Tuesday, July 24, 2018

HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA Wins 5th J/80 Worlds!

J/80 World Champions Spanish Teams Win the Battle Over the French
(Les Sables d’Olonne, France)- The Sports Nautiques Sablais YC in Les Sables d’Olonne, France hosted the J/80 World Championship from the 9th to the 13th July.  The seventy-boat fleet enjoyed a tremendous variety of weather conditions, but in the end the full-on battle between the top French and Spanish teams at the top of the leaderboard saw the Spanish prevail, as they have done for over eight previous J/80 Worlds in the past.

J/80 Princess Yaiza Hotel- wins WorldsAfter fourteen races, the remarkably poised team from Spain, Rayco Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA, managed what no other J/80 crew have done, win an unprecedented, record, fifth World title!  Rayco Tabares commented on their performance, “this was a very tough championship. We piled the pressure on “Garatu” yesterday and today we enjoyed a virtually flawless day, compared to our direct rivals, getting off to some solid starts. We’re very happy to pocket a fifth World J/80 Champion title here in Les Sables d’Olonne. The J/80 Class is great as it’s really the crew, tuning and trimming the sails that make the difference. Amazingly, we’ve won all five World Championships on charter boats!! For my part, I’m now going to focus on the J/70 Worlds, which will be held in the United States in September at Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA.”

Below are the daily reports on how Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA crew managed to overcome their slow start and, ultimately, climb up the leaderboard onto the podium yet again.

J/80 Worlds startDay One
Under the leadership of the Race Committee (managed by Corinne Aubert), the fleet was treated to three closely fought races around the cans.  What made it more challenging was the particularly fluky northeasterly breeze of around 5-10 kts in glorious sunshine.

The provisional standings at the end of the day saw the Spanish crew “IBO.ES”, fifth at the 2017 J/80 Worlds, headed by Javier Chacartegui, leading the regatta with an amazingly steady 3-3-3 record!  In second place, was another Spanish Iberian boat, GARATU skippered by Iker Almondoz, and sitting third was French Finistère sailor Simon Moriceau, skippering ARMEN HABITAT.

Javier Chacartegui on IBO.ES said, “we’re satisfied. Obviously, it’s been a great day, as we’ve taken the lead in the Worlds. We posted consistent performances in today’s three races by ensuring we were always well placed for some sound tactical moves. Things have kicked off in the best possible way for us, but there’s still a long way to go until Friday.”

J/80s sailing on reachDay Three
After three days of competition and eight races, the fleet continued to enjoy great racing conditions.  Today, it was an easterly breeze of 10-15 kts, blowing offshore, so much shiftier than the onshore sea breezes.

Chacartegui IBO.ES lost their pole position to Almondoz’s GARATU; they are now leading the fleet by 12 pts over Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA, the reigning J/80 World Champions.  Fifteen points behind in third is Juan Luiz Perez’s PUENTE ROMANO MARBELLA. So, the top three are all Spanish teams!

Frenchman Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, with multiple Tour de France à la Voile winner Pierre-Loïc Berthet calling tactics, is currently lying in fourth place. Meanwhile, the Russian Alexei Semenov’s NEW TERRITORIES (with Hugo Rocha aboard- a J/80 World Champion and 470 bronze Medallist in the Atlanta Olympic Games) is lying in fifth position.

Marc Reine, top sailing coach for the French Sailing Federation commented, “there are two coaches at these Worlds including myself and Benoit Charon. Our aim is to make sure a French crew wins the Worlds. We’ve been hunting down this title for some years now. The Spanish crews have several things in their favor, which makes them a little bit better than our ‘top’ crews. In my view, they have slightly more stabilized teams, namely they’ve been sailing together a long time and they’re more opportunistic in certain sailing phases. Even though they’ve got the overall ranking well covered, we’re going to do everything we can to get them.”

J/80 Worlds- unders spinnakerDay Four
The fourth day of competition saw another very beautiful day of sailing on the Bay of Biscay, with the thermal sea breezes producing onshore winds of a steady 18 kts.

Maintaining a slim lead was the Basque skipper, Iker Almondoz on GARATU.  Closing the gap and putting a lot of pressure on their Spanish colleagues was the Canary Islands crew of Tabares on HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA. Still maintaining third by a very slim margin was Paez’s PUENTE ROMANO MARBELLA.

Tabares commented, "here is another beautiful day for our crew! We return to be amongst the leaders and we are now in the capacity to win the Worlds! Our DSQ for a premature start a few days ago, hopefully, should not pose a problem for us!”

