2019 was our 4th season racing Juno in the Cornwall Offshore Group Series. The season started early, with the first race to Fowey scheduled for the weekend before Easter. The forecast was not good and on the day, the Race Officer took a view that Force 7 Easterly was bit much for a sail to Fowey and postponed.
We had a lively trip back across the bay to Helford with gusts over 30 knots. First time I’ve clipped on to do that trip! We missed the cross channel downwind master blaster to Roscoff, because I was ill, but Olly Berryman had an excellent sail in Sea Jade finishing 2nd behind Stuart Sawyer in Black Dog. The Trinity Race (Falmouth, Wolf Rock, Eddystone, Falmouth) was the first time Jack Lawrence and I sailed two-handed together, and by the end of that race we were officially a team. It was a shame Olly had to retire on the leg to Wolf Rock, as he was sailing well particularly well in the light winds and the result could have been very close.
Then followed a whole raft of races, Gull Rock Manacles, Saltash to Fowey and then one of my favourites, the night race from St Mawes to Eddystone and back. Once round St Anthony lighthouse we popped the kite in about 15 knots south-wester and dropped it 3½ hours later at the Eddystone light. A full moon illuminated the way back to St Mawes, and the wind stayed good allowing us to cross the finish line 2 minutes shy of 8 hours after we started, which is certainly a personal best for me. Good job we finished early, because Tom Lake hadn’t bought his sleeping bag. The following weekend we raced to L’Aberwrach with boat well tuned up and a top crew and we picked up some good prizes, one of which was a bottle a whiskey, which was mostly consumed after a good result in the COGS race to Penzance.
Propellor issues prevented from taking part in the Penzance to Scillies and Back race, but Olly kept the HRSC burgee with his first victory in the offshore series. After a break in August COSG racing resumed in September with a Fowey and back champagne weekend. It was a real honour to have my Dad on board that weekend and show him what Juno can do. The final race of the season was Dodman Range Buoy C and back. We took some quite spectacular waves in a lumpy Easterly beat and I’m still trying to work out how sea water got inside the glass bit in the oven door! So our final tally was 3 bullets and 4 second places, which makes Juno the 2019 Coastal Series champion. And congratulations to Sea Jade and Olly Berryman who won the 2019 Offshore Series.
JOHNNY WALKER – COGS CHAIRMAN