The annual J22 Commodores Cup
involved seven boats competing in the first major J22 sailing regatta of the
year in what turned out to be one of the most competitive Commodores Cup
regattas for many years.
The regatta earlier this month was
hosted by the Cayman Islands Sailing Club’s Commodore who had just returned
from his Antarctic expedition to face considerably more hospitable conditions
in the North Sound.
Two courses, one a triangular
course the other a windward/leeward course, were set in the North Sound by the
well organised race committee, headed up by Peta Adams.
It was immediately apparent that
the Christmas break had provided an opportunity for upgrades to various boats
and that some of the crews had been finding time for some extra training. Of
particular note was Sunshine, skippered by Peter Cunningham, which was sporting
a brand new set of sails.
The winds on Saturday were
generally light with ten degree oscillation that meant the skippers had to keep
in phase to stay with the fleet. The first race saw Tomeaka McTaggart (Just
Leaving) display the form that would see her through the weekend as she sailed
into 1st place.
The rest of the fleet were close
behind and all fighting for room at the marks. After a very close last upwind
beat Jo Richards (Mayhem) showed some cool nerves to grasp second from Peter
The second race saw Raph Harvey,
the sailing club’s new lead sailing instructor, on DMS, show good form and pull
away from the fleet with Tomeaka McTaggart working her way into second place
ahead of Cunningham (Sunshine).
Richards was caught on port at the
top windward mark of the first beat and was forced to do penalty turns pushing
her to the back of the fleet, but she clawed her way back to 4th. The third
race, and the last of the day for Saturday, saw McTaggart regain her form and
take another first, just ahead of a hard charging Cunningham who was followed
closely by Jane Moon (Ciao) who was now getting used to her new crew.
The racing on Sunday started with
stronger winds that had clocked to the East. During the fourth race of the
regatta Steve Adams (Wreckless) started to show the form that had eluded him on
Saturday as he finished a very close second to McTaggart, with Moon a close
Fourth place was hotly contested
with Bruce Johnson (Yahoo) trying unsuccessfully to edge out Cunningham at the
pin end of the finish line. The fleet experienced gusty conditions in the fifth
race which saw McTaggart consolidate her grip on the fleet with another 1st
place with Moon finding her form with another second place and Adams close
behind in third.
Technical difficulties befell
Tomeaka McTaggart in the sixth race, the crew was unable to drop the spinnaker,
putting her in last place, whilst Jane Moon took advantage grabbing 1st place
and Harvey was back in the mix finishing 2nd just ahead of Peter Cunningham.
For the final race of the regatta
the winds dropped a litte. McTaggart made another good start whilst Richards
got shut out and had to tack across the back of the fleet to the right side of
Obviously clear air and an early
lift helped Jo out and she round the windward mark on Tomeaka’s stern and ahead
of the rest of the fleet. Again Richards
displayed cool nerves as she managed to stay ahead of the pack to pull out a
second place to finish ahead of Moon.