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20 January 2006, 10:07 am
Calmer Seas And Tougher Competition On Day Four
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Swan 45 Gold Cup 2006
Key West, Florida, USA

On the penultimate day of the Swan 45 Gold Cup 2006, 16 Swan 45s from four countries continued to battle it out for the World Champion title. Calmer seas and a slight drop in wind speed made way for fiercer competition between the teams. With the day seeing some unexpected results for the leading Swan 45s, today's races will be key in determining the overall podium places and the World Champion of this nine race series at Acura Key West in Flordia, USA.
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Yesterday's overall leader, William DOUGLASS' (USA) Goombay Smash, with match racing star Chris LAW (GBR) as tactician, slipped into second place on the leaderboard after taking sixth, then twelfth place in the two races yesterday. Massimo FERRAGAMO's (USA) Bellicosa seized the day and belligerently fought her way to the top of the Swan 45 Gold Cup standings, with first and third place respectively.

Danilo SALSI's (ITA) DSK Comifin dropped into third, while Vittorio CODECASA's (ITA) Jeroboam has shown the greatest improvement overall in the fleet, rising from 15th place at the end of day one, to fourth at the end of day four.

The first race of the day started in north easterly 22 knot wind, and was quickly dominated by Bellicosa. First round the first mark, and leading confidently for the entire race, FERRAGAMO was pleased with the crew's performance, 'I would call it a good day any time we can get a first and a third in this kind of fleet. I think everything is in sync, everyone is doing their job. We are all doing well, we have a great team and everything is coming together. For tomorrow, we have no hopes, or the same hopes as today - to continue to sail well.'

Current Swan 45 Gold Cup holder Mintaka of Stefano POLTI (ITA) has suffered some bad luck over the last couple of days, retiring early from race five on Wednesday after a collision and suffering some sail damage yesterday. However, after winning yesterday's second race and the jury awarding Mintaka a 6.8 average score for race five, POLTI's spirits, and his position on the leaderboard, are rising, 'It was a difficult second race, because we lost a spinnaker, but I think I have the best crew, because in 40 seconds the replacement spinnaker was up! It was very difficult, because chasing us was Vittorio CODECASA, who's boat is really, really good with these conditions. I'm happy, because I wanted to come first at least once this week.' MINTAKA now stands in fifth place overall.

Japan Flying High

Another Swan 45 that saw an outstanding result yesterday was Yukihiro ISHIDA's (JPN) Yasha, named after the mythical demon protector of the Japanese people, and helmed by America's Cup veteran Tony REY (USA). Ishida, new to the Swan 45 Class, was very excited by Yasha's third place in race two, 'The team is excellent - Tony REY is the sailing manager and we have a really good crew. It's a new boat, only delivered in July last year, but I am enjoying it very much.'

REY added, 'We just finally put all the simple things together. You know, towards the end of a World Championship you finally feel ready to race, and we did. ISHIDA San did a wonderful job driving, and everything worked really well. It's like golf - you get one good golf swing, one good hit and it's all you need to keep it going. This was our swing - it just all came together today.'

Swan Success Elsewhere

In Division 2 at Acura Key West, another member of the Swan family, Swan 601 Moneypenny, of Jim SWARTZ (USA), has been enjoying tremendous success in class IRC 1. After battling each race with Rolex Sydney Hobart 2004 winner, Ker 55 Aera, of Nick LYKIARDOPULO (GBR), at the end of day four Moneypenny remains triumphant, and is first place on the overall class leaderboard.

SWARTZ commented, 'We've got some very tough competition, and we're very happy. We have been very pleased with what we've been able to accomplish here. We had no expectations whatsoever of being able to stay with Aera, so that's been a really pleasant surprise. The team is fantastic - most of them have been with me from the beginning.'

With the Swan 45s the 'ones to watch' on the water, and Swan 601 Moneypenny dominating her class, excitement is building to see what will happen on the final day of racing in Key West. For those who have not caught the Swan 45s on the water, log on to www.t2p.tv, for updated race footage.

Top Ten

Pos Nation Boat Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Pts
1 USA Bellicosa Massimo FERRAGAMO 1 14 4 1 5 1 3 29
2 USA Goombay Smash William DOUGLASS 4 3 1 2 3 6 12 31
3 ITA DSK-Comifin Danilo SALSI 8 1 3 5 4 13 4 38
4 ITA Jeroboam Canova Vittorio CODECASA 15 12 6 6 1 5 2 47
5 ITA Mintaka Stefano POLTI 5 4 10 11 6.8 10 1 47.8
6 ITA Cuor Di Leone Leonardo FERRAGAMO 9 5 7 4 7 8 8 48
7 USA VIM Craig SPECK 2 15 9 3 9 2 9 49
8 GBR Fever Grant GORDON/ Klaus DIEDERICHS 3 11 5 12 2 11 5 49
9 USA Bandit Andrew FISHER 12 9 2 9 6 9 6 53
10 ITA Atlantica Racing Carlo PERRONE 7 7 8 7 13 7 7 56
Jennifer HOLL (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Goombay Smash lost her lead in Florida yesterday:© Tim WILKES/www.Tim Wilkes.com
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