Maserati , © Rolex / Studio Borlenghi
67th Regata dei Tre Golfi: the bulk of the fleet is still at sea
Yesterday evening was an extraordinary one. The city of Naples stood still to watch the fleet of 130 boats sailing along Posillipo at sunset, turning streets like Via Caracciolo into stadium viewpoints. The beauty of this unique spectacle thrilled the entire city.
This edition of the race has been characterised by good weather, with the tacticians having to work hard to take advantage of the light breezes in the Gulf, as forecast.
The fleet was pushed along by the sea breeze during the day, but then saw a big drop in the wind during the night, a scene that will most likely be replayed tonight.
While the social program offers different events each evening, the sporting schedule includes four high profile events: the 67th Tre Golfi Regatta, the first European Maxi Championship, the ORC Mediterranean Championship, and the Tyrrhenian National Championship.
A flag-raising ceremony, at the presence of the city authorities, will open the event on Saturday 14th at 1:00 p.m.
A real match race was underway between Maserati and Mana, with the latter in the lead up until Ponza. Riccardo Pavoncelli's boat with Paul Larsen on board was ahead up to the rounding of the island, but Soldini's trimaran managed to overtake between Ponza and Ischia.
"This crew is new to me and it's the first time I have sailed with someone I met two days before" commented Paul Larsen, "the team has worked very well, we sailed Mana at a very high level, she's a fast boat that can achieve really amazing results. I'm in this part of the world for the first time and I can't wait to discover it."
The two 20x16 metre "monsters" are moored, to the delight of tourists and passers-by, in Marina Piccola in Sorrento and Vico Equense.
The first boat across the finish line in this category was Furio Benussi's Arca SGR, despite some damage to the keel management system. "A long navigation with light wind, a bit complex but very beautiful" commented the owner. "It was the first outing of the year and we suffered significant damage around Capri. Nevertheless, we were always ahead of the trimarans as far as Ischia. I am very happy to have achieved this great result."
Another match race took place between the M72 North Star and the M74 Jethou, with the latter in the lead up until the island of Ventotene, when Duben's North Star pulled ahead.
In the ORC Group A, the boats are still close to Ischia, headed for the islet of Li Galli.
The TP52s Blue and Xio (ahead in Category A), have been racing neck and neck in real time. How they manage the rounding of the islet of Li Galli and the channel to Capri will be decisive.
The smaller boats in the fleet, gathered in Groups B, C and D, have suffered the most from the weather conditions in this edition, with the bulk of the fleet still sailing between Ventotene and Ponza.
Among the Swan 42s in the ORC B group, Mela and Be Wild were together up to the island of Ischia, but have now taken different paths.
Scugnizza, an Italia Yacht owned by Neapolitan Enzo De Blasio, is leading Group C, ahead of her sister ship and long-time rival Sugar.
The boats will continue to cross the finish line throughout the night until the early hours of the morning. The Maxi fleet will be hosted in Marina Piccola, while the ORC boats will be in Piano and Sant'Agnello.