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Audi J/70 World Championship – Teasing Mistral

by YCCS on 13 Sep
Competitors' briefing – Audi J/70 World Championship Kurt Arrigo / YCCS
The Mistral winds continued to batter the Costa Smeralda for the second day of the Audi J/70 World Championship, which is organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the Title Sponsor Audi and the Official Sailmaker Quantum Sails.

The strong north westerly wind came tantalizingly close to dropping to the 25 knot class limit. Principal Race Officer, Mark Foster continually updated the fleet but the wind refused to subside and racing was called off for the day at 15:00 CET.

Martin Kullman, Global Sales Director Quantum Sails, commented. 'Tomorrow we are expecting 18 knots from the west with a medium sea state. So ideal conditions for the fleet, with the J/70s just about getting up on the plane downwind, let's hope the forecast is right.'

Tomorrow, weather permitting, 162 teams will fight to gain the right to race in the Gold and Silver Championship fleet, the big change is that the scores from those races will now count towards the Championship Series.

Olympic Gold medallist and multiple world champion, Jonathan McKee, is racing with Texan Glenn Darden on Hoss. McKee has an intimate knowledge of heavy weather sailing, and revealed some useful tips for racing a J/70 in high winds.

'The main thing is to keep it simple and safe.' commented Jonathan. 'When it's over 20 knots, you should try to minimize manoeuvres and sail in your own water if you can. Upwind the key to speed is a lot of co-ordination between the main and jib, to keep the balance of the boat correct. In the bigger puffs, you might ease the jib so it isn't pulling the bow down. You should have a fairly neutral helm with the driver steering aggressively to keep the boat on its feet. Downwind it is important not to tip over, by being aware of gusts and by putting as much weight out as you can. Keep the boat going fast, but not so high that you are in danger of broaching.'

The Audi J/70 World Championship Series will run from tomorrow, September 14, the intended first warning signal at 1100 CEST.
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