ORCi World Championship Middle Offshore Race.
While it was the shortest night of the year on the calendar, the grueling light air conditions of last night would make it seem like the longest night for teams entered in the middle and long-distance offshore race of the 2011 ORCi World Championship being held in Cres, Croatia.
In the pre-dawn hours after over 15 hours of sailing, Action Team's TP52 Aniene 1er Classe from Italy skippered by Gabriele Benussi was first through the scoring gate of 50 miles elapsed on the 100-mile course. Ariene also leads the pack to the finish line positioned in the harbor at Cres, where a building breeze is now sweeping in the remainder of the fleet.
But on corrected time, another Italian entry, Vittorio Margherita's X-50 Victor X, skippered by Dusan Puh, has won this leg among the 56 entries in Class A. Another Italian entry, the Despeinada Sailing Team's Grand Soleil 40R Despeinada, skippered by Claudio Sernagiotto, has won in corrected time in the 63-boat Class B after over 19 hours of sailing.
'It was really tough out there,' said Ken Johnson from the US, owner of the C&C 121 Class B entry Grateful Red. 'The breeze was light and in streaks, so a lot of stop and go sailing. Our steering system had a broken part, so we had to drop out, but we’ll be ready to race again for tomorrow.'
All teams in the middle distance and in the scoring of the long distance race receive 1.5 times the points in each race. With two races now scored, Ariene is winning Class A while with only one race scored Despeinada currently leads Class B.