Is It Time for Corinthian-Only Events?

Published on June 15th, 2016

Since the launch of the J/70 in 2012, J Boats have shipped over 1000 boats. The growth of the J/70 as a racing one design class has attracted all kinds, with no shortage of professional sailors now earning their income from J/70 class regattas.

To do well in the class, the best teams have professional (Group 3) crew. The top Corinthian team at the 2016 North Americans got 11th place. Second place was 22nd overall. The people that need or want pro crews like the open rules, while those embracing simpler times wonder if they will ever find the front of the fleet.

In his column for the J/70 newsletter, US class president Henry Brauer wonders out loud if a dedicated event is needed for the Corinthian contingent…

We had plenty of downtime at the NAs to catch up with fellow J/70 sailors and discuss the state of our Class and sailing in general. One of the ideas to bubble to the surface was a concept for the US Class to host a Corinthian National Championship.

Some of the ideas that were tossed around include a four-day event with day one being a practice day on the water with Class sailmakers onsite as well as a couple of Olympic coaches to help all of the teams. The final three days of this regatta would feature a regular multi-race format punctuated by a morning briefing on weather, tuning and pre-race preparations, and a post-race panel to review the day on the water…what worked, what didn’t work, etc.

Discussion topics could include the best weather/wind/radar apps to keep on your mobile device, how to prepare for a major event in the weeks leading up to it and keeping your team focused during the regatta even after a bad day on the water.

The J/70 design attributes produced a moderately high performance boat. It is not overly technical, and thus lends itself well to most people with a racing background. Yet, teams with pro sailors dominate the results.

The current trend for one design classes with a significant number of professional (Group 3) sailors, such as at the J/70 North Americans, is to compete as one fleet and have divided results for an Open Division and a Corinthian Division. But is it time to take the next step?

Scuttlebutt hosted the following survey on June 15-17, 2016:

Should one design classes with a significant number of professional entries begin considering hosting Corinthian-Only events?
Yes – 81%
No – 19%

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