Day Two International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship

The provisional overall classification sees a reshuffle as Aspire takes lead over Jean Genie and Artemis

Porto Cervo, 26 September 2023. Another superb day at the 5.5 Metre Class World Championships provided a range of conditions to put the fleet through their paces. Unlike last week’s Scandinavian Gold Cup, where only victories counted, in the Class World Championship it is consistency that pays, as shown by the provisional overall standings after four races with Aspire (2-2-4-2) leading, followed by The Jean Genie (1-1-9-8) and Artemis (3-4-7-7).

Racing started on schedule this morning, with the warning signal for the first race sounding at 12 midday, in a northerly breeze of 13 knots with waves of around 1.5 metres. Although the majority of the fleet opted for the left side of the course, it was the right that paid in the end. Despite a difficult start, Girls on Film, helmed by Louise Morton, managed to make the most of the pressure on the right side to round the windward mark first. Behind the British team, Shaolin (SUI, Philippe Dürr, Andreas Kindlimann, Hans Von Werdt) and Forza del Destino battled it out up to the second windward mark where the team on Ali Baba, skippered by Flavio Marazzi, demonstrated some excellent handling to get past both teams and round in second place. The race ended with a victory for Girls on Film (GBR, Louise Morton, Andrew Mills, Sam Haines) followed by Ali Baba (SUI, Flavio Marazzi, Julie Marazzi, Eline Marazzi) and Forza del Destino (SUI, George Prapopoulos, Simon Pfändler, Gil Pfändler).

Louise Morton, helm on Girls on Film: "It was a fantastic day. Right from the start we had set out a plan to follow, which we then had to revise due to a complicated start. We went for the right side of the course and found better wind pressure which paid off. In fact, we were able to round the first windward mark in front of everyone and hold that position for the rest of the race. It was really thrilling for me, I couldn't look around and I had to stay focused, but I kept asking if we were still in the lead. The second race unfortunately didn't go as we’d hoped, hopefully we can discard it. Overall I am thrilled with our performance, I had never won a race during the Worlds and I am delighted with this result!"

The Girls on Film team, winner of the first race of the day, International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship. Photo Credit: Robert Deaves 

In a change of conditions for the second race of the day, the fleet sailed in light northerly airs of around 7 knots at the start, which dropped to 5 knots later, paired with still choppy seas. The race was a challenging one for all the teams, both tactically and technically, where the ability to find the breeze and handle the sea state were crucial. After a good start, John B (BAH, Gavin McKinney Mathias Dahlman Lars Horn Johannessen) got ahead of the fleet, rounding the windward mark first followed by Ali Baba and New Moon III (BAH, Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov). However the competition was still very much open as the team on Caracole, helmed by Bernard Haissly, two-time world champion in the 6 Metre Class, read the race course perfectly to pass the entire fleet and lead right to the finish. The Polish team on Aspire also put in an excellent performance, making up ground on the final downwind leg to overtake New Moon III just a few metres from the finish line to place second. 

Thanks to today's results, Aspire (POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemysław Gacek, Edward Wright) takes the lead in the provisional overall classification, nine points ahead of The Jean Genie (GBR 43, Peter Morton, Andrew Palfrey, Ruairidh Scott) who had a complicated day today, taking a ninth and an eighth place. Artemis (NOR, Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, Trond Solli-Saether) sits in third place, two points behind the British crew. A discard will come into play from race six, which could see the rankings significantly revamped once again. No change at the top of the Evolution and Classic fleets, with Criollo 30 (GER 30, Andreas Christiansen, Felix Christiansen, Moritz Christiansen) and Cibele (ITA 72, Fabrizio Cavazza, Vittorio Zaoli, Duccio Colombi) maintaining their leads.

Aspire, leader of the provisional overall classification, at the finish line of the second race of the day, International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship. Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

Mateusz Kusznierewicz, helmsman on Aspire: "Racing in Porto Cervo is always very challenging, you have to predict the wind direction and strength. Added to this was the waves. Today, for example, even when the wind dropped, the waves didn't let up. It’s crucial that all the crew members have a strong sense of teamwork, a cohesive team that moves in unison on board, as if it were a single entity. I am really happy with our performance today, we still have a long week ahead of us and we have to stay focused."

Julie Marazzi, crew member on Ali Baba: "Sailing on these boats is absolutely fascinating, and doing it with your family is a fantastic experience that allows you to spend quality time together and build a strong sense of trust and mutual respect. I remember as a child, when we heard that my father was a sailor, we didn't fully understand what that meant. It was only when we started sailing together that we grasped what it meant, developing a real respect for his profession. Sailing here, on the Costa Smeralda, is much nicer than in Switzerland and today, although we expected more wind, the first race was really incredible."

Video recap of Day Two, International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship. Photo Credit: Robert Deaves

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

Tomorrow, 27 September, racing is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. CEST with forecasts of variable winds from the north of 8 to 12 knots.

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.
YCCS Press Office

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