J/70 Worlds and Rolex Big Boat Series
Since it first splashed in early 2012, the J/70 Class has enjoyed a meteoric rise, with more than 1100 boats now sailing in more than 20 countries, making this speedy sportboat the most successful One Design keelboat since Rod Johnstone built the first J/24 in his garage in 1975.
The J/70 fleet in Australia is building nicely, with regular class racing throughout the year, two NSW State titles held to date, and the largest one-design fleet at ASBA NSW events last year. Two teams from Australia will be competing in the J/70 World Championships held from September 27 to October 1, 2016.
This year marks the third J/70 World Championship with St. Francis Yacht Club set to host the event on San Francisco Bay. To date, 84 boats from 15 countries have entered the regatta and San Francisco Bay’s prevailing strong westerly sea breeze in September and October will place the event solidly in the sweet spot for high-adrenaline racing.
“We can’t guarantee breeze, but we can guarantee a world-class race committee that will keep the racing smooth and tight,” said Susan Ruhne, who is serving as the Regatta Chairwoman for the 2016 J/70 Worlds. “We have parties planned for each evening, and for those who want to explore our vibrant city, San Francisco offers countless great restaurants, bars and evening-entertainment opportunities.”
With Alcatel as title sponsor, each participating boat will receive an award-winning Alcatel IDOL 4S smartphone that will double as an onboard tracking device via a mobile application, offering spectators a fully integrated viewing experience. To take it a step further, Alcatel will have on display its virtual-reality goggles that can plug into an IDOL 4S to display a skippers’ eye view of J/70 Worlds. Thanks to 360-filming technology that interplays seamlessly through Alcatel’s phones and goggles, those ashore will be able to virtually experience the thrills of being on the water.
The J/70 class has contested two World Championships, the first in Newport, Rhode Island in 2014 and the second in La Rochelle, France in 2015. Tim Ryan, from CYCA has competed in both World Championships with his crew from Team Vamos, and can’t wait to repeat the thrill of 80+ fleet starts and mark roundings. Team Vamos won race 9 of the 2015 Worlds, finishing 18th overall and were quite deservedly ecstatic with their result.
It’s great to sail an exciting, easy and economical one-design class which gives you the opportunity to compete on the World stage with top class international sailors.
To make it easier for international teams to compete, the St. Francis Yacht Club has partnered with J/World to offer a number of charter boats thus enabling teams to compete that otherwise would be shut out due to the logistical and financial headaches of shipping a boat to the USA or buying one for this event.
In the week prior to the J/70 Worlds, a record-size fleet of 112 boats lines up for the 52nd Rolex Big Boat Series, held September 15-18 and also hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club
The largest class by numbers is the J/70, with more than 30 boats entered. The class is using the regatta as a tune-up for the J/70 World Championship. Among the entrants are the two boats hailing from Australia (Juno and Vamos) plus J/70’s from Brazil, Cayman Islands, Chile and Mexico, giving the regatta an international flair.
Reg Lord, skippering his first Worlds on J/70 Juno, is looking forward to having the opportunity to warm up for the Worlds, by racing in the Rolex Big Boat Series. ‘We are all really looking forward to some fast one design racing on San Francisco bay, especially after a Sydney winter with many light wind weekends – if it’s 3 knots in San Francisco we’ll be ready!
To accommodate this massive one-design fleet, race officials have made the decision to host a third racing area on the Berkeley Circle, an area in eastern San Francisco Bay, in addition to the two traditional areas west of Alcatraz Island. The J/70s will sail two days of windward/leeward races on the circle to become familiar with the area where the worlds will be held. The rest of the fleet will sail a combination of windward/leeward and buoy races around San Francisco Bay, in which the J/70s will also partake for two days. The buoy races are expected to take the fleet past landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands, with the traditional finish line placed off the St. Francis Yacht Club.
Event website: https://www.stfyc.com/j70worlds2016
Source: StFYC and Yachtspot – J/Boats Australia