Monday, October 22, 2012

Jesperson Wins Danish J/80 Championship

J/80 sailing under spinnaker(Copenhagen, Denmark)- The Thiele J/80 Class Championship for Denmark saw twelve teams competing over five races on the weekend of October 6th and 7th near Copenhagen.  The weekend of sailing provided the teams with incredibly challenging sailing conditions, ranging from light, shifty airs the first day to near epic, "fresh to frightening" conditions on the second for the teams.

On Saturday the wind was very weak for the first two races, so it was difficult to keep pace in the boat and go in the right places on the course. A southbound current flow required further attention by the competitors.  In the light wind, it was Lier's crew that had consistently good starts and great speed-- they finished the first day in first place.

Sunday saw three races in the plenty of wind, often blowing in excess of 25 kts in the puffs.  It was in these sailing conditions that Jesper Jespersen's crew showed great speed, experience and flawless boat-handling make the difference.  No bad spinnaker hoists, great gybes downwind and no "shrimping" (dropping of spinnakers in the water), meant they were catching boats all-around the race course.  Sunday's first race saw Jesper Jespersen first, then Sofie Hessel Source and her almost girl crew and then Lier. The rest of the teams recognized that time spent on the water practicing was paying off for the top teams.  As Sunday progressed, sailed more and more without spinnakers for the more inexperienced teams, the top teams were flying around the course in the big puffs.  For others, it was getting too difficult to deal with the fast-closing speeds coming into the leeward marks and having to drop the spinnaker without getting into trouble.  For some, there were many "Kodak moments" and others a great educational experience.  By the third race on Sunday, it was obvious that fatigue was taking its toll on the sailors, so the RC's PRO wisely decided to send the boats in the harbor after 3 races.

One year after J/80 World Cup in Dragor the J/80 class continues to grow nicely with several new privately owned boats in Denmark as well as several sailing clubs considering buying the J/80 for their club sailing programs.  Today, there are nearly thirty J/80s actively sailed in Denmark.  Thanks for the contribution from Jens Kristian.   For more Danish J/80 sailing information