Just Is

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you already know that last weekend I was at the Solent for a bit of yacht sailing. Two different days, two different boats, to different crews. On Saturday I was onboard Just Is, a J-95 and on Sunday on Jazzy Jellyfish, a J-109.

I have been on J-109s before. Jeroboam back in 2009 (we did the Royal Southern Summer series, Round the Island Race and Cowes Week) and last season on Jazzy Jellyfish we did 5 off-shore races across the channel and the Fastnet Race. The J-95 was a new experience, though.

So, the J-95 is a day-sailer. It’s 9.5 meters long (31ft in old money), with an asymmetric spinnaker, a keel with a centreboard, twin rudders and needs 5 crew to be raced efficiently. It’s quite tippy for a yacht. It’s almost like a dinghy or a sportsboat.

The new owner, G, had called me, kind of last-minute, to ask if I could go down to Hamble for a shakedown before the start of the racing season. Considering that a bad day on the water is better than a good day in the office, I accepted. We had a good time, a few mishaps (but nothing serious) and nice weather. It was blowing 15-20 knots and the sun was shining.

We did a couple of spinnaker hoists and drops, practiced tacking and gybing and we tried to find how to do things considering that compared to a J-109 we are 2-3 crewmen down.The boat is kind of small, but still fun. There is no chart table, down-below is a bit cramped and apart from a couple of minor issues, she looks ready for racing. I am not so sure about the crew, but that’s another story altogether. So a few hours sailing on Saturday, in the Solent, onboard Just Is; I have had worst Saturdays than that one.

I’ll let you know how she goes as soon as I have more details.