Yacht Swagman

Trofeo Presidente and 5 Clubs Altea

12 March 2018 | Altea, Cost Blanca
Enjoyed a blustery weekend of racing off Altea taking part in the Trofeo Presidente and 5 Clubs series' run by Club Nautico Altea.

At Sunday's presentation we collected two nice trophies having achieved a 2nd place in Division B for the Trofeo Presidente, and a 3rd place in Sunday's 5 Clubs.

Day one saw us complete two windward leeward courses in SSW winds, in the morning averaging 12 knots, but in the afternoon it was gusting to 30.

Think it was one of our slow learning days, as it was pretty obvious after the first beat that the shoreside right hand was well favoured. Those boats that worked that side in the 3 mile long beats saw a divergent breeze close by the coast that allowed them to lift along the shore, then beat out into another lift on the alternate board heading out to the windward mark. Our rivals Pajuelin (Salona 37) and Aurora (Farr 36.7) did just that and opened up a sizeable lead.

We got some of that back on the offwind run, to round the leeward mark in front of Aurora but still well behind Pajuelin, but for some silly reason, we continued to work the middle of the course for the second leg, meaning our finishing order remained as it was and with handicaps applied, Pajeulin 1st, Jumbuck 2nd, Aurora 3rd.

Race 2 saw us swop out our Genoa for our heavy AP as the weather developed. Did much better upwind but still trailed Pajuelin at the windward mark. Aurora close behind.

On the run we smoked, got right back on Pajuelins stern, but then fell back on the final windward leg and couldn't recover what we lost. Results once handicaps applied Pajuelin 1sr, Aurora 2nd, Jumbuck 3rd.

Sunday's 5 Clubs (which also forms the third race in the Trofeo President) was a coastal affair, taking us back and forth across Altea Bay. Winds were topping 15 gusting 20 as we lined up for a crowded start, and I was sure there were multiple boats OCS - including Jumbuck. We found a slot and turned back to restart - but no one else did - and none were pinged after! Bit frustrating.

Anyway, once we got going Jumbuck flew in the fresh conditions, both upwind and down. She didn't fly fast enough to catch Pajuelin, but we were less than 500 metres behind her by the finish, and right up among the tail end of the Class A fleet. Made a few mistakes on the way round (plus that restart) and survived a protest from. 40.7 that didn't accept we'd got an inside overlap, to get a 3rd place in the 5 Clubs.

But we've also learnt that in Jumbuck can go faster upwind in 15 knots using our APs than using our Genoa. So will need to review what handicap advantage we might get were we to use the APs for every race. It's a tad frustrating that we have a higher rating under ORC than we would have against our rivals under IRC, and that our rivals appear to have the lowest rating of almost every boat in their class. So. Bit of handicapping magic needed to get it all back to a level playing field.

Overall - Super weekend, and our crew of Rob Mitchel, Gary Illingworth, Edo Volker, Eric Degerland and Kevin Moss proved once more why I love sailing with them. Top jobs all round. Well done everyone!

Winners can be Grinners - XXVI Trofeo Carritxal and 5 Clubs La Vila

25 February 2018 | El Campello, Spain
It was a shame they didn't accept our 2017 ORC Certificate for the first of this seasons 5 Clubs at Moraira, but it only meant we went out to do the second race in the series with a little more focus.

This race took us south from Villajojosa, about 30 miles down the coast from Calpe. We took a days training session last Thursday and moved Jumbuck down to La Vila, and headed out on Saturday in very light conditions.

Upping our game even meant we eased off our rig tension for the days event. A coastal run from off La Vila a further 15 miles south to end at Club Nuatic Campello. The two clubs also overlay this 5 Clubs event with the Trofeo Carritxal, meaning we had the coastal race down Saturday and a complex almost circular race set for Sunday.

Got a good start in Saturday's 5 Clubs, short bash to windward then a long but shy run. Worked out well for our assymetrics and we carried the large A2 shy at 120/130 degrees right down to the rounding mark off El Campello, and the surged to the finish as we ran deeper still. That got us a first place in Division B for the 5 Clubs, but as we were only minutes behind the larger division A yachts, also saw us placed as the leading boat in the first part of the Trofeo Carritxal (which is calculated over the whole fleet).

