Pasquale Landolfi's Brava Q8 from Naples, Italy, won the first half of the distance race in the IMS 50 World Championship to move into second overall in the standings, 1.68 points behind CAM, skippered by Spain's Olympic gold medalist Fernando Leon.
The second half of the overnight race, however, came under protest after the fleet completed the 86-mile contest between 4:00 am and 5:00 am this morning. Four boats - CAM, King Harald V of Norway's Fram XV, Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino XI, and Roberto Bermudez's Caixa Galicia -filed protests against the race committee claiming a discrepancy with the finish line.
The protest was scheduled to be heard at 3:00 pm this afternoon. Leon's CAM had led the entire race on elapsed time until the final two miles. At the last turning mark off Isla Cabrera, 30 miles from the finish, CAM led Fram XV by 2 minutes and 5 seconds. Brava Q8 was third, 6 minutes and 5 seconds behind the leader and 7 seconds ahead of Caixa Galicia.
For the 2-year-old Brava Q8, it was an outstanding performance. Veteran racer Landolfi has enjoyed great success through the years with his series of blue-hulled racers named Brava. He won the One Ton Cup in the hey-day of the IOR, consecutive ILC 40 World Championships in the 1990s and spearheaded Italy's first victory at the Admiral's Cup in 1993.
A bit smaller and with less sail area, Landolfi's immaculately prepared 49-footer has struggled against the newer generation of 50-footers this year, which are longer with more sail area. But that didn't prevent it from impacting the standings almost half way into the 86-mile distance race. (NOTE: Due to an amendment to the sailing instructions, the course distance of 110 miles listed in yesterday's report was erroneous.)
After a three-leg windward/leeward in the Bay of Palma that totaled 4.5 miles, the competitors set off on a coastal tour of Mallorca. They sailed west/southwesterly toward Pta. de Cala Figuera, and then northwesterly to a mark off Isla de Dragonera. After a port rounding, they sailed back to the committee boat off Pta. de Cala Figuera where the first half of the race ended. This part of the course totaled 36.1 miles and each boat was scored it place multiplied by a factor of 1.25 points.
After more than six hours of sailing, Brava Q8 crossed through the gate off Pta. de Cala Figuera in fourth place, 3 minutes and 19 seconds behind leader CAM, which consistently stretched its lead after holding a 10-boatlength lead leaving the Bay of Palma. But Brava Q8 posted a 7-second victory over CAM when ratings were applied.
Mascalzone Latino placed third, 1 minute and 6 seconds behind on corrected time, with Fram XV fourth, 3 minutes and 36 seconds behind, and Javier Dominguez Banderas's Tau Ceramica fifth, 4:29 behind.
Brava Q8's victory moved it up two places to second overall behind CAM. Fram XV and Caixa Galicia each dropped one place, to third and fourth overall, respectively.
The second half of the race sent the competitors southeasterly to Isla de Cabrera, which was rounded to port. From there the racers sailed north/northwesterly and passed Capo Blanco before proceeding to the finish line off Palma. At the finish they were again to be scored their position multiplied by 1.25.
Today is a scheduled lay day for the competitors. Racing resumes tomorrow with two windward/leewards scheduled. The nine-race series runs through Sunday.