Meanwhile, the French contingent, big fans of the J/80 class, just don’t seem to have found the magic ingredient in the Vendée with which to break the Iberian hegemony; and that is despite repeated efforts from the crews of Simon Moriceau, winner of one race today, Vianney Guilbaut on “AG+ Spars” and Sylvain Pellissier on “Intuitive Sails”.

Rayco Tabares, “Hotel Princesa Yaiza”, 2nd: “What a great day for our crew! We’re back on the top spot in the overall ranking and we’re now in a position to win the Worlds tomorrow. Our disqualification for overshooting the start a few days ago, hopefully, is not an issue.”

J/80s sailing World ChampionshipDay Five- Finale
The final day had nice breezes again and it was clear from the outset that it was going to be an epic HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA day.  Starting smart and fast, Tabares’ crew smoked the fleet for two bullets to win their 5th J/80 World Championship by a margin of seven points!

Rounding out the podium was the Spanish Almondoz’s GARATU in second and the top French team- Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT- in the bronze position.  Notably Moriceau’s crew got themselves going a day too late, posting the best record of any crews of a 6-1-2-6-3 in the last five races.

Moriceau commented on their performance, “we began the day with a second place, which enabled us to catch up with our direct rivals in the overall ranking. After that, we continued on a roll by being opportunistic and we achieved our goal of finishing on the podium. We’ll be in Bilbao, Spain in 2019 in a bid to win the next Worlds from our friends in Spain!”

The winner of the Corinthians Division was Paez’s PUENTE ROMANO MARBELLA from Spain, also taking a 4th in the Open Division. Second Corinthians was another Spanish crew- Chacartegui’s IBO.ES, the early regatta leader.  And, third was the French Jeremy Jean’s APCC EQUIPE JEUNE IXINIA (also the top Youth team).

In the MIXED Division (50% women), it was Claire Ferchaud’s ELITE APRIL MARINE- SN SABLAIS that won.  She commented, “it was a superb championship, superb weather, superb Race Committee, superb sailing area. We’ve had an absolute ball throughout the whole week at these Worlds. We’re happy with our result, which matched up to the objective we set ourselves.”  Taking second in that division was Remy Hurdiel’s DUNKERQUE VOILE- WHITE SAILS and third Claire Montecot’s STARTIJENN.

In the MASTERS Division (average age 46+), it was the British team of Jon Powell’s BETTY that took the honors.  Second was an Irish team, Dan O’Grady’s JAMMY. And, third was the Dutch team on LED2LEASE skippered by Otte Jan Golverdingen.

J/80 womens crew- World ChampionshipThe WOMENS Division (all women’s team) was an all-French sweep of the podium.  Taking the crown was Elodie Bonafous’ ECOLE NAVALE/ CDV 29, followed in second by Clara Scheiwiller’s CLICK & BOAT- LADIES NORMANDIE, and third was Isabelle Maggiar’s LES MISSMERS DE L’OUEST.

The YOUTH DIVISION was also an all-French affair on the podium.  Winners were Jeremy Jean’s APCC EQUIPE JEUNE IXINIA, with Theo Carayon’s VITEL COTES D’ARMOR SAILING TEAM in second and Oussama Lotfi’s MERITIS TEAM SRR in third.

Bernard Devy, President of the Organising Committee for the J/80 Worlds, said, “we’re delighted as we feel as if we put on a great World Championship for the numerous competitors, who were full-on both on land and at sea. The atmosphere was great throughout the week. The organizing committee has been working on the organization of this competition for a little over a year. Thank you to all the volunteers and obviously our partners, which include the town of Les Sables d’Olonne and its suburbs, the Vendée department, the Pays de la Loire region and Port Olonne... Finally, the SN Sablais congratulates all the racers and the winners of the different rankings.”

Ludovic Gilet, President of the French J/80 Class remarked, “it’s a fantastic result: perfect weather, competitors who fought to the very last. Since yesterday evening, there was just one point separating the first and second placed teams. We couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome. I think I can safely say that all the competitors had fun on the race course in Les Sables d’Olonne. Unfortunately, the Spanish dominated proceedings once again, but our French crews were valiant throughout the competition. I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to the SN Sablais who, together with the French Class, organized these Worlds. The volunteers from the SN Sablais, Les Sables d’Olonne and the Class have been fantastic! Thank you, too, to the umpires, the Race Committee and its PRO Corinne Aubert. Finally, I’d like to add that Rayco Tabares’ crew sailed these Worlds on a new J/80 supplied by J/Composites- a completely standard boat! That just goes to show that you don’t need a boat specifically prepared for the Worlds to secure victory!”  Sailing photo credits- Pierrick Contin.

Winners interview- Rayco Tabares- Princess Yaiza Hotels

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