After a long week of light air, lengthy postponements, hot sun and even hotter competition, three ORC World Champions have endured and excelled to been crowned today in Barcelona.
Two are the reigning champions from the 2014 championship in Kiel last year, and one is a veteran winner from ORC championships in past decades of sailing. Alberto Rossi's TP 52 Enfant Terrible Minoan Lines from Italy was under pressure today, with a slim two-point lead over rival Marco Serafini's team on his TP 52 Xio. Rossi's red boat is rated just a little slower than Xio and the other TP's in the class, so their only edge was to stay close and not lose by too much boat-for-boat and let the time allowances help them to stay within two points of Xio in the corrected time results.
With three ORC and one Farr 40 World title to his credit, Rossi and team did just that today to earn their fourth ORC World title, finishing second to Xio on the water but correcting to within 7 seconds of the win, with Roberto Monti's TP 52 Airis behind on the water and in corrected time.
"It was difficult because we have a top boat but it's a 2008 design, while that of our direct opponent is much more recent," said Rossi. "We never gave up even for a minute in the whole week of racing. The secret of so many successful championships has been in the team. It's great, we are always the same and we have never changed anyone. That's the secret."
Rossi sailed this week the following crew: Vasco Vascotto on tactics (himself earning his 18th World Championship title in various classes), Francesco Di Caprio, Marco Carpinello, Matt Mason, Roberto Strappati, Massimo Gherarducci, Federico Giovanelli, Claudio Celon, Nicolas Dal Ferro, Daniele De Luca, Francesco Mongelli, Daniele Cassinari, and Samuele Niccolettis.
Xio wins the Silver medal by one point, and the Bronze goes to Rafael Carbonell's Swan 45 Rats on Fire, by only a 2-point margin over Jean Jacques Chaubard's French team on his GP 42 Team Vision Future.
In Class B Pedro Campos's Swan 42 Movistar was not under quite the same pressure as Rossi, with a five-point margin over rival Swan 42 Pez de Abril, also from Spain, but they still had to sail clean and well in the most crowded class of 38 boats at this event, or risk losing that lead. Today they too did what was needed, finishing third to some of their closest rivals, but still maintaining enough to be four points clear to win his second ORC Worlds crown in 12 years and his 15th World Championship title among this and other classes.
"We are really happy because this has been, by far, one of the most difficult titles to get due to the number of competitors and the quality of our rivals," said Campos. "The consistency of our scoring has been the key. A world title is a good way to start the season. The 3 keys to win this championship for us has had been: the long work done in advance during the winter, the consistency of the scores and the offshore race - this was our best race."
Campos had with him this week Juan Meseguer on tactics and Jaime Arbones, Lino Perez, Eduardo Marin, Luca Lanzillo, David Louzao Abelleiro, Pablo Iglesias, Javier Cela, Muis Mas, and Fernando Rodriguez Rivero. Silver medals in the class will go to Pez de Abril, and Bronze to the Italian X-41 Sideracordis, owned by Pier Vettor Grimani from Venezia. Like Class A, the Class C champion was an Italian reigning champion from Kiel last year, but unlike them they were here in Barcelona with a new boat, an Italia 9.98 F.
Giuseppe Giuffre's Low Noise II had a promising start by winning the first race of the series, but then stumbled in the inshore Race 3 with a shared 15th place. But from that point on the team remained in the top five throughout the remainder of the series, and scored their second bullet today to cap off an impressive week in an especially contentious class.
"This was our 4th World Championship win, but it was the hardest for sure," said tactician Lorenzo Bodini. "We came this year with a new boat designed by Matteo Polli that is fast, but smaller, so we were always fighting with the bigger boats. Everyone rates so close, the sailing was always very tight, there were a lot of other Olympic sailors in the fleet who are really good, so it came down to tactics and positioning, and here we did really well. The team is very strong, it's a great pleasure to win."
An important award in each class is the Corinthian Trophy, where all members of the crew must be ISAF Group 1 (amateur) sailors. Winners of this award were all from Spain, and include in Class A Andrea Masi's Swan 45 Random Research Ulika (9th place); Jose Ignacio Vicent's X-41 Phonemovil (10th place) in Class B; and Alberto Moro's X-37 Solventis (4th place).
"This was the most competitive ORC World Championship we have had to date," said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC. "We want to congratulate the new World Champions, the podium finishers, and all the competitors for their hard-earned scores in a tough week, and also the outstanding organization done by the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona. They created an event with the right balance of fairness, fun and high competition suitable to this World Championship.
Rossi, Campos & Giuffre: the new 2015 ORC World Champions
"We hope to see everyone again next year in July at our 2016 ORC World Championship being held in Denmark in Tuborg Harbour in Copenhagen."