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Fraporita crowned J/22 World Champions

by J/Boats 5 Aug 2023 13:25 BST 21-30 July 2023
J/22 World Championship at Zürcher Yacht-Club © Travemünder Woche

Held in conjunction with the massive Travemunde Week regatta, this year's J/22 World Championship was hosted by the Zürcher Yacht-Club (ZYC) for the fleet of twenty-six teams from around the world. The ZYC Race Committee and PRO team did a magnificent job running a total of nine races for the teams.

In the end, the new J/22 World Champions had to wait a long time before they could hold the winner's trophy in their hands. A protest hearing put the award ceremony on hold. Jean-Michel Lautier, Giuseppe D'Aquino, and Denis Neves seized the opportunity and dove into the sailors' village at the Marinepool store to convert their 300-euro prize money from Friday's "Trave Race" into shirts and shorts. Shortly afterward, they were celebrated by the 26 crews - as the 2023 J/22 World Champions. The winning crew itself significantly increased the number of nations represented. The trio is a multi-national company sports team.

Skipper Lautier, 47, is French, trimmer D'Aquino, 56, is Italian, and bowman Neves, 47, is Portuguese. The boat name FRAPORITA is also derived from the national abbreviations. "We all sail under the Dutch flag," Lautier explained.

The team has a very interesting background. The trio lives in Amsterdam and The Hague, as engineers they all work for the European Space Agency (ESA). Formerly competitors, they have now been sailing together for twelve years. And with great success! World Championship silver in 2015 at Travemünde was followed by another second place, then the title in Warnemünde in 2019, and now gold again.

"They are really good," praises Holger Schmitt. The man from Duisburg is the head of the German J/22 Class and felt he was in good hands with the J/Family in Travemünde: "A great World Cup, with very nice races. We'd love to come again." In 2024, however, it's headed overseas to Annapolis on the Chesapeake Bay.

The rest of the podium included two German teams. Taking the silver was the team of Jürgen Eiermann, Christian Fliegel, and Jens Hubner. Following them on the bronze step of the podium was the team of Wolf Jeschonnek, Steffen Dulsen, and Frank Sturm. The balance of the top five included Holger Schmitt in fourth and Felix Laukhardt in fifth position.

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