The first day of racing in the ISAF Offshore Team World Championship and Sardinia Rolex Cup in Porto Cevo, Italy saw Team Germany make the running, led by a double bullet performance by Michael ILLBRUCK'S TP52 Pinta.
Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, the Offshore Team Worlds saw the seven competing teams set out for the starting line on schedule accompanied by clear blue skies and light north westerly breezes.
The Race Committee were able to set three windward courses yesterday at the finish of which Team Germany, composed of ILLBRUCK'S TP52 Pinta, Wolfgang STOLZ's Swan 45 Opus One and Wolfgang SCHAEFER's Farr 40 Struntje Light, leads the classification on 24 points.
The Sardinian team, composed of Stuart ROBINSON and J.A. INIESTA's TP52 Santa Ana, Stefano POLTI's Swan 45 Mintaka and Vincenzo ONORATO's Farr 40 Mascalzone Latino, is currently in second place on 26 points. Team Italy is in third with 30 points, with Alessandro PIRERA's TP52 Orlanda, Lorenzo BORTOLOTTI's Swan 45 Swantastic and Alessandro BARNABA's Farr 40 Fiamma. Team Spain, winners of the 2004 edition and holder of the ISAF Offshore World Championship title, are sitting in fifth place on 42 points just ahead of Team USA on 47.
Race one started in a breeze of around eight to nine knots on windward-leeward course number two. First to round the leeward mark were the TP52s Orlanda, Pedro CAMPOS' Bribon Movistar for Spain and Pinta. Swantastic led among the Swan 45s and Massimo MEZZAROMA's Nerone (Spain) and ONORATO's Mascalzone Latino headed up the Farr 40s. Orlanda retained the lead among the TP52s despite the bowman dislocating a shoulder and being transported ashore at the end of the regatta. Bribon and Pinta took second and third respectively. Team Italy did well in the one design classes as Opus One overtook Jeroboam Casnova (Monaco) in the Swan 45 fleet to finish second behind Swantastic while among the Farr 40s Mascalzone Latino, with New Zealander Russell COUTTS calling tactics, came in ahead of Joe Fly (Monaco) and Fiamma.
By the start of race two at around 1345 local time winds had increased slightly to ten to twelve knots, still from northwest. At the first windward mark the TP52s were led by again by Pinta, T-Too (Alpe Adria), owned by Francesco MARTINO was first to round for the Swan 45s while among the Farr 40s Fiamma led. Pinta held onto the lead to win race two ahead of Bribon and Santa Ana. T-Too also held onto first place ahead of Mintaka and Jeroboam snova. Fiamma led the Farr 40s followed by Joe Fly (Monaco) and Struntje Light while Mascalzone Latino came in last after a poor start.
Mascalzone Fights Back
Race three saw the breeze pick up a little to around twelve to 13 knots and Pinta was once again first around the leeward mark for the TP52s. Mintaka led the Swan 45s and Maslcalzone Latino was extremely fast around the mark, leading not only the Farr 40 fleet, but also ahead of many of the Swans. Pinta went on to take another first ahead of Santa Ana and Bribon Movistar. Mintaka, T-Too and Opus One was the finishing order for the Swan 45 fleet while Mascalzone Latino headed up the Farr 40s again, followed by Struntje Light and Vita Sangemini for the USA.
are very familiar with the waters off the northeast coast of Sardinia, ILLBRUCK's TP52 Pinta was presented in Porto Cervo last month and American tactician John KOSTECKI is a veteran of the Sardinia Cup.
KOSTECKI commented after today's racing, 'We got three light races in and it was a good day for us, we had a third and two firsts. The crew did a nice job of handling the boat. I?ve lost track of how many Sardinia Cups I have done, it's a great event and so far we're off to a good start.'
Strange Day For ONORATO
ONORATO, owner of Farr 40 Mascalzone Latino for Team Sardinia commented on the boat?s mixed performances (two firsts and a seventh place), saying yesterday, 'Today was a strange day. We did well in the first race but in the second the fleet pushed us over to the right hand side of the course and we couldn?t manage to get by them. Then in race three we had a good start and made the right decisions. We?re second overall and there?s plenty of racing to come.'
Official weather forecaster for the event, Filippo PETRUCCI predicts stronger north easterly winds for today. Racing is scheduled to start at 1200.
is sitting well down in the classification after day one, with a third place in the Farr 40s the best result of the day.