Current World Champion Mascalzone Latino charged to the head of the 33-boat fleet on the first day of racing during the 2008 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship.
With three races completed in the 10-race series, there are at least a dozen boats that can win the overall title, however today belongs to the Italians. "It's a long time left to sail and we just have to enjoy ourselves on the water,"
said ONORATO moments after returning to the dock. "The others feel the pressure; we are two-time world champions and we are here to enjoy ourselves."
Despite a last minute change of tactician with American Morgan LARSON arriving this morning on the red eye from the West Coast to fill in for Adrian STEAD who returned home for the birth of his first child, ONORATO had nothing but praise for LARSON's ability to jump in and assist with a 3-12-1 scoreline. "Of course he (LARSON) did a very nice job and we dedicate this victory to the new Lucas Stead, born yesterday. If you look, we are sailing with a blue stripe on the back of the boat for him."
Only two points separate Mascalzone Latino
from Giovanni MASPERO's second-place Joe Fly
(ITA), winner of the day's second race. Deneen DEMOURKAS's Groovederci 57
(USA) - one of two Groovederci's
sailing, the other entry belongs to her husband John DEMOURKAS - is in third place overall, with Carlo ALBERINI's Calvi Network
(ITA) in fourth and Alinghi
(SUI), helmed by Ernesto BERTARELLI with the majority of crew from his America's Cup winning team onboard, in fifth.
Stratis AMDREADIS's Atalanti
(GRE) finished fifth in the first race and second in the second, but they struggled with some gear breakdowns in race three and added a 25 to the scoreline for eighth place overall. "Unfortunately, we had a little bad luck in the last race,"
tactician Brad READ (Newport, R.I.). "We broke a jib and the main halyard going up the first beat. Overall, we've had some struggles in the past few regattas, but the team has amazed me with their perseverance and their learning curve."
For ANDREADIS it is early in the week and there are a lot more races to go. "We will focus on what went well and on doing things better next time,"
he said. "Since things went well in the first two races, we have less to discuss. We will just do as best as we can in each race."
For READ, who does not speak Greek, there are additional challenges. "He's a crack up,"
said Read. "Right when I need him to speak English and tell me what's going on, he goes Greek on me and I lose the plot. Seriously though, he does a great job, we're starting to go faster and it is early in the regatta."
The day's sentimental vote went to Bob HUGHES and Heartbreaker
(USA) for the regatta's first race win. "We have a good team,"
said HUGHES (Grand Rapids, Mich.), who won the Canada's Cup, a match race on Farr 40s at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club this past summer. "One guy who sailed with us in past, Justin HOOD, is recovering from serious surgery. The first race was for him and we know he's watching online. We were excited to get a good result from him."
The day started at 11am with 18 knots from the north. "We got out early enough and did a bunch of sailing and it was apparent that the left side was going to be good,"
said HUGHES of their pre-race training. "We thought the pin (end of the starting line) would be more crowded than it was, but it wasn't, so we started by the pin. It wasn't a spectacular start, but good enough and we were able to hold. (Tactician) Mark IVEY did a really good job on the shifts. We got to top mark first with two other boats hot on our heels. The guys did a great job sailing the boat downwind and extended the lead. Then on the last beat, they did really well in the shifts -- it was about as good a race as you can have. It is really nice to look back and see the fleet behind."
"There are so many boats that can win and that is what makes the racing so good,"
he continued. "We have a new team and we struggled in the Pre-Worlds. We got a big boost of confidence and a lot of motivation going forward."
HUGHES went on to give credit to his entire team, including Wally CROSS whom he described as the best at setting up the boat and making it go well. "He is the heart and soul of the speed machine
," said HUGHES.
Winner of the Pre-Worlds warm-up regatta, Doug DOUGLASS's Goombay Smash
(USA), finished the day in 25th.
Today's was "Presidents' Day" in honor of the Farr 40 Class's four presidents over the past 11 years. At the owners dinner on Monday night, the Farr 40 Class elected its first lifetime member John CALVERT-JONES. Winner of the 2000 Farr 40 World Championship, held in Newport, R.I., and a past Class president, CALVERT-JONES was presented with a specially inscribed Rolex timepiece.
Racing continues tomorrow, Thursday, April 17 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 boats
Three races held, April 16, 2008
(ITA), Vincenzo ONORATO, 3-12-1, 16
2. Joe Fly
(ITA), Giovanni MASPERO, 9-1-8, 18
(USA), Deneen DEMOURKAS, 11-6-5, 22
4. Calvi Network
(ITA), Carlo ALBERNI, 6-9-12, 27
(SUI), Ernesto BERTARELLI, 8-14-6, 28
(JPN), Takashi OKURA, 2-10-18, 30
Mad (USA), Jim RICHARDSON , 25-5-3, 31
(GRE), Stratis ANDREADIS, 5-2-25, 32
9. Mean Machine
(MON), Peter DE RIDDER, 24-3-9, 36
(USA), Alexander ROEPERS, 21-11-4, 36
Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - www.farr40worlds.com