Argentario, 23 September 2014 – Two great races completed on the second day of the 5.5m World Championship 2014 in Porto Santo Stefano, Tuscany. A challenging course for the 37 yachts from Bahamas, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Italy that sailed under sunny skies with winds from the east north-east at 8-15 knots gusting to 23 and flat azure seas with occasional whitecaps. After two races, 1st Artemis XIV – Kristian Neergaard (NOR57), 2nd John B - Gavin McKinney (BAH19) and 3rd Sinewave – Thomas Muller (GER82). Mission Possible – Markus Wieser (GER79) wins Race 1 and Sinewave – Thomas Muller (GER82) wins Race 2.
Videos of racing on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_kaMHFAoAZcy77mzTerekg/videos and pictures onhttps://www.facebook.com/YachtClubSantoStefano
Back on the Docks
Artemis XIV – Kristian Neergaard (NOR57) commented “This is my first time racing in Porto Santo Stefano and I truly enjoyed it: it is a challenging course, shifty and technical”.
John B - Gavin McKinney (BAH19) stated “First time for me in Porto Santo Stefano. The breeze was up with flat water. It’s the crew that makes the boat go fast and if I listen to my crew then we are OK! In both races we played the shifts well and we did what we needed to do with minimal communication. I am very pleased, today was a good day. Let’s see what tomorrow holds”.
Kaspar Stubenrauch, President of the International 5.5 Metre Class Association, commented on Sinewave’s victory in race 2: “The fact that a relatively old boat won the race is unique and proves how close the competition is in this class, despite the age differences of the yachts. Sinewave is an Evolution boat and Muller is a successful Dragon sailor who joined 5.5m class only one year ago. This is a remarkable result and proves that 5.5m offers a truly level playing field”.
1 - Artemis XIV – Kristian Neergaard (NOR57) (2-2/4pt)
2 - John B - Gavin McKinney (BAH19) (3-3/6pt))
3- Sinewave – Thomas Muller (GER82) (8-1/9pt)
The weather forecast for tomorrow Wednesday 24 September calls for violent thunderstorms starting this evening and stormy conditions tomorrow with southeasterly winds at 20-22 knots.
The first race kicked off at 11.10 with the course set for 70 degrees and 10 knots of breeze. The fleet cuts the starting line on the Committee boat side and sets towards the left hand side of the course. Individual recall for four boats who call over the line early, including SUI207. At the end of the first beat, Aubisque – Andre Perrin (SUI207) is in command followed by Mission Possible – Markus Wieser (GER79). Down the first run towards Porto Santo Stefano, the German team makes up the distance and at the leeward gate passes in the lead. Change in leadership again at the end of the fourth leg with the breeze steadily building to 18-20 knots and Artemis XIV – Kristian Neergaard (NOR57) rounding first, trailed closely by Wieser (GER79) and by John B - Gavin McKinney (BAH19). With breeze blowing at 21-23 knots, competitors make their way up the final beat and Whisper - Richard Leupold (ITA57) is forced to abandon racing due to rudder damage. The fleet comes flying down the final run and on the finish line Artemis XIV(NOR57) and Mission Possible (GER79) are neck to neck. Victory goes to the defending World Champion Markus Wieser (GER79), second place for Artemis XIV (NOR57) and third John B (BAH19).
The second race started just before 1 p.m. with wind still from the east-north-east at 15 knots. This time the fleet favors the pin end side of the line and three boats call aver the line early, including Mission Possible (GER79). Competitors weave their way up the course towards the pristine beach of La Giannella with the sweeping pine grove and Mount Amiata in the background. From the very beginning Sinewave – Thomas Muller (GER82) is in the lead, tacking up the center of the course and keeping her adversaries in check. At mark 3 John B (BAH19), Mission Possible(GER79) and Artemis XIV (NOR57) are closing in. The wind begins to die down and Sinewave – Thomas Muller (GER82) wins the second race with very light air.
Racing continues until Friday, September 26 with a maximum of seven races to be completed in five days. A minimum of 4 completed races is necessary to constitute a championship. After six races have been completed the worst result shall be discarded. The Awards Ceremony will be held at the 16th century Spanish Fortress of Porto Santo Stefano in the late afternoon of Friday 26 September.
The World Championship of the International 5.5 Metre Class is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano, with the patronage of the Region of Tuscany, the Province of Grosseto, and the Municipality of Monte Argentario and with the support of the Pro Loco of Porto Santo Stefano.
Sponsors of the event include Tenuta Agricola dell’Uccellina, NYL FTS and Argentarola srl. the Cantiere Navale dell’Argentario, the Chamber of Commerce of Grosseto and the Nurseries Garden Vivai Mediterranei. The Consortium LaMMA provides detailed weather forecasts for the racecourse.
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