Madina takes over lead
The first race started with the wind out of the northeast, at 6-12 knots. Points leader Nerone must have studied the weather forecast to predict the left trend that was persistent until the mistral kicked in. They sailed up the left side of the course on the first beat and once they gained the lead they didn't give it up. Philip Tolhurst's Warlord was a close second, and Dario Ferrari's Madina was in third. Katanga looked for breeze on the right side, which paid off yesterday, joined by Nela on the second beat, but it was not forthcoming.
Nela started well on the second race of the day in the building breeze, and took the lead at the weather mark with Sylphea close on her transom. Slyphea gybed first though, to take better breeze down to leeward mark, and held on to her lead the remainder of the race. The biggest shift during racing took place after rounding the weather mark, on the final leg of the second race. There was a combination of boats with spinnakers and jibs tight reaching in slightly less wind into the finish, so there weren't many position changes from the top mark rounding order.
The Race Committee postponed before the third race of the day to wait for the new breeze to settle in. It came in the form of a mistral from the northwest, at 20-25 knots for the start, ending up at around 30 knots for a wild final run to the finish.
Michael Illbruck's Nela liked the windier conditions, which is not surprising considering some of his crew came from his winning Volvo entry. They did battle with Tony Buckingham's A Bit of A Coup around the track. The English boat and crew were revelling in the Solent-style breeze too. They rounded the last weather mark abreast, but Illbruck had the inside advantage and surged ahead after the offset mark. There was a port-starboard incident at the mark shortly thereafter, with some minor crew injuries but enough damage to Wolfgang Schaefer's Struntje Light that it is unlikely that they will continue tomorrow. Nerone retired with a broken jib halyard.
It was a war of attrition to keep the spinnakers up for the final leg with the Mistral wind blowing at up to 30 knots launching the boats, which were planing over the waves at speed. Nela's tactician John Kostecki summed it up at the yacht club by saying it was fun sailing the boat and it is nice to come back to the dock at the end of the day.
Madina quietly moved into first place today with a third, second, and third place finishes. They attribute it to looking closely at rig tune in the changing wind strengths and good preparation of the boat for the series. Alberto Signorini's Sylphea are a solid second, three points back, followed by Nerone. Racing continues tomorrow with three more races planned.
Event sponsors Deutsche Bank are hosting a gala dinner on the terrace of the Yacht Club Porto Rotundo this evening for owners and crew.
|Madina||D. Ferrari||T. Peponnet||5, 5, 4, 3, 2, 3||22|
|Sylphea||A. Signorini||G. Benussi||2, 3, 5, 9, 1, 5||25|
|Nerone||M. Mezzaroma||V. Vascotto||1, 4, 6, 1, 5, 17||34|
|Nela||M. Illbruck||J. Kostecki||4, 7, 8, 13, 4, 1||37|
|A Bit of a Coup||T. Buckingham||K. Sproule||8, 2, 9, 15, 8, 2||44|