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J/70 World Championship at Eastern Yacht Club - Preview

by Louay Habib 25 Aug 2018 06:11 PDT 21-29 September 2018
J/70 World Championship 2017 © YCCS / Kurt Arrigo

Ninety-eight teams from 19 different nations have qualified to compete in the 2018 J/70 World Championship. After three days of inspections for the strict one-design class, racing for the championship will commence on Tuesday, September 25th.

Five days of action are scheduled with up to three races per day. The Open and Corinthian Class Champions will be crowned on Saturday September 29th, at an Awards Ceremony at the Eastern Yacht Club.

The inaugural J/70 World Championship was held in 2014, and today more than 1700 fast planing J/70 sportsboats have been sold worldwide. Three American skippers have won the championship and all of them will be racing in Marblehead: Tim Healy (Sail Newport), Joel Ronning (Wayzata YC), and the defending J/70 Open World Champion, Peter Duncan (American Yacht Club).

The 2018 J/70 North American Open Champion, Thomas Bowen (Annapolis YC), will also be competing, as will the runner up from the 2017 J/70 World Championship, Brian Keane (Beverly Yacht Club). Eight American skippers will be representing the Eastern Yacht Club, hosts for the 2018 J/70 World Championship, including Jud Smith, part of Peter Duncan's winning team last year, but racing his own J/70 Africa for the World Championship at his home club.

"I am so excited to share my home club with these elite racers from around the world," said Jud Smith. "Wind in September should be great--as long as there are no hurricanes—and we should see some really competitive racing."

Nearly half of the extraordinary fleet will come from overseas, including the best teams from Europe. The current J/70 European Champion Alberto Rossi (Circolo Canottieri Aniene, Italy) and his daughter, the 2016 and 2017 J/70 European champion, Claudia Rossi (Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Italy) will both be competing. Top Spanish teams include the 2018 J/70 Corinthian European Champion, Luis Bugallo (R.C.N.Vigo, Spain), and Jose Maria Torcida (R.C.M.Santander, Spain) who has won the J/80 World Championship on two occasions. Top teams will be competing from Great Britain including 2015 J/111 World Champion Martin Dent (Royal Southern YC).

Six teams from Mexico will be racing including, Javier Navarro (Club Izar), third in the 2018 J/70 North American Championship. J/70 teams will be competing from all over South America including; Argentina Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay. Teams will be travelling thousands of miles to compete at the 2018 J/70 World Championship from as far away as Australia, Germany, Japan, Monaco, Russia, Sweden and Turkey.

The event is hosted by the Eastern Yacht Club. Established in 1870, the Eastern Yacht Club is located overlooking the magnificent Marblehead Harbor. Over the years, the club has established itself as one of the most distinguished yacht clubs in America. A visit to the Eastern Yacht Club is a walk through yachting history, from the glorious days of the huge racing yachts to the present-day active and competitive one-designs. A major refurbishment to the clubhouse in 2015 provides outstanding facilities to its members, and for the competitors during the J/70 World Championship, which will have full guest privileges.

The town of Marblehead itself has a dynamic and varied history. Its early settlers were fishermen and seafarers. The town's prosperity immediately preceding the Revolutionary War was based on fishing and overseas Atlantic trade, making Marblehead a flourishing colonial community.

In 1775, wealthy merchants supported the American Revolution by providing ships and funds for the cause of independence, and the town sent an entire regiment under the command of Colonel, then General, John Glover, who was highly respected by George Washington for his courage and abilities.

The town's fishing industry was decimated by the Revolution, and later in a devastating gale on the Atlantic Grand Banks in 1846. Shoe manufacture replaced fishing as the town's leading industry, until it was destroyed by two great fires in 1877 and 1888.

By the end of the 1800s, growing interest in yachting and the town's beautiful harbor turned the town into a summer resort, popular because of its cool breezes, scenic beauty, and quaint historic charm.

Today, Marblehead is a year-round residential town, which offers access to its harbor, history, and hospitality through its yacht clubs, many historic buildings, enticing shops, fine restaurants and charming bed and breakfasts.

Residents are excited about the event, renting their homes or offering rooms as well as giving up their moorings and sharing their power boats to support the event. EYC members have volunteered in droves to help with welcoming competitors and measuring and launching the visiting boats.

For more information about the 2018 J/70 World Championship visit www.j70worlds2018.com

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