Stepping into the tactician's role on Mascalzone Latino was John Kostecki, who assisted owner and helmsmen Vincenzo Onorato in putting together finishes of 14-3-5. The 2003 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and winner of the 2001/02 Volvo Ocean Race as skipper onboard illbruck, Kostecki is one of the world's top sailors. An Olympic silver medalist (1988) and 10-time world champion in a range of one-design classes, he has also been involved in four America's Cup campaigns as tactician.
Two time world champion Barking Mad (USA) climbed up from seventh place into third overall. "The conditions are difficult to sail in," said owner Jim Richardson. "It was a decent day for us. We were over early in the first race and managed to get a few good breaks and ended up second, so that was a great start of the day." In addition to Barking Mad, Groovederci 127 (USA), Twins (FRA), and Plenty (USA) were called OCS and required to re-start.
Opus One (GER) led the fleet from start to finish and finished over three minutes ahead of second-placed Barking Mad. "We didn't have a good day yesterday, so we came out knowing we had to do a good job to do for Wolfgang (Stolz, owner)," said Opus One's tactician Kelvin Harrap. "We didn't have a good start, but we managed to get out to the left hand side of the course and it was the way to go up that beat. I think Barking Mad came out with us after being over early. We had a bit of luck and got our nose out there. We had enough of a lead to sail our own race the entire time and managed to extend after that and lead all way. If you can get a little break out at the top mark your options are wide open. It's not always that easy."
The second race of the day was a little less textbook for Opus One than the first, however the team now stands in seventh place overall. "Tomorrow we have to go as well as we can," said Harrap. "We have not been starting well, and we need to get off the line to give us a chance. The boat is going well, we have good crew and Wolfgang is doing a great job, so it's up to me."
The second race - the fifth in the series - was won by Nerone (ITA) co-owned by past world champions Massimo Mezzaroma and Antonio sodo Migliori. Mascalzone Latino led on the first lap but Henrik Jensen's Silver Bullet (DEN) slipped by and took the lead, followed by Nerone, Ramrod (USA) and Morning Glory (GER). Silver Bullet held onto the lead but was challenged on the last downwind leg by Nerone, which crossed the finish line inches ahead of the Danish boat.
In the final race of the day, Peter de Ridder's Mean Machine (MON) won followed by Joe Fly (ITA) and Asterisk (DEN). "We did a good job in minimising the damage," said de Ridder of the race. "At one stage in the race we were pretty deep, but we had a good (downwind) run and got into the first half of the results with a 14th."
Tactician Ray Davies explained the race strategy: "The key for us today was to try and get clear air off the line and sail in decent water. We did that quite well in a couple of races and still managed to make a couple of mistakes and end up back in the pack. The team we have with us is fantastic. We fought and had some good recoveries."
De Ridder gave credit to his team, especially Davies with whom he has sailed since Mean Machine won the 1990 Admiral's Cup. "He'll stay forever," he said. "He's a team leader, a good guy and a good tactician as well."
Tomorrow's forecast for less wind doesn't seem to bother the seasoned helmsmen such as de Ridder. "If we have good starts and the breeze settles, I think we have pretty good boat speed," he said. "We're one of the quickest boats around and if we can utilize our tools we'll be fine, but better is always looming around the corner."
Second overall is Giovanni Maspero's Joe Fly, which counts among its talented crew tactician Francesco Bruni. "We are very pleased, very happy, it's been a great day," said Bruni. "We started with a 15th. We didn't have a good start, but we had fantastic speed upwind. The guys are doing a great job keeping the boat fast."
For Bruni, who is one of Italy's most talented sailors, having competed in the Olympic class Star and the America's Cup, the tactician's role has a bit of pressure on it. "A little bit," clarified Bruni. "At the beginning we want results in the top 10. Today, with results in the top five, that is a dream. We never thought it was possible. Results in the top three? Oh my god. For sure it's not going to be easy. We have Barking Mad behind and other people who are usually at the top on the score list." Joe Fly came second in the final race to hold its second place overall.
