The third day of the 2015 J/70s World Championship for the 78 boats competing for the title, and the conditions are still ideal in La Rochelle.
Yesterday evening, the crews enjoyed a dinner party with a beautiful view on the harbor and the sunset. Encounters, jokes and cheerfulness were on the menu, but the competition resumed this morning. The crews stood up a little earlier to leave the port at nine and take the start of the seventh race of this World Championship at around half past ten.
Under a radiant sun and a cloudless sky, the crews completed two races today and were able to enjoy the end of the afternoon to rest a little before embarking for their last day of the Championship tomorrow. With an east wind between six and 12 knots (90) fading a bit in the last part of the second race, the boats took two beautiful departures on a fairly calm sea.The English on boats.com (GBR 557) and Italians on NOTARO TEAM (ITA 725) have each won a race this morning, but it’s still not enough to overturn the top two.
Mexico’s Julian Fernandez Neckelmann from the Valle de Bravo fleet west of Mexico City and his crew are still leading the competition. The team, second at the Midwinters in Key West, the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week and the Annapolis NOOD Regatta, are hoping their preparation will keep them on the top. On FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO and helping Julian as tactician is the two-time Etchells World Champion and recent Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Bill Hardesty. Just behind, Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK (ITA 456), J/70 Midwinter Champion 2015, are still second today in the provisional general ranking.
Tim Healy, current J/70 World Champion, on the American boat HELLY HANSEN (USA 2) takes back the third place to Ian Atkins and the English on the boats.com (GBR 557). After winning the first race this morning, the English were indeed less well positioned in the second race.There are only a few points between the first crews so there may be still some surprises before the end of this championship. Especially since at the fourth place in the provisional general, the Italian team, NOTARO TEAM (ITA 725) and its skipper Luca DOMENICI did a very good eighth race. Giallongo Benedetto from the Italian crew explained, “We have a very good tactician, Diego NEGRI, and we usually are well positioned in the beginning, but we still need to work on our teamwork and our mastery of the boat in the strongest winds.” The team, happy with its performance in the morning and with the weather, would have been ready for a third race today.
On the french side, the HEMON CAMUS (FRA 722) and its skipper Laurent SAMBRON take the sixteenth place despite an impressive eighth race in which they finished in the top 10. LULU THE NANTAISE (FRA 257 ) with Ludovic SENECHAL’s crew take 21st place. The DISPOSITIF FRANCE JEUNE TEAM SRR (FRA 865), led by Pierre RHIMBAULT wins a place in the overall and take the 23rd position. Valentin MASSU on ALBERTO (FRA127) gives us his impressions, “We have some very good conditions for this World Championship, but the wind is a bit shifty and you have to be tactical. You have to take the right side to make the leg.”
In Corinthian, the English are still leading the competition since the TEAM BENEVOLENT FUND RAF SPITFIRE (GBR 123) with Simon LING and the GILL RACE TEAM (GBR 259) of Ian WILSON keep the first and second place The first french, Ludovic SENECHAL on LULU THE NANTAISE (FRA 257) come in fifth place.
There may still be some surprises in the rankings since two races remain tomorrow, but in the meantime, crews were able to rest and enjoy the sun and the beach.