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Zhik 2023 Black Friday LEADERBOARD

J/70 European Championship at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy - Day 4

by Andy Rice 8 Sep 10:00 PDT 2-9 September 2023
2023 J/70 European Championship - 'Good To Go' and the USA's red kite leading the fleet in Weymouth © James Tomlinson

Why a Cup veteran loves his J/70 racing

Part of the crew currently in the lead at the J/70 European Championship in Weymouth, professional sailor Morgan Trubovich shares his thoughts on racing in this highly competitive keelboat fleet...

Last week Morgan Trubovich was racing in the Rolex TP52 World Championship in Barcelona. This week the Kiwi professional is racing with three of his friends at the J/70 European Championship at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. Alongside skipper Doug Rastello and fellow crew Steve Hunt and John Wallace, Trubovich and the 'Good to Go' team from the USA also happen to be leading the regatta. Which seemed to come as a surprise to Trubovich. "I thought we'd be in the mix but hadn't seen the results, so that's good!"

Allez the All Blacks!

While he loves his sailing, Trubovich sounded like he might be more interested in the outcome of the opening match of the Rugby World Cup due to take place in Paris on Friday evening. Host nation France versus the New Zealand All Blacks. "I came here to watch a rugby match on TV but there happened to be a sailboat regatta on too," quips Trubovich, who reckons his beloved All Blacks will have their work cut out keeping the rampant French at bay.

The 'Good to Go' crew all know each other well but this is the first time they have sailed together as a unit. "This is an amalgamation of other teams," he explains. "In fact three of us are campaigning three different J/70s at the World Championships, but as soon as I saw the start list [for the Europeans] I thought this was going to be fun sailing together."

Trubovich, a veteran of many America's Cup campaigns, says he has worked with Rastello before. "Doug spent a bit of time at Stars & Stripes in 2003 and then he spent a short amount of time on the weather team at BMW Oracle in 2007. So we have actually technically worked on a huge team together but never sailed on a boat together. So we're basically four people that sail with other people and we've come together for this event to see what we can do."

Don't look at the scores

Not that Trubovich is paying attention to the scoreboard, but after three days of competition the Americans sit at the top of the 48-boat fleet with an 11 point buffer on the Portuguese who sit in second overall. No team has quite managed to keep all its scores inside the top 10 although 'Good to Go' are closest with a consistent showing of 11,3,2,7,6. It has been light winds with huge holes in the breeze and massive, unpredictable shifts. If the fleet manages to complete up to four more races on the final day it could change the scoreboard enormously and the Americans may struggle to maintain their lead. But Trubovich will continue to focus on his job and not worry about the results.

This is how he explains his lack of interest in the scoreboard: "I'm not saying you shouldn't look at the results, it's just the way that I choose to do it. When I was on the Artemis [America's Cup] campaign we had a sports psychologist who had written a book about process-focused competition which was this concept that you don't focus on the results. You focus on the processes, which should eventually potentially achieve results but that sort of happens as a byproduct. You focus on the things that you need to do, what are three things you're going to do better that day than the day before, and so on.

"The results are something you can't change retrospectively. You see people grabbing their phones to see what the results were for the day, and I'm not saying it's a better way or a worse way. But my style is to be thinking about what the next day will bring or what we can do on the way in to improve for the next day. As soon as I took on this philosophy it took the pressure off because instead of making the goal to win the day, the goal is to pull the kite up better than I've ever done before, or to communicate clearly so that we get a good start at speed at the favourite end."

Professional Enthusiast for the humble One-Design

The approach appears to have worked out well for Trubovich who has won 17 world titles in a variety of boats of different shapes and sizes. Now closing on 51 years old he is in more demand than ever. "My kids worked out that I'm working for 255 days this year, which is probably why they call me 'Uncle Dad' now," he smiles laconically.

Trubovich competes in what many would consider to be more glamorous classes such as the TP52 and RC44, although he is an easy convert to the humble appeal of the J/70. "I'm a big fan of one-design. I do a lot of rating based competition, and you're competing in a rating band which adds an element of variability. You don't really know how you've done on the race course. I love the fact that these boats are so one-design. No one is able to change anything major on the boat, and I like the big fleets. I enjoy the craziness of 50 or even 90 boats going around a mark together. They're easy to put together and easy to pack up.

"If this was a TP52 day in the Super Series, I would have been here at least an hour earlier, working out which 12 sails we were going to take on the chase boat. It's a constant mind bender. Whereas here, I love the fact that we could show up today, 10 minutes before we're due to leave the dock and our jib is already up, our mainsail is ready, and off we go."

The J/70 European Championship concludes on Saturday 9 September.

Results can be found at

More information about the J/70 European Championship can be found at the website

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