Epic Conditions for Start of J/70 Worlds
Published on September 25th, 2018
Marblehead, MA (September 25, 2018) – The first day of the West Marine J/70 World Championship will be remembered for tough racing conditions for the 91 J/70s competing.
A cold and wet southeasterly wind brought true Atlantic conditions to the combat zone. The big factor was the sea state, with waves topping out at over three metres. Upwind J/70s were climbing, then launching off huge waves. The downwind rollercoaster ride was an adrenaline pumping rush, the opening day was extreme, and right on the edge for racing.
PRO Hank Stuart and his team kept a close eye on the weather, and just before the bad weather really closed, called a halt to racing after two heart-thumping races. As the fleet headed into a warm welcome at the Eastern Yacht Club, torrential rain engulfed the race area, and there were no complaints about not to running a third race.
Reigning J/70 Open World Champion, Peter Duncan (USA) racing Relative Obscurity, was second in both races to top the leaderboard. In second place, Claudia Rossi (ITA) racing Petite Terrible scored a 4-1, and lying third after Day One is Bruce Golison (USA) racing Midlife Crisis, after a 3-3 scoreline.
Alberto Rossi (ITA) racing Enfant Terrible is fourth after two races, having scored a 5-5, and Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino, racing under the burgee of the Yacht Club de Monaco, scored a win and a 13th to finish the the day in fifth.
In the Corinthian Class Jim Cunningham (USA) racing Lifted leads the fleet after two races. Ignacio Perez (MEX) racing Zaguero with all family members is second, and Lucas Authier (ARG) racing Manuto is third. Luis Bugallo (ESP) racing Marnatura scored the best result in Race One, but retired in Race Two after sustaining damage.
“It was a struggle today,” commented Cunningham. “Keeping in clear air was key, but to do that in the pack you have to anticipate much more about the boats around you. Staying on the edges, especially downwind was our game plan today, and it was a lot of fun, we hit 19 knots as a top speed, which is something you don’t often experience. Mark roundings were a challenge, we came in on Port a couple of times, which was interesting to say the least!”
“It was a great day for us with two good results but the championship is really long so we have to be focused and strong until the end,” said Rossi. “I prefer big conditions, I feel strong, and I am not scared by the waves or high winds. I absolutely enjoy these conditions and I hope we get it every day!”
Golison is one of the most experienced skippers at the championship, and is a past winner of the Etchells Worlds and J/24 North Americans.
“Well done to the race committee today, under pressure, Hank and his team did a stellar job. On the first day of the worlds you just want to have a couple of keeper races, and things worked out for us,” noted Golison. “It is a pretty darn tough fleet, so we are very happy with the start to the regatta.
“I hate sailing in the rain, but this is a world championship – you can’t let that bother you. I have been around since the first J/24 Worlds in 1979, and this is the deepest fleet in terms of overall talent. A lot of the owners have all sailed against each other for years and years, and this is spectacular racing, in a great fleet, who are pretty cool on the race course. It’s the best of the best in one design keelboats.”
Racing for the 2018 West Marine J/70 World Championship continues tomorrow, Wednesday September 26 with racing scheduled to start at 1100 local time.
Fourteen races are planned from September 25 to 29. After the completion of 6 or more races, a boat’s score will be the total of her race scores excluding her worst score.
Day One Results (Top 10 of 91; 2 races)
1. Relative Obscurity, Peter Duncan , USA – 2 -2 ; 4
2. Petite Terrible, Claudia Rossi , ITA – 4 -1 ; 5
3. Midlife Crisis, Bruce Golison , USA – 3 -3 ; 6
4. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi , ITA – 5 -5 ; 10
5. Mascalzone Latino, Vincenzo Onorato , MON – 1 -13 ; 14
6. Savasana, Brian Keane , USA – 11 -4 ; 15
7. Stampede, Bruno Pasquinelli , USA – 8 -7 ; 15
8. New England Ropes, Timothy Healy , USA – 10 -6 ; 16
9. Noticia, Jose Maria Torcida , ESP – 9 -8 ; 17
10. Africa, Jud Smith , USA – 7 -14 ; 21