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  • Writer's pictureMattijs Willenborg


Congratulations to Simon and his crew on yet another another win on IRC, despite the FSC George Law race not being one of their finest performances. They still came home with the win. Read Simon’s full race report below:

“It actually was not a great race for us, there was an incident at the start – we were partly to blame for being where we shouldn’t so I turned around, restarted and then had to do a penalty turn. Later on the boom touched a rounding mark so another turn! We are out of practice. So we gave the fleet about a ½ mile head start. It was windy, 20-25kt initially, getting up to 30-35kt later, and over 40 kts a few times on the way home. Apart from one heavy weather beat, it was beam reaching all the way so very hard to catch up under main and #3 jib. We made up some ground on the beat and took out our reef promptly when the others stayed reefed. We had our hands full under full sail on a reach with the wind forward of the beam in 35+kts but the boat is very stable and we pulled away, making up just enough ground for the win. That upwind leg mid race was the only time we reefed. We really should have been about 8-10 mins ahead of where we were.

In that context is was pleasing to be first and fastest in Div 2, but also to beat all of Div 1. Allowing for our delayed start, we beat most of them on elapsed time too. They are mainly 40’ except for Indian a Carkeek 47 (17th over the line in their last Sydney to Hobart). Mills 40. J122, Archambault 40, Farr40, + a couple of lightweight carbon 36-37’ outright racers and one on foils (that did not go well at all).

The boat is good but the skipper and crew were a bit rusty in the heavy weather! Again, it does show that in the heavier conditions the JPK is tough and fast. We went past a Beneteau First 44.7 to leeward upwind in no time (we pointed so much better we forced them to tack off). The good thing is that we can do that heavy weather stuff but also win in the light, ie a true balanced all-rounder. That is what is needed, certainly here on our west coast.

It was nice that the race was only 4 hours, in hail and 40 knots that was long enough for me. I am becoming a fair weather sailor as I get older.”

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