In brilliant blue skies and winds between ranging between 16 to 20 knots from the west, seven teams from six countries sailed the first two races of the Sardinia Rolex Cup, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS).
Two races, held in winds that increased to 18 to 21 knots during the course of the day saw fierce competition between the teams, which had boats ranging in size from 40 ft. to 58 ft. The Swiss team, which includes Madina, skippered by Dario FERRARI, Papastilla, skippered by Fabio MONTAUTI and Sailing Planet, with Gabriele BENUSSI at the helm, took first place with four points.
The Spanish team, composed of Bribon Telefonica Movistar, sailed by Pedro CAMPOS, Nerone Meridiana skippered by Antonio Sodo MIGLIORI and Vertigo Meridiana, sailed by Alberto SIGNORINI, claimed second place with eight points.
The USA team and Italy Blue are tied for third with eleven points. At the present time, protests are pending. "Our boat was extremely fast down wind today,"
noted Ferrari of Madina. "We were never the first boat to the windward mark, but we were able to gain time downwind which was critical to our winning both races today."
According to Campos of Bribon Telefonica Movistar, "The sailing conditions were spectacular, a steady strong breeze under clear skies."
However, there is discussion among the fleet regarding a separate start for the IMS fleet. Team racing is typically done in the same or similar classes of boats. Here we have two fleets, the Swan 45s and the Farr 40s, which are fairly similar in terms of performance. What we have seen today is that the larger IMS boats have been able to significantly impact the results in both races."
The jury is now considering a request that results from all boats per team be included instead of taking the best two finishes from each team.
According to Terry HUTCHINSON, skipper of the US boat, Talisman, "We had an excellent start in the first race and were table to take advantage of the fact that Sailing Planet had sail problems. In the second race, we were involved in a tacking duel and lost time to the smaller boats. We need to do the best for our boat, but at the same time, contribute to the team performance, all part of strategy for team racing."
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.