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11 August 2001, 05:51 pm
Brava Q8 enjoys solid day in shifty winds and takes overall lead
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Mascalzone Latino and Brava Q8 photo: Cantini/Sea&Sea

IMS 50 World Championships
Palma de Mallorca

The battle for the IMS 50 World Championship intensified today after Races 5 and 6 were completed in northeasterly winds between 10 and 20 knots on the Bay of Palma.
The battle for the IMS 50 World Championship intensified today after Races 5 and 6 were completed in northeasterly winds between 10 and 20 knots on the Bay of Palma.

Pasquale Landolfi's Brava Q8 ascended to first overall after lying second at the beginning of the day. Brava Q8, guided by helmsman Flavio Favini and featuring four members of the Alinghi Swiss Challenge for the America's Cup, including tactician Murray Jones, finished 2-3 in the puffy, oscillating winds.

"We're happy to be there," said Jones of the crew's position. "There were quite big shifts and pressure differences."

Fernando Leon's CAM, which was the fastest boat in the fleet through the first four races, fell on rough times with a 6-8 and tumbled to second. CAM was over early at the start of the first race and had trouble clearing itself. In the second race, CAM was on the wrong side of a large shift.

"It was a bad day," said an obviously frustrated Leon. "We never found the good way. We have to forget about it, relax and hope we don't make the same mistakes tomorrow."

Brava Q8 now leads the championship with 16.43 points. CAM is second with 22.18 points and Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino XI is third with 22.25 points. The 3-month-old Mascalzone Latino won the day with a 1-1, showing blazing upwind speed in the process.

In other news at the second annual world championship for grand-prix IMS racers, the international jury disallowed three requests for redress, finally
settling the offshore race of the series. Yesterday, the international jury ruled the race would be finished off Cabrera Island, the last turning mark of the race, when it found the race committee was out of position and late on station for the finish.

Mascalzone Latino XI, Santi Lopez Vazquez's Castellon Costa Azahar and Marta Mas Borrell's Azur de Puig requested redress under RRS 62.1, claiming that the race committee was not allowed to make such a decision. The jury disallowed their requests. The jury also disallowed a request to reopen the hearing from Ortwin Kandler's Krazy K-Yote Two.

On the racecourse, winds up to 20 knots shook the carbon rigs and flogged the laminated sails at the start of the first race. They were the strongest winds of the regatta and every boat flew its No. 3 headsail. The racers seemingly weren't ready for the conditions because all pushed the line hard and a general recall was made.

The second start got off cleanly except for three boats - CAM, Krazy K-Yote Two and Azur de Puig - that were over early. With the one minute rule in effect, boats had to round either the committee boat or pin end to clear themselves.

Kandler's Krazy K-Yote Two, the most windward boat, was able to clear itself immediately. But CAM was stuck to leeward of Tau Ceramica one-third of the way down the line and unable to tack towards the boat end. After starting properly CAM was the next to last boat off the line, ahead of only Azur de Puig, which had trouble getting free to clear around the pin end.

Mascalzone Latino charged up the left side of the course. With the windward mark set at 060 degrees, the crew sought out a left-hand oscillation. They found it, tacked to port and were briefly on the layline from one mile away.

Brava Q8, meanwhile, was working small oscillations on the right side of the course. While Mascalzone led around the mark, Brava was third. "We expected a right hand shift at the top of the leg," said Jones, an integral member of New Zealand's back-to-back America's Cup victories. "It came late, but it was there."

Although the wind moderated to 12 to 15 knots and shifted to 080 degrees for the second beat, Mascalzone continued to extend its lead on the 10-mile, twice around windward/leeward course. The blue-hulled 51-footer defeated Brava by 2 minutes and 23 seconds on corrected time. After starting early, Krazy K-Yote Two made a strong comeback on the second beat by using its No. 2 genoa and corrected to third, 3 minutes and 45 seconds behind the winner.

The wind blew 11 to 14 knots for the second race and the committee set the first windward mark at 080 degrees. A six-leg windward/leeward course was selected, but was shortened to five legs and totaled 12 miles.

Mascalzone completed the first lap second, six seconds behind Krazy K-Yote Two, but took the lead on the second beat. That's when the wind shifted hard left, back to 060 degrees, and caught many off guard, including CAM, which was fourth at the leeward gate, 16 seconds behind the leader.

"We thought there'd be more pressure to the right," explained Leon, the gold medalist in the Tornado class at the 1996 Olympics. "But the shift was big to the left. It was a bad decision."

Once in the lead Mascalzone sped away from the fleet and posted a 1 minute, 24-second victory over Borrell's Azur de Puig, which gained the most in the shift. Brava also fared nicely, moving up to third from fifth at the gate.

"The wind was already a little left at the gate and some may have thought that it would go back right," said Jones. "But it kept going left."

Racing continues tomorrow with Races 7 and 8 scheduled on the Bay of Palma.

The event is sponsored Spanish airline company Spanair with Volvo car
corporation and petroleum company Cepsa providing additional sponsorship.


PROVISIONAL STANDINGS
After 6 of 9 Scheduled Races

1. Brava Q8 (Farr 49) Pasquale Landolfi 3-5-1-2-2-3-16.43
2. CAM (Farr 51) Fernando Leon 4-1-2-1-6-8-22.18 points
3. Mascalzone Latino (Farr 51) Vincenzo Onorato 9-3-3-4-1-1-22.25
4. Fram XV (Farr 51) H.M. King Harald V of Norway 2-4-4-3-5-7-26.75
5. Caixa Galicia (B&C 51) Roberto Bermudez 1-6-7-5-4-4-29.75
6. Krazy K-Yote Two (Kouyoumdijan 51) Ortwin Kandler 7-2-10-10-3-5-42.00
7. Tau Ceramica (Farr 49) Javier Dominguez Banderas 5-9-5-6-10-9-46.75
8. Rubin XV (J/V 49) Hans Otto Schumann 6-8-8-7-8-11-51.75
9. Azur de Puig (Farr 49) Marta Mas Borrell 10-10-9-8-11-2-54.25
10. Castellon Costa Azahar (J/V 51) Santi Lopez Vazquez 8-7-12-9-7-6-54.25
11. Sirius V (Farr 50) S.A.R. Felipe de Borbon 11-11-6-12-9-10-63.50
12. Exposure (J/V 50) Niek Lamm 12-12-11-11-DNC-DNC-77.50

Sean McNeill/News Editor
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