All new 2018 certificates have been reworked to a revised formula, and whereas last year where we felt we were severely disadvantaged in our rating against bigger boats especially those tha carry symmetrical kites' this year, it's apparently changed in our favour. Aurora (First 36.7) finished near 2 minutes ahead, but was placed behind us, and Pajuelin (Salona 37) was less then 2 minutes behind, which last season would have see her placed higher. I did check with race committee that they'd done the calculations correctly, and was assured all was in order.

So a nice drink or two in Campellos tidy little rural marina and clubhouse, and off for an enjoyable evening watching SCOTLAND THE BRAVE give England a good trashing in the six nations. God. Went to bed feeling feeling satisfied.

Sunday saw fresher winds from the ESE and a complex course send us windward, then directly leeward, then a reach out around a fish farm, lengthy run inshore, long cracked beat back to the farm, round it again once more to run inshore, then beat to the finish off the Club. Good job we did have bigger boats to follow, as not sure we would have got it right had we been leading.

We did it all well. With the eased rig we had much more power upwind and easily legged it with some bigger boats, but upshot was we were very close to the leaders by the finish and also achieved first place on day two, meaning we were awarded overall 1st for the regatta.

Great result. Just as long as they've got the ratings right. If they have an we retain the difference, we will be hard to catch for the rest of the season!

Well done to all the crew, shown above left to right Rob Mitchell (bow), Gary Illingworth (mast), Kevin Moss (trim), Eric Degerland (nav and strings), me, Edo Volker (main) and Nigel Robinson (trim).

And maybe a big thanks to ORC for sorting out their rating system!

Looking forward to the next event, but we will all be missing Nigel (who flys back to work in UK shortly). He's added a lot to our performance and look forward to seeing his return after the summer.


Jumbuck - 2017 5 Clubs - Champion Division B

28 January 2018 | Moraira, Spain
The photo doesn't quite capture how cold and wet we were, following the first race outing for 2018, the 5 Clubs event run by CN Moraira.

We had two major sail handling foo foos in that event, having the Code 0 partially unfurl as we shaped up for our start, and then later a huge wild broach when close by the Penon Ifach headland the tack line clutch failed to hold, and our A3 kite reset itself a good 10 metres away from the boat. Never had so much water in the cockpit ever before!

But none of really mattered, as CN Moraira hadn't accepted the validity of our ORC Certificate and told us we wouldn't be in any prizes even if we got in miles ahead! Bit frustrating as last years cert specified it was valid to 1/2/2018, but we weren't the only boat that didn't feature in the results.

The day got very fresh, winds topped 30 knots, but apart from those two sail handing errors we cheerfully bashed and crashed our way down from Moraira to Campomanes and back, following the fleet and the eventual winners. Actually learnt a little more about our main trim, and had the boat going really well upwind using full main and heavy weather AP headsail.

Our crew photo (L to R) in CN Moraira shows Nigel Robinson, Robert Mitchell, Chris Debour, Kevin Moss, self, Eric Degerland, Sue and Edo Volker alongside Karina representing the 5 Clubs team who presented us with the trendy 2017 Champions trophy.

Our crew did a fabulous job last year allowing us to receive this trophy, and it's going to be a big challenge to repeat the act for 2018.

We will certainly try our best.......

Jumbuck Year End Party + Trofeo Navidad, Altea

20 December 2017
There were 19 of us who met up at the Montevideo Restaurant in Benitatxell on Wednesday 13th December to celebrate our season end, to give me he chance to thank everyone for their input, and share out some 2017 crew trophies to reward those who've done the real tough jobs on the boat.

Top trimmer this year went to Kevin Moss, top mainsheet to Edo Volker, and top bowman to Eric Degerland. All good sailors who've gone a bit above and beyond in the past season helping to move Jumbuck up to that top spot in Division 2 for the 5 Clubs Series. It was nice to recall individual memories and hand back the trophies awarded to Jumbuck, suitably re-engraved with the guys names. Truly lovely blokes to both sail with.

Unfortunately didn't get a shot of Kevin and his trophy, but Eric and Edo are shown above.

New crew have also added their input this year. Rob Mitchell and Chris Debour both vieing for the bow spot next season, and Nigel Robinson guest trimming back in the cockpit. All have yet to earn their spurs and get a trophy but there's always next year lads......

