Quantum Sails' Adrien de Belloy looks forward to the upcoming 2022 championship regattas and provides insight into preparing for the season.
In 2022, the European Championship in Hyeres, Southern France, will be followed by the World Championship in Monaco, bringing what is expected to be many J/70s to the area. The Yacht Club of Monaco is hoping for a fleet of 120 boats, and we are expecting approximately 90 boats in Hyeres. Many teams would like to compete in both events, so there is a bit of pressure on both clubs to expand their hosting capacities. Here are a few thoughts on these two championship regattas.
Preparing for Two Events in Venues with Different Weather Patterns and Conditions
Hyeres is known for its mistral in a sheltered bay, which means fast races on flat sea. Monaco is better known for light wind and choppy sea. Two very different sets of sailing skills are required for these venues. The European Championship is in mid-September, which makes the mistral likely to happen, or if the mistral is not present, a good sea breeze will save the day. There is more uncertainty about Monaco as it will take place the first week of October when strong easterly breezes can raise rather high seas with a short wave period. Pretty much anything can happen in these conditions, from a rodeo ride to flat sea and 15 knot southwesterly wind. The good thing about both venues is that there will be little traffic from other recreational vessels, which can be upsetting when racing.
To prepare for Europeans, come and sail during the winter at the Yacht Club of Monaco. It hosts one event a month − except in January − leading up to the Primo Cup the first weekend of March. Some of the best Italian teams compete in these regattas. Over the course of four events, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get your marks in this rather tricky spot.
To be the best at Hyeres, training in strong gusty wind will be useful. Although Garda Lake is freshwater, this is still the best place to train in strong reliable wind. Going to Hyeres in early spring will also provide enough mistral time to get a feel for it. The complication of training here is that the wind may be too strong, far above class limit. There is also plenty of reading to do about past events and conditions in Hyeres, as the best dinghy sailors sail the SOF (Semaine Olympique Française) every year.
Rig Tuning in Monaco and Hyeres
Short, choppy sea in Monaco makes it difficult to get the boat going. You often need to sail one step lower than what you would normally sail given the wind strength. Be dynamic with your mainsheet trim to help keep you powered up and punching through the chop. Downwind, it can be hard to stabilize the asymmetric spinnaker, and it will take some practice to find the right angle. Make sure to get out on the water ahead of racing to get a feel for Monaco’s conditions.
Hyeres should be true to the tuning guide. It is known for prime racing conditions, so expect to race the full schedule. This will test your stamina, so it will be important to rest properly, avoid getting sunburned, and keep your hands in good conditions.
For all the racing coming up this season, you’ll need a good set of all-around sails. You’ll want to be comfortable with your sails so you can adapt quickly to any condition. The Quantum Sails J/70 team of experts, including Travis Odenbach, Victor Marino, Carlo Fracassoli, and Fernando Sallent, has worked hard to develop a reliable set of sails for this class. We used Quantum sails last season leading up to the European Championship in Copenhagen, and they paid off! If you have any questions about new sails, tuning, boat setup, or more information about preparing for these two venues, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can also access all of Quantum’s J/70 resources on our website.
I look forward to meeting you in Monaco this winter and at both championship events. See you on the water!