Thursday, October 22, 2020

J/80 Women's Cup Smashing Success!

 J/80 Women's Cup winners- Bilbao, Spain

(Getxo, Bilbao, Spain)- The inaugural International Women's Cup recently took place off Getxo, Spain on their gorgeous azure blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Hosting the event for the dozen J/80 women sailing teams was the Real Club Marítimo del Abra, sponsored by Euskadiko Kirol Portuak. Originally, the regatta was scheduled to be held at the end of March 2020.  But, like everything else, it had to be postponed due to the pandemic and sailed last weekend.

After hosting the Spanish J/80 Cup in 2018 and the J/80 World Championship in 2019, the Club de Las Arenas wanted to promote women's sailing and teamwork. Finally, after working with Basque authorities, they were given permission to host the event at Real Club Maritimo del Abra. The regatta was held over the three-day weekend of October 9th to 11th. The event started off with a teamwork/ training session on Friday; which was greatly needed by all!

J/80 Women's Cup leaders
“It is with great satisfaction to present this important sporting event, which represents a great step in the objective that EKP has within its strategy of promoting and contributing to equality between women and men in all areas. The hope is to grow women's presence in sailing as skippers, crew, and boat owners," said Edurne Egaña, Executive Director of Euskadiko Kirol Portuak. 

The Biscayan J/80 sailor- Carmen Galdós- commented that, “women have been sailing for a long time, with an increasingly higher percentage of female sailors participating in recent years. Now, with the support of the Spanish J/80 Class, there is even more interest; the women like the J/80 for its sailing qualities and ease-of-handling.”

J/80s sailing Women's Cup
In addition, Lourdes Bilbao (owner of the J/80 SIEMENS GARCIA) agreed by highlighting at the press conference that, "this event is a great leap forward, and events like this promoting women's sailing gives them an opportunity to get together with friends and strangers. Plus, for many of them it was a chance to sail with Olympic-class sailors, many of them being Olympic Medallists!” 

The 100-plus women sailors could not have been more blessed with great weather and nice sailing conditions.  On the first day, the RCMA PRO managed to run three races. The shifty northwest wind of 8 to 12 kts challenged the sailors.  However, it quickly became clear the class act of the regatta was going to be Natalia Vía-Dufresne's CLINICAS DORSIA Sailing Team, closing the day with a 1-2-2 record.  Also winning races the first day were Carmen Galdós's FINGOLFIN Women’s Team and Helena Alegre's CENTROSEGUR Team. 

J/80 sailing fast off Getxo, Bilbao, Spain
Much to the delight of the women sailors, the second day of racing saw more of the same sailing conditions, but with a bit more breeze-on from the northwest, blowing 15 to 25 kts. Starting where she left off on the first day, Via-Dufresne's CLINICAS DORSIA Team won the first race by a wide margin and repeated that performance by an even larger margin in the last and final race. Clearly, Natalia's team J/80 Women's Cup winnersreveled in the breezy, wavy conditions, compiling a 2-2-1-1-1 tally for 5 pts and the gold medal.  Her winning team included Nuria Sanchez, Ana Pujol, Susana Romero, Clara Llabres, and Marta Garrido. 

Despite CLINICAS DORSIA domination, the second place DECOEXSA Women's Team crew was just five points back on the leaderboard with a record of 3-5-2-3-2 for 10 pts. DECOEXSA was skippered by Olatz Munoz Ortiz, with crew of Amaia Sanchez Arnaez, Paula de la Hoz San Bartolome, Patricia Alza Larruscain, Magdalena Czernick, and Marta Lizarrage Durandegui. 

Taking the bronze medal step on the podium was the well-known BIOBIZZ Women's Team with a record of 4-3-4-2-3 for 12 pts total.  Skippering BIOBIZZ was Maria Sanchez Diez with crew of Laura Fernandez Gutierrez, Lucia Gonzalez Villa, Claudia  Carpintero Borrajo, Carlota Gala Licona, and Elena Quevedo Pasarin. Thanks to Luis Fernandez for his beautiful photos of the inaugural International Women's J/80 Cup Add to Flipboard Magazine.