Saturday, September 17, 2011

BMW J/24 Europeans Update

J/24 BMW Europeans Sailng Series- first day (Dublin, Ireland)- To date, the J/24 Europeans have seen real, honest-to-goodness, nuclear gale conditions.  The first day fell victim to the weather (Monday 12th September), when winds in excess of 30 knots and gusts over 50 knots left the Principal Race Officer David Lovegrove with no option other than to abandon racing.  The event has attracted 42 boats from nine countries, which include the national champions of Ireland, Britain, Germany, Italy and Greece.

After losing the first day's racing to the weather, day two at Howth (Tuesday 13th) saw one race completed in fresh and gusty south-westerly winds and witnessed a win for the defending champions (and current British champions) 'Serco' (Bob Turner) with Nathan Batchelor on the helm.

The 42-boat fleet got away at the second time of asking in winds touching 30 knots and it was the right-hand side of the course which was favored, with 'Serco' leading around the windward mark. The downwind leg proved precarious for several boats who struggled with spinnakers in the gusty conditions, with sail damage forcing a number of retirees.

J/24 sailing BMW J/24 European Championships in Dublin, IrelandBy the end of the second beat, another British boat, 'Il Riccio' (David Southworth/Chris McLaughlin) had taken over the lead but as a shredded spinnaker put paid to their chances of victory and dropped them back to 5th. 'Serco' took the gun ahead of another British entry 'Madeleine' (McCarthy/Phelps), with German boats filling the next two spots, with 'Max Bahr' (Stefan Karsunke) and 'Rotoman' (Kai Mares) 3rd and 4th respectively.

Four German boats finished in the top eight while 9th place went to the highest-placed local boat, Irish champion Flor O'Driscoll and crew on 'Hard on Port'.

With winds forecasted to increase later in the day, the fleet was sent ashore and a subsequent decision by the Race Officer David Lovegrove and his team confirmed that the conditions would not allow any further racing on the day.

It is hoped to run up to five races back-to-back on Wednesday (14th).  At the moment, the top five are 1st- SERCO, Bob Turner, GBR; 2nd- MADELEINE, McCarthy/Phelps, GBR; 3rd- MAX BAHR, Stefan Karsunke, GER, 4th- ROTOMAN Kai Mares, GER and 5th- IL RICCIO, Southworth/McLaughlin, GBR.  For more J/24 Europeans sailing information