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The potent J122E cruiser-racer Scottish 'El Gran Senor' from the Clyde Cruising Club will be renamed under new ownership when she embarks on her 2024 summer season, which includes next month's ISORA 2024 Offshore Series on the Irish Sea, Cork Week, the J Cup, IRC Europeans, ICRA Nationals, and the Pwllheli Challenge at the end of September.

Jonathan Anderson's navy blue-hulled 40-footer is now owned by former ISORA champions Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox from Pwllheli. They are moving up from their all-conquering J109, Mojito.

The move was prompted by the trend towards an increasingly bigger, faster fleet that makes it more and more difficult to race in the same conditions in the smaller J109.

Anderson's last Irish waters foray in 'El Gran Senor' was his second overall in the offshore class at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2023 last July, and before that, it was third overall in the Coastal Class at June's Sovereign's Cup off Kinsale in county Cork.

Cox explained it has been a busy start to the 2024 season for the 2022 ISORA Champions in changing boats "All focus has been on selling the J109, getting the J122e up to the spec we are used to on Mojito and of course transferring branding. We couldn’t really race out of Pwllheli with the Saltire emblazoned on the hull could we!"

Cox revealed their new boat will be renamed Mojito in keeping with campaign tradition. 

"It has been known for people to wave and hail ‘Mojito’ when they bump into us in town if they only know us through sailing, so we couldn’t really leave that name behind. In fact, the name has moved with us from the start. From a Bavaria 39 Cruiser when we first met, briefly through an Elan 350 to the J109", she explained. 

Cox concedes that while she didn’t "personally see the need to change our old friend, the 109, as we know how she works and know what she likes to perform, racing offshore against an increasingly bigger, faster fleet makes it more and more difficult to race in the same conditions". 

"I can’t deny that we have benefited many times when winds have died and we’ve found ourselves up level with them on the water and had some fine results in the process" she pointed out.

"Conversely, there have also been times when we’ve been left floating in the bay for the night whilst the crews of bigger boats were all ensconced in the bar enjoying full refreshments before the wind shut off", she acknowledged to Afloat.

"I must admit getting back to the space available on a 40-foot boat is very welcome, and the guys from Scotland have definitely shown us that the J122e is capable of a trophy or two," Cox said.

It will be a busy season for the Mojito crew with the ISORA races starting in April, the IRC Welsh Championships to defend in Pwllheli (17th to 19th May), Cork Week in Cork Harbour,  the J Cup, IRC Europeans and the ICRA nationals all from the Royal Irish on Dublin Bay before returning for the Pwllheli Challenge at the end of September.

"There’s no doubt that we’ll be starting on a learning curve this season, but we’re looking forward to having plenty of fun in the process", Cox admits.

Published in ISORA
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