Photo of Joss by Gabby Williams
Onboard Joss, we opened our Valmadre Cup campaign with 2 Top 3 placing’s – leaving the skipper, and crew in a state of happy disbelief as it was only our second Valmadre Regatta, & Joss’s first IRC State Championships. To walk away with a 1st Place in Division 2 YAH, & 2nd Place in the Div. 2 State IRC Championship was a fantastic start.
Like many yacht’s Joss had been struggling all season to find regular crew for river and offshore races. So before the start everyone was extremely nervous as to how we would perform, as most of the crew had never sailed together.
The conditions were definitely exciting, with a nice strong consistent 15-20 knot breeze, and a moderate 1-2 meter swell clearly designed to test all 50 yachts competing in the 4 Divisions in terms of their crew teamwork & overall race strategies.
Our strategy was simply to sail fast, occasionally sailing a little lower then most of the fleet, making sure our trim and boat handling wasn’t sloppy in the choppy conditions.
We didn’t try and take an aggressive start, simply wanting to come in fast near the boat end of the line, and find a nice gap. With plenty of breeze and clear air we managed to maintain good boat speed on the long beat towards the top mark with the whole fleet sailing close together.
Our decision to compromise height for speed paid off and allowed us to round Fairway Buoy in a very good position. We hoisted our “Big Green” asymmetric kite as soon as we rounded the top mark (with a big sigh of relief as it set absolutely perfectly). Our luck was short lived, the tack line soon snapped sending the crew scrambling to quickly drop the kite and attach it directly to the bow sprit, it was re hoist quicker than Usain Bolt ran the 100 meter sprint at the last Olympics. Joss made good gains downwind, ensuring that we were at the front of the fleet following close behind Giddy Up & Just Cruising.
From then on the crew worked brilliantly – managing to gybe, drop, hoist, and tack throughout the race without any compromise to our boat speed and managing to pass Just Cruising. On the final leg towards the South Mole finish we set our sights on the lead Div 2 boat Giddy Up who sailed a fantastic race crossing the line 3 minutes in front, just enough to secure them a well deserved and adjusted IRC lead of 23 seconds. Joss finished 2nd on the water in Div 2 in a time of 4 hrs 15.49 minutes, and as a result managed to take out 1st Place in the YAH opening Valmadre Race.
A Big thanks to the Fremantle Sailing Club for hosting a wonderful day as well as the 18 boats in Div 2 whom all sailed an exciting and challenging opening race.
An exhausted & somewhat surprised Joss Skipper & crew were more than happy to “Ring the Bell” to celebrate a great days sailing, knowing full well that there will be many more challenges ahead.
By Patrick Clyne (Joss)