Team HELLY HANSEN Wins Worlds!
NEWPORT, R.I. (September 13, 2014) – For the final day of the 2014 J/70 World Championship presented by Helly Hansen, the New York Yacht Club Race Committee brought the fleet back out to Rhode Island Sound where three races were run in 8-14 knots of breeze.
Winning the first race of the day was Joel Ronning of Minneapolis on Catapult. Ronning had led the standings for the first two days of the championship but came into the final day 14 points out of first place behind Jamestown’s Tim Healy and his crew on Helly Hansen. With Healy crossing the line in fourth, Ronning was able to chip away at the deficit and, in race two, the margin was further cut to seven points when Ronning finished fourth and Healy finished eighth. However, in the final race, won by Brian Keane of Weston, Mass., on Savasana, Healy crossed the line in second with Ronning back in sixth, earning Healy and the Helly Hansen team the championship title on 28 points to Ronning’s 39. Keane retained third overall with 61 points, while Florida’s Martin Kullman, on New Wave, and Boston’s Heather Gregg-Earl, on MUSE, were tied, respectively for fourth and fifth, on 83 points. Gregg-Earl and the crew on MUSE were also the Corinthian (non-professional) division winners.
When Healy’s Helly Hansen team (crew Gordon Borges, Geoffrey Becker and Paul Abdullah) crossed the finish line in the last race, there was little outward excitement onboard. “Our caveat is we’re still waiting for protest time to elapse,” explained Healy. “There’s potential that someone could file a protest and we just want to make sure that’s totally wrapped up. It was close enough that we wanted to wait until we could check and then we could celebrate once everything is 100%.”
Except for one day, the conditions over the five days of racing had been strenuous and exhausting. “It was a fun week,” said Healy. “The nice part is there was wind the whole time; we enjoyed that, but because there’s wind you have to work hard and at this point everybody is tired but also excited at the same time.” This is Healy’s third world championship title as he adds the J/70 title to two he has won in the J/24 class (2013, 2010).
“The key to doing well is time spent in the boat. From day one when Jeff Johnstone called and said ‘we have the first two boats ready to go, are you interested in doing some sea trials?’ I jumped on it. As soon as I sailed the boats I knew the class was going to be huge. I think it’s the simplicity of it. Anybody who grew up sailing dinghies or got into small keelboat sailing can go down and look at a J/70 and say ‘I get it.’ They can look at the rig and see that it’s simple, and how the spinnaker works and how the main works, the deck layout is totally simple and clean and it’s easy to handle. The boat performs really well upwind; downwind it’s exciting and it’s planing. It’s got just about everything for the typical sailor looking for a fast one-design boat that’s easy to sail. And it performs well. The younger sailors can handle it and sail it, same for older sailors and it’s a good fit for women’s teams also.”
The youngest competitor on the race course was 13-year old Julian Sudofsky of Marion, Mass., who missed a week of eighth grade at Old Rochester Regional to race with his father Mike Sudofsky on Carlos. The young sailor was not simply enjoying a week off from school; as a veteran in the J/70 class he has twice raced in Key West Race Week, along with events in Annapolis and Cedar Point. “Even though we didn’t do too well, we had so much fun because everyone was top competitors,” said Sudofsky who handles the bow on Carlos. “I just got to see Tim Healy, and Brian Keane is also my neighbor,” he added.
From their patriotic hats to their colorful spinnaker, one team garnering lots of attention on the course was Team RAFBF Spitfire from Great Britain, helmed by Simon Ling of Burford.
“Team Spitfire was formed about six years ago,” explained Ling. “We’re made up of serving, ex-serving members of the Royal Air Force and a couple of civilians as well. We basically look to sail as competitively as possible but also to promote the RAF charity: the RAF Benevolent Fund. The name Spitfire comes from the iconic airplane that was built in the south where we sail in The Solent, and it seemed the perfect name for an RAF team.”
Having done the UK national circuit, this was the first time Team RAFBF had been overseas with the boat. “It was absolutely fabulous. What can you not enjoy about Newport?,” said Ling. “It’s my first time here, we’ve all fallen in love with the place; the race organization has been second to none, the racing has been fabulous and we’re really pleased with our result (12th overall and second Corinthian team).”
