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13 July 2005, 11:14 am
Close To 50 Yachts Vying For The Title
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Rolex IMS Offshore World Championship 2005
Mahòn, Minorca, Spain

All is set for the start of the Rolex IMS Offshore World Championship, now in its seventh year, which in 2005 takes place in the Balearic island of Menorca for the first time. Forty eight yachts compete in the event, with crews representing Argentina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Uruguay.
The Rolex IMS Worlds, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the Club Marítimo de Mahón, runs over five days from 13-17 July and includes both windward/leeward races and a coastal/offshore race in the waters off Menorca (scheduled for Thursday/Friday), for a maximum total of seven races. The event is open to IMS Cruiser/Racer and Racing boats with a minimum length overall of between 9.8 and 17.5 metres and a GPH of between 635 and 495. Boats with only amateur crew (with a current ISAF Group 1 classification) will make up the Corinthian category; boats which include more than one sailor of Group 2 or 3, will make up the Non-Corinthian category. The World Champion title will be awarded to the winner in each category, together with a Rolex time piece.

The competition will be fierce, with world class sailors such as double Olympic gold medallist (1992 and 1996 in the 470 class) and five time world champion Theresa ZABELL (ESP) racing aboard the Spanish JV 57 Tau Ceramica of Javier DOMÍNGUEZ BANDERAS; ZABELL is also Ambassador for Sport in Spain at the European Commission. Pedro CAMPOS (ESP), former America's Cup skipper, ten time world champion and general manager/inshore helmsman of the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race Team MoviStar, will be sailing his Evento 46 Telefonica Movistar. CAMPOS, who sailed the Rodman 42 Telefónica Movistar to a Class 1 victory in the 2003 Worlds, recently won the Trofeo de S.M. La Reina in Valencia in the IMS 500 division.

Spain's most prestigious entries also include the Farr 54 Cam owned by 1996 Olympic gold medallist in the Tornado, Fernando LEÓN (ESP) and 1992 Olympic gold medallist in the 470, Kiko SÁNCHEZ LUNA (ESP), who took first place in the 2001 edition of the Rolex IMS Worlds in Valencia and was recently second at the Trofeo de S.M. La Reina in Valencia (IMS 500). Iker MARTÍNEZ (ESP), gold medalist in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in the 49er and co-skipper on Telefónica MoviStar with CAMPOS and Bouwe BEKKING (NED) in the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race, will be skippering the GS 42R Movistar owned by Italian Lorenzo BRESSANI. Fernarndo ECHAVARRI, 2005 Tornado World Champion, number one sailor in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings will be the mainsail trimmer on board Movistar. Also on the starting line, the are three other Spanish, highly competitive, GS 42Rs: Andalucia te Quiere, winner at the Trofeo de S.M. La Reina in the IMS 600 division, Fermax Electronica and Forum Filatelico.

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the Club Marítimo de Mahón will officially greeted the competitors last night with a welcome party at the Race Village, located on the deck of the yacht club overlooking the fjord-like natural port of Mahón. The week will finish with Sunday's Rolex Prize Giving Ceremony at the Club Marítimo de Mahón.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from the training race:© Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
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