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19 April 2008, 11:24 am
Farr 40 Worlds - Onorato Holds Lead
Joe Fly
Joe Fly In Second Place Just One Point Behind the Defending Champions

Rolex Farr 40 World Championship 2008

After a day of struggling with light and very shifty winds, the leader of the 33-boat fleet at the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds remains Mascalzone Latino, Vincenzo ONORATO's Italian entry, with Joe Fly (ITA) in second and Alinghi (SUI) moving up into the third-place slot.
Two races were held today and two races remain to be sailed tomorrow in the 10-race series. There are no throwouts - or discard races - in the ultra-competitive Farr 40 Class. No one knows better than ONORATO, the defending champion, and his team that a one-point lead is not a cushion.

"It was tough racing out there," said John KOSTECKI, tactician onboard Mascalzone Latino's. "To try and stay ahead of the pack in quite shifty winds, it was tricky. Joe Fly sailed well to beat us in two races. We sailed well; not as good as they did, but still did well."

The Latin Rascals scored a 6-3, compared to Joe Fly's 5-2 scores. "We didn't want to separate from them too much since we're so close on points," said KOSTECKI. "We definitely wanted to go into tomorrow being close instead of them being in the lead. We're happy with today.

For Joe Fly's helmsman Giovanni MASPERO, who has kept a low profile so as not to jinx his team, tomorrow is a chance to reach for the champion's title.

Ernesto BERTARELLI's Alinghi (SUI) is now one step closer to the top. "We are a little bit better today than yesterday," said Bertarelli, the current America's Cup champion. "Yesterday we had a bad race, which is very expensive in this regatta, so today we came back a little bit. We didn't make any changes to our game other than working harder. I haven't had much practice on these boats this year, so I guess every race we get a little better."

Tomorrow will be a chance to improve again. "Anything can happen tomorrow with two races to go, we have to continue to do well," said BERTARELLI. He will count on tactician Brad BUTTERWORTH and mainsail trimmer Warwick FLEURY.

The Swiss sailor has participated in the Farr 40 Class for quite a long time and is the 2001 Farr 40 world champion. "I like the world championship," he said. "That's almost the only regatta I do and maybe just one other during the year. It's more for fun. I enjoy the fact that it is very competitive and I have a lot of friends here too."

For Barking Mad (USA), Jim RICHARDSON's Newport-based boat came second in the first race and saw its chances of moving up the leader board improve. The increase was not to be in the last race; Barking Mad found itself on the wrong side of the race course and scored a 24, causing them to drop out of the top three into fourth overall.

The first race saw a brief delay in getting racing underway on time, as the wind shifted, forcing the race committee to re-set the course. With one minute to go before the starting signal, Erik MARIS's Twins (FRA) and Lang and Sue WALKER's Kokomo (AUS) found themselves on the line near the pin-boat end. They had nowhere to go but across the line, and their position seemingly dragged the rest of the fleet over the line with them. Another general recall was signaled with the "Z flag" (a 10% scoring penalty) in place. Twins again was the most aggressive starter and paid the price, having to return to the line, incurring a penalty.

By the first mark rounding, Lisa & Martin HILL's Estate Master (AUS) led the fleet, followed by Flash Gordon (USA) and Silver Bullet (DEN). Mascalzone Latino picked the shifts correctly and passed a number of boats downwind to finish 6th and hold onto the overall lead. Joe Fly (ITA) and Barking Mad - yesterday's second and third overall -- came around in fourth and fifth, respectively, giving Joe Fly the overall lead at that moment over Mascalzone Latino, which rounded the mark in ninth.

On the run to the finish line, Estate Master (AUS) found itself on the correct side of the course benefiting from a sizeable left-hand shift and captured the race victory. "I understand in the Farr 40s that if you win one, one day you're chicken the next day you're feathers" said owner/helmsman Martin HILL. "Everyone understands that you have to go right at the beginning of the start. So there's a lot of competition for that boat end of the line. It's very important and everyone has the right idea to go right.

"We had two good starts,"
continued HILL. "There's good communication among the crew. The boat prefers light to moderate breeze, and we have spent about six weeks in Miami trying to understand the oscillating breezes."