Ling as owner/helm switched to the J/70 last year after three years in the J/80. “It’s been a fabulous boat; we love it,” said Ling ticking off the attributes of the J/70: “The class has taken off, it’s new, there are 90 boats here at the first worlds, its great fun to sail, they’re demanding to sail, and they put a smile on your face. What’s not to like about that?”
Seeing 86 teams, representing 14 nations, on the starting line for any sailing event is significant. For those 86 teams to be contesting the first-ever world championship of the J/70 class is a testament to the popularity of this boat which was introduced just over two years ago, and even more notable was the mix of sailing royalty that was peppered throughout the fleet including: 2008 Finn Olympic Silver Medalist Zach Railey of Clearwater, Fla., 2004 Tornado Olympic Silver Medalist John Lovell of New Orleans, California’s 1996 Soling Olympic Bronze Medalist Jeff Madrigali, 2013 America’s Cup winning strategist and 2012 Laser Olympic Gold Medalist Tom Slingsby of Australia, 2011 Lightning Pan Am Games Silver Medalists Jody Lutz of Brick, N.J., and brother Jay Lutz of Houston, who is also a four-time world champion in the J/80 and Lightning classes, 1984 Windsurfing Olympic Silver Medalist Scott Steele of Annapolis, Olympian and two-time Star World Champion Phil Trinter of Richmond, Va., 2013 Star World Champion John MacCausland of Cherry Hill, N.J., 2001 Sonar World Champion Mark Ploch of The Bronx, N.Y., and 2007 Snipe World Champion Tomas Hornos of Boston.
Kalle Coster and Annemieke Bes, both of whom represented The Netherlands three times at the Olympic Games were in the fleet, as was Vermont’s 2012 Olympian Trevor Moore, along with New York’s Cory Sertl and Jody Starck, both of whom have won the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Award multiple times. Top-ranked match racers Taylor Canfield and Stephanie Roble, 2005 J/24 World Champion Anthony Kotoun and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Eric Doyle were all onboard as was 2006 Audi Etchells World Champion Jud Smith of Marblehead, 2013 J/22 World Champion Allan Terhune of Arnold, Md., and 2014 J/24 US National Champion Will Welles of Portsmouth, R.I.
In the Corinthian's Championship (non-professional sailors), Heather Gregg-Earl's MUSE team of Joe Bardenheier, Stu Johnstone and Stu Saffer comfortably won the division with 83 total points. Taking second was Peter McChesny's Annapolis, MD team on TROUBLE, completing the series with 151 pts. Third was Simon Ling's crew on Team RAFBF SPITFIRE from Great Britain sitting on 167 pts, fourth was Martin Johnsson's AQUAHOLIKS with 173 pts and fifth was Jim Cunningham's LIFTED crew with 190 pts. Also of note, Heather was named the "Top Women's Skipper" award, the first recipient of the Helen C Johnstone Memorial Award for the J/70 World Championship.
The Silver Fleet was won by Mark Ploch on Sugar Daddy after finishes of 3-1-3 allowed him to edge out Puerto Rico’s Marco Teixidor, on Cachondo, with 113 points versus 121. Taking third overall was Geoff Pierini on Surge.
Dying Breeze Curtails Action on Penultimate Day
NEWPORT, R.I. (September 12, 2014) – Narragansett Bay was the setting for the penultimate day of racing at the 2014 J/70 World Championship presented by Helly Hansen as the New York Yacht Club Race Committee worked to get the competitors racing before the northerly breeze died. In roughly 10 knots of breeze, two races – one each for the gold and silver fleets – were run before the breeze ultimately ran out.
It was a complete change of pace for the competitors who had faced big breeze and rough seas for the first three days of the series; picking the correct side of the course and factoring in the ebb tide was the key to doing well. Read more here..
HELLY HANSEN Surfs to Lead- Day 3
(Newport, RI) – After two days of qualifying, the 2014 J/70 World Championship presented by Helly Hansen today saw the first races of the Championship Series that will decide the winner of this inaugural world championship. Based on their performance during the first two days of the regatta, the 86 teams are now racing in either the gold or silver fleet, with the championship crown going to the eventual victor in the gold fleet.
