Barcelona – After days of careful measurements, practicing, and preparation here at the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona, tomorrow will be when 98 teams from a record 22 countries will start six days of racing for the 2015 ORC World Championship. Three class World Champions will be crowned after seven inshore races are held on two course areas in addition to two offshore races planned for this week, with the final day of racing to be Saturday, July 4th.
Besides the rich diversity of cultures represented in this event, the fleet of boats includes a wide variety of design types – from custom high-tech racing designs to production cruiser/racers. Using the ORC rating system, all can compete together fairly under handicap regardless of the wind speed and course type by use of the Performance Curve Scoring system.
There is also a broad diversity of skill levels present among the teams: Olympians, World Champions, Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup stars racing at a professional level are racing alongside Corinthian sailors in each class who will be awarded special prizes for the all-amateur teams.
Class A features 25 boats from 13 countries, the most diverse international turnout of any class at this event. The largest and fastest boats are in this class – for eg, there are five TP52’s and two GP42’s competing – but also numerous cruiser/racers, such as the six Swan 45’s racing here this week. Among the favorites are two prior Class A World Champions: Alberto Rossi from Italy, the 2014 winner in Kiel, Germany, racing his red TP52 Enfant Terrible Minoan Lines with Vasco Vascotto as tactician, and Marco Serafini, the 2013 winner in Ancona, Italy, racing his bright green TP52 Xio with Thommaso Chieffi as tactician.
Other teams to watch include Bill Coates’s Ker 43 Otra Vez from the USA, Dennis Gehrlein’s GP42 Silva Neo from Germany, Rafael Carbonelli’s Swan 45 Rats on Fire from Spain, Roberto Monti’s TP52 Airis from Italy, and Dmitry Martines’s Swan 45 Trafalgar from Ecuador.
In Class B there are the largest number of entries of any class – 38 boats from 11 countries – and a higher proportion of cruiser/racer designs in this fleet. Among the favorites is one of Spain’s legendary offshore champions – Pedro Campos – who added the 2014 Class B ORC European Championship to his long list of victories last year in Valencia, and for this event is racing the same Swan 42 that won in Valencia in Class A – Natalia – re-named this week for his perennial sponsor Movistar. But there are others who can challenge him: look for Oscar Sanchez’s B&C 46 Touche Super from Peru to bring the same level of success they have had in South America over the past few years; Andrew Holdsworth’s XP-38 Extreme Ways from the USA, a clear class winner here at RCNB’s 42nd Trofeo Conde de Godo Merchbanc a few weeks ago; Milan Hajek’s Three Sisters, a First 40.7 from the Czech Republic, and runner-up at Trofeo Conde de Godo; and Dutch sailing legend Roy Heiner racing the Ker 11.3 Bach Yachting Racing Team, winner in Class 1 at the Dutch ORC National Championship in May.
Class C will feature 35 entries from 8 countries, and also some past ORC champions in the fleet: Vincenzo de Blasio from Italy on his NM38S Total Marine Scugnizza won the ORC Worlds in his class in 2012 in Helsinki, Finland and again in 2013 in Ancona, but he will have a strong rival in fellow Italian Giuseppe Giuffre and his team on Low Noise 2, who not only won the Worlds last year in Kiel, but also in 2011 in Cres, Croatia and in 2009 in Brindisi, Italy. Giuffre this year is racing his new Matteo Polli-designed Italia 9.98F, a boat slightly smaller and faster than his previous M37.
Other teams to watch in Class C include the 2013 ORC Class C European Champion Sugar 2, a NM38S sistership to Scugnizza raced by Ott Kikkas from Estonia; Alessandro Consiglio’s First 35 South Kensington, the 2013 Class B Bronze medalist at the ORC Worlds; Jose Luis Maldonado’s X-35 Fyord from Spain, undefeated in class at Palma Vela 2015; and Joan Cabrer’s X-37 Airlan Aermac, a clear class winner at Trofeo Conde de Godo and runner-up at Palma Vela. Class C will race with Class A on the Alpha course area for the inshore races, with Principal Race Officer Ariane Mainemare managing the race committee on this course.
“The ORC World Championship has once again attracted an impressive number and high quality of teams this year to Barcelona,” said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC, “and we have no doubt the three winners will be very well-deserved champions. We look forward to a great week of sailing on the water and friendly camaraderie on shore thanks to the organization and sponsors of the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona. To all teams from all nations, we wish everyone Good Sailing this week.”
And for more information on ORC and other ORC rules, classes and events, visit www.orc.org.