The Landsail Tyres J-Cup in Partnership with B&G

Final Report

Four National Champions & Landsail Tyres J-Cup winner Decided

The last day of the 2017 Landsail Tyres J-Cup was blessed with champagne conditions in beautiful Tor Bay. However, as we all know, when you pop a champagne cork it doesn't always all end up in the glass. A southwesterly breeze oscillated 20 degrees left and right during the day, and with tight racing in one design fleets, and closely matched handicap classes, getting the wrong side of a shift proved costly. The Royal Torbay Yacht Club produced two well managed windward leeward courses, as the club has done for the entire event, and two races were held for all six classes.

J/88 Open UK National Championship

The intensity of racing in the J/88 fleet was exemplified by the fact that the winner only won a single race out of eight starts. Every mark rounding and wind shift became important with teams swapping places on many occasions. Richard Cooper's Jongleur and Tim Tolcher's Rajing Bull, both made the podium during the regatta, and 2016 National Champion, Gavin Howe's Tigris, finished in style, winning the last race. However, two teams battled for three days to take the prize. David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-Dream, scored three bullets over three days of top class racing, but victory went to the new J/88 UK Open National Champion; Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat.

“Awesome racing, it was really really close. The J/88 is a fast cool boat and lots of great people race in the class, who enjoy a drink and a get together after racing.” explained Paul Ward. “We were just in front when we started the last race, and it was very quiet on board - game face on. In the pre-start J-Dream came and had a little play, and we managed to defend that, and sailed our own race. This year the same team has sailed together for the whole of Cowes Week,  and the whole of this regatta, and we really won this yesterday, when the boat handling in tough conditions was spot on.”

J/97 Open UK National Championship

Torquay is a special place for Annie and Andy Howe, the Blackjack II team was formed at the 2009  J-Cup, which was held in Torquay. Back then the team's best result was a third, fast forward to 2017, and Blackjack II has retained the UK National title for the J/97 Class. Bob Baker's Jaywalker was a worthy runner up, proudly representing the Royal Lymington YC, and local hero, George Rock-Evans, representing the Royal Torbay YC, was third.

“Eight years ago we came to Torquay, and we picked up a few sailors here and there and we didn't do very well, but we started dreaming of winning.” commented Annie Howe.  “It has been an amazing adventure since then, and we have been getting better and better, and our dream has come true, we have had the most amazing time racing J/Boats. It is brilliant to back in Torquay, and come full circle, it is just so emotional and fantastic to come back and win, it means a huge amount.”

J/109 Open UK National Championship

One of the most competitive J/109 Nationals for many years was played out in Torbay with ten boats scoring podium finishes during eight races. The winner came from behind, taking the championship in the very last encounter, having not won a single race.There is no finer example of the attitude - never give up.

Before the last day, David Richard's Jumping Jellyfish was lying mid-fleet, but after gaining redress for a Race 6, the team moved up to fourth, and scoring a second place in Race 7, Jumping Jellyfish was leading the championship by 0.4 of a point from Simon Perry's Jiraffe. Steve Berry's Blue Jay was third. In the last race, Jumping Jellyfish held their nerve to score a fifth place, enough to win the J/109 Open UK National Championship. Blue Jay was runner up, and Jiraffe third.

“It was an amazing win, unbelievable.” commented David Richards. “It was about never giving up, we thought we had an opportunity, and we took it. I have been racing J/109s since 2004, and that was probably the hardest ever, because there was no stand out boats, and winning was all about consistency, not making rash calls and trying to be a hero. Of the top three boats, only one got a bullet. This means absolutely everything to me, I have been trying to win this competition for 12 years. We came within an ounce of winning it three years ago, and we are a team of good sailors and great friends.”

J/111 UK National Championship

Paul van Driel's Dutch J/111 Sweeny was the top boat in class, after an impressive performance scoring five race wins out of eight. “It is unbelievable to beat the top British guys in British waters.” smiled Paul van Driel. “We have trained so hard for this, and I am incredibly proud of the crew. We have really put a lot of effort into this, everybody is so dedicated, they are second to none, and that is why we have won."

