Between August 20th and 27th, the Balatonfüredi Yacht Club, in collaboration with the Hungarian J/24 Class Association, the Hungarian Sailing Federation and the International J/24 Class Association hosted the J/24 European Championship. With 8 nations, 42 boats and 210 competitors, the event took place over five days with five valid races out of the planned 10. Due to challenging wind conditions, no races were possible on the final day, so medals were awarded based on the standings from the fourth day.
Cillian Dickson, skippering Headcase, secured the European Championship title for Ireland. Schwere Jungs, led by Stefan Karsunke, claimed the silver medal for Germany. Meanwhile, Hungarian team iJroncat, helmed by Gábor Sallai, proudly took home the bronze. All three groups competed as all-amateur teams, among 37 of the total entries.
The fifth and last race day faced adverse wind conditions, reducing the Championship from the initially planned 10 races to five. Thanks to the exceptional efforts of the Balatonfüredi Yacht Club’s organizers and the Race Committee, led by Danish PRO Peter Lübeck, the event remained valid after five races and the possibility of one eliminated race.
The top 10 teams were awarded at the European Championship, with a special acknowledgment for the amateur category. Cillian Dickson, skipper of Headcase, expressed their happiness, exceeding expectations and prevailing in a highly competitive field. He emphasized the fantastic environment and the friendly atmosphere in the close-knit J/24 community.
Schwere Jungs had initially led the standings but ultimately settled for silver. They entered the competition aiming for a top-five finish and were content with their performance in challenging, unfamiliar winds.
Local expert Gábor Sallai and team iJroncat clinched the bronze medal. This was a significant improvement from their 2017 ninth-place finish, aligning with their goal to better their previous position, which they successfully achieved.
Fourth place went to American skipper Kurt Dammeier with Amuse Bouche, followed by the Greek team Hellenic Police, led by Alexandros Tagaropoulos, in fifth place. The Italian boat La Superba, captained by Ignazio Bonanno, secured sixth position, while seventh place was claimed by the Hungarian team JBond, with Balázs Tomai at the helm. They were followed by the German team Hungriger Wolf in eighth place, the Italian Pilgrim in ninth place, and the Hungarian El NINO, skippered by Farkas Litkey, rounding off the top 10.
Recognizing the importance of fostering new talent and engaging a diverse range of age groups and backgrounds, the International J/24 Class awarded special prizes to U25 teams, the best women’s team and the oldest participant. Jinge, captained by Attila Kovács from Hungary, secured the top spot in the U25 category. Germany’s Rotogirl was crowned the best women’s team, while the oldest and most accomplished competitor, Italy’s Mauro Benfatto, received due recognition.
Event details and results: https://www.j24.hu/2023-j24-ec/