“It was a great championship! It was very intense both on the water and ashore with numerous protests. This new class really appeals to sailors and I am delighted to be returning this winter for the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series!” said Neven Baran, Jury president representing ISAF and head of umpire training, as this was the first J/70 European Championship to be recognised by the International Sailing Federation.
The Race Committee, chaired by John Coveney assisted by PRO Thierry Leret, launched six races during the championship in widely varying conditions, with a steady wind filling in for the last races and light airs for the first, testing the seamanship of even the top sailors. The spectacle on the water, racing rules employed to the nth degree and the presence of an international ISAF jury led by Baran was essential. Of the 60 teams competing, representing 11 nations, any one of the first 25 boats could have claimed victory. It is not by chance that no team managed to pull off a string of race wins. The Mexican World Champion Fernandez Neckelmann Julian (Flojito y cooperando) for example won the fourth race which was their best performance, evidence of how fierce the contests were. Not once did the team leading the pack to the first mark win the race, with the downwind legs proving as tactically difficult as the upwind legs. All the finishes on a reach saw some dramatic luffs with spinnakers flying, delighting spectators and getting the adrenaline pumping.
There was everything to play for among the top ten right up to the last race as the slightest mistake on the start putting them OCS risked any hope of being on the podium. For example the Bretons Quentin Delepierre and Mathieu Salomon (Chariot Plus – Vannes Utilitaires), J/80 European champions who came 3rd in the fifth race, will no doubt be regretting their performance in the sixth race and premature start in the first. This evening they are 8th.
The Italian Luca Domenici (Notaro Team), who is used to the Monaco race area having participated in the last Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series and Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse, is the first ever J/70 European Champion ahead of his compatriot Franco Solerio (L’Elagain), winner of the 2015 Italian Championship. The Spaniard Hugo Rocha (New Territories), winner at Kiel Week completes the podium ahead of his compatriot Gonzalo Araoeja (Sailway).
Among the Monaco fleet, the objective was reached with a fine performance by Jacopo Carrain, the Monaco Class President and head of the 15-strong Monegasque fleet, all members of the Yacht Club de Monaco who comprise the largest training and competition base of these one-designs in Europe. He came in tied on 5th.
Leading the 18-strong German fleet was Moritz Bohnenberger (Touring Junior) who came 10th.
At the prize-giving, with the Credit Suisse Trophy and SLAM Advanced Technology clothing, first prize for the Corinthian teams went to the one Swedish boat, which has a Provençal name, Fanny, led by Oscar Lundovist.
Thanks to the generosity of all the teams, the Championship raised 10,000 euros for the Lenval Foundation which supports sick children, with a cheque being presented to its president, Arnaud Pouillart. The money will be used to buy paediatric equipment to detect bacterial and viral infections in A&E or after an operation. Another donation will finance the Christmas show, Conte sur Moi at Le Patio nursery which has 36 toddlers.
Next up at the Yacht Club de Monaco is the arrival of the 50 boats taking part in the Grimaldi Trophy, an IRC cruise race which starts in San Remo, Italy.
More than half these J/70 European teams are leaving their boats here for the winter to take part in the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, alongside the Melges 20, with their sights set on victory at the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse.
Final overall ranking (after 6 races, 1 discarded)
1 Notaro Team – Italie – 16 points
2 L’Elagain – Italie – 20 points
3 New Territories – Espagne – 25 points
4 Sailway – Espagne – 33 points
5 Carpe Diem – Monaco – 36 points
Corinthian Final overall ranking (after 6 races, 1 discarded)
1 Fanny – Suède – 15 points
2 Marnatura – Espagne – 17 points
3 Touring Junior – Allemagne – 17 points
4 Pensavo Peggio – Italie – 24 points
5 Baby J – Royaume-Uni – 30 points
Photo Credit : Francesco Ferri
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