The UK National Championship title went to Tony Mack's McFly, which won three races, and always made the podium. Paul van Driel said of the Hamble based boat; "Our feeling was to focus on McFly, they are the fastest in the fleet, and we were on them from the start, and we like strong wind, and it came good for us on the second day. On the last day, McFly was on us, and we were defending, and that worked out, but we had to be careful, because the other boats were coming good as well, and we were like two dogs fighting for a bone.”

IRC & Handicap

In the Handicap Class, Rob Larke helming J/70 Mjölnir, scored a fifth race win in the last race to secure the class, and Ralph Mason's J92 Jabberwock won a keen contest for runner up, from Richard Puddifoot's J/70 Jibba Jabba. Rob Larke's win was all the more amazing as he had undergone neck surgery, and was told by his doctor and his wife, that sailing was out of the question. However Rob Larke was not going to miss the J-Cup!

A total domination in the IRC Class, was complete with Chaz Ivill's J/112E Davanti Tyres scoring eight straight bullets. Helmed by Marie-Claude Heys, the brand new design, showed a great turn of speed at all angles of sail. The J/112E has now been unbeaten in 2017 in major regattas in France, and was also a class winner in this year's Round the Island Race. Key Yachting's Paul Heys was racing on board.

Key Yachting Sales Director, Hannah Le Prevost, took to the stage to announce the winner of the Landsail Tyres J-Cup. “Paul and Marie Claude Heys have been running the J-Cup for 18 years, and supporting J/Boats in the UK, and many other places. Always going above and beyond what was asked of them. They have raced at every J-Cup and have never walked away with the trophy. The new J/112E is a new boat, they have put together a team that have not sailed together before and made it work. If any team here was to make a score line of all bullets, we would be handing them the J-Cup. Paul and Marie Claude said they were not going to have it, that it was not for them. They have always given so much of themselves to other people, so perhaps this is a good time to give them the J-Cup.”

Chaz Ivill's J/112E Davanti Tyres, helmed by Marie-Claude Heys and co-skippered by Paul Heys, was declared the 2017 Landsail Tyres J-Cup winner. Three hundred guests at the Landsail Tyres J-Cup party gave the Davanti Tyres crew a standing ovation,followed by a superb set from Britain's best ten piece soul funk band Joey the Lips. The party lasted well into the night, with the J-Cup family fully letting their hair down.

The 2018 J-Cup will take place in the Solent, hosted by the Island Sailing Club. Entry is already open and registration is on May 24 with racing 25th-26th May.

2017 Landsail Tyres J/Cup – Day Two Report

Biblical Conditions in Tor Bay

Thirty knot squalls inter-dispersed with beautiful sunshine and flat water, produced a testing race course for six classes, competing on Day Two of the 2017 Landsail Tyres J-Cup. At times the fleet disappeared upwind into the raging tempest, to return downwind, in a halo of bright sunlight. The bizarre weather tested boat handing skills, and stamina, considering the teams had now completed six races in two days.

For the J/88 UK National Championship, all guns were blazing with three different teams scoring race wins in the feisty conditions. David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-Dream won the first race of the day by 35 seconds to take the lead in the championship. Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat, fought back winning Race 5, to regain the lead for the national title. The last race of the day was won by Tim Tolcher's Rajing Bull, by just 7 seconds. Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat lead the class going into the final day.

The reigning J/97 UK National Champions, Andy & Annie Howe's Blackjack II, still lead the class after winning two of today's races. However, the competition was hard on their heels. Bob Baker's Royal Lymington team, racing Jaywalker, was North Sails boat of the day, after finishing every race on the podium. Royal Torbay YC member George Rock-Evans, scored his first National Championship win, and Nick Barlow's Jeopardy II, scored two podium finishes.

“We have our mascot, Blackjack Davy, strapped to the back of the boat, and he kept us all safe today. There was a lot of breeze and plenty of water below us and falling down from the sky.” smiled Blackjack's Andy Howe. “Our boat handling kept us in it today, and kept us in front.  Torquay holds a special place for us. We did our first J-Cup here and it is great to come back. It is a great place to sail. We are in a good position but we need at least one good result tomorrow, and the fleet are not far behind us, it is still all to play for.”

