RAYC Round The Island Entry - Juke Box
Published 10:42 on 2 Jul 2019
With the weather forecasters predicting a Force 3-4 Easterly wind all day, with a veer to the South West by the evening, hopes were high for a swift circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight in the famous annual race run by the Island Sailing Club. But they were hopes that were dashed shortly after the start when for most, if not all yachts, the wind died and the race became a test of patience and skill to keep their boats moving in extremely light airs.
Although the wind came and went (mostly went) during the day, the race became a test too great for the majority with almost 1,000 entrants retiring over the course of the day. Many skippers did their sums and realised there was no chance of finishing before the 22.30 deadline.
Juke Box, skippered by Chris Copeland, somehow managed to reach the Needles before the tide turned, picked up a Force 3/4 breeze to St Catherine's only to find very little wind at the back of the island with a straight beat to windward in an adverse tide. The normal traffic jam at the Bembridge Ledge buoy did not exist this year because very few boats were able to reach that far. And at the Forts the breeze died to nothing and by now it was after 1930 hours and the chances of finishing the race after almost 11 hours of racing were receeding rapidly.
Then from nowhere, the predicted evening south westerly appeared and the remnants of those with a chance to finish the race were suddenly doing 5-6 knots against a flooding tide, but with the option to dive towards the shore around Osborne Bay.
Juke Box finally finished the race at 2050 after 12 hours and 30 minutes coming in 64th overall, 12 in her group, 4th in class and 2nd J109 out of the 19 J1009s that entered. Overall only 230 boats finished out of 1,346 entrants.
What a day!"