ORCi European Championship - Impressive turnout

ORCi European Championship 2012
ORCi European Championship Prysmian-Celadrin, organized by the Yacht Club Punta Ala, is being held in Italy from 23 to 30 June. After this weekend's two days of registration, measurement checks, and the opening ceremony, inshore racing is due to begin on Monday, 25 June, followed by a mix of inshore and offshore racing throughout the week until the end of competition on Saturday, 30 June.

As of today there are 33 teams entered from 8 countries, a number that organizers expect to grow even further in the few remaining days left to the start of the event. Entries with GPH ratings from between 450 and 599.9 seconds/mile) will be competing in Class A, while entries with GPH ratings between 600 and 660 seconds/mile will be competing in Class B. Overall results will be calculated from a series of inshore windward/leeward races held on 25, 28, 29 and 30 June, as well from a long offshore race held around the Tuscan Archipelago over 26-27 June.

Some teams to watch in this year's championship include:

- Aniene 1a Classe, George Martin's TP52 fresh from an impressive class win in the Giraglia Rolex Cup last week;
- Cippa Lippa 8, Guido Paolo Gamucci's Cookson 50, sistership to last week's 2012 Adriatic ORC champion Calipso IV;
- Team Premier Sonnenkoening, Armin Schmidt's brand-new Farr 400 from Switzerland, with veteran US-based tactician Dee Smith on board;
- Airis, Roberto Monti's Felci-designed GP42, one of a handful of Italian boats also planning to race in the ORCi World Championship in Helsinki in August;
- Farr Marmo, Alberto Franchi's Farr 40, sistership to the reigning ORC Class A World Champion Enfant Terrible;
- Luduan Reloaded, Giovanni Sylos Labini's brand-new Grand Soleil 46;
- Scugnizza, Vincenzo de Blasio's NM38S, a strong contender in Class B;
- two M37's - Guiseppe Giuffre's reigning ORC Class B World Champion Low Noise and Francesco Sodini's Coconut - also battling for Class B supremacy;
- Alvarosky, Francesco Siculiana's GS 40R, a perennial Corinthian class winner;
- Morgan IV°, Nicola de Gemmis's brand-new Grand Soleil 39 Sport;
- Symfony, Frolov Viacheslav's X-35, Class B winner from the Giraglia Rolex Cup

'Given the many other ORC events going on in the region this month, this is a very impressive turnout of top boats and teams,' said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC). 'There are many teams that have won past ORC championships here, so I foresee the eventual winners of this event to have had very difficult battles in this competitive fleet.'

'We are delighted to welcome the competitors of this Championship,' said Massimo de Sanctis, president of the YC Punta Ala. 'This is an event to which we are particularly attached, and we have had the pleasure to organize in seven previous occasions. This year the fleet is very competitive, our organizational commitment is total and I am sure that eventually this will turn out to be a beautiful event.'

ORCi Championship website