A jittery J/80 fleet assembled at The MIQ Logistics 2012 J/80 World Championship Powered by SLAM Regatta HQ in Dartmouth on Friday (15 June) morning, in nervous anticipation of the two final races of the eleven race series scheduled for the day.
The Regatta HQ had been rife with discussion amongst the crews the night before as to the likelihood of high winds stopping play on the final race day.
Having appraised all of the weather data available the J/80 fleet were held ashore on Friday morning until the Race Management Team were able to survey and assess conditions on the race area in Start Bay for themselves. At 09.30 on Friday 15th June Principal Race Officer Mike Pearson called back to the Race HQ with the news that a constant wind speed of 33 knots coupled with swells in excess of 4 metres across the race area had necessitated the decision to abandon racing for the day and for the overall Championship Series.
An excited round of applause rang around the Race HQ as the assembled fleet congratulated the new J/80 World Champions: Jose Maria van der Ploeg and his crew on board NILFISK: Lluis Mas, Juan Merayo, Hugo Ramon and twelve year old Jose 'Junior' van der Ploeg.
The nine races sailed at The MIQ Logistics 2012 J/80 World Championship Powered by SLAM each delivered a different winner: a fact that is testament to the level of competition on the race-track within the International J/80 Class. Van der Ploeg's team on NILFISK never conceded a single result outside of the top 14 boats during the course of the regatta but nor did he finish a race within the top two. Skilled consistency in crew work, boat handling, tactics and intelligent regatta strategy delivered a World Championship win for NILFISK with a four point lead over the second placed boat, Rayco Tabares' Hotel Princesa Yaiza and six points over third place Carlos Martinez' Mapfre.
All 76 J/80s were de-rigged and lifted back on to their road trailers on Friday afternoon along Dartmouth's North Embankment so that 350 competitors could rush home to spruce themselves up in advance of the Closing Ceremony and Prizegiving Dinner scheduled for Friday evening.
The 2013 J/80 World Championship will take place in Marseilles, France from the 7-13 July 2013.