Tuesday, February 10, 2015

J/111 JOUST Tops Festival of Sails

J/111 sails Festival of Sails in Geelong, Australia (Geelong, Australia)- The enormous keelboat fleet that makes up 65% of the entries in the 173rd Festival of Sails made the most of the flukey winds and another stunning summer’s day at Geelong on their penultimate day of the competition.

Each division peeled off the start line just off the Royal Geelong YC in five minute intervals in light winds starting at midday.  They weather the breeze moving around the dial and provided the best colour you could imagine- processions of bright-coloured spinnakers lighting up Corio Bay and the outer harbour.

The J/111 JOUST from Melbourne claimed 1st Overall in the Boag’s Premium Cruiser/Racer Division 1, skipper Rod Warren pleasantly surprised to hear his boat with fresh new sails did the trick, despite a slight mishap at the end of the race.

“We will have a bigger bottle of champagne tonight,’ he laughed.  “The boat has brand new North Sails 3Di’s and went very fast in the light winds, but we missed the finish line and had to go back 10 minutes, so if we still won, that’s pretty good!  The boat is six months old and I have not sailed on a keelboat before!  It’s our first big regatta.”

J/111 sailing Australia's Festival of Sails in Geelong, SA.The Melbourne doctor and his crew of seven, all skippers of their own boats, are lapping up the Festival of Sails atmosphere.  “We had no idea Geelong was so good. I said to someone ‘how long have  you been keeping the regatta secret?’  They said 50 years,” he laughed!

Rod commented on their performance later, “JOUST finished second in two divisions at the recent Geelong Festival of Sails Regatta which included nearly 300 boats and 30 in our division.

The first race was a 38 mile passage race. The wind came in late compressing the fleet and this did not help our result. We had an excellent race with our friends on the J/111 JAKE, with the lead exchanging several times under spinnaker.  Eventually we were able to sneak away by only eight seconds.  But, the fleet descended upon us like locusts, killing our handicap result!

The second race around the buoys, was over 18 miles, and saw light conditions.  Our boat has been optimized for this and we were able to claim line honours against much larger craft and a handicap win as well!

The third race was held in heavy conditions with an interesting passage through a narrow channel under spinnaker. There was much carnage and one of our own jibes occurred only a few feet from the bricks.  We were rewarded for setting our Code Zero in 20 knots with a terrific close reach and this gave us third on line honours and handicap in the fleet.

The success of the J/111 in all conditions in this regatta indicates its versatility, it’s not just a light-wind flyer but a great general regatta boat.  We want to thank our great friend Aaron Cole from North Sails for designing the sails, calling tactics and convincing us that putting up a code zero in 20 knots was a good idea!”   For more Geelong Festival of Sails sailing information