by Neus Jordi
France dominated the first day of the J80 European championship that takes place at Barcelona’s Maresme waterfront organized by Club Náutico El Balís, although two Spanish teams finished amongst the top three boats: 'Factor Energía', commanded by Olympic champion José María van der Ploeg and 'Movistar' skippered by Carlos Martínez.
2014 J80 European Championship
The first day of the European championship was ruled by light winds that constantly changed their direction. The first race started with a one-hour delay because of lack of wind and at the end the start was called with a Southeast wind of around six knots that was increasing lightly although then decreased again for today’s second (and last of the day) race.
French team 'Interface Concept', commanded by Simon Moriceau, leads the championship after finishing first in the opening race and third in the following one. Two Spanish teams follow closely only two points behind, holding all options to give a fight for the continental title.
'Factor Energía', led by José María van der Ploeg (CN El Balís), Olympic gold medalist at the Finn class in the 1992 Barcelona Games, who also was champion of the world of the J80 class in 2012, after finishing second the year before, had to settle for fifth place in the first race, but reacted in the second one finishing first and securing a second overall place for this first day.
With the same amount of points that the host team, Carlos Martinez’s 'Movistar', 2010 European champion and world bronze medalist in three occasions, is currently third. The boat from Real Club de Regatas Santiago de la Ribera finished second in the first race and then got a fourth place.
Russian boat 'Amelia', commanded by Andrey Samoylov, and French 'Ganja', skippered by Luc Nadal, are also amongst the event’s top five boats after one day of competition in the European championship held by CN El Balís, in an event that gathers 52 boars from 10 different countries.
Tomorrow, Tuesday July 1st, the races are scheduled to start at 13:00. A maximum of 12 races will be held until the last day of the event, next Friday.