Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Double Dutch

Photo credit:YCI / Stefano Gattini

Clear skies and fickle winds were the order of the day at the Rolex Swan 45 World Championships, underway in Cala Galera (Argentario), organised by the Yacht Club Italiano and the Circolo Nautico e della Vela dell'Argentario in partnership with Rolex.

Onboard the Yacht Club Italiano's Beppe Croce, the Race Committee had to wait for the wind to stabilize before starting the race at close to 1500 this afternoon. With five knots of breeze, the 17 teams headed out what would be a 9.8 mile course to the island of Giannutri.

Nico Poons' Charisma had another excellent start and was the first to round the set mark before heading upwind in the direction of Giannutri. The fleet was close together but as the island approached, RW Bol's No Limits moved into pole position and took command of the race. A tacking duel followed up the right side of the island, seeing Tony Buckingham's WISC overtake Charisma, meanwhile Blue Nights (Tea Ekengren-Sauren) moved into second place.

With the finish positioned at Punta del Capel Rosso, it was No Limits in first, followed by Blue Nights second and Wisc third. Charisma finished up fifth overall while amongst the Italians Carlo Perrone's Atlantica Racing maintains third place overall. The coastal race has a coefficient of 1.5 points and cannot be discarded so there was a slight shuffle to the leader board.

Onboard No Limits is Olympian and two-time America's Cup winner trimmer Peter Van Niekerk. Commenting on the intensity of the competition today Van Niekerk said; “It was exciting racing. The breeze was light and it was a long beat to the island. There were big shifts with considerable differences in pressure. We had a good tacking duel on the right side of the Island. RW (owner/helmsman) did a great job keeping the boat on speed.”

Provisional results (protest pending) after seven races:
1. Charisma Nico Poons (NED)
2. No Limits RW Bol (NED)
3. Atlantica Racing Carlo Perrone (ITA)
4. Wisc Tony Buckingham (GBR)
5. Earlybird Christian Nagel & Hendrik Brandis (GER)

The Rolex Swan 45 World Championships continue tomorrow with the fourth day of racing and the highlight of the week the Rolex Dinner Party exclusively for owners and crew at the Golf Resort in Porto Ercole.