Regata dei Tre Golfi: Line Honours for Carlo Alberini's Pendragon – A boat from the ORC European Championship fleet sinks during the night
The weather forecast prior to yesterday's start proved to be correct, with competitors facing a long upwind leg against rough seas in order to round the natural mark of the island of Ponza.
A serious incident marked the early hours of this morning, when at 3 a.m. the Salona 37 Le Pelican, enrolled in the Tre Golfi in Class C as a participant in the ORC European Championship, disappeared from tracking screens. “The conditions were particularly challenging, with two-metre waves, and we were sailing upwind on a port tack" commented a crew member who was on deck at the time of the accident, "as a result of a bad manoeuvre, in minutes we found ourselves in a critical situation with a cargo barge navigating between Naples and Ventotene just a few metres from us, and at that point a collision was inevitable. We managed to get the life raft into the sea and in just under 3 minutes our boat went under.”
All seven crew members were rescued by the cargo ship and taken to port in Naples, all under the management of the Coast Guard. Fortunately, no one was injured and the entire crew of Le Pelican crew was able to breathe a sigh of relief at having avoided a much more serious outcome. In all this, it is worth emphasising the decision of the Organising Committee to make carrying a life raft on board mandatory, even though this is not a requirement for Category 3 under the World Sailing regulations for safety equipment.
Returning to events in the race: from the start at 7 p.m., the fastest hulls set off upwind against the sea to the island of Ponza, before heading south for a run towards Punta Campanella, on the tip of the Sorrentine Peninsula, and rounding the Li Galli islets. The brisk winds stayed constant throughout, and just after 1.24 p.m. CEST - after 17 hours, 54 minutes and 19 seconds of racing – the first boat to cross the finish line was the maxi yacht Pendragon VI, owned by Carlo Alberini. This beautiful hull designed by talented New Zealander Laurie Davidson, born to excel in long ocean races, was competing for the first time in the Regata dei Tre Golfi. “It was a fantastic race and a challenging one," confirmed Carlo Alberini at the finish, "it was the first time in this race for both myself and the boat and we suffered a bit on the long upwind leg, especially with a boat like ours, designed more for running downwind, but the spectacle of rounding the islands of the gulf made it all worthwhile, and taking Line Honours is a huge reward.”
“The race was very technical and demanding" declared Daniele Cassinari, tactician on the TP52 Xio, "these boats are very fast and ideal for ‘short’ races, but we too had to fight for hours upwind against the steep waves we met in the first part, we were always very close to our direct opponent, the TP52 Freccia Rossa, but it will be the scores under corrected time that define the final ranking.”
At the time of writing, around 30 of the more than 100 competing yachts have arrived in the port of Capri, it is therefore too soon to draw up a definitive ranking as the smaller hulls continue to arrive and corrected times are calculated.
Tomorrow will be dedicated to the remaining finishes and preparations for the boats competing in the ORC European Championship which will run from 18 to 20 May, with three days of mark racing on the waters off Capri.