Surprise, surprise - Ernesto Berterelli's Alinghi has won comfortably the Rolex Farr 40 World Championships, raced off Cowes

The powerful trinity of Russell Coutts, Simon Daubney and Warwick Fleury proved too much for the other challengers as Alinghi swept to a clear victory in the Farr 40 Worlds. Tactical and professional to the last, Alinghi followed the current world champion, John Calvert-Jones’ Southern Star, around the track to finish second, right on Southern Star’s transom. Last year’s champion came second overall this year by some distance.

Philip Tolhurst’s Warlord VII came a creditable third – the best British result – but the fact that the third-placed boat finished with more than twice the winners’ score says it all. Berterelli and his slick crew were a class apart. Even the previous world champion – John Calvert-Jones’ Southern Star – finished with half again as many points as Alinghi.

Mark Heeley’s GBR25 found form later in the week but she lacked consistency throughout and fourth place is a fair enough result for her endeavours. Tony de Mulder’s Victric finished fifth, just ahead of Hughes Lepic’s Aleph with Murray Jones on tactics. 1998 world champion Jim Richardson finished seventh on this occasion with Barking Mad – her series seemed to fall apart towards the end of the regatta.

Many of these crews have been training for much of the year so to be mugged by Coutts and Co. at such short notice must hurt. On the upside, racing against one of the most accomplished technical sailors ever must be a thrill and perhaps there will be a few tips on offer back in the bar.

Rolex Farr 40 World Championships, Cowes 12-15 September
Final overall positions
Pos. Name – Results – Points1. Alinghi – 5,7,1,-,1,2,5,1,6,2 – 302. Southern Star – 4,4,7,-,3,3,3,15,5,1 – 453. Warlord VII – 11,3,2,-,6,17,4,6,15,4 – 684. GBR25 – 8,15,4,-,18,1,14,9,1,3 – 735. Victric – 13,9,6,-,2,19,18,2,2,5 – 766. Aleph – 9,2,16,-,14,10,-,14,10,7 – 837. Barking Mad – 1,10,3,-,4,20,1,18,12,17 – 908. Nerone – 2,22,12,-,8,7,13,3,13,12 – 939. Bambakou – 3,5,8,-,12,16,16,11,14,10 – 9510. Game On – 10,17,11,n/a,20,6,10,7,8,9 – 99