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17 June 2008, 12:28 pm
Fleet Ready To Battle For ISAF Offshore Team World Title At Sardinia Rolex Cup
Bribon Telefonica of Team Spain tuning-up
Bribon Telefonica of Team Spain tuning-up for Tuesday's start of racing

Sardinia Rolex Cup - ISAF Offshore Team World Championship 2008
Porto Cervo, Italy

All 15 boats competing in the 16th edition of the Sardinia Rolex Cup are now moored in Porto Cervo Marina ready for Tuesday's first start in the event that is valid as the ISAF Offshore Team World Championship.
Five teams each composed of a Farr 40, a Swan 45 and a TP52 will compete in five days of racing organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, with a total of nine races scheduled. The teams lined up for this edition are Germany, Italy, Russia, Southern Europe and Spain. The Race Committee, headed by PRO Peter REGGIO, plans to set eight windward-leeward courses and one distance race although it also reserves the right to set coastal courses through the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago.

In 2006 the coveted Rolex Offshore Team World Championship Trophy and the Sardinia Cup Trophy were won by Team Sardegna which included the Farr 40 Mascalzone Latino, owned by Vincenzo ONORATO, president of the America's Cup challenge of the same name and three-times Farr 40 World Champion (2006, 2007, 2008). ONORATO returns to the competition this year as part of Team Italy alongside Danilo SALSI's Swan 45 DSK and Riccardo SIMONESCHI's TP52 Audi Powered By Q8. Team Italy will certainly be one to watch fielding sailors of the calibre of tactician Tommaso CHIEFFI aboard Audi Powered By Q8 while Pietro D'ALÌ and Andrea CASALE, who just last week won the J/24 World Championship in neighbouring Cannigione, are aboard DSK.

Tough competition is sure to come from Team Germany composed of Wolfgang SCHAEFER's Farr 40 Struntje Light, Harm MUELLER SPREER's TP52 Platoon and the Swan 45 Earlybird owned by Hendrik BRANDIS. Three-time Olympic gold medal winner (1976 in Montreal, 1988 in Seoul and 1996 in Atlanta) and two-time America's Cup winner Jochen SCHUEMANN (2003, 2007) is aboard Platoon alongside the greater part of the United Internet Team Germany crew which was due to compete in the 33rd America's Cup while BRANDIS has former ISAF Match Racing World Champion Karol JABLONSKI (2002) on Earlybird.

Team Spain is comprised of the same three boats that competed in the 2006 edition: Massimo MEZZAROMA's Farr 40 Nerone, Marco SALVI's Swan 45 Vertigo and Jose CUSI's TP52 Bribon Telefonica. Nerone's tactician Vasco VASCOTTO, fresh from victory in last week's Audi Farr 40 Cup at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda is confident that the team will better their 2006 sixth place: "After winning the Farr 40 event we are ready for this new challenge. We have trained well and this competition always pushes us to do well. Concentration and determination - that's the recipe for success!"

Russia is competing for the first time in the event with a team made up of Vasyl GUREYEV's Farr 40 Arctur, Mikhail MOURATOV's Swan 45 Murka 2 and Oleg GAVRILIN's TP52 Rusal Synergy with Olympic Soling sailor Sergiy PICHUGIN at the helm. Southern Europe is also new to the Sardinia Rolex Cup and bring Andrea CANAVESIO's Farr 40 Mangusta Risk, the Swan 45 Fantastikinaa owned by Lanfranco CIRILLO and Leonid MIKCHALSON and the TP52 Valars owned by Silver Wave Shipping.

Owners and crews will enjoy Porto Cervo's unique combination of challenging racing and sumptuous social events. The programme for the Sardinia Rolex Cup begins this evening with a skippers briefing and welcome cocktail and continues throughout the week with dinners, after-race refreshments in the Piazza Azzurra and an open-air Rolex Party for owners and crews on Friday 20 June.

The forecast for Tuesday gives light and variable winds of approximately 3 to 8 knots while the infamous Sardinian Mistral should return to north-eastern Sardinia by Wednesday 18 June. Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow Tuesday 17 June at 12:00.

Sardinia Rolex Cup - ISAF Offshore Team World Championship - click here
ISAF Offshore Team World Championship microsite - www.sailing.org/offshoreteamworlds

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