4:30 PM Thu 13 Oct 2011 GMT
UNO Farr 40 European Championship, organized by the Farr 40 Class Association in collaboration with Marmara Sailing Club, is currently underway in Istanbul, Turkey.
Alberto Rossi's Enfant Terrible (ITA) leads the overall classification after three races held on the first day of racing. Current Farr 40 World Champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, owner of Transfusion (AUS), sits in second place on equal points, with only Rossi's victory in the final race of the day breaking the tie on countback. For Jim Richardson's Barking Mad (USA), three was clearly a magic number today as the three-time Class World Champion took third place in each of today's three races to take third place overall.
Race one of the Championship started in approximately eight knots of wind from 240? and saw Enfant Terrible control the fleet for the first half of the race before an insistent Struntje Light (GER) surged ahead on the second windward leg. The German boat, with owner Wolfgang Schaefer at the helm, chose the right side of the course and took victory by a clear margin ahead of Enfant Terrible and Barking Mad in third.
Transfusion, with Olympic sailor Mike Leigh on tactics, went it alone on the left at the start of race two and rounded the top mark in the lead closely followed by Struntje Light and Enfant Terrible, well ahead of the rest of the fleet. At the downwind gate Enfant Terrible, with current top-ranked match racer Francesco Bruni on tactics, just managed to squeeze inside Struntje Light to round second. Transfusion went on to lengthen her lead on the last downwind run while it was all change for the rest of the fleet on the final leg. Alessandro Barnaba's Fiamma (ITA) moved up to take second place and Barking Mad, who had doggedly climbed up the fleet after rounding the first mark in second-to-last position, claimed a hard-earned third place.
Enfant Terrible took charge in the final race of the day to lead from start to finish with Transfusion hot on their heels. Barking Mad, with Hamish Pepper calling tactics, once again fought back from a start in the second half of the fleet to finish third.
'We had a bit of pressure in the first race but not much and the wave conditions were particularly tricky both upwind, on the starboard tack, and on the downwind run on port in terms of steering so it was quite a challenge today at the helm just to keep the boat moving the whole time.' commented Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, owner of Transfusion.
For Belgiorno-Nettis the forecast for 15 to 20 knot winds over the weekend is a welcome one: 'I always think that we do better in strong winds but then we get light days and we do ok then too. I personally like the challenge of stronger conditions and my crew love really like to 'send it' when it gets above 22 knots and off we go. Hopefully we might see some conditions like that just for the fun of it but whatever is served up here we are going to enjoy it because we are in Istanbul which is a wonderful part of the world.'
Fiamma's tactician Lorenzo Bressani agreed on the tricky conditions: 'It's a difficult course and we had a lot of shifts today that are really hard to predict. We've been here for a few days so we know that the shifts and the current can really affect the results. We have been doing ok but we could be doing with more luck, every time we were in a corner and we needed a little bit of luck things just didn't go our way. So we are happy, but it could be better'
Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Friday 14th October, at 12 midday and will conclude on Sunday 16th. Tomorrow's forecast predicts 12 to 14 knots of north-easterly breeze.
Farr 40 Class Association website
Farr 40 European Fleet website
Farr 40 European Championship website
by Jill Campbell