By Louay Habib
26-year-old Tilly Harrison’s Sorcha J has won the J/70 Mini-Series at Cowes Week. Tilly’s father Peter owns the Maxi72 Sorcha, and they often race together but not on this occasion. Tilly lives in Putney with her two dogs and loves to sail in her spare time. Aptly on Ladies’ Day at Cowes Week, Tilly scored her first J/70 race victory, and went on to win the Grand Slam J/70 Event.
“I am really happy,” smiled Tilly Harrison. “I have been racing with my dad in the class for about two years and I wanted to get into something smaller so I could learn more. We have a family house in Fishbourne IOW, so it was a no-brainer to get racing when ever I come to visit. Racing in a J/70 made me pick up things quickly, and I would definitely recommend the class to anyone. This regatta was great, with 32 boats on the water, and a good atmosphere ashore. I had no idea we would win the regatta even after we won the first race today, the last two races were really competitive. When we got ashore, I had no idea that we had won overall, so it came as a nice surprise.”
Paul Ward’s Eat,Sleep, J Repeat was always in the running, and finished the regatta with two bullets to finish second for the mini-series. New to the UK scene was Victor Migraine’s team OhLaLa! Victor shared the helm with 420 World Champion Vita Heathcote from Lymington. OhLaLa! Had a star-studded crew including top Figaro3 sailor and Fastnet champion Alexis Loison, and 2018 Tour Voile champion Valentin Sipan. Jack Davies Yeti, from Yarmouth IOW was the top youth team for the Grand Slam Event.
The next event in the 2019 J/70 UK Class Grand Slam Series is non-discardable. An impressive fleet is expected for the J/70 UK National Championship, 23-26 August, hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. 36 teams have confirmed their participation. As an open event, top teams from abroad will be competing including past and present world and continental champions: Joel Ronning’s Catapult (USA), Alberto Rossi’s Enfant Terrible (ITA), Jose Maria Torcida’s Noticia (ESP), Claudia Rossi’s Petite Terrible (ITA), and Peter Duncan’s Relative Obscurity (USA).
Thanks to Salcombe Gin for presenting the winners with a bottle, at the Key Yachting party at the Island Sailing Club.