Mixed conditions off Capri

Leaders consolidate their positions on penultimate day of Rolex IMS Offshore World Championship

Saturday May 24th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Italy
Boosted by the presence of America's Cup winner Russell Coutts, joining the regatta as guest helm on board Leonardo Ferragamo’s Swan 45 Cuordileone, the Rolex IMS Offshore World Championship got underway again just after noon on Friday with two races for the three classes held off Cape Sorrento.

After the long offshore race held on Tuesday-Wednesday and a layday on Thursday there were two windward-leewards for the three IMS classes. The first was sailed in a 25 knot northerly making for an action-packed race, while the second later in the afternoon, turned light with a dramatic shift in the wind direction.

Race Five

The start was action packed in the one metre swell and bright sunshine with most of the fleet trying to exploit the committee boat bias to the start line. In Class One, the provisional points leader, Georgio Goldoni’s Spanish IMS 600 contender for the Admiral's Cup, Telefonica Movistar, found herself locked out from the start missing the committee boat completely and eventually starting last off the line.

The race not surprisingly, turned out to be a big boat affair with corrected time results almost following waterline length. Telefonica Movistar managed to get back in contention with the smaller boats in the class to beat them all, correcting out at eighth and recovering from her disastrous start.

At the front of the fleet it was the new X-Sport that made the running, winning again for the third time in five starts, from Orlanda in second and the American boat, George David’s Idler in third. Class Bravo saw the seemingly unstoppable Italtel win again, in spite of a broken boom.

"We broke the boom in the first race during a gybe. We seem to break a lot of things but luckily we are always able to repair them," commented Vasco Vascotto, skipper Grand Soleil 42R.

Class Charlie saw another win for the Di Mare team in the tough conditions.

Race Six

The second race was started in a fast dying breeze making sailing conditions extremely difficult for all classes. Charles Dunstone’s maxi Enigma moved quickly into the lead on the water and opened up a sufficient gap to lead on corrected time for most of the race. But towards the end of the second run Bumble Bee V found a private breeze on the left of the course and reached in under headsail just minutes behind Enigma to win on corrected.

The rest of the fleet, wallowing some way behind, battled on through holes, a 40-degree windshift and constant sail changes to finish in no particular order. Many overall place changes resulted from the lottery conditions of the second race, conditions that were in sharp contrast to race five.

Telefonica Movistar finished eighth and manages to just hang on to the overall lead going into tomorrow’s last race. Still paying the price for the mistake in the long offshore Stefano Spangaro’s X-Sport is now 2.75 points off the lead, while Orlanda is close behind in third less than one point later.

Italtel is optimistic about tomorrow but cannot afford any mistakes with competition in Class Bravo so tight. Class Charlie however is all but sewn up, with Di Mare just needing to finish the race to be crowned world champion and collect that Rolex chronometer.

Provisional Results after four races

Class Alpha
Pos. Boat Type Owner/skipper
1st Telefonica Movistar Rodman 42 Goldoni/Campos (3,5,1,1,8,8/25.50)
2nd X-Sport Gd Soleil 56R Spangaro/Benussi (1,1,5,10,1,11/28.25)
3rd Orlanda Farr 53 Pirera/Chieffi (6,2,2,4,2,13/29.0)
4nd World Cargo Vismara 41 Simoneschi/ (2,9,3,3,9,3/29.0)
5rd Ciesse Twin Soul Gd Soleil 44 Gandini/ (5,8,4,2,12,5/36.0)

Class Bravo
Place Boat Type Owner/skipper
1st Italtel Gd Soleil 42R Orlandi/Vascotto (1,1,1,2,1,1/5.75)
2nd Wind Rodman 42 Maffini/Bressani (2,2,2,1,2,4/12.75)
3rd Team Revolution Sinergia 40 Toninelli/ (3,3,4,3,4,2/19.0)
4nd Naos Gd Soleil 40 Morbidelli/ (8,5,3,4,7,5/32.0)
5th Okyalos XII IMX-40 Periplous (4,4,5,5,3,15/36.0)

Class Charlie
Place Boat Type Owner/skipper (R1,R2,Pts)
1st Di Mare/Vaimo First 36.7 DiMare-Cuomo
-Pelucchi/Scutellaro (1,3,1,1,1,2/8)
2nd Don Alvaro X-362 Sport Siculiana (9,4,3,2,4,5/27.0)
3rd X-Vector X-332 Abita (6,6,8,45,1/29.75)
4th Paul & Shark Vismara 34 La Corte/ (2,1,12,14,2,4/34.75
5th Westwind First 36.7 Sueselbeck (5,7,2,3,3,19/39.0)

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