The 16th edition of the J/80 World Championship, is proudly hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. 47 teams from Australia, France, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, and
Spain will be competing. 14 races are scheduled to take place in The Solent, providing four days of top class racing for a truly world class fleet.
Spain has been the dominate nation in the J/80 World Championships with eight wins, and Rayco Tabares Alvarez has won the title an unprecedented three times, including the last two years. Rayco is no stranger to the Royal Southern Yacht Club, he was tactician for Jose Maria Torcida's J/70, which was runner up for the J/70 Europeans, hosted by the Royal Southern last month. Alavrez's team is one of four Spanish teams competing. Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg won the J/80 Worlds in 2012 and an Olympic Gold Medal for Spain, in the Finn Class in 1992. Pepequin Orbaneja has placed third and fourth in the last two J/80 World Championships, and Javier Chacártegui Cirerol was fifth in 2016.
25 teams from Great Britain will be competing, and hoping to emulate Great Britain's only J/80 World Champion, Ruairidh Scott in 2005. Another Scotsman, Kevin Sproul is the reigning J/80 UK National Champion, winning his seventh title at the Royal Southern last month. Scottish prowess in the class seems to be growing, Luke Patience is new to the J/80 Class, however the Olympic 470 Silver Medallist reeled off a string of wins at last month's J/80 UK Nationals. Jon Powell pushed Kevin Sproul all the way in this year's UK J/80 Nationals, and several other British skippers showed their pedigree including, Chris Body and Nick Haigh.
Vive la France!
13 teams from France will be competing including; Eric Brezellec, a former French J/80 National Champion and runner up at the 2016 Worlds. Simon Moriceau is the reigning French National Champion and Elodie Bonafous is one of France's top female drivers. Luc Nadal was eighth at the 2016 World Championship. Claire Montécot, owner of French J/80 Startijenn, sits on the French Class Committee and has been working with the UK J Boats agent, Key Yachting, to help promote the event in France.
The Royal Southern Yacht Club will be hosting daily prize givings with refreshments available to all crew. The 2017 J/80 World Champion will be crowned on Friday 14th July, with regatta sponsor Raymarine providing a wealth of top of the range marine electronics.
Royal Southern Yacht Club Commodore, Karen Henderson-Williams promises a warm welcome to all competitors. “The Club is honoured to be chosen to host the J/80 World Championship, we are very much looking forward to welcoming you all to the club. Our race management team and all of the staff at the clubhouse will be doing their best to make sure that you have an enjoyable and memorable regatta.”