ORC World Championship
After a long day today, organizers at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda will also continue inshore racing tomorrow in Day 5 of the Championship
Both the Race Committee and the 69 competing teams here at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) were kept busy today in Day 4 of the 2022 ORC World Championship. After a frustrating Day 3 with no racing yesterday due to unstable light winds, all are exhausted today after several hours on the water that featured everything: delays again in the morning due to light air, followed by a building northwesterly that yielded two exciting windward/leeward races for all three classes.
This brings the championship now to three races scored, and YCCS race managers have decided to amend the schedule to conduct more inshore races tomorrow with the short offshore race scheduled now for Thursday, the last day of the event.
The two races conducted today were in a variety of conditions: from light to moderate in the first race, then moderate to heavy, thus testing the gear-shifting skill sets and seamanship among the teams. The last race was a gear-buster for some who struggled with broaches and broken sails due to the large waves and brisk winds on the course.
Nonetheless, those at the top of the rankings in all classes were incredibly close in corrected time in the first race of the day. In Class C, Ott Kikkas’s (EST) Italia 11.98 SUGAR 3 defeated race runner up SCUGNIZZA (ITA) by only 2 seconds after 6.8 miles of racing on the two-lap windward/leeward race held on the Juliet course area.
Similarly, the Race 2 battle in Class A was also incredibly close: after over an hour of racing, Roberto Monti’s (ITA) TP52 BLUE finished 1:23 behind Peter Harrison’s (ESP) JOLT 3 but won in corrected time by a mere 5 seconds after racing 8.81 miles on the Romeo course area.
And in Class B it was the same: after almost 1.5 hours of racing over 7.66 miles, Giuseppe Cascino’s (ITA) J122 JOY defeated Mati Sepp’s (EST) modified X-41 TECHNONICOL by a mere 7 seconds in corrected time. This is an outstanding result for Cascino and his team who are racing their first ORC World Championship yet they bested three previous World and European champions in the top four in this race: the 2018 Class AB European Champion in Cyprus TECHNONICOL; Aivar Tuulberg’s (EST) Swan 42 KATARIINA II in third, who in 2018 earned the European Class C title on his Cossutti-designed custom 37-footer; and the reigning Class B World Champion, Catalin Trandafir’s (ROU) Grand Soleil 44P ESSENTIA44 in fourth.
As the wind and waves built to full force in the second race, both race course distance and corrected time margins increased and the stronger more experienced teams were able to rise to the top ranks. In Class A the TP52’s dominated the top three places, with Karl Kwok’s (HKG) TP52 BEAU GESTE able to save their time against runner-up JOLT 3 by 43 seconds after racing for one hour on a 10.67 mile course. BLUE was another two minutes back in corrected time, but was only 18 seconds ahead of Andrea Pietrolucci’s (ITA) Mylius 14E55 MILU’ III who is one of seven Corinthian teams entered in Class A.
With scores of 1-5-6, Fernando Chain’s (ARG) Swan 45 FROM NOW ON maintains a slim 1-point lead over BEAU GESTE in the Class A standings, with Claudio Terrieri’s (ITA) Corinthian team on his Swan 45 BLUE SKY another 3.5 points back in third.
ESSENTIA44 owner Catalin Trandafir was worried at the start of the event about being dominated by the Swan 42’s in Class B, but he and his team showed their World Champion form in Class B in the second 6.87-mile race by finishing ahead of the top Swan 42 – KATARIINA II – by one second under two minutes in corrected time. With an impressive score line of 2-4-1 they have a solid 5-point lead over KATARIINA II, with Renzo Grotesi’s (ITA) Swan 42 BE WILD in third another 7 points back.
The top Corinthian team in the Class B standings is Giacomo Dell’Aria’s (ITA) IMX 45 (SD) TETTA in 9th place.
Even with the brisk conditions in the second race, the fight was tight in Class C: the 2019 World Champions on SUGAR 3 defeated another Italia 11.98 – TO BE skippered by Stefano Rusconi (ITA) – by only 21 seconds after racing an hour on a 6.12-mile course. In fact, in corrected time there was only 1:40 among the top seven teams in this race.
After three races SUGAR 3 enjoys a 4-point lead in the standings, with SCUGNIZZA in second and TO BE another four points back in third place.
For all teams two more races tomorrow will lead to a discard opportunity, but the long Offshore race is not discardable. With the strong westerlies predicted to remain through the Bonifacio Straits between Sardinia and Corsica to the north, tomorrow could resemble today with as many as three inshore races planned.
Scratch sheets of time allowances and race results after three races can be found at https://data.orc.org/public/WEV.dll?action=index&eventid=lelvl.