Racing finally got underway at the J/70 European Championships yesterday, but only just. Whilst Race One was conducted in a lively 18 knots of westerly wind. By Race Two, the wind had veered northwest and strengthened to survival conditions of 25 knots, and at times gusts of 30. PRO Stuart Childerley, wisely called a halt to the action after a brutal last race, which had plenty of competitors spinning out downwind, with a few spectacular broaches. Claudia Rossi’s Italian team racing Petite Terrible is top of the leaderboard after posting a 2-1, in second place is the Spanish J/70 Noticia, skippered by José María Torcida, which posted 3-1. Martin Dent’s British team racing, Jelvis 7, posted 4-4 to claim third at the end of the day’s racing.
“It was an exciting day, very fast conditions and I love to drive the boat when it is like this.” Smiled Claudia Rossi. “We have only completed two races, so it is early in the regatta, but we had two good races, so it was a good day for us. Our tactician made some good calls today.” Concluded Claudia, referring to Olympic Finn and TP52 tactician, Michele Paoletti.
In the Corinthian Class, Tim Gratton’s Royal Thames YC Academy Team, leads from Patrick Liardet’s Cosmic. 2015 Corinthian World Champion, Simon Ling’s Spitfire, scored well in the first race but spun out and destroyed their spinnaker in the second race, to end the day third in the Corinthian Class. “I know it sounds cheesy but that was full-on today.” commented Simon Ling. “I have raced J/70s since they first came out and that was a first; we blew out both kites. We have dug an old kite out and got it measured, so Spitfire will be back fighting tomorrow.”
It was a great day for Petite Terrible, the reigning J/70 European Champion. However, last year’s runner up, Stefano Roberti, who sails for the Monaco YC, did not fair as well; after getting holed in the second race, pushing the team back into 10th after two races. However, ten proved to be a lucky number for Stefano, as the day’s sponsor Racegeek, represented by Mark Luffingham, decided to give away their latest tactical racing tool, the d10 to the team who finished in 10th place today. “The d10 is perfect for racers who want to keep the noise down, focus on the critical numbers and keep their heads out of the boat while harnessing the best technology by down loading the data when they get back to shore.”
Calascione & Ripard’s Maltese team scored a 9-3 to claim fourth after two races – their consistent performance resulting in two ‘keepers’ in a top class fleet. Peter Duncan’s American team, had superb starts and ended the day with a 2-11, enough to make the top five. “Coming off the line wasn’t the problem but we beat ourselves today with some errors, but it was exciting out there and there are some top sailors in this fleet.” Commented Peter.
The 2017 J/70 European Championship is organised and hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in association with Key Yachting, exclusive agent for J Boats in the UK and Ireland.
The championship is proudly sponsored by Alfa Romeo. The new SUV model, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, is on display at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, competitors will be invited to take the first ever SUV by Alfa Romeo for a test drive.
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J/70 European Championship 2017 mini-site