Hot and Tight at ORC World Championship 2015

Published on June 30th, 2015

Barcelona, Spain (June 30, 2015) – With a more favorable forecast in hand despite the continued hot weather, race managers from the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona had only a brief postponement this morning before getting the fleet out of the Port Vell harbor and off racing on day two of the 2015 ORC World Championship. Two races were completed in all classes on both courses in somewhat light 6-9 knot southwest wind conditions, and from this two new class leaders have emerged.

In Race 1 the light 5-6 knot breeze was still stable enough for race managers to set their courses and get started on an 8.4-mile course for Class A, 7.8-mile course for Class B, and 5.5-mile course for Class C. Like yesterday, in this race with the breeze building slightly the slower boats once again sailed in more wind and thus had an advantage in corrected time.

In Class A, Race 3 winner was Rafael Carbonell’s Swan 45 Rats on Fire from Spain, skippered by Manuel Doreste, who led two other Swan 45’s, some of the furthest-travelled entries at the event in second and third place: Juan Plaza’s Jeroboam and Dmitry Martines’s Trafalgar…both are from the Salinas YC in Ecuador.

In Class B the Race 3 winner was Flavio Trusendi’s IMX 45 Giumat+2 from Italy, helmed by Francesco Cruiciani, the only team in the class thusfar to win two races by repeating their victory in Race 2. Another repeat performance was the close second place in this race earned by Bern Kammerlander’s XP-44 Koyama from Spain skippered by Inaki Castener, who by only 9 seconds defeated Pier Vettor Grimani’s X-41 Sideracordis from Italy, skippered by Andrea Tedesco, for third place.

In Class C after a crowded general recall it was Alberto Moro’s X-37 Solventis from Spain earning their first victory after a 3-2 performance yesterday, but by only an astounding 5 seconds in corrected time after an hour of or time on the course. Felix Comas’s modified Sun Fast 3600 La Vila-Centro Comercial broke out of their mid-fleet showing yesterday to claim second in this race, a convincing 1:09 ahead of third-placed Joan Cabrer’s X-37 Airlan Aermac, based in Palma.

The breeze built a little higher to almost 12 knots, then dropped a bit to 10 knots, and here is where, like yesterday, the big fast boats came into their own. Class A featured an 8.4-mile course, Class B an 8.7-mile course, and Class C a 6.3-mile course. In Class C things got a little too chaotic with too many recalls, so race managers set the black flag to keep the pre-start fleet in control and get them off the start line.

In Class A the results at the top of Race 4 were a near-repeat of yesterday’s Race 2, with 2013 Class A World Champion Marco Serafini racing his TP 52 Xio from Italy leading reigning Class A World Champion, Alberto Rossi and his TP 52 team from Italy on Enfant Terrible Minoan Lines, as well as the rest of the pack in real and corrected time by earning their second victory in the event. In this race there was also a newcomer to the top ranks – Andres Varela Entrecanales’s X-65 Bultaco from Spain – recovering from a collision sustained yesterday in Race 1 to get third in Race 4 today.

This makes the standings in Class A resemble yesterday, with Rossi and his team on top with 11.5 points, but a tie in shared points in Race 3 makes them only 1.5 points ahead of Xio after four races. And on the strength of an 11-4 scoreline today, Jean Jacques Chaubard’s GP 42 Team Vision Future, skippered by Mikael Mergui with a strong French team on board, remains in third place on 22 points. This gap could very well compress considerably as discards are applied later in the week.

In Class B Giumat+2 won Race 4 and thus becomes the only team to have three victories, but still only leads their class by two points over perennial Spanish offshore champion Pedro Campos racing his Swan 42 Movistar, who scored third in this race and has now 14 points. But if it were not for an 11th place finish in Race 3, the other Swan 42 who led the pack yesterday – Jose Maria Meseguer’s Swan 42 Pez de Abril from Spain – might have been on top of the class today as well. Regardless, Koyama sits now in third in the standings on 18 points, with Pez de Abril only one point back.

Class C is shaping up to look as if it may be the closest class of the week, with only 2 points separating the top three teams after four races. A victory by the Spanish Fyord team, Jose Luis Maldonado’s X-35 led by skipper Javier Serrano, in Race 4 by only 9 seconds over Michael Mollman’s X-37 Hansen from Denmark was not enough to vault them into the top ranks after suffering a DSQ in Race 1 yesterday, but their potential will become clear once discards are applied later this week.

The current class leader is yesterday’s runner-up, the X-37 Solventis, tied but ahead of Hansen, who in turn is ahead by two points of the third-place finisher in Race 4 and the reigning Class C World Champion, Giuseppe Giuffre’s new Italia 9.98F Low Noise 2 from Italy, skippered by Duccio Colombi.

“Today on the Alpha course the wind did not seem to be building very fast, so we started with a setting that was too powerful when the breeze then built up to 10-11 knots the first race,” said Columbi. “We were then bounced around on the right side of the field and pushed back to 15th place!

“In the second race there were more general recalls (like yesterday) – Class C has small boats, but it is definitely more aggressive! Finally we got off a start with a black flag and breeze that got up to 12 then dropped to 10 (on average): on the first beat we used the medium jib, but on the second we used the light. We started on the left side and it actually paid to be left, so we finished third. So, we are third overall to those amazing Spanish X-37’s.”

Tomorrow at 1200 local time is the scheduled start of the offshore race, which is divided into two segments: a race northeast up the coast, where times will be taken at the turning mark and scored as the first offshore race. Then the fleet proceeds back to where they started in Barcelona and scored at the finish there, and scored as the long offshore race. Both are given a 1.0 points weighting, and either can be discarded if both are completed. In the event the longer of the two has to be abandoned for any reason, the results of the shorter race will then remain as non-discardable.

Racing continues daily, concluding on July 4, 2015.

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Report by Dobbs Davis. Photo by Max Ranchi.

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