At the J/24 World Championships in Rochester, New York, Mauricio Santa Cruz snatched the lead on day one and never looked back. He is now the reigning J/24 World Champion. Sailing Bruschetta with trimmer Daniel Santiago, tactician Alex Saldanha, mastman Sergio Bittencourt and bowman Alfredo Rovere, Santa Cruz earned his fourth J/24 World title.
Bruschetta crew with their trophies - 2012 J/24 World Championship
At the Rochester Yacht Club in New York, Bruschetta achieved a remarkably consistent performance of seven top-ten tallies, a 13 and 19 in the ten-race series (including one discard). The team stacked up a 42-point advantage heading into Friday’s final race and was able to stay ashore and let the others duke it out for the remaining podium spots among the 96-boat fleet.
American John Mollicone’s 11th Hour Racing gained momentum throughout the week and seized second place with 101 points, followed by fellow American Tony Parker’s Bangor Packet with 108 points. The 96 teams represented 12 countries—Argentina, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Peru and the United States.
'The venue was very shifty, and the team worked hard to stay on top of them. We had good sails and good speed,' Santa Cruz summarized. The team raced on J/24 number 2021 made in 1980, making it a 32-year-old hull. 'We used an old boat, but the old and new boats are fairly equal. The mast, keel and rudder have a good shape so we knew we would be fine. Our team has sailed together for eight years, and that is a big help. The Race Committee did a great job. Managing 100 boats is not an easy task.' Hank Stuart served as PRO.
In Friday’s race, three North American teams claimed the top places—Paul Scalisi’s Rabit Cson Duck Cson of the USA, Darby Smith of the USA and Phillip Williamson’s Roo of Canada. Winds on Lake Ontario shifted often and blew between 6-12 knots.
Skipper: Mauricio Santa Cruz, Trimmer: Daniel Santiago, Tactics: Alex Saldanha, Mast: Sergio Bittencourt, Bow: Alfredo Rovere - 2012 J/24 World Championship
The top 10:
1) Mauricio Santa Cruz, BRA, 58 points
2) John Mollicone, USA, 101
3) Tony Parker, USA, 108
4) Mike Ingham, USA, 111
5) Matias Pereira, ARG, 111
6) Nicolas Cubria, ARG, 121
7) Rossi Milev, CAN, 122
8) Frithjof Schade, GER, 131
9) Peter Bream, USA, 132
10) Luis Olcese, PER, 147
J24 Worlds website