Saturday, March 2, 2019

Competitive Barcelona Winter J/70 and J/80 Series

J/80 Bribon Movistar- winning regatta off Spain (Barcelona, Spain)- While there was good racing on the Atlantic Ocean off Vigo for their winter J/70 series on Spain’s western coastline, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona was hosting its Barcelona Winters Series for J/70s and J/80s on the sunny, warm Mediterranean.

Eighteen J/70s from Spain, Germany, Cyprus, Russia, Poland, Norway, Italy, and the United Kingdom have been thrashing around the Barcelona waterfront for five events so far.  Just one final weekend is left on March 16th and 17th.  After a total of fifteen races, the leading team is a bunch of Russians sailing out of Cyprus YC; their fearless leader on AMAIZ SAILING TEAM- Sergei Dobrovolski- has guided them to six race wins and look tough to beat with just 35 pts. Only a colossal miscalculation will prevent them from winning the overall series.

J/70s sailing off Barcelona, SpainHowever, with one regatta to go, it is a battle royale for the balance of the podium and the top five spots.  Currently sitting in second is the duo of Tony Hayward and Mark Lees from Great Britain, sailing with their Royal Thames YC team on SERIOUS FUN. They haven’t done themselves any favors by having to count a DSQ/19 in race 8 and a 15th in race 15; consequently, their 57 pts is just two shy from the third place team.  That crew is the Spaniard Luis Martinez Doreste; he’s skippering FORTY FIVE and his Real Club Nautico de Grand Canaria team is capable of winning races (three so far).  Then, sitting three points behind FORTY FIVE is Pablo Garriba’s RCN Barcelona crew on TENAZ with a total of 62 pts  And, only one point in arrears of them is Gerard Marin’s CLUB NAUTIC L’ESCALA with 63 pts.  The grand finale is going to be thriller and a nightmare for the tacticians as all four boats easily have a mathematical chance of getting onto the podium.

Spoiler alert! Of note, the top five crews are likely happy that the duo of Spanish Olympic Gold Medallist Hugo Rocha and Russian Alexey Semenov on NEW TERRITORIES missed the first three events, as they are averaging a 3rd in their last seven races, including two bullets and two deuces!

J/70's sailing off Barcelona, SpainMeanwhile, the nine-boat J/80 fleet had their hands full dealing with past J/80 World Champion Marc de Antonio on his familiar boat named BRIBON-MOVISTAR.

Marc’s RCN Barcelona team have sailed all fifteen races, won six of them and placed in the top three twelve times; their points total is just 26! Comfortable in their second position is Agusti Altadil on NACEX with 32 pts overall.

However, the balance of the podium is sure to be a full-on battle in the March event between MIKAKU (Rosa Artigas and Luis Corbella) and AKEWUELE (Silvia Ravetllat and Joan Salame). Both women skippers are quite talented and have sharpened their skills over the course of the winter series. In particular, Silvia Ravetllat has seven top three scores and, other than her OCS/10 in Race 14, she would have had a chance at the silver.  Instead, Silvia’s AKEWUELE team sits in 4th place with 44 pts, three points in arrears of Rosa’s MIKAKU crew that have 41 pts.  Follow the Spanish J/70 teams here on Facebook  For more Barcelona J/70 & J/80 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.