We've now picked the 19 events Jumbuck will enter through 2018 and we will be looking to add another heavyweight crew member so we can load that rail with the 650kgs needed to get upwind faster and manage the sail handling on short course races. That, along with some focus on boat maintenance to get kit working smoother, plus further boat handling sessions each week, should combine to see us raise our game and hopefully defend our spot against what I suspect will be even fiercer competition in the coming year.

Our principal opponents Dale Andar (Dufour 36S) and Paguelin (Salona 37) have both just invested in new composite sails plus we've also now got Aurora (First 34.7) arrived on the local scene. All are well sailed, and all have super ratings.......

Sad to say our own sail and boat handling let us down last weekend in testing conditions for the Trofeo Navidad.

Saturday / Sunday 16/17th saw Jumbuck line up in a combined Division 1 and 2 regatta for Alteas annual Xmas event. Fresh but variable conditions both days saw us off on a 16 mile coastal pursuit race on Saturday - where we secured a 4th spot behind a First 50, a Grand Soleil 46 and Paguelin the Salona 37. It was always close, with the four boats frequently changing positions along the course as the wind came and went. We could have done better and my wrong sail selection (Code 0 over A2) on the last run didn't do us any favours.

We really missed Sue's deft handling in the pit the following day as Sunday's two windward / leewards was run in even fresher winds. Again close racing using small AP on first race and Genoa on the second, only saw us able to secure the same positions, mainly because of a booboo in start timing and then later with sail handling. A shame for the team. Overall for the event it meant 4th spot, one slot down from last years result.

It would have been frustrating if we didn't know what we did wrong and still getting the 4ths, but our errors were pretty clear and we all know that with more practice and a full crew, we will do better on future events. So it's truly on, on for 2018.

That commences with the 5 Clubs Opening race at Moraira on Sunday 28th January. Bring it on......

Autumn 5 Clubs and Pata Negra - Campomanes

11 December 2017
CN Campomanes ran the last of the 2017 5 Clubs events and merged it into their own three day Pata Negra Regatta.

Always popular, not least because Campomanes has such a classy club, we went out with the primary aim of securing enough points in the 5 Clubs race to ensure we would become Division B Champions for the 2017 9 race series.

Pleased to let you know we achieved our goal, and can now look forward to picking up a Series Champion trophy for 2017 when next years series commences in January at Moraira.

Friday's race started in light fluky winds. We got away well, seven up, and slid upwind from Campomanes towards the Altea fish farm, our first rounding. Did OK upwind, arriving even before some of the 46 footers, only then to hear that they'd abandoned the race. Lucky for those we had left behind, but not for us!

Saturday saw moderate winds and a similar course, and it turned into a competitive Division B race with four of our quickest yachts frequently swopping positions as we worked out to a windward mark before then reaching off across the bay. That lengthy tight reach saw our Code 0 gain us the lead until the leeward mark, when a furling issue allowed Dale Andar to get back in front. Level pegging then on a broader reach back across the bay looked good despite having Aurora and Paguelin on our tail, but when the winds backed and strengthened, our genoa proved to be our undoing.

We found ourselves just a tad over-canvassed as we beat upwind into 25+ knot winds but made the final rounding mark and after Eric had executed a simply perfect kiwi hoist in strong winds, we screamed off downhill for the finish. Dale Andar with her symmetrical kite still got in a couple of minutes ahead, just enough to give her a first spot. Aurora, a new to the circuit but well sailed Farr 36.7 crossed maybe a minute behind us, enough with her better rating to give her the second. And Jumbuck got a third. Our old running mates Paguelin got a forth.

So with low points already picked up over the previous 8 X 5 Clubs events, that 3rd place result was enough to cement the 5 Clubs 2017 series for us.

Job done. 😎. Well done everybody!

Sunday saw the fresh winds set in, so we went out mob handed having traded down from Genoa to the heavy small AP for what was supposed to be two short windward leeward courses.

The first race saw gusts close to 30 knots and whilst we stormed to windward with our 8 on the rail and handled the first off wind leg well, we lost our single kite halliard bashing up the second beat......

Didn't think we would hold off our rivals down the last run as we had no option but to sail real deep under white sails only for the three miles to the finish. Fortunately the winds were still 25+ so we weren't going slow, and as gusts came through we had both Aurora and Paguelin broaching wildly behind us. Suspect with our small asymmetric we would have handled that leg ok under kite, but we managed to keep our spot and lead the Division B boats over the finish.

