Rearing to go

15 TP52s to do battle with amateur drivers at the Rolex TP52 Global Championship in Porto Cervo

Sunday September 23rd 2007, Author: Jill Campbell, Location: United Kingdom
Racing in the Rolex TP52 Global Championship, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, will start tomorrow 24 September for the 15 competitors representing 11 nations ( Chile, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Monaco, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United States) assembled in Porto Cervo. The significant difference between this event and the recently completely Breitling MedCup circuit is that boats must be driven by amateur helms. As a result of this fleet numbers are down compared to what we've seen this season at TP52 regattas elsewhere in the Med.

A glance over the quays of the New Marina reveals a host of famous faces from the world of International yachting bearing testimony to the highly competitive nature of this ever-growing fleet.

2007 America’s Cup stars are here in force: Anonimo Q8’s tactician Tommaso Chieffi (Team Shosoloza); Mutua Madrilena’s tactician Vasco Vascotto (Mascalzone Latino); Siemens’ coach Dee Smith (Shosholoza); Windquest’s Terry Hutchinson (Emirates Team New Zealand) ; with Mean Machine’s Ray Davies (Emirates Team New Zealand) and Stay Calm’s Adrian Stead (Mascalzone Latino), both calling tactics in this event.

Chieffi is quietly confident, even if the competition is tough: “We are hoping to have a good week of sailing, the boat finished tenth in the Medcup Circuit but looking forward we have made some changes: I am replacing Mark Reynolds for this regatta and it’s another week of sailing. We hope we are gonna do well, we know the fleet is very tough, there are a lot of new boats, I think there are six or seven new boats which we think are slightly faster than ours but even so it’s a long series so we’re hoping that consistency will pay off.

"I saw Siemens compete last week - they were doing very well. If it was light air I think Mutua Madrilena would be a very strong contender, if it was heavy I think Artemis might be the top boat.”

Artemis, helmed by owner Sweden's Torbjörn Törnqvist, is indeed a strong contender having just won the Breitling Medcup Circuit overall. In addition Artemis boasts numerous America’s Cup sailors in her crew including America’s cup legend Russell Coutts on tactics.

Olympic sailing talent will not be lacking either in the form of Cam co-owners Francisco 'Kiko' Sanchez Luna and Fernando Leon, Gold medallists in the 470 (Barcelona 92) and Tornado (Atlanta 96) classes respectively. British 470 silver medallist Ian Walker will also compete on board current Global Champion Patches, owned by Irishman Eamon Conneely.

Former Volvo Ocean Race skippers John Kostecki and Lisa McDonald will be lending their experience to Siemens and Stay Calm respectively.

In addition to all the sailing royalty, H.M. King Harald of Norway, will add an extra touch of class to the proceedings at the helm of his Fram XVI.

With the amateur helm rule there are a few changes to the helms on the boats. Etchells World Champion Stuart Childerley is helming Patches, while Vasco Vascotto has recruited his Nerono Farr 40 driver Antonio Sodo Migliori on to the wheel of Mutua Madrilena. Meanwhile the DSK Comifin team, who have recently been campaigning a Swan 45 at all the major regattas around the world have chartered the Portugese yacht Bigamist on which their navigator Andrea Casale usually sails.

Six days of racing are scheduled through until Saturday 29 September. The Race Committee will set windward-leeward courses for the fleet on all but two days: Wednesday 26th will see a short coastal race while on Thursday 27 competitors will complete a long coastal race using the granite islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago as turning marks.

On site meteorologist Major Filippo Petrucci predicts easterly breezes of approximately 8-12 knots for tomorrow afternoon. Later in the week, most likely on Wednesday, a strong westerly wind is expected to blow in with gusts of up to 45 knots which will gradually calm over the course of Thursday and Friday.

Racing is due to start tomorrow 24th September at 1200.


1 ANONIMO Q8  ITA 572  Riccardo Simoneschi  Riccardo Simoneschi
2 ARTEMIS  SWE 11152  Torbjorn Torqnvist  Torbjorn Torqnvist
3 CAM CAJA DEL MEDITERRANEO  ESP 8199  Fernando Leon\Francisco Sanchez  Fernando Leon
4 CRISTABELLA  GBR5206L  John Cook  John Cook
5 DSK COMIFIN  POR 2241  Danilo Salsi  Danilo Salsi
6 FRAM XVI  NOR 12000  H.M. King Harald V of Norway  H.M. King Harald V of Norway
7 GLORY  USA 36  John Buchan  John Buchan
8 MATADOR SIEMENS  ESP 52  Hight Tide Ltd  Alberto Roemmers
9 MEAN MACHINE  MON 52  Peter De Ridder  Peter De Ridder
10 MUTUA MADRILENA  CHI 2110  Dabliu Sail Project srl  Antonio Sodo Migliori
11 PATCHES  IRL 5200  Eamon Conneely  Stuart Childerley
12 RUSAL SINERGY  RUS 13  Gateway Overseas Limited  Andrey Nikolaev
13 STAY CALM  GBR 93R  Stuart Robinson  Stuart Robinson
14 VALARS  RUS 7  Silver Wave Ltd  Serguei Shevtsov 
15 WINDQUEST  USA 52698  Doug DeVos  Doug DeVos

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