With three days to go until the 2011 ORC International World Championship a record number of 125 teams from 15 countries are lining up to compete at Sailing Club of Rijeka (SCOR), Croatia. It is the most entries from the highest number of countries of any offshore world championship to date.
"We are really pleased by the extraordinary number of teams coming to Cres, and the strong number of early entries we had: even before the first of the year there were already almost 80 entries,"
said Zoran Grubisa, event Chairman from SCOR. "This is because Cres is well-known as a very attractive destination, and our previous regattas held there have proven that the area is suitable for a world-class event such as this."
The fleet has attracted a significant array of international sailing talent, including numerous past World, national, and regional champions in ORCi, as well as several past Olympians and America's Cup team members. Examples include Italian AC veterans Tommaso Chieffi
and Paolo Cian
, who are tacticians on, respectively, the reigning European ORCi Champion Man, a GS42R05 owned by Riccardo Di Bartolomeo
, and the NM 38 Scugnizza owned by Enzo De Blasio
. Croatian Olympic Finn sailor Karlo Kuret
will be the helmsman on the Salona 42 All 4 One
, and fellow Croatian Olympic Laser sailor Mate Arapov
will be on board the GS56R Marina Kaštela
Most entries in the fleet are from a variety of production racer/cruiser designs, but there are also many high-performance race boats entered in this year's Worlds. These include two TP52's, Aniene 1a Classe
from Italy and Aquila
from Austria, Roberto Monti
's Felci-designed GP42 Airis
, a veteran of the past two seasons in the Audi MedCup from Italy, and the Farr-designed canting-keeled Cookson 50 Calipso IV
, also from Italy and owned by Piero Paniccia
. It is a testament to the versatility of the ORCi rating system that this wide diversity of boat types can be fairly rated and scored in the same competition.
While most entries are from the Adriatic region, the event has also drawn interest from teams from as far away as the USA. Alice Martin
and her team from Chicago are taking a break from racing their Sydney 38 at home to charter the Salona 34 One
for the Worlds in Cres. Martin is excited about the event.
"Every year we try to look for an out of town sailing adventure,"
said Martin. "Last year it was the Newport-Bermuda Race, and this year we will bring much of the same team to Cres. What attracted us to come here is the beauty of the area, the timing in our schedule, and having the opportunity to compete at a World Championship."
After measurement and registration on Saturday and Sunday, 18-19 June, inshore racing will start on Monday 20 June on courses set between Cres and the Istrian coastline. On Tuesday 21 June will be the start of the 24-hour offshore race, with finishes expected on Wednesday 22 June. Thursday 23 June inshore racing resumes through Saturday 25 June, the final day of competition.
Nine races are scheduled: seven Windward/Leeward races and an offshore race scored as two races. One discard will be allowed if all nine races will be completed. The championship is valid if at least four windward/leeward races and one offshore race or at least three windward/leeward races and two offshore races are completed.
Patrons of the 2011 ORCi World Championship include the Town of Cres, the City of Rijeka, Primorsko-goranska County, the Town of Cres Tourist Association, and the Port Authority of Cres.
Sponsors of the event include ACI Marina, Salona Yachts, Maestral, Lenco, North Sails, Ventex, Erste Bank, Restaurant Marina ACI, Weather Routing Inc., Camp Kovacine, Hotel Kimen, Yacht Pool and Apartmani Cres.
Media partners include Sportska, RI TV, Radio Rijeka, Radio Mali Losinj, Otocki vjesnik, Nautica-portal.com, and Rijeka Klik.
For more information on the 2011 ORCi World Championship, visit www.scor.hr.
For more information on ORC and other ORC events, visit www.orc.org.