Audi J/70 World Championship Day 2: Teasing Mistral

The Mistral winds continued to batter the Costa Smeralda for the second day of the Audi J/70 World Championship, which is organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the title sponsor Audi and the Official sailmaker Quantum Sails. The strong northwesterly wind came tantalizingly close to dropping to the 25 knot Class limit. Principal Race Officer Mark Foster continually updated the fleet, but the wind refused to subside and racing was called off for the day at 15:00 CET. Martin Kullman, Global Sales Director Quantum Sails, commented, “Thursday, we are expecting 18 knots from the west with a medium sea state. So ideal conditions for the fleet, with the J/70s just about getting up on the plane downwind. Let’s hope the forecast is right.” Weather permitting, 162 teams will fight to gain the right to race in the Gold and Silver Championship fleet; the big change is that the scores from those races will now count toward the Championship Series. Olympic Gold medalist and multiple World Champion Jonathan McKee is racing with Texan Glenn Darden on Hoss. McKee has an intimate knowledge of heavy weather sailing, and revealed some useful tips for racing a J/70 in high winds. “The main thing is to keep it simple and safe,” commented Jonathan. “When it’s over 20 knots, you should try to minimize maneuvers and sail in your own water if you can. Upwind, the key to speed is a lot of coordination between the main and jib to keep the balance of the boat correct. In the bigger puffs, you might ease the jib so it isn’t pulling the bow down. You should have a fairly neutral helm with the driver steering aggressively to keep the boat on its feet. Downwind, it is important not to tip over by being aware of gusts and by putting as much weight out as you can. Keep the boat going fast, but not so high that you are in danger of broaching.” Keep up with daily news, photos, videos and official documents from the regatta website and via social media using #j70worlds #yccs50 #myj70worlds.