Aspire holds onto provisional overall lead at International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship

Application of a discard takes Artemis up to second place, followed by John B

Porto Cervo, 27 September 2023. Day three of the International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship and with the schedule running like clockwork so far, the fleet completed a further two races. Six races have now been sailed in total, and four more (two per day) are on the programme for the remaining two days of the event. At the end of the sixth race today the discard came into play. Aspire currently remains at the top of the provisional leaderboard, with Artemis moving up to second place followed by the team on John B, who managed to climb two places from yesterday.

Racing was brought forward by an hour this morning, with the warning signal sounding at 11 a.m. in a northerly breeze of 6 to 7 knots. After the start, the fleet was evenly split across both sides of the windward-leeward course. Marie Françoise (SUI, Jürg Menzi, Lionel Rupp, Christof Wilke) led the fleet around the first windward mark, followed by Beta Crucis (AUS, Bob Stoddard, Martin Cross, Simon Reffold), and Artemis (NOR, Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, Trond Solli-Saether). On the first downwind leg, Caracole (SUI, Bernard Haissly, Daniel Stampfli, Nicolas Berthoud) continued to claw back metre after metre on the leading teams to round the leeward gate ahead of Artemis. The race ended in victory for Marie Françoise, while Artemis had a battle to the finish line with Beta Crucis, managing to take second place by just a few seconds. Caracole finished in fourth place behind Beta Crucis. 

The second race of the day started at around 1 p.m. with a shifty breeze of around 5-6 knots. John B got off to an excellent start and made the most of the first downwind leg to gain a lead they would hold until the end of the race. A battle for second place raged between Ku Ring Gai III (AUS, John Bacon, James Mayjor, Terry Wetton) and Artemis, who once again prevailed at the finish to beat the Australians across the line.  

At the conclusion of the sixth race the discard was applied, after dropping their eighth-place finish in today's first race, Aspire (POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemysław Gacek, Edward Wright) remains at the top of the provisional overall ranking on 15 points. Three points behind, in second place is Artemis, who had a positive day today with two second places. In third, nine points behind, is John B, who climbed the provisional rankings by two places thanks to discarding a score of 13 in the third race of the series so far. The points are extremely close after these top spots: in fourth place and tied on points with fifth is Girls on Film (GBR, Louise Morton, Andrew Mills, Sam Haines) ahead of Ku Ring Gai III, while just one point behind, in sixth place, is New Moon III (BAH, Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov). In the Evolution fleet, Criollo 30 (GER 30, Andreas Christiansen, Felix Christiansen, Moritz Christiansen) continues to dominate, as does Cibele (ITA 72, Fabrizio Cavazza, Vittorio Zaoli, Duccio Colombi) among the Classic boats.

John B, winner of the second race of the day, in third place in the provisional overall classification. International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship. Photo credit: Robert Deaves

Gavin McKinney, helmsman on John B - who also competed in the previous 5.5 Metre Class Worlds held in Porto Cervo in 1984: "Unfortunately in the first race of the day we didn't choose the best side at the start. The first 10 minutes are crucial, if you position yourself well it’s unlikely that the rest of the fleet will catch you, conversely it’s hard to climb back up. But we made up for it in the second race and we’re very happy about that. We took advantage of the pressure well and got the turns tacks and gybes right, everything worked as it should."  

Stavros Papagiannopoulos, helmsman on Melx III: "We particularly like racing in this Class and the Race Committee is doing a great job. The weather is good, the conditions today were particularly favourable for us and we managed to perform better than on the previous days." 

Video recap of the third day of the International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship

The first warning signal tomorrow, 28 September, is scheduled for 12 noon, with forecasts of a westerly/north-westerly wind of 8 to 10 knots.

Quantum Sails is Technical Partner of the International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship

Racing can be followed on the YCCS Instagram account. For further information, results, entry list, programme, news, photos, please visit the section dedicated to the event or contact the YCCS Press Office.
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