The inaugural J/70 Australian Championship was held on the weekend of 14-15 October, with the race management support provided by the team from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.
Six races were held over the weekend of racing. Saturdays breeze was forecast for 25knots, but abated to 15-20knots providing some exhilarating kite runs down the harbour for the fleet. Sundays winds softened to 10-12kn from the south east.
First place with 6 bullets, was a clean sweep by Reg and Sally Lord, Jordan Reece, Tom Grimes, and Cam Gundy on ‘Juno’ from the CYCA. A thrilled Reg said “We had good speed around the course, expert tactics from Jordan, and great trim and handling all round. Sailing with the team on a J/70 is just so enjoyable”. Reg and crew were fresh from competing in the 168 boat fleet in the J/70 Worlds held in Sardinia, the largest sports boat event ever.
In 2nd place, also from the CYCA was Tim Ryan and crew on ‘James’.
3rd place was tightly contested and ultimately went to ‘The Jackal’ team from RSYS.
It’s great to be part of the J/70 International Class, and have the opportunity to sail a high-performance boat with family and friends, and compete in International regattas.
Not since the J/24 have we seen such a worldwide response to a new one-design keelboat.
Like its predecessor, the J/70 has struck a chord across a wide age and skill range and has proven itself to be an extremely versatile platform.
The J/70 Class offers the highest level of competition and yet the boat can be successfully crewed by a three generation team. The real secret to the success of the J/70 is its inclusiveness of all sailors.
Nick Rozenauers sailing ‘The Jackal’ with brother Alex, Dad Peter and two mates really enjoyed the racing. “The first race on Sunday was nearly 80minutes and 4 of the J/70’s finished within 16 seconds of each other, brilliant close racing”. New to the J/70, Andrew from ‘Jabberwocky’ said it was a great learning experience for the crew but good fun.
The J/70 is a dream to sail. Most expect her to fly downwind, but few expect her to sail to windward as well as she does. This “two-way” ability (thanks to excellent stability) clearly distinguishes the J/70 from the pack and presents a compelling option and appeal to both youth and mature sailors.
Over 1,400 J/70’s have been delivered to happy owners in the 4 short years since its launch, making the J/70 the fastest growing and largest sportboat class in the World.
The J/70 fleet thank Chris Stone and Margaret Carney at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron for their support of the Championships, and also for running the W/L Mini Regatta series throughout the year. Thanks also to North Sails and Harken for their ongoing support of the J/70 Australian Class.