The J80 UK National Championships was hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club from 24th to 26th August with racing taking place in Christchurch Bay rather than the Western Solent writes Shane Hughes of North Sails Ireland. The tides are more moderate there and the race course is often used for major championships.
The forecast for the 3-day event was very light and the race committee team did a fine job getting 7 out of a planned 9 races sailed. Unfortunately, the final day was very light and with teams looking to pack up and head home, the race committee took the decision to abandon racing for the day.
This year I was racing with Nick & Annie Haigh on ‘Slightly Steamy’. Nick and Annie have campaigned many race boats over the years and its always a pleasure to join them. There was also other Irish interest at the event with Jonny O’Dowd racing ‘Jabs / IRL 1609’. Jonny was joined by Ross McDonald, Patrick Good and Paul Quinn.
Having coached this team in the lead up to the event, it was clear that this talented group would be competitive and it proved to be with them claiming a podium position with a very creditable 3rd place finish in their debut J80 National championship. It will be great to see how this team develops in future events and I’m sure there will be more top results to come. As Jonny put it himself “As this is our first year sailing the J80’s this was a must do event to learn and evaluate our progress over the season. Using the North Sail program we felt we were very much on the pace and hugely look forward to the 2020 season” On ‘Slightly Steamy’ we finished in 2nd overall, just 1 point off the win.
It was a little disappointing for us as we led from the first race up until race 7 but with no racing held on the final day we did not have an opportunity to recapture the lead. Great credit and congratulations to Chris and Hannah Neve and the team on ‘No Regrets’, they had some challenging races but they also showed great speed and poise to grind out the win and were deserving champions.
All top 4 boats used North Sails, with the winning team using the new 2019 3Di Raw Jib, coded APi-2. We used the 2018 version 3Di Raw Jib, code APi-1. Both sails performed very well in the range of light to medium conditions and gave both teams the speed required to push out in front of the fleet. 6 out 7 races were won by 3Di jibs with Seahorse Editor Andrew Hurst and his team scoring a fine win using the 3Di 360 jib also.
All 3 podium teams used the MR-5 Spinnaker and either the crosscut MAXM1 or Radial cut T-6R mainsails.
So for all J80 teams looking to refresh inventories either for upcoming events or looking ahead to 2020, now is the time to talk to us. North Sails One Design will be offering a -15% discount in the month of September. This is the time to order and get the best deal available.
It is also the best time to talk to us about boat and rig set up and how we can assist your team getting more performance out of your J80. So please get in touch with us to discuss and take a trip to our dedicated J80 web page here