MELGES 24 – Today’s Melges 24 Worlds action on Lake Garda was fast, furious and fantastic fun. With six races now complete the discard came into play and the Gold and Silver fleets were decided. Up to six more races are scheduled so the battle continues to rage as the teams attempt to gain any advantage they can whilst avoiding potentially very costly mistakes.
The final two qualifying races were sailed in a shifty Ora southerly wind that put the tacticians well and truly through their paces. With massive gains and losses to be made it was all about managing risk as effectively as possible.
Tonight reigning 2011 European Champion Gullisara stands at the top of the ranking and appears be frightened by nothing. For Carlo Fracassoli’s crew the term “conservative” has no meaning and their often daring tactical choices always seemed to reap rewards, striking fear into the heart of their opponents. A third place followed by a win keeps them at the top of the table by just a single point from their fellow Italian aboard Saetta. Having been able to discard their 19 points garnered by fouling the Z-flag in race one, Seatta’s Alberto Bolzan and Nathan Wilmot, still aspire to the title and have Gullisara in their sights.
Moth World Champion Bora Gulari, aboard West Marine Rigging New England Ropes, claimed victory in the fifth race and followed that with a fourth place to claim the final place on the podium. Disqualification from the third race has clearly not dented the determination of the American who may be nine points behind the leaders but is still definitely in play. As is Riccardo Simoneschi’s Audi Ultra supported by Eberhard & Co, who sailed with great consistency all day and goes into the second half of the championship in fourth overall, three points behind Gulari and a single point ahead of Christopher Rast sailing EFG Bank and Flavio Favini helming Franco Rossini’s Blu Moon. Japan’s Kan Yamamada, sailing Mamma Aiuto! scored a tenth in race four but went onto a second in race six and now lies in seventh overall.
Andrea Rachelli’s Altea, who led the standings early in the championship, won his division in race five, but a fifteenth place in race six drops him down to eighth place overall. The other overall race winner today was the Estonian team of Peter Saraskin aboard Lumi, but this brief moment of brilliance couldn’t make up for an otherwise moderate performance so he is in 20th overall.
In the Corinthian standings Lorenzo Gemini’s SIV Arborea is confirmed as leader, but in hot pursuit are Marrakesh Express, led by Augusto Poropat, who put in a solid 5, 3 day and is now ahead the Norwegian Storm Capital Sail Racing led by Oyvind Jahre and Estonia’s Tonu Toniste. Without doubt the two best Corinthian performances today came from Francesco Barbi’s Etabeta and Geoff Carveth sailing Miles Quinton’s Gill Race Team who each won both races in their groups.
With the competitors now divided into Gold and Silver Fleets it will be another early start tomorrow as racing is scheduled to start in the northern Peler wind at 08.00. The committee reserves the right to run up to two races in the Peler on a single course with the fleets starting consecutively and in total they aim to achieve three races tomorrow with the afternoon races back on the two courses north and south in the southerly Ora.
Once again tomorrow it will be possible to follow all the action live from the race course thanks to live streaming sponsored by B Plan Sport and Events. Coverage will start just before 08.00 Italian time at www.bpse.it
Events like the 2012 Melges 24 World Championship are not possible without the most generous support of the event sponsors led by the Municipality of Comune di Nago Torbole and including the Regional Authority of Trentino; TrentoDoc, partner of Circolo Vela Torbole whose excellent selection of sparkling wines will be enjoyed by all; Trentingrana, whose cheese is made using milk exclusively from the Trentino area; InGarda, the touristic company supporting visitors to Lark Garda; and technical sailing clothing supplier Marinepool.