After being postponed ashore this morning until a thunderstorm threat had lifted, the competitors were once again sent out to do battle on Rhode Island Sound. Under partly cloudy skies, with breeze ranging from 12-18 knots out of the southwest, competitors were tested by another day of swells and seaweed that did little to help their results. Read more here...
Thrilling Day 2- CATAPULT & HELLY HANSEN Tied!
(Newport, RI) – Day two of the 2014 J/70 World Championship presented by Helly Hansen saw the completion of the Qualifying Series leading to the Championship Series of this inaugural world championship. With 86 boats racing, the fleet had been divided into four color-coded groups for the first two days of competition. Each group sailed two races today, which, when added to the three races sailed on the opening day, allows each team to count the best four out of five to determine whether they will sail in either the gold or silver fleet starting Thursday.
Winning the final race of the day was Brazil’s Mauricio Santa Cruz on Bruschetta, who stands fourth overall with 13 points after finishes of 5--4-3-1. Santa Cruz has only been racing the J/70 for a short time – in fact his first regatta was the J/70 North American Championship this past July in Rochester, where he placed fourth in a fleet of 71 boats. He is, however, a familiar face on the top of the podium, especially in the J/24 class in which he holds four world championship titles (2012, 2009, 2007 and 2006). He is racing in Newport for the first time since sailing a Tornado here during Olympic campaigns which resulted in his twice (2004, 2000) representing Brazil at the Olympic Games. That he is sailing the J/70 Worlds with a crew that he is never previously raced with (although all are familiar as members of the Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club) clearly does not slow him down. Read more here...
CATAPULT Launched- Day One
(Newport, RI) – It may have been mostly cloudy for the opening day of the 2014 J/70 World Championship presented by Helly Hansen, but one standout bright spot was the performance of Joel Ronning of Minneapolis, Minn. Sailing Catapult with long-time crew Victor Diaz De Leon of Venezuela, and San Diego sailors Willem Van Waay and Bill Hardesty – the latter the 2011 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year – Ronning drove to win three out of three races sailed on a lumpy Rhode Island Sound.
New York Yacht Club’s Race Committee started the 86-strong fleet in a 18-20 knot ENE breeze which moderated slightly over the subsequent two races. Between the strong breeze and the sea state – the swells did not subside until the tide change late in the day during the third and final race – competitors were given a healthy workout. Read more here...
RaceQs.com Tracking For J/70 Teams!
The regatta management is encouraging you to use RaceQs free phone app to record our regatta. After the race, you will be able to watch a 3D replay of the entire race (using J/70 3D avatars!) by following the link http://raceqs.com/regattas/j70-worlds. The replay should spark some interesting post-race group analysis. Please check www.raceQs.com for more information and demo videos.
Smart Phone Instructions- If you have a smart phone, you can record and automatically upload your 3D replay. Step-by-Step videos are available here. 1. Download the free raceQs app onto your Android or iPhone. 2. Go Sailing. Push start button and raceQs will record everything you need. 3. Upload It. Broadcast your track LIVE or upload it after the race. 4. Watch It. Login on your computer to www.raceQs.com to view, edit, and share your 3D race replay.
Ken Read Welcomes J/70 Worlds Competitors
(Newport, RI)- On Sunday afternoon, competitors were welcomed to Newport by Ken Read, President of North Sails. Ken provided the sailors some basic pointers on “Local Knowledge”, especially with regards to current and "30 car pile-ups" when tacticians get it all wrong.
Ken remarked that it was the first time in history that any one-design class had eclipsed the J/24s for the largest fleet in their inaugural World Championship- 69 vs. 89! A remarkable feat considering the J/70s have grown worldwide in far more difficult economic times.
The sailors enjoyed the "warm-hearted" welcome from the six-time J/24 World Champion. The North Sails Welcome Party commenced thereafter with tasty craft beers from sponsor Newport Storm and variations on their locally crafted "Newport Storm Rum". Photo courtesy of Paul Todd / OutsideImages.com
J/70 World Championship Preview
(Newport, RI)- In the two and a half years since being introduced, the J/70 has not only become one of the most popular and competitive classes in the world – with 600+ boats sailing in 20+ countries – it has been chosen Sailing World’s 2014 Boat of the Year and also been designated an International Class by ISAF (International Sailing Federation). With that kind of momentum, it is no surprise that the class’ inaugural world championship – the 2014 J/70 World Championship presented by HELLY HANSEN – would see a stampede of entries for the September 8-13 competition. Adding to the luster of competing in the inaugural worlds is the fact that the racing will take place on the fabled waters of Newport, Rhode Island, where it will be hosted by the venerable New York Yacht Club at Harbour Court. In fact, supporting host, Sail Newport and team, are also looking forward to welcoming many of the world’s best sailors for nearly a week of fantastic sailing, with renowned PRO Tom Duggan leading the on-water race management. Photo courtesy- Onne Vanderwal.com. Read more here.
