J/70, J/97, J/109s All Winners!
(Dartmouth, England)- Earlier in the summer of 2012 the International J/80 One-Design Class felt it would be worthwhile to host a J/80 World Championship in one of the most picturesque sailing venues in all of the United Kingdom. Such wisdom was not unfounded. The sailing can be superb and simply mind-blowing– Beatle’s Yellow Submarine, Strawberry Fields eye-opening spectacular. No wonder sailors in the UK don’t ever mind taking a wander down with their trucks, campers and boats to this magical part of this island nation. And so, there is this nice regatta that is held at the end of summer that perhaps could have a “Newport-like” Jazz Fest associated with it (like a mix of old Rolling Stones blues, Jimmie Hendrix, Stan Getz, early Led Zep, Beck, Davis and others) that bring additional cache and fun to what has to be one of the best end-of-season summer sailing regattas in the world.
Dartmouth Week is run by the Joint Regatta Sailing Committee that includes the River Dart SC, the Royal Dart YC and the Dartmouth YC. Like their compatriots just a “bit East” of them in Cowes (e.g. Cowes Combined Clubs), the “Dart Team” are no “shrinking violets” when it comes to the ability to put on a world-class event. And, with the pedigree of a few amazing regattas they continue to host on an annual basis, it’s no wonder that “Dart Week” continues to grow apace. With a growing contingent of J-Sailors who are amongst the world’s cognoscenti of what are the best regattas to attend, it appears the “Dart Crew” are on the right track!
The J/109 teams seem to agree and have attended Dart Week with tremendous enthusiasm. In the J/109 One-Design class one of the class leaders managed to walk off with all the marbles, with Paul Griffiths’ JAGERBOMB winning with a 4-7-2-1-4-2-1 tally for 10 pts net. Their erstwhile competitors, Liam Shanahan’s RUTH sailed a solid series to compile a 5-1-1-5-6-3-5 record for 15 pts net. Just one point back was Angus McPhie’s WAVE WARRIOR in third with a 9-2-3-3-7-1-7 for 16 pts net.
In the much watched Sportsboat Class it was going to be clear that a “shoot-out” amongst the fast asym boats was going to be the order of the day with a “pecking order” established amongst the fastest sportboats in the UK. So, far, almost a draw, but with the J/70 winning this latest battle amongst the J/80s, 1720 Sportboat and Laser SB3s. It was the J/70 JENGA 8 sailed by Julian Cook that garnered a 1-1-1-1-3-13-2 for 6 pts net to win Sportsboat honors and bragging rights for this coming week. 2nd was the J/80 TEAM BALTIC that compiled a near equal record of 2-2-3-2-1-1-1 for 7 pts net to be just nipped in the end for class honors. 3rd was class compatriot, the J/80 CAPTAIN JACK sailed by Frank Roswell that managed a 4-3-2-3-2-3-4 for 13 pts net.
Division 2 IRC was a serious, tough class to win. But, yet again the J/97 came up “spades” at the critical juncture to simply walk off with class silverware. This time it was the J/97 JIKA-JIKA sailed by Mike Holmes that finished first in class. They were followed by the J/97 JEOPARDY 2 skippered by Richard Watney that finished 5th in class and in 6th was the J/105 JACKPOT sailed by Vernon Bradley. Sailing photo credits- James Walker For more Royal Dart Yacht Club & Darmouth Week sailing information