Wednesday, April 11, 2018

J/70 UK Class Grand Slam Series Announcement!

J/70 sailing Cowes, Solent, UK (Southampton, England)- With nearly 1,400 J/70s worldwide, the fast planing sportsboat is the fastest growing one-design class in sailing, and with 49 boats racing in the 2017 UK fleet, it is one of the largest in the world.

The 2018 UK regatta schedule will once again provide thrilling one-design racing on short courses with multi-race days, but with one significant change. The major UK events will combine to form the J/70 Class UK Grand Slam Series. The best five event results will decide the overall winner in professional and Corinthian classes, with the top teams qualifying for the 2019 J/70 World Championship, which will be hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club.

J/70s sailing England on Solent“The Grand Slam Series will decide the 20 slots for the 2019 J/UK Worlds,” commented J/70 UK Class President, Hannah Le Prevost. “The overall aim is to expand and encourage the UK fleet and improve the performance of the teams. We see this as an 18-month program, including winter training, running into the 2019 J/70 Worlds. Every team will have to qualify through the series to compete at Torbay next year. We aspire to take on the world's best J/70 teams, with everybody working together in the UK Class.”

The first event of the J/70 UK Grand Slam Series will take place 21-22 April as part of the Spring Series organized by Warsash SC. A big turn out of J/70 teams is expected from independent owners and teams racing for the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Thames Yacht Club.

In action will be Jonathan Calascione's HARLEQUIN, representing the Royal Yacht Squadron, which was top British team for the 2017 J/70 European Championship. The class attracts a huge variety of sailors, including world-class professionals and Corinthian sailors, both young and old. Ian Wilson's SOAK RACING, the reigning J/70 UK National Champion, and top British team at the 2018 J/70 Worlds, will also be competing.

J/70 UK sailing fast“The Grand Slam Series gets qualification for the 2019 Worlds done and dusted this year, which means we can really focus our training this winter to get ready to compete with the best teams from Europe and America. It will get the UK fleet all racing together and get everyone to understand what will be required to get to the Worlds. By the time we get to Torbay, we should be right at the top of our game, without the worry of having to qualify. This year is going to be really exciting and will really get the UK fleet on its toes to fight for the top spots.”

Simon Cavey will be racing JUST4PLAY for the fourth consecutive year. “The ball is definitely rolling and we have top guys who want to race J/70s, which is great. Racing against professionals and young aspiring Olympic sailors is thrilling. The top sailors are coming into the class because the boat is fantastic. I love sailing the boat and the racing is so close.”

John Greenland will be representing the Royal Thames YC, as a Corinthian sailor. Greenland has brought success to the club at the helm of entries for the NYYC Invitational Regatta and the RORC Commodores Cup. “Work and family commitments will always come first, we have two young children and both of us have careers,” commented John. “The Royal Thames has an extremely well-maintained fleet of J/70s available to club members and you don't need a big crew to race in the class. To be able to arrive and simply launch the boat to enjoy fast competitive racing is the big attraction. As it is a one-design class, there are no excuses; the best team wins.”

Nine events constitute the J/70 UK Class Grand Slam series, culminating in the presentation of two fabulous trophies, for the Overall winner and the Corinthian winner. Teams must compete at five events to qualify, including the non-discardable J/70 UK National Championship.  Here are the dates and the venues:
  • Apr 21-22- Warsash Spring Championship I- Warsash SC
  • Apr 28-29- Warsash Spring Championship II- Warsash SC
  • May 25-27- The J-Cup- Island Sailing Club
  • Jun 2-3- Southern Area Championship- Royal Thames YC
  • July 20-22- UK National Championship- Royal Southern YC
  • Aug 4-7- Cowes Week Mini-Series- Cowes Combined Clubs
  • Sep 22-23- Autumn Championship- Royal Yacht Squadron
  • Oct 13-14- Hamble One-Design Championship I- Hamble River SC
  • Oct 20-21- Hamble One-Design Championship II- Hamble River SC
Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright-  For more J/70 UK Class Grand Slam Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.