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After a successful Irish campaign that included wins in the 260-mile K2Q race from Dun Laoghaire to Cork Harbour and a Cork Week coastal win in July, the top Welsh J109 returned home to dominate the IRC Welsh National Championships.

The championships were again held at Plas Heli, the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre, with race management by Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club and the Royal Dee Yacht Club. They enjoyed excellent sailing conditions over the three days.

The three-day championship consisted of an IRC class competing for the Welsh National Champion title and a cruiser class racing under the progressive NHC rating system.

The event got underway with a Commodores reception on the deck at Plas Heli on Thursday and a great BBQ party with the Jac Dobson a'r band on Friday evening.

The IRC class enjoyed three days of racing various courses, managed by the RDYC from the Royal Dee committee boat Bacardee, in mainly light north westerly winds.

In form Mojito, fresh from an IRC Coastal class win at Cork Week Regatta, started with a win in race one and continued to win five more races out of the nine races sailed.

Second place was last year's winner Imposter (Richard Fildes), with Darling XX (Stephen Williams) third.

The NHC class enjoyed six races, managed by the PSC race management team from the PSC bridge, around the club's fixed marks and St Tudwals Islands. This class had very close racing with the progressive handicap system working well. Quattro (Avril banks) and Crud y Awel (Pete Driver) tied the class going into the last day, with Quattro (Avril Banks) winning the NHC cruiser class after a fine win in the previous race.

The final day's prizegiving was conducted on the deck at Plas Heli with prizes and trophies presented by PSC Commodore Gerallt Williams and RDYC Commodore Charlie Jones.

Published in J109
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The complexities of Volvo Cork Week 2022 may have obscured some of the important National Championships taking place within it and its many classes. But aboard the more serious boats, the “hidden target” was the ICRA Nationals 2022, and the focus on this sharpened as the Week progressed until, in the end, the popular winner was J/109 stalwart John Maybury (Royal Irish YC) with his efficiently-campaigned Joker II, a boat which is no stranger to the podium as Afloat reports here

Published in Sailor of the Month
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A win for Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox's J109 Mojito in July's inaugural 260-mile K2Q Dun Laoghaire to Cork via Fastnet Race, followed by an overall win of the IRC Coastal Division of Volvo Cork Week, is a highlight of the season so far for the visiting North Wales crew.

The K2Q race was a collaboration between the Munster-based SCORA and the Irish Sea ISORA offshore racing associations. As previously reported, was a restaging of the first recorded Irish offshore race of 1860.

"The K2Q race was a real tough one for the crew, both physically leading to the rock and mentally coming away from it, according to Mojito co-skipper Cox. 

The Mojito crew on the K2Q were Peter Dunlop, Anthony Doyle, Dave Jackson, Garrett Kinnane, Sammo Jones, Charlie Hazelwood and Ben Cartwright. At the last minute, Cox was unable to race but rejoined the boat for the Cork Week Regatta.

Only four boats completed the long course version of the race, three of them from Wales.

The Mojito crew on the K2Q were Peter Dunlop, Anthony Doyle, Dave Jackson, Garrett Kinnane, Mike Manzke, Charlie Hazelwood and Ben Cartwright. Cox was, at the last minute, unable to race but rejoined the boat for the Cork Week Regatta.The Mojito crew on the K2Q were Peter Dunlop, Anthony Doyle, Dave Jackson, Garrett Kinnane, Sammo Jones, Charlie Hazelwood and Ben Cartwright. Cox was, at the last minute, unable to race but rejoined the boat for the Cork Week Regatta Photo: Afloat

K2Q winners - In 1860 It is reported that the winner of the race was paid a prize of £15 at the time, and all competing boats got a bursary of 10/6 each. The first race winner was a Schooner Kingfisher owned by Cooper Penrose Esq. The race was held on July 14th 1860, and had sixteen boats racing. In 2022, Mojito was awarded the first prize of a cheque for €15 mounted and framed and a Trophy provided by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world.K2Q winners - In 1860, It is reported that the race's winner was paid a £15 at the time, and all competing boats got a bursary of 10/6 each. The first race winner was a Schooner Kingfisher owned by Cooper Penrose Esq. The race was held on July 14th 1860, with sixteen boats racing. In 2022, Mojito was awarded the first prize of a cheque for €15 mounted and framed and a Trophy provided by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world. Photo: Bob Bateman

Mojito's Cork Week Coastal campaign

"I must admit Cork Week has always been a favourite, and there was absolutely no hesitation from our crew when we said we would do it as they all enjoyed the fun there in 2018", Cox told Afloat. 

