Inter Island Race Win

Friday, September 16, 2011

David Jones talks about his Carey Olsen Inter Island Yacht Race win in his Jersey-based Beneteau 34.7 'Jackana'…

Running for nearly half a century and currently sponsored by Law firm Carey Olsen, the Jersey to Guernsey race is the biggest event in the Channel Island racing calendar and is definitely the one to win.

‘A general recall at the start helped us to identify just how packed the committee boat end would be so we chose to start half way down the line in clear breeze, hoisted our Hyde AP asymmetric spinnaker and powered away in clear air,’ recalls David. ‘Arriving at the turning mark just behind the lead group of Melges 24’s and first keelboat, proved to be one of the deciding factors in the race,’ he adds.

‘The long beat to Guernsey, in sloppy seas proved difficult for many boats,’ David says. ‘It was vital to keep the boat moving fast over a confused wave pattern and as with all our sails from Hyde’s, we were able to change gear easily throughout the day to maintain ‘Jackana’s’ momentum.’

David explains: ‘A key navigation factor when sailing between the Islands is to reach St Martin’s point off Guernsey before the tide turns south against you. If this is not looking possible it is sometimes best to head east up to Sark and crab your way across to the finish line off St Peter Port. Early indicators looked like the latter would be the best strategy, however progress on the day quickly led to a decision to keep west and play the shifts as we were making gains on every tack.

‘It was definitely a day for putting the kitchen table navigation to one side and to go with the conditions in front of us on the day. Internet research prior to the race by our tactician also helped our decision to bank west as a predicted shift arrived on time and gave us a fine reach to line, leaving many with an upwind slog to the finish.’

Remarkably, after four hours 20 minutes, ‘Jackana’ had stretched out a lead from the entire fleet bar one, a J/122 that took line honors just seven minutes ahead of them.

The final corrected times between each yacht were very close, but the win was ‘Jackana’s. David says: ‘Thanks to the care, knowledge and research that went into our latest set of sails, the Team from Hyde’s were able not only to reduce our rating, but through efficient sail shapes also helped us to increase our speed on the water. Both factors helped to give us the jump on the day. A great job guys!’

All the more poignant for David was the fact that his late father won this race in 2004 aboard the Alan Buchanan Clyde Cruising Club One Design he built himself in 1964. ‘All in all, it was a very special day for the family,’ David concludes.

Hyde Sails Ltd, Harbour Building Office A, Hamble Point Marina, Hamble, Southampton SO31 4NB

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