World Champions into the lead

Another difficult day of racing at the YCCS' Rolex Settimana delle Bocche-Farr 40 European Championship

Friday June 8th 2007, Author: Jill Campbell, Location: Italy
The Rolex Settimana delle Bocche-Farr 40 European Championship, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, is proving to be a battle to the last blood as each day brings a completely different batch of winners and losers. While the dramatic wind shifts of the past few days made way for a more stable NNWerly breeze, the intensity continued to vary from 8 to approximately 13 knots throughout the day. The race committee once again stuck to schedule and the fleet completed three windward-leewards of around 7 nautical miles.

The overall scoreboard now sees Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino (ITA) in pole position with Masimo Mezzaroma’s Nerone (ITA) just seven points behind while yesterday’s leader Lang Walker’s Kokomo sits a further four points behind in third place.

Former British Olympic sailor Adrian Stead, tactician on board 2006 European and World champion Mascalzone Latino, described the challenges involved with racing in these conditions and with this fleet: “Another tough and fantastic day of Farr 40 racing, we've had three great races today in 8, 12, 13 knots and once again the fleet showed it is incredibly tough to do well. You need to get good starts and you need to play the fleet well. Coming from the America's Cup to this makes you realise how important attention to detail is. We're working on things a lot harder to be the best we can here. Maybe also because we are a little rusty we are thinking about what made us good last time and what can make us better.”

The first race of the day, the seventh of the series so far, saw the fleet pile up around the first windward mark leading to a great deal of shouting and a fantastic spectacle for enthusiasts following the race. Wolfgang Stolz’ Opus One (GER), Old Boys (BRA), owned by Eduardo de Souza Ramos, and Mascalzone Latino around the first leeward mark as the 12 knots of wind which had accompanied the fleet at the start line dropped off to around 10 knots. Opus One and Old Boys held their position until the finish line while Mascalzone Latino dropped back to fourth behind Stefano and Massimo Leporati’s Kismet (ITA).

Race eight saw Kismet take the lead early on and round the first leeward mark ahead of Olli-Pekka Lumijravi’s Siragusawa (FIN) and Mascalzone Latino. By the finish line Mascalzone had overtaken the Finnish boat to take second place behind Nerone.

Nerone’s tactician Vasco Vascotto is also fresh from the Louis Vuitton Cup and eager to hone his fleet racing skills. “The only good thing after today’s race is the overall which sees us in second place with still some chance to win. Today was a hard day with many protests. In the first race we immediately completed a double penalty. When you compete with slight wind conditions the fleet packed all together at the first leeward mark and that makes it extremely difficult to perform any manoeuvres and even more to give way. Personally I am trying to get back to fleet racing as I am so used now after the AC to a match race with a one single boat to beat and control.”

Race nine saw the Australian’s on board Kokomo lead Siragusawa and Nerone around the leeward mark but the Finns went on to take victory ahead of Nerone in second place and Kokomo in third. Mascalzone had a bad start in this final race of the day but managed to claw their way back from 17th around the first mark to 9th place at the finish line.

Siragusawa’a owner Olli Pekka Lumijarvi probably had the most consistent day of all the owners with a third and a first in the last two races: “This was a great day. It was easier for us today than two days earlier. We got the wind shifts better and most of the time we were on the right side of the course. The boat was very fast today, both upwind and downwind so we are pretty happy. Yesterday we were 14th overall and today we are fourth. It is so competitive. It is up and down for everybody and that is pretty cool.It is fascinating racing against guys that have been in the America's Cup and Olympics. You don't get to do that very often in any other sport.”

With nine races of a possible eleven completed tomorrow will see a maximum of two windward-leewards and all is still to play for in an event where nothing can be taken for granted.

Full results here

More photos on the following pages...

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