The J/70 UK National Championship will be hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble this August Bank Holiday Weekend, at the newly commissioned, Prince Philip Yacht Haven. With over 900 J/70s worldwide, this planing high performance sportsboat is the fastest growing sailing class in the world and adrenalin pumping action is expected over the three-day regatta. Besides crowning the UK National Champion, prizes will be awarded to: Best Corinthian Crew, Best Mixed Crew, Best Under 30 Crew and Best Over 50 Crew.
Ruairidh Scott will be racing with Ian Atkins on Boats.com, the defending J/70 UK National Champion. Ruairidh’s results in sports boats speak volumes; J/80 World Champion, 1720 National and European Champion, 2013 J/70 EuroCup winner. Boats.com was fourth in last month’s J/70 World Championship, the highest ranked British team.
“Depending how many of the Cowes fleet take part, we could have more than 30 teams for the J/70 National Championship.” commented Ruairidh. “I believe there are over 60 boats in the UK now and many more in Europe, which is something we haven’t seen from a one-design class for a long time. The J/70 is much lighter on the helm and the sheets, than other sportsboats and as a result you sail it more like a dinghy. It is a simple boat to sail but getting that last five percent of performance is the tricky bit and big part of the attraction.
The UK National Championship should be very competitive and a lot of fun, it is a three day event and the first day is all about avoiding ‘the shocker’; keeping in the regatta, knocking in consistent results. The Solent is always a tricky place to sail and you can easily get it wrong. We put a big focus on the first leg of a race, you don’t have to be the first boat to the top mark, but you need to be out of the mess. In the top 20% of the fleet, generally the teams leave each other alone to progress along the race track. Once you fall out of that group, it can get messy and you can get sucked into the mid-fleet very easily. If you can have a good first leg, the rest of the race can be so much easier.”
Royal Southern Yacht Club Academy and Melges 24 sailor, Will Goldsmith, will be at the helm of Gill Race Team with a crew all under 25, including 470 duo Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter from the RYA British Sailing Team and Matthew Rainback, Bronze medallist in the 2013 Fireball European Championship. Gill Race Team will qualify for both the top mixed crew and the top Under 30 crew prizes.
“We are really grateful to Ian Wilson for lending us the boat for the regatta and the Royal Southern YC Trust for assisting with our entry.” commented Will Goldsmith. “I have to admit I am pretty nervous about the regatta, as we will have not spent much time sailing together on the boat and many of the other teams will have had time on the water, which is always a good thing to improve performance. I suppose you could say I got the short straw for the helm as it has to be the owner of the boat or an amateur at the helm. Anna is my girlfriend and we rarely get a chance to race together, so that will be pretty special but you best ask me after the regatta how that went!”
28 teams have already entered the J/70 UK National Championship, besides professional race management from the Royal Southern Yacht Club, competitors will enjoy social activities and full use of the club during the regatta.