Walker into the lead

After day one of the Audi Farr 40 Cup in Porto Cervo

Thursday June 12th 2008, Author: Jill Campbell, Location: United Kingdom
Racing got off to an excellent start for the 12 Farr 40s assembled in Porto Cervo for the Audi Farr 40 Cup with a full schedule of three windward-leeward races completed today. The event, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the Farr 40 European Fleet Association and with the support of title sponsor Audi, is the second leg of the European Circuit Mediterranean for the class.

Australia’s Kokomo (AUS) owned by Lang Walker with renowned Olympic Star sailor Colin Beashel on tactics, is now sitting in first place overall with a 1, 4, 2 scoreline. Massimo Mezzaroma’s Nerone (ITA) with tactician Vasco Vascotto is in second place ahead of Asterisk (GBR), owned by Ole Van der Heide with New Zealander Rod Dawson on tactics.

“We had a good day.” commented Walker after the day’s racing which took place in 8 to 18 knots of westerly wind accompanied by frequent rain showers. “We prefer the winds you usually get in Porto Cervo rather than lighter winds. Being an Australian boat we are probably used to heavier conditions so we actually enjoyed the weather today. In the second race we probably didn’t get as good a start as we would have liked but we got back in the race on the first windward beat.”

Walker’s crew is all-Australian and has been competing together regularly in Europe, America and Australia for almost three years. Walker is well aware of the competition he is up against in Porto Cervo though: “They are all tough! All of the Italians in particular: Nerone, Vincenzo and Joe Fly as well. They are all good sailors and good teams.”

The starting signal for the first race of the day sounded right on schedule at 12 midday. The Race Committee, headed by PRO Peter Reggio, set course number four for a total of approximately 7.5 nautical miles and the fleet set off in approximately 18 knots of wind from 270 degrees. Alessandro Barnaba’s Fiamma, with America’s Cup veteran Tommaso Chieffi calling tactics, took the start but was overtaken by Kokomo who then held the lead right to the finish ahead of Fiamma and Nerone.

The wind had dropped to approximately 10 to 11 knots for the start of Race Two at 13.35. Nerone took the lead from the start and was followed around the first windward mark by Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino (ITA) and Giovanni Maspero’s Joe Fly (ITA). Nerone and Mascalzone held their positions for the remainder of the race while Joe Fly fell back in the fleet and Struntje Light (GER), owned by Wolfgang Schaeffer, moved up to round the second windward mark in third place. Nerone crossed the finish line ahead of Mascalzone and Struntje Light.

Monaco’s Dangerous But Fun, owned by Michele Perris, got off to a strong start in the third and final race of the day and led Nerone and Joe Fly round the first windward mark accompanied by 8 knots of fairly instable breeze. At the leeward mark however Asterisk led followed by Kokomo with Joe Fly steady in third place. Asterisk and Kokomo stretched their lead on the second windward leg and completed a shortened final leeward leg well ahead of Joe Fly and the rest of the fleet.

The forecast for tomorrow predicts more westerly winds of approximately 10 to 15 knots with the return of Porto Cervo’s usual June sunshine. The first starting signal is scheduled for 12 midday.

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