Three bullets for Earlybird

Defending champions getting into the swing at the Rolex Swan 45 Worlds

Friday September 4th 2009, Author: Umberta Croce, Location: United Kingdom
Conditions were challenging today in Argentario for the Rolex Swan 45 World Championships, underway in Cala Galera (Argentario), organised by the Yacht Club Italiano and the Circolo Nautico e della Vela dell’Argentario in partnership with Rolex.

Today it was the German team on Earlybird, owned by Christian Nagel and Hendrik Brandis, who dominated from the outset. The reigning World Champions thrived in the choppy conditions with winds ranging from 13-16 knots, to win all three of today’s races.

“The competition was very close today," said Nagel. "Unfortunately, however the coastal race has really hurt us and since we can’t discard it, it’s hard to recover. The winds today were much more preferable than the last few days. We also really prefer windward leeward racing,”

For the first time this week, racing started as scheduled at 1100 under cloudy skies. Earlybird gained control of the fleet early on in race one but Fever was always in hot pursuit, finishing a fraction of a second behind the German Swan 45. In third place were overall leaders, Charisma (NED) despite having had serious issues with one of their jibs - essential in today’s conditions

The start of the second race was slightly delayed on account of an issue Fever had with their spinnaker. “This really is not turning out to be our regatta,” lamented co-owner Klaus Diederichs. “We started out really well this week, but our spinnaker got wrapped around the forestay and it took us so long to unravel it that we couldn’t start the next race!”

In race two Earlybird was quick to get out in front of the fleet again while Yasha (owned by Yukihiro Ishida) finished second and Atlantica Racing (Carlo Perrone) were third.

Keeping up the tempo of the regatta, the Race Committee got a third race started at 1430. Once again it was Sten Mohr’s tactics and Christian Nagel’s smooth helming that put Earlybird out in front. Meanwhile, Tea Ekengren-Sauren’s Blue Night’s (FIN) put on an impressive performance finishing second while Charisma came in third.

Provisional results after 10 races:
1. Charisma - Nico Poons (NED)
2. No Limits - RW Bol (NED)
3. Earlybird - Christian Nagel & Hendrik Brandis (GER)
4. Atlantica Racing - Carlo Perrone (ITA)
5. Yasha - Yukihiro Ishida (JAP)

The final day of the Rolex Swan 45 World Championships is tomorrow while this evening the owners and crew will celebrate a great week of racing at the Rolex Dinner Party, exclusively for owners and crew, at the Golf Resort in Porto Ercole.

More splashy photos on the following pages...

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