Roma GP42.2 leads Trofeo Cesar Manrique

Puerto Calero (practice race start). Trofeo Cesar Manrique 2008

The Italian GP42 yacht helmed by Italian match-race star Paolo Cian showed the greatest consistency in a day marked by huge wind shifts. Airis consolidated its second place and shrank Desafío’s overall championship point-advantage to 14. With 6 races left in Puerto Calero, the Quebramar GP42 CUP is still open.

The opening day of the 7th Trofeo Cesar Manrique was clearly a tough test for tactician, forcing them to show their best skills in wind spotting. Although wind speed varied from 10 to 15 knots the wide shifts resulted in unpredictably upsets, especially in the last race.

In the first race, it appeared it was Hamish Pepper, the famous kiwi sailor freshly embarked on Near Miss, to be able to read to perfection the wind patterns of Puerto Calero. The opening race of the 7th Trofeo Puerto Calero started right on time, with a nice but shifty breeze of 12 to 13 knots. Roma GP42.2 and Near Miss were both over the line early and had to recross. Nevertheless, this was not enough to stop the Swiss. Reading correctly the left shift that was about to come, Near Miss together with Bodegas Luis Alegre, opted for the left side of the course, a choice that obviously paid handsomely.

Near Miss never felt threatened and maintained their lead throughout the race. The real battle was between Bodegas Luis Alegre and Roma GP42.2, whose boat speed was a clear indicator the latest modifications worked out well. The two boats were neck and neck until the last run when the Spanish boat came to an abrupt end due to rudder problems. This gave the boat helmed by Italian match-race champion Paolo Cian to secure its second place while AIRIS finished third, after snapping a couple of places.

The second race was marked by the recovery of Roma GP42.2, the Italian boat owned by class president Filippo Faruffini and helmed by Paolo Cian. Despite a poor first half, the Italian boat showed great speed, especially upwind.

It appeared since the start it was going to be once again a battle between Near Miss and AIRIS, and so it was as the two boats rounded the marks neck and neck ahead of the fleet. Yet an excellent choice of going left during the second beat proved the key to victory for Roma GP42.2. They dominated the rest of the race, despite the continuous attacks by the other Italian yacht, AIRIS, where the kiwi Cameron Appleton was also had a great 'nose' for spotting the wind in Lanzarote. Third was Desafío that also showed consistency throughout the race. Unfortunately, another boat suffered a breakage; Madrid was unable to completely hoist the mainsail and had to continue racing with a big disadvantage.

The final race of the day was clearly marked by the biggest upsets. After the start, the fleet once again opted for the left side of the race course, an option that seemed to play beautifully, especially for Desafío. They lead from the start and managed to build a healthy advantage of over 200 meters from the rest of the fleet. Nevertheless, it’s not over till it’s over in the GP42 races. A huge shift in the last run turned the race upside down. Caser-Quum got it right on the spot and crossed the finish line in front of the fleet, followed by Canarias Puerto Calero and Near Miss.

GP42 - Trofeo Cesar Manrique