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J80 Worlds set for 2013 battle in Marseille

by Kate Jennings on 1 Nov 2012
J80 sailing action © Jean-Marie Liot
Preparations for the J80 Worlds 2013 have taken a giant leap with today’s launch of the definitive version of the event website, the publication of the Notice of Race and the opening of registration. The J80 Worlds will be held in Marseille from the sixth to 13th July next year and it is already shaping up to be one of the major sailing events of 2013 across France and Europe.

In the build-up to the event, the record 81 entries taking part in the 2012 Nationals, who kick into action tomorrow in Douarnenez, Brittany, certainly won’t deny the wealth of enthusiasm the series’ specialists have for this major J 80 meeting in 2013.

Indeed, the last Worlds to be held in France were hosted in La Trinité-sur-Mer, Brittany, back in 2007 with 124 participants; a record beaten in 2009 in Santander, Spain, with 131 boats taking the start. The 2012 Worlds were held in Dartmouth in the UK.

For 2013, this global event must endeavour to honour the tremendous development of this class worldwide and in Europe and France in particular, as the series has stood out for some 10 years now as the most popular racer-cruiser on both the racing and sailing school circuits.

In this way, the French Cup gathers together nearly 200 boats over its ten or so national events and is France’s most successful one-design circuit.

The perfect boat for racing, sailing schools and cruising, the dynamism of the class under its sole President, Ludovic Gilet, and the shortness of breath of the other series, go a long way to explaining the boat’s dominance in France.

As such, the Marseille Worlds must embody the class’ approach thus far, whilst placing an emphasis on developing the series in the Mediterranean and in Marseille, where local activity is in the process of receiving a boost.

It cannot be denied that Marseille will provide an exceptional setting for this exceptional event. The second largest city in France and a wide-open gateway onto the Mediterranean, this cosmopolitan city will give the event international influence. Furthermore, Marseille will be the European Capital of Culture in 2013 so the density of the city’s event organisation will make the J 80 Worlds all the more intense.

120 to 150 boats are expected into the Roucas Blanc Stade Nautique (Marine Stadium), which lies just a few metres from the beaches of Le Prado and right next to the beautiful race zone in Marseille’s southern harbour.

All the necessary logistical means to deal with July’s influx in Marseille will be arranged with the assistance of the teams in charge of the city’s marine events. In this way, during the week of competition, the Roucas Blanc port and site will be entirely dedicated to the event, with temporary pontoons installed according to needs, with private parking nearby, the storage of trailers at a protected outdoor site and a partnership with the Accor group to satisfy accommodation requests.

After the period set aside for welcoming the boats from Friday 5th July to the evening of Sunday 7th July, Monday 8th July will see the launch of the event with a training race and a large marine parade to get the locals involved in the event.

The races themselves will be spread over three daily races from Tuesday 9th July to Saturday 13th July. The on-the-water organisation will be relying on the Fédération Française de Voile (French Sailing Federation), who will in turn be supported by the teams drummed up by the main local sailing clubs, who have a vast experience of major sailing events.

The intensity of the on-the-water competition will be mirrored by a packed programme of entertainment on shore, to make the week-long stay in Marseille a relaxed celebration for the crews in the Roucas Blanc race village. The programme will kick off with an opening soirée on Monday 8th July, a nightly prize-giving with entertainment in the large marquee pitched alongside the boats and a sumptuous skippers’ supper on Friday 12th July. All that, for the price of an inscription!

At the behest of Didier Réault, the City of Marseille, the event’s main partner, certainly has all the necessary ingredients to make the Worlds an unforgettable moment. At least 30 nations are expect to attend, though requests from overseas crews are positively flooding in with several American crews already organising transport of their J 80s to Marseille…

Finally, for the French crews, the main competitive aim of these Worlds will be to try to bring an end to the Spanish domination, with no less than three such crews on the 2012 podium in Dartmouth; the current titleholder being Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg on J80 Worlds website
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