Friday, October 16, 2009

Roma sweeps Puerto Calero GP42 Global Cup

[Source: Puerto Calero GP42 Global Cup] In yet another day of perfect sailing conditions here in Lanzarote, Filippo Faruffini'’s Roma 2 has managed to treble their slim 3-point lead over Islas Canarias Puerto Calero to nine points with just one day left of racing in the 2009 GP42 Global Championship. Roma’s consistency has paid off well, though with three races left in the series they have to keep up the good work to prevail to victory.

The day’s first race featured a little less breeze than yesterday, with the 9-11 knot easterly giving some of the new teams a better chance at hanging with the veterans, and a little more space on the starting line left by the absence of Team Nordic made for a tight first beat. Roma (ITA), driven by Paolo Cian (ITA) did what they do best: lead the pack and try to hold off the inevitable downwind charge made by the Botin & Carkeek-designed sisterships Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) and Javier Goizueta’s Caser-Endesa (ESP) who seem to have the best all-around speed of any in this fleet. A cleverly-executed slow gybe made by the match race master Cian on the layline to the first downwind gate shook off Endesa back into the pack, allowing Goncalo Esteves’ (POR) Quebramar – Xacobeo 2010 (POR) to play through to take second, while the Canarias team got forced back and suffered their worst finish yet.

With the breeze building to 13-14 knots, Caser-Endesa and Islas Canarias Puerto Calero then came into their own, helped by the local team winning the pin end start and the race to the favored left side, while Endesa took advantage of the right. PRO Peter “Luigi” Reggio intentionally set a slight bias this way into the starting line to help compensate for the mad rush made to the left side of the course, so those who could start and hold that lane could often prevail all the way to the corner. The fight for that side was won by Endesa, but lost by Roberto Monti’s (ITA) Airis (ITA), who got locked out at the boat end and had to gybe back around to start.

With Islas Canarias Puerto Calero winning the pin and Roma forced to tack away before getting to the left corner, the race for the lead then became between the two sisterships, with Canarias team able to prevail and take her third win of the series, to the horn-blaring delight of the spectator fleet.

The third race had yet more breeze, getting to 16 knots, and Cian did what he had to do, and more: finding himself in the second row line-up for the pin end behind Islas Canarias Pueto Calero, Caser-Endesa, and Team Nordic (SWE), Cian deftly stepped to the middle with two quick tacks perfectly positioned and timed to roll over this group. Endesa got too far to leeward and hit the mark, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero was slow and got rolled, the hapless Team Nordic, despite terrific positioning by helmsman Rasmus Hosner, simply did not have the pace to hold off Roma, who took the early lead and extended, relatively unmollested.

To make matters worse for the B&C sisterships, a gap opened up for Airis to roll into position to have their best position yet amongst the leaders. Even Quebramar Xacobeo 2010 – despite older sails and helmsman Felipe Regojo (ESP) being in only his second GP42 class event – was right amongst the front of the pack as well, except for one small detail at the weather mark: a black boat called Turismo Madrid (ESP). The bright lizard-green Quebramar Xacobeo 2010 was trying to follow Airis on port tack to get around the bow of Madrid on starboard, but it was not to be: the loud shouting, gasps from the spectators, and shrill whistle from the jury were all that prevented a massive carbon fibre collision.

As Quebramar Xacobeo 2010 did their circles of shame above the offset leg, this opened yet another gap for Team Nordic and Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) – who are usually trailing in all the races – to play through and be amongst the top of the pack mixing it up with teams they usually only see at the starts.

So, its been a rough and tumble day here in Lanzarote, and while some lick their wounds and drown sorrows courtesy of the fabulous hospitality of the Puerto Calero venue, others will be doing the math and strategizing on how to do what they need to do in the final day’s three races, which starts tomorrow at 1200 local time.

Puerto Calero GP42 Global Cup - Day 3

1. Roma (ITA, Paolo Cian), 4+2+3+1+2+2+1+3+1= 19 points 

2. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP, José María Ponce), 5+5+1+3+1+3+6+1+3= 28 points
3. Caser-Endesa (ESP, uan Luis Páez), 7+4+2+2+3+1+3+2+5= 29 points
4. Turismo Madrid (ESP, José María van der Ploeg), 2+1+4+5+5+4+5+4+4= 34 points
5. Quebramar Xacobeo 2010 (POR, Felipe Regojo), 1+7+5+4+4+5+2+5+6= 39 points
6. Airis (ITA, Roberto Monti), 3+3+6+6+6+6+4+6+2= 42 points 

7. Península Petroleum (GBR, John Bassadone), 9(OCS)+6+7+7+7+7+7+7+7= 64 points
8. Nordic Team (SWE, Magnus Olsson), 6+8+8+8+8+8+9(DNS)+8+8= 71 points

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