One of the most eye catching entrants amongst the smaller keelboats lining up for the PIC Coastal Classic is the J/88 Juniper.
The boat is just 8.8m long and her lines are light, clean and simple with a powerful sailplan and modern features.
The boat arrived in New Zealand from the J/Boats factory in France for owner Lode Missiaen, who had recently made New Zealand his home.
“I sailed on other boats to see what the sailing scene was like here and decided I liked the ‘C Light’ division. I’d always wanted a J Boat and the J88 was the biggest under 10m.”
He ordered the boat in early 2018 and was fortunate to be able to quickly take a cancelled order from the J/Boats French factory.
Fast forward a few months and Lode was out sailing.
“It’s a beautiful sporty boat, very easy to sail but tweaky – you have to sail it well, and trim it well to get maximum performance.”
Despite its minimalist interior, Lode enjoys cruising the boat and has spent several weeks onboard at Aotea Great Barrier.
For the PIC Coastal Classic Lode will be joined by James Booth, Andrew Thompson, Klaeri Schelhowe, Oli Corboy, and newcomer Alissa Marshall from the RNZYS Youth Training Program.
They are likely the smallest boat in Division 4 and are very keen to beat the swift Ross 930 Hotdogger which is sailed double handed by Lode’s friend Sin and a crew mate. “It’s always a pleasure to beat him in real time,” jokes Lode.
Photos / supplied