Seven Countries Vie for J/111 World Title

Published on July 26th, 2016

The J/111 Garmin World Championship on August 1-5 will see fourteen teams from seven different countries competing in Cowes, UK. Forming a truly international fleet, the teams come from Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States of America. Racing on tight Solent courses the fleet will enjoy a five day racing programme and a lively social schedule, organised at the Island Sailing Club in the heart of Cowes.

“This is going to be a great championship with a strong international fleet,” commented Jelvis’ Scottish skipper, Martin Dent. “Besides the top European teams such as Sweeny and Red Herring that came over earlier this year and have done well, we have an Aussie team, and then there are the two teams from the US. Last year we were amongst four UK teams (including the defending 2014 World Champion) that went to Newport for the 2015 Worlds. It was noticeable that the top US teams were a notch up on us all. This year, Kashmir and Skeleton Key are the clear two form J/111’s in the US, which is awesome. Kashmir has just won the 2016 North American Championship, and it’s hard to find anything other than a bullet amongst Skeleton Key’s race results. As for JElvis, as usual, we have a young team, barely old enough to drink coffee, 3 teenagers on board and with everyone besides myself and the mainsheet trimmer being 21 or under. We were delayed getting our J/111 programme started this year, since 6 of the 8 crew were still in school/university until July, but now it’s the summer holidays so we have been able to practise, and hopefully if we get some athletic conditions that favour youthful exuberance, we can be competitive.”

Rod Warren campaigns his J/111 Joust in Melbourne Australia, and has chartered Kestrel from Simon Bamford for the championship.

“The crew is an eclectic bunch.” explained Warren. “Aaron Cole is head of North Sails Melbourne and has experienced 13 Sydney Hobarts, Stephen Daniel is a tree surgeon, perfect for the foredeck. Aaron Linton is a sugar cane farmer from far North Queensland, who is our wind whisperer. Stuart Johnstone and his wife Julia are from the USA and part of the J Boat family sailing legend. Simon Bamford and his son Oscar are the owners of Kestrel, based in Hamble and brave enough to let us loose on their boat and I am a Cardiologist at the Royal Melbourne hospital. I began sailing keel boats a couple of years ago and quickly wanted to chase speed, hence the J/111.

“We love one design racing and we did the Worlds in Newport last year and loved it. We are really looking forward to this year’s competition, especially to sail in such a great venue as The Solent. Coming from Australia our goal is obvious!”

“We are very excited to come to the worlds,” commented Kashmir’s American skipper Mike Mayer from Chicago. “A big driver of our decision to come to Cowes was coming close at the Worlds in Newport last year. We had a blast at that regatta and have enjoyed travelling as a team, so here we come. Our team is the same as the Worlds in 2015, except that my partner Karl had to miss last year’s race because his wife had a baby during the event, and he will be back on board for this event (as he was for our recent North American Championship win). We are all from around Lake Michigan, except our bow man Fireball, who is a college kid from Florida. Most of us have never sailed in the Solent and are looking forward to absorbing the sights and sailing history there. Conditions in Chicago tend to be light, and there are no meaningful tides and currents. That will be a major difference and challenge for us. The logistics of racing across the pond are daunting, and we want to thank J Boats and J Composites for working with us to make our attendance possible. We look forward to seeing the UK friends we made at last year’s Worlds again, and making new ones at this Worlds.”

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