Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spanish Armada Sweeps J/80 Europeans

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off starting line- Lake Garda, Italy

The Martinez's Re-writing History?

(Lago di Garda, Italy- 27 June)-  With the win of the Spanish boat PERALEJA GOLF, skippered by Carlos Martinez, the Spanish teams may be slowly re-establishing the pre-eminence of Spanish sailors who were once remarkable sailing adventurers that took great risks and opened up the New World (e.g. anything other than Europe) to a wide-eyed European community in the 16th century.

Carlos Martinez and his crew on PERALEJA GOLF from Spain showed what they can do on the water once again after another fantastic day’s racing on the final day. They came 3rd in the first race and 1st in the second and final race of the Championship, giving them 45 points, only one point ahead of the next boat.  Martinez said “Of course we came here to win, but to be honest we didn’t really expect to as we knew how tough the competition was going to be. We knew it was not going to be easy. We have been sailing together as a team now for 3 years and two years ago came 3rd in Kiel and 3rd in the World’s and last year we came 3rd again in the World’s in Santander. So this is our first major win on the international circuit and so makes it extra special for us all.”

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing upwindOn the first day, the racing kicked off with a delayed start. The usual “Ora” wind from the South going up the lake was delayed, which resulted in a delayed start and only two races taking place. Just as the wind was full of surprises, so were the races. The Spanish dominated the leading positions all day finishing first (Luis Martinez Luis), second (ECC VIVIENDAS) and third (PERALEJA GOLF).

The second day saw a complete turn-over in the winner's column with the French leading the day-- as they say, "Vive la France!"  After the day's three races, the French boat ATLANTIS skippered by Laurent Sambran from APLC takes the honor of leading the Europeans with a 9th, 5th and 2nd, giving them 30 points overall. Second overall on the second day was the Italian boat OLJ Spirit steered by Federico Rajola taking 1st, 8th and 14th today giving them 33 points. Following right behind in their shadow, also with 33 points was the Spanish boat FORTY FIVE helmed by Luis Martinez. The British boat TEAM BALTIC WHARF sailed by Henry Bomby was in 4th. So, this scenario set the tone for the next two days, with the four countries and their teams battling it out to maintain or improve their leading positions. The Spanish, however, have five boats in the top ten positions, the French and the Italians have two and the UK just one.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing under spinnakerOn the third day, the impressive fleet was tested and challenged. Tough competition and a high level of expertise among these crews means that every race was something they all have to fight very hard for, and on this day the top three positions changed again.  The wind was constant and gradually increased throughout the afternoon, providing more stability to the conditions than the championship had previously seen.  On Day 3, a new leader emerged in the form of the Spanish boat PERALEJA GOL,F skippered Golf helmed by Carlos Martinez- they dominated racing with a 1st, 3rd, and 1st today placing them firmly ahead of the rest of the fleet with 22 points. This is not such a surprise to J/80 followers, as they came 3rd in the World’s in Kiel in 2008 and again in Santander in 2009.  Second is another Spanish boat, MUSTANG, helmed by Luis Martinez, a boat that is also often found in the top few places (2nd in the Santander Worlds 2009)-- their 2nd , 8th and 7th, gave them 32 points and were thus 10 points behind the leaders. However, new to such high placing in the international circuit and thus a boat to watch out for in the future, is the Italian boat OLJ Spirit helmed by Federico Rajola- their 25th, 10th and 2nd gave them 41 points and third overall with one day to go.

On the final days racing, the top ten standings flip-flopped yet again.  Behind regatta winner PERALEJA GOLF in 2nd overall was the Spanish boat MUSTANG helmed by Luis Martinez, finishing the day with a 2nd and 12th. This team also had a 13 year old boy crewing for them; no doubt someone for us all to watch out for on the water in the future! Third overall was yet another Spanish boat, NEXTEL ENGINEERING helmed by Rodriguez Camino who today had a 7th and spectacular 1st finishing with 58 points. One point behind in 4th position, was another Spanish boat ECC VIVIENDAS helmed by Jose Maria Turcida in 1st and 10th position in the last day's racing. It's clear the Spanish J/80 fleets are producing world-class sailors from their year-round racing in Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Bilbao and Santander.

