Marina del Rey, CA (July 25, 2015) – Alberto Rossi wasn’t happy about being knocked off his perch atop the Farr 40 class in 2014.
First, Rossi and his Enfant Terrible team surrendered the International Circuit title, finishing as runner-up to skipper Alex Roepers and Plenty by 45 points. Then, the Italian team was dethroned as Rolex Farr 40 World Champions, finishing third in San Francisco behind Plenty and Estate Master.
Rossi and crew put considerable effort into improving the deficiencies that had prevented Enfant Terrible from achieving its goals. A revamped sail inventory along with some tuning tweaks to the rig were among many changes the Italians made in hopes of improvement.
Rossi and Enfant Terrible have rebounded from last year’s disappointment with a vengeance, blitzing the competition in every event on the 2015 International Circuit so far. Rossi led Enfant Terrible to its third straight regatta victory on Saturday, winning the Cal Cup in impressive fashion.
Enfant Terrible won the opening race and never looked back in posting a low score of 22 points, 17 better than runner-up Flash Gordon 6. Vasco Vascotto served as tactician for Rossi, who wound up winning four races and placing second in five others. Enfant Terrible’s lowest results in the 11-race series were a pair of fourths.
“We are really happy because we sailed so well and had a very consistent week,” Rossi said. “The crew has been fantastic as usual. This core group is very, very strong and I am proud to sail with them.”
Rossi and tactician Vasco Vascotto were both aboard as Enfant Terrible started the season by capturing the Midwinter Championship of San Diego by five points over Plenty, sending a strong message to the defending champs.
Roberto Strappati and Tommaso Chieffi filled in as helmsman and tactician as Enfant Terrible won the West Coast Championship off Cabrillo Beach by tiebreaker over Groovederci.
“It’s been more than four months since I drove the boat so I had to get back up to speed and make sure I did my job properly,” Rossi said. “At the end, we are a team and every man is important.”
Rossi gave credit to Vascotto, main trimmer Giovanni Cassinari and headsail trimmer Claudio Celon for working together to improve Enfant Terrible’s sail program.
“We have worked hard to improve our sails and think we are getting very close to the target,” Rossi said.
Andrea Caracci was aboard as navigator while Strappati (mid bow), Nicolas dal Ferro (offside trimmer), Alberto Fantini (bow), Daniele Fiaschi (pit) and Carlo Zermini (pit assist) completed the crew.
“We are going step by step and the next event is really important because it is the last one before the worlds,” Rossi said.
There was a battle royale for last podium position as a mere three points separated the third through sixth place boats going into Saturday. German skipper Wolfgang Schaefer and the Struntje Light team seized the moment, turning in its best day of the regatta by winning Race 11 after placing second in Race 10. Francesco Bruni called tactics for the first time on Struntje Light, which moved from fifth to third on the final day.
“Half of the crew is new so we had to grow together. We had to work on our communication and coordination,” Schaefer said. “We got better every day and finished very strong. Our boat speed wasn’t that good at the beginning, but we were able to solve the problem.
Struntje Light led around every mark and extended toward the end in winning Race 11, buoying the spirits of Schaefer with regard to the future. “I’m very happy with the crew and confident we can fight for a good result at the world championship,” he said.
Skipper Helmut Jahn, standing in stern, led Flash Gordon 6 to a runner-up result at the Cal Cup. The Chicago boat got better every day, moving into second place on Friday then holding that spot by placing third in both races on Saturday afternoon off Marina del Ray.
Insanity has performed extremely well in its inaugural season on the International Circuit, topping the Corinthian fleet at all three regattas so far. Goebel got injured on Friday so Insanity did not sail the final race so he could receive medical attention.
“We’re a little surprised by how well we’re doing because it’s a new boat and a new team, but we have a great group of sailors that works well together,” said headsail trimmer Alan “Buddah” Nakanishi said. “We’ve gotten better with every regatta, but we still have quite a ways to go. Our next goal is to work our way up into the pro part of the fleet.”
San Diego skipper Rick Goebel and the Insanity team took top honors in the Corinthian division for the third straight regatta. Insanity was Corinthian leader at the end of each day.
Nakanishi had high praise for Goebel as a helmsman and for the leadership he has displayed. “Rick is an excellent skipper who focuses 100 percent on driving the boat and trusts everyone on the team to do their job,” he said.
Skipper Ray Godwin and the Temptress team had a tough final day on the water, but managed to hang onto second place in the Corinthian division. David Voss called tactics on Temptress, which finished sixth or better in four races.
“Insanity has been on fire all season so the rest of us have been fighting for second,” Godwin said. “The competition within the Corinthian fleet has been very strong. All the boats are improving. I think the key for us taking second was that our starts were good for the most part. That had been a problem and we seemed to have addressed it in this regatta.”
Mick Shlens and his crew aboard Blade II came on strong down the stretch, closing the regatta with results of 7-4-6 to take third among the seven Corinthian boats, just one point behind Temptress.
Report by Farr 40 class.