This is Estate Master's debut on the world race course. "It's always been our dream to compete in a world championship and to see our friends cheering us on is really great."

Flash Gordon, Helmut JAHN's Chicago-based boat, had the day's second best overall performance, finishing the first race in third place, with a fourth place in the second race for the 68-year-old helmsman.

Nanoq, the entry helmed by HRH Crown Prince Frederik finished the race in fourth, the next in 10th although the Danish team added a 10% scoring penalty. That performance moved them into 6th place overall. "It was a very good day," said the Crown Prince. "The first race was amazing for us. We had a good start, actually our starts have been good since the Pre-Worlds. We had the right race tactics."

Although he makes such an impressive performance sound simple, he admitted that he prefers sailing upwind. "Downwind was a struggle," he said. "We were scared a bit of our downwind sailing. We stayed in our lanes, focused and kept our lanes, taking time with our jibes."

It certainly helps to have Bouwe BEKKING, the Volvo Ocean Race legend, onboard. The relationship has been a solid one since the past Worlds in Copenhagen. "I listen to what he says, making slow movements with the tiller," said the Crown Prince. "It's difficult in medium to light wind. We have a lot of talking and feedback sailing downwind. We had someone calling the far away puffs and the near puffs. We tried to avoid anyone jibing behind us."

And if he could choose, what kind of conditions would the Crown Prince prefer tomorrow? "Ideally, there will be no wind and no racing," he joked. "We prefer light wind. We'll work like we did today and remember our boat mode, the same as today."

By the second race, the wind had shifted yet again, making the race committee work extra hard to keep the course squared to the wind direction. With the increasing shifts, many of the competitors found themselves approaching the starting line well in advance of the legal time to start the race. "We had six "over early" boats the first time we tried to start the race," said Peter "Luigi" REGGIO.

"I've never seen this fleet so aggressive," said REGGIO, who has a long history with Farr 40 Class racing, serving on the race committee mark boat during the Class's first world championship in 1998. Since then, he has been involved in six of the 11 world championships, five of them as Principal Race Officer.

Racing continues tomorrow, Saturday, April 19 at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship (April 16-19) on the Atlantic Ocean south of Government Cut. The Regatta Village is based at Miami Beach Marina, in Miami Beach, Florida. For more information about the 2008 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, including the full list of entries and crew, racing commentary, results, and photos go to the official event website www.farr40worlds.com

Rolex is the title sponsor of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship and also a race day sponsor with Slam and Casa de Campo Marina. Supporting sponsors include Mad Fish Wines, Southern Spars and Harken; supply sponsors include North Sails and EdgeWater Boats; and official hotels are South Seas Hotel and Avalon Hotel.

The Rolex Farr 40 World Championship joins other prestigious Rolex-sponsored yachting events including the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Rolex Swan Cup, Giraglia Rolex Cup, Rolex Middle Sea Race, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, New York Yacht Club's Race Week presented by Rolex and the Rolex Big Boat Series.

Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - 2008
Preliminary Results - Top 10 of 33
April 18, 2008

Two races held today
(8 races total completed in 10-race series)

Boat Name (Country), Owner/Helm, Race 1-2-3, Total points
1. Mascalzone (ITA), Vincenzo ONORATO, 3-12-1-14-3-5-6-3, 47points
2. Joe Fly (ITA), Giovanni MASPERO, 9-1-8-15-6-2-5-2, 48
Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto BERTARELLI, 8-14-6-6-7-20-9-4scp, 74
4. Barking Mad (USA), Jim RICHARDSON, 25-5-3-2-16-6-2-24, 81
5. Mean Machine (MON), Peter DE RIDDER, 24-3-9-9-14-1-14-9, 83
6. Nanoq (DEN), HRH Crown Prince Frederik, 13-15-16-20-17-9-4-13scp, 107
7. Ramrod (USA), Rodrick JABIN, 22-8-17-3-10-21-10-19scp, 110
8. Warpath (USA), Fred & Steve HOWE, 12-13-14-24-11-8-18-11, 111
9. Calvi Network (ITA) Carlo ALBERINI, 6-9-12-33-26-14-7-7, 114
10. Atalanti (GRE), Stratis ANDREADIS, 5-2-25-7-24-11-15-26scp, 115

Event website - www.farr40worlds.com

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