With two race wins and only one finish off the podium, Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling XI sits on a comfortable seven point cushion after the dark green Reichel/Pugh 82 won the Maxi class’ first windward-leeward race.
Laidlaw is looking forward to the big breeze forecast for Friday and Saturday which Highland Fling XI particularly relishes, before she moves on to a new owner.
In Wednesday’s second windward-leeward the white Wallycento Galateia finally managed a race win, despite an exceptional upwind leg from Andrea Recordati’s Wally 93 Bullitt which saw her lead all the 100 footers around the top mark.
For Galateia, this came after a disastrous first race when she fouled Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’ Magic Carpet Cubed and as a result had to take a penalty turn and later ripped a spinnaker.
Finally in the four boat J Class, the run of race wins for the Niklas Zennström-steered Svea came to an end today with Ronald de Waal’s Velsheda scoring a bullet.
The most experienced of the J teams beat the so-far dominant Svea by 36 seconds, but the Swedish team continues to lead overall.
There was similar upset among the Super Maxis with Shamanna’s winning streak halted by Argentinean Juan Ball’s Swan 115 sistership Moat 1 scoring her first win of the regatta. Shamanna continues to lead overall by three points with the Spirit Yachts 111 Geist third.
In Mini Maxi 1 the field was reduced from six to five due to a key crewman on board Dario Ferrari’s Cannonball having to be rushed to hospital yesterday with a medical condition.
The Italian former Maxi 72, and defending champion here, remained at the dock today.
Meanwhile there was also upset in this class. So far Jim Swartz’s Vesper and George Sakellaris’ Proteus have been on top, but today it was at last the turn of Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente to win, although overall Vesper still leads Proteus by two points with Bella Mente third.
Some separation on the leaderboard is occurring in Mini Maxi 2 with Alessandro Del Bono’s ILC maxi Capricorno finally scoring a race win.
Her robust 2-2-1 scoreline under IRC corrected time leaves her two points clear of yesterday’s winner Luciano Gandini’s Twin Soul B with Monday’s winner, Sven Wackerhagen’s Wally 80 Rose, now third.
Mini Maxi 3-4 continues to be a tribute to regular winner here, Riccardo de Michele and his silver Vallicelli 78 H20, now the only class leader to hold a perfect scoreline.
Thursday is the scheduled layday before the final two days when top end conditions are forecast: 20+ knot westerlies gusting to 25.