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Juno blitzes Australian J/70 Nationals at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

by J/Boats 3 Nov 09:40 PST 19-20 October 2019
J/70 Australian Championship 2019 © Beth Morley / Sport Sailing Photography

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), home of the famous Sydney to Hobart offshore race, hosted the J/70 Australian Championship on Sydney Harbour on the weekend of October 19 and 20.

A strong shifty westerly wind blowing from the land provided tough conditions on day one, with gusts over 30 knots and a particularly challenging top mark set in a leeward bay with very fluky winds. Day two saw a steadier 10 to 12 knot southeast wind with some very close racing throughout the fleet.

Helped by off-season racing at the J/70 Worlds in Torquay, the Juno team (Reg Lord, Ben Lamb, Murray Jones, Tom Grimes) won each race to claim the title for the third consecutive year. Second overall and first Corinthian was JAMES helmed by Tim Ryan, also from the CYCA. Third was Jabberwocky (Middle Harbour YC) helmed by Australian J/70 Class President Andrew Thompson, with expert trimmer Noel Drennan on main.

Behind the Corinthian's winner JAMES was Peter Nash's MAYBE-J in second and Andy McIntyre's Jumpin' Jack Flash in third place.

The fleet is also scored using the SailSys PHS (performance handicap scoring) system, where teams carry "golf-handicap" style ratings and scores are computed on that basis. Winning the PHS Division was Thompson's Jabberwocky, with second going to Lord's JUNO, and third to Tony Landgren's Spike.

A newcomer to the fleet was Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Captain and three time Olympian Karyn Gojnich. She said after the regatta concluded, "Sara Ladd and I took ownership of JACKAL during the week just prior to the regatta, so we were extremely pleased and excited just to get out to the race course and finish each race. Big thanks to Pete Lowndes and Ewa Lindelöf who joined us for the weekend."

Another newcomer, and fourth overall, was Michael Nash from RSYS who traded his Etchells-22 for his new J/70 Maybe-J. Nash commented that, "the J/70 is a great boat for mixed sailing, as the main is manageable for anyone. Olga (Skatkova) said just yesterday that she was surprised she had no problems playing the spinnaker on Saturday when winds were gusting over 30 knots."

Ray Carless of Junior commented, "the winds and harbour conditions were at times challenging, but overall it was an excellent event with great sportsmanship, camaraderie and most of all, fun J/70 sailing! Love it!"

Also, a special mention to the teams Jumpin' Jack Flash and Spike that travelled 1,000 kms from Victoria to compete. Good on ya mates!

The 2020 Australian J/70 National Championship is scheduled to take place over Easter, hosted by Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron on Port Philip Bay in Melbourne, Victoria.

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