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15 June 2004, 04:16 pm
USA Set To Defend Title
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ISAF Offshore Team World Championship - Sardinia Rolex Cup
Porto Cervo, Sardinia

First sailed in 1978, the Sardinia Rolex Cup is one of the most glamorous and hard fought international regattas on the circuit and this year includes the first ever ISAF Offshore Team World Championship.
The Sardinia Rolex Cup was the original event that put the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda firmly on the map of places that no discerning Grand Prix sailor could miss out in visiting.This year, the event has been relaunched with a modern mix of one-design and handicap racing.

The waters of the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, immediately north and south of Porto Cervo, are amongst the finest sailing areas in the world. Every possible combination of sailing conditions can be experienced during a race week in Sardinia, and next week is set to be no different. Whether it be the typical moderate sea breezes expected of June, or the renowned Mistral, sailors will be tested to the limit of their physical and mental resolve.

Unlike the last running of the event in 2002, which was a two boat team event, this year the inclusion of the Swan 45 class means that national teams of three boats; a Swan 45, Farr 40 and a class of boat that will use the IMS handicap system will compete on the highest level over eight days to decide the title of ISAF Offshore Team World Champions. There are teams entered from across the globe, including Argentina, Spain, USA, Germany, Switzerland and two teams from Italy, amongst others.

As a biennial event, the Sardinia Rolex Cup was last held in 2002 and won by a particularly dominant team from USA. They will be returning to Sardinia this year to defend their title with three strong contenders. In the IMS class they have Marco BIRCH'S Botin & Carkeek 58 "Talisman", which, after being launched a matter of months ago finished fifth overall in her first event, the Rolex IMS Offshore World Championship here in Porto Cervo. As well as Talisman they will be racing with the Swan 45, Mascalzone Latino, which finished third in class at the Zegna Trophy in May, and Bambakou, John COUMANTAROS' Farr 40 returning for another bite of the cherry he won in 2002.

Another team that will always challenge hard for the title are the Spanish, Telefonica Movistar Sailing Team, returning once again with Pedro CAMPOS' Bribon Telefonica, the swan 45 Telefonica Movistar, and the Farr 40 Meridiana.

Racing starts in Porto Cervo, after two days of srutineering and measurement, on 21 June with a series of windward/leeward races, a further three days of windward/leeward racing will take place on 22 June and 25-26 June, with a longer, offshore race planned for 23 June. Full details of the event are available on the event website at the address below.
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