Wednesday, May 5, 2010
The competition in Cardiff will be hotly fought; alongside the travellers there will be a strong local field of five J/80 teams. J/80 International Class Chairman, Steve Cooper, will be competing in JUNIOR HIGH. Steve sailed the J/80 Worlds in Santander last year. Another local, Scott Cole and his team on PURPLE HAZE, are known to be fast-- both these boats know the sailing area well.
Toe In The Water, a charity that aims to encourage and rehabilitate injured servicemen and women through the sport of sailing, have four boats entered in the regatta. The relationship between the charity and the UK J/80 Class has been established for over three years now. Whilst these crews don’t get to sail with each other as frequently as many of the others at the Nationals, in the past the Toe In The Water teams have proved tactically strong and have shown skilful boat handling as well as pace.
The British Keelboat Academy will be represented by Tom Phipps and Kelvin Matthews. These lads got really strong results at the championships in 2009 and will be well worth watching. The Britannia Royal Naval College will also be racing for the Championship title in J/80 WAVE WARRIOR skippered by Joe Henry.
From the Solent, Thor Askeland makes his J/80 National Championship debut, racing ELLE S'APPELLE. Thor won the Autumn Champs in Hamble last year and has shown more than a few moments of brilliance throughout the spring season. Terry Palmer (J/80 UK Class Chairman) and Caroline Cooper slotted in a top three result in the 93 boat J/80 fleet at Spi Ouest earlier this year, racing JUST DO IT. Ian Atkins will also be making the trip to Cardiff; having won 5 of 7 races last weekend in the Warsash Spring Series, Ian and his crew on BOATS.COM will always be a force to be reckoned with. For J/80 UK Nationals sailing info Photo credits- Tim Wright/ Photoaction.com