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6 June 2007, 02:17 pm
Impressive Fleet Assembled In Porto Cervo
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Rolex Settimana delle Bocche - Rolex Farr 40 European Championship 2007
Porto Cervo, Italy

A record fleet of 21 Farr 40 yachts representing nine nations has gathered in Porto Cervo for the Rolex Settimana delle Bocche 2007, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Owners and crews have been undergoing strict measurement and weight controls since Monday in preparation for four days of racing in this event, which is valid as the Rolex Farr 40 European Championship and as the second leg of the European Circuit.

Participants have been taking advantage of the two preparatory days to come to grips with the world-renowned race course off the northeast coast of Sardinia.

The presence of such a large fleet at this European Championship is testimony to the ever-increasing popularity of this one-design: 2007 marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of the first Farr 40, and with over 100 members registered with the class association and more than 130 boats built, the class is strong. Several of the boats hail from as far afield as Australia, Brazil and the USA and will be spending the season in Europe, participating in several of the five legs of the European Circuit in preparation for the 2007 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds in Copenhagen, Denmark.

With several former World and European Champions competing, the racing is sure to be spectacular. Vincenzo ONORATO (ITA), aboard his Mascalzone Latino, will be looking to defend his Farr 40 European and World titles gained last year in Mahon and Newport, respectively. On the International front, competition will be fierce from Matt ALLEN's (AUS) Ichi Ban, which placed second at the 2006 Worlds, and from Jim RICHARDSON's (USA) Barking Mad. RICHARDSON is President of the Farr 40 Class as well as two-time World Champion (1998, 2004) and comes fresh from victory in Farr 40 division at the Rolex Capri Sailing Week, valid as the first leg of the Farr 40 European Circuit.

Full On

'We are thrilled to be here in Porto Cervo for the Rolex Farr 40 European Championship,' said RICHARDSON. 'The fleet profile is excellent. It's going to be full-on that's for sure. We raced in Porto Cervo in 2003 in the Worlds, and we are looking forward to coming back in a couple of years to the 2009 Worlds. Porto Cervo is a great venue with probably the nicest Yacht Club I've ever seen in my life, and they do a good job here. It's usually pretty breezy and that makes for some fun entertainment for the crews and for the owners and anyone watching.'

Many America's Cup sailors are also in attendance including Paolo CIAN (ITA) on board Enfant Terrible, Tommaso CHIEFFI (ITA) on Fiamma, Adrian STEAD (GBR) on Mascalzone Latino and Vasco VASCOTTO (ITA) aboard Nerone, each of whom will be calling tactics for their respective teams.

The programme for the week will see the Race Committee looking to fit in a maximum of eleven windward-leeward races over four days of racing. Regattas organized by Rolex and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda are almost as famous for the accompanying social events as for the racing, and the Settimana delle Bocche is no exception: aside from after-race refreshments on the Piazza Azzurra each evening, owners and crews will attend an exclusive dinner overlooking Porto Cervo Marina on Friday 8 June while the Prizegiving will take place on Saturday 9 June on the Piazza Azzurra.

Racing is scheduled to start on Wednesday at 12:00 midday and the forecast is for southeasterly winds of approximately 7 to 8 knots.

Barby MacGowan (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Practice day on board Barking Mad:© Kurt Arrigo/Rolex
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