Big breeze start

Early lead to Jim Richardson and Barking Mad after the opening day of the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds in Porto Cervo

Wednesday June 24th 2009, Author: Giles Pearman, Location: United Kingdom
After recent weather fronts brought high winds and squalls to most of Italy, today the wind gods smiled on Porto Cervo and the first of four scheduled race days in the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship 2009 was held in near perfect conditions. The event, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and taking place from 24-27 June hosts 25 Farr 40 yachts and many of the world’s top racing sailors.

WNWerly breezes varying from approximately 15 to 20 knots allowed the YCCS Race Committee to set three races today, won by Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad (USA), Massimo Mezzaroma’s Nerone (ITA) and Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion (AUS) respectively. The provisional overall classification now sees Barking Mad, with America’s Cup veteran Terry Hutchinson (2000, 2003, 2007) calling tactics, in the lead on 11 points. Owner Jim Richardson is President of the Farr 40 Class and has won the World Championship twice (1998, 2004) over the course of its 12 editions. Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino, (ITA) reigning World Champion, is in second place on 14 points with Giovanni Maspero’s Joe Fly (ITA), which placed second in last year’s World Championship, in third - also on 14 points.

Race One started on schedule at 11.05 in approximately 22 knots of wind from 285°. Barking Mad led Joe Fly and Mascalzone Latino round the first windward mark. By the second windward mark Mascalzone had overtaken Joe Fly and Maspero’s team then fell further back in the fleet to cross the finish line in fourth place behind Barking Mad, Mascalzone Latino and Alessandro Barnaba’s Fiamma (ITA) respectively.

By the start of Race Two the breeze had dropped to approximately 16 knots but held steady at 285°. At the first windward mark Nerone, with Vasco Vascotto calling tactics, led the fleet ahead of Alberto Rossi’s Enfant Terrible (ITA) and Lang Walker’s Kokomo (AUS). Nerone and Enfant Terrible, with Pietro D’Ali on tactics, held their lead through the leeward gate while Goombay Smash (USA), owned by Doug Douglass, moved up to third. Goombay, which has former North-American 49er Champion (2007) Morgan Larson calling tactics, overtook Enfant Terrible on the second windward leg to finish second behind Nerone.

The wind shifted slightly to become a true Mistral at 295° for the start of Race Three. Australia’s Transfusion took the lead from the start ahead of Flash Gordon (USA), owned by Helmut Jahn, and Barking Mad. Flash Gordon took the lead over Transfusion on the downwind leg and they were followed at the gate by Mascalzone Latino. Transfusion clawed back her lead on the final windward leg leaving Flash Gordon in second place ahead of Mascalzone. As the fleet reached the finish line, Mascalzone had moved up to second place behind Transfusion and ahead of Flash Gordon.

“We had the kind of conditions we like today," commented Vincenzo Onorato, winner of three consecutive Farr 40 World titles. "The Mascalzone Latino team does well with brisk winds. We took second place overall today but there is still a lot of racing left in this championship. I think we have made an error: we didn’t go to sail on the Australian circuit where the winds are strong and constant so we haven’t fully completed our training for strong wind conditions.”

Tom Slingsby, tactician on Transfusion and 2008 Laser World Champion, was pleased with today’s performance. Although the team are current Australian National Champions, this is the first time they have sailed with an International fleet: “Definitely the unknown factor played a part today," he said. "We didn’t know how we would go, being lined up with international fleet for the first time, but all in all we are happy with our first day and we hope to continue the trend!”

“It was great to get a bullet on the first day in the best sailing location in the world”, confirmed Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, owner of Transfusion. “The issue for us was to see how we sailed against the international fleet. The win in last race was the highlight of our day, the team put in when it was needed.”

Vasco Vascotto, tactician on Nerone and former America’s Cup tactician with Mascalzone Latino (2007, was disappointed with his team’s 13th place in Race Three: “Unfortunately, we did a really bad third race and it's quite bad for the results because we were leading after two races, and now we are 5th. Still a long way to go but obviously we're a little disappointed with the shift, it's something that we cannot control.”

Racing will continue tomorrow 25 June with the first starting signal scheduled for 11am. Major Filippo Petrucci, meteorologist on site for the event, predicts similar conditions to today with a west north westerly breeze of approximately 15 to 20 knots which could drop slightly in the late afternoon.

Results:

Pos Boat Owner Sail No. R1 R2 R3 Tot
1 BARKING MAD (15) Jim Richardson USA 50955 1 6 4 11
2 MASCALZONE LATINO (18) Vincenzo Onorato ITA 1 2 10 2 14
3 JOE FLY ( 8) Giovanni Maspero ITA 1805 4 5 5 14
4 TRANSFUSION (16) Guido Belgiorno-Nettis AUS 6422 9 7 1 17
5 NERONE (20) Massimo Mezzaroma ITA 1972 5 1 13 19
6 GOOMBAY SMASH (31) William Douglass USA 2 7 2 12 21
7 FIAMMA (22) Alessandro Barnaba ITA 252 3 12 7 22
8 FLASH GORDON (40) Helmut Jahn USA 60002 20 4 3 27
9 TWT (86) Marco Rodolfi ITA 13711 6 9 14 29
10 ENFANT TERRIBLE (91) Alberto Rossi ITA 40091 11 3 20 34
11 KOKOMO (12) Lang Walker AUS 8883 10 15 9 34
12 ESTATE MASTER (65) Lisa & Martin Hil AUS 615 8 18 10 36
13 TWINS (25) Erik Maris FRA 7 14 8 15 37
14 NANOQ (24) HRH Crown Prince Frederik DEN 7 13 21 8 42
15 MONICK (75) David Holm DEN 2007 21 11 11 43
16 PLENTY (33) Alex Roepers USA 60059 12 13 19 44
17 STRUNTJE LIGHT (21) Wolfgang Schaeffer GER 5055 22 17 6 45
18 CALVI NETWORK (11) Carlo Alberini ITA 40102 15 14 18 47
19 GOOD FELLAS (39) Ettore Morace ITA 11 16 16 16 48
20 ATALANTI (35) Stratis Andreadis GRE 42 18 20 17 55
21 ALEPH (89) Hughes Lepic GBR 46R 17 22 21 60
22 MANGUSTA RISK ( 3) Andrea Canavesio ITA 4003 19 19 23 61
23 VANITAS CUBE (88) Martin Strobel SUI 4240 24 23 22 69
24 ARCTUR (28) Vasyl Guryev UKR 1 23 24 24 72
25 HOOLIGAN VI (85) Edward Broadway GBR 7400 25 25 25 75

More photos on the following pages...

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