by event media
GP42 Desafio - 2008 Giraglia Rolex Cup
The Spanish GP42 team from the Canary Islands might have the youngest tactician of the whole fleet, 24-year old Rayco Tabares, but their consistency in today’s three opening races of the Giraglia Rolex Cup paid off and with three second places they are now at the top of the score table, two points ahead of Desafío. Once again, the old adage of consistency holds true. The fleet is so close that each and every errors costs dearly and one claim that errors are not permitted. Second-placed Desafío can easily testify to that.
The Saint-Tropez bay was the perfect host for the first day of the Giraglia Rolex Cup. The first race started right on time and conditions were sure to guarantee exciting and close racing. With the starting line a few hundred meters from the coast, not only was the backdrop stunning but scores of beachgoers were also able to enjoy watching the GP42 fleet.
The starting gun was fired with a nice constant breeze of around 10 knots and even if the 8-strong fleet was evenly spread over the starting line, Near Miss and MADRID were early over the line. The fleet was split with no apparent favoured side. Canarias Puerto Calero and Seawonder 007 chose the right while Desafío and Roma GP42.2 the left. The Canarians together with Seawonder 007 were leading during the first half of the race, closely followed by AIRIS and Desafío. Unfortunately, luck was not on the side of Seawonder 007 when halfway up the second beat, the Italian boat went aground after trying to get better breeze close to the coast.
The second half of the race turned into a match race between Canarias Puerto Calero and Desafío. The all-America’s Cup green team showed once again their strength and overtook the Canarians a few hundred meters from the finish line, with AIRIS closely behind them.
The second race started with slightly lighter conditions after the racing committee had shortened the leg length to 1 mile. All boats had a clear start at the committee boat end of the line. Desafío and MADRID lead the fleet from the start, once again closely followed by Near Miss who had chosen to stay in the middle of the race area. The three leading positions were hardly changed till the last leg when Canarias Puerto Calero once again anticipated the wind shifts to the right part of the course, overtook MADRID and Near Miss.
The race committee had to wait for half an hour before firing the gun as the wind kept shifting. The third and last day of the race would prove to be the trickiest but also the tripping point for Desafío that literally threw away their leadership by committing an unforgivable error at the start. With the committee end being the favored one, the Spanish boat got squeezed and crossed the line well behind the rest.
Given the shifty conditions, tacticians were split over what side to choose. Near Miss, MADRID, Canarias Puerto Calero and Seawonder 007 went to the left while the rest chose the right. The Swiss boat built a big lead and rounded the top mark clearly ahead of the rest. They never felt threatened by any of the trailing boats but the real fight took place for second and third place. Roma GP42.1, the fleet’s oldest boat, was not able to hold on to second place. Once again, Canarias Puerto Calero made an incredible recovery through the fleet, finishing second, in front of MADRID.
Quebramar GP42 Cup - Giraglia Rolex Cup - Provisional standings after 3 races
|1.||Canarias Puerto Calero||2||2||2||6|
|6.||Roma GP 42.2||4||7||7||18|
|8.||Roma GP 42.1||8||8||4||20|