79 Teams, 20 Nations, 5 Continents
Preview: Darwin Escapes 2019 J/70 World Championships
By Louay Habib
Monday 02 September, racing will start at the Darwin Escapes 2019 J/70 World Championships, hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. This will be the sixth edition of the J/70 World Championship and the first to take place in UK. Five days of windward-leeward racing are scheduled with up to 14 races in the stunning yet tricky sailing grounds of Tor Bay. 79 Teams from five continents will be competing for the Open and Corinthian titles ratified by World Sailing.
American teams have reigned supreme at the J/70 Worlds, with skippers from the United States winning the open title on four occasions, and a largely USA crew winning with Mexican skipper Julian Neckelmann in 2015. Peter Duncan’s Relative Obscurity winner in 2017, and Joel Ronning’s Catapult winner in 2016, will both be competing.
Italian teams have totally dominated the European Championship winning every year since 2014. Reigning J/70 European Champion, Claudia Rossi, and past European Champions; Alberto Rossi, Carlo Alberini, all from Italy, will all be competing.
British teams have never made the Open Division podium at the J/70 World Championship. Hoping to break that streak on home soil are two top contenders who showed their form in last week’s J/70 UK National Championship, Open Division winner Paul Ward’s Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat, and Corinthian Division winner King & Wilson’s Soak Racing. Doug Struth’s Corinthian team racing DSP was British champion in 2018.
Spanish teams looking to win the Open Division for the first time include the 2018 J/70 Worlds Corinthian Champion, Luis Bugallo’s Mar Natura. Pichu Torcida’s Noticia has a world class crew with eight J/80 world titles. On current form Luis Albert’s Patakin is among the strong contenders.
J/70 teams from all over the world will be competing at the Darwin Escapes 2019 J/70 World Championships: Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States of America.
Several teams impressed at the 2019 J/70 UK National Championship, held in Tor Bay prior to the world championship including the overall winner Michael Goldfarb’s Warcanoe (USA). The entire Corinthian podium from the 2019 J/70 Europeans will be in action: winner Luis Pérez Canal’s Abril Verde (ESP), runner-up Calascione & Ripard’s Calypso (MLT), and third place Oscar Lundqvist’s Hilda (SWE). Sergei Dobrovolskii’s Amaiz Sailing Team (CYP) and Denis Cherevatenko’s Joyfull (RUS) both showed great form at last week’s UK Nationals. Brazilian hopes for glory at the world championships will rest with Renato Faria’s To Nessa and Marcos Soares’ Highlanders.
The Darwin Escapes 2019 J/70 World Championships, hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, up to the minute coverage as the drama unfolds at https://www.facebook.com/j70uk/
Darwin Escapes 2019 J/70 Worlds Website: www.j70worlds2019.com