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J/80 World Championship at Les Sables d'Olonne, France - Overall

by Agence TB Press 13 Jul 11:55 PDT 7-14 July 2018
Hotel Princesa Yaiza wins the J/80 World Championship © Pierrick Contin /

The team from the Canaries, "Hotel Princesa Yaiza", helmed by Rayco Tabares, takes victory in the J/80 Worlds, which has been contested in Les Sables d'Olonne on France's Atlantic Coast since Monday. It's the fifth World J/80 Champion title for this top-flight Spanish crew, which built on its victory in the Vendée-region today after kicking off the morning's racing a point down on its direct rival. "Garatu" skippered by Iker Almondoz, which led for a long while, takes second place in the competition, which was brilliantly organised by the SNSablais and the French J/80 Class.

The top French team, namely "Armen Habitat" skippered by the Finistère-based sailor Simon Moriceau, made it onto the third step of the podium. "Puente Romano Marbella" helmed by Juan Luis Paez secures fourth place.

The J/80 Worlds 2018 have been an absolute epic in the World Championship history of the series built by the local J Composites yard, thanks to the idyllic sailing conditions enjoyed by the 360 racers, which particularly favoured round the cans racing. Some fourteen races were run throughout the week, to the great delight of the numerous spectators and enthusiasts witnessing the close-contact racing. Set a date for 2019 and the next edition of the J/80 Worlds, which will be held in Bilbao.

Rayco Tabares, winner: "This was a very tough championship. We piled the pressure on "Garatu" yesterday and today we enjoyed a virtually flawless day compared to our direct rivals, getting off to some solid starts. We're very happy to pocket a fifth World J/80 Champion title here in Les Sables d'Olonne. The J/80 Class is great as it's really the trimming, the crew and the sails that make the difference. We've won our five titles on charter boats. For my part, I'm now going to focus on the J/70 Worlds, which will be held in the United States in September."

Simon Moriceau, 3rd and top French sailor: "We began the day with a second place, which enabled us to catch up with our direct rivals in the overall ranking. After that, we continued on a roll by being opportunistic and we achieved our goal of finishing on the podium. We'll be in Bilbao in 2019 in a bid to win the next Worlds for the series."

Claire Ferchaud, "Elite April Marine – SNSablais", eleventh, top mixed crew: "Superb championship, superb weather, superb Race Committee, superb race zone. We've had an absolute ball throughout the whole week at these Worlds. We're happy with our result, which matched up to the objective we set ourselves."

Bernard Devy, President of the Organising Committee for the J/80 Worlds: "We're delighted as we feel as if we put on a great World Championship for the numerous competitors, who were full-on both on land and at sea. The atmosphere was great throughout the week. The organising committee has been working on the organisation of this competition for a little over a year. Thank you to all the volunteers and obviously our partners, which include the town of Les Sables d'Olonne and its suburbs, the Vendée department, the Pays de la Loire region and Port Olonna... Finally, the SNSablais congratulates all the racers and the winners of the different rankings."

Ludovic Gilet, President of the French J/80 Class: "It's a fantastic result: perfect weather, competitors who fought to the very last, since yesterday night there was just one point separating the first and second placed teams. We couldn't have hoped for better. I think I can safely say that all the competitors had fun on the race zone in Les Sables d'Olonne. Unfortunately, the Spanish dominated proceedings once again, but we were valiant throughout the competition. I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks to the SNSablais who, together with the French Class, organised these Worlds. The volunteers from the SNSablais, Les Olonnes and the Class have been fantastic! Thank you too to the umpires, the Race Committee and its president Corinne Aubert and to the media who have followed the event. The French J/80 Cup continues with a double-handed event in late August in Le Crouesty and then the Atlantique Télégramme in September and the French Nationals in November in Pornic. The 2019 Worlds will take place in Bilbao and in 2020 we'll host the European Championships in Saint Cast. Finally, I'd like to add that Rayco Tabares' crew sailed these Worlds on a new J/80 supplied by J Composites. That just goes to show that you don't need a boat specifically prepared for the Worlds to secure victory!

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