On Friday North Sails designer (and the only Brit to have ever taken the J/80 Worlds title) Ruairidh Scott, conducted a clear and concise session on the optimum tuning and rigging settings of these record-breaking performance boats. The session was of great use to many owners who are new to the world of keelboats, as well as those who have had their boats a number of years and were keen to check their settings are right. Ruairidh was also on hand to answer questions from the sailors.
On Saturday the fleet held their annual pre-season training day for small boats, led by legendary Yorkshireman and Olympic coach Jim Saltonstall. The J/80s made up the bulk of the fleet and included UK Class Chairman Mark Baskerville with his boat MISTRAL. Light winds were ideal for the three new J/70 owners who braved the cold temperatures in order to get to know their exciting new sportsboat, and to meet other owners within the J fleet.
After a quick briefing at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Jim's RIB led the troops out into the Solent, where they enjoyed a good few hours of practice starts, boat handling exercises and some racing. Jim spent time with each boat, advising them what they were doing right and (more importantly) what they were doing wrong with regard to every facet of performance, from rig tuning to crew position. Back at the club Jim went through his video footage of the day, which effectively demonstrated the points he had made on the water! Many thanks to all who attended the sessions and to the Royal Southern, Ruairidh, and Jim. For more J/80 sail training information