David Walters talks about his J 93 Jackdaw, the first result yesterday, expectations for today's race and his key strategy regarding the compliant Colonel Brown.
David Walters talks about his J 93 Jackdaw, the first result yesterday, expectations for today’s race and his key strategy regarding the compliant Colonel Brown.
Racing this year in IRC Class 3 due to a change in the rating bands for handicap classes, last year’s IRC Class 2 winner Jackdaw has also had her handicap increased, which will give her crew a harder task to keep in the top end of the leader board.
David, helmsman Andy Thomas and his regular eight-strong local crew are looking to stay within the top six, so they were extremely pleased with their second placing yesterday. “The conditions were far from ideal, but by hugging the north shore we managed to stay out of the worst of the foul tide and get in a good result.”
Jackdaw may boast what David confesses to be the “ugliest crew on possibly the ugliest boat,” but they will benefit from their local knowledge. Composition is typical of many of the entrants here at Skandia Life Cowes Week with the roster including two students and two women. All have the shared aim of racing for good results, but in the name of fun. The owner clearly knows his place, stating that he is in charge of distributing food, finance and drink in that order, in-between ‘tweaking the mainsheet’.
Speaking by telephone as Jackdaw worked to avoid other boats on the start line, the background noise was resonant with banter. Before closing the conversation to get on with the job in hand, David explained the kind of detailed strategy that was being employed with regard to weight distribution. One of the crew is Colonel Brown, a 17-stone race officer from an undisclosed London yacht club. Best known as the ‘movable ballast’, the compliant Colonel is kept below decks and has his food strictly rationed. David explained, “First we tack the boat, then we tack the Colonel!”