Victory for Atalanti
Following his victory in the One Ton Cup last year and at Key West earlier this year, Greek Farr 40-owner George Andreadis and his Atalanti team has won the first event in the Farr 40 class' Mediterranean Championship in Naples this weekend by a clear margin.
Sailing on board Atalanti as tactician was '84 Soling gold medallist Robbie Haines, taking time off from running Roy Disney's maxi Pyewacket. Andreadis' team put in a solid, consistent performance never finishing lower than fifth.
Sailing a 1.7 mile long course in the Bay of Naples with the famous Mount Vesuvius in one corner, the fleet saw conditions throughout the four day event which were typically Mediterranean. The 8-14 knot winds and hot and sunny temperatures, left the crews who took part in the Farr 40 racing last year in the Solent wondering why they hadn't moved south a good deal earlier.
"I have to say it is a bit more pleasant. It is very different sailing," commented Iain Percy tactician on board Struntje Light. "The wind is generally a lot lighter and without the tides it is very different from the tactical point of view. Different skills were tested".
Three of the British Farr 40s have made the move to the Mediterranean for this circuit - Tony Buckingham's A Bit of A Coup, Oswald Bainbridge's Game On and Tony de Mulder's Victric 5. After talk of more than 20 boats taking part in the circuit this year, in fact only 13 have shown, but this is expected to grow if not this season, then in forthcoming years as Deutsche Bank, sponsors of the circuit, seem keen to support this event beyond just this season.
The final race of the series, the only one held today, saw several shifts in the results. Sylphea of local Farr 40 Association boss and former 470 World Champion Alberto Signorini was down the pan leaving Walter Schaefer's Struntje Light to pull up into second overall, despite going into the race with a seven point deficit.
"I think we did better than we thought we were going to as a crew," commented Percy, who has taken over the role on board the German Farr 40 from Gordon MacGuire. This is the first time the Finn Gold medallist has sailed with 'foreign people'. "I won't be so prejudiced in future!" he quipped of his German crew. He says he will be sailing other events on the Farr 40 circuit this season provided they fit in around his Star program. "It was a nice break from the Star. It is a good way to get to buy more sails for the Olympics!"
The only major incident of the regatta came at the windward mark in one race when Massimo Mezzaroma's Nerone with Mazcalzone Latino's Vasco Vascotto as tactician caused chaos approaching on the port layline. "There was a lot of ice cream being thrown at that point," commented Andy Nicholson, A Bit of A Coup's bowman.
After starting well and winning the first race of the series Tony Buckingham's A Bit of A Coup, sailing with Kevin Sproule as tactician, generally got off to bad starts, but seemed to gain back ground on the runs.
Generally the racing was as close as ever, best illustrated by the fact that there was a different winner in each of the first seven races. Interestingly the winner of each race was always the first boat to the weather mark.
The next event in the series takes place in the Isles de Porqueolles off Hyeres on 16-19 May.
|2||STRUNTJE LIGHT||W. Schaefer||2,0||9,0||10,0||2,0||3,0||1,0||2,0||11,0||3,0||43,0|
|6||A BIT OF A COUP||T. Buckingam||1,0||6,0||8,0||13,0||6,0||7,0||4,0||5,0||11,0||61,0|
|8||ZZENZERO 7||R. Mazzeschi||12,0||1,0||7,0||9,0||13,0||4,0||13,0||2,0||7,0||68,0|
|9||SHEAR TERROR||R. Tronchetti Provera||7,0||5,0||11,0||7,0||7,0||11,0||11,0||4,0||9,0||72,0|
|10||NORWEGIAN STEAM||E. Astrup||8,0||8,0||13,0||8,0||11,0||6,0||7,0||10,0||6,0||77,0|
|11||SARASTRO 3||J. P. Delmotte||9,0||10,0||4,0||10,0||12,0||10,0||5,0||12,0||10,0||82,0|
|12||VICTRIC 5||T. De Mulder||11,0||12,0||3,0||4,0||9,0||13,0||9,0||13,0||13,0||87,0|