19Sep2020: J/99 JEDI’s introduction to short handed sailing, scoring a stunning trifecta win, racing offshore two handed against fully crewed and much larger yachts.
Entering their first double handed race, husband and wife team Ray and Sandra Entwistle on their new J/99 JEDI scored a stunning trifecta win on IRC, ORCc and PHS competing with the fully crewed mixed fleet in the Short Offshore race. More amazingly, at 32.6′ the J/99 was the smallest boat in the fleet by some margin. The J/99 was placed in Division 2, the combined fleet comprised yachts up to 47ft.
The course was a 20 mile offshore race starting from the heads at Pittwater and beating NE up to a laid mark off the headland known as First Point (just south of Terrigal) and spinnaker return via a turning mark finishing near Mackerel Beach back in Pittwater. Both divisions started together (comprising 20 yachts) which made for an interesting start! It was a lumpy seaway with winds NNE varying from 8-15 knots but dying towards the finish.
Ray commented, “We knew we were in good shape when we rounded the top mark with some of the 40+ footers then stayed in touch with them downwind. The J/99 is so easy to sail, perfectly balanced, highly versatile and comfortable. She was also very dry considering the lumpy seaway and simply carved her way through the swell. The race was tactically challenging as we had to keep out of as much dirty air as possible with so many larger boats around us. We popped the A2 for the return run, Sandra cross sheeted the kite sheets and enjoyed the ride home, gybing a couple of times to clear the Barrenjoey mark. As we neared the entrance to Pittwater we gybed a bit early as we didn’t want to get tangled up with one of the 40footers, so unfortunately came a little too close to Barrenjoey headland and into less breeze – so we made the most of every little puff to soak down to the finish, with a final gybe to cross the line.”
RPAYC also published the results for the combined Div 1 and 2 fleets – all the Div 1 boats were also fully crewed and included some very high profile race competition. In addition to winning Div 2, the 2-handed J/99 finished 4th overall on ORC and IRC in the combined results and missed out by 3rd by only 13 seconds to the Farr 40, Farr45 and XP44.
We wish to thank Sailing Director Nick Elliot and his team at RPAYC for all their effort in promoting and encouraging shorthanded sailing and we hope this result goes some way to proving you can have an enormous amount of fast fun with the simplicity of just two crew.
We dedicate this race to our dear friend Joe Millward (who passed recently) and his family who introduced me to sailing many years ago when I was a youngster.