Maurice 'Prof' O'Connell has been appointed J Boats dealer for Ireland, a new role for the established sailor who also works with North Sails.
Key Yachting Ltd, the sole agent and distributor of boats by J Boats and Grand Soleil throughout the UK made the announcement yesterday saying: 'Prof is an established and talented sailor and marine industry professional. He is also a long-term friend and business contact of Key Yachting through his continuing and ongoing work with North Sails Ireland. He is superbly placed to assist with the J Boats fleet build and to support both the new and established J Boat owners throughout the country'.
Paul Heys MD of Key Yachting explained 'We recognise the fact that Ireland is a hotbed of extremely skilled racing sailors and we know from our experience they love the unique challenge and reward that sailing and racing well-built, quality performance yachts such as J Boats presents.
At the moment the J/70 Class is growing at an unprecedented rate. There are already three J/70s in Ireland and it follows that the Class will grow quickly here. This is why we have just furnished Prof with a new J/70 for potential owners to trial sail in Dublin.' He continued 'We have known Prof for many years and in our view he is precisely the right guy to work with the J Boat owners throughout the country.'
Prof has been racing the J/70 with assorted clients and sailing friends in Dublin Bay Sailing Club's 'Turkey Shoot' Series. They are racing against an enormously varied fleet of over 60 boats. On day one Prof, Suzie, Aidan and Helen punched in a win of over three minutes on corrected time, hitting 16 knots at one point down the first reach.
Of the J/70s performance, Prof, who just finished fifth in the Melges 24 Worlds in San Francisco, has this to say: 'the first day I set eyes on the J70, I loved the boat. The carbon rig is stiff, light and very easy to step. The boat is a "proper upwind boat" and flies downwind, whilst being so simple, easy to sail and very well built. It's appeal will very broad'.
The J/70 is the fastest selling sportsboat in the world at the moment (with over 500 sold in less than two years since the launch) and the class has just been granted ISAF status. J Boats know how to develop, support and maintain one-design racing classes better than any other manufacturer: just look at the global enduring success of the J/22, the J/24, the J/80 and the J/109! The J/70 class benefits from strict one-design rules and there is no restrictive crew weight limit. You can race the boat with three or four people she planes effortlessly in 12 to 14 knots of true wind speed. The carbon rig is easily stepped by just two people and the lifting keel means that she is easy to launch on a slipway.
Maurice 'Prof' O'Connell is on +353 86 2364200 or email him at [email protected]