Ernesto Berterelli's Alinghi, crowded with former TNZ heavies, gathers momentum with a win in today's fifth race of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championships off Cowes

After a slow start to the Rolex Farr 40 World Championships, Ernesto Berterelli’s Alinghi is building ominous momentum. She returned to the dock with a fifth and a seventh after a blustery opening day, raising questions as to whether the Lake Geneva sailors could race effectively in winds beyond the America’s Cup range.

Those questions were answered emphatically the following day when Alinghi returned to the dock with her first win in conditions that were marginal enough to cancel the day’s second race, race four.

Fears that ales may have blown out today’s racing proved unfounded when, after observing three minutes silence at 1100 in memory of the thousands of innocents that perished in Manahattan and Washington, the fifth race began.

Alinghi streaked into an early lead and led the fleet round the course in textbook fashion. Best of the rest was Tony de Mulder’s Victric, surprisingly closely followed by Nick Haigh’s Too Steamy with British Olympic 49er silver medallist Ian Barker on tactics.

Current world champion John Calvert-Jones’ Southern Star finished fourth, just ahead of 1998 world champion Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad, with British all-rounder Adrian Stead calling tactics, arrived fifth.

Race six, currently underway, has been gripped firmly by GBR25’s tactician and British Olympic Finn old medallist Iain Percy. Mark Heeley’s GBR 25 rounded the first two marks in tenth place when Percy called the shifty second beat perfectly, vaulting them into first place at the third.

John Calvert-Jones’ Southern Star also made hay, rising from 17th to second ahead of the table-propping Hurrycane III – rarefied racing for her. Forza rounded third with Russell Coutts’ Alinghi fifth and rising.

More later…