J80 Sportsboat National Championships - Lymington this Bank Holiday weekend
Yacht racing in Christchurch Bay should make great viewing spectacle whether ashore or afloat
Up to 25 of these exciting sportsboats will be racing in Christchurch Bay with up to 4 races scheduled each day of the three day weekend. They should be visible from the clifftop at Milford - or of course if you’re going afloat this weekend you can get closer!
The International J/80 is a fixed keel One-Design sportsboat certified for offshore sailing, normally crewed by 3 to 5 people. As well as its mainsail & headsail, the J/80 has a 65 m2 (700 sq ft) gennaker for downwind sailing, which when the wind rises over 15 knots gets the boat on the plane downwind.
With over 1300 J/80's worldwide, the J/80 is currently one of Europe's and North America's best selling sportsboats and the class is growing fast.
According to Sailing World Magazine, "The J/80 is easier to handle, less intimidating, safer and better suited for sailing offshore than other modern sport boats tested."
The J/80 was designed by J/Boats' Rod Johnstone, and was designed to be a one-design sportsboat that was both easy to sail and safe, but capable of reaching 20 knots downwind.
The J/80 is the only sportsboat to be certified for Design Category 'B' of the EU Recreational Craft Directive, which means it can withstand waves that are 4 metres (13 ft) high and in winds up to 41 knots. This gives the J/80 a reputation of being a very well built boat for its size, capable of extreme weather conditions.
Due to the J/80 having an asymmetrical spinnaker with a retractable bowsprit, there is little clutter on the deck and in the cockpit, giving the crew more space and fewer tripping hazards on board.
It certainly seems to be a class growing in popularity and appealing to all ages.