Jersey & France. Commodore’s Cup & Cook Salvers Jersey to St Malo races
Jaya of Jersey: © Julian Barber
Photo: Jaya of Jersey: © Julian Barber - click picture to enlarge
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Friday, 21 April 2006
Bill Harris:


The Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club’s annual Commodore’s Cup & Cook Salver races to St Malo, the first passage races of the Jersey sailing season, were held on Good Friday in fair if somewhat light and overcast conditions. Thirteen boats came to the start line off the St Aubin’s race mark for the reasonably civilised 9.30 a.m. start of this near-forty mile race.

With just seven knots of west-south-westerly breeze blowing, the fleet got off to a fairly clean start with just one eager beaver being recalled for a line infringement.

Neil Maclachlan and Alex Ohlsson’s J92-S Jaya of Jersey, racing in the IRC class, was quickly away to be first out of St Aubin’s Bay and stand on into the strong west-going tide, with Bruce Steedman’s First 31.7 Flaming Bagels and the Dehler 39, Cordon Bleu, skippered by Simon Taylor in close pursuit. A single tack, for most boats, saw them well-positioned for the Passage Rock buoy, the turning mark for the leg to the Northwest Minquiers buoy.

Jaya held her lead to be first at the mark, followed by Flaming Bagels and Cordon Bleu. With the wind still ahead of the beam, the fleet settled down to a very pleasant, if somewhat slow, white sail reach to the northwest buoy. This leg saw Cordon Bleu squeeze ahead of Jaya to be just ahead at the mark. The short leg to the Southwest Minquiers saw Jaya ease slightly ahead again by the time the lead boats reached the southwest mark. Shortly after this, the ever-lightening westerly breeze died and these two boats were the only ones to round the mark before the tide turned.

Happily for Julian Rogers’ Sigma 33 Canders, the boat was sufficiently close to the mark to be able to slowly claw her way uptide as a very light breeze started to fill from the northeast. A deft piece of seamanship enabled her to pop around the buoy and commence the long leg to the finish line. The remainder of the fleet was not as fortunate and many, after spending considerable time plugging the ever-increasing tide, decided to retire and head for home or for the bar in St Malo.

Arthur Manning’s Starlight 35 Knight Star, having been shadowing Canders, did not have the latter boat’s luck but decided to persevere, a decision aided by the sight of the Malo 42 Premier Pelfe, skippered by Mike Jackson, coming slowly up under spinnaker. Premier Pelfe’s crew’s crossed fingers trick did not work quite as well as they hoped and they too ended up parked south of the mark, stemming the tide, although now ahead of Knight Star. Another deft piece of seamanship saw Premier Pelfe creep up to windward of the mark and once safely clear, although seemingly making very friendly acquaintance, slide around and set a course for St Malo. Knight Star, also under spi, followed shortly afterwards.

During this time the lead boats were making fair speed for the finish off the Grand Jardin lighthouse. Cordon Bleu took the lead once again to beat Jaya to the line by five minutes although the smaller boat won the IRC class with a twenty minute margin.

Similarly, Canders was well away by the time the remaining Club Handicap boats were round the mark, finishing just over two hours before Premier Pelfe and Knight Star. With darkness setting in, Premier Pelfe crossed the line some eleven minutes ahead of Knight Star to take second place by three minutes on corrected time.

Results
Place – Boat – Skipper - Finishing time - Corrected time
Class 1 – IRC cruiser/racer

1 - Jaya of Jersey - N Maclachlan - 17.39.10 - 8.08.11
2 - Cordon Bleu - D Langlois - 17.34.28 - 8.27.43
Kalina, Leapfrog and Flaming Bagels retired
Class 2 – RCH (Club) cruiser/racer
1 – Canders - J Rogers - 18.25.01 - 10.07.15
2 - Premier Pelf - M Jackson - 20.32.40 - 12.48.42
3 - Knight Star - A Manning - 20.43.36 - 12.51.16
Dancing Bear, White Rose, Shasa, Valhalla and Huff ‘n ‘ Puff retired.
The full results are available on www.rciyc.org
Last Updated ( Friday, 21 April 2006 )
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