On the penultimate day of the 2022 ORC World Championship, conditions were 18-20 knots
Classic Costa Smeralda weather greeted the fleet today on Day 5 of the 2022 ORC World Championship, held at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS). The clear skies and brisk breeze of 18-20 knots was perfect for another two competitive windward/leeward races before the wind went through a massive late afternoon wind shift during the third race to cancel more racing for the day.
Normally with five races completed discards would start to apply in the score lines of each class. However, the long Offshore race cannot be discarded, so this will not apply until the first completed race tomorrow, which on the final day of the event will feature more windward/leeward sailing.
Regardless, the current leaders are enjoying solid positions at the top of their classes based on their strong results today and yesterday. Their road to being awarded Gold medals tomorrow evening after racing may seemed paved, while the real fights may remain for the Silver and Bronze medal positions. Yet this will very much depend on the weather, how many races will be held and continued mistake-free performance.
For example, in Class A two more bullets earned today for Karl Kwok’s (HKG) TP52 BEAU GESTE has placed them ahead of yesterday’s leader, Fernando Chain’s (ARG) Swan 45 FROM NOW ON, by a margin of 8 points. BEAU GESTE has lept ahead by minimizing mistakes and avoiding the bad luck that befell other teams in this class: Roberto Monti’s (ITA) TP52 BLUE has had strong inshore race results, but cannot discard their retirement in the long race; Peter Harrison’s (ESP) TP52 JOLT 3 has withdrawn due to a crack discovered in their mast; and Frederic Puzin’s (FRA) Ker 46 DAGUET 3- CORUM finished second in her two races today, but had to retire in the second race yesterday – yet tomorrow the 21 points they earned in that race could be discarded and bring her right back into contention.
After five races Catalin Trandafir’s (ROU) Grand Soleil 44P ESSENTIA44 maintains her lead by five points over Aivar Tuulberg’s (EST) Swan 42 KATARIINA II, which could have been more had the reigning Class B World Champion not made a small error on an upwind leg in the second race of the day.
“We have been learning how to start among the faster Swan 42’s in our class,” explained Trandafir, “and its tricky. Holding a lane off the start is not easy, and we got into a situation with KATARIINA where we thought we could cross on port tack but it was really close. So we did a penalty turn and had to dig back from that for the rest of the race.”
The 5th place they earned in that race, which was won by Andrea Rossi’s (ITA) Swan 42 MELA, could be their discard tomorrow if they keep doing well, even possibly extending a 5-point lead they have now in the standings. However, MELA would be discarding a 11th they earned in Race 2, so it may be all to play for tomorrow in this highly competitive class.
In Class C things look straightforward for the leader, Ott Kikkas’s (EST) Italia 11.98 SUGAR 3. Their mixed ITA-EST team is poised and comfortable with an 8-point margin over their runner up sistership SCUGNIZZA and an impressive scoreline: 2-1-1-1-1.
Designer Matteo Polli is racing with this team and he admitted this morning “Yes, we are doing well, but anything can happen, our competition is not making this easy, and we need to remain focused and prepared.”
The forecast for tomorrow is for the wind to lighten and shift to the south, and the first windward/leeward race scheduled to start on both course areas at 1100.