In what is popularly referred to as the "English Riviera," the upcoming J70 World Championships will be held in the south west of England and hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club on Coral Island, Torquay and will serve as the backdrop to an event that has drawn 82 boats from 21 countries with teams from almost every major western European country represented as well as Russia, Cypress, Malta and Monaco to name a few.
Set to run from on August 29 through September 6, this multinational event will not only give returning 2017 World Champion Peter Duncan and the team of Willem van Waay, Bill Hardesty and Will Felder a shot at another world title win, but the stakes are particularly high as the many European and UK teams are strong and hungry for an elusive world title win.
"This is probably going to be the toughest Worlds to date. There are ten fold more Europeans and it is tough to win in foreign waters. We will be up against Italian sailors Claudio and Alberto Rossi among many other greats from Italy, Spain, Germany and the UK as well as other countries,” said Willem van Waay.
"This will be my third time sailing with Peter Duncan in a World Championship," added Willem. "One thing is for certain. The European J70 class is huge and we will have some major competition from them. “
Willem notes that although it will be tough racing against the European teams, the USA teams also have been building a legacy in the J70 class since its first World Championship held five years ago.
"At present, there are 1,500 J70 boats in existence with 300 of the boats here in the USA, however there have been five World Championships and four out of the five have had a USA winner. We have a great record as a country and but we will all have our work cut out for us."
Willem further comments that he is looking forward to getting out to the starting line and he says that putting together a team (where three out of four of the team members answer to Will or Bill); he is confident that although it is "tough out there, it is all about keeping your cool.“
“We are also really happy with our Doyle sails and our inventory. Peter Duncan has been a fantastic person to work with and no doubt many of our top USA teams carry Doyle sails. It's great to be representing such an excellent brand and no question four of the toughest boats to beat in the USA use Doyle sails.”
The location will also be inspiring for any yachtsman. The Royal Torbay Yacht Club has been at the heart of sailing in Torbay for over 150 years and has a long and distinguished heritage. It is one of the oldest and leading yacht clubs in the south west of England and has always boasted a strong racing focus that continues today. The panoramic views over Tor Bay are there for all to relax and enjoy. The club has over many years established an enviable reputation for staging first class World, European and National Championships. Torbay was the home of the 1948 Olympic Sailing Event and 2015 saw the club playing a significant role in the hosting of the UK stopover of La Solitaire Du Figaro.
"The Worlds are going to both showcase the top teams in Europe and the world, but also give our USA teams a chance to shine. I also think this is a great opportunity to showcase the Doyle brand and my philosophy is that I truly believe that Doyle sails are made for sailors and we help sailors build their race campaign, improve, sail fast and successfully without necessarily having a pro on board to make it so," says Jud Smith, 2018 J70 World Champ, who will be serving as a coach at this year’s event. "We make sails for sailors. It is a sustainable model for growing a fleet, or a campaign or a love of sailing and I think the world championships in Tor Bay illustrates the sheer growth and popularity of this fleet and I am glad that Doyle has been a part of that."