The current overall leader "Evolution" (USA)
The crown of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship is likely to go to Australia or Italy in 2005. Before the final day of the Sydney regatta, Richard Perini's local yacht "Evolution" leads with a wafer-thin lead of one point over the "TWT" (Marco Radolfi), which shone with two daily victories in three races the day before.
The pursuers, now led by Neville Crichton's "Shockwave" (also Australia), are already twelve or more points behind. There was a setback for the German "Morning Glory" by Hasso Plattner (Walldorf), which fell back to seventh place overall due to positions nine, ten and 17 and only has theoretical chances for the title.
"That was a black day for us", said Stefan Matschuk from the "Morning Glory" crew after a long day of competition with weak, strongly turning winds, which caused a rollercoaster of emotions for many participants. So "Ichi Ban" (Australia), who started with two daily victories in a clean slate, slipped from second place the day before behind the "Morning Glory" to eighth place. And defending champion "Barking Mad" (USA) definitely has nothing to do with the top ranks.
The stormy south wind on Wednesday had dropped to a tired eight knots, while a dizzying, high swell was still rolling over the regatta course. "TWT" owner Marco Rodolfi drove an unbelievable lead of one minute and 40 seconds at the first mark in the first race, which he expanded to two minutes and 33 seconds at the finish, which is rare in the highly competitive Farr 40 one-way class.
The field on the downwind passage
Tactician Tiziano Nav explained the strategy for success: "We sailed the course before the start and found more wind on the right-hand side. I also expected a right-hand turn. That's why we started on the far right of the starting ship. Everyone else started on the other side. We felt ourselves at first uncomfortable with it and thought it might have been too risky after all, but when we turned around we said: 'Believe it, believe it, go on, go on!' 'Gradually the tide turned for the better for us."
The "Morning Glory" team was initially quite satisfied with ninth place, because the leading "Evolution" had only finished 15th and lost six points. In the second race of the day, when the wind had decreased even further and turns of up to 80 degrees threw the field upside down, the German team struggled more with fate. "We were in good shape in the meantime, we were third and fourth," said Matschuk. In the end, however, it was only enough for tenth place.
When the wind died down completely, race director Peter Reggio was under pressure because two races had already been canceled the day before. But later the new breeze from the northeast picked up and the 28 participants were sent back on the train. "We wanted to attack again, but that went completely wrong," said the Heiligenhafener. The "Morning Glory" got caught between two competitors after the start and had to turn away to sail freely. But in doing so she lost the connection to the front field and crossed the finish line in 17th place. The "Mascalzone Latino" of Vincenzo Onorato (Italy), who was last at the first ton, was hit just as hard by finishing 18th out of four fell back to ten.
With six out of ten planned races, enough have already been completed to qualify for the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. But Reggio expects a happy ending for the final day: "The forecasts see everything between northeast and northwest, but definitely enough wind. We'll try to make three races, nothing more, because after 4.15pm there will be no more starts."
Although the 13/12 point lead of the leaders "Evolution" and "TWT" seems comfortable, it can be lost in a single race. The "Morning Glory", which is only seven points short of "Bronze", is waiting for this chance. While the Italians hope for another light wind day, the locals prefer a strong breeze, which has so far been more convincing. "Evolution" tactician Hamish Pepper wants to avoid one thing, however: "That we get caught up in a duel in which another third is laughing at the end."
Place, yacht name, country, skipper, point
1.) Evolution, AUS, Richard Perini, 2-7-1-15-6-3, 34 2.) TWT, ITA, Marco Rodolfi, 14-2-9-1-1-8, 353.) Team Shockwave, AUS, Neville Crichton, 4-17-2-3-15-6, 474.) Emotional Hooligan, AUS, Marcus Blackmore, 17-4-6-6-13-2, 485.) Nerone, ITA, Massimo Mezzaroma / Antonio Sodo Migliori, 11-8-11-4-7-9, 506.) Warpath, USA, Steve and Fred Howe, 10-3-21-10-3-7, 547.) Morning Glory, GER, Hasso Plattner, 9-6-3-9-10-17, 548.) Ichi Ban, AUS, Matt Allen, 1-1-14-20-5-14, 559.) Southern Star, AUS, John Calvert-Jones, 13-10-5-13-14-1, 5610.) Mascalzone Latino, ITA, Vincenzo Onorato, 6-11-4-8-9-18, 56