Monday, October 8, 2018

AFRICA Crowned J/70 World Champion!

J/70 Africa wins J/70 Worlds (Marblehead, MA)- The 2018 edition of the J/70 World Championship, sponsored by WEST MARINE, was hosted by Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA for a fleet of ninety-one teams from around the world. It was the most unprecedented assemblage of world-class talent ever gathered together in a single one-design regatta in history- keelboat or dinghy. Teams traveled thousands of miles, from as far away as Australia, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Great Britain, Japan, Monaco, Russia, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Turkey. Plus, J/70 competed from all over South America including; Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay.

After an eleven-race series that was cut short by a no-wind finale on Saturday, it was local “home-boy” rock-star Juddie Smith that was crowned the 2018 J/70 World Champion with his incredibly capable crew on AFRICA- Lucas Calabrese (main/ tactician), Will Felder and Marc Gauthier. There’s was not an easy win by any stretch of the imagination, considering that they averaged 10.5 pts per race over 10 races counted, never won a race, had only four top 10 finishes in 11 races, and included a tally of 14-11-22-15-13-35 in their scoreline.  In fact, their win was determined by the outcome of the final race on Friday, when their 10th was enough to eke out a 1 pt victory over Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE crew (Max Skelley, Eric Doyle, & Nathan Wilmot) that took a 7th and just 3 pts above Jack Franco’s crew on 3 BALL JT (Bill Hardesty, Lior Lavie, & Al Terhune) that took an 8th!!

J70s sailing WorldsHow deep and talented was the fleet? Well, Paul Goodison from the United Kingdom sailed as main/tactics on Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO team (Paul is an Olympic Gold Medallist in Lasers and 2x Moth World Champion) that included fellow top pro’s like Flavio Favini from Italy. After the first day, they had two 1sts and a 13th- just one point off the lead. However, from there on end, their “flash-in-the-pan”, near “runaway shopping trolley” went out of control, never garnering much above the mid-thirties and remaining the only boat in the fleet with two bullets!  Nevertheless, that merely earned them an 18th place… 

The same held true for many other deeply-talented teams in the incredibly competitive fleet. Consider the tale of the two famous Wilmot brothers from Australia- Nathan and Jeremy.  One finished second sailing on Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, the other finished 16th sailing on the Troutman’s PIED PIPER.

J70s sailing WorldsThen again, other past J/World Champions and famous team-pairings faired not much better. Tim Healy and John Mollicone’s NEW ENGLAND ROPES USA 2 managed a 9th place (first J/70 Worlds 2014, 4x J/24 World Champs). Glenn Darden and Jonathan McKee’s HOSS were 14th (J/80 World Champ, J/105 NA Champ, and Olympic Gold Medallist). Peter Cunningham and Chris Rast’s POWERPLAY were 17th (Chris was multiple Farr 30 and M24 World Champs). Doug Clark and Geoff Becker’s POLAR were 19th (Geoff is Lighting World Champ).  Joel Ronning and John Kostecki’s CATAPULT settled for 20th (J/70 World Champions and J/24 World Champ). John Brim and Taylor Canfield’s RIMETTE were 22nd (Offshore Storm Trysail Club Champ, 3x Match Racing World Champ, 2x Congressional Cup Champ). And, the list goes on….

For the third year in a row, it was top Italian woman sailor Claudia Rossi on PETITE TERRIBLE that won the top Women’s Skipper Trophy for the Worlds- the Helen Johnstone Memorial Award.

J70s sailing Worlds sunsetThe winners of the Corinthian Division were Luis Bagallo’s MARNATURA from Spain, with crew of Enrique Freire Faria, Gerardo Prego Menor, Alberto Basadre Lopez, and Jorge Lorenzo Roman.  Second was Jim Cunningham’s American crew on LIFTED (Mikee Anderson-Mittering, Jon Ziskind, and Dave Hochart), and third was Aldo Centaro’s PURA JODA from Punta del Este, Uruguay (Bruno Centaro, Marco Centaro, and Mauro Leite).

Some interesting facts on fleet depth for 91 boats total:
  • How many boats had top 3 podium finishes? 21 total (23%), lowest finisher was 62nd
  • How many boats had top 5 finishes?  30 total (33%), lowest finisher was 62nd
  • How many boats had top 10 finishes? 41 total (45%), lowest finisher was 62nd
Sailing photo credits- Allen Clarke- PHOTOBOAT.COM and Sharon Green- and Tim Wilkes-  For more J/70 World Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.