Dear media representatives, welcome to the press area of the J/24 World Championship 2015!
High-res images will be available from Monday evening. Video footage for embedding on your website or Facebook fan Page can be found on www.facebook.com/j24worlds2015.
All footage is free for editorial use. Please use “Pepe Hartmann/J/24 worlds” as a credit.
Live Race Tracking of the racing:
Lina Nagel (press officer of German J/24 class)
Ian Southworth is the new J/24 World Champion!
Boltenhagen, 4th September 2015: The Brits did it! Ian Southworth and his crew kept their cool and sailed home an amazing start-to-finish win in the final race of the J/24 worlds in Boltenhagen, Germany. US-guy Mike Ingham, who was very close, finally had to let the prestigious trophy go to Southworth and his crew from the Solent.
As on Thursday, racing was started with a Black Flag after Principal Race Officer Klaus Lahme did a general recall. Southworth, who had already suffered a Black flag disqualification on Thursday, opted for a conservative start, as he couldn´t afford to let opponent Mike Ingham get away or – or even worse – let himself get pushed over the line.
Chris McLaughlin, who sails on board of Ian Southworth´s “Il Riccio”, said: “Our worst fear was to have a Black flag start again, but we were relieved to get a good start and to find ourselves first at the windward mark through some very difficult shifts arriving.”
Southworth and his Crew have been sailing “Il Riccio” for five years now. “It has been the longest quick campaign of our lives”, said Chris McLaughlin. “We used to race J/24 in the 80s and in the early 90ties quite successfully, so in 2005 we thought we could just step on the boat and win the J/24 World Championship in Weymouth”. The crew finished eighth – “that was very hard” - and since then has constantly been working on speed, performance and sailing skills. “We have virtually rebuilt Il Riccio from the keel to the mast top”, said Chris McLaughlin. At some World Championships like in Howth, Ireland, and in Cannigione, Italy, the crew was very close to the trophy, but narrowly lost in the end.
“The thing we have learnt is that if you are not enjoying yourselves, you will never succeed”, said McLaughlin. “We have a team that is very close to each other, who has fun along the way, no matter if we win or lose. There were times in the middle of this week when I became very nervous and tense, and the rest of them laughed my out of it and made me have a glass of wine, and I felt a lot better the next day.”
The “Il Riccio” team consists of helmsman Ian Southworth, pit man Andrew McLelland, bow woman Julia Scott, genoa trimmer Chris McLaughlin and tactician David Howlett, who is the head coach of the German Olympic team. Mc Laughlin again: “I have known David since I was 18 years and it has been fantastic to sail with a friend who is also such an incredible coach. David is a very special person, and also very demanding. We have not been drinking this week, we have not been partying, and we have eaten a lot of cake and tea in the afternoon because David has high standards. I think if the German Olympic team has the same experience as we have had, I think they should be winning some medals in Rio.”
Andrew McLelland has been a J/24 European Champion in the past. “He is a competent helmsman and brilliant cockpit guy”, said Chris McLaughlin. But, according to the guys, the most important part of the team is bow woman Julia Scott. Julia is a former 470 and Yngling Olympian. “Despite of being a brilliant sailor, Julia makes sure that everyone is nice to each other. She is the boss! And she is incredibly tough. When we sailed the worlds in Weymouth in 2010, Julia had just given birth to her first kid one week before. I think there haven´t been many J/24 who have measured in a breast pump at an international competition!”
Mike Ingham from Rochester, USA, who was sailing with the 2014 J/24 World Champion, Will Welles, as a tactician, couldn´t cover Ian Southworth in the last race and finished in eighth position. With 26 points of difference, he and his crew became vice champions of the J/24 worlds. With Travis Odenbach, The third also comes from Rochester, USA.
Competition was tight for the title of the best female crew. In the end, Stefanie Köpcke and her team “Vega Ragazza” won, closely followed by Ragna Thönnessen and team “Juelssand”, with just one point separating the teams. “Vega Ragazza” have sailed a very good series this year, crowned by the title of the German Champion 2015.
