(Sotogrande, Spain)- The Spanish skipper, Rayco Tabares and the HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA TEAM won the J/80 Marina Sotogrande World Championship and became the
only crew to win the triple crown of the J/80 class! The top French team that had been leading the regatta from the first day, Erik Brezellec’s COURRIER JUNIOR, finished second. Then, another past two-time J/80 World Champion, Ignacio Camino’s Barcelona-based crew on BNFit took the third podium position.
For the finale, the Race Committee had to wait a couple of hours in order to have wind conditions stable enough to start a race that would decide the World Championship. There was a lot of tension and premature starts that did not affect the French crew on COURRIER JUNIOR, or the Spanish (Canary Island’s crew) on PRINCESS YAIZA, who both sailed flawlessly.
Right after the start of the last race, PRINCESS YAIZA was leading the front group off the starting line, sailing their own race. Meanwhile, the regatta leader, COURRIER JUNIOR, was fighting hard after a bad start to stay in front of the second big pack of boats off the starting line. In the end, it was Tabares’ team managed to secure a 3rd place in the final race and were watching with tremendous anxiety how the finishes would end up behind them. In a large clump of boats coming into the finish line was Brezellec’s COURRIER JUNIOR. However, it was not to be a triumphant finish for the embattled French crew. With seemingly the World Championship waiting on a silver platter for them to take home to France, their chances slipped away in the waning few meters in the final race, taking 10th and losing victory by just two points! Clearly, Brezellec’s crew was disappointed. Conversely, it was pandemonium for Tabares’ crew.
Commented Tabares after arriving to shore, “Since yesterday, looking at the scores, we knew it was very difficult to win; the French crew on COURRIER JUNIOR were very fast and to get six boats between us was going to be complicated. The only way to win was to sail our own race. We were very nervous in the last downwind leg, because if they finished seventh, they would beat us, but it was a superb finish. We are very, very happy to have achieved our third world title!”
Tabares writes a new page in the history of the International J/80 class as the first skipper to win three world titles in this hotly contested class. “To take the “triple crown” is an honor; this class is very difficult and the fleet is very competitive. For now, we are the only team to achieve a triple crown, but for sure we won’t be the only ones, but I also hope to increase it!” said Tabares.
Behind Tabares and Brezellec were Ignacio Camino in third, Eivind Melleby’s Norwegian team HIGH SEAS in fourth and Marc De Antonio’s BRIBON—MOVISTAR (the 2015 J/80 World Champion) in fifth. For more worlds info click here.