After day two of racing in the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship 2007, the top four boats overall are all familiar names - Mascalzone Latino, Alinghi, Nerone, and Barking Mad - all are previous Rolex Farr 40 World Champions.
Yet several other boats picked the shifts well enough on a difficult day to move up in the standings. Struntje Light
(DEN), and Norwegian Steam
(NOR) all had a top five race finish - no mean feat in this fleet. The key to this tight one-design class racing is peaking at the right time and those who have managed to do so are trending up in the rankings.
For the second day of the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds, weather conditions continued to affect the leaderboard. The day was overcast with scattered rain and a WSW breeze at 12-14 knots at the first race start, dropping to 8 knots for the second race. A third race was postponed as the wind was forecast to drop further.
The Farr 40 fleet was back to its more aggressive race mode at the first start with two general recalls. In the third restart, several boats were over the line early and had to return to restart, including day one leader, Antonio Sodo MIGLIORI'S Nerone
On board Ernesto BERTARELLI'S Alinghi
(SUI), which posted an 18th in their first race yesterday, tactician Brad BUTTERWORTH summed it up succinctly, 'trending up is better than trending down'.
While the team is fresh from an America's Cup win in Valencia last month, they hadn't sailed together in the Farr 40 class until the Rolex Pre-Worlds. BUTTERWORTH said, 'We didn't sail at all until that regatta so we just didn't hit it in the first race (yesterday), but we've had a bit of luck, and some teams have had a bit of luck, and some teams are sailing very well. I think
Nerone, Barking Mad, and obviously
Mascalzone Latino are going very well.'
As for the day's conditions, he added: ''The breeze was split down the middle of the course, so if you went up the middle you were toast, if you were hard right or hard left you were good, but if you were on the left hand side you'd tended to trend in the top half.difficult.'
started a third of the way up from the pin end on both starts, and BUTTERWORTH said, 'Both races were very difficult with the wind conditions either side, one side looked very strong, you had to just hang in. But overall the left seemed the strongest. It was just a difficult day when it's offshore like that. But the good boats enjoyed it because when they get behind, there are chances for them to catch up.'
As for taking stock in today's results, he concluded, 'Vincenzo (ONORATO,
Mascalzone Latino) looks to be going very fast, so it'll be hard to beat them.'
Overall leader after Day 2, Vincenzo ONORATO'S Mascalzone Latino
(ITA) had a 12-1 in racing today, proving even the top guns were finding it difficult. The Italian boat lost their wind gear and spent the day without any instruments, which on this shifty day made it difficult to see what was going on. Tactician Adrian STEAD talked about their day, 'The first race was pretty tricky and the start wasn't that brilliant. We went around the top mark in about 15th place or so didn't have a very good run and probably dropped back to about 19th. On our 2nd run we got ourselves from 20th at the top mark to 12th at the finish so we could see every boat we could get past makes a lot of difference.'
But they turned it around on the second race, STEAD said, 'I thought the left was pretty strong on the first beat and we went through it and it paid off. Really tricky at start of the run because it was so light and there were big spectator boats, so it was really difficult to get going away from the top mark. The port gybe was heavily favored, but we probably gybed a little too early and lost Struntje (Light). But we got her back up the second beat and we were a little more conservative on the run. I'm happy we got the results we did. Alinghi sailed brilliantly today. I think we were 4th boat of the day and our goal has always been to be in the top five. Halfway through the regatta and I see it as we've just got a small head start.'
Jim RICHARDSON'S Barking Mad (USA) was another boat that had a range of scores, posting a first and a tenth today. In the first race, the American boat was well-positioned in the middle of the line and led Alinghi up the left side of the course and around every mark, finishing almost a minute ahead of the Swiss boat. Tactician Terry HUTCHINSON said, 'we sailed identical races and one went really well for us.'
He went on to describe the randomness of the day, with their second race, ' we got an awesome start in the middle of the line just to leeward of Alinghi and to weather of Nerone. Got our bow out, just trucking along, sailing a left shift, tack, cross everybody to the right of us, go for about 2-3 minutes, sail back into a right shift and tack.looking just sweet. Cross Nerone, cross like two lengths ahead of Nerone, Nerone goes about _ of a length beyond our line, about four lengths behind us and tacks and just sheer off of us. We went from easily launched to being engulfed by the pack. Basically the light spot was on us, it was on no other boat. It was a little random.'
Racing continues tomorrow, Friday 30 August with a first race start at 1100; three races are planned.
The Rolex Farr 40 World Championship celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2007 in Copenhagen with 36 teams from 13 countries: Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, UK, Ukraine and U.S.A. The World Championship has been sailed in North America, Europe or Australia every year since the class was established in 1997.
The Rolex Farr 40 World Championship joins other prestigious Rolex-sponsored 2007 events including the Rolex Fastnet Race, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Rolex Big Boat Series and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.