Swiss take practice race

Perfect conditions for practice race of the GP42's Quebramar Cup regatta in Cascais

Thursday August 28th 2008, Author: Carla Anselmi, Location: United Kingdom
It seemed the event organisers came to an agreement with the gods of wind in order to hold the opening practice race in near-perfect conditions for the practice race of the Cascais leg of the GP42's Quebramar Cup. When the starting gun was fired at 3pm a constant western breeze of 15 to 20 knots was blowing over Lisbon bay. The race committee was able to hold two starts on a course that stretched from Cascais to the Tajo River.

Four of the eight yachts of the GP42 fleet were on the starting line: Near Miss, Desafío, Roma GP42.2 and Canarias Puerto Calero, all of them with a media guest on board. Meanwhile new comers Bodegas Luis Alegre were making some last-minute changes, Madrid were waiting for a new boom to substitute the one they broke during the delivery, while Caser-Quum were fine tuning their yacht.

All three starts were very close and the entire race proved to be a relentless fight between all four yachts. Roma GP42.2, helmed by Paolo Cian led from the start but Bertrand Pacé on Near Miss overtook at the second leg. Desafío, led by Laureano Wizner, could have come in front of the race but at the approach to the first top mark the Spanish were involved in a port-starboard incident with the young crew from Canarias Puerto Calero and were forced to take a penalty turn.

Despite this disadvantage, Desafío held on and fought until the end, especially after Roma GP42.2 abandoned the race after rounding the leeward gate. The last leg was a true match race between them and Near Miss, but the Swiss successfully defended their leadership, crossing the finish line 9 seconds ahead of Desafío. Canarias Puerto Calero was third and the Italians Airis, a yacht designed by Umberto Felci for Roberto Monti and helmed by Sandro Montefusco, crossed the finish line in fourth position. Nevertheless, the result was insignificant as the yacht joined the race halfway through after a last-minute modification in their mast.

Competition in full earnest for the 8th edition of the Trofeu Quebramar-Chrysler will start tomorrow Thursday at 1pm local time. Three windward/leeward races are scheduled and the initial weather forecast seems to be quite favorable, albeit slightly lighter than today’s excellent conditions.

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