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2023 ORC Mediterranean Championship - Day 1

by Offshore Racing Congress 19 May 14:45 PDT 19-21 May 2023

After a long postponement ashore this morning, race managers at the 2023 ORC Mediterranean Championship sent the fleet out to two course areas in the early afternoon when a promising breeze arose of about 7 knots under light overcast skies. This looked to be solid enough to lay out two windward/leeward courses: one for the Class A and B teams, and one for the Class C teams.

"We are using mark-bots, so making course changes to adjust to the changing wind direction still gave us confidence to give this a try," said Principal Race Officer Stuart Childerly, who has been working all week to set courses for the other races that have been part of this week's Tre Golfi Sailing Week, supported by Rolex as Official Timepiece.

After a good start, the fleet set off for the windward mark, rounded and then set off for the leeward gate while the wind lightened and shifted. Childerly and his team were prepared to shorten course and shift the course axis, but gradually the breeze died and the races were abandoned on boat courses. "These were not championship-level conditions, so we'll restart tomorrow intending to hold three races on an improving forecast," he said.

While all teams are eager to get out to race, one in particular has come a long way to do so too: Bob Pethick (USA) who has chartered the Farr Cookson 50 TESTACUORE for this event, a regatta in San Tropez and the Rolex Middle Sea Race in October. Bob brought his shipmates from the USA who have campaigned over several years on his previous boat, a Rogers 46 called BRETWALLA. He recently sold this boat after making impressive results in the 2025-mile Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii: winning his division in 2021, placing third in 2019 and second in 2013 in this biennial ocean racing classic.

"We are still learning this boat with its canting keel," said Pethick, "There are many modes we need to learn. But we are looking forward to this in this week's racing."

Racing will resume tomorrow in Day Two of the ORC Mediterranean Championship, with three races planned.

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