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  • SANTA CRUZ New J/24 World Champion

    ISAF @ Mon May 11 08:54:00 2009

    Mauricio SANTA CRUZ and his Brazilian team on Bruschetta celebrate their World title success
    ©2009 Tim Wilkes / www.timwilkes.com

    The sun came out at last, the wind finally arrived more or less on schedule and the 2009 J/24 World Championship came to an exciting end with three races jammed into the final day of competition.

    With the vital worst-race throwout in play once the sailors had completed the day’s first contest, standings shuffled quite a bit, and as 1996 World Champion Chris LARSON (USA) of Annapolis and his National Sailing Hall of Fame team finished third in that race thet took the lead by the narrowest of margins, tied on points with Canadian Rossi MILEV and his Clear Air crew.

    With a third-place finish in the next race, LARSON and his team, which included Dave HUGHES, Moose MCCLINTOCK, Steve FRAZIER, and Curtis FLORENCE, pulled ahead a bit more, establishing a 2-point lead over 2006-2007 World Champion Mauricio SANTA CRUZ and his Brazilian team on Bruschetta, who now found himself winning the tiebreaker with MILEV and setting up the final race as a real nail-biter to see who would emerge at the top of the highly competitive 76-boat fleet.

    In the end, SANTA CRUZ and the Bruschetta crew, with a third in the seventh race to LARSON’s 11th and Milev’s 14th, came away with a third J/24 World Championship, making him the second-most successful J/24 skipper in class history (American Ken READ still holds the record with six titles) and the first non-US sailor to win a Worlds in this country.

    Sailing with SANTA CRUZ were Daniel SANTIAGO, Alexandre SALDANHA, Paolo BOIDO, and Alfredo ROVERE, who have been part of his team for six years.

    “We have a very good team,” SANTA CRUZ said as he enjoyed the congratulations of his fellow sailors in the Annapolis Yacht Club basin as they lined up for haulout. “The first day, the wind was good, but after that it was very difficult. Today, the Race Committee did a very good job, and we had three good races.”

    The Bruschetta team came out the box strongly, with finishes of 6,1 on the series’ first two races on Monday, and managed to avoid trouble with the starting penalties that plagued others. Tuesday’s light air brought them 63 points – ultimately their throwout – but keeper scores no worse than 16th and four top-ten finishes carried them through in good form.

    “We had a great day on the water,” LARSON said. “We didn’t have a great start in the last race and Bruschetta did, and he sailed really well. We caught up a lot toward the end, and we won the day on the water."

    LARSON and his team were among the victims of starting penalties on the regatta’s first day, when a sixth-place finish became a 22-pointer with a 20% “Z” flag penalty after the boat was identified as over the line early in a recalled start under the “Z” flag.

    Unfortunately, the Wednesday light air crapshoot resulted in a 43rd-place finish for their drop, so Larson and company had to swallow the expensive penalty.

    Principal Race Officer Sandy GROSVENOR brought the fleet out early this morning and held them as long as possible, starting the third race with only a few minutes to spare before the drop-deadline.

    “The sailors cooperated quite a lot by getting off the line clean,” she said, describing southerly breeze in the 6- to 8-knot range. Courses were set south of Thomas Point Light, on the theory that the normal spring sunny-day thermal would arrive sooner farther to the south. And the strong ebb current which had plagued the racers and organizers throughout the week actually began to die off during the final race of the series. Not soon enough, however, for some 13 teams who were disqualified under the dreaded black flag used for the day’s first race. By the time Grosvenor started the third and final race of the day, however, the sailors went off cleanly without the use of any penalty flag signals.

    For more information and complete results, see www.j24worldchampionship2009.com.

    Dobbs Davis

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  • J24 worlds final wrap up from Mexico

    Chris McLaughlin @ Mon Mar 12 08:09:00 2007


    Close racing takes J24 Worlds to a nerve wracking finish

    The UBS sponsored, J 24 World Championship closed in particularly testing conditions for competitors at Banderas Bay, Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.