TEAM BALTIC skippered by Henry Bomby from England finished 5th overall, despite having a 6th and a disappointing 31 on the final day. This team showed great consistency throughout the Championship and have proved themselves to be a boat with great potential. The French boat ATLANTIS, helmed by Laurent Sambron came in 19th and 11th today, resulting in them losing a few places. But this team, too, have displayed some great sailing this week. Dropping a few positions today after a bad start in the first race, OLJ SPIRIT helmed by Rajola Federico took a 29th and 18th today which meant they finished 7th overall and top Italian team. In 8th position overall there was yet another Spanish boat CROCS helmed by Javier Aguado who had a 15th and 8th. Two French boats keep the French tri-color flag flying in 9th and 10th positions overall, giving them three boats in the top ten positions. In 9th was GEODIS steered by Luc Nadal who actually had two 9th positions today and in 10th position overall was ECOLE NAVALE CG29 helmed by Patrick Bot. This year’s Italian Championship winners, TEAM JENIALE! finished 11th after a great day on the water today with an 8th and 3rd.  The top German boat was PROCEDES DIVA who finished 13th and the top Dutch boat was JOIE DE VIVRE finishing in 14th position. In 15th position was the German boat CAMPAIGN. For Estonia, TEAM NAUTILUS came in 26th and also from far afield, MOONRAKER from Poland finished 38th.   For more J/80 Europeans sailing information.      Photo Credits- Jaco Poraule

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

J/80 Europeans - Lago di Garda

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing a race in Spain

Team Baltic Joins 50 Boats

(Dartmouth, England)- Team Baltic, a young J/80 team from Dartmouth, sponsored by Baltic Wharf boatyard, Totnes, had a great start to their season winning the J/80 Class at the 2010 J-Cup hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in the Solent. The Team were using the regatta as training for the J/80 Europeans on Lake Garda where they will compete this week.  The team consists of 4 crew members all under the age of 24. Henry Bomby (19) helm, Henry Bagnall (23) tactician, Ryan Gerrish (22) trimmer, and Ellie Mittler (17) on bow. And for the J Cup was helped by stand in crew Robbie Southwell (16) and Lizzie Shawcroft (22), filling in due to exam commitments.

Joining them will be several UK, European and World Champions, including Ian Atkins' and the NEXTEL ENGINEERING Team from Spain. The much anticipated J/80 European Championship is about to begin. Around 50 boats from Italy, Spain, France, Great Britain, Holland, Estonia and Poland have arrived at Lake Garda all raring to go.  Hosted by Fraglia Vela Malcesine, the championship is now underway. At the Opening Ceremony this evening, the competitors were welcomed by the President of the Malecesine Yacht Club (Fraglia Vela Malcesine), the international racing jury, the measurer, the commodore of the Yacht Club, the Italian and International J/80 Presidents - all there to ensure the competitors a warm welcome, a well organised event, and a memorable championship.   For more J/80 Europeans sailing information

J/80 Gran Prix Iberdrola

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Barcelona, Spain

Turismo do Algarve Wins

(June 5-6- Barcelona, Spain)- A strong seventeen boat fleet attended this well-run regatta hosted by Real Club Nautico de Barcelona.  After a gorgeous first day of racing with good wind, partly cloudy skies and four excellent races, the expectation was for an epic battle for first  place between Hugo Rocha on TURISMO DO ALGARVE and Josep Maria Pujol during Sunday's racing.  However, light winds, rain and overcast simply washed out the proceedings.  Hugo Rocha, who won the Copa de Espana only one week earlier, counted two first and two seconds to win by two points.  The silver went to the FLASH BACK team skippered by Josep Maria Pujol with a first, second, third and fifth, while CROCS, sailed by Javier Aguado Blanco took the bronze with a second, two fourths and a sixth.   For more Spanish J/80 sailing information     Photo credits: Alfredo Farre

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

JENIALE Wins J/80 Italian Championships

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing on Lake Garda, Italy

(Lago di Garda, Italy- 14 June)-  With the last day's racing at Malcesine wrapped up, JENIALE! of Extreme Sailing Team are the winners of the Italian National Championships 2010. In the stunning area of Navene, Fraglia Vela Malcesine assured impeccable organization and Lake Garda provided 3 days of consistent wind of around 15-20 knots allowing the full schedule of races to take place.

On the first race of the first day, JENIALE! was over the line at the start, one of four boats to be so. Not a great start to  the championship, but they quickly recovered with two first places in the 2nd and 3rd races of the day. And so, after the first day's racing, the German boat ANAKIN took the lead with 3 second places and one third place. Second after the first day, was the Italian boat ORSO J of Giorgio Guzzi (helm Elli) with a 1st, 3rd and 5th. JENAILIE! lay in 3rd position overall after day one.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing under spinnaker on Lake Garda, ItalyThe second day of the regatta saw all the boats fighting hard, most heading closer to the land where the wind was stronger. This offered the spectators a good close up of the regatta but also made it very busy with all the boats tacking inshore, working hard for the best positions. The results on the second day saw JENAILAE! ITA-1143 take an impressive lead with one third, one second and one first. ANAKIN followed closely behind, only 2 points away from, and ORSO J, six points behind.

