Wednesday, June 29, 2016

KNS Wins Norway J/70 Sailing League Act II

J/70s racing Norway sailing league (Sandefjord, Norway)- Sandefjord Sailing Association was ready and looking forward to hosting the 1st Division in the Norwegian Sailing League, racing J/70s in their beautiful fjord.  The weather forecasts promised sunshine and light winds from the north-northeast for the June 17th to 19th regatta.

Fifteen teams were sailing the second round and all were hoping they could challenge Åsgårdstrand SF, the league leader after the Oslo regatta.  The regatta’s PRO, Karl Kjørstad, was hoping to get in fifteen races in total for the teams.

Friday’s racing had the wind go through a complete 360 degrees from beginning to end of the day.  The shifty winds, coming from all sides of the race course, meant teams had to vigilant and not hit corners.  In fact, freedom to tack and play a shift was critical.  Nevertheless, Åsgårdstrand SF showed their conservative tactics led to four out of five victories to start off the series quickly in the lead.

J/70 Norway sailing league winners podiumSaturday dawned with much more stable winds and by 12 noon three flights had already been carried out.  After a very lackluster start on Saturday, Kongelig Norsk Seilforening (KNS) felt that enough was enough. It was time to make a change. “We had a little meeting aboard during the midday break when the course was reset to account for a 180 deg shift. For 90 percent of the meeting, we talked about our starts. If you win the start, you are first at the weather mark. After the talk, everything was so much better for us,” says Kristoffer Spone, the skipper for KNS.

At the end of Saturday KNS remained in second place, behind the increasingly bigger lead being created by Åsgårdstrand SF.  KNS was tied at the conclusion of Saturday’s racing with Larvik SF. Larvik SF had shown they have speed, smarts and great boat-handling in Sandefjord.

Several of the other teams had also shown they got a better grip on league sailing in general and, especially, how to sail the J/70s faster.  The volunteers from Sandefjord SF, the regatta organizers, were widely praised for their efforts on Saturday night during the evening cookout and party for the sailors.

The final day was truly epic.  Good winds, lots of racing and an enormous upset was in the making.  KNS continued to be labeled as the “comeback kids” and managed to get past Åsgårdstrand SF by just one point after winning the last race!  A tie-breaker was not good enough for KNS to win, they simply had to beat ASF by a point and they did it! Kristoffer Spone and his KNS team had to fight hard for every point!

The battle for third place was equally hard and it was the RAN Club that triumphed with yet another single point win over Larvik SF.  Fifth place went to Brevik SF.  For more Norwegian J/70 Sailing League sailing information