Stormy Start for J/111 Worlds
Published on August 1st, 2016
Cowes, UK (August 1, 2016) – Seven nations have entered the J/111 Garmin World Championship for close one design racing and the first day did not disappoint, with three different winners, with all races decided by less than 30 seconds.
The J/111 Garmin World Championship started with three windward leeward races in the Eastern Solent. The weather was more like the 1st of April than the 1st of August, with a cold front arriving in the afternoon, bringing persistent rain and squally conditions.
For the first two races, 8-10 knots of wind with a easterly going tide gave a smooth sea state but the breeze was tending to shift south in the gusts, favouring the left hand side of the track. However, by the third race the tide had turned and the right hand side came into play and a short Solent chop changed the mix. Principle Race Officer Bob Milner elected to alter the course and his team did an excellent job of squaring the course after the shift.
Martin Dent’s British team racing JElvis finished the day with a 1-2-2 to lead the J/111 Garmin World Championship, two points clear of Peter Wagner’s American team racing Skeleton Key. Tony Mack’s McFly won the last race race of the day to finish in third.
“It was a tricky day today: a cross tide, plenty of shifts and pressure changes,” remarked Dent. “The JElvis team has put in a lot of training over the last month and so I am pleased with today’s results, especially as all the boat handling went well: tacks, gybes, sail changes and a gybe set etc. There were multiple lead changes today and it was yet another day of close, tight one design racing at its best.”
Tony Mack’s McFly had a great 2015 but 2016 has not been the best year for the team based in Hamble. However, after winning the last race of the day, the highly experienced skipper had a twinkle in his eye.
“We have not had a good season so far, a bit of a McIlroy,” commented Tony Mack, referring to the out of form golfer. “However, today we just seemed to get things right and especially the last race. We rounded the first top mark third and decided to gybe away, which really worked but we still had to work hard, especially with the two course changes. There are a lot of very good sailors in this fleet and we haven’t seen all of them perform yet, so I expect there to be a lot of position changes during this regatta. We are pretty happy with our performance today and we hope we can build on that.”
Tomorrow, three more windward leeward races are scheduled for Day Two of the J/111 Garmin World Championship. JElvis has the upper hand for the moment but there are three more days of racing ahead. Tomorrow’s forecast for the Eastern Solent is for a stiff southwesterly with the potential for gusts in the region of 25 knots.
Racing is scheduled daily for August 1-5.