JOG Lonely Tower Race Report

15 July, 2020

With 24 hrs to go to the start of the JOG Lonely Tower Race the two entries from the Scaramouche Sailing Trust Eros and Riot, were at two completely different spectrums of being race ready.

Riot was ready, and the young crew skippered by 15-year-old Jaydon had been out training with the Kai (14) and Tyler (14). For the crew of Eros, Azat, Seun and coach Matt Reid, it was all hands on deck getting the keel and rudder back in place following a lockdown project of hull preparation. A restoration project they have led with support from the marine industry along the way.

Eros and Riot were both on the start line and ready to race on Saturday 11th July, their first race of 2020, with Jon Holt, founder of the Scaramouche Sailing Trust as RIB Support for the young crew of Riot.

Our race onboard Eros – Azat Ulutas

The start was extremely light, however as were the lowest rated boat that was good for us, so we were not worried. With Seun on the helm, we started close of the Gurnard Cardinal, and our strategy was to stay in the strong flooding tide off the start and look for pockets of wind pressure, which Matt and I were keeping an eye out for.

Our strategy changed when we went over the Ryde Middle Sands Bank, although there was significantly less tide with us, there was a lot more breeze, and it paid off.

As we approached the Nab Tower, we wondered if we would be able to hold our kite, almost all the boats only had two sails up. We managed to hold the kite, and even hit 8.1 knots of boat speed, which is pretty incredible for us!

The finish was upwind, and with high morale onboard we kept pushing on, beating boats in our class to the finish line. As the slowest in class, that was a good sign.

We were really pleased to finish 3rd in Class 3 and thank JOG for putting on the race and giving us the opportunity to get back out on the water.

Steep learning curve for Riot – Jaydon Owusu

Our goal was to put our training and new navigational skills into practice in a race situation. This was my first race as skipper and responsible for my crew, although we are all experienced in offshore sailing, this race felt like a big one for the three of us, as Jon would be following in a RIB.

Our strategy was to keep hold of the main pack for as long as we could, watch what those around us were doing and learn as much as we could from this experience. One third of the way into the race and we couldn’t believe it, we were in a great position and close to Eros, who we were secretly hoping we could beat. Redshift, Nick Cherry and Ed Fishwick, who have been great with giving us some tips and sharing their knowledge were also insight. So, we were so pleased to be up near them at this stage.

We then made an error and were a little cautious dropping our kite early as we looked to the boats ahead who seemed to be overpowered. We are still learning to judge the distance on the water in these conditions, and we were actually looking too far ahead rather than at the boats closer to us. Dropping the kite early meant we ended up in a huge wind hole (although I think Mr Holt would rather we did that than be overpowered and get ourselves in to trouble!)

Lesson learnt.

We rounded the Nab Tower and headed back up to Cowes for the finish, whilst we may have been the last boat across the line, we finished, and once our handicap had been applied, we finished 25th.

Thank you JOG for a great race; we are looking forward to the next one already.

Both crews are looking forward to entering The Great Escape on 18th July.

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