North Clients 1,2,3 at 2016 J/111 Worlds
North Sails J/111 expert Jeremy Smart re-caps the recent world championship regatta on the Solent.
The Pre-Worlds were hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble on the mainland side of the Solent. Six races were sailed over two days with breezy conditions on Friday and calmer conditions on Saturday. Peter Wagner and the crew on Skeleton Key made their mark, winning five of the races and discarding a second. In second overall were Martin Dent’s JElvis on 10 points and in third Stuart Sawyer’s Black Dog on 22 points. All of the top three used North Sails 3Di RAW upwind sails.
On Sunday 31st July the 14-boat fleet moved across the Solent to Cowes for a day of weighing in and race briefings. North Sails was a sponsor for the Pre-Worlds and Worlds and provided weather forecasting each day with Libby Greenhalgh, who has forecast for the British Olympic Sailing Team and Team SCA in the Volvo Ocean Race. North also donated daily prizes and had planned some drone filming but the weather proved too windy to allow this. North representatives at the event were myself on McFly, Ruairidh Scott on JElvis, Seadon Wijsen from North Sails San Francisco on Skeleton Key, Aaron Cole from North Sails Melbourne on Kestrel and Wouter Kollman from North Sails Holland on Lällekönigl.
The first day of the championship proved to be the light wind day of the regatta, with the breeze between 8 -15 knots. Three races were sailed. JElvis were the winners of the day followed by Skeleton Key and McFly.
For the remaining three days the wind rarely dropped below 18 knots and topped at around 30. Day Two proved to be the windiest and was to be dubbed ‘Big Tuesday’! It was the Dutch boat Sweeny who showed their form in the windy conditions taking two firsts. Video footage from the day can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3nThVJc-1M
By the evening of the third day a gap was opening up between the top three boats and the rest of the fleet. In first place was Skeleton Key with 11pts, followed by JElvis with 13pts and McFly with 19pts; while the next placed boat was Sweeny at 27pts and then Kashmir with a total of 29pts. On the morning of the final day, with two races to go, these three had it all to play for! Skeleton Key didn’t get off to a good start in the first race and then struggled to fight their way back. This gave JElvis a five point lead going into the last race, and Skeleton Key nine points ahead of McFly. Skeleton Key made a good start in this race and led most of the way around. Behind them places were changing rapidly meaning the final result wasn’t certain until the second run of the race when JElvis fought back from 6th to 2nd.
The final race win for Skeleton Key, however, was not enough for them to take the overall title. JElvis had sailed incredibly consistent and were counting all top three scores, securing the win by four points from Skeleton Key. McFly was third, Kashmir fourth, Sweeny fifth and Black Dog sixth overall and first Corinthian boat.
North Sails is proud to have outfit 13 of the 14 boats in the fleet with a complete sail inventory for the Worlds.
Martin Dent’s winning team on JElvis began sailing the J/111 in 2014 and, during their short time in the class, have shown massive improvement. Martin commented that whilst the sails are undoubtedly fast, it’s the support and advice that they have received from North Sails that has enabled them to improve so quickly.
Congratulations to the crews of JElvis, Skeleton Key, and McFly; and to all the fantastic sailors throughout the J/111 fleet, on a week of exceptional racing.