Ian Wilson’s Soak Racing (RSrnYC) are the 2017 J/70 UK National Champions, after a nerve racking final day of racing in The Solent.
Race 8 started in a light southwesterly breeze with a Spring tide running against the air flow. Soak Racing got a bad start, and were at best mid-fleet at the first top mark. Soak Racing gybed early to get into the full strength of the tide, and looked to take advantage of a big wind shift to the south. However, as the wind veered, it weakened and by the time the fleet got to the first bottom mark, it became evident that the race could not be deemed fair, and PRO Simon van der Byl, called for an abandonment of not only the race but an end to the regatta.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet but this is my fifth attempt to win the National Championship, coming fourth, third and runner up twice, so I can’t tell you how much it means to me to win this regatta.” Smiled Ian Wilson.
“We could have got stressed out this morning, waiting to race, but we stayed together as a team and cracked a few jokes; we looked after each other. Once we got out on the race course, we were in the office, doing what we have trained for. All that effort has paid off. This is a new crew and the dynamics worked immediately. We are great mates and through that we work as a team, we do occasionally snap at each other, but we have agreed that it stays on the boat and goes 30 seconds later. This year’s nationals has been ten times harder to win than before, the fleet has improved massively. Look how many top guys have come in from the Olympic and dinghy classes, to beat those guys you know you have had a good regatta.”
Soak Racing were the victors by eight points from last year’s winners, Calascione & Ripard’s Harlequin (RYS). Martin Dent’s Jelvis was third and winner of the Mixed Crew fleet. The top Corinthian team was Patrick Liardet’s Cosmic (RSrnYC), and Jack Davies’ Yeti (RSYC) was the top youth team. Soak Racing were also the Masters Champions.
The Royal Yacht Squadron Race Management team received a tremendous amount of praise from the J/70 fleet, for providing clear communication and excellent courses.
For full results visit the Royal Yacht Squadron 2017 J/70 Nationals Regatta Page: https://www.rys.org.uk/regattas/j70-nationals/