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WNY’s Christopher Doyle sails to J22 world championship

Christopher Doyle of the Youngstown Yacht Club skippered his boat, The Jug 41, to victory in the J22 Class World Championships last week on the Baltic Sea.

Doyle, with Phillip Wehrheim of Rochester and Christopher Stessing of the Youngstown YC as crew, won four first-places in the 14-race series to total 47 points. That was 19 points better than the second-place crew from the Netherlands, skippered by Michel Lautier.

Doyle’s crew had taken the lead with a fourth-place finish in the 12th race and had only to hold off Lautier in the final race. Doyle’s boat was 10th while the Netherlands boat finished 20th.

“It really feels great. The key to victory was having a good boat and a strong team,” Doyle said, praising his crew and thanking Dirk Plewnia-Glanzmann (SC Rheingau), from whom he had chartered the boat.

It was the first world title for Doyle, son of Skip Doyle, who was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

The J22 class championship was held as part of Travemunde Week, a week-long sailing event held each year in North Germany on the Bay of Lubeck. Besides the U.S. and the Netherlands, crews from Canada, France, Germany and the Cayman Islands competed.