Competitive sailing during the J22 Commodores Cup

| 20/01/2011

(CISC): The annual J22 Commodores Cup was held over the weekend of 8 and 9 January. Seven boats competed in the first major J22 sailing regatta of the year in what turned out to be one of the most competitive Commodores Cup regattas for many years. The regatta was hosted by the Cayman Islands Sailing Club’s (CISC) Commodore who had just returned from his Antarctic expedition to face considerably more hospitable conditions in the North Sound.Two courses, one a triangular course the other a windward / leeward course, were set in the North Sound by the well organized Race Committee, headed up by Peta Adams.

It was immediately apparent that the Christmas break had provided an opportunity for upgrades to various boats and that some of the crews had been finding time for some extra training. Of particular note was Sunshine, skippered by Peter Cunningham, which was sporting a brand new set of sails

The winds on Saturday were generally light with ten degree oscillation that meant the skippers had to keep in phase to stay with the fleet. The first race saw Tomeaka McTaggart (Just Leaving) display the form that would see her through the weekend as she sailed into 1st place. The rest of the fleet were close behind and all fighting for room at the marks. After a very close last upwind beat Jo Richards (Mayhem) showed some cool nerves to grasp second from Peter Cunningham (Sunshine).

The second race saw Raph Harvey, the CISC new Lead Sailing Instructor, on DMS show good form and pull away from the fleet with Tomeaka Mc Taggart working her way into second place ahead of Peter Cunningham (Sunshine). Jo Richards (Mayhem) was caught on port at the top windward mark of the first beat and was forced to do penalty turns pushing her to the back of the fleet, but she clawed her way back to 4th. The third race, and the last of the day for Saturday, saw Tomeaka McTaggart regain her form and take another first, just ahead of a hard charging Peter Cunningham who was followed closely by Jane Moon (Ciao) who was now getting used to her new crew.

The racing on Sunday started with stronger winds that had clocked to the East. During the fourth race of the regatta Steve Adams (Wreckless) started to show the form that had eluded him on Saturday as he finished a very close second to Tomeaka McTaggart, with Jane Moon a close third. Fourth place was hotly contested with Bruce Johnson (Yahoo) trying unsuccessfully to edge out Peter Cunningham at the pin end of the finish line. The fleet experienced gusty conditions in the fifth race which saw Tomeaka McTaggart consolidate her grip on the fleet with another 1st place with Jane Moon finding her form with another 2nd place and Steve Adams close behind in 3rd.

Technical difficulties befell Tomeaka McTaggart in the sixth race, the crew was unable to drop the spinnaker, putting her in last place, whilst Jane Moon took advantage grabbing 1st place and Raph Harvey (DMS) was back in the mix finishing 2nd just ahead of Peter Cunningham. For the final race of the regatta the winds dropped a litte. Tomeaka McTaggart made another good start whilst Jo Richards (Mayhem) got shut out and had to tack across the back of the fleet to the right side of the course. Obviously clear air and an early lift helped Jo out and she round the windward mark on Tomeaka’s stern and ahead of the rest of the fleet. Again Jo Richards displayed cool nerves as she managed to stay ahead of the pack to pull out a 2nd place to finish ahead of Jane Moon.

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