The Audi J/70 World Championship’s organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo, in collaboration with the J/70 International Class Association and with the Title Sponsor Audi and Official Sailmaker Quantum Sails commenced racing with the world’s largest sportboat fleet on September 14.
With numerous General Recalls, Black Flag’s in play and a full on foam up, the Audi J/70 World Championship’s ended on a thrilling high to remember for years to come. With sparkling sunshine, a significant sea state and a warm westerly breeze, piping up to a ballistic 30 knots, the world’s largest Championship sportboat fleet enjoyed a fantastic finale in Porto Cervo.
Peter Duncan is the Audi J/70 World Champion, after a stunning performance, scoring podium finishes in every race including three race wins. American Brian Keane’s Savasana scored a second in the final race moving to runner up for the Championship. Italian Luca Domenici moved up to third in the final race and Italian Claudia Rossi’s attempt to become the first lady helm to win the title was ended with a Black Flag in the final race.
“Awesome! Top of the world!” Exclaimed Peter Duncan dockside at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. ” It is a great feeling, I have sailed with some great guys, we had a great event and everything seemed to go our way, it was just one of those weeks. It is hard to put into words how I feel now, but this was just exceptional. This fleet has some really great talent and the organizers as well as the yacht club have done such an amazing job. Most of all I want to credit the crew, Victor, Jud, Willem, they have been just fantastic.”
Runner up was Savasana (USA) Brian Keane. “We chartered the J/70 so we are really pleased to have come second in the Championship. I have been racing in the class since the beginning and now that we have fleets racing J/70s all over the world, the standard is just amazing and so is this Regatta. A world record keelboat fleet in superb surroundings.”
Top team for the host club, YCCS, and first team with a Lady Helm was Petite Terrible (ITA) Claudia Rossi. “Peter Duncan is a worthy World Champion, his team sailed the best this week. Our fourth position is better than fifth in the last World Championship so maybe I will not win for three years!” Laughed Claudia. “However I will be in Marblehead for the 2018 J/70 World Championship.”
The sight of 162 teams gathered on the race course was nothing short of spectacular, a gigantic festival of yacht racing. The fleet enjoying intense competition, salt-encrusted and elated by the experience.
J/Boats’ Stuart Johnstone, racing with Henry Brauer on American entry Rascal, spoke about the first day of racing at the Audi J/70 World Championship. “It was an extraordinary feeling leaving the harbour this morning, I was thinking back to the golden days of the J/24. I was filled with family pride seeing so many sailors going out there to enjoy a spectacular day of sailing.”
“Out on the race course, we could recognise the depth and talent of the fleet,” continued Stuart, “If you fell out of the top tier, it was very difficult to claw your way back before the top mark. Downwind the classic post-mistral conditions meant there were big lulls as well as big puffs, which is very challenging. Packs of boats kept passing each other with sometimes 50% difference in boat speed.”
Congratulations to our Australian team (and ASBA member), Reg Lord and crew sailing Juno, finishing 12th in silver fleet.
Day 3 video https://youtu.be/7yge147XOAc
Day 4 video https://youtu.be/ZUtBzYxpaHw
Day 5 video https://youtu.be/pJQu7MRHXAY