Racing for the Velamare Cup began yesterday after a 24 hour delay caused by an administrative problem that prevented twelve of the Skiffs being unloaded from the trucks that brought them to Sardinia from Portugal.
Three races took place in brilliant sunshine, but the breeze faded to 6-8 knots just before the start of Race 1, remaining variable in strength and direction throughout the long afternoon of racing. The difficult wind conditions brought about many position changes, but Trevor BARNABAS, Phil HEBDEN and Trent BARNABAS on Omega Smeg were always near the front of the opening race. Many other leading teams found themselves struggling in the second half of the fleet and unable to make much headway, but the exception was the Swiss team of Stephan RUEGER, Veli MARTI and Corsin CAMENISCH on Exel, who used their exceptional light wind speed and technique to force their way into the leading group.
On the final short leg to the finish, Exel just managed to cross the line ahead of Omega Smeg, with Andy RICHARDS, Andrew FAIRLEY and Dave RICHARDS on Radii taking third place.
The Australians Grant ROLLERSON, Glenn RAPHAEL and Chris CLEARY on Fisher and Paykel sailed very well to take the second race, with the consistent Radii team second and Omega Smeg third.
West Marine, sailed by the international team of Howie HAMLIN, Tony HANNAN and Jonni MEERS won Race 3, with Australians John WINNING, Anthony "Jack" YOUNG and Euan Mcnicol second and Omega Smeg third.
At the end of the day, Omega Smeg's consistency saw them leading by a point from the equally consistent Raddi, with West Marine and Fisher & Paykel two further points behind.
Positions after 3 races, no discard:
1. Omega Smeg, Trevor Barnabas, Phil Hebden and Trent Barnabas 8 points
2. Radii, Andy Richards, Andrew Fairley and Dave Richards 9 points
3. West Marine, Howard Hamlin, Tony Hannan and Jonni Meers 11 points
4. Fisher & Paykel, Grant Rollerson, Glenn Raphael and Chris Cleary 11 points
5. Exel, Stephan Rueger, Veli Marti and Corsin Camenisch 15 points