Hamish Hall-Smith took overall honours with a master class in handling a Jollyboat in all conditions.
The event was hosted by Howick Sailing club and it is safe to say they couldn't have done a better job.
The facilities were great, the atmosphere was convivial, the race officiating was professional and efficient. All the feedback was extremely positive.
The Jollyboat community would like to thank Marc Frewin and the shore based team for the fantastic organisational effort and Richard Lane and his team for the on-water organisation.
It would be hard to fault any aspect of the 3 days - a personal highlight was the spit roast and garden bar.
Looking at the sailing....
The first day saw perfect weather with a moderate breeze (better suited to the lighter sailors) which saw Steve Tennent and Mark Winters join Hamish at the top of the fleet after day one.
Saturday was a different story with the wind freshening and better suited to double handed or the larger frame sailor. Both Grim and Blair turning in some good results.
Sunday initially saw very light winds, at around 2-3 knots, perfect if you're sub 75 Kgs. Unfortunately, the race officer was looking for the sea breeze to kick in to provide and even playing field.
I suspect the heavy brigade we're looking for an abandonment; but the breeze filled in and we got some very good racing.
What was interesting to see was one sailor showed a consistency in all conditions and deservedly took the honours. Hamish Hall-Smith recorded nothing lower than 4th for a Net of 9; to take the overall and single handed trophies, winning 5 of the 8 races with two seconds.
He adds the J14 national title to the Farr 3.7 national title he won in 2016, and is the youngest winner in history in both classes.
Congratulations to Blair Gerrard, sailing with his son Adin, in taking out the double handed division.
The handicap trophy went to newcomer Nathan Pinch who’s just bought Storm.
There were some learnings and improvement opportunities for all sailors over the weekend:
Despite the pile up at the wing mark the sportsmanship and camaraderie was superb. It's also good to see no boats receiving significant damage.
At the AGM the class also voted in a change in name from the Jollyboat to the more modern and less confusing J14. People’s reaction has always been “you sail a what?” when you try to to explain what a Jolly is. Another motion was also passed to begin investigation of a new square top mainsail design.
A vote of thanks was also passed to Graham Fleury who stepped down from running the class this year after many years of dedicated service. Under Graham’s leadership, supported through help from rules expert John Clinton, the class rules were updated and streamlined, the WOF declaration system was strengthened, and the class’s national profile continues to draw in new sailors.
Thanks to all who took part in making this such a successful regatta. The class is in good health!
J14 Prime Minister