The Darwin Escapes 2019 J/70 World Championship kicked off Monday, September 2 with three races in Torbay UK. Big wind shifts and changes in wind speed tested the 78 teams competing, as well as the Race Management team led by Stuart Childerley. In the Open Class, Joel Ronning (USA) racing Catapult leads the Championship. Second is Claudia Rossi (ITA) racing Petite Terrible, which recovered from a 28th place in Race 1 to post two podium finishes. Andrey Malygin (RUS) racing Maria is third. In the Corinthian Class, Patrick Liardet (GBR) racing Cosmic leads by just one point from Doug Struth (GBR) racing DSP. Wilson & King (IRL) racing Soak Racing completes a trio of British boats leading the Championship for the Corinthian title. There were race wins today for Pichu Torcida (ESP) racing Noticia, Reg Lord (AUS) racing Juno and Nelson Mettraux (SUI) racing CER Aprotec – Ville de Genève.
Joel Ronning, (USA) Catapult, said, “It was a very anxious series of races, and we had a lot of fun. It was very shifty, very puffy and you have got to find a lane, which was incredibly important downwind because if you didn’t find a vein of breeze or gybed the wrong way, you were a loser. Consistency is going to be very important. We have a bet on the boat in terms of the average score for the winner; my number is 9, and we are all about that range. This is a very tricky venue, and we expect variable results but we are prepared for that. We know we will bring in some real shockers.”
Patrick Liardet, (GBR) Cosmic, added, “We had a great day. The conditions were fantastic for us–9-14 knots is good for us, and we have practiced a lot in that range. It was very exciting to be out there with 78 boats on the line racing amongst some of the very top keel boat teams from all over the world. The Worlds is really testing and competitive, and we were really on the pace today. The team on board performed well, and we enjoyed it.”
Pichu Torcida, (ESP) Noticia, said, “The first race was fantastic. We went for the left and winning the race made us feel very happy. The rest of the races proved more difficult. In the second race, we went right and the left won, and in the last race, we were going well downwind for the finish but a very big shift caught us out. This Championship is very long, so to finish the first day in fourth is okay. The Noticia team are good friends, and we all do a very good job. Torquay is a tricky place to sail, but we enjoy being here.”
Murray Jones, (AUS) Juno, said, “The start line was really packed with everyone pushing the line really hard. Getting a bullet at the Worlds was a good feeling. We were about 25th on the water up the first beat, but we managed to slowly chip away, had a good second downwind to slide into the lead at the end and it felt good. Last race of the day, we managed to find a pretty clean end of the line, but it was the wrong end and we got buried. We don’t get many big fleets in Australia. Here there is much more boat-on-boat action, which puts on the pressure.”
On Sunday, September 1, The Royal Torbay Yacht Club put on a wonderful pageant for the Opening Ceremony of the Darwin Escapes 2019 J/70 World Championship. Event Director Bob Penfold introduced RTYC Vice Commodore Phil Rumbelow, Chief Executive Darwin Escapes Anthony Esse, and Key Yachting’s Marie-Claude Heys who officially opened the regatta. Squadron 13, the RTYC junior sail training club, paraded the flags of the 20 countries participating at the Championship, and Britannia Royal Naval College’s RN Volunteer Band entertained the crowd.
Follow the Darwin Escapes 2019 J/70 World Championships, hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, with up-to-the-minute coverage as the drama unfolds at https://www.facebook.com/j70uk/
Darwin Escapes 2019 J/70 Worlds website: www.j70worlds2019.com
J/70 teams from all over the world are competing at the Darwin Escapes 2019 J/70 World Championship: Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States of America.