USA’s Christopher Doyle Grabs His First World Championship Title in the J/22 Class PDF Print E-mail
The World Championship decider of the J/22 Class was the focus of the eighth day of sailing at the 126th Travemuender Woche. And the crews of the sporty keelboat class apparently knew what they owed the spectators watching the live broadcast in the SAP Sail Cube. They delivered a spectacular final, resulting in celebrations for the Americans in the end. Christopher Doyle snatched the almost certain title from the Dutch team of Jean-Michel Lautier in the last race of the J/22 Marinepool Worlds. And the bronze medal was snatched away from Martin Menzner from Kiel by Reiner Brockerhoff from Duisburg. At the start of the day, the previous order of the J/22 World Championship seemed to be cemented. Doyle and Lautier achieved their worst results in the total of 13 races and, after a day win, Menzner established a narrow lead ahead of Brockerhoff, who came in third in the race. Thus, the three leading crews could have sailed to protect their positions in the final race. But it turned out differently. Brockerhoff slipped away after the start to the left side of the course, was first to find the right wind and pushed into second place. Menzner and Doyle settled into the midfield. Nevertheless, the American suddenly had his hand on gold since Lautier found himself at the very end of the fleet again. The reason for this: in the style of a match racer, Doyle had prevented the direct rivals for gold to a good start. "We knew that it did not matter which place we sailed into. We therefore had to ensure that Lautier did not sail into the front of the field," Doyle explained of the victory tactics. And he could let the reins loose after the position at the first marker; 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 (SC Rheingau), 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, representing six nations (Canada, Cayman Islands, France, Germany, Netherlands, USA). Fourteen races took place, and complete regatta information may be found at http://www.j22worlds2015.blogspot.de/.