Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tough First Day At Audi Melges 32 European Championship

Porto Cervo, Italy, 28th June 2012

Day one of the Audi Melges 32 European Championship was a busy one with a full schedule of three windward-leeward races, wind shifts, lead changes and all-round great one-design racing off the north-eastern coast of the Costa Smeralda. 
The Melges 32 fleet in Porto Cervo Photo: © Guido Trombetta
After a day which saw different teams claiming the top spots in every race, each of the top three boats in the overall classification sits on 15 points with Andrea Pozzi' Bombarda (ITA) in first place thanks to a bullet and a second place in the second two races of the day. Germany's Opus One, owned by Wolfgang Stolz is in second place ahead of Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino (ITA). Just two points behind are Lanfranco Cirillo's Fantastica (ITA) and the American boat Argo, owned by Jason Carroll. 
Photo: Fantastica ©Guido Trombetta
Following a brief delay crews were held ashore while the Race Committee waited for the breeze to fill in and stabilise. Race One started shortly after 1 p.m. in approximately  nine knots of breeze from 095° which would gradually shift right throughout the course of the day to 120° for the last race. 

Red, owned by Britain's Joe Woods, had a good start and immediately claimed the lead ahead of Opus One while a battle for third took place between Fantastica, Rush Diletta (ITA) and Mascalzone Latino with Fantastica crossing the line ahead of the other two Italian boats. 

Opus One was first round the top mark in Race Two but was overtaken by Bombarda on the second upwind leg and by the Japanese boat Mamma Aiuto! on the final downwind run to finish third. Race Three saw Mauro Mocchegiani's Rush Diletta take the lead on the first downwind leg to cross the finish line ahead of Bombarda in second and Argo with Cameron Appleton calling tactics in third.

"Today was a tricky day out there. The wind was up and down, and a little shifty, but that adds a bit of fun to the fleet," said Australian tactician Nathan Wilmot, a dual 470 Olympic Gold Medallist who is calling the shifts onboard Mascalzone Latino.

"In the Melges 32 fleet, it is so close at the top that everyone has a chance of winning. It was good close racing and good fun. Hopefully we'll get a little more wind during the week, although the forecast isn't giving that. This is only our third regatta as a team so the important thing for us is to get used to sailing together."

Top Ten Results (Provisional, after three races)

1.) Bombarda; Andrea Pozzi/Flavio Favini, 12-1-2 = 15
2.) Opus One; Wolfgang Stolz/Jasper Radich, 2-3-10 = 15
3.) Mascalzone Latino; Vincenzo Onorato/Nathan Wilmot, 5-4-6 = 15
4.) Fantastica; Lanfranco Cirillo/Michelle Paoletti, 3-9-5= 17
5.) Argo; Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, 6-8-3 = 17
6.) Red; Joe Woods/Nick Rogers, 1-11-7 = 19
7.) Rush Diletta; Mauro Mocchegiani/Matteo Ivaldi, 4-17-1 = 22
8.) Audi F.lli Giacomel | FRA MARTINA; Edoardo Pavesio/Gabriele Benussi,  9-5-9= 23
9.) Torpyone; Edoardo Lupi/Branko Brcin, 7-13-11= 31
10.) Samba Pa Ti; John Kilroy/Steve Hunt,  8-6-20 = 34

Jill Campbell

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