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17 May 2007, 12:29 pm
A Good Start
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Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2007
Capri, Italy

The Rolex Capri Sailing week debuted in good sailing conditions with a west-southwesterly wind ranging from 8 to 12 knots and reaching up to 18 during the last leg of racing. The cloudy sky intimidated in the first race but left space to a sunny weather in last leg and permitted the Race Committee to complete five races in this first day of competition.
All classes raced today with the fleet of 51 boats taking to the course prepared by the Race Committee in the waters in front of Capri. A windward-leeward course of 8 nautical miles was prepared for the Farr 40s and Swan 45s, while an initially 13.5 mile course was later reduced to 10 and set the stage for the Comet S and Mini Maxi regatta. .

The Farr 40, with 16 entries, provided plenty of action with very close racing in the three windward-leeward races with disputed and close spectacular starts. Australian Lang WALKER's Kokomo with Colin BEASHEL (AUS) calling tactics led Wednesday's racing with two consecutive victories in the first races and a fifth place in the last, giving them an overall first place in the temporary ranking. 'I'm naturally very pleased,' commented WALKER. 'The boat had plenty of speed and obviously the conditions of out flowing winds throughout the day suited the boat. We had good crew work and you know, we had a bit of luck out there and it was a pretty good result. We'll be doing probably all of the European campaign and we're off to a good start.'

Barking Mad Second

Jim RICHARDSON (USA), in his Barking Mad with 2005 Volvo Ocean Race skipper Bouwe BEKKING (NED) calling tactics, got second overall with a good performance in two out of the three races. 'Well the first regatta was very good,' said BEKKING commenting the eighth place they got in the first of the day's races. 'I just did a bad job there early on, but the rest of the crew did a fantastic job today and they just kept me out of trouble. Tomorrow we will just keep sailing, and try to not make too many mistakes. Normally in the Farr 40 regattas when you finish in the top 8 every race you normally finish on the podium and of course, we like to finish on the podium, you like to win!'

Italian favourite Massimo MEZZAROMA's Nerone - who looks to establish a healthy score line in these four regatta days which represent the fist leg of the Farr 40 European Circuit - concluded the day with a first place in the third regatta, but fell behind the leaders with a seventh place and 17th place taken in the first two races. 'We started bad,' commented tactician Lorenzo BRESSANI (ITA), 'But we finished greatly, and that's what really counts.'

For the Swan 45s the day's racing acted as warm up racing and did not count for the Swan 45 World Mediterranean Circuit, as the Rolex Capri Sailing week is an official leg of it. Looking forward to the arrival of all the Swans entries for the Rolex Capri Sailing Week, who were also enrolled in a previous event in Portofino, the real racing will start on Thursday even if Wednesday's races set as a perfect text for the 15 who had already arrived.


Among the Mini Maxis, Italian OPS 5 - a Baltic 60 owned by Violati MASSIMO, member of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda - led the seven craft fleet in the 10 miles course and took first place followed by 2006 Rolex Capri Sailing Week winner Giorgio RUFFO's (ITA) Aleph, which crossed over the finish line as first in real time, as third place went to Sei Tu 2.

Comet 45s Libertine won in its class in Wednesday's regatta followed by Roberto FRANCHELLA's (ITA) Aria Tx Active with a crew totally made up of sailors of the Aeronautica Militare Italiana (Italian Aeronautic Army), while Guido MORISCO's (ITA) Nur arrived just third. .

According to the weather forecast winds of approximately 8 to 10 knots from 290 to 300 degrees is expected for Thursday and conditions will be overcast with a chance of rain in the morning, improving as the afternoon goes on but remaining variable.

The Rolex Capri Sailing Week, which runs through to Saturday 19May is organized by the Yacht Club Capri in conjunction with the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and is sponsored for the third consecutive edition by Rolex.

Anna-Maria Gregorini (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Kokomo is leading the overall after three races:© Kurt Arrigo/ROLEX
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