With the completion of a 62.8-mile lap of racing along the coast north of Barcelona, two new series leaders have once again risen to the top of the standings in two classes at the end of Day Four of competition at the 2015 ORC World Championship, hosted by Real Club Nautico de Barcelona.
The complete lap was scored as two races for Class A by day's end, with Classes B & C still at sea approaching nightfall. Taking advantage of a more favorable forecast to complete the two offshore races, the fleet was sent out two hours early today by race managers in an 8-10 knot northeasterly breeze to start a race 31.9 miles upwind to the turning mark off the town of Blanes on the Costa Brava. Times were taken here and scored for Race 5, while the fleet then continued without stopping back to a finish positioned where they started to be then scored for the complete lap as Race 6.
With the course being a long starboard tack fetch and the breeze dying slowly and shifting, the big and fast boats tended to stretch out ahead of their rivals, who were left to sail longer in the dying breeze.
At the turning mark and finish of the first race (Race 5 in the program), Marco Serafini's TP 52 Xio from Italy was able to save her time allowance by 35 seconds over the two-day class leader and reigning World Champion, Alberto Rossi's TP 52 Enfant Terrible Minoan Lines. Third in corrected time was Eduardo Wong's new Soto Acebal-designed 48-footer Kuan Kun from Peru, skippered by Federico Calabrese, giving their best performance to date in the series.
Then after the long reach/run home, Xio was able to stretch out even more to a 4:25 corrected time lead that gave her another bullet and seize the outright lead for the series by 0.5 points. In taking a 4th in Race 5 and a 3rd in Race 6, Roberto Monti's TP 52 Airis, skippered by Cesare Bressan, vaulted up the standings from ninth to third, making it three Italian teams in the top three of Class A.
After the completion of Race 5 in Class B, the impressive winning streak of three consecutive bullets by series leader Flavio Trusendi's IMX 45 Giumat +2 from Italy, helmed by Francesco Cruiciani, came to an abrupt end. A runner-up finish by Pedro Campos's Swan 42 Movistar from Spain to Pier Vettor Grimani's X-41 Sideracordis from Italy, skippered by Andrea Tedesco, give Campos the series lead and another Spanish flag at the top of the leaderboard after Race 5.
And demonstrating their mastery of offshore as well as inshore courses and overcoming any disadvantage by being slightly shorter than her rivals, Alberto Moro's X-37 Solventis from Spain, skippered by Manuel Bermudez, finished the first offshore race in Class C second to Joan Cabrer's fellow X-37 Airlan Aermec from Spain, skippered by Teo Matheu, thereby extending the thin lead they enjoyed in this class.
The Class continues to be highly-contentious, with yet another black flag start used today to get the fleet off the line.
But the miles ahead in the dying breeze will test the skills of the Class B and Class C yachts for the second phase of this offshore course, and the series leads may very well change once again after a challenging evening of fighting in the zephyrs, the competition...and the time limits.
To follow the racing, see complete results, photos, videos and more, visit www.barcelonaorcworlds2015.com and find links to Facebook (/bcnorcworlds2015), Twitter (@ORCBCN2015), YouTube (/BCNORC2015), and Flickr (/bcnworlds2015).