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Torcida-Seghers wins Cantabrian J/80 Circuit Grand Championship Finale

by J/Boats 7 Nov 2021 13:50 GMT
Cantabrian J/80 Circuit Grand Championship Finale © Spanish J80 Class Association

After a series of qualifying regattas and races for a fleet of over thirty participating teams, the Cantabrian J/80 Circuit Grand Championship Finale took place off Santander over this past weekend, hosted by the Real Club Maritimo de Santander.

The top twelve teams from the qualifiers had six great races in awesome sailing conditions, with winds often gusting over 25 kts! In the end, it was perennial Spanish J/80 Champion "Pichu" Torcida-Seger's that won the fiercely contested regatta. Here is how it all went down for one of the world's most competitive J/80 fleets.

The first day saw three races sailed in Northwesterly winds in the 6 to 8 kts range and big swell. Jaime Piris-Turner's team led at the end of the day with a 1-2-1. He was followed by Peru Múgica-Elorza's crew with a 9-1-2 and Per Roman's team with a 3-6-4. Notably, past two-time J/80 World Champion had one of his worst starts to a regatta ever, posting a "down the mineshaft" performance of 2-5-8!

The day ended with a tasting of Cantabrian wines courtesy of one of the partners of the J/80 Class- Conservas 1900. The atmosphere in the Ciaboga with sailors and friends was a good meeting after months without social encounters!

The second day of racing was pretty wild. Since it was gusting up to 30 kts offshore, the RCMS RC/ PRO team wisely chose to take the fleet inside the bay where the stormy weather was less intense. In the end, the race committee managed to run three more races in Westerly winds up to 25 kts.

In the fourth race, Torcida-Segher's FREDO LA ESTRELLA DEL NORTE team won the race, followed by Jose Azqueta-Arrue's BIOBIZZ, then the junior team from Real Club Maritimo del Abra skippered by Tomas Trueba-Algorta.

There was slightly less wind for the fifth race, which saw Torcida-Seghers win again, followed by Piris-Turner's MERCURY MARINE in second and BIOBIZZ in third.

At this point, MERCURY MARINE was comfortably winning the regatta and only a minor disaster would unseat from become the 2021 Grand Finale Champion. Coincidentally, for Torcida Segher's team to win, they had to win the final race and put three boats between him and MERCURY MARINE.

In the end, no one would have guessed the final outcome. After the first two legs upwind and downwind, Torcida-Seghers was leading with Piris-Turner sitting in third. But everything would change on the ensuing upwind leg sailing in the shifty breezes of Santander Bay. Amazingly, six boats passed MERCURY MARINE, relegating them to their worst finish of the regatta, an eighth place! Most everyone watching the proceedings were a bit numb and shocked at the outcome!

Torcida-Segher's FREDO LA ESTRELLA DEL NORTE team (María Torcida, Carlos Martínez, Santiago Fiochi and Angela Pumariega) won by 1 pt net after the standings were calculated, making for a huge celebration for their amazing comeback win on the final day- three bullets! Not entirely unexpected, but still remarkable nonetheless for the two-time J/80 World Champion. Rounding out the podium was Piris-Turner's MERCURY MARINE team (Alfredo Portilla, Víctor J. San Emeterio and Juan González) in second, with Azqueta-Arrue's BIOBIZZ team (Jesus Gonzalez-Amaliach, María Sánchez, Jon Ortega, and Miguel Merino) taking the bronze. It was a tight finish at the top of the leaderboard, just three points separating the podium teams, all determined by the final race!

This event was chaired by Fernando Pereda, President of RC Maritimo de Santander. He was joined by José Luis Gómez de Cospedal, RCMS Commodore, Armando Gutierrez, President of the Spanish J/80 Association, and Nuria Sánchez, Communications Director for the Spanish J/80 Association.

At the end of the awards ceremony, the J/80 sailors were entertained with a fun raffle of gifts offered by the partners of the J/80 class: 1900 premier, Marina Rubicón, Cantabria Labs, Gold Sailing, Go Sailing Shop, Natruly, Yates & Cosas, Gypsi Gin, Dnoe Design, Kahaway, Covirán, Rolser, Etnia Bcn, Salvaje Santander, Amarras and Nautigal.

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