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Sardinia Cup '96:
Paul Cayard Reports from Porto Cervo, Italy

Sept. 15 — Italian "A" Team Wins Mediterranean Trophy


t's over. Italy Team "A" won the 11th Sardinia Cup. Capricorno, BravaQ8 and Breeze (formerly MummaMia) sailed a 1-2-3 today to take the coveted Mediterranean trophy. This is the same team that won the Admiral's Cup in 1995.

In the ILC 40 class, Brava, with yours truly aboard as tactician, took control of the ILC 40 fleet just before the windward mark. On the run, Omen, the German ILC 40, covered Brava, taking the wind from her sails and letting Poland's MK Cafe pass.

But on the second windward leg, BravaQ8 put her track shoes on and took the lead by more than one minute, never to be threatened again. In the end, Omen finished second, MK Cafe third and Osama Citizen (Italy "B") fourth.

In the Big Boats, Capricorno sailed well to finish third, beating both Italy B and Germany in her class.

In the Mumm 36 class, Breeze beat both Osama Citizen (Italy "B") and Thomas I-Punkt of Germany.

So, in the end, Italy "A" won by 8.5 points. This Italian team with its leader Pasquale Landolfi, owner of BravaQ8, is making a mark on sailing history. Next year's Admiral's Cup will be very interesting.

The next report will be from the Big Boat Series in San Francisco, which begins on Thursday. I will be sailing on Boomerang, the 80-foot ILC Maxi I sailed in the Kenwood Cup in Hawa| last month.

For complete results, see the Telecom Italia Sardinia Cup '96 web site. You'll need a Java-capable browser such as Netscape Navagitor, to see the results and video coverage.

Sept. 14 — Italian Teams 1-2 With One Race Remaining


esterday's strong, 60-knot mistral died to 15 knots and made for an excellent day of racing. Two windward leeward races were held.

Going into the day, Italy Team "A" held a 1.5-point lead over Germany and a 3.5-point lead over Italy "B".

In the first race, a 30-degree shift to the right was the big event. The Polish ILC 40 MK Cafe had a bad start, but dug its way out to the right and had a nice lead at the windward mark. BravaQ8, for which I am tactician, followed, trailed by Germany's Omen and Osama Citizen of Italy "B".

The positions stayed the same throughout the race, but MK Cafe later withdrew due to a foul. In the 46-foot class, Pinta (the German boat with AmericaOne's John Kostecki on board), Swing (Japan) and Capricorno (Italy "A") had a tough boat-for-boat battle, with Swing finishing third, Capricorno fourth and Pinta fifth.

In the Mumm 36 class, Breeze (Italy "A") won the race only to learn afterward that she was early at the start and, therefore, disqualified. This allowed Osama Citizen (Italy "B") to take the win and close the gap on Italy "A" for the lead in the Sardinia Cup.

In the second race, Germany's Pinta had a horrible start. Being behind not only her fleet, but also the ILC 40s, she decided to give up on her race and to destroy the race of Brava, which up until that point had won every race in the 40-foot class.

By tacking on Brava continuously and luffing her sails to stay close to the smaller boat, Pinta drove Brava into last in the 40-foot class. However, Italy Team "A" still scored well, with Capricorno winning the 46-foot class, and Breeze finishing third in the Mumm 36 class.

Italy Team "B" won the Mumm class and closed to within 1.5 points of Italy Team "A" with just the one race on Sunday left. Pinta and the rest of the Germans self-distructed, and have fallen to third, seven points back.

Of interest for you racers, Brava protested Pinta for her very obvious efforts at "team racing" and the jury ruled that the Sardinia Cup is racing under IYRR Appendix B5, even though this is not stated anywhere in the Notice of Race or the sailing instructions. The Brava point of view is that Appendix B5 is automatic for team scoring events. This is an interesting precedent for events such as the Admiral's Cup.

Sept. 12 — Brava Takes Shortened "Long" Race


oday's "long race" got shortened to 35 miles, the forecast being for a dropping northeasterly and a strong Mystral of 40 to 50 knots coming in. The race committee was leary of sending the fleet to the Straights of Bonafacio, where 50 knots is not uncommon in a Mystral.

The fleet started in 8 knots of wind from 35 degrees. We had a two-mile beat to windward before heading off on a spinnaker reach. After a not-too-flash start, we dug out to the right to find a little more breeze. A couple of close crossings with Citizen Osama and Omen, but in the end Brava rounded the first mark first and never lost the lead.

Sailing through the channnel between the islands of Madalena (U.S. Navy Base), Caprera and Santo Stefano, the winds got very fluky and even died completely for 15 minutes while the wind went from 35 degrees to 265.

The reach back to Porto Cervo was very exciting in the 35-knot breeze. Many spinnakers were broken, and in the end, the wind built so much for the angle we were on that we all had to go with a No. 3 jib and the main.

The Italian "A" Team of Brava, Capricorno and Breeze stretched its lead slightly on the Sardinia Cup fleet. Pinta, the large German boat with John Kostecki as tactician, was over early at the start, as was Citizen Osama in the ILC 40 fleet. These two yachts will be given a 20 percent penalty in real time, which will put them last in their respectve fleets.

Friday, Sept. 13, is scheduled to be a lay day. Racing resumes on Saturday with two windward-leward races.

Sept. 11 — Brava Wins First Two Races


oderate winds and rain greeted the competitors today, the first day of the 11th biennial Sardinia Cup.

This event is a team event, with three yachts comprising each team. I am the tactician on BravaQ8 which is on the Italian "A" Team. This same threesome won the Admiral's Cup last year in England.

The teams are made up of one yacht of 45 feet or larger racing on handicap (IMS), one ILC 40 racing on real time, and one Mumm 36 racing on real time. Each team scores the best two yachts on its team in each race.

Today in Race 1, Brava led the ILC 40 class wire to wire, with MK Cafe of Poland finishing second. After a forecast which indicated that the wind would go right during the day, the left was actually better. The wind was very inconsistent in both direction and speed. BravaQ8 won the start at the left end of the line and proceeded to control the fleet from in front. The course was a simple windward-leward, legs of 3 miles each, twice around.

In the second race, we had a horrible start, getting to the line a little late and having Omen, the German ILC 40, roll us off the line. When we tacked, we got rolled going the other way by the Japanese "big boat," Swing, which had an equally bad start. We rounded the first windward mark fourth in class, but not far from our competitors.

When we got behind, we elected to stay close rather than hitting a corner hard. On the second windward leg, our opportunity opened up. Our competitors let us get a little left of them, and we shot through to round the top mark in front. From there a battle ensued with Osama Citizen 1 (Italy "B" Team) and Omen, which let us stretch our lead and let MK Cafe back into second.

Tomorrow is the "long" race, all 72 miles of it. Ocean racing is not like it used to be. In my first Sardinia Cup in 1984 the "long" race was 400 miles. Anyway, I don't mind knowing I will be back in time for dinner, a shower and a real bed.

John Kostecki, AmericaOne tactician, is sailing as tactician on Pinta, the German "big boat." They finished third in the first race and first in class in the second race.


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