Donnerstag, September 07, 2006

Newport, R.I., USA: Flash Gordon was firing on all cylinders today while other leading lights stalled out during a tricky opening day at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in Newport, Rhode Island. The formula for Flash Gordon's success includes world-renowned architect Helmut Jahn (Chicago,
Ill.) steering his Flash Gordon upwind, then handing over to his son Evan downwind. An unorthodox approach, but one that did them no harm in the light south-westerly breeze that blew across Rhode Island Sound.
At the end of day one, Flash Gordon sits proudly at the top of the leader board, with 2 points to second-place Alinghi's 8 points. Henrik Jansen's Danish team, Silver Bullet, showed incredible form in their first-ever Farr 40 regatta and are third overall with 14 points.
For Brad Butterworth and the rest of Ernesto Bertarelli's team on Alinghi, this week represents a bit of a holiday from their America's Cup training.
"Ernesto loves the class, and I love it too, it's fun," he said. "It's hard to start consistently in this fleet. I think the Farr 40 is a standalone class, it's a high quality class, and I believe the hardest class to win."
A hard class to win it seems, even for the reigning World Champion.
Richard Perini suffered the worst possible start to his campaign to defend the title that he won in Sydney last year, scoring a 16th and 35th in the 38-boat fleet. In fact the first race 16th represented a very good climb through the fleet after a poor first beat, so it wasn't all doom and gloom on board the Australian boat.
Top ten after two races:
1. Flash Gordon, Helmut Jahn, USA, 2 points 2. Alinghi, Ernesto Bertarelli, ESP, 8 3. Silver Bullet, Henrik Jensen, DEN, 14 4. Twins, Erik Maris, FRA, 18 5. Pegasus, Philippe Kahn, USA, 18 6. Nerone, Mezzaroma/Migliori, ITA, 19 7. Opus One, Wolfgang Stolz, GER, 22 8. Barking Mad, Jim Richardson, USA, 24 9. Ichi Ban, Matt Allen, AUS, 26 10. Appreciation, Jeff Siegal, USA, 27