Twenty-one teams raced in the Coastal Class, which proved to be one of the most competitive classes of the Week. In the early stage, Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom from Howth YC led the class after winning the Harbour Race by just 32 seconds. Jamie McWilliam's Royal Hong Kong YC team racing Ker40+ Signal 8 was also on the pace. 

In Afloat's Cork Week 2022 race reports, WM Nixon referred to Mojito as the 'Steady Eddy of the Coastal IRC Class' and how the crew upped their game a tiny bit for the final and closest race of the class's Week by bringing their immaculately-maintained ISORA offshore star in first on Corrected Time, which in due course gave Mojito the scoreline for winning the overall title. 

Mojito (GBR9047R) under spinnaker in Cork Week's predominantly light airsMojito (GBR9047R) under spinnaker in Cork Week's predominantly light airs Photo: Rick Tomlinson

 "It was amazing to compete against the bigger boats such as Signal 8 and Pata Negra, but as soon as they left the start line, we could barely see them, making it difficult to gauge how we were doing in the race", Cox says. "All we could do was sail as best we could, and amazingly we won the first race".

"A third place on Wednesday, and we realised we were up against an amazing crew on Signal 8, so we'd really have to push to get a good result. We really have to thank our crew for the results as every eye was looking out for wind shifts, wind holes and the inevitable sea breeze", she told Afloat.  

Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox on the podium in Cork Week as Coastal division championsPeter Dunlop and Vicky Cox on the podium in Cork Week as Coastal division champions Photo: Bob Bateman

What's Next for Coastal Champion Mojito? 

Mojito continues her busy season, heading back to Dun Laoghaire at the end of the month, racing in the next ISORA race from Dun Laoghaire to Pwllheli.

Once back in her home port, she'll compete in the Welsh IRC National Championships (5th to 7th August), followed by Abersoch Keelboat week at the end of August and an ISORA Welsh coastal race. That then sets Mojito up nicely for the last ISORA race of the season, the famous James Eadie trophy race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire.

At the end of the ISORA series, Mojito returns home to Pwllheli Sailing Club to compete in the popular Autumn and Winter series and the Pwllheli Challenge. "We really find that series a great place to train for offshore, especially when the strong south-westerlies kick in on the jet stream', Cox says.

Published in Cork Week
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16 teams had windward leeward and round the cans courses over the five days at Cork Week. John Maybury’s J/109 Joker 2 with a team from the Royal Irish YC, is the ICRA class champion.

Joker 2 scored four race wins and nine podium finishes in ten races. Second is Pat Kelly’s J/109 Storm with a team from Howth YC & Rush SC. Third is Barry Cunningham’s J/109 Chimaera with his Royal Irish team.

“We are absolutely delighted, we have had a ball all week,” commented Joker’s John Maybury. “I could not ask for more from my team, they have been brilliant, everyone did their bit. The weather was fantastic, the competition was tough, this has been an absolutely memorable regatta. Thank you so much to the organisers.”

A tightly bunched section of Cork Week's IRC Two divisionA tightly bunched section of Cork Week's IRC Two division Photo: Mary Malone

Published in Cork Week
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Cork Week Class IRC Two leader, John Maybury’s J/109 Joker 2 from the Royal Irish YC, scored a seventh in the first race of the day but came fighting back with a win and a second place to all but secure the class title with one more day of racing to come.

Pat Kelly’s J/109 Storm from Rush/Howth YC had a mixed day but came back from two fifth place results to win the last race to stay in second place for the series.

A tightly bunched section of Cork Week's IRC Two divisionA tightly bunched section of Cork Week's IRC Two division Photo: Mary Malone

Barry Cunningham’s J/109 Chimaera from the Royal Irish won the first race of the day and finished the day in third, just a point behind Storm.

Racing at Volvo Cork Week concludes tomorrow on five race areas, in and outside Cork Harbour, organised by the Royal Cork Yacht Club. 

A number of protests are still to be heard, so results are provisional

Published in Cork Week
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John Maybury’s J/109 Joker 2 from the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire won Wednesday’s Day three Cork Week IRC 2 race by nearly three minutes from Pat Kelly’s J/109 Storm from Rush/Howth YC.