    As 2006 World Champion, Mauricio Santa Cruz of Brazil retained his title with a race to spare, seven competitors battled for the runner-up spot.
    Chris Snow of USA held the spot overnight having sailed a careful series. Third placed Mark Hillman of USA hoped to move up whilst Britain’s Ian Southworth led Mike Ingham of USA for fourth place. Also poised to pounce were the Japanese crews of Sakamoto and Funazawa.

    The race officer moved the start of race 9 forward by one hour forward by one hour, but the wind had decided not to join in. This resulted in an attempt to start in 5 mph wind with current pushing the fleet up into the committee boat. The resultant raft saw damage, a general recall and a black flag start.

    Wataru Sakamoto led the charge and was black flagged, while 54th placed Keith Whitemore of USA, sailing Tundra Rose, wriggled clear to take his first win of the day. Argentine sailor Alejo, was second with Ken Porter of Mexico, sailing Comex, finished third. Porter had a great week in the light, local conditions to finish 14th overall.

    Series hopefuls headed for their calculators as Chris Snow picked up a 36th place. European Champion, Ian Southworth, sailing Inmarsat, finished 17th, after being blocked by the starting raft, slipped to 5th overall.

    Competitors scoured the course for wind but none was to come.

    As on many previous occasions during the week, the Race Officer struggled with the local tidal effects. His three boat line system had not worked well. The middle boat, from which he sought to control the race, was often ahead or behind the line. Competitors were further stressed by race spectators, who moved ever closer to the weather mark to cheer friends, before endearingly powering their Sunseekers down around the fleet to the Leeward Mark. Light winds and motorboat chop are not a happy mix.

    Race 10 started with a general recall and a further black flag. It was a rerun of the morning. 5 mph winds, chop, spectator wash and a raft of boats and collisions as boats sought to start starboard end and tack right. Local, Ken Porter led the charge and got black flagged as did eleven other boats.
    Tundra Rose took the lead from Wataru Sakamoto in Siesta and Luis Grimaldi of Argentina. Mark Hillman recovering from a morning 26th finished 4th the Local Mexican crew of Murieta and Beho, sailing GQ Mexico, took 5th.

    As the dust cleared, Mike Ingham, 4th in the morning had moved up to a well deserved 2nd overall ahead of Mark Hillman with a crew that included 2005 World Champion, Anthony Koutoun as tactician. Yasutaka Funazawa of Japan, sailing Cerezo, scored a 5th and a 12th to grab 4th overall and on arrival at the dock, Wataru Sakamoto discovered he had passed Ian Southworth by a single point to take 5th place. The Argentine crew of Alejo and Gonzalez then discovered that they had pushed previously second-placed Chris Snow into 8th, while Rossi Milev of Canada came within two points of also beating the leading USA crew. Taking 10th place was Luis Grimaldi of Argentina, who did just enough with a last race 3rd to beat Ryan Cox, USA to a place trophy.

    This was a highly competitive series, sailed in predominantly light airs. Seventy boats were extensively measured by internationally qualified judges over three days and the Race Committee worked hard to provide great racing. Once again the J24 Fleet showed itself both competitive and good humoured, even on days when there were over thirty protests to be heard.

    Elite corporate sponsorship from UBS Bank, the Regional Puerta Vallarit Regional Government, Globalstar, Lincoln Cars, Scappino Clothing and American Express made the 29th J24 World Championship “The Best Ever” and set a high bar for the Italian Fleet, hosts of the 30th World Championship at Porto Rotundo, Sardinia in 2008.

    Ian Southworth comments “What a championship, very hard racing and on the last day so many could still get second place. My congratulations to Mauricio Santa Cruz and his team, who did so well and my thanks to our sponsors, Inmarsat plc, to Henri Lloyd for the clothing that kept us cool and to technical helpers, Harken GB. We look forward to Sardinia.

    Ian Southworth’s crew were: Andy McLelland, Cockpit; Max Skelley, Tactics; Chris McLaughlin, Mast and Chris Crockett, Bow. They used Ullman Sails On a Charleston Spar and an Italia J Boat hull.

    Other British placings were: Bob Turner in Serco Defence, 28th and Gareth Chalmers in 33rd. Both were sailing charter boats.

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  • J24 Worlds from the water.

