For J/121 JAVELIN, the event kicked off with a 32nm passage race from St Kilda in Melbourne, across Port Philip Bay to Geelong. Two start lines of 230+ boats set off at 9.30am in light 4-5 knot southeast winds. J/121 JAVELIN was in the first start of 100+ yachts of all shapes and sizes, including 32 yachts in the AMS 1 division. This division featured yachts from a pro’d up Soto 30, through a Caprice 40 (2nd in its IRC division in the recent Sydney/Hobart) all the way up to a Reichel Pugh 63 (3rd IRC overall in the Sydney/Hobart).
J/121 JAVELIN was buried on the start but set to the task of reeling in the competition, with the strategy to keep slightly left of the course to take advantage of a forecast wind shift. JAVELIN flew their Code Zero most of the way (albeit it was hoisted and dropped half a dozen times along the way!). The last stretch passed through the tight shipping channel with the wind peaking at 16 knots, and JAVELIN sailing on a close reach. Their strategy worked and they finished 6th in their division in the passage race. Plenty of celebratory drinks accompanied the Australia Day fireworks display held at the Regatta Village.
3 further races were held over days 2 and 3, with 2 of those races having to race back through the shipping channel to open waters. This made for some spectacularly close racing where water rights dominated sailing rights. The fleet of 70+ yachts (up to 65 footers and including some big cats) worked together to get through relatively unscathed (though a few boats ventured a few metres outside the channel and ran aground). JAVELIN successfully tried a wing-on-wing strategy for a short while with the A2, managing to both gain clear air and separation from competitors. Conditions were pleasant once past the channel with flat water and breeze ranging 12-14 knots. JAVELIN finished 2nd in race 2.
A twilight race was also held to take advantage of the stronger afternoon breeze, building to mid-20’s, though quite shifty. After a general recall, JAVELIN had a clean (and conservative) start, and powered over 10-12 yachts on a tight 2 sail reach. The A3 kite was hoisted at the top mark for what looked to be a beam reach. However, the wind shifted just after the hoist and the A2 would have been a better choice. JAVELIN maintained their position finishing 4th in Race 3.
Going into the final day of racing, JAVELIN was in the lead position, with only a few points separating the first six yachts. She sailed a clean covering race in perfect sailing conditions- sunny, flat waters and 12-14 knot breeze. The results came in and JAVELIN finished 1st in Race 4 and, therefore was declared the overall winner in her AMS 1 class, finishing with 13 pts and convincingly won their division six points clear of the next boat. Congratulations to Mark and all the crew on their fantastic result.