J/99 Jupiter winners in Australia's major Autumn offshore race

Fortune favored the sticklers in the 2024 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race; just a handful of entries hung on in the light to non-existent breezes. In the end, the two-handed crew of Ian Smith and Billy Sykes on the J/99 JUPITER crossed the line second to claim IRC Overall honors.

Smith’s J/99 JUPITER finished at 0636 AM, completing the course in 2d 17h 36m 15s to win the race IRC Overall and win IRC Division 2. They swept all before them except for ORC overall.

Smith shared his thoughts, “We were here to race. We had no intention of pulling out. I think for most others (retirees) it was work as the conditions looked like a shutdown all the way.”

JUPITER’s owner described the conditions: “Light, but good in patches, we got 12 knots and a bit stronger from the west coming into Coffs. None of it was predicted. It ended up being an enjoyable race, notwithstanding the wind holes. We kept pushing on and making up 5 percent here and 10 percent there. It all adds up eventually.

We’re very happy with our win. The race was worthwhile. We were going to be there for however long it took. Billy is an elite sailor and in double-handers you really have to an all-rounder with you.”

“We had a mistake-free race. The secret is transitioning into the next phase of the race. We had a pre-race strategy and we executed it. We played a strategic game, not one major thing, lots of 5 percenters,” Smith said.

“We are appreciative of both the Royal Prince Alfred and Coffs Harbour Yacht Clubs for putting the race on. It takes a lot of volunteers to make it happen and it can’t be done without them,” continued Smith.

Despite a low count on finishers, Coffs Harbour Yacht Club graciously put out the welcome mat to competitors and officials. Read more here on J/Boats blog  For more J/99 offshore shorthanded speedster information.