TORQEEDO Sponsors New J/70 Division
The world leader in electric propulsion, Torqeedo, is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the J/70 World Sailing Championships and the creation of a new division within the competition. The Dynasty Division is open to any team sailing with one or more family members onboard and is meant to encourage families to sail and compete together, creating lifelong memories and nurturing the next generation of sailors.
"The J/70 fleet is a tight group of teams with which we have been involved since the inception of the class. There is a real family feel to the fleet and we want to recognize that and further encourage families to participate in this great sport with the Dynasty Division Trophy," said Steve Trkla, President Torqeedo USA. Read more here.
J/70 Rig #500 completed by Southern Spars One Design!
With just over a week to go until the inaugural J/70 World Championship, the team from Southern Spars One Design are celebrating the build of the 500th J/70 carbon mast at our facility in Sri Lanka.
"The first J/70 prototype rig was tested in 2011. The first five rigs were delivered in 2012 and now here we are two years later having just completed rig #500! That is a huge feat and a great milestone to achieve in such a short space of time for the team in Sri Lanka", says One-Design Manager Jamie Waters. Read more here.
J/70 Worlds Sailing Gear Available Now!
(Newport, RI)- For teams participating in this year's J/70 Worlds, please be aware that you can order "custom-made", fully-embroidered sailing gear for your team! That means having the world's best sailing gear from HELLY HANSEN for your team to look their best, both on-the-water gear as well as the most stylish in shore-side apparel. Order stuff now for J/70 Worlds! Go now to the following website to order our custom HELLY HANSEN gear- http://www.regattastuff.com/
North Sails J/70 Worlds Gold Sponsor
(Newport, RI)– The J/70 Class Association is pleased to announce that North Sails has committed to a Gold Sponsorship and will be the Official Regatta Support Partner for the 2014 J/70 World Championship presented by Helly Hansen, which will be contested September 8-13, 2014, in Newport, Rhode Island, and hosted by the New York Yacht Club at Harbour Court.
As the Official Regatta Support Partner, North Sails’ North U Regatta Services team will be onsite all week working with sailors to improve their boat setup, rig tune and sail trim. Available to all competitors, expert sailing performance analysts Andreas Josenhans and Chuck Allen will offer on-the-water performance analysis followed by daily photo and video debriefs. Additionally, North Sails’ J/70 class experts will host dock talks immediately after sailing throughout the regatta; North’s sail care van will be available to pick-up and drop-off sails needing overnight repair; and North Sails has partnered with Sailing Weather Service to provide free detailed daily weather forecasts for all competitors. Read more here
Helly Hansen Presenting Sponsor of J/70 Worlds
NEWPORT, R.I. (June 30, 2014) –The J/70 Class Association is pleased to announce Helly Hansen as presenting sponsor for the 2014 J/70 World Championship that will be contested September 8-13, 2014, in Newport, Rhode Island, and hosted by New York Yacht Club from its Harbour Court clubhouse. Over 100 teams – representing up to 18 countries – are expected to compete for the championship title during the inaugural world championship of this exciting new one-design class.
"We are thrilled to present the first J/70 World Championship in Newport," said Filip Francke, Helly Hansen’s VP/General Manager Sport and Workwear-US. "Sailing has been a part of our cultural fiber since Norwegian sea captain Helly Juell Hansen created the first supple waterproof fabrics for his crew in 1877. As we re-launch in the USA with a revitalized Helly Hansen sailing line, new community and racing partnerships, and outstanding development programs, we're excited to showcase our long-term commitment throughout the event in front of a strong international field of teams and supporters, and a great location and host venue." Sailing photo courtesy- Onne Vanderwal.com. Read more here.