Hungarian Dominance at the J/24 European Championship: Miklós Rauschenberger with his crew on Jukebox Leading with Two Wins

Two races were sailed on September 27, the first day of the 2017 J/24 European Championship. Both races were ruled by the Hungarian teams occupying 10 spots in the top 20. Jukebox, helmed by local Miklos Rauschenberger, has secured two wins by confident sailing, followed by the current American National Champion Keith Whittemore on Furio, while last year’s World Champion, JJone helmed by Daniel Frost and his crew came in third. The first race on the first race day of the Continent Championship started out in light, easterly 7-9 knot winds at 10 am as scheduled. First start was under U flag, but loads of excited competitors went over the start line early, so the second start was under the Black Flag. Seemingly the teams were more careful at the second start in order not to be disqualified, so only two boats, HUN2 and GER5467, were over early therefore each earned a BFD. Jukebox, helmed by Miklós Rauschenberger and his team, took over the lead after the first upwind leg and won the race. Daniel Frost and his team came in second on JJone, followed by fellow German LUV, helmed by Tom Stryi. The wind lost power by the second race, dropping to 5-7 knots, further boosting the Hungarian teams’ self-confidence on the start line. Dropping, tricky winds require expert starting technique, where choosing one’s starting position is key to a successful race. Those starting closer to the pin end proved to be faster coming up the first upwind mark. Six Hungarian teams got there fastest. First to round the mark was Tamas Madarasz and his team on Rebel. The first downwind leg was fastest on the right side. After the first round, the already weakening wind was also shifting northward forcing a course alteration. The frontrunners split into two. The two leading teams, Jukebox and Farkas Litkey helmed Pelle Nera, chose to remain on the left while the rest of the fleet kept to the right hoping to find stronger breezes. By the end of the second race, winds died almost completely though the spinnakers were still holding up nicely. Patience and focus were the strongest virtue to finish the race. The second race was also ruled by Miklós Rauschenberger and his team on Jukebox, while now three-time Soling World Champion Farkas Litkey came in second on Pelle Nera followed by also fellow Hungarian Tamas Madarasz and his team on Rebel. As the wind completely died, there was no chance to do the third race. After shore postponement, the day was called after two successful races. So after two races, Jukebox helmed by Miklos Rauschenberger is leading the regatta with two wins. He summarized the day as follows, “In today’s light winds, local knowledge was definitely an advantage. We knew at both starts that we must choose the pin side, and it proved right. It is very good to see that the Hungarian teams are doing well, though today’s tricky conditions haven’t given foreign competitors the chance to really prove how good they are.” Furio, helmed by Keith Whittemore, is second with two fourth places at both races, while the German World Champion Daniel Frost on JJOne is looking forward to getting ahead from the third place. Results and more info:

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