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8 September 2006, 11:08 am
Mascalzone Latino Moves Top
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Rolex Farr 40 World Championship 2006
Newport, Rhode Island, USA

Light and shifting winds brought massive changes to the leaderboard on day two of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in Newport, Rhode Island, USA. Mascalzone Latino put together the best scores for the day, coming fourth place in the first race and second in the next, and earned the Boat of the Day, sponsored by Trade Partners New England Boatworks, Hall Spar, and New England Ropes.
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That scoreline put Vincenzo ONORATO's (ITA) team at the top of the scoreboard, four points ahead of Jim RICHARDSON's (USA) similarly consistent team on Barking Mad. Flash Gordon suffered a difficult day after making bad starts off the line, although Helmut JAHN's (USA) two victories the previous day are sufficient to keep him in third overall.

COUTTS Explains The Day

Russell COUTTS (NZL), the tactician on board Mascalzone Latino, explained the thin line between success and failure in this hard fought 38 boat fleet. 'Today we had some breaks, some good starts, and if you can get off the line cleanly it puts you in the top 15,' he said. 'From there it's a battle. We didn't make any big mistakes, whereas yesterday I didn't manage that second race very well. I allowed myself to get pinned out to the left and we rounded fourth last. In a fleet this size you just can't afford to get pinned out to the wrong side.'

In the second race yesterday, Mascalzone Latino led around the first mark but allowed Eivind ASTRUP's (NOR) Norwegian Steam to slip by later in the race. COUTTS is unconcerned by individual race wins, however. He is looking to help his helmsman ONORATO win a championship that the Neapolitan shipping magnate has coveted for many years. So far so good for the reigning Rolex Farr 40 European Champions, although COUTTS is not counting his chickens yet. 'There's a bit of luck involved [in winning]. And there are tons of boats still in this race, 20 boats if not more,' he said.

Other Favourites Struggle

Two pre-regatta favourites that must have missed their chance are Peter DE RIDDER's (MON) Mean Machine and reigning World Champion Richard PERINI's (AUS) Evolution. PERINI in particular is a surprise, as the Australian was so dominant in Sydney last year, but in Newport has struggled to find clear air out of the starts. His technique in the waves off Sydney Heads was excellent in 2005, but in the flat water and five knot breezes of yesterday, boats peed differences throughout the fleet are minimal. So much comes down to how you get off the start line.

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The fleet head downwind in race three
© Daniel FORSTER/Rolex
The first race was a case in point, with Alex MICHAS' (USA) Phish Food securing a beautiful start off the pin end of the line and finding a good streak of wind on the left side of the course to lead around the first mark. Phish Food has not looked like a contender this week, and yet in this race it went on to score a very comfortable victory over runner up Dario FERRARI's (ITA) Cannonball. It goes to show how many boats are capable of winning on any given day. Jim FAYAL (USA), trimmer on board Phish Food, commented: 'We had a clean start, made one tack to the weather mark, had good speed downwind, and kept our wind clear. It's the joy of being out in front. The boat is fast, we make mistakes, but if we can get the boat out there we can do fine.'

Danish Surprise

After three races Silver Bullet was leading overall, counting scores of 7,7,8, an amazing result for Henrik JANSEN (DEN) and his group of Danish friends making their debut in the class. However, that incredible run came to an end in the late afternoon race when they rounded the windward mark in last place, one of many boats who returned to restart after a number of teams broke the line early. It later transpired that the Danes had misheard the number being called over the radio, and that they had started correctly. But the damage was done and Silver Bullet could only make up three places to finish 35th. As COUTTS observed, you need some luck to win this regatta and Silver Bullet's luck had deserted them in dramatic fashion, their result in race four plummeted the Danish team down to twelfth in the overall rankings.

Dana PAXTON (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Mascalzone Latino leads the way in Newport:© Daniel FORSTER/Rolex
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