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Sardinia Cup and ISAF Offshore Team World Champs

by Key Partners (KPMS) on 6 Jun 2006
Sardinia Rolex Cup Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
All is set in the idyllic setting of Porto Cervo, Sardinia, for the start of the 2006 Sardinia Rolex Cup, which this year has attracted seven teams: Alpe Adria, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Sardinia, Spain and USA.

The Sardinia Rolex Cup has always been a team event where sailing nations send their finest racing yachts and crews to battle not for individual honours, but for the international prestige that comes with representing the best team on the water.

The Sardinia Cup has been held every two years since 1978, and in 2004 its status as a grand prix event was further enhanced when it was granted the accolade of ISAF Offshore Team World Championship.

The Sardinia Rolex Cup, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, will run from 5 to 10 June. Racing starts Tuesday and the programme includes windward/leeward races and a distance race, set in one of the most spectacular point-to-point racing arenas in the world. If the legendary Mistral wind blows, the funnelling effect of the narrow channels of the archipelago of La Maddalena will demand the very best in boat handling techniques from the crews.

According to Captain Filippo Petrucci, official meteorologist of the Sardinia Rolex Cup, 'the weather will gradually improve starting from tomorrow, as an area of high pressure will settle over Sardinia, driving away the cold front that since last week has brought heavy rain over Porto Cervo. Tomorrow's racing should feature a light northwesterly breeze of 10-12 knots, while from Wednesday the wind will shift to the northeast and increase to 12-13 knots'.

Since its first edition, the Sardinia Rolex Cup has grown and evolved with the sport of offshore keelboat racing. The three yacht designs selected for this year's Sardinia Rolex Cup represent a good cross-sec┬Čtion of state-of-the-art, modern yacht racing design. Each nation team is made up of three boats, two of which are highly successful one-designs, the Farr 40 and the Swan 45, while the third is a box-rule class, the TP52. Teams collect points by combining the scores of their three boats, with the winning team finishing with the lowest points score.

The strong international fleet will provide plenty of close action. Defending champion Spain heads the line up, with HM King Juan Carlos onboard its TP52 entry Bribon Movistar. Pedro Campos, who will helm Bribon and was at the helm of the IMS 50-footer Bribon Telefonica MoviStar in the 2004 Sardinia Rolex Cup, has competed so many times in this event that he cannot remember the exact number:

'I've been racing in the Sardinia Rolex Cup for at least eight or ten years. We won it twice and we are definitely looking forward to some exciting racing, we will try our best. The level of competition is extremely high and it's going to be very difficult to defend our title, especially as we now race with the new TP52 class. However, we feel quite confident with our team - the Farr 40 and the Swan 45 are the same that we raced together with in the last Sardinia Cup. We have similar crews, same boats and same owners, only Bribon is completely different.'

For the Movistar crewmembers that recently had to abandon ship during the Volvo Ocean Race, the Sardinia Rolex Cup will be an interesting change of scene. 'There will be four of the Movistar VOR crew racing on our team here in Porto Cervo, including myself, and we will all have to get a feel for our new surroundings,' continued Campos, adding: 'there is no sure favourite at this stage, all the teams are very competitive. We will have to wait and see. The only sure thing is that the Sardinia Rolex Cup is a truly great event.' The Farr 40 Nerone and the Swan 45 Vertigo complete the Spanish team.

Although Spain won the last event in 2004, it has been Italy who has traditionally been the strongest nation in the history of the event. It has won six of the 14 editions of the Sardinia Cup. Germany has lifted the Cup three times, whilst the USA and Spain count two wins and Great Britain one.

Amongst the famous names lining up this year are the 2006 Acura Key West Farr 40 winner Mascalzone Latino of Vincenzo Onorato (ITA) and Stefano Polti's (ITA) Swan 45 Mintaka, current leader of the Swan 45 Mediterranean circuit. Amongst the TP52s set to compete are Michael Illbruck's (GER) Pinta and John Buchan's (USA) Wokita.Com.

The week will end with Saturday's Prizegiving Ceremony, where the Sardinia Cup Challenge Trophy and the ISAF Rolex Offshore Team World Championship Trophy will be awarded to the winning team, together with the much-coveted Rolex timepieces.

Sardinia Rolex Cup 2006 Entry list
Yacht Name - Owner - Helmsman - Yacht Type - Team

A-TEAM - A.P. Action Team - Gianluca Montella - TP 52 - ALPE ADRIA
T.TOO - Francesco Martino - Francesco Martino - Swan 45 - ALPE ADRIA
LAMARACHELLA - Sandro Pantaleo - Sandro Pantaleo - Farr 40 - ALPE ADRIA

PINTA - Michael Illbruck - Michael Illbruck - TP 52 - GERMANY
OPUS ONE - Wolfgang Stolz - Wolfgang Stolz - Swan 45 - GERMANY
STRUNTJE LIGHT - Wolfgang Schaefer - Wolfgang Schaefer - Farr 40 - GERMANY

ORLANDA - Alessandro Pirera - Alessandro Pirera - TP 52 - ITALY
SWANTASTIC - Lorenzo Bortolotti - Lorenzo Bortolotti - Swan 45 - ITALY
FIAMMA GBR 25R Alessandro Barnaba Alessandro Barnaba Farr 40 ITALY

ANONIMO - Riccardo Simoneschi - Riccardo Simoneschi - TP 52 - MONACO
JEROBOAM - Vittorio Codecasa - Vittorio Codecasa - Swan 45 - MONACO
JOE FLY - Giovanni Maspero - Giovanni Maspero - Farr 40 - MONACO

SANTA ANA - Stuart Robinson - Stuart Robinson - TP 52 - SARDEGNA
MINTAKA - Stefano Polti - Stefano Polti - Swan 45 - SARDEGNA
MASCALZONE LATINO - Vincenzo Onorato - Vincenzo Onorato - Farr 40 - SARDEGNA

BRIBON MOVISTAR - Jose Cusi - Pedro Campos - TP 52 - SPAIN
VERTIGO - Marco Salvi - Marco Salvi - Swan 45 - SPAIN
NERONE - Massimo Mezzaroma - Massimo Mezzaroma - Farr 40 - SPAIN

WOKITA.COM - John Buchan - John Buchan - TP 52 - USA
ATLANTICA RACING - Carlo Perrone - Carlo Perrone - Swan 45 - USA
VITA SANGEMINI - Giovanni Arrivabene - Giovanni Arrivabene - Farr 40 - USA

Sardinia Rolex Cup Hall of Fame
1978 ITALY Vanina, Yena, Dida V
1980 USA Acadia, Merry Thought, Tatoosh
1982 ITALY Brava, Almagores, Mandrake
1984 GERMANY Pinta, Rubin, Container
1986 U.K. Full Pelt, Pocket Batll Ship, Marionette IX
1988 GERMANY Rubin XI, Container 88, Saudade
1990 ITALY Mandrake, Larouge, Brava
1992 ITALY Mandrake, Brava Q8, Botta Dritta VI
1994 GERMANY Omen, Aerosail Astro, Aerosail 3
1996 ITALY Capricorno, Brava Q8, Breeze
1998 ITALY Blu Storm, Brava Q8, Breeze
2000 SPAIN Bribon, Movistar Activa, E-Mocion
2002 USA Bambakou, QQ7, Profit
2004 SPAIN Nerone, Vertigo, Bribon Telefonica

Event website:
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