British team takes early lead at J/111 World Championship

Published on June 16th, 2015

Newport, RI, (June 16, 2015) – The opening day of the J/111 World Championship offered overcast skies and 7-14 knots for the 25 boat fleet. After two windward-leeward races, the lead is held by Brit Martin Dent’s Jelvis team of young, fast and smart dinghy sailors, with local assist from Jeff Johnstone. Dent’s team posted a 1-6, giving them a four point lead over American Richard Lehmann’s Wind Czar. Eight windward leeward races and one distance race are scheduled on June 16-19.

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Photos by Cate Brown

Report by J/Boats:
With twenty-five boats on the line, it was anyone’s guess what would happen when you mixed the current J/111 World Champion and leading UK teams lined up against the top American, Canadian, Australian and Caribbean teams from across the world.

The weather forecast was not promising. An overcast day with a dying northerly that was supposed to see a gradient/ seabreeze combination develop in the middle of the day into the 6-10 kts range with the breeze filling in at 200 degrees and veering to the 230 range. As it turned out, it was not that far off. After a postponement, the Ida Lewis YC PRO Peter Garard fired off the first race in a 6-9 kts breeze in the 210 range. By the time the second race took place at 1600 hrs, the wind had veered further right into the 220 to 240 deg range and from 9 to 12 kts TWS.

Leading after the first day is the British team of Martin Dent sailing JELVIS from Cowes, Isle of Wight with a 1-6 tally for 7 pts total. Second is Richard Lehmann’s crew on WIND CZAR with an 8-3 scoreline for 11 pts (the current J/111 North American champion). And, third is David & Maryellen Tortorello’s PARTNERSHIP with a 3-10 score for 13 pts.

So close is the racing that an average of a 10th is good enough to place your team in the top ten. Even more remarkably, only ten points (well within a mid-fleet finish) separates teams from 3rd place to 15th place! It’s quite possibly the tightest regatta that anyone has seen ever amongst the top teams after the first day of racing. As Rob Ruhlman mentions in his interview, “its far too early to tell who are the prime competitors.” And, this is after just two races.

Wednesday promises to be a defining day for the fleet overall, with up to three races planned for the fleet. With so many teams so closely packed, it’s anyone’s guess what the leaderboard looks like after Wednesday’s racing.

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