Over 50 boats turned out for last weekend’s Sigma Group Jersey Regatta in St Aubin’s Bay
The fourth combined St Helier and Royal Channel Islands Yacht Clubs’ Sigma Group Jersey Regatta, was held last weekend when over 50 boats of all shapes and sizes took to St Aubin’s Bay to take part in the Islands’ principal sailing event of the year.
Friday evening’s practice races were blessed with a brisk north-westerly breeze that provided good racing for all classes giving, perhaps, the closest result of the entire regatta when Rhys Perkins’ Xtravaganza pipped UK visitor Anthony Richards’ Minnie the Moocher by one second on corrected time to take the Dyce Trophy. Richards’ orange boat was to provide a stunning and welcome sight throughout the weekend with her equally bright orange sails.
As in previous years, the seven classes of boat were split between two committee boats, Martin Bedford’s Moon Shadow, under the command of David Arnold, running the ‘big boat’ classes while Rodney Waller took charge of the small boat classes on Bob Bryant’s Tauramina.
Saturday dawned brighter with the wind having backed to the south and dropped a force, ideal regatta conditions for all but those who prefer boisterous sailing. The weather was to hold throughout the weekend with brilliant sunshine on Sunday but with the wind dropping lighter, causing the race officers a few problems with some of the slower boats timing out. On a happier note, there was sufficient wind to ensure that there were results in all of the races in all classes.
It was a joy to see three Jersey Melges 24s turn out, to be joined by Simon Henning’s White Rabbit from Guernsey, bringing them to the required number to qualify for a separate start from the IRC class. White Rabbit had last met the Jersey boats at the Guernsey Regatta at the beginning of the month when she carried off most of the trophies. Last weekend saw mixed fortunes as each of the boats won at least one race with Allen Brown and partners clinching Best Boat in Class by winning a second race.
Class 1 saw very strong competition between Toybox and Minnie the Moocher with Toybox relegating Minnie into second place in all but one race. In the face of such stiff competition, Wally Battrick’s Miss Mischief did very well to achieve a third place in Saturday’s June Kingham Trophy. Other boats taking third places in the IRC class racing were Nigel Guenier’s Eclipse of the Isles in the Ken Budden Trophy and Xtravaganza in the St Helier YC’s Commodore’s Cup and Commodore’s Prize races.
The RCH class, sadly, saw a very small turnout with only three boats entered. The star performer was Rob Jenkins’ Van Dieman who turned out for every race but not always with another boat to race against. In the Tregear Cup, Ian Kinross’ Contango relegated Van Dieman to second place on count back.
In the five-strong dayboat class, it was to be the Jersey Maritime Trust’s traditional boat Jesse, skippered by Cath Challinor, that was to almost sweep the board being pushed into second place only in the RNVR Perpetual Challenge Trophy by Mike Harrison’s Jigsaw. John Asplet in Florence, Ben Jones’ Baloo and Malcolm Annan’s Jamesina also put in creditable performances over the weekend.
Six Hobie Cats raced in the sportsboat class with honours being spread across the fleet as four boats each won a race. Bruce Steedman’s Tiger, Fearful Symmetry, clinched the Best Boat in Class award by winning the Action Leisure trophy, the final race in the class. Don Thompson’s Vela Bianca also put in a good performance by taking two second places but couldn’t quite make it into a first place.
Heather Speller’s Flasher and Mike Day’s Z vied for top honours in the dinghy class with Z winning two races against Flasher’s one. It was Flasher that was to take the Best Boat in Class prize, however, Z having accumulated maximum points for not sailing in the Howard-Moisan Trophy race. Very good performances were also recorded by Dave Carter, Jeff Speller and Joel Lucas.
The excellent support given to the Regatta by adult members of St Catherine’s Sailing Club was echoed in the Junior Dinghy class where six of their junior members were joined by Guernsey’s Alan Harris and Danny Martel. This number was augmented on the Saturday when four of the RCIYC’s Wayfarer fleet came out to join in the fun. It turned out to be Katie Speller’s GBR5050 that almost swept the board, being relegated to second place in only the Cadet Trophy 3 race by Danny Martel. Alan Harris also had a good Regatta on Tiger Tops coming third in the Cadet trophy 1 and 3 races and second in Cadet trophy 2.
The RCIYC’s Dragoon fleet raced as a one-design class on Sunday with Andrew Hart’s Runrig coming first in Race 1 and second in Race 2 to James Le Couillard’s Sonny G.
The regatta drew to a close on Sunday evening when Mrs Cath Challinor, representing the Sigma Group, presented trophies and prizes assisted by Regatta Director Bill Harris and administrator Mrs Helen Le Marquand. The event was formally closed by the Commodore of St Helier Yacht Club, Mr Peter Walsh. The Jersey Regatta was also sponsored by Randalls Vautier, Sport Leisure and Recreation, Jersey Tourism and Jersey Harbours who, as usual, pulled out all the stops to make competitors feel welcome.
Class 0 (Melges 24)
Fairy Cup The Dogs…! Allen Brown
Bill Coom Cup The Dogs…! Allen Brown
Mavourneen Trophy The Bees …! David Myatt
1st Elfin Cup Piggin’ Champagne Simon Benest
Bolitho Urn White Rabbit Simon Henning (Guernsey)
Best boat in Class The Dogs…!
Class 1 (IRC cruiser/racer)
Dyce Trophy Xtravaganza Rhys Perkins
Ken Budden Trophy Toy Box Andrew Sugden
June Kingham Trophy Toy Box Andrew Sugden
St HYC Commodore’s Cup Toy Box Andrew Sugden
Commodores’ Prize Minnie the Moocher Anthony Richards (UK)
Best boat in Class Toybox (IRC30)
Class 2 (RCH cruiser/racer)
Nautilus Trophy Van Dieman Robin Jenkins
Commodores’ Prize Van Dieman Robin Jenkins
Tregear Cup Contango Ian Kinross
Best boat in Class Van Dieman (Egythene 24)
Class 3 (Dayboats/Traditional boats)
2nd Elfin Cup Jesse Cath Challinor
Wings Trophy Jesse Cath Challinor
RNVR Perpetual Challenge Jigsaw Mike Harrison
Best boat in Class Jesse (Jersey Maritime Trust)
Class 4 (Sport-catamaran)
Ratner Trophy This Way Up Grant Neale
Gaiety Bowl Kick the Kat Alex Ohlsson
Sheila Johnson Trophy Fearful Symmetry Bruce Steedman
Action Leisure Trophy Fearful Symmetry Bruce Steedman
Caprice Salver FLP International Gordon Burgis
Best boat in Class Fearful Symmetry (Hobie Tiger)
Class 5 (Dinghy)
Benson & Hedges Transom Z Mike Day
Nick Orchard Trophy Z Mike Day
Canadian Club Trophy Z Mike Day
Howard-Moisan Trophy Flasher Heather Speller
Best boat in Class Flasher
Class 6 (Junior dinghy)
Cadet Prize GBR5050 Katie Speller
Cadet Trophy 1 GBR5050 Katie Speller
Cadet Trophy 2 GBR5050 Katie Speller
Cadet Trophy 3 46303 Danny Martel (Guernsey)
Best boat in Class GBR5050
Class 7 (RCIYC Hobie Dragoon)
Dragoon Trophy Runrig Andrew Hart
Best boat in the Regatta