Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Scott Crowned First J/70 EuroCup Champion

J/70 one-design fleet- sailing Europeans on Lake Garda (Riva del Garda, Italy)- Warm fall weather and a gracious, friendly host in the form of Fraglia della Vela welcomed the J/70 one-design class to Riva del Garda for their first edition of the J/70 EuroCup.  As expected the Northern part of Lago di Garda offered perfectly epic sailing conditions.  The J/70 Fleet sailed in the early afternoon with constant steady breeze from 12-23 kts from the south- the famous "Ora" wind.  The last day of racing had an early morning start with a solid northerly breeze up to 25 kts, the classic "Peler" mountain winds that blow down the mountain valleys onto the lake at night.

J/70 North Sails- winning J/70 EuroCup on Lake Garda, ItalySeven nations (Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russian, Netherlands, Monaco) participated in the event that saw the competition dominated by the British team led by Ruairidh Scott and crew (Ben Field, Charlie Cumbley and Matt Curthoys).  Scott's team were already UK J/70 National Champion and winner of the Cowes Week J/70 class. Fred Bouvier of France and British sailor Joe Woods fought hard for second place all regatta long, often trading places in the standings.  In the end, Bouvier captured second with Joe Woods' team on RED taking third.  Perfect boat-handling and good speed were enough for the young German Team skipper Mehlig Kevin to defend fourth place.  Pietro Saccomanni (Diporto Velico Veneziano) along with Salvatore Eulisse, Alberto Grippo and Giulia Sent are the first of the Italian teams in fifth place.

J/70s sailing upwind on Lake Garda, ItalyFraglia della Vela provided perfect organization on the water. At the end of sailing each day a tasty, delicious pasta party and local wines were offered to all exhausted and very hungry competitors. At the very generous Awards Ceremony there were the classic trophies for great performances, but thanks to the generous sponsorship of Hannspree Italia, enormous HD flat-screen LED TV's were provided to the top three finishing teams and Alcatel cell phones and tablets were also provided to the top finishers!  Furthermore, J/Boats Italy delivered to Fraglia della Vela a J/70 half-model as the "Challenge Trophy" to be awarded each year to the winner of next J/70 EuroCup regattas.

The report from Fred Bouvier, second place finisher in the regatta, provides some nice insights.  "After a lot of excitement and a busy week (our crew was set-up 4 days before the event and the boat was brand new and finished twos day before) we arrived in Riva", said Bouvier.  "We launched the boat on Tuesday and trained for a few hours in the afternoon (it was the first time we sailed together and I was the only with any experience in the J 70!)."

J/70 Russia one-design sailboat- sailing Lake Garda, Italy"We were very impressed about the beauty of the city, the gorgeous lake and the mountainous environment around us", commented Bouvier. "We clearly understood after two days that the North guys couldn't be beat and that we would fight for the 2nd or 3rd place. Before the last days we were standing 1 points behind Joe Woods' RED and we knew that we had to be good to beat them.  Unfortunately we were not that good but still had a bit of luck.  At the finish in the final race RED was stuck just two boat lengths from the finish line in a dying breeze from the north, when all of a sudden a puff from the other direction came in and 90% of the fleet, including us, just passed across their bow!"

"The event was perfectly organized," continues Bouvier, "the welcome was wonderful and the race committee is highly professional in the way they managed the typical Garda conditions. As the lake is 300m deep, they used fixed mooring for buoys and committee, for this reason the leg lengths are unchanged for all types of championships. Because of this fact, the race committee could tell us that the first J/70 in its fastest race was a bit faster than the best Melges 24 on the same course!!  Incredible!!"

Similarly, Paolo Boido from J/Boats Italy commented, "The J/70 has been able to demonstrate a great show of Speed + Power + Stability + Easy Handling in the solid breeze of Garda-- going very fast downwind with speed on the Velocitek showing up to 20 knots (note-- that's an average GPS speed)!!  Plus, the J/70 was comfortable and dry upwind, beating easily at close true-wind angles in the irregular big chop typical of the Lake".  Sailing photo credits- David Turrini-    For more J/70 EuroCup sailing information