Monday, October 26, 2009

J/80 Atlantic Coasts- France

Team ATLANTIS- Lawrence Sambron Wins.
(Lorient, France- Sept 19-20)- Twenty-one teams gathered in Lorient this past weekend to race the "Atlantic Telegram" regatta, emblematic of the J/80 French Atlantic Coast Championships.

Under very light winds and somewhat unstable weather conditions, the ATLANTIS Team skippered by Lawrence Sambron with the crew of Jean-Yves Jaffrezic, Pierre-Yves Tinel and Stephane Guilbaud won the regatta.  The ATLANTIS team was closely followed by Sylvain Pellissier and Dominic Vittet racing their J/80 VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE. The J/80 from La Trinité, AXELLE, raced by Damien J Zucconi finished third on the podium.  JACUZZI from Breton was fourth and Gilles Drouet from Cherbourg was fifth.

This regatta was good practice and an indicator of which teams will be contenders for the upcoming French J/80 Nationals which will be sailed in Cherbourg, France from November 8 to 11. After the French J/80 Nationals, the J/80 French Class will announce the winners of the hotly contested J/Cup in France for the J/80 Class--- so far, everything is still in play for the top spots for many of the crews. 

Lawrence Sambron commenting on his win had this to say about his team and the event: "It was the first time we had come to the Atlantic Coast and raced on the Bay of Biscay.  We were seduced by the awesome racing, the beautiful waters and the warm welcome on this site. On the water, we started well on Friday and we continued our momentum.  Jean-Yves Jaffrezic tactics were excellent in conditions that were not obviously clear for most crews this particular Sunday. We got a good result and this is good preparation for the J/80 French Nationals to be held in Cherbourg in November. The
outlook is positive so far!"
For more info.

J/80 Central Optica Trophy Series- Spain

(Santander, Spain- Sept 19-20)- The Federation Cantabra de Vela is hosting the Central Optica Trophy series for the twenty-one boat J/80 fleet, racing on the spectacular setting of Santander Bay, sight of this year's record 133 boat J/80 World Championships.  The leader of this fall series classic is the J/80 team of BANCAJA raced by Javier Lopez-Vazquez.

The Santander J/80 class raced the second of three parts of their series this weekend under very gusty west wind conditions, with ginormous changes of strength and direction that allowed two long races with three-times around windward-leeward legs. The tidal currents helped some of the racers, like BANCAJA and ECC VIVIENDAS, ride favorable currents up inside the Santander Bay to the Moors. The two races were won by the ECC VIVIENDAS  team of Pichu Torcida and his skipper Pablo Arrarte.  Second for the weekend was BANCAJA raced by Javier López-Vázquez and his skipper Alvaro Mazarrasa, strengthening their overall series lead.  MAQUECHE sailed by Alfonso Pascual ended up finishing third for the weekend.  After sailing well on the first weekend, NEXTEL's Ignacio Camino had a relatively poor showing to lose the lead after the first weekend.

Currently, the standings for the series after six races and one discard is Jose Lopez-Vazquez's team on BANCAJA by just two points over Ignacio Camino's NEXTEL and Pichu Torcida's team on ECC VIVIENDAS. Next weekend completes the series for the Central Optica Trophy where tough competition is sure to breakout amongst these top three teams who collectively have a sizable lead (by ten points) over the rest of the fleet.

J/80 Autumn Trophy Series- Spain

Bilbao Squalls Make For Exciting Racing
(Bilbao, Spain- Sept 19-20)- It was a clear victory for Jose Azqueta in the first test of the Autumn Trophy Series for J/80s racing off Bilbao.  It was also the J/80s first racing since the long summer break. The weather conditions were harsh but fun since it blew 15 to 25 knots large seas on top of a huge ground swell.  These conditions made it challenging upwind but the crews were showered with salt spray from monstrous bow waves as the teams had fun planning wildly downwind on the big seas and swells.

The start was rather uneven as it was highly favored to the Race Committee boat and there was not much room on the line.  So whomever won the Race Committee boat end enjoyed a ginormous advantage over their competitors.  The boats that had strong starts - Mandovi and Montarto - held their lead up the first leg.   However, because of a strong right shift, they ended up second and third at the weather mark behind Azqueta's team; Bizkaia rounded fourth.  After a wild planing downwind leg, Mandovi dropped back to fourth. 

A strong squall of rain and wind buffeted the fleet with Azqueta lengthening their lead over Montarto and Bizkaia- that's how the first weekend ended up for the Autumn Trophy Series.  The Race Committee canceled the second race because the squally conditions had deteriorated to the point where the ability to race safely around the course would be difficult for most teams.

J/80 Dynamant Cup- Sundelin/Kallstrom Winners

(Sweden- Sept. 21)- There were fifteen J/80s participating in this year's Autumn Cups and Dynamant Cups in Sweden.  The competition was very even between the top boats ENG 386 and ENG 562 in first and second, respectively.  And the battle for third place was also a very even battle between bla MK PRODUCTS, HEAVY DUTY and DOG.  Great prizes are promised to all of the top three in the overall rankings. First prize was a voucher with a total value of 6000 Kroner from the main sponsor Dynamant and second prize is a set of fine sailing shoes from SLAM.

The traditional Autumn Cup organized by KSSS took place in non-traditional winds. Autumn storms lost some of their strength, thank goodness and the fleet was treated to beautiful sailing on the archipelago in 17 degree C temperatures, clear blue skies and a southwest breeze of 2-4 m/s. 

The host club KSSS was quite ambitious and planned eight races.  However, they managed to still get in five races thanks to an alert and quick race committee crew.  Sundelin / Kallstrom did what they could to snatch the top honors by taking home the regatta. But their competitor Rosenberg finished up nicely with a second place.  The American Tom Whitmore who showed good form, despite a very bad first race to finish third.  It was extremely even between 4, 5, 6, and 7 spots with only one point separating these four boats.  You will find all the results on the KSSS site.