Enfant Terrible captures Farr 40 Midwinter Championship off Cabrillo Beach

march31 farr401 sSkipper Alberto Rossi leads Italian entry to convincing victory in first event of 2014 circuit

The 2014 sailing season got off to an inauspicious start for skipper Alberto Rossi and the Enfant Terrible team. The Italian entry hit the mark on the first upwind rounding and endured some additional difficulties during the opening race of the Farr 40 Midwinter Championship and had to scramble just to finish 10th in the 16-boat fleet.

There would be no more such problems for Enfant Terrible for the remainder of the regatta. Rossi did a superb job of steering, Vasco Vascotto was brilliant on tactics and the crew performed flawlessly as the Italians put up a steady stream of podium placements to capture the Midwinter crown in convincing fashion.

"It was a fantastic week. We had some troubles in the first race, but we sailed very, very well the rest of the way. We had 11 perfect starts and the boat was quite fast. It was a wonderful performance by the crew as our maneuvers were all good," said Rossi, who lives in the coastal city of Ancona. "Vasco did an amazing job again. He always put us in good position."

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Enfant Terrible tightens grip on lead at Farr 40 Midwinter Championship

mar28 358 sStruntje Light wins two races on Friday to set up a battle royale for places on final day

There has been one constant during the Farr 40 Midwinter Championship: Skipper Alberto Rossi and the Enfant Terrible team have sailed brilliantly and have steadily put a stranglehold on the top spot in the standings.

Beyond that, the four-day regatta has been tremendously competitive with numerous boats showing well at times and the results difficult to predict from race to race.

Enfant Terrible, the reigning world champion, continued to show tremendous consistency and extended its lead with a superb scoring line of 1-2-2 on Friday. Rossi and tactician Vasco Vascotto have been in perfect harmony while the crew work has been outstanding as the Italian entry posted five bullets, a pair of seconds and a third since finishing 10th in Race 1.

Enfant Terrible has a low score of 22 points and holds a commanding 13 point lead over second place Plenty going into the final day of action. With two races planned for Saturday in the 16-boat fleet, the lead is not insurmountable but certainly rather imposing considering how well the Italians have been sailing.

"Enfant is executing very well. They are getting good starts and have very good boat speed both upwind and downwind. Alberto and his guys are just doing an excellent job and setting the tone," Plenty skipper Alex Roepers said. "Enfant has to show up tomorrow, but it will be very hard to beat them at this point."

Struntje Light, the German entry skippered by Wolfgang Schaefer, had a strong outing on Friday, winning Races 8 and 9 to move into fourth place in the overall standings.

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Enfant Terrible takes overall lead at Farr 40 Midwinter Championship

march28 2014 1 sSkipper Alberto Rossi and team win two of three races off Cabrillo Beach on Thursday

Enfant Terrible and Nightshift tied on points for the 2013 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. Based on early results from the opening regatta of the 2014 International Circuit, those two programs are still at the top of their games.

Skipper Alberto Rossi and his team aboard Enfant Terrible are setting the pace after two days of competition at the Farr 40 Midwinter Championship, being held off Cabrillo Beach. Veteran professional Vasco Vascotta is calling tactics for Rossi, who steered the Italian entry to a pair of first place finishes in three races on Thursday to seize the lead away from Nightshift.

"It was a great day of racing and we really enjoyed ourselves," said Rossi, who reeled off four straight bullets to jump from fourth to first with a low score of 17 points. "We started really well again today, hit the pin end perfectly in the two races that we won. We are fast, the team is very smooth on the maneuvers and Vasco is on fire."

JoAnn, skippered by Steve Murphy of Seal Beach, Cal., has enjoyed some nice moments during the first two days of the Farr 40 Midwinters - placing fifth in Race 5 on Thursday.

Nightshift, owned by Kevin McNeil of Annapolis, MD., dropped to second in the overall standings - two points behind Enfant Terrible and one point ahead of New York skipper Alex Roepers and the boys aboard Plenty.

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