Monday, July 17, 2017

Wilson Crowned J/70 UK National Champion

Wilson's J/70 SOAK Racing team (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Twenty-nine J/70 teams from across the United Kingdom assembled to sail the 2017 U.K. J/70 National Championship, hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England.  The RYS PRO managed to conduct seven races over the weekend in a variety of conditions on the notoriously current-influenced Solent race track.

After a nerve racking final day of racing in The Solent, Ian Wilson’s SOAK RACING Team (with crew of Marshall King, Ben Saxton, Adam Brushett) were declared the overall winners of the 2017 U.K. J/70 National Championship.

Race 8 started in a light southwesterly breeze with a Spring tide running against the airflow. SOAK RACING got a bad start, and was at best mid-fleet at the first top mark. SOAK RACING gybed early to get into the full strength of the tide, and looked to take advantage of a big wind shift to the south. However, as the wind veered, it weakened and by the time the fleet got to the first bottom mark, it became evident that the race could not be deemed fair, and PRO Simon van der Byl, called for an abandonment of not only the race but an end to the regatta!

“It hasn't really sunk in yet, but this is my fifth attempt to win the National Championship, coming fourth, third and runner-up twice, so I can't tell you how much it means to me to win this regatta,” smiled Ian Wilson.

J/70s sailing UK Nationals on Solent“We could have got stressed out this morning, waiting to race, but we stayed together as a team and cracked a few jokes; we looked after each other. Once we got out on the race course, we were in the office, doing what we have trained for. All that effort has paid off. This is a new crew and the dynamics worked immediately. We are great mates and through that we work as a team, we do occasionally snap at each other, but we have agreed that it stays on the boat and goes away 30 seconds later. This year's nationals has been ten times harder to win than before, the fleet has improved massively. Look how many top guys have come in from the Olympic and dinghy classes, to beat those guys you know you have had a good regatta.”

The SOAK RACING team from Royal Southampton YC was the winner by eight points from last year's winners, Calascione & Ripard's Harlequin from the Royal Yacht Squadron. Martin Dent's JELVIS was third and was also winner of the Mixed Crew fleet (he was sailing with his daughter Ruby and Youth America’s Cup champion tactician- Annabel Vose). The top Corinthian team was Patrick Liardet's COSMIC from Royal Southampton YC and Jack Davies' YETI from Royal Solent YC was the top Under 25 Youth division winners. SOAK RACING was also the Masters Champions!

The Royal Yacht Squadron Race Management team received a tremendous amount of praise from the J/70 fleet, for providing clear communication and excellent courses.  Thanks for contribution from Louay Habib/ Royal Yacht Squadron.  For more U.K. J/70 National Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.