Hugo’s 2010 Worlds Report
Part one – pre regatta.
Our 2010 Worlds campaign started 12 months ago, this included organizing a crew who would sail in the 2010 Nationals and commit to the worlds. We had all won nationals and competed in many world championships.
With this depth of experience the work required to prepare for a worlds was spread amongst all the crew. This involved finding a good boat, sail design that was suitable for the Swedish conditions and covering every issue that can and has impacted on past campaigns. We seriously looked at all the things that had worked or failed in previous campaigns.
We included a Danish sailor in our crew who sailed in Malmo Sweden in J’s and is regarded as one of Denmark’s finest.
Our Danish crew assisted with local logistics, finding bikes, driving us around to get sails repaired, hotels and advising on the local conditions which included a current that changed direction during each day.
We discussed our sail design with local Olympic sailor from North Sails who discussed the best designs with his counterpart from North Sails one design in San Diego. We ordered the latest Kevlar Genoa and spinnaker from North’s which was made by the One design loft in U.K.
We shipped an equipment box to Sweden which had spare parts, sheets, blocks and sails. Our accommodation and flights were secured 6 months prior to leaving. Our “Special” Charter boat was investigated and secured early in the charter pool.
When we arrived and inspected our charter boat, we discovered that our boat which had great results under its previous Italian owner, had a very special custom set up.
After sailing in so many J regatta’s I had never sailed a “special J 24”, and as such didn’t understand what “Special”(in the European context) meant.
We set the boat up to start with the basic North sails tuning set up, from which we would then do our custom tuning. We discovered that with all the measurements spot on, our forestay sagged 300mm to leeward before any tension. I have never seen anything like this before.
To achieve forestay tension we had to move the mast base a massive 100mm forward! This had a huge effect on the sheeting of our Genoa and Jib, let alone our down wind speed and light air height.
We discovered all too late that not only was our boat special but it also needed custom fitting sails.
Part two – Measurement day.
What an exciting day measurement day is…… to our horror our special J came in at 20 kgs overweight, 12 months ago it was perfect, Oh well this was nothing compared to the German European Champion and a English competitor who both had their boats expelled after a metal detector discovered 30kgs of lead hidden in the keel stumps.
One of these owners removed his boat only to return with another, the other hacked into his boat until it passed.
I am told that J 24 International is considering what action will be taken.
Part three – The sailing.
Races 1,2 and 4 were sailed from 25 to 35 knots, this reeked havoc on the fleet with one of my crew calling that a boat behind us had flipped over down wind with its keel in the air! The Australian all girls crew lost all the battens in both the jib and main over two days, we blew the window out of the jib before the start of heat one, but sailed none the less.
All my crew agreed that we had never been so fast under kite in a J as in race 4, that was fun.
After heat 4 to our surprise the 3 times World Champion Mario Santa Cruz was behind us! He had a horror regatta and only did well when the win got light, may be he also has a special boat.
This year there was a huge spread of sails, Quantum, North, Ullman, Grand Segal, Banks, Santa Cruz to name but a few. North’s had 4 experimental 3DL genoa’s in the Swedish fleet which after a recut before the regatta showed some great speed, however this was only in a very limited wind range and these boats suffered at the bottom and top end range.
Honours go to American Tim Healy who had veteran J sailor Moose McClintock set up the boat as he had done for previous American World Champions. Tim used Quantum sails with a new Italian J and was fast across the board.
England’s Ian Southworth was second using Ullman and North sails, third was Italian Andrea Casale, also with Quantum sails.
In all 59 entries from 14 countries made for a super hard regatta with great depth of talent.
Biggest damage goes to the top Japanese crew who hit a reef before the regatta doing $7000 USD damage to hull and keel, followed by dropping two motors over the side, and snapping a carbon spinnaker pole in heat 4.
Part four – Lessons learnt (for young players)
Never get a ‘special’ J 24 unless you have 6 months to sort it out.
Part five – Things that amaze.
Seven new J’s built for the regatta.
Heaps of professional crews.
Seven “J24 worlds” sponsors BMW’s.
German crews with full graphics on their sponsored van with matching everything right down to the underwear.
Great logo’s on the boats, vans, flags and sails.
The Aussie girls pink kite.
The blonde German all girl crew.
The Swedish girls.
Fantastic spirit amongst the competitors even after days of rain, cold and wind.
No major prangs.
Not many protests.
Superb effort by the Swedish J24 association.
An American Boat that got lost whilst being shipped to Sweden only to be found in Germany and cost an extra $4000.00 USD to truck to the regatta, let alone the additional $12,000 USD to ship it back home after the owner only booked a one way passage, last report it was left in Europe.
Part six – A special thanks.
Thanks to Jan Talacko, Klaus Wilkshie, Nikki Claringbold and Angus McKechnie, who put in a super effort and sailed to their max till the finish line of the last race.
And to Chris Snow (North sails one design San Diego) who despite sailing on another boat, helped us with our boat.
Results on line…………. @ j24 worlds 2010.
Had a great time, learnt heaps.
Next year Argentina……….
Hugo Ottaway AUS 5218.
This is the world’s funniest Worlds Report – From Kirby
oops, I thought I’d written about the worlds – certainly sent it mentally… – ah well, it was stupidly cold and windy and someone needs to remind the swedes that it’s meant to be a summer event. I was glad when I got there that I hadn’t been able to try and get onto a boat as I shivered on land in 35 knots and horizontal rain and didn’t like to think what it was like on the side of a J.
Hugo’s very own Thirsten Howel the Third – Klaus, the rich dude who chartered out not only Hugo’s boat but also another one to the Japanese had daily visits from them to list the days catastrophes, and they win my award for most consistent as they never failed to royally stuff something up. Day one had apparently been a crash which ruined the keel and delaminated the bottom of the boat, day two they dropped their engine overboard, day three they dropped someone else’s engine overboard (just who was willing to lend to the klutz club I don’t know!) and day four they arrived to tell Klaus that the boom was now broken.
Hugo was in good spirits though, and the girls were putting together an injury ladder and there was some indecision over whether Liz’s broken toe outranked Robyn’s concussion to top the ladder.
as for me, I’m in Moscow. we went up to the top of the ritz last night for a couple of drinks, and had one of our most expensive meals ever – the prices were truly nutty but there we were so we stayed and racked up a bill – all kindly paid for by the minder of the incredibly drunk man who came to sit with us and ask us what we’re REALLY doing in Russia. And you should have seen the wad of notes the minder had with him – would have passed for a phone book in some countries! Every few minutes the minder got up and walked the perimeter, all very very strange. So while we were assured of an eye opening evening had we stayed with them and gone to some Spanish bar, … or his apartment… the fact that two additional bouncers had appeared on our roof lounge when he’d arrived and all the other guests coincidentally had left – well I was too chicken to find out just how eye popping an evening it could be and we left – after about 10 minutes of polite ‘well yes thank you that’s very kind but really we have to meet another friend at the hotel…’. The guy was so drunk that really the ritz shouldn’t have let him in, or at least asked him politely to leave after he broke the first champagne glass. We walked out of there wondering just who we’d been drinking with – and I started to regret having called him a hobbit – in fact there were quite a few times that I seem to recall Zoe telling me to shoosh and be more diplomatic…. ah well if you never hear from me again revenge can be had on a dark haired bloke called Alexander, or alexandrei or whatever they call it over here.