Easy win for Java Knight

| 08/10/2008

(CNS): Following its postponement due Hurricane Gustav the annual Harbour House Marina Banks and Back race, finally took place on Saturday 27 September 2008 and first place was bagged by Fu Liem’s Java Knight. The race course follows a 30 mile route originating in North Sound, out the Main Channel, around a mark on the Banks finishing off at Sunset House on the west side of Grand Cayman.

“It was encouraging to see such a good turnout which many are hoping will mark the revival of Cruiser Racing around these waters,” said Cayman Islands Sailing Club Commodore, Andrew Moon. “A total of eight boats ranging in size from 48ft right down to 30ft, with monohulls and catamarans, all competed on the same track.”

Winds were mainly light from the east at around 10 knots, so a long race was expected. The start was delayed by a few minutes to get all competitors in the area and just after 10am the race started. With a tight reach to the Main Channel, Fu Liem’s Java Knight helmed by David Carmichael and Yahoo Yahoo helmed by Clive Bodden pulled away from the fleet and entered the channel almost neck and neck. Java Knight dropped their 0.75oz spinnaker and hoisted a number one genoa so that they could switch to a lighter 0.5oz spinnaker for the next leg. During this period, Yahoo Yahoo was able to carry her asymmetrical sail for longer and over took in the channel. Once out of the channel, it was a gybe and a straight run to the Banks.

With the light airs and a downwind drift to the Banks, it became apparent that crew numbers were dwindling on the deck of Java Knight and that crew had found another way to occupy their time, “The cranking of the generator signaled air conditioning below and a sleeping crew!” said David Carmichael, the helm of Java Knight. “Fortunately, this was short lived as the boat was low on fuel, so when the boat turned around the mark at the Banks, the generator cut out, the a/c went off and a pile of sweaty crew reappeared for the final leg to Sunset House.”


However, the competitors had to keep a sharp lookout because of the unusually high amounts of debris in the water. “We were amazed by the volume of driftwood and rubbish in the water,” said Jon Faris, sailing on Soledad X. “This must have been the result of the recent hurricanes that have devastated Jamaica and Haiti and was a sobering reminder of how lucky the Cayman Islands has been this season but we were delighted to see a pod of dolphins swimming freely around the boats.”


Java Knight was the first to finish the 2008 Harbour House Marina Banks and Back race at around 3pm. Yahoo Yahoo finished around an hour later in second place due to the diminishing winds, with Shanti helmed by Rob Hutchison in third place.

Red Hunter and Continental Drift had a good race as they finished within minutes of each other, and the last three boats Enchantress, Soledad X and Jenemiah had to retire due to failing light. Red Hunter, Continental Drift and Enchantress experienced the strongest winds of the day having been caught in a 30 knot squall off the Turtle Farm which saw Enchantress take an early advantage, but the catamaran could not match the monohulls for the upwind beat to the finish and so lost her gain.

The CISC said it would like to thank Sunset Divers for allowing the Club us to use theirmoorings and for offering a water taxi service to the competitors, Sunset House for the location, which everyone agreed was fantastic, Peta Adams, for once again giving up her weekend to be race officer and the Trophy Sponsor, Harbour House Marina.

 “A great weekend of sailing was had by all and it is believed that this was one of the biggest turn outs in a long time,” added Moon.” The next event is being planned as a sail in company, and more than likely it will be to a raft up off North Side, but the result is the same, sailing and having fun!”

Final Harbour House Marina Banks and Back Race Results:

Position           Boat                                        Helm

1st                  Java Knight                            Fu Liem

2nd                 Yahoo Yahoo                         Clive Bodden

3rd                  Shanti                                     Robert Hutchison

4th                  Red Hunter                            Joel Bushfield

5th                  Continental Drift                   Brad Martinson

Retired                       Enchantress                            Henry Smith   

Retired                       Soledad X                              Jon Farris

Retired                       Jenemiah                                Mike Gavel

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