Sailing’s never a breeze

Windy and wild conditions started the first day of racing in the J/22 Ridley National Championships held by Cayman Islands Sailing Club over the weekend.

Three races were held on Saturday and each contained its own drama and excitement as crews faced strong winds and choppy waters in North Sound. First to encounter problems were the Ciao! team who broke their mainsheet traveller at the start of Race 1.

This put them out of racing for the rest of the day but allowed them to offer assistance by motorboat to other casualties including Compass Marine with a broken rudder and Yahoo with a bent spinnaker pole.

Other boats broached under spinnaker but at the end of racing all returned safely from an exhilarating and exciting days racing.

The second day of racing featured lighter but trickier conditions with the wind constantly shifting over the course.

The Ciao! team were back in action thanks to a dockside repair by Compass Marine and enjoyed an excellent day of racing, posting two firsts and two seconds to complete the Regatta in fourth place.

Moonstruck seemed to favour the heavier conditions of the first day but still sailed consistently on day two to finish the Regatta in third place.

Yahoo, which included the youngest crew member Alex Johnson – just five years old and sailing with his father Bruce – sailed an excellent Regatta and secured second place overall.

The 2008 J/22 Ridley National Champions are the Compass Marine crew of Mike Farrington, Matt Diaz and Polly Cox, who despite their early rudder loss came back to post four first place finishes and consistent results to win the overall title.

Thanks were expressed to Race Officers Peta Adams (Saturday) and Doug Murray (Sunday) and their assistants.