Thursday, July 7, 2011

LE TIGRE's American Team Winning J/80 Worlds- Day Two

Sailing in front of Oresund Bridge
(Copenhagen, Denmark- July 6th)- As the sailors wandered down to the waterfront this morning, the forecast was not promising.  Light airs and no promise of a developing sea-breeze.  Undaunted, the RDYC RC/ PRO postponed onshore and simply waited, hoping for the possibility of a developing sea-breeze in order to keep the sailors moving forward, there's lots of nervous energy to expend!

By 1430 hours, there was a sufficient breeze that the PRO sent out the teams to race their second day in a 6-10 knots onshore wind, with the fleet framed in the background by the famous Oresund Bridge connecting Denmark with Sweden- the longest road and rail bridge in Europe at 5 miles end-to-end ( 

Glenn Darden's American team on LE TIGRE continued to hang on to their lead but now only by one point.  Glenn's first race of the day, an 18th, didn't help to stave off the expected onslaught from the top European teams.  And sure enough, they came at him hard and fast.  Only a 4th place in the second race saved the day for Team LE TIGRE, now counting a 2-5-5-18-4 for 34 pts.

As was anticipated, the Spanish contingent were not content to be flailing around in the top ten nor even in the middle of the fleet.  Nor was Swedish Champion Ingemar Sundstedt.  It's scary how fast these guys are racing up the ladder.  The standings now have Ingemar's team with a 5-7-14-2-7-for 35 pts, one point back from Darden.  J/80 World Champion Ignacio Camino from Spain leapt up to third overall adding an 8-5 to his scores of 1-4-21  for 39 points.  Another World Champion, Spaniard Carlos Martinez, also jumped up the leader-board and lies fourth with a 3-26-4-6-8 score for 47 pts.  Fifth is yet another Spaniard, Olympic Champion Jose Maria van deer Ploeg, overcoming a slow start the first day to post the best scores for the entire fleet on the second day.  Jose Maria now has a scoreline of 27-17-11-5-1 for 61 pts. 

Past J/80 World Champion Rayco Tabares from the Canary Islands sailing HOTEL GRAND CANARIAS added a 9-13 to his 4-9-51 day one scores for a total of 88 pts, so he's looking good after a throw-out after six races.  Also of note was the sparkling performance in the first race of the day by French champion Luc Nadal, winning race 4, as well as Massimo Rama's J/80 Italian Championship team getting a third in the same race.  Fellow Frenchman Eric Brezellec is sailing a very strong series, getting a 3rd in Race 5 and the Danish/American team on GULDFAXE sailed by Tom Klok and Will and Marie Crump got a strong 2nd for their best race to date. 

The standings are looking very intriguing.  Hidden in several score-lines are some big, big drop races for the leading contenders.  By Thursday afternoon the standings could look radically different as many teams will have total scores in the low 20s to high 30s after sailing tomorrow and earning a "toss race".  Right now, there are seven countries represented in the top 10, a mark of how strong J/80 fleets are around the world- 1 American, 1 Swede, 3 Spaniards, 1 German, 2 French, 1 Italian and 1 Danish crews.  Look for some more roller-coaster rides around the Oresund Bridge!

Sailing Photo credits: Peter Sogaard Photos

For more J/80 Worlds sailing information