The Evans Brothers racing J/99 Snapshot have broken the J/109 dominance in the class, finishing third today. The Snapshot team from Howth YC was just 23 seconds behind Storm.

The third day of Cork Week incorporating the ICRA National Championships was blessed with sunshine and 8-10 knots of breeze from the north. 

“So far so good,” commented Joker’s John Maybury. “We often race against Storm, Chimaera and Artful Dodjer, which are all well-sailed J/109s"

"To be honest I think that the weather and Cork Week’s courses really suit the design, but we have to make sure we don’t get wrapped up in a personal battle as there are plenty of good teams racing other types of boats", the RIYC J109 National Champion said.

"Today as we finished in front of Cobh, the race officer let off the gun and then threw us the spent cartridge as we sailed back past them. It was a lovely gesture… It’s great to be back at Cork Week”, Maybury added.

Racing at Cork Week continues tomorrow with the penultimate day of racing for the regatta. Five race areas, in and outside Cork Harbour, will be organised by the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Published in Cork Week
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Kevin O’Neill’s boat-shed at Kirkistown on the Ards Peninsula in Co Down has seen many boat restorations, the most recent being the MGRS 34, Twenty Twenty for Rex Robinson of Dublin Bay (renamed Debbie R in memory of his late wife) and another MGRS 34, Juno, for Kevin’s and his son Terence’s own use.

Kevin’s latest project has arrived on its long road trip from Cork Harbour to Northern Ireland. It is Jelly Baby, the J109 which faced destruction when it came to grief on Weavers Point during the final race of Royal Cork’s Autumn League last October.

She was refloated from Bull Rock by the coastguard and a salvage team, and laid up in Crosshaven Boatyard.

Jelly Baby was laid up in Crosshaven Boatyard following the J109’s grounding at the mouth of Cork HarbourJelly Baby was laid up in Crosshaven Boatyard following the J109’s grounding at the mouth of Cork Harbour

Subsequently tracked down by Kevin’s son Terence, she is now on her way to Kirkistown. But it would be a dream that she’d be ready for racing in Strangford Lough this season.

Kevin says Jelly Baby will have “a complete overhaul and be back on the race course again, maybe not this season but the 2023 season”.

It is certainly heartening to see boats being restored and racing again.

Jelly Baby is lifted into position for the road to the Ards PeninsulaJelly Baby is lifted into position for the road to the Ards Peninsula

Published in J109
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Peter Dunlop and Victoria Cox’s champion J/109 ‘Mojito’ is the first UK entry for this year's Wave Regatta in Howth Yacht Club in June.

The Pwllheli Sailing Club boat from North Wales is a regular and prominent force on the ISORA circuit and will add spice to the Class 1 competition entry list which already includes local J/109s ‘Outrajeous’ (Richard Colwell and John Murphy) and ‘Indian’ (Simon Knowles).

Cape 31

Barry Cunningham’s brand new ‘Blast’ from the Royal Irish Yacht Club is the latest Cape 31 to sign up to Wave Regatta, presenting onlookers with an opportunity to view the new Mills-designed yachts racing together in Ireland for the first time.

U25

Mindful of the growth in U25 keelboat racing across the country, the June Bank Holiday regatta (3rd-5th June) also offers prizes for the top under 25 boats as well as a special 3-boat team prize which is open to entries that include at least one U25 on each boat throughout the three-day event.

Wave Regatta gives competitors a choice of either the full weekend (3 days) or Lambay Races (Saturday only) with all keelboat classes invited to compete, including one-designs such as the 1720s and J/80s.

The early-entry discount is available from now until the end of March here.

Published in Wave Regatta
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John Maybury and the Joker II crew became J109 National Champions for the fifth time on Dublin Bay this afternoon with a clear win in the two-day, six-race North Sails Ireland sponsored championships. 

Maybury secured the title at the Royal Irish Yacht Club with a five-point margin over RIYC club mate Andrew Craig's Chimaera in second place in the ten-boat fleet.

The Royal Irish helm took the advantage early yesterday winning all three races on the opening day in decidedly light and fickle conditions,  a performance that virtually sealed the title there and then. 

"We had our set up just right on Saturday and sailed out of our skins", Maybury told Afloat. 

