Victory for Roma
|Sometimes it takes losing battles to win a war, and that's precisely what Italian Filippo Faruffini's
Roma 2 did to today to win the 2009 GP42 Global Cup. Coming into the final day of racing,
Roma enjoyed a nine-point margin over nearest rival,
Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, and with excellent teamwork, good boatspeed, and consistent results the Italian team lead by helmsman Paolo Cian needed only to finish within three points of the local-based team to claim the overall GP42 Global Cup crown. On paper, this looked easily achievable, but the highly-competitive nature of this class means nothing is predictable, especially in the perfect 14-17 knot conditions of today's racing.
In the first race, for example, the two front-runners found themselves tangled up with each other and Team Nordic, all fighting for a pin-end start as the fasted path to the favored left side of the course. Aggressive manoeuvres between the three resulted in flags, shouting from the teams, and a whistle from the on-water jury before the three disentangled and set off for the left corner. Keeping clear of the fight with an perfectly-timed start in the middle of the line, Javier Goizueta’s Caser-Endesa took and held the lead for their second win of the series. Roma’s third place and Islas Canarias Puerto Calero’s second place in this race closed the point gap down to eight, but there were still two races left.
In the second race, Magnus Olssen's Team Nordic was this time nowhere to be found, having dropped out for an unrepairable gear failure on their deckhouse, yet somehow Roma and Islas Canarias Puerto Calero got tangled up, fighting yet again for the pin. The Italian team won the fight this time, forcing the Canarians to tack away and duck the rest of the fleet coming off the line on starboard tack, but Roma paid the price of being slow and barely able to clear the pin end.
Yet this power of the pin kicked in further up the leg, allowing Roma to stay close and hang on as the breeze built and Islas Canarias Puerto Calero found a favorable lane on the right side and put her awesome boatspeed in these conditions to work and take the lead. With Caser-Endesa having to fight off a late charge made by Jose Maria van der Ploeg’s Turismo Madrid, and the two finishing overlapped with Caser-Endesa in the lead by a mere metre, Roma was able to go into the final race with a strong position: a 7-point gap now with the local Canarias team and only one race left.
In this race Caser-Endesa this time took the pin for themselves, and in a playbook now very familiar after four days of racing, they led to the left corner, crossed everyone close to the layline, led around the top mark and offset, and simply continued to lead around the track to extend to victory. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero had tried repeatedly to get into a passing lane, and for a while Caser-Endesa would make aggressive covering manoeuvres to prevent this, but the three point gap needed to fill with other boats to take the runner-up position from the local favorites just couldn’t be overcome, so Caser-Endesa, with owner Javier Goizueta on board as a guest, had to settle for being third overall but satisfied as winner of the day on scores of 1-3-1, their best day of the series and second time being champions for the day.
So, bravo to Faruffini, Cian, and all the members of the victorious Roma team: Gabriele Benussi (ITA), Paolo Bottari (ITA), Santino Brizzi (ITA), Pierluigi Formelli (ITA), Fabio Montefusco (ITA), Salvatore Pavoni (ITA), Matis Picornell (ESP), and Enrico Zennaro (ITA).
This is the final event of the GP42 season, after an impressive debut in this year’s Audi MedCup’s five stages, an Owner-Driver Championship in Cascais, and this spectacular Global Cup finale in Lanzarote.
The next event for the GP42 class will be at next year’s Audi MedCup Circuit Stage One in May, 2010 in Portugal.