For the J/109 UK National Championship, there is a new leader. Steve Berry's Cardiff Bay YC team, racing Blue Jay, scored three keepers today, and now lead the championship after discard. Simon Perry's Jiraffe had a day of ups and downs but two good races means that the Royal Southern YC team retain second place, just a single point off the lead. “Laugh rhymes with Jiraffe, hence the name.” commented Simon Perry. “We race hard but we love to enjoy our sailing as well, and the J-Cup has the right balance of fun and great racing.” David McGough's Just So, scored two good results and then won the last race of the day, to climb to third, just two points off the lead. “This is definitely the most competitive racing I have done.” Declared David Gough. “This is an exceptional regatta.”

For the J/111 UK National Championship, Paul Van Driel's Dutch J/111 Sweeney was in scintillating form today. The team from Breskens showed excellent boat handling skills in the brutal conditions to win all three races and take the lead in the championship. Sjaak Haaman's Dutch team, racing Red Herring, scored well, as did Tony Mack's McFly. The British owner driver was also spotted wearing a pair of frogman's goggles, ripping fun at the wet weather!

 In the IRC Class, Chaz Ivill's  J/112E Davanti Tyres, helmed by Marie-Claude Heys, has now scored a perfect six bullets, securing the class win with a day to spare. The battle for second is a very even contest between two J/105s, both from the Royal Lymington YC.  Andy Roberts Jin Tonic holds the upper hand, by two points, but failed to finish the last race, William Newton's Jelly Baby is two points behind. Mike Wallis' J/122 Jamali, scored a 4-4-2 today, to challenge for the podium.

All four UK National Championship's remain undecided going into the last day. Racing at the 2017 Landsail Tyres J-Cup will conclude tomorrow, Saturday 19th August 2017, with two races scheduled for all six classes. 



2017 Landsail Tyres J/Cup – Day One Report

Seconds count at the Landsail Tyres J-Cup.

Thrilling close racing is in the DNA of J Boats. With no less than four National Championships, the competition was incredibly close, for the first day of the 2017 Landsail Tyres J-Cup. Spotting the shifts, and extra breeze, were keys to winning performances, with 15-20 knots of solid pressure coming off the land, the planing, asymmetric J Boats were romping around Tor Bay. The Royal Torbay Yacht Club, set two excellent windward leeward courses, with three races completed by all classes.

For the J/88 UK National Championship, the competition was intense, the biggest winning margin was 21 seconds, with four teams within a point of pole position after three races. Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat, is tied on points at the top, with David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-Dream. Reigning J/88 UK National Champion, Gavin Howe's Tigris, won the last race of the day, to claim third, tied on points with Tim Tolcher's Raging Bull.

“It was a cracking good day, great courses, great racing and a lot of fun.” commented Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat, helm Paul Ward. “The standard in the J/88 fleet just keeps going higher and higher. We are changing places three or four times every race. Make one mistake and you drop a place or two, get a good shift and you make it back again. Everybody is sailing really well, we have got half of a nose in front, and it is all to play for!”

The reigning J/97 UK National Champions, Andy & Annie Howe's Blackjack II, opened their defense in style, winning two races. However, Bob Baker's Jaywalker is just a point behind, having won the last race of the day. Royal Torbay Yacht Club's George Rock-Evans, skipper of J/97 Juno, scored three podium places to finish the first day, third in class.

For the J/109 UK National Championship, three teams are tied at the top for first place, but only one of them actually won a race today. Robert Stiles' team racing Diamond Jem won the last race of the day, to secure pole position on countback from Simon Perry's Jiraffe, and David Richards' Jumping Jellyfish. Race winners in the J/109 Class included, Steve Berry's Blue Jay, and Stuart Hills' Jenesis. Mike Yates' Jago, and David McGough's Just So, also made the podium.

For the J/111 UK National Championship, Tony Mack's McFly, continued their impressive form exhibited at Cowes Week, to lead the class after three races. However, Marco Van Driel's Dutch J/111 Sweeney, showed championship winning form, pushing McFly is every race. Paul Griffiths' Jagerbomb scored two podium finished to finish the day in third.

“We come all the way from Holland because we know we will get a great competition.” commented Marco Van Driel, owner of Sweeney. “The British J/111s are ahead of us, and we like to measure ourselves in a real competition, after a lot of effort and training back home. We did a good job today, we decided to go for it from the first start, to be keen and go for it. One thing that we really love about the J/111 Class, is that all of the other teams are so helpful, we are so happy, because they make us feel incredibly welcome.”

