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Vamos and Little J winners of Cowes J/70 Mini-series

by J/Boats 8 Aug 13:17 BST 30 July - 5 August 2022
J/70 UK Class Mini-Series at Cowes Week © Paul Wyeth /

After eleven races held in predominantly full-planing conditions, the J/70 UK Class Mini-Series at Cowes Week concluded after four days of top competition with thirty-two J/70 teams racing.

It was "Aussie Rules" in the Open Division and a youth team winning the Corinthian Title, as well as beating dad!

Tim Ryan's VAMOS team (Robert Greenhalgh, Jess Grimes and Charlie Gundy) from Sydney, Australia was the Open Division winner at Cowes Week. Sam Haynes's CELESTIAL team (David Chapman, Lewis Brake and Lachlan Pryor), also from Sydney, Australia, was runner-up, with Charles Thompson's BRUTUS just three points behind in third. In the Corinthian Division, Max Clapp's LITTLE J was the winner with Jack Davies' YETI as runner-up. Ole Bettum, Tim Simpson, Markus Bettum and Hector Simpson racing DADS'N'LADS was third.

"We qualified out of Australia for the Worlds in Monaco later this year, so we have plans to compete at a few events including the Europeans, " commented Tim Ryan. "Rob Greenhalgh is on the Vamos crew, he is from here and he said we should do Cowes Week. I have never been to the regatta before, but it has been great, we have loved it. Cowes Week is such a massive challenge with the tide and also the wind has been super-strong. The competition at Cowes Week has been very good, some of the boats are so quick. Although we got one OCS in the first race, we got the win by being consistent for the rest of the regatta. We are not the quickest in this fleet by any stretch (of the imagination). Sam Haynes is a good friend from Sydney, and he has got Celestial up to speed. It has been good fun racing Celestial here and they will also be at the Worlds. During Cowes Week we have not had a moment's rest for four days. We have had a lot of fun; the whole thing has been just fantastic, and we will be racing for the next three days."

LITTLE J had a great final day of the Mini-Series scoring a 3-7-2 to win the Corinthian Division and top youth team and also placed fifth overall. But LITTLE J had another ambition that they fulfilled. "We also dreamed of beating dad (Graham Clapp racing JEEPSTER), so that was really cool, but I am not sure I should mention it to him too much!" commented Max Clapp. "We didn't really change much on the final day, I guess we were just more focused, and the boat speed was up. It has been a great Cowes Week: racing in a big fleet with some top boats is what it is all about."

Racing at Cowes Week continues for three days for the J/70 Class, but the next Grand Slam meeting will be the final of the seven-regatta 2022 program: Grand Slam #7 will be held as part of the One Design Championships held at the Hamble River Sailing Club 01-02 October.

Watch J/70 Royal Yacht Squadron starting line video

Full results here

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