ORCi World Championship 2011 concluded in Cres, Croatia, after a long week that featured weather conditions varying from zero to nearly 30 knots.
Amongst the largest fleet ever assembled for an ORCi championship event, two new ISAF offshore World Champions have been crowned.
Alberto Rossi's Farr 40 Enfant Terrible has won the crown over 55 rivals in Class A, and Giuseppe Giuffre's M37 Low Noise has won the top prize over 62 opponents in Class B. In a championship full of many twists and turns due to weather conditions and starting line controversies, these two emerged unscathed with 13 and 12-point margins of victory, respectively.
'This was a really difficult regatta,' said Rossi, who is based in Ancona, Italy, 'and I think our racing in the Farr 40 Class has really helped us. Our boat is stock – no modifications except for 200 kg in ballast – and our crew weight was just 20 kg different than the class limit. Even our sail inventory is the same.' This is Rossi's first championship win in ORC racing.
Rossi's overall success was due in part to the huge points acquired by several of his rivals in yesterday's plague of black flag penalties, rig failures and other accidents and mistakes. Today’s highly shifty Bura conditions, however, prevented race managers from finishing more than one race, even with a two hour early start time on the day, leaving the scorecard two short of the necessary seven races needed for a discard.
Unlike Enfant Terrible, Low Noise is no stranger to the ORC podium, having earned their 2009 ORCi World Championship title in Brindisi. But like the Class A winner, Low Noise is only slightly-modified from the stock production M37 design. Designer Maurizio Cossutti reports that Low Noise has only a modified keel made for owner Giuffre, who hails from Milan.
The Silver medalists in Class A and B were, respectively, Richard Vojta's Grand Soleil 42R05 Bohemia Express, whose mixed Czech, Portuguese and Brazilian team were happy to be back on the podium after narrowly missing out in last year's Worlds in Flensburg, and Gianfranco Ciocce's Vallicelli-designed Comet 38S Scricca Indeco from Italy. Bronze medalists Class A and B were, respectively, Ricardo di Bartolomeo's GS42R05 Man (a sistership to Bohemia Express, but with a different keel), the reigning European Champion from Italy, and Inna Vaclavova's M37 Escandalo from the Czech Republic.
Corinthian Trophy winners were Peter Mosny's Quebramar, a Judel/Vrloijk 42 from Slovakia, who finished fourth overall in Class A, and Escandalo in Class B.
Owner-driver Award winners were Enfant Terrible in Class A, and Scricca Endeco in Class B.
Winners of the most inshore races was the Croatian GS56 Marina Kastela in Class A, and Iacoppo Lacerra's NM 38S Rewind Energy Resources from Italy in Class B.
Winners of the offshore races were Man in Class A and Claudio Semagiotto's Grand Soleil 40R Despeinada from Italy in Class B.
'This was a very difficult championship,' said Man tactician and America's Cup veteran Thomasso Chieffi. 'We feel the races for such a huge fleet could have perhaps been better if there were two separate course areas, and the starting arrangements made in a different way. But we made our mistake and have to live with it, so we look forward to the Italian ORC Championship in Trieste in August.'
'The success of these boats in such a diverse fleet indicates that the ORC rating system is doing well to create close racing,' said ORC Chairman Bruno Finzi. 'And this event had its challenges, but we feel the strong turnout and variety of conditions were suitable to determine our new World Champions. So we congratulate Alberto Rossi and his team and Guiseppe Giuffre and his team for their very fine performances.'