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24 May 2003, 06:33 pm
Timing Impeccable For Last Days Racing
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© Max Ranchi

Rolex IMS Offshore World Championship

With no wind for the final morning the Race Committee managed to find just the right place in the Gulf of Naples to set up a start line, lay a windward leeward course and get the three classes off before the last day start deadline.
As if on cue the South Westerly sea breeze appeared at just the right moment and blew a steady 8-10 knots for the rest of the day.

Right from the start of the final race the action was on with three boats including, the two Swan 45s, starting prematurely and being disqualified for failing to return. Further up the first beat Pasquale Landolfi's 2002 champion Brava Q8 retired with a broken forestay. A

ustralian John Kahlbetzer's Sydney 62 Bumble Bee V was handicapped when her light genoa split in half.At the front of the fleet Charles Dunstone's Maxi Enigma shot around the course in just over an hour while arch rivals X-Sport and Orlanda fought hard to be the first of the large boats on corrected time. But all eyes were on the Spanish points leader, Telefonica Movistar, the IMS 600 entry in the Real Club Nautico San Genjo of Galicia's Admiral's Cup team.

Would the small boats beat the big ones in Class Alpha or would there be a last minute upset? As it turned out skipper Pedro Campos sailed a perfect race to win the day which was more than enough to become World Champion. In second place was World Cargo, a boat that had been moving up the rankings all week and pounced past the two new prototype big boats at the last minute.

In Class Bravo it was Antoni Orlandi's Italtel all the way again from Roberto Maffini's Rodman 42 Wind, a close sister to Class Alpha winner Telefonica Movistar. Third overall went to last year's champion Team Revolution. Scuttelaro and his group on Di Mare Vaimo' just had to finish today's race to collect the overall prize and a world title.

The second place they collected today gave them a 25 point overall margin over today's race winner and second overall, Francesco Siculiana's Vismara 34 Paul & Shark. The latter boat was badly let down by her performance in the high points scoring long offshore race earlier in the week and will surely be a boat to watch for in the future.

At the final prizegiving, Patrick Heiniger, CEO of Rolex SA, awarded each of the three champions with a Rolex Yacht-Master chronometer.
Marcus Hutchinson (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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