Javier Arribas Harten from Perú won the trophy for the best Crew under 25. Arribas Harten, by the way, is a former Bronze Medalist in the Optimist class.
Best German boat is Team “Tinto” from Hamburg, helmed by Till Pomarius. Tinto, a mixed crew with an average age of less than 25, took the honours from older and more experienced crews such as team Rotoman or Süllberg. “Our next goal are the worlds 2016 in Japan”, said Genoa Trimmer Bele Schuett.
Tonight, the Worlds end with a closing ceremony in the Marina of Boltenhagen. After a week with exciting racing and good after Sails fun, time has come for the crews to face workaday life again – or, as Chris McLaughlin said: “I will put my tie and suit on, I will get my hair cut on lunch time and go back to be pretending to be an executive.”
(Boltenhagen, 1st September 2015) Conditions were challenging on day 2 of the J/24 World Championships in Boltenhagen, Germany: Winds of up to 20 knots with huge 20 to 30 degree shifts caused some big changes on the leader board. Ian Southworth (GBR 5219) and his seasoned crew sailed two excellent races and took the lead, followed by Mike Ingham (USA 5443) and Pietro Diamanti (ITA 212)
On day two of the J/24 worlds, Boltenhagen on the Baltic coast once again proved to be a very tricky sailing area. “We are racing in a closed bay which makes things very difficult”, said Chris McLaughlin, crew member on the leading boat “Il Riccio”; “as the race course is close inshore, the tree lines make challenging 20 to 30 degrees shifts. The skill is to judge exactly when you need to tack.”
In the first race of the day, the fleet faced easterly winds up to 20 knots which is the critical limit between too much wind for the genoa and too little wind for the jib. With a first place and a second place, Ian Southworth and his crew delivered a very constant performance. Southworth, who has been racing with the same crew the last 10 years, has a team of very skilled sailors including tactician David Howlett, who is also head coach of the German Olympic team.
Southworth already has an impressive lead of 22 points over second-placed Mike Ingham who has the same number of points as third-placed Pietro Diamanti.
“Tomorrow will be even tougher,” said Chris McLaughlin; “In the J/24 class, there is nothing worse than getting excited about a good position. We have to stay cool and keep performing constantly. You just need one disqualification, and one of the other guys will get you.” Asked for his strongest competition, Mc Loughlin mentioned Mike Ingham (USA), Pietro Diamanti (ITA) and Travis Odenbach (USA), but also the Greek Iasonas Spanomalis who was sailing very fast on the course.
From a German point of view, Stefan Karsunke from Hamburg did an excellent job today. With a third and a sixth place, he and his crew are in fifth position overall. Stefan Karsunke is also a very experienced helmsman who has been racing J/24 for more than 15 years. Frank Schönfeldt, one of host nation’s top sailors, had some bad luck today when his rudder broke before the first start, and is currently in 27th position.
On Wednesday, the wind is expected to pick up even more, so racing will stay exciting. All races can be followed on the live tracker of the event partner TracTrac.
(Boltenhagen, 2th September 2015) On day 3 of the J/24 World Championships in Boltenhagen, Germany, the fleet faced wind up to 20 knots. It was again Ian Southworth (GBR 5219) who sailed two excellent races and kept his lead on the second-placed Mike Ingham (USA 5443). But also Travis Odenbach (USA 5432) has entered the stage
With two more days to go, a slight idea is coming up who may be the winner of the J/24 World Championship. Ian Southworth and his crew, with a third and a first place today, are showing a more than constant series. Southworth, who narrowly lost the worlds 2010 and ended fourth in the years 2012 and 2013, is focused on finally winning this trophy. The crew so far has rebuilt five J/24 and, with number 5, called “Il Riccio” which is Italian for “Hedgehog”, has found the ideal setup.
But competition stays hard as there are two excellent and experienced US teams in pursuit of “Il Riccio”: Mike Ingham, with 2014 world champion Will Welles as a tactician, and Travis Odenbach, who is also a very skilled J/24 sailor.
