Wednesday, November 13, 2019

MADELAINE Tops U.K. J/24 Autumn Cup

J/24s sailing in the United Kingdom
(Poole, United Kingdom)- After a week of watching every available forecast race officer Steve Thompson made the brave (and as it turned out, correct) decision to go ahead with the J/24 Autumn cup at Poole Yacht Club. A weekend forecast of strong winds fueled the usual debate as teams launched amid the strong winds and rain of Friday afternoon.

Saturday dawned with a strong southwesterly breeze so the decision was made to race within the harbour to shelter from the mid-channel gales. Following the briefing, twenty-two teams went afloat for four races back to back.

Race one started on time at 10:30 with Madelaine helmed by Duncan McCarthy leading from start to finish. A pack of boats followed in close company with Joe Cross in Jambalaya just holding off a late charge from Dave Cooper's Jive to take 2nd followed by Cacoon and National Champions Hustle in 4th & 5th respectively.

A quick turn around and the fleet were away for race 2. Once again, a good start from Madelaine catapulted them into an early lead which they held to the finish, this time Nick Phillips and team on Chaotic recovering from a main halyard issue in race 1 sailed a solid race to finish 2nd ahead of Sam Pearson's Hustle.

Race 3 saw the breeze increase, with some particularly strong gusts on the run, resulting in plenty of planing and broaches. Jive stormed into an early lead, which they held until the final run, when the ever-consistent Madelaine powered past to take their 3rd win of the day. Jive took a close 2nd with Hustle once again taking 3rd. The increased breeze saw some spectacular broaches and Chinese gybes (David
Harding of Sailing scenes' pictures available on his website). However, all starters finished safely.

The final race of the day started with 2 boats OCS, but the majority of the fleet starting cleanly for another 3 laps. Once again, Madelaine started well leading around the windward mark and extending away to take a clean sweep for the day followed by Chaotic and Nick Macdonald's Mojos in 3rd.

The fleet returned to Poole YC with smiles on their faces ready for a barbeque laid on by the club straight after racing allowing crews to get together and socialize after an exciting day on the water. Following a few protests the day's results were posted seeing Duncan McCarthy and his team on Madelaine leading the way with 3 points following a very impressive "perfect day". 2nd was Dave Cooper's Jive on 9 points with Joe Cross' Jambalaya 3rd ahead on count back of Sam Pearson's Hustle both on 11 points.

Sunday morning dawned with gusts over 30 knots and a forecast of building breeze during the day. The decision was, therefore, made to abandon the days racing allowing boats to be lifted out before the weather closed in. A slick operation executed by a team of Poole YC members meant that an hour and a half later the 16 visiting boats had been lifted out of the water ready for the prize-giving where Poole YC Commodore (and J/24 sailor) Nye Davies presented Duncan and team Madelaine with the J/24 Autumn Cup. Duncan thanked the team at Poole YC for putting on a good event and getting four good races away in challenging conditions to finish the UK qualifiers for next year's UK J/24 World Championship.  For more J/24 United Kingdom Autumn Cup Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.