Tuesday, August 30, 2016

PHOENIX Arises to Win J/24 Europeans!

J/24 sailing Europeans off Plymouth, England (Plymouth, England)- The 2016 J/24 Europeans were hosted by Royal Western YC in Plymouth, England for a fleet of the 37 boats from eight nations (France, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden).  After battling with strong winds and a reasonable sea state for the first three days of the J/24 Europeans, the winner was finally declared after a light final day of racing- Andy Taylor on the mighty PHOENIX from Parkstone YC!

The course for both races on Friday was in a tricky southerly varying in strength and direction. The smart tactic was to head out to starboard to catch the slightly stronger breeze and a lift off the Rame Headland.

In the first race of the day Nick McDonald’s CACOON had to defend hard at the finish to fend off William Pollock in FLYING COLOURS, who was able to keep clear on the run and overtake some six boats. But, was not able to beat McDonald to the line, only losing by a second, and closely followed by Andy Taylor in PHOENIX.

J/24s sailing Europeans at Plymouth, UKIn the second and final race of the championships, the UK Chairman of the class, David Cooper in JAWBREAKER, finally showed his true potential by winning. He was followed over the line by Mike Mackie from Dartmouth in JIGGY with Japanese GEKKO helmed by Tokuma Takesue in third place.

Behind Taylor’s PHOENIX, second place went to Daniel Frost's JJONE from Germany and in third place was the young Irish team of Cillian Dickson from Howth Yacht Club in KILCULLEN.  Fourth was Manfred Konig’s VITESSE from Germany and fifth was Till Pomarius’ TINTO from Svaoe, Germany.  Of note, third in the “Open” Division was the Japanese team- Tokuma Takesue’s GEKKO from the Japan Sailing Federation.

Winning skipper Andy Taylor, commented: "We've had a fantastic week's sailing, across all wind conditions. We were fortunate to go into the final day without a bad discard that gave us options.  JJone have been phenomenal all week, we knew they had the speed to escape from a poor start or tricky first beat and in final race put us in a boat on boat which was exciting, even as we crossed the line we didn't know if we had done enough.”

German women's J/24 team at Europeans in PlymouthTaylor continued, ”We've had a great team and got on, both on and off the water, brilliantly. Huge thanks to team Phoenix (Rob, Paul, Zoe and Izzy) for putting up with me as well as PRO David Lovegrove and his team for a brilliant regatta, hosted by the always excellent Royal Western Yacht Club and Plymouth J/24 fleet."

A team worthy of note, JOOL helmed by Dirk Olyslagers, came over from Holland having only been together six weeks. After mastering the conditions on day one, they proved themselves by achieving five top ten results in the last six races. The team from Sweden, sailing a chartered boat ANOTHER CACOON, was heard to say: "This is a fantastic location, as soon as you let us know when the next event is, we'll be back."

The main sponsor, Nick McDonald of CACOON, said: "I'm delighted to have been a able to sponsor the Championships in my home port, and hearing comments like Dirk's above from visitors makes it all worthwhile.”

All the competitors wanted to extend their special thanks to the organizing team from the Plymouth fleet headed by Stig McDonald with Neil Dunkley, Helen Peat, David Cooper and Nick Triscott. Stig said: "Everyone has worked extremely hard over the past eighteen months to bring the event to Plymouth where we have a very active /J24 class. The event couldn't have gone better, the weather has been perfect, the racing has been competitive and the apr├Ęs sail has been welcoming."   Sailing photo credits- Robin Price   For more J/24 Europeans Sailing information