Big Tuesday at J/111 Garmin World Championship
Published on August 2nd, 2016
Cowes, UK (August 2, 2016) – Full on conditions made for some exciting racing on the second day of the J/111 Garmin World Championship. Gusts of wind topping out at close to 30 knots, and a building sea state, created highly challenging conditions.
The Eastern Solent was frothing up all morning and by race-time a full on foam up created thrilling downwind action for the world championship fleet. There were broaches a plenty as the teams pushed themselves to the limits.
The Race Committee fired off two windward leeward races in survival conditions. Without question the best J/111 of the day was Paul van Driel’s Dutch team racing Sweeny, who won both of today’s races, and were enjoying a pint of Dutch beer in the Pier View in Cowes.
“We are so happy today, the big reason for our success was our downwind speed,” commented Paul van Driel. “We carried the A2 and really kept in good control, even at 17 knots, so that was the big difference and big fun as well. Upwind the main sheet trim was first class, we had good height and speed and the crew really hiked well, especially through the gusts. We have sailed in conditions like this before, which obviously helps. The J/111 worlds is the big deal for us, we have been training all year. There are some fantastic teams here, but nobody beat us today! There is still a long way to go but we are enjoying the regatta.”
Prior to the start, overnight leader, Martin Dent’s JElvis, blew out a spinnaker and having consulted the Jury returned to shore for a replacement, missing the first race. Paul Griffith’s Jagerbomb suffered a similar breakage during the first race of the day, which put them out for both races. Peter Wagner’s team from San Francisco, racing Skeleton Key, put in a consistent performance to lead the world championship. Tony Mack’s McFly scored a 2-4 to move up to second place and JElvis drop to third.
“Today we had fun but challenging conditions, we definitely wanted to enjoy the weather while avoiding a disaster and thankfully we managed to do that,” commented Skeleton Key’s Peter Wagner. “Once in a while we get that sort of weather in San Francisco but today was the very high end of the range, probably the most wind that we have ever sailed the boat in, it gets choppy back at home but this was steeper and tighter than we are used to. It was another competitive day with great racing, a lot of boats put on some good performances. Our boat handling was not the best today, but hopefully we can get that together. We are half way through the regatta and we are still in the hunt with two more days to race. We want to put our best foot forward and see if we can finish it well. It is tight racing and that is what you want to see at a world championship, there are a number of boats that have won races, Sweeny had a great day today and they are not the only team that are sailing very well.”
Apart from a proper soaking and a few bumps and bruises, all crew returned to shore safe and sound. You know it’s windy when the lifeboat tows in the committee boat, after the engine was submerged for some time. Praise must go to the Island Sailing Club Race Team, for laying on two superb races in atrocious conditions. Windy conditions are expected to continue for tomorrow’s race programme, which includes a coastal race.
Racing is scheduled daily for August 1-5.
Report by Louay Habib.