Pasquale Landolfi and crew on Brava Q8 took control of Fernando Leon's CAM at the start of Race 9 and never relinquished its death grip, gaining the second annual IMS 50 World Championship in the process.
Landolfi and crew, led by helmsman Flavio Favini and tactician Murray Jones,started to windward of CAM in a final race showdown for the championship. The 3-year-old Brava Q8 led the year old CAM by 2.5 points at the beginning of the day. At the end, Brava had won the race to secure Landolfi his fifth world championship. Previously he won two One Ton Cups and two ILC 40 World Championships.
"I feel very well," said the veteran campaigner from Naples, Italy. "The crew sailed excellent. It was a very difficult regatta to win. We have an older generation boat and the newer ones are much faster. The crew was the difference."
The crew certainly made a difference throughout the week, but the race committee made a difference today. With the starting line heavily biased to the pin end, six boats were over early at the first start attempt. The race committee issued a general recall, saving Brava Q8 from near disaster as it was buried on the second row.
The second start got off with only one boat over early, but this time CAM was in a world of trouble. The green-hulled sloop with non-overlapping headsails was the filling in a laminate sandwich that saw Brava to windward and Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino XI to leeward.
With Brava driving over the top and Mascalzone Latino pinching up from leeward, CAM was forced to tack to port within three minutes of starting. With the left side of the beat again paying dividends, the race was Brava's to lose.
"We were quite happy with that," said Jones, who sailed his first regatta with Brava. "We were able to sail our own race."
Prior to the start of the regatta, the Brava crew stated that they were disadvantaged in their 3-year-old design. They said that the newer boats were more powerful. The season's results seemed to bear that out as CAM defeated
Brava at two of three regattas.
"We didn't think we had a realistic chance," said Jones, who will sail the next America's Cup with the Alinghi Swiss Challenge. "But we stayed consistent and hung in there. We had great crew work and kept it smooth."
Brava counted finishes of 3-5-1-2-2-3-2-4-1 for the low score of 23.18 points. CAM placed fifth in today's finale and finished with 29.93 points.
Vicente Tirado Jimenez's Caixa Galicia placed third overall with 35.5 points, leaping ahead of Mascalzone Latino. Onorato's crew fell to 10th in today's race when the genoa halyard broke on the first beat. Then, as the sail was being hoisted again, the luff tape pulled out of the headfoil, further slowing the 3-month-old 51-footer.
Caixa Galicia, the new 51-footer from Spanish designers Marcelino Botin and Shaun Carkeek that was created after tank-testing four different models, finished second in today's final race, sailed in a 9- to 12-knot breeze from
between 200 and 210 degrees. Caixa Galicia's strong showing in the final three races - 3-1-2 - helped it earn the IMS 50 2001 Season Championship.
Skippered by Roberto Bermudez, Caixa Galicia finished the season with the low score of 8 points. CAM was second with 11 points while Brava Q8 placed third with 12 points.
"We sailed Punta Ala and gained an extra point there," said Caixa Galicia navigator Robert Hopkins, the American ex-patriot living in Gran Canaria. Caixa Galicia was one of only two boats that competed at the season's first regatta in Punta Ala, Italy, last June. "We sailed the most regattas."
As for the Worlds, Hopkins observed: "CAM was the better boat this week, but Brava Q8 sailed with maturity and consistency. It's out of design. That they won is a credit to them."
Brava Q8's crew included Paolo Bottari (bow), Cicco Rapetti (mast), Giuly Romanengo (pit), Riccardo Demagistris (grinder), Federico Valenti (grinder), Dede DeLuca (tailer), Simon Daubney (trimmer), Warwick Fleury (mainsheet), Flavio Favini (helmsman), Andrew Cape(navigator), Jones (tactician), Gianmaria Capecci, Flavio Lotti and Landolfi.
The IMS 50 World Championship was organized by the Club de Mar Mallorca, in agreement with the Real Federacion Espanola de Vela, and under the authority of the Offshore Racing Committee of ISAF and the IMS 50 Class Association.
The event was sponsored Spanish airline company Spanair with Volvo car corporation and petroleum company Cepsa providing additional sponsorship.
IMS 50 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS
After 9 of 9 Scheduled Races:
1. Brava Q8 (Farr 49) Pasquale Landolfi 3-5-1-2-2-3-2-4-1-23.18 points
2. CAM (Farr 51) Fernando Leon 4-1-2-1-6-8-1-2-5-29.93
3. Caixa Galicia (B&C 51) Roberto Bermudez 1-6-7-5-4-4-3-1-2-35.50
4. Mascalzone Latino (Farr 51) Vincenzo Onorato 9-3-3-4-1-1-5-3-10-40.25
5. Fram XV (Farr 51) H.M. King Harald V of Norway 2-4-4-3-5-7-10-6-4-46.75
6. Krazy K-Yote Two (Kouyoumdijan 51) Ortwin Kandler 7-2-10-10-3-5-9-5-9-65.00
7. Castellon Costa Azahar (J/V 51) Santi Lopez Vazquez
8. Tau Ceramica (Farr 49) Javier Dominguez Banderas 5-9-5-6-10-9-11-8-8-73.75
9. Azur de Puig (Farr 49) Marta Mas Borrell 10-10-9-8-11-2-8-9-6-77.25
10. Rubin XV (J/V 49) Hans Otto Schumann 6-8-8-7-8-11-6-11-11-79.75
11. Sirius V (Farr 50) S.A.R. Felipe de Borbon 11-11-6-12-9-10-7-7-7-84.50
12. Exposure (J/V 50) Niek Lamm 12-12-11-11-DNC-DNC-12-12-12-113.50
IMS 50 2001 SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP
5 regattas, 1 discard:
1. Caixa Galicia 1-2-(5)-2-3-8 points
2. CAM (14)-1-1-7-2-11
3. Brava Q8 (14)-5-2-4-1-12
4. Castellon Costa Azahar (14)-3-7-3-7-20
5. Mascalzone Latino XI (14)-14-4-1-4-23
NOTE: The five championship regattas, in order, were:
IMS Mediterranean Championship, Punta Ala, Italy (June 3-9)
Ill Trofeo S.M. La Reina, Valencia, Spain (June 29-July 1)
Rolex IMS World Championship, Valencia, Spain (July 2-8)
XXth Copa del Rey, Palma de Mallorca, Spain (July 30-August 5)IMS 50 World Championship, Palma de Mallorca, Spain (August 6-12)