When I read the JPK blog account of the regatta, they made it pretty clear that the boat was fast and very competitive. What let them down were:
1. Jib block failure.
2. Jib clutch failure.
3. Borrowed 2011 mainsail from an M34.
4. No rig tuning / optimization.
When everything was working, they were up at the front, and sailing even with a J122 and A40 (IRC 1). Presumably when they get their new Ullman mainsail, fix the jib halyard issues, and tune the rig, the boat is going to be winning regattas.
As Paulo noted on his blog, the JPK 1080 is not really designed as a windward-leeward regatta boat, but as an offshore distance racer, with minimal crew. Of course, the same is true of the SF3600 and the A35. These three are all TransQuadra-type boats. What's really surprising is how poorly the MAT 1010 performed. Mark Mills totally understands IRC and that boat should have been in its element at this regatta.
All the same, the A35's made a good showing in IRC 2, as they should. They are a quick, well-sorted boat, and anyone who has been racing one for even a short time should have it dialed in.