Thursday, August 18, 2016

ALCATEL J/70 Worlds Update

J/70 Worlds San FranciscoALCATEL Announced as Title Sponsor!
(San Francisco, CA)- St. Francis Yacht Club and the International J/70 Class are pleased to announce ALCATEL as the title sponsor of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, which will take place on San Francisco Bay from September 24 to October 1, 2016. By integrating the company’s mobile devices, tablets and virtual reality technologies into this international sailing event, ALCATEL will enhance the regatta for sailors and spectators alike.

ALCATEL devices, which include smartphones, tablets and wearables, are sold in more than 170 countries worldwide. The company, which is a mobile brand of TCL Communication, puts an emphasis on delivering experience-rich value to its customers and is currently the fourth largest mobile handset manufacturer in North America.

“St. Francis YC is thrilled to have ALCATEL on board as the J/70 Worlds title sponsor,” said Lynn Lynch, Race Director at St. Francis Yacht Club. “Much like the J/70 class and the St. Francis Yacht Club, ALCATEL is a forward-thinking company, and we’re already seeing an exciting energy develop between the brands. I’m confident ALCATEL’s title sponsorship will take what was already going to be a great regatta and help turn it into a world-class event.”

With ALCATEL as title sponsor, each participating boat will receive an award-winning Alcatel IDOL 4S smartphone that will double as an on-board tracking device via a mobile application, offering spectators a fully integrated viewing experience. To take it a step further, ALCATEL will have on display its virtual-reality goggles that can plug into an IDOL 4S to display a skippers-eye view of J/70 Worlds. Thanks to 360-filming technology that interplays seamlessly through Alcatel’s phones and goggles, those ashore will be able to virtually experience the thrills of being on the water.

“As a J/70 sailor myself, it is very exciting to see the IDOL 4S bring a whole new suite of experiences to this World Championship,” said Vittorio Di Mauro, Senior Vice President of TCL Communication and President of the Italian J/70 Class.

Steve Cistulli, President and General Manager for ALCATEL North America added, “I cannot wait for participants and fans to experience IDOL 4S and the J/70 Class VR content we’ll showcase exclusively during this event that will bring a more immersive view of J/70 racing.”

J/70 sailing San Francisco BayTo date, there are 74 boats registered to sail from 16 countries, including returning aces such as Julian Fernandez Neckelmann (MEX) and his Flojito Y Cooperando teammates, who owned the podium at the 2015 J/70 World Championship. Still, given other national and international contenders— such as Tim Healy, Jud Smith and Claudia Rossi— Neckelmann and company will have their work cut out.  In fact, several world-class competitors have extensive local knowledge, including Shawn Bennett, Bruce Golison, Scott Sellers, Chris Raab, Tracy Usher and Peter Vessella.

“The competition at the San Francisco Worlds will be fantastic,” said Neckelmann, who described San Francisco Bay as one of his favorite international racing venues. “I can think of six or seven European boats that will be in the hunt, seven North American boats that will be right up there, and two or three South American boats that should be contenders.”

While weather-driven events are impossible to accurately forecast four-plus months out, San Francisco Bay historically sees a prevailing westerly sea breeze in September and October, placing the J/70 Worlds solidly in the sweet spot for high-adrenaline racing. Fortunately, with nearly 90 years of experience hosting world-class regattas, the St. Francis Yacht Club can ensure that the race management and the shore-side events will be second to none.

“We can’t guarantee breeze, but we can guarantee a world-class race committee that will keep the racing smooth and tight,” said Susan Ruhne, who is serving as the Regatta Chairwoman for the 2016 J/70 Worlds. “We encourage top teams from around the world to experience fall sailing on the Bay and to celebrate the culmination of their racing season by lining up against the class’s top competitors. We have parties planned for each evening, and for those who want to explore our vibrant city, San Francisco offers countless great restaurants, bars and evening-entertainment opportunities.”

For teams that want to gather more local knowledge before the Worlds, the St. Francis Yacht Club’s Big Boat Series (September 15-18) is a perfect opportunity to learn the lay of the Bay. Forty-seven J/70s are currently registered for the Big Boat Series, and this number is expected to swell as teams finalize their fall sailing plans.

Registration for the J/70 Worlds is open until August 15, 2016 (additional fees apply to teams that register after this deadline), and while there is no official entry cap, the J/70 Class and the St. Francis Yacht Club are aiming for 80 boats on the starting line.   For more ALCATEL J/70 Worlds sailing information