Mauricio Santa Cruz snatched the lead on day one of the Quantum Loop Solutions J/24 World Championship and never looked back. He is now the reigning J/24 World Champion.
Sailing Bruschetta with trimmer Daniel Santiago, tactician Alex Saldanha, mastman Sergio Bittencourt and bowman Alfredo Rovere, Santa Cruz earned his fourth J/24 World title. At the Rochester Yacht Club in New York, Bruschetta achieved a remarkably consistent performance of seven top-ten tallies, a 13 and 19 in the ten-race series (including one discard).
The team stacked up a 42-point advantage heading into Friday's final race and was able to stay ashore and let the others fight it out for the remaining podium spots among the 96-boat fleet.
American John Mollicone's 11th Hour Racing gained momentum throughout the week and seized second place with 101 points, followed by fellow American Tony Parker's Bangor Packet with 108 points. The 96 teams represented 12 countries-Argentina, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Peru and the United States.
"The venue was very shifty, and the team worked hard to stay on top of them. We had good sails and good speed,"
Santa Cruz summarized. "We used an old boat, but the old and new boats are fairly equal. The mast, keel and rudder have a good shape so we knew we would be fine. Our team has sailed together for eight years, and that is a big help. The Race Committee did a great job. Managing 100 boats is not an easy task.
In Friday's race, three North American teams claimed the top places-Paul Scalisi's Rabit Cson Duck Cson of the USA, Darby Smith of the USA and Phillip Williamson's Roo of Canada. Winds on Lake Ontario shifted often and blew between 6-12 knots.
1. Mauricio Santa Cruz (BRA) 58pts
2. John Mollicone (USA) 101pts
3. Tony Parker (USA) 108pts
4. Mike Ingham (USA) 111pts
5. Matias Pereira (ARG) 111pts
View highlights from the J/24 Worlds on the ISAF TV Player here
Racing concludes on Friday, and one more race is planned. Live updates will be available all week at www.2012j24worlds.com