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Noticia takes the lead at J/70 European Championship Day Three

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Four intense races tested the J/70 Fleet. (ph. Paul Wyeth/RSrnYC)
Four intense races tested the J/70 Fleet. (ph. Paul Wyeth/RSrnYC)

After four races on the third day of the J/70 European Championship, there were aching limbs and bloodshot eyes among the sailors. but plenty of smiling faces after another fantastic day on the water. José María Torcida Spanish team, cracked the Italian defence, with a 1-2-1-2, taking the lead in the championship by a single point, from current J/70 European Champion, Claudia Rossi's Petite Terrible.

Peter Duncan's American team, including past Etchells World Champion Jud Smith, scored three keepers today, including a win in Race 4, to move into third. Martin Dent's British team, including past J/80 World Champion Ruairidh Scott, have the same points as the Americans but place fourth on countback.

José María Torcida and his team are new to the J/70 Class. However, Torcida has won the J/80 World Championship on two occasions. “Balance is so important, in any wind strength, but especially in surfing conditions.” explained José María. “You need to get all of the crew to the back and then you will fly faster, and when you need to change direction, you will have more control. My team are from all over Spain, from the Canary Islands to the very North, and I am not the only world champion on the boat: Rayco (Tabares) has won the J/80s three times, including the last two years.”

With the wind initially from the southwest, PRO Stuart Childerley positioned the race track further to the east, with a top mark in the vicinity of Osbourne Bay, giving the J/70 fleet some relief from the easterly going tide and the 20 knots plus of wind. The tide turned later in the morning, followed by a wind shift to the west, giving the opportunity to move back to the preferred Hill Head Plateau. With a slight moderation in wind speed, the penultimate day of the J/70 European Championship was a more tactical affair, and after close to five hours on the race course, stamina and tenacity were also keys to success.

One of today's top performers was past Etchells European Champion, Jeremy Thorp, racing J/70 Phan. “Starts are always important but especially in big one design fleets. If you manage to just get your bow ahead, and hold your lane, you can break out of the pack into the leading boats and clear air. If you don't you don't start well, you have to tack away and take so many sterns that you end up over 100 metres behind. In this fleet, you can never expect to make that back. We are a new team to the class and it is exciting to be racing at such high speeds. On the helm, I find concentration to be the biggest challenge, I have quite a young crew, they put in the huge physical effort.”

In the Corinthian Class, the Royal Thames YC Academy Team, skippered by Tim Gratton, with Fiona Hampshire driving, continue to impress. However, after two top-ten finishes, Jack Davies Team Yeti, from the Isle of Wight, closed the gap on the Corinthian Class leaders. Simon Ling's Team Spitfire remains in third.

Today's Prize Giving was sponsored by Baltic Lifejackets. “An apt supporter in testing conditions, commented, Royal Southern YC Rear Commodore Sailing, Robert Vose, as dozen Baltic Lifejackets were awarded to the winners.”

Racing at the J/70 European Championship will conclude Friday 10 June, with a first warning signal at 10:25 BST. Three races are scheduled to decide the 2017 J/70 European Champion.

The 2017 J/70 European Championship is organised and hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in association with Key Yachting, exclusive agent for J Boats in the UK and Ireland.

The championship is proudly sponsored by Alfa Romeo. The new SUV model, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, is on display at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, competitors will be invited to take the first ever SUV by Alfa Romeo for a test drive.

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