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J/80 World Championship Day 1 - Tricky conditions

by Becci Eplett on 13 Jun 2012
J/80 World Championships 2012 © Tim Wright / Photoaction.com http://www.photoaction.com
MIQ Logistics 2012 J/80 World Championship powered by Slam, co-hosted by the Britannia Yacht Club and the Royal Dart Yacht Club, got underway in Dartmouth on Tuesday 12th June.

Principal Race Officer Mike Pearson held the crews of the seventy six competing teams ashore for a postponement of just over two hours in order to wait for the breeze to fill in and settle. Light airs meant that only one race of the three scheduled was raced but the fleet returned to the Regatta Centre happy to have completed the first race of the eleven scheduled for the World Championship series.


Out in the race area in Start Bay the breeze eventually filled in to a very tricky four to six knots from 180 to 190 degrees and a windward-leeward course was set. Keen to get going, competitors pushed the line on the first start resulting in a general recall and the PRO immediately deployed the black flag and at the next start all boats got away cleanly. Crews from nine nations are racing in Dartmouth and today it was Frenchman Patrick Bot sailing Ecole Navale CG29 who took the win in race one.

Patrick explained ‘I had a good start, not perfect, but I arrived at the first windward mark in eighth place having sailed the left hand side of the beat. We then just worked our way through the fleet. The gate at the bottom on the leeward leg was important: I took the left hand mark and it paid. The boats around us on the race course are all evenly matched in terms of boat-speed.’

Rob Larke of Great Britain took second place in race one. He said ‘We also chose the left hand side of the beat but it was hard to call. Our boat speed and we’re happy with our second place today.’

All in all it was a good day on the water for British teams with five GBR sail numbers in the top ten at the end of day one. Four races are scheduled for Wednesday 13th June and all the competitors are hoping for a little more breeze to add to the excitement.
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J80 World Championship website

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