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J/70 European Championship - Big Breeze Expected

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Force 8 gale blowing in the English Channel, and 23-30 knots of westerly breeze across the race course. (Key Yachting/Louay Habib)
Force 8 gale blowing in the English Channel, and 23-30 knots of westerly breeze across the race course. (Key Yachting/Louay Habib)

The 2017 J/70 European Championship, hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, is looking like delivering a feast of big breeze racing for teams from 11 countries. They will commence battle, Tuesday 6 June 1100 BST on the Hill Head Plateau, Central Solent. All of the competitors have now passed through scrutineering and feisty conditions are expected for tomorrow's opening action.

With a Force 8 gale blowing in the English Channel, and 23-30 knots of westerly breeze across the race course, it was hardly surprising that the majority of the 45 boat fleet, chose to stay ashore on Monday, instead of taking part in the practice race. However, several teams braved the bracing conditions and put on quite a show. Jose María Torcida's Spanish J/70 Noticia was two boat testing with Gonzalo Araujo's J/70 Sailway Bluesock. After a one mile beat the two Spanish teams turned, hoisted spinnakers, and pulled the trigger. Nudging past 20 knots of boat speed in a ball of spray, the thrilling duel was a teaser for the exciting racing to come, when the entire fleet is out.

 

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