Who are the Irish unbeatable J/24 European Champions in Porto Cervo


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The defending European champion, Ireland’s Headcase, is confirmed as the winner in the waters of Porto Cervo at the European J/24 Championship organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, with the support of Range Rover. The regatta, which started last Friday due to strong winds that forced the committee to cancel the first day of trials, was a real success with nearly 50 entries from 21 nations, totaling about 200 sailors at sea. Germany was the most represented foreign nation with 9 boats followed by Great Britain and Hungary with 3 boats each. The La Superba crew of the Italian Navy closes in second place, 9 points behind, while by a whisker the local crew of Vigne Surrau of Circolo Nautico Arzachena, helmed by Aurelio Bini, is off the podium, the first boat of the Sardinian fleet in the final ranking.

European J/24 Championship, who won

The J/24 European Championship was won again this year by theIrish Headcase crew, consisting of helmsman Cillian Dixon, as well as Sam O’Byrne, Ryan Gylnn, Marcus Ryan and Louis Mulloy. A close-knit group of sailors and friends also won the Corinthian classification. The Navy’s Superba took second place, thanks to Ignazio Bonanno at the helm and former 470 world champion Gabrio Zandonà at the tactician. Third position for the Hungarians of J.Bond.

The Irish Headcase team rejoices in winning the title of European Champion in the J/24 Class.
The Irish Headcase team rejoices in winning the title of European Champion in the J/24 Class.

Ignazio Bonanno, helmsman of La Superba, commented, “We give our congratulations to the Irish Headcase crew, they did really well. We tried to make life difficult for them to the last, we can be satisfied with our result, a very good second place. With the strong wind on Saturday, unusual conditions in the Mediterranean, we had little upwind speed, we tried to modify the set-up but we are not used to having a lot of air. Sunday’s performance, on the other hand, was excellent“.

Navy's Superba is second at the European J/24 Championships
Navy’s Superba is second at the European J/24 Championships

Inclusiveness and fair play at the European J/24 Championships

A class, the J/24 class, characterized by values such as inclusiveness and fair play. In fact, at the European Championship Significant was the presence of female, with many mixed crews, as well as several generations of sailors were present: the Youngest contestant was Mattia Gelsi, 17 years old, on Furio & Fantaghirò while. Massimo Mariotti, owner of Avoltore and Honorary President of the Italian J/24 Class., continues to race with great enthusiasm in 86 years old.

Significant of the Class’ fair play was the gesture of the German team Vitesse: onSaturday, after a collision that through no fault of their own prevented the Australian team from continuing in the event, they loaned them their boat to compete on the last day.

Edoardo Recchi, Secretary General and Sports Director of YCCS: “We are pleased to have welcomed the J/24 Class back to Porto Cervo; the last European Championship was held here in 1989. The atmosphere at this event was particularly pleasant, characterized by a friendly but at the same time competitive spirit typical of the Class. Following the first day when no racing could take place, varied weather conditions over the next few days allowed the 10 scheduled races to be completed. Watching the large fleet of J/24s compete at sea in the stretch of water in front of Porto Cervo with Mistral up to 16 knots and Scirocco over 20 knots of intensity was exciting. We congratulate the Irish Headcase team for their victory and all the other participants for their sportsmanship.”

From left, Edoardo Recchi, YCCS secretary general and sports director; Giovanni Tamburi, YCCS vice president; and Marco Santucci, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Italy
From left, Edoardo Recchi, YCCS secretary general and sports director; Giovanni Tamburi, YCCS vice president; and Marco Santucci, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Italy

Pietro Diamanti, President of the Italian J/24 Class, added: “When it was proposed to us last year to come to Porto Cervo, we proudly accepted. I am happy with the nearly 50 participants; reaching such a large number is not easy. The organization of the event, both on land and at sea, was perfect and I thank the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda“.



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