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24 August 2014

Schmokin Joe Wins the J111 Worlds and the Wight Vodka Prize

Cowes, England

Teams from across Europe descended upon Cowes for the inaugural J/111 World Championships, and in the end the crew of the winning yacht Schmokin Joe took home the spoils including Wight Vodka!

With the Royal Yacht Squadron hosted the competition and scheduled the twelve races across the five days to give both local and travelling teams maximum opportunity to take the prestigious title. By the fifth and final day of racing, the overnight leader Shmokin Joe owned by Duncan McDonald and Phil Thomas had a strong enough score that they felt quite confident of bringing the trophy home.  Second place Tony Mack’s McFly were under threat from Frédéric Bouvier and his French team aboard J Lance 9. The French had only come together as a team for the event and had gelled as the series progressed to become the boat of the day on day four, the penultimate day.  Down the fleet there were individual battles to be fought; Stuart Sawyer’s Black Dog from Falmouth in fourth was just half a point clear of Cornel Riklin’s Jitterbug from Lymington in fifth. Similarly Jamie Arnell’s Jeez Louise in seventh was just half a point ahead of David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J Dream in eighth.  And in the end, the top ten places were held by the following teams:

World Champion! Shmokin Joe – Phil Thomas and Duncan McDonald of GBR
2nd Place McFly – Mr and Mrs Tony Mack of GBR
3rd Place J Lance 9 – Frederic Bouvier of France
4th Place Black Dog – Stuart Sawyer of GBR
5th Place Jitterbug – Cornel Riklin of GBR
6th Place Journeymaker II – Louise Makin and Chris Jones of GBR
7th Place Jeez Louise – Jamie Arnell of GBR
8th Place J Dream – Mr and Mrs David Apthorp of GBR
9th Place Xcentric Ripper – Robin Verhoef and John van der Starre of Holland
10th Place Sweeney – Hans Zwijnenburg and Kees van Vilet of Holland

Dan Hiza, the entrepreneur behind 50° North and Wight Vodka, commented “It was a great week of tight racing and the lavish prize giving ceremony conducted on the exclusive platform of the Royal Yacht Squadron was excellent.  I’m looking forward to the 2015 World Championships as they are being held in June on Block Island, Rhode Island where I grew up in the summers.  The J111 class is definitely one of the most competitive there is, and Wight Vodka is proud to be associated with these excellent owners and their teams.

About 50° North

50° North are the creators of Wight Vodka.  The company’s spirit and enthusiasm for the ocean, coupled with the centuries-old regatta traditions of the Isle of Wight (and of course a full appreciation of superior vodka!) culminated in the creation of the world’s smoothest, 42% ABV potato-based vodka.  One sip of Wight Vodka will make a believer out of the most discerning connoisseur, and the company welcomes your joining a unique and elite class.  www.wightvodka.com.  Tack & Gybe Responsibly.

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50° North

BACKGROUND PHOTOGRAPHY: Mike Jones / Waterline Media