Thanks to Pedro Garra for this report: Great expectation had been building for the fourth edition of the J/70 South American Championship. Thirty-two crews from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay were to compete against Claudia and Alberto Rossi’s World’s top crews from Italy in the most numerous Championship since the J/70s were introduced in the South Atlantic region in 2015. And once again Punta del Este, the renowned beach resort of the South Atlantic, presented a variety of wind and wave conditions in which RO Bernd Knuppel and his team were able to complete 11 picture-perfect races. The event was not only fun on the water, but also on shore, where after-race events were waiting for the crews every day. Camaraderie was its best, despite the intense competition for the top spots. Apart from the Rossis, Guillermo Parada (ARG, 2019 TP 52 Season Winner), Renato Cunha (BRA, 2018 South American Champion) and Francisco Van Avermaete (ARG, 2016 South American Champion) fought for the top from the very beginning, with Alberto Rossi winning the first day in a moderate southwesterly wind, followed by Alberto Guarischi from Brazil. It was not the perfect day for Parada, with one first place shadowed by a UFD. The second day was tricky. Winds started blowing from the north and ended from the south. Bernie did an excellent job in getting all three races done, given the conditions. Nailing 1-1-8, Parada and his crew were now at the top, with Alberto Rossi in second, Claudia already in fourth and Cunha in fifth, making for a good picture of the fight to come for the top. The onset of Thursday was not promising in terms of weather, but a two-hour delay and a change of the racing area to a more sheltered place made again for a perfect and extremely fun day for racing in 20-22 knot winds and big swells. This was a day to remember, especially for Claudia Rossi and crew, who nailed both races and climbed to second overall to Guillermo Parada. Alberto Rossi, Renato Cunha and Vernon Robert from Chile followed. Locals were astonished to wake up for another day of SW wind on Friday. Being too heavy in the morning, a precise delay allowed for the conditions to improve. Sun, transparent green water, ocean swells and 12-14 knot warm wind made for excellent sailing conditions again, in which Claudia and Alberto dominated the fleet, in preparation for an intense last day of racing. More SW wind awaited the competitors on the last day. Two points separated all four top places: Claudia Rossi 33, Parada 35, Alberto Rossi 37 and Cunha 39. Parada smiled first, nailing the first race of the day…but Claudia is not of the surrender type. In an exhilarating closing, Alberto Rossi won the race and watched Claudia take the Championship from him by just 1 point, crossing the line in fourth….but where was Parada? Was it 13th, or 14th? It was not until the RC published the results online while we were returning to the club that Claudia and her crew realized that they’ve won in a tie-break the 2019 South American Championship! The Yacht Club Punta del Este, pioneer of the South Atlantic J/70 fleet, was a great host once again. The five-year evolution of the regional fleet from the early 10 boats to the present 50+ boats was celebrated at the prize-giving ceremony among the Club´s Authorities, the J/70 Uruguayan Class and the sailors who have joined and supported the Class. Now it’s time to help Brazil and other countries to catch up in numbers, following the success in Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, where boats are being built since 2017. It is partly for this reason that the next SA Championship will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in December 2020. Pictures can be viewed at

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