I hope all our members are well and enjoying some sense of normality now that we are, hopefully, settling back down again, post Covid restrictions.

I write this after a fantastic weekend in St Peter Port which saw near perfect and fast conditions for the race down on Friday night. Our Race Team ensured a very warm welcome in Guernsey and the 20 plus boats who joined us, enjoyed a day of full sunshine and much JOG spirit (beer! ED) as we reflected on how much we have missed Offshore Racing. It was great to see old friends and new friends at the weekend. I raced over on Scream 2 with our sponsors, Serversys, who generously supported the weekend and provided the best possible dock party and some great prizes for the lucky winners. As always, we are blessed to be supported in this way by people who share our ethos and community. I have written to the Harbour staff, Officers of the Guernsey Yacht Club and all those people who made us so welcome and eased the bureaucratic path.

Over the past weeks and Bank Holidays, we saw large fleets head to Portland and Weymouth and around the Channel for our Cat 3 series, all with much planning and success, despite the restrictions still in place severely limiting any forays across Channel to our, more usual, destinations. It was particularly good to hand out prizes and enjoy a socially distanced rum in Weymouth, again, courtesy of NJO Sails. I may add that Osmotech, our sponsor for Portland, would not have known how welcome the dockside refreshments would be for crews arriving in the early hours with all shoreside facilities shut up!

I have to mention the Fastnet Race. I was amazed at the courage shown by so many of our regular JOG competitors in taking part in a very demanding race. Well done to you all. However, the form filling in Cherbourg, the need to comply with border controls on departure and return to the UK, the complexities of clearing in and out of France and the current requirement for expensive PCR tests on return, make the logistics of an early return to the Normandy ports a headache for organisers and competitors alike.

We have done much over the summer to plan and ensure we are able to safely deliver a programme that appeals to a broad spectrum of sailors, not perfect but the best compromise we hope! The website continues to go from strength to strength and many of us were glued to the live results “danger list” once we had finished – this is a most recent innovation and ensures you can keep an eye on the opposition whilst “unwinding” after racing. Stuart and his team at Serversys are working tirelessly in the background and producing an, ever advancing, great experience for all users.

Our Generation JOG initiative was recently launched and I can safely say that we appear to have many younger sailors who are seeing the attraction of our community and “buying in”. Many of our skippers have, of course, been encouraging participation and, to help that, prizes were awarded on Saturday for the first time to the winning “Generation JOG” boat (swiftly consumed). Have a look at our website for more details, but please spread the word about this. Talking of the website, please feel free to order any items from our “shop”. You can represent JOG for a modest fee!

We will make some decisions on the final shape and format of the rest of the season in the next few days. It is an ongoing challenge but hopefully you will appreciate we do this to achieve the best possible outcome. We are also considering how and where we may put on our Annual Dinner, Prizegiving and AGM. We are also well advanced in planning next year’s programme which will hopefully include a JOG week in the west! Say no more!

None of this is possible without the work of the Committee, our Secretary Martin, supported by Ruth, and the race team who do so much for us. I am eternally grateful for this but I also want to mention Ross Perchard who continues to drive much social media activity for us – thank you Ross. There are many more!

Please stay well – as always, we are here to help so do reach out if I am needed, and think on this:
“Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot”. — D.H. Lawrence

Warm wishes

Dougie Leacy