After a very tough edition of the legendary Tre Golfi, the bad weather that affected Italy also made the regattas of the ORC Mediterranean Championship, which were held in Sorrento as a continuation of the Tre Golfi Sailing Week program, very challenging and spectacular. Thirty-one boats on the water but with a decidedly high fleet level and some of the best boats lined up on the Sorrento race course.
After an opening with more than 30 knots of wind, which tested boats and crews even with a fairly formed sea, conditions during the four days of racing still remained “nervous,” with light to intense wind and varying direction. Conditions that made selection in the fleet and also gave some surprise results.
Mediterranean ORC Championship – Tp 52 Dominance in Group A
In the end, it was all TP52s on the Class A podium: Kwok Karl’s Singapore-flagged Beau Geste won the gold medal. Blue Carbon by Spaniard Guiu Antonio the silver one and Blue by Roberto Monti, the only Italian on the podium, the bronze one.
“It was a challenging event that highlighted the ORC system,” said Beau Geste’s skipper, New Zealand super star Gavin Brady at the end of the ORC Mediterranean Championship. “To do well here we needed to be really complete sailors, as we had all kinds of conditions. I could not remember an inshore regatta where the wind blew so hard that the spinnaker could not be hoisted. Stuart [Childerly] and the Race Committee did a fantastic job, and we congratulate them on the skills they demonstrated this week.”
Mediterranean ORC Championships – Grand Soleil’s breakthrough in Group B
In Class B the races were no less close than in Group A, and the gaps in compensated time were, in most races, very close. Marcello Focosi’s Grand Soleil 43 BC Faster III won the title by just one point, ahead of Nicola de Gemmis’ Swan 42 Morgan V and Giancarlo Ghislanzoni’s J122 Chestress 3.
Of particular note was the performance of the Grand Soleil 43 BC Faster, perhaps the most “cruise” boat among those that made the podium, confirming good work by the crew on a craft that also has a few years in its wake.
Mediterranean ORC Championship – Italy Yachts Dominance in Group C
When it comes to racing between the buoys, there is one boatyard that continues to make its mark, especially among the small ones. Vincenzo de Blasio’s Italia Yachts 11.98 Scugnizza was crowned the Mediterranean Champion of the ORC Class C 2023. The twin, Massimo Piparo’s Guardamago II, finished second and Jakoubek Zdenek’s M37 Hebe V finished third.
With only first places Scugnizza scored better than all the other boats and also won the overall super prize: a Citroën Ami, an all-electric car.