Saturday, May 11, 2019

J/88 JUNIPER Wins New Zealand Offshore Series

J/88 Juniper winning- Auckland, New Zealand
(Auckland, New Zealand)- From New Zealand's stunning Waitemata Harbour in Auckland comes some great news, the new J/88 JUNIPER takes the 1st prize in the Club Marine Wednesday night offshore series in the C Light Division on General Handicap! The series is organized by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS), home of the America’s Cup. The series started in October and ran two weeks on Wednesday night until ending in March. This was the first racing season for the new J/88 JUNIPER that was launched in July of 2018.

“The news is more impressive than first meets the eye,” said Ray Entwistle of Yachtspot (J/Boats Australia and NZ). “The owner- Lode Missiaen- is new to the area only having moved to New Zealand just 18 months ago.  For him, it’s a new area to learn, a new boat to master, putting a new crew together, and compete against some very well established competitive crews and boats that are well-versed in the harbour’s local conditions.”

The sailing conditions in the Hauraki gulf are challenging; with winds going from light to very strong (up to 30 knots), sometimes in a single race, tidal streams with local currents (local knowledge!), large and frequent wind shifts during the race, and mostly flat water, but choppy at times.

The J/88 took the varied conditions in her stride. JUNIPER is equipped with the five standard J/88 class sails: one main and two jibs (3Di Raw North Sails), an A2 Runner and A3 Reacher. The courses of the races are random-leg harbour courses, not windward-leeward courses, which is a challenge on close reaching legs where they cannot use the gennaker.  Nevertheless, with good trim, JUNIPER performed exceptionally well; often sailing as fast as some of the larger and lighter boats in the fleet with bigger sail wardrobes. They tuned the rig over the season to meet local conditions, especially on the windier days.

“We are having a great time here sailing in the beautiful Hauraki Gulf,” says skipper Lode Missiaen. “I wish to thank the RNZYS for organizing the club series, our competitors for pushing us, and, of course, my crew for the great dedication and teamwork.  Newcomer JUNIPER has certainly gotten some attention in Auckland, and we can only hope that more J/88 boats will join us soon in this beautiful part of the world.”  For more J/88 offshore speedster sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.