The tale behind the sails at the J80 worlds

Saturday, June 23, 2012

After a spectacular world championship in Dartmouth, we talked to Rob Larke about his campaign, the sails and how the event unfolded for him…

How did you prepare for the event?
“About 18 months of work went into the boat and the event. We started with getting the keel all faired, then changed the rig set and then this led to the sails with lots of test sailing over the winter, lots of pictures and talking to Mike Lennon [Hyde’s Design Director]. We finalised the designs at Easter and the new designs went into production ready for the worlds.”

What were the conditions like?
“The regatta started off with light airs and built up throughout the event ending in 18 knots with the last day being blown off. The biggest challenge was making sure we got on the right side of the first beat as the first beat was about one mile, and in 6-7 knots of breeze that’s a long way!”

How did you find your speed compared to the opposition?
“Our boat speed was very good. We found it would get us out of some awkward situations and being able to go into high mode really helped off the start line. As always the Spanish are fast but we have moved on and having last year’s world champion finish behind us proved that.”

How did the regatta go for you? What was your best race?
“We had a good start to the regatta with one small mishap in getting a 29th and looking at the results after the event if the 29th had have been a top three, then we could have won, and that was the same for the other top seven boats. It was very pleasing to know that you have the team and the speed to win. I can’t remember what our best race was, but the first race was unreal as we hit the pin end boat and started last but ended up with a second.”

Your final result was sixth - were you happy with that?
“Yes very happy as any of the top seven boats could have won. I don’t think we could have done much more, the crew work very hard and gave it 100% and sometimes you just need a bit of luck to finish on top.”

What’s your next event?
“I’m going to give the J/80 sailing a break for a while and concentrate on some big boat sailing, but I will always be around to help out with the J/80s. So if anyone would like to buy a really fast J/80 then please give me a shout!”

For details of Hyde’s J/80 sails see or call Rob Larke :

Hyde Sails | Hamble

+44 (0) 7764 933894

Harbour Building Office A Hamble Point Marina Southampton SO31 4NB

Hyde Sails Ltd, Harbour Building Office A, Hamble Point Marina, Hamble, Southampton SO31 4NB

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