Porto Rotondo, Italy: Day One of the Farr 40 European Championship 2010 saw the ten competing yachts complete two windward-leeward races in light and tricky conditions. Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad (USA) with Hamish Pepper on tactics leads the provisional overall classification with a further three race days ahead and as many as eight more races to be run. Behind Richardson is Plenty (USA) - owned by Alex Roepers and with Chris Larson calling tactics - on equal points with Massimo Mezzaroma’s Nerone (ITA) in third. Racing continues through Sunday 3rd October in the event organized by the Yacht Club Porto Rotondo in conjunction with the Farr 40 Class Association and the Farr 40 European Fleet.
After a long wait off Porto Rotondo during which the fleet got in some practice starts, Race One of the series finally got off to a start at 3 p.m. in 7 knots of east south-easterly breeze. Plenty dominated from the off and was followed round the windward mark and the leeward gate by Nerone, current Farr 40 World Champion with Vasco Vascotto calling tactics. On the second upwind leg both Plenty and Barking Mad chose the left and at the mark Barking Mad had climbed up the fleet to second place ahead of Nerone, all three held their positions to the finish. By the start of Race Two the area’s prevailing Mistral wind was blowing off the coast at approximately 12 knots.
Once again Plenty was hot off the mark but the top end of the fleet remained compact as they rounded the windward mark with Roepers leading Struntje Light (GER), owned by Wolfgang Schaefer, Barking Mad and Andrea Canavesio’s Mangusta Risk (ITA). Nerone and Fiamma (ITA) were over the line early at the start and the resulting penalty left them well back in the fleet. The wind had swung right for the second upwind leg and it was all change at the mark as Barking Mad rounded tight pushing Mangusta Risk into second with Alberto Rossi’s Enfant Terrible in third while Plenty had slipped back to sixth. Mangusta Risk took the lead on the final downwind leg but it was a fight to the finish with Barking Mad who just managed to slip across the line inches ahead of the Italian boat. Enfant Terrible, with Pietro D’Alì on tactics took third while Nerone made a commendable recovery to finish fourth after fighting their way back from ninth place on the first upwind leg.
Jim Richardson, owner of Barking Mad, was understandably pleased with the first day’s results: “It was very shifty, sometimes there was good breeze and sometimes there wasn’t, but we did a pretty good job of sailing the shifts and being in the right place on the course and it worked out pretty well.”
On his win in the second race Richardson commented: “We rounded the leeward gate fourth with Plenty leading Struntje and Mangusta. Struntje and Mangusta then went to the left hand side of the course and we went right, Mangusta came back with us and Plenty tacked off and went right and the left filled in with pressure and we got around all of them. Then we had a run to the finish neck and neck with Mangusta the whole way and we just nipped them at the finish line.”
Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Friday 1st October, at 11 am. North-westerly winds of 12 to 14 knots are predicted.
For further information please visit www.farr40.org , www.farr40.net or www.ycpr.it or follow the Farr 40 class on Facebook and Twitter. Live information from the race course is available on Twitter.