In the IRC Class, Chaz Ivill's brand new J/112E Davanti Tyres, helmed by Marie-Claude Heys, scored three straight bullets, to take a commanding lead in the class. By comparison to the latest J Boat model at the regatta, the J/105 was introduced to the racing scene in 1991, and rating under IRC, they are still very competitive. Andy Roberts J/105 Jin Tonic is second and William Newton's Jelly Baby is third. In the Handicap Class, J/70 Mjölnir, helmed by Rob Larke, leads after winning two of today's races, but it was far from easy, with Ralph Mason's J/92 Jaberwock just 3 seconds in Race 2, and Richard Puddifoot's J/70 Jibba Jabba less than a minute behind in today's first race.


North U have a welcomed presence at the Landsail Tyres J-Cup, after racing competitors enjoyed a masterclass from some of North Sails top sailors. With a beer in hand at the Royal Torbay Bar, the video debrief, including drone footage, was extremely well received, with sailors getting top tips. Today's top tip was from former 505 World Champion, and a member of a very small club that have been part of winning teams for the Rolex Sydney Hobart and Rolex Fastnet Race – North Sails' Jeremy Robinson.

The Approach Shot

When you are racing upwind, aim for a point on the race course that is a few hundred metres from the top mark, and look to get a commanding position there, rather than at the top mark itself. If you gain the upper hand, your approach to the top mark, should be relatively straight forward. If you have to tack away at this imaginary point, it is not as costly as having to do so at the top mark itself, and the position is much easier to recover from.
Racing at the 2017 Landsail Tyres J-Cup continued tomorrow, Friday 18th August 2017, with three races scheduled for all six classes. 

Skippers' Briefing & Welcome Party at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club
(Tim Wright)
A packed crowd of J/Boat owners and crew, attended the J-Cup Skippers' Briefing and Welcome Party to open the 18th edition of the J-Cup. Commodore of the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Adrian Peach, welcomed the regatta back to Torbay.

“It has been eight years since we have hosted the J-Cup, and we are delighted to welcome you. We have ordered some excellent conditions to celebrate your return. The majority of the breeze will be out of the west, which means that it will be flat water and very shifty, and those shifts will be there for everyone. We have a fantastic restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the bar will be open from noon until midnight, right through the regatta.”

Commodore Peach introduced Bob Penfold, who has been instrumental in organising the regatta, and fellow Race Officer David Raymond. Bob Penfold confirmed that there will be racing for all classes, scheduled to start at 1100 Thursday 17th August. Six fleets will race on two courses in the confines of Tor Bay. One of the most stunning sailing locations in the southwest of England, Tor Bay is over four miles long and two miles wide, and ideal for windward leeward courses. Three races are scheduled on the opening day for all classes.

The Landsail Tyres J-Cup in Partnership with B&G
Hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Torquay, UK.
17th – 19th August, 2017.
There is still time to experience the thrill and fun of the J-Cup, celebrating its 18thbirthday at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club,Torquay, South Devon from 17-19 August, 2017.
The Landsail Tyres J-Cup in Partnership with B&G, has eight races scheduled over three days of highly competitive racing, with excellent facilities ashore and a great social programme. The regatta features four UK National Championships for the J/111, J/109, J/88 & J/97 Classes, and J Boats are also racing under IRC, and in One Design classes.
The regatta features four UK National Championships for the J/111, J/109, J/88 & J/97 Classes.
“The first J-Cup was in 2000, and it has proved to be a fantastic get together for the J Boat family.” commented Paul Heys from Key Yachting, the exclusive agent for J Boats in the UK and Ireland.
“Every Fastnet year, it makes sense for the regatta to be based in the West Country, and the dates are chosen to fit after the Fastnet finish, and before Torbay and Dartmouth Royal Regattas. We have been to Torbay Yacht Club twice before, and the club is so keen to have us back, plus the facilities are excellent with a superb marina and a lovely bay to sail in, which is easy to reach from the Fastnet finish at Plymouth, just 50 miles away.
The J-Cup is not a rally, it is a very competitive regatta, and the motto of the event is to race hard and played hard. So once the final race is finished, we have a big hoedown on the Saturday night, with a grand prize giving, and live music from the sensational soul, rock and funk band, Joey the Lips.”