Hard work starts to pay off in JOG the Great Escape

24 July, 2020

It was weekend number two of back to back races for Riot and Eros of the Scaramouche Sailing Trust. This was a new week, a different race, tweaks had been carried out on the boats and the crews, same as the Lonely Tower, had been out practising. What would the Great Escape bring, as the crews head west to the Needles Fairway?

Game on – Eros by Azat Ulutas

After the Lonely Tower, we had a week in Cowes, making some little adjustments to Eros looking to get some extra gains and see if we could get closer to the leaders on corrected time.

As always, we (Suen, Matt and I) looked at the conditions, tide, wind and general weather, and we created our strategy for the day ahead. We decided to start near Gurnard where there was most tidal flow. Racing through the first leg we stayed in the channel to make the most of the ebbing tide for more leverage. Whilst beating toward the Needles the waves started to intensify as well as the wind, and Eros was being put to the test. This is the resilience bit Mr Holt always talks about!

After rounding the Needles Fairway, the kite went up as well as the level of concentration. There were some broaches along the way but still be moved on, flying towards the finish line.

Eros finished in 5hrs 22mins 35secs, which put us first in class on corrected time!
We were all delighted with the result and thank you to JOG, the Scaramouche Sailing Trust and everyone particularly those on the dockside in Cowes, who continue to support us.

Exercising caution in a building breeze – Riot by Jaydon Owusu

The course set by JOG was a beat out to the Needles Fairway, a fetch to North Head and then a kite leg back to the finish. Sailing three up, our combined crew age is 43, the youngest crew on the water. For us, every race is about putting our theory into practice. During lockdown, we all completed our Day Skipper Theory and our RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship Course so during the planning stage of the race, looking at our course, strategy and tactics now was the time to test our new skills.

Exercising caution was the name of our game, to finish first, first you must finish. During the week we were trialling new sail plans, we have a couple of different spinnakers and we also changed our reefing systems. This race would be a test of how good our boat work is. The beat out was tough, the wind was due to be around 15 knots, but by the time we were at the Needles Fairway it was more like 21 knots, plus did we mention the wide against tide element?! That’s a big day at sea in a 22 ft boat.

We decided to wait until we were back in the Solent past Hurst Spit before hoisting the kite, much to Mr Holt’s delight, and once hoisted we had a great blast to the finish line. Although we were last to cross, we were closer to the boat in front that the week before finishing in 5hrs 50mins 43secs, putting us in 17th place on corrected time, a big improvement.

We would like to say a big that you to the JOG. For a second week running we have been the last boat to cross the finish line, and we appreciate always seeing you there waiting for us to finish. We are getting closer to the boat on the water in front (40 mins in the Lonely Tower, 25 mins in the Great Escape). The race team are very personable, and you make the racing clear and it’s a great way for us to gain experience, thank you we are looking forward to the next one already.

Both crews will compete in the JOG Home Ports Regatta at the end of August where a third boat, a new Limbo 7.7 If, kindly donated to the charity will be joining them.

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