Acura Key West Race Week started a day late – thanks to the fierce winds of Monday – but that seemed to raise the level of excitement for the 25-strong Farr 40 class.
Fiamma, winner of Race 3(Farr 40) Acura Key West 2008
It certainly provided close racing although the usual suspects were to be found near the front of the fleet and after three races, it came as little surprise that Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino topped the overall points score. The Italian’s consistency with two second places and a third gave him a three point advantage over Peter de Ridder’s Mean Machine, which had the same points as Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad.
Nevertheless, the first race provided a major surprise. Everyone was eager to start, the line was biased towards the pin end, and that resulted in a welter of individual recalls and those who had aimed for the pin being baulked somewhat. World Champion, Vincenzo Onorato in Mascalzone Latino was among the latter, although the Italian was able to shrug off the opposition and head rapidly into clear wind. But out of the middle of the line John Demourkas drove Groovederci to the front to lead Mascalzone Latino by 100 yards.
In the building ten-knot easterly breeze there was a charge from behind the leaders with Mean Machine, Takashi Okura’s SLED and Erik Maris’ Twins spearheading the challenge. The came William Douglass’ Goombay Smash, Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad and Alessandro Barnaba’s Fiamma before last year’s winner, Ernesto Bertarelli with Alinghi.
Demourkas stretched his lead slightly on the next two legs and was 20 seconds clear to start the run for home. It was enough and he scored the first win of the week from Mascalzone Latino and Barking Mad with Mean Machine fourth.
The breeze was up to 18 knots for the second race and from a perfect line the Farr 40s responded with a clean start. Vincenzo Onorato nailed the pin, but a right hand shift lifted Barking Mad and Mean Machine in front by the first mark. Then came Helmut Jahn with Flash Gordon, Massimo Mezzaroma in Nerone and SLED. Bertarelli was ninth with Alinghi.
As the race developed, Mean Machine began to edge away to finish ahead of Mascalzone Latino and Barking Mad. These three then occupied the first three places on points as Groovederci had a bad race.
The breeze had fallen to just ten knots for the start of the third race and this time it was the turn of Barnaba’s Fiamma to lead away from the pin end. He lost the lead towards the end of the first beat when a left hand shift favoured Mean Machine and Nerone, but the three boats were overlapped as they rounded the first mark.
As the race developed, places swapped with rapid frequency and by the finish it was Fiamma that crossed the line to win the race from Nerone and the highly consistent Mascalzone Latino with Barking Mad fourth and Mean Machine fifth.
Farr 40 - Results after day 2:
1. Mascalzone Latino Vincenzo Onorato (ITA) 2,2,3 7 points
2. Mean Machine Peter de Ridder (MON) 4,1,5 10 points
3. Barking Mad James Richardson (USA) 3,3,4 10 points
4. Nerone Massimo Mezzaroma (ITA) 10,4,2 16 points
5. Twins Erik Maris (FRA) 6,5,8 19 points
6. Goombay Smash William Douglass (USA) 5,13,6 24 points