For his penance, we then hoisted Nigel up a wildly swaying rig to get his halliard back!

But with at least four other yachts having damaged multiple kites on that first race it wasn't a surprise when they abandoned the planned second race and sent us all back in to join a dockside party. In the sheltered marina the sun continued to beat down - great way to spend a December Sunday......

The results for the three day Pata Negra series is calculated across all boats, with trophies for 1st to 6th. Eventually they got it all worked out, with the strong conditions Sunday giving the bigger boats most of the prizes. Aurora secured a 3rd overall. We just managed to squeak the 6th, so look forward to collecting that additional trophy at next Saturday's prizegiving party.

All in all, great long weekend on the water, and TWO trophies, and again we learnt lots! Every day in every way, we get a little better!

Our crew of Edo, Kevin, Sue, Eric, Rob, Chris Debour, guests Chris Engles and Nigel Robinson were exceptional. It's been great this year seeing our mob develop into an almost faultless race crew, especially as they are pretty good at the parties too.

And for sure having reconsidered the smaller APs in action and having sailed for the first time with a full 600 kg on the rail, weve learnt for future events to definately swop down at exactly 15 knots - and go out mob handed more often. All invaluable stuff for continued improvement.

Thanks once more to our honed pensionista team (!) we can all look forward to our Jumbuck Xmas bash, next weeks two day Trofeo Navidad at Altea, and then next year - all with anticipation.

On. On.

