at Gins Farm to arrange a full world cup breakfast for when we came alongside. During breakfast the heavens opened, making as feel quite pleased that we had made the night crossing rather than the daytime option that we had considered.

Well done to all those who took part and those who stayed for the party it was nice to see you all there.

Thank you to our race officers and especially the rapid reorganistion that Peter and Sandie had to make because of the ferry strike.

Hopefully we will see you all out on the last inshore race and at the Open Forum and EGM at Gins Farm on the 20th October.

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Class 39 Started at18:40:00    
GBR2993LMinx 3 1.081104:05:1009:25:1010:10:575402
GBR1290RJ FeverE1.073104:19:1509:39:1510:21:326323
GBR2219LRed Zeppelin 1.049104:42:0910:02:0910:31:397256
GBR5502TSwan Galiana 1.069104:49:1210:09:1210:51:149147
GBR5355NPhosphorus 1.1431SCR    
Class 414 Started at18:20:00    
GBR8338With AlacrityE0.985104:17:3109:57:3109:48:332946
GBR529RJust SoE1.015104:12:5009:52:5010:01:443770
GBR9837TS X Girl 1.030104:12:0009:52:0010:09:465548
GBR8643TArcsine 1.031104:13:4209:53:4210:12:066469
GBR8537RJangada TooE1.010104:30:1910:10:1910:16:257402
GBR8799TWild SpiritE0.982104:47:4810:27:4810:16:308344
GBR8529R.Jazzy Jellyfish 1.017104:49:5510:29:5510:40:389293
GBR304Greased Lighting 0.977105:19:0310:59:0310:43:5410247
GBR4973TExocet 1.033105:42:0411:22:0411:44:3413133
GBR5615TNo FearE0.9851RTD   50
Class 58 Started at18:00:00    
GBR2458LRaffles 0.928104:15:1010:15:1009:30:5211101
GBR815Longue PierreE0.974103:58:2209:58:2209:42:492800
5911YAriane 0.845106:54:1312:54:1310:54:134499
GBR2364LEmoyeni 0.838107:16:2313:16:2311:07:225402
GBR3591TNokomis 0.932106:39:0012:39:0011:47:237256
GBR5180TAquilaE0.8651RTD   50
GBR5529TGirolle 0.9561SCR    
GBR8806TPaddiywack 0.9681DNS    
Trophy Winners        
Class 3Lewmar Trophy XinskaBernard Olesinski
Class 4Lombard Barograph MaliceMike Moxley
Class 5Lewmar Winch Trophy  RafflesPeter Cover & Sally Greenway
Double Handed Results 
Overall Series Trophies: Class 3, Just Enough Trophy. Class 4, Electron Cocktail Shaker, Class 5 JOG DH Trophy
Class 3         
Class 4         
GBR9837TS X Girl 1.030104:12:0009:52:0010:09:462548
GBR304Greased Lighting 0.977105:19:0310:59:0310:43:543247
Class 5         
5911YAriane 0.845106:54:1312:54:1310:54:131499
GBR2364LEmoyeni 0.838107:16:2313:16:2311:07:222402
GBR3591TNokomis 0.932106:39:0012:39:0011:47:233256
GBR5180TAquilaE0.865 RTD   50

Event website