    Chrs McLaughlin @ Sun Mar 11 17:20:00 2007

    Jay Ailworth
    Strange Bird Photography

    Inmarsat steps up

    Inmarsat,(GB), sailed by triple J24 European Champion, Ian Southworth continues to progress through the World Championship fleet here at Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. The championship has attracted 70 boats from 17 countries and continues to test some of the world’s best helms.

    The J24 will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2008 but the racing continues to be fresh and close as competitors choose to sail this strictly controlled, one-design boat.

    The Puerta Vallarta World Championship has provided difficult conditions with most racing in less than 6 knots and shifts of 20 -25 degrees a regular occurrence.

    Mastering the conditions to date is current World Champion, Mauricio Santa Cruz of Brazil, sailing Bruschetta, a newly-built Italia J-Boat, paid for by Corporate sponsors, Globalstar. The boat will be presented to the Mexican Class for use by members on the Texas circuit in 2008.

    Globalstar has provided individual tracking devices on each boat to enable web watchers to see how individuals are doing.

    For the leading group, today will be about avoiding errors. Twenty points separate Mauricio Santa Cruz from 5th placed Wataru Sakamoto of Japan, who was second at the 2006 World Championship. Each of the top four competitors can, mathematically, win the title and conditions will be very testing again. The race officer has moved the start forward to noon, but to date there has been little or no wind at that time, while local uncharted tide flows make starts and approaches to marks difficult to judge.

    The current positions are a who’s who of J24 sailors. Santa Cruz and his team of Brazilian Olympic sailors needs no introduction. In second is Chris Snow of North Sails, USA, who has won many North American titles. Third placed Mark Hillman,(USA) of Quantum sails has 2005 World Champion Anthony Koutoun as his tactician.

    Joint fourth placed Mike Ingham of North Sails, USA is facing a re-run of the 2006 Worlds where Britain’s Ian Southworth took third position from him.

    Sakamoto and countryman, Yasuka Funazawa hold 5th and 6th positions, while Rossi Milev of Canada is in 7th. Luis Grimaldi of Argentine is in 8th pl”ace.

    Said Ian Southworth: “ This is a very hot fleet. We have no discard so that will dictate or approach to risk today. We are going to sail each race in isolation and see if we can improve”.

    Ian Southworth’s crew is: Andy McLelland, Max Skelley, Chris McLaughlin and Chris Crockett. They are using Crockett’s Italia J Boat, with Charleston spars and Ullman sails. Inmarsat plc, the mobile satellite communications group have supported them, as have Henri Lloyd and Harken UK.

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  • Field tightens at Audi Etchells Worlds

    Bermuda Sailing Association @ Tue Nov 21 22:44:00 2006

    Britain’s Ante Razmilovic won the 2006 Audi Etchells Worlds Race 4 off Fremantle this afternoon, ahead of American Craig Healy and New Zealander Andy Gair. While series leader Jud Smith has extended his overall lead, behind him the field is tightening.

    Ante Razmilovic’s win today took him to third place overall in the regatta. The 35 year old Briton is not a new kid on the block, having won the 2003 European titles, the 2004 British titles and only being beaten in the 2004 North Americans on count back.

    While Razmilovic has now made a podium claim, the four times Worlds runner up and three times North American champion Jud Smith, has further tightened his grip on the 2006 Worlds, stretching his lead over Britain’s Andy Beadsworth.

    Smith is determined to get the monkey off his back. ‘It’s kind of embarrassing, to have come second in the Etchells Worlds four times. But there is a long way to go in this regatta and I’ve learned not to take anything for granted.

    ‘Last year we were leading up until the second last day and one mistake, and we put ourselves away. We just want to have a chance going into the last day.‘

    Ante Razmilovic sailing with Jezz Fanstone and Stuart Finn, told the story of today’s race. ‘Today we started about a quarter down from the committee boat. We put the hammer down and did not tack for 20 seconds, Stuart Childerley had the best start; he was about a length extended on us about four boats down from us and the boats between us were ’spat out’ quickly, then the guys above us fell in behind us.

