This year’s J/80 Irish National Championships will be run in Howth Yacht Club on the 21st and 22nd of September.
Entries are invited from J/80 owners/ charterers and the full details and online entry are available here. Howth Yacht Club are providing a discounted entry fee for boats entered in the 6-week Autumn League which will also provide some opportunity for initial ‘tuning-up’ on Saturday 14th September – the first weekend of that series.
This year’s inaugural J/80 Irish National Championships will run back-to-back with Ireland’s largest keelboat sailing regatta this year.
Some convenient scheduling at Howth Yacht Club in Dublin means that the Irish Championships take place at the North Dublin club during the UK May bank holiday weekend (24-26th) followed by an invitation to the class to take part in Wave Regatta on the following weekend and coinciding with the Irish bank holiday. This will provide competitors with an opportunity to savour the famous hospitality at Howth and to enjoy two weekends in one of the worlds top keelboat racing venues.
Event chairman Ross McDonald explains ‘scheduling the J/80 championships on the weekend of the 25th of May was always going to be a winner. It will allow many of the enthusiastic UK teams to participate and compete with the emerging Irish fleet at at top quality venue. Significantly, we are also offering a combined entry option, to entice teams to stay on for the huge ‘Wave Regatta’ taking place in Howth on June 1-3. With a special launching, lift-out and trailer storage deal, a special concession deal with Irish Ferries together with free berthing for the week as well as a second weekend of racing within what will be a showcase regatta for Ireland (see: waveregatta.com), this will be and unmissable and unforgettable week!’
The Irish J/80 Championships will be run over three days and as part of the ‘Sportsboat Cup’ which incorporates racing for other one-design keelboat divisions, including 1720s and SB20s.
For Wave Regatta, the J/80s have been invited to take part in three days of racing under IRC rating with additional prizes for their own one-design class also. The schedule includes two days of windward/ leeward and round-the-cans races and a coastal race around local islands ‘Lambay’ and ‘Ireland’s Eye’.
The notice of race and online entry to the Irish Championships with discounted option to enter Wave Regatta also can be accessed here:
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.
‘A’ OCEAN: Designed for extended voyages where conditions may exceed wind force 8 (Beaufort scale) and significant wave heights of 4 m and above but excluding abnormal conditions, and vessels largely self-sufficient.
‘B’ OFFSHORE: Designed for offshore voyages where conditions up to, and including, wind force 8 and significant wave heights up to, and including, 4 m may be experienced.
‘C’ INSHORE: Designed for voyages in coastal waters, large bays, estuaries, lakes and rivers where conditions up to, and including, wind force 6 and significant wave heights up to, and including, 2 m may be experienced.
‘D’ SHELTERED WATERS: Designed for voyages on sheltered coastal waters, small bays, small lakes, rivers and canals when conditions up to, and including, wind force 4 and significant wave heights up to, and including, 0.3 m may be experienced, with occasional waves of 0.5 m maximum height, for example from passing vessels.
See this video of the FRS Racing Team crossing the Gibraltar Straits in their J/80: https://youtu.be/YJ22Fv9fez8
With the class association only set up since this October, the Irish J/80 Class have been added to again, this time by Philip Watson and Roger Cagney who have purchased the latest boat to join the fleet.
Boat number #798 is already in Philip’s premesis in Malahide and the northside sailmaker was quick to announce the deal today following some weeks of speculation ‘the rumour factory was right…, Roger and I have bought the boat and it’s around in the loft now’. He added ‘Looking forward to some gentlemen’s racing!’
With about 5 more teams in the hunt for boats, it would appear that the class will be well supported for next year’s national championships at the Sportsboat Cup in Howth this coming May.
The expected upsurge in interest for J/80s in Ireland following a ‘declaration of intent’ to expand activities by the existing fleet means that lots of eyes will be searching Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe for boats coming on the market.
Former Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association and now J/80 owner Norbert Reilly explained that ‘this is a window of opportunity for lots of keelboat sailors who want to be a part of the development of the class in Ireland and as many existing owners in the UK and Europe consider a step to owning J/70s’. Whilst the newer design J/70 is gaining critical mass in many locations around Europe, it’s seen to be a slightly trickier boat to sail and with a price of about €50,000, it doesn’t afford the same value to an Irish buyer who might have a nice one-design racing keelboat, but will find it difficult to rally a decent-size class to race with.
According to the International J/80 Class Association, there are more than 1600 J/80s sailing in 30 fleets and in 12 countries. To help encourage ownership and participation in J/80 events by all sailors, the J/80 International Class Rules are written ‘to keep the fun up and the costs down’. The rules specify a three sail limitation and the crew weight limit only applies if there are more than three people on board.
If you have a J/80 for sale and you would like to use the current market opportunity to sell it, contact us and we’ll put you directly in touch with keen prospective owners.
Contact details here
Following recent registration with Irish Sailing and with a building momentum in Dublin, a group of J/80 owners and vested interests including representatives from clubs met in Howth on the 11th of October 2017 to form the Irish J/80 Class Association.
The newly appointed Class President Pat O’Neill told the association that he was keen to see an increase in the number of boats nationally and that he would encourage J/80 owners to participate in the initial and prospective schedule of events. It is expected that 6-8 boats will race in the upcoming Brass Monkey Series in Howth, but that the focus would be to rally owners and crew for some selectively chosen events in 2018.
A couple of the owners expressed a commitment to qualifying for the J/80 European Championships and World Championships in 2018 and it is expected that the class will grow in number during the winter months.
The inaugural meeting of the association was attended by owners and representatives from Howth and Dun Laoghaire clubs.