Italy takes the Porquerolles

But there was a powerful British on slaught at this weekend's Farr 40 regatta

Monday May 20th 2002, Author: Andy Nicholson, Location: France
Eleven Farr 40s made it to the quiet Porquerolles islands, to the south of the famous sailing venue of Heyeres, for the second round of the Farr 40 Mediterranean circuit.

This was a lower turnout than the first event in Naples a month ago and importantly the dominant Greek boat Atalanti did not show. This is due mainly to the IMS worlds starting in Capri Sunday, leaving many Med crews in an 'either-or' situation. Most who attended the Porquerolles event were surprised that such a well planned and well financed series has clashed with the IMS Worlds and as a result made the fleet a little thinner than usual.

Sylphea, owned by Farr 40 Mediterranean president and ex-470 world champion, Alberto Signorini, won the eight race series by a margin of nine points over the British boat A Bit Of A Coup!, owned by Tony Buckingham.

The first day of racing on Thursday was in light southeasterlies, with the leaders coming out of the left hand side of the course. That was until the third race when a new sea breeze turned the race inside out. With the leader Zenzarro parked, the fleet dove both sides of her and squeezed through to the finish. Zenzarro came in tenth and Philip Tolhurst's Warlord took the gun.

Day two was very similar with warm sunshine and light breezes. The race commitee wanted to put an extra fourth race in, as bad weather was forecast for Saturday. However the fleet won their protests and after a long day headed back to port having completed three races originally scheduled. This was of much relief to certain crews who had enjoyed a great night hosted at the Porquerolles Yacht Club by event sponsor Total Gas, where a full Tour Voile-style paella was served up with plenty of local wine.

Saturday started with a postponement as wind in the protected harbour was well over 25knots. Many boats were keeping their fingers crossed that racing would go ahead. Struntje Light, with Iain Percy on tactics again, were in an unusal last place. This was even more surprising as they had came second in Naples in similar light conditions.

Two races went ahead after a three hour delay, as the wind had abated considerably to around 25 knots on the race course in the bay. A Bit Of A Coup! led at both windward marks, only to be overhauled in both races and went on to finish with two thirds. This did include a slam dunk on Sylphea at the top mark, who then had to bail out and finally got around the mark in last position. Warlord and Stuntje Light both had better days to move them up the rankings as th Mediterranean boats slid down the results table. Tony De Mulder's Victric didn't have their best day but clung onto third place overall from another British boat Game On.

Commenting on the racing, tactician on A Bit Of A Coup!, Kevin Sproul said: "We have had a great regatta and showed good pace in all the different conditions, Signorini was within reach, but he did well to get himself out of any trouble to get a counter. We just got good starts, a couple of shifts right and sailed with what we had".

Without Atalanti showing the Med circuit is being led by Sylphea with a 3,1 and in joint second are Struntje Light and A Bit Of A Coup! with 2,6 and 6,2 respectively. The final round of the circuit will be held at the end of June in Porto Retundo, Sardinia. This is followed a couple of days later by the Farr 40 Europeans down the road in Porto Cervo.

Pos Boat Skipper Tot R! R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Country
1 SYLPHEA Signorini 22 1 2 2 1 7 3 1 5 Italy
2 A BIT OF A CUP Tony Buckingham 31 2 6 5 6 2 4 3 3 UK
3 VICTRIC Tony De Mulder 47 9 1 4 4 11 2 7 9 UK
4 GAME ONE Oswald 47 8 4 6 5 4 10 8 2 UK
5 WARLORD Philip Tolhurst 49 10 9 1 8 9 6 2 4 UK
6 STRUNTJE LIGHT Wolfgang Schaefer 51 6 8 9 10 6 7 4 1 Germany
7 SHEAR TERROR Bruno Tronchetti Provera 52 7 5 11 11 1 5 5 7 Italy
8 ZZENZERO 7 Renato Mazzechi 52 3 11 10 2 3 11 6 6 Italy
9 ALEPH Lepic Hugues 57 5 3 8 3 8 9 10 11 UK
10 SARASTRO 3 Jean-Pierre Delmotte 58 4 7 3 9 10 8 9 8 France
11 FARRFELU Alain Bompart 62 11 10 7 7 5 1 11 10 France

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