Despite the strong winds, day three of the Worlds saw the first all-female crew in the Top Ten: Ragna Thönnessen and her crew of “Juelssand” (GER 5313) finished in eighth position in the second race of the day. “This is our best result at a Word Championship so far”, said bow woman Laura Hatje. “Sailing was big fun today, though the conditions were pretty tough for a crew as light as we are. After a good start, we found a very good boat speed and took the right tactical decisions.” The Juelssand Crew has been sailing together since 2008. With an average age of 25, they are one of the youngest teams in the fleet. “Ian and his crew are doing excellent”, said Laura Hatje; “Our bet is that they will be the new World champions. But up to now, the results are very mixed, so racing stays exciting!”
With just some points of difference, the fight for the Top Ten position stays tight. For Thursday, the weather forecast sees the wind decreasing to an average of 11 knots, which may favour the lighter crew like the Japanese Tokuma Takesue, currently in fourth place.
Tonight, the crew will gather for the traditional “Champions Dinner” held by the organiszing club Norddeutscher Regatta Verein. The first warning on Thursday will be at 12:00 hrs. All races can be tracked live via Trac Trac.
(Boltenhagen, 31th August 2015) Light winds dominated the first races of the J/24 championships. The key to success was to find free winds and to sail the boat as smooth as possible. Fumiya Kato (JPN 4886) showed the greatest skills on the water. He is on top of the leaderboard after 2 races, followed by Ian Southworth (GBR 5219) and Ignazio Bonanno (ITA 416).
Not only the crews, also the Principal Race Officer had to find the right wind to get the fleet of 56 participants under way. After a short postponement, the first race of the J/24 worlds was started at 14:00 hrs in the bay of Boltenhagen. In very light wind conditions (5 to 10 knots from NW), Team “Rotoman” (GER 5420) helmed by Tobias Feuerherdt won the first race.
In the second race of the day, the J/24 class showed their favour for very aggressive starts. After 2 general recalls, PRO Klaus Lahme raised the black flag. The second race was also won by a German team: “Hungriger Wolf” (GER 5316) helmed by Johann Huhn took the line honours.
“We had a very bad start into the day with a position in the fourties”, said Johann Huhn; “But in the second race, a good and clear start enabled us to move with the wind shifts. To stay in touch with the top 10, however, our performance needs to become more consistent. Tomorrow, the wind is expected to pick up and to blow more from the shore, which means bigger wind shifts and even more tactical racing.”
Overall, the Japanese crew “Lull & Hachi” with helmsman Fumiya Kato (JPN 4886) did a great job on the water. With a second and a third place, the crew of 6 are on top of the fleet, divided by a gap of 7 points from Ian Southworth (GBR 5219).
After a hot and sunny day on the water, the crews are enjoying Caribbean flair at the Mount Gay beach party organized by the German Sail maker “Clown Sails”. First warning on Tuesday will be on 12:00 hrs.
It was in 1976 when US Sailor Rodney S. Johnstone constructed a simple, cheap and fast boat for his son in his garage. Today, the J/24 is the biggest keel boat class in the world. Its strict class rules keep racing simple and affordable even for youth teams, and one design makes competition even more fun. Many successful sailors began their career in J/24, such as Ken Read (Skipper in several Volvo Ocean Race-campaigns), silver medallist and America´s Cup tactician John Kostecki as well as America´s Cup winner Ed Baird.
All footage is free for editorial use. Please use “Pepe Hartmann/J/24 worlds” as a credit. Video footage for embedding on your website or Facebook fan Page can be found on www.facebook.com/j24worlds2015.
Race Tracking to follow the races live:
Lina Nagel (press officer of German J/24 class)
(Boltenhagen, 30th August 2015) From Monday, 31st of August, 56 international crews will be competing for the prestigious J/24 World Championship at Boltenhagen on Germany’s Baltic coast. It is the first time that the German Class Association has hosted one of yacht racing’s top events. Anticipation is heightened by the highly competitive fleet, that includes former World and European champions.
