After the straightforward nature of the racecourse off Rodi Garganico, Italy, now the competitors all vying for the UIM Class 3D World Championship will have a totally different scenario to contend with here in Tvedestrand, Norway.
Gone are twelve laps laid out off the beach by Associazione Motonautica Gargano to be replaced by navigating through the Norwegian fjords before reaching the open sea. Svein Henriksen, the OOD and event organiser has already made a course amendment on the grounds of competitor safety, which has a positive effect of adding an extra lap giving spectators more opportunities of seeing the action.
When PRW spoke to him we asked him about the courses.
We have three different UIM Class 3 categories here in Tvedestrand, so to make it more interesting for the 3C competitors the race on Wednesday will start from a different location. The races on Thursday and Saturday, which will include the teams competing for Class 3D will then start from the town and make their way through the challenging fjords. It gives the event some edge.
After a win and second place finishes at the opening rounds in Rodi Garganico, the highly experienced Serafino Barlesi, who has over seventy podium finishes including three World Championships, six European and twelve Italian titles, admits that this course is going to be tricky even for someone with his record of accomplishment.
For the Norwegian team, its home waters and that gives them a huge advantage. They will know where the shallow areas and rocks are located. We have an hour to test here, so not only do we have to work out which propellor to run we also have to get a feel of the course. For me it’s going to be a difficult balancing act as the course is part smooth fast water then out into the open sea.
Just to add to the Italian’s ‘headache’ he is also running with a new co-pilot, Francesco Calo. Although not as experienced as Barlesi, Calo has taken some notable race wins including the legendary Centomiglia del Lario an event which has been run in Como since 1949.
It’s not just the home waters where the Norwegian team of Erik Sundbland Johansen and Jan Braaten Trygve have an advantage according to Barlesi. He points out that the Energima sponsored catamaran has a flap fitted to the rear of the hull which will help them balance the hull in the flat conditions, something that the Italians don’t have.
The Energima Team have been busy since the opening round having changed the design on the gearcase to aid the engine cooling which they struggled with in Italy.
As to the oncoming battle with Barlesi and Calo, Johansen spoke to PRW following a good testing session.
Barlesi told us yesterday that we must lead the way. Shaking him off will all be down to the weather and with thirteen metres per second wind speed forecast for Thursday let’s see how he gets on with proper offshore racing.
Race 1 for the UIM Class 3D World Championship gets under way on Thursday 7 July followed by Race 2 on Saturday 9 July which can be followed via the Live Stream on Tvedestrand Racing Klubb Facebook page.