October Update – J/70 UK Class

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The 2018 J/70 UK Grand Slam Series continues this weekend (13-14 October, 2018) with two days of racing as part of the Hamble HYS Winter Series. This will be the penultimate round of the series (the final round taking place the following weekend 20-21 October, 2018). As with all of the Grand Slam Series racing so far, a big turn out of J/70s is expected. Currently leading the season for both the Corinthian and Open Classes is Ian Wilson & Marshall King’s Soak Racing. Another Corinthian team is in second place overall, Doug Struth & Geoff Carveth’s DSP, just two points off the lead. Jack Davies’ Yeti is third in the Corinthian Class.

Clive Bush’s Darcey leads the Open Class, ahead of two teams returning from the J/70 Worlds in Marblehead: Martin Dent’s Jelvis, and Paul Ward’s Eat, Sleep J, Repeat.

Latest Grand Slam Results here.

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(September 2018, Marblehead, USA) – The 2018 West Marine J/70 World Championships featured 91 teams from 18 different countries, the largest J/70 fleet ever assembled in North America. Jud Smith’s Africa, representing the hosts Eastern Yacht Club, was the winner becoming the fourth America skipper to win the Open Title. Luis Bugallo’s Marnatura, representing Real Club Nautico de Vigo, was the Corinthian Champion and now holds both the World and European crown for the amateur team category.

British teams showed flashes of ability to challenge the top, but the top three Brits could only manage to make the top half of the entry list. Congratulations to Graham Clapp’s Jeepster who was top British J/70, and Martin Dent’s Jelvis that finished the championship on a high note winning the last race.Looking at the results from 11 races, the teams that made the podium were consistent. Of the boats that made the Open Championship podium, each of them only dropped out of the top 30 once. Top-three results were rare (five race podiums in 11 races, and only one victory). The significance of being consistent is further enhanced by looking at the results of the 2017 Champion, Peter Duncan’s Relative Obscurity: Six top-five results but a DSQ and a 49 resulted in a fourth place finish.

There is no doubt that time on the water is the best way to improve consistency, for information about winter training contact the class, there will be winter training in the Solent, and some teams are taking advantage of winter training opportunities in more temperate climes! Including Miami, Monaco and Vigo.

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The Eastern Yacht Club and the historic town of Marblehead showed fantastic hospitality to the visiting teams for the 2018 Worlds. Lara Thompson was there supporting her father’s team; Charlie Thompson’s Brutus.

“The J70 World Championship experience at Marblehead is undoubtably one to beat. Having pretty much everything there for all ages, especially the ‘young’, from sensational world renowned Lobster Rolls, to the night life of Maggie’s, and everything in between, it made the whole regatta that much more memorable.

Starting the whole tour with travelling to another country is always exciting; new people, new scenery and new things to learn on the water! Even as support crew… The Eastern Yacht Club, on the neck of Marblehead, is an amazing place to stay with beautiful views out to sea, has so much history and honour within it. The whole of Marblehead in fact is very proud of their heritage and their foundations, which is really interesting to learn about, being the New England it is.

When out on the water following the race, even in 10 foot swell, its exhilarating. Spotting particular boats and being so close to the action, hearing the shouting and colliding of boats is very intense. Of course there was also the option to stay in the yacht club or go to Marblehead and have a beer in the sun with a “Lobbie Roll” at The Barnacle, or have the most delicious blueberry pancakes and bacon breakfast at Driftwood. When meeting the crew after coming in off the water, they are always up for a beer and a big meal with lots of chat about the days racing and protests brought up. When the whole regatta comes to a close on the last day, there isn’t quite a celebration like it. Coming very close to the Ryder Cup ceremony, you will be sure to be covered in champagne! The team spirit among the sailors is also very special, even though on the water there is major competition, at the end everyone comes together to celebrate what an exceptional regatta it is. Unbelievably talented male and female athletes ranging from 14-68 come together to complete this unforgettable experience – which I will be going to year in and year out!”

RTYC DINNERThe J/70 UK Class Grand Slam Prize Giving & End of Season Dinner will be held at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, 60 Knightsbridge, London. 19:30 Friday 16 November. For table reservations and more information. Contact Hannah Le Prevost, J/70 UK Class Captain: hannah@keyyachting.com