Next Event - Pata Negra - CN Campomanes

02 December 2017
Vessel Name: Jumbuck
Vessel Make/Model: J109
Hailing Port: Lymington UK and Calpe Spain
Crew: Sue and John (here crossing the line to win the 2007 ARC) on Swagman
Married 46 years and been sailing for 35 of those. Keen racers and cruisers starting in Australia and now based out of Europe. From 2004 to 2009 we cruised most summer months on our yachts exploring UK to West Med, East Med to Caribbean. [...]
In 2010 tried the darker side with a classic 45' motor launch. It opened up the rivers, canals and backwaters of Europe for a year, but that did not hit all buttons, and yacht racing drew us back. Got a Scow dinghy for club racing in 2011 and called her Billy Can, got a J109 for racing 2012 and [...]
Jumbuck's Photos - Main
Costa Blamca, Spain
19 Photos
Created 23 November 2016
Professional shots taken on the Jornadas Pitiusas Regatta, Balearics, September 2016
22 Photos
Created 10 October 2016
Sold the little Scow to buy this baby for Spain.
5 Photos
Created 25 November 2014
Five days away with Stu and Moira in Spains Sierra Nevada mountains
25 Photos
Created 30 December 2011
From Moret on the Loing to Migenne on the Yonne, via the River Seine
47 Photos
Created 2 September 2011
We were joined by Paul and Pattie, Rob and Gaye for this trip back north down the Loing to Moret.
20 Photos
Created 2 September 2011
Son and duaghter in law Rob and Louise bring out our two new grandchildren Georgina and William for this week long trip north on the Canal de Briare to Chatillion Coligny.
20 Photos
Created 13 August 2011
We stayed a week at this lovely location down off the canal and adjacent to the Loire. Beautiful.
14 Photos
Created 13 August 2011
A week long push south from the medieval city of Montargis to Briare.
8 Photos
Created 6 August 2011
This is where several steams come together and helped them build the Canal de Loing to form a final link between the provincial centres of Orlean and Briare up to Paris. The streams between the houses are why its referred to as a 'little Venice'.
11 Photos
Created 6 August 2011
This was our first experience with a narrow canal - with a 6 kph speed limit. As you slow down - so does the pace of life. It was like we'd entered an inner kingdom sliding south between the two stunning medieval towns of Moret and Montargis......
15 Photos
Created 2 August 2011
Pronounced 'san mammys' this barge working town spans the junction of the Seine and Canal du Loing. Famed as the favoured living spot for English impressnionist Alfred Sisley
12 Photos
Created 30 July 2011
A scooter ride cross country through the forest to the Palace at Fontainbleu
20 Photos
Created 29 July 2011
The final upper reached of the Seine bewfore we turned off and headed south
12 Photos
Created 27 July 2011
A week long slide on the upper Seine in company with a NZ boat
18 Photos
Created 27 July 2011
Our first real country marina with facilities that would blow a family away. Absolutely made for the young - and not so young....
16 Photos
Created 26 July 2011
Back down to Paris to buy some gaz, then up the Seine through the last big locks towards the canals.
6 Photos
Created 24 July 2011
The lower reaches of the Marne as we head back towards Paris
7 Photos
Created 24 July 2011
A short hop really but lovely facilities in Meaux encourgaed us to stop here and repair our generator. Glad we did.
3 Photos
Created 22 July 2011
We were joined by Stuart and Moira on this weeks adventure to explore the 'capital' of the Champagne Region.
23 Photos
Created 17 July 2011
Sailing with Karen and Jake into Champagne country
20 Photos
Created 13 July 2011
The highlight of our crsuie where we stopped over in the centre of Paris - to be joined by Karen and Jake from the USA.
61 Photos
Created 5 July 2011
A seven hour blast at 20 kph in company with Graylian. it was the tide that allowed us to make that speed............
3 Photos
Created 30 June 2011
A ten hour fog ridden crossing - then rolly seas before we got into Le Havre. Sue kissed the pontoon on arrival................ All we then had was a failing impellor plus a crushed stanchion in the first lock we entered...........
10 Photos
Created 30 June 2011
Planning and implementing our cross channel crossing in Matilda
1 Photo
Created 10 June 2011
Shots around the harbour and bars
12 Photos
Created 6 June 2011
21st May 2011
35 Photos
Created 22 May 2011
Re-launch for Easter
35 Photos
Created 25 April 2011
Our home built rowing / sailing / motoring tender
8 Photos
Created 2 March 2011
A month away to Chile walking the mountains and lakes, then onto a discovery ship for a week exploring Patagonia and ultimately, Cape Horn. Best holiday ever............
5 Photos
Created 28 February 2011
From Turkey in May to the Caribbean for Xmas. We left Turkey two up, spent June in Greece with pals Jude and Viv visiting, July solo in Croatia and August in Italy and then Balearics where Seu went home for a week and mate Brian from Oz came for a weeks sailing. Then Sue flew back and Brian home, we sailed through September to Spanish east coast pals then Lagos in Portugal. Refitted boat for Atlantic and grabbed another week home in UK, then sailed in October to Canaries for start of ARC in November. Joined by pal Gerry the three of us raced in the ARC across to St Lucia and led the Crsuier A Div fleet to finish in 16 days 1 hour - and won the Prime Ministers Trophy!
100 Photos
Created 18 January 2011
The journey bringing Matilda from Alkmeer in N Holland down the Dutch canals and rivers, then down the Belgium and French coasts, across the Channel and into Eastbourne and fianlly on to Lymington where we lifted her for the winter.
21 Photos
Created 18 January 2011
After some time back in Europe skiing we returned to Antigua with a family crew and partied hard during Antigua Race Week. Like to tell you we did well, but not on the race course! Too many hangovers and old cruiser sails meant we were simply not competitive - except at the bar!
47 Photos
Created 5 December 2010
Left in April gales to cross the Med with pals Marcus and Gerry and Sue from Mallorca to Turkey so we could join the East Med Rally from Istanbul. Did not make it and linked up at Ayvalik where pals went home. Did the rally double handed for 3 months down Turkish the glorious coast, then Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, back to Israel, inland to Jordan, then sail back to Turkey. All nice. Possibly best year of my life!
115 Photos
Created 5 December 2010
Took our new Hanse 461 in May from UK to Portugal along with Rally Portugal, then onward to the Med and Balearics from June. Fabulous summer with lots of mates visiting with us to really explore Mallorca, Ibiza, Formetera. Brilliant weather, sailing and experiences. Eventually flew home end August having berthed Swagman in Palma de Mallorca where we revisited her several times in the fall.
81 Photos
Created 5 December 2010
Took our Grant Soleil 42 Swagman from UK to Portugal with Rally Portugal. Took race crew with Sue and I across Briscay in F8 n'lies - completed crossing in 3 days 3 minutes - averaged 7.5 knots. Won virtually every leg thereafter despite being only two up. Liked Lagos so did visit Gib and ports along the Algave, returning end August to Lagos where we berthed her............and then sold her once we bought Swagman (11) at the Southmpton Boat Show.
7 Photos
Created 4 December 2010