Twenty knot Mistral winds provided racers with a full day of tough competition to kick off the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's Rolex Settimana delle Bocche

Sardinia’s fabled Mistral winds provided racers with a full day of tough competition to kick off the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s Rolex Settimana delle Bocche (Week Of The Straits).

The Farr 40 and Swan 45 divisions completed three windward/leeward races after an initial 5kt breeze built to a steady 20kt north-westerly for the start of race two, while crews aboard the IMS racers had to shift gears as the breeze increased during their long coastal race of approximately 30 miles. Overall, it was a day for the Italians, with Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino leading the 17-boat Farr 40 division after the first day’s racing, Stefano Polti’s Mintaka in first in the Swan 45 fleet with 10 boats competing, and the Comet 51Andromeda, owned by Massimo Guardigli and Antonio Roncone winning the coastal race in the six-boat IMS division.

The competition is tight among the Farr 40 division leaders, with just one point separating the top two boats. Mascalzone Latino established itself early, leading race one from the first mark to the finish. In the second Farr 40 race, Alessandro Barnaba’s Fiamma took first place, followed by German Wolfgang Stolz’s Opus One, and Australian Lang Walker’s Kokomo. Last year’s overall winner, Nerone, owned by Massimo Mezzaroma, won race three, with Mascalzone Latino finishing second and France’s Twins 2, owned by Eric Maris, finishing third. Mascalzone Latino leads overall with eight points, followed closely by Opus One with nine points, and Twins 2 in third overall with 15 points.

Italians took the lead from the start in the Swan 45 division racing, as well, and battled throughout the day. Jeroboam-Canova, owned by Vittorio Codecasa, led around the first leeward mark in race one, but was overtaken by Danilo Salsi’s DSK, with former Italian and World 470 champion Pietro D’Ali calling tactics. Lanfranco Cirillo’s Star Trading finished second and Jeroboam-Canova ended up third. Marco Salvi’s Vertigo took first place in race two, with Carlo Perrone’s Atlantica Racing coming in second and Mintaka in third. Mintaka rallied in today’s final race with a first-place finish that put her in the lead overall. Atlantica Racing and DSK finished second and third respectively in race three. Mintaka and DSK are tied overall with eight points followed by Atlantica Racing with nine points.

The IMS fleet’s coastal race took the racers from the start just off Porto Cervo up past Caprera and the main La Maddalena island before rounding the Baretinelli islands and heading south to round Santo Stefano Island, passing between Capo Ferro and Caprera before reaching the finish. Andromeda crossed the line first, followed by Luca Lualdi’s Timeriesci, and Alberto Cogni’s Clean Energy. All three competitors placed the same corrected as they did over the line.