Aspire seizes lead on Day 2 of 5.5 Metre World Championship in Porto Cervo

Aspire (POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemysław Gacek, Edward Wright) has taken the lead at the 2023 5.5 Metre World Championship at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo, Sardinia, after two more races on Tuesday, in very different conditions.
 
The Jean Genie (GBR 43, Peter Morton, Andrew Palfrey, Ruairadh Scott) drops to second and Artemis (NOR 57, Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, Trond Solli-Saether) remains third.
 
The second day in sunny Porto Cervo was a day of two halves with a moderate 10-13 knots for the first race and a dying 6-7 knots in the second dropping to 4-5 knots by the end. 
 
Girls On Film (GBR 41, Louise Morton, Andrew Mills, Sam Haines dominated Race 3 leading at every mark for a comfortable win. They went left after a bad start and benefitted from more pressure and a better angle. Shaolin (SUI 226, Philippe Dürr, Andreas Kindlimann, Hans Von Werdt) and Forza Del Destino (SUI 211, George Prapopoulos, Simon Pfändler, Gil Pfändler) rounded second and third. Ali Baba (SUI 224, Flavio Marazzi, Julie Marazzi, Eline Marazzi) was not far behind and eventually moved up to second at the finish ahead of Forza Del Destino.
 
For the second race, the wind was already decreasing, and it was a painfully slow race. John B (BAH 26, Gavin McKinney, Mathias Dahlman, Lars Horn Johannessen) led around the top mark, and down the run, but on the second upwind, things got tricky. Swiss champions Caracole (SUI 214, Bernard Haissly, Daniel Stampfli, Nicolas Berthoud) rounded about fifth and moved through the fleet every leg to take the lead at the second top mark and lead down to the finish. Aspire sailed the downwinds well to take second with New Moon III (BAH 25, Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov) in third.

Aspire
Aspire

Aspire has taken the overall lead after four races. Kusznierewicz said, “Sailing in Porto Cervo for the World Championship has certainly presented its challenges. We always have a plan for the first beat after the start, but here, you really have to sense what the wind will do. The conditions are made trickier by the significant waves, which persisted even when the wind was lighter today. 
 
“The 5.5 boat is fantastic, and I absolutely love sailing it. However, it’s crucial to work as a cohesive team; it can’t be just one person’s effort. I’m genuinely pleased with how Ed and Czemek (Przemysław) performed today. 
 
“We operated as a unit, responding to the waves and the wind. Really good job for Louise and her team for winning the first race of the day, and I also want to commend Bernard Haissly from the Caracole team for their good performance.
 
“But we’re mindful that this regatta is far from over; we’re not even halfway through. Our focus must remain sharp. I’ve stressed to my team that it’s going to be a long week. The weather forecast for the upcoming days suggests it won’t be easy. We can expect varying wind conditions, sometimes even light winds. There are plenty of exceptional sailors here who are fully capable of winning races. So, we’re staying focused, aiming to enjoy the experience, and in the end, we’ll see where we stand.”

Downwind Race 3
Downwind Race 3

Louise Morton, possibly the first, but certainly the first women in a long time, to win a 5.5 Metre world championship race said, “It was a fantastic day of racing. We had a clear plan going into it, but unfortunately, we got off to a rough start and had to cross a few boats on port after the initial start. However, we decided to head towards the right side of the course, where we found better wind pressure, and it paid off. We managed to secure a lead at the first mark and maintained it throughout the entire race. It was incredibly thrilling, even though I wasn’t allowed to glance around much. I kept asking, “Are we still in the lead?” So overall, it was a great experience, and I’m thrilled with our performance. Winning a race in a world championship is a first for me, and I’m absolutely ecstatic about it.
 
“However, the second race didn’t go as smoothly for us. We had a decent start and managed to reach the top mark in the vicinity of fifth place. Unfortunately, the wind became extremely light, and the waves were still quite substantial. We encountered some challenges, including hitting a mark, and this led to various mishaps. Several boats ended up passing us during this race. We’re hoping that this race will be our discard, and we can bounce back in the upcoming races.”

Ali Baba
Ali Baba

On Ali Baba, five times (as helm) world champion Flavio Marazzi is sailing with his two daughters, Julie (15) and Eline (12). They are now in eighth overall after a 2,4 today, matching the score of Aspire.

Julie explained, “The 5.5 is an incredibly cool boat to sail and sailing with your family is always a fantastic experience. It allows us to spend quality time together and build a strong sense of trust and mutual respect. It’s funny because when we were kids, we used to say, ‘Dad’s a sailor,’ but we didn’t fully grasp what that meant until we started sailing ourselves. We’ve developed a deep respect for his profession and what he does.

“Additionally, the location here is stunning, and sailing in Porto Cervo is a lot more enjoyable than back home in Switzerland at Thunersee. It’s a bit wilder here with more waves and, usually, more wind. Although today’s conditions weren’t as windy as we’d hoped for, the first race was still amazing.”

In the Evolution fleet, Criollo (GER 30, Andreas Christiansen, Felix Christiansen, Moritz Christiansen) maintains her lead in 22nd, while the first Classic boat remains Cibele (ITA 72, Fabrizio Cavazza, Vittorio Zaoli, Duccio Colombi) in 24th.

Racing in Porto Cervo continues Wednesday and runs through until Friday.

Results after 4 races
1 Aspire (POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemysław Gacek, Edward Wright) 10
2 The Jean Genie (GBR 43, Peter Morton, Andrew Palfrey, Ruairadh Scott) 19
Artemis (NOR 57, Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, Trond Solli-Saether) 21
4 New Moon III (BAH 25, Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov) 25
5 John B (BAH 26, Gavin McKinney, Mathias Dahlman, Lars Horn Johannessen) 28
6 Ku-Ring-Gai III (AUS 66, John Bacon, James Mayjor, Terry Wetton) 29
7 Girls On Film (GBR 41, Louise Morton, Andrew Mills, Sam Haines) 32
Ali Baba (SUI 224, Flavio Marazzi, Julie Marazzi, Eline Marazzi) 34
9 Shaolin (SUI 226, Philippe Dürr, Andreas Kindlimann, Hans Von Werdt) 36
10 Manly (AUS 44, Marc Ryan, Dave Edwards, Marcus Burke) 38

Full results:
https://www.yccs.it/regate-2023/international_55_metre_class__world_championship-3311/risultati-307/risultati_provvisori_dopo_r2

Many more photos in the gallery here:: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fivepointfivemetre/albums/72177720311474707

5.5 Metre World Championship: 
https://www.yccs.it/regate-2023/international_55_metre_class__world_championship-3311.htm

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