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14 September 2005, 10:57 am
Racing Starts Today In Port Cervo
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Rolex Settimana Delle Bocche 2005
Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy

A record 40 yachts from seven countries are expected to compete in Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's longest running regatta, the Rolex Settimana delle Bocche (Week Of The Straits), which begins in Porto Cervo, Italy today.
Just three days after the 37 Maxi yachts that competed in last week's Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup left Porto Cervo, the 40 boat fleet of Farr 40, Swan 45 and IMS yachts has arrived for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's Rolex Settimana delle Bocche. Crews spent yesterday completing registrations and inspections before racing begins today and continues through until Saturday 17 September. The 2005 edition has attracted one of the largest fleets in the history of the event, and although the entry list is dominated by Italian boats, competitors from Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain and Russia will be looking to steal the limelight from their Mediterranean rivals. This year is also Rolex's first as title sponsor of 'Week of the Straits,' which has been organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda since 1972.

In the 18-boat Farr 40 class, the event title holder, Italian Massimo MEZZAROMA, has returned with his boat, Nerone. MEZZAROMA has won the regatta for the past three years running and is a former class European and World Champion. One of MEZZAROMA's toughest competitors is expected to be Mascalzone Latino, helmed by America's Cup syndicate head and YCCS member Vincenzo ONORATO. Also competing is HRH Prince Frederik of Denmark sailing his Farr 40 Nanoq.

Among the Swan 45's, Danilo SALSI's DSK and Francesco MARTINO's T…Too have the opportunity to repeat the close fought battle which saw them neck in neck throughout Rolex Capri Sailing Week early this summer. Italy's Leonardo FERRAGAMO, chairman of Nautor's Swan, is also racing this week in the eleven boat Swan 45 fleet, sailing his boat Cuordileone with Olympic yachtsman and former America's Cup helmsman Andy BEADSWORTH (GBR) as tactician. BEADSWORTH's former GBR Challenge teammate Ian BUDGEN will also be competing aboard Italian Marco SALVI's Vertigo together with Luna Rossa Challenge's Tom BURNHAM. The Rolex Settimana delle Bocche constitutes the last leg of the Swan 45 Mediterranean Circuit, which sees Cuordileone, DSK and T…Too all with a chance to win.

The IMS fleet also has eleven boats competing, among them, Russia's YUGHTRANSIT, a GS42 owned by Kotsiouba SERGUEI, which gained a respectable ninth place in the Rolex IMS Worlds in Mahon, Spain this year. Also entered is Rolex Capri Sailing Week IMS Division Winner Andromeda, owned by Massimo GUARDIGLI and Lino RONCONE.

'These are highly competitive classes, and given the combination of world class yachtsmen and the challenging courses off the Costa Smeralda, we can expect some excellent racing,' commented the YCCS Commodore, Gianfranco ALBERINI. 'The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda is delighted to add a fourth Rolex regatta to our calendar this year and the calibre and number of participants looks set to make this a great addition to our historic collaboration.'

Racing, which will take place from 14-17 September, will consist mainly of windward-leeward courses and competitors will complete a maximum of nine races. Calm seas and north-westerly mistral winds of around ten knots are predicted for today.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© yccs.it
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