Day 2 of J/24 World Championship: Ian Southworth Leads, Mike Ingham in Hot Pursuit
September 01, 2015
Conditions were challenging on day two of the J/24 World Championship in Boltenhagen, Germany, with winds up to 20 knots and huge 20 to 30 degree shifts causing some big changes on the leaderboard. 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. With a first place and a second place, Ian Southworth and his crew delivered a very consistent performance. Southworth, who has been racing with the same crew for 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-place Mike Ingham, who has the same number of points as third-place Pietro Diamanti. McLaughlin said, “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, McLaughlin 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. With a third and a sixth place, he and his crew are in fifth position overall. Karsunke is also a very experienced helmsman who has been racing the J/24 for more than 15 years. Frank Schönfeldt, one of the host nation’s top sailors, had some bad luck when his rudder broke before the first start, and is currently in 27th position. Racing continues through Friday for the entrants representing Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Peru, Sweden and the USA. Complete regatta information and results may be found at http://www.j24worlds2015.com/Home/. Race Tracking to follow the races live is available at http://www.tractrac.com/index.php?page=eventpage&id=592.