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The J/24 European Championship is about to start at Parkstone YC, England

Thursday September 21st 2006, Author: Eloise Jakeman, Location: United Kingdom
The start of the J24 European Championships is only a few short days away, with measurement occurring over the course of the last week.

The entry list is up to 42 boats now, with representatives from five European countries, plus guest appearances from New Zealander Greg Wilcox and Puerto Rican Gilberto Rivero. There are still prospects of very late entries coming in, with boats desperately trying to put together full teams of five good sailors.

They will need to be good sailors, as the exciting news is that Shirley Robertson has thrown her hat into the ring, making this her first regatta since giving birth to her twins in the summer, and her team, if the rumours are to be believed, is very strong indeed. This will be an extremely high class regatta, as when you look at the number of current and past champions in the fleet at all levels from National through Continental to World and Olympic it is quite mind blowing.

Ian Southworth sailing in Hedgehog is the current J24 UK and European champion, and finished third in the last J24 Worlds, these apart from his multiple wins at all levels in Enterprises and his many other dinghy and keelboat championships. His team is extremely experienced, with Chris Mclaughlin being one of his mainstays over many years, and recently having teamed up with Andy McLlelland as his trimmer, himself a helmsman of some note, and a past J24 UK National Champion.

Stuart Jardine in Stouche needs little introduction, and has been sailing small keelboats since (it sometimes seems!) Noah was a lad. His twin brother Ado trims for him, and they make for a formidable pairing, having won the J24 UK title five times, along with the J24 French Open twice and the Europeans once. Their combined titles in multiple classes over the decades, including Olympic representation for both of them, sets them on the highest level.

David Ellis will be in Hitch-Hiker, in which he has won the UK title twice, the French Open three times, and three times placed second in this regatta. His team is a new one this year, and is settling down nicely after their one weekend together.

Bob Turner, the current J24 International Chairman, will be back in Serco Defence, with Alistair Clarke steering, and this is a very fast team. The boat was set up by Kenny Read many years ago, when he won his first J24 Worlds that he competed in in Europe, and sought it out on two subsequent times to make it a straight three victories in Europe. Some boat, some team.

Amongst the European entries, Ivo Kok and his team from Holland sailing J/Spot are the current Dutch National Champions, and have also won the French J24 Open in the past. They have already been out training on the local waters, having brought their boat over a week early.

The rest of the field are all in contention, because the beauty of the J24 class is that it is a truly One Design class. A good boat and good sails are always essential at the top end of fleet, but that does not mean that the hull has to be new, just well cared for. What counts above all else is the tactical ability of the crew, and their team work on board the boat. This will be a regatta to follow!

Results:

Entry No Helm Boat SailNo
1 ROLFE Barry Ballistic 4248
2 MORRIS Roger Echidna 4270
3 SOUTHWORTH Ian Hedgehog 4177
4 CROSS Richer Helms Deep 4266
5 HORNBY Richard Hi Jack 4147
6 ELLIS David Hitch-Hiker 4242
7 ROBINSON Gareth J-Whizz 4255
8 KOK Ivo J/Spot 62
9 BENNET Alan Jam 4153
10 BALL Ronney Jam Too 4206
11 PIPE David Jeepers 4194
12 TRATHEN Neil Jeeves 4260
13 BROWN Craig Jiggy With It 4027
14 STEPTOE Brian Johnny Bravo 4115
15 LIBBY Robert Jooler 4219
16 TOMS Paul Joya 4213
17 PROUDFOOT Sue Ju Ju 4254
18 DOWNING Bryan Jumanji 4252
19 JONES Gerry Just in Time 1686
20 McDONALD Nick Legal Alien 4064
21 McCARTHY Duncan Madeleine 4245
22 KARSUNKE Stefan Max Bahr 5381
23 KERR Owen Owens J 4236
24 POWELL Jon Peggy 4268
25 POLLOCK William Rolling Stock 4090
26 WILCOX Greig Rotoman 5266
27 WILLIAMSON Ben Rumble 4264
28 O'DONOVAN Diarmuid Sayonara 5285
29 TURNER Bob Serco Defence 4247
30 DOWTY Jon Speedy Bean 4164
31 JARDINE Stuart Stouche 4215
32 HIRST Nicholas Team Gul 4223
33 HELMS Jan-Peter Two Boys, Three Chicks 5269
34 KAEHLER Jan United 5 5281
35 ROBERTSON Shirley Volvo 4263
36 HARRIS Roderick Why J 4067
37 HILL Andrew Wijit 4235
38 OWEN Phil Zaphod 4239
39 MAIS Stephan Zicke 4785

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