crowned World Champion on a busy, windy day.
Illbrucks Nela keeps second,
Coumantaros' Bambakou takes third
fourth day of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship saw Massimo Mezzaroma and Antonio
Sodo Migliori crowned as the new world champion after another impressive performance.
Three races were run on the last day of the event, and Mezzaromas team,
which includes tactician Vasco Vascotto, had effectively won the regatta with
a race to spare after posting a 2nd and a 1st in the first two races. Second overall
was Michael Illbrucks Nela and third was Jim Richardsons Barking Mad.
Yacht Club Costa Smeraldas Race Committee succeeded in its ambitious task
of catching up on yesterdays lost races, nine of the ten scheduled races
were run. Wind conditions today were again near the top of the range although
sunshine and warm waters meant that spectacular action and enjoyment was again
to the fore.
Race Officer Peter Reggio had brought the fleet out an hour earlier than originally
scheduled to try and get three races in, the early rise not suiting Jim Richardsons
Barking Mad however as the dark blue American boat was recalled from a premature
start in the first race. The 37-boat fleet opted mostly for the left hand side
of the course again although the first two boats at the top mark, Scott Harris
and Alex Geremias Crocodile Rock and Michael Illbrucks Nela found
the right to be the side to be on, rounding the first mark in the top two slots,
with the ever present Nerone following round in third place. The order remained
the same for the next lap until Mezzaromas boat again found overdrive on
the last run to collect a handy second place.
second start saw Richardsons Barking Mad win the start at the committee
boat end and storm off upwind. The points leader Nerone starting further down
the line and Mark Heeleys GBR-25 all came together near the starboard tack
layline for a long stretch to the mark on port. With Heeley to windward and Nerone
to leeward the Richardsons American boat was eventually squeezed back into
the pack, the former two rounding the mark in good order behind Vincenzo Onoratos
Breeze and Michael Illbrucks lately consistent Nela.
port tack layline near the weather mark is always a dangerous place to be. Now
firmly in the pack on the approach to the top mark Barking Mad on port, just got
across the bow of Crocodile Rock before throwing in a hasty tack to windward.
Crocodile Rock promptly came up right in the wind shadow, the crew on the weather
rail could just watch as the mainsheet trimmer on Barking Mad eased the sheet
to accelerate letting the boom run along the side of the leeward boat removing
all the stanchions and lifelines to the mast, the last crewmember in the line
sitting out to windward, co-owner Alex Germia, also collecting the boom in her
face. Crocodile Rock retired, Barking Mad flew an I flag accepting
a 20% penalty, but the incident was to cost Richardson dearly when he ended up
in the protest room later, was disqualified and lost any remaining chances of
winning the championship.
at the front of the fleet Onoratos Breeze led all the way down the run and
opted for the port rounding of the gate and the right hand side of the second
beat. Breeze lost one place on the second beat to Eivind Astrups Norwegian
Steam before the second weather mark and then lost another four when the spinnaker
sheet became disconnected from the sail in the set. Mezzaromas Nerone, along
with Wolgang Schaefers Struntje Light, pounced at this point and moved through
to eventually finish first and second at the finish line, with Illbrucks
Nela finishing in third.
now the battle was for second place overall with Nerone having only to finish
out of third last place to collect overall honours. Illbrucks Nela, with
John Kostecki calling the shots, had started the regatta slowly but had had nothing
but a string of single digit results from the second day. Ultimately it was John
Coumantaris Bambakou that collected third overall, followed by Ernesto Bertarellis
Alinghi in fourth.
next Rolex Farr 40 Worlds will be in San Francisco in September 2004.
are no words to describe how happy we feel as a crew right now. We have travelled
all over the world for the last three years sailing Farr 40 regattas, but it was
here at home with an all Italian crew that we became world champions with the
biggest ever fleet. This is a 100% crew victory. For the last three years we have
spent 10-12 weeks together as a crew, racing, training, travelling. It has all
been worth it.
Massimo Mezzaroma, owner of Nerone, winner of the
2003 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship.
who knows this class knows how hard it is to stay in touch. We had three bad starts
at the beginning of the championship but then we settled in and things just ticked.
Our objective was to finish in the top ten here. We are new in this class we have
sailed only five events and to finish in second place is unbelievable. The intensity
in this class is full time, and full on. There is no room for excuses. Mistakes
Michael Illbruck, owner of Nela, second overall in
the 2003 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds.
was great to win the last race. We won the last race at the Worlds in 2001 too.
Its been a bit of a local Derby between ourselves and Alinghi, our tactician Grant
Simmer is the head of the design team for Alinghi and we beat Ernesto and the
boys by one place, so were pretty pleased about that. Weve only used
the Heavy and No 4 headsails all week. It has been a strong sailors regatta.
Nerone has been working hard for three years. I first noticed them in Newport
in 2001, they were already a well organised team. The key is commitment and consistency,
they have showed both, they never had a bad race. We started in 27th place at
the beginning of the week and we finish today with a win, weve progressed
John Calvert-Jones, owner of Southern Star, winner of
the last race of the 2003 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, fifth overall.