Slow but close racing offshore at the start of the 2022 ORC World Championship
Slow running offshore at the start of the 2022 ORC World Championship
Porto Cervo, Sardinia - Today’s start of the 2022 ORC World Championship organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the Offshore Racing Congress has been in a long Offshore race held along the northern Sardinia coast, with a light southeasterly breeze dominating the first several hours of this race. Progress has been in starts and stops as the fleet navigates its way around the scenic archipelago, with Class A traversing a 169-mile course, Class B a 151-mile course, and Class C a 137-mile course around and through the islands.
The light wind is forecasted to shift from a thermal influence to the gradient easterly direction and increase late tonight, accelerating the fleet’s progress so that one of the fastest rated boats in Class A – Marco Serafini’s (ITA) TP 52 XIO - is predicted to finish around about 13:30 tomorrow, the fastest rated in Class B – Artur Skrzysszowski’s (POL) HH 42 Scamp 3 – expected about one hour later, and the fastest rated boat in Class C – Petri Hillberg’s (FIN) Farr 30 Eclipse - is expected at the finish line about 1800.
This of course could change based on the timing and strength of the new breeze, and the forecast has been given only a 65% certainty. So, the teams will be fighting hard not only for the remaining daylight hours tonight but also into tomorrow as well.
“This race will be a sprint, with full concentration required,” said Tommaso Chieffi (ITA), tactician on XIO. “It will be tough mentally, especially with this strong fleet.” The XIO team had difficulty in the beginning of the race, having been called over early at the start, allowing Karl Kwok’s (HKG) Beau Geste led by helmsman Ken Read (USA) and tactician Gavin Brady (NZL) to round the first mark in the lead.
As the race continued in breezes varying from 6-12 knots in strength, other TP 52’s took their turns in the lead, such as Roberto Monti’s (ITA) BLUE and Peter Harrison’s (IVB) JOLT 3.
After a General Recall and Black Flag second start, Class B finally got going on the race track, and elapsed time leaders emerged in Class B that are also dominated by one boat type – Club Swan 42’s. These include Andrea Rossi’s (ITA) Mela, Nicola de Gemmis’s (ITA) Morgan V, Carlandrea Simonelli’s (ITA) Fantaghiro', Renzo Grottesi’s (ITA) Be Wild and Tomas Dolezal’s (CZE) Daring Sisters.
And in Class C the dominant boat type in the front ranks has been Italia 11.98’s: Ott Kikkas’s (EST) Sugar 3, Guido Enrico Tabellini’s (ITA) Batang, Gianluca’s Dubbini’s (ITA) Sarchiapone Fuoriserie, and Enzo De Blasio’s (ITA) Scugnizza.
Others in these classes have and no doubt will also take their position in the top ranks as the wind shifts and the sun sets, and of course those in the lead may be defeated in corrected time by those trailing the leaders in the final scoring. ORC All Purpose single number ratings will be used to determine the results, which cannot be discarded from the score lines for each entry.