Wednesday, April 20, 2011
(Palma de Mallorca, Spain)- Some of the most magnificent sailboats of the world will compete from the 20th to 24th of April in the Mapfre PalmaVela regatta. Twelve classes will join competition during the four racing days. A total of 120 boats, 1000 sailors, 15 divisions and 15 countries will compete, distributed across four racing areas.
While the giant sailing yachts will be racing further offshore, the giants of sailing in Spain will be racing in the J/80 class. The J/80 has grown into the most important one-design racing boat in Spain and will see 23 highly competitive teams taking part in this year's regatta. It's a gathering some of the best national and international sailors that call Europe home. For these teams, the Mapfre PalmaVela will also serve as a warm-up for the debut of the class in the Copa del Rey Audi-Mapfre regatta that will be sailed in July.
The participation of three Olympic Medallists and a World Champion is proof of the extremely competitive level of the class. Barcelona 1992 Gold Medallist Jose María van der Ploeg will take the helm of the J/80 GREAT SAILING and so will Montreal 1976 Silver Medallist Toño Gorostegui onboard CANTABRIA INFINITA. Portuguese Hugo Rocha, Bronze Medallist in Atlanta 1996, will skipper TURISMO DO ALGARVE, while J/80 World Champion Ignacio Camino will sail onboard NEXTEL ENGINEERING. ALCOLA sailed by Estanislao Carpio, FIERABRAS skippered by Diego Colón, PORTCALL COMPOSITES helmed by José Carlos Frau, Javier Sanz's PRO RIGGING, or Miguel Pujadas' EDER HOTELS are some of the strong Majorcan J/80 teams to compete this week in Palma. Defending champion Carlos Martínez also stands out as one of the favorites. For more Mapfre PalmaVela Sailing information.
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- The largest one-design fleet in the history of SPI Ouest-France is expected for the J/80 class with more than 105 teams planning to attend. Seven countries are represented with international crews from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Sweden. The strength of the French J/80 class have contributed to this record turnout, it's considered the best one-design class in France and routinely attracts the best French one-design sailors; included amongst them is Bruno Trouble, the managing director of Louis Vuitton's participation in the America's Cup. Bruno is again expected to sail with most of his "Jurassic Park" COYOTE crew that accompanied him in Newport for the J/80 Worlds--- one tough group of hombres!
This strong turnout also bodes well for the J/80 Worlds 2013 that will take place in France (over 140 crews expected) and for which preparations have already begun (applications of organizing clubs are open, the final site selection will be done later this year).
Of note will be the fact that one of the best PRO's in France, Christophe Gaumont, will be managing the races at SPI Ouest, as he did for the 2007 J/80 Worlds. The fleet will be split in two with four flights rotating against one another to determine the Gold and Silver fleets, then competition will commence to determine the ultimate overall champion. For more SPI-Ouest J/80 sailing information.
Sailing photo credits: Eric Rousseau - VELOX IMAGES Laurent Vidal - PHOTOMER
Thursday, April 7, 2011
(Santander, Spain)- The J/80 Spanish teams continue to race hard against one another and are constantly improving. This past weekend, Jose Miguel Oriol on MABLE won the Avega Trophy in Santander with thirty boats participating and kept the current J/80 World Champion, Pichu Torcida on ECC VIVIENDAS off the top of the podium, who ended up second. FONESTAR sailed by Jaime Piris was third.
For the overall spring sailing series, Pichu on ECC VIVIENDAS is still winning with 7 pts and behind him are David Madrazo on LUPA with 11 pts, third is Jaime Piris on FONESTAR with 12 pts, fourth is MABLE with 16 pts and fifth is BANCAJA-AVIVA sailed by Javier Lopez-Vasquez with 21 pts. For more J/80 AVEGA Trophy sailing information.