The final day began tensely, with everyone waiting for the wind to arrive. The 11am start was postponed but at 12.15 the "ora" wind arrived and starting procedures got under way. The first race once again saw most of the boats head inland, with ANAKIN taking the lead and JENIALE! following less than a boat length behind. The two boats remained in close battle for the entire race, with ORSO J a close third just behind. The positions remained so until the finish. The third and final race saw JENAILE! take the lead very quickly, with the German boat ANAKIN right behind and relentlessly covering every move. JENAILE! took a course through the middle of the lake this time. It was a risky move, but ANAKIN followed JENIALE! closely, battling with all that they had. The rest of the fleet hugged the land lead by ORSO J and HATAMURI OLJ SPIRIT who were juggling for third and fourth position. But the final race concluded with JENAILE! in first position, ORSO J in second, HATAMURI OLJ SPIRIT in third and ANAKIN in fourth. And so after 3 days of exciting top class racing, JENIALE! won the championship. The J/80 boat proved to be highly technical and extremely entertaining when sailed 'to the max' as this regatta showed.  For further information or more photos, please contact Maris Lyons (

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gonzalo Rocha Wins J/80 Copa de Espana

J/80 one-design sailboat- Spanish team sailing Algarve

(Barcelona, Spain- May 29-30)- Real Club Nautico de Barcelona and the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation hosted the fourth J/80 Copa de Espana, a prelude to the J/80 Spanish Championships next month.  Sailing TURISMO DE ALGARVE, Hugo Gonzalo Rocha and Araújo, who was competing under the pennant of Arenys de Mar Boat Club, have been proclaimed champions.  Second overall was PERALEJA GOLF skippered by Carlos Martinez from the Real Club de Regatas Santiago de la Ribera and third overall was GUNTER, skippered by Javier Scherk from RCNB, the host club.

The fleet had good wind conditions for the first day, with four races run by the RCNB Race Committee in 9 knot winds from ESE to SE, with some large windshifts making it a challenge for some of the crews.  It was clear from the beginning of the regatta that it would be a three-way battle for the podium with Rocha, Martinez and the defending champions, Ignacio Camino sailing NEXTEL ENGINEERING, fighting for the top spots.  However, two bad races (a ninth and thirteenth) by Camino took him out of the running early, opening the door for Scherk's GUNTER to take third overall.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off SpainHugo Rocha, tactician on TURISMO DE ALGARVE said, "It's been a very positive experience, with the competitive fleet that is in Barcelona it is very important to keep up with good, consistent races.  The level that is in the City is of very high quality, with the world champion in 2008, among others- Camino's NEXTEL ENGINEERING. The results were more or less expected, although I note Javier Scherk who has had a wonderful day and I'm happy because he is my friend."

Carlos Martinez sailing PERALEJA GOLF said, "It was a beautiful day for sailing .. 7 to 9 knots of wind. A good level for training and that after the Copa de Espana, we go to the Europeans in Italy and then to the Worlds Newport.  The secret of our success is undoubtedly the crew-- the four owners have all sailed together for a long time for Club Deportivo. We have been sailing together for many years in this type of boat, in the four races on the first day the windward leg was favored on the right, so if you make a bad start or stay in the middle of the fleet is difficult to make good gains."

Javier Scherk, owner and skipper of GUNTER, said "I am delighted with today- sun and wind- happy sailor!  The race course has been very tight, the groups of boats came within seconds apart-- this is what happens when we compete against the world elite of J80. We take the Copa de Espana as seriously as the World Championship to be held in Newport, I'll be proud to represent the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona, which again demonstrates just as everybody knows how to organize races."    For more Copa de Espana sailing information.     Photo credits: Jesus Renedo

J/80 Europeans Preview

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing in Europe upwind

(Lago di Garda, Italy- June 21-26)- Massimo Rama, J/80 Europeans Regatta Chairman, reports that excitement has been growing for this year's J/80 Europeans being hosted by Malsacine Yacht Club on the picturesque Lago di Garda.  A venue renowned not only for great sailing, but also for the remarkable northern Italian cuisine.  To date, fifty-two entries from eight countries are competing.  As Massimo remarked, "I really think it's a great success, especially considering the "economic situation" in Europe.  Represented are top teams from Italy, France, England, Germany, Estonia, Spain, Netherlands, Poland.  From England will be the newly crowned J/80 UK National Champion, Ian Atkins on as well as last race winner Terry Palmer on JUST DO IT.  The J/80 2010 French National Champion will also be represented, Eric Brezellec and his crew JACCUZZI / GOLD SAILING.   Jean-Charles Moriceau and his team on INTERFACE CONCEPT 1 are always near the top as is Luc Nadal and Laurent Sambron on ATLANTIS.  The leading Spanish teams include familiar names like J/80 champions Jose Maria Torcida on ECC VIVIENDAS and World Champion Ignacio Rodriguez Camino on NEXTEL ENGINEERING.  This group of sailors are some seriously tough hombres, it will make for some great competition and an excellent warm-up for this year's J/80 Worlds in Newport.   For more info on sailing the J/80 Europeans.