Hurricane Ian stalls J/80 World Champs

Published on October 4th, 2022

The 48 teams entered in the 2022 J/80 World Championship will need to wait another day before racing commences in Newport, RI. Planned for October 4-8, a Hurricane Ian hangover of excessive winds, gusting well into 30 knot range, postponed day one.

The legendary waters of Narragansett Bay have attracted teams from France, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Netherland, Canada, India, and from ten USA states. The world championship was last held in the country in Annapolis in 2014.

Undoubtedly, the USA team on Le Tigre, headed by Glenn Darden (Ft. Worth, TX), will be keyed in to win the world title coming off their recent victory in the 2022 North American Championship.

“We’ve been working hard since the North Americans this past week getting our systems right on the crew work,” noted Darden. “We’ve spent as much time on the water as possible, trying to get more efficient as a team.”

Darden’s crew for the Worlds is Victor Diaz deLeon (Miami, FL), Rod Favela, (Dallas, TX), Marcus Eagan (New Orleans, LA), and Willem Van Waay (San Diego, CA). Darden also has a first-place trophy from the 2006 Worlds on his mantle.

“We have a great international fleet. The Spanish have led the class for over a decade and it’s going to be a tough regatta,” Darden says.

That threat may be led by Jose Azqueta and his Spanish teammates onboard Biobizz Bizkaia. Proving they can top some of the best sailors in the world, the team won second place at the 2021 Worlds in Denmark with only three points separating them from the World Championship title.

While the day one forecast exceeded expectations, there is hope for day two to be sailable, though likely still at the upper end of the range. The scheduled layday on October 6 may now be needed to complete the 12-race series, with winds on the final two days forecast to be in the mid-teens.

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