The first day of racing at the Farr 40 European Championship Settimana della Bocche (Week of the Straights) offered absolutely perfect sailing conditions for the seventeen yachts entered.
The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda ran three windward leeward courses around the corner to the west of Porto Cervo in a protected bay. The wind was a constant 20-25 knots from 275-290 degrees in bright sunshine on flat water off the Costa Smeralda.
There was some current going downwind, which made for some very interesting weather mark roundings. According to Chris Larson, the tactician on John Coumantaros' Bambakou, there were "some mysterious headers that came about 200' from the weather mark" that also added to the excitement at the top of the course. Boats were extremely close after the long weather legs, and the traffic on the starboard layline was heavy. There were a few port tack boats that sailed well up the course, but had to duck almost the entire fleet to get to their destination.
Wolfgang and Angela Schaefer's German entry Struntje Light emerged as the overall winner at the end of the day, with three podium finishes. Crossing the line in first place was a great end to their first day. Olympic sailor Iain Percy is their tactician for this regatta.
The Italian boat owned by Massimo Mezzaroma and Antonio sodo Migliori were also consistent in the breeze. They are well practiced, having just won the final event of the Mediterranean Championship in Porto Rotundo last week. Racing was extremely close with three different winners of the individual races. George Andreadis' Greek entry Atalanti took the first victory of the day, and finished behind Nerone in the provisional overall standings.
This summer is the first season that the Farr 40 Class is racing in the Mediterranean. The Bruce Farr design has become very popular in the United States, northern Europe and Australia and has been attracting attention during its inaugural Circuit racing in Italy and France. This is the second European Championship for the class. The first was held in Hamble, England prior to last year's World Championship in Cowes.
Racing continues tomorrow with two races planned, and will conclude on Saturday.
Provisional results boat owner tactician points total Struntje Light -W. Schaefer/I. Percy -3, 3, 1 - 7
Nerone - M. Mezzaroma/V. Vascotto - 10, 1, 3 - 14 A
talanti -G. Andreadis/R. Haines - 1, 7, 9 - 17
Nela - M. Illbruck/J. Kostecki - 8, 2, 7 - 17
A Bit of a Coup - T. Buckingham/K. Sproule - 12, 5, 2 - 19