The J/70 World Championship 2019 will bring elite racing sailors from across the world to the top sailing destination of Torbay on the English Riviera. Torbay is a world-renowned sailing venue hosting America’s Cup trials in the 1930s, sailing events of the 1948 Olympics, the UK stopover for La Solitaire de Figaro in 2015 and numerous World, European and National Championships. The Royal Torbay Yacht Club has a long and distinguished history of hosting major international events and is looking forward to welcoming the J/70 Class. The club and its many volunteers are gearing up to stage a top-class event, an event that will place itself in Torquay’s maritime history. J/70 events in Torquay start with the UK National Championships being held as part of the Torbay Royal Regatta from August 24-26. This should prove to be the perfect warm-up event for all world’s competitors and is expected to attract a strong entry. Up to 125 boats with a crew of 4/5 are expected, and racing will take place in Torbay over six days from September 1-6.

Racing at the J70 World Championship: The J/70 Class represents the top echelon of competitive sailing in the UK, USA, Europe and Internationally, and they can expect to enjoy a cordial welcome, first-class racing and great hospitality.

Meet Bob Penfold of Royal Torbay Yacht Club: Bob is the Race Director as part of his role on the Sailing Committee at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. Bob has been a member of the club for over 10 years, and during that time served as Commodore for three years. He currently serves on the club’s Sailing Committee, heading up major events and Championships. As the Race Director for the J/70 World Championship 2019, he is ultimately responsible for the organisation and delivery of the event in conjunction with the J/70 International Class.

Why is this such a great event for the Club? “The J/70 World Championship is one of the most prestigious events in the international sailing calendar. This is the first time the event has been hosted in the UK and is set to be the biggest event of its type in the South West for a number of years.”

Why should people visit the Bay to come and watch the Championship? “Over 100 boats will be racing over six days, with official boats, competitor support boats, media and spectator boats, so this should create a great spectacle for visitors to Torbay.”

Where is the best place to watch the Championship? “Daddyhole Plain and Corbyn Head will offer great viewing points.”

How many world class teams will be taking place? “We are expecting teams from 20+ countries, and we already have confirmed entries from eight countries. All entries have to qualify from their own country. The J/70 represents the top echelon of competitive sailing from across the world. We can expect to see multiple World and European champions, Olympic medallists and previous winners of J/70 Championships. This event will have worldwide appeal across sailing media.

Who is the favourite for the event? “The event will be tightly contested with current World Champion Jud Smith (USA) and 2017 World Champion Peter Duncan (USA) both sure to be in contention. There will be a strong showing from the competitive Italian Fleet led by Alberto and Claudia Rossi, both previous European Champions and the current Corinthian World Champion Luis Bugallo from Spain.”

What exactly is Torbay’s involvement and how can people get involved if they’d like to? “The Royal Torbay Yacht Club has been appointed by the J/70 International Class as the Organising Authority. This means that we have the overall responsibility for staging the event both on and off the water, all logistics, social, sponsorship and promotion of the event. This involves working with both the J/70 International and UK Class Associations, competitors etc.”

In the region of 100 club volunteers will be involved in delivering this event. Further support and assistance is welcome. Contact Bob Penfold by email at
Will there be any special events at the Club that are open to the general public? “There will be an official opening ceremony taking place on Torquay harbourside on Sunday 1st September with invited VIP guests and the Britannia Naval College Volunteer Band in attendance. This would be a great event for the public to view and be part of.”
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