JACKAROO – THE ROYAL NAVAL SAILING ASSOCIATION’S YACHT IN THE WEST COUNTRY
The crews, consisting of both serving personnel and veterans, have benefitted enormously from the experience of sailing on JACKAROO. This is in huge part thanks to the very generous support provided by Team Forces and Collins Aerospace.
We have enjoyed a fantastic season and JACKAROO has participated in a range of major regattas. The success of the 2022 campaign has been underpinned by the enhanced funding which has enabled a quality mooring to help optimise access / use, the subsidising of regatta entry fees to keep costs down for participants, the purchase of a new sail and a replacement outboard motor and significantly, ensured a robust maintenance programme.
The boat was launched after her winter lay-up last Easter with the aim of achieving one training night and one racing night each week. There has been so much interest that we added a second racing series and ended up with a really good routine of at least three nights a week on the water. This baseline was then built on with successful participation in the high profile Falmouth, Fowey and Dart regattas.
By having the financial support from Team Forces, RNSA was able to ensure the boat could participate, had the right equipment and that the team were well prepared. This success built further success and led to great participation. Not just benefiting from the racing, the passages to the events were also used for training and building up the necessary miles to achieve national qualifications. In total, we have achieved 214 ‘people days’ of sailing over 48 outings – and counting.
Although she is not the fastest or newest of J80s on the circuit, we have competed well this season with Fowey Week Regatta a particular highlight, seeing a 3rd Overall, 2nd in Passage race and 1st in the tribute race. This is a fantastic achievement for the team and shows that the extra time afloat we have had on JACKAROO whilst in Plymouth has been worth it. Since the summer she has been out even more than before the regattas, as the nights have got darker the new navigation lights became more important! We have been out at least twp nights a week and competing in the weekend race series, which has been fun as Plymouth University has now got their J80 in the water. We hope, over winter, to make her more competitive for next season and find ways to sustain the momentum and enthusiasm for sailing in the Plymouth area.
From Graham, one of our skippers:
I have had a brilliant year sailing JACKAROO. Having been in the military and never having the opportunity to do any sailing, JACKAROO has been a fantastic and exciting experience. I have learnt so much about the world of yacht racing, which I knew very little about before, and this has enhanced my sailing no end. I am immensely grateful for JACKAROO and the team behind her, and the continued ability to get people out on the water.
From James, offering an insight into his first ever regatta:
The first day of racing was quite successful for us. The standard programme for each day was to be racing at around 1100 with a windward – leeward, stop for lunch, then continue the racing with the second and final event which was ‘around the cans’. On that latter race we placed third and picked up a prize that evening. The whole event was enjoyed thoroughly by all. We provided a positive RNSA presence – local sailors reacted encouragingly to seeing a RNSA yacht at Falmouth after a few years absence. While this was not what I expected from my first experience of a regatta (well I did not know what to expect), it was a huge learning opportunity for myself and I hope to get involved in the sport more going forward.