In the Farr 40 East Coast Championship, Italian Alberto Rossi and his crew on Enfant Terrible turned in an outstanding 1-2 performance to take the lead on day two. If his lead holds for the remaining two days of the event, it would help solidify his current position at the top of the standings in the four-event Farr 40 US Circuit leading into this year's Rolex Farr 40 World Championship held in Chicago in September.
Rossi is no stranger to success: besides his prowess in Farr 40 Class racing, he and his team are also the reigning ORCi Offshore World Champions in their Farr 40, having won the Class A title last year in Cres, Croatia in conditions that often replicated what the Chesapeake offered today.
'It was very very tricky sailing out there today, this Chesapeake is a tough place,' said Wolfgang Schaefer. He and his Struntje Light team from Germany should know: in the first race of the day in the shifty 6-9 knot southerly they had a commanding lead over the pack, but instead of covering chose to break with the pack off to the right on a shift just 200 meters from the top mark. The result was disastrous: the pack got their own left shift, and the lead was taken by Kevin McNeil's local-based team on Nightshift.
But McNeil too chose to break away from the pack on the final run to the finish by gybing away, and in turn lost their lead to Rossi's team who clawed to the finish just ahead of Jim Richardson's Barking Mad, who scored their best race yet in the series.
The second race was held in similar conditions, and once again the light shifty breeze meant no lead was safe. This time, however, John Demourkas's Groovederci, led by tactician Cameron Appleton, connected the dots beautifully to take their second bullet in the event. Only a non-discardable 10th in the first race stands between Groovederci and the three-point lead held by the Italians, with yesterday's leader Ramrod luring close behind in third place on a tie-break.
Enfant Terrible crew - Farr 40 East Coast Championship 2012
'The points are all so close, it's still anyone's regatta,' says Class Manager Geoff Stagg. 'This is why we don't allow discards, so that every race counts. It keeps the pressure on everyone to keep up their game and not take unnecessary risks, particularly at mark roundings!'
Tomorrow the pressure will be on race managers from the Storm Trysail Club as they will attempt to continue more racing in day three of the competition, with a forecast promising more light air and warm humid conditions. The first start is scheduled for 1200 EDT.
Farr 40 website