America's Cup defender Ernesto Bertarelli and his Alinghi slipped from third and finished the day in fifth overall.
Racing continues tomorrow, Friday, April 18 at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship (April 16-19) on the Atlantic Ocean south of Government Cut.
|1||ITA 1||MASCALZONE LATINO||Vincenzo Onorato||3||12||1||14||3||5||38|
|2||ITA 1805||JOE FLY||Giovanni Maspero||9||1||8||15||6||2||41|
|3||USA 50955||BARKING MAD||Jim Richardson||23||5||3||2||16||6||55|
|4||MON 40||MEAN MACHINE||Peter de Ridder||24||3||9||9||14||1||60|
|5||SUI 81818||ALINGHI||Ernesto Bertarelli||8||14||6||6||7||20||61|
|6||GRE 40||ATALANTI||Stratis Andreadis||5||2||25||7||24||11||74|
|7||GER 5565||OPUS ONE||Wolfgang Stolz||15||16||21||1||5||23||81|
|8||USA 46999||RAMROD||Rod Jabin||22||8||17||3||10||21||81|
|9||AUS 8883||KOKOMO||Lang Walker||20||7||20||12||15||7||81|
|10||USA 69||WARPATH||Fred & Steve Howe||12||13||14||24||11||8||82|
|11||DEN 7||NANOQ||HRH Crown Prince Frederik||13||15||16||20||17||9||90|
|12||USA 46957||GROOVEDERCI 57||Deneen Demourkas||11||6||5||16||29||24||91|
|13||ITA 1972||NERONE||Massimo Mezzaroma||19||19||2||29||1||25||95|
|14||JPN 5095||SLED||Takashi Okura||2||10||18||11||25||31||97|
|15||ITA 252||FIAMMA||Alessandro Bamaba||4||17||28||5||31||12||97|
|16||ITA 40102||CALVI NETWORK||Carlo Alberini||6||9||12||33||26||14||100|
|17||USA 7289||GROOVEDERCI 127||John Demourkas||28||4||19||17||8||26||102|
|18||GBR 1640R||ASTERISK||Ole van der Heide||10||31||11||30||22||3||107|
|19||FRA 007||TWINS||Erik Maris||27||26||7||25||19||4||108|
|20||USA 60059||PLENTY||Alexander Roepers||21||11||4||27||28||17||108|
|21||USA 50092||HEARTBREAKER||Robert Hughes||1||21||22||13||27||27||111|
|22||DEN 112||SILVER BULLET||Henrik Jansen||17||29||32||22||2||10||112|
|23||GER 40126||MORNING GLORY||Hasso Plattner||29||20||13||18||4||29||113|
|24||AUS 615||ESTATE MASTER||Lisa & Martin Hill||31||18||30||4||18||13||114|
|25||USA 2||GOOMBAY SMASH||William Douglass||25||25||15||8||20||22||115|
|26||USA 4040||INFINITY||John Thomson||7||24||23||31||13||19||117|
|27||USA 50001||FLASH GORDON||Helmut Jahn||14||23||31||10||30||16||124|
|28||AUS 5077||HOOLIGAN||Marcus Blackmore||18||22||10||28||23||33||134|
|29||ITA 1161||CANNONBALL||Dario Ferrari||32||32||26||19||9||18||136|
|30||BRA 2283||DSK COMIFIN||Danilo Salsi||16||34 dsq||29||23||12||32||146|
|31||GER 5055||STRUNTJE LIGHT||Wolfgang Schaefer||26||27||24||32||33||15||157|
|32||DEN 2900||BACKBONE||Thomas Kiaer||30||28||27||26||21||28||160|
|33||USA 51990||NIMBUS BLUE||Hunt Lawrence/USMMA||33||30||34 dnc||21||32||30||180|