The World Championship decider for the J/22 Class was the focus of the final day of sailing at the 126th Travemuender Woche regatta in Germany. The crews of the sporty keelboat class apparently knew what they owed the spectators watching the live broadcast, as they delivered a spectacular final, resulting in several upsets and a celebration for an American team.
At the start of the day, the standings for the J/22 World Championship seemed to be cemented with Jean-Michel Lauter’s Dutch team on top and poised for the win, however, American Christopher Doyle snatched the almost certain title away in the final race. The bronze medal was also stolen in an upset, taken from Martin Menzner of Kiel by Reiner Brockerhoff from Duisburg.
“We knew that it did not matter which place we sailed into. We had to ensure that Lautier did not sail into the front of the field,” Doyle explained after the race. He sailed into tenth place and celebrated his first World Championship gold in his 20-year career in the J/22 Class.
“It really feels great. The key to victory was having a good boat and a strong team,” Doyle said, praising his crew Philip Wehrheim and Christopher Stressing and thanking Dirk Plewnia-Glanzmann, from whom he had chartered the boat. When he was on the dock, Doyle jumped ashore, hugged his wife and daughter and then looked forward to a “few good German beers” in the evening.
Menzner still managed to come in eleventh place in the final race. But it was not enough for the bronze medal as Brockerhoff crossed the finish line as the winner.
“We are happy to have made it onto the podium because we only started out with a finish in 21st place and have steadily worked our way up. Having now reached third place is the icing on the cake,” Brickerhoff said.
Forty-four J/22s competed in the world championship, representing six nations: Canada, Cayman Islands, France, Germany, Netherlands and the USA.
To find out more about the world championship event, visit www.j22worlds2015.blogspot.de/.