    ‘After five minutes we made a big jump on Stuart and he fell down behind us and tacked away. Richard Coxon who started above the committee boat side, reached down towards us. Craig Healy had started further down the line, crossed us, and we followed Jud Smith and Mark Bradford.

    ’Down the run we managed to pass Jud and Mark. Craig Healy rounded the left hand gate, we went round the other. We just beat him to the weather mark, we were quick down the run and extended five or six boat lengths and then went on from there.

    ‘We are really enjoying this regatta. Brilliant weather, great venue, great race management, great competition.’

    Andy Beadsworth is currently second overall. ’We were lucky today. We were buried at the left hand end at the start in the third row, sucking dirty air. We somehow found a lane, took it, hitched up, found another hitched up again and lo’ and behold we were tenth at the top mark. So that was a recovery.

    ‘Then down the run, we had boats inside us and that stopped us gybing and so we overlaid. Then we went round the right hand mark and sailed back through some dirty air. We will get that bit right soon.

    ‘Today was a tough day; we got the hard bits right and struggled with the simple things. When we start getting the simple things right, we will do really well.’

    By Rob Kothe

    Race Results:http://www.etchellsworlds2006.org/results_p.asp?divid=382&prog=y

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  • Top Ten Finish for Bromby!

    Bermuda Sailing Association @ Sun Nov 19 20:40:00 2006

    As went the Worlds, so went the North Americans. Hamish Pepper and Carl Williams stayed on land today and packed up their boat, while the rest of the fleet took to Biscayne Bay under overcast skies and 8-10 knots of breeze. When the racing was over Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada managed to pass Xavier Rohart and Pascal Rambeau to take second place in the regatta. The three teams finished 1,2,3 at the World Championship in San Francisco last month.

    Two boats up from the pin, Peter Bromby and Bill McNiven stole the start, had clear air all the way up the first beat, and rounded the first weather mark with a 5-boat-length lead. They were followed by Matthias Miller and Manuel Voigt, Robert Schiedt and Bruno Prada, James Spithill and Magnus Liljedahl, Augie Diaz and Phil Trinter, Rick Merriman and Eric Munroe, and Henry Filter and Will Wagner.

    The wind lightened on the run John Dane and Austin Sperry took the lead away from Bromby and McNiven. A big left shift came through after the first couple of boats rounded the left gate. James Spithill, with local Olympic gold medal crew, Magnus Lilijedahl, capitalized on the shift and scooped the lead during the second beat. Bromby/ McNiven, Merriman/Munroe were behind them.

    Never giving up, John Dane and Austin Sperry recaptured the lead on the run and rounded the right leeward gate 200 yards ahead of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada. The next dozen boats followed around the same gate before the downwind parade thinned out enough for boats to start to round the left gate. The wind continued to back and the fleet spent nearly the entire final leg on port.

    Dane/Sperry got the gun, followed by Scheidt/Prada, Spithill/Lilijedahl, Bromby/McNiven, and Merriman/Munroe. The biggest disappointment for the day was the former Star World Championship team of Rohart and Rambeau. They had to keep their throw out going into the final race, a 26th, after their 28th place finish for the day. They dropped to 3rd in the series, as a consequence.

    The top four teams in the series were eager to be reweighed once they hit the docks, so that they could eat, shower, put away their gear and start to celebrate. (I’d already had a chance to take a second look at Carl Williams’ tattoos in the morning, when he and Hamish Pepper asked to be weighed before the rest of the fleet sailed out for the final race).

    The top North Americans were Ross MacDonald and Mike Wolfs of Canada, who finished 5th.

    1 NZL 8187 Hamish Pepper Carl Williams
    2 BRA 8127 Robert Scheidt Bruno Prada
    3 FRA 8107 Xavier Rohart Pascal Rambeau
    4 GER 8213 Marc Pickel Ingo Borkowski
    5 CAN 8168 Ross Macdonald Mike Wolfs
    6 POL 8252 Mateusz Kusznierewicz Dominik Zycki
    7 GER 7991 Matthias Miller Manuel Voigt
    8 USA 8156 Andy Horton Brad Nichol
    9 BER 8044 Peter Bromby Bill Mc Niven
    10 AUS 8269 James Spithill Magnus Liljedahl

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