The first day of the BMW J/24 European Championships at Howth was lost due to the weather but, on the second day, one race was completed amid a fresh and gusty south-westerly wind with a victory for the defending champions (and current British champions) ‘Serco’ (Bob Turner) with Nathan Batchelor on the helm.
The 42-boat fleet got away at the second time of asking in winds touching 30 knots and it was the right-hand side of the course which was favoured, with ‘Serco’ leading around the windward mark. The downwind leg proved precarious for several boats who struggled with spinnakers in the gusty conditions, with sail damage forcing a number of retirals.
By the end of the second beat, another British boat, ‘Il Riccio’ (David Southworth/Chris McLaughlin) had taken over the lead but as a shredded spinnaker put paid to their chances of victory and dropped them back to fifth. ‘Serco’ took the gun ahead of another British entry ‘Madeleine’ (McCarthy/Phelps), with German boats filling the next two spots, with ‘Max Bahr’ (Stefan Karsunke) and ‘Rotoman’ (Kai Mares) third and fourth respectively.
Four German boats finished in the top eight while ninth place went to the highest-placed local boat, Irish champion Flor O’Driscoll and crew on ‘Hard on Port’. With winds forecasted to increase later in the day, the fleet was sent ashore and a subsequent decision by the Race Officer David Lovegrove and his team confirmed that the conditions would not allow any further racing on the day. It is hoped to run up to five races back-to-back on Wednesday (14th). BMW J/24 European Championships – Race 1 result:
1. Serco Bob Turner GBR
2. Madeleine McCarthy/Phelps GBR
3. Max Bahr Stefan Karsunke GER
4. Rotoman Kai Mares GER
5. Il Riccio Southworth/McLaughlin GBR
6. Reloaded Mark Penfold USA
J/24 Class website