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11 October 2010, 10:07 am
An Epic Finale To J/80 World Championship
J80 Worlds 2010
An epic final day at the 2010 J/80 World Championship

J/80 World Championship 2010
Newport, RI, USA

The final races for the J/80 Worlds in Newport were truly epic. No one could've predicted what was in store for the fleet and the top five leaders.
The race committed made the decision was to go offshore on what was a gorgeous day, somewhat benign in its initial stages with a nice 10-15 knot wind blowing from the West. The course was set just two nm South East of Beavertail Point at the end of Jamestown and about 2.5 nm ESE of Whale Rock in Rhode Island Sound.

Going into to the first race of the day, it was anybody's guess as to who would be crowned as the 2010 J/80 World Champion with the top three all with a strong chance of winning. After race eleven, it was anyone's guess as there were enough black flags, DSQs and Z flag penalties that it was next to impossible to compute three to five point differences in the standings for the top 25 finishers, forgetting the fact that the top five were racing for the title separated by only a few points going into the first race of the day.

The first race started off in a beautiful 10-18 knots Westerly swinging 10-15 degrees in the 270-290 range. After the four-legged 1.7 nm per leg windward-leeward course, it was clear that playing left of middle in the first two thirds of the windward leg upwind was fast and top right third was good for right-handers just off the shore. The winners were a pretty happy bunch. Second in the race was Jeff Johnstone on Little Feat ahead of Ecc Viviendas' team sailed by Pichu Torcida in third. Just behind them were Scott Young/ Terry Flynn's Quantum Racing in fourth and Albie Terhune with tactician Moose McClintock sailing US 221 in fifth. Carlos Martinez's Peraleja Golf, who was the regatta leader at the time, was now fighting for survival to stay in the top three after their worst race of the event, a 24th.

The race committee reset the course as the wind had begun to shift further South West and increase. The wind continued to increase during the starting sequence and go even further left. Incredibly, on a black flag start, the wind shifted enough where half the fleet near the port end couldn't make the line and had to tack (or gybe) onto port to simply get across in the last 20 seconds. It turned into a spectacular race with 20-30 knot winds from 250-260 degrees, a spectacularly sunny day with not a cloud in the sky and huge 5-6 foot breaking waves.

The top American teams took three of the top five places, with Glenn Darden's Le Tigre team leading the charge to get first, followed by Kerry Klingler on Lifted, fifth was Bruno Pasquinelli steering Tiamo. Not surprisingly, the top Spanish teams Rayco Tabares on Hotel Princessa Canarias finished third and fourth was countryman Carlos Martinez on Peraleja Golf. Barring any scoring issues, the Quantum Racing team with Scott Young skippering were winning the Worlds simply because Pichu Torcida's Ecc Viviendas had their worst race of the series, an 18th, due to a spectacular broach on the last downwind run!

Setting the stage for the last race was the fact that it was still anyone's ball-game to go win and the race committee got the race underway in a steady 20-30 knot wind. Carlos Martinez showed the rest of fleet the way home, planing acrocss the finish line to take the final race win in convincing fashion. Second was Javier Blanco from Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (Spain) sailing Crocs in his best race of the series. Third was Jeff Johnstone on Little Feat, despite sailing 80% of the last run wing-on-wing with main and jib after shrimping and shredding their spinnaker on the set at the last windward mark. Fourth was Glenn Darden on Le Tigre and fifth Pichu Torcida on Ecc Viviendas.

After the dust and salt-spray settled, Pichu's Ecc Viviendas team from Real Club Nautico Santander (Spain) are crowned the 2010 J/80 World Champions, winning by two points over Scott Young/ Terry Flynn's team from Austin Yacht Club on Quantum Racing. Third was Carlos Martinez's team from Santiago, Spain on Peraleja Golf, only four points back with 54 points. Fourth was Jeff Johnstone's team on Little Feat from Ida Lewis YC with 58 points, just one point ahead of Glenn Darden's Le Tigre team from Fort Worth Boat Club with 59 points.

Event Website

Stuart Johnstone
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