Penultimate day of International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship

Aspire and Artemis stay in first and second place, Ku Ring Gai III moves up to third

Porto Cervo, 28 September 2023. A positive penultimate day at the International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship saw two more races completed, bringing the fleet to a total of eight races held to date. Aspire and Artemis remain in first and second position respectively, while Ku Ring Gai III climbs to third place in the provisional overall ranking, thanks to an excellent second-place finish in the first race of the day. Tomorrow, 29 September, will be the last chance for the teams to give it their best shot in the remaining two scheduled races.

The first race of the day started at 12 noon, with a Mistral breeze blowing at 8 to 9 knots. The stars of the action from the outset were The Jean Genie (GBR, Peter Morton, Andrew Palfrey, Ruairidh Scott), Aspire (POL, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemysław Gacek, Edward Wright), and Ku Ring Gai III (AUS, John Bacon, James Mayjor, Terry Wetton), who rounded the first windward mark in that order and in quick succession. Both Aspire and Ku Ring Gai III found the pressure on the downwind leg and managed to get past The Jean Genie. They went on to lead the pack for the remainder of the race, with Aspire crossing the finish line first ahead of Ku Ring Gai III. The Jean Genie managed to get into third place on the final downwind leg, getting the better of the team on Artemis (NOR, Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, Trond Solli-Saether), who had rounded the last windward mark in front.

Following the fourth place in the first race of the day, Artemis appeared to find the right momentum to rack up their best performance since the start of the World Championship. The second race was an extremely close affair, with the top teams sailing just metres apart for the duration, accompanied by a strengthening Mistral of around 12 knots. Artemis, The Jean Genie, Girls on Film (GBR, Louise Morton, Andrew Mills, Sam Haines), and Aspire rounded the first windward mark one after the other, but it was a flawless performance from Artemis that earned them the win in the second race of the day after leading the fleet from start to finish, staying focused despite having their rivals hot on their heels. Aspire also executed an excellent performance, and after passing The Jean Genie at the second windward mark fought right to the end to take second place by openly engaging Girls on Film, a battle that was resolved in favour of the British team on the finish line. 

The provisional overall ranking sees Aspire maintain pole position, on 19 points, ahead of Artemis, who also hold on to their second place. Ku Ring Gai III climbs to third place thanks to today's finish in second. Sitting on 43 points, just two points behind the Australians, is John B, followed by The Jean Genie on 45 points. In the Evolution fleet Criollo 30 (GER, Andreas Christiansen, Felix Christiansen, Moritz Christiansen) remains in the lead, as does Cibele (ITA, Fabrizio Cavazza, Vittorio Zaoli, Duccio Colombi), among the Classic boats. Two races remain to be sailed tomorrow, the final day of the event, after which the winner of the 2023 edition of the International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship will be officially crowned.

The Ku Ring Gai III team, in third place in the provisional overall classification, International 5.5 Metre Class World Championship. Photo credit: Robert Deaves

John Bacon, helmsman on Ku Ring Gai III: "What fantastic news to be in third position in the provisional overall ranking! Today’s first race was incredible for us. We went out on the water with our coach's words in mind, who had told us that today would be our day. We sailed with no mistakes, with a great set-up, and managed to bring home the best result of the whole week. We are happy to be here in Porto Cervo, representing our Club and our country, sailing in a fantastic fleet."

Fabrizio Cavazza, President of the Italian 5.5 Metre Class and helmsman on Cibele: "We are in a wonderful location, with fantastic weather, sunshine and wind, and we have been warmly welcomed by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. In short, it is a fantastic week and we are having fun. The 5.5 Class consists of three different types of hull: Modern, Evolution and Classic. I own a classic boat, and it’s significant that, after many years, the World Championship is taking place in Italy and has gathered together almost the entire Italian Classic fleet. The event has 34 boats taking part and has attracted teams from as many as 10 different nations."

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

Tomorrow, 29 September, the first starting signal is set for 11 a.m. The weather forecast indicates westerly/north-westerly winds of 6 to 8 knots.
At the conclusion of racing a Gala Dinner will take place for the participating teams, which will also host the Final Prize-Giving Ceremony.

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.
YCCS Press Office

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