ORCi World Championship reigning European champion wins long race

ORCi World Championship 2011
Hrvoje Duvancic
For Class A competing at the ORCi World Championship the building breeze at the very end of the course was a welcome blessing after a long and fitful night of stop and go sailing in the middle and long distance races.

But this late breeze did sweep in the smaller boats in the class to correct over their larger rivals who finished hours before, propelling Riccardo di Bartolomeo's B&C-designed GS42R Man, the reigning European champion, into winning the long race, followed by Luca Pierdomenico's Farr 40 MP30+10 six minutes behind on corrected time, and FYC Slovakia's Judel/Vrolijk 42 Quebramar only another two minutes behind in third.

The new leader in Class A is Cesare Salotti and Pieralberto Setti's Farr 40 Shear Terror, whose scores of 5-5-4 for one inshore and two offshore races – with the offshore races scoring 1.5 times – yields a points total of 18.5. Man's total is 22.125, and third place is currently held by Roberto Monti's Felci-designed GP42 Airis on 33 points.

Much of Class B raced hard throughout the night and most of the day to complete the 100-mile course, but still could not have their fastest boat get to the finish line within the 36-hour time limit. This means only the first 53.4 miles of the middle distance race could be completed, giving this class only one race on the scoreboard after Monday's general recalls and abandonments left the day without a scored race.

This gives three Italian Grand Soleil 40R's the top three places on the leaderboard: Despeinada Sailing Team's Despeinada, skippered by Claudio Sernagiotto, is in the lead on 1.125 points, followed by Francesco Montanari's Vahine' 5 on 3 points, and Francesco Siculiana's reigning ORC European champion Alvarosky in third. At this scoring gate Vahine' 5 was only nine minutes behind Despeinada after 19 hours of racing, but then Alvarosky was over two hours behind Vahine' 5.

ORCi World Championship 2011
Hrvoje Duvancic

'Unfortunately, because of the course geography, we had no ability to shorten course for Class B,' said event director Zoran Grubisa. 'The boats were never going to come together at one point, except at just a few miles from the finish at the bay in Cres, so we had to just hope the wind filled in enough to get them there. Unfortunately the wind remained very irregular on most of the course today, so it just didn't happen.'

'This is what it was like all night,' said Vasco Vascotto, tactician on Piero Paniccia's Cookson 50 Calipso VI. 'There was a streak of wind for you to advance beyond the others, then you would stop. Then the next streak of wind would miss you and bring the others up. It was very difficult sailing, and I think the scoring gate was not necessarily the best test of skill because of this random aspect of the wind. But this is offshore sailing.'

First through the scoring gate, skipper Gabriele Benussi on the TP52 Ariene 1er Classe felt the same, but said on the final leg to the finish they had a spirited gibing duel with Calipso to break the monotony and protect their first-to-finish lead, which they held by only 96 seconds.

Inshore racing will resume tomorrow, with better breeze predicted than for the past three days, and even better Bura conditions predicted for the final two days of racing on Friday and Saturday.

ORCi World Championship 2011
Hrvoje Duvancic

ORCi World Championship 2011
Hrvoje Duvancic


The ORCi World Championship continues in Cres, Croatia until June 25th.

ORCi World Championship website