J/70 World Champs in Palma reaches total limit for entries

Palma, Spain, 14 May 2024

With under two weeks to go until the registration deadline for the J/70 World Championships (1st June), the competition’s entry list has not only reached the maximum number of entries as established by the organizing committee (99 pre-registered teams), but moreover has a waiting list with an additional thirty teams signed up.

From 13th to 22nd September the Real Club Náutico de Palma follows in the footsteps of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida (United States), hosts of the World Championships in 2023 with a fleet of 83 teams. Tom Mallindine and Charlie Thompson’s British team “Brutus III” confidently claimed the title in 2023 and will return to the Bay of Palma this year to defend it.

The most important J/70 fleets from 27 countries will join in Palma: the most numerous being the North American delegation with a total of 15 teams, followed by the Spanish contingent with 12, and the Italian and Brazilians with 7 boats each.

Spain, stronger than ever

The Spanish fleet brings great potential to the competition, including some very experienced and long-established teams (the very first boats arrived in Spain in 2014). They include teams from Vigo such as Luis and Jorge Pérez Canal’s “abril verde” and “abril rojo” (respectively) and Enrique Freire’ “Marnatura” skippered by Luis Bugallo, or Jorge Martínez Doreste’s “Hang Ten – Hnos Berga” and Luis Martínez Doreste’s“ Monjo” from the Canary Islands. Pablo Garriga’s “Tenaz” and Luis Martín de Cabiedes’ “Noticia” represent Barcelona, whilst Jose María “Pichu” Torcida’s boat from Santander and Marcelo Baltzer’s “Let it be” competes for Denia. Three local teams from Palma will also participate: Maria Bover’s “Balearia,” Miguel Coll’s “Nautia.net” and Luis Albert’s “Patakín,” with Olympic medallist Joan Cardona on the team, and who was the only Spanish representative to have participated in the World Championships in Florida last year.

The Argentinian teams are another habitual fleet to be found on the Bay of Palma and four boats will represent their country, including a regular in the RCNP regattas, Guillermo Parada with “Nildo.”

The main favourites

As well as the defenders of the title, Charles Thompson’s” Brutus III”, a further seven teams with a strong possibility of a podium position are also noteworthy of mention. They include North Americans Joel Ronning’s “Catapult,” Laura Grondin’s “Dark Energy,” Richard Witzel’s “Rowdy,” and Brian Keane’s “Savasana.” From Monaco, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s “GSpot” and the Italians Luca Domenici’s “Notaro” and Claudia Rossi’s “Petit Terrible-Adria Ferris” are also on the list of favourites for this year’s title in Palma.

The logistics challenge

Hosting a fleet of one hundred teams at the Real Club Nautica de Palma involves additional challenges for the club on the ground. Every team arrives with a minimum of one maintenance/storage vehicle and tow trailer, as well as the competition boat itself. As such, it is not just a question of preparing the docks for a fleet of 99 boats, but also the support RIBs, the managing jury on the race course, the Race Committee, and facilities for the press: cameramen, photographers, editorial and social network staff, as well as the personnel on the ground for sail measurement, car parking areas for each team’s vehicles and a storage area for the boat transport trailers.

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