Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Newport Trio Trump J/22 World Championship!

J/22 sailing Worlds off Kingston, ONT (Kingston, ONT, Canada)- The world-famous CORK International Sailing Week was host to the 2015 J/22 World Championship, held in Kingston, Ontario.  Forty-six teams participating from Canada (15 boat), the Cayman Islands (three teams) and the USA (28 crews) sailed an amazing four-day series, with Mike Marshall’s crew of Luke Lawrence and Todd Hiller from Newport, RI winning the regatta in the thrilling finale.

After three days and nine races, the ultimate outcome for the regatta came down to the final few races.  On Wednesday, it was another day of champagne sailing conditions on Lake Ontario with sustained winds of 12-15 knots for the three races. Brad Julian won the first two meetings, followed by Travis Odenbach and Jeff Todd in race seven, and by Chris Gaffney and Doyle in race eight. Behind Marshall in race nine were Terry Flynn and Jeff Todd.

J/22 World Champions- Marshall, Lawrence, HillerBy way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall’s team was tied at 30 points for the overall lead with the New York-based team of Chris Doyle, Will Harris and Adam Burns. Jeff Todd was still in the hunt in third place with 35 points. Marshall had been discarding a 10, but with a 16th in race 8, the team needed to rebound to keep pace with Doyle who took a four-point advantage into Wednesday’s final battle.  As a result, Marshall held the overall lead with the tie-breaker being the three bullets. Reigning World Champion Doyle maintained a consistent tally by counting all top five finishes.

At dawn on the final day, the after effects of an overnight storm left breeze in the mid-20s, so the Race Committee postponed on shore. But, it didn’t take long for the winds to subside to the upper teens, so the flag came down allowing for the showdown between Marshall and Doyle.  It was a “do-or-die” scenario for the two leaders; it took every leg of the final race to determine the winner.  With a second place finish in Thursday’s only race, Marshall’s team was declared the 2016 J/22 World Champions.  Brad Julian won the race, while Doyle placed sixth in the race but second overall with 36 net points. Jeff Todd took third with 43 points.

J/22s sailing Worlds at CORK, Kingston, ONT“We went into Thursday with the idea that it’s really three teams (Todd was 5 points behind Marshall and Doyle), so it changes the whole dynamic. If it’s two people, you can do a little bit more match racing,” explained Marshall. “We just wanted to sail the best possible race we could, and we executed our plan exactly as we wanted to. We got the first cross, and from there we were able to control the race.”  Rounding out the top five were Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER in 4th place and Brad Julian’s crew in 5th position.

Over the 10-race series, only two races were sailed under 15 knots, and 9 knots was the lightest. “Kingston as a venue is just spectacular,” praised Marshall. “This week was totally different than what Kingston is normally, which is about going left. This week, it was all about going right.” Marshall thanked the Race Committee and PRO David Sprague for their efficient execution, saying, “They changed marks when they needed to, dealt with two shoals on either side and set the right length courses. They were cranking out the races without much downtime.”   For more J/22 World Championship sailing information