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Bellissima and Orion Winners at Casa de Campo Regatta

On yet another perfect day of Caribbean sailing, the final race of the three-race inshore series was held February 17 to determine the final IRC and PHRF class winners in the Casa de Campo Regatta for the Presidente Cup. In IRC Class A Gianfranco Fini’s Comet 51 Bellissima finished as runner-up in this race to last year’s winner Pepe Rodriguez on his Frers 45 Celtic V, but that was good enough to stay five points ahead of the pack to win the class. And in PHRF Class B, Sven Holmbo’s Hunter 301 Orion scored only third the final day, but that too was good enough to stay one point clear of Rafael Roldan’s Beneteau 400 Wolfgang for the class win.

In having excelled in both the 23-mile Round Catalina Race held the day before, and in the total scores from the inshore series, Bellissima also won the Deutsche Bank Trophy for the IRC entries, and Orion won the Presidente Trophy for the PHRF entries. The keeper trophies for this event are extraordinary models of classic yachts created by Abordage.

“The regatta was wonderful this year, the sailing conditions are fabulous,” said Fini, who is also Commodore of the Casa de Campo Yacht Club. “Having our match race clinic with Peter Holmberg and Ian Williams on the first day was very exciting, and a wonderful addition to our event. We look forward to having more people join us here next year.”

Just as in the first day of course racing, reigning World Match Racing Tour champion Ian Williams acted as guest helmsman on Bellissima the last day, and despite a broken vang suffered only moments prior to the start of the race, the multinational team of Dominicans and Italians led by a Briton managed to keep the pressure on the leaders, finishing only 35 seconds off the winning time.

Margins in PHRF Class B were even closer, with Frederico Penzo’s Beneteau Idyle Tranquilo (which is also the local expression for “no worries” or “take it easy”) winning the final day’s race by a mere 19 seconds over Wolfgang, with Orion only 22 seconds behind in third. Scoring in the PHRF class for the week was done by race manager Pete Lawson based on time-on-time TCF ratings. Ramon Prieto’s Jenneau 45 Cecile would have won the race by over five minutes were it not for a port tack crossing incident with Tranquilo on the first leg that was deemed too close by the protest committee, resulting in Cecile’s disqualification for the race.

The Casa de Campo Regatta for the Presidente Cup was also supported by Deutsche Bank, and daily results and photos can be found on the event website at www.casadecamporegatta.com.

Report submitted by Casa de Campo Regatta.  Photos by Dave Dunigan/T2 Productions.

Overall results:

IRC Class A (6 boats)

  1. Bellissima 2 – 2 – 2 6 points
  2. Celtic V 3 – DNF – 1 11
  3. Escuela DNS – 1 – 3 11

PHRF Class B (12 boats)

  1. Orion 1 – 2 – 3 6 points
  2. Wolfgang 2 – 3 – 2 7
  3. Tranquilo 2 – 3 – 2 10

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