Friday, June 17, 2016

J/70 AUSTRALIA- A View From Down Under

(Sydney, Australia)- Andrew Kings, a J/70 Owner from Australia had this to say about his recent J/70 sailing experience-

“Greetings, from the bottom of the world. I am a very proud owner of J/70 hull 399. It provides me with a lot of pleasure. That said, I am not a typical J/70 owner, nor did I buy her for the typical reasons someone buys a one-design sport boat. I am 62, retired, and live in a small seaside village on Bass Strait. The yacht club has an eclectic fleet of 6 to 8 keelboats. Our sailing season is only 4 to 5 months and the boats are on swing moorings during the season and then removed. Generally, I sail alone, or with a guest, who is new to the boat. So, I was looking for a day sailor that was easy to handle alone, but, spirited enough to provide lots of fun. The added advantage of being trailerable and without an inboard engine also made the annual launch, removal, and servicing, simpler, and significantly cheaper. Not to mention a high boom for aged knees!

As we use a performance handicap system in our club, I am not bound by one design rules so I have replaced the winches with Harken 15 ST self tailers (which fitted the mounting step perfectly) which help considerably with tacking.  Handling multiple sails and the tiller without hitting a fellow sailor or the channel markers we use as buoys can be challenging at times! I originally fitted a top down furler to the asymmetric, however, it was problematic so if the winds are reasonable (10-15 knots) I put the tiller on the clutch run forward and hoist the kite alone. Dropping it single handed is always entertaining, especially for my competitors, and I don’t have any time to repack it if we have two downwind legs, but, it is all good fun.

For your amusement I have attached a short video of Hull 399 ‘Soixante Dix’ taken by one of my competitors on a very benign day. Sure I’ll never stand on a podium, or one design fleet race, but for me the J/70 is a perfect boat and is proof that the formula is successful across many spectrums. Well done!”  For a guy who is 62 years old— go figure!!!