This annual event is also run by RCNC our home club, and takes its fleet of 50 yachts over from Calpe on the mainland to finish Race 1 at La Sabina on Formentera. Two nights of partying and it’s off again for Race 2, a return from La Sabina back to Calpe.

It was a well managed event, although the light winds and fickle forecasts proved a challenge for everyone.

Race 1 didn’t start well for us. We were lined up for a perfect start, at pace in light airs, set to hit the favored boat end exactly on time. When out of the blue appeared Guaguanco, a Farr 40.7, sailing towards us on port, almost right on the start line. They were slow to react, hit us with a big bang and forced us to circle round below the fleet, and delayed our start by a good 5 minutes.  Here’s a video clip showing the bang….

We did lodge a protest but there was no damage to either boat, and we know the guys well, and they don’t normally do such silly things. So when they found us with beer gifts post race and asked if we would consider letting them off by withdrawing it, I agreed. But as you can clearly see, they were the naughty party. And now they owe us one. Or two.

The winds remained light – sub 10 knots – and the seas very sloppy the whole way over the 65 mile course. The fleet split with perhaps half going north, and half going south. All avoiding a very light patch forecast down the middle of the rhumb line.

We were part of the southern heading group, and perhaps could have gone further east before tacking over for the island. But overall the northern guys did better. Hot slow day. Our course only saw us get a 19th overall, and 6th in class. It was a beat the whole way, we really struggled to maintain any height or speed with our ‘last legs’ patched Genoa, and arrived into La Sabina just after midnight – more than a bit tired – and happy to hit the party.

Our chosen rival for this event, Pajelin the Salona 37, got away during our collision to remain ahead, and beat us in by a larger margin to achieve a 3rd place in our class. Well sailed them.

Formentera a lovely place to chill for 24 hours, great club party Friday night, and forecasts showed a light but off wind run back for Race 2 on the Saturday.

It equally promised light or even calm patches half way back. Following the outward experience and trusting Predict wind gribs, we decided to work the north side of the rhumb line, and pleasingly it paid off.

No complications on our start this time. Despite not hearing the prep signal we were only 20 seconds late at our desired spot boat end, in clear air and away with a swift hoist. YouTube video clip here…….

A reachy run the whole way, building from 8 knots upward. Started with the A2 and alternated between the A2 and our Code 0 to remain on course and avoided those forecasted wind holes. Could have nudged south west maybe a little earlier but didn’t want to risk losing the breeze. Our main rival Pajulin stuck with us for 70% of the course but we simply had more pace. When unforecasted fresher winds arrived, we picked up our skirts and watched them broach a few times under kite, whilst we stormed onward under Code 0. Eventually left them far behind.

It turned into a super ride home. Linked up later with fellow club boat Tagomago (new Dehler 42) and level pegged for a while under Code 0s, but when they continued west towards the shore we swopped out back to A2 and freed up to head for home. The breeze touched 20 knots a few times, but basically hovered twix 12 and 15 for most of the day. As we closed the coast we caught up and remained in close company with the 56′ S&S over the last five miles – but they just pipped us to the line which we crossed around 1930, to secure a 14th overall and 4th in Class for that race.

We first thought we had done better in our class but irregardless of handicap position we knew we had sailed well. Everyone of our short handed crew – Sue, Kevin, Edo and Laurent – worked hard to get the most from Jumbuck and it was pleasing to see we were right up there or in front of our regular local sparring partners.

Final results amalgamating both races saw 1st place overall go to that visiting S&S 56 ‘Galvana’ (which stunningly, has a lower handicap than we have – how’s that happen, eh?) the lightweight ‘Cafe del Mar’ from Benidorm 2nd, and ‘Kallamundurio’ the well sailed local Durfour 40, got 3rd. But other local boat placings when results were applied over both races were :

Itika – Farr 47.7 – 7th
Pajelin – Salona 37 – 12th
Jumbucks – J109 – 14th
Guanguanco – Farr 40.7 (of bang the bumper boat fame) – 17th
Jefferje – Grand Soleil 46 – 19th
Blade – Jenneau 37 – 25th
Tagomago – Dehler 42 – 26th.

And have to mention a brilliant result for fellow CBYA member yacht Blade as with a 1st in class C going over, and a 3rd coming home, meaning they achieved a 2nd in class C overall. All good stuff.

So that’s it for Jumbuck. The bang we got wasn’t the bang we wanted to end this season with, but we enjoyed a great weekend. Well done RCNC for organising such a good event.

This seasons racing now over for us. I aim to get Jumbuck lifted to dry out ashore June to August, and expect to relaunch after a polish and paint in September, when we hope to start afresh and take part in the Jornadas Pitiusa Regatta. It’s three day races hosted by RCN Ibiza, later in that same month.

Big thanks to everyone for following the blog for the first part of 2017. With that new genoa and hopefully a reduced rating that should level up things on the course, we may still achieve that elusive 1st place – but afraid it’s going to be in the back half of 2017. With fingers crossed.

Ah yes. Got me toes crossed too.


John Allison