Monday, October 12, 2015

J/70 European Championship Preview

J/70s sailing off YC Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The Yacht Club de Monaco is hosting the J/70 European Championship for the Credit Suisse Trophy from the 12th to 17th October in what promises to be the largest J/70 Europeans to date and an extraordinarily competitive event. As proven in the recent J/70 World Championship in La Rochelle, France, the European J/70 teams are on a steep learning curve and are capable of the highest level of J/70 sailing in the world.  With the advent of “sailing leagues” all over Europe, sailors in the EU are jumping aboard J/70s en-masse; its popularity rising dramatically in the last 8-12 months.

As a case in point, over 80 boats are expected to line up on one start line, that’s nearly 350 sailors hailing from all over Europe representing 11 nations, not counting the Mexican team led by Julian Fernandez (Flojito y Cooperando), World Champion title holder who has confirmed his participation with his champion crew of Bill Hardesty, Willem van Waay and Erick Brockmann from Mexico.

The Germans will be out in force with 18 teams heading to the Principality, with nearly 50% of them top Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing teams. Many of them will be leaving their boats in Monaco ready to participate in the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, from October to March, a high level training programme to prepare for the 2016 season. Note also the presence of Johannes Polgar on REALITY DISTORTION FIELD, who represented Germany in the Tornado class at the Beijing Olympics and is Star European Champion, and Philipp Kadelbach skippering RIO, the German Match Racing Vice-Champion, sailing with Hendrik Kadelbach, a member of the United Internet Team Germany at the America’s Cup in Valencia.  The French are well-represented with Matthieu Salomon on CHARIOT PLUS- VANNES UTILITAIRES and Ludovic Senechal sailing LULU NANTAISE- both French J/80 Champions over the last few years.

Four teams will be crossing the Channel from Britain to compete. They include Anthony Hesse’s BABY J, Allan Higgs’ ESF ENERGY; Andrew Creighton/ James Davis’ J-STAR (who came third in the class during Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight) and Alex James’ POLARIS. Meanwhile from Sweden, three boats are all very talented teams; including Ingemar Sundstedt’s ROCAD RACING (who knows the Monegasque race area, having won the first stage of the Italian Championship hosted by the Yacht Club de Monaco in March), Robin Tornqvist’s KVALITEKTSKOTT RACING Team and Oscar Lundqvist’s FANNY/ PURE CIRCLE team. Other leading teams from central Europe include Austrian Klaus Diem skippering PFANDER; Wouter Kollman’s PLAJ from the Netherlands; the Swiss crew on TEO led by Michel Glaus and the “Russians are coming”- the MOJO Team (Dmitrii Zartickii) and JUNO (Evgeny Grigul).

J/70s starting off YC MonacoThe “Mediterranean's” have not been slow in coming forward with 11 Italian teams confirmed, including Francesco de Angelis on B2- architect of three America’s Cup campaigns and winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2000; Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK- winner of Key West Race Week 2015; Luca Domenici’s NOTARO Team (with a top 10 performance in the La Rochelle Worlds); Franco Solerio on L’ELAGAIN (winning the Alcatel OneTouch Italian J/70 Nationals series); and Pietro Saccomani on SPIN ONE, the year one Italian champion.  In addition, the six Spanish teams inclde among them Hugo Rocha’s NEW TERRITORIES that won Kiel Week and is an Olympic Gold Medalist.

From Monaco, where the J/70 is the flagship one-design class, there will be 17 boats on the start. Having competed in the Worlds at La Rochelle, they continued their preparation in Riva del Garda early September in the final stage of the Italian Championship and had organized a final training “clinic” the weekend before- from the 1st to 3rd October. As evidence of their remarkable capabilities, Jacopo Carrain’s CARPE DIEM managed a top ten finish at the La Rochelle Worlds in July and other top Monagesque teams are certain to be in the hunt as “local knowledge” experts, like Ian Isley’s JALAPENO, Pierre Casiraghi’s LIBECCIO TUIGA, Thierry Leret’s SIROCCO, and Anne Rodelato’s JOKER.

Given the high level of sailing, international umpires will officiate throughout the week which will be attended by Neven Baran, member of ISAF’s Racing Rules Committee. The J/70s will be moored in the YCM Marina, the outer harbour located in front of the Yacht Club de Monaco’s building. The public can watch the races from different locations in the Principality, including the Luciana Jetty, the slopes and promenades on the main harbour wall, Fort Antoine, the Oceanographic Museum’s terraces, Casino Gardens, etc.

In addition to the Credit Suisse Trophy for the winners, SLAM’s Advanced Technology clothing will be awarded for all crew members in the top three teams!

A championship where generosity reigns
During the championship the J/70 Monaco Class Association and the YC Monaco want to support the “Lenval Foundation”, which among other projects works with the pediatric department at the Princess Grace Hospital (Monaco) to assist their support and care for sick children. They are counting on the generosity of all the participants and other donations to raise important funds for their worthy mission.   For more J/70 European Championship sailing information