Coutts, Onorato Take Lead at 2006 Farr 40 Worlds

On-site reporting from the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds in Newport, R.I.

Farr 40 Worlds Day 2

Stuart Streuli

NEWPORT, R.I.-A day after leading the fleet around the cans for two races in the 2006 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds, Helmut Jahn’s Flash Gordon found itself in almost exactly the opposite position. At the first mark in each of the races on Day 2, Flash was staring at a whole bunch of transoms, at least 30 in each case.In a regatta where no single race result can win it, but can certainly lose it, the Chicago-based team put together a pair of impressive comebacks in a light seabreeze on Rhode Island Sound. With a 26th and a 15th, Flash Gordon couldn’t hang on to first place, but Jahn’s team remained in the top 3 and in touch with the leaders.The same can’t be said for Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi team, which came into the day in second place. A 30th and 17th dropped the Swiss crew to 10th, 21 points out of first. They’ll need to be mistake-free for the rest of the event to get another sniff at the championship.And just who is occupying that top spot? Well, a name familiar to Bertarelli and his crew, which includes Brad Butterworth, Warwick Fleury, and Simon Daubney. Currently leading the regatta after a fourth and a second on Day 2 is Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino. Calling the shots for Onorato is former Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts.A weak northerly kept the seabreeze at bay until mid-afternoon. The southerly initially filled at around 200 degrees, but started to clock just as PRO Peter Reggio set the course. It made for an interesting first beat. The conventional wisdom says that one the seabreeze starts to go right it probably won’t stop until it his 230 or 235 degrees. However there was more pressure on the left side. As would be expected, both ends of the starting line were crowdedIn the first race it was Alex Michas’ Phish Food which won the pin end, played the left side and had the lead at the first mark. From there, Phish Food extended and won the race going away. With Flash Gordon and Alinghi deep the regatta, the leader after Race 3 was the Danish team on Silver Bullet. With an amazingly consistent 7-7-8, Silver Bullet, a last-minute team, was proving to be the surprise of the regatta. But like Flash Gordon’s lead, it wasn’t to last long. In Race 4, Silver Bullet was one of nearly a dozen boats caught over early and rounded the first mark dead last. To add insult to injury it was late revealed that the Danish team had started correctly, but misunderstood the numbers the race committee called out over the radio. Again the pin end paid, with Norwegian Steam winning the pin end, rounding the windward mark in second, and eventually moving into first. With a second, Mascalzone Latino took the lead in the regatta standings. Behind it is the familiar dark-blue hull of Barking Mad. Jim Richardson, the only two-time world champ in the history of the class, had what might be considered an average opening day with a 10th and a 14th. But when that first day was added to an eighth and a sixth, Richardson’s crew found itself in second, just four points off the lead.The Rolex Farr 40 Worlds will continue through Saturday. For more information, visit.


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