Some leading international yachtsmen have arrived at Cala Galera to take part in this World Championship for the X-35, a boat created by X-Yachts in Denmark.
Tommaso Chieffi and Paolo Semeraro shall be aboard Giuseppe Leonetti’s Irascibile. Vasco Vascotto will be providing tactical support on Stefano Di Liberto’s Foxy Lady Atlantica Sistem; likewise Matteo Ivaldi on Cristian Ferro’s Corneliani ID. The J/24 World Champion, Andrea Casale, will be working his passage on Luca Bianchi’s Fra Martina. Other contestants include: Francesco De Angelis and Lars Borgstrom, who will be racing in Paolo Bonavolontà’s Sberressa, Francesco Bruni on Carlo Brenco’s Tixelio, Roberto Ferrarese and Sandro Montefusco on Michele Lecce’s Float On, Gabriele Benussi aboard Enrico Maria Pecoraro’s Karma, and Andrea Caracci and Claudio Novi on Francesco Conte’s Giochelotta.
Simon Anink’s DRS.X (Holland) and Mark Richmond’s Cool Runnings (England), the reigning numbers one and two respectively in the X-35 World Champion rankings, are the boats to beat.
Following two days taken up with registration and measurements - yesterday, Monday 22 September and today - the racing will start at 12 noon tomorrow, Wednesday 24 September. Sunny conditions and a north easterly wind are forecast.
The programme is for at least two upwind-downwind courses daily (each arm to be about one and a half nautical miles) for a total of ten races, at the outcome of which the crew qualifying as world champions will be declared. There will racing everyday up to Saturday 27. Sunday 28 September is reserve day, in case less than 6 races have been held.
The X-35 is a one-design model from the Danish shipyard, X-Yachts, and its market debut dates back less than three years. With its high-performance hull, which makes it nimble in regattas and perfect for short-distance cruising, the 11-metre X-35 has enjoyed much success, so much so that 200 have now been built and in 2007 it was boat of the year in the USA.
What has ensured the appeal of this craft are the stringent Class Rules applying to it. All the boats are identical, save for the materials used for the sails (boat owners are free to patronise the sail loft of their choosing), only two professional yachtsmen are allowed per crew, and the helmsman must be the owner.
All these factors make for races that are truly hard fought and spectacular. With boats capable of only marginal differences in speed, they compete more through luffing manoeuvres, by going very tightly about the race mark buoys, and by snatching victory at the finishing line by the merest whisker.