(Le Havre, France)- From June 5 to 9, nine one-design J/111s will be participating in Normandy Sailing Week in Le Havre, France. As part of this series, the J/111 will be sailing their first European Championships. And, with a good weather forecast for the long weekend, it should prove to be very competitive racing.
Frederic Bouvier, President of the J/111 European class and business manager of the French builder J-Composites commented, "We are pleased, after the debut one-design event at SPI Ouest France 2012, that nine J/111s will be sailing in Normandy Sailing Week for the J/111 Europeans. The sailors come from Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland and France. The idea is to establish a circuit for J/111s in Europe, with a friendly social atmosphere ashore and with spirited, high-level of competition on the water. The J/111 is a great boat for this type of one-design offshore racing, it allows a fast ride with comfort and the boats are very equal in speed-- it's what the owners are seeking. J-Composites will be on site with equipment to support the owners. A big 'Thank You' to the organizers of Normandy Sailing Week to welcome us for the first European J/111 Championship."
It's clear many of the best teams in Europe are showing up. From France, the winner of SPI Ouest 2012 J/111 class, J-LANCE 8, will be skippered by Didier Le Moal (seen here at right) and he is joined by fellow Frenchmen Bertant Coutoure (CNV). From the Netherlands will be the experienced and highly regarded offshore racing team on XCENTRIC RIPPER, sailed by John Van der Starre and Robin Verhoef. Representing Belgium is Sebastien de Liedekerke skippering DJINN. Then five veteran teams are sailing from Great Britain, including 2012 Cowes Week and Round Island Champion Duncan McDonald on SHMOKIN' JOE; 109 and 111 champions David & Kirsty Apthorp on J-DREAM; Rick Barnes on BIELA MUNKENBECK; James Arnell's JEEZ LOUISE and Tony Mack's McFLY. The outcome of the nine fast boats will be extremely difficult to handicap as all teams have made massive improvements over the past year and this is the first time they've all come together as a fleet since SPI Ouest France 2012! Should be fun!
Of note, sailing in the same venue will be the over thirty J/80s participating in the fourth part of their J/80 French Cup Series. Many of the top teams that have their eyes set on the J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France are sailing since this is the last major regatta in Europe before the Worlds. Top contenders are likely to be Eric Brezellec on INTERFACE CONCEPT from France. The regatta also sees the debut of the Moscow, Russian team J'HALLUCINE sailed by Andrei Samoylov and the debut of the Oman Sail Team Al Thuraya Bank Muscat sailed by Asar Al Ajmi. For more J/111 Europeans and J/80 Normandy Sailing Week information