2019 Season Preview – J/70 UK and Ireland Class
The 2019 season is expected to be bigger than Ben Hur for the J/70 UK and Ireland Class, with ten regattas in the Grand Slam Series, and the first ever J/70 World Championships to be held in the UK. There are over 50 teams racing in British waters, and over 100 international teams are expected for the 2019 Darwin Escapes J/70 Worlds, hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. Racing for the Grand Slam Series starts 13 April and concludes 27 October.
Scoring for the J/70 Class Grand Slam Series is calculated by the best five events, with the J/70 UK Nationals as compulsory. Two fabulous trophies, for Open and Corinthian teams, will be presented at the end of the season, and the top teams for the series will be allocated places for the 2020 J/70 World Championships. The Grand Slam Series events are all based around weekends with a schedule of racing over no more than 2-3 days, except the UK Nationals, which runs for four days. The Notice of Series has been posted here.
“Many of the UK teams have been training over the winter, and the buzz in the UK class is stronger than it has ever been.” commented Paul Ward, owner/driver of Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat, and UK Class Secretary. “Time on the water is a big factor to a top performance and going on 2018 results the class will experience extremely competitive racing, last year only three points separated first and fifth. There are now over 1500 J/70s worldwide and the cream of the crop will be in the UK this year, both at the worlds and also the nationals, which is an open event. The UK Class is set for an awesome season!”
The 2019 Grand Slam Series kicks off next month with two weekends of racing at the Warsash Spring Championships (13-14 April & 27-28 April). Cowes is the centre of attention for May and June, the RORC Vice Admirals Cup (11-12 May) is followed by the Southern Championships (01-02 June), hosted by the Royal Thames YC. The UK Training Event (18-22 July), will run alongside the J-Cup hosted by the Royal Southern YC. A full race series will be complimented by practice starts plus coaching and video analysis from the expert term at North Sails. Lendy Cowes Week is the venue for the J/70 mini-series (10-13 August), before the J/70 fleet head to the Royal Torbay YC in Torquay for the J/70 UK National Championships (24-26 August), a compulsory event for the Grand Slam Series. Two weekends of racing at the Hamble One Design Championships (05-06 October & 19-20 October), hosted by the Hamble River SC, will be followed by the final event of the 2019 Grand Slam Series, the Solent Championships (26-27 October), hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes.
The highlight of the season is the 2019 Darwin Escapes J/70 World Championships (30 August-06 September). This will be the first J/70 World Championships to be held in the UK. Professional and Corinthian teams are expected from all over the world. The J/70 UK and Ireland Class welcomes new members and chartering opportunities are available from boat owners and yacht clubs.