John Maybury's Joker II crew on her way to overall victory for the fifth time in the Irish J109 National Championships on Dublin BayJohn Maybury's Joker II crew on thier way to overall victory for the fifth time in the Irish J109 National Championships on Dublin Bay

Conditions for the final two races on Sunday were much improved and the event concluded in a ten-knot northwesterly breeze. 

Although Maybury could not hold on to his clean scoresheet his (5.0), 2.0 and 4.0, Joker II's remaining scores were more than enough to clinch it.

It brings to five, the number of times Maybury has lifted the trophy previously also winning in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2019.

Richard Colwell and John Murphy's Outrajeous from Howth Yacht Club finished third on a tie-break with Chimaera on the same 14 points. 

Andrew Craig's Chimaera clinched second overall in a final race winAndrew Craig's Chimaera clinched second overall with a final race win

J109 National Championships 2021 Overall

  1. Joker 2 1206 RIYC John Maybury 1.0 1.0 1.0 (5.0) 2.0 4.0 14.0 9.0
  2. Chimeara 2160 RIYC Andrew Craig (6.0) 4.0 2.0 4.0 3.0 1.0 20.0 14.0
  3. Outrajeous 19109 HYC Richard Colwell/ John Murphy 2.0 2.0 4.0 (6.0) 4.0 2.0 20.0 14.0
  4. Storm 1141 RSC/HYC Kelly Family 3.0 5.0 8.0 1.0 1.0 (9.0) 27.0 18.0
  5. White Mischief 1242 RIYC Richard Goodbody (8.0) 3.0 5.0 2.0 8.0 5.0 31.0 23.0
  6. Jellybaby 9609 RCYC Jones Family 5.0 6.0 6.0 (7.0) 7.0 3.0 34.0 27.0
  7. Jalapeno 5109 NYC Barrington/O Reilly/ O Sullivan/ Rosique 4.0 7.0 (9.0) 3.0 9.0 6.0 38.0 29.0
  8. Artful Dodjer 1713 KYC Finbarr O Regan 9.0 9.0 7.0 (10.0) 5.0 7.0 47.0 37.0
  9. Ruth 1383 NYC Shanahan Family 7.0 (10.0) 3.0 9.0 10.0 10.0 49.0 39.0
  10. Dear Prudence 1095 RIYC Jay Bourke (11.0 RET) 8.0 10.0 8.0 6.0 8.0 51.0 40.0

Full results are here

Richard Colwell and John Murphy's Outrajeous finished third overall Richard Colwell and John Murphy's Outrajeous from Howth finished third overall  

Published in J109

Three wins from three races in light and fickle conditions on Dublin Bay give the host club's John Maybury a clear lead in the J/109 National Championships 2021 at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

Maybury's Joker II, a past class champion, is five points clear of Richard Colwell and John Murphy's Outrajeous from Howth Yacht Club on eight points. 

Third in the ten boat fleet on 12 points is Andrew Craig's Chimaera also of the host club. 

Racing continues on Sunday and more light winds are forecast.

J109 Nationals Overall after 3 races sailed

  1. Joker 2 1206 RIYC John Maybury 1.0 1.0 1.0 3.0 3.0
  2. Outrajeous 19109 HYC Richard Colwell/ John Murphy 2.0 2.0 4.0 8.0 8.0
  3. Chimeara 2160 RIYC Andrew Craig 6.0 4.0 2.0 12.0 12.0
  4. Storm 1141 RSC/HYC Kelly Family 3.0 5.0 8.0 16.0 16.0
  5. White Mischief 1242 RIYC Richard Goodbody 9.0 3.0 5.0 17.0 17.0
  6. Jellybaby 9609 RCYC Jones Family 5.0 6.0 6.0 17.0 17.0
  7. Jalapeno 5109 NYC Barrington/O Reilly/ O Sullivan/ Rosique 4.0 7.0 9.0 20.0 20.0
  8. Ruth 1383 NYC Shanahan Family 8.0 10.0 3.0 21.0 21.0
  9. Dear Prudence 1095 RIYC Jay Bourke 7.0 8.0 10.0 25.0 25.0
  10. Artful Dodjer 1713 KYC Finbarr O Regan 10.0 9.0 7.0 26.0 26.0

*Results are provisional as of 17:15 on September 18, 2021

Published in J109
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