Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Two Decades of J’s Dominate Solent Racing

J/112E Davanti Tyres winning J/Cup United Kingdom (Hamble, England)- Some twenty-four years since J/Boats with bowsprits first appeared on the Solent scene, they continue to be the predominant brand at local series and the larger regattas. This year’s Hamble Winter Series attracted around 60 J’s, ranging from the J/70 to the J/122e.

The standout J of the Winter Series was the J/112E DAVANTI TYRES. The first Grand Prix version of the J/112E for the United Kingdom.  She was delivered in the nick of time to enter the famous 60nm Round the Island Race (Isle of Wight), where she won her class. The J/112E Grand Prix has since gone on to win her class at J-Cup, Dartmouth Regatta, and the 2017 Hamble Winter Series, where she was also named “Yacht of the Series” for her outstanding results.  It was an extraordinary season for this particular J/112E, as earlier, she was racing as J-LANCE XXII in France where she easily eclipsed her IRC 2 class at SPI Ouest France regatta against all the top factory IRC teams in Europe (JPK, Sunfast, etc.).

DAVANTI’s owner Chaz Ivill is absolutely delighted with her; “After six months getting accustomed to how she likes to be sailed, we are now 1/4 knot quicker upwind than we were at Round the Island.  We’ve got her pointing higher, which is partly thanks to her floating jib sheet system, and she’s a breeze to keep on her feet. Of the twelve J/Boats that I have owned, the J/112E GP is the best all round performer, quite simply because she’s perfectly balanced and good in any breeze.”  Learn more about J/122E here.

J/97E sailing the SolentThe J/97E BLACKJACK took the series win in IRC 3 after a hard fought battle with the J/92s Upstart. These two have traded wins in this class for the last few seasons and both boats are past winners of the “Boat of the Series” trophy. Learn more about J/97E here.

The unwavering popularity of J/Boats in the U.K. can largely be credited to the vast number of opportunities to compete in high level one-design racing, starting with the J/70. This now legendary sportsboat continues to keep production at both the French and US shipyards busy, with the U.K. class fully immersed in preparations for the 2019 J/70 Worlds that will be held in glorious Torbay. An incredible 170 boats entered this year’s event, so the organizers and locals are excited by the potential spectacle for thousands of viewers in Torbay and around the world. Learn more about the J/70 here.

J/121 sailing offshore
2018 will be the year the long-awaited J/121 offshore speedster arrives on U.K. shores. This highly anticipated 40 footer is designed to be the best shorthanded J ever, featuring a low drag, efficient hull, a highly engineered carbon rig package, and a water-ballast assist system that adds nearly 400 kilos (4 big guys) of crew weight to the rail. Hull #3 will be raced on the RORC circuit this spring/summer.  Learn more about J/121 here.

Gemma Dunn, Marketing Director at Key Yachting, the J/Boats agent for the U.K. said, “Our J/Boats owners are a friendly, inclusive and pro-active community of competitive sportspeople. Owners and their crew vary in age and ability, and we are particularly pleased to have seen a surge of women skippers racing to victory in different competitions this year. For 2018, owners can look forward to a May Bank Holiday J-Cup from Cowes, J/111 Worlds in Holland, J/80 Worlds in France, J/70 UK Nationals in Hamble, and J/80 UK Nationals returning to Lymington, which houses a very strong fleet. The history of this formidable brand, plus their continued ability to answer owner’s demands, means that when you buy a J/Boat, you are making a safe choice in terms of performance and after sales support.”

Key Yachting and J/Boats are exhibiting at the London Boat Show and the boot Dusseldorf Boat Show this January 2018. Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outsideimages.com and Paul Wyeth/ PWPictures.com. Add to Flipboard Magazine.