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Fast coastal race prepares fleet for final day showdown at D-Marin ORC Worlds

by ORC Media 7 Jun 15:14 PDT 3-8 June 2019
Class C competitors fighting hard among the 1000 islands of the scenic Dalmatian coast - 2019 D-Marin ORC World Championship © JK Val

Yesterday the forecast for today looked dismal: a good day for the beach or to enjoy an ice cream, but not for sailing, with very light winds of 5 knots or less predicted. However, at breakfast this forecast evolved into being quite promising with 9-14 knots, so the decision to hold a second coastal/offshore race looked good for the 47.5-mile course selected for this race.

Much like Monday's long race with a few fewer loops, today's race was a scenic tour of the islands off the Dalmatian coast, with every point of sail represented: VMG beating, headsail reaching, spinnaker reaching and VMG running. With ORC's VPP-based system, the rated performance of each boat sailing these wind angles is considered in their rating, and scored accordingly - this is why the racing in corrected time is typically coming out to be so close.

And being the penultimate day of racing, all thoughts are on tomorrow: under ORC Championship rules the offshore races cannot be discarded, but five inshore races are needed, so its imperative to have two held for Classes A and C to trigger this discard.

Today in Class A the two fastest boats legged out ahead and never looked back, both in elapsed and corrected time. Marco Serafini's 2011 Botin-designed TP52 XIO is crushing this class with nearly all bullets on their scoreline and another solid win over Roberto Monti's older Judel/Vrolik-designed TP52 Air is Blue in second. Sandro Paniccia's Scuderia 50 Altair 3's third place today keeps them in the runner-up position in the standings, but if two inshore races are held tomorrow and Monti's team then drops their 12thin Race 3, they will likely swap places with Altair in the Silver position. XIO tomorrow has to just sail and have two reasonable races to be assured of Gold.

In Class B racing today Swan 42's once again took the top three places, so its reasonably certain that if just one race is held then Swan 42 teams will be on the podium since Diego Zanco's X-41 Nube in fourth has over twice the number of points. Massimo De Campo's Selene-Alifax is currently in the lead with 12 points on the strength of today's bullet in the short offshore, with Albert Franci's Digital Bravo trailing by 3 points and Andrea Rossi's Mela another 2 points back, still carrying that non-discardable 11thplace from the first log offshore race in the series. Currently the discards available to Selene and Digital Bravo are identical, so results from tomorrow's racing - whether one race or two - will still determine who goes where on the podium.

With another strong non-discardable result from today, Class C has its leader - Zdenek Jakoubek's red-orange M37 Hebe V - punched out ahead of the pack by 8 points. Only one more race tomorrow and a reasonable result of less than 9 points then the Czech team wins Gold. But if there are two races, then it gets complicated - and highly unpredictable without a fourth inshore race result to do the permutations.

So the current runner-up team on Ott Kikkas's Italia 11.98 Sugar 3 will be using all the influence they have with the wind gods to provide suitable conditions for two races tomorrow. Their interests align with the Bravo course race managers who also want to make up for what they missed in providing yesterday, and have thus decided to start an hour earlier to maximize that chance.

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