The F4 gusting F5 Easterly made conditions extremely challenging on Thursday for Andrew Eddy and his team of helpers, but thanks to some excellent seamanship and dogged determination by all involved, ten J70s eventually made it safely to the Undertyne moorings from Cowes in readiness for the annual J70 weekend (now in its seventh year). After Saturday morning’s briefing by Andrew, the 40 or so crew were taken out to their J70s and having reminded themselves how it all worked, rigged up. In the meantime the Race Officers headed off to the more sheltered waters between Drum and Derrick and set up a windward/leeward course using inflatables. Unfortunately one boat (745 captained by Louisa Laughton-Scott) had problems with their jib halyard on the way to the start area and so returned to the moorings and swapped to the spare boat. For the remainder, the first race was a one rounder warm up without spinnakers. Race 2 was a three rounder over the same course but with spinnakers being allowed.

Start of Race 2 Saturday –

Inevitably there were a number of broaches but nothing too disastrous. Tom Preston’s considerable experience helming J70s, showed as he picked up the first of eight wins during the rest of weekend. Race 3 was a triangle bringing in Britten and Derrick. Another win for Tom in 736.

Start of Race 3 Saturday –

After lunch there were two more windward/leeward races and to finish the day it was a zigzag course following the Redwings and One-Designs back to Undertyne via Janson, Garland and Fitzwilliam.

Sunday morning started with two more windward/leeward races set up north of Fitzwilliam. The first was won by 736 captained by Ed Eddy and the second, which was finished at the windward mark saw Tom in 735 winning again. The third race of the day was a running start with Ruthven as the leeward mark.

Start of Race 9 Sunday –

Having initially been trailing the ‘senior citizens’ boat captained by Charles Armitage (744), Rosie Gosling in 740 ended up winning. After lunch, it was another windward/leeward which this time saw Archie Hinde in 738 taking the top place and Jamie Richardson in 737 sealing second. The first start of Race 11 was pretty chaotic and required a General Recall and a Flag U re-start to get them away. Finishing after one round, another win by Tom in 735.

Re-start of Race 11 Sunday –

With time running out, the 12th and final race was a one and a half round windward/leeward course finishing at the windward mark, ready to also finish the Redwings and One-Designs. Working as planned, it was a final win for Tom and his crew in 735.

So twelve races in two days and lots of happy competitors!   In third place after two discards was Rosie Gosling and her crew in 740; second was Ed Eddy and crew in 736 and in first was Tom Preston and his crew in 735.

A huge thank you to the RYA and RTYC for allowing us to charter the J70s; to the Race Officers and mark layers, the numerous helpers (especially those involved in collecting and returning the boats from/to Cowes) and of course to Andrew for such brilliant organisation.

Additional photos:

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