Sixty-eight J/80s have descended upon the quaint little seaside village called Dragor, a beautiful town just north of Copenhagen, Denmark, along the seaside of the Baltic Sea.
The competition is hot and with multiple World Champions competing, the Royal Danish YC's RC/PRO teams are doing a good job of keeping the competitive fleet in check, having conducted three races on the first day.
Currently, the American team on Le Tigre, skippered by Glenn Darden from the Fort Worth Boat Club in Ft Worth, Texas is winning by just three points with a 2-5-5, demonstrating that lessons learned from previous Worlds and his successful Key West Race Week wins are currently giving his Le Tigre team an edge in the light to medium winds on the Baltic. Says Glenn, 'Thank goodness for doing the J/80 Swedish Championships/ Pre-Worlds over in Malmo the weekend before! The team's working great, all in sync and we feel good just to be in the running. The next few days will be difficult sailing as the racing is very tight.' What is clear is that current leaders are managing to avoid the 'big bad one' in their scores, many teams have single-digit scores for two races but have bombed one race badly to currently keep them off the podium.
2011 0706 J80Worlds 001 - J/80 World Championships - Jeff Johnstone
2011 0706 J80Worlds 002 - J/80 World Championships - Jeff Johnstone
Showing surprising speeds and cunning tactics is the German team from Kieler YC, Martin Menzner sailed to a 6-1-8 to be in second with 15 pts. Also showing excellent speed were the two French boats, Jean Charles Moriceau in third with a 9-13-1 for 23 pts and Malte Christopherson with a 16-2-7 for 25 pts. Fifth is the first of the formidable Spanish teams, past World Champion Ignacio Camino on Nextel Engineering, starting strong in the first two races with a 1-4 but getting a 21st in the third race for a total of 26 pts (Ignacio hopes to score well going forward to toss the 21st!). Tied with Ignacio is the Swedish J/80 Champion Ingemar Sundstedt with a 5-7-14 also for 26 pts. Lying seventh is another Spanish Champion, Carlos Martinez sitting with a 3-26-4 scoreline for 33 pts. ninth is the first Danish boat sailed by Jesper Kragh Jespersen with a 15-20-12 at 47 pts. Top British sailors are Tom Phipps, the young, fast crew on Hamble Yacht Services sailing to a 14-10-24 tally for 48 pts. Past J/24 Italian Champion Dr Aldo Samele from Milano is sailing a new Canarino Feroce and is top Italian boat in 11th with a 7-8-38 record for 53 pts. Top Russian team fresh from having sailed in the Russian Nationals in the Canary Islands last fall is Vitaliy Tarakanov, sailing to a 19-16-29 for 64 pts.
Two teams that qualified the most for the riding the biggest roller-coasters of the day were current French J/80 Champion Eric Brezellec sailing to an OCS-6-3 record for 77 pts and past J/80 World Champion Rayco Tabares from the Canary Islands sailing his famous Hotel Grand Canarias to a 4-9-51 for 64 pts. Watch out for both these teams as they've demonstrated they can climb the ladder very quickly and given that there are at least six to nine more races to sail, both teams could easily factor into the top five overall.
2011 0706 J80Worlds 004 - J/80 World Championships - Jeff Johnstone
2011 0706 J80Worlds 003 - J/80 World Championships - Jeff Johnstone
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