Monday, July 9, 2007

Ole! Spanish Armada takes on J/80 Worlds

First a great showing at the America’s Cup, both as host country and a leading challenger, and now Spain has shown its stuff at the top of the one-design world with 3 out of the top 4 placings in the 2007 J/80 World Championship. Spain is the newest country to adopt the J/80 as its one-design keelboat of choice (100 new boats delivered in the past 14 months with another 30 on order) but you wouldn’t know it by the way they handled the windy conditions and a record 124 boat fleet off of La Trinite, France last week. Spanish skippers Jose Maria Torcida Seghers and Ignacio Camino battled against each other until the last and decisive 11th race. Torcida Seghers aboard ECC VIVIENDAS emerged as the new J/80 World Champion with an impressive 5 wins in 11 races.

"We came here with very limited objectives knowing we would face the word's best. We've only been sailing seriously and competitively in the J/80 since last October. We decided to train as a team with the entire 30 boat fleet gathered in Santander. All that hard work has paid off."

Germany's Ulrich Muenker's third place overall prevents the Spaniards from heading home with a unique grand slam in the J/80's World history. For the very first time, the Worlds winner did not come from the organizing country. The 2008 Worlds will take place in mid-July in Kiel, Germany.

Overall top six (results...)
1. Jose Maria Torcida Seghers, ESP, 29 points
2. Ignacio Camino, ESP, 46
3. Ulrich Muenker, GER, 57
4. Rayco Tabares, ESP, 61
5. Sylvain Pellissier, FRA, 65
6. Glenn Darden, USA, 66