J/88 ‘Jedi’ taking Sydney by storm

A picture tells a thousand words, and the J/88 looks awesome.

From the moment we first read about the design concept of the J/88, we J88Jedi 1wanted one.  J/88 spells fun.  Super easy to sail, fast, low maintenance, responsive, sea kindly, pocket rocket.  And she hasn’t disappointed.  Since arriving in Sydney we’ve competed in some harbour and offshore races and we’re just blown away with her sailing performance and attributes.

We just can’t get enough of the J/88 – she is such a beautiful yacht to sail, and we look forward to sailing and racing her, whatever the conditions.

Here’s a short summary of races so far….

For her very first races the J/88 “Jedi 5” has competed in a few twilight races at Greenwich Flying Squadron. She wasn’t able to start in the division of similar sized boats due to the early start time. Hence the J/88 competed in a division with a later start time, comprising 37 to 39 footers. However this has not phased the J/88 where she is currently leading the series, with a 2nd as the worse result.

On the 17th October, J/88 Jedi now armed with an Australian Measurement System  (AMS) certificate raced with the very hotly contended Super 30 fleet on Sydney Harbour, although not many boats entered for this event the J/88 finished 1st by an astonishing 11 minutes with guest skipper Jim Chambers. Jim has dominated this event for the past 3 years with his highly successful J/97 ‘Knockabout’.

The following week,  24th Oct, the Super 30 Gold fleet are racing on Sydney Harbour with more boats  guaranteed to turn up and so they did…Flying tigers,  Bull 9000, ID35  Melges 32, Syd 32, Cape 31,  Hick 31 , Archambault 32, Elliott, Melges 32, VX1, Thompson 870 to name a few.

Making a conservative start in 8 knots nor’easter breeze and with 50% of the crew who had never been on the boat before, Jedi surged around the top  mark at South Head ahead of some of the Flying Tigers and the M32. The breeze started to build to 16 knots, the J/88 recording impressive speed and depth downwind. Back upwind and for all the right reasons we go the wrong way up the beat, the Flying Tigers get through us as they pick the right side of the harbour . A short beat to the finish line and despite going the wrong way there still a lot of boats behind us. The new crew members surprised at the pace and how easy the J/88 was to sail. After an anxious wait for the results the J/88 had kept her impeccable record intact with a first on AMS complimented by another first on the local PHS system.

Time to take the J/88 to Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on Pittwater, north of Sydney, to do a few races there. She is placed in Division 2 and is the smallest boat at 29ft, the next boat at 34ft and right up to 40footers. It was an offshore race with a lumpy 1 to 1.5 mtr swell, gusting to 18 knots from the nor’east. The crew are pleasantly surprised, putting the crew weight a little further back, and J/88 with easy handling and precise helm negotiates the waves pointing high and with superb speed. Despite being in unfamiliar waters the J/88 is first around the top mark. Up with the class 95 sqr mtr running spinnaker and whoosh off we go, the light helm and sheet loads and incredible smooth handling surfing down the waves. An incredible kite ride extending our lead. On the next beat we start to haul in some of tail end of the Div 1 boats (better not tell the handicapper). We experiment moving the crew weight fore and aft up the next beat as we learn more about this stunning 29 footer. Around the top mark again and another fantastic spinnaker ride, surfing the swell  to the finish line,  J/88 Jedi blasts through the finish line clocking 16.2 knots, fastest speed to date on this new J/88.

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