International flair in the picturesque seaside resort of Boltenhagen: Sailors from all over the world have gathered on the Baltic coast for 5 days of championship racing and après sail fun. The line honours for the longest journey goes to 4 teams from Japan, but crews from Argentina, Peru, Barbados and Brazil also made the long trip to Northern Germany. However, the major part of the fleet (21 entries) comes from Germany, followed by Great Britain (7 entries) and Italy (6 entries).
The high calibre of J/24 teams gathered in Boltenhagen includes many world-class sailors: Among the entrants are two former world champions (Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil and Will Welles from the USA) and the current European Champion, Ian Southworth (GBR). Today’s practice race already saw some very close racing on the water and raised the anticipation for the next 5 days of racing.
From a German point of view, Frank Schönfeldt from Hamburg leads the host nation’s best team in Boltenhagen. The sailmaker, who was European Champion in 2014, already has a very impressive track record. But it will be exciting to watch him sail with his young crew against competition like Ian Southworth from Great Britain who used this year’s Kiel Week (that he won) and the German National Championships as preparation for the 2015 World Championships.
Jan-Marc Ulrich, chairman of the German J/24 Class Association, said: “The level in the J/24 class is very high, with many top teams in with a chance. Positions change quickly during the race which makes it even more exciting for spectators on the racecourse or those following in the Internet.” To enable as many people as possible to follow the action, all 56 boats are equipped with GPS trackers.
Some of Europe’s top female crews are also competing, like the current German National Champions “VEGA Ragazza”, helmed by Stephanie Köpcke from Hamburg. “VEGA”’s tactician Silke Hahlbrock, was also part of the German Olympic Match Race campaign.
Association with the “Norddeutscher Regatta Verein” (NRV)
The practice race on Sunday gave the crews the opportunity to tune up and get a feeling for the waters off Boltenhagen. With the first race being held on Monday, 31st of August, by Friday 4th the J/24 class will celebrate their new world champion.
Racing will be organised by the ‘Norddeutscher Regattaverein’, one of Germany’s oldest yacht clubs, that has many years of experience staging international events such as Kiel Week and countless One-Design championships.
Jan-Marc Ulrich, “We are happy to have such an experienced Principal Race Officer as Klaus Lahme on board for the J/24 World Championship 2015. Klaus was a very successful Laser sailor and is international Race Officer as well as international Judge.”
Boltenhagen’s attractive location in Mecklenburg-Vorpommerania allows spectator-friendly inshore racing, with stable winds, free from commercial shipping lanes.
The event is based in the purpose-built Boltenhagen Marina located within the exclusive ‘Weiße Wiek’ holiday village which offers a modern yet relaxed atmosphere. The town of Boltenhagen is close to the venue and grew from a fishing village into a picturesque seaside resort in the early 19th century. Its well-restored family hotels, shops and restaurants offer a pleasant alternative to the excitement of the racecourse.
In 1976, US sailor Rodney S. Johnstone constructed a simple, cheap and fast boat for his son in his garage. Today, the J/24 is the world’s largest keel boat class. Its strict class rules keep racing simple and affordable, even for youth teams, and the strict “one design” concept makes competition even more fun. Many successful sailors began their career in J/24, including Ken Read (Skipper in several Volvo Ocean Race-campaigns), silver medallist and America´s Cup tactician John Kostecki, and America´s Cup winner Ed Baird.
“We are very proud to be hosting the J/24 worlds”, said Jan-Marc Ulrich from the German Class Association. “An international committee decides where the worlds take place. With our application, we were successful against nations like Brazil.” A dedicated team of volunteers have been working for months to ensure the event will be unforgettable for the sailors, their friends and families.
High-res images will be available from Monday evening on www.j.24worlds-com/media/gallery. Video footage for embedding on your website or Facebook fan Page can be found on www.facebook.com/j24worlds2015.
All footage is free for editorial use. Please use “J/24 worlds” as a credit.
Live Race Tracking of the racing:
Lina Nagel (press officer of German J/24 class)