Thursday, June 18, 2009

Elvstrom J/80 Summer Championships

Joystick at Full Throttle for the Summer Season

(Hamble, So'ton, England- May 16-17) The Elvstrom J/80 Summer Championship was hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble. This is the sixth year that Elvstrom have sponsored the event, which acts as a warm-up for the UK Nationals.

The fleet woke to howling gales on Saturday unfortunately, and after a postponement ashore, the Race Committee, under the careful guidance of the PRO Tony Lovell, decided that discretion was indeed the better part of valour and racing was cancelled for the day. The J/80 fleet were in agreement; much as the J/80 is a fabulous boat in a blow, no-one much fancied the 40 knot plus gusts which were battering the race area.

With everyone hoping for lighter airs on Sunday, but with forecasts differing in opinion, after an hour’s postponement ashore and once a 50 knot squall had blown past the Royal Southern pontoons and the readying fleet, the class set sail to do battle. Just two races were sailed, or perhaps ‘survived’ by the hardy J/80s, enough to constitute a series, and the eventual winner of the Elvstrom Champs, Rob Larke, who co-owns Joystick with Vicci Gregory. Behind them were Terry Palmer and Caroline Cooper on Just Do It by three points and in third was Andrew Ashworth steering Jammy Dodger. More J/80 regatta news. For more UK/Euro J/News.