Harken Derm

J/111 Worlds: A wide variety of courses to determine the winner

Published on August 14th, 2014

The inaugural J/111 World Championship will take place August 19-24, hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron on Cowes, Isle of Wight in England. It’s a famous venue, and the RYS is renowned for being a leader in the yachting world pre-dating the infamous “100 Guinea Cup” that later became emblematic of the first “America’s Cup.”

For years, the RYS has hosted many European and World Championships, but it’s perhaps best recognized amongst world sailors for its prominent position at Cowes Race Week for being the southern end of the starting line; “the castle”, as it’s known fondly by many, forms a magnificent backdrop to the parade of sails that cross the start and finish line for many events held on the Solent.

For the first J/111 Worlds, the five day event has scheduled a wide variety of courses and challenging scenarios. In addition to windward-leeward courses in the Eastern and Western reaches of the Solent, the fleet will also have a long, random-leg day race; the latter resembling what many have already experienced while sailing Cowes Week. The winner will have proven to be a versatile and fast team for having to navigate such a breadth of tactical and strategic scenarios.

Thirteen boats have registered for the right to be crowned the first J/111 World Champion, with four countries represented: the United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands and Belgium. The home teams will be quite formidable, many having sailed in Solent waters for years and a host of them having just competed for nearly a fortnight during AAM Cowes Week and the J/111 Europeans.

The current EuroCup winner, Cornel Riklin’s JITTERBUG should continue to be on form, however, several of the local teams are beefing up their crews and expect to be smarter and faster for the upcoming week; including Tony Mack’s McFLY, Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II, Stu Sawyer’s BLACK DOG, Duncan McDonald’s SHMOKIN JOE, Andrew Christie’s ICARUS, Martin Dent’s J-ELVIS, David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM and James Arnell’s JEEZ LOUISE.

The team from France has proven to be one of the top J/111 teams in events throughout Europe. Led by Didier Le Moal from J/Composites France (the builder of the J/111), J-LANCE IX should be a strong contender as many of their crew have sailed in past Solent events. The same can be said for the Netherlands contingent of SWEENY and XCENTRIC RIPPER. Both boats have experienced Solent veterans; especially Robin Verhoef & John van der Starre’s “RIPPER” crew. SWEENY’s duo, Hans Zwijnenburg & Kees van Vliet, have proven they know the waters well, having just come off a top five finish in the J/111 EuroCup.

Finally, S. De Liederkerke’s team on DJINN are also past RORC Offshore racing veterans and have well over a dozen years sailing in and out of the Solent. Do not be surprised to see a number of these non-UK teams in the top five!

Event website: http://www.rys.org.uk/event/j111-world-championship/

Source: J Boats News

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