In a similar 10-18 knot Sirocco as yesterday, the leaders of the ORC International Worlds fleet have sailed the first half of their 87-mile offshore race, with Piero Paniccia's Cookson 50 Calipso IV leading the fleet around their turning mark near Otranto at 17:56:58 local time. Next around only a little more than a minute later was the Russo-Brenco-De Falco syndicate's GS 56R Athanor-Ola-Citta di Siracusa at 17:58:13, and third George Vasilopoulos's Farr 520 Brave at 18:17:52.
It was little surprise that Calipso would be challenging so close to the larger Athenor, as this Farr design has a canting keel, a feature favorable in the long beat to Otranto, and is only one of its kind in the 77-boat fleet representing 7 countries in this year's competition. If the breeze holds and Calipso is able to slide downwind at speed back north towards Brindisi, she could be in as early as 2100 this evening. The post-sunset forecast, however, is not favorable to this, as the breeze is expected to lighten and go back to the north.
This race to Otranto and back is actually scored as two 1.5-point races in the no-throwout competition, so performance today and tonight is critical towards earning points towards the World Championship crown.
As races are completed at the 2009 ORC World Championship, results will be posted on the ORC website home page at www.orc.org.
For more information on the ORC World Championship, photos and results, also visit the event website at www.circolovelabrindisi.it/orc_brindisi.