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Stage is set for J/70 World Championship Regatta at California Yacht Club

by Betsy Crowfoot 4 Aug 06:35 PDT August 7-15, 2021
J/70 World Championship Regatta © Ray Campbell

The stage is set for the long-awaited J/70 World Championship Regatta to be held August 7 to 15, 2021 at California Yacht Club. Sixty-two teams from 11 nations are expected to be on the start line according to Regatta Chair Marylyn Hoenemeyer, who added, "We have been looking forward to hosting this elite group of sailors and are prepared to finally welcome everyone to a first-class competition."

Cal Yacht Club, in conjunction with the J/70 Class Association, was forced to abandon the 2020 event due to the pandemic, but Hoenemeyer promised the 2021 regatta would be worth the wait, saying, "We're very encouraged by the tremendous response from the J/70 Class!"

Pre-Worlds Wrap-up

Forty-four teams tuned up at the Pre-World Championship regatta July 31 and August 1: ramping up the action and excitement! Hosted by nearby Del Rey Yacht Club, the Pre-Worlds was directed by Mark Foster, who will also serve as Principal Race Officer for the Worlds. Many of the on-the-water Race Committee and individuals ashore have volunteered for both J/70 events to ensure seamless, consistent, high quality race management.

Perfect summer weather greeted the Pre-Worlds racers. As Saturday morning's marine layer burnt off temperatures rose to the low 70s, while the breeze climbed to the high teens. The sailors welcomed the slightly lighter conditions on Sunday, with the breeze peaking in the low teens in the second and third race. With single-digit finishes in all six races - including bullets in Races Two and Four - Bruce Golison and the crew of Midlife Crisis captured the Pre-Worlds title. Chris Raab on Sugoi secured his place at the top of the leaderboard in the One Pro division by winning the last race; while the father and sons team from Chile, Ducasse Sailing Team, topped the 12 boat Corinthian fleet.

J/70 Worlds Lineup

Although the World Championship fleet represents a dip in numbers from the pre-pandemic roster, Hoenemeyer noted an impressive list of entries including reigning 2019 J/70 World Champion Paul Ward. Joel Ronning, 2016 Champion and 2019 runner-up, is also on the lineup, along with 2017 World and 2021 North American Champion Peter Duncan; plus Brian Keane, Bruno Pasquinelli and José María Torcida - all podium finishers in past J/70 World Championship events.

Eager teams from across the US and the globe have been practicing in the waters of Santa Monica Bay since early June. Hoenemeyer gave a shout-out to US Sailing who jumped in to assist foreign entrants in securing a National Interest Exemption with Homeland Security; particularly those from flagged nations. "Everyone who requested clearance has received it, and we appreciate the huge effort US Sailing made to ensure these competitors can come and fight for the title."

Additionally, the qualification process was adapted to allow candidates to petition J/70 Class officials for an invitation based on prior performance. J/70 competitors who had qualified in 2019 to sail in the 2020 event were automatically extended.

Cal Yacht Club, which will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding next year, has a long-standing reputation for superior race management and hospitality. The club is a three-time recipient of US Sailing's St. Petersburg Trophy which recognizes excellence in race management and organization. "We have a solid, committed volunteer Race Committee," Hoenemeyer reiterated and added, "The variability in conditions here will provide a challenging playing field worthy of a world-class competition.

J/70 Worlds registration starts Saturday August 7, followed by an August 10 practice race and opening ceremony on the lawn of Cal Yacht Club. Then begins five days of action-packed J/70 competition!

Organizers plan to run two windward-leeward races each day beginning at 12:30PM on a course one-and-one-half miles northwest of the breakwater. Onshore, sailors will enjoy the amenities and social events of this premier yacht club in the heart of Los Angeles' Santa Monica Bay.

While the event will be taking place real-time in California, virtual spectators can enjoy daily updates and play-by-play online on the Cal Yacht Club Facebook Page as well as the J/70 Class page.

Full results will be available here.

For complete information and daily results, please visit 2021j70worlds.com

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